Exceeding The Customer’s Vision At Epson

Oct 2, 2018Corporate

Exceeding the customer’s vision at Epson

When many people think of Epson, they may think of photo printers or projectors for the office. They may also perhaps be surprised to learn about the technological breakthroughs that the company has made over the years.

Widely recognised for its leading edge and world class technology, Epson has consistently strived for technological advancement. From pioneering the world’s first compact lightweight digital printer, the EP-101, to inventing the world’s first quartz watch, Epson has been quietly redefining the human experience over the decades.

World’s first made possible through a culture of innovation
Epson began manufacturing components for wristwatches in 1942 and it is from this watchmaking heritage where its expertise in precision engineering originated.

In 1956, Epson created the SEIKO MARVEL an originally designed mechanical wristwatch, which was a groundbreaking product in Epson’s watch business. Then in 1963, Epson came out with the Printing Timer, which was the first electronic recording system to be used in the history of the Olympic Games.

In 1968, Epson launched the product that is the source of its company name, the EP-101, the world’s first light, compact digital printer.  Combining printer manufacturing and high-precision processing technologies, the EP-101 reduced the printer from a desktop unit to a printer that could fit in the palm of your hand.

According to Mr Toshimitsu Tanaka, Managing Director of Epson’s regional office in Singapore, “As a company, Epson has always been dedicated to creating value through pursuing technological innovation. Epson’s successes in our innovations are that we own our core technologies. And this drives the creation of our products in our key innovation areas of Inkjet Printing, Visual Communications, Robotics and Wearables,” he said.

“With Epson’s precision and manufacturing expertise, we are able to control the quality of our products down to the smallest details, to deliver outstanding innovations,” he added.

Leading printing technology
More recently and closer to home, Epson’s drive for innovation and quality have been notable, where the company has been revolutionising the printing industry.

In 2010, Epson introduced the first ink tank system printer in Southeast Asia, the world’s first printer to use high-capacity ink tanks instead of ink cartridges. To the delight of small businesses and consumers, running costs for printing were drastically lowered with the refillable ink systems.  The printers enabled the consumer to print in high resolution without the high costs associated with consumables.

Now known as the EcoTank printers, Epson has seen its market share grow exponentially since its launch. The ink tank printer has sold a cumulative 30 million units worldwide as of July 2018.

Recent Epson innovations include our environmentally-friendly high-speed Linehead Inkjet multifunction printer. Driven by PrecisionCore linehead technology, the WorkForce Enterprise prints at up a breakthrough speed of 100 pages per minute and consumes drastically less energy compared to laser printers, as well as lowering total cost of ownership with its reduced use of consumables and ultra-high capacity ink cartridges.

Indeed, the company’s pedigree in precision engineering and watchmaking have provided the impetus for Epson’s ongoing development of core technologies encompassing the award winning Micro Piezo™ inkjet printheads, microdisplays, sensing, and robotics technologies. These technologies lie at the heart of Epson’s business today.

Changing the way we view the world

A cutting-edge Epson innovation incorporating its state-of-the-art microdisplay technology are the Moverio smart glasses. The Moverio smart glasses with embedded augmented reality technology allows users to view content on the smart glasses hands-free.

“In visual communications, we are revolutionising the way information is communicated by using our microdisplays in combination with our optical design, manufacturing and interactive technologies for projecting sharp and bright images,” explained Mr Tanaka.

Epson has also been consistent in its projector business within the region, as market leader in Southeast Asia, with a growing market share, and has maintained its leadership position since 2001.

Its technology is rapidly gaining popularity in both the corporate and education sectors especially with the launch of the world’s first 25,000 lumens 3LCD laser projector, as well as the world’s first 3LCD fingertouch interactive projector for schools and businesses.

The future is bright – The future is Epson

What’s next then, for Epson in the journey ahead? Epson’s robotics technologies are not only award winning but are being deployed increasingly to increase manufacturing productivity and value.

As a provider of high-performance six-axis robots, Epson has over 37% global market share of SCARA robots. More notably, Epson’s robotics business in Southeast Asia is growing, with over 2,500 robots already installed and in action in the region. “We are projecting double-digit growth in the mid-term within the region. Apart from SCARA robots, our precision technologies extend to developing autonomous dual-arm robots for next-generation manufacturing,” said Mr Tanaka.

Epson’s Micro Piezo printhead technology, the heart of Epson’s inkjet technology, as well as its next generation PrecisionCore™ technology consisting of the Micro Thin Film Piezo print chip, continue to drive its business – with its versatility and scalable properties, it is able to print across an array of materials and with different ink types across sectors. “We are focusing on driving adoption of digital textile printing amongst analogue screen printing customers in the region,” said Mr Tanaka. “Our printing technology has enabled us to expand into other areas like fashion apparel, gifts and merchandise, soft signage, home decoration and more. The prospects for growth are good,” he added.

The company continues to pursue its commitment of giving back to society. “Epson is not all about hardware. We look at adding value through our community engagement. This defines our core ethos and approach,” said Mr Tanaka.

“We leverage on our capabilities to give back. In Singapore, with our sponsorships with local sports associations and with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team, we have helped to give exposure and training opportunities to youths. In Philippines for example, we have a programme to bring joy to cancer children patients through the photographs we print,” said Mr Tanaka.

Indeed, Epson’s vision for the future remains strong and focused, as it continues to be driven by innovation to evolve and adapt to the ever changing needs of today’s customers.

Mr Toshimitsu Tanaka, Managing Director of Epson’s regional office in Singapore, overseeing the Southeast Asia business and operations.

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