Patents by Inventor Thomas Michael Ales, III

Thomas Michael Ales, III has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 9241839
    Abstract: A wetness monitoring system is provided for an absorbent article, the wetness monitoring system including a signaling device including an alarm to indicate that the absorbent article has reached an insult limit. The signaling device operates with a sensor array which is disposed on the outermost surface of the absorbent article outer cover. The signaling device includes a detection circuit which measures changes in inductance or capacitance. The wetness monitoring system does not make direct contact with the absorbent structure located within an outer cover of the absorbent article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Jose Kollakompil Abraham, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Sudhanshu Gakhar, Jeffrey Robert Heller, Davis Dang Hoang Nhan, Joseph Raymond Feldkamp, Sridhar Ranganathan
  • Patent number: 8866052
    Abstract: A heating article is provided including a heating element including a first layer of nonwoven fibers mixed with conductive fibers, wherein the layer is divided to include a conductive region and a nonconductive region, wherein the conductive region extends in a co-extensive and co-planar pattern in a majority of the layer, and wherein the conductive region has first and second ends, and a power source removably coupled to the first and second ends. The first layer can include nonwoven fibers mixed with non-metallic conductive fibers. The heating article can also include a second layer superposed with the first layer, wherein the second layer is substantially free of non-metallic conductive fibers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Davis-Dang Hoang Nhan, Sudhanshu Gakhar, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Sridhar Ranganathan
  • Patent number: 8866624
    Abstract: Signaling systems are disclosed that indicate a change in an absorbent article, such as the presence of a body fluid. The various different signaling systems disclosed do not include any conductive elements contained on the interior of the article as were required in the past. Instead, the changes are monitored from the outer cover of the article. In one aspect, for instance, a signaling device is provided for sensing and indicating the presence of a body exudate in an absorbent article, the device including a housing and a capacitive sensor disposed within the housing, the capacitive sensor adapted to sense a change in capacitance due to an insult to the absorbent article. The signaling device can include an attachment mechanism for removably attaching the housing to the absorbent article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Sudhanshu Gakhar, Andrew Mark Long
  • Publication number: 20130018340
    Abstract: A wetness monitoring system is provided for an absorbent article, the wetness monitoring system including a signaling device including an alarm to indicate that the absorbent article has reached an insult limit. The signaling device operates with a sensor array which is disposed on the outermost surface of the absorbent article outer cover. The signaling device includes a detection circuit which measures changes in inductance or capacitance. The wetness monitoring system does not make direct contact with the absorbent structure located within an outer cover of the absorbent article.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Publication date: January 17, 2013
    Inventors: Jose Kollakompil Abraham, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Sudhanshu Gakhar, Jeffrey Robert Heller, Davis Dang Hoang Nhan, Joseph Raymond Feldkamp, Sridhar Ranganathan
  • Patent number: 8299317
    Abstract: An absorbent article includes a liner and an outercover in facing relation and at least one conductive element located between the liner and the outercover. At least a portion of the conductive element is exposed through the liner and/or the outercover to define at least one external contact point. The external contact point defines a perimeter and the liner and/or the outercover is sealed about the perimeter. The contact points provide external access to the internal conductive elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Darold Dean Tippey, Andrew Mark Long, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Thomas David Ehlert
  • Patent number: 8264362
    Abstract: Disclosed is an insult-sensing absorbent article including an absorbent assembly, an insult-sensing means coupled to the absorbent assembly, and a tuned antenna system coupled to the insult-sensing means. Also disclosed is a method for indicating an insult to an absorbent article to be worn by a wearer, the method including providing an absorbent article including a conductive element; providing an antenna system associated with the absorbent article, the antenna system including a signal generator and an antenna, wherein the antenna includes the conductive element, and wherein the antenna system is adapted to transmit a signal; and maximizing the receivability of the signal by optimizing an aspect of the antenna system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Andrew Mark Long, Timothy Joseph Wurth, Terrance James Hill
  • Publication number: 20120157948
    Abstract: A disposable absorbent article and a method for providing a disposable absorbent article having a urine insult volume indicator and a longitudinal centerline having a urine insult volume indicator and a longitudinal centerline includes a liquid permeable inner surface for facing a wearer; an outer cover having an outer surface for facing away from the wearer; an absorbent body disposed therebetween; and a front waist region, a back waist region, and a crotch region extending longitudinally between and interconnecting the front and back waist regions. The article also includes a two-dimensional pattern having a plurality of segments, a longitudinal extent, and a transverse extent, the pattern disposed between the absorbent core and the outer surface, wherein the pattern is in fluid contact with the absorbent core, and wherein a segment changes appearance when wetted and is visible from the outer surface when wetted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2010
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Inventors: David-Dang Hoang Nhan, William Pitman Laratta, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Sandra Kay Knight
  • Patent number: 8057454
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention provide methods and systems for determining hydration of an article and/or a person. The physical and/or electrical properties of a device in the absorbent article may be altered by hydration received in the absorbent article. The alteration of the physical or electrical properties may indicate the amount of hydration in the absorbent article. Furthermore, a time period for receiving the hydration in the absorbent article may also be determined. The hydration of the person may be determined based on a fluid output rate from the person computed using the amount of hydration output from the person and the time period for receiving the hydration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Mark Long, Davis Dang Hoang Nhan, Sridhar Ranganathan, Darold Dean Tippey, Andrew Thomas Baker, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Shawn Jeffery Sullivan
  • Patent number: 7760101
    Abstract: Methods of reducing sensor corrosion include providing a monitor adapted to electrically connect with a wetness sensor integrated with an absorbent article. The wetness sensor has a first conductor and a second conductor and the monitor includes programming instructions that, when the monitor is attached and activated, repetitively execute a sequence of steps that includes applying voltage to the first conductor; measuring the potential across the conductors; and discontinuing the voltage to the first conductor. The instructions may also repetitively execute a sequence of steps that includes alternatively applying voltage to the first and second conductors and/or grounding the first conductor and/or second conductors after discontinuing voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2010
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Shawn Jeffery Sullivan, Paul E. Jansen
  • Publication number: 20100168702
    Abstract: Signaling systems are disclosed that indicate a change in an absorbent article, such as the presence of a body fluid. The various different signaling systems disclosed do not include any conductive elements contained on the interior of the article as were required in the past. Instead, the changes are monitored from the outer cover of the article. In one aspect, for instance, a signaling device is provided for sensing and indicating the presence of a body exudate in an absorbent article, the device including a housing and a capacitive sensor disposed within the housing, the capacitive sensor adapted to sense a change in capacitance due to an insult to the absorbent article. The signaling device can include an attachment mechanism for removably attaching the housing to the absorbent article.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2009
    Publication date: July 1, 2010
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Sudhanshu Gakhar, Andrew Mark Long
  • Publication number: 20100168694
    Abstract: A signaling device for sensing and indicating the presence of a body exudate in an absorbent article includes a housing and a paired IR generator/detector disposed within the housing, the paired IR generator/detector adapted to sense a change in infrared light reflectance due to an insult to the absorbent article, the paired IR generator/detector including an infrared-generating light-emitting diode and an infrared-detecting phototransistor. In addition, a body exudate collection and detection system includes an absorbent article and a signaling device adapted to be used in conjunction with the absorbent article for detecting the presence of a body exudate therein, the signaling device including a housing and a paired IR generator/detector disposed within the housing, the paired IR generator/detector including an infrared-generating light-emitting diode and an infrared-detecting phototransistor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 14, 2009
    Publication date: July 1, 2010
    Inventors: Sudhanshu Gakhar, Sridhar Ranganathan, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Randall George Sarkis
  • Publication number: 20100152688
    Abstract: An insert for sensing a bodily fluid or condition and for use in conjunction with an undergarment or a disposable absorbent article is provided, the insert including a first substrate having a first substrate article-facing surface and a first substrate body-facing surface, a second substrate having a second substrate body-facing surface, and an absorbent element disposed between the first and second substrates. The insert also includes two conductive elements disposed between the second substrate body-facing surface and the first substrate article-facing surface, wherein the conductive elements are adapted to be removably connectable to a signaling device. Also provided is an insert including a first substrate having a first substrate article-facing surface; and two conductive elements disposed on the first substrate, wherein each conductive element comprises conductive paper or tissue, and wherein the conductive elements are adapted to be removably connectable to a signaling device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2008
    Publication date: June 17, 2010
    Inventors: Julie Larsen Handwerker, Stephen Scott Harkness, Nathan Allen Genke, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Andrew Mark Long
  • Patent number: 7737322
    Abstract: Absorbent articles comprising one or more sensors capable of detecting the presence of a body waste in the absorbent article are described. In particular, the absorbent articles comprise at least one chemiresistor capable of detecting the presence of volatile organic compounds associated with a body waste. When a body waste is detected, an indicator means signals a caregiver and/or a user of the absorbent article that an insult has occurred.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Jan G. Dong
  • Patent number: 7700821
    Abstract: A wetness monitoring system is provided for an absorbent article, the wetness monitoring system including a signaling device including a counter to count the number of discrete insults, a timer to monitor the elapsed time that the article has been worn, and an alarm to indicate that the number of discrete insults has reached an insult limit or that the elapsed time has reached an elapsed time limit, whichever occurs first. The signaling device can be adapted to indicate one of first, second, and third conditions, the first condition being that the number of discrete insults has reached an insult limit, the second condition being that the elapsed time has reached an elapsed time limit, and the third condition being the first to occur of either of the first and second conditions, and wherein the condition to be indicated is selected by the wearer or by a caregiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Andrew Mark Long, Meghan Elizabeth Collins
  • Publication number: 20090326409
    Abstract: A clothing sufficiency indication system is presented for use in conjunction with a disposable absorbent article. The system includes a microclimate sensor adapted to be disposed on the disposable absorbent article, the microclimate sensor including a microclimate temperature sensing portion adapted to sense a microclimate temperature, wherein the clothing sufficiency indication system is adapted to generate a clothing sufficiency indication based on the microclimate temperature. Also presented is a method for determining the clothing sufficiency of a subject including providing a clothing sufficiency indication system including a microclimate sensor for measuring a microclimate temperature within clothing of the subject, translating the microclimate temperature into a clothing sufficiency recommendation, and communicating the clothing sufficiency recommendation to a caregiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2008
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Inventors: Jason C. Cohen, Corey Thomas Cunningham, David W. Koenig, Thomas Michael Ales, III
  • Publication number: 20090315728
    Abstract: Methods of reducing sensor corrosion include providing a monitor adapted to electrically connect with a wetness sensor integrated with an absorbent article. The wetness sensor has a first conductor and a second conductor and the monitor includes programming instructions that, when the monitor is attached and activated, repetitively execute a sequence of steps that includes applying voltage to the first conductor; measuring the potential across the conductors; and discontinuing the voltage to the first conductor. The instructions may also repetitively execute a sequence of steps that includes alternatively applying voltage to the first and second conductors and/or grounding the first conductor and/or second conductors after discontinuing voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2008
    Publication date: December 24, 2009
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Shawn Jeffery Sullivan, Paul E. Jansen
  • Publication number: 20090294435
    Abstract: A heating article is provided including a heating element including a first layer of nonwoven fibers mixed with conductive fibers, wherein the layer is divided to include a conductive region and a nonconductive region, wherein the conductive region extends in a co-extensive and co-planar pattern in a majority of the layer, and wherein the conductive region has first and second ends, and a power source removably coupled to the first and second ends. The first layer can include nonwoven fibers mixed with non-metallic conductive fibers. The heating article can also include a second layer superposed with the first layer, wherein the second layer is substantially free of non-metallic conductive fibers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2009
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Inventors: Davis-Dang Hoang Nhan, Sudhanshu Gakhar, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Sridhar Ranganathan
  • Patent number: 7595734
    Abstract: A monitor, for use with an absorbent article having a wetness sensor, includes a power management system. The monitor may include a hinge, a housing, and a power management system. The power management system may include an integrally activated and deactivated power circuit. The power circuit includes a first contact associated with the hinge and a second contact associated with the housing. The first contact is electrically connected with the second contact when the monitor is in a closed condition. The first contact is electrically disconnected with the second contact when the monitor is in an open condition. A monitor having a power management system may further include an attachment circuit and/or a continuity circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2009
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Mark Long, Christopher Peter Olson, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Shirlee Ann Weber, Jens Hauvn
  • Patent number: 7504550
    Abstract: A limited use, disposable article (20), comprises a matrix-substrate (22), and an electrically-conductive region (24) of a separately provided, electrically-conductive material that has been operatively applied to the matrix-substrate from a viscous configuration of the electrically-conductive material. The matrix-substrate includes a first matrix-region (26), and at least a second matrix-region (28). At least the second matrix-region (28) can include a treatment that provides for an operative formation of a selected resistivity in the electrically-conductive region. The first matrix-region (26) has a high resistivity, and the electrically-conductive region (24) is positioned operatively adjacent the second matrix-region (28). The electrically-conductive region (24) has a low resistivity, as determined when the electrically-conductive region is positioned operatively adjacent the second matrix-region and configured for its intended use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2009
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Darold Dean Tippey, Thomas Michael Ales, III
  • Publication number: 20090062758
    Abstract: A wetness monitoring system is provided for an absorbent article, the wetness monitoring system including a signaling device including a counter to count the number of discrete insults, a timer to monitor the elapsed time that the article has been worn, and an alarm to indicate that the number of discrete insults has reached an insult limit or that the elapsed time has reached an elapsed time limit, whichever occurs first. The signaling device can be adapted to indicate one of first, second, and third conditions, the first condition being that the number of discrete insults has reached an insult limit, the second condition being that the elapsed time has reached an elapsed time limit, and the third condition being the first to occur of either of the first and second conditions, and wherein the condition to be indicated is selected by the wearer or by a caregiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Publication date: March 5, 2009
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Andrew Mark Long, Meghan Elizabeth Collins