JP2015069185A - Decoloring apparatus and printing system including the same - Google Patents

Decoloring apparatus and printing system including the same Download PDF

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Publication number
JP2015069185A
JP2015069185A JP2013206138A JP2013206138A JP2015069185A JP 2015069185 A JP2015069185 A JP 2015069185A JP 2013206138 A JP2013206138 A JP 2013206138A JP 2013206138 A JP2013206138 A JP 2013206138A JP 2015069185 A JP2015069185 A JP 2015069185A
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image
erasing
image forming
decoloring
recording sheet
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JP2013206138A
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Japanese (ja)
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勝也 北山
Katsuya Kitayama
勝也 北山
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シャープ株式会社
Sharp Corp
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Abstract

A decoloring apparatus capable of improving user convenience is provided. An erasing apparatus reads an image on a conveyed recording sheet and determines whether or not a mark image is attached to the recording sheet based on the read image. If a mark image is attached (YES in step S1020), decoloring information is acquired from the mark image (step S1030). The erasing apparatus 200 determines whether or not the conveyed recording sheet is a recording sheet capable of erasing the image, based on the presence / absence of the mark image and the read erasing information. The erasing apparatus 200 includes a erasing unit 250 that erases the image of the conveyed recording paper, and controls the erasing of the image by the erasing unit 250 according to the determination result. The recording sheet from which the image has been erased by the erasing unit 250 is fed to the image forming apparatus, and the recording sheet from which the image has not been erased is discharged. [Selection] Figure 5

Description

  The present invention relates to a color erasing apparatus and a printing system including the same, and more particularly to a technique for reusing recording paper.

  2. Description of the Related Art Conventionally, a technique for reusing a recording sheet by erasing print contents from a printed recording sheet is known. As an apparatus using such a technique, there has been proposed a decoloring apparatus that prints an image by an image forming apparatus using toner or ink containing a leuco dye, and decolors the image on the recording paper using heat. Yes.

  The erasing device erases the color of the image on the recording sheet by heating the recording sheet being conveyed at a constant temperature. However, although the color of the image on the recording paper is erased, the transparent toner remains on the recording paper. Therefore, if printing and erasing are repeated on the same recording paper, the physical or chemical characteristics of the recording paper will change. Therefore, the erasing becomes insufficient when the number of times the recording sheet is reused or decolored increases.

  For such a problem, JP-A-2001-259259 discloses a erasing apparatus that sets an upper limit of the number of toner erasures and guarantees print quality and does not erase (decolor) toner more than the upper limit. . A mark indicating how many times the image on the recording sheet has been erased is printed in advance at a specific position of the recording sheet to be erased by this erasing apparatus. The decoloring apparatus reads the mark to acquire the number of times of decoloring of the recording paper, and when the acquired number of times of decoloring is equal to or more than a predetermined number of times, it is discharged without performing the decoloring process.

JP2012-118526A

  In an office or the like where a large number of employees work, various printing apparatuses (image forming apparatuses) are usually installed. In such offices, there are printing apparatuses having a decoloring function and other printing apparatuses that are not. Depending on the recording paper output from these printing apparatuses, recording paper printed with erasable toner and recording paper printed with other toner are mixed in the office. Therefore, when installing recording sheets in the erasing apparatus, the user needs to sort these recording sheets into those that can be erased and those that are not. For this reason, the conventional erasing apparatus has a problem that the convenience of the user is impaired. Since the erasing apparatus described in Patent Document 1 is premised on that a mark is printed in advance at a specific position of a recording sheet to be erased when erasing an image, such a problem is disclosed in Patent Document 1. It cannot be solved.

  SUMMARY An advantage of some aspects of the invention is that it provides a decoloring apparatus and a printing system capable of improving user convenience. is there.

  In order to achieve the above object, a decoloring apparatus according to a first aspect of the present invention includes a conveying unit for conveying a recording sheet, a reading unit for reading an image of the conveyed recording sheet, and a reading unit. Based on the image, a determination means for determining whether or not a mark image including decoloring information relating to image decoloration is attached to the recording paper, and the determination means includes a mark image on the conveyed recording paper. In response to determining that the mark image is attached, an information acquisition unit for acquiring the decoloring information from the mark image, a decoloring unit for decoloring the image of the conveyed recording paper, and the mark image Whether or not the conveyed recording sheet is a recording sheet capable of erasing the image, and erasing the image by the erasing unit according to the determination result. Control means for controlling and decoloring means. Image and a discharging means for discharging the sheet feeding means for feeding the image forming apparatus recording sheet decolored, the recording sheet on which the image has not been decolored by decoloration means.

  An image of the conveyed recording paper is read, and based on the read image, it is determined whether or not a mark image including decoloring information regarding the color erasing of the image is attached to the recording paper. If it is determined that the mark image is attached, the decoloring information is acquired from the mark image. The erasing apparatus determines whether the conveyed recording sheet is a recording sheet capable of erasing the image based on the presence / absence of the mark image and the read erasing information. Then, in accordance with the determination result, erasing of the image by the erasing means is controlled. When the image erasing is performed by the erasing unit, the erasing apparatus feeds the recording sheet on which the image has been erased to the image forming apparatus. The recording paper on which the image has not been erased is discharged.

  In this way, the decoloring device automatically determines whether or not the recording paper installed in the decoloring device is a recording paper capable of erasing the image based on the presence or absence of the mark image and the erasing information acquired from the mark image. Discriminate. The recording paper on which the image can be erased is fed to the image forming apparatus after the image is erased. In the case of a recording sheet that cannot be erased, the image is discharged without being erased. Therefore, even when recording paper printed with erasable toner and recording paper printed with non-erasable toner are mixed, those erasable and non-erasable recording paper The image can be erased without being assigned in advance. The decolored recording paper is fed to the image forming apparatus and used for image formation in the image forming apparatus. As a result, the convenience of the user is improved, and the recording paper can be easily reused.

  Preferably, the discharging unit includes a unit for discharging the recording sheet on which the image has not been erased so as to be fed to the image forming apparatus, and the erasing apparatus further includes a recording sheet fed to the image forming apparatus. A transmission unit configured to transmit information indicating whether or not erasing is possible to the image forming apparatus;

  More preferably, the information acquisition unit includes a unit for acquiring the number of decoloring times from the mark image, and the control unit is configured to determine whether the conveyed recording paper is an image based on the presence / absence of the mark image and the read number of decoloring times. It includes means for determining whether or not the recording sheet is erasable and controlling erasing of the image by the erasing unit according to the determination result.

  More preferably, in response to the determination unit determining that the mark image is not attached to the conveyed recording sheet, the erasing apparatus determines that the recording sheet is a recording sheet that cannot be reused. It further includes a notifying means for notifying to.

  A printing system according to a second aspect of the present invention is a printing system including an erasing device that erases an image formed on a recording sheet, and an image forming device connected to the erasing device. In this printing system, the erasing apparatus includes a conveying unit for conveying the recording paper and a reading unit for reading the image of the conveyed recording paper in response to receiving the print instruction from the image forming apparatus. And a determination unit for determining whether or not a mark image including decoloring information relating to the decoloring of the image is attached to the recording sheet based on the read image, and the determination unit includes the conveyed recording sheet In response to determining that a mark image is attached to the mark image, information acquisition means for acquiring erasing information from the mark image, and erasing means for erasing the image of the conveyed recording paper And whether or not the conveyed recording sheet is a recording sheet capable of erasing the image, based on the presence / absence of the mark image and the read erasing information, and the image by the erasing unit according to the determination result To control the decoloring of A control unit; a sheet feeding unit for feeding the recording sheet on which the image has been erased by the decoloring unit to the image forming apparatus; and a discharge unit for ejecting the recording sheet on which the image has not been erased by the decoloring unit Means. An image forming apparatus includes: a receiving unit that receives a print instruction; a unit that transmits a print instruction to a decoloring apparatus; and an image forming unit that forms an image on a recording sheet using a decolorable recording material. And a means for controlling the image forming means to form a mark image including the decoloring information updated together with the image based on the print instruction on the fed decolored recording sheet.

  Preferably, the erasing apparatus further includes a transmission unit for transmitting the erasing information acquired from the mark image to the image forming apparatus, and the image forming apparatus receives the erasing information transmitted from the erasing apparatus. And a means for updating the received decoloring information.

  More preferably, the erasing apparatus further includes means for updating the erasing information acquired from the mark image, and transmitting means for transmitting the updated erasing information to the image forming apparatus. And receiving means for receiving updated decoloring information transmitted from the decoloring apparatus.

  More preferably, the discharging unit includes a unit for discharging the recording paper on which the image has not been erased so as to be fed to the image forming apparatus. The image forming apparatus further includes a transmission unit configured to transmit information indicating whether or not erasing is possible to the image forming apparatus, and the image forming apparatus is configured to record a sheet fed based on the information indicating whether or not erasing is possible. It further includes a paper discharge means for determining whether or not the paper is a recording paper on which an image has not been erased, and discharging the recording paper without performing image formation by the image forming means according to the determination result.

  More preferably, the discharging unit includes a unit for discharging the recording paper on which the image has not been erased so as to be fed to the image forming apparatus. The image forming apparatus further includes a transmission unit configured to transmit information indicating whether or not erasing is possible to the image forming apparatus, and the image forming apparatus is configured to record a sheet fed based on the information indicating whether or not erasing is possible. It is determined whether or not the sheet is a recording sheet on which the image has not been erased, and according to the determination result, a discharge unit for forming and discharging an image indicating that the recording sheet cannot be erased is provided. In addition.

  More preferably, the paper discharge means is a means for discharging the recording paper that has been fed and whose image has not been erased separately from the recording paper on which the image is formed by the image forming means. Including.

  As described above, according to the present invention, it is possible to obtain a decoloring apparatus and a printing system that can improve user convenience.

1 is a diagram showing a simplified configuration of a printing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention. It is a figure which shows the mark image printed on a recording paper. It is a control block diagram which shows the hardware constitutions of the erasing apparatus shown in FIG. FIG. 2 is a control block diagram illustrating a hardware configuration of the image forming apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1. It is a flowchart which shows the control structure of the program performed with the erasing apparatus of FIG. 2 is a flowchart showing a control structure of a program executed by the image forming apparatus of FIG. It is a figure for demonstrating the printing process performed with the printing system of FIG. It is a control block diagram which shows the hardware constitutions of the decoloring apparatus which comprises the printing system which concerns on the 3rd Embodiment of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the control structure of the program performed with the erasing apparatus of FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating a control structure of a program executed by an image forming apparatus according to a third embodiment of the present invention. It is a control block diagram which shows the hardware constitutions of the decoloring apparatus which comprises the printing system which concerns on the 4th Embodiment of this invention. 10 is a flowchart illustrating a control structure of a program executed by an image forming apparatus according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention.

  In the following embodiments, the same parts are denoted by the same reference numerals. Their functions and names are also the same. Therefore, detailed description thereof will not be repeated.

(First embodiment)
Referring to FIG. 1, a printing system 50 according to the present embodiment includes an image forming apparatus 100 and an erasing apparatus 200 connected to the image forming apparatus 100. The image forming apparatus 100 is, for example, a multifunction peripheral (MFP) having a copy function, a scanner function, a printer function, and the like. The image forming apparatus 100 forms an image on a recording sheet using a decolorable toner (hereinafter referred to as “decolorable toner”). The decolorizable toner is a recording material that is decolored by heating to a predetermined temperature of, for example, 100 ° C. or higher. Note that the image forming apparatus 100 has a so-called laser (electrophotographic) printing function that uses laser light for exposure. However, other types of printing functions may be provided.

  The erasing apparatus 200 erases the image formed on the recording paper using the erasable toner using heat. The erasing apparatus 200 is an optional apparatus for paper feeding, and supplies recording paper to the image forming apparatus 100 when the image forming apparatus 100 performs printing. The erasing apparatus 200 is connected to the image forming apparatus 100 and installed.

  The erasing apparatus 200 includes a manual feed tray 202 on which recording sheets to be supplied to the image forming apparatus 100 are installed, and a paper feed tray 204 on which a plurality of recording sheets are stacked. In the manual feed tray 202 and the paper feed tray 204, recording paper (printed recording paper) on which an image is formed in order to reuse the recording paper is installed or stacked. In some cases, the recording paper that is installed or stacked includes a recording paper that is printed with a decolorable toner and a recording paper that is printed with a toner that is not. In such a case, the erasing apparatus 200 determines whether or not the recording sheet is a erasable recording sheet based on whether or not a mark image to be described later is formed on the recording sheet. When the erasing apparatus 200 receives a print instruction from the image forming apparatus 100, the recording paper set in the manual feed tray 202 or the paper feed tray 204 is erased or fed to the image forming apparatus 100 without being erased. To do.

  When the erased recording sheet is fed, the image forming apparatus 100 forms an image on the recording sheet and discharges it. At that time, the image forming apparatus 100 forms a mark image including information such as how many times the image on the recording paper has been erased at a predetermined position on the recording paper. Referring to FIG. 2, the mark image 60 is made of, for example, a tint block in which decoloring information is embedded. The mark image 60 is formed so as to be erasable with an erasable toner. The erasing information embedded in the mark image 60 is read by the erasing apparatus 200 when the erasing apparatus 200 erases the image. The mark image 60 is preferably formed so that it is difficult for the human eye to see. For example, the mark image 60 is preferably formed in a color that is difficult to visually recognize, such as yellow. The decoloring information embedded in the mark image 60 is information (information indicating the decoloring state) related to decoloring of the recording paper on which the mark image 60 is formed. The erasing information includes information such as the number of times of erasing or reuse of the recording paper and whether or not the recording paper is erasable.

  On the other hand, when a recording sheet that has not been erased (recording sheet that cannot be erased) is fed, the image forming apparatus 100 discharges the recording sheet without forming an image.

[Hardware configuration]
<Decolorizing apparatus 200>
Referring to FIG. 3, the erasing apparatus 200 performs a erasing process for erasing the color of the image with the erasable toner on the recording paper on which the image is formed with the erasable toner. The decoloring apparatus 200 includes a control unit 210, a storage unit 220, a transport unit 230, a reading unit 240, a decoloring unit 250, an operation unit 260, a display unit 270, and a communication unit 280.

  The control unit 210 includes a processor 212 composed of a CPU (Central Processing Unit) or MPU (Micro Processing Unit), and a memory 214. The memory 214 is, for example, a semiconductor memory, and includes a ROM (Read Only Memory) 216 that stores various control programs and the like, and a RAM (Random Access Memory) 218 that provides a temporary work area to the processor 212. The control unit 210 is connected to the storage unit 220, the conveyance unit 230, the reading unit 240, the decoloring unit 250, the operation unit 260, the display unit 270, and the communication unit 280 via the bus 290, and controls these functional units. To do.

  The storage unit 220 is a non-volatile storage device that retains data even when power is cut off, and is, for example, a hard disk drive or a flash memory. The storage unit 220 may be any of a magnetic storage device, an optical storage device, and a semiconductor storage device, or any combination thereof. The storage unit 220 stores an application program, an OS (Operating System), and the like. The application program includes a program that executes functions of the erasing apparatus 200 such as a reading function by the reading unit 240 and a erasing function of the erasing unit 250. The application program further includes various application programs such as an application for a Web client (Web browser).

  The transport unit 230 includes a paper feed roller, a transport roller, a separation roller, a registration roller, a paper discharge roller, and the like (all of which are not shown). Drive of these units of the transport unit 230 is controlled based on an instruction from the control unit 210. The conveyance unit 230 conveys the recording sheets on the manual feed tray 202 or the paper feed tray 204 one by one to the reading unit 240 and the erasing unit 250 along the conveyance path, and finally feeds the recording paper to the image forming apparatus 100.

  The reading unit 240 includes a scanner unit such as a CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) or a CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor). The reading unit 240 reads an image or a mark image of the recording paper that is conveyed. The read mark image and image are stored in the storage unit 220. By storing the read image in the storage unit 220 before performing the decoloring process, if the data of the decolored image is needed later, the image data is obtained by reading out from the storage unit 220 it can.

  The erasing unit 250 includes an IH (Induction Heating) coil, a metal roller, a temperature sensor, a counter roller, and the like (all not shown). The IH coil is disposed inside the metal roller. The erasing unit 250 induction-heats this metal roller with an IH coil. The counter roller is disposed to face the metal roller. The recording sheet on which the image is read by the reading unit 240 is conveyed to the nip portion between the metal roller and the counter roller. The erasing unit 250 heats the recording sheet to a predetermined temperature by bringing the conveyed recording sheet into contact with a metal roller heated to a predetermined temperature. As a result, the color of the image formed with the erasable toner on the recording paper is erased. The temperature sensor detects the surface temperature of the metal roller. The controller 210 controls the current or voltage applied to the IH coil based on the temperature detected by the temperature sensor to maintain and control the surface temperature of the metal roller at a predetermined temperature. The decoloring unit 250 may include a metal belt instead of the metal roller. The temperature sensor may be either a contact type or a non-contact type.

  The operation unit 260 includes operation keys such as soft keys or hard keys. The operation unit 260 accepts various operations related to image erasing processing. The display unit 270 displays setting information, operation status, log information, a message for the user, and the like of the erasing apparatus 200. The communication unit 280 transmits and receives various types of information to and from the image forming apparatus 100.

  Further, the ROM 216 stores a threshold value (upper limit number) of the number of times of decoloring or reusing the recording paper, a program for controlling the heating temperature of the decoloring unit 250, a program for controlling the conveyance speed of the recording paper by the conveyance unit 230, and the like. . The threshold of the number of times of erasing or the number of reuses varies depending on the characteristics of the recording paper, the characteristics of the erasable toner, or the print quality, but can be set to about 5 to 10 times, for example. The RAM 218 may be configured to temporarily store mark image data read by the reading unit 240.

<< Image Forming Apparatus 100 >>
4, the image forming apparatus 100 includes a control unit 110, a scanner unit 120, an image processing unit 130, an image forming unit 140, a communication unit 150, a network interface (hereinafter, “interface” is referred to as “I / F”). .) 160 and operation panel 170.

  The control unit 110 is substantially a computer and includes a CPU 112, a ROM 114, a RAM 116, and a storage device 118. The storage device 118 is a non-volatile storage device that retains data even when power is turned off, and is, for example, a hard disk drive or a flash memory. A BUS line 180 is connected to the CPU 112, and a ROM 114, a RAM 116, and a storage device 118 are electrically connected to the BUS line 180. The CPU 112 executes various computer programs in accordance with instructions from the operation panel 170 and the like, thereby performing operations of each unit of the image forming apparatus 100 and communication with an external device such as an information processing apparatus (not shown). Execute the process. The various computer programs are stored in advance in the ROM 114 or the storage device 118, and are read from the ROM 114 or the storage device 118 and transferred to the RAM 116 when desired processing is executed. The CPU 112 reads and interprets a program instruction from an address in the RAM 116 specified by a value stored in a register called a program counter (not shown) in the CPU 112. The CPU 112 also reads data necessary for the operation from the address specified by the read instruction, and executes an operation corresponding to the instruction on the data. The execution result is also stored in an address specified by an instruction, such as a register in the RAM 116, the storage device 118, and the CPU 112.

  The storage device 118 stores a computer program for realizing general operations of the image forming apparatus 100. This computer program is provided from an information processing apparatus or the like via a network and network I / F 160. The computer program may be provided by a storage medium such as a DVD on which the computer program is recorded. That is, a DVD as a computer program recording medium is loaded into a DVD drive (not shown) built in the image forming apparatus 100, and the computer program is read from the DVD and installed in the storage device 118. Good. In addition, the storage device 118 stores various data including image data and the like.

  Further, the scanner unit 120, the image processing unit 130, the image forming unit 140, the communication unit 150, the network I / F 160, and the operation panel 170 are electrically connected to the BUS line 180.

  The scanner unit 120 includes a document detection sensor and a CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) line sensor (none of which is shown). The document detection sensor is a light source (not shown) for an image surface of a document placed on a document placement table (not shown) manually by a user or by an automatic document feeder (not shown). The reflected light image obtained by irradiating light is formed on the CCD line sensor. The CCD line sensor sequentially photoelectrically converts the formed reflected light image and outputs it to the image processing unit 130 as image data. That is, when copying or scanning a document, the scanner unit 120 reads image information from a document placed on a document placement table by a document detection sensor and converts the read image information into an electrical signal by a CCD line sensor. The data is output to the image processing unit 130 as data.

  The image processing unit 130 includes an MPU (not shown). The image processing unit 130 performs various kinds of processing including predetermined image processing such as rasterization processing on the image data received from the scanner unit 120 or the information processing apparatus or the like, and generates print data with predetermined gradation. Created and output to the image forming unit 140.

  The image forming unit 140 prints an image indicated by image data on a recording sheet in color or single color, and includes, for example, a photosensitive drum, a charging device, a laser scanning unit (LSU), a developing device, a transfer device, and a cleaning device. A device, a fixing device, a static eliminator, and the like. For example, the image forming unit 140 is provided with a conveyance path, and a recording sheet fed from a sheet feeding unit (not shown) is conveyed along the conveyance path. The paper feed unit pulls out the recording paper stored in a paper cassette (not shown) or the recording paper placed on the manual feed tray one by one, and sends the recording paper to the conveyance path of the image forming unit 140. . While the recording paper is being transported along the transport path of the image forming unit 140, the recording paper passes between the photosensitive drum and the transfer device, and further passes through the fixing device to perform printing on the recording paper. It is.

  When the erasing apparatus 200 is connected to the image forming apparatus 100 as an optional apparatus for paper feeding, it can be set so that the recording paper is fed from the erasing apparatus 200 instead of the paper feeding unit.

  The photosensitive drum rotates in one direction, and its surface is cleaned by a cleaning device and a static eliminator and then uniformly charged by a charging device. The laser scanning unit modulates the laser beam based on the image data to be printed, and repeatedly scans the surface of the photosensitive drum in the main scanning direction with this laser beam to form an electrostatic latent image on the surface of the photosensitive drum. To do. The developing device supplies toner to the surface of the photosensitive drum to develop the electrostatic latent image, and forms a toner image on the surface of the photosensitive drum. The transfer device transfers the toner image on the surface of the photosensitive drum to a recording sheet passing between the transfer device and the photosensitive drum.

  The fixing device includes a heating roller for heating the recording paper and a pressure roller for pressing the recording paper. The recording paper is heated by the heating roller and is pressed by the pressure roller, whereby the toner image transferred onto the recording paper is fixed on the recording paper. The recording paper discharged (printed) from the fixing device is discharged to a paper discharge tray. The fixing temperature of the fixing device is set to a temperature suitable for the erasable toner (a temperature at which the erasable toner does not erase).

  The communication unit 150 transmits and receives various types of information to and from the erasing apparatus 200. The network I / F 160 interfaces with the network. The image forming apparatus 100 can perform data communication according to a predetermined communication protocol with an information processing apparatus on the network via the network I / F 160. The image forming apparatus 100 can receive command signals for instructing execution of various processes such as a print job from the information processing apparatus via the network I / F 160.

  Operation panel 170 includes a touch panel display 172. The touch panel display 172 is a touch panel integrated liquid crystal display device in which a display panel 174 and a touch panel 176 are overlapped. The display panel 174 provides the user with various information such as information regarding the state of the image forming apparatus 100 and the state of various processes. The touch panel display 172 also provides an interactive operation interface (user interface) to the user. This interactive operation interface accepts a user instruction for the overall operation of the image forming apparatus 100 from the touch panel 176, displays the content of the instruction on the display panel 174, and sends a control signal corresponding to the instruction to the control unit 110 or Output to the MPU of the image processing unit 130.

Software configuration
When the recording sheet erased by the erasing apparatus 200 is fed to the image forming apparatus 100 and an image is formed on the fed recording sheet, each program executed by the erasing apparatus 200 and the image forming apparatus 100 is changed. The control structure will be described.

  The program shown in FIG. 5 is a program executed by the erasing apparatus 200, and starts in response to receiving a print instruction from the image forming apparatus 100. This program is executed after step S1000 for receiving a print instruction transmitted from the image forming apparatus 100 and after step S1000, so as to convey the recording paper on the manual feed tray 202 or the paper feed tray 204 toward the reading unit 240. Steps S1010 for controlling the conveyance unit 230 and steps S1010 are executed, and the image of the conveyed recording paper is read by the reading unit 240, and the mark image 60 is formed on the recording paper based on the read image. Step S1020 for determining whether the mark image 60 has been formed, and in step S1020 for branching the control flow in accordance with the determination result, are executed when it is determined that the mark image 60 is formed, and embedded in the mark image 60 Which is executed after step S1030 for reading the color erasing information, and after step S1030, Based on it took decoloring information to determine whether the recording sheet is color erasable recording sheet, and a step S1040 for branching control flow depending on the result of determination.

  In step S1040, for example, the number of times of erasing is acquired as the erasing information, and the acquired number of times of erasing is compared with the threshold value of the number of times of erasing stored in the ROM 216 (upper limit number of times). It is determined whether or not color is possible. When the erasing information includes information indicating whether or not the recording sheet is erasable, it is possible to determine whether or not the image on the recording sheet is erasable based on the information.

  Further, this program is executed when it is determined in step S1040 that the conveyed recording sheet is an erasable recording sheet, and is also the erasing information read from the mark image 60 (information indicating that erasing is possible). .) Is transmitted to the image forming apparatus 100 via the communication unit 280, and is executed after step S1050. In step S1060, the image erasing process is executed by controlling the erasing unit 250, and in step S1020. , This is executed when it is determined that the mark image 60 is not formed, and information indicating that the mark image 60 is not formed, that is, information indicating that decoloring is not possible is transmitted to the image forming apparatus 100 via the communication unit 280. In steps S1070 and S1040 for transmission, the conveyed recording sheet is not a decolorable recording sheet. And it is executed if it is determined, and a step S1080 of transmitting the information indicating the decoloring Call via the communication unit 280 to the image forming apparatus 100.

  This program is further executed after step S1070 or step S1080, and is executed after step S1090 for turning off the power supply to the erasing unit 250 and after step S1090, and a message “unreusable” is displayed on the display unit 270. Step S1100 is executed, and after Step S1060 or Step S1100, the conveyance unit 230 is controlled so that the erasable recording paper or the erasable recording paper (non-erasable recording paper) is stored in the image forming apparatus 100. Steps S1110 and S1110 are performed, and it is determined whether or not the decolored recording sheets are fed to the image forming apparatus 100 by the number of prints indicated by the print instruction, and control is performed according to the determination result. Step S1120 for branching the flow of If it is determined in step S1120 that the decolored recording paper is not fed for the number of prints, the control returns to step S1010. If it is determined in step S1120 that the decolored recording sheets have been fed by the number of prints, the execution of this program ends.

  The program shown in FIG. 6 is a program executed by the image forming apparatus 100, and starts when a print instruction is received. Hereinafter, a case of copy printing will be described as an example. However, the printing process (image forming process) executed by the print instruction may be other than copy printing. This program is executed after, for example, step S2000 for accepting a print instruction operation by the user, after step S2000, and after step S2010 for causing the scanner unit 120 to read the image data of the document and after step S2010. Step S2020 for transmitting an instruction to the decoloring apparatus 200 via the communication unit 150, Step S2030 which is executed after Step S2020 and receives information transmitted from the decoloring apparatus 200 via the communication unit 150, and Step S2030 Step S2040 is executed to determine whether the received information is decoloring information, and the control flow is branched according to the determination result. In Step S2040, the received information is determined to be decoloring information. RAM 116 or storage device 118 Executed when it is determined in steps S2050 and S2040 that store "printable" that the received information is not decoloring information, that is, when the received information is information indicating that decoloring is not possible And step S2060 for storing “not printable” in the RAM 116 or the storage device 118.

  This program is further executed after step S2050 or step S2060, and it is determined whether or not the recording sheet has been fed (for example, conveyed to a position where image formation is possible) to the image forming apparatus 100, and the recording sheet is fed. Steps S2070 and S2070 are executed when it is determined that the recording paper has been fed, the information stored in the RAM 116 or the storage device 118 is read, and the recording paper can be printed based on these information In step S2080 for determining whether the recording sheet is a correct recording sheet and branching the control flow according to the determination result, and in step S2080, when the fed recording sheet is determined to be a printable recording sheet. Executed in step S2090 to update the received erasing information, and after step S2090 In step S2100, the image forming unit 140 forms the image indicated by the image data of the document on the fed recording sheet, and forms a mark image in which the updated decoloring information is embedded at a predetermined position on the recording sheet. Step S2110 is executed after step S2100 or when it is determined in step S2080 that the fed recording sheet is not a printable recording sheet, and the recording sheet is discharged (discharged). Step S2120 is executed after S2110, and it is determined whether or not the next information from the erasing apparatus 200 is received, and the flow of control is branched according to the determination result.

  If it is determined in step S2120 that the following information has been received, control returns to step S2040. On the other hand, if it is determined in step S2120 that the next information has not been received, the execution of this program ends.

  In step S2090, the decoloring information is updated by adding 1 to the number of decoloring included in the received decoloring information. The updated erasing information includes the erasing count obtained by adding 1 to the previous erasing count (updated erasing count). The image forming apparatus 100 also holds the same threshold value (upper limit number) as the decoloring frequency threshold value (upper limit number) stored in the decoloring apparatus 200, and whether the updated decoloring number has reached the upper limit number. Accordingly, the updated decoloring information may include information such as whether or not the recording sheet can be decolored.

[Operation]
The printing system 50 according to the present embodiment operates as follows. In the following description, only the part related to the present invention in the operation of the printing system 50 will be described. Other operations are the same as those of the conventional image forming apparatus and erasing apparatus. Hereinafter, a case of copy printing will be described as an example. However, the same applies to printing processing other than copy printing.

  Referring to FIG. 7, image forming apparatus 100 reads image data of an original document, and prints an image indicated by the read image data on a recording sheet with decoloring toner. At that time, the image forming apparatus 100 records (forms) a mark image 60 (see FIG. 2) in which decoloring information such as the number of decolorizations is embedded at a predetermined position on the recording sheet. When the recording paper to be printed is not a erased recording paper, that is, a new recording paper, the erasing information whose erasing frequency is 0 is embedded in the mark image 60.

  Thus, the mark image 60 is formed on the recording paper printed by the image forming apparatus 100. In other words, the printed recording paper on which the mark image 60 is formed is a recording paper that can erase the image. Such a mark image is not formed on a printed recording sheet printed by an image forming apparatus having no erasing function. A printed recording sheet on which no mark image is formed can be said to be a recording sheet on which an image cannot be erased.

  Printed recording sheets are stacked on the manual feed tray 202 or the paper feed tray 204 of the erasing apparatus 200 in order to reuse the recording sheets. It is assumed that the recording sheets to be stacked are a mixture of recording sheets (marked) printed with decolorable toner and recording sheets (no mark) printed with other toners. It is assumed that the image forming apparatus 100 is set so that recording paper is fed (supplied) from the erasing apparatus 200 connected thereto.

  When the image forming apparatus 100 accepts a print instruction operation by the user (step S2000 shown in FIG. 6), the image forming apparatus 100 scans the set original document (step S2010), and sends the print instruction to the erasing apparatus via the communication unit 150. 200 (step S2020). The transmitted print instruction includes information such as the number of scanned documents. When the erasing apparatus 200 receives a print instruction from the image forming apparatus 100 via the communication unit 280 (step S1000 illustrated in FIG. 5), the erasing apparatus 200 records on the manual feed tray 202 or the paper feed tray 204 according to the received print instruction. The sheet is conveyed toward the reading unit 240 (step S1010). The reading unit 240 reads an image of the conveyed recording paper and stores the image in the storage unit 220. Based on the image read by the reading unit 240, the control unit 210 determines whether or not the mark image 60 is formed at a predetermined position on the conveyed recording paper. When it is determined that the mark image 60 is formed (YES in step S1020), the control unit 210 reads the decoloring information from the mark image 60 (step S1030). The control unit 210 determines whether or not the recording sheet is erasable based on the read erasing information. For example, the control unit 210 compares the read decoloring count with the upper limit count of the decoloring count to determine whether the image on the recording sheet can be decolored (whether the decoloring limit has not been reached). )).

  If it is determined that the conveyed recording sheet is a erasable recording sheet (YES in step S1040), the erasing apparatus 200 transmits the read erasing information to the image forming apparatus 100 via the communication unit 280. The recording sheet is conveyed to the erasing unit 250, and erasing processing is performed in the erasing unit 250 (step S1060). Specifically, control unit 210 maintains the surface temperature of the metal roller at a predetermined temperature by controlling the current or voltage applied to the IH coil of decoloring unit 250 based on the temperature detected by the temperature sensor. By bringing the conveyed recording paper into contact with the surface of the metal roller, the recording paper is heated to a predetermined temperature, and the color of the image formed on the recording paper is erased. The erasing apparatus 200 transports the recording sheet on which the erasing process has been performed by the transport unit 230 and feeds the recording sheet to the image forming apparatus 100 (step S1110).

  When the control unit 210 determines that the mark image 60 is not formed at a predetermined position on the conveyed recording paper (NO in step S1020), the control unit 210 transmits information indicating non-erasing to the image forming apparatus via the communication unit 280. 100 (step S1070). Even when it is determined that the mark image 60 is formed at a predetermined position of the conveyed recording paper, the control unit 210 determines that the recording paper is not erasable based on the read erasing information. If it is determined (NO in step S1040), similarly, information indicating that the color cannot be erased is transmitted to the image forming apparatus 100 via the communication unit 280 (step S1080).

  The erasing apparatus 200 does not perform the erasing process on the recording paper determined to be unerasable. For this reason, when the conveyed recording paper is not erasable, the control unit 210 turns off the power supply to the erasing unit 250 (step S1090). At this time, the erasing apparatus 200 displays a message on the display unit 270 to notify the user that the conveyed recording paper cannot be reused. The erasing apparatus 200 also feeds the recording sheet that has not been subjected to the erasing process to the image forming apparatus 100 through the same path as the recording sheet that has been subjected to the erasing process (step S1110).

  When the image forming apparatus 100 receives information from the decoloring apparatus 200 via the communication unit 150 (step S2030 shown in FIG. 6), the image forming apparatus 100 determines whether the received information is decoloring information. If it is determined that the color erasing information is determined (YES in step S2040), the control unit 110 (CPU 112) stores “printable” in the RAM 116 or the storage device 118 (step S2050). On the other hand, when it is determined that the received information is information indicating that erasing is impossible (NO in step S2040), the control unit 110 (CPU 112) stores “printing is impossible” in the RAM 116 or the storage device 118 (step S2060).

  When the recording paper is fed from the erasing apparatus 200 (YES in step S2070), the control unit 110 (CPU 112) reads the information stored in the RAM 116 or the storage device 118, and the fed recording paper can be printed. It is determined whether or not it is paper. That is, the control unit 110 determines whether the fed recording sheet is a decolored recording sheet. When determining that the fed recording sheet is a printable recording sheet (decolored recording sheet) (YES in step S2080), control unit 110 updates the received decoloring information (step S2090). Then, a mark image 60a (see FIG. 7) in which the decoloring information updated when the image is formed on the recording paper is embedded is formed at a predetermined position on the recording paper (step S2100). After the image is formed, the recording paper on which the image is formed is discharged (discharged) to the discharge tray (step S2110). On the other hand, when the control unit 110 determines that the fed recording sheet is an unprintable recording sheet (a recording sheet that has not been erased) (NO in step S2080), the image forming apparatus 100 displays an image on the recording sheet. The recording paper is discharged (discharged) to the paper discharge tray without being formed (step S2110).

  When there are a plurality of printed sheets, the erasing apparatus 200 sequentially conveys the recording sheets. When the erasing apparatus 200 determines the presence / absence of the mark image 60 and whether or not the erasing can be performed on the conveyed recording sheet, the erasing apparatus 200 sequentially transmits the information to the image forming apparatus 100. The image forming apparatus 100 does not perform printing processing on recording paper that cannot be erased. Therefore, the decoloring apparatus 200 determines whether or not the decolored recording paper has been fed to the image forming apparatus 100 for the number of printed sheets (step S1120), and the recording paper is fed until the number of printed sheets is fed. Continue the paper.

  The image forming apparatus 100 sequentially receives and stores information transmitted from the erasing apparatus 200, and determines whether printing can be performed on recording sheets sequentially fed based on the information. The image forming apparatus 100 prints and discharges an image on the recording sheet if the fed recording sheet is printable, and discharges the image as it is without printing.

[Action / Effect]
As is clear from the above description, the following effects can be obtained by using the printing system 50 according to the present embodiment.

  The erasing apparatus 200 reads the image of the conveyed recording paper and determines whether or not the mark image 60 is attached to the recording paper based on the read image. If it is determined that the mark image 60 is attached, the decoloring information is acquired from the mark image 60. The erasing apparatus 200 determines whether the conveyed recording paper is a recording paper that can erase the image, based on the presence / absence of the mark image 60 and the read erasing information. Then, in accordance with the determination result, the erasing of the image by the erasing unit 250 is controlled. When the erasing unit 250 erases an image, the erasing apparatus 200 feeds the recording sheet on which the image has been erased to the image forming apparatus 100. The recording paper on which the image has not been erased is similarly fed to the image forming apparatus 100.

  The image forming apparatus 100 forms an image on a recording sheet fed from the erasing apparatus 200. The image forming apparatus 100 determines whether or not the recording sheet to be fed is a decolored recording sheet based on the information transmitted from the decoloring apparatus 200. An image is formed on the paper and discharged. On the other hand, if the recording paper to be fed is a recording paper that has not been erased, it is discharged as it is without forming an image.

  As described above, the printing system 50 according to the present embodiment determines whether or not the recording sheet installed (stacked) in the erasing apparatus 200 is a recording sheet that can erase the image. Automatically. Further, when the printing system 50 determines that the mark image 60 is attached to the recording paper, whether or not the recording paper is a recording paper on which the image can be erased based on the decoloring information acquired from the mark image 60. Is automatically determined. In the case of a recording sheet that can be erased, the printing system 50 feeds it to the image forming apparatus 100 after performing a decoloring process. In the case of a recording sheet that cannot be erased, the printing system 50 discharges the image without performing the color erase. Make paper. Therefore, even when recording paper printed with erasable toner and recording paper printed with non-erasable toner are mixed, those erasable and non-erasable recording paper The image can be erased without being assigned in advance.

  When reusing printed recording sheets, these recording sheets are simply placed (stacked) on the manual feed tray 202 or the paper feed tray 204 of the erasing apparatus 200, and only the erasable recording sheets are erased. Processing is performed, and printing is performed on the recording sheet. As a result, the convenience of the user is improved, and the recording paper can be easily reused.

(Second Embodiment)
The printing system according to the present embodiment is different from the printing system according to the first embodiment in that the recording paper that has not been subjected to the printing process is discharged separately from the recording paper that has undergone the printing process. In other respects, each printing system has the same configuration.

  The image forming apparatus constituting the printing system has a plurality of paper discharge trays. If the recording sheet fed from the erasing apparatus is a erased recording sheet, the image forming apparatus forms an image on the recording sheet and discharges it to a discharge tray. On the other hand, if the fed recording sheet is a recording sheet that has not been erased, the image forming apparatus discharges the recording sheet to another discharge tray without forming an image. In other words, depending on whether or not the recording sheet has been subjected to printing processing, it is distributed to different discharge trays at the final stage of the image forming apparatus.

  In this way, by changing the paper discharge tray that discharges the recording paper depending on whether or not printing processing is performed, recording paper that has not been subjected to printing processing (recording paper that has not been erased) is selected from the recording paper after printing processing. ) Is no longer required. This further improves user convenience.

(Third embodiment)
The printing system according to the present embodiment is different from the printing system according to the first embodiment in that the erasing apparatus has a paper discharge tray. In other respects, each printing system has the same configuration.

  Referring to FIG. 8, a decoloring apparatus 300 according to the present embodiment includes a transport unit 310 instead of the transport unit 230 of the decoloring apparatus 200 according to the first embodiment. Under the control of the control unit 210, the transport unit 310 determines whether the recording paper is transported to the image forming apparatus or a self-delivery tray (FIG. Switch to one of the following. In other words, the conveyance unit 310 feeds the recording paper that has been decolored by the decoloring unit 250 to the image forming apparatus, and the recording paper that has not been decolored by the decoloring unit 250 (decoloring is not possible). Recording paper) is discharged to a discharge tray. In this embodiment, since the recording paper that cannot be erased is ejected to the paper ejection tray, only the erased recording paper is fed from the decoloring apparatus 300 to the image forming apparatus.

Software configuration
In the erasing apparatus 300 according to the present embodiment, a program shown in FIG. 9 is executed instead of the program shown in FIG. The program in FIG. 9 includes step S1200 instead of steps S1070 and S1080 in FIG. Step S1200 is executed after the message “unreusable” is displayed on display unit 270 in step S1100. In step S1200, the conveyed recording sheet is discharged. When the process of step S1200 ends, control proceeds to step S1120.

  Similarly, in the image forming apparatus according to the present embodiment, a program shown in FIG. 10 is executed instead of the program shown in FIG. The program in FIG. 10 includes step S2200 instead of step S2030, step S2040, step S2050, step S2060, and step S2080 in FIG. Step S2200 is executed after the print instruction is transmitted to the erasing apparatus 300 in step S2020. In step S2200, the erasing information transmitted from the erasing apparatus 300 is received.

[Action / Effect]
In the printing system according to the present embodiment, the recording paper that is not erasable is ejected to the ejection tray of the erasing apparatus 300. In other words, only the erasable recording paper, that is, the erased recording paper is fed to the image forming apparatus. The image forming apparatus can execute print processing on any recording sheet fed from the erasing apparatus 300. Since the recording paper after the printing process does not include the recording paper that has not been subjected to the printing process (the recording paper that has not been erased), the operation of removing such a recording paper becomes unnecessary. Therefore, also in the present embodiment, user convenience is further improved, as in the second embodiment.

(Fourth embodiment)
As in the third embodiment, the erasing apparatus according to the present embodiment has a discharge tray that discharges recording sheets that cannot be erased. However, the present embodiment differs from the third embodiment in that when recording paper that is not erasable is ejected, the recording paper is transported and ejected without going through the decoloring section. . In other respects, each printing system has the same configuration.

  Referring to FIG. 11, a decoloring apparatus 400 according to the present embodiment includes a transport unit 410 instead of the transport unit 310 according to the third embodiment. The erasing apparatus 400 transports the recording paper, which has been read by the reading unit 240, to the erasing unit 250, and discharges the recording paper, which has been read by the reading unit 240, without going through the erasing unit 250. It includes a transport path for transporting toward the tray. The erasing unit 250 further includes a transport path switching unit 420 that switches these transport paths. The conveyance path switching unit 420 is disposed between the reading unit 240 and the decoloring unit 250. The transport path switching unit 420 is connected to the control unit 210 via the bus 430, and the control unit 210 controls switching of the transport path.

  The erasing apparatus 400 (the control unit 210) reads the image of the conveyed recording sheet with the reading unit 240, and determines whether or not the conveyed recording sheet is a recording sheet capable of erasing the image. The control unit 210 controls the transport path switching unit 420 to switch the transport path according to the determination result. When the conveyed recording sheet is a recording sheet capable of erasing an image, the conveyance path switching unit 420 switches the conveyance path to a path through which the recording sheet is conveyed to the erasing unit 250. On the other hand, when the transported recording sheet is a recording sheet that cannot erase the image, the transport path switching unit 420 switches the transport path to a path where the recording sheet is not transported to the decoloring unit 250. That is, the transport path is switched so that the paper is discharged without going through the erasing unit 250.

  In this way, when discharging recording paper that is not erasable, the recording paper is transported and ejected without going through the erasing unit 250, thereby turning off the power to the erasing unit 250. Paper can be discharged without any problems. Since the temperature of the erasing unit 250 can be maintained at a erasable temperature, the erasable recording paper conveyed to the erasing unit 250 can be continuously erased by the erasing unit 250. Thereby, the feeding speed of the recording paper fed to the image forming apparatus can be increased. Therefore, even when the paper is fed while performing the decoloring process, it is possible to suppress a decrease in the processing speed of the printing process. In this embodiment, since the convenience for the user is further improved, the recording paper can be reused more easily.

(Fifth embodiment)
The printing system according to the present embodiment is the same as the first or second embodiment in that the image forming apparatus forms an image indicating “non-erasable” on a non-decolorable recording sheet. It is different from the printing system. In other respects, each printing system has the same configuration.

Software configuration
In the image forming apparatus according to the present embodiment, the program shown in FIG. 12 is executed instead of the program shown in FIG. When it is determined in step S2080 that the fed recording sheet is a non-printable recording sheet, the program of FIG. 12 prints an image indicating that “decoloring is impossible” on the recording sheet (step S2300). Further included. When the process of step S2300 ends, control proceeds to step S2110.

  The image indicating “non-erasable” may be an image that allows the user to recognize that the recording sheet cannot be erased. For example, it may be a character image such as “unerasable” or “unreusable”, or an image such as “X”.

(Sixth embodiment)
The printing system according to the present embodiment is different from the printing system according to the first embodiment in that the image forming apparatus can use both the decolorable toner and other normal toner. In other respects, each printing system has the same configuration.

  The image forming apparatus according to the present embodiment is mounted with both a toner cartridge that supplies decolorizable toner and a toner cartridge that supplies normal toner. For example, in the case of an image forming apparatus capable of color printing, four (total eight) toner cartridges of black (K), cyan (C), magenta (M), and yellow (Y) are mounted.

  Which one of the decolorable toner and normal toner is used to perform the printing process is switched depending on the setting. The operation of the printing process when normal toner is selected is the same as the operation of the conventional image forming apparatus. The operation of the printing process when the erasable toner is selected is the same as the operation described in the first embodiment. When the erasable toner is selected, it is preferable that the fixing temperature of the fixing device is set to a temperature suitable for the erasable toner.

  Even when the decolorizable toner is selected, the mark image may be formed (recorded) with normal toner.

(Modification)
In the above-described embodiment, an example in which the present invention is applied to a multifunction peripheral that is an example of an image forming apparatus has been described. However, the present invention is not limited to such an embodiment. As long as it has a printing function, the image forming apparatus may be other than a multifunction peripheral. For example, an image forming apparatus such as a copier or a printer may be used. In that case, an erasable colorant other than the erasable toner may be used depending on the apparatus to be used. For example, in the case of an ink jet printer, a decolorizable ink can be used instead of the decolorable toner.

  In the above-described embodiment, an example in which a mark image including a ground pattern is printed on a recording sheet has been described. However, the present invention is not limited to such an embodiment. The mark image may be a mark other than the background pattern as long as it can read the decoloring information. For example, a two-dimensional code such as a block, a number, a bar code, or a QR code (registered trademark) may be used.

  In the above embodiment, an example in which a printing system is configured by connecting a separate color erasing apparatus to the image forming apparatus has been described, but the present invention is not limited to such an embodiment. The image forming apparatus and the color erasing apparatus constituting the printing system may be integrated.

  The image forming apparatus constituting the printing system may be designed on the premise that the decolorable toner is used, or designed so that the decolorable toner and the normal toner are exchanged. It may be what was done. For example, the image forming apparatus may be configured such that the toner cartridge of the color erasable toner is compatible with a normal toner cartridge and the color erasable toner can be used by replacing the toner cartridge. In this case, it is preferable that the image forming apparatus is configured to change various settings such as a fixing temperature setting to a setting suitable for the decolorable toner when the decolorable toner cartridge is mounted.

  The erasing apparatus determines whether the conveyed recording sheet is a blank sheet. If it is determined to be a blank sheet, the erasing apparatus transmits information indicating that printing is possible to the image forming apparatus and displays the blank sheet as an image. Paper may be fed to the forming apparatus. The image forming apparatus that has received information indicating that printing is possible is preferably configured to perform printing on a fed blank sheet.

  Further, the erasing device may be configured to switch the heating temperature of the erasing unit or the conveyance speed of the recording paper according to the read erasing frequency. For example, the number of reuses or the decoloring frequency threshold for switching the heating temperature of the decoloring unit is stored in the ROM of the decoloring device, and the decoloring information is compared with the threshold value by reading the decoloring information. The heating temperature of the part may be switched.

  In the above-described embodiment, the decoloring information update process is shown as an example on the image forming apparatus side, but the present invention is not limited to such an embodiment. The erasing information update process may be performed on the erasing apparatus side. In this case, the erasing apparatus may transmit the updated erasing information to the image forming apparatus.

  In the above embodiment, when the recording paper conveyed in the erasing apparatus is not erasable, an example in which a message indicating that it cannot be reused is displayed on the display unit of the erasing apparatus has been described. The invention is not limited to such an embodiment. Such a message may be displayed on the display panel of the image forming apparatus.

  In the fifth embodiment, the example in which the image forming apparatus forms an image indicating “not erasable” on the recording sheet that is not erasable has been described. The form is not limited. For example, the erasing apparatus may have a printing function, and the erasing apparatus may form an image indicating that “erasing is not possible” on a recording sheet that is not erasable.

  Embodiments obtained by appropriately combining the techniques disclosed above are also included in the technical scope of the present invention.

  The embodiment disclosed herein is merely an example, and the present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above. The scope of the present invention is indicated by each claim of the claims after taking into account the description of the detailed description of the invention, and all modifications within the meaning and scope equivalent to the wording described therein are included. Including.

50 Printing System 60, 60a Mark Image 100 Image Forming Apparatus 110, 210 Control Unit 118 Storage Unit 120 Scanner Unit 130 Image Processing Unit 140 Image Forming Unit 150, 280 Communication Unit 170 Operation Panel 200, 300, 400 Decoloring Device 202 Manual Tray 204 Feeding tray 220 Storage unit 230, 310, 410 Conveying unit 240 Reading unit 250 Decoloring unit 260 Operation unit 270 Display unit 420 Conveyance path switching unit

Claims (10)

  1. Conveying means for conveying the recording paper;
    Reading means for reading an image of the conveyed recording paper;
    Determining means for determining whether or not a mark image including decoloring information relating to decoloring of the image is attached to the recording sheet based on the read image;
    In response to determining that the mark image is attached to the transported recording sheet, the determination unit acquires an information acquisition unit for acquiring the decoloring information from the mark image;
    Erasing means for erasing the image of the conveyed recording paper;
    Based on the presence / absence of the mark image and the read erasing information, it is determined whether or not the conveyed recording sheet is a recording sheet capable of erasing the image, and according to the determination result, by the erasing unit Control means for controlling the color erasing of the image;
    A paper feeding means for feeding the recording paper from which the image has been erased by the color erasing means to the image forming apparatus;
    A decoloring device, comprising: discharge means for discharging recording paper whose image has not been decolored by the decoloring means.
  2. The discharging means includes means for discharging the recording paper on which the image has not been erased so as to be fed to the image forming apparatus,
    The erasing apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising: a transmission unit configured to transmit information indicating whether or not erasing is possible on a recording sheet fed to the image forming apparatus to the image forming apparatus.
  3. The information acquisition means includes means for acquiring the number of times of decoloring from the mark image,
    The control means determines whether or not the conveyed recording paper is a recording paper capable of erasing the image based on the presence / absence of the mark image and the number of read erasing times, and according to the determination result, The erasing apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising means for controlling erasing of the image by the erasing means.
  4.   In response to determining that the mark image is not attached to the conveyed recording sheet, the determining unit notifies the user that the recording sheet is a recording sheet that cannot be reused. The erasing apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 3, further comprising:
  5. A printing system including a decoloring device for decoloring an image formed on a recording sheet, and an image forming device connected to the decoloring device,
    The erasing device is
    In response to receiving a print instruction from the image forming apparatus, a conveying unit for conveying a recording sheet;
    Reading means for reading an image of the conveyed recording paper;
    Determining means for determining whether or not a mark image including decoloring information relating to decoloring of the image is attached to the recording sheet based on the read image;
    In response to determining that the mark image is attached to the transported recording sheet, the determination unit acquires an information acquisition unit for acquiring the decoloring information from the mark image;
    Erasing means for erasing the image of the conveyed recording paper;
    Based on the presence / absence of the mark image and the read erasing information, it is determined whether or not the conveyed recording sheet is a recording sheet capable of erasing the image, and according to the determination result, by the erasing unit Control means for controlling the color erasing of the image;
    A paper feeding means for feeding the recording paper from which the image has been erased by the color erasing means to the image forming apparatus;
    Discharging means for discharging recording paper whose image has not been erased by the erasing means,
    The image forming apparatus includes:
    A receiving means for receiving a print instruction;
    Means for transmitting the print instruction to the erasing apparatus;
    An image forming means for forming an image on a recording paper using a decolorable recording material;
    And a means for controlling the image forming means to form a mark image including updated erasing information together with an image based on the print instruction on a fed erasable recording sheet.
  6. The decoloring apparatus further includes a transmission unit for transmitting the decoloring information acquired from the mark image to the image forming apparatus,
    The image forming apparatus includes:
    Receiving means for receiving the decoloring information transmitted from the decoloring device;
    The printing system according to claim 5, further comprising means for updating the received erasing information.
  7. The erasing device is
    Means for updating the decoloring information acquired from the mark image;
    A transmission means for transmitting the updated color erasing information to the image forming apparatus,
    The printing system according to claim 5, wherein the image forming apparatus further includes a receiving unit configured to receive updated erasing information transmitted from the erasing apparatus.
  8. The discharging means includes means for discharging the recording paper on which the image has not been erased so as to be fed to the image forming apparatus,
    The erasing apparatus further includes a transmission unit for transmitting to the image forming apparatus information indicating whether or not erasing is possible on a recording sheet fed to the image forming apparatus.
    The image forming apparatus determines whether the recording sheet to be fed is a recording sheet in which an image has not been erased based on the information indicating whether or not the color erasure is transmitted from the decoloring apparatus. 8. The printing system according to claim 5, further comprising a paper discharge unit configured to discharge the recording paper without performing image formation by the image forming unit according to a result.
  9. The discharging means includes means for discharging the recording paper on which the image has not been erased so as to be fed to the image forming apparatus,
    The erasing apparatus further includes a transmission unit for transmitting to the image forming apparatus information indicating whether or not erasing is possible on a recording sheet fed to the image forming apparatus.
    The image forming apparatus determines whether the recording sheet to be fed is a recording sheet in which an image has not been erased based on the information indicating whether or not the color erasure is transmitted from the decoloring apparatus. 8. The printing system according to claim 5, further comprising a paper discharge unit configured to form and output an image indicating that the recording paper cannot be erased according to the result. 9.
  10.   The paper discharge means includes a means for discharging a recording paper that has been fed and whose image has not been erased, separately from the recording paper on which an image has been formed by the image forming means. The printing system according to claim 8 or 9.
JP2013206138A 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 Decoloring apparatus and printing system including the same Pending JP2015069185A (en)

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2017154535A1 (en) * 2016-03-09 2017-09-14 セイコーエプソン株式会社 Recording medium processing device and recording medium processing method
US10018945B1 (en) 2016-12-28 2018-07-10 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Image processing apparatus having image heating portions that can perform decoloring processing independently

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2017154535A1 (en) * 2016-03-09 2017-09-14 セイコーエプソン株式会社 Recording medium processing device and recording medium processing method
US10018945B1 (en) 2016-12-28 2018-07-10 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Image processing apparatus having image heating portions that can perform decoloring processing independently
US10261452B2 (en) 2016-12-28 2019-04-16 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Image processing apparatus having image heating portions that can perform decoloring processing independently

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