Patents by Inventor Thomas Christoffel

Thomas Christoffel 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: 10870144
    Abstract: A ring rolling device for enlarging a ring blank includes a press element, a rotatably mounted mandrel and an advancing arrangement in which the mandrel is rotatably mounted with a first end part in a first rolling bearing and with a second end part in a second rolling bearing. The ring blank can be mounted around the mandrel. By means of the advancing arrangement, the mandrel is movable towards the press element and away from the latter again, wherein a roll gap which decreases in size, and in which the ring blank is rolled, is formed between the mandrel and the press element. The two rolling bearings are arranged axially fixed in the advancing arrangement, and the mandrel is mounted so as to be axially movable relative to these two rolling bearings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2020
    Assignee: Hatebur Umformmaschinen AG
    Inventors: Andreas Maritz, Andreas Matt, Thomas Christoffel
  • Patent number: 10421374
    Abstract: The invention relates to a forward pivot mechanism for positioning a seat back of a vehicle seat into at least one forward position and for positioning the seat back beyond the forward position into at least one further forward position, comprising a comfort lock for positioning and locking the seat back into a least one seated position, and comprising an easy entry latch for positioning the seat back into the at least one forward position, wherein a pivot range of the seat back into one of the forward positions can be limited by means of the easy entry latch, wherein the easy-entry latch is designed in such a way that it forms a forward limit stop during the shifting of the seat back from one of the seated positions into one of the forward positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2019
    Assignee: ADIENT LUXEMBOURGH HOLD S.A.R.L.
    Inventors: Wolfgang Pluta, Christian Wolf, Thomas Dill, Thomas Christoffel
  • Patent number: 10413963
    Abstract: A ring rolling device includes a drive roller and a rotatable revolving drum, in which five mandrels are rotatably mounted. Ring blanks can be mounted around the mandrels. By rotating the revolver drum, the mandrels move towards and away from the drive roller. The revolver drum is arranged in relation to the drive roller such that by rotating the revolver drum a decreasing roll gap is formed between a mandrel approaching the drive roller and the drive roller, in which roll gap a ring blank mounted around the mandrel is rolled during the rotating of the revolver drum. The revolver drum has four rotatably mounted support rollers, said support rollers supporting the mandrel in the direction of the rotational axis of the revolving drum, such that, during the rolling process, the mandrel is located between the support rollers and the press element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: Hatebur Umformmaschinen AG
    Inventors: Andreas Maritz, Wolfgang Müller, Pascal Stemmelin, Thomas Christoffel
  • Publication number: 20190039483
    Abstract: A height adjustment device is disclosed for the height adjustment of a seat frame for a vehicle seat. The height adjustment device includes a rotatable gear shaft and a gear wheel having a plurality of gear wheel teeth. A sector spur gear is arranged coaxially with the gear shaft and includes a recess receiving the gear wheel such that the sector spur gear is in operative connection with the plurality of gear wheel teeth.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2018
    Publication date: February 7, 2019
    Applicant: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Andreas Meinel, Juergen Maier, Thomas Christoffel
  • Patent number: 10011190
    Abstract: An electrically operated backrest adjuster (1, 1?) for a vehicle seat (3) includes a seat part (3.1) and a backrest (3.2) which is adjustable relative to the seat part (3.1). At least one of two fitting sides—of which each includes a fitting upper part (B1) mounted on the backrest and a fitting lower part (B2) mounted on the seat part—includes a fitting (2, 2?) for adjusting the inclination of the backrest (3.2). The fitting (2, 2?) is arranged between the fitting upper part (B1) and the fitting lower part (B2). The fitting sides are coupled to each other by a transmission rod (5). An electric drive unit (6, 6?) is provided on one of the fitting sides. The drive unit is arranged on the outside of the associated fitting lower part (B2) is being coupled to the transmission rod (5) for driving same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: Adient Luxembourg Holding S.à.r.l.
    Inventors: Christian Markel, Thomas Christoffel, Michael Schmidt, Norbert Heeg
  • Publication number: 20180117663
    Abstract: A ring rolling device for enlarging a ring blank includes a press element, a rotatably mounted mandrel and an advancing arrangement in which the mandrel is rotatably mounted with a first end part in a first rolling bearing and with a second end part in a second rolling bearing. The ring blank can be mounted around the mandrel. By means of the advancing arrangement, the mandrel is movable towards the press element and away from the latter again, wherein a roll gap which decreases in size, and in which the ring blank is rolled, is formed between the mandrel and the press element. The two rolling bearings are arranged axially fixed in the advancing arrangement, and the mandrel is mounted so as to be axially movable relative to these two rolling bearings.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2016
    Publication date: May 3, 2018
    Inventors: Andreas Maritz, Andreas Matt, Thomas Christoffel
  • Patent number: 9758061
    Abstract: A longitudinally adjustable vehicle seat (1) includes a lower rail (5) and a longitudinally displaceably guided upper rail. A lower rail mounted end stop (40, 40b) delimits a comfort adjustment region interacting with an upper rail mounted stop element (36). The upper stop element (36) can be displaced beyond the comfort adjustment region into an easy entry region and is part of a stop module (30) that is pivotable about a pivot axis (S). The stop module (30) includes a deflector element (34) that moves upwards, when the stop element (36) has not been shifted away, in the vertical direction upon contact with a screw head (22) that is located in the cavity between the upper rail (3) and the lower rail (5). The upper stop element (36) form-fittingly engages with the end stop (40, 40b) when the end stop (40, 40b) is reached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: JOHNSON CONTROLS COMPONENTS GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventors: Wolfgang Pluta, Thomas Dill, Christian Wolf, Thomas Christoffel
  • Patent number: 9718378
    Abstract: A method is provided for controlling a longitudinally adjustable and rotatable vehicle seat with upper rails guided in lower rails, motors for respectively driving the upper rails and a seat shell. An aligned displacement of the upper rails relative to the lower rails displaces the seat shell in a straight line. A displacement of the first upper rail relative to the second upper rail rotates the seat shell about a vertical axis. An initial position is stored. The seat shell is moved in a straight line out of the initial position into a starting position. From the starting position the seat shell is rotated by a first angle into an intermediate position. The seat shell is moved in a straight line in the direction of travel into a first central position. The seat shell is rotated by a second angle into an end position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Johnson Controls Components GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Jens Schulz, Thomas Christoffel
  • Patent number: 9545660
    Abstract: In order to produce a formed part furnished with a through hole, a rod material is advanced by a defined length in the direction of its lengthwise extension into a forming die through a stationary guide and then immobilised by a clamping arrangement that engages with it circumferentially. The end portion of the rod material is then axially swaged by a swaging tool and is thus shaped into a disc, the circumference of which is defined by the forming die. The disc is then penetrated axially by a dishing tool and impact extruded at the same time, the displaced material flowing between the dishing tool and the inner circumferential wall of the forming die. The formed part located in the forming die is then rotated coaxially relative to the rest of the rod material and thereby separated from the rest of the rod material by torsion shearing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2017
    Assignee: Hatebur Umformmaschinen AG
    Inventors: Christian Burgin, Thomas Christoffel, Andreas Matt, Patrick Stemmelin, Mihai Vulcan
  • Publication number: 20170008066
    Abstract: A ring rolling device includes a drive roller and a rotatable revolving drum, in which five mandrels are rotatably mounted. Ring blanks can be mounted around the mandrels. By rotating the revolver drum, the mandrels move towards and away from the drive roller. The revolver drum is arranged in relation to the drive roller in such a way, that by rotating the revolver drum a decreasing roll gap is formed between a mandrel approaching the drive roller and the drive roller, in which roll gap a ring blank mounted around the mandrel is rolled during the rotating of the revolver drum. The revolver drum has four rotatably mounted support rollers, said support rollers supporting the mandrel in the direction of the rotational axis of the revolving drum, such that, during the rolling process, the mandrel is located between the support rollers and the press element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2014
    Publication date: January 12, 2017
    Inventors: Andreas Maritz, Wolfgang Müller, Pascal Stemmelin, Thomas Christoffel
  • Publication number: 20160347209
    Abstract: A vehicle seat (1) has a seat part (3), a backrest (5), pivotable about a pivot axis (S) with respect to the seat part (3), a pair of seat rails (11, 13) for longitudinally adjusting the vehicle seat (1), and a seat rail locking device (17) for locking the at least one pair of seat rails (11, 13). The backrest (5) can take up a use position (5.1) suitable for transporting a person, and an easy-entry position (5.2) in which the backrest (5) has been pivoted forward about the pivot axis (S) and the seat rail locking device (17) has been opened via a Bowden cable unit (80). To pivot the backrest (5) back out of the easy-entry position (5.2) in the direction of the use position (5.1), a limit force has to be overcome that is generated by a compensation spring unit (85) of the Bowden cable unit (80).
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2015
    Publication date: December 1, 2016
    Inventors: Wolfgang PLUTA, Christian WOLF, Thomas DILL, Thomas CHRISTOFFEL
  • Publication number: 20160297328
    Abstract: The invention relates to a forward pivot mechanism for positioning a scat back of a vehicle seat into at least one forward position and for positioning the seat back beyond the forward position into at least one further forward position, comprising a comfort lock for positioning and locking the seat back into a least one seated position, and comprising an easy entry latch for positioning the seat back into the at least one forward position, wherein a pivot range of the seat back into one of the forward positions can be limited by means of the easy entry latch, wherein the easy-entry latch is designed in such a way that it forms a forward limit stop during the shifting of the seat back from one of the seated positions into one of the forward positions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2014
    Publication date: October 13, 2016
    Applicant: Johnson Controls Components GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Wolfgang Pluta, Christian Wolf, Thomas Dill, Thomas Christoffel
  • Patent number: 9446689
    Abstract: A vehicle seat fitting system has a fitting, by which a backrest can be freely pivoted relative to a seat part and a rotatable memory flag disk coupled to the backrest during the free pivoting and to the seat part in the starting position. The flag disk includes disk toothing and a second toothing is allocated to the backrest. The toothings are engaged during the free pivoting. A control lever with a coupler hinged on the control lever, is coupled to an unlocking lever and moves the toothings into engagement. The flag disk is coupled to the seat part, in the starting position, by a lock receptacle and a control element movable relative to the lock receptacle and the lock receptacle is a section of a control contour by which the control element, arranged on the control lever, holds the control lever directed out during the free pivoting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: KEIPER GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventors: Thomas Christoffel, Heinrich Hammann, Christina Krisch
  • Publication number: 20160257223
    Abstract: An electrically operated backrest adjuster (1, 1?) for a vehicle seat (3) includes a seat part (3.1) and a backrest (3.2) which is adjustable relative to the seat part (3.1). At least one of two fitting sides—of which each includes a fitting upper part (B 1) mounted on the backrest and a fitting lower part (B2) mounted on the seat part—includes a fitting (2, 2?) for adjusting the inclination of the backrest (3.2). The fitting (2, 2?) is arranged between the fitting upper part (B1) and the fitting lower part (B2). The fitting sides are coupled to each other by a transmission rod (5). An electric drive unit (6, 6?) is provided on one of the fitting sides. The drive unit is arranged on the outside of the associated fitting lower part (B2) is being coupled to the transmission rod (5) for driving same.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2014
    Publication date: September 8, 2016
    Inventors: Christian MARKEL, Thomas CHRISTOFFEL, Michael SCHMIDT, Norbert HEEG
  • Publication number: 20160107545
    Abstract: A longitudinally adjustable vehicle seat (1) includes a lower rail (5) and a longitudinally displaceably guided upper rail. A lower rail mounted end stop (40, 40b) delimits a comfort adjustment region interacting with an upper rail mounted stop element (36). The upper stop element (36) can be displaced beyond the comfort adjustment region into an easy entry region and is part of a stop module (30) that is pivotable about a pivot axis (S). The stop module (30) includes a deflector element (34) that moves upwards, when the stop element (36) has not been shifted away, in the vertical direction upon contact with a screw head (22) that is located in the cavity between the upper rail (3) and the lower rail (5). The upper stop element (36) form-fittingly engages with the end stop (40, 40b) when the end stop (40, 40b) is reached.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 9, 2014
    Publication date: April 21, 2016
    Inventors: Wolfgang PLUTA, Thomas DILL, Christian WOLF, Thomas CHRISTOFFEL
  • Patent number: 9114733
    Abstract: A vehicle seat can be moved from a starting position to a laterally offset end position and back, and the vehicle seat is oriented in the same direction in the starting position and in the end position. The vehicle seat includes a first upper rail, which is movably guided in a first lower rail, a second upper rail, which is movably guided in a second lower rail, and a seat cushion, which is movably mounted on the at least one upper rail. The lateral motion of the seat cushion relative to the rails is accomplished by carrying out a predetermined relative motions of the rails.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2015
    Assignee: KEIPER GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventors: Wolfgang Pluta, Thomas Bingert, Thomas Christoffel
  • Publication number: 20140138997
    Abstract: A method is provided for controlling a longitudinally adjustable and rotatable vehicle seat with upper rails guided in lower rails, motors for respectively driving the upper rails and a seat shell. An aligned displacement of the upper rails relative to the lower rails displaces the seat shell in a straight line. A displacement of the first upper rail relative to the second upper rail rotates the seat shell about a vertical axis. An initial position is stored. The seat shell is moved in a straight line out of the initial position into a starting position. From the starting position the seat shell is rotated by a first angle into an intermediate position. The seat shell is moved in a straight line in the direction of travel into a first central position. The seat shell is rotated by a second angle into an end position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Inventors: Jens Schulz, Thomas Christoffel
  • Publication number: 20140138998
    Abstract: A vehicle seat fitting system has a fitting, by which a backrest can be freely pivoted relative to a seat part and a rotatable memory flag disk coupled to the backrest during the free pivoting and to the seat part in the starting position. The flag disk includes disk toothing and a second toothing is allocated to the backrest. The toothings are engaged during the free pivoting. A control lever with a coupler hinged on the control lever, is coupled to an unlocking lever and moves the toothings into engagement. The flag disk is coupled to the seat part, in the starting position, by a lock receptacle and a control element movable relative to the lock receptacle and the lock receptacle is a section of a control contour by which the control element, arranged on the control lever, holds the control lever directed out during the free pivoting.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Inventors: Thomas Christoffel, Heinrich Hammann, Christina Krisch
  • Publication number: 20130221720
    Abstract: A vehicle seat can be moved from a starting position to a laterally offset end position and back, and the vehicle seat is oriented in the same direction in the starting position and in the end position. The vehicle seat includes a first upper rail, which is movably guided in a first lower rail, a second upper rail, which is movably guided in a second lower rail, and a seat cushion, which is movably mounted on the at least one upper rail. The lateral motion of the seat cushion relative to the rails is accomplished by carrying out a predetermined relative motions of the rails.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 1, 2011
    Publication date: August 29, 2013
    Inventors: Wolfgang Pluta, Thomas Bingert, Thomas Christoffel
  • Patent number: 8398044
    Abstract: A longitudinal adjuster for a vehicle seat (3) has a first seat rail (5) fixed to the vehicle structure and arranged on a vehicle floor (10) and a second seat rail (8) fixed to the seat and displaceable in relation to the first seat rail (5) and guided in same. A position detection device (20) is provided with a sensor (24), having a magnet and a Hall element. The sensor (24) is arranged in the interior of the second seat rail (8) and aligned with a flat area associated with the first seat rail (5) in which one end of the flat area corresponds to the end of the rail and the flat area forms a detection area. The sensor (24) is used to detect an end of the detection area. The sensor (24) has a certain detection range and the distance between the sensor (24) and the detection area lies within the certain detection range of the sensor (24). The distance between the sensor (24) and the vehicle floor (10) lies outside of the certain detection range of the sensor (24).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Keiper GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Thomas Christoffel, Norbert Heeg, Wolfgang Pluta