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Is it the end of laser printers?

Epson is the first big name to abandon the technology, in favor of a more sustainable alternative

The new path undertaken by Epson marks an epochal turning point for the laser printer sector : from 2026 the technology will be completely abandoned in favor of only the so-called cold inkjet , which precisely eliminates the need to develop heat for the expulsion of the ink to be printed on paper or other supports. The Japanese giant has announced a short-term plan for a total investment of 100 billion yen or about 700 million euros, which will likely drive the rest of the category, of which Epson holds the third market share (17.6%, with 3,875,415 units sold in the second quarter of 2022). Here’s how inkjet printers work and why they could contribute a lot to protecting the environment.


This solution uses an in-line piezoelectric head that reacts to a small pulse received to change its shape and the deformation allows the ink to escape. The advantages of cold inkjet are not limited to the elimination of heat generation which requires a considerable expenditure of energy, but also concern a smaller quantity of moving elements and consumables for printing with consequent simpler, faster and cheaper maintenance. 


According to data released by IDC, inkjet printers in Western Europe are growing by 5.1% per year (10% in Italy) against a decrease of 0.4% for lasers. If today the share of inkjets is 22%, it is estimated that it will expand to 28% by 2026. Epson’s decision could push the transition from laser technology to cold inkjet, which would lead to even more compact and lightweight devices . The novelties will be on board the new Work Force Enterprise AM-C series of the Japanese brand, which can guarantee a print speed of 40-60 pages per minute.


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