Xerography Patents (Class 222/DIG1)
  • Patent number: 6167226
    Abstract: An apparatus which develops an electrostatic latent image recorded on a photoconductive member used in an electrophotographic printing machine. The apparatus employs a development material wherein developability degradates as the duration of time that the toner particles remain in the developer housing increases. Developability is significantly improved by periodically adding a flow additive material to the developer material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventor: Joseph R. E. Matalevich
  • Patent number: 6157796
    Abstract: The present invention provides a developer container having excellent sealability. In the developer container for containing a developer with an opening sealed, the sealant main component of the sealing member is a low-molecular-weight polyolefin polymer synthesized by using a metallocene catalyst, and a material compatible with the dispersed material dispersedly contained in the sealant layer of the sealing member is dispersedly contained in at least the sealing area of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2000
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yasuo Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 6151472
    Abstract: A toner cartridge includes an outer pipe, inner pipe inserted into the outer pipe, and cap fitted over the inner pipe. The outer pipe and inner pipe are of a long, hollow cylinder shape and are formed with a plurality of first and second openings, respectively, therein aligned longitudinally thereof. The inner pipe has at one end thereof a toner-filling opening and an annular flange eccentric with respect to the hollow cylinder, and at the other end thereof a knob that closes the longitudinal end of the hollow cylinder and abuts the outer pipe. The first openings are not aligned with the second openings when the inner pipe is at a first rotational position and are aligned when the inner pipe is at a second rotational position. A sealing member is mounted to the inner pipe encircling the second openings and has third openings aligned with the second openings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Oki Data Corporation
    Inventor: Shigeki Nakajima
  • Patent number: 6144828
    Abstract: A toner reservoir for a laser printer includes an elongated toner hopper housing extending in a horizontal direction and an elongated toner cartridge adapted for detachable attachment on the toner hopper housing with its bottom on the top of the latter. The toner hopper housing has an elongated top opening extending longitudinally of the toner hopper housing. The toner cartridge has an elongated bottom opening extending longitudinally of the toner cartridge. The top and bottom openings are adapted to mate with each other when the toner cartridge is attached on the toner hopper housing so as to allow discharge of toner through them from the toner cartridge into the toner hopper housing. The bottom opening is closed by a strip of sealing tape, which is removed away after the toner cartridge is attached on the toner hopper housing. A toner sensor is provided in the toner hopper housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Asahi Kogaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tsutomu Sato
  • Patent number: 6141513
    Abstract: A process cartridge including an electrophotographic photosensitive member, a process unit for operating on the electrophotographic photosensitive member, a plurality of engaging members provided at a first frame, and a plurality of engaging members provided at a second frame. The first frame and the second frame are connected by connecting respective engaging members selected from the plurality of engaging members provided at the first frame and engaging members selected from the plurality of engaging members provided at the second frame. The process cartridge is detachably mountable in an electrophotographic image forming apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tsutomu Nishiuwatoko, Kazuyoshi Odagawa, Hiroo Kobayashi, Shinichi Sasaki
  • Patent number: 6134410
    Abstract: A toner cartridge includes an outer pipe, inner pipe inserted into the outer pipe, and cap fitted over the inner pipe. The outer pipe and inner pipe are of a long, hollow cylinder shape and are formed with a plurality of first and second openings, respectively, therein aligned longitudinally thereof. The inner pipe has at one end thereof a toner-filling opening and an annular flange eccentric with respect to the hollow cylinder, and at the other end thereof a knob that closes the longitudinal end of the hollow cylinder and abuts the outer pipe. The first openings are not aligned with the second openings when the inner pipe is at a first rotational position arid are aligned when the inner pipe is at a second rotational position. A sealing member is mounted to the inner pipe encircling the second openings and has third openings aligned with the second openings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Inventor: Shigeki Nakajima
  • Patent number: 6134411
    Abstract: A cartridge unit is for use with a toner cartridge assembly of an image developing device. The cartridge unit has a cartridge including a toner bottle coupled with a cap assembly, where the toner bottle includes an elongate cylindrical structure which has a central axis. The cap assembly is coupled with the toner bottle and includes a mouth portion. At least one scoop is coupled within the mouth portion of the cap assembly, where the scoop is adapted for drawing developer from the toner bottle through the mouth portion as the toner bottle is rotated about the central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: Katun Corporation
    Inventors: Merle L. Meyer, Steven A. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6125254
    Abstract: An ink leakage prevention system, for a liquid electrophotographic printer having a development tray, which includes a chassis, installed at a main body of the printer, a development tray, installed at the lower portion of a development unit and is detachable from the main body of the printer, wherein the developing tray accommodates developer left over after being used by the development unit for developing and which has a discharge portion for discharging the accommodated developer, a drain tray installed at the chassis to drain the developer discharged from the development tray into a circulation tank, and a discharge portion opening/shutting means for closing the discharge portion when the development tray is separated from the drain tray and for opening the discharge portion when the development tray is coupled to the drain tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2000
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kee-son Chang, Ji-won Seo, Jin-geun Kwak
  • Patent number: 6104902
    Abstract: A cartridge unit is for use with a toner cartridge assembly of an image developing device. The cartridge unit has a cartridge including a toner bottle coupled with a cap assembly, where the toner bottle includes an elongate cylindrical structure which has a central axis. The cap assembly is coupled with the toner bottle and includes a mouth portion. At least one scoop is coupled within the mouth portion of the cap assembly, where the scoop is adapted for drawing developer from the toner bottle through the mouth portion as the toner bottle is rotated about the central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2000
    Assignee: Katun Corporation
    Inventors: Merle L. Meyer, Steven A. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6091919
    Abstract: A developer cartridge is used with an image forming apparatus. The developer cartridge has a groove which formed in a longitudinal end surface of thereof and extends in an insertion direction of the cylinder. A strip-shaped projection formed in the image forming apparatus projects extends in the insertion direction. When the developer cartridge is fully inserted into the image forming apparatus, the groove receives the projection so that the projection is at a predetermined position relative to the developer cartridge. Two first walls define the groove which is progressively wide as the circumference is approached. A second wall rises from the longitudinal end surface of the developer cartridge and is continuous with one of the two first opposed walls. The second wall smoothly guides the projection into the groove.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2000
    Assignee: Oki Data Corporation
    Inventors: Ken Nozawa, Atsushi Kurabayashi, Yoshiharu Momiyama
  • Patent number: 6088560
    Abstract: An ink replenishment system for supplying a working solution of an ink to an electrographic imaging device. A plurality of removable ink cartridges each have at least a first compartment containing ink concentrate and a second compartment. A fluid handling system couples the first compartment of each ink cartridge to a respective working solution reservoir. A controller controls the flow of ink concentrate from each ink cartridge and liquid carrier from a source of liquid carrier to maintain a working solution concentration of working solution in each of the working solution reservoirs. A return system fluidly couples each of the developer stations to the second compartment of the respective ink cartridges. Alternate embodiments include one compartment and three compartment cartridges, and locating the working solution reservoir in the removable cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2000
    Assignee: Imation Corp.
    Inventors: James E. Zenk, Mark A. Sanner, H. Chris Gydesen, Russell A. Roiko, James A. Baker, Christopher J. Anton, Kay F. Schilli, Brent J. Sandstrom, Joseph T. Brophy
  • Patent number: 6085056
    Abstract: A toner cartridge is constructed from a container having a discharge opening in its bottom end surface, and a shutter mechanism mounted on the bottom end of the container. In a lower part of the container, at least one partition wall is disposed. The discharge opening of the container is present not entirely in the bottom end surface, but only partly in the surface. To the entire edge of the discharge opening, a wall extending upwardly at an inclination angle .alpha. of at least 45 degrees to the horizontal is connected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Mita Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Mitsuharu Okada
  • Patent number: 6075963
    Abstract: A developer replenishing device for replenishing a developing device with a developer, and a developer container for use therewith. The developer container, or toner bottle, has a mouth portion at one end thereof which is smaller in diameter than a hollow cylindrical main body. At the end of the bottle provided with the mouth, a shoulder has the inner periphery thereof partly raised to the edge of the mouth portion to form a raised portion for scooping up a toner. In addition, a part of the inner periphery of the circumferential wall of the bottle which is contiguous with the raised portion is also raised toward the axis of the bottle about which the bottle is rotatable, thereby forming another raised portion. When the bottle is mounted to a bottle holder, which is included in the replenishing device, substantially horizontally with the mouth portion oriented sideways, the bottle is rotated to raise the toner from the bottom of the main body to the mouth portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hideo Ichikawa, Takeshi Saito, Sunao Ikeda, Nobuhiro Makita, Seiji Ozawa, Shigeru Yoshiki, Takaaki Yanagisawa
  • Patent number: 6067432
    Abstract: A developer container for with a developer replenishing device in a copier or the like, the developer container including a cylindrical container body having a neck at its front end, a plurality of indented parallel guide ways around the periphery thereof for stirring up contained developer upon rotary motion of the container body, and two hollow projecting portions at two opposite sides of the neck, and a dispensing end cap fastened to the neck of the container body, the dispensing end cap having a hollow cylindrical mounting portion at one end inserted into the neck of the container body, a hollow cylindrical dispensing portion disposed at an opposite end outside the neck of the container body, a plurality of developer inlets for guiding in developer from the container body, a plurality of developer outlets for guiding developer out of the end cap, and a plurality of guide grooves on an inside wall thereof for guiding developer, from the developer inlets to the developer outlets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2000
    Assignee: General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ya-Li Huang
  • Patent number: 6064846
    Abstract: A developer container having a spiral groove around the periphery, a developer supply hole at one end, two protruding positioning strips raised from the periphery at two opposite sides of the developer supply holes an annular flange at an opposite end for enabling the developer container to be put on a flat surface in vertical, two opposed notches formed on the annular flange, and two toothed blocks respectively suspended in the notches for engagement with respective toothed blocks at a driving shaft in an electrophotographic image forming apparatus for synchronous rotation with the driving shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jui-Chi Wang, Robin Hsu, Ya-Li Huang, Kuan-Tung Li
  • Patent number: 6058283
    Abstract: A toner device is constructed from a container having a discharge opening in its bottom end surface, and a shutter mechanism mounted on the bottom end of the container. In a lower part of the container, at least one partition wall is disposed with wall surfaces having edging defining the discharge opening(s). The discharge opening of the container thus forms a portion of the entire bottom end surface of the container. Also, the lower edging of the wall surfaces extend over the entire periphery of the one or more discharge openings, and each wall defining the discharge opening or openings extends upwardly at an inclination angle .alpha. of at least 45 degrees to the horizontal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Assignee: Mita Industrial Co. Ltd.
    Inventor: Mitsuharu Okada
  • Patent number: 6032013
    Abstract: A developing agent supply apparatus capable of preventing a developing agent from staining hands and/or clothes of an operator, the apparatus and around the same by gushing out as dusty smoke when the operator pulls out an empty developing agent container from the apparatus. A developing agent container used in the developing agent supply apparatus includes a projection portion formed in an outer surface thereof which includes a first surface and a second surface. The developing agent supply apparatus includes a first engagement portion formed in an inner peripheral surface of a coupling into which the container is detachable mounted, and a second engagement portion formed in a support portion for guiding the container into or out from the coupling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Minolta Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Koji Niizawa
  • Patent number: 6032010
    Abstract: An ink supply apparatus for a wet electrophotographic printer. The ink supply apparatus includes a housing having an installation portion, an ink cartridge installed in the housing, for supplying ink to a developing unit, a detachable refill cartridge loaded in the installation portion, for supplying ink to the ink cartridge, and an ink supply device for supplying ink to the ink cartridge from the refill cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jong-woo Kim, Chung-guk Baek, Won-hyung Lee
  • Patent number: 6021292
    Abstract: A toner cartridge includes a hollow outer body, hollow inner body, and partition. The inner body is inserted into an outer body and slidably rotatable relative to the outer body. A partition is supported in the outer body and is slidable relative to the outer body in a longitudinal direction of the cartridge. The partition is at a first position substantially adjacent a longitudinal end when the inner body is at a closing position. The partition is moved to a second position after the inner body has been rotated to the opening position, thereby defining a residual toner accommodating space between the partition and the longitudinal end of the outer body. An agitating member may be provided in which a residual toner accommodating space is formed therein. The residual toner removed from a photoconductive drum is collected in a first toner receiving section. The residual toner is then carried by a screw conveyor to one side of the print process cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2000
    Assignee: Oki Data Corporation
    Inventors: Shigeki Nakajima, Takashi Wakana
  • Patent number: 6018638
    Abstract: A developer container which includes a connector element that connects a container body to an image forming apparatus. The connector has three openings therein. The first and second opening of the connector define a throughway for the developer. The third opening is situated between the first and second openings, and receives a rotating sealing member. The sealing member is rotated to open and close the throughway of the connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1999
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kuan-Tung Li
  • Patent number: 6014536
    Abstract: A toner supply mechanism includes a toner storing portion for storing toner, a receiving opening for receiving toner to be supplied to the toner storing portion, a shutter member for opening and closing the receiving opening, and a lock, provided at each longitudinal end of the receiving opening, for locking the shutter member. The lock releases the shutter member by setting the toner supply container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2000
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yutaka Ban, Saijiro Endo, Kyota Miyazaki, Ken Wakatsuki
  • Patent number: 5999770
    Abstract: A developer container, which includes a container body having a bottom developer supply hole and two longitudinal sliding grooves at two opposite sides of the bottom developer supply hole, a sliding cover moved with a carrier in and out of the sliding grooves at the container body, and a sealing membrane moved with the sliding cover to close/open the bottom developer supply hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kuan-Tung Li
  • Patent number: 5995789
    Abstract: A toner cartridge removably mounted to an image forming apparatus including a developing device. The toner cartridge includes a plurality of toner outlet openings for replenishing toner to the developing device and a plurality of toner collection openings for collecting the toner from the developing device. Further, the plurality of toner outlet openings and the plurality of toner collection openings are arranged substantially in a single array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Eisaku Murakami, Hiroshi Saitoh
  • Patent number: 5991584
    Abstract: A toner cartridge assembly is provided including a cartridge rotatably mounted with a cap component. The cap component has an opening and a sweeper assembly rotatably coupled therewith. The cartridge has a sealing area on one end which seals the opening of the cap component. Longitudinal toner guiding ribs are provided on the cartridge for agitating the toner to be guided by the internal surface of the cartridge. A safety ring is provided on an external surface of the cartridge, and has a gap therein. The safety ring prevents removal of the toner cartridge assembly due to engaging components of the hopper. The cartridge assembly can be removed from the hopper when the gap of the ring is aligned with the engaging components, which also simultaneously requires the sealing area of the cartridge to cover the opening of the cap component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 23, 1999
    Assignee: Katun Coporation
    Inventors: Merle L. Meyer, John V. Ahart, Steven A. Thompson
  • Patent number: 5987286
    Abstract: A device for feeding toner of a laser beam printer includes a plurality of minute feeding holes formed in a toner hopper and supplying toner therethrough, an agitator installed in the toner hopper and rotated to stir the toner to be supplied through the feeding holes; and a toner disintegrating member shaken by the rotation of the agitator, supplying a limited amount of toner and giving a limited amount of the toner stained on a feeding roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: SamSung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sang-Yob Shin, Cheol-Young Han, Hyong-Gu Lee
  • Patent number: 5978632
    Abstract: The invention is characterized by efficiently and quickly loosening an aggregation of toner material formed in a toner cartridge. A toner cartridge has an L-shaped toner agitating member disposed in a main body thereof having a discharge port for feeding toner at the front surface of the main body. Since the toner agitating member is supported so as to pivot like a conical pendulum, a support pin fixed to a bottom surface of the main body passes through a through hole having a greater diameter than that of the support pin. The support pin has an engagement portion attached thereto for prevention of disengagement of the toner agitating member therefrom. A plate-like portion of the toner agitating member defines an agitating plate, a distal end of which extends toward the discharge port of the main body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takahiko Kimura, Hideji Saiko, Yoshiaki Sanada, Jun Yamaguchi, Eiji Sato, Yasuyuki Ishiguro
  • Patent number: 5978624
    Abstract: A receptacle for particulate matter to be supplied to a reproduction apparatus. The receptacle includes a container, adapted to store particulate matter, has an opening defined therein. A flange is located about the defined opening so as to facilitate placement and removal of the receptacle with the reproduction apparatus. A breathable seal member is provided having a body portion and a readily accessible end portion. The body portion is bonded to the flange for covering the defined opening. The bond is particularly formed in a pattern of repeating minimum and maximum distances from the defined opening to reduce the forces required to break the bond and remove the breathable seal from the flange.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Christopher S. Garcia, Ronald R. Holland, Scott H. Schwallie
  • Patent number: 5974286
    Abstract: A toner supply container to be set to a supply portion having a hopper opening for a toner hopper, a hopper shutter member for opening and closing the hopper opening, and a lock for locking the hopper shutter member. The container includes a toner container body for accommodating toner and having a supply opening for supplying the toner, a seal member for sealing the supply opening, a releasing projection for releasing locking of a hopper shutter member by the lock, in response to setting operation to the supply portion; and an interrelating device for interrelating movement of the hopper shutter member and the seal member when the container is set to the supply portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yutaka Ban, Kyota Miyazaki, Ken Wakatsuki
  • Patent number: 5974288
    Abstract: A process cartridge includes a toner frame and a developing frame joined together without damaging seal members and so that toner leakage due to damage of the seal members can be prevented. The invention also relates to an electrophotographic image forming apparatus to which such a process cartridge can detachably be mounted. Inner corners of opposed portions of ridges and grooves, provided on joint surfaces of the developing frame and the toner frame where a seal member for sealing an opening formed by fitting the ridges and the grooves together, are provided with parallel inclined surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Minoru Sato
  • Patent number: 5970284
    Abstract: A receptacle for particulate matter to be supplied to a reproduction apparatus. The receptacle includes a container adapted to store particulate matter. The container has an opening defined therein, and a flange located about the defined opening so as to facilitate placement and removal of the receptacle with the reproduction apparatus. A slide cover is supported by the flange for selective movement to a first position covering the defined opening and a second position uncovering the defined opening. The slide cover is releasably secured to the container in an out of the way location when the slide cover is in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Christopher S. Garcia, Ronald R. Holland, Scott H. Schwallie
  • Patent number: 5970293
    Abstract: A developer container includes a container body having a front opening, and a developer dispensing outlet near the front opening, a propelling member suspended in the container body and rotated to propel a developer out of the developer dispensing hole, and a rotary cover covered on the front opening of the container body and secured in place upon installation of the developer container in a copier for enabling the container body to be rotated relative to the rotary cover to close/open the developer dispensing outlet, wherein the container body has a sliding groove for guiding rotary motion of the container body relative to the rotary cover, and a rib for engagement with a rib at the rotary cover to stop the container body from rotary motion relative to the rotary cover; the rotary cover has a cover flange for closing the developer dispensing outlet, a guide plate matched with the sliding groove at the front end of the container body, and a rib raised from the guide plate for engagement with the rib in the sl
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ya-Li Huang
  • Patent number: 5970292
    Abstract: A container for storing a supply of particles for use in a developer unit of an electrophotographic printing machine is provided. The container is fittable to an adapter having an adaptor feature therewith. The adaptor is associated with the developer unit. The container includes a body defining a chamber for storing particles therein. The body defines an aperture in the periphery of the body. The container also includes a cover for use in covering the aperture and a securing feature. The securing feature is associated with the cover. The securing feature cooperates with the adapter feature on the adapter to radially secure the cover with respect to the adaptor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventor: Daniel C. Miller
  • Patent number: 5970291
    Abstract: A container for storing a supply of particles for use in a developer unit of an electrophotographic printing machine is provided. The container is fittable to an adapter associated with the developer unit. The container includes a body and a cover. The body defines a chamber for storing particles therein. The body further defines an aperture in the periphery thereof. The cover is for use in covering the aperture. The container also includes a latching member having a latched position wherein said cover is fixedly positioned with respect to said body. The latching member also has an unlatched position wherein the cover is movable with respect to the body. The latching member is moved from the latched position to the unlatched position as the container is fitted into the adapter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1999
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventor: Daniel C. Miller
  • Patent number: 5966574
    Abstract: A developer replenishing apparatus includes: a developer storing container for storing a developer therein; a first driving source for rotating the developer storing container to supply the developer; a developer reservoir section for receiving the developer supplied from the developer storing container; a conveying screw for replenishing the developer in the developer reservoir section onto a developing device; a second driving source for driving the conveying screw; and a stirring member for stirring the developer in the developer reservoir section, the stirring member having a first and second one-way clutches provided on a driving shaft thereof. The stirring member is driven by the first driving source through the first one-way clutch, and driven by the second driving source through the second one-way clutch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Konica Corporation
    Inventors: Makoto Ui, Shigeru Okazaki, Masahiro Yoshino, Eiji Anzai
  • Patent number: 5966568
    Abstract: A process cartridge detachably mountable on the main body of an electrophotographic image forming apparatus comprises an electrophotographic photosensitive member, development means for developing the latent images formed by the electrophotographic photosensitive member, and a toner retaining unit for retaining toner to be used for development by the development means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Atsushi Numagami, Kazushi Watanabe, Katsunori Yokoyama
  • Patent number: 5960238
    Abstract: A method of supplying toner for refilling a process cartridge of an image forming apparatus of electrophotographic recording system without contaminating the hands of the operator and the image forming apparatus. A process cartridge for an image forming apparatus in which supply toner is supplied to the toner supply section from the outer section, is provided with a toner supply section for supplying toner to a development unit. The process cartridge is provided with a supply toner container made up of material capable of being cut and for containing supply toner, a supply toner container accommodating section for receiving the supply toner container, an edge body for cutting the container, a male screw member for pushing the container so as to be cut, and an engaging member for blocking the passage of cut chips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventor: Hiroshi Ohgami
  • Patent number: 5953567
    Abstract: A screw pump for use in an image forming apparatus for conveying toner has a female screw type stator formed with a double pitch spiral groove in its inner periphery, and a male screw type rotor rotatably received in the stator. Assuming that the rotor has a sectional diameter of RA, and that the stator has a minimum inside diameter of S.MIN, the rotor and stator bite into each other such that a dimensional ratio of RA/S.MIN satisfies a relation of RA/S.MIN.ltoreq.1.04. A toner conveying device using such a screw pump and a toner filling system are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Satoshi Muramatsu, Takashi Hodoshima, Nobuo Kasahara
  • Patent number: 5933691
    Abstract: A toner cartridge according to the present invention ensures easy replacement thereof and assuredly prevents a user from failing to claim its toner fall aperture. When a shutter is located in a position where the toner fall aperture is closed, a claw of a lock portion does not project outward. When the toner cartridge is inserted in an insertion direction, a right holding portion of the shutter abuts against an engagement side wall of an engagement portion, and prohibits the shutter from moving in the direction of the insertion so that the toner fall aperture is opened. When the toner cartridge is withdrawn, the lock portion of the claw is locked to a return portion provided on a side wall thereby to prohibit the shutter from moving in a direction opposite to the insertion direction. Thus, the shutter is slid in the insertion direction with respect to a flange to close the toner fall aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1999
    Assignee: Mita Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazuo Johroku
  • Patent number: 5918095
    Abstract: A developer dispensing container includes a container body covered with a container cap, a dispensing nozzle suspended in the container body with a nozzle tube extended out of the center hole on the container cap, a nozzle cap mounted around the nozzle tube and moved along longitudinal sliding grooves at the nozzle tube to close/open the nozzle tube, a rotary driving member coupled to the nozzle cap and driven to move the nozzle cap along the longitudinal sliding grooves of the nozzle tube, and a stirrer revolvably supported on an axle bearing inside the container body and rotated with the dispensing nozzle when the nozzle cap is opened from the nozzle tube and the rotary driving member is continuously rotated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1999
    Assignee: General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ya-Li Huang
  • Patent number: 5915154
    Abstract: The apparatus for conveying finely powdered material from a reservoir includes a suction/pressure unit that projects into the reservoir. A gas is introduced into the suction/pressure unit and is mixed with the finely powdered material that is sucked into suction/pressure unit from the reservoir to form a powder/gas mixture and this mixture is discharged. Compressed air blows into the reservoir in a finely dispersed manner to fluidized the finely powdered material so that the extraction of the finely powdered material from the reservoir is facilitated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1999
    Assignee: Oce Printing Systems GmbH
    Inventors: Bernd Schoch, Edmund Creutzmann, Robert Lang
  • Patent number: 5907756
    Abstract: A toner bottle has a concavity on one endface, connector ribs are provided on the interior wall of the concavity. A drive system is provided with a torque limiter and a retraction mechanism for retracting a drive member in an opposite direction from the toner bottle when there is insufficient connection between the toner bottle and the drive member. Accordingly, the drive system is not damaged when a user mistakenly rotates an installed toner bottle. A drive member for connection with ribs of the toner bottle, and a drive shaft for transmitting a rotational force to the drive member and a coupling also provided. At least two connector projections are provided on the toner bottle to engage connectors provided on the coupling. The coupling is rotated to a predetermined fixed position and stopped via a sensor when a toner bottle is not installed, so that when a user inserts a toner bottle into the coupling, connection between the toner bottle and the coupling is possible only at the predetermined position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Assignee: Minolta Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mihoko Shirota, Masanori Hara
  • Patent number: 5907747
    Abstract: A toner cartridge insert (10) for use in remanufactured toner cartridges (16) and a method for remanufacturing toner cartridges. The toner cartridge insert (10) is hollow and conforms to the shape of the inside of the toner hopper (40). The toner cartridge insert (10) is presealed and prefilled with toner (13) so that the toner hopper (40) does not have to be cleaned, sealed, and refilled in order to remanufacture a toner cartridge (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Assignee: Ward Sealing, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark A. Diener
  • Patent number: 5903806
    Abstract: A developing agent replenishing apparatus includes a developing agent receiving port for receiving a developing agent from a replenishment cartridge which stores developing agent when the cartridge is mounted and a conveyor for conveying the developing agent received in the receiving port to a developing device. The developer agent receiving port has a receiving opening and the replenishment cartridge has a replenishment opening. Cylindrical expandable covers are provided at the receiving and replenishment openings for opening or closing these openings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 11, 1999
    Assignee: Konica Corporation
    Inventors: Isao Matsuoka, Yozo Fujii
  • Patent number: 5890040
    Abstract: A toner container for use in an image forming apparatus having a toner receiving section, includes a cylindrical container body in which toner is stored, the cylindrical container body having a toner discharging end and provided with a spiral rib provided on its inner circumferential surface so that toner is conveyed toward the toner discharging end by the spiral rib when the cylindrical container body is rotated, the cylindrical container body further having a cylindrical portion with a discharging port on the toner discharging end; and a sleeve member mounted around the cylindrical portion so that the discharging port is closed by the sleeve member, the sleeve member movable in the axial direction of the cylindrical portion so that when the toner container is attached to the toner receiving section of the image forming apparatus, the sleeve member is moved so as to open the toner discharging port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignee: Konica Corporation
    Inventors: Isao Matsuoka, Masahiro Shigetomi
  • Patent number: 5887232
    Abstract: An apparatus for dispensing toner in an electrophotographic printing system includes a housing for containing a supply of toner and toner filled containers for replenishing the supply of toner. Toner is allowed to flow to a developer assembly in the electrophotographic printing system by removal of a housing toner seal. The bottom of the container is dimensioned so that it can be inserted through the opening in the top of the housing and the opening in the top of another substantially identical container. A toner dam seal is attached to the container to close the bottom opening. In the preferred embodiment, the toner dam seal includes a length of flexible material for use in removal of the toner dam seal. In an alternative embodiment, cutting blades are attached to the interior of the sidewalls of both the housing and the container for cutting the toner dam seal upon installation of the container into the housing or into a previously installed container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Quintin T. Phillips, K. Trent Christensen, Richard F. Beaufort, Robin P. Yergenson
  • Patent number: 5876541
    Abstract: An original equipment type seal for recharged toner cartridges can be installed without splitting the cartridge itself, by screening a border of "hot-melt" type adhesive, preferably wax-based, onto a strip of polyester, the adhesive being capable of softening or melting at a temperature above the softening or coagulating point of the toner powder itself, but below the softening points of the plastic components of the cartridge. The polyester seal is inserted into the cartridge with the aid of a room temperature or even cold, metallic insertion tool, preferably made of a high magnetic permeability steel. Heating this cold tool, or subsequently inserting a hot tool, will cause the adhesive to melt and seal the cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Inventor: Costa G. Chitouras
  • Patent number: 5842093
    Abstract: A toner container comprises a toner storage section for providing a developer unit with a supply of toner, and a residual toner collect section integrally formed with the toner storage section and adapted to collect residual toner after an image has been developed. The present invention is intended to facilitate positioning, loading and unloading of the toner container, and also enable the toner to be smoothly supplied without being scattered from the toner container.The toner storage section includes a longitudinally extending rotary shaft and a resiliently deformable blade mounted to the rotary shaft. The toner storage section has a bottom, a first side wall, and the other or second side wall. A portion of the blade at a location corresponding to the first side wall is curved larger than a portion of the blade at a location corresponding to the second side wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: Kyocera Corporation
    Inventor: Tetuo Tanda
  • Patent number: 5835828
    Abstract: A toner cartridge comprising a container having a toner discharge port, a toner contained in the container and a stirrer for stirring the toner existing in the container. The stirrer includes a rotary shaft rotatably mounted between both side walls of the container, not less than four arms extending in the radial direction from the rotary shaft at fixed distances in the axial direction and not less than three paddles disposed among the ends of the arms. The paddles are arranged at not less than three angular positions having angles different from each other and spaced at a distance apart in the circumferential direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: Mita Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazuo Jyoroku
  • Patent number: 5822663
    Abstract: A developer replenishing device for replenishing a developing device with a developer, and a developer container for use therewith. The developer container, or toner bottle, has a mouth portion at one end thereof which is smaller in diameter than a hollow cylindrical main body. At the end of the bottle provided with the mouth, a shoulder has the inner periphery thereof partly raised to the edge of the mouth portion to form a raised portion for scooping up a toner. In addition, a part of the inner periphery of the circumferential wall of the bottle which is contiguous with the raised portion is also raised toward the axis of the bottle about which the bottle is rotatable, thereby forming another raised portion. When the bottle is mounted to a bottle holder, which is included in the replenishing device, substantially horizontally with the mouth portion oriented sideways, the bottle is rotated to raise the toner from the bottom of the main body to the mouth portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hideo Ichikawa, Takeshi Saito, Sunao Ikeda, Nobuhiro Makita, Seiji Ozawa, Shigeru Yoshiki, Takaaki Yanagisawa
  • Patent number: RE36920
    Abstract: A seal for a toner cartridge assembly used in printers, copy machines and facsimile machines. The seal is a strip which can be torn out so as to define an opening for the passage of toner. The strip has a structure which lowers the tearing force required when starting to tear the strip with respect to the tearing force required for other parts of the seal, or the seal has a structure which increases the binding of parts of the seal adjacent to the strip on the cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Inventor: Jan De Kesel