Xerox uses computer simulations to aid product design

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Xerox utilised detailed computer simulations in the development of its ColorQube 9200 Series, with the help of Altair ProductDesign, a subsidiary of Altair Engineering.

While the device was under development, Xerox called on Altair ProductDesign to conduct virtual simulations of the printer's operations. The goal was to determine how the normal jostling, door-slamming and other disturbances that office printers experience during use would affect the quality of the printing.

Altair ProductDesign used CAE methodologies and Altair’s engineering software platform, HyperWorks, to ensure pixel-level vibration control of the ColorQube product line. The analyses were among the most complex computer simulations that Xerox has used to date in the development of its products.

'Altair helped us better understand our structural architecture,' said Xerox senior systems analyst John Wright. 'Inside the device, the motions of the print heads, drum and paper transport are subject to vibrations. Altair was tasked to determine the impact of vibrations and other disturbances during the crucial process of jetting ink onto the drum.'

Xerox physically tested the printer's individual subsystems and systems, providing Altair with the data necessary to ensure high fidelity between the analytical model and the physical prototype. This information allowed the Xerox development team to use an analytical model and approach to drive the design development. Altair developed a system-level finite-element model consisting of more than 500,000 elements and performed detailed analyses on the printer's 100-plus interconnected parts.