Technologies Supporting Innovation

Micro Piezo Technology

The Same Technology Underpins All Epson Inkjet Printing Systems

Printers known for excellent environmental performance, superior efficiency, and versatile media support

Epson's inkjet printing technology is used in home, office and industrial printers.

Since our printing systems form images by directly depositing microscopic droplets of ink on sheets of paper or other media, they generate virtually no waste ink, are far superior to current analog and laser printing systems in terms of the environment and efficiency, and can theoretically print on almost any medium.

Micro Piezo technology is the backbone of every Epson inkjet printing system. One of Epson's core technologies, Micro Piezo technology features Epson's unique Micro Piezo printheads combined with complementary technologies in image processing, ink systems, ink, media, and precision mechanisms such as paper feeders.

Micro Piezo Printheads

Micro Piezo printheads eject droplets of ink via mechanical pressure. This mechanical pressure is created when piezoelectric elements in the printheads contract in response to an applied voltage.

Two main characteristics set Epson's technology apart from other inkjet printing systems. The first is that Micro Piezo printing systems do not use heat to eject the ink droplets. The second is that they precisely control the volume of ink contained in each ink droplet.

See how Micro Piezo printheads work.

Note: This service is provided using YouTube™.
YouTube is a trademark of Google Inc.

Advantages of Micro Piezo Printheads

Ink compatibility

Unlike thermal inkjet systems, Micro Piezo systems do not use heat, which can alter the ink's material properties. Epson's Micro Piezo printheads are thus compatible with a far wider variety of inks, including dye inks, pigment inks, eco-solvents, UV-cured ink, and a variety of other materials. We at Epson are exploiting this advantage by expanding our lineup of printers for a wide range of applications, such as the printing of posters, billboards and signs, textiles, labels, and much, much more.

Moreover, given that there are few limitations on the types of materials that Micro Piezo systems can deposit as long as the materials are liquid, Epson is conducting research and development with an eye toward extending the breadth of future applications.

High durability

Micro Piezo printheads are extraordinarily durable because they are not subjected to heat-induced functional deterioration. They are fully equipped to withstand use even in grueling, high-volume office printing applications and applications in industries where usage conditions are harsh.

High image quality

Epson uses VSDT (variable size dot technology) to precisely control the volume of ink contained in individual ejected droplets.
Sharp, rich, virtually grain-free images are rendered by depositing spherical ink droplets in a range of sizes, the smallest being as little as 1.5 pico-liters, or one one-trillionth of a liter, in precisely the amounts and locations needed.

In addition, meniscus control prevents ink left in the ink chambers in the printhead from affecting the shape of ink droplets that are to be ejected, ensuring that ejected droplets are always perfectly spherical and land with high positional accuracy.

Fast

VSDT, which controls the size of up to 50,000 ink droplets that are ejected every second, also contributes to fast printing speeds.

PrecisionCore: Advanced Printhead Technology

PrecisionCore printhead technology is an advanced form of Micro Piezo. PrecisionCore represents Epson's thin film piezoelectric (TFP) technology created by merging advanced key component technologies and high-precision MEMS fabrication processes.

From the office to the commercial and industrial markets where production volumes are high and speed is critical, PrecisionCore technology enables superb print quality at blazing fast speeds.


Movie about PrecisionCore technology

Note: This service is provided using YouTube™.
YouTube is a trademark of Google Inc.

Print Chips That Enable Outstanding Image Quality at Blazing Speeds

PrecisionCore MicroTFP print chip

At the heart of PrecisionCore is the PrecisionCore MicroTFP print chip. This print chip is modular and can be arrayed in various printhead configurations. The PrecisionCore MicroTFP print chip is based on the thin film piezo (TFP) printhead technology that Epson has been using in commercial large-format printers and offers vastly improved basic performance compared to conventional piezo printheads, including faster speed and higher image quality.

PrecisionCore MicroTFP print chip

Powered by thin-film piezoelectric actuators

The thin-film piezoelectric actuators, which act as pumps that fire droplets of ink, are a mere 1 micron thick. PrecisionCore printheads produce images of remarkable quality at high speed by precisely controlling the shape and volume of droplets fired from the nozzles, each of which is capable of firing up to 50,000 droplets per second.

Printing speed was sharply accelerated by increasing the length of the nozzle plate from 1 inch to 1.33 inches, as well as through advances in our ink control and image processing technologies.

Precision Manufacturing and Assembly

PrecisionCore print chips are manufactured in a unique process that combines state-of-the-art MEMS fabrication technology with Epson's inkjet technology. Completed print chips are precision-assembled with other components to produce printheads in configurations that meet the needs of a particular application. Assembly takes place on fully automated assembly lines that capitalize on Epson's robotics systems.

It is no exaggeration to say that the printheads rolling off the line embody the very best technologies and ideas from across Epson.

Micro Piezo printhead manufacturing technology

Expanding Potential

PrecisionCore chips are modular and can be flexibly combined in different ways to build a variety of printheads, from lineheads for industrial presses to serial printheads for desktop printers.

And the technology is still evolving. We are in the process of establishing the basic technology to achieve greater accuracy and higher density nozzle arrays in the future. PrecisionCore promises to be an enduring inkjet technology platform.

Technical Data

For details on PrecisionCore technology, please see these materials.

PrecisionCore PDF (2.48MB)