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1200 dpi Dual Print Head Technology

Accurate dot positioning for high-definition images with a small dot gain, enabling printing on offset coated paper

image: Accurate dot positioning for high-definition images with a small dot gain, enabling printing on offset coated paper

The RICOH Pro VC60000, a high-speed continuous feed inkjet (IJ) printing system, prints high-quality images at high speed on offset coated paper, which does not absorb aquatic inks well. Conventional continuous feed IJ printers were not capable of printing on such paper. The RICOH Pro VC60000 consists of four functional units: undercoating, printing, protector coating, and drying.

Undercoating unit: Applies an undercoating agent to prevent ink unevenness and abrasion.
Printing unit: Forms images by discharging quick-drying pigment inks onto the paper.
Protector coating unit: Applies protector coating agent to protect the printed surface.
Drying unit: Dries and fuses the supplies including the inks by way of a heater.

The following description refers to the 1200 dpi dual print head technology used in a printing unit.

  • *1 A large dot gain makes a dot fat. The dots comprising the printed image (printed matter) become fatter than those of the actual data (printing plate)

Background

In the past, multiple IJ heads were arranged in a line for high-density mounting of nozzles along the width of the sheet (in-line heads). Printed images sometimes had discontinuity at the joint between the heads, resulting in unevenness.

Solution

Ricoh's original head technology, bi-pitch laminated piezo actuator, has enabled precise, stable control of discharge from an IJ head. The technology is suitable for in-line arrangement, and is effective for improving the unevenness resulting from the discontinuity of an image at the joint between the heads.

Technical highlights

The bi-pitch laminated piezo actuator is installed in a stainless-steel head, developed in-house. It enables precise, stable control of ink discharge, even when the viscosity is high.
In the RICOH Pro VC60000, two 600 dpi heads are combined to comprise a 1200 dpi print head module. Two print heads, shifted by half the dot pitch, are installed in a single housing. The head module is capable of printing at 1200 dpi in a single pass.

image: 1200 dpi print head module
1200 dpi print head module

image: 1200 dpi print head (nozzle side)
1200 dpi print head (nozzle side)

For each color, the print head station consists of ten 1200 dpi print head modules arranged in a line. Two-inch print heads are staggered along the nozzle array to enable printing on sheets up to 20.5 inches wide.

image: Print head layout
Print head layout

Ricoh's original head technology is featured in stainless-steel heads, which are arranged in a line. This configuration improves the unevenness in an image at a joint between the heads, enabling a wide range of printing schemes from fast printing to high-quality printing.

Technology categories: Field – "Printing" | Product – "Production printer"