|Publication number||USRE42088 E1|
|Application number||US 11/217,058|
|Publication date||Feb 1, 2011|
|Filing date||Sep 1, 2005|
|Priority date||Nov 16, 2001|
|Also published as||CN1238200C, CN1473109A, CN1683160A, CN100357110C, EP1328406A1, US6614461, US20030095174, WO2003041965A1|
|Publication number||11217058, 217058, US RE42088 E1, US RE42088E1, US-E1-RE42088, USRE42088 E1, USRE42088E1|
|Inventors||Kimitoshi Terasaki, Masahiro Nakashima, Shuichi Kuriyama, Tatsuya Hirota, Yoshikazu Katsumata|
|Original Assignee||Panasonic Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Non-Patent Citations (6), Classifications (14), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a printer used in, for example, a facsimile and a printing apparatus.
A conventional thermal transfer printer for a facsimile, a printing apparatus or the like using-ordinary paper as printing paper uses a heat-melting ink film.
As shown in
Ink film 2 fed from supply shaft 5 passes between thermal transfer head 6 and platen roller 7 to be wound around take-up shaft 4 at a constant speed. Consequently, the rotation speed of winding shaft 4 is high when the amount of ink film 2 wound around winding shaft 4 is small as shown in
In order to detect a variation in the above-described rotation speed, remaining-amount detector 9 detects the remaining amount of ink film 2. In remaining-amount detector 9, the rotation speed, which is detected by rotation-speed detector 8 disposed at winding shaft 4, is related with the remaining amount of ink film 2.
In conventional printer 3, when the rotation speed of winding shaft 4 is high as shown in
In other words, the amount of ink film 2 remaining sufficiently is detected accurately, although being allowed to be detected roughly. However, the remaining amount of ink film 2, upon being small cannot be detected accurately, although being to be detected accurately. Consequently, a warning for the remaining amount of ink film 2 must be given early for safety.
A printer includes a supply shaft wound with an unused film having contrast agent, a winding shaft wound with a used film having used contrast agent, a rotation-speed detector for detecting a rotation speed of the supply shaft, and a remaining-amount detector for detecting an amount of the unused ink film from the detected rotation speed.
In the printer, the remaining amount of the unused film such as ink film, roll paper or the like can be detected accurately.
(Exemplary Embodiment 1)
In a printer of a first exemplary embodiment performing thermal transfer printing with ink film or thermal recording paper, a rotation speed of a supply shaft increases with consumption of the ink film or thermal recording paper, and the rotation speed of the supply shaft is accordingly detected accurately. That is, a remaining amount of the ink film or thermal recording paper corresponding to the rotation speed of the supply shaft can be detected accurately as the remaining amount approaches zero.
The first embodiment will be detailed with reference to
As shown in
A speed with which ink film 12 fed from supply shaft 14 passes between thermal transfer bead 16 and platen roller 17 to be wound around winding shaft 15 is constant. Therefore, the rotation speed of supply shaft 14 is low when the amount of ink film 2 remaining on supply shaft 14 is large as shown in FIG. 2. The rotation speed of supply shaft 14 is high when the amount of ink film 12 remaining on supply shaft 14 becomes small as shown in FIG. 3. In the printer of the present embodiment, the remaining amount of ink film 12 is determined accurately since being determined based on the rotation speed of supply shaft 14. This rotation speed is detected accurately by rotation-speed detector 18 since the rotation speed of supply shaft 14 is high when the remaining amount of film is small.
In remaining-amount detector 19A, the rotation speed of supply shaft 14 preliminary corresponds to the remaining amount of ink film 12. Remaining-amount detector 19A determines the remaining amount of ink film 12 based on the detected rotation speed.
Rotation-speed detector 18 of the printer in accordance with this embodiment includes, as shown in
In the present embodiment, magnet holder 21 integrally formed with magnet 20 is inserted, as shown in
As shown in
When the direction of the magnetic force line directing from the north pole to the south pole of magnet 20 is perpendicular to the axis of reed switch 18a, as shown in
The number of revolutions per unit time of magnet 20 represents the rotation speed of supply shaft 14. The rotation speed can be determined by counting the number of signal pulses (i.e., the number of peaks or troughs) corresponding to the on/off states of reed switch 18a per unit time with counter 18b. The more the number of on/off states per unit time of reed switch 18a, the less error in the rotation speed of supply shaft 14, and the more accurately the rotation speed can be determined. The rotation speed of supply shaft 14 increases as the remaining amount of ink film 12 decreases. Thus, the remaining amount of ink film 12 is determined more accurately when ink film 12 is nearly used up than when ink film 12 start to be used.
In other words, when the remaining amount of ink film 12 is sufficient and thus may be determined roughly, the amount can be determined less accurately. In the present embodiment, as the remaining amount of ink film 12 approaches zero, the remaining amount of ink film 12 is determined more accurately. Accordingly, the time for replacing ink film 12 can be determined accurately when the remaining amount of ink film 12 is small. Therefore, the printer of this embodiment may generate a warning of the remaining amount of ink film 12 right before ink film 12 runs out.
Whether ink film 12 is placed in printer 13 or not can be determined through determining whether supply shaft 14 rotates or not. This enables rotation-speed detector 18 to be a substitute for a detector of ink film 12.
Further, in the present embodiment, remaining-amount detector 19A judges that the rotation speed detected by detector 18 exceeds a predetermined speed and then issues a notification of this result to reporting unit 19B for display this result at a display screen of display 19C. At this moment, an alarm may be sounded simultaneously with this display by a sound generator (not shown).
(Exemplary Embodiment 2)
A thermal transfer printer may employ thermal recording paper 23 as recording paper.
The remaining amount of thermal recording paper 23 can be determined through detecting the rotation speed of supply shaft 24. As mentioned in above, rotation-speed detector 18 detects the rotation speed of supply shaft 24, and remaining-amount detector 19A determines the remaining amount of thermal recording paper 23.
Thermal recording paper 23 generally has, at an ending portion thereof, a colored part functioning as an index of the remaining amount. This allows the remaining amount of thermal recording paper 23 to be detected roughly at about three levels according to the second embodiment.
As described in above in the present embodiment, the rotation speed of the thermal recording paper supply shaft is detected, and the remaining-amount detector determines the remaining amount of thermal recording paper based on the rotation speed. Thus, the smaller the remaining amount is, the more accurately the remaining amount is determined. Therefore, the printer can issue a warning of the remaining amount at an appropriate time right before the thermal recording paper is used up.
Further, similarly to remaining-amount detector 19A of the first embodiment, remaining-amount detector 19A of this embodiment judges that the rotation speed detected by detector 18 exceeds a predetermined speed and provides a notification of this result to reporting unit 19B for display this result at a display screen of display 19C, and an alarm may be sounded simultaneously with this display by a sound generator (not shown).
Many modifications may be made from the art of the present invention and are not described specifically herein. However, these modifications are intended to fall within the scope of the present invention.
For example, the rotation-speed detector of the first embodiment includes the magnet mounted to the supply shaft to detect the rotation speed. However, the present invention is not so limited to it, and the rotation speed may be detected by a mechanical detector, e.g. a switch, an optical detector, or other electromagnetic detector.
The same advantage can be obtained when the ink film and the thermal recording paper used in the printers of the first and second embodiments are replaced by a printing member accommodated in roll form and including contrast agent added or applied thereto.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4970531||Feb 16, 1988||Nov 13, 1990||Hitachi, Ltd.||Thermal transfer printer|
|US5257462||Mar 6, 1992||Nov 2, 1993||Hacoba Textilmachinen Gmbh & Co.||Apparatus for measuring the length of filamentous textile material|
|US5333960||Nov 23, 1992||Aug 2, 1994||Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.||Device and method for displaying a residual amount of cartridge ribbon for a color video printer|
|US5424635||Nov 18, 1992||Jun 13, 1995||Case Corporation||Shaft speed signal indicator|
|US6163147||Dec 30, 1998||Dec 19, 2000||The Torrington Company||Position and speed sensors for a rotating shaft|
|EP0351515A1||May 12, 1989||Jan 24, 1990||Datamax Corporation||Ribbon assembly|
|JPH0368463A||Title not available|
|JPH0624113A||Title not available|
|JPH01139287A *||Title not available|
|JPS6356482A||Title not available|
|JPS6458580A *||Title not available|
|JPS57166258A||Title not available|
|JPS63246274A||Title not available|
|WO2001007264A1||Jul 26, 2000||Feb 1, 2001||Fargo Electronics Inc||A sensor hub for a print ribbon supply roll and method|
|1||English language Abstract of JP06-024113.|
|2||International Search Report corresponding to application No. PCT/JP02/11267 dated Mar. 24, 2003.|
|3||Japanese Office Action dated Apr. 22, 2003 for Japenese Application No. 2001-396422.|
|4||*||Translation of JP-A 06-024113 cited in the IDS filed on Dec. 1, 2005.|
|5||*||Translation of JP-A 57-166258 cited in the IDS filed on Dec. 1, 2005.|
|6||*||Translation of JP-U 03-68463 cited in the IDS filed on Dec. 1, 2005.|
|U.S. Classification||347/217, 400/249, 347/214|
|International Classification||B41J35/36, B41J17/36, B41J17/02, B41J31/00, G01P3/487|
|Cooperative Classification||G01P3/487, B41J17/36, B41J35/36|
|European Classification||B41J17/36, B41J35/36, G01P3/487|
|Apr 11, 2011||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jul 11, 2011||SULP||Surcharge for late payment|
Year of fee payment: 7
|Jul 11, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Feb 24, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12