Renowned worldwide for their high quality output, Epson printers include a number of original technologies that separate them from the competition.
The most significant difference is the print head, which is the key component at the heart of the inkjet printer. Epson is unique among major printer manufacturers in using Micro Piezo print heads that use piezo elements to emit ink. This unique Epson technology is unlike competitors' thermal-type print heads that heat ink in order to generate bubbles and fire it onto the paper. In Epson printers, an electric signal is sent to the piezo elements placed above each nozzle on the print head, and ink droplets are fired according to the force generated by the change in shape of these elements. This technology allows precise control of the piezo elements, which in turn means precise control of ink droplet size - and fantastic print quality.
When the ink is fired from the nozzles on an Epson Micro Piezo print head, new ink is supplied to the head from the ink cartridge. Supplying ink to the print head is fundamental to how the printer works, and it is important to prevent air bubbles from entering the print head. If air bubbles enter the print head, the pressure exerted by the piezo head to pull the ink is absorbed by the air bubble and is not transmitted to the ink reservoir in the cartridge. Air bubbles can enter the head if the cartridge runs dry, so it is essential to keep an amount of ink in the print head at all times to prevent this happening. The effect of a printer firing ink that includes air bubbles is deterioration in print quality, and - if continued - damage to the print head.
To maintain the print quality, software inside the printer records information on ink levels. When the ink level is lower than the specified ink consumption, notification is provided to the user through the printer driver. Because the type of image printed and the printing environment (for example, temperature and humidity), actual ink consumption varies by user.
To allow for these varied usage conditions, Epson leaves a certain amount of ink in the cartridge to ensure that the print head does not run dry. The amount of remaining ink is calculated with a safety margin to ensure that users can be assured of the utmost print quality, whatever the printing environment.
With a series of world firsts, Epson continues to lead the way in inkjet printer technology for both home and professional users.