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Patent issued for ink supply device

August 27, 2013

inkjetMimaki Engineering Co., Ltd. assigned patent number 8506060 relating to an ink supply device for an inkjet printer.

Hispanic reports that a patent has been issued to wide-format inkjet printer manufacturer, Mimaki Engineering, for its ink supply device.

The article states that according to the background information supplied by the inventors, the ink supply device allows an inkjet printer to include a “suction route for performing forcible vacuum suction of ink remaining in the print head in the state that the nozzle face of the print head is capped by a rubber cap”. This allows thickening ink to be “sucked and removed and, at the same time, new ink is supplied into the print head, thereby re-establishing the print head to a state that ink can be ejected properly”.

To solve the issue of the inner pressure of a print head becoming higher than the normal atmospheric pressure, which can cause ink dripping problems, an ink supply device of a “negative pressure producing type” has been developed, which includes a “sub-tank of a smaller volume disposed at the supply passage connecting the main tank and print head, in which the print head is made into a state of slight negative pressure by reducing the pressure of the sub tank”.

The pressure within the sub tank is controlled by “sucking air from the inside of the ink chamber”; while a “float provided with a magnet” is used in the tank to control the amount of ink that can be stored in it to ensure that there is no interruption to the supply of ink to the print head. This is “vertically and movably placed to float on ink and a sensor for detecting magnetism from the magnet is disposed at a predetermined level”.

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