Title:
Cash-Handling System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a banknote-handling system (1) for the retail trade and comprises a banknote receiving unit (2) with an associated cassette (3) in which to receive banknotes (4). The cassette (3) comprises a rotatably driven storage drum (6) for banknotes (4) contained within a surrounding casing (7), and banknotes are so arranged as to be received rolled onto the aforementioned drum (6) at a mutual distance (L) from one another viewed in the direction of rotation (10, 11) of the drum (6). The aforementioned cassette (3) is so arranged as to be capable of being connected in a lockable fashion to the aforementioned banknote receiving unit (2), and is capable of detachable attachment to an emptying device (14). Finally, the cassette (3) comprises a timer for the activation of marking and/or destruction, for example by dyeing the contents in the event of attack and theft of the cassette (3).



Inventors:
Hansson, Lars Ake (Mellosa, SE)
Application Number:
11/662131
Publication Date:
02/07/2008
Filing Date:
09/07/2005
Assignee:
Gunnebo Cash Automation AB (Goteborg, SE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H83/00; G07D11/00; E05G1/00; E05G7/00; G07D
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PAIK, STEVEN SANGYUL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALFRED J MANGELS (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A banknote-handling system (1) for the retail trade and comprising a banknote receiving unit (2) with an associated cassette (3) in which to receive banknotes (4), characterized in that the cassette (3) comprises a rotatably driven storage drum (6) for banknotes (4) contained within a surrounding casing (7), in that the drive source for driving the aforementioned rotatable banknote storage drum (9) is arranged inside the aforementioned cassette (3), in that banknotes are so arranged as to be received rolled onto the aforementioned drum (6) and pressed down by moving belts (30-32) at a mutual distance (L) from one another viewed in the direction of rotation (10, 11) of the drum (6), in that the cassette (3) is so arranged as to be capable of being connected in a lockable fashion to the aforementioned banknote receiving unit (2), and is capable of being attached respectively in a lockable and unlockable fashion to an emptying device (14) for banknotes (4), which are received wound onto the aforementioned storage drum (9), and in that the cassette (3) comprises a timer for the activation of marking and/or destruction, for example by dyeing the contents in the event of attack and theft of the cassette (3).

2. A banknote-handling system as claimed in Patent claim 1, characterized in that the emptying device (14), which includes a packing unit for banknotes (4), is in direct or indirect communication (20) with a security transport company (19).

3. A banknote-handling system as claimed in Patent claim 2, characterized in that transport containers (21) for banknotes (4) that are emptied are included in the system for the transfer of banknotes (4) between a shop (22) and a transport vehicle (23), and in that the aforementioned transport container (21) includes means for the marking and/or destruction of the contents, for example by dyeing the banknotes and activation, for example in the event of attack and theft of the transport container (21).

4. A banknote-handling system as claimed in one or other of the foregoing Patent claims, characterized in that the cassette (3) is so arranged as to be capable of being received by and connected in a lockable fashion to more than one receiving points (A, B) on the respective till (5-52), and preferably pairs of receiving points, which permits the alternate exchange of the cassettes (3).

5. A banknote-handling system as claimed in one or other of the foregoing Patent claims, characterized in that the cassette (3) in question is capable of being connected to a banknote emptying device (14) accommodated in a separate area (15) for the emptying of banknotes (4) from the cassette (3) into the aforementioned device (14).

6. A banknote-handling system as claimed in Patent claim 5, characterized in that the banknote emptying device (14) is formed by a cavity (25) enclosed entirely within a casing (24) and with an emptying and packing device operating therein.

7. A banknote-handling system as claimed in one or other of Patent claims 5-6, characterized in that the cassettes (3) in question are capable of being accommodated in a charging area (C) in the aforementioned banknote emptying unit (14), which charging area (C) is accessible from one (26) or the other (27) side of a partition wall (28) on the outside or the inside of the aforementioned wall.

8. A banknote-handling system as claimed in one or other of the foregoing Patent claims, characterized in that the emptying device (14), the banknote receiving unit (2) and the cassettes (3) in question is each provided with its own keypad or the like arranged for decoding in conjunction with connecting and disconnecting the cassettes (3) to and from the banknote receiving unit (2) and the emptying device (14).

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a banknote-handling system for the retail trade including a banknote receiving unit with an associated cassette in which to receive banknotes.

2. Description of the Related Art

Previously disclosed systems of the above-mentioned kind are emptied in a variety of ways. The security of the staff who operate the system is very important in order to prevent access to and theft of stored banknotes and other means of payment of equivalent value, which are thus attractive for dishonest individuals to attempt to appropriate.

EP 0692599 A1 describes a system for the secure transport and handling of valuable papers and includes cassettes in which the banknotes, etc., are placed for handling in a secure fashion. The banknotes are stored in stacks in this previously disclosed system, however, and not on atoll.

The problem that it is proposed to solve in accordance with the present invention is, in addition to enabling the banknotes to be handled in a secure and efficient manner, both for their rapid delivery from a shop till or a shop office, far example, and in the reverse order to a till or shop office of the kind in question, to ensure that the tills in a shop do not contain too much cash. Instead, the cash is stored securely in the office premises of the shop, and in the reverse order when it is wished to ensure that the till has sufficient banknotes of smaller denominations to enable it to function effectively and in accordance with new systems, according to which the staff at the till are not required to handle the banknotes themselves, but bill handling is taken care of by the system and the customers.

It is considerably easier to handle the banknotes if they are lying distributed in a long row compared with picking out the right banknotes from a bundle of banknotes in which the banknotes lie stacked together at random one on top of the other. It is sufficient to see how you need to leaf through a wallet for the right banknote, assuming that you do not already make all your transactions by credit card.

The principal underlying idea of the present invention is thus to be able to operate the aforementioned banknote receiving drum and, at the same time, to hold the banknotes in place on the storage drum in the cassette.

In accordance with EP 1291831 A2, a dedicated unit for receiving and recording banknotes as they are fed in is arranged in a processing center for banknotes. The banknotes in this case are received between dual belts, which are in turn rolled onto a rotating storage drum.

Such storage of the banknotes securely attached one after the other in a particular sequence does not permit desired banknotes of the right denomination to be fed out, unlike the case in which the banknotes are forced against a drum by belts, but it is then necessary to take the banknote that arrives in sequence followed by the next one. This system is intended for banknotes of the same denomination, or if it is simply intended to receive banknotes securely as they are fed in at random and held in the form of a line inside a cassette in the ‘machine.

The principal object of the present invention is thus, in the first instance, to make available a system which solves the aforementioned problem in a simple and efficient manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, in order to be able to handle banknotes of different denominations rapidly and efficiently, the banknotes are stored and securely held on a rotatable drum.

The above-mentioned object of the invention is achieved by a banknote handling system in accordance with the present invention, which is characterized essentially in that a cassette includes a rotatably driven storage drum for banknotes contained within a surrounding casing. The drive source for driving the rotatable banknote storage drum is arranged inside the cassette. Banknotes are so arranged as to be received rolled onto the drum and pressed down by moving belts spaced at a mutual distance from one another, viewed in the direction of rotation of the drum. The cassette is so arranged as to be capable of being connected in a lockable fashion to the banknote receiving unit, and it is capable of being attached respectively in a lockable and unlockable fashion to an emptying device for banknotes, which are received wound onto the storage drum. The cassette includes a timer for the activation of marking and/or destruction, for example by dyeing the contents in the event of attack and theft of the cassette.

The invention is not simply a matter of taking any drum at all and storing the cash on it; it must be done in a particular way in order for it to function. It is sufficient for the staff to arrive at the emptying point with the cassette, and in this case for the drive for the drum to be present inside the cassette in order to take care of the transfer of the banknotes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is described below as a number of preferred illustrative embodiments, in conjunction with which reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 shows the system schematically in the form of a block diagram showing constituent component parts of an embodiment of a secure banknote-handling system;

FIGS. 2-6 show different constituent parts of the system separately and performing their function;

FIGS. 7-9 show the application of the system in conjunction with handling of the constituent cassette before emptying; and

FIGS. 10-13 show the cassette from the fully closed position to the opened position to illustrate the function involved in receiving banknotes therein on a storage drum for banknotes.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The invention relates to a closed and thus secure banknote-handling system 1 intended for the retail trade and shown in FIG. 1. The system includes a banknote receiving unit 2, which is not illustrated in more detail and described more thoroughly here, the banknote receiving unit having an associated cassette 3 for the receiving and storage of surplus banknotes that are received and transferred from the banknote receiving unit 2 as it operates and as customers pay for the goods that they purchase. The till assistant feeds the banknotes in a previously disclosed fashion into the banknote receiving unit 2, which incorporates a checking device that is so arranged as to receive the banknotes and verify their genuineness, or as to issue one or more banknotes per second. Banknote receiving unit 2 is preferably so arranged in addition as to be capable of handling several denominations at the same time.

The banknote receiving unit 2 is so arranged as to be capable of storing as many as ninety banknotes simultaneously, for example, on a rotating storage wheel, and, in addition, of causing the surplus to be delivered into a closed cassette 3. The cash desk 5 in question also includes a storage and issuing unit intended for coins, although this is not described and illustrated here in greater detail because it does not constitute a part of the present invention at this time.

The banknote-handling system 1 is so arranged as to be capable of being integrated readily with the majority of existing electronic till systems, and as to be very simple and capable of rapid installation.

The invention relates to the design and function of the banknote-receiving unit itself with its associated cassette system and associated emptying unit.

As shown in FIGS. 10-13, cassette 3 includes a rotatably driven storage drum 6 intended to accommodate banknotes 4 wound onto the drum 6, which is enclosed within a surrounding and enclosing casing 7. The casing includes an unscrewable front panel 8, which has been unscrewed in the drawings in FIGS. 11-13 in order clearly to illustrate the interior 9 of the cassette 3 and the associated drum 6. The banknotes 4 in this case are arranged in such a way as to be capable of being accommodated rolled on the drum 6 and pressed down by moving belts 30, 31, 32 at a mutual banknote spacing distance L from one another as viewed in the direction of rotation 10, 11 of the drum 6.

As shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 5, cassette 3 is so arranged as to be capable of being connected in a lockable fashion to the banknote receiving unit 2 in a cash desk 5, 51, 52, where a till assistant 12 feeds in and pays out money, respectively, into and from the banknote receiving unit 2, which the till assistant 12 has received from or must repay to the customers 13 who are making their purchases.

As shown in FIG. 1, cassette 3 is also so arranged as to be capable of detachable attachment to an emptying device 14 for the cassettes 3 situated at a distance from the cash desks 5, 51, 52, for example inside an office 15 or some other secure area that is separate from the cash desks 5-52, and to which the customers do not have access.

In order to make it difficult for any robbers who might consider grabbing the cassette 3 for themselves when it is being transported from the till area 16 to the area 17 where the cassette 3 will be emptied of the banknotes 4 that it contains, the cassette 3 incorporates a timer 35 that can be set to a desired time interval for the activation of means which permit marking and/or destruction, for example by dyeing the contents of the cassette 3 in the event of, for example, attack and theft of the same, so that the banknotes 4 cannot be used by the robbers.

The source of power for driving the rotatable banknote storage drum 6 is arranged inside the cassette 3 in the form of an electric motor which draws current from the till 5, 51, 52 or from the emptying device 14 in which the cassette 3 is accommodated in the different positions I and II, shown in FIGS. 3 and 6, respectively.

The cassette 3 is capable of attachment in a lockable fashion to an emptying device 14 for banknotes 4 that are accommodated wound onto the storage drum 6 as described above.

The emptying device 14, which also includes a packing unit for banknotes 4, preferably for the secure packing of the banknotes in the form of bundles in a so-called security bag of a known kind, but which is not described here in greater detail, is arranged to communicate with a security transport company 19 either directly or indirectly, for example via the Internet 18 to a transport company computer 33, or some other appropriate means of communication 20. That makes it possible rapidly and securely to advise when the shop wishes to arrange for the collection of packed banknote bags.

Provided for that purpose are transport containers 21 included in the system and intended to receive banknotes 4 that are emptied from the cassette 3 into the emptying device 14 for packing in plastic bags therein, and to transfer the packed banknotes 4 to permit the banknotes 4 to be transferred securely from the shop 22 to the transport vehicle 23.

The transport container 21 includes means for the marking and/or destruction of the contents, for example by dyeing the banknotes 4 upon activation, for example in the event of attack and theft of the transport container 21, to render the banknotes non-negotiable.

Referring to FIG. 7, cassette 3 is preferably so arranged as to be capable of being connected to a banknote emptying device 14 that is accommodated in a separate area 17 for the purpose of emptying banknotes 4 from the cassette 3 into the emptying device 14. The cassette 3 can be so arranged for that purpose as to be capable of being received by and connected in a lockable fashion to more than one receiving point A, B on a banknote receiving unit 2 at the respective till 5, 51, 52, and preferably pairs of receiving points, which permits the alternate exchange of the cassettes 3.

The banknote emptying device 14 includes an outer casing 24, and enclosed therein is a cavity 25 with an emptying and packing device arranged to operate therein, although this is not shown here.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 9, cassettes 3 are capable of being received in a charging area C in the banknote emptying device 14, which charging area C is accessible from one side 26 or the other side 21 of a partition wall 28 between office area 15 and shop area 22, on either the outside or the inside of the office area 15.

The banknote receiving unit 2 and the cassettes 3 are each provided with its own keypad, so arranged for decoding in conjunction with connecting and disconnecting the cassettes 3 to and from the banknote receiving unit 2 and the emptying device 14. Service 33 can be connected to the system 1 via a communication link 18. The function of the system 1 should have been appreciated clearly from the above description and the illustrations in the drawings.

The invention is naturally not restricted to the embodiments described above and illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Modifications are possible, in particular with regard to the nature of the various parts, or by the use of equivalent technology, but without for that reason departing from the area of protection afforded to the invention, as defined in the appended claims.