Patents by Inventor Noboru Suzuki

Noboru Suzuki 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: 8452218
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a tubular fusing film, a heater, a nip member, a backup member, a first supporting member, and a second supporting member. The heater may be disposed inside the tubular shape of the fusing film. The nip member may be disposed so as to be in sliding contact with the inner surface of the fusing film and heated by the heater. The backup member may form a nip portion between the backup member and the fusing film with the fusing film between the backup member and the nip member. The first supporting member may be configured to support the nip member. The second supporting member may be configured to support the heater and movably support the first supporting member so that the nip member moves relative to the backup member and the heater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Noboru Suzuki, Kei Ishida, Yoshihiro Miyauchi, Tomohiro Kondo, Tsuneo Fujiwara, Etsuko Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 8412083
    Abstract: A fixing device for thermally fixing a developer image transferred onto a recording sheet, includes: a flexible fusing member which is flexibly deformable; a heating element; a nip member disposed in such a manner as to contact with a surface of the flexible fusing member and to allow the flexible fusing member to slide along the nip member; a reflecting plate configured to reflect radiant heat from the heating element in a direction toward the nip member; a backup member configured to nip the flexible fusing member with the nip member to thereby form a nip portion for the recording sheet between the flexible fusing member and the backup member; and a stay configured to support both end portions of the nip member. The reflecting plate has at least one flange portion, and the flange portion is held and supported between the nip member and the stay.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kei Ishida, Noboru Suzuki, Takuji Matsuno, Tomohiro Kondo, Yoshihiro Miyauchi, Tsuneo Fujiwara, Etsuko Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 8412084
    Abstract: There is provided a fixing device for thermally fixing a developing agent image to a sheet. The fixing device includes: a tubular flexible member having an inner peripheral surface defining an internal space; a nip member disposed in the internal space and having one surface, the inner peripheral surface being in sliding contact with the one surface; a heater disposed in the internal space: a reflection plate configured to reflect a radiant heat from the heater toward the nip member; a backup member providing a nip region in cooperation with the nip member for nipping the flexible member between the backup member and the nip member; and a temperature sensor disposed in the internal space to detect a temperature of the reflection plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kei Ishida, Noboru Suzuki, Yoshihiro Miyauchi, Tomohiro Kondo, Tsuneo Fujiwara, Etsuko Fujiwara
  • Publication number: 20130071157
    Abstract: A fixing device includes, a belt, and a plate. The belt has a first surface and a second surface opposite to the first surface. The plate is made of metal and has a sliding surface that is configured to slide on the first surface of the belt in a predetermined direction. The sliding surface of the plate has roll marks that extend along the predetermined direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2012
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Inventors: Noboru Suzuki, Kei Ishida, Takuji Matsuno, Yoshihiro Miyauchi
  • Publication number: 20130071156
    Abstract: A fixing device configured to heat-fix a developer image on a recording sheet, the fixing device includes: a flexible cylindrical member; a nip member configured to slidingly contact an inner peripheral surface of the cylindrical member; a heating member that is arranged at an inside of the cylindrical member and is configured to heat the nip member; a stay configured to support the nip member with surrounding the heating member; a backup member configured to interpose the cylindrical member between the nip member and the backup member; a cover member that is arranged at the inside of the cylindrical member and is configured to cover the stay from an opposite side to the heating member; and a first support member configured to support the cover member and form a gap between the stay and the cover member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2012
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Inventors: Noboru Suzuki, Kei Ishida, Takuji Matsuno, Yoshihiro Miyauchi
  • Publication number: 20130071159
    Abstract: A fixing device may include first and second fixing members arranged to form a nip portion, an urging member that provides an urging force to urge the first fixing member toward the second fixing member, a change member configured to change a width of the nip portion from a first nip width to a second nip width by applying a pressing force to the first fixing member against the urging force of the urging member and change the width of the nip portion from the second nip width to the first nip width by releasing the pressing force, and a restriction portion configured to restrict movement of the first fixing member and restrict a maximum value of the first nip width of the nip portion while the pressing force against the urging force is released.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2012
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Inventors: Noboru Suzuki, Kei Ishida, Takuji Matsuno, Yoshihiro Miyauchi
  • Publication number: 20130071155
    Abstract: A fixing device includes: a first fixing member and a second fixing member forming a nip portion for heat-fixing a recording sheet; an urging mechanism including an urging member and urging the first fixing member toward the second fixing member by an urging force of the urging member; a first frame for supporting the second fixing member; a second frame arranged at an opposite side to the second fixing member with the first fixing member being interposed therebetween; and a switching member, which applies a pressing force resisting the urging force to the first fixing member for switching a width of the nip portion, and which includes a cam to which the urging force is applied and a shaft for supporting the cam. The first frame and the second frame are connected to each other by the shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2012
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Inventors: Noboru Suzuki, Kei Ishida, Takuji Matsuno, Yoshihiro Miyauchi
  • Patent number: 8385771
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus is provided. The image forming apparatus includes a chassis having a first opening on a first side, photosensitive members, an intermediate transfer belt arranged to have a surface thereof facing the photosensitive members, primary-transfer members, a secondary-transfer roller, a first feed roller, a cleaner device, a waste toner container, which is removably installed in the chassis through the first opening and settled in a position opposite from the photosensitive members across the intermediate transfer belt, a connector, a first feeding path extending in a range between the first feed roller and the secondary-transfer roller, and a second feeding path being formed in clearance between the intermediate transfer belt and the waste toner container to convey a recording sheet being inserted through a sheet inlet and merging into the first feeding path in the vicinity of the first feed roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hirotaka Mori, Hiroshi Nakano, Noboru Suzuki, Shougo Sato
  • Patent number: 8331838
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus is provided. The image forming apparatus includes a fixing unit to thermally fix an image transferred onto a sheet, a discharge unit to discharge the sheet carried from the fixing unit outside the image forming apparatus through a discharge path, a swingable member to be swung by the sheet being discharged, a swing-detectable sensor to detect swing movement of the swingable member being swung by the sheet, and a judging unit to judge as to whether the sheet is in one-sided alignment, in which the sheet is aligned to one of the widthwise sides in the discharge path based on result detected by the swing-detectable sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Noboru Suzuki
  • Publication number: 20120308277
    Abstract: A fixing device for thermally fixing a developing agent image to a sheet includes: a flexible tubular member having an inner peripheral surface and circularly moving in a moving direction while the developing agent image is thermally fixed; a heater; a nip member being in sliding contact with the tubular member; a backup member nipping the tubular member in cooperation with the nip member; a stay covering the heater and supporting the nip member; an electric component positioned opposite to the heater with respect to the stay; and a frame supporting the electric component. The frame includes: an isolating portion interposed between the tubular member and the electric component for isolating the electric component from the tubular member; and a guide portion guiding the inner peripheral surface of the tubular member while the flexible tubular member is moving in the moving direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Noboru SUZUKI, Kei ISHIDA, Takuji MATSUNO, Yoshihiro MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20120308275
    Abstract: A fixing device for thermally fixing a developing agent image to a sheet includes: a flexible tubular member having an inner peripheral surface, the tubular member defining an axis extending in an axial direction and having widthwise end portions in the axial direction; a heater; a nip member being in sliding contact with the inner peripheral surface; a backup member confronting the nip member to nip the tubular member in cooperation with the nip member; a stay supporting the nip member; a pair of inner guides being in sliding contact with the inner peripheral surface to guide the same; and a pair of restricting members restricting the widthwise end portions of the tubular member from moving in the axial direction, at least one of the pair of restricting members being formed separately from the inner guides and being assembled to the stay in a direction perpendicular to the axial direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Noboru SUZUKI, Kei ISHIDA, Takuji MATSUNO, Yoshihiro MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20120308254
    Abstract: A fixing device for thermally fixing a developing agent image to a sheet includes: a flexible tubular member having an inner peripheral surface defining an internal space; a heater; a nip member being in sliding contact with the inner peripheral surface of the flexible tubular member and having an electrically conductive surface; a stay supporting the nip member and being electrically conductive and electrically connected to the electrically conductive surface; a backup member nipping the flexible tubular member in cooperation with the nip member; a supporting member supporting the nip member and the stay, the supporting member being movable relative to the backup member; and a first grounding member disposed to be in contact with the stay for grounding the stay, the first grounding member being supported to the supporting member such that the first grounding member is integrally movable with the supporting member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Noboru SUZUKI, Kei ISHIDA, Takuji MATSUNO, Yoshihiro MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20120275831
    Abstract: A fixing device includes: a tubular member; a heater; a nip member including a base portion, a connecting portion, and a flange portion; a backup member; and a guide member. The tubular member is circularly movable in a circularly-moving direction. The guide member has a part positioned upstream of the nip member in the circularly-moving direction and configured to guide the tubular member. The part has an end portion containing a most downstream end at which the tubular member is directed to a position between the nip member and the backup member. The nip member and the guide member define an imaginary plane containing a line connecting the first curved portion provided by a boundary region between the connecting portion and the base portion, and the most downstream end. The first imaginary plane is positioned opposite to the heater relative to a first end of the flange portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kei ISHIDA, Noboru SUZUKI, Takuji MATSUNO, Yoshihiro MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20120275830
    Abstract: A fixing device for thermally fixing a developing agent image to a sheet fed in a sheet feeding direction includes: a tubular member; a heater; a nip member; and a backup member. The nip member made of a metal plate includes: a base portion; a connecting portion; and a flange portion. The base portion is plate-shaped. A nip region for nipping the tubular member between the backup member and the nip member is defined exclusively by the base portion and the backup member. The connecting portion extends from the base portion in a direction away from the backup member. The flange portion extends from the connecting portion in a direction opposite to the sheet feeding direction. The connecting portion and the flange portion define a retaining portion at a position confronting an inner peripheral surface of the tubular member for retaining a lubricant agent therein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Noboru SUZUKI, Kei ISHIDA, Takuji MATSUNO, Yoshihiro MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20120275833
    Abstract: A fixing device includes: a tubular member; a heater; a nip member; a stay; and a backup member. The heater including: a glass tube; and a heat source. The nip member confronts the heater in a confronting direction. The glass tube has an axis defining an axial direction. The glass tube includes a glass tube body having end portions in the axial direction and sealed portions formed integrally with the end portions. Each sealed portion is formed in a plate shape and protrudes radially outwardly from the glass tube body when viewing in the axial direction. Each sealed portion is oriented in a first direction and defines a cross-sectional distance between one end portion and another end portion of the sealed portion in the confronting direction greater than a cross-sectional length of the glass tube in a second direction perpendicular to the confronting direction and the axial direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kei ISHIDA, Noboru SUZUKI, Takuji MATSUNO, Yoshihiro MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20120275832
    Abstract: A fixing device for thermally fixing a developing agent image to a sheet includes: a flexible tubular member defining an axis extending in an axial direction; a heater; a nip plate configured to be in sliding contact with the tubular member and having an engaging portion; a backup member configured to nip the flexible tubular member in cooperation with the nip plate; and a stay configured to support the nip plate and having an end portion in the axial direction. The stay includes: a support portion configured to support the nip plate; a plurality of hook portions provided at the end portion to support the nip plate; and a protruding portion protruding toward the backup member and configured to engage the engaging portion such that the nip plate is restricted from moving in a direction orthogonal to a direction in which the backup member confronts the nip plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Noboru SUZUKI
  • Publication number: 20120251138
    Abstract: A fuser unit includes: a cylindrical member; a heat generator; a nip member; a backup member, which configures a nip part between the cylindrical member and the backup member with the cylindrical member; a conductive member, which is arranged to cover the heat generator at the inside of the cylindrical member; a temperature detection unit; a wiring; a first frame having insulation, which is arranged at an opposite side to the heat generator with respect to the conductive member being interposed therebetween at the inside of the cylindrical member, and which extends along the conductive member; and a second frame, which is arranged at an opposite side to the conductive member with respect to the first frame being interposed therebetween at the inside of the cylindrical member, and which extends along the first frame, wherein the wiring is arranged between the first frame and the second frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2012
    Publication date: October 4, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kei ISHIDA, Noboru SUZUKI, Takuji MATSUNO, Yoshihiro MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20120251207
    Abstract: A fuser unit includes: a cylindrical member having flexibility; a heat generator, which is arranged at the inside of the cylindrical member; a plate-shaped nip member, which is arranged to slidingly contact an inner peripheral surface of the cylindrical member and receives radiation heat from the heat generator; a backup member, which is configured to configure a nip part between the cylindrical member and the backup member with the cylindrical member, by nipping between the backup member and the nip member; a temperature detection unit, which is arranged to face an opposite surface that is opposite to the surface of the nip member slidingly contacting the cylindrical member at the inside of the cylindrical member and detects a temperature of the nip member, and an urging member that urges the temperature detection unit toward the nip member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2012
    Publication date: October 4, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kei ISHIDA, Noboru SUZUKI, Takuji MATSUNO, Yoshihiro MIYAUCHI
  • Publication number: 20120163886
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a tubular flexible metallic fusing member, a heater, a nip member, and a backup member. The fusing member has an inner peripheral surface defining an internal space. The heater is disposed in the internal space. The nip member is disposed in the internal space for receiving radiant heat from the heater and has a contact surface in sliding contact with the inner peripheral surface. At least the contact surface is provided with a protection layer having a hardness higher than that of the inner peripheral surface. The backup member nips the fusing member in cooperation with the nip member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 27, 2011
    Publication date: June 28, 2012
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Noboru SUZUKI
  • Patent number: 8175472
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes: a detected member of which a temperature is to be detected; a temperature sensor including a contact portion provided to contact the detected member, the temperature sensor being configured to detect the temperature of the detected member; and a condition determining unit. The condition determining unit is configured to control electric power supplied to the temperature sensor such that the temperature sensor self-heats during a heating time period, and determine a condition of the contact portion based on the temperature detected by the temperature sensor after the temperature sensor starts self-heating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Noboru Suzuki