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Epson reports on growth in India

July 2, 2015

The OEM spoke to PrintWeek India about business growth, its financial achievements and scope for the future.

Vasudevan L K, Epson India’s Deputy General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Prographic Products

Vasudevan L K, Epson India’s Deputy General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Prographic Products

The news outlet interviewed Vasudevan L K, Epson India’s Deputy General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Prographic Products, who stated that “it has been a fantastic year” for the OEM, as it has grown 23 percent and “gone past” the Rs 1,000 crore ($157 million/€142 million) turnover marker. The company ended the financial year in India with a turnover of Rs 1,078 crore ($169 million/€153 million), and saw “tremendous growth […] in each of the product categories we have operated in”.

He added that “we are market share leaders in almost every category”, and that Epson sees “tremendous scope in areas beyond conventional printing”, or what the OEM “like[s] to call value-added services”. A “key focus area” is said to be the education and showcasing of “the huge scope for value-added services in the area of printing”, as customers are “demanding more and their expectations for printing on various materials has gone up exponentially”.

This has had the consequence of creating a “new business opportunity with tremendous potential” for Epson India, whose products are “well placed to meet this on-demand requirement from customers”. The value-added printing services are also “becoming a crucial tool for brand and marketing people to reach customers in new and innovative ways”.

The representative concluded that “with digital printing, the possibilities are endless”, adding that Epson is “always working with our customers to understand their requirements and advising on ways to grow their business. We also share success stories from other regions in an effort to open up new business opportunities in India”.

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Epson launches EcoTank printers in New Zealand

June 3, 2015

EcoTankThe L365, L455 and L565 are wireless all-in-one devices and come with up to two years’ worth of ink.

Integrated high-capacity ink tanks ensure “ink is supplied continuously to the printer”, avoiding cartridge replacement, Mass Retailer reported.

The ink tank can print up to 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 in colour, and replacement bottles with drip-free nozzles and resealable cap are available, holding the same print capacity. The EcoTank L365 range has Wi-Fi with auto-setup, allowing the device to link up with computers and laptops. Users can also print from Android and iOS phones and tablets via Epson’s free iPrint app.

The L455 is “the next step up”, offering wireless connectivity to facilitate multiple device connection (up to four at once) and printing from any location. It has a plug-and-play function, with users able to choose from an existing network with 802.11n or Wi-Fi Direct, enabling peer-to-peer printing, without a wireless network. It also uses Apple AirPrint, allowing the printing of photos, emails and documents from an iPad or iPhone, with no setup or download required.

Google Cloud Print is also compatible with the L455, enabling “printing on the go” from a smartphone or tablet through Gmail, Google Drive, Chromebook and Google Chrome.

The L565 MFP is at the “top of the range”, with the OEM saying it “allows any home office or small office to do more in one small package”. It has a 100-sheet paper capacity and can scan, copy and fax several documents, via its 30-page automatic document feeder. It also has simple wireless connectivity, but with a larger 2.2 inch monochrome LCD on its control panel. The device prints from smartphones and tablets via Epson Connect and supports Android, Apple iPad and iPhone, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Mac and Windows devices.

All three devices are covered by Epson’s one year Return-to-Base warranty.

Epson said: “EcoTank printers have revolutionised household and small office printing by making them incredibly convenient as a result of the two years’ worth of included ink, the elimination of regular trips or orders to buy ink and the knowledge that, paper aside, most costs associated with printing are already paid for.”

It continued: “The use of ink bottles means there are no cartridges to change, ever. If required one simply tops up the tanks and continues printing without worry.”

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Epson renews sponsorship with Manchester United

May 22, 2015

The OEM and the English Premier League football club will continue their partnership.

Manchester United footballers Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Tyler Blackett

Manchester United footballers Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Tyler Blackett

The global partnership, which began in November 2010 and was renewed in 2012, saw the OEM become the club’s Official Office Equipment Supplier, with stadium advertising, hospitality, printer provision and other benefits included in the deal. The renewal of the deal means that it will last until the end of the 2017/18 season, and is said to reflect “the success to date of the partnership”.

Epson stated that it has helped the OEM to “engage more with its customers in key markets and enhance its global brand awareness”, with the partnership said to “continue to play a key role in boosting its global profile and supporting business growth” for products including inkjet printers. Epson will continue to “benefit from stadium advertising rights and hospitality”, while Manchester United will continue to receive “core office and front-of-house printing and imaging equipment”.

The OEM added that although it and the club “compete in different environments”, it believes that the two “share a common commitment to continuous improvements in performance and innovation”, as well as being “indispensable part[s] of the community and the lives of customers and fans”.

Ian Cameron, Epson’s General Manager of Brand Communications, stated: “We are very excited to renew our global sponsorship agreement with Manchester United. The partnership to date has provided us with numerous benefits in key markets such as the office and emerging economies, and the renewal reiterates both organizations’ strong and ongoing commitment to excellence and to helping our customers to achieve their dreams.”

Richard Arnold, Manchester United’s Group Managing Director, added: “Manchester United is very proud of its partnership with Epson. Already a household name, the company has shown the innovation and determination to take this name further, breaking into new and emerging markets. We are happy to have played our part in this expansion, introducing its fantastic products to our global fanbase.

“An example of this is Epson’s innovative 3D projector commercial featuring Manchester United players, which has been seen by over 10 million people worldwide. This is the second time Epson has extended its relationship with the Club – demonstrating the value that partnering with Manchester United brings to both the Club and to the partner.”

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Epson Malaysia’s sales up 31 percent in 2014

May 21, 2015

epsonThe OEM’s growth rate more than doubled compared with 2013, with its projector segment seeing sales increase 57 percent year-on-year.

Epson claims to have a 24.3 percent share of Malaysia’s projector market, and that 2014 was its 14th consecutive year as the world’s leading projector brand, according to Futuresource Consulting figures, Digital News Asia reported.

The company’s dot matrix printers have a 96 percent market share in Malaysia, with sales rising 32 percent year-on-year, while POS printer sales grew 54 percent in 2014, achieving a market share of 36 percent. Inkjet sales are reportedly rising 29 percent year-on-year, boosted by the growing popularity of the L-Series printer, which enjoyed a sales increase of 37 percent year-on-year.

Epson’s Malaysia division currently has 84 employees and 61 authorised service outlets across the country.

Shimizu Tomoya, Epson Malaysia’s Country Manager, said: “Our strong FY2014 performance comes on the back of 14 consecutive months of over-achieving sales targets – which underscores the incremental appeal of our brand and products. We will continue to build on our compact, energy saving and high precision core technologies to bring more innovative, versatile and reliable printing and imaging solutions to the Malaysian market.”

Danny Lee, General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Epson Malaysia, commented: “Our award-winning line of L-Series printers is ideally suited for office and business environments of all sizes. Not only does Epson offer the versatility of wirelessly printing from whatever device the user prefers, we are also successfully addressing the issue of cost management that is a priority in any business.”

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Epson releases new textile wide-format machine

May 18, 2015

The OEM’s SureColor SC-F9200 machine and HDK black ink are said to “help manufacturers produce high-quality, mass-production textiles quickly and consistently”.

Epson's SureColor SC-F9200

Epson’s SureColor SC-F9200

The new machine utilises the OEM’s PrecisionCore and TFP printhead technology alongside a high-density HDK black ink, the “latest addition” to Epson’s UltraChrome DS ink range for textile printing. The SC-F9200 is said by Epson to offer the “complete package for high-volume textile printing”, and helps keep costs low and help manufacturers “produce high-quality, mass-production textiles quickly and consistently”.

The dye-sublimation machine is also available with sublimation papers that help “ensure every element works in harmony to deliver a range of textiles”. The printer is also “backed up with warranty and service support”, with the HDK black ink producing “deep, neutral blacks and dense shadows”. Two high-capacity ink supply systems allow for “longer, uninterrupted print runs” and “less time spent replenishing inks”, while “maintenance and cleaning needs are low”.

Other features of the wide-format printer include a print resolution of up to 720 x 1,440dpi, a 64-inch wide media platform, speeds of up to 97 square metres per hour and Epson’s Print & Save MPS package for “tighter budget control”, and the machine will be available from October 2015.

Richard Barrow, Senior Product Manager at Epson Europe, commented: “Epson realises how important it is for our customers to keep their overall printing costs down. With the SC-F9200, it is easy to achieve a very low cost per square metre thanks to the high-capacity ink tanks and Epson UltraChrome DS ink. Users can also cut costs even further by using our new HDK black ink, which needs less ink to create dense, neutral blacks, helping reduce the overall ink consumption.”

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Epson announces profit and revenue increases

May 7, 2015

The OEM’s 1Q2015 results showed growth across its business.Epson logo

The results included a 7.7 percent year-on-year increase in revenue to ¥1.086 trillion ($9 billion/€8 billion), and a 12.4 percent increase in profit to ¥101.2 billion ($842 million/€745 million), up 12.4 percent year over year. In terms of inkjet printers, demand “remained firm in Europe but contracted in Japan”, due to a “delayed recovery in consumer spending”.

The OEM also saw inkjet demand “decrease slightly” in North America, while wide-format demand “decreased somewhat” in Japan but “moved sideways in Europe and “remained firm” in the US. In terms of dot-matrix machines, demand “is slipping” in the Americas and Europe, and trending “downward” in China. Overall however, printing revenue “increased”, and Epson reported that it “succeeded in sharply expanding inkjet printer revenue despite a decline in ink cartridge” shipments.

The revenue grew thanks to the “reinforced line-up of printers with high-capacity ink tanks”, which saw “strong sales, especially in emerging markets”. With the RIPS (Replaceable Ink Pack System) machines “reinforced […] for a serious entry into the business market”, Epson also launched an MPS business in Japan, and revenue from consumables “rose along with an improved composition of the install base”.

Wide-format printers saw “ongoing firm demand” in large-photo and colour calibration sectors, and increasing revenue in professional photo markets thanks to “compact, high-performance new models”. The textile market’s applications “expanded to encompass” more products, while direct-to-garment machine sales were “expanded” to new territories.

The entire segment – information-related equipment – saw profit increase “due to a combination of revenue growth from major products” and currency exchange effects to ¥133.6 billion ($1.1 billion/€984 million), an increase of eight percent year-over-year. Revenue for the unit meanwhile reached ¥907.2 billion ($7.5 billion/€6.7 billion), an increase of 7.9 percent year-over-year.

Epson attributed the positive results to its “updated mid-range business plan”, a three-year initiative to “manage our businesses so that they create steady profit while avoiding the single-minded pursuit of revenue growth”. It added that “our top priority has been steady profit and cash flow”, and to achieve this it has “been readjusting our product mixes and adopting new business models”, while also “aggressively developing markets in new segments”.

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Epson launches new wide-format inkjet printer

April 14, 2015

Epson's SureColor P800

Epson’s SureColor P800

The OEM has released the SureColor P800, which features a 17-inch print width.

The device is marketed as a “professional printer” featuring “unique imaging technology” and representing a “new benchmark in photographic print quality”. It utilises the OEM’s MicroPiezo AMCTM printhead technology and an UltraChrome HD eight-colour pigment ink set, and also features a sheet feeder for photo or matte media.

Other features of the printer include an optional 17-inch wide roll paper adapter for panorama printing, 80 millilitre high-capacity inkjet cartridges, and an advanced monochrome print mode for black-and-white photography printing. The SureColor P800 also has “complete connectivity” according to Epson, with USB, Ethernet and wireless connections alongside Wi-Fi Direct, Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print support.

Larry Kaufman, Epson America’s Product Manager for Professional Imaging, stated: “We understand how important it is for our printers to produce exceptional output that not only accurately conveys a photographer’s vision, but also delivers on the promise of longevity. The SureColor P800 redefines the 17-inch photographic printing market, providing robust photo, fine art and canvas media handling capabilities, all focused on delivering stunning exhibition-quality prints that stand the test of time.”

The SureColor P800 will be available in June 2015 for $1,295 (€1,227), while an optional roll paper adapter is available for $199.95 (€189.55). Each UltraChrome HD 80ml ink cartridge will cost $59.95 (€56.83).

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Epson introduces sub-$100 printer

April 13, 2015

The Expression Home XP-420. Credit: Epson

The Expression Home XP-420. Credit: Epson

The Expression Home XP-420, the latest addition to the OEM’s ‘Small-in-One’ line, can print and scan from a tablet, smartphone or computer from anywhere in the world.

The machine features wireless connectivity, Wi-Fi Direct, and the Epson Connect suite, a mobile printing package that includes Email Print, Epson Creative Print and Epson iPrint. The device has a large high-resolution 2.5-inch colour LCD and touch panel, and built-in memory card slots to enable “PC-free document printing, scanning and copying.”

Ink cartridges can be replaced “as each colour is needed; this includes both standard and high-capacity (XL) black and colour ink cartridges”. The printer has one-click options for red eye removal, restoration of faded or discoloured photos and auto correction for high and low-exposed images, and a 100-sheet paper tray capacity

Users can also edit photos and share them directly to Facebook or other cloud services in a single workflow. Epson Community’s Snapshot blog has a how-to guide on uploading scans to the internet.

Carrie Brown, Group Product Manager of Consumer Ink Jets at Epson America, said: “Designed with a new suite of features and mobile functionality, the Expression Home XP-420 printer caters to a range of printing, scanning, copying and creative needs for today’s connected homes, as well as individuals on-the-go.

“With such a compact footprint, the XP-420 makes a great addition for families and individuals who require a high-quality, affordable printing solution to fit within smaller environments such as a home office, wall shelving, living room or a dorm room.”

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Epson celebrates brand’s 40th anniversary

April 13, 2015

The OEM’s Epson brand will celebrate 40 years in June.

Epson's first printer, the EP-101

Epson’s first printer, the EP-101

The OEM reported that the Epson brand used on “many of its products and services” will have been in use for 40 years on 12 June 2015. The OEM will mark the milestone by showing its “appreciation to the stakeholders who have supported our brand over the years”, with a “retrospective look” to be taken on the brand’s “ongoing commitment to creating products that surprise and delight”.

Epson was founded in 1942 under the name Daiwa Kogyo, and manufactured watches before moving into other areas by utilising its “core technologies” and “compact, energy-saving and high-precision” methodology. It entered the IT business in 1968 with the EP-101, which it said was the “world’s first compact, lightweight digital printer”, before adding more peripherals in the 1970s. After entering new markets across a “broad range of categories”, the OEM decided to “develop a unique, original brand”.

In fact, the Epson name comes from the EP-101, as ‘EP’ stands for electronic printer and ‘son’ denotes the company’s “desire to follow the original electronic printer with many worthwhile descendants”. In future, Epson states that it will “refine” its core technologies and perspectives, and will develop its operations in printing, visual communications, quality of life and manufacturing.

A special logo has been created for the anniversary, with four colours representing each of the four market areas, and the OEM added that the logo’s design “represents our commitment to growth in each of these four interrelated areas and to creating products that bring delight to our customers”.

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Epson announces UK MPS deals for RIPS machines

April 10, 2015

The OEM has revealed 26 MPS providers that will distribute its RIPS (Replaceable Ink Pack System) business inkjet machines.

Epson's RIPS bags

Epson’s RIPS bags

Channel Pro reported on the distribution channel announcement from the OEM, which will see 26 MPS providers in the UK offer the company’s business inkjet machines. The devices utilise its RIPS system of replaceable ink packs, which were said to cost less to run than cartridges in June 2014 and which were predicted to “reverse” the OEM business model in October last year.

The WorkForce Pro devices featuring the RIPS technology will be available from MPS providers including ASL, Bytek Ltd., Contrac, Sapphire Print Solutions and Scan DB. Epson has invested €125 million ($132 million) in bringing the technology “to the mass market through the channel”, with the bags said to be able to print 75,000 pages before expiration. Epson claims that this means businesses “can print continuously for an average of three years without needing to change consumables”.

Epson hosted a UK event called ‘Future of Business Printing’ in 2014, where Rob Clark, its Vice President of Marketing in Europe, told Channel Pro that “for us the future is definitely inkjet-based. We fully expect to be switching people to inkjet rather than laser”. Market analyst IDC’s Programme Director Phil Sargeant also spoke at the event, and predicted business inkjet products “will account for 25 percent of the business printer and multifunction market by 2017”.

Mark Allen, Epson UK’s Reseller Product Manager of Business Imaging, said that the OEM has “spent time making sure it has the right mix of partners”, adding that “they are all well-established in the managed print industry and combine a blend of product knowledge, market experience, sales support and training to ensure that our customers receive the very best levels of service possible”.

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