While most types of printing equipment and services are forecast to see revenue declines, digital printing is a bright spot.
Overcapacity due to a long-term trend of declining commercial printing demand is contributing to intense competition and driving down prices. However, digital printing has gradually gained a larger share of revenue in almost all commercial printing applications, supported by the flexibility of the process and continuous technological improvements.
Digital Printing Gains Ground
Clients of commercial printing services are increasingly asking for shorter printing runs, often while requiring more complex or custom print jobs. These parameters push more service providers to digital equipment. For example, label converters are expected to increase investment in digital presses to capitalize on demand for customization.
Digital printing is ideally suited to short print runs and can economically produce customized items since it lacks printing plates (unlike most other technologies); instead, ink is placed directly onto paper or another substrate from a printer head controlled by a computer.
Digital Press Manufacturers Benefit Too
As commercial printers require greater speed and flexibility, printing equipment manufacturers are expected to push development of digital presses to enhance speed, print width, and ink. For example, last year Xerox introduced its Xerox Iridesse Production Press, which can print in metallic gold and silver inks alongside basic four-color CMYK printing in a single pass, shortening print job times.
While other sections of the market stagnate, digital printing and digital presses will continue to shake up the printing industry, driving innovation and new business models.
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We have you covered! For additional information and analysis of US industry trends, see Commercial Printing: United States and Printing Machinery & Equipment: United States, reports published by the Freedonia Focus Reports division of The Freedonia Group.
Commercial Printing: United States forecasts to 2023 US commercial printing revenues in nominal US dollars. Total revenues are segmented by printing process in terms of:
- other processes such as engraving, letterpress, and thermography
Total revenues are also segmented by application as follows:
- labels and wrappers
- other applications such as garments and other fabrics, financial and legal forms, and office products
To illustrate historical trends, total revenue and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2008 to 2018.
Publishers and content owners that print their own material in-house (captive publishing) are excluded from this report. 3D printing and the value of ancillary non-printing service offered by commercial printers are also excluded.
Printing Machinery & Equipment: United States forecasts to 2023 US printing machinery and equipment demand and shipments in nominal US dollars at the manufacturer level. Total demand is segmented by product in terms of:
- digital presses
- offset lithographic presses
- other printing presses, such as flexographic, gravure, and screen
- binding machinery and equipment
- other machinery and equipment, such as prepress preparatory equipment, separately sold parts, and typesetting machinery
To illustrate historical trends, total demand, total shipments, the various segments, and trade are provided in annual series from 2008 to 2018.
Excluded from the scope of this report are printing consumables and 3D printers. In addition, photocopiers, home and office printers, and textile printing machinery are not counted. Rebuilt or remanufactured machinery is included. Re-exports of printing machinery and equipment are excluded from demand and trade figures.
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About the Author
Owen Stuart is a Market Research Analyst with Freedonia Focus Reports. He conducts research and writes a variety of Focus Reports, and his experience as an analyst covers multiple industries.