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A Method for Printing Off-Width Data Using Multiple Passes Disclosure Number: IPCOM000029501D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Jul-01
Document File: 1 page(s) / 10K

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The invention is based on the observation that the media stocks used in some applications that require wide webs are quite durable and flexible. For such stocks, the media can be folded so that only part of the surface is exposed. After a pass through a printer, the media can be refolded so that another (blank) part is exposed and then passed through a printer again. The process can be repeated until all the data has been printed.

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A Method for Printing Off-Width Data Using Multiple Passes

    The current digital printing engines have an important limitations in that the width of the web tends to be restricted to 30 inches or less. This is much narrower than widths available on offset presses. As the result, applications that would benefit from the short run and on-demenad printing possible on digital printers sometimes can not be moved to this technology, since the printers can not support the required web width.

    A good example of this problem is printing maps for the US military. Maps are often printed on plastic stock. Reducing weight that the soldiers have to carry is crucial and the maps printed on plastic stock are used in place of the old shelter halves. Printing maps often involves very short runs due to changing conditions on the ground and possibly sudden need to supply troops with maps. Unfortunately, the maps can't be printed using on-demand capabilities of digital printers, since the available web widths are simply too narrow for them to be used for shelter. As the result, the US government has to maintain large stocks of preprinted maps which often become obsolete and also incur high storage costs.

    This invention proposes a method to overcome this problem and enable on demand digital printing for such applications.

    The invention will be described in terms of the preferred embodiment, which is printing maps on plastic stock using continuous forms printers. Let us assume (as is the case in the map/shelter half example discussed above) that the desired width is no more than twice the available web width. Let us further assume that duplex printing is desired.