Inkjet printers have only been commercially available for just over 20 years, but in that short time they’ve become a mainstay for both personal and professional applications. A 2017 market research study from the International Data Corporation found that inkjet technology already dominates consumer and wide-format segments and is on an upward trend within production and office environments. In part, this rapid proliferation has been fueled by the consolidation of the printer and copier industries, resulting in a highly competitive marketplace filled with multi-purpose printing solutions.
Among the largest competitors, Epson has cemented itself as a major force within the world of inkjet innovation. The company’s dedication to full-spectrum development – from patent to final manufacturing – has helped it stay ahead of its competitors and forge lasting partnerships with other tech companies. In 2017, Epson was positioned as the #1 provider in almost every major market that it competed within, including:
The only product category Epson did not dominate was desktop printers, instead earning the #2 spot for the year. In addition to its extensive line of printers, Epson also captured a large portion of the projector market and was recognized as the world’s leading SCARA Robot manufacturer. With such a wide range of product offerings, it’s a bit surprising that the company has been able to remain a front-runner in the inkjet printer market. So how has Epson remained ahead of its competition?
Epson’s main advantage has been its drive to produce an extensive array of specialized printers, each with its own unique capabilities and target user groups. Advancements in inkjet technology have allowed the company to offer durable, multi-purpose hardware and affordable printing materials. Inkjet printers benefit from lower supply costs and do not require significant maintenance because the ink delivery system does not actually touch the paper. This results in less wear and tear over the life of the printer, reducing the likelihood of regular component replacements. Additionally, they are less complex than laser and dot matrix alternatives and contain fewer break points, making it a durable printing solution for business applications.
In an effort to meet the production needs of the widest possible customer base, Epson has created a variety of hardware units that fall into four broad categories:
Epson’s market success has not been driven by product variety alone, as it’s forward-thinking development staff understood the importance of wireless connectivity early on. In the past, networked printers were targeted to large corporations and production companies due to the high purchase price. But as wireless technology became more commonplace, printer manufacturers began incorporating the feature into all of their enterprise-grade hardware.
To better service the needs of SMB customers, Epson created the WorkForce series that has come to define the company’s innovative spirit. The WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 is just one example of Epson’s full-spectrum approach to workplace networking, featuring ISV customization and MPS compliance through PrintFleet, FMAudit and Print Audit.