This Week in Imaging: New Epson Inkjet Factory a Testament to ‘Business Inkjet?’; Shoes by HP

Photo credit: Kathy Wirth

You probably missed it (as you were probably flood-watching or preparing for the U.S. Labor Day three-day weekend), but on Friday, Epson Japan held a ceremony for the official opening of its new inkjet-printer factory in the Philippines that it says is needed to meet increased demand for its high-capacity ink-tank and office-inkjet printers and All-in-Ones/MFPs.

According to Epson, the new factory is needed to “significantly boost production capacity,” as its “high-capacity ink tank models, which are currently experiencing rapid growth in emerging and other markets, and also for office inkjets including high-speed line-head inkjet multifunction printers, which are steadily gaining in popularity in markets worldwide.”

Epson’s bet on inkjet is sizable: from 2015 to 2017, it’s investing some $143 million U.S. in the new plant.

What also grabbed our attention was back in June, when IDC published a press release revealing some of the findings from its first-quarter Quarterly Hardcopy Peripheral Tracker. Jumping out was this:

“Color inkjet 1-10 ppm devices recorded year-over-year growth of 89.2 percent in unit shipments. The significant increase was fueled by growth across all eight of IDC’s regional markets, ranging from 50.5 percent to 248.6 percent.”

Followed by this:

“Epson continued to gain momentum in the inkjet segment with increased adoption of its five L series (refillable ink-tank) models that were introduced two quarters ago. This enabled Epson to achieve 6.9 percent year-over-year growth in the inkjet segment.”

(IDC also reported this year that Epson saw registered a 40 percent year-over-year increase in business-inkjet unit sales, to become the second largest business inkjet supplier in Europe – second, only to HP.)

“The lion doesn’t turn around when the small dog barks,” goes the African proverb, with the lion presumably only turning around when the threat is substantial. That’s why we’re likely to see more-and-more laser-based competitors knocking inkjet (ironically, some of these vendors also market inkjet – production inkjet that is). However, our own substantial testing of inkjets – printing tens of thousands of inkjet pages – has long since shown that vendors have long since overcome the flaws of early consumer inkjet – slow print speed, slow drying times, ink drying out, etc. And, one of the biggest advantages of inkjet – fewer moving parts that translates into better reliability and much less complicated service – is likely to prove a key attraction for many office customers, as well as substantially less power consumption. So, while, business inkjet still has only a small share of the office-printer/MFP market, we’re betting, like Epson, that it’ll continue to grow, particularly worldwide.

We’ve talked a lot of office printer/MFP vendors diversifying – from textile printing (OKI, Epson), to even robots (Konica Minolta), but how about custom-fitted shoes? For more, check out our story this week about how HP Inc. is “setting up shop” in retail stores to produce custom-fitted shoes using its 3D-printing and 3D-scanning technologies.

Office-Imaging News

MPS Monitor SDS Now Available with Immediate Access to HP Smart Device Services – Read more here.

New Quocirca Report Details Printer and Copier/MFP Risks  – Read more here.

Xerox: How to Print from Apple iOS and Android Mobile Devices; Plus, @PrintbyXerox, Mobile Print Cloud  – Read more here.


HP Enterprise Sells Troublesome Autonomy Software Unit  – Read more here.

Legal Briefs

Canon Settles with German Amazon Seller of Toner Cartridges  – Read more here.

HP Seeking to Have Inkjet-Printer Firmware Class-Action Lawsuit Dismissed  – Read more here.

3D-Printing News

New from HP: Custom-Designed Shoes Created with HP 3D Printing and Scanning  – Read more here.

HP’s 3D Printing Integrated with Siemens’ Flagship NX Software for Product Development, Manufacturing  – Read more here.

Other News

Epson Opens New Inkjet-Printer Manufacturing Facility in Philippines  – Read more here.

Commercial- and Production-Printing News

PrintReleaf and EFI Partner in Reforestation Program  – Read more here.

Memjet Partners with Kao to Develop New Pigment-Based Inks  – Read more here.

New Canon imagePROGRAF TX Series with New Pigment Inks, Print Head, Enhanced Security – Read more here.

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August 2017

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