Epson to Triple PrecisionCore Inkjet Print-Head Production with 20 Billion Yen Investment
Seiko Epson of Tokyo reports that it will invest approximately 20 billion yen (approximately $171 million U.S.) in a new factory at its Hirooka Office located in Shiojiri, Japan. The new factory, which is part of the company’s strategic plans for its inkjet-printer business, will produce Epson’s PrecisionCore print heads used in Epson’s color inkjet printers, All-in-Ones, and commercial printers.
Equipped with a research and development function, the factory will have 49,000 square meters of floor space. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer 2016, and operations are expected to start in the first half of Epson’s 2018 fiscal year. Epson says it will conduct research and development, and “drive advances in production engineering and other areas at the facility,” which, in the future, will roughly triple Epson’s current inkjet print-head production capacity.
As both an R&D center and production center for core devices used in the printing solutions business, Epson says the Hirooka Office works closely with Epson’s production sites worldwide. It shares the production technology it gains through the development and production of core devices with Epson’s overseas production sites.
The investment in the new factory is part of Epson’s plans to further reinforce its research and development and production platform through its 2020 fiscal year.
The new factory will handle the front-end manufacturing process for PrecisionCore print heads, the core devices in Epson’s business inkjet printers, high-capacity ink tank printers, and commercial and industrial inkjet printers.
Epson says it’s achieved “steady annual growth in demand from the office market,” while its high-capacity ink-tank printers are meeting “the needs of emerging markets for low-cost prints with genuine Epson print quality.” Unit shipments of these printers have been “strong,” with 40 percent year-over-year growth in Epson’s 2014 fiscal year (which ended in March 2015).
Epson says it’s now rolling out high-capacity ink tank printers to advanced economies, including Europe, Japan, and the United States.
In the commercial and industrial sectors, Epson expects an accelerating shift from traditional analog printing to digital printing solutions, which it expects to generate “heavy demand for printers used for things such as signage, textiles and product labels.”