INERTIA BRAKING PAYOUT DEVICE AND PACKAGE SYSTEM
A payout device that includes a carton, a rotatable member, and a slot is provided. The carton can include an opening that provides an egress for elongated flexible material stored within the carton. The rotatable member can be disposed within the carton, the rotatable member can have a circumference, and the elongated flexible material can be wound around the rotatable member. The slot can rotatably support the rotatable member, the slot can have a round shape that is larger than the circumference of the rotatable member, at least a portion of the rotatable member can be slidable within the slot between a payoff position and a braking position, the rotatable member can be rotatable within the slot when in the payoff position for dispensing the elongated flexible material from the opening in the carton, and the payoff position can be elevated relative to the braking position.
- 1-20. -20. (canceled)
- 21. A payout device comprising:
a carton, wherein the carton includes an opening that provides an egress for elongated flexible material stored within the carton; a rotatable member disposed within the carton, wherein the rotatable member has a circumference, and wherein the elongated flexible material is wound around the rotatable member; and a slot that rotatably supports the rotatable member, wherein the slot has a round shape that is larger than the circumference of the rotatable member, wherein at least a portion of the rotatable member is slidable within the slot between a payoff position and a braking position, wherein the rotatable member is rotatable within the slot when in the payoff position for dispensing the elongated flexible material from the opening in the carton, and wherein the payoff position is elevated relative to the braking position.
- View Dependent Claims (22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29)
- 30. A payout device comprising:
an elongated rotatable cylindrical member disposed within the carton, wherein the elongated rotatable cylindrical member has a circumference around which the elongated flexible material is wound; and two slots for rotatably supporting the elongated rotatable cylindrical member at opposing ends thereof, wherein each of the two slots has a round shape that is larger than the circumference of the elongated rotatable cylindrical member, wherein at least a portion of the elongated rotatable cylindrical member is slidable within each of the two slots between a payoff position and a braking position, wherein the elongated rotatable cylindrical member is rotatable within each of the two slots when in the payoff position for dispensing the elongated flexible material from the opening in the carton, and wherein the payoff position is elevated relative to the braking position.
- View Dependent Claims (31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38)
This application is a continuation of and claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/322,477 filed Jul. 2, 2014, which claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/928,545 filed Jan. 17, 2014, the entirety of which are hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
The subject invention pertains generally to a device for packaging and dispensing elongated flexible spoolable material and, more particularly, to a dispensing device housing a rotatable member supported by tapered slots which prevent unintended rotation of the rotatable member and/or inadvertent payout of the material.
Traditional payout packaging devices for elongated flexible material such as, for example, cable, wire, rope, chain, strapping or the like, typically employ a rotatable spool suspended by “stanchions” (stands) on either side of the reel. In dispensing material from such a device, typically a user will pull a free end of the material causing the spool to rotate and the material to unwind therefrom. Once a desired portion of the material has been unwound from the spool, the user can cut off an amount that is needed, leaving the remainder of the material on the spool for future use.
As a disposable design, such traditional devices are typically passive and allow for “free wheel” or “over spin” of the spool/reel during use. Such over spin can cause tangling or excess payout of the material being dispensed which can lead to added scrap or waste and/or additional labor to wind back the device or process the unused material. Over time, such issues and efforts can increase frustration, production time and costs for a user.
Known designs attempt to address this issue by incorporating a passive friction brake that can generate additional tension to reduce the spin of the reel. However, such alternate designs can create an over tension problem for installers/users. Such devices are additionally unreliable and/or impractical to the extent that the braking mechanism is either fabricated from low-grade material that can frequently be damaged or break, or is alternatively constructed from more well-made materials that are costly to produce. Accordingly, an economical solution is needed which can prevent over spin while limiting engagement when tension is applied.
Thus, in view of the foregoing, it would be extremely useful to have the benefit of a payout device as disclosed herein that can provide minimal reactive tension on the dispensed material while it is being pulled and additionally engage a braking function when no tension is applied to the material being dispensed. It would further be desirable if such a device was economical, light weight and reusable so that it can be procured without excessive investment and further be assembled, operated, transported and reloaded without undue labor or attention. It will be recognized by persons of ordinary skill in the art that such a device can improve the operation and productivity of a user'"'"'s operation and/or business.
While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will be described herein in detail specific embodiments thereof 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 invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.
As presented herein, embodiments of the subject invention are directed to a device for packaging and payout of elongated flexible material. The device can feature a rotatable member, a carton, container or housing enclosing the rotatable member and at least one support member having a slot for rotatably supporting the rotatable member within the carton. According to such embodiments, the rotatable member can include, for example, a reel, spool, mandrel, rod, shaft, roll or similar article that rotates around a fixed central longitudinal axis and can carry elongated flexible material around its outer circumference. The rotatable member can have an elongated configuration and be positioned partially or entirely within an interior compartment of the carton. Elongated flexible material can be wound around the rotatable member and extend through an opening in the carton so as to enable an individual to pull a free end of the material in order to dispense a desired amount of material from the carton. When the free end of the material is pulled, the rotatable member can rotate and material wound around the rotatable member can unwind therefrom and be pulled from the carton. When a desired amount of the material has been withdrawn from the carton, a user can cut or trim a section of the material, thus exposing a new free end for the remaining material still wound around the rotatable member. When material is not under tension (i.e., being pulled from the carton), the device is configured to provide resistance to the rotatable member to prevent unintended or excessive rotation and/or inadvertent payout of the material wound thereon.
As described herein, it will be understood by persons of ordinary skill in the art that embodiments of the subject invention can be used, without limitation, in connection with any kind of elongated flexible material that can be wound or spooled without departing from the novel scope of the subject invention. Such material can include, for example, wire, cable, rope, chain, strapping, banding, string, line, cord, tape, hose, plastic film, ribbon, cloth or any kind of analogous flexible or spoolable material.
With reference now to the figures,
Although the embodiment illustrated in
According to embodiments presented herein, the support structure 16 can include one or more slots 24 which can be sized and shaped for receiving a portion of the rotatable member 14. The support structure 16 can be incorporated into the panels 18a-d, or can be a separate structure(s) located within the interior compartment 20 of the carton 12 or outside the panels 18a-d.
Embodiments presented herein can have alternate or additional support structures 16 or configurations as desired. For example, the support structure 16 can include plates (not pictured) secured to the interior or exterior of panels 18a-18d or a u-shaped bracket (not pictured) having a transverse portion joining opposing arms that extend substantially parallel to opposing panels 18a-d of the carton 12. In such instances, the plates or arms of the support structure 16 can include at least one slot 24 of the type illustrated in
According to embodiments presented herein, the slot(s) 24 (and/or the support structure 16 for the slots 24) can be positioned on or in the carton 12 in an upright and forwardly angled position relative to a vertical axis, whereby the larger diameter end 26 is elevated from the smaller diameter end 28 and is further positioned slightly closer to the opening 30.
It will be recognized that the subject device 12 can allow for little reactive tension on the payout material 22 while it is being pulled and additionally engage a braking function when no tension is applied to the material 22. It will be further recognized that additional benefits of the subject device are that it can be customer/user friendly in that it is relatively easy to use and requires little labor to operate or to load a new rotatable member 14 or payout material 22. In addition, the automated braking function can prevent excessive discharge of the payout material 22 which can typically result in wasted material and/or tangles or kinking of the material 22 which can require additional user attention and/or delay. Further benefits of the device disclosed herein are that it can be economical, easy to transport and be environmental-friendly.
The device 10 can additionally include an access door 40 on at least one panel 18a-d for accessing the interior compartment 20. The access door can be hinged, slidable or removable from the carton 12 as need be and can be an entire panel 18a-d or merely disposed on a portion of a panel.
Persons of ordinary skill in the art will further understand that the carton 12 can be reusable such that once a spool, reel or mandrel 14 of payout material 22 is exhausted, another can be easily loaded into the carton 12 or the material 22 can be reloaded on the existing member 14. Additionally, the device 10 can be provided as a fully assembled unit or partially assembled as need be. For example, the carton 12 can include slots, flaps or folds enabling the carton 12 to be easily collapsible for assembly and disassembly before or after use. Further, whether fully or partially assembled, one or more cartons 12 can be transported on a shipping pallet with the spool 14 and payout material 22 pre-loaded in place and ready for use, or such internal components can be provided within an assembled carton in an unassembled state. Alternatively, the carton 12 can be transported or provided in a collapsed unassembled state with the rotatable reel 14, support members 16 and payout material 22 accompanying the materials, or provided separately altogether.
From the foregoing, it will be observed that numerous variations and modifications may be effected without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific apparatus illustrated herein is intended or should be inferred. It is, of course, intended to cover by the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the scope of the claims.
Further, logic flows depicted in the figures do not require the particular order shown, or sequential order, to achieve desirable results. Other steps may be provided, or steps may be eliminated, from the described flows, and other components may be added to, or removed from the described embodiments.