Patent Number: 6,168,324

Title: Thermal transfer printer

Abstract: A thermal transfer printer comprises two parallel and adjacent print engines (1a, 1b), with each engine comprising a platen roller (4), a donor ribbon extending from a supply spool (10a, 10b) to a take-up spool (11a, 11b), and receiver supply rolls (5a, 5b) to hold a supply of receiver sheet. Drive means (11a, 11b; 26a, 26b) transport the donor ribbon and receiver sheet through the engine during printing independently from the drive means of the other engine. A printhead (3) has a row of heaters extending across both engines, with a first set (3a) of heaters positioned to operate with the first engine (1a) and a second set (3b) of heaters positioned to operate with the second engine (1b). Control means coordinate activation of the engines selectively with application of the image signal to the heater set which is operable with that selected engine. Both engines can be operated independently, enabling the printer to be set up for independent or dual printing.

Inventors: Lever; Philip E (Ipswich, GB), Goddard; Kent C (Overseal, GB), Portus; Robert T (Burton-on-Trent, GB)

Assignee: Imperial Chemical Industries PLC

International Classification: B41J 15/18 (20060101); B41J 3/00 (20060101); B41J 3/42 (20060101); B41J 3/62 (20060101); B41J 003/54 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018