Patents by Inventor Rick Alan Pollard

Rick Alan Pollard 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: 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: 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
  • Publication number: 20210260805
    Abstract: A system includes a cavity, an injection nozzle configured to inject material into the cavity, and a plurality of sensors at sensor locations. Each of the plurality of sensors is configured to measure parameters at one of the sensor locations. The system lacks a strain gauge. The system further includes a controller configured to control a flow rate of the injection of material into the cavity. The controller is configured to receive the measured parameters and compare the received information to predetermined curves. The controller is configured to control the flow rate when the measured parameters deviate from the predetermined curves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 7, 2021
    Publication date: August 26, 2021
    Inventors: Milko Gergov, Chow-Chi Huang, Steve Steve Burns, Rick Alan Pollard
  • 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
  • Patent number: 11034070
    Abstract: A system includes a cavity, an injection nozzle configured to inject material into the cavity, and a plurality of sensors at sensor locations. Each of the plurality of sensors is configured to measure parameters at one of the sensor locations. The system lacks a strain gauge. The system further includes a controller configured to control a flow rate of the injection of material into the cavity. The controller is configured to receive the measured parameters and compare the received information to predetermined curves. The controller is configured to control the flow rate when the measured parameters deviate from the predetermined curves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Milko Gergov, Chow-Chi Huang, Steve Andrew Burns, Rick Alan Pollard
  • 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: 10814540
    Abstract: A hot runner injection molding apparatus, and method of use, is disclosed in which strain gauges are provided in the temperature zones of the hot runner injection molding apparatus and a hot runner controller creates a target strain profile, detects deviations from the target strain profile in any temperature zone based on the strain readings provided by the strain gauges in each temperature zone, and instructs correction of deviations from the target strain profile in any deviating temperature zone by adjusting the heat produced by a heater or heaters in the deviating temperature zone. The target strain profile may be based on a median or average of strain readings provided over time by the strain gauges in each temperature zone. A hollow installation tube for placing the strain gauges in the hot runner injection molding apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen, Brian Matthew Burns
  • Publication number: 20200156292
    Abstract: A foaming process and a method for operation of the foaming process are provided. The method includes flowing a molten polymeric material into a mold from an upstream device, receiving the molten polymeric material in a cavity of the mold, and maintaining a repeatable, uniform pressure profile as the molten polymeric material is delivered into the mold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2019
    Publication date: May 21, 2020
    Inventors: Shayne Hannemann, Kimberly Nichole McConnell, Justin Andrew Meyer, Rick Alan Pollard
  • Publication number: 20200156341
    Abstract: A molding system and a method for forming a sole structure are provided. The method includes flowing a molten polymeric material into a mold from an upstream device, receiving the molten polymeric material in a cavity of the mold, and maintaining a repeatable, uniform pressure profile as the molten polymeric material is delivered into the mold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2019
    Publication date: May 21, 2020
    Inventors: Shayne Hannemann, Kimberly Nichole McConnell, Justin Andrew Meyer, Rick Alan Pollard
  • Publication number: 20200108538
    Abstract: A hot runner injection molding apparatus, and method of use, is disclosed in which strain gauges are provided in the temperature zones of the hot runner injection molding apparatus and a hot runner controller creates a target strain profile, detects deviations from the target strain profile in any temperature zone based on the strain readings provided by the strain gauges in each temperature zone, and instructs correction of deviations from the target strain profile in any deviating temperature zone by adjusting the heat produced by a heater or heaters in the deviating temperature zone. The target strain profile may be based on a median or average of strain readings provided over time by the strain gauges in each temperature zone. A hollow installation tube for placing the strain gauges in the hot runner injection molding apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 10, 2019
    Publication date: April 9, 2020
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen, Brian Matthew Burns
  • Patent number: 10538023
    Abstract: A hot runner injection molding apparatus, and method of use, is disclosed in which strain gauges are provided in the temperature zones of the hot runner injection molding apparatus and a hot runner controller creates a target strain profile, detects deviations from the target strain profile in any temperature zone based on the strain readings provided by the strain gauges in each temperature zone, and instructs correction of deviations from the target strain profile in any deviating temperature zone by adjusting the heat produced by a heater or heaters in the deviating temperature zone. The target strain profile may be based on a median or average of strain readings provided over time by the strain gauges in each temperature zone. A hollow installation tube for placing the strain gauges in the hot runner injection molding apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2020
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen, Brian Matthew Burns
  • Patent number: 10525626
    Abstract: Methods of monitoring and controlling a molding process using a sensed change in strain provided by a strain gauge are provided. A target strain profile is created for a molding process of a molding apparatus. An upper and lower deviation limit from the target strain profile for the molding process is provided. If a sensed change in strain exceeds a deviation limit, an alarm is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2020
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: William Francis Lawless, III, Rick Alan Pollard, Brian Matthew Burns, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Publication number: 20190337207
    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: July 16, 2019
    Publication date: November 7, 2019
    Inventors: Chow-Chi Huang, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10449707
    Abstract: A injection molding method involves measuring, using at least one strain gauge sensor, a change in strain in a mold side of a mold cavity, approximating a pressure within the mold cavity based on the change in strain, comparing the approximated pressure to a pre-set trigger point, and if the approximated pressure equals or exceeds the pre-set trigger point, activating a virtual cavity sensor having an optimal pre-defined pressure-time curve, wherein upon activation, the virtual cavity sensor tracks approximated pressures calculated from the change in strain measurements measured by the at least one strain gauge sensor over time and compares the results of the approximated pressure tracking to the optimal pre-defined pressure-time curve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: IMFLUX, INC.
    Inventors: Rick Alan Pollard, Joshua Douglas Raker, Gene Michael Altonen, H. Kenneth Hanson, III
  • Patent number: 10444092
    Abstract: A strain gauge nozzle adapter that may be placed between a barrel end cap and a nozzle body of an injection molding system, the strain gauge nozzle adapter having a strain gauge pin that measures strain within the strain gauge nozzle adapter for use in approximating conditions within an injection molding system, such as pressure or the location of a melt flow front. The strain gauge nozzle adapter may include a plurality of strain gauge pins. An alternative material insert in the strain gauge nozzle adapter may surround a strain gauge pin to amplify meaningful measurements obtained by the strain gauge pin so that noise measurements do not compromise the accuracy of approximation of conditions within a mold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: IMFLUX INC.
    Inventors: Rick Alan Pollard, Bryan Keith Allen, Chow-Chi Huang, Gene Michael Altonen
  • Patent number: 10399264
    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: March 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2019
    Assignee: IMFLUX, INC.
    Inventors: Chow-Chi Huang, Rick Alan Pollard, Gene Michael Altonen