Print production outlook: takeaways from the October 6 webinar (part 2)

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Part 2 of a two-part series based on the What They Think webinar “Print Production Outlook: Tracking the Turning Points”. In Part 1, Keypoint Intelligence presenter German Sacristan analyzed Keypoint and other industry growth data and key turning points, including the shift to high-speed inkjet. In Part 2, Sacristan analyzes the current and future state of industrial applications, as well as the state of packaging and labels.

In a previous article, I reported on the first half of the What TheyThink “Print Production Outlook: Tracking the Turning Points” webinar, sponsored by Canon Solutions America. At this informative event, German Sacristan, Print-on-Demand Manager, Keypoint Intelligence, presented data from Keypoint’s recent print production outlook survey. The data provided insight into the current state of printing and the destination of survey respondents in the future. This article will look at the second half of this webinar, which focused on the current and future state of industry applications, while also giving a nod to packaging and labels. (To watch the webinar, click here.)

In Part 1, Richard Romano of What TheyThink set the stage for the rest of the data by examining the overall growth of the industry ($ 15.86 billion, up 20% from 2020, per Smithers Pira), much of which is due to the recession rebound.

The webinar also noted that the decline in equipment sales contrasted with the growth in overall print volume. As sales of black-and-white and color equipment posted declines of -2.1% and -2.0%, respectively, the German Sacristan then pointed out, citing data from Keypoint Intelligence, the industry volumes are expected to increase – 1.2% CAGR for black and white and 10.2% CAGR for color.

The reason? Consolidate print volume on more productive printing devices.

So what do PSPs print on their fewer but more productive printing devices? To the question “Which of the following applications generates the highest volume of color printing in your facility?” Respondents cited brochures (63%) and direct mail (52%) as the top two.

When asked which apps they expected to grow the most over the next two years, however, direct mail came out on top, with 75% saying they expected an increase. of their direct mail and 22% that they expected an increase of 25% or more. . Books come in second, 90% expecting their book volumes to increase, and 20% expecting them to increase by 25% or more.

Other applications are expected to grow 25% or more including catalogs / booklets (12%), posters, banners, signage (11%), magazines (10%), business cards (4%) and brochures (3%). Transactional products, photo products and manuals are expected to remain stable or decline.

Sacristan was quick to note the strong presence of direct mail. “With digital printing, brand owners are using the letterbox to entice people to shop online,” he said. “The letterbox is currently a non-competitive medium for marketers and is proving to be a very powerful channel for brand owners, marketers and print buyers. For the same reason, expect personalized and personalized catalogs to grow as well. “

Another finding that may surprise some readers is the strength of physical books, with 90% of respondents expecting their book volume to increase and 20% expecting their volume to increase by 25% or more.

Catalogs and magazines are also expected to grow thanks to the combination of the strength of geomarketing and the shorter print run capabilities of high speed inkjet presses. “Customers of publishers, brands, find the value of segmentation – geomarketing – based on demographics and drive business,” Sacristan said. “The high-speed inkjet version management capabilities allow brand owners to [both print higher volumes and] target their advertising based on gender, household income and other characteristics depending on where the magazine is distributed. This capability improves the relevance and effectiveness of magazine ad placements, and our panelists expect their volume of these products to increase.

Richard Romano, moderator of “Tracking the Turning Points”, completed the discussion by discussing some of the trends in packaging and labels. He noted the trend for “deep” toner and inkjet penetration starting around 2019, in part due to increased personalization. “As with other applications in the industry, we are seeing shorter runs and personalization as CPCs increase the number of SKUs,” observed Romano. “We’re seeing custom packaging, like Coke cans, but that shouldn’t be a primary application. “

Romano also noted the advances in flexo which make it more competitive compared to digital. These include advanced dithering to increase resolution, extended color gamuts, better branded colors, and better overall color controls.

Romano also noted the increase in bespoke systems, which combine flexo and digital, a growing trend for several years. “It can be a custom solution based on a specific type of ink head or transport mechanism, for example, so that magazines can directly do formatting or other printing applications or industrial packaging, ”he explained. “It looks a lot like the inkjet heads we used to see attached to offset presses to produce limited variable data. “

To learn more about custom systems, Romano told attendees of many articles written by David Zwang on this topic.

Romano concluded the event with a global industry perspective:

  • Digital color printing volume is expected to increase.
  • The digital switchover will continue.
  • Digital print lengths will increase with the inkjet’s longer print capabilities.
  • The inkjet will continue to grow, while the toner will decrease.
  • Inkjet will continue to offer more productivity and lower cost, and in some categories, will deliver commercial print quality.
  • Toner decline will be mitigated by replacing more small toner devices with fewer larger toner (and inkjet) devices.
  • Personalized or “tailor-made” solutions will become commonplace in packaging.

Time has allowed questions to be asked of the public, including the cross between offset and inkjet sheets, the click savings of inkjet versus toner, and more details on the impact of aggressive pricing large online printers.

To view the full webinar, click here.


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