JP5061559B2 - Droplet discharge head drive device, drive method, drive data creation program, and droplet discharge device - Google Patents

Droplet discharge head drive device, drive method, drive data creation program, and droplet discharge device Download PDF

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JP5061559B2
JP5061559B2 JP2006265665A JP2006265665A JP5061559B2 JP 5061559 B2 JP5061559 B2 JP 5061559B2 JP 2006265665 A JP2006265665 A JP 2006265665A JP 2006265665 A JP2006265665 A JP 2006265665A JP 5061559 B2 JP5061559 B2 JP 5061559B2
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droplet
preliminary
discharge
droplets
ejection
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JP2008080740A (en
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真一 奥田
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富士ゼロックス株式会社
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  The present invention relates to a droplet discharge head drive device, a drive method, a drive data creation program, and a droplet discharge device.

  Conventionally, in order to suppress ink thickening in an ink jet recording apparatus known as a droplet discharge device, for example, Patent Document 1 discloses a low voltage level that does not discharge ink droplets to a resting nozzle. A technique for constantly applying a drive waveform as a preliminary waveform is disclosed.

  Further, in Patent Document 2, a preliminary waveform is always applied to the idle nozzle, and the ink is increased by performing preliminary ejection in which the recording head is retracted from the print area and ejected ink droplets at a predetermined timing. Techniques for preventing stickiness are disclosed.

  Patent Document 3 discloses a technique for changing the interval at which the preliminary ejection is performed in accordance with the environmental temperature.

  Patent Document 4 discloses a technique for stopping the application of the preliminary waveform when a predetermined time has elapsed since the application of the preliminary waveform to the idle nozzle has been started.

  Patent Document 5 discloses a technique for performing preliminary ejection of a pause nozzle in a print area of another color on a sheet.

  Patent Document 6 discloses a technique for performing preliminary ejection of a pause nozzle of a color printing head in an area printed with black and making the droplet diameter of preliminary ejection ink droplets smaller than that during normal printing. Is disclosed.

Patent Document 7 discloses a technique in which a preliminary waveform is intermittently given while the pause nozzle pauses the ejection of ink droplets, and the preliminary waveform is continuously given just before ink droplets are ejected. .
JP-A-55-42809 Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 9-29996 JP-A-63-260450 Japanese Patent No. 3440964 Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 1-174459 Japanese Patent No. 3239927 JP-A-9-201960

  An object of the present invention is to provide a droplet discharge head drive device, a drive method, a drive data creation program, and a droplet discharge device that can prevent liquid thickening by suppressing liquid consumption due to preliminary discharge. And

In order to achieve the above object, a droplet discharge head drive device according to the first aspect of the present invention comprises a drive waveform supply means for supplying a drive waveform to an energy generation element of a droplet discharge head, and the energy generation element is a liquid A pause period detecting means for detecting a pause period during which no droplets are ejected, and the drive waveform supply means so as to be able to eject droplets for preliminary ejection with different droplet amounts, and during the pause period, The droplet velocity change rate when the droplet is ejected is determined based on the measurement result of the relationship between the droplet velocity variation rate and the rest period, and the preliminary ejection droplet ejection speed suppresses deterioration in image quality. If the preliminary ejection is single shot and the drop volume is large so that the next preliminary discharge droplet is ejected onto the recording medium before the drop rate changes to a predetermined drop velocity change rate, When compared to the case of small droplets When the preliminary ejection is performed several times so that the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected intermittently and irregularly, the preliminary ejection is performed in a shorter time and irregularly than when performing the preliminary ejection once. The drive waveform supply means is controlled so that the liquid droplets for discharge are discharged, and the drive waveform supply means is set so that the dots formed on the recording medium by the liquid droplets for preliminary discharge become isolated dots. And a control means for controlling.

The invention according to claim 2 is characterized in that the drive waveform for preliminary ejection uses an image drive waveform supplied in accordance with image data.

The invention according to claim 3 is characterized in that the drive waveform for preliminary ejection has a larger droplet ejection energy than the image drive waveform.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, the control means supplies a single pre-discharge driving waveform with a small droplet discharge amount to the pause nozzle as the pause time becomes shorter, and discharges ink as the pause time becomes longer. The drive waveform supply means is controlled so that a drive waveform for a single preliminary discharge with a large amount is supplied to the idle nozzle.

According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, the control means supplies the drive waveform supply means so that the preliminary ejection liquid droplets are ejected onto an image formed on a recording medium in a color different from that of the liquid droplets. It is characterized by controlling.

The invention according to claim 6 further comprises temperature / humidity detection means for detecting at least one of ambient temperature and humidity, and based on the detection result of the temperature / humidity detection means, the ejection interval of the preliminary ejection droplets, It is characterized in that at least one of the number of ejections and the driving waveform is controlled.

According to a seventh aspect of the present invention, the control means performs a preliminary stirrer for stirring the ink in the nozzles after discharging the final preliminary discharge and before discharging the image driving waveform supplied according to the image data. The drive waveform supply means is controlled so that the waveform is supplied.

The method for driving a droplet discharge head according to an eighth aspect of the invention supplies a drive waveform to an energy generation element of the droplet discharge head, detects a pause period during which no droplet is discharged to the energy generation element, and detects different droplet amounts. The supply of the drive waveform is controlled so that the preliminary ejection droplets can be ejected, and the droplet velocity change rate when the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected during the pause period is the droplet velocity variation rate. The preliminary discharge droplet discharge speed determined based on the measurement result of the relationship between the pause period and the pause period is reduced to a predetermined drop speed change rate that can suppress deterioration in image quality. If the preliminary ejection is single and the droplet volume is large so that the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected, the preliminary ejection is performed irregularly in a longer time than the single droplet with a small droplet volume . as the droplet is ejected, the line once the preliminary discharge in a few shots If, controls the supply of the driving waveform so that the droplets for preliminary discharge and irregularly in a short time compared with the case of performing single-shot is discharged, the recording by the liquid droplets of the spare ejection The drive waveform supply means is controlled so that dots formed on the medium become isolated dots .

According to a ninth aspect of the present invention, the program for creating data for driving a droplet discharge head detects whether or not a pause period occurs for each of the plurality of nozzles of the droplet discharge head, based on the image data; Based on the measurement result of the relationship between the drop rate change rate and the pause period, the drop rate change rate when the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected from the nozzles in which the pause period occurs among the plurality of nozzles. The predetermined preliminary discharge droplet is discharged until the predetermined discharge speed of the preliminary discharge droplet is reduced to a predetermined drop speed change rate capable of suppressing deterioration in image quality. When the preliminary ejection is single and the amount of droplets is large, the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected once so that the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected in a long time and irregularly compared to the case of a single droplet with a small droplet amount. When preliminary discharge is performed several times, it is compared with single discharge. And sets a pixel ejecting the droplets for preliminary discharge as and droplet for said preliminary discharge irregularly in a short time is discharged, formed on the recording medium by the liquid droplet for said preliminary discharge Characterized in that a computer executes a process including a step of setting a pixel for discharging the preliminary discharge liquid droplets so that a dot to be formed is an isolated dot and a step of rewriting a pixel value of the set pixel. To do.

A droplet discharge apparatus according to a tenth aspect of the present invention includes a droplet discharge head having a printing width that is equal to or larger than a width of a recording area, and the droplet discharge head according to any one of the first to seventh aspects. And a driving device.

  According to the first aspect of the present invention, it is possible to reduce the liquid consumption due to the preliminary ejection for preventing the liquid from thickening as compared with the case where the present configuration is not provided.

According to invention of Claim 2 , a drive device can be set as a simple structure.

According to the third aspect of the invention, the preliminary discharge can be reliably performed.

According to the fourth aspect of the invention, it is possible to prevent wasteful consumption of the liquid.

According to the fifth aspect of the present invention, it is possible to make the liquid droplets ejected as preliminary ejection inconspicuous.

According to the invention described in claim 6, it is possible to prevent thickening of the liquid regardless of the ambient temperature and humidity.

According to the seventh aspect of the invention, it is possible to lengthen the interval at which the preliminary ejection is performed.

According to the invention described in claim 8 , it is possible to prevent the liquid from being thickened.

According to invention of Claim 9 , the thickening of a liquid can be prevented.

According to the tenth aspect of the present invention, the number of preliminary ejections accompanied by the maintenance operation can be reduced and the printing speed can be increased as compared with the case where the present configuration is not provided.

(First embodiment)
The first embodiment of the present invention will be described below.

  FIG. 1 shows an ink jet recording apparatus 12 according to a first embodiment of the present invention. A paper feed unit 16 is provided at the lower part of the housing 14 of the ink jet recording apparatus 12, and the sheets P stacked in the paper feed unit 16 can be taken out one by one by a pickup roll 18. The taken paper P is transported by a plurality of transport roller pairs 20 constituting a predetermined transport path 22. Hereinafter, the “conveying direction” simply refers to the conveying direction of the paper P that is a recording medium, and the “upstream” and “downstream” refer to upstream and downstream in the conveying direction, respectively.

  Above the sheet feeding unit 16, an endless conveyance belt 28 is disposed so as to be stretched around the driving roll 24 and the driven roll 26. A recording head array 30 is disposed above the conveyor belt 28 and faces the flat portion 28F of the conveyor belt 28. This opposed area is an ejection area SE where ink droplets are ejected from the recording head array 30. The sheet P transported along the transport path 22 is held by the transport belt 28 and reaches the discharge area SE, and ink droplets corresponding to image information are attached from the recording head array 30 in a state of facing the recording head array 30. The

  Then, by rotating the paper P while being held by the transport belt 28, the paper P can be passed through the discharge region SE a plurality of times, and so-called multipass image recording can be performed. Therefore, the surface of the conveyance belt 28 is a circulation path of the paper P in the present invention.

As an example, the conveyor belt 28 is made of a polyimide material (surface resistance value 10 10 to 10 13 Ω / □, volume resistance value 10 9 to 10 12 Ω · cm) to a thickness of 75 μm, a width of 380 mm, and a circumferential length of 1000 mm. A molded one can be used. Moreover, as the drive roll 24 and the driven roll 26, as an example, a φ50 mm SUS roll can be used.

  Further, the means for rotating the paper P is not limited to the transport belt 28. For example, the recording medium (paper P) may be sucked and held on the outer periphery of a conveyance roller formed in a cylindrical shape or a columnar shape and rotated. However, when the conveyor belt 28 is used as in the present embodiment, the flat portion 28F is formed, so that the recording head array 30 can be arranged corresponding to the flat portion 28F, which is preferable.

  In the recording head array 30, four inkjet recording heads 32 corresponding to four colors of yellow (Y), magenta (M), cyan (C), and black (K) are arranged along the transport direction. Color images can be recorded.

  In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 2, each inkjet recording head 32 has a printing width, that is, a length of an effective recording area (a length in a direction orthogonal to the conveyance direction A of the paper P in FIG. 2). A long inkjet recording head having a length equal to or greater than the width of the paper P (the length in the direction orthogonal to the transport direction A).

  In addition, a method for ejecting ink droplets in each inkjet recording head 32 is not particularly limited, and a known method such as a so-called piezoelectric method or thermal method can be applied. In this embodiment, a case where a piezoelectric method is used will be described. .

  FIG. 3 shows the internal structure of the ink jet recording head 32. The inkjet recording head 32 has a long shape in which a large number of nozzles are provided, for example, two-dimensionally. However, the portions corresponding to the individual nozzles have the same structure, and in FIG. Only the part corresponding to the nozzle is shown.

  As shown in the figure, the inkjet recording head 32 is provided with a common flow path 3, and ink supplied through an ink supply path (not shown) is stored in the common flow path 3. The common flow path 3 communicates with the pressure chamber 6 via the supply path 4, and the pressure chamber 6 is filled with ink supplied from the common flow path 3 via the supply path 4. A part of the wall surface of the pressure chamber 6 is composed of a diaphragm 6A, and a piezoelectric actuator 23, which is an energy generating element, is joined to the diaphragm 6A by bonding or the like. When a voltage is applied to the piezoelectric actuator 23, the piezoelectric actuator 23 is displaced to vibrate the vibration plate 6A, and the vibration of the vibration plate 6A propagates in the pressure chamber 6 as a pressure wave. Ink is ejected as ink droplets through a nozzle 8 communicating with the pressure chamber 6.

  The recording head array 30 may be fixed in a direction orthogonal to the conveyance direction. However, if the recording head array 30 is configured to move as necessary, an image with higher resolution can be obtained by multi-pass image recording. It is possible to record, or to prevent the malfunction of the ink jet recording head 32 from being reflected in the recording result.

  Four maintenance units 34 corresponding to the respective ink jet recording heads 32 are arranged on both sides of the recording head array 30 in the transport direction. When maintenance is performed on the inkjet recording head 32, the recording head array 30 moves upward as shown in FIG. 4, and the maintenance unit 34 moves and enters between the conveyance belt 28. Then, a predetermined maintenance operation (vacuum, preliminary discharge, wiping, capping, etc.) is performed in a state of facing the nozzle surface 32N (see FIG. 5).

  In this embodiment, the four maintenance units 34 are divided into two sets of two, and the recording head array 30 is arranged on the upstream side and the downstream side of the recording head array 30 at the time of image recording. .

  As described above, the maintenance unit 34 can be arranged below each ink jet recording head 32 to perform preliminary discharge. In this embodiment, the preliminary discharge is performed during a normal printing operation, which will be described in detail later. Will be described.

  As shown in detail in FIG. 5, a charging roll 36 connected to a power source 38 is disposed on the upstream side of the recording head array 30. The charging roll 36 is driven while sandwiching the conveyance belt 28 and the paper P with the driven roll 26, and moves between a pressing position for pressing the paper P against the conveyance belt 28 and a separation position separated from the conveyance belt 28. It is possible. At the pressing position, a predetermined potential difference is generated between the grounded driven roll 26 and the sheet P can be charged and electrostatically attracted to the transport belt 28.

As the charging roll 36, for example, a roll having a diameter of 14 mm can be used in which the surface of silicone rubber is coated with carbon and the volume resistance value is adjusted to about 10 6 to 10 7 Ω · cm.

  As the power source 38, a DC power source is shown in FIG. 5, but an AC power source may be used as long as the paper P can be charged to a predetermined potential.

  A registration roll (not shown) is provided further upstream than the charging roll 36, and the paper P is aligned before reaching between the conveyance belt 28 and the charging roll 36.

  A peeling plate 40 is disposed on the downstream side of the recording head array 30, and the paper P can be peeled from the transport belt 28. As the peeling plate 40, for example, an aluminum plate having a thickness of 0.5 mm, a width of 330 mm, and a length of 100 mm can be used.

  The peeled paper P is conveyed by a plurality of discharge roller pairs 42 constituting a discharge path 44 on the downstream side of the peeling plate 40, and is discharged to a paper discharge unit 46 provided at the top of the housing 14.

  Below the peeling plate 40, a cleaning roll 48 capable of sandwiching the conveying belt 28 with the driving roll 24 is disposed, and the surface of the conveying belt 28 is cleaned.

  As shown in FIG. 1, a reversing path 52 composed of a plurality of reversing roller pairs 50 is provided between the paper feeding unit 16 and the conveying belt 28, and the paper P on which an image is recorded on one side is reversed. Thus, the image can be easily recorded on both sides of the paper P by being held on the transport belt 28.

  An ink tank 54 is provided between the conveyor belt 28 and the paper discharge unit 46 to store the four colors of ink. The ink in the ink tank 54 is supplied to the recording head array 30 through an ink supply pipe (not shown). As the ink, various known inks such as water-based ink, oil-based ink, and solvent-based ink can be used.

  In the ink jet recording apparatus 12 of the present embodiment configured as described above, the paper P taken out from the paper supply unit 16 is transported to the transport belt 28 as described above. Then, it is pressed against the conveyor belt 28 by the charging roll 36 and is held by being attracted (contacted) to the conveyor belt 28 by the voltage applied from the charging roll 36. In this state, while the paper P passes through the ejection area SE by circulation of the transport belt, ink droplets are ejected from the recording head array 30 and an image is recorded on the paper P. When an image is recorded in only one pass, the sheet P is peeled off from the transport belt 28 by the peeling plate 40, transported by the discharge roller pair 42 and discharged to the paper discharge unit 46. On the other hand, when performing image recording by multi-pass, after the paper P is circulated until it reaches the required number of times and passed through the ejection region SE, the paper P is peeled off from the transport belt 28 by the peeling plate 40, The paper is conveyed by the discharge roller pair 42 and discharged to the paper discharge unit 46.

  FIG. 6 shows a schematic block diagram of a control system of the inkjet recording apparatus 12. As shown in FIG. 6, the inkjet recording apparatus 12 includes an inkjet recording head 32, a control unit 60, and a drive circuit 62.

  Each inkjet recording head 32 is driven by a drive circuit 62. Each drive circuit 62 is controlled by the control unit 60. Each drive circuit 62 has the same configuration. The control unit 60 records, for each color, recording data for determining the ejection timing of the ink droplets for the image, the ejection timing of the ink droplets for preliminary ejection, and the ink ejection port (nozzle) to be used according to the input image data. It is created and output to the drive circuit 62. Accordingly, the drive circuit 62 selects and supplies a drive waveform to be supplied to each nozzle based on the print data. As a result, the images of the respective colors are printed on the paper P so as to form a color image.

  The drive circuit 62 includes a waveform generation circuit 62A. For example, as shown in FIGS. 7A to 7C, the waveform generating circuit 62A includes a large drop (10 pl) drive waveform 56A, a medium drop (4 pl) drive waveform 56B, and a small drop (2.5 pl). ) Driving waveform 56C can be generated. The waveform generation circuit 62A can also generate the preliminary waveform 57 shown in FIG. The preliminary waveform 57 is a waveform that can vibrate the ink in the nozzles to the extent that ink droplets are not ejected. By supplying the preliminary waveform 57, the ink in the nozzle is agitated and the increase in the viscosity of the ink can be reduced.

  Although the drive waveforms shown in FIGS. 8A to 9C are analog waveforms, a waveform generation circuit capable of generating the rectangular drive waveforms shown in FIGS. You may make it use. In FIG. 6A, it is possible to generate a driving waveform 58A for a large droplet (8 pl), a driving waveform 58B for a medium droplet (6 pl), and a driving waveform 58C for a small droplet (4 pl). In this case, the preliminary waveform can be a preliminary waveform 59 shown in FIG.

  The control unit 60 includes a color conversion unit 63, an image processing unit 64, a preliminary ejection data writing unit 66, a recording data creation unit 68, and a memory 70. The control unit 60 may be provided on the side of an external device such as a personal computer that outputs image data to the inkjet recording apparatus 12.

  The color conversion unit 63 performs color correction according to, for example, the characteristics of the paper P and ink, halftone processing described later, and the like, and converts the input image data into CMYK data when the input image data is RGB data. Note that the color correction processing is performed using a correction table generally referred to as a LUT (Look Up Table).

  The image processing unit 64 executes, for example, density correction and halftone processing using a so-called error diffusion method. That is, for example, data having a relatively high gradation such as 256 gradations is converted into image data having the number of gradations that can be recorded by the inkjet recording apparatus 12. This process is performed for each color of YMCK. In the present embodiment, as described above, since the ink droplets of large droplets, medium droplets, and small droplets can be ejected, the image data is converted into four gradation image data. For example, the pixel value of a pixel that should not be ejected is “0”, the pixel value of a pixel that is to eject a large droplet is “1”, the pixel value of a pixel that is to eject a medium droplet is “2”, and a small droplet is ejected By setting the pixel value of the pixel to be set to “3”, it is converted into gradation image data. The image data of each color is output to the preliminary ejection data writing unit 66.

  The preliminary ejection data writing unit 66 writes data for ejecting preliminary ejection to the image data of each color converted into four values by the image processing unit 64. In the preliminary ejection, in order to prevent ejection failure due to ink thickening in the nozzle, ink droplets are forcibly ejected from the nozzle having a pause period in which the ejection of the ink drops for images pauses for a predetermined time or longer. Are discharged. Therefore, although the details will be described later, the preliminary ejection data writing unit 66 is based on the four-valued image data, a pause period generated in each nozzle, that is, a pixel row (pixel value) in which pixels that do not eject ink droplets are continuous. Is detected for each nozzle. Then, a predetermined pixel in the pixel row is set as a pixel for performing preliminary ejection, and the pixel value of the pixel is rewritten. For example, when preliminary ejection is performed with large droplets, the pixel value of the pixel is rewritten from “0” to “1”.

  The recording data creating unit 68 creates recording data in which the image data of each color in which the preliminary ejection data is written is rearranged in the recording order (transfer order) in consideration of the nozzle arrangement and the like, and the corresponding color drive circuit Each output to 62.

  Each drive circuit 62 supplies a drive waveform corresponding to the recording data to each nozzle. As a result, the YMCK images are superimposed and recorded on the paper P.

  In the memory 70, a control program executed in each unit, various data, and the like are stored in advance.

  Next, as an operation of the present embodiment, processing executed by the preliminary ejection data writing unit 66 will be described with reference to a flowchart shown in FIG.

  First, in step 100, a color to be processed is selected. For example, if processing is performed in the order of YMCK, Y is first selected.

  In step 102, a nozzle to be processed, that is, a nozzle for detecting a pause period is selected from the plurality of nozzles of the inkjet recording head 32 of the selected color. For example, when the nozzles are two-dimensionally arranged, the nozzle in the first row and the first column is selected first.

  In step 104, the idle period of the selected nozzle is detected based on the image data. The rest period is a period during which ink droplets corresponding to an image are not ejected for a predetermined time or more. The predetermined time is set to a value that can achieve the target image quality if preliminary ink droplets are ejected within this time.

  One of the factors that lower the image quality is a drop in ink droplet speed (ink droplet ejection speed). Therefore, the image quality can be reduced by a drop rate change rate of ink droplets (change rate of ink droplet ejection speed). FIG. 10 shows the measurement results of the relationship between the drop rate change rate and the rest time when a 2 pl ink droplet is ejected, with the preliminary waveform supplied before the drive waveform is supplied and with no preliminary waveform supplied. Shown for each of the cases. As shown in the figure, when there is no preliminary waveform, when the pause time is about 1 second, the drop rate change rate is reduced by about 20% to about 0.8. In this case, if the target image quality can be achieved if the drop rate change rate is about 0.8, the predetermined time may be set to about 1 second. That is, the predetermined time is set so that the ink droplets are ejected until the ink droplet speed drops to a predetermined speed that can suppress the deterioration of the image quality. However, since this is a case where the ink amount is 2 pl, an appropriate value is set according to the ink amount. Further, since the deterioration of the image quality varies depending on the distance between the nozzle surface and the paper, the predetermined time may be set in consideration of the distance between the nozzle surface and the paper.

  Specifically, for example, the rest period is detected as follows. First, a pixel row of pixels for which the selected nozzle is responsible for ejecting ink droplets is extracted from the image data. Then, a portion in which a predetermined number or more of pixel values “0” that do not eject ink droplets continue in this pixel row is detected. This predetermined number is a number corresponding to the predetermined time, that is, a number corresponding to a nozzle idle period.

  In step 106, it is determined whether or not the selected nozzle has a pause period. If there is a pause period, the process proceeds to step 108, and if there is no pause period, the process proceeds to step 112.

  In step 108, a pixel for storing preliminary ejection data is set. That is, as shown in FIG. 11, the pixels into which the preliminary ejection data is to be set are set so that the preliminary ejection 72 is ejected for every number of pixels corresponding to a predetermined set time S from the start of the pause period. This figure shows a pixel array in which a nozzle is responsible for ejecting ink droplets. Black circles represent pixels that eject ink droplets, white circles represent pixels that do not eject ink droplets, and preliminary ejection only once during the pause period. The case where 72 is discharged is shown.

  When the preliminary discharge 72 is discharged twice or more during the pause period, the preliminary discharge 72 only needs to be discharged intermittently, so that the preliminary discharge is discharged periodically every set time S as described above. Even if the pixels for entering the preliminary ejection data are not set, the pixels for entering the preliminary ejection data may be set so that the preliminary ejection is ejected irregularly.

  The set time S, that is, the time during which the nozzle is actually stopped can be set to a value equal to or less than the predetermined time. However, if too much preliminary ejection is performed, the image quality may be adversely affected. The set time S is preferably set to an appropriate value depending on the droplet diameter (ink amount) of preliminary ejection, whether one preliminary ejection is performed once or several times (number of ejections), and the like. This is because the droplet speed of the ink droplet changes depending on the droplet diameter of the ink droplet, the length of the rest period, how many ejections are performed in one preliminary ejection, and the like. For example, the set time S is set longer when the preliminary ejection is performed with a single large droplet than when performed with a single small droplet, and when the preliminary ejection is performed several times, Set to a shorter length compared to a single shot.

  FIGS. 12A and 12B show the results of measuring the relationship between the drop speed of ink droplets and the rest time when the preliminary waveform is not supplied before the drive waveform is supplied for each number of ink droplet ejections. ing. FIG. 4A shows the case where the ink droplet is a large droplet, and FIG. 4B shows the case where the ink droplet is a small droplet. In the case of a large drop, the drop speed of the first shot decreases as the pause time increases, but when the pause time is 1 second or less, the drop speed does not change much after the second shot. On the other hand, in the case of small droplets, the drop velocity up to the second shot decreases as the pause time increases, but when the pause time is 1 second or less, the drop velocity does not change much after the third shot. In the case of small droplets, when the pause time is close to 1 second, the droplet speed becomes 0 and no ink droplet is ejected.

  On the other hand, FIGS. 13A and 13B show the results of measuring the relationship between the drop speed of ink droplets and the rest time when supplying the preliminary waveform before supplying the drive waveform for each number of ink droplet ejections. Is shown. As shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, the change in the drop speed is almost the same from the first to the tenth in both the case of the large drop and the case of the small drop. This is because the supply of the preliminary waveform does not fundamentally prevent the ink from thickening, and even if the preliminary waveform is continuously supplied during the idle period, the ink gradually increased in viscosity is accumulated in the nozzle. In order to discharge all of this, 50 to 200 preliminary discharges are required.

  In the present embodiment, the thickened ink is discharged by intermittently discharging a single discharge or several (for example, 10 or less) preliminary discharges within a pause period.

  In step 110, the pixel value of the pixel that performs preliminary ejection is rewritten. For example, the preliminary ejection 72 may be a single ink ejection of a large ink droplet or a single ink ejection of a small ink droplet. Further, if the preliminary ejection is recorded on the recording medium and is not visually recognized, it does not affect the deterioration of the image quality. Instead of single preliminary ejection, several preliminary ejections are performed at intervals sufficiently shorter than the set time S. You may make it discharge continuously. For example, when the printing cycle is 20 kHz, preliminary ejection can be continuously ejected at intervals of 50 μsec.

  For example, when a large ink droplet is ejected as the preliminary ejection 72, the pixel value of the pixel that performs the preliminary ejection is rewritten from “0” to “1”. Similarly, in the case of single ejection of small ink droplets, the pixel value of the pixel that performs preliminary ejection is rewritten from “0” to “3”. Further, when several large ink droplets are ejected, the pixel value of the pixel to be preliminarily ejected is rewritten from “0” to “4” indicating that several large ink droplets are ejected, for example. Similarly, when several small ink droplets are ejected, the pixel value of the pixel to be preliminarily ejected is rewritten from ‘0’ to, for example, ‘5’ indicating that several small ink droplets are ejected.

  In step 112, it is determined whether or not the above processing has been completed for all nozzles. If not, the processing returns to step 102 and the same processing as described above is repeated. On the other hand, when the above processing is completed for all the nozzles, the process proceeds to step 114.

  In step 114, it is determined whether or not the above processing has been completed for all image data of YMCK. If not, the processing returns to step 100 and the same processing as above is repeated. On the other hand, when the above processing is completed for all image data of YMCK, the process proceeds to step 116 and the image data of each color is output to the recording data creating unit 68.

  The recording data creation unit 68 creates recording data in which the image data of each color in which the preliminary ejection data is written is rearranged in the recording order (transfer order) in consideration of the nozzle arrangement and the like, and the corresponding color drive circuit Each output to 62.

  Thereby, each drive circuit 62 supplies a drive waveform to each nozzle based on the recording data, and causes ink droplets to be ejected. At this time, for a nozzle having a pause period, single or several preliminary discharges are intermittently executed within the pause period. That is, when the pixel value of the pixel that performs preliminary ejection is “1”, a large ink droplet is ejected once, and when the pixel value of the pixel that performs preliminary ejection is “3”, small droplet ink is ejected. When the pixel value of the pixel that performs single ejection and the preliminary ejection is “4”, when several large ink droplets are ejected and the pixel value of the pixel that performs preliminary ejection is “5” Ejects several small ink drops.

  In this embodiment, since the ink jet recording apparatus 12 is configured as described above, it is possible to reduce ink consumption due to preliminary ejection for preventing ink thickening as compared with the case where the ink jet recording apparatus 12 is not provided. it can.

  Note that the preliminary discharge performed within one pause period may include not only single or only several preliminary discharges but also single and several preliminary discharges. For example, large droplets and small droplets may be mixed. Preliminary discharge may be mixed.

  By the way, when the preliminary discharge is executed by setting the pixels for discharging the preliminary discharge as described above, the preliminary discharge is performed by the nozzles adjacent to the longitudinal direction of the inkjet recording head 32, that is, the direction orthogonal to the arrow A direction in FIG. When the positions of the pixels for discharging the discharge are set to be the same, the pixels for which the preliminary discharge is discharged in that direction may be continuously recognized as a linear shape.

  Therefore, in step 108 of FIG. 9, the preliminary ejection set so that the pixel that performs preliminary ejection set for a certain nozzle is not adjacent to the pixel that performs preliminary ejection set for the nozzle adjacent to that nozzle, that is, becomes an isolated dot. You may make it set the pixel which performs. Thereby, the ink droplets ejected as preliminary ejection can be made inconspicuous.

  Further, if preliminary ejection is ejected onto an image of another color, it is difficult to recognize the preliminary ejection. For example, if the Y, M, and C preliminary ejections are ejected onto the K image, the preliminary ejection is hardly visible.

  Therefore, in step 108 in FIG. 9, when a pixel that performs preliminary ejection is set in a pixel row in which a certain nozzle is responsible for ejection of an ink droplet, a pixel that performs preliminary ejection on a pixel from which another color ink droplet is ejected. May be set.

  Specifically, a pixel row in which the nozzles of the inkjet recording head 32 of another color that are in the same position in the longitudinal direction of a certain nozzle and the inkjet recording head 32 are responsible for ejecting ink droplets is extracted from the image data of the other color. . Then, it is confirmed whether or not there is a pixel from which an ink droplet of another color is ejected during a pause period of a certain nozzle. If such a pixel is present, a pixel for performing preliminary ejection is set on the pixel. .

  For example, if the ejection pattern of the ink droplets of the nozzles at the same position in the longitudinal direction of the black and magenta inkjet recording heads 32 is a pattern as shown in FIG. 14, it overlaps with the black printing period before and after the magenta pause period. There is an overlapping period. In such a case, any pixel within the overlap period may be set as a pixel for performing the preliminary ejection 72.

  In the present embodiment, the case where only the preliminary discharge is performed during the nozzle pause period has been described. For example, as shown in FIG. 15, the single preliminary discharge 72 is performed during the pause period, and the last preliminary discharge 72 in the pause period is performed. For example, a preliminary waveform 57 as shown in FIG. 7B may be applied from the start to the printing period. In this case, for example, the pixel value of the pixel that performs the last preliminary ejection is rewritten from “0” to “6”, which indicates that the preliminary waveform is supplied from the last preliminary ejection 72 to the start of the printing period. Accordingly, when the pixel value is “6”, the drive circuit 62 supplies the preliminary waveform after the preliminary discharge 72 is finally discharged and before the drive waveform for the image is supplied. When supplying the preliminary waveform, the interval for performing the single preliminary discharge 72 can be set longer than the interval for performing only the single preliminary discharge 72 without applying the preliminary waveform.

  In this embodiment, the case where the drive waveform for preliminary ejection is the same as the drive waveform for image has been described. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and the drive waveform for preliminary ejection is used in order to reliably perform preliminary ejection. A drive waveform in which the ink droplet ejection energy is larger than the image drive waveform may be used. For example, if the image drive waveform is a small droplet drive waveform 56C as shown in FIG. 7C, the preliminary discharge drive waveform is a large droplet as shown in FIGS. The driving waveform 56A and the medium droplet driving waveform 56B may be used.

(Second Embodiment)
Next, a second embodiment of the present invention will be described. In addition, the same code | symbol is attached | subjected about the same part as 1st Embodiment, and the detailed description is abbreviate | omitted.

  FIG. 16 shows a schematic block diagram of a control system of the ink jet recording apparatus 80 according to the present embodiment. The overall configuration of the inkjet recording apparatus 80 is the same as that of the inkjet recording apparatus 12 shown in FIG.

  The ink jet recording apparatus 80 shown in FIG. 16 differs from the ink jet recording apparatus 12 shown in FIG. 1 in that the ink jet recording apparatus 80 is provided with a temperature / humidity sensor 82 that detects at least one of ambient temperature and humidity. Is a point.

  FIG. 17 shows the results of investigating the relationship between the nozzle rest time and the ink drop speed under the respective environments where the humidity is 15% and 38%. As shown in the figure, the change in the drop speed varies depending on the humidity.

  The increase in the viscosity of the ink is caused mainly by the volatilization (evaporation) of the ink solvent, and therefore greatly depends on the environmental temperature and the environmental humidity. That is, the ink viscosity is high when the humidity is low and the temperature is high, and the viscosity is low when the humidity is high and the temperature is low. For this reason, in this embodiment, the ejection interval of preliminary ejection, the number of ink droplet ejections in one preliminary ejection, and the drive waveform are controlled based on the detected temperature and humidity.

  For example, when the humidity detected by the temperature / humidity sensor 82 is 30% or more, the preliminary ejection data writing unit 66 sets the preliminary ejection interval to 1 second. When the humidity is less than 30%, the preliminary ejection data writing unit 66 For example, by setting a pixel for writing preliminary discharge data so that the discharge interval of discharge becomes 0.5 seconds, the discharge interval becomes shorter as the humidity becomes lower, and the discharge interval becomes longer as the humidity becomes higher. A pixel for writing preliminary ejection data is set. Alternatively, the pixels for writing the preliminary ejection data may be set so that the ejection interval becomes shorter as the temperature becomes higher and the ejection interval becomes longer as the temperature becomes lower. Similarly, pixels for writing preliminary ejection data are set so that the number of ink droplets ejected in one preliminary ejection increases as the humidity decreases, and the number of ejections decreases as the humidity increases. You may make it do. Alternatively, the pixels for writing the preliminary ejection data may be set so that the number of ejections increases as the temperature increases, and the number of ejections decreases as the temperature decreases.

  Further, as the humidity is lower, the drive waveform for preliminary ejection is a drive waveform with a large amount of ink (for example, a large droplet), and as the humidity is higher, the drive waveform for preliminary ejection is a drive waveform with a smaller amount of ink (for example, a small droplet). Alternatively, a pixel for writing preliminary ejection data may be set. Also, the higher the temperature, the more the pre-ejection drive waveform is a drive waveform with a large amount of ink (for example, a large droplet), and the lower the temperature is, the pre-ejection drive waveform is a drive waveform with a smaller ink amount (for example, a small droplet) Alternatively, a pixel for writing preliminary ejection data may be set.

  In each of the above-described embodiments, the case where a long inkjet recording head having a printing width longer than the paper width is used has been described. In this case, the number of preliminary ejections accompanied by a maintenance operation for moving the recording head array 30 and the maintenance unit 34 can be reduced and the printing speed can be increased as compared with the case where this configuration is not provided. The present invention can also be applied to an ink jet recording apparatus configured to perform main scanning in the paper width direction and sub scanning in the paper transport direction using a short ink jet recording head having a length less than the paper width. is there.

  In each of the above embodiments, the case where the present invention is applied to an ink jet recording apparatus that prints on paper has been described. However, the present invention is not limited to ink, and other apparatuses, such as a color filter manufacturing apparatus, The present invention can be applied to semiconductor manufacturing apparatuses, various film forming apparatuses, and the like.

It is a schematic block diagram in the image recording state of an inkjet recording device. It is a top view of an inkjet recording head. It is sectional drawing which shows the internal structure of a droplet discharge head. It is a schematic block diagram in the maintenance state of an inkjet recording device. FIG. 2 is a schematic configuration diagram illustrating a conveyance belt and its vicinity of an inkjet recording apparatus. FIG. 2 is a control block diagram of the ink jet recording apparatus according to the first embodiment. It is a wave form diagram of the drive waveform of an analog waveform. It is a wave form diagram of the drive waveform of a rectangular wave. It is a flowchart of the control performed by the preliminary discharge data writing part. It is a graph which shows the relationship between the rest time and the drop rate change rate when there is a preliminary waveform and when there is no preliminary waveform. It is a figure for demonstrating the pixel which sets preliminary discharge. It is a graph which shows the relationship between a dwell time and drop speed in case there is no preliminary waveform. It is a graph which shows the relationship between a dwell time in case with a preliminary waveform, and drop speed. It is a figure for demonstrating the pixel which sets preliminary discharge. It is a figure for demonstrating the case where a preliminary | backup waveform is supplied at the end of a rest period. It is a control block diagram of the inkjet recording device which concerns on 2nd Embodiment. It is a graph which shows the relationship between the rest time calculated | required for every humidity, and drop speed.

Explanation of symbols

8 Nozzle 12 Inkjet recording device (droplet ejection device)
30 Recording Head Array 32 Inkjet Recording Head 60 Control Unit (Control Unit)
62 Drive circuit (drive waveform supply means)
62A Waveform generation circuit 63 Color conversion unit 64 Image processing unit 66 Preliminary ejection data writing unit 68 Recording data creation unit 70 Memory 80 Inkjet recording apparatus (droplet ejection apparatus)
82 Temperature / humidity sensor (temperature / humidity detection means)

Claims (10)

  1. Drive waveform supply means for supplying a drive waveform to the energy generating element of the droplet discharge head;
    A rest period detecting means for detecting a rest period in which the energy generating element does not discharge droplets;
    The drive waveform supply means is controlled so that droplets for preliminary ejection with different droplet volumes can be ejected, and the rate of change in droplet speed when the droplets for preliminary ejection are ejected during the pause period is The discharge speed of the preliminary discharge liquid droplets determined based on the measurement result of the relationship between the speed change rate and the pause period is reduced to a predetermined droplet speed change rate that can suppress the deterioration of image quality. When the preliminary ejection is single and the droplet volume is large so that the next preliminary ejection droplet is ejected onto the recording medium, it takes a longer time than the single droplet with a small droplet volume and In a case where one preliminary discharge is performed several times so that the preliminary discharge liquid droplets are discharged irregularly, the preliminary discharge liquid is irregularly short in a short time compared with a single discharge. It controls the driving waveform supply means as droplets are ejected, for the preliminary ejection And control means dots formed on the recording medium by droplets controls the drive waveform supply means so that the isolated dots,
    A droplet ejection head drive device comprising:
  2. Preliminary-ejection driving waveform for the driving apparatus according to claim 1 Symbol placement of the droplet discharge head is characterized by using an image driving waveform supplied in accordance with the image data.
  3. Preliminary ejection drive waveform for the claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the liquid droplet ejection head driving device, wherein the discharge energy of the droplet is larger than the image driving waveform supplied in accordance with image data .
  4. The control means supplies a single pre-discharge driving waveform with a small droplet discharge amount to the pause nozzle as the pause time becomes shorter, and increases the ink discharge amount as the pause time becomes longer. of such driving waveform is supplied to the idle nozzles, drive device of a liquid droplet discharge head according to any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that for controlling the drive waveform supply means.
  5. The control means controls the drive waveform supply means so that the preliminary ejection liquid droplets are ejected onto an image formed on a recording medium in a color different from that of the liquid droplets. drive device of a liquid droplet discharge head according to any one of claims 1 to 4.
  6. A temperature / humidity detecting means for detecting at least one of ambient temperature and humidity;
    Based on the detection result of the temperature and humidity detecting means, the discharge drop spacing for the preliminary ejection, ejection speed, and any claims 1 to 5, characterized in that for controlling at least one drive waveform A driving apparatus for a droplet discharge head according to claim 1.
  7. The control means is configured to supply a preliminary waveform for stirring the ink in the nozzles after discharging the final preliminary discharge and before discharging the image driving waveform supplied according to the image data. drive device of a liquid droplet discharge head according to any one of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that for controlling the supply means.
  8. Supply drive waveform to energy generating element of droplet discharge head,
    Detecting a pause period during which no droplets are ejected to the energy generating element;
    The supply of the drive waveform is controlled so that the droplets for preliminary ejection with different droplet volumes can be ejected, and the droplet speed change rate when the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected during the pause period is The discharge speed of the preliminary discharge liquid droplets determined based on the measurement result of the relationship between the speed change rate and the pause period is reduced to a predetermined droplet speed change rate that can suppress the deterioration of image quality. When the preliminary ejection is single and the droplet volume is large so that the next preliminary ejection droplet is ejected, it is longer and irregularly than the single droplet with a small droplet volume. When a single preliminary ejection is performed several times so that the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected, the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected irregularly in a shorter time than in the single ejection. controls the supply of the driving waveform so that the SL by a droplet for said preliminary discharge The driving method of the droplet discharge head dots formed on the medium to control the drive waveform supply means so that the isolated dots.
  9. Detecting whether a pause occurs for each of the plurality of nozzles of the droplet discharge head based on the image data; and
    Based on the measurement result of the relationship between the drop rate change rate and the pause period, the drop rate change rate when the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected from the nozzles in which the pause period occurs among the plurality of nozzles. The predetermined preliminary discharge droplet is discharged until the predetermined discharge speed of the preliminary discharge droplet is reduced to a predetermined drop speed change rate capable of suppressing deterioration in image quality. When the preliminary ejection is single and the amount of droplets is large, the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected once so that the preliminary ejection droplets are ejected in a long time and irregularly compared to the case of a single droplet with a small droplet amount. When the preliminary ejection is performed several times , the pixels for ejecting the preliminary ejection liquid droplets are set so that the preliminary ejection liquid droplets are ejected in a short time and irregularly as compared with the single ejection. while, dots arc formed on the recording medium by the liquid droplet for said preliminary discharge Setting a pixel ejecting the droplets for the preliminary ejection such that dots,
    Rewriting the pixel value of the set pixel;
    For generating data for driving a droplet discharge head for causing a computer to execute a process including:
  10. A droplet discharge head having a printing width equal to or larger than the width of the recording area;
    A driving device for a droplet discharge head according to any one of claims 1 to 7 ,
    A droplet discharge device comprising:
JP2006265665A 2006-09-28 2006-09-28 Droplet discharge head drive device, drive method, drive data creation program, and droplet discharge device Expired - Fee Related JP5061559B2 (en)

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