EIS, Fabrico Div., www.eis-inc.com

Dove Data Products Inc., www.dovedata.com

Dove Data Products Inc., Florence, S.C., was having trouble getting timely deliveries from its overseas supplier of the Z-blade assemblies which wipe and seal toner within printer cartridges. To make matters worse, the assemblies already in service appeared to be failing prematurely.

The two-part assemblies have a blade that wipes the printing surface of the cartridge. A seal keeps toner in the cartridge and keeps out air and contaminants. Dove, working with engineers at the Fabrico Div. of EIS, Kennesaw, Ga., tested several prototype assemblies in an attempt to resolve the reliability problem.

Fabrico engineers determined the premature failures had two causes: a blade not rigid enough to withstand repeated motion and a weak adhesive bond between blade and seal.

Changing to a thicker blade helped boost the part’s rigidity. Fabrico sourced a special Mylar material that was less expensive yet better quality than the material Dove had been using.

Dove’s specifications called for the seal to be made from a special open-cell foam that can handle 10,000 to 20,000 cycles. Fabrico engineers also recommended a thicker foam for a longer service life. A stronger adhesive bond ensured that the two parts would stay together for the long term.