Epson UK has announced its ambition to become “number one player” in the commercial, signage, textile and label markets, with plans to launch more than ten new inkjet printers over the next 18 months. The company intends to grow its portfolio of professional production printers to 33 by 2016, diversifying significantly from its background as a proofing and photographic print specialist.
It will do this, the company claims, by continuing to spend approximately £1.2m a day (around 6% of annual turnover) on R&D. More details regarding the new product launches will be available at the end of April ahead of this year’s Sign and Digital and Fespa exhibitions. All launches will feature the company’s recently developed PrecisionCore thin-film piezo ink head technology, which was unveiled last October building on Epson Thin Film Piezo (TFP) technology for fine image quality, and is already found in the SurePress L-6034V label press and SureColor SC-F2000 T-shirt printer.
“Our long-term desire is that we are number one player in all of the markets we have now entered,” said Phil McMulllin, UK sales manager, Epson UK Pro Graphics Division. “Clearly that is not going to happen tomorrow; this is a long term ambition. We believe the technology we have developed puts us in a strong position to develop that over the coming decade.” McMulllin added that the signage market would be particularly challenging to crack.
“It is a very crowded and established market and a small market, so we have to offer a really compelling proposition to take on some of the established players,” he said. He added that Epson would continue channeling significant R&D to its core proofing machine stable. “We are actively working on improving our Stylus Pros over the next two years. A lot of development will be in that area; we still value that business hugely, they are our core clients,” said McMulllin.