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New Epson printer claims pole position

Friday, 24 March 2017
By Patrick Howard

Intense preparation on Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton's Petronas Mercedes in Melbourne yesterday.

Petronas Grand Prix collaboration powers the superfast 100ppm inkjet business printer that is leaving laser print technology behind on the starting grid.

The high-speed whine of power racing cars on Melbourne’s Grand Prix circuit provided a fitting backdrop to yesterday’s launch of the Epson Workforce Enterprise printer. Equipped with the benefits of corporate sponsorship of the Mercedes racing team, the company started up its latest printer in front of selected media types at the suitably named Smart Artz gallery in South Melbourne.

Driving technology: Bruno Turcato and Craig Heckenberg.

Hosted by the genial, Bruno Turcato, managing director, along with Craig Heckenberg, general manager business, the gathering kickstarted Epson’s campaign to win the 40 billion pages per year produced on enterprise printers as well as the output from the shopfront commercial print market. The new printer is a high-technology print development using the patented Epson PrecisionCore print heads. Heckenberg maintains the collaboration between Epson and the Mercedes racing team has produced a level of speed and reliability that will beat any laser rival.

“The Workforce Enterprise has unsurpassed speed and quality. In the same way that Mercedes has doubled the thermal efficiency of its engines in ten years, Epson by using its $1.4 million per day R&D spend, has retained its position as the number one inkjet patent company over the same period,” said Heckenberg.

“Epson and Mercedes have identical approaches to innovation. It’s not so much what we make, but what we make possible.”

He defines the possibility by detailing a number of technology innovations in the machine, including a self-maintaining printhead to deliver consistently outstanding print quality from the newly developed DuraBrite pigment inks and an electrostatic transport belt to maintain quality at high speed. There is also a step-change in environmental performance, with power usage reduced by 96% compared to a same-speed laser printer without needing a specialist power supply.

The new full width linehead design measures 43mm across and contains approximately 33,500 nozzles that incorporate nozzle verification and variable size droplet technology designed to eliminate banding. This level of engineering precision not only enhances performance but also provides speed and reliability for highly productive teams where downtime is not an option.

Journalists were also treated to a display of Epson’s new technology spectacles developed in cooperation with the Mercedes racing team. They allow drone control by keeping the required legal line-of-sight while also letting the pilot see the images from an on board camera. Very clever.

The value of such corporate sponsorships as the Petronas Mercedes team is only realised by companies that have a similar technology development approach. On yesterday’s showing Epson has no difficulty in keeping pace with the world champion Formula 1 racing team.


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