Epson Brings Business Inkjets with Replaceable Ink Packs for Printing Up to 75,000 Pages to the U.S.

mfp with ink packs on side

Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 shown with optional 500-sheet paper drawers. Two stations that house replaceable CYMK ink packs are located on the upper left and right sides of the unit.

January 20, 2015 – Epson is introducing its most ambitious and business-oriented inkjets to date to the United States, all three of which feature Epson’s Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS), which is designed for high-yield, low-cost, uninterrupted printing.  The three new units consist of the A3 Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 MFP, A4 WorkForce Pro  A4 WF-R5690 MFP, and A4 WorkForce Pro WF-R5190 standalone printer, all powered by Epson’s PrecisionCore color inkjet-printing technology and compatible with Epson’s RIPS. The three units will be sold through commercial channels, including BTA dealers, and as part of managed print services plans. Estimated pricing for the WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 begins at $5,999, and at $2,499 for the WorkForce Pro WF-R5690.

Calling these MFPs suitable for both departmental workgroups and small and mid-size businesses, Epson states that customers can print up to 75,000 pages in black and color with the flagship WorkForce WF-R8590 MFP before replacing the ink, and up to 50,000 pages with the WorkForce Pro WF-R5690 MFP. Four packs of pigment-based  Epson DuraBrite Ultra cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink are included with each unit.

ink bags

Epson’s Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS).

The MFPs’ business feature set includes:

  • Adobe PostScript 3 print driver (not an emulation), plus PCL 5e, PCL 5c, and PCL 6 print drivers.
  • Ethernet wired network interface, 802.11 b/g/n wireless network connectivity, and WiFi Direct.
  • A3 (11″x17) automatic simplex and duplex print, copy, fax, and scan for the flagship WorkForce Pro WF-R8590.
  • A4/8.5’x14″ print, copy, fax, and scan for the WorkForce Pro WF-R5690 MFP and WorkForce Pro WF-R5190 standalone printer.
  • Support for Epson Connect, which includes Epson eMail Print, Epson iPrint App, Epson Remote Print, and Epson Scan to Cloud. There’s also support for Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud, and Amazon Kindle  mobile and remote printing and scanning.
  • Touch screens for the two MFPs.
  • Substantial maximum monthly volumes – 75,000 pages for the flagship WorkForce Pro WF-R8590, and 45,000 pages for the WorkForce Pro WF-R5690 MFP and WorkForce Pro WF-5190 standalone printer.
  • Substantial standard media capacity of 830 sheets expandable to 1,830 sheets for the flagship WorkForce Pro WF-R8590.
  • The two MFPs (WorkForce Pro WF-R859 and WorkForce Pro WF-R569) have an advanced scan feature set, including scan in color, and scan to email (with LDAP support), network folders, cloud, and FTP sites.
  • Administers can manage the devices and limit user access via Epson Web Config (EWS). There’s also secure confidential printing with PIN code release at the control panel, and support for IPsec, IEEE802.1x, and SSL (server authentication).
  • All three units are compatible with PrintFleet, Fmaudit, and Print Audit print-management solutions from third parties.
  • Replaceable media-feeding components will be available for the WorkForce Pro WF-R8590.

The three configurations are differentiated as follows:

WorkForce Pro WF-R8590

The WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 is the flagship unit with print, copy, scan, and fax, all in color, and is designed for departmental use.

Print speed is rated at ISO 24 (black)/24 (color) ppm, ISO 16 (black)/16 (color) ppm in duplex mode, and maximum monthly volume is 75,000 pages. There’s a 50-sheet duplexing automatic document feeder, 830-sheet standard paper capacity (three 250-sheet paper drawers and 80-sheet multipurpose tray), maximum paper capacity of 1,830 sheets (with two 500-sheet paper trays),  and 5″ touch screen. When equipped with the two optional 500-sheet paper trays, It’s a console, floor-standing unit. The WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 can also produce wide-format prints up to 13″x19″ in size.

The WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 comes standard with  four Epson DuraBrite Ultra R24XXL cyan, yellow, magenta, and black (CYMK) ink packs, each of which is said to yield 75,000 pages

Replacement ink packs for the WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 consist of:

  • DuraBrite Ultra R22XL High-capacity  CYMK ink packs; each CYMK pack is said to yield 20,000 pages each.
  • DuraBrite Ultra R24XXL Extra High-Capacity CYMK ink packs; each CYMK pack is said to yield 75,000 pages.

For more information and complete specifications on the WorkForce Pro WF-R8590, visit Epson here.

WF-R8590 control panel

The WorkForce WF-R8590’s control panel with touch screen and numeric keypad.

 

WorkForce Pro WF-R5690

The WorkForce Pro WF-R5690 is a desktop unit with print, scan, copy, and fax, all in color; ISO 20 (black)/20 (color) rated print speed; ISO 16 (black)/16 (color) ppm in duplex mode; maximum monthly volume of 45,000 pages; standard paper capacity of 580 sheets (two 250-sheet trays and 80-sheet multipurpose tray), maximum media capacity of 830 sheets (with optional 250-sheet tray); and 35-sheet duplexing automatic document feeder.  It also has a slightly smaller color touch screen at approximately 4″, and comes standard with DuraBrite Ultra R14X CYMK ink packs, each of which is said to yield up to 50,000 pages.

Also available are

  • DuraBrite Ultra R14X CYMK packs, each of which are said to yield 50,000 pages.
  • DuraBrite Ultra R12X CYMK packs, each of which are said to yield 20,000 pages.
  • DuraBrite Ultra CYMK packs, each of which are said to yield 10,000 pages.
workforce pro wf-r5690

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R5690.

WF-R5690 control panel

The WorkForce Pro WF-R5690’s control panel with touch screen and numeric keypad.

For more information and complete specifications on the  WorkForce Pro WF-R5690, visit Epson here.

WorkForce Pro WF-R5190

The WorkForce Pro WF-R5190 is the standalone-printer configuration, with printing on up to 8.5″x14″. Rated ISO print speed is 20 (black)/20 (color) ppm, maximum monthly volume is 45,000 pages, and standard and maximum media capacity is 580 sheets (500-sheet tray and plus an 80-sheet multi-purpose tray).

The control panel incorporates an LCD display (no touch screen). It uses DuraBrite Ultra R22XL High-capacity CYMK ink packs yielding up to 20,000 pages each, and DuraBrite Ultra R24XXL ink packs yielding up to 75,000 pages each.

workforce pro wf-r5190

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R5190.

Replacing Ink Packs

We previewed the flagship WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 at Epson’s Summer Tech Fest last July in New York, and observed how ink packs are installed. Both the two MFPs and printer incorporate ink-housing stations on each side of the unit; one station houses the black ink pack, the other station houses the CYM ink packs. A product manager demonstrated the ink-pack replacement process for us, and it looked easy enough. The user lowers the ink station door, presses a button to release and remove the depleted ink pack, inserts the new ink pack, presses the color-coded handle until the ink pack clicks into place, and then closes the ink-station door (the process is the same for installing the ink packs when first setting up a unit, but of course no ink packs have to be removed). Unlike other Epson inkjets with a Continuous Ink System Supply (CISS), there’s no need to pour ink into an ink-tank receptacle – instead, the ink pack is affixed into place, so there’s no potential mess associated with pouring ink into a tank.

RIPS installed

Cyan, yellow, and magenta ink packs installed in the ink-pack station on the right side of the unit. Black ink is installed in the ink-pack station on the left side of the unit.

Our Take

The ability to print up to 75,000 black or color pages right out of the box with the flagship WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 is going to be mighty attractive for many business customers in the United States.  What will also be very attractive is how easy it’ll be to replace consumables (four packs of ink) compared with replacing consumables for laser-based toner units, as consumables for laser-based units can typically entail toner cartridge, imaging drum, fuser unit, etc.

Of course, Epson – like all business inkjet vendors – must still contend that with the unwarranted prejudice that all things laser are superior to inkjet. This is despite the many gains inkjet has made in terms of speed, image quality, and cost per page, along with inherent inkjet advantages such as lower service requirements because of fewer moving parts, and substantially less waste and lower energy consumption. Epson will also have to contend with its biggest competitor in the business-inkjet segment, Hewlett-Packard, which is likely to stress the much faster print speeds of its Officejet Pro X series MFPs – which, at up to 70 ppm in draft mode, are much  faster than the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-R8590’s 34-ppm draft print speeds. However, replacement parts for the Officejet Pro X series are not available nor replaceable, while Epson claims that key components of the WorkForce Pro WF-R8590 (such as paper-feed rollers) are replaceable. All-in-all, these new Epson inkjets with replaceable ink packs are a huge shot across the bow in the business-inkjet and laser segments, and a huge opportunity for Epson to advance in the office.

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