Epson sees inkjets boost revenue

October 31, 2014

The OEM’s quarterly results saw revenue increase by 17.1 percent, with inkjets making up 74 percent of segment revenue.

Epson's RIPS bags

Epson’s RIPS bags

The results saw the OEM reveal a revenue increase for the quarter of 17.1 percent to ¥266.5 billion ($2.3 billion/€1.8 billion), with the information equipment segment – including printers, consumables and MPS – growing in revenue year-over-year by 20 percent to ¥221.4 billion ($1.9 billion/€1.5 billion).

Epson stated that “revenue and business profit exceeded our business plan owing to yen depreciation and steady growth in each of the businesses in the information equipment segment”. The information equipment segment “saw printing systems increase” year-over-year by 16.2 percent, to ¥169.2 billion ($1.5 billion/€1.2 billion), and Epson noted that inkjet printer revenue was “up on strategic growth in high-capacity ink tank models and consumables sales”, making up 74 percent of the information equipment segment.

The high-capacity ink tank models, which The Recycler reported on earlier this year, have seen “solid growth in emerging markets” and “began selling in Western Europe” in the second half of the year, with the OEM projecting sales of 2.5 million units worldwide by the end of the 2014 financial year. In turn, both MPS and RIPS (the replaceable ink pack systems used in the ink tank machines), saw orders “growing smoothly in Japan”, with “customer response favourable”, and sales begun in Western Europe “on schedule”.

The information equipment unit also saw “strong consumables sales” and strong POS (point of sale) machine sales in Europe and the USA. Predictions for the second half of the year from the OEM included “no major changes expected in business environment or plan assumptions”, but “performance-linked expenses [will] increase”, and an increase in expenditures has been postponed”.

In terms of the information equipment segment, one positive prediction from the OEM is that “unit shipments of high-capacity ink tank models and projectors [will] increase”, but it warns that “special factors affecting inkjet consumables” and “investment in strategic product sales promotions” will affect the unit’s half year results”. It expects that the segment will grow to ¥888 billion ($7.9 billion/€6.3 billion), with ¥686 billion ($6.1 billion/€4.8 billion) from printing systems for a 35.3 percent year-over-year increase – inkjet printers are set to make up 75 percent of this revenue.

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Epson UK launches new SureColor photo printer

October 3, 2014

images-3The SureColor SC-P600 will be released in November.

Amateur Photographer reported on Epson’s announcement regarding the new photo printer – the SureColor SC-600 – with the OEM stating that “the printer has the industry’s ‘highest black density’” – “producing ‘deep, rich blacks and ultra-smooth tonal gradations’”, when it was compared with its rival printers in July 2014.

The printer will feature a new, nine-colour UltraChrome HD inkset and vivid magenta ink, and is reportedly aimed at amateur and ‘semi-professional’ photographers. The machine will also include built in Wi-Fi, a 2.7in touch panel and is designed to “deliver an 11x14in print in 153 seconds”.

The Epson SureColor SC-P600 photo printer is due to arrive in the UK market in November, priced at £570.99 ($931.34/€725.33).

 

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Epson to reverse OEM business model

October 2, 2014

Epson EcoTank L355

Epson EcoTank L355

New EcoTank printers with refillable tanks priced higher, but consumables will last average home printer users two years.

The Guardian reported on Epson’s decision to reverse its business model by making it cheaper for users to run home printers rather than relying on the price of consumables for profit, with the refillable ink tanks included in its new printers expected to last two years based on a monthly print volume of 200 pages.

The new EcoTank L355 and L555 inkjet printers are to be “priced to make profit on sale”, with prices starting at £249 ($403/€319) compared to the typical high street price of £70to£80 ($113/€90to$129/€102). To compensate for this, the devices use refillable tanks which, while adding “about a quarter” to the printer’s size, will mean users save 60to65 percent compared to buying replacement ink cartridges. Interestingly, Epson has also reportedly stated that users will be able to refill the tank with non-Epson branded ink once it runs out.

Consumer printing has been in decline in many regions in recent years, with Lexmark and Kodak quitting the business in 2012. This has been due to many people choosing not to print due to increased digitisation, or turning to “cheaper generic cartridges” due to the high cost of buying replacement OEM cartridges, some of which were found to only contain two millimetres of ink. The Guardian also noted that sales at Epson “fell by 25 percent between 2009 and 2013”, although they “recovered partly in 2014” after making a profit in the financial year to March 2014 “after making losses in three of the previous five years”.

Noting the “aggressive marketing tactics” some OEMs have taken “to discourage refills from cheaper generic ink makers”, along with “encrypted chip technology designed to make consumers buy branded cartridges”, the article states that there is an “intense battle between main manufacturers […] and ‘remanufacturers’”, which it notes “have grabbed a third of UK sales, at the same time as counterfeit cartridges from China are flooding the country”.

By buying a printer with a tank, Epson said that “relatively heavy users of cartridge inks would find themselves making significant savings”, although those with “high printing needs” may want to consider using a laser printer, which have lower cost-per-page.

Pocket-lint reported that the EcoTank printers come with a one-year or 30,000-page warranty.

Simon Hanley, Product Manager at Epson, said: “Complementing our line-up of existing products, these models are ideal for home and small office customers who want to print everyday documents, such as recipes, homework, emails and maps, and for whom price and convenience are key factors. With two years’ worth of ink included, users know where they stand.”

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Epson releases new wide-format spectrophotometer

October 2, 2014

The SpectroProofer-UVS range is designed for the OEM’s Stylus Pro machines.Epson SpectroProofer UVS

The SpectroProofer-UVS range of spectrophotometers, which are set to be released later this month, are designed for Epson’s 17-inch, 24-inch and 44-inch Stylus Pro wide-format printers, and are “in-line” products developed alongside X-Rite, as well as being “driven by industry-leading supporting RIP technology”.

The products, which fit into the printer housing as an additional feature, allow for colour consistency between the three different ranges of Stylus Pro machines, and are said by Epson to be “ideal for commercial graphics, package proofing and remote proofing applications”, with current SpectroProofer series owners given the option to upgrade to the new models “to ensure full compatibility with the latest industry standards”.

The spectrophotometers “provide automated colour management and verification-related tasks”, according to Epson, for “a wide variety of proofing applications”, and they also support the M1 measurement illumination standard, as well as being UV-selectable between M1 and M2. Additionally, the UVS range support up to 50 percent more patches per scan, and also have “slightly faster measurement times”.

Larry Kaufman, Product Manager for Professional Imaging at Epson America, stated: “The new SpectroProofer-UVS models were designed based on direct feedback from customers, and build on the more than five years of success of the current SpectroProofer series. Combined with the industry leading colour gamut of the Epson UltraChrome HDR ink set used in the Epson Stylus Pro 900-series printers, Epson continues to be the number one choice for serious prepress proofing professionals.”

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Epson launches five new wide-format machines

September 24, 2014

Epson's SureColor T-series

Epson’s SureColor T-series

The additions to the OEM’s SureColor range offer “precision, performance and brilliance”.

The OEM reported that it had launched the T-series of SureColor wide-format devices in North America this week, with the range including the T3270, 5270, 7270, 5270D and 7270D. The printers feature Epson’s UltraChrome XD pigment ink and PrecisionCore printheads, and are aimed at “technical, corporate and marketing professionals”.

The devices feature print resolutions of up to 2880 x 1440 dpi, with the T3270 featuring a 24-inch single roll and a print speed of 660 square feet per hour, and is the only one of the five printers not to offer an optional MFP module for copying and scanning. The T5270 features a 36-inch single-roll with speeds of 740 square feet per hour; whilst the T7270 features a 44-inch single roll and speeds of 780 square feet per hour.

The final two devices, the T5270D and T7270D, meanwhile feature dual roll capacities of 36 and 44 inches respectively, alongside speeds of 740 and 780 square feet per hour. Epson stated that the devices are “designed to be used exclusively” with the UltraChrome XD ink, and “not with other brands of cartridges or inks”.

Timothy Check, Product Manager of Professional Imaging at Epson America, stated: “The next-generation SureColor T-Series incorporates the latest in printing technology, and we are very excited to begin shipping into the hands of our customers.

“Whether printing retail posters, corporate graphics, CAD drawings or GIS maps, the T-Series printers are cost-effective, scalable machines that really can do it all. We look forward to feedback from our customers and discovering even more unique applications and use cases.”

The devices are available now, with the T3270 available for $2,995 (€2,330); the T5270 for $3,995 (€3,108); the T7270 for $4,995 (€3,887); the T5270D for $5,995 (€4,665); and the T7270D for $6,995 (€5,443).

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Epson releases Mopria-certified AIOs

September 19, 2014

Mopria_TM_Alliance_Pos_rgb_092413OEM launches its first printers certified under Mopria Alliance, making printing experience more accessible for mobile device users.

Epson announced that home and business users can now benefit from its latest Mopria-certified all-in-one (AIO) printers, which have been designed to deliver an “intuitive mobile printing experience” as the need for mobile printing increases with the growing ownership of smartphones and tablets; with ownership of such devices expected to reach 5.1 billion worldwide by 2018.

The Mopria Alliance was formed a year ago as a result of this growing requirement for mobile printing, with Epson, Canon, HP, Lexmark, Xerox, Kyocera, Konica Minolta and Samsung all joining the alliance to advance mobile print standards in order to allow business and home users to print “regardless of brand, device or operating system”.

Epson stated that its mobile print efforts aim to “embrace the rapidly evolving demands of mobile customers and the diversity of multiple operating systems”, with a “key initiative” being to deliver “intuitive” mobile printing.

The company’s Mopria-certified printers work with the Mopria Print Service New window and built-in Printing Framework in Android v4.4 or later. This means that Android 4.4 users can print from Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, Drive and QuickOffice, as well as Adobe Reader and Kingsoft WPS Office App. The OEM added that 74 percent of global smartphones and tablets sold this year were Android-based, meaning that it has enabled intuitive printing for an “unprecedented” number of Android users.

Ian Cameron, who is responsible for Global Communications at Epson, said: “With global tablet and smartphone sales more than five times greater than desktop sales and two of five employees using smartphones on the job, the need for intuitive mobile printing options and support is apparent. Epson is proud to actively support an industry-wide movement to streamline mobile printing ease-of-use and accessibility.”

The Recycler reported in April on Lexmark’s announcement that several of its product lines received Mopria certification; while in June Konica Minolta announced it had become a board member of the alliance.

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Epson launches “world’s smallest” A4 inkjet printer

September 8, 2014

Epson workforce wf-100wWorkforce WF-100W is aimed at mobile workers due to its easy transportation.

Techradar reported on Epson’s launch of the Workforce WF-100W, said to be the world’s smallest and lightest commercial A4 inkjet printer, with the device being “slightly thicker than an A4 reach and […] about two-thirds the size” and weighing 1.6 kilograms.

The printer can also be “comfortably transported: due to its “brick form factor”, and has an “integrated Li-Ion battery” which is able to be recharged using a USB port or a bundled AC adaptor. Other features include a “tiny” LDC display showing “essential characteristics” of a print job along with the printer’s status; a paper tray with a 50-sheet capacity; and Wi-Fi capabilities as users can connect to it “directly via Wi-Fi or as a networked printer” as well as through an Epson app. It is also compatible with Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint.

In terms of cartridges, the device uses two ink cartridges and pigment ink.

Aimed at “mobile workers looking to print low quantity invoices, designs or other documents on the move”, the Workforce WF-100W will be available in Europe at a price of €299 ($387).

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Epson adds three new machines to WorkForce range

September 5, 2014

The WF-2660, 2650 and 2630 are printing solutions aimed at small and home offices (SOHOs).Epsonnew

ITBusiness reported on the launch of Epson’s WF-2660, WF-2650 and WF-2630 AIO machines, which utilise the OEM’s PrecisionCore printhead technology to offer a “unique combination of performance and value in a compact design”.

The devices are said to be able to print “laser-sharp black and colour”, and feature “enhanced” connectivity options, with the WF-2660 supporting near-field communication (NFC) technology, whilst both have wireless connectivity allowing for mobile printing and scanning through Epson’s Connect mobile printing application for smartphones and tablets.

The machines also have 30-page automatic document feeders, 150-sheet paper capacity, automatic duplexing, DURABrite Ultra inks delivering “smudge, fade and water-resistant prints in affordable individual ink cartridges”, and print speeds of 13 ISO ppm in black and 7.3 ISO ppm in colour. The WF-2630 additionally features an “unprecedented compact design” with print speeds of nine ISO ppm in black and 4.5 ISO ppm in colour.

Nils Madden, Marketing Director for Desktop Imaging and Printing at Epson America, stated: “Epson underscores its commitment to SOHO users with our new line up of impressive, high-value WorkForce models. The WorkForce 2600-Series is a cost-effective solution for business users, without sacrificing the high-quality and ease-of-printing features our customers expect.”

The WF-2660 and WF-2630 will be available in late September in the US market for $149.99 (€115) and $99.99 (€77) each, whilst the WF-2650 will be available in late October for $129.99 (€100).

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Epson releases updated desktop photo printer

September 2, 2014

Epson's SureLab D700

Epson’s SureLab D700

The OEM’s SureLab D700 machine has been updated with PrecisionCore inkjet printheads.

ProPrint reported on Epson’s rerelease of its SureLab D700 photo printer, which now features its PrecisionCore inkjet printheads, and the OEM stated that the machine is “specifically designed for commercial photo and photo merchandise production”.

The D700 is capable of producing up to 360 six-by-four-inchproduction-quality photographs per hour, with durable colour and monochrome images able to be printed on gloss, lustre and matte media. The machine can also produce prints from a size of 102mm-by-89mmup to 210mm-by-1,000mm.

Craig Heckenberg, Epson’s Business General Manager, commented “[The D700] represents a fantastic opportunity for printing professionals to expand their services or shift from outdated technologies to new digital dry lab technology. The affordable price and plug and play approach to the solution means anyone who is serious about high quality photographic printing can do so quickly and easily at a fraction of the cost of more expensive labs.”

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€7 billion per year lost to “inefficient” printers

August 29, 2014

An Epson study has found that each of five major EU nations lose around €7 billion a year alone to “improper management of printers” or a “poor choice” of technology.mps

La Stampa reported on the study’s findings, which state that “incorrect handling and inadequate technologies” concerning printer management and technology are among the root cause for losses of around €7 billion ($9.2 billion) per year for the five major European nations: Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the UK.

The five nations lose around €24 billion ($31.6 billion) each year “due to the inadequacy and inefficiency of technologies”, but the previously-mentioned €7 billion is down to printing alone, with Epson noting that this in turn has “negative influences on competitiveness and work”. The research was conducted by Coleman Parkes Research, which contacted 1,250 IT decision makers in the financial and retail industries whose companies have over 50 employees.

The “frustration of employees” is also mentioned “in addition to the losses”, with interruptions, paper jams and maintenance issues said by the survey to be “the main elements of frustration and dissatisfaction for employees when it comes to hardware and IT systems”. The three main issues in printing are paper jams, low printing speeds and “centralised location[s]” of printers, with workers “force[d] to leave their desks to retrieve” printouts.

The survey also asked what the main frustrations are “related to printing technology from a business point of view”, with results showing that “the situation changes” and costs and reliability “leap into the foreground” – 46 percent of companies saw the cost of consumables as the main problem, whilst 43 percent saw reliability as the biggest issue, as well as 33 percent naming print quality.

Each worker was said to lose around 14.7 minutes a day due to outdated or ineffectual technology, which Epson noted “may reduce the reliability of the product”, whilst “any faults or interruptions are expensive to companies.

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