The survey was done across 300 participants - 203 printers and 99 suppliers. Participants reported strong growth in all sectors; but the more specialised the market, the higher the growth rate.
Participants were enthusiastic by inkjet opportunities, while understanding its limitations. Most were still working out how best to exploit inkjet technology. The survey showed balanced sentiments all over the world, with virtually no regional variation. Equally, there was a close alignment in views from printers and suppliers.
In terms of applications, printers are finding competitive opportunities for inkjet in all market segments. Printers are also finding they can apply inkjet in multiple markets, creating the opportunity to enter new markets not in their traditional core sector.
It was clear that some formats are better suited to particular markets. Though rollfed was the favourite in most markets, B2 sheetfed was also a popular choice. This was despite the comparatively modest worldwide sales of B2 inkjets so far, compared to liquid toner B2 presses that arrived on the market around the same time.
Investment in Inkjet
For many, the cost of inks remains the core issue restraining growth.
It is important to put the development of inkjet by suppliers in perspective. 46% of suppliers reported that inkjet represented less than 10% of total turnover as yet. Clearly some specialise in inkjet, while others offer inkjet as one of a range of processes e.g. digital toner or conventional offset/flexo.
However, almost all suppliers are investing heavily in the technology with significant research and development funding.
For printers investing in inkjet, the main consideration when choosing a supplier is the level of service support, followed by the price of the complete commercial package.
“The key question for anyone considering the purchase of inkjet print technology is that it needs to be the right fit for the desired applications,” said Sabine Geldermann, director drupa, Messe Duesseldorf.
“Market-changing process improvements can only be achieved when the technology provides the desired running cost, productivity levels, print requirements, size, substrate suitability, and workflow automation tools,” said Geldermann. “New advanced inkjet systems have brought the disruptive capability of inkjet to a new level. Higher quality inkjet for both cutsheet and rollfed has arrived and is bringing digital print to a broader range of applications across all market sectors.”
The full report on inkjet will be published at the end of May.