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ENCAD Awarded Patent for Intelligent Printer Components

Press release from the issuing company

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 19 ENCAD, Inc. a leader in digital wide-format printing technology announced today it has been awarded a pioneering patent for technology that automatically identifies the critical attributes of ink and media and adjusts the printing procedure for optimal print quality and speed. This revolutionary invention encompasses an intelligent information system that automatically stores and retrieves active performance data concerning supplies characteristics and environmental parameters. ENCAD's valuable patented technology is extremely inexpensive to produce and requires only minimal modifications to current inkjet cartridge intelligence. This significant technology advancement is expected to be highly sought after by industry inkjet printer providers. Third in a Series of Intelligent Component Patents ENCAD's patent for Intelligent Printing Components and Printing Systems (Patent Number US 6227643, issued May 8, 2001) is the third in a series of intelligent component patents the Company has recently received. Each invention has addressed the innovative technology of pioneering intelligent "smart chip'' capabilities on individual printing components. Each of these patents provides ENCAD a capacity to optimize automatic printer functionality components that was previously unavailable. Intelligent Ink Usage Component ENCAD's intelligent ink usage component encompasses embedding a memory chip into one or more replaceable inkjet cartridges. The memory chip is an integrated circuit that interfaces with the printer's main electronics through a two-wire connection. This technology allows for a wide range of information to be stored and recorded. Media Characteristics Component ENCAD's revolutionary media characteristics component eliminates the need for an electrical connection between an integrated circuit memory chip and the printer's main electronics. Because the roll of media is in motion during the printing process, each roll of media advantageously comprises a writable RF (Radio Frequency) identification tag embedded directly onto the roll holder. Information captured by the memory chip includes compatibility with certain inks, type of media, thickness of media, length of roll, amount of media remaining, and media usage. The RF transceiver, incorporated into the printer's main electronics, then stores the captured information for further analysis and reporting. Environmental Parameters Component ENCAD's intelligent environmental parameters component encompasses sensing devices that measure the surrounding ambient temperature and/or humidity. Dew points can be calculated to determine optimal print speeds and number of passes required for the most favorable print performance.