Coatless Surface

ABOUT COATLESS SURFACE

Since 2009 we have used new Brother molding technologies to finish our printers*. We developed these technologies to achieve a hard wearing and attractive coatless finish, meaning we no longer needed to apply coatings.
Why did we do this? To reduce VOC (volatile organic compound) emission at both the manufacturing and recycling stage of our printer lifecycles, and to reduce the energy consumed in the coating and drying process.

Benefits of Coatless Surface technology

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VOC emission sources

Amount of VOC emissions in fiscal 2010 in Japan Estimates: 791,421 tons Coatings:37.2% Fuel (evaporating gas):18.9% Industrial detergents:5.7% Printing ink:5.3% Adhesives:5.1% Foodstuffs (fermentation):4.1% Cleaning thinners for manufacturing machinery:3.9% Solvents for reaction/extraction:3.1% Dry cleaning solvents:3.0% Adhesives for lamination:2.9% Raw chemical material:2.2% Provided by the Ministry of the Environment(Japan) Amount of VOC emissions in fiscal 2010 in Japan Estimates: 791,421 tons Coatings:37.2% Fuel (evaporating gas):18.9% Industrial detergents:5.7% Printing ink:5.3% Adhesives:5.1% Foodstuffs (fermentation):4.1% Cleaning thinners for manufacturing machinery:3.9% Solvents for reaction/extraction:3.1% Dry cleaning solvents:3.0% Adhesives for lamination:2.9% Raw chemical material:2.2% Provided by the Ministry of the Environment(Japan)

INITIATIVES IN BROTHER

Since 2009, Brother has continually introduced new printers* incorporating Coatless Surface technology.

Brother has started using the Coatless surface parts in all new printers since 2009. Before then, we had been using compatibilizing solvents to soften the environmental impact. In order to reduce the impact more, we decided to incorporate Coatless Surface technology into all printer models.Brother is committed to our way of production: creating all printers* with coatless parts.

How Brother achieved a glossy finish by using Coatless Surface technology

Brother engineers had the challenge of creating parts which have a “beautiful, glossy finish” without using a coating in order to enhance customer satisfaction.
They developed our “Coatless Surface” technology. Brother successfully created a wide range of printers with a high-quality exterior appearance.
This resulted in an improvement both in design and eco-friendliness.

Blue Angel accreditation

The Blue Angel eco-label system is operated by the German Federal Environmental Agency, the RAL gGmbH, and some other organizations. In 2008, Brother’s inkjet all-in-ones were acknowledged as the world’s first Blue Angel certifications by meeting the then current standards. This achievement arose from Brother’s continued efforts to develop eco-friendly technologies, such as Coatless Surface technology.

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THE ENGINEERS' STORY

“Coatless Surface” engineering has enabled us to create coating-free products while maintaining a high quality finish. Producing coatless products presented a real challenge for us as we were aware of the importance of the appearance and finish of our products to our customers, and yet we were concerned about the quantity of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) produced in the coating process and their potential contribution to air pollution.
In order to overcome this dilemma our engineers have shown great creativity and enthusiasm. The short insight below on Brother mold design engineer, Michiya Totoki, who played a key role in developing the integrated molded part, finding the best balance between design, eco-friendliness, and functionality.

  • Uncoated surfaces with the same premium look as that of coated products. Expanding the frontiers of "Coatless Surface".

    Parts Engineering Dept. Michiya Tomoki

  • For their customers, for the environment, Brother engineers keep their challenge alive.(1)

    Michiya Totoki, Mold Design Engineer at Brother, shares the story of how the coatless finish was developed, and the challenges the Engineering team faced.

    “Our aim was to create a coatless finish for our printers, which would look just as good as a coated finish. At Brother we understand that printers should create a smart addition to the home or workplace environment, our challenge was to achieve environmental benefits, without compromising on quality appearance.

    We faced a number of hurdles, not least, creating an upper document cover that did not warp or discolor! We were excited and enthusiastic about the challenge and worked together as a team to overcome these hurdles and achieve an ideal balance of design and functionality.

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  • For their customers, for the environment, Brother engineers keep their challenge alive.(2)

    We never stop seeking new solutions! More recently we have further developed our coatless finishing processes to support production of new printers in ever more appealing designs.

    On behalf of the team of engineers here at Brother, I am happy to offer a guarantee that we will continue to develop our products both technically and environmentally.”

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  • * All inkjet, laser printers and all-in-one printers released after 2009, excluding garment printers (as of March 2013)

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