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World Leading Technology Innovations

OKI has a long list of pioneering industry firsts in the EMEA region, developed through the power of its innovation over the last 30 years. 
 
From the first LED printers of 1989, the company has constantly broken new ground, introducing the world’s first A4 colour multifunction printer in 2005 and the world’s first digital LED white toner printers in 2012. 
 
A year later, we set another industry benchmark, with the unveiling of the ES9541 – the industry’s first digital LED 5 colour A3 printer.
 
In A4 digital colour printing, OKI's breakthrough printer innovation has removed the last barrier to creativity and design - how to print in any colour desired including white, simply and cost-effectively.
 
The history of OKI in EMEA is one of incessant innovation and pioneering technology, always designed to deliver maximum gains to the customer.  
 
And at the heart of our innovations is OKI’s pioneering approach with LED technology.

What is LED

LED, or light-emitting diode, is a type of semiconductor element that gives off light and has been used by OKI with within printers over the last three decades.


Yet it seems that it is only now being ‘discovered’ by a number of leading-edge industries such as automotive, laptop and contemporary lighting design and manufacture. 


For manufacturers in these sectors, LED has now been rightly recognised as a highly innovative technology offering them and their customers enhanced performance in such areas as cost-control, quality and environmental impact.


OKI launched its first generation digital LED-based printers as long ago as 1989 and has continued to refine and improve the technology ever since making it the constant frontrunner in LED technology development.

What Benefits does LED Offer?

In addition to the performance gains offered by LED technology, there is no doubt that its establishment as a credible, mainstream alternative to laser-based print technologies, is due to its ability to meet the unprecedented demand for solutions which can deliver proven return on investment in tough economic times.
 
This is especially evident in the small to medium business (SMB) marketplace, in which companies are looking to compete with larger competitors with bigger budgets in ever-more aggressive markets.
 
LED printers are characterised by offering high-speed, high image-quality printing in a simple structure which is simply not possible with laser printers.
 
Laser printers have a single laser beam as a light source that is divided by mirrors to send light to the image drum, so the internal structure is complex and the actual printer body is often large as well. 
 
Compared to this, LED printers send light directly to the image drum, so they can be designed without mirrors and offer a shorter distance to the image drum, which reduces the size of the printer body. 
 
In addition, the simple internal structure in turn simplifies maintenance.

View video showcasing OKI's 3rd generation, digital LED printer technology >

Structure of LED Print Heads

Structure of LED Print Heads

LED print heads have multiple LEDs arranged in a straight line, and they turn on and off depending on the print signal.


OKI has developed a device (epifilm LED array) that integrates the LEDs with the IC that drives them using epifilm bonding (EFB) technology, and this is used in our LED print heads.


OKI’s LED print heads are made up of a chip-on-board (COB) that mounts multiple epifilm LED arrays on a circuit board for the print width, whether A4, A3, etc., and a rod lens array that produces images on the image drum from the light emitted by the LEDs.


For example, a 600 dpi (dot per inch) A4-size print head has 4,992 dot LEDs arranged in a straight line that each emit light and turn off, depending on the print data, to write the latent image on the image drum.

What is Epifilm Bonding Technology?

This technology bonds a thin-film semiconductor material with a different material by applying proprietary nano-manufacturing technology to bond the materials using intermolecular force at room temperature rather than adhesives.


This has enabled a new device that integrates the light-emitting device and drive circuit to be mass-produced for the first time in the world, and this has made it possible to commercialise compact LED print-heads at high rates of productivity.

Epifilm Bonding Technology

Key Innovations driven by Digital LED Technology

High Definition Colour

LED technology is the technological enabler behind OKI’s remarkable High Definition Colour.
 
High Definition Colour makes it easy to achieve outstanding results through OKI’s unique collection of market-defining hardware and software technologies. 
 
High Definition Colour comprises four elements. Besides the ground-breaking LED print-head, microfine high-definition toner ensures documents are sharper, crisper and glossier than alternatives, even on ordinary office paper.

Unrivalled Media Flexibility

These two technologies are used in combination with the single-pass flat paper path, which offers best-in-class print speed, and unrivalled media handling capability from heavy card to long banners up to 1.2m in length. 
 
Finally, the deployment of a printer control system constantly checks alignment, registration and colour balance, making printing as simple as it should be, to ensure high definition colour every time. 

Printing in White

Again thanks to OKI’s ground-breaking digital LED technology, in-house printing using White Toner alongside High Definition colour on a wide range of media is made possible.  


Previously, printing in white has been an expensive, time consuming task that is often handled by larger print houses, however, OKI’s White Toner innovation removes the last barrier to creativity and enables graphics businesses to print in any colour, including white, on a range of media, simply and cost effectively. 

Printing in CMYK + 1

Most recently and again enabled by our unique digital LED printing technology, OKI has taken graphic arts printing one step further with the launch of the award winning ES9541 / Pro 9541 – the first of its kind to allow on-demand printing in the full range of process colours with the addition of a fifth spot colour in either white or clear gloss.
 
A true breakthrough in printing technology for the creative and graphics industries, the ES9541 / Pro 9541 enable enable in-house printing on a wide range of media, with a new vibrancy of colours, and the option of printing white or a clear gloss finish - a process which previously could only be achieved through the use of expensive digital or lithographic printing equipment. 

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