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.
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.
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.
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.