Today, non-impact printers have become a common office peripheral. With this increase in market acceptance, the understanding of computer imaging has left the realm of black magic, known only by a select group of scientists and engineers, and entered into the mainstream of computer literacy.Competitive bench marking articles in popular computer magazines no longer look at just the price of the printer, how clear the user manual describes using the software that comes with it and if the manufacturer's technical support department picks up the phone. They are beginning to look inside the device at the optical, mechanical and electronic precision as measured by output image quality.Today, manufacturers are beginning to use sophisticated machine vision software technology to evaluate image quality and set the standards for their design and manufacturing operations. Their marketing organizations are using the same technology to perform competitive analysis.Manufacturers of printers need to understand how this new technology is being applied to assure competitiveness, improve customer satisfaction and to be able to respond to the growing awareness and expectations in the marketplace regarding image quality standards.This paper will present a series of specific metrics for quantifying image quality for non-impact printers. Specific metrics will include Color registration, Color consistency, MTF, resolution, Streak noise, Text quality, Motion quality, Linearity, Sharpness, Smearing effects, Dot quality and others. Discussion will also present methods by which manufactures have achieved a fully automatic image quality testing process. Case studies and examples of current installations at major printer manufacturers will be discussed.
Yair Kipman, "Image Quality Metrics for Printers/Plotters" in Proc. IS&T 4th Color and Imaging Conf., 1996, pp 134 - 138, https://doi.org/10.2352/CIC.1996.4.1.art00036