*NEWS*EPSON’s NEW INKJET PRINT HEAD
*NEWS*EPSON’s NEW INKJET PRINT HEAD
2007-03-28 at 9:55:00 am #17536
Develops a Next-Generation Inkjet Print Head Using an Original
Thin-Film Piezo Element That Has the World’s Highest Degree of
Epson Corporation (“Epson”) has succeeded in developing a thin-film
piezo element that boasts the world’s highest* degree of distortion.
Volume production of next-generation Micro Piezo print heads that
feature these elements as actuators will be launched in April 2007.The
Micro Piezo print head is an inkjet print head which utilizes Epson’s
original Micro Piezo technology. This technology uses electrical
signals to change the shape of piezo elements and then fires ink
droplets according to the physical force generated by the change in
shape of these elements. Epson’s Stylus Photo and Stylus Pro inkjet
printers, which utilize Micro Piezo print head technology, are
photo-quality printers that have consistently played leading roles in
the Japanese inkjet printer market and earned high approval and trust
from customers.Inkjet systems are currently attracting a great deal of
attention as they are being put to use more and more frequently in
printing and manufacturing processes. Inkjet systems have the
advantages of being ideally suited to small print loads and of being
gentler on the environment. Compared to other inkjet systems, Micro
Piezo technology offers superior ink ejection performance,
compatibility with a wide variety of inks, and durability. As a result,
this technology is already being utilized effectively in various
commercial and industrial fields such as photo lab printing, digital
printing, textile printing, and color filter manufacturing. The Micro
Piezo print head is not only suitable for functions ranging from
consumer applications to commercial and industrial applications, but it
also offers outstanding cost effectiveness due to its high degree of
reliability and production volume efficiency.
Epson is currently
focusing its development efforts on creating a next-generation Micro
Piezo print head to support expansion of the inkjet field beyond
consumer printers and to strengthen its applications for business and
industry. Through these efforts, Epson has achieved the following:
Created a piezo element with the world’s highest degree of distortion
through film thickness reduction and materials development.
2. Raised density levels by developing and utilizing innovative thin-film processing techniques.
3. Designed a high-density ink reservoir through independent MEMS technology development.
a result, Epson has managed to develop a nozzle with a density of 360
dpi—the world’s highest* for an inkjet print head using piezoelectric
technology—while at the same time maintaining the advantages of
conventional Micro Piezo print heads. Epson has also managed to
establish a completely independent manufacturing process by producing
the piezoelectric materials in-house. The installation of these
next-generation Micro Piezo print heads in printers and other devices
will make it possible to design speedier and more compact inkjet
equipment than ever before.In the future, Epson plans to focus on Micro
Piezo technology as one of its core technologies. By continuing to
develop Micro Piezo technology, Epson will be able to expand its usage
potential beyond consumer applications to encompass other areas such as
business and industry.
*According to Epson’s research
Special characteristics of Epson’s original Micro Piezo print head
print head fulfills all the requirements for an inkjet print
head—superior ink ejection performance, compatibility with a wide
variety of inks, and durability. The print head also makes it possible
to control not only water-based pigment ink with superior water and
light resistance, but also a wide variety of ink types in miniscule
quantities, and fire them with high precision.
1. Ink ejection performance
Meniscus control, which limits vibration on the surface of the liquid
in the nozzle, makes it possible to achieve improved gradation and
faster print speeds in addition to the following advantages:
1. Perfectly spherical dots
2. High precision impact point control
3. Higher drive frequencies
4. Variable-sized ink droplets (MSDT: multi-sized dot technology)
2. Ink compatibility
* Epson’s original pigment ink achieves high levels of color reproduction and durability.
* Industrial applications such as solvent ink, color filters, and UV ink are currently under development.
Because it utilizes a permanent print head, the technology is
applicable to a wide range of uses ranging from consumer printers to
industrial manufacturing equipment.
Features of the next-generation Micro Piezo print head
independently developing a thin-film piezo element which has the
world’s highest degree of distortion and using it as an actuator, Epson
has succeeded in taking full advantage of the features of conventional
Micro Piezo print heads while at the same time doubling nozzle density.
A conventional Micro Piezo print head’s nozzle density is 180 dpi
(maximum) whereas a next-generation Micro Piezo print head’s is 360 dpi.
A component which converts energy input into physical force.
Piezo element/Piezoelectric material
element which expands or contracts microscopically when an electrical
voltage is applied. It is often used as an actuator or sensor because
of its unique characteristics.
MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems)
for which semiconductor processes are used to integrate mechanical
elements, actuators, electronic components, and other functions into
A type of ink that has high weather resistance and is often used for printing materials such as outdoor signage.
type of ink that hardens when it reacts with ultraviolet light. It has
high weather resistance and is often used for printing materials such
as outdoor signage.