Epson breaks ground on new printhead production site

Epson breaks ground on new printhead production site

EPSON has held a groundbreaking ceremony for its inkjet printhead factory, which will be built on the premises of Tohoku Epson. Construction will begin on June 15, 2024, and completion is expected in September 2025. The investment of approximately 5.1 billion yen in the new facility is projected to quadruple the current printhead production capacity.

Epson's printing solutions business provides products and services based on original Micro Piezo inkjet technology to customers in the office, home, commercial and industrial markets. The company expects sustained global demand for inkjet printers based on current growth in high-speed units for the office and on continued demand for high-capacity ink tank printers for the home and office in emerging markets and North America.

Demand for commercial and industrial inkjet printers is increasing along with a technology shift from analog to digital in sectors where the printing media is not paper, such as digital textile printing. Moreover, many commercial and industrial inkjet printers use PrecisionCore MicroTFP printheads ("PrecisionCore printheads"). These printheads can be flexibly adapted for different applications by assembling MicroTFP print chips in various combinations.

Epson expects further growth in using PrecisionCore printheads in commercial and industrial printers and inkjet multifunction printers with high-speed line heads.

Epson is strengthening its printhead sales business to accelerate inkjet innovation and expand the applications for digital printing, which has a far lower environmental impact than conventional printing. With an expanding range of printing applications and emerging needs in electronics and bioprinting. Epson is looking to collaborate with partners with new ideas and technologies. Through such open innovation, it seeks to expand PrecisionCore technology's possibilities.

Tohoku Epson began manufacturing printheads (CHIPS heads) in 1995 and launched volume production of PrecisionCore printheads in June 2013 on a fully automated assembly line that extensively uses Epson robots. It has accumulated expertise in printhead production and built a solid production technology base, increasing its competitive advantage as a domestic production site.

Seiko Epson's Hirooka Office in Nagano Prefecture handles front-end processing of micro-TFP print chips. Plans call for production of these chips to increase over the next three years. The new Tohoku Epson factory will accommodate this increase and, together with the Akita Epson Building, expand domestic back-end process production capacity.

To ensure stable production, each of the two sites in the Tohoku region will be allocated responsibility for different models. Still, to ensure business continuity, both sites can flexibly adapt to production fluctuations with production lines for the most popular models and shared lines. This will enable the company to strengthen its product lineup in response to future demand for inkjet printers equipped with PrecisionCore printheads.

The new factory building will employ a newly engineered process that will save manpower and space by minimising in-process inventory, automated transfer robots, and efficient layout, reducing the workload on personnel.


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