Inkjet system are dependent on many technologies, precision mechanics, fluid delivery systems and ink chemistry, everything contributes to overall system performance.
But what about the image data? How does the datapath contribute to system performance? To understand this we really need to go into the details and not just "black box" the solution. We analysis system design looking from both sides.
We build on standard system utilising COTS (Commercial Of The Shelf) components where possible combined with our extensive software library to offer an un-compromised system performance with an unbeatable price performance point.
How we work
All projects start with a customer consultation resulting in a detailed requirement specification. During this discussion we look not only at the requirement today, we also discuss how core technologies could evolve. Whether high nozzle density, additional colours or high frequency printheads could increase data volume and ensure any solution will match not only todays requirement but be suitable for many years to come.
A critical element of our design philosophy is to enable our customers to take advantage of ever decreasing costs and increasing performance. Stay ahead of the game in a competitive market place has to start at the beginning of system development.
The datapath system
It doesn't come in a box! Although if after discussion, that's what you what, we'll deliver it in a box.
Generally our customers are manufacturers that understand the efficiencies of the manufacturing process and what to manage and control their own production. That why we provide build files for you to manufacture the hardware at a fraction of the cost of buying a system in a box.
So why is this approach so ground breaking? Rapid evolution in electronics and software have enable us to create core modules that are fully re-targetable and
"Commercial Of The Self" Components offer several advantages over a totally custom design.
Wherever possible we use COTS in our designs leveraging the advantages they offer. For example an expensive data distribution board can be replaces by a low cost network switch
Using standard networking items reduces the risk of obsolesce. Should a product become obsolete a replacement item will be available.
Over time high performance networking items become the standard - prices for COTS networking devices just keeps falling
Custom design electronics.
In house design and prototype build capabilities ensures electronic hardware development is possible on a tight timescale.
Digital Direct solutions are hardware agnostic. Our protocols are developed to be retargetable.
A choice of FPGA : Whether Altera or Xilinx FPGA's are used, is your choice.
Choice of operating systems: Again your choice. Windows, Linux, BSD or even OSX, We can offer advise on the advantages - the suitability and the maintenance of each system. We can discuss the costs implications and the efficiency of processing.
Streaming image data requires high bandwidth deterministic systems. Whereas with video and some other high bandwidth systems compression and errors are tolerable, in inkjet system any data error leaves a permanent error. Most images can be compressed, but some cannot, a system that can print 99% of images is somewhat limited and may cause problems if used with security or image enhancement technologies, at digital direct image data is not compressed, our system manage full bandwidth data under any scenario.
From the image store through to the printhead, data integrity needs to be maintained. Development and management of high bandwidth deterministic systems is at the core of Digital Direct's developments.
PS. Bufferer data is also possible.
Choosing and managing the protocols that transfer and store data enables Digital Direct to provide highly efficient systems using low processing overheads, efficient use of networking switches and reliable memory control.
Start with the customer – find out what they want and give it to them.
Good to know
Our customers are experts in their field and we don't expect then to necessarily be experts in our field.
As with any technical or scientific discipline we use a lot of abbreviations when we talk to other experts from our field and we assume a base level of knowledge. We don't assume the inkjet system project lead to be an electronics systems expert.
That's why we'll explain and educate on all elements of our solution, we won't assume you know about FPGA's ARM cores Softcores DMA transfers or anything else.
We don't think datapath solutions can be black boxed and left to chance.