Patents Examined by Thomas Giampaolo, II
  • Patent number: 9977361
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image bearer, a charging, a charge power supply to supply a charging bias to the charging device, a developing device, a toner adhesion amount detector, an environment detector, and a controller to determine whether to execute a charging bias adjustment process in which the charging device charges the image bearer to have different potentials, the developing device supplies the toner to the image bearer according to the different potentials, the toner adhesion amount detector detects the amount of toner adhering to the image bearer, and the controller adjusts the charging. The controller includes a memory device to store the environment data, and is configured to compare the environment data with previous environment data stored in the memory device, and determine not to execute the charging bias adjustment process when an environment change amount is not greater than a threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hideaki Kanaya, Taichi Urayama, Ryusuke Mase, Hiroki Ishii, Hiroyuki Sugiyama, Saki Izumi, Yuushi Hirayama
  • Patent number: 9977378
    Abstract: A heating device including a heating member, a heat source, multiple non-contact temperature detectors, a contact temperature detector, a heat source drive controller, and a temperature detection abnormality detector is provided. The heating member contacts a heating target being conveyed. The heat source supplies heat to the heating member. Each of the non-contact temperature detectors detects a first temperature of the heating member without contacting the heating member. The contact temperature detector detects a second temperature of the heating member by contact with the heating member. The heat source drive controller controls drive of the heat source based on the first temperatures. The temperature detection abnormality detector performs a determination on whether each one of the non-contact temperature detectors has an abnormality or not while the heating target is not conveyed, by comparing the first temperature and the second temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kohji Kuwana, Takahiro Inoue
  • Patent number: 9977377
    Abstract: An embodiment provides an image forming apparatus that has a first operation mode and a second operation mode. The first operation mode forms an image on a sheet with toner. The second operation mode decolorizes the toner on the sheet on which the image is formed with a decolorable toner having a decoloring function. In the first operation mode, when the sheet passes through a transfer unit, a transfer bias having the same polarity as that of a charge of the toner is applied to the transfer member and a toner image formed on a surface of the transfer member is transferred to the sheet. In the second operation mode, when the sheet passes through the transfer unit, a cleaning bias having a reverse polarity to that of the transfer bias is applied to the transfer member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Assignees: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA, TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Koji Takahashi
  • Patent number: 9971300
    Abstract: A cartridge detachably attachable to a main body of an image forming apparatus is provided. The cartridge includes a rotary member and a cartridge coupler. The cartridge coupler includes a transmission member coupled to a rotation axis of the rotary member, a receiving member connected to a set coupler provided in the main body for transmission of power, and a connection member connecting the transmission member and the receiving member together. The receiving member has an Oldham structure allowing movement relative to the transmission member in an axial direction. The receiving member is movable to a first position at which a rotation axis of the receiving member is misaligned with a rotation axis of the transmission member in an attachment or detachment direction, and to a second position at which the rotation axis of the receiving member is aligned with the rotation axis of the transmission member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: S-PRINTING SOLUTION CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Ji-won Moon, Joon-hee Kim, Sang-hoon Lee
  • Patent number: 9964898
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus including a cleaning unit removably mountable to an apparatus main body under a state of being supported by a transfer unit, and movable with respect to the transfer unit in a longitudinal direction of a cleaning member under a state of not being mounted to the apparatus main body. The apparatus main body includes a frame unit portion configured to position a cartridge with respect to the apparatus main body in an axial direction of a photosensitive drum. The frame unit portion is configured to position the cleaning member with respect to the apparatus main body in the longitudinal direction under a state in which the transfer unit is mounted to the apparatus main body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2018
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takateru Ohkubo
  • Patent number: 9964920
    Abstract: A process cartridge, including a process cartridge housing, a photosensitive drum driving component, a driving force receiver, a flange component and a control mechanism. Opening parts are arranged on the driving force receiver and a retaining component is arranged on the process cartridge. When the control mechanism controls the driving force receiver to retract, the retaining component keeps the driving force receiver at a position non-interferential with a driving head of an image forming device. The driving force receiver and the flange component of the process cartridge are disengaged in a retracting state. In this state, the driving force receiving protrusion do not interfere with the front end column body of a machine driving head, and the process cartridge can be mounted and dismounted more smoothly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2018
    Inventors: Mei Yan, Liangliang Hu, Mingsheng Zhao
  • Patent number: 9964892
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus of the present disclosure includes a developing device and a toner storage container. The toner storage container is detachable and attachable with respect to an apparatus main body. The toner storage container includes a supply screw which conveys toner by rotating forward, and a first engagement unit coupled via a gear train to a rotation shaft of the supply screw. The apparatus main body includes a second engagement unit which engages with the first engagement unit to restrain detachment/attachment of the toner storage container by engaging with the first engagement unit. In a case where an amount of toner in the toner storage unit has become equal to or less than a predetermined amount, a control unit makes the supply screw rotate backward to thereby release engagement between the first and second engagement units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2018
    Assignee: KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Naoki Mizutani
  • Patent number: 9952537
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus that transfers a toner image to a medium being conveyed includes: an image carrier configured to carry the toner image; a transfer member configured to apply, to the medium being conveyed, a first AC voltage which is opposite in polarity to the toner image and on which a DC component and an AC component are superimposed, and transfer the toner image to the medium; a charge removing member configured to apply, to the medium being conveyed, a second AC voltage which is opposite in polarity to the first AC voltage and on which a DC component and an AC component are superimposed after the first AC voltage is applied to the medium; and a control unit configured to change a frequency of the second AC voltage when a distance between the medium being conveyed and the charge removing member becomes shorter than a predetermined distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventor: Toshiaki Hiroi
  • Patent number: 9939768
    Abstract: A printing apparatus that sets a setting value to be used as a threshold value for notifying the user of a decreased amount of recording material, the setting value being one of a first setting indicating that a threshold value set by a user is to be used or a second setting indicating that the user-set threshold value is not to be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Takashi Osuki
  • Patent number: 9933748
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes one or plural forming devices that form respective images on a recording medium that is being transported, a fixing device provided on a downstream side with respect to at least one of the forming devices in a direction of transport of the recording medium and that fixes the images formed on the recording medium, a delivering device that receives the recording medium transported in a first direction and discharges the recording medium in a second direction that is different from the first direction, and a supplying device that supplies the recording medium to any of the forming devices or to the delivering device. The forming devices, the fixing device, the delivering device, and the supplying device have respective housings and are each joinable to any of the other devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: FUJI XEROX CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Mikio Yamaguchi, Yukihiro Ichiki, Akira Arai, Sho Watanabe
  • Patent number: 9927742
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus including: a toner image forming unit forming a toner image on an intermediate transfer member; a transfer member transferring the toner image on the intermediate transfer member to a recording material in a transfer portion; a driving source applying driving force to the transfer member independently of an intermediate transfer member driving source; an execution unit correcting image misalignment on the basis of a detection result of a test toner image on the intermediate transfer member when no toner image exists in the transfer portion; a container storing the recording material; and an input unit associating the container with a group related to basic weight and surface properties of the recording material. The apparatus includes a driving unit driving the driving source at a speed corresponding to the group if the recording material stored in the container associated with the group is used for image formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kenichi Hirota
  • Patent number: 9927745
    Abstract: An image heating device includes a heater having a substrate, a first heat generating block which is formed on the substrate and generates heat by supplied power, and a second heat generating block which is arranged at a position different from a position at which the first heat generating block is arranged in a longitudinal direction of the substrate. The device also includes a temperature detecting element and a controller to which a signal from the temperature detecting element is input. The controller controls a ratio of power supplied to the first heat generating block to power supplied to the second heat generating block to thereby switch heat generation distribution of the heater, and the temperature detecting element is arranged so as to extend across both of the first heat generating block and the second heat generating block.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Shotaro Yoshimura
  • Patent number: 9921524
    Abstract: An image formation apparatus comprising: a belt member suspended by a plurality of supporting rotating bodies and thus rotating; a cleaning member removing toner adhering to the belt member; a tray receiving waste toner removed from the belt member by the cleaning member; a vibration mechanism vibrating the tray to move the waste toner toward a lower side of the tray; a steering control mechanism to perform movement control to move the belt member in an axial direction of the supporting rotating bodies while the belt member rotates; and a vibration adjustment mechanism to change a manner of vibration of the vibration mechanism, based on the movement control by the steering control mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventors: Satoru Sasaki, Yumiko Izumiya, Hidenori Mine, Takumi Shirakuma, Kosuke Sasaki
  • Patent number: 9915914
    Abstract: A drum unit of an image forming apparatus including a flange that is integrally provided with the photoconductor drum. A frame rotatably supports the photoconductor drum and covers its side. A gear portion is integrally formed with an outer circumferential surface of the flange. An outer diameter of the gear portion is larger than a diameter size of the photoconductor drum. A guide member is provided on an upper surface of the frame and guides the edge portion upward when the drum unit is pulled out of the apparatus main body. An upper surface of the guide member includes first and second guide surfaces. The first guide surface is located more on a side of a center of the photoconductor drum than the edge position, and the second guide surface is located more on the side of the insertion direction than the edge position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Hiroyoshi Omura
  • Patent number: 9910406
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus is provided with an image holder that holds an electrostatic latent image, a developing unit that develops the electrostatic latent image of the image holder, a biasing unit that biases the developing unit toward the image holder; and a holding member that holds the biasing unit and is disposed so that a part which is opposite to a biasing direction of the biasing unit is in contact with an image forming apparatus main body directly or via another member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: FUJI XEROX CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kiyohito Horii, Atsushi Funada
  • Patent number: 9910407
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image forming portion; a discharge portion configured to discharge a recording material on which an image is formed by the image forming portion, wherein a delivery conveyance portion having a power source circuit is mountable in a space adjacent to the image forming portion and configured to convey the recording material to a post-processing apparatus; a detection unit configured to detect a temperature; a cooling unit configured to cool the image forming portion; and a control unit configured to control, in a case where the delivery conveyance portion is mounted, rotation of the cooling unit based on the temperature detected by the detection unit in a standby state in which an image forming operation is not performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Toshifumi Kakutani, Takayuki Iikura, Shuji Obata, Mitsuhiro Sugeta, Kazunori Miyake, Yousuke Hata, Shinya Suzuki, Hirohisa Nakajima, Manabu Koseki, Takeyuki Suda, Toshiyuki Abe, Kazumi Sato
  • Patent number: 9910381
    Abstract: An image-forming apparatus includes a first photosensitive member, a second photosensitive member, an exposure unit, a first developing unit and a second developing unit. The first developing unit includes a first developing roller, a first casing and a first thickness-regulating blade having a first base end and a first free end. The second developing unit includes a second developing roller, a second casing and a second thickness-regulating blade having a second base end and a second free end. The first thickness-regulating blade is disposed between the first developing roller and the exposure unit, or between the first developing roller and a first optical axis of the light to which the first photosensitive member is exposed. The first thickness-regulating blade extends from the first base end to the first free end in a following direction with respect to a moving direction of a peripheral surface of the first developing roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Ryuya Yamazaki, Naoya Kamimura
  • Patent number: 9910383
    Abstract: A powder container for an image forming apparatus includes: a rotatable powder storage storing powder; an opening on one end of the powder storage, through which a nozzle can be inserted; and a scooping portion to scoop up powder on an opening side, and supply the powder to a powder receiving hole of the nozzle when the powder storage rotates. The scooping portion includes a scooping surface extending inwardly from an inner wall surface of the powder storage and an inner end portion extending in a rotation axis direction of the powder storage, with an edge approximately parallel to the rotation axis. In a cross-section perpendicular to the rotation axis, the scooping surface is inclined toward an upstream side in a rotation direction of the powder storage with respect to a virtual line that passes through the rotation axis and is tangent to the edge of the inner end portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LIMITED
    Inventors: Shingo Kuboki, Jun Shiori, Hideo Yoshizawa, Natsumi Matsue, Daisuke Hamada
  • Patent number: 9904207
    Abstract: An image formation apparatus includes a toner bottle, a sub hopper configured to temporarily store toner supplied from the toner bottle, a development apparatus configured to receive supply of the toner from the sub hopper, a first detector configured to detect a remaining amount of toner in the toner bottle, a second detector configured to detect an empty space for toner in the sub hopper, and a controller configured to have the toner supplied from the toner bottle to the sub hopper each time the empty space in the sub hopper exceeds a threshold value Th1. When the remaining amount of toner in the toner bottle is smaller than a threshold value ThA, the controller lowers the threshold value Th1 to a threshold value Th2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventor: Daisuke Arai
  • Patent number: 9904200
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image-bearing member, which is charged by a charge voltage in which direct and alternating-current voltages are superposed on each other. A toner image is formed on the charged image-bearing member. A current flowing through the charging member is detected when the charge voltage is applied to the charging member. A current, in a frequency band including a discharge current component, is extracted from the detected current. The alternating-current voltage is adjusted based on the current extracted by an extraction unit. Environmental information is acquired. Based on the environmental information acquired by an acquisition unit, a frequency band for extraction performed by the extraction unit is set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroyuki Kidaka