For a long time, inkjet printers have been relegated for home users. They’ve always been thought of as a specialised solution for low-volume projects and quick, convenient applications - but is this about to change?
Offset printers have long been the popular choice for print service providers and inhouse production printing. The success of offset printers is due to their ability to provide an effective long-run manufacturing process for extremely high output, as they are designed to create high volume applications of the same thing. However, there may be a better way to service your customers and create stunning prints.
Production printers, based on cut sheet inkjet technology, can now offer more to users than they ever could a few years ago, and customers are experiencing the benefits. Aspects like convenience, ease-of-use, flexibility and high degrees of personalisation are expected from print service providers to create more value for their customers. Today, consumers demand a very different end-product. Instead of only wanting quantity, they demand quality along with a printing solution that can adapt to their needs. While toner-based printing can supply an impressive range of customer demands, inkjet is better suited for a different application range.
Print service providers are finding different applications with inkjet digital production printing. One of the greatest features that digital production printing and the software that comes with it offers, is the ability to customise or personalise content quickly and easily.
It allows companies to communicate on a large scale without having to combine a print job across multiple engines or technologies, with all the implications that come with it. The move to inkjet is already being witnessed at large in the industry.
According to Smithers Pira, in 2017, analogue technology controlled the majority of the global print market, accounting for 83.8% of the market value and 97.1% of the volume. However, by 2022, analogue will make up 70% of the total volume and will be mainly limited to relatively low-value publication printing such as newspapers, magazines, and high volume packaging solutions.
Another trend is the rise of fully digital colour applications. This segment will see a CAGR of 20%. Inkjet technology pushes the values of digital print to an entirely new level, delivering customised content on every sheet. Today, inkjet production printers have improved to such a point that they can produce high-volumes of quality prints - all without sacrificing personalisation or ease of use.
These elements of inkjet technology create a win-win situation for print companies and their clients alike. For service providers, this means they can offer a wider variety of services to their clients, never missing out on opportunities that fall beyond their scope. Users of this technology will benefit from quality prints that fit the purpose without sacrificing personalisation or their creativity. A new range of applications becomes possible with the current state of inkjet printing.
Inkjet is the leading technology available that can suit all these needs and more. In a world shaped by data and personalisation, businesses can finally harness the power of colour to redesign their output to better capture their customers’ interest, boost impact, and increase responses. Since graphs, charts, and scales are easier to understand in colour, inkjet can add clarity to utility bills and financial statements. Typical transactional applications will shift to trans promo. This ultimately helps companies to enhance communications and strengthen relationships with customers, boosting engagement and maximising returns on marketing investment.
Another important factor is that inkjet production printers have opened the market, enabling smaller companies to enter for a lower cost of entry. High-volume printers that offer extreme quality are no longer reserved for large companies; inkjet is available for lower investment and with fewer barriers to entry. Business owners or print room managers can rely upon easier to access inkjet technology to achieve truly amazing results with their prints.
Companies like Kyocera are leading the charge for the creative application of production-level inkjet printing systems. While their involvement in the inkjet printing industry has long been respected, their latest printing innovations embrace the practicality, flexibility and efficiency of inkjet.
“Inkjet technology has been rapidly advancing in recent years and the impact is now being felt across the industry. We believe that the production print sector will increasingly rely upon inkjet technology as the demand of companies for such products grows and the benefits become even clearer to see,” said Marcel Ebbenhorst, Senior Manager Hardware Product Marketing at Kyocera Document Solutions Europe.
In short, Kyocera is introducing exciting new elements into the industry because it innovates on what modern customers need today: speed, accessibility, convenience, and flexibility. The new generation of inkjet devices offer a way to successfully compete with offset for high volume runs while simultaneously perfecting short runs, giving companies the agility to realise emerging opportunities and potential.
By meeting the needs of today’s consumers, inkjet is carving out a large share of the market with innovative approaches to high-volume, and low-volume work. As inkjet continues to help businesses grow through high-quality, personalised content, it will continue to offer more value for users as a mainstream production printer. The cut sheet ink jet market, as well as the technology to support it, is developing at a rapid pace.
While there may be see a steep learning curve, newer solutions will create a future portfolio of products that will handle the changing demands of customers.
Whilst Kyocera uses its longstanding technological heritage and knowledge to change the future of print, the company is expanding into new domains of commercial and industrial printing. “We are pushing the limits of what is possible in the printing industry. With our years of experience, we’ve only just began to unlock the potential inkjet technology, creating a brighter tomorrow by innovating, today,” concludes Ebbenhorst.