Big Picture - May 2015 - (Page 24)
How European Union regulations are driving ink
reformulations across the globe, and what you can
expect from new LED UV-cure and latex products.
longside the rise of LED UV-
cure and latex inks, print
With increasingly strict worker safety and environmental
regulations in developed countries, strong growth is likely to
continue for those inks and systems that minimize worker
exposure to and environmental discharge of hazardous
chemicals, and reduce energy required to cure and fixate inks,
while still producing high quality print color and resolution.
This has already driven a move from aggressive solvent-based
inks to mild or eco-solvent, aqueous, latex, and UV-curable,
and, more recently, LED UV-curable inks and coatings.
The proportion of print providers in both developed and
less prosperous countries using dye-sublimation technology
for soft signage has grown at a high rate. This is due to the
popularity and cost-effectiveness of soft signage for exhibition
hall displays and short-term event and promotional banners.
Print providers in less prosperous developing countries, where
worker safety and environmental regulations are not enforced,
continue to use solvent- and eco-solvent-based wide-format
inkjet systems along with low-cost, third-party solvent and
eco-solvent inks. Why? Because solvent and eco-solvent inks
typically provide vibrant and broad-spectrum colors, along
with excellent adhesion to vinyl and other polymeric substrates for banners, decals, vehicle wraps, and signs.
Still, according to Nufar Kiryati, marketing communications
manager for Bordeaux Digital PrintInk, UV and latex offer the
highest potential for growth in the wide-format sector. "Ecosolvent inks are still growing but prices are eroding," she says.
"The market is inclined toward more eco-friendly solutions,
which do not forfeit the printing quality or the application
possibilities." While UV mercury bulb curing has provided rapid
curing, Chad Taggard, VP of marketing and business development at Phoseon, says that the European Union is likely to ban
small-scale mercury use for UV bulbs by July 2016. This action
would further spur development of LED UV products for wide
format and other print formats now using mercury arc bulbs.
speeds are increasing even as
print performance improves.
According to an International
Data Corporation report released in February,
worldwide large-format printer shipments
grew by 3.5 percent in 2014 as compared with
2013, but revenue declined by almost 1 percent, reportedly due to "very aggressive price
promotions." In other words, as printers try
new applications and bring their work to new
industries, rock-bottom prices on wide format
continue to drive competition.
In general, current trends indicate increased placement
of inkjet inks and print systems in developed countries.
Some emerging sectors, such as production inkjets, are
estimated to be growing at rates above the 20 percent mark,
even as we're seeing a decline in aggressive solvent-based
inkjet printers in economically developed countries.
Inkjet ink consumption, on the other hand, is expanding.
EFI Vutek reports that the volume of ink it ships for its
wide-format printer base continues to grow at about 25
percent year over year. SunJet, DuPont, Inx Digital, Bordeaux, Fujifilm, Wikoff, Collins Ink, Sensient Technologies,
and other inkjet ink producers for wide-format applications
also report strong volume growth that is feeding both the
existing and new technology additions to the wide-format
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - May 2015
Big Picture - May 2015
Graphics on the Go
Business + Management
Expert's Guide to FESPA 2015
R + D
Big Picture - May 2015