Miscellaneous (e.g., Interior Article Guiding Means) Patents (Class 221/312R)
  • Patent number: 6138868
    Abstract: An ampule feeder which can discharge ampules one by one with high efficiency without the possibility of clogging. It includes an ampule container having a bottom plate pivotable in one direction. Ampules stored randomly in the container are moved onto an inclined top surface of an ampule receiver and raised. When the ampule receiver rises to its highest level, the ampules slide on its surface and drop onto a conveyor belt of a dispenser provided outside of the side wall of the ampule container. Ampules are thus discharged by the dispenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yuyama Seisakusho
    Inventors: Shoji Yuyama, Naoki Koike, Yasuhiro Shigeyama
  • Patent number: 6116462
    Abstract: In a vending machine including an article storage space (3a) for stacking articles (A) therein in a vertical direction, a movable spacer (10) is provided for adjusting a size of the article storage space. The spacer is placed in the article storage space movably in a horizontal direction. An urging arrangement (20) urges the spacer towards one end of the article storage space in the horizontal direction. In cooperation with a given one of the articles, a locking arrangement (30) locks the spacer in the first horizontal direction at an optional position determined in accordance with the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Sanden Corporation
    Inventors: Toshiyuki Takamura, Sakaguchi Haruki
  • Patent number: 6086471
    Abstract: A cash register terminal and process for operating a cash register terminal especially for self-service in gaming casinos, with bill-accepting and coin-deposition as well as coin-dispensing structure and with at least one coin box. To design the cash register terminal for high speed of operation and a large storage capacity for coins, the coins (17) are conveyed upward from the bottom from the coin box (2), of which there is at least one, and the coins (17) are dispensed above the at least one coin box (2), to at least one outlet (19, 20, 21).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: F. Zimmermann GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Thomas Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 6056151
    Abstract: A bulk vending amusement device has multiple, visible tracks extending from a bin for moving a product to a dispenser for dispensing the product to entertain a user. A diverter, disposed between the bin and the multiple tracks, diverts the product from the bin to one of the tracks so that a user is unable to ascertain which of the multiple tracks will dispense the product. The diverter has a plurality of chutes disposed on a rotating plate each under a plurality of holes. The plate incrementally rotates, sequentially disposing each chute under a hole in the bin. Each chute is configured and oriented to divert the product to a different track as it is located under the bin by the rotating disk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Assignee: Gizmo Distributing, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel C. Peery, Gregory M. Peery
  • Patent number: 6041962
    Abstract: The mounting channel for product price, product identity and/or column identity chips or cards provided across the front of a tray of a glass-front vending machine of the motorized helical mechanism type, is provided with one or more chips or cards which have a tab which protrudes upwards beyond the product support surface of the tray, at a location determined to be appropriate for intersecting a like corner of each package conveyed to the foremost position and off the front edge of that tray, for thereby predetermining the spatial orientation of the package as it begins to fall, for preventing bridging of the package between the tray and the glass front. The tabbed chip or card may also provide typical product price, product identity and/or column identity information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2000
    Assignee: Automated Merchandising Systems
    Inventor: Richard A. Pollock
  • Patent number: 6012604
    Abstract: An article dispensing device is incorporated into an automatic vending machine capable of storing articles having a cylindrical or substantially cylindrical shape resembling bottles or cans in stacks, and of dispensing the articles in response to a dispensation command. The article dispensing device has a fixed plate serving as a wall defining an article dispensing passage, and holding a dispensing mechanism for dispensing the articles one at a time, and a movable unit disposed opposite to the fixed plate. The movable unit has a frame attached to the body of the automatic vending machine, a shiftable plate supported on the side walls of the frame by pivot pins fitted in slots formed respectively in the side walls and provided with a positioning projection projecting from at least one end thereof so as to engage with steps of a stepped positioning edge formed in the side wall selectively according to the diameter of the article passing through the dispensing passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: F.I.C., Inc.
    Inventors: Yutaka Takahashi, Hisashi Funakoshi
  • Patent number: 6003726
    Abstract: A hand-held feeder for fasteners having a head and a shank comprises a handle configured to contain fasteners and a channel extending from the handle, the channel having a free end and a support slit extending from the free end toward the handle. The support slit is wider than the fastener shanks but narrower than the heads, so that when fasteners emerging from the handle encounter the slit, the shanks will drop down through the, slit while the heads remain accessible within the channel. The channel is designed to provide unobstructed access to the heads of fasteners having shanks extending through the slit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1999
    Assignee: Bike Track, Inc.
    Inventor: E. Gerry Hawkes
  • Patent number: 5957324
    Abstract: A paper towel dispenser having a housing for supporting a stack of towels and an outlet slot at the bottom of the housing for manual removal of towels one at a time, an adapter positioned within the housing and comprising a single sheet of material having a spacer section and a flange section joined by a hinge section, with the spacer section being positionable adjacent an inner wall of the housing and the flange section being positionable on the bottom of the housing adjacent the outlet slot, with the housing and adapter flange section having interengaging guide means for locating the adapter at at least two positions on the housing bottom for selectively spacing the lower end of the adapter spacer section at at least two distances from the housing inner wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Bobrick Washroom Equipment, Inc.
    Inventors: Alan Gettelman, Frank Merriweather, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5924596
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for dispensing promotional and product items is provided, which includes an item dispensing machine. The item dispensing machine includes a payment receipt mechanism, a storage compartment storing the promotional and product items, and a dispensing mechanism. The promotional item and the product item are substantially the same size and shape. Upon receipt of a predetermined payment amount by the payment receipt mechanism, the machine dispenses either the promotional item or the product item, depending upon which item was in position for dispensing. The promotional item includes a preselected monetary amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: 3-Strikes Custom Design
    Inventor: Mark S. Kaufman
  • Patent number: 5893697
    Abstract: A package dispenser that can be used in an automated system for filling orders, such as prescriptions for patients. The dispenser includes a magazine for holding a plurality of packages. The magazine includes a loading end and a dispensing end which has a releasable retainer to keep the loaded packages in the magazine until they are released. Several dispensers may be combined with an automated storage system in which a robot selects packages from storage racks. Then, packages can be simultaneously delivered by the dispensers and the robot. The dispensers may be filled by the robot. The robot and releasable retainer in the dispenser are computer controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: Automated Healthcare, Inc.
    Inventors: Aldo Zini, Manoj K. Wangu, Sean C. McDonald
  • Patent number: 5857585
    Abstract: A ligating band dispenser for attachment to the distal end of a ligating device having proximal and distal ends with a lumen extending therebetween and being adapted for supporting a plurality of ligating bands includes a support for attachment to the distal end of the ligating device and for carrying the plurality of ligating bands and having a passage communicating with the lumen; and a dispenser including a first displacement element looped about each of the bands in series attached to the support and extending through the passage and lumen whereby proximal motion of the operator element from the proximal end of the ligating device transfers individually the most distal ligating band off the distal end of the support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: Act Medical, Inc.
    Inventors: M. Joshua Tolkoff, Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, Andrew Ziegler, Wayne A. Minter
  • Patent number: 5848724
    Abstract: This anti-bridging system for vending machine storage compartments having a relatively tapered walls leading to an exit, includes a relatively narrow elongate member attached to one of the walls and arranged to tilt the longitudinal axis of a container in the vicinity of the baffle area out of parallel relative to the baffle and also relative to the axes of adjacent containers. This arrangement facilitates the downward travel of the containers toward the exit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 15, 1998
    Assignee: Coin Acceptors, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas E. Uzzle, Joel D. Wiesner
  • Patent number: 5829630
    Abstract: A vending machine for valved cylinders of propane gas is provided which includes a cabinet, a U-shaped roller conveyor and a support rail. The cabinet has return and dispensing openings sized to allow empty cylinders to be returned to the cabinet in an upright orientation and to allow full cylinders to be dispensed from the cabinet in an upright orientation. The return and dispensing openings are vertically offset and horizontally spaced apart. The roller conveyor is within the cabinet and extends from the return opening to the dispensing opening. The roller conveyor is downwardly inclined so that the valved cylinders move along the conveyor by gravity. The support rail extends along both sides of the roller conveyor and maintains the valved cylinders in an upright position while moving from the return opening to the dispensing opening. The vending machine also includes an anti-theft system to prevent unauthorized withdrawals of the valved cylinders from the cabinet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: Plant Systems Incorporated
    Inventor: Donald C. Fernald
  • Patent number: 5826745
    Abstract: There is disclosed a stocker for flat healds according to the present invention is a flat heald stocker for stocking a lot of flat healds in order to selectively discharge an arbitrary flat heald A out of the many flat healds A juxtaposed, in which the flat healds A kept in a horizontal state are stacked vertically in a housing, a heald refilling aperture is provided at a top portion of the housing, and a heald drawing opening for discharging the lowermost of the stacked flat healds horizontally is provided at a lower portion of the housing, whereby easy horizontal drawing of flat heald can be achieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1998
    Assignee: Hamamatsu Photonics K.K.
    Inventor: Kazunori Kuroyanagi
  • Patent number: 5819982
    Abstract: A dispenser for dispensing disposable lids from a coaxial stack of nested lids. The dispenser has a v-shaped tray with an open dispensing end for holding the stack, a resilient member biasing the lids towards the open dispensing end and a pair of spaced apart friction surfaces opposing the tray at the open dispensing end. The friction surfaces are inclined at a low angle to the stack and overhang the tray forming a throat through which the lids pass. As the lids are pushed into the throat by the resilient member biasing the lids, the friction surfaces stop movement of the stack through the throat and an endmost of the lids is unlatched from a next-to-endmost lid opposite the friction surfaces. A curved finger followed by a stop is reciprocated between the friction surfaces. When the finger is reciprocated towards the stack of lids, it makes contact with the endmost flange, overriding and hooking under its flange.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Inventor: Anthony P. Brown
  • Patent number: 5791516
    Abstract: A dispensing apparatus and method for vending machines includes in one embodiment vertical vending from one or more columns. Each column is defined by two walls. A triggering mechanism at the bottom of the column is actuated by the rotation of a rod from the top of the column. The triggering mechanism blocks items placed along the column from being dropped out the bottom of the column to a delivery area but also controls when such dispensation occurs. The configuration allows items of different sizes, shapes, and types to be loaded into the column and therefore allows the column to be easily adapted to dispense a wide variety of items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1998
    Assignee: Fawn Engineering Corporation
    Inventors: Francis A. Wittern, Jr., Paul L. Hawkins, James L. Denato, Francis A. Wittern, III
  • Patent number: 5788117
    Abstract: A dispenser for dispensing cylindrical objects of uniform diameter, such as beverage cans, from a package holding at least two rows of the objects, with at least two objects in each row. The dispenser has a front face that defines an object-dispensing opening at its lower end. The opening is shaped to allow an object being dispensed to pass through the opening. There is a dispensing tray at the bottom of the opening and projecting outward from the front face of the dispenser. The dispensing tray is adapted to receive and hold an object dispensed from the package and through the opening. The dispenser also includes an object-repositioning structure inward of the front face and positioned to contact the front object in the second row of objects at or above its center line when the dispenser is placed over an opened end of the package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Inventor: Jack Zimmanck
  • Patent number: 5582326
    Abstract: A drinking-water service system for supplying individual cylindrical containers of drinking water to athletes. A storage and dispensing unit for storing the containers for semi-automatically sequentially dispensing individually the drinking water containers to athletes. A multi-stage storage and delivery control passageway has a rolling section generally inclined downwardly for receiving and storing the containers disposed side by side and gravity biased. An uprighting section receives the containers from the rolling section successively and its surfaces cause the containers to assume an upright position for travel downwardly to a dispensing section which has a dispensing outlet opening through which the containers are dispensed to a horizontal stand surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1996
    Inventor: Takashi Nishimura
  • Patent number: 5577633
    Abstract: A nut feeding method and apparatus for an automatic assembly machine includes a carrousel for carrying a large supply of nuts on vertical feed rods hanging from a rotating head from which the nuts can be fed to a nut runner. A shaft projects on an axis of rotation from the rotating head, and a drive mechanism rotates the shaft to rotate the carrousel about the axis of rotation. The body of the apparatus has a sliding surface adjacent the lower end of the rods around which a lower nut on each rod slides in a circular path as the carrousel rotates. A nut on one of the rods can pass through an opening, when selectively uncovered by a movable plug, in the sliding surface at one radial position on the circular path for feeding to the nut runner. A nut channel beneath and communicating with the opening conveys the nut to a nut loading station. An air cylinder moves a nut feed pin to feed the nut to the nut driver socket in the nut driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1996
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Darrell D. Jones
  • Patent number: 5458260
    Abstract: The invention pertains to a modular display for merchandising tubular cartridges containing adhesives, caulks, sealants or similar flowable elastomeric materials, where each cartridge contains a narrow dispensing nozzle at one end of the cartridge. The modular display unit comprises structural means for automatically aligning the cartridges horizontally and orientating the nozzles forwardly while stacking the cartridges in vertical rows by gravity feed. The internal structure includes a slotted front panel where the slot engages the narrowed nozzles but prevents passage of the enlarged tube end of the cartridge. The display unit enables the consumer to remove cartridges from the bottom and to reinsert cartridges at the top along with maintaining the intended forward orientation and horizontal alignment in the vertically stacked cartridges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Assignee: The Glidden Company
    Inventors: Anthony Sainato, Thomas Conway, Scott Padiak
  • Patent number: 5458952
    Abstract: A stack of paper is provided for separating portions produced by a portion control machine. The paper is dispensed from a paper feed system that feeds the bottom-most sheet from the stack along support rails that support opposite edges of the sheet. An integral stiffening strip extends between the opposite side edges of each sheet for stiffening the sheet therebetween and to minimize bowing of the sheet when supported at its opposite side edges. The stiffening strip has an arcuate cross-section, and the stiffening strip includes a rigidifying wax coating that is impregnated in the sheet at least to a greater extent in other areas of the sheet than at the strip. The invention also contemplates a method of fabricating the sheets of paper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1995
    Assignee: Hollymatic Corporation
    Inventors: Richard C. Wagner, James D. Azzar
  • Patent number: 5407095
    Abstract: An improved staged ramp discharge system for vending machine includes a staged ramp discharge system including an upper chute in an upper chamber which leads to a lower chute in a lower chamber. An upper wall of the lower chamber defines the transition from the upper chamber to the lower chamber with this upper wall being solid and impervious. The upper chamber has a first lower wall separating the upper chamber from the lower chamber with the first lower wall having a lower surface slightly spaced above the surface of the upper chute to provide a horizontal slot through which articles which are being dispensed may slide. The lower chamber has a second lower wall also having a lower surface slightly spaced above the surface of the lower chute to provide a horizontal slot which is sized to permit an article which is being dispensed to slide therethrough. This configuration is designed to preclude tampering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 18, 1995
    Assignee: Opal Manufacturing (1989) Ltd.
    Inventor: Safdar Alli
  • Patent number: 5392955
    Abstract: A ball feeding device which can feed balls one by one without allowing many impacts on the balls and which can prevent the balls from being magnetized. Balls are accommodated in a housing formed with a conical hole in the bottom thereof. A rotary rod having a conical end is mounted in the housing, the conical end being located near and opposite to the conical hole. Balls are guided one by one into the area between the conical end and the conical hole and discharged one by one through the conical hole. A pair of inclined cylinders are provided under the housing. The balls discharged through the conical hole drop onto the higher end of the gap defined between the cylinders and roll along the gap. The gap expands gradually from the higher end toward the lower end. Thus, the balls drop through the gap into a pan provided under the cylinders while being fed along the gap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 28, 1995
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Yutaka
    Inventors: Nobuyuki Yasuda, Masatoshi Yasuda
  • Patent number: 5335810
    Abstract: A control apparatus is provided for use in an article handling system having a conduit through which articles such as can ends in a facewise nested condition are conveyed from a first location to a second location. The control apparatus comprises a housing operatively interposed in the conduit and an elastomeric tubular sleeve member mounted in the housing and defining a through passage of a shape generally complementary to the shape of the articles. The tubular sleeve member is responsive to the level of pressure in a pressure chamber for applying a corresponding force about the periphery of the articles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1994
    Assignee: Fleetwood Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter W. Holloway
  • Patent number: 5333754
    Abstract: Frozen products housed in a rack are retained in a spiral wire and is guided by plastic guide pieces formed at portions necessary to hold the products. The guide pieces are fixed onto fitting supports attached to the rack, so that ice deposition spaces are created between the guide pieces and a rack surface (12). Thus, the ice formed in the rack is accumulated in the spaces, thereby reducing its effect on the products. In the invention, damage to the wrapping of a bagged product and deformation thereof are prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1994
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tatsuya Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 5310083
    Abstract: Apparatus for dispensing individual sheets from the center of a coreless roll product comprised of a plurality of the sheets forming a wound web. A dispenser nozzle is connected to a support for supporting the coreless roll. The dispenser nozzle has interconnecting portions, one of which has a truncated cone-like configuration and the other of which has a cylindrical configuration. The portion of the nozzle having the cylindrical configuration is located at the exit opening of the nozzle to provide increased contact area for sheets passing therethrough to reduce wear and extend the life of the nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 10, 1994
    Assignee: James River Paper Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Jack A. Rizzuto
  • Patent number: 5308360
    Abstract: A key storage container receives, stores and dispenses along a longitudinal axis a supply of identical key storage tags, each of which holds a key blank. The key storage container includes a horizontally oriented base and vertically oriented sidewalls. The sidewall includes a first sidewall segment aligned with and extending vertically upward from the front of the base as well as a second sidewall segment which completes the vertically oriented sidewall of the key storage container. A dispensing aperture is located at the junction of the first sidewall segment with the base and includes a height and width sufficient to allow the maximum cross sectional area of the lowest key storage tag stacked within the storage volume of the key storage container to be longitudinally displaced along the base of the storage volume through the dispensing aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 3, 1994
    Assignee: Axxess Entry Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: William J. Neitzke, G. Lynn Hagen
  • Patent number: 5294020
    Abstract: An apparatus for displaying and dispensing cylindrical objects having a diameter and a length along an axis includes a base supporting a reservoir configured and arranged to hold a plurality of cylindrical objects to be dispensed. The reservoir communicates with a downwardly and forwardly extending chute terminating in a forward display position on the base. The cylindrical object displayed in the display position is axially distended from the plurality of cylindrical objects held in the reservoir. Thus, upon loading a plurality of cylindrical objects into the reservoir, the chute and display position are filled with cylindrical objects and upon removal of a cylindrical object from the display position, cylindrical objects descend under the influence of gravity from the reservoir to the chute and from the chute to the display position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 15, 1994
    Assignee: Decision Point Marketing, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven A. Kunz
  • Patent number: 5238097
    Abstract: A serpentine-type merchandise storing and dispensing column used for an automatic vending machine has a pair of opposing, generally vertically disposed wave-formed walls forming a serpentine merchandise storing space therebetween. Each wall includes a plurality of arcuate boards pivotally coupled to a frame and are disposed generally vertically in succession. The arcuate boards of one wall are disposed in a staggered arrangement with respect to the levels of the arcuate boards of the opposing wall. Each arcuate board is urged by a tension-spring so as to pivotally swing into the serpentine merchandise storing space. Thus, the board cushions descending merchandise in the serpentine merchandise storing space. Each arcuate board has a plurality of vibration absorbing slots and a plurality of beads between, and in parallel with, the slots.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Assignee: Sanden Corp.
    Inventors: Tohru Kanbe, Kiyoaki Yoshii, Hirokatsu Kaneko, Takeshi Onda, Masauki Taguchi, Masayuki Toriba
  • Patent number: 5137172
    Abstract: A paper feed system suitable for use with a patty making machine to provide paper for separating patties, including a stack of sheet-form paper having a deformable element on the side edge thereof, a paper hopper, and a guide on the inside surface of a sidewall of the paper hopper for engaging the deformable element. Two guides are provided, each on opposite sidewalls of the hopper, engaging deformable elements on opposite sides of the paper stack. Preferably, the guides are male guides extending from the sidewalls with the end adjacent to where the paper is dispensed thicker than the remainder of the guide to support the paper. The deformable elements cooperate with the guides so that the paper is deformed by an extreme bend, but not torn, when each sheet is dispensed from the hopper. A stack of individual sheets of paper usable with this system includes recesses on opposite sides of each sheet of paper, where the recesses receive the guides when stacked in the hopper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1992
    Assignees: Hollymatic Corporation, James D. Azzar
    Inventors: Richard C. Wagner, James D. Azzar
  • Patent number: 5129914
    Abstract: A combination container and dispenser and insertion tube for acupuncture needles provides for the sterile storage and containment, dispensing and insertion of acupuncture needles. A storage portion of the container/dispenser is formed with an insertion tube along one edge and an internal passage between the two components. A lot in the storage portion allows manipulation of the handles of any acupunture needles within so they may be transferred through the internal passage to the insertion tube and inserted into the patient. A series of depressions and a retaining crest within the storage portion assist in retaining the needles in position until they are maneuvered through the slot. The device may be formed of a relatively inexpensive material, thus allowing for disposal after a single use, or alternatively may be formed of a more durable material capable of withstanding repeated sterilization in an autoclave or similar apparatus for reuse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1992
    Inventor: Jeung H. Choi
  • Patent number: 5080256
    Abstract: A slant-shelf magazine for an automatic, coin controlled, vending machine adapted to dispense cylindrical articles, such as canned or bottled beverages, which are stored and gravitationally fed from plural, parallel, horizontally inclined superposed storage racks into a vertical drop chute located opposite the lower ends of such racks. The drop chute communicates with a horizontally inclined delivery chute having a vend mechanism at its lowermost end for releasing articles one-by-one to a discharge hopper upon customer selection. The delivery chute is oppositely inclined from the storage racks and is joined to the drop chute by an intervening curvilinear guideway formed to reverse the gravitational movement direction of the articles prior to entry into the delivery chute for purposes of reducing article load forces on the vend mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1992
    Assignee: Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation
    Inventor: Donald C. Rockola
  • Patent number: 5069362
    Abstract: A fastener feeding machine is provided with a plurality of fluid powered escapements for selecting and delivering fasteners in a predetermined sequence and orientation. The fastener feeding machine includes a manifold body with individual mounting stations at which the escapements are positioned. The manifold body includes a plurality of ports located at the mounting stations to communicate with the escapements and thereby provide for control of the escapements through a central pressurized fluid supply. An escapement mounting arrangement on the manifold body allows for quick detachment of the individual escapements, and simultaneous sealing of individual ports upon re-attachment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1991
    Assignee: Air Way Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Clare E. Albright
  • Patent number: 5064404
    Abstract: A coin or token discharge apparatus having a large volume coin reservoir feeding coins or tokens to a coin bowl for engagement with a selector disc and transfer by the selector disc to an exit chute. The discharge apparatus has two baffle members designed to filter and orient the coins or tokens as they are fed to the selector disc. The selector disc includes features which facilitate non-jamming of stray coins or tokens in the rotating selector disc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1991
    Assignee: Hamilton Scale Corporation
    Inventor: William J. Champion
  • Patent number: 5056683
    Abstract: A cardboard stick gum dispenser comprises a rectangular-shaped container which has a slot formed on the lower part of its front panel. A paper sling extends from the upper part of the container's rear panel through the inside of the container to the slot. A free end of the sling extends from the slot and a stack of stick gum is supported on the sling inside the container. An individually wrapped stick of gum is drawn through the slot whenever the free end of the sling is pulled away from the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1991
    Assignee: Warner-Lambert Company
    Inventors: Denise M. O'Brien, Carlo P. Croce
  • Patent number: 5056684
    Abstract: A roofing washer-dispensing machine having improved features is disclosed. A novel magazine comprises a substantially box-like container with a substantially open face, for housing a stack of circular roofing washers having inserts, and a substantially rigid rod removably mounted within or upon to a top wall of the box so as to extend downwardly into the central apertures of the stack washers, except for the lowermost washer, so as to restrain the remaining washers. The machine comprises a shuttle arranged to displace the lowermost washer from the stack when it is desired to dispense such washer. The shuttle includes a novel arrangement of means overlying and underlying marginal portions of such washer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1991
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventors: John R. Beach, Syed R. Hasan
  • Patent number: 5046640
    Abstract: A separator for packaged pre-moistened pads which has a round piece of hook closure tape (24) attached with pressure sensitive adhesive (28) to the inside of the lid (22) or (36) of a package container, such as a jar (20) or box (34). The uppermost pad in the stack is impinged and retained on the hooks of the tape (24) when the container is sharply oscillated in opposite directions and is singly separated from the stack when the lid is removed. The hook closure tape is round and offset from the center of the lid to obtain maximum efficiency. Another embodiment locates the hook closure tape (24) on the flat end of a handle (38) picking-up a single pad by simultaneously rotating and exerting pressure on the uppermost pad in the stack housed in a packaged container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1991
    Inventor: Scott M. Carroll
  • Patent number: 5037000
    Abstract: A rubber band dispensing container for storing and dispensing rubber bands or like objects. The dispensing container comprises a unitary plastic molded body having a receptacle cover and a confronting base adjoined along a common edge by an integral hinge and further includes cooperative locking members extending outwardly from the edges of the receptacle cover and the base opposite the integral hinge for cooperative engagement therebetween when the dispensing container is in a closed configuration to securely maintain the closed position and to prevent accidental opening thereof. The dispensing container is further provided with a flap for creating a dispenser opening on the receptacle cover for inserting fingers to remove rubber bands or like objects stored therein when the dispensing container is in the closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 6, 1991
    Assignee: Plymouth Rubber Company
    Inventor: Robert Selame
  • Patent number: 4997106
    Abstract: A storage magazine for use in coin operated automatic vending machines composed of a plurality of side-by-side vertical storage columns or magazine sections, each having at least two back-to-back aligned serpentine tracks which store a plurality of cylindrical articles and gravitationally feed the same to an underlying discharge ramp common to both tracks. The ramp cooperates with a wedge feed system for operatively integrating articles discharged from each of the tracks into a single column in which the articles from the individual tracks are arranged in alternating order for first-in, first-out vending by a single coin operated vend mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 5, 1991
    Assignee: Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation
    Inventor: Donald C. Rockola
  • Patent number: 4976440
    Abstract: A game or prize dispensing apparatus and method which transfers prizes or objects from a lower position in the machine to an upper position of the machine, releasing the prizes and allowing them to freefall. The player attempts to strike or grab the falling prize by actuating a mechanism at the appropriate time. A successfully struck or grabbed prize may then be dispensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1990
    Inventor: William B. Faith
  • Patent number: 4960226
    Abstract: Disclosed is apparatus for dispensing cylindrical objects such as pencils. The objects are stored in a hopper within a housing and fall out of the hopper into a delivery reservoir which is movable between a first position and a second position. When an activation mechanism moves the reservoir to the second position, the objects in the reservoir fall to an outlet in the housing. As the reservoir moves to its second position, an agitator aligns the pencils in the hopper to avoid bridging. A platform over the hopper holds some of the objects off the objects in the hopper. A patina on the agitator holds the high friction parts of the objects off the agitator so the objects roll or slide more easily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 2, 1990
    Inventor: Sylvester L. Ehrle
  • Patent number: 4952109
    Abstract: An apparatus for advancing a plurality of components comprising a vibrating feed tray, having a plurality of interchangeable modular troughs, each sized to receive a component of a particular size. The troughs are removably and slidably secured to the tray, and can be used in any combination. One end of each trough is characterized by only one side wall. A second, parallel side wall is provided each trough by means of sharing the side wall of the adjoining trough. In the event that there is no directly adjacent trough, a side stop is positioned adjacent the open side of the trough.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 28, 1990
    Assignee: Excellon Automation
    Inventor: Ross D. Hendricks
  • Patent number: 4946066
    Abstract: A paper dispensing device having a one-piece unitary main body with an upper and lower portion having a depression in the upper portion for receiving the operator's finger therein. The body is resilient and, upon downward pressure of the upper portion, the upper portion moves downwardly, then, upon release, returns to its initial position. The depression results in a concave portion on the underside of the upper portion, the concave portion having a paper adhering material adapted to adhere to a piece of paper and pick up the same. A plurality of individual sheets of paper can be disposed on the upper surface of the lower portion, thereby being in a position contactable by the paper adhering material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 7, 1990
    Inventor: Gerry Teitelman
  • Patent number: 4923090
    Abstract: A delivery assembly for a coin-operated can vending machine constituting a simplified structural arrangement of parts productive of economies of manufacture and assembly comprising a delivery shroud assembly mounted opposite and behind a delivery opening in the front door of the machine cabinet and formed by two identical stamped metal parts which are operationally interchangeable, are fixedly interjoined to form a can delivery passageway and which are supported on frame members carried within the interior of the cabinet door. A deflector is mounted across the shroud assembly passageway to alter the path of can movement therethrough. The outer end of the shroud assembly abuts the inside face of the front door panel adjacent a delivery opening therein and is fastened to a frame member disposed over the exterior of the front door panel. The frame member conceals the edges of the delivery opening and provides a hand opening for customer retrieval of a can delivered to a delivery stage of the shroud assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1988
    Date of Patent: May 8, 1990
    Assignee: Rock-Ola Manfacturing Corporation
    Inventors: Donald C. Rockola, Shuja Haque
  • Patent number: 4917264
    Abstract: An article dispensing machine (10) comprising a cabinet (12) containing a plurality of upstanding columns (14),(15),(16) each of which includes a first serpentine track unit (17) having an upper article receiving end (19) and a lower article dispensing end (21), the first track unit (17) having serpentine track sections overlying each other in contiguous relationship, a second track unit (22) including an upper serpentine section (23) disposed above the first track unit (17) and including also a rear substantially straight, vertically disposed track section (26) connected to the lower end of the upper section (23) and disposed behind said first track unit (17) and having a lower article dispensing end (27), and article dispensing control units (28),(29) at the lower dispensing ends of said first and second track units, each control unit selectively pushing and lifting an article (18),(18') to be dispensed for aiding the release thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1988
    Date of Patent: April 17, 1990
    Assignee: Fawn Engineering Corp.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Gasiel, Paul L. Hawkins, Jeffery J. Wilson
  • Patent number: 4915258
    Abstract: A seed meter for metering individual seeds at a controlled rate into a furrow in the ground over which the seed meter is traveling releases the individual seeds into a hollow, elongated seed tube. The seed tube is curved along the length thereof in a direction opposite the direction of travel of the seed meter over the ground to release the seeds with a horizontal velocity generally equal and compensate for the motion of the seed opposite that of the seed meter. This enables each seed to reach the ground with little or no velocity component in the horizontal direction, thereby minimizing lateral seed bounce on the ground. Seed bounce within the seed tube is controlled and minimized by the tube curvature which gradually increases in a downward direction along the length of the seed tube. The inner front wall of the tube has logarithmic curvature from a generally vertical upper end thereof along an upper portion of the tube and exponential curvature along a lower portion of the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1985
    Date of Patent: April 10, 1990
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: Jay H. Olson
  • Patent number: 4899438
    Abstract: A clip-like, C-shaped sheet-metal nut and an assembly device therefor, the nut having a thread leg with an embossed thread portion and a clip leg having a through hole, with the forward end of the thread leg having an upwardly and forwardly inclined insertion plate. A pair of guide webs are integrally formed on the two lateral edges of the thread leg that extend upwardly at right angles to the leg with the upper edges of the webs protruding above the insertion plate and running parallel to the clip leg and with their side surfaces being in a line with the lateral edges of the clip leg to provide a substantially outer rectangular perimeter to the nut.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: February 13, 1990
    Assignee: A. Raymond
    Inventors: Klaus Muller, Lothar Escher, Gerhard Mack, Ernst Kramer
  • Patent number: 4863168
    Abstract: A dispenser for the insertion of spacers between the strings of tennis, squash and badminton rackets includes a body having a delivery groove formed therein. The delivery groove is adapted to receive an interconnected strip of spacers and dispense the spacers individually between intersecting strings of a racket. The delivery groove may include a raised portion to allow the strip of spacers to be manually advanced within the device and a pair of prong-like projections for separating a pair of intersecting racket strings. The prong-like projections may have an abutment edge for positioning the interconnected strip of spacers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1989
    Inventors: Gerold Anderka, Walter Jozat
  • Patent number: 4811842
    Abstract: The present invention provides a storage case which has a case body that does not have to be inverted when spare leads are removed therefrom, and in which the spare leads are automatically made to project from a lead extraction port provided in the case body so that the spare leads can be prevented from being broken or lost by mistake, as in conventional cases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 14, 1989
    Assignee: Chitose Kagaku Kogyo Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Takashi Sekiya
  • Patent number: RE36091
    Abstract: A stack of paper is provided for separating portions produced by a portion control machine. The paper is dispensed from a paper feed system that feeds the bottom-most sheet from the stack along support rails that support opposite edges of the sheet. An integral stiffening strip extends between the opposite side edges of each sheet for stiffening the sheet therebetween and to minimize bowing of the sheet when supported at its opposite side edges. The stiffening strip has an arcuate cross-section, and the stiffening strip includes a rigidifying wax coating that is impregnated in the sheet at least to a greater extent in other areas of the sheet than at the strip. The invention also contemplates a method of fabricating the sheets of paper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Assignees: James D. Azzar, Hollymatic Corporation
    Inventors: Richard C. Wagner, James D. Azzar