Inkjet printing solution company Enjet was aiming to apply inkjet technology to battery and semiconductor production, CEO Doyoung Byun said.
The company was also aiming to develop a multi-nozzle to challenge Japan’s dominance in inkjet head, he said in an interview TheElec.
Enjet, which went public last year, touts its electro-hydrodynamic inkjet printing technology. Prior methods of inkjet printing use piezoelectric vibration to push the ink out but EHD uses electric field to do so instead.
Enjet’s method, because it uses forces outside of the nozzle to pull the ink out, can make drops smaller than the size of the nozzle with viscosity in the hundreds of centipoise. In other words, it allows for more precision.
The South Korean printing company’s main revenue sources are currently from demand in the OLED and MicroLED spaces. Enjet’s customers include Samsung Display and Samsung Electronics.
Byun says this won’t be the case after 2025 as it aims to expand the application of inkjet technology to semiconductors, batteries, and pharmaceuticals.
The CEO expects its EHD inkjet printing technology could be applied to the electrode process in battery production next year.
The slot die currently used in the process coats liquids by pushing them out of slit nozzles but this results in defects in part of the film, Byun said.
Applying EHD inkjet printing instead of this could improve uniformity, the CEO said. Enjet has received contact from a potential customer on the matter, he also said.
Byun also believed that coaters, the main equipment used in the electrode process, could be potentially replaced with EHD inkjet printing machines.
Meanwhile, in ion material coating, Enjet was already seeing revenue from the battery sector.
EHD inkjet allowed for precise thin-film coating because the use of an electric field allows for 3D spraying of liquid. This means less liquid is wasted and quality coating can be done, the CEO said. However, he also admitted that demand for ion coating wasn’t high.
Also, in chip production, there was high interest in next-generation packaging, Byun said, which was essentially more stacking and making materials thinner.
This means the dispensing process was becoming more sophisticated; companies are demanding processes with no margin and existing dispensers weren’t up to the task. EHD inkjet printing could meet this demand, the CEO claimed.
Enjet’s ultimate goal was to develop a multi-nozzle like an inkjet head. Fujifilm, Epson, and other Japanese companies had over 90% market share in this area, Byun said. They also dominated components used in these machines, so Enjet successfully developing a multi-nozzle can be “meaningful” to the industry, he said.
Enjet plans to launch an EHD inkjet printing head with 16 nozzles later this year. In two years, the company is aiming to launch a head with 256 nozzles, the CEO said.
The South Korean inkjet company is aiming for a revenue of 44.8 billion won and an operating income of 18.2 billion won this year. In terms of revenue, this will be double that of 2022, and in operating income an increase of 3.4 fold.