Patents by Inventor Kohichi Utsunomiya

Kohichi Utsunomiya 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: 10345747
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a driving unit, a pressing roller, a heater, a fixing belt, a pressing roller, a nip formation pad that presses against an inner surface of the fixing belt toward the pressing roller via the fixing belt to form a nip, a separation mechanism, a lubricant between the fixing belt and the nip formation pad, and a processor to execute a warming-up operation of the fixing device. In the warming-up operation, before the heater heats the fixing belt, the separation mechanism moves the nip formation pad in a direction of separating the nip formation pad from the pressing roller to set a nip pressure lower than an ordinary nip pressure, and the driving unit rotates the pressing roller that rotates the fixing belt. Thereafter, the heater starts heating, and the separation mechanism moves the nip formation pad to contact the fixing belt at an ordinary nip pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takuya Seshita, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hajime Gotoh, Takahiro Imada, Yutaka Ikebuchi
  • Patent number: 10317824
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless belt, a pressure rotator that contacts the endless belt, a nip formation pad in the endless belt to form a fixing nip between the endless belt and the pressure rotator, a heater in the endless belt to heat the endless belt, a stay to support the nip formation pad, a contact-separation mechanism that presses the nip formation pad against the pressure rotator in a releasable manner, a holder movable between a nip formation position and a release position to support the stay, and an adjustment mechanism. The holder is provided with a slot to support the heater, and the adjustment mechanism makes a distance between the heater and the nip formation pad when the holder is at the nip formation position larger than a distance between the heater and the nip formation pad when the holder is at the release position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kiwako Hiroi, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Yuusuke Furuichi
  • Patent number: 10248055
    Abstract: A fixing device is provided that includes a fixing belt rotatable in a predetermined direction, a heater to heat the fixing belt, a pressure rotator in contact with an outer circumferential surface of the fixing belt, a nip formation pad disposed inside a loop formed by the fixing belt and pressed against the pressure rotator via the fixing belt to form a fixing nip, and a pair of guides in contact with an inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt at both ends of the fixing belt in a width direction thereof, to maintain a substantially cylindrical posture of the fixing belt. Each of the guides includes a guide portion in contact with the inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt and a lubricant holder holding a lubricant that is disposed adjacent to the guide portion and not in contact with the inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Ikebuchi, Takuya Seshita, Yasuharu Kawarasaki, Kohichi Utsunomiya
  • Publication number: 20180373187
    Abstract: A fixing device is provided that includes a fixing belt rotatable in a predetermined direction, a heater to heat the fixing belt, a pressure rotator in contact with an outer circumferential surface of the fixing belt, a nip formation pad disposed inside a loop formed by the fixing belt and pressed against the pressure rotator via the fixing belt to form a fixing nip, and a pair of guides in contact with an inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt at both ends of the fixing belt in a width direction thereof, to maintain a substantially cylindrical posture of the fixing belt. Each of the guides includes a guide portion in contact with the inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt and a lubricant holder holding a lubricant that is disposed adjacent to the guide portion and not in contact with the inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2018
    Publication date: December 27, 2018
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Ikebuchi, Takuya Seshita, Yasuharu Kawarasaki, Kohichi Utsunomiya
  • Publication number: 20180356755
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless belt, a pressure rotator that contacts the endless belt, a nip formation pad in the endless belt to form a fixing nip between the endless belt and the pressure rotator, a heater in the endless belt to heat the endless belt, a stay to support the nip formation pad, a contact-separation mechanism that presses the nip formation pad against the pressure rotator in a releasable manner, a holder movable between a nip formation position and a release position to support the stay, and an adjustment mechanism. The holder is provided with a slot to support the heater, and the adjustment mechanism makes a distance between the heater and the nip formation pad when the holder is at the nip formation position larger than a distance between the heater and the nip formation pad when the holder is at the release position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2018
    Publication date: December 13, 2018
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kiwako HIROI, Kohichi UTSUNOMIYA, Yuusuke FURUICHI
  • Publication number: 20180329342
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a driving unit, a pressing roller, a heater, a fixing belt, a pressing roller, a nip formation pad that presses against an inner surface of the fixing belt toward the pressing roller via the fixing belt to form a nip, a separation mechanism, a lubricant between the fixing belt and the nip formation pad, and a processor to execute a warming-up operation of the fixing device. In the warming-up operation, before the heater heats the fixing belt, the separation mechanism moves the nip formation pad in a direction of separating the nip formation pad from the pressing roller to set a nip pressure lower than an ordinary nip pressure, and the driving unit rotates the pressing roller that rotates the fixing belt. Thereafter, the heater starts heating, and the separation mechanism moves the nip formation pad to contact the fixing belt at an ordinary nip pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2018
    Publication date: November 15, 2018
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takuya Seshita, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hajime Gotoh, Takahiro Imada, Yutaka Ikebuchi
  • Patent number: 10007213
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator to fix an image on a recording medium, a pressure rotator to press against an outer circumferential surface of the fixing rotator, a nip formation pad disposed inside the fixing rotator and opposite the pressure rotator to form an area of contact between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator, and a slide member disposed between the fixing rotator and the nip formation pad and applied with lubricant to slide the fixing rotator in a sliding direction. The slide member includes first strands disposed parallel to the sliding direction and second strands disposed perpendicular to the sliding direction and interwoven with the first strands. The first strands are woven over the second strands longer than the second strands woven over the first strands.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Ikebuchi, Hideo Nagafuji, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Arinobu Yoshiura, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Patent number: 9897950
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator rotatable in a predetermined direction of rotation and a heater that heats the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad is disposed opposite an inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator presses against the nip formation pad via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. A low-friction member is sandwiched between the nip formation pad and the fixing rotator and bears a lubricant that flows in a flow direction. A thermal absorber is mounted on the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. At least one irregular portion, mounted on the thermal absorber, blocks the lubricant flowing in the flow direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Arinobu Yoshiura, Hideo Nagafuji, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Patent number: 9869952
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that is endless and rotatable in a rotation direction and a heater to heat the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator contacts an outer circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad presses against the pressure rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The nip formation pad includes an upstream portion disposed upstream from the fixing nip in the rotation direction of the fixing rotator. A recess is disposed in the upstream portion of the nip formation pad. A friction reducer is sandwiched between the nip formation pad and the fixing rotator and bears a lubricant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hideo Nagafuji, Arinobu Yoshiura, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Patent number: 9817345
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a heater, a fixing rotator, a pressure rotator to press against the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator, through which a recording medium is conveyed, a moving device to move the pressure rotator in directions in which the pressure rotator comes into contact with and separates from the fixing rotator, a thermal expansion amount predictor to predict an amount of thermal expansion of the fixing rotator while the recording medium is conveyed, and a nip width adjuster to control a moving distance of the pressure rotator moved by the moving device toward the fixing rotator, depending on the amount of thermal expansion of the fixing rotator predicted by the thermal expansion amount predictor, so as to adjust a width of the fixing nip to maintain a substantially constant width of the fixing nip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Motoyoshi Yamano, Tetsuo Tokuda, Yoshikuni Sasaki, Hiroshi Ono, Hironori Yamaoka, Ryohhei Sugiyama, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Arinobu Yoshiura, Hideo Nagafuji
  • Publication number: 20170146933
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a heater, a fixing rotator, a pressure rotator to press against the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator, through which a recording medium is conveyed, a moving device to move the pressure rotator in directions in which the pressure rotator comes into contact with and separates from the fixing rotator, a thermal expansion amount predictor to predict an amount of thermal expansion of the fixing rotator while the recording medium is conveyed, and a nip width adjuster to control a moving distance of the pressure rotator moved by the moving device toward the fixing rotator, depending on the amount of thermal expansion of the fixing rotator predicted by the thermal expansion amount predictor, so as to adjust a width of the fixing nip to maintain a substantially constant width of the fixing nip.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Publication date: May 25, 2017
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Motoyoshi YAMANO, Tetsuo TOKUDA, Yoshikuni SASAKI, Hiroshi ONO, Hironori YAMAOKA, Ryohhei SUGIYAMA, Kohichi UTSUNOMIYA, Arinobu YOSHIURA, Hideo NAGAFUJI
  • Patent number: 9650219
    Abstract: A paper conveying device includes a conveying guide, a bearing, a conveying-guide facing surface, and a separation restrictor. The conveying guide includes a conveyance surface for conveying paper and a pivot shaft and is swingable about the pivot shaft. The bearing includes a support surface facing at least an upper semiperimeter of the pivot shaft. The conveying-guide facing surface is provided to face an end of the conveying guide when the conveying guide swings. The end is opposite to the conveyance surface. The separation restrictor is provided to the conveying guide to restrict separation of the pivot shaft from the bearing at least in a given swing range of the conveying guide by contacting the conveying-guide facing surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Arinobu Yoshiura, Hideo Nagafuji, Yuji Arai, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Kiho Sai, Shohei Saito, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Publication number: 20170131664
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that is endless and rotatable in a rotation direction and a heater to heat the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator contacts an outer circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad presses against the pressure rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The nip formation pad includes an upstream portion disposed upstream from the fixing nip in the rotation direction of the fixing rotator. A recess is disposed in the upstream portion of the nip formation pad. A friction reducer is sandwiched between the nip formation pad and the fixing rotator and bears a lubricant.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: May 11, 2017
    Inventors: Kohichi UTSUNOMIYA, Hideo NAGAFUJI, Arinobu YOSHIURA, Yutaka IKEBUCHI, Motoyoshi YAMANO
  • Publication number: 20170115610
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator rotatable in a predetermined direction of rotation and a heater that heats the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad is disposed opposite an inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator presses against the nip formation pad via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. A low-friction member is sandwiched between the nip formation pad and the fixing rotator and bears a lubricant that flows in a flow direction. A thermal absorber is mounted on the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. At least one irregular portion, mounted on the thermal absorber, blocks the lubricant flowing in the flow direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Publication date: April 27, 2017
    Inventors: Arinobu YOSHIURA, Hideo NAGAFUJI, Kohichi UTSUNOMIYA, Yutaka IKEBUCHI, Motoyoshi YAMANO
  • Publication number: 20170102646
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator to fix an image on a recording medium, a pressure rotator to press against an outer circumferential surface of the fixing rotator, a nip formation pad disposed inside the fixing rotator and opposite the pressure rotator to form an area of contact between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator, and a slide member disposed between the fixing rotator and the nip formation pad and applied with lubricant to slide the fixing rotator in a sliding direction. The slide member includes first strands disposed parallel to the sliding direction and second strands disposed perpendicular to the sliding direction and interwoven with the first strands. The first strands are woven over the second strands longer than the second strands woven over the first strands.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 29, 2016
    Publication date: April 13, 2017
    Inventors: Yutaka IKEBUCHI, Hideo NAGAFUJI, Kohichi UTSUNOMIYA, Arinobu YOSHIURA, Motoyoshi YAMANO
  • Patent number: 9599940
    Abstract: A fixing device includes: a fixing member that is rotatable and in an endless shape; a heat source that heats the fixing member; a nip forming member that is arranged inside the fixing member; and a pressurizing member that is pressurized to be in contact with the nip forming member through the fixing member, to form a fixing nip. The fixing device fixes an unfixed image on a recording medium by passing the recording medium that carries the unfixed image through the fixing nip. The nip forming member includes a base layer, and a high thermal-conductive layer that is arranged on a surface layer of the base layer on a fixing nip side, and that has higher thermal conductivity than the base layer, and in the high thermal-conductive layer, a low thermal-conductive portion is arranged near an end portion in an axial direction of the fixing member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Motoyoshi Yamano, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hiromasa Takagi, Kenji Ishii, Takayuki Seki, Keitaro Shoji, Hideo Nagafuji, Yuji Arai, Arinobu Yoshiura, Shohei Saito, Qifeng Cui, Yutaka Ikebuchi
  • Patent number: 9494900
    Abstract: A device includes a fixing belt, a holder that holds the fixing belt, a pressing member that comes in contact with the fixing belt, a nip-forming-member arranged inside the fixing belt, that forms a nip by coming in contact with the pressing member, a supporting member that supports the nip-forming-member, a side plate to which the nip-forming-member and the supporting member are fixed, and a pressing mechanism that presses a pressing roller to the nip-forming-member via the fixing belt. The supporting member includes at least two plates. The two plates are separated from each other near a contact portion where the plates come in contact with the nip-forming-member. At least a part of each of the plates is a flat surface parallel to a direction of a load applied by the pressing mechanism. Portions of the two plates on a side distant from the contact portion are joined together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hideo Nagafuji, Yuji Arai, Arinobu Yoshiura, Qifeng Cui, Shohei Saito, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Patent number: 9477182
    Abstract: A fixing device includes: a fixing member; an opposing member that provides a fixing nip with the fixing member; a heating unit that heats the fixing member; a heating area changing member that moves to change a heating area of the fixing member heated by the heating unit; and a position detection sensor that detects a position of the heating area changing member. The fixing device controls a stop position of the heating area changing member based on detection by the position detection sensor. The single position detection sensor detects the position of the heating area changing member both when the heating area changing member is moving from a preset reference position to an arbitrary position and when the heating area changing member is moving back from an arbitrary position to the reference position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Ikebuchi, Hideo Nagafuji, Yuji Arai, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Arinobu Yoshiura, Kiho Sai, Motoyoshi Yamano, Shohei Saito
  • Patent number: 9429888
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless fixing belt: a fixing belt holding member; a pressure member that makes a contact with the circumference of the fixing belt; a nip forming member that is disposed inside the fixing belt and forms a nip between the nip forming member and the pressure member; a nip supporting member that is made of a sheet metal; a side plate that supports the fixing belt holding member and the nip supporting member; and a pressure mechanism that presses the pressure member against the nip forming member with the fixing belt between the pressure member and the nip forming member. Both end surfaces of the nip supporting member are shear surfaces and one of the shear surfaces makes a contact with the nip forming member and the other shear surface is supported by the side plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hideo Nagafuji, Yuji Arai, Arinobu Yoshiura, Kiho Sai, Shohei Saito, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Publication number: 20160221775
    Abstract: A paper conveying device includes a conveying guide, a bearing, a conveying-guide facing surface, and a separation restrictor. The conveying guide includes a conveyance surface for conveying paper and a pivot shaft and is swingable about the pivot shaft. The bearing includes a support surface facing at least an upper semiperimeter of the pivot shaft. The conveying-guide facing surface is provided to face an end of the conveying guide when the conveying guide swings. The end is opposite to the conveyance surface. The separation restrictor is provided to the conveying guide to restrict separation of the pivot shaft from the bearing at least in a given swing range of the conveying guide by contacting the conveying-guide facing surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2016
    Publication date: August 4, 2016
    Inventors: Arinobu YOSHIURA, Hideo NAGAFUJI, Yuji ARAI, Kohichi UTSUNOMIYA, Kiho SAI, Shohei SAITO, Yutaka IKEBUCHI, Motoyoshi YAMANO