Next-generation toner with low environmental impact both in production and in use
Konica Minolta's polymerized toner is called “Simitri toner.” (Polymerization is one method of toner production.) Compared to a conventional pulverized toner, Simitri toner has higher environmental performance. It is a next-generation toner with less environmental impact during both the production process and use by the consumer.
Environmentally Sound Production Technology
Production process of pulverized toner (conventional toner)
In the conventional pulverizing method, as its name suggests, the toner is produced by the creation, then pulverization of a lump of ingredients.
Toner particles are produced when plastic materials are heated to melting point and are then cooled down, hit against a wall and crushed by a strong air current.
Due to the complex production process mentioned above, pulverized toner has low energy efficiency. Moreover, if the particles are pulverized into a size that does not meet the requirements the production yield will deteriorate.
Production process of Simitri toner
On the other hand, in the polymerization method which is used to produce Simitri toner, minute resin particles are combined with color pigments in a chemical reaction to produce toner particles.
Since the toner particles are produced by combining resin particles and color pigments, the polymerization method can produce smaller and more uniformly shaped toner particles as compared with the pulverized method, which uses a crushing process. The polymerization method thus enables us to obtain precise and beautiful image quality.
Simitri toner, which requires no processes from hardening to pulverization, is produced using a simple production process. Additionally, uniformly shaped particles do not need to be inspected for size after production. Accordingly, the energy used for the production process can be substantially reduced.
Compared with the pulverizing method, the polymerization method has achieved an approximate 40% reduction in CO2, which contributes to global warming.
Environmental Technology with Less Impact at Time of Use
Fine and uniform toner particles also help reduce environmental impact when used by consumers
Simitri toner, with its fine and uniform particles, is also effective in reducing environmental impact when the toner is used by consumers.
Firstly, the small particle size toner allows for a reduction in toner consumption. If a toner of 8 µm, which is a standard size for the pulverized toner, is replaced with a Simitri toner of 6 µm, the toner consumption is reduced by more than 30%.
Secondly, since small and uniform toner particles can be fused to the paper at a low temperature, power consumption during the fusing process will also be reduced.
Simitri HD toner that can be fused at a even lower temperature
Konica Minolta has upgraded the Simitri toner to develop the Simitri HD (High Definition) toner.
Simitri HD toner has particles that are soft on the inside, so that they may be melted at a lower temperature, and hard on the outside, which prevents toners from adhering each other and thus produces high quality images.
Simitri HD toner, featuring the “core-shell configuration,” in which toner particles are soft on the inside but hard on the outside, has allowed users to substantially reduce power consumption when they use the product.
Konica Minolta has expanded the scope of applications of the more environmentally sound Simitri toner (polymerized toner), from black-and-white toners to color toners, adopting the Simitri toner in a range of MFPs and printers. We have also increased the use of the Simitri HD toner, a further upgraded polymerized toner.