Micro Piezo 20th Anniversary
20 years ago, Epson embarked on a course that would differentiate it from other printer makers, and give the company unique competing advantages. In March 1993, Epson introduced the very first printer to bear its proprietary “Micro Piezo” inkjet technology that had been developed over the first three years of the 90s.
Micro Piezo is a high performance inkjet printing technology that uses piezoelectric materials which bend precisely when charged with varying electric currents to propel precise amounts of ink out of the print head. Today, Epson is 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.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the technology, Epson has launched its latest L-Series Ink Tank System Printers. Boasting unique benefits that have been made possible by the Micro Piezo technology, the L-series ink tank system printers effectively demonstrates how far the technology has developed through the years.
The Birth of Micro Piezo Technology
In the 70s and early 80s, Epson was already the leader in the impact dot-matrix printer market. Committed to its vision of exceeding the expectations of its customers with exciting new technologies, Epson had already begun to work 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.
Today, Epson’s Micro Piezo printers enjoy the following three significant advantages over thermal inkjet printers :
- Improved printing quality and precision due to their ability to eject ink droplets in varying sizes
- Lower operating temperature that makes them more power efficient and allows them to use a wider range of inks, and on a wider range of media
- Higher reliability that allows Epson to build its print heads into its printers, instead of cartridges. This makes the cartridges cheaper to produce, more affordable to buy, and easier to recycle. This high reliability also enables Epson to make ink tank system printers that offer incredibly high volume printing and which can be simply refilled by ink bottles
These give Epson unique advantages and growth opportunities in the field of printing, allowing it to expand into newer industries and cater to different markets.
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