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Published on October 5th, 2017 | by Hazel Lopez

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What is the Future of Industrial Inkjet Printing?

It shouldn’t be surprising that the functional and industrial printing markets are growing. Sectors such as home décor, automotive, electronics, laminates, photovoltaics, displays, glass, biomedical, ceramics, 3D printing and inkjet textiles, and promotional items are seeing the biggest growth, but these sectors are not alone. Virtually all specialty analog and inkjet printing markets are in a growth spurt.

According to research and analytics by Smithers Pira, the current values in the market are up by $37.2 billion in 2012 to $76.9 billion. They are predicting future growth of up to $114.8 billion by 2022.

Who is gaining ground and what other markets play a role in the current and future growth of printing technology?

Suppliers’ Roles

Suppliers have been designing new equipment that broadens the applications with new coatings, industrial inks, additives, and other functional fluids that offer improved adhesion, durability, and flexibility.

Analog printing is still in the running with flexo, litho, gravure, foiling, screen, and pad printing, while the digital technology is showing strong growth with the new industrial inkjet printer inks and fluids.

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The Substrates

The latest markets are working with glass, wood, film, metal, plastic, laminates, composites, textiles, and ceramics over paper, cardboard, or paperboard substrates. The 3D sector is using metals, plastics, and some composites in printing.

Worldwide Industrial Printing

Industrial printing is a worldwide market with manufacturers that use the specialty suppliers, the processes, and the components to sell across the globe. The Asian market is currently the largest region with the biggest printing companies that supply décor materials, electronics, and other materials for printing circuitry, tags, photovoltaics, membrane switches, and displays, most of which also come from the giant electronic companies across Asia.

Western Europe and North America also show strong growth for the higher value items and for making vast enhancements to the manufacturing process. They are bringing enhanced developments for industrial inkjet textile and 3D printing on demand, virtually changing these business models for the better.

Demand and Skill

As with most technologies, the demand for advanced efficiency of printing technology doesn’t work out in the same way as industrial inks and manufacturing. Until the end-user market demands the change or the industrial printing market meets its bottleneck, improvements are kept at bay.

Essentially, the print setup is simpler than product change. It makes it appear as though there isn’t a good balance, but the basics remain the same in printing, whereas products change frequently.

As all printing technology evolves, skillsets change for those using the technology. Most with current printing skills will merely update their skills to adapt and meet the ever-changing needs in printing setup, processes, and inks.

Overall, the industrial print market is growing, making it an attractive sector full of opportunities in commercial graphics and publications. Companies are adopting the new changes and technologies to become more efficient in workflow, lean manufacturing, and print production.

Digital technology is becoming more widely used and industrial inkjet print suppliers (https://www.needham-ink.com/inkjet-inks/)are continually examining and analyzing the potential of digital printing, especially in inkjet.


About the Author

Hazel Lopez



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