Patents by Inventor Ippei Fujimoto

Ippei Fujimoto has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10962908
    Abstract: A heating device includes a first rotator, a heater, a second rotator to contact an outer surface of the first rotator, a nip formation pad inside a loop of the first rotator to form a nip, a thermal equalizer to cover a surface of the nip formation pad opposite the first rotator and transport heat in an axial direction of the first rotator, and a lubricant disposed between the thermal equalizer and the first rotator. The thermal equalizer has a plurality of concave portions on a surface opposite the inner surface of the first rotator. The concave portion has a shape substantially symmetrical with respect to a first center line extending in a longitudinal direction of the thermal equalizer and a second center line in a cross section of the concave portion viewed from a direction perpendicular to a direction of movement of the first rotator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Ippei Fujimoto
  • Patent number: 10942475
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that rotates and includes an inner face. A pressure rotator is disposed opposite the fixing rotator and rotates. A nip former sandwiches the fixing rotator together with the pressure rotator to form a nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The nip former includes an outer face disposed opposite the inner face of the fixing rotator. The inner face of the fixing rotator and the outer face of the nip former sandwich a lubricant. At least one of the inner face of the fixing rotator and the outer face of the nip former includes a projection having a volume smaller than 0.3 ml/m2 and a recess having a spatial volume greater than 0.08 ml/m2. The volume and the spatial volume are three-dimensional surface roughness parameters, respectively, defined by the International Organization for Standardization 25178 standard in an initial state before the fixing rotator rotates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei Fujimoto, Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Takashi Seto, Hiroyuki Shimada
  • Publication number: 20200409292
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that rotates and includes an inner face. A pressure rotator is disposed opposite the fixing rotator and rotates. A nip former sandwiches the fixing rotator together with the pressure rotator to form a nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The nip former includes an outer face disposed opposite the inner face of the fixing rotator. The inner face of the fixing rotator and the outer face of the nip former sandwich a lubricant. At least one of the inner face of the fixing rotator and the outer face of the nip former includes a projection having a volume smaller than 0.3 ml/m2 and a recess having a spatial volume greater than 0.08 ml/m2. The volume and the spatial volume are three-dimensional surface roughness parameters, respectively, defined by the International Organization for Standardization 25178 standard in an initial state before the fixing rotator rotates.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 28, 2020
    Publication date: December 31, 2020
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei FUJIMOTO, Yoshiki YAMAGUCHI, Takashi SETO, Hiroyuki SHIMADA
  • Patent number: 10782637
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator, a pressure rotator, a heat source, a nip formation pad, and a support. The nip formation pad presses against the pressure rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The support supports the nip formation pad toward the fixing nip. A longitudinal end portion of the pressure rotator has an outer diameter greater than that of a longitudinal center portion of the pressure rotator. The pressure rotator includes a grip that contacts the nip formation pad via the fixing rotator outside a recording medium with a maximum width conveyable passing through the fixing nip and applies a frictional force to the fixing rotator. The nip formation pad includes a nip face having an inflection point from which a longitudinal direction of the nip face is curved toward the support within an area opposite the grip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei Fujimoto, Yoshiki Yamaguchi
  • Publication number: 20200292974
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator, a pressure rotator, a heat source, a nip formation pad, and a support. The nip formation pad presses against the pressure rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The support supports the nip formation pad toward the fixing nip. A longitudinal end portion of the pressure rotator has an outer diameter greater than that of a longitudinal center portion of the pressure rotator. The pressure rotator includes a grip that contacts the nip formation pad via the fixing rotator outside a recording medium with a maximum width conveyable passing through the fixing nip and applies a frictional force to the fixing rotator. The nip formation pad includes a nip face having an inflection point from which a longitudinal direction of the nip face is curved toward the support within an area opposite the grip.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 27, 2020
    Publication date: September 17, 2020
    Inventors: Ippei FUJIMOTO, Yoshiki Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 10691049
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator and a pressure rotator that is disposed opposite the fixing rotator. A nip former is disposed inside a loop formed by the fixing rotator and disposed opposite the pressure rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The fixing rotator slides over the nip former. A flange supports the fixing rotator at both lateral ends of the fixing rotator in a longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator. The nip former includes a base and a thermal conductor that has a thermal conductivity greater than a thermal conductivity of the base. The base is greater than the thermal conductor in the longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator. The base includes a groove that is disposed outboard at least from the thermal conductor in the longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Ippei Fujimoto, Hiroyuki Shimada, Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki
  • Patent number: 10571837
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that is flexible, endless, and rotatable. A heater heats the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator is disposed opposite the fixing rotator. A nip former defines a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. A support supports the nip former. The nip former includes a back face that contacts the support and has a nonlinear shape in a longitudinal direction of the nip former.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Ippei Fujimoto, Hiroyuki Shimada, Takayuki Seki, Takashi Seto, Yoshiyuki Fukuda, Hiroshi Yoshinaga
  • Publication number: 20200033777
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator and a pressure rotator that is disposed opposite the fixing rotator. A nip former is disposed inside a loop formed by the fixing rotator and disposed opposite the pressure rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The fixing rotator slides over the nip former. A flange supports the fixing rotator at both lateral ends of the fixing rotator in a longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator. The nip former includes a base and a thermal conductor that has a thermal conductivity greater than a thermal conductivity of the base. The base is greater than the thermal conductor in the longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator. The base includes a groove that is disposed outboard at least from the thermal conductor in the longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 22, 2019
    Publication date: January 30, 2020
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei FUJIMOTO, Hiroyuki SHIMADA, Yoshiki YAMAGUCHI, Takashi SETO, Takayuki SEKI
  • Patent number: 10488798
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless fixing rotator, a heater, a nip formation assembly, and an opposed rotator. The endless fixing rotator is rotatable in a direction of rotation. The heater heats the fixing rotator. The nip formation assembly is disposed opposite an inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. The opposed rotator is pressed against the nip formation assembly via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the opposed rotator. The nip formation assembly includes a nip former to contact the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator, maintain a constant thickness against pressure from the opposed rotator, and transfer heat. The opposed rotator is shorter than the nip former in a longitudinal direction of the opposed rotator. The opposed rotator is disposed within an area opposite the nip former.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Ippei Fujimoto, Kenji Ishii, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Patent number: 10331062
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a fixing device that includes a heater to heat a fixing rotator, an opposed rotator to press against the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip therebetween, and at least one rotary body to convey a recording medium to the fixing nip. A controller rotates the fixing rotator in a forward direction to fix a toner image on the recording medium. The controller stops the heater and rotates the fixing rotator in a predetermined rotation direction when a failure occurs while the fixing device is activated. The controller determines that the predetermined rotation direction is the forward direction or a backward direction according to the at least one rotary body that sandwiches the recording medium, if the fixing nip and the at least one rotary body sandwich the recording medium simultaneously when the failure occurs while the fixing device is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Kenji Ishii, Hiroyuki Shimada, Ippei Fujimoto, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada
  • Patent number: 10317823
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator and a lateral end heater to heat a lateral end span of the fixing rotator in an axial direction thereof. A thermal conduction aid contacts the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad contacts the thermal conduction aid. A lateral end temperature detector detects a temperature of the fixing rotator in a lateral end detection span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator. The thermal conduction aid contacts the nip formation pad in a first span including the lateral end detection span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator with a first contact area. The thermal conduction aid contacts the nip formation pad in a second span disposed outboard from the first span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator with a second contact area smaller than the first contact area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei Fujimoto, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Kenji Ishii, Hiroyuki Shimada, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada
  • Patent number: 10295937
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a heat generator being disposed inside a loop formed by a rotator and including a heat generating portion to radiate radiant heat. A reflector is disposed inside the loop formed by the rotator and includes a reflection face to reflect the radiant heat radiated from the heat generator toward the rotator. A support supports the reflector. A holder holds each lateral end of the support in a longitudinal direction of the support, which is perpendicular to the rotation direction of the rotator. A fastener attaches the reflector to the support at an attachment position disposed at each lateral end of the reflector in a longitudinal direction of the reflector. The attachment position is disposed outboard from a lateral edge of the heat generating portion of the heat generator and disposed inboard from the holder in the longitudinal direction of the reflector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazunari Sawada, Ippei Fujimoto, Kenji Ishii, Hiroyuki Shimada, Takashi Seto, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takayuki Seki
  • Patent number: 10295939
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless belt and a pressure rotator disposed opposite an outer circumferential surface of the endless belt. The pressure rotator has a first span in an axial direction of the endless belt. A nip formation pad, which is disposed opposite an inner circumferential surface of the endless belt, forms a fixing nip between the endless belt and the pressure rotator. The nip formation pad includes a belt-side face disposed opposite the endless belt. A radiant heater, which is disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the endless belt, heats the endless belt. A thermal conduction aid, which contacts the belt-side face of the nip formation pad, conducts heat in the axial direction of the endless belt. The thermal conduction aid has a second span within which the first span of the pressure rotator is provided at the fixing nip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Kenji Ishii, Ippei Fujimoto, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Patent number: 10289037
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a lateral end heater, disposed opposite a lateral end of an inner circumferential surface of a fixing rotator in an axial direction thereof, to heat the fixing rotator and a thermal conduction aid contacting the fixing rotator and the lateral end heater to conduct heat. The lateral end heater includes a power supply portion disposed outboard from a lateral end of the thermal conduction aid in a longitudinal direction thereof and disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. The power supply portion includes an electrode. A cover covers the power supply portion and includes a cover face disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A height adjuster adjusts a height of the cover face of the cover and causes the cover face to define an identical plane with a fixing rotator side face of the thermal conduction aid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takayuki Seki, Takashi Seto, Kenji Ishii, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Ippei Fujimoto, Kazunari Sawada, Hiroyuki Shimada
  • Patent number: 10281850
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless fixing belt, a heat source, an opposed member, a nip formation pad, and a heat conductive member. The nip formation pad includes an abutment region, a first opening portion, and second opening portions. The abutment region includes a plurality of abutment surfaces abutting a first face of the heat conductive member. The first opening portion is disposed at a center of the abutment region to form a non-contact area at which the nip formation pad does not contact the heat conductive member. The abutment region includes an upstream abutment area and a downstream abutment area from the first opening portion in a direction of conveyance of a recording medium. The second opening portions divide at least one area of the upstream abutment area and the downstream abutment area into a plurality of portions in a longitudinal direction of the nip formation pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ryohei Matsuda, Ippei Fujimoto, Kenji Ishii, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada
  • Patent number: 10241448
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a nip former including a first face to form a fixing nip, a second face being disposed upstream from the first face in a rotation direction of a rotator and defining a predetermined angle relative to the first face, and a bent portion coupling the first face to the second face. An inner circumferential surface of the rotator slides over the first face. A lateral end accumulation portion and a center accumulation portion are defined by the second face and the bent portion of the nip former and the inner circumferential surface of the rotator. The lateral end accumulation portion is accumulated with a lubricant in a first amount. The center accumulation portion is disposed inboard from the lateral end accumulation portion in an axial direction of the rotator and accumulated with the lubricant in a second amount greater than the first amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazunari Sawada, Ippei Fujimoto, Kenji Ishii, Takashi Seto, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takayuki Seki
  • Patent number: 10222732
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator, an opposed rotator disposed opposite the fixing rotator, a pressure pad, a lateral end heater, and a thermal conduction aid. The pressure pad presses against the opposed rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the opposed rotator. The lateral end heater is disposed on the pressure pad to heat a lateral end of the fixing rotator in the axial direction of the fixing rotator. The thermal conduction aid is interposed between the pressure pad and the fixing rotator to decrease a temperature gradient of the fixing rotator in an axial direction of the fixing rotator. The pressure pad includes a nip-side face disposed opposite the thermal conduction aid. The lateral end heater includes a nip-side face being disposed opposite the thermal conduction aid and projecting beyond the nip-side face of the pressure pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takayuki Seki, Kenji Ishii, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takashi Seto, Ippei Fujimoto, Kazunari Sawada, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Patent number: 10197957
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator, a plurality of heat sources having different heat distributions to heat the fixing rotator, a pressing member to press the fixing rotator and form a nip to fix the unfixed toner image on the recording material, a shield disposed between the plurality of heat sources, a plurality of temperature sensors each disposed opposite to the heat source, a processor to control the plurality of heat sources so that a temperature detected by the temperature sensor becomes a predetermined target temperature. The processor controls the heaters so that a temperature difference ?T=T2?T1 becomes greater than zero, wherein T1 is the target temperature for the temperature sensor close to an entrance of the nip, and T2 is the target temperature for the temperature sensor far from the entrance of the nip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei Fujimoto, Kazunari Sawada, Kenji Ishii, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takayuki Seki, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Patent number: 10168653
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing sleeve, a pair of holders, a heater, a nip formation pad, a pressing member, a pressing mechanism, and a controller. The nip formation pad has a regular crown-shaped surface abutted against an inner surface of the fixing sleeve. The pressing member forms a nip with the nip formation pad in a state of abutting against the fixing sleeve. The controller controls the pressing mechanism in a first mode in which the pressing mechanism presses the pressing member toward the nip formation pad with a first pressing force to equalize a width of the nip and a second mode in which the pressing mechanism presses the pressing member with a second pressing force greater than the first pressing force so that the width of the nip is smaller at both ends than at a center of the nip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ryohei Matsuda, Ippei Fujimoto, Takayuki Seki
  • Publication number: 20180356754
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless fixing rotator, a heater, a nip formation assembly, and an opposed rotator. The endless fixing rotator is rotatable in a direction of rotation. The heater heats the fixing rotator. The nip formation assembly is disposed opposite an inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. The opposed rotator is pressed against the nip formation assembly via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the opposed rotator. The nip formation assembly includes a nip former to contact the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator, maintain a constant thickness against pressure from the opposed rotator, and transfer heat. The opposed rotator is shorter than the nip former in a longitudinal direction of the opposed rotator. The opposed rotator is disposed within an area opposite the nip former.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 21, 2018
    Publication date: December 13, 2018
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Ippei Fujimoto, Kenji Ishii, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada, Ryohei Matsuda