By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventor Yoshida, Satoru (Kanagawa, JP), filed on December 9, 2014, was published online on April 19, 2016, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.
Patent number 9315039 is assigned to RICOH COMPANY, LTD. (Tokyo, JP).
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a liquid supplying device to supply liquid, such as ink, stored in a liquid storage unit to a liquid supply target and an image forming apparatus, such as a printer, a copier, or a facsimile machine, including the liquid supplying device.
"A liquid supplying device may have a pump called a diaphragm pump including a first check valve and a second check valve arranged at an inlet, through which liquid is supplied into a diaphragm (liquid container), and an outlet, through which liquid is discharged from the diaphragm, respectively. The diaphragm includes a compression coil spring (hereinafter, referred to as 'spring') to urge the diaphragm outward. When the diaphragm is expanded outward by the urging force of the spring, the internal volume of the diaphragm increases. The diaphragm pump has a pressing member to press the diaphragm inward from the outside of the diaphragm against the urging force of the spring.
"When the pressing member turns into a pressing state in which the pressing member pressing the diaphragm from the outside, the volume of the diaphragm decreases. As a result, the internal pressure of the diaphragm rises, thus discharging liquid from the outlet of the diaphragm via the second check valve. By contrast, when the pressing state of the pressing member is released and turned into a non-pressing state, the volume of the diaphragm is raised by the spring of the diaphragm. As a result, the internal pressure of the diaphragm falls, thus supplying (sucking) liquid from the inlet of the diaphragm via the first check valve. For example, such a diaphragm pump is employed as a liquid feeding unit to feed ink as liquid from a main tank (liquid storage unit) to a sub tank (liquid supply target) in an inkjet recording apparatus."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In at least one embodiment of this disclosure, there is provided a liquid supplying device including a pump, an operation member, an entry channel, and a shutter. The pump includes a deformable liquid container to store liquid and is configured to suck liquid from a liquid storage unit to the liquid container by increasing volume of the liquid container and supply the liquid from the liquid container to a liquid supply target by decreasing the volume of the liquid container. The operation member is operated by a user. The entry channel connects the liquid storage unit and the liquid container. The shutter moves with movement of the operation member to shut the entry channel.
"In at least one embodiment of this disclosure, there is provided an image forming apparatus including
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
"The aforementioned and other aspects, features, and advantages of the present disclosure would be better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
"FIG. 1 is a side view of a mechanical part of an inkjet recording apparatus as an image forming apparatus according to at least one embodiment of this disclosure;
"FIG. 2 is a plan view of the mechanical part of the inkjet recording apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1:
"FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a configuration of an ink supply pump unit according to at least one embodiment of this disclosure;
"FIGS. 4A and 4B are schematic views of a configuration of an ink supplying device as a liquid supplying device according to at least one embodiment of this disclosure;
"FIGS. 5A and 5B are schematic views of the liquid supplying device in operation with an ink cartridge containing ink;
"FIGS. 6A through 6C are schematic views of the liquid supplying device in operation with the ink cartridge empty of ink;
"FIGS. 7A to 7C are schematic views of a cam drive mechanism of an ink supply device as a comparative example;
"FIG. 8 is a front view of a channel plate constituting an entry channel according to at least one embodiment of this disclosure, seen from a side to which an ink cartridge is connected, according to;
"FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the channel plate cut along line X-X in FIG. 8;
"FIG. 10 is a back view of the channel plate illustrated in FIG. 8;
"FIG. 11A is a schematic view of a liquid supplying device in a state in which a cover is closed; FIG. 11B is a schematic view of the liquid supplying device of FIG. 11A in a state in which the cover is open;
"FIG. 12 is a schematic enlarged view of a state in which the entry channel is shut with a shutter having moved to a shutting position;
"FIGS. 13A and 13B are schematic views of a configuration of releasing snap-fit of the shutter:
"FIG. 14 is a schematic view of a configuration in which a spring is disposed in the entry channel of the channel plate to urge a film outward from the inside of the entry channel; and
"FIG. 15 is a schematic view of a configuration in which a check valve is disposed at a channel portion in the channel plate against which the film is pressed by the shutter.
"The accompanying drawings are intended to depict embodiments of the present disclosure and should not be interpreted to limit the scope thereof. The accompanying drawings are not to be considered as drawn to scale unless explicitly noted."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Yoshida, Satoru. Liquid Supplying Device, Droplet Discharge Device, and Image Forming Apparatus. U.S. Patent Number 9315039, filed December 9, 2014, and published online on April 19, 2016. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9315039.PN.&OS=PN/9315039RS=PN/9315039
Keywords for this news article include: RICOH COMPANY LTD.
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