Seeking to introduce a well-designed and efficient paper towel dispenser system to the market, Wisconsin Plastics Inc. (WPI) developed a patented roll towel dispensing system called PROvider. WPI, based in Green Bay, WI, is an organization of independent companies that provides ideas, innovation, and custom-manufactured products to customers around the world. The company’s PROvider product line, which includes this patented roll towel dispensing system, was designed for commercial and other away-from-home restroom settings. To learn more about the development of this product line, Facility Executive posed several questions to the company.
Q: What prompted WPI to pursue designing a paper towel dispenser for commercial restrooms?
A: The company initially became involved in the bathroom dispenser market as a contract manufacturer. WPI helped design and produce paper products dispensers for a variety of paper manufacturers. As a result, WPI had a natural connection to the industry and an inherent knowledge of dispensing towel, bath tissue, and napkin products, along with an understanding of the common troubles maintenance crews report about such dispensers.
We saw an opportunity to design a new style of dispensing systems for the away-from-home markets that eliminated the challenges of loading product and overall performance. We patented our design and created the PROvider towel dispenser (shown here). We’ve also created a complementary line of products including towel and bath tissue dispensers.
Meanwhile, we realized that customers wanted the option of customization. We offer the ability to customize the dispensers with direct to substrate printing, allowing for full color logos to be added.
Q: What did you discover during the research, and how did this translate into the PROvider dispenser?
A: When development of the PROvider began in 2015, WPI’s design team had intrinsic knowledge of many of the problems associated with these type of towel dispensers. These issues included systems that did not function properly in times of high use, required regular maintenance, and/or were difficult to refill with paper, oftentimes when they were needed most.
Features of PROvider include a redesigned and patented internal cutting mechanism that provides consistent performance, and thoughtfully designed system that allows for fast and easy tissue loading. Furthermore, the PROvider line is highly customizable, using a direct to substrate printing technique that places ink directly onto the plastic to create a durable four-color image. The product also utilizes braille encoding to communicate function. This is standard on all PROvider products.
In addition, WPI utilizes unique part design and knowledge of plastics to improve durability and overall performance.
Q: What other products are part of the PROvider line?
A: The PROvider line is made up of five different dispensers. In addition to the mechanical hands-free towel dispenser described above, there are:
- A multi-fold towel dispenser designed to accept commercial-grade standard folded paper towel products (specifically, C-Fold or M-Fold products).
- A center pull towel dispenser featuring an adjustable nozzle that accepts a wide range of center pull towels. This dispenser’s use life is three times that of a traditional dispenser.
- A jumbo roll tissue single dispenser that is easy to load and accepts a wide range of bath tissue.
- A jumbo roll double dispenser for bath tissue that is designed to maximize capacity and efficiency for high traffic areas.
Meanwhile, we have under development: standard bath tissue for side by side and vertical dispensing (for use in class A office); and tabletop and tower napkin dispensers (for use in Q.S.R. and cafeteria settings).