Epson adds colours to its technology palette

UK imaging giant Epson is using this year’s Gitex to emphasise that it is much more than a printing company, with the outlook bright for its latest innovations.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  September 28, 2005

Primarily known as a printing company, Epson UK managing director Nick Butler has jetted into Dubai to inform the region that while Epson’s printing solutions are of the highest order, the company has much more to offer. Butler is particularly keen to emphasise the versatile nature of its Micro Piezo inkjet printing technology. “Our Micro Piezo industrial technique can be applied to much more than inkjet printing. It will allow us to provide less wasteful bottom up manufacturing for many industrial products. We are working with Cambridge University in a scheme where we share our Micro Piezo technology with other companies to develop applications. We then take these projects forward with joined intellectual property rights,” Butler explains. Epson is keen to show that its business is split 50-50 between printing and other imaging sectors. It has presence in print, projectors and screen industries, with its monitor business, which provides Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screens for use in mobile phones and handhelds via OEM deals, particularly exciting. “The OLED side is big business for us and something we’re very keen to develop,” says Butler. “Our OLED solution is unique as it uses our Micro Piezo printing technology to develop the screens. Essentially instead of applying ink, we apply plastics. This allows us to build screens in a very precise way, which leads to sharper quality, more uniform brightness, and also lower power consumption and lighter weight. Furthermore, the material is also flexible, which means we have the potential to develop roll-up screens,” he enthuses. Epson’s OLED screens are very scalable, and have gone up to 40” TVs so far. The vendor sees a great opportunity in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which Butler reckons will see many Chinese households upgrade or purchase TVs for the first time. Butler is also singing the praises of the regional Epson operation, with particularly attention reserved for the vendor’s planned expansion in Saudi Arabia. Epson will embed staff with Saudisoft in a bid to build business. “We work 100% through the channel, so our partners are very important and they appreciate that we know how important they are,” says Butler. “The Middle East market is crucial for us and Gitex is a wonderful opportunity to meet both customers and partners. Every year I come to Gitex, I’m more turned on. Consumers here are very switched on and interested in the how and why of products and technology. That’s something that has disappeared from many markets.” On the product side, Epson is showcasing a wide range of Epson’s large format inkjet printers. The new range includes the 17” wide Stylus Pro 4400, 24” Stylus Pro 7400 and 44” Stylus Pro 9400. The range is aimed at design professionals in the point of sale (POS), CAD, GIS and corporate markets.

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