Epson Goes All In: Vendor Bets on Inkjet in Its Commitment to Sustainability
Company launches new business inkjet range and announces an end to laser printer sales
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In a bold move, Epson has gone all in with its commitment to the sustainability benefits of heat-free inkjet technology, announcing that it will end the global sale and distribution of laser printers by 2026. This announcement coincides with the launch of a new range of 40-60 ppm business inkjet models to close a gap in the range.
Explaining the decision, the company cites the greater potential of inkjet to make meaningful advances in sustainability. This is due to the way the different technologies work. Laser requires heat to fuse toner to a page. Inkjet is a cold technology needing less energy to operate. Epson EMEA’s Senior Vice President Rob Clark says: “The decision to leave the laser market has been inevitable. As a company, we’ve committed to sustainable innovation and action, and laser printers don’t fit within that. They consume more energy than business inkjets and use more consumable parts. Our printing business will instead focus 100% on piezo heat-free inkjet, leveraging our propriety technology to deliver efficient, sustainable print solutions for our partners and end users.”
This news comes a year after Epson communicated its plans for a ¥100 billion investment in sustainable innovation in the decade to 2030 in its 2021 Sustainability Report. Epson continues to raise awareness of the sustainability of inkjet technology with a recent appearance at COP 27, providing live demonstrations of the difference in power consumption between a business inkjet printer and a competitor laser printer. Epson explained that “A simple technology switch, from laser printing to inkjet printing, can mean huge reductions of up to 83% in energy consumption as a result of Epson’s heat-free technology.”
The New Epson Enterprise Range
Leveraging Epson’s piezo heat-free linehead technology, the new WorkForce Enterprise AM-C Series completes Epson’s business print portfolio by bridging the gap in A3 between the RIP-based WF-C87x devices and the first generation WF Enterprise linehead devices. The new range provides print speeds of 40-60 ppm, addressing the middle market and complementing the rest of the Epson business inkjet line-up.
With a compact footprint and lightweight design, the products help limit resources used during production and shipping. High-yield ink cartridges also reduce material usage, shipping, storage, end of use management of consumables, as well as reducing downtime for routine maintenance.
Gareth Jay of Epson Europe says: “These new products complete our business inkjet MFP line-up, from small workgroup units to high-speed departmental machines, meaning that no matter the business function or print demand, we have a product to suit. Each product that we offer in our business inkjet range provides businesses with the technology they need to help meet their own sustainability goals. We’re passionate and proud to produce sustainable technology for our partners and customers that really makes a difference in reducing power consumption and CO2 emissions. Every business that switches to inkjet technology contributes to a more sustainable society.”
More features of the new range include:
- Most compact footprint in class and significantly reduced weight
- C-shaped paper feed reduces the chance of paper jams and improving reliability
- 1" interface panel with eco-print settings
- Simple and easy to use with auto paper size detection and soft-closing paper cassettes
- Easy loading, compact high-capacity ink cartridges
- High-capacity paper handling up to 5,150 sheets
- Strong solutions portfolio comprising in-house and ISV compatible with Open Platform
- Designed for easy internal access and quick and efficient routine maintenance to reduce downtime
- 60 ppm/120 ipm scan capability and optional embedded OCR feature
Keypoint Intelligence Opinion
The cost of energy is currently hitting everyone hard, with many business closures being seen in the service industry. I am certainly more mindful of increased energy costs and making switches to save energy at home.
There has been no better time to make this announcement, not only because of the sustainability message, but the clear link with cost saving that is front of mind for all in the current climate. It seems that the interest in inkjet over laser continues to expand; while the laser printer market remains flat, Keypoint Intelligence’s Single Function Printer & MFP Market Forecast for 2020-2026 predicts a 9.8% increase in business inkjet devices in the office.
This is an exciting and timely move by Epson. Upon hearing the news of its going all in with inkjet, I could not help but envision a casino with Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” ring in my ears…
Go big or go home!
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