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I.T. Strategies recently released a report that indicates sales of roll-to-roll UV inkjet printers (not including hybrids) could grow from an installed base of 199 printers in 2006 to 1300 by 2011, a compound annual growth rate of 46%. Total manufacturer revenue from UV roll-to-roll printers (hardware, ink, and media) is forecast to increase from $121 million in 2006 to more than $560 million by 2011, a compound rate of 36%.
Liz Ziepniewski Logue, senior consultant at I.T. Strategies, says, “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.”

I.T. Strategies explains that roll-to-roll UV inkjet printers offer a number of advantages over solvent inkjet printers, including increased productivity, fewer environmental issues, versatility of substrates, less vendor competition, and white inks. As Logue puts it, “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 is clear that there will be one.”

According to research by I.T. Strategies, vendors are motivated to move to roll-to-roll UV, and many end users believe UV inkjet printers are 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 ink jet 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,” Logue says.


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