Printhead Technology and Industrial Ink

You might not have heard of the term “printhead” before.

This is because it’s usually just used within the printing industry, so if you’re not familiar with this consumer goods area, then it’s no surprise you haven’t heard of it. Industrial inkjet printers are one of the most critical aspects of a large processing plant that manufactures thousands of consumer goods products every day.

Because there’s a high chance that you purchase some of these products that are made using an industrial inkjet printer, it’s worth learning a bit more about them. There is quite a variety when it comes to the technology itself. This means that the more information you have on each one, the better you’ll understand what role each one plays respectively.

Below is our list of the four primary printheads that you’ll find being used in industrial inkjet technology:

  • Constant Printhead: you might be able to guess how this printhead works by its name. The ink droplets it produces are released on a repetitive, continuous cycle at a consistent rate. So long as the machine is working, it can continue to implement this task perpetually onto any given material. This is done by bursts of air that are timed perfectly to create a rigid pattern, depending on the image the ink is required to make. It is also economical – any ink that misses its target is simply put back into the machine to be used a second time.
  • Drop-on-Demand: this type of printhead uses quite a sophisticated technology to cause the aiming of the ink to be impeccable. This is almost the opposite to a constant printhead, that just releases ink regardless of how often it’s needed. A DOD can determine when the ink is required and only release it accordingly.
  • Thermal Printheads: this type of printhead is a common one, and you’ve probably used it because it’s the type of technology most often found in desktop printers. A bubble of gas is released out of the ink nozzle due to thermal heat. This process means that the printing is done at a high-speed rate. However, the intense work done by this printhead means it burns through ink nozzles at a very high rate. They consequently need to be replaced regularly, so it’s not as economical as its counterparts.
  • Piezo-Electric: this fancy sounding printhead is, in reality just a larger version of a DOD printhead, used in big manufacturing plants for jobs on a much grander scale. This printhead technology is compatible with almost any ink produced for this industry, which makes it versatile, and economical.

While these are the four main printhead technologies currently in use, there are more in the works that are presently being developed for similar purposes. One example is another thermal printhead technology. This will be called Page Wide and will work exclusively with printing greyscale.

Now you know a little bit more about the industrial inkjet industry and what kind of printhead technology they use. Needham Ink is a high quality ink manufacturer.