With Position Sensing Patents (Class 73/314)
  • Patent number: 10875446
    Abstract: According to the present invention, there may be provided an actuator comprising: a shaft comprising a thread; a rotor surrounding the shaft; a stator arranged outside the rotor; a moving portion coupled to the thread of the shaft; a housing that holds both ends of the shaft; and a substrate that is arranged on the housing and comprises a sensor portion for sensing the position of the moving portion, wherein the moving portion comprises a magnet; the sensor portion comprises a first sensor and a second sensor for sensing the amount of magnetic flux change following the position of the magnet; the first sensor generates a first signal including an area in which the measured voltage increases linearly as the magnet moves away from the first sensor; and the second sensor generates a second signal including an area in which the measured voltage decreases linearly as the magnet moves away from the second sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Assignee: LG INNOTEK CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Jin Seob Lee
  • Patent number: 10302480
    Abstract: A system and method for configuring a modular floatation device to adapt with various buoyancies is herein disclosed. In this embodiment, the system can comprise a one or more modules and a removable and reattachable buoyancy device. Each of the one or more modules can comprise a vertical shaft. Furthermore, one or more of the modules can comprise a magnetic circuit. Further, the removable and reattachable buoyancy device is attachable to the one or more modules. In another embodiment, a method for configuring a modular floatation device to adapt with various buoyancies is herein disclosed. The method can comprise connecting one or more modules together and attaching a buoyancy device to the modules. Each of the modules can comprise a vertical shaft. Furthermore, one or more of the modules can comprise a magnetic circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Inventor: David Rocky Myers
  • Patent number: 9366389
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring inefficient flow rates in a liquid-flow distribution system, such as that which is used in agricultural liquid application equipment. This may include blockages or punctures in a liquid line. The system generally includes a plurality of gauges for monitoring the supply line flow rate in a liquid application system which are monitored by a number of sensors. Immediate feedback is presented to the operator of the vehicle inside the cab. The system alerts the operator when a blockage, loss, or increase of flow rate has occurred in one of the liquid lines. The system may merely indicate that one of the lines is blocked, or the system may be more sophisticated such that it can indicate which line is blocked and adjust the flow in that line in an attempt to clear the blockage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: CDS-John Blue Company
    Inventors: Jason T. Stewart, Bradley R. Thurow, David C. Batcheller, Robert M. Allen, Steven S. Bailey, Christopher L. Giese
  • Patent number: 9035800
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for monitoring an interior of a fuel tank. Information about a fuel level and moisture in the interior of the fuel tank of a platform is generated using a fuel sensor unit in the interior of the fuel tank. The fuel sensor unit comprises a sensor configured to be located in the interior of the fuel tank and generate information about the fuel level in the fuel tank and the moisture in the fuel tank and a wireless unit electrically connected to the sensor. The wireless unit is configured to receive the information from the sensor and transmit the information using wireless signals. A number of actions is identified based on the information about the interior of the fuel tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Jason Philip Bommer, Andrew M. Robb
  • Patent number: 8850796
    Abstract: A system for a fluid tank for storing a urea solution in a motor vehicle, the system including a first float having a first density and a second float having a second density, the first and second floats being movably arranged on a guide in the fluid tank, the first density is less than a density of the urea solution at a reference temperature but greater than a density of water at the reference temperature, and the second density is less than the density of water at the reference temperature. The system further includes a control system configured to receive signals indicative of a level of the floats, and to generate an anomaly signal in response to detecting sinking of the first float and floatation of the second float.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Inergy Automotive Systems Research (Societe Anonyme)
    Inventor: Philippe Lucien Valmy Georis
  • Patent number: 8839681
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring inefficient flow rates in a liquid-flow distribution system, such as that which is used in agricultural liquid application equipment. This may include blockages or punctures in a liquid line. The system generally includes a plurality of gauges for monitoring the supply line flow rate in a liquid application system which are monitored by a number of sensors. Immediate feedback is presented to the operator of the vehicle inside the cab. The system alerts the operator when a blockage, loss, or increase of flow rate has occurred in one of the liquid lines. The system may merely indicate that one of the lines is blocked, or the system may be more sophisticated such that it can indicate which line is blocked and adjust the flow in that line in an attempt to clear the blockage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: CDS-John Blue Company
    Inventors: Jason T. Stewart, Bradley R. Thurow, David C. Batcheller, Robert M. Allen, Steven S. Bailey, Christopher L. Giese
  • Publication number: 20140207395
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides an alternate technique of water detection for fuel storage tanks. Embodiments show various methods of altering the density of a sub-assembly floatation device while maintaining its efficient ability to detect water presence in conjunction with a Magnetostrictive probe. In the float's upward motion due to water or high density fuel in the tank, at some predetermined locations, its specific gravity is altered by means of strategically located free weights along its travel path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2013
    Publication date: July 24, 2014
    Inventor: Ambroise Prinstil
  • Patent number: 8763455
    Abstract: A resistive liquid level/temperature sensor and transmitter including low voltage impedance measurement circuitry to convert three impedance values into indications of the temperature and the levels of two different liquids (e.g., oil and water) located within a storage tank. A resistive chain network including a plurality of series connected resistors and a corresponding plurality of reed switches extend longitudinally through a liquid level sensing probe that is dipped into the liquids in the tank. A pair of magnetic floats having different specific gravities surround the probe and rise to the two fluid levels. The magnetic floats close adjacent reed switches which create first and second current paths through the resistive chain network. The impedances of the first and second current paths are measured to provide an indication of the liquid levels. A resistive temperature device carried by the probe provides an indication of temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: OleumTech Corporation
    Inventor: Ken Chang
  • Patent number: 8671750
    Abstract: The present invention is to prevent a drop in the detection accuracy caused by wear of the central shaft of a frame where a magnet holder and the magnet are fitted to each other in the course of prolonged use. A contactless liquid level sensor includes: a magnet holder which includes a resin holder body having an inner circumferential surface for defining a fitting hole and a magnet accommodated inside the holder body along the inner circumferential surface; a resin frame including a frame body, a central shaft protruding from the frame body, and a magnetic-electric converter accommodated inside the central shaft; a float arm including one end fixed to the magnet holder and the other end attached to a float vertically moving in accordance with a liquid level; and a metallic rotary support including a hollow cylindrical part arranged between the inner circumferential surface of the holder body and an outer circumferential surface of the central shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventor: Toshiaki Fukuhara
  • Publication number: 20140008296
    Abstract: A septic tank monitoring system is disclosed. The system can include a septic tank gauge having a float disposed within a housing, the housing having a first magnetic switch and a second magnetic switch, the float having a magnet adapted to activate the first magnetic switch when the float is at a first level and to active the second magnetic switch when the float is at a second level. The system can also include a controller adapted to receive a signal from each of the first magnetic switch and the second magnetic switch, and to activate an auto-dialer in response to a signal from the first magnetic switch, and to activate a water supply shut off valve in response to a signal from the second magnetic switch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 3, 2012
    Publication date: January 9, 2014
    Inventors: Laura Mills, Michael R. Mills
  • Patent number: 8450998
    Abstract: A system for determining the quantity of a liquid agricultural product available for spraying on a field from a tank in an airplane comprising a payload storage tank for holding the agricultural product, an elongated magnetostrictive linear displacement transducer tube located vertically in the aircraft payload storage tank, a probe float slidably coupled to move up or down on the elongated magnetostrictive linear displacement transducer tube, and a permanent magnet coupled to the probe float. The position of the magnet is sensed by the elongated magnetostrictive linear displacement transducer tube which generates a signal that marks the level of the liquid in the aircraft payload storage tank, and converter means converts the generated signal that marks the level of the liquid in the aircraft payload storage tank to a quantity of liquid in the aircraft payload storage tank which is displayed to the pilot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Inventor: Troy Robert Reabe
  • Patent number: 8443664
    Abstract: An equalizing tank for a hydraulic motor vehicle brake system, with a housing including a housing upper part and a housing lower part, and with a device for monitoring the fluid level in the equalizing tank, the device including a switching unit which is fastened to the housing and has a plug-in connector and a contact carrier, a portion of which projects into a guide pipe which extends into an interior space of the tank, and a sensor element or switching element which is arranged on the contact carrier in the region of the guide pipe and which can be switched by a transmitter in a switching point at which the switching unit generates a signal for an electronic control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG
    Inventors: Johann Ludwig, Hans-Jürgen Neumann, Swen Ottmann, Christoph Schiel, Peter Tandler, Werner Krebs, Barbara Schmidt
  • Publication number: 20120266670
    Abstract: Disclosed is a liquid level detection device that can be miniaturized. The liquid level detection device 1 is provided with: a float arm 3 that is provided with a float 2 that moves, tracking the displacement of a liquid level; a magnet 4 that rotates in accordance with the motion of the float arm 3; a detection element 6 that detects the magnetic variation of the magnet 4; and an electronic component 13 that is electrically connected to the detection element 6. The detection element 6 is provided with a main body 6a and at least three leads 6b. The ends 6b2 of the plurality of leads 6b are folded in a manner so that adjacent leads 6b are in differing positions with respect to the direction of the axis of rotation of the magnet 4. The electronic component 13 is provided with a main body section 13a and two lead sections 13b. The ends 13b2 of the plurality of lead sections 13b are folded in a manner so that each is in a differing position with respect to the direction of the axis of rotation of the magnet 4.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 10, 2010
    Publication date: October 25, 2012
    Applicant: NIPPON SEIKI CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Hisahito Ichisawa
  • Publication number: 20120158321
    Abstract: Technologies are described herein for wirelessly measuring liquid quantity in an enclosure. According to various aspects, an incident electromagnetic wave is transmitted within a conductive enclosure. One or more rebound electromagnetic waves that correspond to the incident electromagnetic wave are received. Using the rebound electromagnetic waves, a transfer function of the rebound electromagnetic waves is measured and a quantity of liquid stored in the enclosure is calculated based on the measured transfer function.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2010
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Inventors: Jason P. Bommer, James P. Irwin, Andrew M. Robb, Wayne Cooper, Dennis M. Lewis
  • Patent number: 7987710
    Abstract: A pressure vessel 12 with a CO2 liquid level indicator 14, for use with a paintball marker 10, includes a magnetic float assembly 42 disposed within the pressure vessel 12 and adapted to float on liquid phase CO2 39 contained within the pressure vessel 12, in combination with a magnetically sensitive indicator 44 on an outer surface 40 of the pressure vessel 12 and which is adapted to detect and to display the location of the magnetic float assembly 42 within the pressure vessel 12. When connected to a conventional paintball marker 10, the pressure vessel 12 magnetically shows the indicated location of the magnetic float assembly 42, thereby showing the amount of liquid phase CO2 39 remaining within the pressure vessel 12. This remaining amount of liquid phase CO2 39 can be correlated to an approximate number of additional paintball rounds that can be shot before the CO2 is depleted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Gayston Corporation
    Inventor: Mark W. Stone
  • Patent number: 7856875
    Abstract: The water level sensing unit includes a sensing member having a sensor, the sensing member being installed at a side of the steam container, and a pivoting member having an extension adapted to pivotally rotate about a side thereof having a fixed position on the basis of the level of water. The sensor is adapted to sense positional variation of the extension, to thereby sense variation of the level of water in the steam container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ki Suk Jeon, Kobayashi Shozo, Seok Weon Hong, Jong Chull Shon, Hyang Ki Kim
  • Patent number: 7793539
    Abstract: A grounding arrangement for an in-tank fuel system includes a fuel level sensor assembly of a fuel module comprising a conductive card body and a resister card supported on the conductive card body. The resister card includes a conductive trace in conductive contact with the conductive card body. The card body is conductively connected to a conductive fuel module component. The trace is adapted to be connected to the ground plane of a vehicle. Other traces on the resister card are in the electrical circuit of the fuel level sensor assembly. The fuel module further includes a conductive blade having a knife edge and in conductive contact with a conductive fuel module component. The knife edge cuts through the insulation of an insulated conductor to allow the knife edge to be in contact with the conductive element of the conductor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: TI Group Automotive Systems, LLC
    Inventor: John R. Forgue
  • Patent number: 7725273
    Abstract: An apparatus for monitoring a height of liquid in a liquid storage tank is provided, the apparatus includes a first rotatable element rotatable in response to a change of a liquid level in a liquid storage tank and including a first magnetic component having a first magnetic field, and a second rotatable element rotatable in response to the rotation of the first rotatable element and including a second magnetic component having a second magnetic field. The apparatus further includes a sensor assembly which includes a first sensor component located within range of the first magnetic field and structured to be effective in providing a first signal indicative of a position of the first magnetic component, and a second sensor component located within range of the second magnetic field and structured to be effective in providing a second signal indicative of a position of the second magnetic component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Inventor: Louis J. Jannotta
  • Patent number: 7640800
    Abstract: A filling level sensor having a lever arm which has a float at one end and is held at its other end by a clip. A resistance network is arranged on a substrate and to which a contact structure is assigned, the resistance network producing an electrical signal for the filling level as a function of the pivoted position of a lever arm. The clip is composed of an electrically conductive plastic and has an electrical contact connected to the clip in an electrically conductive way, such that as the lever arm pivots said contact describes a circular path on the substrate. The area on the substrate over which the electrical contact passes is an electrically conductive contact face and is electrically conductively connected to a connecting line of the filling level sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2010
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Hans-Guenter Benner, Bernd Pauer
  • Publication number: 20090265132
    Abstract: A device for determining the density of a fluid comprises a buoyant body, a spring which engages on the buoyant body and whose elastic deformation is a measure of the buoyancy force of the buoyant body, and a magnet which is designed to sense the elastic deformation of the spring by means of a magnetostrictive position-measuring system. The spring is compressively loaded and, if the buoyancy force of the buoyant body is greater than its weight, said spring acts on the buoyant body underneath its centre of buoyancy. The device is preferably used to determine the density of fuel, a magnetostrictive filling level measuring system which is present in a storage tank for fuel being used.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 18, 2008
    Publication date: October 22, 2009
    Applicant: Fafnir GmbH
    Inventors: Wolfgang Schrittenlacher, Christian Maurer, Stefan Kunter
  • Patent number: 7603900
    Abstract: At least a part of a periphery of a liquid storage tank is submerged in water. A leakage inspection apparatus has a depressurizing device that depressurizes the inside of the liquid storage tank. The apparatus includes a rod part inserted in the liquid storage tank. A float is fitted with the rod part such that it floats on the surface of the liquid in the storage tank and moves along the rod part in accordance with displacement of the liquid surface. A moving magnet is provided in the float, and a reference magnet is fixed at a lower portion of the rod part. A body part detects the position of each of the moving magnet and the reference magnet, and a measuring device determines the position of the moving magnet relative to the reference magnet in accordance with a signal from the body part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2009
    Assignee: Toyama Inspection Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yukinaga Nakano
  • Patent number: 7562571
    Abstract: Described is a sensor for filling level measurement using a gravitational field analysis, comprising a first and a second gravimeter unit. The measurement is effected in a contactless manner, via the container wall and without input of energy into the filling good. Thus, there is no need for a source emitting measurement rays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: Vega Grieshaber KG
    Inventor: Felix Raffalt
  • Patent number: 7555946
    Abstract: A sealed fuel level sensor for a fuel tank is provided. The sealed fuel level sensor includes a frame having a cavity therein. The sealed fuel level sensor further includes a variable resistor disposed in the cavity and operatively supported by the frame. The sealed fuel level sensor further includes a wiper disposed in the cavity for rotation relative to the variable resistor and for contacting the variable resistor. The sealed fuel level sensor further includes a cover connected to the frame to enclose the cavity. The cover includes an aperture extending therethrough. The sealed fuel level sensor further includes a bushing disposed within the aperture. The bushing having a body portion and a lip seal portion disposed on the body portion. The lip seal portion and the body portion having a bore therein. The sealed fuel level sensor further includes a float arm having an end extending through the aperture of the cover and the bore of the bushing and connected to the wiper.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Ulf Sawert, Hugh Ireland
  • Publication number: 20090085757
    Abstract: A fluid level sensor for generating a warning upon, e.g., low fuel conditions in a vehicle gas tank. A vacuum conduit is disposed in the tank. The vacuum conduit has first and second vacuum openings and an actuation opening into which the fuel pump can pump fluid through a Venturi conduit to induce a vacuum. A first conduit extends from the first vacuum opening to a vacuum sensor outside the tank and a second conduit extends from the second vacuum opening. The second conduit extends down into the tank and terminates in an open end. When fluid in the tank drops below the opening the vacuum sensor senses a change in vacuum in the tank, triggering a low level alarm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2007
    Publication date: April 2, 2009
    Inventors: Roberto Morelli, Luis M. Porras
  • Patent number: 7490515
    Abstract: A non-contact type sensor that measures a liquid level in a non-contact fashion and outputs a measured value as a digital pulse is provided. Then, a sensor-output converting circuit is caused to input the digital pulse, which is output from the non-contact type sensor, into an existing central processing unit as an analogue voltage that corresponds to a duty factor of the digital pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventors: Kenichi Tanaka, Toshiaki Fukuhara
  • Patent number: 7463021
    Abstract: The invention relates to a sensor element and to a path sensor constructed therefrom. The optical waveguide accommodated inside a supporting body, for example, a tube has to be placed in a defined position with regard to the elements of a board. In order to obtain a design that is both simple and easy to assemble, the invention provides that the head board, without its own surrounding housing, is fixed, for instance, glued directly inside a recess of the supporting body that is tubular for the most part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2008
    Assignee: ASM Automation Sensorik Messtechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Klaus Manfred Steinich, Peter Wirth
  • Patent number: 7458261
    Abstract: Two pairs of regulating means, that is, the first stopper and the second stopper, which regulate a rotary angle range of the magnet holder when the first stopper and the second stopper come into contact with the stopper of the arm integrally fixed to the magnet holder, are provided in the body which is a fixing member, and the rotary angle range of the magnet holder regulated by one pair of stoppers is made to be different from the rotary angle range of the magnet holder regulated by the other pair of stoppers. Due to the foregoing, when the expensive body is made to be a common part and a plurality of types of inexpensive arms are manufactured, the fuel level gauge can be provided, an increase in the manufacturing cost of which is suppressed, which can cope with rotary angle ranges of the plurality of types of arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Isao Miyagawa
  • Patent number: 7377163
    Abstract: Two pairs of regulating means, that is, the first stopper and the second stopper, which regulate a rotary angle range of the magnet holder when the first stopper and the second stopper come into contact with the stopper of the arm integrally fixed to the magnet holder, are provided in the body which is a fixing member, and the rotary angle range of the magnet holder regulated by one pair of stoppers is made to be different from the rotary angle range of the magnet holder regulated by the other pair of stoppers. Due to the foregoing, when the expensive body is made to be a common part and a plurality of types of inexpensive arms are manufactured, the fuel level gauge can be provided, an increase in the manufacturing cost of which is suppressed, which can cope with rotary angle ranges of the plurality of types of arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2008
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Isao Miyagawa
  • Patent number: 7315165
    Abstract: A sensor element (30) measures a Hall voltage generated by a movable magnet (16). For this purpose, the sensor element (30) comprises a ceramic base element (40) which has connected therewith a detector element (46). The detector element (46) is protected with the aid of a cover element (42) against an aggressive environment produced by fuel or fuel vapors in a fuel tank (34) of a motor vehicle. The detector element (46) has connected therewith electric conductors (60) which are routed through the cover element (42) and/or the base element (40) for connecting the detector element (46) with a voltage source and/or an evaluation unit. The cover element (42) and possibly the base element (40) reliably encapsulate the detector element (46) against the aggressive environment such that by simple constructive measures the service life of the sensor element (30) is increased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2008
    Assignee: TI Automotive (Neuss) GmbH
    Inventors: Alfred Kleinen, Peter Schreuder, Matthias Henschel, Bernd Juergen Lahn
  • Patent number: 7259384
    Abstract: Systems and methods for fluid level detection are disclosed. In one embodiment, a sensor assembly includes at least one optical fiber adapted to at least one of transmit and receive an optical signal, and a moveable float member. The float member is adapted to move in a first direction as the fluid level increases and in a second direction as the fluid level decreases. The float member blocks the optical signal at a first value of the fluid level, and allows the optical signal to pass at a second value of the fluid level. The presence or absence of the optical signal is detected to determine the level of fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2007
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Sham S. Hariram, Sharanpal S. Sikand
  • Patent number: 7240550
    Abstract: Described is a sensor for filling level measurement using a gravitational field analysis, comprising a first and a second gravimeter unit. The measurement is effected in a contactless manner, via the container wall and without input of energy into the filling good. Thus, there is no need for a source emitting measurement rays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2007
    Assignee: Vega Grieshaber KG
    Inventor: Felix Raffalt
  • Patent number: 7239129
    Abstract: A position sensor based on the travel time principle of a mechanically elastic wave length having a wave guide, an electrical hollow return conductor, a detector coil attached to the wave guide and a position element which is movable along the wave guide which generates or detects mechanical elastic wave.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2007
    Assignee: ASM Automation Sensorik Messtechnik GmbH
    Inventor: Klaus Manfred Steinich
  • Patent number: 7231821
    Abstract: A system for actuating an indicator in response to a depth change in a liquid that is confined to a container comprises a housing, a float constrained to vertical movement in response to changes in liquid depth in the container, a drive rod arranged to rotate in response to vertical movement of the float, and a coupler mechanism mounted between the drive rod and arranged to transfer movement of the actuator to an indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Inventors: William F. Fling, John J. Fling
  • Patent number: 7222529
    Abstract: The invention relates to a filling level sensor for a fuel tank with a float which is fastened to a lever arm and at least one contact which is arranged on the lever arm and is in connection with a slider track formed as a thick-film resistor. The thick-film resistor consists of at least two precious metals, one precious metal being silver and present in a smaller proportion than the other precious metal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2007
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Bernd Pauer, Bernd Rumpf
  • Patent number: 7216537
    Abstract: An optical liquid measuring system for measuring the amount of flammable liquid in a storage tank consisting of a pair of encoder disks that are operatively connected to a pair of floats through a pair of pulley systems. The floats are designed so that the first float will float on top of flammable liquid such as gasoline, and the second float will float on top of water. Optical encoder reader heads or optical connectors are located proximate to the respective encoder disks to receive light that is reflected by or transmitted through the encoder disks. The optical connectors include a plurality of optical fibers that receive the light from the encoder disks and transmits signals to a CPU. The CPU then takes the information derived from the received signals and uses an algorithm to accurately calculate the amount of gasoline and water in the storage tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Assignee: Optosense Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark Margolin, Malcolm Hodge
  • Patent number: 7191648
    Abstract: An electric power apparatus has a oil-filled vessel in which a float is connected to a float shaft that rotates as the float rises and falls with the level of oil. A level indicator has a display shaft extending along and pivotal about an axis, and coupled to the float shaft. An indicia display adjacent the shaft is swept by a pointer fixed on the shaft and juxtaposed with the indicia display go that the level of the oil in the vessel is indicated by the pointer. A disk fixed to the shaft has an outer periphery with a region of a shape having a radius varying angularly from one end of the region to an opposite end of the region. A noncontact proximity sensor is radially spacedly juxtaposed with the region of the disk for producing an output corresponding to the radial distance between the region and the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH
    Inventors: Reiner Brill, Kai Hämel, Karsten Viereck
  • Patent number: 7111510
    Abstract: A liquid level detecting apparatus having detachable terminals and capable of holding down the formation of silver sulfide is provided. The apparatus includes a movable contact displaced in accordance with the fluctuation of a liquid level, electrodes slidingly contacted by the movable contact on a circuit board, a first resistance connected to the electrodes, and connecting portions which the terminals contact, a resistance value of the first resistance which varies when the movable contact is slidingly moved on the electrodes being outputted from the terminals via the connecting portions, wherein the sections of the connecting portions which contact at least the terminals are covered with second resistances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Nakagawa Tadoa, Sato Tetsuya
  • Patent number: 7062967
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are provided for determining the fuel level in a fuel tank. The apparatus includes an acoustic transducer arranged to transmit an acoustic signal and receive a reflected signal. A float remains buoyant at the surface of the fuel in the tank and has a reflective portion for receiving the acoustic signal and reflecting the reflected signal therefrom. An interface circuit is connected to the transducer and measures an elapsed time between transmitting the acoustic signal and receiving the reflected signal. The interface then produces an output as a function of the elapsed time that is indicative of the fuel level in the fuel tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler Corporation
    Inventors: Donna M Hale, Nancy M Isles, Dan P Borza
  • Patent number: 7062966
    Abstract: A small profile fuel level sensor has a small float located in a vertically-oriented housing in a fuel tank, and instead of sliding against two resistive strips that output a level signal as fuel level changes, the float is drawn to and rolls against the two strips owing to the presence of a magnetic strip on the side of the resistive strips that is opposite the float. Accordingly, with the magnetic strip attracting the float against the resistive strips to force rollable contact therebetween instead of slidable contact, much less friction must be overcome to move the float and, hence, use of a relatively small float and overall small sensor assembly is facilitated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Gabriel Davila
  • Patent number: 7002481
    Abstract: A monitoring system includes one or more monitoring devices, positioned in sewer manholes, storm drains, etc., and a remote monitoring station that communicates wirelessly therewith. The monitoring device may be an integrated unit, including sensors, a two-way telemetry unit, a power supply, a processor, and supporting hardware, all located in an enclosed, waterproof housing. The monitoring device is placed within a manhole cavity to obtain depth (e.g., water level) measurements and report the measurements back to the remote monitoring station, which analyzes the data and responds to alert messages when a dangerous water level is detected. The sample and reporting rates of the device, as well as the water level threshold values, may be remotely programmable via commands transmitted from the remote monitoring station. An additional sensor may monitor the manhole cover for security purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2006
    Assignees: Aeromesh Corporation, Timothy Crane
    Inventors: Patrick R. Crane, Alan K. Pittman
  • Patent number: 6993968
    Abstract: In a liquid level sensing apparatus, a rotating part is fixed with an arm. The arm is arranged to rotate in accordance with a liquid level. The rotating part is supported rotatably on a bearing portion of a housing. A magnet is housed in the rotating part. A magnetoelectric transducer element fixed to the housing is arranged to perform a magnetic detection to convert an intensity of a magnetic field produced by the magnet to an electric signal. The rotating part is formed with an exposure hole exposing a surface of the magnet. The exposed surface of the magnet is located out of a magnetic circuit subjected to the magnetic detection of the magnetoelectric transducer element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2006
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshihiro Kogure
  • Patent number: 6976394
    Abstract: A level transmitter for liquid containers, particularly fuel store tanks, comprising a housing in which a contactless sensor is arranged which is connected with an evaluating unit and operatively connected with a magnet that moves relative to the sensor when a float arranged at a first end of a lever moves so that the change of the magnetic field acting upon the sensor is transformed into an electric signal so that an output signal corresponding to the level of the liquid in the container is obtainable by the evaluating means. The magnet is configured at least as a segment of an annular magnet that is arranged at a second end of the lever and integrated therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2005
    Assignee: TI Automotive (Neuss) GmbH
    Inventors: Alfred Kleinen, Frank Buerger, Norbert Ludwig
  • Patent number: 6915692
    Abstract: In a tank for liquid fuel, particularly a tank for LPG in a system for supply of LPG to the internal-combustion engine of a motor vehicle, the level-sensor device comprises a floating member guided so as to move in a substantially vertical direction within the tank according to the variations of level, and transducer means consisting of an aligned series of reed relays that are activated selectively by one or more permanent magnets carried by the floating member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: C.R.F. Societa Consortile per Azioni
    Inventors: Mario Ricco, Sisto Luigi De Matthaeis, Annunziata Anna Satriano, Claudio Amorese, Onofrio De Michele
  • Patent number: 6915690
    Abstract: A fuel gauge includes an arm moving with the level of fuel in a fuel tank, a detection body for movably supporting the arm and including a rotor moving together with the arm and a stator for movably supporting the rotor, and a magnetic-flux detecting element arranged in the stator and for detecting the displacement amount of the arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: Hitachi Unisia Automotive, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Okada, Masato Kumagai
  • Patent number: 6901796
    Abstract: A fuel level sensor includes a float, a float arm, a float arm holder, and a sliding contact. The float arm holder is made of conductive resin. Therefore, the float arm and the sliding contact are electrically connected with each other via the float arm holder and maintained at the same potential. Even when static builds up on the float due to riffle of the fuel surface, the static is not discharged between the float arm and the sliding contact. As a result, output signals of the fuel level sensor are not distorted by the static and accuracy in the fuel level detection is maintained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Satoshi Akagawa
  • Patent number: 6880398
    Abstract: A fuel level detection device detects the level of fuel in the fuel tank. The fuel level detection device comprises a body including at least one mounting station and a fuel level detection unit. The fuel level detection unit includes a base and a float mounted relative to the base so as to have varying position relative to the base depending on the level of fuel in the fuel tank. The fuel level detection unit further contains a link coupling the float to the base and a sensor producing a signal indicative of the position of the float within the fuel tank. The fuel level detection unit is capable of being disposed at more than one position on the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yasuo Okamoto
  • Patent number: 6871541
    Abstract: A level meter for motor vehicle fuel tanks comprises a float element. With the float element, a lever is connected that is adapted to be pivoted about a pivot axis. Further, the level meter comprises a position sensor as well as a position transmitter connected with the lever. At the level of the position sensor, the position transmitter is connected with the lever. The position transmitter cooperates with the position sensor in a contactless manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2005
    Assignee: TI Automotive (Neuss) GmbH
    Inventor: Michael Weisse
  • Patent number: 6868724
    Abstract: A fuel level sensor that includes a housing having a cavity formed therein, and a resistor element disposed within the cavity for creating a signal that may be utilized to indicate a liquid fuel level within a fuel tank. A float lever is associated with the housing adjacent a first end and adjacent a second end with a float is responsive to the level liquid fuel in the fuel tank. The float lever includes a first magnet that is disposed adjacent to the housing. A wiper and contact assembly is positioned generally adjacent to the resistor element to generate a signal that may be used to indicate a liquid fuel level. The wiper and contact assembly includes a second magnet that is magnetically coupled with the first magnet so that movement of the float lever is translated to movement of the wiper and contact assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: TI Group Automotive Systems, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Marc A. Brzozowski, Daniel A. Gilmour
  • Patent number: 6857314
    Abstract: A liquid remaining-amount detecting system includes a displacement transmitting part for transmitting displacement of a float to a rotation-angle sensor and including a bracket mounted to the bottom of a tank, an arm having a base end mounted to the bracket and a front end mounted to the float, and a link mechanism for coupling the rotation-angle sensor and the base end of the arm. The link mechanism serves to cancel displacement of the float resulting from vertical displacement of the bottom of the tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Assignee: Hitachi Unisia Automotive, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hironori Ohhashi, Toru Mashimo, Yutaka Ogiwara
  • Publication number: 20040261525
    Abstract: A detector for detecting the volume of fuel in a fuel tank includes a float for floating on the surface of the fuel, a magnetically conductive member, a magnet, and a sensor for sensing the strength of a magnetic field. The field from the magnet passes through the magnetically conductive member and the sensor is positioned near an outer surface of the magnetically conductive member where it can detect a portion of the field passing through the magnetically conductive member. An arm connects the float to one of the magnetically conductive member and the sensor for moving the one relative to the other. The shape of the magnetically conductive member is a function of the volume of fuel in the tank and the strength of the portion of the magnetic field detected by the sensor is proportional to the fuel in the tank. An output from the sensor controls an indicator that provides a measurement of the fuel in the tank.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2003
    Publication date: December 30, 2004
    Inventor: Jack Chen