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Talking Point | October 2017

In digital printing, Epson holds 60% market share

In India, currently, digital printing has a 25 per cent growth rate and is expected to continue growing at a steady pace. “There is a growing demand for printed clothing and we have seen an increase in the use of digital textile printers”, says Vasudevan, DGM – Commercial and Industrial Products, Epson India Pvt Ltd, while speaking to the ITJ.

Incorporated in 2000, Epson India Pvt Ltd’s products address the needs of homes, businesses and commercial enterprises. Headquartered in Bengaluru, the company markets and supports Epson inkjet printers, inkjet all-in-ones, point of sale printers, 3LCD projectors, scanners, large format printers, robots and dot-matrix printers.

Give us some details about Epson’s beginning in India for textile printing machines and its developments over the years.

In India, Epson started selling digital textile printers from April 2013. Three years since then, Epson has captured 60 per cent of the market share to become the leader in textile printing machines (dye sublimation).

Digital printing is catching up in India. How do you see its future in this market and do a comparison with the global markets?

According to a report from Smithers Pira, digital printing will continue to grow in the printing sectors around the world. Currently, digital printing accounts for 16.4 per cent of global print and print packaging in terms of value however, it accounts for only 3.9 per cent in terms of volume. By 2022, it is predicted that digital will be 191 per cent of value and 4.3 per cent of volume.

In India, currently, digital printing has a 25 per cent growth rate and is expected to continue growing at a steady pace. There is a growing demand for printed clothing and we have seen an increase in the use of digital textile printers.

What are the various printing systems and technologies you offer for the textile industry? What are their advantages over that of competitors?

Epson professional printers combine high volume and high speed production printing with quality print output along with affordability, which has helped its growth in India. We continue to lead in the commercial and industrial printer markets for photo graphics, signage, textile and label printing.

At the core of Epson’s professional printers is PrecisionCore print head technology consisting of the thin-Film Piezo print chip built using precision MEMS manufacturing technology for high performance printing. Using no heat, the PrecisionCore print chips enable the development of superior Epson ink formulations that can print across a variety of media ranging from posters and signage banners and other creative installations. Multi-size dot control delivers precision printing for high-volume and high-speed printing applications.

Dye sublimation is one of the widely accepted concepts today. What are the latest offerings in wide format printers from Epson?

Currently, Epson offers three products in textile printing, i.e, Epson Surecolor F6270 (44-inch), Epson Surecolor F7270 (64-inch) and Epson Surecolor F9270 (64-inch). These printers are ranged from entry-level printing to voluminous printing. All the models are suitable for use in sports, garments, fashion , home furnishing, soft signages and specialty printing (printing on MDF, glass, aluminum, etc.).

How do you think the large format printers from Epson differ from such products from other competitors? In short, what are their USPs?

Epson offers new generation, state-of-the-art large format printers that incorporates the latest colour printing technologies. With Epson’s PrecisionCore Thin Film Piezo printhead, we produce images that are accurate in detail, superior in fidelity with uncompromising image consistency. Epson’s large format printers seamlessly integrates with industry-leading software solutions to meet the demanding needs and the critical eye of the photo, proofing and graphic arts industry. Epson offers total solution including printer, print head, ink, media and software.

How do you look at the Indian dye-sublimation printing market? What are its strengths and weaknesses and also the problems and prospects?

Dye sublimation is the most adaptable textile digital printing process and while it is not appropriate for every textile substrate, it is definitely the best route for textile professionals to dip their toe in the world of printed textiles, and possibly other rigid materials with the same hardware. Dye sublimation is widely used for printing on polyester fabric, sports garments and soft signages. Dye sublimation is preferred because images are permanent and do not peel or fade in dye sublimation printing. Dye does not build up on the fabric and colors can be extraordinarily brilliant due to the bonding of the dye to the transparent fibres of the synthetic fabric. Truly continuous tones can be achieved that are equivalent to photographs, without the use of special techniques such as half-screen printing. The image can be printed all over the entire surface, with no difficulty in printing all the way to the edges.

Though India produces high amounts of cotton, polyester as a fabric is slowly catching up. The consumption rate of polyester is growing at a steady pace. The overall industry is growing at 20 per cent CAGR. As far as the industry is concerned, there is definitely an increase in the dye sublimation printing and it has contributed to the broader rise of digital inkjet systems in the textile trade. As the dye sublimation market booms it will create numerous opportunities for ink and textile suppliers, press builders, and partners across the value chain. We, at Epson, foresee the growth of dye sublimation at 20 per cent YOY for the next three years.

How does the future of digital textile printing look like in India? What will be the strategies and focus of Epson India?

The signage, textiles and label industries are high growth markets, and we aim to continue to drive growth in this category. Especially in the textiles industry, we aim to accelerate the industry shift to digital to support the demand for short-run print jobs. We will continue to leverage our strengths in our core technologies to introduce new innovations that will help our customers to strengthen their business and lower their overall total cost of production.

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