Despite Market Slowdown, Study Says CTP Future Looks Bright
Press release from the issuing company
Boston, MA - March 30, 2001. State Street Consultants announces The Future of Computer-to-Plate, their study of attitudes, experiences, and expectations regarding CTP based on interviews with 333 commercial printers in North America. Printers were grouped by largest press size, of which the targeted majority and focus were 4-page. A companion study, The 4-Page Printer: A Statistical Overview, gives in-depth details on this market. It analyzes the 4,300 printing plants with a 4-page press covered by State Street Consultants’ North American Market Scanning Service‘ database, and offers a descriptive profile, including detailed information on their applications, color work, installed equipment, including manufacturer, model, and age, and purchase intentions.
There is a large opportunity for CTP within the 4-page printer market. Few have CTP and buying intentions are high. State Street estimates that approximately 12,000 printers have a 4-page press, and for 8,000 of them, it is their largest press. Of this last group, only about 3% have a CTP system, but 14% have plans to purchase a platesetter within the next 12 months. The 4-page printers interviewed for The Future of Computer-to-Plate study were selected based on their having an imagesetter or platesetter. Of this group, 38% plan to buy a system within three years. Most will be buying their first platesetter. Fourteen percent will be buying an additional system. Three-fifths of the CTP buyers among 4-page printers are interested in 4-page systems; others are buying larger systems. One-fourth plan to buy a larger press.
The key barrier to 4-page printers purchasing CTP is the cost of the system. The second greatest deterrent is the associated investment in prepress and networking infrastructure, both equipment and software. It appears this market will be robust if vendors respond by lowering the cost of investment to the $100,000 level. Topping the list of drivers to purchase are: (1) saving money on film and labor expense; and (2) improvements in print quality and faster turnaround.
The 8-page CTP market is far from saturated. The market includes both first-time and repeat purchasers. Forty-two percent of the 8-page printers surveyed plan to adopt CTP, with near-term buying indicated by one-third. While cost concerns present the greatest barrier, CTP interest and purchases by 8-page press sites will continue for many years.
CTP penetration has been highest in 4-page and 8-page press plants with over 100 employees, but the strongest interest is now coming from printers with 50-99 employees. Printers with CTP purchase plans are realistic; they are doing their research; they know what they'll have to spend; and they are making their plans accordingly.
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