JP3658222B2 - Ink tank and ink jet recording apparatus using the ink tank - Google Patents

Ink tank and ink jet recording apparatus using the ink tank Download PDF

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Publication number
JP3658222B2
JP3658222B2 JP36245098A JP36245098A JP3658222B2 JP 3658222 B2 JP3658222 B2 JP 3658222B2 JP 36245098 A JP36245098 A JP 36245098A JP 36245098 A JP36245098 A JP 36245098A JP 3658222 B2 JP3658222 B2 JP 3658222B2
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JP
Japan
Prior art keywords
ink
portion
ink tank
tank
provided
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Expired - Fee Related
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JP36245098A
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Japanese (ja)
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JP2000177145A (en
Inventor
理 佐藤
京太 宮崎
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キヤノン株式会社
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Priority to JP36245098A priority Critical patent/JP3658222B2/en
Priority claimed from US09/231,252 external-priority patent/US6293662B1/en
Publication of JP2000177145A publication Critical patent/JP2000177145A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of JP3658222B2 publication Critical patent/JP3658222B2/en
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Description

[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an ink tank for a liquid discharge recording apparatus that performs recording by discharging a liquid such as ink, and an ink jet recording apparatus using the ink tank, and more particularly to a plurality of ink jet printing systems that consume a large amount of ink. The present invention relates to an ink tank having a coupling portion and an ink jet recording apparatus using the ink tank.
[0002]
[Prior art]
An ink tank (liquid container) used in the ink jet recording apparatus is configured to be detachable from an ink tank unit which is an ink tank housing portion of the recording apparatus in order to facilitate replacement when ink is consumed. The ink tank is provided with an ink supply port that is plugged with a rubber plug to prevent ink leakage when it is present alone, and the ink tank unit is provided with a hollow needle or the like at the connection with the ink tank. By connecting to the ink supply port of the ink tank, ink can be supplied from the ink tank.
[0003]
As a specific configuration of an ink tank unit for mounting an ink tank having such a configuration on an ink jet recording apparatus and a method for coupling the ink tanks, for example, as described in JP-A-01-141750, etc. The ink supply port of the ink tank is provided in front of the insertion direction with respect to the ink tank unit, and the direction in which the ink tank is attached to the ink tank unit and the connection direction between the ink supply port of the ink tank and the ink supply path of the ink jet recording apparatus are defined. Those in the same direction are known. Such an ink tank unit and an ink tank are coupled to each other by positioning the ink tank unit to the unit and inserting the hollow needle into the ink supply port in one action.
[0004]
The insertion direction of the ink tank with respect to the ink tank unit varies depending on the shape and size of the ink tank. However, the ink tank is inserted in the horizontal direction as described in JP-A-01-141750, or disclosed in JP-A-09-076525. As described above, there are some which are inserted from above in the vertical direction. In either case, the insertion direction of the needle and the insertion direction of the ink tank are opposite to each other.
[0005]
[Problems to be solved by the invention]
However, in a large-sized inkjet recording apparatus that has a high printing duty and consumes a large amount of ink, in order to suppress the replacement frequency of the ink tank, for example, a large-capacity ink tank having an ink capacity of 200 cc or more, more preferably 500 cc or more is used. Often to do.
[0006]
When the container is increased in size as described above, the following specific problems are caused with the increase in the size of the container with respect to the mounting with the ink tank unit.
[0007]
In other words, since the container described above is large in size, if a positioning position for mounting on the recording apparatus is provided away from the coupling portion, the container can be manufactured with high accuracy in order to achieve reliable coupling. It is required to do. In particular, in order to prevent ink leakage, the air communication port is sealed with a rubber plug or the like as with the ink supply port, and when mounted on a recording apparatus, a hollow needle or the like is inserted into the rubber plug as with the ink supply port. In such a case where communication with the outside is possible, the number of joints between the ink tank and the recording apparatus is increased to a plurality of places, and this requirement is further increased.
[0008]
In addition, when the direction in which the needle is inserted and the direction in which the ink tank is inserted are opposite to each other, the connection between the needle and the ink supply port is ensured if the ink tank is fixedly displaced from a predetermined position. Since an excessive force is applied to the coupling portion in a state where it is not broken, ink leakage may occur from the coupling portion, or the needle may be bent in the worst case.
[0009]
The inventors have made the insertion direction of the ink supply needle and the insertion direction of the ink tank orthogonal to each other so as not to be affected by the insertion operation of the ink tank, and regardless of the accuracy of the entire tank. An invention relating to an ink jet recording apparatus and an ink tank that solves this problem from a viewpoint different from the prior art, in which only the accuracy of the coupling portion with the apparatus is increased and positioning is performed at the coupling portion in order to increase the positional accuracy when the tank is mounted Already done. The present invention is conceived based on the above-described invention by the following more preferable ideas by the inventors.
[0010]
That is, as a result of studying an ink tank and an ink jet recording apparatus that can realize a more reliable mounting and coupling operation without improving the accuracy of the entire ink tank in order to provide a container at a low price, the results are as follows. By focusing attention on the bottom surface of the ink tank that is subjected to the force due to the insertion of the needle at the time of mounting, the ink tank has been recalled that is not easily affected by product variations.
[0011]
An object of the present invention is to provide an ink tank that is not easily affected by accuracy due to manufacturing variations of the entire container with respect to reliability at the time of coupling, and an ink jet recording apparatus using the ink tank.
[0012]
[Means for Solving the Problems]
In order to achieve the above object, an ink tank according to the present invention includes an ink tank having an ink storage portion for storing ink, a bottom surface portion having three protrusions for supporting the tank, and an external portion in the ink storage portion. A plurality of ink supply portions for deriving the ink, a top surface portion facing the bottom surface portion, a plurality of surface surfaces adjacent to the bottom surface portion and the top surface portion, and a pair of facing surfaces in the longitudinal direction of the tank. A side part, and a handle part at one end in the longitudinal direction of the tank, and two of the protrusions of the bottom part are provided to face each other in the vicinity of the opposing surface of the side part, The ink supply section is provided in a region of an upper surface portion facing a line connecting the three protrusions or a region inside the line.
[0013]
According to the ink tank of the present invention, since the tank is supported by the three protrusions, the force due to the insertion of the needle is not received by the entire bottom surface of the tank when the needle is attached to the tank but by the protrusion. In addition, an ink tank can be provided that is less susceptible to product variations with respect to needle insertion.
[0014]
Although the problems of the present application can be solved by the above-described ink tank, by satisfying the following various conditions as more preferable conditions, it is possible to have specific effects described in each.
[0015]
One of the more preferable conditions is that the bottom surface portion has an inclination such that the vicinity of the two protrusions becomes the bottom surface, and further includes a supply pipe extending from the ink supply portion to the bottom surface. It is possible to increase the use efficiency of the.
[0016]
In addition, an air communication part for communicating the ink storage part with the outside is further provided in a region of the upper surface part facing the line connecting the three protrusions or the region inside thereof, and the upper surface A first protrusion provided with the atmosphere communication part, a second protrusion provided with the ink supply part and different from the first protrusion, and an erroneous attachment prevention part for identifying the type of ink tank The erroneous mounting preventing portion is provided at the other end in the longitudinal direction of the tank facing the handle portion, and includes the atmosphere communication portion and the ink supply port above the erroneous mounting preventing portion. Thus, it is possible to effectively prevent the ink tank from being erroneously mounted and to easily position the ink tank using the ink supply unit and the air communication unit.
[0017]
In particular, the remaining one of the projecting portions of the bottom surface portion is provided in the vicinity of a central portion that is equidistant from the opposing surface of the side surface portion, and is a triangular shape formed by connecting three projecting portions, By providing the ink supply part and the air communication part in the region of the upper surface part facing the middle line from the protrusion part provided in the vicinity of the center part, the force due to the insertion of the needle is received at a more stable position. Thus, the reliability during the coupling operation can be further enhanced. In this case, it is more preferable that the protrusion provided in the vicinity of the central portion is provided in the vicinity of the end portion on the opposite side to the handle portion.
[0018]
Further, a triangular rib formed by connecting the three protrusions is provided on a middle line from the protrusion provided in the vicinity of the center part, and a rib having a smaller projection amount than the three protrusions is provided. Thus, when the force due to the insertion of the needle is supported by the protrusion, it is possible to prevent the positions of the three points from being displaced due to the deformation of the bottom surface.
[0019]
The present invention also provides an ink jet recording apparatus equipped with the ink tank having the first and second protrusions described above. The ink jet recording apparatus of the present invention further includes the first protrusion of the ink tank. A first reference surface orthogonal to the ink tank mounting direction for fixing the ink tank and a second reference surface parallel to the ink tank mounting direction for fixing the second protrusion of the ink tank. A click member for urging the second protrusion on the second reference surface, first and second coupling needles that can be coupled to the first and second protrusions, respectively, And a moving means for moving the second coupling needle to a predetermined position perpendicular to the mounting direction of the ink tank to the ink jet recording apparatus and parallel to the first and second reference planes, Projection is in front Wherein the mounting of the recording apparatus of the ink tank at a position surrounded by the said click member and the second reference plane is completed.
[0020]
According to the above-described ink jet recording apparatus, the ink supply needle influences the ink tank insertion direction in which the ink tank position is likely to be shifted because the ink tank mounting direction and the ink supply needle moving direction by the moving unit are orthogonal to each other. In addition to being more reliable, the connection with the outside of the ink tank can be arranged at the upper portion, so that ink leakage can be effectively prevented. In addition, positioning is performed by a protruding portion that is a coupling portion with the recording apparatus, and a force is applied to the insertion of the needle by a protrusion provided on the bottom surface portion of the ink tank, so that the ink tank In addition to improving the positional accuracy of the coupling portion of the ink tank unit, the reliability of mounting and coupling can be enhanced. Then, when the mounting of the ink tank to the recording device is completed at the position where the first protrusion is surrounded by the second reference surface and the click member, the mounting direction side unique to the enlarged ink tank Since the rattling can be suppressed in the vicinity of the protruding portion involved in the coupling, the reliability of the coupling can be further improved.
[0021]
The “ink” in the present invention is a general term for liquids ejected from an ink jet recording head. For example, a printability improving liquid such as a processing liquid used for improving the permeability of ink into recording paper. It is also used as including.
[0022]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the drawings.
[0023]
First, an ink jet recording apparatus capable of mounting the ink tank of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an appearance of an ink jet recording apparatus which is an embodiment of a liquid discharge recording apparatus to which the present invention can be applied.
[0024]
As shown in FIG. 1, a head carriage 104 and a supply carriage 105 are slidably fitted in the direction of arrow A to two main scanning rails 107 arranged in parallel to each other. The head carriage 104 is equipped with an ejection head unit 101 that ejects ink based on a recording signal.
[0025]
The ejection head unit 101 has a plurality of nozzles arranged for each color corresponding to six colors of dark cyan, light cyan, dark magenta, light magenta, yellow and black. Each is provided with an electrothermal converter that generates thermal energy for ink ejection. Ink is supplied into the discharge head portion 101 by capillary action at the nozzle, and the ink fills the nozzle by forming a meniscus on the surface of the discharge head portion 101 where the nozzle is opened (hereinafter referred to as “nozzle surface”). Keep state. Further, the discharge head unit 101 is covered with a head cover 106 together with a drive substrate for driving the discharge head unit 101. The drive substrate of the discharge head unit 101 is connected via a flat cable 113 to a substrate box 114 that houses a control substrate and the like that controls the operation of the entire recording apparatus.
[0026]
On the other hand, a sub tank 103 for supplying ink to the ejection head unit 101 is mounted on the supply carriage 105. The interior of the sub tank 103 is divided into six chambers corresponding to the respective color inks, and each chamber is connected to the corresponding discharge head unit 101 by a resin tube. Further, below the sub tank 103, six ink tanks 102 for storing ink to be supplied to the sub tank 102 are held in an ink tank unit 120 described later. In FIG. 1, the detailed structure of the ink tank unit is omitted.
[0027]
The ink tank 102 has a larger capacity than the sub tank 103, and in this example, 500 to 1000 cm. Three Of ink can be accommodated. Each ink tank 102 also corresponds to each color ink, and is connected to each chamber of the sub tank 103 by a resin tube. Thus, the ink stored in the ink tank 2 is supplied to the sub tank 103 and held in the sub tank 103, and further supplied from the sub tank 103 to the discharge head unit 101.
[0028]
The head carriage 104 and the supply carriage 105 are respectively coupled to a timing belt, and are reciprocally scanned in the direction of arrow A by rotating the timing belt by the main scanning motor 108. A platen 109 is provided at a position facing the nozzles of the discharge head unit 101. The recording paper 115 is conveyed on the platen 109 in the direction of arrow B. The conveyance of the recording paper 115 is intermittently performed at a predetermined pitch for each scan of the head cart unit, and during this time, recording is performed by ejecting ink from the ejection head unit 101.
[0029]
Further, a head recovery system 110 for maintaining good ink ejection characteristics of the ejection head unit 101 is provided within the scanning area of the ejection head unit 101 and outside the recording area on the recording paper 115. It is arranged to face 101. The head recovery system 110 includes a cap 117 for capping the ejection head unit 101 and a blade 111 for cleaning the nozzle surface of the ejection head unit 101. The position of the discharge head unit 101 when the discharge head unit 107 faces the cap 117 is referred to as a home position.
[0030]
Next, an ink tank unit as a holding unit for accommodating the ink tank of the liquid discharge recording apparatus, which is suitable for the ink tank of the present invention, will be described with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3 are explanatory views for explaining the entire ink tank unit of the present invention, FIG. 2 is a front view of the ink tank unit 20, and FIG. 3 is a side sectional explanatory view. 3 shows a main part of the structure of the ink tank shown in FIG. 3, and FIG. 5A and FIG. 5B show the AA and BB sectional views of FIG. 3, respectively. .
[0031]
The ink tank unit 20 of the present embodiment stores one or a plurality of ink tanks 1 (here, an example in which six ink tanks are stored). A bottom plate 21 is provided at the bottom of the casing of the ink tank unit 20, and a top plate 24 is provided at the top. These are connected to each other by a left chassis 22 and a right chassis 23. A central plate 25 is passed between the left chassis 22 and the right chassis 23 between the bottom plate 21 and the top plate 24 to enhance the rigidity of the casing together with a rear chassis 32 and the like which will be described later.
[0032]
26 is a lower guide for guiding the bottom of the ink tank 1, and 27 is an upper guide for guiding the upper part. On the right side of the recess of the lower guide 26 in which the ink tank is stored, tank urging springs 28 and 29 that also function as second urging means for urging the second reference surface described later are provided. Is pressed to the left to position the lower portion of the ink tank 1. Adjacent ink tank storage portions are partitioned by a front guide 30 so that when an operator inserts the ink tank 1, the insertion location can be seen at a glance.
[0033]
Reference numeral 31 denotes a tank lock lever which is lifted upward when the ink tank 1 is not accommodated. However, after the ink tank 1 is inserted, the operator pushes it downward to prevent the ink tank 1 from being pulled out. Can be locked.
[0034]
As described above, the ink tank unit that stores a plurality of colors has an increased efficiency in space because the longitudinal direction of the ink tank coincides with the direction of insertion into the ink tank unit.
[0035]
The tank lock lever 31 is mainly composed of a lever grip 33 and a lever main body 34 operated by an operator. The tank lock lever 31 is supported so as to be rotatable about a lever shaft 36 provided on the lever support member 35. The lever support member 35 is fixed to the central plate 25. A tension spring 38 is provided between an end 34 a of the lever body 34 opposite to the lever grip 33 and a spring hook 37 provided between the left chassis 22 and the right chassis 23. Accordingly, the tank lock lever 31 is always urged clockwise around the lever shaft 36, and is held in a state of being in contact with the abutting portion 30a of the front guide when the ink tank 1 is not inserted.
[0036]
Reference numerals 41 and 42 are tubular needles each having a narrow tip, and the needle 41 is an ink supply needle that is connected to the ink supply port of the ink tank 1 and sucks up ink in the tank. It is an atmosphere communicating needle that is connected to the atmosphere communicating portion of the ink tank 1 and used to communicate the inside of the tank to the atmosphere. The respective needles 41 and 42 are held by a needle holder 43, and the needle holder 43 is movable along cylindrical guide shafts 44 and 45 implanted in the central plate 25.
[0037]
A pair of pins 46 and a roller 47 that is rotatable on the outside thereof are provided on both sides of the needle holder 43, and the rollers 47 are fitted into bearing members 49 provided on both sides of the lever main body 34. With such a configuration, the needle holder 43 and the needles 41 and 42 can be lowered by depressing the tank lock lever 31.
[0038]
The needles 41 and 42 are bent into an L shape in the needle holder 43 and connected to tubes 61 and 62 by rubber needle joints 60, respectively. The tube 61 is connected to the sub tank via a check valve 63 and a tube 64 for preventing the back flow of ink from the sub tank side. An ink feeding pump is provided in the middle of the tube 64. The tube 62 is rolled up to the rear of the rear chassis 32 and the end of the tube is opened to the atmosphere. Therefore, when the pump is operated, the check valve 63 is opened, the ink in the ink tank 1 is sent to the sub tank, and air is replenished into the ink tank 1 through the tube 62 instead.
[0039]
An inclined groove 65 is provided in the center of the ink tank storage portion of the lower guide 26 from the entrance to the back side of the ink tank, and an ink absorber 66 connected to the arrangement direction of the ink tanks 1 is provided on the back side. ing. The ink absorber 66 can absorb at least one ink tank, and even if the ink tank 1 is damaged and the ink leaks, the ink does not overflow outside the unit. In the present embodiment, the angle of the inclined groove 65 is 1.5 ° so that the leaked ink flows quickly toward the absorber 66.
[0040]
Reference numeral 72 denotes a lever lock member which is swingably supported around a support shaft 73 and is urged clockwise by a torsion spring 74. When the ink tank 1 is not stored, the lever lock member 72 is held in a state in which the abutting portion 72a abuts against the central plate 25 (see FIG. 2), and the upper end portion of the lever lock member 72 72 b passes through the opening 34 b of the lever main body 34. Therefore, when the tank lock lever 31 is pushed down in this state, the bent portion 34c of the lever main body 34 hits the shoulder portion 72c of the lever lock member 72, and the tank lock lever 31 is not lowered any more.
[0041]
A detection plate 75 is supported so as to be rotatable about a support shaft 76 and is urged counterclockwise by a torsion spring 77. The contact portion 75a of the detection plate 75 is in contact with a holder pin 78 implanted in the needle holder 43. When the needle holder 43 is lowered and lowered to a predetermined lowest position, it rotates counterclockwise, and the projecting portion 75b The detection part 79a of the micro switch 79 is pushed, and the movement of the needles 41 and 42 to a predetermined position is detected.
[0042]
Reference numeral 81 denotes an absorber that wipes off ink adhering to the needle 41 when the needle 41 is removed from the ink tank 1, and is held by the absorber presser 82. A convex member 83 is provided on the lever main body 34 and engages with a concave member 84 fixed to the central plate 25. Both the convex member 83 and the concave member 84 are made of a material having a spring property such as polyacetal or polypropylene, and can be engaged when the tank lock lever 31 is pushed down to hold the tank lock lever 31 at the position. When pulled up, the engagement can be released. The lever main body is provided with a plate spring 85, a roller 86, and a rotating shaft 87 as urging means for the tank. One end of the leaf spring 85 is fixed to the lever grip 33, and an idler roller 86 and a rotating shaft 87 are provided at the other end.
[0043]
The stopper 91 is rotatable about a rotation shaft 92 planted upward from the central plate 25 and is biased counterclockwise by a torsion spring 93 (see FIG. 5 (a)). When the ink tank 1 is not stored, the stopper 91 is located just below the leg 43a of the needle holder 43, so that the needle holder 43 cannot be lowered any further.
[0044]
Reference numeral 94 denotes a click member which can rotate around a rotation shaft 95 planted downward from the central plate 25 and is urged clockwise by a compression spring 96 (see FIG. 5B).
[0045]
Reference numeral 27c denotes an abutting surface as a first reference surface, and 27b denotes an abutting surface as a second reference surface, which are provided on the upper guide 27, respectively. The first reference surface and the second reference surface are orthogonal to each other, and the first reference surface is orthogonal to the ink tank insertion direction. Therefore, the second reference plane is parallel to both the ink tank insertion direction and the movement direction of the needle holder 43 as the needle movement means. The click member 94 abuts the abutting surfaces 27b and 27c in an ink supply port portion and an air communication portion as a protruding portion of the ink tank described later. By doing in this way, both the areas where the 1st cap can move to bb direction can be made into dd shown in Drawing 5 (b).
[0046]
Further, in the present embodiment, the click member 94 is provided with only a portion corresponding to a cylinder 2a provided in a tank described later in the end portion 94a in the height direction, and in a tank described later in the arm portion 94b. Are provided at portions corresponding to both of the cylinders 2a and 2b. Therefore, the click member does not perform a click operation when a first protrusion described later passes through the end portion 94a.
[0047]
In the present embodiment, when the ink tank 1 is inserted, the click member 94 does not perform the click operation on the first projecting portion but performs the click operation only on the second projecting portion. The user can more easily confirm that it is positioned at the position of 1 by one click operation. Further, in the present embodiment, the movable amount dd is the distance between the arm portion of the click member and the cylinder 2a of the first projecting portion, so that it is possible to regulate the moving amount and realize stable coupling. Become.
[0048]
In this way, in a large container, positioning accuracy can be increased by positioning the coupling portion by the ink supply port. Further, since the user can easily detect this change as a click feeling, the user can confirm that the insertion has been performed reliably. In addition, when an ink tank having a plurality of protrusions in the insertion direction is coupled, the protrusion in front of the insertion direction is brought into contact with the first reference surface perpendicular to the insertion direction of the ink tank, so that the first reference In the inkjet recording apparatus using a plurality of colors, the second reference surface perpendicular to the surface is positioned by contacting a plurality of protrusions, so that there is no waste of space with respect to the insertion direction. Suppresses rattling and achieves a more secure connection.
[0049]
The ink tank of the present invention is suitably used for the above-described recording apparatus and ink tank unit, and specific configurations thereof will be described in the following first and second embodiments.
[0050]
(First Example)
FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram for explaining the ink tank according to the first embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6A is a three-dimensional perspective view when the connection portion with the needle of the main tank unit is set to the upper surface (posture in use). (B) is a three-dimensional perspective view for demonstrating the bottom face part of an ink tank.
[0051]
The ink tank 1 can store a liquid such as ink directly in a rigid casing. The casing includes a bottom surface portion, a surface portion (upper surface portion) 9 facing the bottom surface portion, and a bottom surface portion and an upper surface portion. And a plurality of side surface portions 4 provided with a pair of opposing surfaces in the longitudinal direction of the tank.
[0052]
The upper surface portion 9 of the present embodiment includes flat portions 9a, 9b, and 9c having steps, for introducing the atmosphere into the flat surface portion 9a that is farthest from the bottom surface when joined to the ink tank. A first protrusion 2 having an atmosphere communication port 12 and a second protrusion 3 having an ink supply port 13 for leading the liquid inside the housing to the outside are provided. The flat portion 9b that is adjacent to the flat portion 9a and is one step lower than the flat portion 9a is provided with second erroneous mounting preventing portions 10c and 10d, which is one step lower than the flat portion 9b, and the mounting direction to the ink tank unit described above. First flat attachment prevention portions 10a and 10b are provided on the flat portion 9c serving as a front end portion.
[0053]
In the present embodiment, the first projecting portion 2 includes a cylinder 2a having a smaller diameter than the second projecting portion 3 and a cylinder 2b having the same diameter as the second projecting portion 3, which are concentrically arranged. The height is the same as the second protrusion. In the present embodiment, the arrangement of the first protrusions and the second protrusions is such that the central axes of the first protrusions and the second protrusions are substantially coincident when viewed from the insertion direction of the ink tank. The first protrusion is arranged so as to come to the front.
[0054]
Here, the ink supply port and the atmosphere communication port are provided on the surface facing the bottom surface, and the needle of the main tank unit described above is inserted from above, so that even if uncertain coupling is performed at the time of coupling, Ink does not leak from the coupling part and the ink tank unit is not soiled. The air communication port 12 and the ink supply port 13 are sealed with rubber stoppers (not shown) in the protruding portions, respectively, so that the liquid inside does not inadvertently leak outside.
[0055]
In addition, the first mismounting prevention portion provided at the front end of the ink tank in the insertion direction has four claw portions 10b in the longitudinal direction of the ink tank (ink tank ink) so as to protect the claw portions. A protective wall 10a parallel to the mounting direction of the tank unit) is provided, and erroneous mounting in the ink tank unit is prevented by removing unnecessary portions of the claw portion. In this embodiment, four ink tank types can be accommodated by removing three of the four claws of the first erroneous mounting preventing portion. Similar to the first erroneous mounting portion described above, the second erroneous mounting preventing portion is provided with a claw portion 10d and a protective wall 10c. In the present embodiment, the claw portions of the second erroneous mounting preventing portion are provided in six locations over two rows, and by removing a total of three of these, 20 ink tank types are supported. In this embodiment, 80 types (20 × 4) of ink tank types can be accommodated by a combination of erroneous mounting prevention units. However, the number of claw portions of the erroneous mounting prevention unit is limited to the above-described number. It can be freely selected according to the required quantity of required tank types.
[0056]
In addition, although the plane part 9b and the plane part 9c which were mentioned above are in the position lower than the plane part 9a in the state shown to Fig.6 (a), a plane part is provided in the side part of the plane part 9b and the plane part 9c of a present Example. A side wall 14 having a height substantially the same as 9a is formed. The erroneous mounting preventing portions 10a, 10b, 10c, and 10d are formed at the same height as the side wall or lower than the side wall in the state shown in FIG. 6A, so that the operator should accidentally drop the ink tank. Even if it has been, the first and second erroneous mounting preventing portions are protected by the side wall 14.
[0057]
In addition, since the first erroneous mounting prevention portion is formed on a surface that is one step lower than the second erroneous mounting prevention portion, an identification member on the ink tank unit side for identifying the second erroneous mounting prevention portion. The convex shape does not interfere with the first erroneous mounting preventing portion. In addition, since the second erroneous mounting prevention portion is provided on a surface that is one step lower than the first protrusion and the second protrusion, the reference plane of the ink tank unit for positioning and coupling the ink tank The coupling portion does not interfere with the second erroneous mounting preventing portion. Therefore, the ink tank can be smoothly inserted and the space in the height direction of the ink tank can be efficiently used, so that the width direction (direction perpendicular to the ink tank insertion direction) is not increased. This makes it possible to identify different types of ink tanks, that is, to identify differences by color, and to identify differences between installed printing apparatuses. In this embodiment, the erroneous mounting prevention unit is provided in two stages. However, when there are few types of ink tanks to be identified, only one stage may be provided.
[0058]
On the other hand, an inclined surface that is higher than the height of the end surface of the opening of each protrusion is provided on the second protrusion side (backward in the insertion direction) of the surface facing the bottom surface. Protective ribs 5 are provided to prevent the protrusion 3 from being damaged. The higher end of the inclined surface (the end at the rear in the insertion direction) has a vertical surface 6 for fixing the ink tank to the lever of the main tank unit. The vertical surface portion 6 is a surface substantially orthogonal to the bottom surface, and is parallel to the columnar portions of the first protrusion and the second protrusion. The lower end of the vertical surface portion extends vertically downward from the columnar portions of the first protrusion and the second protrusion, and the upper end extends upward from the openings of the first protrusion and the second protrusion. It is extended.
[0059]
Here, the height of the second projecting portion is positioned below a line connecting the surface of the first projecting portion having the air communication port and the upper portion of the vertical surface portion. Therefore, even if the tank is dropped, the second protrusion does not directly contact the ground, so that the second protrusion is not destroyed by the drop. As described above, in the ink tank of this embodiment, the ink supply port of the ink tank is protected, so that the connection with the recording apparatus capable of mounting the ink tank described later is more reliably performed. In addition, although the above-mentioned protection rib is not necessarily an essential structure, the second protrusion can be protected more reliably by providing the rib.
[0060]
Below the vertical surface portion, there are provided a handle portion 7 and a hooking hole 15 protruding from the vertical surface portion by through holes penetrating the housing, respectively. When carrying or removing the tank from the ink tank unit, the user The handling is improved. In the present embodiment, the grip portion and the hooking hole portion are formed of a hollow body that communicates with the inside of the housing that can store ink, and can also be filled with liquid, so that the ink tank accordingly. Ink storage capacity can be increased.
[0061]
Next, the shape of the bottom part of the present embodiment will be described.
[0062]
In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 6B, the bottom surface portion is provided with protrusions 11a, 11b, and 14 and reinforcing ribs 8 having a protruding amount smaller than the protrusions. Here, the projecting portions 11a and 11b are provided in the vicinity of the opposing surface of the side surface portion 4, and the projecting portion 14 is located at the front in the ink tank insertion direction at a central portion separated from the opposing surface of the side surface portion by an equal distance. Is provided at the end. The reinforcing rib 8 extends from the projecting portion 14 to the vicinity of the position where the projecting portions 11a and 11b are provided, at the central portion that is separated from the opposing surface of the side surface portion by the same distance.
[0063]
Since the ink tank of this embodiment is manufactured by blow molding, the central portion 14b of the protrusion 14 is recessed with respect to the protrusions 14a and 14b so that no burrs are left in the protrusion at the time of molding. However, since the distance between 14a and 14b is shorter than the distance between 11a and 11b, it can be handled as one protrusion 14.
[0064]
Here, in the ink tank of the present invention, as shown in the top view of the ink tank in FIG. 7A, the region inside the line connecting the three protrusions 14, 11a, 11b (forms a triangle) is formed. An air communication port 12 and an ink supply port 13 are provided in the area of the upper surface portion facing each other. In particular, in the case of the present embodiment, the protrusion 14 is provided at the front end in the insertion direction of the ink tank at an equal distance from the opposing surface of the side surface, and the ink tank extends from the protrusion 14. It is symmetrical with respect to the cut surface passing through the middle line (indicated by the alternate long and short dash line in FIG. 7A) except for the erroneous attachment preventing portion. The air communication port 12 and the ink supply port 13 have their central portions on this cut surface.
[0065]
Further, the ink tank of the present embodiment can also store ink in the handle portion, but the center of gravity of the ink tank is not used in the use posture shown in FIG. Is located in the region formed by the three protrusions shown in FIG.
[0066]
In addition, since the ink tank of this example is manufactured by blow molding, as shown by the dotted line in the side view shown in FIG. Except for the supply port, the inner surface of the housing has a shape corresponding to the outer surface. In the case of the present embodiment, the region of the bottom surface portion where the handle portion and the reinforcing rib are provided has an inclined surface formed therein, and the vicinity of the region where the protrusion portions 11a and 11b are provided is the bottom surface. Yes.
[0067]
As shown in FIG. 7 (b), the ink supply port is provided with a tube 18 extending to the vicinity of the bottom in the housing, and is connected to the ink supply port even in the posture shown in FIG. 6 (a). By sucking from the outside, it is possible to reliably lead the liquid stored inside the housing to the outside and reduce the ink remaining.
[0068]
Next, the mounting and coupling operations of the ink tank to the ink tank unit in this embodiment will be described.
[0069]
First, the ink tank 1 is inserted in the J direction shown in FIG. 3 while being guided by the upper guide 27 and the lower guide 26. Then, the ink tank 1 is pressed against a reference surface (not shown) provided on the lower guide 26 and the upper guide 27 by a tank biasing spring 28 attached to the lower guide 26, and is orthogonal to the insertion direction of the ink tank 1. The position with respect to the ink tank unit 20 in the direction in which the ink tank is to be moved is determined. That is, by pressing against the reference surface, it is possible to prevent the ink tank from swinging (direction perpendicular to the insertion direction of the ink tank 1) during the attachment / detachment operation and after the completion of the attachment.
[0070]
When the main tank 1 is further inserted into the main tank unit 20, insertion of ink tanks other than the ink tank from which the claw of the portion corresponding to the convex shape is removed is prevented by a convex identification member (not shown). . Thus, before the ink supply port of the ink tank enters the ink tank unit, the erroneous mounting of the ink tank can be surely prevented by the identification member and the erroneous mounting preventing portion. On the other hand, the release of the lock lever as the first needle movement preventing means is performed by inserting the tank.
[0071]
In this way, by releasing the lock lever as the first needle movement preventing means by inserting the tank, a thing other than the tank is inserted without forcing the user to perform an extra operation other than the tank insertion operation. In case of malfunctions can be prevented. Therefore, even if the user carelessly puts his / her hand into the main tank unit, his / her hand will not be damaged by the needle. As described above, in this embodiment, the side surface of the tank is brought into contact with the reference surface, and the lever is not allowed to be depressed until the erroneous mounting is confirmed by the erroneous mounting prevention member. Since the first needle movement preventing means is released, different types of tanks are not erroneously mounted.
[0072]
When the main tank 1 is further inserted into the main tank unit 20, the first and second protrusions are positioned by the click member described above. Thus, in a large container, positioning accuracy can be improved by positioning a coupling part with a cap. Further, since the user can easily detect this change as a click feeling, the user can confirm that the insertion has been performed reliably.
[0073]
Simultaneously with the positioning of the ink tank by the click member, the first projecting portion of the ink tank 1 pushes the tongue portion 204 of the stopper 91, and the stopper 91 rotates about the rotation shaft 92 as a center of rotation. The lock of the holder 43 is released, and the needle holder 43 can pass through the hole of the central plate 25.
[0074]
Therefore, if the user feels a click, the lock of the needle holder as the second needle movement preventing means is released, so that the needle coupling operation described later can be performed with peace of mind. In this way, in order to combine the click feeling with the click member with the release of the second needle movement prevention means, before the ink tank insertion is promoted by the rotation of the click member as in this embodiment. The unlocking operation of the needle holder is preferably not performed.
[0075]
In this embodiment, the needle holder is locked by two members, a lever lock member 72 as a first needle movement preventing means and a stopper member 91 as a second needle movement preventing means. Therefore, even if the user accidentally inserts a hand or the like into the ink tank unit and releases the lever lock member to push down the lever, the needle provided on the needle holder will not be injured. The needle can be protected when a foreign object is inserted into the ink tank unit. In addition, when only one needle movement prevention means is provided, it is desirable to perform at a position close to the needle insertion position as in the stopper member 91 of this embodiment in order to realize reliable insertion. Further, by providing two needle movement prevention means as in the present embodiment, one release means may not be close to the needle insertion position, so that the strength of the release means can be increased. Further, in the state where the positioning by the cap of the ink tank is completed, as shown in FIG. 5B, the first protrusion is surrounded by the click member and the lateral reference surface 27b, and the first protrusion The gap between the click member and the click member is indicated by dd. Therefore, even if the user tries to move the ink tank 1 in the bb direction shown in FIG. 5B against the urging force of the tank urging spring 28 (not shown), the ink tank 1 moves only by the gap indicated by dd. However, by reducing the size of dd according to the shape of the click member, it is possible to regulate the amount of movement of the ink tank 1 in the bb direction and realize stable coupling.
[0076]
As described above, after the ink tank is reliably positioned by the cap, the main tank is fixedly held by pushing down the lever and connected to an ink supply path (not shown). 8 and 9 are side cross-sectional views of the main tank and the main tank unit, showing the lever pressing operation in time series.
[0077]
When the tank lock lever 31 is pushed down, the needle holder 43 is lowered along the guide shafts 44 and 45 and the needles 41 and 42 are also lowered. At this time, the lever lock member 72 is rotated counterclockwise around the support shaft 73 by the upper part of the main tank 1, and the shoulder 72c is located at a position corresponding to the opening 34b. This will not prevent the 31 from being pushed down. When the tank lock lever 31 is further pushed down from the position of FIG. 8, the bent portion 34c pushes the lever lock member 72 to further rotate the lever lock member 72 counterclockwise.
[0078]
In the position of FIG. 8, the roller 86 is in a position in contact with the upper portion of the vertical surface portion 6 of the main tank 1. When the tank lever 31 is pushed down, even if the main tank 1 is not inserted to the end and is positioned slightly on the front side (for example, a position during the tank pulling operation by the click member), the roller as the biasing means Since the main tank 1 is pushed inward while the 86 is rotated by the leaf spring 85, the needles 41 and 42 are not inserted while the main tank is not in a predetermined position. Of course, the roller 86 is disposed at the lower end of the lock lever so that the position of the main tank 1 is corrected before the needles 41 and 42 come into contact with the first cap 2 and the second cap 3, respectively. Are arranged above the columnar portions of the two cap members.
[0079]
When the tank lock lever 31 is further pushed down from the position shown in FIG. 8, the needles 41 and 42 are inserted into and passed through the rubber plugs (not shown) of the ink supply port of the main tank 1 and the atmosphere communication port. FIG. 9 is a view showing a state in which the tank lock lever 31 is pushed down to the end. When the tank lock lever 31 is pushed down to the end, the convex member 83 and the concave member 84 are engaged, and the tank lock lever 31 is held at this position against the urging force of the tension spring 38. At this time, the detection plate 75 in contact with the holder pin 78 of the needle holder 43 rotates counterclockwise around the support shaft 76 as the needle holder 43 descends, and when the needle holder 43 reaches the lowest position, that is, the needle 41 , 42 reach the lowest position, the projecting portion 75b pushes the detecting portion 79a of the microswitch 79. This micro switch 79 is connected to, for example, a pump drive circuit. When the micro switch 79 is pushed, that is, when the needles 41 and 42 are lowered to a predetermined position, the pump operates to suck ink from the main tank. Is possible.
[0080]
At this time, as shown in FIG. 9, the roller of the lock lever is fixed at the end portion of the vertical surface portion, the position of the column surface of the two caps, or slightly below the gravity direction. When the tank is urged in the insertion direction as in this embodiment, there is a possibility that a moment may be generated by the urging force with the column surface of the cap, which is the tank positioning position, as a fulcrum. At this time, in the cross-sectional views shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the counterclockwise moment can be received by the bottom plate of the tank holder. However, since there is no portion to receive the clockwise moment, there is a risk of displacement. is there. However, in this embodiment, since the above configuration is adopted, an upward moment is not generated, so that a positional shift does not occur.
[0081]
In the above-described embodiment, the atmosphere communication port 12 and the ink supply port 13 are provided in the region of the upper surface portion facing the region (forming a triangle) inside the line connecting the three protrusions 14, 11a, 11b. Thus, the insertion force generated when the needles 41 and 42 are inserted can be reliably received not by the entire bottom surface but by the three protrusions 11a, 11b and 14 described above. Therefore, the deformation of the ink tank at the time of inserting the needle can be minimized, and the needle insertion is not easily affected by the variation of the ink tank product. be able to.
[0082]
In particular, in the case of the present embodiment, the protrusion 14 is provided at the front end in the insertion direction of the ink tank at an equal distance from the opposing surface of the side surface, and the ink tank extends from the protrusion 14. It is symmetrical with respect to the cut surface passing through the middle line (indicated by the alternate long and short dash line in FIG. 7A) except for the erroneous attachment preventing portion. The air communication port 12 and the ink supply port 13 have their central portions on this cut surface. By adopting such an arrangement, the stability when the ink tanks are coupled is further improved.
[0083]
Note that the positions of the ink supply port and the atmosphere communication port may be in the region facing the line as long as they are on the region facing the projection region. In the case of the present embodiment, since the protrusions 11a and 11b are provided symmetrically in the vicinity of the region facing the ink supply port, the force received at the time of coupling can be received more stably.
[0084]
Furthermore, in this embodiment, since the reinforcing rib 8 is provided, when the insertion force due to the insertion of the needle is received by the protrusion, the mutual position of the protrusion is prevented from being changed by deformation, and the ink in the ink tank is It is possible to prevent mounting mistakes due to the protrusions being caught when inserted into the tank unit.
[0085]
(Second embodiment)
FIGS. 10A and 10B are perspective views of the ink tank of the second embodiment. In the first embodiment described above, the connecting portion protrudes from the upper surface portion. However, in the present embodiment, the concave portion is provided on the upper surface portion, and the protruding portion is provided in the concave portion. May be the same as the height of the upper surface.
[0086]
In the ink tank 300 shown in FIG. 10A, when each of the ink supply port 303 and the atmosphere communication port 302 is provided in one protrusion 301, the ink tank 350 shown in FIG. The case where the two protrusion parts 352 and 353 are provided is shown. In the case of such a shape, since the ink tank is close to a substantially rectangular parallelepiped shape, there is an advantage that the space efficiency during transportation is excellent.
[0087]
In this case, the corresponding ink tank unit may apply a click feeling using the recesses around the protrusions, and use the outer periphery of the protrusions for positioning. In addition, when manufacturing by blow molding, about each protrusion part, you may make it into a cap shape and manufacture with multiple members.
[0088]
【The invention's effect】
As described above, according to the present invention, the tank is supported by the three protrusions, so that when the needle is attached to the tank, the force due to the insertion of the needle is not received by the entire tank bottom, but by the protrusion. It is possible to provide an ink tank that can be received and is not easily affected by variations in products with respect to needle insertion.
[Brief description of the drawings]
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an appearance of an ink jet recording apparatus as an embodiment of a liquid discharge recording apparatus to which the present invention can be applied.
FIG. 2 is a front view of a main tank unit on which the ink tank of the present invention can be mounted.
FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional explanatory view of a main tank unit on which the ink tank of the present invention can be mounted.
4 is a side cross-sectional view for explaining a main part of a main tank unit on which the ink tank of the present invention shown in FIG. 3 can be mounted.
FIGS. 5A and 5B are an AA sectional view and a BB sectional view of a main tank unit on which the ink tank of the present invention shown in FIG. 2 can be mounted, respectively.
FIGS. 6A and 6B are three-dimensional perspective views for explaining the ink tank according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
7A is a top view of the ink tank according to the first embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 7B is a side view of the ink tank according to the first embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 8 is a side cross-sectional view of the ink tank and the main tank unit of the first embodiment showing a lever pressing operation.
FIG. 9 is a side cross-sectional view of the ink tank and the main tank unit of the first embodiment showing a lever pressing operation.
FIGS. 10A and 10B are three-dimensional perspective views for explaining a second embodiment of the ink tank of the present invention.
[Explanation of symbols]
1 Ink tank
2 First protrusion
3 Second protrusion
6 Vertical surface
7 Handle part
10a, 10b, 10c, 10d Incorrect mounting prevention part
11a, 11b, 14 protrusion
12 Air communication port
13 Ink supply port
20 Ink tank unit
34 lever
72 Lever lock member
85 leaf spring
86 Laura
94 Click material
100 Inkjet recording apparatus
101 Discharge head

Claims (9)

  1. In an ink tank having an ink storage section for storing ink,
    A bottom surface provided with three protrusions for supporting the tank;
    An upper surface portion having an ink supply portion for leading the ink in the ink storage portion to the outside and facing the bottom surface portion;
    A plurality of side surface portions adjacent to the bottom surface portion and the top surface portion and provided with a pair of opposing surfaces in the longitudinal direction of the tank,
    A handle at one end in the longitudinal direction of the tank,
    Two of the protrusions on the bottom surface portion are provided to face each other in the vicinity of the opposing surface of the side surface portion, and on the top surface portion facing the line connecting the three protrusions or in the region inside it. An ink tank, wherein the ink supply section is provided in a region.
  2.   2. The ink according to claim 1, wherein the bottom surface portion has an inclination such that the vicinity of the two protruding portions becomes the bottom surface, and further includes a supply pipe extending from the ink supply portion to the bottom surface. tank.
  3.   An air communication portion for communicating the ink storage portion with the outside is further provided in a linear region connecting the three protrusions or in an upper surface region facing the inner region. The ink tank according to claim 1.
  4. The upper surface portion includes a first protrusion portion provided with the atmosphere communication portion, a second protrusion portion provided with the ink supply portion and different from the first protrusion portion, and an erroneous attachment for identifying the type of the ink tank. A prevention part,
    The erroneous mounting preventing portion is provided at the other end in the longitudinal direction of the tank facing the handle portion, and includes the atmosphere communication portion and the ink supply port above the erroneous mounting preventing portion. The ink tank according to claim 3.
  5.   The remaining one of the projecting portions of the bottom surface portion is provided in the vicinity of the central portion that is equidistant from the opposing surface of the side surface portion, and is a triangular shape formed by connecting three projecting portions. 4. The ink tank according to claim 3, wherein the ink supply unit and the atmosphere communication unit are provided in a region of an upper surface portion facing a middle line from a protrusion provided in the vicinity. 5.
  6.   6. The ink tank according to claim 5, wherein the protrusion provided in the vicinity of the central portion is provided in the vicinity of the end opposite to the handle portion.
  7.   A triangular rib formed by connecting the three protrusions is provided with a rib having a smaller projection amount than the three protrusions on the middle line from the protrusion provided near the center. The ink tank according to claim 5.
  8. In an ink jet recording apparatus, wherein the ink tank according to claim 4 is detachably mounted, and recording is performed using ink in the ink storage portion.
    A first reference plane perpendicular to the mounting direction of the ink tank for fixing the first protrusion of the ink tank;
    A second reference plane parallel to the mounting direction of the ink tank for fixing the second protrusion of the ink tank;
    A click member for urging the second protrusion on the second reference surface;
    First and second coupling needles that can be coupled to the first and second protrusions, respectively;
    Moving means for moving the first and second coupling needles to a predetermined position orthogonal to the mounting direction of the ink tank to the ink jet recording apparatus and parallel to the first and second reference planes;
    The ink jet recording apparatus, wherein the mounting of the ink tank to the recording apparatus is completed at a position where the first protrusion is surrounded by the second reference plane and the click member.
  9.   The movement means for the needle is provided with a movement prevention means for preventing the movement of the first and second ink supply needles by the movement means until the ink tank is mounted. 9. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the ink jet recording apparatus is released upon completion of attachment to the apparatus.
JP36245098A 1998-12-21 1998-12-21 Ink tank and ink jet recording apparatus using the ink tank Expired - Fee Related JP3658222B2 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP36245098A JP3658222B2 (en) 1998-12-21 1998-12-21 Ink tank and ink jet recording apparatus using the ink tank

Applications Claiming Priority (7)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP36245098A JP3658222B2 (en) 1998-12-21 1998-12-21 Ink tank and ink jet recording apparatus using the ink tank
US09/231,252 US6293662B1 (en) 1998-01-19 1999-01-15 Ink tank coupling method, ink jet recording apparatus, and ink tank
DE69933152T DE69933152T2 (en) 1998-01-19 1999-01-18 Ink tank coupling method, ink jet recording apparatus and ink tank
EP05014786A EP1609604B1 (en) 1998-01-19 1999-01-18 Ink tank
EP19990100823 EP0930170B1 (en) 1998-01-19 1999-01-18 Ink tank coupling method, ink jet recording apparatus, and ink tank
DE1999640327 DE69940327D1 (en) 1998-01-19 1999-01-18 ink tank
US09/903,657 US6431699B2 (en) 1998-01-19 2001-07-13 Ink tank coupling method, ink jet recording apparatus, and ink tank

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
JP2000177145A JP2000177145A (en) 2000-06-27
JP3658222B2 true JP3658222B2 (en) 2005-06-08

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
RU2170675C1 (en) 1998-05-18 2001-07-20 Сейко Эпсон Корпорейшн Jet printing device and ink cartridge for this device (modifications)
CN1173830C (en) 1999-10-12 2004-11-03 精工爱普生株式会社 Ink box for ink-jet printer
TWI259149B (en) 2002-09-30 2006-08-01 Canon Kk Ink container and recording apparatus
JP5299145B2 (en) * 2009-07-27 2013-09-25 コニカミノルタ株式会社 Ink supply device for inkjet printer
JP2011046207A (en) * 2010-12-09 2011-03-10 Seiko Epson Corp Device for attaching and detaching ink cartridge, and recorder
JP6424704B2 (en) 2015-03-27 2018-11-21 ブラザー工業株式会社 Liquid cartridge

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