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Epson SC-F6400/F6400H

The Epson SC-F6400/F6400H are two printers that can deliver high-volume inkjet-printed textiles and promotional goods. Brian Sims takes a deeper look at what makes this claim sustainable

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The UltraChrome DS inks used with these printers can print on a wide range of substrates also needed for point of sale

Colourful Textiles

Printed textile production post-Covid-19 has started to see large gains and the retail and commercial sectors have seen the capacity for printed materials growing strongly in terms of demand. There are a number of machines in the market but two that can very suitably provide the resources to provide high volume, wide-format capacity.

The Epson SC-F6400 and F6400H have a substrate width of 1,118mm (44”) with both able to produce superior quality printed textiles with reliability but with a keen eye on the cost of ownership and production. 

The difference between the two models is mainly the ink configuration you need. The SC-F6400 comes with a bank of process colours (CMYK) whereas the SC-F6400H comes with the process set but with the ability to print light cyan and magenta. The SC-F6400H can extend the colour gamut to include fluorescent pink and yellow along with capacity for orange and violet ink as it is a six- opposed to a four-colour printer.

The ink capacity of the printers is 45% larger at 1,600ml but more importantly they come in easy to use ink packs. There is no need to transfer the ink from container to printer, as users can simply shake the pack to agitate the product and insert it into the printer. The increased size of ink pack not only allows for longer uninterrupted running but also reduces waste and improves the green footprint of the machine.

The increased size of ink pack doesn’t only allow for longer uninterrupted running but also reduces waste
and improves the green footprint of the machine

Regardless of which printer you choose, both come with inkjet heads containing the now proven Epson Thin Film Piezo (TFP) technology. The technology contained in the head is deemed by Epson to be a market leader and is in a large number of the manufacturer's printers. In 2007, they came to the market with this new concept TFP technology which is used across the complete range of printers and are now truly tried and tested.

The demand for printed and personalised textile prints has increased since Covid-19 

The Piezo element of a print head is common to all printers using this technology and has to be produced in very thin sections. Epson chooses not to follow this path and instead actually uses a proprietary process to form a dense piezo crystal element that is just one micron thick on a silicon wafer.

The heads are produced with what Epson calls Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) which means elements of the head are placed 84.7 microns apart on silicon or glass. With ink channels and nozzles produced by the MEMS process, Epson claims the PrecisionCore Micro TFP printheads can produce almost perfectly round dots with great precision.

With the PrecisionCore Micro TFP printheads having the print chip less than one hundredth the width of a human hair in thickness, by using materials this small you can have a relatively small print engine and large ink deployment.

The PrecisionCore TFP printhead can place dots extremely accurately in both size and position in the colour gamut which is why Epson claimed the raw specification of DPI is now an “obsolete way to compare print systems” in its 2013 PrecisionCore White Paper.

Epson also argues that resolution measured in dots per inch (DPI) is not necessarily the best way now to quantify print quality. The manufacturer does however agree that DPI is part of the methodology with greyscale and accurate dot placement also a key consideration.

Wrapping up the printhead technology is Nozzle Verification Technology (NVT) which ensures the optimum condition of the printhead itself.

NVT monitors the signals sent to each nozzle; it expects to see no resistance to the impulse squeezing the Piezo Electric film. Should it detect a rebound signal from the drive impulse, this is almost certainly due to the nozzle being blocked and the NVT technology adjusts the nozzle pattern to override the blocked nozzle, maintaining print quality.

Supporting Ink Technologies

The dot is laid onto the substrate with the help of patented technology called Look-up Table (LUT).  LUT technology has been developed in collaboration with the Munsell Color Science Laboratory at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the US. The purpose is to increase the colour fidelity and gives a smoother graduation between colours.

The Piezoelectric printhead uses the well-proven specially developed inks which are known as the UltraChrome DS range. This range of inks are developed to be Nickel-free and low odour meaning the SC range of printers can be installed in office environments which mostly now have air conditioning for airflow.

The UltraChrome DS range of inks are also developed with the ability to print up to 98.2% of the PANTONE solid-coated colours which greatly enhance the printer’s ability to produce the eye-catching effects needed for advertising products.

UltraChrome DS inks can print on a wide range of substrates also demanded for point of sale (POS) products such as canvas and other similar POS substrates.

Colour and the accurate deployment of dots is nothing without the substrate itself being controlled.

Ease of Operation

All printers in the range come with Epson Edge Print which is a software solution to make preparation and production as simple as possible.

The main interface shows you a list of the current and past jobs for you to review and edit if needed. A set of tools sit in the toolbar at the top of the page and to the right of the split screen is a pane to allow the manipulation of the image needed for the job under preparation. Each Epson Edge Print can control up to four printers at a time, with tabs at the bottom of the screen detailing what each is doing.

The main interface shows you a list of the current and past jobs for users to review and edit if needed

The Epson Edge Print Dashboard is an integrated product where you can download up to 250 different media profiles ensuring the printer is set at an optimum performance level so the most demanding client is satisfied.

Wrapping up these two printers, they come packed with trusted and reliable Epson technology, it is a copper bottom purchase should you be looking for a dye-sublimation printer. The printers do not cost you vast sums to own and operate, Epson as always has the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in mind with easy maintenance and access meaning downtime is kept at a minimum.


  • Printheads: Dual PrecisionCore TFP
  • Colours: SC-F6400 4 colours & SC-F6400H
  • 6 colours
  • Resolution: 600 x 1,200 dpi (max)

Brian Sims Principal Consultant, Metis Print Consultancy, www.metis-uk.eu

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