Big Picture - May 2018 - 28

16

LE T ' S TA LK INDUS TR I A L

DISTINCT MARKETS
Help Define Industrial Inkjet Printing

T

BY MARK HANLEY

he term "industrial printing" can be confusing
because it's defi ned in so many ways. At IT
Strategies, we defi ne it as all digital print that
takes place outside the office. When you look in
more detail at the evolution of these non-office
markets, you see that many of them are in fact some derivation
of technology first deployed in wide-format graphics. That's
not surprising when you see that the wide-format market was,
and has remained, the largest single revenue source for
non-office digital print by a fair margin (see chart below).
Wide format has been both a generator of investment dollars
and a technology platform, in much the same way that
high-volume document color printing has been driven by
electrophotographic digital presses.
As you'll see in the chart, industrial digital markets as we
define them are broken down into 16 distinct segments. It's significant, and a good sign for the future, that over the last 20 years,
these 16 separate, real markets for digital industrial/production
print technology have opened. Most are at an early stage of
development and are based on high-value, low-volume models
(relative to analog print). For the technology developers, it's
almost never a simple replacement of analog print technology
(though there has been one interesting exception in the ceramic
tile industry); this is probably good, because the technology
and economic evolution path is necessarily slow and complex.

INDUSTRIAL INKJET PRINTING
Wallcoverings

$130,000,000

Wood

$113,000,000

Ceramic Tiles

$1,040,000,000

Display Graphics

$4,200,000,000

Textiles
Printed Electronics

BIG PICTURE

May 2018

Decorative Arch. Services

28

Decorative Glass
Decorative Floors
Folding Cartons
Labels

$1,040,000,000
$133,000,000
48,750,000
$266,000,000
$65,000,000
$750,000,000
$30,000,000

Flexible Packaging

$80,000,000

3D Printing
3D Marking
3+ Axis Direct To Shape

$350,000,000
$300,000,000
$35,000,000

Industrial Inkjet Printing Vendor Total Revenue
VS.
Color Document Printing Vendor Total Revenue

2

3D MARKING AND
PROMOTIONAL GOODS PRINTING
Over the last three to five years, the market for flatbed
UV inkjet systems under $30,000 has developed to a quarter of a
billion dollars in vendor revenue. These systems feature deep
platens that are able to accept basically flat manufactured
products (think iPhone covers) in a variety of thicknesses; they
can print a little over beveled edges, too. This has proved a
popular market for Mimaki, Roland, Mutoh, and others, and it
addresses the very lucrative promotional goods industry. The
real long-term target, however, is the ability to decorate virtually
all manufactured products in some way or another. Today, that
market is split by verticals and is mostly served by semicaptive
product decorators as well as local screen/pad printers and
in-house decoration shops. The argument for inkjet is strong,
since pad and screen are essentially manual batch print techniques unable to vary images or apply really sophisticated color.

3

3D PRINTING
3D inkjet printing has become more mainstream in the
last three to four years, with most of the emphasis going
to powder-bed systems that are often used to make custom
molds, as well as some activity with functional UV-curable
materials deposited by drop-on-demand inkjet. HP, with its
Multi Jet Fusion technology, is betting a lot on industrial-scale
powder-bed systems for true mid-level production competitive
with and much more flexible than vacuum forming. There's
every reason to expect this to take 3D inkjet printing to a new
level given the investments HP has made, lending more and
more credibility to inkjet as a valid manufacturing process.

$200,000,000

Corrugated Packaging

1

MULTIPLE-AXIS DIRECT TO SHAPE
This market has accelerated significantly in the last two
years. It started with a couple of bottle printing systems
(KHS and Krones) and now includes more than 20 products that
mostly target cylindrical packaging like cans, but also true 3D
systems like Heidelberg's Omnifire and Xerox's direct-to-object
inkjet printer. They enable very short run printing of promotional
items and early customized manufactured products like car
interiors (on the Omnifire). It's exciting, but highly specialized,
technology. The sector has not yet progressed to a production
scale, with systems priced around $100,000 to $200,000 and
some coming in at $500,000-plus. Some have argued that direct
print should replace labels in the name of lower costs and less
waste, but the debate is ongoing.

$8.8B
$4B
Source: IT Strategies

4

FLEXIBLE PACKAGING
Many inkjet developers are keenly eyeing packaging
as a growth opportunity. Flexible packaging is easily



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - May 2018

Big Picture - May 2018
Contents
Insight
Wide Angle
Upfront
Extreme Vinyl
Business + Management
New Direction
Let’s Talk Industrial
R+D
Job Log
Big Picture - May 2018 - Intro
Big Picture - May 2018 - Big Picture - May 2018
Big Picture - May 2018 - Cover2
Big Picture - May 2018 - Contents
Big Picture - May 2018 - Insight
Big Picture - May 2018 - 3
Big Picture - May 2018 - Wide Angle
Big Picture - May 2018 - 5
Big Picture - May 2018 - Upfront
Big Picture - May 2018 - 7
Big Picture - May 2018 - 8
Big Picture - May 2018 - 9
Big Picture - May 2018 - 10
Big Picture - May 2018 - 11
Big Picture - May 2018 - 12
Big Picture - May 2018 - 13
Big Picture - May 2018 - 14
Big Picture - May 2018 - 15
Big Picture - May 2018 - Extreme Vinyl
Big Picture - May 2018 - 17
Big Picture - May 2018 - Business + Management
Big Picture - May 2018 - 19
Big Picture - May 2018 - New Direction
Big Picture - May 2018 - 21
Big Picture - May 2018 - 22
Big Picture - May 2018 - 23
Big Picture - May 2018 - 24
Big Picture - May 2018 - 25
Big Picture - May 2018 - 26
Big Picture - May 2018 - 27
Big Picture - May 2018 - Let’s Talk Industrial
Big Picture - May 2018 - 29
Big Picture - May 2018 - 30
Big Picture - May 2018 - 31
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Big Picture - May 2018 - 42
Big Picture - May 2018 - 43
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Big Picture - May 2018 - 45
Big Picture - May 2018 - R+D
Big Picture - May 2018 - 47
Big Picture - May 2018 - 48
Big Picture - May 2018 - 49
Big Picture - May 2018 - 50
Big Picture - May 2018 - 51
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Big Picture - May 2018 - 53
Big Picture - May 2018 - 54
Big Picture - May 2018 - 55
Big Picture - May 2018 - Job Log
Big Picture - May 2018 - Cover3
Big Picture - May 2018 - Cover4
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