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 user 2005-07-24 at 11:00:00 am Views: 73
  • #11917

    HP Changes the Way It Does Ink Jet with New SPT Launch
    As part of its “big bang 2005″ product announcement in July , HP introduced several ink jet devices that employ a brand-new printing system. The system, which features separate print heads and ink tanks, is based on HP’s new scalable printing technology (SPT) and marks a seismic shift in the company’s ink jet technology. The low-cost ink tanks in the new SPT-based machines mean the firm is taking a significant step away from its well-known integrated cartridges, which bundle print heads and ink into one pricy package.

    Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of HP’s Imagining and Printing Group (IPG), unveiled the new technology to analysts and industry watchers prior to the launch of the new printers. Hailing it as a breakthrough for the firm, Joshi said SPT is the result of five years of research and an investment of $1.4 billion. He expects that the technology will allow HP to continue to double the performance of its ink jet printers every 18 months as it has done for the past 20 years—an accomplishment that HP refers to as “ink jet’s Moore’s law.”

    At the heart of the new scalable technology is a new print head that HP manufactures as a single unit. In the past, HP’s heads were assembled in two parts. Nozzles were drilled into an orifice plate, which was then glued to a separate wafer that housed the firing chambers and ink channels. Problems were inherent in fabricating heads this way. Microdrilling the orifice plate lead to nozzles that were more prone to fail, and misalignments between the nozzles and firing chambers caused imaging errors.

    With SPT, print heads are created from a single piece of silicon using a photolithographic process, and the nozzles and firing chambers are fabricated on one wafer. The new fabrication technique yields more reliable nozzles that can be positioned more accurately. Image quality is improved thanks to more precisely aligned nozzles and firing chambers. Such precision reduces space and allows print heads to be fabricated with a greater nozzle density. These heads can be grouped together in different configurations that provide scalability in terms of both price and performance