Ricoh introduces TH6310F thin film printhead

New flagship for Ricoh’s industrial inkjet printheads for textile & packaging

499
Ricoh TH6310F print head
Ricoh’s latest printhead, the TH6310F, uses a Silicon MEMs actuator and is designed for single pass applications such as textiles and packaging Photo Ricoh

Ricoh has announced a new thin film piezo-electric printhead, the TH6310F, which is described in the press release as “the flagship model amongst Ricoh’s family of industrial inkjet printheads.” It’s mainly designed for use in single pass packaging and textile printers, as well as high end scanning printers that use a large number of heads. Ricoh has adopted a Z-shape for this head, which should make it easier to slot the heads together to complete a print bar. It’s 104.6mm wide, with a 44.9mm depth and 104mm high. It can produce a print width of 66.7mm.

The head has 1600 nozzles in total, split across two modules in a staggered configuration. Each module has eight rows of nozzles, with 100 nozzles per row, giving a resolution of 75npi each or 600npi run total. Ricoh says that the nozzles have been arranged to minimize the level of turbulence in the air that’s normally created by the rapid ejection of ink, so that the ink drops can fall in a more predictable manner to the substrate surface. This in turn allows for a reasonably wide throw distance of 4mm and should prevent the dreaded woodgrain effect, where the drops fall according to the pattern of the air flow around the nozzle plate.

It has a firing frequency of 80kHz in binary mode with a 5pl drop size, or 40kHz in greyscale, with four multi-drop levels for 0, 5, 10 and 18pl, though Ricoh cautions that the drop sizes do depend on the type of ink used. There’s also an intermediate option of 60kHz for three levels. As such, this head should be capable of producing 600dpi at a speed of 100mpm.

According to the press release, it’s suitable for use with UV, solvent and aqueous but I understand that it will also work with oil-based inks. It has a built-in heater unit but can only cope with a relatively low 5.5 mPa•s viscosity, which is less than Ricoh’s bulk piezo printheads can handle.

The head has a single channel but is designed for full recirculation right past the back of the nozzle plate. This is essential for reliable high speed single pass printers, particularly in the textile market, in order to prevent the risk of nozzles being blocked.

I think it’s worth noting that this printhead has been a long time coming with Ricoh having shown a Z-shaped printhead for single pass use as a concept back at Fespa 2018. Graham Kennedy, head of Ricoh Europe’s commercial inkjet business, told me, “It’s been through a lot of iterations to make sure that it meets the demand in the market.” He added, “We are confident that this will be the fastest, most reliable printhead in the market.”

The new TH6310F is Ricoh’s second head with a MEMs actuator, following the TH5241 head that was announced last year. But where the existing model built on the Xaar 1201 head, Ricoh assures me that this new printhead is not related to Xaar’s 5601 despite the similar Z-shape and Ricoh’s previous collaboration with Xaar. Clearly, given the level of investment required to develop MEMs actuators, we will see more thin film heads from Ricoh.

Several OEMs have been evaluating this printhead and it should be generally available worldwide later this month. In the meantime, you can find further details on the TH6310F printhead from industry.ricoh.com.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here