The Global Recession’s Impact on Print
The promise of inkjet, digital
Drilling down through the data, a few trends begin to emerge. Inkjet is big. So is digital (also called “electrophotographic”). These print processes are so big, in fact, that they are expected to enjoy a near doubling of their market share between 2008 and 2014. While it’s true that their market share is still minimal compared to the more traditional print processes, inkjet and electrophotographic are showing their great potential for the future. (Sheetfed printing is the only other print process expected to increase its market share between 2008 and 2014.)
The promise of inkjet and electrophotographic becomes even more apparent when considering the global machinery market. In 2008, the global machinery market tells a fairly standard tale: Sheetfed presses claim a $5.6 billion market, greater than any other equipment category. By 2014, however, the sheetfed press market will have contracted by over 8%, to $5.1 billion—while inkjet sales will have shot up from $1.9 billion in 2008 to $4.8 billion in 2014, almost the same as sheetfed. (See pie chart, “Global Machinery Market, 2008 – 2014.”) The forecasted growth for inkjet, by the way, is 160%.
Other segments of the global machinery market expected to experience significant growth is, naturally, electrophotographic and also flexo and postpress. At $1.4 billion in 2008, the electrophotography market is predicted to increase by 49% between 2008 and 2014 to just more than $4.7 billion. Based on the significant growth of package printing over the study period, flexo equipment is forecast to grow a steady 12% to over $2.7 billion by 2014.
With the importance of high-end finishing to increase the value-added of print products, postpress equipment will see growth of almost 8% by 2014 to $1.75 billion. All other markets are predicted to suffer significant declines with some more than 20, 30 and 40%. (Film imagesetters, not surprisingly, will plummet by 65% between 2008 and 2014.)