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KYOCERA Introduces World’s Fastest Drop-on-Demand Inkjet Printhead

Revolutionary component offers full-color 600-dpi output at 150 meters per minute; marks Kyocera's entry into inkjet printhead market

March 25, 2008

Kyocera Corporation (President: Makoto Kawamura) today announced that it has developed the world’s fastest1 high-resolution inkjet printhead — the main imaging component used in inkjet printers — for commercial applications. The company will commence global sales of the new KJ4 Series printhead in April 2008.


The KJ4 Series offers outstanding reliability and productivity, with full-color print speeds of up to 200 meters per minute at 600 x 480 dpi, or 150 meters per minute at 600 x 600 dpi. The KJ4 Series also offers the widest print line of any printhead in its class, spanning 4.25 inches (108 millimeters)2.


Kyocera’s KJ4 Series printhead has been produced and sold on a purely limited basis until now. The company began initial technology development with Brother Industries, Ltd. in 2002, and continued KJ4 development efforts independently. Kyocera recently completed approximately one year of successful testing of the KJ4 Series on commercial printing equipment.


“The superior performance and reliability of Kyocera’s KJ4 Series printhead represents a breakthrough that will open new markets for inkjet printing technology,” stated Hitoshi Takao, general manager of Kyocera Corporation’s Thin Film Components Group. “We believe this product will finally make it possible for the inkjet printer to compete successfully in the mainstream market for commercial printing.”


1 Measured by Kyocera (as of March 25, 2008)
2 On a single-module basis (as of March 25, 2008)


photo:KJ4 Series Inkjet Printhead
KJ4 Series Inkjet Printhead


During development, Kyocera applied its proprietary piezoelectric ceramics technology to create a compact piezo actuator3 for a critical element of the printhead. By optimizing its core competency as a global leader in fine ceramic technologies, Kyocera created a new device that allows inkjet printing with unprecedented speed, resolution and reliability.

In addition, Kyocera utilized the extensive range of printhead technologies it has accumulated through its commercialization of thermal and LED printheads. Leveraging its design and manufacturing expertise, Kyocera arranged the actuator and its accompanying nozzles into a dense, regular pattern for the industry’s widest printhead. Kyocera also ensured that the components work together reliably and with a high level of precision.


Kyocera projects first-year sales of 1 billion yen (about US$10 million) for the new product, rising to an expected 10 billion yen (about US$100 million) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010.


3Using the piezoelectric effect to control ink flow, this actuator is the critical component enabling the printhead to offer high-speed, high-resolution printing.


FEATURES
1. World’s fastest “drop-on-demand” inkjet printhead

Kyocera’s KJ4 Series printhead has achieved a print speed of 150 meters per minute on Miyakoshi Printing Machinery Co., Ltd.’s MJP600 printer. This printer uses Kyocera standard ink and combines two printheads in the scanning direction (each with a speed of 75 meters per minute). The MJP600 can print the equivalent of approximately 1,000 sheets of A4 paper per minute.


2. High-resolution 600 dpi printing
The KJ4 Series printhead’s 2,656 ink nozzles are arranged in a 4.25-inch-wide print line. This configuration offers high-resolution (600 dpi) printing even at high speeds.


3. Simplified design
Kyocera’s broad inkjet printhead, with a width of 4.25 inches, allows designs with fewer heads, thus simplifying equipment configuration.

image:Comparative printhead arrangements required to print 600 dpi at 150 meters per minute, with 50 cm paper width.
Comparative printhead arrangements required to print 600 dpi at 150 meters per minute,
with 50 cm paper width.


4. Supports various types of printing
The KJ4 Series printhead supports both waterborne pigment ink and UV ink, making it possible to print on paper or other materials ranging from cloth to non-absorbent films and plastics.


5. High reliability
Kyocera’s KJ4 Series printheads were installed in MJP600 printers made by Miyakoshi Printing Machinery Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Narashino City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan; President: Iwao Miyakoshi) in commercial use since April 2007. The printers provided on-demand printing at client sites for approximately one year. Kyocera obtained favorable results for both quality and reliability through this equipment test period, verifying the superior reliability of its product.


A high-speed inkjet printer equipped with Kyocera’s KJ4 Series printhead will be on display in the booth of Miyakoshi Printing Machinery Co., Ltd., at Drupa 2008, a printing industry exhibition. Drupa 2008 takes place from May 29 through June 11, 2008, at the Dusseldorf Trade Fair Center in Germany; the event is held once every four years.


SPECIFICATIONS

Printing Method

Piezoelectric DOD Line Inkjet Printhead

Size

200×25×58 (mm) (width × depth × height)

Number of nozzles

2,656 nozzles/head

Print width

4.25 inches (108 mm)

Resolution

600 dpi x 600 dpi

Printing speed*

75 meters/minute at 600 x 600 dpi

Droplet size*

From 4 pL to 21 pL

*Depends on ink types and printing conditions