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Ricoh : Patent Issued for Printing Apparatus and Printing Method

07/30/2015 | 01:40am US/Eastern

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventors Morizono, Osamu (Kyoto, JP); Okushima, Tomoyasu (Kyoto, JP), filed on August 30, 2012, was published online on July 21, 2015, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 9087285 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: "(1) Field of the Invention

"This invention relates to a printing apparatus and a printing method for transmitting print data for printing images, characters, and so on to a print head to print the images and others based on the print data.

"(2) Description of the Related Art

"Conventionally, this type of apparatus includes a printing apparatus having a transmitter for transmitting image data along with inspection information based thereon, a receiver for receiving the image data from the transmitter through a transmission channel, and an image corrector for performing printing based on the image data received by the receiver. See Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. 2010-288014 (FIGS. 1 and 2), for example.

"The receiver detects errors in the received image data based on the inspection information. When the receiver detects an error, the image corrector corrects the error, and performs printing based on the corrected image data.

"However, the conventional example with such construction has the following problem.

"The conventional apparatus can detect and correct errors when image data is corrupted under the influence of noise or the like in the transmission channel. However, it is impossible to detect abnormalities in an operating sequence showing operation of each component at the time of printing by the printing apparatus. Consequently, the printing based on the image data is continued even if there is an abnormality in the operating sequence of the printing apparatus, which could result in a printing failure."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "This invention has been made having regard to the state of the art noted above, and its object is to provide a printing apparatus and a printing method, which can detect an abnormality in an operating sequence at the time of printing, thereby to prevent a printing failure due to the abnormality in the operating sequence.

"The above object is fulfilled, according to this invention, by a printing apparatus for performing printing under control of a head controller which receives image data from a print image generator, and which is interposed between a print head for printing and the print image generator, the head controller comprising an image data shaping unit for shaping the image data into print data corresponding to the print head; a sequence information generating unit for generating sequence information, based on the print data, showing operation at a time of printing by the print head; a data guarantee information adding unit for adding data guarantee information to the print data and the sequence information, for error detection based on the print data and the sequence information; a readout unit for reading print information including the print data, the sequence information, and the data guarantee information; and an information inspecting unit for inspecting propriety of the print information based on the data guarantee information and the sequence information read by the readout unit.

"According to this invention, based on the print data shaped from the image data by the image data shaping unit, the sequence information generating unit generates the sequence information showing operation at the time of printing. The data guarantee information adding unit obtains the data guarantee information from, and adds it to, the print data and sequence information. Based on the data guarantee information and sequence information read by the readout unit, the information inspecting unit inspects propriety of the print information. Since any abnormality occurring in the sequence of operation at the time of printing can be detected, a printing failure due to the abnormality of the operating sequence can be prevented without continuing the printing based on the print data.

"In this invention, the print head may include a plurality of inkjet type heads, each having a plurality of nozzles arranged in a primary scanning direction perpendicular to a secondary scanning direction corresponding to a direction of movement relative to printing paper, the plurality of heads being juxtaposed in the primary scanning direction; and the sequence information may include sheet IDs indicating pages of the printing paper, line IDs indicating line numbers of the print data in the secondary scanning direction, head IDs indicating numbers of the plurality of heads, nozzle IDs indicating nozzle row numbers in the direction of arrangement of the nozzles on the print head.

"The print head includes a plurality of inkjet type heads. Each head has a plurality of nozzles arranged in a primary scanning direction perpendicular to a secondary scanning direction corresponding to a direction of movement relative to printing paper. The plurality of heads are juxtaposed in the primary scanning direction. Where the print head has such a construction, the sheet ID is incremented with each page of printing paper, and the line ID is incremented with progress in the secondary scanning direction of printing based on the print data. Therefore, presence or absence of an abnormality can be determined only by inspecting increments occurring with progress of printing. The head ID and nozzle ID are variable with progress of printing based on the print data. Therefore, presence or absence of an abnormality can be determined from whether there is any discrepancy between head ID and nozzle ID which are allotted beforehand based on shaping data. As a result, whether the operating sequence has abnormalities can be inspected based on the sequence information including these IDs.

"In this invention, the information inspecting unit may be arranged to transmit the print data to the print head only when the data guarantee information is errorless and the sequence information is errorless, and when the sequence information has an error, report the error.

"The information inspecting unit outputs the print data to the print head to allow printing only when the data guarantee information and the sequence information are errorless. On the other hand, when the sequence information has an error, the inspecting unit reports the error. Thus, the operator can take necessary measures such as stopping the apparatus.

"In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a printing method for performing printing under control of a head controller which receives image data from a print image generator, and which is interposed between a print head for printing and the print image generator, the method comprising the steps of shaping the image data into print data corresponding to the print head; generating sequence information, based on the print data, showing operation at a time of printing by the print head; adding data guarantee information to the print data and the sequence information, for error detection based on the print data and the sequence information; reading print information including the print data, the sequence information, and the data guarantee information; and inspecting propriety of the print information based on the data guarantee information and the sequence information.

"According to this invention, the shaping step shapes the image data into print data corresponding to the print head, and based on the print data the sequence information generating step generates the sequence information showing operation at the time of printing. The data guarantee information adding step obtains the data guarantee information from, and adds it to, the print data and sequence information. Based on the data guarantee information and sequence information read by the readout unit, the information inspecting step inspects propriety of the print information. Since any abnormality occurring in the sequence of operation at the time of printing can be detected, a printing failure due to the abnormality in operation can be prevented without continuing printing based on the print data.

"In this invention, after the step of inspecting the information, the print data may be transmitted to the print head only when the data guarantee information is errorless and the sequence information is errorless, and when the sequence information has an error, the error may be reported.

"After the step of inspecting the information, the print data is outputted to the print head only when the data guarantee information and the sequence information are errorless. On the other hand, when the sequence information has an error, the error is reported. Thus, the operator can become away of a problem in the operating sequence of the apparatus, and take necessary measures such as stopping the apparatus."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Morizono, Osamu; Okushima, Tomoyasu. Printing Apparatus and Printing Method. U.S. Patent Number 9087285, filed August 30, 2012, and published online on July 21, 2015. 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=9087285.PN.&OS=PN/9087285RS=PN/9087285

Keywords for this news article include: RICOH COMPANY LTD.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2015, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2015 NewsRx LLC, source Science Newsletters

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