Japanese technology giant Seiko Epson Corporation has announced plans to expand its business operations worldwide. By 2025, Epson hopes to have increased its global revenue by more than 50 percent, and it is intending to whole range of new products and services to fulfil this aim. A new industrial 3D printer will be one of the main new product releases that can be expected in the next few years, as Epson hopes to capitalize on the continuing growth of the market.
“Our vision by 2025 is to create a new age of connected people, things and information with efficient, compact and precision technologies for sustainable growth,” said president Minoru Usui at Epson Singapore’s 35th anniversary. “We will position ourselves to provide innovative products that can bridge the gap between the cyberworld and the physical world.”
The company has already established a strong reputation for the manufacturing of traditional 2D printers, as both its laser and inkjet offerings have had great success both with consumers and businesses. The latest industrial model, the WF-C20590, can deliver printing speeds of up to 100 pages per minutes (ppm) with lower printing costs, and the company is hoping to double this speed with its next release.
Five years ago, Usui initially announced that the future of Epson would be heading in a 3D printing direction, but at the time he stated that the consumer market for 3D printers was too niche and limited to merit any investment in product development there. Now the technology has matured, and 3D printing systems are becoming the norm for a whole range of professional industrial applications, particularly prototyping, research and small-scale manufacturing, Epson will be taking the plunge for the first time in this more advanced 3D printing pool.
As for the details about this long-anticipated Epson 3D printer, the company says it aims to release a model with printing speeds of up to 200 ppm. And a broad range of compatibility with different 3D printing materials is another priority that the company has in development of the product. “One of our goals for digital printing technology is the ability to print any materials. We are working on 3D printing that can work on a variety of printing material with high accuracy and productivity,” said Usui. The print head guidance expertise that the company has from its laser and inkjet systems should also be transferred to the third dimension.
Other new avenues that Epson will be looking to explore include robotics and smart wearables. The company plans to introduce new smart glasses with an augmented reality display for commercial and industrial use in Southeast Asia in the fourth quarter. The Moverio BT-350 is designed for a commercial environment, and will be suitable for sharing with multiple users using the world’s first multi-unit docking station, for easy multi-fleet management such as is necessary for tourist attractions and museums. Meanwhile, the Moverio Pro BT-2200 smart headset is suited for industrial and other business AR applications, such as remote technical assistance. It features a new hinge specially designed to fit over front brim helmets.