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September 1991

Optical engineering challenges of the IBM 3800 laser printer: Part II

Last month, I described some of the optical design challenges involved in developing the IBM 3800 laser printer. This month, we look at some of the manufacturing problems encountered in this program. It's sometimes difficult to differentiate between where development ends and manufacturing begins (especially when some of the same people follow the problems through the process). But, in addition to the challenges that were addressed in the initial design stage of this printer development, a number of issues were raised at later stages.

Time for the U.S. to take standards more seriously

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the library to look up some information on a German DIN optical standard. What I inadvertently found gives a little clue to various attitudes about standards and how seriously they are taken. In many fields of technology, optics included, we in the U.S. tend to take standards rather lightly. Others, such as the Germans and Japanese, find that they can do business much more efficiently by relying on a broad and rigorous set of standards.

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