Epson discusses 50 years of innovation

January 16, 2017

The OEM said that it is the “innovative thinking that has helped Epson push boundaries”.Epson-logo-200x48-200x48

Real Business reported that since 1964 when Epson was “appointed official timekeeper” for the Tokyo Olympic Games, the company has reaped many accomplishments mostly due to “innovative thinking”, starting with the creation of the first analogue quartz watch right up to being part of the space shuttle mission.

The article said that OEMs are under greater pressure than ever to apply innovative ideas to business to be more competitive and globally successful. Rob Clark, Managing Director for Epson UK and Senior Vice President for Epson Europe, said that “no company should […] rest on its laurels in the fast moving business world”.

Clark said that the company ensures it is ahead of the game, and quoted the 1964 Games: “We’re proud of our track record as technological pioneers. Having produced a printing timer for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, we saw the potential of miniature printers and went on to develop the world’s first compact digital printer.

“Today, Epson is still pushing boundaries, looking for ways to improve and explore new ideas. This is supported by a strong focus on research and development – we invest $1.3m (€1.2 million) every day into R&D, resulting in around 5,000 patents being registered each year. At the last count, Epson held over 50,000 live patents”.

He also said that “while printing is our core business, we keep a diverse portfolio and aspire to be market leaders across all areas” and that Epson listened to its customers and invested in technology. The company’s philosophy is that of “Monozukuri and Sho Sho Sei”, said Clark, “to product development. Monozukuri means “the art and science of making things”, while Sho Sho Sei translates as “compact, precise and energy saving”.

These philosophies “guide everything we create” he added, noting that “our ten-year vision is to act as an enabler in the creation of a more sustainable and affluent society, in which people enjoy safer, more productive and healthier lifestyles”. He also commented: “Epson’s president, Minoru Usui, has unveiled a vision for 2025, which focuses on making technology indispensable in a more connected age.

“Our R&D philosophy concentrates on building smart, productivity-enabling technologies that are eco-efficient. Recent examples include the PaperLab office recycling system, bringing the circular economy concept to life in the workplace, as well as the Moverio smart glasses and our dual armed autonomous robot, equipped with artificial intelligence.”

Asked about innovation, Clark replied: “Innovation is about never settling for what you already have – instead strive for better. It is about always exploring new ways and technologies to ensure products come with features that maximise convenience for the customer. Innovative thinking should also not be confined to the product range, but should influence how services are delivered. Simply put, innovation should aim to simplify processes.

“Interactive collaboration technology is also making a difference to the way meetings work and how presentations are delivered. We build our projectors with a range of interactive features, such as finger touch, to ensure teaching sessions and meetings are as productive as possible.”

 

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Epson launches new wide-format printer

January 12, 2017

The OEM has released the SureColor P5000 17-inch, 10-colour machine in the US market.

Epson's SureColor P5000

Epson’s SureColor P5000

In a press release, the OEM revealed that the “desktop” printer offers “enhanced performance and reliability for professional photographic, fine art, graphic design and proofing applications”, and that it is “once again setting the benchmark for professional imaging excellence”. The machine is said to feature “the latest imaging technologies” as well as the PrecisionCore TFP printhead and UltraChrome HDX pigment inks.

The device is also said to offer “outstanding output with an increased colour gamut, higher-density blacks and twice the print permanence than the previous generation”, with the “refined” printer design including “improved dust and static control for reduced maintenance and increased durability and reliability”.

The 10 inkjet cartridges feature 200ml of ink each, with new orange and green inks added to black inks that are “1.5 times denser than the previous generation”, for a “wider contrast ratio and improved resin encapsulation technology for superior gloss uniformity and optically clearer, sharper images”. The printhead meanwhile has a new “ink-repellent surface coating”, and supports printless nozzle checks.

Two different ink configurations are supported, with the Standard and Designer editions of the unit featuring light light black ink, while the Commercial edition replaces this with violet ink. The device also has “auto-switching between the high-capacity front paper cassette and roll media feeder”, a “power-driven roll media spindle”, and an “internal high-speed single-pass rotary cutter”, with a capacity of 100 sheets from eight by 10 inches up to 17 by 22 inches.

The Standard and Commercial editions are available now, while the Designer edition will be available in March, and the first two are available for $1,995 (€1,876), while the latter will be available for $2,495 (€2,346).

Larry Kaufman, Product Manager of Professional Imaging at Epson America, commented: “The SureColor P5000 is a replacement to the last Epson Stylus Pro model still available the renowned Epson Stylus Pro 4900. The Epson Stylus Pro brand was iconic, and it helped Epson build a pronounced reputation within the photography industry. We have since announced the SureColor product line, which is bringing Epson’s photographic technology to the next level.

“The SureColor P5000 brings all of the SureColor printing technology into a 17-inch desktop model, providing photographers and graphic designers with the best imaging technology has to offer.”

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Epson named best channel vendor

January 4, 2017

The OEM has been named the ‘Best Channel Vendor’ for the eighth time since 2009 by Business Solutions Magazine (BSM).

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In a press release, Epson announced that it had won the POS Hardware Technology category from BSM, which had conducted a survey of subscribers during October that totalled 5,382 votes from solution providers. To ensure the statistics were accurate, BSM partnered with Penn State University and asked VARs (value-added resellers) to rate their vendors based on categories, and Epson “earned close to the highest ranking in each category”.

Mike Monocello, Editor in Chief of BSM, said: “Our Best Channel Vendor Awards are designed to provide solution providers with insight into the vendor partners that are viewed by their peers as the best-of-the-best. We congratulate Epson on being a repeat winner and for earning high marks for product reliability and innovation.”

Tom Kettell, Director Commercial Channel Sales at Epson, added: “We are very proud that our partners voted again for Epson as ‘Best Channel Vendor’. Our commitment to the channel programme continues to be a priority and we will keep delivering the innovative products and services that meet the needs of our partners and their customers.”

 

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Epson releases “world’s smallest” mobile printer

December 23, 2016

The OEM launched the WorkForce WF-100, said to be the “world’s lightest and smallest wireless mobile printer”.

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A press release reported that the wireless connectivity enables users to print from tablets, smartphones and laptops. and that the colour inkjet printer has Wi-Fi direct for printing without a router. The battery is rechargeable via USB or AC adapter. and also has an “automatic power off feature to save the battery”.

The printer is said to be convenient and portable, and produces “professional quality prints” and borderless photos 4”x6” at speeds up to seven ISO ipm in black and four ISO ppm in colour. The colour touchscreen is 1.4 inches, and has a control panel for easy set-up and operation. The ink is quick-drying and prints are fade- and water-resistant.

The WorkForce WF-100 supports android and Kindle Fire printing as well as Google Cloud Print with Gmail or a Google Drive account, and enables printing from Chromebook and Google Chrome without the need for drivers or cables. Also available is the Epson Connect Solutions Finder to help users compare which solution supports their mobile devices and printer.

 

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Epson update on firmware issues

December 13, 2016

epson-logo-200x48In a recent story we reported problems after an Epson firmware update, and Epson have replied.

The Recycler previously reported that the OEM’s wireless internet printers kept crashing after a firmware update, and that Google Cloud Print may also have been a cause. Users have had problems with Epson’s WorkForce WF-3520 printers, as they have been constantly shutting down and restarting.

The problem was said at the time by The Register to have been allegedly related to a recent firmware update, as “users noted the problems started after Epson sent an upgrade to the printers”. Epson also said at the time that a “temporary fix has been discovered that will enable users to activate the printer, as many have said ‘disabling the Google Print feature’ will stop the reboot cycle”.

Since then, the OEM has looked into the problem and discovered that the problem lay with Google Cloud Print. In a statement sent to The Recycler a spokes person for Epson said: “[We]wanted to reach out to you to let you know that the issue does not stem from a firmware update on Epson’s side. The team has isolated the issue to customers that are registered users for Google Cloud Print.  The Epson team and their counterparts at Google are working on a permanent fix.

“In the meantime, Epson has created a support site that provides additional information and an interim workaround for impacted models: https://epson.com/Support/Printers/sh/s1. We recommend users use these steps to disconnect Google Cloud Print until we can determine the cause and solution to this issue. Once customers disable Google Cloud Print they can use their printer for every application except GCP. We will inform customers when they are able to use Google Cloud Print again.”  

 

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Epson MPS in case study

December 12, 2016

The OEM’s Print365 programme has helped a Dutch firm remain “productive”.workforce-pro-primters-850x476

Computable (Dutch) reported on the business inkjet-based MPS programme Print365, which has been integrated at Dutch telemarketing agency Team Target. The site added that the company experienced “all the annoyances of printing”, including that “toners are constantly empty, [and there are] paper jams all the time”. The company’s founder and owner Camiel Croonen stated that the OEM’s MPS programme however “offered the solution” to these problems.

The small company had “three different printers” including a monochrome single-function, a colour MFP and a “small printer in the boardroom for printing confidential documents”, which Croonen said “were all older machines [that] were susceptible to interference”, adding that “individual faults are not bad”, but that issues with all three could cause problems.

Croonen noted that the company found it “disappointing” that there was a “high cost of management” and also the “speed with which consumables” were used, with the three machines using “nine different inks”, and while Team Target had “a lot of stock”, it was always “not the colour that was needed at that time”, with a “lot of time […] spent on print jobs”.

He added that “it may sound like a small thing, but when a printer needs to warm up every 30seconds for the first page rolls out, [it’s] a waste of time”. With the Print365 system, the company pays a “fixed monthly fee” and can “print as much as [they] want”, with a WorkForce Pro WF device recommended by Epson. The amount of ink was enough “for printing 75,000 prints” over “the three-year duration of the subscription”, which Croonen said was “more than [he] expects to print”.

His perspective was that “with our consumption we get that ink bags [will] probably not [be] empty. But if you calculate what you have spent on toners over the years, you come to a large sum. Then this plan, tailored to your printing habits, [is] much cheaper”. If the ink was to run out, replacements would be “automatically reordered”.

Croonen also found that “an additional advantage” was the ability to print and scan in A3, which he said was “typical of something I did not know I missed it until I got it”, while the print quality “is very high”, meaning that “those days” of using a copy shop “are over” for the company. The printer’s quick-start and environmental aspects “not only saves time but also energy”.

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Epson firmware update causing printer problems

December 7, 2016

The OEM’s wireless internet printers keep crashing after a firmware update, and Google Cloud Print may also be a cause.epson-logo-200x48

Over the last 24 hours users have had problems with Epson’s WorkForce WF-3520 printers, as they have been constantly shutting down and restarting, reported The Register. The problem is allegedly related to a recent firmware update, as users noted the problems started after Epson sent an upgrade to the printers.

A temporary fix has been discovered that will enable users to activate the printer, as many have said “disabling the Google Print feature” will stop the reboot cycle, and The Register has given instructions on how to do this. After disabling Google Cloud Print, the router can be switched back on and the printer should work normally.

Epson has been made aware of the situation, and a spokesperson said: “We believe this is related to Google Cloud printing, however the Epson support team is assessing further. In the meantime, we are currently taking customers impacted through a temporary work around to address the issue and we are working on a permanent fix.”

 

 

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Epson absorbs subsidiary

December 1, 2016

The OEM has taken on Epson Imaging Devices Corporation (EID), and will “waive some debts owed”.epson-logo-200x48

Epson stated that the merger is “an absorption-type merger of a wholly-owned subsidiary”, explaining EID “became a 100 percent subsidiary company of Epson in December 2006” having been established “as a joint venture involving the company’s small- and medium-sized LCD business in October 2004”. It rolled out operations “based on original technology”, but was “seriously affected as the business environment dramatically worsened in an increasingly competitive environment”.

As part of Epson’s “efforts to refocus its business portfolio”, EID thus “undertook a realignment” of the display business and then “effectively terminated” the business “by transferring operations to another company in 2011”. This led to Epson deciding to absorb EID “as it seeks to consolidate and drive efficiencies” across its operations, with the merger set to take place on 1 February 2017, and with EID “dissolved as the absorbed company”.

Epson will also “waive the debts owed by EID” because it has “liabilities exceeding its assets”, thereby “eliminating the state of insolvency before the merger takes place. The debts at this point are ¥25.2 billion ($220.5 million/€207.8 million), and after the merger “there will be no changes to Epson’s trading name, head office address, names and titles of representative directors, business lines or paid-in capital or end of fiscal year as a result”.

The OEM concluded that “the reduction of taxation expenses expected to accompany this absorption has already been reflected” in its predictions for the financial year in its recent quarterly results, adding that “the liabilities write-off […] will have no impact on consolidated financial results because it involves a liabilities write-off for a wholly-owned subsidiary”, and “there will be no impact on nonconsolidated financial results because the allowance for doubtful receivables has been recorded in previous years”.

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Epson to appear on US TV show

November 29, 2016

The Profit is a programme that brings news and business tips for SMBs as well as technology.

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In a press release, the OEM announced that “it has partnered for a second consecutive season with CNBC” and the series The Profit, which aims to “help SMBs succeed” at home or in the office. During the series, SMBs receive tips on business and technology through customised clips that feature Epson EcoTank printers, including the WorkForce ET-16500 wide-format and WorkForce ET-4550 and Expression ET-2550 MFPs.

Agustin Chacon, Vice President of International Marketing at Epson, said: “Business operations are unique but we understand the critical need to operate efficiently without sacrificing creativity. We are pleased to be partnering with CNBC and The Profit for the second year in a row to continue bringing innovative technology to the business community. By utilising cartridge-free printers like the EcoTank series, businesses can focus on achieving long-term goals without worrying about back-end operations.”

The clips on the show are customised and follow small business owners managing their days working at home or from an office, and show how Epson’s EcoTank printer can deliver worry-free solutions.

 Christina Glorioso, Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing for NBCUniversal News Group, commented: “In our second year working together, we are very excited to showcase the Epson EcoTank printer within an episode of our fan-favourite The Profit and super serve our small business audience even further with original digital content.  This new product line from Epson is a perfect solution for all our busy, hardworking fans, and a natural fit for our CNBC Primetime programming.”

 

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Epson India’s business grows 20 percent

November 28, 2016

SMBs and banks have helped the OEM grow in the Indian market.india

The OEM sells printers and projectors in India, and has said that this growth is “likely to maintain this pace on the back of increased focus on the home and education segment”, reported Economic Times. Its large format printer sales have also grown by 22 percent  compared to last year’s figures.

Samba Moorthy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Epson India, said that “over the last five years we have been growing at about 20 percent and we expect this to continue. We will continue to focus on the home and education segments, as well as our efforts towards creating a consolidated printer market”. Epson has been encouraging SMBs to change over from laser printers to inkjet to save them money, and also make them more “eco-friendly”.

Moorthy commented that “most SMEs offices with 20 to 25 people are making the switch. Apart from that, banks are also moving towards inkjet printers”. In terms of global revenue, India plays a small part in Epson’s growth, around two percent, but the “sustained growth numbers were an indication of how important India is to Epson”.

The Indian printer market is recorded as just over three million units in shipment size, and IDC data shows that Epson’s market share “increased from 31 percent to 37 percent in the past year”, but that inkjet printer sales “declined by four percent” ,although laser printers “increased by about the same volume”.

 

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