Including Indicator For Depletion Of Ribbon (e.g., Bell, Sign, Etc.) Patents (Class 400/249)
  • Patent number: 10710379
    Abstract: A printer includes: a print head that performs printing on a print medium of a conveyance object having the print medium and a member other than a print medium having mutually different colors or color brightness levels on regions on one side; a detector to detect a color or color brightness of the conveyance object at a detection position; and a processor. When there is a change in the color or color brightness as a first detection result as compared with the color or color brightness as a second detection, the processor updates a held value, and does not update the held value when there is no change. The processor determines whether there is a change in a detection value as compared with the updated held value or a previous held value not updated. When determining that there is no change, the processor stops printing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Naoki Ogawa
  • Patent number: 10675894
    Abstract: A tape cassette includes a box-like housing, a tape mounted within the housing, a hole and a first indicator portion. The housing includes a top wall having a top surface, a bottom wall having a bottom surface and opposing the top wall, and a front wall having a specified height and being formed along peripheries of the top wall and the bottom wall. The hole is provided in the front wall. The first indicator portion includes at least one first aperture and indicates a first element among a plurality of elements of a type of the tape. The first indicator portion is provided in a portion, spaced from the front wall, of the bottom wall. The hole and the one first aperture is located to intersect a virtual line orthogonal to the front wall when viewing along a vertical direction orthogonal to the top wall and the bottom wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Koshiro Yamaguchi, Akira Sago, Takashi Horiuchi, Yasuhiro Iriyama, Yasuhiro Shibata, Tsuyoshi Nagae, Masato Kato, Teruo Imamaki
  • Patent number: 9498988
    Abstract: A tape cassette includes a box-like housing, a tape mounted within the housing, a hole and a first indicator portion. The housing includes a top wall having a top surface, a bottom wall having a bottom surface and opposing the top wall, and a front wall having a specified height and being formed along peripheries of the top wall and the bottom wall. The hole is provided in the front wall. The first indicator portion includes at least one first aperture and indicates a first element among a plurality of elements of a type of the tape. The first indicator portion is provided in a portion, spaced from the front wall, of the bottom wall. The hole and the one first aperture is located to intersect a virtual line orthogonal to the front wall when viewing along a vertical direction orthogonal to the top wall and the bottom wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koshiro Yamaguchi, Akira Sago, Takashi Horiuchi, Yasuhiro Iriyama, Yasuhiro Shibata, Tsuyoshi Nagae, Masato Kato, Teruo Imamaki
  • Patent number: 9493016
    Abstract: A tape cassette that includes a box-like housing having a front wall, a top surface and a bottom surface, a wound tape mounted within the housing, a tape guide, and an indicator of the tape type formed in the front wall. The housing directs the tape along a path to an exit, and at least a portion of the path extends parallel to the front wall. The tape guide is spaced downstream of the exit, whereby a section of tape is exposed between the exit and the tape guide. The indicator is formed in the front wall proximal to the exposed section of tape, and includes at least one aperture that extends generally parallel to the top and bottom surfaces and perpendicular to the portion of the path extending parallel to the front wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koshiro Yamaguchi, Tsuyoshi Nagae, Teruo Imamaki, Masato Kato, Takashi Horiuchi, Akira Sago, Yasuhiro Iriyama, Yasuhiro Shibata
  • Patent number: 9457601
    Abstract: A tape cassette includes a box-like housing, a tape mounted within the housing, a hole and a first indicator portion. The housing includes a top wall having a top surface, a bottom wall having a bottom surface and opposing the top wall, and a front wall having a specified height and being formed along peripheries of the top wall and the bottom wall. The hole is provided in the front wall. The first indicator portion includes at least one first aperture and indicates a first element among a plurality of elements of a type of the tape. The first indicator portion is provided in a portion, spaced from the front wall, of the bottom wall. The hole and the one first aperture is located to intersect a virtual line orthogonal to the front wall when viewing along a vertical direction orthogonal to the top wall and the bottom wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koshiro Yamaguchi, Akira Sago, Takashi Horiuchi, Yasuhiro Iriyama, Yasuhiro Shibata, Tsuyoshi Nagae, Masato Kato, Teruo Imamaki
  • Patent number: 9427981
    Abstract: A tape cassette that includes a box-like housing having a front wall, a top surface and a bottom surface, a wound tape mounted within the housing, a tape guide, and an indicator of the tape type formed in the front wall. The housing directs the tape along a path to an exit, and at least a portion of the path extends parallel to the front wall. The tape guide is spaced downstream of the exit, whereby a section of tape is exposed between the exit and the tape guide. The indicator is formed in the front wall proximal to the exposed section of tape, and includes at least one aperture that extends generally parallel to the top and bottom surfaces and perpendicular to the portion of the path extending parallel to the front wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koshiro Yamaguchi, Tsuyoshi Nagae, Teruo Imamaki, Masato Kato, Takashi Horiuchi, Akira Sago, Yasuhiro Iriyama, Yasuhiro Shibata
  • Patent number: 8137015
    Abstract: A method of forming an image on a transfer sheet based on electronic data uses an image forming device and an ink ribbon cartridge. An ink ribbon of the ink ribbon cartridge has a plurality of ink films formed thereon with boundary lines being provided between the ink films. In the image forming method, the ink ribbon of the ink ribbon cartridge is conveyed when the power to the image forming device is turned on and the ink ribbon cartridge is installed in the image forming device and before the user inputs the image forming instruction. While the ink ribbon of the ink ribbon cartridge is conveyed, it is determined with a boundary line detecting unit whether at least one of the boundary lines formed on the ink ribbon has reached a predetermined position in the image forming device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: Funai Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yutaka Noda
  • Patent number: 7408663
    Abstract: In a communication system, a call center is connectable via a communication line to a facsimile apparatus having a printing function. The facsimile apparatus reads ribbon-ID data of an ink ribbon mounted therein, and sends the read ribbon-ID data to the center device. The call center receives the ribbon-ID data from the facsimile apparatus, judges whether or not the ribbon-ID data is valid, and returns a result of the judgment to the facsimile apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tokunori Kato, Hisao Sugiura, Susumu Chida
  • Patent number: 7390134
    Abstract: A ribbon identification system detects a digitally encoded tract comprised of radially printed bands of dark and light areas positioned on a ribbon spool that fits on a media printing device. Each type and length of ribbon to be used is associated with a specific and unique digitally encoded tract. When the ribbon spool is positioned correctly on the printing device, the digitally encoded tract is detected, and the control program of the printing device sets the parameters associated with that ribbon automatically ensuring proper printing. Through the digitally encoded tract, the ribbon spool is uniquely identified so that once it has been determined by the printing device's control program that the ribbon has been depleted, that ribbon spool, if reinstalled on the same printing device at a later time, will be recognized as a depleted ribbon, and the printing device will not function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2008
    Assignee: Printronix, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Bateman, Connie R. Bowen, Kevin P. Moore, Charles Baldwin Ranson, Dennis R. White
  • Patent number: 7390135
    Abstract: A ribbon identification system detects a digitally encoded tract comprised of radially printed bands of dark and light areas positioned on a ribbon spool that fits on a media printing device. Each type and length of ribbon to be used is associated with a specific and unique digitally encoded tract. When the ribbon spool is positioned correctly on the printing device, the digitally encoded tract is detected, and the control program of the printing device sets the parameters associated with that ribbon automatically ensuring proper printing. Through the digitally encoded tract, the ribbon spool is uniquely identified so that once it has been determined by the printing device's control program that the ribbon has been depleted, that ribbon spool, if reinstalled on the same printing device at a later time, will be recognized as a depleted ribbon, and the printing device will not function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2008
    Assignee: Printronix, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel R. Bateman, Connie R. Bowen, Kevin P. Moore, Charles Baldwin Ranson, Dennis R. White
  • Patent number: 7265771
    Abstract: A printer includes a ribbon supply end, a ribbon retrieving end, and a ribbon. The two ends of the ribbon are installed on the ribbon supply end and the ribbon retrieving end respectively. The printer further includes a print head, a print medium fixture, a driving module for driving the ribbon from the ribbon supply end to the ribbon retrieving end, a moving shaft for moving from a first position of the ribbon between the print head and the ribbon supply end so as to elongate the ribbon between the print head and the ribbon supply end before the print head transfers dye on the ribbon onto the print medium and when the print head and the print medium fixture clamp the print medium, and a control module for controlling the printer according to whether the moving shaft can be moved from the first position to a second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Assignee: Hi-Touch Imaging Technologies Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kuang-Huei Huang
  • Patent number: 7252443
    Abstract: A printer includes a ribbon supply end including a shaft, a ribbon retrieving end, and a ribbon. The two ends of the ribbon are installed on the ribbon supply end and the ribbon retrieving end respectively. The printer further includes a print head, a driving module for driving the ribbon supply end and the ribbon retrieving end so as to move the ribbon from the ribbon supply end to the ribbon retrieving end, a sensing module installed at one side of the ribbon supply end including a first contact sensor, and a second contact sensor installed between the first contact sensor and the ribbon supply end, and a control module for controlling the printer according to whether or not the second contact sensor can contact the shaft of the ribbon supply end when the first contact sensor contacts the ribbon on the ribbon supply end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2007
    Assignee: Hi-Touch Imaging Technologies Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kuang-Huei Huang
  • Patent number: 7070348
    Abstract: A tape printer includes a roll sheet holder storage part of which a bottom is formed with a positioning recess which is rectangular in plan view and long sideways and has a predetermined depth. A discrimination recess rectangular in plan view is provided between the positioning recess and an inner base end of a holder support member). The discrimination recess fittingly receives a sheet discrimination part extending in a predetermined length from a lower end of the positioning holding member inward at substantially right angle thereto. The sheet discrimination part is formed with sensor holes arranged in an L-shaped pattern. In the discrimination recess, there are provided sheet discrimination sensors arranged in an L-shaped pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kiyoshi Sugimoto, Akira Sago, Keiji Seo, Atsushi Kasugai
  • Patent number: 7018118
    Abstract: An improved detectable spool for use with a ribbon includes an improved hub which includes a core and an indication member. The indication member is a generally planar metallic member that is substantially embedded in or is otherwise mounted to the core, with the indication member including a support and a plurality of tabs. In at least one embodiment the indication member is a monolithically formed single-piece member, while in another embodiment the indication member is a multi-component member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2006
    Assignee: Sony Chemicals Corporation of America
    Inventors: Ernest L. Woosley, Doug Jackson, John A. Pomfret, Richard Crooks
  • Patent number: 6904842
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for adaptively controlling printer functions of a dot matrix printer in response to sensing the type of printer ink cartridge being used. An identifying resistive value is applied to surface of the cartridge and installed within the printer. The printer includes contacts that include sensors and sensor circuitry useful to detect a presence of the resistive indicator and the resistive value thereof. The sensed resistive value is used to directly control printer functions, and/or to access stored data or printer control routines specific to the type of cartridge, or desired performance characteristics. Stored information, which may be appended by other sensed information such as printer usage data, is used to selectively regulate printer operation to achieve maximum efficiency and performance from the particular ink cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Assignee: Amano Cincinnati, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter Jakubowski, Frank Benna
  • Patent number: 6798434
    Abstract: A facsimile machine includes a detachable ribbon cassette accommodating an ink ribbon and having an EEPROM that stores the amount of the ink ribbon consumed. In the facsimile machine, printing is performed while the ink ribbon is taken up by a take-up motor and the memory contents in the EEPROM are renewed according to the progress of printing. The facsimile machine further includes a ribbon-empty detector that detects that the facsimile machine runs out of the ink ribbon, and a CPU that resets the memory contents in the EEPROM of the ribbon cassette.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Satoshi Shibata, Mutsuo Fukuoka
  • Patent number: 6786660
    Abstract: An improved detectable spool for use with a ribbon includes an improved hub which includes a core and an indication member. The indication member is a generally planar metallic member that is substantially embedded in the core, with the indication member including a support and a plurality of tabs. In at least one embodiment the indication member is a monolithically formed single-piece member, while in another embodiment the indication member is a multi-component member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: Sony Chemicals Corporation of America
    Inventors: Ernie L. Woosley, Doug Jackson, Kiichi Sugasawa, Katsuhisa Orihara, John A. Pomfret
  • Patent number: 6767147
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for adaptively controlling printer functions of a dot matrix printer in response to sensing the type of printer ink cartridge being used. An identifying resistive value is applied to surface of the cartridge and installed within the printer. The printer includes contacts that include sensors and sensor circuitry useful to detect a presence of the resistive indicator and the resistive value thereof. The sensed resistive value is used to directly control printer functions, and/or to access stored data or printer control routines specific to the type of cartridge, or desired performance characteristics. Stored information, which may be appended by other sensed information such as printer usage data, is used to selectively regulate printer operation to achieve maximum efficiency and performance from the particular ink cartridge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Assignee: Amano Cincinnati, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter Jakubowski, Frank Benna
  • Patent number: 6734888
    Abstract: A method for determining a mismatch involving the availability of a dye donor supply and a dye receiver supply in a thermal printer when a particular print size and print quantity are selected, comprises: comparing a remaining number of similar-size donor patches available on the dye donor supply with a remaining number of like-size donor patches required for the selected print size and print quantity, and should the former number be less than the latter number providing a warning; and comparing a remaining length of dye receiver available on the dye receiver supply with a remaining length of dye receiver required for the selected print size and print quantity, and should the former length be less than the latter length providing a warning.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Robert F. Mindler, Theodore J. Skomsky
  • Patent number: 6614461
    Abstract: A printer includes a supply shaft wound with unused film including contrast agent, a winding shaft wound with used film including used contrast agent, rotation-speed detector for detecting a rotation speed of the supply shaft, and remaining-amount detector for determining an amount of unused film from the detected rotation speed detected. In the printer, the remaining amount of unused film such as ink film, roll paper or the like can be determined accurately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kimitoshi Terasaki, Masahiro Nakashima, Shuichi Kuriyama, Tatsuya Hirota, Yoshikazu Katsumata
  • Publication number: 20010036380
    Abstract: A printer media supply spool adapted to allow the printer to sense type of media, and method of assembling same. The supply spool comprises a shaft having a supply of media ribbon wound thereabout. A transceiver unit is disposed proximate the shaft. The transceiver is capable of transmitting a first electromagnetic field and sensing a second electromagnetic field. A transponder including a semi-conductor chip is integrally connected to the shaft and has encoded data stored in the chip indicative of the type of media ribbon. The chip is capable of receiving the first electromagnetic field to power the chip and then generating the second electromagnetic field as the chip is powered. The second electromagnetic field is characteristic of the data stored in the chip. The transceiver unit senses the second electromagnetic field, which second electromagnetic field has the data subsumed therein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2001
    Publication date: November 1, 2001
    Inventors: Robert W. Spurr, Kurt M. Sanger, Babak B. Tehranchi, Timothy J. Tredwell
  • Patent number: 6195111
    Abstract: A dye ribbon cassette for thermal transfer printing comprising a casing containing bearing means having rotatably mounted thereon a cylindrical member having on its periphery a mark carrying information capable of being detected by a sensor on rotation of the member and means operatively engageable with a drive source which is disposed outside of the casing to cause rotation of the member. The cassette may include a pair of identical, spaced apart, shafts rigidly mounted at one end of the casing, one of the shafts forming the bearing means for the cylindrical member, the shafts forming respectively mounting points for a feed spool and a take up spool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2001
    Assignee: Imperial Chemical Industries PLC
    Inventors: Anthony J Nelson, Terence J Burch, Jeffrey B Orton, Richard A Hann
  • Patent number: 6152625
    Abstract: A sensor hub for a print ribbon supply roll includes a sleeve shaped to attach to the roll core of the print ribbon supply roll, a pin-receiving plate secured to the sleeve and including a plurality of apertures, and a plurality of pins permanently secured in selected ones of the apertures. The pins are arranged in the apertures according to a print ribbon type to thereby identify the print ribbon type. The sleeve, pin-receiving plate and pins are preferably molded in a single step operation, thereby decreasing manufacturing time and reducing manufacturing costs. By molding the sleeve and pin-receiving plate around the pins, the pins can be permanently secured in the apertures of the pin-receiving plate, and the mold cavity can be constructed so as to eliminate susceptibility to human error.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2000
    Assignee: Fargo Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael S. Oliverio
  • Patent number: 6149326
    Abstract: A tape cartridge for a debossing stamper includes a casing, a tape-containing supply spool and a tape take-up spool in the casing, the supply spool having at least one reflector pad visually accessible from the exterior of the casing by an optical reflective sensor for detecting and indicating an amount of tape remaining on the supply spool. In one embodiment the at least one reflector pad is a series of equally spaced reflector pads on an outer periphery of the supply spool. The sensor provides a feedback on each 1/4 revolution of said supply reel, the feedback being received by firmware to track the number of motor steps to drive the take-up spool and to rotate the supply spool a 1/4 turn, and wherein a computer calculates the amount of tape remaining on the supply spool based on supply spool core diameter, take-up spool core diameter and total tape length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2000
    Assignee: Taurus Impressions, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles T. Groswith, III, William A. Banks, Eugene F. Duval, Roger M. Gray, Raymond D. Heistand, II, Barry C. Kockler, Warren K. Shannon, Robert E. Smith, William J. Usitalo
  • Patent number: 6141029
    Abstract: A thermal transfer printer has a thermal print head with a number of thermal print elements which are operated by power electronics and controlled by a control unit to print an imprint on a medium by thermally transferring ink from an inking ribbon to the medium by energization of selected print elements by the control unit, with the inking ribbon and the medium being movably disposed between the print head and a counter-roller with the inking ribbon being unwound from a supply reel and wound onto a take-up reel. The end of the inking ribbon is identified in a method and apparatus wherein the number of imprints produced by said inking ribbon is counted, and a signal is emitted after a predetermined number of said imprints has been counted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Francotypo-Postalia AG & Co.
    Inventors: Stephan Gunther, Wolfgang Thiel
  • Patent number: 6092943
    Abstract: In a facsimile apparatus having a printing mechanism, the number of consumed printing papers is accumulated. When an ink ribbon is exchanged, a manual reset operation is requested. In one aspect, the request is made only when the accumulated value is in excess of a predetermined reference. In another aspect, two counters are used to accumulate the number of consumed printing papers separately from each other. If one counter is not reset when the reset operation is requested and a recovery of correct accumulated value is instructed manually, the accumulated value in that counter is updated by the other accumulated value in the other counter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2000
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kenichi Dan
  • Patent number: 6076982
    Abstract: An ink ribbon assembly is disclosed which includes an ink ribbon, a support for the ink ribbon and data retention means associated with the support. The support, for example, may be a supply spool, a take-up spool, and a rotatable ring. The data retention means may be a nonvolatile memory. Data indicating the ink ribbon characteristics is stored in the memory. Such data may relate to data correcting production variations of ink, the type of ink on the ribbon, and the amount of ribbon left. The ink ribbon assembly is used with a printer device which reads the data from the data retention means, corrects the image printing information in accordance with the read correction data and performs the printing in accordance with the corrected image printing information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Hiroshi Katsuno
  • Patent number: 6059469
    Abstract: A printer device, and method, is disclosed which is used in conjunction with an ink ribbon assembly. The ink ribbon assembly includes an ink ribbon and a support. A storage device is integrated with the support. Data relating to the ink ribbon characteristics is stored in the storage device. The printer reads the data in the storage device and modifies the supplied print information ascending to the data stored in the ink ribbon assembly. Ink ribbon characteristic data can include production variance, ribbon type, and remaining ribbon data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Yasushi Hirumi
  • Patent number: 5887993
    Abstract: The present invention provides a tape printing device for printing a desirable series of characters on a tape and cutting the tape to a label of a desirable length, and also a tape cartridge used in the tape printing device. The tape cartridge has a characteristic element readably storing specific information on the tape such as a width of the tape. The tape printing device reads the characteristic element to control printing conditions according to the type of the tape cartridge. More specifically, the tape printing device determines a variety of parameters including a number of lines and character sizes of the character series printed on the tape as well as lengths of left and right margins. When a tape of a relatively large width is set in the tape cartridge, the device increases a rotation torque of a platen for feeding the tape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 30, 1999
    Assignees: Seiko Epson Corporation, King Jim Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masahiko Nunokawa, Kenji Watanabe
  • Patent number: 5836703
    Abstract: A printer system includes an ink ribbon end detector for detecting that the ink ribbon cassette has been used to the end; an used ink ribbon cassette holding position memory device for storing therein information indicative of holding position of a used ink ribbon cassette held on a stocker when the ink ribbon cassette end detection means detects that an ink ribbon has been used to the end, and a cassette holding determining device for determining whether or not an ink ribbon cassette whose ink ribbon has not been used is set in the stocker based on holding information. In the printer system having the described arrangement, an optimal available ink ribbon cassette is selected, and in the case of storing plural ink ribbon cassettes in the same color, a continuous printing operation of a large capacity may be performed without using user's hands.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1998
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tadashi Watanabe
  • Patent number: 5813774
    Abstract: A ticket-printing device has a ribbon sensor and a mode-switching circuit. The mode-switching circuit automatically selects different printing conditions depending on whether or not the ribbon sensor detects the presence of an ink ribbon. The ink ribbon is wound on a supply spool and take-up spool. When the ink ribbon is replaced, a ribbon fixture holds the supply spool and take-up spool in correct relative positions so that they can be easily slipped onto a supply spool shaft and take-up spool shaft in the ticket-printing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Assignees: Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd., Oki Information Systems, Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sadao Sone, Shinji Sado, Takahiro Amada
  • Patent number: 5807001
    Abstract: A cassette with an end of ribbon indicator or mark in accordance with the present invention includes a spool for storing the useable ribbon, a pair of end hubs, and at least one end of ribbon mark. One of the end hubs is connected to each end of the spool. Each of the end hubs has an inner surface facing the spool which includes the end of ribbon mark. The mark indicates how much usable ribbon is left on the spool. Preferably, the marks comprise a plurality of concentric rings centered around an axis extending along the length of the center of the spool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: IIMAK
    Inventors: Susan M. Hammill, Mark J. Poydock
  • Patent number: 5755519
    Abstract: A sensor for sensing and identifying characteristics of a printer ink ribbon when a ribbon supply roll is inserted into a printer and operated. Ink ribbon cartridges used in printers are provided in a number of types, colors, and other identifiable characteristics that are important for insuring that the correct ribbon is inserted in the printer for the then current print job. In the present invention, the ribbon cartridges include ribbon supply rolls which are provided with identifying indicia on one end of the roll, and a sensor to read the presence of indicia when the printer is operated. The positions of the indicia relative to selected reference positions indicates the ink ribbon type. Suitable circuitry is used to disable the printer if the print ribbon is not properly correlated to the requirements of the printer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: Fargo Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Gary M. Klinefelter
  • Patent number: 5743664
    Abstract: Thermal printer adapted to detect end of dye donor web by use of light beams. The printer includes a dye donor web supply spindle having a light-reflecting surface thereon. A dye donor web is wound about the spindle, the dye donor web having a predetermined number of substantially transparent color patches therein. A light source disposed near the dye donor web emits an incident light beam containing a predetermined first color penetrating the dye donor web. A portion of the incident light beam that is unabsorbed by the color patches passes through the patches of the dye donor web and is intercepted by the light reflecting surface which reflects the incident light beam. The reflected light defines a reflected light beam that passes through the dye donor web on its way to a detector disposed near the dye donor web. The detector detects the reflected light beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Jeffrey A. Small
  • Patent number: 5713678
    Abstract: The present invention features a photosensing mechanism for a receipt-printing machine which senses a low condition of a paper supply roll housed within a bucket of the receipt-printing machine. The paper-supply roll has a "floating" characteristic; that is, no fixed rotational mounts align the roll within its feed bucket. The photosensing mechanism adjusts to different supply-roll positions within the feed bucket, the different positions of which result from different mounting orientations of the receipt-printing machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 3, 1998
    Assignee: Axiohm IPB Inc.
    Inventors: Michael John Smith, Kathleen Maginnity
  • Patent number: 5634731
    Abstract: For thermal transfer printing, a coloring material image is thermally migrated from a thermal transfer printing sheet having a coloring material layer thereon onto an image forming area of an image-receiving layer of an intermediate transfer recording medium. The image on the recording medium is then thermally transfer-printed under pressure on a printing sheet in an image transfer section. A detection mark is provided on the intermediate transfer recording medium. This detection mark is detected for positioning an image forming area of the recording medium relative to a thermal head of the printer. In a case where the image forming section and the image transfer section are arranged in a line, a buffer unit is provided in which the recording medium being fed continuously between the two sections is caused to take a detouring path whereby mutual influence of the two sections is prevented. A line heater can be used as heating means in the image transfer section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 3, 1997
    Assignee: Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tatsuya Kita, Jitsuhiko Ando, Naoji Shibasaki
  • Patent number: 5605405
    Abstract: An ink ribbon for a printer or the like has a leading and/or trailing, optically operative control strip. The control strip has only a first light-impervious or opaque control portion and a second transparent control portion. The control portion adjoining the ink ribbon is of a length of between 1 and 4 cm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 25, 1997
    Assignee: Leonhard Kurz GmbH & Co.
    Inventor: Herbert Kurz
  • Patent number: 5593237
    Abstract: An ink ribbon cassette has a case housing an ink ribbon inside. Holes for receiving positioning members are formed at the two ends of a front portion of the case, and an engaging member is formed at the center of a rear portion of the case. One of the positioning members also serves as an ink ribbon end detector. A printing apparatus for printing using such an ink ribbon cassette has a carriage, projections and a spring. Thus, the slackening of the ink ribbon will not occur in the printing mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1997
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Mineo Nozaki, Osamu Asakura, Yoshio Uchikata, Masasumi Nagashima
  • Patent number: 5567066
    Abstract: A nonimpact printer minimizes ribbon wastage by recording on each ribbon its usage history and then using that history to control subsequent ribbon movement in the same or a different printer. The usage history is printed onto the ribbon itself, and is thus portable along with the ribbon cassette. Sequence numbers that identify particular panels and portions thereof are similarly written onto the ribbon for greater convenience in ribbon control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1996
    Inventor: Suresh C. Paranjpe
  • Patent number: 5538351
    Abstract: A thermal transfer printer capable of elongating the period in which the ink ribbon can be used so that the frequency of ribbon cassette changes is reduced, the thermal transfer printer including a control unit arranged such that, if an end of an ink ribbon in the ribbon cassette mounted on a carriage is detected in a case where ribbon cassettes accommodating the same color ink ribbons are held in a plurality of cassette holding portions, the control unit causes the consumed ribbon cassette to be sent to an empty cassette holding portion and a new ribbon cassette to be selected and mounted on the carriage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1996
    Assignee: Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tsuyoshi Miyano
  • Patent number: 5529410
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling tension on a sheet material in a reel-to-reel transport system. The sheet material is feed along a defined path from a supply reel to a take-up reel. A motor is operatively connected to the take-up reel for applying a torque to the take-up reel while a sensor is positioned to detect rotation of the supply reel. A microcontroller enables the motor with an initial PWM pwm.sub.o to create torque on the take-up reel and then incrementally increases the PWM. When the sensor indicates that the supply reel has moved, the current PWM is stored in memory as pwm.sub.i. This pwm.sub.i is subsequently used by the apparatus to determine a desired tension on the thermal ribbon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 25, 1996
    Assignee: Pitney Bowes Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin D. Hunter, Walter J. Kulpa
  • Patent number: 5518328
    Abstract: An object of the invention is to offer tape units having a plurality of kinds of tapes and to be reloaded to corresponding tape cassettes, and when the tape unit is to be reloaded, the kind of tape unit to be reloaded can be discriminated at a single glance and the tape unit can be reloaded in a proper state to the corresponding tape cassette without fail. A cap is fitted in a spool hole disposed on the upper end part of a tape spool of each tape unit, and there is a display for displaying the ground color of a tape, a color which can be colored in printing, the use of the tape and the width of the tape provided on the upper surface of the cap. Thus, the characteristic of each tape can be recognized at a single glance, and reloading can be performed properly in selecting a desired tape unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1996
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Okuchi, Koshiro Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 5499878
    Abstract: A device for improving a system for controlling the winding of a ribbon on a take-up reel. This device is particularly designed to obviate the phenomenon of clinging between a ribbon and the face of a card to be printed on, during an operation of printing by the thermal transfer of inks carried by the ribbon. For that purpose, the vertical shift of the ribbon is detected by a sensor associated with an optical detection device. The detection of this shift prompts the modification, in a circuit, of the number of steps per time unit of the step motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 19, 1996
    Assignee: Gemplus Card International
    Inventor: Paul Morgavi
  • Patent number: 5480238
    Abstract: The invention aims at selecting a recording sheet discharge mode in accordance with user's priority of printing speed or printed image quality. In the thermal transfer printer, when discharge concurrent with printing is selected, a microcomputer operates to rotate a mode motor to close a transport passage between a guide member and a platen roller by means of a sheet discharge plate. Starting printing by rotating the platen roller in this state, the leading end of a recording sheet is delivered to a discharge opening, which is defined by the guide member and a guide plate, and introduced between sheet discharge rollers and idler rollers. When separate discharge after printing is selected, the microcomputer starts printing without rotating the mode motor. The sheet discharge plate closes the discharge opening defined by the guide member and the guide plate. The leading end of the recording sheet is delivered to the transport passage between the guide member and the platen roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1996
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tetsuo Nakano, Yuichi Takano, Masami Takada
  • Patent number: 5445464
    Abstract: An image recording apparatus for recording an image on a recording medium has a plurality of ink ribbon mounting portions on which a multicolor ink ribbon having inks of plural colors and a monochromatic ink ribbon having monochromatic ink can be mounted, a recording head for recording an image on the recording medium, an input circuit for designating the colors of the image to be recorded on the recording medium, and a control unit for controlling the image based on recording information to be recorded by the direction from said input means so that image recording is effected in a smaller number of the recording colors by the recording information. The unused amount of the color blocks on the ribbon is stored in memory to control efficient use of the ribbon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Osamu Asakura, Yoshio Uchikata, Kenji Kawazoe, Yuji Kanome
  • Patent number: 5393149
    Abstract: A color video printing apparatus includes a reflection sensor detecting information marks on a mark-carrying section of a spool of an ink ribbon cartridge detachably mounted on the printing apparatus. A mark identification unit 36 identifies informations about the ink ribbon depending upon detection results which are transmitted from the sensor. A system controller selects a printing mode based on identification results transmitted from the mark identification unit 36 and then controls a mechanical controller according to the printing mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1993
    Date of Patent: February 28, 1995
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Shin Iima
  • Patent number: 5385416
    Abstract: A device for identifying an ink ribbon cartridge used in a printing apparatus includes a spool rotatably disposed in the ink ribbon cartridge and having an ink ribbon wound thereabout. A ring is mounted on the spool so as to be rotatable relative to the spool and has information marks recorded thereon. A photo-sensor is disposed in the printing apparatus in opposite relation to the ring and detects the information marks recorded on the ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1995
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Tomohiro Maekawa, Yasuji Yui, Hitoshi Kamoda
  • Patent number: 5366307
    Abstract: A thermal printing system with encoded cassettes is disclosed. A thermal image transfer sheet is removably attached to a print sheet. Encoded instructions may be provided as either a bar code placed on the print sheet, as digital signals stored in a ROM or RAM storage device which forms a part of a cassette supply storing the print sheets, or as digital signals indicated by extruded pins or punched holes in a part of a cassette supply storing the print sheets. The encoded instructions represent certain conditions, such as the optimum thermal printing energy to be applied to pixels forming a printing head, and such encoded instructions are utilized to program various aspects of printing, such as the printing format. The print sheet may be divided, as by scoring, into different print fields so that it may be readily separated into separate display signs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 22, 1994
    Inventors: Thomas K. McGourty, Lawrence F. McGourty
  • Patent number: 5365312
    Abstract: Reservoirs (11, 12) for printing equipment whether they are ink reservoirs, inked ribbon cassettes or toner reservoirs comprise an electronic memory means (14) in the form of a chip in which information about the current fill status of the reservoir and/or other status data, for example expiration date of the printing medium, that are relevant for the printer operation are stored. The used status of printing medium is acquired via the central controller (16) of the printing equipment and is communicated to the chip (14). The chip at the reservoir counts consumption until the supply of printing medium (ink fluid, inked ribbon, toner) exhausted to such an extent that the reservoir must be replaced. A reprogramming of the chip and, thus refilling of the reservoir is not possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 15, 1994
    Assignee: Mannesmann AG
    Inventors: Rudiger Hillmann, Thomas Fuchs
  • Patent number: RE42088
    Abstract: A printer includes a supply shaft wound with unused film including contrast agent, a winding shaft wound with used film including used contrast agent, rotation-speed detector for detecting a rotation speed of the supply shaft, and remaining-amount detector for determining an amount of unused film from the detected rotation speed detected. In the printer, the remaining amount of unused film such as ink film, roll paper or the like can be determined accurately.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Kimitoshi Terasaki, Masahiro Nakashima, Shuichi Kuriyama, Tatsuya Hirota, Yoshikazu Katsumata