Tech firm Epson halts global sale of laser printers


People visiting the Epson stand during the 5th China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on November 6, 2022. AFP PHOTO

Global technology firm Epson has stopped the sale of its laser printers worldwide and shifted to inkjet ones, citing environmental concerns.

Laser printers use more heat and have more consumables besides requiring periodic replacement of parts like transfer belts and fuse.

Inkjet printers are less complex and use less heat than laser printers. Epson says its inkjet printers use heat-free technology.

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“The decision to leave the laser market has been inevitable. As a company, we’re committed to sustainable innovation and action, and laser printers don’t fit within that. They consume more energy than business inkjets and use more consumable parts,” said Epson senior vice president Rob Clark.

“Our printing business will instead focus 100 percent on piezo heat-free inkjet, leveraging our proprietary technology to deliver efficient, sustainable print solutions for our partners and end users.”

Data from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier provider of global market intelligence, shows that the inkjet market is expected to grow at 5.1 percent per annum in sharp contrast with a 0.4 percent year-on-year decline in demand for laser printing.

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The IDC findings also suggest that 88 percent of hardware decision-makers now consider energy consumption and waste to be “extremely” or “very” important when selecting new printing devices.

Epson regional head for East and West Africa Mukesh Bector said the move is in response to the global climate challenges.

“Climate change continues to be the world’s most urgent challenge, and the demand for products and services that use fewer resources and work more efficiently is rising. We have responded by implementing changes to improve the value and sustainability of our printers while reducing the impact of our products by 50 percent across their lifecycle while extending their service life,” said Mr Bector.

The firm also announced an investment of more than €770 million (Sh96.8 billion) in sustainable innovation and new technology to reduce environmental impact.

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