Epson has something of a reputation within tech journalism circles of putting on some seriously good press trips and this year yours truly had the pleasure of attending one of these legendary get togethers. A select group of around 30 journalists spent seven days visiting three different countries along the way sampling such delights as dining at the top of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, taking Sushi lessons from a local master in Tokyo, and belting out the cheesy hits in a Tokyo Karaoke bar.
Sadly, it wasn't all about the extracurricular activities and in between all the fun and frolics we had to get down to some serious work, which included being given a sneak preview of a number of upcoming Epson home cinema projectors, having a look round Epson's new manufacturing facilities in China, and visiting Epson's headquarters in Matsumoto, Japan.
As well as this we were given a general overview of Epson's history, the current focus of the company, its position in the market place, and just generally told why Epson's a better choice for projectors than any other manufacturer.
After an overnight stay in Hong Kong, the trip proper kicked off with a coach trip across the border to Epson's ESL Shenzhen factory. Here, during an opening presentation by Philip Oldham, Senior Commercial Manager of Epson Europe, we were given a sense of the size of the total Epson operation, which includes 42 manufacturing and research and development locations around the world.
The ESL site we were visiting is one of the largest in this arsenal with it covering 91,000 m2, employing 9,000 people and producing a vast array of different products including inkjet printers, laser printers, projectors, scanners, and many of the other components that are used in other Epson products. We were only shown the projector part of the plant but even from this small glimpse it was plain to see this was one major operation.
Oldham also went on to point out that a key part of Epson's strategy is to produce as many of the components of its products as possible to ensure a certain level of quality throughout. In the case of projectors, this translates to Epson manufacturing its own bulbs, LCD panels, and filters amongst other things, which is a claim most other projector companies can't make. It also enables Epson to offer a 3-year warranty on all its models that includes a no-questions-asked bulb replacement service.
In fact, the development of its new E-TORL lamp range is a good example of this. All new Epson home cinema projectors feature these new high-efficiency lamps that enable projectors to be brighter while remaining cooler, quieter, and less power hungry.