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Watch Out Inkjet: Toner Appears to Be Poised to Make a Comeback

Now that production inkjet has finally reached the offset quality barrier, some believe that it is the death knell for toner. Although as Mark Twain said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” and based on recent developments in toner technology I believe that is the case here as well.


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About David Zwang

David Zwang travels around the globe helping companies increase their productivity, margins and market reach. He specializes in production optimization, strategic business planning, market analysis, and related services to companies in the vertical media communications market. Clients have included printers, manufacturers, retailers, publishers, premedia and US Government agencies. He can be reached at [email protected].


By Sean Smyth on Sep 01, 2020

Hi Dave
As author of the Smithers report there are a couple of points behind the data. EP is seeing mono continuous volumes drop as transactional and DM switch to inkjet which is causing the main drop in share. The arrival of sheetfed inkjet is pressurising some of the older cut sheet toner presses and we are seeing swap outs to give considerable productivity enhancemnents.
The report was prepared well before the announcements by Xeikon, Canon and HP Indigo - when I was given a preview of their next generation narrow web and an indication of TCO I was very impressed as will everyone who sees it first hand hopefully at drupa next year.

No doubt the inkjet developers have a thing or two up their proverbial sleeves, beyond what I have been told!

Its an exciting time for those companies who come out of the pandemic and invest, the digital transformation is accelerating.


By Doyle Mortimer on Sep 01, 2020

Thanks for this article, David. I really hope that what you are saying comes to pass because we really need the sheet-fed press solutions for our diversity of products. My biggest concern is whether the digital click charges will be able to come down enough to really compete with inkjet. Again, I hope so. Please keep us posted.



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