Tue, May

As another year draws to a close it's worth reminding ourselves of some of the new kit we've seen and assess the long-term technical trends in the world of wide-format print.

In many ways the digital wide-format print market is a mature sector with the core technologies well established. However, there have been a number of interesting products launched this year.

With finishing an increasing focus and a growing part of the investment budget Dave Howell reports on developments at the back-end.

Over the last few years the large-format sector has transformed from a specialist poster and display industry into a wide reaching service that now requires more advanced and innovative finishing technology – a trend both hardware and software developers have latched onto, leading to a plethora of new, improved and tweaked offerings aimed at making the back-end of the production process more efficient and fruitful.

This year’s Widthwise survey showed that when it came to R&D, you wanted manufacturers to place an onus on reducing the running costs of large-format printers. So are they?

One of the key findings in the technology section of Image Reports’ annual Widthwise survey was that when it came to where print companies most wanted to see printer manufacturers put their R&D spend, it was in reducing the running costs of the large-format printers they make. So of course, we asked a number of key players about where this issue currently figures in their R&D strategy and what they are doing to try and make the kit more efficient. Some where happy to outline their thoughts and actions, but from many quarters the response was a deafening silence which can only leave one to wonder about the kind of feedback potential customers get from suppliers when they ask the sam, increasingly asked, question!

UV has seemingly become the technology of choice – the fastest growing segment in the wide-format printer market – but where is it going?

The world, it seems, is in love with UV printing. The fastest growing segment in the wide-format printer market, there are an estimated 10,000 wide-format UV printers installed globally and the figure is rising. According to InfoTrends’ ‘Wide Format UV-Curable Inkjet Market Forecast’, the total system revenue from wide-format UV-curable inkjet printing systems, including hardware, ink, media, and service contracts, will reach $2.33 billion in 2013 from $1.1 billion in 2008, representing a CAGR of nearly 16%.