Which Printhead is better for UV Industrial Printer? (Ricoh, Kyocera, Konica, Seiko, Toshiba)

With so many dazzling brands and models printhead boasting various capabilities, many clients feel confused and difficult to choose, especially for those who just start/ begin UV industrial printing business. The following are currently common-used: Ricoh, Kyocera, Konica, Seiko, Toshiba printhead. they are all industry-class head for UV printers. Learn more about their specifications&difference and decide which one suited for you.

Brand Ricoh Konica Kyocera Seiko Toshiba
Model Gen5 GH 2220 KM 512 KM 512i KM 1024i KJ4A Series SPT 1020 CE4
Nozzle Number 1280 384 512 512 1024 2656 1020 636
Effective Printing Width 54 mm 32.4 mm 36.1 mm 36.1 mm 72 mm 108.25 mm 71.9 mm 53.7 mm
Weight 155 g 26 g 95 g 95 g 150 g 420 g / 174 g
Ink Droplet 7-35 pl 3-21 pl 42 pl 30 pl 13 pl 6-14 pl 35 pl 5-35 pl
Max Number of Ink Colors (1 pc) 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Lifespan 3-5 years 2-3 years 2-2.5 years 2 years 2 years 2 years 2-3 years 1-1.5 years
Compatible Ink Type UV / Solvent / Water-based ink Solvent / UV / Oil-based / Water-based ink UV ink UV / Solvent / Oil-based ink UV / Solvent ink
The First UV Printer Time to Market 2012 2015 2014 2017 2013 2016

Ricoh: The Mainstream and Mature Industrial Printhead for UV Printers

Ricoh Gen5 Printhead:  The first choice of embossing effect printing

  • Spec: 1280 nozzles, 7-35pl variable droplet, 3-5 years service life, 2 colors for 1 head, compatible with UV/ solvent/ water-based ink.
  • Pros: High stability and longevity. Suited for embossing effect printing.
  • Cons: A little expensive, specifically for the high-end market.
  • Summary: The first Ricoh Gen5 UV printer was introduced in 2012, after years of continuous improvement based on the actual usage, the technology is quite mature. And the printing effect is relatively sharp among industrial printhead. “zero risks, plenty of benefits”. It’s the most recognized and widely-used printhead in UV industrial printing market.

GH2220 High cost-effective head, better than Epson

  • Spec: 384 nozzles, 3-21pl variable droplet, 2-3 years service life, 1 color for 1 head, compatible with UV/ solvent/ water-based ink.
  • GH2220 is one kind of small Ricoh industrial head with a better cost-performance ratio, specifically designed for UV printing. Over strict tests and feedback, it’s recognized better than Epson printhead in precision and longevity, suited for clients demand for quality printing.
  • Compared to another Ricoh widely-used Gen5 printhead, GH2220 is in a weak position, half that speed, and lifespan is 2-3 years. But you will get more than you pay for.

Kyocera KJ4A series: Expensive and not mature

  • Spec: 2656 nozzles, 6-14pl ink droplet, 2 years lifespan, 1 color for 1 head, compatible with UV ink.
  • Kyocera printhead is mainly used in textile printing market. For UV printing market, its technology is not mature. Although it performs well in precision and speed, the head itself is expensive, as well as 1 color for 1 head, many clients can not afford both startup cost and maintenance cost. By contrast, Ricoh printhead is more cost-effective, flexible and affordable in the same grade.

Seiko SPT 1020: Low precision can not satisfy many customers.

  • Spec: 1020 nozzles, 35 pl droplet size, 2-3 years lifespan, 1 color for 1 head, compatible with solvent/ UV/ oil-based ink.
  • Seiko printhead earlier emergence from the industrial head, customers have no choice. But currently, with many brands and models, Seiko printhead is already probably in a recession. It’s equal to Konica head in a large droplet, in a result of the low resolution, already could not meet most users’ requirements.

Konica Printhead: low resolution, mainly utilized in solvent printers.

  • Konica KM512i: 30pl  KM512: 42pl   KM1024i: 13pl
  • Konica and Seiko printhead has common in large droplet size. Facing the same low precision trouble, the market share has already decreased. Today, it’s mainly used in solvent printers.

Toshiba CE4: It is phased out.

  • Spec: 636 nozzles, 5-35pl variable droplet, 1-1.5 years service life, 1 color for 1 head, compatible with UV/ solvent ink.
  • Toshiba CE4 head once was popular in 2016 and 2017 with the advantage of 2-year warranty. But now, most of those users are transformed into Ricoh and Epson printhead supporter. Not bad, but no remarkable superiority. In comparison, Ricoh printhead performs better in speed, stability and maturity. There is no much difference in price.


OnePrint Ricoh Gen5 Series UV Printers

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