Epson UK says it plans to launch more than 10 new inkjet printers for a range of professional print applications over the next 18 months. This impressive programme is part of Epson’s strategy to deliver a comprehensive choice of affordable, high-quality print solutions to commercial, signage, décor, label, textile and photo print specialists.
Over the last two years alone, Epson has introduced 10 professional print products under the ‘Sure’ brand. These have included several ‘firsts’ which have opened up important new markets for Epson and brought new levels of quality and versatility to the industry. These include Epson’s first single-pass digital label press and UV technology (the SurePress L-6034V), its first mini dry photolabs (the SureLab range), its first signage/POS wide-format printers (the SureColor SC-S range), its first dye sublimation printers (the SureColor SC-F), its first direct-to-garment textile printer (the SureColor SC-F2000) and a new-generation of aqueous display graphics printers (the SureColor SC-T range).
The rate of new product launches will continue and by 2016 Epson will offer over 33 professional production printers with dedicated Epson inks to the Label & Packaging, Sign & Display, Production Photo and Textile markets.
“Epson’s strategy is quite simple – but very ambitious,” says Phil McMullin, Sales Manager ProGraphics, Epson UK. “We want to provide the market with the best combination of printer and ink technology to deliver high quality, superb reliability and the best all round return on investment for the broadest range of professional print applications.”
Innovative Epson technology is driving product innovation
Epson spends £1.2m a day (approximately 6% of annual turnover) on R&D which is driving innovation and new technology, ink and product development for consumer, business, professional print, government, medical, finance and retail markets across the world.
The core of Epson’s print technology is the Micro Peizo inkjet printhead. In 2003, having already revolutionised photo-printing by bringing it into the home, Epson set its sights on realizing the true potential of its Micro Piezo printhead technology. To achieve the high-speed, high-quality, high-reliability, and high-efficiency printing demanded by the commercial print industry, it was necessary to develop the thinnest possible piezo element for maximum control over drop size. The result was the 2007 launch of Epson Thin Film Piezo (TFP). Since then, TFP has been Epson’s flagship technology for large-format printers, where fine image quality is required to create graphics with outstanding detail, colour expression, and increased productivity.
Last year, Epson took another leap forward in the evolution of its thin-film piezo technology with the launch of PrecisionCore. The revolutionary PrecisionCore MicroTFP print chip is the result of one of the largest R&D investments in the company’s history and builds on the Epson’s materials science skills and MEMS manufacturing technology. Micro TFP doubles the piezo element’s flexing power, allowing further miniaturisation and scalability opening up new possibilities for fluid handling and substrate compatibility. The modular PrecisionCore chips can be combined in different ways to build a variety of high-performance printheads, from lineheads for industrial presses to serial printheads for desktop printers. The first products to use PrecisionCore are the SurePress L-6034V digital label press and the SureColor SC-F2000 direct-to-garment T-shirt printer and it will be used in an increasing number of products in the future.
Alongside its printhead technology, Epson’s ink technology is an important part of every Epson professional print production solution. Today, Epson is the only company today to develop and manufacture the full range of aqueous, solvent, resin, UV, dye sublimation and textile inks. As a result, every component of an Epson solution – hardware, printhead, ink and software – is optimised to deliver the best possible performance.
Ultimately, Epson’s strategy is to continue to refine its compact, energy saving and high precision technologies by leveraging its core Micro Piezo and PrecisionCore printhead technologies to develop products that meet the needs of the commercial and industrial digital printing sectors, and emerging markets. The vision and ultimate aim of Minoru Usui, President of Seiko Epson, is that everything will be printed by Epson.