JP2003054044A - Image recorder - Google Patents

Image recorder

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Publication number
JP2003054044A
JP2003054044A JP2001250694A JP2001250694A JP2003054044A JP 2003054044 A JP2003054044 A JP 2003054044A JP 2001250694 A JP2001250694 A JP 2001250694A JP 2001250694 A JP2001250694 A JP 2001250694A JP 2003054044 A JP2003054044 A JP 2003054044A
Authority
JP
Japan
Prior art keywords
recording
image
images
conveying
recorded
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
JP2001250694A
Other languages
Japanese (ja)
Inventor
Yoshio Ishii
Hidekazu Kito
Osamu Takahashi
善雄 石井
修 高橋
英一 鬼頭
Original Assignee
Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd
富士写真フイルム株式会社
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd, 富士写真フイルム株式会社 filed Critical Fuji Photo Film Co Ltd
Priority to JP2001250694A priority Critical patent/JP2003054044A/en
Publication of JP2003054044A publication Critical patent/JP2003054044A/en
Pending legal-status Critical Current

Links

Abstract

To obtain a compact image recording apparatus capable of recording a large amount of images at high speed. A recording material 60 wound in a roll shape is pulled out along the longitudinal direction and conveyed, and a plurality of recording heads 46A are provided.
-46C is reciprocated in the width direction of the recording material 60 (main scanning)
The recording material 60 is conveyed at a constant speed (sub-scanning), and the recording liquid droplets are ejected from the nozzles of the heads 46 and adhered to the recording material 60, whereby an image of three frames along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60 is obtained. Are recorded in parallel. Next, the portion where the three-frame image is recorded is separated by the first cutter 54, and the conveyance path 64
C, 64B, the solvent contained in the attached recording droplets is removed by the heating and drying unit 50, and after forming a transparent film on the uppermost layer of the image recording surface by the laminating unit 92,
The second cutter 56 cuts each image as a unit.

Description

Detailed Description of the Invention

[0001]

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an image recording apparatus, and more particularly, by adhering recording liquid droplets ejected from an ejection port of a recording head to a long recording material, the recording material is extended in the longitudinal direction of the recording material. The present invention relates to an image recording apparatus that records a plurality of images and cuts a recording material in units of recording areas of individual images.

[0002]

2. Description of the Related Art The most general method for photographing a subject and recording it as a color image on a recording material such as recording paper is to use a silver halide color photosensitive material. The image recording method using a silver halide color light-sensitive material has an advantage that a large amount of images can be recorded at high speed, but it has a problem that the device is large and the configuration is complicated, and maintenance is troublesome. , Downsizing of equipment
Although various improvements have been added to achieve the goal of maintenance-free, further miniaturization and maintenance-free are desired.

On the other hand, as another image recording method widely used for recording data output from a computer as an image on a recording material, an ink droplet ejected from an ejection port of a recording head is used as a recording material. An ink jet recording method is known in which an image is recorded on a recording material by adhering it to a recording material. The inkjet recording method has an advantage that the image density is less changed due to changes in environmental conditions such as temperature because an image is recorded by directly adhering a dye solution (ink) to the recording material. Basically, it is also advantageous in terms of maintainability as compared with the image recording method using.

As an example of an apparatus for recording an image at high speed by an ink jet recording system, Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2000-127550.
In the publication, a wide recording material wound in a roll shape is drawn out from a roll, conveyed along a first direction parallel to the drawing direction, and a plurality of images are arranged in parallel along the width direction of the recording material. After the recording, the image recording portion on the recording material is separated (cut) from the image unrecorded portion and along a second direction (direction parallel to the arrangement direction of a plurality of images) orthogonal to the first direction. There is disclosed a configuration in which the image recording portion is conveyed and is cut into individual images.

[0005]

However, in the image recording apparatus described in the above publication, a single recording head is reciprocated along the width direction of the recording material, and a plurality of images are formed along the width direction of the recording material. Since the recording is performed in parallel, the moving distance of the recording head is very long, and the mechanism for reciprocating the recording head is increased in size, so that the image recording apparatus itself is also increased in size.

The image recording apparatus described in the above publication is
Since a wide recording material is used to record a plurality of images along the width direction of the recording material, the transport mechanism for transporting this recording material also becomes large and the recording material is cut along the width direction. It is necessary to use a large cutter as well, and if these are taken into consideration, the image recording apparatus becomes considerably large. In addition, since a wide recording material also increases the size of the roll, it is necessary to install a device in consideration of the need to provide a space around the device to load the recording material roll into the device. The floor space required for it will also be quite large.

Further, in the image recording apparatus described in the above publication, a plurality of images are recorded in parallel along the width direction of the recording material to separate the image recording portions, and then the separated image recording portions are conveyed in the previous conveying direction. Since it is transported in a direction different by 90 ° from each other, it is necessary to provide a plurality of transport mechanisms whose transport directions are different from each other by 90 °, and it is also necessary to provide a delivery mechanism for delivering the recording material between the respective transport mechanisms. However, there is also a problem that it is complicated and maintenance is troublesome.

Further, in the ink jet recording system, an abnormality such as defective ejection of ink droplets may occur due to clogging of the ejection port of the recording head. If this abnormality occurs, white streaks easily appear in an image. There is a problem that a visible and fatal defect is generated. This problem becomes a serious drawback especially when a large number of images are continuously recorded on a recording material, and when it is noticed that the above-mentioned defects occur after a large number of images are continuously recorded, all the images are By re-recording, the processing capacity (the number of recorded images per unit time) and the yield of the output image of the proper image quality will be greatly reduced.
The image recording apparatus described in the above publication does not consider this point at all.

The present invention has been made in consideration of the above facts, and an object thereof is to obtain a compact image recording apparatus capable of recording a large number of images at high speed.

[0010]

In order to achieve the above object, an image recording apparatus according to the invention of claim 1 is provided with a conveying path for conveying a long recording material in the longitudinal direction of the recording material. Along with a conveying means for conveying the recording material and a plurality of recording heads arranged at different positions on the conveying path along the conveying direction of the recording material. Recording the image on the recording material by attaching the ejected recording droplets to the recording material,
Recording means for recording two or more images in parallel along the longitudinal direction of the recording material by performing the recording heads in parallel on the plurality of recording heads, and an image is recorded by the recording means and conveyed on the conveying path. Cutting means for cutting the recording material for each image.

According to the first aspect of the invention, there is provided a conveying path for conveying the long recording material in the longitudinal direction of the recording material, and the recording material is conveyed by the conveying means along the conveying path. To be done. The recording unit includes a plurality of recording heads arranged at different positions on the conveyance path along the conveyance direction of the recording material, ejects recording liquid droplets from the ejection ports of the recording heads, and ejects the recording liquid ejected. Two or more images are recorded in parallel along the longitudinal direction of the recording material by depositing the droplets on the recording material and recording the image on the recording material in parallel with respect to the plurality of recording heads. The number of recording heads may or may not be the same as the number of images recorded in parallel. Further, two or more images recorded in parallel may be the same image,
The images may be different from each other.

As described above, since two or more images are recorded along the longitudinal direction of the recording material, it is not necessary to use a wide recording material capable of recording a plurality of images along the width direction of the recording material, and recording is possible. It is possible to reduce the space occupied by the transport means (and transport path) that transports the material. Also,
As a scanning method by each recording head, for example, claim 2
As described above, it is possible to employ a method in which the recording head is reciprocally moved along the width direction of the recording material while conveying the recording material, but in this aspect as well, the recording material is narrowed as described above. As a result, the movement distance of the recording head in the reciprocal movement can be shortened, and the mechanism for reciprocating the recording head can be downsized.

The recording material on which the image has been recorded by the recording means is cut into each image by the cutting means. This cutting is performed along the width direction of the recording material, but since the recording material can be narrowed as described above, the cutting means can be downsized. In addition, since an image is recorded or cut on the recording material while the recording material is being conveyed along a conveying path for conveying the long recording material in the longitudinal direction of the recording material, It is not necessary to provide a plurality of transport mechanisms having different transport directions of 90 ° or a delivery mechanism for delivering the recording material between the transport mechanisms. Furthermore, since the recording means records two or more images in parallel by a plurality of recording heads, the recording time per single image can be shortened as compared with the case of sequentially recording a plurality of images. Therefore, according to the first aspect of the invention, it is possible to obtain a compact image recording apparatus capable of recording a large number of images at high speed.

In the invention described in claim 1, the recording means includes, for example, as described in claim 2, a moving means for reciprocating each recording head along the width direction of the recording material, and a conveying means. While the recording material is being conveyed by the recording head, the recording heads are reciprocally moved by the moving means, and the recording liquid droplets are ejected from the recording heads, thereby recording two or more images in parallel on the recording material. Can be adopted. In this case, although the apparatus configuration is slightly complicated by providing the moving means, as compared with the case of using a print head having a larger number of ejection ports (for example, a print head according to claim 3 described later). ,
Maintenance of the recording head becomes easy.

Further, in the invention described in claim 1, for example, as described in claim 3, a large number of ejection ports in which each recording head is continuously arranged from one end to the other end in the width direction of the recording material. The recording unit employs a configuration in which the recording liquid is ejected from each recording head while the recording material is being conveyed by the conveying unit to record the two or more images in parallel on the recording material. You can also In this case, although the maintenance of the recording head becomes complicated,
Since the moving means can be omitted and it is not necessary to control the reciprocating movement of the recording head, the device structure can be simplified.

Further, in the invention described in claim 1, the recording means is such that the reading means reads two or more original images (for example, the original image recorded on the photographic film), as described in claim 4. Based on the obtained image data of two or more images to be printed in parallel, it is possible to eject the recording liquid droplets from the ejection ports of each recording head.

According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, in the first aspect of the invention, it is determined whether or not an event that hinders image recording by the recording means occurs while the recording means records an image on the recording material. It is characterized by further comprising monitoring means for monitoring and processing means for performing processing for removing the fault or the event when the monitoring means determines that the event has occurred.

In the fifth aspect of the invention, as an event that hinders image recording, for example, a malfunction of the recording means (specifically, clogging of the ejection port of the recording head or recording droplets from the ejection port of the recording head) Of the discharge amount, or other phenomenon), and a decrease in the free space of the storage unit that stores the image information. An image to be recorded on the recording material is obtained by performing image processing on the original image information representing the original image to be recorded on the recording material and the original image information acquired by the acquiring means. In a configuration further including an image processing unit that generates image information that represents the image information and outputs the generated image information to the recording unit, the phenomenon that interferes with the image recording may be, for example, a malfunction of the acquisition unit or a failure of the acquisition unit. There is a malfunction in the acquisition of original image information and image processing by the image processing means.

According to the fifth aspect of the present invention, even when the above-mentioned event occurs while the recording means continuously records a plurality of images on the recording material, this is detected by the monitoring means, and the image is detected. Since the recording obstacle is removed or the event itself which becomes the obstacle is eliminated, it is possible to record a large number of images with improper image quality after the occurrence of the event or the occurrence of the event. It is possible to prevent the image recording from being stopped for a long time, and it is possible to realize the high performance of the image recording apparatus according to the present invention and the improvement of the ratio of proper images.

Further, in the invention described in claim 5, when it is judged by the monitoring means that the ejection port of the specific recording head is clogged as an obstacle to the image recording, it is described in claim 6. In addition, it is preferable that the processing means performs a process of continuing the image recording by using only another recording head in which the ejection port is not clogged, as the process for removing the phenomenon.

The clogging of the ejection port of the recording head can usually be automatically eliminated by sucking the ink in the recording head with a pump or the like, but the clogging may not be eliminated even when the pump or the like is operated. In this case, the image recording on the recording material must be interrupted until the operator performs the work for clearing the clogging of the ejection port. On the other hand, in the invention described in claim 6, the image recording apparatus according to the present invention is provided with a plurality of recording heads, and only another recording head in which the ejection port is not clogged is used. Since the image recording is continued, even if the ejection port of the recording head is clogged, which is difficult to eliminate, the number of image recordings per unit time is reduced, but the image recording on the recording material can be continued.

Further, in the invention described in claim 1, the recording material is preliminarily wound in a roll shape as described in claim 7, and the conveying means draws the recording material from a roll of the recording material. It is preferable to carry it. As a result, the handleability of the recording material when the recording material is loaded into the image recording apparatus is improved as compared with the case where the recording material is cut into a predetermined size in advance.

Further, in the invention described in claim 1, the transport path is, for example, as described in claim 8, the first transport path for transporting the recording material substantially vertically and the recording material substantially vertically. Moreover, it is preferable that the second transport path for transporting in a direction substantially opposite to the first transport path is connected via an inversion path that inverts the transport direction. By configuring the transport path as described above, the image recording apparatus according to the present invention can be made vertically long, and the space required for installation, especially the installation floor area can be significantly reduced.

According to a ninth aspect of the present invention, in the first aspect of the present invention, the cutting means is configured to record the recording material conveyed through the conveying path either before image recording, during image recording, or after image recording. First cutting means for cutting in units of recording areas of two or more images at a timing, an image is recorded by the recording means, and recording areas of two or more images in units of the first cutting means A second cutting unit that cuts the recording material that has been cut and is transported along the transport path by the transport unit in units of recording regions of individual images.

According to the first aspect of the invention, since the recording means records the image in units of two or more images, the recording material from which the image is recorded is intermittently recorded in units of two or more images. Output (discharging). Therefore, in the invention described in claim 9, a plurality of images are recorded on the recording material conveyed through the conveying path by the first cutting means at any timing before image recording, during image recording, and after image recording. Cut by area.

As a result, the recording material on which an image has been recorded is recorded with two or more images on the downstream side of the image recording position by the recording means and the cutting position by the first cutting means in the conveying path of the recording material. A predetermined post-treatment can be performed on the recording material on which an image is recorded, which can be continuously conveyed in units of regions (processing by the processing means according to claim 10:
Even in the case of performing (details will be described later), a predetermined post-treatment is performed on the continuously conveyed recording material without being affected by the recording unit recording an image in units of two or more images. You can

Then, the recording material conveyed to the cutting position by the second cutting means (the image is recorded by the recording means, and the recording material of the two or more images is cut as a unit by the first cutting means, and the recording material is conveyed. The recording material conveyed on the conveying path by the means) is cut by the second cutting means in units of recording areas of individual images.

In the invention described in claim 9, for example, as described in claim 10, the image is recorded by the recording means, and the first cutting means cuts the recording area of two or more images as a unit. A process of forming a transparent film on the image recording surface of the recording material before the recording material conveyed through the conveying path by the conveying means is cut by the second cutting means in units of recording areas of individual images,
Further, it is preferable to further provide processing means for performing a predetermined post-processing including at least one of processing for removing the solvent contained in the recording droplets attached to the recording material by applying thermal energy to the recording material.

For example, when a transparent film is formed on the image recording surface of the recording material as the predetermined post-treatment, the water resistance and weather resistance of the image recorded on the recording material can be improved. . Further, when forming a transparent coating on the image recording surface of the recording material, if the solvent contained in the recording droplets attached to the recording material remains in the recording material when the transparent coating is formed, the remaining solvent is The solvent trapped inside the transparent film may cause the image quality of the recorded image to deteriorate, but as a predetermined post-treatment, thermal energy is applied to the recording material so that the recording droplets adhered to the recording material. By performing the process of removing the contained solvent, the solvent contained in the recording droplets adhered to the recording material can be removed in a short time, and the solvent remaining in the recording material causes deterioration of the image quality of the recorded image. This can be prevented.

According to the tenth aspect of the invention, the predetermined post-processing as described above is performed on the recording material before being cut by the second cutting means in units of the recording areas of the individual images. Compared to the case where the predetermined post-processing is performed on the recording material cut in units of the image recording areas, the conveyance state of the recording material can be easily stabilized, and the predetermined recording area for each image is determined. It is possible to suppress variations in the processing result of the post-processing.

[0031]

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION Hereinafter, an example of an embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 shows a schematic configuration of an image recording system 10 to which the present invention is applied. The image recording system 10 includes a film scanner 12 as an input device for inputting image data, is provided with an image processing device 14 for processing image data input from the input device, and has undergone processing by the image processing device 14. As an output device that outputs the image represented by the image data,
An inkjet printer 16 that records an image by an inkjet recording method is provided.

The film scanner 12 is a photographic film 2
4 (for example, a negative image or a reversal film), a film image recorded on a photographic light-sensitive material (hereinafter simply referred to as a photographic film) (a negative image or a positive image visualized by subjecting a subject to development processing) Is read and the image data obtained by the reading is output, and the light emitted from the LED light source 18 and having the light amount unevenness reduced by the light diffusion box 20 is reflected on the photographic film 24 set on the film carrier 22. The light that has been irradiated and that has passed through the photographic film 24 is configured to form an image on the light receiving surface of the area CCD sensor 28 (which may be a line CCD sensor) via the lens 26.

The film carrier 22 intermittently conveys the photographic film 24 so that the film image is sequentially positioned on the optical axis (reading position) of the light emitted from the LED light source 18. The LED light source 18 includes a large number of LEDs that emit R light,
A large number of LEDs that emit G light, a large number of LEDs that emit B light, and a large number of LEDs that emit IR light are arranged on the entire surface of a substrate (not shown) at a constant and high density. It is driven by a driver (not shown) so as to sequentially emit R, G, and B lights while one image is located at the reading position.

As a result, the film images recorded on the photographic film 24 are sequentially read by the CCD sensor 28, and the CCD sensor 28 outputs R, G, B, and IR signals corresponding to the film image. The signal output from the CCD sensor 28 is converted into digital image data by the A / D converter 30 and input to the image processing device 14. The film scanner 12 is provided with a scanner control unit 32, and the operation of each unit of the film scanner 12 is controlled by the scanner control unit 32.
Further, each film image may be read a plurality of times (for example, a prescan for reading a film image at a relatively low resolution and a fine scan for reading a film image at a relatively high resolution).

As the input device according to this embodiment,
The above-described film scanner 12 is a reflection-type scanner that reads a reflection original (for example, color paper on which an image is recorded) and outputs the image data obtained by the reading.
It may be provided separately. As this reflection type scanner, a scanner provided with an automatic supply mechanism that automatically and sequentially supplies a plurality of reflection originals to a reading unit of the scanner so that a plurality of reflection originals can be automatically and continuously read It is preferable to use.

Further, as the input device according to the present embodiment,
For example, a magnetic disk such as a floppy (R) disk (FD), an optical disk such as a CD-R, a magneto-optical disk (M
O), any of various information storage media such as smart media (R), compact flash (R), and memory stick (R) that can be loaded into a digital still camera (DSC) are set, and the set information storage medium is set. It is connected to a media driver that reads out and outputs the stored image data, or to a computer network such as the Internet, and the information processing device (for example, a personal computer (PC)) transmits R,
An image data receiving device 16 which receives the G and B image data and outputs the received image data may be provided.

The film scanner 12 is an image processing device 14.
Of the image data input from the film scanner 12.
For example, predetermined preprocessing such as dark correction, density conversion, shading correction, defective pixel correction is performed. When the above-mentioned media driver is provided, as preprocessing for the image data input from the media driver, for example, decompression of image data compressed and recorded in the information storage medium,
Image processing such as sharpness improvement may be mentioned. Further, when the above-described image data receiving device is provided, as pre-processing for the image data input from the image data receiving device, for example, decompressing compressed image data (for example, image data in JPEG format) received by the image data receiving device. Etc.

The preprocessing unit 34 is connected to the image processing unit 38 via the image memory 36. The image data subjected to the preprocessing by the preprocessing unit 34 is temporarily stored in the image memory 36 and then the image processing unit 38. The data is read by 38 and input to the image processing unit 38. Based on the image data read from the image memory 36, the image processing unit 38 automatically determines the processing conditions of various image processing for the image data by calculation (setup calculation).

The image processing executed by the image processing unit 38 is, for example, gray balance adjustment of an image, density adjustment, gradation control, hypertone processing for compressing the gradation of an extremely low frequency luminance component of an image, and granularity. Hyper sharpness processing that enhances sharpness while suppressing IR, IR
The image processing for improving the image quality of the output image, such as the defect portion correction processing for correcting the defect portion of the image data due to the scratches on the photographic film or the adhesion of foreign matter on the basis of the data of 1.

The image processing unit 38 also performs various image processing on the image data read from the image memory 36 in accordance with the processing conditions determined by the setup calculation.
The image processing unit 38 is connected to the image data storage unit 40 of the inkjet printer 16, and the image data for which various image processing is completed is transferred to the image data storage unit 40 as recording image data and temporarily stored.

On the other hand, a printer control unit 42 is connected to the image data storage unit 40 of the ink jet printer 16. The printer control unit 42 is the scanner control unit 32 of the film scanner 12 and the image processing unit 38 of the image processing apparatus 14.
It is connected to the. Further, as will be described later in detail, the inkjet printer 16 has three recording heads 46A and 46A.
B and 46C are provided, and the recording heads 46A to 46C are provided.
C is connected to the printer control unit 42 via drivers 44A, 44B and 44C, respectively. Further, a recording material conveying unit 48, a heating / drying unit 50, an image reading unit 52, a first cutter 54 and a second cutter 56 are connected to the printer control unit 42.

The recording material conveying section 48 corresponds to the conveying means of the present invention, and is a pulling-out conveying motor, a reverse conveying motor, a descending conveying motor, a pull-out roller pair 66, which will be described later.
Conveyor roller pairs 68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 8
0, 82, 84, 86, 88, 90 are included. The first cutter 54 and the second cutter 56 correspond to the cutting means of the present invention, and more specifically, the first cutter 5
4 is the first cutting means according to claim 9, and the second cutter 5
Reference numerals 6 correspond to the second cutting means described in claim 9.

As shown in FIG. 2, the ink jet printer 16 has a casing 16A having a vertically long and substantially box shape, and a magazine 62 for storing the recording material 60 is set on a side portion near the lower end of the casing 16A. It The recording material 60 is shaped into a long shape, and shipped in a state of being wound in a roll shape on the outer circumference of the winding core 62A so that the surface (image recording surface) on which the ink receiving layer is formed is the inner side. After being loaded in the magazine 62 when used for image recording, the magazine 62 is set in the housing 16A to be set at a predetermined position (the position shown in FIG. 2).

In this embodiment, a recording material as described below is used as the recording material 60. That is,
The support used for the recording material 60 may be transparent or opaque as a base material. For example, high-quality paper, art paper, resin-coated paper, baryta paper, and other papers, polyethylene terephthalate, triacetate, polycarbonate, polyacrylates, and films of their copolymers, particularly, supports used for silver salt color photosensitive materials are advantageous Is. It is also possible to improve the water resistance and the air resistance by using a thermoplastic resin as a coating on a paper or a porous resin film having ink absorbability and post-treating it. In order to obtain a recorded material of the same quality as a silver salt color light-sensitive material, the current baryta paper,
It is preferable to use a support having high whiteness, smoothness and storability such as WP paper. Smoothness is surface Beck smoothness JIS-P-
It is preferably 20 seconds or more by the method described in 8119, and 2 kg to 30 kg by the method described in JIS-P-8113.

The ink receiving layer is a layer having a function of absorbing ink ejected by an ink jet with little blurring, adsorbing and fixing a dye, and holding an image. In order to enhance the absorption of water and adsorb and fix the dye for image formation on a specific layer, to obtain an image with less bleeding and beading, a water-absorbing layer is mainly provided near the support, and the dye is adsorbed. It is preferable to form a multilayer structure by providing a plurality of layers for fixing. A surfactant is mainly used as an inorganic pigment that adsorbs a dye and a binder that has high ink permeability and does not hinder the adsorption of the dye. Further, it is preferable to use a thermoplastic resin latex that protects the image. In addition, it has a porous structure in order to maintain ink permeability.

As the inorganic pigment that adsorbs the dye, silica,
Known materials such as calcium carbonate, calcium sulfate, diatomaceous earth, calcium silicate, colloidal silica, alumina, pseudo-boehmite, colloidal alumina, and alumina hydrate are used. Alumina hydrate, silica, colloidal silica and the like are particularly preferable. It is structured like a void in the layer.

The alumina hydrate can be produced by a known method such as hydrolysis of aluminum alkoxide and hydrolysis of sodium aluminate. The shape thereof is not particularly limited, such as cilia, needle, plate, and spindle, and may or may not have orientation.

As the alumina hydrate used in the present invention, those commercially available or those processed from their raw materials can be used. The characteristic feature of these alumina hydrates is that they are transparent. It is even more preferable that it has high properties, glossiness and dye fixing property, and that it does not have cracks and the like during film formation and has good coatability. Examples of commercially available products include AS-2 and AS manufactured by Catalyst Kasei Co., Ltd.
-3, 520 manufactured by Nissan Chemical Co., Ltd., and the like.

Since some of these alumina hydrates have a fine particle diameter of usually 1 μm or less and have excellent dispersibility, the recording material 60 should have very good smoothness and gloss. You can

The amount of the inorganic pigment, particularly hydrated alumina, applied to the substrate is 10 g / m 2 in order to impart the dye fixing property.
The above is preferable, the coating amount when the substrate does not have ink absorbability is more preferably 30 to 50 g / m 2 , and the coating amount when the substrate has ink absorbability is 20 to 40 g. The range of / m 2 is more preferable.

The coating / drying method is not particularly limited, but the alumina hydrate and the binder may be subjected to a baking treatment if necessary. By performing such a baking treatment, the crosslinking strength of the binder is increased, the mechanical strength of the ink receiving layer is improved, and the surface gloss of the alumina hydrate layer is improved.

The binder for binding the inorganic pigment can be freely selected from water-soluble polymers. For example, polyvinyl alcohol or modified product thereof, starch or modified product thereof, gelatin or modified product thereof, casein or modified product thereof, gum arabic, carboxymethyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, cellulose derivative such as hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose, SBR latex, NBR latex, methyl Conjugated diene-based copolymer latex such as methacrylate-butadiene copolymer, functional group-modified polymer latex, vinyl-based copolymer latex such as ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer, polyvinylpyrrolidone, acrylic ester copolymer and the like are preferable. . These binders may be used alone or in combination of two or more.

The mixing ratio of the inorganic pigment, particularly hydrated alumina, and the binder is preferably 1: 1 to 30: 1 by weight.
More preferably, the weight ratio is in the range of 5: 1 to 25: 1. The amount of binder is selected within the range that does not cause cracking or powder drop.

As the inorganic pigment, silica or colloidal silica is used in the same porous structure as alumina.
As the binder, for example, as described in JP-A-61-10483, in addition to the binder, cation-modified polyvinyl alcohol or a copolymer thereof can be used.

The image protective layer is provided on the ink receiving layer,
Protects the physical strength of the ink receiving layer, improves image durability and weather resistance, and, in combination with the back coat layer, transportability and damage due to adhesion of the ink receiving layer when the recording material is wound into a roll. Prevent.

As the image protective layer, a layer made of an ink permeable binder containing inorganic pigment particles or resin latex can be provided on the ink receiving layer containing a porous inorganic pigment. The resin latex is used in such an amount that does not impair ink permeability, preferably monodisperse, and preferably larger than the thickness of the image protective layer. For example, it can be used by selecting from the materials described in JP-A No. 11-321080.

The recording material 60 may be provided with an image protective layer described below.

The image protective layer forms a porous resin using a thermoplastic resin latex, and the particle distribution of the latex is particularly important. Resin latex average particle size is 0.1
μm to 10 μm, preferably 0.3 μm to 5 μm, and more preferably 0.3 μm to 3 μm. A monodisperse distribution is preferable, and a latex having uniform particles such that 90% or more of particles are included in the range of ± 2/3 of the average particle diameter is preferable. In particular, it is preferable that fine particles do not enter. The thermoplastic resin latex has a porous structure, and the solid content of the particles is preferably about 10 to 60% by weight. The solid content of the transparent resin film is selected by heat treatment after image formation without impairing ink permeability. Good to do. It is also possible to use a plurality of thermoplastic resin latexes having different MFTs (minimum film forming temperature) and high compatibility.

The thermoplastic resin used in the present invention is preferably a resin having the property of being non-porous by heat treatment, forming a film, and protecting an image, particularly a resin containing a component having high ultraviolet absorption.

For example, vinyl chloride type, vinylidene chloride type,
Styrene-based, acrylic-based, urethane-based, polyester-based, ethylene-based materials, or vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate-based, vinyl chloride-acrylic-based, vinyl chloride-vinylidene chloride-based, vinylidene chloride-acrylic-based, SBR
System, NBR type latex, latex of a copolymer of two or more of these, for example, SBR type / NBR type mixture, vinyl chloride-acrylic type / vinyl acetate type latex and the like.

It is preferable that the light resistance is strong and the content of the conjugated double bond component is 50% or less. As a method for making the porous layer containing the thermoplastic resin particles non-porous, heat treatment is preferable, and water resistance, light resistance, and other weather resistance are improved by applying such treatment, and gloss is imparted to the image. The printed matter can be stored for a long period of time.

The heating temperature at this time is not less than the flow temperature of the thermoplastic resin particles, more preferably the minimum film forming temperature (M
FT) or more, and although it depends on the type of thermoplastic resin, the surface property after film formation is also taken into consideration,
A range of about 60 ° C to 180 ° C is preferred. The minimum film formation temperature is a temperature at which an image protection layer that is mainly used is formed into a film and becomes substantially transparent, and also depends on the processing time.

For the image protective layer, silica sol or the like is added in an amount of 10 to 30.
It is advisable to mix by weight. It has the effects of enhancing the adhesion with the ink receiving layer, preventing beading, etc., and improving the sharpness of the image.

A hydrophilic binder used in the ink receiving layer, such as polyvinyl alcohol, is used for the image in order to optimize the adhesion with the ink receiving layer, improve the sharpness of the image, and maintain the physical strength of the image protective layer. It is preferably added to the protective layer.

An overcoat layer preferably containing inorganic pigment particles, or a material selected from resin latex and a lubricant is provided on the image protective layer.
The thickness of the overcoat layer is preferably 0.2 μm to 2 μm. When the layer is sufficiently thin, the advantageous properties such as the transportability of the inorganic pigment particles or the resin latex in the image protective layer can be utilized together with the effect of the image protective layer.

If necessary, the coating liquid for forming the ink receiving layer and the image protective layer may include a dispersant, a thickener, a pH adjusting agent, and
It is also possible to add a lubricant, a fluidity modifier, a surfactant, a defoaming agent, a water resistant agent, a fluorescent whitening agent, an ultraviolet absorber, an antioxidant and the like.

The back coat layer is provided on the back surface of the surface having the ink receiving layer. By providing a back coat layer,
By improving the transportability of the recording material in the image recording process and substantially protecting the ink receiving layer and simplifying the function of the image protective layer, abnormal events in the image recording process can be reduced. The binder is a hydrophilic binder having high adhesion after the surface treatment of the support or the undercoating treatment thereof, such as gelatin or a modified product thereof, casein or a modified product thereof, polyvinyl alcohol or a modified product thereof, polyvinylpyrrolidone, polyethylene oxide, polyacrylic. Derivatives such as acids, polyacrylic acid amides, carboxymethyl cellulose, hydroxyethyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and the like can be used alone or in admixture of two or more. In order to enhance the adhesiveness and physical strength of the back coat layer, it is preferable to use a curing agent for the binder. For example, polyvinyl alcohol or its copolymer, or other polymer may be boric acid or its salt. A known curing agent such as an epoxy compound is used for gelatin or its modified product.

In order to improve the transportability of the recording material, a matting agent, that is, a dispersion of resin latex or inorganic pigment particles having a particle size sufficiently large for its film thickness is used. The average particle size is larger than the dry film thickness and is 0.5 μm
30 μm, preferably 0.5 μm to 10 μm, and monodisperse particles are preferable. The amount is preferably such that about 10 to 30 convex portions are provided per 1 mm 2 of the surface.

In order to improve the adhesiveness and the like of the recording material in a roll form, a lubricant, for example, a silicone oil type or a fluorine type surfactant is used as a dispersion or a surfactant.
It is particularly preferable to use it together with a matting agent.

The film thickness of the back coat layer is 0.2 μm to 10 μm.
μm, preferably about 0.2 μm to 5 μm.

On the other hand, in the casing 16A of the ink jet printer 16, a first conveying path 64A for conveying the recording material 60 upward in the substantially vertical direction and a first conveying path 64A for conveying the recording material 60 downward in the vertical direction. The second conveyance path 64B is connected via an inversion path 64C that reverses the conveyance direction,
A conveying path 64 for conveying the recording material 60 in the longitudinal direction is formed along a path in which the top and bottom of the letter "U" are reversed. The transport path 64 corresponds in detail to the transport path described in claim 8. Magazine 62 is magazine 6
The recording material outlet formed in 2 is set in the housing 16A so as to be located at the lower end of the first transport path 64A.

In the first transport path 64A, a pair of pull-out rollers 66 and a pair of transport rollers 68, 70 are sequentially arranged from the lower end side. The inkjet printer 16 is equipped with a pull-out and transport motor (not shown). The pull-out and transport motor is driven in a state where the magazine 62 is set in the housing 16A, and rolls the recording material 60 contained in the magazine 62. , The pull-out roller pair 66 and the transport roller pair 68 are each provided with a rotational force through a reduction mechanism (not shown), and the recording material 6
Rotate the 0 roll. As a result, the recording material 60 is pulled out from the magazine 62 and is conveyed upward in a substantially vertical direction along the first conveying path 64A.

An image recording position for recording an image on the recording material 60 is provided between the pair of conveying rollers 68 and 70. In the present embodiment, images of N frames (N ≧ 2, N = 3 in the present embodiment, for example, N = 3) are recorded in parallel along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60. Therefore, the interval between the conveying roller pairs 68 and 70 is also N. The length of the frame images can be recorded in parallel, and the image recording surface of the recording material 60 conveyed to the side of the first conveying path 64A (the image receiving surface on which the ink receiving layer is formed is formed. Side)), three recording heads 46A
To 46C are respectively arranged at different positions along the first conveyance path 64A, and the platen 7 is provided on the opposite side of the arrangement position of the recording heads 46A to 46C with the first conveyance path 64A interposed therebetween.
2 are arranged.

In the present embodiment, since three frames of images are recorded in parallel by the three recording heads 46A to 46C, the recording heads 46A to 46C are arranged such that the intervals between the image recording positions of the individual recording heads are a single image. The arrangement position is adjusted so as to match the length L of the recording range of the recording material 60 along the longitudinal direction (image recording pitch on the recording material 60 along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60). It should be noted that the number N of images to be printed in parallel and the number M of print heads 46 need only be N ≧ 2 and M ≧ 2, and N = necessarily as in the present embodiment.
It may not be M.

As shown in FIG. 3, recording heads 46A-4A
6C are respectively supported by guide shafts 74 arranged along the width direction of the recording material 60.
Both ends of each are supported by a U-shaped frame 76. The recording heads 46A to 46C each have a guide shaft 74.
Is movable in the width direction of the recording material 60, and a driving force transmission mechanism for moving the recording heads 46A to 46C back and forth and a scanning motor (both not shown) correspond to the recording heads 46A to 46C. Three sets are provided.
The recording heads 46A to 46C are independently reciprocated along the width direction of the recording material 60 by transmitting the driving force of the scanning motor through the corresponding driving force transmission mechanism.

As a driving force transmission mechanism for reciprocating the recording head 46, for example, an endless belt having the recording head 46 locked is wound around a pair of pulleys, and one pulley is driven by a driving force of a scanning motor. A mechanism for moving the endless belt and the recording head 46 can be adopted by rotating the recording head 46. Alternatively, the recording head 46 may be moved by using, for example, a known screw feed mechanism. The drive of each scanning motor is controlled by the printer control unit 42. The scanning motor corresponds to the moving means described in claim 2 together with each member for moving the recording head 46 shown in FIG. 3 and the driving force transmission mechanism. The recording heads 46A to 46C and the drivers 44A to 44C connected to the recording heads 46 correspond to the recording means of the present invention (specifically, the recording means according to claim 2).

Since the recording heads 46A to 46C have the same structure, the structure will be described below without distinguishing the three recording heads 46. Although illustration is omitted, in the recording head 46, a plurality of nozzle rows composed of a large number of nozzles arranged along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60 are arranged along the width direction of the recording material 60, A plurality of ink chambers are formed inside the recording head 46 corresponding to each nozzle row, and a plurality of main tanks 104 (see FIG. 4) that communicate with any of the plurality of ink chambers are provided in the recording head 46. Installed. Ink of different colors (for example, C, M, Y,
BK) is stored and supplied to each nozzle row via the ink chamber. As a result, ink of different colors is ejected from each nozzle for each nozzle row.

As shown in FIG. 4, in the present embodiment, a plurality of hollow supply pipes 106 for supplying ink to the recording head 46 are provided corresponding to each color, and one end of each of them is a plurality of main main pipes. Each of the supply pipes 106 is connected to one of the tanks 104, and the other end of each supply pipe 106 is connected to the main tank 1.
A plurality of sub-tanks 10 provided for each color as in 04.
8, and supply pumps 110 for supplying ink from the sub tanks 108 to the main tanks 104 are provided in the middle portions.

Since the main tank 104 attached to the recording head 46 moves integrally with the recording head 46, the ink storage capacity is limited due to weight, size, etc., but the sub-tank 108 is different from the recording head 46. Since there are few restrictions on the weight and size of the body, the storage capacity of the present embodiment is significantly larger than that of the main tank 104. For this reason, an image with a printing area of 30% can be printed at least 30,000 cm 2 without performing work such as replenishing ink to the sub tank 108.
It is possible to output the above.

On the other hand, as the ejection method for ejecting the ink from the nozzle, any of various known ejection methods can be adopted. For example, as a typical method, a piezoelectric element attached to an ink chamber is used. A pulse voltage is applied to the piezoelectric element to deform the piezoelectric element to change the ink fluid pressure in the ink chamber, and the change in ink fluid pressure is used to eject ink droplets from the nozzle. It is possible to employ a thermal method or the like in which the ink is heated by the heating element and the ink droplets are ejected from the nozzles by the bubbles generated in the ink chamber by the heating. As shown in FIG. 4, the print head 46 also includes a pump 112 that sucks ink in all the ink chambers inside the print head 46 by generating a negative pressure in order to eliminate clogging of nozzle ejection ports. Installed.

Further, the back surface of the recording material 60 is supported by the platen 72 disposed on the opposite side of the recording head 46 with the first transport path 64A interposed therebetween when the image is recorded by the recording head 46. High flatness is maintained during recording. A first cutter 54 for cutting the recording material 60 in units of an image recording area for three frames is arranged between the platen 72 and the conveying roller pair 70. The first cutter 54 is the recording head 46 that is arranged at the most downstream side of the recording heads 46A to 46C in the conveying direction of the recording material 60.
The arrangement position is adjusted so that the recording material 60 is cut at a position separated from the image recording position by A by the length L.

Further, the recording material 6 is more than the conveying roller pair 70.
On the downstream side of 0 in the transport direction, a pair of transport rollers 72, 74, 76, 78 are sequentially arranged along the inversion path 64C,
Guides 80 for guiding the recording material 60 fed to the reversing path 64C along the reversing path 64C (reversing the conveying direction) are provided between the respective conveying roller pairs. Further, on the downstream side of the conveying roller pair 78, the conveying roller pairs 82, 84, 86, 8 are arranged along the second conveying path 64B.
8, 90 are arranged in order.

The conveying roller pairs 72, 74, 76 and 78 are connected to the rotating shaft of a reversing conveying motor (none of which is shown) through a deceleration mechanism (not shown), and the conveying roller pair 8
2, 84, 86, 88 and 90 are connected to a rotary shaft of a descending conveyance motor (all are not shown) via a reduction mechanism not shown.

The recording material 60 on which an image is recorded by the ink droplets ejected from the recording head 46 adhering between the pair of conveying rollers 82 and 84 of the second conveying path 64B.
On the other hand, a heating / drying unit 50 for drying the ink (specifically, the solvent contained in the ink) by supplying hot air is provided, and is provided on the outermost surface layer of the recording material 60 between the conveying roller pairs 84 and 86. A laminating section 92 for forming a transparent polymer film is provided.

The transparent polymer film is for improving the water resistance and durability of the image and maintaining the high image quality for a long period of time. Here, “transparent” means a state in which an image formed on a recording material can be observed through a polymer film. The material of the transparent polymer film is not particularly limited, and various polymer materials can be used. That is, it may be a water-soluble polymer such as gelatin or polyvinyl alcohol, or a hydrophobic polymer such as polymethylmethacrylate.

As a method for forming the transparent polymer film,
(1) A method of pasting a transparent polymer film prepared in advance, (2) A method of applying a polymer solution, (3) After image formation, a liquid coating agent is applied to the surface, and it is solidified by ultraviolet rays or infrared rays to be transparent. (4) Provide a thermoplastic resin porous layer in advance as the uppermost layer and densify by heating (pressurizing if necessary) the resin porous layer after image formation , A method of forming a transparent resin film, and (5) a method of applying a latex polymer (may be applied to the entire surface by an inkjet method) and heating and melting to form a transparent resin film.

In this embodiment, as an example, the laminating section 92 for forming the transparent polymer film is provided by the method (1), but other methods may be adopted, for example, the method (4) is adopted. In this case, the transparent polymer film can be formed by heating the recording material 60 having the thermoplastic resin porous layer previously provided on the uppermost layer by the heating and drying unit 50 (the transparent polymer film). It goes without saying that a heating unit for forming the film may be separately provided). The laminating section 92 according to the present embodiment is formed by attaching (laminating) the transparent polymer sheet 94, which is formed into a sheet shape and wound in a roll shape, to the recording material 60 by a roller pair 96 for laminating. A transparent polymer film is formed on the uppermost layer of the recording material 60.

An image reading section 52 is provided between the pair of transport rollers 86 and 88 on the second transport path 64B.
The image reading unit 52 has a second side (second side) of the second conveyance path 64B.
3-line CCD sensor (area sensor may be used) 98 for reading a color image (output image) recorded on the recording material 60 on the image recording surface side of the recording material 60 conveyed on the conveying path 64A of the recording material 60. Is disposed on the side opposite to the position where the CCD sensor 98 is disposed with the second conveyance path 64B interposed therebetween, and the recording material 6 is provided when the image is read by the CCD sensor 98.
A platen 100 is provided which supports the back surface of 0 to improve the flatness of the recording material 60. The CCD sensor 98 constitutes a part of the image reading unit 52, and the CC
The image signal output from the D sensor 98 passes through an amplifier, an A / D converter, a correction unit (not shown) that performs correction such as dark correction, which are also included in the image reading unit 52, and an output representing an output image. The image data is input to the printer control unit 42.

Further, a second cutter 56 for cutting the recording material 60 in units of individual images is provided between the pair of conveying rollers 88 and 90 of the second conveying path 64B. A storage box 102 for storing the recording material 60 cut for each image by the second cutter 56 is disposed below the arrangement position of 90.

Next, the operation of this embodiment will be described. The printer control unit 42 is the casing 1 of the inkjet printer 16.
When the magazine 62 is set in the recording medium 6A and the recording of the image on the recording material 60 is instructed, the pulling / conveying motor is driven to pull out the recording material 60 from the magazine 62 and convey it at a relatively high speed. Then, the leading end of the recording material 60 reaches the image recording position by the recording head 46A located at the most downstream in the transport direction of the recording material 60 (for example, FIG. 5).
(The state shown in (A) is reached) (this determination is made by detecting the passage of the recording material 60 by a passage detection sensor provided in the middle of the transport path 64A or by recording the recording material 6).
This can be done by detecting the amount of pull-out conveyance of 0),
The drive of the pullout / conveyance motor is controlled so that the recording material 60 is conveyed at an image recording conveying speed (a relatively low constant speed), and an image is recorded on the recording material 60 by the recording heads 46A to 46C.

An image is recorded on the recording material 60 as follows. That is, in this embodiment, the recording material 6
Since three frames of images are recorded in parallel in 0, the printer control unit 42 records the three frames of images to be recorded from the image data storage unit 40 (they may be the same image or different images may be mixed). However, all the images may be different images), and each image is recorded in the width direction of the recording material 60 by different recording heads 46 based on the read recording image data of each image. Driving timing of each nozzle of the recording heads 46A to 46C (for example, corresponding to each nozzle) so that each color component (for example, C, M, Y, BK) is recorded on the recording material 60 in dot units in the main scanning direction. Image signals representing the energization timing of a piezoelectric element or a heater provided for each image are generated for each image, and the generated image signals are applied to the recording heads 46A to 46A corresponding to the images. Of each of the recording heads 46 so as to reciprocate along the guide shaft 74 (along the width direction of the recording material 60) at a predetermined moving speed. Each of the scan motors is driven.

Drivers 44A to 44 of each recording head 46
C is an ejection that selectively drives each nozzle based on an image signal input from the printer control unit 42 at a timing corresponding to the image signal (for example, selectively energizes a piezoelectric element or a heater of each nozzle). A signal is generated and the generated ejection signal is supplied to the corresponding recording head 46. As a result, the ink droplets ejected from the nozzles of the recording heads 46A to 46C at the timing according to the image signal are recorded on the recording material 6.
No. 0, and each recording head 46 reciprocates along the width direction of the recording material 60 to perform main scanning, and the recording material 60 is conveyed at a conveyance speed for image recording to form sub-scanning. (See also FIG. 5B), three color images are recorded in parallel on the recording material 60 along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60.

As described above, in the present embodiment, since the images of three frames are recorded in parallel, the recording time per single image can be shortened. In addition, a plurality of images can be recorded on the recording material 60.
Since the recording is performed along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60, a recording material having a narrower width can be used as compared with the case of recording a plurality of images along the width direction of the recording material 60, and the mechanism for moving the recording head 46 back and forth. (Guide shaft 74, frame 76,
The driving force transmission mechanism) can be miniaturized, and the width of the conveyance path can be narrowed, so that the inkjet printer 16 can be miniaturized.

Further, in this embodiment, three recording heads 4 are used.
Since the main scanning is performed by reciprocally moving 6 along the width direction of the recording material 60, a recording head in which a large number of nozzles are continuously arranged from one end to the other end of the recording material 60 in the width direction. Compared with the case of using (see FIG. 6; details will be described later), although a mechanism for reciprocating the recording head 46 is required, the apparatus configuration is slightly complicated, but the number of nozzles of the recording head 46 is significantly reduced. Recording head 46
Makes maintenance easier.

By the way, in the present embodiment, the recording head 4
The recording material 60 in which the image recording positions of 6A to 46C and the cutting position of the first cutter 54 are in the recording range of a single image.
Since the recording heads 46A to 46C complete the recording of the images of three frames, the recording heads 46A to 46C are arranged at intervals corresponding to the length L along the longitudinal direction of the recording head 46A, as shown in FIG. In the image recording range where the image is recorded, the boundary on the front end side of the recording material 60 is located at the cutting position by the first cutter 54. Therefore, the printer control unit 42 operates the first cutter 54 to activate the recording material 60.
Disconnect.

Next, the printer control section 42 drives the pull-out and conveyance motors and the reverse conveyance motor, and the recording material 6 in the image recording range in which the image is recorded by the recording head 46C.
The recording material 60 is conveyed at a relatively high speed so that the boundary on the rear end side of 0 is located at the image recording position by the recording head 46A. Then, when the boundary reaches the image recording position by the recording head 46A, the conveyance speed of the recording material 60 is switched to the conveyance speed for image recording, and the recording head 46A also moves.
The images of the next three frames are recorded in parallel on the recording material 60 by the processes of .about.46C (see FIG. 5D).

When the recording of the images of the three frames is completed, as shown in FIG. 5E, the recording range of the images of the three frames previously recorded on the recording material 60 and the recording of the images of the three frames currently recorded are recorded. The boundary with the range is located at the cutting position by the first cutter 54. Therefore, the printer control unit 42
Operates the first cutter 54 to cut the recording material 60,
The piece of the recording material 60 on which the images of three frames are recorded is separated from the main body of the recording material 60.

When the first cutter 54 is operated, the printer control unit 42 drives the reverse conveying motor and the descending conveying motor to record an image of three frames as shown in FIG. 5 (F). The piece of the recording material 60 is conveyed at a high speed to the downstream side of the first cutter 54 along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60. In addition, the boundary on the trailing end side of the recording material 60 in the recording range of the three-frame image recorded this time is the recording head 4
6A recording material 60 so that it is positioned at the image recording position.
After the sheet is conveyed, the conveying speed of the recording material 60 is switched to the conveying speed for image recording, and the recording heads 46A to 46C record the images of the next three frames in parallel on the recording material 60 (see FIG. 5D). .

In this way, the recording material 6 is read from the magazine 62.
Since the recording material 60 is drawn out along the longitudinal direction of 0 and an image is recorded on the recording material 60, the piece of the recording material 60 on which the image is recorded is conveyed along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60, so that the conveying direction is 90 There is no need to provide a plurality of different transport mechanisms, a delivery mechanism for delivering the recording material 60 between the plurality of transport mechanisms, and the configuration of the inkjet printer 16 can be simplified. Also,
The transport path 64 for the recording material 60 is configured by transport paths 64A and 64B for transporting the recording material 60 in a substantially vertical direction and an inversion path 64C connecting them, and the transport path for the recording material 60 is in an inverted U shape. Therefore, the floor area required for installing the inkjet printer 16 can be made extremely small.

On the other hand, the separated pieces of the recording material 60 are heated in the heating / drying section 50 after the conveyance direction is reversed by the reversing path 64C, so that the recording droplets ejected from the recording head 46 and attached thereto. The solvent contained in is removed and the transparent polymer sheet 94 is laminated by the laminating unit 92. The heating and drying unit 50 and the laminating unit 92 correspond to the processing means described in claim 10.

The piece of the recording material 60 on which the images of three frames are recorded can easily suppress the meandering during the transportation as compared with the case of transporting the recording material cut in units of individual images. Therefore, especially when the laminating section 92 laminates the transparent polymer sheet 94 on the recording material 60,
It is possible to easily suppress the displacement of the laminated position of the transparent polymer sheet 94 with respect to the piece of the recording material 60.

The recording material 60 (piece thereof) laminated with the transparent polymer sheet 94 is further subjected to at least one of heating and pressure bonding so that the flatness of the transparent coating formed on the uppermost layer of the recording material 60 is improved. You may make it improve. The piece of the recording material 60 on which the transparent film is formed in the laminating unit 92 is cut into each image by the second cutter 56 after the recorded images are sequentially read in the image reading unit 52, and is stored in the storage box 102.

Next, the processing capacity maintenance processing performed by the printer control unit 42 will be described. In the processing capacity maintenance process by the printer control unit 42, in the state where a large number of images are continuously recorded on the recording material 60, in parallel with image recording, (1) clogging of the ejection port of the recording head 46, (2) ) Reduction of the amount of ink droplets ejected from the recording head 46, (3) defective output image due to other causes, (4) image data storage section 40
It is monitored whether or not each of the events such as the decrease in free space in (5), and (5) consumption of the entire amount of the recording material 60 has occurred. It should be noted that these events correspond to the events that hinder the image recording described in claim 5.

For events (1) to (3), the image reading unit 52
The presence or absence of occurrence is monitored using the output image data input from. Specifically, the printer control unit 42 may output a part or all (preferably all, every one frame to several frames) of an output image output by recording an image on the recording material 60 with the inkjet printer 16. Each recording head 4
It is desirable to read the images recorded by 6 at the same rate) by the image reading unit 52 to obtain output image data.

The recording image data input from the image processing device 14 to the ink jet printer 16 and accumulated and stored in the image data accumulating section 40 is accumulated until the image quality of the corresponding output image is judged to be proper. It is stored in the section 40. Therefore, in order to compare the acquired output image data with the recording image data, the printer control unit 42 sets the resolution of one of the output image data and the recording image data to match that of the other image data. Image processing such as resolution conversion and density conversion for matching the screen average density with the other image data is performed.

It should be noted that in order to avoid a decrease in the determination accuracy of the processing which will be described later due to a slight shift in the pixel position and to shorten the processing time, the output image data and the recording image data have the same and low resolution. You may make it convert into.

Next, the output image data that has undergone the above-described image processing and the recording image data are compared in density for each color component in units of individual pixels, and the density value for each color component considers the error. It is determined whether or not there is a pixel that is different by a predetermined value or more that has been set. When the density difference for each color component of each pixel from the recording image data is less than the predetermined value, the image quality of the output image is an appropriate image quality that substantially matches the image represented by the recording image data. Since it can be determined that the items (1) to (3) have not occurred, the processing for the corresponding output image is terminated and the corresponding recording image data is deleted from the image data storage unit 40.

On the other hand, when there is a pixel whose density difference for each color component from the recording image data is a predetermined value or more, the number and distribution of similar pixels on the image are determined. For example, when the number of pixels whose density difference for each color component from the recording image data is a predetermined value or more is very small and the distribution is not concentrated at a specific position on the image, the change in the visible image quality Since it can be determined that the events (1) to (3) have not occurred, the processing for the corresponding output image ends, and the corresponding recording image data is stored in the image data storage unit 40.
Erase from.

When only a part of the output image is read, the output image is read for the handling of the recording image data corresponding to the image for which the image reading unit 52 did not read the output image. Of the images, for example, when it is determined that the events (1) to (3) do not occur with respect to the closest image on the front side and the rear side that are recorded by the same recording head 46 and in the recording order on the recording material, The recording image data may be deleted from the image data storage unit 40.

If there are a predetermined number or more of pixels whose density difference for each color component from the recording image data is a predetermined value or more, events (1) to (3) have occurred. It is determined that there is a possibility that the corresponding recording image data is erased from the image data storage unit 40, and at the same time, a pixel having a density difference between the recording image data and each color component of a predetermined value or more is a recording material. It is determined whether or not it is continuous along the direction corresponding to the width direction of 60.

In the recording head 46 according to this embodiment, the ejection port of the specific nozzle is clogged, and the ink of the specific color is not ejected from the ejection port, or the ejection amount of the ink of the specific color is small. In this case, on the output image, the missing portion of the specific color appears as a defect portion which is continuous in a stripe shape along the width direction of the recording material 60. In addition, the recording head 4
The image recording by 6 is performed by conveying the recording material 60 in the longitudinal direction while reciprocating the recording head 46 in the width direction of the recording material 60. Therefore, the above-mentioned defective portion is formed in the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60. Will appear periodically along the direction corresponding to.

When a discharge nozzle of a specific nozzle of the specific recording head 46 is clogged, similar defective portions appear in a plurality of output images recorded by the specific recording head 46. Therefore, when the defective portion is detected, it is determined whether or not the defective portion is present in each of a plurality of output images recorded by the same recording head 46 at the time when they are close to each other. When each of the above-mentioned defective parts is detected from the output image, it is determined whether or not the appearance cycles of the defective parts are the same. As a result, the accuracy of the determination of the clogging of the ejection port can be further improved.

If the above conditions are met, the printer control unit 42 determines that the event (1), that is, the ejection port of the specific nozzle of the specific recording head 46 is clogged.
The image recording by each recording head 46 is temporarily stopped, and the pump 112 of the specific recording head 46 is operated to clear the clogging of the ejection port. Note that when the ejection ports of a large number of nozzles are clogged at the same time, a part or all of the output image may be lost, or the image may not be recorded at all. Since the condition (1) is satisfied, the process for clearing the clogging of the ejection port of the recording head 46 is similarly performed. In addition, the output image in which the above-mentioned defective portion is detected is discarded as an abnormal image, and after it is determined that the clogging of the ejection port has been eliminated, the image data for recording is stored using the recording image data stored in the image data storage unit 40. Record again.

In order to operate the pump 112, it is necessary to suspend image recording as described above. Therefore, if the density change (reduction in the amount of ejected ink droplets) due to the clogging of the ejection port is relatively small and the nozzle in which the ejection port is clogged can be identified, the pump 11
Instead of activating No. 2, only the ejection signal for driving the specific nozzle in which the ejection port is clogged,
It may be changed so as to compensate for the density change due to clogging of the ejection port.

The clogging of the ejection port of the recording head 46 may not be cleared even if the pump 112 is operated.
In such a case, an operator is called by activating an alarm. At this time, until the operator performs maintenance work until the clogging of the ejection port of the recording head 46 is cleared, in the present embodiment, 3
Utilizing the fact that the individual recording heads 46 are provided, the image recording is continued using only the recording heads 46 in which the ejection openings are not clogged. Note that this processing is defined in claim 6.
It corresponds to the described invention. As a result, even if the discharge port of the specific recording head 46 is clogged, which is difficult to solve even if the pump 112 is operated, the number of image recordings per unit time by the inkjet printer 16 is significantly reduced. Can be prevented.

When the number of recording heads 46 for recording an image changes, the number of frames of images recorded in parallel also changes, and for example, one of the three recording heads 46 is clogged with the ejection port. In this case, since the image is recorded by using the two recording heads 46, it is possible to record the image by one image recording.
The frame images will be recorded in parallel. For this reason,
The printer control unit 42 controls the operation of the first cutter 54 so that the recording material 60 is cut by the first cutter 54 in units of the recording range of an image of 2 frames or a multiple of 2 (for example, 4). do it.

Further, there are a predetermined number or more of pixels whose density difference for each color component from the recording image data is a predetermined value or more, and the density difference for each color component from the recording image data is a predetermined value or more. If the pixels are distributed almost evenly over the output image,
That is, when the tint of the image is entirely changed, the printer control unit 42 determines that the phenomenon (2) for the specific color, that is, the ejection amount of the ink droplets from the recording head 46 is decreased, and the recording is performed. By temporarily stopping the image recording by the head 46 and operating the supply pump 110, the ink of a specific color is transferred from the sub tank 108 to the main tank 10.
Supply to 4.

As a result, if the decrease in the ejection amount of the generated ink droplets is caused by the insufficient supply of ink to the recording head 46, the supply pump 110 is operated as described above to eliminate the reduction in the ejection amount. can do. An output image that meets the above conditions is discarded as an abnormal image, and after it is determined that the shortage of ink supply has been resolved, the image is recorded using the recording image data stored in the image data storage unit 40. Do it again.

Even when the ejection amount of the ink droplets from the recording head 46 decreases, a similar tint change (a pixel having a density difference of a specific color component equal to or more than a predetermined value) is generated in a plurality of output images.
(A predetermined number or more are present substantially uniformly over the entire output image). Therefore, even when the above-mentioned image quality deterioration is detected,
If it is determined whether or not the tint change occurs for a plurality of output images recorded at times close to each other, the accuracy of the determination of the decrease in the ejection amount of ink droplets from the recording head 46 can be improved. It can be further improved.

Further, the decrease in the ejection amount of the ink droplets from the recording head 46 may occur due to a cause other than the insufficient supply of ink, and therefore the ejection amount may not be reduced even if the supply pump 110 is operated. In such a case, instead of operating the supply pump 110, only the ejection signal for driving each nozzle that ejects the ink of the specific color in which the ejection amount of the ink droplet has decreased is reduced in ejection amount. It may be changed so as to compensate for (decrease in density).

When the ejection amount of the ink droplets from the recording head 46 is extremely reduced and the ejection amount is not reduced by operating the supply pump 110, the cause of the supply pump 110 is as a cause. Failure or sub tank 108
It is conceivable that the total amount of ink stored in the ink will be consumed. In such a case, it is difficult to eliminate the decrease in the ejection amount even if the ejection signal is changed. Therefore, an operator is called by activating an alarm. As a result, it is possible to prevent the number of sheets processed per unit time from decreasing due to the state in which the ejection amount is extremely reduced, that is, the state in which the image cannot be normally recorded. Further, similarly to the case where the clogging of the ejection port, which is difficult to solve, occurs, the image recording may be continued using only the recording head 46 other than the recording head 46 in which the ejection amount extremely decreases. .

Further, when the image quality deterioration such as the defective portion and the tint change as described above is detected with respect to the specific output image, but the similar image quality deterioration does not occur with the other output images, the detection is performed. The image quality change that occurred is a temporary image quality that suddenly occurs, such as when data is garbled for some reason when the recording image data is transferred, or the power supply voltage fluctuates temporarily during image recording. It can be judged to be a decrease. Therefore, in the above case, the printer control unit 42 determines that the output image is defective due to the event (3), that is, other cause, and only for the specific output image in which the image quality deterioration is detected. , The image is recorded again using the same recording image data. As a result, in most cases, an output image with an appropriate image quality can be obtained.

Regarding the decrease in free space of the image data storage unit 40 of event (4), the presence or absence of occurrence is monitored by constantly monitoring the free space of the image data storage unit 40. Specifically, the printer control unit 42 stores the free space of the image data storage unit 40, and when storing and storing the recording image data output from the image processing apparatus 14 in the image data storage unit 40. The stored free space is reduced by the data amount of the recording image data to be stored and stored. Further, when it is determined that the image quality of the output image is appropriate and the corresponding recording image data is deleted from the image data storage unit 40, the stored free space is calculated as the data amount of the deleted recording image data. Increase by minutes.

Then, each time the stored free space is updated, it is determined whether or not the updated free space has become less than or equal to a predetermined value. If the determination is negative, no processing is performed, but image recording is temporarily stopped for the operation of the pump 112 due to, for example, clogging of the ejection port of the recording head 46 described above, and When it is necessary to re-record an image having a defective portion in the output image, the free space of the image data storage unit 40 is simply reduced until the re-recording of the image is completed. Therefore, the determination is likely to be affirmed. If the determination is affirmative, the image processing apparatus 14 is requested to temporarily stop the output of the recording image data.

As a result, the image data storage unit 40 becomes full while the recording image data input from the image processing apparatus 14 is being stored in the image data storage unit 40, and the recording image data is It is possible to prevent inconveniences such as the image recording in the inkjet printer 16 becoming impossible and the processing in the image processing device 14 stopping midway because the communication sequence for transfer is stopped halfway. be able to.

When image recording is performed on the recording material 60 using the image data sequentially output from the film scanner 12 by the film scanner 12 continuously reading film images, as described above, Instead of requesting the image processing apparatus 14 to stop the output of the recording image data, the film scanner 12 may be requested to temporarily stop the reading of the film image.

Whether or not the total consumption of the recording material 60 in the event (5) occurs is determined by, for example, determining whether or not the load applied to the motor for driving the pulling and conveying motor is below a predetermined value. Is monitored. When it is determined that the recording material 60 stored in the magazine 62 has been completely consumed, an alarm is activated to call the operator. As a result, it is possible to prevent the number of sheets processed per unit time from decreasing due to the state in which the magazine 62 is not replaced, that is, the state in which an image cannot be recorded continues.

Next, the image processing unit 38 of the image processing apparatus 14
The processing capacity maintenance processing performed by will be briefly described. In the processing capacity maintenance process by the image processing unit 38, while the inkjet printer 16 continuously records a large number of images on the recording material 60, in parallel with image recording,
It is monitored whether or not each event of (6) failure of the film scanner 12 and (7) reading error of the photographic film 24 by the film scanner 12 occurs. It should be noted that these events also correspond to the obstacles to the image recording described in claim 5.

The image processing section 38 uses the film scanner 12
If an error occurs in the communication with the film scanner 12, it is determined that the event (6), that is, the failure has occurred in the film scanner 12. Further, when the image data input from the film scanner 12 has an abnormality such as an extremely high or low density of all pixels, the image processing unit 38 causes the film scanner 12 to perform the event (7), That is, it is determined that a reading error has occurred.

When it is determined that the above event (6) or event (7) has occurred, an alarm is activated to call the operator. As a result, it is possible to prevent the number of sheets processed per unit time from decreasing due to the state in which the above-mentioned phenomenon occurs, that is, the state in which an image cannot be recorded.

In the above description, as an algorithm for monitoring the occurrence of events (1) to (3), an example in which output image data and recording image data are compared and a plurality of output image data are mutually compared has been described. However, this algorithm is just an example, comparing output image data and recording image data,
You may make it perform only one of the mutual comparison of several output image data.

Further, as image data used for comparison with the output image data, instead of the recording image data, the image data input from the film scanner 12 or a predetermined image processing (for example, LUT (lookup) Image data obtained by performing simple image processing such as conversion by a table) or matrix calculation may be used. In particular, the loss of a part or the whole of the output image due to the clogging of the ejection port of the nozzle of the recording head 46 can be accurately detected even by using the above image data.

When the original image is a film image recorded on the 135-size photographic film 24, whether the recording format of the film image as the original image is the 135-size standard format or the panorama-size format,
It can be easily detected by using the above image data. Therefore, by comparing the output image data with the above-mentioned image data, the recording format is erroneously detected as the 135 size standard format, even though the recording format of the film image is the panorama size format, and the 135 size standard format is detected. It is possible to detect the occurrence of a malfunction in the image processing performed by the image processing device 14 such as the image processing for the image.

Further, in the above, the recording heads 46A to 46C are used.
An example of a configuration in which images of a plurality of frames are recorded in parallel by moving the recording material 60 back and forth along the width direction of the recording material 60 and conveying the recording material 60 at a constant speed along the longitudinal direction of the recording material 60 will be described. However, the present invention is not limited to this configuration. As an example, as shown in FIG. 6, the recording head 120 in which a large number of nozzles are arranged over the entire width of the recording material 60 is used. A plurality of images are recorded in parallel by recording each image with each recording head 120 while arranging a plurality along the longitudinal direction at intervals and moving the recording material 60 at a constant speed. You may. The recording head 120 corresponds to the recording head described in claim 3. In this mode, although the number of ejection ports of the recording head is greatly increased, the maintenance becomes complicated, but since it is not necessary to reciprocate the recording head, the configuration of the inkjet printer 16 can be simplified.

Further, in the above description, the case where N frames of images are recorded in parallel on the recording material 60 and then the N frame image recording area is separated and conveyed as a piece of the recording material 60 has been described, but the present invention is not limited to this. Instead, the image recording area for N frames may be separated from the recording material 60 in advance from the long recording material 60, and then the image of N frames may be recorded on the separated pieces of the recording material 60. Then N
The image recording area for frames may be separated from the recording material 60 during image recording.

[0136]

As described above, according to the first aspect of the invention, the recording droplets are ejected from the ejection port of the recording head, and the ejected recording droplets are adhered to the recording material to record an image on the recording material. The length of the recording material is increased by carrying out parallel operation with respect to a plurality of recording heads arranged at different positions on the conveying path for conveying the long recording material in the longitudinal direction of the recording material. Since two or more images are recorded in parallel along the direction and the recording material on which the images are recorded is cut for each image, it is possible to obtain a compact image recording device capable of recording a large number of images at high speed. Has excellent effect.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, in the first aspect of the invention, each recording head is reciprocated while recording material is being conveyed, and each recording head ejects a recording droplet. Since two or more images are recorded on the recording material in parallel, in addition to the above effects, there is an effect that the maintenance of the recording head becomes easy.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, in the first aspect of the invention, a large number of recording materials are continuously arranged from one end to the other end in the width direction of the recording material being conveyed. Since two or more images are recorded in parallel on a recording material by ejecting recording liquid droplets from each recording head having an ejection port, in addition to the above effects, the device configuration can be simplified. Have.

According to a fifth aspect of the invention, in the invention according to the first aspect, it is determined whether or not an event that hinders image recording by the recording means occurs while the recording means records the image on the recording material. When monitoring and determining that the event has occurred, processing for removing the obstacle or the event is performed. It has an effect that improvement can be realized.

According to a sixth aspect of the invention, in the fifth aspect of the invention, when it is determined that the clogging of the ejection port of the specific recording head has occurred as an obstacle to the image recording, the ejection port is clogged. Since the image recording is continued using only the other recording head in which the occurrence of the problem does not occur, in addition to the above effect, the image recording on the recording material can be performed even when the ejection port of the recording head is clogged which is difficult to eliminate. It has the effect that it can be continued.

According to a seventh aspect of the present invention, in the first aspect of the invention, the recording material is wound in advance in a roll shape, and the recording material is pulled out from the roll of the recording material and conveyed. In addition, there is an effect that handling of the recording material when the recording material is loaded into the image recording apparatus is improved.

According to an eighth aspect of the invention, in the first aspect of the invention, there is provided a first transport path for transporting the recording material substantially vertically and a first transport path for transporting the recording material substantially vertically. A second transport path for transporting in a direction substantially opposite to the transport path,
Since it is configured to be connected through the inversion path that inverts the transport direction, in addition to the above effects, there is an effect that the installation floor area of the image recording apparatus can be significantly reduced.

According to a ninth aspect of the invention, in the first aspect of the invention, the cutting means is a first cutting means for cutting the recording material in units of recording areas of two or more images, and the image is recorded. In addition to the above effect, the image is formed by a second cutting unit that cuts the recording material that is cut and conveyed in units of two or more image recording areas as a unit and is cut in units of individual image recording areas. Even when the predetermined post-processing is performed on the recorded recording material, the recording means is not affected by recording the image in units of two or more images, and is continuously conveyed to the recording material. This has the effect that predetermined post-processing can be performed.

According to a tenth aspect of the invention, in the invention of the ninth aspect, an image of an individual image is recorded on a recording material that is cut and conveyed in units of recording areas of two or more images. A process of forming a transparent film on the image recording surface of the recording material before cutting the recording area as a unit,
Also, since a predetermined post-treatment including at least one of the treatment of applying thermal energy to the recording material to remove the solvent contained in the recording droplets attached to the recording material is performed, in addition to the above effects, recording of individual images is performed. There is an effect that it is possible to suppress variations in the processing result of the predetermined post-processing on the region.

[Brief description of drawings]

FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of an image recording system according to this embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a schematic configuration diagram of an inkjet printer.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing an example of an image recording mechanism.

FIG. 4 is a diagram schematically showing a mechanism for supplying ink to the recording head.

5A to 5F are schematic diagrams for explaining a sequence of image recording and recording material cutting in an inkjet printer.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing another example of the image recording mechanism.

[Explanation of symbols]

10 Image recording system 16 inkjet printer 42 Printer control unit 46 recording head 50 Heating and drying section 54 1st cutter 56 Second cutter 60 recording material 64 transport path 92 Laminating section 94 Transparent polymer sheet 120 recording head

─────────────────────────────────────────────────── ─── Continuation of the front page (51) Int.Cl. 7 Identification code FI theme code (reference) B65H 15/00 B65H 35/06 35/06 B41J 3/04 101Z (72) Inventor Eiichi Kitou Kanagawa Ashigara 798, Miyadai, Gunkaisei-cho Fujishi Photo Film Co., Ltd. F-term (reference) 2C055 KK00 KK03 KK13 2C056 EA01 FA10 HA29 2C058 AB02 AB08 AC07 AD01 AE04 AE09 AF06 AF15 AF31 AF45 AF55 LA03 LA23 LB17 LC02 2C060 BA01 BC22 BC04 BC04 BC04 BC04 AA11 AB01 BA06 BB02 DA14 EA03 EC03

Claims (10)

[Claims]
1. A conveying means for conveying a recording material along a conveying path for conveying a long recording material in a longitudinal direction of the recording material, and a conveying path on the conveying path along the conveying direction of the recording material. A plurality of recording heads arranged at mutually different positions are provided, recording droplets are ejected from ejection ports of the recording heads, and the ejected recording droplets are attached to the recording material to record an image on the recording material. Recording means for recording two or more images in parallel along the longitudinal direction of the recording material by performing the recording heads in parallel with each other, and images are recorded by the recording means and are conveyed on the conveying path. An image recording apparatus including: a cutting unit that cuts the recording material for each image.
2. The recording means includes a moving means for reciprocating the respective recording heads along the width direction of the recording material, and the recording heads are moved while the recording material is being conveyed by the conveying means. 2. The image recording apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the two or more images are recorded in parallel on the recording material by reciprocating by the moving unit and ejecting recording droplets from each recording head.
3. Each of the recording heads has a large number of ejection openings arranged continuously from one end to the other end in the width direction of the recording material, and the recording means conveys the recording material by the conveying means. 2. The image recording apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the two or more images are recorded in parallel on the recording material by ejecting recording liquid droplets from each recording head in the state of being kept.
4. The recording means, based on the image data of the two or more images to be recorded in parallel, which are obtained by the reading means reading the two or more original images, from the ejection ports of the respective recording heads. The image recording apparatus according to claim 1, wherein recording liquid droplets are ejected.
5. A monitoring unit for monitoring whether or not an event that obstructs image recording by the recording unit has occurred while the recording unit is recording an image on a recording material; and the event by the monitoring unit. The image recording apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a processing unit that performs a process for removing the fault or the event when it is determined that the occurrence of the fault occurs.
6. The processing means comprises:
When it is determined that clogging of the ejection port of a specific recording head has occurred as an obstacle to the image recording, the ejection port is not clogged as a process for removing the phenomenon. The image recording apparatus according to claim 5, wherein processing for continuing image recording is performed using only the recording head.
7. The image recording apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the recording material is preliminarily wound in a roll shape, and the conveying means draws the recording material from a roll of the recording material and conveys the recording material.
8. The transport path for transporting a recording material in a substantially vertical direction and a transport path for transporting a recording material in a substantially vertical direction and in a direction substantially opposite to the first transport path. The image recording apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the second transport path is connected via an inversion path that inverts the transport direction.
9. The cutting unit cuts the recording material conveyed through the conveying path in units of recording areas of two or more images at any timing before image recording, during image recording, and after image recording. An image is recorded by the first cutting unit and the recording unit, the first cutting unit cuts the recording area of two or more images as a unit, and the conveying unit conveys the image on the conveyance path. The image recording apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a second cutting unit that cuts the recording material in units of recording areas of individual images.
10. A recording material, on which an image is recorded by the recording unit, is cut by the first cutting unit in units of recording regions of two or more images, and is conveyed on the conveying path by the conveying unit. On the other hand, the recording is performed by forming a transparent film on the image recording surface of the recording material before the recording area of each image is cut as a unit by the second cutting means, and by applying heat energy to the recording material. 10. The image recording apparatus according to claim 9, further comprising processing means for performing a predetermined post-processing including at least one of processing for removing the solvent contained in the recording droplets attached to the material.
JP2001250694A 2001-08-21 2001-08-21 Image recorder Pending JP2003054044A (en)

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