Patents by Inventor Nobuo Kuwabara

Nobuo Kuwabara 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: 20210200124
    Abstract: A snap ring is set to a set portion of a shaft of a rotator from a direction orthogonal to an axial direction of the shaft. The snap ring includes a first arcuate portion and a second arcuate portion facing each other, being elastically deformable in directions away from each other, holding the set portion by elastic deformation restoring force. One ends of the first and second arcuate portions are away from each other to form an insertion portion to insert the set portion. When the snap ring is not used, the first arcuate portion has a same radius of curvature as the second arcuate portion and the set portion, and a center of curvature closer to the second arcuate portion than the first arcuate portion, and the second arcuate portion has a center of curvature closer to the first arcuate portion than the second arcuate portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2020
    Publication date: July 1, 2021
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yohhei WATANABE, Naoto SUZUKI, Yuta AZEYANAGI, Nobuo KUWABARA, Kenji HONJOH, Teppei KAWATA, Haruki NAGATA, Michiharu SUZUKI
  • Patent number: 10481515
    Abstract: A charging device is detachably attachable with respect to a body of an image forming apparatus. The charging device includes a charging roller and a cleaning member. The charging roller charges an image bearer. The cleaning member cleans the charging roller. The cleaning member has a higher cleaning performance on the charging roller during detachment in which the charging device is detached from the body of the image forming apparatus than during attachment in which the charging device is attached to the body of the image forming apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Nobuo Kuwabara, Daisuke Tomita, Norio Kudoh, Kento Aoki, Takeshi Fukao
  • Publication number: 20190258188
    Abstract: A charging device is detachably attachable with respect to a body of an image forming apparatus. The charging device includes a charging roller and a cleaning member. The charging roller charges an image bearer. The cleaning member cleans the charging roller. The cleaning member has a higher cleaning performance on the charging roller during detachment in which the charging device is detached from the body of the image forming apparatus than during attachment in which the charging device is attached to the body of the image forming apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 5, 2019
    Publication date: August 22, 2019
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Nobuo Kuwabara, Daisuke Tomita, Norio Kudoh, Kento Aoki, Takeshi Fukao
  • Patent number: 10042314
    Abstract: A cleaning device, which is included in a process cartridge and an image forming apparatus, includes a cleaning blade configured to remove a material attached to a surface of an image bearer, a cleaning case configured to contain the material removed by the cleaning blade, and a removed material receiver configured to receive the material failed to enter into the cleaning case when the material is removed by the cleaning blade, the removed material receiver having a first range at both ends in a width direction of the cleaning blade and a second range at a center in the width direction of the cleaning blade. A volume per unit length in a width direction of the first range is greater than a volume per unit length in a width direction of the second range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Daisuke Tomita, Nobuo Kuwabara, Yasuhiro Maehata, Norio Kudoh, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Kento Aoki
  • Patent number: 9958823
    Abstract: A device disposed opposing an image bearer includes a roller to rotate while contacting a surface of the image bearer, a rolling bearing fitted around a shaft located at an end of the roller in an axial direction of the roller, a frame to house the roller, and a bearing support removably attached to the frame. The rolling bearing includes an outer ring, an inner ring, and a rolling element disposed between the outer ring and the inner ring. The bearing support holds, from an outer-ring side, the rolling bearing interposed between the bearing support and the frame. The bearing support includes a receiving portion to contact the outer ring of the rolling bearing and bias the rolling bearing toward the frame in a direction in which the rolling bearing is interposed between the bearing support and the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Daisuke Tomita, Takeshi Shintani, Yasuhiro Maehata, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Yusuke Ishizuka, Nobuo Kuwabara, Norio Kudoh, Kento Aoki
  • Publication number: 20180046128
    Abstract: A cleaning device, which is included in a process cartridge and an image forming apparatus, includes a cleaning blade configured to remove a material attached to a surface of an image bearer, a cleaning case configured to contain the material removed by the cleaning blade, and a removed material receiver configured to receive the material failed to enter into the cleaning case when the material is removed by the cleaning blade, the removed material receiver having a first range at both ends in a width direction of the cleaning blade and a second range at a center in the width direction of the cleaning blade. A volume per unit length in a width direction of the first range is greater than a volume per unit length in a width direction of the second range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2017
    Publication date: February 15, 2018
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Daisuke TOMITA, Nobuo KUWABARA, Yasuhiro MAEHATA, Norio KUDOH, Yasuhito KUBOSHIMA, Kento AOKI
  • Patent number: 9798288
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image bearer to bear a toner image, a lubricant supply roller to supply lubricant to a surface of the image bearer, a rotation speed changer to change a rotation speed of the lubricant supply roller, and a controller to control the rotation speed changer to change the rotation speed of the lubricant supply roller to a target speed based on a predetermined condition. The controller is configured to control the rotation speed changer to avoid a predetermined speed range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Maehata, Kenji Honjoh, Takeshi Shintani, Nobuo Kuwabara, Daisuke Tomita, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Yusuke Ishizuka
  • Patent number: 9696648
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a process cartridge that includes an image bearer including a rotary shaft and rotates about the rotary shaft; a charger to charge a surface of the image bearer; and a developing device to develop an electrostatic latent image formed on the image bearer into a visible toner image. The charger includes a charging roller that rotates about a shaft together with the image bearer during image formation and electrically charges a surface of the image bearer. A surface linear speed of the charging roller is made slower than a surface linear speed of the image bearer. The image forming apparatus includes a charging roller controller that switches the rotational speed of the charging roller to a first rotational speed slower than the linear speed of the image bearer and a second rotational speed identical to the linear speed of the image bearer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Maehata, Nobuo Kuwabara, Kenji Honjoh, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Yusuke Ishizuka, Takeshi Shintani
  • Publication number: 20170102663
    Abstract: A device disposed opposing an image bearer includes a roller to rotate while contacting a surface of the image bearer, a rolling bearing fitted around a shaft located at an end of the roller in an axial direction of the roller, a frame to house the roller, and a bearing support removably attached to the frame. The rolling bearing includes an outer ring, an inner ring, and a rolling element disposed between the outer ring and the inner ring. The bearing support holds, from an outer-ring side, the rolling bearing interposed between the bearing support and the frame. The bearing support includes a receiving portion to contact the outer ring of the rolling bearing and bias the rolling bearing toward the frame in a direction in which the rolling bearing is interposed between the bearing support and the frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2016
    Publication date: April 13, 2017
    Inventors: Daisuke TOMITA, Takeshi SHINTANI, Yasuhiro MAEHATA, Yasuhito KUBOSHIMA, Yusuke ISHIZUKA, Nobuo KUWABARA, Norio KUDOH, Kento AOKI
  • Publication number: 20160334757
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image bearer to bear a toner image, a lubricant supply roller to supply lubricant to a surface of the image bearer, a rotation speed changer to change a rotation speed of the lubricant supply roller, and a controller to control the rotation speed changer to change the rotation speed of the lubricant supply roller to a target speed based on a predetermined condition. The controller is configured to control the rotation speed changer to avoid a predetermined speed range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2016
    Publication date: November 17, 2016
    Inventors: Yasuhiro MAEHATA, Kenji Honjoh, Takeshi Shintani, Nobuo Kuwabara, Daisuke Tomita, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Yusuke Ishizuka
  • Publication number: 20160209771
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a process cartridge that includes an image bearer including a rotary shaft and rotates about the rotary shaft; a charger to charge a surface of the image bearer; and a developing device to develop an electrostatic latent image formed on the image bearer into a visible toner image. The charger includes a charging roller that rotates about a shaft together with the image bearer during image formation and electrically charges a surface of the image bearer. A surface linear speed of the charging roller is made slower than a surface linear speed of the image bearer. The image forming apparatus includes a charging roller controller that switches the rotational speed of the charging roller to a first rotational speed slower than the linear speed of the image bearer and a second rotational speed identical to the linear speed of the image bearer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Publication date: July 21, 2016
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Maehata, Nobuo Kuwabara, Kenji Honjoh, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Yusuke Ishizuka, Takeshi Shintani
  • Patent number: 9383715
    Abstract: A lubricant supplying device includes a lubricant supplier contacting an image bearer, a solid lubricant contacting the roller, a detector detecting a lubricant amount, and a controller controlling a supplying of the roller based on a detector detection. The detector outputs to the controller a first signal of a near-end state when the amount reaches a first amount, a second signal of an end state when the amount reaches a second amount smaller than the first amount, and a third signal of an absolute end state when the amount reaches a third amount smaller than the second amount. The controller temporarily stops the supplying when the second signal is output, cancels a roller temporary stopped state even when lubricant replacement is not completed after this state, stops the supplying when the third signal is output, and maintains a roller stopped state until the replacement is completed after this state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Kenji Honjoh, Takeshi Shintani, Nobuo Kuwabara, Yasuhiro Maehata, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Yusuke Ishizuka
  • Patent number: 9367021
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a controller and multiple image forming units each of which includes an image bearer, a toner image forming device to form a toner image on the image bearer, a transfer device to transfer the toner image from the image bearer onto a transfer medium, a cleaning device to remove toner from a surface of the image bearer, a waste-toner tube through which toner removed by the cleaning device is transported, and a toner conveying member to transport toner by rotation and disposed inside the waste-toner tube. The controller changes a rotation speed of the toner conveying member for each of the multiple image forming units according to toner type including a first toner and a second toner having poorer flow properties than the first toner, and at least one image forming units uses the second toner and the rest use the first toner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yusuke Ishizuka, Takeshi Shintani, Nobuo Kuwabara, Kenji Honjoh, Yasuhito Kuboshima
  • Publication number: 20160139555
    Abstract: A lubricant supplying device includes a lubricant supplier contacting an image bearer, a solid lubricant contacting the roller, a detector detecting a lubricant amount, and a controller controlling a supplying of the roller based on a detector detection. The detector outputs to the controller a first signal of a near-end state when the amount reaches a first amount, a second signal of an end state when the amount reaches a second amount smaller than the first amount, and a third signal of an absolute end state when the amount reaches a third amount smaller than the second amount. The controller temporarily stops the supplying when the second signal is output, cancels a roller temporary stopped state even when lubricant replacement is not completed after this state, stops the supplying when the third signal is output, and maintains a roller stopped state until the replacement is completed after this state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2015
    Publication date: May 19, 2016
    Inventors: Kenji Honjoh, Takeshi Shintani, Nobuo Kuwabara, Yasuhiro Maehata, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Yusuke Ishizuka
  • Patent number: 9207625
    Abstract: A lubricant supply device includes a solid lubricant, a lubricant holder to hold the solid lubricant, a lubricant supply member to supply lubricant to a lubrication target, a pressing member to press the solid lubricant toward the lubricant supply member, and a pressing force adjuster to change an amount of pressing force exerted by the pressing member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Ryohta Gotoh, Kaoru Yoshino, Satoshi Hatori, Hiromichi Ninomiya, Nobuyuki Taguchi, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Naohiro Kumagai, Shinichi Kawahara, Nobuo Kuwabara, Hideyasu Seki, Yuta Azeyanagi
  • Patent number: 9158267
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus including multiple image forming units; a waste-toner container; and a waste-toner conveyance device including a common conveyance channel member disposed in an arrangement direction of the image forming units and provided with toner inlets to receive the waste toner from toner outlets of the cleaning units, communicating channel members identical in structure and respectively disposed between the toner outlets and the toner inlets of the common conveyance channel member, and a rotatable conveying member to transport the waste toner inside the common conveyance channel member linearly along a rotation axis thereof. The common conveyance channel member is shaped to equalize relative positions of each of the toner outlets and a corresponding one of the toner inlets of the common conveyance channel member among the multiple image forming units among which a distance from the toner outlet to the rotation axis differs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Nobuo Kuwabara, Shinichi Kawahara, Norio Kudoh, Takeshi Shintani, Kenji Honjoh, Yasuhito Kuboshima, Yusuke Ishizuka
  • Patent number: 9128452
    Abstract: A solid lubricant supply system includes a solid lubricant supplier to receive and supply solid lubricant to a solid lubricant supplying target. A pair of first and second moveable planar electrodes is opposed to each other. The second moveable planar electrode is partially moved toward the first moveable planar electrode as the solid lubricant is consumed. A residual solid lubricant quantity detecting unit is provide to detect a quantity of the residual solid lubricant at a first stage, in which the residual solid lubricant quantity is below a given level, by detecting electric conduction between the pair of first and second moveable planar electrodes when the pair of first and second moveable planar electrodes contacts each other. The first moveable planar electrode is enabled to further move together with the second moveable planar electrode when it is contacted and pressed by the second moveable planar electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Satoshi Hatori, Kenji Honjoh, Ryohta Gotoh, Akira Fujimori, Kaoru Yoshino, Naohiro Kumagai, Hideyasu Seki, Shinichi Kawahara, Takeshi Shintani, Nobuo Kuwabara, Norio Kudoh, Daisuke Tomita
  • Publication number: 20150227107
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a controller and multiple image forming units each of which includes an image bearer, a toner image forming device to form a toner image on the image bearer, a transfer device to transfer the toner image from the image bearer onto a transfer medium, a cleaning device to remove toner from a surface of the image bearer, a waste-toner tube through which toner removed by the cleaning device is transported, and a toner conveying member to transport toner by rotation and disposed inside the waste-toner tube. The controller changes a rotation speed of the toner conveying member for each of the multiple image forming units according to toner type including a first toner and a second toner having poorer flow properties than the first toner, and at least one image forming units uses the second toner and the rest use the first toner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2015
    Publication date: August 13, 2015
    Applicant: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Yusuke ISHIZUKA, Takeshi SHINTANI, Nobuo KUWABARA, Kenji HONJOH, Yasuhito KUBOSHIMA
  • Publication number: 20150078795
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus including multiple image forming units; a waste-toner container; and a waste-toner conveyance device including a common conveyance channel member disposed in an arrangement direction of the image forming units and provided with toner inlets to receive the waste toner from toner outlets of the cleaning units, communicating channel members identical in structure and respectively disposed between the toner outlets and the toner inlets of the common conveyance channel member, and a rotatable conveying member to transport the waste toner inside the common conveyance channel member linearly along a rotation axis thereof. The common conveyance channel member is shaped to equalize relative positions of each of the toner outlets and a corresponding one of the toner inlets of the common conveyance channel member among the multiple image forming units among which a distance from the toner outlet to the rotation axis differs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 3, 2014
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Inventors: Nobuo KUWABARA, Shinichi KAWAHARA, Norio KUDOH, Takeshi SHINTANI, Kenji HONJOH, Yasuhito KUBOSHIMA, Yusuke ISHIZUKA
  • Patent number: 8958719
    Abstract: When the acute angle between a normal line, oriented outward from a blade abutting portion of a photosensitive member over which a cleaning blade remains abutted before separation of the surface of the photosensitive member from the cleaning blade, and a horizontal plane, passing through the origin of the normal line, is expressed as a positive value when the normal line lies above the horizontal plane and expressed as a negative value when the normal line lies below the horizontal plane; an imaging unit frame so supports a photosensitive module that the photosensitive member can rotate to a specific rotational position having a greater angle than the angle at the time of separation of the surface of the photosensitive member from the cleaning blade. Until the photosensitive member rotates from a normal rotational position to the specific rotational position, the photosensitive module cannot be removed from the imaging unit frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Limited
    Inventors: Nobuo Kuwabara, Shinichi Kawahara, Akio Kosuge, Daisuke Tomita