Epson America chose Valentine’s Day to begin shipping its newly-christened WorkForce Pro WF-C5000 series, which replaces the WF-5000 series of color workgroup printers. It was an appropriate release strategy; given how fond users were of the previous iteration of the line, they’re bound to fall in love with the reboot, which incorporates the Replaceable Ink Pack System in lieu of ink cartridges.
Alan Chen, product manager for Epson America, provided ENX Magazine with an overview of the enhancements introduced in the new line of color workgroup machines. The ink packs are undeniably the biggest enhancements: Users can now benefit from three page yield sizes: 3,000 and 5,000 (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and 10,000 monochrome only, and the packs use the same amount of space as the cartridges while providing higher yields. In fact, the WF-C5000 units are 1.4 inches smaller, roughly 14 percent, than the predecessor line.
“One of the biggest benefits is users can mix and match the color packs to suit their printing behaviors,” Chen noted.
An aspect borrowed from the WorkForce Enterprise model is the user interface. WF-C5790 and WF-C5710 models boast a 4.3-inch touchscreen for easy navigation through multiple functions. Larger buttons also help to enhance the UI experience. The WF-C5290 and WF-C5210 models incorporate a 2.4” LCD.
“We wanted to simplify the user experience across the entire printer line,” he said. “Generally, you won’t have identical Epson printers everywhere in the building. Ultimately, if you know one Epson printer, we wanted you to know how to use them all.”
Nozzle Verification Technology, originally introduced on the WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590, has been added to the WF-C5000 series as well. The printers automatically detect and compensate for clogged nozzles, providing improved print quality and color consistency from print to print.
The WF-C5000 refresh contains a number of performance enhancements—speed has increased from 20 to 24 ppm, copier speeds jumped from 6 to 22 ppm. The maximum page yield growth grew 150 percent for black (from 4,000 pages to 10,000 pages) and 25 percent for color (from 4,000 to 5,000 pages). Optional second paper tray capacity enables users to load a full ream of pages (500), an increase from 250. The output tray has been shortened by 85 mm, which helps to prevent bumping accidents, according to Chen.
The series is offered in two multifunction models and two single-function versions. The WF-C5790 and WF-C5290 have PostScript/PCL compatibility and supports ISV solutions (including Nuance Equitrac Office/Express, Nuance eCopy ShareScan, PaperCut, and nddPrint), while the WF-C5710 and WF-C5210 do not. MSRPs on all models are the same as the corresponding predecessor models.
“We want our printers to be compatible with as many software solutions as possible to be able to fit into a maximum number of environments,” Chen said.
Epson America has taken great efforts to enhance its BusinessFirst reseller program, according to Chen. The manufacturer spent 2017 focusing on the authorization aspect of it to ensure and maintain reseller profitability.
“Epson is 100 percent dedicated to the channel; we do not sell directly to end users,” he said. “We’ve invested heavily in developing and improving sales and training tools to make selling the product a lot easier for our partners.”