Patents by Inventor Mark Edward Nichols

Mark Edward Nichols 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: 11364516
    Abstract: An atomizer for applying a coating includes a nozzle plate, an actuator, and an acoustic focusing device. The nozzle plate defines at least one aperture. The actuator is configured to oscillate to form pressure waves within a fluid to eject the fluid from the nozzle plate. The acoustic focusing device focuses the pressure waves toward the apertures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2022
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Wanjiao Liu, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Mark Edward Nichols, Christopher Michael Seubert
  • Patent number: 11331893
    Abstract: A film-application apparatus includes a body including a first body half, a second body half, and a hinge coupling the body halves; and a squeegee blade movable from a first position relative to the body to a second position relative to the body. The second body half is rotatable about the hinge relative to the first body half to a closed position. When the second body half is in the closed position, the body includes a top ring and a bottom ring both centered on an axis and defining an axial gap therebetween. When the second body half is in the closed position and the body is enclosing a sensor having a cylindrical sensor window, the axial gap exposes the cylindrical sensor window, and moving the squeegee blade from the first position to the second position covers substantially an entire surface area of the cylindrical sensor window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2022
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Cindy Anne Peters, Mark Edward Nichols, Michael Robertson, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20220018994
    Abstract: An assembly includes a sensor lens, a polymer film adhered to the sensor lens, a hydrophilic coating applied to the sensor lens, and a fluid layer between the sensor lens and the polymer film, wherein the fluid layer is disposed on the hydrophilic coating.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2020
    Publication date: January 20, 2022
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Michael Robertson, JR., Mark Edward Nichols, Cindy Anne Peters
  • Publication number: 20210331394
    Abstract: A method of forming a part includes 3D printing a photopolymerizable resin and forming a preformed part and subsequently post-curing the preformed part with electron beams. The preformed part may be cured via UV curing. A section of the preformed part post-cured with electron beams may have a thickness of at least 1.0 centimeter, for example, at least 2.0 centimeters or at least 3.0 centimeters. An electron beam dosage to post-cure the preformed part may be between 10 kilogray (kGy) and 100 kGy. The preformed part may be 3D printed using stereolithography (SLA), digital light processing (DLP) or material jetting (MJ) and the photopolymerizable resin may include at least one of an acrylate functional polymer and a methacrylate functional polymer. In the alternative, or in addition to, the photopolymerizable resin may include at least one of a urethane, a polyester, and a polyether.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2021
    Publication date: October 28, 2021
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols, Ellen Cheng-chi Lee
  • Publication number: 20210268785
    Abstract: A film-application apparatus includes a body including a first body half, a second body half, and a hinge coupling the body halves; and a squeegee blade movable from a first position relative to the body to a second position relative to the body. The second body half is rotatable about the hinge relative to the first body half to a closed position. When the second body half is in the closed position, the body includes a top ring and a bottom ring both centered on an axis and defining an axial gap therebetween. When the second body half is in the closed position and the body is enclosing a sensor having a cylindrical sensor window, the axial gap exposes the cylindrical sensor window, and moving the squeegee blade from the first position to the second position covers substantially an entire surface area of the cylindrical sensor window.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2020
    Publication date: September 2, 2021
    Applicant: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Cindy Anne Peters, Mark Edward Nichols, Michael Robertson, JR.
  • Publication number: 20210087357
    Abstract: An additive article stabilizing method includes prior to polymerization, adding a radiation-activated stabilizing composition to a liquid resin, forming the article from the liquid resin, layer by layer, using radiation such that the stabilizing composition does not stabilize the liquid resin but the formed article, and neutralizing free radicals generated during a degradation process initiated by exposure of the article to additional radiation post-cure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2018
    Publication date: March 25, 2021
    Inventors: Emily Ann RYAN, Mark Edward NICHOLS, Ellen Cheng-Chi LEE, Christopher Michael SEUBERT, Deborah Frances MIELEWSKI, Nicholas Ryan GUNTHER, Matthew Linden BEDELL
  • Publication number: 20210023581
    Abstract: An ultrasonic atomization material applicator includes a material applicator with at least one transducer and an array plate with an array of micro-applicators. Each of the micro-applicators has a material inlet, a reservoir, and a micro-applicator plate with a plurality of apertures. At least one supply line is in communication with the micro-applicators and configured to supply at least one material to each of the micro-applicators. The at least one ultrasonic transducer is mechanically coupled to the at least one array of micro-applicators and configured to vibrate the at least one array of micro-applicators such that atomized droplets of the at least one material are ejected from each of the micro-applicators. A movement device configured to cyclically move the at least one array of micro-applicators back and forth about at least one axis of the at least one array of micro-applicators can be included.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 13, 2020
    Publication date: January 28, 2021
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Wanjiao Liu
  • Publication number: 20210001369
    Abstract: A method of controlling application of at least one material onto a substrate includes configuring a material applicator having an array plate with an applicator array. The applicator array has a plurality of micro-applicators with a first subset of micro-applicators and a second subset of micro-applicators. Each of the plurality of micro-applicators has a plurality of apertures through which fluid is ejected. The first subset of micro-applicators and the second subset of micro-applicators are individually addressable, and a liquid flows through the first subset of micro-applicators and a shaping gas, e.g., air, flows through the second subset of micro-applicators. The flow of shaping gas shapes the flow of the liquid from the first subset of micro-applicators to the substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2020
    Publication date: January 7, 2021
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Wanjiao Liu, Aaron Fiala
  • Patent number: 10864541
    Abstract: An apparatus for applying a coating to a substrate includes a base, an applicator, and a quick-connect connector. The base includes a fluid conduit. The applicator includes at least one actuator and an array of nozzle plates. Each nozzle plate defines at least one aperture. The at least one actuator is configured to oscillate the nozzle plates to eject fluid from the apertures. The quick-connect connector couples the fluid conduit to the applicator for fluid communication therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2020
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Scott Adams, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Wanjiao Liu, Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols
  • Patent number: 10799905
    Abstract: A method of controlling application of material onto a substrate includes ejecting atomized droplets from an array of micro-applicators while the array of micro-applicators cyclically moves about at least one axis. The atomized droplets from each of the plurality of micro-applicators overlap with atomized droplets from adjacent micro-applicators and a diffuse overlap of deposited atomized droplets from adjacent micro-applicators is provided on a surface of the substrate. The array of micro-applicators cyclically rotates back and forth around the at least one axis and/or moves back and forth parallel to the at least one axis. For example, the at least one axis can be a central axis of the array of micro-applicators, a length axis of the array of micro-applicators, a width axis of the array of micro-applicators, and the like. Also, the array of micro-applicators can be part of an ultrasonic material applicator used to paint vehicles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2020
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Wanjiao Liu
  • Patent number: 10792693
    Abstract: A method of controlling application of material onto a substrate is provided. The method includes ejecting an ultraviolet (UV) curable material through a plurality of micro-applicators in the form of atomized droplets. At least one UV light source is positioned adjacent to the plurality of micro-applicators and the atomized droplets are irradiated with UV light by the at least one UV light source and curing of the atomized droplets is initiated. The atomized droplets are deposited onto a surface of the substrate and a UV cured coating on the surface is formed thereon. The UV curable material may include a photolatent base catalyst such that the atomized droplets deposited onto the surface continue to cure after being irradiated with the at least one UV light source. The at least one UV light source can include a UV light ring, a UV light emitting diode, and the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Wanjiao Liu
  • Patent number: 10560983
    Abstract: A computer is programmed to modify an electrical property to adjust an opacity of a sensor cover window. The computer is programmed to actuate an excitation source to emit electro-magnetic beams toward the cover window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Kenneth Edward Nietering, Mark Edward Nichols
  • Patent number: 10518751
    Abstract: A vehicle computer includes a memory and a processor programmed to execute instructions stored in the memory. The instructions include comparing a captured image of a predetermined object to a target image of the predetermined object to quantify a first noise characteristic of the captured image, comparing the first noise characteristic to a first predetermined threshold, and detecting debris on an image sensor that outputs the captured image as a result of comparing the first noise characteristic to the first predetermined threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols, Cindy Anne Peters, Kerrie Nikaido Holguin
  • Patent number: 10488494
    Abstract: A sensor apparatus includes a housing, a LIDAR sensor attached to the housing, a window attached to the housing, and a film covering the window and removable from the window. The window may be cylindrical. The film may be a first film, and the sensor apparatus may include a second film covering the first film and removable from the first film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Mark Edward Nichols, Cindy Anne Peters, Sabrina Louise Peczonczyk, Kerrie Nikaido Holguin
  • Publication number: 20190232317
    Abstract: A method of controlling application of material onto a substrate is provided. The method includes ejecting an ultraviolet (UV) curable material through a plurality of micro-applicators in the form of atomized droplets. At least one UV light source is positioned adjacent to the plurality of micro-applicators and the atomized droplets are irradiated with UV light by the at least one UV light source and curing of the atomized droplets is initiated. The atomized droplets are deposited onto a surface of the substrate and a UV cured coating on the surface is formed thereon. The UV curable material may include a photolatent base catalyst such that the atomized droplets deposited onto the surface continue to cure after being irradiated with the at least one UV light source. The at least one UV light source can include a UV light ring, a UV light emitting diode, and the like.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Publication date: August 1, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Wanjiao Liu
  • Publication number: 20190232323
    Abstract: An apparatus for applying a coating to a substrate includes a base, an applicator, and a quick-connect connector. The base includes a fluid conduit. The applicator includes at least one actuator and an array of nozzle plates. Each nozzle plate defines at least one aperture. The at least one actuator is configured to oscillate the nozzle plates to eject fluid from the apertures. The quick-connect connector couples the fluid conduit to the applicator for fluid communication therebetween.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Publication date: August 1, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Scott Adams, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Wanjiao Liu, Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols
  • Publication number: 20190232321
    Abstract: A method of controlling application of material onto a substrate includes ejecting atomized droplets from an array of micro-applicators while the array of micro-applicators cyclically moves about at least one axis. The atomized droplets from each of the plurality of micro-applicators overlap with atomized droplets from adjacent micro-applicators and a diffuse overlap of deposited atomized droplets from adjacent micro-applicators is provided on a surface of the substrate. The array of micro-applicators cyclically rotates back and forth around the at least one axis and/or moves back and forth parallel to the at least one axis. For example, the at least one axis can be a central axis of the array of micro-applicators, a length axis of the array of micro-applicators, a width axis of the array of micro-applicators, and the like. Also, the array of micro-applicators can be part of an ultrasonic material applicator used to paint vehicles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Publication date: August 1, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Christopher Michael Seubert, Mark Edward Nichols, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Wanjiao Liu
  • Publication number: 20190232318
    Abstract: An atomizer for applying a coating includes a nozzle plate, an actuator, and an acoustic focusing device. The nozzle plate defines at least one aperture. The actuator is configured to oscillate to form pressure waves within a fluid to eject the fluid from the nozzle plate. The acoustic focusing device focuses the pressure waves toward the apertures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Publication date: August 1, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Wanjiao Liu, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Mark Edward Nichols, Christopher Michael Seubert
  • Publication number: 20190232320
    Abstract: A nozzle for an atomizer includes a plate, a piezoelectric actuator, a body, and a connector. The plate defines an aperture. The actuator is configured to oscillate the plate. The body supports the plate. The connector is configured to reversibly mount the body to the atomizer in a first orientation and in a second orientation. In the first orientation, fluid exits the nozzle along a first axial direction through the aperture. In the second orientation, fluid exits the nozzle along an opposite axial direction through the aperture.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Publication date: August 1, 2019
    Applicant: Ford Motor Company
    Inventors: Wanjiao Liu, Kevin Richard John Ellwood, Mark Edward Nichols, Christopher Michael Seubert
  • Publication number: 20190204072
    Abstract: An inspection station includes a conveyor, a first scanner, a second scanner, a controller, and an interface. The conveyor is configured to continuously transport a vehicle body through the station. The first scanner is configured to detect features of the vehicle body and associated feature coordinates relative to a global coordinate system. The second scanner is configured to detect paint thicknesses on surfaces of the vehicle body and associated paint thickness coordinates relative to the global coordinate system. The controller is programmed to map corresponding pairs of the feature coordinates and paint thickness coordinates into a single set of local coordinates having a datum defined by the vehicle body such that each of the local coordinates defines a location of one of the features relative to the datum and one of the paint thicknesses at the location. The interface is configured to display the features and corresponding paint thicknesses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2017
    Publication date: July 4, 2019
    Inventors: Scott ADAMS, Marina Menendez BAKER, Mark Edward NICHOLS, Tony MISOVSKI