If the cost of transducers for sensing and actuation can be brought into line with the cost of computation and communication, qualitatively new functionalities and machine architectures can be enabled. In this paper we describe a spectrum of air jet arrays for moving paper. Such systems can support and accelerate flexible media without physical contact and move the sheets without disturbing unfused, toned images, wet ink, etc. Approaches described here span from open-loop flexible, high speed paper transports using multiple jets in fixed aggregation, to arrays of individually addressable jets integrated with paper position sensing under tightly coupled, closed-loop control. The latter approach allows for arbitrary paper trajectories with three degrees of freedom parallel to the array. It is also compatible with batch fabrication and its consequent Moore's law decreases in cost per functionality. We present results of an exemplary platform based on printed circuit board technologies, having an array of 576 electrostatic flap valves and associated oriented jets, and an integrated array of 32,000 optical sensors for high resolution detection of paper edge positions. The fabrication and control of the system is described.
Andrew Berlin, David Biegelsen, Patrick Cheung, Markus Fromherz, David Goldberg, Warren Jackson, Elias Panides, Bryan Preas, James Reich, Lars Swartz, "Paper Transport Using Modulated Airjet Arrays" in Proc. IS&T Int'l Conf. on Digital Printing Technologies (NIP15), 1999, pp 285 - 288, https://doi.org/10.2352/ISSN.2169-4451.1999.15.1.art00075_1