Epson paves way for new markets with latest tech

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Imaging giant Epson is making a bold play for new markets for itself and commercial printers, with the launch of a raft of new digital print solutions leveraging its technologies, and targeting opportunities in direct-to-garment, sign and display, and textiles.

Opportunities: Craig Heckenberg at the launch of the new Epson digital print solutions
Opportunities: Craig Heckenberg with the new industrial scale DTG SureColor F3000

Epson launched its first industrial scale direct-to-garment system, its first 76” high production dye sublimation printer, its first flatbed UV printer, and its first resin printers – which will compete in the latex space.

The launch, bookended by an opening with live Japanese drumming and closing with the traditional cracking of a sake barrel, featured a video message from Epson president Yasunori Ogawa. The event was the first live event by anyone in the print industry since March. It took place at Epson’s new customer experience centre, which sits in its massive national distribution centre in western Sydney.

Craig Heckenberg, managing director of Epson ANZ, said: “The print solutions launched today all target growth areas, and bring Epson quality to those sectors. Ever since the launch of the Epson Stylus Pro 5000 A3 inkjet proofing printer for commercial print back in 1997, Epson has brought innovative products of the highest quality to the market. The solutions launched today are in that vein, they will enable print business to compete in new markets where growth opportunities exist, in the confidence that the print products they deliver will be of the highest quality.”

Resin printing: Epson R5000
Resin printing: Epson R5000

Its new direct-to-garment printer the SureColor F3000 will produce a printed t-shirt every 21 seconds, and will print onto white or black or coloured t-shirts, as well as polo shirts, tote bags, tea towels and the like. It will retail at $60,000.

The new resin ink printers are in two models, the SureColor R5000 and R5000L, starting at $49,500. Epson says the colour gamut and the gradient tone range are high, the latter thanks to the variable sized droplets. The resin ink means the prints are ready for lamination virtually as soon as they come off the press. They will compete in the latex space. The difference between the two comes with the R5000L having double the number of ink pouches and auto swapping for extended unattended operation.

The new 10-colour UV flatbed V7000 prints on 1.25x2.5m bed on media up to 80mm thick, and comes in at $130,000, competing in what is becoming a busy market. Epson says the print quality, productivity and colour gamut is what will appeal to printers.

255sqm an hour dye sub: the new Epson F10060
255sqm an hour dye sub: the new Epson F10060

The new high-volume, four-colour dye sub printer SureColor F10060 will pump out 255sqm an hour and will cost $135,000. It offers significantly higher productivity than the smaller models in the range

Heckenerg said: “All the new printers have new algorithms, a new high-density ink, scalable print heads, and auto nozzle cleaning and replacement. We also have user replaceable printheads, which will save needing a technician to come out.”

Epson also launched a cloud software, Port, for printer performance and cost analysis, and ERMS, a cloud based remote diagnostic and servicing tool. Both are available for all the new printers.

Heckenberg said that while sales for the half year for Epson were about half of what had been anticipated prior to Covid, the current pointers were heading in the right direction, and he anticipated the new launches will enable Epson, and its customers, to generate new revenue.

Epson president Yasunori Ogawa answered a series of questions, expressing the importance of the ANZ market for Epson, its appreciation of the robust feedback it receives from printers in this part of the world, and a confidence that Epson technology would enable print businesses to exploit opportunities in labels, textiles, sign and display.

In answer to a question from Print21 on the impact of Covid he said that “Covid-19 is creating workflow challenges. The solution is in clever, innovative and efficient print solutions.”

UV flatbed: Epson V7000
UV flatbed: Epson V7000
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