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Kyocera Launches Improved KC-50 Series Protective Overcoat for Thermal Printheads

Published on 2011-10-05. Author : SpecialChem

Kyocera Corporation announced its new KC-50 Series protective overcoat for thermal printheads - an innovation that improves corrosion resistance by six times while also offering increased energy efficiency and higher print quality. Many flat-type thermal printheads manufactured by Kyocera will soon be available with the KC-50 Series protective overcoat.

The worldwide market is expanding for thermal-type printers. Their advantages include silent, maintenance-free operation; high-speed, high-quality print; excellent durability; and no need for ink or toner. Because of these qualities, thermal printers are widely used to generate receipts, tickets, merchandise labels, ID cards and many other essential printed items.

Additionally, because thermal printers are widely used in outdoor equipment and industrial environments, their excellent durability is a key feature. The KC-50 Series protective overcoat takes this durability to a new level by offering increased resistance to corrosion caused by outdoor conditions or industrial environments. The new protective overcoat significantly improves corrosion resistance through Kyocera's proprietary sealing materials and deposition technology, while improving both energy efficiency and print quality.

Development Background

Thermal printing equipment is widely used to create bar code labels, mainly in commodity management, and Point of Sale (POS) transaction receipts. Consequently, thermal printers are often used in harsh environments including outdoor ATMs and gas stations, which are exposed to year-round temperature and humidity fluctuations; food-processing plants and kitchens, where food products or sanitizing agents may cause corrosion; and in coastal areas where saltwater, humidity and condensation are pervasive. Demand has therefore grown for thermal printers that offer strong corrosion resistance, as well as high-speed, high-quality print, in these environments.

Main Features

1.) Thermal printheads incorporating Kyocera's new KC-50 Series protective overcoat have been shown to possess six times greater corrosion resistance than conventional products, resulting in increased longevity of the printing device with higher-quality print than ever before.

2.) Because the protective overcoat layer is approximately 15 percent thinner than conventional overcoats, the distance between the heat source and print media is shortened, which reduces heat requirements and increases energy efficiency. The improved heat transfer also increases print accuracy by one symbol grade*3, even at high print speeds, resulting in higher-quality print.

The new protective overcoat embodies Kyocera's proprietary thin-film technologies and materials - including formation, photo-lithography and surface treatments. It offers the following features:

1. Six times greater corrosion resistance

Test results show that it takes six times longer for the KC-50 Series protective overcoat printhead to reach the same level of corrosion as the conventional product. In other words, the KC-50 series offers 600 percent greater corrosion resistance than Kyocera's conventional thermal printhead.

2. Improved energy efficiency

Because the protective film is 15 percent thinner, the distance between the heat source and print media is shortened, thus improving heat transfer. This results in a more direct application of heat to media, increasing energy efficiency while maintaining high-speed, high-quality print.

3. Improved bar code print quality

The reduced distance between heat source and print media brings another benefit: improved print quality. Although bar code print quality usually decreases as print speed rises, this product delivers print quality one grade higher than conventional products, even at increased speeds.

About Kyocera Corporation

Kyocera Corporation is a multinational manufacturer based in Kyoto, Japan. It was founded as Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. in 1959 by Kazuo Inamori and renamed in 1982. The company has diversified its founding technology in ceramic materials through internal development as well as strategic mergers and acquisitions. It manufactures industrial ceramics, solar power generating systems, telecommunications equipment, office document imaging equipment, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools, and components for medical and dental implant systems.

Source: Kyocera Corporation

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