Epson's 100ppm inkjet coming soon

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Epson's 100ppm inkjet coming soon

The Epson WorkForce Enterprise is the "most powerful office printing system ever built", capable of 100 pages per minute, the company says.

Epson is preparing to release a 100ppm inkjet multifunction printer, the WorkForce Enterprise.

The company says it can hit that print speed due to a 329mm wide printhead that can deposit ink across the entire height of an A4 page – or the width of an A3+ sheet – without moving. Apart from allowing higher speeds, this simplifies the printing mechanism as only the paper needs to move.

Epson refers to this design as “linewide printing”. It is not a new technology – the company already uses a similar arrangement in its industrial label printers, and HP has for years been selling printers incorporating what it calls “pagewide technology”.

Epson is positioning the WorkForce Enterprise to compete against high-end laser printers – with the company’s Australia business division general manager Craig Heckenberg claiming it’s the "most powerful office printing system ever built".

The company points out that the WorkForce Enterprise is much more energy-efficient than equivalent lasers (320W vs 5000W or more), easier to maintain (over one million pages, zero parts need to be replaced compared with 32 for a laser), and yields more consistent colour. It also says Epson's micro-piezo printhead provides more consistent colour than the thermal inkjet technology used by HP, as well as having a longer working life.

The new printer uses DuraBrite Pro ink that is highlighter and water-resistant, and causes "almost no paper curl". Three droplet sizes give high definition output with a maximum resolution of up to 600 x 2400dpi, and the high-capacity cartridges yield around 50,000 pages.

The scanner is rated at 60 images per minute (ipm) in simplex mode, or 110ipm duplex (double-sided).

The WorkForce Enterprise can be used with a wide range of media including banners, cards and window envelopes, and is suitable for printing line drawings such as architectural plans or engineering drawings.

In terms of print volume, the sweet spot is said to be between 6000 and 20,000 pages a month. Three hundred pages a day is more than many small businesses need, although it's not hard to imagine a busy real estate agency getting through that much paper, for example.

First deliveries of the WorkForce Enterprise are expected in July, and prices will be revealed closer to that time. They will be "competitive," according to a local Epson executive, allowing purchasers considering 50-75ppm models to get 100ppm performance at a similar price. A 75ppm version of the WorkForce Enterprise will be available at a later date.

The photo above shows the WorkForce Enterprise with its optional 3000-sheet high-capacity feeder and the optional 4000-sheet finisher for stacking and stapling.

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