Seiko Epson will apply its original Dry Fiber technology to manufacture face masks for its employees in Japan. Dry Fiber technology, which is also used in Epson’s PaperLab A-8000 in-office dry papermaking system, is a dry process that has until now been used to turn used paper into new paper inside the office. The masks will be made not from used paper, but from functional fibers and will be manufactured at the company’s Kanbayashi and Suwa Minami Plants in Nagano, Japan, where the majority of its domestic employees are located. Epson expects to begin manufacturing the masks from the end of May. The company does not currently plan to manufacture the masks for sale.
These masks respond to the growing demand for face masks for protection against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Manufacturing the masks in-house will allow Epson to donate 100,000 surgical masks it had purchased as part of its business continuity plan (BCP) to local authorities and medical institutions in Nagano, where needs for personal protective equipment (PPE) have been expanding rapidly.
The company will also donate 5,600 face shields to the same organizations.
2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India
Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and
multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.
The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry.
While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately
their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book
printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.
The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.
Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.
Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.
Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.