Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipments Up Narrowly in Q4 2016

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The FINANCIAL — The Worldwide Quarterly Large Format Printer Tracker from International Data Corporation (IDC) found that large format printer (LFP) shipments and revenue grew by more than 4% year over year in 2016.

“The mix of printers continues to change as the technology and the needs of end users evolve,” said Tim Greene, research director, Hardcopy Solutions at IDC. “The need to invest in the latest technology, to expand their business, to improve their bottom line, and even just to remain competitive is one of the defining characteristics of the large format digital printing market.”

Segment Highlights

Shipments in the large format CAD/Technical printer market segment grew by 4.4% for the year, with a particularly strong performance in the large format toner-based printer segment.

Shipments on the graphics side were up by 3.8% for the year, with a strong showing from UV-curable, eco-solvent, Latex, and dye-sublimation printers.

Vendor Highlights

The top five suppliers in terms of shipments, in order were HP Inc, Canon (when combined with Oce), Seiko Epson, Roland DG, and Mimaki.

HP continues to lead the large format market overall with leading if not dominant positions in the large format CAD market and with its latex products. HP’s overall share slipped, however, as there was growth in areas like dye-sublimation and in the Asia/Pacific market where HP is not as strong. HP’s share of revenue grew though as the company’s PageWide XL and high-speed UV-curable printers continue to do well in the market.

Canon, when combined with the Oce organization, maintained its number two position among worldwide large format printer manufacturers for 2016. Canon’s push on toner-based systems and its leading position in UV-curable inkjet and highly competitive aqueous inkjet printers gave it a strong share in both the CAD and graphics markets.

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Epson, the third-largest supplier in terms of shipments, saw solid growth in the dye-sublimation inkjet market and some recovery in the eco-solvent market late in the year, but continues to see declining shipments in the low-end aqueous inkjet market segment.

Roland DG is the fourth largest worldwide supplier and has almost 30% share of the worldwide eco-solvent market.

Mimaki is the number five supplier of large format printers worldwide in 2016. Mimaki is strong in the eco-solvent, dye-sublimation, and UV-curable inkjet printer markets worldwide.

Other Highlights

The interest in dye-sublimation solutions continues: the IDC Tracker shows 13% year-over-year growth in dye-sublimation inkjet printer shipments.

Eco-solvent inkjet printer shipments grew 8.5% year over year in 2016. The resilience of eco-solvent printers is largely driven by the growth of Chinese suppliers in that segment and primarily in the domestic Chinese market.

UV-curable inkjet printers are another bright spot, with UV-curable inkjet printer shipments up 15% year over year in 2016.


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