Epson Goes Greener in Making Cartridges

For the second time in as many months, Epson has sent out messages to consumers it wants to be seen to be greener.

Last month Epson Portland claimed to be implementing innovative measures to be reducing carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) while maintaining plant productivity. This time, the same plant on the USA northwest coast has posted photos and news on its website saying it is reusing components and retired production lines for improved inkjet cartridge production.

Now, the company says they are using retired programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to create a timer for ink barrel mixers with a light that goes on when the mixer stops. The result, Epson claims, is an effective and low-cost way to improve accuracy and workflow.  They are also upgrading their equipment in the clean room with reused machine parts and cells to fully automate five used semi-automated ink cartridge production lines transferred from another factory.

Epson says the cost to complete this automation was reduced by reusing machine parts from retired assembly lines. Automating the semi-auto assembly lines reduced handling errors and defects.

Dave Graham, president of Epson Portland said “Reusing retired machinery is a form of innovation that has helped us to boost product quality, improve efficiency and reduce the burden on the environment.”

According to Epson Portland Inc., they have been producing ink cartridges since 1999, and in 2006 built an automated packing machine loader from equipment taken from retired ink cartridge assembly lines. Since then, Epson Portland has continued to reuse hardware and robots from retired lines in other parts of the plant, with the aim of increasing efficiency, quality and output at a minimal cost.

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