Patents by Inventor Kotaro Haruta

Kotaro Haruta 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).

  • Publication number: 20220171319
    Abstract: A first cover includes a first discharge tray portion and a first recess. The first discharge tray portion supports a discharged sheet. The first recess is formed at the first discharge tray portion. The first recess extends along a sheet discharge direction to a downstream end of the first discharge tray portion in the sheet discharge direction. The second cover surrounds the first cover. A second cover includes a second discharge tray portion and a second recess. The second discharge tray portion is arranged downstream of the first discharge tray portion in the sheet discharge direction. The second discharge tray portion supports the discharged sheet in cooperation with the first discharge tray portion. The second recess is arranged downstream of the first recess in the discharge direction. The second recess is formed continuously from the first recess, and serves as a sheet handle portion in cooperation with the first recess.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2021
    Publication date: June 2, 2022
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kotaro HARUTA
  • Patent number: 11281153
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having a first photosensitive drum, a second photosensitive drum, a first developing roller, a second developing roller, a first moving mechanism, a second moving mechanism, a driving gear, a motor, a first gear train, a second gear train, and a third gear train, is provided. The first gear train having a first gear transmits a driving force from the motor to the first developing roller. The second gear train having a second gear transmits the driving force from the motor to the second developing roller. The second gear train is provided separately from the first gear train. The third gear train having a third gear transmits the driving force from the motor to at least one of the first moving mechanism and the second moving mechanism. The third gear train is provided separately from the first gear train and the second gear train.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2021
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2022
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Yusuke Ikegami, Kotaro Haruta, Shoichiro Nishimura
  • Publication number: 20220066354
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a housing having an opening, a cover configured to openably close the opening, photosensitive drums, cartridges, a first motor and a controller. Each cartridge has a developing roller, a storage chamber configured to store toner, and an agitator configured to agitate the toner. The first motor is configured to rotate the agitators. The controller rotates the agitators by rotating the first motor when forming an image on a sheet. The controller determines whether a new cartridge is included in the plurality of cartridges in response to the image forming apparatus being turned on or in response to the cover being closed. In a case where a new cartridge is included, the controller stirs toner with the agitators by rotating the first motor. In a case where a new cartridge is not included, the controller does not stir the toner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2021
    Publication date: March 3, 2022
    Applicant: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yusuke IKEGAMI, Shintaro Sakaguchi, Kotaro Haruta, Yuwen Wang
  • Publication number: 20220019168
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus according to aspects of the present disclosure includes a cover, an interlocking mechanism, a sensor, a separation mechanism, a controller. In a state where the cover moves from a closed position to an open position while no power is supplied to the controller, a state of the interlocking mechanism changes from a first state to a second state. In a state where the sensor does not detect that the interlocking mechanism is in the second state when power supply to the controller is started, the separation mechanism keeps the developing roller located at a separation position at the separation position. On the other hand, in a state where the sensor detects that the interlocking mechanism is in the second state when power supply to the controller is started, the separation mechanism moves the developing roller located at a contact position to the separation position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2021
    Publication date: January 20, 2022
    Applicant: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yusuke IKEGAMI, Shintaro SAKAGUCHI, Kotaro HARUTA
  • Patent number: 11226578
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes: a first gear train including a first clutch; a second gear train including a second clutch; a third gear train including a third clutch; a fourth gear train including a fourth clutch; a motor including an output shaft; an output gear rotatable with the output shaft; a fifth gear train connected to the first and second clutches; and a sixth gear train connected to the third and fourth clutches. The first clutch engages transmission of a driving force to a first developing unit, the second clutch engages transmission of a driving force to a second developing unit, the third clutch engages transmission of a driving force to a third developing unit, and the fourth clutch engages transmission of a driving force to a fourth developing unit. The fifth and sixth gear trains are connected to the output gear independently from each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2022
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kotaro Haruta, Hiroshi Nakano
  • Patent number: 11209744
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having first, second, and third photosensitive drums, a first developing cartridge including a first developing roller, a second developing cartridge including a second developing roller, a third developing cartridge including a third developing roller, an exposure device, a conveyer, and a moving mechanism, is provided. The first developing roller, the second developing roller, and the third developing roller are arranged in the recited order from upstream to downstream in a moving direction for the sheet to be conveyed. When the second developing roller is at the separated position thereof, the second developing cartridge coincides with a light path of the laser beam for scanning the first photosensitive drum. When the third developing roller is at the separated position thereof, the third developing cartridge coincides with a light path of the laser beam for scanning the second photosensitive drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2021
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Masahito Saeki, Toshiyuki Sano, Shintaro Sakaguchi, Kotaro Haruta, Shoichiro Nishimura
  • Patent number: 11194281
    Abstract: An image-forming apparatus includes a motor, a photosensitive drum, a developing roller, and a separation mechanism for moving the developing roller relative to the photosensitive drum. The separation mechanism includes: an end cam rotatable in a rotational direction; and a cam follower movable in accordance with a rotation of the end cam. The end cam includes a first surface, a second surface, a first sloped surface connecting the second surface to the first surface, and a second sloped surface connecting the first surface to the second surface in the rotational direction. The second sloped surface includes: a steep slope surface connected to the second surface; and a gentle slope surface connecting the first surface to the steep slope surface. The gentle slope surface slopes relative to the first surface by an angle smaller than an angle by which the steep slope surface slopes relative to the first surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2021
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kotaro Haruta
  • Publication number: 20210325821
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having a first photosensitive drum, a second photosensitive drum, a first developing roller, a second developing roller, a first moving mechanism, a second moving mechanism, a driving gear, a motor, a first gear train, a second gear train, and a third gear train, is provided. The first gear train having a first gear transmits a driving force from the motor to the first developing roller. The second gear train having a second gear transmits the driving force from the motor to the second developing roller. The second gear train is provided separately from the first gear train. The third gear train having a third gear transmits the driving force from the motor to at least one of the first moving mechanism and the second moving mechanism. The third gear train is provided separately from the first gear train and the second gear train.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 25, 2021
    Publication date: October 21, 2021
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Yusuke IKEGAMI, Kotaro HARUTA, Shoichiro Nishimura
  • Publication number: 20210278780
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a photoconductive body, a light source, a deflector to deflect a light beam from the light source, a scanning optical system to image the deflected light beam onto the photoconductive body, a developing unit to supply developer to the photoconductive body, an optical sensor to detect the deflected light beam, a moving mechanism to move the developing unit to a first position and to a second position, and a controller configured to start driving the deflector, when the developing unit is in the second position, the light source to emit the light beam, thereby obtaining a detection signal of the light beam from the optical sensor, and after obtaining the detection signal of the light beam from the optical sensor, control the moving mechanism to move the developing unit to the first position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 4, 2021
    Publication date: September 9, 2021
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Sota YANAGIHARA, Yusuke IKEGAMI, Kotaro HARUTA, Shoichiro NISHIMURA
  • Publication number: 20210165365
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having a photosensitive drum, a developing roller movable between a contacting position, in which the developing roller contacts the photosensitive drum, and a separated position, in which the developing roller is separated from the photosensitive drum, a moving mechanism to move the developing roller between the contacting position and the separated position, a fuser including a heating member and a pressing member to nip a sheet at a position between the heating member and the pressing member, a nipping-force adjuster to switch a nipping force in the fuser between a first nipping force and a second nipping force being greater than the first nipping force, a motor, and a driving-force transmitter to transmit a driving force from the motor to the developing roller, is provided. The driving-force transmitter transmits the driving force further to the moving mechanism and the nipping-force adjuster.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2021
    Publication date: June 3, 2021
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kotaro HARUTA, Masahito SAEKI, Shoichiro NISHIMURA, Tomonori WATANABE
  • Publication number: 20210165362
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having a first photosensitive drum, a first developing roller, a first shifting member movable between a contacting position and a separating position, a motor, a first joint, a first clutch operable in one of a transmittable condition and a discontinuing condition, a first shifting cam rotatable between a first position, in which the first shifting cam locates the first shifting member at the contacting position, and a second position, in which the first shifting cam locates the first shifting member at the separating position, and a first switching cam rotatable between a third position, in which the first switching cam places the first clutch in the transmittable condition, and a fourth position, in which the first switching cam places the first clutch in the discontinuing condition, alongside the first shifting cam rotating between the first position and the second position, is provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2021
    Publication date: June 3, 2021
    Inventors: Hiroshi Nakano, Masahito Saeki, Kotaro Haruta
  • Publication number: 20210157262
    Abstract: An image-forming apparatus includes a motor, a photosensitive drum, a developing roller, and a separation mechanism for moving the developing roller relative to the photosensitive drum. The separation mechanism includes: an end cam rotatable in a rotational direction; and a cam follower movable in accordance with a rotation of the end cam. The end cam includes a first surface, a second surface, a first sloped surface connecting the second surface to the first surface, and a second sloped surface connecting the first surface to the second surface in the rotational direction. The second sloped surface includes: a steep slope surface connected to the second surface; and a gentle slope surface connecting the first surface to the steep slope surface. The gentle slope surface slopes relative to the first surface by an angle smaller than an angle by which the steep slope surface slopes relative to the first surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 27, 2020
    Publication date: May 27, 2021
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kotaro HARUTA
  • Publication number: 20210130117
    Abstract: In an image-forming apparatus, when a sheet length of a first sheet is shorter than or equal to a predetermined length, a controller supplies power to an electromagnetic clutch to convey the first sheet and a second sheet so that a sheet gap of the second sheet is equivalent to a first gap. When the sheet length of the first sheet is longer than the predetermined length, the controller supplies power to the electromagnetic clutch to successively convey a first number of sheets so that the sheet gap of each of the first number of sheets is equivalent to the first gap. After the first number of sheets has been conveyed, the controller supplies power to the electromagnetic clutch to convey at least one sheet so that the sheet gap of each of the at least one sheet is equivalent to a second gap greater than the first gap.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2020
    Publication date: May 6, 2021
    Inventor: Kotaro HARUTA
  • Patent number: 10969737
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a controller configured to, before driving a development motor, obtain a temperature inside a housing from a temperature sensor, determine whether the obtained temperature inside the housing is equal to or lower than a particular temperature, when determining that the temperature inside the housing is higher than the particular temperature, execute a full-speed mode to control the development motor to rotate at a first target speed and control a process motor to rotate at a second target speed, and when determining that the temperature inside the housing is equal to or lower than the particular temperature, execute a low-temperature mode to control the development motor to rotate at a third target speed lower than the first target speed and control the process motor to rotate at the second target speed that is the same as in the full-speed mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kotaro Haruta, Masahito Saeki, Shintaro Sakaguchi
  • Patent number: 10955791
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having a first photosensitive drum, a first developing roller, a first shifting member movable between a contacting position and a separating position, a motor, a first joint, a first clutch operable in one of a transmittable condition and a discontinuing condition, a first shifting cam rotatable between a first position, in which the first shifting cam locates the first shifting member at the contacting position, and a second position, in which the first shifting cam locates the first shifting member at the separating position, and a first switching cam rotatable between a third position, in which the first switching cam places the first clutch in the transmittable condition, and a fourth position, in which the first switching cam places the first clutch in the discontinuing condition, alongside the first shifting cam rotating between the first position and the second position, is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroshi Nakano, Masahito Saeki, Kotaro Haruta
  • Publication number: 20210080857
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having first, second, and third photosensitive drums, a first developing cartridge including a first developing roller, a second developing cartridge including a second developing roller, a third developing cartridge including a third developing roller, an exposure device, a conveyer, and a moving mechanism, is provided. The first developing roller, the second developing roller, and the third developing roller are arranged in the recited order from upstream to downstream in a moving direction for the sheet to be conveyed. When the second developing roller is at the separated position thereof, the second developing cartridge coincides with a light path of the laser beam for scanning the first photosensitive drum. When the third developing roller is at the separated position thereof, the third developing cartridge coincides with a light path of the laser beam for scanning the second photosensitive drum.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 25, 2020
    Publication date: March 18, 2021
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Masahito SAEKI, Toshiyuki SANO, Shintaro SAKAGUCHI, Kotaro HARUTA, Shoichiro NISHIMURA
  • Patent number: 10921748
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having a photosensitive drum, a developing roller movable between a contacting position, in which the developing roller contacts the photosensitive drum, and a separated position, in which the developing roller is separated from the photosensitive drum, a moving mechanism to move the developing roller between the contacting position and the separated position, a fuser including a heating member and a pressing member to nip a sheet at a position between the heating member and the pressing member, a nipping-force adjuster to switch a nipping force in the fuser between a first nipping force and a second nipping force being greater than the first nipping force, a motor, and a driving-force transmitter to transmit a driving force from the motor to the developing roller, is provided. The driving-force transmitter transmits the driving force further to the moving mechanism and the nipping-force adjuster.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kotaro Haruta, Masahito Saeki, Shoichiro Nishimura, Tomonori Watanabe
  • Publication number: 20210011420
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes: a first gear train including a first clutch; a second gear train including a second clutch; a third gear train including a third clutch; a fourth gear train including a fourth clutch; a motor including an output shaft; an output gear rotatable with the output shaft; a fifth gear train connected to the first and second clutches; and a sixth gear train connected to the third and fourth clutches. The first clutch engages transmission of a driving force to a first developing unit, the second clutch engages transmission of a driving force to a second developing unit, the third clutch engages transmission of a driving force to a third developing unit, and the fourth clutch engages transmission of a driving force to a fourth developing unit. The fifth and sixth gear trains are connected to the output gear independently from each other.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2020
    Publication date: January 14, 2021
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kotaro HARUTA, Hiroshi NAKANO
  • Patent number: 10859940
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having first, second, and third photosensitive drums, a first developing cartridge including a first developing roller, a second developing cartridge including a second developing roller, a third developing cartridge including a third developing roller, an exposure device, a conveyer, and a moving mechanism, is provided. The first developing roller, the second developing roller, and the third developing roller are arranged in the recited order from upstream to downstream in a moving direction for the sheet to be conveyed. When the second developing roller is at the separated position thereof, the second developing cartridge coincides with a light path of the laser beam for scanning the first photosensitive drum. When the third developing roller is at the separated position thereof, the third developing cartridge coincides with a light path of the laser beam for scanning the second photosensitive drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2020
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Masahito Saeki, Toshiyuki Sano, Shintaro Sakaguchi, Kotaro Haruta, Shoichiro Nishimura
  • Publication number: 20200310281
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, having a photosensitive drum, a developing roller movable between a contacting position, in which the developing roller contacts the photosensitive drum, and a separated position, in which the developing roller is separated from the photosensitive drum, a moving mechanism to move the developing roller between the contacting position and the separated position, a fuser including a heating member and a pressing member to nip a sheet at a position between the heating member and the pressing member, a nipping-force adjuster to switch a nipping force in the fuser between a first nipping force and a second nipping force being greater than the first nipping force, a motor, and a driving-force transmitter to transmit a driving force from the motor to the developing roller, is provided. The driving-force transmitter transmits the driving force further to the moving mechanism and the nipping-force adjuster.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2019
    Publication date: October 1, 2020
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kotaro HARUTA, Masahito SAEKI, Shoichiro NISHIMURA, Tomonori WATANABE