MEMS printheads: fact or fiction. MEMJET, reality or wishful thinking? Print

MEMS printheads: fact or fiction. MEMJET, reality or wishful thinking?

First posted September 6, 2011

Three years ago MEMS printheads were labeled as the most incredible technology to reach wide-format printing. But the technology failed, indeed failed so badly that it cost Raster Printers and JETRIX two entire years of potential lost revenue since they had to start all over again with entirely new (non-MEMS heads).

MEMS heads were a significant factor in the final meltdown of L&P printer company. Its little remaining technology was bought at fire sale price by WP Digital (which in turn a year or so later downsized by leaving Spuhl and went to parent company Polytype).

The utter failure of MEMS printheads were a major factor in the total shutdown of the textile printer division of Yuhan Kimberly (Kimberly Clark of Korea). MEMS printheads inability to hold up to actual use out in the real world also was a factor in the demise of the HP Scitex roll to roll printer shown with great bluff at SGIA several years ago. HP subsequently bought NUR because they used non-MEMS heads which actually functioned.

During 2011 MEMS heads are back, via MEMJET of Australia. So the question is whether any, or all, or other issues will hit the reality check. It is as if everyone was deaf to what happened to the first MEMS projects of four MILLION dollar companies.

Most industry specialists have skipped MEMJET totally since it was too many PR releases and not enough actual fact (like Foveon digital sensors several years back; like CrystalJet and the Kodak 5260). But since no one seems to have learned from past failures, FLAAR is issuing a commentary on MEMS reality check. At this level of technology, is logically not a free report, but is reasonably priced and worthwhile reading (it is also entertaining, since how else can you describe a phantom technology).

So what about MEMS printheads? What about MemJet?

During 2012 we will also consider issuing new reports on MEMS printheads in general and on MemJet in particular.