Xerox Corporation : Patent Issued for Print Smoothness on Clear Toner Enabled Systems
The patent's inventor is Lin, Guo-Yau (Fairport, NY).
This patent was filed on November 12, 2010 and was published online on December 31, 2013.
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "When printing large constant color or slowly transitioning area, smoothness is one of the main concerns. Smoothness is usually driven by the xerographic characteristics, halftone dot design, and can also be dependent on media substrate type. Toner scatter, unstable halftone dots, substrate materials (e.g. loose paper fiber), and the like, can prevent regions of color transition in an output print from appearing smooth. Applying clear toner is known to improve the smoothness. However, applying it to the entire print can be an expensive proposition. This is especially true for print shops specializing in color document reproduction. As such, methods are needed which can automatically determine, based upon characteristics of the document itself, where clear toner is best applied such that regions of color transition appear smooth.
"Accordingly, what is needed in this art are systems and methods for determining an amount of clear toner to be added to a document image to improve smoothness of an output print in document reproduction devices capable of delivering an amount of clear toner to an image in the image path."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "What is disclosed is a novel system and method for determining an amount of clear toner to be applied to a document image to improve smoothness in an output print rendered using a xerographic device capable of applying clear toner to the image in the image path. Using clear toner to improve smoothness advantageously enables a Gray Component Replacement (GCR) strategy in which more black can be used which can decrease the incremental cost for clear toner for print shops specializing in color document reproduction.
"In one example embodiment, the present method for determining where to apply clear toner to an image of a document to improve smoothness in an output print involves performing the following. First, an image of a document is received. The received document image is intended to be rendered on a document reproduction device capable of applying clear toner in the image path. The received document image is then analyzed to detect objects contained within the document. The objects can be, for example, constant color objects, smooth shading objects, and image objects. Document objects can be selected via a user interface of a computer workstation. Once the objects have been identified, an amount of halftone dot area coverage is determined for one or more regions of each object wherein color transitions occur. The determined amount of halftone dot area coverage for a given region is then compared to a predetermined threshold. If the amount of area coverage is below the predetermined threshold, the document reproduction device is signaled to apply clear toner to this region. Excessive clear toner can be removed via an ink-limiting operation. In other embodiments, a rate of color transition in the object region is determined and then compared to a predetermined transition threshold in a spatial domain. If the rate of color transition is below the transition threshold then the device is signaled to apply clear toner to the region.
"Many features and advantages of the above-described method will become readily apparent from the following detailed description and accompanying drawings."
Keywords for this news article include: Xerox Corporation.
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