A sheet material dispenser includes a controller for automatically controlling the lengths of sheet materials dispensed from a continuous roll by identifying the type of sheet materials on the roll and dispensing suitable lengths of the identified sheet material. The dispenser desirably has a support for rotatably supporting a roll of sheet material carrying identification relating to the type of sheet material on the roll, and an identifier positioned in or adjacent the dispenser for identifying the type of sheet material on the roll. A processor receives data from the identifier, processes the data and generates an output command, and a controller controls the lengths of sheet material dispensed from the roll in response to the output command. In this way, more absorbent products may be dispensed in shorter lengths and less absorbent products may be dispensed in longer lengths.
13 Claims, 9 Drawing Sheets