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Since UV roll-to-roll inkjet technology has rolled onto the scene, many wonder whether this type of technology will enjoy as much success as the UV flatbed. Furthermore, are these new printers popular because of vendor need or user demand?

According to I.T. Strategies, Hanover, MA, UV roll-to-roll printers (excluding hybrids) could grow from an installed base of 199 printers in 2006 to 1300 by 2011, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46%. Total manufacturer revenue from UV roll-to-roll printers, which includes hardware, ink, and media, is projected to increase from $121 million in 2006 to more than $560 million by 2011, a CAGR of 36%. I.T. also notes that total manufacturer revenue from UV flatbed inkjet printers grew from $58 million in 2003 to $600 million in 2007.

“UV roll-to-roll inkjet printers could negatively impact the solvent market over the next five years, as users move some output from solvent printers to UV printers and more importantly, as users decide to spend their dollars on UV printers rather than solvent printers,” says Liz Ziepniewski Logue, senior consultant at I.T. “Perhaps, though, the biggest impact will be felt in the screen-printing market as highly productive UV roll-to-roll printers begin to go head to head with screen-printed products.”

Some of the advantages that UV roll-to-roll printers are said to offer over solvent inkjet printers include increased productivity, fewer environmental issues, versatility of substrates, less vendor competition, and white inks. “It is still too early to tell what the exact impact of UV roll-to-roll inkjet printers will be on the solvent and screen-printing markets, but it clear there will be one,” Logue says. “There is vendor motivation to move to UV roll-to-roll, and according to I.T. Strategies research, many end users believe UV inkjet printers will be the future of the wide-format graphics market. While we do not expect that UV roll-to-roll printers will replace solvent inkjet printers in the near future, we do expect UV roll-to-roll inkjet printers to impact solvent printer sales and output over the next three years. How much will depend on how quickly vendors continue to develop UV products.” For more information, contact I.T. Strategies, 51 Mill St., Ste. 2, Hanover, MA 02339, 781 826-0200, fax: 781 826-0151, Web:

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