Epson’s new innovations to boost enterprise and business segments
Epson Singapore certainly hosted Halloween this year in a special way – by coinciding it with its 35th Anniversary on 31st Oct 2017 at Capella Singapore. It commemorated that event with the unveiling of its product showcase and sharing of its latest innovations in inkjet printing, visual communications and industrial robotics. It also used this platform to announce the launch of Epson’s Orient brand of watches in Singapore.
Global President of parent company, Seiko Epson Corporation, Mr. Minoru Usui graced the occasion and excited partners, distributors, staff and media alike, with a stated commitment towards “Epson 25” …. what he sees Epson to be by 2025, a long-range vision that he announced last year.
Mr. Minoru Usui, President of Seiko Epson Corporation is in the driving seat of product innovation and envisions an Epson that is indispensable to customers and society-at-large. After being appointed president in 2008, Usui began planning Epson’s mid and long-range growth strategy amid the harsh economic environment that followed the international financial crisis.
Inkjet printers, being synonymous with Epson, was in part due to Usui’s passion in developing the Micro Piezo technology that forms the basis of inkjet printers that was to grow rapidly. Subsequently, he was also able to realise the potential of Micro Piezo by successfully integrating the technology into the production equipment of colour filters for LCD TVs and for other industrial applications.
Four Areas of Innovation
Usui explained that Epson’s push towards the future will be anchored around these four areas of innovation: inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics. Giving credence to this, showcased for the first time in the region were the Moverio smart glasses BT-350 and BT-2200, alongside other key products such as the T3 industrial robot and digital textile printer.
In addition, Epson Singapore, being the Southeast Asia (“SEA”) headquarters, leads the way with a timely announcement of its commitment to the business and office segments as it moves to strengthen its product offerings for enterprise and corporate customers in the B2B space. As the company continues to evolve to focus on the needs of businesses, it has seen positive growth, reflected in its business growth of 11.3% CAGR from FY15 to FY17 in SEA.
“Epson takes a unique approach to innovation and business, and is backed by a long history of artisanship and attention to the details. We are moving to expand our focus and deepen our efforts to serve the high growth potential markets in a range of business segments. We aim to continue to bring innovations to our business customers that will deliver on precision and performance, and to push the boundaries of imagination and possibility,” said Tanaka Toshimitsu, Managing Director (SEA), Epson Singapore.
Taking the stage after Usui was Mr. Munehori Ando, Executive Officer, General Administrative Manager, Sales & Marketing Division of Seiko Epson Corporation. He elucidated on the launch and title of Epson’s new campaign … “It’s in the Details” and how it applies to Epson’s four areas of innovation.
Inkjet Printing for Businesses & for Fashion
“20 million ink tank printers sold worldwide …. and counting. Enterprise sales is our next target. I believe that 2017 will be the tipping point for many businesses switching over from laser to inkjet. After all, there are no new breakthroughs in laser on the horizon,” said Ando.
The justification is simple. Through its innovation in its Micro Piezo printhead technology, Epson is well-placed to meet the needs from small businesses to large enterprises, replacing laser printers with inkjet. The recent launch of the WorkForce Enterprise series, the WF-C20590, brought high-speed, high-productivity printers that deliver outstanding quality inkjet printing to enterprises.
Built with Epson’s PrecisionCore linehead technology, the printers print at breakthrough printing speeds of up to 100 pages per minute (ppm), one of the fastest speeds in inkjet printing, as demonstrated to the media with a timer.
This certainly gives rival laser printers a run for its money. After all, it is touted to be very durable with fewer parts that require periodic changing, ensuring easy serviceability and lower cost. For e.g., one only need to change the paper feed roll compared to laser which needs changes to five different parts.
Epson is currently one of the leaders of the inkjet printer market, with 32% share in SEA.
On another front, digital printing on textiles seems like a designer’s dream come true…. as Epson’s SureColor F2000 is able to print direct from computer to garments and textile materials. Any design that you can imagine, is possible with sheer ease, as attested by Melinda Looi, Malaysia’s award winning fashion designer, who collaborated with Epson to design an eclectic mix of patterns and colours using Epson’s digital textile printing technology during the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week in August 2017.
In a playful turn, top executives of each Epson country modeled suits, pants and dresses in Epson-printed patterns awash in a kaleidoscope of colours at Epson’s 35th anniversary gala dinner.
Epson plans to lead the charge in driving the shift from analogue to digital textile printing. In the digital textile printing industry, Smithers Pira forecasts 17.5% annual growth for digital textile print, with a revenue growth forecast at an annual average of 12.3% for 2016 to 2021.
Being right in there, Epson continues to drive innovation in the commercial and industrial printer markets for photo graphics, signage, textile and label printing amongst printing providers, retail stores and the like.
However, we just have to wait a little longer for Epson to develop a 3D printer, of which Usui promised that they are “working very hard at”.
Visual Communications for Businesses
According to Futuresource, Epson holds the dominant market leadership position for projectors as the top projector brand, at 37.3%, in Southeast Asia as of FY17Q1.
Notwithstanding, Epson plans to light up the world further with its high brightness laser projector line-up, which will allow them to tap into usages across the corporate, government and education sectors.
Some examples of Epson’s installation using its high brightness projection were its breathtaking projection on Indonesia’s Prambanan Temple, a dome projection in an amusement park for an immersive underwater experience in the Philippines and a 360-degree immersive projection at the memorial of the late Thai King.
In addition, the company continues to improvise on its new smart glasses with augmented reality (AR) displays. It targets the commercial and industrial sectors in SEA with its latest Moverio BT-350 and BT-2200 line-up. With enhanced durability and flexibility as key focus, these smart glasses are more compact and comfortable for increased performance.
The Moverio BT-350 is designed for a busy commercial environment suited for sharing with multiple users with the world’s first multi-unit docking station for easy multi-fleet management, such as tourist attractions. The Moverio Pro BT-2200 smart headset, on the other hand, is designed for industrial and other enterprise AR applications, such as remote technical assistance. It features a new hinge specifically designed to fit over front-brim helmets.
Tracing its roots to 1950, Orient is the brand name Seiko Epson Corporation uses for the design, manufacture and marketing of its watches.Orient primarily markets mechanical watches (self-winding & hand-winding), but it also produces some quartz, light-powered (solar), and radio-controlled models. In addition, Epson intends to deliver sensor-based watches for sports and healthcare, a nod towards embracing the current trend.
Epson is a global leader in high-precision SCARA robots which are deployed in the manufacturing industry for a wide variety of applications.
The recent launch of the new T3 series robots has expanded Epson’s comprehensive line up of SCARA robots and offers a low total cost of ownership with 30% less power usage than conventional SCARA robots.
The compact and versatile entry-level model is ideal for simple pick-and-place applications such as assembly, inspection and feeding tasks. It comes with the option to combine with Epson’s Vision Systems that can enable the robots to ‘see’, with powerful image processing systems that detect and position objects reliably.Going forward, Epson envisions developing robots that can see, sense, think and work like humans; that is working alongside and supporting humans in a variety of situations.
“SEA is expected to be a major area for robotics manufacturing as soaring wages are pushing factories from China over to SEA,” shared Ando. “And if something doesn’t exist, we simply build it into our hardware,” he concluded.
Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things and information with its original efficient, compact and precision technologies.
With a lineup that ranges from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems and industrial robots, the company is focused on driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in inkjet, visual communications, wearables and robotics.
Next on its horizon is incorporating Internet of Things (IoT) technology into the things it builds. That roadmap is already being addressed in its Epson 25 vision.