Kyocera has launched its new printhead KJ4B-EX1200-RC with ink recirculation technology at the nozzle which is described to enhance productivity over a wide range of applications, including commercial printing and package printing.

In recent years, ink formulations have been changed to increase productivity and to accommodate for a wider range of applications. This has meant an increased demand for printheads that can handle a variety of inks at higher speeds while offering better print resolutions and enhanced durability.

In the commercial printing and package printing markets, new printheads are designed to deliver optimised drop volumes to print not only on traditional high-quality papers but also coated papers and films. Faster-drying inks are also becoming more important, placing new compatibility demands on printheads. The design of Kyocera’s printhead technology is claimed by the company to stable, continuous printing to enhance productivity in industrial printing operations.

Kyocera’s new printhead technology, available in April 2024, recirculates ink around the nozzle, which prevents nozzle drying, while promoting temperature uniformity and inhibiting ink sedimentation. This feature is alleged by Kyocera to allow stable printing with various kinds of inks, including fast-drying formulations, while reducing routine maintenance, such as printhead cleaning when rebooting a printer. This new printhead also incorporates a water-cooling system as a feature with a purpose to enhance stability in continuous, high-speed, high-quality printing.

By optimising the ink-flow-channel design and printhead structure, the maximum drop volume of ink ejected from nozzles has been increased to 4.0 pL, about 43% greater than the previous model at a driving frequency of 80 kHz, with improved jetting stability. The company explained that with better productivity it makes it possible to cover a wider range of media by optimising drop volumes for commercial printing and package printing segments.

Kyocera has developed a monolithic piezoelectric actuator (width: 116 mm x depth: 34 mm x thickness: 0.04 mm), using proprietary material design technology for dense polycrystalline ceramic actuators, and manufacturing technology for thin piezoelectric ceramic substrates. Kyocera has adopted this technology for its KJ4B-EX1200-RC printhead. By using a large monolithic piezoelectric actuator, Kyocera claimed it has achieved uniformed image quality within the printhead as well as higher print quality.

By adopting the same interface as its conventional printhead (KJ4B-1200), Kyocera stated that it has reduced the development cost of the driving system and improved device versatility. The company will aim to expand the possibilities of digital printing and contribute to the sustainability of the global printing industry.

Kyocera will exhibit this printhead at the drupa 2024 from May 28 to June 7, 2024.