US3575480A - Interlocking arrangement - Google Patents

Interlocking arrangement Download PDF

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US3575480A
US3575480A US3575480DA US3575480A US 3575480 A US3575480 A US 3575480A US 3575480D A US3575480D A US 3575480DA US 3575480 A US3575480 A US 3575480A
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means
drawers
drawer
plate means
plate
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Ernest W Peisker
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WALTER E HALLER AND CO
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WALTER E HALLER AND CO
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F11/00Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles
    • G07F11/02Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles from non-movable magazines
    • G07F11/38Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles from non-movable magazines in which the magazines are horizontal
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07FCOIN-FREED OR LIKE APPARATUS
    • G07F11/00Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles
    • G07F11/02Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles from non-movable magazines
    • G07F11/04Coin-freed apparatus for dispensing, or the like, discrete articles from non-movable magazines in which magazines the articles are stored one vertically above the other
    • G07F11/16Delivery means

Abstract

In a cabinet containing a plurality of drawers, apparatus for allowing only one drawer to be opened at a time is provided by a cam plate located adjacent the drawers and adapted to engage cam members located on the drawers. Interlocking the drawers and preventing access to the space therebetween is achieved by providing slide members that may be selectively moved to lockingly bridge two adjacent drawers. In addition, automatic release of members connected to a latching bar for purposes of loading trays in a drawer can be achieved by releaseably connecting the latching bar to an interlock arrangement.

Description

United States Patent [72] inventor Ernest W. Peisker 2,966,384 12/1960 Bergman 312/218 Chicago, [11. 2,992,056 7/1961 Thielker 312/221 [21] Appl. No. 759,462 3,323,849 6/1967 Stark 312/221 [22] Filed Sept. 12,1968 Prim E D 1 w' k ry xammer avi 1 iamows y [45] Patented Apr. 20, 1971 Assistant Examiner-Wayne L. Shedd [72] Walter Heller Company Attorneys-Ronald L. Engel, Daniel Vittum, Jr. and Gomer Chicago, Ill. w Walters [54] INTERLOCKING ARRANGEMENT l2 Clalms6Drawmg Figs ABSTRACT: In a cabinet containing a plurality of drawers, [52] US. Cl 312/218, apparatus for allowing only me drawer to be opened at a time 312/319 is provided by a cam plate located adjacent the drawers and [51] lIlLCl E051! 65/46 adapted to engage cam members located on the drawers, [50] Fifld 01 Search 312/218, Interlocking the drawers and preventing access to the space 216,220,219319 therebetween is achieved by providing slide members that may be selectively moved to lockingly bridge two adjacent [56] References cued drawers. In addition, automatic release of members connected NITE STATES PATENTS to a latching bar for purposes of loading trays in a drawer can 2,719,770 10/1955 Roberts 312/221 be achieved by releaseably connecting the latching bar to an 2,842,419 7/1958 Howard 312/218 interlock arrangement.

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H mm. e 4 I32 I 96 62 63'1 l l lllllllln/ lllll ll /O2- 70 PATENTEB iffi 2 0 15m SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENTOR. ERNEST W PE/S/(Ef? PMENTED APRZO 1971 SHEET 2 BF 2 lNVE/VTOR ERNEST w Pas/(5 rnrarnocrtme w BACKGROUND OF THE lNVENTlON 1. Field of the invention This invention is primarily directed to drawer controlling and locking apparatus, and more particularly this invention is directed to drawer controlling and locking apparatus for use in connection with a horizontal tray vending machine.

2. Description of the Prior Art Since vending machines typically hold large numbers of vendable items and frequently contain expensive and delicate electronics equipment, instability and undesired movement of the vending machine cabinet during the servicing of the machine must be minimized Although cabinet instability is not normally a problem, it can create difficulties in a machine in which the vendable articles are stored in multiple drawers, each of which is movable to the front of the cabinet while the machine is being serviced. in such a machine, the simultaneous opening of several drawers shifts the center of gravity toward the front of the machine so that the rear side of the cabinet is lifted from the surface on which it is resting. Subsequently, when the drawers are closed, the center of gravity shifts toward the rear of the machine so that the rear side of the cabinet falls against the surface, thereby creating a source of damage for the apparatus held therein. Moreover, if the articles in the drawers are sufficiently heavy, the simultaneous opening of several drawers could conceivably cause the entire cabinet to tip over. The accidental opening and closing of multiple drawers also creates a hazard for a workman servicing the machine. If the workman starts to open one drawer while an adjacent drawer is closing, his hand could conceivably be caught between the drawers. The foregoing problems associated with multiple drawer cabinets in general, and with vending machine cabinets in particular, can be eliminated if only one drawer at a time is allowed to open.

Since the drawers in a vending machine cabinet (as well as other types of cabinets) frequently hold valuable articles, it is also desirable to provide apparatus that interlocks the drawers and seals the spaces adjacent the front edges of adjoining drawers so that access to the interior of the cabinet is prevented. Although horizontal frame members could be positioned between the drawers in order to cover the spaces, they would provide a point of leverage for prying open the drawers. in addition, they would occupy valuable space on the front panel of the cabinet, and would tend to reduce the number of drawers that could be held in a cabinet of predetermined size.

Vending machines and cabinets of the foregoing type sometimes have a member mounted in each of the drawers in order to urge articles therein toward particular locations in the drawer. in order to load articles in a particular drawer, its member must be relocated in a loading position so that sufficient space is created for additional articles. After the articles are loaded, the member is released in order to urge the articles toward their proper locations. if a workman servicing the cabinet forgets to release the member after the loading process is completed, the articles are not moved to their proper locations, and certain difficulties in operating the cabinet may result.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a multiple drawer cabinet in which only one drawer may be opened at a time.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a locking apparatus arranged to prevent relative movement between the drawers held in a cabinet.

Still another related object of the present invention is to provide a locking apparatus that seals the spaces adjacent the front edges of adjoining drawers of a cabinet, so that access to the interior of the cabinet is prevented.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a means of latching a drawer member in a loading position so that articles may be conveniently loaded into the drawer.

it is yet another object of the present invention to provide a latching means of the foregoing type that automatically releases the member when the loading process is completed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to provide a multiple drawer cabinet in which only one drawer may be opened at a time, the present invention, in its preferred embodiment, basically comprises plate means connected to the cabinet adjacent the drawers, cam means connected to each drawer, and receptacle means located in the plate means and adapted to periodically receive the cam means. When all of the drawers are in their closed positions, the plate means is held in a first position wherein each of the receptacle means is located opposite its associated cam means. in this position, any of the receptacle means may receive its associated cam means to allow the opening of any drawer in the cabinet.

If one of the drawers is opened, the cam means connected to the opened drawer engages its associated receptacle means and thereby earns the plate means to a second position in which the remaining receptacle means are not aligned with their associated cam means. if an additional drawer is sought to be opened, the cam means connected to the drawer strikes the body portion of the plate means and thereby prevents the movement of the drawer. When the opened drawer is returned to its closed position, the plate means returns to the position in which all cam means are aligned with their respective receptacle means, and any drawer may thereafter be opened.

in order to provide apparatus for preventing the relative movement of the drawers and sealing the spaces between adjacent drawers, the present invention also provides a locking means, such as slide members, each movable between adjacent pairs of drawers, and a connection means that interconnects the plate means with the slide members. The slide members preferably extend across substantially the entire width of the drawers and are connected to the plate means so that they lockingly bridge their associated pair of drawers when the plate means is moved to its second position. If the slide members are moved to their positions between pairs of drawers, relative movement between the drawers is prevented, and the space existing between the front edges of the drawers is effectively sealed.

in order to automatically release members latched during the loading of a drawer, the present invention also comprises a latch means mounted to each drawer, such as a latch bar on which the members may be conveniently latched; and connection means for interconnecting the latch bars with the plate means. As a particular drawer is opened, the latch bar mounted thereto is preferably moved to a raised position so that the members in the drawer may be attached thereto by brackets. After the drawer is loaded and closed, the latch bar may be moved to a lowered position below the brackets in order to release the members. Due to the manner in which the latch bars are connected to the plate means, they are simultaneously moved to their lowered positions by moving the plate means to its second position. The plate means, in turn, may be moved to its second position by an interlock arrangement that must be operated before a door to the cabinet can be closed. Thus, the closure of the cabinet door is not allowed until the plate means is moved to its second position wherein the latched members are automatically released.

The use of the present invention significantly increases the ease and safety with which a multiple drawer vending machine cabinet may be loaded and locked. Since only one drawer at a time may be opened, the cabinet may be loaded with heavy articles without fear of instability or tipping. in addition, members latched during the loading process may be released, and the drawers may be interlocked and sealed with a degree of reliability and ease heretofore unattained DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The foregoing objects, advantages, and features of the subject invention will hereinafter appear, and, for purposes of illustration, but not of limitation, exemplary embodiments of the present invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which like numbers refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a partially schematic, fragmentary, perspective view of a vending machine cabinet employing a preferred form of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, front elevational view of the drawers and cam assembly used in connection with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary, side elevational view of the cam assembly taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 2 showing the arrangement of the parts when all drawers in the cabinet are in their closed positions;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, side elevational view of the cam assembly showing the arrangement of the parts when the top drawer in the cabinet is extended toward its open position;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, perspective view of the latching and locking assemblies of the present invention shown' in connection with some of the trays included in one of the drawers; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary, side elevational view of the latching and locking assemblies of the present invention as they appear when the locking assembly is in its locked position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With reference to the drawings, a preferred form of the present invention especially adapted for use in connection with a vending machine would comprise a cabinet 10, a drawer assembly 30, a cam assembly 70, an actuation assembly 112, a latching assembly 150, and a locking assembly 210.

Cabinet 10 basically comprises a front door frame 11, including an edge portion 12, that encloses the periphery of the front portion of the cabinet and is movable about a hinge 13. The cabinet also comprises a top panel 14, an upper front plate 15, a rear panel and a left-hand panel (not shown), a right-hand panel 18, and a bottom section 20, including a lower front plate 22.

Drawer assembly 30 basically comprises drawers 34-37 that are each movable between open and closed positions. The closed position of the drawers is illustrated by the placement of drawer 34 in FIG. 1, and a partially opened position of a drawer is illustrated by the placement of drawer 36 in FIG. 1. Each of the drawers is essentially identical, and all may be understood with reference to the following description of drawer 34.

As best shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 6, drawer 34 basically comprises a front piece 40, a left-hand side piece 42, a righthand side piece 44, a bottom piece 46, and a selector switch 50 that is mounted in front piece 40. Drawer 34 is adapted to hold a series of trays, such as trays 52 and 54 illustrated in FIG. 5, and the drawer is movable between its open and closed positions on rollers, such as roller 58, that ride on rails, such as rail 60.

The drawers are constructed without any traverse frame members being positioned across the width of the drawers between adjacent pairs thereof. As a result, spaces exist between adjacent drawers, and between the upper and lower drawers and respective adjacent plates of the cabinet. More specifically, space 62 exists between upper front plate and drawer 34, space 63 exists between drawers 34 and 35, space 64 exists between drawers 35 and 36, space 65 exists between drawers 36 and 37, and space 66 exists between drawer 37 and lower front plate 22. When the drawers are in their closed positions, spaces 62-66 are sealed by the locking assembly in a manner described hereafier so that an operator of the machine is denied access to the drawers through the spaces.

Cam assembly 70 comprises cams 74-77 that are connected to drawers 34-37, respectively, by brackets 86- -89, respectively. Cams 7477 comprise cam surfaces 78- -81, respectively, and lip elements 82-85, respectively. Each of the cams extends along substantially the entire length of the drawer connected therewith, as illustrated by an exemplary cam connected to the right-hand side of drawer 36 (FIG. 1). Additional cams and brackets identical to those illustrated in FIG. 2 are also connected to the right-hand side of each of the drawers, and may be understood with reference to the description of cams 7477.

Cam assembly 70 also comprises a cam plate 90 that is adapted to coact with cams 7477, and an identical cam plate 92 that is adapted to coact with the cams located at the right-hand side of each of the drawers. Cam plate 90 basically comprises a body portion 94 made from a rigid material such as sheet steel. Receptacle holes 96-99 having lower edges 101-104, respectively, and upper edges 106-109, respectively, are formed in the body portion and are adapted to receive cams 74-77, respectively. As shown in FIG. 1, cam plates 90 and 92 are urged in an upward direction by bias springs 136 and 138, respectively.

As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, actuation assembly 112 comprises a horizontally disposed rod 114 that terminates in an interlock portion 116 at the right-hand side of the cabinet. The interlock portion extends beyond the edge of the cabinet so that the front door frame may not be closed until the rod 114 is moved to the left of the position shown in FIG. 1. Rod 114 is connected to the cabinet and to cam plates 90 and 92 through toggle arrangements 118 and 134. Both of the toggle arrangements are identical and may be understood with reference to the following description of arrangement 118.

Toggle arrangement 118 comprises a rod 120 that is connected to rod 114 through a shaft 122 and is connected to a bracket 124 through a shaft 126. Bracket 124 is securely mounted to top panel 14 of the cabinet. The toggle arrangement also comprises another rod that is connected to cam plate 90 by a shaft 132 and is connected to rod 114 through a shaft 122.

When the front door frame of the cabinet is opened, bias springs 136, 138 force cam plates 90 and 92 in an upward direction so that the toggle arrangements assume the relative positions shown in FIGS. '1 and 2. Of course, rod 114 must be moved to the left of the position shown in FIG. 2 in order to close the front door frame, and may be manually moved to the left at any time when the door is open in order to drive the cam plates to their lower positions.

Locking assembly basically comprises a latch bar movably mounted in each drawer. The latch bars extend across the entire width of their associated drawers and have their end portions arranged adjacent cam plates 90 and 92. Each of the latch bars is constructed in an identical manner and may be understood with reference to the following discussion of latch bar 154 associated with drawer 34.

As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, latch bar 154 has a top edge 155 and a right-hand end piece 156 that extends in front of and to the right-hand side of cam plate 92. The latch bar is removably attached to the cam plate through a pin 158 that is connected to the cam plate at a position above bar 154. Latch bar 154 also has a left-hand end piece (not shown) that extends in front of and to the left-hand side of cam plate 90. The left-hand end piece is removably attached to cam plate 90 through a pin arranged in a manner similar to pin 158. When drawer 34 is opened, latch bar 154 moves beyond the pins mounted above it on cam plates 90 and 92 so that subsequent movement of the cam plates does not effect the position of the latch bar. However, when drawer 34 is closed, the latch bar 154 and its associated pins are arranged as shown in FIG. 5 so that downward movement of cam plates 90 and 92 to their lower positions causes downward movement of the bar.

Each latch bar in latching assembly 150 is held in position by a pair of connecting bars. The connecting bars in each pair are positioned at opposite sides of a particular drawer so that their associated latch bar is supported across the entire width of the drawer. Each of the connecting bars is identical and may be understood with reference to exemplary connecting bar 1611 described in connection with latch bar 154.

As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, connecting bar 160 comprises an upper arm 162 that has a slot 164 in which latch bar 154 is mounted. The connecting bar also comprises a lower arm 166 that is perpendicular in relationship to the upper arm and has a slot 168 located in the end thereof. Slot 168 is used to hold a portion of locking assembly 210 in a manner described hereafter. A spring 170 is connected between the upper arm of bar 160 and a fixed portion of drawer 341 so that the connecting bar, together with the latch bar positioned therein, are urged in an upward direction to the positions shown in FIG. 5.

Latching assembly 150 is particularly useful in connection with drawers having trays adapted to hold articles that are urged toward the rear of the trays by pusher elements, such as elements 180 and 182 (FIG. 5). The pusher elements 180, 182 are urged toward the rear of their associated trays (i.e., in the direction indicated by arrow A in FIG. 5) by springs 184,186, respectively, and are fitted with connection brackets I90, 192, respectively. The connection brackets are used to removably attach the pusher elements to latch bar 154 when the bar is arranged in the position shown in FIG. 5. When the pusher elements are connected in the manner described, additional articles may be easily loaded into trays S2 and 54. Additional trays held in drawer 34 are arranged in a manner similar to trays 52 and 54 so that their associated pusher elements may be conveniently connected to latch bar 154.

Locking assembly'210 basically comprises a first class of slide members that may be operated between adjacent drawers and a second class of slide members that may be operated between a drawer and an adjacent portion of the cabinet. The first class is illustrated by slide member 221 (FIGS. 5 and 6) and the second class is illustrated by slide members 220 and 222 (FIG. 6).

Slide members 220-222 are fabricated from horizontal arms 225-227, respectively, and vertical arms 230-232, respectively, and each of the slide members extends substantially across the entire width of its associated drawer.

As shown in FIG. 6, slide member 2211 is mounted for movement inside an upper bracket 240 that is attached to upper front plate and a lower bracket 242 that is attached to the upper edge of front piece 40 of drawer 34. The upper and lower brackets form a slot 244 in which the slide member may be moved in a vertical plane. Slide member 220 is held in a slot 245 of a rod that, in turn, has its opposite ends connected to cam plates 90 and 92, respectively.

Slide member 221 is mounted for movement inside an upper bracket 250 that is connected to the lower edge of front piece 40 of drawer 3d and a lower bracket 252 that is connected to the upper edge of the front piece of drawer 35. The upper and lower brackets form a slot 254 in which member 221 may be moved in a vertical plane. Horizontal arm 226 of member 221 is fitted in slot 168 of connecting bar 160 and is movable therewith.

Slide members similar to member 221 are arranged for movement between drawers 35, 36 and drawers 36, 37, and those members may be understood with reference to the foregoing discussion of member 2211.

Slide member 222 is mounted for movement inside an upper bracket 258 that is connected to the lower portion of the front piece of drawer 37 and a lower bracket 260 that is connected to the upper portion of lower front plate 22. Brackets 2513 and 260 establish a slot 262 in which member 222 may be moved in a vertical plane. Member 222 is held in a slot 263 of a connecting bar 2 that is urged in an upward direction by a spring 265 analogous to spring 170. The upper end of bar 26d has a slot 266 in which a latch bar 267 associated with drawer 37 is held. Latch bar 267 is removably connected to earn plates 90 and 92 by pins, such as pin 158, in the manner described in connection with latch bar 154.

The operation of the invention will now be described assuming that cabinet 10 houses a vending machine in which vendable articles are to be loaded into trays such as trays 52 and 54. When all of the drawers and the front door frame are closed, the cam plates are in their lower positions and the latch bars and slide members are held in the relative positions shown in FIG. 6 by the pins (e.g., pin 158) located on the cam plates. When the front door frame is opened in order to load articles into the cabinet, interlock portion 116 is free to move to the position shown in FIG. 1, and springs 136 and 138 force the cam plates into their raised positions shown in FIG. 2. As the cam plates are raised, slide member 220 that is connected to the cam plates through rod 246 is also raised to a position in which it allows relative movement between the cabinet and drawer 34. The raised condition of the cam plates and their associated pins also allows the springs associated with the connecting bars (e.g., springs 170 and 265) to raise the latch bars and slide members associated therewith to the relative positions illustrated by bar 154 and member 221 in FIG. 5. When the slide members are raised to the positions described, they are arranged to allow relative movement between adjacent pairs of drawers and, in the case of slide member 222, between drawer 37 and the cabinet. For example, slide member 221 is moved to its raised position whereat its vertical arm 231 is located solely behind front piece 40 of drawer 34. In this position, slide member 221 does not prevent relative movement between drawers 34 and 35.

When the cabinet is opened for servicing and the cam plates are moved to their raised positions, the receptacle holes 96- -9 9 and cams 74-77 assume the relative positions illustrated in FIG. 3. If a drawer is subsequently moved to its open position, the cams attached to the drawer coact with the respective receptacle holes aligned with the cams in order to move the cam plates in a downward direction. For example, if drawer 34 is moved toward its open position, cam surface 78 of cam 74 engages lower edge 101 of receptacle hole 96. As the drawer continues to be opened, surface 78 earns the plate in a downward direction until the plate is in the position shown in FIG. 4. It should be noted that lip 82 on cam 74 slides past upper edge 106 of hole 96 before the plate has been lowered sufficiently by the camming action to interfere with the movement of the lip. As shown in FIG. 4, while drawer 34 is in its open position, the movement of any other drawer is prevented by the relative position of the body portion of cam plate and lip elements 83-85 associated with cams 75- 77.

The cams connected to the right-hand side of the drawers are aligned with cam plate 92 in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 4 and serve as an additional means for preventing the movement of drawers 35-37 while drawer 34 is in its open position. However, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that the same mode of operation can be achieved by the use of cam plate 90 alone.

lf drawer 341 is moved from its open toward its closed position, bias spring 136 forces cam plate 90 in an upward direction so that the cam plate is raised as cam 74 is returned to its closed position. In a similar manner, cam plate 92 is forced in an upward direction by bias spring 136. After cam 74 is returned to the position shown in FIG. 3, any of the drawers may be opened in the manner described in connection with drawer 34. However, the opening of any of the drawers will drive cam plate 90 to the position shown in FIG 4, whereat movement of the drawers remaining in their closed positions is prevented.

As previously mentioned, when the front door frame of the cabinet is opened so that the cam plates are moved to their raised positions, the latch bars associated with the drawers are also moved to their raised positions. For example, latch bar 154 is raised to the position shown in FIG. 5. As previously explained, when drawer 34 is moved to its open position for servicing, spring continues to urge latch bar 15d toward its raised position so that pusher elements 180, 182 may be connected thereto. When bar 154 is in the position described,

connection brackets I90 and 192 associated with pusher elements 180, 182, respectively, may be manually attached over the top edge of the bar. When the pusher elements are connected to the bar in the manner shown in FIG. 5, articles may be conveniently loaded into the trays without interference from the elements. After the trays have been loaded with articles, the pusher elements may be manually removed from the latch bar to allow springs 184 and 186 to urge the elements against the articles in the trays.

If a service man should inadvertently forget to remove an element from its associated latch bar, the element is automatically released the following method. The technique for unlatching the elements operates in the same manner for all trays and accordingly will be explained only in connection with trays 52 and 54 of drawer 34. After drawer 34 has been serviced and returned to its closed position, movement of other drawers to their open positions moves cam plates 90 and 92 in a downward direction as described in connection with FIGS. 3 and 4. As the cam plates move downward, pin I58 and its counterpart on plate 90 lower latch bar 154 to the position shown in FIG. 6. As the cam plates are lowered, the top edge of latch bar 154 is moved below the level of connection brackets 190 and 192, thereby releasing elements 180 and 182.

If drawer 34 is the last drawer to be serviced, the invention also provides for an alternative method of releasing elements 180 and 182 due to the operation of actuation assembly 112. As previously explained, before the front door frame of the cabinet can be closed, interlock portion 116 must be moved to the left of the position shown in FIG. 1. When the interlock portion is moved in the manner indicated, toggle arrangement I18 and 13d move cam plates 90 and 92 in a downward direction until the top edge of latch bar 154 is lowered below connection brackets 1%, 192, thereby releasing the latched elements.

An alternative method of disconnecting elements 180 and I82 from latch bar 154 is provided by slots 270 and 272 located adjacent the top edge of the bar. The slots are constructed so that alignment of the slots with connection brackets I99 and 192 releases elements 180 and 182 from the bar. Alignment of the slots and brackets can be achieved by the use of a cam that moves the bar to the left of the position shown in FIG. 5. Of course, end piece 136 must be eliminated or reshaped in order to allow such movement of the bar.

As the cam plates and latch bars are moved to their lower position while the cabinet is being closed, the slide members (acting through connecting bars such as bar 160) are moved to the relative positions shown in FIG. 6, therebypreventing the opening of any of the drawers. In addition, as best shown in FIG. 6, each of the slide members is arranged to seal an opening between adjacent drawers (or between a drawer and a portion of the cabinet) so that an operator of the vending machine has no access to the interior thereof.

In summary the apparatus described herein provides a cam assembly arranged so that only one drawer at a time may be moved to its open position. This arrangement prevents overbalancing of the cabinet and possible injury to the components therein due to undesired movement of the cabinet during servicing. In addition to the foregoing feature, the subject invention also provides a latching assembly that automatically disconnects latched elements as the cabinet is being closed, and a locking assembly that prevents movement of the drawers and seals the spaces therebetween to prevent undesired access to the interior of the cabinet.

It should be understood that while the preferred embodiments have been described in connection with a vending machine, the principles of the invention may be applied to substantially any multiple drawer cabinet.

Iclaim:

1. In a cabinet containing a first drawer and a second drawer, each movable between an open position and a closed position, the drawers having predetemiined widths and front edge portions arranged to leave a space therebetween,

apparatus for preventing the relative movement of the first and second drawers and for sealing the space therebetween comprising:

locking means movable between a first position in which relative movement between the first and second drawers is allowed and a second position in which said locking means is disposed in which said locking means is disposed in the space between the drawers across substantially the entire width thereof, whereby relative movement between the first and second drawers and access to the space therebetween is prevented; and

actuation means connected to said locking means whereby said locking means may be moved between its first and second positions.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim I wherein said locking means comprises:

a first bracket attached to the first drawer;

a second bracket attached to the second drawer; and

slide means movable between a first position in which said slide means engages only one of said brackets in order to allow relative movement between the first and second drawers and a second position in which said slide means engages both said first and second brackets in order to prevent relative movement between the first and second drawers.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 and further comprising second locking means movable between a first position in which relative movement between the second drawer and the cabinet is allowed and a second position in which said second locking means is disposed in the space between the second drawer and the cabinet across substantially the entire width of the drawer, whereby relative movement between the second drawer and the cabinet and access to the space therebetween is prevented, said actuation means being connected to said second locking means, whereby said second locking means may be moved between its first and second positions.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 and further comprising:

first cam means connected to the first drawer;

second cam means connected to the second drawer;

plate means movable in a direction transverse to the plane of the drawers and. having first and second openings therein adapted to engage said first and second cam means, respectively; and

bias means for normally positioning said plate means with said openings located to interact with the respective cam means, whereby opening of one of the drawers will cause the associated cam means to interact with the corresponding opening in said plate means to drive said plate means against the force of said bias means and thereby position said plate means to prevent opening of the other drawer.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first and second cam means each comprises:

a cam surface arranged at an angle skewed with respect to the direction of movement of said plate means; and

a lip projecting from a portion of said cam surface adjacent said plate means, said lip adapted to engage said plate means and prevent movement of the associated drawer when said plate means has been driven against the force of said bias means.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said locking means and said second locking means are interconnected with said plate means for movement therewith, whereby positioning of said plate means to prevent opening of one or both drawers will place said locking means and said second locking means in their said second positions. 7

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein the cabinet has a door and further comprising actuation means for said plate means comprising an interlock portion that prevent closure of the door unless said plate means has been positioned to prevent opening of the drawers.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein said interlock portion is connected to said plate means by a toggle arrangement, said toggle arrangement being adapted to cause said interlock portion to prevent closure of the door as a result of the force exerted by said 'bias means through said plate means unless the force is overcome by a superior force exerted on said interlock portion.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 and further comprising:

movable membersmounted on the first and second drawer, each of said movable members being normally biased against objects to be dispensed from the drawers and movable against such bias to permit reloading of the drawers;

latch means mounted adjacent to each of said members for maintaining said members in a position away from the articles to be dispensed to permit reloading of the drawers;

a first latch bar adjacent said latch means on the first drawer;

a second latch bar adjacent said latch means on the second drawer, said first and second latch bars being connected to said plate means and adapted to engage the associated latch means to permit reloading of the drawers when said plate means is positioned to permit said cam means to engage the openings therein; and

connection means between said plate means and said latching bars adapted to cause said latching bar to release said latch means when said plate means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers.

10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the cabinet has a door and further comprising actuation means for said plate means comprising an interlock portion that prevents closure of the door unless said plate means has been positioned to prevent opening of the drawers.

11. An interlock arrangement for a cabinet having a door and having a first drawer and a second drawer, each drawer being movable between an open and a closed position, comprising:

cam means located on each of the drawers;

plate means movable in a direction transverse to the plane of the drawers and having openings therein adapted to be engaged by said cam means upon opening of the drawers, engagement of said plate means by one of said cam means upon opening of the associated drawer causing displacement of said plate means to prevent opening of the other drawer;

' bias means biasing said plate means toward a position wherein said opening therein may be engaged by the corresponding cam means;

an interlock portion connected to said plate means and adapted to prevent closure of the door of the cabinet unless said plate means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers; and locking means interconnected with said plate means to close the spaced between the drawers and between each and having a first drawer and a second drawer, each drawer 10 being movable between an open and a closed position,

comprising:

cam means located on each of the drawers;

plate means movable in a direction transverse to the plane of the drawers and having openings therein adapted to be engaged by said cam means upon opening of the drawers, engagement of said plate means by one of said cam means upon opening of the drawers, engagement of the associated drawer causing displacement of said plate means to prevent opening of the other drawer; and

bias means biasing said plate means toward a position wherein said openings therein may be engaged by the corresponding cam means; movable members mounted on the first and second drawer,

each of said movable members being normally biased against objects to be dispensed from the drawers and movable against such bias to permit reloading of the drawers;

latch means mounted adjacent to each of said members for maintaining said members in a position away from the articles to be dispensed to permit reloading of the drawers;

a first latch bar adjacent said latch means on the first drawer;

a second latch'bar adjacent said latch means on the second drawer, said first and second latch bars being connected to said plate means and adapted to engage the associated latch means to permit reloading of the drawers when said plate means is positioned to pennit said cam means to engage the openings therein;

connection means between said plate means and said latching bars adapted to cause said latching bar to release said latch means when said plate means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers; and

an interlock portion connected to said plate means and adapted to prevent closure of the door of the cabinet unless said plate means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers,

whereby said latching bars are forced to release said latch means before the door of the cabinet can be closed.

Claims (12)

1. In a cabinet containing a first drawer and a second drawer, each movable between an open position and a closed position, the drawers having predetermined widths and front edge portions arranged to leave a space therebetween, apparatus for preventing the relative movement of the first and second drawers and for sealing the space therebetween comprising: locking means movable between a first position in which relative movement between the first and second drawers is allowed and a second position in which said locking means is disposed in which said locking means is disposed in the space between the drawers across substantially the entire width thereof, whereby relative movement between the first and second drawers and access to the space therebetween is prevented; and actuation means connected to said locking means whereby said locking means may be moved between its first and second positions.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said locking means comprises: a first bracket attached to the first drawer; a second bracket attached to the second drawer; and slide means movable between a first position in which said slide means engages only one of said brackets in order to allow relative movement between the first and second drawers and a second position in which said slide means engages both said first and second brackets in order to prevent relative movement between the first and second drawers.
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 and further comprising second locking means movable between a first position in which relative movement between the second drawer and the cabinet is allowed and a second position in which said second locking means is disposed in the space between the second drawer and the cabinet across substantially the entire width of the drawer, whereby relative movement between the second drawer and the cabinet and access to the space therebetween is prevented, said actuation means being connected to said second locking means, whereby said second locking means may be moved between its first and second positions.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 and further comprising: first cam means connected to the first drawer; second cam means connected to the second drawer; plate means movable in a direction transverse to the plane of the drawers and having first and second openings therein adapted to engage said first and second cam means, respectively; and bias means for normally positioning said plate means with said openings located to interact with the respective cam means, whereby opening of one of the drawers will cause the associated cam means to interact with the corresponding opening in said plate means to drive said plate means against the force of said bias means and thereby position said plate means to prevent opening of the other drawer.
5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said first and second cam means each comprises: a cam surface arranged at an angle skewed with respect to the direction of movement of said plate means; and a lip projecting from a portion of said cam surface adjacent said plate means, said lip adapted to engage said plate means and prevent movement of the associated drawer when said plate means has been driven against the force of said bias means.
6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein said locking means and said second locking means are interconnected with said plate means for movement therewith, whereby positioning of said plate means to prevent opening of one or both drawers will place said locking means and said second locking means in their said second positions.
7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 wherein the cabinet has a door and further comprising actuation means for said plate means comprising an interlock portion that prevent closure of the door unless said plate means has been positioned to prevent opening of the drawers.
8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein said interlock portion is connected to said plate means by a toggle arrangement, said toggle arrangement being adapted to cause said interlock portion to prevent closure of the door as a result of the force exerted by said bias means through said plate means unless the force is overcome by a superior force exerted on said interlock portion.
9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 4 and further comprising: movable members mounted on the first and second drawer, each of said movable members being normally biased against objects to be dispensed from the drawers and movable against such bias to permit reloading of the drawers; latch means mounted adjacent to each of said members for maintaining said members in a position away from the articles to be dispensed to permit reloading of the drawers; a first latch bar adjacent said latch means on the first drawer; a second latch bar adjacent said latch means on the second drawer, said first and second latch bars being connected to said plate means and adapted to engage the associated latch means to permit reloading of the drawers when said plate means is positioned to permit said cam means to engage the openings therein; and connection means between said plate means and said latching bars adapted to cause said latching bar to release said latch means when said plate means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers.
10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 9 wherein the cabinet has a door and further comprising actuation means for said plate means comprising an interlock portion that prevents closure of the door unless said plate means has been positioned to prevent opening of the drawers.
11. An interlock arrangement for a cabinet having a door and having a first drawer and a second drawer, each drawer being movable between an open and a closed position, comprising: cam means located on each of the drawers; plate means movable in a direction transverse to the plane of the drawers and having openings therein adapted to be engaged by said cam means upon opening of the drawers, engagement of said plate means by one of said cam means upon opening of the associated drawer causing displacement of said plate means to prevent opening of the other drawer; bias means biasing said plate means toward a position wherein said opening therein may be engaged by the corresponding cam means; an interlock portion connected to said plate means and adapted to prevent closure of the door of the cabinet unless said plAte means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers; and locking means interconnected with said plate means to close the spaced between the drawers and between each drawer and the cabinet and to prevent relative motion between the drawers and between a drawer and the cabinet, unless said plate means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers.
12. An interlock arrangement for a cabinet having a door and having a first drawer and a second drawer, each drawer being movable between an open and a closed position, comprising: cam means located on each of the drawers; plate means movable in a direction transverse to the plane of the drawers and having openings therein adapted to be engaged by said cam means upon opening of the drawers, engagement of said plate means by one of said cam means upon opening of the drawers, engagement of the associated drawer causing displacement of said plate means to prevent opening of the other drawer; and bias means biasing said plate means toward a position wherein said openings therein may be engaged by the corresponding cam means; movable members mounted on the first and second drawer, each of said movable members being normally biased against objects to be dispensed from the drawers and movable against such bias to permit reloading of the drawers; latch means mounted adjacent to each of said members for maintaining said members in a position away from the articles to be dispensed to permit reloading of the drawers; a first latch bar adjacent said latch means on the first drawer; a second latch bar adjacent said latch means on the second drawer, said first and second latch bars being connected to said plate means and adapted to engage the associated latch means to permit reloading of the drawers when said plate means is positioned to permit said cam means to engage the openings therein; connection means between said plate means and said latching bars adapted to cause said latching bar to release said latch means when said plate means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers; and an interlock portion connected to said plate means and adapted to prevent closure of the door of the cabinet unless said plate means is positioned to prevent opening of the drawers, whereby said latching bars are forced to release said latch means before the door of the cabinet can be closed.
US3575480D 1968-09-12 1968-09-12 Interlocking arrangement Expired - Lifetime US3575480A (en)

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US75946268A true 1968-09-12 1968-09-12

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Cited By (14)

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US3883199A (en) * 1972-07-25 1975-05-13 Knoll International File drawer interlocking and locking mechanism
US4046440A (en) * 1974-10-04 1977-09-06 Umc Industries, Inc. Vendor with door and shelf interlock
US4196951A (en) * 1978-03-20 1980-04-08 Gross-Given Manufacturing Company Vendor with door and shelf interlock
US4209111A (en) * 1978-10-06 1980-06-24 Gross-Given Manufacturing Company Shelf locking apparatus
US4209211A (en) * 1978-09-28 1980-06-24 Umc Industries, Inc. Vendor with door and shelf interlock
US5641215A (en) * 1995-03-20 1997-06-24 Hans Skeppner Multi-cabinet assembly
US6722167B1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-04-20 Long-Jung Hsu Cabinet lock
US20050161420A1 (en) * 2004-02-03 2005-07-28 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US20110017763A1 (en) * 2005-07-14 2011-01-27 Colelli Robert P Merchandise dispensing apparatus providing theft deterrence
US20110210084A1 (en) * 2004-02-03 2011-09-01 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product Securement and Management System
US8136682B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2012-03-20 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US8235227B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2012-08-07 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9375100B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2016-06-28 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9706857B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2017-07-18 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system

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JPS5140385Y2 (en) * 1972-12-18 1976-10-01

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3883199A (en) * 1972-07-25 1975-05-13 Knoll International File drawer interlocking and locking mechanism
US4046440A (en) * 1974-10-04 1977-09-06 Umc Industries, Inc. Vendor with door and shelf interlock
US4196951A (en) * 1978-03-20 1980-04-08 Gross-Given Manufacturing Company Vendor with door and shelf interlock
US4209211A (en) * 1978-09-28 1980-06-24 Umc Industries, Inc. Vendor with door and shelf interlock
US4209111A (en) * 1978-10-06 1980-06-24 Gross-Given Manufacturing Company Shelf locking apparatus
US5641215A (en) * 1995-03-20 1997-06-24 Hans Skeppner Multi-cabinet assembly
US6722167B1 (en) * 2003-05-28 2004-04-20 Long-Jung Hsu Cabinet lock
US8235222B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2012-08-07 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US7661545B2 (en) * 2004-02-03 2010-02-16 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US10051977B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2018-08-21 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US20110210084A1 (en) * 2004-02-03 2011-09-01 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product Securement and Management System
US8136682B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2012-03-20 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US8210363B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2012-07-03 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US8235227B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2012-08-07 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US20050161420A1 (en) * 2004-02-03 2005-07-28 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US8413823B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2013-04-09 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9993091B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2018-06-12 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9167913B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2015-10-27 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9289078B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2016-03-22 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9375100B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2016-06-28 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9526351B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2016-12-27 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9687085B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2017-06-27 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9706857B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2017-07-18 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9723934B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2017-08-08 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US9844280B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2017-12-19 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US10258169B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2019-04-16 Rtc Industries, Inc. Product securement and management system
US8727179B2 (en) * 2005-07-14 2014-05-20 Rtc Industries, Inc. Merchandise dispensing apparatus providing theft deterrence
US20110017763A1 (en) * 2005-07-14 2011-01-27 Colelli Robert P Merchandise dispensing apparatus providing theft deterrence

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