JP6477829B2 - Cleaning method for fluid ejection device - Google Patents

Cleaning method for fluid ejection device Download PDF

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JP6477829B2
JP6477829B2 JP2017207891A JP2017207891A JP6477829B2 JP 6477829 B2 JP6477829 B2 JP 6477829B2 JP 2017207891 A JP2017207891 A JP 2017207891A JP 2017207891 A JP2017207891 A JP 2017207891A JP 6477829 B2 JP6477829 B2 JP 6477829B2
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fluid
ink
head
discharge
path
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JP2018012344A (en
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英一郎 渡邊
英一郎 渡邊
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セイコーエプソン株式会社
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Description

The present invention relates to a method of cleaning fluid discharge device.

  As one of fluid ejecting apparatuses, an ink jet printer that performs printing by ejecting fluid (ink) onto various media such as paper, cloth, and film is known. The printer includes a head having a nozzle that discharges fluid and a flow path through which the fluid sent to the nozzle flows, and a storage unit that stores the fluid supplied to the head, and is supplied from the storage unit to the head. A fluid (specifically, supplied to the nozzle through the flow path) is discharged from the nozzle.

Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 11-207993

  By the way, in the fluid ejection device, the nozzle may be clogged by the fluid, and in such a case, problems such as so-called dot omission occur, so it is necessary to remove the fluid that caused the clogging.

  In the configuration in which the fluid flows in the head and flows to the nozzle, the state of the flow path may be inappropriate. For example, when the head is not used for a long time, the fluid on the flow path may thicken. In this way, when the state of the flow path is inappropriate, if the fluid on the flow path is sent to the nozzle, the discharge mode of the fluid from the nozzle may change due to the fluid.

  The present invention has been made in view of such problems, and an object thereof is to eliminate clogging of nozzles and to make a flow path in a head into an appropriate state.

In order to solve the above problems, the main invention is:
A nozzle that discharges the fluid, and a head having a flow path through which the fluid sent to the nozzle flows;
A supply path for supplying the fluid stored in the storage unit to the head;
A discharge path connected to the flow path and capable of discharging the fluid from the head without passing through the nozzle;
A valve provided in the discharge path;
A receiving portion for receiving the fluid discharged from the nozzle;
A tank for storing the fluid received by the receiving portion;
A fluid ejection device cleaning method comprising:
With the valve open, the fluid in the head is discharged through the discharge path without passing through the storage portion and the tank, and can be discarded separately from the fluid stored in the tank. A cleaning method for a fluid discharge device, comprising: a discharge mode for storing waste fluid in a storage section provided separately from the tank.
Further, the main invention for solving the above problems is
A nozzle that discharges the fluid, and a head having a flow path through which the fluid sent to the nozzle flows;
A supply path for supplying the fluid stored in the storage unit to the head;
A discharge path connected to the flow path and capable of discharging the fluid from the head without passing through the nozzle;
A valve provided in the discharge path;
A receiving portion for receiving the fluid discharged from the nozzle;
A tank for storing the fluid received by the receiving portion;
A circulation path connecting the discharge path and the accommodating portion;
A fluid ejection device cleaning method comprising:
The valve is
A state where the valve that opens the valve that blocks the flow of the fluid between the discharge path and the circulation path and allows the flow of the fluid from the discharge path toward the storage section connected to the discharge path;
A state in which the valve that shuts off the flow of the fluid between the discharge path and the circulation path and shuts off the flow of the fluid from the discharge path toward the storage unit is closed;
An allowable circulation state that allows the flow of the fluid between the discharge path and the circulation path and blocks the flow of the fluid from the discharge path toward the storage unit;
Can be switched,
In a state in which the valve is opened, the discharge of the fluid in the head, and discharged through the discharge passage without passing through the receiving portion and the tank, is stored in the tank and the reservoir provided separately Mode,
The fluid ejection device cleaning method according to claim 1, further comprising: a circulation mode in which the fluid in the head flows through the circulation path toward the housing portion in the circulation allowable state.

  Other features of the present invention will become apparent from the description of the present specification and the accompanying drawings.

1 is an overall configuration block diagram of a printer 1 according to an embodiment. FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of the printer 1. FIG. 2B is a diagram illustrating how the printer 1 transports the paper S. 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating an arrangement of nozzles on a lower surface of a head 31. FIG. FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a configuration in which ink is ejected from a nozzle during nozzle cleaning. FIG. 6 is a diagram showing a configuration in which ink discharged from a head 31 is sent to a waste ink tank 88. FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a configuration in which ink discharged from a head 31 is sent to an ink cartridge 71. It is a flowchart for demonstrating the cleaning control which concerns on this Embodiment. FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ink supply unit and an ink recovery unit according to a second embodiment. FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ink supply unit and an ink recovery unit according to a third embodiment. FIG. 6 is a diagram showing another embodiment of the head unit 30. FIG. 10 is a diagram showing another embodiment according to a configuration in which ink discharged from a head 31 is sent to a waste ink tank 88. It is a flowchart for demonstrating the modification of the cleaning control which concerns on this Embodiment.

  At least the following will be made clear by the description of the present specification and the accompanying drawings.

A nozzle that discharges the fluid, and a head having a flow path through which the fluid sent to the nozzle flows;
An accommodating portion for accommodating the fluid supplied to the head;
A pressurizing unit that pressurizes the fluid such that the fluid is directed from the housing unit to the head;
A discharge path connected to the flow path, through which the fluid discharged from the head without passing through the nozzle;
A valve provided in the discharge path;
A reservoir that is connected to the discharge path downstream of the valve from the valve, and stores the fluid discharged from the head;
A circulation path connected to the discharge path and connected to the accommodating portion on the downstream side of the valve;
A discharge mode in which the fluid is pressurized by the pressurizing unit with the valve closed, and the fluid is ejected from the nozzle;
A discharge mode in which the valve opens the discharge path, and the fluid pressurized by the pressurizing unit and discharged from the head reaches the storage unit from the head;
A circulation mode in which the valve opens the discharge path, and the fluid pressurized by the pressurizing unit and discharged from the head reaches the accommodating unit from the head through the circulation path; It is provided with the fluid discharge apparatus characterized by the above-mentioned.
According to such a fluid ejection device, it is possible to eliminate clogging of the nozzles and to set the flow path in the head to an appropriate state.

  Here, when the fluid pressurizes the fluid to the pressurizing unit and sends the fluid to the nozzle, the valve closes the discharge path, pressurizes the fluid to the pressurizing unit, and the head. When the fluid is discharged from the valve, the valve opens the discharge path.

In such a fluid discharge device, it is preferable that the discharge mode and the discharge mode are executed before the circulation mode.
According to such a fluid ejection device, since the fluid causing the clogging is removed by executing the ejection mode and the discharge mode, the clogging is performed even if the circulation mode is subsequently performed. It is possible to prevent the causative fluid from reaching the accommodating portion.

In such a fluid discharge device, it is preferable that the discharge mode is executed before the discharge mode.
According to such a fluid discharge device, the fluid discharged in the discharge mode with the valve opened is larger than the amount of fluid discharged from the nozzle in the discharge mode with the valve closed. By eliminating clogging, it is possible to reduce the consumption of fluid.

Also, such a fluid ejection device,
It is connected to the discharge path on the downstream side of the discharge path from the valve, and includes a storage unit that stores the fluid discharged from the head,
It is desirable that the valve open the discharge path so that the fluid pressurized by the pressurization unit and discharged from the head flows through the discharge path and reaches the storage unit. In such a case, the flow path can be brought into an appropriate state by sending the thickened fluid on the flow path to the reservoir.

Also, such a fluid ejection device,
The discharge path is connected to the accommodating portion on the downstream side of the valve,
It is desirable that the valve open the discharge path so that the fluid pressurized by the pressurizing part and discharged from the head flows through the discharge path and reaches the accommodating part. In such a case, the bubbles on the flow path can be sent to the accommodating portion together with the fluid to eliminate the bubbles and to reuse the discharged fluid.

Also, such a fluid ejection device,
The valve is a three-way valve;
The discharge path is connected to the storage section that stores the fluid discharged from the head and the storage section on the downstream side of the valve,
The valve discharges the fluid such that the fluid pressurized by the pressurizing unit and discharged from the head flows through the discharge path and reaches only one of the storage unit and the storage unit. It is desirable to open the road. In such a case, an optimal fluid supply and fluid recovery system can be realized by sending the thickened fluid to the storage unit while sending the bubbles to the storage unit.

Also, such a fluid ejection device,
When the valve closes the discharge path, it is preferable to include a receiving portion that receives the fluid pressurized by the pressurizing portion and discharged from the nozzle. In such a case, it is possible to collect the fluid that causes the nozzle clogging with a simple configuration.

Further, (a) a nozzle that discharges a fluid, and a head having a flow path through which the fluid sent to the nozzle flows,
An accommodating portion for accommodating the fluid supplied to the head;
A pressurizing unit that pressurizes the fluid such that the fluid is directed from the housing unit to the head;
A discharge path connected to the flow path, through which the fluid discharged from the head without passing through the nozzle;
A valve provided in the discharge path;
A reservoir that is connected to the discharge path downstream of the valve from the valve, and stores the fluid discharged from the head;
A fluid discharge device control method comprising: a circulation path that is connected to the discharge path and is connected to the accommodating portion on the downstream side of the valve;
(B) a discharge mode step of pressurizing the fluid to the pressurizing unit with the valve closed, and discharging the fluid from the nozzle;
A discharge mode step of opening the discharge path by the valve and allowing the fluid pressurized by the pressurizing unit and discharged from the head to reach the storage unit from the head;
A circulation mode step of opening the discharge path by the valve, and allowing the fluid pressurized by the pressurizing unit and discharged from the head to reach the accommodating unit from the head through the circulation path; A control method for a fluid ejection device, comprising: According to such a control method of the fluid ejection device, it becomes possible to eliminate clogging of the nozzle and to make the flow path in the head into an appropriate state.

== Line head printer ==
The configuration of the printer 1 and the printing process will be described by taking a fluid ejection device as an ink jet printer and taking a line head printer (hereinafter simply referred to as the printer 1) in the ink jet printer as an example.

<< Configuration of Printer 1 >>
The configuration of the printer 1 will be described with reference to FIGS. 1, 2A, 2B, and 3. FIG. FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing the overall configuration of the printer 1 according to this embodiment. FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of the printer 1. FIG. 2B is a diagram illustrating a state in which the printer 1 transports the paper S (medium). FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram showing the arrangement of nozzles on the lower surface of the head 31. 2B is a diagram of the head unit 30 and the like viewed from the direction X illustrated in FIG. 2A.

  The printer 1 that has received the print data from the computer 60, which is an external device, controls each unit (conveyance unit 20, head unit 30, etc.) by the controller 10 and forms an image on the paper S. Further, the detector group 40 monitors the situation in the printer 1, and the controller 10 controls each unit based on the detection result.

  The controller 10 is a control unit for controlling the printer 1. The interface unit 11 is for transmitting and receiving data between the computer 60 as an external device and the printer 1. The CPU 12 is an arithmetic processing unit for controlling the entire printer 1. The memory 13 is for securing an area for storing the program of the CPU 12 and a work area. The CPU 12 controls each unit by a unit control circuit 14 according to a program stored in the memory 13.

  The transport unit 20 feeds the paper S to a printable position, and transports the paper S by a predetermined transport amount in the transport direction during printing. As illustrated in FIG. 2A, the transport unit 20 includes a paper feed roller 21, a transport roller 22, a platen 23, and a paper discharge roller 24. The paper feed roller 21 is a roller for feeding the paper S inserted into the paper insertion slot into the printer 1. The transport roller 22 is a roller that transports the paper S fed by the paper feed roller 21 to a printable area. The platen 23 supports the paper S being printed. The paper discharge roller 24 is a roller for discharging the paper S to the outside of the printer 1.

  The head unit 30 is for ejecting ink as a fluid onto the paper S. The head unit 30 forms dots on the paper S by ejecting ink onto the paper S being conveyed, and prints an image on the paper S. The head unit 30 according to the present embodiment can form dots for the paper width at a time. Here, the ink includes both water-based ink and oil-based ink.

  The head unit 30 has a head 31. As shown in FIG. 3, the head 31 has four nozzle rows, that is, a black ink nozzle row (nozzle row K), a cyan ink nozzle row (nozzle row C), a magenta ink nozzle row (nozzle row M), and a yellow ink. A nozzle row (nozzle row Y) is formed. Each nozzle row includes a plurality (n) of nozzles arranged in a row at a constant interval d along the paper width direction. Each nozzle is numbered sequentially from the left in the figure (# 1 to #n). Each nozzle is provided with a pressure chamber (not shown) containing ink and a drive element (piezo element) for changing the volume of the pressure chamber to eject ink.

<< About print processing >>
A printing process of the printer 1 having the above-described configuration will be described. When receiving a print command and print data from the computer 60, the controller 10 analyzes the contents of various commands included in the print data and performs the following processing using each unit.
First, the controller 10 rotates the paper feed roller 21 to feed the paper S to be printed into the printer 1. Then, the controller 10 rotates the transport roller 22 to position the fed paper S at the print start position. At this time, the sheet S faces at least some of the nozzles of the head 31.
Next, the sheet S is conveyed by the conveying roller 22 without stopping at a constant speed, and passes under the head 31 (above the platen 23). While the paper S passes under the head 31, ink is intermittently ejected from each nozzle. As a result, a dot row (raster line) composed of a plurality of dots along the transport direction is formed on the paper S. Finally, the controller 10 discharges the paper S on which image printing has been completed by the paper discharge roller 24.

== Configuration of Ink Supply Unit 70 and Ink Recovery Unit 80 ==
Since the ink in the head 31 is reduced by executing the printing process, the printer 1 includes an ink supply unit 70 (FIG. 1) that supplies (fills) ink to the head 31. In addition, since ink is ejected from the nozzles when the head 31 (nozzles) is cleaned, the printer 1 includes an ink collection unit 80 (FIG. 1) that collects the ink.
An ink supply unit 70 and an ink recovery unit 80 are provided for each color. For example, an ink supply unit 70 that supplies yellow ink and an ink recovery unit 80 that cleans the nozzle row Y are provided. Since the configurations of the ink supply units 70 and the ink recovery units 80 for the respective colors are substantially the same, the detailed configurations of the yellow ink supply unit 70 and the ink recovery unit 80 will be described below with reference to FIGS. explain.
4 to 6 are schematic diagrams showing the head 31, the ink supply unit 70, and the ink recovery unit 80. FIG. Here, FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a configuration in which ink is ejected from the nozzles during nozzle cleaning, and FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating a configuration in which the ink discharged from the head 31 is sent to the waste ink tank 88. FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating a configuration in which the ink discharged from the head 31 is sent to the ink cartridge 71.

<< Configuration of Ink Supply Unit 70 >>
The ink supply unit 70 includes an ink cartridge 71, a supply path 72, and a supply pump 73.
The ink cartridge 71 is a storage unit that stores the ink supplied to the head 31. The supply path 72 is connected to the ink cartridge 71 and the head flow path 32, and serves to flow ink supplied from the ink cartridge 71 to the head 31. The supply path 72 is composed of a tube or the like. The supply pump 73 is a tube pump provided in the supply path 72 and sucks ink from the ink cartridge 71 and sends it out to the head 31. The supply pump 73 corresponds to a pressurizing unit that pressurizes the ink so that the ink travels from the ink cartridge 71 toward the head 31. Here, pressurization means supplying ink to the head 31. The ink cartridge 71 may be pressurized by providing it in the ink cartridge 71 without providing the pressurizing portion in the supply path 72, or the ink cartridge 71 is raised with respect to the head 31 and the ink is supplied to the head 31 by the head difference May be. The supply pump 73 operates during cleaning described later.

<< Configuration of Ink Recovery Unit 80 >>
The ink recovery unit 80 includes a first recovery part 81 and a second recovery part 85. The first recovery unit 81 includes an ink receiver 82, a recovery path 83, and the like, and the second recovery unit 85 includes a discharge path 86, a three-way valve 87, a waste ink tank 88 as a storage unit, and the like.
The ink receiver 82 is a receiver that receives ink ejected from a nozzle (indicated by reference numeral 33 in FIG. 4 and the like). The ink receiver 82 is configured to be movable between a standby position (position shown in FIG. 5) positioned during the printing process and a cleaning position (position shown in FIG. 4) positioned during nozzle cleaning. The collection path 83 is connected to the ink receiver 82, and is used for flowing the ink received by the ink receiver 82 to a tank (not shown). The collection path 83 is composed of a tube or the like.
In the first recovery part 81 having such a configuration, the ink received by the ink receiver 82 at the time of cleaning the nozzle flows through the recovery path 83 and reaches the tank, whereby the ink is recovered.

  The discharge path 86 is connected to the head flow path 32, and discharges ink that has passed through the head 31 without being discharged from the nozzle, in other words, discharges ink from the head 31 without passing through the nozzle 33. Is to do. The discharge path 86 is composed of a tube or the like. The waste ink tank 88 is connected to the discharge path 86 and stores the ink discharged from the head 31. The discharge path 86 is connected not only to the waste ink tank 88 but also to the ink cartridge 71. The three-way valve 87 is provided on the upstream side of the waste ink tank 88 in the discharge path 86 and is for closing or opening the discharge path 86. The three-way valve 87 opens the discharge path 86 so that the ink passing through the three-way valve 87 reaches only one of the waste ink tank 88 and the ink cartridge 71.

  In the second recovery part 82 having such a configuration, when the ink is sent to the nozzle and ejected from the nozzle, the three-way valve 87 closes the discharge path 86 as shown in FIG. On the other hand, when the ink in the head flow path 32 is directed to the waste ink tank 88 or the ink cartridge 71, the three-way valve 87 opens the discharge path 86 (see FIGS. 5 and 6). The three-way valve 87 has three ports (indicated by Δ in FIGS. 4 to 6) through which ink flows, and the mouth is closed (Δ is painted black as shown in FIG. 4). The ink flow is interrupted, and the ink flow is allowed when the opening is open (Δ is not painted black as shown in FIG. 5). For this reason, in FIG. 4, since all three ports constituting the three-way valve 87 are closed, the ink flow through the three-way valve 87 is completely blocked.

== About cleaning control ==
When the ink viscosity increases because the ink of the nozzle is not used, the nozzle is clogged with the thickened ink. When clogging occurs, missing dots occur and the image quality deteriorates, so it is necessary to remove the ink that caused the clogging. Further, there are cases where thickened ink or bubbles are present in the head flow path 32. In such a case, there is a possibility that ink supply to the nozzles or ink discharge from the nozzles may be inappropriately performed. It is necessary to remove thickened ink and air bubbles in 32.

  Therefore, in the printer 1 according to the present embodiment, the following cleaning control is executed to solve the above-described problem. This cleaning control is performed by (1) pressurizing the ink so that the ink is directed from the ink cartridge 71 to the head 31 and closing the discharge path 86 when sending the ink to the nozzle, and (2) from the ink cartridge 71 It is characterized in that when the ink is pressurized so as to go toward the head 31 and the ink is discharged from the head 31, the discharge path 86 is opened.

  Various operations of the printer 1 when this control is executed are mainly realized by the controller 10. In particular, this embodiment is realized by the CPU 12 processing a program stored in the memory 13. And this program is comprised from the code | cord | chord for performing the various operation | movement demonstrated below.

  FIG. 7 is a flowchart for explaining the cleaning control according to the present embodiment. This cleaning control is executed when a cleaning command is received from the computer 60 (this command includes information related to a cleaning mode to be described later) (step S102: Yes).

  Then, the controller 10 executes a predetermined operation corresponding to the received cleaning mode. Here, the cleaning mode includes (1) a mode in which ink is ejected from the nozzles in order to eliminate clogging of the nozzles (hereinafter referred to as an ejection mode), and (2) an increase in the head flow path 32. In order to remove viscous ink, a mode in which ink in the head flow path 32 is discharged and sent to the waste ink tank 88 (hereinafter referred to as a discharge mode), and (3) in order to remove bubbles in the head flow path 32 A mode in which ink in the head flow path 32 is discharged and sent to the ink cartridge 71 (hereinafter referred to as a circulation mode).

  The discharge mode is a mode in which the supply pump 73 is pressurized with ink while the three-way valve 87 is closed, and the ink is discharged from the nozzle. The discharge mode opens the discharge path 86 by the three-way valve 87, and the supply pump 73. In this mode, the ink discharged from the head 31 after being pressurized to reach the waste ink tank 88 from the head 31 is opened. The circulation mode opens the discharge path 86 by the three-way valve 87 and applies to the supply pump 73. In this mode, the ink that is pressed and discharged from the head 31 reaches the ink cartridge 71 via a discharge path 86 that connects the head 31 to the ink cartridge 71.

  When the cleaning mode is the discharge mode (step S104), the controller 10 operates the three-way valve 87 to close the discharge path 86 as shown in FIG. 4 (step S112). Then, the controller 10 operates the supply pump 73 to pressurize the ink for a predetermined time (step S114).

  Since the three-way valve 87 closes the discharge path 86, the pressurized ink is sent to a nozzle (indicated by reference numeral 33 in FIG. 4) and forcibly ejected from the nozzle. The ink receiver 82 located at the cleaning position receives the ink ejected from the nozzles. Further, the ink on the ink receiver 82 is sucked by a suction pump (not shown), and then flows through the recovery path 83 to reach a tank (not shown). As a result, the ink causing the nozzle clogging is removed. In the ejection mode, clogging caused by the vicinity of the nozzle 33, such as when the ink of the nozzle 33 is thickened or dust is attached to the nozzle 33, can be eliminated. Therefore, it suffices to flow an amount of ink sufficient to discharge the ink from the nozzle 33. Therefore, the amount of ink ejected in the ejection mode is small.

  When the cleaning mode is the discharge mode (step S104), the controller 10 operates the three-way valve 87 so that the ink in the discharge path 86 is directed to the waste ink tank 88 as shown in FIG. 86 is released (step S122). Then, the controller 10 operates the supply pump 73 to pressurize the ink for a predetermined time (step S124).

  Since the three-way valve 87 opens the discharge path 86, the pressurized ink (including the thickened ink) is discharged from the head flow path 32. Then, the ink discharged from the head flow path 32 flows through the discharge path 86, passes through the three-way valve 87, and reaches the waste ink tank 88. The ink that has reached the waste ink tank 88 is stored in the waste ink tank 88 as it is, and then discarded. As a result, the thickened ink in the head flow path 32 is removed.

  Here, in the discharge mode, the magnitude of the pressurization by the supply pump 73 is adjusted so that the pressurized ink is not ejected from the nozzle, and the magnitude of the pressurization is the same as that in the ejection mode described above. Smaller than the case. The reason why the ink is not ejected from the nozzle when the pressure is reduced is that the flow path resistance in the nozzle is larger than the flow path resistance in the discharge path 86 (the same applies to the circulation mode). is there). Due to this difference in flow path resistance, thickened ink and bubbles in the head flow path 32 can be discharged more easily in the discharge mode than in the discharge mode. The amount of ink discharged in this discharge mode is larger than the amount of ink discharged in the discharge mode.

  Further, the pressure may be increased and ink may be ejected from the nozzles. For example, when a long time has passed since the previous cleaning and the ink in the nozzle and the head channel 32 is thickened, the ink in the nozzle is also discharged while discharging the ink in the head channel 32. At the same time, the thickened ink can be eliminated both in the nozzle and in the head flow path 32.

  When the cleaning mode is the circulation mode (step S104), similarly to the discharge mode, the controller 10 operates the three-way valve 87 so that the ink in the discharge path 86 is ink cartridge as shown in FIG. The discharge path 86 is opened so as to go to 71 (step S132). Then, the controller 10 operates the supply pump 73 to pressurize the ink for a predetermined time (step S124).

  Since the three-way valve 87 opens the discharge path 86, the pressurized ink (including bubbles) is discharged from the head flow path 32. The ink discharged from the head flow path 32 flows through the discharge path 86, passes through the three-way valve 87, and reaches the ink cartridge 71. The ink reaching the ink cartridge 88 is stored in the ink cartridge 71 as it is, and then flows through the supply path 72 and is supplied to the head 31. The air bubbles that reach the ink cartridge 71 together with the ink are not supplied to the head 31 because they are located on the liquid surface as shown in FIG. As a result, bubbles in the head flow path 32 are removed, and ink discharged from the head flow path 32 is reused.

  By repeating the cleaning control described above, clogging of the nozzles is properly eliminated, and the state of the head flow path 32 is appropriately maintained, and ink is appropriately discharged from the nozzles.

== About the effectiveness of the printer according to the present embodiment ==
As described above, the printer 1 according to the present embodiment includes (1) the supply pump 73 (pressurizing unit) that pressurizes the ink so that the ink travels from the ink cartridge 71 toward the head 31, and (2) the head flow. A discharge path 86 that is connected to the path 32 and through which the ink discharged from the head 31 flows; and (3) a three-way valve 87 provided in the discharge path 86, and pressurizes the ink to the supply pump 73 to the nozzle. A discharge path 86 is closed when sending ink, and a three-way valve 87 (valve) that opens the discharge path 86 when the supply pump 73 pressurizes the ink and discharges ink from the head 31 is provided. As a result, nozzle clogging can be eliminated and the head flow path 32 can be brought into an appropriate state.

  That is, when the ink is pressurized by the supply pump 73 and sent to the nozzle, the three-way valve 87 closes the discharge path 86 so that the ink is forcibly ejected from the nozzle (at this time, clogging occurs). The ink that caused the ink is also ejected). For this reason, clogging of the nozzle can be eliminated with a simple configuration without providing a so-called sealing member (cap). Further, when the ink is discharged from the head 31 by pressurizing the ink to the supply pump 73, the ink is forcibly discharged from the head flow path 32 by the three-way valve 87 opening the discharge path 86 ( At this time, the thickened ink and bubbles in the head channel 32 are also discharged). For this reason, thickened ink and air bubbles are removed from the head flow path 32, and the head flow path 32 can be in an appropriate state.

  Further, by operating the three-way valve 87 according to the cleaning mode (discharge mode, discharge mode, circulation mode) (the operation for closing and opening the discharge path 86), the nozzle eye is determined according to the situation of the head 31. Since the clogging is eliminated or the head flow path 32 is in an appropriate state, the printer 1 having an ink supply and ink recovery system with high convenience can be realized. For example, when the time has not passed since the previous cleaning mode was executed and the ink thickening of the nozzle has progressed, but the ink thickening in the head flow path 32 has not progressed much, the ejection mode Is executed. When a sufficient amount of time has passed since the previous cleaning mode was executed and the ink in the head flow path 32 is expected to be thickened, the discharge mode is executed. If a discharge failure is observed even when the discharge mode or the discharge mode is executed, there is no thickened ink in the head flow path 32 and it is considered that air bubbles are the cause, so the circulation mode is executed. Accordingly, the thickened ink in the head flow path 32 is discharged to the outside without returning to the ink cartridge 71, and thus the thickened ink can be completely eliminated. In addition, since the thickened ink is excluded when the circulation mode is executed, the ink discharged in the circulation mode can be returned to the ink cartridge 71 and separated from the bubbles and reused.

  Here, when the cleaning mode is executed, there is a high possibility that thickened ink is present. Therefore, the discharge mode and the discharge mode are preceded by the circulation mode in which the ink discharged from the head 31 is returned to the ink cartridge 71. Is executed (FIG. 12). At this time, both the discharge mode (step 104a) and the discharge mode (step 104b) do not necessarily need to be performed together, but when performing at least one of the discharge mode (step 104a) and the discharge mode (step 104b). This is executed prior to the circulation mode (step 104c). Furthermore, when either one of the ejection mode (step 104a) and the ejection mode (step 104b) is performed, the ejection mode (step 104b) is changed when the ejection mode (step 104a) with a small ink consumption is executed first. Since there is a possibility that clogging can be eliminated without executing, there is a case where consumption of ink due to cleaning can be suppressed.

== Second Embodiment ==
In the above-described embodiment (first embodiment), the ink discharged from the head flow path 32 flows through the discharge path 86 and reaches the waste ink tank 88 or the ink cartridge 71, which will be described below. As in the second embodiment, the ink may reach only the waste ink tank 88.

  FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram showing the ink supply unit 70 and the ink recovery unit 80 according to the second embodiment. In the second embodiment, a two-way valve 89 is provided instead of the three-way valve 87 (FIG. 4 and the like). The discharge path 86 is connected only to the waste ink tank 88 on the downstream side of the two-way valve 89. For this reason, when the two-way valve 89 closes the discharge path 86, the ink pressurized by the supply pump 73 and discharged from the head flow path 32 is forcibly discharged from the nozzle (see FIG. 4). . On the other hand, when the two-way valve 89 opens the discharge path 86, the ink pressurized by the supply pump 73 is discharged from the head channel 32 as shown in FIG. It reaches tank 88.

  In the second embodiment, the cleaning mode includes the above-described discharge mode and discharge mode, and no circulation mode. For this reason, also in the second embodiment, when the cleaning mode is the ejection mode, the ink that is clogged is removed by forcibly ejecting the ink from the nozzle, and as a result, the nozzle Can eliminate clogging. Further, when the cleaning mode is the discharge mode, the ink is forcibly discharged from the head flow path 32 (at this time, the thickened ink and bubbles are also discharged). Here, as described in the first embodiment, the pressure of the supply pump 73 in the discharge mode is adjusted to be smaller than that in the discharge mode. When 86 is opened, ink is not discharged from the nozzle. Then, as a result of discharging thickened ink and bubbles from the head flow path 32, the head flow path 32 is in an appropriate state.

  Furthermore, in the second embodiment, since the discharge path 86 is not connected to the ink cartridge 71, the ink recovery unit 80 can be simplified. In addition, about the structure which abbreviate | omitted description in 2nd embodiment, it is the same as that of the structure of 1st embodiment.

== Third Embodiment ==
In the third embodiment, unlike the two embodiments described above, the ink discharged from the head flow path 32 flows through the discharge path 86 and reaches only the ink cartridge 71.

  FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram showing the ink supply unit 70 and the ink recovery unit 80 according to the third embodiment. In the third embodiment, the two-way valve 89 is provided as in the second embodiment, but the waste ink tank 88 is not provided. The discharge path 86 is connected only to the ink cartridge 71 on the downstream side of the two-way valve 89. For this reason, when the two-way valve 89 closes the discharge path 86, the ink pressurized by the supply pump 73 and discharged from the head flow path 32 is forcibly discharged from the nozzle (see FIG. 4). . On the other hand, when the two-way valve 89 opens the discharge path 86, the ink pressurized by the supply pump 73 is discharged from the head flow path 32 and flows through the discharge path 86 as shown in FIG. 71.

  In the third embodiment, the cleaning mode includes the above-described discharge mode and circulation mode, and no discharge mode. For this reason, in the third embodiment, when the cleaning mode is the ejection mode, the ink that is clogged is removed by forcibly ejecting the ink from the nozzle, and as a result, the nozzle Can eliminate clogging. When the cleaning mode is the circulation mode, the ink is forcibly discharged from the head flow path 32 (at this time, bubbles are also discharged). Here, as described in the first embodiment, the pressure of the supply pump 73 in the circulation mode is adjusted to be smaller than that in the discharge mode. When 86 is opened, ink is not discharged from the nozzle. In the third embodiment, the thickened ink in the head channel 32 is forcibly ejected from the nozzle in the ejection mode because the waste ink tank 88 is not provided. As a result, the thickened ink and the bubbles are discharged from the head flow path 32, so that the head flow path 32 is in an appropriate state.

== Other Embodiments ==
As mentioned above, although the fluid discharge apparatus etc. which concern on this invention were demonstrated based on the said embodiment, embodiment mentioned above is for making an understanding of this invention easy, and limits this invention. is not. The present invention can be changed and improved without departing from the gist thereof, and the present invention includes the equivalents thereof.

  In the above-described embodiment, the fluid ejection device is embodied as an ink jet recording device. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and other liquids other than ink (in addition to liquids, liquids and gels in which functional material particles are dispersed) may be used. And a fluid ejection device that ejects or ejects a fluid other than a liquid (such as a solid that can be ejected and ejected as a fluid). For example, a liquid material ejecting apparatus that discharges a liquid material in the form of dispersed or dissolved materials such as electrode materials and color materials used in the manufacture of liquid crystal displays, EL (electroluminescence) displays, and surface-emitting displays, and biochip manufacturing It may be a liquid ejecting apparatus for ejecting a bio-organic substance used in the above, or a liquid ejecting apparatus for ejecting a liquid as a sample used as a precision pipette. In addition, a transparent resin liquid such as UV curable resin is used to form a liquid ejection device that ejects lubricating oil pinpoint to precision machines such as watches and cameras, and micro hemispherical lenses (optical lenses) used in optical communication elements. For example, a liquid discharge device that discharges a liquid onto a substrate, a liquid discharge device that discharges an etching solution such as acid or alkali to etch the substrate, a fluid discharge device that discharges gel, and a powder such as toner It may be a powder discharge type recording apparatus that discharges a solid. The present invention can be applied to any one of these discharge devices.

  In the printer 1 of the above-described embodiment, the fluid is ejected by applying a voltage to the driving element (piezo element) to expand and contract the ink chamber, but the invention is not limited thereto. For example, a printer may be used in which bubbles are generated in the nozzles using a heating element and fluid is discharged by the bubbles.

  In the above embodiment, the printer 1 is a line head printer. However, the present invention is not limited to this. For example, the printer 1 may be a serial printer. In such a case, the head 31 ejects ink onto the paper S while moving in the paper width direction (FIG. 2B) during the printing process.

  In the above embodiment, the head unit 30 has one head 31 as shown in FIG. 3, but the present invention is not limited to this. For example, as shown in FIG. 10, the head unit 30 may be configured by arranging a plurality of heads 31 in a staggered manner. Here, the number of nozzles of each head 31 shown in FIG. 10 is smaller than the number of nozzles (n) of the head 31 shown in FIG. FIG. 10 is a view showing another embodiment of the head unit 30.

In the above embodiment, as shown in FIG. 6, when the three-way valve 87 closes the discharge path 86, the printer 1 receives an ink receiver that receives ink that is pressurized by the supply pump 73 and discharged from the nozzles. However, the present invention is not limited to this. For example, the ink receiver 82 may receive ink sucked from the nozzles by a suction pump (not shown) separately provided in the collection path 83.
However, in the case where the ink receiver 82 receives ink that is pressurized by the supply pump 73 and discharged from the nozzles, it is not necessary to provide a suction pump, and the ink that causes clogging of the nozzles with a simple configuration. The above embodiment is more desirable in that it can be recovered.

  In the above-described embodiment, the range of movement of the ink receiver 82 is set to a range where it does not contact the head 31 at the cleaning position from the standby position. However, as shown in FIG. The receptacle may be brought into contact with the head 31. As a result, the flow path resistance on the nozzle side becomes larger than the flow path resistance in the discharge path 86, and the ink in the head flow path 32 can be discharged to the discharge path 86 without discharging ink from the nozzle. Become.

  DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 Printer, 10 Controller, 11 Interface part, 12 CPU, 13 Memory, 14 Unit control circuit, 20 Conveyance unit, 21 Paper feed roller, 22 Conveyance roller, 23 Platen, 24 Paper discharge roller, 30 Head unit, 31 Head, 32 Head flow path, 33 nozzles, 40 detector group, 60 computer, 70 ink supply unit, 71 ink cartridge, 72 supply path, 73 supply pump, 80 ink recovery unit, 81 first recovery section, 82 ink receiver, 83 recovery path 85 Second recovery path, 86 Discharge path, 87 Three-way valve, 88 Waste ink tank, 89 Two-way valve.

Claims (4)

  1. A nozzle that discharges the fluid, and a head having a flow path through which the fluid sent to the nozzle flows;
    A supply path for supplying the fluid stored in the storage unit to the head;
    A discharge path connected to the flow path and capable of discharging the fluid from the head without passing through the nozzle;
    A valve provided in the discharge path;
    A receiving portion for receiving the fluid discharged from the nozzle;
    A tank for storing the fluid received by the receiving portion;
    A fluid ejection device cleaning method comprising:
    With the valve open, the fluid in the head is discharged through the discharge path without passing through the storage portion and the tank, and can be discarded separately from the fluid stored in the tank. A cleaning method for a fluid discharge device, comprising: a discharge mode for storing waste fluid in a storage portion provided separately from the tank.
  2.   2. The fluid ejection device cleaning method according to claim 1, wherein the fluid stored as the waste fluid in the storage unit in the discharge mode is discarded separately from the fluid stored in the tank. 3.
  3. A nozzle that discharges the fluid, and a head having a flow path through which the fluid sent to the nozzle flows;
    A supply path for supplying the fluid stored in the storage unit to the head;
    A discharge path connected to the flow path and capable of discharging the fluid from the head without passing through the nozzle;
    A valve provided in the discharge path;
    A receiving portion for receiving the fluid discharged from the nozzle;
    A tank for storing the fluid received by the receiving portion;
    A circulation path connecting the discharge path and the accommodating portion;
    A fluid ejection device cleaning method comprising:
    The valve is
    A state where the valve that opens the valve that blocks the flow of the fluid between the discharge path and the circulation path and allows the flow of the fluid from the discharge path toward the storage section connected to the discharge path;
    A state in which the valve that shuts off the flow of the fluid between the discharge path and the circulation path and shuts off the flow of the fluid from the discharge path toward the storage unit is closed;
    An allowable circulation state that allows the flow of the fluid between the discharge path and the circulation path and blocks the flow of the fluid from the discharge path toward the storage unit;
    Can be switched,
    In a state in which the valve is opened, the discharge of the fluid in the head, and discharged through the discharge passage without passing through the receiving portion and the tank, is stored in the tank and the reservoir provided separately Mode,
    A cleaning method for a fluid discharge apparatus, comprising: a circulation mode in which the fluid in the head flows through the circulation path toward the housing portion in the circulation permissible state.
  4.   4. The fluid according to claim 3, wherein the fluid has a discharge mode in which the fluid in the supply path is pressurized and the fluid is discharged from the nozzle toward the receiving portion in a state where the valve is closed. A cleaning method for a discharge device.
JP2017207891A 2007-06-28 2017-10-27 Cleaning method for fluid ejection device Active JP6477829B2 (en)

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JP6277175B2 (en) 2018-02-07
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JP2009029111A (en) 2009-02-12
JP5861653B2 (en) 2016-02-16
CN101332714B (en) 2012-10-03
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JP2018012344A (en) 2018-01-25
JP2013126768A (en) 2013-06-27

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