HP have been at the forefront of printer technology since its birth. Perhaps their most significant technological achievement, in the early days of HP’s DeskJet printer (1998), was the creation of a very inexpensive and disposable print head that could be built into the ink cartridge itself.
The value and efficiency of a disposable print head is in its ability to guarantee a consistently high level of print quality over the entire life of the printer. Competitors, at the time, offered permanent print heads which tended to clog and need replacement.
And so it comes as no surprise that HP is once again at the vanguard of print head design with its “PageWide” technology. An advanced technology that now appears in its new range of business inkjet printers: The Officejet Pro X
HP Officejet Pro X Series printers are quiet and dependable, with laser-fast print speeds and a rapid first page out. The HP Officejet Pro X Series comes standard with built-in duplex printing capability. The cartridges are an expensive investment, but provide great value because of the total page yield, for example the Officejet X576DW ink is close to 1p per page for the OEM and less than half that when you choose the Jet Tec premium recycled inks.
HP PageWide Key Elements
The key elements of the HP PageWide Technology platform that lead to high print quality
and reliability include:
– A page-wide array of 42,240 nozzles that produce ink drops with uniform drop weight,
speed, and trajectory (the first HP inkjet print head had only 12 ink nozzles)
– 1,200 nozzles-per-inch native resolution for consistently high print quality
– Precise control of paper motion for dependable print quality and reliable operation
– Automatic nozzle health sensing, active and passive nozzle substitution, and automatic
print head servicing for added dependable print quality
This following image shows the principle of a sheet of paper moving under a static print head:
In the following video you will see Mark MacKenzie – Senior Design Engineer @ HP, demonstrate the actual print head that is used in the Officejet Pro X printer:
Managing 42,240 Nozzles
HP PageWide Technology periodically tests the performance of all 42,240 nozzles on the print head to help maintain dependable print quality. This automatic process finds nozzles that are not performing within specifications, and also checks each nozzle frequently so that it catches and corrects any failures that could reduce print quality.
HP Officejet Pro X Series printers use optical sensors to calibrate the print head and measure nozzle performance. These sensors sit on a small carriage that scans across the paper and print head. A paper sensor scans printed diagnostic test patterns, and the writing system controller uses this information to electronically compensate for die-to-die alignment tolerances and variations in drop volume that could produce visible print artifacts.
This sensor also detects the edge of the sheet as it moves into the print zone. A print head sensor, developed specifically for HP Officejet Pro X Series printers, measures individual drops in flight as part of a system that provides robust print quality by substituting good nozzles for those that do not meet operating specifications.
The Paper’s Path — One Quick, Controlled Pass
To compete with color laser printers in small work team environments, HP Officejet Pro X Series printers need a compact, reliable paper transport that produces fast, face-down, correct-order output with built-in duplexing. HP designed a new paper transport to meet the needs of page-wide array printing. Figure 9 shows a cross-sectional view of the key components. A single sheet of paper, shown by the green arrow, moves from right to left in this view.
A sheet printed on one side (simplex) moves up against the left door guide, crosses the writing system assembly (Figure 3), and exits face down to the output bin. A duplex-printed sheet moves up against the left door guide, then reverses and passes under the duplexing unit (not shown), following the same path taken by sheets coming from the multipurpose tray (tray 1). This design efficiently integrates duplexing and multipurpose tray functionality into the paper path.
The Officejet Pro X Series paper transport effectively stabilizes and constrains the sheet through the printer from pick to drop. It delivers reliable paper pick, low jam rates, and continuous and accurate movement of the paper in the print zone. Sheets are transported without smearing ink.
The HP Officejet Pro X Series paper transport incorporates a number of innovations that enable cost-effective, precise paper motion control, including the following:
• A gear train with precision-matched pitch diameters
• Precision, low-cost bearings
• Precision platen alignment and positioning
• Servo-controlled overdrive of specific rollers
• Precision roller diameters
• Star wheels
• Drive shaft biasing to prevent backlash
Users have come to expect low rates of pick and jam failures from HP LaserJet solutions. HP adapted paper pick and paper supply tray spring-plate designs from high-end HP LaserJets to give HP Officejet Pro X Series printers pick and jam failure rates measured in single events over several thousand pages—similar to HP LaserJets.
HP PageWide Technology breakthroughs enable the high performance and robust print quality of HP Officejet Pro X Series printers. Exceptional features include a page-wide printhead with a nozzle density of 1,200 per inch for each of four colors, controlled ink-paper interactions using HP pigment inks, precision paper motion control, automatic nozzle performance measurement, active and passive nozzle substitution, and automated printhead service routines that can restore nozzle operation.
Simple put the new HP Page Wide array is a real breakthrough in printer technology!
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