Title:
Rolled paper feeding device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rolled paper feeding device includes a holder body which rotatably supports a rolled paper, a cover part where one end of which is rotatably supported in a contacting and separating direction with respect to the rolled paper and the other end of which abuts with the rolled paper, a feed roller which is provided in the cover part for feeding a paper of the rolled paper, and a drive part which is provided in the cover part for rotationally driving the feed roller. The feed roller is arranged on the other end side with respect to the center of the rolled paper. A control part for controlling the drive part may include a first and a second switches, which can provide three different lengths of the paper to be fed out of the rolled paper.



Inventors:
Owa, Junji (Suwa-gun, JP)
Hoshi, Kazuki (Suwa-gun, JP)
Fukasawa, Hiromi (Suwa-gun, JP)
Application Number:
10/856300
Publication Date:
01/27/2005
Filing Date:
05/27/2004
Assignee:
OWA JUNJI
HOSHI KAZUKI
FUKASAWA HIROMI
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
242/564.5, 242/564.1
International Classes:
B65H16/10; (IPC1-7): B65H16/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LEE, LAURA MICHELLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
REED SMITH LLP (PITTSBURGH, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A rolled paper feeding device comprising: a holder body which rotatably supports a rolled paper; a cover part, where one end of the cover part is rotatably supported in a contacting and separating direction with respect to the rolled paper and the other end of the cover part abuts with the rolled paper; a feed roller which is provided in the cover part for feeding a paper of the rolled paper and the feed roller being arranged on the other end side with respect to a center of the rolled paper; and a drive part which is provided in the cover part for rotationally driving the feed roller.

2. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 1, further comprising a power source which is provided in the cover part for supplying electricity to the drive part.

3. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 1, further comprising: a motor which is provided in the drive part; and a speed reducing mechanism which is provided in the drive part for transmitting a rotation torque of the motor to the feed roller.

4. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 3, further comprising an one way clutch for transmitting the rotation torque of the motor to the feed roller.

5. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 4, further comprising a power source which is provided in the cover part for supplying electricity to the drive part.

6. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 3, further comprising a control part for controlling the drive part, which includes at least a first and a second switches and a control circuit for controlling the drive part based on the “on” of the first switch or the second switch, wherein the control part is constructed such that, when either of the first switch or the second switch is turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a predetermined length corresponding to the switch being turned “on”, and when both the first switch and the second switch are turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a length which is different from the predetermined length.

7. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 1, further comprising a cutter which is provided on the other end of the cover part for cutting the paper of the rolled paper being fed out.

8. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 1, further comprising a control part for controlling the drive part and a static electricity eliminating member disposed in the vicinity of the control part.

9. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 8, wherein the static electricity eliminating member includes a first static electricity eliminating member for preventing electrostatic charging of static electricity from an operator and a second static electricity eliminating member for preventing electrostatic charging of static electricity from the rolled paper.

10. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 9, further comprising a power source which is provided in the cover part for supplying electricity to the drive part.

11. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 8, further comprising a motor which is provided in the drive part and a speed reducing mechanism which is provided in the drive part for transmitting a rotation torque of the motor to the feed roller.

12. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 11, further comprising a cutter which is provided on the other end of the cover part for cutting the paper of the rolled paper being fed out.

13. A rolled paper feeding device comprising: a holder body which rotatably supports a rolled paper; a cover part, where one end of the cover part is rotatably supported in a contacting and separating direction with respect to the rolled paper and the other end of the cover part is capable of abutting with the rolled paper; a feed roller for feeding a paper of the rolled paper; a drive part for rotationally driving the feed roller; a control part for controlling the drive part; and a power source for supplying electricity to the drive part and the control part; wherein the control part includes at least a first and a second switches, a timer for setting an operating time of an operation which is executed on the basis of the “on” of the first switch or the second switch, an AND gate which operates when both the first and the second switches are turned on, and a control circuit for controlling the drive part based on an output signal from the timer or the AND gate, and wherein the control part is constructed such that, when either of the first switch or the second switch is turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a predetermined length corresponding to the first or the second switch being turned “on”, and when both the first switch and the second switch are turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a length which is different from the predetermined length.

14. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 13, wherein the cover part houses the feed roller and the drive part.

15. A rolled paper feeding device comprising: a holder body that rotatably supports a rolled paper; and a cover part, where one end of the cover part is rotatably supported in a contacting and separating direction with respect to the rolled paper and the other end of the cover part abuts with the rolled paper, the cover part comprising: a feed roller for feeding a paper of the rolled paper and the feed roller is arranged on the other end side with respect to a center of the rolled paper; and a drive part for rotationally driving the feed roller.

16. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 15, further comprising a power source that is located in the cover part for supplying electricity to the drive part.

17. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 15, further comprising: a motor that is located in the drive part; and a speed reducing mechanism that is located in the drive part for transmitting a rotation torque of the motor to the feed roller.

18. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 17, further comprising an one way clutch for transmitting the rotation torque of the motor to the feed roller.

19. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 18, further comprising a power source that is located in the cover part for supplying electricity to the drive part.

20. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 17, further comprising a control part for controlling the drive part, which includes at least a first and a second switch and a control circuit for controlling the drive part based on the “on” of the first switch or the second switch, wherein the control part is constructed such that, when either of the first switch or the second switch is turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a predetermined length corresponding to the switch being turned “on”, and when both the first switch and the second switch are turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a length which is different from the predetermined length.

21. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 15, further comprising a cutter that is located on the other end of the cover part for cutting the paper of the rolled paper being fed out.

22. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 15, further comprising a control part for controlling the drive part and a static electricity eliminating member disposed in the vicinity of the control part.

23. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 22, wherein the static electricity eliminating member includes a first static electricity eliminating member for preventing electrostatic charging of static electricity from an operator and a second static electricity eliminating member for preventing electrostatic charging of static electricity from the rolled paper.

24. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 23, further comprising a power source that is located in the cover part for supplying electricity to the drive part.

25. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 22, further comprising a motor that is located in the drive part and a speed reducing mechanism that is located in the drive part for transmitting a rotation torque of the motor to the feed roller.

26. The rolled paper feeding device according to claim 25, further comprising a cutter that is located on the other end of the cover part for cutting the paper of the rolled paper being fed out.

27. A rolled paper feeding device comprising: a holder body that rotatably supports a rolled paper; a cover part, where one end of the cover part is rotatably supported in a contacting and separating direction with respect to the rolled paper and the other end of the cover part is capable of abutting with the rolled paper, the cover part comprising: a feed roller for feeding a paper of the rolled paper; a drive part for rotationally driving the feed roller; a control part for controlling the drive part; and a power source for supplying electricity to the drive part and the control part; wherein the control part includes at least a first and a second switches, a timer for setting an operating time of an operation that is executed on the basis of the “on” of the first switch or the second switch, an AND gate that operates when both the first and the second switches are turned on, and a control circuit for controlling the drive part based on an output signal from the timer or the AND gate, and wherein the control part is constructed such that, when either of the first switch or the second switch is turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a predetermined length corresponding to the first or the second switch being turned “on”, and when both the first switch and the second switch are turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a length that is different from the predetermined length.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to Japanese Application No. 2003-160334 filed Jun. 5, 2003, Japanese Application No. 2003-164331 filed Jun. 9, 2003, Japanese Application No. 2003-171807 filed Jun. 17, 2003, and Japanese Application No. 2003-175357 filed Jun. 19, 2003, which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a rolled paper feeding device in which a paper is fed out from a rolled paper by rotating the rolled paper. More specifically, the present invention relates to a rolled paper feeding device which is suitable to feed thin paper such as toilet paper and paper towels.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One of the conventional rolled paper feeding devices includes a drive roller mounted on a holder that holds a roll of toilet paper. The roll of toilet paper is rotated by the drive roller to feed the paper outside (see Japanese Registered Utility Model No. 3,024,537).

Another conventional rolled paper feeding device is constructed such that the toilet paper drawn out from a roll of toilet paper that is sandwiched between a pair of rollers and the pair of rollers are rotated to draw out and feed the toilet paper outside (see Japanese Patent Publication No. Hei 6-59268).

In the rolled paper feeding device described above, the roll of toilet paper is held on the holder provided with the drive roller, the roll of toilet paper comes into contact with the drive roller by the weight of the roll of toilet paper. However, since the weight of the roll of toilet paper is light, the contact pressure is inadequate and thus it is difficult to obtain a strong feeding force. Further, since the weight of the roll of toilet paper varies with the use of the toilet paper, the feeding force also varies. Especially, when the roll of toilet paper is reduced and its weight becomes light, the drive roller can easily become idle. In order to prevent the drive roller from becoming idle, a weight or a spring may be arranged to apply a pressure to the drive roller from the roll of toilet paper side but this may increase component parts.

In the rolled paper feeding device, where the toilet paper drawn out from the roll of toilet paper is sandwiched between a pair of rollers to feed the toilet paper outside. Here, the number of parts increases for the rolled paper device because a pair of rollers are required. Moreover, at the time of setting up the roll of toilet paper, the leading edge of the toilet paper has to be inserted between the pair of rollers in order to operate. When an automatic setting device for the leading edge of the toilet paper is provided, the number of parts also increases.

In addition, when electric power is not supplied due to battery shortage or power failure, it is difficult to draw out the toilet paper because the pair of rollers has to be rotated manually. Further, the rolled paper very easily torn. In order to prevent this problem, a clutch is required in the pair of rollers. However, in this case, the number of parts increases and the mechanism becomes more complicated.

Moreover, the entire mechanism becomes larger and thus feels unnatural when the large mechanism is installed in a restroom and thus the design is not preferable. Further, the setting method for the roll of toilet paper will be different from that of the currently used manual rolled paper holder and thus requires more effort.

These rolled paper feeding devices are provided with a supply switch for feeding the toilet paper. When the supply switch is turned on, a timer is operated to feed toilet paper to the prescribed length. In order to adjust the feeding length of the toilet paper, the setting time of the timer is changed, for example, by rotating an adjustment knob.

However, in the rolled paper feeding device described above, the setting time of the timer has to be adjusted when a user tries to change the feeding length and thus fine adjustment is difficult. Therefore, operability is not satisfactory.

Further, for example, it is conceivable that the rolled paper feeding device is provided with a first switch for a long feeding length, a second switch for a short feeding length and a third switch for a continuous feeding. However, in this case, the number of switches and the cost of the device increases. Also, the size of each switch becomes small and thus the degree of freedom for design decreases or operability is reduced.

In the rolled paper feeding device, the drive roller and a motor are connected to each other through a gear train or a belt. However, when the motor and the roller are connected through the gear train or the belt and the motor stops because of a battery shortage it is difficult to draw out the paper manually from the rolled paper. This is because the detent torque of the motor exists due to a motor stoppage, which gives a load on the roller to cause it to be difficult to rotate. Alternatively, the paper may be torn on the way even when it is drawn out, or a large amount of force is required to draw out the paper and thus operability is not satisfactory. In addition, since an overload is applied to the roller, the durability performance is reduced.

Further, static electricity may flow through the rolled paper device for various reasons. For example, static electricity is charged on a user by friction of the user's clothes, by friction between the user and a toilet seat cover, by an ion in the atmosphere, by touching the rolled paper charged with electricity or the like. The static electricity may flow to a control circuit when the charged user touches the operation switches. Alternatively, static electricity is generated by friction between the rolled paper and a holder body or a cover part made by resin for the rolled paper, which may cause the static electricity to flow near the control circuit.

The rolled paper feeding device described above is not provided with a device for protecting the control circuit from static electricity. Therefore, when static electricity from a user or a rolled paper flows to the control circuit, the control circuit may be affected to cause an erroneous operation, a stoppage of operation, the runaway or the destruction of the circuit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the problems described above, it is an object and advantage of the present invention to provide a rolled paper feeding device which is capable of obtaining a high feeding force for the rolled paper without increasing the number of parts, simplifying the setting of the rolled paper, and easily drawing out the paper from the rolled paper manually at the time the motor stops.

Further, it is another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a rolled paper feeding device which has a good operability of feeding the paper while restricting the number of switches.

Further, it is another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a rolled paper feeding device which is capable of easily drawing out the paper manually from the rolled paper.

Further, it is another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a rolled paper feeding device which is capable of preventing an erroneous operation or the like due to static electricity.

In order to achieve the above object and advantage, according to an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a rolled paper feeding device including a holder body which rotatably supports a rolled paper, a cover part one end of which is rotatably supported in a contacting and separating direction with respect to the rolled paper and the other end of which abuts with the rolled paper, a feed roller which is provided in the cover part for feeding a paper of the rolled paper and a drive part which is provided in the cover part for rotationally driving the feed roller. The feed roller is arranged on the other end side with respect to a center of the rolled paper.

According to the embodiment of the present invention, the cover part is provided with at least the feed roller and the drive part comes into contact with the rolled paper from an upper side and makes the feed roller press the rolled paper in an appropriate force by the weight of the cover part. Therefore, the contact pressure is increased more compared to the conventional mechanism that the rolled paper comes into contact with the feed roller by the weight of the rolled paper. Consequently, the idle rotation of the feed roller is prevented and the feeding force for the rolled paper can be increased.

Further, since the feed roller is arranged on the other end side with respect to the center of the rolled paper, the feed roller comes into contact with the rolled paper all the time even when the remainder of the rolled paper is less and thus an appropriate pad pressure can be obtained. Therefore, the feeding of the paper of the rolled paper can be assured regardless of the remaining quantity of the rolled paper.

In addition, the lid portion of a currently used manual rolled paper holder can be replaced by the cover part of the rolled paper feeding device in the embodiment of the present invention. Therefore, the setting method of the rolled paper is the same as that in the conventional holder and operability can be maintained. Moreover, other component parts except the lid portion of the currently used manual rolled paper holder can be used.

Further, according to the embodiment of the present invention, only the cover part of the rolled paper feeding device is made larger in comparison with the currently used manual rolled paper holder and thus a simple and compact design can be attained.

The rolled paper feeding device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention may be constructed such that an electric power source for supplying electricity to the drive part can be housed in the cover part. According to the construction described above, since the cover part becomes sufficiently heavier and thus the pad pressure on the rolled paper increases so that the feeding of the rolled paper is assured.

In the rolled paper feeding device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the drive part may include a motor and a speed reducing mechanism for transmitting a rotation torque of the motor to the feed roller. In this case, the motor rotates the feed roller through the speed reducing mechanism.

As described above, since the speed reducing mechanism is utilized, the motor can be rotated at its maximum efficiency and thus consumption current is restrained and the service life of the power source (cell) can be extended.

In the rolled paper feeding device in an embodiment of the present invention, a cutter is provided on the other end of the cover part for cutting the paper of the rolled paper being fed out. Therefore, the paper of the rolled paper can be easily cut by using the cutter.

In the rolled paper feeding device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the cover part houses a feed roller for feeding the paper of the rolled paper and a drive part for rotationally driving the feed roller. The feed roller is arranged on the other end side with respect to the center of the rolled paper. The drive part may be constructed to include a drive motor, a speed reducing mechanism for transmitting the rotation of the drive motor to the feed roller, and an one way clutch for transmitting the rotation of the drive motor to the feed roller.

Therefore, since the one way clutch is provided in the drive part for transmitting the rotation of the drive motor to the feed roller, the rotation of the drive motor is transmitted to the feed roller through the speed reducing mechanism and the one way clutch. However, at the time of stopping of the drive motor, the rotation applied to the one way clutch is changed into the opposite direction and thus the clutch is operated. In other words, since the one way clutch is provided, when the paper of the rolled paper is drawn out, the one way clutch is operated so as to cut the connection between the feed roller and the drive motor and thus the rotation of the feed roller is not transmitted to the drive motor. Therefore, the detent torque occurred by the stopping of the drive motor does not affect the manual operation of drawing out the paper of the rolled paper. Accordingly, the paper of the rolled paper can be easily drawn out with minimal effort on the part of the user without being torn.

In the rolled paper feeding device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the cover part houses a feed roller for feeding the paper of the rolled paper and a drive part for rotationally driving the feed roller. The feed roller is arranged on the other end side with respect to the center of the rolled paper. The cover part also includes a control part for controlling the drive part and a static electricity eliminating member disposed in the vicinity of the control part.

According to the embodiment described above, since the static electricity eliminating member is disposed in the vicinity of the control part, the static electricity applied to the control part is eliminated and erroneous operations can be prevented.

In the rolled paper feeding device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the static electricity eliminating member includes a first static electricity eliminating member for preventing electrostatic charging of static electricity from an operator and a second static electricity eliminating member for preventing electrostatic charging of static electricity from the rolled paper. Therefore, adverse effects due to the static electricity from an operator and the static electricity from the rolled paper can be eliminated.

Further, in order to achieve the above object and advantage, according to an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a rolled paper feeding device including a holder body which rotatably supports a rolled paper, a cover part one end of which is rotatably supported in a contacting and separating direction with respect to the rolled paper and the other end of which abuts with the rolled paper, a feed roller for feeding a paper of the rolled paper, a drive part for rotationally driving the feed roller, a control part for controlling the drive part, and a power source for supplying electricity to the drive part and the control part. The control part includes at least a first and a second switches, a timer for setting an operating time of an operation which is executed on the basis of the “on” of the first switch or the second switch, an AND gate which operates when both the first and the second switches are turned on, and a control circuit for controlling the drive part based on an output signal from the timer or the AND gate. The control part is constructed such that, when either of the first switch and the second switch is turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a predetermined length corresponding to the first or the second switch being turned “on”, and when both the first switch and the second switch are turned on, the paper of the rolled paper is fed out with a length which is different from the predetermined length.

Therefore, when both the first and the second switches are turned on, the signal is inputted into the AND gate and the timer is reset, and thus another feeding length can be set which is other than the long feeding length and the short feeding length in the case that either of the first and the second switches are turned on. Accordingly, a user can obtain the desired length of paper from the rolled paper. In addition, since the number of switches are reduced, the cost reduction can be attained or the respective switches are formed larger to enhance their operability.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings that illustrate, by way of example, various features of embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a rolled paper feeding device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view showing the rolled paper feeding device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing a cover part of the rolled paper feeding device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view showing an essential portion of the cover part shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram showing a control part of the rolled paper feeding device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a side view showing a positional relationship between a feed roller and a rolled paper in the rolled paper feeding device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a chart showing the on/off states of switches and the operating state of a motor in the rolled paper feeding device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a front view showing an one way clutch in the rolled paper feeding device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 is a front view showing a switch and a first static electricity eliminating member used in the rolled paper feeding device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 10 is a side view showing the rolled paper and a second static electricity eliminating member used in the rolled paper feeding device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view showing another example in which the one way clutch is arranged on the feed roller side.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view showing another example of the one way clutch.

FIG. 13 is a longitudinal sectional side view showing the one way clutch shown in FIG. 12.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

A rolled paper feeding device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

The rolled paper feeding device 1 includes, as shown in FIG. 1, a holder body 3 for rotatably supporting a rolled paper 2 and a cover part 6 whose one end part 4 is rotatably supported in a direction contacted with or separated from the rolled paper 2. The other end part 5 of the cover part 6 comes into contact with the rolled paper 2. Feed rollers 7 for feeding the paper of the rolled paper 2 and a drive part 8 for driving the feed rollers 7 to rotate are housed in the cover part 6. The feed rollers 7 are disposed on the other end part 5 side farther than the rotational center of the rolled paper 2. In addition, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the drive part 8 includes a drive motor 13, a speed reducing mechanism 14 for transmitting the rotation of the motor 13 to the feed rollers 7 and an one way clutch 17 for transmitting the rotation of the motor 13 to the feed rollers 7.

In the rolled paper feeding device 1, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, the cover part 6 houses the feed rollers 7, the drive part 8, a control part 19 for controlling the drive part 8, and a power source 12 for supplying electric power to the drive part 8 and the control part 19. In this embodiment of the present invention, the rolled paper 2 is toilet paper. The cover part 6 may be constructed so as to have the configuration that can be interchangeable with a cover part of a currently used manual rolled paper holder. Also, a holder body 3 currently used in the manual rolled paper holder can be utilized as is.

The feed rollers 7 are made of rubber in the embodiment of the present invention and arranged at two positions in a coaxial manner. The shaft 9 of the feed rollers 7 is rotatably supported by grooves 10 formed on the case of the cover part 6. As shown in FIG. 6, the setting position of the feed roller 7 is set to be within the range of “X” which is farther than the upper end (point “AA”) in the minimum diameter of the rolled paper 2 from the rotational center 11 of the cover part 6 and which is nearer than the end portion (point “BB”) on the other end part 5 side in the minimum diameter of the rolled paper 2 from the rotational center of the cover part 6. As a result, the feed roller 7 can consistantly come into contact with the rolled paper 2 regardless of the diameter of the rolled paper 2. Moreover, the feeding force can be made uniform because the feed roller 7 comes into contact with the rolled paper 2 with a uniform pressure.

The feed roller 7 is not limited to a roller made of rubber. For example, it may be preferable to use a ceramic roller or a recessed and protruded metal roller or the like as the feed roller 7, which can feed the paper of the rolled paper 2.

The power source 12 supplies electricity to the drive part 8 is housed in the cover part 6. In the embodiment of the present invention, dry cells are used as the power source 12. Therefore, since the cover part 6 becomes sufficiently heavy, the pad pressure to the rolled paper 2 increases and thus the paper of the rolled paper 2 can be surely supplied. A battery box 30 for storing the power source 12 is formed in the cover part 6.

The drive part 8 includes the motor 13 and the speed reducing mechanism 14 transmitting the rotating torque of the motor 13 to the feed roller 7. Multiple step deceleration gears are used as the speed reducing mechanism 14. The speed reducing mechanism 14 is constructed such that the pinion 15 of the motor 13 is connected to the pinion 16 fixed on the feed roller 7 through a gear train. The notational symbol 20 in the drawing is a base plate for supporting the gear train.

The notational symbol 15′ shown in FIG. 4 is the same member as the pinion 15 that is shown to easily understand the relationship between the pinion 15 and the one way clutch 17.

The one way clutch 17 is used in the gear train as shown in FIG. 4. The one way clutch 17 includes a ratchet 31 and a ratchet gear 32 as shown in FIG. 8. The ratchet 31 and the ratchet gear 32 are arranged on a shaft 100 that is fixed on the cover part 6 in a freely rotatable manner. As shown in FIG. 4, an output gear 173 is integrally formed with the ratchet 31 and the rotation in a predetermined direction is transmitted to the speed reducing mechanism 14.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 8, the ratchet 31 is formed with a plurality of elastic arm parts 31a (three pieces in this embodiment) and an engaging tooth part 31b at a front end of the respective elastic arm parts 31a. The ratchet gear 32 is formed with an engagement part 32a having recessed parts 32b each of which is capable of elastically engaging with the engaging tooth part 31b. Therefore, when the rotation of the motor 13 is transmitted to the feed roller 7, the rotation of the motor 13 is transmitted to the ratchet gear 32 through the pinion 15 and further, the rotation is transmitted to the engaging tooth parts 31b of the ratchet 31, which is engaged with the recessed parts 32b of the engagement part 32a of the ratchet gear 32. Then, the rotation of the ratchet 31 is transmitted to the output gear 173 and rotatably transmitted to the speed reducing mechanism 14.

On the other hand, when the paper of the rolled paper 2 is manually drawn out by rotating the feed roller 7 at the time the motor 13 stops, the respective engaging tooth parts 31b disengage from the respective recessed parts 32b by the elastic operation of the elastic arm part 31a. Therefore, the rotation of the feed roller 7 is not transmitted on the ratchet gear 32 side. In other words, since the rotation of the feed roller 7 is not transmitted to the motor 13, the detent torque of the motor 13 does not affect the rotation of the feed roller 7 and thus the feed roller 7 can be easily rotated. As a result, even when the power source is not turned on, the paper of the rolled paper 2 can be easily drawn out manually.

In the embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 4, the one way clutch 17 is disposed at the nearest position to the motor 13 in the gear train from the motor 13 to the feed roller 7. Therefore, at the time of a manual operation, the rotational speed is accelerated from the feed roller 7 to the one way clutch 17 and thus a large torque is applied to the one way clutch 17. However, at the time of being driven by the motor 13, the force applied to the one way clutch 17 can be made small and thus the one way clutch 17 of small proof stress can be employed.

In addition, as shown in FIG. 3, the gear train of the speed reducing mechanism 14 is arranged in the horizontal direction and thus the cover part 6 can be prevented from becoming large in the height direction.

A cutter 18 for cutting the paper fed from the rolled paper 2 is fixed on the other end part 5 of the cover part 6. The cutter 18 is made of rubber. The paper of the rolled paper 2 can be easily cut by using the cutter 18.

In addition, the cover part 6 houses the control part 19 for controlling the drive part 8. The control part 19 includes, as shown in FIG. 5, at least two switches, that is, a first switch 21 and a second switch 22, a first timer circuit 23 as a timer for setting the operating time of an operation executed by turning on the first switch 21, a second timer circuit 24 as a timer for setting the operating time of an operation executed by turning on the second switch 22, an AND gate 25 which generates an output signal when both the first and the second switches 21 and 22 are turned on, and a control circuit 26 for controlling the drive motor 13 as the drive part 8 based on the output signals from the first and the second timer circuits 23 and 24 and the AND gate 25.

When the first switch 21 is turned on, the paper of the rolled paper 2 is fed out by a predetermined length. When the second switch 22 is turned on, the paper of the rolled paper 2 is fed out by another predetermined length that is different from the length for the first switch 21, that is, shorter than that for the first switch 21 in the embodiment of the present invention. When both the first and the second switches 21 and 22 are turned on, the paper of the rolled paper 2 is fed out by further another length other than the lengths described above. In the embodiment of the present invention, the paper of the rolled paper 2 is continuously fed out while both the first switch 21 and the second switch 22 are turned on. In addition, the control part 19 also includes a constant voltage circuit 27 for controlling the voltage of the power source 12.

The cover part 6 is provided with first static electricity eliminating members 28 and a second static electricity eliminating member 29 as shown in FIG. 3. The first static electricity eliminating member 28 prevents the electrostatic charge of static electricity by an operator from adversely affecting the control circuit or the electrostatic charge from flowing into the ground GND of the control circuit. The first static electricity eliminating members 28 are respectively formed of a wire spring and disposed on the side portions of the first switch 21 and the second switch 22. The second static electricity eliminating member 29 prevents the electrostatic charge of static electricity generated on the rolled paper 2 from adversely affecting the control circuit or the electrostatic charge from flowing into the ground GND of the control circuit. The second static electricity eliminating member 29 is formed of a wire spring that is arranged from the lower portion of the cover part 6 toward the rolled paper 2. The static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 are grounded to the ground GND of the control part 19 or the power source 12 by directly connecting to the base plate. These static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 respectively act as a lightning conductor for the static electricity from an operator and the rolled paper 2 and thus the erroneous operation of the control circuit 26 can be prevented.

A protection sheet 136 is disposed above the respective switches 21 and 22 as shown in FIG. 9. The protection sheet 136 is a resin film. A user depresses and deforms the protection sheet 136 downward (two-dot chain line in the drawing) to depress the respective switches 21 and 22. The first static electricity eliminating member 28 is formed a slightly higher than the respective switches 21 and 22. Therefore, when the protection sheet 136 is depressed, the protection sheet 136 comes into contact with the first static electricity eliminating member 28 without impairing the sense of operating the switches. The static electricity from the user flows to the first static electricity eliminating member 28 whose electric resistance is small and thus the first static electricity eliminating member 28 acts as the lightning conductor for the static electricity from the operator. Therefore, the first static electricity eliminating member 28 prevents the control part 19 from an erroneous operation by the static electricity.

The second static electricity eliminating member 29 includes a contact part 133 protruding toward the rolled paper 2 and a connecting part 134 electrically connected to the ground GND of the control part 19 as shown in FIG. 10. The contact part 133 protrudes so as to touch, nearly touch or slightly apart from the rolled paper 2. The contact part 133 is surrounded by a rib 135 formed on the case of the cover part 6. Therefore, the contact part 133 is prevented from engaging with the rolled paper 2 and being transformed. The static electricity from the rolled paper 2 flows to the second static electricity eliminating member 29 and the second static electricity eliminating member 29 acts as the lightning conductor for the static electricity from the rolled paper 2. Therefore, the second static electricity eliminating member 29 prevents the control part 19 from an erroneous operation by static electricity.

An example of the operation of the rolled paper feeding device 1 will be described below.

A rolled paper 2 is set on the holder body 3 and the cover part 6 is placed on the rolled paper 2. A holder body used in the conventional manual system can be utilized for the holder body 3 and, in this case, a conventional operability can be maintained as is.

A user turns on, for example, the first switch 21. As a result, the first timer circuit 23 is activated as shown in FIG. 5 and the motor 13 is driven by the prescribed time period (long mode in FIG. 7). Alternatively, when a user turns on the second switch 22, the second timer circuit 24 is activated and the motor 13 is driven by the prescribed time period shorter than that by the first timer circuit 23 (short mode in FIG. 7). In both the long mode and the short mode, the first timer circuit 23 and the second timer circuit 24 are respectively turned on by the “on” switches 21 and 22 and the motor 13 is driven by the prescribed time even when switches 21 and 22 are turned off.

When the user turns on both switches 21 and 22, a continuous mode is obtained and the motor 13 is driven while they are depressed. At this time, the user tries to depress both the switches 21 and 22 at the same time but this is difficult to achieve. Accordingly, one switch is depressed first and then the other switch is depressed with a very short time difference in between. Therefore, the control circuit starts operation with a mode corresponding to the switch being depressed first. On the other hand, the AND gate 25 outputs signals to the first timer circuit 23 and the second timer circuit 24 by both switches 21 and 22 being turned on to clear the time period of executing operation and thus the respective timer functions are stopped. In the embodiment of the present invention, the mode corresponding to the switch depressed first is reset and the continuous mode is operated. Therefore, the erroneous operation is prevented. In the continuous mode, the first timer circuit 23 and the second timer circuit 24 are not operated and the motor 13 stops when either of the switches 21 and 22 is turned off.

In the embodiment of the present invention, the first switch, the second switch and both of the switches are respectively used to be set in the long mode, the short mode and the continuous mode. However, the present invention is not limited to these modes. For example, the second switch may be used to set in the continuous mode, or another mode other than the long, short and continuous modes may be used.

The rotation of the motor 13 is transmitted to the feed roller 7 through the one way clutch 17 and the speed reducing mechanism 14. Since the weight of the cover part 6 is applied to the feed rollers 7, the rolled paper 2 is rotated without slippage by the pressure of the cover part 6 and the paper is surely fed out.

When the rolled paper 2 is rotated, friction occurs between the case of the holder body 3 and the rolled paper 2 or the cover part 6 and the rolled paper 2 and thus results in static electricity being charged. The static electricity flows to the contact part 133 of the second static electricity eliminating member 29. Therefore, the control part 19 is prevented from erroneous operation by the static electricity.

When the count of the first timer circuit 23 or the second timer circuit 24 ends up in the long mode or the short mode, or alternatively, when the switch 21 or 22 is turned off in the continuous mode, the motor 13 stops and thus the feeding of the rolled paper 2 stops. A user holds the paper that is fed of the rolled paper 2 and cuts with the cutter 18. Since the cover part 6 has a sufficient weight, the paper of the rolled paper 2 can be cut even when the cover part 6 is not pressed by hand.

On the other hand, for example, when the power source 12 is stopped due to battery shortage or power failure, or when the user tries to manually draw out the paper of the rolled paper 2 a little after the paper with the prescribed length is fed out or the user tries to manually draw out the paper of the rolled paper 2 even when the drive motor 13 stops, the paper of the rolled paper 2 can be easily drawn out manually. This is because when the paper of the rolled paper 2 is drawn downward by hand at the time the motor 13 stops the feed rollers 7 are rotated to operate the speed reducing mechanism 14. In the speed reducing mechanism 14, the one way clutch 17 rotates idly and the motor 13 is separated from the gear train. Therefore, the paper of the rolled paper 2 can be drawn out with a little force without being affected by the detent torque of the motor 13.

According to the embodiment of the present invention, the paper of the rolled paper 2 is continuously fed out when “on” is selected on both switches 21 and 22. Therefore, the feeding length of the paper can be arbitrarily adjusted and thus operability is enhanced.

Further, since three operation modes can be performed with two switches 21 and 22, the number of switches and thus the cost can be kept low. Moreover, the size of the switches 21 and 22 can be made larger by the reduced number of switches and thus operability is improved.

Furthermore, according to the embodiment of the present invention, the static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 are provided and thus the erroneous operation of the control circuit 26 can be prevented. Therefore, the shield for the static electricity is not required and the consideration of the resistance to static electricity in the control part 19 is not needed. Accordingly, the complication of the rolled paper feeding device 1 can be prevented.

In addition, the holder body 3 can utilize the holder is used in the current manual system as is and thus the setting method for the rolled paper 2 is not required to change in comparison with the conventional method and operability can be maintained. Moreover, a design that is familiar to the user can be adopted for the currently used manual rolled paper holder. Also, only the cover part is larger in comparison with the currently used manual rolled paper holder and thus a simple and compact design can be attained. Accordingly, for example, when used in a restroom, the sense of a small and narrow space can be reduced.

The present invention has been described in detail by using above-mentioned embodiments, but the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above and many modifications can be made without departing from the present invention.

For example, in one of the embodiments of the present invention, the one way clutch 17 is arranged on the nearest side of the motor 13 in the gear train from the motor 13 to the feed roller 7. However, the position of the one way clutch 17 is not limited to the above-mentioned example and the one way clutch 17 maybe disposed at other positions in the gear train. For example, as shown in FIG. 11, the one way clutch 17 can be disposed on the feed roller 7 side.

In this case, the final gear 33 of the speed reducing mechanism 14 is coupled with the ratchet wheel 32 through gears and the ratchet 31 is formed with an output gear 173 in an integral manner. The output gear 173 is connected with the feed rollers 7 through the gear 34. The notational symbol “35” in FIG. 11 is the gear 34, which is shown for easily understanding the relation between the one way clutch 17 and the feed rollers 7. The operation of the one way clutch 17 is similar to the above-mentioned embodiment and thus its description is discussed above.

According to the construction described above, the force applied to the one way clutch 17 becomes larger when the motor 13 is driven. However, at the time of a manual operation, the paper of the rolled paper 2 can be drawn out with a little force because accelerated force is not applied to the one way clutch 17. The differences between the one way clutch 17 being arranged on the drive motor 13 side and the one way clutch 17 being arranged on the feed roller 7 side are shown in Table 1. In an actual design, the one way clutch 17 is disposed at an optimal position in consideration of the parameters as shown in Table 1 and other elements.

TABLE 1
Item/FeatureMotor sideOutput Gear Wheel side
Holding Power of ClutchSmall:Large:
Motor Torque + αOutput Gear Wheel
Because of beforeTorque + α
DecelerationBecause of
after Deceleration
Yield Strength of ClutchSmallTo some extent required
Clutch SizeSmallLarger
Operational FeelingHeavyLight
at the time ofBecause of afterBecause of before
Manual OperationAccelerationAcceleration

In the embodiment described above, the one way clutch 17 is constructed by using the ratchet 31 and the ratchet gear 32. The present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above and various types of one way clutch mechanisms such as a coil spring type, a needle bearing type and a ball bearing type, regardless of known or novel, can be employed.

For example, in the case of the coil spring type, as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the one way clutch includes an output gear wheel 37 rotatably provided on a roller shaft 36 of the feed roller 7 and an operation spring 38 made of a coil spring which is coaxially provided on the output gear wheel 37 and the roller shaft 36. The output gear wheel 37 is engaged with the final gear 33 of the speed reducing mechanism 14. In the embodiment described above, the winding direction of the operation spring 38 is set to be in the counterclockwise direction (CCW) viewed from the right side in FIG. 12.

The roller shaft 36 and the output gear wheel 37 are respectively formed with cylindrical parts 39 and 40 for engaging with the operation spring 38 to perform a clutch operation. The diameters of the respective cylindrical parts 39 and 40 are set to be slightly bigger than the inner diameter of the operation spring 38. A surface treatment is performed on the outer peripheral face of the respective cylindrical parts 39 and 40 such that an appropriate frictional force is generated with the operation spring 38.

When the motor 13 is driven and a torque is transmitted from the speed reducing mechanism 14 to the output gear wheel 37, the output gear wheel 37 rotates in the clockwise direction (CW) in the drawing. Since the cylindrical part 40 of the output gear wheel 37 similarly rotates in the clockwise direction (CW), the operation spring 38 is wound up tightly by the frictional force between the cylindrical part 40 and the operation spring 38. The winding diameter of the operation spring 38 becomes smaller when the operation spring 38 is wound up and tightened. Therefore, friction is generated between the operation spring 38 and the cylindrical part 39 of the roller shaft 36 to cause the roller shaft 36 to rotate.

On the other hand, when the user tries to draw out the paper of the rolled paper 2 at the time the motor 13 stops, the roller shaft 36 is rotated in the clockwise direction (CW) in the drawing. The cylindrical part 39 of the roller shaft 36 rotates similarly in the clockwise direction (CW) and the winding of the operation spring 38 is loosened by the friction force between the cylindrical part 39 and the operation spring 38. When the winding of the operation spring 38 is loosened, the diameter of the winding of the operation spring 38 becomes larger. Consequently, the friction between the operation spring 38 and the cylindrical part 39 of the roller shaft 36 is reduced and thus the output gear wheel 37 does not rotate.

According to the coil spring type one way clutch, the construction of one way clutch can be simplified due to its simple mechanism. In addition, complicated molded parts are not required and thus cost does not increase. Further, the operation spring 38 and the cylindrical parts 39 and 40 are preferably coated with grease or the like to perform a fine adjustment.

In the embodiment described above, the power source 12 is housed in the cover part 6, but the present invention is not limited to this construction and an external power supply may be used. For example, an external battery box or AC power supply can be used. In addition, the failure due to battery shortage can be eliminated by using the AC power supply. Also, the control part 19 is not limited to be housed in the cover part 6 but may be disposed outside of the cover part 6. For example, the control part 19 may be arranged on the side portion of a toilet seat and the switching operation may be performed on the side portion of the toilet seat.

In the embodiment described above, a gear train is used for the speed reducing mechanism 14 but the present invention is not limited to the gear train. Other speed reducing mechanisms or decelerating mechanisms, for example, using a pulley and a belt may be used. In addition, in the embodiment described above, the one way clutch 17 is utilized but, if not necessary, the one way clutch 17 may be omitted. In this case, when the paper of the rolled paper 2 is to be manually drawn out, the cover part 6 is lifted and then the paper can be easily drawn out.

In the embodiment described above, an appropriate pressure is applied to the rolled paper 2 only by using the weight of the cover part 6. However, when a pad pressure is insufficient for adopting various types of commercial rolled papers whose winding and tightening states are different from each other, a weight or a spring may be preferably provided to increase the pad pressure. In the embodiment described above, the rubber cutter 18 is provided. However, the cutter 18 may be made of another material such as metal and alternatively the cutter 18 may be omitted.

In the embodiment described above, the paper of the rolled paper is continuously fed out when the “on” is selected on both switches 21 and 22. However, the paper of the rolled paper may be fed out with a predetermined length, that differs from the “on” state of the first switch 21 or the “on” state of the second switch 22.

The switch to be used is not limited to a mechanical switch such as a push switch. A non-contact type switch using the infrared ray, a light screening sensor or the like may be used. A non-contact switch is convenient and sanitary though expensive.

In the embodiment described above, only two switches 21 and 22 are used but the present invention is not limited to two switches and three switches or more may be used. In this case, another feeding length of the paper may be set by the “on” state of two or more switches.

In the embodiment described above, a toilet paper is used as the rolled paper 2 but the present invention is not limited to the toilet paper and various kinds of rolled papers 2 such as a paper towels can be used.

In the embodiment described above, the lowering of the voltage may occur with the change of load according to the rolled paper used or with the use of dry cells as the power source. Therefore, the control circuit of the drive part may be constructed so as to include only an on-off switching circuit or a combined circuit of a switching circuit and a constant voltage circuit, a switching circuit and a constant current circuit, a switching circuit and an electronic governor circuit, a switch and another control means, or the like in order to maintain the rotation of the motor as the drive part at a constant speed depending on the desired accuracy for feeding the paper of the rolled paper.

Alternatively, the control circuit of the drive part is constructed so as to include only an on-off switching circuit and a mechanical governor may be used on the drive part side.

In the embodiment described above, the static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 are made of a wire spring but the static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 may be made of a metal strip or a brush for electrostatic discharging.

In the embodiment described above, the first static electricity eliminating member 28 is disposed on the respective side portions of switches 21 and 22. However, the present invention is not limited to that embodiment. For example, both switches 21 and 22 are disposed in close proximity and only one piece of the first static electricity eliminating member 28 is disposed between the switches 21 and 22. Alternatively, the first static electricity eliminating member 28 may be formed of a metal foil or a metal deposition film provided on the face of the protection sheet 36.

In addition, in the embodiment described above, each of the static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 are connected to the ground GND directly. However, the present invention is not limited to the embodiment and each of the static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 are connected to the ground GND through a capacitor, a coil, a resistor or the like. Furthermore, in the embodiment described above, each of the static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 are directly connected to the circuit board of the control part 19. However, the present invention is not limited to the above-mentioned embodiment and the static electricity eliminating members 28 and 29 may be connected through a lead wire or a flexible printed circuit board.

As described above, in the rolled paper feeding device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention, the cover part provided with at least the feed roller and the drive part comes into contact with the rolled paper from the upper side and makes the feed roller press the rolled paper with the weight of the cover part. Therefore, the contact pressure can be increased more than in the conventional case where the rolled paper comes into contact with the feed roller with the weight of the rolled paper. Consequently, the idle rotation of the feed roller is prevented and the feeding force for the rolled paper can be increased.

Further, since the feed roller is arranged on the front end side with respect to the center of the rolled paper, the feed roller comes into contact with the rolled paper all the time even when the remainder of the rolled paper becomes a small amount and thus an appropriate pad pressure can be obtained. Therefore, the feeding of the paper of the rolled paper can be assured regardless of the remained amount of the rolled paper.

In addition, the cover portion of the currently used manual rolled paper holder can be replaced by the cover part of the rolled paper feeding device in the embodiment of the present invention. Therefore, the setting method of the rolled paper is the same as that in the conventional holder and operability can be maintained. Moreover, other component parts except the cover portion of the currently used manual rolled paper holder can be used. Therefore, the design that is familiar to the user can be adopted for the currently used manual rolled paper holder.

Further, only the cover part of the rolled paper feeding device is required to be larger in comparison with the currently used manual rolled paper holder and thus a simple and compact design can be attained. Accordingly, for example, when used in a restroom, the sense of small and narrow space can be reduced.

Further, in the rolled paper feeding device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention, the long, short and another lengths can be set and thus a user can obtain the paper of the rolled paper with the desired length selected. As a result, operability can be improved.

Also, since the number of switches are reduced, the cost reduction can be attained or the larger respective switches are formed to enhance their operability.

Further, in the rolled paper feeding device in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention, since the static electricity eliminating member is disposed in the vicinity of the control part, the static electricity applied to the control part is eliminated and erroneous operations or the like can be prevented. Therefore, the shield for the static electricity is not required and the consideration of the resistance to static electricity in the control part is not needed. Accordingly, the device is prevented from becoming complicated.

While the description above refers to particular embodiments of the present invention, it will be understood that many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit thereof. The accompanying claims are intended to cover such modifications as would fall within the true scope and spirit of the present invention.

The presently disclosed embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims, rather than the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.





 
Previous Patent: Apparatus

Next Patent: Center shifted roll forming