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China's Demand for Inkjet Heads to Grow, says I.T. Strategies

(December 2003) posted on Fri Dec 19, 2003

Due to aggressive solvents used in inks

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Consulting group I.T. Strategies reports that the largest future inkjet opportunity in China may be for inkjet head manufacturers, not necessarily printer OEMs.

"None of the Chinese (printer) OEMs have an ink strategy and the results of this are twofold," says Mark Hanley, I.T. president. "First, OEM revenues are low because there is no ink annuity and, second, cheap non-OEM inks are used. Non-OEM specified inks reduce head life, so the demand for replacement heads is probably inflated"?more than 40,000 heads per year. Because the printers are priced so low, customers can either replace heads or buy new printers if the inks they use cause problems."

Because of non-existent regulations of cyclohexanone within China, the aggressive solvent is widely used within China in all wide-format solvent inks and often in higher concentrations than in US and European inks. Cyclohexanone is prohibited in the US and Europe to the extent that it must be used with ventilation and safety precautions must be taken. Of the 5000 "aggressive solvent printers" sold worldwide in 2002, reports I.T., more than 70% of these were sold in China. (I.T. Strategies: