Altair ProductDesign Plays Instrumental Role in Development of Xerox's ColorQube Multifunction Printers

Simulation-driven design approach using HyperWorks addresses common but complex office disturbances to maximize print quality

Jan 04, 2010, 09:00 ET from Altair Engineering

TROY, Mich., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Before Xerox Corporation launched the ColorQube(TM) 9200 Series, the high print quality of the device was proven through detailed computer simulations performed by Altair ProductDesign, Inc., a global product development consultancy and wholly owned subsidiary of Altair Engineering, Inc.

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Using Xerox's solid ink technology, the ColorQube series of high-speed multifunction printers lowers the environmental impact and cost of color printing. The cartridge-free ink sticks generate 90 percent less waste in supplies and enable pricing plans that cut the cost of color pages by up to 62 percent compared to traditional color lasers, without compromising print quality.

While the device was under development, Xerox called on Altair ProductDesign, based in Troy, Mich., to conduct virtual simulations of the printer's operations. The goal was to determine how the normal jostling, door-slamming and other disturbances that office printers experience during use would affect the quality of the printing.

Altair ProductDesign consultants leveraged computer-aided engineering (CAE) methodologies and Altair's engineering software platform, HyperWorks, to ensure pixel-level vibration control of the ColorQube product line. The analyses were among the most complex computer simulations that Xerox has used to date in the development of its products.

"Altair helped us better understand our structural architecture," said Xerox Senior Systems Analyst John Wright. "Inside the device, the motions of the print heads, drum and paper transport are subject to vibrations. Altair was tasked to determine the impact of vibrations and other disturbances during the crucial process of jetting ink onto the drum."

Xerox physically tested the printer's individual subsystems and systems, providing Altair with the data necessary to ensure high fidelity between the analytical model and the physical prototype. This information allowed the Xerox development team to confidently use an analytical model and approach to drive the design development. Altair developed a system-level finite-element model consisting of more than 500,000 elements and performed detailed analyses on the printer's 100-plus interconnected parts.

Altair's simulation-driven design approach helped Xerox lower product development costs and eliminate the need for vibration control dampers. The dampers would have been costly and could have complicated the design's space and structure. The analysis showed those isolators were not needed. In addition, the simulation model allowed Xerox to assess numerous design scenarios at the same time, examining their relative impact on the system-level performance to confidently drive the design process.

"I'd rank our collaboration with Altair as one of my better experiences," Wright said. "We laid out a roadmap at the beginning of the project, from which I could see what we needed to provide, as well as what and when to expect from Altair, which enabled us always to keep the objective in sight."

Simulations like those developed by Altair Product Design for Xerox can result in time and dollar savings that can be significant for manufacturers.

"The types of CAE methods and processes that Altair incorporated into this project are capable of reducing product development time by at least 50 percent, compared to building and testing physical prototypes from scratch," said Regu Ramoo, director of engineering for Altair ProductDesign. "Working closely with Xerox's product and engineering experts, our simulation-driven design approach delivered meaningful and insightful design direction to help Xerox successfully meet its production schedule."

About Altair ProductDesign

Altair ProductDesign is a global, multi-disciplinary product development consultancy of more than 500 designers, engineers, scientists, and creative thinkers. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Altair Engineering, Inc. (, this cross-functional organization is best known for its leadership in combining human and machine creativity to fuel innovation, automate processes, and develop new methods. Altair ProductDesign firmly advocates a user-centered, team-based design approach, and uses proprietary simulation and optimization technologies to help clients bring innovative, profitable products to market faster. For more information, please visit

About Altair

Altair Engineering, Inc. empowers client innovation and decision making through technology that optimizes the analysis, management and visualization of business and engineering information. Privately held, with more than 1,300 employees, Altair has offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. With a 20-year-plus track record for product design, advanced engineering software, grid computing technologies and enterprise analytics solutions, Altair consistently delivers a competitive advantage to customers in a broad range of industries. To learn more, please visit

SOURCE Altair Engineering