Patents by Inventor Brent C. Rankin

Brent C. Rankin has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 8914973
    Abstract: A method for installing a heated piston into a cylinder sleeve that is initially smaller than the piston includes: receiving the engine block at a heating station, heating the engine cylinder sleeve with heated air for a predetermined time at a predetermined temperature such that a temperature of the cylinder sleeve is equal to or greater than a temperature of the piston, and inserting the piston into the heated cylinder sleeve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Brent C. Rankin, Michael Bergman, Phillip Ford
  • Patent number: 8091656
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for reducing or eliminating the energy required by an operator of a delivery cart to start the cart moving in a predetermined direction at a predetermined speed as well as to recover some or all of the energy used to start the cart moving. The apparatus includes a cart, a drive wheel, a motor for driving the drive wheel, and a rechargeable energy source to power said motor where the rechargeable energy source is recharged during normal, unpowered movement of the cart. The method includes charging a power source while moving the cart, actuating a directional button to initiate movement in a desired direction, energizing a clutch to couple the motor to the driven wheel, energizing the motor to drive the driven wheel in the desired direction. After a predetermined time period, set by a run timer, the clutch is decoupled while the motor remains activated, and thereafter the motor is deactivated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Brent C. Rankin, Wade Shock, Phillip Ford, James K. Tipton
  • Publication number: 20110168688
    Abstract: A method for installing a heated piston into a cylinder sleeve that is initially smaller than the piston includes: receiving the engine block at a heating station, heating the engine cylinder sleeve with heated air for a predetermined time at a predetermined temperature such that a temperature of the cylinder sleeve is equal to or greater than a temperature of the piston, and inserting the piston into the heated cylinder sleeve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 23, 2011
    Publication date: July 14, 2011
    Applicant: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Brent C. Rankin, Michael Bergman, Phillip Ford
  • Publication number: 20100276219
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for reducing or eliminating the energy required by an operator of a delivery cart to start the cart moving in a predetermined direction at a predetermined speed as well as to recover some or all of the energy used to start the cart moving. The apparatus includes a cart, a drive wheel, a motor for driving the drive wheel, and a rechargeable energy source to power said motor where the rechargeable energy source is recharged during normal, unpowered movement of the cart. The method includes charging a power source while moving the cart, actuating a directional button to initiate movement in a desired direction, energizing a clutch to couple the motor to the driven wheel, energizing the motor to drive the driven wheel in the desired direction. After a predetermined time period, set by a run timer, the clutch is decoupled while the motor remains activated, and thereafter the motor is deactivated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Publication date: November 4, 2010
    Inventors: Brent C. Rankin, Wade Shock, Phillip Ford, James K. Tipton
  • Patent number: 7779941
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for reducing or eliminating the energy required by an operator of a delivery cart to start the cart moving in a predetermined direction at a predetermined speed as well as to recover some or all of the energy used to start the cart moving. The apparatus includes a cart, a drive wheel, a motor for driving the drive wheel, and a rechargeable energy source to power said motor where the rechargeable energy source is recharged during normal, unpowered movement of the cart. The method includes charging a power source while moving the cart, actuating a directional button to initiate movement in a desired direction, energizing a clutch to couple the motor to the driven wheel, energizing the motor to drive the driven wheel in the desired direction. After a predetermined time period, set by a run timer, the clutch is decoupled while the motor remains activated, and thereafter the motor is deactivated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Brent C. Rankin, Wade Shock, Phillip Ford, James K. Tipton
  • Publication number: 20080202461
    Abstract: A method for installing a heated piston into a cylinder sleeve that is initially smaller than the piston includes: receiving the engine block at a heating station, heating the engine cylinder sleeve with heated air for a predetermined time at a predetermined temperature such that a temperature of the cylinder sleeve is equal to or greater than a temperature of the piston, and inserting the piston into the heated cylinder sleeve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2007
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Applicant: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Brent C. Rankin, Michael Bergman, Phillip Ford
  • Patent number: 7367219
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for developing a test for determining if an engine has oil seal leaks. The engine is charged with a predetermined pressure of air and monitored by a leak tester. A digital valve is set to provide a certain leak rate based upon signals received from a digital valve controller. Thereafter, based upon signals received from a PC and a main control unit, a variety of trials are completed. The results and programs are stored in the PC. Results of the trials allow an optimized testing program to be selected that would be best suited for use on a manufacturing assembly line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Patent number: 7367220
    Abstract: A method for pressure testing an engine to detect possible oil seal leaks. The engine is charged with a predetermined pressure while air pressure is also applied to an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve intake port to offset leakage inherent in the EGR valve. Thereafter, a pressure drop in the engine pressure is used to determine whether an oil seal leak may be present. Applying pressurized air to the EGR valve intake port compensates for EGR valve leakage and prevents the EGR valve leakage from masking possible oil seal leaks, thereby making the system more sensitive to such potential oil seal leaks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2008
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Heather W. Thomas, Chuck Hoke, Brent C. Rankin
  • Patent number: 7347087
    Abstract: A system and method for testing partially assembled engines for possible oil leaks. The system includes engine pressurizing devices that are automatically controlled by a controller according to a predetermined control program based upon the engine model type being tested. The pressurizing devices introduce pressurized air into the engine oil system. A leak testing unit monitors the pressurized engine for pressure drops indicative of an oil seal leak. Air pressure leaks resulting from inherently air-porous EGR valves are compensated for by an EGR compensating unit, which provides pressurized air to an intake side of the EGR valve. The flow of pressurized air through the EGR compensating unit is monitored to determine whether there is a problem with the EGR valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2008
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Brent C. Rankin, Heather W. Thomas, Chuck Hoke
  • Publication number: 20070157714
    Abstract: A system and method for testing partially assembled engines for possible oil leaks. The system includes engine pressurizing devices that are automatically controlled by a controller according to a predetermined control program based upon the engine model type being tested. The pressurizing devices introduce pressurized air into the engine oil system. A leak testing unit monitors the pressurized engine for pressure drops indicative of an oil seal leak. Air pressure leaks resulting from inherently air-porous EGR valves are compensated for by an EGR compensating unit, which provides pressurized air to an intake side of the EGR valve. The flow of pressurized air through the EGR compensating unit is monitored to determine whether there is a problem with the EGR valve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2006
    Publication date: July 12, 2007
    Applicant: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Brent C. Rankin, Heather W. Thomas, Chuck Hoke
  • Patent number: 6615676
    Abstract: A method and system for tensioning a belt, the system including a tensioning measuring head, a controller, and an air impact gun. The tension measuring head includes a vibration sensor and a belt striker. The controller activates the belt striker and receives signals from the vibration sensor indicative of the vibrations set up in the belt being tensioned. The measured vibrations are indicative of the tension on the belt, and are used by the controller to deactivate the air impact gun when the belt tension is determined to be at a desired level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Brent C Rankin
  • Publication number: 20030033864
    Abstract: A method and system for tensioning a belt, the system including a tensioning measuring head, a controller, and an air impact gun. The tension measuring head includes a vibration sensor and a belt striker. The controller activates the belt striker and receives signals from the vibration sensor indicative of the vibrations set up in the belt being tensioned. The measured vibrations are indicative of the tension on the belt, and are used by the controller to deactivate the air impact gun when the belt tension is determined to be at a desired level.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2001
    Publication date: February 20, 2003
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Patent number: 6492900
    Abstract: A sensor device is used for sensing position of a movable component. The sensor device can be applied to multiple applications. For example, proper alignment between a shifter spline and a shifter position sensor of a transmission assembly can be confirmed by applying the sensor device of the present invention to confirm alignment of the transmission shifter with a transmission shifter position sensor during transmission assembly. A rotary sensor converts angular movement to a proportional electrical output. A converter then converts the proportional electrical output to an input which can be read. The location of the movable component is then determined, and displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2002
    Assignee: Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Patent number: 6481274
    Abstract: A method is provided for testing and setting the position of a position sensor for a transmission. A shift control shaft is provided, and the position sensor is positioned to align with the shift control shaft, and provide a shift position output. A position sensor testing device is installed to test position rotation of the position sensor as the shift control shaft is moved through shift positions. The tested position rotation of the position sensor is compared with a predetermined window of accurate positioning for the position sensor. Finally, the position of the position sensor is set based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Publication number: 20020139200
    Abstract: A method is provided for testing and setting the position of a position sensor for a transmission. A shift control shaft is provided, and the position sensor is positioned to align with the shift control shaft, and provide a shift position output. A position sensor testing device is installed to test position rotation of the position sensor as the shift control shaft is moved through shift positions. The tested position rotation of the position sensor is compared with a predetermined window of accurate positioning for the position sensor. Finally, the position of the position sensor is set based on the comparison.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Publication date: October 3, 2002
    Applicant: Honda of America, Mfg., Inc.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Publication number: 20020130020
    Abstract: A sensor device is used for sensing position of a movable component. The sensor device can be applied to multiple applications. For example, proper alignment between a shifter spline and a shifter position sensor of a transmission assembly can be confirmed by applying the sensor device of the present invention to confirm alignment of the transmission shifter with a transmission shifter position sensor during transmission assembly. A rotary sensor converts angular movement to a proportional electrical output. A converter then converts the proportional electrical output to an input which can be read. The location of the movable component is then determined, and displayed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Publication date: September 19, 2002
    Applicant: Honda of America, Mfg., Inc.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Patent number: 6448778
    Abstract: The present invention is an assembly line testing apparatus and method for automatically verifying proper connectivity of a plurality of components to a wiring harness within an article of manufacture, such as a vehicle engine, by electrically determining whether a closed circuit loop is formed with each component through two respective nodes of the wiring harness. A micro-controller controls application of a test voltage signal at a first node of the wiring harness to be coupled to one node of a component. The micro-controller then determines whether such a test voltage signal appears on a second node of the wiring harness to be coupled to the other node of the component to determine whether the component is properly connected to the wiring harness. In addition, the micro-controller determines and outputs an identification of any of the plurality of components that is not properly connected to the wiring harness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2002
    Assignee: Honda of America Mfg., Inc.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Patent number: 6279223
    Abstract: A method for fabrication and testing of a magnichanical sensor for proper operation in detecting the presence of a snap ring during manufacture of an object having the snap ring for clasping a bearing. The magnichanical sensor is comprised of a magnetic field generator and a magnetic switch that are properly aligned on a sensor circuit board. The apparatus adjusts a second position of the magnetic switch with respect to a first position of the magnetic field generator on the sensor circuit board. The apparatus includes an indicator assembly coupled to the magnetic switch for indicating when the second position of the magnetic switch is properly aligned with respect to the first position of the magnetic field generator on the sensor circuit board. The second position of the magnetic switch with respect to the first position of the magnetic field generator is adjusted for proper alignment for both situations when the snap ring is present and when the snap ring is not present.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2001
    Assignee: Honda of America Mfg., Inc.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Patent number: 6274829
    Abstract: A device is provided for allowing detection of a switch closure across an air gap between components. The device comprises a wireless inductive coupled switch designed for use with any suitable proximity sensor. The switch and sensor transmit a switch closure at a closable switch across the air gap. When the wireless inductive coupled switch is moved into the sensing range of the inductive proximity sensor, the ferrite core portion of the inductive coupled switch and the coil surrounding the ferrite portion are inductively coupled by the alternating field generated by the inductive proximity sensor. The alternating magnetic flux lines of the inductive proximity sensor move back and forth through the ferrite core portion and the coil. As long as the closable switch is open, no current is induced into the coil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin
  • Patent number: 6249123
    Abstract: The present invention is an assembly line testing apparatus and method for automatically determining whether a size of a gap, within at least one component of an article of manufacture, is within an acceptable range, during assembly of the article of manufacture. The present invention uses a microcontroller to control the operation of the assembly line testing apparatus of the present invention such that the size of the gap may be checked in a flexible and reliable manner by repeating the cycle of checking for the size of the gap. The present invention may be used to particular advantage for checking that the size of a spark plug gap within a vehicle engine is within an acceptable range during assembly of the vehicle engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Honda of America, Mfg., Inc.
    Inventor: Brent C. Rankin