Epson America President and CEO retires

April 29, 2016

John Lang

John Lang

John Lang will be succeeded by Senior Vice President Keith Kratzberg.

The company announced that Lang’s retirement will be effective from 30 June, while Kratzberg will take over as President and CEO as of 1 July. In 1987 Lang joined Epson America and has been President and CEO for 14 years. During this time he has “has been the driving force behind the company’s strategic direction and consistently strong operational performance”, leading the company through times of extraordinary change in “technology, markets and customers”.

Whist he was in charge, Epson America developed a diverse range of businesses “in over 20 countries in North and Latin America and the Caribbean”, and he was also said to be influential in expanding the company’s attention from a “consumer and small business printer manufacturer to a market leader in businesses as diverse as robotics, textile printing, augmented reality display technology, and point of sale solutions”.

During his time in charge, the company has grown its “branded market share to the number one or two position in virtually all categories”. Epson America now has more than 2,000 employees in North and Latin America, and revenues of over $2.5 billion (€2.1 billion).

Lang commented: “Since I began at Epson almost three decades ago, I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with an incredible team of professionals across the Americas, at our Seiko Epson headquarters and around the world. Together we have helped bring innovative, reliable and easy-to-use technology solutions that enrich all aspects of our customers’ lives – from business to the home.

“It has been an honour to be part of a company that has set a high bar for integrity, quality and collaboration. With over 20 years at Epson America, and 11 years as a member of our senior management team, Keith’s extensive experience in overseeing all aspects of the business combined with his consistent track record of driving revenue growth makes him the ideal person to lead Epson America’s next phase of growth. Keith’s experience at Epson and market knowledge will ensure a seamless transition.”

 

 

 

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Epson supports Kumamoto earthquake relief

April 26, 2016

Damage from the earthquake in Japan

Damage from the earthquake in Japan

The OEM announced a donation of ¥3 million ($26,994/€23,916).

Expressing deepest condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Japan, the company announced that it would be donating money to aid those hit by the disaster, and stated its hope for an early recovery. The donation will be through the Red Cross Society of Japan.

Canon also donated to the relief fund earlier this month, promising to donate ¥10 million ($91,449/€80,636) to the Japanese Red Cross Society as well.

 

 

 

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Epson class action cancelled in US

April 25, 2016

The Ninth Circuit court

The Ninth Circuit court

The case, filed over five years ago, was dismissed by the Ninth Circuit of Appeals.

Lexology reported on the case – Gisele Rogers et al v. Epson America Inc. et al – which concerned allegations that Epson “misled purchasers of its inkjet colour printers”. In the original case, the consumers alleged Epson “had represented that a user need only replace the colour that was empty when it ran out of ink, but that the entire printer cartridge actually needed to be replaced as the printer would not print black and white copies after any colour ran out”.

The “putative” class action included “everyone who had purchased the printers in question since 2005”, with the complaint alleging that the class action be instigated under California’s Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law. However, in its ruling on 19 April, the Ninth Circuit “affirmed the denial of class certification”, or “refused to certify the class”, because it found that “common questions of law and fact did not predominate”.

In its opinion, the court stated that in a “case of this nature, one based on product labelling, advertising and the like, it is critical that the misrepresentations be made to all of the class members”, with Lexology noting that the court found the evidence “did not support a finding that all members of class saw or otherwise received misrepresentations regarding the replacement of colour cartridges”.

In fact, the court records showed that “some consumers who bought the printers online would only have seen the alleged misrepresentation when the package later arrived in the mail, and therefore there was no causal connection between the purchase of the printer and the alleged misrepresentation”. The court also rejected redefining the class, in a move called sua sponte, stating that “the burden of proposing a narrower class was [the plaintiff’s], and not that of the district court”.

The district court in California had previously dismissed the class action, with the Ninth Circuit taking on the case after it was appealed. In conclusion, the Ninth Circuit commented that “although the district court erred in characterising the failure of proof as a lack of standing rather than a lack of causation”, it would “nonetheless affirm the decision to deny class certification because the decision was otherwise correct”, returning the case to the district court.

 

 

 

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Epson opens inkjet factory in Indonesia

April 22, 2016

The OEM has opened its new inkjet printer factory in the country.

An image of the new Epson factory in Indonesia

An image of the new Epson factory in Indonesia

Epson announced the opening of the factory in a ceremony taking place today, with its Indonesian subsidiary P.T. Indonesia Epson Industry having “begun production” at the new facility “as part of the company’s strategic plans for its inkjet printer (printing solutions)” business. Representatives of the Indonesian government attended the ceremony, with the factory producing both inkjet printers and serial impact dot-matrix (SIDM) printers.

The factory was acquired from another company in July 2013, and “lies adjacent to the current lot”, with refurbishment costing around 3 billion ($27 million/€24 million), and Epson noted that the location “is a key production site in Epson’s printing solutions business”, because it “primarily manufactures strategic products”, including high-capacity ink-tank printers and office inkjets. In future, the OEM aims to expand production capacity “as warranted by demand”, also increasing staff from 10,000 to 12,000.

P.T. Indonesia Epson Industry also “has a printer design function”, and its capabilities “will be strengthened in the future to tailor products to the needs of emerging markets, design products for easier manufacturability, and accelerate product development cycle times”. The OEM noted that it plans to “aggressively invest” in its PrecisionCore inkjet printhead technology through to 2018, and called it the “core technology of the printing solutions business”.

This will be helped by adding “new production capacity” at its Suwa Minami plant and Tohoku Epson location in Japan, alongside a “new front-end line” at the Hirooka Office location  and a “new back-end line (head assembly) at Akita Epson, while production lines in Indonesia and the Philippines will be “augment[ed]”. Last November, it hinted that it might also build a manufacturing facility in India.

In January, P.T. Indonesia Epson Industry reported that it also “plans to spend” around $3 million (€2.7 million) on expanding printer production at its Cikarang plant, which would make Indonesia the OEM’s “biggest production base” compared to the Philippines and China. That expansion will increase it to 25 hectares, and an average production capacity of six to seven million units a year, as well as a maximum monthly capacity of one million units “for both high-end and low-end printers”.

 

 

 

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Thieves attempt Epson printer theft

April 19, 2016

Police are searching for two males after the attempt in West Windsor, New Jersey.

Epson's Expression XP-430

Epson’s Expression XP-430

 

The Trentonian reported that one man removed a security tag from an Epson printer in a Walmart store, and then using a bar code for a smaller amount, paid for it at the checkout. During the same timescale, another man tried to steal one of the printers while “pretending to use the self checkout”.

Store personnel confronted the suspects ,but were unable to detain them until the police arrived. The printers were later recovered.

 

 

 

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Epson reveals new MPS programme

April 19, 2016

Epson’s new MPS plan, Print365, offers users the chance to have the OEM’s business inkjet printers through managed print.

Oscar van der Linden and Ward Estoppey, Epson Netherlands' Country Manager and Channel Marketing Manager

Oscar van der Linden and Ward Estoppey, Epson Netherlands’ Country Manager and Channel Marketing Manager

Dutch IT Channel (Dutch) reported on what the OEM calls the “simplest MPS concept in the business printer market”, with Print365 launching in the Netherlands and aimed at both IT resellers and SME customers. The OEM’s Oscar van der Linden and Ward Estoppey stated that the programme, which uses Epson’s newer business inkjets, will “enable partners to expand their business when it comes to printing”.

The “very simple overall concept”, aims to “guard against the competition” from other OEMs, with van der Linden, Epson’s Country Manager for the Netherlands, commenting that Print365 offers “365 days a year worry-free printing with standard print bundles that we have compiled for a fixed amount per printer per month”. The machines used are Epson’s RIPS (replaceable ink pack system) devices, launched in 2014, such as the WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 A3 printer.

Van der Linden noted that the newer business inkjet devices “are very reliable and moreover very green”, calling them a “gamechanger”, as “everyone knows what polluting materials are in a laser unit. A machine with RIPS – a replaceable bag of ink – [features] only an ink system, a conveyer and a feed system. Inkjet technology provides a saving of up to 96 percent on energy consumption compared to laser printers. Business inkjet is therefore cheaper”.

Estoppey, Channel Marketing Manager for the OEM, added that “the number of service interventions with our RIPs machines [are] 98 percent lower than with laser printers. And remember, our business inkjet printer cartridges have 94 percent less ‘waste’ than laser printers. [With] RIPS models that [is] even [better at] 99 percent. That’s because you have only the empty RIPS bags as waste material. And you just [put] it in the regular trash”.

However, for companies with over 2,500 staff, such machines “are still very experimental”, the two admitted, with van der Linden pointing out that “therefore, we first look at SMEs. That is, in the Netherlands, a very nice sweet spot, with Epson a major supplier to the IT channel. Our IT resellers need renovation because [with] lower print volumes in larger retail, market leaders like Xerox and Ricoh ‘descend’ in the printer market”.

These larger companies “prey on SMEs, and that could be a threat to our business partners”, he added, with Print365 a “ready-made concept” for partners to use. The programme includes consumables, three years of on-site service, and scanning software, with van der Linden likening it to a “phone bundle”, as it’s more of a “subscription; you do not need to buy the printer, but lease the equipment”.

He concluded that the benefits include that “everybody sees exactly what was printed and by whom; both we, the customer and the reseller. If a printer is not fully utilised, it is for the reseller to indicate that the device may be better elsewhere”. In terms of pricing, packages start at €35 ($39) a month, with an ‘All You Can Print’ bundle available from €199 ($225).

 

 

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Epson launches new inkjet in USA

April 8, 2016

Epson's Expression XP-430

Epson’s Expression XP-430

The Expression Home XP-430 is a “small-in-one” machine featuring “affordable and convenient” features.

In a press release, the OEM’s US subsidiary announced the launch of the wireless, social networked XP-430, which is said to have been “designed to meet the printing, scanning and copying needs of busy students, families and individuals”. The printer was designed to be a completely wireless machine, and alongside wireless connectivity can utilise Epson’s Connect mobile, tablet and PC printing app, as well as the Epson Creative Print app for photo printing.

Among the printer’s features are a 2.7-inch colour HD LCD screen, memory card slots, a 100-sheet paper capacity, printing templates, and instant-dry DURABrite individual inkjet cartridges, with Epson stating that it is “designed to work exclusively with Epson ink cartridges”. The machine is available now across the USA, and costs $99.99 (€87.82).

Monika Dees, Epson America’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, commented: “The compact Expression Home XP-430 is ideal for those seeking an affordable, robust and quality all-in-one printing solution. Offering a range of mobile printing capabilities, the XP-430 allows user to print on-demand from social channels and the cloud, and scan, copy and create projects seamlessly. It’s a handy tool for today’s busy, on-the-go families.”

 

 

 

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Epson believes print is “not dead”

April 4, 2016

The OEM stated that “there’s always a need for printing”, at an event in Malaysia to promote new wide-format printers.Epson EcoTank printers

Inquirer reported on the event to launch the SureColor S-series in Kuala Lumpar, where Epson Philippines’ Head of Commercial and Industrial Department, Pamela Albar, commented that, “there’s always a need for printing”, adding that, “the printing industry is the least affected when the economy is down, since businesses still need to attract customers through ads”.

Printers were referred to as “the most used, yet underrated machines in the last few decades”, with prints “continu[ing] to bring out the eyeballs towards establishments” and businesses. The Philippines is expected to be “one of the best clients” for Epson in “the next few years” largely because it has “an economy primed to scale new heights”, and the news site noted in turn that, “the world has seen economic meltdowns over the past few years, but the gloom and doom uttered by naysayers should not be enough to strip the environment of its colours”.

Shaun See, Epson Singapore’s General Manager for Commercial and Industrial printers, noted that the OEM was “targeting to grow” its Filipino business by 18 to 22 percent, adding that he “believes the Philippine team could do it. The markets are there. The Philippines is one of the most stable economies in the region”.

Going into more detail on Epson’s textile and garment business, See stated that this was “driving the company’s growth” in the Filipino market, commenting that, “it’s really the textile [printer] business that’s surpassing all expectations. We’re just slow to adapt to developments in the textile digital space, but compared to other segments, textile [printers] is a fast growing business”.

He also pointed out that, “we have seen a lot of locals using our technologies for export purposes. The Philippine market is also getting more affluent. They want more personalised things, to be able to display their identities”.

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Epson launches new monochrome printer series

March 30, 2016

The OEM has launched the WorkForce Pro M5000 devices in the US market.

Epson's WorkForce Pro WF-M5694

Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-M5694

In a press release, the OEM’s US subsidiary Epson America announced that the M500 series of monochrome machines would “maximise business productivity”, as well as “offer secure, heavy-duty, reliable performance with low running costs”, alongside “IT features for workgroups in managed environments”.

The range includes the WorkForce Pro WF-M5694 MFP and M5194 single-function machine, with both utilising the OEM’s PrecisionCore printhead technology and the “lowest-cost monochrome printing in their class”. The machines also utilise a 10,000 page cartridge yield and a maximum paper capacity of up to 580 sheets, meaning they “require little user intervention”, while IT admin tools included consist of both security features and network configuration.

Other features include print speeds of 20 ISO ppm, “easy network setup” and the aforementioned security features, such as “PIN-based confidential job release and user access control”. The WF-M5694, as an MFP, also offers automatic duplexing alongside copying, scanning and faxing, while both machines use Epson’s DURABrite Ultra ink. The WF-M5194 is available now for $209.99 (€185.88), while the WF-M5694 will be available from late April for $399.99 (€354.06).

Larry Trevarthen, Director of Business Imaging at Epson America, commented: “By expanding Epson’s portfolio to incorporate monochrome printing solutions, we are able to provide a portfolio to resellers and IT managers to meet a full range of their office printing needs at an affordable operating cost. The WorkForce Pro monochrome printer family is another step in our commitment to provide businesses with printing alternatives that can provide dramatic savings against alternative options, including laser printers.”

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Epson launches two new wide-formats

March 18, 2016

The SureColor SC-P10070 and P20070 are high-speed machines aimed at the production market.

Epson's SureColor SC-P10070

Epson’s SureColor SC-P10070

Wide-Format Online reported on the launch from Epson in Australia, with the machines 44-inch and 64-inch for the P10070 and 20070 respectively. The OEM stated that the devices use a 10 colour ink set “with an extended colour gamut and four levels of black”, and they also include an “advanced media management system” offering “high production speeds with superior print quality, alignment precision, and linearity”.

The two machines have been designed for “commercial printers, professional photographers, fine art and print service providers”, with large pigment inkjet cartridges allowing for quick-drying and “moisture and abrasion resistant” prints. Applications include posters, photos, fine art reproductions, POS and signage, alongside exhibition and display graphics, while both printers utilise Epson’s PrecisionCore MicroTFP printhead technology and UltraChrome PRO inks.

The new ink set includes four black inks for “superior toning”, while the new printhead offers “enhanced operational durability and reduced wastage” alongside nozzle verification technology, which can automatically detect nozzle blockages “without having to eject ink”. The media management system meanwhile tracks and maps media moving through the printers, and a colour LCD panel allows for ease of use.

The P20070 will ship later this month for a recommended retail price of AU$13,194.50 ($10,057.44/€8,918.14), while the P10070 will be launched in May at a recommended retail price of AU$16,494.50 ($12,572.85/€11,148.61). Craig Heckenberg, Epson Australia’s General Manager of the Business Division, commented that “a lot of development work went into the SC-P10070 and SC-P20070. These new machines not only deliver increased productivity, but superior print quality, and a reduced running cost. They are truly ground-breaking machines and provide a formidable offering for the production print market”.

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