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copyright 2007
Torrey Pines Research

Case Studies

Case 1:

Texas Instruments (TI) Color Electrographic Printer

Product Concept:

Texas Instruments desired to implement its novel and proprietary Digital Micro-Mirror (DMD) technology into new application areas. TI elected to develop a color Electrophotographic (EP) electronic printer utilizing the DMD technology as a critical element within the exposure sub-system, replacing the more commonly used laser and LED technologies. TI was also able to take advantage of its microprocessor DSP technology by incorporating it within the RIP controller of the printer system. The product was to be an 8-PPM, CMYK dry powder, graphic art quality, network/workgroup printer, with easy to use customer maintenance via operator replaceable components.

TPR Value Added:

TPR was a central and key participant in the development of this EP printer. The value added by TPR included the following:

  • The rapid establishment of a 17K sq-ft "skunk works" facility and environment located in Carlsbad, CA, away from the TI Dallas based headquarters.

  • The effective melding of approximately 35 TPR technologists, with 25 Dallas based TI engineers transferred to Carlsbad, with an additional dozen independent contractors into a fast paced and fun engineering environment.

  • The development of an elegant product architecture, combining proven technologies/features with new capabilities such as an "oil-less" fuser system, and a simple consumables replacement strategy via cartridges.

  • Rapid Engineering Model (EM) development cycle. Six fully configured working printers were architected and delivered within 13 months of startup. The initial print quality was unsurpassed at such an early stage in a development program.

  • Incorporation of extensive EP process experience and expertise together with high volume consumer product development experience.

End Result:

This was truly a remarkable EP development program, enabled by the successful blending of TPR technologists, with TI engineers, and outside contractors. In just a little over a year, a complete engineering model system design with over 2,000 parts, was architected, developed, fabricated, and delivered. The print quality achieved within days of the first system integration was the best ever observed (in TPR's experience) so soon in an EP development program. Six fully configured systems were completed during this time period. The friendships and working relationships built during this program will last a lifetime.

Why TPR?:

TI brought a number of significant contributions to the development effort, including the DMD and DSP technologies, together with a very competent set of 25 engineers. However, the TI team did not have commercial product development experience nor did they have any expertise and experience in EP printer technology and development. TPR was engaged by TI to provide the EP and consumer product development capability and to additionally set up and provide the fast paced 'skunk-works" development environment for rapid implementation.

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TPR announces that that the latest version of the TEC Tribo Charge Analyzer TEC-2 is now shipping.

Rick Lux, Ph.D., with  29 years experience in research and development of digital printing systems, has joined TPR as a TPR Fellow.

Dexter Dyer,with over 31 years in electrophotographic and lithographic digital printing , has joined TPR as a TPR Fellow.

Jerome May, a 33 year digital imaging veteran, has joined TPR as a TPR Fellow.

TPR has been selected for the "2008 Product Development & Marketing" category award by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).(New Press Release)

TPR Ozone Testing Facilities Description (PDF)

TPR has conducted an extensive test on the stability of photographic prints made from a variety of systems from multiple vendors. The report compares the performance of the various images under accelerated conditions to assess their respective permanence and to make life projections. this is available for download at Publications.

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