Copiers and printers based on the electrophotographic system make prints by fixing paper with toner using heat and pressure. In this fixing process, stable paper feed must be controlled to maintain typography of the prints. This is needed because, if paper feed at the fusing unit becomes unstable, paper wrinkle may result.
In developing a new fusing unit in the past, we confirmed whether or not stabilized paper feed could be achieved by conducting repeated paper feed tests under varied conditions and environments. That method allowed us to evaluate whether or not paper wrinkle occurred. It did not, however, clearly illustrate which components in the paper feed had the greatest influence on the unstable behavior that resulted in paper wrinkles.
As a remedy, Ricoh developed a "paper feed behavior visualization technology" to clarify the mechanism in which paper wrinkle occurs. We then measured how much influence the difference in paper variety or component shape constituting the fusing unit imparts on paper behavior, and clarified the quantitative relationship. If we know "the degree of paper behavior change depending on the degree of change in composition of each component," and "the degree of permissible instability against paper wrinkles with a certain paper behavior," a reliable fusing unit can be designed.