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Josep Maria Coll, director de Commercial & Industrial Printing de Epson Ibérica. SureColor SC-F2100. Imagen cedida por Epson.

With a range of products from inkjet printers and digital printing systems to 3LCD projectors, clocks and industrial robots, Epson is focused on driving innovation with a common denominator: sustainability, applied across the company, from the materials used to the production systems. Circular economy, environmental impact and efficiency are some of the topics we discuss in this interview with Josep Maria Coll, director of the Commercial & Industrial Printing division, as well as the new products to be presented at Grapghispag, from 24 to 27 May at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via exhibition centre.

 

We have lived through a type of crisis generated by the pandemic and everything indicates that we are beginning to recover. Has Epson changed its business strategy as a result of this changing environment?

 

Our focus on delivering more sustainable, compact and efficient printing solutions remains our hallmark, in addition to the renowned quality and precision of our PrecisionCore printhead developments. The pandemic has only further reinforced this purpose on our part and we are confident that we are the best partner for the printer.

 

 

What innovations will you be presenting at the trade fair?

 

We will come with a proposal of multi-sectoral printing solutions, where we will focus on three main axes: quality, sustainability and efficiency. In terms of new products, we will be presenting new proposals for the textile, personalisation and signage sectors in particular, although there will also be solutions for technical and corporate printing and even for the label and packaging sector.

 

 

With which sectors do you have the highest turnover?

 

The sectors currently trending towards sustained growth are personalisation and textiles. They are certainly boosting the business because we are convinced that we have the best technological proposition. We should also not forget mature sectors with a high level of brand loyalty, such as photography, signage and commercial printing.

SureColor SC-R5000. Image courtesy of Epson

You recently announced an agreement with luxury fashion house Brunello Cucinelli to drive the circular economy through technology. What role does the circular economy play in your company and how do you contribute to a more sustainable environment?

The circular economy has emerged as one of our innovation pillars. On the one hand, by facilitating with our technology circular production processes for the textile and fashion sector, as we made clear with our B-SEArcular initiative that we started a couple of years ago; on the other hand, with developments that are directly based on the concept of circular economy applied, in this case, to the management of paper documents. This is the case of Brunello Cucinelli, which has incorporated our Epson PaperLab in its facilities.

 

 

Still on the subject of sustainability, you have published the European Green Choice 2021 report. Do you think there is a commitment from the sector in general to sustainability? 

 

The commitment must be there. Companies that do not work with a clear sustainability purpose will find it very difficult to survive. It is time to take action and take responsibility for the line of work to be followed and for production. I think the graphics industry is making good progress in this regard, moving towards more sustainable materials and also – hopefully with Epson’s help – towards production systems that ensure a lower environmental impact.

 

 

What do your customers demand most? Have you noticed any changes in the last two years?

 

The big change in the last two years has been in the textile and personalisation sectors. The latter has been a boom in terms of an increase in demand that has surpassed any previous expectations. In the textile sector, perhaps linked to logistical difficulties, there is a certain upturn in businesses opting for short production cycles, which requires working with digital printing. We are keeping an eye on this upward trend, which will be a constant and perhaps even more so with the projects linked to the Next Generation EU funds.

 

SureColor SC-F10000. Image courtesy of Epson

You have had the collaboration of Usain Bolt in a recent communication campaign. What were the objectives of this collaboration?

 

Throughout this year we have had a very special ambassador, that’s right. Usain has brought us a fresh look and a very good connection to one of our great innovations: EcoTank. In this case, the focus was more on solutions for home use, but there was a good connection with the audience, which was one of the main objectives. In addition, Usain’s own precision, efficiency and infallibility in his sporting career were associated with our printing technology, as these are aspects with which we identify.

 

What challenges do you see facing the sector in the coming years?

 

I would argue that the main challenges centre on bringing together a need for sustainable production to respond to demand, together with a demand to take on significant responsibilities on the part of business and individuals in general towards a common goal, to stop the climate emergency. Another challenge is to accept that the world has changed in many ways in the last two years and we must know how to adapt our companies to this situation. We have seen changes in the supply chain, in events, in the reduction of travel, in mass digitisation and in the need to be transparent with a reduced environmental impact.

What does attending a trade fair like Graphispag mean to you?

 

Epson is always present at Graphispag. It is a very important meeting point with our customers and the sector in general, where we share our vision and solutions and respond to many of the needs of visitors. Even more so, the importance of the meeting increases significantly in this edition after these last two years of required distance.

 

SureColor SC-F500 and SureColor SC-F100. Image courtesy of Epson

Cristina Benavides, Graphispag contributor