UV printer head price anatomy analysis

Table Of Contents

In fact, buying a UV printer now is a bit like assembling a computer, so the current UV printer is also commonly called a UV assembly machine, because the most important core hardware is the head, and the head manufacturing technology is completely in the hands of the Japanese and is limited. As for the head, all factories in China that manufacture printers (note: not just UV printers, but all printers with different shapes and properties) are developed around the head, so if someone tells you that the head is made by themselves or Those who are directly researched and developed are either new to the industry or are simply trying to deceive you.

First, let’s talk about the mainstream heads suitable for UV printers.

Price and type of heads:

Epson series:

1. F1080 model: 

The head is between 175 and 215 US dollars, the life span is between half a year and 10 months, and 1080 nozzles, and six channels, mostly used in small and medium-sized UV printers, DTF equipment, crystal marking machines, because the F1080 head is Basic-level heads are cheap and have average durability. The ink drop volume is above 4PL. The ink drop holes are relatively small and the accuracy is high. However, it is also easier to block the head and the printing speed is slower.

Generally, the whole machine will be equipped with two heads, one head is responsible for printing white and one head is responsible for printing color, or one head is responsible for printing white and varnish, and one head is responsible for printing color. Because there are six channels, it is also possible to print white and color with a single head.

If you want to try it out first, with a small output and higher accuracy requirements, you can consider using this head.

F1080 model
F1080 model

2. Epson i1600-U model: 

The price of a head is about 715-800 US dollars, with 1600 nozzles and four channels. It is Epson’s most cost-effective head. The lifespan is between 1.5-2 years, and the inkjet holes are 5PL. The advantage of the precision level is that the head is affordable and can print micro-high sprays. The product height can be printed within 10mm, which is second only to the 15mm printing height of the G5i. Mostly used in medium and large uv printers and high-speed round bottle machines.

Generally, the whole machine is equipped with three heads, one white, one color, and one varnish. If you don’t want varnish, just use two heads. The combination is relatively simple.

If you have requirements for quality and product gap, you can choose this head.

i1600-U model head
i1600-U model

3. Epson i3200-U model: 

A printhead costs between 1100-1200 US dollars, with 3200 nozzles, four channels, 5PL ink drop volume, and a lifespan of 1.5-2 years. It is a mainstream printhead used by Epson and has high-cost performance. The year-on-year number of head holes and ink drop holes are significantly better than those of the same level of heads. The i3200 head is benchmarked against Kyocera’s KA4A-RH model, so many manufacturers are gradually replacing the i3200 model. It not only prints quickly but also maintains high-precision printing. Mostly used in large UV flatbed printers, one-pass equipment, unmanned self-service printers, etc.

Generally, the whole machine is equipped with three heads, one white, one color, and one varnish. If you don’t want varnish, use two heads. The matching method is the same as that of i1600.

If you have requirements for quality and printing speed, you can choose this head.

Epson i3200-U model head
Epson i3200-U model

4. Epson S3200-U model: 

A print head costs between US$2,250-2,560, with 3,200 nozzles, four channels, an ink drop volume of 8PL, and a lifespan of 2-3 years. The current direction of use of this print head is not stable. The supporting motherboards and inks in China are not perfect, and not many people use them, but it is foreseeable that the direction of use is OnePass.

There is currently no data on the feedback and use of this head in the market, the usage is too small, and the manufacturer is still in the research stage.

Epson S3200-U model head
Epson S3200-U model

5. Epson T3200-U model: 

A print head is expected to cost between 2,900 and 3,600 US dollars. It has 3,200 nozzles, four channels, an ink drop volume of 8PL, and a lifespan of 2-3 years. This print head is the same as the S3200 and is currently used. The direction is still unstable. The domestic supporting motherboard and ink are also imperfect, and not many people use it. The direction of use replaces the traditional UV printer head and one-pass direction.

There is currently no data on the feedback and use of this head in the market, the usage is too small, and the manufacturer is still in the research stage.

Epson T3200-U model
Epson T3200-U model

Ricoh series:

1. GH2220 model: 

A head costs between 260 and 360 US dollars, with 384 nozzles, two channels, ink drop volume 3PL, and a lifespan of between half a year and a year. It is Ricoh’s most refined head, but it is also easier to block the head. , sensitive to temperature and ink fluency. Its biggest advantage is that it can print at high heights and high resolutions, with strong jetting power. The speed is the same as Epson F1080, but slower. Mostly used in small UV printers and high-speed round bottle machines.

Generally, the whole machine needs to be equipped with at least 4-8 heads, one head and one color. If you need to configure white varnish, you need 8 heads, 2 white heads, four color heads, and 2 varnish heads. You can also have 1 white head, 4 colored heads, and a varnished head. There are relatively few heads, and usually, two white heads are equipped. The ink volume of a single white head is not enough to cover the black background material.

It is used for groups that are precise but do not require speed. There are many heads and complicated maintenance. You need to be careful when using this type of head.

GH2220 model head
GH2220 model

2. G5i model: 

A head costs between 800 and 2,000 US dollars, with 1,280 nozzles, four channels, ink drop volume 3PL, and a lifespan of between half a year and a year. It is a Ricoh head with a relatively high spray frequency, and it is also easier to block the head. , most of the manufacturers use it to increase the waveform and voltage of this head, so that it can print high-drop products. The maximum drop can be within 15mm. It is very sensitive to temperature and ink smoothness, and the internal temperature cycle of the machine is not easy to do. Due to ink breakage and ink dripping, the price of printheads fluctuates greatly, rising from US$800 to US$2,600 in 2022. Many manufacturers and end users gradually abandon this printhead. Mostly used in medium-sized UV printers and high-speed round bottle machines.

Generally, the whole machine needs to be equipped with 3 heads, with a single head and four colors. If you need to configure white varnish, you will need 3 heads, 1 white head, 1 color head, and 1 varnish head.

G5i model head
G5i model

3. GEN5 model: 

A printhead costs between 1,600 and 3,200 US dollars, with 1,280 nozzles, two channels, an ink drop volume of 7PL, and a lifespan of between one and a year and a half. It is a printhead that Ricoh used more in the early stage because it is a Steel structure. Before 2018, this head was the mainstream configuration. However, after the G6 head and Epson i3200 came out, the cost performance, accuracy, and speed of this head could not keep up. Currently, the second-hand market and customers who purchased UV printers in the early stage still have them in use. It is a relatively stable mass-produced head and is mostly used in large-scale UV printers and OnePass solution equipment.

Generally, the whole machine needs to be equipped with 4 heads, one head, and two colors. If you need to configure white varnish, you need 4 heads, 1 white head, 2 color heads (CM, YK), 1 varnish head, and so on…

GEN5 model head
GEN5 model

4. GEN6 model: 

A print head costs between 1,900 and 2,200 US dollars, with 1,280 nozzles, two channels, an ink drop volume of 5PL, and a lifespan of between one and a year and a half. It is a rising star print head of Ricoh. It has a steel structure and was released in 2018. Since then, this head has become a mainstream configuration. It can print micro-height prints within 8mm, and its accuracy and speed are 30% better than the G5 head. Currently, Ricoh mainly promotes this head in the market. It is a relatively stable mass-produced head and is mostly used in large-scale UV printer equipment.

Generally, the whole machine needs to be equipped with 4 heads, one head, and two colors. If you need to configure white varnish, you need 4 heads, 1 white head, 2 color heads (CM, YK), 1 varnish head, and so on…

GEN6 model head
GEN6 model

Kyocera series:

1. KA4A-TA model

      KA4A-AA model:

      KA4A-RH model:

These three model series all have 600DPI accuracy and different application scenarios. The price of the head is between 2200-4100 US dollars. The number of nozzles is 2656 and two channels. The number of heads is second only to the Epson i3200 series. But it is better than the length of the head. The width of one sweep is 60mm-108.25mm. It is very fast and has high precision. There are relatively few manufacturers that can make this type of head. They are mostly used in large UV printers, large inkjet printers, one-pass equipment, large label machines, etc. Printing machines and so on.

Generally, the whole machine needs to be equipped with 4 heads, one head, and two colors. If you need to configure white varnish, you will need 4 heads, 1 white head, 2 color heads (CM, YK), and 1 varnish head.

KA4A-TA model head
KA4A-AA model head
KA4A-RH model head
KA4A-TA model 
KA4A-AA model
KA4A-RH model

2. KA4A-0300 model: 

All parameters are the same as the previous three models. The only difference is that this head has a resolution of 300DPI and a length of 112.35mm. It is suitable for OnePass solution equipment. Mostly used in one-pass equipment, large label machines, printing machines, etc.

Generally, the whole machine needs to be equipped with 4 heads, one head, and two colors. If you need to configure white varnish, you will need 4 heads, 1 white head, 2 color heads (CM, YK), and 1 varnish head. The onepass solution can even be equipped with more than 100 heads.

KA4A-0300 model head
KA4A-0300 model

The above is an analysis and comparison of the heads of three mainstream brands of UV printers. Before buying a machine, you must first consider the heads that meet your own requirements, and then choose the machine model. Failure to select the right sprinkler head will only increase maintenance costs and purchase pressure.

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