JP3961206B2 - Nozzle cleaner method, nozzle cleaner, and ink jet recording apparatus - Google Patents

Nozzle cleaner method, nozzle cleaner, and ink jet recording apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
JP3961206B2
JP3961206B2 JP2000269473A JP2000269473A JP3961206B2 JP 3961206 B2 JP3961206 B2 JP 3961206B2 JP 2000269473 A JP2000269473 A JP 2000269473A JP 2000269473 A JP2000269473 A JP 2000269473A JP 3961206 B2 JP3961206 B2 JP 3961206B2
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Japan
Prior art keywords
wiper blade
nozzle
ink
timing belt
wiping
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Expired - Fee Related
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JP2000269473A
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Japanese (ja)
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JP2002079681A (en
Inventor
哲夫 渡辺
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株式会社リコー
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Description

[0001]
The present invention relates to a nozzle cleaner method, a nozzle cleaner, and an ink jet recording apparatus for removing liquid adhering to a nozzle that ejects liquid such as ink.
[0002]
[Prior art]
A mechanism for maintaining the performance of a recording head that ejects ink is indispensable for an ink jet printer, and is installed in almost all models. The main functions are a cap function to prevent drying of the nozzles that eject ink, a pump function for filling the recording head with ink, a flow path switching valve associated therewith, and a nozzle row surface of the recording head. Such as a nozzle cleaner function. In particular, the nozzle cleaner function can cause image quality and image formation when ink droplets remain on the nozzle surface or when dust adheres to it, causing the ink droplets to be ejected to bend or not to be ejected from the nozzles. Seriously affected.
[0003]
In recent years, the speed of image formation has been increasing, and by increasing the number of nozzles of the recording head, an improvement has been made in which more ink droplets are ejected in one scan to increase throughput. For this reason, many ink droplets remain on the nozzle surface, and a lot of ink scraped from the nozzle surface remains on the wiper itself of the nozzle cleaner. When the wiper with this ink remaining is used to wipe (clean) a recording head of another color, the remaining ink is transferred to the recording head of another color and mixed, or the remaining ink is wiped. The ink is pushed into the nozzle by this pressure, causing problems such as destroying the ink meniscus and clogging of the nozzle.
[0004]
In order to solve such a problem, for example, an ink jet recording apparatus disclosed in Japanese Patent No. 2709524 (Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 3-293151) uses a wiper to wipe the nozzle surface of a recording head, and then the wiper is used as an ink absorber. The ink, water droplets and dust adhering to the wiper by sliding on the surface are transferred to the ink absorber to clean the wiper. Ink and water droplets adhering to the ink absorber are sent to the waste ink absorber through an ink transmission section utilizing capillary action, and the period until the ink and water droplets in the ink absorber are saturated is extended.
[0005]
[Problems to be solved by the invention]
On the other hand, in recent years, pigment inks that are superior in weather resistance and color density compared to dye inks that have been mainly used have been used. This pigment ink has a high degree of thickening and sticking after drying, and as shown in Japanese Patent No. 2709524, from an ink absorber to which ink or water droplets adhering to a wiper is transferred, through an ink transmission section utilizing capillary action. When the ink is sent to the waste ink absorber, the ink transmission unit is clogged, and the ink of each color is accumulated in the ink absorber in a short time, and the wiper cleaning function is deteriorated.
[0006]
The present invention provides a nozzle cleaner method, a nozzle cleaner, and an ink jet recording apparatus that can improve such disadvantages and reliably remove liquid adhering to a wiper that cleans a nozzle surface and can use the wiper stably for a long period of time. It is intended to do.
[0007]
[Means for Solving the Problems]
The nozzle cleaner method according to the present invention detects that the wiper blade has moved to a region other than the wiping area of the nozzle, and determines the wiper blade based on the detection result. Forced vibration with different period and amplitude It is characterized by removing liquid and dust adhering to the wiper blade.
[0008]
The nozzle cleaner according to the present invention wipes off the liquid adhering to the nozzle by moving the wiper blade while pressing the tip of the wiper blade against the nozzle by the transport unit arranged facing the nozzle in the wiping area of the nozzle. When the wiper blade moves outside the nozzle wiping area, the wiper blade Forced vibration with different period and amplitude To remove the liquid and dust adhering to the wiper blade The remaining liquid and dust are removed by pressing the wiper blade from which the adhered liquid and dust are removed against the wiping member made of a porous material. It is characterized by that.
[0009]
When the above wiper blade is moved outside the wiping area of the nozzle, the transport unit repeatedly switches the wiper blade in the forward and reverse directions at high speed to switch to the wiper blade. Forced vibration with different period and amplitude Good to give.
[0010]
In addition, when the wiper blade is moved outside the nozzle wiping area by the transport unit having a timing belt wound around the driving roller and the driven roller and arranged opposite to the nozzle in the nozzle wiping area, it is locked by the lifting means. Move the timing belt while moving the claw to bring the tip of the locking claw into contact with the timing belt teeth. Forced vibration with different period and amplitude It is desirable to give
[0011]
Furthermore, when the timing belt is moved while the tip of the latching claw is in contact with the teeth of the timing belt, the moving direction of the timing belt is repeatedly switched between the forward and reverse directions to the wiper blade. Forced vibration with different period and amplitude Good to give.
[0012]
In addition, when the wiper blade is moved outside the nozzle wiping area by the transport unit having the timing belt wound around the driving roller and the driven roller and arranged opposite to the nozzle in the nozzle wiping area, the tension of the timing belt is reduced. Repeatedly change to wiper blade Forced vibration with different period and amplitude May be given.
[0014]
Also, Wiping member Rotate the cleaning blade formed in a semi-disc shape with a notch in part, Forced vibration with different period and amplitude It is desirable to squeeze both sides in the moving direction of the wiper blade from which the attached liquid is removed by removing the liquid and dust remaining on the wiper blade.
[0021]
An ink jet recording apparatus according to the present invention has any one of the nozzle cleaners described above.
[0023]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The nozzle cleaner for cleaning the nozzle surface of the recording head of the ink jet printer according to the present invention includes a transport unit, a wiper blade, an ink removing unit, and a wiping unit. The transport unit includes a driving roller driven by a driving motor and a timing belt wound around a driven roller, and a predetermined position near a home position of a carriage that scans the recording head, for example, an area for cleaning the nozzle surface of the recording head. Thus, they are arranged so as to face the nozzle surface at a certain interval from the nozzle surface of the recording head. The wiper blade is made of an elastic material such as rubber, and is attached to the timing belt of the transport unit in correspondence with the nozzle surfaces of cyan C, magenta M, yellow Y, and black Bk of the recording head. Press against the surface to wipe off ink and dust adhering to the nozzle surface. The drive motor of the transport unit is composed of, for example, a pulse motor, and rotates the timing belt forward or backward by switching the phase excitation between forward and reverse at high speed. The ink removal unit has an ink collection container and an ink removal position detection sensor for detecting the wiper blade. The ink removing unit is disposed on the opposite side of the recording belt of the timing belt wound around the driving roller and the driven roller. The output side of the ink removal position detection sensor is connected to a motor control unit that controls the operation of the drive motor. When the wiper blade detection signal is input from the ink removal position detection sensor, the motor controller switches the phase excitation of the drive motor to high and low at high speeds every preset time, and drives for a preset number of times. Turn the motor forward or backward. The wiping unit has a wiping member housed in the container, and is connected to the downstream side in the forward rotation direction of the timing belt from the ink removing portion. The wiping member is formed of a porous material such as foamed plastic that has strong chemical resistance and water resistance and is resistant to aging.
[0024]
When the nozzle surface of the recording head is cleaned by this nozzle cleaner, the wiper blade is conveyed while moving the timing belt at a constant speed by rotating the drive roller in the normal direction by rotating the drive motor of the conveyance unit. When the wiper blade reaches the position of the recording head, the tip of the wiper blade is brought into pressure contact with the nozzle surface, and ink and dust adhering to the nozzle surface are wiped off as the wiper blade moves. When the wiper blade that has passed through the nozzle surface of the recording head by the rotation of the timing belt reaches the ink removal unit and the wiper blade is detected by the ink removal position detection sensor, the motor control unit performs phase excitation of the drive motor at a high speed every predetermined time. Switch forward and reverse to reverse the drive motor. By the forward / reverse rotation of the drive motor, the timing belt repeats forward and reverse rotation at high speed to vibrate the wiper blade. Due to the vibration of the wiper blade, ink or dust attached to the tip of the wiper blade is shaken off and collected in the ink collection container. In this way, the wiper blade is vibrated and the ink and dust adhering to the tip are shaken off, so that the ridge line portion that wipes off the nozzle surface of the tip of the wiper blade is not worn or wrinkled, etc. The wiper blade can be used stably for a long period of time.
[0025]
【Example】
Embodiment 1 FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in the figure, the ink jet printer 1 includes four ink cartridges 2 each containing ink of each color of cyan C, magenta M, yellow Y, and black Bk, and a plurality of nozzles. The recording paper is conveyed to the printing unit 7 from the four recording heads 3 to be supplied, the carriage 4 on which the ink cartridge 2 and the recording head 3 are mounted, the paper feed trays 5a and 5b containing the recording paper, and the manual feed table 6. A conveyance roller 8 and a discharge roller 10 for discharging the printed recording paper to a discharge tray 9 are provided. When the image data sent from the host device is printed on the recording paper, the nozzle of the recording head 3 is applied to the recording paper sent to the printing unit 7 by the conveying roller 8 while scanning the carriage 4 along the carriage guide roller 11. Ink is ejected according to the image data and characters and images are recorded.
[0026]
A nozzle cleaner 13 that cleans the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 of the ink jet printer 1 includes a transport unit 14, a wiper blade 15, an ink removing unit 16, and a wiping unit 17, as shown in the configuration diagram of FIG. 2. The transport unit 14 includes a driving roller 19 driven by a driving motor 18 and a timing belt 21 wound around a driven roller 20. The carriage 4 scans the area where the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 is cleaned, for example, the recording head 3. Is arranged so as to face the nozzle surface 12 at a predetermined distance from the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 at a predetermined position near the home position. The wiper blade 15 is made of an elastic material such as rubber. As shown in the perspective view of FIG. 3, the timing of the transport unit 14 corresponds to the cyan C, magenta M, yellow Y, and black Bk nozzle surfaces 12 of the recording head 3. The tip is pressed against the nozzle surface 12 while being moved by the timing belt 21 while being attached to the belt 21, and ink, dust and the like adhering to the nozzle surface 12 are wiped off. The drive motor 18 of the transport unit 14 is composed of, for example, a pulse motor, and switches the phase excitation between forward and reverse at high speed to rotate the timing belt 21 forward counterclockwise or counterclockwise. The ink removal unit 16 includes an ink collection container 22 and an ink removal position detection sensor 23 that detects the wiper blade 15. The ink removing unit 16 is disposed on the opposite side of the recording belt 3 of the timing belt 21 wound around the driving roller 19 and the driven roller 20. As shown in the block diagram of FIG. 4, the output side of the ink removal position detection sensor 23 is connected to a motor control unit 24 that controls the operation of the drive motor 18. When the detection signal of the wiper blade 15 is input from the ink removal position detection sensor 23, the motor control unit 24 switches the phase excitation of the drive motor 18 at a high speed in a positive and reverse direction at a preset time, and is set in advance. The drive motor 18 is rotated forward or backward a predetermined number of times. The wiping unit 17 has a wiping member 26 accommodated in the container 25, and is connected to the downstream side of the timing belt 10 in the forward rotation direction from the ink removing unit 16. The wiping member 26 is formed of a porous material such as foamed plastic that has high chemical resistance and water resistance and is resistant to aging.
[0027]
When the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 is cleaned by the nozzle cleaner 13 configured as described above, the drive motor 18 of the transport unit 14 is rotated forward to rotate the drive roller 19 in the counterclockwise direction, and the timing belt 21 is moved. The wiper blade 15 is conveyed while moving at a constant speed. When the wiper blade 15 reaches the position of the recording head 3, as shown in FIG. 2, the tip of the wiper blade 15 is pressed against the nozzle surface 12, and ink attached to the nozzle surface 12 as the wiper blade 15 moves is removed. Wipe off any dust. As described above, when the wiper blade 15 removes ink, dust, or the like on the nozzle surface 12, the wiper blade 15 is formed of an elastic body, so that the tip of the wiper blade 15 is stably brought into contact with the nozzle surface 12 to form a nozzle. Ink and the like can be reliably removed from the surface 12.
[0028]
The wiper blade 15 that has passed through the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 by the rotation of the timing belt 21 reaches the ink removal unit 16 and detects the wiper blade 15 by the ink removal position detection sensor 23 as shown in FIG. Then, the motor control unit 24 switches the phase excitation of the drive motor 18 at a high speed between normal and reverse at predetermined time intervals, thereby rotating the drive motor 18 forward and backward. By the forward / reverse rotation of the drive motor 18, the timing belt 21 repeats normal rotation and reverse rotation at high speed to vibrate the wiper blade 15. Due to the vibration of the wiper blade 15, ink or dust attached to the tip of the wiper blade 15 is shaken off and collected in the ink collection container 22. In this way, the wiper blade 15 is vibrated and the ink and dust adhering to the tip end are shaken off, so that the ridge line portion that wipes the nozzle surface 12 at the tip end of the wiper blade 15 adheres without being worn or wrinkled. Thus, the wiper blade 15 can be used stably for a long period of time.
[0029]
In this way, when the wiper blade 15 is vibrated by rotating the drive motor 18 forward and backward, by sequentially switching the excitation frequency of the drive motor 18 from a low frequency to a high frequency, vibrations with different periods and amplitudes can be given to the wiper blade 15. In addition, the ink or the like adhering to the tip of the wiper blade 15 can be reliably shaken off in a short time.
[0030]
After the vibration of the wiper blade 15 is repeated a predetermined number of times, the motor control unit 24 switches the phase excitation of the drive motor 18 to the positive, rotates the drive motor 18 in the forward direction, rotates the timing belt 21 forward, and moves the wiper blade 15. To do. When the wiper blade 5 reaches the wiping unit 17, as shown in FIG. 5B, the tip of the wiper blade 15 is pressed against the surface of the wiping member 26 by the elastic force of the wiper blade 15, and remains at the tip. A small amount of ink or the like is wiped off by the wiping member 26. Since the wiping member 26 for wiping off the ink and the like is formed of a porous material such as foamed plastic, a small amount of ink or the like adhering to the surface after wiping off is absorbed into the inside through the porous portion, and the surface of the wiping member 26 is removed. Can be dried in a short time. Ink remaining on the tip of the wiper blade 15 and being wiped off by the wiping member 26 is almost removed by the ink removing portion 16, so that only a very small amount of ink is wiped off by the wiping member 26 and absorbed inside. The wiping member 26 does not have to be saturated with ink or the like for a long time, and the wiping member 26 can be used stably for a long time. Furthermore, since the wiping member 26 is made of foamed plastic or the like that has high chemical resistance and water resistance and is resistant to secular change, it can be used stably for a long period of time even if various inks are used. .
[0031]
Since the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 is cleaned using the wiper blade 15 that reliably removes the adhering ink and the like in this way, the ink and the like can be reliably removed from the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3. In addition, a stable image can be formed by preventing various colors from being mixed.
[0032]
[Embodiment 2] In the above embodiment, the case where the wiping unit 17 provided in the container 25 is provided in the wiping unit 17 has been described. However, as shown in FIG. 6 is a wiping position detection sensor 27 for detecting water, and a porous material such as foamed plastic having strong chemical resistance and water resistance and being resistant to secular change. As shown in FIG. The cleaning blade 29 may be formed of a semi-disc shape having a portion 28 and wipes both surfaces in the thickness direction of the wiper blade 15, a cleaning motor 30 that rotates the cleaning blade 29, and a gear group 31. In the wiping unit 17 having the cleaning blade 29, the cleaning blade 29 is rotated by the cleaning motor 30 so that the blade detection sensor 32 does not detect the cleaning blade 29 in a normal state where the wiper blade 15 is moved by the timing belt 21. The notch 28 of the cleaning blade 29 is moved and positioned on the timing belt 21 side in parallel with the timing belt 21 so that the cleaning blade 29 does not obstruct the movement of the wiper blade 15. In this state, when the wiper blade 15 is moved from the ink removing unit 16 by the rotation of the timing belt 21 and the wiper blade 15 is detected by the wiping position detection sensor 27, the rotation of the drive motor 18 is stopped at a predetermined timing and the wiper blade 15 is removed. Is opposed to the cleaning blade 29 and stopped. After stopping the rotation of the drive motor 18, the cleaning motor 30 is rotated at a certain timing to rotate the cleaning blade 29, and both surfaces of the wiper blade 15 in the thickness direction are wiped with the cleaning blade 29. Since the cleaning blade 29 is rotated in this way to wipe off both sides in the thickness direction of the wiper blade 15, the friction of the ridge line portion at the tip of the wiper blade 15 that removes ink, dust and the like on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 is removed. Therefore, the wiper blade 15 can be used stably for a long period of time.
[0033]
[Embodiment 3] In each of the above embodiments, the forward and reverse rotations of the drive motor 18 of the transport unit 14 are switched at high speed by the ink removing unit 16, and the wiper blade 15 is vibrated repeatedly by rotating the timing belt 21 forward and backward. The case where the ink or the like adhering to the tip of the wiper blade 15 is shaken off has been described. As shown in FIG. 7, the locking piece is attached to the tip of the movable portion at a position facing the surface of the timing belt 21 with the teeth 33. For example, an elevating means 35 such as a plunger solenoid having 34 may be provided. In this case, when the wiper blade 15 is detected by the ink removal position detection sensor 23, the locking piece 34 is lowered by a certain distance by the elevating means 35, and the teeth 33 of the timing belt 21 are placed on the tip of the lowered locking piece 34. Can be applied to the wiper blade 15 in accordance with the pitch of the teeth 33 of the timing belt 21 by rotating the drive motor 18 forward and backward while vibrating the timing belt 21. Therefore, a simple and low-cost DC motor or the like is used as the drive motor 18, and the wiper blade 15 is vibrated to adhere to the tip of the wiper blade 15 even when forward / reverse switching can be performed at high speed. Ink can be shaken off.
[0034]
[Embodiment 4] Further, in each of the above embodiments, the case where the drive motor 18 of the transport unit 14 is rotated forward and backward to vibrate the wiper blade 15 has been described. However, as shown in FIG. Exciting means comprising an oscillating lever 36 that oscillates toward the drive roller 19, an eccentric cam 37 provided on the opposite side of the oscillating lever 36 from the driven roller 20 side, and an oscillating motor 38 that rotates the eccentric cam 37. 39 may be used to apply vibration to the wiper blade 15. When this excitation means 39 is used, when the wiper blade 15 is detected by the ink removal position detection sensor 23, the drive motor 18 is stopped, the rotation of the timing belt 21 is stopped, and the swing motor 38 is driven. The eccentric cam 37 is rotated. The rotation of the eccentric cam 37 causes the swinging lever 36 to swing toward the driving roller 19, and repeatedly changing the tension of the timing belt 21 between the driving roller 19 and the driven roller 20 to move the timing belt 21 up and down. Vibrate. Due to the vibration of the timing belt 21, the wiper blade 15 also vibrates up and down, and the ink or the like adhering to the tip of the wiper blade 15 is shaken off. After the swing of the driven roller 20 by the swing lever 36 is repeated for a predetermined time, the swing lever 36 is stopped at the initial position where the timing belt 21 is stretched. In this way, the wiper blade 15 can be vibrated with a simple configuration.
[0035]
In each of the above embodiments, when the wiper blade 15 that wipes off the ink or the like on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 is sent to the ink removing unit 16, the wiper blade 15 is vibrated and attached to the tip of the wiper blade 15. However, when the wiper blade 15 is sent to the ink removing unit 16, the tip of the wiper blade 15 is washed to remove the ink attached to the tip of the wiper blade 15. You may do it.
[0036]
[Embodiment 5] As shown in the block diagram of FIG. 9, the nozzle cleaner 13 having the ink removing section 16 that cleans the tip of the wiper blade 15 is wound around the driving roller 19 and the driven roller 20. The timing belt 21 is disposed at a position opposite to the recording head 3. The ink removing unit 16 includes a cleaning container 40, a vertical movement mechanism unit 41, a cleaning liquid cartridge 42, and a liquid recovery cartridge 43. The cleaning container 40 is provided with an ultrasonic transducer 45 connected to the ultrasonic generator 44. The cleaning liquid 46 in the cleaning container 40 is filled, and ultrasonic waves are generated in the cleaning liquid 46 for cleaning. As the cleaning liquid 46, water or alcohol that dissolves ink is used. The vertical movement mechanism unit 41 includes, for example, a motor, a gear group, and a feed screw, and moves the cleaning container 40 up and down. A cleaning liquid 46 is accommodated in the cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and connected to the cleaning container 40 via a liquid supply pump 47. The liquid recovery cartridge 43 stores used cleaning, and is connected to the cleaning container 40 via a liquid recovery pump 48.
[0037]
The wiper blade 15 that wipes off the ink and the like on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 while the timing belt 21 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction is sent to the ink removing unit 16 configured as described above, and the ink removal position detection sensor 23. When the wiper blade 15 is detected, the drive motor 18 is stopped and the rotation of the timing belt 21 is stopped. In this state, the vertical movement mechanism 41 is driven to raise the cleaning container 40 and the tip of the wiper blade 15 is immersed in the cleaning liquid 46 in the cleaning container 40. The ultrasonic generator 44 generates a high-frequency electric vibration having a frequency of 20 to 40 kHz, for example, and sends it to the ultrasonic vibrator 45. The ultrasonic vibrator 45 converts the vibration into a mechanical vibration to generate an ultrasonic wave for cleaning. It is sent out into the cleaning liquid 46 in the container 40. The ultrasonic waves sent into the cleaning liquid 46 repeatedly generate and destroy bubbles due to a cavity phenomenon, and generate a large force when the bubbles are destroyed to clean the tip of the wiper blade 15 and wipe the wiper by pressure generated by ultrasonic vibration. The ink attached to the tip of the blade 15 is impacted, and the attached ink is removed.
[0038]
In this way, by generating ultrasonic waves in the cleaning liquid 46 in the cleaning container 40, it is possible to easily and reliably remove ink or the like adhering to the wiper blade 15. Further, since the ink or the like attached to the wiper blade 15 can be completely removed by the ink removing unit 16, it is not necessary to provide the wiping unit 17 on the downstream side of the ink removing unit 16, and the structure of the nozzle cleaner 13 can be simplified. it can.
[0039]
After cleaning the tip of the wiper blade 15 for a predetermined time, the generation of ultrasonic waves is stopped, the vertical movement mechanism 41 is driven to lower the cleaning container 40, and the cleaning container 40 is moved from the tip of the wiper blade 15. Is released to complete the ink removing process. When this ink removal process is repeated a predetermined number of times, the liquid recovery pump 48 is driven to recover the used cleaning liquid 46 in the cleaning container 40 to the liquid recovery cartridge 43, and then the liquid supply pump 47 is driven. The cleaning liquid 46 in the cleaning liquid cartridge 42 is supplied to the cleaning container 40. Therefore, the cleaning container 40 always stores the cleaning liquid 46 that is not very contaminated with ink, and can prevent the removed ink or the like from adhering to the tip of the wiper blade 15 to be cleaned. When the collection and supply of the cleaning liquid 46 are repeated a predetermined number of times determined by the volumes of the cleaning container 40, the cleaning liquid cartridge 42, and the liquid recovery cartridge 43, the cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and the liquid recovery cartridge 43 are recovered by instructing the replacement of the cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and the liquid recovery cartridge 43. The cartridge 43 is replaced with a new cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and a liquid recovery cartridge 43.
[0040]
[Embodiment 6] In the embodiment described above, the ink on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 is wiped off by the wiper blade 15 while the timing belt 21 is rotated counterclockwise, and the wiper blade 15 is sent to the ink removing unit 16. As described above, since it is not necessary to provide the wiping unit 17 on the downstream side of the ink removing unit 16, the nozzle surface of the recording head 3 is rotated while the timing belt 21 is rotated counterclockwise or counterclockwise. The 12 inks may be wiped off by the wiper blade 15 and sent to the ink removing unit 16. In this case, the tip of the wiper blade 15 is formed in a symmetrical shape with respect to the moving direction as shown in FIGS. 10 (a), 10 (b), and 10 (c). Thus, by making the shape of the tip of the wiper blade 15 symmetrical with respect to the moving direction, when the timing belt 21 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction, the timing belt 21 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction as well. In addition, the ink on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 can be wiped off. Therefore, when wiping ink or the like on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3, the forward rotation and the reverse rotation of the timing belt 21 are alternately repeated to switch the ridge line portion of the tip of the wiper blade 15 to be wiped. In this way, the wear of the edge portion of the wiper blade 15 to be wiped off can be greatly reduced, the life of the wiper blade 15 can be doubled, and the nozzles of the recording head 3 can be stably stabilized over a long period of time. The ink on the surface 12 can be wiped off.
[0041]
In this case, the recording head 3 for wiping off the ink or the like on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 is disposed at the center position between the driving roller 19 and the driven roller 20, and the cleaning container 40 of the ink removing unit 16 is disposed in the timing belt 21. It is desirable to arrange at a central position between the driving roller 19 and the driven roller 20 on the opposite side of the recording head 3. In this way, by arranging the recording head 3 and the cleaning container 40 at the center position between the driving roller 19 and the driven roller 20, the timing belt 21 is rotated forward, and the wiper blade 15 rotates the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3. The distance at which the wiper blade 15 is sent to the cleaning container 40 is the same as when the ink is wiped off and when the timing belt 21 is rotated in the reverse direction and the wiper blade 15 wipes off the ink on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3. The wiper blade 15 to be cleaned can be sent to the cleaning container 40 in the shortest time, and the cleaning can be performed efficiently.
[0042]
[Embodiment 7] In Embodiments 5 and 6, the case where the cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and the liquid recovery cartridge 43 are provided separately has been described. However, as shown in FIG. 11, the cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and the liquid recovery cartridge 43 are integrated. If the liquid storage cartridge 49 is provided and the liquid storage cartridge 49 is replaced, the cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and the liquid recovery cartridge 43 can be easily replaced. Further, the entire nozzle cleaner 13 may be formed into a cartridge. By making the entire nozzle cleaner 13 into a cartridge in this way, the wiper blade 15 can be easily replaced, and the cleaning container 40 can be prevented from being contaminated with the removed ink and the like. The ink on the nozzle surface 12 can be stably wiped off. If the integrated cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and liquid recovery cartridge 43 are separable, the cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and liquid recovery cartridge 43 can be replaced more easily.
[0043]
[Embodiment 8] In the above embodiments 5 to 7, the case where the ultrasonic vibrator 45 is provided in the cleaning container 40 has been described. However, as shown in FIG. 12, the ultrasonic vibrator 45 is not provided in the cleaning container 40. When the wiper blade 15 is immersed in the cleaning liquid 46 in the cleaning container 40 to remove ink adhering to the tip, the drive motor of the transport unit 14 is rotated in the forward and reverse directions while the timing belt 21 is rotated in the forward and reverse directions. The wiper blade 15 may be swung in the cleaning liquid 46 to remove ink adhering to the tip. In this way, ink or the like attached to the wiper blade 15 can be removed with a simple configuration.
[0044]
[Embodiment 9] Further, as shown in FIG. 13, the ink collection container 22 that moves the ink removal unit 16 up and down by the vertical movement mechanism unit 41, and the movement direction of the wiper blade 15 provided at the upper end of the ink collection container 22 The cleaning liquid injection nozzle 50 is opposed to both side surfaces, and includes a cleaning liquid cartridge 42 and a liquid supply pump 47. The cleaning liquid is sprayed from the cleaning liquid injection nozzle 50 to both side surfaces of the wiper blade 15 in the moving direction, and is applied to the tip of the wiper blade 15. You may make it remove the ink etc. which adhered. That is, when the wiper blade 15 wiping off the ink or the like on the nozzle surface 12 of the recording head 3 is sent to the ink removal unit 16 and the wiper blade 15 is detected by the ink removal position detection sensor 23, the drive motor 18 is stopped. The rotation of the timing belt 21 is stopped. In this state, the vertical movement mechanism 41 is driven to raise the ink collection container 22, and the liquid supply pump 47 is driven so that the cleaning liquid ejection nozzles 50 face both side surfaces of the wiper blade 15, and the cleaning liquid ejection nozzles are driven from the cleaning liquid cartridge 42. The cleaning liquid is supplied to 50, and the cleaning liquid is sprayed on both side surfaces of the wiper blade 15. The ink applied to the tip of the wiper blade 15 is impacted by the jetting pressure of the cleaning liquid to wash away the attached ink. In this way, it is possible to easily remove ink or the like adhering to the tip of the wiper blade 15.
[0045]
In the above embodiment, the case where the cleaning liquid is ejected to remove the ink or the like attached to the tip of the wiper blade 15 has been described. However, the pressurized air is ejected to remove the ink or the like attached to the tip of the wiper blade 15. You may do it.
[0046]
Each of the above embodiments has been described with respect to an ink jet printer. However, the present invention can be similarly applied to an image forming apparatus such as an ink jet copying machine or a facsimile. Further, the present invention can be similarly applied to cleaning of the tip of a nozzle that ejects various liquids.
[0047]
【The invention's effect】
As described above, when the wiper blade that wipes off the liquid adhering to the nozzle moves to a region other than the wiping area of the nozzle, the wiper blade Forced vibration with different period and amplitude The liquid and dust attached to the wiper blade are removed so that the liquid attached to the wiper blade can be surely removed and the tip of the wiper blade can be prevented from being wrinkled or worn. The wiper blade can be used stably for a long period of time.
[0048]
In addition, when the wiper blade is moved outside the wiping area of the nozzle, the transport unit switches the wiper blade movement direction in the forward and reverse directions at a high speed, thereby enabling a simple configuration without using a special excitation mechanism. For wiper blade Forced vibration with different period and amplitude Can be given.
[0049]
In addition, when the wiper blade is moved outside the nozzle wiping area by the transport unit having a timing belt wound around the driving roller and the driven roller and arranged opposite to the nozzle in the nozzle wiping area, it is locked by the lifting means. By moving the claw and causing the timing belt to vibrate while bringing the tip of the locking claw into contact with the teeth of the timing belt, the wiper blade can be easily configured. Forced vibration with different period and amplitude The liquid adhering to the wiper blade can be removed.
[0050]
Furthermore, when the timing belt is moved while the tip of the locking claw is in contact with the teeth of the timing belt, various vibrations are given to the wiper blade by repeatedly switching the moving direction of the timing belt in the forward and reverse directions. The liquid adhering to the wiper blade can be reliably removed.
[0051]
In addition, when the wiper blade is moved outside the nozzle wiping area by the transport unit having the timing belt wound around the driving roller and the driven roller and arranged opposite to the nozzle in the nozzle wiping area, the tension of the timing belt is reduced. By repeatedly changing the wiper blade to vibrate, various vibrations can be imparted to the wiper blade, and the liquid or the like adhering to the wiper blade can be reliably removed.
[0052]
In addition, the wiper blade that has removed the liquid adhering to it by applying vibration is pressed against the wiping member made of a porous material to remove the remaining liquid and dust, so that the liquid adhering to the wiper blade can be more reliably removed. Can be removed.
[0053]
In addition, by rotating a cleaning blade made of a porous material and formed in a semi-disc shape with a notch part in part, Forced vibration with different period and amplitude The wiper blade that has removed the liquid adhering to it by swallowing it is squeezed on both sides of the wiper blade in the moving direction to remove the liquid and dust remaining on the wiper blade, thereby removing the liquid adhering to the wiper blade more reliably. In addition, the tip of the wiper blade can be prevented from being wrinkled or worn, and the wiper blade can be used stably for a long period of time.
[0063]
In addition, by providing these nozzle cleaners in the ink jet recording apparatus, it is possible to reliably remove ink and the like from the nozzle surface of the recording head, prevent mixing of various color inks, and prevent high quality images from being mixed. It can be formed stably. Furthermore, detection means for detecting that the wiper blade has moved to a region other than the wiping area of the nozzle, and drive control means for controlling the drive of the vibration generator or the cleaning device for removing ink or the like from the wiper blade based on a signal from the detection means By providing the ink, it is possible to stably remove ink or the like adhering to the wiper blade.
[Brief description of the drawings]
FIG. 1 is a configuration diagram of an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a configuration diagram of a nozzle cleaner.
FIG. 3 is a layout diagram of wiper blades.
FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a control unit of a drive motor.
FIG. 5 is a process diagram showing an ink removing process of the wiper blade of the embodiment.
FIG. 6 is a configuration diagram of a nozzle cleaner according to a second embodiment.
FIG. 7 is a configuration diagram of a nozzle cleaner according to a third embodiment.
FIG. 8 is a configuration diagram of a nozzle cleaner according to a fourth embodiment.
FIG. 9 is a configuration diagram of a nozzle cleaner according to a fifth embodiment.
FIG. 10 is a configuration diagram of a wiper blade of a sixth embodiment.
FIG. 11 is a configuration diagram of a nozzle cleaner according to a seventh embodiment.
FIG. 12 is a configuration diagram of a nozzle cleaner according to an eighth embodiment.
FIG. 13 is a configuration diagram of a nozzle cleaner according to a ninth embodiment.
[Explanation of symbols]
3; recording head, 12; nozzle surface, 13; nozzle cleaner,
14; transport unit, 15; wiper blade, 16; ink removing unit,
17; Wiping unit, 18; Drive motor, 19; Drive roller,
20; driven roller, 21; timing belt, 22; ink collecting container,
23; Ink removal position detection sensor; 24; Motor controller; 25; Container;
26; Wiping member.

Claims (9)

  1. The wiper blade detects that the wiper blade has moved outside the wiping area of the nozzle, and based on the detection result, the wiper blade is subjected to forced vibration having a different period and amplitude to remove liquid and dust adhering to the wiper blade. Nozzle cleaner method.
  2. The transfer unit placed opposite the nozzle in the nozzle wiping area moves the wiper blade while pressing the tip of the wiper blade against the nozzle to wipe off the liquid adhering to the nozzle, and the wiper blade moves outside the nozzle wiping area. The wiper blade is forced to vibrate with a different period and amplitude to remove the liquid and dust adhering to the wiper blade, and the wiper blade from which the adhering liquid and dust have been removed is pressed against the wiping member made of a porous material. A nozzle cleaner characterized by removing residual liquid and debris .
  3. 3. The nozzle cleaner according to claim 2, wherein when the wiper blade is moved to a region other than the wiping area of the nozzle, the transport unit repeatedly switches the wiper blade in the forward and reverse directions at a high speed to force the wiper blade to have a different cycle and amplitude. A nozzle cleaner characterized by giving vibration .
  4. 3. The nozzle cleaner according to claim 2, wherein the wiper blade is moved to a region other than the nozzle wiping region by a conveyance unit having a timing belt wound around the driving roller and the driven roller and disposed opposite to the nozzle in the nozzle wiping region. When the lifting / lowering means moves the locking claw, the timing belt is moved while the tip of the locking claw is in contact with the teeth of the timing belt, and the wiper blade is subjected to forced vibration having a different period and amplitude. Nozzle cleaner.
  5. Period in the nozzle cleaner of claim 4, wherein, when moving the timing belt while contacting the distal end portion of the locking claw to the teeth of the timing belt, the movement direction of the timing belt positive, the switching wiper blade repeated in the opposite direction Nozzle cleaner characterized by giving forced vibration with different amplitude .
  6. 3. The nozzle cleaner according to claim 2, wherein the wiper blade is moved to a region other than the nozzle wiping region by a conveyance unit having a timing belt wound around the driving roller and the driven roller and disposed opposite to the nozzle in the nozzle wiping region. In this case, the nozzle cleaner is characterized in that the tension of the timing belt is repeatedly changed to give the wiper blade a forced vibration having a different period and amplitude .
  7. The nozzle cleaner according to any one of claims 2 to 6, wherein the wiping member comprises a semi-disc-shaped cleaning blade having a notch in a part thereof, and the wiper blade is moved by rotating the cleaning blade. A nozzle cleaner characterized by removing both liquid and dust remaining on the wiper blade by swallowing both sides in the direction.
  8. An ink jet recording apparatus comprising the nozzle cleaner according to claim 2.
  9. A vibration generator that applies a forced vibration having a different period and amplitude to the wiper blade, a detection means that detects that the wiper blade has moved outside the wiping area of the nozzle, and a drive control of the vibration generator based on a signal from the detection means An ink jet recording apparatus comprising: drive control means for performing the operation.
JP2000269473A 2000-09-06 2000-09-06 Nozzle cleaner method, nozzle cleaner, and ink jet recording apparatus Expired - Fee Related JP3961206B2 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP2000269473A JP3961206B2 (en) 2000-09-06 2000-09-06 Nozzle cleaner method, nozzle cleaner, and ink jet recording apparatus

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
JP2000269473A JP3961206B2 (en) 2000-09-06 2000-09-06 Nozzle cleaner method, nozzle cleaner, and ink jet recording apparatus

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