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Epson turns up the heat on competing technology

Epson Australia has partnered with National Geographic to promote the protection of the world’s permafrost – the frozen ground beneath the polar regions of the earth –  in a new campaign dubbed Turn Down the Heat’.

Epson explained that the partnership will produce a series of articles, infographics and videos promoting the benefits of ‘Turning down the Heat’, predominately on digital and social channels.

‘The better people are educated the better decisions they will make in terms of energy usage, global warming and climate change,’ said Epson’s spokesperson.

Epson is leveraging the association to highlight its ‘heat-free’ inkjet technology, making a fairly dubious connection between its heat-free printheads and global warming. (Geddit!?)

In the process Epson takes a wander down the slippery slope of comparative marketing, in this case dissing other companies’ alternative technologies as environmentally unfriendly – both laser printing and inkjet: ‘You can now enjoy consistent high-speed photo printing, with greatly reduced energy consumption and less need for replacement parts, helping to save time, money and the planet too.‘  (If only t’were that simple!)

We asked Canon for a reaction to Epson’s new campaign, which clearly seeks to throw shade on competing printers. While the response wasn’t quite what we were seeking in terms of addressing energy use, it was fact-based:

‘Globally, Canon invests significantly in recycling technology, including operating an Automated Recycling System for Ink Cartridges (CARS-I), which separates materials to be reused for future cartridge components,’ we were told by Laura Hunter, manager, PR and External Communications, Canon Australia.

‘In adopting its “Action for Green” approach, Canon reduced its 2020 lifecycle emissions per product by an average of 4.7 percent, beating its target of 3 percent. Since 2008, this has contributed to a 40 percent reduction in overall Lifecycle CO2 per product unit.

‘Locally, Canon Australia is a long-term partner of environmental organisations such as Australia and New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP) and Close The Loop, working to ensure it plays its part in minimising waste and working towards a circular economy.’

One step too far?
While its patently clear that colour laser printers are absolute gluttons when it comes to power consumption, with even small printers sucking up over 1000W, Epson is on far shakier ground arguing that its inkjet printers have any significant advantage in energy use compared to printers from other manufacturers. If it had simply kept to the laser versus inkjet comparison it would have had a powerful argument, and avoided what looks like over-reach.

The two Epson Ecotank Photo printers released this week, the EcoTank ET-8500 (A4) and ET-8550 (A3) also highlight  ‘Epson’s patented Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology’, as delivering ‘greatly reduced energy consumption’. The truth is that all desktop-style inkjet printers are energy misers, using less power in operation than a low-energy light bulb.

What follows may seem tedious and pernicketty, but when a company claims its products are not only superior – that’s what marketing is all about, after all – but somehow environmentally superior, those claims deserve greater scrutiny. And to link using an Epson inkjet printer rather than, say, a Canon inkjet printer to protecting the planet’s permafrost is unadulterated nonsense.

We followed up to confirm with Epson that it was indeed claiming its inkjet technology used less energy that competing inkjet printers.

‘The message is that, due to the Epson MicroPiezo print head, Epson heat-free technology uses less power than other inkjet technologies and significantly less power than laser. Less power means less CO2 is put into the atmosphere which, in turn, will reduce global warming,’ was the response.

But stopping the melting of permafrost?

‘Epson are saying is that their heat-free technology uses significantly less power than alternative printer technology, especially laser…The melting of the permafrost is just one of many effects of global warming and climate change and Epson is trying to help reduce the effects global warming and climate change.’

Heat-free inkjet technology, according to Epson ‘brings four benefits:
– Low power consumption saves energy and money
– Few replacement parts, low environmental impact
– Save time with consistent high-speed printing
– Low intervention increases productivity’

Epson explains that its heat-free technology is environmentally superior because the Epson ink ejection process uses pressure rather than heat to force the ink through the tiny printhead nozzles. Canon and other inkjet printers use a thermal process to eject ink through the nozzles. However, it’s not clear where the environmental benefit is: it seems logical that the application of pressure, like the application of heat, requires energy. It may require less energy, but we looked at the published specs of two recent, roughly competitive photo quality A3+ inkjet printer releases from both Epson and Canon. Epson says the Epson P706 uses 22W when it’s running, and just 1.1W in standby mode. Canon says the Canon Pixma PRO200 uses a tiny 1.6 W when it’s printing, 1W in standby with scanning lamp off and 2.5W with scanning lamp on.

We went back to Epson to request any hard data it had on the savings of energy from using its heat-free inkjet technology: either per print, or over a year; or over the average life of an Epson printer – anything, really, to support the claim of lower energy use over competing inkjet technology. We were directed to the heat-free technology webpage, which included the somewhat uninformative diagram to the right: If Epson has any actual facts to support its claim to a green sheen, it’s not sharing them.

We did find an argument on the Epson Heat Free Technology webpage that it’s actually the speed of Epson inkjet printers that helps them reduce energy use: ‘Unlike thermal inkjet technology, the Epson Heat-Free Technology enables consistent ink ejection, so the printer can print at consistently fast speed. This can lead to the printer being in action for less time and as a result, helps to reduce running costs.’

Once again, the data just doesn’t support the claim. Going back to the Canon Pro200 and the Epson P706, the published specs are Canon – 1min, 30 secs for an A3+ and Epson 3min, 28 seconds. Perhaps Epson is referring to making long print runs…

Still, it’s good to know that the inkjet printers that many of us use to print photographs are, from an energy consumption point of view, no threat to the permafrost – and around 1/100th of the electrical power required by colour laser printers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Low power consumption saves energy and money;
– Few replacement parts, low environmental impact;
– Save time with consistent high-speed printing;
– Low intervention increases productivity;

As noted, we are seeking more detail from Epson, but

It’s hard to second-guess Epson when it cones to the replacemnt parts claim. When it comes to speed of printing

Nor is Epson’s inkjet technology specifically endorsed by National Geographic or the head of the Turn Down The Heat campaign, Dr “The Arctic is literally melting before our eyes. We estimate that up to 10% of the projected global warming this century could come from thawing permafrost, and that affects the entire Earth. What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. Our choices really do matter in work and in life. And when businesses and people make smart decisions about what technology we use, that will also make a positive difference for our environment.”

 

Epson Heat-Free Technology uses less power than laser technology because it does not use heat to warm up. As inkjets have no fuser unit to heat, this results in significantly less energy consumption. And unlike thermal inkjet technology, the Epson Heat-Free Technology enables consistent ink ejection, so the printer can print at consistently fast speed. This can lead to the printer being in action for less time and as a result, helps to reduce running costs

 

Epson Heat-Free Technology does not require heat in the ink ejection process. Instead pressure is applied to the Piezo element, which flexes backwards and forwards firing the ink from the printhead.

 

hanks to Heat-Free Technology, our inkjet printers use fewer parts that need replacing than in a laser printer, and, unlike thermal printers, our printheads are not a consumable. This reduces the environmental burden of manufacturing and recycling the additional resources.

 

ewer parts that can fail, which reduces the amount of intervention required.  As a result, Epson inkjet printers offer improved reliability and significantly reduced downtime.

 

 

 

 

The campaign comes as scientists predict the world’s permafrost will thaw entirely by 2100, drastically changing ecologies, raising global sea levels, and releasing over 950 billion tonnes of methane into the atmosphere. Together, Epson and National Geographic aim to raise awareness of how people can reduce their own impact of global warming, from homes to offices and other businesses.

 

‘Turn Down the Heat’ is fronted by the  Her pioneering research into the protection of permafrost is featured in a series of videos, infographics and online content in collaboration with Epson and National Geographic and can be found at www.epson.com.au/heat-free-technology.

Dr. Anthony commented: “The Arctic is literally melting before our eyes. We estimate that up to 10% of the projected global warming this century could come from thawing permafrost, and that affects the entire Earth. What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. Our choices really do matter in work and in life. And when businesses and people make smart decisions about what technology we use, that will also make a positive difference for our environment.”

 

Saving energy is essential in the fight against global warming, but numerous technologies in both businesses and homes consume significant volumes of it on a daily basis. Epson’s pioneering range of printers with Heat-Free Technology buck this trend, reducing environmental impact by using low energy and few replacement parts.

 

Epson global president Yasunori Ogawa commented: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do at Epson, and we are committed to not only lowering our own environmental footprint but helping customers to do so too. We hope to make a difference in overcoming global environmental issues with our customers and business partners through our technologies.”

 

About Heat-Free Technology

Epson Heat-Free Technology does not require heat in the ink ejection process. Instead pressure is applied to a Piezo element, reducing environmental impact while increasing productivity without compromise.

Heat-Free Technology brings four benefits:
– Low power consumption saves energy and money
– Few replacement parts, low environmental impact
– Save time with consistent high-speed printing
– Low intervention increases productivity

 

Head to Epson’s Turn Down the Heat hub here: www.epson.com.au/heat-free-technology

 

Epson also expanded its EcoTank® Pro line of cartridge-free printing solutions today, to include models designed for high-productivity home offices. The new Heat-Free EcoTank Pro ET-5150 and EcoTank Pro ET-5170 models provide home offices and small businesses with a more affordable EcoTank Pro option for high-speed, high-volume, cartridge-free printing. The ideal replacement for messy, expensive and heat-producing laser printers.

 

Epson Australia also launched two new heat-free, cartridge-free premium EcoTank Photo models today. Perfect for keen amateur photographers, the wireless, multi-function EcoTank Photo ET-8500 and ET-8550 use 6 colour Epson Claria ET Premium inks, can print up to 2,300 high-quality photos or 6,700 pages in black and white or 6,200 pages in colour with one set of ink bottles1 at incredibly low running costs. As these printers feature Epson’s patented Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology, you can now enjoy consistent high-speed photo printing, with greatly reduced energy consumption and less need for replacement parts, helping to save time, money and the planet too.

 

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