JP2012014076A - Image forming apparatus and image forming program - Google Patents

Image forming apparatus and image forming program Download PDF

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JP2012014076A
JP2012014076A JP2010152285A JP2010152285A JP2012014076A JP 2012014076 A JP2012014076 A JP 2012014076A JP 2010152285 A JP2010152285 A JP 2010152285A JP 2010152285 A JP2010152285 A JP 2010152285A JP 2012014076 A JP2012014076 A JP 2012014076A
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supply
upper limit
image forming
number
limit count
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JP2010152285A
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JP5510128B2 (en
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Itaru Kodaira
Sei Yokoyama
格 小平
聖 横山
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Ricoh Co Ltd
株式会社リコー
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Abstract

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To extend a usable period of a device until a consumable for exchange is delivered when a residual amount of the consumable is small.SOLUTION: An image forming apparatus includes: supply residual amount management means for managing a residual amount of a supply; count number information management means for managing the maximum count number and useable count number for each of users: maximum count number calculating means for calculating the maximum count number of image forming processing that can be executed on the basis of the residual amount of the supply; and a coefficient table that correlates coefficient with a use authority when the residual amount of the supply is small. When the residual amount of the supplies is small, the maximum count number calculating means calculates the maximum count number for each of the users at that time on the basis of the coefficient corresponding to the use authority set for the user in the coefficient table and the usable count number for the user.

Description

  The present invention relates to an image forming apparatus and an image forming program that manage usage authority for each user based on a remaining supply amount.

  For example, when a plurality of users use one image forming apparatus, the number of times of output for each user is counted, and when the count value of the number of times of output reaches an upper limit within a preset period, an image by the corresponding user Techniques for limiting the use of forming devices are already known. Further, a technique for calculating a count at the time of output from the output setting contents in the image forming apparatus is already known.

  For example, in Patent Document 1, for the purpose of realizing an awareness of energy saving and realizing a flexible and appropriate billing system, a mode related to energy saving is extracted / analyzed from the mode setting, and basic points and conditional expressions designated in advance for each mode are obtained. A technique for calculating the number of counts by using it is disclosed.

In the above conventional technique, the object of suppressing the output count within a preset period such as one month is achieved. However, in the above conventional technique, the remaining amount of consumables such as toner and paper is not considered. For this reason, there is a problem that even when the number of consumables decreases, the consumables are used as usual, and when the consumables are exhausted, the image forming apparatus cannot be used until a replacement product arrives.
The present invention has been made in view of the above circumstances, and when the remaining amount of consumables is reduced, the usable period of the device is extended until the replacement consumables arrive. An object of the present invention is to provide an image forming apparatus and an image forming program that can be used.

  The present invention employs the following configuration in order to achieve the above object.

  The present invention is an image forming apparatus that manages usage authority for each user based on the remaining amount of supply, the remaining supply management means for managing the remaining supply amount, the upper limit count number and the available count for each user Count number information managing means for managing the number, upper limit count number calculating means for calculating an upper limit count number of image forming processes that can be executed based on the remaining supply amount, and the use authority when the remaining supply amount is reduced And a coefficient table in which the coefficient is associated, and the upper limit count calculation means corresponds to the use authority set for each user in the coefficient table when the remaining supply amount is reduced. Based on the coefficient and the available count number for each user, an upper limit count number for each user when the remaining supply amount decreases is calculated.

  The image forming apparatus of the present invention further includes an image processing number recording unit that records the number of image forming processes every day, and an average day setting unit that sets an average number of days from when a supply is ordered until the supply arrives. The upper limit count calculating means calculates the average number of times of the image forming process in a predetermined period, and based on the average number of times and the average number of days set in the average day number setting means, the upper limit count number for each user Is calculated.

  In addition, the image forming apparatus of the present invention can temporarily change the coefficient corresponding to the use authority set for each user.

  The image forming apparatus according to the present invention can temporarily exchange the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority set for a user and the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority set for another user. is there.

  The image forming apparatus according to the present invention further includes means for setting whether to provide an upper limit count for the entire image forming apparatus according to the supply remaining amount for each type of supply.

  Further, the image forming apparatus of the present invention determines whether or not to change a remaining supply amount notifying unit for notifying a decrease in the remaining supply amount when the remaining supply amount is reduced and an upper limit count number of the entire image forming apparatus. Means for setting.

  The present invention is executed in an image forming apparatus that manages a use authority for each user based on a remaining supply amount and has a coefficient table in which the use authority and a coefficient are associated with each other when the remaining supply amount is reduced. An image forming program comprising: a supply remaining amount managing step for managing the remaining amount of supply in the image forming apparatus; a count number information managing step for managing an upper limit count number and an available count number for each user; An upper limit count number calculating step of calculating an upper limit count number of image forming processes that can be executed based on the remaining amount of supply, and the upper limit count number calculating step includes a step of calculating the coefficient table when the remaining supply amount decreases. And the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority set for each user and the available count for each user. Based on the number, it calculates the maximum number count of each of the user when the supply power low.

  According to the present invention, when the remaining amount of wear is reduced, the usable period of the device can be extended until a replacement consumable arrives.

2 is a diagram illustrating an example of a hardware configuration of an image forming apparatus. FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating a functional configuration of an image forming apparatus. FIG. It is a figure explaining a count number information management part. It is a figure explaining an image formation frequency measurement part. It is a figure explaining the setting of the average procurement days according to supply. It is a figure explaining the setting of the upper limit count number at the time of the residual amount fall by supply. It is a figure explaining the timing which changes the upper limit count number of the whole apparatus. It is a figure explaining calculation of the upper limit count number classified by user at the time of a supply remaining amount fall by an upper limit count number calculation part. It is a figure which shows the example of the screen which notifies a user's supply remaining amount fall and the number of usable sheets. It is a figure which shows the example of the screen of the setting which exchanges authority with another user temporarily. FIG. 6 is a sequence diagram illustrating an operation of the image forming apparatus according to the present exemplary embodiment. It is a sequence diagram explaining operation | movement when supply remaining amount falls. It is a figure which shows the example of the screen which notifies an administrator when supply remaining amount falls and changes a setting. It is a figure which shows the example of the web screen which changes an e-mail notification to an administrator when supply remaining amount falls, and a setting.

  According to the present invention, when the remaining amount of consumables (hereinafter referred to as supply) decreases, the remaining number of image forming times is set as the upper limit count number of image forming times of the entire apparatus, Reduce the number of available cards.

  Embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating an example of a hardware configuration of the image forming apparatus.

  The image forming apparatus 100 includes a scanning device 11, a plotter device 12, a drive device 13, an auxiliary storage device 14, a memory device 15, an arithmetic processing device 16, an interface device 17, and an operation panel 18 that are mutually connected by a bus B. Composed.

  The scanning device 11 includes a scanner, a scanner engine, an engine control unit, and the like, and is used for scanning a document to obtain document data. The plotter device 12 includes a plotter, a plotter engine, an engine control unit, and the like, and is used for printing document data. The operation panel 18 is realized by a touch panel or the like having a display function, and displays an operation screen for operating the image forming apparatus 100. The operation panel 18 displays a guidance screen for the progress of processing by the image forming apparatus 100.

  The interface device 17 includes a modem, a LAN card, and the like, and is used for connecting to a network.

  The image forming program of the present invention is at least a part of various programs for controlling the image forming apparatus 100. The image forming program is provided by, for example, distribution of the recording medium 19 or downloading from a network. The recording medium 19 on which the image forming program is recorded is information such as a CD-ROM, a flexible disk, a magneto-optical disk, etc., a recording medium for recording information optically, electrically or magnetically, a ROM, a flash memory, etc. Various types of recording media, such as a semiconductor memory that electrically records data, can be used.

  When the recording medium 19 on which the image forming program is recorded is set in the drive device 13, the image forming program is installed from the recording medium 19 to the auxiliary storage device 14 via the drive device 13. The image forming program downloaded from the network is installed in the auxiliary storage device 14 via the interface device 17.

  The auxiliary storage device 14 stores the installed image forming program and also stores necessary files, data, and the like. The memory device 15 reads and stores the image forming program from the auxiliary storage device 14 when the computer is activated. The arithmetic processing unit 16 implements various processes as described later according to the image forming program stored in the memory device 15.

  FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating a functional configuration of the image forming apparatus. The image forming apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment includes an image formation processing control unit 110, a count number information management unit 120, an upper limit count number calculation unit 130, a remaining supply amount management unit 140, a remaining supply amount notification unit 150, and an image formation number measurement unit. 160 and a network control unit 170.

  The image formation control unit 110 controls an image formation process (job) requested by the user. In addition, the image formation control unit 110 manages use restriction information for each user and determines whether the job can be executed. The count number information management unit 120 manages an upper limit count number and a remaining count number for each user / group. The count number information management unit 120 according to the present embodiment causes the administrator to set the upper limit count number for each user / group and to set the use authority when the supply remaining amount is low. The usage authority when the remaining amount of supply is low includes an authority that can be used without restriction or an authority that can hardly be used even when the remaining amount of supply is low.

  When forming an image, the upper limit count calculation unit 130 determines whether the remaining amount of toner, paper, and the like is supplied, the number of times of image formation per day and the average number of procurement days for each supply, and the upper limit count setting when the remaining amount for each supply decreases. Calculate another upper count number.

  The supply remaining amount management unit 140 manages the remaining supply amount of toner, paper, photoconductor, and the like. The supply remaining amount management unit 150 also sets, for the administrator, means for setting the average number of days for procurement (the number of days from ordering to delivery) and storing the set value, and when the remaining amount for each supply decreases. The upper limit count number is set and the set value is stored.

  The supply remaining amount notification unit 150 notifies the administrator when the remaining amount of each supply decreases. Further, the remaining supply amount notifying unit 150 of the present embodiment sets an administrator's mail address and stores the set value. The image forming number measuring unit 160 measures the number of times that the image forming process has been performed. The image formation number measurement unit 160 records measurement values (including information on supplies used for image formation) every day. The network control unit 170 controls jobs (printer jobs and the like) and information exchange (send notification mail, display of Web pages, etc.) between the image forming apparatus 100 and a computer connected via a LAN or the like.

  Details of each part will be described below. FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating the count number information management unit.

  The count number information management unit 120 according to the present embodiment causes the administrator to set the upper limit count number for each user and to set the usage authority when the supply remaining amount is low. The upper limit count in the present embodiment indicates the number of times that image formation is possible every month. As shown in FIG. 3A, for example, President A is set to be capable of image formation 1000 times as the upper limit count. Further, as shown in FIG. 3B, the count number information management unit 120 can set a usage limit and an upper limit count number when the supply remaining amount is low for each user.

  The setting of the use restriction when the remaining amount of supply is reduced is to set whether to restrict the use of image formation when the remaining amount of supply is reduced according to the authority of the user. For example, President A is “according to the upper limit of the apparatus”, and it is set that image formation is possible up to the upper limit number of sheets of the entire apparatus. Further, the B section manager is “limit: weak”, and is limited so that it can be used only up to a smaller number of sheets than the upper limit number of sheets of the entire apparatus. Furthermore, for the D employee, “limit: strong” is set, and when the remaining amount of supply is reduced, image formation is almost impossible.

  In the embodiment, in the setting of the use restriction when the supply remaining amount is low, the number of image formations possible when the restriction is “weak”, the number of image formations possible when the restriction is “medium”, and the restriction is “strong” Each of the image forming possible times may be set.

  Next, information recorded in the image formation number measurement unit 160 will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 4 is a diagram for explaining the image formation count measuring unit.

  The image formation number measurement unit 160 of the present embodiment records that the image formation processing has been performed as a measurement value for each day together with information on the supply used for image formation. In the example of FIG. 4, each color (KYMC) toner, each color photoconductor, paper, and staples in the supply are set to supply types with variable upper limit count values. It is recorded.

  For example, in the case of 2010/1/31, it is recorded that K toner is used with an A4 paper coverage rate of 35%, Y toner is used 12%, M toner is 8%, and C toner is used 15%. . The coverage rate is the ratio of the number of written dots to the number of writable dots on one page of paper.

  In addition, the photosensitive member records the number of times of image formation, and records that the image formation using the K toner is performed three times and the image formation using the Y toner, the M toner, and the C toner is performed once. Yes. Normally, only K toner is used for monochrome printing, and K toner, Y toner, M toner, and C toner are all used for full color printing. When single color printing or two color printing is performed, the number of times of image formation using Y toner, M toner, and C toner may not be uniform. Further, the number of sheets used is recorded, and it is recorded that two A4 sheets are used. Here, the reason why the number of times of image formation does not match the number of used sheets is that double-sided printing is performed to perform image formation on both sides of one sheet of paper.

  Next, the remaining supply management unit 140 will be described. The supply remaining amount management unit 140 according to the present embodiment sets the average number of procurement days for each supply and stores the set value. Further, the remaining supply management unit 140 sets the upper limit count number when the remaining amount is reduced for each supply and stores the set value.

  The setting of the average number of procurement days for each supply and the setting of the upper limit count number when the remaining amount is reduced for each supply will be described below with reference to FIGS.

  FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating the setting of the average number of procurement days for each supply. The average procurement days for each supply indicates the average number of days from when a supply is ordered until it arrives, and is set by the administrator of the image forming apparatus 100. In the present embodiment, for example, the screen shown in FIG. 5 is displayed on the operation panel 18 of the image forming apparatus 100 to accept the setting.

  In the example of FIG. 5, the supply types that limit the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus are the toner of each color (KYMC), the photoreceptors of each color, paper, and staples, so the average number of days from ordering to arrival is Can be set. (FIGS. 5A and 5B). “Toner: K” or the like is a button, and when it is pressed, the color changes (inverted display), and a number can be input using the numeric keypad (FIG. 5C).

  FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating the setting of the upper limit count number when the remaining amount is reduced for each supply.

  In the example of FIG. 6, the supply types that limit the upper limit count of the entire apparatus are each color (KYMC) toner, each color photoconductor, paper, and staples. In this embodiment, for these various supplies, it is possible to set whether to limit the upper limit count of the entire apparatus when the remaining amount of supply is reduced, or not to limit as usual (FIG. 6A). (B)). “Toner: K” or the like is a button, and when pressed, a screen for selecting whether to restrict or not is displayed, and either one can be selected (FIG. 6C).

  Next, the upper limit count calculation unit 130 will be described. The upper limit count calculation unit 130 according to the present embodiment calculates the upper limit count for each user based on the average number of procurement days for each supply set by the remaining supply amount management unit 140 and the upper limit count when the remaining amount is reduced.

  FIG. 7 is a diagram for explaining the timing for changing the upper limit count of the entire apparatus.

  In FIG. 7, K toner and K photoconductor will be described as an example. Looking at the performance of K toner for two weeks from 2010/2/1 to 2010/2/14, the coverage rate is 529% on average per day. It can be seen that the number of times of image formation with K toner is 37 times / day from the use count number of the K photoconductor. That is, 529% / 37 times≈14% / time, and it can be seen that, on average, printing is performed so that toner is consumed by about 14% coverage rate per page of A4 paper. In addition, although the value of 2 weeks was used as a past performance here, for example, 1 month may be sufficient. If the actual period is too short, the prediction accuracy is lowered. However, if it is too long, there is a possibility that it cannot cope with the switching between the busy period and the quiet period.

  In the example of FIG. 7, the administrator sets the number of days from when K toner is ordered to when it arrives to 3 days. Therefore, if the supply amount is ordered when the remaining amount of K toner reaches 529% × 3 days = 1593%, it is assumed that the K toner can be used until it arrives. Therefore, the upper limit count calculation unit 130 calculates and sets the upper limit count (image formation possible number) of the entire apparatus (image formation using K toner) at this timing.

  As described above, since the coverage rate is 14% on average, 1593% / 14% = 113 sheets is the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus. Here, even if the remaining count number of each user remains, it is impossible to form an image exceeding the upper limit count number until K toner arrives.

  Similarly, if the K photoconductor orders the supply when the remaining number of possible image formation times is 37 times × 10 days = 370 times, image formation can be performed until the newly ordered supply arrives. is assumed. Therefore, the upper limit count calculation unit 130 calculates and sets the upper limit count (image formation possible number) of the entire apparatus (image formation using the K photoconductor) as 370 at this timing.

  In other words, in this embodiment, when the supply becomes a value obtained by multiplying the average daily consumption calculated from the past results in a preset period and the average number of procurement days, the remaining amount of supply decreases. It is judged that

  If K toner is used for image formation, the K photoconductor is also used. When either of the remaining amount is low, the upper limit count is determined based on the expected remaining number of days of the lesser supply. For example, if the remaining amount of K toner is 3000% and the remaining number of times that the K photoconductor can be imaged is 30, the remaining amount of K toner is still sufficient, but the remaining amount of K toner remains. The number of possible image formation is less than 37 calculated above. Therefore, the upper limit count of the entire apparatus for monochrome printing, full color printing (both using K toner and K photoconductor), and two-color printing including K toner (using K toner and K photoconductor) is 30 times. Set to

  Similarly, when the remaining amount of both toners is reduced, for example, when the remaining amount of K toner is 1593% and the remaining number of possible image formations of the K photoconductor is 370 times, 113 sheets of K toner are obtained as described above. However, the remaining number of times that the K photoconductor can be imaged is 370. Therefore, the upper limit count number (using K toner and K photoconductor) of the entire apparatus is 113.

  Next, calculation of the upper limit count number for each user when the remaining supply amount is reduced by the upper limit count number calculation unit 130 will be described. FIG. 8 is a diagram for explaining the calculation of the upper limit count number for each user when the remaining supply amount is reduced by the upper limit count number calculation unit.

  In FIG. 8, the example of FIG. 3 and the example of FIG. 7 are used, and it is assumed that the remaining amount of K toner is 1593% and the remaining amount of other supplies is not lowered. At this time, the upper limit count of the entire apparatus for the number of times of image formation using K toner is 113 as described above.

  FIG. 8A is a usage table showing the upper limit count value for each user and the current usage count number. FIG. 8B shows an example of a coefficient correspondence table in which the authority to use when the supply remaining amount is reduced is associated with a coefficient. FIG. 8C is a flowchart for explaining the calculation of the count number for each user by the upper limit count number calculation unit 130.

  The usage table 81 shown in FIG. 8A is held in, for example, the image formation number measurement unit 160. The usage count in the usage table 82 is the number of times that image formation has already been used.

  The coefficient correspondence table 82 shown in FIG. 8B is referred to by the upper limit count number calculation unit 130 and may be held by the upper limit count number calculation unit 130. In the coefficient correspondence table 82 of this embodiment, for example, the coefficient is 1 when the use authority when the supply remaining amount is low is “according to the upper limit of the apparatus”. Similarly, the coefficient when the use authority when the remaining supply amount is low is “medium” is 0.5. The coefficient in the present embodiment is a number indicating the ratio between the upper limit count number and the upper limit count number when the supply remaining amount is reduced. For example, when the coefficient is 1, 100% of the preset upper limit count is the upper limit count when the supply remaining amount is reduced. When the coefficient is 0.5, 50% of the preset upper limit count number is the upper limit count number when the supply remaining amount is reduced.

  The processing of the upper limit count calculation unit 130 will be described below with reference to FIG. First, President A will be explained as an example. The upper limit count calculation unit 130 refers to the use authority when the user's remaining supply amount is reduced from the coefficient correspondence table 82 (step S801). In the case of President A, the use authority is set to “according to the upper limit of the apparatus”. Next, the upper limit count calculation unit 130 compares the upper limit count number 113 of the entire apparatus with 342 obtained by subtracting the current usage count number 658 from the upper limit count number 1000 of President A (step S802). In step S802, when the upper limit count number 113 of the entire apparatus is smaller, the upper limit count number calculation unit 130 calculates the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus and the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority of the president A in the coefficient correspondence table 82. The multiplied number is set as the upper limit count number when the remaining supply of President A is reduced (step S803). Therefore, after this point in time, President A can perform image formation using K toner only up to 113 sheets.

  In step S802, if the upper limit count number 113 of the entire apparatus is larger, the upper limit count number calculation unit 130 uses the number obtained by subtracting the current use count number from the upper limit count number and the use of President A in the coefficient correspondence table 82. The number obtained by multiplying the authority and the corresponding coefficient is set as the upper limit count number when the remaining supply amount of President A is reduced (step S804).

  For example, in the case of the department manager B, the usage authority when the remaining supply amount is low is set to “restricted: weak”. Therefore, according to the coefficient correspondence table 82, the B section length can use K toner only up to 0.8 times the upper limit count. The current remaining count of the manager B is 500-325 = 175, and the upper limit count value 113 of the entire apparatus is smaller. Accordingly, when the supply remaining amount is reduced, the manager B can perform image formation using K toner only up to 113 × 0.8 = 90 sheets.

  The authority for use of the manager C when the supply remaining amount is low is set to “limit: medium”, and the coefficient in the coefficient correspondence table 82 is 0.5. Therefore, when the remaining amount of supply is low, K toner can be used only up to 0.5 times the upper limit count. The current remaining count of the section manager is 400−219 = 181, and the upper limit count value 113 of the entire apparatus is smaller. Therefore, the section manager C can perform image formation using K toner only up to 113 × 0.5 = 56 sheets when the difference in the amount of the difference psi is reduced.

  The use authority when the remaining supply amount of employee D is low is set to “limit: strong”, and the coefficient in the coefficient correspondence table 82 is 0.3. Therefore, when the supply remaining amount is low, the K toner can be used only up to 0.3 times the upper limit count. The current remaining count of employee D is 300-257 = 43, and the upper limit count value 113 of the entire apparatus is larger. Therefore, when the supply remaining amount is low, the D employee can perform image formation using K toner only up to 43 × 0.3 = 12 sheets.

  Next, a screen for informing the user of a decrease in the remaining amount of supply and the number of usable sheets will be described. FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating an example of a screen that informs the user of a decrease in the remaining amount of supply and the number of usable sheets.

  9 will be described using the example shown in FIG. In FIG. 9, a message indicating that the remaining amount of K toner is decreasing is displayed.

  In the case of President A, even in the case of full-color copying (using K toner), it is possible to form images up to the upper limit count of the entire apparatus, so that 113 images can be formed (printed). (FIG. 9A).

  In the case of the B section manager, in the case of full-color copying (using K toner), as described above, only 90 sheets can be formed at the maximum, so this is displayed (FIG. 9B). Note that when the B manager sets a single color copy that does not use K toner (for example, a copy that uses only M toner), there is no reduction in the remaining amount of supply related to this job execution, so the upper limit count of the entire apparatus The number is not specified. Therefore, the number of sheets (175) corresponding to the available count number (remaining count number of the B section manager) for each user is displayed (FIG. 9C).

  In the screen shown in FIG. 9, a balloon message is displayed for the administrator that the number of usable sheets is limited, that is, the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus is defined. The description when the detail button in the balloon is pressed will be described later.

  Next, a setting screen for temporarily exchanging authority with another user will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 10 is a diagram illustrating an example of a setting screen for temporarily exchanging authority with another user.

  The screen of FIG. 10 is a screen displayed when the detail button in the balloon shown in FIG. 9 is pressed. On the screen shown in FIG. 10, for example, information on a limited image forming mode (color mode) and the limited number of sheets is displayed.

  As described with reference to FIG. 9, since the remaining amount of K toner is reduced, the number of printable sheets is limited in each color mode of black and white when using full color, black of two colors, and the B section length is limited to 90 sheets. It cannot be printed (FIG. 10A). In this embodiment, when the authority exchange button is pressed at this time, the authority can be temporarily exchanged with another user. Note that “temporary” in the present embodiment may be limited to an image forming job to be executed in the future, may be limited to that day, or may be any time limit.

  When the authority exchange button is pressed, the screen shown in FIG. 10B is displayed and a list of other users is displayed. For example, President A can form images up to the upper limit count of the entire apparatus in any color mode as described above. Therefore, for President A, it is shown that 113 images can be formed (printed). As described with reference to FIG. 8, the section manager and the D employee also calculate the limit number according to the respective coefficients, and become 56 sheets and 12 sheets, respectively.

  If the button of President A is pressed here, the consent of President A is required in order to exchange authority with President A. Therefore, a screen for inputting the password of President A is displayed (FIG. 10C). In this screen, if the password of President A is correctly entered and the OK button is pressed, the manager B can temporarily form an image with the authority of President A. That is, the manager B can execute image formation using K toner up to 113 sheets.

  Next, the operation of the image forming apparatus 100 of this embodiment will be described. FIG. 11 is a sequence diagram for explaining the operation of the image forming apparatus of this embodiment.

  In the image forming apparatus 100 of the present embodiment, the image forming process control unit 110 accepts an image forming process request requested by the user as a job execution request (step S1101). When the image forming process control unit 110 accepts a job execution request, it makes a count number information acquisition request to the count number information management unit 120 in order to determine whether the accepted request can be executed (step S1102). In response to this request, the count number information management unit 120 acquires the use upper limit count number, the remaining count number, and the current upper limit count number of the entire apparatus from the upper limit count calculation unit 130 (step S1103).

  Next, the upper limit count number calculation unit 130 acquires the remaining supply amount information, the average number of procurement days, and the upper limit count number setting when the supply remaining amount decreases, which the supply remaining amount management unit 140 has (steps S1104, 1105, and 1106). Subsequently, the upper limit count calculation unit 130 acquires the average number of times of supply use of the image formation number measurement unit 160 (step S1107). Then, the upper limit count calculation unit 130 calculates the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus from the supply remaining amount information, the upper limit count number setting when the supply remaining amount is reduced, and the recent usage. And then. From this, the upper limit count in the current image forming process is calculated (step S1108).

  The image forming process control unit 110 determines whether the job can be executed from the acquired information (step S1109), and notifies (displays on the operation panel) the remaining count number of the user (step S1110).

  If it is determined in step S1109 that the job can be executed, the job is executed by existing image sequence processing (step S1111). As a result of executing the job, the image formation number measuring unit 160 detects that the image formation has been completed at a timing such as completion of copying, and notifies the count number information management unit 120 to that effect (step S1112). The count number information management unit 120 updates the count information from the notified information.

  Next, an operation when the remaining amount of supply in the image forming apparatus 100 according to the present embodiment decreases will be described. FIG. 12 is a sequence diagram for explaining the operation when the supply remaining amount is reduced. When the remaining amount of supply decreases, the image forming apparatus 100 of the present embodiment notifies the administrator to that effect.

  When the image forming process (existing image sequence process) is executed in the image forming apparatus, the image forming number measuring unit 160 detects that the image forming is completed at a timing such as the completion of copying, and the upper limit count calculating unit 130 is notified (step S1201).

  Upon receiving this notification, the upper limit count number calculation unit 130 acquires the remaining supply amount information, the average number of procurement days, and the upper limit count number setting when the supply remaining amount is reduced, in the supply remaining amount management unit 120 (steps S1202, 1203, 1204). ). Subsequently, the upper limit count calculation unit 130 acquires the average number of times of supply use of the image formation number measurement unit 160 (step S1205).

  Subsequently, the upper limit count number calculation unit 130 calculates the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus from the supply remaining amount information, the upper limit count number setting when the supply remaining amount is reduced, and the recent usage. From there, an upper limit count in future image forming processing is calculated (step S1206).

  Here, when the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus is restricted due to some decrease in the remaining amount of supply, the upper limit count number calculation unit 130 notifies the supply remaining amount notification unit 150 to that effect (step S1207). . Note that, according to the setting described with reference to FIG. 6, when only the remaining amount of the supply that does not limit the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus has decreased even when the remaining amount of supply decreases, no notification is performed.

  The supply remaining amount notifying unit 150 notifies the administrator that the remaining amount of a specific supply is decreasing and that the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus is thereby limited (step S1208). In addition, the supply remaining amount notification unit 150 guides the administrator to the setting screen as to whether or not to maintain the upper limit count limit as it is (step S1209). This notification may be displayed on the operation panel, for example, or by e-mail. An example of display on the operation panel and an example of notification by e-mail will be described later.

  Although not shown, in the case of notification by e-mail, the supply remaining amount notification unit 150 transmits an e-mail to the administrator through the network control unit 170. The administrator may access the upper limit count number limit setting screen using a Web page provided by the network control unit 170.

  A screen for notifying the administrator when the remaining supply amount is reduced will be described below. FIG. 13 is a diagram illustrating an example of a screen for notifying the administrator and changing the setting when the remaining supply amount decreases.

  In the example of FIG. 13, it is assumed that the remaining amount of K toner is reduced as described with reference to FIG. At this time, a balloon message is displayed at the top of the screen indicating that the number of usable sheets is limited for the administrator, that is, that the upper limit count number of the entire apparatus is defined (FIG. 13A). .

  When the “details” button is pressed here, a message is displayed indicating that the remaining amount of K toner has decreased and whether or not to change the setting of the upper limit count when the remaining amount of supply is decreased. At the same time, the current setting is displayed (FIG. 13B). If the administrator determines that there is no need to limit the number of sheets to be used because K toner is in stock, the administrator may set “no limit”. This setting is another operation flow for changing the setting contents described in FIG. When the setting is changed and the “OK” button is pressed, a screen for inputting the administrator password is displayed (FIG. 13C).

  Here, when the password is input by the administrator, the setting is changed. When the setting is changed to “no restriction”, the upper limit count number is not restricted for image formation using K toner thereafter. . That is, it is limited only by the upper limit count for each user, regardless of the remaining image formable number calculated from the remaining supply amount.

  Next, a description will be given of a mail screen to the administrator when the remaining supply amount is reduced and a Web screen for changing the setting. FIG. 14 is a diagram illustrating an example of a Web screen for changing an e-mail notification and setting to the administrator when the supply remaining amount is reduced.

  In FIG. 14, as in FIG. 13, it is assumed that the remaining amount of K toner is reduced. At this time, the supply remaining amount notification unit 150 sends a mail notification to the email address of the administrator registered in advance through the network control unit 170. In this email, the setting of the remaining amount of K toner, the expected number of images that can be formed (number of printable sheets), and the upper limit count number when the supply amount of K toner is low is “restrict”. In addition, the maximum number of printable sheets for each use restriction type when the remaining amount of supply is low, and a link to a Web page for changing settings are described (FIG. 14A).

  When the linked Web page is displayed, the administrator password is first input (not shown), and if the password is correct, a setting screen is displayed for setting whether to limit the upper limit count when the supply amount of K toner is low. (FIG. 14B). Here, when the setting is changed to “do not limit” and the OK button is pressed, the upper limit count number is not limited for image formation using K toner thereafter. That is, it is limited only by the upper limit count number for each user, regardless of the remaining image formable number calculated from the remaining supply amount.

  As explained above, according to the present embodiment, when the remaining amount of supply decreases, the supply count decreases by multiplying the current available count by the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority set for each user. The upper limit count number. In other words, in this embodiment, when the remaining amount of consumables decreases, the usable period of the image forming apparatus is limited in order to limit the number of image forming processes that can be executed until the replacement consumables arrive. Can be extended.

  As mentioned above, although this invention has been demonstrated based on each embodiment, this invention is not limited to the requirements shown in the said embodiment. With respect to these points, the gist of the present invention can be changed without departing from the scope of the present invention, and can be appropriately determined according to the application form.

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 100 Image forming apparatus 110 Image formation process part 120 Count number information management part 130 Upper limit count number calculation part 140 Supply residual quantity management part 150 Supply residual quantity notification part 160 Image formation frequency measurement part 170 Network control part

JP 2008-191436 A

Claims (7)

  1. An image forming apparatus that manages usage authority for each user based on a remaining supply amount,
    Supply remaining amount management means for managing the remaining supply amount;
    Count number information management means for managing the upper limit count number and the available count number for each user;
    An upper limit count calculating means for calculating an upper limit count of the number of image forming processes that can be executed based on the remaining supply amount;
    A coefficient table in which the usage authority and coefficient when the supply remaining amount is reduced are associated with each other;
    The upper limit count calculation means
    When the remaining supply amount is reduced, based on the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority set for each user in the coefficient table and the available count for each user, the supply remaining amount is reduced. An image forming apparatus that calculates an upper limit count for each user.
  2. Image processing number recording means for recording the number of image forming processes every day;
    An average number of days setting means for setting an average number of days from when a supply is ordered until the supply arrives,
    The upper limit count calculation means
    2. The image formation according to claim 1, wherein an average number of times of the image forming process in a predetermined period is calculated, and an upper limit count number for each user is calculated based on the average number of times and an average number of days set in the average number of days setting unit. apparatus.
  3.   The image forming apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the coefficient corresponding to the use authority set for each user can be temporarily changed.
  4.   The image forming apparatus according to claim 3, wherein the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority set for a user and the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority set for another user can be temporarily exchanged.
  5.   5. The image forming apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a unit configured to set, for each type of supply, whether or not an upper limit count number of the entire image forming apparatus is provided in accordance with the remaining amount of supply.
  6. When the remaining amount of supply decreases,
    A supply remaining amount notification means for notifying the decrease in the remaining supply amount;
    6. The image forming apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a unit that sets whether to change the upper limit count of the entire image forming apparatus.
  7. An image forming program executed in an image forming apparatus that manages a use authority for each user based on a remaining supply amount and has a coefficient table in which the use authority and a coefficient are associated with each other when the remaining supply amount decreases. There,
    In the image forming apparatus,
    A supply remaining amount management step for managing the remaining supply amount;
    Count number information management step for managing the upper limit count number and the available count number for each user,
    An upper limit count calculating step for calculating an upper limit count of the number of image forming processes that can be executed based on the remaining amount of supply;
    The upper limit count calculation step includes
    When the remaining supply amount is reduced, based on the coefficient corresponding to the usage authority set for each user in the coefficient table and the available count for each user, the supply remaining amount is reduced. An image forming program for calculating an upper limit count for each user.
JP2010152285A 2010-07-02 2010-07-02 Image forming apparatus and image forming program Active JP5510128B2 (en)

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Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH11165451A (en) * 1997-12-04 1999-06-22 Canon Inc Output device
JP2001071600A (en) * 1999-09-08 2001-03-21 Ricoh Co Ltd Printing apparatus
JP2006235757A (en) * 2005-02-22 2006-09-07 Canon Inc Data processor, data processing method, and program
JP2006300996A (en) * 2005-04-15 2006-11-02 Ricoh Co Ltd Image forming apparatus
JP2009241380A (en) * 2008-03-31 2009-10-22 Seiko Epson Corp Printing apparatus, printing system, and printing performing method

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH11165451A (en) * 1997-12-04 1999-06-22 Canon Inc Output device
JP2001071600A (en) * 1999-09-08 2001-03-21 Ricoh Co Ltd Printing apparatus
JP2006235757A (en) * 2005-02-22 2006-09-07 Canon Inc Data processor, data processing method, and program
JP2006300996A (en) * 2005-04-15 2006-11-02 Ricoh Co Ltd Image forming apparatus
JP2009241380A (en) * 2008-03-31 2009-10-22 Seiko Epson Corp Printing apparatus, printing system, and printing performing method

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