Epson briefs DataMaster Lab on their new range of fast colour inkjet MFPs
26 January 2023
Epson Europe’s Gareth Jay was kind enough to give DataMaster Lab a special briefing in the weeks leading up to the launch of three all-new colour A3 MFPs, the WorkForce Enterprise AM C4000, 5000 and 6000. These all print using Epson's heat-free PrecisionCore technology. Ahead of the launch of the new machines, we had the opportunity to talk in detail to the engineers at Epson about the specs.
Epson are highlighting the new machines' excellent environmental credentials. Epson's PrecisionCore Heat-Free Technology is unique, and remarkable in several ways. It uses a fraction of the electricity that toner machines consume since no heat is involved in the print process. The print head's array of nozzles comprises microscopic crystals and employs the piezo effect to create an ink pump. Ink droplets are sized by the nozzle itself. Other manufacturers of fast office inkjets use heat to boil the ink to make bubbles of precise size, and many use heat to dry the printed sheets too.
Environmental credentials, especially those that save money, are steering buyers’ decisions to an unprecedented degree. As Gareth Jay put it, "Each product that we offer in our business inkjet range provides businesses with the technology they need to help meet their own sustainability goals." Epson PrecisionCore machines use up to 92% less electricity than competing toner devices, according to our own modelling based on DataMaster Online data. The Heat-Free Technology is innovative but simple, and this means it has fewer parts. Fewer parts mean more reliability - and less waste. This print process causes no noxious emissions either. For all these reasons and more, we have been very pleased to give Epson the DataMaster Digital Imaging Green Award for the last two years running.
Epson first produced heat-free PrecisionCore A3 inkjet copiers in 2017, the 100 ppm WF-C20590 and the 75 ppm WF-C17590. We were astounded at their productivity, and delighted at how easy to use they were. DataMaster have been testing and evaluating copiers since 2009, and yet in 2017 we had not seen an inkjet MFP which could really compete with the office-market business-use hegemony of the laser/toner manufacturers' ranges of photocopiers. Epson's WorkForce Enterprise did just that.
PrecisionCore inkjet print technology is remarkable in itself, and other aspects of their design make Epson's WorkForce Enterprise machines the most productive inkjets on the office market. Their paper path is engineered so that these machines can print on the reverse of the sheet with no drying pause, so they can print in duplex mode (saving paper) just as fast as in simplex mode, even with documents with complex images or quite a high total ink coverage. No other office inkjet can achieve this level of productivity.
There are a several new innovations in the three new WorkForce Enterprise machines:
- The new "C" paper path is shorter, and should enhance productivity
- New, modular finishing units: the new optional, internal finishing unit can punch 2 or 4 holes as well as staple documents; and the external stapling unit can be upgraded to become a full booklet finisher.
- The printers themselves have a smaller footprint, and there is no longer a need for the external bridge to the external finishing unit.
- A few enhancements to note for our more technical readers:
to reduce maintenance, the ink pipe has a sub-tank to capture and remove bubbles;
Nozzle Verification Technology! Nozzle flushing is quicker and uses much less ink by applying AI to the process;
and there is an all-new system for keeping the head moist reduces ink consumption too.
Security has been upgraded. The new machines have a TPM, and Epson have added runtime intrusion detection in addition to the boot protection and firmware signature testing the earlier WFE models have.
The 60 ipm scanner has been upgraded, and now achieves 120 ipm for duplex originals. However, let's not forget that Epson make scanners too, very good ones. Epson make their scanner management software available as a free download for all their multifunction printers, vamping up the scan options compared to most other copiers. Epson Document Capture Pro is very easy to use, and provides many more functions than most competing copiers can run from their interfaces (image enhancements, file compression, OCR output to docx ...). Kofax OCR is now available for Epson Document Capture Pro, and this OCR is available as an option on the Epson AM-C machines.
Most of us will not see the Epson AM C series machines until February 2023. We will be testing them as soon as we are able. Meanwhile, the full specifications are already available for smart comparisons on Your DataMaster Online! See the product pages and other documents
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