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Tech

hnical white
e paper

HP
P Pag
geWide Te
echnolog
gy
Features and user bene
efits
Based on
o reliable HP Thermaal Inkjet Teechnology aand HP
pigment inks, HP PageWide
P
Technolog
T
gy offers high quality at high printing
mance
speeds. It is scalable to meeet a wide raange of appplication and perform
ments, and
d offers rob
bust operation with eeconomical print prod
duction.
requirem
Introdu
uction
In 2006, HP introduced a verrsatile 4.25-inch
h Thermal Inkjet pprinthead platfoorm that has beeen used in wide w
writing systems
in HPs large
e format Latex Printers and in HP
P Color Inkjet Weeb Presses.1 HP Scalable Printing
g Technology alllows this
printhead to
o be customized to a wide range of applications iincluding different drop weights and inks. In 201
13, HP
introduced HP
H PageWide Technology in a hig
gh-performancee family of desktoop multifunction
n printers: the HP
P Officejet Pro X-Series. Usin
ng an 8.57-inch, 4-color
4
printhead these MFPs arre capable printinng up to 42 US LLetter A/A4 pagees per minute.2
HP Large Fo
ormat PageWide Technology Prin
ntersa family oof high-producti vity 40-inch (1,0
016 mm) color p
printers for
technical graaphics and repro
oduction servicesshave unique operating and p erformance requ
uirements that aare not optimally
y
provided by HPs 4.25- and 8.57-inch
8
printhead platforms. For example, thee 4.25-inch printthead delivers 1 or 2 colors of
ink, and makking a wide 4-color printer by staacking these prinntheads along annd across the weeb (of printing m
material) requires
a print zone larger than desiirable for a techn
nical graphics pr inter. The four-ccolor 8.57-inch p
printhead module was not
designed to be stackable or user-replaceablle.
Both the strengths and limittations of these earlier
e
generatioons of wide printtheads provided an opportunity tto develop a new
w
HP printhead platform: the HP PageWide Prrinthead with a 55.08-inch (127.5 mm) print swath.
de Thermal Inkjet printheads aree shown to scale in Figure 1. Notte that each usess multiple,
Three generrations of HP wid
staggered HP
H Thermal Inkjet chipscalled dies.

Dies are pprecision-alignedd and placed on a dimensionallyy-stable


substrate prroviding mechan
nical alignment, ink supply channnels, and electric al interconnectio
on. Both the 8.5
57-inch and 5.08inch printheads have a stainless steel shroud surrounding thhe dies. This com
mponent facilitattes capping and servicing the
nd protects the dies
d from media strikes during cuut-sheet loadingg/unloading and printing.
printhead an
Figure 1 - Th
hree generationss of wide HP Theermal Inkjet printtheads

From initial conception, HPss 5.08-inch printhead was designned to be an elem


ment of a scalab
ble and versatile writing system
that could power a wide range of high-perfo
ormance HP Pag eWide printing ssolutions. Scalable describes a d
design
w
modules are
a repeated alo
ong and across thhe print zone to support a rangee of formats and features such as
philosophy where
1
2

For example, this


t is the HP A51 Printhead for HP Color Inkjet Web Presses aand the HP 881 Printhhead in the HP Latex 3000 Printer.
Based on ISO print
p
speed for the HP Officejet Pro X576d
dw MFP. Maximum pprint speed is up to 70
0 ppm color and blacck.

Click h
here to verify the
e latest version off this document

Techniccal white paper | HP PageWide Technolog


gy

nks and higher prrint speeds. Mod


dularity includes the printhead, i nk delivery systeem, printhead drrive electronics,
additional in
and the image-processing pipeline.
p
Versatillity comes from the capability too customize drop
p generators to d
deliver the drop
weights required by the application, media, and
a inks as well as the ability to use a range of w
water-based HP pigment inks.

A new printhead
p
platform for
f HP Pag
geWide printing
Performance objectives and features for HP PageWide Printtheads were drivven both by the n
needs of HP PageeWide
Technology Printers and exttensibility to futu
ure HP PageWidee printing solutioons:
High sustained drop ratess for reliable prin
nt quality in high productivity appplications;
Reliable drop
d
ejection to reduce
r
print quality defects from
m nozzle outs;
Extended
d time between service
s
station cyycles for sustain ed productivity;

High printt density in high--speed, one-passs printing for higgh black/color saaturation at high
h productivity;
Long life to reduce interveention rates and
d provide lower t otal cost of operration in high duty-cycle applicattions;
d dot placement accuracy to meeet the requiremeents of technical graphics;
Improved
Stackabiliity for a more co
ompact 4-color print
p
zone with thhe versatility to ssupport a range of print widths;
Compact print zone for beetter media conttrol, precise coloor-to-color alignm
ment, and to red
duce printer size.
Printhead de
esigns, ink deliveery systems, ink technologies, seervice station funnctions, and matterials proven in service by HPs
4.25-inch an
nd 8.57-inch prin
ntheads were levveraged into the HP PageWide P rinthead Modulee, shown in Figurre 2.
Figure 2 HP PageWide Prin
nthead Module

ng are key speciffications and features of the HP P


PageWide Printhhead:
The followin

5.08
8-inch (129mm) print swath

HP Thermal Inkjet technology


t
3

4-ccolors (CMYK), HP
P PageWide Pigm
ment Inks

1,20
00 nozzles per in
nch native resolu
ution

25,344 nozzles perr printhead

6,33
36 nozzles per co
olor

Modular, stackable design


for scalable printing
g solutions

Userr replaceable witthout tools


or m
mechanical adjustments

Built-in ink filtration


n and pressure regulation

Desiigned for sustain


ned, high-speed printing

Improved stackability is obtaained by the S-sshape design off the modules. TThis shape allow
ws them to fit tog
gether in a
compact, lin
near printbar sho
own in Figure 3. Printing configu rations of differeent widths are avvailable in 5-inch
h increments.
For instance
e, eight HP PageW
Wide Printheads are stacked toggether to make a 40-inch printbaar, but scalabilityy supports
narrower or wider formats.
3

HP PageWide Pigment Inks are desscribed in the compan


nion White Paper: Inkks for HP PageWide Te
Technology, June 2014.

Techniccal white paper | HP PageWide Technolog


gy

Figure 3 - Sttackability and sccalability

es for 4-color printing are shown


n schematically i n Figure 4. Fourr HP 4.25-inch prrintheads produce an 8-inch
Two scheme
print swath and two HP PageWide Printhead
ds produce a 10--inch swath. Thee arrangement o
of printheads is sshown to relative
e
scale.
ompact print zon
ne
Figure 4 - Co

When the 4.25-inch printheaads are configured to print two ccolors of ink, twoo printheads are required along tthe paper feed
g system. In HPs Color Inkjet Weeb Presses, this is implemented with two tandem
m printbars.
direction in a 4-color printing
Unlike HP PaageWide Printheeads, HPs 4.25-inch printheads w
were not designeed to directly staack together and
d so they must be
staggered and offset as sho
own in Figure 4.
de Printheads staack together on a single printbarr to provide a moore compact prin
nt zone. A compact print zone
HP PageWid
gives better control of the media
m
during prin
nting. For exampple, maintaining precise spacing between the printheads and the
e
m
importan
nt both to dot plaacement accuraccy and to prevent the media from
m striking (and
mediaon the order of 1 mmis
t printhead. When
W
the nozzle arrays for each iink are placed cloose together, an
nd especially wheen all are on the
damaging) the
same die, co
olor-to-color alig
gnment is easier to maintain beccause dot placem
ment errors from
m media deformaation and skew
are reduced. This is importaant when using water-based
w
inkss on plain paperss, because thesee papers can sweellwet
cocklean
nd stretch when water
w
is applied..

One-pass printing
While one-p
pass printing offeers high throughput, it faces manny challenges coompared to the sscanning printhead designs used
in HPs large
e-format Designjjet printers. Tab
ble 1 outlines som
me of the differeences between sscanning and pag
gewide printhead
d
configuratio
ons.
Table 1 Co
omparison of scaanning and pagewide writing sysstems
Scanniing printheads

HP PageWide Tech
hnology

Printhead mo
otion

Bi-direectional scanning
acrosss the print zone

Fixed, spans the p


print zone

Media motion
n

Interm
mittent,
precision position advan ce

Continuous,
precision velocity control

Technical white paper | HP PageWide Technology

Print modes

Typically 1-16 passes

1-pass, different media feed rates

Printhead servicing and


decap management

May spit in spittoon


after each scan (~2 sec)

Spit-on-page,
decap up to 10 minutes

Error hiding

Multiple passes,
nozzle substitution

Good nozzles substitute for


out-of-spec nozzles

Maximum drops/sec

0.2 billion (HP T7200)

3.7 billion (40-inch printbar)

These characteristics of pagewide writing systems will be discussed in more detail in the following sections.

Inks for HP PageWide printing


HP developed a new generation of water-based pigment inks to meet the unique requirements of pagewide, technical
graphics printing. In particular, high black and color densities must be produced in a single pass with lower ink loadings
compared to scanning printhead printers.
Multi-pass print modes in scanning printhead systems limit wet dot-to-dot interactions by allowing ink to penetrate and
spread between printhead passes. Several seconds can elapse between scans before a dot is printed next to its neighbor.
This can allow higher ink loading than possible in a single pass because the ink is partially-absorbed between passes.
Typically, it takes about 100 milliseconds for a drop of water-based ink to wet and begin to spread and absorb on the media
surface.
In HP PageWide Technology, all the drops from each die are printed in a single-pass and within about 5 milliseconds at
typical media feed rates. So, all ink interactions are wet-on-wet, and this is a challenge for ink design to control color bleed,
feathering, and mottling in area-fills and images.
Decap performancewhere the printhead is uncapped and does not have access to a service station for a clean and wipe
cycleis critical to pagewide printhead reliability and image quality. Without properly managing the effects of decap, print
quality defects from slow, weak, or misdirected drops may quickly become visible. Scanning printhead printers typically spit
a few drops from each nozzle into a service station spittoon every few seconds. In high-productivity applications, a
pagewide printhead must operate reliably for several minutes without a visiting the printhead service station. Ink design
plays an important role in this capability.
New HP PageWide Pigment Inks were formulated to meet these requirements. A companion Technical White Paper, Inks for
HP PageWide Technology, discusses ink performance requirements and innovations in design of inks for HP Large Format
PageWide Printers.

Media
A technical graphics printer must support a range of media commonly found in practical applications. These media include
bond paper, vellum, thick bond paper, low-cost photo papers, poster papers, natural tracing papers, and polypropylene. HP
PageWide Pigment Inks were designed to provide high line, text, and graphics quality on these materials.

Ink delivery system


HP PageWide Pigment Inks will be supplied in 400ml and 775ml cartridges. For unattended, high-productivity printing,
some models of HP Large Format PageWide Technology Printers feature two sets of C, M, Y, and K cartridges. In dualcartridge systems, the printer detects when a cartridge is out-of-ink and this triggers an automatic ink cartridge switchover.
The operator can replace used cartridges while the printer is running.
When an ink cartridge is pressurized with air, ink is forced through tubes to the printbar and into an ink distribution system
along the printbar. Flexible supply tubes allow the printbar to move vertically during servicing and capping.
Each printhead interfaces with an ink supply module. Ink supply modules are stackable and interconnect with each other to
make a pagewide ink manifold. This scalable design allows printbars of different widths to be built by stacking together
printhead and ink supply modules.
Each printhead is connected to its ink supply module with a needle and septum for each color. The four (4) ink ports on the
printhead module are shown in Figure 2. A sheathed needle on the printhead module engages a septum on the ink supply
module as the printhead is pushed and latched into place. Manual handling of ink tubes is eliminated.

Techniccal white paper | HP PageWide Technolog


gy

Printhe
ead serviciing
In a pagewid
de printhead, nozzzles are subjectted to extended decap time and can be fully-serrviced only by intterrupting
printing. Wh
hen servicing is required,
r
the prin
ntbar is automattically retracted ffrom its printing position so thatt the service
station mod
dule can operate in the space bettween the printhhead and the media. The printheeads are also cap
pped in this
retracted po
osition.
The time req
quired for serviciing may reduce productivity
p
und er high use condditions, and so it should be perfo
ormed as
infrequentlyy as possible. Ussually, servicing can be performeed while the prinnter is idle. HP PageWide Printheeads and HP
PageWide Pigment Inks are designed for con
ntinuous printingg for up to 10 minutes.
t issues presentted by extendedd decap time andd infrequent acceess to the servicee station involves
An element of the solution to
spitting ink onto
o
the media while
w
printing. So-called spit-onn-page (SoP) seervicing refreshees the ink in the n
nozzles. If dropss
from every nozzle
n
are placed randomly, and
d not too many aare required, then SoP effects aree practically invissible to the user.
HP PageWid
de Technology acchieves robust operation by com
mbining a low rate of SoP with thee properties of H
HP PageWide
Pigment Inkks designed for sustained printing
g and longer deccap times.3

Wiping the nozzles


The service station componeents are shown schematically
s
in Figure 5. Printhhead nozzles and
d the protective shroud are
wiped by scaanning across th
he printbar during
g a service cycle . The service staation has a user--replaceable casssette containing
g
a web of abssorbent material. This wipes thee printheads andd absorbs ink ejected from spittin
ng and drop deteection.
The web is pulled
p
over a spring-loaded wipee roller that pressses the web agaainst the printheaads. The web ad
dvances from a
supply roll to a take-up roll providing
p
fresh material
m
while inn contact with thee nozzles. The ccartridge is desig
gned for
d the printers usser interface nottifies the operatoor when the web
b has been consu
umed.
hundreds off wipe cycles, and
Figure 5 Scanning service station
s
with web
b wipe cassette aand optical drop detector

Testing the
t nozzles
The nozzless fire drops onto the absorbent web
w through an ooptical drop deteector module. Th
he optical drop d
detector is
mounted ab
bove the web wip
pe cassette. Thee module containns twelve (12) paairs of LEDs and photodetectors allowing
measureme
ent of multiple no
ozzles at the sam
me time. On-boaard signal processing electronicss digitize and pro
ocess the
measureme
ent data to determine the health of each nozzle aas the service staation scans acro
oss the printbar. The error rate
for failing to
o detect a missing drop is 1 part per
p billion. All prrinthead nozzless202,752caan be tested in a minute. Nonfunctioning nozzles are flagged in a nozzle-out lookup tabble used by the im
mage processing
g pipeline for acttive nozzle
substitution.

Capping the nozzless


A cap on the
e printbar rotatess into place to caap the printhead s when the printtbar is retracted from the print zone. Features
on the prote
ective shroud allo
ow the cap to seelf-align and sea l around the diess. The cap provides a humid envvironment to
keep nozzle
es healthy and reeady to print.

Printer and
a printhea
ad calibratio
on
A three-channel densitometter developed byy HP is mounted on the bottom oof the scanning sservice station. T
This sensor is
D
Officejet, and Photosm
mart printers. It pperforms three important functio
ons.
used in HP Designjet,

Techniccal white paper | HP PageWide Technolog


gy

Edge detecttion during media loading


For proper im
mage placement, the sensor locates the edges oof the media as i t is loaded into tthe print zone. ((A separate topof-form sen
nsor measures th
he position of thee leading edge.)
Printhead alignment
a
along
g and across the
e sheet
Adjacent die
es overlap by 48 nozzles. A dot interference patttern is printed annd scanned. Thee lightest patch ccorresponding to
o
a particular selection of nozzles indicates the best alignmennt of nozzles in thhe overlap zone.
p color calibration
Closed-loop
This is a die--to-die color den
nsity calibration relating
r
input levvels to output prrint densities. Eaach die prints mu
ultiple levels of
each primary color in a test pattern.
p
Using illlumination that gives the highesst signal-to-noisse ratio for each color (e.g., a blue
LED is used to illuminate yelllow patches), th
he reflection den sity is measuredd. Compensation
n is applied in thee image
processing pipeline
p
to each die to produce th
he most uniform
m color across th e printbar.

Error hiiding in on
ne-pass prrinting
Essential to achieving high quality
q
in one-pass printing is rel iable drop ejecti on and nozzle su
ubstitution. HP PageWide
Printheads and
a HP PageWide Pigment Inks were
w
designed toogether for reliable drop ejection
n. HP Thermal In
nkjets capability
to produce high
h drop rates and
a its high nozzzle density of 1,2200 nozzles per inch provide botth active and passsive nozzle
substitution to suppress thee effects of failed
d nozzles. A faileed nozzle could leave an unprintted dot row alon
ng the media feed
direction. Fo
or example, this could be seen as a white streak in a black area ffill.
The choice of
o where to placee ink drops to produce smooth teext and lines andd area-fills of a sspecified densityyas well as the
e
selection of nozzles to substitute for a failed
d nozzleinvolvves sophisticatedd algorithms to ccontrol ink load aand to minimize
image artifaacts (such as edg
ge roughness in text
t and lines, im
mage grain, and bbanding).
Passive nozzle substitution makes direct use of HP Thermall Inkjets high nozzle density: if a nozzle fails, thee surrounding
nozzles com
mpensate for thee missing dot row
w. Two neighborr nozzles are onlly 1/1,200th of an inch (21 um) frrom the center
of the missin
ng dot row. The dot size from HP PageWide Prinntheads allows innk to spread from
m adjacent dot rrows to make a
nozzle failurre practically invisible. Passive nozzle
n
substitutioon suppresses pprint defects betw
ween service staation cycles,
where bad nozzles
n
can eitheer be recovered or
o a persistent faailure identified aand flagged by tthe drop detecto
or. In the latter
case, active nozzle substituttion is employed
d.
Active nozzlle substitution usses a nozzle-ou
ut lookup table compiled from ddrop detection m
measurements. S
Some nozzles
may remain out while otherss recover after printhead
p
servicinng. The lookup ttable is processeed to select neighbor nozzles to
a appropriate lo
ocations to comp
pensate for a misssing nozzle.
eject drops at

Media drive
d
More than 20 years of HP Deesignjet product development prrovided assets foor building a high-precision med
dia transport for
ormat PageWide Technology Prin
nters. The mediaa drive consists oof six (6) perforaated belts backed
d up by three (3)
HP Large Fo
print platenss. Under each pllaten is a plenum
m that is partiallyy-evacuated by a vacuum fan. This provides precise media hold-down and co
ontrol of printhead-to-media spaacing. The vacuuum in each plenuum is controlled by a pressure seensor.
The media drive
d
system is sh
hown schematiccally in Figure 6.
Figure 6 Me
edia drive system
m

Techniccal white paper | HP PageWide Technolog


gy

The belts are driven by a fixeed drive pulley on


o the output sid e of the print zoone using a DC seervo motor with a digital encoder
put side is encodded by an analogg encoder, and iss pushed away frrom the drive
and transmission. The idler pulley on the inp
pulley by fou
ur (4) tensioner springs.
s
The pullleys have guidinng grooves for thhe belts to supprress lateral motion.
The analog encoder,
e
signal-processing electtronics, and sophhisticated algoritthms predict when the belt (and media) will be at
the next dott position, and th
his information iss used to synchroonize drop eject ion from the prin
ntheads.
The media path
p
outside the print zone includ
des mechanics too transport meddia from rolls in tthe media draweers, cut the media
to length, fe
eed the media intto the print zonee, feed the mediaa through an opttional dryer after printing, and ejject the printed
sheet into th
he proper outputt device (i.e., bassket, stacker, or ffolder).
While mediaa is being fed into
o the print zone, a slack loopccalled a media bbubbleis creatted to decouple forces in the
media supplly system from the
t media drive. This isolation iss important to suuppress banding from media velo
ocity variations in
the print zon
ne. The media bubble also allow
ws the trailing ed ge of the media to halt momenttarily as it is cut eexiting the media
a
drawer.

Image processing
p
g pipeline
HP leverage
ed assets originally developed for high-bandwidtth image processsing in HPs famiily of Color Inkjett Web Presses.
These 4-color presses print on webs as widee as 42 inches (1 ,067 mm) at speeds up to 600 ffeet (244 m) perr minute.
nts for a 40-inch technical color graphics
g
printer
such as low haardware cost, hig
gh integrated fun
nctionality, high
Requiremen
sustained drrop rates, and exxtensibility to wid
der (and more) pprintbarsdrovee key advances in electronics hardware, imaging
algorithms, and data processsing architecturees. The result iss a new generatioon of scalable an
nd extendable im
mage processing
solutions with capabilities to
o support a wide range of HP PaggeWide Technoloogy Printers.
ustrated in Figuree 7. To give a seense of the amouunt of data proceessing required tto print an
Image data processing is illu
P
Techno
ology in an HP Laarge Format PaggeWide Technoloogy Printer is com
mpared to a mon
nochrome
image, HP PageWide
pagewide LE
ED printer and a scanning TIJH
HP Thermal Inkjeetprinter, for example the HP T
T7200 Designjett printer.
In a monoch
hrome LED printeer, only about 80
0 operations are performed on eeach pixel compaared to 1,100 operations on each
h
pixel in a collor inkjet printer.. HP Large Form
mat PageWide Teechnology Printers process about 7.5-times as m
many pixels per
second as a pagewide mono
o LED printer and
d 19-times as m any pixels per seecond as the HP Designjet T7200
0 printer.
Figure 7 - Co
omparison of image processing performance
p

The modular architecture off the image proceessing pipeline ffor HP Large For mat Pagewide P
Printers is shown
n schematically in
n
Figure 8. Wiider (or narrower) printbars can be
b built by addinng (or removing) print module co
ontrollers. As witth the printhead
and ink supp
ply modules, thee image processing pipeline is moodular and scalaable along the prrintbar. By addin
ng hub
controllers for
f each printbarr, multiple printbars can be suppoorted in future pproduct platform
ms.
The digital front end (DFE) of
o HP PageWide Technology
T
Printters employs thee latest version o
of the Adobe reendering
enginethe
e raster image processor (RIP). This
T ensures tha t the rendered ooutput to the prin
nt engine contro
oller is
completely compliant with PDF
P specification
ns. The Linux-baased DFE uses Inntel CoreTM i3 or i7 processors.
r
PDF filees along with layo
out and impositiion instructions ffrom the HP Dessignjet SmartStreeam job preview
The printer receives
and submitttal application. Processing
P
PDF files
f
in the printeercompared too using an extern
nal RIPsignificaantly reduces
the amount of data to be sent to the printer and ensures thaat the printer do es not run out o
of data while prrinting under high
h
network loading conditions.

Figure 8 - Sccalable image prrocessing architeecture

Throughout the image proceessing pipeline, microcontrollers


m
s and custom FP GAsField-Prog
grammable Gatee Arrays
a data manageement tasks. FP
PGAs run HP algoorithms at speed
ds up to 190 billio
on
perform imaage processing and
operations/ssec.
To control th
he printheads an
nd other function
ns, the print engiine controller deelivers up to 8 gig
gabits/sec of datta to the hub
controller on
n the printbar. Up
U to 2 Gb/sec caan be returned too the print enginne controller. This information iss produced by the
drop detecto
or, the printhead
ds, and other writing system sen sors including thhe analog and digital encoders on the media
drive.

Summa
ary
HPs vertical integration in th
he R&D and man
nufacture of inkjeet printheads, inks, writing systeems, and image p
processing
dvanced, integratted printing soluutions.
underlies the design and devvelopment of ad
de Technology acchieves productivity significantlyy higher than cann be obtained witth scanning printthead systems.
HP PageWid
The reliable operation of mo
ore than 200,000
0 nozzles arrangged over a 40-in ch printbar invollves many challeenges in the
design, deve
elopment, and in
ntegration of prin
ntheads, inks, prrinthead servicin g, nozzle testing
g, writing system
ms, and the image
processing pipeline.
p
HP PageWid
de Pigment Inks are
a a new generation of HP pigm
ment inks design ed for single-pass, pagewide priinting. They
produce high black optical density and high color saturation and allow HP PaageWide Printheeads to operate rreliably with
s
cycles to deliver sustained, high-quality pproductivity.
infrequent service
HP PageWid
de Technology in the new family of HP Large Form
mplementation of
o
mat PageWide TTechnology Printters is the first im
a third-gene
eration HP Therm
mal Inkjet printing platform that w
will form the fouundation for HP ssolutionsnow and in the
futureoffe
ering high-speed
d, reliable, robusst, and economiccal printing on a w
wide range of m
media. HP PageW
Wide Technology
solutions are scalable and versatile in design
n and performannce to meet the nneeds of a broad
d range of appliccations in office,
p
commercial, and industrial printing.

Copy right 2014 Hewlett-P


Packard Developmen
nt Company, L.P. The information containeed herein is subject too change without nottice. The only warran
nties for
ducts and services are
e set forth in the express warranty statem
ments accompanying such products and sservices. Nothing hereein should be constru
ued as
HP prod
constitu
uting an additional wa
arranty. HP shall not be liable for technicaal or editorial errors or
o omissions containeed herein.
June 20
014