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Customizable Push bar cover for Hand Care Dispensers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245687D
Publication Date: 2016-Mar-30
Document File: 4 page(s) / 445K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The disclosed subject matter enables flexible and cost-efficient mass-customization for hand care dispensers. The solution includes a translucent plastic rectangular section that can be easily attached to the dispenser push bar (i.e., "push bar cover") and a rectangular printable water-resistant card or tag (i.e., "customizable tag") to be slotted in the inner part of the push bar cover. The push bar cover is attached to the push bar by a guide rail system located at each side of the inner part of the cover and a fastening click mechanism (fastening clamp) at the top of the cover, to stay strongly attached to the push bar. The cover contains two smaller rails in the inner part that help the customizable tag to stay still in a predetermined position, and a plastic flap that further contributes to the correct positioning of the customizable tag within the predetermined location in the cover. The push bar cover is made of translucent plastic to facilitate full visibility of the customizable card and avoid wear & tear as well as potential acts of misuse related to easy accessibility by the public. Background In a number of occasions, the appearance of the soap dispenser is set to match the overall appearance of the area where the dispenser is located. There is also the need to tailor the dispenser design and architecture to closely meet specific customer requirements, either by means of made-to-order aesthetics (e.g. matching customer corporate identity) or by embedding procedures or applications that match customers' use of hand care products (e.g. color coding or screen printing of images, diagrams or text). There is also the desire to enable seamless product recognition for all users (primarily, for the staff and, secondly, for the general public). An example of that is the use of tags or decals attached to the front covers of the dispensers. This trend is especially present across market segments in those areas that are visible to the public, also known as "Front of House" or public areas. However, in a smaller scale, this trend has been observed also in "Back of House" or staff areas. Production costs and supply chain variables may not allow mass customization of hand care dispensers. An example of hand care dispenser customization is by offering a screen printed cover that is attached to the product recipient through a bracket. However, truly cost-efficient and flexible mass customization, there are limitations related to the high cost of tailoring solutions at individual level (production, stock keeping, distribution and commercialization, among others). Summary The presently disclosed subject matter enables mass customization for hand care dispensers. The customizable push bar cover for hand care dispenser includes 2 plastic covers that follow the same design principle: both can be easily snapped in to the hand care dispenser push bar by using a guide rails and click mechanism. The inner part of the push bar cover has an additional rail system and a small plastic flap to insert a card or tag that will remain protected from users and environmental agents. Cover 1: A customizable translucent push bar cover made of translucent plastic, for those customers that want to offer this customization functionality; this is obtained thanks to the combined effect of a translucent plastic that allows full visibility of a card or tag that can be easily and cost-efficiently printed into a myriad of design possibilities. Cover 2: Same as cover 1, but also including an antimicrobial coating. Customers who do not want to alter the original design of the dispenser (black or white) and only value the antimicrobial properties of the cover can do that by simply not inserting any card/tag in the inner part of the push bar cover. As seen in the sketch below, rigid plastic guiderails (identified in red) on both sides of the inner part of the push bar cover help the card/tag to be inserted. A flap at the top inner part of the push bar cover will help keep the card/tag in place (identified in dark red). The outer guiding rails (identified in light blue) in the inner part of the push bar cover, made of rigid plastic, will help snap in the cover, while the fastening mechanism (identified in dark blue) at the top of the inner part of the push bar cover, made of rigid plastic, will help to keep the cover in place. The disclosed subject matter allows one to identify and differentiate dispensers per application area: especially relevant for customers in healthcare or food processing areas, where more than one product is required (e.g. antimicrobial soap, hand sanitizer, hand moisturizer, etc.). The use of labels or even customized dispensers is common in the marketplace, but presents a number of pitfalls for customers and suppliers. The disclosed subject matter also permits consistent while flexible communication across fleet of dispensers at customer site / network, and modification of communication via dispensers over time. There are a number of variables that can vary in the customer site / network that can be reflected/updated in the dispenser cover. Those are elements such as customer logo, protocols and procedures, type of product/application dispensed and others. The disclosed subject matter also makes it possible to use the dispenser's architecture/surface to promote hand hygiene and make it more attractive: customers who don't have agile and cost-efficient options to design and develop (or purchase) customized dispensers are able to increase the appeal of hand hygiene neither by using the disclosed way to change that communication tactics over time. These tactics can be also deployed to increase awareness of hand hygiene and its impact to reduce HAI and foodborne illnesses. End users / staff don't want to touch surfaces (such as push bars) that are dirty (potentially contaminated) areas. While previous antimicrobial push bars have proved to be an effective way to reduce this factor, their antimicrobial properties are not proven to remain effective over time, meaning that customers would need to order and change dispensers over a period of time or (if technically feasible) provide an additional coating of the antimicrobial substance (e.g. silver ion technology) on the push bar. The disclosed subject matter helps to overcome the costs of massive customization: offering cost-efficient, rapid and flexible mass customization; and offers customization. The disclosed customizable push bar: a) helps customers increase hand wash attractiveness by providing them with a support that can be customized at customer / site level or even at dispenser level with a myriad of attractive possibilities at almost zero cost and with total flexibility (can be changed as frequently as the customer desires); b) enables customers to identify product or application type by using color coding or naming tactics and even guide users / staff on how to follow certain protocols / procedures; c) enables customers to replace their antimicrobial push bar as frequently as desired to offer an optimum hygiene level, therefore increasing hand wash attractiveness and potentially hand hygiene compliance. The delivery of a cover instead of a full new dispenser is not only more cost-effective for the customer but also for the supplier. The customized tag/card may be placed between the translucent plastic cover and the push button (i.e. not direct physical exposure to the public or environmental agents such as water, air, and chemicals), so that maintenance levels are reduce. This avoids having labels or external tags as less attractive since they need to be changed due to vandalism, wear & tear and exposure to chemicals, often causing high maintenance costs.

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Customizable Push bar cover for Hand Care Dispensers                        

The disclosed subject matter enables flexible and cost-efficient mass-customization for hand care dispensers. The solution includes a translucent plastic rectangular section that can be easily attached to the dispenser push bar (i.e., “push bar cover”) and a rectangular printable water-resistant card or tag (i.e., “customizable tag”) to be slotted in the inner part of the push bar cover. The push bar cover is attached to the push bar by a guide rail system located at each side of the inner part of the cover and a fastening click mechanism (fastening clamp) at the top of the cover, to stay strongly attached to the push bar. The cover contains two smaller rails in the inner part that help the customizable tag to stay still in a predetermined position, and a plastic flap that further contributes to the correct positioning of the customizable tag within the predetermined location in the cover. The push bar cover is made of translucent plastic to facilitate full visibility of the customizable card and avoid wear & tear as well as potential acts of misuse related to easy accessibility by the public. 

Background

In a number of occasions, the appearance of the soap dispenser is set to match the overall appearance of the area where the dispenser is located. There is also the need to tailor the dispenser design and architecture to closely meet specific customer requirements, either by means of made-to-order aesthetics (e.g. matching customer corporate identity) or by embedding procedures or applications that match customers’ use of hand care products (e.g. color coding or screen printing of images, diagrams or text). There is also the desire to enable seamless product recognition for all users (primarily, for the staff and, secondly, for the general public). An example of that is the use of tags or decals attached to the front covers of the dispensers.

This trend is especially present across market segments in those areas that are visible to the public, also known as “Front of House” or public areas. However, in a smaller scale, this trend has been observed also in “Back of House” or staff areas. Production costs and supply chain variables may not allow mass customization of hand care dispensers. An example of hand care dispenser customization is by offering a screen printed cover that is attached to the product recipient through a bracket. However, truly cost-efficient and flexible mass customization, there are limitations related to the high cost of tailoring solutions at individual level (production, stock keeping, distribution and commercialization, among others).

Summary

The presently disclosed subject matter enables mass customization for hand care dispensers. The customizable push bar cover for hand care dispenser includes 2 plastic covers that follow the same design principle: both can be easily snapped in to the hand care dis...