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Software controlled Service Interlock for printers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000208390D
Publication Date: 2011-Jul-06
Document File: 1 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Printers, copiers, and Multifunction Printers (MFP’s) have front panel doors which are opened to access the working parts of the machine for various purposes. Operators may need to open the doors to clear paper jams or add consumable supplies. Service Technicians need access to repair the machine. For safety reasons, there is an interlock system which detects when the door is opened and disconnects power to components so long as the door is open. This is a “lockout” system which locks out power to the inside of the machine when a door is open. Service Technicians can “cheat” the safety interlock with a plug known as a “cheater” that simulates the closed door, allowing machine power and operation with an open front panel door. This idea proposes a software interlock workflow system to augment the standard interlock “cheater”. Only trained and authorized service personal would be able to access the software controlled interlock system via the print engine software. The idea solves the problem of untrained personal using interlock cheaters and potentially injuring themselves. The system would have authentication and auditing capabilities with logins, usage logging and e-mail notifications.

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Software controlled Service Interlock for printers

Printers, copiers, and Multifunction Printers (MFP’s) have front panel doors which are opened to access the working parts of the machine for various purposes.  Operators may need to open the doors to clear paper jams or add consumable supplies.  Service Technicians need access to repair the machine.  For safety reasons, there is an interlock system which detects when the door is opened and disconnects power to components so long as the door is open.  This is a “lockout” system which locks out power to the inside of the machine when a door is open. Service Technicians can “cheat” the safety interlock with a plug known as a “cheater” that simulates the closed door, allowing machine power and operation with an open front panel door.  This idea proposes a software interlock workflow system to augment the standard interlock “cheater”. Only trained and authorized service personal would be able to access the software controlled interlock system via the print engine software. The idea solves the problem of untrained personal using interlock cheaters and potentially injuring themselves. The system would have authentication and auditing capabilities with logins, usage logging and e-mail notifications.

In the existing system, untrained service operators or customers sometimes may have a need to open a cover or door on a printer to check on an area of the system they are troubleshooting or that has problems. Anyone can open a door ...