Epson and HP have both outlined their plans for growth within the business printing market.
Based on its industrial inkjet print head technology, PrecisionCore, Epson has developed the WorkForce Pro RIPS (Replaceable Ink Pack System) range, a series of ink cartridges that can provide uninterrupted printing for up to 75,000 pages.
Epson said that RIPS has been developed to “address the impact of printer downtime and maintenance issues within the workplace”.
The products are designed to help businesses take advantage of the convenience benefits of a localised printer fleet, but with the costs of a centralised model.
The range comes as the result of a €125 million investment into production facilities in Japan, as Epson focuses on moving high-end industrial print head technology into the volume market.
“This is the next generation of Epson Inkjet technology, and offers more flexibility and potential than laser, meaning superior scope for development and the ability to evolve in-line with changing market needs,” commented Andrew Semple, head of business imaging for Epson Europe.
Phil Sargeant, program director at analyst IDC, added: “As a whole the business inkjet market is growing year on year, maintaining growth even in years when laser sales have declined.”
“Business inkjet products are expected to account for 25 per cent of the business printer and multifunction market by 2017.”
Alongside the new WorkForce Pro RIPS, Epson also launched a range of new business inkjet models for the business market.
The new models, available from channel partners, include the WorkForce Pro WF-8000, WorkForce Pro WF-5600, WorkForce Pro WF-4600, WorkForce WF-3000 and WorkForce WF-7000 series.
HP has also announced a revamping of its business printing portfolio, announcing services and solutions aimed at helping businesses better manage and maintain printer fleets.
Among the enterprise-focused announcements was the launch of the first near-field communications (NFC) ‘touch-to-authenticate’ solution for enterprise customers, which allows end users to authenticate themselves by touching a NFC-enabled Android device to a HP Enterprise LaserJet printer or MFP.
In addition, new HP LaserJet devices were revealed – the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise MFP M680 series and the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M651 series – which support the new NFC technology.
Other business-orientated services announced by HP included:
- Automated supplies ordering and replenishment using HP SureSupply solutions.
- Updates to the HP Express Decision Portal and regional expansions to HP Partner Managed Print Services (MPS).
- Increased multivendor support in managed environments.
- Automated fleet management capabilities with enhancements to the HP Smart Decision Suite.
“Regardless of the size and make up of an organisation, effective print management is integral to help ensure costs are kept in line and employee productivity is at its highest,” said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president, LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions at HP.
“With today’s expansion of HP’s services and solutions offerings, HP provides better ways to reduce costs, increase productivity and improve efficiencies by automating the management and optimisation of print environments.”