Kyoto/London - Kyocera today unveiled its next generation of inkjet printheads for commercial digital printing equipment. The new printheads are specially designed to deliver high-speed, high-quality printing on paper, cardboard, plastic, fabric, and other building materials. Kyocera will introduce a 600-dpi model in April 2020, with others to follow.
Digital printing technology has won a growing share of the commercial printing market — especially where high-quality text and graphics must be printed onto clothing, packaging, tile, plastic or building materials, in addition to conventional paper. Requiring no plates, digital technology has created a new market for short-run printing through its advantages in speed, customization and cost. Additionally, digital printing reduces environmental impact by eliminating certain consumable materials and plate-cleaning chemicals. As a result, the commercial equipment market now demands printheads that can deliver unprecedented speed, image quality, and durability.
Kyocera has been at the forefront of the digital revolution in commercial printing globally since 2007, when it first applied its proprietary fine ceramic technology to create ultra-high-speed piezo actuators1 for its world-record-setting KJ4 series inkjet printheads2. The new KJ4 EX series builds on this legacy with a large, integrated piezo actuator and streamlined structure. By increasing the volume of each drop of ink ejected from the printheads and enhancing droplet-ejection consistency, the new series allows high-resolution printing on a wider variety of media. At the same time, the printhead’s durability is enhanced by improving its structural strength and rigidity.
Features of the new KJ4 EX Series:
1. New integrated piezo actuator enhances image quality
As a new development, Kyocera’s large, integrated piezo actuator replaces multiple smaller actuators to enable more consistent image quality. The new larger actuator was created using the company’s unique material design technology for dense polycrystalline ceramic actuators, combined with its thin piezoelectric ceramic substrate manufacturing processes.
2. Optimized ink channels and ejection consistency allow for a wider range of applications
With its optimized ink channel design and revised structure, KJ4 EX maximizes the volume of an ink drop ejected and improves ink-ejection consistency. This allows the printheads and media to be separated by a greater distance without affecting droplet accuracy — ensuring high-resolution printing on a wider variety of materials, including unconventional print media.
3. Improved durability
Integrating the piezo actuator allows greater freedom in design, resulting in a simple and robust structure. As a result, the overall durability, strength, and stability of the structure have been improved.
1 Piezo actuators: components that use the piezoelectric effect of fine ceramics to create a driving force for ink ejection
2 Based on Kyocera’s research and analysis.