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Publication numberUS3893738 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 8, 1975
Filing dateApr 30, 1973
Priority dateApr 30, 1973
Also published asCA998019A, CA998019A1, DE2420490A1, DE2420490B2
Publication numberUS 3893738 A, US 3893738A, US-A-3893738, US3893738 A, US3893738A
InventorsBahnsen Erwin B
Original AssigneeSteiner American Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Retractable towel cabinet
US 3893738 A
Abstract
There is disclosed a toweling dispenser of the continuous type having a housing with a loop of toweling that extends along an exit path from a clean towel supply within the housing to an exposed use position accessible to the user, and thence along a return path through a soiled toweling accumulation chamber to a soiled toweling storage position within the housing, the dispenser having drive mechanism interconnecting a dispensing mechanism and a take-up mechanism that takes up soiled toweling from the loop and into the accumulation chamber after completion of the operation of the dispensing mechanism and a collecting mechanism that takes soiled toweling from the accumulation chamber into the storage position during operation of the dispensing mechanism, all under the control of a time-stop mechanism. The drive mechanism includes a preloaded constant torque spring motor which is wound during operation of the dispensing and collecting mechanisms and is unwound after timing out of the time stop mechanism to drive the take-up mechanism for taking up from the loop at least as much toweling as was dispensed during the dispensing portion of the cycle. The spring motor is designed to be wound more than it is unwound during each dispensing cycle so as to be completely wound after a predetermined number of cycles to provide sufficient power for completely retracting the training end of the exhausted soiled towel roll, a slip clutch preventing overwinding of the spring motor. Two embodiments are disclosed, in one of which the components are uniquely arranged to minimize the depth of the housing.
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United States Patent Bahnsen RETRACTABLE TOWEL CABINET [75] lnventor: Erwin B. Bahnsen, Oak Brook, 11].

[73] Assignee: Steiner American Corporation, Salt Lake City, Utah 22 Filed: Apr. 30, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 356,042

3,506,320 4/1970 Howlett 312/38 3,563,623 2/1971 Walton 3l2/38 3,728,001 4/1973 Bahnsen................................ 312/38 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Attorney, Agent, or FirmPrangley, Dithmar, Vogel, Sandler & Stotland [57] ABSTRACT There is disclosed a toweling dispenser of the continuous type having a housing with a loop of toweling that extends along an exit path from a clean towel supply within the housing to an exposed use position accessible to the user, and thence along a return path through a soiled toweling accumulation chamber to a soiled toweling storage position within the housing, the dispenser having drive mechanism interconnecting a dispensing mechanism and a take-up mechanism that takes up soiled toweling from the loop and into the accumulation chamber after completion of the operation of the dispensing mechanism and a collecting mechanism that takes soiled toweling from the accumulation chamber into the storage position during operation of the dispensing mechanism, all under the control of a time-stop mechanism. The drive mechanism includes a preloaded constant torque spring motor which is wound during operation of the dispensing and collecting mechanisms and is unwound after timing out of the time stop mechanism to drive the take-up mechanism for taking up from the loop at least as much toweling as was dispensed during the dispensing portion of the cycle. The spring motor is designed to be wound more than it is unwound during each dispensing cycle so as to be completely wound after a predetermined number of cycles to provide sufficient power for completely retracting the training end of the exhausted soiled towel roll, a slip clutch preventing overwinding of the spring motor. Two embodiments are disclosed, in one of which the components are uniquely arranged to minimize the depth of the housing.

9 Claims, 24 Drawing Figures 3.893.738 SHEET 80! 9 20 400 FIG. 2/

1 RETRACTABLE TOWEL CABINET The present invention relates generally to improvements in dispensing mechanisms, and more particularly to improvements in the construction and operation of toweling dispensers, which improvements are especially well-adapted for use and incorporation in toweling dispensers of the continuous type, wherein the toweling is made available to the user in the form of a loop of toweling located, in most cases, beneath the dispenser structure.

It has heretofore been known in towel-dispensing cabinets and dispensers of the continuous-toweling type to provide a dispensing cabinet having provided therein a supply roll of clean toweling in which the toweling itself may be as much as 50 yards long. The roll of clean toweling is suitably supported in the dispensing cabinet for rotation or for rolling rotation, so that the clean toweling may be progressively fed from the roll thereof. In such dispensers the clean toweling is com monly fed out of the front portion of the cabinet into a toweling loop which hangs beneath the cabinet structure, the front or forward leg of the loop presenting toweling to the user in what may be considered a use position, with the loop having a rear leg which extends upwardly into the dispenser cabinet structure and passes upwardly therein through a suitable opening provided in the bottom of the cabinet adjacent its rear. An example ofsuch prior dispensers may be seen in the US. Pat. to R. L. Steiner and E. B. Bahnsen, No. 3,502,383. ln most of the prior toweling dispensers of the type just referred to, the clean toweling, from the supply thereof, is withdrawn from the cabinet by the operator who grips the forward leg of the depending loop and pulls downwardly thereon.

The soiled toweling loop is automatically withdrawn from its use position when a user has completed his drying operation, thereby avoiding the unpleasant appearance of exposed soiled toweling and avoiding the tendency for the next user to handle or use the previouslysoiled toweling. The arrangement is such as to permit the next user of the dispenser to grip only clean toweling preparatory to his withdrawal of additional clean toweling from the dispenser, and to permit the user, simultaneously with his withdrawal of clean toweling, also to withdraw, from a retracted and storage position within the dispenser. a length of previously-used toweling, so that the loop which will thereupon depend below the dispenser will be comprised in its front leg of clean and fresh toweling, with at least a portion of the back leg of the loop being comprised of soiled toweling, the soiled portion of the depending loop being in the upper portion of the rear leg of the loop where it is not likely to be handled by the user.

In the toweling dispenser of US. Pat. No. 3,502,383, means are provided whereby the soiled toweling is taken up simultaneously with, but at a rate more rapid than, the dispensing ofthe clean toweling, and wherein the soiled toweling take-up is interrupted if the length of the toweling loops drops below a predetermined minimum length. in order to maintain the net length of the loop substantially constant. However, this constant length loop feature required complicated mechanism which had a number of disadvantages. This mechanism included a plurality of rollers over and under which the soiled toweling was passed in a sinuous path, some of the rollers being movable with respect to the others for varying the length of the sinuous path. During each dispensing operation. a portion of the soiled toweling in the sinuous path was taken up on to the soiled towel storage roller and a portion was pulled out into the exposed portion of the loop, thereby shortening the sinu' ous path and pulling the movable rollers to a latched position closely adjacent to the other rollers. The movable rollers remained in this latched position until timing out of the time-stop mechanism, at which time the movable rollers were released and fell away from the latched position under the action of gravity to lengthen the sinuous path and pull the soiled toweling from the loop up into the housing.

However, the users of the dispensers often found that the length of the loops of toweling available for use. gradually lengthened or gradually shortened during the successive dispensing operations, due to the facts that toweling of different materials or different surface conditions would coact differently with the measuring rolls and the take-up drive rolls to cause different amounts of slippage, and that the toweling material would tend to vary in length during use due to wetting and drying of the fabrics. Thus, for example, if the toweling were to shorten or contract during use. this would limit the amount of soiled toweling available to be pulled up into the sinuous path and thereby limit the distance that the movable rollers could fall. Accordingly, during subsequent dispensing operations, the length of soiled toweling in the sinuous path would not be sufficient to ad commodate pulling a portion thereof into the exposed loop and still leave a length to be taken up on to the storage roll which was equal in length to the amount to be dispensed, whereby the dispensing mechanism would lock up prior to dispensing of the desired length of clean toweling.

On the other hand, if the toweling were to stretch or lengthen during use, it would tend to accumulate outside the housing and lengthen the exposed loop because the distance that the movable rollers could fall and, therefore, the length of the sinuous path, was limited by the dimensions of the housing.

Furthermore, as a result of such lengthening or as a result of the user pulling the clean toweling from the dispenser without simultaneously pulling soiled toweling from the sinuous path, it was possible that during a dispensing operation the movable rollers would not be moved all the way up to their latched position. Accordingly, as soon as the user released the clean toweling the movable rollers would fall back and pull the soiled toweling up into the sinuous path before the user had an opportunity to complete his use of the towel.

Another disadvantage of this dispenser was the fact that when the clean towel supply was exhausted, the moving arm mechanism frequently did not fall far enough to completely withdraw the trailing end of the soiled toweling into the housing.

Therefore, it was considered desirable to have a powered soiled towel take-up mechanism which had build in capacity sufficient to accommodate any lengthening of the toweling and to insure complete withdrawal of the trailing end of the exhausted towel roll, and which could not be defeated by failure of the user to pull the proper amount of soiled toweling out into the loop during a dispensing operation. Further, it was desired to have a mechanism wherein the length of toweling taken up on to the storage roll during each dispensing operation was not dependent upon the accumulated length 3 of soiled toweling within the housing ahead of the storage roll.

The US. Pat. to A.C. Grunwald No. 1,993,882 provided a towel-dispensing apparatus having a compression spring-powered take-up mechanism for retracting the trailing end of the exhausted supply of toweling. However, the Grunwald spring-driven apparatus was designed for operation only at the end of the towel roll for the sole purpose of pulling up the last portion of the exposed soiled toweling loop and did not operate during each dispensing cycle. Furthermore, the Grunwald apparatus did not completely pull the trailing end of the exhausted toweling supply up into the dispenser, but rather only pulled the terminal portion of the loop tight up against the bottom of the dispenser. lt was necessary for an attendant to then manually remove the trailing end of the toweling from the housing and manually wind it up on to the storage roll and then manually reset the spring take-up mechanism.

The British Pat. No. 1,137,003 disclosed a towel dispenser wherein soiled toweling was collected on a storage roll simultaneously with the dispensing of clean towelin g, which dispensing operation also served simultaneously to wind a helical spring motor coupled to a take-up roller which was latched against rotatation during the dispensing operation. When the user released the clean toweling after extracting it from the housing, the take-up roller was unlatched and driven by the wound spring motor to take up the soiled toweling into an accumulation area in the housing for collection on the storage roll during the next dispensing operation. However, in the device of the British patent, the user was constantly working against the spring-driven takeup roller since, as soon as he stopped pulling clean toweling from the cabinet, the take-up roller would immediately withdraw the soiled toweling from the loop into the housing, Thus, the user had to maintain a constant pulling force on the clean toweling during use to prevent the towel loop from being withdrawn by the takeup mechanism. Furthermore, the British patent provided no means for preventing overwinding of the spring motor.

It is a general object of the present invention to provide a towel dispenser which avoids these disadvantages in the prior devices. More particularly, in the present invention there is provided a spring motordriven soiled toweling take-up apparatus which operates after timing out of the time stop mechanism for taking up the exposed loop of soiled toweling into a soiled toweling accumulation chamber in the cabinet, the soiled toweling then being collected from this chamber onto a storage roll simultaneously with the dispensing of clean toweling during the next dispensing operation. The present invention is designed to accommodate any lengthening or shortening in the exposed towel loop during use and to insure complete retraction of the trailing end of the exhausted towel supply, all by the use of a simple and economical and trouble free mechanism.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide in a toweling dispenser of the continuous type having a housing with a loop of toweling that extends along an exit path from a clean toweling supply within the housing and into an exposed use position exteriorly of the housing accessible to a user and thence along a return path through a soiled toweling accumulation chamber to a soiled toweling storage position within 4 the housing, the combination comprising: dispensing mechanism within the housing for dispensing a length of clean toweling from the clean toweling supply into the toweling loop along the exit path and into use position exteriorly of the housing when the accessible portion of the toweling loop is pulled by a user, take-up mechanism within the housing for taking up soiled toweling from the toweling loop along the return path and into the soiled toweling accumulation chamber, collecting mechanism within the housing for taking soiled toweling from the soiled toweling accumulation chamber into the soiled toweling storage position within the housing, drive mechanism interconnecting the dispensing mechanism and the collecting mechanism and the take-up mechanism, and time-stop mechanism for controlling the time interval between successive operations of the dispensing mechanism and for controlling initiation of the operation of the take-up mechanism, the drive mechanism causing the collecting mechanism during operation of the dispensing mechanism to operate to take toweling from the soiled toweling accumulation chamber into the soiled toweling storage position and causing the take-up mechanism after completion of the operation of the dispensing mechanism and release by the time-stop mechanism to operate the take-up mechanism to take up all slack in the toweling between the clean toweling supply and the take-up mechanism.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a toweling dispenser of the type set forth, wherein the take-up mechanism comprises a lift roller, and a power driven motor mounted in the housing and connected through a clutch to the lift roller, the drive mechanism interconnecting the dispensing mechanism and the collecting mechanism and the motor and causing the motor to be energized during operation of the dispensing mechanism, the time stop mechanism controlling the clutch to cause the energized motor to drive the lift roller to take up all slack in the toweling between the clean toweling supply and the lift roller.

in connection with the foregoing object, another object of this invention is to provide a toweling dispenser of the type set forth, which includes a toweling breaker between the lift roller and the collecting mechanism to smooth and straighten the soiled toweling prior to feeding thereof into the collecting mechanism, the path for soiled toweling between the use position and the lift roller being unobstructed to permit unhindered movement of the soiled toweling therebetween.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a toweling dispenser of the type set forth, wherein the motor is a spring driven motor mounted in the housing and having an input for winding the spring and an output connected through a first clutch to the lift roller and a second clutch between the input and the output permitting the spring to be wound to a predetermined extent and thereafter preventing further winding of the spring.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a compact relatively flat toweling dispenser of the type set forth, wherein the housing has a clean towelin g bed in the lower end thereof and soiled toweling compartment in the upper end thereof and a mechanism compartment and a soiled toweling accumulation compartment both disposed above the clean toweling bed and below the soiled toweling compartment, the front and rear walls of the housing being spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the diameter of a full roll of soiled toweling, the dispensing mechanism and the take-up mechanism and the collecting mechanism and the drive mechanism all being disposed in the mechanism compartment.

Further features of the invention pertain to the particular arrangement of the parts of the toweling 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 front perspective view of a toweling dispenser of the continuous-toweling type constructed in accordance with and embodying the features of a first embodiment of the present invention, the dispenser being shown in its normal use condition, with a loop of toweling being represented in its use position by broken lines beneath the dispenser;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged view in vertical section taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. I, with portion of the mechanism side plate broken away more clearly to show the drive mechanism, and with the lift roller and clutch mechanism therefor being illustrated in phantom;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the toweling dispenser illustrated in FIG. 2, with the cover in the open position and partially broken away;

FIG. 4 is a further enlarged fragmentary side elevational view of the right hand mechanism side plate of the toweling dispenser of FIG. 1, showing the time-stop mechanism in its side elevation;

FIG. 5 is a further enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 4 showing a portion of a time-stop mechanism;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 3 and illustrating the drive mechanism and clutch mechanism for the lift roller;

FIG. 7 is a further enlarged fragmentary view in vertical section taken along the line 77 in FIG. 6 and illustrating the spring motor and its connection to the soiled toweling collecting drive roller;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of the soiled toweling collecting drive roller, showing the projections thereon for coupling to the spring motor of FIG.

FIG. 9 is a view in vertical section taken along the line 9-9 in FIG. 7 and illustrating the coil spring and clutch coil of the spring motor in its normal rest position prior to the beginning of a dispensing operation;

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 9, showing the spring motor in a wound condition after a dispensing operation and before timing out of the time-stop mechanism;

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 9, and showing the spring motor in a fully wound position after a series of dispensing operations, and showing the clutch coil pulled away from the spring motor case to demonstrate the slip clutch action;

FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 9 with the coil spring removed, more clearly to show the structure of the spring mandrel, and illustrating an optional frictional lining on the inner surface of the case for cooperation with the clutch coil;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a first method of joining the motor spring to the clutch coil by a rivet;

FIG. 14 is a view similar to FIG. 13, showing an alternative method of joining the motor spring to the clutch coil;

FIG. 15 is a schematic vertical cross-section of the toweling dispenser of FIG. 1, with the right hand side of the cabinet removed, to show the position of the principal parts of the dispenser in their normal condition before a dispensing operation has been initiated;

FIG. 16 is a view similar to FIG. I5, but schematically showing the internal parts of the dispenser in the positions occupied thereby while a user is withdrawing from the cabinet the full toweling loop for use purposes, and before the time-stop mechanism is timed out;

FIG. 17 is a view similar to FIG. 16, but showing the parts of the dispenser after the time-stop mechanism has timed out and the parts of the dispenser have moved back toward their normal or rest positions shown in FIG. 15, and the loop of toweling being retracted during this movement;

FIG. 18 is a view similar to FIG. 17, but showing the toweling loop fully retracted into the accumulation chamber. with the parts in position for the beginning of the next dispensing operation;

FIG. 19 is an enlarged schematic view similar to FIG. 15, but showing the mechanism side plates pivoted forwardly to a loading configuration for loading of a new clean towel supply roll into the clean toweling bed, and illustrating the path of the towel web in loading the mechanism;

FIG. 20 is a side elevational view of a toweling dispenser constructed in accordance with and embodying the features of a second embodiment of the present invention, with the cabinet shown in its normal use position and with the toweling web illustrated in broken lines below the dispenser in its normal use position;

FIG. 21 is an enlarged vertical cross-sectional view of the toweling dispenser of FIG. 20, with the front of the cabinet disposed to the left, and illustrating the internal mechanism of the dispenser, with portions of the lift roller and clutch mechanism which are disposed in the right hand portion of the dispenser illustrated in phantorn;

FIG. 22 is a view in horizontal section taken along the line 2222 in FIG. 21, with portions of the toweling breaker and shield broken away more clearly to show the mechanism;

FIG. 23 is a reduced schematic view in vertical crosssection, similar to FIG. 21, and showing the path of the towel web and the accumulation thereof in the accumulation chamber; and

FIG. 24 is a view similar to FIG. 23, but with the cabinet cover open and with the mechanism pivoted outwardly to a loading configuration to facilitate loading a new clean towel supply roll into the dispenser.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 19 of the drawings, the structure and operation of the first embodiment of the toweling dispenser of the present invention will be described. It will be understood that much of the dispenser mechanism is identical to that which was disclosed in the aforementioned US. Pat. No. 3,502,383 and, accordingly, only so much of those identical portions as are necessary to an understanding of the present invention will be described herein, full details of the structure and operation of these common parts being disclosed in the US. Pat. No. 3,502,383, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

As illustrated in the drawings, the towel dispenser of the present invention is in the form of a dispensing cabinet 100 that is generally box-shaped and is equipped to dispense clean toweling 50 from a supply position to a use position and thence through a soiled toweling accumulation chamber to a soiled toweling storage position as is diagrammatically illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 15 through 18 in the drawings. As seen in FIGS. 2 and 15, the clean toweling is in the form ofa supply roll 51 disposed in the lower portion of the dispensing cabinet 100, a reach 52 of clean toweling being withdrawn from the underside thereof and passed through a dis pensing mechanism I and thence downwardly to a use position past a spacing member 125, the reach 52 having side edges 53 and 54 in position to be grasped by a user beneath the spacing member 125. Disposed rearwardly or to the right from the reach 52 of clean toweling is a reach 55 of soiled toweling that is exposed to the underside of the cabinet 100 but positioned within a channel on the underside thereof which tends to conceal the reach 55 and to prevent uninten tional contact thereof by a user. From the rear end of the reach 55 of soiled toweling extends a vertical reach 56 of soiled toweling directed upwardly into the dispensing cabinet 100 at the rear thereof and passing over a lift or take up roller 13S and connecting with a U-shaped reach 57 of soiled toweling extending downwardly into a soiled toweling accumulation chamber 160 and thence upwardly over a breaker 144 where it joins a final reach 58 of soiled toweling extending to the underside of a soiled toweling storage roll 59 disposed in the upper portion of the dispensing cabinet 100.

Considering now the details of construction of the dispensing cabinet 100, there are provided two side walls 101 and 102 formed of plastic or metal or other suitable material, the side walls 101 and 102 having the general shape illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3 and being identical in construction to each other except that one is the mirror image of the other. The side walls 101 and 102 are joined by a vertically arranged metallic rear wall 104 along the rear edges thereof, suitable fasteners such as rivets joining the side walls l0ll02 to the rear wall I04. The rear wall 104 may be provided with a plurality of stud openings or the like (not shown) by which the cabinet 100 may be removably mounted upon a wall or other support structure. Covering the top of the dispensing mechanism 100 and the front thereof is a cover 105, preferably formed of metal, and including a top portion 106 and a front portion 107, the portions 106 and 107 being provided with side flanges [08 on either side thereof and disposed normal thereto and overlying adjacent portions of the side walls 10] and 102 when the cover [05 is in the closed position thereof. The lower edge of the cover 105 carries a rearwardly directed flange 109 thereon and the upper edge of the cover 105 is hingedly connected to the upper edge of the rear wall 105 as by a piano hinge 110.

There is provided at the bottom of the dispensing cabinet 100 a bottom plate or floor plate 111 (see FIG. 2) arranged generally horizontally and extending the width of the cabinet 100 with the rear edge spaced forwardly of the rear wall 104, and having the side edges thereof secured to the side walls 101 and 102, respectively. It will be noted that the side walls 101 and 102 extend downwardly below the floor plate 111 and more particularly carry thereon downwardly extending curved members 113 and 114, respectively, which define therebetween the channel 115 referred to hereinabove.

The forward edge of the floor plate 111 terminates a substantial distance from the front portion 107 of the cover 105 and carries thereon an upwardly extending flange 121 which in turn carrries on the upper edge thereof a forwardly directed and upwardly inclined ledge 122. Integral with the ledge 122 and extending downwardly therefrom substantially normal to the plane of the floor plate 111 is a spacing member 125 that has been referred to hereinabove, the spacing member 125 serving to hold the reach 52 of clean toweling disposed forwardly of the channel 115 in a position such that a user can grasp the edges 53 and 54 thereof during the pulling of a length of clean toweling from the supply roll 51, all as will be explained more fully hereinafter. In passing it is pointed out that the edges of the reach 55 of soiled toweling are covered by the curved members 113 and H4 and are not in a position accidentally to be touched by the hands of the user. The ledge 122 may also carry thereon a lock (not shown) which is key operated and is connected to linkages and latches of common and well-known construction (not illustrated), which may cooperate with the cover 105 of the cabinet 100 to secure the cover 105 in the closed position.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, there are illustrated mechanism support brackets and 140 which are respectively mounted on the lefthand and righthand sides of the cabinet 100, as viewed from the front, the brackets 130 and 140 being disposed respectively adjacent to the side walls 101 and 102. The mechanism support bracket 130 has the general shape illustrated in FIG. 2 and includes a mounting flange 131 at the rear thereof disposed normal thereto and lying against the rear wall 104 and suitably secured thereto as by rivets. The rear portion of the bracket 130 carries an opening in which is supported one end of the lift or take-up roller 135 referred to hereinabove. The support bracket is identical in construction to the support bracket 130, except that it is formed as the mirror image thereof, whereby like numbers in the 140 series of numbers have been applied to those parts which corre spond to the above described parts in the 130 series of numbers.

It will be understood that the support brackets I30 and 140 support therebetween the lift roller 135 for totation about a transverse axis. Mounted on the lift roller I35 adjacent to the mechanism support bracket 140 and spaced a predetermined distance inwardly thereof is a sprocket 136 having a hub I37 fixedly secured to the lift roller 135 and peripheral teeth 138. The support brackets 130 and 140 also support the breaker 144 mentioned above, the breaker 144 being mounted substantially parallel to the lift roller 135 forwardly thereof, and being substantially V-shaped in transverse cross section.

Mounted directly above the lift roller 135 and centrally thereof is a pressure roller 145 which is preferably substantially shorter than the lift roller 135 and is provided at the opposite ends thereof with lugs X45 respectively rotatably journaled in bearings in a pair of mounting arms 147 which are pivotally mounted on the rear wall 104 of the cabinet X00. In use, the pressure roller 145 cooperates with the lift roller 135 for press ing the soiled toweling web therebetween to facilitate the frictional engagement of the towel web with the left roller 135. The pressure roller 145 may be urged by gravity against the surface of the lift roller 135 or. if desired, may be urged into engagement therewith by a suitable spring bias mechanism (not shown). The pressure roller 145 is pivotally movable upwardly away from the lift roller 135 by means of the pivoting arms 147 to facilitate feeding of the towel web over the lift roller 135 during loading of a new clean towel supply into the cabinet 100, as will be described more fully hereinafter.

The dispensing cabinet 100 also includes a tiltable mechanism frame generally designated by the numeral 170, which frame 170 is also pivotally supported upon the support brackets 130 and 140. As is best illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4, the frame 170 includes two side plates 17] and 172 formed substantially identical to each other, but as mirror images one of the other, the shape of the side plate 171 being illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings and the shape of the side plate 172 being generally illustrated in FIG. 4 of the drawings. The side plates 171 and 172 are connected by a cross member 174. Also provided and extending between the side plates 171 and 172 is a cross rod (not shown), the cross member 174 and the cross rod assisting in holding the side plates 171 and 172 in substantially parallel relationship to provide the removable mechanism frame 170.

In order to mount the frame 170 on the support brackets [30 and 140, the side plates 17] and 172 are provided respectively with pivot lugs 178 and 179, respectively pivotally mounted on the support brackets 130 and 140, the side plates 171 and 172 also being respectively provided with outwardly directed handle flanges 176 and 177 to facilitate pivoting of the frame 170 forwardly from the cabinet 100 to the position illustrated in FIG. 19 for loading clean toweling into the cabinet 100 as will be described more fully below.

Forming a part of the dispensing cabinet 100 and supported upon the removable mechanism frame 170 is a toweling dispensing mechanism 180, the details of which are disclosed in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,502,383, wherefor only so much of the dispensing mechanism 180 as is necessary to an understanding of the present invention will be specifically described hereinv The dispensing mechanism 180 includes a measuring roll 18], the surface of which may be covered with sandpaper or other granular material which will tend to prevent the toweling from slipping thereupon. The measuring roll 181 may be of hollow construction with a shaft 182 extending therethrough. The lefthand end of the measuring roll 181, as viewed from the front, is rotatably mounted in a suitable bearing (not shown) provided in the side plate 171, and the lefthand terminal end of the measuring roll 181 extends through the side plate 171 and has fixed thereon on the outer side of the side plate 171 a toothed sprocket (not shown). The righthand end of the measuring roll 181 is rotatably journaled in a suitable bearing (not shown) in the side plate 172, and the righthand terminal end of the measuring roll 181 extends through the side plate 172 and has fixed thereon a threaded stop member forming a part of a time-stop mechanism 250 which will be described in greater detail hereinafter.

Extending between the mechanism frame side plates 17] and 172 and fixedly secured thereto is a guide member, generally designated by the numeral 185, in the form of an elongated generallyL-shaped plate. The

guide member 185 includes an upstanding flat rear plate 186 provided at the upper end thereof with an inwardly inclined portion 187 which terminates closely adjacent to the lift roller 135. The rear plate 186 is integral at the lower end thereof with a forwardly extending bottom flange 188 which overlaps the rear end of the front plate 111 a predetermined distance. When the cabinet is disposed in its normal use configuration. as illustrated in FIG. 2, the rear plate 186 is disposed substantially parallel to the rear wall 104 of the cabinet 100 and spaced a predetermined slight distance forwardly thereof for cooperation therewith to define an opening for admitting the soiled toweling web into the cabinet 100 and passing it to the lift roller 135. In this configuration. the bottom flange I88 cooperates with the floor plate 111 ofthe cabinet 100 to close the bottom of the cabinet except for the opening 120.

At the upper ends of the side plates I71 and 172. there is provided a soiled toweling collecting and storage mechanism 190, the details of construction thereof being disclosed in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,502,383, and the portions thereof necessary to explanation of the present invention being best illustrated in FIG. 2, 3 and 6 through 8. The collecting and storage mechanism 190 includes a collecting drive roll 19] which, like the measuring roll 181, has a sandpaper or other granular surface thereon to minimize slipping of the toweling thereupon. The collecting drive roll 191 is formed hollow [see FIG. 7 and 8) and includes and end 192 disposed to the right, as viewed from the front, and extending through a flanged opening in the side plate 172 and supported thereon a bearing 196 which may be formed of a suitable lubric plastic. The other end 193 of the drive roll 19] extends through a flanged opening in the side plate 171 and is supported therein in a suitable bearing (not shown), also formed of a lubric plastic. Extending through the hollow drive roll 191 is a shaft or tie rod 194 carrying on one end thereof a toothed drive sprocket 195 receiver projections (not shown) on the drive roll 191 through arcuate slots therein, the adjacent end of the shaft 194 having a head 197 thereon to hold the sprocket 195 in the operative position. The other end of the drive roll 19] has projections 198 for connection to a spring motor assembly 300 in a manner to be more fully described below.

A drive mechanism 200 interconnects the dispensing mechanism 180 and the collecting and storage mechanism 190, and specifically the dispensing roll 18] and the take-up drive roll 191, the drive mechanism including the sprocket on the dispensing roll 18] and the sprocket 195 and a chain 201 interconnecting the sprockets. For reasons which will be explained more fully hereinafter, the sprocket 195 and the sprocket on the dispensing roll 181 have the same number of teeth and are of equal size, whereby the angular rotation of each sprocket is duplicated by the other.

Below the take-up drive roll 19] and adjacent to the rear of the side plates 171 and 172, there is provided a transversely extending shaft 205 that is suitably journaled at its respective opposite ends in the side plates 17] and 172. Fixedly secured adjacent to the opposite ends of the shaft 205 and positioned inwardly of the associated side plates 171 and 172 are two yoke arms 206 and 216 respectively disposed adjacent to the side plates 171 and 172 respectively, the yoke arms 206 and 216 extending forwardly and upwardly as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. The yoke arms 206 and 216 are formed substantially identical to each other but as the mirror image of each other, each having a bearing 211 thereon that support a soiled toweling support roll 210 therebetween. Laterally outwardly extending handles 207 and 217 are respectively provided on the yoke arms 206 and 216 to facilitate movement thereof during the loading of toweling into the cabinet 100. Finally, springs (not shown) are respectively provided urging the yoke arms 206 and 216 upwardly or in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2. It will be understood that the yoke arms 206 and 216 are fixedly secured as by welding to the shaft 205 so that all the parts move in unison as the shaft 205 is turned.

Below the toweling support roll 210, there is provided a clean toweling bed or supply roll bed 220 which is comprised of a pair of side plates 22] mounted respectively on the inner surfaces of the side plates 17] and 172 and having disposed therebetween a rear wall 222, which parts cooperate to hold the supply roll 51 of clean toweling. Disposed above the supply roll bed 220 is a towel-divider cover 230, preferably formed of plastic and supported by the shaft 205 and extending downwardly and forwardly to overlie the supply roll 51 of clean toweling and to prevent inadvertent contact thereof with the storage roll 59 of soiled toweling. The rear wall 222 of the supply roll bed 220 is spaced well forwardly of the guide member 185 and cooperates therewith to define the soiled toweling accumulation chamber 160.

The supply roll 51 of clean toweling when installed in the dispensing cabinet 100, rests substantially in the position thereof illustrated in FIG. 2, the rear portion of the roll 51 lying longitudinally against the forward surface of the rear wall 222 of the toweling bed 220, with the opposite ends of the supply roll 51 disposed between the side plates 221. The forward side of the clean supply roll rests upon a guide roller 23] rotatably mounted between the side plates 171 and 172 immediately ahead of the toweling bed 220. As may be seen in FIG. 2, the clean toweling is fed from the bottom of the supply roll 51 upwardly behind and forwardly over the guide roller 231, then across and around the front side of the measuring roll 181.

Mounted on the front portion 107 of the cover 105 is a bracket mechanism (not shown) which is described in detail in the aforementioned US. Pat. No. 3,502,383, which mechanism supports thereon a lower roll 235 mounted on a shaft 236 for free rotation immediately below the measuring roll 181 and disposed parallel thereto, and a pressure roller 240 disposed above the measuring roll 181 and mounted for rotation upon a shaft 241 extending therethrough. The axis of the pressure roller 240 is parallel to the axis of the measuring roll 181 and the lower roll 235, the pressure roller 240 being spring-urged against the reach 52 of clean toweling when the cover 105 is in the closed position thereof.

It is desirable to limit the of clean toweling that the user can extract from the supply roll 51 by pulling downwardly upon the exposed reach 52, and thereafter to prevent further dispensing of clean toweling from the supply roll 51 until after the lapse of a predetermined time interval. To this end there has been provided in the dispensing cabinet 100 a time-stop mechanism generally designated by the numeral 250, the details of the time-stop 250 mechanism being best illustrated in FIGS. 4, and 6 of the drawings. The righthand end of the measuring roll 181 has fixedly secured thereto a laterally protruding stop dog 251 and a cylindrical time-stop lead member 252 having threads 353 thereon. Outwardly of the beginning of the ends of the threads 253, the stop lead member 252 has formed thereon a cam 254 having a low cam surface 255 and a high cam surface 256.

Well above the axis of the stop lead member 252 and somewhat to the rear thereof, a time-stop pivot pin 257 is fixedly mounted on the side plate 172, the pivot pin 2S7 extending toward the right from the side plate 172 as shown in FIG. 5. The pivot pin 257 is further supported by a conical plate 258 that includes an annular support portion 259 engaging the pin 257 intermediate the ends thereof. Pivotally and loosely mounted on the outer end of the pin 257 is a stop latch 260 having riveted or otherwise fixedly secured a stop plate 261. It is important that the latch 260 and the attached plate 261 be able to rotate or pivot about the axis of the pin 257, and that they be capable of tilting or wobbling" motion with respect to the axis of the pin 257. For this reason the stop latch 260 loosely mounted on the reduced portion of the pin 257 to permit such wobbling motion, the pin 257 being provided with an enlarged member 263 to hold the parts in the assembled position. As seen in FIG. 4, the stop plate 261 has an upstanding plate portion 266 carrying an inwardly directed pad 267, an interlock clip 268 tending to hold this portion of the stop latch 260 outwardly for a purpose to be described more fully hereinafter.

Extending downwardly and integral with the stop plate 261 is an arm 269 which carries thereon a soft rubber suction cup 270 having a lower generally concave side thereon. Facing the concave side of the suction cup 270 is a fixedly positioned suction cup 271 with its concave side facing the concave side of the suction cup 270. There is a small air opening (not shown) in the suction cup 271 which will permit suction annulling air to flow at a controlled rate into the concave area between the suction cups 270 and 271 after the suction cups have been pressed together. The suction cup 271 is mounted on a bracket 272 which is secured to the side plate 172. Also mounted on the bracket 272 is a needle valve assembly 274 including an adjusting thumb screw 273 by which the effective size of the air opening into the suction cup 271 may be changed, and thus to control the time delay required for the suction cups 270-271 to separate. The details of the suction cups 270 and 271 and the details of the needle valve 274 are not here shown, it being understood that these parts are well-known in the art and they are illustrated in prior patents including US. Pat. to Birr, No. 2,899,251.

The lower edge of the stop plate 261 carries therein a relatively short thread-following tab 276, and spaced above the tab 276 is a curved cam following surface 278 which cooperates with the cam 254 described above. There also is provided a tension spring 279 connected between the side plate 172 and the stop plate 261 to urge the stop plate 261 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 4. The tension spring 279 also tends to shift the stop plate 261 to the dashed line position illustrated in FIG. 5. Thus, by virtue of the action of the spring 279 and the pivotal or wobbling action permitted of the stop plate 261, the normal position of the stop plate 261 (shown in dotted lines in FIG. 5) is such that the camfollowing surface 278 rides on the cam 254. When the dispensing mechanism is in its normal condition following the drying operation, the stop mechanism 250 is in the position described and shown in phantom lines in FIG. 5.

In this position the cam following surface 278 rests on the lower surface 255 of the cam 254 so that the stop plate 261 is pivoted to the counterclockwise posi tion (as viewed in FIG. 4) with the suction cups 270 and 271 separated in the counterclockwise pivoted position, and the thread-following tab 276 is withdrawn from engagement with the threads 253 of the member 252. However, when the user of the dispenser starts to pull downwardly on the clean towel reach 52 at the front of the cabinet, the rotation of the measuring roll 181 causes the cam member 254 to rotate in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 4, thus causing the high surface 256 on the cam 254 to raise the cam following surface 278, thereby to pivot the stop plate 261 in a clockwise direction. This pivotal movement of the stop plate 26] immediately causes the suction cup 270 to be moved downwardly into pressed contact with the lower suction cup 271. The mated suction cups 270-271 thereupon retain the stop plate 261 in its pivotally displaced position, until the cups time-out, even though the high surface 256 of the cam 254 subsequently disengages the cam follower surface 278. This initial pivotal movement of the stop plate 261 also causes the thread-following tab 276 to engage the threads 253 and to be driven thereby from the dashed line position in FIG. 5 to the solid line position therein.

If it is desired that a maximum of 11 inches of clean toweling 52 may be dispensed upon each separate dispensing operation, the measuring roller 181 may be approximately 2% inches in circumference and four threads 253 may be employed on the stop lead member 252. Thus when the user begins to pull on the clean toweling reach 52, the cam 254 will rotate with the measuring roll 181, the high surface 256 of the cam 254 will pivotally pivot the stop plate 261 in the clockwise direction (as viewed in FIG. 4), thereby engaging the suction cups 270 and 271 and simultaneously engaging the thread-f0rming tab 276 with the beginning or outermost thread 253. As the user continues to withdraw clean toweling, the measuring roll 181 and the stop reach member 252 will continue to be rotated, thereby to cause the thread following tab 276 and the stop plate 261 to follow the threads 253, thus causing the stop plate 261 substantially to tilt from the position illustrated by dashed lines in FIG. 5, the lower portion of the stop plate 261 being carried in a direction from the cam 254 toward the side plate 172. Since four threads 253 are used, as the measuring roll 181 completes its next revolution upon withdrawal of of clean toweling, the tab 276 will have to be pulled to the fourth thread whereupon the stop dog 251, which has been rotated with the stop lead member 252 will come into stopping contact with the lower edge of the stop plate 261, thus halting the rotation of the measuring roll 181 and preventing the withdrawal of further clean toweling from the dispensing cabinet 100. The user may then dry his hands on the outdrawn toweling, and in normal operation, the suction cups 270-271 and the time out will separate thereupon permitting the spring 279 to pivot the stop plate 261 in the counterclockwise direction about the pin 257 and to tilt the stop latch away from the side plate 172, thereby causing the stop plate 261 to return to its original position.

By virtue of the construction just described, it will be appreciated if the user does not withdraw the fully permitted amount of clean toweling, but stops the with drawal of toweling after withdrawal of a small length of clean toweling, the lower end of the stop plate 261 will not reach a position in which it will be engaged by the stop dog 251 and no stopping action will occur; nevertheless, when the suction cups 270 and 271 time out, the stop plate 261 will automatically be returned to its original position by the action of the spring 279, thereby permitting the maximum prescribed amount of toweling to be withdrawn during the next dispensing operation.

It is highly desirable that the retracting and storage be inhibited after the user has withdrawn :1 length of clean toweling and while the user is drying his hands thereon, i.e., during the time that the suction cups 270 and 271 are timing out after having been engaged with one another. To this end the lift roller 135 is provided with a sandpaper or other such gripping surface and further is provided at the end thereof adjacent to the time-stop mechanism 250 with a control clutch or cam 280 having a pair of diametrically opposed stop surfaces 281, see FIG. 2. Associated with the control clutch 280 and mounted on the side plate is a control lever 282 pivoted as at 283 and having an upstanding finger 284 movable into and out of engagement with the stop surfaces 281 on the control clutch 280. The other end of the lever 282 cooperates with a push rod 285 (see FIG. 4) that is controlled by the stop latch 261, and specifically the pad 267 thereon. The push rod 285 is journaled in a flange 286 struck from the side plate 172 and a second flange 287 disposed thereabove, the flanges 286 and 287 having aligned openings therein, through which the push rod 285 extends, the lower end of the push rod 285 carrying a head 289 engaging the interlock clip 268 and the pad 267. The upper end of the push rod is in a position to engage an abutment 288 on the end of the control lever 282 opposite the finger 284.

When the high cam surface 256 acts to pivot the stop plate 261 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 4, the push rod 285 is lowered to the position illustrated in FIG. 6, whereby the longer and heavier righthand end of the control lever 282 disposed to the right of the pivot 283 causes the finger 284 to be moved upwardly into position to engage one of the stop surfaces 281. It will be understood that during withdrawal of the toweling from the dispensing cabinet 100, the control clutch 280 rotates in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 16, whereby the finger 284 does not stop rotation thereof. However, when the user stops withdrawing toweling from the dispensing cabinet 100, any tendency of the control clutch 280 to rotate in the clockwise direction will bring one of the stop surfaces 281 into abutting engagement with the finger 284, thereby to stop rotation of the brake roller 135. At the time that the suction cups 270-271 separate and thus permit the spring 279 to pivot the latch plate 261 in a counterclockwise direction as illustrated in FIG. 4, the push rod 285 will be lifted and will pivot the control lever 282 in a counterclockwise direction (as viewed in FIG. 6), thereby to move the finger 284 out of engagement with the stop surfaces 281 and thereby to release the lift roller 135.

Referring now to FIGS. 7 through 14 of the drawings, there is illustrated a spring motor mechanism, generally designated by the numeral 300, which is mounted on the righthand end of the collecting drive roll 191, as viewed in FIG. 3. The spring motor 300 includes a cup like case 301 which has an annular end wall 302 provided at the periphery thereof with an outwardly extending cylindrical side wall 303, the annular end wall 302 having a recessed hub portion 304 centrally thereof provided with an opening for accommodating therethrough the tie rod 194 of the collecting drive roll 191. The annular end wall 302 is also provided with a pair of arcuate slots therein outwardly of and concentric with the hub portion 304 for respectively receiving therein the complementary arcuate projections 198 on the adjacent reduced end 192 of the collecting drive roll 191 for mounting the case 301 thereon. Disposed within the case 301 and in surrounding relationship with the tie rod 194 is a bushing 305 provided at the inner end thereof with an annular flange 306 which is seated in the recessed hub portion 304 of the annular case 301 and is fixedly secured thereto.

Disposed in surrounding relationship with the bush ing 305 is a mandrel, generally designated by the numeral 310, which includes a hub portion 311 freely rotatable on the bushing 305 and an annular cover flange extending radially outwardly from the hub 311 at the outer end thereof and spaced a slight distance outwardly of the annular case 301, the cover flange 312 being provided at the periphery thereof with a short cy lindrical retaining flange 314 slightly overlapping the cylindrical side wall 303 of the case 301 for cooperation therewith to form a substantially closed housing for the spring motor. However, it will be noted that there is a clearance between the mandrel retaining flange 314 and the case side wall 303 to accommodate motion of the case with respect to the mandrel as will be described more fully below. The hub 311 of the mandrel 310 has a generally spiral camming outer sur face 315, best illustrated in FIG. 12, and a stop surface 316.

Disposed within the case 301 is a spiral power spring, generally designated by the numeral 320, which is coiled around the mandrel hub 311 as illustrated in FIG. 9. More particularly, the inner end of the power spring 320 has a loop or hook 321 formed therein which is disposed against the stop surface 316 on the mandrel hub 31 1. The spring 320 next is provided with at least one and one-half coils pre-formed to be tightly wound against the mandrel hub 31] for holding the hook 321 firmly thereagainst, followed by four or five coils of loosely wound spiral turns, and finally a relatively large number of turns which are tightly wound and closely packed against the cylindrical side wall 303 of the case 301. The outer end of the power spring 320 is fixedly secured, as by a rivet 326 to one end of a clutch coil 325 which has a length slightly less than the circumference of the cylindrical side wall 303 and bears outwardly tightly thereagainst for frictional engagement therewith. The friction between the clutch coil 325 and the inner surface of the case 301 can be varied by tension of the clutch coil 325 which may be varied by using different thicknesses of spring wire and also by the amount of forming when the clutch coil 325 is coiled. If desired, a frictional lining 308 may be formed on the inner surface of the vertical side wall 303 to increase the frictional drag on the clutch coil 325, as illustrated in FIG. 12.

Also. while in the preferred embodiment the clutch coil 325 is connected to the power spring 320 by a rivet, as illustrated in FIG. 13, it will be understood that other means of attachment could be used. One such alternative method of attachment is illustrated in FIG. 14, wherein the outer end of the power spring 320 is provided with a narrow neck portion 328 and an enlarged tab 329 constructed for insertion in a complementary slot 327 formed in the adjacent end of the clutch coil 325. During assembly, the clutch coil 325 must be turned perpendicular to the power spring 320 to permit insertion of the tab 329 through the slot 327, and thereafter the parts are moved to the in-line position illustrated in FIG. 14 for assembly in the case 301, in which position disengagement of the power spring 320 from the clutch coil 325 is prevented.

Mounted outwardly of the mandrel 310 and fixedly secured thereto is a toothed disc sprocket 330 disposed in surrounding relationship with the bushing 305 and freely rotatable with respect thereto. The adjacent end of the tie rod 194 is threaded for receiving a complementary nut and washer securely to hold the parts in the assembled position illustrated in FIG. 7. The sprocket 330 is engaged with a chain 335 which is also engaged with the sprocket 136 on the lift roller 135. as is best illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3.

In operation. when the collecting drive roller 191 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2. it effects simultaneous rotation of the spring motor annular case 301 in the same direction. Because of the frictional engagement of the clutch coil 325 with the annular case 301, the clutch coil 325 will also be carried along by the case 301 in the same direction. and with it the closely packed outer turns 326 of the power spring 320. However, when the collecting drive roll 191 is rotating, the lift roller 135 is held against rotation in the counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 9, by engagement of the control clutch 280 with the control finger 284 as described above, and as will be explained more fully hereinafter. Accordingly, the mandrel 310 which is coupled to the lift roller 135 via the sprockets 136 and 330 and the chain 335 is also held against counterclockwise rotation. Accordingly, as the collecting drive roll 191 and the spring motor case 301 rotate in the counterclockwise direction, the power spring 320 is wound, whereby for each revolution of the collecting drive roll 191, one of the loose spiral turns 323 of the power spring 320 is wound tightly onto the mandrel hub 311 and simultaneously the inner one of the tightly packed outer turns 324 is peeled off, so that at the end of the dispensing operation the power spring 320 will have been wound to the configuration illustrated in FIG. 10. When the lift roller 135 is released, it is driven by the wound power spring 320 in a counterclockwise direction as the power spring 320 unwinds.

The following is a description of the use and operation of the dispensing cabinet 100, with particular emphasis on the operation ofthe spring motor 300, special reference being made to FIGS. 9 through 11 and to the diagrammatic views of FIGS. 15 through 19. The normal rest position of the parts of the cabinet prepar atory to a dispensing operation is diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 15, the supply roll 51 of clean toweling having the reach 52 thereof passing over the measuring roll 181 and across the spacing member 125 and then through the channel and the opening and upwardly via the reach 56 over the lift roller (and beneath the pressure roller which, for convenience. has been omitted from the diagrammatic views of FIGS. through 18) and downwardly via the slack reach 57 into the soiled toweling accumulation chamher 160 and upwardly over the breaker 144 and via the reach 58 downwardly to the bottom of the storage roll 59 for soiled toweling which is wound on the support roller 210. At this time the spring motor 300 is in the initial condition illustrated in FIG. 9, with the towel web disposed against the floor plate 111. All soiled toweling is hidden from the normal view of the potential user, so that the user, when he begins a dispensing operation, will have no tendency to grab a soiled toweling portion. The time-stop mechanism 250 will be in the condition illustrated in FIG. 15 with the suction cups 270 and 271 out of engagement with each other. The push rod 285 will be in its normal or lower position thereby releasing the control lever 282 so that the parts assume the positions illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 15.

With the mechanism in the normal condition just explained, the next user of the dispensing cabinet 100 grips the unused side edges 53 and 54 of the reach 52 of clean toweling behind the spacing member 125, and pulls downwardly thereon. This downward pull, accomplishes two basic things. It feeds fresh toweling from the supply roll 51 around the measuring roll 181 and down wardly across the spacing member 125, and also pulls on the reaches 55-57 of soiled toweling thereby pulling from within the dispensing cabinet 100 through the opening 120 a length of soiled toweling which elongates the loop of toweling below the dispensing cabinet 100, the parts now being essentially in the position illustrated in FIG. 16. The withdrawal of soiled toweling from the cabinet simultaneously operates the collecting mechanism 190 for winding soiled toweling from the reaches 57 and 58 onto the soiled toweling roll 59.

The downward pull on the clean toweling also immediately sets in motion the operation of the time-stop mechanism 250, the details of operation of which have been set forth hereinabove and which also are set forth in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,502,383. Fundamentally, the suction cups 270 and 271 are urged together and are held together for the predetermined time interval during which time the user will dry his hands on the reach 52 of clean toweling now disposed beneath the cabinet 100. It is noted that the lift roller 135 now has the control clutch 280 thereof in engagement with the control lever 282, Le, one of the stop surfaces 281 is in engagement with the finger 284 (see FIG. 16), whereby retrograde rotation of the lift roller 135 is prevented. As a consequence the lift roller 135 acts through the chain 335 to hold the sprocket 330 and the mandrel 310 against rotation in the counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIGS. 9 and 16.

During the withdrawal of fresh toweling by the user from the supply roll 51 over the measuring roll 181, the collecting drive roll 191 is also driven through the action of the sprocket 195 and that on the measuring roll 18] and the chain 201 which comprise the drive mechanism 200. In accordance with the present invention, the collecting drive roll 19] preferably has the same diameter as the measuring roll 18] and the sprockets thereon have the same number of teeth and the same effective diameters, whereby the collecting drive roll 191 tends to take up approximately the same length of soiled toweling as the measuring roll 181 dispenses of clean toweling, which length is preferably 11 inches of clean toweling during each dispensing operation.

As the user pulls clean toweling from the supply roll 51 and into the dependent loop during the dispensing operation, the counterclockwise rotation of the collecting drive roll 191 also serves to wind the power spring 320 in the manner described above, since the lift roller is locked against counterclockwise rotation by the interengagement of the clutch 280 and the control arm finger 284. As the user pulls clean toweling from the dispenser, he simultaneously pulls soiled toweling from the reach 57 thereof which is accumulated in the soiled toweling accumulation chamber 160, this withdrawal of soiled toweling being accommodated by reason of the fact that the counterclockwise rotation of the lift roller 135 in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 16 is permitted by racheting of the finger 284 over the camming surfaces of clutch 280. Thus, it will be seen that the reach 57 of soiled toweling is shortened both by winding ofa portion thereof onto the soiled storage roll 59 and by the user's withdrawing a portion thereof into the exposed loop of toweling beneath the cabinet.

When the timer suction cups 270-271 separate, the spring 279 pivots the stop plate 261 in the counterclockwise direction which serves to operate the push rod 285 into engagement with the abutment 288 on the control lever 282 (see FIG. 6), thereby to remove the finger 284 out of engagement with the cam surface 281, this action releasing the lift roller 135 which permits the parts to move from the position illustrated in FIG. 16 to the position illustrated in FIG. 17.

As soon as the lift roller 135 has been freed by the disengagement of the control lever 282 from the clutch 280, the mandrel 310 of the spring motor 300 is simultaneously freed and operates through the chain 335 and under the urging of the wound power spring 320 to drive the lift roller 135 in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 17 for taking up the soiled toweling from the loop into the accumulation chamber 160. Preferably, the lift roller 135 has a diameter greater than the diameter of the collecting drive roller 19], while the sprocket 136 on the lift roller 135 has fewer teeth than does the sprocket 330 on the collecting drive roller 191. Accordingly, it will be understood that the power spring 320 will have been wound during the dispensing operation an amount sufficient to drive the lift roller 135 through a greater number of revolutions than the collecting drive roller 191 rotated during the dispensing operation. Because of this fact and because the lift roller 135 is of a greater diameter than the collecting drive roller 191, the spring motor 300 will have a capacity to take up into the accumulation chamber a greater length of toweling than was dispensed during the dispensing operation. This is necessary because the exposed loop of toweling includes not only the length of clean toweling dispensed but also a length of soiled toweling which has withdrawn from the accumulation chamber and, furthermore, this excess capacity of the spring motor 300 accommodates any stretching or lengthening of the towel web during use.

Preferably the spring motor 300 is so designed that the amount that it is wound during each dispensing operation will exceed the amount that it is unwound during that dispensing operation, even after accounting for any lengthening of the towel web, whereby during successive dispensing operations the power spring 320 will be wound tighter and tighter. After a predetermined number of dispensing operations, preferably 10 or more, the power spring 320 will have been wound to a fully wound condition illustrated in FIG. 11, after which the spring winding action of subsequent dispensing operations will tend to pull the clutch plate 325 away from the inner surface of the case 301, as indicated in FIG. 11. As the connected end of the clutch plate 325 is pulled away from the case 301, the area of surface contact therebetween is reduced thereby reducing the frictional drag and permitting the clutch plate 325 to slip around the inner surface of the case 301. This slip clutch arrangement prevents any over winding of the power spring 320 while permitting the spring 320 to be maintained in its fully wound condition until the supply of toweling is exhausted.

As the soiled toweling is wound from the reach 57 onto the storage roll 59 during the dispensing operation, the towel web passes over the breaker 144 for smoothing and straightening thereof to facilitate even winding onto the roll 59. However, it will be noted that no other breakers are used in the return path of the soiled toweling from the loop and. more particularly, there is no breaker between the exposed loop and the lift roller 135. It has been found that because of the height of the lift roller 135 the towel web tends to straighten and smooth itself in the reaches 55 and 56, thereby obviating any breakers. The absence of breakers ahead of the lift roller 135 serves to minimize the power capacity required in the spring motor 300 for take-up of the soiled toweling by the lift roller 135.

In the event that the pull on the clean toweling by the user exhausts the supply of toweling in the supply roll 51, the free end of the toweling is pulled from the front of the cabinet I and dangles downwardly from the cabinet 100 in a use position during the timed period referred to above. In that event upon the timing out of the timestop mechanism, the lift roller 135 will be freed by disengagement of the clutch 280 from the control lever 282 in the manner described above and as illustrated in FIG. 17. The fully wound spring motor 300 will then drive the lift roller 135 in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 17 to fully retract the trailing end of the toweling into the accumulation chamber 160, the spring motor 300 being so designed that its capacity in the fully wound condition of FIG. 11 is sufficient to insure this complete retraction of the trailing end of the toweling. It will be noted that the capacity of the spring motor 300 to fully retract the trailing end of the toweling is completely independent of the length of soiled toweling in the reach 57 which is accumulated in the accumulation chamber 160, which length of accumulated toweling may be considerable in the event of stretching or lengthening of the towel web during use. Thus two of the serious drawbacks of the dispenser of the aforementioned US. Pat. No. 3,502,383, viz., failure adequately to compensate for stretching or contracting of the towel web and failure reliably to fully take up the trailing end of the toweling roll, are overcome without any increase in the size of the dispensing cabinet and without requiring the user to work against the take-up mechanism.

A special problem is encountered if the amount of toweling remaining on the supply roll 51 is less than that required to cause at least one complete revolution of the measuring roll 18]. More specifically, the cam 254 is in engagement with the cam follower surface 278 on the stop plate 261 during the first revolution of the measuring roll 181 and holds the stop plate 261 in a position so that it cannot return to the normal condition illustrated in FIG. 4. The time-stop mechanism 250 therefore would serve to operate to stop the lift roller 135 by operation of the push rod 285, the cam 280 and the lever arm 282, (see FIG. 6 also). As a consequence, the lift roller 135 would be locked against counterclockwise rotation, as viewed in FIG. 16, and could not retract the unsightly trailing end of the toweling into the cabinet as described abovev Accordingly, there has been provided the interlock clip 268 which serves to hold the push rod 285 upwardly to cause disengagement of the lift roller 135 during the first revolution of the measuring roll 18]. After completion of the first revolution of the first measuring roll 181, the cam 254 is out of engagement with the cam follower surface 278, whereby the time-stop mechanism 250 can now operate in the usual normal manner to operate the lift roller. In other words. the interlock clip 268 ensures that the lift roller 135 is free to operate to take up the trailing end of toweling into the cabinet if the length thereof is insufficient to permit the cam 254 to clear the cam follower surface 278.

After exhaustion of the clean toweling on the supply roll 51, a maintenance man opens the cabinet 100 by raising the cover and the mechanism frame 170 is tilted out to the position illustrated in FIG. 19. Any

soiled toweling accumulated in the accumulation chamber 160 is wound onto the storage roll 59, which after operation of the lock is then removed from the collecting roll 210 and the collecting roll 210 is replaced in the channel formed by the channel members 206 and 211. A fresh supply roll 51 is then placed in the bed 220 in the manner indicated and the free end thereof is pulled from thereunder and over the guide roller 231 and over the measuring roll 18] and down wardly around the spacing member and upwardly into the opening 120 to the lift roller 135. The free end of the fresh toweling is then passed behind and over the lift roller which action is facilitated by the fact that the pressure roller may be pivoted up out of the way. The free end of the toweling is then passed over the breaker 144 and the free end of the toweling is wrapped about the surface of the towel collecting roll 210, care being taken to assure that the divider cover 230 is in the proper operative position. It is an important feature of the present invention that the construction of the cabinet 100 and the mechanism therein prevents incorrect loading of a clean towel supply into the cabinet 100. More particularly, referring to FIG. 19, it will be noted that when the leading end of the towel web is fed up into the opening 120 at the rear of the cabinet 120 it must be fed properly between the lift roller 135 and the pressure roller I45 because the inclined upper end 187 of the guide member effectively prevents feeding of the towel web beneath the lift roller 135 while the support arms 147 of the pressure roller 145 prevent feeding of the towel web upwardly behind the pressure roll 145.

Preferably, when the attendant loads a new supply of clean toweling into the cabinet 100, an exposed loop of toweling is left depending below the cabinet for the first user. Preferably also a slack length of toweling is left in the reach 57, as indicated in FIG. 15, to provide a length of toweling to be taken up on to the storage roll 59 during the first dispensing operation. If, however. the attendant inadvertently neglects to leave this slack length of toweling in the reach 57, the dispenser will nevertheless be capable of operation during the first

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3502383 *May 7, 1968Mar 24, 1970Steiner American CorpToweling dispenser with loop control
US3506320 *Jul 18, 1968Apr 14, 1970Howlett Edward JohnApparatus for dispensing towelling
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4676559 *May 9, 1986Jun 30, 1987Nokia LimitedTowel dispenser
US4826262 *Mar 4, 1988May 2, 1989Steiner Company, Inc.Electronic towel dispenser
US4848854 *Apr 11, 1988Jul 18, 1989David Kennedy (Engineers) Holdings LimitedContinuous towel cabinets
EP0138562A2 *Oct 9, 1984Apr 24, 1985Steiner Company International S.A.A towel dispensing apparatus for making externally available and recovering a length of towel
EP1053712A1May 21, 1999Nov 22, 2000Steiner Company International S.A.Towel dispenser for a continuous band
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/34.15
International ClassificationA47K10/28, A47K10/24
Cooperative ClassificationA47K10/28
European ClassificationA47K10/28