Patents by Inventor William A. Szabela

William A. Szabela 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: 7909132
    Abstract: An approved apparatus (10) for turning steerable wheels (14,16) of a vehicle includes a pinion (28) which is disposed in meshing engagement with a rack portion (32) of a steering member (12). A steering column (22) is connected with a pinion (28) and with a vehicle steering wheel (20). A ball nut assembly (38) is connected with an externally threaded portion (36) of the steering member (12). A first motor (72) is connected with the steering column (22) at a location between the pinion (28) and steering wheel (20). A second motor (48) is connected with the ball nut assembly (38). A closed loop assembly (60) may be provided to control operation of the first motor (72). An open loop assembly (82) may be provided to control operation of the second motor (48).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: William A. Szabela, James R. Johnson, Kevin E. Boyle
  • Publication number: 20100071988
    Abstract: An approved apparatus (10) for turning steerable wheels (14,16) of a vehicle includes a pinion (28) which is disposed in meshing engagement with a rack portion (32) of a steering member (12). A steering column (22) is connected with a pinion (28) and with a vehicle steering wheel (20). A ball nut assembly (38) is connected with an externally threaded portion (36) of the steering member (12). A first motor (72) is connected with the steering column (22) at a location between the pinion (28) and steering wheel (20). A second motor (48) is connected with the ball nut assembly (38). A closed loop assembly (60) may be provided to control operation of the first motor (72). An open loop assembly (82) may be provided to control operation of the second motor (48).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Publication date: March 25, 2010
    Inventors: William A. Szabela, James R. Johnson, Kevin E. Boyle
  • Publication number: 20100072738
    Abstract: Steerable vehicle wheels (12,14) are turned under the influence of force transmitted through a steering column (22). A closed loop assembly (32) is connected with the steering column (22). The closed loop assembly (22) includes a first motor (52) which is connected with a first gear unit (56). The first gear unit (56) is operated in response to the output from a first sensor (48). A feedback sensor (66) is connected with the steering column (22) adjacent to an output from the first gear unit (56). An open loop assembly (34) is connected with the steering column (22) and includes a second motor (88) which is connected with a second gear unit (92). The second motor (88) is operated in response to the output from a second sensor (82). A manual steering gear (20) is operated to turn the steerable vehicle wheels (12,14) under the influence of force transmitted from the steering wheel (18), first motor (52) and second motor (88) through the steering column (22).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Publication date: March 25, 2010
    Inventors: William A. Szabela, James R. Johnson, Kenneth A. Sherwin
  • Publication number: 20090314572
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an apparatus (10) for helping to turn steerable wheels (15) of a vehicle. The apparatus includes a hydraulic power-assisted steering gear (130), a fluid source (20) for supplying the steering gear (130) with hydraulic fluid, and a controller (52) for controlling the fluid source. The steering gear (130) includes a closed center valve (150) operatively connected with a vehicle steering wheel (12) and in fluid communication with the fluid source. The controller (52) is responsive to the pressure of the hydraulic fluid for controlling the fluid source (20) to supply the steering gear (130) with hydraulic fluid at a first predetermined pressure when the vehicle is in a first condition. The controller (52) is responsive to the pressure of the hydraulic fluid for controlling the fluid source (20) to supply the steering gear (130) with hydraulic fluid at a second predetermined pressure when the vehicle is in a second condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2008
    Publication date: December 24, 2009
    Inventors: William A. Szabela, Daniel E. Williams
  • Patent number: 7484588
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) includes a hydraulic power steering gear (130) for turning the steerable wheels (15) of a vehicle. The steering gear (130) includes a closed center valve (150). An electric motor (18) is operatively connected with the steering wheel (12). When activated, the motor (18) resists rotation of the steering wheel (12) to provide steering feel to the vehicle driver and to modulate force applied to the steering wheel (12) upon initial opening of the closed center valve (150).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: William A. Szabela, Thomas J. Toren
  • Publication number: 20070080015
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) includes a hydraulic power steering gear (130) for turning the steerable wheels (15) of a vehicle. The steering gear (130) includes a closed center valve (150). An electric motor (18) is operatively connected with the steering wheel (12). When activated, the motor (18) resists rotation of the steering wheel (12) to provide steering feel to the vehicle driver and to modulate force applied to the steering wheel (12) upon initial opening of the closed center valve (150).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2005
    Publication date: April 12, 2007
    Inventors: William Szabela, Thomas Toren
  • Patent number: 7055643
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to turn steerable wheels (12) of a vehicle comprises a hydraulic power-assisted steering gear (16). An electric motor (92) actuates the steering gear (16). A pump (84) supplies the steering gear (16) with hydraulic fluid. A vehicle speed sensor (102) senses vehicle speed and provides a vehicle speed signal. A controller (104) is responsive to the vehicle speed signal for controlling the pump (84). The controller (104) activates the pump (84) to supply hydraulic fluid to the steering gear (16) when the vehicle speed signal indicates a vehicle speed below a predetermined value and the controller (104) deactivating the pump (84) when the vehicle speed signal indicates a vehicle speed above the predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2006
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Daniel E. Williams, Juan Redin, Philip S. Peterson, William A. Szabela
  • Publication number: 20060042858
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) includes first and second assemblies (16 and 26). The second assembly (26) includes a steering gear (28) and first and second drive units (30 and 32), each for actuating the steering gear (28). The second assembly (26) has first and second modes of operation. The first and second drive units (30 and 32) operate simultaneously for actuating the steering gear (28) when the second assembly (26) is operating in the first mode of operation. Only one of the first and second drive units (30 and 32) is operated when the second assembly (26) is operating in the second mode of operation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2004
    Publication date: March 2, 2006
    Inventors: Kevin Boyle, William Szabela
  • Publication number: 20060032697
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to turn steerable wheels (12) of a vehicle comprises a hydraulic power-assisted steering gear (16). An electric motor (92) actuates the steering gear (16). A pump (84) supplies the steering gear (16) with hydraulic fluid. A vehicle speed sensor (102) senses vehicle speed and provides a vehicle speed signal. A controller (104) is responsive to the vehicle speed signal for controlling the pump (84). The controller (104) activates the pump (84) to supply hydraulic fluid to the steering gear (16) when the vehicle speed signal indicates a vehicle speed below a predetermined value and the controller (104) deactivating the pump (84) when the vehicle speed signal indicates a vehicle speed above the predetermined value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2005
    Publication date: February 16, 2006
    Inventors: Daniel Williams, Juan Redin, Philip Peterson, William Szabela
  • Patent number: 6966398
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to turn steerable wheels (12) of a vehicle comprises a hydraulic power-assisted steering gear (16). An electric motor (92) actuates the steering gear (16). A pump (84) supplies the steering gear (16) with hydraulic fluid. A vehicle speed sensor (102) senses vehicle speed and provides a vehicle speed signal. A controller (104) is responsive to the vehicle speed signal for controlling the pump (84). The controller (104) activates the pump (84) to supply hydraulic fluid to the steering gear (16) when the vehicle speed signal indicates a vehicle speed below a predetermined value and the controller (104) deactivating the pump (84) when the vehicle speed signal indicates a vehicle speed above the predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Daniel E. Williams, Juan Redin, Philip S. Peterson, William A. Szabela
  • Patent number: 6945350
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) for turning steerable wheels of a vehicle having first and second sets (14 and 16) of steerable wheels comprises a first steering gear (22) actuatable, in response to rotation of a handwheel (110), to effect turning of the first set (14) of steerable wheels. The steering apparatus (10) also comprises second and third steering gears (24 and 26), each of which is independently actuatable to effect turning of the second set (16) of steerable wheels and thereby providing redundancy for turning of the second set (16) of steerable wheels. A sensor (112) senses a steering position of the first set (14) of steerable wheels and provides a steering signal indicative of the sensed steering position. A controller (114) receives the steering signal and, in response to the steering signal, controls actuation of the second and third steering gears (24 and 26).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2005
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: William A. Szabela, Daniel E. Williams, Kenneth A. Sherwin
  • Patent number: 6923288
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) for a vehicle having steerable wheels. The apparatus (10) comprises a rotatable vehicle steering wheel (12) and a first assembly (100) operatively coupled to the steering wheel. The first assembly (100) includes a sensor (30) for sensing applied torque and angular position of the steering wheel (12) and a first electronic control unit (50) for generating a first signal corresponding to the sensed torque and angular position of the steering wheel. A second assembly (100) is operatively coupled to the steerable wheels. The second assembly (100) includes a second electronic control unit (110) for receiving the first signal, a first electric motor (120) controlled by the second electronic control unit, and a steering gear (130) which is actuated by the first electric motor (120) to turn the steerable wheels of the vehicle. A signal transmitting conductor (250) transmits the first signal to the second electronic control unit (110).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: William A. Szabela
  • Publication number: 20040188169
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to turn steerable wheels (12) of a vehicle comprises a hydraulic power-assisted steering gear (16). An electric motor (92) actuates the steering gear (16). A pump (84) supplies the steering gear (16) with hydraulic fluid. A vehicle speed sensor (102) senses vehicle speed and provides a vehicle speed signal. A controller (104) is responsive to the vehicle speed signal for controlling the pump (84). The controller (104) activates the pump (84) to supply hydraulic fluid to the steering gear (16) when the vehicle speed signal indicates a vehicle speed below a predetermined value and the controller (104) deactivating the pump (84) when the vehicle speed signal indicates a vehicle speed above the predetermined value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 26, 2003
    Publication date: September 30, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventors: Daniel E. Williams, Juan Redin, Philip S. Peterson, William A. Szabela
  • Publication number: 20040040780
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) for turning steerable wheels of a vehicle having first and second sets (14 and 16) of steerable wheels comprises a first steering gear (22) actuatable, in response to rotation of a handwheel (110), to effect turning of the first set (14) of steerable wheels. The steering apparatus (10) also comprises second and third steering gears (24 and 26), each of which is independently actuatable to effect turning of the second set (16) of steerable wheels and thereby providing redundancy for turning of the second set (16) of steerable wheels. A sensor (112) senses a steering position of the first set (14) of steerable wheels and provides a steering signal indicative of the sensed steering position. A controller (114) receives the steering signal and, in response to the steering signal, controls actuation of the second and third steering gears (24 and 26).
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Publication date: March 4, 2004
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: William A. Szabela, Daniel E. Williams, Kenneth A. Sherwin
  • Publication number: 20040020708
    Abstract: A steering apparatus (10) for a vehicle having steerable wheels. The apparatus (10) comprises a rotatable vehicle steering wheel (12) and a first assembly (100) operatively coupled to the steering wheel. The first assembly (100) includes a sensor (30) for sensing applied torque and angular position of the steering wheel (12) and a first electronic control unit (50) for generating a first signal corresponding to the sensed torque and angular position of the steering wheel. A second assembly (100) is operatively coupled to the steerable wheels. The second assembly (100) includes a second electronic control unit (110) for receiving the first signal, a first electric motor (120) controlled by the second electronic control unit, and a steering gear (130) which is actuated by the first electric motor (120) to turn the steerable wheels of the vehicle. A signal transmitting conductor (250) transmits the first signal to the second electronic control unit (110).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2002
    Publication date: February 5, 2004
    Inventor: William A. Szabela
  • Patent number: 6547029
    Abstract: A vehicle steering apparatus (10) includes a steering wheel motor (20) which is connected with a steering wheel (12) of a vehicle. The steering wheel motor (20) is energizable by electric current to resist rotation of the steering wheel (12). A variable resistor (60) is connected in parallel with the steering wheel motor (20) and is adjustable to vary the electric current which energizes the steering wheel motor. A road wheel steering motor (16) is connectable with steerable road engaging wheels of the vehicle. The road wheel steering motor (16) is energizable by electric current to effect turning movement of steerable road-engaging wheels in response to rotation of the steering wheel (12). The variable resistor (66) is connected in parallel with the road wheel steering motor (16) and is adjustable to vary electric current which energizes the road wheel steering motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Peppler, William A. Szabela
  • Publication number: 20030047374
    Abstract: A vehicle steering apparatus (10) includes a steering wheel motor (20) which is connected with a steering wheel (12) of a vehicle. The steering wheel motor (20) is energizable by electric current to resist rotation of the steering wheel (12). A variable resistor (60) is connected in parallel with the steering wheel motor (20) and is adjustable to vary the electric current which energizes the steering wheel motor. A road wheel steering motor (16) is connectable with steerable road engaging wheels of the vehicle. The road wheel steering motor (16) is energizable by electric current to effect turning movement of steerable road-engaging wheels in response to rotation of the steering wheel (12). The variable resistor (66) is connected in parallel with the road wheel steering motor (16) and is adjustable to vary electric current which energizes the road wheel steering motor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2001
    Publication date: March 13, 2003
    Applicant: TRW Inc.
    Inventors: Steven Peppler, William A. Szabela
  • Patent number: 4902964
    Abstract: An electronic demand register includes a microprocessor including a program clock for performing timekeeping functions for the register. A power supply connected across the AC voltage source provides power to the microprocessor through a voltage regulator. The program clock is maintained by the line frequency of the AC source. Electronic circuits are provided for calibrating the program clock to be compatible with either a 50 Hz or a 60 Hz line frequency. A detection signal corresponding to the line frequency is generated by a line frequency detector circuit in the power supply. A reference signal is generated by a quartz crystal clock. A frequency comparator circuit includes a microprocessor program that measures the time period between detection signal pulses. This time period is compared to the known period of a 50 Hz or a 60 Hz signal and respective counters are incremented accordingly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1990
    Assignee: Landis & GYR Metering, Inc.
    Inventors: William A. Szabela, Gordon R. Burns
  • Patent number: 4542469
    Abstract: A Programmable Demand Register (PDR.TM.) which has a multi-function externally programmable time based measuring system is disclosed. An optical communication port is provided for bidirectional communication of data, said meter being capable of recordation of energy consumption in several different modes, according to the decision of the meter programmer. Meter programming is accomplished by means of any one of three separate devices, namely a Programmer/Reader (P/R) which is a sophisticated computerized device fully adapted to reprogram the PDR.TM.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1982
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1985
    Assignee: Duncan Electric Company, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert E. Brandyberry, Mark M. Forbes, David D. Gloyeski, Russell F. Greafnitz, Glen R. Phillips, Robert L. Straw, Kevin L. Stricker, William A. Szabela, Richard R. Webeck, Glenn A. Mayfield, William L. Vollmer