Patents by Inventor Kazuhiko Kikuchi

Kazuhiko Kikuchi 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: 11422492
    Abstract: According to an embodiment, a heater unit includes a substrate. A first heating element is on a first side of the substrate. A second heating element is on a second side of the substrate. A first wiring is on the first side of the substrate and connected to the first heating element. A first electrode is on the first side of the substrate and connected to the first heating element. A second wiring is on the second side of the substrate and connected to the second heating element. A second electrode is on the second side of the substrate and connected to the second heating element via the second wiring. A portion of the second heating element overlaps a first portion of the first heating element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 11408910
    Abstract: An accelerator position detection device includes a handlebar grip that is turnable in a normal rotation direction and in a reverse rotation direction from a neutral position and is energized to the neutral position when no operation is applied; accelerator position sensors that output voltage according to an angle of the handlebar grip and that include a first sensor and a second sensor; and a detector that detects an angle for control for controlling a vehicle on the basis of the angle of the handlebar grip according to output from the accelerator position sensors. The detector detects an angle as a positive value on the basis of a first voltage when the first voltage in a rising range is output, and the detector detects an angle as a negative value on the basis of a second voltage when a first initial value not located in the rising range is output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Akiyoshi, Yutaka Sonoda, Takashi Tetsuka, Yutaka Kikuchi, Takuya Osanai, Shinji Misawa, Kazuhiko Ono
  • Publication number: 20220244665
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a fixing unit including a heater including a first surface and a second surface opposite to the first surface, a fixing belt having a surface to which a lubricant is applied and contacting the first surface through the lubricant, a heat conductor contacting the second surface, and a pressing roller capable of pressing and rotating the fixing belt, a power supply configured to supply electric power to the heater, a first thermometer configured to measure temperature of the heat conductor, and a controller configured to determine a first amount of electric power to be supplied to the heater based on the temperature of the heat conductor, and control the power supply to supply the determined first amount of electric power to the heater, before controlling the pressing roller to start rotation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2022
    Publication date: August 4, 2022
    Inventor: Kazuhiko KIKUCHI
  • Patent number: 11402707
    Abstract: A liquid crystal display device includes: a first liquid crystal cell; a second liquid crystal cell disposed in a backlight side; and a first optical sheet and a second optical sheet both having an identical layer structure. The first optical sheet is disposed on a front surface side of the first liquid crystal cell and the second optical sheet is disposed on a back surface side of the second liquid crystal cell, or vice versa.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2022
    Assignees: PANASONIC LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY CO., LTD., PASONA KNOWLEDGE PARTNER INC.
    Inventors: Yoichi Yasui, Takao Imaoku, Katsuhiro Kikuchi, Kazuhiko Tsuda
  • Publication number: 20220236673
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a transfer unit for transferring a toner image onto a sheet, a fixing device for fixing the image, the fixing device including a heating member including a heat generating element and electrodes on both sides of the heat generating element in a sheet conveyance direction and connected to the heat generating element, and a pressure element for pressing against the heating member, and a controller for controlling an adjustment mechanism so that a distance between the heating member and the pressure element becomes a first distance during a fixing process and a second distance larger than the first distance during temperature raising of the heating member, which is conducted before the fixing process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2022
    Publication date: July 28, 2022
    Inventors: Kazuhiko KIKUCHI, Osamu TAKAGI, Chie MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20220221813
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a fixing unit including a fixing belt having a surface to which a lubricant is applied, a heater contacting the surface and including heating elements arranged along a width direction of the belt and including first end second end heating elements and a central heating element, and a pressing roller capable of pressing and rotating the belt, a power supply configured to supply power to the heating elements, and a controller configured to determine a first amount of power to be supplied to the central heating element and a second amount of power to be supplied to each end heating element such that the first amount is greater than the second amount, and control the power supply to supply the first and second amounts to the central heating element and each end heating element before controlling the pressing roller to rotate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2022
    Publication date: July 14, 2022
    Inventor: Kazuhiko KIKUCHI
  • Publication number: 20220206418
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a belt, a roller, a heater, and a reflector. The belt is rotatable in a rotational direction. The roller is positioned to be in contact with an outer peripheral surface of the belt so as to form a nip between the roller and the belt. The heater is disposed within an inner circumference of the belt. The reflector is configured to reflect heat generated by the heater toward an inner surface of the belt. The reflector includes a first portion that is in contact with the belt at a first region downstream with respect to the nip in the rotational direction. The first portion causes a curvature of the belt at the first region to be greater than the curvature of the belt at regions of the belt adjacent to the first region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2022
    Publication date: June 30, 2022
    Inventor: Kazuhiko KIKUCHI
  • Publication number: 20220206422
    Abstract: A heating device includes a rotatable film, a heater including a substrate that extends along a first direction and having two surfaces opposite to each other, and a heater element on one of the surfaces of the substrate, and a heat conductor having first and second surfaces and including a first portion contacting the other surface of the substrate, and a second portion that is adjacent to the first portion in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction and does not contact the other surface of the substrate. A thickness of the first portion of the heat conductor from the first surface to the second surface is greater than a thickness of the second portion from the first surface to the second surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2022
    Publication date: June 30, 2022
    Inventors: Kazuhiko KIKUCHI, Sasuke ENDO, Masaya TANAKA, Ryota SAEKI, Kiyotaka MURAKAMI, Kousei MIYASHITA, Ryosuke KOJIMA, Yohei DOI, Yuki KAWASHIMA, Eiji SHINOHARA
  • Publication number: 20220171314
    Abstract: A fixing unit or device that can be used in an image forming apparatus includes a first heater element that is formed of a material that increases in electrical resistance with increases in temperature. A controller of the fixing unit is configured to vary a duty ratio of electric power applied to the first heater element during a start-up operation in which the temperature of the first heater element is raised to a target operating temperature. By varying the duty ratio during the start-up operation, changes in the resistance of the first heater element with the heating can be compensated. For example, the duty ratio can be increased during the course of the start-up to achieve the target operating temperature faster.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2022
    Publication date: June 2, 2022
    Inventors: Kiyotaka MURAKAMI, Kazuhiko KIKUCHI, Sasuke ENDO, Masaya TANAKA, Ryota SAEKI, Kousei MIYASHITA, Ryosuke KOJIMA, Yohei DOI, Yuki KAWASHIMA, Eiji SHINOHARA
  • Publication number: 20220163912
    Abstract: A heating apparatus includes a cylindrical film and a pressing element that rotates with the cylindrical film and forms a nip with the cylindrical film. A medium is conveyed through the nip from an upstream side to a downstream side. The apparatus further includes a guide member arranged inside the cylindrical film and contacting the cylindrical film, and a substrate arranged inside the cylindrical film and on which a heating element is disposed. A downstream end of the substrate is located downstream of a downstream end of the nip.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 8, 2022
    Publication date: May 26, 2022
    Inventor: Kazuhiko KIKUCHI
  • Patent number: 11340543
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a fixing unit including a heater including a heating element, a fixing belt having a surface to which a lubricant is applied and contacting the heater through the lubricant, and a pressing roller capable of pressing and rotating the fixing belt, a power supply configured to supply electric power to the heating element, a first thermometer configured to measure temperature of the heating element, and a controller configured to determine a first amount of electric power to be supplied to the heating element based on the temperature of the heating element, and control the power supply to supply the determined first amount of electric power to the heating element, before controlling the pressing roller to start rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Kikuchi
  • Publication number: 20220155710
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus includes a fixing unit including a fixing belt, and a heater configured to heat the fixing belt and including a substrate and a heating layer that is formed on the substrate, and a controller configured to, upon detecting an absence of a current flowing through the fixing belt, control the heater to not generate heat.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2022
    Publication date: May 19, 2022
    Inventors: Yohei DOI, Eiji SHINOHARA, Kazuhiko KIKUCHI, Sasuke ENDO, Masaya TANAKA, Ryota SAEKI, Kousei MIYASHITA, Ryosuke KOJIMA, Yuki KAWASHIMA, Kiyotaka MURAKAMI
  • Patent number: 11334007
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a transfer unit for transferring a toner image onto a sheet, a fixing device for fixing the image, the fixing device including a belt, a pressure element for pressing against the belt, a heating member on the belt including a heat generating element and electrodes on both sides of the heat element in a sheet conveyance direction and connected to the heat element, and an adjustment mechanism for moving one of the heating member and the pressure element in a manner to move the one closer to or away from the other, and a controller for controlling the adjustment mechanism so that a distance between the heating member and the pressure element becomes a first distance during a fixing process and a second distance larger than the first distance during temperature raising of the heating member, which is conducted before the fixing process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2022
    Assignees: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA, TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kazuhiko Kikuchi, Osamu Takagi, Chie Miyauchi
  • Patent number: 11320769
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a fixing unit including a fixing belt having a surface to which a lubricant is applied, a heater contacting the surface and including heating elements arranged along a width direction of the belt and including first end second end heating elements and a central heating element, and a pressing roller capable of pressing and rotating the belt, a power supply configured to supply power to the heating elements, and a controller configured to determine a first amount of power to be supplied to the central heating element and a second amount of power to be supplied to each end heating element such that the first amount is greater than the second amount, and control the power supply to supply the first and second amounts to the central heating element and each end heating element before controlling the pressing roller to rotate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 11314187
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a belt, a roller, a heater, a reflector board, a stay, and a thermally-conductive member. The belt is rotatable in a rotational direction. The roller is positioned to be in contact with an outer surface of the belt so as to form a nip between the roller and the belt. The heater is configured to heat an inner surface of the belt. The reflector board is configured to reflect heat generated by the heater toward the inner surface of the belt. The stay is in contact with the reflector board. The thermally-conducive member is thermally connected between the belt and at least one of the reflector board and the stay. The thermally-conducive member includes a first portion that is in contact with the belt at a first region downstream with respect to the nip in the rotational direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Kikuchi
  • Publication number: 20220121144
    Abstract: A fixing device which heats an image formed on a sheet to fix the image thereon, includes a cylindrical film supported in a rotatable manner and having an outer circumferential surface that comes into contact with the sheet, and a heater unit provided in an inner space of the cylindrical film to heat an inner circumferential surface thereof. The heater unit includes a plurality of first heating elements disposed along a longitudinal direction of the cylindrical film, and a first temperature sensor configured to measure a temperature of one of the plurality of first heating elements. The plurality of first heating elements and the first temperature sensor are connected in series by a first wiring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 27, 2021
    Publication date: April 21, 2022
    Inventor: Kazuhiko KIKUCHI
  • Patent number: 11307522
    Abstract: A heating device includes a rotatable film, a heater including a substrate that extends along a first direction, and a heater element on the substrate and facing the film, a heat conductor having first and second surfaces and including a first portion contacting the substrate, and a second portion that is adjacent to the first portion in a second direction perpendicular to the first direction and does not contact the substrate, and a temperature sensing element on the second surface at a position corresponding to the second portion. A thickness of the first portion from the first surface to the second surface is greater than a thickness of the second portion from the first surface to the second surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kazuhiko Kikuchi, Sasuke Endo, Masaya Tanaka, Ryota Saeki, Kiyotaka Murakami, Kousei Miyashita, Ryosuke Kojima, Yohei Doi, Yuki Kawashima, Eiji Shinohara
  • Patent number: 11281132
    Abstract: A fixing unit or device that can be used in an image forming apparatus includes a first heater element that is formed of a material that increases in electrical resistance with increases in temperature. A controller of the fixing unit is configured to vary a duty ratio of electric power applied to the first heater element during a start-up operation in which the temperature of the first heater element is raised to a target operating temperature. By varying the duty ratio during the start-up operation, changes in the resistance of the first heater element with the heating can be compensated. For example, the duty ratio can be increased during the course of the start-up to achieve the target operating temperature faster.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kiyotaka Murakami, Kazuhiko Kikuchi, Sasuke Endo, Masaya Tanaka, Ryota Saeki, Kousei Miyashita, Ryosuke Kojima, Yohei Doi, Yuki Kawashima, Eiji Shinohara
  • Patent number: 11281138
    Abstract: A heating apparatus includes a cylindrical film and a pressing element that rotates with the cylindrical film and forms a nip with the cylindrical film. A medium is conveyed through the nip from an upstream side to a downstream side. The heating apparatus further includes a guide member arranged inside the cylindrical film and including a first end portion that contacts the cylindrical film at a location that is downstream of an upstream end of the nip, and a substrate arranged inside the cylindrical film and on which a heating element is disposed. An upstream end of the substrate is located downstream of the first end portion of the guide member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 11275330
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus includes a fixing unit including a heater and a fixing belt. The fixing belt is electrically connected between a first power source and a ground terminal. A controller is configured to control the heater to heat the fixing belt. The controller is further configured to determine whether a current is flowing through the fixing belt and, upon determining that a current is not flowing through the fixing belt, control the heater not to heat the fixing belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2021
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Yohei Doi, Eiji Shinohara, Kazuhiko Kikuchi, Sasuke Endo, Masaya Tanaka, Ryota Saeki, Kousei Miyashita, Ryosuke Kojima, Yuki Kawashima, Kiyotaka Murakami