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 user 2007-03-28 at 9:55:00 am Views: 48
  • #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.

    3. Durability
    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
    circuit modules.

    Solvent ink
    A type of ink that has high weather resistance and is often used for printing materials such as outdoor signage.

    UV ink
    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.