Patents Represented by Attorney Donald R. Campbell
  • Patent number: 4681396
    Abstract: A low-divergence 1.06 micrometer wavelength beam from a total-internal-reflection, face-pumped laser (TIR-FPL) is focused onto the end of a quartz optical fiber to a spot having a size smaller than the fiber diameter and with a beam cone angle less than twice the numerical aperture of the fiber. The fiber transmits the energy to emerge at the other end where it is collimated and focused onto material to be processed. A laser average output power level greater than 400 watts can be transmitted through an optical fiber having a diameter less than 600 micrometers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1984
    Date of Patent: July 21, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Marshall G. Jones
  • Patent number: 4676586
    Abstract: Pulse laser energy in the near infrared and visible spectrum is passed through a single fiber optic at power levels required for material and metal processing. A neodymium-YAG laser used in pulsed mode is coupled to the end of a quartz fiber optic which transmits peak powers in the kilowatt range. In order to transmit higher amounts of average power, a prepared fiber end allows beam coupling through core-air and core-cladding zones. The beam at the output of the fiber optic is focused to achieve power densities capable of cutting, drilling, and welding of metals etc. The main advantage is greater flexibility of laser beam manipulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1985
    Date of Patent: June 30, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Marshall G. Jones, Gregory Georgalas
  • Patent number: 4675502
    Abstract: A real time steering capability is provided to permit robot motion to be modified continuously in three dimensions as the robot is moving along a taught path. An arc welding robot or other taught path robot has a sensor located on the robot arm to sense the position of a desired path. The tracking control provides real time steering commands to the standard robot taught path and are calculated based on maintaining a constant, preprogrammed velocity along the desired path and coordination with the taught path. Offsets to the robot taught path are computed in a manner that allows the robot to smoothly follow the actual path as measured by the look ahead path sensor. The offsets are determined as separate x, y, z and twist integrations for the end effector and represent the total deviations from the robot taught path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1985
    Date of Patent: June 23, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Kenneth B. Haefner, Larry M. Sweet, Ming H. Kuo
  • Patent number: 4664470
    Abstract: A method and system use a composite filter to produce a beam of light with patterns of different wavelength light mingled together in a controlled manner. The composite filter includes a first interference filter having a first interference pattern on a interference side of a first substrate and a second interference filter having a second interference pattern on an interference side of a second substrate. The first and second interference filters are bonded together with the first and second interference patterns abutting each other. The first interference pattern is made of interference material which passes visible light and reflects infrared light, whereas the second interference pattern passes infrared light and reflects visible light. The composite filter separates and light into alternate patterns of visible light and infrared light which are reflected from the surface of an object to generate surface measurement data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 1984
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: William S. Yerazunis
  • Patent number: 4659956
    Abstract: Improved focussing and increased bandwidth is obtained in a single-element ultrasonic transducer for non-destructive evaluation and material characterization applications. The piezoelectric ceramic element has a radius of curvature R.sub.1, and a combination lens and cover layer on its front surface has a radius of curvature R.sub.2 which is less than R.sub.1. The depth of field of the transducer is increased and the bandwidth improved; the total thickness of the lens may be selected to control bandwidth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1986
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Casmir R. Trzaskos, John D. Young
  • Patent number: 4644498
    Abstract: Three hardware real time clock subcircuits are connected in a triple modular redundancy configuration to assure continued operation if one subcircuit fails. A power supply or processor failure will not cause a clock supplying other processors to fail. Output of voted master clock pulses to the counter in every subcircuit is inhibited until all power supplies are turned on and stabilized, and the time base of the real time clock pulses is variable. The output pulses of all subcircuits are voted on and the voter output is the real time clock. The master clock can be the processor clock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 17, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: James F. Bedard, Vijay C. Jaswa
  • Patent number: 4642617
    Abstract: Substantial cutting condition changes that occur gradually, as opposed to the more usual sudden large change, are detected by setting upper and lower cutting noise mean level thresholds. When the mean cutting noise exceeds the upper threshold or stays below the lower threshold for a preset number of signal samples, a tool break alarm is generated. Techniques are given to reduce false alarms at the start and end of the cut and on runout on initial rough surface cuts. The system comprises an accelerometer or other sensor whose signal is preprocessed to attenuate lower frequency machinery noise and detect the signal energy in a band below 100 KHz, then sampled, and the digitized signal samples analyzed by pattern recognition logic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1984
    Date of Patent: February 10, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Charles E. Thomas, Minyoung Lee, James F. Bedard, Steven R. Hayashi
  • Patent number: 4637248
    Abstract: A rotating displacement sensor located on the tool holder under the cutting tip works equally well in many directions so it can perform in-process and tool condition compensation of contoured parts. The air nozzle is rotated by a turret-mounted motor and has a rectangular displacement sensing orifice whose plane is kept parallel to machined surfaces. An automatic control continuously adjusts the nozzle rotation to minimize the air gage output voltage and measured distance from the nozzle to the workpiece. The device may be used strictly as an inspection head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Robert A. Thompson, Robert S. White
  • Patent number: 4638499
    Abstract: High resolution in an X-ray computerized tomography (CT) inspection system is achieved by using a collimator/detector combination to limit the beam width of the X-ray beam incident on a detector element to the desired resolution width. In a detector such as a high pressure Xenon detector array, a narrow tapered collimator is provided above a wide detector element. The collimator slits have any desired width, as small as a few mils at the top, the slit width is easily controlled, and they are fabricated on standard machines. The slit length determines the slice thickness of the CT image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1986
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jeffrey W. Eberhard, Dallas E. Cain
  • Patent number: 4636780
    Abstract: This tool break detection system relies on monitoring changes in the cutting noise itself, rather than detecting the tool fracture acoustic signal. A broken tool capable of damaging the workpiece is detected, and tool break events that do not affect cutting conditions are ignored. The signal from a sensor such as an accelerometer is preprocessed to attenuate low frequency machinery noise and detect the signal energy in a band below 100 KHz, then sampled, and the digitized signal samples analyzed by pattern recognition logic. Runout false alarms during rough surface cutting are prevented; after detection of an abrupt increase or decrease in signal level, the confirmation period to test for a persistent shift in mean level is set longer than the workpiece revolution period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1984
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Charles E. Thomas, Minyoung Lee, James F. Bedard, Steven R. Hayashi
  • Patent number: 4636611
    Abstract: The optical properties of circular prisms, which are also known as axicons, are utilized in optical systems that generate one or more quiescent, steady in time, sharply focused circular and arc-shaped patterns of light. A laser beam incident on the circular prism is deviated by the prism effect and the emerging beam focused onto a target surface by a spherical lens or zoom lens; the radius of the circle is conveniently adjusted. Systems with stationary optics are described to efficiently form two concentric, uniform circles, or two offset circular or approximately circular arcs, from input beams derived from one or two lasers. These structured light patterns are used in tracking an edge or groove, for instance to locate the workpiece joint in robotic arc welding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Carl M. Penney
  • Patent number: 4636779
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring vibrations of a cutting tool produced by tool break events, and for interpreting them to detect tool breaks of sufficient magnitude to endanger the machined part. The signal generated by a sensor such as an accelerometer is preprocessed to attenuate low frequency machining noise and detect the energy in a higher frequency band, then sampled, and the digitized signal samples analyzed by tool break detection logic. This logic is triggered by a positive-going signal transient, and prevents false alarms on minor tool break events that do not mar the workpiece and on noise from other sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1984
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1987
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Charles E. Thomas, William S. Yerazunis, Joseph W. Erkes, Minyoung Lee
  • Patent number: 4631683
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring vibrations of a machine tool metal-cutting tool insert and interpreting them to promptly detect the initial touch to the workpiece and signal the tool to stop advancing before marring the surface. The signal generated by a sensor such as an accelerometer is preprocessed to eliminate lower frequency machine noise and detect the energy in a higher frequency band, then sampled and analyzed by digital circuitry. In order to avoid false alarms on high amplitude spiky noise pulses generated by traverse operation of the machine tool, the tool touch alarm is delayed longer than the maximum duration of the noise pulses. Two techniques are given to ignore the noise spikes while still detecting the tool touch signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1984
    Date of Patent: December 23, 1986
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Charles E. Thomas, Minyoung Lee, James F. Bedard, Steven R. Hayashi, William S. Yerazunis
  • Patent number: 4620444
    Abstract: A gated peak detector capable of operating at frequencies of the order of 50 Mhz. and with pulse repetition rates of the order of 10,000 pulses per second includes high speed positive and negative peak detectors driving corresponding sample and hold circuits, the outputs of which are combined in a differential amplifier, the output of which is digitized to provide an output digital signal corresponding to the peak-to-peak value of the input waveform. An automatic polarity selector circuit sums the outputs from the sample and hold circuits, compares the sum to a reference voltage, and controls switches connected to the outputs of the sample and hold circuits and to the input of an analog sample and hold circuit which provides an analog output signal corresponding to the larger of the detected peak values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1984
    Date of Patent: November 4, 1986
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: John D. Young
  • Patent number: 4620281
    Abstract: The condition of the cutting tool is monitored during a turning operation and the machine is adjusted to compensate for tool condition. The device is also used as an in-process part inspection system. A probe on the cutting tool-tool holder assembly measures the distance to the freshly cut surface and the probe signal is monitored; when this distance changes indicating tool nose wear, the numerical control is alerted to adjust the tool during the chip-forming operation to compensate for wear. A broken or worn-out tool signal shuts down the machine. After a cutting pass the part is inspected by retracting the cutting tool and running the part program. There is an error in the part when the probe signal and thus the measured distance is not constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1984
    Date of Patent: October 28, 1986
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Robert A. Thompson, Richard W. Breuning
  • Patent number: 4618924
    Abstract: Constructive solid geometry is a technique of representing parts by adding and subtracting a set of primitive shapes. Automatic tool paths to machine a part with a rotating cutter are generated by taking the constructive solid geometric description of the part and replacing every primitive shape by an offset primitive, larger or smaller than the part by the cutter radius. A planar section slice of the offset part has the property that the center of the milling cutter will traverse this section curve and form the original part without gouging. To machine efficiently, a series of parallel slicing planes are taken from top to bottom through the offset part. For each section curve, numerical control machine code is generated to direct the cutter to follow that path, and the part is automatically machined. The method applies to both rough and finish cutting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1984
    Date of Patent: October 21, 1986
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: John K. Hinds
  • Patent number: 4613743
    Abstract: A robotic arc welding system has an integrated vision sensor to image and analyze the weld scene in real time. The most effective weld puddle geometry discriminants for use in an adaptive feedback control, to assure full penetration welds, are weld puddle area and maximum width. The adaptive control system determines a puddle geometry error and a correction to nominal welding current to change the heat input to the weld pool, regulating a combination of puddle area and width, or only puddle area under some welding conditions, to control weld quality during the welding process. Arc voltage is modulated to reflect changes in welding current and maintain constant arc length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1984
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1986
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Herman A. Nied, Radhakisan S. Baheti
  • Patent number: 4611111
    Abstract: A computationally efficient technique to determine weld puddle area and maximum width in real time from noisy measurements of the puddle trailing edge. Using the torch electrode as the origin, image intensities are sampled in radial directions, and potential pool edge points are extracted. The boundary data is prefiltered to remove extraneous points, and a least-squares algorithm is used to estimate the area and width of the elliptical puddle. The values are sent to a vision-based arc welding robot control system which regulates these pool parameters to assure full penetration welds. Angular orientation of the weld puddle is estimated in an analogous manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1985
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1986
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Radhakisan S. Baheti, Nelson R. Corby, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4596917
    Abstract: A multivariable process monitor and method of monitoring a resistance spot welding process to yield instantaneous information on weld quality during the weld cycle. Sensors on the machine measure welding input variables and workpiece response variables and provide signals to a microcomputer system. A simplified analytical model of the spot welding process is incorporated in the microcomputer and is the reference for the weld quality logic that accepts or rejects the weld. Faulty welds are diagnosed and the reason displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 24, 1986
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Herman A. Nied, Stanley J. Godwin, Robert K. Cohen, Robert V. Klint, Hsin-Pang Wang
  • Patent number: 4594651
    Abstract: This computer architecture is optimized for computing the state transitions of a controller, whereas conventional computers are optimized for data manipulation. The concurrent processor for control efficiently implements both the continuous and discrete control functions and has a processing element with two parts, the continuous and discrete processing elements. An arbitrary number of processing elements in a linear array have nearest-neighbor communications, and a general purpose microprocessor is provided to interact with them. Continuous states are computed concurrently and there is provision for interaction between continuous and discrete controls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1986
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Vijay C. Jaswa, Charles E. Thomas