Patents by Inventor Takashi Seto

Takashi Seto 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: 10942475
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that rotates and includes an inner face. A pressure rotator is disposed opposite the fixing rotator and rotates. A nip former sandwiches the fixing rotator together with the pressure rotator to form a nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The nip former includes an outer face disposed opposite the inner face of the fixing rotator. The inner face of the fixing rotator and the outer face of the nip former sandwich a lubricant. At least one of the inner face of the fixing rotator and the outer face of the nip former includes a projection having a volume smaller than 0.3 ml/m2 and a recess having a spatial volume greater than 0.08 ml/m2. The volume and the spatial volume are three-dimensional surface roughness parameters, respectively, defined by the International Organization for Standardization 25178 standard in an initial state before the fixing rotator rotates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei Fujimoto, Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Takashi Seto, Hiroyuki Shimada
  • Publication number: 20200409292
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that rotates and includes an inner face. A pressure rotator is disposed opposite the fixing rotator and rotates. A nip former sandwiches the fixing rotator together with the pressure rotator to form a nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The nip former includes an outer face disposed opposite the inner face of the fixing rotator. The inner face of the fixing rotator and the outer face of the nip former sandwich a lubricant. At least one of the inner face of the fixing rotator and the outer face of the nip former includes a projection having a volume smaller than 0.3 ml/m2 and a recess having a spatial volume greater than 0.08 ml/m2. The volume and the spatial volume are three-dimensional surface roughness parameters, respectively, defined by the International Organization for Standardization 25178 standard in an initial state before the fixing rotator rotates.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 28, 2020
    Publication date: December 31, 2020
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei FUJIMOTO, Yoshiki YAMAGUCHI, Takashi SETO, Hiroyuki SHIMADA
  • Patent number: 10691049
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator and a pressure rotator that is disposed opposite the fixing rotator. A nip former is disposed inside a loop formed by the fixing rotator and disposed opposite the pressure rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The fixing rotator slides over the nip former. A flange supports the fixing rotator at both lateral ends of the fixing rotator in a longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator. The nip former includes a base and a thermal conductor that has a thermal conductivity greater than a thermal conductivity of the base. The base is greater than the thermal conductor in the longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator. The base includes a groove that is disposed outboard at least from the thermal conductor in the longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Ippei Fujimoto, Hiroyuki Shimada, Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki
  • Patent number: 10571837
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that is flexible, endless, and rotatable. A heater heats the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator is disposed opposite the fixing rotator. A nip former defines a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. A support supports the nip former. The nip former includes a back face that contacts the support and has a nonlinear shape in a longitudinal direction of the nip former.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Ippei Fujimoto, Hiroyuki Shimada, Takayuki Seki, Takashi Seto, Yoshiyuki Fukuda, Hiroshi Yoshinaga
  • Publication number: 20200033777
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator and a pressure rotator that is disposed opposite the fixing rotator. A nip former is disposed inside a loop formed by the fixing rotator and disposed opposite the pressure rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The fixing rotator slides over the nip former. A flange supports the fixing rotator at both lateral ends of the fixing rotator in a longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator. The nip former includes a base and a thermal conductor that has a thermal conductivity greater than a thermal conductivity of the base. The base is greater than the thermal conductor in the longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator. The base includes a groove that is disposed outboard at least from the thermal conductor in the longitudinal direction of the fixing rotator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 22, 2019
    Publication date: January 30, 2020
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei FUJIMOTO, Hiroyuki SHIMADA, Yoshiki YAMAGUCHI, Takashi SETO, Takayuki SEKI
  • Publication number: 20190286025
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that is flexible, endless, and rotatable. A heater heats the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator is disposed opposite the fixing rotator. A nip former defines a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. A support supports the nip former. The nip former includes a back face that contacts the support and has a nonlinear shape in a longitudinal direction of the nip former.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2019
    Publication date: September 19, 2019
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiki YAMAGUCHI, lppei FUJIMOTO, Hiroyuki SHIMADA, Takayuki SEKI, Takashi SETO, Yoshiyuki FUKUDA, Hiroshi YOSHINAGA
  • Patent number: 10331062
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a fixing device that includes a heater to heat a fixing rotator, an opposed rotator to press against the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip therebetween, and at least one rotary body to convey a recording medium to the fixing nip. A controller rotates the fixing rotator in a forward direction to fix a toner image on the recording medium. The controller stops the heater and rotates the fixing rotator in a predetermined rotation direction when a failure occurs while the fixing device is activated. The controller determines that the predetermined rotation direction is the forward direction or a backward direction according to the at least one rotary body that sandwiches the recording medium, if the fixing nip and the at least one rotary body sandwich the recording medium simultaneously when the failure occurs while the fixing device is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Kenji Ishii, Hiroyuki Shimada, Ippei Fujimoto, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada
  • Patent number: 10317823
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator and a lateral end heater to heat a lateral end span of the fixing rotator in an axial direction thereof. A thermal conduction aid contacts the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad contacts the thermal conduction aid. A lateral end temperature detector detects a temperature of the fixing rotator in a lateral end detection span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator. The thermal conduction aid contacts the nip formation pad in a first span including the lateral end detection span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator with a first contact area. The thermal conduction aid contacts the nip formation pad in a second span disposed outboard from the first span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator with a second contact area smaller than the first contact area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ippei Fujimoto, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Kenji Ishii, Hiroyuki Shimada, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada
  • Patent number: 10295939
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless belt and a pressure rotator disposed opposite an outer circumferential surface of the endless belt. The pressure rotator has a first span in an axial direction of the endless belt. A nip formation pad, which is disposed opposite an inner circumferential surface of the endless belt, forms a fixing nip between the endless belt and the pressure rotator. The nip formation pad includes a belt-side face disposed opposite the endless belt. A radiant heater, which is disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the endless belt, heats the endless belt. A thermal conduction aid, which contacts the belt-side face of the nip formation pad, conducts heat in the axial direction of the endless belt. The thermal conduction aid has a second span within which the first span of the pressure rotator is provided at the fixing nip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Kenji Ishii, Ippei Fujimoto, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki, Kazunari Sawada, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Patent number: 10295937
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a heat generator being disposed inside a loop formed by a rotator and including a heat generating portion to radiate radiant heat. A reflector is disposed inside the loop formed by the rotator and includes a reflection face to reflect the radiant heat radiated from the heat generator toward the rotator. A support supports the reflector. A holder holds each lateral end of the support in a longitudinal direction of the support, which is perpendicular to the rotation direction of the rotator. A fastener attaches the reflector to the support at an attachment position disposed at each lateral end of the reflector in a longitudinal direction of the reflector. The attachment position is disposed outboard from a lateral edge of the heat generating portion of the heat generator and disposed inboard from the holder in the longitudinal direction of the reflector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazunari Sawada, Ippei Fujimoto, Kenji Ishii, Hiroyuki Shimada, Takashi Seto, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takayuki Seki
  • Patent number: 10289037
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a lateral end heater, disposed opposite a lateral end of an inner circumferential surface of a fixing rotator in an axial direction thereof, to heat the fixing rotator and a thermal conduction aid contacting the fixing rotator and the lateral end heater to conduct heat. The lateral end heater includes a power supply portion disposed outboard from a lateral end of the thermal conduction aid in a longitudinal direction thereof and disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. The power supply portion includes an electrode. A cover covers the power supply portion and includes a cover face disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A height adjuster adjusts a height of the cover face of the cover and causes the cover face to define an identical plane with a fixing rotator side face of the thermal conduction aid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takayuki Seki, Takashi Seto, Kenji Ishii, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Ippei Fujimoto, Kazunari Sawada, Hiroyuki Shimada
  • Patent number: 10241448
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a nip former including a first face to form a fixing nip, a second face being disposed upstream from the first face in a rotation direction of a rotator and defining a predetermined angle relative to the first face, and a bent portion coupling the first face to the second face. An inner circumferential surface of the rotator slides over the first face. A lateral end accumulation portion and a center accumulation portion are defined by the second face and the bent portion of the nip former and the inner circumferential surface of the rotator. The lateral end accumulation portion is accumulated with a lubricant in a first amount. The center accumulation portion is disposed inboard from the lateral end accumulation portion in an axial direction of the rotator and accumulated with the lubricant in a second amount greater than the first amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazunari Sawada, Ippei Fujimoto, Kenji Ishii, Takashi Seto, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takayuki Seki
  • Patent number: 10222732
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator, an opposed rotator disposed opposite the fixing rotator, a pressure pad, a lateral end heater, and a thermal conduction aid. The pressure pad presses against the opposed rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the opposed rotator. The lateral end heater is disposed on the pressure pad to heat a lateral end of the fixing rotator in the axial direction of the fixing rotator. The thermal conduction aid is interposed between the pressure pad and the fixing rotator to decrease a temperature gradient of the fixing rotator in an axial direction of the fixing rotator. The pressure pad includes a nip-side face disposed opposite the thermal conduction aid. The lateral end heater includes a nip-side face being disposed opposite the thermal conduction aid and projecting beyond the nip-side face of the pressure pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takayuki Seki, Kenji Ishii, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takashi Seto, Ippei Fujimoto, Kazunari Sawada, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Publication number: 20180284669
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator and a lateral end heater to heat a lateral end span of the fixing rotator in an axial direction thereof. A thermal conduction aid contacts the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad contacts the thermal conduction aid. A lateral end temperature detector detects a temperature of the fixing rotator in a lateral end detection span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator. The thermal conduction aid contacts the nip formation pad in a first span including the lateral end detection span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator with a first contact area. The thermal conduction aid contacts the nip formation pad in a second span disposed outboard from the first span in the axial direction of the fixing rotator with a second contact area smaller than the first contact area.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 19, 2018
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Inventors: Ippei FUJIMOTO, Hiroshi YOSHINAGA, Kenji ISHII, Hiroyuki SHIMADA, Takashi SETO, Takayuki SEKI, Kazunari SAWADA
  • Patent number: 10082751
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a belt, a pressure rotator disposed opposite the belt, and a nip formation unit that forms a fixing nip between the belt and the pressure rotator. The nip formation unit includes a guide face disposed upstream from the fixing nip in a rotation direction of the belt and contoured to separate from the pressure rotator in a direction opposite the rotation direction of the belt. The guide face is adhered with a lubricant moved from an inner circumferential surface of the belt. The belt rotates in the rotation direction when an outer circumferential surface of the belt has a temperature lower than a fixing temperature at which the belt fixes a toner image on a recording medium. The belt rotating in the rotation direction brings the lubricant adhered to the guide face into contact with the belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi Seto, Kenji Ishii, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takayuki Seki, Ippei Fujimoto, Hiroyuki Shimada, Kazunari Sawada, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Patent number: 10042295
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless belt being applied with a lubricant on an inner circumferential surface of the endless belt. A pressure rotator presses against a nip formation pad via the endless belt to form a fixing nip between the endless belt and the pressure rotator. A radiant heater heats the endless belt. At least one contact heater heats at least one lateral end of the endless belt in an axial direction of the endless belt. At least one temperature detector detects a temperature of the endless belt. A controller controls the at least one contact heater to generate heat, controls the endless belt to rotate, and controls the radiant heater to generate heat sequentially based on the temperature of the endless belt that is detected by the at least one temperature detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Kenji Ishii, Kazuhito Kishi, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki, Ippei Fujimoto, Misaki Shimizu, Kazunari Sawada
  • Patent number: 10042297
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a flexible endless belt formed into a loop and having an inner circumferential surface, a heater to heat the endless belt, and a nip formation assembly disposed inside the loop formed by the endless belt. The nip formation assembly includes a pressure pad made of heat-resistant resin including a hollow filler, and a supplementary thermal conductor having a belt sliding-contact face over which the inner circumferential surface of the endless belt slides. The supplementary thermal conductor is interposed between the endless belt and the pressure pad to conduct heat from the heater in an axial direction of the endless belt. The fixing device further includes a pressure rotator to press against the nip formation assembly via the endless belt to form a fixing nip between the endless belt and the pressure rotator, through which a recording medium bearing a toner image is conveyed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazunari Sawada, Kenji Ishii, Kazuhito Kishi, Takayuki Seki, Ippei Fujimoto, Takashi Seto, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Misaki Shimizu
  • Patent number: 10025247
    Abstract: A fixing device includes fixing rotator, a heater to heat the fixing rotator, a pressure rotator disposed opposite an outer circumferential surface of the fixing rotator, a pressure pad disposed opposite an inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator, a support to support the pressure pad, and a thermal conduction aid to conduct heat in an axial direction of the fixing rotator. The pressure pad presses against the pressure rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The pressure pad includes a nip-side face disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. The thermal conduction aid covers the nip-side face of the pressure pad. The nip-side face of the pressure pad includes at least one mouth therein defining a non-contact area in which the pressure pad does not contact the thermal conduction aid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazunari Sawada, Ippei Fujimoto, Kenji Ishii, Takashi Seto, Takayuki Seki, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Publication number: 20180173138
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a lateral end heater, disposed opposite a lateral end of an inner circumferential surface of a fixing rotator in an axial direction thereof, to heat the fixing rotator and a thermal conduction aid contacting the fixing rotator and the lateral end heater to conduct heat. The lateral end heater includes a power supply portion disposed outboard from a lateral end of the thermal conduction aid in a longitudinal direction thereof and disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. The power supply portion includes an electrode. A cover covers the power supply portion and includes a cover face disposed opposite the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A height adjuster adjusts a height of the cover face of the cover and causes the cover face to define an identical plane with a fixing rotator side face of the thermal conduction aid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Publication date: June 21, 2018
    Inventors: Takayuki SEKI, Takashi SETO, Kenji ISHII, Hiroshi YOSHINAGA, Ippei FUJIMOTO, Kazunari SAWADA, Hiroyuki SHIMADA
  • Publication number: 20180157198
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a belt, a pressure rotator disposed opposite the belt, and a nip formation unit that forms a fixing nip between the belt and the pressure rotator. The nip formation unit includes a guide face disposed upstream from the fixing nip in a rotation direction of the belt and contoured to separate from the pressure rotator in a direction opposite the rotation direction of the belt. The guide face is adhered with a lubricant moved from an inner circumferential surface of the belt. The belt rotates in the rotation direction when an outer circumferential surface of the belt has a temperature lower than a fixing temperature at which the belt fixes a toner image on a recording medium. The belt rotating in the rotation direction brings the lubricant adhered to the guide face into contact with the belt.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2017
    Publication date: June 7, 2018
    Inventors: Takashi SETO, Kenji ISHII, Hiroshi YOSHINAGA, Takayuki SEKI, Ippei FUJIMOTO, Hiroyuki SHIMADA, Kazunari SAWADA, Ryohei MATSUDA