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Tying Together Random Thoughts in the Digital Space

(August 2014) posted on Tue Sep 16, 2014

Equipment shifts, dye sub, and media among the important trends.


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By Tim Greene

Infotrends is updating our global forecasts as I am writing this column. Several things are jumping out at us at the lower-end of the market:

  • Although wide-format aqueous inkjet printers are easily the most flexible systems in their class right now in terms of the range of applications they can effectively produce, the market for printers below 24 in. continues to shrink, as does the market for 60-in.-wide aqueous printers.
  • Single-pass wide-format solutions are taking root, with companies like Xerox, Xante, RTI, and Canon/Oce bringing product to market. These printers are already really fast, and HP has just shaken things up with its announcement that it will enter the single-pass segment with a faster model in 2015.
  • The latest generation of latex printers is really going after the large (90,000+ unit) installed base of wide-format eco-solvent inkjet printers.
     


Judging by the reaction of some of HP’s customers and resellers, we believe that the new HP Latex 300-series is going to get strong attention in the second half of 2014 and beyond. The Latex 360 is interesting because it has some of the image-quality production tools from the HP DesignJet Z-series such as OMAS (optical media advance sensoring), integrated spectrophotometer, and profiling tools. The Latex 360 also has some of the functionality of the HP Latex 3000 production system including the same ink set, all at a very aggressive price point. I think that over the next few years, we are going to hear a lot of discussion about which wide-format printing technology is most effective and cost-efficient—eco-solvent, latex, or LED-curing inkjet. We’re already hearing a lot of chatter about it.
 

Dye sub on the rebound


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