July 9, 207 -- The latest ‘Direct-to’ Technologies Report published by VSM confirms the continuing decline in violet’s share of the CtP market.
Author Barry Happé says ‘ Despite some pundits heralding ‘06 as being pivotal to violet’s ascendancy in the market, facts show the complete opposite. Sales of violet platesetters fell to less than 30% of worldwide sales – a new low – and use of all visible plates was barely more than a quarter of total CtP plate usage.
Looking ahead to the future the report expects thermal to remain the preferred CtP technology with processless and chemistry free thermal plates taking an increasingly large share of the market. ‘Processless isn’t for everyone at the moment’, says Happé, ‘but in time it will be as commonplace as CtP is today’.
The report notes that CtP now accounts for over 50% of worldwide offset plate consumption. In the developed printing markets of North America and Europe, CtP plates account for 83% and 78% respectively.
‘It has been a phenomenal rate of adoption’, quotes Happé, ‘and shows very little sign slowing up if China adopts CtP to any significant extent.’ At present VSM think that CtP is too expensive for the average Chinese printer, but with new plate production coming on line, this situation could change. Nevertheless, VSM maintain, the technology is little understood or appreciated in China and it will take some considerable time for large scale adoption of CtP to take place.
Digital v Offset
The Report also examines the threat of digital printing to offset. Again, Happé is somewhat dismissive of what the pundits have been saying. ‘To talk of digital printing supplanting offset is nonsense’, he says. ‘Worldwide, offset grew by +4.2% last year in volume terms, and although this is modest when compared with the growth in digital printing, it demonstrates how digital is complementary to offset rather than eroding it.’ That inkjet presses will at some time replace offset is inevitable, the Report concludes, and Drupa ’08 will see some very interesting applications being demonstrated, but in terms of survival, offset printing still has a very good future.
Further details of this Report, its contents, including polyester CtP, digital proofing, CtF and graphic arts film market analysis, can be obtained from the Vantage Strategic Marketing website www.vsm.uk.com or from Barry Happé at [email protected]