US20110088176A1 - Counterbalance mechanism for fold out ramp - Google Patents

Counterbalance mechanism for fold out ramp Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20110088176A1
US20110088176A1 US12/754,462 US75446210A US2011088176A1 US 20110088176 A1 US20110088176 A1 US 20110088176A1 US 75446210 A US75446210 A US 75446210A US 2011088176 A1 US2011088176 A1 US 2011088176A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
ramp
ramp portion
position
neutral position
toward
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
US12/754,462
Other versions
US7913343B1 (en
Inventor
Alan Cohn
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
LIFT-U A DIVISION OF HOGAN Manufacturing Inc
Lift U a Div of Hogan Mfg Inc
Original Assignee
Lift U a Div of Hogan Mfg Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US25252409P priority Critical
Application filed by Lift U a Div of Hogan Mfg Inc filed Critical Lift U a Div of Hogan Mfg Inc
Priority to US12/754,462 priority patent/US7913343B1/en
Assigned to LIFT-U, A DIVISION OF HOGAN MFG., INC. reassignment LIFT-U, A DIVISION OF HOGAN MFG., INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: COHN, ALAN
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of US7913343B1 publication Critical patent/US7913343B1/en
Publication of US20110088176A1 publication Critical patent/US20110088176A1/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60PVEHICLES ADAPTED FOR LOAD TRANSPORTATION OR TO TRANSPORT, TO CARRY, OR TO COMPRISE SPECIAL LOADS OR OBJECTS
    • B60P1/00Vehicles predominantly for transporting loads and modified to facilitate loading, consolidating the load, or unloading
    • B60P1/43Vehicles predominantly for transporting loads and modified to facilitate loading, consolidating the load, or unloading using a loading ramp mounted on the vehicle
    • B60P1/433Vehicles predominantly for transporting loads and modified to facilitate loading, consolidating the load, or unloading using a loading ramp mounted on the vehicle the loading floor or a part thereof being movable to form the ramp
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT, PERSONAL CONVEYANCES, OR ACCOMMODATION SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR PATIENTS OR DISABLED PERSONS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G3/00Ambulance aspects of vehicles; Vehicles with special provisions for transporting patients or disabled persons, or their personal conveyances, e.g. for facilitating access of, or for loading, wheelchairs
    • A61G3/02Loading or unloading personal conveyances; Facilitating access of patients or disabled persons to, or exit from, vehicles
    • A61G3/06Transfer using ramps, lifts or the like
    • A61G3/061Transfer using ramps, lifts or the like using ramps
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61GTRANSPORT, PERSONAL CONVEYANCES, OR ACCOMMODATION SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR PATIENTS OR DISABLED PERSONS; OPERATING TABLES OR CHAIRS; CHAIRS FOR DENTISTRY; FUNERAL DEVICES
    • A61G3/00Ambulance aspects of vehicles; Vehicles with special provisions for transporting patients or disabled persons, or their personal conveyances, e.g. for facilitating access of, or for loading, wheelchairs
    • A61G3/02Loading or unloading personal conveyances; Facilitating access of patients or disabled persons to, or exit from, vehicles
    • A61G3/06Transfer using ramps, lifts or the like
    • A61G3/067Transfer using ramps, lifts or the like with compartment for horizontally storing the ramp or lift

Abstract

A ramp assembly includes a ramp portion configured for reciprocating motion between a stowed position, a deployed position, and a neutral position. A counterbalance comprises a shaft and a crank fixedly coupled to the shaft. A rod is rotatably coupled to the crank with an end fitting, and an end stop is slidably coupled to the rod. A compression spring is disposed between the end fitting and the end stop, wherein the compression spring provides a force to bias the ramp portion toward the stowed position when the ramp portion is between the deployed position and the neutral position, and toward the deployed position when the ramp portion is between the stowed position and the neutral position.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires the removal of physical obstacles to those who are physically challenged. The stated objective of this legislation has increased public awareness and concern over the requirements of the physically challenged. Consequentially, there has been more emphasis in providing systems that assist such a person to access a motor vehicle, such as a bus or minivan.
  • A common manner of providing the physically challenged with access to motor vehicles is a ramp. Various ramp operating systems for motor vehicles are known in the art. Some slide out from underneath the floor of the vehicle and tilt down. Others are stowed in a vertical position and are pivoted about a hinge, while still others are supported by booms and cable assemblies. The present invention is generally directed to a “fold out” type of ramp. Such a ramp is normally stowed in a horizontal position within a recess in the vehicle floor, and is pivoted upward and outward to a downward-sloping extended position. In the extended position, the ramp is adjustable to varying curb heights.
  • Fold out ramps on vehicles confront a variety of technical problems. Longer ramps are desirable because the resulting slope is more gradual and more accessible by wheelchair-bound passengers. Longer ramps are, however, heavier and require more torque about the hinge to be reciprocated between deployed and stowed positions. To satisfy this torque requirement, such fold-out ramps use large electric motors, pneumatic devices, or hydraulic actuators to deploy and stow the ramp. Many of such systems cannot be moved manually in the event of failure of the power source unless the drive mechanism is first disengaged. Some existing fold-out ramps can be deployed or stowed manually, but they are difficult to operate because one must first overcome the resistance of the drive mechanism.
  • As noted above, many existing fold-out ramps are equipped with hydraulic, electric, or pneumatic actuating devices. Such devices are obtrusive and make access to and from a vehicle difficult when the ramp is stowed. Moreover, many of such fold-out ramps have no energy storage capabilities to aid the lifting of the ramp, and thereby preserve the life of the drive motor or even allow a smaller drive to be employed. Finally, operating systems for such fold-out ramps must have large power sources to overcome the torque placed on the hinge by the necessarily long moment arm of the fold-out ramp.
  • SUMMARY
  • A ramp assembly includes a ramp portion configured for reciprocating motion between a stowed position, a deployed position, and a neutral position. The ramp assembly further includes a counterbalance. The counterbalance comprises a shaft configured to rotate in a first direction when the ramp portion moves toward the stowed position, and in a second direction when the ramp portion moves toward the deployed position. A crank is fixedly coupled to the shaft, and a rod is rotatably coupled to the crank about an axis of rotation. The axis of rotation moves along an arcuate path when the ramp portion reciprocates between the stowed position and the deployed position. An end fitting is attached to the rod, and an end stop slidably coupled to the rod. A compression spring is disposed between the end fitting and the end stop, wherein the compression spring provides a force to bias the ramp portion (1) toward the stowed position when the ramp portion is between the deployed position and the neutral position, and (2) toward the deployed position when the ramp portion is between the stowed position and the neutral position.
  • This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not intended to identify key features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 shows an isometric view of a fold out ramp having a first embodiment of a counterbalance mechanism, wherein a ramp portion is shown in the stowed position;
  • FIG. 2 shows an isometric view of the fold out ramp of FIG. 1 with the ramp portion in a position between the stowed position and a deployed position;
  • FIG. 3 shows an isometric view of the fold out ramp of FIG. 1 with the ramp portion in a deployed position;
  • FIG. 4 shows an isometric view of the counterbalance assembly of FIG. 1 when the ramp portion is in the neutral position;
  • FIG. 5 shows a side view of the counterbalance assembly of FIG. 4 with the ramp portion in the stowed position;
  • FIG. 6 shows a side view of the counterbalance assembly of FIG. 4 with the ramp portion in the neutral position;
  • FIG. 7 shows a side view of the counterbalance assembly of FIG. 4 with the ramp portion in a deployed position;
  • FIG. 8 shows an isometric view of the fold out ramp of FIG. 1 having a having a second embodiment of a counterbalance mechanism, wherein the ramp portion is shown in a deployed position;
  • FIG. 9 shows an isometric view of the counterbalance assembly of FIG. 8 when the ramp portion is in the neutral position;
  • FIG. 10 shows a side view of the counterbalance assembly of FIG. 8 with the ramp portion in the stowed position;
  • FIG. 11 shows a side view of the counterbalance assembly of FIG. 8 with the ramp portion in the neutral position; and
  • FIG. 12 shows a side view of the counterbalance assembly of FIG. 8 with the ramp portion in a deployed position.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Exemplary embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings where like numerals correspond to like elements. Exemplary embodiments of the disclosed subject matter are directed to ramp assemblies, and in particular, to wheelchair ramp assemblies. In particular, described embodiments are directed to wheelchair ramp assemblies suitable for use in buses, vans, etc.
  • The following discussion proceeds with reference to examples of wheelchair ramp assemblies for use in vehicles having a floor, such as a bus, van, etc. While the examples provided herein have been described with reference to their association with vehicles, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that this is done for illustrative purposes and should not be construed as limiting the scope of the claimed subject matter. Thus, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that aspects of the present disclosure may be employed with other ramp assemblies used in stationary installations, such as residential buildings and the like.
  • When a ramp assembly is installed in a vehicle, some components of the ramp assembly may maintain a fixed relationship relative to the vehicle structure, while other components move relative to the vehicle structure when the ramp reciprocates between a stowed position and a deployed position. Similarly, when a ramp assembly is installed in a stationary installation, such as a residential building and the like, some components of the ramp assembly may maintain a fixed relationship relative to the building structure, while other components move relative to the building structure when the ramp reciprocates between a stowed position and a deployed position.
  • The following detailed description may use illustrative terms such as vertical, horizontal, front, rear, roadside, curbside, proximal, distal, etc. However, these terms are descriptive in nature and should not be construed as limiting. Further, it will be appreciated that embodiments of the present disclosure may employ any combination of features described herein.
  • FIGS. 1-3 illustrate an exemplary embodiment of a fold out ramp assembly 100 (hereinafter the “ramp assembly 100”) suitable for use with the described counterbalance assemblies. The ramp assembly 100 includes a ramp portion 104. The ramp assembly 100 is adapted to be mounted to a vehicle (not shown), such as a bus or a van. One end of the ramp portion 104 is rotatably coupled to the ramp assembly 100 so that the ramp portion 104 is reciprocal between the stowed position, as shown in FIG. 1, and a deployed position, as shown in FIG. 3. A motor 106 is operatively coupled between the ramp assembly 100 or vehicle (not shown), and the ramp portion 104 with a drive shaft 108 to reciprocate the ramp portion 104 between the stowed position and a deployed position.
  • FIGS. 4-7 show a first exemplary embodiment of a counterbalance assembly 150. As best shown in FIG. 4, the counterbalance assembly 150 includes an output shaft 152 that rotates in a first direction when the ramp portion 104 moves toward the stowed position and in a second direction when the ramp portion 104 moves toward a deployed position. A crank 154 is attached to the output shaft 152 so that the crank 154 rotates with the output shaft 152. In the illustrated embodiment, the center of rotation of the ramp portion 104 is coincident to the axis of the output shaft 152; however, one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the location and orientation of the output shaft 152 can differ with the inclusion of various known transmission elements to couple the output shaft 152 to the ramp portion 104. In yet another embodiment, the driveshaft 108 that couples the motor 106 to the ramp portion 104 can act as an output shaft 152, i.e., the shaft to which the counterbalance 150 is attached. For ramp assemblies 100 having the motor 106 located in an internal portion of the ramp assembly, such a configuration would allow the counterbalance assembly to be located internal to the ramp assembly 100 also, i.e. under the ramp portion 104 when the ramp portion is in the stowed position. It should be appreciated that the output shaft 152 can be any shaft associated with the ramp assembly 100 that rotates in a first direction when the ramp portion 104 moves toward the stowed position and in a second direction when the ramp portion moves toward a deployed position.
  • Still referring to FIG. 4, the counterbalance assembly 150 further includes a resistance member 166 that applies a force to the crank 154 to counteract the weight W of the ramp portion 104. The resistance member 166 includes a rod 156, a first end of which is attached to an end fitting 158. The end fitting 158 is rotatably coupled to the crank 154 about an axis of rotation so that the axis of rotation travels along a predetermined arcuate path when the crank 154 rotates. The second end of the rod 156 slidingly engages an end stop 160. The end stop 160 is rotatably coupled to a portion 162 of the ramp assembly 100 that maintains a fixed position relative to the neutral position of the ramp portion, i.e., to a fixed portion of the ramp assembly 100. It should be appreciated that the end stop 160 may also be rotatably coupled to some other component of the vehicle that maintains a fixed position relative to neutral position of the ramp portion. A spring 164 is disposed between the end fitting 158 and the end stop 160. In the illustrated embodiment, the spring 164 is a compression spring positioned so that the rod 156 extends through a central portion of the spring 164.
  • FIGS. 5-7 show the ramp assembly 100 as the ramp portion 104 rotates from the stowed position (FIG. 5) through a neutral position (FIG. 6) to a deployed position (FIG. 7). Referring to FIG. 5, when the ramp is in the stowed position, the weight W of the ramp portion 104, which is idealized as a point force acting at the CG, imparts a moment MW about the center of rotation of the ramp portion 104. Because the CG is located roadside of the center of rotation of the ramp portion 104, the moment MW tends to rotate the ramp portion 104 toward the stowed position, i.e., away from the neutral position. The moment MW is the product of the weight W of the ramp portion 104 multiplied by moment arm, which is the horizontal distance between (1) the center of rotation of the ramp portion and (2) the CG of the ramp portion. As the ramp portion moves from the stowed position toward the neutral position, the moment arm decreases, and thus, the moment MW tending to rotate the ramp toward the stowed position is reduced.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, when the ramp portion 104 is in the neutral position, the CG of the ramp portion 104 is directly above the center of rotation of the ramp portion so that moment arm is zero. Accordingly, the weight W of the ramp portion 104 does not impart a moment MW on the ramp portion 104 when the ramp portion is in the neutral position.
  • When the ramp portion 104 is located between the neutral position and a deployed position, the CG of the ramp portion is located curbside of the center of rotation of the ramp portion 104. Consequently, the weight W of the ramp portion 104 imparts a moment MW that tends to move the ramp portion farther away from the neutral position. As the ramp portion moves from the neutral position to a deployed position, the moment arm and, therefore, the moment increase until the ramp portion is approximately horizontal. As the ramp portion 104 continues to travel from the approximately horizontal position to its final deployed position, the moment arm, and thus the moment MW, decrease slightly.
  • As the ramp portion 104 reciprocates between the stowed position and a deployed position, the resistance member 166 applies a force F that pushes on the crank 122 to create a moment MF about the center of rotation of the ramp portion 104. The moment MF counteracts the moment MW that results from the weight W of the ramp portion 104 when the ramp portion 104 is in a position other than the neutral position.
  • Referring to FIGS. 5 and 7, when the ramp portion 104 is between the stowed position and the neutral position or between a deployed position and the neutral position, the moment MF imparted by the resistance member 166 tends to rotate the ramp portion 104 toward the neutral position. As the ramp portion 104 rotates toward the neutral position from either the stowed position or a deployed position, the line of action of the force F rotates toward the center of rotation of the output shaft 152, thereby reducing the distance between the line of action and the center of rotation of the crank 122, i.e., the moment arm of MF. Consequently, like the moment MW, the moment MF applied to the shaft 152 is reduced as the ramp portion 104 approaches the neutral position.
  • The moment MF imparted by the resistance member also varies due to changes in the magnitude of the force F provided by the spring 164. In this regard, when the end fitting 158 travels along the predetermined arcuate path in response to rotation of the crank 154, the end stop 160 pivots relative to the portion 162 of the ramp assembly 100. This motion changes the distance between the pivot point of the end stop 160 and the pivotal connection of the rod 156 to the crank 154. As shown in FIG. 6, the distance between the end fitting 158 and the end stop 160 is greatest when the ramp portion 104 is in the neutral position. As the ramp portion 104 moves from the neutral position toward the stowed position (FIG. 5) or a deployed position (FIG. 7), the distance between the end fitting 158 and the end stop 160 is reduced.
  • As the ramp portion 104 reciprocates between the stowed position and a deployed position, the spring 164 engages the end fitting 158 at one end and the end stop 160 at the opposite end. As a result, the spring 164 compresses to provide a force F that pushes on the crank 154 to create a moment MF about the output shaft 152. As the ramp portion moves away from the neutral position, the compression of the spring 164 increases. As a result, the force F applied to the crank 154 by the spring 164, and thus the moment MF, increases as the ramp portion 104 moves farther away from the neutral position.
  • When the ramp portion 104 is in the neutral position, i.e., when the weight W of the ramp portion 104 is directly above the center of rotation of the ramp portion so that that weight W does not impart a moment MW on the ramp portion 104, any force F provide by the resistance member acts through the center of rotation of the shaft 152. Accordingly, no moment MF is imparted by the resistance member 166.
  • The spring 164 is preferably sized such that as the ramp portion 104 reciprocates between the stowed position and a deployed position, compression of the spring 164 imparts a force F of a magnitude such that MF approximates MW as the ramp portion reciprocates between the stowed position and a deployed position. Minimizing the difference between MF and MW in this manner reduces the output requirement on the motor 106, allowing for a smaller, more compact motor. Manual operation effort is also reduced.
  • In the disclosed embodiment, the spring 164 engages the end fitting 158 and the end stop 160 when the ramp portion 104 is in the neutral position. In this position, the spring 164 may be partially compressed, applying a force through the center of rotation of the shaft 152. Alternately, the spring 164 may uncompressed when the ramp portion 104 is in the neutral position so that the spring 164 applies no force F to the shaft 152 in the neutral position.
  • FIGS. 8-12 show a second exemplary embodiment of a counterbalance assembly 250 suitable for use with a fold out ramp, such as the one shown in FIGS. 1-3. As shown in FIG. 8, the counterbalance assembly 250 is positioned between the motor 106 and the ramp portion 104 of the ramp assembly 100; however, it should be appreciated that the counterbalance assembly 250, like the previously described embodiment, can also be positioned on the side of the ramp assembly 100 opposite to the motor 106. Similarly, the previously disclosed counterbalance assembly can be positioned on the same side of the ramp assembly 100 as the motor 106.
  • Referring to FIG. 9, the counterbalance assembly 250 includes an output shaft 262, that rotates in a first direction when the ramp portion 104 moves toward the stowed position and in a second direction when the ramp portion 104 moves toward a deployed position. A first sprocket 264 is attached to the output shaft 262. A second shaft 266 is rotatably secured to a portion 268 of the ramp assembly 100 that maintains a fixed position relative to the neutral position of the ramp portion 104, i.e., a fixed portion of the ramp assembly. It should be appreciated that the second shaft 266 may also be rotatably secured to some other component of the vehicle that maintains a fixed position relative to the neutral position of the ramp portion 104. A second sprocket 270 is attached to the second shaft 266 and is operably coupled to the first sprocket 264 with a chain 272 so that rotation of the output shaft 262 rotates the second shaft 266. Alternate embodiments are possible wherein the sprockets and chains are replaced with belts and pulleys, gears, or other known transmission elements suitable for transferring rotational motion from a first shaft to a second shaft. Further, it should be appreciated that the use of a second shaft operably linked to the output shaft is not limited to the present embodiment, but may be used in conjunction with the previously described embodiments. In an alternate embodiment, the second shaft 266 is fixedly coupled to a portion 268 of the ramp assembly 100, and the second sprocket 270 is rotatably attached to the second shaft 266.
  • The counterbalance assembly 250 further includes a crank 274 attached to the second shaft 266 so that rotation of the second shaft rotates the crank 274. A resistance member 284 applies a force F to the crank 274. The resistance member 284 includes a rod 276 rotatably coupled at a first end to the crank 274 about an axis of rotation so that the axis of rotation travels along a predetermined arcuate path when the crank 274 rotates. The second end of the rod 276 slidingly engages an end stop 278. The end stop 278 is rotatably coupled to a portion 268 of the ramp assembly 100 that maintains a fixed location relative to the neutral position of the ramp portion 104. An end fitting 280 is attached to a portion of the rod 276 between the first end of the rod 276 and the end stop 278. The end stop 278 and the end fitting 280 cooperate to restrain a spring 282 disposed therebetween. The spring is positioned so that the rod extends through a central portion of the spring 282, and a first end of the spring 282 engages the end stop 278, while the second end of the spring 282 engages the end fitting 280.
  • When the first end of the rod 276 travels along the predetermined arcuate path in response to rotation of the crank 274, the end stop 278 pivots relative to the portion 268 of the ramp assembly 100. This action results in a change in the distance between the end stop 278 and the end fitting 280. As shown in FIG. 11, the distance between the end stop 278 and the end fitting 280 is greatest when the ramp portion 104 is in the neutral position. As the ramp portion 104 moves from the neutral position toward the stowed position (FIG. 10) or a deployed position (FIG. 12), this distance decreases.
  • As the ramp portion 104 moves from the neutral position toward the stowed position or a deployed position, the spring 282 is compressed between the end stop 278 and the end fitting 280. As a result, the spring 282 applies a force F that pushes on the crank 274 to create a moment MF about the center of rotation of the second shaft 266. The moment MF is transferred via the chain 272 to the output shaft 262, and thus, the ramp portion 104. The moment MF acts on the output shaft 262 to counteract the moment MW that results from the weight W of the ramp portion 104 when the ramp portion 104 is in a position other than the neutral position, i.e., the moment MF tends to rotate the ramp portion 104 toward the neutral position.
  • As the ramp portion 104 moves away from the neutral position, the compression of the spring 282 increases. As a result, the force F applied to the crank 274 by the spring 282, and thus the moment MF, increases as the ramp portion 104 moves away from the neutral position. In addition, as the ramp portion 104 moves away from the neutral position, the line of action of the force F rotates away from the axis of rotation of the second shaft 266. This rotation increases the moment arm, and therefore increases the moment MF imparted by the force F.
  • The spring 282 is preferably sized such that as the ramp portion 104 reciprocates between the stowed position and a deployed position, compression of the spring 282 imparts a force F of a magnitude such that MF approximates MW, thereby minimizing the difference between MF and MW. Minimizing the difference between MF and MW in this manner reduces the output requirement on the motor 106, allowing for a smaller, more compact motor. Manual operation effort is also reduced.
  • In the disclosed embodiment, the spring 282 engages the end stop 278 and the end fitting 280 when the ramp portion 104 is in the neutral position. In this position, the spring 282 may be partially compressed, applying a force through the center of rotation of the second shaft 266. This force is selectively adjustable by repositioning the end fitting 280, which is illustrated as a nut threadedly coupled to a threaded portion of the rod 276. By repositioning the nut, the distance between the end fitting 280 and the end stop 278 is controlled so that a desired preload, or no preload, on the spring 282 is achieved.
  • While illustrative embodiments have been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (9)

1. A ramp assembly, comprising:
(a) a ramp portion configured for reciprocating motion between a stowed position, a deployed position, and a neutral position; and
(b) a counterbalance associated with the ramp portion, comprising:
(i) a first shaft configured to rotate (1) in a first direction when the ramp portion moves toward the stowed position, and (2) in a second direction opposite the first direction when the ramp portion moves toward the deployed position;
(ii) a crank fixedly coupled to the shaft;
(iii) a rod rotatably coupled to the crank about a first axis of rotation, the first axis of rotation moving along an arcuate path when the ramp portion reciprocates between the stowed position and the deployed position;
(iv) an end fitting coupled to the rod;
(v) an end stop slidably coupled to the rod; and
(vi) a compression spring disposed between the end fitting and the end stop, wherein the compression spring provides a force to bias the ramp portion (1) toward the stowed position when the ramp portion is between the deployed position and the neutral position, and (2) toward the deployed position when the ramp portion is between the stowed position and the neutral position.
2. The ramp assembly of claim 1, wherein the end stop is coupled for rotational movement about a second axis of rotation, wherein the second axis of rotation has a fixed position relative to the neutral position of the ramp portion.
3. The ramp assembly of claim 1, wherein movement of the ramp portion from the neutral position toward the stowed position moves the end fitting toward the end stop to compress the compression spring, and movement of the ramp portion from the neutral position toward the deployed position moves the end fitting toward the end stop to compress the compression spring.
4. The ramp assembly of claim 1, wherein the rod extends through a central portion of the compression spring.
5. The ramp assembly of claim 1, wherein the end fitting is selectively positionable to adjust an amount of precompression in the compression spring when the ramp portion is in the neutral position.
6. The ramp assembly of claim 5, wherein the end fitting is threadedly coupled to the rod.
7. The ramp assembly of claim 1, further comprising:
(a) a second shaft configured to rotate (1) in a first direction when the ramp portion moves toward the stowed position, and (2) in a second direction opposite the first direction when the ramp portion moves toward the deployed position; and
(b) a transmission element coupling the first shaft to the second shaft so that rotation of the second shaft rotates the first shaft.
8. The ramp assembly of claim 7, wherein the transmission element comprises one of the group consisting of: a chain, a belt, and a gear.
9. The ramp assembly of claim 1, wherein the force provided by the compression spring does not bias the ramp portion when the ramp portion is in the neutral position.
US12/754,462 2009-10-16 2010-04-05 Counterbalance mechanism for fold out ramp Active US7913343B1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US25252409P true 2009-10-16 2009-10-16
US12/754,462 US7913343B1 (en) 2009-10-16 2010-04-05 Counterbalance mechanism for fold out ramp

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12/754,462 US7913343B1 (en) 2009-10-16 2010-04-05 Counterbalance mechanism for fold out ramp
CA2717974A CA2717974A1 (en) 2009-10-16 2010-10-15 Counterbalance mechanism for a fold out ramp

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
US7913343B1 US7913343B1 (en) 2011-03-29
US20110088176A1 true US20110088176A1 (en) 2011-04-21

Family

ID=43769740

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US12/754,462 Active US7913343B1 (en) 2009-10-16 2010-04-05 Counterbalance mechanism for fold out ramp

Country Status (2)

Country Link
US (1) US7913343B1 (en)
CA (1) CA2717974A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9333129B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-05-10 Valeda Company Wheelchair securement system and device for wheelchair accessible vehicles
US9597240B2 (en) 2013-05-30 2017-03-21 The Braun Corporation Vehicle accessibility system

Families Citing this family (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8166594B1 (en) * 2009-12-01 2012-05-01 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Counterbalance mechanism for fold out ramp
WO2012024664A2 (en) * 2010-08-20 2012-02-23 Ricon Corp. Energy damper-storage device for low floor vehicle access ramp
EP2755856A4 (en) * 2011-09-14 2016-03-09 Ricon Corp Regenerative braking system for a vehicle ramp
US9623783B1 (en) * 2012-10-23 2017-04-18 The Boeing Company Remotely operated storage system for deployable robots
US8578536B1 (en) 2013-03-14 2013-11-12 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan, Mfg., Inc. Counterbalance for a fold out ramp
US8739341B1 (en) * 2013-03-14 2014-06-03 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Counterbalance for a fold out ramp
US10010461B2 (en) * 2015-02-25 2018-07-03 All-Terrain Conversions, Llc Lift mechanism for wheelchairs in vehicles
US9708815B1 (en) 2017-02-03 2017-07-18 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Operable ramp
US9963883B1 (en) 2017-02-03 2018-05-08 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Operable ramp

Citations (55)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2547532A (en) * 1949-06-17 1951-04-03 Burton Mfg Company Jointed bracket
US4081091A (en) * 1975-08-20 1978-03-28 Transportation Design & Technology, Inc. Wheelchair lift
US4274172A (en) * 1978-03-29 1981-06-23 Ratcliff Tail Lifts Limited Ramps
US4365374A (en) * 1980-08-04 1982-12-28 Kelley Company Inc. Hydraulically operated dockboard
US4499970A (en) * 1982-06-25 1985-02-19 Environmental Equipment Corporation Wayside wheelchair lift
US4503722A (en) * 1980-02-19 1985-03-12 Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki Seisakusho Arm operating device in automatic operating machine
US4525887A (en) * 1983-07-05 1985-07-02 Kelley Company, Inc. Counterbalancing mechanism for the ramp of a dockboard
US4550623A (en) * 1983-10-24 1985-11-05 Hewlett Packard Company Motorized cable mechanism for positioning tractors in a printer
US4571775A (en) * 1983-03-21 1986-02-25 Airpot Corporation Counterbalance device and torsion member usable therein
US4621391A (en) * 1985-01-30 1986-11-11 Airpot Corporation Torsion spring mounting structure for ensuring proper torsion spring orientation
US4627784A (en) * 1986-01-21 1986-12-09 Venco Manufacturing, Inc. Loading and unloading apparatus for a vehicle
US4657233A (en) * 1985-04-19 1987-04-14 Vroom James W Assist apparatus for ramps
US4665579A (en) * 1985-10-28 1987-05-19 Kelley Company Inc. Counterbalancing mechanism for an edge-of-dock dockboard
US4691956A (en) * 1985-08-12 1987-09-08 Cook's Truck Body Mfg., Inc. Counterbalanced tailgate for dump boxes
US4797042A (en) * 1985-08-01 1989-01-10 Mcfarland Robert E Wheelchair loading apparatus
US4836736A (en) * 1987-06-09 1989-06-06 Maxon Industries, Inc. Level ride liftgate with ramping action platform
US4873791A (en) * 1988-10-27 1989-10-17 The Bilco Company Torque rod operated counterbalancing hinge and door assembly
US4907936A (en) * 1988-08-18 1990-03-13 Joyride Company Wheelchair lift for vehicles
US4950124A (en) * 1988-07-13 1990-08-21 Alois Kuhbeck GmbH Truck and/or trailer with a closed box body
US5040936A (en) * 1990-02-21 1991-08-20 Mobile-Tech Corporation Barrier for lift platform
US5085555A (en) * 1988-11-23 1992-02-04 Roger Vartanian Spring biased vehicle access ramp
US5111912A (en) * 1990-12-17 1992-05-12 Hogan Mfg., Inc. Spring-loaded drive assembly for a wheelchair lift
US5145310A (en) * 1991-05-06 1992-09-08 Calzone Ronald J Reverse spring assist for trailer ramps
US5224722A (en) * 1990-12-17 1993-07-06 Hogan Mfg., Inc. Leaf chain drive assembly
US5253410A (en) * 1991-04-08 1993-10-19 Magline, Inc. Retractable underbody truck ramp and method of making
US5306113A (en) * 1991-09-09 1994-04-26 Mann Fred W Fold out ramp system
US5316432A (en) * 1992-12-07 1994-05-31 Reb Manufacturing Co., Inc. Wheelchair lifts with automatic barrier
US5358301A (en) * 1993-11-22 1994-10-25 General Motors Corporation Counterbalance mechanism for a removable tailgate
US5375962A (en) * 1992-05-15 1994-12-27 Hogan Mfg., Inc. Enclosed passenger lift suitable for use in a vehicle having a fixed passenger access step
US5391041A (en) * 1993-01-06 1995-02-21 New Flyer Industries Limited Hydraulically operated bus ramp mechanism
US5392481A (en) * 1991-07-11 1995-02-28 Kelley Company, Inc. Return-to-dock-level mechanism for a dockboard having a hydraulic holddown
US5449267A (en) * 1994-05-16 1995-09-12 Maxon Industries, Inc. Liftgate platform with latchable retention ramp
US5865593A (en) * 1996-12-31 1999-02-02 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Wheelchair lift with wheelchair barrier platform interlock mechanism
US5871329A (en) * 1997-05-21 1999-02-16 U.S. Vantage Company Llc Powered wheelchair ramp for minivans
US5988724A (en) * 1997-08-15 1999-11-23 Wolda; Tiete O. Tailgate hinge mechanism
US6010298A (en) * 1998-04-15 2000-01-04 Lift-U Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Low floor vehicle ramp assembly
US6112353A (en) * 1998-02-05 2000-09-05 Overhead Door Corporation Dock leveler lip actuating mechanism
US6125491A (en) * 1998-09-21 2000-10-03 United Dominion Industries, Inc. Counterbalance for mechanical dock leveler
US6196609B1 (en) * 1999-10-06 2001-03-06 Jerald A. Bowers Tailgate lowering mechanism
US20020197141A1 (en) * 2001-04-17 2002-12-26 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Vehicle fold-out ramp
US6602041B2 (en) * 1999-12-20 2003-08-05 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Vehicle flip-out ramp
US6698998B2 (en) * 2002-05-08 2004-03-02 Ricon Corp. Foldable ramp
US6718886B2 (en) * 1998-02-23 2004-04-13 Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation Ramp car
US20040136820A1 (en) * 2003-01-09 2004-07-15 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg, Inc. Fld-out ramp having a load dampener
US6769149B2 (en) * 2002-08-29 2004-08-03 United Dominion Industries, Inc. Multi-position releasable lip latch for a dock leveler
US6964445B1 (en) * 2005-05-23 2005-11-15 Bellis Jr William B Tail gate assist
US6988289B2 (en) * 2001-12-21 2006-01-24 Pentalift Equipment Corporation Dock levelers
US7029050B1 (en) * 2005-08-31 2006-04-18 Glenn Johnson Tailgate door assist
US7156441B2 (en) * 2003-03-12 2007-01-02 M & C Corporation Tailgate counterbalancing hinge
US7228582B1 (en) * 2004-06-17 2007-06-12 Pro-Ramp Electric, Llc Extendable ramp for boats and vehicles
US7264433B2 (en) * 2001-01-26 2007-09-04 The Braun Corporation Drive mechanism for a vehicle access system
US20080006105A1 (en) * 2006-07-05 2008-01-10 Chen-Hui Ko Transmission mechanism with the function of the shock absorption
US7353558B2 (en) * 2003-05-27 2008-04-08 4Front Engineered Solutions, Inc. Vertically-storing dock leveler apparatus and method
US20080273956A1 (en) * 2007-05-04 2008-11-06 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Counterbalance assembly for a fold out ramp
US7500818B1 (en) * 2003-12-04 2009-03-10 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Passenger lift with passenger sensitive moveable barrier

Family Cites Families (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB585917A (en) 1943-04-13 1947-02-28 William David Chaplin Spring mechanism for vehicle ramps
GB2116940B (en) 1982-03-16 1986-01-15 Charles Neill Collapsible ramp
GB2274092B (en) 1992-11-27 1997-03-05 London Underground Ltd Improvements in or relating to doors
JPH07108867A (en) 1993-10-15 1995-04-25 Wako Kogyo Kk Sloping plate unit for getting into and off vehicle
DE4413444A1 (en) 1994-04-18 1995-10-19 Robert Derwart Loading ramp for vehicle
GB2306152B (en) 1995-10-10 1999-06-09 Deans Powered Doors Ltd Ramp assembly
DE29707803U1 (en) 1997-04-30 1997-09-18 Maier Gmbh Peter Bridge element as loading platform, bridge plate or the like.
JP2001239888A (en) 1999-12-24 2001-09-04 Fuji Heavy Ind Ltd Wheelchair loading-unloading device for bus
US6126223A (en) 1999-12-28 2000-10-03 Backsaver Incorporated Tailgate lift assembly
GB0024215D0 (en) 2000-10-03 2000-11-15 Percy Lane Products Ltd Wheelchair access ramp for a vehicle
DE102004048761A1 (en) 2004-10-05 2006-04-06 Mbb Liftsystems Ag Platform folding method for use in e.g. bus, involves bringing platform from non-usage position into flat, horizontal or easily bending usage position or vice versa by swiveling around vertical axis and afterwards around horizontal axis
ITPA20060016A1 (en) 2006-04-13 2007-10-14 Cambiocasa S R L Flatbed with ramp for small and medium-sized lorries for loading and unloading of materials or for overcoming architectural barriers.
JP2008230270A (en) 2007-03-16 2008-10-02 Autech Japan Inc Slope opening and closing assisting device

Patent Citations (62)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2547532A (en) * 1949-06-17 1951-04-03 Burton Mfg Company Jointed bracket
US4081091A (en) * 1975-08-20 1978-03-28 Transportation Design & Technology, Inc. Wheelchair lift
US4274172A (en) * 1978-03-29 1981-06-23 Ratcliff Tail Lifts Limited Ramps
US4503722A (en) * 1980-02-19 1985-03-12 Kabushiki Kaisha Yaskawa Denki Seisakusho Arm operating device in automatic operating machine
US4365374A (en) * 1980-08-04 1982-12-28 Kelley Company Inc. Hydraulically operated dockboard
US4499970A (en) * 1982-06-25 1985-02-19 Environmental Equipment Corporation Wayside wheelchair lift
US4571775A (en) * 1983-03-21 1986-02-25 Airpot Corporation Counterbalance device and torsion member usable therein
US4525887A (en) * 1983-07-05 1985-07-02 Kelley Company, Inc. Counterbalancing mechanism for the ramp of a dockboard
US4550623A (en) * 1983-10-24 1985-11-05 Hewlett Packard Company Motorized cable mechanism for positioning tractors in a printer
US4621391A (en) * 1985-01-30 1986-11-11 Airpot Corporation Torsion spring mounting structure for ensuring proper torsion spring orientation
US4657233A (en) * 1985-04-19 1987-04-14 Vroom James W Assist apparatus for ramps
US4797042A (en) * 1985-08-01 1989-01-10 Mcfarland Robert E Wheelchair loading apparatus
US4691956A (en) * 1985-08-12 1987-09-08 Cook's Truck Body Mfg., Inc. Counterbalanced tailgate for dump boxes
US4665579A (en) * 1985-10-28 1987-05-19 Kelley Company Inc. Counterbalancing mechanism for an edge-of-dock dockboard
US4627784A (en) * 1986-01-21 1986-12-09 Venco Manufacturing, Inc. Loading and unloading apparatus for a vehicle
US4836736A (en) * 1987-06-09 1989-06-06 Maxon Industries, Inc. Level ride liftgate with ramping action platform
US4950124A (en) * 1988-07-13 1990-08-21 Alois Kuhbeck GmbH Truck and/or trailer with a closed box body
US4907936A (en) * 1988-08-18 1990-03-13 Joyride Company Wheelchair lift for vehicles
US4873791A (en) * 1988-10-27 1989-10-17 The Bilco Company Torque rod operated counterbalancing hinge and door assembly
US5085555A (en) * 1988-11-23 1992-02-04 Roger Vartanian Spring biased vehicle access ramp
US5040936A (en) * 1990-02-21 1991-08-20 Mobile-Tech Corporation Barrier for lift platform
US5111912A (en) * 1990-12-17 1992-05-12 Hogan Mfg., Inc. Spring-loaded drive assembly for a wheelchair lift
US5224722A (en) * 1990-12-17 1993-07-06 Hogan Mfg., Inc. Leaf chain drive assembly
US5253410A (en) * 1991-04-08 1993-10-19 Magline, Inc. Retractable underbody truck ramp and method of making
US5145310A (en) * 1991-05-06 1992-09-08 Calzone Ronald J Reverse spring assist for trailer ramps
US5392481A (en) * 1991-07-11 1995-02-28 Kelley Company, Inc. Return-to-dock-level mechanism for a dockboard having a hydraulic holddown
US5306113A (en) * 1991-09-09 1994-04-26 Mann Fred W Fold out ramp system
US5375962A (en) * 1992-05-15 1994-12-27 Hogan Mfg., Inc. Enclosed passenger lift suitable for use in a vehicle having a fixed passenger access step
US5316432A (en) * 1992-12-07 1994-05-31 Reb Manufacturing Co., Inc. Wheelchair lifts with automatic barrier
US5391041A (en) * 1993-01-06 1995-02-21 New Flyer Industries Limited Hydraulically operated bus ramp mechanism
US5358301A (en) * 1993-11-22 1994-10-25 General Motors Corporation Counterbalance mechanism for a removable tailgate
US5449267A (en) * 1994-05-16 1995-09-12 Maxon Industries, Inc. Liftgate platform with latchable retention ramp
US5865593A (en) * 1996-12-31 1999-02-02 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Wheelchair lift with wheelchair barrier platform interlock mechanism
US5871329A (en) * 1997-05-21 1999-02-16 U.S. Vantage Company Llc Powered wheelchair ramp for minivans
US5988724A (en) * 1997-08-15 1999-11-23 Wolda; Tiete O. Tailgate hinge mechanism
US6112353A (en) * 1998-02-05 2000-09-05 Overhead Door Corporation Dock leveler lip actuating mechanism
US6718886B2 (en) * 1998-02-23 2004-04-13 Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation Ramp car
US6010298A (en) * 1998-04-15 2000-01-04 Lift-U Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Low floor vehicle ramp assembly
US6203265B1 (en) * 1998-04-15 2001-03-20 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Ramp assembly with lifting levers
US6210098B1 (en) * 1998-04-15 2001-04-03 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Low floor vehicle ramp assembly
US6238168B1 (en) * 1998-04-15 2001-05-29 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg. Ramp assembly with locking mechanisms
US6409458B1 (en) * 1998-04-15 2002-06-25 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Low floor vehicle ramp assembly
US6125491A (en) * 1998-09-21 2000-10-03 United Dominion Industries, Inc. Counterbalance for mechanical dock leveler
US6196609B1 (en) * 1999-10-06 2001-03-06 Jerald A. Bowers Tailgate lowering mechanism
US6602041B2 (en) * 1999-12-20 2003-08-05 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Vehicle flip-out ramp
US20040096304A1 (en) * 1999-12-20 2004-05-20 Cleatus Lewis Vehicle flip-out ramp
US7264433B2 (en) * 2001-01-26 2007-09-04 The Braun Corporation Drive mechanism for a vehicle access system
US20020197141A1 (en) * 2001-04-17 2002-12-26 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Vehicle fold-out ramp
US6843635B2 (en) * 2001-04-17 2005-01-18 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Vehicle fold-out ramp
US6988289B2 (en) * 2001-12-21 2006-01-24 Pentalift Equipment Corporation Dock levelers
US6698998B2 (en) * 2002-05-08 2004-03-02 Ricon Corp. Foldable ramp
US6769149B2 (en) * 2002-08-29 2004-08-03 United Dominion Industries, Inc. Multi-position releasable lip latch for a dock leveler
US20040136820A1 (en) * 2003-01-09 2004-07-15 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg, Inc. Fld-out ramp having a load dampener
US7156441B2 (en) * 2003-03-12 2007-01-02 M & C Corporation Tailgate counterbalancing hinge
US7353558B2 (en) * 2003-05-27 2008-04-08 4Front Engineered Solutions, Inc. Vertically-storing dock leveler apparatus and method
US7500818B1 (en) * 2003-12-04 2009-03-10 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Passenger lift with passenger sensitive moveable barrier
US7228582B1 (en) * 2004-06-17 2007-06-12 Pro-Ramp Electric, Llc Extendable ramp for boats and vehicles
US6964445B1 (en) * 2005-05-23 2005-11-15 Bellis Jr William B Tail gate assist
US7029050B1 (en) * 2005-08-31 2006-04-18 Glenn Johnson Tailgate door assist
US20080006105A1 (en) * 2006-07-05 2008-01-10 Chen-Hui Ko Transmission mechanism with the function of the shock absorption
US20080273956A1 (en) * 2007-05-04 2008-11-06 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Counterbalance assembly for a fold out ramp
US20080271268A1 (en) * 2007-05-04 2008-11-06 Lift-U, Division Of Hogan Mfg., Inc. Articulating close out assembly for a fold out ramp

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9333129B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-05-10 Valeda Company Wheelchair securement system and device for wheelchair accessible vehicles
US9597240B2 (en) 2013-05-30 2017-03-21 The Braun Corporation Vehicle accessibility system

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
US7913343B1 (en) 2011-03-29
CA2717974A1 (en) 2011-04-16

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US5507562A (en) Extensible foot rest
AU749777B2 (en) Motorized operator for doors
US6568454B1 (en) Overhead door locking operator
US6186733B1 (en) Low floor vehicle ramp assembly
US5915774A (en) Self-aligning system to adjust occupancy space in a vehicle
US7367574B2 (en) Drive systems for retractable vehicle step
USRE36267E (en) Vehicle body with powered lift type tailgate
US4027807A (en) Wheelchair lift
EP0695842A1 (en) Pneumatic telescoping mast
US6343908B1 (en) Passenger entrance ramp for mass transit vehicle
US6739372B2 (en) Overhead door locking operator
US4155468A (en) Vehicle mounted access ramp assembly for wheel chair users
US6273172B1 (en) Motor operated awning
US6598253B1 (en) Extendable ramp assembly for detecting an obstruction and responding thereto
US5567107A (en) Extravehicular apparatus for loading and securing cargo
US6026536A (en) Range limiting dual direction slip clutch
US7150483B2 (en) Flush floor slide-out mechanisms and systems
US7413395B2 (en) Wheelchair access system with stacking platform
US5871329A (en) Powered wheelchair ramp for minivans
US5391041A (en) Hydraulically operated bus ramp mechanism
CA2375389C (en) Modular extending mirror
US6435804B1 (en) Lifting apparatus
US5676515A (en) Low floor vehicle ramp
US4275664A (en) Step-platform operation
CA2238849C (en) Recliner apparatus

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: LIFT-U, A DIVISION OF HOGAN MFG., INC., CALIFORNIA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:COHN, ALAN;REEL/FRAME:024189/0006

Effective date: 20091001

STCF Information on status: patent grant

Free format text: PATENTED CASE

FPAY Fee payment

Year of fee payment: 4

MAFP Maintenance fee payment

Free format text: PAYMENT OF MAINTENANCE FEE, 8TH YR, SMALL ENTITY (ORIGINAL EVENT CODE: M2552); ENTITY STATUS OF PATENT OWNER: SMALL ENTITY

Year of fee payment: 8