Epson WorkForce Pro: chronicles of how an office inkjet "overtighted a blanket" from a laser and what it came to today
Fasting for all who are interested in the topic of choosing a color printer for the office.
12,5 thousand dollars - that was how much the first color laser printer for office in 1993, released by QMS, cost . His name is ColorScript Laser 1000.
The printer was tricolor: yellow, magenta, and cyan gave the desired shades (as far as it was possible at the time) were superimposed, and together they gave a dark gray color. The nominal speed of a typical laser printer at the time was 4 ppm, and the resolution was 300 dpi.
In the same 93rd, the first inkjet printer based on MicroPiezo technology entered the market under the Epson brand. Remarkably, it was this model that flew into space in 1998 aboard the Discovery spacecraft.
A year later, in 1994, Epson launched the world's first 720dpi color inkjet printer Epson Stylus Color at a speed of 200 characters per second. It was four-color: one black cartridge and the second three-color (remember these?). At the time of release, printing on such a “Stylus” cost only a few cents per sheet, much less than on competitors' devices.
Thus began the era of affordable color printing.
Why laser printing rules ball
The main parameters that inkjet technology could not approach for a long time are:
- print speed ("serial" in the first place);
- maximum permissible monthly load (i.e. print volume per month on a specific machine).
The inkjet printer of that time did not even “dream” about the ability to print 3000 pages per month standard for a laser printer. Inkjet printers were much slower than laser devices, and they could not boast of high load indices. With the quality of printing on plain paper, there were also difficulties: when printing, the text shone through on the back of the paper, and when I tried to print a graphic or picture with fill, the paper was soaked and went in waves.
Therefore, high-speed laser machines seemed more promising then.
$ 1.4 million for R & D -
Epson spends exactly this amount every day and spends on research and development (or as it is now fashionable - “RND”) to improve and develop its own technologies.
We now have more than 47,000 valid patents, plus about 4,000 new ones are registered every year . Therefore, Epson for seven years in a row is in the top 100 global companies of innovators.
Investing colossal funds in scientific activity laid the foundation for the future of inkjet printing, in particular.
Back to the Future
Despite the fact that more recently (for the progress of 10 years - no time limit) laser printers were considered more promising, today inkjet printing is more and more confidently conquering the print market: photo labs, registry offices, airports and other commercial and non-commercial organizations choose inkjet machines.
According to IDC statistics for 2016, the share of office inkjet printers was 8%, but by 2020 it should increase to 15%. We are seeing this growth “from the first row”: the number of tenders for office equipment is increasing, the volume of purchases of office equipment from our partners, as well as the number of questions that we and our technical support are asked to choose equipment for a variety of business tasks.
Color printing in the office !? Yes you fell from the moon
The stereotypes associated with office printing, change over time very slowly .
In the courtyard of the 2018th year. However, the prejudices a la “color printing, and even in the office — this is unwise and wasteful” still hamper the widespread penetration of cost-effective inkjet devices into organizations all over the world.
On the one hand, it is understandable: in the vast majority of offices, color printing is not a necessity. Just in the majority - "I would like to, but expensive . "
However, there is a significant percentage of organizations where a color printer is indispensable.
For such companies, first of all, in 2011, the Epson Printing Factory was published - and the alignment of forces began to change rapidly. I will not delve into the advantages of the “Factory”: there are already one , two , three and four posts about these devices in the blog.
I will note the main thing: the first thing the “Factory” has surpassed the small laser devices (and the previous inkjet, which is already there ...) is a resource of consumables . Up to 11,000 documents could be printed from one set of ink containers for the Factory. While on a laser machine of a similar price category, an expensive cartridge was designed for 700-1500 pages. The monthly load soon reached enough for a small business - up to 3000 pages per month.
Recall that inkjet printers print well on both ordinary office paper and photo paper. Such versatility further stimulated business to pay attention to inkjet devices.
"Factory" came "to taste" in the state. institutions as desktop devices - color printing on a wide range of carriers, inexpensive consumables and a simple refueling system did the trick.
The speed also increased, but nevertheless, non- office inkjet apparatus (and most of the Printing Factories at first were) in this parameter still lagged behind the lasers.
Following the success of "Print Factory" appeared more powerful and high-speed vehicles:
- WorkForce Pro printers and MFPs with a load of up to 10,000 pages per month;
- powerful printers and multifunctional WorkForce Pro RIPS series with ink containers designed for printing up to 75,000 pages and a maximum monthly load of 65,000 pages;
- Level 80 MFP of the WorkForce Pro Enterprise series with a peak monthly load of up to 400,000 pages.
For a long time, there was another niche that was unfairly “cheated” by attention - color A4 machines with a peak load of up to 45,000 pages .
And for this particular niche Epson developed the WorkForce Pro WF-C5000 series of devices.
Multifunctional WorkForce Pro WF-C5000
One of the most expensive developments of Epson - Epson PrecisionCore printing technology - allowed to bring inkjet printing to a new level (without exaggeration). It sounds a little pathetic, but I can confirm it personally: for the third year Epson RIPS has been working in our office with such a printing head. Is he:
- prints very fast;
- conveys colors very accurately;
- practically does not require maintenance;
- keeps the load in the region of 300-1000 pages per day;
- do not stop to print even borderless photos.
On the same technology collected and new Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5000 series.
Not like before.
The form factor is closer to the Epson RIPS and "Print Factory" than to the previous cartridges.
One set of such “packages” with ink will be enough to print up to 10,000 pages in B / W mode or 5,000 in color.
Again, for its segment - an indicator is very good. And it is fundamental when calculating the cost of ownership, coupled with the cost of replacing the resource parts. Available in 3 types of containers, different resource.
Great Primarily due to the print head on the PrecisionCore technology with a high nozzle density.
In addition, in these models all colors are pigmented . We have repeatedly told about the advantages of the pigment, so we briefly list the main ones:
- the pigment almost immediately "firmly" is fixed when it hits the paper. Many civil registry offices in Russia already print certificates on inkjet printers, and not on matrix ones. And even more so, not on the laser.
- Printing with pigment ink is very resistant and does not spread when water enters or is highlighted with a marker;
- does not fade with time (again, an important parameter for printing archival documents).
You can add to the advantages mentioned above: inkjet printers do not “smell” when printing. No ink heating, no odor. Many people calmly react to the smell when printing on a laser printer, but there are, for example, allergy sufferers and pregnant women who do not like to breathe in dust all day long. Yes, and it is not useful .
In an inkjet printer, ink is fed to the print head. And it, in turn, consists of thousands of nozzles, through which ink is transferred to paper. It happens that right during printing, some of them can get clogged for a variety of reasons. Previously, this could lead to the fact that some of, say, 30 sheets of a business agreement were printed with “stripes”. Of course, after printing you can perform cleaning through the driver. But the prints are already spoiled ...
Calm, only calm.
Now in all business printers Epson introduces NVT (Nozzle Verification) technology:
As can be seen from the video, when printing, the size of the droplet from nozzles adjacent to the clogged increases. And when printing is completed, the printer automatically cleans the print head.
Therefore, it’s not necessary to hammer your head with these problems: the printer will take care of everything.
For its segment - great: up to 35 pages per minute.
I would also like to mention such a parameter as the time of the first page exit - again, for some, this parameter is more important than the basic speed. For both Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5000 models, the first page appears only 7 seconds after sending the print job. In general, inkjet printers have traditionally been fine with this. Even after a long standby time, the printer is immediately ready for printing, while the laser “stove” cools down in the laser and it needs to be warmed up. But you know that without me.
So in the end inkjet printing is more profitable laser or not?
Immediately determine how to count this "benefit." We introduce the parameter under the already well-known name "cost of ownership."
The cost of ownership of the device (Total Cost Ownership) is the sum of all the costs of a device during a certain period of its operation.
It consists of:
- the cost of the device itself ;
- the cost of consumables ;
- the cost of all resource parts that need to be replaced during operation;
- electricity costs ;
- the cost of after-sales service .
For all the above parameters, laser printing is inferior to inkjet. According to statistics, buying an inkjet machine instead of a laser will reduce the cost of ownership of a printing device in the office by almost half , i.e. up to 50%.
You can see this for yourself by using our calculator , directly comparing these devices with laser rivals of competing brands.
Color or not color - the main thing that economical
And finally, I’ll play Captain Obvious: although the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-C5000 series devices are designed for economical color printing, they are also excellent for economical monochrome printing . At least due to the fact that:
- cartridges are separate and you only need to change the one that has ended;
- black ink cartridges are available in size “XXL”, i.e. per 10,000 prints.
May the color office print come down on you, dear habravchane!
Thank you for attention.