Big Picture - May 2016 - (Page 26)

Beyond WATER Alternative ink technologies lead to new applications and bigger business. BY TIM GREENE W hile numerous ink technologies are employed within the large-format printing business, historically, aqueous (water)-based wide-format printers have represented the largest number of printers installed. Even today, few would argue that largeformat aqueous inkjet printers are the most affordable and application-flexible printers on the market. However, we're starting to see the impact of single-pass wide-format aqueous inkjet printers as they have dramatically improved speed and lowered running costs, two of the biggest challenges to conventional aqueous inkjet use in the graphics market. Most of these single-pass wide-format aqueous inkjet printers are used in the technical or CAD market, but based on the speed the models are capable of, the potential exists for shops and end users to buy them to produce high volumes of maps and short-term posters. For the North American graphics market, the trend is moving away from conventional aqueous inkjet due to high running cost as well as limited outdoor durability. Certainly, pigmented water-based inks are resistant to UV light, but for true outdoor durability, aqueous inkjet prints must be laminated. Here at International Data Corporation (IDC), we have seen the shipments of conventional aqueous inkjet printers designed for the graphics market fall by about 3500 units from 2013 to 2015, and we expect those declines to continue. Alternative ink technologies such as eco-solvent, latex, UV curable, and dye sublimation offer improved outdoor durability, lower running costs, and the ability to print onto uncoated media. These add up to a different set of capabilities, which enable a variety of new applications and require different operational cost models and production speeds. NORTH AMERICAN LARGE-FORMAT PRINTER SHIPMENTS 2013-2015-2017 (PROJECTED) 20,000 2013 18,000 2015 2017 16,000 14,000 May 2016 12,000 10,000 8,000 BIG PICTURE 6,000 26 4,000 2,000 0 Aqueous Source: International Data Corporation Eco-solvent Latex UV Dye-sub

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - May 2016

Big Picture - May 2016
Wide Angle
Business + Management
Outside the Gamut
Can Print Shops Benefit from 3D Printing?
Beyond Water

Big Picture - May 2016