With experience of over 40 years with the original digital printer created in 1964, EPSON has paved the way for high quality prints at an affordable price for the home users at large. The first printer, the Electric Printer, EP101, signaled the company’s change from a watch-making company to a printing and subsequently a leader in information technology imaging leader.
EPSON, a derivation of the first model’s EP and the wish of the company for its SONs to populate the world providing the mass consumer the ability to print. Today, it has over 30 products in its printing portfolio, all of them utilizing the Micro Piezo print head technology.
Micro Piezo technology utilizes electric currents to drive miniature pumps in the printer to shoot out ink to the printing substrate. The company emphasizes that this process is much more economical as the ink can be precisely set unlike the thermal-based print heads. This also has the additional advantage of allowing non-water based inks to be used as there is no need to heat up the ink to produce the ink droplets.
The company recently took journalists from around the region to visit their headquarters in the town of Suwa, in the Nagano prefecture in Japan. Here, the history of the company, from the first time piece (Epson is part of the bigger company named Seiko-Epson) to the current printing products destined for the market. Among the dignitaries present during the tour are Minoru Usui, the current president for Epson and also Koichi Endoh, the head of Epson Singapore, the holding company that oversees the operations for the South East Asia region. There two men was part of the original team of 80 engineers created in 90s to create a new printing technology, which culminated to the Micro Piezo technology that Epson uses in their line of printers now.
At their headquarters in Suwa, Nagano prefecture, the company displayed to the journalists the original printer, the EP101 and also a gallery of subsequent printers that came out from the advancement of technology since then. Epson was the first manufacturer in the world that came out with a colour printer, and also the first high resolution colour printer. At the same time the company was also manufacturing large format printers, dot matrix printers and for the Japan market, a line of desktop computers. The first truly laptop that was usable on a lap was created by Epson several decades ago.
Later at their ink manufacturing plant in Hirooka, the company put on show the largest display screen that employs the company’s own solution of hard ware – the form of 21 projectors – which outputs where then stitched together to create the display, running at (pixels) x (pixels). At the same time they showcased their latest technologies, which includes several new printers that is aimed for the consumer market – the (put in model name) and the (put in the model name); and also the company’s first industrial printer – the (put in model name). They also previewed the ink tank assembly line to the journalists.
When asked, the company said that they are committed with the South East Asia region, as they see the region as a very rich and untapped market to take advantage off as the region contributes about twenty percent of the total worldwide sales. With the recent launch of the ME series printers locally in Malaysia, Epson feels that the market is one of the fastest growing market in the world.
Epson also mentioned that their plant in Indonesia – which manufactures the inkjet-printers – will see a growth of more than one hundred percent in the next three years, which is a testament of the uptake of printers all over the world, even with the recent recession. The company is not afraid of the new digital revolution and the migration of data to the cloud as they see the cloud as the next frontier to tap into as they envision the future world of users to be able to print from everywhere as part of the company’s potential growth in the next few years.
As part as the company’s aim to be a greener company, they have set a guideline of reducing up to ninety percent in carbon emission as a whole – from product procurement to shipping. As of today, the company has already launched a Japan-only initiative to recycle used print tanks, but they hinted a possibility of expanding this program to other regions as well.
The latest iteration of the Micro Piezo print heads is being used in the latest A2 printer from Epson, the Epson Stylus Pro 4900. The use of the Micro Piezo print head also allows a smaller printer to be created as the Epson Stylus Pro 4900 is the smallest A2 printer in its class. The print head is also currently being used in the company’s smallest printer – a photo printer and Epson’s largest printer, the (put in the model name).
In the future, the Micro Piezo technology will still power the company’s printers as it is Epson’s core technology, but with increased performance in the form of higher resolution s more nozzles can be fitted into the same square area. This can lead to both a finer quality printout and also a smaller print head as it can be smaller without sacrificing quality.