Epson Re-ignites OEM Market with Precision Core Printheads

Ron Gilboa and Colin McMahon
Apr 8, 2019

At the end of March, the Seiko Epson Corporation (Epson) announced that it plans to return to the OEM market with a new lineup of PrecisionCore printheads. According to the company, the move was made to help expand digital printing capabilities in commercial and industrial environments.

Epson’s PrecisionCore printheads have been on the market for several years, but have been sold mainly to large format printers or used in Epson-branded products in industrial segments such as textile, direct-to-garment and label printing. The company found success with the product line due to its ability to produce high quality images and high levels of productivity. PrecisionCore printheads are also known for their versatility and durability (lasting longer than other, similar printheads), helping clients meet the market demands of mass customization while keeping down costs. Like other aspects of digital printing technology, PrecisionCore printheads are known for their improved eco-friendliness and sustainability, two issues of increasing importance to print service providers.

Epson has announced its new product lineup expansion will feature three series: the S3200, the L1440, and the F1440. The S3200 is the newest model, sporting a PrecisionCore head that works with UV, aqueous, and solvent inks. It has a size of 150.4 × 30.4 × 52.0 mm, with 3,200 nozzles and a resolution of 600 dpi. Printing maxes out at two usable ink colors, and the S3200 is best suited to a 120.2 mm printing width.

The other two new printheads are upgraded versions of previous series. The L1440 and F1440 series are both created with MACH printhead technology. Each operates with aqueous and solvent inks (the L1440 can also use UV) injected through 1,440 nozzles at a resolution of 360 dpi. Each printhead is compatible with eight-color printing and has an effective printing width of 25.4mm.

Table 1: Espon’s PrecisionCore Printhead Product Line-up

Epson PrecisionCore Printheads

Image source: Epson

Epson has announced that all three of these printhead series will be available globally for purchase in the first half of the 2019 fiscal year.

InfoTrends’ Opinion

This move by Epson comes at the heels of the APPPExpo in Shanghai China, where many products were demonstrated using Epson printheads. For the past several years (while EPSON focused on developing its own branded product), systems integrators have been migrating to other printhead suppliers. This shift by Epson back toward capturing market share should strengthen its printhead business.  The new head configurations offered by Epson support a range of product configurations in both single-pass and scanning-head configurations.

This announcement comes on the heels of announcements by Chinese manufacturers who are beginning to introduce Chinese-made printheads. While this means more competition, it is likely that these new companies will take time  to mature while established print manufacturers continue to reduce prices and improve performance of proven brand technologies.

Developments in inkjet printhead capabilities over the past few years have empowered innovation in deposition technologies across many industry segments, from the well-established sign & display graphics market to a range of decorative, packaging, on-demand printing applications, to printed electronics and 3D printing. This market will likely continue this adoption as these digital products address evolving industrial segments looking for digital solutions to support print automation, and address the growing client demand for mass customization.

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