Apr 11, 2017
Visiting drupa 2012 the new breed of B2-format digital presses for commercial printing seemed to outshine everything else. Despite all the ensuing hype, placements remained low and hopes for growth were dashed in the years that followed. At drupa 2016 B2 digital was already eclipsed in the headlines by other technologies, namely B1 digital, industry 4.0, and packaging/industrial print. It started to look like B2 digital would be a disappointment.
And so it comes as a bit of a surprise that B2 digital really delivered in 2016 – with a steep increase in placements, surpassing our forecast noticeably. According to our recently published 2013-2016 U.S. Production Printing Placements report, U.S. placements jumped from 25 units in 2015 to 80 in 2016. Western Europe did very well too as installations almost doubled according to our 2013-2016 W. European Production Printing Placements report. And all these numbers exclude packaging and label presses, which had a record year as well.
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Mar 27, 2014
Overall, the North America office equipment market continued to decline in total unit shipments in 2013. Total unit shipments of all office single function printers and MFPs declined 5.9% year over year; this figure includes all technologies — laser and inkjet. Once again, HP held the number one market share position in 2013 with 54.7% share. This was followed by Canon with 17.1% and Epson with 11.8% share.
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Apr 26, 2013
InfoTrends recently published the United States and Western European digital production placements numbers and market shares. As every observer of the world economy would have guessed the latest numbers are less than stellar. 2012 was not as bad as when the financial crisis of 2008/2009 hit the markets, but most segments declined with only a few product segments showing growth.
Overall installation numbers for digital production printing devices in the U.S. and Western Europe declined by 6.6% to 114,792 units in 2012. This is less of a reason for concern however, as we expected a decline in entry level devices which have a large share of the overall installations – in line with the declining number of small print establishments like copy shops, quick printers and CRDs (More details can be found in our establishment sizing reports for U.S. and Western Europe). After all, low-end devices produce little print volume anyway. We had already observed that with the production digital copy/print market maturing there is a shift towards higher volume devices, competing more and more for higher run lengths. To some extent that shift continued in 2012, although some high-end segments declined as well. For example the heavy production colour segment (1M to 10M duty cycle range) declined by 20%. A drop in this segment was not unexpected due to the drupa impact and for reasons within the product portfolio, but it was amplified by the difficult economic situation as well. Read more »
Apr 9, 2013
The Western European1 office equipment market continued to contract in 2012, driven by a weak economy, device consolidation through managed print services and new competition from business inkjet . Placements of single function and multifunction laser printers in office environments (1-69 ppm) declined 8.1% year over year whilst placements of business inkjet devices increased 3.3%. The majority of the decline in laser devices was in single function printers, where placements dropped 16% year over year. The market continues to shift from single function to multifunction devices, and from monochrome to colour engines.
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Aug 16, 2012
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 »
Dec 16, 2011
The close of the year end is always a good time to look up from day-to-day business and review the important news that happened during the year.
Overall 2011 proved to be a pretty decent year for digital production printing. Installations of digital production printing equipment were on the rise again, after recovering from a drop in 2009 in the aftermath of the financial crisis. 2010 installations were already on the rise driven by gains in high end colour placements (see blog). 2011 was set to improve on that, however this time it was not financial markets that were the problem. Instead, nature struck in the early months of the year. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan raised some doubts about whether Japanese suppliers would be able to meet demand. In fact, we did see a decline in installations in device segments with large shares of Japanese manufacturers in the second quarter. However installations in the third quarter were almost up to normal again and we expect that by the fourth quarter almost all of the supply chain disruptions will have been ironed out. Overall the impact on the POD market in 2011 was limited, some product introductions could have been delayed and total sales in 2011 will be somewhat lower. Read more »
Oct 5, 2011
On March 11, 2011, a major earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan. Several factories of equipment suppliers and manufacturers of sub-components were struck, with more being affected by subsequent power outages. It was expected that this would impact shipments of digital printing equipment as many digital printing devices and parts used in these devices are manufactured in Japan.
Apart from anecdotal evidence getting hard facts on the impact is difficult. Due to the time it takes to ship the equipment overseas, no impact in Q1 was expected, but Q2 placements would have been affected by any supply chain interruptions. The InfoTrends quarterly tracking program looks at quarterly installations of digital production printing equipment, including A3-capable color MFPs. Placements fluctuate driven by overall demand, product launches, and tend to have some seasonality. Through our quarterly tracking program, we are able to draw historic comparison to gauge the seasonality factor.
Based on shipments in Q1 2011 we saw deviation from what would have been expected in the second quarter. In several color device segments installations were 15% to 20% below the expected level. Black & white installations in some product groups fell back as well, although to a lower extent. The few product groups that are dominated by vendors outside of Japan remained essentially within line of Q2 expectations or did even better than expected.
Is this a bullet-proof evidence that tsunami and earthquake did impact shipments by that amount? There is enough potential for fluctuation in times of an unstable economy, so we cannot be absolutely sure. However, the contrast to product groups mainly manufactured outside of Japan is remarkable. We will be closely watching Q3 results and see whether shipments recover or stay at a lower level.
InfoTrends published more details on the Q2 2011 results in a separate report:
Apr 8, 2011
Each year at the end of March, InfoTrends publishes its production digital printing hardware placement and market share numbers for the previous year. It always takes a while to gather data from all the vendors involved; structure, verify, and input the data into our database; and create pivot tables so that the data can be easily viewed and segmented. Even for us analysts who are involved in the market pretty much every day of the year, it is exciting to see the final results. We also collect data on a quarterly basis, but in the same way that the show isn’t over until the fat lady sings, the year isn’t over until quarter four placements arrive. Even after the placement numbers come in, it’s a lot of work to ensure that every placement is correctly accounted for in the end.
After a dismal year for digital production printing system sales in 2009, 2010 proved to be better than expected. Particularly after a weak start in 2010, many expected the crisis to linger a bit longer. Negative news about the economy, like troubles with the Euro and a rising U.S, deficit, seemed to confirm that view. The demand for print usually trails the economic cycle to some extent, and print service providers tend to invest only after the outlook has brightened. In 2010, however, at least some print service providers were more proactive and invested in new opportunities. Read more »