In many markets digital printing is maturing and while there is still good growth in colour printing, when combined with a decline in black & white digital print volume, the total growth rate is not that impressive (see also the blog on POD growth in US and Europe). But this is not the case for all countries and to find an exception we do not have to look very far.
Russia is by far the largest country in Central and Eastern Europe and since the year 2000 the Russian GDP has more than doubled. Apart from a dip in 2009 the economy has been growing rapidly and is poised to continue on that path. In fact, the Russian nominal GDP growth (including exchange rate effects and not adjusted for inflation) between 2000 and 2009 was better than China.
Not all industries in Russia have experienced growth at this rate however and the printing and publishing industries are among those that are lagging behind – not an unusual picture as printing demand generally follows the growth of other industries and requires an infrastructural framework that takes time to build up. InfoTrends held conferences on digital printing and publishing in Russia for several years and the interest in digital technology was obvious. It was also obvious that the market was still in an early phase.
But with improvements in the postal system and distribution infrastructure, a rise in advertising and publishing activities, and general growth in wealth, the demand for all kinds of print is rising. Not having a strong legacy in analogue printing is probably helping the digital print market and we certainly noticed growth in digital production equipment installations over recent years. Now, with a couple of years’ experience in tracking and observing the Russian digital printing market, the time has come for InfoTrends to publish a detailed Russian digital printing forecast for the first time. Read more »
The largest remanufacturer of printing supplies, Clover Holdings, announced that it has acquired K+U Printware, a toner remanufacturer based in Germany, and its wholly-owned subsidiary for empties collection, Collecture. K+U Printware was founded in 1990 and is headquarted in Ettenheim, Germany, specializing in the remanufacture of toner cartridges. Collecture started in 2000 and collects printers, cartridges, mobile phones, and small electronics. The two organizations will continue to operate independently in their respective markets but will work together with Clover where synergies exist. Read more »
The expanded use of inkjet heads for document printing in production environments is just one application of the technology. At drupa, in addition to a dedicated focus on document printing, there were also examples of functional and 3D printing. Heidelberg showed a technology demonstration of a printed touch screen, Ricoh displayed Objet 3D printers, and there were quite a few other examples.
A “Tree” with Leaves Made of Printed Solar Cells (drupa 2012)
Every year InfoTrends updates its five-year print on demand (POD) forecast, with the latest edition now covering the years from 2011 to 2016. The forecast looks at placements, print volumes and revenues achieved in digital production printing. It is becoming obvious that digital printing is not a niche process anymore. The retail value of digital printing (excluding office, home and large format printing) in the U.S. and Western Europe was $63 billion in 2011 when considering all production printing environments from copy shop and small in-plant to large commercial printers and data center service bureaus. InfoTrends expects revenues to grow by about 4% annually.
What is noticeable in the current forecast is that the growth rate for color impressions in production copying and digital printing has accelerated compared to the previous forecasts. In fact, the growth rate is expected to increase to 18.5% CAGR compared to almost 15% in the last forecast for the United States. Continuous-feed inkjet color and, to some extent, the expected new B2 devices are responsible for this growth. Since there is an increased color share in this forecast, color impressions will have a more pronounced influence on the total POD volume and associated revenues. The color share of all U.S. impressions is expected to grow from 23% in 2011 to 48% in 2016. The decline rate of black and white impressions, however, remains almost unchanged. Western Europe will show an even stronger shift towards color, with an average annual growth of 20.4% for impressions made on color devices- opposed to a decline in impressions on black & white devices of over 7% per year. The European market is already more inclined towards color print and by 2015 more digital impressions in Western Europe will be done on color devices than on black & white devices. This is quite a shift for a market in which black & white accounted for 80% of impressions only five years ago.
At drupa 2012, a number of companies brought up the subjects of printed electronics, functional printing, and industrial printing. In most cases, these new print methods and markets went beyond traditional promotional and document printing, which is mostly reproduced on paper and paperboard substrates. Let’s try to understand this new market:
Printed electronics is based on conductive or optical inks deposited on a substrate, creating active or passive devices. It will create very low-cost electronics for flexible displays, smart labels and packaging, animated posters, active clothing, and components in other products. The printing of electronics can use traditional printing methods for depositing special inks on material, using screen printing, flexography, gravure, offset lithography, and inkjet. There are still significant technical hurdles to printing RFID circuitry and chips.
Functional printing is the deposition of a printable substance that Read more »
As usual, when I go to a trade show, I collect print samples. This time I ended up with a lot of samples so instead of posting one long video on drupa 2012 samples I’ve broken this up into three segments:
Some Inkjet Print Samples, including ones from the HP Inkjet Web Press, the Kodak Prosper S Series Imprinting System, Xerox’s CiPress 500, and Memjet wide-format implementations from Canon-Océ and Caldera
Enhancement beyond Process Color, including a range of effects including pearlescent, gold, hot pink, white, dimensional, glitter, gloss spot sleeking lamination, Braille, and RFID
Larger Format Digital Print Samples, including long sheets and B2 format
Each of these is available as a free download from InfoTrends, just click the link above. All of these white papers relate to one or more key trends from drupa 2012, including high-speed color inkjet systems, hybrid inkjet configurations with offset or other processes, substrates for inkjet that open up new application opportunities, and the move to B2 format digital. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before I left for drupa 2012, I wrote a blog about what I thought would be the top stories. Benny Landa’s nanography was at the top of the list and I can confirm now, after nearly a week here, that his new company and products are the most talked about development at the show. Last Wednesday, the day before drupa 2012 opened, Landa Corporation held its first press conference. In an amphitheater packed with trade industry journalists and market analysts, Benny Landa stood in front of two of his designs, a cut-sheet B2-format Landa S7 and a web-fed (52 centimeter/20.47 inch) Landa W50. These printers are part of a seven-product portfolio of Landa-branded products, most of which support up to eight colors. Now after months of anticipation and rumor, the Landa strategy has been unveiled to the world.
One of the most interesting things that we saw at drupa yesterday was a preview of a wide format printing system seen at the Caldera booth A14 in Hall 4. This 42-inch wide technology printer represents a collaboration between Xerox partner Fuji Xerox and Caldera. We are hearing that this product should launch in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year. It is a 4-color aqueous inkjet printer using dye-based inks.
Jim Hamilton of InfoTrends discusses two print samples: a Front Row Movies mailer and a Sorori fashion catalog that were produced by Kodak customer The Lettershop Group using a Kodak S10 Imprinting System with CMYK. Both jobs were printed on 170-gsm Galarie Silk.