KYOCERA Develops World's Smallest Thermal Printhead for Barcode Printing

KYOTO, Japan--()--Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) announced that it has developed the world’s smallest*1 flat-type thermal printhead for barcode printers. The new KMS Series consumes 20 percent less power*2 and is available for order this month.

The new compact printhead structure is 40 percent smaller compared with conventional products, with a design to reduce resistance loss helping to save power. Through these advantages, the new KMS Series contributes to a compact design and the improved energy efficiency of portable printers.


Product Overview

Model   KMS Series Thermal Printhead
Application   Portable printers for barcode printing
Production Facilities  

Front-end process in Kagoshima Hayato Plant (Japan)
Back-end process in Nagano Okaya Plant (Japan)

Start of Production   July 2016 (upon request)
Production Target   350,000 units/year

Development Background

Demand for portable printers for barcode shipping labels has expanded as logistic facilities such as warehouses and distribution centers’ volumes have increased globally, not only in developed economies but also in emerging Asian countries. With the need for compact sizes and a reduction in power consumption — since most printers in these facilities use portable batteries — there is an increasing demand for smaller, more energy-efficient printheads for use in next generation printers.

Product Features

1. World’s smallest printhead for portable printers

In previous models, the driver IC was mounted on the ceramic substrate in the conventional structure. In the new design of the KMS Series, it is mounted on the circuit substrate. By changing the attachment method of the substrate and driver IC to wire bonding, the new product features a smaller depth of 9.9mm, reduced by approximately 40 percent from 16.3mm in conventional models. The new product yields the world’s smallest size among thin-film flat-type printheads, contributing to a smaller footprint and weight reduction of portable printers.

2. Contributes to energy saving

Because portable printers utilize batteries for operation, there is a need for better energy performance to reduce power consumption. By utilizing its technologies which have been cultivated over the years, Kyocera optimized the wiring layout to reduce resistance loss and improve the thermal efficiency of the heating element, thus reducing power consumption by up to 20 percent. With its enhanced thermal efficiency, the KMS Series improves the energy performance of portable printers contributing to longer battery life and higher work efficiency in label printing.

*1 World’s smallest size among flat-type thermal printheads for barcode printers. Based on research by Kyocera (as of June 1, 2016).
*2 When compared to Kyocera’s conventional thermal printheads with similar functions.

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Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) (, the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”). By combining these engineered materials with metals and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of electronic components, printers, copiers, solar power generating systems, mobile phones, semiconductor packages, cutting tools and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2016, the company’s net sales totaled 1.48 trillion yen (approx. USD13.1 billion). Kyocera appears on the 2014 and 2015 listings of the “Top 100 Global Innovators” by Thomson Reuters, and is ranked #531 on Forbes magazine’s 2016 “Global 2000” listing of the world’s largest publicly traded companies.


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