Title:
INTELLIGENT TOWELETTE ELEVATING POP-UP DISPENSING SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to the dispensing of towelettes from a pop-up towelette dispensing system. Towelettes are used for a variety of cleansing tasks in the home and in industry, in addition to use on the human body such as during the process of changing an infant's diaper. According to the present invention, reliable pop-up dispensing of towelettes is provided through the use of an intelligent towelette elevating system for automatically positioning a stack of towelettes within a predefined distance of a dispensing aperture of a dispensing container, and automatically counteracting the weight of a stack of towelettes.



Inventors:
Zychinski, Steven Michael (St. Louis, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/162460
Publication Date:
03/23/2006
Filing Date:
09/10/2005
Assignee:
Zychinski, Steven Michael (St. Louis, MO, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K10/42
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KUMAR, RAKESH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEVEN M. ZYCHINSKI (ST. LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An intelligent towelette elevating dispensing system for pop-up towelette dispensing comprising a dispensing container, said dispensing container comprising a stack of towelettes, said dispensing container comprising an upper portion and a lower portion, said upper portion comprising a dispensing aperture, said lower portion comprising an intelligent towelette elevating system, said intelligent towelette elevating system comprising a surface, or plurality of surfaces, and a resilient appendage, or plurality of resilient appendages.

2. An intelligent towelette elevating dispensing system according to claim 1, wherein said intelligent towelette elevating system automatically positions a stack of towelettes such that the next to be staged for removal towelette is positioned within a minimized and predefined distance of the dispensing aperture of the dispensing container.

3. An intelligent towelette elevating dispensing system according to claim 1, wherein said intelligent towelette elevating system automatically assures the adhesion level between the preceding towelette removed from the dispensing container and the next to be staged for removal towelette will be greater than the adhesion level between the next to be staged for removal towelette and the remainder of the stack of towelettes by neutralizing the force exerted by the weight of the stack of towelettes, and thereby lessening the adhesive level between the next to be staged for removal towelette and the remainder of the stack of towelettes.

4. An intelligent towelette elevating dispensing system according to claim 1, wherein said surface, or plurality of surfaces of the intelligent towelette elevating system function as a guide for a stack of towelettes towards the dispensing aperture of the dispensing container.

5. An intelligent towelette elevating dispensing system according to claim 1, wherein said resilient appendage, or plurality of resilient appendages of the intelligent towelette elevating system exert a variable force dependent on the amount of their compression and that the maximum force exerted by the sum of the resilient appendages is approximately that of the force exerted by the weight of a full stack of towelettes.

6. An intelligent towelette elevating system for use in a pop-up towelette dispensing system. An intelligent towelette elevating system comprising a surface, or plurality of surfaces, and a resilient appendage, or plurality of resilient appendages.

7. An intelligent towelette elevating system according to claim 6, wherein said intelligent towelette elevating system automatically positions a stack of towelettes such that the next to be staged for removal towelette is positioned within a minimized and predefined distance of the dispensing aperture of the dispensing container.

8. An intelligent towelette elevating system according to claim 6, wherein said intelligent towelette elevating system automatically assures the adhesion level between the preceding towelette removed from the dispensing container and the next to be staged for removal towelette will be greater than the adhesion level between the next to be staged for removal towelette and the remainder of the stack of towelettes by neutralizing the force exerted by the weight of the stack of towelettes, and thereby lessening the adhesive level between the next to be staged for removal towelette and the remainder of the stack of towelettes.

9. An intelligent towelette elevating system according to claim 6, wherein said surface, or plurality of surfaces of the intelligent towelette elevating system function as a guide for a stack of towelettes towards the dispensing aperture of the dispensing container.

10. An intelligent towelette elevating system according to claim 6, wherein said resilient appendage, or plurality of resilient appendages of the intelligent towelette elevating system exert a variable force dependent on the amount of their compression and that the maximum force exerted by the sum of the resilient appendages is approximately that of the force exerted by the weight of a full stack of towelettes.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/522,353, filed on Sep. 19, 2004. The disclosure of the above application is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Towelettes, such as well known Wet Wipes, are consumer products commonly provided in a single handed, or sometimes called one at a time, or other times called pop-up dispensing system comprising of a stack of rectangular-shaped, moistened and interfolded sheets packaged in a refillable moisture impervious container. Towelettes have been made from a variety of materials and moistened with a variety of aqueous solutions for use in cleaning surfaces both animate and inanimate in the home and in industry.

One particular application is the use of towelettes for cleansing an infant's anal, perineal and genital body parts when changing a diaper. Typically, pop-up towelette dispensing systems have been designed to provide single towelette dispensing with the use of one hand. When a towelette is removed from the container, another towelette should be automatically staged for easy removal. This is accomplished by the configuration of the interfolded stack of towelettes in conjunction with the dispensing aperture of the dispensing container. This is particularly important in this application since one hand is typically restraining an infant while the other hand is obtaining a towelette and performing the cleansing.

One problem with pop-up towelette dispensing systems on the market is that when a towelette is removed from the dispensing container and another towelette fails to automatically stage for easy removal. The problem increases in occurrence as the distance between the dispensing aperture of the dispensing container and the next to be staged for removal towelette increases. This scenario is particularly sensitive when a consumer has only one hand available for the retrieval of a towelette, such as during the process of changing an infant's diaper. It is awkward for a consumer to probe through a dispensing aperture or open a container lid to manually stage the next towelette.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In various embodiments of the present invention, a system is provided that automatically positions and counteracts the weight of a stack of towelettes within a dispensing container. The system automatically positions a stack of towelettes such that a next to be staged for removal towelette is positioned within a predefined distance of a dispensing aperture of a dispensing container that retains a stack of towelettes. Positioning the next to be staged towelette within a predefined distance and counteracting the weight of the remaining stack of towelettes assures that when the preceding towelette is removed, the next to be staged towelette is properly and reliably staged within the dispensing container aperture. The intelligent towelette elevating system continues to automatically position and counteract the weight of the remaining stack of towelettes so that each subsequent next to be staged towelette is properly and reliably staged within the aperture throughout the diminishing capacity of the stack.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Several embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the following drawings. The drawings are merely representative and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a partially cut away perspective illustration of an intelligent towelette elevating system supporting a near empty stack of towelettes within a pop-up towelette dispensing system.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional illustration of an intelligent towelette elevating system in a compressed state within a pop-up towelette dispensing system due to the force exerted by the weight of a full stack of towelettes.

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional illustration of an intelligent towelette elevating system in an extended state within a pop-up towelette dispensing system due to the force exerted by the weight of a near empty stack of towelettes.

FIG. 4 is a perspective illustration of an intelligent towelette elevating system in an extended state.

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional illustration of an intelligent towelette elevating system in a compressed state.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional illustration of an intelligent towelette elevating system in an extended state.

FIG. 7 is a front perspective illustration of an alternate intelligent towelette elevating system in an extended state.

FIG. 8 is a front perspective illustration of an alternate intelligent towelette elevating system in an extended state.

FIG. 9 is a front perspective illustration of an alternate intelligent towelette elevating system in an extended state.

FIG. 10 is a front perspective illustration of an intelligent towelette elevating pop-up dispensing system in an empty state, or devoid of a stack of towelettes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings, and will herein be described in detail, a preferred embodiment of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiment illustrated.

Referring to FIG. 1, the present invention is an intelligent towelette elevating system 1 for a pop-up towelette dispensing system. The intelligent towelette elevating system 1 is most suited for pop-up towelette dispensing systems, although nothing prevents application of this invention to other towelette dispensing systems.

As previously stated, pop-up towelette dispensing is intended to be accomplished by the configuration of an interfolded stack of towelettes 6 in conjunction with a dispensing aperture 5 of a dispensing container 4. There are two main principals that should be observed to accomplish reliable pop-up towelette dispensing. First, the distance between the leading edge of the next to be staged towelette and the dispensing aperture 5 of the dispensing container 4 should be minimized and less than the unfolded length of the towelette to assure proper staging within the dispensing aperture 5. And second, the adhesion level between the preceding towelette removed from the dispensing container 4 and the next to be staged for removal towelette needs to be greater than the adhesion level between the next to be staged for removal towelette and the remainder of the stack of towelettes 6.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the use of the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 within a pop-up towelette dispensing system throughout the diminishing capacity of a stack of towelettes 6. Both principles, as stated above, are observed to accomplish reliable pop-up towelette dispensing. First, the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 automatically positions a stack of towelettes 6 such that the next to be staged for removal towelette is positioned within a minimized and predefined distance of the dispensing aperture 5 of the dispensing container 4. And second, the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 automatically assures the adhesion level between the preceding towelette removed from the dispensing container 4 and the next to be staged for removal towelette will be greater than the adhesion level between the next to be staged for removal towelette and the remainder of the stack of towelettes 6. This is facilitated by neutralizing the force exerted by the weight of the stack of towelettes 6, and thereby lessening the adhesive level between the next to be staged for removal towelette and the remainder of the stack of towelettes 6. The intelligent towelette elevating system 1 will automatically reposition and counteract the weight of a stack of towelettes 6 throughout its diminishing capacity.

Referring to FIGS. 4, 5, and 6, the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 has a surface 2 that is sized and shaped to function as a guide for a stack of towelettes 6 towards a dispensing aperture 5 of a dispensing container 4 within a pop-up towelette dispensing system. Attached to the surface 2 is a pair of resilient appendages 3. Two resilient appendages 3 extend from the surface 2 at predefined locations such that the pair of resilient appendages 3 cooperates to horizontally level the surface 2. The resilient appendages 3 are sized and shaped to function within towelette dispensing systems and are biased to exert a variable force perpendicular to the surface 2 and dependent on the compression height of the intelligent towelette elevating system 1. The maximum force exerted by the sum of the resilient appendages 3 is approximately that of the force exerted by the weight of a full stack of towelettes 6. This allows the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 to be almost fully compressed under the weight of a full stack of towelettes 6, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, and almost fully extended under the weight of a near empty stack of towelettes 6, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 6.

In the preferred embodiment, the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 is comprised of two resilient appendages 3 attached and extending from a surface 2. However, nothing should be construed to limit the invention. Any number of surfaces and appendages may be implemented within the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, two surfaces 10 and four appendages 11 could be another configuration, as shown in FIG. 7. Another configuration could be detachable appendages 15 that employ other resilient components 16 for exertion of the variable force, as shown in FIG. 8. Still another configuration could be replacing the defined surface 2 of the preferred embodiment with the outer surfaces 20 of one continuous appendage 21 alone, as shown in FIG. 9.

In the preferred embodiment, the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 is depicted as being a separate entity inserted into a pop-up towelette dispensing system. Alternatively, the intelligent towelette elevating system 1 could be integrated into a pop-up towelette dispensing system to create an intelligent towelette elevating pop-up dispensing system 25, as shown in FIG. 10, comprising of resilient appendages 27 extending from a dispensing container 26.