Markets and Events

Smithers Pira – “The future of Global Inkjet Printing to 2021”

UK • The new report “The future of Global Inkjet Printing to 2021” provides an in-depth, long-term assessment of this rapidly evolving industry. In 2016 the inkjet print and printed packaging market will be worth USD 61.9 billion. Prospects for growth in all sectors are very positive with inkjet volume forecast to grow by an average CAGR of 12.7% in 2016-21 across the world, and 8.7% in value terms.

All regions are taking up the technology, as it provides economic benefits over alternative analogue and digital printing technologies, and opens new applications. This fast growth is encouraging suppliers to invest huge sums to bring new technology to the market, and this arms race is ensuring inkjet continues to improve in reliability, quality, and productivity.

The adoption of inkjet has led to improvements in supply chains across the book and newspaper sectors. There is traction in labels, with high-performance narrow web presses and a growing sector of hybrid inkjet/flexo press. Packaging is a huge opportunity for inkjet, with new high-performance systems coming to market. Inkjet is being used to print directly onto bottles, cans and jars, demonstrating the potential to simplify packaging supply chains.

Inkjet can add functionality to print and packaging; personalisation and versioning are very common, while there is a growing trend to add value and embellish print products. Inkjet can apply thick films and speciality fluids to provide tactile or dimensional effects. Varnishing and print enhancement systems are growing in popularity.

Inkjet technology is developing apace, the result of multi-billion investments by printhead manufacturers, ink makers (with their raw material suppliers) and print equipment vendors. There are many types of bespoke inkjet print systems that are configured for particular applications.

There are solvent-based, water-based and UV curing inks in use, with a niche of other types. Solvent is losing share to water-based and UV curing inks, which are growing at the fastest rate. Inkjet is also becoming increasingly important in the fields of industrial applications, with textile printing, decoration, ceramics, 3D, electronics, and textile printing. These developments contribute to wider inkjet improvements.

Armin Karl Geiger

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