PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP1676710 31.10.2007
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0001676710
Titel Druckvorrichtung und Verfahren zur deren Ansteuerung
Anmelder Oce-Technologies B.V., Venlo, NL
Erfinder Reinten, Hans, 5941 BD, Velden, NL
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 602005002528
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, BG, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IS, IT, LI, LT, LU, LV, MC, NL, PL, PT, RO, SE, SI, SK, TR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 27.12.2005
EP-Aktenzeichen 051129955
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 05.07.2006
EP date of grant 19.09.2007
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 31.10.2007
IPC-Hauptklasse B41J 19/14(2006.01)A, F, I, 20060606, B, H, EP

Beschreibung[en]
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to a printing device such as a printing or copying system employing print heads containing discharging elements, e.g. nozzles, for image-wise forming dots of a marking substance on an image-receiving member, where the marking substance is in fluid form when discharged. Examples of such printing devices are inkjet printers and toner-jet printers. Hereinafter reference will be made to inkjet printers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Print heads employed in inkjet printers and the like usually each contain a plurality of nozzles arranged in (an) array(s). The nozzles usually are placed substantially equidistant. The distance between two contiguous nozzles defines the nozzle pitch. In operation, the nozzles are controlled to image-wise discharge fluid droplets of a marking substance on an image-receiving member. When the printer is of the scanning type, the print heads are moveable in reciprocation across the image-receiving member, i.e. the main scanning direction. In such printers, the print heads are typically aligned in the sub scanning direction perpendicular to the main scanning direction, see for example document EP 1228881 . In a traverse of the print heads across the image-receiving member a matrix of image dots of a marking substance, corresponding to a part of an original image is formed on the image-receiving member by image-wise activating nozzles of the print heads. The printed matrix is generally referred to as a print swath, while the dimension of this matrix in the sub scanning direction is referred to as the swath width. Usually, although not required, the printing swath is constant within a selected printing mode. After a first traverse, when a part of the image is completed, the image-receiving member is displaced relative to the print heads in the sub-scanning direction enabling printing of a subsequent part of the image. When this displacement step is chosen equal to a swath width, an image can be printed in multiple non-overlapping swaths. An advantage of such approach is the high productivity as only a single traverse or printing stage is employed. However, image quality may be improved by employing printing devices enabling the use of multiple printing stages. In the prior art two main categories of such printing devices can be distinguished, i.e. so-called "interlace systems" and "multi-pass systems".

In an interlace system, the print head contains N nozzles, which are arranged in (a) linear array(s) such that the nozzle pitch is an integer multiple of the printing pitch. Multiple printing stages, or so-called interlacing printing steps, are required to generate a complete image or image part. The print head and the image-receiving member are controlled such that in M printing stages, M being defined here as the nozzle pitch divided by the printing pitch, a complete image part is formed on the image-receiving member. After each printing stage, the image-receiving member is displaced over a distance of M times the printing pitch. Such a system is of particular interest because it allows to achieve a higher print resolution with a limited nozzle resolution.

In a "multi-pass system", the print head is controlled such that only the nozzles corresponding to selected pixels of the image to be reproduced are image-wise activated. As a result an incomplete matrix of image dots is formed in a single printing stage or pass, i.e. one traverse of the print heads across the image-receiving member. Multiple passes are required to complete the matrix of image dots. In-between two passes the image-receiving member may be displaced in the sub scanning direction.

Both "interlace systems" and "multi-pass systems" as well as combinations thereof share the advantage of an improved image quality but also the inherent disadvantage of a lower productivity because multiple printing stages are required to render an image part. In practice the majority of print jobs is executed in such multiple printing stage mode on a scanning type bi-directional printing system, i.e. a printing system capable of printing on the image-receiving member in reciprocation in the main scanning direction. Such systems are known to be sensitive to gloss variations. Gloss variations may occur when at least a part of the image dots of marking substance of the same or a different process colour are deposited in multiple printing stages in superimposition or at least partially overlapping and when the drying time of the image dots printed on the image-receiving member interacts with the time period required to render all pixels of an image part, i.e. the time period required to complete a sequence of printing stages defined by the print mask. The so-called print mask contains the information about the number and sequence of printing stages and defines which nozzles can be image-wise activated, or in other words contains the information defining for each printing stage which pixels will be rendered by which nozzles such that when all printing stages are completed, all the pixels of the image part concerned are rendered. A print mask is associated with a printing mode. Selecting a printing mode enables the user to exchange image quality for productivity and vice versa dependent on his requirements. By selecting a printing mode also the nozzles on the print heads which may be effectively used are determined as well as the displacement step in the sub scanning direction after each printing stage.

It is known to reduce gloss variations by configuring print masks which ensure that each position in the sub scanning on the image-receiving member where the image part is to be rendered is exposed to respective printing stages in the same sequence. For instance, suppose a print mask defining four printing stages having e.g. a sequence 4, 3, 2, 1 is used each followed by a displacement step of 25% of the swath width. This means that there are positions in the sub scanning on the image-receiving member where the image part is to be rendered that are subjected first to printing stage 4 and subsequently to printing stages 3, 2, 1, while there are also positions in the sub scanning direction on the image-receiving member where the image part is to be rendered that are subjected first to printing stage 3 and subsequently to printing stages 2, 1, 4. As for instance printing stages 4 and 2 may correspond to a traverse of the print head from the left to the right, and by consequence printing stages 3 and 1 correspond to a traverse from the right to the left, it is clear that although superimposed or partially overlapping image dots on the image-receiving member are deposited in the same sequence the time intervals between the deposition of the respective image dots are clearly position dependent which is believed to cause significant gloss variations in the printed images.

Thus, it is an object of the invention to control a scanning type bi-directional printing system when operating in a multiple printing stage mode such as to overcome or at least reduce gloss variations in a printed image while limiting the influence on productivity.

It is a further object of the invention to control the print heads and the image-receiving member displacement means of a scanning type bi-directional printing system such that particularly when operating in a multiple printing stage mode at each location on the image-receiving member in the sub-scanning direction about the same time intervals are used between the time of deposition of the respective image dots which when deposited are in superimposition or at least partially overlapping.

To meet these objects, a printing device, as described in the preamble of claim 1, is provided for printing images on an image-receiving member in multiple printing stages wherein control means are provided for selecting for each said traverse of the print head in the main scanning direction an active portion of the plurality of discharging elements and for controlling image-wise activation thereof, wherein each active portion of discharging elements is selected on the basis of the predetermined distance so that for substantially each position in the sub scanning direction on the part of the image-receiving member where the image is to be rendered, the traversing direction of the print head is the same for each first exposure to an active portion of the traversing print head. Each traverse of the print head in an operative state results in a printed portion of an image on the image-receiving member formed by a pattern of image dots of marking substance. After each traverse the image-receiving member is displaced with respect to the print head in the sub scanning direction either by displacing the image-receiving member or by displacing the print head. When printing subsequent portions of an image, a repetitive sequence of printing stages and corresponding displacement steps is used, each displacement step being defined by the relative displacement between the print head and the image-receiving member over a predetermined distance between respective subsequent printing stages. In particular, each of the displacement steps may be chosen equal to the same constant.

By selecting for each traverse of the print head an active portion thereof taking account of the displacement step between subsequent traverses, the present invention accomplishes that on substantially each position of the image-receiving member the traversing direction of the print head is the same for each first exposure to an active portion of the traversing print head. The advantage thereof is that in the sub-scanning direction there are no time interval differences between the time of deposition of image dots originating from different traverses. Hence no gloss variations will occur or they will be at least severely reduced.

The image-receiving member may be an intermediate image carrying member or a print medium. The print medium can be in web or sheet form and may be composed of e.g. paper, cardboard, label stock, plastic or textile.

In an embodiment of the invention, the selected active portion for a forward traverse is different from the selected active portion for a backward traverse. Preferably a same active portion is selected for each forward traverse, while also a same active portion is selected for a backward traverse. This is believed to reduce print strategy complexity and to be more prone to errors. For instance, the active portion in a forward traverse may be either the upper part or the lower part of the print head while the active portion in a backward traverse is the other one of said upper part or said lower part of the print head.

In another embodiment of the invention, each active portion is selected such that the product of the number of discharging elements available in that active portion and the discharging element pitch is a non-zero integer multiple of the displacement distance.

In another embodiment of the invention, a print mask is employed defining an even number of printing stages. In that case each active portion may be selected such that the swath width of each printed portion of an image is equal. An advantage hereof is that such print strategy in most cases allows achieving a higher print productivity as a higher number of nozzles can be image-wise activated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

  • Figure 1 depicts an example of an inkjet printer according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • Figure 2a depicts an example of a print mask defining two printing stages.
  • Figure 2b depicts image dot patterns generated by a single print head assuming a full coverage image using all 24 nozzles of the print head and using the print mask of figure 2a.
  • Figure 3a depicts, according to the present invention, for respective traverses / printing stages used which active portion of the print head will be used.
  • Figure 3b depicts, according to the present invention, image dot patterns generated by a single print head assuming a full coverage image using in each traverse a selected active portion of the print head as in Fig.3a and using the print mask of figure 2a.
  • Figure 4a depicts an example of a print mask defining three printing stages.
  • Figure 4b depicts image dot patterns generated by a single print head assuming a full coverage image using all 12 nozzles of the print head and using the print mask of figure 2a.
  • Figure 5a depicts, according to the present invention, for respective traverses / printing stages used which active portion of the print head will be used.
  • Figure 5b depicts, according to the present invention, image dot pattern generated by a single print head assuming a full coverage image using in each traverse a selected active portion of the print head as in Fig.5a and using the print mask of figure 4a.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In relation to the appended drawings, the present invention is described in detail in the sequel. Several embodiments are disclosed. It is apparent however that a person skilled in the art can imagine several other equivalent embodiments or other ways of executing the present invention, the scope of the present invention being limited only by the terms of the appended claims.

The printing device of fig.1 is a scanning bi-directional inkjet printer comprising a roller (1) for supporting an image-receiving member (2) and moving it along four print heads (3), each of a different process colour. The roller is rotatable about its axis as indicated by arrow A. A scanning carriage (4) carries the four print heads and can be moved in reciprocation in the main scanning direction, i.e. the direction indicated by the double arrow B, parallel to the roller (1), such as to enable scanning of the image-receiving member in the main scanning direction. The image-receiving member can be a medium in web or in sheet form and may be composed of e.g. paper, cardboard, label stock, plastic or textile. Alternately, the image-receiving member can also be an intermediate member, endless or not. Examples of endless members, which can be moved cyclically, are a belt or a drum. The carriage (4) is guided on rods (5) (6) and is driven by suitable means (not shown). Each print head comprises a number of discharging elements (7) arranged in a single linear array parallel to the sub scanning direction. Four discharging elements per print head are depicted in the figure, however obviously in a practical embodiment typically several hundreds of discharging elements are provided per print head. Each discharging element is connected via an ink duct to an ink reservoir of the corresponding colour. Each ink duct is provided with means for activating the ink duct and an associated electrical drive circuit. For instance the ink duct may be activated thermally and/or piezoelectrically. When the ink duct is activated an ink drop is discharged form the discharge element in the direction of the roller (1) and forms a dot of ink on the image-receiving member.

To enable printing firstly a digital image is to be formed. There are numerous ways to generate a digital image. For instance, a digital image may be created by scanning an original using a scanner. Digital still images may also be created by a camera or a video camera. Besides digital images generated by a scanner or a camera, which are usually in a bitmap format or a compressed bitmap format also artificially created, e.g. by a computer program, digital images or documents may be offered to printing device. The latter images can be in a vector format. The latter images can also be in a structured format including but not limited to a page description language (PDL) format and an extensible markup language (XML) format. Examples of a PDL format are PDF (Adobe), PostScript (Adobe), and PCL (Hewlett-Packard). The image processing system typically converts a digital image with known techniques into a series of bitmaps in the process colours of the printing device. Each bitmap is a raster representation of a separation image of a process colour specifying for each pixel ("picture element") an image density value for said process colour. By image-wise activating the ink ducts in relation to the pattern(s) of image pixels an image composed of ink dots can be formed on the image-receiving member.

Example 1

A printing device as depicted in Figure 1 is used to reproduce a digital image. Instead of using the print heads each provided with four discharging elements as in the figure, each print head is provided with 24 discharging elements, i.e. nozzles, arranged in a single linear array. The nozzles are positioned equidistant at a resolution of 300 npi (nozzles per inch). This means that the nozzle pitch or element pitch, being the distance between the centres of two adjacent nozzles is about 85 µm.

Suppose the user selects a particular printing mode enabling to reproduce a digital image at a printing resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) in both the main scanning and the sub scanning directions, or in other words, the printing pitch, i.e. the distance between the centres of two contiguous dots of ink both in the main scanning direction and in the sub scanning direction, is about 85 µm. In this printing mode the print mask as depicted in fig.2a is used. In case the image is a multicolour image, the same print mask is used for each of the process colours. The print mask as depicted in fig.2a defines a "multi-pass" system with two printing stages. As depicted in fig.2b, in the first printing stage, a first portion of the image is printed by image-wise activating selected nozzles of the active portion of the print head. The image pattern resulting when activating all selected nozzles is indicated in fig.2b with black circles. In this case the active portion includes all 24 available nozzles. This first printing stage coincides with a forward traverse of the print heads across the image-receiving member, i.e. a traverse from the left to the right. Then, the image-receiving member is advanced over a predetermined constant distance to enable printing of a second portion of the image by image-wise activating a different selection of nozzles of the same active portion. The image pattern resulting when activating all selected nozzles according to the second printing stage is indicated in fig.2b. This second printing stage coincides with a backward traverse of the print heads across the image-receiving member, i.e. a traverse from the right to the left. When the image is not yet completed, the image-receiving member is again advanced over the same constant distance being 12 times the nozzle pitch. Thereafter, the above-described sequence of printing stages and image-receiving member advancing is repeated till the last portion of the image is completed.

Although each position in the sub scanning direction on the image-receiving member is subjected to the same sequence of printing stages, the time intervals between the deposition of the respective image dots are clearly position dependent. For instance, let us consider two image positions on the left side of the image-receiving member, being positions (11) and (12). Position (11) is first subjected to printing stage 1, i.e. a traverse of the print heads from left to right. When the print heads are at the left side of the image-receiving member image dot(s) (13) are formed at position (11). When printing stage 1 is completed, the print heads are at or past the right hand side of the image-receiving member. Then, the image-receiving member is displaced over a distance of twelve times the nozzle pitch. Subsequently, the second printing stage is executed, i.e. the print heads traverse from the right to the left of the image-receiving member. When the print heads arrive again at the left hand side of the image-receiving member, image dot(s) (14) are formed such that at position (11) image dots (13) and (14) at least partially overlap. Hence, the total time between the formation of overlapping dots (13) and (14) at position (11) is in addition to image-receiving member advancing about twice the travel time of the print heads across the image-receiving member. Position (12) on the image-receiving member is first subjected to printing stage 2, i.e. a traverse of the print heads from the right to the left. When the print heads are at the left side of the image-receiving member image dot(s) (16) are formed at position (12). When printing stage 2 is completed, the print heads are at or past the left hand side of the image-receiving member. Then, the image-receiving member is displaced over a distance of twelve times the nozzle pitch. Subsequently, the first printing stage is executed, i.e. the print heads traverse from the left to the right of the image-receiving member. At the beginning of this traverse, when the print heads are still at the left hand side of the image-receiving member, image dot(s) corresponding with image dot position (15) are formed such that at position (12) image dots (15) and (16) at least partially overlap. Hence, the total time between the formation of overlapping dots (16) and (15) at position (11) is about the time required to advance the image-receiving member over a distance of 12 times the nozzle pitch. It is thus clear that the time intervals between the deposition of the respective image dots at different locations on the image-receiving member in the sub scanning direction is clearly position dependent. This is believed to cause significant gloss variations in the printed images.

Hence, according to the present invention, for each printing stage, i.e. for each traverse of a print head(s) in the main scanning direction an active portion of the plurality of available discharging elements of the print head is selected. As indicated in Fig.3a, in the first printing stage, i.e. a traverse from the left to the right, the active portion includes the lower 16 nozzles, while the inactive portion includes the upper eight nozzles. When executing a first printing stage using the same print mask as depicted in fig.2a a dot pattern as schematically depicted in Fig.3b is obtained. After the first printing stage is executed, the image-receiving member is advanced over a distance of 8 times the nozzle pitch. It is thus observed that the 16 lower nozzles in the print head constituting the active portion in the first printing stage multiplied with the nozzle pitch is two times the image-receiving member advancement distance. After the displacement step, the second printing stage is executed. In this second printing stage, i.e. a traverse from the right to the left, the active portion includes the upper 16 nozzles, while the inactive portion includes the lower eight nozzles. A dot pattern as schematically depicted in fig.3b is obtained. In practice when the complete image is not yet printed, the image-receiving member will be advanced again over a distance of 8 times the nozzle pitch and subsequently the above described sequence of printing stages and image-receiving member advancement would be repeated till the image is completed. As can be observed in fig.3, the selection of the active portions in the forward and backward traverses respectively takes account of the image-receiving member displacement step so that for each position in the sub scanning direction on the part of the image-receiving member where the image is to be rendered, the traversing direction of the print head is the same for each first exposure to an active portion of the traversing print head

Example 2

A printing device as depicted in Figure 1 is used to reproduce a digital image. Instead of using the print heads each provided with four discharging elements as in the figure, each print head is provided with 12 discharging elements, i.e. nozzles, arranged in a single linear array. The nozzles are positioned equidistant at a resolution of 300 npi (nozzles per inch). This means that the nozzle pitch or element pitch, being the distance between the centres of two adjacent nozzles is about 85 µm.

Suppose the user selects a particular printing mode enabling to reproduce a digital image at a printing resolution of 900 dpi (dots per inch) in both directions, or in other words, the printing pitch, i.e. the distance between the centres of two contiguous dots of ink both in the main scanning direction and in the sub scanning direction, is about 31 µm. To enable rendering of an image with a resolution higher than the nozzle resolution, the print mask associated with the selected printing mode as in fig. 4a defines an interlacing system. The print mask defines a sequence of three printing stages required to completely render at least a part of the image. As depicted in fig.4b, in the first printing stage, labelled as 1 in fig. 4a, a first portion of the image is printed by image-wise activating selected nozzles of the active portion of the print head. In this case the active portion includes all 12 available nozzles. This first printing stage coincides with a forward traverse of the print heads across the image-receiving member, i.e. a traverse from the left to the right. The image pattern resulting when activating all selected nozzles is indicated in fig.4b with black circles. For instruction purposes, only the dots generated by a single print head are shown and a full coverage image is assumed. In practice however, it is clear that in the same way multi-colour images can be formed by adequately timing both the driving of the respective print heads and the image-wise activation of the associated nozzles. Each nozzle image-wise forms a complete line of image dots of ink in the main scanning direction. In the sub scanning direction only every third pixel is printed during the first printing stage. After the first printing stage the image-receiving member is displaced over a distance of 11 times the printing pitch. Then, the second printing stage is executed to print the second portion of the image part. This second printing stage coincides with a traverse of the print head form the right to the left. The image pattern resulting is schematically depicted in fig.4b. To complete the image part, again the image-receiving member is advanced over a distance of 11 times the printing pitch and the third printing stage, i.e. a traverse of the print head from the left to the right, is executed. When the image is not yet completed, the image-receiving member is again advanced but then over a distance of 14 times the printing pitch. Thereafter, the above-described sequence of printing stages and image-receiving member advancing is repeated till the image is completed. When looking at the resulting image patterns in fig.4b, it is clear that although each position in the sub scanning direction on the image-receiving member is subjected to the same sequence of printing stages, the time intervals between the deposition of the respective image dots in the sub scanning direction depend on the position on the image-receiving member, which as stated before may result in gloss banding.

Hence, according to the present invention, for each printing stage, i.e. for each traverse of a print head(s) in the main scanning direction an active portion of the plurality of available discharging elements of the print head is selected. In particular, as also depicted in fig.5a, when a printing stage coincides with a traverse of the print head from the left to the right, the active portion includes all 12 available nozzles. When a printing stage coincides with a traverse of the print head from the right to the left, the active portion includes the six nozzles located in the middle of the print head while the upper three nozzles as well as the lower three nozzles are part of the inactive portion. 7. In this example, the active portion in each forward traverse and the active portion in each backward traverse are selected such that the swath width of each portion of an image printed in the forward traverse is twice the swath width of each portion of an image printed in the backward traverse. In general, when printing an image with an uneven number of printing stages, M, the active portion in each forward traverse and the active portion in each backward traverse are selected such that the ratio of the swath width of each portion of an image printed in the forward traverse and the swath width of each portion of an image printed in the backward traverse is M+1 divided by M-1 or vice versa.

Note that with a print mask as depicted in fig.4a the inactive portions of the print head in each traverse make up a completely filled bitmap with a resolution of 300 dpi. Thus the nozzles of these inactive portions can be used to compensate for any failing nozzle with no position error or at most an absolute position error of one print pitch.

When executing a first printing stage using the same print mask as depicted in fig.4a a dot pattern as schematically depicted in Fig.5b is obtained. After the first printing stage is executed, the image-receiving member is advanced over a distance of 8 times the printing pitch. After the displacement step, the second printing stage is executed. In this second printing stage, i.e. a traverse from the right to the left, the active portion includes the 6 nozzles located in the middle of the print head, while the inactive portion includes both the lower and upper three nozzles. A dot pattern as schematically depicted in fig.5b is obtained. After the second printing stage is executed, the image-receiving member is again advanced over a distance of 8 times the printing pitch.

In the third printing stage, in this case a traverse from left to right again the full print head is employed. Subsequently, the image-receiving member is again advanced but this time over a distance of 11 times the printing pitch. Afterwards, the next printing step is executed. This is again printing stage 1, which is however in this case a traverse from the right to the left and thus only the 6 nozzles in the middle of the print head are used. In practice the above described printing stages, being stages 1, 2 and 3, and associated advancement steps, being 8, 8 and 11 printing pitches, are repeated till the entire image is printed. As can be observed in fig.5, the selection of the active portions in the forward and backward traverses respectively takes account of the image-receiving member displacement step so that for each position in the sub scanning direction on the part of the image-receiving member where the image is to be rendered, the traversing direction of the print head is the same for each first exposure to an active portion of the traversing print head.


Anspruch[de]
Druckvorrichtung zum Drucken von Bildern auf einem Bildempfangselement in mehrfachen Druckstadien, welche Druckvorrichtung aufweist: wenigstens einen Druckkopf, wobei der Druckkopf in Hin- und Herbewegung über das Bildempfangselement in einer Hauptabtastrichtung versetzbar ist und eine Mehrzahl von Ausstoßelementen hat, um in jedem Druckstadium einen Teil eines Bildes durch bildweises Bilden von Punkten einer Markierungssubstanz auf dem Bildempfangselement zu drucken, wobei jedes Druckstadium einem Durchlauf des Druckkopfes in einem wirksamen Zustand in der Hauptabtastrichtung entspricht, und Versetzungsmittel zum Herstellen einer relativen Versetzung zwischen dem Druckkopf und dem Bildempfangselement um einen vorbestimmten Abstand in einer Unterabtastrichtung nach jedem Druckstadium, dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß die Druckvorrichtung weiter aufweist: Steuermittel, um für jeden besagten Durchlauf des Druckkopfes in der Hauptabtastrichtung einen aktiven Teil der Mehrzahl von Ausstoßelementen auszuwählen und um eine bildweise Aktivierung derselben zu steuern, wobei jeder aktive Teil von Ausstoßelementen auf der Basis des vorbestimmten Abstandes ausgewählt wird, so daß für im wesentlichen jede Position in der Unterabtastrichtung auf dem Teil des Bildempfangselements, wo das Bild wiederzugeben ist, die Durchlaufrichtung des Druckkopfes dieselbe für jedes erste einem aktiven Teil des durchlaufenden Druckkopfes Ausgesetztsein ist. Druckvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, bei der der ausgewählte aktive Teil für einen Vorwärtsdurchlauf sich von dem ausgewählten aktiven Teil für einen Rückwärtsdurchlauf unterscheidet. Druckvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, bei der beim Drucken nachfolgender Teile eines Bildes eine sich wiederholende Folge von Druckstadien und entsprechenden Versetzungsschritten verwendet wird, wobei jeder Versetzungsschritt durch die relative Versetzung zwischen dem Druckkopf und dem Bildempfangselement um einen vorbestimmten Abstand zwischen jeweiligen nachfolgenden Druckstadien definiert ist. Druckvorrichtung nach Anspruch 3, bei der jeder der Versetzungsschritte gleich derselben Konstante ist. Druckvorrichtung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, bei der jeder aktive Teil so ausgewählt wird, daß das Produkt der Anzahl von in diesem aktiven Teil verfügbaren Ausstoßelementen und dem Ausstoßelementabstand ein von Null verschiedenes ganzzahliges Vielfaches des Versetzungsabstandes ist. Druckvorrichtung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, bei der beim Drucken eines Bildes mit einer geraden Anzahl von Druckstadien der aktive Teil in einem Vorwärtsdurchlauf entweder der obere Teil oder der untere Teil des Druckkopfes ist, während der aktive Teil in einem Rückwärtsdurchlauf der andere des besagten oberen Teils oder des besagten unteren Teils des Druckkopfes ist. Druckvorrichtung nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, bei der beim Drucken eines Bildes mit einer geraden Anzahl von Druckstadien jeder aktive Teil so ausgewählt wird, daß die Streifenbreite jedes gedruckten Teils eines Bildes gleich ist. Druckvorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, bei der beim Drucken eines Bildes mit einer ungeradzahligen Anzahl von Druckstadien, M, der aktive Teil in jedem Vorwärtsdurchlauf und der aktive Teil in jedem Rückwärtsdurchlauf so ausgewählt werden, daß das Verhältnis der Streifenbreite jedes in dem Vorwärtsdurchlauf gedruckten Teils eines Bildes und der Streifenbreite jedes in dem Rückwärtsdurchlauf gedruckten Teils eines Bildes M+1 dividiert durch M-1 oder umgekehrt ist.
Anspruch[en]
A printing device for printing images on an image-receiving member in multiple printing stages, the printing device comprising

at least one print head, the print head being displaceable in reciprocation across the image-receiving member in a main scanning direction and having a plurality of discharging elements for printing in each printing stage a portion of an image by image-wise forming dots of a marking substance on the image-receiving member, each printing stage corresponding with a traverse of the print head in an operative state in the main scanning direction, and

displacement means for establishing relative displacement between the print head and the image-receiving member over a predetermined distance in a sub-scanning direction after each printing stage,

characterised in that the printing device further comprises

control means for selecting for each said traverse of the print head in the main scanning direction an active portion of the plurality of discharging elements and for controlling image-wise activation thereof, wherein each active portion of discharging elements is selected on the basis of the predetermined distance so that for substantially each position in the sub scanning direction on the part of the image-receiving member where the image is to be rendered, the traversing direction of the print head is the same for each first exposure to an active portion of the traversing print head.
A printing device as recited in claim 1, wherein the selected active portion for a forward traverse is different from the selected active portion for a backward traverse. A printing device as recited in claim 1 or 2, wherein, when printing subsequent portions of an image, a repetitive sequence of printing stages and corresponding displacement steps is used, each displacement step being defined by the relative displacement between the print head and the image-receiving member over a predetermined distance between respective subsequent printing stages. A printing device as recited in claim 3, wherein each of the displacement steps equals the same constant. A printing device as recited in any preceding claim, wherein each active portion is selected such that the product of the number of discharging elements available in that active portion and the discharging element pitch is a non-zero integer multiple of the displacement distance. A printing device as recited in any preceding claim wherein when printing an image with an even number of printing stages, the active portion in a forward traverse is either the upper part or the lower part of the print head while the active portion in a backward traverse is the other one of said upper part or said lower part of the print head. A printing device as recited in any preceding claim, wherein when printing an image with an even number of printing stages each active portion is selected such that the swath width of each printed portion of an image is equal. A printing device as recited in claims 1 to 5, wherein, when printing an image with an uneven number of printing stages, M, the active portion in each forward traverse and the active portion in each backward traverse are selected such that the ratio of the swath width of each portion of an image printed in the forward traverse and the swath width of each portion of an image printed in the backward traverse is M+1 divided by M-1 or vice versa.
Anspruch[fr]
Dispositif d'impression permettant d'imprimer des images sur un élément récepteur d'image en utilisant des étapes d'impression multiples, le dispositif d'impression comprenant

au moins une tête d'impression, la tête d'impression pouvant se déplacer selon un mouvement de va-et-vient sur l'élément récepteur d'image dans une direction de balayage principale et comportant une pluralité d'éléments de décharge permettant d'imprimer, lors de chaque étape d'impression, une partie d'une image en formant, conformément à l'image, des points d'une substance de marquage sur l'élément récepteur d'image, chaque étape d'impression correspondant à un déplacement de la tête d'impression en cours de fonctionnement dans la direction de balayage principale, et

des moyens de déplacement permettant d'effectuer un déplacement relatif entre la tête d'impression et l'élément récepteur d'image sur une distance prédéterminée dans une direction de balayage secondaire après chaque étape d'impression,

caractérisé en ce que le dispositif d'impression comprend en outre

des moyens de commande permettant de sélectionner, pour chaque dit déplacement de la tête d'impression dans la direction de balayage principale, une partie active de la pluralité des éléments de décharge et de commander leur activation conformément à l'image, où chaque partie active des éléments de décharge est choisie en fonction de la distance prédéterminée, de manière que pour pratiquement chaque position dans la direction de balayage secondaire sur la partie de l'élément récepteur d'image où l'image doit être reproduite, la direction de déplacement de la tête d'impression soit identique pour chaque première exposition à une partie active de la tête d'impression en déplacement transversal.
Dispositif d'impression selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la partie active sélectionnée pour un déplacement en avant est différente de la partie active sélectionnée pour un déplacement en arrière. Dispositif d'impression selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel, lorsque l'on imprime les autres parties d'une image, on utilise une séquence répétitive d'étapes d'impression et d'étapes de déplacement correspondantes, chaque étape de déplacement étant définie par le déplacement relatif entre la tête d'impression et l'élément récepteur d'image sur une distance prédéterminée entre les étapes d'impression ultérieures respectives. Dispositif d'impression selon la revendication 3, dans lequel chacune des étapes de déplacement est égale à la même constante. Dispositif d'impression selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel chaque partie active est sélectionnée de manière que le produit du nombre des éléments de décharge disponibles dans cette partie active et le pas de l'élément de décharge soit un multiple entier différent de zéro de la distance de déplacement. Dispositif d'impression selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel, lorsque l'on imprime une image en utilisant un nombre pair d'étapes d'impression, la partie active lors d'un déplacement en avant est soit la partie supérieure soit la partie inférieure de la tête d'impression tandis que la partie active lors d'un déplacement en arrière est l'autre desdites parties supérieure ou inférieure de la tête d'impression. Dispositif d'impression selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel, lorsque l'on imprime une image en utilisant un nombre pair d'étapes d'impression, chaque partie active est sélectionnée de manière que la largeur de bande de chaque partie imprimée d'une image soit égale. Dispositif d'impression selon les revendications 1 à 5, dans lequel, lorsque l'on imprime une image en utilisant un nombre impair d'étapes d'impression, M, la partie active lors de chaque déplacement en avant et la partie active lors de chaque déplacement en arrière sont sélectionnées de manière que le rapport de la largeur de bande de chaque partie d'une image imprimée lors du déplacement en avant à la largeur de bande de chaque partie d'une image imprimée lors du déplacement en arrière soit M+1 divisé par M-1 ou vice versa.






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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