Performance improvement of professional printing systems : from theory to practice

M. Ezzeldin Mahdy Abdelmonem

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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Performance Improvement of Professional Printing Systems: from theory to practice Markets demand continuously for higher quality, higher speed, and more energy-efficient professional printers. In this thesis, control strategies have been developed to improve the performance of both professional inkjet and laser printers. Drop-on-Demand (DoD) inkjet printing is considered as one of the most promising printing technologies. It offers several advantages including high speed, quiet operation, and compatibility with a variety of printing media. Nowadays, it has been used as low-cost and efficient manufacturing technology in a wide variety of markets. Although the performance requirements, which are imposed by the current applications, are tight, the future performance requirements are expected to be even more challenging. Several requirements are related to the jetted drop properties, namely, drop velocity, drop volume, drop velocity consistency, productivity, and reliability. Meeting the performance requirements is restricted by several operational issues that are associated with the design and operation of inkjet printheads. Major issues that are usually encountered are residual vibrations in and crosstalk among ink channels. This results in a poor printing quality for high-speed printing. Given any arbitrary bitmap, the main objective is to design actuation pulses such that variations in the velocity and volume of the jetted drops are minimized. Several model-based feedfoward control techniques using an existing model are implemented to generate appropriate input pulses for the printhead. Although the implementation of the model-based techniques shows a considerable improvement of the printhead performance compared with the current performance, further improvements are still necessary. We observe that besides the pulse shape the state of the ink surface at the nozzle plate (speed, position) at the start of the pulse influences the drop velocity considerably. This state at firing depends also on previous pixels in the bitmap of the image. Consequently, any pulse design has to guarantee almost the same initial state when firing a drop. Based on these facts, a model-free optimization scheme is developed to minimize the drop velocity variations taking into account the bitmap information. Experimental results show the effectiveness of the optimized pulses. Laser printing systems are highly depending on the appropriate combination of several design factors so as to become functional in a desired working range. The physical printing process involves multiple temperature set points at different places, precise electro-magnetic conditions, transfer of toner through certain pressures and layouts, and many other technical considerations. In the laser printing system there are several challenging issues and unknown disturbances. They originate from different sources, such as the printer itself (unknown phenomena appear, disturbances that are not foreseen, wear, contamination, failures, bugs), the environment of the system (power supply variations, temperature, humidity, vibrations), and the printing media (weight, coating, thermal properties, humidity characteristics, and initial temperature). These issues have a negative effect on the stability and performance of the laser printing system. The objective is to design a control scheme to achieve printing quality requirements and a high productivity. Good printing quality means that the fusing temperature should track a certain reference signal at different operating conditions. Based on the printing system behavior, we propose two different control schemes to cope with the large parameter variations and disturbances, namely, a Model Reference Adaptive Controller (MRAC) and a nonlinear (scheduled) observer-based output feedback control scheme. Both control techniques yield considerable performance improvements compared with the present industrial controller.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Electrical Engineering
  • van den Bosch, Paul, Promotor
  • Weiland, Siep, Promotor
Award date25 Apr 2012
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-90-386-3127-1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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