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A Customer-Oriented Productivity Model For Thermal Ink-Jet Printers (Parts 1&2)

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This paper describes a model that can be used to assess the productivity of an ink-jet printer from the customer's viewpoint based on specific systems-level design choices. Many considerations go into the design of an ink-jet printer. Foremost among these is the speed of the printer, or the time it takes to print a page. Simplistically, the time to print a page is determined by the number of jets of each color in the printhead, the firing frequency of the jets, and the number of passes the printhead must make over the paper to complete a page. In reality, however, the actual time to print a page is strongly dependent on a number of design parameters and systems-level trade-offs. For example, the nature of the document itself may make it possible to quickly skip white spaces due to either large margins or breaks in the document content. Additionally, many ink-jet printers offer a variety of printing modes to suit the type of document being printed. This may include single-pass or draft modes for text, or different levels of multi-pass printing for graphics or pictorials.

Mechanical efficiency of TIJ printheads is very poor. The printhead temperature depends on the operating environment of the printer and the area coverage of the images within a particular job mix. Thermal bursts, idle times and temperature-dependent changes in operating conditions are all parts of the thermal equation. Excessive temperature swings can lead to print quality degradation by changing the drop volume, by interfering with the nucleation process, etc. For a reliable operation, the printhead temperature must be maintained within a certain operating window. This could require a reduction in printing speed: a direct hit on productivity. Therefore, a successful printhead design must address thermal management and image processing issues in an integral framework. The development of such a systems-level approach is discussed in this paper.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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