The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the versatility of digital printing and the global market will be worth over $230 billion by 2032, according to new research by industry researcher Smithers. And how about inkjet printheads with 3000 dpi resolution at 300 meters per minute!
Inkjet and electrophotography (toner) systems continue to redefine the publishing, advertising, advertising, packaging and label printing market to 2032, says Smithers.
“The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the versatility advantage of digital printing across multiple segments, and its market continues to grow. Exclusive data from the new Smithers study – The future of digital printing until 2032 – shows that in 2022, this market will represent 136.7 billion US dollars. Demand for these technologies will remain strong, with value increasing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7% through 2027, then 5.0% for 2027-2032; giving a market value of $230.5 billion in 2032.
“At the same time, additional revenue will come from sales of inks, toners, sales of new equipment and post-purchase support services. Combined, they will reach $30.7 billion in 2022 and increase to $46.1 billion in 2032.”
While analog printing continues to face fundamental challenges, the post-Covid landscape will actively favor digital, as run lengths shrink further, print orders move online, and personalization and personalization are becoming more common, says Smithers.
Over the ten-year period, Smithers predicts that:
– A market for sheetfed and rotary digital presses will flourish, thanks to the addition of more inline finishing machines and higher throughput machines – eventually capable of printing more than 20 million A4 prints per month
– Color gamuts will increase, with fifth or sixth color stations offering print embellishment options, such as metallic prints or spot varnishes, as standard
– Inkjet resolution will see a major improvement with the market set to accommodate 3000 dpi printheads that can operate at 300 m/min by 2032
– Durability concerns will see aqueous solutions gradually replacing solvent-based inks; with pigment-based formulations replacing dye-based inks, first in graphics and packaging, accompanied by lower costs
– The industry will also benefit from greater availability of paper and board substrates optimized for digital production, new inks and surface coatings will allow inkjet to match the quality of offset with only a minor premium.
“Innovations like these will help inkjet further replace toner as the preferred digital platform,” says Smithers.
“Toner presses will become more constrained in their core segments – commercial printing, advertising, labels and photo books – while seeing some growth in premium folding cartons and flexible packaging. In the short term, however, the toner segment will be supported by the introduction of HP Indigo’s LEPx multi-engine technology.
“The most lucrative digital printing market will be in packaging, commercial printing and book printing. In packaging, the proliferation of digital with dedicated presses selling corrugated and folding cartons will be complemented by an increased use of narrow web presses to print flexible packaging. This will be the fastest growing segment of any segment, more than quadrupling between 2022 and 2032. Growth will be slowest in labels, a segment that pioneered the use of digital, and which has therefore reaches a certain maturity.
“In commercial work, the market will benefit from the arrival of sheetfed machines which are now commonly used alongside smaller format litho or digital offset presses, with digital finishing and embellishment systems adding value.
“In book printing, integration with online ordering and the ability to produce shorter runs on demand will make it the second fastest growing application through 2032. ink will increasingly dominate, due to its superior cost effectiveness when single pass web machines are combined with suitable finishing lines, color printing on a wide range of standard book media, delivering superior results on standard offset paper and at faster speeds.There will be new revenue as sheet-fed inkjet is more widely adopted for printing jackets and book covers.
Not all segments of digital printing will experience growth, adds Smithers, with “electrophotographic printing having the worst impact. This is not related to a separate issue with the technology itself, but rather reflects an overall decline in the use of transactional mail and ad printing, and only slow growth in newspapers, photo books and security applications over the next decade.
The industry study is available to buy now for US$6,750 (A$9,127, €5,950, £4,950).
Founded in 1925 and headquartered in Akron, Ohio, Smithers is a multinational provider of testing, consulting, information and compliance services, with laboratories and operations in North America, Europe and Asia.