Epson Chases Growth in Printers and Robotics

Originally published by The Nation

Epson chases growth in printers and robotics

Epson is focusing on inkjet printers, projectors and robotics, and is expecting to grow its business by 7 per cent in fiscal year 2018, according to its general manager for Thailand Yunyong Nonthapan.

Yunyong said there was an increasing trend for the use of inkjet printers because of their low running costs and reliability, and for productivity and environmental reasons. To increase market share, the firm will continue to launch new inkjet printers to capture three market segments: low-end and small office, mid-range, and high-end. The company believes that inkjet technology will be the standard for office printing in 2020, and that inkjet printers will dominate the Thai market with a share of 78 per cent.

The remaining 22 per cent will be laser printers. He said that the total Thailand printer market in 2018 will have a value around Bt1.5 billon. He expected total printer shipments of about 1.3 million units, with a 70-80 per cent share for inkjets and the remaining 20-30 per cent for laser printers.

Epson’s market share for inkjet printers was about 46 per cent last year. In the laser projector market, he said, the firm offers equipment with reliability and durability, high image quality and flexibility, with 360 rotation and freely adjustable tilt. The Epson range includes projectors for home users, education and the corporate market. Last year, the company had 46 per cent of the Thailand projector market.

Yunyong said Epson also provided robotics with cutting-edge technology, including industrial robots that could help businesses boost productivity, enhance product quality, reduce costs and improve working conditions. “I think that robotics will be one of the engines of Thailand’s economic growth. Around 50 per cent of Thai manufacturers are considering the adoption of automation systems within 1-3 years.

Meanwhile, medium-size businesses will be ready in 3-5 years,” he said. Yanyong added that, by the end of fiscal year 2018, 60 per cent of Epson’s revenue would come from business customers and 40 per cent from consumers. Printers would account for about 80 per cent of revenue, followed by projectors (19 per cent) and robotics (1 per cent).

The company expects to gain total revenue growth in fiscal 2018 of around 7 per cent. Growth in Thailand is expected to be about 5 per cent, while revenue growth from the international market including Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Pakistan could be as high as 15 per cent.

Epson expects that, in 2020, its business in Thailand will generate 80 per cent of its business from printers, 17 per cent from projectors and 3 per cent from robotics. Toshimitsu Tanaka, managing director of Epson’s regional office in Singapore, said that its focus for 2025 would cover four product areas: inkjet printers, visual products, wearables and robotics.

He said the company’s vision was to connect people with efficient, compact and precise technologies.

“To drive its success, Epson invests US$1.4 million (Bt44.3 million) every day in research and development,” said Tanaka.

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