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Vending machine

Image Number 12 for United States Patent #7044330.

The present invention relates generally to improvements in article dispensing, such as in a vending machine, and more particularly to improvements in product containment systems which improve product storage capacity, as well as the ease and efficiency of product handling, access and loading into the storage area of the article dispensing apparatus. A product containment system in accordance with the invention includes a plurality of first-type of alignment structures for facilitating alignment of the articles to be dispensed into a plurality of columns, and a second-type of alignment structure for facilitating alignment of a plurality of the first-type of alignment structures, where the second-type of alignment structure is movable from fully inside to at least partially outside of the storage area to facilitating reloading of the first-type of alignment structure with the articles to be dispensed.

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