Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Jeffrey A Sedlar
  • Patent number: 6506996
    Abstract: A system and method for performing preventative maintenance upon spot welding guns in an automotive vehicle assembly plant is disclosed. The system includes a data collection system, a data analysis system and a database. The system has the ability to monitor parameters of welding guns to predict when a failure of one or more of the guns is likely to occur so that maintenance can be performed on the guns according to the method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2003
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Dan Grebenisan
  • Patent number: 6503035
    Abstract: An automotive vehicle having a structural reinforcement system for maintaining the integrity of the vehicle during aircraft transportation is disclosed. The structural reinforcement system includes a pair of cables attached to a body member and a pair of frame members of the vehicle. The cables divert loads placed upon the frame members by aircraft restraints to the body member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2003
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: J. Donald Perrott
  • Patent number: 6450136
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine has a mechanism to control the compression ratio of the combustion chamber. The mechanism includes an eccentric journal bearing supporting each piston rod on the crankshaft of the engine. The journal bearing has a gear member secured thereto that meshes with an inner toothed profile of a ring gear which has an outer toothed profile that meshes with an engine-driven gear. The speed of the engine-driven gear is controllable through a differential gear mechanism to adjust the relative position of the eccentricity of the journal bearing relative to the crank throw on which it is supported. This will change the compression ratio of the combustion chamber of the engine. The mechanism, with a modification, can also be employed to control the maximum compression pressure or the maximum combustion pressure in the combustion chambers of engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Edward Daniel Klomp, Rodney Brewer Rask
  • 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: 6427321
    Abstract: A vehicle assembly system automatically decks and automatically fastens body components to chassis components. The system uses an automatic decking and fastening unit that includes a base with an elevatable platform repositionable relative to the base by at least one actuator. A slidable unit carries a fastener driver, is supported on the elevatable platform, and is repositionable relative to the elevatable platform by at least one other actuator. The slidable unit also carries an arm that is repositionable relative to the slidable unit by yet another actuator. A pair of conveyors are positioned away from the base, are movable relative to the base and carry a pair of vehicle components. The conveyors are cycled so that the vehicle components are positioned relative to one another in a predetermined position, and the actuators are operated to reposition the fastener driver to a position determined by engagement of the slidable unit with one of the vehicle components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Rino A. Fedato, John Campbell
  • 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: 6401528
    Abstract: A process and apparatus are disclosed for estimating evaporative fuel emission losses from a vehicle having a hydrocarbon-fueled engine operating under control of a microprocessor-based powertrain controller, a fuel tank with an evaporated fuel emission control system comprising a fuel vapor adsorbtion means connected to the tank and engine, and a diagnostic system that detects malfunctions in the vapor adsorbtion means. The process and apparatus measures temperature inside the vehicle passenger compartment at successive times when the engine is not running and determines the lowest temperature during partial diurnal and diurnal cooling cycles and uses such temperature along with any malfunction data to estimate evaporated fuel loss during a test period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: David Kay Lambert, Dean A. Drake, Peter John Groblicki
  • 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: 6367751
    Abstract: A bracket assembly including a first bracket assembly that includes an annular portion and a pair of opposing flange members extending outwardly from the annular portion so as to define an open center between the pair of opposing flange members, and a second bracket assembly that includes a back plate and two opposing sidewall members extending outwardly from the back plate. The second bracket assembly is received in the open center defined by the first bracket assembly, wherein the first bracket assembly includes an extended back portion that projects axially beyond the top edge of the back plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: J. Donald Perrott
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 6358087
    Abstract: An assembly and method for installing a snap-fit electrical connector, wherein the assembly includes a base; at least one pair of flange members supported by the base for locating a tether, cable or other electrical wiring; at least one pair of resilient members supported by the flanges forming the pair of flange members for engaging a mating recess or opening; and at least one pair of second flange members supported by the base for providing a snap-fit connection with a second mating recess or opening. The snap-fit connector assembly also includes an electrical connector portion supported by the base for providing a location for establishing an electrical connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Steven M. Haar, John L. Brummans, Thomas K. Lockwood
  • Patent number: 6357768
    Abstract: A straight line linkage mechanism for a solid axle of a motor vehicle (referable to alternatively as a “Chan-Cameron mechanism” or as a “Chan-Cameron linkage mechanism”) includes a main bar, a tie rod and a shackle. The shackle is preferably configured as an “A-arm”, having its legs pivotally connected to a solid axle. The apex of the shackle is pivotally connected to a first end of the main bar. The opposite second end of the main bar is pivotally connected to the frame. The tie rod is pivotally connected at one end to a mid-range location of the axle and, at its opposite end, pivotally to a mid-point location of the main bar. The connection locations of the main bar are spaced apart twice as far as the connection locations of the tie rod. In operation, as the axle moves vertically relative to the frame in response to the wheels encountering irregular terrain, the first end of the main bar will tend to move horizontally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen K. Chan, David S. Cameron