Patents by Inventor Gene Michael Altonen

Gene Michael Altonen 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).

  • Publication number: 20210387390
    Abstract: Systems and approaches for controlling an injection molding machine having a mold forming a mold cavity include feeding a molten polymer into a barrel containing a screw disposed in a first position, advancing the screw a first instance, from the first position to a second position, to inject the molten polymer into the mold cavity to form a molded part, and ejecting a first molded part or a first set of molded parts from the mold cavity. Further, the screw is advanced a second instance, from the second position to a third position, to inject the molten polymer into the mold cavity to form an additional molded part. A second molded part or a second set of molded parts is ejected from the mold cavity. After the second advancing instance, a recovery profile is commenced in which the screw is returned to the first position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2021
    Publication date: December 16, 2021
    Inventors: Brandon Michael Birchmeier, Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen, William Francis Lawless, III
  • Publication number: 20210387393
    Abstract: A method of detecting and compensating for a non-operational mold cavity in an injection molding apparatus having a plurality of mold cavities and an injection molding screw or ram includes injecting, via the injection molding screw or ram, a molten thermoplastic material into the plurality of mold cavities. The method includes measuring a first process parameter of the injection molding apparatus at a pre-determined time during or after the injecting. The method also includes determining, based on the first process parameter, whether one or more mold cavities of the plurality of mold cavities are non-operational. Then, when it is determined that one or more mold cavities are non-operational, the method includes automatically adjusting the first process parameter or a second process parameter of the injection molding apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 19, 2021
    Publication date: December 16, 2021
    Inventors: Bryler Collins, Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen, Brandon Michael Birchmeier, Matthew Craver
  • Publication number: 20210387391
    Abstract: Systems and approaches for controlling an injection molding machine having a mold forming a mold cavity and being controlled according to an injection cycle include injecting a molten polymer into the mold cavity according to a startup profile. A first sensor is used to measure at least one variable during the startup profile. The startup profile is terminated upon the at least one variable exceeding a first threshold. The molten polymer is then injected into the mold cavity according to a primary injection profile.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2021
    Publication date: December 16, 2021
    Inventors: Brandon Michael Birchmeier, Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 11161286
    Abstract: Non-time dependent measured variables are used to effectively determine an optimal hold profile for an expanding crosslinking polymer part in a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first inject molten expanding crosslinking polymer into a mold cavity, then measure at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. Next, the system and/or method commences a hold profile for the part, and upon completing the hold profile, the part is ejected from the mold cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Richard Lewis Montague, II, Rick Alan Pollard, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen, Kimberly Nichole McConnell, Aaron Timothy Neate
  • Publication number: 20210308923
    Abstract: Non-time dependent measured variables are used to effectively determine an optimal ejection time of a part from a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first measure at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. The part is ready to be ejected from the mold upon the measured variable reaching a threshold value indicative of, for example, a part temperature dropping below an activation temperature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 16, 2021
    Publication date: October 7, 2021
    Inventors: Nicholas Mulkern Unkovic, Gene Michael Altonen, Daniel David Lumpkin, William Francis Lawless, III, H. Kenneth Hanson, III, Chow-Chi Huang
  • Patent number: 11135754
    Abstract: A remote controller can be provided on any apparatus that employs feedback control from a native controller to add functionality to the apparatus where the native controller is not capable of providing such functionality independently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Publication number: 20210268705
    Abstract: Non-time dependent calculated variables based on measured strain are used to effectively determine an optimal hold profile for an expanding crosslinking polymer part in a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first inject molten expanding crosslinking polymer into a mold cavity, then measure strain at the mold cavity or at another location within the injection molding system, and then calculate at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. Next, the system and/or method commences a hold profile for the part, and upon completing the hold profile, the part is ejected from the mold cavity, whereupon a cure profile is commenced.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2021
    Publication date: September 2, 2021
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen, Chow-Chi Huang
  • Patent number: 11072102
    Abstract: Non-time dependent measured variables are used to effectively determine an optimal ejection time of a part from a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first measure at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. The part is ready to be ejected from the mold upon the measured variable reaching a threshold value indicative of, for example, a part temperature dropping below an activation temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX, INC.
    Inventors: Nicholas Mulkern Unkovic, Gene Michael Altonen, Daniel Lumpkin, William Francis Lawless, III, H. Kenneth Hanson, III, Chow-Chi Huang
  • Publication number: 20210206041
    Abstract: A method and system for adjusting melt pressure in an injection molding material that allows calculating a melt pressure of a molten plastic material to be injected and based on the calculated melt pressure and a desired melt pressure adjusting operation of an injection molding machine. This control of an injection molding cycle using the method and system of plastic melt pressure determination allows production of parts of increased quality and consistency.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2020
    Publication date: July 8, 2021
    Inventors: Gene Michael Altonen, Bryler Collins, Ethan David Stiefel, Herbert Kenneth Hanson, III, William Francis Lawless, III
  • Publication number: 20210187811
    Abstract: A method of monitoring and controlling a molding clamping apparatus in an injection molding or other molding process is disclosed. The method includes creating a target strain profile, receiving a deviation limit, receiving a change in strain relating to a mold while it is closing from a first strain gauge, identifying a deviation from a target strain profile based on the output from the first strain gauge, determining that the deviation exceeds the deviation limit, and adjusting the rate or force of clamp movement. The target strain profile may have a first portion relating to a clamp closing process, a second portion relating to a filling process, and a third portion relating to a clamp opening process. The first portion relating to the clamp closing process may include an intermediate portion relating to a coining process having an intermediate clamp force setpoint.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 8, 2021
    Publication date: June 24, 2021
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 11040472
    Abstract: Non-time dependent calculated variables based on measured strain are used to effectively determine an optimal hold profile for an expanding crosslinking polymer part in a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first inject molten expanding crosslinking polymer into a mold cavity, then measure strain at the mold cavity or at another location within the injection molding system, and then calculate at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. Next, the system and/or method commences a hold profile for the part, and upon completing the hold profile, the part is ejected from the mold cavity, whereupon a cure profile is commenced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen, Chow-Chi Huang
  • Publication number: 20210170655
    Abstract: Non-time dependent measured variables are used to effectively determine an optimal hold profile for an expanding crosslinking polymer part in a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first inject molten expanding crosslinking polymer into a mold cavity, then measure at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. Next, the system and/or method commences a hold profile for the part, and upon completing the hold profile, the part is ejected from the mold cavity, whereupon a cure profile is commenced.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2021
    Publication date: June 10, 2021
    Inventors: Richard Lewis Montague, II, Rick Alan Polland, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen, Kimberly Nichole McConnell, Aaron Timothy Neate
  • Patent number: 11010816
    Abstract: A method of selecting thermoplastic materials for use with an injection molding apparatus that adjusts viscosity of a thermoplastic material based on an interpreted viscosity is provided. The method includes determining a target MFI for an identified plastic article based on performance properties. A thermoplastic material supply chain is analyzed and a first thermoplastic material having a first starting MFI and a first MFI range is identified and a second thermoplastic material having a second starting MFI and a second MFI range that is greater than the first MFI range is identified and is priced less than the first thermoplastic material. The second thermoplastic material is purchased. The second thermoplastic material is tested by providing the second thermoplastic material to the injection molding apparatus for multiple shot molding cycles with the second thermoplastic material in a molten state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC
    Inventors: Gene Michael Altonen, Nathan Daniel Estruth, Dennis James Pratel
  • Patent number: 10994461
    Abstract: A remote controller can be provided on any apparatus that employs feedback control from a native controller to add functionality to the apparatus where the native controller is not capable of providing such functionality independently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10974430
    Abstract: A method of monitoring and controlling a molding clamping apparatus in an injection molding or other molding process is disclosed. The method includes creating a target strain profile, receiving a deviation limit, receiving a change in strain relating to a mold while it is closing from a first strain gauge, identifying a deviation from a target strain profile based on the output from the first strain gauge, determining that the deviation exceeds the deviation limit, and adjusting the rate or force of clamp movement. The target strain profile may have a first portion relating to a clamp closing process, a second portion relating to a filling process, and a third portion relating to a clamp opening process. The first portion relating to the clamp closing process may include an intermediate portion relating to a coining process having an intermediate clamp force setpoint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Publication number: 20210101323
    Abstract: Embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure are directed to external sensor kits that may be included in new injection molds or retrofitted into existing injection molds in order to approximate conditions within a mold, such as pressure or the location of a melt flow front. Such kits are designed to amplify meaningful measurements obtained by the external sensor kit so that noise measurements do not prevent the approximation of conditions within a mold. In some embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure, an external sensor kit includes a strain gauge sensor, a coupon, a support bracket, and a hammer. The strain gauge sensor is placed on a surface of the coupon and measures the strain in the coupon.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2020
    Publication date: April 8, 2021
    Inventors: Chow-Chi Huang, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10953583
    Abstract: Non-time dependent measured variables are used to effectively determine an optimal hold profile for an expanding crosslinking polymer part in a mold cavity. A system and/or approach may first inject molten expanding crosslinking polymer into a mold cavity, then measure at least one non-time dependent variable during an injection molding cycle. Next, the system and/or method commences a hold profile for the part, and upon completing the hold profile, the part is ejected from the mold cavity, whereupon a cure profile is commenced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Richard Lewis Montague, II, Rick Alan Pollard, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen, Kimberly Nichole McConnell, Aaron Timothy Neate
  • Patent number: 10899058
    Abstract: Embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure are directed to external sensor kits that may be included in new injection molds or retrofitted into existing injection molds in order to approximate conditions within a mold, such as pressure or the location of a melt flow front. Such kits are designed to amplify meaningful measurements obtained by the external sensor kit so that noise measurements do not prevent the approximation of conditions within a mold. In some embodiments within the scope of the present disclosure, an external sensor kit includes a strain gauge sensor, a coupon, a support bracket, and a hammer. The strain gauge sensor is placed on a surface of the coupon and measures the strain in the coupon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Chow-Chi Huang, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10894349
    Abstract: A method of monitoring and controlling a sequential valve gate molding apparatus in an injection molding or other molding process is disclosed. The method includes creating a target strain profile, receiving a deviation limit, receiving a change in strain relating to a first valve gate from a first strain gauge, identifying whether a deviation exists from a first portion of the target strain profile based on the output from the first strain gauge, determining whether any existing deviation exceeds the deviation limit, and adjusting the position of a first valve gate pin in the first valve gate if it does. The method may further include control of subsequent valve gates. Multiple strain gauges may be used to control a single valve gate, and/or each strain gauge may control more than one valve gate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen, Brandon Michael Birchmeier
  • Publication number: 20200406521
    Abstract: A method and system for co-injection molding of two molten plastic materials that allows monitoring and utilization of injection pressure and optionally melt pressure and/or flow front pressure during an injection run. A controller alters the injection pressure so as to achieve and maintain optimal or desired ratios of injection pressure, and optionally melt pressure and/or flow front pressure, of the two molten plastic materials. This allows for more precise part manufacture, including reducing the thickness of a skin or shell layer compared to a core layer of a molded part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2020
    Publication date: December 31, 2020
    Inventors: Gene Michael Altonen, Shawn J. Schnee, Aaron Timothy Neate, William Francis Lawless, III