Patents Assigned to Bourns, Inc.
  • Patent number: 10439196
    Abstract: An electrical breaker responsive to a fault condition is disclosed. A thermally-activated switch can be disposed between a first terminal and second and third terminals of the breaker. The switch can have a normal operating condition in which the first terminal is electrically connected to the second terminal. The switch can have a fault condition in which the first terminal is electrically connected to both the second terminal and the third terminal, causing a majority of the current to flow between the first terminal and the third terminal and a minority of the current to flow between the first terminal and the second terminal. The breaker can include a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) resistor between the first terminal and one of the second and third terminals. The thermally-activated switch can be integrated into a variety of structures, for example, a battery pack which can house one or more cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventors: Gordon Lee Bourns, Lars Erik Gunnar Meijer, Earl Robert Gellings, Kiyoshi Tada
  • Patent number: 10347899
    Abstract: A battery housing can include a housing body defining a cavity sized and shaped to receive a cell for a battery, and a breaker coupled with the housing body. The battery housing can comprise a first electrical conductor at a first end portion of the housing body and electrically connected to the switch, the first electrical conductor configured to electrically connect to a first battery cell terminal of the cell. The battery housing can comprise a second electrical conductor at a second end portion of the housing body, the second electrical conductor configured to electrically connect to a second battery cell terminal of the cell to define a first electrical pathway between the first electrical conductor and the second electrical conductor. The battery housing can include a bypass conductor to define a second electrical pathway between the switch and the second electrical conductor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventors: Gordon Lee Bourns, Lars Erik Gunnar Meijer, Earl Robert Gellings, Kelly C. Casey, Kiyoshi Tada
  • Patent number: 10302710
    Abstract: A sensing system including a first magnet having a first magnetic field. In one embodiment, the sensing system also includes a first stator configured to receive the first magnetic field and a second stator configured to receive the first magnetic field. A first collector is configured to collect the first magnetic field from the first stator, a second collector is configured to collect the first magnetic field from the second stator, and a magnetic sensing element is configured to sense the first magnetic field. The sensing system also includes a second magnet having a second magnetic field, and a third magnet having a third magnetic field. The third magnet is positioned such that the third magnetic field is symmetrical to the second magnetic field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Bourns, Inc.
    Inventors: Jian Xu, Aaron Seibold
  • Patent number: 10239375
    Abstract: A damper assembly for a vehicle having a chassis and a control arm moveably coupled to the chassis includes a first spring seat configured to be fixed to the chassis, a second spring seat configured to be supported by the control arm, a coil spring extending between the first spring seat and the second spring seat, and a sensor module supported by the first spring seat or the second spring seat. The sensor module is operable to determine a state of compression of the coil spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Bourns, Inc.
    Inventor: David Shinozaki
  • Publication number: 20180348108
    Abstract: A system for detecting a characteristic of a fluid. In one example, the system includes a tube, a float, a sensor, and a controller. The tube is configured to receive the fluid. The float is located within the tube. The sensor is configured to sense a position of the float. The controller is configured to receive, from the sensor, the position of the float, and determine a characteristic of the fluid based on the position of the float. The characteristic may be a density or a concentration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2016
    Publication date: December 6, 2018
    Applicant: Bourns, Inc.
    Inventors: Jay Jamshid Khazaai, James Gregory Stanley, Don Blandino, Kenneth R. Turner, Eoin Paul O'Regan
  • Patent number: 10032621
    Abstract: Devices and methods related to flat discharge tubes. In some embodiments, a gas discharge tube (GDT) device can include a first insulator substrate having first and second sides and defining an opening. The GDT device can further include second and third insulator substrates mounted to the first and second sides of the first insulator substrate with first and second seals, respectively, such that inward facing surfaces of the second and third insulator substrates and the opening of the first insulator substrate define a chamber. The GDT device can further include first and second electrodes implemented on the respective inward facing surfaces of the second and third insulator substrates, and first and second terminals implemented on at least one external surface of the GDT device. The GDT device can further include electrical connections implemented between the first and second electrodes and the first and second terminals, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: Bourns, Inc.
    Inventors: Jan Heath, Gordon L. Bourns
  • Patent number: 9927262
    Abstract: High-resolution multi-turn sensing apparatus and methods. A method can be implemented to sense a rotational position of a shaft having a longitudinal axis. Such a method can include determining a turn number of the shaft with a first magnet arranged in a non-contact manner with a first magnetic sensor to allow measurement of a linear position of the first magnet relative to the first magnetic sensor. The linear position can be representative of a turn number of the shaft. The method can further include determining an angular position of the shaft within a given turn with a second magnet positioned at an end of the shaft along the longitudinal axis and arranged relative to a second magnetic sensor. The method can further include combining the turn number with the angular position to generate one or more output signals representative of a measured rotational position of the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Bourns, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugen Bogos, Perry Wehlmann, Christopher Couch
  • Patent number: 9869539
    Abstract: The rotation angle and torsion angle sensor detects both the rotational position of a shaft and a torque applied to the shaft torque. The shaft a first shaft part and a second shaft part, which are interconnected by a torsion bar. A sensor disc is coupled via a rigid circumferentially and axially flexible membrane with the first shaft part. The sensor disc is coupled to a drive wheel via a coupling device, in such a way that the sensor disc is displaced in the axial direction upon relative rotation of the two shaft parts against each other, wherein the membrane bends in the axial direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventor: Valeri Klimenko
  • Patent number: 9853119
    Abstract: Monolithic integration of low-capacitance p-n junctions and low-resistance p-n junctions (when conducting in reverse bias) is provided. Three epitaxial layers are used. The low-capacitance junctions are formed by the top two epitaxial layers. The low-resistance p-n junction is formed in the top epitaxial layer, and two buried structures at interfaces between the three epitaxial layers are used to provide a high doping region that extends from the low-resistance p-n junction to the substrate, thereby providing low resistance to current flow. The epitaxial layers are lightly doped as required by the low-capacitance junction design, so the buried structures are needed for the low-resistance p-n junction. The high doping region is formed by diffusion of dopants from the substrate and from the buried structures during thermal processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Bourns, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew J. Morrish, Tao Wei
  • Patent number: 9772200
    Abstract: A magnetically-based position sensor. The sensor includes a magnet, a first collector, a second collector, and a magnetic sensing element. The magnet has at least two poles, and moves along a path. The first collector has a first end and a second end and is configured to collect a magnetic flux. In addition, the first collector is positioned at an angle relative to an axis running parallel to the path and perpendicular to the magnet. The second collector is configured to collect a magnetic flux, and is positioned at an angle relative to the axis running parallel to the path and perpendicular to the magnet, and parallel to the first collector. The magnetic sensing element is coupled to the first and second collectors. A magnetic flux is collected by the first and second collectors, and varies as the magnet moves along the path such that the magnetic flux collected by the first and second collectors indicates a position of the magnet along the path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventor: James Gregory Stanley
  • Patent number: 9697934
    Abstract: Surface-mountable conductive polymer devices include a conductive polymer layer between first and second electrodes, on which are disposed first and second insulation layers, respectively. First and second planar conductive terminals are on the second insulation layer. A first cross-conductor connects the second electrode to the first terminal, and is separated from the first electrode by a portion of the first insulation layer. A second cross-conductor connects the first electrode to the second terminal, and is separated from the second electrode by a portion of the second insulation layer. In some embodiments, at least one cross-conductor includes a beveled portion through the first insulation layer to provide enhanced adhesion between the cross-conductor and the first insulation layer, while allowing greater thermal expansion without undue stress.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventors: Gordon L. Bourns, Stelar Chu, Daniel E. Grindell, David Huang, John Kelly, Erik Meijer
  • Publication number: 20170098495
    Abstract: Surface-mountable conductive polymer devices include a conductive polymer layer between first and second electrodes, on which are disposed first and second insulation layers, respectively. First and second planar conductive terminals are on the second insulation layer. A first cross-conductor connects the second electrode to the first terminal, and is separated from the first electrode by a portion of the first insulation layer. A second cross-conductor connects the first electrode to the second terminal, and is separated from the second electrode by a portion of the second insulation layer. In some embodiments, at least one cross-conductor includes a beveled portion through the first insulation layer to provide enhanced adhesion between the cross-conductor and the first insulation layer, while allowing greater thermal expansion without undue stress.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2016
    Publication date: April 6, 2017
    Applicant: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventors: Gordon L. Bourns, Stelar Chu, Daniel E. Grindell, David Huang, John Kelly, Erik Meijer
  • Patent number: 9593967
    Abstract: Disclosed are systems and methods for measuring multi-turn position of a shaft with high resolution and in a non-contact manner. In some embodiments, a multi-turn sensing apparatus can include a rotation counter configured to determine a number of turns made by a shaft, and an angular position sensor configured to measure an angular position of the shaft within a given turn. The number of turns can be determined with an M-bit resolution, and the angular position per turn can be measured with an N-bit resolution. Selected appropriately, the rotation counter can be configured to operate as a relatively low resolution; and yet the multi-turn sensing apparatus can maintain the N-bit per-turn angular resolution throughout the full range. Accordingly, the multi-turn sensing apparatus can have an effective resolution of M+N bits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: Bourns, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugen Bogos, Perry Wehlman, Christopher Couch
  • Patent number: 9552909
    Abstract: Surface-mountable devices include a conductive polymer layer between first and second electrodes, on which are disposed first and second insulation layers, respectively, with first and second planar terminals on the second insulation layer. A first cross-conductor connects the second electrode to the first terminal, and is separated from the first electrode by a portion of the first insulation layer. A second cross-conductor connects the first electrode to the second terminal, and is separated from the second electrode by a portion of the second insulation layer. At least one cross-conductor may include a beveled portion through the first insulation layer. Alternatively, at least one cross-conductor may contact an anchor pad on the first insulation layer, the anchor pad having a small area relative to the areas of the terminals. Enhanced adhesion between the cross-conductor(s) and the first insulation layer is provided, while allowing thermal expansion without excessive stress.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventors: Gordon L. Bourns, Stelar Chu, Daniel E. Grindell, David Huang, John Kelly, Erik Meijer
  • Patent number: 9518840
    Abstract: Disclosed are systems and methods for effectively sensing rotational position of an object. In certain embodiments, a rotational position sensor can include a shaft configured to couple with the rotating object. The shaft can be configured to couple with a magnet carrier such that rotation of the shaft yields translational motion of the carrier. A magnet mounted to the carrier also moves longitudinally with respect to the axis of the shaft, and relative to a magnetic field sensor configured to detect the magnet's longitudinal position. The detected longitudinal position can be in a range corresponding to a rotational range of the shaft, where the rotational range can be greater than one turn. In certain embodiments, the rotational position sensor can include a programmable capability to facilitate ease and flexibility in calibration and use in a wide range of applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: Bourns, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugen Bogos, Perry Wehlmann, Thanh Vinh Nguyen
  • Patent number: 9488496
    Abstract: Systems and methods for determining a position of a movable component. One system includes a controllable source of varying magnetic flux. In a particular embodiment, the magnetic flux is directed through a magnetic sensor using a first flux concentrator and a second flux concentrator. The sensor generates a sensor signal that is provided to an electrical circuit designed to demodulate the signal. The demodulated signal is provided to a controller. The controller converts the signal and calculates the position of the second flux concentrator relative to the first flux concentrator. The controller may take a predetermined action based on the calculated position of the second flux concentrator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventor: James Gregory Stanley
  • Patent number: 9465001
    Abstract: A system and method for measuring an electrical characteristic of a fluid using a measuring circuit. In one implementation, the measuring circuit includes a sensing component, a current supply connected to the sensing component, a sensor switchably connected to the sensing component, an array of components switchably connected to the sensing component, and a monitoring circuit connected to the sensing component. A controller performs a calibration of the measuring circuit by switching parallel impedances in and out of the circuit while measuring voltages across the sensing component. The voltages are measured at at least two different phase angles that are determined by the calibration. Once voltages at different impedances and different phases are determined, the controller calculates a value of the electrical characteristic of the fluid by interpolating between lines of fixed capacitance or resistance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventor: James Gregory Stanley
  • Patent number: 9417203
    Abstract: Systems and methods for making repeatable measurements of the dielectric constant and conductivity of a material, such as a liquid. In one example, a material property measurement system includes a measurement cell, a voltage measurement circuit, a capacitor, and a switch. The measurement cell is made of at least two conducting electrodes with liquid between the conducting electrodes. The switch is in a current path between the capacitor and the measurement cell. The capacitor is charged and then the switch is closed for a first time period and a first voltage measurement on the capacitor is performed. The capacitor is charged again and the switch is closed for a second time period and a second voltage measurement on the capacitor is performed. The two voltage measurements are used in a calculation to calculate a value related to capacitance between the at least two conducting electrodes of the measurement cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventor: James Gregory Stanley
  • Patent number: 9366523
    Abstract: The rotational angle sensor for measuring the rotational angle of a shaft has two code disks, the first code disk of which is rotationally fixed to the shaft while the second code disk is held between the shaft and the housing by two spring groups. Each code disk is assigned to a sensor. The sensor of the first code disk generates a periodic rotational angle signal while the sensor which is assigned to the second code disk generates a coarse signal (U2) which is different from the first signal and which can be used to ascertain which rotation of n possible rotations the shaft is in, wherein n>1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventors: Valeri Klimenko, Johann Jahrstorfer
  • Patent number: 9347843
    Abstract: A sensor for measuring a torque angle. The sensor includes a magnet, a first stator, a second stator, a first collector, a second collector, and a magnetic sensing element. The first stator includes a first horizontal ring section located on a first plane, and a plurality of first teeth extended from the first horizontal ring section, the plurality of teeth located on a second plane. The second stator includes a second horizontal ring section located on the second plane, and a plurality of second teeth extended from the second horizontal ring section, the plurality of second teeth located on the second plane. The first collector is located proximate the first horizontal ring section and the second collector is located proximate the second horizontal ring section. The magnetic sensing element is magnetically coupled to the first collector the second collector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: BOURNS, INC.
    Inventor: Roland Franz