Memjet CEO Lauer Talks Strategy as Debut Approaches for “Disruptive” Inkjet Technology

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company has obtained about 3,000 U.S. patents, with another 2,000 patents pending. Memjet’s core technology was developed at Silverbrook Research, founded in Sidney, Australia, by Kia Silverbrook, a onetime Canon R&D director in Australia, who has spent decades expanding Memjet’s patent portfolio.

So how does the Memjet printer work differently than the classic inkjet? Unlike an inkjet printer head that moves sideways across the page, Memjet’s print head is fixed. It extends all the way across the page—it’s 8.66 inches wide—so it lays down an entire line of ink as the paper advances. Each Memjet printhead consists of 70,000 inkjet nozzles (in contrast to the 1,500 to 2,000 nozzles in a conventional inkjet print head) and prints in five colors at 1,600 by 1,600 dots per inch (DPI), Lauer says.

Each Memjet nozzle is less than 100 microns wide (roughly the width of human hair) and uses micro-electro-mechanical technology (the MEM in Memjet) to spew 1.2-picoliter droplets of ink at a rate of 900 million per second, Lauer says. The nozzles are made out of silicon in a semiconductor factory and operated by Memjet’s proprietary, “systems on a chip” print engine controller electronics, firmware, and software.

Funding for Memjet’s extensive intellectual property protections, global workforce, and other operations has come primarily from one investor, whom Lauer declined to identify. “Our main investor came in about five or six years ago,” he says. “It’s an individual with a lot of money, someone whose name I’m sure you’d recognize, who came in as a private equity investor,” which has been reported to be Argonaut Private Equity of Tulsa, OK.

Apart from operating far more efficiently than commercial batch printers, Lauer says the genius of Memjet’s technology lies in its capability to customize labels and other print jobs “so maybe a Heinz ketchup label could have regional customization” for the San Diego Chargers or Padres. As Lauer puts it, “We’re ready to go, and fairly excited about it.”

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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7 responses to “Memjet CEO Lauer Talks Strategy as Debut Approaches for “Disruptive” Inkjet Technology”

  1. Adam Haigh says:

    I first heard of Memjet back in January and have been impressed with them ever since. I had the chance to interview their VP of Marketing Ms. Kim Beswick back in March and gain some insight. Here’s a link to my interview:

    http://www.castleink.com/_a-memjet-beswick-interview.html

  2. Cherry Xu says:

    Great article. Do you think you can share interviews with Memjet with our magazine Recycling Times from now on?

  3. dimitrios moustakas says:

    hello.my name is dimitrios moustakas from greece sity thessaloniki.I would like to buy memjet photo printer.Can you tell me please where i find in greece or in europa?best regards

  4. Memjet says:

    Hello Dimitrios,

    We expect to announce our first partners for the photo market in the second half of this year.

    Many thanks

  5. Daniel says:

    When will memjet become public? U want shares! Lots of them!