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US5772072: Vending machine including refrigeration and oven compartments

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) Jack R. Prescott · John D. Smead · Edward Durbin · Michael Kanyon · Michael E. Rudder · James W. Bradfield · Gregory Elliott · Stanley Arai · Mark A. Hopkins · Donald Morrison · Paul T. Rudewicz · Kenneth Sineri · Thom Thomas · Dale Weber ·
Assignee(s) KRh Thermal Systems ·
Attorney/Agent(s) Skjerven, Morrill, MacPherson, Franklin & Friel LLP ·
Primary Examiner Skaggs; H. Grant ·
Application Number US8626301
Filing date 04/01/1996
Issue date 06/30/1998
Predicted expiration date 04/21/2014
U.S. Classifications 221/121  · 221/224  · 221/150HC  · 221/211  · 221/150A  · 221/298  · 53/459  · 53/567  ·
International Classifications G07F 1100  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 53567;459 ·
Related U.S. Application DataThis application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/231,195, filed Apr. 21, 1994 and now U.S. Pat. No. 5,503,300.
23 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

A vending machine includes a refrigeration compartment, an oven compartment, structure for transferring a food product from the refrigeration compartment to the oven compartment, and structure for transferring the food product from the oven compartment to a user of the vending machine. The vending machine provides automated handling and cooking of packaged food products that enables a hot cooked food to be delivered to a customer in a cool package sleeve. The vending machine also includes a system for inventory control that enables vertical storage of packaged food products while minimizing crushing of packaged food products at the bottom of a stack. A magazine empty indicator automatically indicates when an inventory magazine is empty. An oven door latch mechanism eliminates the possibility that the oven can be operated while the oven door is open.

Independent Claims | See all claims (23)

  1. 1. A vending machine comprising an inventory carousel mounted rotatably on a vertical axis, the inventory carousel including a plurality of inventory magazines mounted around the vertical axis, each inventory magazine comprising a product chute and having a product release mechanism for releasing product contained in the inventory magazine, said product release mechanism comprising:an inventory magazine release member having first and second cam surfaces, the inventory magazine release member movable between first and second positions;a first retention lever rotatably mounted so as to pivot about a first axis, the first retention lever including a first cam follower in contact with the first cam surface, wherein:when the inventory magazine release member is positioned in the first position, contact between the first cam surface and first cam follower causes the first retention lever to be retracted from the product chute; andwhen the inventory magazine release member is positioned in the second position, contact between the first cam surface and first cam follower causes the first retention lever to be extended into the product chute; anda second retention lever rotatably mounted so as to pivot about a second axis, the second retention lever including a second cam follower in contact with the second cam surface, wherein:when the inventory magazine release member is positioned in the first position, contact between the second cam surface and second cam follower causes the second retention lever to be extended into the product chute; andwhen the inventory magazine release member is positioned in the second position, contact between the second cam surface and second cam follower causes the second retention lever to be retracted from the product chute.
  2. 21. A vending machine comprising a sleeve/de-sleeve mechanism for removing a food tray from a sleeve enclosing the food tray, the sleeve/de-sleeve mechanism comprising:a support for the food tray and sleeve;a ram positioned adjacent an open end of the sleeve;an actuator for moving the ram such that a leading end of the ram projects into the sleeve, thereby pushing the food tray from the sleeve; anda hook for engaging an edge of the sleeve and thereby retaining the sleeve on the support when the food tray is pushed from the sleeve.
  3. 23.23. A vending machine comprising:a refrigeration compartment including a product delivery door in a floor of the refrigeration compartment;an inventory carousel rotatably mounted in the refrigeration compartment and including a plurality of inventory magazines;a plurality of packaged food products stacked in each inventory magazine, each of the packaged food products including a food tray enclosed by a sleeve;a microwave oven;a transfer mechanism for moving one of the packaged food products to a first position near a door of the microwave oven and to a second position near a delivery chute;a ram;an actuator for moving the ram so as to push a food tray from a sleeve into the oven; anda hook for engaging an edge of the sleeve and thereby restraining the sleeve when the food tray is pushed from the sleeve into the oven.

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Other Publications

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Referenced By

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