JP2007048303A - Printer, printing system and program - Google Patents

Printer, printing system and program Download PDF

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Publication number
JP2007048303A
JP2007048303A JP2006243681A JP2006243681A JP2007048303A JP 2007048303 A JP2007048303 A JP 2007048303A JP 2006243681 A JP2006243681 A JP 2006243681A JP 2006243681 A JP2006243681 A JP 2006243681A JP 2007048303 A JP2007048303 A JP 2007048303A
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Prior art keywords
print
data
reservation
print data
means
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JP2006243681A
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Japanese (ja)
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Masataka Maeda
昌孝 前田
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Brother Ind Ltd
ブラザー工業株式会社
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Priority to JP2006243681A priority Critical patent/JP2007048303A/en
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Abstract

<P>PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To inexpensively construct a network printing system, in a network printing system for executing print output according to a reserved printing time. <P>SOLUTION: In reserving print to a printer 1, a client PC 2 transmits only reservation data such as a file name and a print termination time limit and stores the print data itself in an HDD 21. In the printer 1, the reservation is accepted by recording the reservation data from the client PC 2 in a print reservation recording part 18; and the transmission of the print data is requested to the client PC 2 in actual print output. Thereby, the print data are transmitted from the client PC 2 and the print output is executed in the printer 1. Since the printer 1 acquires the print data in the actual print output, it is not necessary to store the print data during the reservation through the print output. <P>COPYRIGHT: (C)2007,JPO&INPIT

Description

  The present invention relates to a printer and a printing system in which the printer and a plurality of client devices are connected to each other via a network so as to be able to transmit and receive data.

  2. Description of the Related Art Conventionally, there is known a network printing system configured such that each client device can share a printer by connecting a printer and a plurality of client devices (for example, a personal computer) to each other via a network.

  In such a network printing system, since the same printer is shared by a plurality of client devices, if a print job from a certain client device is printed out by the printer, another print job is output until the print output is completed. Will be waiting. In particular, when a large amount of print data is printed out, the printer is occupied for a long time, which greatly affects other print jobs (especially highly urgent jobs).

  Depending on the type of print job, it is not always necessary to print out immediately when a print job request is made to the printer. If the printed material only needs to be available by the end of a certain period of time, or if the effect on other print jobs is considered, the printer There are many cases in which you want to print out a large amount of data at night when the usage frequency is low.

In order to solve these problems, for example, as disclosed in Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2004-133620, a technique has been proposed that can specify a print output time when a print job is requested from a client device. In other words, when a request (reservation) for a print job with a specified print output time is received from the client device, the print data is stored as it is until the specified time, and the print output is executed when the specified time comes. It is.
JP-A-6-340151 JP-A-9-231028

  When the print server prints a print job that has received a reservation from the client device according to the reserved print time, it prints each of the reserved print jobs individually, and the print device And wasteful consumption of ink and the like.

  That is, for example, in the case of a laser printer, a warm-up operation such as a fixing device temperature increase is performed each time a print output of a reserved print job is executed. There is a risk that wasteful consumption will increase.

  The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and accepts a print job reservation made by designating a print time from a client device on the printer side (printer main body or server machine for print data processing), and designated print. An object of the present invention is to make it possible to construct a printing system at a low cost in a printing system in which print output is executed according to time.

  In order to solve the above-described problem, the invention according to claim 1 is a printer connected to a client device via a network, and receives reservation data including a reserved print time of print data from the client device. Reservation data receiving means, reservation data storage means for storing reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means, and print data relating to the reservation data from the client device according to the reservation print time stored in the reservation data storage means Reservation data related to print data other than the print data acquired by the first print data acquisition means, on condition that the print data is acquired by the first print data acquisition means and the first print data acquisition means. If the reservation data is stored in the reservation storage means, the reservation data A second print data acquisition unit for acquiring print data relating to a printer, and a print unit for printing the print data acquired by the first print data acquisition unit and the second print data acquisition unit It is.

  Furthermore, the print data acquired by the first print data acquisition means may be print data of the earliest time stored in the reserved data storage means for the reserved print time of the print data.

  Further, the reserved data includes a print end time as the reserved print time and a data amount of print data related to the reserved data, and a required print time required for printing the print data, When the reservation data is received by the calculation means for calculating based on the data amount and the reservation data receiving means, the print end time of the reservation data stored in the reservation data storage means and the reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means The condition is that the print end time comparing means for comparing the print end time of the data and the print end time comparing means determine that the print end time of the reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means is earlier. All the reservation data stored in the reservation storage means, including the reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means A print start setting for setting a time obtained as a result of subtracting the sum of the required print time and the startup time of the printer from the print end time of the reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means as the print start time of the print data And the first print data acquisition unit and the second print data acquisition unit may acquire the print data when the print start time comes.

  The printing system according to the present invention is a printing system in which a print server connected to a printing device and a plurality of client devices are connected to each other via a network so that data can be transmitted and received between them. The data is temporarily stored in the storage medium, and the reservation data transmitting means for transmitting the reservation data including at least the reserved print time of the print data to the print server, and the transmission request for the print data from the print server are received. Print data transmission means for transmitting the print data stored in the storage medium to the print server as a condition, the print server receiving reservation data from the client device; and The reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means is the same as the client that transmitted the reservation data. Reservation data storage means for storing together with the identification information of the printing device, and first print data acquisition for acquiring print data relating to the reservation data from the client device in accordance with the reserved printing time and the identification information stored in the reservation data storage means And reservation data relating to print data other than the print data acquired by the first print data acquisition means on condition that the print data is acquired by the first print data acquisition means, the reservation data being When stored in the reservation storage means, the print data related to the reservation data is acquired by the second print data acquisition means according to the identification information, the first print data acquisition means, and the second print data acquisition means. Print output means for causing the printing device to print the print data. And features.

  That is, when the client device makes a print job reservation to the print server, the print data itself is not transmitted, but only the minimum necessary data such as reservation data is transmitted, and printing is actually performed based on the reservation data. In doing so, the print server requests print data from the client device, and when there is a request, the client device sends the print data to the print server. When the print server starts print output by the printing device for one print job, in addition to sending a transmission request to the client apparatus that reserved the print job, for other print jobs that are reserved, Print data is acquired from the corresponding client device and printed out from the printing device.

  The other print jobs that are printed when the earliest print job is printed out may be, for example, all the print jobs that are reserved at that time, or all the print jobs that are reserved. From among them, a print job whose reserved print time is relatively close to the time at that time may be appropriately picked up, and may be determined as long as it does not deviate from the purpose of efficiently printing while suppressing waste of power.

  Note that the reserved printing time may be, for example, the time at which printing starts, the time at which printing should end, or a wider range, for example, “between 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock”, or the like It may be a time indicating that a predetermined time has elapsed from the reservation execution time, and variously considered.

  The print device and the print server may be physically independent and separate, and the print device (print execution function) and the print server (print data processing function) are integrated. (For example, a printer or a copier having a server function), and both can take various forms. The network may be either wired or wireless.

  Further, as a program according to the present invention, a printer comprising reservation data storage means for storing reservation data including the reservation print time of print data received from the client apparatus, and printing means for printing the print data acquired from the client apparatus According to the reserved printing time stored in the reserved data storage means, the first print data acquiring means for acquiring print data relating to the reserved data from the client device, and the first print data acquiring means for acquiring the print data If the reservation data is related to print data other than the print data acquired by the first print data acquisition means, and the reservation data is stored in the reservation storage means, the printing related to the reservation data is performed. Second print data acquisition means for acquiring data, the first mark Characterized in that to function print data acquired by the data acquisition means and said second print data acquisition unit print control means for printing by printing means as. The computer of the present invention can be realized by the computer executing such a program on the printer.

  The program of the present invention is recorded on a computer-readable recording medium such as a floppy (registered trademark) disk, a magneto-optical disk, a CD-ROM, or a hard disk, and loaded into the computer and started as necessary. Can be used. In addition, the ROM or backup RAM may be recorded as a computer-readable recording medium, and the ROM or backup RAM may be incorporated into a computer and used.

  According to the present invention, only reservation data is accepted at the time of reservation from the client device, and the first or second print data acquisition means requests print data from the client device at the time of printing execution. There is no need for the print server to store print data.

  Further, when printing out one print data among print jobs being reserved, not only the print data but also other print jobs (some or all) being reserved are also printed out. Therefore, waste of power, ink, and the like in the printing device can be suppressed, and efficient printing can be performed.

  According to the configuration of the third aspect, in addition to the above effect, an appropriate print start time is calculated for each print job, and print output can be reliably completed for all print data by the print end time designated for reservation. it can.

  Preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the drawings.

  FIG. 1 is an explanatory diagram showing a schematic configuration of a network printing system according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 1, the network printing system according to the present embodiment allows a printer 1 and a plurality of client-side personal computers (hereinafter referred to as “client PCs”) 2 and 3 to transmit and receive data to and from each other via a network 4. Connected to and configured.

  Although not shown, a plurality of client PCs are connected to the network 4 in addition to the client PCs 2 and 3, and all the client PCs 2, 3,... Share the printer 1. However, in this embodiment, since each of the client PCs 2, 3,... Connected to the network 4 has the same configuration, in the following description, the description will be given focusing on the client PC 2.

  When the printer 1 receives a print job request from the client PC 2 connected to the network 4, the printer 1 prints the print job onto a print sheet. In this embodiment, the client PC 2 prints the print end time limit when the print job is requested. A print reservation is made by designating (print end time) or the like, and a print output is executed by the printer 1 by the designated print end time limit.

  When a print reservation is made by the client PC 2, only the minimum necessary data such as the print end time limit and the print data size is transmitted to the printer 1, and the print data itself is stored by the client PC 2 and the printer according to the print end time limit. The client PC 2 transmits print data to the printer 1 when printing out at 1. This is the most characteristic function provided in the network printing system of the present embodiment. Hereinafter, this function will be described in detail.

  First, the configuration and function of the client PC 2 will be outlined. The client PC 2 (corresponding to the client device of the present invention), like a general personal computer, starts various operating software such as the application 23 and the printer driver 22 on the OS when the OS (Operating System) is started at the same time as the power is turned on. Is what works.

  When various kinds of application data such as document data and image data created on the application 23 are requested by a user (creator or the like) for a print job for the application data, the printer driver 22 once performs EMF (Enhanced Meta File: After being converted into data in an intermediate file (independent file type) format, it is further converted into a PDL (Page Description Language: page description language) suitable for the printer 1.

  Then, only the data relating to the print reservation is transmitted to the printer 1, and the print data in the PDL format itself is not immediately transmitted to the printer 1, but once a hard disk (corresponding to the storage medium of the present invention; (Hereinafter referred to as “HDD”) 21.

  Specifically, when a user makes a print setting request by performing a predetermined operation on the application 23 when printing application data, the printer driver 22 that receives the request performs a liquid crystal display of the client PC 2. Various print setting dialogs are displayed on the display device 24 (see FIG. 4). The user performs various settings necessary for printing, such as specifying the paper size, the number of copies, and either color or monochrome, in accordance with this setting dialog. In this setting, a print reservation is made by specifying a print end time limit.

  After performing these various print settings, when a print execution request is made by a predetermined operation (for example, by clicking a print execution tab (not shown) in the liquid crystal display device 24 by a mouse operation), the client PC 2 displays 2 is transmitted to the printer 1, and the print data itself is stored in the HDD 21.

  The reserved print job data includes a transmission source address as an identification code, a transmission destination printer address (IP address of the printer 1), and print reservation data. Of these, the print reservation data further includes a file name of the print data, The print end time limit, the print data size (data amount), and the print mode as the print mode.

  The source address is specifically an individual IP address and client ID given to each client PC. In this embodiment, the ID of the client PC 2 is set to 15 and the ID of the client PC 3 is set to 4 in advance. In addition, the print mode may be related to the size of various print processing speeds such as resolution information and information about whether to print in color or monochrome. For example, the resolution information is low when the user sets the print speed to give priority to complete printing earlier, and the resolution information is higher when the user wants to print beautifully with priority given to the appearance even if the print speed is slow. It becomes resolution.

  When the reserved print job data is transmitted, the fact that the reservation of the print job has been completed is recorded in the print reserved table as shown in FIG. This print reserved table is set in an area reserved in advance in the HDD 21. FIG. 3A shows that a print job having a file name “word2.prn” is reserved. Illustrated.

  After the print reservation is completed in this way, the print data stored in the HDD 21 is transmitted when a print data transmission request (details will be described later) is received from the printer 1, or the liquid crystal display device displays the fact after printing is completed. 24, and when the client PC 2 is shut down, various processes such as sending print data of the reserved print job to the printer 1 are performed. It will be described in.

  Next, the configuration and functions of the printer 1 will be outlined. In the printer 1, a controller 13 including a CPU, a ROM, a RAM, and the like (all not shown) executes various processes while writing / reading various information to / from the memory 11, and actually performs printing paper and printing. The print job from the client PC 2 is executed by controlling the operation of the print output unit 12 (corresponding to the print device of the present invention) that performs print output to various print media such as an OHP film. The controller 13 and the memory 11 constitute a print server of the present invention.

  When reserved print job data (FIG. 2) is transmitted by execution of print reservation by the client PC 2, the controller 13 records the reserved print job data in the print reservation recording area 18 in the memory 11. More specifically, a print reservation acceptance table as shown in FIG. 3B is set in the print reservation recording area 18, and the contents of reserved print job data are recorded in this print reservation acceptance table. Become.

  FIG. 3B shows a print reservation (No. 1) from the client PC 2 whose client ID is 15, a print reservation (No. 2) from the client PC 3 whose ID is 4, and the ID is 10. A print reservation (No. 3) from a certain client PC (not shown) is illustrated as an example in which the reservation is accepted.

  Of these, in particular, paying attention to the print reservation contents (reservation No. 1) by the client PC 2, the file name is “word2.prn” and the print end time limit is “reserved print job data (especially print reservation data) from the client PC 2. 11:45 on Dec. 10, 2001 ". The required print time (corresponding to the required print time of the present invention) is “10 minutes”. This is also based on the print data size in the print reservation data, and the print mode in the print reservation data. It is obtained by calculation while taking into consideration.

  Similarly, the reservation No. 2 (file name “excel1.prn”) print reservation contents and reservation number. 3 (file name “foo.prn”) is also recorded in the print reservation acceptance table as shown in FIG. 3B based on reserved print job data transmitted from the corresponding client PC. Is done. Also, as shown in FIG. 3B, “11:35” is set as the print start time, which is the print end time limit of all print jobs that have been reserved (in this example, three jobs). And the print start time required to print each print job by the designated deadline based on the print time required, and details thereof will be described later. In this embodiment, when this print start time comes, print output is executed by requesting transmission of print data to the corresponding client PC for all print jobs for which reservations have been accepted. The details of what procedure is performed will be described later.

  The buffer 16 in the memory 11 is normally provided in a general printer for temporarily buffering print data transmitted from the client PC when a print job accepted for reservation is actually printed out. It is well known. Note that print data (PDL format) is converted into bitmap data (data format printable by the print output unit 12) by the controller 13 and buffered in the buffer 16.

  In the present embodiment, when the client PC 2 is in print reservation and has not been printed yet (print data is still stored in the HDD 21) and shuts down despite a print job, the client PC 2 Print data of the reserved print job is transmitted as shutdown data. Therefore, a storage area 17 (corresponding to the storage device of the present invention) for storing the shutdown data is set in the memory 11.

  If the shutdown data cannot be saved due to the lack of the storage area 17, all the reserved print jobs including the shutdown data that could not be saved are printed out. To do.

  The printer 1 of this embodiment is a well-known laser beam printer, and the print output unit 12 includes a photosensitive member that carries an electrostatic latent image, and scanning means that scans the photosensitive member with laser light to form an electrostatic latent image. Developing means for developing the electrostatic latent image on the photosensitive member; conveying means for conveying the printing medium; transferring means for transferring the developed developer image from the photosensitive member to the printing medium; and fixing for fixing the transferred developer image. Various mechanisms for actually printing (image forming) print data on a print medium are provided.

  In this embodiment, as described above, the document data created on the application 23 of the client PC 2 is converted into a PDL suitable for the printer 1 by the printer driver 22, and this PDL is transmitted to the printer 1. However, the present invention is not limited to this. For example, the EMF format may be transmitted to the printer 1 and the EMF format data may be converted into PDL by the printer 1. The format of the data transmitted from the client PC 2 to the printer 1 Is not particularly limited.

Next, a detailed operation until a print job request (print reservation) is made from the client PC 2 and the printer 1 executes print output according to the print reservation will be described. First, the operation of the client PC 2 will be described with reference to FIGS. FIG. 5 is a flowchart showing print job control processing executed as a function of the printer driver 22 when the OS is started and the printer driver 22 starts operating in the client PC 2, and the OS is started. As long as the program stored in the HDD 21 is read, it is always executed.

When this process is started, various commands from the application 23 or the OS itself are waited. First, in step (hereinafter abbreviated as “S”) 120, it is determined whether or not a print setting request has been received from the application 23. The As described above, the print setting request is made when the user performs a predetermined operation on the application 23 in order to print the application data. If there is this request, the process proceeds to S130, and the liquid crystal display device 24 displays various print setting dialogs, and returns to S120 again. As a result, the user inputs various print setting items including the print end time limit.

  In S140, it is determined whether or not there is a print execution request from the application 23. This print execution request has a print execution tab in one of the setting dialogs displayed in S130, and is made by clicking this print execution tab with a mouse operation. That is, this print execution request can be made when the setting dialog is displayed in S130 and various print settings are possible.

  If print execution is requested after inputting various print setting items according to the setting dialog, the process proceeds to S150. On the other hand, no print setting request is made (S120: NO), while the setting dialog is not displayed (in other words, while a print execution request is not possible), or there is a print setting request, but there are still various types by the user. While the print setting item is being input, the negative determination is continued in S140.

  Details of the print reservation process in S150 are as shown in FIG. As shown in FIG. 6, in this print reservation process, first, print reservation data is created in S310. That is, print reservation data in the format shown in FIG. 2 is created based on various print setting items input by the user in accordance with the setting dialog, and the reserved print job data to which the transmission source address and the transmission destination printer address are added. Is generated.

  When the reserved print job data including the print reservation data is generated in this way, the reserved print job data is transmitted to the printer 1 in S320. In subsequent S330, the print data of the print job reserved for printing is stored in the HDD 21, and in S340, the completion of the print reservation is recorded in the print reserved table in the HDD 21 (FIG. 3 ( a)). Thereby, the print reservation for one print job is completed, and thereafter, the process returns to S120 again.

  Then, unless there is a print setting request or a print execution request again, a negative determination is made in S140, and the processing from S160 onward is performed. In S160, it is determined whether or not there is a print data transmission request from the printer 1. In other words, when a print job reserved for printing is printed out by the printer 1 in accordance with the print end time limit set for reservation, since there is a request to transmit the corresponding print data from the printer 1, it is determined whether or not there is this transmission request. is there.

  If there is a transmission request from the printer 1, the process proceeds to S170, where print data for the requested print job (stored in the HDD 21) is transmitted to the printer 1, and in S180, the print data from the print reserved table is transmitted. Clear (delete) the reservation record for the print job that sent

  On the other hand, while there is no transmission request from the printer 1, a negative determination is made in S160, the process proceeds to S190, and it is determined whether or not a print end notification is received from the printer 1. In this case, the printer 1 actually prints out a print job for which print reservation has been made, and when the print job is completed, a notification to that effect is transmitted from the printer 1. When this notification is received, the process proceeds to S200, and a display to that effect (end display) is made on the liquid crystal display device 24, thereby informing the user or the like that the print output by the printer 1 has ended.

  Specifically, as shown in FIG. 4, a character “END” is displayed in a pop-up on the lower right corner of the display device 24 such as a liquid crystal display system. The display of the end state may be anywhere within the display area of the display device 24 in addition to the position described above, or may be a display other than the pop-up. With this display, the user can recognize that the print job reserved for printing is actually printed out by the printer 1.

  While there is no print end notification from the printer 1, a negative determination is made in S190, and the process proceeds to S210. In S210, it is determined whether or not a stop request for the printer driver 22 due to the OS termination has been made. In other words, when the client PC 2 is shut down by a user operation or the like, the OS requests the printer driver 22 to stop the operation. In other words, this S210 is whether or not the client PC 2 is about to be shut down. It can be said that it is a judgment.

  While the client PC 2 is operating normally without being shut down, a negative determination is made in S210 and the process returns to S120. However, if an operation for shutting down is performed, an affirmative determination is made in S210 and S220. Will proceed to. In S220, it is determined whether there is a print job with print reservation, that is, a print job that has only been reserved for printing and has not yet been actually printed out, and print data is still stored in the HDD 21. It is judged whether or not there is.

  At this time, if there is no reserved (unprinted) print job, the printer driver 22 stops the process as it is. If there is a print job that is reserved and not yet printed, the process proceeds to S230. Then, all the reserved print data is transmitted to the printer 1 as shutdown data. After the shutdown data is transmitted, the printer driver 22 stops its operation, and the client PC 2 is shut down only when the printer driver 22 is stopped.

  Next, the operation of the printer 1 will be described with reference to FIGS. FIG. 7 is a flowchart showing print job reception / execution processing executed by the controller 13 in the printer 1, and is always executed according to a program stored in a ROM (not shown) as long as the printer 1 is operating. It is.

  First, in S410, it is determined whether or not print reservation data has been received from the client PC 2, that is, whether or not the reserved print job data shown in FIG. 2 has been received. Advances to S460. The reservation reception process in S460 is as shown in detail in FIG. 8. First, in S610, the contents of the received reservation print job data are recorded in the print reservation reception table (see FIG. 3B). Accept reservations for print jobs. However, at this time, the required print time is still unknown and cannot be recorded, and the next required print time is calculated in S620.

  In step S620, based on the print data size and the print mode in the transmitted print reservation data, the time required to print out the print job by the print output unit 12 (required print time) is calculated. After this calculation, the transmission time when transmitting print data from the client PC 2 to the printer 1 is also calculated based on the print data size, and the required print time is added. This transmission time can be set not to be calculated. That is, the larger the print data size, the longer the transmission time, and the transmission time is added to the required print time.

  When the required print time is obtained in this way, the next print start time is set. In this embodiment, as described above, the print job being reserved (recorded in the print reservation acceptance table). When the print job with the earliest print start time is actually printed out of the print jobs, not only the print job but also all other reserved print jobs are printed out. Therefore, when setting (calculating) the print start time, it is necessary to consider that all print jobs reserved at the time of printing are collectively printed out.

  Therefore, first, in S630, the print end deadline of the print job for which the reservation has been accepted is the earliest end deadline among the print end deadlines for each print job already set in the print reservation acceptance table (in FIG. 3B). It is determined whether or not it is later than the deadline of the job of reservation No. 1 (11:45).

  Here, if it is determined that the print job is late, that is, if there is a print job reservation earlier in the table than the print end deadline of the accepted print job, the process proceeds to S650 and the print start time is calculated. Specifically, from the currently set print start time, the time required to subtract the print time required for the print job accepted for the reservation (calculated in S620), in other words, from the print start time already set. The time that is advanced by the required print time of the print job that has been reserved is set as the new print start time.

  On the other hand, if a negative determination is made in S630, that is, if the print end deadline of the print job that has been reserved is earlier than the print end deadlines of all the print jobs that have already been reserved, the process proceeds to S640 and the print start time is reached. Perform the calculation. More specifically, the time required to print out all the reserved print jobs including the print job is subtracted from the print end deadline (time) of the print job accepted for the reservation, and the startup time of the printer 1 The time obtained by subtracting is used as a new print start time. If the activation time of the printer 1 is short and can be ignored, it is not necessary to subtract the activation time.

  Here, the startup time of the printer 1 is a time required for a warm-up operation such as, for example, raising the temperature of a fixing device (not shown) in the printer 1 of this embodiment configured as a laser beam printer. If all the reserved print jobs are printed according to the new print start time obtained in S640, when the print end deadline of the print job accepted for reservation is reached, not only the print job but also other print jobs For all the print jobs, the print output is completed.

  After the reservation acceptance / print start time is calculated in this way, the process proceeds to S470. In S470, it is determined whether or not the new print start time calculated in S640 or S650 is earlier than the current time. If the print start time is later than the current time, the process proceeds to S480 and the print reservation acceptance table. Set a new print start time for the navel.

  Then, the process returns to S410 again, but unless print reservation data is newly transmitted, a negative determination is made in S410 and the process proceeds to S420. In S420, it is determined whether or not the current time is the print start time set in the print reservation acceptance table. At this time, if the current time has not yet reached the print start time, the process proceeds to S430. If the print start time has been reached, the process proceeds to S490.

  On the other hand, if the print start time is earlier than the current time during the process of S470, the time to start print output has already passed, and it is necessary to execute print output immediately. In this case as well, the process proceeds to S490.

  In S490, a transmission request is made to transmit print data to the corresponding client PC for all print jobs in the reservation recorded in the print reservation acceptance table. As a result, the print data is transmitted from each client PC that has received the transmission request, so that the printer 1 can acquire the print data of all print jobs that are reserved.

  At this time, if there is a client PC that has already been shut down among the client PCs that are subject to a transmission request, the print data of the print job that has been reserved from the client PC is already saved in the memory 11 as the shutdown data. It is stored in the area 17 (details will be described later). Therefore, for the print job, the shutdown data in the storage area 17 is acquired without making a transmission request to the client PC.

  In the subsequent S500, the print output unit 12 prints out the print data and shutdown data acquired in S490. In step S510, a print end notification is transmitted to all reservation source client PCs (except for the client PC that transmitted the shutdown data). Thereafter, the process proceeds to S520, where all data (reservation contents) being recorded in the print reservation acceptance table are cleared. As a result, the print output process for all print jobs for which print reservation is in progress is completed, and the process returns to S410 again to wait for a new print reservation (transmission of reserved print job data).

  By the way, if the print start time has not yet been reached, a negative determination is made in S420, and if the process proceeds to S430, it is determined whether or not shutdown data has been received from the client PC. As long as the shutdown data is not received, a negative determination is made here, and the process returns to S410 again. However, if the shutdown data is received, the process proceeds to S440, and the free space (reception is received in the storage area 17 in the memory 11). It is determined whether or not there is a capacity sufficient to store the shutdown data.

  At this time, if there is free space, the process proceeds to S450 and the shutdown data is stored in the storage area 17. If there is no free space, the process proceeds to S490 and subsequent steps. That is, in addition to the received shutdown data, print output is executed for all print jobs that have been accepted at that time.

  As described above in detail, in the network printing system according to the present embodiment, when a print reservation is made from the client PC to the printer 1, reserved printing including print reservation data such as a file name, a print end time limit, and a print data size at the time of reservation. Only the job data is transmitted, and the print data itself is held on the client PC side. Then, when actually printing out, the printer 1 sends a print data transmission request to the client PC with the print reservation, and the client PC sends the print data to the printer 1 in response to this request. The printer 1 prints out the reserved print job.

  Therefore, according to the network printing system of the present embodiment, it is not necessary to store the print data of the print job reserved for printing in the printer 1, and accordingly, the capacity of the memory 11 of the printer 1 can be kept low. Thus, the cost of the printer 1 can be reduced, and further, the cost of the entire network printing system can be reduced. Moreover, in the present embodiment, when printing out the print job with the earliest print end time among the plurality of print jobs for which the print reservation has been received by the printer 1, not only the print job but all other reservations are reserved. Since the print jobs are also printed out collectively, the number of warm-up operations of the printer 1 is reduced, and waste of power can be saved. When the printer 1 is, for example, an ink jet printer, the number of purges is reduced, and it is possible to eliminate waste of ink.

  In addition, when the reserved print job is shut down even though the reserved print job has not yet been printed out, the client PC is shut down in order to send print data to the printer 1 before the shutdown. However, the result (printed material) of the print output can be obtained with certainty.

  In the print job control process of FIG. 5, the process of S170 corresponds to the process executed by the print data transmission unit of the present invention, the process of S200 corresponds to the process of the second notification unit of the present invention, and S230. 6 corresponds to the process executed by the shutdown data transmission means of the present invention. In the print reservation process of FIG. 6, the process of S320 corresponds to the process executed by the reservation data transmission means of the present invention, and the process of S330 corresponds to this process. This corresponds to the processing executed by the print data storage means of the invention.

  In the print job reception / execution process of FIG. 7, the processes of S420 and S490 both correspond to the process executed by the print data acquisition unit of the present invention, and the process of S500 is the process executed by the print execution unit of the present invention. The processing of S440 and S450 corresponds to the processing executed by the shutdown data storage means of the present invention. In the reservation acceptance processing of FIG. 8, the processing of S620 to S650 is the second start time calculation means of the present invention. Corresponds to the process executed. Furthermore, both the processing of S410 in FIG. 7 and the processing of S610 in FIG. 8 correspond to the processing executed by the reservation receiving means of the present invention.

  The embodiment of the present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiment, and it goes without saying that various forms can be adopted as long as it belongs to the technical scope of the present invention.

  For example, in the above-described embodiment, the print end time limit is adopted as the reserved print time. However, the print end time is not limited to this. For example, the print start time may be used, and for example, “between 2 o'clock and 3 o'clock” Various things are conceivable, such as providing a width. Further, the reservation printing time can be set after a predetermined time has elapsed from the time when the reservation for printing is performed by the client PC. In this case, the predetermined time may be set by acquiring the print reservation time from the timer means built in the client PC and the operator operating the setting means. If the predetermined time is added to the print reservation time acquired from the timer means, the reserved print time is reached.

  In the above embodiment, the print data size is transmitted as one of the print reservation data. However, it is also possible to calculate the required print time in advance on the client PC side and transmit the required print time. . Then, it is not necessary to calculate the required print time from the print data size in the printer 1 as in the above embodiment, and the print start time can be calculated using the sent print required time as it is. .

  In this case, specifically, in the reservation acceptance process of FIG. 8, the process of S620 is not necessary, and the process of S630 to S650 corresponds to the process executed by the first start time calculating means of the present invention. Become.

  Furthermore, in the above-described embodiment, when a print end notification is received from the printer 1, the end display is made on the client PC side (S200 in FIG. 5), but not limited thereto, for example, a print data transmission request from the printer 1 May be displayed (after affirmative determination is made in S160), or may be displayed when print data is transmitted from the client PC to the printer 1 (after S170). Alternatively, various notification (end display) timings can be adopted as long as the user can be notified that the print job reserved for printing is actually executed by the printer 1.

  In the case where the notification timing is used such that when the transmission request is received from the printer 1 or when the print data is transmitted to the printer 1 as described above, the notification timing is used. 1 corresponds to the processing executed by the notification means. Further, the present invention is not limited to display on the display device 24, and for example, a method of generating a sound and informing the surroundings may be employed, and various methods are conceivable as specific methods for notification.

  Furthermore, in the above-described embodiment, the case where the printer 1 incorporating the print server function is connected to a plurality of client PCs via the network 4 has been described as an example. The printer 1 main body may not be provided with a print server function, but may be a network printing system in which the printer 1 and the client PC are separately connected via a print server machine. The network 4 is not limited to a wired network, and may be a wireless network such as a wireless LAN.

  In the above-described embodiment, various programs for causing the printer 1 to function as the print server of the present invention are stored in a ROM (not shown), and various programs for causing the client PC to function as the client apparatus of the present invention. Although the program has been described as being stored in the HDD 21, these various programs are stored in various storage devices (computer-readable recording media) such as a floppy (registered trademark) disk, a magneto-optical disk, a CD-ROM, and a hard disk. Can also be recorded.

  In this case, the print server or the client device of the present invention can be realized in the computer system by loading the program recorded in the recording medium into the computer system and starting it as necessary.

  In addition, the program can be installed in the computer of the print server or client device via a communication line. The program transmitted through this communication line also corresponds to the program of claims 26 and 28.

It is explanatory drawing which shows schematic structure of the network printing system of this embodiment. FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram illustrating reserved print job data transmitted from a client PC to a printer at the time of print reservation. 4A and 4B are explanatory diagrams showing contents of a table recorded in each of a client PC and a printer at the time of print reservation, wherein FIG. 5A is a print reserved table set in the HDD of the client PC, and FIG. It is a print reservation acceptance table set in the inside. It is explanatory drawing for demonstrating that the completion | finish of printing with a printer is displayed on the liquid crystal display device with which client PC is provided. 6 is a flowchart illustrating print job control processing executed as a function of a printer driver in a client PC. 6 is a flowchart showing details of a print reservation process in S150 in the print job control process of FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating print job reception / execution processing executed by a controller in the printer. FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing details of a reservation acceptance process in S460 in the print job reception / execution process of FIG.

Explanation of symbols

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 ... Printer, 2, 3 ... Client PC, 4 ... Network, 11 ... Memory,
12 ... print output unit, 13 ... controller, 16 ... buffer, 17 ... storage area, 1
8 ... Print reservation recording area, 21 ... Hard disk (HDD), 22 ... Printer driver, 23 ... Application, 24 ... Display device

Claims (5)

  1. A printer connected to a client device via a network,
    Reservation data receiving means for receiving reservation data including a reservation print time of print data from the client device;
    Reservation data storage means for storing reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means;
    First print data acquisition means for acquiring print data relating to the reservation data from the client device according to the reservation print time stored in the reservation data storage means;
    Reservation data relating to print data other than print data acquired by the first print data acquisition unit on condition that the first print data acquisition unit acquires print data, the reservation data being the reservation storage unit 2nd print data acquisition means for acquiring print data related to the reservation data,
    Printing means for printing the print data acquired by the first print data acquisition means and the second print data acquisition means;
    A printer comprising:
  2.   2. The print data acquired by the first print data acquisition unit is the print data of the earliest time stored in the reserved data storage unit in the reserved print time of the print data. Printer.
  3. The reserved data includes a print end time as the reserved print time and a data amount of print data related to the reserved data,
    A calculation means for calculating a printing time required for printing the print data based on the data amount;
    When the reservation data is received by the reservation data receiving means, the print end for comparing the print end time of the reservation data stored in the reservation data storage means with the print end time of the reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means Time comparison means;
    The reservation including the reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means on the condition that the print end time of the reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means is determined to be earlier by the print end time comparing means. The time obtained as a result of subtracting the printing required time of all the reservation data stored in the storage means and the total startup time of the printer from the printing end time of the reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means is A print start setting means for setting the print start time of the print data,
    The printer according to claim 1, wherein the first print data acquisition unit and the second print data acquisition unit acquire the print data when the print start time comes.
  4. In a printing system in which a print server connected to a printing device and a plurality of client devices are connected to each other via a network so that data can be transmitted and received,
    The client device is
    Reservation data transmission means for temporarily storing print data in a storage medium and transmitting reservation data including at least a reservation print time of the print data to the print server;
    Print data transmission means for transmitting the print data stored in the storage medium to the print server on the condition that the print data transmission request is received from the print server;
    The print server
    Reservation data receiving means for receiving the reservation data from the client device;
    Reservation data storage means for storing reservation data received by the reservation data receiving means together with identification information of a client device that has transmitted the reservation data;
    First print data acquisition means for acquiring print data relating to the reservation data from the client device in accordance with the reservation print time and the identification information stored in the reservation data storage means;
    Reservation data relating to print data other than print data acquired by the first print data acquisition unit on condition that the first print data acquisition unit acquires print data, the reservation data being the reservation storage unit Stored in the second print data acquisition means for acquiring print data related to the reservation data according to the identification information;
    Print output means for causing the printing device to print the print data acquired by the first print data acquisition means and the second print data acquisition means;
    A printing system comprising:
  5. A printer computer comprising: reservation data storage means for storing reservation data including reservation printing time of print data received from a client apparatus; and printing means for printing print data acquired from the client apparatus.
    First print data acquisition means for acquiring print data relating to the reservation data from the client device according to the reservation print time stored in the reservation data storage means;
    Reservation data relating to print data other than print data acquired by the first print data acquisition unit on condition that the first print data acquisition unit acquires print data, the reservation data being the reservation storage unit 2nd print data acquisition means for acquiring print data related to the reservation data,
    Print control means for causing the printing means to print the print data obtained by the first print data obtaining means and the second print data obtaining means;
    Program to function as.
JP2006243681A 2006-09-08 2006-09-08 Printer, printing system and program Pending JP2007048303A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP2006243681A JP2007048303A (en) 2006-09-08 2006-09-08 Printer, printing system and program

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP2006243681A JP2007048303A (en) 2006-09-08 2006-09-08 Printer, printing system and program

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
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Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
JP2007048303A true JP2007048303A (en) 2007-02-22

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
JP2006243681A Pending JP2007048303A (en) 2006-09-08 2006-09-08 Printer, printing system and program

Country Status (1)

Country Link
JP (1) JP2007048303A (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2012064226A (en) * 2007-12-26 2012-03-29 Canon Software Inc Print control system, print control server, image forming apparatus, processing method therefor, and program
WO2012105156A1 (en) * 2011-01-31 2012-08-09 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Print setting server, document processing server, print system, and print setting method
US8817281B2 (en) 2011-01-31 2014-08-26 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Print setting server, document processing server, print system, and print setting method

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2012064226A (en) * 2007-12-26 2012-03-29 Canon Software Inc Print control system, print control server, image forming apparatus, processing method therefor, and program
WO2012105156A1 (en) * 2011-01-31 2012-08-09 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Print setting server, document processing server, print system, and print setting method
US8817281B2 (en) 2011-01-31 2014-08-26 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Print setting server, document processing server, print system, and print setting method

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