Solvent and UV-curable work will continue to make inroads.
The wide-format graphics market generated $7.3 billion in total manufacturer revenues in 2004, and is expected to generate $10.1 billion in manufacturer revenues in 2009, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7%, according to I.T. Strategies, the Hanover, MA-based consulting firm.
Breaking down the forecast by hardware, media, and ink, I.T. Strategies forecasts:
"? Total wide-format inkjet graphics hardware revenues will grow from $1.5 billion in 2004 to $1.6 billion in 2009, a CAGR of 1%. In terms of total market revenues, wide-format inkjet hardware revenues will decrease from 21% in 2004 to 16% in 2009, driven down by continually declining hardware prices.
"? Media revenues for wide-format inkjet will grow from $2.7 billion in 2004 to $3.8 billion in 2009, a CAGR of 7%. In terms of market revenues, media revenues will increase from 36% to 38% in 2009, driven by increasing use of high-value, specialty media such as vinyl, fabric, canvas, etc., as well as an increasing hardware-installed base.
"? Inkjet ink revenues for wide-format will grow from $3.1 billion in 2004 to $4.6 billion in 2009, a CAGR of 8%, driven by the increasing installed base of printers. In terms of total market revenue, inkjet ink revenues will grow from 43% of total market revenues in 2004 to 46% in 2009.
Eco-solvent and flatbed printers are having a big impact on both aqueous and aggressive-solvent printers, says Liz Ziepniewski, senior consultant at I.T. Strategies: "Eco-solvent printers are growing at the expense of both high-end aqueous and aggressive-solvent printers. Companies and print shops new to the market are purchasing eco-solvent printers and using them as (relatively) low-cost printers for both indoor and outdoor applications. This has halted the growth of the high-end aqueous market, as more indoor prints are now available for companies with eco-solvent printers.
"It also has some impact on aggressive-solvent printers," she continues, "because in the past, some of the companies purchasing eco-solvent printers would outsource this type of product to a print provider with high-end solvent printers. High-end, UV-curable flatbed printers are being used to print directly on rigid substrates, thereby skipping the mounting process required when printing on roll printers."
In 2004, says I.T. Strategies, 61% of wide-format graphics' revenues was generated by aqueous printers; by 2009, however, that number will drop to just 46%. Conversely, solvent-printer work will increase from 34% of total market revenues to 44%, while flatbed printer work will increase from just 4% to 10% by 2009. (I.T. Strategies: www.it-strategies.com)