Title:
JAM ELIMINATOR APPARATUS FOR COIN COUNTING MACHINES
United States Patent 3603327


Abstract:
A helper wheel is disposed at the entrance to the exit passage of a coin counting machine in which a rotating disk forms coins into a single file and normally moves the file into the exit passage. The coins in the exit passage are engaged seriatim by a rotating ejector wheel which forces the coins past a star wheel connected to a counter and out a discharge chute. The ejector wheel is mounted on a driven shaft which is journaled in a tiltable support so that the ejector wheel may be moved away from the exit passage to halt the counting of coins. The helper wheel is supported on a bracket assembly which is mounted on the driven shaft and is also geared to the driven shaft. The helper wheel is tilted with the ejector wheel to be rendered operable to engage coins at the entrance and feed them to the ejector wheel, thereby preventing the jamming of coins at the entrance.



Inventors:
Buchholz, Arnold R. (Watertown, WI)
Bergman, Charles T. (Watertown, WI)
Application Number:
05/006896
Publication Date:
09/07/1971
Filing Date:
01/29/1970
Assignee:
BRANDT AUTOMATIC CASHIER CO.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
G07D9/00; (IPC1-7): G07D9/00
Field of Search:
133/8
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
1479459Counting machine1924-01-01Donnellan
1128561N/A1915-02-16Webendorfer



Foreign References:
AU106238A
DE813615C
GB939426A
Primary Examiner:
Coleman, Samuel F.
Claims:
We claim

1. In a coin handling machine wherein coins are fed in a single file to an exit passage and wherein a rotating ejector wheel engages each coin as it is moved through said passage, the combination therewith of:

2. The combination in accordance with claim 1 wherein said ejector wheel is mounted upon and driven by a drive shaft, and said means for rotating said helper wheel comprises a driving connection between said drive shaft and said helper wheel.

3. The combination in accordance with claim 2 wherein said drive shaft is mounted on said machine for movement between an operative position of said ejector wheel and an inoperative position in which said ejector wheel is out of engagement with coins in said exit passage, together with a support for said helper wheel, said support being mounted on said drive shaft whereby said helper wheel will be moved between operable and inoperative positions as said ejector wheel is so moved.

4. The combination in accordance with claim 3 wherein said support for said helper wheel includes adjustment means for adjusting the relative angular position of said support about said drive shaft for varying the height of the periphery of said helper wheel above said entrance when said helper wheel is in its operable position.

5. In a coin handling machine wherein coins are fed in a single file to the entrance of an exit passage, said entrance being defined laterally by a spaced gauge member and a coin guide point, and wherein a rotating ejector wheel engages each coin in said passage, said ejector wheel being mounted upon and driven by a drive shaft, the combination therewith of:

6. The combination in accordance with claim 5 wherein said means for rotating said helper wheel comprises a driving connection between said helper wheel and said drive shaft, together with a support for said helper wheel and said driving connection, said support being journaled on said drive shaft.

7. In a coin handling machine having means for feeding coins in a single file to the entrance of an exit passage, said entrance being defined by a gauge member and a coin guide point laterally spaced therefrom, and an ejector wheel mounted on a drive shaft and adapted to engage each coin as it is moved through said exit passage, said drive shaft and ejector wheel being movably mounted on said machine for movement between an operative position for said ejector wheel and an inoperative position in which said ejector wheel is out of engagement with coins in said exit passage, the combination therewith of:

8. The combination in accordance with claim 7 wherein said support includes adjustment means operable against said stop for adjusting the relative angular position of said support about said drive shaft for varying the height of the periphery of said helper wheel above said entrance when said helper wheel is in its operable position.

9. The combination in accordance with claim 7 wherein said gear train is so arranged as to drive said helper wheel at a peripheral speed less than the peripheral speed of said ejector wheel and faster than said feeding means feeds coins to said entrance.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to coin counting machines, and more particularly to an apparatus for insuring that a steady supply of coins will be delivered to the counting mechanism of the machine during a counting operation.

A common type of coin counting machine utilizes a hopper whose bottom is in the form of a disk which, when rotated, moves the coins deposited on the disk into a single file adjacent the periphery of the disk. This single file of coins is fed by the rotating disk to and through an entrance to an exit passage of the machine. The coins fed into the exit passage are engaged seriatim by an ejector wheel which forces the coins past a star wheel and out of a discharge chute. The star wheel is geared to a counter so that the indexing of the star wheel by the passage of each coin is recorded and the count of coins is thereby established. The ejected coins may be conveyed directly to bags, wrappers, or other containers for the coins, as is well known.

The continuous operation of such coin counting machines depends upon the smooth, uninterrupted flow of the file of coins into the exit passage. If the lead coin of the file is jammed in the entrance to the exit passage, the rotating disk cannot feed the file of coins into the exit passage because the disk relies upon friction forces to move the coins. The advent of the use of the new laminated type of dimes and quarters in the United States has created a problem in the operation of these coin counting machines. The laminated coins have sharply serrated edges which become interlocked like gear teeth. When handled by the coin counting machines, it happens that a laminated coin which is slightly out of line is driven by the rotating disk against one side of the entrance to the exit passage and with its trailing edge interlocked with the serrations of the leading edge of the next coin. The result is a bridging of coins across the entrance to the exit passage. The flow of coins to the ejector wheel is thereby halted and it is necessary to manually remove the jam of coins before the normal coin flow will be resumed.

Not only do the new laminated coins have more sharply serrated edges than the coins previously minted, they also appear to hold these sharp serrations for much longer periods of time so that the problem of jamming in the counting machines is not significantly reduced even after the coins have been in circulation for some time.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention comprises the addition of a driven helper wheel to the coin counting machine, which helper wheel is disposed at the entrance to the exit passage and is rotated to forcibly remove the coins of the file seriatim from the disk and move them into the exit passage where they may be engaged by the ejector wheel.

The invention further resides in mounting the helper wheel on the tilt support for the ejector wheel and in driving the helper wheel from the source of power for the ejector wheel, such that disengagement of the ejector wheel from the flow of coins to half the counting will likewise result in disengagement of the helper wheel from the flow of coins.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a portion of a coin counting machine and including the coin jam eliminator apparatus of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a front view in elevation of that portion of the coin counting machine illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view in vertical section taken in the plane of the line 3--3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view in vertical section taken in the plane of the line 4--4 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 5 is a view in horizontal section taken in the plane of the line 5--5 of FIG. 2 and illustrating a misaligned file of coins.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The preferred form of the invention is illustrated in relation to a coin handling machine which functions to count and package coins of any denomination. The coin handling machine is of the general type illustrated and described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,861,580 to Buchholz et al., U.S. Pat. No. 2,675,008 to Buchholz et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 2,669,997 to Quirk et al. Only so much of the coin handling machine will be described as is necessary for an understanding of the present invention.

The coin handling machine included a hopper 10 having its bottom defined by a horizontal disk 11 carried for rotation by a vertical shaft 12. Generally, coins in the hopper 10 are fed by the rotating disk 11 to an exit passage 13 at one side of the hopper 10. The exit passage 13 has an entrance at the edge of the disk 11 which is defined laterally by an adjustable gauge member 14 and a coin guide point 15, the latter overlying and spaced slightly above the periphery of the disk 11. The coin guide point 15 is mounted on the underside of a side portion of the hopper (not shown). The height of the exit passage 13 is determined by a thickness gauge strip 16 mounted on the underside of a gate 17 which also overlies the periphery of the disk 11 and which is vertically adjustable by the turning of a screw shaft 18 carrying a handle 19 to accommodate different denominations of coins. While the position of the coin guide point 15 is fixed, the gauge member 14 is adjustable laterally by known mechanism (not shown) to vary the width of the exit opening to handle coins of different denominations.

As the disk 11 rotates in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 1, the coins on the disk 11 will be moved outwardly toward the periphery of the disk 11. The coins are formed into a single file beneath the thickness gauge strip 16 and the file of coins will be carried to the entrance 13. If the file of coins is properly aligned along the periphery of the disk 11, the coins will be directed seriatim by the coin guide point 15 through the entrance and into the exit passage 13, where each coin will be engaged by a rotating ejector wheel 20. The ejector wheel 20 moves each coin past a star wheel 21 carried on a vertical shaft 22. The star wheel 21 normally blocks the exit passage 13 but is indexed one tooth at a time as each coin is forced past the star wheel 21 by the ejector wheel 20. The star wheel shaft 22 is geared to a counter in a known manner so that the counter records the passage of each coin as the star wheel 21 is indexed one tooth for the passage of each coin. The velocity imparted to the coins by the ejector wheel 20 will be sufficient to move the coins to a discharge chute 23 where they may be packaged in bags or wrappers, or the like.

The ejector wheel 20, which has a rubber coin contacting face, is mounted on a drive shaft 24 which carries a pulley 25 connected by a belt to a pulley on a prime mover shaft (not shown). The drive shaft 24 is mounted in a rear bearing 26 and a front bearing 27 both of which are carried by a tiltable support 28 mounted to turn on a pivot shaft 29. The rear bearing 26 is pivotally mounted in the support 28 by trunnions 30. The front bearing 27 is vertically slidably mounted in a box assembly 31 formed as a part of the support 28. A manually adjustable screw shaft 32 is journaled in the top wall of the box 31 and engaged in a threaded bore of the front bearing 27. By turning the screw shaft 32, the front bearing 27 is moved in the support 28 about the trunnions 30 to adjust for wear on the coin contacting face of the ejector wheel 20.

During the operation of the coin handling machine, the ejector wheel 20 is continuously rotated and the counting and packaging of coins is halted by raising the ejector wheel 20 so that it cannot engage coins delivered to the exit passage 13. The counting and packaging of coins may be halted in such manner automatically when a predetermined count of coins has been reached, as is well known from the aforementioned patents. A compression spring 33 is biased between the underside of the tiltable support 28 and a plate 34 on the top surface of the machine. The spring 33 urges the front end of the tiltable support 28 upwardly to place the ejector wheel 20 in its inoperative raised position, and a lever arm 35 connected at one end to the support 28 is actuatable to pull the support 28 downwardly against the spring 33 to position the ejector wheel 20 in its lowered operative position. The lever arm 35 may be actuated, for example, by a solenoid (not shown). A stub shaft 36 extends through an elongated opening in the tiltable support 28 and is threaded into the gate 17 to define upper and lower limits for the movement of the support 28 and, consequently, for the ejector wheel 20. What has been described to this point represents no departure from known coin counting machines.

As previously stated, in the normal operation of the coin counting machine, the coins of the file are deflected seriatim by the coin guide point 15 through the entrance and into the exit passage where they can be engaged by the ejector wheel 20. However, the sharply serrated edges of the new laminated coins can and do become interlocked like gear teeth. This interlocking of the edges of the coins causes a coin which is slightly out of line to be driven against the coin guide point 15. The trailing edge of such a coin has its serration interlocked with the serrations of the leading edge of the succeeding coin. The result is that the file of coins is bridged across the entrance to the exit opening 13 and the ejector wheel 20 is unable to engage any coins. Thus, the flow of coins is effectively halted until the jam is removed. Such a jammed condition is illustrated in FIG. 5.

To eliminate this problem, a helper wheel 37 is positioned to contact the lead, out-of-line coin and move it through the exit opening to be engaged by the ejector wheel 20.

Generally, the helper wheel 37 is supported upon and driven by the drive shaft 24 for the ejector wheel 20. Specifically, the helper wheel 37 is mounted for rotation on a shaft 38 secured at the bottom of a depending leg 39 of a first support bracket 40. Also mounted on the shaft 38 is a gear 41 which is pinned to the helper wheel 37 to drive the same as the gear 41 is rotated. The bracket 40 has a horizontal portion 52 which is secured to a horizontal shelf portion 43 of a second support bracket 44. The second support bracket 44 has a horizontally extending U-shaped portion formed of spaced arms 45 and 46 joined by a bight portion 47. The bight portion 47 spans the box 31. One arm 45 mounts a flange bearing 48 in which the drive shaft 24 is journaled and the other arm 46 has a bore through which the shaft 24 extends. Thus, the bracket assembly, comprising the first and second brackets 40 and 44, is mounted on the shaft 24 and is free to pivot thereon.

A drive gear 49 is keyed to the drive shaft 24 outboard of the arm 46 of the U-shaped portion of the second support bracket 44. The drive gear 49 meshes with an intermediate gear 50 mounted for rotation on a stub shaft on the depending leg 39 of the first bracket 40 above the helper wheel 37. The intermediate gear 50 in turn meshes with the helper wheel gear 41 so that the helper wheel 37 is drivingly connected to the drive shaft 24. Since the intermediate gear 50 is mounted on the bracket assembly which, in turn, is pivotally mounted on the drive shaft 24, the distance between the centers of the gears 49 and 50 is the same regardless of the angular position of the bracket assembly relative to the drive shaft 24. Accordingly, the drive connection between the helper wheel 37 and the drive shaft 24 is maintained at all times.

An L-shaped bracket 51 is secured to and projects from the box 31 beneath the joined horizontal portion 42 of the first bracket 40 and the horizontal shelf 43 of the second support bracket 44. An adjustment screw 52 extends through aligned holes in the joined horizontal portion 42 and horizontal shelf 43 and a nut 53 is threaded onto the screw 52. A compression spring 54 is biased between the head of the screw 52 and the shelf 43 so that the nut 53 is always urged upwardly to bear against the underside of the shelf 43. The end of the screw 52 is adapted to bear against the upper surface of the bracket 51 and is urged to such position by a tension spring 55 connected between the box 31 and the bight portion 47 of the second support bracket 44.

The tension spring 55 urges the support bracket 44 and, consequently, the entire helper wheel bracket assembly to pivot about the ejector wheel shaft 24 to position the periphery of the helper wheel 37 above the exit passage 13 a distance limited by the engagement of the adjustment screw 52 against the stop formed by the L-shaped bracket 51.

In operation, when the ejector wheel 20 is in its lowered, operative position for the counting the coins, the helper wheel 37 is likewise in its operative position since it is supported entirely on the drive shaft 24. When in such position, the helper wheel 37 will engage the lead coin of the single file of coins and move the lead coin through the exit passage 13 where it can be engaged by the ejector wheel 20. A continuous stream of coins is thereby fed to the ejector wheel 20 so long as the ejector wheel 20 is in its lowered, operative position and the coins cannot bridge the entrance to the exit passage 13. Whenever the ejector wheel 20 is raised to its inoperative position the helper wheel 37 is likewise raised so that it can no longer engage coins.

The position of the helper wheel 37 above the bottom of the entrance to the exit passage 13 can be varied by turning the adjustment screw 52. Adjustment of the height of the helper wheel 37 above the entrance may be employed for any one or more of the following effects:

a. For initially adjusting the distance between the exit passage and the periphery of the helper wheel 37 so that the helper wheel in its lowered, operative position can engage the thinnest coin being handled (e.g. a dime), with coins of greater thickness being automatically accommodated by the helper wheel support assembly pivoting about the ejector wheel shaft 24 against the urging of the spring 55;

b. For adjusting the vertical distance between the exit passage 13 and the periphery of the helper wheel 37 for the thickness of the coin of a particular denomination when large quantities of such denomination are to be handled, so as to minimize wear on the helper wheel 37;

c. For adjusting the vertical distance between the exit passage 13 and the periphery of the helper wheel 37 to compensate for wear of the helper wheel 37; and

d. For adjusting the vertical distance between the exit passage 13 and the periphery of the helper wheel 37 when handling large quantities of coins without serrated edges which do not require the use of the helper wheel (e.g. nickels and pennies), so that the helper wheel will be positioned out of engagement with such coins even when the helper wheel is in its lowered position.

Preferably, the helper wheel 37 is geared to the ejector wheel shaft 24 so that its peripheral speed is somewhat faster than the normal flow speed of the file of coins off of the disk 11 and somewhat slower than the peripheral speed 0f the ejector wheel 20 so that the coins are accelerated at each stage of engagement and will not back up onto the disk 11. The helper wheel 37 is also preferably formed with a central flanged hub to which is attached an annulus formed of a material with a high coefficient of friction, such as rubber or polyurethane.

The annulus preferably has its edge formed with a transverse taper of about 5° to enable the coins to flow under the helper wheel as they approach the entrance to the exit passage. Access may be gained to the helper wheel 37 for replacing such annulus by removing the screws which join the support brackets 40 and 44 and by then bodily removing the first support bracket 40.