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Dokumentenidentifikation EP1197342 13.10.2005
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001197342
Titel Verfahren zur Identifikation eines Aufzeichnungsträgertyps
Anmelder Hewlett-Packard Co. (n.d.Ges.d.Staates Delaware), Palo Alto, Calif., US
Erfinder Smith, James C., Escondido, US
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69831513
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB, IT
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 04.06.1998
EP-Aktenzeichen 020752408
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 17.04.2002
EP date of grant 07.09.2005
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 13.10.2005
IPC-Hauptklasse B41J 15/00
IPC-Nebenklasse B41J 11/46   G02F 1/13   

Beschreibung[en]
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to printers which are capable of utilizing multiple types of media and, more particularly, to a method for enabling automatic identification of a media type upon a mounting thereof on a printer.

BACKGROUND OF THE ART

Currently, many printers, plotters, etc. are able to utilize various types of media during their respective print actions. Each media type generally requires a resetting of printer parameters in order to optimize print quality. Such media types include special papers, e.g., matte paper, glossy papers, semi-glossy papers, etc. and various non-paper-based media such as vellum, film, etc. Printer parameter modifications vary with the type of media, and can include changes in color maps and print modes.

Presently, the user must use a display panel on the printer (or a dialog box in the printer driver that is resident on the host computer) to select the type of media that is being loaded into the printer. This action involves the user scrolling through a list of displayed media types, until one appears which matches the media type to be loaded on the printer. Thereafter, the user selects that media type and the printer controller automatically establishes printer parameters in accordance with the selection.

The above-indicated procedure requires that the user know what media type is to be (or has been) loaded on the printer. The media type is generally written on the media box but, as is known, many users do not read either the box or the instructions which accompany the media. Further, once the box is thrown away, the media type data is lost and if the user then re-installs the media on another printer, the user is required to either remember or guess the media type. If a wrong media type is selected, unacceptable print quality can result. As the user is not aware that it is the incorrect media type which has been entered, the blame for the poor print quality is placed upon the printer (and the printer manufacturer), resulting in significant levels of customer dissatisfaction. The problem of multiple media types is especially severe in plotters which employ a multiplicity of media types, depending upon the particular application.

As printers are now marketed on a world-wide basis (along with their respective media), manufacturers generally include multiple foreign language versions of instructions for display on the printer's display panel. If the foreign language instructions are not ready at the time the printer is shipped into a foreign market, the display will be particularly confusing to the user -assuming that the user is unable to understand the instructions which appear on the printer's display. As more media types are developed, user confusion will increase unless steps are taken to automatically identify the media type, upon installation of the media onto the printer.

The prior art has suggested the printing of data on sheets of media to enable the loading of printer parameters directly from media sheets. Other prior art has suggested that special inks be employed which are invisible to the user, but which can be sensed by special optical sensors to enable a loading of parameters into a printer. Still other prior art has suggested the use of printed data on media sheets, which printed data, when subjected to a heating step thereafter becomes invisible. Still other prior art has embedded a memory chip in the end of a media roll, with sense apparatus being utilized to read settings from the chip, as the roll is employed.

Each of the above prior art implementations requires the use of either a special ink, a special sensor, or other apparatus which adds to the cost of media identification.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide an improved method for enabling a printer to automatically identify a media type mounted thereon.

It would further be desirable to provide an improved method for enabling identification of a media type (and other data regarding the media) to a device which employs media wound on rolls.

It would further be desirable to provide a method for identifying a media type that is mounted on a printer, wherein media identification data does not appear on printed media output by the printer.

JP 05 301 673A describes a printed medium discriminating mechanism in the form of an optical sensor arranged for reading an identification code which indicates the type of printing medium, so as to avoid printing onto a printing medium which is incompatible with the width of the print content.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a method for identifying at least one media parameter for a media to be printed upon by a printer, as defined in claim 1.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

  • Fig. 1 is a schematic frontal view of a printer employing roll media, which printer is adapted to perform the invention hereof.
  • Fig. 2 is a perspective view of a roll of media, showing a positioning of data which identifies, at least, the media type.
  • Fig. 3 is a perspective view of a printhead and media cutter employed on the printer of Fig. 1.
  • Fig. 4 is a schematic end view of the structure shown in Fig. 3

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Hereafter, the invention will be described in the context of an inkjet plotter/printer which utilizes a roll of media. It is, however, to be understood that the invention is equally applicable to other types of printers that either employ roll media, folded media or, in certain cases, individual media sheets.

Referring to Fig. 1, printer 10 includes an ink jet printhead 12 which translates along a pair of slider bars 14 and 16 across the width of media 18. In the known manner, a controller 20, by control signals sent to inkjet printhead 12 causes printhead 12 to traverse along slider bars 14 and 16 and to eject ink droplets onto media 18 which passes therebeneath. Media 18 passes over a roll 21 which positions media 18 accurately beneath printhead 12 for printing. Media 18 also passes over a cutter bar 22 which, in cooperation with a cutter 24 (similar to a pizza cutter), enables a transverse cut to be made across media 18.

Cutter 24 is mounted on a carrier 26 which is also mounted for sliding movement along slider bars 14 and 16. When printhead 12 is moved into contact with carrier 26, a coupling mechanism 28 enables carrier 26 to move along with printhead 12 and to cut off a section of media 18.

Referring to Fig. 2, a roll 30 of media 18 is shown, before mounting on printer 10. In a first embodiment, the leading edge of media 18 includes coded indicia 32 identifies at least, the media type and, preferably, further identifies the size of the media and its remaining length. Coded indicia 32 is initially printed on the leading edge of media 18 when the media is produced at the factory. It may be configured in the form of a bar code or any other indicia which is readable by an optical sensor 34 (see Fig. 1). In a second embodiment, coded indicia 33 may be printed on an end of roll 30 (or applied via a label) where it can be read by a further optical sensor 35 (Fig. 1).

Sensor 34 is positioned to read coded indicia 32 as it passes thereover. Data read from the coded indicia is fed to controller 20 which stores the data in a memory 38. Controller 20 then utilizes the data derived from the indicia to set parameters for control of printer 10 (i.e., in accordance with the media type identified by the coded indicia).

Controller 20 further causes roller 21 to move media 18 a short distance so that coded indicia 32 passes cutter bar 22. Printhead 12 is then moved to engage carrier 26. Thereafter, printhead 12 drags carrier 26 and cutter 24 across media 18, cutting off the portion of media 18 which carries coded indicia 32. Normal printing/plotting then can occur. If the system also employs coded indicia 33 and sensor 35, there is no requirement that the media be initially imprinted with coded indicia 32, thus avoiding the cutting action when a brand new roll is mounted. However, thereafter, as will be understood, the first and second embodiments operate in the same manner.

Referring to Fig. 3, a perspective view illustrates the action of inkjet printhead 12, carrier 26 and cutter 24 as a portion of media 18 is being cut which contains the coded indicia. Fig. 4 illustrates a schematic end view of the structure of Fig. 3, as the cutting action takes place.

Once the section of media 18 which contains coded indicia 32 has been removed, printer 10 is ready to print or plot a print job. When the printing of a sheet is finished, the cutting action, above described, again takes place to enable the printed sheet to be removed from the roll of media 18.

At such time a new coded indicia 32 may be printed on a leading edge of media 18 by printhead 12, or such printing action can be inhibited until requested by the user. The reason for this additional print action is to emplace coded indicia on the media so that the user can change media roll 30 between plots or print jobs. The printer/plotter on the which roll 30 is newly mounted is then able to read the coded indicia and to establish appropriate control parameters. In any event, if both sensors sense coded indicia, the coded indicia on the leading edge of the media governs.

If coded indicia 32 is printed on media 18 after each print job, the disadvantage is that a portion of media 18 which includes coded indicia 32 is cut off before starting each print/plot action. The preferred technique, which is entirely unobtrusive until the user wishes to change the roll of media, is to enable the user to select an "unload" command which enables controller 20 to cause printhead 12 to print coded indicia 30 on the end of media 18. Coded indicia 32, in addition to identifying the media type, also identifies the remaining length of media 18. Such data enables a next printer/plotter on which media roll 30 is mounted to determine the both the available media length and to select proper print control parameters for the media.

It should be understood that the foregoing description is only illustrative of the invention. Various alternatives and modifications can be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the invention as claimed in the appended claims.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Ein Verfahren zum Identifizieren zumindest eines Medienparameters einschließlich eines Medientyps für ein Medium (18), auf das durch einen Drucker (10) gedruckt werden soll, wobei das Verfahren folgende Schritte aufweist:
    • (a) Durchführen einer oder mehrerer Druckoperationen an dem Medium (18), um einen oder mehrere Druckaufträge auf einem Abschnitt des Druckmediums (18) unter Verwendung des Druckers (10) zu drucken oder aufzutragen;
    • (b) Entfernen des Abschnitts des Druckmediums (18) nach einem Abschluss der einen oder der mehreren Druckoperationen; und
    • (c) auf ein Auftreten eines Ereignisses hin und nach einem Abschluss des einen oder der mehreren Druckaufträge und nach einem Entfernen des Abschnitts des Druckmediums (18), Drucken eines Vermerks (32), der den zumindest einen Medienparameter angibt, auf einem weiteren Abschnitt des Mediums (18), wobei der Drucker (10) verwendet wird, um den einen oder die mehreren Druckaufträge durchzuführen.
  2. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, bei dem der zumindest eine Medienparameter ferner einen Medienlängenwert für ein Medium (18) vom Rollentyp (30) umfasst, auf das gedruckt werden soll, wobei der Medienlängenwert für eine Verwendung durch eine Druckersteuerung (20) des Druckers (10) ist, wobei das Verfahren ferner folgende Schritte aufweist:
    • Installieren einer Rolle (30) des Mediums in dem Drucker (10); und
    • Entfernen der Rolle (30) aus dem Drucker (10);
    wobei bei dem Entfernungsschritt (b) der Abschnitt des Mediums von der Rolle (30) entfernt wird,

    wobei bei dem Druckschritt (c) das Ereignis nach der Beendigung der Druckoperationen und vor dem Entfernen der Rolle (30) aus dem Drucker (10) auftritt, und

    wobei der Vermerk (32), der zumindest die verbleibende Länge des Druckmediums (18) angibt, auf einem verbleibenden Abschnitt der Rolle gedruckt werden.
  3. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 2, das ferner folgende Schritte aufweist:
    • Installieren der entfernten Rolle (30) in dem Drucker (10);
    • Lesen des Vermerks (32), um die verbleibende Länge des Mediums (18) zu bestimmen; und
    • Verwenden der Informationen der verbleibenden Länge während nachfolgender Druckoperationen.
  4. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 3, bei dem der Schritt des Lesens des Vermerks (32) unter Verwendung eines optischen Sensors (34) an dem Drucker (10) durchgeführt wird.
  5. Ein Verfahren gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem der Vermerk (32) auf einer aktuell vorderen Kante des Mediums (18) gedruckt wird.
  6. Ein Verfahren gemäß einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, bei dem der Schritt (b) den Abschnitt des Mediums (18) abschneidet.
  7. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, bei dem das Medium (18) auf eine Rolle (30) gewickelt ist und das Ereignis eine Angabe einer Entfernung der Rolle (30) aus dem Drucker (10) ist.
Anspruch[en]
  1. A method for identifying at least one media parameter, including a media type, for a media (18) to be printed upon by a printer (10), said method comprising the steps of:
    • (a) conducting one or more printing operations on the media (18) to print or plot one or more print jobs on a portion of the print media (18) using the printer (10);
    • (b) removing said portion of the print media (18) after completion of said one or more printing operations; and
    • (c) upon occurrence of an event, and after completion of said one or more printing jobs and after removing said portion of the print media (18), printing, with the printer (10) used to conduct the one or more print jobs, indicia (32) on a further portion of said media (18) indicative of said at least one media parameter.
  2. A method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said at least one media parameter further includes a media length value for a roll-type (30) media (18) to be printed upon, said medium length value being for use by a printer controller (20) of said printer (10), said method further comprising the steps of:
    • installing a roll (30) of the media in the printer (10); and
    • removing the roll (30) from the printer (10);
       wherein in said removing step (b), said portion of the media is removed from said roll (30),

       wherein in said printing step (c), said event occurs after the cessation of said printing operations and prior to removing the roll (30) from the printer (10), and

       wherein said indicia (32) is printed on a remaining portion of the roll which is indicative of at least the remaining length of the print medium (18).
  3. A method as claimed in claim 2, further comprising the steps of:
    • installing the removed roll (30) in the printer (10);
    • reading the indicia (32) to determine the remaining length of said media (18); and
    • using said remaining length information during subsequent printing operations.
  4. A method as claimed in claim 3, wherein said step of reading the indicia (32) is performed using an optical sensor (34) on the printer (10).
  5. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein said indicia (32) is printed on a current leading edge of the media (18).
  6. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein step (b) cuts off said portion of the media (18).
  7. A method as claimed in claim 1, wherein said media (18) is wound on a roll (30) and said event is an indication of a removal of said roll (30) from said printer (10).
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Procédé d'identification d'au moins un paramètre de support, incluant un type de support, pour un support (18) sur lequel une imprimante (10) doit imprimer, ledit procédé comprenant les étapes consistant à:
    • (a) mener une ou plusieurs opérations d'impression sur le support (18) pour imprimer ou tracer une ou plusieurs tâches d'impression sur une partie du support d'impression (18) en utilisant l'imprimante (10);
    • (b) enlever ladite partie du support (18) d'impression après achèvement de ladite ou desdites opérations d'impression; et
    • (c) lors de l'apparition d'un événement, et après achèvement de ladite ou desdites tâches d'impression et après enlèvement de ladite partie du support d'impression (18), imprimer sur une partie additionnelle dudit support (18), au moyen de l'imprimante (10) utilisée pour mener la tâche ou les tâches d'impression, des marquages (32) indicatifs dudit et au moins un paramètre de support.
  2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit et au moins un paramètre unique de support inclut en outre une valeur de longueur de support pour un support (18) à imprimer d'un type (30) en rouleau, ladite valeur de longueur de support étant utilisée par un dispositif de commande (20) d'imprimante de ladite imprimante (10), ledit procédé comprenant en outre les étapes consistant à:
    • installer un rouleau (30) du support dans l'imprimante (10); et
    • enlever le rouleau (30) de l'imprimante (10);
    dans lequel, dans ladite étape (b) d'enlèvement du support, ladite partie du support est enlevée dudit rouleau (30),

    dans lequel, dans ladite étape d'impression (c), ledit événement se produitaprès la cessation desdites opérations d'impression et avant l'enlèvement du rouleau (30) hors de l'imprimante (10), et

    dans lequel lesdits marquages (32) sont imprimés sur une partie restante du rouleau ce qui est indicatif d'au moins la longueur restante du support d'impression (18).
  3. Procédé selon la revendication 2 qui comprend en outre les étapes consistant à:
    • installer dans l'imprimante (10) le rouleau enlevé (30);
    • lire les marquages (32) pour déterminer la longueur restante dudit support (18); et
    • utiliser ladite information de longueur restante pendant des opérations d'impression ultérieures.
  4. Procédé selon la revendication 3, dans lequel ladite étape de lecture des marquages (32) est exécutée en utilisant un capteur optique (34) sur l'imprimante (10).
  5. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel lesdits marquages (32) sont imprimés sur un bord avant actuel du support (18).
  6. Procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite partie du support (18) est séparée par découpe à l'étape (b).
  7. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit support (18) est enroulé en un rouleau (30) et ledit événement est une indication d'un enlèvement dudit rouleau (30) hors de ladite imprimante (10).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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