Preserving Precious Memories: Epson Inkjet Technology at Work in Photo Print Shops

SureLab SL-D3000
SureLab SL-D3000 (double-roll model) and optional sorter unit

Epson has long been renowned for its home photo printers. Fully understanding the importance people place on preserving memories through photographs, the company has now expanded its range of inkjet photo printers into the commercial sphere. The first of its new range of commercial photo printers is the SureLab SL-D3000, which is aimed at photo print shops and photo studios.

Before the emergence of inkjet technology for professional applications, print shops had to rely on silver halide-based photo labs. However, because these traditional systems rely on chemical reactions to print photos, they require careful management and disposal of chemicals, and also a water supply. Against this, Epson's new system does not require shop owners to dispose of waste chemicals.

In addition, the new system does not compromise on the print quality that print shop customers demand. In addition, the new product's small footprint - 2.1 m2 for the main unit (3.2 m2 including a sorter unit) - saves vital shop space while the speed of 650 prints per hour (print size: 6 inch x 4 inch) ensures high productivity.

Uncompromising print quality

The outstanding print quality of the SureLab SL-D3000 is due to a number of factors including the combination of Epson's proprietary Micro Piezo inkjet printing technology and newly developed UltraChrome D6 ink set. Epson has also strived to minimize vibration by employing a sturdy frame and strengthened components, and has improved the accuracy of the printing mechanism. The whole printing process is managed by software designed to optimize each printing stage.

The paper rollers in particular are an area in which Epson has made notable advances. The SureLab SL-D3000 uses roll paper and a built-in cutter to automatically cut the paper after the printing. Paper rollers are used to ensure that the paper is sent to the print heads at precisely the right speed and time. Although these rollers are built to extremely precise specifications, it is impossible to create them with a cross section that is a precise circle. Although the difference can be a matter of only a few microns, there are inevitably slight variations among models. These variations can cause slight disparities in the accuracy of the paper forwarding, leading to differences in printing quality. To correct this issue, Epson thoroughly analyzed the differences among each paper roller, and made careful adjustments to correct the angle of the rollers.

Micro Piezo TFP print head
SureLab SL-D3000 paper roller

Micro Piezo TFP print head
The double-roll model allows
the simultaneous use of
two different sized paper rolls.

Making this and other adjustments simultaneously ensures that the Epson SureLab SL-D3000 provides customers with consistently high quality printouts.

Micro Piezo TFP print head
SureLab SL-D3000

"We designed the SureLab with the idea of providing customers with the best possible printing quality,"said one of Epson's development engineers. "This was possible thanks to all the technology and know-how we have acquired over the years. Our manufacturing technology enabled us to create a high-precision mechanism that ensured both superb image quality printouts and maximum performance."

Epson believes that the SureLab SL-D3000 is the latest incarnation of its printing revolution.

Please refer to your local Epson site for details of these and other Epson products.
(Note that product names and availability vary by region.)