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Wide Format Aqueous Inkjet Market Outlook and Overview

Wide format aqueous inkjet is the most flexible print technology serving the wide format market since it is a valuable part of all three major segments of the wide format market (creative, production, and technical).

The desktop market includes photographic, proofing, and digital fine art applications, which tend to require very high print quality, use a variety of substrates, and often require a high degree of archivability. The production graphics market includes a wide variety of applications, from posters and presentation materials to signs and banners. The technical market has a different set of requirements, using much less color and fewer value-added substrates and focusing more on line quality and print speed.

InfoTrends new forecast, Wide Format Aqueous Inkjet Market Forecast: 2005-2010, projects the market for these types of devices and supplies related to these devices on a worldwide basis.

Desktop Devices Fueling Growth

According to the forecast, worldwide shipments of wide format aqueous inkjet printers (including desktop, technical, and production graphics printers) to grow from over 235,000 units in 2005 to nearly 300,000 units in 2010. Desktop will have the most significant increase, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.2% by 2010. Technical and production devices will see a modest increase, demonstrating a CAGR of around 3% over the forecast period.

Figure 1: Worldwide Wide Format Aqueous
Inkjet Printer Shipments: 2005-2010

The growth of wide format aqueous desktop devices can be attributed to their outstanding image quality, which makes them inexpensive alternatives for the production of digital fine art, photographs, and digital proofs. Desktop wide format printers now have selling prices as low as $500, but technologies continue to improve. These devices now offer more colors, higher resolutions, and advanced media handling capabilities that expand the variety of establishments capable of in-house printing to include commercial printers, professional photographers, and corporate users.

The inks and media used by these low-volume printers are high margin items because the prints produced by these types of devices are high value, high coverage, and long-life prints. The desktop wide format aqueous inkjet segment is expected to drive the most growth of all segments, rising to over 367,000 liters in 2010 (14.2% CAGR).

Figure 2: Worldwide Wide Format Aqueous Inkjet Ink
2005-2010 (Millions of Liters)

Wide format technical printers are seeing growth on the ink side because there are color applications that are driving some of the print volume in the technical market. The production segment accounted for most of the wide format aqueous inkjet ink in 2005 and will remain that way throughout the forecast period.

Aqueous inkjet is dominant in the wide format printing installed base, but the aqueous hardware market is relatively mature. It should be noted that there is still room for these types of devices for several reasons. First, aqueous inkjet technology still has a print quality advantage over solvent, so for many applications aqueous is still the preferred production technology. Second, not all printing environments are conducive to using solvent inkjet.

The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends’ report entitled “Wide Format Aqueous Inkjet Market Forecast: 2005-2010.” The complete document is available immediately. To learn more about the report or to make a purchase, visit our online store or contact Nicole Shown at +1 , ext. 207 or .

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