Delphi Oracle Corp.
Intellectual Property Licensing


Covered by Pat. No. 6,564,934.  A second application is pending.
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Abstract:  The various embodiments of the invention are directed to systems for the dispensing and mixing of agents, such as paint colorants, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or beverage additives such as sweeteners and creamers, by means of a binary array of dispensers.  An array of blister dispensers is preferred.


        There are many materials intended for home or industrial use that are not used to completion.  Such materials, when containing hazardous materials such as solvents, reactive resins and the like, require special disposal treatment.  A particular example of such a material is paint.  Industries using such materials generally have sufficient disposal procedures in place to insure that hazardous materials such as solvent based paints do not enter landfills, but are properly disposed of.  Such is generally not true for waste paint generated by homeowners, model makers, and artists, where quantities of waste paint may be disposed of with other domestic wastes.  Also, industrial users typically have procedures to insure the efficient utilization of paint and resins, so that waste is minimized, while for domestic users, it is often the case that a large portion of the material is wasted.  This waste is due in part to the large minimum size of the cans of paint that are commercially available, especially with paints having custom colors. There are also errors in color selection, and waste due to poor sealing of partially used paint cans.  There is therefore a need for small quantities of materials such as paints that minimize waste.
        A large portion of the time invested in painting is often associated with color selection.  Colors are generally selected from books containing small color chips.  A visit to a paint supplier is then needed to obtain a quantity of paint mixed by the supplier to the selected color.  When this paint is applied to a surface considerably larger than the color chip, it is often found that the color now seems too dark or too light, or has some other aesthetic deficiency.  This results in the waste of the initial quantity of paint, as well as wasting time in obtaining more paint for a second try.  Time and paint would both be saved if the painter could conveniently and accurately mix a small amount of the desired color himself, saving trips to the supplier, and minimizing wasted paint.
        In mixing colorants into paints, paint suppliers must open the container to introduce colorants.  Errors in dispensing of the proper dose of colorant occur, as well as spillage from improperly resealed containers.  A system that introduced factory-measured doses of colorants into a sealed container would therefore be desirable.
        The range of paint colors that may be selected from a chip book is necessarily small, limited by the size and cost constraints of the book.  A system that would allow greater freedom of color selection to the painter while eliminating the need for chip books would be of great utility.