JP2013014399A - Post-processing apparatus and image forming system - Google Patents

Post-processing apparatus and image forming system Download PDF

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Publication number
JP2013014399A
JP2013014399A JP2011147506A JP2011147506A JP2013014399A JP 2013014399 A JP2013014399 A JP 2013014399A JP 2011147506 A JP2011147506 A JP 2011147506A JP 2011147506 A JP2011147506 A JP 2011147506A JP 2013014399 A JP2013014399 A JP 2013014399A
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Japan
Prior art keywords
post
processing
unit
sheets
image forming
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JP2011147506A
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Japanese (ja)
Inventor
Tomohiro Kiriyama
知宏 桐山
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Konica Minolta Business Technologies Inc
コニカミノルタビジネステクノロジーズ株式会社
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Priority to JP2011147506A priority Critical patent/JP2013014399A/en
Publication of JP2013014399A publication Critical patent/JP2013014399A/en
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H29/00Delivering or advancing articles from machines; Advancing articles to or into piles
    • B65H29/58Article switches or diverters
    • B65H29/60Article switches or diverters diverting the stream into alternative paths
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B42BOOKBINDING; ALBUMS; FILES; SPECIAL PRINTED MATTER
    • B42CBOOKBINDING
    • B42C1/00Collating or gathering sheets combined with processes for permanently attaching together sheets or signatures or for interposing inserts
    • B42C1/12Machines for both collating or gathering and permanently attaching together the sheets or signatures
    • B42C1/125Sheet sorters combined with binding devices
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2301/00Handling processes for sheets or webs
    • B65H2301/40Type of handling process
    • B65H2301/42Piling, depiling, handling piles
    • B65H2301/421Forming a pile
    • B65H2301/4213Forming a pile of a limited number of articles, e.g. buffering, forming bundles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2511/00Dimension; Position; Number; Identification; Occurence
    • B65H2511/30Number
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2511/00Dimension; Position; Number; Identification; Occurence
    • B65H2511/30Number
    • B65H2511/31Numeric flow, i.e. number per unit of time
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2513/00Dynamic entities; Timing aspect
    • B65H2513/50Timing
    • B65H2513/53Timing duration of event
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65HHANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL, e.g. SHEETS, WEBS, CABLES
    • B65H2801/00Application field
    • B65H2801/24Post -processing devices
    • B65H2801/27Devices located downstream of office-type machines

Abstract

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To avoid the lowering of conveying accuracy and the occurrence of conveying displacement due to the excessive number of overlapping sheets by minimizing the number of overlapping sheets when sheets are overlappingly conveyed in a post-processing apparatus.SOLUTION: This post-processing apparatus includes a post-processing part which performs post-processing for a sheet discharged from a former-stage apparatus, a post-processing time calculating part which calculates a time required for the post-processing based on the content of the post-processing, a time comparing part which compares the time required for the post-processing and a sheet interval between the sheets discharged from the former-stage apparatus, an overlappingly conveying part which overlappingly conveys a plurality of sheets discharged from the former-stage apparatus on the upstream side of the post-processing part, and a control part which controls the overlappingly conveying part. The control part changes the number of overlapping sheets in the overlappingly conveying part according to a sheet interval between the sheets discharged from the former-stage apparatus where the time required for the post-processing is determined to exceed the sheet interval based on the comparison result of the time comparing part.

Description

  The present invention relates to a post-processing apparatus that performs post-processing on a sheet on which an image has been transferred by an image forming apparatus, and an image forming system that includes the image forming apparatus and the post-processing apparatus.

In an image forming apparatus such as a copying machine, a printer, a facsimile machine, or a multifunction machine that forms an image and transfers the image onto a sheet, post-processing can be performed on the sheet onto which the image has been transferred as desired. Examples of post-processing include stapling, saddle stitching, punching, and the like. The post-processing is performed by a post-processing device connected to the rear side of the image forming apparatus. Note that the post-processing apparatus is not required to be connected immediately after the image forming apparatus.
By the way, in recent image forming apparatuses, the speed has been increased in order to increase productivity, and the time interval (hereinafter referred to as “inter-sheet space”) for each sheet transported is becoming shorter and shorter. On the other hand, post-processing requires a processing time corresponding to the content of the post-processing, and the speed has not increased as much as the image forming apparatus. As a result, if the time required for the post-processing is secured, as shown in FIG. 7A when the overlapped conveyance is not performed, it is necessary to secure a large space between the sheets, and the problem of impairing the speeding up of the apparatus arises. ing.

For this reason, a post-processing apparatus has been proposed in which sheets are retained (pre-stacked) in the post-processing apparatus, and an overlap conveyance unit capable of stacking and conveying a plurality of sheets is provided so as not to lower the productivity of the image forming apparatus. (For example, Patent Documents 1 and 2).
In Patent Document 1, a post-processing time is secured by prestacking N sheets defined in advance.
Further, in Patent Document 2, in a system including a plurality of stages of post-processing devices, a time required for post-processing of the post-stage is acquired, and the post-processing apparatus of the pre-stage that receives the paper from the image forming apparatus according to the time. The timing for discharging the sheet to the post-processing apparatus in the subsequent stage is controlled.

  When the overlap transport is performed, as shown in FIG. 7B, if the time required for the post-processing time is longer than the interval between the sheets, the sheet is overlapped and transported by a preset number of sheets in the meantime. Post-processing can be performed without giving In this example of the apparatus, four sheets are conveyed in a stacked manner. Compared with the case where the interval between the papers is increased when not being overlapped and the case of being overlapped is conveyed, when the second bundle is transported when the second page is conveyed when not overlapped as shown in FIG. Can carry the fifth page of the next bundle. It can be seen that productivity can be maintained high by performing overlay control.

JP 2010-159131 A JP 2010-18399 A

By the way, with the increase in the speed of the image forming apparatus, the number of sheets to be stacked and conveyed in the post-processing apparatus is also increasing. In the above-described prior art, since the number of stacked sheets is determined based on paper information (paper size, post-processing mode) notified in advance, even if the paper gap is opened due to factors upstream of the post-processing device, Waiting and holding at the stacking position until the set number of stacks is reached.
However, as the number of stacked sheets increases, the greater the number of stacked sheets, the greater the possibility of misalignment. Also, if the number of stacked sheets is large, the conveyance performance may be deteriorated due to a paper state change (curl or the like) due to environmental conditions, paper conditions, and printing conditions.
On the other hand, reducing the number of overlapping sheets hinders the speeding up of the image forming apparatus.

  The present invention has been made against the background of the above circumstances, and it is possible to eliminate problems such as misalignment by reducing the number of sheets stacked and conveyed by the post-processing apparatus as much as possible without hindering speeding up of the image forming apparatus. An object of the present invention is to provide a post-processing apparatus and an image forming system that can be used.

That is, among the post-processing devices of the present invention, the first present invention includes a post-processing unit that performs post-processing on the paper discharged from the preceding device,
A post-processing time calculation unit that calculates a time required for the post-processing according to the content of the post-processing;
A time comparison unit that compares the post-processing time with the interval between sheets discharged from the preceding apparatus;
An overlapping conveyance unit that conveys the plurality of sheets discharged from the preceding apparatus on the upstream side of the post-processing unit;
A control unit for controlling the overlap conveyance unit,
The control unit, when it is determined from the comparison result of the time comparison unit that the post-processing time exceeds the interval between the sheets, the overlap conveyance unit according to the interval between the sheets discharged from the preceding apparatus The number of stacked sheets in is variable.

  According to the first aspect of the present invention, it is possible to change the number of stacked sheets in the stack conveyance unit according to the relationship between the time required for the post-processing and the interval between the sheets, and the time required for the post-processing can be changed. If the interval is exceeded, the required number of sheets can be reduced to a minimum number. Thereby, it is possible to carry out the overlapping conveyance without determining the number of overlapping sheets in advance. In addition, when the time required for the post-processing is less than or equal to the interval between the sheets, the post-processing can be performed without stacking the sheets in the stack conveyance unit.

The post-processing unit provided in the post-processing device performs predetermined post-processing on the paper discharged from the previous stage, and the type thereof is not particularly limited as the present invention. Stapling, saddle stitching, punching, folding processing, bookbinding processing, and the like can be given. In addition, the post-processing apparatus may include a post-processing unit that performs one type of post-processing, or may include a post-processing unit that performs a plurality of types of post-processing.
Usually, an image forming apparatus is connected to the front side of the post-processing apparatus, but it is not necessary that the image forming apparatus is connected to the front stage of the post-processing apparatus. Or other devices may be connected.

Since the time required for post-processing varies depending on factors such as the number of sheets to be bundled in post-processing, post-processing content, paper type, and processing capability of the post-processing device, these elements are usually prepared as parameters in advance. The post-processing time calculation unit can calculate the time required for post-processing. The post-processing time calculation unit can be configured by a CPU, a program that operates the CPU, a storage unit that stores the parameters, and the like. Among the above elements, the number of sheets, details of post-processing, paper type, and the like are grasped as information by the image forming apparatus, and this information can be used for the above calculation. Also, information resulting from the configuration of the post-processing device, such as the processing capability of the post-processing device, may be held by the post-processing device, and is grasped in advance by the image forming apparatus to which the post-processing device is connected. It may be a thing.
The post-processing time calculation unit may be provided in the housing of the post-processing device, or connected to a LAN connected to the housing of the image forming apparatus or the housing of the post-processing device, for example, outside the housing of the post-processing device. It may be provided in a housing of an external device.

The interval between sheets discharged in the preceding stage is grasped as information on the preceding stage side, and this information can be used. Further, a sensor for detecting a paper gap may be provided on the front side or the post-processing device to acquire information on the paper gap. Moreover, you may use both the paper interval grasped | ascertained as information by the front | former stage side, and the detection result by the said sensor. As a result, the number of stacked sheets can be appropriately changed based on the detection result even in the case where the interval between the sheets is opened more than usual, regardless of the information about the interval between the sheets grasped on the front side.
The gap between the sheets is also changed by performing image adjustment in an image forming unit provided in the image forming apparatus, switching a sheet feeding tray (sheet feeding stage) of a sheet on which an image is transferred, or changing a sheet type. For this reason, the information between the sheets grasped on the image forming apparatus side is also changed by the change of the situation.

  The time required for the post-processing calculated by the post-processing time calculation unit and the paper interval are compared by the time comparison unit. Here, it is determined whether or not the time required for the post-processing exceeds the paper interval, and whether or not the time required for the post-processing is less than or equal to the paper interval. The time comparison unit may be provided in the housing of the post-processing device, and is external to the post-processing device housing, for example, an external device connected to a LAN connected to the housing of the image forming apparatus or the housing of the post-processing device. It may be provided in the enclosure of the.

In addition, the post-processing apparatus of the present invention has an overlapping conveyance unit that can convey and convey sheets on the upstream side of the post-processing unit. In this overlapping conveyance unit, it is possible to convey sheets with different numbers of overlapping sheets. Note that the structure of the stacking and conveying unit is not particularly limited in the present invention, and any structure that can stack and convey a predetermined number of sheets discharged from the preceding apparatus on the upstream side of the post-processing unit may be used.
The stack conveyance unit discharges the sheet in a state where the sheet can be received by the post-processing unit, and conveys the sheet to, for example, the stack unit of the post-processing unit.

The overlap conveyance unit is controlled by a control unit. Based on the comparison result of the time comparison unit, the control unit eliminates the need for the operation of stacking and transporting the sheets in the overlap transport unit when the time required for post-processing is less than or equal to the interval between sheets. In the present invention, even when the time required for post-processing is less than or equal to the interval between sheets, it is not excluded that the sheets are stacked and conveyed with the minimum number of sheets.
In addition, the control unit performs control for stacking and transporting the sheets in the overlap transport unit when the time required for post-processing exceeds the interval between the sheets. At this time, the number of sheets to be stacked can be further changed depending on the degree of time required for post-processing exceeding the interval between sheets. In the control, it is desirable to set the minimum necessary number of overlapping sheets that does not affect the paper. If the number of stacked sheets does not reach the necessary minimum, paper conveyance becomes difficult unless the gap between the sheets is increased, and productivity is reduced. Further, when the number of sheets exceeding the minimum required number of sheets is transported, the productivity is not affected, but the number of stacked sheets becomes excessive, so that transport accuracy and misalignment are likely to occur.
The control unit may be provided in the housing of the post-processing device, or may be provided outside the housing of the post-processing device, for example, an external device connected to a LAN connected to the housing of the image forming device or the housing of the post-processing device. It may be provided in the housing.

  The post-processing apparatus according to the second aspect of the present invention is the post-processing apparatus according to the first aspect of the present invention, wherein the control unit is the same as the preceding stage when the plurality of print setting units are the same in the image forming apparatus on the upstream side of the post-processing apparatus. The number of stacked sheets in the overlapping transport unit is variable according to the interval between the sheets discharged from the printer.

  According to the second aspect of the present invention, for example, when image transfer to a sheet is performed by the image forming apparatus in units of copies, when the sheet interval is changed due to a change of a sheet feeding tray or a sheet type, the overlap conveyance is performed. The number of stacked sheets can be changed.

  A post-processing apparatus according to a third aspect of the present invention is the post-processing apparatus according to the first aspect of the present invention, wherein the control unit starts from the front-stage apparatus when there are a plurality of different print setting units in the image forming apparatus on the front-stage side of the post-processing apparatus. The number of stacked sheets in the overlapping conveyance unit is variable according to the interval between the discharged sheets.

  In the third aspect of the present invention, when post-processing is performed in units of copies, post-processing is performed by the post-processing unit at the time of switching between the units, so that it is difficult for the sheet to enter the post-processing unit. Sometimes the number of stacked sheets can be changed to make the number of stacked sheets appropriate.

  In a post-processing apparatus according to a fourth aspect of the present invention, in any one of the first to third aspects of the present invention, the control unit is in a state in which the post-processing unit on the downstream side of the overlap conveyance unit can accept paper. In such a case, control is performed to discharge the sheets stacked in the overlapping conveyance unit toward the post-processing unit.

  The post-processing apparatus according to a fifth aspect of the present invention is the post-processing apparatus according to the fourth aspect of the present invention, wherein the control unit determines whether or not the sheet can be received after determining whether or not the sheet that has been previously sent to the post-processing unit. It is characterized by determining whether or not the processing is completed.

  The post-processing apparatus according to a sixth aspect of the present invention is the post-processing apparatus according to the fourth aspect of the present invention, wherein the control unit determines whether or not the paper is acceptable in the post-processing unit for final processing. The post-processing apparatus according to claim 4, wherein determination is made based on whether or not a predetermined time has elapsed since the message was sent.

  In the fourth to sixth aspects of the present invention, after the sheets stacked in the overlap conveyance unit are waited until the sheets can be received in the post-processing unit, and after the sheets can be received in the post-processing unit, The paper is discharged from the stack conveyance unit. Whether or not the sheet can be accepted can be determined by whether or not post-processing such as the previous sheet bundle has been completed in the post-processing unit. Further, it can also be determined based on whether or not a predetermined time has passed since the last sheet was sent to the post-processing section for post-processing. The time from when the final paper is sent to when the post-processing is completed can be determined, and after a predetermined time that does not interfere with the front bundle has passed, the paper can be ejected even if the post-processing is not completed. There is no problem.

  A post-processing apparatus according to a seventh aspect of the present invention is characterized in that, in any of the first to sixth aspects of the present invention, the preceding apparatus is an image forming apparatus.

  The post-processing apparatus according to an eighth aspect of the present invention is the post-processing apparatus according to any one of the first to seventh aspects of the present invention, wherein the front-stage apparatus includes a post-processing section different from the post-processing section. It is characterized by that.

An image forming system according to a ninth aspect of the present invention includes:
An image forming apparatus for forming an image and transferring the image onto a sheet;
A post-processing section that is located on the rear side of the image forming apparatus and performs post-processing on the paper discharged from the front-stage apparatus, and a plurality of sheets discharged from the front-stage apparatus on the upstream side of the post-processing section A post-processing device comprising:
A post-processing time calculating unit that calculates a time required for the post-processing according to the content of the post-processing;
A time comparison unit that compares the post-processing time with a sheet interval of paper ejected from a device preceding the post-processing device;
And a controller according to any one of the first to sixth aspects of the present invention.

  An image forming system according to a tenth aspect of the present invention is the image forming system according to the ninth aspect, further comprising a post-processing unit separate from the post-processing unit at a rear stage side of the image forming apparatus and at a front stage of the post-processing apparatus. Another post-processing device is connected.

That is, according to the present invention, it is possible to convey the sheet with the minimum number of overlapping sheets in the overlapping conveyance unit, and thus it is possible to ensure sheet alignment. In addition, the time for holding in the overlapped state in the overlap conveyance unit can be shortened.
Furthermore, when it is desired to convey the sheet with the minimum number of sheets, it is not necessary to be aware of the post-processing apparatus connected upstream.

It is sectional drawing which shows the mechanical structure of the image forming system containing the post-processing apparatus of this invention. Similarly, it is a figure which shows the operation example of an overlap conveyance part. Similarly, it is a control block diagram. Similarly, it is a figure explaining overlap conveyance control. Similarly, it is a figure explaining other examples of superposition conveyance control. Similarly, it is a flowchart which shows the procedure of overlap conveyance control. It is a figure explaining the conventional paper conveyance and overlap conveyance.

Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be described.
FIG. 1 shows image formation by an image forming apparatus 1, a first post-processing apparatus 2 connected to the subsequent stage of the image forming apparatus 1, and a second post-processing apparatus 3 connected to the subsequent stage of the first post-processing apparatus 2. The system is configured. The second post-processing device 3 corresponds to an embodiment of the post-processing device of the present invention, and the image forming system corresponds to an embodiment of the image forming system of the present invention.

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view showing the mechanical structure of the image forming system.
First, the image forming apparatus 1 will be described.
In the image forming apparatus 1, 7 is a paper feeding unit, 8 is a document reading unit, and 10 is an image forming unit.
The document reading unit 8 reads an image of a document transported by an automatic document transport device (not shown) or a document placed on a platen and temporarily records it in an image memory (not shown).

  The image forming unit 10 includes photoconductors 11C, 11M, 11Y, and 11K prepared for respective colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and the like), and the peripheral portions of the photoconductors 11C, 11M, 11Y, and 11K. Are equipped with charging units 12C, 12M, 12Y, 12K, writing units 13C, 13M, 13Y, 13K, and developing units 14C, 14M, 14Y, 14K. The surfaces of the photoreceptors 11C, 11M, 11Y, and 11K are subjected to image exposure by the writing units 13C, 13M, 13Y, and 13K based on the image information of the document recorded in the image memory or the like, and the photoreceptors 11C, 11M, 11Y, and 11K are exposed. A latent image is formed on the 11K surface. The latent image is developed by developing units 14C, 14M, 14Y, and 14K to become a toner image. The toner image is transferred to the intermediate transfer belt 16 and transferred from the intermediate transfer belt 16 to a sheet conveyed by the paper feeding unit 20. The transferred paper is heated and fixed by the fixing unit 18 and an image forming output (printing) is performed on the paper discharge unit 19.

  In the image forming unit 10, corresponding to each photoconductor, each photoconductor on the rotation direction side with respect to the contact position with the intermediate transfer belt 16 and on the rotation direction opposite side with respect to the chargers 12C, 12M, 12Y, and 12K. Cleaning units 15C, 15M, 15Y, and 15K that contact the 11C, 11M, 11Y, and 11K to remove residual toner are disposed. Further, a cleaning unit 17 for removing residual toner on the intermediate transfer belt 16 is disposed on the rotation direction side of the intermediate transfer belt 16 with respect to the sheet transfer position and on the rotation direction opposite side of the transfer position with each photoconductor. .

In the image forming apparatus 1, a paper feeding unit 7 including a plurality of paper feeding trays that store paper is disposed below the image forming unit 10. Further, a paper transport unit 9 is provided from each paper feed tray to the image forming unit 10 and further from the image forming unit 10 to the paper discharge unit 19, and the paper is transported between predetermined papers through the paper transport unit 9. The
Each of the photoreceptors 11C, 11M, 11Y, and 11K is rotated by a drive motor (not shown), and the intermediate transfer belt 16 is also driven by a drive motor (not shown).

  The first post-processing apparatus 2 includes a fixing unit 20 serving as a second fixing unit with the fixing unit 18 included in the image forming apparatus 1 as a first fixing unit. In the fixing unit 20, the paper discharged from the paper discharge unit 19 of the image forming apparatus 1 is received by the fixing unit 20 and heated and pressed to perform second fixing. On the paper discharge side of the second fixing unit 20, a first transport path 22 and a second transport path 23 including a switching unit 21 are provided. The first transport path 22 transports the paper discharged from the fixing unit 20 to the paper discharge unit 25 and discharges it to the second post-processing device 3. The second transport path 23 returns the paper discharged from the fixing unit 20 to the image forming apparatus 1 and transfers it to the transport path 9 so that the image forming apparatus 1 can form an image again.

  The second post-processing device 3 includes a main transport path 30 that receives the paper discharged from the first post-processing device 2, and can transport the paper to the overlapping transport unit 32 via the switching unit 31. . The main conveyance path 30 extends downward through the switching unit 31, and a switching unit 33 is interposed on the lower side. The main conveyance path 30 immediately below the switching unit 33 also serves as a paper standby unit. An overlapping path 34 is provided in one switching direction of the switching unit 33.

An overlapping conveyance unit 32 is configured by a part of the main conveyance path, the switching unit 31, the switching unit 33, the overlapping path 34, and the like.
A stack transport path 35 is provided via the switching unit 33, and a stack section 36 is provided in the transport direction of the stack transport path 35.
A post-processing unit 37 is provided at the transport destination of the main transport path 30. In this form, side stitching is performed as post-processing. Further, in this figure, the configuration of the post-processing unit 37 is simplified. A paper discharge unit 38 is provided on the downstream side of the post-processing unit 37.

The operation of the overlap conveyance unit 32 will be described with reference to FIG.
The sheet P1 received in the main transport path 30 of the second post-processing device 3 is transported according to the main transport path 30 by the switching operation of the switching unit 31, and is transferred to the superimposing path 34 which is an overlapping unit by the switching operation of the switching unit 33. It is conveyed (a). When the trailing edge of the sheet P1 passes through the switching unit 33, the sheet P1 sent to the overlapping path 34 is switched back by the reverse rotation of the conveying roller, and is put on standby in the main conveying path 30 on the downstream side of the switching unit 33 (b). . Next, when the next paper P2 is received from the previous stage, the previous paper P1 is kept waiting in the main transport path 30 on the downstream side of the switching unit 33, and the paper P2 is transported on the main transport path 30 on the upstream side and switched. The front end of the paper P2 is stopped immediately before the switching unit 33 after passing through the unit 31. The paper P2 and the paper P1 are sent to the superimposing path 34 at the same time to be superposed (d), and when the trailing edge passes through the switching unit 33, both the papers P1 and P2 are switched back and downstream of the switching unit 33. It is made to stand by in the state superimposed on the main conveyance path 30 on the side (e).

When the post-processing unit 37 can be received, the paper P1 and the paper P2 are conveyed to the stack unit 36 included in the post-processing unit 37 through the stack conveyance path 35 (f). When the sheet transported to the stack unit 36 reaches a predetermined number of bundles, it is transported to the post-processing unit 37 and subjected to predetermined post-processing.
In the above description, an example in which two sheets of paper are stacked and conveyed has been described. However, by repeating the above procedure, three or more sheets can be stacked and conveyed.
Note that the overlap conveyance unit 32 normally has a limit on the number of sheets that can be stacked and conveyed for structural reasons, and the sheet can be conveyed by changing the number of overlapped sheets within this limit. The present invention is not limited to a specific number of overlapping sheets.

Next, the control block of the image forming system will be described.
The image forming apparatus 1 includes an image forming apparatus control unit 100 that controls the entire image forming apparatus 1. The image forming apparatus control unit 100 includes a paper feeding unit 7, a paper transport unit 9, an image forming unit 10, and an image. The processing unit 113 is connected to be controllable. The image forming apparatus control unit 100 grasps the sheet interval that is the sheet conveyance interval based on the operating conditions of the image forming apparatus 1. The image processing unit 113 performs image processing such as analog processing, A / D conversion, shading correction, and image compression processing on image data acquired by a scanner (not shown) based on a command from the image forming apparatus control unit 100. Is called.

  In the paper feed unit 7, paper is fed from a predetermined paper feed tray under the control of the image forming apparatus control unit 100, and the paper transport unit 9 controlled by the image forming apparatus control unit 100 performs the image forming unit 10 to the discharge unit 19. The sheet is transported over the period. In the image forming unit 10, image processing is performed by the image processing unit 113, and writing is performed for each color, image formation, transfer to a sheet, and the like based on the image data temporarily stored in the storage unit or the like.

  Further, a paper feed switching unit 101 is connected to the image forming apparatus control unit 100 in a controllable manner. The paper feed switching unit 101 switches the paper feed tray to which paper is fed. For example, when the paper feed tray is automatically switched when the paper feed tray that is feeding paper is out, It functions when the paper feed tray is switched at the time of switching. Note that the paper interval may change when the paper feed tray is switched, and the image forming apparatus control unit 100 acquires the change between the papers as the paper feed is switched as information.

  The image forming apparatus control unit 100 is connected to a heating unit 110, a temperature detection unit 111, and a warm-up completion time calculation unit 112 in a controllable manner. The heating unit 110 and the temperature detection unit 111 are provided in the fixing unit 18, and the heating unit 110 heats the fixing unit 18 to a predetermined temperature. The temperature at this time is detected by the temperature detection unit 111, and the image forming apparatus control unit 100 that receives the detection result controls heating by the heating unit 110. Also, the warm-up completion time calculation unit 112 calculates the warm-up completion time until the fixing unit 18 becomes operable by heating of the heating unit 110. The warm-up completion time calculation unit 112 can calculate the warm-up completion time based on the detection temperature of the temperature detection unit 111 and the tendency of change in the detection temperature.

A serial communication unit 115 is connected to the image forming apparatus control unit 100 in a controllable manner. The serial communication unit 115 can communicate with the first post-processing device at the subsequent stage.
Further, a time comparison unit 102 is connected to the image forming apparatus control unit 100. The time comparison unit compares the sheet interval with the time required for post-processing by the second post-processing device 3. The comparison result is notified to the image forming apparatus control unit 100. The information between the sheets is grasped by the image forming apparatus control unit 100 based on the operation of the image forming apparatus 1 and is also acquired by the detection result of the second post-processing apparatus 3 described later. In the present invention, the number of overlapped sheets may be determined using only one of the sheet interval information.

In response to the comparison result, the image forming apparatus control unit 100 compares the time required for the post-processing and the interval between the sheets, and makes a determination on the overlap conveyance in the second post-processing apparatus 3. When the time required for the post-processing is less than or equal to the interval between the sheets, it is determined that the overlap conveyance in the second post-processing apparatus 3 is unnecessary. On the other hand, when the time required for the post-processing exceeds the interval between the sheets, Necessary for overlap transport, as long as it is determined that overlap transport is necessary, and post-processing can be performed without affecting the paper, depending on the extent that the time required for post-processing exceeds the space between sheets. Determine the minimum number of sheets to be stacked.
The determination result regarding the overlap conveyance by the image forming apparatus control unit 100 is notified to the second post-processing device 3 through the serial communication unit 115 and further through the first post-processing device 2.
The determination of the number of stacked sheets can be performed when the interval between sheets changes, each time a sheet is conveyed, every time a predetermined number of sheets are conveyed, and the like.
For example, after determining the number of stacked sheets based on the gap between the sheets derived based on the operating conditions of the image forming apparatus 1, an unexpected factor in the image forming apparatus 1 or a subsequent stage of the image forming apparatus 1, for example, the first rear When a factor causing fluctuations in the sheet interval occurs in the processing device 2, the number of overlapped sheets is changed based on the interval between the sheets detected by the second post-processing device 3. Can be determined.

  The first post-processing device 2 includes a first post-processing device control unit 200 that controls the entire first post-processing device 2, and the upper serial communication unit 201 can be controlled by the first post-processing device control unit 200. It is connected to the. The upper serial communication unit 201 is connected to the serial communication unit 115 of the image forming apparatus 1 to enable communication.

In addition, a lower serial communication unit 202 is controllably connected to the first post-processing device control unit 200, and communication with the second post-processing device 3 in the subsequent stage is possible through the lower serial communication unit 202. .
Further, a paper transport unit 205 is connected to the first post-processing device control unit 200 in a controllable manner. The paper transport unit 205 transports the paper discharged from the preceding image forming apparatus 1 and returns it to the image forming apparatus 1 or transports it to the second post-processing apparatus 3 in the subsequent stage. The first transport path 22 and the second transport path 23 are configured.

  In addition, a heating unit 210, a temperature detection unit 211, and a warm-up completion time calculation unit 212 are connected to the first post-processing device control unit 200 in a controllable manner. The heating unit 210 and the temperature detection unit 211 are provided in the fixing unit 20 and the heating unit 210 heats the fixing unit 20 to a predetermined temperature. The temperature at this time is detected by the temperature detection unit 211, and the first post-processing device control unit 200 that receives the detection result controls heating by the heating unit 210. Also, the warm-up completion time calculation unit 212 calculates the warm-up completion time until the fixing unit 20 becomes operable by heating of the heating unit 210. The warm-up completion time calculation unit 212 can calculate the warm-up completion time based on the detection temperature of the temperature detection unit 211 and the tendency of change in the detection temperature.

  The second post-processing device 3 includes a second post-processing device control unit 300 that controls the entire second post-processing device 3, and the upper serial communication unit 301 can be controlled by the second post-processing device control unit 300. It is connected to the. The upper serial communication unit 301 is connected to the lower serial communication unit 202 of the first post-processing device 2 to enable communication. As a result, the second post-processing apparatus 3 can communicate with the first post-processing apparatus 2 and can communicate with the image forming apparatus 1 via the first post-processing apparatus 2.

To the second post-processing device control unit 300, a paper transport unit 302, an overlap transport unit 32, and a paper detection unit 303 are connected to be controllable. The paper transport unit 302 transports the paper discharged from the first post-processing device 2 in the preceding stage in the second post-processing device, and includes a main transport path 30, a switching unit 31, a switching unit 33, and an overlapping path 34. In addition, the stack conveyance path 35 and the like are included.
The overlap conveyance unit 32 includes a part of the main conveyance path 30, a switching unit 33, an overlap path 34, a stack conveyance path 35, and the like. In the second post-processing device control unit 300, the sheets are stacked and conveyed according to the number of stacked sheets determined by comparing the post-processing time required by the post-processing unit 37 and the interval between sheets. When the overlap conveyance is unnecessary, the overlap conveyance is not performed.
Therefore, the second post-processing device control unit 300 corresponds to the control unit of the present invention.
The paper detection unit 303 is disposed in the main conveyance path 30 and detects the conveyed paper, and uses the detection result for control of the switching units 31 and 33 and the conveyance of the paper. Further, the second post-processing device control unit 300 can grasp the space between the sheets conveyed in the second post-processing device 3 based on the paper detection result of the paper detection unit 303. The inter-sheet information acquired by the second post-processing apparatus control unit 300 is transmitted to the image forming apparatus 1.

A post-processing unit 37 is connected to the second post-processing device control unit 300 in a controllable manner. The post-processing unit 37 performs side stitching.
Further, a post-processing time calculation unit 310 is connected to the second post-processing device control unit 300. The post-processing time calculation unit 310 calculates a post-processing time required in the post-processing unit 37. In the calculation, calculation is performed in consideration of the number of sheets to be stapled and the type of sheets. The calculation result of the post-processing time calculation unit 310 is transmitted to the second post-processing device control unit 300. The second post-processing apparatus control unit 300 notifies the image forming apparatus 1 of the calculation result via the upper serial communication unit 301 and the first post-processing apparatus 2. The calculation result is received by the serial communication unit 15 and transmitted to the image forming apparatus control unit 100. The image forming apparatus control unit 100 transmits the calculation result to the time comparison unit 102 for comparison between the time required for post-processing and the sheet interval.

  The second post-processing device control unit 300 is connected to a post-processing unit entry availability determination unit 311. The post-processing unit entry permission / prohibition determination unit 311 determines whether or not the post-processing is completed and paper can be entered. Even if the post-processing is not completed, it is determined whether or not the last page of the bundle to be post-processed has passed based on the detection result of the paper detection unit 303. In this determination, an elapsed time after the sheet passes is measured, and it is determined whether or not the predetermined time has elapsed. The predetermined time is a time in which the last page is stacked on the stack unit 36 and conveyed to the post-processing unit 37 side so that the next sheet can be received by the stack unit 36. The sheets can be conveyed to the stack unit 36 without interfering with the sheets in the front bundle. Also in this case, it is determined that entry into the post-processing unit is possible.

Next, a control state in which the second post-processing apparatus 3 performs overlapping conveyance will be described with reference to FIG.
FIG. 4A shows a state where the time required for the post-processing is as expected and the post-processing can be performed without affecting between the sheets by overlapping and transporting with a predetermined number of stacked sheets (for example, 4 sheets). Show. However, when the sheet interval is increased due to the main body factor in the image forming apparatus 1, overlap conveyance is necessary, and therefore, the sheet is overlapped and conveyed by a predetermined number of sheets (FIG. 4B). However, even if the gap between the sheets is sufficiently wide and the overlap conveyance is not necessary, the overlap conveyance is performed according to a predetermined number of sheets set in advance. This example corresponds to conventional overlap conveyance.
On the other hand, in the present invention, when the overlap conveyance becomes unnecessary depending on the state between the sheets, the overlap conveyance is not performed any more, and the necessary minimum overlap number can be achieved. In FIG. 4C, since the paper gap is sufficient during the superposition, the superposition is stopped when the paper space is secured, and the number of superposed sheets is limited to two, and the number of superposed sheets is minimized. be able to.

Another example will be described with reference to FIG.
In this example, it is assumed that the sheet interval is increased due to a factor of the first post-processing device.
FIG. 5A shows a state in which the time required for the post-processing is as expected and the post-processing can be performed without affecting the space between the sheets. The state of overlap conveyance is omitted.
FIG. 5B shows a state in which the paper gap is opened due to the factor of the first post-processing device.
FIG. 5C shows a case where the number of sheets to be stacked and conveyed is changed according to the interval between the sheets. When a necessary minimum sheet interval is secured, the overlap is stopped and the number of stacked sheets is minimized. is made of.

  Next, a control procedure for changing the number of stacked sheets in the overlapping conveyance unit according to the interval between the sheets will be described with reference to the flowchart of FIG. The control procedure is executed by the second post-processing device control unit 300.

  In the procedure shown in FIG. 6A, the paper discharged from the first post-processing device 2 is introduced into the second post-processing device 3 and starts to be transported (step s1). The conveyance detection by 303 is performed (step s2). It waits until conveyance detection is made (step s2, NO), and when conveyance detection is made (step s2, YES), it is determined whether the front bundle is being post-processed (step s3). If the front bundle is not being post-processed (step s3, NO), the conveyed paper is discharged to the post-processing section (step s4). If the front bundle is being post-processed (step s3, YES), the bundle is conveyed to the overlapping conveyance unit 32 (step s5). Note that when transporting to the stack transport unit 32, transport to the stack transport unit is performed according to the number of stacked sheets determined based on a comparison between the time required for post-processing and the interval between sheets. In this embodiment, the time required for post-processing and the interval between papers and the determination of the number of stacked sheets are performed by the image forming apparatus, but may be performed by the second post-processing apparatus 3. In addition, when the discharge to the post-processing unit is impossible and it is difficult to reach the upper limit of the number of sheets to be stacked, it is necessary to increase the gap between the sheets.

The time required for post-processing can be acquired by the procedure shown in FIG.
That is, paper information is acquired from the image forming apparatus 1 (step s20), and post-processing information is further acquired (step s21). In the second post-processing device 3, the post-processing time calculation unit 310 can calculate information necessary for the post-processing based on these pieces of information.

A control procedure for discharging a sheet to the post-processing unit in a state where the sheets are stacked in the overlapping conveyance unit will be described with reference to a flowchart of FIG.
The post-processing unit 37 checks whether or not it can be accepted (step s10).
As a result of the confirmation, the post-processing unit 37 waits until the next sheet can be accepted (step s11, NO, to step s10). If the post-processing unit 37 can accept the next sheet (step s11, YES), the next sheet is discharged to the post-processing unit 37 (step s12).

Next, a specific procedure of step s10 for confirming whether or not the post-processing unit 37 can accept is described based on the flowchart of FIG.
First, the post-processing unit 37 determines whether or not the sheet can be entered (step s30). If the post-processing unit 37 has completed the post-processing, the sheet can enter the post-processing unit 37 (step s30, YES). If the paper can enter the post-processing unit 37, it is confirmed that the paper can be discharged to the post-processing unit, and the process is terminated.

On the other hand, if the sheet cannot enter the post-processing unit 37 (step s30, NO), it is determined whether the necessary time has elapsed since the last sheet of the front bundle has passed (step s31). This necessary time is a time during which the next sheet can enter the post-processing section without causing interference with the front bundle in the post-processing section even if the next sheet starts to be conveyed to the post-processing section at that timing. This time is obtained in advance, for example, by acquiring it together with the time required for post-processing.
If the required time has elapsed since the last page of the previous bundle passed (step s31, YES), it is determined that discharge is possible (step s32). If the necessary time has not elapsed since the last page of the previous bundle has passed (step s31, NO), the process ends without determining whether or not discharge is possible.

  The present invention has been described based on the above embodiment. However, the present invention is not limited to the content of the above embodiment, and appropriate modifications are possible without departing from the scope of the present invention. .

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 Image forming apparatus 2 1st post-processing apparatus 3 2nd post-processing apparatus 32 Stacking conveyance part 37 Post-processing part 100 Image forming apparatus control part 102 Time comparison part 300 2nd post-processing apparatus control part 310 Post-processing time calculation part

Claims (10)

  1. A post-processing unit that performs post-processing on the paper discharged from the preceding apparatus;
    A post-processing time calculation unit that calculates a time required for the post-processing according to the content of the post-processing;
    A time comparison unit that compares the post-processing time with the interval between sheets discharged from the preceding apparatus;
    An overlapping conveyance unit that conveys the plurality of sheets discharged from the preceding apparatus on the upstream side of the post-processing unit;
    A control unit for controlling the overlap conveyance unit,
    The controller, when it is determined from the comparison result of the time comparison unit that the post-processing time exceeds the interval between the sheets, the overlap conveyance unit according to the interval between sheets discharged from the preceding apparatus A post-processing device characterized in that the number of stacked sheets in the printer is variable.
  2.   The control unit is configured to overlap sheets in the overlap conveyance unit according to a gap between sheets discharged from the preceding apparatus when the plurality of print setting is the same in the image forming apparatus on the preceding stage of the post-processing apparatus. The post-processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the number of sheets is variable.
  3.   The controller controls the number of stacked sheets in the overlapping transport unit according to the interval between sheets of paper discharged from the preceding apparatus when there are a plurality of different print settings in the image forming apparatus on the preceding stage of the post-processing apparatus. The post-processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the post-processing apparatus is variable.
  4.   The control unit discharges the sheets stacked in the overlapping conveyance unit toward the post-processing unit when the post-processing unit on the downstream side of the overlapping conveyance unit is in a state where the sheet can be received. The post-processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein control is performed.
  5.   5. The control unit according to claim 4, wherein the control unit determines whether or not the sheet is acceptable depending on whether or not the post-processing for the sheet previously sent to the post-processing unit is completed. Post-processing equipment.
  6.   The control unit determines whether or not the sheet is acceptable depending on whether or not a predetermined time has elapsed since the last sheet was sent to the post-processing unit for post-processing. The post-processing apparatus according to claim 4.
  7.   The post-processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the front-stage apparatus is an image forming apparatus.
  8.   The post-processing device according to claim 1, wherein the front-stage device is another post-processing device including a post-processing unit different from the post-processing unit.
  9. An image forming apparatus for forming an image and transferring the image onto a sheet;
    A post-processing section that is located on the rear side of the image forming apparatus and performs post-processing on the paper discharged from the front-stage apparatus, and a plurality of sheets discharged from the front-stage apparatus on the upstream side of the post-processing section A post-processing device comprising:
    A post-processing time calculating unit that calculates a time required for the post-processing according to the content of the post-processing;
    A time comparison unit that compares the post-processing time with a sheet interval of paper ejected from a device preceding the post-processing device;
    An image forming system comprising: the control unit according to claim 1.
  10.   The post-processing device having a post-processing unit different from the post-processing unit is connected to a post-stage side of the image forming apparatus and in front of the post-processing device. Image forming system.
JP2011147506A 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 Post-processing apparatus and image forming system Pending JP2013014399A (en)

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