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The worldwide continuous-feed, digital production print market is experiencing significant opportunity thanks to a major technology shift. According to new research from IDC (www.idc.com), the much anticipated shift from electrophotography (EP) to high-speed inkjet (HSIJ) came to fruition in 2013, and will continue through the 2014-2018 forecast period.
Placements of both monochrome and color EP equipment declined in the past year, while HSIJ installations continue on their growth path. IDC expects HSIJ to reach US$1 billion in equipment sales by 2018 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8%.
Not only was HSIJ the only growth technology segment in the continuous feed production print market, but for the closely watched high-volume segments of 150+ ipm monochrome and HSIJ, HSIJ became the overall market share leader, achieving 54% of the placements. While the cross over in placements occurred in 2013, HSIJ will grow to 75% of placements by 2018. HSIJ providers have appropriately focused on the high-volume segments of the continuous feed market where print volumes and corresponding supplies and service revenue are significant.
"A dramatic technology shift occurred in 2013 as high-speed inkjet maintained its momentum, while incumbent technologies declined," says Andrew Gordon, research director, IDC's Production Output Solutions. "There will continue to be opportunity for color laser, which will hold a quality advantage for a while. However, high-speed inkjet vendors will make great strides toward improving print quality and substrate flexibility."