DOE Consumer Goods Application

The bottom line:

A printer manufacturer received complaints from a major customer. To satisfy this customer, the ink had to look great as well as meet 7 performance criteria. With our help, they developed three interactive color inks that met all visual and performance criteria in only four months.  The customer was so pleased that he made a very large order for printers.

The project:

Each color ink was used in the new printer in a dot-on-dot way to produce a full color spectrum on paper.

Each ink must:

  • have correct viscosity (not too runny or too thick)
  • remain in solution (not crust inside the pen or on the nozzles, blocking ink flow)
  • be stable over a wide temperature range
  • remain brilliant on paper for a certain time period
  • dry quickly on paper
  • not smear or rub off paper
  • be non-toxic

Many attempts by highly experienced chemists failed to solve the problem.  After a year of experimenting, no useful result had been found.  Failure was almost admitted. 

A critical component of the development process was missing.  When Design of Experiments was taught to one of their chemists, he used it to find the solution in four months.