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Automatic Pen Identification on Plotter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000040777D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Powell, S: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In a plotter with many pens, if a pen is placed in the wrong position, the control software is unaware of this, resulting in plotting errors. If each pen is coded and the arrangement is such that the plotter system can sense the code, the application software may then associate the codes with color, pen type and pen width and determine automatically which pens are present and which are missing. If a required pen is missing, the software may initiate actions to remedy or circumvent the problem or to allow the operator to intervene. Many different scenarios are possible, all made feasible by the single innovation of machine-readable plotter pen codes. In order for a plotter to justify its cost, it should be in fairly frequent use.

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Automatic Pen Identification on Plotter

In a plotter with many pens, if a pen is placed in the wrong position, the control software is unaware of this, resulting in plotting errors. If each pen is coded and the arrangement is such that the plotter system can sense the code, the application software may then associate the codes with color, pen type and pen width and determine automatically which pens are present and which are missing. If a required pen is missing, the software may initiate actions to remedy or circumvent the problem or to allow the operator to intervene. Many different scenarios are possible, all made feasible by the single innovation of machine- readable plotter pen codes. In order for a plotter to justify its cost, it should be in fairly frequent use. This means regular changes of pens to cope with the different types of media and the quality of plot required. At present this means placing each pen in a pre-arranged pen-holder position suitable for a particular application. This involves matching colors (and/or pen types and widths) to that expected by the application. This is a manual and error-prone operation, involving knowledge of the application and plotter. In order to produce a plot of a picture, the user has to ensure correspondence between the colors desired and the pens in the pen holders. This usually involves one incorrect plot while the user tries to match the colors up. The pen positions on the plotter are identified purely by numbers and these are used to choose appropriate colors for the plot. There is no mechanism whereby the plotter, or the driving software, can confirm that the correct pen is being used. Plots can take a long time, typically ten to twenty minutes, with the erroneous pen discovered, on average, after five to ten minutes, when the erroneous pen is first used. A simple solution would be for the plotter microcode to determine the type of pen (its color, width and technology) from the pen itself. The user would then be free of any worries and could quickly change the pens in response to suggestions from the application. This may be done by one of two similar indicator types, magnetic stripe or...