JP4104566B2 - Image forming apparatus - Google Patents

Image forming apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
JP4104566B2
JP4104566B2 JP2004045630A JP2004045630A JP4104566B2 JP 4104566 B2 JP4104566 B2 JP 4104566B2 JP 2004045630 A JP2004045630 A JP 2004045630A JP 2004045630 A JP2004045630 A JP 2004045630A JP 4104566 B2 JP4104566 B2 JP 4104566B2
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image forming
forming apparatus
display
operation
displayed
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JP2005235034A (en
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昭一 坂本
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京セラミタ株式会社
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Description

  The present invention belongs to the technical field of an image forming apparatus such as a copier, a facsimile machine, a printer, or a so-called multifunction machine having these functions.

  2. Description of the Related Art Conventionally, in an image forming apparatus as described above, for example, an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) or the like is used in order to realize communication of intention from a user to the apparatus or notification of the state of the apparatus itself from the apparatus to the user. A so-called operation panel is provided. The user can perform various settings (that is, communication of intention from the user to the apparatus) via the operation panel. For example, emulation mode change settings, paper cassette priority order settings, or more specific image formation mode settings, such as setting the paper size to be copied, monochrome copy if the copy function is used. It is possible to set whether to make a color copy or the like. The same applies to the case where the facsimile function or the printer function is used.

  Conventionally, the above setting has to be performed according to a predetermined setting operation method for predetermined setting items. In particular, in the latter setting operation method, since the display order of the setting items is determined in advance, in order to perform the setting operation for the setting items positioned in a lower layer (or deeper layer), a troublesome operation procedure is required. There was a problem that it was necessary to practice and took time. In addition, since these setting items and setting operation methods are described by a program written in a C language or the like, it is basically impossible to change these later (( To make changes, the program had to be reassembled.) In short, the conventional image forming apparatus has a problem that the display process on the operation panel or the operation process lacks flexibility.

Therefore, conventionally, as disclosed in Patent Document 1, for example, a device including information providing means that can provide setting items or setting values such as printing conditions as hypertext display information has been proposed. . According to Patent Document 1 as described above, since the display of setting items and the like can be described by, for example, HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the above-described problems can be solved to some extent.
JP 2001-166907 A

  However, the conventional image forming apparatus has the following problems. In other words, while the image forming apparatus is being used, for example, a state change that occurs unexpectedly, such as a paper jam or out of paper in the apparatus, or an increase in the copy counter, etc., is generally irregular. However, state changes that are scheduled in the first place (hereinafter, these may be collectively referred to as “dynamic state changes”) have occurred. That is, it can be said that the state of the image forming apparatus is not always constant, but rather changes from moment to moment. When such a dynamic state change occurs, it must be reflected on the operation panel. Otherwise, meaningful communication cannot be performed between the image forming apparatus and the user.

  However, for example, as in the above-mentioned Patent Document 1, a form in which display information of a hypertext type is displayed on the operation panel, more specifically, for example, display of setting items on the operation panel is displayed in HTML. In the form realized by using, it is not possible to cope with the dynamic state change as described above. This is because the HTML basically operates only when there is an input from the user, and does not have a function corresponding to an external change without the input. Even in the above-mentioned Patent Document 1, no particular countermeasure is disclosed in regard to this point.

  The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and facilitates a user's setting operation in the operation / display unit, and the operation / display unit is capable of performing dynamic state changes generated in the image forming apparatus. An object of the present invention is to provide an image forming apparatus that can accurately reflect and effectively communicate between the apparatus and the user.

  In order to solve the above-described problem, an image forming apparatus according to the present invention is an image forming apparatus that forms an image on a sheet based on image data, and for communicating between the image forming apparatus and a user. An operation / display unit; and a detection unit that detects a change in the state of the image forming apparatus. The contents to be displayed on the operation / display unit are described in at least one of a markup language and a script language. All or a part of the contents to be displayed is displayed by a predetermined browser, and the display state is changed corresponding to the detection result of the detection means.

  According to the image forming apparatus of the present invention, an operation / display unit including, for example, an LCD is provided. This operation / display means includes, for example, a hard key, or includes the LCD and is adapted to a touch panel method, thereby enabling communication of intention from the user to the image forming apparatus. In addition, by performing a predetermined display on the LCD or the like, it is possible to communicate the intention from the image forming apparatus to the user (in this way, mutual communication is possible).

  In the present invention, the contents to be displayed on the operation / display means can be described in a markup language. Here, the markup language generally has a format in which various attribute information (for example, the font, hyperlink information, typesetting information, etc. of the character) is described as a predefined command in addition to the character code. Languages include HTML, Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), eXtensible Markup Language (XML), TeX, and the like. In the present invention, contents to be displayed on the operation / display means are described in such a markup language, and all or a part of the contents to be displayed is a predetermined browser (for example, “Internet Explorer” (registered trademark)). ) Etc.), for example, it is possible to easily change the display order of the setting items, to associate the setting items, etc., and to facilitate the user's setting operation and to perform the image formation. In response to the request of the delivery destination of the device, the display state can be easily changed as needed. If the contents to be displayed are described in HTML, a description in Java (registered trademark) Script can be written in a <Script> tag in the HTML text. According to this, for example, a predetermined function can be executed in response to a user's input operation. The present invention includes a case where “content to be displayed” is described by the above-mentioned Java (registered trademark) Script or other script languages.

  Further, particularly in the present invention, when all or part of the content to be displayed described in such a markup language is displayed by the predetermined browser, the display state corresponds to the detection result of the detection means. As a result, it is changed. Here, the “detection means” is to detect a change in the state of the image forming apparatus as described above. Therefore, the “detection result” means that the change in the state has not yet occurred or the change has not occurred. Contains information that it has occurred. Also, the “state of the image forming apparatus” means, for example, whether there is a paper jam (what is called “jam”) that occurs in the image forming apparatus, whether the paper is out, and whether the remaining amount of toner is below a predetermined value. Whether or not the paper cassette is properly placed or removed from the predetermined position, whether or not the front cover is opened, increase or decrease of the copy counter, current time, etc. Therefore, the “change” means, for example, that there has been no problem in image formation because the conveyance has failed from the state in which the conveyance was smooth (the paper has jammed), or the remaining amount of toner exceeds a predetermined value. This means that the state has become less than a predetermined value and it is necessary to replenish it.

  In the present invention, in response to such a change in the state of the image forming apparatus, some input (so-called “pseudo input”) is made to a predetermined part which is a part of the contents to be displayed described in HTML, for example. As a result, it is possible to change the display state of the operation / display means even if the HTML does not operate actively unless there is an input operation from the user. It is.

  Here, an example in which processing using “pseudo input” is performed has been described. However, if the predetermined browser has a function of performing predetermined processing only by receiving a notification of a change in the state of the image forming apparatus. For example, when the browser supports the plug-in function, it is not always necessary to execute the process using the “pseudo input”. In this case, it is possible to perform a more direct process in which the browser directly receives the detection result and changes the display state on the operation / display means.

  As described above, according to the present invention, the user's setting operation on the operation / display unit is facilitated, and the operation / display unit accurately reflects the dynamic state change generated in the image forming apparatus. Therefore, communication between the apparatus and the user can be effectively performed.

  Such operations, effects and other advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the embodiments described below.

  Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. FIG. 1 is a configuration diagram of the image forming apparatus according to the present embodiment. FIG. 2 is an explanatory view showing a screen display example on the LCD of the operation / display unit 7 of FIG.

  In FIG. 1, the image forming apparatus includes an MFP main body 10 and an operation / display unit 7. First of all, the MFP body 10 includes a control unit 1, a printer unit 2, a storage device 3, a fax interface (hereinafter referred to as “FAX I / F”) 4, a network I / F 5, and a scanner unit 6. .

  For example, the printer unit 2 processes a print job set based on image information sent from a personal computer (not shown) or read by the scanner unit 6 and further received by the FAX I / F 4. To do. Note that the print job processing mainly means printing characters / drawings and the like based on the image information on paper or the like previously stored in the printer unit 2. Although not shown, the printer unit 2 includes a paper feed cassette for storing paper, a transport mechanism for transporting paper from the paper feed cassette, and an image forming unit including a photosensitive drum for forming an image on the paper being transported. Etc. are included. The storage device 3 stores a print job scheduled to be executed or being executed, a print job in which an error has occurred, and the like. In the present embodiment, the contents to be displayed on the operation / display unit 7 to be described later are stored. The contents to be displayed are described in HTML. The FAX I / F 4 is connected to a device outside the network (not shown) via a telephone line, and transmits and receives image information using a FAX function. The network I / F 5 is connected to the network and transmits and receives data within the network. For example, image information sent from the personal computer is taken into the image forming apparatus via the network I / F 5. The scanner unit 6 includes a platen, a light source unit, a CCD camera, and the like (not shown), and scans a document surface placed on the platen to read image information.

  The control unit 1 controls the entire image forming apparatus through the above-described elements. The control unit 1 is composed of a CPU that issues a control command, a ROM that stores a control program, a RAM that temporarily stores data, and an NVRAM that stores nonvolatile data. Further, the control unit 1 is provided with a resource management unit 11, and various states of the above-described elements are reflected in values of predetermined areas in the resource management unit 11 (for example, a paper jam in the printer unit 2). In the case where no occurrence has occurred, the value of the appropriate area defined in the resource management unit 11 is “0”, and the occurrence is “1” or the like). Further, when any event (change in the state) occurs in each element, the resource management unit 11 serves as a window for notifying the resource management unit 71 of the operation / display unit 7 described later.

  On the other hand, the operation / display unit 7 is an interface for the user to transmit various commands to the image forming apparatus or for the image forming apparatus to provide some information to the user. Particularly in the present embodiment, the operation / display unit 7 includes an LCD and employs a touch panel system. Thus, the user can communicate a predetermined intention with the image forming apparatus by touching a key or button displayed on the LCD with a finger or the like. In addition, the operation / display unit 7 can be provided with a fixed button, switch, or the like, which also enables the user to communicate with the image forming apparatus.

  Further, by performing a predetermined display on the LCD, the image forming apparatus can transmit some information to the user. Here, the contents to be displayed on the LCD are stored in the storage device 3 of the MFP main body 10 as described above, and are described in HTML. That is, the tagged text is displayed on the LCD in a hypertext format. For example, when the user selects and designates a setting item with a link, a process such as jumping to the link destination is performed. Can be done. The display items that are actually displayed on the LCD are all or part of the contents to be displayed, which are appropriately selected from the contents to be displayed stored in the storage device 3. In this way, the storage device (the “storage device 3” in the present embodiment) for storing the contents to be displayed is not provided on the operation / display unit 7 side, but is provided on the MFP main body 10 side. By doing so, the configuration of the entire apparatus can be made efficient (however, the storage device may be provided on the side of the operation / display unit 7. Such a form is also within the scope of the present invention). .

  The operation / display unit 7 of this embodiment includes a suitable browser 72 in order to realize the display function in the hypertext format as described above. The browser 72 performs file transfer by HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). Further, the browser 72 is connected to an HTTPD (HyperText Transfer Protocol Daemon) (not shown) that is a daemon that realizes the function of the Web server via a socket interface. The file is accessed by this HTTPD, and the browser 72 receives data to be displayed from the HTTPD. Note that if a specific browser is used as the browser 72, it is possible to correspond to a portion of the HTML text described using Java (registered trademark) Script.

  For example, a screen as shown in FIG. 2 is displayed on the LCD by the browser 72. In FIG. 2, a display area 721 and a non-display area 722 are included on the LCD. In the display area 721, for example, as shown in FIG. 2 as "paper cassette priority order setting", a key 721a as a target of an input operation by the user is displayed. The user can call the display area 721 and make various settings by selecting and specifying various setting items that are actually displayed. Since the setting items shown in FIG. 2 are part of the contents to be displayed described in HTML in the first place, for example, it is easy to change the display order of the setting items and associate the setting items. Thus, the user can easily perform the setting operation, and can easily change the display state in response to a request from the delivery destination of the image forming apparatus.

  On the other hand, the non-display area 722 is an area that is not directly presented to the user. In the non-display area 722, various non-display keys 722a, 722b, and 722c exist as shown in FIG. Each of these non-display keys 722a, 722b, and 722c corresponds to the type of event that can occur in the MFP body 10, and a certain event has occurred (that is, a certain state change has occurred in the MFP 10 body). ), A specific non-display key (for example, non-display key 722a) is input in a pseudo manner. This point will be explained later.

  Furthermore, the operation / display unit 7 of this embodiment includes a resource management unit 71. The value of the predetermined area of the resource management unit 71 changes according to the occurrence of an event in the MFP main body 10 by notification via the resource management unit 11 of the MFP main body 10. That is, the resource management unit 71 can know a change in the state of the MFP body 10. Note that, for example, a USB (Universal Serial Bus) Communication Class is used for communication between the resource management unit 71 and the MFP body 10. In addition, the operation / display unit 7 includes a key driver / touch panel driver 73 (hereinafter abbreviated as “key driver 73”). The key driver 73 is a driver for driving the operation / display unit 7 in order to process an input operation on the operation / display unit 7. Particularly in the present embodiment, the key driver 73 generates a pseudo input for imitating an input to a specific non-display key in the non-display area 722. This point will be explained later.

  The image forming apparatus having such a configuration is operated as shown in FIG. 3, for example, and as a result, the following effects can be obtained. FIG. 3 is a flowchart relating to the flow of processing in which the display content on the operation / display unit 7 is changed when some state change occurs in the MPF main body 10.

  In FIG. 3, first, it is confirmed whether any event has occurred in the MFP body 10 (step S10 in FIG. 3). Here, the occurrence of an event means a case where some change occurs in the state of each element in the MFP main body 10. Specifically, for example, the paper feed cassette is used to cause a paper jam (so-called jam) in the transport mechanism of the printer unit 2, a paper out that has accumulated in the paper feed cassette, a paper replenishment, or the like. Events such as occurrence of being pulled out, occurrence of the remaining amount of toner to be adhered to the photosensitive drum being less than a predetermined value, occurrence of opening of the front cover constituting the casing of the MFP main body 10, etc. It corresponds to outbreak. Also, an increase / decrease in the copy counter or the progress of the current time also corresponds to the occurrence of an event.

  In step S10, when it is determined that such an event does not occur, the process is terminated as it is (step S10 in FIG. 3; from NO to END). When it is determined that an event has occurred, (Step S10 in FIG. 3 to Step S11).

If an event has occurred, the fact is notified to the resource management unit 11 of the MFP main body 10 and eventually to the resource management unit 71 of the operation / display unit 7 (step S11 in FIG. 3). Here, the process in step S11 includes a process of changing the value of the predetermined area of the resource management units 11 and 71. For example, in the MFP main body 10, if a paper jam occurs, the value of the corresponding area in the resource management units 11 and 71 will change, and if the copy counter has increased, the resource management unit 11 again. And the value of the corresponding region in 71 changes. In any case, this makes it possible for the resource management unit 71 to recognize what event has occurred on the MFP body 10 side.

  Subsequently, the key driver 73 receives a notification from the resource management unit 71 and generates a pseudo input corresponding to the event that actually occurred (step S12 in FIG. 3). That is, the key driver 73 selects a specific non-display key on the non-display area 722 as illustrated in FIG. 2 (this “specific non-display key” is selected corresponding to the above “actually occurring event”). To generate a pseudo-input to simulate the input to. For example, if a paper jam has occurred, a pseudo input for a corresponding non-display key (for example, the non-display key 722a in FIG. 2) is generated, and if the copy counter is increased, a corresponding non-display is performed. A pseudo input for a key (eg, the non-display key 722c of FIG. 2) is generated. As described above, in this embodiment, the non-display keys corresponding to all or part of the occurrence of various events as described above exist in the non-display area 722, and depending on the event that has actually occurred, A pseudo input for a corresponding specific hidden key is generated.

  Then, when a pseudo input corresponding to a specific non-display key is generated as described above, the pseudo input is actually executed (step S13 in FIG. 3). Subsequently, the display state on the LCD is changed due to the pseudo input (step S14 in FIG. 3). The change of the display state is performed when an input is actually made by the user's operation as described above with reference to the display area 721 and the key 721a in FIG. 2 (for example, in the display area 721 in FIG. 2). The basic principle is the same as the change of the display state when the indicated key 721a is pressed). In other words, if there is any link on the key, it jumps to the link destination and displays a new HTML text, and if there is an association, displays an HTML text corresponding to that. Processing will be performed.

  As described above, according to the image forming apparatus of the present embodiment, since the contents to be displayed on the LCD are described in HTML, the active operation is not performed unless there is an input operation from the user. However, the display state can be changed according to the occurrence of the event. As a result, the operation / display unit 7 accurately reflects the dynamic state change that occurs in the image forming apparatus, and it goes without saying that the actual displayed items are always appropriate. In addition, communication between users can be performed effectively.

  In the above-described embodiment, an example in which “pseudo input” is generated has been described. However, if the browser 72 has a function of performing predetermined processing only by receiving a notification of a change in the state of the image forming apparatus ( For example, when the browser 72 supports the plug-in function), it is not always necessary to execute the process using the “pseudo input”. In this case, for example, as shown in FIG. 4, instead of the key driver 73 in FIG. 1, an event notification unit 731 that simply receives a notification from the resource management unit 71 and generates a notification signal notifying the occurrence of an event is provided. A mode in which a notification signal is input to the browser 72 can be employed (more specifically, a form in which the event notification unit 731 is omitted and the resource management unit 71 and the browser 72 directly communicate with each other). Is also possible.) In this case, since the display state on the operation / display unit 7 can be changed only by this, the configuration of the apparatus can be simplified.

  The present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiment, and can be appropriately changed without departing from the gist or concept of the invention that can be read from the claims and the entire specification, and an image forming apparatus with such a change. Is also included in the technical scope of the present invention.

1 is a schematic diagram of an image forming apparatus according to an embodiment. It is explanatory drawing which shows the example of a screen display on LCD of the operation and the display part 7 of FIG. 10 is a flowchart relating to a flow of processing in which display content on the operation / display unit is changed when some state change occurs in the MPF main body. It is a schematic diagram of an image forming apparatus according to another embodiment.

Explanation of symbols

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 ... Control part 2 ... Printer part 3 ... Memory | storage device 4 ... FAX I / F
5 ... Network I / F
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 6 ... Scanner part 11 ... Resource management part 7 ... Operation part 71 ... Resource management part 72 ... Browser 721 ... Display area 722 ... Non-display area 73 ... Key driver touch panel driver 731 ... Event notification part

Claims (4)

  1. An image forming apparatus that forms an image on a sheet based on image data,
    Operation / display means for communicating between the image forming apparatus and the user;
    Detecting means for detecting a change in the state of the image forming apparatus,
    The content to be displayed in the operation / display means is described in at least one of a markup language and a script language, and all or a part of the content to be displayed is displayed by a predetermined browser, and the display The state is changed according to the detection result of the detection means,
    The screen displayed by the browser includes a display area that displays a first key as a target of an input operation by the user, and a non-display area that includes a second key corresponding to the change in the state,
    A pseudo input executing means for executing a pseudo input to the second key in response to receiving the detection result;
    The change of the display state is performed in response to execution of the pseudo-input image forming apparatus according to claim Rukoto.
  2.   The image forming apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the display state is changed in response to the browser receiving an input of the detection result.
  3. The image forming apparatus includes an image forming apparatus main body including the operation / display unit and the detection unit,
    The image forming apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the main body of the image forming apparatus includes a storage device that stores the content to be displayed.
  4.   A display program for causing a computer to function as the image forming apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 3.
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