Construction Completed on New Factory for the Manufacture of Inkjet Printheads at Akita Epson

- New facility to triple printhead production capacity -

- TOKYO, Japan, December 22, 2023 -

Construction of a new factory at Akita Epson Corporation, a Group company of Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE:6724, "Epson"), that began in November 2022 has now been completed. Built with a total investment of 3.5-billion yen, the completion of the new factory approximately triples Akita Epson's future printhead production capacity.

The new factory at Akita Epson

Epson's printing solutions business provides products and services based on original Micro Piezo inkjet technology to customers in the office, home, commercial, and industrial markets. Global demand for inkjet printers is forecast to continue growing. In the office and home inkjet printer markets, strong demand for decentralized printing since the pandemic has been complemented by robust demand for high-capacity ink tank printers not only in emerging markets but also in North America and other developed economies.

Demand for commercial and industrial inkjet printers is increasing along with a technology shift from analog to digital in sectors where the printing media is not paper, such as digital textile printing. Moreover, many commercial and industrial inkjet printers use PrecisionCore MicroTFP printheads*, which can be flexibly adapted for different applications by assembling MicroTFP print chips in various combinations.

Currently, about 20% of Epson's inkjet printers are equipped with PrecisionCore printheads, but this percentage is expected to increase, since commercial and industrial printers and high-speed linehead inkjet multifunction printers use a larger number of print chips per unit.

The new Akita Epson factory is designed to increase the production and assembly of printheads, the core component of inkjet printers, to keep pace with the increased production of MicroTFP print chips made possible by investment in the front-end process at Epson's Hirooka Office, in Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture. The factory is also designed to provide space for future expansion of the facility, with a view to strengthening the product lineup, expanding printhead sales to third parties, and meeting growing demand for inkjet printers equipped with PrecisionCore MicroTFP printheads.

The new factory is situated adjacent to the existing printhead factory and has enabled greater efficiencies from components production through to assembly. In addition, production equipment and processes have been arranged to further increase human productivity and space productivity. Specifically, the new facility has a newly designed, optimal layout wherein Epson robots and other equipment will be arranged in islands. By using this island design, Epson aims to increase production efficiency by 30% on a high-throughput production line.

As a production site with premier technological capabilities, Akita Epson closely collaborates with Epson's research and development centers in Japan. Moreover, it shares the advanced production technology and know-how it gains through the production of core devices with Epson's overseas production sites to improve the Epson Group's overall manufacturing capabilities.

* PrecisionCore MicroTFP printheads are critical components that determine the image quality and speed of an inkjet printer. Equipped with an array of individually controlled nozzles, they can eject 50,000 tiny ink droplets per second, with droplet sizes as small as several picoliters (a picoliter is one trillionth of a liter).

Please see the links below for further details about Micro Piezo inkjet technology and PrecisionCore printheads.

Micro Piezo Technology

Micro Piezo printhead manufacturing technology

Profile of the New Akita Epson factory

Location 1 Dannoue, Iwasaki, Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture
Business operations Manufacture and assembly of printheads for inkjet printers
(printheads for high-capacity ink tank printers, business inkjet printers)
Factory floor area 3,664.80 m² (three-story steel-frame construction)
Total floor space 10,682.32 m²
Start of Operation January 2024 (planned)

The printhead production flow

Akita Epson corporate profile (as of October 1, 2023)

Company name Akita Epson Corporation
Established June 20, 1986
Location 1 Dannoue, Iwasaki, Yuzawa City, Akita Prefecture
President Jun Hirata
Share capital 80,000,000 yen (Akita Epson is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seiko Epson Corporation)
Employees 1,002
Business operations
  • Printhead manufacturing
  • Wearable products processing and assembly
  • Fabrication and processing of ultra-precision parts and molded production tooling
Lot area 87,620 m²

About Epson
Epson is a global technology leader whose philosophy of efficient, compact and precise innovation enriches lives and helps create a better world. The company is focused on solving societal issues through innovations in home and office printing, commercial and industrial printing, manufacturing, visual and lifestyle. Epson's goal is to become carbon negative and eliminate use of exhaustible underground resources such as oil and metal by 2050.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the worldwide Epson Group generates annual sales of more than JPY 1 trillion.