Left side advert image
Right side advert image
Super banner advert image
Subscribe to Print Monthly's RSS feed

Enter your email address here to sign up for our weekly newsletter

Industry

Looking at the future of inkjet

In recent times, inkjet technology has been moving into new markets and a report written by Marcus Timson, co-founder of print consultancy FM Future, and Graham Kennedy of Ricoh Group explains what the future of inkjet looks like.

Article picture

The report looks at the future of inkjet

Inkjet technology has already entered sectors such as wide-format, ceramics, labels and textiles and the report describes inkjet as “poised” to enter newer markets such as decorative flooring, wall coverings, corrugated and flexible packaging.

Whilst inkjet is predicted to be ready to enter these new markets soon, the report makes it clear that expectations need to be “tempered” with growth predictions not what they were five years ago in 2014.

Knowledge has been gained through hard-won experience and whilst it has been far harder and taken far longer than initially expected and hoped, it is at last moving into a new phase

Following on from inkjet’s initial birth, the report describes a slightly more stalled entrance into newer markets and explains that while technical challenges are still a core consideration, commercial and communication challenges have now come into play. 

“This suggests to us that inkjet’s journey into new industrial markets has move on. Knowledge has been gained through hard-won experience and whilst it has been far harder and taken far longer than initially expected and hoped, it is at last moving into a new phase.”

Inkjet has already made a presence in markets such as label printing

The report states that “useful marketing, thought leadership, education and storytelling” must now take a central role in appealing to wider general markets and communicating the economic advantages of inkjet.

Prior to writing the report, Kennedy and Timpson conduced a ‘Future of Inkjet’ survey in which they spoke to 129 people from Europe and the USA from within the inkjet developing community, the manufacturing sector and from printers themselves.

Inkjet adds value as previously outlined and is best placed to complement and play the role of an additional technology in most if not all segments

In terms of confidence in the technology and growth expectations, both were strong. 56% of respondents are extremely confident in the future of inkjet, and 35% are very confident.

40% of respondents predict the overall growth of inkjet printing markets will be 10% for the next 12 months and 47% predict it to be between 5-10%.

When asked whether they believe that inkjet printing will achieve the necessary speed to replace analogue printing, 45% of respondents said yes, and 50% said not currently, but will in time.

 

The report predicts inkjet technology to move into newer markets such as corrugated and flexible packaging

One issue raised was the lack of integrating companies of scale in the market which is necessary for the growth of ‘industrial’ inkjet. Technical barriers are also considered to be the major challenge to growth.

Another concern is that inkjet will disrupt and replace manufacturers production operation and even that it could replace them. The report assures that this is not the case: “The reality is somewhat different. Inkjet adds value as previously outlined and is best placed to complement and play the role of an additional technology in most if not all segments.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Print printer-friendly version Printable version Send to a friend Contact us

No comments found!  

Sign in:

Email 

or create your very own Print Monthly account  to join in with the conversation.