Patents Examined by Willie Morris Worth
  • Patent number: 6363784
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a fluid level detector 1 designed to be mounted in a vessel which is arranged to contain a liquid which may be hazardous such as a petrochemical. The liquid level detector is mounted within a port 2 in a wall 3 of a vessel. The electrical componentry of the liquid level detector 1 includes a light transmitter 6 for transmitting light towards an optical element 7, and a light receiver 8 for receiving light reflected back from the optical element 7. Electrical circuitry is mounted on a printer circuit board 9 for detecting signals from the light receiver and controlling the transmission of light via the light transmitter 6. the entire componentry is potted in a potting compound 11 to protect the componentry from chemical and physical damage and the physically support it. The arrangement of epoxy and componentry is substantially enveloped by a glass housing 12.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Liquip Sales Pty Limited
    Inventor: Malcolm David Gregory
  • Patent number: 6349594
    Abstract: A film thickness distribution measuring method according to the present invention comprises the following steps of measuring a step form lying within a predetermined interval including a substrate exposure region having a coordinate point defined as a measurement reference on a substrate having steps to thereby extract first data L1, forming an organic film over the substrate and thereafter measuring a step form lying within the predetermined interval to thereby extract second data L2, measuring the thickness of the organic film and adding the thickness to the second data L2 to thereby extract third data L3, and determining a difference (L3−L1) between the third data L3 and the first data L1 to thereby measure a continuous film thickness distribution of the organic film formed over the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Sachiko Yabe
  • Patent number: 6341524
    Abstract: A fuel gauge unit for a fuel tank which, when the gauge unit is attached to the fuel tank, is fixed in its rotational angle in a simple fashion, and in which the fuel scale is simple and easy to inspect visually. An indicator is provided which moves back and forth in a horizontal plane when a bearing connected to a float rotates. The position of the indicator corresponds to a fuel scale, so that the quantity of fuel in the fuel tank can be determined by inspecting the gauge. On the top of the gauge unit is a protruding rectangular portion with a transparent window. This protruding rectangular portion engages in a hole in the cover plate attached to the fuel tank. The protruding rectangular portion and its hole may have a rectangular or oblong surface which serves as a rotational position lock for the gauge unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuji Nagase, Shogo Nakamura, Hiroyoshi Kouchi, Kazuyuki Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 6336422
    Abstract: An indicating device, for a pressurized tank having a slotted cap covering a valve attached to the tank, has a flexible arcuate bifurcated body member. The flexible arcuate bifurcated body member has a first arm member and a second arm member forming a retaining slot and a retaining slot entrance channel. A flexible insertion handle member attaches to the flexible arcuate bifurcated body member. There is a first locking surface on the flexible arcuate bifurcated body member and a second locking surface on the flexible arcuate bifurcated body member. A first guide member is attached to the first arm member and a second guide member is attached to the second arm member. There may be a first deflection surface on the first guide member and a second deflection surface on the second guide member. There may be at least one indicia application surface on the flexible insertion handle member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2002
    Inventor: Archie G. Peters
  • Patent number: 6318172
    Abstract: The subject matter of the present invention is the optimization of a capacitive liquid level sensor which is suitable, in particular, for determining the location of a boundary layer 12 between water 10 and oil 11 in a separator tank. The known sensor principle is based on measuring the environmentally dependent capacitance between neighboring electrodes 13, 4; 4, 5; 5, 6 of a rod-shaped probe 1. According to the invention, the probe 1 is designed such that large ionic double-layer capacitors occur on the electrodes 4, 5, 6, 13 in the more conductive medium 10, and small capacitors occur between electrodes 4, 5, 6, 13 in the insulating medium 11. For this purpose, the electrode height h is selected to be large, the ratio of the electrode height h to the electrode spacing a is preferably selected to be in the range of 1<h/a<6 and, in particular, the measuring frequency f is selected to be in the dielectric cut-off frequencies of the media 10, 11.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: ABB Research Ltd.
    Inventors: John Anthony Byatt, Thomas Christen, Thomas Kleiner, Daniel Matter, Walter Ruegg
  • Patent number: 6314808
    Abstract: A fluid level measuring device, also referred to as a dipstick, for measuring the fluid level in a fluid reservoir or tank, such as an oil pan or transmission reservoir in an internal combustion engine. The fluid level measuring device includes a stationary tube assembly in which a dipstick assembly is disposed. The dipstick assembly includes a fluid level indicator measuring blade attached to an elongated shaft which is directly molded into a plastic handle assembly. The plastic handle assembly includes a bayonet type locking mechanism for locking the handle to the stationary tube assembly. A compressible seal forms a pressurized seal between the stationary tube assembly and the handle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Felsted Products LLC
    Inventors: Anthony J. Williams, Karen S. Hicks, David A. Wiandt, Daniel S. Justice, Brian G. Shriber
  • Patent number: 6305219
    Abstract: A method for determining liquid quantity in a tank holding liquid and a plurality of vapor bubbles in a microgravity environment includes a jet inducer and a sensor for providing a signal proportional to the volume of liquid in the tank. The jet inducer, comprising of a pump and a nozzle, induces a recirculating jet in the tank. The liquid jet merges the plurality of vapor bubbles into a single, nearly spherical vapor bubble and holds the single vapor bubble in a stable location at one end of the container. One or more ultrasonic sensors, at the other end of the tank, measure the distance from the single vapor bubble to the sensor or sensors and generates a signal proportional to the distance measured. A CPU receives and adjusts the signal or signals and generates a readout indicating the volume of the liquid in the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Michael D. Bentz, Daniel E. Hedges
  • Patent number: 6298804
    Abstract: A book mark is provided for marking a selected line and column of a book. The book mark includes a flat elongated member, first and second page indicators and a column indicator. Each of the first and second page indicators includes an indicia positioned on the flat elongated member. The column indicator indicates a specific column in a book having dual column pages.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Inventor: Jack M. Kamen
  • Patent number: 6272923
    Abstract: A cooling system of a motor-vehicle internal-combustion engine has a pump driven by a current-consuming electrical motor. The liquid fill level of a this system is determined by continuously and concurrently monitoring current consumption of the electrical motor and generating an output corresponding thereto. The output is continuously compared with at least one threshold and a difference between the output and the threshold is established as the fill level of the cooling system. An alarm signal is emitted when the output drops below the threshold. When the output is compared with two separate such thresholds one of which is lower than the other, the signal is emitted when the output drops below the lower threshold. It is also within the scope of this invention to emit the alarm signal when the output drops to a level somewhat above the threshold, the difference being determined electronically by the control system serving as comparator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Pierburg Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Waldemar Stephan
  • Patent number: 6267072
    Abstract: An indicating instrument includes a generally straight illumination lamp or cold cathode fluorescent lamp and a light conducting plate which are disposed on the back of a dial plate. The dial plate has plurality of trans-illuminous gauge or meter patterns. The cold cathode fluorescent lamp is disposed longitudinally at an upper side of the light conducting plate to guide the light of the lamp to the trans-illuminous gauge or meter patterns.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: Nippondenso Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tatsuya Seto, Hirofumi Ikeuchi, Ryouichi Nishikawa, Masaaki Muraki, Hiroshi Niimi, Naoyuki Aoki, Kozo Ono
  • Patent number: 6250153
    Abstract: Sensors for use in sensing the level and temperature of a corrosive medium contained in a container. The sensors have particular use in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, however the sensors also have applications in the biotech, pharmaceutical, plating, chemical, petroleum, etc. industries. The sensors comprise first and second elongate, conductive sensor members, each of which has a longitudinal axis and is dimensioned to extend into the medium. The first and second sensor members each include a core that is made from a non-metallic, electrically resistive material having a plurality of non-metallic conductive fibers embedded therein. Each core has opposite ends and the fibers are oriented parallel to the longitudinal axis of the first and second sensor members and extend continuously substantially between the ends of the cores. Media level can be sensed by comparing the capacitance of the sensor members, which changes as the level of the media changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: Sensor Measurement Technology
    Inventors: Timothy R. Collins, Michael L. Henning
  • Patent number: 6247349
    Abstract: A porous poly(2-acryl-amido-2-methyl-propane sulphonic acid)-based humidity sensing element is disclosed which provides improved range of humidity measurement and response time with little or no hysteresis. It includes: (a) a non-conductive substrate which has a pair of electrodes formed thereon; (b) a porous poly(2-acryl-amido-2-methyl-propane sulphonic acid) film formed on said electrodes. The porous poly(2-acryl-amido-2-methyl-propane sulphonic acid) film is formed by first forming a non-porous poly(2-acryl-amido-2-methyl-propane sulphonic acid) film on the electrodes, then subjecting the non-porous poly(2-acryl-amido-2-methyl-propane sulphonic acid) film to a heat treatment at temperatures between about 170° C. and 240° C. such that a porous structure is formed in said poly(2-acryl-amido-2-methyl-propane sulphonic acid) film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Industrial Technology Research Institute
    Inventors: Chun-Yuan Lee, Ping Ping Tsai, Chia-Jung Lu
  • Patent number: 6164132
    Abstract: A capacitive liquid level indicator having a capacitive sensor array superposed on each side of a dielectric substrate, wherein the sensor signal detection electronics are located immediately adjacent each capacitive sensor. These provisions result in high sensitivity of detection of submergence in the liquid, as well as essentially eliminating parasitic electric fields. The preferred capacitive sensors are interdigitated capacitors, and the preferred sensor signal detection circuit is an RC bridge and a comparator, wherein the comparator senses a voltage difference in the RC bridge between a sensor resistor and sensor capacitor of a first leg thereof and a reference resistor and reference capacitor of a second leg thereof. It is preferred for the capacitive liquid level indicator to be coated with a low dielectric conformal coating to thereby insulate the electronic components (inclusive of the capacitive sensors) thereof with respect to the liquid into which it is submerged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: G.D.M, Inc.
    Inventor: Andrew M. Matulek
  • Patent number: 6158277
    Abstract: The invention relates to a process and to a device for the determination of the adhesion tendency of cotton by using cotton samples, whereby the sample taken from the material to be tested is opened down to the individual fiber as in the spinning process, and the fibers thus obtained are deposited on a testing surface under the influence of a certain centrifugal force in the form of a fiber ring. Following complete feeding of the sample, the deposited fiber ring is removed and the quantity of the fibers remaining caught on the testing surface is counted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2000
    Assignee: ITV-Institut fur Textil-und Verfahrenstrechnik
    Inventors: Peter Artzt, Mehdi Azarschab, Hans-Paul Schmid
  • Patent number: 6152066
    Abstract: A display instrument with a first display and with an electro-luminescent display arranged at least partially in front of the first display is, where the first display can be illuminated or can be rendered luminous and appears as an almost uniformly dark surface when neither illuminated nor luminous.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: Moto-Meter GmbH
    Inventors: Peter Knoll, Ralf Mueller-Sybrichs, Derk Oreans
  • Patent number: 6142017
    Abstract: A hydrostatic pressure equalizer device is attached to the lower submerged end of a gas supply line. A hollow housing forms an internal cavity having a closed upper end and a lower end, and an end plate extends over at least part of the lower end to leave a gap for liquid flow into the cavity. The gas supply line extends through the end plate and upwardly into the cavity to terminate at a raised position which will be in an air pocket above the liquid level in the cavity. A pressure monitoring instrument connected to the line detects pressure in the air pocket, which in turn is equal to the hydrostatic pressure in the cavity and the surrounding liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Inventor: Eugene A. Glassey
  • Patent number: 6138509
    Abstract: The invention provides an improved float and float system for use in the monitoring of fluid levels, particularly in small diameter wells by way of a cable and float system. The float system includes a number of centralizers which hold the float cable near the center of the well casing and thus reduce the friction of the cable on the casing walls. The addition of weights on the float cable, either or both below the float and between the float and the top of the well casing, can improve the accuracy and operation of the system even further. A truncated cone-shaped float is provided, with a number of fins displaced evenly around the circumference of the float.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Saskatchewan Research Council
    Inventors: Ed Jaworski, Dennis Zlipko
  • Patent number: 6128950
    Abstract: A device which can be used to test heavy coil springs, which is of simple low-cost construction, but which is so designed that the spring can be readily mounted thereon for testing and can be readily removed when testing is completed, and will effectively retain the spring in proper position during testing, using: two containment plates, a cage made of 5 rods that pass through equi-distributed holes in the plates to contain a spring under test, and a central push rod which passes through the center of the assembly to move the containment plates together or apart as required to test the spring. A conventional spring test gauge may be fixed to either the push rod of one of the containment plates to measure the pressure generated by the spring during the test. The containment rods form a cage that expands as the containment plates compress the spring to permit the testing of long springs, and for safe testing of all springs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Air Force
    Inventor: Robert C. Hoagland
  • Patent number: 6119515
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for operational monitoring of an actuator, which has a drive force unit that requires a characteristic time for build-up of the force, the apparatus including at least one position signal generator detecting a rest position of the actuator, a drive switch unit for actuating the drive force unit, and signal connections to an analyzing arrangement having a memory and a comparison unit so that, during operation, the time difference between the actuation of the drive switch unit and the possible response of the position signal generator allocated to the preceding rest limit position of the actuator is monitored, a comparison of the measured quantity to characteristic data deposited in the memory is implemented and a conclusion about the condition of the actuator is obtained from this analyzation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Samson Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Lothar Kemmler, Peter Opl
  • Patent number: 6116778
    Abstract: A method and a system for quantitative determination of the seat climate of a seat cushion is provided. For this purpose, the seat surface is subjected, during realistic mechanical loading of the seat cushion to be tested, to a flow of moisture from a climate mat. Any moisture stagnation at the seat surface is measured. For this purpose, the seat cushion, covered with a flexible multilayer climate mat, is loaded realistically via an anthropomorphically shaped seat testing punch. The climate mat consists of the following layers: a plurality of flat moisture sensors; a trouser material layer with low moisture uptake; a distribution layer that is readily permeable to air and has a noncompressible structure; a fleece layer that can be moistened and replaced as the moisture storage medium; an electrically insulating vapor barrier; and an electrically heatable heating mat that can be set to a specific temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG
    Inventors: Eberhard Faust, Lothar Kassing, Karl Pfahler, Markus Witzmann