Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE: 6724, "Epson") will invest approximately 20 billion yen in a new factory at its Hirooka Office in Shiojiri, Japan. The new factory, which is part of the company's strategic plans for its printing solutions (inkjet printer) business, will produce state-of-the-art PrecisionCore printheads, the core devices in Epson's inkjet printers. Equipped with a research and development function, the factory will have 49,000 square meters of floor space. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2016, and operations are expected to start in the first half of the 2018 fiscal year. Epson will conduct R&D and drive advances in production engineering and other areas at the facility, which, in the future, will roughly triple Epson's current printhead production capacity.
As both an R&D center and production center for core devices used in the printing solutions business, the Hirooka Office works closely with Epson's production sites worldwide. It shares the advanced production technology and expertise it gains through the development and production of core devices with Epson's overseas production sites to help maximize manufacturing capabilities across the Epson Group. The investment in the new factory is part of Epson's plans to further reinforce its R&D and production platform through the 2020 fiscal year.
Epson's printing solutions business leverages original Micro Piezo inkjet technology to provide products and services to customers in the consumer, office, commercial, and industrial markets. The new factory will handle the front-end manufacturing process for PrecisionCore printheads, the core devices in Epson's business inkjet printers, high-capacity ink tank printers, and commercial and industrial printers. Epson's high-speed business inkjet printers produce sharp text and outstanding images at a fraction of the cost per print and energy consumption of laser printers. These quality and cost advantages are behind the steady annual growth in demand from the office market. High-capacity ink tank printers meet the needs of emerging markets for low-cost prints with genuine Epson print quality. Unit shipments of these printers have been strong, showing 40% year-on-year growth in the 2014 fiscal year (ended March 2015). Epson is now rolling high-capacity ink tank printers out to advanced economies, including Europe, Japan and the United States. In the commercial and industrial sectors, an accelerating shift from traditional analog printing to digital printing solutions is expected to generate heavy demand for printers used for things such as signage, textiles and product labels.
Epson is committed to continuously enhancing its original technologies and leveraging its original core devices to delight customers with products and services that exceed their expectations.