This Week in Imaging: All Aboard the High-Speed Inkjet Bandwagon; More
This week in the printing and imaging industry was notable for two high-speed inkjet announcements from two vendors, with Kyocera announcing its first high-speed inkjet production printer (which also marked its entry into the production-printer market), and Konica Minolta’s announcement of high-speed, Memjet-powered inkjet production printers, with both announcements coming on the heels of Canon’s announcement last week of a cross-licensing deal with Memjet.
Meanwhile, research from InfoTrends indicates that the high-speed inkjet market continues to grow, with total pages printed by high-speed inkjet presses expected to increase by 17 percent worldwide in the next five years. InfoTrends found that this volume will come from both existing toner and analog devices. For its part this week, Canon announced that, according to the IDC Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker, Q4 2017, Canon maintained its ranking as number-one in U.S. market share for both continuous-feed and sheet-fed inkjet production printers.
HP Inc. for its part this week launched its first A3 PageWide single-pass, color-inkjet copier/MFPs that may be equipped with document finishers, and also announced a new on-demand book-publishing service for book publishers, HP Piazza, that’s designed for use with inkjet-based HP PageWide Web Presses and ink-based HP Indigo Presses.
The growth of the high-speed inkjet production-printer market in particular follows the advancement of digital versus traditional offset printing, and reflects the development of much faster inkjet printing; better inkjet image quality; low inkjet consumables cost; water-based inks’ eco-friendliness; and broader media versatility (for instance, using water-based inks to print on foils, films, and coated papers). While we’ve seen various advancements in inkjet printing over the last several years from the likes of HP Inc., Epson, Xerox, Memjet, and others, in contrast, we haven’t really seen any big advancements in toner-based printing. The question many are asking is that while high-speed inkjet has certainly found a place in commercial, photographic, wide-format, and production printing, will it also make a dent in the office? Our opinion is that if users can’t tell the difference between inkjet and toner print speed and image quality, and inkjet is easier to replace consumables and for dealers to service, the answer is yes.