• Print Innovation Asia

Large format and industrial print markets recovering

New data from are revealing the worldwide large format and industrial print markets grew in the third quarter, showing rebound from the COVID-19 crisis.

Latest results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Industrial Printer Tracker show that all segments of the industrial printer market began to recover from the COVID-19 crisis in the third quarter of 2020.

The report highlighted that shipments in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan, has continued the recovery that began in Q2 with a quarter-over-quarter growth of 24%. Japan itself grew 28% in total industrial printer shipments in Q3 from Q2.

The IDC tracker covers large format printers, labels and packaging printers, direct to garment (DTG) printers, direct to shape (DTS) printers and industrial textile printers.

Worldwide, large format printer shipments showed the biggest growth; up 53% compared to the last quarter. Label & packaging printer shipments grew more than 34% quarter over quarter in Q3. Meanwhile, new DTS printer shipments increased more than 44% compared to Q2, while shipments in the DTG segment increased 22%. Industrial textile printer shipments grew 13% in Q3.

"After consecutive quarters of steep declines due to the economic impact from the pandemic, we saw important signs of recovery in the third quarter," said Tim Greene, research director, Hardcopy Solutions at IDC.

"The digital printing products included in the Industrial Printer Tracker are playing a role in combatting the pandemic and in creating products that will help global economies get back on track. This includes products that enable on-demand garment production, high-speed inkjet equipment that accelerates time to market for consumer packaged goods, and the creation of social distancing markers for safer retail shopping experiences. These products will be more in demand as companies re-evaluate their supply chains to respond to market demands faster," Greene continued.

IDC added that its expectations for the remainder of 2020 include continued uncertainty about the strength of the market's recovery until a vaccine is widely available and key business areas return to some level of normalcy.

However, many industrial printer equipment manufacturers have recently released technology that, under normal circumstances, would excite new printer shipments. IDC still expects higher levels of investment in 2021 and beyond as the future of key segments of the market come into focus.

· Large format printer shipments grew 53% in Q3 compared to the previous quarter

The EFI VUTEk HS125 Pro is a 3.2-meter wide, high-volume UV-inkjet device hybrid roll/flatbed inkjet press for high-volume graphic producers. With true production-level throughput for expanded capacity, the VUTEk HS125 Pro with UltraFX Technology is a super high-speed UV-flatbed printer for high-volume graphic producers looking to accelerate their digital business. It has the lowest TCO and high throughput.

· Label & Packaging printer shipments grew more than 34% quarter over quarter in Q3

Heidelberg’s new Speedmaster XL 106-D is equipped with just one die-cutting unit, a new Push to Stop Cut Star for in-mould labels, and a new Foil Star Cure for metallic finishes. The solution is designed to create a digitised end-to-end solution aimed at the production of wet-glue labels, cut-and-stack labels, and also in-mould labels.

The market for in-mould labels is enjoying annual growth rates of around four to six per cent, and handling particularly thin materials is the key challenge during production. The IML Performance Package for the Speedmaster 106 is now also used in the new CutStar Gen. 4 for foils as thin as 50µ. The fourth-generation sheeter is fully integrated into the Prinect workflow and also the Intellistart system on the press for production based on the Push to Stop principle.

· Shipments in the direct-to-garment segment increased 22% in Q3 compared to Q2.

The Ricoh Ri 2000 DTG flagship printer is designed to make professional, high-quality printing faster and easier for personalised garments and other fabrics. It is capable of producing high quality output in all formats and designs including light and dark garments without limitations on half tones, detailed designs and also photographs. The system supports the local production of promotional and personalized textile goods.

· Direct-to-shape printer shipments increased more than 44% in Q3 compared to Q2.

Memjet announces that OPM Europa BV in Tilburg, Netherlands, has combined robotics and Memjet’s VersaPass technology to create a direct-to-shape printer called LabelSaver. OPM Europa BV’s LabelSaver prints high-quality colour directly on a variety of objects, including jerry cans, metal paint cans and plastic containers. The LabelSaver can print at a rate of 500 jerry cans per hour in full colour, 360 degrees.

The LabelSaver combined OPM’s robotics system with Memjet’s VersaPass technology. The solution is also capable of printing on Memjet-receptive coatings for flexible packaging and films. The solution uses the Memjet-powered Trojan Label print engine to create label-less production that would improve the speed, cost and environmental impact of label printing.

· Industrial Textile printer shipments grew 13% in Q3 compared to the previous quarter.

The Kornit Presto is an industrial single-step direct-to-fabric printer that can be used to print a variety of items, including upholstery and bedspreads. The solution eliminates the need for pre and post treatment of fabric and allows for high-quality printing on an extraordinarily broad variety of fabric types and applications. The Kornit Presto does not consume water in the printing process, making it the most environmentally friendly solution available for direct-to-fabric textile printing today.

Implemented into the Kornit NeoPigment process is the NeoPigment Robusto, which provides above industry standard wash and rub results and exceptional colour fastness across a wide fabric and application range. The Kornit Presto solution suits a wide range of business and application needs in a variety of industry segments, including fast growing segments within the on-demand fashion and home décor markets. It is a highly productive solution, available in multiple configurations and able to print 450 square meters per hour.

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