James Goulding talks to Dan Wogan, Epson UK product manager for managed print and solutions, about Epson’s new flagship MFPs
PITR: I notice that the WF-C20590 and WF-C17590 come under the WorkForce Enterprise banner. Is this a new series and what does it signify?
Dan Wogan: Yes, it is. All top-end devices will now be bracketed under the Enterprise banner including the two new flagship products. They are completely new engines and use a brand new printhead – a linehead that sits across the entire width of the page. Our other current devices all have serial printheads where the printhead moves backwards and forwards and the paper moves underneath. This is absolutely fine for our current devices, which are up to 24ppm ISO and up to 34ppm in draft, but beyond that you need a different type of system, because you can’t have a printhead and paper moving that quickly.
PITR: Is the 100ppm speed ISO or draft, and if the former can it print even faster in draft?
Wogan: It is ISO, and it can’t print any faster than 100ppm. As I understand it, print speed is limited by the speed at which the paper moves, not by the way ink is dropped. It duplexes at 60ppm and even when you put the finisher on, it only slows down by about 20%.
PITR: Even so, that’s massively faster that your existing range.
Wogan: This is a completely new, built-from-the-ground-up device. It still uses the printhead technology we have, piezo electric, but in a line configuration, and rather than being in a straight line, nozzles are arranged in a diagonal configuration so there’s a greater overlap, which increases print quality and helps eradicate things like banding. There is also new technology to prevent nozzle blockages and to take faulty nozzles out of action. If a nozzle is not firing, the size of droplets from the two adjacent nozzles are increased to fill the gaps.
This is a big duty copier. It’s a big, floorstanding, four-tray device, with a big ADF, open platform as standard, big screen and massive consumables. It will carry two 50,000-page black consumables, making 100,000 pages of black on board, and 50,000 pages of each of the colours. From launch we will have a staple-stacker finishing option, and a little after that we will have a booklet-maker and folder as well.
PITR: What is your target market?
Wogan: We’re not pitching it into the 75 and 100ppm space – the reach is far broader than that. Rather than just targeting that very high end reprographics space where they just print and print, the aim is for the 75ppm device to ft in the 55ppm copier space. That is where the bulk of the activity in the market is.
PITR: Is it being sold through your RIPS dealers or will it have broader distribution?
Wogan: The idea is to go through our 1.1 copier dealer channel. For larger opportunities that are brought to us by corporate resellers, we may also make it available through our EPP, which is where we sell a service cost per page and the box. But I would expect the majority of sales to go through our 1.1 servicing dealer channel.
Because of the technology it uses, it retains the key selling points of RIPS devices – minimal waste, minimal interventions and very low power consumption for the type of device it is. Even though it’s a 100ppm MFP it has a maximum power consumption of about 320W. Even a desktop A4 colour laser will pull 900W when it is printing. So, printing at 100ppm it still uses one third of the electricity of a 25ppm desktop laser.
PITR: Isn’t it going to be quite hard to persuade people in the market for a 55ppm copier to move away from laser technology?
Wogan: I don’t necessarily think it is. In December, we toured the new models under NDA around a lot of our existing and prospective partners in the copier world. One person said: “In 35 years of being in this market I have never seen something to make me excited, and this does”. If resellers see an opportunity to make money, they will embrace it. And they can see the opportunity.
PITR: What are the benefits for dealers in taking this on?
Wogan: For this channel, service margin is king. These devices reduce the amount of time that a service technician has to spend on a device, so a dealer can sweat their resources harder. If they can get a service engineer to see more devices in less time, it will save them money from a service perspective. And because of the low power consumption, they can highlight savings the end user can make that won’t come out of a dealer’s margin.