[Breaking Down Samsung's Printer] A Series of Twists for Low Profile [Part 8]

Nov 29, 2007
Nikkei Electronics Breakdown Team
Pulling out the tray
Pulling out the tray
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

The disassembly of the SCX-4501K, a multifunction printer released by Korea's Samsung Electronics, has reached the final stage.

The only part left is the central portion of the lower half of the machine. As our operation progressed, we found a series of new twists that contributed to the thin chassis, one of the features of SCX-4501K.

First, we pulled out the paper tray. The engineer who took it out stared at it and said, "It's thin, isn't it?" The tray is only about 22mm thick.

According to the catalog, the tray can hold 100 pieces of 75g/m2 paper. That is hardly enough capacity, but the engineer said, "It might be a problem for an office machine, but it shouldn't matter for a personal printer." It looks like Samsung reduced the tray thickness to the greatest extent possible for a slimmer profile, without sacrificing usability.

The next thing that drew the engineers' attention was the slimness of the paper feeder provided for supplying paper from the tray. The engineer took out the part that serves as a guide when the machine reverses and sends the paper taken out of the tray to the printer block at printing.

The guide block measures only 38mm in thickness. The portion in the guide block that holds the paper is curved quite sharply to reduce thickness. But the sharper curve makes it difficult to pass thick paper through the feeder. In fact, when one of the engineers put the 160g/m2 thick paper and tried to print, the paper jam indicator turned on.

The power block located in the lower half of the machine is also designed with reducing the overall profile in mind. To reduce the thickness of the power supply module, Samsung had taken the trouble to bend the pins of an IC chip, which is estimated be a regulator, before mounting the chip on the board.

Such a design is employed for both the larger and smaller power boards used in SCX-4501K. The thickest portion in the larger board measures about 22mm, while that in the smaller board measures about 19mm.

Just reducing the thickness of the power block without taking heat into consideration is likely to result in heat being generated inside the machine due to the reduction of the volume of the power supply module. To prevent that, Samsung adopted a design to enhance the heat dissipation efficiency.

The larger power board is provided with more than enough room with respect to the number of components in the power supply circuit by increasing the size of the board. The enlarged board was "probably aimed at helping ensure the air flow path to improve the heat dissipation," the engineer said.

The space in the center of the board seems to be "aligned with the air path generated by an air-cooling fan provided on the side of the chassis," the engineer said. The space contributes to the increase in board size for a larger surface area of the power supply module, which in turn improves the heat dissipation characteristics.