Patents by Inventor Timothy J. Schmidt

Timothy J. Schmidt 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: 5795024
    Abstract: A pivot arm assembly for a structured vehicle seat assembly accommodates loads applied to the seatback through a safety belt restraint system carried by the seat assembly. The pivot arm assembly includes a pair of C-shaped plates interconnected to define a clam-shell assembly. An arm segment of the pivot arm assembly extends into a hollow channel defined by the seatback frame and is fixedly attached thereto. The pivot arm assembly is pivotally mounted to a portion of the lower seat structure to permit the seatback to rotate relative thereto about a pivot axis. A drive arrangement is provided for rotating the pivot arm assembly about the pivot axis. The pivot arm assembly functions to efficiently and effectively transfer loads from the seatback to the lower seat structure, and in turn, to the vehicle structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignee: Fisher Dynamics Corporation
    Inventors: Cecil A. Collins, John F. Whalen, Timothy J. Schmidt, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5289987
    Abstract: A safety belt retractor for providing motor vehicle occupant protection is disclosed. The retractor has a rotatable spool for storing safety belt webbing and a rewind spring for exerting a retraction force on the belt webbing. The retractor includes a comfort mechanism for relieving the tension exerted on the belt webbing by the rewind spring. The comfort mechanism is actuated in response to a deliberate motion exerted on the belt webbing which is different than belt movements normally associated with operation of the retractor. The tension relief feature can be automatically cancelled in response to the occurrence of a predetermined condition for returning the belt webbing to a taut position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1994
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventors: Cecil A. Collins, Timothy J. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 5121887
    Abstract: A safety belt retractor for providing motor vehicle occupant protection is disclosed. The retractor has a rotatable spool for storing safety belt webbing and a rewind spring for exerting a retraction force on the belt webbing. The retractor also includes a comfort mechanism for releasing tension on the belt webbing which is exerted by the rewind spring. The comfort mechanism is actuated in response to a deliberate motion exerted on the belt webbing which is different than belt movements normally associated with operation of the retractor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1992
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy J. Schmidt, Cecil A. Collins
  • Patent number: 4856728
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor assembly particularly adapted for mounting in a motor vehicle door as part of a passive belt system. The retractor includes both an inertia sensitive actuator and a tension relief or "comfort" features. The retractor further includes an operating system which renders the inertia sensitive actuator and comfort mechanism inoperative while the vehicle door is being opened or closed to allow the belt webbing to be freely withdrawn and retracted onto the retractor spool during such door movement. The operating system is actuated by an electrical solenoid. The force output and size of the electrical solenoid are minimized by employing a system which uses rotation of the retractor spool which "cocks" a latch plate member against spring tension and using the solenoid only to release the release plate when necessary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1989
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy J. Schmidt, Valentim Jacob, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4767082
    Abstract: This invention relates to a seat belt retractor for a motor vehicle which can be operated in an emergency locking mode wherein belt retraction is prevented only upon vehicle deceleration, or in an automatic locking mode where the retractor operates as a one-way clutch to inhibit belt withdrawal. A mode switching mechanism is provided which causes the operating mode of the retractor to change when the seat belt webbing is either fully extended or fully retracted. The mode switching mechanism employs a rotating actuator ring gear having one or more tabs which engage an actuator lever which is caused to move between two positions. In one position of the actuator lever, the locking bar of the retractor is urged into engagement with the toothed sprockets of the retractor causing the retractor to operate in the automatic locking mode. In the other position of the actuator lever, biasing of the locking bar is relieved so that the retractor operates in the emergency locking mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1987
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1988
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy J. Schmidt, Ronald A. Heintzleman
  • Patent number: 4726539
    Abstract: This invention relates to a seat belt retractor for a motor vehicle which can be operated in an emergency locking mode wherein belt retraction is prevented only upon vehicle deceleration, or in an automatic locking mode where the retractor operates as a one-way clutch to inhibit belt withdrawal. A mode switching mechanism is provided which causes the operating mode of the retractor to change when the seat belt webbing is either fully extended or fully retracted. The mode switching mechanism employs a rotating actuator ring gear having one or more tabs which engage an actuator lever which is caused to move between two positions. In one position of the actuator lever, the locking bar of the retractor is urged into engagement with the toothed sprockets of the retractor causing the retractor to operate in the automatic locking mode. In the other position of the actuator lever, biasing of the locking bar is relieved so that the retractor operates in the emergency locking mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1988
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy J. Schmidt, Ronald A. Heintzleman
  • Patent number: 4692294
    Abstract: An improved seat belt retractor of the emergency locking variety is described. The primary improvement resides in providing a spur gear component which is insert molded directly onto one of the toothed sprockets of the retractor spool. By eliminating the two-piece prior art assembly, and molding the spur gear directly onto the toothed sprocket, the spur gear strength characteristics are vastly improved. Moreover, the relative positioning between the teeth of the spur gear and those of the toothed sprocket may be controlled with a very high degree of accuracy. This design further eliminates the required step of assembling the spur gear and sprocket together, and avoids problems of these components becoming separated during assembly or use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1986
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1987
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventors: Alfred J. Fisher, III, Timothy J. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 4605180
    Abstract: An improved seat belt retractor of the emergency locking variety is described. The primary improvement resides in providing a spur gear component which is insert molded directly onto one of the toothed sprockets of the retractor spool. By eliminating the two-piece prior art assembly, and molding the spur gear directly onto the toothed sprocket, the spur gear strength characteristics are vastly improved. Moreover, the relative positioning between the teeth of the spur gear and those of the toothed sprocket may be controlled with a very high degree of accuracy. This design further eliminates the required step of assembling the spur gear and sprocket together, and avoids problems of these components becoming separated during assembly or use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1984
    Date of Patent: August 12, 1986
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventors: Alfred J. Fisher, III, Timothy J. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 4555075
    Abstract: A dual mode seat belt retractor assembly particularly useful for motor vehicles is described. The seat belt retractor according to this invention converts between an emergency locking retractor which locks only when the vehicle is subjected to a deceleration level above a predetermined level to an automatic locking mode wherein withdrawal of webbing from the retractor is inhibited. An automatic locking retractor is advantageous for firmly positioning child restraint systems. The emergency locking retractor, however, has advantages in terms of occupant comfort and convenience for adult occupants since they provide freedom of movement within the vehicle. In accordance with this invention, the retractor is converted between automatic locking and emergency locking operating modes through rotation of a drive plate which moves an actuator lever between two positions of engagement with an actuator cam rotatable with the retractor spool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1985
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1985
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy J. Schmidt, Ronald A. Heintzleman
  • Patent number: 4518132
    Abstract: A combination seat belt retractor particularly useful for motor vehicles is described. The seat belt retractor according to this invention converts between an emergency locking retractor which locks only when the vehicle is subjected to a deceleration level above a predetermined level to an automatic locking mode wherein the seat belt webbing cannot be withdrawn from the retractor. The convertible feature is particularly advantageous since an emergency locking retractor does not provide the desired firm positioning of child restraint systems. The emergency locking retractor, however, has advantages in terms of occupant comfort and convenience since they permit free movement of the occupants within the vehicle. In accordance with this invention, the retractor is converted to the automatic locking mode by first fully withdrawing the seat belt webbing therefrom. Such action causes a switching lever to force a leaf spring in a position against the retractor locking bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 1984
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1985
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventor: Timothy J. Schmidt
  • Patent number: D458548
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Inventor: Timothy J Schmidt
  • Patent number: RE33679
    Abstract: A combination seat belt retractor particularly useful for motor vehicles is described. The seat belt retractor according to this invention converts between an emergency locking retractor which locks only when the vehicle is subjected to a deceleration level above a predetermined level to an automatic locking mode wherein the seat belt webbing cannot be withdrawn from the retractor. The convertible feature is particularly advantageous since an emergency locking retractor does not provide the desired firm positioning of child restraint systems. The emergency locking retractor, however, has advantages in terms of occupant comfort and convenience since they permit free movement of the occupants within the vehicle. In accordance with this invention, the retractor is converted to the automatic locking mode by first fully withdrawing the seat belt webbing therefrom. Such action causes a switching lever to force a leaf spring in a position against the retractor locking bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1991
    Assignee: General Safety Corporation
    Inventor: Timothy J. Schmidt