Kyocera unveils new ‘next-gen’ printhead

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, January 22, 2021

Kyocera has launched a “next-generation” 1,200dpi inkjet printhead that offers high-speed, high-resolution printing for a wide range of applications, with a focus on graphics.

The KJ4B-EX 1200 is compatible with aqueous ink
The KJ4B-EX 1200 is compatible with aqueous ink

Available as of last month, the KJ4B-EX 1200 is compatible with aqueous ink, has a maximum drop volume of 2.8pl and a minimum drop volume of 1.5pl. The 200x52x141.1mm head has an effective print width of 108.27mm.

The KJ4EX series of printheads utilise newly developed large integrated piezo actuators - components that generate inkjetting power using the piezoelectric effect of fine ceramics – to enable higher resolution printing by homogenising image quality inside the printhead.

Integrated piezo actuators are also said to allow for a simple and robust structure, which improves the strength, stability, and durability of the printhead.

Kyocera said it has improved the printhead’s maximum jetting frequency and inkjetting stability by optimising the ink channel design and the head structure.

The maximum jetting frequency has been increased to 80 kHz, which is 25% faster than conventional models, enabling single-pass printing at up to 100m/min when printing in the 1,200dpi feed direction.

Applications suited to the KJ4B-EX 1200 head include graphics, labels and building materials according to Kyocera, who in a statement said: “Demand for digital printing continues to grow due to its productivity advantages and the environmental benefits realised by eliminating the need for printing plates, plate-cleaning chemicals, and liquid waste.

“Digital printing is being used not only for printing on paper, but also for a wide range of non-traditional media, including clothing, food packaging, and housing construction materials. Inkjet technology for these diverse media requires high-speed, high-resolution, and high durability printheads.”

Kyocera told Printweek there is already a first beta printer in use with the new head at an end-user site, while a couple of other companies have started evaluation of the head.

The first model in the KJ4EX series, the 600dpi KJ4B-EX600 printhead, has been available since April 2020 and Kyocera is planning to gradually expand its lineup to include larger-drop-volume and UV compatible models.

In October, Kyocera appointed ex-Heidelberg digital printing lead Chris Matthews as it looked to beef up its presence in the production printing market. The company had launched its first production printers at the end of last year, including the 150ppm cut-sheet Kyocera TASKalfa Pro 15000c inkjet press.

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