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Digital

Digital continues to eat away at litho

The worldwide authority on the packaging, paper, and print industry supply chains Smithers Pira says digital printing will be up to 20 percent of the market by 2022.

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Digital printing presses are on the rise but the market is still dominated by litho such as this Heidelberg

In its latest report on the rise and rise of digital The Future of Digital vs Analogue Printing to 2022, Smithers Pira sees litho still dominating the industry but losing some ground to digital. With more than 70 percent of presses using traditional tried and tested technology in litho the analysts expect digital to make inroads as more efficient and lower cost presses come onto the market.

The firm says: “Mono-electrophotography is being superseded by full-colour inkjet, and the introduction of B2 and B1 digital presses will squeeze the small format cut sheet toner market, as companies look to higher performance equipment.

Mono-electrophotography is being superseded by full-colour inkjet, and the introduction of B2 and B1 digital presses will squeeze the small format cut sheet toner market


“In 2017 digital print accounts for 16.4 percent of global print and printed packaging in value terms, but just 3.9 percent of the volume. This is up from 12.0 percent of the value and 2.2 percent of the volume in 2012, and the analogue to digital transition is accelerating as new, high-performance equipment in adopted by printers and packaging converters. By 2022 digital will be 19.1 percent of value and 4.3 percent of volume.”

Dr Sean Smyth of Smithers Pira comments; “The relative cost position of analogue and digital printing is continually changing as new equipment comes on to the market, and the volumes of toner and inkjet grow while prices fall. This is generally making digital print more cost-effective against traditional analogue printing at ever-higher run lengths. There is a continuing trend of falling run lengths as print buyers act to make sure their content is up to date and there is pressure to reduce the amount of inventory and work-in-progress. The result is a continuation of the analogue-to-digital print transformation.”

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