Four ways Epson technologies are indispensable to Europe’s future
Europe's changing landscape
The European landscape is continuing to evolve and everyday new discussions take place looking at how companies can reap the benefits of technology and, increasingly, answer the call for better Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in business. With increased pressure from investors, the supply chain and customers, businesses across all segments are seeking technological solutions that enhance their corporate performance, address their triple bottom line and support their part in achieving both the EU’s energy targets and the desired outcomes of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All of which is becoming indispensable to Europe’s future.
Even seemingly small changes can have a big impact on the environmental and social footprint of an organisation. This is why Epson’s corporate vision is centred on four innovation areas – printing, robotics, visual communications, and wearables – with each supporting the needs of businesses across Europe. Its Management Philosophy is underpinned by the drive to become an indispensable company because it believes that CSR is absolutely necessary to business success and this mind-set is embedded in the technology it delivers. In fact, Epson has taken this ‘triple bottom line’ approach across all its four innovation areas.
#1: Printers that print with purpose
First, Epson’s range of business inkjet printing technology is helping customers reach their environmental, financial and societal aspirations. Epson listened to the market and because printing remains a common workplace practice, it has developed superior inkjet printing technology in place of less eco friendly laser printing. In reality, if companies make the choice to invest in inkjet printing technologies, they can achieve up to 99% less waste, zero ozone gasses, 92% less CO2, and 96% less energy compared with using a laser printer. Put into context that means if all businesses switched to inkjet printing, enough energy would be saved up to run at least 507,000 households across Europe. Furthermore, inkjet is up to 3.5 times faster than laser and the time spent on interventions is reduced by 98%; Epson is therefore not only reducing the environmental impacts of its products but also creating new products that shift the behaviour and businesses of customers.
One unique example, PaperLab – the world’s first office papermaking system that turns waste paper to new paper without water – will fundamentally change the way businesses think about paper. Because Epson believes (and research confirms) that paper is still an essential part of working lives, Epson introduced PaperLab to address people’s concerns about paper waste and the environment and truly embedding a circular economy mind-set into the office that transforms the way people think about printing.
#2: Robots that shape a new manufacturing mind-set
In the future, this thinking will evolve even more, especially as 3D printing becomes more common in both the workplace and consumers’ lives. Coupled with the advent of robotics, manufacturing is being transformed and is supporting the overall flexibility and competitiveness of European industry. In fact, Epson is already taking steps towards a redefined manufacturing landscape in Europe, making robots accessible with entry-level pricing and through innovative new technologies like its ‘pick and grip’ Force Sensor capabilities. With this, Epson’s robots are allowing even the most intricate of tasks to be carried out, meaning less repetitive manual responsibilities and more creativity and flare for people in their roles, opening up employment opportunities and redefining others.
#3: Projection that recreates workplace interactions
At the same time, Epson’s visual communication technologies, like projectors, are driving collaboration and interaction, enhancing efficiency in workplace processes. With Epson projectors, businesses are able to reduce the need for “in-person” meetings, thus lowering the environmental impact of travel (reducing the carbon footprint). Its projectors offer an energy-efficient basic design with power-saving options on ECO settings – so much so that power consumption can be reduced by 27% during projection.
#4: Smart glasses that introduce new ways to see the world
Epson’s wearable smart glasses are helping people around the world be more efficient in the work they do by supporting tasks remotely, for example in remote diagnostics for engineering or training purposes, and also being used to save lives in emergency situations. In fact, disaster response teams in aerial firefighting and earthquake disaster recovery are using Epson’s smart Moverio eyewear, as well as visually impaired people who use the glasses to navigate their surroundings, read text as well as gain facial recognition.
While this is a snapshot of today, Epson’s vision of tomorrow is where it gets interesting. Its Corporate 2025 vision touches on how these core technologies will continue to shape the world around us. Epson sees a world where projectors will no longer be projectors but the vehicles for getting people into the office via holograms, so further reducing carbon footprints; how printers will continue to print but PaperLab will recycle paper securely within the four walls of an organisation; and, at how individuals will be free to think and prosper in a world where technology acts as an indispensable enabler.
Epson is set to be an indispensable company and to keep innovation like this coming spends 1.4 million euros a day on R&D (or more accurately 5.2% of annual revenue). Furthermore, it channels its spirit of Japanese craftsmanship – monozukuri (the art and science of manufacturing) – to not only guarantee quality, but also ensure commitment to the environment and where sustainability is at the heart of everything it makes. To achieve the level of precision and flexibility, Epson develops and manufactures its own efficient, compact and precision technologies (‘Sho Sho Sei’), using its own manufacturing plants, processes and robots so its four innovation areas continue to provide ways towards a more sustainable future.