Toner Patents (Class 399/27)
  • Patent number: 11383524
    Abstract: In some examples, an apparatus can include a supply reservoir including print substance, and a rotary valve having a central rotary axis, where the central rotary axis is perpendicular to a height of the supply reservoir, where the rotary valve is in a closed position such that the print substance is unable to be supplied from the supply reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2022
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Steve A. O'Hara, Kenneth Williams, David Moeller, Howard G. Wong, Ki Jung Han
  • Patent number: 11360406
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, including: a photoconductor; a developing device; a developer storage; a supplier configured to supply developer; an optical sensor; and a controller configured to execute: a developing process of developing an electrostatic latent image on the photoconductor; a usage-amount obtaining process of obtaining a usage amount of the developer; a supplying process of supplying the developer to the developing device every time when the obtained usage amount becomes equal to or greater than a first threshold; and a detecting process of detecting, by the optical sensor, an amount of the developer in the developing device every time when the obtained usage amount becomes equal to or greater than a second threshold larger than the first threshold, and wherein the controller is configured to execute the detecting process in a period different from a period in which the developing process is being executed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takashi Suzuki, Kazuma Hinoue, Takashi Yasuda, Takashi Shimizu, Yoshifumi Kajikawa
  • Patent number: 11347161
    Abstract: The image forming apparatus includes a developing device, a toner container, a first mechanism, a toner sensor, and a controller. The developing device adheres toner to an electrostatic latent image on a photoconductor to form a toner image. The toner container supplies toner to the developing device. The first mechanism causes a toner interface to undulate in the toner container. The toner sensor detects a capacitance between a first electrode and a second electrode arranged apart from the first electrode. The controller determines a remaining amount of toner in the toner container based on detection information from the toner sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Sho Koike
  • Patent number: 11320774
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a body on which a development cartridge is mountable to form a toner image by supplying toner in the development cartridge to an electrostatic latent image formed, a communicating portion provided on an outer surface of the body to be coupled with a toner refill cartridge to form a connection with the development cartridge to perform a toner refill of the toner in the development cartridge through the connection with the development cartridge, a sensor to detect a remaining toner amount remaining in the development cartridge, and a controller to estimate, based on the sensor detecting the remaining toner amount, an estimated toner remaining rate of the development cartridge, which is an estimated rate of the toner remaining in the development cartridge based on toner consumption, according to the toner refill.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventor: Jincheol Kim
  • Patent number: 11320773
    Abstract: An image forming system includes a recording processing portion, an acquirement processing portion, and an output processing portion. The recording processing portion records a consumed amount of a consumable consumed by an image forming apparatus per predetermined unit time. The acquirement processing portion acquires prediction data that indicates a predicted consumed amount of the consumable per the unit time for a time period from a predetermined standard time, based on a comparison result between: a first record result corresponding to a first time period extending to a reference time; and a second record result corresponding to a predetermined second time period extending to the standard time, among a record result recorded by the recording processing portion, the reference time being a predetermined specific time period earlier than the standard time. The output processing portion outputs the prediction data acquired by the acquirement processing portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Yasuyoshi Kobayashi, Tomoyoshi Sugihara, Tadashi Miyazaki, Koji Eto, Akizo Otani
  • Patent number: 11320782
    Abstract: A process cartridge includes a photosensitive drum; a developing roller; a developer supplying roller, provided in contact with the developing roller; a driving force receiving portion provided at a shaft end of the supplying roller; a first driving force transmitting portion; a second driving force transmitting portion; flexible sheets provided adjacent to an engaging portion between the first portion and the second portion to intermittently contact the second portion with rotation of the second portion, wherein a rotational direction of the roller is opposite to that of the roller, and a peripheral speed of the roller is larger than that of the roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hideki Maeshima, Kuniaki Hirukawa, Shuichi Gofuku, Yoshihiro Mitsui
  • Patent number: 11307513
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image forming unit, a toner detection sensor, a storage unit, and a control unit. The image forming unit includes an image carrier, a charging device, an exposure device, and a developing device. The toner detection sensor detects toner in the developing device. The control unit predicts transition of the toner deterioration degree in the developing device using the toner consumption amount and the cumulative operating time stored in the storage unit, and a predetermined toner deterioration model. The control unit is capable of measuring the toner deterioration degree based on amplitude of an output value of the toner detection sensor, and corrects the toner deterioration model, if the measured value of the toner deterioration degree is apart from the predicted value of the toner deterioration degree by a predetermined value or more.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2022
    Assignee: KYOCERA DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS INC.
    Inventor: Takahiro Okubo
  • Patent number: 11292277
    Abstract: A printing device includes: an RFID reader including a reader antenna; a cassette mounting portion in which a plurality of types of cassettes can be selectively mounted; a memory storing correlations between the types of cassettes and standard ranges concerning a return energy; and a controller. Each cassette includes an RFID tag storing cassette information related to the cassette. The RFID tag includes a tag antenna configured to communicate with the reader antenna. Communication sensitivity between the reader antenna and the tag antenna when the cassette is mounted in the cassette mounting portion is different for each type of cassette. The controller performs: communicating via the RFID reader with the RFID tag of the cassette mounted in the cassette mounting portion; and determining whether a value of the return energy received by the RFID reader in the communicating falls within any one of the standard ranges indicated by the correlations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hiromitsu Mizutani
  • Patent number: 11294304
    Abstract: According to an embodiment, an image forming apparatus includes an image bearing body, a developing unit, a supplying unit, a detecting unit, and a control unit. The supplying unit supplies a recording agent from a recording agent cartridge to the developing unit. The detecting unit detects a residual amount of the recording agent. The control unit controls, if the recording agent cartridge is not replaced, the supplying unit to supply the recording agent to the developing unit if the detected residual amount decreases to a first residual amount or less and controls, if the recording agent cartridge is replaced, the supplying unit to supply the recording agent in the recording agent cartridge after the replacement to the developing unit if the detected residual amount of the recording agent in the recording agent cartridge before the replacement decreases to a second residual amount or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Isamu Katsumata
  • Patent number: 11237498
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a toner container, and a main body which the toner container is attachable to and detachable from. The main body includes an image forming unit including a photosensitive drum, a toner containing portion, and a development roller, an attaching portion in which the toner container is at a first position for allowing supply of the toner, an opening portion of the main body, an acquisition unit acquiring a correlation value correlating with a toner remaining amount, an opening/closing member moving between an open position and a closed position, a detection unit detecting the opening/closing member, a movement mechanism executing moving operation for moving the toner container from the first position to a second position, and a control unit controlling the movement mechanism to execute the moving operation in a case where both of a first condition and a second condition are satisfied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2022
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Shuichi Gofuku
  • Patent number: 11226586
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, an image forming apparatus includes a developing device, an environment sensor, a memory, and a processor. The developing device stores a developer containing a toner and a carrier. The environment sensor measures an environment parameter. The memory stores end time environment information indicating an environment parameter of a date and time when printing is ended. The processor discharges the toner stored in the developing device when a difference between the environment parameter indicated by the end time environment information and the environment parameter measured by the environment sensor exceeds a predetermined threshold value, and puts the toner into the developing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kei Onishi, Daisuke Yamashita
  • Patent number: 11215939
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, an apparatus includes a photoconductor, an exposure device, a developing device, a toner concentration sensor, a supply motor, and a processor. The exposure device exposes the photoconductor based on image data. The developing device forms a toner image on the photoconductor with toner supplied from a toner cartridge. The toner concentration sensor detects a toner concentration in the developing device. The supply motor supplies the toner from the toner cartridge to the developing device based on the toner concentration. The processor detects a toner container supply abnormality based on a toner supply rate and a print rate of the image data, the toner supply rate being calculated based on a pixel count value that is an integrated value of pixel values of the image data and a supply motor count value that is an integrated value of drive times of the supply motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2022
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hisanobu Ajima
  • Patent number: 11199805
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a main assembly; an openable member, provided with a portion-to-be-engaged, for covering a mounting portion; an engaging member provided on the main assembly for engaging with the portion-to-be-engaged of the openable member positioned at a closed position so as to restrict movement of the openable member relative to the main assembly; a locking portion for locking the engaging member in an engaged state with the portion-to-be-engaged by restricting movement of the engaging member; an electric driving portion for unlocking the locking portion; a discriminating portion for discriminating that a consumable mounted is in an exchange state in which the consumable is to be exchanged; and a controller for driving the electric driving portion so as to unlock the locking portion when the controller receives, from the determining portion, a signal for determining that the consumable is in the exchange state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2021
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kiyoshi Furuta, Ryosuke Takahashi, Masaki Iwase
  • Patent number: 11175603
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, the image forming apparatus includes a storage unit, an image forming unit, a first electrode, a second electrode, a to-be-detected unit, a moving unit, a measuring unit, and a processor. The storage unit stores a recording material. The image forming unit forms an image with the recording material supplied from the storage unit. The to-be-detected unit is in the storage unit and is movable so that at least one of the distance to the first electrode and the distance to the second electrode changes. The moving unit moves the to-be-detected unit in the storage unit. The measuring unit measures the capacitance between the first electrode and the second electrode. The processor controls the image forming unit based on the abnormality detected based on the capacitance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2021
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hideaki Fukaya
  • Patent number: 11170273
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus to which a containing a recording material is attached removably includes a specifying unit configured to specify a usage amount of the recording material that has been used for printing in a predetermined period, and a prediction unit configured to predict a remaining period for using the attached container, based on a remaining amount of the recording material contained in the attached cartridge and the specified usage amount. The specified usage amount does not include a usage amount of the recording material which has been used in the predetermined period by the image forming apparatus which has been in a predetermined state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2021
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: So Yokomizo
  • Patent number: 11156939
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus and method for determining a toner level and providing a notification are provided. The method of operating an image forming apparatus includes counting a number of times a lower toner hopper receives toner from an in-situ refillable upper toner hopper, calculating an estimate of toner volume transferred from the lower toner hopper to a surface of a photosensitive drum, determining an amount of toner consumed from the in-situ refillable upper toner hopper based on the number of times the lower toner hopper receives toner from the in-situ refillable upper toner hopper and the estimate of toner volume transferred from the lower toner hopper to the surface of the photosensitive drum, and generating an upper toner hopper refill notification when the amount of toner consumed from the in-situ refillable upper toner hopper is determined to exceed a threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2021
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Kenneth K Smith, Ji-Won Moon, Min-Chul Lee, Andrew Chick, Matthew Storey, Jefferson Blake West, Zackary Thomas Hickman, Eun-Kyung Yun, Yoona Min, Pratik Shah
  • Patent number: 11156937
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image bearing member, a developing cartridge, a control portion configured to cause the image forming unit to form the toner image in one mode selected from a plurality of modes including a first image forming mode for forming a first toner image whose maximum loading amount is a first loading amount and a second image forming mode for forming a second toner image whose maximum loading amount is a second loading amount different from the first loading amount, a detection unit, and a display portion configured to display information related to the number of sheets of a recording material on which the first toner images can be formed in the first image forming mode and information related to the number of sheets of a recording material on which the second toner images can be formed in the second image forming mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2021
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takahiro Nakase
  • Patent number: 11143982
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image bearing member, a development cartridge configured to store developer and including a developer bearing member bearing and conveying the stored developer to a position where an electrostatic latent image formed on the image bearing member is developed, a detection unit configured to detect a developer amount within the development cartridge, and a display portion configured to display information indicating that the developer within the development cartridge is insufficient to form an image per size of a recording member, based on a remaining developer amount within the development cartridge detected by the detection unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takahiro Nakase
  • Patent number: 11131958
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image carrying member, a developing device, a toner holder, a toner holder mount portion, and a locking member. The toner holder is dismountably mounted in the toner holder mount portion and stores toner for the developing device. The toner holder mount portion has a pair of side support rails supporting a side face of the toner holder. The locking member is adjacent to an end part, in the toner holder mounting direction, of at least one side support rail, and is swingable between a first position restraining mounting and dismounting of the toner holder and a second position allowing mounting and dismounting of the toner holder. The locking member, in the second position, is on the extension line of the side support rails and, together with the side support rails, guides the toner holder to and from the toner holder mount portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2021
    Assignee: KYOCERA DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS INC.
    Inventors: Koji Tanio, Takashi Kusukawa
  • Patent number: 11054764
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a storage case, a developer conveyance portion, a developer detecting portion, a time measuring portion, and a driving control portion. The storage case stores developer that is supplied to a developing device, and conveys the developer by driving a first conveyance member. The developer conveyance portion conveys, by driving a second conveyance member, the developer supplied from the storage case. The developer detecting portion is provided in the developing device and detects the developer supplied from the developer conveyance portion. The time measuring portion measures a required time between a time when the first conveyance member starts to be driven and a time when the developer detecting portion detects the developer. The driving control portion sets a driving time of the second conveyance member based on the required time measured by the time measuring portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Atsuya Ikeuchi
  • Patent number: 11048197
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a developer container, an agitator, a toner supply, a toner sensor, and a controller. The developer container contains a two-component developer that includes toner and carrier. The agitator stirs the two-component developer. The toner supply replenishes the developer container with additional toner. The toner sensor detects a toner density of the two-component developer in the developer container. The controller calibrates the toner sensor using the two-component developer. The controller compares a first detection value indicating a toner density at a first time with a second detection value indicating a toner density at a second time after a predetermined time period has elapsed since the first time. The controller issues a notification regarding a suitability of calibration based on a comparison result of the first detection value and the second detection value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kei Onishi
  • Patent number: 11042334
    Abstract: An information processing apparatus includes a collecting unit that, when a predetermined transmission condition is established after a start of an operation of the information processing apparatus, collects information related to an operational environment of the information processing apparatus, and a transmitting unit that transmits the collected information to an image forming apparatus connected to the information processing apparatus via a network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: FUJI XEROX CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kazuhiko Abe, Fumiyoshi Kawase, Takashi Sakamoto, Masaharu Shimojima, Tsukasa Tsushima
  • Patent number: 11016416
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, an image forming apparatus includes a developing device, a sensor, a control information obtaining unit, and a control unit. The developing device forms an image on an image carrier using a developer. The sensor generates a signal indicating a measurement value related to the developer. The control information obtaining unit obtains, as control information of the developing device, one or more pieces of the control information pre-associated with the measurement value, from a recording medium associated with the developer. The control unit selects the control information associated with the measurement value indicated by the signal, from the one or more pieces of control information obtained from the recording medium. The control unit controls an operation of the developing device based on the selected control information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Hisanobu Ajima, Nobuo Tohata, Yuichiro Takeda
  • Patent number: 11017408
    Abstract: A logging module for identifying a suspected tampering condition of an access-controlled container, the logging module comprising: data collection means configured to collect data from said access-controlled container; and communication means for communicatively connecting the logging module across a network to a database storing a use history associated with said access-controlled container; wherein the logging module is configured to compare the collected data to the corresponding use history associated with said access-controlled container stored in the database to identify a suspected tampering condition of said access-controlled container, wherein the use history comprises data associated with the weight and/or volume of content of the access-controlled container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: SICPA HOLDING SA
    Inventors: Nicola Duca, Alexandre Boulle
  • Patent number: 11009807
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus is provided. The image forming apparatus includes a sensor to detect a toner concentration, and a processor to control a rendering of image-forming data to form an image on an image forming medium, according to a level of toner concentration saving that is adjusted based on the detected toner concentration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P.
    Inventors: Kyeong-man Kim, Hyun-soo Oh, Seong-wook Han, Yoon-tae Lee
  • Patent number: 11010108
    Abstract: An information processing apparatus includes a collecting unit that, when a predetermined transmission condition is established after a start of an operation of the information processing apparatus, collects information related to an operational environment of the information processing apparatus, and a transmitting unit that transmits the collected information to an image forming apparatus connected to the information processing apparatus via a network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: FUJI XEROX CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kazuhiko Abe, Fumiyoshi Kawase, Takashi Sakamoto, Masaharu Shimojima, Tsukasa Tsushima
  • Patent number: 11003108
    Abstract: A development frame body includes a concave portion, which is projected in a direction along an upward direction of a gravitational direction, and which is located at a downstream side of a communication port and an upstream side of a replenishing port, the concave portion and the replenishing port overlap with each other in an axis direction of a shaft portion when viewed in a direction orthogonal to the axis direction, a relationship R1?L is satisfied, when a free length of the sheet portion is L and a distance from a rotation center of the shaft portion to an inner wall face is R1, and slit portions are formed in a free end of the sheet portion so that a section of the free end of the sheet portion can enter the concave portion when an agitation member is rotated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Satoshi Sunahara, Nobuo Oshima
  • Patent number: 10997480
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for detecting replacement of a consumable to be used for image formation is provided. The replacement detection mechanism, in response to detecting replacement of the consumable is needed, counter data including a number of printed sheets using the consumable is initialized, without initialization of learning data for determining a remaining use period from a use amount in a predetermined period of the consumable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroyuki Nakane
  • Patent number: 10996606
    Abstract: A remaining toner amount detecting apparatus includes two electrodes; a remaining toner amount detector configured to detect a remaining toner amount in a toner container based on a capacitance between the two electrodes; a storage configured to store a first capacitance value between the two electrodes preliminarily detected in a non-disposed state in which the toner container is not disposed between the two electrodes; and an abnormality detector configured to detect an abnormality of the remaining toner amount detecting apparatus based on the first capacitance value stored in the storage and a second capacitance value between the two electrodes that is detected in the non-disposed state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yuji Ieiri
  • Patent number: 10990033
    Abstract: In an image forming apparatus, a controller controls a toner container so that toner in the toner container is supplied to a developing section according to replenishment amount information stored in storage. The developing section includes a developer container that contains toner supplied from the toner container, and a sensor that detects a concentration of the toner in the developer container. The controller changes a replenishment amount indicated in the replenishment amount information based on a predicted toner concentration value in the developer container after the toner is supplied to the developer container under control of the toner container, and a detected toner concentration value detected by the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Takuya Onodera
  • Patent number: 10969710
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, an image forming apparatus includes a photosensitive drum, an exposure unit, a development unit, a toner supply motor, and a processor. The exposure unit exposes the photosensitive drum based on image data. The development unit forms a toner image on the photosensitive drum with toner supplied from a toner cartridge. The toner supply motor supplies the toner to the development unit from the toner cartridge. The processor detects toner emptiness when a toner supply ratio calculated based on an integrated value of a pixel count value of the image data and an integrated value of a driving time of the toner supply motor is less than a preset threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Shigeru Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 10969724
    Abstract: Provided is a technology relating to an image forming apparatus configured to calculate a toner usage amount per day. The image forming apparatus stores the calculated toner usage amount per day in a list when a toner usage history is permitted to be stored, and avoids storing the calculated toner usage amount per day in the list when the usage history is inhibited from being stored. When the toner usage history is permitted to be stored, the image forming apparatus extracts a feature amount indicating a toner consumption tendency exhibited by a user based on the toner usage amount per day corresponding to a predetermined period stored in the list, and avoids extracting the feature amount when the toner usage history is inhibited from being stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuya Ohta, Takuya Hayakawa, Kiyoharu Kakomura, Seita Inoue, Naoka Omura, Shunsuke Nishimura, Yuichi Yamamoto, Satoru Kojima
  • Patent number: 10948845
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, there is provided an image forming unit including: an image carrier; a charger; a latent image forming unit; a developing roller; and a regulating member. The charger charges the image carrier. The latent image forming unit forms a latent image on the image carrier. The developing roller is arranged to face the image carrier and develops the latent image with a developer including a carrier and a toner. The regulating member regulates a layer thickness of the developer of a surface of the developing roller. The regulating member extends in a direction approaching the developing roller. A magnetic force exerted by the developing roller at a tip end of the regulating member in an extending direction is 55 mT or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Katsunori Mizuta
  • Patent number: 10948851
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus may include a developing device including a developing roller and a coupling rotatable both in a first direction and in a second direction opposite to the first direction, a coupler engageable with the coupling, a motor configured to drive the coupler, the motor configured to cause the coupler to be a first state in which the coupling rotates in the second direction and a second state in which the coupling rotates in the first direction, and a controller configured to transfer, to the motor, an instruction for changing the coupler to the second state, in a case where the controller judges that the remaining toner amount in a developing chamber of the developing device is smaller than or equal to the first predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Takashi Shimizu, Keita Shimizu, Yasuo Fukamachi, Kazutoshi Nakamura, Kasuma Hinoue
  • Patent number: 10948847
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a developing device that forms a toner image on a sheet; a supply device provided with a cartridge for accommodating toner and supplying the toner in the cartridge to the developing device; a sensor that acquires a physical quantity relating to an amount of toner in the developing device; a timer that counts time; and a controller that drives the supply device until a condition that the acquired physical quantity indicates that the amount of toner is equal to or greater than a predetermined value is satisfied when a condition that the physical quantity indicates that the amount of toner becomes small is satisfied, counts time during which the supply device is being driven with the timer, and determines that the amount of toner in the cartridge becomes smaller than a predetermined amount if the counted time is longer than a predetermined threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2021
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Sho Koike
  • Patent number: 10943159
    Abstract: An information processing apparatus includes a controller circuit configured to determine a feed-time-period, calculate a variation-value for each variation-calculation-span, detect that a successive-occurrence-number reaches a successive-occurrence-reference-number, determine a number-of-fed-media-at-wear-detected-time, divide the number-of-fed-media-at-wear-detected-time by a number-of-total-operation-days to calculate an average-number-of-fed-media-per-day, and divide an allowed-number-of-media-to-be-fed-after-wear-detection by the average-number-of-fed-media-per-day to calculate a predicted-number-of-days, the allowed-number-of-media-to-be-fed-after-wear-detection being a number of feedable media from the point at which the successive-occurrence-number reaches the successive-occurrence-reference-number to a point at which a part is replaced, the predicted-number-of-days being a number of days in which the allowed-number-of-media-to-be-fed-after-wear-detection is to be consumed starting from a day on which
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: KYOCERA DOCUMENT SOLUTIONS INC.
    Inventor: Minoru Takahashi
  • Patent number: 10921734
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image forming section, a controller, and storage. The storage stores therein a coverage rate of a past image specified by a past print job. The controller includes a determining section and a first calculating section. When a new print job is received, the determining section determines whether or not to perform a running-in operation by comparing a coverage rate of a new image specified by the new print job to the coverage rate of the past image stored in the storage. The first calculating section calculates an amount of toner to be supplied from a developing section to a photosensitive drum based on the coverage rate of the new image. The running-in operation is to supply the toner in the amount calculated by the first calculating section from the developing section to the photosensitive drum before the new image is formed on a sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Masaru Watanabe
  • Patent number: 10915054
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a toner cartridge, a developer, and a processor. The toner cartridge includes an accommodation container accommodating toner and a memory storing a first toner residual amount display threshold value. The developer performs development by the toner supplied from the toner cartridge. The processor calculates a second toner residual amount display threshold value based on a toner supply index, indicating an amount of the toner supplied to the developer from at least one toner cartridge used before a toner cartridge mounted on the image forming apparatus, and the first toner residual amount display threshold value. The processor outputs notification relating to a toner residual amount when a toner supply index indicating an amount of toner supplied to the developer from the toner cartridge mounted on the image forming apparatus exceeds the second toner residual amount display threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2021
    Assignees: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA, TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hisanobu Ajima
  • Patent number: 10901358
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a developing section, storage, a first calculation section, a comparing section, and an executing section. The developing section develops an electrostatic latent image with toner. The storage stores coverage rates. The first calculation section calculates a first coverage rate and a second coverage rate. The comparing section compares the first coverage rate with the second coverage rate. The first coverage rate includes one or more coverage rates stored earlier in the storage than the second coverage rate. The second coverage rate includes coverage rates of a specified number of latest images individually formed on a specified number of sheets. A running-in operation is driving the developing section. The executing section executes the running-in operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Masaru Watanabe, Akira Matayoshi
  • Patent number: 10895829
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image holding unit that holds an image that is formed of a developer, the image being intended to be transferred onto a medium, and an image that is not intended to be transferred onto a medium, a transfer unit that transfers the image that is intended to be transferred onto a medium onto a medium, and a forming unit that forms, upon receiving a print instruction to form the image that is intended to be transferred onto a medium onto the image holding unit, the image that is not intended to be transferred onto a medium at a position on the image holding unit where the image that is intended to be transferred onto a medium is to be formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2021
    Assignee: FUJI XEROX CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jun Kuwabara, Yoshiyuki Tominaga, Masaaki Yamamura
  • Patent number: 10877427
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an apparatus body, an image carrier, a developing device, a toner container, a container cover, a driver, a lock mechanism and a lock restricting portion. The lock mechanism is switched to a locking state for locking the container cover in a closed state and an unlocking state for causing the container cover to transition from the closed state to the open state. The lock restricting portion obstructs a state change of the lock mechanism from the unlocking state to the locking state if the container cover is not attached to the apparatus body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Inventor: Yuta Nohara
  • Patent number: 10877397
    Abstract: A developer storage level detecting device includes: a main body having a transporting path through which a developer is transported; a developer transporting unit that is disposed to rotate in the transporting path and has a transporting section provided spirally around a rotating shaft; a swingable member that comes in contact with a surface of the developer being transported in the transporting path and swings while following at least a level of the surface of the developer stored; and a detecting unit that detects a swing state of the swingable member, wherein the transporting unit has a non-transporting section without the transporting section, and the swingable member is disposed to swing in the non-transporting section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Assignee: FUJI XEROX CO.. LTD.
    Inventor: Yuki Yoshihira
  • Patent number: 10852664
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a supply unit and a control unit. The supply unit supplies a recording agent to a storage unit from a recording agent cartridge. The control unit is configured to at least one of (i) estimate a discharged amount of the recording agent discharged from the recording agent cartridge to form an image based on (a) a running amount of the supply unit used to form the image and (b) an additive characteristic of the additive added to the recording agent or (ii) estimate a supply amount to be discharged from the recording agent cartridge by the supply unit to form the image based on (a) the running amount of the supply unit necessary to form the image and (b) the additive characteristic of the additive added to the recording agent, and cause the supply unit to run based on the supply amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Nobuo Tohata
  • Patent number: 10838323
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a notification portion configured to notify replenishment information for prompting replenishing a developing container with developer in a case where an index is equal to or larger than a preset threshold value. The index is set such that the index increases in accordance with rotation of the developer bearing member and decreases in accordance with replenishment of the developing container with the developer. An amount of increase of the index per predetermined amount of rotation of the developer bearing member is larger in a case where an amount of the developer in the developing container is smaller. An amount of decrease of the index according to the replenishment of the developing container with the developer is larger in a case where an amount of replenished developer is larger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kensuke Umeda, Shinsuke Kobayashi, Takanori Watanabe, Ai Suzuki, Kazuhiro Funatani
  • Patent number: 10838356
    Abstract: A process cartridge includes a photosensitive drum; a developing roller; a developer supplying roller, provided in contact with the developing roller; a driving force receiving portion provided at a shaft end of the supplying roller; a first driving force transmitting portion; a second driving force transmitting portion; flexible sheets provided adjacent to an engaging portion between the first portion and the second portion to intermittently contact the second portion with rotation of the second portion, wherein a rotational direction of the roller is opposite to that of the roller, and a peripheral speed of the roller is larger than that of the roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hideki Maeshima, Kuniaki Hirukawa, Shuichi Gofuki, Yoshihiro Mitsui
  • Patent number: 10824092
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes an image forming unit, a sensor, and a controller. The image forming unit is configured to form a toner image on an image carrier based on image data and transfer the toner image on the image carrier onto a sheet. The sensor is positioned to measure an amount of toner on the image carrier before or after transfer of the toner image onto the sheet. The controller is configured to determine a remaining amount of toner that is discarded or wasted based on the measured amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2020
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Suguru Kurita
  • Patent number: 10809647
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus, including: a photoconductor; a developing device; a developer storage; a supplier configured to supply developer; an optical sensor; and a controller configured to execute: a developing process of developing an electrostatic latent image on the photoconductor; a usage-amount obtaining process of obtaining a usage amount of the developer; a supplying process of supplying the developer to the developing device every time when the obtained usage amount becomes equal to or greater than a first threshold; and a detecting process of detecting, by the optical sensor, an amount of the developer in the developing device every time when the obtained usage amount becomes equal to or greater than a second threshold larger than the first threshold, and wherein the controller is configured to execute the detecting process in a period different from a period in which the developing process is being executed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takashi Suzuki, Kazuma Hinoue, Takashi Yasuda, Takashi Shimizu, Yoshifumi Kajikawa
  • Patent number: 10795302
    Abstract: An image forming apparatus includes a developing section, storage, a first calculation section, a comparing section, and an executing section. The developing section contains toner and develops an electrostatic latent image with the toner. The storage stores coverage rates. The first calculation section calculates a first coverage rate and a second coverage rate. The comparing section compares the first coverage rate with the second coverage rate. The executing section executes a running-in operation based on a result of comparison by the comparing section. The first coverage rate includes one or more coverage rates stored earlier in the storage than the second coverage rate. The second coverage rate includes coverage rates of a specified number of latest images individually formed on the specified number of sheets. The running-in operation is driving the developing section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Masaru Watanabe, Akira Matayoshi
  • Patent number: 10788769
    Abstract: Let V1 be a potential difference between a photosensitive member charged by a charging member to which a second charging voltage is applied in a preparation process and a developing member to which a developing voltage is applied. Let V2 be a potential difference between the photosensitive member charged by the charging member to which a first charging voltage is applied in an image forming process and the developing member. Given this definition, a relation of |V1|<|V2| is satisfied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2020
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Shinji Katagiri, Ken Nakagawa
  • Patent number: 10776676
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, an image forming apparatus includes a printer unit that includes a driving member related to the supply of the developer, a storage unit that stores correction information regarding the correction of a supplied amount of the developer and a remaining amount of the developer, and a control unit. The control unit acquires driving information regarding the driving of the driving member. The control unit acquires the correction information in accordance with the remaining amount of the developer and estimates the remaining amount of developer based on the driving information and the correction information when the remaining amount of the developer stored in the storage unit satisfies a predetermined condition regarding the remaining amount, and estimates the remaining amount of the developer based on the driving information when the remaining amount of the developer stored in the storage unit does not satisfy the predetermined condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: TOSHIBA TEC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hideaki Fukaya