(19)
(11)EP 3 162 573 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
11.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/50

(21)Application number: 16196454.9

(22)Date of filing:  28.10.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B41J 2/175(2006.01)
B41J 29/13(2006.01)

(54)

INK JET RECORDING APPARATUS

TINTENSTRAHLAUFZEICHNUNGSVORRICHTUNG

APPAREIL D'ENREGISTREMENT À JET D'ENCRE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 30.10.2015 JP 2015214967

(43)Date of publication of application:
03.05.2017 Bulletin 2017/18

(60)Divisional application:
19201322.5

(73)Proprietor: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
Tokyo 146-8501 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • MATSUMURA, Hideaki
    Ohta-ku, Tokyo 146-8501 (JP)
  • SHIMADA, Koki
    Ohta-ku, Tokyo (JP)
  • TANAKA, Yusuke
    Ohta-ku, Tokyo (JP)
  • KIUCHI, Takahiro
    Ohta-ku, Tokyo (JP)
  • SHIMMACHI, Masaya
    Ohta-ku, Tokyo (JP)
  • KIMURA, Yukimichi
    Ohta-ku, Tokyo (JP)
  • KUBOKAWA, Junichi
    Ohta-ku, Tokyo (JP)
  • SATO, Kyohei
    Ohta-ku, Tokyo (JP)

(74)Representative: Houle, Timothy James 
Canon Europe Ltd European Patent Department 3 The Square Stockley Park
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB11 1ET
Uxbridge, Middlesex UB11 1ET (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 2007 106 019
US-A1- 2014 085 386
US-A1- 2010 026 753
US-A1- 2014 085 391
  
      
    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

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    Field of the Invention



    [0001] The present invention relates to an ink jet recording apparatus.

    Description of the Related Art



    [0002] Document US2014085386 discloses an ink jet recording apparatus comprising an ink supply path which is opened and closed by interlocking with the opening and closing of a cover. Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2014-79910 discusses a recording apparatus including an ink tank having a filling port for replenishing ink, a recording head that ejects ink supplied from the ink tank, and a valve capable of opening and closing a flow path between the recording head and the ink tank. According to the apparatus, the valve is provided on a discharge port side of a recording medium and on the side of the ink tank so that a user can easily recognize the existence of the valve and the operability of the valve can be improved.

    [0003] However, the apparatus discussed in Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 2014-79910, the user needs to manually perform an opening and closing operation of the valve. If the user has erroneously performed the opening and closing operation to perform recording with the valve closed, no ink is supplied to the recording head from the ink tank so that an ejection failure occurs. If ink is filled in the ink tank with the valve opened, for example, the recording head becomes pressurized due to a change in a liquid surface of ink. As a result, ink leaks out of an ink filling port in the recording head.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0004] The present invention relates to an ink jet recording apparatus capable of inhibiting a user from erroneously performing an opening and closing operation of a valve in supplying ink from an ink tank to a recording head.

    [0005] According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided an ink jet recording apparatus as specified in claims 1 to 9.

    [0006] Further features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of embodiments with reference to the attached drawings.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0007] 

    Fig. 1 a schematic diagram illustrating an ink jet recording apparatus according to a first embodiment.

    Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ink supply system according to the first embodiment.

    Fig. 3 is a schematic diagram illustrating a positional relationship between an ink tank and a recording head according to the first embodiment.

    Figs. 4A, 4B, and 4C are respectively perspective views of the ink jet recording apparatus according to the first embodiment.

    Figs. 5A and 5B are respectively schematic diagrams illustrating a state of an ink tank and a recording head in the first embodiment.

    Fig. 6 is a flowchart of an ink filling sequence according to the first embodiment.

    Fig. 7 is a block diagram of the ink jet recording apparatus according to the first embodiment.

    Figs. 8A and 8B are schematic diagrams illustrating a valve unit according to the first embodiment.

    Figs. 9A, 9B, and 9C are schematic diagrams illustrating inside of the valve unit during a closing operation of the valve unit according to the first embodiment.

    Fig. 10 is a perspective view illustrating a state of tank caps and a tank cover according to the first embodiment.

    Figs. 11A and 11B are schematic sectional views illustrating a state of the tank caps and the tank cover according to the first embodiment.

    Figs. 12A and 12B are perspective views of an ink jet recording apparatus according to a second embodiment.

    Figs. 13A and 13B are schematic diagrams illustrating an ink supply system according to a third embodiment.

    Fig. 14 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ink jet recording apparatus according to a fourth embodiment.

    Figs. 15A and 15B are schematic diagrams illustrating inside of a valve unit during a closing operation of the valve unit according to the fourth embodiment.


    DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS



    [0008] A first embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail below with reference to the drawings.

    [0009] Fig. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ink jet recording apparatus 11 according to a first embodiment of the present invention. The ink jet recording apparatus 11 includes a recording head 13 held in a carriage 12 and ejects ink, an ink supply path 14 for supplying ink to the recording head 13, and an ink tank 15 storing ink. The ink jet recording apparatus 11 includes a feeding roller (not illustrated) for feeding a sheet (recording medium), a conveyance roller 16 for conveying the recording medium, and a discharge roller (not illustrated) for discharging the recording medium. The ink jet recording apparatus 11 includes an ink suction mechanism 52 for suctioning ink from an ink ejection port 31 (Fig. 3) in the recording head 13 using a tube and a pump while a suction cap is made to abut on the recording head 13 to recover an ejection performance of the recording head 13.

    [0010] Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ink supply system of the ink jet recording apparatus 11 according to the present embodiment. The ink tank 15 is provided for each corresponding ink color. In the present embodiment, the ink tank 15 includes four ink tanks, i.e., a black ink tank 151, a cyan ink tank 152, a magenta ink tank 153, and a yellow ink tank 154. A tube constituting the ink supply path 14 for supplying ink to the recording head 13 is attached to the ink tank 15. A tube constituting an air communication path 25 for communicating the inside of the ink tank 15 with an atmosphere is attached to the ink tank 15. An ink filling port (ink filling portion) 21 for filling ink is provided on the top of the ink tank 15. A tank cap 22 for sealing the ink filling port 21 is attached to the ink filling port 21. A user can fill ink into the ink tank 15 from the ink filling port 21 by removing the tank cap 22. A valve unit 24, which blocks communication of ink, is provided between the ink tank 15 and the recording head 13 in the ink supply path 14. Similarly, a valve unit 24, which blocks communication of air, is provided between the ink tank 15 and an air communication port 23 (Fig. 3) in the air communication path 25. The valve unit 24 includes a black-side valve unit and a color-side valve unit. The black-side valve unit blocks each of the ink supply path 14 and the air communication path 25 that are connected to the black ink tank 151. The color-side valve unit blocks each of the ink supply path 14 and the air communication path 25 that are connected to each of the cyan ink tank 152, the magenta ink tank 153, and the yellow ink tank 154.

    [0011] Fig. 3 is a schematic diagram illustrating a positional relationship between the ink tank 15 and the recording head 13. In the ink jet recording apparatus 11, a gas-liquid exchange portion 32 in the ink tank 15 is provided at a position lower by a height H in a height direction than the ink ejection port 31 in the recording head 13 to prevent ink from leaking out of the ink ejection port 31 in the recording head 13. More specifically, negative pressure caused by a water head difference corresponding to the height H is applied to the ink ejection port 31. A buffer chamber (buffer space) 33 is provided at the bottom of the ink tank 15. The buffer chamber 33 can store ink extruded from an ink storage portion 34 when air in the ink storage portion 34 has expanded due to an atmospheric pressure variation and a temperature change. With this configuration, the ink extruded from the ink storage portion 34 can be prevented from leaking out of the ink tank 15 via the air communication path 25.

    [0012] A configuration of the ink supply system according to the present embodiment and the flow from filling of ink until a printing operation (recording operation) is enabled will be described below with reference to Figs. 4A, 4B, and 4C to Fig. 6.

    [0013] Figs. 4A, 4B, and 4C are perspective views of the ink jet recording apparatus 11 according to the present embodiment. As illustrated in Fig. 4A, the ink jet recording apparatus 11 includes a scanner unit (reading unit) 41 capable of reading an image on a stocked document. When the user fills ink, the scanner unit 41 is opened, to bring the ink jet recording apparatus 11 into a state illustrated in Fig. 4B. Tank covers (first cover members) 42, each of which covers the ink filling port and ports 21, are provided under the scanner unit 41. The tank cover 42 is pivotably supported on the apparatus body, and is movable to a position (first position) where the ink filling port 21 is not exposed and a position (second position) where the ink filling port 21 is exposed. When the user fills ink, the tank cover 42, which covers the ink filling port 21, is moved (opened) to the position where the ink filling port 21 is exposed. The tank cover 42 in the present embodiment is also an operation portion in the valve unit 24, details of which will be described below. Accordingly, the valve unit 24 functions interlocking with an operation performed by the user for opening the tank cover 42 so that each of the ink supply path 14 and the air communication path 25 is blocked (Fig. 5A).

    [0014] The user removes the tank cap 22 attached to the ink filling port 21, and fills ink through the ink filling port 21 from an ink bottle (not illustrated). After the filling of the ink has been completed, the user attaches the tank cap 22 to the ink filling port 21 again, and moves (closes) the tank cover 42 to a position where the ink filling port 21 is not exposed. When the user closes the tank cover 42, the valve unit 24 functions interlocking with an operation for closing the tank cover 42 so that each of the ink supply path 14 and the air communication path 25 is opened. Then, the user closes the scanner unit 41.

    [0015] When the user closes the scanner unit 41, a suction operation for suctioning ink from the ink ejection port 31 by abutting a suction cap on the recording head 13 to fill the ink supply path 14 with ink in the ink tank 15 (Fig. 5B). With this suction operation, the tube constituting the ink supply path 14 is filled with ink. When ink is ejected from the ink ejection port 31 with the tube filled with ink, ink is supplied to the recording head 13 from the ink tank 15 by an amount of decrease in ink from inside the recording head 13 due to negative pressure caused by a water head difference. Until the amount of ink in the ink tank 15 becomes a predetermined amount or less, ink is continuously supplied to the recording head 13 from the ink tank 15 according to the ejection of ink from the ink ejection port 31.

    [0016] Fig. 6 is a flowchart of an ink filling sequence executed when the above-described ink suction operation is performed. When the ink filling sequence is started, first, in step S61, the carriage 12 holding the recording head 13 is moved to a suction position where the ink suction mechanism 52 is provided. In step S62, the suction cap is then made to abut on the recording head 13. In step S63, the ink suction mechanism 52 performs a suction operation for suctioning ink from the ink ejection port 31 in the recording head 13. In step S64, the suction cap and the recording head 13 are separated from each other after the suction operation has been completed. In step S65, the carriage 12 is moved from the suction position to a standby position.

    [0017] Fig. 7 is a block diagram of the ink jet recording apparatus 11 according to the present embodiment. A micro processing unit (MPU) 701 controls an operation of each of the units and processing of data. A read-only memory (ROM) 702 stores a program executed by the MPU 701 and data. A random access memory (RAM) 703 temporarily stores processing data to be processed by the MPU 701 and data received from a host computer 714. A recording head driver 707 controls the recording head 13. A carriage motor 704 drives the carriage 12. A carriage motor driver 708 controls the carriage motor 704. A conveyance motor 705 drives the feeding roller, the conveyance roller 16, and the discharge roller. A conveyance motor driver 709 controls the conveyance motor 705. A host computer 714 includes a printer driver 7141 for processing recording information such as a recorded image and an image quality and communicating with the ink jet recording apparatus 11 when the user has issued an instruction to perform a recording operation. The MPU 701 exchanges the recorded image data with the host computer 714 via an interface (I/F) unit 713.

    [0018] Next, a configuration of the valve unit 24 according to the present embodiment will be described. Figs. 8A and 8B are schematic diagrams illustrating the valve unit 24 according to the present embodiment. The valve unit 24 holds a tube 81 constituting the ink supply path 14 and the air communication path 25. The valve unit 24 includes a holding member 82 for holding the tube 81, and a displacement member 83 which is moved in a Z direction in Figs. 8A and 8B to flatten out the tube 81 and closes the tube 81. The valve unit 24 includes a cam member 84 pivotably supported and having a cam surface that is frictionally sliding with the displacement member 83, a cover member 85 supporting the cam member 84 and is fixed to the holding member 82, and a tank cover 42 latched by the cam member 84 and is operated to rotate by the user.

    [0019] Next, an operation for the valve unit 24 according to the present embodiment to close the ink supply path 14 and the air communication path 25 will be described. Figs. 9A, 9B, and 9C are schematic diagrams illustrating the inside of the valve unit during a closing operation of the valve unit 24 according to the present embodiment. Fig. 9A illustrates a state (an opened state) where the displacement member 83 does not flatten out the tube 81. At this time, the tank cover 42 remains closed (Fig. 4B). In this state, the ink supply path 14 is opened so that ink can be supplied to the recording head 13 from the ink tank 15. The air communication path 25 is also opened so that the inside of the ink tank 15 and external air are communicated with each other. When the tank cover 42 is opened from this state, the cam member 84 rotates in the counterclockwise direction, as illustrated in Fig. 9B. As illustrated in Figs. 9B and 9C, when a convex portion of the cam member 84 convex with respect to a rotation center of the cam surface of the cam member 84, abuts on the displacement member 83, the displacement member 83 is displaced in a -Z direction in Fig. 9, to flatten out the tube 81. When the displacement member 83 rotates to a position illustrated in Fig. 9C, the tube is sufficiently flattened (a closed state). At this time, the tank cover 42 remains opened (Fig. 4C). In this state, the ink supply path 14 is closed so that ink cannot be supplied to the recording head 13 from the ink tank 15. The air communication path 25 is also closed so that the inside of the ink tank 15 and external air are not communicated with each other.

    [0020] Next, an issue to be solved by the present invention, and the function and the effect of the present invention will be specifically described below.

    [0021] First, valves respectively provided in the ink supply path 14 and the air communication path 25 need to be closed when ink is filled into the ink tank 15, as described above. When the ink supply path 14 has not been closed during ink filling, a liquid surface of ink in the ink tank 15 may become higher than the height of the ink ejection port 31 (Fig. 3). When the tank cap 22 attached to the ink filling port 21 is removed at this time, pressure caused by a water head difference corresponding to a height Hm is applied to the ink ejection port 31. Thus, ink may leak out of the ink ejection port 31, to contaminate the inside of the ink jet recording apparatus 11. On the other hand, when the air communication path 25 is not closed during ink filling, ink filled in the ink tank 15 may flow into the buffer chamber 33. In such a case, the role of the buffer chamber 33 to store ink extruded from the ink storage portion 34 when there have been an atmospheric pressure variation and a temperature change may be unable to be achieved.

    [0022] To solve such an issue, the ink jet recording apparatus 11 may be configured in such a manner that the liquid surface of ink in the ink tank 15 is always at a position lower than the ink ejection port 31. However, in such a configuration, a sufficient amount of ink may be unable to be stored in the ink tank 15 when the height of the ink tank 15 is restricted, and the size of the ink jet recording apparatus 11 may increase when the ink ejection port 31 is provided at a high position. The ink jet recording apparatus 11 may also be provided with a sensor capable of detecting that the valve has been closed and provided with a mechanism for automatically opening and closing the valve when the sensor detects that the valve has not been sufficiently closed. However, such a configuration may increase costs.

    [0023] In the present embodiment, while the tank cover 42 is closed as illustrated in Fig. 4B, the ink filling port 21 and the tank cap 22 attached to the ink filling port 21 have not been exposed. Accordingly, while the tank cover 42 is closed, the tank cap 22 attached to the ink filling port 21 cannot be detached from the ink filling port 21. When the tank cover 42 becomes opened as illustrated in Fig. 4C, the tank cap 22 attached to the ink filling port 21 can be detached from the ink filling port 21. More specifically, the tank cover 42 is always opened during ink filling, and the valve can be reliably closed during ink filling. Accordingly, even if the liquid surface of the ink filled in the ink tank 15 is higher than the ink ejection port 31 in the recording head 13, pressure is not applied to the inside of the recording head 13 because the ink supply path 14 is closed. When the tank cover 42 is closed after the tank cap 22 is attached on the ink filling port 21, the valve is opened, and the ink supply path 14 is opened. In this way, the negative pressure caused by the water head difference corresponding to the height H shown in Fig. 3 is applied to the recording head 13 so that printing can be normally performed.

    [0024] Further, in the present embodiment, access to the recording head 13 in the ink jet recording apparatus 11 is enabled by an opening and closing operation of the scanner unit 41. More specifically, the recording head 13 cannot be accessed with the scanner unit 41 closed, and the recording head 13 can be accessed with the scanner unit 41 opened. Fig. 4A illustrates a state where the scanner unit 41 is closed. In this state, a printing operation can be performed using the recording head 13. On the other hand, Figs. 4B and 4C illustrate a state where the scanner unit 41 is opened. In this state, a printing operation cannot be performed. When the tank cover 42 is opened with the scanner unit 41 thus opened, ink can be filled into the ink tank 15.

    [0025] In the present embodiment, the ink jet recording apparatus 11 includes a sensor (not illustrated) capable of detecting the opening and closing of the scanner unit 41. If it is detected that the scanner unit 41 remains closed, a printing operation can be performed. To close the scanner unit 41, the tank cover 42 first needs to be closed. Accordingly, during the printing operation, the tank cover 42 is always closed, and the valve is opened. This can prevent a situation where no ink is supplied to the recording head 13 because the printing operation is performed with the valve unopened.

    [0026] Further, a configuration in which the tank cap 22 is prevented from being erroneously mounted will be described with reference to Fig. 10 and Figs. 11A and 11B. Fig. 10 is a perspective view illustrating a state of the tank cap 22 and the tank cover 42. Figs. 11A and 11B are schematic sectional views respectively illustrating a state of the tank cap 22 and the tank cover 42.

    [0027] In Fig. 10, a first tank cap 22a and a third tank cap 22c have been normally mounted on a first ink filling port 21a and a third ink filling port 21c, respectively. On the other hand, a second tank cap 22b has not been normally mounted on a second ink filling port 21b, and a gap has made between the second tank cap 22b and the second ink filling port 21b. In the present embodiment, even if an attempt to close the tank cover 42 is made in this state, the second tank cap 22b abuts on a rib 50 provided at the tank cover 42, as illustrated in Fig. 11A. Therefore, the user cannot normally close the tank cover 42. If the second tank cap 22b is not thus normally mounted, the tank cover 42 is prevented (restrained) from moving to a closed position. Thus, the user can recognize that the second tank cap 22b has not been normally mounted on the second ink filling port 21b. At this time, when the user opens the tank cover 42 again to normally mount the second tank cap 22b on the second ink filling port 21b again, the tank cover 42 can be normally closed without the rib 50 and the second tank cap 22b abutting on each other, as illustrated in Fig. 11B. In this way, in the present embodiment, a printing operation performed while the tank cap has not been normally mounted on the ink filling port (or does not properly seal a filling portion) can be prevented.

    [0028] As described above, according to the present embodiment, it is possible to prevent the user from erroneously performing the opening and closing operation of the valve in the supply of ink from the ink tank to the recording head.

    [0029] A second embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail below with reference to the drawings. Description of a similar configuration to that of the first embodiment is not repeated.

    [0030] Figs. 12A and 12B are perspective views of an ink jet recording apparatus 11 according to the present embodiment. In the present embodiment, the ink jet recording apparatus 11 includes an access cover (second cover member) 141. Access to a recording head 13 in the ink jet recording apparatus 11 is enabled by an opening and closing operation of the access cover 141. More specifically, the recording head 13 cannot be accessed with the access cover 141 closed, and can be accessed with the access cover 141 opened. Fig. 12A illustrates a state where the access cover 141 is closed. The ink jet recording apparatus 11 can perform a printing operation when the access cover 141 is closed. Fig. 12B illustrates a state where the access cover 141 is opened. When tank covers (first cover members) 42 are opened after the access cover 141 has been opened, ink can be filled into the ink tank 15.

    [0031] In the present embodiment, the ink jet recording apparatus 11 includes a sensor (not illustrated) capable of detecting the opening and closing of the access cover 141. If it is detected that the access cover 141 remains closed, a printing operation can be performed. To close the access cover 141, the tank cover 42 needs to be closed. Accordingly, during the printing operation, the tank cover 42 is always closed, and a valve is opened. This can prevent a situation where no ink is supplied to the recording head 13 because the printing operation is performed with the valve unopened.

    [0032] In the second embodiment, the ink jet recording apparatus 11 is configured to open and close the access cover 141 instead of the scanner unit 41 in the first embodiment. However, the present invention is not limited thereto. For example, a similar effect can be obtained even in a configuration in which an automatic document feeder (ADF) unit is opened and closed in an ink jet recording apparatus including the ADF unit, and another configuration in which an openable and closable cover member is provided.

    [0033] Next, a third embodiment of the present invention will be specifically described below with reference to the drawings. Description of a similar configuration to those of the above-described embodiments is not repeated.

    [0034] Figs. 13A and 13B are schematic diagrams illustrating an ink supply system according to the present embodiment. An ink tank 215 is provided with an air communication port 223, and a gas-liquid separation film 200 is provided to cover the air communication port 223. The air-liquid separation film 200 transmits air serving as gas, and does not transmit ink serving as a liquid. More specifically, when ink is ejected by a printing operation, air whose amount corresponds to the amount of consumed ink flows into the ink tank 215 via a gas-liquid exchange portion 232 from the air communication port 223. The gas-liquid exchange portion 232 in the ink tank 15 is provided at a position lower by a height H in a height direction than an ink ejection port 31 in a recording head 13. Therefore, negative pressure caused by a water head difference corresponding to the height H is applied to the ink ejection port 31.

    [0035] A pressure adjustment portion 201 is provided on the top of the ink tank 215. The pressure adjustment portion 201 is rotatably supported around a rotation center 206, and includes an opening/closing lever 203 capable of opening and closing an opening portion 205 and a pressure adjustment spring 202 for pressing the opening/closing lever 203 toward the opening portion 205. The pressure adjustment portion 201 is communicated with the external air via an air communication portion 204. Fig. 13A illustrates a state when there are a small atmospheric pressure variation and a small temperature change. In this state, the opening/closing lever 203 seals the opening portion 205. On the other hand, Fig. 13B illustrates a state where there have been an atmospheric pressure variation and a temperature change. If air in an ink storage portion 234 expands due to the atmospheric pressure variation and the temperature change, and pressure inside the ink tank 215 exceeds a predetermined value, the pressure adjustment spring 202 contracts, and the opening/closing lever 203 rotates upward. In this way, the sealing of the opening portion 205 is opened so that the pressure can be released out. According to the present embodiment, the ink tank 215 need not be provided with a buffer chamber so that more ink can be stored in the ink storage portion 234.

    [0036] In the present embodiment, a valve unit 24, which is opened and closed interlocking with a tank cover (first cover member) 42, is provided only in an ink supply path 14 and is not provided in an air communication path 25. The air communication port 223 is provided with the gas-liquid separation film 200. Therefore, ink, which has been filled during ink filling, does not leak out via the air communication port 223. The air communication port 223 is provided at a position under the ink ejection port 31 in the recording head 13 in the height direction. Therefore, even if a liquid surface of ink has risen to the position of the air communication port 223 due to the atmospheric pressure variation and the temperature change, the recording head 13 is not pressurized. Further, a tube to be closed by the valve unit 24 is only a tube constituting the ink supply path 14. Therefore, a force required when a user operates the tank cover 42 can be reduced.

    [0037] As described above, according to the present embodiment, a valve can be reliably closed when ink is filled, and the inside of the recording head can be kept at appropriate negative pressure during the printing operation.

    [0038] Next, a fourth embodiment of the present invention will be described in detail below with reference to the drawings. Description of a similar configuration to that of the above-described embodiment is not repeated.

    [0039] Fig. 14 is a schematic diagram illustrating an ink jet recording apparatus 311 according to the present embodiment. In the present embodiment, access to a recording head 13 in the ink jet recording apparatus 311 is enabled by opening an access cover (first cover member) 341. In the present embodiment, the access cover 341 is used as an operation portion in a valve unit 24 without the tank cover 42 being provided. More specifically, the valve unit 24 is opened and closed interlocking with an opening and closing operation of the access cover 341. The access cover 341 is provided with protrusions 301, respectively, at positions opposing a black-side valve unit arranged at the left and a color-side valve unit arranged at the right in Fig. 14.

    [0040] Figs. 15A and 15B are schematic diagrams illustrating inside of a valve unit during a closing operation of the valve unit 24 and illustrating the color-side value unit as viewed from a D direction in Fig. 14. Fig. 15A illustrates a state where the valve is closed. An extension spring 310, which is attached to a lever portion 384 formed integrally with a cam member 84, has its one end fixed to an apparatus body. The tension spring 310 pulls the cam member 84 in the counterclockwise direction in Fig. 15A, and rotates the cam member 84 to a position where a tube 81 is closed. When the access cover 341 is closed, the protrusion 301 abuts on the lever portion 384, as illustrated in Fig. 15A. Fig. 15B illustrates a state where the access cover 341 is closed. The lever portion 384, which has been pressed by the protrusion 301, rotates in the clockwise direction in Fig. 15B, and stops at a position where the tube 81 is opened.

    [0041] As described above, the valve is closed with the access cover 341 opened. Therefore, the valve can be reliably closed during ink filling. On the other hand, the tube 81 can be reliably opened with the access cover 341 closed.

    [0042] In the present embodiment, the ink jet recording apparatus 311 includes a sensor (not illustrated) capable of detecting the opening and closing of the access cover 341, and can perform a printing operation when it is detected that the access cover 341 remains closed. This can prevent a situation where no ink is supplied to the recording head 13 because the printing operation is performed with the valve unopened.

    [0043] More specifically, according to the present invention, an ink jet recording apparatus capable of preventing (restraining) a user from erroneously performing an opening and closing operation of a valve in the supply of ink from an ink tank to a recording head.


    Claims

    1. An ink jet recording apparatus comprising:

    a recording head (13) configured to eject ink;

    an ink tank (15) provided in an apparatus body, including a filling portion to store ink to be supplied to the recording head, and an air communication path (25) for allowing communication of the inside of the tank with external air;

    a first cover member (42) configured to be movable to a first position such that the filling portion is not exposed, and movable to a second position such that the filling portion is exposed; and

    a valve (24) configured to be movable between an open state such that ink can be supplied to the recording head (13) from the ink tank and the air communication path (25) is not blocked, and a closed state such that the supply of ink from the ink tank to the recording head (13) is blocked and the air communication path (25) is blocked,

    wherein the valve (24) is arranged to interlock with movement of the first cover member (42), so that the valve is in the opened state in the case that the first cover member is at the first position, and the valve is in the closed state in the case that the first cover member is at the second position.


     
    2. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the valve is moved to the opened state when the first cover member moves from the second position to the first position, and is moved to the closed state when the first cover member moves from the first position to the second position.
     
    3. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a cap for sealing the filling portion,
    wherein the first cover member is prevented from moving from the second position to the first position by abutting on the cap in the case that the cap does not seal the filling portion.
     
    4. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a second cover member pivotably supported on the apparatus body to be openable and closable,
    wherein the first cover member cannot be operated in the case that the second cover member closed, and can be operated in the case that the second cover member opened.
     
    5. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 4, further comprising a detection means configured to detect the opening and closing of the second cover member,
    wherein a recording operation can be performed when the detection means detects that the second cover member is closed, and cannot be performed when the detection means detects that the second cover member is open.
     
    6. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the first cover member prevents the second cover member from being closed when the first cover member is at the second position.
     
    7. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a reading means pivotably supported on the apparatus body to be openable and closable and configured to be able to read an image on a document,
    wherein the first cover member cannot be operated in the case that the reading means is closed, and can be operated in the case that the reading means is open.
     
    8. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 7, further comprising a detection means configured to be able to detect the opening and closing of the reading means,
    wherein the recording operation can be performed in the case that the detection means detects that the reading means is closed, and cannot be performed in the case that the detection means detects that the reading means is open.
     
    9. The ink jet recording apparatus according to claim 7, wherein the first cover member prevents the reading means from being closed in the case that the first cover member is at the second position.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung, umfassend:

    einen Aufzeichnungskopf (13), der konfiguriert ist zum Ausstoßen von Tinte;

    einen Tintenbehälter (15), der in einem Vorrichtungskörper bereitgestellt ist und einen Füllabschnitt zum Lagern von dem Aufzeichnungskopf zuzuführender Tinte sowie einen Luftkommunikationsweg (25) zum Ermöglichen einer Kommunikation des Inneren des Behälters mit Außenluft enthält;

    ein erstes Abdeckelement (42), das konfiguriert ist, zu einer ersten Position bewegbar zu sein, so dass der Füllabschnitt nicht freiliegt, sowie zu einer zweiten Position bewegbar zu sein, so dass der Füllabschnitt freiliegt; und

    ein Ventil (24), das konfiguriert ist, bewegbar zu sein zwischen einem offenen Zustand, in dem dem Aufzeichnungskopf (13) Tinte aus dem Tintenbehälter zugeführt werden kann und der Luftkommunikationsweg (25) nicht blockiert ist, und einem derart geschlossenen Zustand, dass die Zufuhr von Tinte aus dem Tintenbehälter zum Aufzeichnungskopf (13) blockiert ist und der Luftkommunikationsweg (25) blockiert ist,

    wobei das Ventil (24) ausgebildet ist zum Ineinandergreifen mit der Bewegung des ersten Abdeckelements (42), so dass sich das Ventil im offenen Zustand befindet, falls sich das erste Abdeckelement an der ersten Position befindet, und sich das Ventil im geschlossenen Zustand befindet, falls sich das erste Abdeckelement an der zweiten Position befindet.


     
    2. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Ventil in den offenen Zustand bewegt wird, wenn sich das erste Abdeckelement von der zweiten Position zur ersten Position bewegt, sowie in den geschlossenen Zustand bewegt wird, wenn sich das erste Abdeckelement von der ersten Position zur zweiten Position bewegt.
     
    3. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend eine Kappe zum Abdichten des Füllabschnitts,
    wobei das erste Abdeckelement daran gehindert wird, sich von der zweiten Position zur ersten Position zu bewegen, indem es an der Kappe anstößt, falls die Kappe den Füllabschnitt nicht abdichtet.
     
    4. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend ein zweites Abdeckelement, das schwenkbar am Vorrichtungskörper gestützt ist, um öffenbar oder verschließbar zu sein,
    wobei das erste Abdeckelement nicht betrieben werden kann, falls das zweite Abdeckelement geschlossen ist, und betrieben werden kann, falls das zweite Abdeckelement geöffnet ist.
     
    5. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 4, ferner umfassend eine Detektiereinrichtung, die konfiguriert ist zum Detektieren der Öffnung und Schließung des zweiten Abdeckelements,
    wobei eine Aufzeichnungsoperation durchgeführt werden kann, wenn die Detektiereinrichtung detektiert, dass das zweite Abdeckelement geschlossen ist, und nicht durchgeführt werden kann, wenn die Detektiereinrichtung detektiert, dass das zweite Abdeckelement offen ist.
     
    6. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 4, wobei das erste Abdeckelement das zweite Abdeckelement daran hindert, geschlossen zu werden, wenn sich das erste Abdeckelement an der zweiten Position befindet.
     
    7. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend eine Leseeinrichtung, die schwenkbar am Vorrichtungskörper gestützt ist, um öffenbar oder verschließbar zu sein und konfiguriert ist, dazu fähig zu sein, ein Bild auf einem Dokument zu lesen,
    wobei das erste Abdeckelement nicht betrieben werden kann, falls die Leseeinrichtung geschlossen ist, und betrieben werden kann, falls die Leseeinrichtung offen ist.
     
    8. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 7, ferner umfassend eine Detektiereinrichtung, die konfiguriert ist, dazu fähig zu sein, die Öffnung und Schließung der Leseeinrichtung zu detektieren,
    wobei die Aufzeichnungsoperation durchgeführt werden kann, falls die Detektiereinrichtung detektiert, dass die Leseeinrichtung geschlossen ist, und nicht durchgeführt werden kann, falls die Detektiereinrichtung detektiert, dass die Leseeinrichtung offen ist.
     
    9. Tintenstrahlaufzeichnungsvorrichtung nach Anspruch 7, wobei das erste Abdeckelement die Leseeinrichtung daran hindert, geschlossen zu werden, falls sich das erste Abdeckelement an der zweiten Position befindet.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre, comprenant :

    une tête d'enregistrement (13) configurée pour éjecter de l'encre ;

    un réservoir d'encre (15) disposé dans un corps d'appareil, comprenant une partie de remplissage servant à stocker de l'encre à délivrer à la tête d'enregistrement, et un trajet de communication d'air (25) destiné à permettre une communication de l'intérieur du réservoir avec l'air externe ;

    un premier élément couvercle (42) configuré pour pouvoir être amené dans une première position de façon à ne pas exposer la partie de remplissage, et pour pouvoir être amené dans une seconde position de façon à exposer la partie de remplissage ; et

    une soupape (24) configurée pour une mobilité entre un état ouvert de façon à alimenter en encre la tête d'enregistrement (13) à partir du réservoir d'encre et à ne pas bloquer le trajet de communication d'air (25), et un état fermé de façon à bloquer l'alimentation en encre de la tête d'enregistrement (13) à partir du réservoir d'encre et à bloquer le trajet de communication d'air (25),

    dans lequel la soupape (24) est conçue pour un verrouillage avec un déplacement du premier élément couvercle (42), de sorte que la soupape soit dans l'état ouvert dans le cas dans lequel le premier élément couvercle est dans la première position, et que la soupape soit dans l'état fermé dans le cas dans lequel le premier élément couvercle est dans la seconde position.


     
    2. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la soupape est amenée dans l'état ouvert lorsque le premier élément couvercle passe de la seconde position à la première position, et est amenée dans l'état fermé lorsque le premier élément couvercle passe de la première position à la seconde position.
     
    3. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un bouchon destiné à fermer hermétiquement la partie de remplissage,
    dans lequel le premier élément couvercle ne peut pas être amené de la seconde position à la première position du fait d'une butée contre le bouchon dans le cas dans lequel le bouchon ne ferme pas hermétiquement la partie de remplissage.
     
    4. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un second élément couvercle supporté pivotant sur le corps d'appareil de façon à pouvoir être ouvert et fermé,
    dans lequel le premier élément couvercle ne peut pas être manipulé dans le cas dans lequel le second élément couvercle est fermé, et peut être manipulé dans le cas dans lequel le second élément couvercle est ouvert.
     
    5. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre selon la revendication 4, comprenant en outre un moyen de détection configuré pour détecter l'ouverture et la fermeture du second élément couvercle,
    dans lequel une opération d'enregistrement peut être effectuée lorsque le moyen de détection détecte que l'élément couvercle est fermé et ne peut pas être effectuée lorsque le moyen de détection détecte que le second élément couvercle est ouvert.
     
    6. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre selon la revendication 4, dans lequel le premier élément couvercle empêche la fermeture du second élément couvercle lorsque le premier élément couvercle est dans la seconde position.
     
    7. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un moyen de lecture supporté pivotant sur le corps d'appareil de façon à pouvoir être ouvert et fermé et configuré pour pouvoir lire une image d'un document,
    dans lequel le premier élément couvercle ne peut pas être manipulé dans le cas dans lequel le moyen de lecture est fermé, et peut être manipulé dans le cas dans lequel le moyen de lecture est ouvert.
     
    8. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre selon la revendication 7, comprenant en outre un moyen de détection configuré pour pouvoir détecter l'ouverture et la fermeture du moyen de lecture,
    dans lequel l'opération d'enregistrement peut être effectuée dans le cas dans lequel le moyen de détection détecte que le moyen de lecture est fermé, et ne peut pas être effectuée dans le cas dans lequel le moyen de détection détecte que le moyen de lecture est ouvert.
     
    9. Appareil d'enregistrement à jet d'encre selon la revendication 7, dans lequel le premier élément couvercle empêche la fermeture du moyen de lecture dans le cas dans lequel le premier élément couvercle est dans la seconde position.
     




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    Cited references

    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