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KYOCERA Develops one of the World’s Fastest 360dpi Recirculating Inkjet Printheads

Applications include printing onto ceramic tile — up to 50m per minute

September 17, 2015
Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi) announced today that it has developed a new 360-dot-per-inch (dpi) inkjet printhead — a key component of industrial inkjet printing equipment — which sets a new world speed record in its class*1, printing 50 meters per minute using 84-picoliter (pl) droplets. Marketed as the Kyocera KJ4C-0360, it will be available in October 2015.

Applications

Uses for the new Kyocera printhead include the ability to print onto ceramic tiles in full color with designs and patterns. In the future, Kyocera aims to expand the product’s applications into textile printing, such as carpeting and apparel fabric; and medical printing, such as on pharmaceutical tablets.

Photo: Inkjet printhead
Model Inkjet printhead
KJ4C-0360
Dimensions 200×39×54mm (W×D×H)
Print speed 50m/min. (Max. drop volumes: 84pl)
Resolution 360dpi
Effective print width 109mm (4 inches)
Ink compatibility Oil-based / water-based
Development facility Kagoshima Kokubu Plant, Japan

Main features

1.  World’s fastest printing
The KJ4C-0360’s prodigious ink-discharge power, made possible by Kyocera’s proprietary piezoelectric technology, delivers the fastest printing in its class — 50m/min. using 84pl droplets.
   
2.  Leading print width
Industry-leading*2 effective print width (109mm / 4”) reduces the number of printheads required.
   
3.  Fully adjustable ink discharge volume
Discharge volume can be adjusted between 15 and 84pl at a printing speed of 50m/min, with maximum discharge of 120pl at 25m/min, facilitating a wide range of high-efficiency, high-speed printing applications.
   
4.  Broad ink compatibility allows printing on diverse media
By utilizing components with high durability against various types of ink for the fluid channel, it enables the printhead to be compatible with both oil- and water-based inks having viscosities between 10 and 18mPa/s; large-particle pigment inks, for printing on carpet and other textiles; and quick-drying inks for special purposes. Kyocera’s proprietary technology and highly efficient ink-recirculation structure inhibit ink sedimentation in the head and drying and thickening on the nozzle.
   
5.  Simple design for easy mounting
The KJ4C-0360’s light weight*3 and efficient connector simplify mounting and replacement.
   
6.  Stable performance
Kyocera’s proprietary ink recirculation structure maintains a steady ink temperature and helps prevent ejection failure due to air bubbles. Even if this phenomenon does occur, the structure recovers by ejecting the air bubbles, reducing the need for ink purging.

Development Background

Inkjet printing is a simple-process digital printing technology that enables plate-less printing without contact on the print media. Nowadays, in the commercial printing field there is a growing demand for digital printing, which can respond to diverse needs such as smaller-lot sizes, short delivery times, high productivity and reduction of environmental load. The printing market has shifted from mass-volume printing to more flexible mid- to small-lot printing. Applications for inkjet digital printing are increasing for various materials such as fabric and building-materials in addition to paper.

By utilizing Kyocera’s proprietary technologies for material development of the piezo actuator and fluid channel design, the company has succeeded in developing a printhead that responds to these needs. With the launch of this product to the market, Kyocera enters the construction tile printing field for the first time, aiming to increase its printhead share in the market.

*1 The world's fastest speed for an inkjet printhead at a print resolution of 360dpi (based on research by Kyocera; as of September 17, 2015).
*2 Among inkjet printheads for construction tile printing.
*3 When compared to Kyocera’s inkjet printheads with similar resolution