JP4606101B2 - Paper surface pre-discharge method and ink jet recording apparatus - Google Patents

Paper surface pre-discharge method and ink jet recording apparatus Download PDF

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JP4606101B2
JP4606101B2 JP2004265465A JP2004265465A JP4606101B2 JP 4606101 B2 JP4606101 B2 JP 4606101B2 JP 2004265465 A JP2004265465 A JP 2004265465A JP 2004265465 A JP2004265465 A JP 2004265465A JP 4606101 B2 JP4606101 B2 JP 4606101B2
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paper
ejection
preliminary
discharge
predetermined period
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JP2006076247A (en
JP2006076247A5 (en
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康則 仲原
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キヤノンファインテック株式会社
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Priority claimed from US11/222,298 external-priority patent/US7407258B2/en
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B41PRINTING; LINING MACHINES; TYPEWRITERS; STAMPS
    • B41JTYPEWRITERS; SELECTIVE PRINTING MECHANISMS, e.g. INK-JET PRINTERS, THERMAL PRINTERS, i.e. MECHANISMS PRINTING OTHERWISE THAN FROM A FORME; CORRECTION OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS
    • B41J2/00Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed
    • B41J2/005Typewriters or selective printing mechanisms characterised by the printing or marking process for which they are designed characterised by bringing liquid or particles selectively into contact with a printing material
    • B41J2/01Ink jet
    • B41J2/135Nozzles
    • B41J2/165Preventing or detecting of nozzle clogging, e.g. cleaning, capping or moistening for nozzles
    • B41J2/16517Cleaning of print head nozzles
    • B41J2/1652Cleaning of print head nozzles by driving a fluid through the nozzles to the outside thereof, e.g. by applying pressure to the inside or vacuum at the outside of the print head
    • B41J2/16526Cleaning of print head nozzles by driving a fluid through the nozzles to the outside thereof, e.g. by applying pressure to the inside or vacuum at the outside of the print head by applying pressure only

Description

  The present invention relates to an ink jet recording apparatus equipped with an ink jet recording type recording head and a paper surface preliminary ejection method.
  2. Description of the Related Art Conventionally, operations such as preliminary ejection (or preliminary ejection) have been performed in recording apparatuses that employ an inkjet recording method, such as inkjet printers. Preliminary ejection is independent from image data recording. Ink ejection is performed at a predetermined timing, and fresh ink is always supplied into each nozzle to increase the viscosity of bubbles, dust, or solvent by evaporation. This is a process for removing the cause of defective ejection of ink that is no longer suitable, and further adjusting the temperature of the head. Since ink is not necessarily ejected from all the nozzles during execution of recording, the preliminary ejection process is performed for every nozzle at a predetermined time. Therefore, conventionally, after printing for a certain period of time, the printing operation is temporarily interrupted and recovery processing such as preliminary ejection is performed. Such recovery processing can improve the stability of recording.
  In Patent Document 1, the presence or absence of application of an ejection signal in a predetermined period to a serial type recording head (whole) is detected, and when the number (integral value) of the ejection signals is equal to or less than a set value, the next main scanning is performed. Describes a method of performing preliminary ejection on the starting end (margin).
In addition, in a conventional inkjet recording apparatus, there is a method in which preliminary ejection is performed on a binding margin portion of a recording medium when ejection is not performed for a predetermined period (for example, Patent Document 2). For a recording head with a higher resolution, a method of performing preliminary ejection on a recording area of a recording medium after a predetermined time has been proposed (for example, Patent Document 3).
Japanese Utility Model Publication No. 3-45814 JP2002-225301 JP 2002-144599 A
  Preliminary ejection in the technique described in Patent Document 1 ejects ink to the margins of the paper, and does not have to interrupt the printing operation, but is not suitable for continuous paper without margins or when the recording size is long. . In particular, in a conventional inkjet recording apparatus that uses a long type line head in which a plurality of recording elements are linearly arranged over the entire width of a sheet, when continuous printing such as roll paper is continuously printed, it takes a relatively long time. In many cases, the printing operation is continued continuously over time, and the ink that is not ejected for a certain period of time increases the viscosity of the ink, causing non-ejection.
  Further, even if the methods according to Patent Document 2 and Patent Document 3 are used, after a predetermined period, preliminary ejection is performed on all the nozzles of the recording head regardless of the history of the recording operation, which is excessive in terms of ink consumption.
  In particular, in the case of a line head, even if the number of nozzles is much larger than that of a serial head and the preliminary ejection of each nozzle is performed at the same frequency in both heads, the line head consumes less ink for the preliminary ejection. It will increase. In particular, when preliminary ejection is performed for each nozzle at a constant period regardless of the image to be printed, there is a lot of waste.
  As described above, by measuring the period during which no discharge is performed for each nozzle and performing preliminary discharge for the nozzles that have not been discharged for a predetermined period, wasteful ink consumption can be suppressed. In order to measure the period when it is not performed, time measuring means (for example, counters) as many as the number of nozzles are required, which makes it difficult to control.
  In addition, if the paper surface preliminary ejection is simultaneously performed on all the nozzles of the line head, there is a problem that the data ejected on the paper surface can be easily viewed side by side on the same line.
  The present invention has been made to solve the above-described problems of the prior art, and does not interrupt printing for a recovery process and can reduce unnecessary preliminary discharge and a paper preliminary discharge method and An object is to provide an ink jet recording apparatus.
  Another object of the present invention is to provide a paper surface preliminary ejection method suitable for a line head and an ink jet recording apparatus using the same.
A paper surface preliminary ejection method according to the present invention is a paper surface preliminary ejection method in an ink jet recording apparatus provided with a recording head according to an ink jet recording method, and includes a step of printing an image with a recording head based on image data, and a predetermined value for each nozzle. A step of detecting whether or not ejection has been performed even once in a period, and a step of excluding nozzles that have been ejected even once from a target of preliminary ejection by the paper surface preliminary ejection means in a predetermined period following the predetermined period. If, for a nozzle which has not been excluded from the preliminary ejection, and a step of performing at least one preliminary ejection on the paper surface of the paper at a predetermined timing to the next within a given period by the paper preliminary ejection means, the predetermined The period is determined according to an allowable exposure time of each nozzle of the recording head .
  In this configuration, the presence or absence of ejection is detected for each nozzle every predetermined period, and the paper surface preliminary ejection operation within the next predetermined period is omitted for nozzles that have been ejected even once. For the nozzles that have not been ejected even once within the predetermined period, the paper surface preliminary ejection operation is performed within the next predetermined period. In this way, it is determined whether or not to perform preliminary ejection on the next predetermined period based on the discharge history for each predetermined period for each nozzle.
  By making the predetermined timing different for each nozzle of the recording head, it is possible to disperse the preliminary discharge on the paper over a wide paper area and prevent the quality of the printed image from being deteriorated.
  By setting the predetermined period to 1/3 or less of the allowable exposure time of each nozzle, a reliable preliminary discharge effect can be obtained for each nozzle.
An ink jet recording apparatus according to the present invention includes a printing unit that prints an image by a recording head based on image data, and pre-discharges at least once on the paper surface of the paper for all nozzles of the recording head every predetermined period. Preliminary paper ejection means to perform, ejection presence / absence detection means for detecting whether or not ejection is performed once for each nozzle during printing of an image, and nozzles for which ejection has been performed even once are described above. Control means for excluding from the target of preliminary ejection by the paper preliminary ejection means in the next predetermined period following the period, and the predetermined period is determined according to an allowable exposure time of each nozzle of the recording head Features.
According to another aspect, an inkjet recording apparatus according to the present invention includes a printing unit that prints an image with a recording head based on image data, and a predetermined paper preliminary ejection pattern in an inkjet recording apparatus equipped with a recording head. In accordance with the above, the paper surface preliminary discharging means for performing preliminary discharge at least once on the paper surface of the paper for every nozzle of the recording head every predetermined period, and the discharge for detecting the presence or absence of the discharge for each nozzle within each predetermined period The paper surface preliminary discharge pattern is made effective during the predetermined period following the predetermined period only for the presence / absence detection unit and the nozzles determined to be non-discharged by the discharge presence / absence detection unit. the print data generated on the basis of the pattern and the image data and a control means for transferring to said printing means, said predetermined period of time, the recording f Characterized in that it is determined according to the permissible exposure time of each nozzle of the De.

  More specifically, the control unit holds an effective flag for validating the preliminary ejection on the paper for the nozzles determined to have no ejection by the ejection presence / absence detection unit, and transfers the print flag to each recording head. When the data is generated, the control unit holds an effective flag for validating the preliminary ejection on the paper for the nozzles determined to have no ejection by the ejection presence / absence detection unit, and transfers the data to each recording head. When generating data, only when the valid flag is “valid”, the paper preliminary ejection pattern is added to the image data to generate print data.
  The present invention is preferably applied to an apparatus using a line head as the recording head.
  As a paper surface preliminary discharge operation mode, a first paper surface preliminary discharge mode for determining whether or not the paper preliminary discharge is necessary for each predetermined period based on a detection result of the discharge presence / absence detection unit, and a detection result of the discharge presence / absence detection unit Regardless of the printing, a second paper surface preliminary discharge mode is always prepared during printing, and the first and second paper surface preliminary discharge modes are switched and used based on the number of print pixels of the recording head. You may do it. As a result, it is possible to prevent adverse effects in printing an image close to white paper when only the first paper surface preliminary discharge mode is employed.
  According to the present invention, since preliminary ejection on the paper surface is employed, printing can be continued continuously until an error such as no ink occurs without interrupting printing for the recovery process of the recording head. In addition, since the preliminary ejection is omitted according to the ejection history of each nozzle, unnecessary preliminary ejection can be reduced. Therefore, the number of preliminary ejections can be significantly reduced according to the image to be printed, and wasteful ink consumption can be reduced.
  By simply detecting the presence or absence of ejection from each nozzle as a condition for determining whether or not to perform preliminary ejection on the paper, the configuration and control are simplified.
  In addition, by changing the discharge timing for each nozzle to be pre-discharged, it is possible to diffuse the pre-discharged ink on the paper surface, and this is accompanied by a decrease in the pre-discharge and accompanying pre-discharge on the paper surface. A reduction in image quality can be suppressed.
  Hereinafter, exemplary embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings. However, the relative arrangement, formulas, numerical values and the like of the constituent elements described in this embodiment are not intended to limit the scope of the present invention only to those unless otherwise specified.
  FIG. 1 is a perspective view for schematically explaining the arrangement of ink jet recording heads in the present embodiment.
  The recording head as the recording means in the present embodiment is formed by arranging a plurality of long type line heads in which a plurality of recording elements are arranged in a straight line in parallel to each other in a direction perpendicular to the paper transport direction. It is. In the illustrated example, each of the plurality of line heads has six recording heads Bk that perform recording by discharging inks of different colors, in this example, black, cyan, light cyan, magenta, light magenta, and yellow. , C, LC, M, LM, Y.
  FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of control hardware of the ink jet recording apparatus according to the embodiment of the present invention, together with an external host computer 200. Here, a printer is described as an example of the ink jet recording apparatus, but the present invention is not limited to a printer, and may be a copying machine, a facsimile machine, or the like.
  In FIG. 2, a main controller 201 is a component including a CPU that controls the entire recording apparatus, and functions as a control unit for other components. The main controller 201 is connected to the host computer 200 and can exchange signals (including image data) with each other. A program memory 202 is a memory connected to the main controller 201. A control program for controlling the recording apparatus is stored in this memory.
  The head drive circuit 203 is a drive circuit that drives a heating element built in each color recording head. The motor driver 204D is a drive circuit for driving a head lifting / lowering motor 204 that moves the recording head to a printing position or a home position. The motor driver 205D is a drive circuit that drives a recovery system motor 205 provided in a recovery system for executing suction and discharge of thickened ink and the like existing in the recording head. Both are controlled by the main controller 201. The image buffer 206 is an image buffer that stores image data transmitted from the host computer 200.
  Image data transmitted from the host computer 200 is stored in the image buffer 206 by the image controller 207 connected to the main controller 201. When the image data for one sheet is prepared, the main controller 201 drives the head lifting motor 204 by the motor driver 204D to move the head from the home position to the printing position.
  Next, when the sheet reaches the recording position, the image controller 207 connected to the main controller 201 controls the head driving circuit 203 according to the image data recorded in the bitmap format stored in the image buffer 206 to form an image. To do.
  Further, the process of receiving the image data from the host computer 200 and storing it in the image buffer 206 is performed in parallel with the process of printing the image, so that different images can be printed in succession. When the printing is finished, the head lifting / lowering motor 204 is driven to move the head from the printing position to the home position, and the printing is finished.
  Due to the characteristics of an inkjet recording head, if the recording head continues to be exposed to the atmosphere, the ink in the vicinity of the discharge nozzles thickens due to drying, resulting in poor printing. Therefore, in the case of an ink jet recording apparatus, if the head is exposed not only before printing but also during printing for a certain period of time, the main controller 201 needs to issue a print interruption command to the image controller 207 to perform recovery processing. . Generally, as one of the processing means for performing recovery, there is a preliminary ejection means as described above. Preliminary ejection is generally performed by ejecting ink from all ejection openings of a nozzle to a predetermined ink receiver composed of an ink absorber or the like. Such preliminary ejection can improve recording stability. However, in such a recovery process for ejecting ink to the ink receiver, printing needs to be interrupted, which is problematic from the viewpoint of printing throughput.
  On the other hand, there is an advantage that throughput is improved because it is not necessary to interrupt printing in the preliminary ejection on the paper surface where preliminary ejection is performed on the paper surface during printing. However, there is no problem if the ink receivers are ejected all at once, but if a preliminary ejection is simultaneously performed on the paper by the line head, a linear image is formed, which is not preferable.
  In the preliminary ejection on the paper, the ink is always ejected from all ejection nozzles before a certain period of time elapses in order to suppress ink thickening due to continuous exposure of the recording head to the atmosphere. Such a certain period is called the allowable exposure time. The allowable exposure time can vary depending on the characteristics of the ink, the ambient temperature and humidity, the head structure, and the like. Thus, the acceptable exposure time employed is the shortest period of such variable acceptable exposure times for individual device models. Of course, depending on the conditions, the allowable exposure time to be adopted, and thus the paper preliminary discharge period, may be switched.
  If preliminary ejection is performed from all nozzles at once by the line head, a linear ejection image is formed on the paper. For this reason, it discharges at random from each nozzle within a fixed period.
  FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating a recording state when a line-type recording head having a plurality of nozzles performs only preliminary paper ejection on a sheet. In this figure, the number of nozzles is 128 for convenience. In the preliminary ejection on the paper surface in the example of FIG. 3, ejection is performed from one nozzle among 128 nozzles in one line in one preliminary ejection. In the figure, “●” represents the ejection data that was preliminarily ejected. In order to discharge all nozzles, 128 lines are required. The time required to complete the preliminary ejection of all the nozzles once is called a paper preliminary ejection cycle. In the example of FIG. 3, the time for printing 128 lines is the paper preliminary ejection cycle. As can be seen from FIG. 3, the dots recorded by the preliminary ejection are dispersed on the paper surface, and since one dot is minute, it is hardly noticeable.
  The paper pre-discharge period in the example of FIG. 3 is the same as the time required to record 128 lines, which is usually sufficiently shorter than the allowable exposure time. Therefore, the preliminary ejection period on the paper surface can be lengthened by performing preliminary ejection of one nozzle per plurality of lines instead of preliminary ejection of one nozzle per line.
  In FIG. 4, the interval of preliminary ejection on the paper surface is carried out at a rate of 1 nozzle per 11 lines (every 10 lines). In this way, the result of the preliminary paper discharge becomes less noticeable as the interval of the preliminary paper discharge increases. However, the paper pre-discharge period is increased accordingly. If this period becomes too long, depending on the nozzle, it may occur that the preliminary discharge is not performed at all beyond the allowable exposure time.
  The required interval between the preliminary ejections on the paper surface varies depending on parameters such as the recording head, ink, printing speed, temperature and humidity of the ink jet recording apparatus. If this interval is narrowed more than necessary (for example, in the case of preliminary ejection of a plurality of nozzles in one line), the preliminary ejection on the paper surface may affect the image quality. Therefore, it is necessary to set a cycle that satisfies both the image quality and the original purpose of the preliminary ejection as the paper preliminary ejection cycle. It is also possible to variably control the paper surface preliminary discharge cycle so as to have a maximum allowable cycle according to conditions.
  The paper preliminary ejection pattern records the predetermined timing when the preliminary ejection is performed at least once on the paper surface of the paper at a predetermined timing within the preliminary ejection period for the nozzles that are not excluded from the preliminary ejection target. It is made different for each nozzle of the head. This preliminary ejection pattern on the paper surface is stored in the memory before printing, and is read in parallel with the image data and transferred to each recording head when printing is started. Alternatively, a hardware circuit and / or software processing that generates a random paper pre-discharge pattern inside the printer may be used.
  Here, the problem in the case where the paper preliminary ejection as shown in FIG. 3 or FIG. 4 is continuously performed during printing will be described with reference to FIG.
  Assume that print images A, B, etc., as shown in the figure, are output by sending the paper in the conveyance direction shown in the figure. The nozzles used for recording the print images A and B are the same. In such a case, each of the nozzles necessary for recording the print image A is recorded on the print image B in an overlapping manner, after which it is only necessary to discharge once during the illustrated preliminary paper discharge period. Therefore, during the preliminary ejection period on the paper surface after the recording of the print image A, the nozzle group responsible for recording the print image B does not require preliminary ejection, but unnecessary preliminary ejection is performed in the preliminary paper ejection region R1 or the like. Will be going. This is because the paper preliminary ejection data is combined with the image data regardless of the image to be printed.
  In the present invention, in the case of such an image, it is intended to reduce this unnecessary paper preliminary discharge. A method for this will be described with reference to FIG.
  Assume that print images such as a print image I1, a print image I2, a print image I3, and a print image I4 are output by sending the paper in the conveyance direction shown in the drawing. In the present embodiment, a printing area corresponding to the paper preliminary ejection period T is defined as an “ejection presence / absence confirmation area”. In each ejection presence / absence confirmation area, it is checked whether or not ejection has occurred at least once for each nozzle of the recording head (line head) during the paper preliminary ejection period T, and the result is referred to as “ejection presence / absence confirmation bit”. Is stored in a variable for recording the discharge history. In this example, the value of the discharge presence / absence confirmation bit is “0” corresponding to “discharge present” and “1” corresponding to “no discharge”. In the example of the figure, in the ejection presence / absence confirmation region C1, the ejection presence / absence confirmation bit is “0” for the nozzle group responsible for recording the print image I1. For the nozzles that have been ejected even once in this way, execution of the preliminary paper ejection is omitted during the next preliminary paper ejection period T. That is, no preliminary ejection is performed for the nozzle group corresponding to the print image I1 in the ejection presence / absence confirmation region C2. For the remaining paper surface preliminary ejection region R2, preliminary ejection is performed once for each nozzle. Also in the ejection presence / absence confirmation region C2 including the region portion where execution of this preliminary ejection on the paper is omitted, the presence / absence of ejection from each nozzle is confirmed and a value is set in the ejection presence / absence confirmation bit. In the ejection presence / absence confirmation region C2, since the print image I3 is recorded over the entire width of the paper, the ejection presence / absence confirmation bits of all the nozzles are “0”. Accordingly, the preliminary paper ejection is omitted for all areas of the ejection presence / absence confirmation area C3 corresponding to the next preliminary paper ejection period T. Since there is a print image I4 in this ejection presence / absence confirmation region C3, the ejection presence / absence confirmation bit becomes “0” for the nozzle group in charge of recording them, and in the ejection presence / absence confirmation region C4 corresponding to the next paper surface preliminary ejection cycle T. The execution of the preliminary paper ejection for the nozzle group is omitted. For the nozzles other than the nozzle group, preliminary ejection is performed once for each nozzle in the paper preliminary ejection region R3.
  Thus, according to the paper surface preliminary ejection method according to the present invention, unnecessary paper preliminary ejection can be omitted while satisfying the necessity of preliminary ejection of all the nozzles.
  The point to be noted in the paper preliminary ejection method described with reference to FIG. 6 is that, for any nozzle, the preliminary ejection for one cycle of the paper preliminary ejection period T is omitted, so that the non-ejection period exceeds the allowable exposure time. There should be nothing. It is not sufficient to consider only the paper surface preliminary discharge period T in which the paper surface preliminary discharge is omitted, and it is also necessary to consider continuous non-ejection periods within the preceding and subsequent paper surface preliminary discharge periods T. For example, consider a case where image data close to a blank sheet with a small number of recording pixels is printed as shown in FIG. In the example shown in the figure, only the print image I5 that is extended horizontally is recorded on the head side (the lower side of the figure) in the ejection presence / absence confirmation region C2. At this time, in the next ejection presence / absence confirmation region C3, the preliminary ejection on the paper surface is omitted and there is no image, so no ejection is performed for all the nozzles. In the subsequent ejection presence / absence confirmation region C4, the preliminary ejection on the paper surface is performed over the entire width (however, the ejection timing of each nozzle is different). In such a case, with respect to the nozzle X, from the paper surface preliminary discharge 702 to the paper surface preliminary discharge 703, a non-ejection period corresponding to two paper surface preliminary discharge periods T occurs in the illustrated example. Such a state occurs when the paper preliminary discharge patterns in each paper preliminary discharge cycle are exactly the same. However, if the paper surface preliminary discharge pattern becomes random, the paper surface preliminary discharge occurs for the nozzle X on the head side of the discharge presence / absence confirmation region C2, and the rear end side paper surface preliminary discharge of the next discharge presence / absence confirmation region C4 after one cycle is left. When it occurs, it is the longest non-ejection period. This non-ejection period corresponds to approximately three periods T of the paper preliminary ejection period. It is necessary that such a worst case non-ejection period does not exceed the allowable exposure time. Therefore, in order to satisfy this condition, it is necessary that the three preliminary paper ejection periods be within the allowable exposure time. As a result, the paper preliminary ejection period corresponding to each ejection presence / absence confirmation area needs to be 1/3 or less of the allowable exposure time.
  It should be noted that the non-ejection period of each nozzle in the line head is determined by the number of continuous lines without ejection and the known sheet conveyance time per line, without providing a particular timing means. Therefore, the non-ejection period can be calculated based on the number of ejection failure lines even when the recording speed is changed. However, in the present embodiment, since the presence / absence of discharge within the paper preliminary discharge cycle (only “discharge”) is determined without distinguishing between one discharge and more discharges, the number of non-discharge lines is counted. There is no need, and if there is one bit per nozzle (that is, a discharge presence / absence confirmation bit), the presence / absence of discharge can be stored. Therefore, it is not necessary to provide a counter for each nozzle, and it is sufficient to prepare a storage capacity of 1 bit for each nozzle. However, in the present embodiment, for the sake of smooth control, another bit (preliminary discharge effective bit on the paper surface) is used per nozzle for holding the discharge presence / absence confirmation bit value.
  FIG. 8 is a diagram for comparing a conventional paper preliminary discharge (a) that does not depend on image data and a paper preliminary discharge (b) of the present embodiment for an image close to a blank sheet. In reality, this is not considered to be the case, but for the sake of convenience, this example shows a case where the print result is completely blank. In the figure, the grayed out and hatched portions indicate the areas on which the paper surface preliminary ejection is performed. As can be seen from the figure, the paper preliminary ejection cycle in the present embodiment is 1/3 of the conventional, and as a result, the frequency of paper preliminary ejection per nozzle is 3/2 times that of the prior art. Therefore, when printing an image close to white paper by the paper preliminary discharge method in which the paper preliminary discharge cycle is 1/3 or less of the allowable exposure time, the number of preliminary discharges can be increased compared to the conventional case. However, the conventional paper preliminary discharge period is approximately 1 second to 10 seconds. As an example, when the recording speed is 1 m / sec, the printing length printed in the paper preliminary ejection cycle is 1 m to 10 m. When the paper pre-discharge period is 1/3, the printing length is about 33 cm to 3.3 m. Even in such a case, the pre-discharge is dispersed in a wide area. Minute dots are hardly noticeable. In addition, since a large amount of image data is included during printing of a general image, it is considered that the number of nozzles that require preliminary paper ejection is drastically reduced according to the present embodiment.
  In addition, when the maximum non-ejection period is limited to at most two periods of the paper preliminary ejection period T, as in the case where the paper preliminary ejection patterns in the respective ejection presence / absence confirmation regions are exactly the same, the paper preliminary ejection period is the allowable exposure. It is not necessary to set it to 1/3 or less of the time, and 1/2 or less is sufficient. In this case, the frequency of preliminary paper ejection per nozzle is the same as in the past.
  Below, the detailed control method of the paper surface preliminary discharge in this Embodiment is demonstrated using the flowchart shown in FIG. This process is realized by the CPU of the main controller 201 described above reading and executing the control program in the program memory 202. The same applies to the processing of other flowcharts to be described later. This process is executed for each recording head.
  In a state where printing has not started (S11), the values of the discharge pre-discharge confirmation bit and the paper preliminary discharge effective bit (valid flag), which are parameters for preliminary discharge on the paper, are reset (“1”) (S12). The paper preliminary discharge effective bit is a variable that determines whether or not to enable preliminary discharge by the paper preliminary discharge pattern for each nozzle in each paper preliminary discharge cycle. Before resetting the ejection presence / absence confirmation bit value, which is confirmed in a certain period of the paper preliminary ejection period, for the next period, the value is substituted into the corresponding paper preliminary ejection effective bit.
  In this example, it is assumed that the number of nozzles of each recording head of the line head is 2400. The ejection presence / absence confirmation bit and the effective bit are both 2400 bits. That is, when a plurality of recording heads are mounted, an ejection presence / absence confirmation bit is provided for each.
  When printing is started (S11, Yes), the presence / absence of print data for each nozzle to be transferred to each recording head is recorded in the above-described ejection presence / absence confirmation bit (S13). This print data is print data that is actually ejected from the recording head to which paper surface preliminary ejection data is also added. When the value of the print data is “present”, “0” is substituted for the value of the ejection presence / absence confirmation bit of the corresponding nozzle in order to record the ejection history. If neither image data nor preliminary ejection data is present, no substitution is made and the previous value is retained.
Next, when generating the above-described print data to be transferred to each recording head, the print data to be sequentially transferred to each nozzle is generated under the following condition (logical expression) (S14).
<Preliminary paper ejection pattern value and valid bit or image data>
Here, “and” and “or” represent logical product and logical sum, respectively. In accordance with this equation, the valid flag is set to “valid” when generating the print data to be transferred to each recording head based on the valid flag for validating the preliminary ejection on the paper held for the nozzle determined to have no ejection. Only when the print data is “”, the paper preliminary ejection pattern is added to the image data to generate print data.
  If the paper preliminary discharge pattern value is “1”, that is, there is paper preliminary discharge data, and the paper preliminary discharge effective bit value is “1”, that is, if the print data is not discharged until just before, the presence / absence of image data is determined. Regardless, preliminary discharge data is added and the print data is set to “1”. When the paper preliminary discharge effective bit value is “0”, preliminary discharge data is not added even if the paper preliminary discharge pattern value is “1”. Of course, if the image data is “1”, it is transferred to the recording head as it is.
  After the print data is transferred for a certain period (S15), that is, when the paper preliminary ejection cycle is reached, the value of all ejection presence / absence confirmation bits is substituted into the paper preliminary ejection effective bit (S16), All values are reset to "1" (S17). The above operation is repeated until printing is completed (S18). By such a process, unnecessary paper preliminary discharge can be reduced.
  In the embodiment of the present invention described above, the paper preliminary ejection process described with reference to FIG. 9 is always performed during printing. However, when image data is received from the host computer, information such as the number of print pixels is simultaneously received. By receiving and knowing the ratio of the image data with respect to the entire image size, a print job with a small total number of pixels can be switched to perform pre-discharge on the paper as usual.
  FIG. 10 is a flowchart showing the operation of the second embodiment of the present invention adopting such control. The apparatus configuration of the second embodiment is the same as that of the first embodiment, and a duplicate description is omitted. In this embodiment, as a paper preliminary discharge operation mode, a first paper preliminary discharge mode for determining whether or not paper preliminary discharge is necessary for each predetermined period based on a detection result of whether or not each nozzle is discharged, Regardless of the detection result, a second paper preliminary discharge mode is prepared in which paper preliminary discharge is always performed during printing. The first paper surface preliminary discharge mode is an operation mode in which execution of paper surface preliminary discharge is omitted according to image data in units of nozzles as shown in FIG. The second paper surface preliminary discharge mode is an operation mode in which the paper surface preliminary discharge is executed as shown in FIGS.
  In the process of FIG. 10, first, the number of print pixels is checked for each recording head (S21), and it is determined whether the print result is close to a blank sheet (S22). If the number of print pixels is greater than the predetermined threshold, the first paper preliminary ejection mode is selected (S23). If the number of print pixels is equal to or smaller than the predetermined threshold, the second paper preliminary ejection mode is selected (S24).
  Accordingly, it is possible to select and execute a more appropriate paper preliminary ejection operation according to the print job. Note that whether or not the print result is close to blank paper is determined by checking the number of print pixels, but is not limited thereto.
  As described above, according to the present embodiment, it is possible to provide an ink jet recording apparatus that can execute pre-discharge on the paper more effectively than before without interrupting printing for the recovery process. Further, depending on the print image data, by switching the paper surface preliminary ejection method, it is possible to provide an ink jet recording apparatus that hardly affects the actual print image by the paper preliminary ejection.
  The preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described above, but various modifications and changes other than those mentioned above can be made. For example, the present invention is suitable for application to an ink jet recording apparatus using a line head, but a serial ink jet recording having a plurality of nozzles arranged in a straight line in which the recording head is scanned in a direction orthogonal to the paper transport direction. It does not exclude application to the device. Further, the preliminary ejection of one nozzle in one paper preliminary ejection cycle is performed once, but is not necessarily limited to once, and may be performed a plurality of times. Although a color recording apparatus using a plurality of recording heads has been described, the present invention can also be applied to a monochrome recording apparatus using a single recording head.
  The present invention can be applied to an industrial recording apparatus that performs a recording operation without interruption, particularly to a high-speed, high-quality (high resolution) inkjet recording apparatus.
It is a perspective view for demonstrating typically the arrangement | sequence of the inkjet recording head in embodiment of this invention. 1 is a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of control hardware of an ink jet recording apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention, together with an external host computer. FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a recording state when a line-type recording head having a plurality of nozzles performs only preliminary ejection on a sheet. It is a figure which shows the mode of recording when the space | interval of paper surface preliminary discharge is implemented in the ratio of 1 nozzle to 11 lines (every 10 lines). FIG. 5 is a diagram for explaining a problem when preliminary ejection as shown in FIG. 3 or FIG. 4 is continuously performed during printing. It is a figure for demonstrating the paper surface preliminary discharge method in embodiment of this invention for reducing unnecessary paper surface preliminary discharge. FIG. 10 is a diagram for explaining a problem when image data that is close to white paper with a small number of recording pixels is printed. It is a figure for comparing the conventional paper surface preliminary discharge which does not depend on image data, and the paper surface preliminary discharge of this Embodiment regarding the image close | similar to a blank paper. It is a flowchart which shows the detailed control method of the paper surface preliminary discharge in embodiment of this invention. It is a flowchart showing the operation | movement of the 2nd Embodiment of this invention.
Explanation of symbols
200 ... Host computer 201 ... Main controller 202 ... Program memory 203 ... Head drive circuit 204 ... Head lift motor 204D ... Motor driver 205D ... Motor driver 205 ... Recovery system motor 206 ... Image buffer 207 ... Image controllers 702, 703 ... Preliminary paper ejection A, B ... Print images C1, C2, C3, C4 ... Discharge presence / absence confirmation regions I1, I2, I3, I4, I5 ... Print images R1, R2, R3 ... Paper pre-discharge region T ... Paper pre-discharge cycle

Claims (10)

  1. A paper surface preliminary ejection method in an inkjet recording apparatus provided with a recording head by an inkjet recording method,
    Printing an image with a recording head based on the image data;
    Detecting whether each nozzle has been discharged even once in a predetermined period;
    Excluding nozzles that have been ejected even once from the target for preliminary ejection by the paper surface preliminary ejection means in a predetermined period following the predetermined period;
    A step of performing preliminary ejection at least once on the paper surface of the paper at a predetermined timing within the next predetermined period by the paper surface preliminary ejection means for the nozzles that are not excluded from the target of preliminary ejection,
    The paper surface preliminary ejection method, wherein the predetermined period is determined according to an allowable exposure time of each nozzle of the recording head.
  2.   2. The paper preliminary ejection method according to claim 1, wherein the predetermined timing is made different for each nozzle of the recording head.
  3.   The paper pre-discharge method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the predetermined period is 1/3 or less of an allowable exposure time of each nozzle.
  4. An ink jet recording apparatus provided with a recording head by an ink jet recording method,
    Printing means for printing an image by a recording head based on image data;
    Paper surface preliminary ejection means for performing preliminary ejection at least once on the paper surface of the paper for all nozzles of the recording head every predetermined period;
    An ejection presence / absence detecting means for detecting whether or not ejection is performed once for each nozzle within each predetermined period during image printing;
    Control means for excluding nozzles that have been ejected even once from a target for preliminary ejection by the paper surface preliminary ejection means in a predetermined period following the predetermined period;
    The inkjet recording apparatus, wherein the predetermined period is determined according to an allowable exposure time of each nozzle of the recording head.
  5. In an inkjet recording apparatus equipped with a recording head,
    Printing means for printing an image by a recording head based on image data;
    Paper surface pre-discharge means for performing pre-discharge at least once on the paper surface of the paper for all nozzles of the recording head in accordance with a predetermined paper surface pre-discharge pattern;
    Discharge presence / absence detection means for detecting the presence / absence of discharge for each nozzle within each predetermined period;
    The paper surface preliminary ejection pattern is validated only for the nozzles determined to be non-ejected by the ejection presence / absence detection means in the next predetermined period following the predetermined period, and the validated paper preliminary ejection pattern and the image data Control means for transferring print data generated based on the above to the printing means,
    The inkjet recording apparatus, wherein the predetermined period is determined according to an allowable exposure time of each nozzle of the recording head.
  6.   The control means holds an effective flag for validating preliminary ejection on the nozzle for the nozzles determined as having no ejection by the ejection presence / absence detection means, and generates the print data to be transferred to the recording head 6. The inkjet recording apparatus according to claim 5, wherein the print data is generated by adding the paper preliminary ejection pattern to the image data only when the valid flag is “valid”.
  7.   The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 5 or 6, wherein the preliminary ejection pattern on the paper has different preliminary ejection timing within the predetermined period for each nozzle of the recording head.
  8.   The inkjet recording apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the predetermined period is 1/3 or less of an allowable exposure time of each nozzle.
  9.   The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the recording head is a line head.
  10.   As a paper surface preliminary discharge operation mode, a first paper surface preliminary discharge mode for determining whether or not the paper preliminary discharge is necessary for each predetermined period based on a detection result of the discharge presence / absence detection unit, and a detection result of the discharge presence / absence detection unit Regardless of the printing, a second paper surface preliminary discharge mode is always prepared during printing, and the first and second paper surface preliminary discharge modes are switched and used based on the number of print pixels of the recording head. An ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the ink jet recording apparatus is an ink jet recording apparatus.
JP2004265465A 2004-09-13 2004-09-13 Paper surface pre-discharge method and ink jet recording apparatus Expired - Fee Related JP4606101B2 (en)

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