Patents by Inventor Yutaka Ikebuchi

Yutaka Ikebuchi 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: 10551777
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a rotary endless fixing belt; a nip forming member disposed in an interior of the fixing belt; a rotary opposed member to contact the nip forming member via the fixing belt to form a nip together with the fixing belt; a heat source to directly heat the fixing belt at a portion other than the nip, including at lease one heat-generation part disposed outside lateral ends of a maximum area of the fixing belt where a recording medium passes through, wherein a recording medium carrying an unfixed image is conveyed to the nip and the fixing device fixes the unfixed image onto the recording medium; and a shielding member disposed between the fixing belt and the heat generation part of the heat source and configured to shield heat from the heat source at least at an area outside the maximum passing area of the recording medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Takamasa Hase, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takeshi Uchitani, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Takuya Seshita, Shuutaroh Yuasa
  • Patent number: 10345747
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a driving unit, a pressing roller, a heater, a fixing belt, a pressing roller, a nip formation pad that presses against an inner surface of the fixing belt toward the pressing roller via the fixing belt to form a nip, a separation mechanism, a lubricant between the fixing belt and the nip formation pad, and a processor to execute a warming-up operation of the fixing device. In the warming-up operation, before the heater heats the fixing belt, the separation mechanism moves the nip formation pad in a direction of separating the nip formation pad from the pressing roller to set a nip pressure lower than an ordinary nip pressure, and the driving unit rotates the pressing roller that rotates the fixing belt. Thereafter, the heater starts heating, and the separation mechanism moves the nip formation pad to contact the fixing belt at an ordinary nip pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takuya Seshita, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hajime Gotoh, Takahiro Imada, Yutaka Ikebuchi
  • Publication number: 20190121271
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a rotary endless fixing belt; a nip forming member disposed in an interior of the fixing belt; a rotary opposed member to contact the nip forming member via the fixing belt to form a nip together with the fixing belt; a heat source to directly heat the fixing belt at a portion other than the nip, including at lease one heat-generation part disposed outside lateral ends of a maximum area of the fixing belt where a recording medium passes through, wherein a recording medium carrying an unfixed image is conveyed to the nip and the fixing device fixes the unfixed image onto the recording medium; and a shielding member disposed between the fixing belt and the heat generation part of the heat source and configured to shield heat from the heat source at least at an area outside the maximum passing area of the recording medium.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2018
    Publication date: April 25, 2019
    Inventors: Takamasa HASE, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takeshi Uchitani, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Takuya Seshita, Shuutaroh Yuasa
  • Patent number: 10248055
    Abstract: A fixing device is provided that includes a fixing belt rotatable in a predetermined direction, a heater to heat the fixing belt, a pressure rotator in contact with an outer circumferential surface of the fixing belt, a nip formation pad disposed inside a loop formed by the fixing belt and pressed against the pressure rotator via the fixing belt to form a fixing nip, and a pair of guides in contact with an inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt at both ends of the fixing belt in a width direction thereof, to maintain a substantially cylindrical posture of the fixing belt. Each of the guides includes a guide portion in contact with the inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt and a lubricant holder holding a lubricant that is disposed adjacent to the guide portion and not in contact with the inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Ikebuchi, Takuya Seshita, Yasuharu Kawarasaki, Kohichi Utsunomiya
  • Patent number: 10209654
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a rotary endless fixing belt; a nip forming member disposed in an interior of the fixing belt; a rotary opposed member to contact the nip forming member via the fixing belt to form a nip together with the fixing belt; a heat source to directly heat the fixing belt at a portion other than the nip, including at lease one heat-generation part disposed outside lateral ends of a maximum area of the fixing belt where a recording medium passes through, wherein a recording medium carrying an unfixed image is conveyed to the nip and the fixing device fixes the unfixed image onto the recording medium; and a shielding member disposed between the fixing belt and the heat generation part of the heat source and configured to shield heat from the heat source at least at an area outside the maximum passing area of the recording medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: RICOH COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Takamasa Hase, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takeshi Uchitani, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Takuya Seshita, Shuutaroh Yuasa
  • Publication number: 20180373187
    Abstract: A fixing device is provided that includes a fixing belt rotatable in a predetermined direction, a heater to heat the fixing belt, a pressure rotator in contact with an outer circumferential surface of the fixing belt, a nip formation pad disposed inside a loop formed by the fixing belt and pressed against the pressure rotator via the fixing belt to form a fixing nip, and a pair of guides in contact with an inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt at both ends of the fixing belt in a width direction thereof, to maintain a substantially cylindrical posture of the fixing belt. Each of the guides includes a guide portion in contact with the inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt and a lubricant holder holding a lubricant that is disposed adjacent to the guide portion and not in contact with the inner circumferential surface of the fixing belt.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2018
    Publication date: December 27, 2018
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Ikebuchi, Takuya Seshita, Yasuharu Kawarasaki, Kohichi Utsunomiya
  • Patent number: 10152006
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a rotatable endless belt formed into a loop and a heater disposed opposite the endless belt to heat the endless belt. A nip formation pad is disposed inside the loop formed by the endless belt. The nip formation pad includes a metallic thermal equalizer extending in an axial direction of the endless belt. A rotatable pressure rotator presses against the nip formation pad 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. The pressure rotator includes an increased tackiness portion disposed at a lateral end of the pressure rotator in an axial direction of the pressure rotator to transmit a driving force to the endless belt. The increased tackiness portion is disposed opposite the thermal equalizer of the nip formation pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasunori Ishigaya, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Kazuya Saito, Keitaro Shoji, Ryohei Matsuda, Hiromasa Takagi, Ryuuichi Mimbu, Toshihiko Shimokawa
  • Publication number: 20180329342
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a driving unit, a pressing roller, a heater, a fixing belt, a pressing roller, a nip formation pad that presses against an inner surface of the fixing belt toward the pressing roller via the fixing belt to form a nip, a separation mechanism, a lubricant between the fixing belt and the nip formation pad, and a processor to execute a warming-up operation of the fixing device. In the warming-up operation, before the heater heats the fixing belt, the separation mechanism moves the nip formation pad in a direction of separating the nip formation pad from the pressing roller to set a nip pressure lower than an ordinary nip pressure, and the driving unit rotates the pressing roller that rotates the fixing belt. Thereafter, the heater starts heating, and the separation mechanism moves the nip formation pad to contact the fixing belt at an ordinary nip pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 3, 2018
    Publication date: November 15, 2018
    Applicant: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takuya Seshita, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hajime Gotoh, Takahiro Imada, Yutaka Ikebuchi
  • Patent number: 10067449
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a primary heater and a secondary heater that heat a fixing rotator. The primary heater includes a primary major heat generation portion and a primary minor heat generation portion. The primary minor heat generation portion includes a major heat generator that generates an increased amount of heat and a minor heat generator that generates a decreased amount of heat smaller than the increased amount of heat generated by the major heat generator. The major heat generator has a width in an axial direction of the fixing rotator that is not smaller than 30 percent and not greater than 35 percent with respect to a width of the primary minor heat generation portion in the axial direction of the fixing rotator. A temperature detector is disposed opposite the minor heat generator of the primary heater to detect a temperature of the fixing rotator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ryohei Matsuda, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Yasunori Ishigaya, Kazuya Saito, Keitaro Shoji
  • Patent number: 10007213
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator to fix an image on a recording medium, a pressure rotator to press against an outer circumferential surface of the fixing rotator, a nip formation pad disposed inside the fixing rotator and opposite the pressure rotator to form an area of contact between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator, and a slide member disposed between the fixing rotator and the nip formation pad and applied with lubricant to slide the fixing rotator in a sliding direction. The slide member includes first strands disposed parallel to the sliding direction and second strands disposed perpendicular to the sliding direction and interwoven with the first strands. The first strands are woven over the second strands longer than the second strands woven over the first strands.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Ikebuchi, Hideo Nagafuji, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Arinobu Yoshiura, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Patent number: 10001735
    Abstract: A fixing device may include an endless fixing member; a heater inside the fixing member; and a nip forming unit configured to form a nip through which a recording sheet is conveyed, the nip forming unit including a supporting member and a contact member supported by the supporting member, the supporting member including at least one contact surface and the contact member including a plurality of protrusions protruding towards the supporting member such that two or more of the plurality of protrusions are configured to contact one of the at least one contact surface of the supporting member, each of the plurality of protrusions having a height associated there with such that the height of the plurality of protrusions increases in a direction from ends of the contact member towards a center of the contact member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Limited
    Inventors: Takahiro Imada, Masaaki Yoshikawa, Kenji Ishii, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Yuji Arai, Naoki Iwaya, Tetsuo Tokuda, Hiromasa Takagi, Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Ippei Fujimoto, Takuya Seshita, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Arinobu Yoshiura, Toshihiko Shimokawa, Hajime Gotoh
  • Patent number: 9983526
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a heat source; a fixing member looped into a generally cylindrical shape to rotate in a circumferential direction thereof and partially heated by the heat source and to heat a surface of a recording medium bearing an unfixed toner image to fix the unfixed toner image thereon in a fixing process; a rotary pressing member disposed facing the fixing member to form a nip therebetween, through which the recording medium is transported in a transport direction; and a rotation driver to rotate one of the fixing member and the pressing member. In a case in which the fixing member is halted for a reason other than the fixing process while power of the fixing device is on, electric power is not supplied to the heat source and the fixing member is rotated by a predetermined amount or more after the fixing member is halted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Uchitani, Masahiko Satoh, Kenji Ishii, Tadashi Ogawa, Teppei Kawata, Arinobu Yoshiura, Toshihiko Shimokawa, Kensuke Yamaji, Takamasa Hase, Shuutaroh Yuasa, Masaaki Yoshikawa, Hiromasa Takagi, Takahiro Imada, Hajime Gotoh, Akira Suzuki, Takuya Seshita, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Kazuya Saito, Shinichi Namekata, Takayuki Seki, Yuji Arai, Ryuuichi Mimbu, Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Shuntaroh Tamaki, Yutaka Ikebuchi
  • Patent number: 9897950
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator rotatable in a predetermined direction of rotation and a heater that heats the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad is disposed opposite an inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator presses against the nip formation pad via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. A low-friction member is sandwiched between the nip formation pad and the fixing rotator and bears a lubricant that flows in a flow direction. A thermal absorber is mounted on the inner circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. At least one irregular portion, mounted on the thermal absorber, blocks the lubricant flowing in the flow direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Arinobu Yoshiura, Hideo Nagafuji, Kohichi Utsunomiya, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Patent number: 9869952
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a fixing rotator that is endless and rotatable in a rotation direction and a heater to heat the fixing rotator. A pressure rotator contacts an outer circumferential surface of the fixing rotator. A nip formation pad presses against the pressure rotator via the fixing rotator to form a fixing nip between the fixing rotator and the pressure rotator. The nip formation pad includes an upstream portion disposed upstream from the fixing nip in the rotation direction of the fixing rotator. A recess is disposed in the upstream portion of the nip formation pad. A friction reducer is sandwiched between the nip formation pad and the fixing rotator and bears a lubricant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kohichi Utsunomiya, Hideo Nagafuji, Arinobu Yoshiura, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Motoyoshi Yamano
  • Patent number: 9804546
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a primary heat generator and a secondary heat generator to heat an endless belt and a temperature detector, disposed opposite the secondary heat generator, to detect a temperature of the endless belt. The secondary heat generator includes an inboard edge and an outboard edge disposed outboard from the inboard edge in an axial direction of the endless belt. The secondary heat generator has an inboard length defined between a center of a detection span of the temperature detector and the inboard edge in the axial direction of the endless belt. The secondary heat generator further has an outboard length defined between the center of the detection span of the temperature detector and the outboard edge in the axial direction of the endless belt. The secondary heat generator defines a ratio of the outboard length to the inboard length that is greater than 7/3.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuya Saito, Yasunori Ishigaya, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Keitaro Shoji, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Publication number: 20170285542
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a rotary endless fixing belt; a nip forming member disposed in an interior of the fixing belt; a rotary opposed member to contact the nip forming member via the fixing belt to form a nip together with the fixing belt; a heat source to directly heat the fixing belt at a portion other than the nip, including at lease one heat-generation part disposed outside lateral ends of a maximum area of the fixing belt where a recording medium passes through, wherein a recording medium carrying an unfixed image is conveyed to the nip and the fixing device fixes the unfixed image onto the recording medium; and a shielding member disposed between the fixing belt and the heat generation part of the heat source and configured to shield heat from the heat source at least at an area outside the maximum passing area of the recording medium.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2017
    Publication date: October 5, 2017
    Inventors: Takamasa HASE, Hiroshi YOSHINAGA, Takeshi UCHITANI, Yutaka IKEBUCHI, Takuya SESHITA, Shuutaroh YUASA
  • Publication number: 20170277091
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a heat source; a fixing member looped into a generally cylindrical shape to rotate in a circumferential direction thereof and partially heated by the heat source and to heat a surface of a recording medium bearing an unfixed toner image to fix the unfixed toner image thereon in a fixing process; a rotary pressing member disposed facing the fixing member to form a nip therebetween, through which the recording medium is transported in a transport direction; and a rotation driver to rotate one of the fixing member and the pressing member. In a case in which the fixing member is halted for a reason other than the fixing process while power of the fixing device is on, electric power is not supplied to the heat source and the fixing member is rotated by a predetermined amount or more after the fixing member is halted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2017
    Publication date: September 28, 2017
    Inventors: Takeshi UCHITANI, Masahiko SATOH, Kenji ISHII, Tadashi OGAWA, Teppei KAWATA, Arinobu YOSHIURA, Toshihiko SHIMOKAWA, Kensuke YAMAJI, Takamasa HASE, Shuutaroh YUASA, Masaaki YOSHIKAWA, Hiromasa TAKAGI, Takahiro IMADA, Hajime GOTOH, Akira SUZUKI, Takuya SESHITA, Hiroshi YOSHINAGA, Kazuya SAITO, Shinichi NAMEKATA, Takayuki SEKI, Yuji ARAI, Ryuuichi MIMBU, Yoshiki YAMAGUCHI, Shuntaroh TAMAKI, Yutaka IKEBUCHI
  • Patent number: 9753417
    Abstract: A fixing device includes an endless fixing belt; a pressure roller to contact the fixing belt; a nip forming member to press the pressure roller from the fixing belt; a nip portion formed between the fixing belt and the pressure roller; a heater to heat the fixing belt to fuse and fix toner onto a recording sheet in the nip portion; an auxiliary driven roller; an auxiliary drive roller to drive the driven roller; an auxiliary nip portion, formed between an outer circumferential surface of the auxiliary driven roller and an outer circumferential surface of the auxiliary drive roller, to nip the recording sheet after toner fixation conveyed from the nip portion; and an outlet guide member, disposed downstream of the auxiliary nip portion, to guide the recording sheet after toner fixation conveyed from the auxiliary nip portion, with the toner-fixed recording sheet surface bent in a concave shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiki Yamaguchi, Yoshio Hattori, Haruyuki Honda, Ryuuichi Mimbu, Toshihiko Shimokawa, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Yasunori Ishigaya, Kazuya Saito, Keitaro Shoji, Ryohei Matsuda
  • Patent number: 9727011
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a first heater disposed opposite and heating at least a center of a fixing belt in an axial direction thereof and a second heater disposed opposite and heating at least a lateral end of the fixing belt in the axial direction thereof. A power supply supplies power to the first heater and the second heater. A controller that controls the power supply includes a calculator to calculate an elapsed time elapsed after at least one of the first heater and the second heater starts heating the fixing belt. The controller controls the power supply to supply power to the first heater and the second heater such that a power density of the second heater is greater than a power density of the first heater when the elapsed time calculated by the calculator is smaller than a predetermined time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2017
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yutaka Ikebuchi, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takayuki Seki, Yuji Arai, Ryuuichi Mimbu, Shuntaro Tamaki, Kazuya Saito, Shuutaroh Yuasa, Toshihiko Shimokawa, Masaaki Yoshikawa, Toshiharu Hachisuka
  • Patent number: 9715198
    Abstract: A fixing device includes a rotary endless fixing belt; a nip forming member disposed in an interior of the fixing belt; a rotary opposed member to contact the nip forming member via the fixing belt to form a nip together with the fixing belt; a heat source to directly heat the fixing belt at a portion other than the nip, including at lease one heat-generation part disposed outside lateral ends of a maximum area of the fixing belt where a recording medium passes through, wherein a recording medium carrying an unfixed image is conveyed to the nip and the fixing device fixes the unfixed image onto the recording medium; and a shielding member disposed between the fixing belt and the heat generation part of the heat source and configured to shield heat from the heat source at least at an area outside the maximum passing area of the recording medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takamasa Hase, Hiroshi Yoshinaga, Takeshi Uchitani, Yutaka Ikebuchi, Takuya Seshita, Shuutaroh Yuasa