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Title:
CIRCULAR SNAP FIT PRESSURE SENSOR UNIT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/190736
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus includes a base assembly, a gasket and a housing assembly. The base assembly may have a locking feature and a bearing feature. The locking feature may have a first passage in communication with an exterior of the apparatus. The gasket may be mounted on the base assembly and may have (i) a compression region, (ii) a central region and (iii) a second passage in communication with the first passage. The housing assembly may have a sealing feature and may be configured to hold a sensor. The sealing feature (a) may mate with the bearing feature and (b) may compress the gasket in the compression region. The sensor (a) may seal to the central region of the gasket and (b) may be in communication with the exterior of the apparatus through the first passage and the second passage.

Inventors:
PUSHECK, Jacob (2102 Greydale Rd, West Bloomfield, Michigan, 48324, US)
Application Number:
US2019/021800
Publication Date:
October 03, 2019
Filing Date:
March 12, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
VEONEER US INC. (26545 American Drive, Southfield, Michigan, 48034, US)
International Classes:
G01L19/14; F16J15/10; G01D11/24
Foreign References:
US5184107A1993-02-02
US20140137656A12014-05-22
US20170343395A12017-11-30
US201815924896A2018-03-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLER, Robert et al. (Suite 100, 24840 Harper AvenueSt. Clair Shores, Michigan, 48080, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An apparatus comprising:

a base assembly having a locking feature and a bearing feature, wherein said locking feature has a first passage in communication with an exterior of said apparatus;

a gasket mounted on said base assembly and having (i) a compression region, (ii) a central region and (iii) a second passage in communication with said first passage; and

a housing assembly having a sealing feature and configured to hold a sensor, wherein (i) said sealing feature (a) mates with said bearing feature and (b) compresses said gasket in said compression region and (ii) said sensor (a) seals to said central region of said gasket and (b) is in communication with said exterior of said apparatus through said first passage and said second passage.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein (i) said bearing feature has a circular shape and (ii) said housing assembly snap fits to said base assembly.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said sensor comprises a gas pressure sensor.

4. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, further comprising a mounting assembly having an opening configured to receive said locking feature.

5. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein said base assembly is secured to said mounting assembly by a rotation of said base assembly relative to said mounting assembly while said locking feature of said base assembly is inside said opening of said mounting assembly.

6. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein at least one of said base assembly and said mounting assembly is customized to one of a plurality of motor vehicles.

7. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said bearing feature (i) surrounds said sealing feature and (ii) snap fits to said sealing feature. 8. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein (i) said sealing feature has aridge around an outer perimeter and (ii) said bearing feature has a notch configured to snap fit to said ridge. 9. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein (i) said sealing feature is rigid and (ii) said bearing feature is deformable to conform to said sealing feature. 10. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein (i) said bearing feature is rigid and (ii) said sealing feature is deformable to conform to said bearing feature. 11. The apparatus according to claim 7, wherein (i) said sealing feature has one or more alignment features and (ii) said bearing feature has one or more slots configured to receive said alignment features. 12. The apparatus according to claim 11 , wherein each of said slots has a widened opening configured to guide said alignment features into said slots. 13. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said housing assembly further has a plurality of alignment features configured to align said sensor with said second passage. 14. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein said base assembly further has a key configured to limit said housing assembly to a single orientation when connected to said base assembly.

15. The apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, further comprising a plurality of posts (i) embedded in said central region of said gasket and (ii) configured to stiffen said central region, wherein said central region has an angled portion that widens said gasket about said posts.

Description:
CIRCULAR SNAP FIT PRESSURE SENSOR UNIT

Field of the Invention

The invention relates to vehicle sensors generally and, more particularly, to a method and/or apparatus for implementing a circular snap fit pressure sensor unit.

Background

Sensors are used for many different operations within a vehicle. In an example, occupant restraint and safety systems typically sense changes in pressure at key points within the vehicle. Sensors are conventionally packaged with supporting electronics and typically mounted on a printed circuit board. The printed circuit board is then mounted into a housing or directly to a vehicle structure. Such mounting can cause a number of problems related to manufacturing and reliability.

It would be desirable to implement a circular snap fit pressure sensor unit.

Summary

The invention encompasses an aspect concerning an apparatus including a base assembly, a gasket and a housing assembly. The base assembly may have a locking feature and a bearing feature. The locking feature may have a first passage in communication with an exterior of the apparatus. The gasket may be mounted on the base assembly and may have (i) a compression region, (ii) a central region and (iii) a second passage in communication with the first passage. The housing assembly may have a sealing feature and may be configured to hold a sensor. The sealing feature (a) may mate with the bearing feature and (b) may compress the gasket in the compression region. The sensor (a) may seal to the central region of the gasket and (b) may be in communication with the exterior of the apparatus through the first passage and the second passage.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the bearing feature has a circular shape and the housing assembly snap fits to the base assembly. In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the sensor comprises a gas pressure sensor.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the sensor measures an air pressure inside a motor vehicle.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, a mounting assembly may be included having an opening configured to receive the locking feature. In some embodiments, the base assembly is secured to the mounting assembly by a rotation of the base assembly relative to the mounting assembly while the locking feature of the base assembly is inside the opening of the mounting assembly. In some embodiments, at least one of the base assembly and the mounting assembly is customized to one of a plurality of motor vehicles.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the bearing feature (i) surrounds the sealing feature and (ii) snap fits to the sealing feature.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the sealing feature has a ridge around an outer perimeter and the bearing feature has a notch configured to snap fit to the ridge.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the sealing feature is rigid and the bearing feature is deformable to conform to the sealing feature.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the bearing feature is rigid and the sealing feature is deformable to conform to the bearing feature.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the sealing feature has one or more alignment features and the bearing feature has one or more slots configured to receive the alignment features. In some embodiments, each of the slots has a widened opening configured to guide the alignment features into the slots.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the housing assembly further has a plurality of alignment features configured to align the sensor with the second passage.

In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, the base assembly further has a key configured to limit the housing assembly to a single orientation when connected to the base assembly. In some embodiments of the apparatus aspect described above, a plurality of posts are (i) embedded in the central region of the gasket and (ii) configured to stiffen the central region, where the central region has an angled portion that widens the gasket about the posts.

The invention also encompasses a second aspect concerning an apparatus including a base assembly, a mounting assembly, a gasket, and a housing assembly. The base assembly may have a locking feature and a bearing feature. The locking feature has a first passage in communication with an exterior of the apparatus. The mounting assembly may have an opening configured to receive the locking feature to secure the base assembly to the mounting assembly. The gasket may be mounted on the base assembly and have (i) a compression region, (ii) a central region and (iii) a second passage in communication with the first passage. The housing assembly may have a sealing feature and may be configured to hold a sensor. The sealing feature (a) mates with the bearing feature and (b) compresses the gasket in the compression region. The sensor (a) seals to the central region of the gasket and (b) is in communication with the exterior of the apparatus through the first passage and the second passage.

In some embodiments of the second apparatus aspect described above, the bearing feature has a circular shape, (ii) the housing assembly snap fits to the base assembly, and the sensor comprises a gas pressure sensor configured to measure a pressure inside a motor vehicle.

Brief Description of the Figures

Embodiments of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description and the appended claims and drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagram of a sensor unit in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating a perspective view of the sensor unit of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating another perspective view of the sensor unit of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention; FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a gasket in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a side view of the gasket and a sealing feature in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating a close-up side view of the gasket and the sealing feature in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a diagram illustrating a cross-sectional view of a portion of a housing assembly snapped to a base assembly without the gasket in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating the base assembly alone in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating the housing assembly alone in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 10 is a diagram illustrating a central region of the gasket in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 11 is a diagram illustrating a sealing feature aligned to a bearing feature in accordance with an embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 12 is a diagram illustrating a slot and an alignment feature in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

Detailed Description of the Embodiments

Embodiments of the present invention include providing a circular snap fit pressure sensor unit that may (i) employ a circular gasket surface to improve sealing performance, (ii) allow for a lower package size, (iii) allow for simplified terminals, (iv) be easier to manufacture than conventional designs, (v) allow manufacturing costs to be reduced, (vi) lower the stress on plastic housings, (vii) provide a secure gasket sealing interface, (viii) establish a watertight environment for a sensor, (ix) properly orient the sensor, (x) provide a poke yoke arrangement such that a housing assembly cannot be placed backwards into a base assembly, (xi) incorporate one or more integrated circuits and/or (xii) be implemented using one or more plastic assembly fabrication techniques.

A current push in industry is to reduce costs and complexity of automotive safety sensors. To accomplish the reductions, embodiments of the invention generally provide a low-cost solution for a pressure sensor unit. A one-product one-process methodology may be employed to create a family of pressure sensor units suitable for multiple installation criteria in multiple types of vehicles. The methodology generally uses a common housing assembly with one or more different attachment pieces that make the pressure sensor units complete. The housing assembly and a base assembly may be connected by way of snap fit and/or plastic weld methods. The base assembly and a mounting assembly may be connected by a rotational interlock. Mass production of a singular type of housing assembly may allow the cost to be reduced. The method generally allows for a simple manufacturing method with low initial equipment investment and very short cycle times.

Referring to FIG. 1, a diagram of a sensor unit 100 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The sensor unit (or apparatus, or system, or device) 100 generally implements a gas pressure sensor suitable for use in automotive applications. The sensor unit 100 generally comprises a base assembly 102, a housing assembly 104, a gasket 106 and a mounting assembly 108.

The base assembly 102 may include a bearing feature 1 12, a locking feature 1 14, one or more teeth 1 16a- 1 16b, and multiple brackets 118a- 1 18b. A passage may be formed through the base assembly 102 and the locking feature 1 14. The base assembly 102 may be formed of a hard plastic material and has a generally circular shape. The materials used to fabricate the base assembly 102 may include, but are not limited to, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and nylon, and are usually glass filled. The base assembly 102 may be fabricated by injection molding.

The bearing feature 1 12 may implement multiple walls. The bearing feature 112 may form a ring around the gasket 106. The bearing feature 1 12 is generally operational to engage (e.g., snap to) the housing assembly 104. In various embodiments, the snapping (or locking) may not be reversible. In other embodiments, the bearing feature 112 may be configured to both engage with and disengage from the housing assembly 104 a number of times. The locking feature 1 14 may implement a gas coupler (or fitting). The locking feature 114 may be configured to engage and lock to the mounting assembly 108. In various embodiments, the locking feature 114 may provide a surface to connect a hose or pipe containing the gas pressure signal to be measured by the pressure sensor unit 100. In other embodiments, the locking feature 114 may be directly exposed to an environment inside or outside the vehicle such that the pressure sensor unit 100 is directly measuring the surrounding (e.g., external) environmental pressure.

In various embodiments, the base assembly 102 may be configured to secure the pressure sensor unit 100 to a structure of a motor vehicle (e.g., automobile, truck, train and the like). The base assembly 102 may be customized to meet the mounting criteria of a particular application. The uniqueness of the base assembly 102 may result in a family of base assemblies 102. The housing assembly 104 may be interchangeable among different styles of base assemblies 102. Each type of base assembly 102 may have a common set of features to connect with a single type of housing assembly 104, and a unique set of features to account for the different installation criteria.

The housing assembly 104 may include an annular sealing feature 120, a connector 122, a sensor 124 and multiple terminals 126a- 126b. The housing assembly 104 may be formed of the same hard plastic material used to create the base assembly 102. The sealing feature 120 may be configured to form an environmental seal with the gasket 106 while the housing assembly 104 is mated to the base assembly 102. The sealing feature 120 may also be configured to engage with the bearing feature 112 to hold the housing assembly 104 to the base assembly 102. The connector 122 may be configured to connect to an external electrical connector. The terminals 124a- 124b may be configured to convey electrical power to a sensor 124 and electrical signals from the sensor 124.

The housing assembly 104 may support the sensor 124. The sensor 124 may be configured to sense a gas (or pneumatic or air) pressure signal. The gas pressure signal may be received from an exterior of the pressure sensor unit 100, through the passage of the base assembly 102, and through another passage through the gasket 106. The pressure sensor 124 is generally operational to convert a measured gas pressure into an electrical signal. The pressure sensor 124 may be fabricated as one or more integrated circuits. Electrical power for the pressure sensor 124 may be received through the terminals 126a- 126b in the connector 122. Measured data generated by the pressure sensor 124 may be transferred out of the pressure sensor unit 100 through the terminals 126a- 126b of the connector 122.

The gasket 106 is generally circular in shape. The gasket 106 may comprise a compression (or annual) region, a sloped (or angled) region and a central (or raised) region. A passage (or vent) may extend through the gasket 106, including the central region, and align with the passage in the base assembly 102 and the locking feature 114. The gasket 106 may be mounted on the base assembly 102 within the bearing feature 112. The gasket 106 is generally operational to seal an interior of the housing assembly 104 to the base assembly 102. The gasket 106 may also be operational to seal an active side of the sensor 124 from the interior of the housing assembly 104.

The mounting assembly 108 generally comprises an opening 130, one or more tabs l32a-l32b, a deformable locking boss 134, a rigid over-travel stop 136 and a shield 138. The mounting assembly 108 may be formed of the same hard plastic material used to create the base assembly 102 and/or the housing assembly 104.

The opening 130 may be shaped to receive the locking feature 114 of the base assembly 102. The tabs 132a- 132b may be positioned to engage the teeth 116a- 116b of the base assembly 102 when the base assembly 102 is rotated relative to the mounting assembly 108. The element 134 may support locking of the base assembly 102 to the mounting assembly 108. The element 136 may provide an over- travel stop barrier so that the base assembly 102 may not be rotated too far. The shield 138 may be used to retain a harness connector engaged with the connector 122 while the base assembly 102 is locked with the mounting assembly 108. The shield 138 may include a notch 140 that allows the harness to be routed in-line with the connector 122 thus avoiding sharp bends.

In various embodiments, the mounting assembly 108 may secure the pressure sensor unit 100 to a structure of a motor vehicle. The mounting assembly 108 may be customized to meet the mounting criteria of a particular application. The uniqueness of the mounting assembly 108 may result in a family of mounting assemblies 108. The base assembly 102 may be interchangeable among different styles of mounting assemblies 108. Each type of mounting assembly 108 may have a common set of features to connect with one or more types of base assemblies 102, and a unique set of features to account for the different installation criteria.

Referring to FIG. 2, a diagram illustrating a perspective view of the pressure sensor unit 100 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. While the base assembly 102 is mated to the mounting assembly 108, the locking feature 114 may extend through the mounting assembly 108 and protrude out a far side. Rotation of the base assembly 102 relative to the mounting assembly 108 generally causes the locking feature 114 to rotate into a locked position (as illustrated). Rotation of the locking feature 114 may be limited by one or more mechanical stops 142a- 142b of the mounting assembly 108. The side of the pressure sensor unit 100 show in FIG. 2 generally illustrates a“wet” side that may be exposed to an exterior of the vehicle.

Referring to FIG. 3, a diagram illustrating another perspective view of the pressure sensor unit 100 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. A shipping (or uninstalled) state is illustrated. In an installed state, the teeth 116a- 116b of the base assembly 102 may engage the tabs 132a- 132b of the mounting assembly 108 to lock the two assemblies together. The side of the pressure sensor unit 100 show in FIG. 3 generally illustrates a“dry” side that may be exposed to an interior of the vehicle.

Referring to FIG. 4, a diagram illustrating an example implementation of the gasket 106 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The gasket 106 is generally circular in shape. The gasket 106 generally comprises a compression (or annual) region 150, a sloped (or angled) region 152 and a central (or raised) region 154. A passage (or vent) 156 may extend through the gasket 106, including the central region 154.

The compression region 150 generally extends around an outer perimeter of the gasket 106. The sloped region 152 may extend around the gasket 106 inside the compression region 150. The angled surface of the sloped region 152 may increase a sealing force as a pressure differential rises, thereby making the seal more reliable.

The central region 154 may be offset perpendicular to the compression region 150 projected toward the sensor 124. The central region 154 is generally has a rectangular shape. An open face of the central region 154 may align and seal to the sensor 124 while the housing assembly 104 is connected to the base assembly 102.

The passage 156 may be aligned at one end with the passage in the base assembly 102. The passage 156 may be aligned at the opposite end with an active side of the pressure sensor 124. In various embodiments, the gasket 106 may be fabricated from a resilient material. The gasket

106 may be fabricated using a two-shot injection molding onto the base assembly 102, fabricated separately and subsequently placed on the base assembly 102, or fabricated by any common techniques. Material for the gasket 106 may include, but is not limited to silicone-based material, thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) material and thermoplastic rubber material. Other materials may be implemented to meet the design criteria of a particular application. An overall thickness of the gasket 106 may range from approximately 2 millimeters (mm) to approximately 5 mm. Additional details about the gasket 106 may be found in co-pending U.S. Application Serial Numbers 15/924,896, filed March 19, 2018, and 15/928,430, filed March 22, 2018 which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety.

Referring to FIG. 5, a diagram illustrating a side view of the gasket 106 and the sealing feature 120 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The sealing feature 120 may be aligned with the compression region 150. The sealing feature 120 may extend slightly onto the sloped region 152.

Referring to FIG. 6, a diagram illustrating a close-up side view of the gasket 106 and the sealing feature 120 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The sealing feature 120 may have a taper. In various embodiments, an angle 160 of the taper may range from approximately 20 degrees to approximately 40 degrees as measured from a side of the sealing feature 120. The taper is generally parallel to the sloped region 152 in the gasket 106. In some embodiments, the sloped region 152 may have an angle 162 ranging from approximately 50 degrees to approximately 70 degrees relative to a radial plane of the circular gasket 106.

In various embodiments, the tapered portion of the sealing feature 120 generally extends a distance 164 that ranges from approximately 1.2 mm to approximately 1.5 mm from a free end. Other taper distances may be implemented to meet the design criteria of a particular application. A thickness 166 of a portion of the gasket 106 aligned to the sealing feature 120 may range from approximately 1.2 mm to approximately 1.8 mm. Other thicknesses of the gasket 106 may be implemented to meet the design criteria of a particular application.

Referring to FIG. 7, a diagram illustrating an example cross-sectional view of a portion of the housing assembly 104 snapped to the base assembly 102 without the gasket 106 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The housing assembly 104 and the base assembly 102 may form a cavity in which the gasket 106 (not shown) and the sensor 124 (not shown) reside. The sealing feature 120 and the bearing feature 112 may interlock (or snap) to hold the assemblies together. The sensor 124 may be oriented and held in place by multiple posts 128a-l28e (l28b-128d shown). A passage 119 in the base assembly 102 may provide a route to bring the gas pressure to the sensor 124. The passage 119 may align with the passage 136 in the gasket 106 (see FIG. 4).

Referring to FIG. 8, a diagram illustrating an example implementation of the base assembly 102 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The bearing feature 112 of the base assembly 102 may be divided into multiple (e.g., four) segments. Slots 170, l72a-l72b and 174 may be spread around the bearing feature 112. The slots 170-174 generally allow the segments of the bearing feature 112 to deform (or flex) as the rigid sealing feature 120 is forced into the center of the bearing feature 112. In various embodiments, the bearing feature 112 may be rigid and the sealing feature 120 may be deformable.

Multiple (e.g., two) slots 172a- 172b may be used for alignment of the housing assembly 104 to the base assembly 102. The slots 172a- 172b may be wider than the slots 170 and 174 to prevent some improper orientations (e.g., rotated ±90 degrees) between the housing assembly 104 and the base assembly 102. A key 176 may be included neighboring the slot 174. The key 176 generally prevents improper orientations (e.g., rotated ±90 and/or 180 degrees) between the housing assembly 104 and the base assembly 102.

Referring to FIG. 9, a diagram illustrating an example implementation of the housing assembly 104 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The housing assembly 104 may include the posts !28a-l28e and multiple (e.g., two) alignment features !80a-l80b. The posts 128a-128e may be configured to orient and hold the sensor 124 in a proper location to both contact the terminals 128a- 128b (see FIG. 1 ) and connect with the passage 156 in the gasket 106 (see FIG. 4). The posts l28a-l28e may ensure that the sensor 124 interfaces with the electrical and mechanical contact locations in the correspondingly correct locations on the sensor 124.

While the housing assembly 104 is mated to the base assembly 102, the alignment features 180a- 180b may reside within the slots 172a- 172b of the bearing feature 112. An edge 182 of the housing feature 104 may be shaped to allow clearance of the key 176 while the housing assembly 104 is properly orientated to and mated to the base assembly 102. If an attempt is made to attach the housing assembly 104 to the base assembly 102 out of the proper orientation, the key 176 may contact the connector 122. The contact may prevent the sealing feature 120 from properly seating in the bearing feature 112. The slots 172a- 172b with the alignment features 180a- 180b, and/or the key 176 with the edge 182 generally allows the housing assembly 104 and the base assembly 102 to connect in a single orientation.

Referring to FIG. 10, a diagram illustrating an example design of another central region 134a of the gasket 106 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The central region 134a may be a variation of the central region 134. The central region 134a may include slots for multiple embedded posts 190a- 190h and an angled portion 192.

The embedded posts 190a- 190h may be aligned with the outer edges of the sensor 124. The embedded posts 190a- 190n may be operational to provide additional support (or stiffness) in the central region l34a. In various embodiments, the embedded posts l90a-190n may be fabricated from plastic as part of the base assembly 102 and the central region 134a of the gasket 106 formed around the posts 190a- 190h. In some embodiments, the embedded posts 190a- 190h may be fabricated as part of the gasket 106 prior to mounting to the base assembly 102.

The angled portion 192 may expand the size of the central region l34a to accommodate the embedded posts 190a- 190h. The angled portion 192 may be formed at an angle 194 in a range of 5 degrees to 60 degrees as measured from a wall of the central region 134a. Other angles may be implemented to meet the design criteria of a particular application. Referring to FIG. 11 , a diagram illustrating an example detailed design of the sealing feature 120 and the bearing feature 112 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The sealing feature 120 may include an annular ridge 200 around an outside perimeter. A leading edge of the ridge 200 may be shaped at an angle 202 relative to a plane at the end of the sealing feature 120. In various embodiments, the angle 202 may range from approximately 50 degrees to approximately 70 degrees. The sealing feature 120 may have a thickness 204. The thickness 204 may range from approximately 1 mm to approximately 3 mm. Other angles and/or thicknesses may be implemented to meet the design criteria of a particular application.

The bearing feature 112 may include an annular notch 206 around an inside perimeter. The notch may have an undercut (or depth) 208. The undercut 208 may range from approximately 0.1 mm to approximately 0.5 mm. Other undercut dimensions may be implemented to meet the design criteria of a particular application.

A mating force (W) to snap fit the housing assembly 104 together with the base assembly 102 may be given by formula 1 as follows:

W=Px((p+tan(a))/(l-pxtan(a))) (1)

Where P may be a transverse force, m may be a friction coefficient and a may be the lead angle 202. A strain (E) caused by the ridge 200 during the insertion into the bearing feature 112 may be given by formula 2 as follows:

E = l00%x(y/d) (2) Where y may be twice the undercut distance 208 and d may be a diameter of the joint. By way of example, for an undercut distance 208 of 0.2 mm (e.g., y = 0.4 mm) and a diameter d of 15.4 mm, the strain E may be 100% c (0.4/15.6) = 2.56%.

Referring to FIG. 12, a diagram illustrating an example implementation of the slot 172a and the alignment feature 180a is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The slot 172a of the base assembly 102 may be shaped to accept the alignment feature 180a of the housing assembly 104. An open end of the slot l72a may include beveled edges 2l0a-2l0b. The beveled edges 21 Oa-210b may widen the slot 172a at the open end. In various embodiments, the free end of the alignment feature 180a may be tapered. The widened opening and tapered free end may assist in guiding and centering the alignment feature l 80a in the slot 172a. Likewise, the slot 172b may have beveled edges shaped to accept and guide the alignment feature l80b.

The structures illustrated in the diagrams of FIGS. 1 to 12 may be designed, modeled, emulated, and/or simulated using one or more of a conventional general purpose processor, digital computer, microprocessor, microcontroller, distributed computer resources and/or similar computational machines, programmed according to the teachings of the present specification, as will be apparent to those skilled in the relevant art(s). Appropriate software, firmware, coding, routines, instructions, opcodes, microcode, and/or program modules may readily be prepared by skilled programmers based on the teachings of the present disclosure, as will also be apparent to those skilled in the relevant art(s). The software is generally embodied in a medium or several media, for example non-transitory storage media, and may be executed by one or more of the processors sequentially or in parallel.

Data signals generated by the sensor units (or devices) may be transferred to one or more electronic control units. The electronic control units may utilize the sensor data in one or more transport vehicle functions including, but not limited to, engine control, transmission control, braking control, battery management, steering control, door control, human machine interface, seat control, speed control, restraint systems control, vehicle-to-vehicle communications and diagnostics. The electronic control units may include capabilities to adjust the sensor data to account for calibration issues, environmental factors and aging components.

The terms“may” and“generally” when used herein in conjunction with“is(are)” and verbs are meant to communicate the intention that the description is exemplary and believed to be broad enough to encompass both the specific examples presented in the disclosure as well as alternative examples that could be derived based on the disclosure. The terms“may” and“generally” as used herein should not be construed to necessarily imply the desirability or possibility of omitting a corresponding element.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.