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Title:
PRINT SYSTEM EMULATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/089025
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
In one example, a print system emulator (PSE) module provides scripting support to a formatter module to allow the formatter module to provide scripts to a single-sheet print engine emulator (PEE) to allow support of multiple media sizes and types of media. The PSE module synchronizes the sending of test media of the multiple media sizes and types of media to the single-sheet PEE to allow the formatter module to provide real-time back-to-back sending of the multiple media sizes and types of media to the single-sheet PEE. The PSE module adjusts the inter-page gap of the single-sheet PEE based on a size and type of a current test media of the multiple media sizes and types of media.

Inventors:
BHATNAGAR, Anurag (HP Inc, 11311 Chinden BlvdBoise, Idaho, 83714-0021, US)
Application Number:
US2017/059607
Publication Date:
May 09, 2019
Filing Date:
November 01, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P. (10300 Energy Drive, Spring, Texas, 77389, US)
International Classes:
B41J29/393; B41L39/16; B65H43/00
Foreign References:
US20130270338A12013-10-17
US20040218205A12004-11-04
US20050134906A12005-06-23
US20050185225A12005-08-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SORENSEN, C. Blake et al. (HP Inc, 3390 E. Harmony RoadMail Stop 3, Fort Collins Colorado, 80528, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

CLAIMS

1 . A hybrid printer emulation system, comprising:

a print engine emulator for a single-sheet of media;

a print system emulator module coupled to the print engine emulator including,

a media module to support a set of different media sizes and types of media,

a scripting module to allow a set of scripts to configure the print engine emulator for the set of different media sizes and types of media including an inter-page gap, and

a multiple sheet module to supply multiple sheets of the set of different media sizes and types of media to the print engine emulator and adjust the inter-page gap for each of multiple sheets during synchronized real-time back- to-back sending of the multiple sheets of media to the print engine emulator; and

a formatter module coupled to the print system emulator module to provide the set of scripts and the multiple sheets.

2. The hybrid printer emulation system of claim 1 further comprising an integrated scanner assembly coupled to the formatter module to provide a paperless copy of a set of test pages for the set of different media sizes and types of media to the formatter module and wherein the integrated scanner assembly, formatter module, and print engine emulator module have electrical connections between them that are the same as actual electrical connections of a printer system that the hybrid printer emulation system is emulating.

3. The hybrid printer emulation system of claim 2 further comprising a quality module coupled to an output of the print engine emulator and an output of the formatter module to verify a content of the set of test pages of different media sizes and type of media was printed correctly by the print engine emulator when sent by the formatter module back-to-back in real-time with other media of different sizes and types.

4. The hybrid printer emulation system of claim 1 wherein the multiple sheet module is to modify the inter-page gap of the print engine emulator based on a length, width, and type of a current media sent by the formatter module to the print engine emulator.

5. The hybrid printer emulation system of claim 1 wherein the formatter module is coupled to a control panel that acts as a customer facing system manager and controls the overall printer emulation system job and data flow from the formatter module to the print engine emulator.

6. The hybrid printer emulation system of claim 1 wherein the print system emulation module further comprises:

a mechanical module to support a configuration of emulated doors and trays; and

a supply memory module to emulate color supply memory.

7. The hybrid printer emulation system of claim 6 wherein the mechanical module further comprises support for an envelope feeder.

8. The hybrid printer emulation system of claim 6 wherein the mechanical module further comprises support for emulation of a media jam and a media access using the emulated doors and trays to clear the media jam.

9. The hybrid printer emulation system of claim 6 wherein the supply memory emulator is to modify the emulated color supply memory based on a simulated usage of color for each of the multiple sheets of media.

10. A non-transitory computer-readable medium comprising instructions for a print system emulator module that when read and executed by a processor cause the processor to:

provide scripting support to a formatter module to allow the formatter module to provide scripts to a single-sheet print engine emulator to allow support of multiple media sizes and types of media;

synchronize the sending of test media of the multiple media sizes and types of media to the single-sheet print engine emulator to allow the formatter module to provide real-time back-to-back sending of the multiple media sizes and types of media to the single-sheet print engine emulator; and

adjust the inter-page gap of the single-sheet print engine emulator based on a size and type of a current test media of the multiple media sizes and types of media.

1 1 . The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 10, further comprising instructions to:

emulate a configuration of doors and trays;

emulate a media jam; and

emulate a media access using the emulated configuration of doors and trays to clear the media jam.

12. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 1 1 wherein the instructions to emulate a configuration of doors and trays includes instructions for a configuration of an envelope feeder.

13. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 10, further comprising instructions to:

emulate a set of color supply memory; and

modify the set of color supply memory based on a simulated usage of color for each of the test media.

14. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 10, further comprising instructions to verify that the contents of the current test media were printed correctly by the single-sheet print engine emulator when sent by the formatter module in real-time back-to-back with other media of different sizes and types.

15. A method of emulating a print system, comprising:

providing scripting support to a formatter module to allow the formatter module to provide scripts to a single-sheet print engine emulator to allow for support of multiple media sizes and types of media;

synchronizing the sending of a set of test media of the multiple media sizes and types of media to the print engine emulator to allow the formatter module to provide real-time back-to-back sending of the multiple media sizes and types of media to the single-sheet print engine emulator; and

adjusting the inter-page gap of the single-sheet print engine emulator based on a size and type of a current test media.

Description:
PRINT SYSTEM EMULATOR

BACKGROUND

[0001] The printer market over the last three decades has been one of tremendous fast-paced innovation allowing for lower cost printers with increasing feature sets all while improving reliability. Due to the advent of other technologies that also provide visualization of data, such as flat panel displays, projectors, and portable electronic devices, printer manufacturers have to continue to innovate at a fast pace efficiently if they wish to remain market participants.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0002] The disclosure is better understood regarding the following drawings. The elements of the drawings are not necessarily to scale relative to each other. Rather, the emphasis has instead been placed upon illustrating the claimed subject matter. Furthermore, like reference numerals designate corresponding similar parts through the several views. For brevity, reference numbers used in later drawings that are repeated may not be re-described.

[0003] Fig. 1 A is a block diagram of an example hybrid print system emulator;

[0004] Fig. 1 B is a cross-section of an example monochrome print system with a single sheet print engine;

[0005] Fig. 2 is an example of a user interface for the hybrid print system emulator of Fig. 1 A;

[0006] Fig. 3A is a block diagram of an example hybrid print system emulator;

[0007] Fig. 3B is a block diagram of example additional modules for the example hybrid print system emulator of Fig. 3A;

[0008] Fig. 4 is an example configuration screen for a print system emulator;

[0009] Fig. 5A is a block diagram of an example non-transitory computer-readable medium having instructions for an example print system emulator;

[0010] Fig. 5B is a block diagram of additional instructions for the example computer readable medium of Fig. 5A; and

[0011] Fig. 6 is a flowchart of an example method of implementing a print system emulator. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0012] The following disclosure describes a print system emulator. Various print systems exist and may take advantage of the claimed subject matter. For instance, some print systems include laser printers, ink-jet printers, laser copiers, fax machines, mopiers, and the like. Each of these print systems is built around one or more print engines which may be laser- based, ink-jet based, wax-based, and the like. Each of the print systems generally include trays for holding various media, doors for accessing the trays and media paths within the print system, duplexors, sorters, staplers, and may include other accessories such as media scanners, facsimile I/O, networking and other communication for receiving and sending results of the print system. These various components of a print system have to work together near flawlessly to meet high customer expectations for image quality and machine reliability.

[0013] Traditionally, print system development is very hardware print engine intensive with the use of several actual hardware print engines used in firmware development, regulatory testing, life testing, and solutions testing just to name a few areas of product development which concurrently develop a print system. Not having enough actual hardware engines may cause schedule delays and serial pipeline development rather than parallel development due to the restricted hardware resources. The described print system emulator may be a hybrid emulation system that includes actual hardware electrical components of the print system such as control panels, integrated scanning assemblies (ISA), and a formatter controller assembly and the use of one or more single-sheet print engine emulators with additional software to emulate the mechanical media transport components and other features of the print system. By having a hybrid printer system emulation, the emulated print systems are modular and may be modified with new printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies and power supply circuits to match various engine configurations and media transport configurations all while executing the same firmware binaries as on an expected actual final print system. This hybrid printer emulator system provides for paperless testing, reduced hardware costs in buying engines from a vendor for development and qualification, and a reduction in system development time by eliminating hardware engine dependency. More detail follows in the description of the drawings.

[0014] Fig. 1 A is a block diagram of an example hybrid print system emulator (HPSE) 10. HPSE 10 includes a control panel 12, a formatter module 20, an integrated scanner assembly (ISA) 30 and a print system emulator (PSE) 40. The HPSE 10 may also include a quality module 60 and one or more power supplies such as ISA power supply 32, formatter power supply 22, and PSE power supply 42. The formatter module 20 may in some examples be instead supplied power from the PSE 20. The control panel 1 2 may provide a user interface to the formatter module 20. The formatter module 20 may control the system function, job scheduling, and data flow to the PSE 40 and ISA 30. That is, the formatter module 20 may be a hardware module usually implemented as a PCB that is configurable by software to allow for control of a print system's functions including rendering page description languages into rasterizable image data.

[0015] The various examples modules described herein may include logic or several components, sub-modules, or constituents. Modules may constitute either software modules, such as code embedded in tangible non- transitory machine-readable medium) or hardware modules. A hardware module is a tangible unit capable of performing certain operations and by be configured or arranged in certain manners. In one example, one or more computer systems or one or more hardware modules of a computer system may be configured by software (e.g., an application, or portion of an application) as a hardware module that operates to perform certain operations as described herein.

[0016] In some examples, the electrical connections between hardware components may be the same actual electrical connections as an actual final print system. For instance, a first electrical interface 13 between control panel 12 and formatter module 20 may be the same electrical interface, such as a PS2, USB, or another as will be found in the final print system that HPSE 10 is emulating. Similarly, a second electrical interface 33 between the ISA 30 and formatter module 20 and a third electrical interface 23 between the formatter module 20 and PSE 40 may be respectively the same electrical interfaces that are within the actual final system that is being emulated. In other examples, the electrical interfaces may be different than the final system, such as to allow for testing of alternative supplier components, testing of new technologies, and exploring alternative configurations for the final system.

[0017] As such, in some examples, a hardware module may be implemented as electronically programmable. For instance, a hardware module may include dedicated circuitry or logic that is permanently configured (e.g., as a special-purpose processor, state machine, a field programmable gate array (FPGA) or an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) to perform certain operations. A hardware module may also include

programmable logic or circuitry (e.g., as encompassed within a general- purpose processor or another programmable processor) that is temporarily configured by software to perform certain operations.

[0018] For example, most printers may include a formatter module 20 that is a combination of hardware and firmware to accomplish a rendering task, commonly referred to as RIPping (i.e., Raster Image Processing). At a host computer, application software is used to create a digital image data file, referred to as a print job, and a print driver is used to convert the digital image to a page description language (PDL) file that is suitable to be transmitted to a buffer of the formatter module 20. Internally of the formatter module 20, a print data pipeline of the formatter module 20 performs several operations upon the transferred print data as the print data enters the pipeline in preparation for printing emulation with PSE 40. These operations include print data compression, print data decompression, color space conversion, half-toning, and formatting. Typically, the various processing operations are performed by a processor executing instructions read from a computer- readable medium 162 (Fig. 5A) under the control of the formatter module 20 firmware or software. The formatter module 20 receives print data from a host computer as a PDL file and RIPs (i.e., converts) it to a format acceptable to the PSE 40. The formatter module 20 may be designed, with compromises dictated by user requirements and cost concerns, to convert most "typical" print jobs to the required format at a sufficient rate to allow the emulated hybrid print system 10 to run at its final actual print system rated engine speed.

[0019] PSE 40 emulates forming a corresponding electronic image on a photoconductor drum, in the case of a laser printer, which is subsequently emulating developing and transferring emulated toner to a print media to form an emulated printed hard copy output. PSE 40 may include a single-sheet print engine emulator (PEE) 50 such as for a monochrome (black) printer. In other examples, PSE 40 may include multiple single-sheet PEEs 50 for each respective color, such as cyan (C), yellow (Y), magenta (M), and black (K). In other examples, the single-sheet PEE 50 may include emulation of CYMK in a single emulation module. The single-sheet PEE 50 module supports emulation of a single media through an emulated path. For instance, for a laser printer engine cartridge emulator, the emulation may include emulation of a combination of charging components, developing components, fuser assembly, toner hopper, waste bin, and/or cleaning components (such as a doctor blade) and an electrophotographic photosensitive component integrally configured into a cartridge which is positioned within an inter-page gap 1 30 (Fig. 1 B) with respect to a single-sheet of media.

[0020] Fig. 1 B is a cross-section of an example monochrome laser- based actual print system 100 with an actual single-sheet print engine 51 which may be emulated by single-sheet PEE 50. This example is intended to help explain how an actual single sheet print engine 51 operates within an actual print system 100 and which of its different functions may be emulated by single-sheet PEE 50. For instance, a front media supply tray 120 holds one or more sheets of media 1 10 that are picked by a sheet supply roller 1 1 1 and transported to the print engine 51 to a charge transfer roller 109 in synchronism with a toner image on a photosensitive drum 102 by register rollers 1 12. [0021] The actual single-sheet print engine 51 includes the

photosensitive drum (an electrophotographic photosensitive member) 102, a charging roller (or charging component) 103 and a cleaning component 1 14 including a cleaning (doctor) blade 1 15. These components may be made integrally with one another and constructed into actual single sheet print engine 51 (a latent image process cartridge), which may be removably mountable with respect to an actual print system body 101 through mounting components 122 and access door 1 26.

[0022] The photosensitive drum 102 may be rotated in this example in a clockwise direction about an axis thereof, and the surface of the

photosensitive drum 102 may be uniformly charged by a bias comprising an alternating voltage and current superposed on a direct voltage and current being applied thereto from a bias power source 104 connected to a charging roller 103. The AC and DC components of the bias power source 104 may be emulated and a charge calculated on the surface of photosensitive drum 102 either by empirical testing or computational modeling. The uniformly charged photosensitive drum 102 is suitably exposed to light (such as a coherent laser light source) by an exposure device 105 via a scanning mirror 123 so that a latent electrostatic image is formed on the surface of the photosensitive drum 102. The intensity of the exposure device 105, the size and shape of the cross-section of the light, and the speed of the scanning mirror 123 may be emulated and an emulated electrostatic latent image having an array of charge calculated. In addition, various errors or noise may be added to the light source or the emulated electrostatic latent image to replicate various power supply fluctuations, radio interference, stray charges, and the like.

[0023] A developing device 1 06 may be integrated or installed with a developer roller 108 at a slight distance from the photosensitive drum 102, and the latent image formed on the surface of the photosensitive drum 102 is developed by the developing device 106 by the electrostatic transfer of a developer 107 (toner particles) and is visualized on photosensitive drum 102 as a toner image. The obtained toner image is transferred to media 1 10 by the transfer charger 1 09 spaced from the photosensitive drum by the inter- page gap 130. The media 1 10 is supplied from the sheet supply tray 120 by the sheet supply roller 1 1 1 and is sent to the transfer charger 109 in synchronism with the toner image on the photosensitive drum 102 by register rollers 1 12. The developer 107 may be emulated both in terms of size, size distribution, charge, electrostatic attraction, thermal properties, and how the developer 107 is distributed within the developing device 1 06. Depending on the particular color in the actual single-sheet print engine 51 , the various characteristics of the developer 1 07 may be different. The single-sheet PEE 50 may contain pre-set parameters of various developers 107 to emulate print system operation based on different developers 107. For instance, a ground toner may have different characteristics than a manufactured toner (such as a ColorSphere 3™ toner) that has a more uniform size, consistent spherical shape, consistent charge potential, and melting temperature than ground toner. Thus, using a PSE 50 during development, engineers can determine how various developers 107 may affect the reliability and print quality without seriously damaging expensive real hardware prototypes. Other items that may be emulated include the spacing between the photosensitive drum 102 and the developer roller 108, the texture of developer roller 108, its rotational friction, and wear.

[0024] The toner image on photosensitive drum 1 02 transferred to the media 1 10 is conveyed to a fusor assembly 1 13 with the media 1 10 to be fixated by a combination of pressure and heat and becomes a recorded image. The amount of pressure and heat may be emulated as well as the time the fuser assembly 1 13 is activated, such as for Instant On™ power saving mode. The media 1 10 is transferred from the fusor assembly 1 13 to an output tray 1 24. The single-sheet PSE 50 may provide a final emulated single sheet of media 1 1 0 that represents an emulated print job based on various configuration settings for the single-sheet PSE 50.

[0025] Accordingly, the quantity of the toner image transferred from photosensitive drum 102 may be emulated and varied. Any developer not transferred and left on the photosensitive drum 102 may be removed by a cleaning blade 1 1 5 (aka doctor blade) made of an elastic material forming cleaning components 1 14 which is in contact with the photosensitive drum 102. Wear and pressure of the cleaning blade 1 15 may be emulated. The photosensitive drum 102 from which the not transferred developer has been removed is again subjected to uniform charging on the surface thereof by the charging roller 103, and the above-described process is repeated. A small amount of developer 107 may be emulated as left on the photosensitive drum 102 to see how the print quality varies over many cycles and help determine when servicing of the photosensitive drum 102 is used to remove substantially all undeveloped developer 107. For instance, a ground toner may have many small particles which are not transferred to media 1 10 and not entirely removed by cleaning blade 1 15. A manufactured developer 107 that has uniform size may be substantially removed with cleaning blade 1 15.

Therefore, the overall system throughput may be shown as enhanced due to the type of developer 107 as less cleaning cycles may be performed.

Further, in such an actual print system 100, to facilitate the maintenance of the apparatus, an actual print engine 51 is sometimes made easily mountable and dismountable with respect to the apparatus such as insertion and removal through the access door 1 26.

[0026] In an actual print system 100 provided with such actual single- sheet print engine 51 cartridge, it is often the case that the nominal life of the cartridge is defined as a standard number of sheets and can ensure the quality of each actual single-sheet print engine 51 cartridge, because the actual single-sheet print engine 51 cartridge is replaced when this nominal life is exceeded. In many cases, the nominal life of a process cartridge is indicated by a simple value, such as a maximum number of supplied sheets, and there has been adopted a system for warning the user when the replacement is reached by a counter or the like in a supply memory.

[0027] However, with the advance of various feature sets for actual print systems 100, the form of print, i.e., the form of image formation, has become complicated (for example, image formation on both an A3 sheet and an A4 sheet is effected, or a plurality of developing devices are interchanged to effect multi-color image formation thereby), and depending on the situation of use, the maximum number of supplied sheets for the actual single-sheet print engine 51 has varied greatly. Therefore, there has been proposed a system in which the life of the cartridge is not prescribed by the conventional nominal life, but there is provided a supply memory emulator for storing life detection parameters, such as the integrated number of printed sheets for the process cartridge, the driving time and the electrical energization time, and the cartridge life is determined based on these data. There has further been proposed a system in which a memory element, such as a non-volatile memory, is carried on a process cartridge itself so that the cartridge life can be detected more accurately even if the cartridge is interchanged in its course of use.

[0028] Also, there may be some irregularities in the physical characteristics and variations in characteristics of use of the constituents of the process cartridge. Therefore, there has been proposed a system in which the supply memory for storing the physical characteristic of the individual constituents therein is provided in the process cartridge itself and corrections are applied to image forming conditions by the actual print system 1 00.

Again, in this case, characteristics such as the driving time, the electrical energization time and the integrated amount of current are sometimes stored in the supply memory so that fine correction of the image forming conditions may be affected. The supply memory may be emulated for each color in the PSE 40, and each of the various parameters may be monitored and adjusted based on paperless testing rather than using actual expensive hardware prototypes of the actual print system 100.

[0029] In the example of Fig. 1 B, there is illustrated a single-sheet media path. However, most printing systems in real product scenarios require multiple sheets that are sent back to back from one or more media trays holding one or more different sizes and types of media 1 10. Accordingly, PSE 40 includes a full feature printer emulator (FFPE) module 44 that emulates the mechanical and additional features of an actual final printer system. FFPE module 44 is configurable to support various models of printer systems while using the single-sheet PEE 50 which represents emulation of a print engine for a single-sheet of paper. For instance, in the case of a laser printer, single- sheet PEE 50 may provide emulation of one or more toner cartridges. In the case of an ink-jet printer, single-sheet PEE 50 may include emulation of a fixed page-wide print bar or a scanning printhead assembly with multiple ink- jet print cartridges. That is, single-sheet 50 emulates the placement of print elements, toner, dye, pigment, wax, or other visual markings onto a single sheet of paper. FFPE module 44 emulates the mechanical media transport mechanisms and paths from various input trays through various rollers, gears, doors, diverters, duplexors, and tensioners just to name a few of the emulated components to various output trays, staplers, sorters, and the like. To avoid a sheet of media 1 1 0 from slipping relative to the transport mechanism, the FFPE module 44 may include the emulation of opposing rollers, electrostatic attraction, vacuum force, or other mechanical devices.

[0030] The FFPE module 44 may also include larger memory buffers that found in the single-sheet PEE 50 to support real-time media handling of multiple sheets of media 1 10. The FFPE module 44 may be configurable to allow for support of multiple media sizes having different lengths and width as well as special media types such as envelopes and labels. To support the final printer system rated pages per minute specification, the FFPE module 44 allows for configuration of the inter-page gap 130 of the single-sheet PEE 50 as well. To fully emulate a final print system, FFPE module 44 may also allow for emulation of various problems, errors, failures, and their resolution such as paper jams, jam access through doors, paper dust accumulation on sensors, wear of components, etc. FFPE module 44 may also include emulation of supply memory circuits such as toner supply memory and ink-jet supply memory also known as "Acumen" memory.

[0031] HPSE 10 may include a quality module 60 that receives the emulated page output of the PSE 40 and the formatted rasterized image that the formatter module 20 provided to the PSE 40. The quality module 60 can compare the expected rasterized image with the actual emulated page output and determine if there are any significant deviations. For instance, if too many sheets of media 1 10 are processed without a servicing cycle for the single-sheet PEE 50, the emulated page output may have additional markings or lack of markings than what is predicted from the expected rasterized image. By use of paperless testing using the PSE 40, the amount of time between servicing cycles of single-sheet PEE 50 may be optimized to maximize overall print system throughput.

[0032] Fig. 2 is an example of a user interface 14 for the hybrid print system emulator 10 of Fig. 1 A. The control panel 1 2 may include a display and touchscreen to allow a user to select various printer system jobs and functions. For instance, user interface 14 may include one or more icons 16 to allow for scanning of input media 1 10, copying of input media 1 1 0, printing of one or more stored jobs or scanned media 1 1 0, configuration of paper trays, network or other communication configuration, and overall printer system configuration. The user interface 14 may include other information icons such as a time 17, configuration and status information 1 3, and help information 1 5. The user interface 14 may be implemented on the control panel 1 2 and used to convey instructions and results from formatter module 20, or on formatter module 20 and the information relayed to control panel 1 2 which acts as a display and input device only. In some examples, the various user interface 14 functions may be distributed between the control panel 12 and formatter module 20.

[0033] Fig. 3A is a block diagram 180 of an example HPSE 10.

Formatter module 20 is coupled to FFPE module 44 that is further coupled to single-sheet PEE 50. The FFPE module 44 includes a media module 182 to support a set of different media sized and types of media 1 10. For instance, the different sizes of media 1 10 may include one or more of various ISO standard sizes including A, B, and C series of which A4 is prevalent as well as other sizes including stationery, cards, labels, and envelopes. Different paper types may also include media 1 1 0 of different weights, thicknesses, materials, and grain orientations. Various ISO variants such as German extensions, Swedish Extensions, Japanese extensions, and Chinese extension may be supported. Other standards such as North American paper sizes (letter, legal, tabloid, ledger, junior legal, half letter, gov't letter, and gov't legal) may also be supported. Other media 1 1 0 such as photography sizes, US index and business cards, and postage sizes may be allowed. Various media types such as glossy, high-gloss, everyday, luster, metallic, and coated as well as different materials such as wood-pulp based, cotton, vellum, and wood-free. Different coatings may include kaolinite, calcium carbonite, Bentonite, and talc. Other additives such as dispersants, resins, or Colorlok™ may also be included for water resistance and wet strength such as for ink-jet printing.

[0034] The FFPE module 44 may also include a scripting module 1 84 to allow a set of scripts to configure the single-sheet PEE 50 for the set of different media sizes and types of media 1 1 0 including configuring an inter- page gap 130 (Fig. 1 B) based on the weights, materials, grain orientation, and media thicknesses. The inter-page gap 130 ensures that the marking material, toner, ink, or other, is properly placed on a selected size and type of media 1 1 0. A multiple sheet module 186 may be provided to supply multiple sheets of the set of different media sizes and types of media 1 1 0 to the single-sheet PSEE 50 and adjust the inter-page gap 130 for each of the multiple sheets during synchronized real-time back-to-back sending of single-sheets of media 1 1 0 to the single-sheet PEE 50. The multiple sheet module 186 may, therefore, modify the inter-page gap 130 of the single-sheet PEE 50 based on a length, width, and type of a current media 1 10 sent by the formatter module 20 to the single-sheet PEE 50. The formatter module 20 may be coupled to the FFPE module 44 to provide the set of scripts and the multiple sheets. In other examples, the FFPE module 44 may include a configuration module 192 (Fig. 3B) to allow an operator to set the configuration of the FFPE module 44 using a configuration screen 45 (Fig. 4) user interface.

[0035] The HPSE 10 may include an ISA 30 (Fig. 1 A) coupled to the formatter module 20 to provide a paperless copy of a set of test pages for the set of different media sizes and types of media 1 10 to the formatter module 20. The ISA 30, formatter module 20, and FFPE module 44 may have individual power and electrical connections between them that are the same as actual electrical connections of a printer system that the HPSE 10 is emulating. In other examples, the HPSE 10 may include a quality module 60 coupled to an output of the single-sheet PEE 50 and an output of the formatter module 20 module to verify a content of the set of test pages of different media sizes and type of media 1 10 was printed correctly by the FFPE module 44 when sent by the formatter module back-to-back in real-time with other media 1 10 of different sizes and types. By supporting the addition of being able to modify the inter-page gap 1 30 and having real time image processing support in the PSE 40, the HPSE 10 allows for multiple sheets to be printed back to back in a single job. That is, HPSE 10 can print multiple sheet of media 1 1 0 of different media types and sizes as part of one print job. The formatter module 20 may be coupled to a control panel 12 that acts as a customer facing system manager and controls the overall printer emulation system job and data flow from the formatter module 20 to the single-sheet PEE 50.

[0036] Fig. 3B is a block diagram of example additional modules that may be incorporated into the example FFPE module 44 of Fig. 3A. In some examples, the FFPE module 44 further includes a mechanical module 188 to support a configuration of emulated doors and trays to support the different sizes and types of media 1 10, and a supply memory module 190 to emulate color supply memory, such as for toner or ink. The mechanical module 188 may include support for emulation of a media jam and a media access using the emulated doors and trays to clear the media jam. The supply memory emulator 1 90 may modify the emulated color supply memory based on a simulated usage of color for each of the multiple sheets of media 1 10. A configuration module 192 may allow for a user to configure the HPSE 10 via using a configuration screen 45 user interface rather than programmatically from the formatter module 20 via the scripting module 184. The configuration module 192 may use the scripting module 184 for setting the various configuration settings of the HPSE 10.

[0037] Fig. 4 is an example configuration screen 45 for the print system emulator 40. The configuration screen 45 may include a set of different configuration screens accessed by selection of various tabs. The main tab 70 is shown for this example. Other configuration screens may include engine configurations such as setting the voltages of the charging and

electrophotographic photosensitive components, the laser power settings, cleaning bar separation distance, roller speeds, temperature settings for a fuser, and developing components. A malfunction tab may select a configuration screen to configure the probability and type of various possible malfunctions, such as paper slippage, gear and paper wear out,

misconfiguration of a paper tray for the size and/or type of media 1 10, door switch failures, door openings, and the like. Another tab may be used to configure the probability and type of various media jams and access to various doors and trays for correction of the jams once they occur. Yet another tab may provide a screen to allow for displaying measurements of emulated values for various temperatures, voltages, currents, laser power, charge levels, and the like.

[0038] The main tab 70 may include a visualization graph 80 of the various media paths through the emulated printer as well as the locations 86, 87, 89 of multiple sheets of media 1 1 0 being sent in real-time back-to-back past the single-sheet PEE 50 where the marking material, toner or ink, is placed on the media 1 10. The media 1 10 may come from one or more input media trays such as 'tray 1 ' 81 and 'tray 2' 82 and output to one or more output trays such as top tray 83 and bottom tray 84. The HPSE 10 may include a duplexer 85 to allow for redirecting and flipping a printed media sheet to allow for printing on the opposing side of the media 1 10.

[0039] The configuration screen 45 may include a first set of pull-down menus 74 to select the media size and media type of the respective 'tray 1 ' 81 and 'tray 2' 82. In this example, 'tray 1 ' 81 is configured for letter sized media 1 1 0 with a glossy finish, and 'tray 2' 82 is configured for legal sized media 1 10 with a normal or everyday finish. The second set of pull-down menus 76 may be used to configure the number or quantity of media 1 10 that a tray may hold. In this example 'tray 1 ' 81 is configured to hold 100 sheets of media and 'tray 2' 82 is configured to hold 500 sheets of media 1 1 0. A set of status indications may be displayed to show the amount of media 1 1 0 remaining during the emulation of HPSE 10, here 76 sheets in 'tray 1 ' 81 and 425 sheets in 'tray 2' 82. A set of supply level indicators such as toner levels 72 may show the remaining estimated emulated amounts of toner in each of the black, cyan, magenta, and yellow supplies. A set of door indicators 78 may be used to show the status of the various emulated doors on the printer. In this example, the front door is closed, the rear door is closed, and the duplex door is shown as open, such as when access to remove a media jam that may occur when the duplexer is operating.

[0040] Fig. 5A is a block diagram 150 of an example non-transitory computer-readable medium (CRM) 162 having instructions 164 for an example PSE module 40 that when read and executed by a processor 160 cause the processor 1 60 to implement PSE module 40. A CRM 162 allows for storage of one or more sets of data structures and instructions 164 (e.g., software, firmware, logic) embodying or utilized by any one or more of the methodologies or functions of the modules described herein. The instructions 164 may also reside, completely or at least partially, with the static memory, the main memory, and/or within the processor 160 during execution by the computing system of PSE 40. The main memory and the processor 160 memory also constitute CRM 162. The term "computer-readable medium" 162 may include single medium or multiple media (centralized or distributed) that store the one or more instructions or data structures. The CRM 162 may be implemented to include, but not limited to, solid-state, optical, and magnetic media whether volatile or non-volatile. Such examples include, semiconductor memory devices (e.g. Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM), Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-only Memory (EEPROM), and flash memory devices), magnetic discs such as internal hard drives and removable disks, magneto-optical disks, and CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read-Only Memory) and DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) disks.

[0041] The instructions 164 in block 166 provide scripting support to a formatter module 20 to allow the formatter module 20 to provide scripts to a single-sheet PEE 50 to allow support of multiple media sizes and types of media 1 10. In block 1 67, the instructions 164 synchronize the sending of test media 1 10 of the multiple media sizes and types of media 1 10 to the single- sheet PEE 50 to allow the formatter module 20 to provide real-time back-to- back sending of the multiple media sizes and types of media 1 10 to the single-sheet PEE 50. In block 1 68, the instructions 164 adjust the inter-page gap 130 of the single-sheet PEE 50 based on a size and type of a current test media 1 10 of the multiple media sizes and types of media 1 10.

[0042] Fig. 5B is a block diagram 152 of additional instructions 1 64 for the example CRM 162 of Fig. 5A. In block 170 the instructions 1 64 emulate a configuration of doors and trays and in block 172 emulate a media jam. In block 174 the instructions 164 emulate a media access using the emulated configuration of doors and trays to clear the media jam. In block 1 76, the instructions 1 64 instructions to emulate a configuration of doors and trays include instructions for a configuration of an envelope feeder. Other instructions 1 64 in block 176 may emulate a set of color supply memory such as for toner or ink and in block 178 modify the set of color supply memory based on a simulated usage of color for each of the test media 1 10. In block 179, the instructions 164 may verify that the contents of the current test media 1 1 0 were printed correctly by the single-sheet PEE 50 when sent by the formatter module 20 in real-time back-to-back with other media 1 10 of different sizes and types. The instructions 164 in block 179 may also provide a quality score or indications of various discrepancies or errors found.

[0043] Fig. 6 is a flowchart 200 of an example method of implementing the PSE 40. In block 202, the PSE 40 provides scripting support to a formatter module 20 to allow the formatter module 20 to provide scripts to a single-sheet PEE 50 to allow for support of multiple media sizes and types of media 1 10. In block 204, the PSE 40 synchronizes the sending of a set of test media 1 10 of the multiple media sizes and types of media 1 1 0 to the single-sheet PEE 50 to allow the formatter module 20 to provide real-time back-to-back sending of the multiple media sizes and types of media 1 10 to the single-sheet PEE 50. In block 206, the PSE 40 adjusts the inter-page gap 130 of the single-sheet PEE 50 based on a size and type of a current test media 1 10. [0044] In summary, for a hybrid print system emulator 10, a hardware- based integrated scanner assembly (ISA) 30 may be connected to a hardware-based formatter module 20 and hybrid-based hardware and software- based PSE 40 for end-to-end multifunction printer system firmware development. The formatter module 20 and a hardware-based control panel 12 controls the system function, job, and data flow and at a high-level acts as a customer facing system manager. The ISA 30, formatter module 20, and PSE 40 may be provided with individual power with power supplies 32, 22, and 42 respectively. The electrical connections between them may be the actual connections like they would be in a real non-emulated actual commercial print system. The PSE 40 allows for adding additional emulation stacks on top of a single-sheet PEE 50 to add additional features found in an actual commercial-type printer along with the traditional hardware

components, such as the user interface 1 2, ISA 30, and formatter module 20 to create a hybrid emulation of the commercial printer. This hybrid emulation allows for the product firmware and application software to be developed on the HPSE 10 that fully emulates the final commercial-type printer before there are hardware prototypes of it. This HPSE 10 allows for paper-less testing and saves development costs both in less development time as well as a reduced want to purchase printer laser or inkjet engines for development and testing.

[0045] While the claimed subject matter has been particularly shown and described with reference to the foregoing examples, those skilled in the art will understand that many variations may be made therein without departing from the intended scope of subject matter in the following claims. This description should be understood to include all novel and non-obvious combinations of elements described herein, and claims may be presented in this or a later application to any novel and non-obvious combination of these elements. The foregoing examples are illustrative, and no single feature or element is to be used in all possible combinations that may be claimed in this or a later application. Where the claims recite "a" or "a first" element of the equivalent thereof, such claims should be understood to include incorporation of one or more such elements, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements.