A new study by Frost & Sullivan highlights the accelerating evolution of inkjet technology to an ever expanding range of printing applications.
“The distinct advantages of digital printing over conventional processes, such as the low fixed costs, are widening its appeal,” reports Dr Andrew Barton, research analyst at F&S. “The low set-up costs of inkjet technology make it particularly attractive for short run applications and on-demand samples. Production run lengths across the printing industries are becoming shorter and product variations are increasing. Short run processes often represent the point of entry for inkjet into new market environments,” he adds.
With earnings of some $16 billion in 2002, equating to a volume of just under 45M litre, revenues in the overall global inkjet ink market are predicted to climb to around $25 billion by 2009.
Dr Barton notes that, in general, the successful progress into industrial printing has been achieved by close collaborations between ink formulators, printhead designers and printer manufacturers. “The balance of the partnership is currently tipped away from the ink supplier, with printhead providers enjoying the greatest influence and control over which ink vendor the OEM chooses,” he says.
The study concludes that a significant improvement in printing speed is needed before inkjet will be successfully adopted as a commercial production tool.
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