According InfoTrends' recent research, high-end production placements will drive future digital printing volumes. Following a dismal year for digital production printing system sales in 2009, 2010 proved to be better than expected. The demand for print usually follows the economic cycle to some extent, and print service providers tend only to invest after the outlook has improved. However, InfoTrends found that in 2010 at least some print service providers were more proactive and invested in new opportunities.
"Overall 2010 placement numbers showed a slight drop as demand for entry level products continued to decline, but at the same time, the market is seeing a trend toward consolidating devices and shifting toward faster more productive printers," stated Jim Hamilton, a group director at InfoTrends. "This indicates that an increasing number of print service providers are starting to make better use of their equipment and are effectively adding capacity."
InfoTrends results showed that mid-volume color placements in the US and Western Europe increased by nearly 15 percent between 2009 and 2010, while high-volume color production grew by 39 percent during the same timeframe. Considering this background, it was expected that continuous feed ultra-high-volume production color printers would show an increase of nearly 50 percent between 2009 and 2010. The rapid growth of continuous feed ultra-high-volume production played a major role in disrupting vendor market shares in 2010.
Information in these newly released reports, US Production Printing and Copying Market Placements: 2007-2010 and Western Europe Production Printing and Copying Market Placements: 2007-2010, covers single- and multi-function printer products that are placed in production in staffed environments such as commercial printers, quick printers, digital printers, book printers, direct mailers, in-plants, transactional service bureaus, and specialty printers. It contains electrophotographic and inkjet printing technologies in process color, spot color, and black & white. In addition to the placements, the information in this document also includes a product list of all models placed in 2010.