Business Process Solutions

Sony UP-D897 Thermal Printer Teardown

01 February 2010
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Overview / Main Features

The Sony UP-D897 is a graphical thermal printer with common applications in medical imaging, specifically, ultrasound system such as sonograms. The monochrome printer uses A6 thermal printing media and utilizes USB 2.0 connectivity for data transfer. The thermal print head in the UP-D897 has a 325 dpi resolution and is capable of printing an image in 2 seconds.

Sony UP-D897 Thermal Printer Main ImageSony UP-D897 Thermal Printer Main Image

Target Market

Medical Providers / Imaging Applications



Sony UP-D897 Thermal Printer - Main PCB TopSony UP-D897 Thermal Printer - Main PCB Top

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - The UP-D897 has an US list price of $1320. However, several online discount medical equipment distributors often publish sub-$900 price tags.

Availability - Assumed Global

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed a lifetime production volume of 500,000 units.

As a reminder, teardown volume production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Sony UP-D897 Thermal Printer - Main PCB BottomSony UP-D897 Thermal Printer - Main PCB Bottom

Cost Notes

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~50% of total materials cost

Printhead - A6-Size, Thermal, Monochrome, 325dpi, 8-Bit (256-Step) Gray Level, w/ Aluminum Heatsink Plate, Interconnect PCB, 26-Position Socket Connector and 28-Position Socket Connector

Sony - CXD9182AGG - Thermal Printer Controller - Motor Driver PWM & Print Head Data/Timing Control

Minebea Motor Manufacturing Corp. (NMB) - PM35L-048 - Stepper Motor - 35mm Dia, 7.5deg Step, 24V, 2-2 Phase, w/ Brass Gear, w/ Wire Harness and 6-Position Pin Socket Connector

NEC - PD720122F1-DN2 - Device Controller - USB 2.0

Texas Instruments - TMS320DM310ZHK22 - DSP - MPEG-1 Encode, MPEG-4 Encode/Decode, ARM9 32-Bit RISC MCU Subsystem

Printhead Assembly Mounting Bracket - Stamped/Formed Steel, Electro-Galvanized, w/ 6 Pressed-In Metal Pins

Minebea Motor Manufacturing Corp. (NMB) - 1604KL-04W-B30 - Cooling Fan - 12VDC, 0.09A, w/ Integral 2-Wire Harness, Heat Shrink Tubing and 2-Position Pin Socket Connector

Enclosure, Main, Top - Stamped/Formed Steel, Electro-Galvanized, Painted

Enclosure, Main, Bottom - Stamped/Formed Steel, Electro-Galvanized

Diatec Co. - 6-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free, Halogen-Free

Platen Roller - Molded Rubber over Machined Stainless Steel Shaft

Yue Wah Circuits Co. - 2-Layer - FR4, Lead-Free, Halogen-Free

Power Supply Mounting Bracket - Stamped/Formed Steel, Electro-Galvanized

Transformer - SMPS, Wound Ferrite EE Core, Horizontal

Drive Belt - Kevlar

LCD Display Unit - Dot Matrix, Screen Area: 23.8mm x 6.5mm

Total BOM $101.16

Sony UP-D897 Thermal Printer Cost AnalysisSony UP-D897 Thermal Printer Cost Analysis

What Is Not Included in our Cost Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

Based on markings, the unit was assembled in Japan. Furthermore, we have assumed that custom mechanicals (plastics, metals, etc.) were also sourced in Japan while PCBs were manufactured in lower cost regions such as China.

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as the thermal print head), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Remember also that labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. "Auto inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

The Sony UP-D978 thermal printer has an overall component count of 1066, of which, a majority of 599 parts reside within the Main PCB.

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design. The cost of manufacturing is also, to some extent, decreased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for Japan.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

Design Notes

Here is a summary of the major components used in the Sony UP-D897 printer design:

Main PCB


  • DSP -Texas Instruments - TMS320DM310ZHK22 (MPEG-1 Encode, MPEG-4 Encode/Decode, ARM9 32-Bit RISC MCU Subsystem)
  • Thermal Printer Controller - Sony - CXD9182AGG (Motor Driver PWM & Print Head Data/Timing Control)
  • Device Controller - NEC - PD720122F1-DN2 (USB 2.0)


  • SDRAM - ProMOS Technologies - V54C3128164VBTI7 (128Mb (8Mx16), 3.3V, 143MHz, Quantity 2)
  • Flash - Spansion - S29AL016D70BFI02 (NOR, 16Mb, 3V, 70ns)

Sony UP-D897 Thermal Printer - Enclosure DisassemblySony UP-D897 Thermal Printer - Enclosure Disassembly

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