Refine Micro Piezo technology, and expand into high-productivity segments. Improve environmental performance and create a sustainable printing ecosystem.
Representative Director, Senior Managing Executive Officer
Chief Operating Officer, Printing Solutions Operations Division
The spread of information and communications technology (ICT) is said to be driving us toward a paperless world, but that does not mean that total print volume will decrease. While fewer books, newspapers, and magazines may be printed, there will always be a need for printing in the office. That is because even though we are sharing more digital information, the amount of information keeps growing. So, even if the percentage of information printed decreases, total print volume will not markedly change. The value of paper as a convenient medium for presenting more information at a glance will not change.
Home and office printing is a ¥17 trillion global market, and laser printers handle the large majority of office print jobs. There is room for huge growth in this market for Epson and our inkjet printers, which offer unique value, including productivity and environmental performance that surpass those of laser printers.
Commercial and industrial printing firms, seeing growing demand for short-run production, are migrating toward digital printers and away from plate-based analog printing processes. The strengths of Epson's inkjet technology can be effectively demonstrated especially in these segments, so I think we can ride the digitization wave toward significant growth.
Home & Office Printer Market Size
- * 2017, per Epson research based on data from IDC and Photizo (including ink)
- * Width: market size (monetary value based)
- *1 Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
- Reduce costs, time, and trouble in printing, and create new possibilities for digital printing.
- Mitigate environmental impacts and risks caused by the use of resources, electricity, and chemicals in traditional printing.
- Contribute to higher customer productivity with high-speed, high-quality prints on a range of media of various sizes.
Phase 1 Review
We did not reach the company's financial targets in Phase 1, but we made progress in a variety of areas. Among them were that we reinforced production capacity of PrecisionCore printheads and increased the efficiency of product development by platforming. We achieved substantial growth in sales of high-capacity ink tank printers. We also launched strategically important high-speed linehead inkjet multifunction printers. On the other hand, we were unable to displace laser printers to the extent hoped. We recognize that we needed to better advertise the benefits of inkjets and that we were late in providing functions and services that customers need.
The growth areas of commercial and industrial printing (signage, textiles, labels) continue to expand in step with population and economic growth. They are also increasingly going digital. We still need to accelerate our response, but we made steady progress in developing new product families and will focus on their launch and sales.
Phase 1 Achievements
- High-Capacity Ink Tank, Home & SOHO Printers
- Captured growth while transitioning away from the cartridge business model, which depends on sales of inkjet and laser printer consumables
- Expanded sales of high-capacity ink tank printers in emerging and developed markets
- Shared Office Printers
- Launched high-speed linehead inkjet MFPs
- Strengthened sales organizations in Japan & Western Europe
- Captured customer needs from launched products
- Commercial & Industrial Printers
- Made progress in the development of platforms & products for future growth
- Increased PrecisionCore printhead production capacity
Phase 2 Mid-Range
- Accelerate office inkjet market development
- Lead the transition to inkjets in commercial and industrial printing
We will capitalize on our unique core technologies to expand and upgrade our product lineup. At the same time, we will accelerate market development by advertising the benefits of Epson's inkjet technology and by providing new services.
In the commercial and industrial sectors, in particular, we will create platforms to efficiently expand our product lineup in order to lead the transition to digital printing solutions. In addition, we will expand the business by selling printheads and by engaging in collaboration and open innovation to respond to needs that we were not able to fully meet in the past.
High-Capacity Ink Tank Printers
Strengthen the product lineup and provide
attractive subscription-based services
Monochrome laser printers account for a high share of the home and office markets (see the graph on the previous section). Epson is strengthening its lineup of high-capacity ink tank printers to meet the printing needs in these markets.
High-capacity ink tank printers enable you to print at about one-tenth*2 the cost of laser printers, but for customers who want to keep down initial costs, we are rolling out subscription-based printing services that allow you to use products and services for a fixed period of time for a flat fee.
The market for high-capacity ink tank printers is being further stimulated by the entry of competitors. As the pioneer in this category, Epson has built trust and its brand. We will take advantage of our extensive product lineup to accelerate the development of the office market and the displacement of laser printers.
*2 Comparison of A4 sheet printing costs between an EW-M670FT high-capacity ink tank printer and an Epson laser printer
High-Capacity Ink Tank Printer Unit Sales Trend
Contribution to SDGs
Reducing Environmental Impacts with High-Capacity Ink Tank Printers
Power Consumption Comparison
Epson's high-capacity ink tank printers do not use heat in the printing process, so they use only about one-tenth the total power of laser printers during printing and sleep mode. High-capacity ink tanks also reduce the amount of consumables and packaging used.
- *3 Epson laser printer (launched June 2012)
- *4 Typical electricity consumption (TEC) values calculated based on 1 week of office use. Values were measured using the test method in Ver. 2.0 ENERGY STAR® spec.
- *5 Independently calculated by Epson based TEC measurement criteria of the ENERGY STAR® program and an output of 162 prints per day. Actual energy consumption may vary depending on printer use. Results based on calculation method used in Japan.
Shared Office Printers
Grow market share with high-speed linehead inkjet MFPs
High-speed linehead inkjet multifunction office printers are strategic products that will change laser-dominated office printing landscape. The WF-C20590 high-speed linehead inkjet multifunction printer is equipped with PrecisionCore lineheads that deliver print speeds up to 100 ppm, which is about double the 50-page output of a typical office laser printer. Power consumption is about one-eighth that of a typical laser printer.
The office market holds considerable potential for inkjet printers. Competitors are beginning to enter the market with their own line inkjets, but Epson's linehead inkjets with Heat-Free Technology print even high density patterns at consistent high-speeds and in high volumes. We will vigorously communicate that value and further build product awareness.
The progress made and the insights gained during Phase 1 give us a foundation from which to build a strong office sales organization so that we can provide even better features and solutions.
- *6 Epson product compared to the average per-page power consumption for the 10 top-selling A3 color all-in-one models in the 45-55 ppm class (based on 2016 shipments as reported in IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker 2017Q3). Uses TEC values found in energystar.jp/ (as of November 2017). TEC calculating conditions used to find per-page values.
- *7 A4, landscape, single-side printing. Print speeds are measured in accordance with ISO/IEC 24734. Actual print times will vary based on system configuration, software, and page complexity.
Micro Piezo Technology
The benefits of Epson's Micro Piezo inkjet technology
Epson's proprietary Micro Piezo inkjet technology provides a common platform for all Epson inkjet printers, whether for the home or business, and is what separates us from the competition.
Features of Epson Inkjet Systems
*8 Total cost of ownership
Non-Contact, Heat-Free System with a Simple Structure
Comparison with laser technology:
The laser printing process is complicated, comprising of preheat, charging, exposure, development, transfer, and fusing steps. Fine toner powder is transferred to a sheet of paper through contact and fused with a combination of heat and pressure. In contrast, Epson's piezo inkjet printers are simple, non-contact systems. They deposit ink droplets on media without heating the ink, so they are durable, require only infrequent parts replacement, and generate little waste. Even if paper does jam, it can be removed easily and safely because there are no hot parts. The fact that they do not use heat also means that they use less power.
Advantages of piezo-inkjet technology:
With Epson's Heat-Free Technology there are no printing delays caused by accumulated heat in the print head. This is because printing results from the action of piezo electric actuators, which mechanically eject droplets of ink as they flex back and forth under an applied voltage (piezo displacement). Printing speeds remain consistent because the speed is not affected significantly, even when continuously printing high-density pattern documents.
Lead the Transition to Inkjets in Commercial & Industrial Printing
Commercial & Industrial Printing
Lead the transition to digital printing
Digitization is steadily advancing in the commercial and industrial printing markets, where the demand for design diversity is driving the spread of short-run production. Here, Epson has designated the signage, textile, and label printing segments as growth markets where there is ample room for digitization and expansion.
To lead the transition to digital printing in the commercial and industrial sectors, we are developing platforms that can efficiently be deployed in products and services that meet diverse customer needs. Leveraging the advantages of Micro Piezo inkjet technology, we will build up our lineup of faster, higher quality products that support a wide range of media and materials. At the same time, we will provide applications built around our Color Control Technology color matching software to capture replacement, additional printer, and distributed printing demand.
As we have already done in Italy, we are enhancing sales proposals and customer support in Asia by opening Textile Solution Centers in Japan, where customers can conduct tests and prepare samples using our textile printers. Also, a factory for prototyping and mass-producing large commercial and industrial printers is under construction in Japan, as we seek to strengthen domestic R&D and production.
Commercial & Industrial Printing Market Size
Width: Market size (on a monetary basis). FY2018 analog & digital market (printer & ink) by category, per Epson research
Value Proposition for Commercial & Industrial Customers
Products Launched in Growth Areas
Embrace Collaboration and Open Innovation
Create markets by providing printheads
To accelerate inkjet-based digitization and create new markets, Epson is embracing collaboration and open innovation and has begun selling its printheads, which are known for reliability, print quality, and productivity, for a wide range of printing applications.
For example, in addition to the commercial and industrial fields, Epson printheads are gaining traction in new applications such as electronics and biotechnology fields.