Report finds wide-format ink market growing

The opening up of new markets driven by developments in hardware will mean faster growth for the wide-format ink market, according to imaging industry market researcher Photizo Group.

This will have positive effects on the global wide-format market as a whole.

The Wide Format Ink Forecast Perspective looks at the strength of the wide-format ink market and sets out various figures to demonstrate how the market is set to grow. It was published in the middle of April 2016.

Photizo Group vice-president of sales and marketing Ron Iversen said: “Historically, the wide-format printer business from a hardware standpoint has been quite a slow low-growth market, but what is driving growth in the market is new developments in ink and in the media itself.”

Iversen said that media and ink now account for almost 80% of the total revenue in the wide-format market, and that technological developments were also making a difference to sales.

He added: “What is also driving growth is new development in printhead platforms, a good example being HP’s PageWide technology. The speed of these wide-format printers will increase because of developments in printhead technology.

“These wide-format printers are now going to get into commercial production and take business away from the conventional presses. It means more ink, more media. It is a cycle.”

HP’s PageWide array of printheads covers the entire width of a sheet at high speeds.

The report finds HP as 2015’s top global supplier of ink for wide-format with 41% of the £1.6bn market, followed by Canon with 21% and Epson on 19%. Fourth is Roland (3.4%) and fifth is Mimaki (2.7%).

Revenue from wide-format ink suppliers is due to rise to £1.7bn by the end of 2016 and £1.85bn by 2020. The report breaks ink down into UV, latex, aqueous and eco-solvent, with aqueous accounting for approximately 80% of market revenue in 2015, revenue of approximately £1.37bn. The proportion of the market dominated by acqueous is set to remain similar by 2020.

Approximately 4.8 million litres of ink were shipped globally in 2015. This is set to rise by 2020 to more than 6 million litres.

Globally, the report examines the percentage of OEM ink compared with aftermarket ink broken down in each region. It finds the more mature markets are more inclined to purchase a higher percentage of OEM cartridges.

Iversen said: “The way it changes depending on where you are in the world is also interesting. If you look at more developed countries, they tend to stay with OEM ink, while in the less developed countries price is more sensitive and they are more likely to use a higher percentage of aftermarket ink because it is cheaper.”

In Western Europe, Germany is the biggest supplier of ink, followed by the UK. Western European revenue in the wide-format market makes up 26% of the worldwide market share

The report covers all of the world’s regions and was compiled using a mix of interviews with manufacturers, resellers and industry experts, along with questionnaires.

Photizo Group produces reports and provides consultancy on all aspects of the imaging and printing industry. Its US headquarters are in Lexington, Kentucky and it also has a smaller office in Japan.