Epson EcoTank Inkjet Printers Take on the Antarctic


A member of the Base Marambio team pose with an Epson EcoTank printer.

Seiko Epson of Japan reports that it’s EcoTank color inkjet printers and All-in-Ones recently completed a difficult mission that began in October 2014 when they were sent to remote locations in Latin America – and in the Argentine Antarctic.

“Pushing the most extreme weather barriers,” according to Epson, and as part of an initiative called “Reto EcoTank” (EcoTank Challenge), Epson began sending refillable EcoTank printers to inhospitable and hard-to-reach places in Latin America, where immediate replacement of supplies, such as ink, and printers is complex and “even unattainable.” Among the selected locations was Base Marambio in the Argentine Antarctic, the southernmost point in the Americas.

Base Marambio is an Argentine station located in the Antarctic that carries out various scientific researches (geological, geophysical, paleontological, and ecological, among others). According to Epson, the extreme climate that affects the Antarctic region makes it impossible to have frequent access to the base, and limits those who live there to receive supplies and spare parts for their equipment.

“Under strong winds and frost,” in October 2014, Epson sent its L355 printers with its EcoTank refillable ink containers. Juan Carlos Luján, president of Fundación Marambio, explained, “It has been over a year-and-a-half of daily use without refilling and working properly. They (researchers) never had to worry about the ink, which seemed endless.”

Epson says the concept of “EcoTank” combines the concepts of “Economy” and “Tank” in a printing system in which there aren’t traditional ink cartridges, but instead, there are ink bottles used to replenish ink tanks, a system Epson says provides lower cost, while maintaining the same print quality, without users having to refill ink as frequently as with traditional ink cartridges.

“We have accepted the Ecotank Challenge because with temperatures of 30-degrees-below-zero and strong winds, we do not have to worry about refilling ink. And we have not been disappointed about that,” explained one of the members of the Annual Antarctic Team.

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