Global market confident of upturn, according to Fespa survey

The results, which took in responses from more than 50 countries and was run in partnership with InfoTrends, revealed that despite the current recession, many companies had investment plans in place for the next year, with most expecting that the market will bounce back.

InfoTrends director Tim Greene, who managed the research team, said: “One of the key broad indicators which should, as an industry, provide us with reassurance, is that our market is very positive. Continued digital innovation continues to provide us with the tools to meet our customer’s needs.”

The survey found that more than a quarter of respondents used solvent inkjet in their business, but less than a fifth expected to be using it in two years’ time, while 11.9% were using UV-curable inkjet devices today, with this figure set to increase to 21.6% in 2011. Other technologies will remain largely unchanged in their use, with the exception of analogue processes that are predicted to diminish in use.

The survey also found that wide-format printers were doing less digital printing as a percentage of revenue than they were last year (39% compared with 43%). Also, print buyers and print managers were shown to make up the lion’s share of key client contacts, but brand managers (18.2%) and merchandising managers (14.4%) are becoming increasingly key contacts.

Point-of-purchase signs and displays, along with general signs and banners, was the market area that showed the strongest growth, while engineering drawings was the application most in decline. Textile printing was also singled out as a key growth area. In square metres, more than half said they produced between 50m2 and 1,000m2 a month.

More than half of respondents said they would obtain new equipment in the next year, with nearly 40% looking to buy UV-curable inkjet with speed at the forefront of the must-have capabilities.

On the negative side, the report showed that the impact of digital displays and other electronic competition was already being felt in the print industry (40% said it was already effecting their business), but many respondents indicated that they had plans to take part in these emerging markets.

Elsewhere, “quality of product” was the key customer demand rated top by 47.1%, second only to “cost” at 26.6%. But clients are also changing the way they want work done, with demands for “just-in-time” printing, shorter runs, personalisation and shorter turnaround times all on the rise, according to a majority of those polled.

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