Browse Prior Art Database

Cover Page Saver of Printer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000119407D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 4 page(s) / 148K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The cover page is a printed paper to separate the output of different user's print tasks. In a network environment, many people share one printer, and it is necessary to separate each print task by a cover page. Because each print task has one cover page even if this task has only one page content, this procedure will cause great waste. The proposed system of our invention implements hardware redesign and software optimization to reuse each user's cover page to prevent wasting. Two new techniques are adopted in this system for cover page reuse: 1) Hardware redesign. We add a cover page tray in the printer, and install a bar code scanner at the entrance location of the cover page tray. We also redesign the cover page style, and a bar code for the owner of the print task will be printed in the cover page. When a task is sent to print for printing the first time, a bar code for this user is printed in the cover page. After this user gets back his/her print content, he/she puts the cover page back to printer's cover page tray. The bar code scanner in the entrance location of cover page tray will scan the bar code and detect the cover page's owner so that it can record the position of this cover page in cover page tray. When the next print task is sent to the printer, if there is a corresponding cover page in cover page tray, printer doesn't print a new cover page and sends the corresponding cover page to output tray after printing the content 2) In order to enhance the effectiveness of cover page reuse, some software optimizations are implemented in the proposed system. For a single network printer, print tasks are rearranged in time serials so that the same user's task are printed consecutively, which can use only one cover page for multi-task of the same owner. For multi printers in network, a virtual printer is created as a switcher in front of these physical printers. In addition to arrange the print task in time serials, the virtual printer send the same user's tasks in the same physical printer to share one cover page.

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Page 1 of 4

Cover Page Saver of Printer

Background

Print paper saving is an important factor both to save the environment and to reduce the cost of a company. Some technique are applied to reduce the consumptions of paper, for example printing content double sides, printing two or more pages content in one page. But there is no any method to save cover pages which are a great source of waste. The proposed cover page saving system is to solve this problem by redesigning printer's hardware and software optimization to reuse the cover pages of each print task.

In a big office, a network printer is shared by many people. In order to separate each one's print task, a cover page is needed. For a normal configuration printer, each print task has one cover page in which the name of the task owner is printed. The process is shown in Figure 1. Because the cover page has little information in it but has been printed, the paper has no use after the owner takes his/her materials away. If an office has 100 print tasks one day, it will cause 100 cover pages wasted one day. According to our statistics, the average number of pages for one print task has only four pages, but has one page cover page. If we can make two tasks to use one cover page, we can reduce about 1/10 of pages cost.

Work mechanism

Traditional cover page print mechanism

Figure 1, Tradition cover page print mechanism

Because cove page is very useful to separate different user's print contents, the cover page save system must maintain the function of cover page. Two new techniques are adopted in this system for cover page reuse. The first one is hardware redesign. We add a cover page tray and a cover page selection tool in printer. We also install a barcode scanner in the entrance location of the cover page tray. We redesigned the cover page style, and a bar code will be printed in addition to the name of the owner and other info. The procedure of using these hardwares is shown in figure 2.

Tom

Network

Back to users

Tom

D

B

Tom

Cover Page: Tom

Jack

D

Cover Page: Jack

Jack

C

Cover Page: Tom

C

B

A

Cover Page: Mary

Mary

Mary

A

1

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Page 2 of 4

Case 1: No right cover page available in printer

1

Mary

2 3

Blank paper

Cover pages

A

Cover Page: Mary

A

4

5

Name Other Info.

1. Send print task
2. Print content
3. Print cover page according to user name
4. Put cover page back to printer

5. Scan bar code and receive cover page

Bar code scanner

Cover page style

Name Other Info.

Figure 2, Print a owner's task for the first time.

When a user sends his/her print task to the printer, the printer prints the content firstly. After that the printer will find out whether there is a corresponding cover page in cover page tray. If there is not, this user's cover page is printed out and a bar code for this user is printed in the cover page. After this user gets back his/her print content, he/she put the cover page back to printer's cover page tray. After the bar code...