*VISCOSMO has developed a wide variety of high-speed industrial Kyocera ink for use with Kyocera print heads. Our Water based, UV Curable and LED Curable fluids are designed to compatible the needs of industrial printing applications.
Digital textile print production would not be possible without improvements in inkjet printhead technology. Beginning in the 1990’s with the Epson DX-4 incorporated into the Mimaki TX-2 printer, printhead manufacturers continue to advance the technology both in terms of the number of nozzles per channel as well as firing frequencies. Most of current digital textile printers in the market today utilize one of the following printhead technologies:
Epson DX-5 ( Mutoh RJ-900, Mimaki JV-33, Mimaki JV-5 )
Epson DX-7 ( Mutoh 1638, Roland XF-640 )
Seiko 508 GS ( Ftex JS-BT-180 , Ichinose 2030 )
Ricoh Gen 4 ( d.gen Telieios Grande, Mimaki TX400 )
Ricoh Gen 5 ( Mimaki TX500 )
Konica Minolta KM512 ( Konica Minolta Nassenger VII )
Kyocera KJ4 ( MS JP-6, MS LaRIO, Reggiani ReNOIR )
So what are some of the differences between these printhead technologies?
Printhead Width: Inkjet print head width ranges from 25 mm for the Epson DX 5 to 108 mm for the Kyocera KJ series heads. A larger printhead width permits faster printing.
Printhead Channels and Nozzle Count: Each printhead offers a different configuration of printhead channels (each channel can be run different inks) and nozzles per channel. The nozzle count affects the printing resolution and printing speed
Firing Frequencies (kHz): The number of drops per second, typically specified in kHz for piezo printhead technology, directly impacts printing speed.
Minimum Drop Sizes (Picoliters): All inkjet printheads used for digital textile printing employ variable drop size capabilities. Smaller drop sizes provide finer detail at the expense of printing speed. This is important when assessing the the performance and specifications of a digital textile printing system (See previous article).
The table below illustrates specifications for some example inkjet printheads:
Next Generation Technology:
The current generation of printheads primarily operate in a swath/shuttle mode for producing printed output onto sublimation transfer paper or digitally printing directly onto textiles. One noted exception being the MS LaRIO, which incorporates 25 Kyocera printheads in-line for each color channel and is only practical for printing shops with significant production throughput.
Next generation digital textile printers eventually need to migrate from swath to inline printing both for improved production speed and efficiency.