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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Tokyo  >  Konica Minolta Inc    4902   JP3300600008

KONICA MINOLTA INC

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Japan - Researchers Submit Patent Application, “Image Forming Device”, for Approval (USPTO 20190227471): Konica Minolta Inc.

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08/14/2019 | 05:57pm EDT

2019 AUG 14 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Daily Asia Business -- From Washington, D.C., NewsRx journalists report that a patent application by the inventors HAYASHI, Akihiro (Okazaki-shi, Japan); TATSUMOTO, Yuhei (Toyokawa-shi, Japan); OHARA, Koji (Toyokawa-shi, Japan); SHIMAZOE, Makoto (Toyokawa-shi, Japan); KOIDE, Yasuhiro (Toyohashi-shi, Japan), filed on January 9, 2019, was made available online on July 25, 2019.

The patent’s assignee is Konica Minolta Inc. (Tokyo, Japan).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “Technological Field

“The present invention relates to an image forming device.

“Description of the Related Art

“An electrophotographic image forming device uniformly charges a peripheral surface of a cylindrical photoreceptor and performs light irradiation (pattern exposure) according to image data in a state in which the photoreceptor is stably rotating, thereby partially deleting a charge on the peripheral surface to form a latent image (electrostatic latent image). Then, toner is adhered to the peripheral surface of the photoreceptor and the latent image is visualized as a toner image, and an image is formed on a sheet by transferring the toner image to the sheet.

“As the image forming device is used, a photosensitive layer which is a surface layer of the photoreceptor gradually wears. When a film thickness of the photosensitive layer decreases to a lower limit value, the photoreceptor is replaced with a new one. In order to judge the necessity of replacing the photoreceptor, the film thickness of the photosensitive layer is detected.

“As the conventional technology for detecting the film thickness of the photosensitive layer, there are technologies disclosed in JP 2011-28102 A and JP 2007-171462 A.

“JP 2011-28102 A discloses the technology of eliminating the necessity of a DC current detection circuit only for detecting the film thickness in an AC charging image forming device. In the image forming device disclosed in JP 2011-28102 A, a value of AC current flowing to a charging roller when a plurality of AC voltages having different DC levels is applied to the charging roller in contact with a photoreceptor is detected by an AC current detection circuit. Then, on the basis of a difference between these detection values, that is, on the basis of a DC component of discharge current flowing to the charging roller, the film thickness is detected.

“JP 2007-171462 A discloses that, in an AC charging image forming device, when measuring a film thickness on the basis of a DC component of current flowing to a charging roller at the time of charging, an overshoot contained in the DC component is removed by a process in a controller.

“The photoreceptor does not always wear uniformly, and there is often a case in which there is a difference in film thickness of the photosensitive layer depending on a position in a circumferential direction. Therefore, in a case of detecting a state of overall wear of the photoreceptor, it is preferable to measure the film thickness at each of a plurality of positions acquired by subdividing an entire periphery of the photoreceptor. For example, it is conceivable that an average value of a plurality of acquired measurement values is used as an index of a progressing state of the overall wear of the photoreceptor.

“However, in a case of detecting the film thickness of the photosensitive layer by applying the voltage to the charging roller abutting the photoreceptor as in the technologies in JP 2011-28102 A and JP 2007-171462 A described above, fluctuation of an abutting state of the charging roller problematically affects a detection result of the film thickness of the photosensitive layer. For this reason, reliability of detection of the state of overall wear of the photoreceptor might be reduced conventionally. Especially, in a case where variation of the film thickness of the photosensitive layer is slight, the effect of the fluctuation of the abutting state of the charging roller becomes large and the effect on the detection result of the wear state is great. Causes of the fluctuation in the abutting state of the charging roller include eccentricity of the charging roller, variation in wear of the peripheral surface, partial deformation and contamination of the peripheral surface and the like.”

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent application: “The present invention is achieved in view of the above-described problems, and an object thereof is to improve reliability of detection of a state of an image carrier performed while a roller abuts.

“To achieve the abovementioned object, according to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided an image forming device that forms a latent image on a rotating cylindrical image carrier, and the image forming device reflecting one aspect of the present invention comprises: a conductive roller that abuts the image carrier to rotate; a power supply circuit that applies voltage to the roller, a controller that controls the power supply circuit so as to apply the voltage to the roller over a predetermined detection period in a state in which the image carrier and the roller are rotated; a detection value acquirer that acquires a detection value acquired by the application of the voltage indicating a state of the image carrier every cycle shorter than a time in which the roller rotates once in the detection period; and a state detector that detects a state of the image carrier on the basis of a plurality of acquired detection values, wherein a length of the detection period is set to a length at which both the numbers of rotations of the image carrier and the roller from a start of the detection period are integers.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. An image forming device that forms a latent image on a rotating cylindrical image carrier, comprising: a conductive roller that abuts the image carrier to rotate; a power supply circuit that applies voltage to the roller; a controller that controls the power supply circuit so as to apply the voltage to the roller over a predetermined detection period in a state in which the image carrier and the roller are rotated; a detection value acquirer that acquires a detection value acquired by the application of the voltage indicating a state of the image carrier every cycle shorter than a time in which the roller rotates once in the detection period; and a state detector that detects a state of the image carrier on the basis of a plurality of acquired detection values, wherein a length of the detection period is set to a length at which both the numbers of rotations of the image carrier and the roller from a start of the detection period are integers.

“2. The image forming device according to claim 1, wherein the state detector detects a state of wear of a surface layer of the image carrier or a state of covering by deposit on a peripheral surface of the image carrier as the state of the image carrier.

“3. The image forming device according to claim 1, wherein the power supply circuit applies AC voltage of a level at which discharging does not occur between the roller and the image carrier to the roller as the voltage, and the detection value acquirer acquires a current value of an alternating component of current flowing between the roller and the image carrier as the detection value.

“4. The image forming device according to claim 1, wherein the state detector calculates an average value of the plurality of acquired detection values as a detection result of the state of the image carrier.

“5. The image forming device according to claim 1, comprising: a charging roller that charges the image carrier, and a cleaning roller that cleans a peripheral surface of the image carrier, wherein the roller is the charging roller or the cleaning roller.

“6. The image forming device according to claim 1, comprising: a developer that visualizes the latent image as a toner image; and a transfer roller for applying transfer voltage to the image carrier when transferring the toner image to a member to be transferred, wherein the roller is the transfer roller.

“7. The image forming device according to claim 1, wherein a peripheral length of the roller is selected to be an integer fraction of a peripheral length of the image carrier.

“8. The image forming device according to claim 1, comprising: a determiner that determines whether replacement of the image carrier is necessary on the basis of the detected state of the image carrier; and a notifier that, in a case where it is determined that the replacement is required, notifies the fact.”

For additional information on this patent application, see: HAYASHI, Akihiro; TATSUMOTO, Yuhei; OHARA, Koji; SHIMAZOE, Makoto; KOIDE, Yasuhiro. Image Forming Device. Filed January 9, 2019 and posted July 25, 2019. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220190227471%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20190227471&RS=DN/20190227471

(Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world.)

Copyright © 2019 NewsRx LLC, Daily Asia Business, source Geographic Newsletters

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Financials (JPY)
Sales 2020 1 084 B
EBIT 2020 57 508 M
Net income 2020 37 151 M
Debt 2020 141 B
Yield 2020 4,05%
P/E ratio 2020 9,90x
P/E ratio 2021 8,35x
EV / Sales2020 0,47x
EV / Sales2021 0,44x
Capitalization 368 B
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Average target price 1 097,14  JPY
Last Close Price 744,00  JPY
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