Digital Printing: Poised For Growth
A number of developments have taken place in pre- and post-processing and finishing, as vendors continue to maximize the productivity and efficiency of their systems. Recent developments from Muller Martini are aimed at allowing customers to plan work and make easy job changeovers. Polyurethane Reactive (PUR) binding also has gained momentum in the digital printing market. In addition, a number of post-processing solutions have been announced for 30-inch-wide inkjet presses by companies such as Hunkeler, MBO and Magnum Digital Solutions.
Industry Trends and Growth Areas
INTERQUEST projects that the overall volume of printed books (in units) produced in North America will decline by about 2 percent annually from 2010 to 2015. This decline will be the result of a general decline in reading, the impact of electronic books, and the growth of digital printing, which will help reduce waste, primarily in the form of returns. It expects the volume of books produced on digital printing systems to increase by almost 30 percent annually over the same time period. Among book sectors, the volume of trade books printed with digital systems will experience the highest growth (about 37 percent annually) as more high-speed monochrome presses become available. Total cost of ownership (TCO) reductions and the fact that most trade books are black-and-white—and thus less demanding in terms of print quality than color books—also will fuel growth in this segment. The volume of technical, scientific and professional (TSP) letter-size book impressions produced on digital equipment will increase double-digits annually from 2010 to 2015. However, this segment will not grow as quickly as other segments such as trade and El-Hi, as hardcopy delivery is increasingly impacted by e-books and electronic content—particularly in the legal and financial areas. As with the TSP segment, the higher-education sector, which has already been well-penetrated by digital printing, will be increasingly impacted by e-books and electronic content. According to INTERQUEST surveys, in 2010, slightly more than 90 percent of the book volume produced by printer respondents was monochrome, and 9 percent was color.