JP5429641B2 - Printing system and function setting method - Google Patents

Printing system and function setting method Download PDF

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JP5429641B2
JP5429641B2 JP2010286371A JP2010286371A JP5429641B2 JP 5429641 B2 JP5429641 B2 JP 5429641B2 JP 2010286371 A JP2010286371 A JP 2010286371A JP 2010286371 A JP2010286371 A JP 2010286371A JP 5429641 B2 JP5429641 B2 JP 5429641B2
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image forming
function
forming apparatus
image
option
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JP2012133657A (en
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敏久 本杉
康行 釜井
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コニカミノルタ株式会社
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  The present invention relates to a printing system and a function setting method, and more particularly to a printing system including an image forming apparatus capable of communicating with an electronic pen and a function setting method of the image forming apparatus.

  An MFP (Multi Function Peripheral) equipped with a printer function, a scanner function, and the like has become widespread, and operations for setting various functions have become complicated as the multifunction of the MFP has increased. To solve this problem, a method of enlarging the display screen so that a large amount of information can be displayed at one time can be considered, but it is not easy to enlarge the screen because of installation space and parts costs. In addition, it is possible to improve the operability by devising the screen structure and hierarchical structure. However, since frequently used functions differ depending on the user and the setting environment, it is possible to easily set all functions. However, if each function is set across a plurality of hierarchies, the operation becomes enormous and troublesome.

  Against this background, there is a demand for a new method for improving the operability of the MFP. For example, Patent Document 1 below divides a position information recording medium into arbitrary areas, and the divided arbitrary areas are divided into arbitrary areas. Specific functions are assigned on the application program or system, data and position information written in the divided arbitrary areas are acquired by the position information acquisition device, and the application program or system is acquired based on the acquired position information. A function assignment execution method for executing a specific function assigned to data in an area is disclosed.

JP 2004-280519 A

  The technique of the above-mentioned patent document 1 is obtained by dividing a paper area in which a position detection pattern is embedded in advance and assigning a specific function, and acquiring data and position information written in the area with an electronic pen. The function assigned to the data in the area based on the position information is executed. However, in this conventional method, in the case of a function for setting by changing a plurality of screens, a function using a plurality of sheets is used. There is a problem that the operability is poor.

  Further, in the conventional method, since a predetermined function is assigned to the paper, the user may not be able to select a function that the user wants to execute. Also, since a large number of functions are printed, the desired function is difficult to understand. There is also a problem.

  Furthermore, in the conventional method, only the device that printed the paper to which the function is assigned can be controlled, and in order to control other devices, the paper must be printed by the device, which is convenient for the user. There is also a problem that is bad.

  The present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and the main purpose of the present invention is to easily set even a function that requires a screen transition when setting, and to connect to a network. Another object of the present invention is to provide a printing system and a function setting method that can be set in the same manner for an arbitrary apparatus.

  To achieve the above object, the present invention provides a printing system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses and a management server that manages the plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected via a network. A display unit that displays a screen for setting a screen, a function option for transitioning and setting a plurality of screens, and a option for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are arranged on one page of paper. A table that forms an image and forms a composite image obtained by combining the image with a position detection code for specifying a position on the paper, and associates each of the options with the position of the options on the paper When the position information specified by the position detection code on the sheet is acquired, and the position information is transmitted to the management server. A control unit that executes a process of transmitting to the printer, a process of setting a function in accordance with an instruction from the management server, and a printing unit that prints the composite image on paper. When the position information is acquired from the storage unit that stores the table and the image forming apparatus, a process that refers to the table and identifies an option corresponding to the position information, and is specified by the identified option And a control unit that executes processing for instructing the image forming apparatus to set a designated function.

  In the printing system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses and a management server that manages the plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected via a network, each of the image forming apparatuses has a screen for setting a function. Forming an image in which a display unit to display, a function option set by transitioning between the plurality of screens, and a option for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are aggregated and arranged on one page of paper, When a process for forming a composite image obtained by combining a position detection code for specifying a position on the paper with the image and position information specified by the position detection code on the paper are acquired, The option corresponding to the position information is identified with reference to a table associating the option of the option with the position of the option on the sheet, and the identified option is stored in the management server. A control unit that executes a notification process, a function setting process according to an instruction from the management server, and a printing unit that prints the composite image on a sheet, and the management server includes the image formation When the option is acquired from the apparatus, the apparatus includes at least a control unit that executes processing for instructing the setting of the specified function to the image forming apparatus specified by the acquired option.

  According to the present invention, in a printing system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected via a network, each of the image forming apparatuses includes a display unit that displays a screen for setting a function and a plurality of the screens that are set by transition. Position detection for forming an image in which options of functions to be performed and options for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are aggregated and arranged on one page of a sheet, and the position on the sheet is identified in the image When the position information specified by the position detection code on the paper is acquired and the process of forming the composite image obtained by combining the codes for use and the position of the option on the paper are associated with each other Referring to the table, instructing the processing for specifying the option corresponding to the position information and setting the specified function for the image forming apparatus specified by the specified option A processing that, the process of setting the function as specified by the other image forming apparatus, and a control unit for executing a printing unit for printing the composite image on a sheet, in which at least includes.

  According to the printing system and the function setting method of the present invention, even if it is a function that requires a screen transition when setting, it can be easily set, and the same applies to any device connected to the network. Can be set to

  The reason is that the options for selecting the image forming apparatus connected to the network and the options for the function are gathered and arranged on one page of the paper, and an image in which position information on the page is assigned to each option is printed on the paper. When the position information is acquired from the sheet, the image forming apparatus and the function corresponding to the acquired position information are specified, and the specified function setting is instructed to the specified image forming apparatus.

1 is a diagram illustrating a network configuration of a printing system according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. It is a block diagram which shows the structure of the management server which concerns on one Example of this invention. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a controller of an image forming apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention. 1 is a diagram illustrating an external configuration example of a display / operation unit of an image forming apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention. It is a block diagram which shows the structure of the electronic pen which concerns on one Example of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of an Anoto (trademark) pattern. 3 is an example of a screen displayed on a display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. 6 is another example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. 6 is another example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. 6 is another example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. 6 is another example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. 6 is another example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. 6 is another example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. 6 is another example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. 6 is another example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus. It is a figure which shows the procedure which outputs the printed matter for a function setting which concerns on one Example of this invention. It is a figure which shows the positional information on each choice in the printed matter for a function setting which concerns on one Example of this invention. It is an example of the table which associates a function, a choice, and the positional information on the image area of a choice. It is a figure which shows the function setting operation | movement by the printed matter for a function setting based on one Example of this invention. It is a flowchart figure which shows operation | movement of the printing system which concerns on one Example of this invention.

  As shown in the background art, a function setting operation becomes difficult as multifunctional functions of MFPs are made, and a method for enabling a function to be executed using a sheet obtained by dividing an area for each function has been proposed. However, in this method, in the case of the function to be set by changing the screen, the function must be selected using a plurality of sheets, and a predetermined function is printed on the sheet. In some cases, the desired function cannot be selected, and a large number of functions are printed, which makes it difficult to understand the desired function. Further, in a system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected to a network, there is a problem that a sheet for setting the function of each image forming apparatus must be prepared, and the setting operation becomes complicated.

  Accordingly, in one embodiment of the present invention, an image is formed by arranging options for selecting an image forming apparatus connected to a network and options for functions set by changing a plurality of screens on one page of paper. Then, when a sheet associated with coordinates is printed in the image area of each option and the coordinates of the option selected by the user are acquired on the sheet, the image forming apparatus and function associated with the coordinates are identified, and the identified image formation is performed. Instruct the device to set the specified function. Thus, by making it possible to set functions that need to be set across a plurality of pages on a single sheet, the operability at the time of setting the functions can be greatly improved. In addition, by managing and using necessary information for realizing these by a management server on the network or each image forming apparatus, the sheet can be used for a plurality of image forming apparatuses connected on the network. It is possible to improve the convenience of the user.

  In order to describe the above-described embodiment of the present invention in more detail, a printing system and a function setting method according to an embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. FIG. 1 is a diagram illustrating a network configuration of a printing system according to the present embodiment, and FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a management server according to the present embodiment. 3 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the controller of the image forming apparatus of the present embodiment, FIG. 4 is a diagram showing an example of the external configuration of the display / operation unit, and FIG. 5 is the configuration of the electronic pen. It is a block diagram. FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating an example of an Anoto (registered trademark) pattern, and FIG. 7 is a diagram illustrating an example of a screen displayed on the display / operation unit of the image forming apparatus of the present embodiment. FIG. 8 is a diagram illustrating a procedure for outputting the function setting print material, FIG. 9 is a diagram illustrating position information of the image area of each option in the function setting print material, and FIG. 10 is a function, option, and option. It is an example of the table which associates with the positional information on the image area. FIG. 11 is a diagram showing a function setting operation by the function setting printed material, and FIG. 12 is a flowchart showing an operation of the printing system.

  The printing system according to the present exemplary embodiment includes an image forming apparatus such as an MFP, a management server that stores MFP management information connected to a network, and a position on a sheet printed by the image forming apparatus to identify position information. And an electronic pen for transmission. In this specification, the function means a function that can be set for each function (for example, a copy function in addition to a scanner function, a facsimile function, a print function, a copy function, etc.). Sub-category functions such as color functions). The option means an item (for example, full color in the color function) provided for setting the function of the small classification. Hereinafter, it will be described in detail with reference to the drawings.

[Network configuration]
FIG. 1 is a network configuration diagram of the printing system of this embodiment. The management server 1 and the image forming apparatus 20 (image forming apparatuses 01, 02, 03,..., ON) are connected on a network such as a LAN (Local Area Network) or a WAN (Wide Area Network).

[Management Server]
FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating the configuration of the management server 1 according to the present embodiment. The management server 1 according to this embodiment includes a CPU (Central Processing Unit) 2, a ROM (Read Only Memory) 3, a RAM (Random Access Memory) 4, a storage unit 5, a communication interface 6, and the like.

  The CPU 2, the ROM 3, and the RAM 4 constitute a control unit. After copying the control program stored in the ROM 3 to the RAM 4, the CPU 2 performs overall control of the management server 1 according to the control program on the RAM 4. In addition, the control unit receives position information from the image forming apparatus that communicates with the electronic pen 30 and refers to a table stored in the storage unit 5 to position information (coordinates) on a sheet (function setting printed matter described later). A process for specifying an option corresponding to the item, specifying an image forming apparatus selected by the function setting printed material and a function to be set in the image forming apparatus, and instructing the specified image forming apparatus to set the specified function Execute.

  The storage unit 5 is configured by an HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or the like, and information on each image forming apparatus 10 connected to the network (such as an address and apparatus status on the network), position information on the function setting printed material, A table for associating the image forming apparatus and function options, data of a pattern (for example, a position detection code such as an Anoto (registered trademark) pattern) for the electronic pen 30 to detect the position on the paper, and the like are stored.

  The communication interface 6 includes a NIC (Network Interface Card), a modem, and the like, and connects the management server 1 to the network.

[Image forming apparatus]
FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of a controller of the image forming apparatuses 01 to 0N according to the present embodiment. The controller includes a CPU 11, a ROM 12, a RAM 13a, a nonvolatile RAM 13b, a motor driver 14, an IR (Image Reader) / ADF (Auto Document Feeder (motor) 15, display / operation unit 16, electronic pen communication module 17, CCD (Charge Coupled Devices) 18, USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface 19, NIC 20, image processing chip 21, image processing RAM 22, print engine 23, a TEL response module 24, a modem 25, a public line interface module 26, and the like.

  The CPU 11, the ROM 12, the RAM 13a, and the nonvolatile RAM 13b constitute a control unit. After copying the control program stored in the ROM 12 to the RAM 13a, the CPU 11 performs overall control for each function such as the scanner function, facsimile function, print function, and copy function in accordance with the control program on the RAM 13a. In this embodiment, in particular, an option for selecting an image forming apparatus 10 for setting a function from a plurality of image forming apparatuses 10 on a network and one or a plurality of functions selected by a user on a function selection screen described later. A process for collecting and arranging options on one page of paper, a table for associating position information on the paper with options, and a process for transmitting position information received from the electronic pen 30 to the management server 1. Execute processing to set functions according to instructions. The RAM 13a is used as a temporary storage location for screen data and various calculated values displayed on the display / operation unit 16 in addition to the control program. Further, when it is necessary to store these data even when the image forming apparatus is powered off, the data is stored in the nonvolatile RAM 13b.

  The IR / ADF motor 15 is a motor that drives a reading device and an automatic document feeder. The motor driver 14 drives and controls the IR / ADF motor 15.

  The display / operation unit 16 includes a pressure-sensitive touch panel in which transparent electrodes are arranged in a grid pattern on an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) or an organic EL (electroluminescence) display, and hard keys. FIG. 4 is a specific example of the display / operation unit 16. Functions can be set by the touch panel 16a, the mode switching key 16b, and the numeric keypad 16c. Further, the setting is returned to the initial setting value by the reset key 16d. The start key 16e starts operations such as copying, printing, and transmission, and the stop key 16f stops the operation state. The utility key 16g is used to perform system settings and adjustment functions of the image forming apparatus main body.

  The electronic pen communication module 17 communicates with the communication module 34 of the electronic pen 30 by short-range wireless communication or wired communication represented by the Bluetooth (registered trademark) communication method, and the position information on the paper from the electronic pen 30 is obtained. The position information is received and held in the RAM 13a.

  The CCD 18 is installed in a reading device or an automatic document feeder of an image forming apparatus, scans a document, detects reflected light of the document, photoelectrically converts the reflected light, and further performs analog-digital conversion to generate image data. . The USB interface 19 is an interface for connecting to a USB compatible device. The NIC 20 is an expansion card for connecting to the management server 1 or a user's computer device via a network, and the position information on the function setting printed matter, the image forming apparatus, and the function options according to instructions from the control unit. Is sent to the management server 1, the positional information received by the electronic pen communication module 17 is sent to the management server 1, print data sent from the user's computer device or the like is input, and scanning is performed. The image data generated based on the obtained image signal is transmitted to the user's computer device or the like.

  The image processing chip 21 performs image processing such as scaling, image rotation, density adjustment, edge enhancement, smoothing, and binarization. In the present embodiment, in particular, a pattern for the electronic pen 30 to detect the position on the paper is synthesized with an image in which function options selected by the user on a function selection screen, which will be described later, are arranged on one page of the paper. Perform the process. The image processing RAM 22 temporarily stores image data output by the image processing chip 21 in the course of image processing, various calculated values, and the like. The print engine 23 forms an image on a sheet based on the image data stored in the image processing RAM 22.

  The telephone response module 24 responds when an incoming call is received. The modem 25 modulates a digital signal into an analog signal of a telephone line, and vice versa, and demodulates it. The public line interface module 26 is an interface for connecting to the public line network.

  The general operation of the controller configured as described above will be outlined. Upon receiving an instruction from the display / operation unit 16, the CPU 11 controls the IR / ADF motor 15 with respect to the motor driver 14 and sends an image to the image processing chip 21. Request processing.

  Upon receiving an image processing request from the CPU 11, the image processing chip 21 receives scan data from the CCD 18 and performs image processing for conversion into an image instructed by the display / operation unit 16. At this time, various calculated values are temporarily stored in the image processing RAM 22.

  The processed image data output from the image processing chip 21 is temporarily stored in the RAM 13a, and then transferred to the USB interface 19 or the NIC 20 via the image processing chip 21 when the instruction from the display / operation unit 16 is scanning. Is done. When the instruction from the display / operation unit 16 is Fax, the instruction is transferred to the public line interface module 26 via the modem 25. When the instruction from the display / operation unit 16 is copying, the instruction is transferred to the print engine 23 via the image processing chip 21.

  When the print data is received from the outside, the print data is received from the USB interface 19 or the NIC 20, decompressed by the image processing chip 21, temporarily stored in the RAM 13 a, and transferred to the print engine 23.

  In FIG. 3, the processing for combining the pattern with the image in which the options for each function are aggregated and arranged on one page is executed by the image processing chip 21, but the options for the function selected by the user on the function selection screen are displayed. It is good also as a structure which produces | generates the image which collected and arrange | positioned on 1 page, synthesize | combines a pattern with the image, and makes the print engine 23 print based on the synthesize | combined image in a control part.

  Further, in this embodiment, the image forming apparatus 10 transmits the position information received from the electronic pen 30 to the management server 1, and the management server 1 identifies the image forming apparatus and function options, and is a setting target. The image forming apparatus is configured to instruct the function setting. However, the image forming apparatus 10 specifies options of the image forming apparatus and the function based on the position information received from the electronic pen 30, and specifies the specified information. The management server 1 may be configured to instruct the setting of the function to the image forming apparatus that is the target of the setting. In addition, information related to other image forming apparatuses 10 on the network (such as addresses and apparatus states on the network) is stored in the image forming apparatus 10, and the position information received by the image forming apparatus 10 from the electronic pen 30 is stored in the image forming apparatus 10. Based on this, it is possible to specify the image forming apparatus and function options, and directly instruct the function setting to the image forming apparatus to be set. In this case, the management server 1 can be omitted. .

[Electronic pen]
FIG. 5 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of the electronic pen 30. The electronic pen 30 includes a CPU 31, a ROM 32, a RAM 33, a communication module 34, a battery module 35, an image sensor 36, a pen pressure detection sensor 37, a writing module 38, and a clock. The module 39 is configured.

  The CPU 31 is a data processing device that operates according to a program. The ROM 32 is an information storage unit that stores programs. The RAM 33 is an information storage unit that stores data. The communication module 34 communicates with the electronic pen communication module 17 of the image forming apparatus by short-range wireless communication represented by Bluetooth (registered trademark) or wired communication. The battery module 35 is a primary battery or a secondary battery that is a power source of the electronic pen 30. The image sensor 36 is a small CCD or CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) video camera for reading a pattern. The pen pressure sensor 37 is a piezoelectric element that detects the writing pressure of the electronic pen 30. The writing module 38 is a device that specifies the position of the electronic pen 30 on the paper based on the pattern read by the image sensor 36 and outputs position information using the communication module 34. The clock module 39 is a device that holds time information.

  The electronic pen 30 only needs to have a function of specifying a position on the function setting printed material and transmitting position information (coordinates) to the image forming apparatuses 01 to 0N. The configuration, shape, communication method, and the like are as follows. There is no particular limitation. For example, the electronic pen 30 may be configured to identify the position by identifying the Anoto (registered trademark) pattern, or may be configured to identify the position by identifying the configuration, density, density, and the like of the pattern. In addition, the position may be specified by reading a pattern such as a barcode, or the position is specified in conjunction with a device installed in the vicinity of the function setting printed material (for example, based on an angle or a distance to the device). It is good also as composition to do. In this embodiment, a case where an Anoto (registered trademark) pattern is used will be described.

  FIG. 6 is an example of an Anoto (registered trademark) pattern. This Anoto (registered trademark) pattern is a dot pattern arranged in a grid pattern, and each dot is slightly shifted from the grid perpendicular to each other at intervals of 0.3 mm in the vertical and horizontal directions. The data is read in a matrix unit of 6 dots vertically and 6 dots horizontally, for a total of 36 dots. Since this Anoto (registered trademark) pattern is a unique value at any point, if the layout of the Anoto (registered trademark) pattern to be combined with the function setting printed matter and the function setting printed matter is determined (that is, the pattern space) The electronic pen 30 can recognize an arbitrary position on the function setting printed material by determining from which position of the Anoto (registered trademark) pattern to be combined with the function setting printed material. The Anoto (registered trademark) pattern data is stored in the management server 1 on the network, and is acquired and used via the network each time.

  FIG. 7 is an example of a function setting screen displayed on the touch panel 16a of the display / operation unit 16 when setting functions. For example, when the copy function is used as an example of functions that can be executed by the image forming apparatus, a screen for setting functions such as color, paper, magnification, and copy method is displayed as shown in FIG. When a button for setting a copy method is pressed, a screen for setting functions such as single-sided / double-sided and page aggregation is displayed as shown in FIG. 7B. When a finished tab is selected, a screen for setting functions such as sorting / grouping, stapling, and punching is displayed as shown in FIG. When the original designation tab is selected, as shown in FIG. 7D, a screen for setting functions such as an original margin and an original setting direction is displayed. When the image quality tab is selected, a screen for setting functions such as document image quality, density, and output image quality is displayed as shown in FIG. When a button for setting the output image quality is pressed, a screen for setting functions such as brightness, contrast, and saturation is displayed as shown in FIG. When an application tab is selected, a screen for setting functions such as paper margin, image repeat, booklet, page editing, stamp / page printing is displayed as shown in FIG. When a button for setting page editing is pressed, a screen for setting functions such as an OHP slip sheet, a cover sheet, and an inter sheet is displayed as shown in FIG. 7H, and a button for setting stamp / page printing is displayed. When is pressed, a screen for setting functions such as date / time, page printing, and stamp is displayed as shown in FIG.

  As described above, the function setting screen tends to have a screen structure divided into several layers, and when setting a function, it is necessary to change a plurality of screens and select an option for each function. For this reason, the operation becomes complicated, or an enormous amount of operations are required when setting necessary functions in combination.

  Therefore, in this embodiment, in order to improve operability at the time of function setting, a screen for selecting a function is displayed on the touch panel 16a of the display / operation unit 16, and the user selects 1 or Multiple function options are collected and arranged on one page of the paper, and a pattern whose position can be specified with the electronic pen 30 is combined with the image on which each option is placed, printed on the paper, and the options are selected on the paper To set the function. The schematic operation of this method will be described with reference to FIGS.

  As one of the system setting and adjustment functions of the image forming apparatus main body displayed when the utility key 16g of the display / operation unit 16 is pressed, a function setting printing function is included, and by selecting it, A screen for selecting a function used for function setting printing is displayed on the touch panel 16 a of the display / operation unit 16. FIG. 8A shows an example of the function selection screen 40, which displays a list of various functions related to copying. FIG. 8 shows an example of enabling selection of functions related to copying on the screen shown in FIG. 7, but the same applies to other functions such as Fax and scanning.

  Then, the user selects a desired function on the function selection screen 40. FIG. 8B shows a state in which four functions of “color”, “original → copy”, “sort / group”, and “original image quality” are selected. In this state, the display / operation unit 16 When the start key 16e or the like is pressed, the control unit (image processing chip 21) acquires information for specifying the image forming apparatus managed on the network from the management server 1, and selects the image forming apparatus option and the above screen. An image in which the selected options of the functions are aggregated and arranged on one page of the paper is created, the image and the pattern are combined, and the combined image is printed on the printer engine 23, as shown in FIG. The function setting print 41 is output. FIG. 8C shows a case where three image forming apparatuses and four function options are printed. However, the number, type, arrangement, and printing form of the image forming apparatuses and functions are shown in FIG. It is not limited to the configuration.

  In addition, the control unit associates the selected image forming apparatus and function, its options, and the position information on the function setting printed material 41 of each option, and transmits them to the management server 1. FIG. 9 shows position information (coordinates) of each option of the selected image forming apparatus and function, and FIG. 10 shows diagonal position information of the image forming apparatus and function, its options, and the image area of each option. An example of a table that associates (coordinates) is shown.

  Then, the user uses the electronic pen 30 to select the image forming apparatus and function options for the function setting print 41. FIG. 11 is a diagram schematically illustrating this operation. For example, regarding the “used MFP”, when the image area of “MFP-01” is touched with the electronic pen 30, the electronic pen 30 is printed in the image area. The coordinates (X, Y) are identified from the pattern and transmitted to the image forming apparatuses 01 to 0N that can transmit. The received image forming apparatus transmits the information to the management server 1. The management server 1 transmits that the “use MFP” setting is “MFP-01” to all the image forming apparatuses under management. In response to this, the image forming apparatus 01 is set in a use state. Thereby, when electronic pen input information is received by a plurality of image forming apparatuses, it is possible to specify the apparatus to be used.

Further, as shown in FIG. 11A, when the “full color” image area is touched with the electronic pen 30 with respect to the “color” function, the electronic pen 30 uses the coordinates (X, Y) from the pattern printed on the image area. The image forming apparatus receives the coordinates (X, Y) by the electronic pen communication module 17, and stores the coordinates in the table (table of FIG. 10) stored in the management server 1. Since it is an image area (X A2-1 , Y A2-1 ) to (X A2-2 , Y A2-2 ) of “full color”, “full color” is set to the set state. At that time, a screen as shown on the right side of FIG. 11A is displayed on the touch panel 16 a of the display / operation unit 16.

Next, as shown in FIG. 11B, when the image area of “single side → double side” is touched with the electronic pen 30 with respect to the function of “original → copy”, the image forming apparatus similarly coordinates (X, Y). Is received by the electronic pen communication module 17, and the coordinates are in the "single side → double side" areas ( XB2-1 , YB2-1 ) to ( XB2-2 , YB2-2 ) in the table of FIG. For this reason, “single side → double side” is set. At that time, a screen as shown on the right side of FIG. 11B is displayed on the touch panel 16 a of the display / operation unit 16.

Next, as shown in FIG. 11C, when the “sort” image area is touched with the electronic pen 30 with respect to the “sort / group” function, the image forming apparatus similarly sets the coordinates (X, Y) to the electronic Since the coordinates are received by the pen communication module 17 and the coordinates are the “sort” areas (X C2-1 , Y C2-1 ) to (X C2-2 , Y C2-2 ) in the table of FIG. “Sort” is set. At that time, a screen as shown on the right side of FIG. 11C is displayed on the touch panel 16 a of the display / operation unit 16.

Further, as shown in FIG. 11D, when the image area of “map” is touched with the electronic pen 30 with respect to the function of “original image quality”, the image forming apparatus similarly uses the coordinates (X, Y) for the electronic pen. Since these coordinates are received by the communication module 17 and are in the “map” area (X D4-1 , Y D4-1 ) to (X D4-2 , Y D4-2 ) in the table of FIG. "Is set. At that time, a screen as shown on the right side of FIG. 11 (d) is displayed on the touch panel 16 a of the display / operation unit 16.

  FIG. 12 is a flowchart showing the operation of the printing system (a procedure for specifying an image forming apparatus to be used and a procedure for setting functions of the image forming apparatus). In the following description, the user has previously selected a function on the function selection screen 40, and the options of the image forming apparatus on the network and the options of each function selected by the user are collected on one page of the sheet. It is assumed that the arranged function setting printed matter 41 is printed in advance, and a table that associates the image forming apparatus and functions in the function setting printed matter 41 with options and position information of option image areas is stored in advance. It is assumed that there are three image forming apparatuses on the network.

  First, the user takes out the function setting printed matter 41 from the image forming apparatus, and the image of the function setting printed matter 41 in a place where the electronic pen communication module 17 of the image forming apparatus and the communication module 34 of the electronic pen 30 can communicate with each other. The options of the forming apparatus and the options of each function are touched with the electronic pen 30 (S100).

  When the pen pressure detection sensor 37 detects a touch, the electronic pen 30 recognizes the pattern read by the image sensor 36, identifies the position on the function setting print 41 from the pattern, and uses the communication module 34. The position information is transmitted (S110), and the electronic pen communication module 17 of the image forming apparatus receives the position information (S120).

  Next, the image forming apparatus transmits the received position information to the management server 1, and the control unit of the management server 1 collates the image forming apparatus and function options associated with the position information (S130). This step will be described in detail with reference to the flowchart of FIG.

First, it is determined whether or not the X coordinate of the received position information is within the range of X 01-1 to X 01-2 (S131). If it is within the range, the Y coordinate of the received position information is Y 01-1. It is determined whether it is within the range of ~ Y 01-2 (S132). If both S131 and S132 are Yes, it is determined that the image forming apparatus associated with the position information is “MFP-01” with reference to the table of FIG. 10 (S133).

If S131 or S132 is No, X-coordinate of the received position information to determine a range of X 02-1 ~X 02-2 (S134), if within the range, the received location information It is determined whether the Y coordinate is within the range of Y 02-1 to Y 02-2 (S135). If both S134 and S135 are Yes, it is determined with reference to the table of FIG. 10 that the image forming apparatus associated with the position information is “MFP-02” (S136).

If S134 or S135 is No, X-coordinate of the received position information to determine a range of X 03-1 ~X 03-2 (S137), if within the range, the received location information It is determined whether the Y coordinate is within the range of Y 03-1 to Y 03-2 (S138). If both S137 and S138 are Yes, it is determined that the image forming apparatus associated with the position information is “MFP-03” with reference to the table of FIG. 10 (S139).

Further, regarding the function, it is determined whether the X coordinate of the received position information is within the range of X A1-1 to X A1-2 , and if it is within the range, the Y coordinate of the received position information is Y A1- 1 to Y A1-2 , and if both are within the range, referring to the table of FIG. 10, the function associated with the position information is “color” and the option is “auto” It is determined that it is “color”. Then, the same processing is repeated to determine whether or not the X coordinate of the received position information is within the range of X D4-1 to X D4-2 , and if it is within the range, the Y coordinate of the received position information is Y D4-1 to Y D4-2 is determined, and if both are within the range, the function associated with the position information is “document image quality” and an option is selected with reference to the table of FIG. Is determined to be a “map”.

  Returning to FIG. 12A, the control unit of the management server 1 determines whether the image forming apparatus associated with the position information is on the network as a result of the collation (S140). It is determined whether the image forming apparatus can be used (S150). If the associated image forming apparatus is not on the network, or if the image forming apparatus cannot be used, the process is terminated, and if the associated image forming apparatus is on the network and can be used, The image forming apparatus is specified as an image forming apparatus that uses the image forming apparatus (S160).

  Next, if necessary, information specifying the image forming apparatus to be used is notified to all the image forming apparatuses on the network (S170). The corresponding image forming apparatus recognizes that its own apparatus has been set, and enters a setting enabled state (S180). Then, the management server 1 sends information specifying the functions and options selected by the function setting printed material 41 to the specified image forming apparatus to instruct setting of the functions. The function is set according to the instruction 1 and the screen shown on the right side of FIG. 11 is displayed on the touch panel 16a of the display / operation unit 16, for example.

  As described above, in this embodiment, the function selection screen 40 is displayed, and the image forming apparatus options on the network and the function options selected by the user are aggregated and arranged on one page of paper, and an image is formed. The function setting print 41 is printed by synthesizing a pattern whose position can be specified with the electronic pen 30 on the image, and the function setting can be performed with the electronic pen 30 using the function setting print 41. The operability at the time can be greatly improved. Further, since the functions of all the image forming apparatuses on the network can be set with one function setting print 41, the convenience for the user can be remarkably improved.

  In the above flow, the management server 1 performed the process of collating the image forming apparatus and the function associated with the position information (S130). This process is executed by the image forming apparatus that has received the position information from the electronic pen 30, and The associated result may be transmitted to the management server 1. In the above flow, the management server 1 performs processing (S140 to S180) for specifying an image forming apparatus to be used and instructing setting of functions. However, the position information is received from the electronic pen 30 for these processing. It may be configured to be executed by the image forming apparatus.

  The present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiments, and the configuration and control of each device can be changed as appropriate without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

  For example, in the above-described embodiment, the configuration is such that the composite image obtained by combining the pattern with the image arranged on the network by arranging the options of the image forming apparatuses on the network and the options selected by the user is printed on a sheet. For example, the composite image data is output to a device having a display function such as electronic paper, the composite image is displayed on the display screen of the device, and the function of the image forming apparatus is set on the display screen. May be.

  In the above-described embodiment, the case where the function of the image forming apparatus is set has been described. However, the present invention can be similarly applied to an arbitrary apparatus that has to change a plurality of screens when setting the function.

  The present invention can be used for a printing system including an image forming apparatus capable of communicating with an electronic pen and a function setting method in the printing system.

1 Management server 2 CPU
3 ROM
4 RAM
5 Storage Unit 6 Communication Interface 10 Image Forming Apparatus 11 CPU
12 ROM
13a RAM
13b Nonvolatile RAM
14 Motor Driver 15 IR / ADF Motor 16 Display / Operation Unit 16a Touch Panel 16b Mode Switching Key 16c Tenkey 16d Reset Key 16e Start Key 16f Stop Key 16g Utility Key 17 Electronic Pen Communication Module 18 CCD
19 USB interface 20 NIC interface 21 Image processing chip 22 Image processing RAM
23 Print Engine 24 TEL Response Module 25 Modem 26 Public Line Interface Module 30 Electronic Pen 31 CPU
32 ROM
33 RAM
34 Communication Module 35 Battery Module 36 Image Sensor 37 Pen Pressure Detection Sensor 38 Writing Module 39 Clock Module 40 Function Selection Screen 41 Print for Function Setting

Claims (9)

  1. In a printing system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses and a management server that manages the plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected via a network,
    Each of the image forming apparatuses
    A display for displaying a screen for setting functions;
    Forming an image in which a plurality of function options that are set by transitioning between the screens and an option for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are aggregated on one page of a sheet, and the image is formed on the sheet. A process of forming a composite image obtained by combining position detection codes for specifying the position of the position, and a process of creating a table associating each option with the position of the option on the paper and transmitting the table to the management server A process for transmitting the position information to the management server when the position information specified by the position detection code on the sheet is acquired; a process for setting a function according to an instruction from the management server; A control unit for executing
    A printing unit that prints the composite image on paper,
    The management server
    A storage unit for storing the table;
    When the position information is acquired from the image forming apparatus, a process for specifying an option corresponding to the position information with reference to the table and an image forming apparatus specified by the specified option are specified. A control unit that executes a process for instructing the setting of the function,
    A printing system characterized by that.
  2. In a printing system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses and a management server that manages the plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected via a network,
    Each of the image forming apparatuses
    A display for displaying a screen for setting functions;
    Forming an image in which a plurality of function options that are set by transitioning between the screens and an option for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are aggregated on one page of a sheet, and the image is formed on the sheet. Each of the options and the options when the position information specified by the position detection code on the sheet is acquired by processing to form a composite image obtained by combining the position detection codes for specifying the position of the position Referring to the table for associating the position on the sheet with each other, the option corresponding to the position information is identified, the process of notifying the identified option to the management server, and the function is set according to the instruction from the management server A control unit that executes processing to perform,
    A printing unit that prints the composite image on paper,
    The management server
    When the option is acquired from the image forming apparatus, the apparatus includes at least a control unit that executes processing for instructing the setting of the specified function for the image forming apparatus specified by the acquired option.
    A printing system characterized by that.
  3. In a printing system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected via a network,
    Each of the image forming apparatuses
    A display for displaying a screen for setting functions;
    Forming an image in which a plurality of function options that are set by transitioning between the screens and an option for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are aggregated on one page of a sheet, and the image is formed on the sheet. Each of the options and the options when the position information specified by the position detection code on the sheet is acquired by processing to form a composite image obtained by combining the position detection codes for specifying the position of the position Referring to the table for associating the position on the sheet with the process, the option for specifying the option corresponding to the position information is specified, and the setting of the specified function is instructed to the image forming apparatus specified by the specified option A control unit that executes a process for setting a function according to a designation from another image forming apparatus,
    A printing unit that prints the composite image on paper;
    A printing system characterized by that.
  4. The function is a function selected by a user on a screen displaying a list of functions that can be set in the image forming apparatus.
    The printing system according to claim 1, wherein the printing system is a printing system.
  5. The position detection code is a pattern that can be recognized by an electronic pen.
    The printing system according to claim 1, wherein the printing system is a printing system.
  6. A function setting method in a system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses that can communicate with an electronic pen and a management server that manages the plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected via a network,
    The first image forming apparatus
    The electronic pen forms an image in which a selection of functions to be set by transitioning between a plurality of screens and an option for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are arranged on one page of paper, and the electronic pen is formed on the image. A process of forming a composite image in which position detection codes for specifying the position on the paper are combined;
    A process of creating a table associating each of the options with the position of the option on the paper and transmitting the table to the management server;
    Printing the composite image on paper;
    The electronic pen acquires the position information specified by detecting the position detection code on the paper from the electronic pen, and executes the process of transmitting the position information to the management server,
    The management server
    Processing to store the table;
    When the position information is acquired from the first image forming apparatus, an option corresponding to the position information is specified with reference to the table, and the second image forming apparatus specified by the specified option is specified. Processing for instructing the setting of the specified function for
    The second image forming apparatus includes:
    Execute a process of setting a function in accordance with an instruction from the management server;
    A function setting method characterized by that.
  7. A function setting method in a system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses that can communicate with an electronic pen and a management server that manages the plurality of image forming apparatuses are connected via a network,
    The first image forming apparatus
    The electronic pen forms an image in which a selection of functions to be set by transitioning between a plurality of screens and an option for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are arranged on one page of paper, and the electronic pen is formed on the image. A process of forming a composite image in which position detection codes for specifying the position on the paper are combined;
    Processing to create and store a table associating each of the options with the position of the option on the paper;
    Printing the composite image on paper;
    Processing for acquiring position information specified by the electronic pen detecting the position detection code on the paper from the electronic pen;
    Referring to the table, identifying an option corresponding to the location information, and notifying the management server of the identified option,
    The management server
    When the option is acquired from the first image forming apparatus, a process for instructing the setting of the specified function to the second image forming apparatus specified by the acquired option is executed.
    The second image forming apparatus includes:
    Execute a process of setting a function in accordance with an instruction from the management server;
    A function setting method characterized by that.
  8. A function setting method in a system in which a plurality of image forming apparatuses capable of communicating with an electronic pen are connected via a network,
    The first image forming apparatus
    The electronic pen forms an image in which a selection of functions to be set by transitioning between a plurality of screens and an option for specifying an image forming apparatus under network management are arranged on one page of paper, and the electronic pen is formed on the image. A process of forming a composite image in which position detection codes for specifying the position on the paper are combined;
    Processing to create and store a table associating each of the options with the position of the option on the paper;
    Printing the composite image on paper;
    Processing for acquiring position information specified by the electronic pen detecting the position detection code on the paper from the electronic pen;
    Referring to the table, the option corresponding to the position information is specified, and a process for instructing the setting of the specified function to the second image forming apparatus specified by the specified option is executed.
    The second image forming apparatus includes:
    Executing a function setting process in accordance with a designation from the first image forming apparatus;
    A function setting method characterized by that.
  9. The function is a function selected by a user on a screen displaying a list of functions that can be set in the image forming apparatus.
    9. The function setting method according to claim 6, wherein the function is set.
JP2010286371A 2010-12-22 2010-12-22 Printing system and function setting method Active JP5429641B2 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

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JP2010286371A JP5429641B2 (en) 2010-12-22 2010-12-22 Printing system and function setting method
US13/163,436 US9071710B2 (en) 2010-06-22 2011-06-17 Image forming apparatus, printing system and function setting method thereof
CN 201110169111 CN102300022B (en) 2010-06-22 2011-06-17 Image forming apparatus, printing system and function setting method thereof

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JPH03218160A (en) * 1990-01-24 1991-09-25 Fuji Xerox Co Ltd Manual sheet generation and utilizing device
AUPQ439299A0 (en) * 1999-12-01 1999-12-23 Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd Interface system
JP2004135122A (en) * 2002-10-11 2004-04-30 Ricoh Co Ltd Image data input and output device, program, and storage medium
JP2004280192A (en) * 2003-03-12 2004-10-07 Fuji Xerox Co Ltd Service providing system
JP4530325B2 (en) * 2003-03-17 2010-08-25 リコーItソリューションズ株式会社 Function assignment execution method and program for arbitrary area
JP2005169798A (en) * 2003-12-10 2005-06-30 Canon Inc Image print system
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