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Strength in width

Epson takes business inkjets to next level with 100ppm colour MFP

Epson A3 Inkjet MFP
Epson A3 Inkjet MFP

At CeBIT on March 20, Epson significantly strengthened its business inkjet offering with the launch of two high speed colour A3 inkjet MFPs designed for busy enterprises and small and medium sized businesses that have regular spikes in print volume.

Underlining its growing reputation as a provider of enterprise print solutions, Epson was also showing a new, channel-only RIPS device with an expanded ink capacity of 84,000 pages, compared to 75,000 pages on previous RIPS models, and its extraordinary PaperLab paper-making machine, shown in Europe for the first time.

New printhead

When business inkjets were introduced much was made of their potential for very high speed colour printing.

Epson has delivered on this promise by replacing the serial printhead used on its existing devices with one that covers the entire width of a page. Like HP’s PageWide technology, this has enabled Epson to increase print speed significantly, to 100 pages per minute on the WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 and to 75ppm on the WF-C17590.

Epson’s existing serial business inkjet devices have a top speed of 34ppm draft and 24ppm ISO.

By meeting the productivity needs of larger organisations, the company’s new, faster MFPs have the potential to extend the appeal of business inkjets to markets in which productivity will always trump considerations such as energy efficiency and sustainability.

Speaking to PrintIT Reseller last December, Peter Silcock, Epson UK business manager for business imaging, said that in relation to business inkjets, Epson’s main goal for 2017 was to develop the range to address the productivity needs of customers.

Epson Colour A3 inkjet MFP
Epson Colour A3 inkjet MFP

He said: “Productivity is a real challenge for a lot of businesses and the fact that the time to first page on business inkjets is so quick, because there is no heat involved, makes businesses so much more productive. That is a real benefit, which is why we’re constantly pushing business inkjet into areas that would traditionally be the domain of laser-type devices.”

In the case of Epson’s new Workforce Enterprise series, the area in question is currently occupied by 55ppm colour toner copiers that consume significantly more power and generate much more waste than inkjet devices.

Darren Phelps, Epson Europe director of business imaging, said: “The WorkForce Enterprise cuts the environmental impact of print by providing a low power solution, with fewer supplies, while delivering remarkably fast print speeds at high quality. Having far fewer parts than equivalent laser-based MFDs, this series promises to deliver higher reliability and significantly increase printer uptime.”

He added: “We knew we had something special as soon as we saw the WorkForce Enterprise in the lab, but it has been the reactions from resellers across Europe that has really confirmed the ground-breaking nature of this new range.”

The new MFPs will be available in June and are compatible with a wide range of solutions, such as Email Print for Enterprise, Epson Print Admin and Document Capture Pro. Options include a WorkFlow Enterprise Finisher unit and a 4,000-sheet stapler and stacker.

RIPS expansion

Epson was also showing its latest RIPS model, the 35ppm A3 WorkForce Pro WF-C869RDTWF. RIPS business inkjets, available exclusively from the channel, come with extra-large ink tanks that contain enough ink for 75,000 pages. On the WF-C869RDTWF, Epson has increased capacity to 86,000 pages for black and 84,000 pages for each of the colours.

Having such a large ink supply reduces the servicing requirements and costs for managed service providers, while maximising machine availability for their customers.

Peter Silcock said: “A lot of businesses get really frustrated with the lack of productivity you get with certain types of device, particularly laser printers where you’re constantly changing cartridges or the printers are down because they need a new drum or fuser unit. The beauty of these products is that they take away all that worry and make it really simple for users.”

Like other WorkForce Pro models, the WF-C869RDTWF has impressive environmental credentials including a 95% saving on energy and 99% less waste from supplies packaging.

Make your own paper

Epson a provider of enterprise print solutions
Epson a provider of enterprise print solutions

The third highlight of Epson’s stand is the remarkable PaperLab. PITR covered this paper-making machine when it was launched last year, initially as a Japan-only solution, and we are doing so again now that it has been shown for the first time in Europe.

A real calling card for Epson innovation, PaperLab turns office waste paper into printable paper using a dry process that requires almost no water and, importantly, no mains water supply.

Capable of producing thousands of sheets a day, the compact unit shreds an office’s waste paper and turns it into recycled printer paper of varying sizes and thickness. Paper can be coloured and even scented.

Talking about PaperLab at CeBIT 2017, Epson global president Mr Minoru Usui said: “We plan to start selling PaperLab in Europe by the Autumn of 2018. Our aim is to create a new office printing ecosystem where customers can enjoy high-speed inkjet printers using paper recycled by PaperLab.”

He added: “My vision is for a world in which you can print and then recycle all the paper you want. One day I hope we can develop PaperLabs of all sizes and see them used in factories, in offices and even in your home.”

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