Epson marks 20th year of Micro Piezo technology

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One of the original engineers who developed Epson?s Micro Piezo technology flew in to the country on Tuesday, April 16, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the company?s unique inkjet technology.

Koichi Endo, managing director of Epson Southeast Asia (right), poses with Epson Philippines country manager Toshimitsu Tanaka while holding the first printer to feature the Micro Piezo inkjet technology

Koichi Endo, who is now the managing director of Epson Southeast Asia, recalled in an intimate gathering with local IT press that although Epson was then doing good with its dot-matrix technology, the company made the leap of faith to develop its own print-head technology.

Epson began working on a quiet, high-resolution printer that did not use impact technology in 1978. One by-product of this research on several different systems was the Epson SQ-2000, the first inkjet printer to use a piezoelectric print head. However, research into other methods of printing continued.

In 1988, the company made a decision to direct resources into improving the piezo system and to develop a new print head. The opportunity for this development to take a great leap forward came through the use of a multi-layered piezo element.

This element enabled Epson engineers to reduce driving voltage and make the print head smaller, which was the first Micro Piezo print head developed independently by the company. Finally, in 1993, the first inkjet printer equipped with this print head, the Epson Stylus 800, was released into the market.

Micro Piezo uses piezoelectric materials which bend precisely when charged with varying electric currents to propel precise amounts of ink out of the print head.

Epson is currently the only major printer company in the world that uses piezoelectric print heads in its entire inkjet printer range ? from the smallest personal photo printer to the largest industrial press system.

Most of its competitors still use thermal heat in its print-head technology.

?Epson has waited 20 years for our Micro Piezo technology to mature. Today, its superior reliability, energy efficiency, and high ink compatibility gives Epson unique advantages and growth opportunities in the fields of business document printing, industrial printing, and our ability to create special products like our genuine ink tank system printers for emerging markets,? he said.

Also at the event, Epson launched a range of its ink tank system printers which the company said have been made possible by the Micro Piezo technology.

The additional models that use the Micro Piezo technology are:

Epson L355 — The Epson L355 is the first model in Epson?s genuine ink tank system printer range to feature Wi-Fi connectivity — making it ideal for sharing among users. With this Wi-Fi capability, it is also the first ink tank system printer model that can connect wirelessly with Epson?s iPrint app that allows users to wirelessly print from, or scan images to Apple iOS or Google Android mobile devices.

Epson L550 — The Epson L550 is Epson?s most fully-featured genuine ink tank system printer. It is the first to have an integrated fax, Ethernet connectivity and an ADF which allows users to conveniently scan, copy or fax multi-page documents unattended. It is also compatible with Epson?s iPrint app when connected to the Internet via a network.

Epson M100 and M200 Monochrome Ink Tank System Printers — Touted as having better-than-laser speeds, the two Epson M-series printers achieve a laser quality speed of 15ppm that matches entry-level laser printers and makes them the fastest Epson ink tank system printers for black text printing. Additionally, they also offer a very high speed draft printing mode of 34ppm that such laser printers typically do not possess.

Epson WorkForce WF-3521 — Epson?s top-of-the-line all-in-one model for small businesses, it is the most fully featured model and offers customers among the highest performance and lowest running costs for a cartridge-based inkjet in its class.

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