Patents Examined by Steven A. Bratlie
  • Patent number: 6837668
    Abstract: A floor constituted by a flexible belt (23), resting on the upper surface of a loadbearing base, has one end connected to a headboard (17) and the other end connected to a winch (28). A cable (33) has one end connected to the headboard and the other end connected to the winch. A guide system for the cable including a compensating mechanism (36, 56, 57) which varies the path of the cable during rotation of the winch, so as to compensate for a difference between the belt diameter and the cable diameter on the winch, the difference varying as the belt is wound and unwound.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2005
    Assignee: Multidrive Limited
    Inventor: David John Bowes Brown
  • Patent number: 6832883
    Abstract: The invention comprises a wheeled vehicle having a vehicle frame with rear wheels and a detachable frame mounted to the vehicle frame. The detachable frame is adapted carry a bin, with a conveyor to convey material rearward along the bottom of the bin and spinners at the rear of the bin and at the rear of the conveyor to spin and spread material from the bin onto the conveyor from the conveyor. The wheeled vehicle has a hydraulic piston and cylinder for raising the forward portion of the detachable frame from the vehicle frame and a pair of front and rear legs detachably mounted to the front and rear of the detachable frame to support the detachable frame independently of the vehicle frame, along with the bin, conveyor, and spinners. The rear legs are upwardly adjustable in cooperation with the piston and cylinder to raise the front and rear of the detachable frame to facilitate removal and attachment of the legs to the detachable frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Inventor: Kevin J. Pierce
  • Patent number: 6830422
    Abstract: A container transport apparatus for transporting a shipping container between two locations, such as between residences or business locations, includes a front unit and a separate rear unit for supporting the respective forward and rear ends of the shipping container. The front and rear units each include a frame structure with upper and lower hydraulically extendible vertical arm members. Locking pins on the vertical arm members engage sockets on the corners of the shipping container to facilitate vertical lifting and support of the container above the ground without tilting the container, thereby preventing damage to articles packed in the container. A forwardly extending trailer tongue on the front unit attaches to a hitch of a towing vehicle. The rear unit is provided with drive wheels and steering wheels for maneuvering the rear unit into position against the rear end of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: Allstate Storage, Inc.
    Inventor: Adam Whitley
  • Patent number: 6821082
    Abstract: A wafer management system has a first stationary wafer storage system (100) with a first buffer (110) for storing a plurality of wafers in slots, a first load-and-unload station (115) for transferring the wafers between the first buffer (110) and intra-bay pods (120, 130) assigned to a first bay (160), and a second load-and-unload station (184) for transferring wafers between the first buffer (110) and further pods (520, 530). The storage system (100) and the bay (160) form a single unit. Multiple units are linked together by tracks (500).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Assignee: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard McGowan
  • Patent number: 6773219
    Abstract: A positioning apparatus for a CRD handling assembly for a nuclear reactor. The positioning apparatus includes at least one linear slide rail, a drive screw coupled to the at least one slide rail, an elevator movably coupled to the drive screw, and at least one linear bearing attached to the elevator. The linear bearing is slidably coupled to the at least one slide rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: James E. Burner
  • Patent number: 6773222
    Abstract: A spring biased wheel lifting dolly for raising or lowering wheels for mounting/un-mounting from vehicle. The spring biased wheel lifting dolly includes a “U” shaped carriage set with wheels for mobility. The carriage supports a mast containing a compression coil spring within. A tiltable boom is attached to the mast by a slidable collar. The boom may be raised or lowered along the mast. The boom includes two or more tire supporting arms to support or guide the tire. A shaft is inserted into the mast in a telescoping manner, which compresses the spring contained therein. A chain or beaded cable may be attached at one end to one or more gradient points on the shaft. The other end may be attached to the boom collar. Once attached, the spring bias provided by the coil spring can act to assist a user to lift the tire and supporting boom to the level desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Inventor: Fred Gilchrist
  • Patent number: 6752582
    Abstract: Automatic delivery and placement of safety cones from a moving vehicle is provided. The key idea is that there is a receptacle that holds a plurality of safety cones. The receptacle is attached to the vehicle. A releasing means which is attached to the receptacle is controlled and advances the safety cones in an automatic and controlled fashion, one-by-one, to different locations on a road, street, freeway, intersection, or the like. The advantage is that it automatically takes care of the placement of a plurality of safety cones. There would no longer be a need for a person to manually deliver and place the safety cones. Therefore, the present invention provides for increased safety since it decreases or even eliminates the number of fatal or non-fatal accidents as well as chronic injuries of road-workers that are involved in placing safety cones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2004
    Assignee: Worldwide Safety, LLC
    Inventor: Guadalupe C. Garcia
  • Patent number: 6749392
    Abstract: A quick connect/disconnect tank lifting brace which lifts a tank from an overhang of it's top lid or cover. The brace includes a crossbar, preferably adjustable, with pivotal end clamps at opposite ends of the crossbar. A pair of clamp pivoting assemblies are provided. Each clamp pivoting assembly pivots a respective one of the pivotal end clamps between an open position and a closed position and biases the pivotal end clamp to an open position for quick connection and disconnection. Pivoting is accomplished using an actuating rod parallel to the crossbar and coupled to the pair of pivoting assemblies. Articulation of the actuating rod effectuates, in unison, pivoting of each pair of pivot arms via the pivoting assemblies to a closed position. The pivoting assemblies generally utilize a push to close and pull to open motions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Inventors: Ben A. Adams, Chris G. Cooper
  • Patent number: 6749389
    Abstract: Damage to a linkage in a truck loading mechanism including a tilt link, a secondary link and a dump link is avoided by providing interlocking tabs where one of the tabs is slidably and pivotally mounted to the dump link and normally held in an operative position by means of a frangible element that breaks before damage can occur when excessive forces exist between the links.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Stellar Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: James Vlaanderen
  • Patent number: 6746199
    Abstract: An adjustable system and an associated method for handling cargo in a cargo carrier are provided. The system includes a plurality of strips of low friction material for supporting the cargo during unloading or loading and during transit. Each strip has a relatively lower coefficient of friction than a floor of the cargo carrier and can be adjusted between an operative position and a non-operative position. In the operative position, the strips extend from the floor of the cargo carrier so that the cargo can be slid upon and supported by the strips. In the non-operative position, the strips are adjusted relative to the floor so that cargo in the carrier is at least partially supported by the floor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Inventors: Paul Jennings Carawan, Michael D. Adams, Brian W. Merriman
  • Patent number: 6746198
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for substrate transport. In systems according to the invention, at least a first and second chamber are provided. The first chamber may be a load lock and the second chamber a processing chamber. A substrate transfer shuttle is provided and is moveable along a linear path defined by guide rollers between one position in the first chamber and another position in the second chamber. In this way, the substrate may be transferred, in both a forward and a reverse direction, between the first chamber and the second chamber. The substrate transfer shuttle is structured so that a substrate may be removed therefrom by moving a support in one of the chambers from a lowered position to an intermediate position, after which the substrate transfer shuttle may be removed from the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: John M. White, Norman L. Turner, Robin L. Tiner, Ernst Keller, Shinichi Kurita, Wendell T. Blonigan, David E. Berkstresser
  • Patent number: 6746197
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus comprises a processing section for performing processing for a substrate, a substrate carrier transfer section into/out of which a substrate carrier holding a plurality of substrates is carried, and a substrate transfer mechanism for taking an unprocessed substrate out of the substrate carrier carried into the substrate carrier transfer section to deliver it to the processing section and for receiving a processed substrate from the processing section to deliver it into the substrate carrier placed on the substrate carrier transfer section. The substrate carrier transfer section shifts the position of the substrate carrier between a first position at which the substrate carrier is carried to/from the outside and a second position at which the substrate in the substrate carrier is delivered to/from the substrate transfer mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2004
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Yoshio Kimura, Issei Ueda, Mitiaki Matsushita, Kazuhiko Ito
  • Patent number: 6739825
    Abstract: An underfloor lift assembly (1) includes a saddle member (3) fully mounted in an underfloor cavity (3a) and adapted slidably to receive a stowage box (4). The stowage box (4) provides a further location for a lifting mechanism (5), in a stowed condition. In use, the lifting mechanism (5) is extended in a telescopic manner from the stowage box (4). Concomitantly, the stowage box (4) is extended in a telescopic manner from the saddle member (3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Passenger Lift Services Limited
    Inventors: Adam Beck, Alan James Ford
  • Patent number: 6739824
    Abstract: A dual function, inboard barrier/bridgeplate assembly for wheelchair lifts having a stowable platform, the barrier being pivotably secured to the inboard end of the lift platform, which barrier is actuated by a link to variously raise the barrier' to a safety position and lower it to a bridging position in accordance with the position of the platform. The dual function barrier/bridgeplate system is particularly useful in combination with a parallelogram type lift employing an articulated lever assembly having a sliding block for leveraging the platform from a horizontal transfer orientation to a vertical, or over-vertical stowage position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: The Braun Corporation
    Inventors: James Robert Dupuy, Alfred L. Budd, James R. Pierrou, Barry E. Wolff
  • Patent number: 6736582
    Abstract: In a device for manipulating an object for loading and unloading a clean room, the problem is to reduce the hardware expense for adjustment devices and for air conditioning while maintaining ergonomic benefits and to further improve the clean room conditions in the device. The device contains a stationary outer part (3) of a housing (2) as well as an inner part (4) that can extend telescopically from it and a receptacle element (11) in the roof area of the inner part (4). For the telescopic extension of the inner part and for the lowering of the receptacle element into the inner part, a common guide rail (16) and a common drive (20) are provided. The receptacle element connected to the drive engages with a driver of the inner part for the telescopic extension of the inner part by vertical upward movement and after reaching an access level (E2, E2), at which the inner part is secured, it can be lowered in the inner part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2004
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Andreas Mages, Andreas Birkner, Alfred Schulz, Klaus Schultz
  • Patent number: 6733227
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is an elevating lift for raising and lowering a load (such as a sensor suite) onboard a vehicle, such as a Humvee, which can allow for the transport of the vehicle in a standard transport without removal of the sensor suite from the vehicle, and can provide for a more stable support for the load than is available from a traditional mast. The elevating lift may also able to maintain the load in a parallel position as it is raised, and may be able to lock in a intermediate position where the sensor suite can be used while the vehicle is in motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Engineered Support Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey S. Fitzgerald, Edward V. Carter
  • Patent number: 6726431
    Abstract: A container handling system includes a vehicle adapted to carry a container, the vehicle being equipped with a hoist for lifting containers, and, a trailer towable by the vehicle so as to provide tandem transport of containers. The trailer is adapted to receive a container from the vehicle via the vehicle hoist, and is further adapted to selectively hoist a received container in furtherance of unloading the received container, or dump contents therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Inventor: Jay C. Morrell
  • Patent number: 6726429
    Abstract: A buffer apparatus includes a vertically moving mechanism containing a plurality of horizontally moving mechanisms to store carriers and transfer carriers to and from a load port, and one or more buffer load ports adjacent to the buffer apparatus to charge and uncharge the buffer apparatus by means of a guided vehicle, an overhead vehicle, or a human. A buffer system includes a buffer apparatus and a processing system load port to transfer carriers from the buffer apparatus to a processing system load port. An arrayed buffer system includes a plurality of buffer systems where each buffer system interacts with an individual set of load ports or a pair of buffer systems interacts with a shared set of load ports. A combination of arrayed buffer systems includes a plurality of adjacent arrayed buffer systems capable of sharing a single, environmental front-end mechanism maintenance space and capable of being serviced from the front.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2004
    Assignee: Vertical Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: James G. Sackett, David E. Weldon, H. Alexander Anderson
  • Patent number: 6722835
    Abstract: A wafer processing system employing a single-wafer load lock with integrated cooling unit is disclosed. The small volume of the single-wafer load lock allows for fast pump down and vent cycles. By integrating a cooling unit within the load lock, system throughput is further increased by eliminating the need to move a newly processed wafer to a separate cooling unit before moving the wafer to the load lock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Craig L. Stevens, Antoni F. Jakubiec
  • Patent number: 6722840
    Abstract: A wafer ring supplying and returning apparatus including a magazine that accommodates wafer rings, a jig holder that holds the wafer rings, a drier that causes contraction of the wafer sheets on used wafer rings, and a wafer chucking member that chucks and conveys the wafer rings, and the apparatus further including buffer sections having two (upper and lower) wafer supporting grooves that support wafer rings and a wafer pushing member disposed on or below the wafer chucking member so as to push the wafer rings. The wafer chucking member is disposed so as to face one of the wafer supporting grooves of the buffer sections, and the wafer pushing member is disposed so as to face another one of the wafer supporting grooves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Shinkawa
    Inventors: Kazuhiro Fujisawa, Yoshifumi Katayama, Yasushi Sato