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Interview With

Phil McMullin

Jo Golding speaks to Phil McMullin, sales manager at Epson UK, about how the company has established itself as one of the leading brands in global print and how it intends to build on this

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Phil McMullin joined Epson four years ago, after spells with other major print names including Kodak, Xerox, and Spandex

Setting up for further success

What is your history in the print industry and how did you come to work with Epson?

I joined Epson as UK sales manager four years ago, but I have been working in the graphics and printing sector for over 30 years. My first job was with signage reseller Spandex in telesales. I was selling computerised vinyl cutters well before the idea of digitally printed signage had been conceived. This was followed by lengthy stints with Kodak and Xerox then a return to Spandex in the capacity of UK business manager, prior to arriving at Epson.

My favourite quote about wide-format inkjet technology dates back to 2002, when an industry expert said: “It’s like the bumblebee; it should not fly but somehow it does.” I am pleased to say we have moved on from those days and wide-format really is buzzing now.

Can you give me an overview of Epson as a business and its current focus?

Epson is a global business that employs 73,000 people worldwide in 91 countries. We are a technology leader dedicated to connecting people, things, and information with our own original efficient, compact, and precision technologies. That includes inkjet printers and digital printing systems, 3LCD projectors, smart glasses, sensing systems, and industrial robots.

Fundamental to Epson’s strategy is an emphasis on quality. Print-service-providers (PSPs) know they can trust Epson equipment to produce impressive results, time after time. Critical to this outlook is our complete ownership of the Micro Piezo print head technology and ink chemistry, incorporating all elements of research and development, and manufacture. This means everything at Epson can be focused on ensuring these components work perfectly together in our printers to provide the best possible printed results, generating more profit opportunities for our customers.

In your opinion, what would you say are the company’s key strengths?

Innovation. Epson registers about 5,000 patents each year and holds over 50,000 live patents globally. The company invests 6 percent of its turnover in research and development to ensure it remains a global technology leader. That is around $2m (around £1.5m) every working day.

The company invests six percent of its turnover in research and development to ensure it remains a global technology leader. That is around $2m (around £1.5m) every working day

Environment. The latest Sure Color SC-S series of printers for signage and décor, use four times less energy compared to latex technology, and 10 to 15 percent less energy than the previous generation of printers. Epson has a focus on reducing energy use and waste in both our manufacturing processes and when PSPs use our products.

Quality. We have earned a reputation for exceptional quality and are number one in many of the markets we operate in.  In projection, we have been the number one player for the last 15 years and earlier this year our Sure Color SC-S series of printers was named the top selling eco-solvent technology in its class in Western Europe.

Can you pick a piece of technology you are particularly excited about currently and explain why people should check it out?

Anyone in, or planning to enter, the wide-format signage market needs to check out the Sure Color SC-S 80600 because it really does set a new benchmark in quality, versatility, and productivity. The printer features dual Precision Core TFP print heads and new Epson Ultra Chrome GS3 inks in CMYK, light cyan, light magenta, and light black, plus red and orange, with the option of adding either a white or metallic silver.

The 64" Sure Color SC-S 80600 prints at up to 95.1sq m/h in single-pass banner mode and up to 12.5sq m/h in eight-pass film mode. It is an ideal printer for outdoor signage, high end interior displays, and décor on coated or uncoated substrates. Thanks to the precision media feeding system, it can also handle exhibition displays, posters, backlit panels, POS materials, vehicle wraps, wallpaper, photo canvases, and many other specialist medias.

You will be exhibiting at The Print Show in October. Why should visitors come along and drop in on the Epson stand this year?

The Sure Color SC-S 80600 will be on the Epson stand (G05) at The Print Show, so is well worth a look. Textiles is another growth area and an opportunity for print-service-providers looking to expand their product range—head for the Sure Color F range.

The Sure Color SC-S 80600 will feature on the Epson stand at The Print Show in October this year

Visitors will be able to see a comprehensive range of digital printers for signage, textiles, décor, proofing, point-of-sale, photography, technical drawing, and labels.

On Epson’s stand at The Print Show, Epson will showcase Birmingham City University students’ decor

We will have nearly a dozen machines on show and will also feature new work from award-winning fashion designer Richard Quinn and décor created by textiles students at Birmingham City University.

Visitors will be able to see a comprehensive range of digital printers for signage, textiles, décor, proofing, point-of-sale, photography, technical drawing, and labels

And finally, looking towards next year, what are Epson’s plans for future growth?

Epson’s aim within the professional graphics printing sector is to lead the industry’s shift to digital production by extending its portfolio of competitive inkjet solutions and expand into new markets and new applications. The panacea would be the ability to print anything and everything. Over the next few years, the company plans to continue to refine its innovative Micro Piezo technology and ink chemistry, expand into high productivity, print-on-demand segments, and enhance the environmental performance of its inkjet systems.

Key Company Stats

  • 30 years’ experience in printing
  • 73,000 Epson employees worldwide
  • Epson staff in 91 countries
  • Epson registers about 5,000 patents a year

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