Inkjet Printing Predicted to Grow by Leaps and Bounds

Inkjet printing has come into its own in recent years, and a couple of recent reports show just how popular this printing technology, which started with signage and has since moved on to packages, labels, and more, has become. Recent news and reports from major trade publications and industry leaders show that inkjet printing is predicted to grow by leads and bounds through the rest of the decade.

Smithers recently released the report “The Future of Inkjet Printing to 2018.” Some highlights of the report include:

  • The market for products printing using UV inkjet technology is on track to grow by 18.3% and be a $15.9 billion market by 2018
  • The fastest-growing market segments for inkjet are packaging and labels
  • Metallic inks are becoming more prevalent in the digital labels market, enabling more branding opportunities, and driving an increase in inkjet label printing
  • Some new technologies, such as spot UV varnish and digital embossing, and custom systems are using inkjet
  • The European market for inkjet is predicted to grow by 13.6% by 2018, by the big growing market is North America, where UV inkjet has become popular, thanks to quick curing and durability—North American growth predicted at 16.2% by 2018.
  • In another report, this one by BCC Research, predicts the growth of inkjet hardware and software to grow from $1.5 billion in 2011 to $7.4 billion by 2014, growing at just over 30% a year.

Some highlights:

  • Inks and “other functional fluids” make up 70% of this market, and BCC predicts a 74% increase by 2017
  • The biggest markets are product decoration, electronics, medicine, 3-D printing, and energy
  • Electronic devices will grow to take 2nd place by 2017, accounting for 15% of the market
  • The biggest area is the Asia-Pacific, predicted to grow to 53% by 2017. The second is Europe, and the third is North America—both make up about 20% of the market, and both are predicted to decrease by 2017.

Lastly, last year’s study from InfoTrends sheds some light on the UV-curable inkjet market, predicting the market will be worth $3 billion by 2015. Almost 50% of respondents to their survey said they intended to buy a UV-curable inkjet printer, a definite growth driver, but this market segment is also the most competitive. Their suggestion:

InfoTrends suggests that UV-curable inkjet placements should be positioned heavily on replacements of existing solvent or aqueous inkjet printers, or as a tool that would accompany existing processes such as screen or offset printing.

As the demand for inkjet continues to grow, the competition will as well, particularly as suppliers elbow for a part of the wide-format digital printing market.

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