Patents Assigned to Flow International Corporation
  • Patent number: 10596717
    Abstract: Methods of trimming fiber reinforced polymer composite workpieces are provided which use a pure waterjet discharged from a cutting head in liquid phase unladened with solid particles at an operating pressure of at least 60,000 psi and in combination with other cutting parameters to provide a final component profile without delamination, splintering, fraying or unacceptable fiber pullout or fiber fracture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Mohamed A. Hashish, Charles D. Burnham, Steven J. Craigen
  • Patent number: 10589400
    Abstract: A waterjet cutting method is provided which includes directing a waterjet onto a surface of a workpiece that is exposed to the surrounding atmosphere, the interaction of the waterjet with the exposed surface defining a cutting location, and simultaneously directing a gas stream onto the exposed surface of the workpiece at or adjacent the cutting location to maintain a cutting environment at the cutting location that is, apart from the waterjet, substantially devoid of fluid or particulate matter. The method may further include moving a source of the waterjet relative to the workpiece to cut the workpiece along a desired path while continuously directing the gas stream onto the exposed surface of the workpiece at or adjacent the cutting location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Mohamed A. Hashish, Steven J. Craigen, Bruce M. Schuman
  • Patent number: 10493650
    Abstract: Fluid jet systems, components and related methods are provided which are well adapted for processing workpieces under particularly work-friendly conditions. Embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods that reduce, minimize or eliminate a gap between a workpiece being processed and jet receiving devices that receive and dissipate the energy of a fluid jet passing through the workpiece. Other embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods involving fluid jet processing of workpieces in a submerged condition. Still further embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods involving position and orientation adjustment of a fluid jet receptacle to coordinate the path of an incoming fluid jet with a central axis or other feature of the fluid jet receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Mohamed A. Hashish, Alex M. Chillman, Charles M. Brown, Steven J. Craigen
  • Patent number: 10436190
    Abstract: A relief valve assembly is provided for use in connection with high pressure and ultrahigh pressure pumps. The relief valve assembly includes a valve pin having an engagement portion with a tapered surface and a valve seat having a valve pin receiving aperture defining a tapered surface on the valve seat to sealingly mate with the engagement portion of the valve pin when the valve pin is seated against the valve seat in a seated configuration. The valve seat further includes at least one bypass passage that extends from the valve pin receiving aperture to an exterior surface of the valve seat such that when the valve pin is displaced away from the seated configuration fluid can pass through the bypass passage and an annular space created between the engagement portion of the valve pin and the valve seat. Systems incorporating the relief valve assembly are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventor: Jordan J. Hopkins
  • Patent number: 10372109
    Abstract: Computer based methods, systems, and techniques for planning and generating machining paths for a tool that manufactures a three dimensional object having beveled or “compound” contours from a workpiece. A computer aided design (CAD)/computer aided manufacturing (CAM) system creates intermediate machining path surfaces that extend based on a CAD solid model representing the geometry of the object to be manufactured. The intermediate machining path surfaces extend to a shape that simulates a cutting beam (e.g., a waterjet, a laser beam, etc.) of the tool. For a flat workpiece, the machining path surfaces may extend from a top surface of the workpiece, which is a tool beam entrance surface, to a bottom surface of the workpiece, which is a tool beam exit surface. An operator is able to visualize the cuts to be made and the actual finished object geometry, without requiring the creation of multiple CAD solid models.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Frank E. DeSimone, Vanessa A. Lind, Kenneth A. Mental, Alex M. Chillman
  • Patent number: 10252400
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are systems and methods for improving the performance of a fluid jet cutting system by testing and adjusting characteristics of the system based on the effect of the characteristics on forces imparted by the system to a workpiece being cut. Also disclosed are systems and methods for monitoring and validating the performance of fluid jet cutting systems, and for diagnosing such systems. In some cases, the technologies described herein can be used to determine whether components of a fluid jet system require maintenance, or that characteristics of the system require adjustment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Charles D. Burnham, Mohamed A. Hashish
  • Patent number: 10136571
    Abstract: Land cultivating systems and methods utilizing high-pressure fluid jet cutting techniques are disclosed. An example system includes a mobile unit, a traveler arrangement operably coupled to the mobile unit to ride on the surface of stubble residues as the mobile unit moves across land to be cultivated, and a fluid jet cutting head supported by the traveler arrangement. The cutting head is configured to selectively discharge a high-pressure fluid jet to make a cut through the stubble residues and underlying soil as the mobile unit moves across the land. A soil opening device is provided to form a furrow in the ground in line with the cut made by the high-pressure fluid jet, and a liquid injector nozzle is provided to discharge fertilizer or other chemical(s) into the soil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory Dean Butler, Jeffrey Evan Martel, Mohamed A. Hashish, Jean-Christophe Vidil
  • Patent number: 10054118
    Abstract: A relief valve assembly is provided for use in connection with high pressure and ultrahigh pressure pumps. The relief valve assembly includes a valve pin having an engagement portion with a tapered surface and a valve seat having a valve pin receiving aperture defining a tapered surface on the valve seat to sealingly mate with the engagement portion of the valve pin when the valve pin is seated against the valve seat in a seated configuration. The valve seat further includes at least one bypass passage that extends from the valve pin receiving aperture to an exterior surface of the valve seat such that when the valve pin is displaced away from the seated configuration fluid can pass through the bypass passage and an annular space created between the engagement portion of the valve pin and the valve seat. Systems incorporating the relief valve assembly are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventor: Jordan J. Hopkins
  • Patent number: 9884406
    Abstract: A waterjet cutting head assembly is provided which includes an orifice unit to generate a high-pressure waterjet, a nozzle body and a nozzle component coupled to the nozzle body with the orifice unit positioned therebetween. The nozzle component may include a waterjet passage, at least one jet alteration passage and at least one environment control passage. The jet alteration passage may intersect with the waterjet passage to enable selective alteration of the waterjet during operation via the introduction of a secondary fluid or application of a vacuum. The environment control passage may include one or more downstream portions aligned relative to the fluid jet passage so that gas passed through the environment control passage during operation is directed to impinge on an exposed surface of a workpiece at or adjacent to a location where the waterjet is cutting the workpiece. Other high-pressure waterjet cutting systems, components and related methods are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: FLOW INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Mohamed A. Hashish, Steven J. Craigen, Bruce M. Schuman
  • Patent number: 9862073
    Abstract: Systems and related methods are provided for adjusting the position and orientation of an end effector of a multi-axis machine (e.g., a manipulable cutting head of a fluid jet cutting machine) relative to a base reference frame. Systems include an adjustable tool mount having a base structure that includes portions or regions that are selectively deformable to adjust a position and an orientation of a tool supported by the adjustable tool mount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: FLOW INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
    Inventor: Robert Niblock
  • Patent number: 9844890
    Abstract: High-pressure fluid jet systems are provided which include a pump to selectively provide a source of high-pressure fluid, a cutting head assembly configured to receive the high-pressure fluid and generate a high-pressure fluid jet for processing workpieces or work surfaces, and a fluid distribution system in fluid communication with the pump and the cutting head assembly to route the high-pressure fluid from the pump to the cutting head assembly. The pump, the cutting head assembly and/or the fluid distribution system include at least one fluid distribution component having a unitary body formed from an additive manufacturing or casting process with an internal passage having at least a curvilinear portion to efficiently route matter through the fluid jet system. Example fluid distribution components include fittings, valve bodies, cutting head bodies and nozzles of the high-pressure fluid jet systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Mohamed Hashish, Robert Niblock, Steven J. Craigen, Bruce M. Schuman, Shawn Michael Callahan, Paul Tacheron, Sean Schramm
  • Patent number: 9739352
    Abstract: A coupler assembly is provided for coupling components in a power transmission system, such as a rack and pinion drive system. The coupler assembly includes a floating mount and a pair of clamp members movable between an unfastened configuration in which the floating mount is adjustably supported between the clamp members and a fastened configuration in which the floating mount is fixedly secured between the clamp members. At least a pitch and a yaw of the floating mount are adjustable when the clamp members are in the unfastened configuration. Methods and systems which relate to or include the aforementioned coupler assembly are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Shawn Michael Callahan, Richard Bernard Hageman, III, Ashley Owen Hetz
  • Patent number: 9636798
    Abstract: Systems and related methods are provided for maintaining a spatial relationship between a tool of the multi-axis machine (e.g., fluid jet nozzle of a fluid jet cutting machine) and a workpiece to be processed by the tool. An example system includes a contour follower apparatus having a sensor and a gimbal assembly operable with the sensor to sense a deviation between a machine focal point and a gimbal assembly focal point defined by the gimbal assembly as the gimbal assembly rides upon the surface of the workpiece during operation. The system may further include a gimbal mount assembly configured to sense a collision event of the gimbal assembly with another object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Ethan E. Romanoff, Kenneth E. Claeys, Kirby J. Eide
  • Patent number: 9597772
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and techniques for automatically determining jet orientation parameters to correct for potential deviations in three dimensional part cutting are provided. Example embodiments provide an Adaptive Vector Control System (AVCS), which automatically determines speeds and orientation parameters of a cutting jet to attempt to insure that a part will be cut within prescribed tolerances where possible. In one embodiment, the AVCS determines the tilt and swivel of a cutting head by mathematical predictive models that examine the cutting front for each of “m” hypothetical layers in a desired part, to better predict whether the part will be within tolerances, and to determine what corrective angles are needed to correct for deviations due to drag, radial deflection, and/or taper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Glenn A. Erichsen, Jiannan Zhou, Dana Haukoos, Hyun Jung
  • Patent number: 9573289
    Abstract: Fluid jet systems, components and related methods are provided which are well adapted for processing workpieces under particularly work-friendly conditions. Embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods that reduce, minimize or eliminate a gap between a workpiece being processed and jet receiving devices that receive and dissipate the energy of a fluid jet passing through the workpiece. Other embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods involving fluid jet processing of workpieces in a submerged condition. Still further embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods involving position and orientation adjustment of a fluid jet receptacle to coordinate the path of an incoming fluid jet with a central axis or other feature of the fluid jet receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Mohamed A. Hashish, Alex M. Chillman, Charles M. Brown, Steven J. Craigen
  • Patent number: 9370871
    Abstract: Fluid jet systems, components and related methods are provided which are well adapted for processing workpieces under particularly work-friendly conditions. Embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods that reduce, minimize or eliminate a gap between a workpiece being processed and jet receiving devices that receive and dissipate the energy of a fluid jet passing through the workpiece. Other embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods involving fluid jet processing of workpieces in a submerged condition. Still further embodiments include fluid jet systems and related methods involving position and orientation adjustment of a fluid jet receptacle to coordinate the path of an incoming fluid jet with a central axis or other feature of the fluid jet receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2016
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Mohamed A. Hashish, Alex M. Chillman, Charles M. Brown, Steven J. Craigen
  • Patent number: 9272437
    Abstract: High-pressure fluid jet systems are provided which include a pump to selectively provide a source of high-pressure fluid, a cutting head assembly configured to receive the high-pressure fluid and generate a high-pressure fluid jet for processing workpieces or work surfaces, and a fluid distribution system in fluid communication with the pump and the cutting head assembly to route the high-pressure fluid from the pump to the cutting head assembly. The pump, the cutting head assembly and/or the fluid distribution system include at least one fluid distribution component having a unitary body formed from an additive manufacturing or casting process with an internal passage having at least a curvilinear portion to efficiently route matter through the fluid jet system. Example fluid distribution components include fittings, valve bodies, cutting head bodies and nozzles of the high-pressure fluid jet systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2016
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Mohamed Hashish, Robert Niblock, Steven J. Craigen, Bruce M. Schuman, Shawn Michael Callahan, Paul Tacheron, Sean Schramm
  • Patent number: D802634
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Ethan E. Romanoff, Kenneth E. Claeys
  • Patent number: D802635
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Ethan E. Romanoff, Kenneth E. Claeys
  • Patent number: D802636
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: Flow International Corporation
    Inventors: Ethan E. Romanoff, Kenneth E. Claeys