By Edd K. Usman
In the battle of printing technologies, will inkjet ultimately make laser obsolete? At least one tech titan — Japan’s Epson Corporation — believes so. With this in mind, Epson Philippines launched on July 20 the new Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS) Business Inkjet printers.
The first two printers in the series are the WorkForce Pro WF-C869R, which can print 86,000 pages per minute (PPM), and the WorkForce Enterprise series for business printing as represented by the WF-C20590 and WF-C17590, which can print 100 PPM.
Naturally, since they have Epson DNA, the two printer series use inkjet technology and these are being positioned as “a new force” that will “reform enterprise printing protocols.”
“Inkjet technology is the future of printing,” Siew Jin Kiat, regional general manager of Epson Singapore, told Newsbytes.PH.
“We believe this [inkjet] technology will accelerate the shift away from laser,” he added, citing a survey of market-research firm IDC indicating that “only 10 percent of companies in the Philippine market for printers [use] laser.”
Moreover, according to Kiat, “70 percent of businesses in the Philippines have shifted to using the ink tank system.”
That shift may have been prompted by companies looking to cut their power costs, Ed Bonoan, Epson Philippines senior general manager, said in a separate interview during the printers’ launch at Shangri-La at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City.
Laser printers heat their ink toners to produce prints as opposed to inkjet, which blows ink on a paper through a nozzle, Bonoan explained. Anything that uses heat for laser incurs higher electricity costs, he said.
As a result, the two newly-launched printers — one, a copier-printer and the other, linehead inkjet printer, which is a production printer — “are going to be very good for productivity of the enterprise and at a lower cost of ownership and lower cost per page,” Bonoan said.
Besides lower costs, both printers are also the fastest in their categories. During a test-run at the launch, the WF-C20590 delivered 100 pages per minute (PPM), which was what it was designed to do.
With these new machines, Epson is expected to target medium to large enterprises, which value “speed, quality, and savings,” Bonoan said.
Epson’s new printers will allow these companies to enjoy “more options in duplex printing, A3 color printing, as well as high-speed printing in the category where laser copiers remains as traditional tools,” he added.
“Epson has looked into how to significantly reduce power consumption, use fewer parts for less maintenance and enhance document security,” Bonoan said. “That is why Epson made precise innovations to ensure that each detail of the product really makes a difference in addressing these concerns.”
These printers were introduced in Bangkok recently for the Asean market, Kiat said. He added that the new printer series will be available in the Philippines sometime in August or September, adding the price for the new printers are not yet available.