Kyocera announces new recirculating printhead

Kyocera has formally announced its KJ4B-EX 1200 printhead, the latest in its second generation heads, and which builds on the KJ4B-EX 600 that was released in April 2020.

This Kyocera KJ4B-EX1200 printhead uses the larger integrated actuator complete with recirculation.

This latest head builds on the success of the earlier KJB-1200 but with a large integrated piezo actuator, which has led to improved ink channel design with better reliability and consistency. I’ve already covered this latest generation of Kyocera heads, starting with a presentation by Shin Ishikura, manager of Kyocera’s Inkjet Design Centre, at the 2019 IJC conference and the release of the first of these second generation heads, the 600dpi KJ4B-EX 600

This new KJ4B-EX 1200 head has a number of advantages, including built in recirculation right through the printhead. It includes FPGA nozzle adjustment, which can automatically detect problems such as missing nozzles or variations in drop volume between nozzles and correct these without requiring any input from a RIP.

As a result of the new actuator, the new head is physically bigger than the older model, measuring 200 x 52 x 141.1mm against the KJB-1200’s 200 x 45 x 79.1mm. However, despite being bigger, the new head has a slightly smaller print swathe – 108.27mm – down from 112.42mm. That in turn means slightly fewer nozzles – 5116 – but with the same density of 1200 npi. The jetting frequency is up from 64 to 80kHz and it’s capable of printing at 100mpm whereas the older head maxed out at 80mpm.

However, the older head offered a greater range of drop sizes, from 1.5 to 5pl, whereas the new head produces drop volumes from 1.5 to 2.8pl. So it seems reasonable to assume that Kyocera might introduce a version with larger drop volumes to target a different range of applications and indeed Kyocera told me that “another version is in our R&D pipeline” and that this will be introduced in the near future.

It’s mainly aimed at non-porous or non-absorbable substrates, such as coated offset paper or even plastic film, that require smooth gradation with relatively small drops. This head is compatible with aqueous inks though Kyocera says that it plans to add UV-compatible versions later. Each head has a single colour channel.

Kyocera will continue to sell the older KJ4B-1200 alongside this new KJ4B-EX1200. You can find further details from

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