Epson Triples PrecisionCore Production with new Inkjet Printhead Factory


Epson Seiko 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 analogue 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 line-up 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.

This 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. It 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.

Epson is committed to inkjet innovation. By advancing its original technologies and providing products and services based on its unique core devices, the company seeks to lessen environmental impact through its efforts to expand the world of digital printing.

Profile of the new factory
Name: Hirooka Office Building 9
Address: 80 Harashinden, Shiojiri-shi, Nagano-ken 399-0785
Operations: PrecisionCore printhead production (front-end process) and R&D
Completion: June 30, 2018
Building area (m2): 10,653 m2
Total floor area: 46,915 m2
Building construction: Steel-frame, five stories above ground and one below
Investment: Approx. AUD$310,000,000

About the Hirooka Office
As a planning and design centre, R&D centre, and production centre for inkjet printers, the Hirooka Office works closely with Epson’s production sites worldwide. It shares the advanced production technology and know-how it gains through the development and production of core devices with Epson’s production sites to help maximise manufacturing capabilities across the Epson Group. Epson is looking to further reinforce its R&D and production capabilities. In addition to Building 9, Epson is planning a new building (Innovation Centre Building B) at the Hirooka Office that will house a factory for prototyping and volume-producing large commercial and industrial printing systems and a test laboratory for digital textile printing.

Picture credits
Epson’s new Hirooka Office factory

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