Wide-Format Durable Aqueous and UV-Curable Squeezing Solvent Inkjet Market

Wide-format solvent inkjet is under attack as a production technology. On one side there is the development of the durable aqueous segment which promises high quality and durable output but without the harmful environmental characteristics of solvent inkjet. On the other side there is UV-curable inkjet which offers faster production speeds, instant-drying performance, printing directly onto rigid substrates, as well as improved environmental characteristics. Overall, these alternative wide-format technologies are driving customers away from solvent inkjet devices. The wide-format solvent inkjet printer and supplies market is still valued at more than $2 billion in 2015 so there is plenty of opportunity for suppliers to profit. The focus should be on low-end devices and emerging markets. InfoTrends also advises solvent inkjet manufacturers to diversify product offerings to stave off losses.

Tim Greene, Director of InfoTrends Wide Format Service commented, "This trend does not just impact the sale of new units, many installed solvent inkjet printers are being replaced by durable aqueous and UV-curable wide-format printers as well. Even when the printers aren't totally replaced, solvent printers are often maintained just to produce a certain set of applications for which the technology is best-suited such as billboards or vehicle graphics."

A recent InfoTrends/FESPA survey illustrates more print service providers intend to invest in UV-curable and durable aqueous inkjet in the future than intend to invest in either eco-solvent inkjet or solvent inkjet.

There are three primary reasons many PSPs are moving away from solvent inkjet as a production method; speed, operating cost, and sustainability.

InfoTrends believes there is still growth in the low-end of the market on a worldwide basis, particularly for print-and-cut devices. Low-end solvent inkjet is a strong solution for small sign shops and entry-level establishments, or as an accompaniment to other devices. Also, while technological development resources are shifting away from robust or high-end solvent, there are global suppliers still actively developing technology for the low-end or "eco"-solvent segment.

Manufacturers that are committed to wide-format solvent inkjet should build out their distribution and support capacity in emerging markets in which solvent inkjet remains a growth market. The companies should deploy "churn" programs to try to lock up their existing installed base, to prevent them from investing in alternative technologies or to try to ensure that whatever they invest in next their supplier is involved in the transaction.

InfoTrends' 2011 Wide-Format Solvent Inkjet Printing and Supplies Forecast provides a worldwide view of solvent inkjet technology and illustrates the current and future outlook for hardware shipments, populations, hardware revenues, supplies units, and supplies revenue. In addition, InfoTrends examines the market trends and developments that could impact the overall growth of this market explaining in detail why these factors could pose a threat or opportunity. This forecast document also accompanies a new MS-Excel pivot table forecast that provides a modular view of the wide-format solvent inkjet printer and supplies market.

The report is available immediately for purchase. For more information visit InfoTrends' online store or contact Stephanie Tose at +1 781 616 2103 or email