Copying apparatus

Copying apparatus
US008619347B2
(12) Ulllted States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
Hanayama
(54)
(45) Date of Patent:
COPYING APPARATUS
_
(75)
Inventor-
.
.
Yuklyoshl Hanayamas InaZaWa (JP)
_
(73)
Asslgneei Brother Kogyo KabllshikiKaisha,
Nagoyaghis AiChiKenQp)
(*)
_
-
Not1ce.
-
-
-
Subject‘ to any d1scla1mer, the term ofthis
2004/0136025 Al*
7/2004 Moriyama etal. ......... .. 358/114
9/2005
Yokoyama ....... ..
2006/0182472 A1*
8/2006
Munakata et a1.
2007/0165255 A1*
7/2007 Takeuchi “““ "
2008/0088883 A1*
4/2008
358/2.1
399/299
358/19
Yoshida ....... ..
358/300
2008/0130030 Al*
6/2008 Okunishietal.
.. 358/19
2008/0145087 Al*
6/2008 1166 ............................... .. 399/70
2009/0016749
A1*
2009/0035029 A1,,
10/2008 Yoshida
1/2009
Mashiba
....................... ..
2/2009 Kobayashi “
399/39
399/298
Pate/I1t 1S mended Or a(busted under 35
2009/0128848 Al*
5/2009 Kamisuwa ................. .. 358/115
U.S.C. 154(b) by 539 days.
2009/0141298 A1
6/2009 Kushida
(Continued)
(21) App1.N0.: 12/908,447
_
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
(22) F1led:
Oct. 20, 2010
(65)
Prior Publication Data
US 2011/0096380 A1
(30)
Dec. 31, 2013
2005/0190407 A1*
2008/0239400 A1
-
US 8,619,347 B2
EP
0 998 119 A2
5/2000
EP
1 104 167 A2
5/2001
Apr. 28, 2011
(Continued)
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Foreign Application Priority Data
Extended European Search Report dated Nov. 3, 2011 from related
Oct. 23, 2009
(JP) ............................... .. 2009-244501
European Patent Application No. 100138668.
(Continued)
(51) Int. Cl.
(52) goszméll/zm
(200601)
Primary Examiner * Kimberly A Williams
USPC .......................... .. 358/501; 358/504; 399/301
(58)
74Azz
gregser
Field of Classi?cation Search
1. t.
?l f
ee app 10a Ion
1 1990981121192’ 301’ 367
e or Comp 6 e Seam
15 my‘
2/1993 Fukui et al.
8/2001
7,333,758 B2 *
2/2008 Munakata et al.
Iida ................ ..
.. 399/299
7,426,352 B2 * 9/2008 Moriyama et al.
7,440,706 B2 * 10/2008 Moriyama et al.
399/43
399/43
3/2004
2004/0125392 A1
7/2004 Ohmori
(57)
Cu y’
CO ’
urp y
ABSTRACT
A copying apparatus With a color copy function includes: a
p
6,280,105 B1*
2004/0046981 A1*
m”
in ut unit con? ured to in ut commands from a user; an
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,189,441 A
F'iS11SttMh&
reading unit con?gured to read images on a document; an
.
References Cited
(56)
gen’ or
’
USPC ............. .. 358/19, 500, 501, 504, 518; 399/9,
S
AZ
400/74
g
p
image forming unit con?gured to form a mark for image
adjustment, perform an image adjustment on the image read
by the reading unit based on the formed mark for image
adjustment and print the adjusted image; and a judging unit
con?gured to trigger the image forming unit to form the mark
for image adjustment if the command for executing color
copying is input into the input unit.
Taka et a1. .................... .. 358/1.9
14 Claims, 9 Drawing Sheets
8101
WAIT UNTIL INPUT OF
COLOR PRINT MODE
SETTING IS DETECTED
SIDZ
CONFIRM IMAGEADJUSTMENT
UPDATE CONDITION
$103
“
UPDATE
ADJU5TNIENT VALUES?
s104
YES
ADJUSTMENT \IALUE
UPDATE FRUCES3|NG
S105
WAIT UNTIL DEPRESSING
DF COLOR START
BUTTON IS DETECTED
5106
START READING PROCESSING
S107
WILL
UPDATING BE FINISHED
EARLV?
S105
WAIT UNTIL FINISH OF UPDATING
S109
FORCIBLY TERMINATE UPDATING
START PRINT PROCESSING
US 8,619,347 B2
Page 2
(56)
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
JP
2007-190862 A
8/2007
JP
2007-199304 A
8/2007
JP
2007419089
8/2007
JP
2007-219174
8/2007
JP
A-2008-102204
5/2008
2009/0225342 A1*
9/2009 Ogasawara .................. .. 358/ 1.9
2009/0237706 A1*
9/2009 Miyajima
358/1.14
JP
A_2009_l34149
A-2008-276011
11/2008
2010/0003041 A1*
1/2010 Otsuka .......................... .. 399/49
JP
A_2009_2446l5
10/2009
.
..
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
JP
443163 A
6-175449
A-09-208137
A'11'46289
A'll'l94673
11627254
2001-13753
A-2002-072761
A_2002_116586
2004409879
2005. 173040
A-2006-163153
2006-282779
1/1992
6/1994
8/1997
2/1999
7/1999
IN 1999
H2001
3/2002
4/2002
4/2004
6/2005
6/2006
10/2006
JP
A-2007-010789
1/2007
JP
2007-65377
3/2007
JP
6/2009
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Of?cial Action dated Aug. 23, 2011 received from the Japanese
Patent Of?ce in 2009-244501, together With an English-language
translation,
Of?ce Action dated Apr. 3, 2013 received from the Chinese Patent
Of?ce in related Chinese Patent Application No. 2010102874793,
together With an English language translation.
N t'? t'
fR
for Refusal dated Dec 22 2011 received
0 1 “1 ‘on O
easons
.
. ' . ’
from the Japanese Patent Of?ce in related application 2008-091349,
together With an English-language translation.
Noti?cation of Reasons for Refusal dated Jul. 30, 2013 received from
the Japanese Patent Of?ce in related Japanese Patent Application No.
2012-029163, together With an English language translation.
* cited by examiner
US. Patent
%
Dec. 31, 2013
Sheet 1 019
US 8,619,347 B2
US. Patent
Dec. 31, 2013
Sheet 2 of9
US 8,619,347 B2
FIG. 2
[100
40
3
50C
3
50K,
US. Patent
Dec. 31, 2013
Sheet 3 of9
US 8,619,347 B2
63
64 65
62
H6.3
US. Patent
GEw
Dec. 31, 2013
Sheet 4 of9
US 8,619,347 B2
US. Patent
Dec. 31, 2013
Sheet 5 of9
US 8,619,347 B2
100
/
MFP
3O
/
CONTROL UNIT
cPum)
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4____, IMAcERIFTiTQrSMNG
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NVRAWQ)
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<—-——> OPERATION UN|T(@)
NETWORK mi) <——->
US. Patent
Dec. 31, 2013
US 8,619,347 B2
Sheet 6 0f 9
FIG. 6
C COLOR COPY PROCESSING )
S101“
"
WAIT UNTIL INPUT OF
COLOR PRINT MODE
SETTING IS DETECTED
S102“
"
CONFIRM IMAGE ADJUSTMENT
UPDATE CONDITION
S103
UPDATE
ADJUSTMENT VALUES?
NO
ADJUSTMENT VALUE
UPDATE PROCESSING
S105 V\
v
WAIT UNTIL DEPRESSING
OF COLOR START
BUTTON IS DETECTED
8106 a
V
START READING PROCESSING
S107
WILL
,
UPDATING BE FINISHED
EARLY?
S108‘
YES
S121 \\
WAIT UNTIL FINISH OF UPDATING
3109“
‘f
FORCIBLY TERMINATE UPDATING
C
END
)
,
START PRINT PROCESSING
US. Patent
Dec. 31, 2013
Sheet 7 of9
FIG. 7
ADJUSTMENT VALUE
UPDATE PROCESSING
S151
IS
PATTERN FORMATION
AVAILABLE?
NO
S152
CONFIRM SENSOR OF
IMAGE READING UNIT
S153
I
8154
'
ADFMETHOD?
NO
HAS
READING PREPARATION BEEN
OMPLETED?
YES
8161
START ADJUSTMENT
VALUES UPDATING
II
II
<
END
)
US 8,619,347 B2
US. Patent
Dec. 31, 2013
Sheet 8 of9
US 8,619,347 B2
CCOLOR COPY PROCESSING )
S105
I
WAIT UNTIL DEPRESSING
OF COLOR START
BUTTON IS DETECTED
S102
I
CONFIRM IMAGE ADJUSTMENT
VALUE UPDATE CONDITION
S103
UPDATE
ADJUSTMENT VALUES?
No
CONFIRM READING SETTING
8205
7
'
'
HAS
AGGREGATE PRINTING
'
BEEN SET?
NO
S206
HAS HIGH
>
MAGE QUALITY BEEN SET’?
NO
S161
II
I
START ADJUSTMENT
VALUES UPDATING
S106
T
\
v
START READING PROCESSING
S109
\G
v
START PRINT PROCESSING
END
US. Patent
Dec. 31, 2013
Sheet 9 of9
US 8,619,347 B2
FIG. 9A
OPERATION UNIT
IMAGE READING UNIT
% PRINT SETTING
I COLOR START DEPRESS
IMAGE FORMING UNIT
I
I
% READING
IMAGE DATA
I PRINT COMPLETION SIGNA
FIG. 9B
OPERATIION UNIT
IMAGE READING UNIT
.
IMAGE FORMING UNIT
I
IMAGE
ADJUSTMENT
f» PRINT SETTING
V
COLOR START DEPRESS /
(UPDATING)
READING
IMAGE DATA
PRINTING
I PRINT COMPLETION SIGNAL I
FIG. 9C
OPERATION UNIT
IMAGE READING UNIT
IMAGE FORMING UNIT
I
%\ PRINT SETTING
| COLOR START DEPRESS
\ READING
W
IMAGE DATA
/
I
i PRINT COMPLETION SIGNAL
WAnSADGTTMNEWWG
An(D.DUOnMMP
m)
US 8,619,347 B2
1
2
COPYING APPARATUS
cessing for adjusting the positions and densities of images in
CROSS-REFERENCE OF APPLICATION
the respective colors When forming a color image. “Com
mands necessary for executing color copying” correspond to
depressing of a button for commanding the start of color
copying, a sWitching operation to a screen on Which a detailed
This application is based upon and claims the bene?t of
priority of Japanese Patent Application No. 2009-244501
setting of color copying is performed, and inputs to the
?led on Oct. 23, 2009, the contents of Which are incorporated
screen. At least one of these commands is determined in
advance as a command that triggers mark formation. “Marks”
herein by reference in its entirety.
are image patterns for image adjustment, and knoWn resist
patterns (image patterns for position deviation adjustment)
and density patterns (image pattern for density adjustment)
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
are applicable. Based on the marks, adjustment values for
The present invention relates to a copying apparatus With a
color copy function. Speci?cally, the present invention relates
to a copying apparatus Which performs image adjustment for
image adjustment are acquired.
Speci?cally, in the copying apparatus of the present inven
keeping the quality of color images.
tion, in response to an input of a command necessary for color
Conventionally, in copying apparatus With a color copy
copying, mark formation for image adjustment (that is,
function, images in respective colors of cyan (C), magenta
(M), yelloW (Y), and black (K) are formed and the images in
adjustment value acquiring operation) is carried out. Accord
ingly, during document reading, or during a setting operation
before starting document reading, the adjustment value
acquiring operation can be performed concurrently. As a
result, it can be expected that the adjustment value acquiring
the respective colors are superimposed to form a color image.
Thus, a color image is formed by superimposing a plurality of
20
images, so that copying apparatus perform image adjustment
operation Will be ?nished earlier and printing can be per
formed earlier based on the latest adjustment values.
so as to prevent the positions and densities of the respective
images from being deviated from each other. As the image
adjustment, for example, a resist pattern as an image pattern
for image adjustment is prepared for each color, deviation
25
amounts (adjustment values) betWeen a reference color resist
pattern and resist patterns in colors to be examined are
Preferably, the copying apparatus has a black-and-White
copy function, and the command for executing color copying
is unnecessary for executing black-and-White copying. That
is, the image adjustment for adjusting deviations from images
acquired, and based on the adjustment values, position devia
in other colors becomes unnecessary in black-and-White
tions of the images are corrected.
copying. Therefore, if starting mark formation When per
forming black-and-White copying, this adversely in?uences
the productivity of the black-and-White copying. Therefore,
For acquiring the above-mentioned adjustment values,
30
resist patterns must be formed, so that printing is restricted
during the adjustment value acquiring operation. Therefore,
the adverse in?uence on the black-and-White copying can be
avoided by making the command as a trigger of mark forma
tion an unnecessary command When executing the black-and
there is a knoWn problem that if the adjustment value acquir
ing operation is performed When executing copy processing,
printing is suspended during the adjustment value acquiring
35
White copying.
Preferably, the reading unit includes: an automatic feeding
operation, and the processing time is extended. Therefore, for
example, it is knoWn that the adjustment value acquiring
operation is interrupted halfWay to shorten the processing
unit that automatically conveys the document; and a detection
time.
the automatic feeding unit. Accordingly, setting of documents
unit con?gured to detect Whether or not the document is set in
40
in an automatic feeding unit can be used as a condition for
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
performing the adjustment value acquiring operation. More
HoWever, the above-mentioned conventional copying
apparatus have the folloWing problem. That is, printing is
over, it is preferable that a detection unit judges Whether or not
the number of document sheets set in the automatic feeding
unit is more than a threshold value, and only if the detection
unit judges that the number of document sheets is more than
performed by interrupting the adjustment value acquiring
45
operation, so that printing is performed Without updating the
adjustment values. Therefore, the image quality is sacri?ced.
the threshold value, the image forming unit forms marks. That
The present invention has been made to solve the problem
of the above-mentioned conventional copying apparatus.
That is, an object of the present invention is to provide a
the image quality is small. Therefore, the adjustment value
is, in the case of copying of one or tWo sheets, the in?uence on
acquiring operation is not performed if copying a small num
copying apparatus Which realiZes both improvement in image
ber of sheets so as to avoid deterioration in productivity. In
addition, as a method for acquiring the number of document
quality and a shorter copy processing time.
According to an aspect of the invention, a copying appara
Weight detection can be used.
50
sheets, for example, manual input, thickness detection, and
Preferably, the image forming unit forms the mark only if
tus With a color copy function includes:
a reading unit con?gured to read images on a document;
an input unit con?gured to input commands from a user;
an image forming unit con?gured to form a mark for image
55
number of images to be aggregately printed in aggregate
printing (that is, 2-in-1 printing or 4-in-1 printing, etc.) is
adjustment, perform an image adjustment on the image read
by the reading unit based on the formed mark for image
adjustment and print the adjusted image; and
60
a judging unit con?gured to trigger the image forming unit
commands necessary for executing color copying have been
input. “Image adjustment” corresponds to, for example, pro
large, a plurality of document sheets must be read for creating
print data of one print page, so that it is highly possible that
reading takes time. Therefore, the doWntime of the printing
unit until the start of printing becomes long. Therefore, by
performing the adjustment value acquiring operation at this
to form the mark for image adjustment if the command for
executing color copying is input into the input unit.
A copying apparatus of the present invention forms images
that become marks for image adjustment if it is judged that
the number of images to be aggregately printed on one docu
ment sheet is more than the threshold value. That is, if the
doWntime, effective utiliZation of the doWntime can be
65
expected.
Preferably, the image forming unit forms the mark only if
the reading unit requires a reading preparation operation.
US 8,619,347 B2
4
3
That is, it takes time until starting a reading during a prepa
FIG. 6 is a ?owchart shoWing steps of copy processing
ration operation for reading (for example, the Warm-up time
according to a ?rst embodiment.
FIG. 7 is a ?owchart shoWing steps of adjustment value
of the light source), and as a result, the doWntime of the
printing unit until starting the printing becomes long. There
update processing according to the ?rst embodiment.
fore, by performing the adjustment value acquiring operation
FIG. 8 is a ?oWchart shoWing steps of copy processing
during this doWntime, effective utiliZation of the doWntime
according to a second embodiment.
can be expected.
FIGS. 9A to 9C are timing charts shoWing operation tim
Preferably, the image forming unit forms the mark only if
ings of components during copy processing.
a setting of a copy image quality is higher than a standard.
That is, When reading of a document for at least one print page
is ?nished, printing becomes available. In the case Where loW
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY
EMBODIMENTS
image quality is alloWed, it is preferable that productivity is
given preference and the adjustment value acquiring opera
Hereinafter, a copying apparatus according to exemplary
tion is not performed.
embodiments Will be described in detail With reference to the
Preferably, if the input unit inputs a print start command,
the image forming unit interrupts formation of the mark if a
accompanying draWings. In the present embodiment, the
present invention is applied to an electrophotographic copy
ing apparatus having a color copy function and a black-and
White copy function.
mark formation progress is not more than a prescribed value.
Then, at the point When printing becomes available, a mark
formation progress status is acquired. Then, if it takes time
until the mark formation is ?nished, it is preferable that pro
20
Entire Con?guration of Copying Apparatus
ductivity is given preference and the adjustment value acquir
ing operation is not performed. In other Words, if the mark
A copying apparatus 100 includes, as shoWn in FIG. 1, an
image forming unit 10 Which forms images on sheets, and an
formation Will be ?nished in a While, it is preferable that the
image quality is given preference and the adjustment value
acquiring operation is continued.
image reading unit 20 (an example of a reading unit) Which
25
Preferably, the image forming unit does not form the marks
of the image reading unit 20, an operation unit 40 (an example
of an input unit) including a display unit consisting of a liquid
during printing of another job. That is, the operation panel is
sometimes operated during execution of another job (fac
crystal display and a group of buttons including a start key, a
stop key, and a numeric keypad, etc., is provided, and this
simile or PC printing), hoWever, When marks are formed at
this time, it in?uences the job being executed. Therefore,
reads images on documents. Moreover, on the front face side
While another job is executed, the mark formation is not
operation unit 40 can display an operation status and enables
input operations by a user.
alloWed to interrupt the job.
Preferably, the image forming unit forms the mark only if
Con?guration of Image Forming Unit
30
at least one of a Work amount, an elapsed time, a temperature
change, a humidity change, and mounting of a component
since the previous mark formation, satis?es a predetermined
condition. That is, if marks are formed unconditionally,
excessive marks are formed, so that the colorant is Wasted.
Therefore, conditions for mark formation are set to limit the
mark formation.
35
The image forming unit 10 includes, as shoWn in FIG. 2, a
process unit 50 Which forms a toner image and transfers it
onto a sheet, a ?xing device 8 Which ?xes un?xed toner on the
sheet, a paper feed tray 91 on Which sheets before image
formation are placed, and a copy receiving tray 92 on Which
40
sheets after image formation are placed.
Preferably, the image forming unit starts printing the
adjusted image after the input unit inputs a color copying start
Inside the image forming unit 10, a substantially S-shaped
conveyance path 11 (shoWn by the dashed line in FIG. 2) is
command.
provided so that sheets accommodated in the paper feed tray
91 positioned on the bottom portion are guided to the paper
receiving tray 92 on the upper portion via ejection rollers 76
after passing through a paper feed roller 71, the process unit
Preferably, the image forming unit includes an image
adjustment sensor con?gured to read the mark for image
45
adjustment.
Preferably, the image forming unit includes a plurality of
process units Which printing different color images, respec
50, and the ?xing device 8.
tively.
process units for the respective colors of yelloW (Y), magenta
According to the present invention, a copying apparatus
that is compatible With both improvement in image quality
The process unit 50 can form a color image, and includes
50
and a shorter copy processing time is realiZed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
55
FIG. 1 is a perspective vieW shoWing a schematic con?gu
ration of a copying apparatus according to an embodiment.
FIG. 2 is a conceptual diagram shoWing an internal con
?guration of an image forming unit of the copying apparatus
shoWn in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a conceptual diagram shoWing the internal con
60
image inY color, a process unit 50M Which forms an image in
M color, a process unit 50C Which forms an image in C color,
and a process unit 50K Which forms an image in K color.
Further, the image forming unit 10 includes an exposure
device 53 Which irradiates the respective process units 50Y,
50M, 50C, and 50K With light, a conveyance belt 7 Which is
suspended and tensioned by conveyance rollers 73 and 74 and
conveys sheets to the transfer positions of the respective pro
cess units 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K, and an image adjustment
sensor 61 Which detects resist patterns formed on the convey
?guration of the image reading unit of the copying apparatus
ance belt 7. The respective process units 50K, 50Y, 50M, and
50C form toner images according to the knoWn electropho
shoWn in FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a vieW shoWing a con?guration of an operation
unit of the copying apparatus shoWn in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a block diagram shoWing an electric con?guration
of the copying apparatus shoWn in FIG. 1.
(M), cyan (C), and black (K) juxtaposed. Speci?cally, the
process unit includes a process unit 50Y Which forms an
tographic method.
65
The image forming unit 10 takes out sheets placed on the
paper feed tray 91 one by one and conveys the sheets to the
process unit 50, and transfers toner images formed by the
US 8,619,347 B2
5
6
process unit 50 onto the sheets. At this time, in a color print
FB glass 24 and a light receiving unit Which detects a light
mode, toner images are formed by the respective process units
50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K and superimposed on a sheet. On the
other hand, in a black-and-White printing mode, a toner image
receiving amount of the light and optically detects setting of
documents on the FB glass 24, and a Weight sensor 64 Which
detects a Weight of a batch of document sheets set on the
document tray 221 by detecting a ?uctuation amount of a
is formed by only the process unit 50K and transferred onto a
sheet. Thereafter, the sheet onto Which the toner image has
been transferred is conveyed to the ?xing unit 8 and the toner
image is thermally ?xed on the sheet. Then, the sheet after
movable piece provided on the document tray 221. The
Weight sensor 64 is disposed on a document placement sur
face of the document tray 221 and outputs a detection signal
When the document Weight is equal to or larger than a thresh
old value.
Further, the CCD unit 25 is provided With a CCD sensor
and a light source consisting of a cold cathode tube. The cold
?xing is ejected to the copy receiving tray 92.
The image adjustment sensor 61 is positioned at the doWn
stream of the process units 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K, and at
the upstream of the ?xing device 8 in the sheet conveying
direction, and detects resist patterns formed on the convey
ance belt 7. That is, in the copying apparatus 100, the respec
tive process units 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K form resist pat
terns as image patterns for image adjustment, and the
respective process units 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K transfer the
resist patterns onto the conveyance belt 7. The image adjust
ment sensor 61 reads the positions of the respective resist
patterns.
cathode tube to be used as a light source takes a certain
preparation time (Warm-up time) until image reading
becomes possible and emission With a stable luminance is
obtained since application of a voltage. Moreover, in the
present embodiment, the cold cathode tube is described as an
example of a light source, hoWever, any equivalent to the cold
cathode tube can also be used as a light source.
20
Con?guration of Operation Unit
In the copying apparatus 100, in order to reduce toner
consumption, the image forming unit 10 judges Whether the
adjustment values for image adjustment requires updating if
The operation unit 40 includes, as shoWn in FIG. 4, a
the copying apparatus accepts a print job. Only if it is judged
display panel 41 Which displays various setting screens and
that updating is necessary, resist patterns are formed. Details
of copy control Will be described later.
25
messages, a color start button 42 Which commands a start of
copying in a color print mode, a black-and-White start button
43 Which commands a start of copying in a black-and-White
Con?guration of Image Reading Unit
scanner unit 21 Which reads images on documents, and an
print mode, a stop button 44 for interrupting a copy operation,
a mode sWitch button 45 for commanding mode sWitching
betWeen the color print mode and the black-and-White print
mode, direction buttons 46 to be used for sWitching of selec
ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) 22 Which automatically
tion of items on a setting screen, and a numeric keypad 47 to
conveys documents. The scanner unit 21 includes transparent
35
be used for inputting numerical values.
In the copying apparatus 100, if a user depresses the color
start button 42 Without any settings relating to copying, a
40
number of images to be aggregately printed of default set
tings. On the other hand, if a user performs any setting relat
ing to copying before depressing the color start button 42, a
color copy operation re?ecting the setting is started. Simi
The image reading unit 20 includes, as shoWn in FIG. 3, a
platen glasses 23 and 24 positioned on the upper surface
thereof, and a CCD unit 25 positioned inside thereof.
30
The ADF 22 includes a document tray 221 on Which docu
ments before being read are placed, and an ejection tray 222
on Which read documents are placed. Speci?cally, the docu
ment tray 221 is disposed above the ejection tray 222. The
ADF 22 takes out documents placed on the document tray 221
one by one, conveys the documents into a conveyance path 27
inside the ADF 22, and after the documents are read, ejects the
documents onto the ejection tray 222.
color copy operation is started With a resolution and the
larly, in a case Where a user depresses the black-and-White
start button 43, if the user does not perform settings relating to
copying, a black-and-White copying operation is started With
As a document reading method, there are available a ?at
bed method (document-?xed scanning) and an ADF method
(document-moving scanning). In the case of the ?at bed
method, documents are placed one by one on the platen glass
24 (hereinafter, referred to as “FB glass 24”). In this state, the
CCD unit 25 moves in the vertical scanning direction (or
thogonal to the main scanning direction, the arroWA direction
of FIG. 3), and at this time, images on the document are read
line by line in the main scanning direction. On the other hand,
in the case of the ADF method, documents are collectively
placed on the document tray 221. Then, the CCD unit 25
moves to a position opposed to the platen glass 23 (hereinaf
ter, referred to as “ADF glass 23”) and is ?xed there. In this
the default settings, and if a user performs some setting, a
45
started.
The operation unit 40 enables inputs of operation settings
in a mode selected by the mode sWitch button 45. That is, on
the display panel 41, sWitching betWeen a color copy setting
50
Electric Con?guration of Copying Apparatus
55
Subsequently, an electric con?guration of the copying
apparatus 100 Will be described. The copying apparatus 100
opposed to the ADF glass 23 (reading position), and at this
time, images on the document are read line by line in the main
60
includes, as shoWn in FIG. 5, a control unit 30 including a
CPU 31, a ROM 32, a RAM 33, an NVRAM (nonvolatile
RAM) 34, an ASIC 35, and a netWork interface 36. The
control unit 30 is electrically connected to the image forming
unit 10, the image reading unit 20, and the operation unit 40,
etc. The image forming unit 1 0, the image reading unit 20, and
The ADF 22 includes a sensor group 65 (an example of a
detection unit) having a ?rst document sensor 62 including a
light emitting unit Which emits light toWard the document tray
221 and a light receiving unit Which detects a light receiving
amount of the light and optically detects setting of documents
screen and a black-and-White copy setting screen is per
formed each time the mode sWitch button 45 is depressed, and
a setting screen of a mode currently selected is displayed.
state, documents are conveyed one by one to a position
scanning direction.
black-and-White copying operation re?ecting the setting is
the operation unit 40 are controlled by the control unit 30 and
on the document tray 221, a second document sensor 63
operate independently of each other.
Various control programs for controlling the copying appa
including a light emitting unit Which emits light toWard the
ratus 100 and various settings and initial values, etc., are
65
US 8,619,347 B2
7
8
stored in the ROM 32. The RAM 33 is used as a Work area into
update conditions are set, it is judged Whether or not at least
one of the update conditions is satis?ed.
Which various control programs are read out or a storage area
If the update condition is satis?ed (S103:YES), adjustment
value update processing is performed (S104). If the update
for temporarily storing image data.
The CPU 31 controls the respective components of the
condition is not satis?ed (S103: NO), Without updating the
adjustment values for image adjustment, the process shifts to
copying apparatus 100 (for example, a lighting timing of the
exposure device 53, drive motors (not shoWn) of various
rollers constituting the conveyance path 11, and a motor (not
shoWn) for moving the CCD unit constituting the image read
ing unit 20) via the ASIC 35 based on signals sent from
S105.
Here, the adjustment value update processing of S104 Will
be described With reference to the ?owchart of FIG. 7. First,
it is judged Whether or not pattern formation is possible
control programs read out from the ROM 32 and various
sensors While storing the processing results in the RAM 33 or
the NVRAM 34.
(S151). For updating the adjustment values for image adjust
ment, resist patterns must be formed by the respective process
units 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K. Therefore, in a state Where
The netWork interface 36 is connected to a netWork such as
a LAN to enable connection With an external device in Which
printing preparation is not completed in such a case Where the
a driver for the copying apparatus 100 is installed. The copy
image forming unit 10 is being used for another print job
ing apparatus 100 can communicate print j obs via the netWork
(facsimile or PC printing, etc.) or the like, the adjustment
values cannot be updated. Therefore, if pattern formation is
interface 3 6.
not possible (S151: NO), the adjustment value update pro
ces sing is terminated Without updating the adjustment values
Color Copy Control of Copying Apparatus
20
for image adjustment.
On the other hand, if pattern formation is possible (S151:
YES), signals from the sensor group 65 of the image reading
unit 20 are con?rmed (S152). Then, it is judged Whether
Subsequently, color copy control of the copying apparatus
100 Will be described. The copying apparatus 100 starts color
copying if documents are set in the image reading unit 20 and
the color start button 42 is depressed.
25
documents Were set in the ADF 22 of the image reading unit
20, that is, Whether or not an output signal from the ?rst
Color Copy Processing
document sensor 62 Was detected (S153). In document read
First Embodiment
ing by the ADF 22, a plurality of document sheets are read, so
that it is estimated that it Will take time until completion of
document reading. Therefore, in the case of reading accord
Hereinafter, color copy processing (an example of an input
unit, a judging unit, a reading unit, and an image forming unit)
30
Which realizes color copy control Will be described With
it is judged Whether or not reading preparation Was completed
(S154). For example, immediately after the machine is ener
reference to the ?owchart of FIG. 6.
First, the process Waits until an input relating to setting of
the color print mode is detected (S101). The input relating to
the color print mode corresponds to, for example, an opera
ing to the ADF method (S153: YES), update processing of the
adjustment values for image adjustment is started (S161).
If reading is not according to the ADF method (S153: NO),
35
giZed, Warm-up of a light source of the CCD unit 25 takes
time, and the reading preparation has not been completed yet
tion to set printing conditions in a state Where the display
in some cases. In this case, it is estimated that it Will take time
panel 41 displays a color print mode setting screen. Alterna
until reading completion. Therefore, in the case Where the
tively, the input relating to setting of the color print mode may
be depressed on a mode sWitch button 45 for sWitching from
40
the black-and-White print mode to the color print mode. Alter
natively, the input may be depressed on the color start button
ment is started (S161). In addition, the order of S153 and
S154 may be reversed.
On the other hand, if the reading method is not the ADF
42.
method and the reading preparation is completed (S154:
After detecting the input relating to the color print mode, an
update condition for adjustment values for image adjustment
is con?rmed (S102). The update condition corresponds to, for
example, the number of printed sheets (Work amount) since
reading preparation has not been completed (S154: NO), the
update processing of the adjustment values for image adjust
45
YES), it is highly possible that document reading is com
pleted early. Therefore, if the update processing of the adjust
ment values for image adjustment is started, printing is sus
mounting of a component such as a toner cartridge. In the
pended until updating is ?nished. Therefore, Without
updating the adjustment values for image adjustment, the
adjustment value update processing is terminated.
Here, the update processing of the adjustment values that is
copying apparatus 100, When the adjustment values are
updated for each printing, toner consumption increases. On
cessing of the adjustment values, ?rst, the respective process
previous updating, an elapsed time, a temperature change or
a humidity change inside the machine since the previous
updating. Alternatively, the update condition may be the
50
started at S161 Will be described brie?y. In the update pro
units 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K form resist patterns, and the
the other hand, even if the adjustment values are not fre
quently updated, the in?uence on the image quality is small.
Therefore, an update condition for updating the adjustment
values for image adjustment is set.
Thereafter, it is judged Whether or not the update condi
55
ferred at predetermined intervals in the belt conveying direc
tion so as not to be superimposed on each other. Thereafter,
tions are satis?ed (S103). For example, if the number of
printed sheets since the previous updating is equal to or larger
than a predetermined number, it is judged that the update
condition is satis?ed. Alternatively, if an elapsed time since
previous updating is equal to or longer than a predetermined
time, it is judged that the update condition is satis?ed. Alter
natively, if a temperature change or a humidity change inside
the machine is equal to or greater than a threshold value, it is
judged that the update condition is satis?ed. If a plurality of
respective resist patterns are transferred onto the conveyance
belt 7. At this time, the respective resist patterns are trans
60
the image adjustment sensor 61 reads positions of the respec
tive resist patterns. Then, one of C, M, Y, and K is de?ned as
a reference color, and the resist pattern in the reference color
and the resist patterns in other colors are compared With each
other to acquire position deviation amounts. Adjustment val
ues thus acquired based on the position deviation amounts are
65
updated as neW adjustment values. Moreover, the update pro
cessing of the adjustment values described here is just an
example, so that the processing is not limited to this.
US 8,619,347 B2
10
Referring to FIG. 6 again, after the adjustment value update
condition is not satis?ed (S103: NO), the process shifts to
processing of S104 or if the update condition is not satis?ed
S106 Without updating the adjustment values for image
(S103: NO), the process Waits until depressing of the color
adjustment.
start button 42 is detected (S105). Moreover, in the case
Where depressing of the color start button 42 has already been
content made on the setting screen for the color print mode are
If the update condition is satis?ed (S103:YES), the setting
detected at S101, the process shifts to S106.After detecting an
con?rmed (S204). The setting content is, for example, set
input, the document reading processing of the image reading
tings of the print quality, toner saving, aggregate printing, and
double-side printing.
unit 20 is started (S106).
Thereafter, after reading for at least one print page is ?n
ished, it is judged Whether or not the update processing of the
number of sheets equal to or larger than a threshold value has
adjustment values for image adjustment Will be ?nished early
been set (S205). If aggregate printing of the number of images
(S107). In the present embodiment, if the progress status of
the resist pattern formation satis?es a predetermined condi
tion, it is judged that updating Will be ?nished early. As the
equal to or larger than the threshold value is set, many docu
ment sheets must be read for creating print data of one print
page, so that it is estimated that reading Will take time. There
fore, if aggregate printing of the number of images equal to or
Next, it is judged Whether or not aggregate printing of the
predetermined condition, for example, resist patterns of all
larger than the threshold value is set (S205: YES), update
processing of adjustment values for image adjustment is
started (S161).
colors Were developed, or resist patterns of three colors Were
transferred, etc. Cases Where update processing is not cur
rently performed such as the cases Where update processing
has already been ?nished and update processing Was not
started in the ?rst place are included in the case Where update
20
processing Will be ?nished early.
(S205: NO), it is judged Whether or not high image quality has
been set (S206). In printing alloWing loW image quality, it is
If it is judged that the update processing Will not be ?nished
early (S107: NO), the update processing is forcibly termi
nated (S121). If the update processing is not ?nished early, it
is highly possible that the printing start is delayed. Therefore,
reduction in the copy processing time is given preference and
25
S205 and S206 may be reversed.
30
is entered, print processing is started (S109). In this print
processing, images to Which image adjustment Was carried
On the other hand, if aggregate printing of the number of
images equal to or larger than the threshold value is not set
and there is no high-quality setting (S206: NO), it is highly
possible that document reading Will be completed early, and
update processing is terminated although the update process
ing Will be ?nished soon. On the other hand, if the update
processing Will be ?nished early, the in?uence on the process
ing time is small. Therefore, after Waiting for the ?nish of the
update processing, the process shifts to S109.
After a state Where the update processing is not performed
preferable that productivity is given preference and update
processing is not performed. Therefore, if high image quality
is set (S206: YES), update processing of adjustment values
for image adjustment is started (S161). Moreover, the order of
the update processing is interrupted.
On the other hand, if it is judged that the update processing
Will be ?nished early (S107: YES), the process Waits for the
?nish of update processing (S108). This is very Wasteful if the
On the other hand, if aggregate printing of the number of
images equal to or larger than the threshold value is not set
the requirement for image quality is loW. Therefore, it is very
35
disadvantageous that update processing of adjustment values
for image adjustment is started and printing is suspended until
updating is ?nished. Therefore, the adjustment value update
processing is terminated Without updating the adjustment
values for image adjustment.
Thereafter, document reading processing by the image
out based on the latest adjustment values are formed by the
reading unit 20 is started (S106). Then, after reading for at
least one print page is ?nished, the print processing is started
respective process units 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K. After the
print processing is ?nished, this process is ended.
ended.
Second Embodiment
40
(S109). After print processing is ?nished, this processing is
Subsequently, operation sequences of the components (the
operation unit 40, the image reading unit 20, the image form
ing unit 10) of the copying apparatus 100 during color copy
Subsequently, another embodiment of color copy process
ing Will be described. In the second embodiment, after the
color start button 42 is depressed, it is determined Whether or
not the adjustment values for image adjustment are to be
updated based on the setting content of color printing. This is
different from the ?rst embodiment in Which the ?rst embodi
Timing Chart
45
50
ing according to the ?rst embodiment and the second embodi
ment Will be described in comparison With a conventional
example.
ment enables update processing to start in response to a color
FIG. 9 are timing charts shoWing Work periods of the
print setting operation before the color start button 42 is
respective components during color copying. The hatched
depressed.
55
portions indicate that the components are Working. In addi
tion, FIG. 9(A) shoWs a conventional example, FIG. 9(B)
shoWs the ?rst embodiment in Which update processing is
performed in response to a setting operation, and FIG. 9(C)
shoWs the second embodiment, respectively. In FIG. 9, the
60
time axis is set doWnWard.
Operations common to the respective embodiments are as
Hereinafter, color copy processing of the second embodi
ment (an example of the input unit, the judging unit, the
reading unit, and the image forming unit) Will be described
With reference to the ?owchart of FIG. 8. Further, processing
the same as in the ?rst embodiment is designated by the same
step number as in the ?rst embodiment, and description
thereof is omitted.
First, the process Waits until depressing of the color start
button 42 is detected (S105). After detecting the input, the
update condition for the adjustment values for image adjust
ment is con?rmed (S102). Thereafter, it is judged Whether or
not the update condition is satis?ed (S103). If the update
folloWs. First, the operation by the operation unit 40 is ?n
ished if the color start button 42 is depressed. Then, in
response to depressing of the color start button 42, reading by
65
the image reading unit 20 is started. From the image reading
unit 20, read image data is transmitted to the image forming
unit 10. In FIG. 9, the time to be taken for reading for the ?rst
US 8,619,347 B2
11
12
one print page is expressed as a rectangle. From the image
Further, in the embodiment, start buttons (color start button
42 andblack-and-White start button 43) to be exclusively used
for color printing and black-and-White printing are provided
forming unit 10, a print completion signal is output after all
print pages are printed.
In the conventional example, each component operates
on the operation unit 40, respectively, hoWever, the con?gu
upon Waiting for the ?nish of an operation of another com
ration is not limited to this. For example, a start button com
ponent. That is, the image reading unit 20 operates upon
Waiting for the ?nish of the operation of the operation unit 40,
and the image forming unit 10 operates upon Waiting for
image data from the image reading unit 20. That is, in the
mon to color printing and black-and-White printing may be
provided. In this case, by depressing the common start button,
copying is started in a mode currently selected by the mode
sWitch button 45.
Further, in the embodiment, the modes are sWitched by one
image forming unit 10, image adjustment (that is, update
mode sWitch button 45 of the operation unit 40, hoWever, the
processing of adjustment values for image adjustment) is
con?guration is not limited to this. For example, as a button
started in response to receiving of image data, and printing is
for sWitching the setting screen, a button for color copying
and a button for black-and-White copying may be provided,
started after the image adjustment is ?nished. In the conven
tional example, during operation of a certain component,
respectively.
other components do not operate, so that the time from the
start of the operation of the operation unit 40 to the ?nish of
Further, in the embodiment, as a method for acquiring
adjustment values, resist patterns are formed on the convey
ance belt 7 and the image adjustment sensor 61 reads the resist
printing is long.
On the other hand, in the ?rst embodiment, a start of a color
print mode setting operation triggers the image adjustment to
start. Therefore, during print setting by using the operation
unit 40, and further, during image reading by the image read
ing unit 20, the image adjustment by the image forming unit
10 is performed concurrently. As a result, the image adjust
ment may be ?nished before the reading by the image reading
patterns and automatically calculates adjustment values,
20
hoWever, the con?guration is not limited to this. For example,
25
adjustment values are acquired by a user’s manual inputs.
Moreover, Without limiting to the resist patterns, density pat
terns for density adjustment may be formed.
Further, in the embodiment, in the case of reading by the
it is also alloWed that resist patterns are formed on a sheet and
ADF method, update of the adjustment values is started,
unit 20 is ?nished. Therefore, it can be expected that the time
from the start of the operation of the operation unit 40 to the
?nish of printing becomes shorter than in the conventional
hoWever, the con?guration is not limited to this. For example,
it is also alloWed that the number of sheets set in the ADF 22
is also judged, and if the number is judged as equal to or larger
example.
Further, in the second embodiment, depressing of the color
start button 42, that is, the start of the image reading operation
30
started. The judgment as to Whether the number of sheets is
equal to or larger than the threshold value can be made based
on, for example, a signal from the Weight sensor 64. Then, at
triggers the image adjustment to start. Therefore, during
image reading by the image reading unit 20, image adjust
ment by the image forming unit 10 is performed concurrently.
As a result, the image adjustment may be ?nished before the
than a threshold value, update of the adjustment values is
S153, a requirement for judgment as to Whether or not the
35
number of sheets is equal to or larger than the threshold value
reading by the image reading unit 20 is ?nished. Therefore,
is added. Accordingly, update of the adjustment values When
even in the second embodiment, it can be expected that the
time from the start of the operation of the operation unit 40 to
the ?nish of printing becomes shorter than in the conventional
printing a small number of sheets can be avoided.
example.
Moreover, in the examples described above, the number of
document sheets is judged based on the Weight of a batch of
40
processing relating to image adjustment (for example, S102
to S104) is not performed. Therefore, the start of printing is
prevented from being delayed due to Waiting for updating of
adjustment values.
As described in detail above, in the copying apparatus 100,
45
mode and depressing of the color start button 42, etc.), an
50
(that is, formation of resist patterns) is executed. Accordingly,
during document reading or during a setting operation before
starting document reading, formation of resist patterns is
prising:
55
early and printing Will be started early based on the latest
adjustment values.
a reading unit con?gured to read an image on a document;
an input unit con?gured to input commands from a user;
an image forming unit con?gured to form an image;
Moreover, the present embodiment is merely an example,
and does not limit the present invention. Therefore, it is a
matter of course that the present invention can be variously
reading the content of an IC tag attached to the document.
What is claimed is:
1. A copying apparatus With a color copy function com
performed concurrently. As a result, it can be expected that
the adjustment value acquiring operation Will be ?nished
document sheets may be provided and the number of docu
ment sheets is judged based on the thickness of the batch of
the document sheets. Alternatively, an item for inputting the
number of document sheets is provided on the operation unit
40, and based on the input value, the number of document
sheets may be judged. Alternatively, an IC tag reader is pro
vided and the number of document sheets may be judged by
in response to an input of a command necessary for executing
color copying (a print setting operation in the color print
adjustment value acquiring operation for image adjustment
the document sheets, hoWever, the method for judging the
number of document sheets is not limited to this. For
example, a sensor Which detects the thickness of a batch of the
In addition, in the case of black-and-White copying, the
a processor; and
60
altered and varied Without departing from the spirit of the
present invention. For example, the present invention is appli
cable to not only copying apparatuss but also other machines
memory storing computer readable instructions, When
executed by the processor, causing the copying appara
tus to:
if a command related to color copying is input into the input
unit, trigger the image forming unit to form a mark for
image adjustment and perform color copying setting
having a color copy function such as multi-function printers.
limited to the electrophotographic method but may be an
according to the input command related to the color
copying before a command for starting color copying is
ink-j et method.
input into the input unit; and
Further, the image forming method of the process unit is not
65
US 8,619,347 B2
14
13
if the command for starting color copying is input into the
input unit, control the reading unit to read the image on
the document, perform the image adjustment on the
image read by the reading unit based on the mark formed
11. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein
the image forming unit starts printing the adjusted image after
a color copying start command is inputted into the input unit.
12. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein
the image forming unit includes an image adjustment sensor
con?gured to read the mark for image adjustment.
by the image forming unit and control the image forming
unit to form the adjusted image.
2. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein
13. A copying apparatus With a color copy function com
the copying apparatus has a black-and-White copy func
prising:
tion, and
the command for executing color copying is unnecessary 10
for executing black-and-White copying.
an image forming unit con?gured to form a mark for image
3. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein the
reading unit includes:
an automatic feeding unit that automatically conveys the
document; and
adjustment, perform an image adjustment on the image
read by the reading unit based on the formed mark for
image adjustment and print the adjusted image;
a processor; and
a detection unit con?gured to detect Whether or not the
memory storing computer readable instructions, When
executed by the processing, causing the copying appa
document is set in the automatic feeding unit.
4. The copying apparatus according to claim 3, Wherein
the detection unit judges Whether the number of document
sheets set in the automatic feeding unit is more than a
ratus to:
20
threshold value, and
the image forming unit forms the mark only if the detection
unit judges that the number of document sheets is more
than the threshold value.
5. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein the
image forming unit forms the mark only if the number of
prising:
30
requires a reading preparation operation.
a Work amount, an elapsed time, a temperature change, a
humidity change, and mounting of a component since the
previous mark formation, satis?es a predetermined condition.
an image forming unit con?gured to form an image;
memory storing computer readable instructions, When
executed by the processor, causing the copying appara
35
print different color images, respectively.
the image forming unit forms the mark only if at least one of
a reading unit con?gured to read an image on a document;
an input unit con?gured to input commands from a user;
a processor; and
7. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein the
9. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein the
image forming unit does not form the marks during printing
of another job.
10. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein
prescribed value if a command for starting color copying
is input into the input unit.
14. A copying apparatus With a color copy function com
images to be aggregately printed on one document sheet is
image forming unit forms the mark only if a setting of a copy
image quality is higher than a standard.
8. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein the
image forming unit includes a plurality of process units Which
trigger the image forming unit to form the mark for image
adjustment if the command for executing color copying
is input into the input unit; and
control the image forming unit to interrupt formation of the
mark if a mark formation progress is not more than a
25
more than the threshold value.
6. The copying apparatus according to claim 1, Wherein the
image forming unit forms the mark only if the reading unit
a reading unit con?gured to read an image on a document;
an input unit con?gured to input commands from a user;
40
tus to:
if a command for starting color copying is input into the
input unit, control the reading unit to read the image on
the document, and control the image forming unit to
form a mark for image adjustment so that the image
forming unit forms the mark during a time the reading
unit reads the image on the document;
perform the image adjustment on the image read by the
reading unit; and
control the image forming unit to form the adjusted image.
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