(19)
(11)EP 1 869 622 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
27.11.2019 Bulletin 2019/48

(21)Application number: 06738428.9

(22)Date of filing:  15.03.2006
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G06K 15/00  (2006.01)
H04N 1/00  (2006.01)
G03B 27/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2006/009365
(87)International publication number:
WO 2006/099505 (21.09.2006 Gazette  2006/38)

(54)

ORDER SEPARATOR FOR PHOTOGRAPHIC ORDER FULFILLMENT

AUFTRAGSTRENNER FÜR FOTOGRAFISCHE AUFTRAGSERFÜLLUNG

SÉPARATEUR DE COMMANDES POUR TRAITEMENT DE COMMANDES PHOTOGRAPHIQUES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC NL PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 15.03.2005 US 594144 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
26.12.2007 Bulletin 2007/52

(73)Proprietors:
  • Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
    Tokyo-To (JP)
  • DNP Photo Imaging America Corporation
    San Marcos, TX 78666 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • OLES, David
    San Marcos, Texas 78666 (US)
  • YOSHIDA, Jun
    Austin, Texas 78748 (US)

(74)Representative: Cabinet Beau de Loménie 
158, rue de l'Université
75340 Paris Cedex 07
75340 Paris Cedex 07 (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-01/01669
US-A- 4 201 464
US-A- 5 316 279
US-A- 6 157 436
US-B1- 6 227 531
JP-A- S62 185 675
US-A- 5 156 384
US-A- 5 623 581
US-A1- 2005 041 993
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    Technical Field



    [0001] The present invention relates to photographic order fulfillment. More specifically, the present invention relates to identifying separate photographic orders during the fulfillment process.

    Background Art



    [0002] On-demand printers (such as Dye Sublimation printers) are frequently used to create printed output from consumer photographs. Retailers are more and more frequently directing output from 2 or more consumer terminals (kiosks) or other consumer input points to on-demand printers. Alternatively, these on-demand printers are being used to create printed output from consumer film or prints as part of in store personnel operated "digital minilabs." Since on-demand printers, such as dye sublimation, usually lack sorting devices or a method for back printing order information, retailers have difficulty identifying one customer order from the next customer order.

    [0003] On-demand printers typically have an excess piece of paper (hereafter paper waste) that is cut off and discarded at the end of the printing process. The paper waste is used to handle the paper in the printer and also ensures that the printer can print "full bleed" (edge to edge) without a white border.

    [0004] Order separators known in the field of the invention use paper sheets of different sizes to indicate the beginning or end of a print job or simply shift one or several sheets of paper to create an offset between individual print jobs.

    [0005] For example, US 5316279A describes a print job separation system, wherein the printer has at least two separate sheet supply trays for the selective feeding of at least two standard sizes of copy sheets for printing.

    [0006] In contrast to this, the apparatus of the present invention is fed one size of copy sheets, as the machine then does or does not cut off the waste area during the process, depending on whether or not the sheet is a separator sheet.

    [0007] Not having to use two different sheet sizes makes the printing process more efficient, as this enables the printing kiosk to print and cut different sizes of photographic prints and saves space, as it allows for smaller dimensions of the printing kiosk.

    [0008] JP 62185675 refers to a fax machine, which uses rolled paper. As fax messages need to have a margin, the apparatus described in JP 62185675 does not cut off a waste area from a print to enable edge-to-edge printing. Moreover, it different sheet sizes are fed into the fax machine to separate one print job from another.

    [0009] In the method described in US 6227531 B1, individual output jobs are identified by means of a job separation page, which is offset against the pages of the output job, i.e. the separation page is shifted to one side of the output tray by moving the delivery rollers. The apparatus of US 6227531 B1 does not trim the borders of the printed paper.

    [0010] WO 0101669 A1 discloses a printing apparatus and a printing method using a plurality of printers to achieve high-speed printing. The printers print in parallel to output a large number of pages in a small amount of time. WO 0101669 A1 does not refer to the separation of several print jobs using separator sheets and does not mention that the paper is cut during the process to achieve edge-to-edge prints.

    [0011] In the method described in US 5156384, a large roll of paper is cut into several pieces. Although this method does involve a cutting process, it cannot be used for full-bleed printing, as the individual prints would unavoidably overlap. Furthermore, the method does not use separator sheets but simply sorts the sheets of paper according to their size.

    [0012] The present invention provides a method and apparatus that include an order separator for photographic order fulfillment. The present invention includes a photographic printer that prints a photograph. And, the present invention includes a process where the paper waste area on the bottom of a separator sheet print is not cut from a photographic print so that, when stacked, the individual separator sheets create a tab separating the different customer photographic orders. Further, the present invention includes a process where the paper waste area on the top or the bottom of a print is not cut from the photographic print. Additionally, the present invention includes a process where the first print of an order is not trimmed, leaving a tabbed structure. Further, the present invention includes a process where the last print of an order is not trimmed, leaving a tabbed structure. And, the present invention includes a process as described above and including identifying text or graphics printed in the paper waste area.

    [0013] To aid in the understanding of the operational aspects of photographic order fulfillment, this disclosure uses as an example a stand-alone digital photographic kiosk, such as the kiosk disclosed in International Patent Application Serial Number PCT/US2004/002079, filed 27 January 2004 (27.01.2004) and published as WO 2004/067286. Additionally, an example of using multiple photographic printers in the photographic order fulfillment process is described in International Patent Application Ser. No. PCT/US2004/036732, filed 04 November 2004 (04.11.2004), and published as WO 2005/045637. Further, this application claims the benefits of the earlier filed U.S. Provisional App. Ser. No. 60/594,144 filed 15 March 2005 (15.03.2005).

    BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION



    [0014] The present invention provides an order separator for photographic order fulfillment, comprising: an output print device including individual sheets of photographic paper, the output print device being configured to print one or more photographic prints of the photographic order and a separator print on said sheets of photographic paper; and a system controller that controls the utilization of said photographic paper of said output print devices for said photographic prints, wherein said system controller is configured to control whether to create said separator print or said photographic prints.

    [0015] In the order separator of the present invention, the system controller is further configured to produce the photographic prints by having a photographic image printed on said sheet of photographic paper and by having the borders, representing a waste area, trimmed so that the photographic print is smaller than the sheet of photographic paper; and produce the separator print by having a photographic image printed on said sheet of photographic paper and by retaining the waste area, so that the separator print has a larger size than the photographic prints. Said retained waste area may be blank, contain photographic images, contain text, or contain a combination of photographic images and text.The separator print creates a tab separating different photographic orders of the photographic prints.

    [0016] Furthermore, the present invention provides a method to use an order separator for photographic order fulfillment with an output print device and a system controller. The method comprises the following steps: providing to the output print device individual sheets of photographic paper; printing, with said output print device, one or more photographic prints of the photographic order on said sheets of photographic paper; creating, on said sheets of photographic paper, a separator print that is larger than said photographic prints of the photographic order; controlling, with said system controller, the utilization of said photographic paper of said output print devices for said photographic prints; and controlling, with said system controller, whether to create said separator print or said photographic prints.

    [0017] The method is characterized in that the step of printing the one or more photographic prints comprises having a photographic image printed on said sheet of photographic paper and having the borders, representing a waste area, trimmed; and in that the step of creating a separator print comprises having a photographic image printed on said sheet of photographic paper and retaining the waste area so that the separator print has a larger size than the photographic prints, wherein said retained waste area may be blank, contain photographic images, contain text, or contain a combination of photographic images and text.

    [0018] The separator print may comprise a separator print area comprising a single print of thumbnail images and an additional waste area of photographic paper in addition to the separator print area. The additional waste area may be blank, contain photographic images, contain text, or contain a combination of photographic images and text. Alternatively, the separator print may comprise a blank sheet of the photographic paper.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



    [0019] To further aid in understanding the invention, the attached drawings help illustrate specific features of the invention and the following is a brief description of the attached drawings:

    FIG. 1 is an illustration of a stand-alone photographic order fulfillment apparatus.

    FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the stand-alone photographic order fulfillment apparatus.

    FIGs. 3A and 3B illustrate the creation of the order separator print of the claimed invention.

    FIG. 4 illustrates the operation of the claimed invention when used to separate different photographic orders during the fulfillment process.


    DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION



    [0020] The present invention is a method and apparatus that include an order separator for photographic order fulfillment. This disclosure describes numerous specific details that include specific photographic printers, photographic paper, and photographic printing processes. One skilled in the art will appreciate that one may practice the present invention without these specific details.

    [0021] FIG. 1 is an illustration of a stand-alone photographic order fulfillment apparatus that comprises a digital photographic kiosk 100. The present invention can be implemented on a wide variety of equipment that is in current use for fulfilling photographic orders. For example, the present invention can be implemented using a back office minilab that includes a user input device. Or, it may be implemented with a combination terminal type kiosk that is networked to a minilab or stand-alone on-demand printers. Or, it can be implemented in a stand-alone digital photographic kiosk as described in this disclosure. One skilled in the art will appreciate the wide variety of equipment that may be used to implement the claimed invention.

    [0022] The photographic order fulfillment kiosk 100 typically comprises some type of user interface 104 that incorporates a display device. Kiosk 100 also includes the input data readers 106 that can be any device adapted to read digital data from a portable data storage device. Finally, kiosk 100 includes one or more output print devices such as photographic printers 110 that provide photographic prints for photographic images.

    [0023] FIG. 2 is a block diagram of the photographic order fulfillment kiosk 100. Kiosk 100 may be located in a dedicated stand-alone cabinet, in a wall, in a cabinet with other devices, or in another housing or location. The particular physical embodiment of the photographic order fulfillment apparatus 100, such as the size and shape of its cabinet, or the presence of a dedicated cabinet at all, is not critical to the invention. Kiosk 100 includes a system controller or information handling system 102 that controls the operation of the kiosk 100. The system controller 102 may be any computing device capable of executing instructions and handling the inputs and outputs necessary to the operation of the kiosk. For example, the system controller 102 may be an off-the-shelf personal computer that includes a motherboard and interface card slots. FIG. 2 shows some of the functions that are possible with the system controller 102 that may include a photo editing function 122, a checkout function 130, a photo printing function 124, a photo archiving function 126, and a payment function 128.

    [0024] The system controller 102 also connects to a user interface 104 that presents information and enables the user to interact with the kiosk 100. The user interface 104 may include a cathode ray tube, a flat panel liquid crystal display, or any other device capable of displaying information to a customer or a store clerk, alone or in combination with a series of multifunction buttons whose current functions may be indicated on the display. Additionally, the system controller 102 may connect to an input data reader 106. The input data reader 106 may be any device adapted to read digital data from a portable data storage device. The system controller 102 also connects to an internal storage device 108 such as a hard disk drive. The internal storage device 108 is adapted to store the photographic data received through the data reader 106 from a customer or the store clerk. The internal storage device 108 may also store other data, such as instructions for execution by the system controller 102.

    [0025] Kiosk 100 further includes other components that connect to the system controller 102 that includes a payment acceptor 112 and a receipt/coupon printer 118. Also connected to the system controller 102 is a network interface 116 that provides a communications link 200 to one or more connections such as a wired or wireless local area network, wide area network, internet connection, telephone connection, or wireless device carried by a customer. Kiosk 100 may further include an output digital media storage device 114 connected to the system controller 102, which stores customers' information on standard digital media such as a DVD or CD-ROM disk. Finally, the system controller 102 connects to an input unit 120 that may be a keyboard, keypad, trackball, or other device or combination through which the customer can interact with kiosk 100.

    [0026] The photographic order fulfillment kiosk 100 may include one or more output print devices 110. One embodiment of the output print devices of the present invention includes photographic printers such as dye sublimation printers or ink jet printers, with each type of printer using different types of consumable media. The consumable media used by dye sublimation printers includes dye transfer ribbons, photographic paper, and material for a protective overcoat laminate. The consumable media used by inkjet printers includes inkjet cartridges and photographic paper. The output print devices 110 connect to the system controller 102, which controls the utilization of consumable media produced by the photographic printers 110. As described above, the output print devices may also be part of a much larger back office minilab (that has the larger/faster on-demand printers) that connects to a user input terminal containing the system controller 102 and all of the associated data input peripherials. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the functionality of the claimed invention may be split over one or more physical devices that connect to one another through a network as described above.

    [0027] FIGs. 3A and 3B illustrate the claimed invention for photographic prints. FIG. 3A illustrates a typical photographic print 320 made by an output print device 110 such as an on-demand dye sublimation printer. To help illustrate the claimed invention, photographic print 320 is a typical 4" (306) x 6" (304) photographic print. One skilled in the art will appreciate that the claimed invention is applicable to photographic prints of all sizes.

    [0028] On-demand printers typically have an excess piece of paper (hereafter paper waste) that is cut off and discarded at the end of the photographic printing process. The paper waste is used to handle the photographic paper in the printer and also ensures that the printer can print "full bleed" (edge to edge) without a white border. The photographic image 302 is printed onto photographic paper 300 (photographic paper is one part of the consumable media used during the photographic order fulfillment process). After printing the photographic image 302 on to the photographic paper 300, the output print device 110 then trims the border so that the final product is a photographic print 320 that is edge to edge without a border.

    [0029] FIG. 3B illustrates the separator print 330 of the claimed invention. As previously discussed, there is not an easy method to separate different photographic orders when using high volume on-demand printers. The system controller 102 of the present invention issues a special instruction to the output print device 110 to generate the separator print 330 that the physical size of the print is larger or oversized in some fashion than the surrounding photographic prints of the photographic order. As is illustrated by FIG. 3B, the separator print 330 contains the photographic paper 300 as was shown in FIG. 3A. The separator print area 303 may contain a photographic image that is edge to edge without a border on the photographic paper 300. The separator print area 303 may comprise a single photographic image from the photographic order, or it may comprise a single print of thumbnail images that may for example contain thumbnail images of all of the images in the photographic order, or it may even contain text or a combination of text and thumbnail images. Alternatively, the separator print area may be a blank, i.e., that is no photographic image printed on the photographic paper.

    [0030] Referring back to the separator print 330, the system controller 102 issues an instruction to the output print devices to print the separator print 330. The system controller would instruct the output print device 110 to take the size print of the surrounding photographic prints such as the 4" (306) x 6" (304) photographic prints previously discussed and then generate or add the excess piece of photographic paper 310 (which is also referred to as the additional waste area) to the original photographic paper 300. Thus, using the example of the 4" x 6" print, the excess photographic paper increases the separator print 330 by 0.3" (308) so that the final size for the separator print 330 is 4.3" x 6". The final size of the separator print 330 is larger or is oversized relative to the surrounding photographic prints of the photographic orders. One skilled in the art will appreciate that one may use different sizes for the additional waste area of photographic paper. Additionally, one skilled in the art will appreciate that the additional waste area for the separator print 330 may be printed on the bottom of the separator print area, the top of the separator print area, or even the sides of the separator print area, as all of these locations are within the scope of the claimed invention. With the additional waste area 310, the present invention may leave the additional area blank, or the additional area may contain photographic images, contain text, or contain a combination of photographic images and text. Any of these options allow the user of the claimed invention to be able to easily separate different photographic orders from one another.

    [0031] FIG. 4 illustrates the claimed invention when used to separate different photographic orders from a number of orders 400 that are printed consecutively. The separator prints 401, 403, and 405 of the present invention clearly mark the separation of the different photographic orders 402, 404, and 406 generated during the photographic fulfillment process. Each photographic order (402, 404, 406) may contain one or more photographic prints. With multiple photographic orders 400 stacked together as illustrated in FIG. 4, the separator prints effectively creates tab separating the different orders. Thus, the user (store clerk or customer) can quickly and more easily separate different photographic orders.

    [0032] To summarize, the present invention is a method and apparatus that provides an order separator for photographic order fulfillment. The present invention includes one or more output print devices that print one or more photographic prints of the photographic order using photographic paper. The present invention includes a separator print that comprises a sheet of photographic paper that is larger than the photographic prints of the photographic order. Further, a system controller controls the utilization of the photographic paper of the output print devices for the photographic prints, wherein the system controller controls whether to create the separator print or the photographic prints.

    [0033] The separator print creates a tab separating different photographic orders of the photographic prints.

    [0034] Further, the separator print may comprise a separator sheet area comprising a single photographic print and an additional waste area made from the photographic paper combined with the separator print area. The separator print may comprise a separator print area comprising a single print of thumbnail images and an additional waste area made from the photographic paper combined with the separator print area. Further, the additional waste area may be blank, contain photographic images, contain text, or contain a combination of photographic images and text. Alternatively, the separator print may comprise a blank sheet of photographic paper.

    [0035] Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specification or practicing the disclosed invention. The specification and examples above are exemplary only, with the true scope of the invention being indicated by the following claims.


    Claims

    1. An apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment, comprising:

    an output print device (110) including individual sheets of photographic paper (300), the output print device being configured to print one or more photographic prints (320) of the photographic order (402, 404, 406) and a separator print (330) on said sheets of photographic paper (300);and

    a system controller (102) that controls the utilization of said photographic paper (300) of said output print devices (110) for said photographic prints (320), wherein said system controller (102) is configured to control whether to create said separator print (330) or said photographic prints (320);
    the order separator (100) being characterized in that

    the system controller (102) is further configured to

    produce the photographic prints (320) by having a photographic image (302) printed on said sheet of photographic paper (300) and by having the borders, representing a waste area (310), trimmed so that the photographic print (320) is smaller than the sheet of photographic paper (300); and

    produce the separator print by having a photographic image (302) printed on said sheet of photographic paper (300) and by retaining the waste area (310), so that the separator print (330) has a larger size than the photographic prints (320),
    wherein said retained waste area (310) may be blank, contain photographic images (302), contain text, or contain a combination of photographic images (302) and text.


     
    2. The apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 1, said separator print (330) further comprising a single print of thumbnail images.
     
    3. The apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 1, wherein said separator print (330) creates one or more tabs (401, 403, 405) separating different photographic orders (402, 404, 406) of said photographic prints (320).
     
    4. The apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 1, wherein said separator print (330) further comprises a blank sheet of said photographic paper (300).
     
    5. A method to use an apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment with an output print device (110) and a system controller (102), the method comprising:

    providing to the output print device individual sheets of photographic paper (300);

    printing, with said output print device (110), one or more photographic prints (320) of the photographic order (402, 404, 406) on said sheets of photographic paper (300);

    creating, on said sheets of photographic paper (300), a separator print (330) that is larger than said photographic prints (320) of the photographic order (402, 404, 406);

    controlling, with said system controller (102), the utilization of said photographic paper (300) of said output print devices (110) for said photographic prints (320); and controlling, with said system controller (102),

    whether to create said separator print (330) or said photographic prints (320);

    the method being characterized in that:

    the step of printing the one or more photographic prints comprises having a photographic image (302) printed on said sheet of photographic paper (300) and having the borders, representing a waste area, trimmed; and

    the step of creating a separator print (330) comprises having a photographic image (302) printed on said sheet of photographic paper (300) and retaining the waste area (310) so that the separator print (330) has a larger size than the photographic prints (320), wherein said retained waste area (310) may be blank, contain photographic images (302), contain text, or contain a combination of photographic images (302) and text.


     
    6. The method to use an apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 5, said separator print (330) further comprising a single print of thumbnail images.
     
    7. The method to use an apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 5, wherein said separator print (330) creates a tab separating different photographic orders (402, 404, 406) of said photographic prints (320).
     
    8. The method to use an apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 5, wherein said separator print (330) further comprises a blank sheet of said photographic paper (300).
     
    9. A program storage device (108) readable by a computer that tangibly embodies a program of instructions executable by the computer to perform the method to use an apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 5, said photographic print (320) further comprising a single print of thumbnail images.
     
    10. A program storage device (108) readable by a computer that tangibly embodies a program of instructions executable by the computer to perform the method to use an apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 5, wherein said separator print (330) creates a tab separating different photographic orders (402, 404, 406) of said photographic prints (320).
     
    11. A program storage device (108) readable by a computer that tangibly embodies a program of instructions executable by the computer to perform the method to use an apparatus that provides an order separator (100) for photographic order fulfillment of claim 5, wherein said separator print (330) further comprises a blank sheet of said photographic paper (300).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags bereitstellt, umfassend:

    eine Ausgabedruckvorrichtung (110), die einzelne Blätter Fotopapier (300) enthält, wobei die Ausgabedruckvorrichtung konfiguriert ist, einen oder mehrere Fotodrucke (320) der fotografischen Aufträge (402, 404, 406) und einen Separatordruck (330) auf den Blättern Fotopapier (300) zu drucken; und

    einen Systemcontroller (102), der die Verwendung des Fotopapiers (300) der Ausgabedruckvorrichtungen (110) für die Fotodrucke (320) steuert bzw. regelt, wobei der Systemcontroller (102) konfiguriert ist, zu steuern bzw. zu regeln, ob der Separatordruck (330) oder die Fotodrucke (320) erzeugt werden soll;

    wobei der Auftragsseparator (100) dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass

    der Systemcontroller (102) ferner konfiguriert ist zum

    Erzeugen der Fotodrucke (320), indem ein fotografisches Bild (302) auf das Blatt Fotopapier (300) gedruckt wird und die Ränder, die einen Ausschuss- bzw. Abfallbereich (310) darstellen, so zugeschnitten werden, dass der Fotodruck (320) kleiner ist als das Blatt Fotopapier (300); und

    Erzeugen des Separatordrucks, indem ein fotografisches Bild (302) auf das Blatt Fotopapier (300) gedruckt wird und der Abfallbereich (310) beibehalten wird, so dass der Separatordruck (330) eine größere Größe als die Fotodrucke (320) aufweist,

    wobei der beibehaltene Abfallbereich (310) leer sein kann, fotografische Bilder (302) enthalten kann, Text enthalten kann oder eine Kombination aus fotografischen Bildern (302) und Text enthalten kann.


     
    2. Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags nach Anspruch 1 bereitstellt, wobei der Separatordruck (330) ferner einen einzelnen Druck von Miniaturbildern umfasst.
     
    3. Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags nach Anspruch 1 bereitstellt, wobei der Separatordruck (330) einen oder mehrere Tabs (401, 403, 405) erzeugt, die verschiedene fotografische Aufträge (402, 404, 406) der Fotodrucke (320) trennen.
     
    4. Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags nach Anspruch 1 bereitstellt, wobei der Separatordruck (330) ferner ein leeres Blatt des Fotopapiers (300) umfasst.
     
    5. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags mit einer Ausgabedruckvorrichtung (110) und einem Systemcontroller (102) bereitstellt, wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    Bereitstellen einzelner Blätter Fotopapier (300) an die Ausgabedruckvorrichtung;

    Drucken, mit der Ausgabedruckvorrichtung (110), eines oder mehrerer Fotodrucke (320) der fotografischen Aufträge (402, 404, 406) auf die Blätter Fotopapier (300);

    Erzeugen, auf den Blättern Fotopapier (300), eines Separatordrucks (330), der größer ist als die Fotodrucke (320) der fotografischen Aufträge (402, 404, 406);

    Steuern bzw. Regeln, mit dem Systemcontroller (102), der Verwendung des Fotopapiers (300) der Ausgabedruckvorrichtungen (110) für die Fotodrucke (320); und

    Steuern bzw. Regeln, mit dem Systemcontroller (102),

    ob der Separatordruck (330) oder die Fotodrucke (320) erzeugt werden sollen;

    wobei das Verfahren dadurch gekennzeichnet ist, dass:

    der Schritt des Druckens des einen oder der mehreren Fotodrucke umfasst, dass ein fotografisches Bild (302) auf das Blatt Fotopapier (300) gedruckt wird und die Ränder, die einen Ausschuss- bzw. Abfallbereich darstellen, zugeschnitten werden; und

    der Schritt des Erzeugens eines Separatordrucks (330) umfasst, dass ein fotografisches Bild (302) auf das Blatt Fotopapier (300) gedruckt wird und der Abfallbereich (310) beibehalten wird, so dass der Separatordruck (330) eine größere Größe als die Fotodrucke (320) aufweist, wobei der beibehaltene Abfallbereich (310) leer sein kann, Fotobilder (302) enthalten kann, Text enthalten kann oder eine Kombination aus Fotobildern (302) und Text enthalten kann.


     
    6. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags bereitstellt, nach Anspruch 5, wobei der Separatordruck (330) ferner einen einzelnen Druck von Miniaturbildern umfasst.
     
    7. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags bereitstellt, nach Anspruch 5, wobei der Separatordruck (330) einen Tab erzeugt, die verschiedene fotografische Aufträge (402, 404, 406) der Fotodrucke (320) trennt.
     
    8. Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags bereitstellt, nach Anspruch 5, wobei der Separatordruck (330) ferner ein leeres Blatt des Fotopapiers (300) umfasst.
     
    9. Programmspeichervorrichtung (108), die von einem Computer lesbar ist, der ein Programm von Anweisungen greifbar bzw. physisch verkörpert, die von dem Computer ausführbar sind, um das Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags bereitstellt, nach Anspruch 5 durchzuführen, wobei der Fotodruck (320) ferner einen einzelnen Druck von Miniaturbildern umfasst.
     
    10. Programmspeichervorrichtung (108), die von einem Computer lesbar ist, der ein Programm von Anweisungen greifbar bzw. physisch verkörpert, die von dem Computer ausführbar sind, um das Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags bereitstellt, nach Anspruch 5 durchzuführen, wobei Separatordruck (330) einen Tab erzeugt, die verschiedene fotografische Aufträge (402, 404, 406) der Fotodrucke (320) trennt.
     
    11. Programmspeichervorrichtung (108), die von einem Computer lesbar ist, der ein Programm von Anweisungen greifbar bzw. physisch verkörpert, die von dem Computer ausführbar sind, um das Verfahren zur Verwendung einer Vorrichtung, die einen Auftragsseparator (100) zur Erfüllung eines fotografischen Auftrags bereitstellt, nach Anspruch 5 durchzuführen, wobei der Separatordruck (330) ferner ein leeres Blatt des Fotopapiers (300) umfasst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques, comprenant :

    un dispositif d'impression de sortie (110) comprenant des feuilles individuelles de papier photographique (300), le dispositif d'impression de sortie étant configuré pour imprimer une ou plusieurs impressions photographiques (320) de la commande photographique (402, 404, 406) et une impression de séparateur (330) sur lesdites feuilles de papier photographique (300) ; et

    un contrôleur de système (102) qui commande l'utilisation dudit papier photographique (300) desdits dispositifs d'impression de sortie (110) pour lesdites impressions photographiques (320), dans lequel ledit contrôleur de système (102) est configuré pour commander la création soit de ladite impression de séparateur (330), soit desdites impressions photographiques (320) ;

    le séparateur de commandes (100) étant caractérisé en ce que

    le contrôleur de système (102) est en outre configuré pour

    produire les impressions photographiques (320) en faisant en sorte qu'une image photographique (302) soit imprimée sur ladite feuille de papier photographique (300) et en faisant en sorte que les bordures, représentant une zone perdue (310), soient découpées de sorte que l'impression photographique (320) soit plus petite que la feuille de papier photographique (300) ; et

    produire l'impression de séparateur en faisant en sorte qu'une image photographique (302) soit imprimée sur ladite feuille de papier photographique (300) et en conservant la zone perdue (310), de sorte que l'impression de séparateur (330) ait une taille plus grande que les impressions photographiques (320),

    dans lequel ladite zone perdue (310) conservée peut être vierge, contenir des images photographiques (302), contenir un texte, ou contenir une combinaison d'images photographiques (302) et de texte.


     
    2. Appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 1, ladite impression de séparateur (330) comprenant en outre une impression unique d'images timbre-poste.
     
    3. Appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite impression de séparateur (330) crée un ou plusieurs intercalaires (401, 403, 405) séparant les différentes commandes photographiques (402, 404, 406) desdites impressions photographiques (320).
     
    4. Appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite impression de séparateur (330) comprend en outre une feuille vierge dudit papier photographique (300).
     
    5. Procédé pour utiliser un appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques avec un dispositif d'impression de sortie (110) et un contrôleur de système (102), le procédé comprenant :

    la fourniture, au dispositif d'impression de sortie, de feuilles individuelles de papier photographique (300) ;

    l'impression, avec ledit dispositif d'impression de sortie (110), d'une ou de plusieurs impressions photographiques (320) de la commande photographique (402, 404, 406) sur lesdites feuilles de papier photographique (300) ;

    la création, sur lesdites feuilles de papier photographique (300), d'une impression de séparateur (330) qui est plus grande que lesdites impressions photographiques (320) de la commande photographique (402, 404, 406) ;

    la commande, avec ledit contrôleur de système (102), de l'utilisation dudit papier photographique (300) desdits dispositifs d'impression de sortie (110) pour lesdites impressions photographiques (320) ; et

    la commande, avec ledit contrôleur de système (102),

    de la création soit de ladite impression de séparateur (330), soit desdites impressions photographiques (320) ;

    le procédé étant caractérisé en ce que :

    l'étape d'impression desdites une ou plusieurs impressions photographiques comprend l'impression d'une image photographique (302) sur ladite feuille de papier photographique (300) et la découpe des bordures, représentant une zone perdue ; et

    l'étape de création d'une impression de séparateur (330) comprend l'impression d'une image photographique (302) sur ladite feuille de papier photographique (300) et la conservation de la zone perdue (310) de sorte que l'impression de séparateur (330) ait une taille plus grande que les impressions photographiques (320), dans lequel ladite zone perdue (310) conservée peut être vierge, contenir des images photographiques (302), contenir un texte, ou contenir une combinaison d'images photographiques (302) et de texte.


     
    6. Procédé pour utiliser un appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 5, ladite impression de séparateur (330) comprenant en outre une impression unique d'images timbre-poste.
     
    7. Procédé pour utiliser un appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 5, dans lequel ladite impression de séparateur (330) crée un intercalaire séparant les différentes commandes photographiques (402, 404, 406) desdites impressions photographiques (320).
     
    8. Procédé pour utiliser un appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 5, dans lequel ladite impression de séparateur (330) comprend en outre une feuille vierge dudit papier photographique (300).
     
    9. Dispositif de mémorisation de programme (108) pouvant être lu par un ordinateur qui met en œuvre de manière tangible un programme d'instructions exécutables par l'ordinateur pour effectuer le procédé pour utiliser un appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 5, ladite impression photographique (320) comprenant en outre une impression unique d'images timbre-poste.
     
    10. Dispositif de mémorisation de programme (108) pouvant être lu par un ordinateur qui met en œuvre de manière tangible un programme d'instructions exécutables par l'ordinateur pour effectuer le procédé pour utiliser un appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 5, dans lequel ladite impression de séparateur (330) crée un intercalaire séparant les différentes commandes photographiques (402, 404, 406) desdites impressions photographiques (320).
     
    11. Dispositif de mémorisation de programme (108) pouvant être lu par un ordinateur qui met en œuvre de manière tangible un programme d'instructions exécutables par l'ordinateur pour effectuer le procédé pour utiliser un appareil qui fournit un séparateur de commandes (100) pour le traitement de commandes photographiques selon la revendication 5, dans lequel ladite impression de séparateur (330) comprend en outre une feuille vierge dudit papier photographique (300).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description