Patents by Inventor Phillip J. Crothers

Phillip J. Crothers 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: 10788813
    Abstract: Systems and methods for retuning a surface to a nominal geometry using local reference points are disclosed. The system can include an imaging device for detecting the location of local features on an object. The system can use the location of local features, as opposed to an absolute reference frame, to determine one or more reference areas and one or more surface defects on an object. The system can then determine a nominal geometry for the surface (i.e., a surface that is substantially free of surface defects) and calculate the tool path necessary to create a nominal geometry. The system can machine the surface and, in some cases, rescan the surface to ensure the operation has machined the part to the nominal geometry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2020
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Martin A. Szarski, David M. Bain, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20200293015
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatus are disclosed for machining a part. Methods include generating a first spatial representation identifying a first orientation of a machining tool, and mechanically coupling an end effector to the part at a first position, the end effector including the machining tool and a coupling tool. Methods include generating a second spatial representation identifying a second orientation of the machining tool relative to the part, the first and second spatial representations being generated based on images captured by at least one imaging device and measurements from a plurality of sensors. Methods include identifying a plurality of differences that result from the coupling and that include a rotational distance and translational distance, the identifying being based on a comparison of a first image and a second image. Methods include adjusting the machining tool to return the machining tool to the first orientation at the first position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2020
    Publication date: September 17, 2020
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Luke Fletcher, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20200272129
    Abstract: A system to aid in design for manufacturing an object includes a processor and a memory configured to store instructions. The processor is configured to receive first data representing a design of the object to be manufactured and second data representing a machine-learning model. The processor is configured to execute the instructions to generate third data using the first data and the second data. The third data indicates at least one of a modification to the design of the object or process conditions for production of the object. The processor is configured to send the design of the object, the process conditions, or both, to a manufacturing tool to enable production of the object. The machine-learning model is representative of production data and based at least partially on one or more of: object features, process parameters, environmental factors, and quality data.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2019
    Publication date: August 27, 2020
    Inventors: Phillip John Crothers, Carla Elizabeth Reynolds, Alexander Rubin, Samuel J. Tucker, Gregg Robert Bogucki, Joshua David Kalin
  • Patent number: 10691097
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatus are disclosed for machining a part. The methods may include generating a plurality of spatial representations associated with a plurality of positions identified by a machining pattern associated with the part. The plurality of spatial representations may include a first spatial representation identifying a first orientation of a machining tool relative to the part at a first position. The methods may include moving an end effector to the first position. The methods may include mechanically coupling, using a coupling tool, the end effector to the part at the first position. The methods may include generating a second spatial representation identifying a second orientation of the machining tool relative to the part at the first position. The methods may include adjusting the machining tool in response to determining that the second spatial representation is different than the first spatial representation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Luke Fletcher, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20200055190
    Abstract: Methods and systems according to one or more examples are provided for testing an automated platform, such as a robot. In one example, a system comprises a first robot configured to perform one or more processing operations on a workpiece. The system further comprises a second robot configured to simulate one or more parameters of the workpiece and an associated processing operation to provide one or more test conditions corresponding to each of the one or more processing operations the first robot would perform on the workpiece to test the first robot.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2018
    Publication date: February 20, 2020
    Inventor: Phillip J. Crothers
  • Patent number: 10525637
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for designing flat composites that are formed into 3D shapes. One embodiment is a method that includes loading data defining a three dimensional (3D) shape for a composite part, identifying constraints based on dimensions of the 3D shape, simulating flattening of the 3D shape into a planar shape, and acquiring a mandrel having the planar shape. The method also includes placing features at the mandrel which permit a laminate laid-up onto the mandrel to compensate for the constraints during forming of the laminate into the 3D shape, and generating a Numerical Control (NC) program that directs an Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machine laying up the laminate. The NC program includes instructions for laying up tows of constituent material onto the mandrel having the features, to form layers of the laminate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2020
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Amol Ogale, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Patent number: 10369679
    Abstract: A finishing apparatus for performing an automated finishing operation on a surface of a workpiece is disclosed. The finishing apparatus may include a platen fabricated from a magnetic material and having a platen surface, and a finishing module disposed on the platen surface and having a finishing operation end effector. The finishing module may generate a magnetic field that biases the finishing module toward the platen, and may be operable to generate a magnetic flux to control movement of the finishing module over the platen surface to perform the automated finishing operation on the surface of the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Bennett M. Moriarty, Phillip J. Crothers, Shane E. Arthur, Brian W. Smith
  • Publication number: 20190154472
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus for performing an automated inspection operation across a surface of a workpiece is disclosed. The inspection apparatus may include a positioning apparatus, a platen fabricated from a magnetic material and having a platen surface, with the platen being mounted on the positioning apparatus and the positioning apparatus being operational to move the platen relative to the surface of the workpiece, and an inspection module disposed on the platen surface and having an inspection end effector. The inspection module may generate a magnetic field that biases the inspection module toward the platen, and may be operable to generate a magnetic flux to control movement of the inspection module over the platen surface to perform the automated inspection operation across the surface of the workpiece.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2019
    Publication date: May 23, 2019
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Phillip J. Crothers, Kurtis S. Willden
  • Patent number: 10286553
    Abstract: A system includes a robotic device for moving an inspection tool, a scanner coupleable to the robotic device such that the robotic device is configured to automatically move the scanner to collect data associated with a surface of the object, and a computer system configured to determine a surface profile associated with the surface of the object based on the data, and generate a tool path for inspecting the object using the inspection tool based on the surface profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: THE BOEING COMPANY
    Inventors: Martin A. Szarski, David Michael Bain, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Patent number: 10184813
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus for performing an automated inspection operation across a surface of a workpiece is disclosed. The inspection apparatus may include a platen fabricated from a magnetic material and having a platen surface, and an inspection module disposed on the platen surface and having an inspection end effector. The inspection module may generate a magnetic field that biases the inspection module toward the platen, and may be operable to generate a magnetic flux to control movement of the inspection module over the platen surface to perform the automated inspection operation across the surface of the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Phillip J. Crothers, Kurtis S. Willden
  • Patent number: 10139806
    Abstract: Systems and methods for generating a coordinate transformation are disclosed. The system can include a non-destructive imaging (NDI) device for detecting the location of local surface and subsurface features in an object (e.g., an aircraft). The system can compare the location of these local features to the location of features from engineering drawings (e.g., CAD files) to generate a coordinate transformation from a machine coordinate system, for example, to an absolute coordinate system. The system can then accurately locate a work piece to perform repairs or replacements, as necessary. The system can also include a robotic arm to enable repairs to be performed at reduced cost and with increased accuracy. The system can also compare two or more NDI scans to locate or relocate a machine that has been moved. This can enable the machine to be repositioned for repairs, maintenance, or to perform a two part repair.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Martin A. Szarski, David M. Bain, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20180257315
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for designing flat composites that are formed into 3D shapes. One embodiment is a method that includes loading data defining a three dimensional (3D) shape for a composite part, identifying constraints based on dimensions of the 3D shape, simulating flattening of the 3D shape into a planar shape, and acquiring a mandrel having the planar shape. The method also includes placing features at the mandrel which permit a laminate laid-up onto the mandrel to compensate for the constraints during forming of the laminate into the 3D shape, and generating a Numerical Control (NC) program that directs an Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) machine laying up the laminate. The NC program includes instructions for laying up tows of constituent material onto the mandrel having the features, to form layers of the laminate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2017
    Publication date: September 13, 2018
    Inventors: Amol Ogale, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20180128657
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus for performing an automated inspection operation across a surface of a workpiece is disclosed. The inspection apparatus may include a platen fabricated from a magnetic material and having a platen surface, and an inspection module disposed on the platen surface and having an inspection end effector. The inspection module may generate a magnetic field that biases the inspection module toward the platen, and may be operable to generate a magnetic flux to control movement of the inspection module over the platen surface to perform the automated inspection operation across the surface of the workpiece.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2016
    Publication date: May 10, 2018
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Phillip J. Crothers, Kurtis S. Willden
  • Publication number: 20180126514
    Abstract: A finishing apparatus for performing an automated finishing operation on a surface of a workpiece is disclosed. The finishing apparatus may include a platen fabricated from a magnetic material and having a platen surface, and a finishing module disposed on the platen surface and having a finishing operation end effector. The finishing module may generate a magnetic field that biases the finishing module toward the platen, and may be operable to generate a magnetic flux to control movement of the finishing module over the platen surface to perform the automated finishing operation on the surface of the workpiece.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2016
    Publication date: May 10, 2018
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Bennett M. Moriarty, Phillip J. Crothers, Shane E. Arthur, Brian W. Smith
  • Patent number: 9604403
    Abstract: A method of assessing bond quality of a bond between first and second composite parts may include bonding an indication film to the first composite part. The indication film may include NDI-detectable particles arranged in a pattern and bound to polymer chains located inside particle regions. The polymer chains and particles may be stationary during bonding of the indication film to the first composite part. The method may additionally include bonding the first and second composite parts along an assembly bondline during which the particles in the indication film migrate with the polymer chains. The method may further include NDI-inspection of the assembly bondline by observing the appearance of the particles along a direction locally normal to an in-plane direction of the assembly bondline, and determining the bond quality of the assembly bondline based on particle density in the in-plane direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Mark S. Wilenski, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20160202689
    Abstract: Systems and methods for generating a coordinate transformation are disclosed. The system can include a non-destructive imaging (NDI) device for detecting the location of local surface and subsurface features in an object (e.g., an aircraft). The system can compare the location of these local features to the location of features from engineering drawings (e.g., CAD files) to generate a coordinate transformation from a machine coordinate system, for example, to an absolute coordinate system. The system can then accurately locate a work piece to perform repairs or replacements, as necessary. The system can also include a robotic arm to enable repairs to be performed at reduced cost and with increased accuracy. The system can also compare two or more NDI scans to locate or relocate a machine that has been moved. This can enable the machine to be repositioned for repairs, maintenance, or to perform a two part repair.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 12, 2015
    Publication date: July 14, 2016
    Inventors: Martin A. Szarski, David M. Bain, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20160116905
    Abstract: Systems and methods for retuning a surface to a nominal geometry using local reference points are disclosed. The system can include an imaging device for detecting the location of local features on an object. The system can use the location of local features, as opposed to an absolute reference frame, to determine one or more reference areas and one or more surface defects on an object. The system can then determine a nominal geometry for the surface (i.e., a surface that is substantially free of surface defects) and calculate the tool path necessary to create a nominal geometry. The system can machine the surface and, in some cases, rescan the surface to ensure the operation has machined the part to the nominal geometry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 2014
    Publication date: April 28, 2016
    Inventors: Martin A. Szarski, David M. Bain, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20160075020
    Abstract: A system includes a robotic device for moving an inspection tool, a scanner coupleable to the robotic device such that the robotic device is configured to automatically move the scanner to collect data associated with a surface of the object, and a computer system configured to determine a surface profile associated with the surface of the object based on the data, and generate a tool path for inspecting the object using the inspection tool based on the surface profile.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2014
    Publication date: March 17, 2016
    Inventors: Martin A. Szarski, David Michael Bain, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Publication number: 20150323922
    Abstract: Systems, methods, and apparatus are disclosed for machining a part. The methods may include generating a plurality of spatial representations associated with a plurality of positions identified by a machining pattern associated with the part. The plurality of spatial representations may include a first spatial representation identifying a first orientation of a machining tool relative to the part at a first position. The methods may include moving an end effector to the first position. The methods may include mechanically coupling, using a coupling tool, the end effector to the part at the first position. The methods may include generating a second spatial representation identifying a second orientation of the machining tool relative to the part at the first position. The methods may include adjusting the machining tool in response to determining that the second spatial representation is different than the first spatial representation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2014
    Publication date: November 12, 2015
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Luke Fletcher, Phillip J. Crothers
  • Patent number: 8922647
    Abstract: A method of measuring a feature of an article may include projecting a scale template onto the article at a predetermined size. The method may additionally include projecting a measurement pattern onto the article. An image containing the feature, the scale template, and the measurement pattern may be recorded by the camera. The method may further include determining a scale factor of the image based on the scale template, and determining a size and/or a location of the feature based upon the measurement pattern and the image scale factor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Phillip J. Crothers, Philip L. Freeman, Martin A. Szarski, Justin G. Young