Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Watts Hoffmann Fisher & Heinke
  • Patent number: 6581728
    Abstract: A brake system with an integral proximity sensor for providing an indication of a condition of the brake system. The brake system includes a brake drum, a brake shoe, a brake pad, and a position sensor. The brake pad is connected to a pad mounting surface of the brake shoe. The brake pad and brake shoe are movable from a disengaged position, where the brake pad is spaced apart from the brake drum to an engaged position, where the pad is in forcible engagement with the brake drum. The position sensor is coupled to the brake shoe for sensing the position of the brake shoe with respect to the position sensor. The position of the brake shoe with respect to the position sensor provides an indication of one or more conditions of the brake system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis A. Borugian
  • Patent number: 6580038
    Abstract: A system for weighing and sorting poultry parts based upon the weight of the poultry parts is disclosed. An infeed conveyor module receives delivers poultry parts to a scale module and also produces a part position signal to a control module. The scale module diverts successive poultry parts to successive ones of a plurality of scale units where the parts are statically weighed and weight signals are transmitted to the control module. The weighed parts are successively discharged from the scale units to a sorter module where the parts are sorted according to their weights. The sorter module comprises a conveyor that carries parts away from the scale module and sweeper elements that sweep parts off of lateral edges of the conveyor into appropriate receptacles depending on the part weight. The sweeper elements can move in either direction along a loop path adjacent the conveyor as determined by the control module to sweep the parts from the conveyor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Gainco Inc.
    Inventor: Joseph C. Mooney
  • Patent number: 6574823
    Abstract: A vacuum cleaner brushroll having angled tuft patterns effective to increase cleanability performance of the vacuum. The brushroll comprises a spindle and at least two patterns of bristled tufts. The patterns may be helical shaped rows. The rows may define tuft pairs, wherein each tuft in a pair is equidistant from a spindle each and shares a common sweeping path. A majority of the pairs are formed by tufts that are alternatively positioned at acute and obtuse angles to the spindle axis of the brushroll. Two tufts within a pair may be positioned at supplementary angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: The Scott Fetzer Company
    Inventor: Alfred H. Stegens
  • Patent number: 6572146
    Abstract: An over the highway heavy duty vehicle in the form of a selected one of a truck and a tractor is disclosed. The vehicle has a frame rail having a through aperture. A conductive solder ring is bonded to the rail and surrounds the aperture. A fastener extends through the aperture to secure an electrical connector in electrically conductive engagement with the ring. A ground cable is connected to the connector. A process for forming the ring is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.
    Inventor: Frank T. Baginski
  • Patent number: 6569286
    Abstract: Wood and non-wood pulp is bleached by: a) adding an aliquot of agglomerate from a bulk solids dispensing means, advantageously a hopper, to a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide which is desirably agitated to keep the agglomerate in suspension, the agglomerate comprising: a bleach activator, advantageously tetraacetyl ethylene diamine (TAED); a peroxide soluble binder, preferably polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH); a dispersing system comprising a wetting agent which is a low foaming and does not discolour on exposure to temperatures of up to 120° C. and optionally a salt, preferably sodium acetate, which is highly soluble in hydrogen peroxide; and sequestrant which may additionally or alternatively be added directly to the hydrogen peroxide; b) allowing the TAED to substantially completely react with the hydrogen peroxide; c) adjusting the pH of the bleach solution by adding alkali, preferably caustic soda; and d) bleaching the pulp by contacting it with the bleaching solution under alkaline conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Warwick International Group Limited
    Inventors: John David Withenshaw, Jane Williams, Mark Ardern Chadwick, Neil Anthony Turner
  • Patent number: 6569265
    Abstract: A method of making electrical steel strip characterized by low core loss and high permeability in the rolling direction includes the steps of: hot rolling a slab of an electrical steel composition into a strip, hot band annealing in a temperature range effective to coarsen the grains sufficient to improve magnetic properties in a rolling direction of the strip, cold rolling, batch annealing in a temperature range effective to produce a batch annealed grain size of not greater than 40 &mgr;m and, preferably not greater than 20 &mgr;m, and temper rolling to provide the strip with a transfer surface roughness (Ra) of less than 49 &mgr;in. Electrical steel articles are manufactured from the steel strip upon final annealing. The electrical steel articles have a grain texture including a {110}<001> orientation and improved permeability in the rolling direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: International Steel Group Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffery P. Anderson, Barry A. Lauer
  • Patent number: 6567936
    Abstract: A generalization of frequent item sets to error-tolerant frequent item sets (ETF) is disclosed, together with its application in data clustering using error-tolerant frequent item sets to either build clusters or as an initialization technique for standard clustering algorithms. Efficient feasible computational algorithms for computing ETF's from very large databases is presented. In one embodiment, a method determines a plurality of weak ETF's, which are strongly tolerant of errors, and determines a plurality of strong ETF's therefrom, which are less tolerant of errors. The resulting clusters can be used as an initial model for a standard clustering approach, or may themselves be used as the end clusters. In one embodiment, the data covered by the strong clusters is removed from the data, and the process is repeated, until no more weak clusters can be found.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Cheng Yang, Usama M. Fayyad, Paul S. Bradley
  • Patent number: 6561582
    Abstract: A support apparatus 10 suitable for supporting a child's car seat 12 on a vehicle seat 14, such that the seat 12 has a required inclination. The apparatus 10 includes first and second planar members 16, 18 pivotally interconnected along one edge by a hinge arrangement 20. A bracing arrangement is engageable between the first and second members 16, 18 to provide a required relative inclination, and hence inclination of the seat 12.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Inventor: William David Steadman
  • Patent number: 6558026
    Abstract: A motor vehicle lamp assembly having a lamp bulb for emitting light and a bulb housing having a light transmissive portion for transmitting light from the lamp bulb to an illumination zone. The housing is coated with a coating material which covers a selected region of the light transmissive portion of the housing. The coating material is electrically energized to alter an amount of light transmitted from the bulb to the illumination zone. A drive circuit electrically coupled to the coating material energizes the coating material to control a light output from the lamp assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Illume, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Michael Strazzanti
  • Patent number: 6554338
    Abstract: A heavy duty truck includes a grab handle for installation on the exterior of the truck to aid operator access to the vehicle. The handle includes an inner and outer tubular member. The inner tubular member has two opposing ends, a closed end formed to define a first truck mating surface and an open end. The outer tubular member has two opposing ends, a closed end formed to define a second truck mating surface and an open end. The inner tubular member is slideably engaged within the outer tubular member such that the inner and outer tubular members are coaxial and define a length of the grab handle. The length is adjustable over a range by sliding the inner tubular member with respect to the outer tubular member. The handle may include an annular shaped seal mounted on the outer tubular member open end to protect an operator's hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.
    Inventor: William Jason Spence
  • Patent number: 6550775
    Abstract: An annular gasket for providing a fluid-tight seal between a corrugated pipe and a smooth annular section of a second member. The gasket includes a support portion and a gasket portion. The support portion is made from a first material having a first hardness. The support portion includes an anchor portion shaped to fit within a recess or groove in a first member and a tip portion that extends radially outward from the anchor portion. The gasket portion is made from a softer elastomeric material. The gasket portion is disposed on the tip portion. The gasket portion is configured to make sealing contact with a ridge of the first pipe and the smooth annular section when the first pipe and the smooth annular section are in a relative surrounded and surrounding relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Malcolm Mann, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark Knapp
  • Patent number: 6550943
    Abstract: A motor vehicle lamp assembly having a lamp bulb for emitting light and a bulb housing having a light transmissive portion for transmitting light from the lamp bulb to an illumination zone. The housing is coated with a coating material which covers a selected region of the light transmissive portion of the housing. The coating material is electrically energized to alter an amount of light transmitted from the bulb to the illumination zone. A drive circuit electrically coupled to the coating material energizes the coating material to control a light output from the lamp assembly. Alternate materials are disclosed. One of the materials renders the material more light transmissive when activated with a current and a second of the materials renders the material less light transmissive when activated with a current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Illume, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Michael Strazzanti
  • Patent number: 6550100
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to a caster assembly for supporting an object. The caster assembly includes a caster, a caster axle and a pair of support pieces, at least one of the support pieces being rotatably mounted on the caster axle. The support pair of support pieces each include at least two perpendicular support surfaces thereby providing for a plurality of support configurations for supporting objects having various shapes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Waxman Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Marc Ian Drucker, John Henry Schaffeld
  • Patent number: 6548979
    Abstract: Disclosed is an improved system and method for sensing both hard and soft obstructions for a movable panel such as a sunroof. A dual detection scheme is employing that includes an optical sensing as the primary means and electronic sensing of motor current as a secondary means. The secondary means utilizes system empirical precharacterization, fast processing algorithms, motor parameter monitoring including both current sensing and sensorless electronic motor current commutation pulse sensing, and controller memory, to adaptively modify electronic obstacle detection thresholds in real time without the use of templates and cycle averaging techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Nartron Corporation
    Inventors: Mario Boisvert, Randall Perrin
  • Patent number: 6547458
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to optimization of the optical detection system for the use of optical emission spectroscopy in end-point detection. The optimization specifically addresses the needs of a radiant heated wafer system in a downstream process chamber environment. The present invention maximizes signal light from relevant reactions, maximizes signal-to noise and signal-to-background ratios, utilizes very small diagnostics access, collects light from the region of most intense light emission from endpoint processes, collects light from representative parts of an entire wafer with just one diagnostic access port to ensure complete end-point, and eliminates light signals from sources other than the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Axcelis Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Alan C. Janos, Andre G. Cardoso, Daniel B. Richardson
  • Patent number: 6549907
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for efficiently compressing contents of a database system to support ad hoc querying and OLAP type aggregation queries. This invention consists of a new compressed representation of the data cube that (a) drastically reduces storage requirements, (b) does not require the discretization hierarchy along each query dimension to be fixed beforehand and (c) treats each dimension as a potential target measure and supports multiple aggregation functions without additional storage costs. The tradeoff is approximate, yet relatively accurate, answers to queries. We outline mechanisms to reduce the error in the approximation. Our performance evaluation indicates that our compression technique effectively addresses the limitation of existing approaches. The basic method relies on representing the contents of the database by a probability distribution consisting of a mixture of Gaussians.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Usama Fayyad, Jayavel Shanmugasundaram
  • Patent number: 6543488
    Abstract: A flexible metal hose formed by a helically wound metal having an “S” shaped cross-section. The strip is provided with projections and recessions, with projections and recessions of adjoining convolutions meshed, enabling hose flexure without unwrapping. First and second resiliently engaged sealing surfaces extend helically along the hose to block leakage via the projections and recessions. In one embodiment the sealing surfaces are formed on a lip of one convolution and a body portion of the adjoining convolution. A second embodiment is a “smooth bore” hose having a first helical strip, constructed as described, and a second helical strip with first and second smoothly cylindrical axially spaced radially inner and outer regions. One region forms the smooth bore and the other is resiliently engaged between the radially outer lip of the first strip and the radially outer first strip body portion of the adjoining convolution to form the seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Hose Master, Inc.
    Inventors: Sam J. Foti, Santo Foti
  • Patent number: 6543307
    Abstract: A robot having a plurality of interconnected sections is disclosed. Each of the sections includes components which are moveable relative to components of an adjacent section. A plurality of electric motors are operably connected to at least two of said relatively moveable components to effect relative movement. A fitted, removable protective covering surrounds the sections to protect the robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Metrica, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert O. Ambrose
  • Patent number: D474896
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Sunshine Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Erin Riddell
  • Patent number: D476059
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Waxman Consumer Products Group Inc.
    Inventor: Linchuan Huang