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KYOCERA Introduces New KRW Series Thermal Printheads for Barcode Printing

Superior durability, corrosion resistance improve assembly efficiency and extend printer life

June 11, 2014
Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi) today announced that it has developed a new thermal printhead for desktop barcode printers. The new Kyocera KRW Series printheads offer improved durability and corrosion resistance through a simplified structure and refined resin sealant, which improve assembly efficiency and extend the useful life of printing equipment. Samples will be available beginning June 2014.

Photo:KRW Series Thermal Printhead
KRW Series Thermal Printhead

Product name KRW Series Thermal Printheads
Main application Desktop barcode printers
Production facilities Front-end processes: Kagoshima Hayato Plant, Japan
Back-end processes: Nagano Okaya Plant, Japan
Sample availability From June 2014

Development Background

Logistics sites such as warehouses and distribution centers store a wide range of information on barcode labels to optimize inventory and supply-chain management. In recent years, logistics platforms have expanded into developing regions of Asia and elsewhere, leading to a substantial increase in distribution volumes. As a result, demand for desktop barcode printers for shipping labels has been expanding.

Barcode printer manufacturers demand thermal printheads that offer superior durability and serviceability to improve production efficiency and streamline printer assembly. They also require better corrosion resistance to prevent component deterioration resulting from use in environments featuring elevated levels of moisture, humidity and/or salt.

Product Features

Kyocera’s KRW Series provides superior durability through a simplified structure with fewer components and use of specialized resins to affix connectors, the area most susceptible to mechanical load. The new KRW Series also offers superior corrosion resistance through use of an improved resin-sealing film, which coats the surface of the printhead. Additionally, Kyocera’s advanced film-forming processes protect the printhead from harsh environments involving high temperatures, humidity and salinity. With improved durability and corrosion resistance, the KRW Series will help improve assembly efficiency for printer manufacturers while enhancing the lifespan of printing equipment.

1. Smallest*1 printhead in its class

Conventional Kyocera printheads for use in barcode printers use a Flexible Printed Circuit (FPC) to link the ceramic substrate to power and logic interface connectors. The new KRW Series printhead design eliminates this FPC, instead attaching the connectors directly to the ceramic substrate with specialized resins to deliver improved structural durability under mechanical load, creating a sturdy and simplified structure. This design yields the smallest thin-film type thermal printhead in its class, allowing for development of more compact printers.

2. Superior corrosion resistance for improved durability

The surfaces of KRW Series printheads are covered with a specially formulated film and resin sealant, which help keep the heating elements and circuits from deteriorating due to friction from the printing process or prolonged contact with corrosive substances. Barcode printers in particular are often used in environments involving high temperatures and/or corrosive conditions ― such as moisture; salinity from coastal air; or salt from outdoor facilities, food-processing plants and kitchens.

*1 Compared to conventional Kyocera models (as of May 2014)