The Lexmark All-In-One can be broken up into various subsystems. These subsystems include scanning, printing, and copying, and the various steps needed to complete these tasks.
Scanning involves reading information off of a hard copy and inputting it into a computer. In order to do this, three main steps must be followed.
- 1. Information input through scanner head
- 2. Output information to computer
- 3. Soft copy output on computer
Copying steps are nearly the same steps as scanning, only the output is sent as another hard copy, not a soft copy.
- 1. Input information through the scanner head
- 2. Input information from the control panel (i.e. number of copies, color, etc.)
- 3. Information sent to printer
- 4. Printer outputs hard copy
Printing is essentially the reverse as scanning. The information is retrieved from the computer and made into a hard copy.
- 1. Input information from the computer or scanner head
- 2. Output information in form of hard copy.
Subsystems Analysis (Gate #2)
The 3 subsystems are placed in different locations throughout the printer in order to make the printer more compact and visually appealing to the customer, therefore they need a way in which to communicate with each other. Printers go hand in hand with computers because they take the computers information and change it into another form such as printing an electronic document into paper or physical form. The printer we are analyzing also has a scanner with it which does the reverse and takes paper or physical information and turns it into electronic information on the computer. For each subsystem to communicate with each other they would need to be connected by wires. These wires may have different shapes and lengths depending on where they are being used. They also need a way to be physically connect into the subsystems main component, such as a wire from the computer itself needing to be connected to the printers main motherboard in order to communicate with the computer. These connections would be clips or plugs at either end of the wire and would physically be inserted into a connection hole on the components needing to be connected. Each of the subsystems are connected to the other 2 in one way or another, but all need the wires with the inserts at both ends in order to be connected. These wires allow for the subsystems to communicate via signals through the wires to accomplish the task requested such as printing. Creating signals requires some form of energy, in this case electrical energy, for the printer to carry out its tasks. This energy is mainly supplied from the power cord which gives power to the entire printer. Each subsystem is also physically connected to the base or main body of the overall printer to make things more organized and easy to find and understand, as well as keep things somewhat compact. These connections were made mostly by screws and small bolts in order to keep all the components stable and restrained to perform at their best without shaking while parts are moving and causing some error.
Being mainly an electronic device, the subsystems within the printer are connected mainly electronically and very little mechanically except within the printing subsystem and a little in the scanning subsystems themselves. Within the subsystems themselves, more connections are made to very little, yet important components which leads us to the main circuit board which is a part that is connected to all subsystems and allows the computer to communicate with all the subsystems. In order for the electrical signals given from the computer to travel to different points throughout the circuit board, different parts of the board need to be connected by wires, usually copper or some other form of metal which has high conductivity and allows the signals to travel through quickly. Some of these wires are connected to the board by clips, however there are some that are connected by small connections made with solder. This solder is usually eutectic alloy ( a combination of tin and lead) for electronic devices and also allows for the flow of the electrical signals to pass through it.
As of this time, wiring is the only way to connect the subsystems, but in the future, wireless capabilities, such as Bluetooth, may be used. This would be both economically and environmentally beneficial in its design by decreasing material use and cutting cost for the materials to make the printer. Even though cutting materials will save money, performance will also be cut as wires allow for faster connectivity. In this case, most of the concerns would be economical and environmental concerns and few societal and global concerns. Some economic concerns that would be affected by how the subsystems are interconnected would be the different prices of the materials used at the time and whether or not it would be more beneficial to go with a different material. In some cases it may be better for the company to sacrifice some communication speed for a cheaper material for the wires or vice versa depending on the importance of the speed and the price they wish to sell the printer in order to maximize sales and therefore increase their profits. Some environmental concerns also include what materials are being used. Some materials may be recycled and easily removed from parts of the printer when it no longer works and others, if they found their way into the environment through being thrown away in a landfill or dump, may be toxic to plant and animal life over time or may be in short supply and could prevent further destruction of the environment if it could be reused rather than recreated or found. There are some global and societal concerns that also go along with the printer, but these concerns would be tied into an economic or environmental concern which would also impact the customer.
Performance plays a big role for the customer. Many will not have much experience in the electronic field and are looking for the fastest printer that will do all the tasks they require while causing the least damage financially to them. As stated before this can be addressed through the materials used, the price, the materials cost, and the amount of money the customer is willing to pay for the device. If the customer is looking for a printer to last long term and easily maintenance chances are they would rather a printer with more clip connections for easy replacement if broken rather than mostly soldered connections which when broke would cause the customer to buy a brand new printer. These small changes could impact the performance by increasing the time it takes for the printer to complete a task or vice versa depending on what route was chosen by the customer. In the end, the performance the customer receives from the printer usually comes from the price they are willing to pay for it. The more they are willing to pay, the better the materials or technology put into the printer and therefore the better the performance out of the printer.
The subsystems of this printer are arranged within the shell in the best manner possible in order to cut down on material usage and therefore saving the manufacturer money by lowering production costs. Not only are they arranged to lower cost, but they are also arranged to create a more visually appealing product for the customer. Although it's just a printer, no one would want an ugly box or strange looking object sitting on their desk for the world to see. Each subsystem has its own placement both physically and in electronic order. An example of electronic order would be that printing cannot come before scanning. A form of input is needed in order to print a hard copy, be it the scanner or directly from a computer.
The three subsystems named above are loosely connected to each other. For instance, the scanning subsystem can be followed by the printing subsystem, but it is not necessary. On the other hand, in order to complete the copying subsystem, the printing subsystem must be run. These subsystems are connected either as a convenience (i.e. the All-In-One contains all the subsystems) or in order to complete another routine. They are physically connected by wires passing information by way of electronic signals. As of this time, wiring is the only way to connect the subsystems, but in the future, wireless capabilities, such as Bluetooth, may be used. This would be both economically and environmentally beneficial in its design by decreasing material use and cutting cost for the materials to make the printer. Even though cutting materials will save money, performance will also be cut as wires allow for faster connectivity. Each subsystem has its own placement. Printing cannot come before scanning. Some sort of input is needed in order to print a hard copy, be it the scanner or directly from a computer.
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