The mini printer is 43 years old – and Epson has shipped the 300 millionth unit. Japanese printer leader has shipped 300 millionth mini-printer – that small hand sized printer that is used to print point of sale bills, credit card slips, energy bills, transportation tickets and the like.
Starting with the EP-101, world's first compact, lightweight digital impact printer a product launched in 1968 and whose name was the origin of the Epson brand, the number includes both mini-printer mechanisms and TM (terminal module) printers sold to business customers around the world in markets as varied as retail, banking, food service and supermarkets.
Epson's involvement with mini-printers goes back to 1964 when the Seiko Group was named as the official timekeeper for the Tokyo Olympics. As part of this project, Suwa Seikosha, the forerunner of Epson, was given responsibility for developing a crystal chronometer for timekeeping and a printing timer. The printing timer proved to be the starting point for a business that is still going strong nearly 50 years later.
Mini-printer technology has changed from impact to thermal. On the way Epson experimented with hybrid (impact-cum- thermal) printers like the TM-H5000 launched in 1998.
In 1988, twenty years after the launch of the EP-101, Epson shipped its 100 millionth mini-printer. The 200 millionth came in 1999, with the 300 millionth coming in April this year. It was a thermal POS printer, the TM-T88V-1
President Minoru Usui led the ceremony on September 13, at Epson's Matsumoto Minami Plant, the headquarters of the company's Business Systems Operations Division.
Why are we reporting this in a portal which concentrates on India-interest IT? The event will be of wide interest in India: this is one of Epson’s last remaining markets for the impact dot matrix printer – though many newer POS systems in supermarkets are shifting to thermal printing.
September 14 2011