Posts Tagged ‘Micro Piezo’

  • Epson set to deliver next-generation inkjet print heads

    Epson is moving to introduce its next-generation Micro Piezo inkjet print heads in the second half of this fiscal year, following the completion of two new print head production lines at two of the company’s sites in Japan. 

    According to Epson, the new print head is based on an ‘advanced new and original design’, which includes the development of new materials to be used in the print heads’ actuator – the device which converts electrical power into mechanical movement in the Micro Piezo print system.

    The company says the new print heads will represent a more compact design than its previous models, with a greater level of precision and improved cost performance, with the new print heads set to begin rolling off the new production lines in the latter half of the 2013 fiscal year.

    An Epson six-axis robot used in the next-generation print head production line at the Tohoku Epson plant in Japan.

    The new print head development has evolved out of the company’s existing MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) production technology and, using the precision, durability and ink versatility of the proprietary Micro Piezo technology, Epson believes that the enhanced precision and density of the new print head will act as a platform for significantly improving the fundamental performance of Epson inkjet printers in the market.

    “Epson’s corporate vision calls for the expansion of the inkjet printer business, and the new production lines represent an essential element in these plans,” said Motonori Okumura, executive officer and general administrative manager, Imaging Products Key Component Research & Engineering Division. “Going forward, Epson will enhance competitiveness by expanding use of the new print head into its lineup and by further promoting the use of common platforms throughout the inkjet printer lineup.”

    Epson says it spent around 16 billion yen (approximately AU$178.5 million) to build the two new print head production lines in Japan, one of which is at the company’s Suwa-Minami Plant in Nagano Prefecture and the other at the Sakata Plant in Yamagata Prefecture.

    Epson will conduct front-end manufacturing processes at Suwa-Minami and back-end processes at Sakata. Front-end processes involve manufacturing the ultra-fine MEMS component that forms the core of the print head, while the back end processes involve using Epson’s industrial robot technology to complete the assembly process.

    By fully automating the assembly line process, and drawing upon monozukuri – the Japanese art and science of manufacturing and production – Epson hopes to achieve dramatic improvements in productivity and quality of the new print heads.