InfoTrends Study Identifies the Opportunities and Challenges of B2 Color Digital Presses
WEYMOUTH, MA—December 4, 2014—Color digital presses capable of printing media in B2 and even larger-format media were a source of great excitement at drupa 2012. In the two years since their unveiling at that Düsseldorf show, a range of print service providers worldwide had collectively installed 140 presses by end of Q2 2014; nearly all of them designed to print sheeted media in B2 size (27.9x19.7" or 707mmx500mm). InfoTrends’ latest study, "Opportunities and Challenges in B2 Digital," is about these sheetfed "B2" color digital presses, as well as the companies that use them now and the others that will be a market for them in the near future.
Today, about 140 B2 sheetfed color digital presses are operating globally. While that seems like a small number, it actually represents a great achievement in only about two years by just a few suppliers. The B2 color digital presses commonly cost $1 million or more, so (all together) those placements amounted to well over $100 million in sales.
InfoTrends talked to 40 users of B2 digital color presses with commercial printers owning most B2 digital presses, but they are augmented by growing numbers of digital print specialists and packaging converters. InfoTrends also found that many B2 users do produce a wide range of applications although a few sites are specialized. Users cited that a digital B2 press does not only increase efficiency in production, but also helps finding new customers: A full 75 percent of the press users say that owning this technology has expanded their customer base and another 10 percent expect it will do so after they become more familiar with it.
In this study, InfoTrends surveyed 200 printing companies not owning a B2 digital color press and found that market awareness is still low and should be a focus for vendors. Most of the market is still not familiar with the choices that are available. Accordingly, only 17 percent of all responding companies are considering investing in B2 digital. A larger range of available models, publicity about successful users, and vendor tradeshow presence will all help spur the market.
InfoTrends, a Questex company, is the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry. It provides research, analysis, forecasts, and advice to help clients understand market trends, identify opportunities, and develop strategies to grow their businesses.