Epson New Zealand appoints new General Manager

August 10, 2016

Epson logoSimon Rogers is the first General Manager for two years, and his appointment was said to show that Epson are reinvesting in the New Zealand market.

Channel Life reported that the Japanese company’s subsidiary in New Zealand had not had a General Manager since the departure of Greg Skinner in 2014, and that now the company is expanding its “local EccoTank printer channel” since Roger’s appointment, there will be an “increased focus” on the country’s business.

Rogers said: “We recognised that this is a unique market and you need to be close to it and highly responsive to it, so I’ve come in here to try and make Epson that much more nimble in that regard.” Previously Rogers led the company’s Australian business sector, and he added that “we arguably lost a little bit of touch with the New Zealand market in that requirement to respond instantly, particularly to the requirements of our channel partners here”.

According to Rogers, his position is “only a small indication” of Epson’s future investment for the foreseeable future. Rogers said that the company wants to expand the distribution for its EcoTank printer, as they were previously only available through “Warehouse Stationery and Harvey Norman”.

“We are now looking to broaden that distribution particularly to specialist resellers through Ingram Micro,” he said, and added: “We haven’t had access available through Ingram Micro previously, but we do see a particular opportunity in smaller businesses and we know there are plenty of resellers who tap into that smaller business market where this would be a great fit. We’d like to work with those companies to offer this opportunity.”

The EcoTank, which when launched cost $449 (€402), has recently been dropped in price to $349 (€313), Rogers adding that “we’re repositioning our EcoTank pricing to try and make it more accessible to a wider range of end users. We’re trying to make it a viable option for more of the market”.





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Epson looks beyond printers

August 8, 2016

With the decline of printing, the OEM looks at its other products.Epson logo

Business Review reported on Epson’s range of businesses, and how many other products the company sells that people may not associate them with. For over 30 years the OEM has been making robots, and despite the fact that printing has been its main focus, it has many investments in technology from “visual communication and wearables to virtual reality and robotics”.

At an Epson conference held at its Dusseldorf offices, the company showcased its robotic innovations. The robots on display had “new force-sensing characteristics” and used Epson’s patented “piezoelectric quartz sensing technology”, with the report adding that the “new S250 series force sensors are durable and sensitive” which allows them to “accurately and consistently sense minimal amounts of force in six directions”.

Rob Clark, Senior Vice President of Epson Europe and Managing Director of Epson UK, explained how they work: “Essentially this is a step towards making the robot act more like a human. It is able to sense and understand how to pick up and place items into very difficult situations. The robot must apply movement and pressure in order to place objects in the right place – it learns its environment.”

This means that robots can learn how to become more accurate and assist manufacturers who may not have the most advanced robotic capabilities. This technology allows robots to “assemble and move parts made to less precise specifications” by getting them “to fit into spaces as any human would”.

Epson’s bigger ambition is to introduce robots with dual arms to the assembly line, with Dirk Folkens, Factory Automation Sales Manger for Epson Deutschland, adding: “Imagine moving three bricks with the middle brick held by the force of two either side of it you don’t want the middle brick to fall onto the floor, so this is why a dual arm robot needs a force sensor for both arms to work together.

“This is a core development for the dual arm robot, which will bring future technologies into today’s robot. Combine this with 3D printing the components the robots assemble, and automation could play an even bigger part in the whole manufacturing process.”

As European companies become more conscious about sustainability and economic savings, the robots would be able to take over “repetitive and mundane assembly tasks”, and Clark said that “ecology is something we have a strong focus on, a message that resonates particularly strongly in Germany. Companies are looking to the likes of Epson to provide technologies and solutions that are in tune with the environment. Ecological IT is growing all the time, and the priority of eco versus cost is going up. One day cost and ecology will have an equal billing”.

Folkens added: “We have more customers who are taking care of their total cost of ownership, which includes the power consumption of a robot over its lifetime as well as its environmental footprint. Our robots don’t need 380 volts – the power consumption is extremely low across our range of products, not just robots.”

Epson focuses on the market in France, the UK and Germany, the latter a particularly strong market due to its enormous automotive sector, Folken concluding: “If you compare the UK to the rest of Europe it is actually a little bit behind in terms of robots per 10,000 workers. The country with the highest density is Japan, but Germany is not far off.”


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Epson adds to EcoTank range

August 2, 2016

The two newest devices in the range are “enhanced cartridge-free” devices, which are said to include “up to two years of ink in the box”.

Epson's Expression ET-3600

Epson’s Expression ET-3600

In a press release, Epson America revealed that the WorkForce ET-16500 and Expression ET-3600 machines are the newest additions to the Supertank category of EcoTank inkjet printers, with the WorkForce device a wide-format machine. The OEM calls the machines “revolutionary in design” due to their “cartridge-free printing with easy-to-fill supersized ink tanks and up to two years of ink in the box”.

In turn, the printers are said to “not only expand the Epson portfolio of Supertank printers”, but also “serve as proof points for the success of this category in the North American printer market”, through Epson’s “commitment to delivering printing solutions that meet a range of customer needs”. The two AIO machines are also said to feature ink “equivalent to about 50 ink cartridge sets”, or 11,00 pages, “compared to traditional cartridge printers”.

Replacement bottles of ink are stated by Epson to be “low-cost” and able to save users “up to 80 percent on ink”, and on a technological level, the two newest printers “boast an entirely new printing system unique to the Supertank category” for “laser-quality performance”, while other features include Wi-Fi Direct capability and Epson Connect compatibility.

In more detail, the WorkForce ET-16500 wide-format is the first in the Supertank category, and features PrecisionCor printheads, ink yields of 10,500 pages in black and 11,000 pages in colour, as well as prints of up to 13 inches by 19 inches, and copies and scans of up to 11 inches by 17 inches. It also has a paper capacity of 500 sheets, a 4.3-inch colour touchscreen and a cost of $1,199 (€1,070) on release in mid-September.

In turn, the Expression ET-3600 machine features a yield of 11,000 pages in black and 8,500 pages in colour, print speeds of 13.7 ISO ppm in black and 7.3 ISO ppm in colour, automatic duplexing, a 150-sheet paper capacity and wireless and mobile printing compatibility. This printer will also go on sale in mid-September, and will cost $399 (€356).

Nils Madden, Marketing Director for Epson America’s Desktop Imaging and Printing division, commented: “The Supertank category was designed to enhance the customer printing experience. EcoTank printers provide customers with convenience and value, offering the freedom to print in color without worrying about cost or running out of ink.

“Since introducing cartridge-free printing in North America last year, feedback has been incredibly positive and sales have exceeded our expectations. The new ET-16500 and ET-3600 deliver enhanced performance and features to reach a wider range of users. Expanding the EcoTank portfolio underscores our commitment to transforming the way people think about colour printing in business and in the home.”

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Epson discusses China and paperless office

July 29, 2016

Minoru Usui, President of Seiko Epson

Minoru Usui, President of Seiko Epson

The OEM’s CEO, Minoru Usui, noted that “if you take the innovation away from Epson, there is no meaning for the company”.

China Daily interviewed Usui, noting that “innovation is the driving force of an enterprise”, with Usui agreeing that “innovation was of great importance” to the OEM’, and that “it needs to constantly innovate to create new products”. The outlet highlighted that since he took over in 2008 he has “adjusted the original business structure”, and decided to “vigorously develop its inkjet printing”.

The OEM plans to “step up the pace of its technological innovation”, and Usui stated that he has “confidence in China based on strong sales”, with Epson’s ‘Made in China 2025’ action plan aiming to “provide a number of opportunities” in robotics used in the manufacturing processes. Questioned on Epson’s prospects in China “in the context of the current economic situation”, Usui noted that China “is changing dramatically”, having grown “for years”, and is now “very stable”.

Epson is focusing on production and sales, with sales activity “very positive” and offering a “big opportunity”, with the OEM holding a “dominant position”. However, there is a “very severe […] productivity problem”, with labour costs “dramatically increasing”, and the OEM “can’t sustain labour quality and quantity as our employees are leaving us”. As the OEM changes, it is focusing on consumer products, with the micro piezo printheads used in business inkjet machines.

In order to “achieve success”, Usui believes Epson “must be a customer-oriented company”, the “biggest opportunity, but also the biggest challenge”, and this can be helped by establishing “collaborations with local Chinese companies to develop both software and hardware”. On the paperless office, China Daily called printing a “sunset industry”, and Usui believes the idea’s origin is that it “has less of an impact on the environment”, as well as being cheaper and “easier to manage”.

He added that Epson has “made efforts in two areas”, including promoting inkjet printers “which are more environmentally friendly” than lasers, and in developing the PaperLab technology “which takes used paper and creates fresh new sheets”. This “papermarking ecosystem” in offices is the OEM’s “future direction”, with inkjet technology aiding the “the printing process” as it is “digital and causes less impact on the environment”.

Before he joined, the OEM was “facing tough times”, so Usui “analysed what Epson’s strengths were and made an adjustment”, expanding inkjet printing and abandoning laser printers, and he added that “generally speaking, we stand on our own merits, expanding our production line and the competitiveness of our products, and really analysing the demands of consumers. If you take the innovation away from Epson, there is no meaning for the company”.

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Epson releases new InkTank in India

July 28, 2016

The OEM launched the Epson LS55 MFP device for the Indian

The MFP features ADF, WiFi, networking, fax and duplex functions and is aimed at accomplishing “cost effective speed and quality” reported Dataquest. The printer is said to be “ideal for office and commercial” use and prints colour documents with “sharp text and images”, while black prints are “water and smudge resistant” and a 4,800 dpi “high resolution output”.

There is easy access to shared and mobile printing, and Wi-Fi Direct enables connectivity to four devices to the printer “without a router”, but it also comes with Ethernet connection, allowing sharing in a work group. Print speeds are up to 13.7ipm for standard print and 33ppm for draft print with Epson’s PrecisionCore printhead, with duplex printing up to 6.5ipm, which reduces waste of paper.

The ADF unit is equipped with 30-sheets and the L655’s “broadcast fax and PC-fax functions” enable users to send a fax with their computer. There is a 100-page fax storage memory so that incoming faxes can be stored even when there is no paper or ink. The model is compact and uses Epson genuine ink bottles to “deliver high quality and high volume printing”, and each bottle is sealed “to ensure the purity of the ink”, while an Epson smart tip ensures mess-free refilling.

Mr. Siva Kumar, Deputy General Manager of Inkjet Printers at Epson India, commented: “Epson’s InkTank printers have been a runway success in India. The corporate and office segment has been asking for an InkTank printer with duplex printing capabilities, ADF and in-built fax. With the L655 we answer this need. We expect Epson’s InkTank printers to become even more widely accepted and preferred over laser printers in office environments going forward now.”





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Epson posts poor quarterly results

July 28, 2016

Epson logoThe OEM saw both revenue and profit fall year-over-year for the first quarter of 2016.

The results saw the OEM reveal that revenue had fallen from ¥260.9 billion ($2.4 billion/€2.2 billion) to ¥239 billion ($2.3 billion/€2 billion), a drop of 8.4 percent compared to the first quarter in 2015. Additionally, profit before tax fell from ¥16 billion ($152 million/€137 million) in 1Q2015 to ¥4.2 billion ($40.8 million/€36 million), a drop of 60.3 percent on the same period last year, while business profit fell 60.8 percent from ¥16.5 billion ($157.4 million/€141.7 million) to ¥6.4 billion ($62.8 million/€54.9million).

In May, the OEM reported mixed yearly results, with revenue increasing year-over-year by 0.6 percent, from ¥1.086 trillion ($10.008 billion/€8.756 billion) to ¥1.092 trillion ($10.064 billion/€8.805 billion), though profit fell from ¥101 billion ($933 million/€816 million) to ¥84,951,000,000 ($782 million/€684 million), a drop of 16.1 percent.

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Epson ink tanks succeed in Kenya

July 15, 2016

Kenya is named as the leading country in sales of ink tank printers in Africa.

epson ink tanks

AllAfrica reported that Epson had reached their target of 15 million sales, as previously reported by The Recycler, with Mukesh Bector, Regional Sales Manager for Epson East Africa, noting that “since setting up in this market in 2011, Epson’s strategy has always been focused on real business concerns such as the day-to-day costs of running a printer, as opposed to price”.

He added that “in a span of three years, ITS printers have become the most popular printers for small businesses, and have consistently guaranteed the lowest cost of printing in the market without compromising on quality. The results are evident in our growth”. Bector also said that “Kenya has been a huge success for us, to date, Kenya is the leading country in the uptake of ITS printers in Africa, with local sales last year standing at over 10,000 units”.

The ink tank printers “have been especially successful with SMEs in market due to additional capabilities such as Wi-Fi direct, printing from non-traditional products such as mobile phones as well as cloud printing capabilities to ensure businesses run as smoothly as possible. With a constantly evolving business landscape, Epson is committed to investing and expanding its presence in the market and providing product solutions relevant to its consumers”.


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Epson journeys to Antarctica

July 11, 2016

The OEM took its high capacity ink tank printer to Antarctica to test its reliability in extreme conditions.antartica

Having tested the printer and EcoTank in remote settings in Latin America, the OEM then ventured to the Argentine Antarctic and Base Marambio, which is the “southernmost point in the Americas”. The L355 was sent to the base in October 2014, and Juan Carlos Lujan, President of Fundacion Marambio, said that “it has been over a year and a half of daily use without refilling and working properly. They never had to worry about the ink, which seemed endless”.

At the base, scientific research is carried out, and the hard conditions mean that it is not always possible to have “frequent access to the base and limits the possibilities of those who live there to receive supplies and spare parts for their equipment”. The EcoTank devices replace normal cartridges with ink bottles but are able to maintain the same “printing quality” while costing less.

A member of the Annual Antartic team said: “We have accepted the EcoTank Challenge because with temperatures of 30 degrees below zero and strong winds, we do not have to worry about refilling ink. And we have not been disappointed about that.”





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Epson America releases three new wide-formats

July 6, 2016

Epson's SureColor P6000

Epson’s SureColor P6000

The SureColor P-series of devices come under the ‘Designer Edition’ banner, and are aimed at “creative professionals”.


In a press release, the OEM revealed that the SureColor P800, P6000 and P8000 Designer Editions feature respective widths of 17 inches, 24 inches and 44 inches,  and integrate EFI’s Fiery eXpress RIP (raster image processor) for “graphic design and photography professionals”. The machines also include “accurate colour matching for process colour (CMYK), spot colours and RGB”, alongside the PANTONE Plus Spot Color library.

The machines feature “five methods” to print, including ‘Hot Folder’, ‘Virtual Printer’, ‘Unidriver’, eXpress RIP and ‘Drag and Drop’, with the first allowing for files to be saved directly to the printer before being printed. The second allows for files to be sent from an app, while the third prints directly from an app with extra custom functions, and the fourth uses the software for multiple formats; finally, the fifth allows for files to be dragged directly “to the job list”.

The P800 machine utilises Epson’s MicroPiezo AMC printhead technology, eight colours in UltraChrome HD inkjet and individual 80 millilitre high-capcaity inkjet cartridges, while the P6000 and P8000 feature a PrecisionCore TFP printhead, the same inks and further media handling options. All three machines are now available, with the P800 Designer Edition costing $1,495 (€1,350), the P6000 costing $3,495 (€3,157) and the P8000 $5,495 (€4,963).

Larry Kaufman, Product Manager of Professional Imaging for Epson America, commented: “The SureColor P-Series Designer Edition printers enable graphic designers to print the way they want with accurate results. With true Adobe PostScript, seamless RGB and CMYK colour management and nesting of files to optimize media usage, the new SureColor Designer Edition printers offer advanced capabilities for producing unparalleled output from a broad range of applications.”

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Epson ink tanks reach 15 million sales

July 6, 2016

Tepsoninktankgraphhe OEM revealed that since being launched in 2010, the machines have reached the global sales milestone.

In a press release, the OEM revealed the sales figures, stating that the figures prove “the success of this revolutionary new system”, having been first launched in October 2010 in the Indonesian market. After their introduction, the devices have been released in 150 other nations and regions, which Epson pointed out “highlight[s] the positive response”. The machines have “made a significant impression on the market”, the OEM claimed, particularly in emerging markets.

In these areas, the machines’ sales have “accounted for approximately” 10 percent of total sales of inkjet and laser printers, equating to around 45 million units, and Epson predicts “strong continued sales growth with global annual sales projected to account for nearly 40 percent of the total sales of Epson inkjet printers”, compared to 30 percent and 35 percent in previous years. It had revealed earlier this year that in India alone it had sold over one million ink tank devices.

The OEM mentioned that it “believes the success of the high-capacity ink tank printers is due to a number of factors”, including that the tanks are “purpose-built and fully integrated, which means that they provide a mess-free and reliable solution” as well as being convenient because the user “can fill [the tanks] and print thousands of pages without interruption” or replacing cartridges. Cost-effectiveness was also named, and the “ultra-low-cost per print”.

Koichi Kubota, Director, Managing Executive Officer and COO of Epson’s Printer Operations Division stated: “With 15 million units sold, we’re proud to say that this new concept has proven a success. At Epson, we’ve always valued the importance of offering customers a wide range of choice so that they can find a product that suits their individual needs. We identified a unique market opportunity; customers looking for a purpose-built, reliable, cost-effective and high-volume printing solution. Our innovative high-capacity ink tank printers provide the answer, and the figures testify to that.”

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