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Publication numberUS3730409 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 1, 1973
Filing dateMar 22, 1971
Priority dateMar 28, 1970
Also published asDE2114826A1
Publication numberUS 3730409 A, US 3730409A, US-A-3730409, US3730409 A, US3730409A
InventorsRatti F
Original AssigneeSteiner Co Lausanne Sa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing apparatus
US 3730409 A
Abstract
A dispenser comprises a cabinet having a supply roll of paper towel therein and an electric motor-driven dispensing roll frictionally engaging the towel web for advancing it through a dispensing opening past a movable cutter, the cutter being biased to a normal rest position and being movable to a severing position in response to the manual cutting action by a user, a control circuit including a normally closed start switch and a normally open ready switch connected in a series between the motor and an associated power source and a normally open stop switch in parallel with the ready switch, and program apparatus coupled to the cutter and the motor and the control circuit and responsive to movement of the cutter to its severing position for opening the start switch and closing the ready switch, movement of the cutter back to its normal rest position reclosing the start switch to energize the motor, the program apparatus being responsive to operation of the motor for sequentially closing the stop switch then reopening the ready switch and then reopening the stop switch to de-energize the motor.
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United States Patent 1 Ratti DISPENSING APPARATUS [75] Inventor: Ferruccio Ratti, Milan, Italy [73] Assignee: Steiner Company Lausanne S .A.,

Lausanne, Switzerland [22] Filed: Mar. 22, 1971 [21] Appl.No.: 126,533

UNITED STATES PATENTS Grosser ..225/1 1 3,626,491 12/1971 2,258,912 10/1941 Steen et al 2,275,410 3/1942 Anderson et al. ..225/11 Primary Examiner-Andrew R. Juhasz Assistant Examiner-Leon Gilden Attorney-+Prangley, Clayton, Mullin, Dithmar &

Vogel [5 7] ABSTRACT A dispenser comprises a cabinet having a supply roll of paper towel therein and an electric motor-driven dispensing roll frictionally engaging the towel web for advancing it through a dispensing opening past a movable cutter, the cutter being biased to a normal rest position and being movable to a severing position in response to themanual cutting action by a user, a control circuit including a normally closed start switch and a normally open ready switch connected in a se ries between the motor and an associated power source and a normally open stop switch in parallel with the ready switch, and program apparatus coupled to the cutter and the motor and the control circuit and responsive to movement of the cutter to its severing position for opening the start switch and closing the ready switch, movement of the cutter back to its normal rest position reclosing the start switch to energize the motor, the program apparatus being responsive to operation of the motor for sequentially closing the stop switch then reopening the ready switch and then reopening the stop switch to de-energize the motor.

20 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAY Hm 3,730,409

SHEET 2 [1F 3 DISPENSING APPARATUS I This invention relates to dispensing apparatus for dispensing webs of strip material from supply rolls thereof and, more particularly, for dispensing a web of paper towel from a roll thereof.

It is a general object of this invention to provide a paper towel dispenser for. automatically dispensing a predetermined length of paper towel in response to the tearing off of a previously dispensed length of towel.

It is an important object of this invention to provide a dispenser for dispensing a paper web from a supply roll thereof, the dispenser comprising a housing having a dispensing opening therein, roll support means mounted in the housing for rotatably supporting the associated supply roll, the paper web extending along an exit path from the associated supply roll through the dispensing opening and to an exposed position accessible to a user, dispensing apparatus mounted in said housing for intermittently advancing a predetermined length of towel web along the exit path, a cutting blade mounted on the housing for movement between a normal rest position and a web severing position, means yieldably biasing the cutting blade toward the normal rest position thereof, a manual cutting action by a user causing engagement of the web with the cutting blade for effecting movement thereof from the normal rest position thereof to the web severing position thereof, and control apparatus coupled to the dispensing apparatus and to the cutting blade and responsive to movement of the cutting blade from the normal rest position thereof to the severing position thereof during a manual cutting action followed by return of the cutting blade to the normal rest position thereof after severing of the web for actuating said dispensing apparatus to advance the web along the exit path, the control apparatus deactuating the dispensing apparatus after a predetermined length of web has been dispensed along the exit path, whereby severing of the web is automatically followed by the advance of a further predetermined length of web into the exposed position for severing and use.

It is another object of this invention to provide a dispenser of the type set forth which is electrically operated and, wherein the control apparatus comprises a control circuit coupled to the dispensing apparatus and including a normally closedstart switch and a normally open ready switch connected in series between the dispensing apparatus and an associated source of electric power for normally maintaining the dispensing apparatus de-energized, and program apparatus coupled to the cutting blade and to the control circuit for controlling the operation thereof.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a dispenser of the type set forth, wherein the program apparatus includes an actuating member coupled to the ready switch and movable between a set configuration and a run configuration for respectively opening and closing the ready switch, trigger mechanism coupled to the cutting blade and to the start switch and to the actuating member for releasably holding the actuator member in the set configuration thereof when the cutting blade is in the normal rest position thereof with the dispensing apparatus de-energized, the trigger mechanism being responsive to movement of the cutting blade to the severing position thereof during a manual cutting action for opening the start switch and for releasing the actuating member to the run configuration thereof thereby to close the ready switch, the trigger mechanism being responsive to movement of .the cutting blade back to the normal rest position thereof after severing of the web for reclosing the start switch thereby to energize the dispensing apparatus, and reset mechanism coupled to the dispensing apparatus and having a camming surface mounted for camming engagement with the actuating member, the reset mechanism being responsive to operation of the dispensing apparatus for effecting a cammed movement of the actuating member back to the set configuration thereof and for de-energizing the dispensing apparatus after a predetermined length of web has been dispensed along the exit path.

It is another object of this invention to provide a dispenser of the type set forth, wherein the control circuit additionally includes a normally open stop switch connected in parallel with the ready switch, the program apparatus being responsive to operation of the dispensing apparatus for sequentially closing the stop switch and then opening the ready switch and then reopening the stop switch for de-energizing the drive motor after a predetermined length of web has been dispensed along the exit path.

In connection with the foregoing object, it is another object of this invention to provide a dispenser of the type set forth, wherein the reset mechanism includes two camming surfaces respectively mounted for camming engagement with the actuating member and the stop switch, the reset mechanism being responsive to operation of the dispensing apparatus for sequentially effecting a cammed closing of the stop switch and then a cammed movement of the actuating member backto the set configuration thereof for reopening the ready switch and then a cammed reopening of the stop switch for de-energizing the drive motor after a predetermined length of web has been dispensed along the exit path.

Further features of the invention pertain to the particular arrangement of the parts of the dispenser whereby the above-outlined and additional operating features thereof are attained.

The invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following specification taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a dispenser constructed in accordance with and embodying the features of the present invention, with the side cover removed and the cabinet side flange partially broken away to show the program apparatus;

FIG. 2 is a view in vertical section of the dispenser of FIG. 1, showing the open and closed positions of the front cover and illustrating the cooperation of the towel web with the dispensing apparatus;

FIG. 3 is a partially exploded perspective'view of the dispenser of FIG. 1, with the front cover shown in the open position thereof and illustrating the various parts of the dispensing apparatus;

FIG. 4 is a partially diagrammatic side elevational view of the program apparatus ofthe present invention, illustrated in the set configuration thereof;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4, and illustrating the set and run configurations of the program apparatus; and

FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of the electric control circuit of the present invention.

Referring now in particular to FIGS. 1 to 3 of the drawings, there is illustrated a paper towel dispenser, generally designated by the numeral 100, and including a dispensing cabinet 101 which is generally prismatic in shape and comprises a bottom wall 103 and an upstanding rear wall 102 and a pair of opposed side walls 104 and 106. Each of the side walls 104 and 106 is shaped as an irregular polygon and disposed substantially normal to the rear wall 102 and the bottom wall 103. A front cover 105 is pivotally mounted, as at 105a, adjacent to the front edge of the bottom wall 103 for pivotal movement between a closed position, illustrated in FlG. 1, closing the front and top of the cabinet 101 and an open position, illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, extending forwardly of the cabinet 101 for providing access to the interior thereof. The front cover 105 may be provided with a lock 105k for locking the cover 105 in the closed position thereof. Extending laterally outwardly from the side wall 106 along the periphery thereof is a side flange 107, cooperating with the side wall 106 to define a mechanism compartment 107a for a purpose to be described more fully hereinafter. The compartment 107a is provided with a side cover plate 108 shaped complementary with the side wall 106 for completely covering the area bounded by the side flange 107. The cover plate 108 is preferably provided with a plurality of spacers 109 thereon, each spacer 109 having an opening extending axially therethrough for receiving a suitable fastener, such as a screw or bolt, to fasten the side plate 102 to the side wall 106.

Within the cabinet 101, at the bottom rear end thereof, is a battery compartment, generally designated by the numeral 110, and including a top wall 111, extending forwardly of the rear wall 102 substantially normal thereto and spaced a predetermined distance above the bottom wall 103, and a front wall 112 extending downwardly from the front edge of the top wall 111 to the bottom wall 103, substantially normal thereto. The battery compartment 110 is closed at one end thereof by the side wall 104, the other end thereof communicating with a complementary opening in the side wall 106 for providing access to the interior of the battery compartment 110. An elongated generally rectangular dispensing opening 115 is formed in the bottom wall 103, adjacent to the front end thereof, the front and rear edges 114 of the dispensing opening 115 being inclined downwardly and forwardly of the bottom wall 103 (see FIGS. 4 and 5). Extending upwardly and rearwardly from the bottom wall 103, adjacent to the rear edge of the dispensing opening 115, is a guide flange 116, the bottom wall 103 also being provided with an upstanding stop ridge 117 extending laterally thereof and disposed between the front edge thereof and the dispensing opening 115, substantially parallel thereto.

Mounted in the dispensing cabinet 101 a slight distance above the guide flange 116 and substantially parallel thereto is a dispensing roll, generally designated by the numeral 120, the dispensing roll 120 being provided at the opposite ends thereof with short trunnions 121 respectively receivable in complementary bearing openings in the side walls 104 and 106 for rotatably supporting the dispensing roll 120 therebetween. Preferably, the dispensing roll 120 is provided with an abrasive covering 124 along the outer cylindrical surface thereof for a purpose to be described more fully below.

Mounted on the inner surface of the front cover 105 adjacent to the pivot mountings 1050 are two bearing brackets 128, respectively disposed adjacent to the opposite side edges of the front cover 105, and each being provided with an elongated bearing slot or opening 127 therein. Respectively received in the slots 127 are the trunnions or stub shafts 126 ofa tensioning roll 125 for rotatably supporting the tensioning roll 125 between the bearing brackets 128. Each of the bearing brackets 128 is provided along the outer surface thereof with a pair of mounting posts 129a, having anchored thereto one end of a retaining leaf spring 129, the other end of the leaf spring 129 being disposed in engagement with the adjacent stub shaft 126 of the tensioning roll 125 for resiliently urging the stub shafts 126 toward the upper or inner ends of the slots 127, as illustrated in FIG. 2.

As is illustrated in phantom in FIG. 2, when the front cover 105 is disposed in the closed position thereof the outer surface of the tensioning roll 125 will be resiliently urged into engagement with the outer surface 124 of the dispensing roll 120 by the leaf springs 129.

Respectively mounted on the inner surfaces of the side walls 104 and 106, in lateral alignment with each other, are two semi-cylindrical bearing mounts 136 for supporting a supply roll 130 of paper towel in the dispensing cabinet 101. The supply roll 130 is preferably provided with a cylindrical core 131 extending axially therethrough, the opposite ends of the core 131 respectively receiving therein the insert ends 132 of two removable stub shafts 135. The stub shafts 135 are identically constructed, each being provided with an annular stop flange 133 at the outer end of the insert 132, and a short trunnion 134 extending outwardly from the stop flange 133 coaxially with the insert 132, and preferably having a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the insert 132. The dimensions of the roll 130 and the stub shafts 135 are such that, when the I stub shafts 135 are inserted in the opposite ends of the core 131, with the retaining stop flanges 133 respectively abutting against the opposite side edges of the roll 130, the supply roll 130 may be inserted into the dispensing cabinet 101, with the trunnions 134 being respectively received in the bearing mounts 136 for rotatably supporting the supply roll 130 in the dispensing cabinet 101. In use, the leading edge of the towel web 138 is unwound from the towel roll 130 and is fed downwardly between the dispensing roll and the tensioning roll for frictional engagement thereby, in a manner to be described more fully hereinafter.

Also disposed within the dispensing cabinet 101 adjacent to the dispensing opening 115 is a cutter carriage, generally designated by the numeral 140, and including an elongated base plate 141 extending laterally of the bottom wall 103, and provided at the opposite ends thereof with a pair of upstanding support arms 142. Each of the support arms 142 is provided at the upper end thereof with a pivot eye 143 for receiving an associated pivot pin 148 therethrough, the pivot pins 148 being respectively received in complementary bearing openings 144 in the side walls 104 and 106 for pivotally supporting the cutter carriage therebetween. Extending forwardly from each of the support arms 142, intermediate the upper and lower ends thereof, is a projection 146 for a purpose which will be described below. Secured by suitable means to the bottom surface of the base plate 141 and extending rearwardly from the rear edge thereof is a cutting blade 145, the rear edge of the cutting blade 145 having a serrated cutting edge 147. The cutter carriage 140 and the cutting blade 145 are so dimensioned and arranged within the dispensing cabinet 101 that the base plate 141 is disposed closely adjacent to the bottom wall 103 immediately rearwardly of the stop ridge 117, with the cutting edge 147 of the cutting blade 145 extending into the dispensing opening 115, as is best illustrated in FIG. 2 ofthe drawings.

In use, the cutter carriage 140 is pivotally movable between a normal rest position with the base plate 141 spaced rearwardly from the stop ridge 117 and with the cutting blade 145 extending well into the dispensing opening 115, and a severing position, wherein the base plate 141 abuts against the stop ridge 117. As is illustrated in FIG. 2, the towel web 138 is disposed in use so as to extend through the dispensing opening 115 rearwardly of the cutting blade 145, whereby a manual cutting movement of the towel web 138 against the serrated edge 147 of the cutting blade 145 will move the cutter carriage 140 forwardly to the severing position thereof, all as will be described in greater detail hereinafter.

-Referring now also to FIGS. 4 through 6 of the drawings, there is disposed in the mechanism compartment 107a a control assembly, generally designated by the numeral 150, for controlling the operation of the towel dispenser 100. The adjacent trunnion 121 of the dispensing roll 120 is elongated to extend a predetermined distance beyond the outer surface of the side wall 106, the elongated trunnion 121 having coaxially mounted thereon a pulley 151 and a gear 152 spaced outwardly from the pulley 151. The gear 152 is provided along the periphery thereof with a plurality of teeth 153 disposed for meshing engagement with a worm 154 carried by the drive shaft 156 of a drive motor 155, which is preferably secured by suitable means to the outer surface of the side wall 106. The pulley 151 is coupled by means of a drive belt 158 to a circular cam wheel 160, which is mounted for rotation about a shaft 161 carried by the side Wall 106 substantially normal thereto, the cam wheel 160 having a grooved circumferential surface for receiving the drive belt 158 therein. The cam wheel 160 is disposed substantially parallel to the side wall 106 and is provided with a cam pin 162 extending laterally outwardly therefrom, the pin 162 being spaced radially outwardly of the shaft 161 and disposed substantially parallel thereto. Extending laterally inwardly from the cam wheel 160 adjacent to the periphery thereof is a cam projection 163.

The right-hand one of the pivot pins 148 for the cutter carriage 140, as viewed in FIG. 1, is elongated to extend a predetermined distance beyond the outer surface of the side wall 106, the elongated pivot pin 148 having secured thereto, outwardly of the side wall 106, a latch arm 165. The latch arm 165 is disposed substantially parallel to the adjacent support arm 142 of the cutting carriage and extends upwardly from the pivot pin 148, the latch arm terminating at the upper end thereof is an outwardly and rearwardly extending latch projection 166, the outer lateral surface of the projection 166 having an upwardly and out-.

wardly inclined face 167. A lever arm 170 is mounted at one end thereof for pivotal movement about the axis of a pivot pin 171 extending outwardly from the side wall 106 substantially normal thereto adjacent to the rear edge thereof. The lever arm 170 extends forwardly from the pivot pin 171 and is provided adjacent to the other end thereof with a laterally inwardly'extending stop pin 173, adapted to be engaged by and supported on the latch projection 166 of the latch arm 165 when the cutter carriage is in the normal rest position thereof, for thereby supporting the lever arm 170 in a substantially horizontal set configuration, as is illustrated in FIG. 4. The parts of the control assembly 150 are so dimensioned and arranged that when the lever arm 170 is not supported by the latch projection 166, it will pivot downwardly in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 4 and 5, under the urging of gravity, the cam pin 162 extending into the path of the lever arm 170 for arresting its downward fall.

The control assembly 150 includes an electric control circuit, generally designated by the numeral 195,

and comprising a storage battery 175, a start switch 180, a stop switch 185 and a ready switch 190 and the interconnections therebetween. More particularly, the storage battery is disposed within the battery compartment 110, the battery 175 being provided with a pair of terminals 174 at the open end of the battery compartment 110 (see FIGS. 4 and 5). One of the terminals 174 of the battery 175 is connected by a conductor 176 to one terminal of the drive motor 155, the other terminal of the drive motor 155 being connected by a conductor 177 to the movable contact 182 of the start switch 180. The start switch 180 has a fixed contact 181 and is normally biased closed by a resilient actuator arm 183 which urges the movable contact 182 into engagement with the fixed contact 181. The fixed contact 181 of the start switch 180 is connected by a conductor 184 to the fixed contact 186 of the stop switch 185, the stop switch having a movable contact 187 and being normally biased closed by a resilient actuator arm 188 which urges the movable contact 187 into engagement with the fixed contact 186. The fixed contact 186 and the movable contact 187 of the stop switch 185 are respectively connected by conductors 194 and 189 to the movable contact 192 and the fixed contact 191 of the ready switch 190. The ready switch is normally biased closed by a resilient actuator arm 193 which urges the movable contact 192 into engagement with the fixed contact 191. lnterconnecting the fixed contact 191 and the other terminal 174 of the battery 175 is a conductor 196 for completing the control circuit 195.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, it will be noted that, while most of the control assembly 150 is disposed within the mechanism compartment 1070, the

start switch 180 is disposed on the inner side of the side wall 106 within the dispensing cabinet 101, the conductors 177 and 184 extending through an opening 178 in the side wall 106. The start switch 180 is so positioned on the side wall 106 that the actuator arm 183 is disposed in engagement with the projection 146 on the cutter carriage 140, whereby the actuator arm 183 normally biases the cutter carriage 140 into the normal rest position thereof, illustrated in FIG. 2. Furthermore, referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the stop switch 185 is so positioned with respect to the cam wheel 160, that the cam projection 163 is engageable with the resilient actuator arm 188 for moving the stop switch 185 into the open condition thereof when the cam wheel 160 is positioned as illustrated in FIG. 4. Also, the lever arm 170 is provided with a bearing surface 172, adjacent to the pivoted end thereof, disposed for engagement with the actuating arm 193 of the ready switch 190, whereby when the lever arm 170 is disposed in the set configuration thereof illustrated in FIG. 4, the bearing surface 172 holds the ready switch 190 in the open condition thereof against the bias of the actuator arm 193.

The operation of the towel dispenser 100 will now be described in detail. When it is desired to load a fresh supply of paper towel into the dispensing cabinet 101, the front cover 105 is unlocked and pivoted to the open position thereof, illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. When the dispensing cabinet 101 is thus opened, the stub shafts 135 may be inserted in the ends of the supply roll 130, which may then be placed in the cabinet 101 for rotational support upon the bearing brackets 136. The leading end of the towel web 138 is then threaded downwardly in front of the dispensing roll 120 and then through the dispensing opening 115 rearwardly of the cutting blade 145. Preferably, the towel web 138 is extended outwardly beyond the bottom wall 103 of the cabinet 101 a sufficient distance to permit grasping thereof by a user. The front cover 105 is then returned to its closed position, illustrated in FIG. 1 and in phantom in FIG. 2, in which closed position the tensioning roll 125 will be resiliently urged by the springs 129 into engagement with the towel web 138 at the surface of the dispensing roll 120 for thereby frictionally grasping the towel web 138 between the dispensing roll 120 and the tensioning roll 125.

Initially, the control assembly 150 is disposed in a set configuration, illustrated in FIG. 4, wherein the cutter carriage 140 is disposed in the normal rest position thereof, with the latch projection 166 supporting the stop pin 173 for holding the lever arm 170 in the horizontal set configuration thereof, and with the cam projection 163 disposed in engagement with the resilient actuator arm 188 of the stop switch 185, When the control assembly 150 is disposed in this set configuration, the start switch 180 will be in its normally closed condition, with the actuator arm 183 thereof holding the cutter carriage 140 in its normal rest position, the stop switch 185 will be held open by the engagement of the cam projection 163 with the actuating arm 188, and the ready switch 190 will be held open by the engagement of the lever arm bearing surface 172 with the actuator arm 173, whereby the control circuit 195 will be in the configuration illustrated in FIG. 6. In this configuration, it is apparent that there is an open circuit between the battery 175 and the drive motor 155, whereby the drive motor 155 is de-energized.

When the user desires to remove a length of paper towel, he simply grasps the exposed portion of the towel web 138 extending from the dispensing opening and pulls it forwardly against the cutting blade 145. This manual cutting action by the user causes movement of the cutter carriage forwardly to the severing position thereof against the urging of the actuator arm 183. The cutter carriage 140 will be stopped in the severing position thereof by the stop ridge 117 and will firmly hold the cutting blade for tearing off the towel web 138 thereagainst. This forward movement of the cutter carriage 140 causes the actuator arm 183 to be moved by the projection 146 for opening the start switch 180. In addition, this forward movement of the cutter carriage 140 to the severing position thereof effects a corresponding pivotal movement of the latch arm in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 4, whereby the latch projection 166 is moved out of supporting engagement with the pin 173. When the actuating member 170 is thus released by the latch arm 165, it falls under the urging of gravity in a counterclockwise pivotal movement about the axis of the pivot pin 177, as was described above, this downward pivotal movement of the lever arm 170 being arrested in a run configuration by engagement thereof with the cam pin 162. When the lever arm 170 is thus moved to a run configuration in engagement with the cam pin 162, the bearing surface 172 moves away from the actuator arm 193, thereby accommodating closing of the ready switch 190 under the urging of the actuator arm 193. However, since the start switch 180 has been opened by the movement of the cutter carriage 140 to its severing position, the control circuit 195 remains open, and the drive motor 155 remains de-energized.

After the exposed portion of the towel web 138 has been severed, the force on the cutter carriage 140 is released, whereby the cutter carriage 140 will be returned to its normal rest position under the urging of the actuator arm 183 and the start switch 180 will be reclosed. At this instant, the control circuit between the battery and the drive motor 155 is closed through start switch and the ready switch 190, whereby the drive motor 155 is energized and begins to rotate the shaft 121 of the dispensing roll 120 through the linkage provided by the gear 143 and the worm 154. The drive motor 155 is so arranged that when it is energized, the dispensing roll 120 will be rotated in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2, for thereby frictionally advancing the towel web 138 along an exit path through the dispensing opening 115. Simultaneously, the cam wheel 162 will be rotated in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 4, through the action of the pulley 165 and the drive belt 168. As the cam wheel 160 begins to rotate, the cam projection 163 is moved out of engagement with the actuator arm 188, for thereby permitting return of the stop switch 185 to its closed condition under the urging of the resilient actuator arm 188. This closure of the stop switch 185 provides a holding circuit in parallel with the ready switch for maintaining the drive motor 155 energized.

As the rotation of the cam wheel 160 continues, the cam pin 162 carries the lever arm 170 back upwardly to the position illustrated in phantom in FIG. 5. In order to accommodate that upward movement of the lever arm 170, the latch projection 166, which has now been returned to its feed position by return of the cutter carriage 140 to its normal rest position, is provided with the inclined face 167 to permit the pin 173 to be wedged upwardly past the latch projection 166. This upward cammed movement of the lever arm 170 causes the bearing surface 172 to move the actuator arm 193 in a manner to reopen the ready switch 190. However, the drive motor 155 is maintained energized by the holding circuit through the closed stop switch 185. As the rotation of the cam wheel 160 continues, the pin 162 moves past its apogee, thereby lowering the lever arm 170 until the stop pin 173 again engages the top of the latch projection 166 for supporting the lever arm 170 in its set configuration. The rotation of the cam wheel 160 will continue until the cam projection 163 has moved back into engagement with the actuator arm 188, at which point the stop switch 185 will be reopened for opening the control circuit and de-energizing the drive motor 155, thereby stopping the rotation of the cam wheel 160. At this point, all the parts of the control assembly 150 will have been returned to the set configuration thereof illustrated in FIG. 4.

The dimensions of the cam wheel 160 and the pulley 151 are such that during the one complete revolution of the cam wheel 160 just described, a predetermined length of towel web 138 sufficient for normal drying use will have been dispensed from the supply roll 130 by the rotation of the dispensing roll 120. When this exposed length of towel web 138 is torn off bythe next user, the dispensing cycle will be initiated and a new length of towel web 138 will be automatically dispensed in the manner described above. Thus, it will be appreciated that each time an exposed length of towel web 138 is severed, a new length thereof is automatically dispensed from the supply roll 130 to an exposed position for access by a user. Normally, the predetermined length of towel web dispensed during each dispensing operation will be set to permit effective drying by the user, while preventing wasteful use of towel. If it is desired to vary the length of towel web dispensed during each dispensing operation, the pulley 151 may be replaced by a pulley having a different diameter, thereby altering the number of rotations of the dispensing roll 120 for each rotation of cam wheel 160.

It is an important feature of this invention that, while the automatic dispensing operation is responsive to the tearing off of a previously dispensed length of towel web, the control assembly is so arranged that the dispensing operation cannot begin until the cutting operation is completed and the cutter carriage has been returned to its normal rest position. In this manner, it is impossible for the dispensing apparatus to jam as a result of the dispensing operation beginning before the previously dispensed length of towel web has been completely severed.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that there has been provided a novel paper towel dispenser for automatically dispensing predetermined lengths of paper towel. More particularly, there has been provided a dispenser of compact and economical construction and simple operation.

There has also been provided a novel dispensing apparatus including a control assembly for automatically dispensing a predetermined length of towel web in response to the tearing off of a previously dispensed length of towel web, but wherein the automatic dispensing operation does not begin until the severing of the previously dispensed length is completed.

There has also been provided a control assembly including a control circuit, and mechanical program apparatus for controlling the operation of the control circuit.

While there has been described what is at present considered to be the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that various modifications may be made therein and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A dispenser for dispensing a paper web from a supply roll thereof, said dispenser comprising a housing having a dispensing opening therein, roll support means mounted in said housing for rotatably supporting the associated supply roll, the paper web extending along an exit path from the associated supply roll through said dispensing opening and to an exposed position accessible to a user, dispensing apparatus mounted in said housing for intermittently advancing a predetermined length of towel web along said exit path, a cutting blade mounted on said housing for movement between a nor mal rest position and a web severing position, means yieldably biasing said cutting blade toward the normal rest position thereof, a manual cutting action by a user causing engagement of the web with said cutting blade for effecting movement thereof from the normal rest position thereof to the web severing position thereof, and control apparatus coupled to said dispensing apparatus and to said cutting blade and responsive to movement of said cutting blade from the normal rest position thereof to the severing position thereof during a manual cutting action followed by return of the cutting blade to the normal rest position thereof after severing of the web for actuating said dispensing apparatus to advance the web along said exit path, said control apparatus being responsive to operation of said dispensing apparatus in dispensing a predetermined length of web along said exit path for deactuating said dispensing apparatus, whereby severing of the web is automatically followed by the advance of a further predetermined length of web into the exposed position for severing and use.

2. The dispenser set forth in claim 1, wherein said dispensing apparatus includes a drive roll rotatably mounted in said housing for frictional engagement with the towel web, and a drive motor coupled to said drive roll for effecting rotation thereof.

3. The dispenser set forth in claim 1, and further including a carriage pivotally mounted in said housing and carrying said cutting blade thereon, pivotal movement of said carriage accommodating movement of said cutting blade between the normal rest position and the web severing position thereof.

4. The dispenser set forth in claim 1, wherein said dispensing apparatus is electrically operated, and saidllli an exit path from the associated supply roll through said dispensing opening and to an exposed position accessible to a user, an electrically operated dispensing apparatus mounted in said housing for intermittently advancing predetermined lengths of towel web along said exit path, a cutting blade mounted on said housing for movement between a normal rest position and a web severing position, means yieldably biasing said cutting blade toward the normal rest position thereof, a manual cutting action by a user causing engagement of the web with said cutting blade for effecting movement thereof from the normal rest position thereof to the web severing position thereof, a control circuit coupled to said dispensing apparatus and including a normally closed start switch and a normally open ready switch connected in series between said dispensing apparatus and an associated source of electric power for normally maintaining said dispensing apparatus de-energized, and program apparatus coupled to said cutting blade and to said control circuit for controlling the operation thereof, said program apparatus being responsive to movement of said cutting blade to the severing position thereof during a manual cutting action for closing said ready switch and opening said start switch to place said control circuit in a ready condition, said program apparatus being responsive to movement of said cutting blade back to the normal rest position thereof after severing of the web for reclosing said start switch thereby to energize said dispensing apparatus, said program apparatus being responsive to operation of said dispensing apparatus for reopening said ready switch for another dispensing cycle and for de-energizing said dispensing apparatus after a predetermined length of web has been dispensed along said exit path, whereby severing of the web is automatically followed by the advance of a further predetermined length of web into the exposed position for severing and use.

6. The dispenser set forth in claim 5, wherein said start switch includes a resilient actuating arm coupled to said cutting blade for normally biasing said start switch open and urging said cutting blade toward the normal rest position thereof.

7. The dispenser set forth in claim 5, wherein said dispensing apparatus includes a drive roll rotatably mounted in said housing for frictional engagement with the towel web, and an electric drive motor coupled to said drive roll for effecting rotation thereof.

8. The dispenser set forth in claim 5, wherein said dispensing apparatus includes a drive roll rotatably mounted in said housing for frictional engagement with the towel web, and an electric drive motor coupled to said drive roll for effecting rotation thereof, said drive motor being adapted for battery powered operation.

9. A dispenser for dispensing a paper web from a supply roll thereof, said dispenser comprising a housing having a dispensing opening therein, roll support means mounted in said housing for rotatably supporting the associated supply roll, the paper web extending along an exit path from the associated supply roll through said dispensing opening and to an exposed position accessible to a user, an electrically operated dispensing apparatus mounted in said housing for intermittently advancing predetermined lengths of towel web along said exit path, a cutting blade mounted on said housing for movement between a normal rest position and a web severing position, means yieldably biasing said cutting blade toward the normal rest position thereof, a manual cutting action by a user causing engagement of the web with said cutting blade for effecting movement thereof from the normal rest position thereof to the web severing position thereof, control circuit coupled to said dispensing apparatus and including a normally closed start switch and a normally open ready switch connected in series between said dispensing apparatus and an associated source of electric power for normally maintaining said dispensing apparatus de-energized, and an actuating member coupled to said ready switch and movable between a set configuration and a run configuration for respectively opening and closing said ready switch, said actuating member being normally biased toward the run configuration thereof, trigger mechanism coupled to said cutting blade and to said start switch and to said actuating member for releasably holding said actuating member in the set configuration thereof when said cutting blade is in the normal rest position thereof with said dispensing apparatus de-energized, said trigger mechanism being responsive to movement of said cutting blade to the severing position thereof during a manual cutting action for opening said start switch and for releasing said actuating member to the run configuration thereof thereby to close said ready switch, said trigger mechanism being responsive to movement of said cutting blade back to the normal rest position thereof after severing of the web for reclosing said start switch thereby to energize said dispensing apparatus, and reset mechanism coupled to said dispensing apparatus and having a camming surface mounted for camming engagement with said actuating member, said reset mechanism being responsive to operation of said dispensing apparatus for effecting a cammed movement of said actuating member back to the set configuration thereof and for de-energizing said dispensing apparatus after a predetermined length of web has been dispensed along said exit path, whereby severing of the web is automatically followed by the advance of a further predetermined length of web into the exposed position for severing and use.

10. The dispenser set forth in claim 9, wherein said actuating member comprises an elongated arm pivotally mounted at one end thereof and having a bearing surface thereon disposed for engagement with said ready switch, said trigger mechanism including a carriage pivotally mounted in said housing and carrying said cutting blade thereon, said carriage being disposed in engagement with said start switch for opening and closing thereof in response to pivotal movement of said carriage, and a latch lever coupled to said carriage and pivotally movable therewith between a latching position for holding said actuating member in the set configuration thereof and a releasing position for releasing said actuating member from the set configuration thereof.

11. The dispenser set forth in claim 9, wherein said actuating member comprises an elongated arm pivotally mounted at one end thereof and having a bearing surface thereon disposed for engagement with said ready switch, said trigger mechanism including a carriage pivotally mounted in said housing and carrying said cutting blade thereon, said carriage being disposed in engagement with said start switch for opening and closing thereof in response to pivotal movement of said carriage, and a latch lever coupled to said carriage and pivotally movable therewith between a latching position for holding said actuating member in the set configuration thereof and a releasing position for releasing said actuating member from the set configuration thereof, said reset mechanism comprising a cam wheel having a cam member extending laterally outwardly therefrom, said cam member engaging and supporting said actuating member in the run configuration thereof for effecting a cammed movement of said actuating member back to the set configuration thereof as said cam wheel rotates in response to operation of said dispensing apparatus.

12. The dispenser set forth in claim 9, wherein said dispensing apparatus includes a drive roll rotatably mounted in said housing for frictional engagement with the towel web, and an electric drive motor coupled to said drive roll for effecting rotation thereof, said reset mechanism comprising a cam wheel coupled to said drive roll for rotation therewith by said drive motor.

13. The dispenser set forth in claim 9, wherein said actuating member is biased by gravity toward the run configuration thereof.

14. A dispenser for dispensing a paper web from a supply roll thereof, said dispenser comprising a housing having a dispensing opening therein, roll support means mounted in said housing for-rotatably supporting the associated supply roll, the paper web extending along an exit path from the associated supplyroll through said dispensing opening and to an exposed position accessible to a user, an electrically operated dispensing apparatus mounted in said housing for intermittently advancing'predetermined lengths of towel web along said exit path, a cutting blade mounted on said housing for movement between a normal rest position and a web severing position, means yieldably biasing said cutting blade toward the normal rest position thereof, a manual cutting action by a user causing engagement of the web with said cutting blade for effecting movement thereof from the normal rest position thereof to the web severing position thereof, a control circuit coupled to said dispensing apparatus and to said cutting blade and including a normally closed start switch and a normally open ready switch connected in series between said dispensing apparatus and an associated source of electric power and a normally open stop switch connected in parallel with said ready switch all for normally maintaining said dispensing apparatus de-energized, and program apparatus coupled to said cutting blade and to said control circuit for controlling the operation thereof, said program apparatus being responsive to movement of said cutting blade to the severing position thereof during a manual cutting action for closing said ready switch and opening said start switch to place said control circuit in a ready condition, said program apparatus being responsive to movement of said cutting blade back to the normal rest position thereof after severing of the web for reclosing said start switch thereby to energize said dispensing apparatus, said program apparatus being responsive to operation of said dispensing apparatus for sequentially closing said stop switch and then opening said ready switch and then reopening said stop switch for de-energizing said drive motor after a predetermined length of web has been dispensed along said exit path, whereby severing of the web is automatically followed by the advance of a further predetermined length of web into the exposed position for severing and use.

15. The dispenser set forth in claim 14, and further including means biasing said stop switch toward the closed condition thereof, said program apparatus normally holding said stop switch in the open condition thereof against the urging of said stop switch bias means when said dispensing apparatus is de-energized.

16. A dispenser for dispensing a paper web from a supply roll thereof, said dispenser comprising a housing having a dispensing opening therein, roll support means mounted in said housing for rotatably supporting the associated supply roll, the paper web extending along an exit path from the associated supply roll through said dispensing opening and to an exposed position accessible to a user, an electrically operated dispensing apparatus mounted in said housing for intermittently advancing predetermined lengths of towel web along said exit path, a cutting blade mounted on said housing for movement between a normal rest position and a web severing position, means yieldably biasing said cutting blade toward the normal rest position thereof, a manual cutting action by a user causing engagement of the web with said cutting blade for effecting movement thereof from the normal rest position thereof to the web severing position thereof, a control circuit coupled to said dispensing apparatus and to said cutting blade and including a normally closed start switch and a normally open ready switch connected in series between said dispensing apparatus and an associated source of electric power and a normally open stop switch connected in parallel with said ready switch all for normally maintaining said dispensing apparatus de-energized, and an actuating member coupled to said ready switch and movable between a set configuration and a run configuration for respectively opening and closing said ready switch, trigger mechanism coupled to said cutting blade and to said start switch and to said actuating member for releasably holding said actuating member in the set configuration thereof when said cutting blade is in the normal rest position thereof with said dispensing apparatus de-energized, said trigger mechanism being responsive to movement of said cutting blade to the severing position thereof during a manual cutting action for opening said start switch and for releasing said actuating member to the run configuration thereof thereby to close said ready switch, said trigger mechanism being responsive to movement of said cutting blade back to the normal rest position thereof after severing of the web for reclosing said start switch thereby to energize said dispensing apparatus, and reset mechanism coupled to said dispensing apparatus and having two camming surfaces respectively mounted for camming engagement with said actuating member and said stop switch, said reset mechanism being responsive to operation of said dispensing ap paratus for sequentially effecting a cammed closing of said stop switch and then a cammed movement of said actuating member back to the set configuration thereof for reopening said ready switch and then a cammed reopening of said stop switch for de-energizing said drive motor after a predetermined length of web has been dispensed along said exit path, whereby severing of the web is automatically followed by the advance of a further predetermined length of web into the exposed position for severing and use.

17. The dispenser set forth in claim 16, wherein said actuating member comprises an elongated arm pivotally mounted at one end thereof and having a bearing surface thereon disposed for engagement with said ready switch, said trigger mechanism including a carriage pivotally mounted in said housing and carrying said cutting blade thereon, said carriage being disposed in engagement with said start switch for opening and closing thereof in response to pivotal movement of said carriage, and a latch lever coupled to said carriage and pivotally movable therewith between a latching position for holding said actuating member in the set configuration thereof and a releasing position for releasing said actuating member from the set configuration thereof.

18. The dispenser set forth in claim 16, wherein said actuating member comprises an elongated arm pivotally mounted at one end thereof and having a bearing surface thereon disposed for engagement with said ready switch, said trigger mechanism including a carriage pivotally mounted in said housing and carrying said cutting blade thereon, said carriage being disposed in engagement with said start switch for opening and closing thereof in response to pivotal movement of said carriage, and a latch lever coupled to said carriage and pivotally movable therewith between a latching position for holding said actuating member in the set configuration thereof and a releasing position for releasing said actuating member from the set configuration thereof, said reset mechanism comprising a cam wheel having a cam member extending laterally outwardly therefrom, said cam member engaging and supporting said actuating member in the run configuration thereof for effecting a cammed movement of said actuating member back to the set configuration thereof as said cam wheel rotates in response to operation of said dispensing apparatus.

19. The dispenser set forth in claim 16, wherein said actuating member comprises an elongated arm pivotally mounted at one end thereof and having a bearing surface thereon disposed for engagement with said ready switch, said trigger mechanism including a carriage pivotally mounted in said housing and carrying said cutting blade thereon, said carriage being disposed in engagement with said start switch for opening and closing thereofin response to pivotal movement of said carriage, and a latch lever coupled to said carriage and pivotally movable therewith between a latching position for holding said actuating member in the set condis ensin apparatus, said second cam member no rma ly ho ding said stop switch open when said dispensing apparatus is de-energized and being movable in response to initiation of rotation of said cam wheel for closing said stop switch, said second cam member reopening said stop switch after one complete revolution of said cam wheel for thereby de-energizing said dispensing apparatus.

20. A dispenser for dispensing a paper web from a supply roll thereof, said dispenser comprising a housing having a dispensing opening therein, roll support means mounted in said housing for rotatably supporting the associated supply roll, the paper web extending along an exit path from the associated supply roll through said dispensing opening and to an exposed position accessible to a user, dispensing apparatus mounted in said housing for intermittently advancing a predetermined length of towel web along said exit path, cutting means mounted on said housing and including a member movable between a normal rest position and a websevering position, means yieldably biasing said movable member toward the normal rest position thereof, a manual cutting action by a user causing engagement of the web with said movable member for effecting movement thereof from the normal rest position thereof to the web severing position thereof, and control apparatus coupled to said dispensing apparatus and to said movable member and responsive to movement of said movable member from the normal rest position thereof to the severing position thereof during a manual cutting action followed by return of the mova ble member to the normal rest position thereof after severing of the web for actuating said dispensing apparatus to advance the web along said exit path, said control apparatus being responsive to operation of said dispensing apparatus in dispensing a predetermined length of web along said exit path for deactuating said dispensing apparatus, whereby severing of the web is automatically followed by the advance of a further predetermined length of web into the exposed position for severing and use.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification225/14, 225/10
International ClassificationA47K10/36, A47K10/24
Cooperative ClassificationA47K10/36, A47K10/3631
European ClassificationA47K10/36