The total global market for new printing equipment was $21.5 billion in 2012 and will reach $22.7 billion by 2017 according to our new research study.

This modest growth, averaging 1.6% annually over five years, comes after a period of sharp decline as the recession and uncertainty took hold from the 2007 high of $25.3 billion.

We estimate that there are about 1.1 million digital and analogue presses installed and operating across the world’s print suppliers in 2012, with the total number increasing by 120,000 during 2007–17. This is primarily due to increased sales of digital presses as the analogue press installed base remains roughly constant.

Market growth will come from added value features on analogue machines and digital equipment, not from traditional lithographic, flexo or gravure printing presses. As a result, there has been a fundamental change in the supply side of printing equipment. New presses are far more productive than previous generations, with automation and control systems simplifying the operation of the equipment. High quality, highly productive and reliable digital print machinery is firmly targeting conventional print equipment as a direct alternative with over 40,000 units to be implemented in the next 4 years.

Digital equipment, inkjet and electrophotography is becoming an increasingly important segment of the print equipment supply market, with the share growing significantly from 14.2% of all equipment in 2007 to 32.5% in 2017. The trend for many analogue equipment suppliers and prepress specialists to get into digital suggests that this trend will only accelerate in future.

The prospects of digital machinery over conventional analogue print equipment were seen at drupa this year with the launch of the Landa Nanotechnology with some 400 orders for machines placed at the show. There is also great disparity between mature and developing regions and countries, with China, Brazil, India and Russia all moving up the league table of new print equipment buying countries.

While sheetfed litho machinery is the largest segment of the equipment market, the restructuring and bankruptcy troubles of the leading German manufacturers have been well publicized as they come to terms with the decline in demand for presses from their traditional customers in Europe, North America and Japan. The decisions by Komori, Heidelberg and Manroland to sign joint development agreements with Landa for their digital monographic printing signals an acceptance that the dominance of litho is approaching its end as the demands on print companies change.

This article is based on information from our study, The Future of Global Print Equipment Markets to 2017, which is available for immediate download. For more information, please contact Stephen Hill at +44 (0) 1372 802025 in the UK ([email protected] ) or Heather Adams in the US on 1 207 781 9632 ([email protected] ).

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