Lexmark Improves Ink Cartridge Test Accuracy with NI's Tools

11/12/2003 - National Instruments announced that Lexmark International, a leader in printing solutions, recently selected the National Instruments PXI 100 MS/s mixed-signal suite -- including the NI PXI-5122 high-resolution digitizer and NI PXI-6552 digital waveform generator/analyzer -- and LabVIEW 7 Express software to improve the measurement accuracy and digital clock rate of its inkjet cartridge electrical test.

Lexmark relies on high-volume production, fast time-to-market cycles, and well-managed manufacturing costs. In this environment, its test engineers must develop test systems quickly. They also must keep total system cost low and maintenance simple so that they can replicate and deploy the test system for inkjet product lines in manufacturing plants worldwide. For these reasons, Lexmark chose an NI PXI solution to test the ink cartridges for its inkjet family of printers.

"The mixed-signal suite from NI exceeded our speed and resolution specifications of 10 ns timing resolution at 12 bits," said Ed Coleman, hardware engineer-consultant for Lexmark International. "In addition, using the intuitive programming interface in LabVIEW 7 Express and more than 40 examples included with the 100 MS/s mixed-signal modules, we upgraded our test system in only a few weeks. We also preserved our investment in our automated test software because we could reuse most of the code that we developed for our previous PC-based platform."

About the NI 100 MS/s PXI Mixed-Signal Suite
National Instruments suite of 100 MS/s PXI instruments increases flexibility and system performance for rapid prototyping and test of mixed-signal devices and systems. This modular instrumentation suite is matched in frequency and capability and includes:

The high-resolution digitizer, arbitrary waveform generator and digital waveform generator/analyzers are built on the NI Synchronization and Memory Core (SMC), a common architecture for mixed-signal instrument modules. The SMC delivers a timing and synchronization engine, high-speed data transfer cores and deep, flexible memory. The mixed-signal suite modules, combined with the company’s precision PXI modular instruments for DC and RF measurements, are ideal for applications in consumer electronics, communications, semiconductor, military/avionics and scientific research.

About National Instruments
National Instruments (www.ni.com) is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation -- a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs for customers worldwide through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,000 employees and direct operations in 40 countries. In 2002, the company sold products to more than 25,000 different companies in more than 80 countries around the world. For the past four consecutive years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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