Patents by Inventor Michael Craig Leemhuis

Michael Craig Leemhuis 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: 10289024
    Abstract: A method for estimating an amount of toner remaining in a reservoir of a replaceable unit for an image forming device according to one example embodiment includes receiving by processing circuitry pulses from a magnetic sensor. Each pulse is indicative that the magnetic sensor detected a magnet on a moving paddle positioned in the reservoir. The processing circuitry counts the number of the pulses received from the magnetic sensor. Upon receiving a request from a controller of the image forming device, the processing circuitry sends to the controller of the image forming device the count of the pulses received from the magnetic sensor and resets the count of the pulses received from the magnetic sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Craig Leemhuis, Jeffrey Allen Abler, Charles Alan Bast, Todd Alan Dutton, David Anthony Schneider
  • Patent number: 10228636
    Abstract: A toner container according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner and a drive shaft positioned in the reservoir. The drive shaft is rotatable about a rotational axis in an operative rotational direction. A toner agitator extends from the drive shaft in the reservoir. The toner agitator is rotatable around the rotational axis of the drive shaft as the drive shaft rotates. The toner agitator folds relative to the drive shaft counter to the operative rotational direction if resistance to rotation of the toner agitator provided by toner in the reservoir exceeds a threshold amount. The toner agitator is biased relative to the drive shaft in the operative rotational direction. A radial length of the toner agitator decreases when the toner agitator folds relative to the drive shaft counter to the operative rotational direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: LEXMARK INTERNATIONAL, INC.
    Inventor: Michael Craig Leemhuis
  • Patent number: 10108142
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an image forming device according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. The replaceable unit includes a rotatable drive coupler and a rotatable shaft that has a cross pin on an axial end of the shaft, generally orthogonal to the shaft. At least a portion of the drive coupler is exposed on an exterior of the housing and unobstructed to receive rotational force when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A pocket is formed in a first axial side of the drive coupler. The axial end of the shaft and the cross pin are removably positioned in the pocket such that upon rotating the drive coupler in an operative direction rotational force is transferred from surfaces of the drive coupler forming the pocket to the cross pin causing the shaft to rotate with the drive coupler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Craig Leemhuis, Harald Portig
  • Publication number: 20180246439
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an electrophotographic image forming device according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. A rotatable shaft is positioned within the reservoir and has an axis of rotation. A first magnet and a second magnet are connected to the shaft and rotatable around the axis of rotation in response to rotation of the shaft. The first magnet and the second magnet are detectable by a magnetic sensor when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A polarity of the first magnet is oriented opposite a polarity of the second magnet relative to the shaft. An amount of angular offset between the first magnet and the second magnet varies depending on an amount of toner in the reservoir.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 27, 2018
    Publication date: August 30, 2018
    Inventors: BRIAN SCOTT CARPENTER, MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS, ROBERT WATSON MCALPINE
  • Publication number: 20180231921
    Abstract: A toner container according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner and a drive shaft positioned in the reservoir. The drive shaft is rotatable about a rotational axis in an operative rotational direction. A toner agitator extends from the drive shaft in the reservoir. The toner agitator is rotatable around the rotational axis of the drive shaft as the drive shaft rotates. The toner agitator folds relative to the drive shaft counter to the operative rotational direction if resistance to rotation of the toner agitator provided by toner in the reservoir exceeds a threshold amount. The toner agitator is biased relative to the drive shaft in the operative rotational direction. A radial length of the toner agitator decreases when the toner agitator folds relative to the drive shaft counter to the operative rotational direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 2, 2018
    Publication date: August 16, 2018
    Inventor: MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS
  • Patent number: 10042319
    Abstract: An electrophotographic image forming device includes a replaceable unit having a body with a toner reservoir. A drive element on a rear end of the body is unobstructed to mesh with a corresponding drive element in the image forming device. A toner outlet port is positioned on a bottom of the body near the rear end of the body. A latch catch is positioned on a first side of the body to receive a corresponding latch when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A latch actuator at the front end of the body is movable between a home position and a releasing position. A release handle at the front end of the body is operatively connected to the latch actuator such that actuation of the release handle causes the latch actuator to move from the home position to the releasing position to unlatch the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Craig Leemhuis, Thomas Eugene Pangburn
  • Patent number: 9983506
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an electrophotographic image forming device according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. A rotatable shaft is positioned within the reservoir and has an axis of rotation. A first magnet and a second magnet are connected to the shaft and rotatable around the axis of rotation in response to rotation of the shaft. The first magnet and the second magnet are detectable by a magnetic sensor when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A polarity of the first magnet is oriented opposite a polarity of the second magnet relative to the shaft. An amount of angular offset between the first magnet and the second magnet varies depending on an amount of toner in the reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian Scott Carpenter, Michael Craig Leemhuis, Robert Watson McAlpine
  • Publication number: 20180143563
    Abstract: A method for estimating an amount of toner remaining in a reservoir of a replaceable unit for an image forming device according to one example embodiment includes receiving by processing circuitry pulses from a magnetic sensor. Each pulse is indicative that the magnetic sensor detected a magnet on a moving paddle positioned in the reservoir. The processing circuitry counts the number of the pulses received from the magnetic sensor. Upon receiving a request from a controller of the image forming device, the processing circuitry sends to the controller of the image forming device the count of the pulses received from the magnetic sensor and resets the count of the pulses received from the magnetic sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 3, 2018
    Publication date: May 24, 2018
    Inventors: MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS, JEFFREY ALLEN ABLER, CHARLES ALAN BAST, TODD ALAN DUTTON
  • Publication number: 20180046135
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an image forming device according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. The replaceable unit includes a rotatable drive coupler and a rotatable shaft that has a cross pin on an axial end of the shaft, generally orthogonal to the shaft. At least a portion of the drive coupler is exposed on an exterior of the housing and unobstructed to receive rotational force when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A pocket is formed in a first axial side of the drive coupler. The axial end of the shaft and the cross pin are removably positioned in the pocket such that upon rotating the drive coupler in an operative direction rotational force is transferred from surfaces of the drive coupler forming the pocket to the cross pin causing the shaft to rotate with the drive coupler.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2017
    Publication date: February 15, 2018
    Inventors: MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS, HARALD PORTIG
  • Patent number: 9891553
    Abstract: A method for estimating an amount of toner remaining in a reservoir of a replaceable unit for an image forming device according to one example embodiment includes receiving by processing circuitry pulses from a sensor. The processing circuitry counts the number of the pulses received from the sensor. Upon receiving a request from a controller of the image forming device, the processing circuitry sends to the controller of the image forming device the count of the pulses received from the sensor and resets the count of the pulses received from the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Craig Leemhuis, Jeffrey Allen Abler, Charles Alan Bast, Todd Alan Dutton, David Anthony Schneider
  • Publication number: 20180024493
    Abstract: An electrophotographic image forming device includes a replaceable unit having a body with a toner reservoir. A drive element on a rear end of the body is unobstructed to mesh with a corresponding drive element in the image forming device. A toner outlet port is positioned on a bottom of the body near the rear end of the body. A latch catch is positioned on a first side of the body to receive a corresponding latch when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A latch actuator at the front end of the body is movable between a home position and a releasing position. A release handle at the front end of the body is operatively connected to the latch actuator such that actuation of the release handle causes the latch actuator to move from the home position to the releasing position to unlatch the body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Publication date: January 25, 2018
    Inventors: MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS, THOMAS EUGENE PANGBURN
  • Patent number: 9869950
    Abstract: A toner container according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner and a drive shaft positioned in the reservoir. The drive shaft is rotatable about a rotational axis in an operative rotational direction. A toner agitator extends from the drive shaft in the reservoir. The toner agitator is rotatable around the rotational axis of the drive shaft as the drive shaft rotates. The toner agitator folds relative to the drive shaft counter to the operative rotational direction if resistance to rotation of the toner agitator provided by toner in the reservoir exceeds a threshold amount. The toner agitator is biased relative to the drive shaft in the operative rotational direction. A radial length of the toner agitator decreases when the toner agitator folds relative to the drive shaft counter to the operative rotational direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Craig Leemhuis
  • Patent number: 9829855
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an image forming device according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. The replaceable unit includes a rotatable drive coupler and a rotatable shaft that has a cross pin on an axial end of the shaft, generally orthogonal to the shaft. At least a portion of the drive coupler is exposed on an exterior of the housing and unobstructed to receive rotational force when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A pocket is formed in a first axial side of the drive coupler. The axial end of the shaft and the cross pin are removably positioned in the pocket such that upon rotating the drive coupler in an operative direction rotational force is transferred from surfaces of the drive coupler forming the pocket to the cross pin causing the shaft to rotate with the drive coupler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Craig Leemhuis, Harald Portig
  • Patent number: 9798287
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an electrophotographic image forming device includes a body having a toner reservoir. A drive element on a rear end of the body is unobstructed to mesh with a corresponding drive element in the image forming device. A toner outlet port is positioned on a bottom of the body near the rear end of the body. A latch catch is positioned on a first side of the body to receive a corresponding latch when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A latch actuator at the front end of the body is movable between a home position and a releasing position. A release handle at the front end of the body is operatively connected to the latch actuator such that actuation of the release handle causes the latch actuator to move from the home position to the releasing position to unlatch the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Craig Leemhuis, Thomas Eugene Pangburn
  • Publication number: 20170176887
    Abstract: A toner cartridge for an electrophotographic image forming device according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. A rotatable shaft is positioned within the reservoir and has a threaded portion. A thread follower mounted on the threaded portion of the shaft moves axially along the threaded portion of the shaft when the shaft rotates. A magnet is movable with the thread follower axially along the shaft for detecting an axial position of the thread follower along the shaft by magnetic sensors when the toner cartridge is installed in the electrophotographic image forming device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2015
    Publication date: June 22, 2017
    Inventors: LIGIA AURA BEJAT, MICHAEL ALAN GIST, MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS, PRABUDDHA JYOTINDRA MEHTA, ERIC CARL STELTER, DEVON JEAN VACCARO STRAIN
  • Patent number: 9632477
    Abstract: An electrophotographic imaging system according to one example embodiment includes a toner cartridge including a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. A shaft is rotatably positioned within the reservoir and includes a threaded portion. A partition mounted on the threaded portion of the shaft moves axially along the threaded portion when the shaft rotates. The partition divides the reservoir into a first toner compartment and a second toner compartment. A sensing arrangement monitors an axial position of the partition along the shaft. The sensing arrangement includes a plurality of sensors arranged at predetermined axial locations relative to the shaft and a sensed member connected to the partition. The plurality of sensors are positioned to detect an axial position of the sensed member relative to the shaft for determining the axial position of the partition along the shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Ligia Aura Bejat, Michael Alan Gist, Michael Craig Leemhuis, Prabuddha Jyotindra Mehta, Eric Carl Stelter
  • Publication number: 20170075298
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an electrophotographic image forming device includes a body having a toner reservoir. A drive element on a rear end of the body is unobstructed to mesh with a corresponding drive element in the image forming device. A toner outlet port is positioned on a bottom of the body near the rear end of the body. A latch catch is positioned on a first side of the body to receive a corresponding latch when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A latch actuator at the front end of the body is movable between a home position and a releasing position. A release handle at the front end of the body is operatively connected to the latch actuator such that actuation of the release handle causes the latch actuator to move from the home position to the releasing position to unlatch the body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Publication date: March 16, 2017
    Inventors: MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS, THOMAS EUGENE PANGBURN
  • Publication number: 20170052478
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an electrophotographic image forming device according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. A rotatable shaft is positioned within the reservoir and has an axis of rotation. A first magnet and a second magnet are connected to the shaft and rotatable around the axis of rotation in response to rotation of the shaft. The first magnet and the second magnet are detectable by a magnetic sensor when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A polarity of the first magnet is oriented opposite a polarity of the second magnet relative to the shaft. An amount of angular offset between the first magnet and the second magnet varies depending on an amount of toner in the reservoir.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Publication date: February 23, 2017
    Inventors: BRIAN SCOTT CARPENTER, MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS, ROBERT WATSON MCALPINE
  • Publication number: 20170017179
    Abstract: A method for estimating an amount of toner remaining in a reservoir of a replaceable unit for an image forming device according to one example embodiment includes receiving by processing circuitry pulses from a sensor. The processing circuitry counts the number of the pulses received from the sensor. Upon receiving a request from a controller of the image forming device, the processing circuitry sends to the controller of the image forming device the count of the pulses received from the sensor and resets the count of the pulses received from the sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2016
    Publication date: January 19, 2017
    Inventors: MICHAEL CRAIG LEEMHUIS, JEFFREY ALLEN ABLER, CHARLES ALAN BAST, TODD ALAN DUTTON, DAVID ANTHONY SCHNEIDER
  • Patent number: 9519243
    Abstract: A replaceable unit for an electrophotographic image forming device according to one example embodiment includes a housing having a reservoir for storing toner. A rotatable shaft is positioned within the reservoir and has an axis of rotation. A first magnet and a second magnet are connected to the shaft and rotatable around the axis of rotation in response to rotation of the shaft. The first magnet and the second magnet are detectable by a magnetic sensor when the replaceable unit is installed in the image forming device. A polarity of the first magnet is oriented opposite a polarity of the second magnet relative to the shaft. An amount of angular offset between the first magnet and the second magnet varies depending on an amount of toner in the reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: Lexmark International, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian Scott Carpenter, Robert Watson McAlpine, Michael Craig Leemhuis