Patents by Inventor Tomo Kitada

Tomo Kitada 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: 20200249594
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image holder, an intermediate transfer body, a transfer member, a pressing force changer, and a hardware processor. The intermediate transfer body includes a base layer and a coating layer provided on the base layer. The image forming apparatus transfers a toner image formed on the image holder to a sheet via the intermediate transfer body, thereby forming an image on the sheet. The transfer member is provided so as to face the image holder with the intermediate transfer body in between and forms a nip part with the image holder. The pressing force changer changes pressing force of the transfer member against the image holder. The hardware processor controls, with the pressing force changer, the pressing force of the transfer member against the image holder based on information on a surface profile of the sheet on which the image is to be formed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2020
    Publication date: August 6, 2020
    Applicant: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventors: Toshiki HAYAMI, Takeshi MAEYAMA, Tomo KITADA, Takashi KAWANAGO, Daisuke MURAKAMI
  • Patent number: 10627762
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus which forms a toner image on an image carrier based on image formation data, and transfers the toner image onto a sheet having an unevenness on a surface and forms an image, the image forming apparatus including a hardware processor which detects a parameter value regarding a charging amount of a toner that forms the toner image, sets a size of a dot of the toner image according to the detected parameter value, and generates the image formation data of the dot of the set size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventors: Takashi Kawanago, Satoshi Nishida, Takeshi Maeyama, Toshiki Hayami, Tomo Kitada, Daisuke Murakami
  • Patent number: 10509353
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image former; a detector; and a hardware processor that: calculates a minimum area for each of the plurality of tones based on image data of the image, calculates a density ratio between the densities before and after the transferring is made for each of the plurality of tones from the densities detected by the detector, extracts as a first area a minimum area of a tone corresponding to a density ratio which switches from less than a predetermined threshold to equal to or more than the threshold, and extracts as a second area a minimum area of a tone the density ratio of which is a maximum, and changes a setting of a dot size of the image so that a size of the second area becomes the same as a size of the first area until the next setting change is performed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventor: Tomo Kitada
  • Publication number: 20190286034
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image former; a detector; and a hardware processor that: calculates a minimum area for each of the plurality of tones based on image data of the image, calculates a density ratio between the densities before and after the transferring is made for each of the plurality of tones from the densities detected by the detector, extracts as a first area a minimum area of a tone corresponding to a density ratio which switches from less than a predetermined threshold to equal to or more than the threshold, and extracts as a second area a minimum area of a tone the density ratio of which is a maximum, and changes a setting of a dot size of the image so that a size of the second area becomes the same as a size of the first area until the next setting change is performed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2019
    Publication date: September 19, 2019
    Applicant: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventor: Tomo KITADA
  • Publication number: 20190146396
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus which forms a toner image on an image carrier based on image formation data, and transfers the toner image onto a sheet having an unevenness on a surface and forms an image, the image forming apparatus including a hardware processor which detects a parameter value regarding a charging amount of a toner that forms the toner image, sets a size of a dot of the toner image according to the detected parameter value, and generates the image formation data of the dot of the set size.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2018
    Publication date: May 16, 2019
    Applicant: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventors: Takashi KAWANAGO, Satoshi NISHIDA, Takeshi MAEYAMA, Toshiki HAYAMI, Tomo KITADA, Daisuke MURAKAMI
  • Publication number: 20180253035
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes: a cleaning device including a cleaning member that abuts a surface of an image carrier and cleans a surface of the image carrier; a detector that detects a stain generated on the surface of the image carrier in a moving direction of the surface of the image carrier; an adjusting mechanism that adjusts a relative position between the image carrier and the cleaning member in a direction orthogonal to the moving direction; and a hardware processor that controls the relative position between the image carrier and the cleaning member by driving the adjusting mechanism based on information regarding the stain detected by the detector.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2018
    Publication date: September 6, 2018
    Inventor: Tomo KITADA
  • Patent number: 10067446
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes: a cleaning device including a cleaning member that abuts a surface of an image carrier and cleans a surface of the image carrier; a detector that detects a stain generated on the surface of the image carrier in a moving direction of the surface of the image carrier; an adjusting mechanism that adjusts a relative position between the image carrier and the cleaning member in a direction orthogonal to the moving direction; and a hardware processor that controls the relative position between the image carrier and the cleaning member by driving the adjusting mechanism based on information regarding the stain detected by the detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventor: Tomo Kitada
  • Patent number: 9261847
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes photoconductors. Electrifiers uniformly electrify surfaces of the photoconductors. A power source applies an electrifying voltage to the electrifiers. A current measurer measures alternating current caused to flow by application of AC voltage by the power source. A controller calculates discharge starting voltage. Environment detectors detect an environment inside of the apparatus. The controller operates the current measurer at each predetermined timing to acquire the discharge starting voltage. When acquiring the discharge starting voltage, the controller changes peak-to-peak voltage at pre-discharge voltage and at post-discharge voltage. The current measurer measures alternating current at measurement points of each of the pre-discharge and post-discharge voltages. The controller calculates a voltage value at an intersection of a first line and a second line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignee: KONICA MINOLTA, INC.
    Inventors: Junji Murauchi, Morio Osada, Kazuki Kobori, Tomo Kitada
  • Publication number: 20150234338
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes photoconductors. Electrifiers uniformly electrify surfaces of the photoconductors. A power source applies an electrifying voltage to the electrifiers. A current measurer measures alternating current caused to flow by application of AC voltage by the power source. A controller calculates discharge starting voltage. Environment detectors detect an environment inside of the apparatus. The controller operates the current measurer at each predetermined timing to acquire the discharge starting voltage. When acquiring the discharge starting voltage, the controller changes peak-to-peak voltage at pre-discharge voltage and at post-discharge voltage. The current measurer measures alternating current at measurement points of each of the pre-discharge and post-discharge voltages. The controller calculates a voltage value at an intersection of a first line and a second line.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 11, 2015
    Publication date: August 20, 2015
    Applicant: Konica Minolta, Inc.
    Inventors: Junji MURAUCHI, Morio OSADA, Kazuki KOBORI, Tomo KITADA
  • Patent number: 8909106
    Abstract: A developing device for forming a toner image on an image support member with a developer composed of toner and carriers, the developing device having: a main body in which a first space for a developer is made; a developer support member, which is located in the first space, for supporting the developer and for supplying toner of the developer to the image support member; and a toner tank in which a second space for toner is made, the second space leading to the first space via at least one boundary area; wherein the at least one boundary area between the first space and the second space is closed by the toner or the developer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Tomo Kitada
  • Patent number: 8406645
    Abstract: Developing bias is set as follows. An electric field intensity between a developing roller and a photoconductor is set to cause normally-charged toner to fly in an image area and not to cause the toner to fly in a background area. Thus, the normally-charged toner does not fly in the background area. The normally-charged toner caused to fly is therefore unlikely to flick low-charged toner and oppositely-charged toner. The low-charged toner and the oppositely-charged toner will not adhere to the background area and cause image fogging. Accordingly, an image forming apparatus can be provided to prevent the low-charged toner and the oppositely-charged toner from adhering to the background area of an electrostatic latent image on the photoconductor and to avoid the occurrence of image fogging in the background area on a printed material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Yuusuke Okuno, Kentaro Katori, Kanji Nakayama, Tomo Kitada, Toru Hayase
  • Publication number: 20120243912
    Abstract: A developing device for forming a toner image on an image support member with a developer composed of toner and carriers, the developing device having; a main body in which a first space for a developer is made; a developer support member, which is located in the first space, for supporting the developer and for supplying toner of the developer to the image support member; and a toner tank in which a second space for toner is made, the second space leading to the first space via at least one boundary area; wherein the at least one boundary area between the first space and the second space is closed by the toner or the developer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2012
    Publication date: September 27, 2012
    Applicant: Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Tomo KITADA
  • Patent number: 8032043
    Abstract: In case new and old toners may be mixed, a developing bias is set as follows. The time is first clocked. The number of times toner is replenished from a hopper into a buffer for a clocked period is counted. If a replenishment amount per clock time is a threshold value or higher, considering that new and old toners are mixed, the setting of the developing bias is changed. An electric field intensity between a developing roller and a photoconductor is set to cause normally-charged toner to fly in an image area but not to fly in a background area. No image fogging is therefore generated in the background area. Thus, an image forming apparatus and method capable of preventing low-charged toner and oppositely-charged toner generated by mixing of new and old toners from adhering to the background area of an electrostatic latent image on the photoconductor, thereby avoiding generation of image fogging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Kanji Nakayama, Noritoshi Hagimoto, Yuusuke Okuno, Tomo Kitada, Toshiya Aoki
  • Patent number: 7970305
    Abstract: The development apparatus that develops an electrostatic latent image formed on an image carrier comprises: a developer roller operable to carry toner on a circumferential surface thereof and develop the electrostatic latent image using the toner; a supply roller operable to perform toner supply to the developer roller; a voltage applier operable to apply a bias voltage V1 to the developer roller and apply a bias voltage V2 to the supply roller; and a controller operable to control the voltage applier in a toner compulsive consumption mode so that a value obtained by subtracting an average S2 of the bias voltage V2 per unit time from an average S1 of the bias voltage V1 per unit time indicates the same polarity as a normal charging polarity of the toner. Here, the toner compulsive consumption mode performs development to compulsively consume the toner carried on the circumferential surface of the developer roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2011
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Yuusuke Okuno, Tomohiro Kato, Tomo Kitada, Toru Hayase
  • Patent number: 7693463
    Abstract: A developing device has a bearing member that can bear a toner, a storing chamber for storing the toner, a waiting chamber disposed below the storing chamber for receiving the bearing member that can be filled with the toner and a buffer chamber positioned between the storing chamber and the waiting chamber for storing the developer material. A first horizontal connecting path connects upper portions of the storing and buffer chambers, and two second connecting paths connect lower portions of the buffer chamber and the waiting chamber. A feed member feeds toner from the storing chamber through the first connecting path into the buffer chamber. A first conveying member in the buffer chamber conveys the toner from one of the connecting paths to the other of the connecting paths, and a second conveying member in the waiting chamber conveys the toner within the waiting chamber in the opposite direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2010
    Assignee: Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Narutaka Yoshida, Tomohiro Kato, Yuusuke Okuno, Tomo Kitada
  • Publication number: 20090310995
    Abstract: In case new and old toners may be mixed, a developing bias is set as follows. The time is first clocked. The number of times toner is replenished from a hopper into a buffer for a clocked period is counted. If a replenishment amount per clock time is a threshold value or higher, considering that new and old toners are mixed, the setting of the developing bias is changed. An electric field intensity between a developing roller and a photoconductor is set to cause normally-charged toner to fly in an image area but not to fly in a background area. No image fogging is therefore generated in the background area. Thus, an image forming apparatus and method capable of preventing low-charged toner and oppositely-charged toner generated by mixing of new and old toners from adhering to the background area of an electrostatic latent image on the photoconductor, thereby avoiding generation of image fogging.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 4, 2009
    Publication date: December 17, 2009
    Applicant: KONICA MINOLTA BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Kanji NAKAYAMA, Noritoshi HAGIMOTO, Yuusuke OKUNO, Tomo KITADA, Toshiya AOKI
  • Publication number: 20090304404
    Abstract: Developing bias is set as follows. An electric field intensity between a developing roller and a photoconductor is set to cause normally-charged toner to fly in an image area and not to cause the toner to fly in a background area. Thus, the normally-charged toner does not fly in the background area. The normally-charged toner caused to fly is therefore unlikely to flick low-charged toner and oppositely-charged toner. The low-charged toner and the oppositely-charged toner will not adhere to the background area and cause image fogging. Accordingly, an image forming apparatus can be provided to prevent the low-charged toner and the oppositely-charged toner from adhering to the background area of an electrostatic latent image on the photoconductor and to avoid the occurrence of image fogging in the background area on a printed material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2009
    Publication date: December 10, 2009
    Applicant: KONICA MINOLTA BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Yuusuke OKUNO, Kentaro Katori, Kanji Nakayama, Tomo Kitada, Toru Hayase
  • Publication number: 20090010666
    Abstract: The development apparatus that develops an electrostatic latent image formed on an image carrier comprises: a developer roller operable to carry toner on a circumferential surface thereof and develop the electrostatic latent image using the toner; a supply roller operable to perform toner supply to the developer roller; a voltage applier operable to apply a bias voltage V1 to the developer roller and apply a bias voltage V2 to the supply roller; and a controller operable to control the voltage applier in a toner compulsive consumption mode so that a value obtained by subtracting an average S2 of the bias voltage V2 per unit time from an average S1 of the bias voltage V1 per unit time indicates the same polarity as a normal charging polarity of the toner. Here, the toner compulsive consumption mode performs development to compulsively consume the toner carried on the circumferential surface of the developer roller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2008
    Publication date: January 8, 2009
    Applicant: KONICA MINOLTA BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Yuusuke Okuno, Tomohiro Kato, Tomo Kitada, Toru Hayase
  • Publication number: 20070258733
    Abstract: A developing device has a bearing member that can bear a toner, a storing chamber for storing the toner, a waiting chamber disposed below the storing chamber for receiving the bearing member that can be filled with the toner and a buffer chamber positioned between the storing chamber and the waiting chamber for storing the developer material. A first horizontal connecting path connects upper portions of the storing and buffer chambers, and two second connecting paths connect lower portions of the buffer chamber and the waiting chamber. A feed member feeds toner from the storing chamber through the first connecting path into the buffer chamber. A first conveying member in the buffer chamber conveys the toner from one of the connecting paths to the other of the connecting paths, and a second conveying member in the waiting chamber conveys the toner within the waiting chamber in the opposite direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Publication date: November 8, 2007
    Applicant: Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Narutaka Yoshida, Tomohiro Kato, Yuusuke Okuno, Tomo Kitada