Ep­son to step up pace of in­no­va­tion to meet Chi­nese de­mand

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By FAN­FEIFEI

Ja­pan’s Seiko Ep­son Cor­po­ra­tion is step­ping up its pace of tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion to bet­ter meet the chang­ing de­mands of the Chi­nese mar­ket, not only in tra­di­tional fields such as printer and pro­jec­tion equip­ment, but also by ex­pand­ing its robotics and wear­able de­vices ac­tiv­ity.

“China is chang­ing dra­mat­i­cally,” said Mi­noru Usui, Ep­son’s pres­i­dent and CEO.

“It has been grow­ing for the past few years and is now very sta­ble. We are fo­cus­ing on two cat­e­gories: pro­duc­tion and sales in China.”

Usui said his con­fi­dence in China is based on strong sales of Ep­son prod­ucts, in­clud­ing inkjet print­ers and pro­jec­tors, which have en­joyed sus­tained steady growth.

Ac­cord­ing to com­pany fig­ures, Ep­son’s share of the Chi­nese inkjet printer mar­ket reached 30 per­cent last year, while its pro­jec­tor business has con­tin­ued to rank top for the past five years, at a steady 20 per­cent.

Usui said it will con­tinue to pro­mote its inkjet print­ers, which are more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, in­stead of its laser ver­sions, and us­ing its PaperLab tech­nol­ogy that takes used pa­per and cre­ates fresh new sheets to pro­vide buy­ers with a com­plete of­fice print­ing and pa­per­mak­ing ecosys­tem.

Faced with an on­go­ing la­bor short­age and a re­quire­ment for more elab­o­rate pro­duc­tion, how­ever, he con­cedes more ro­bots are needed to make its man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses smarter.

In­dus­try fig­ures show Ep­son’s ro­bot sales surged 78 per­cent com­pared to 2014.

Its de­vices, mainly used in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of elec­tron­ics prod­ucts, are claimed to help fac­tory op­er­a­tors de­liver more qual­ity prod­ucts and im­prove the ef­fi­ciency and ac­cu­racy of as­sem­bly lines.

“We not only con­cen­trate on smart so­lu­tions for cus­tomers, but also pro­vide in­for­ma­tion how to use the ro­bots that could help clients en­hance their pro­duc­tiv­ity,” said Usui, mean­ing the com­pany is not just sell­ing prod­ucts, but also ad­vis­ing and in­struct­ing.

It will also tap into the wear­able de­vices sec­tor, Usui added, such as smart­watches and glasses.

Zhu Sendi, a con­sul­tant with the Chi­naMachin­ery In­dus­try Fed­er­a­tion, said: “China’s man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try is fac­ing a trans­for­ma­tion and up­grad­ing to­ward au­to­ma­tion and in­tel­li­gence un­der the Made in China 2025 ac­tion plan.

Zhu said Ep­son is likely to ex­pand its business from tra­di­tional fields to ro­bot pro­duc­tion be­cause it has mas­tered ad­vanced core tech­nolo­gies, such as sens­ing tech­nol­ogy and im­age pro­cess­ing tech­nol­ogy, and be­lieves its ro­bots business will wit­ness growth in the fu­ture.

We not only con­cen­trate on smart so­lu­tions for cus­tomers...”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Robert J. McDonough, pres­i­dent of UTC Cli­mate, Con­trols and Se­cu­rity An out­let of Ap­ple Inc in Tian­jin.

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