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Title:
PLATFORM TWIST DETECTION AND MITIGATION METHOD AND APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/085649
Kind Code:
A4
Abstract:
A platform twist mitigation apparatus operable to extend jacks(42 - 48) into engagement with a surface (2) disposed below a platform (10) carrying the jacks, and to alternately extend and retract the jacks to change platform attitude relative to the surface. Tilt sensors (32, 34) are supported at spaced locations on the platform. An electronic control module is programmed to detect a platform twist condition in response to angle data received from the tilt sensors and to mitigate the platform twist condition by operating or modifying the operation of the jacks.

Inventors:
COLLIN, Matthew, A. (530 Albany St, Ferndale, MI, 48220, US)
FORD, Robert (6964 Granger, Troy, MI, 48098, US)
MANFREDA, John (22493 Bayview, St. Clair Shores, MI, 48081, US)
Application Number:
US2017/059920
Publication Date:
July 12, 2018
Filing Date:
November 03, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LIPPERT COMPONENTS INC. (88704 Expedite Way, Chicago, IL, 60695-1700, US)
International Classes:
B60S9/02; B66F3/46
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JONES, Eric, T. (Reising Ethington P.C, P.O. Box 4390Troy, MI, 48099-4390, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 28 May 2018 (28.05.2018)

Claims

A platform twist mitigation apparatus for detecting and mitigating twist in a platform such as a vehicle frame, the apparatus comprising:

a plurality of jacks carried by a platform and operable to extend into en gagement with a surface disposed below the platform, and independently operable to alternately extend and retract to change platform attitude relative to the surface;

a first tilt sensor supported at a first location on the platform and programmed to detect a first angle measured between a reference plane and the platform at the first location, and to output angle data representing the first angle;

a second tilt sensor supported at a second location on the platform spaced from the first location and programmed to detect a second angle measured between the reference plane and the platform at the second location, and to output angle data representing the second angle; and an electronic control module (ECM) programmed to detect a platform twist condition in response to angle data received from the first and second tilt sensors and to mitigate the platform twist condition by operating or modifying the operation of one or more jacks of the plurality of jacks.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which the ECM is programmed to mitigate the platform twist condition while the jacks are being operated to adjust the attitude of the platform.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 2 in which the ECM is programmed to actively restrict the operation of one or more of the jacks while the jacks are being operated to adjust the attitude of the platform.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 3 in which the ECM is programmed to restrict the operation of one or more of the jacks by stopping one or more of the jacks.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 3 in which the ECM is programmed to restrict the operation of one or more of the jacks by slowing one or more of the jacks.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 2 in which the ECM is programmed to actively augment the operation of one or more of the jacks.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 6 in which the ECM is programmed to actively augment the operation of one or more of the jacks by initiating the operation of one or more of the jacks. A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 6 in which the ECM is programmed to actively augment the operation of one or more of the jacks by speeding one or more of the jacks.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 2 in which the ECM is programmed to adjust jack operation modification in response to changing angle data received from the first and second sensors.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 1 in which the ECM is programmed to enter a zero mode in which the ECM recognizes signal values currently being received from the tilt sensors as representing a desired platform twist value to be sought in future twist correction operations.

A platform twist mitigation apparatus as defined in claim 10 in which the ECM is programmed to enter the zero mode when power is first applied to the controller.

A method for detecting and mitigating twist in a platform by:

positioning a plurality of jacks at respective spaced-apart locations between a platform and a surface below the platform;

supporting first and second tilt sensors at respective first and second spaced-apart locations on the platform, the first and second tilt sensors being programmed to detect respective first and second angles measured between the first and second locations and a reference plane, and to output angle data representing the first and second angles, respectively;

extending at least one of the plurality of jacks into engagement with the surface below the platform;

detecting a platform twist condition in response to angle data received from the first and second tilt sensors; and

mitigating the platform twist condition by modifying the operation of one or more jacks of the plurality of jacks.

The method of claim 12 in which the step of mitigating the platform twist condition includes restricting the operation of one or more of the jacks as one or more of the jacks are being operated to adjust the attitude of at least a portion of the platform.

The method of claim 12 in which the step of mitigating the platform twist condition includes augmenting the operation of one or more of the 32 jacks as one or more of the jacks are being operated to adjust the attitude of at least a portion of the platform.

[Claim 15] A method for calibrating a platform twist mitigation apparatus; the method comprising the steps of:

providing a plurality of jacks carried by a platform and operable to extend into engagement with a surface disposed below the platform and independently operable to change platform attitude relative to the surface and to change platform twist;

providing a platform twist mitigation apparatus comprising a first tilt sensor supported at a first location on the platform, a second tilt sensor supported at a second location on the platform spaced from the first location, and an electronic control module (ECM) programmed to detect a platform twist condition in response to angle data received from the first and second tilt sensors and to mitigate the platform twist condition by operating or modifying the operation of one or more jacks of the plurality of jacks;

changing platform twist to a desired platform twist value by operating the jacks as required to provide the desired platform twist value; and causing the ECM to enter a zero mode in which the ECM recognizes signal values currently being received from the tilt sensors as representing the desired platform twist value to be sought in future twist correction operations.

[Claim 16] The method of claim 15 in which:

the step of providing a platform twist mitigation apparatus includes providing an ECM programmed to enter the zero mode when power is first applied to the controller;

the step of causing the ECM to enter a zero mode includes applying electrical power to the platform twist mitigation apparatus; and the step of changing platform twist to a desired platform twist value is executed before the step of causing the ECM to enter a zero mode. [Claim 17] The method of claim 15 in which:

the step of providing a platform twist mitigation apparatus includes providing a zero mode indicator; and

the step of causing the ECM to enter a zero mode includes causing the zero mode indicator to indicate that the ECM is in the zero mode. [Claim 18] A method for calibrating a platform twist mitigation apparatus to

recognize when the platform is within an acceptable range of platform twist values; the method comprising the steps of:

33 providing a structure including a platform and jacks actuable to change the amount of platform twist and the attitude of the platform;

providing a platform twist mitigation apparatus on the structure, the apparatus including an electronic control module (ECM) and tilt sensors, the ECM programmed to include a zero mode in which the ECM will recognize signal values being received from the tilt sensors as representing a platform twist value within a range of platform twist values that the ECM is to recognize as acceptable;

providing the tilt sensors on the platform in positions where the ECM can measure platform twist by measuring the difference between in the tilt sensors' respective attitudes relative to gravity;

limiting or supplementing jack extension or retraction during jack operations to minimize twist induced into the platform; and

providing an input to the ECM indicating that the current set of signal values being received from the tilt sensors is the set of signal values that the ECM is to recognize as representing a desired platform twist value within a predetermined range of acceptable platform twist values for the ECM to reference in future platform twist mitigation operations. [Claim 19] The method of claim 18 in which:

the step of providing a platform twist mitigation apparatus includes programming the ECM to enter the zero mode when power is first applied to the ECM; and

an additional step of applying electrical power to the ECM is performed before the step of providing an input to the ECM.

[Claim 20] The method of claim 18 in which the step of providing a platform twist mitigation apparatus includes providing an indicator and programming the ECM to indicate through the indicator when the ECM is in the zero mode.