Packaging, labels, books, and graphics all provide major growth opportunities for commercial inkjet printing, according to the latest exclusive data from Smithers. A host of the latest inkjet technologies will be on show when Drupa 2024 opens on 28th May, with new sales accelerating the industry transition to digital printing across multiple sectors.

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smithers logoDetailed data modelling in the latest Smithers market report – The Future of Inkjet Printing to 2029 – shows that in 2024, global sales from inkjet printing will reach USD$117.7 billion. Positive market conditions mean this is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +6.6% through to 2029. This will push overall market value to USD$162.1 billion in 2029, at constant pricing.

Across the same period, the volume of publications, graphics media, packaging and labels printed on inkjet will increase from 1.61 trillion A4 print equivalents to 2.29 trillion.

These increases contrast with the broader outlook for print, where output will be essentially flat across the remainder of the decade. Smithers expert analysis dissects the business and technology developments that will fuel this inkjet’s expansion across 21 separate end-use segments and six press formats.

Demand for print is changing in an ever more connected world, with consumers able to select their preferred media channels. This is driving run lengths down in multiple applications, where inkjet is much more cost efficient than conventional analog printing.

 Seismic shifts coming up to 2029

Some key topics include:

  • How inkjet will continue to challenge and displace analogue processes in multiple print applications.
  • How the move towards sustainability in packaging will affect the outlook for inkjet printing.
  • How technology developments will allow printers to innovate and provide services that meet new customer needs and expectations.
  • How inkjet can profit from the incoming legislation changes which will fundamentally change the packaging industry.

As a digital technology, inkjet can interface more rapidly with online resources, such as web-to-print portals. Furthermore, inkjet can be integrated with conversion processes more readily than competing systems.

As the technology and new applications develop, print manufacturing workflows are increasingly being optimized for inkjet, making the process even more cost competitive. This is happening in book manufacture, for example, where web presses deliver book blocks in a single pass, with flexible finishing allowing formats and paginations to be varied at full press speed.

Multiple machine innovations are delivering finished print products, labels, and packaging more efficiently – and inkjet is steadily increasing its share across all print and printed packaging. The process already has good penetration into advertising print, particularly for displays and signage, but this share will diminish as much of this work moves into electronic channels. The fastest growth across 2024-2029 will be in packaging, labels, and books.

As this occurs, the benefits of faster turnarounds, print-on-demand sales, and higher quality mean inkjet’s market share by value will remain well ahead of its volume share in nearly all applications.

Inkjet speeds set to double

Higher performance equipment is coming on stream, with on-press speeds and printhead resolution both set to double over the next five years, the economic crossover for inkjet against analog is rising, and will continue to increase. And as its quality improves, inkjet has become more viable in a broader range of premium print applications.

Smither claims The Future of Inkjet Printing to 2029 report gives unparalleled insight into one of the most dynamic sectors of print.

Exclusive data on print output (value and volume), equipment sales, installed base, and consumables for 2019-2029 is given segmented by:

  •     Press format: High-speed single-pass wide web; Narrow web; Wide-format Flatbed; Sheetfed; Bespoke installations 
  •     End-use application: Books; Magazines; Newspapers; Directories; Catalogs; Advertising; Commercial; Photobooks; Transactional print; Security; Labels; Packaging; Functional & industrial print – Décor & laminate, Ceramics, Electronics, Glass, Automotive, Biomedical, Promotional/miscellaneous, Textiles, Signage
  •     Regions and national markets: Western Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK, Other Western Europe; Eastern Europe, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Other Eastern Europe; North America, Canada, US; Asia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Other Asia; Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, Other Latin America; Middle East, Turkey, Other Middle East; Africa; Australasia

The Smithers report contains over 270 data tables and figures, combined with expert technical analysis. Such research does not come cheaply but far-reaching data can provide an invaluable roadmap for larger printers, suppliers and industry associations. This market report is available from Smithers, priced at USD$6,750 (about AUD$10,400).

Further information and ordering can be seen on THIS LINK

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