Patents Represented by Attorney George A. Grove
  • Patent number: 6446511
    Abstract: A method and system for testing joints which join one member to another member are disclosed. The method and assembly are capable of non-destructively testing joints which join such members without damaging the members or the joints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Robert T. Thornton, Pei-Chung Wang, James Franklin Hengel, David P. Kelly
  • Patent number: 6429397
    Abstract: A pogo welding apparatus especially for spot welding metal sheets at selected locations spaced away from their edges wherein the sheets are held in a temporary assembly with the selected locations engaged and separate programmable positioners move a primary (pogo) electrode and a backup electrode sequentially against opposite sides of the selected locations to spot weld the sheets at the selected locations in sequence. Various alternative programmable positioners, including robots of varying types, may be used to carry the electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Peter C. Sun, Pei-Chung Wang, Charles Weldon Wampler, II, Douglas Martin Linn
  • Patent number: 6422969
    Abstract: A powertrain has a prime mover and a final drive gearing interconnected by a planetary gear arrangement including three planetary gear sets and five torque transmitting mechanisms. The planetary gear sets each have three rotatable members. Two members of a first of the planetary gear sets are continuously interconnected respectively with members of a second of the planetary gear sets. One of the interconnected pairs is continuously connected with the prime mover. The third member of the second planetary gear set is continuously connected with one member of the third of the planetary gear sets. Another member of the third planetary gear set is continuously connected with the final drive gearing. Three of the torque transmitting mechanisms are operatively connected between the planetary gear sets and a transmission housing to selectively restrain rotation of selected members of the three planetary gear sets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Madhusudan Raghavan, Patrick Benedict Usoro
  • Patent number: 6415901
    Abstract: A selectively engageable torque transmitting mechanism has an apply piston, a plurality of first friction plates, a plurality of second friction plates, and a backing plate. The first friction plates are drivingly connected with one transmission member and the second friction plates are drivingly connected with another transmission member and alternately spaced with the first friction members. The friction plates are generally annular members having axial faces that are magnetized with opposite polarities. The magnetized faces of the first friction plates are disposed adjacent like polarity faces of the second friction plates to enforce separation thereof when the torque transmitting mechanism is in a disengaged state. The apply piston of the torque transmitting mechanism also has an annular face with a magnetic polarity disposed in opposition to an oppositely polarized surface on an adjacent member of the torque transmitting mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: General Motor Corporation
    Inventor: Patrick Benedict Usoro
  • Patent number: 6398690
    Abstract: A powertrain has an engine, torque converter, and planetary transmission that includes an input shaft, an output shaft, two simple planetary gear sets, rive rotating torque transmitting mechanisms (clutches) and one stationary torque transmitting mechanism (brake). The planetary gear sets are interconnected with both a permanent interconnection and a selective interconnection. A first member of a first of the planetary gear sets is continuously connected with the output shaft and a first member of the second planetary gear set is continuously connected with a stationary portion of the transmission. Two of the clutches are operable to selectively connect the input shaft with the second and third members of the first planetary gear set, respectively. A third of the clutches is connectable between the second member of the second planetary gear set and the output shaft. The brake is selectively connectable between the second member of the first planetary gear set and the stationary portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Kumaraswamy V. Hebbale, Sekhar Raghavan, Patrick Benedict Usoro
  • Patent number: 6397825
    Abstract: A fuel system for an internal combustion engine has an air-assist fuel injection system. An oxygen generator is employed to supply oxygen-enriched air to the fuel injector to create a more readily ignitable mixture in the engine combustion chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Edward Daniel Klomp
  • Patent number: 6371267
    Abstract: A magnetorheological fluid clutch has a pair of radially spaced magnetic core members that cooperate with an input rotor to form a pair of working gaps filled with magnetorheological fluid (MRF). An encapsulated electric coil disposed in a radially inner of the two magnetic cores is energized to establish a magnetic field through the cores, the input rotor and the MRF to establish a torque transmitting relation therebetween. The magnetic cores are secured to a channel ring and a housing in both of which a plurality of cooling channels are formed. The channels in the housing are in fluid communication with an input path to a serpentine flow path formed between the radially outer magnetic core and the housing to direct liquid cooling flow thereto. A return path from the serpentine flow path is in communication with the channels in the channel ring to direct liquid cooling flow therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Chi-Kuan Kao, Patrick Benedict Usoro, Andrew Leslie Bartos, Anthony L. Smith
  • Patent number: 6373021
    Abstract: A method for forming an electrical resistance weld between a metal tube and a metal sheet is disclosed. In the method, a plurality of generally circular protrusions having generally triangular cross sections is formed upon the sheet. Thereafter, electrodes are utilized to flex the tube, while an electrical current is generated for electric resistance welding the sheet to the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Pei-Chung Wang, Ningjian Huang
  • Patent number: 6369395
    Abstract: A release mechanism is located within a vehicle trunk for releasing the trunk lid. The mechanism includes a handle coated with a phosphorescent material to allow the handle to be viewed within a darkened trunk. The phosphorescent material is excited or made to glow by external light conducted through light-conducting means. The light-conducting means extends between a location external to the vehicle and a point adjacent the handle. The handle glows for a period of time following the exposure to the external light entering the conducting means to allow visibility of the handle within a darkened trunk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: David Martyn Roessler
  • Patent number: 6362586
    Abstract: A method and device for controlling the torque of a permanent magnet (PM), synchronous, alternating-current (AC) motor, wherein the motor is powered by an inverter connected to a direct-current (DC) power source, is proposed. The method includes the steps of communicating a torque command signal from a user to a microcontroller, sensing the alternating-current phase currents of the motor and communicating electrical signals representing data concerning the phase currents to the microcontroller, sensing the position of the rotor of the motor and communicating electrical signals representing data concerning the position of the rotor to the microcontroller, and utilizing the microcontroller to implement a modulation technique to generate electrical switching signals for creating electrical sinusoidal waveforms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignees: General Motors Corporation, Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Malakondaiah Naidu
  • Patent number: 6360705
    Abstract: A valve lift mechanism for an internal combustion engine is disposed on the engine cylinder head. The valve lift mechanism has a rocker arm pivotally mounted on the stem of an engine intake valve that is slidably mounted in the cylinder head of the engine. The inlet valve is reciprocated by rocking motion of the rocker arm to control the opening and closing of an inlet passage in the cylinder to thereby control the incoming air/fuel mixture. A contact roller is mounted adjacent one end of the rocker arm on one side of the pivotal mount and a contact surface is formed along the rocker arm on the opposite side of the pivotal mount. A positioning mechanism including a roller is operable to selectively position a contact point between the roller and the contact surface to establish a rocking point for the rocker arm between a maximum lift position for the inlet valve and a minimum lift position of the inlet valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Madhusudan Raghavan, Jie Tong
  • Patent number: 6360726
    Abstract: An adaptive same-ignition-cycle passive method is disclosed for the real-time detection and compensation of fuel volatility (or equivalently, the fuel driveability index, DI) during cold start of a multi-cylinder engine. The method detects a signature of fuel volatility on engine speed (rpm) immediately after engine starts to run. In accordance with this method, a local short-duration high-amplitude speed droop is associated with fuels of various volatility which can be detected within the first second after engine ignition while engine is in idle-neutral operation mode. The speed droop is uniquely correlated with the fuel DI value in the form of calibration tables at different temperatures. The actual fuel DI is thus detected and the optimum fuel enrichment/enleanment is quickly determined within few events after engine is flagged as running even before the transmission is engaged (vehicle still in P/N mode).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Hossein Javaherian
  • Patent number: 6349681
    Abstract: A cylinder block, often a siamese cylinder block, for an internal combustion engine having a heat pipe located in each of the common walls between adjacent cylinders where at least one of the ends of each heat pipe extends into the cylinder block coolant passage such that heat emanating from each cylinder flows into an adjacent portion of one or more heat pipes and flows through the pipes by continuous evaporation and condensation of the pipe's working fluid into the engine coolant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Chin-Hsiu Li
  • Patent number: 6327900
    Abstract: A method for advising a motor vehicle operator of the need to change the lubricating oil in a direct or an indirect injection diesel engine. The rate of degradation of the engine oil is determined from monitoring engine revolutions, engine oil temperature and engine oil contamination content. At the start of service after an oil change has occurred, a value corresponding to the maximum allowed number of engine revolutions for the useful life of the oil is stored in the memory of the vehicle's computer. Periodically during each period of vehicle operation, an effective engine revolutions value is determined in relation to the product of measured engine revolutions, an engine oil temperature dependent penalty factor and an oil contaminant content dependent penalty factor. The penalty factors increase the effective engine revolutions value to compensate for engine operating conditions that tend to cause increased degradation of the engine oil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: John E. Mc Donald, Ellen Shirley Schwartz, Nshan Hamparian, Michael Jacek, Joseph M. Stempnik, Scott John Fletcher
  • Patent number: 6321727
    Abstract: The engine or powertrain control module of a vehicle remains electrically powered after the engine is stopped and is used to assess whether there is a leak in the evaporative emissions control system. Fuel tank temperature and pressure data, as well as fuel level data, is analyzed over a brief period of time by module and, if ambient conditions are suitable, the vent on the fuel adsorption canister is closed by signal from the module. The system is thus sealed and the module then analyzes the system pressure changes over a second brief period as the fuel cools by heat loss to detect the vacuum that will occur if the system has no leak.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Sam Raghuma Reddy, Gregory Earl Rich, Gregory Edward Labus, Timothy E. Mc Carthy
  • Patent number: 6318531
    Abstract: A viscous clutch of the magnetorheological fluid type includes an input drive member and an output driven member. A selectively energizable magnetorheological fluid is disposed in a working gap between one cylindrical member on the input member and two cylindrical members on the output shaft. A slip ring configuration on the output member is provided to permit the introduction of electrical energy to a coil assembly disposed on the output member, which coil is energized to establish a magnetic field in the working gap, thereby energizing the magnetorheological fluid. Wiper structures on the input and output members prevent the accumulation and/or centrifugal packing of the iron particles in the magnetorheological fluid adjacent the axial ends of the cylindrical members. A cavity for excess magnetorheological fluid or fluid draining from the working gap is provided between opposed members of the output member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignees: General Motors Corporation, Behr America, Inc.
    Inventors: Patrick Benedict Usoro, Anthony L. Smith, Chi-Kuan Kao, George Moser, Gordon Sommer
  • Patent number: 6314952
    Abstract: An improved individual cylinder fuel control method based on sampled readings of a single oxygen sensor responsive to the combined exhaust gas flow of several engine cylinders. A model-based observer is used to reproduce the imbalances of the different cylinders and a proportional-plus-integral controller is used for their elimination. Both the observer and the controller are formulated in terms of a periodic system. The observer input signal is preprocessed such that it reflects at each point of time the deviation from the current A/F-ratio mean value calculated over two engine cycles. Therefore, transient engine operating conditions do not harm the reconstruction of the cylinder imbalances dramatically. The control algorithm features process/controller synchronization based on table lookup and a mechanism to automatically adjust the mapping between the observer estimates and the corresponding cylinders if unstable control operation is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Raymond Claude Turin, Sanjeev Manubhai Naik
  • Patent number: 6311796
    Abstract: An equipment (engine) compartment at one end of an automotive vehicle is closed by a structurally stiff hood panel having laterally opposite edges supported in side rails. The hood panel is longitudinally slidable in the side rails between a closed position covering an upper opening and an open position wherein the hood panel is moved to a longitudinally outward position along the rails to open the compartment for servicing equipment in the compartment. Releasable latches hold the hood panel closed until released for sliding to the open position with a releasable stop for full removal of the panel. The hood panel and side rails are preferably extruded members forming structurally stiff box sections that provide significant energy absorption to the front structure of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Robert Rosario Mayer
  • Patent number: 6312280
    Abstract: An improved connector establishes an electrical connection between an external conductor and a planar conductor of an insulated flexible circuit board, utilizing an automatically deployed cutting mechanism for removing insulative material overlying the flexible circuit conductor when the electrical connection is established. The connector includes an insulative housing having a slot for receiving an interconnect stub of the flexible circuit, and a compliantly mounted cutting mechanism electrically coupled to the external conductor. The cutting mechanism extends partially into the slot, and is compliantly displaced away from the slot as the interconnect stub is inserted into the slot. When the interconnect stub is partially extracted from the slot, the cutting mechanism forcibly engages the stub, removing a portion of the overlying insulative material, and electrically contacting the flexible circuit conductor to establish the electrical connection between it and the external conductor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Robin Stevenson
  • Patent number: 6305363
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine fuel system has an air-assist fuel injection system. An air compressor and an ozone generator are positioned upstream of the injector system to supply a pressurized, ozone-enriched air stream to the air-assist fuel injector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Edward Daniel Klomp