P08501: Roller-based fuser test bed
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Identify Customer Needs

Table of Contents

Step 1. Gather Raw Data From Customers

Discussion with Dr. Esterman (9/10/07)

  1. Why is a roller based system needed?
    1. We want to simulate the real laser fusing process in mechanism to provide a "real world" analogy to the Laser Fuser Test Bed (LFTB)
  2. How/why is the roller based system going to be more difficult to measure?
    1. By design and intent the stamp based system is more accurate
    2. The two, LFTB and RFTB, will be used in conjunction to give better insight into the fusing process.
  3. What is the key difference between the systems?
    1. The shear caused by the nip of the rollers.
    2. The concern is that this shear force has a large effect on how the toner is fused to the surface.
    3. The hope is that the oil within the toner melts and forms a layer above the toner that protect it from this shear force.
  4. What other concerns will we have with the implementation in this device?
    1. The suspicion is that peak temperature happens after peak pressure, and that this parameter is basically a function of the system.
    2. We would like more information on controlling and affecting this parameter.
  5. Do we have any benchmarks that we can compare against?
    1. There are two existing instruments:
      1. An HP testbed made as a research tool for a thesis student.
      2. A commercial instrument made by QEA used for similar applications, with prohibitive cost.
    2. There are also the existing fusers to compare against.
  6. What challenges are foreseen for the team?
    1. This is not the same design as last year.
    2. Fact that a real fuser is trying to be duplicated.
    3. Accuracy of the measurement system.
    4. Needs to be quantitative.
    5. Testing and validation for the working product.
    6. There are initial constraints in the design, so the process is not totally independent.
    7. Sensing parameters are in a small time window, limiting the choices of sensors.
    8. Achieving a balance between modeling and testing.
    9. On the positive side implementation should easier.

Other discussions/interviews

The team still needs to meet to discuss needs with Dr. Jon Arney and Dr. Juan Cockburn.

Step 2. Interpret Raw Data in Terms of Customer Needs

Needs Summary
Question/Prompt Statement Interpreted Need
Objective Develop a roller-based fuser test-bed wich closely represents fuser systems that are in use today. A system to allow a quantitative study of the fusing process by engineers and researchers
Typical Uses Develop understanding of the interaction between toner systems, media systems and fusing systems. Measure and parameters of the fusing process. Through experiments an optimal parameter set can be determined, which will give the best results for interacation b/w toner and media systems.
Likes - current tool Independently controls and measures temperature and pressure profiles. A custom temperature and pressure profile can be applied by the user and its effects can be studied.
Dislikes - current tool Uses flat plates, instead of rollers. Need a model with rollers which more closely simulates the real fusing system.
The fixture has not been tested and validated. Need to verify functionality of the LFTB before the data from this fixture can be utilized.
Suggested improvements develop a common user interface that can be used to control both systems. The existing LFTB and the new RFTB. Common set of parameters will be used to control both test beds(parellell). Need a to add a function that translates input parameters into specific parameters for each test-bed. This may involve redesigning the UI and the Control System of the existing LF

Step 3. Organize the Needs into a Hierarchy

  1. Modularity
    1. Upgradeable
    2. Design modular
    3. Compatible with existing hardware
    4. System to allow different types of rollers
    5. Allow different substrates
  2. Simulation of the real system
    1. Mimics the actual fusing system
    2. Roller based
    3. Should simulate the actual printing process
  3. Constraints
    1. Project time limit (22 weeks)
    2. Measurements will be limited by the time constrains of the process
    3. Size constraint: Fits on bench top
    4. Cost Factor: Inexpensive
  4. Accuracy
    1. Need to actuate and sense parameters
    2. Clients would want to know the accuracy of the measurement system
    3. Want to measure process without altering it
    4. Proper insulation around rollers similar to actual printers to ensure practical temperature conditions
  5. Usability
    1. Ability to vary parameters of interest while keeping other parameters constant
    2. Should be easy to use by clients
    3. Easy to use interface
  6. Project Objectives
    1. Effect of process speed on quality
    2. Understanding of fusing process (research)
    3. Gain better specifications on parameters of interest
    4. Develop results that may change future roller based products
    5. Find something interesting that was not foreseen while doing the project
    6. Robust Design
    7. Quality
  7. Safety
    1. Safe device that can be used to test fusing process for different print media with speed temperature and pressure as variables
    2. Integrate Appropriate safety guards
  8. Comparative Study
    1. Leverages existing stamp based system
    2. Stamp vs Roller
    3. Need to run parallel experiments, one more accurate and another more realistic and establish correlation.
  9. Documentation
    1. Documented
    2. Manual
  10. Maintenance
    1. Easy to maintiain
  11. Power
    1. Runs on 110V ideal
    2. Adaptable
  12. Controls and Measurement
    1. Measure and control temperature and pressure
    2. Control dwell time
    3. Control and measure/calculate dwell time
    4. control paper through-speed

Step 4. Establish the Relative Importance of the Needs

Needs Summary
Need The Product Needs to Importance
Need 1.1
Need 1.2
Need 2.1
Need 2.2
Need 2.3
Need 2.4

Step 5. Reflect on the Results and the Process

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