Sustainable By Design

Uniquely resource-efficient products since 1992

KYOCERA launched its first ECOSYS printer into the UK market in 1992, the year of the first Earth Summit in Rio. Industry standard in every other way, our ECOSYS printers adopted a radically new cartridge-free engine design that drastically reduced the amount of waste caused by consumable replacements, as well as the energy consumed in their manufacturing and distribution. We are still the only manufacturer to have taken this approach which combines maximum resource efficiency with maximum user economy.

20 years on, ECOSYS has evolved into a R&D philosophy that underpins every new product, from personal printers to high volume enterprise level multifunctional devices. The use of durable materials to make long-life components increases maintenance intervals and reduces both embodied energy and waste. Kyocera's commitment to the application of long-life technology allows procurement decisions to be made on the basis of an underlying product concept, rather than the individual attributes of products that could be repidly superceded.


Data-driven product innovation

A full lifecycle analysis is conducted for every new product, identifying the hotspots for product environmental impacts and informing ongoing improvements to product design.

At the heart of Ecosys technology is the amorphous silicon (aSi) drum for mid- to high-end systems and the long-life, single-layer PSLP drum for entry level printers and multifunctionals. These are much more durable than the organic photo-conductor (OPC) drums utilised in conventional products, lasting typically 30 times longer. As a result, it is unnecessary to replace it every time the toner runs out and this innovation allows other items which would normally be part of the consumable cartridge to be permanently sited in the machine, too. As a result, the consumable is simplified as shown by the following images:

Conventional toner cartridge

Contains over 60 components made out of various types of metal, plastic and foam

KYOCERA toner cassette

Contains 5 pieces made out of 2 types of plastic, ID coded for easy recycling

The long-life drum was the innovation that launched Ecosys, but further enhancements to product design have taken place to ensure all impacts are minimised, for example:

- Smaller toner particles that require less energy for fusing
- Faster warm up time reduces energy consumption and encourages use of sleep mode
- Production of ozone as a by-product of printing is reduced to negligible levels

Download the Ecosys 20 years timeline

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