Ian has over 15 years’ experience in industry as a software engineer focusing on high performance. With a passion for problem-solving, Ian’s role as product manager for the Direct range gives him the opportunity to work with printer OEMs and break down any new technology barriers that may be preventing them from reaching their digital printer’s full potential. He can be reached at: ian.bolton@globalgraphics.com.

Understanding the Impact of the Software and Hardware Components that Drive Your Digital Press

Ian Bolton, Product Manager, Global Graphics Software

As digital printers advance to become faster, wider and higher resolution, supporting an extended gamut of colorants and growing range of drop sizes, the data rates required to drive them at full-rated line speed can increase significantly. Workflows that use intermediate files on disk have already hit this data rate barrier, but, even without that bottleneck, printer manufacturers require the right combination of software and PC hardware to rise to this challenge whilst keeping their total bill of materials down.

In this paper, we will discuss the complexities of selecting the software and hardware components at the heart of a workflow designed to process PDF jobs in real-time to stream data to directly to the printhead electronics. We will look at aspects such as clock speed, number of cores, number of physical CPUs, memory speed and capacity, and how they all interact to determine the line speeds that can achieved for varying inputs.

Finally, we will share why we felt it was important to develop a tool to facilitate the collection of data to understand this challenge further.