Patents by Inventor Robert J. Thomas

Robert J. Thomas 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: 5722646
    Abstract: A flexible tooling system includes a support table with multiple openings adapted to removably accept a self-contained actuator. Each opening of the support table provides vacuum and air supply lines as well as a bus interface so that each position may be uniquely addressed and commanded separately from any other openings. The self-contained actuator has corresponding connectors for receiving the vacuum and air supply as well as for interfacing with the bus. An actuator may be placed at a particular location by insertion into the receptacle at the opening in the support table aperture. The actuator may be commanded to raise, lower, lock in position and supply vacuum separate from any other actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1998
    Assignee: CNA Manufacturing Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Soderberg, Robert A. Starr, Larry R. Cook, Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 5560127
    Abstract: A perpetual calendar is provided which employs movably mounted, elongated strips for displaying the days of the month and corresponding days of the week in a side by side relationship. A first strip has permanently affixed to its outer surface the numbers 1-31 representing days of the month, and a second strip has permanently affixed to its outer surface indicia representing days of the week. The relative positions of the first and second strips can be adjusted to positions appropriate for any month of any year. The calendar also preferably has a third strip having an indicator permanently affixed to its outer surface for indicating the current day of the month and corresponding day of the week.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Inventor: Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 5412289
    Abstract: An electrodeless SEF fluorescent discharge lamp of the type having an envelope with a re-entrant cavity formed therein for containing an excitation coil includes an amalgam positioned for maintaining an optimum mercury vapor pressure during lamp operation. The amalgam is doped with a magnetic material, such as iron, cobalt, nickel, aluminum or tungsten, and is initially located in an optimal operating position using a magnetic field generated by a magnet situated about the lamp envelope. Advantageously, the magnetic field can be used to relocate the amalgam within the exhaust tube, as desired, during lamp processing steps. After processing, the magnet is removed, and no amalgam holder is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 2, 1995
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Robert J. Thomas, Hsueh-Rong Chang
  • Patent number: 5235885
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for slicing food products such as loaves of bread and the like where multiple slices are formed at substantially the same time. A blade cleaning assembly is included for removing slicing debris from band slicing blades after having moved through the product being sliced. Multiple blade continuous cleaning by opposed scraper blades through which each band blade passes achieve the desired cleaning function. The apparatus and method are particularly well-suited for removing slicing debris from loaves of bread which are of the so-called no-fat or low-fat variety.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: Kraft General Foods, Inc.
    Inventors: Jose L. Camarena, Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 5059868
    Abstract: A starting circuit for an electrodeless high intensity discharge lamp comprises a high efficiency power supply for providing a radio frequency signal to a starting probe disposed proximate the arc tube of the lamp. The power supply may comprise either a Class-D or Class-E power amplifier having an output resonant circuit tuned to a substantially higher frequency than the operating frequency of the signal provided to the excitation coil by the lamp ballast to ensure minimal interaction between the starting circuit and the ballast. The output resonant circuit includes an inductance coupled in series with a capacitance that preferably comprises the capacitance between the excitation coil and the starting probe. After initiating the arc discharge, the starting circuit is deactivated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1991
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Sayed-Amr A. El-Hamamsy, Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 5047693
    Abstract: A starting aid for an electrodeless high intensity discharge (HID) lamp comprises a spiral starting electrode which, at least during lamp starting, conforms to the shape of the arc tube so as to provide a relatively high capacitive starting current upon receipt of a radio frequency starting signal, resulting in a rapid transition from a glow discharge to a high intensity solenoidal discharge. At least one turn of the spiral starting electrode is preferably in contact with the portion of the arc tube nearest the arc discharge to be formed and is oriented so as to provide a capacitive starting current that flows in substantially the same location as the arc discharge to further ease lamp starting. In one embodiment, the spiral starting aid comprises first and second coil portions. The first coil portion conforms to the shape of the arc tube and has at least one turn disposed nearest the portion of the arc tube where the arc discharge is to be formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1991
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Victor D. Roberts, Sayed-Amr A. El-Hamamsy, Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 5030889
    Abstract: A lamp ballast configuration in which input power is conducted by one circuit board to the switching devices of a half bridge circuit whose output is conducted on a second circuit board with the two circuit boards mounted parallel and spaced apart disposes the device package which extends between the two circuit boards in an exposed position for direct contact to a heat sink. Drive transformers for the switching devices are preferably mounted between the circuit boards and shielded on four of their six sides by a combination of ground planes on the circuit boards and wide, flat ground conductors connecting the ground planes of the two circuit boards. A compact, high efficiency (>91%) RF system is obtained which is suitable for excitation of an electrodeless, high-intensity-discharge lamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1989
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1991
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Sayed-Amr A. El-Hamamsy, Robert J. Thomas, Joseph C. Borowiec
  • Patent number: 4815818
    Abstract: A reflector is provided which includes a resilient member formed of elastomeric material having embedded in at least a portion thereof a plurality of retro-reflective glass beads. At least a portion of the outer surface of the elastomeric material is removed to expose at least a portion of the glass beads thereat. The resilient member can be formed either with or without a base member. The base member can be formed either integrally or non-integrally with the resilient member to serve as a support body for the resilient member. When formed with a base member, at least the distal end of the resilient member has a surface portion of the elastomeric material forming the resilient member removed to expose at least a portion of the glass beads thereat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 28, 1989
    Assignee: Eagle Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 4573763
    Abstract: A reflector is disclosed as comprising a base member of elastomeric material forming a support body for said marker, and a plurality of individual resilient members of elastomeric material integrally formed with said base member and projecting therefrom, each of said resilient members having embedded therein and throughout a plurality of reflective glass beads. At least the distal ends of the resilient members have a surface portion of the elastomeric material removed to expose a portion of the glass beads thereat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1984
    Date of Patent: March 4, 1986
    Assignee: Eagle Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 4502200
    Abstract: What are disclosed are method and apparatus improvements in a heliostat for reflecting solar energy onto a collector, the heliostat having a main support structure with pivoting and tilting motors and controls and mirror modules for reflecting the solar energy. The improvement is characterized by one of a combination, or curved, or lightweight mirror module in which the curved mirror focuses the energy more precisely, attenuates differential expansion due to temperature change, yet is simple and economical to build and is light enough in weight to enable building larger modules for the heliostats, as well as building larger heliostats. The specific improvement is characterized by a curved mirror formed over a plurality of templates with longitudinal support beams holding it into the predetermined curvature with transversely extending structural beams and attachment bolt for attaching it to the heliostat. Also disclosed are specific preferred methods steps and structural components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 1982
    Date of Patent: March 5, 1985
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Alfred J. Anderson, Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 4468848
    Abstract: What are disclosed are method and apparatus improvements in a heliostat for reflecting solar energy onto a collector, the heliostat having a main support structure with pivoting and tilting motors and controls and mirror modules for reflecting the solar energy. The improvement is characterized by one of a combination, or curved, or lightweight mirror module in which the curved mirror focuses the energy more precisely, attenuates differential expansion due to temperature change, yet is simple and economical to build and is light enough in weight to enable building larger modules for the heliostats, as well as building larger heliostats. The specific improvement is characterized by a curved mirror formed over a plurality of templates with longitudinal support beams holding it into the predetermined curvature with transversely extending structural beams and attachment bolt for attaching it to the heliostat. Also disclosed are specific preferred methods steps and structural components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 1982
    Date of Patent: September 4, 1984
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Alfred J. Anderson, David N. Gorman, James G. Halford, Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 4468849
    Abstract: What are disclosed are method and apparatus improvements in a heliostat for reflecting solar energy onto a collector, the heliostat having a main support structure with pivoting and tilting motors and controls and mirror modules for reflecting the solar energy. The improvement is characterized by one of a combination, or curved, or lightweight mirror module in which the curved mirror focuses the energy more precisely, attenuates differential expansion due to temperature change, yet is simple and economical to build and is light enough in weight to enable building larger modules for the heliostats, as well as building larger heliostats. The specific improvement is characterized by a curved mirror formed over a plurality of templates with longitudinal support beams holding it into the predetermined curvature with transversely extending structural beams and attachment bolt for attaching it to the heliostat. Also disclosed are specific preferred methods steps and structural components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 1982
    Date of Patent: September 4, 1984
    Assignee: Atlantic Richfield Company
    Inventors: Alfred J. Anderson, David N. Gorman, James G. Halford, Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: 4289350
    Abstract: A folding table and seat combination, including a pair of tubular elements, which are bent to form support sections, legs and base rails or runners, the combination being arranged to form a pair of matched units, which are foldable along a substantially longitudinal median line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 1979
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1981
    Inventors: Robert J. Thomas, Richard J. Smith
  • Patent number: 4277689
    Abstract: An optical character reader for conversion of information to a machine readable code from a strip of alpha-numeric characters on the face of a document. It includes an elongated document slot along which the document may be hand guided through a predetermined path. Optical viewing means is provided across a scan line intersecting the path of the alpha-numeric characters. A character scanning assembly electronically generates images of each character. Recognition processing means encodes these images into a machine readable code. All of the physical, optical and electronic components are contained within a compact single enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1979
    Date of Patent: July 7, 1981
    Assignee: Key Tronic Corporation
    Inventors: Robert J. Thomas, Michael Piekarski, Gary B. Morgan, John Rank, William O. Thurman, Donald C. Lerch
  • Patent number: 4267439
    Abstract: An optical character reader for conversion of information to a machine readable code from a strip of alpha-numeric characters on the face of a document. It includes an elongated document slot along which the document may be hand guided through a predetermined path. Optical viewing means is provided across a scan line intersecting the path of the alpha-numeric characters. A character scanning assembly electronically generates images of each character. Recognition processing means encodes these images into a machine readable code. All of the physical, optical and electronic components are contained within a compact single enclosure. Incandescent lamps are utilized to illuminate the document face across the scan line. The usable life of each lamp is extended by providing a constant current source in the operational lamp circuit. Incandescent lamps are utilized to illuminate the face of the document across the scan line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1979
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1981
    Assignee: Key Tronic Corporation
    Inventors: Robert J. Thomas, Michael Piekarski
  • Patent number: 4260880
    Abstract: An optical character reader for conversion of information to a machine readable code from a strip of alpha-numeric characters on the face of a document. It includes an elongated document slot along which the document may be hand guided through a predetermined path. Optical viewing means is provided across a scan line intersecting the path of the alpha-numeric characters. A character scanning assembly electronically generates images of each character. Recognition processing means encodes these images into a machine readable code. All of the physical, optical and electronic components are contained within a compact single enclosure. The character scanning assembly is located on a separable support frame that includes a surface adapted to be slidably engaged by the face of the document being read. This support frame contains the viewing slot through which light is reflected from the document face.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1979
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1981
    Assignee: Key Tronic Corporation
    Inventor: Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: D274780
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1982
    Date of Patent: July 24, 1984
    Assignee: R. J. Thomas Manufacturing Co.
    Inventors: Craig R. Thomas, Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: D277540
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1982
    Date of Patent: February 12, 1985
    Assignee: R. J. Thomas Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Robert J. Thomas, Craig R. Thomas
  • Patent number: D298837
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1985
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1988
    Inventor: Robert J. Thomas
  • Patent number: D398806
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Inventor: Robert J. Thomas