Epson to triple inkjet printhead production with new factory
New factory at Hirooka Office to triple PrecisionCore print chip production capacity
Epson has completed construction work on a new factory at its Hirooka Office in Shiojiri, Japan, that started in the autumn of 2016.
The new factory will be used to produce PrecisionCore print chips, a core component of Epson's most advanced PrecisionCore inkjet printheads. The new factory, which will begin operations in the 2018 fiscal year (ending March 31, 2019), will triple current PrecisionCore print chip production capacity.
Under its Epson 25 Corporate Vision, Epson is targeting the office, commercial, and industrial printing markets. In FY2017, the company released high-speed linehead inkjet multifunction office printers as a major part of its strategy to drive future growth. Epson will expand sales of high-capacity ink tank printers, which have been driving near-term growth, in both advanced and emerging economies. In FY2018, Epson plans to sell 9.5 million units–a 1.7-million unit increase over FY2017.
In the commercial and industrial sectors, an accelerating shift from analog to digital solutions is expected to generate significant market growth for printers used for printing signage, textiles and product labels. Epson will continue to strengthen its lineup of commercial and industrial large-format printers, and will boost both its R&D and manufacturing capability.
The new factory will enable Epson to expand its presence in these markets in addition to bolstering its ability to handle an expected medium-range increase in demand for printheads. By leveraging its production capacity, Epson also plans to rollout sales of its PrecisionCore printheads for large-format printers worldwide, and work with its partners to accelerate the shift to digital in commercial and industrial printing.
The new factory will be the second production site for PrecisionCore print chips, which are currently manufactured at the Suwa Minami Plant in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The structure, facilities, and equipment of the new factory boast excellent disaster resistance, thus reinforcing Epson's business continuity capabilities.
The new factory is also designed to achieve 20% higher space productivity than existing factories. It is equipped with a research and development function and will play a key role in improving printhead quality and productivity primarily through the development of production technology.