Print on Demand Worldwide Forecast – 2022 to Show Functional and Industrial Printing Market to Grow to £144.8 Billion

 The market for industrial and functional printing applications has experienced growth in dimensions including those of:

  •  Décor and laminates
  •  Ceramics
  •  Electronics (which includes displays and photovoltaics)
  •  Glass
  • Aerospace and automotive
  • Biomedical
  • Promotional and miscellaneous items
  • 3D printing and inkjet printer textiles

All the dimensions mentioned above are now being subject to being printed by using a range of specialist analogue methods and inkjet.

Print on Demand Worldwide forecasts an estimated £114.8 billion increase by the year 2022. The price of the industrial and functional market has risen from £37.2 billion in 2012 to a now prevailing value of £76.9 billion, and following this trend the £114.8 billion mark makes sense.

Moreover, the development of latest technological innovations has broadened the use of these applications including the utilization of improved inks, coatings, and functional fluids hence, leading to flexibility, adhesion, and durability. 

Also, this has led to the development of unique capabilities in electronics and biomedical areas. 

With the development of improved and new inkjet inks, many new opportunities have opened up for the digital methods hence leading to an expansion of this particular sector. 

However, this does not mean that the analogue printing methods are far behind. They too have experienced a revolutionary change in their specific fields. The methods of analogue printing include:

  • Gravure
  • Flexo
  • Litho
  • Screen
  • Pad printing
  • Foiling

However, still it is said that the digital market has seen a more enhanced and innovative growth when compared to the analogue techniques mostly due to the fact that digital markets don’t use paper or paperboard material, but instead, they employ the use of:

  • Plastic
  • Film
  • Glass
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Ceramics
  • Textiles
  • Laminates
  • Other composite materials.

Take note that with 3D printing, a combination of plastic, metal, and composites are used.

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It’s said that industrial printing is being done globally. Manufacturers are using the processes available, and suppliers are selling to component and product manufacturers; this also includes large manufacturers using printing functions as part of their operations and specialist print firms supplying components, thus, leading to the development of a wide range of routes and formation of networks. 

Asia is the best example when dealing with industrial printing. Asia is said to be the homeland for many substantial electronic companies who are employing the printing function as part of the manufacture of membrane switches, tags, circuity, displays, and photovoltaics.

Apart from Asia, North America and Western Europe have also seen a rising trend in high-value components as different processes have been subject to technological innovations and improvements. This has further spurred the growth of development of new technologies, including inkjet textile and short-run textile printing being available to the final user. 

Furthermore, 3D printing is another dimension that is picking up the pace and proving to be a source of competitive advantage as those firms who employ 3D printing have seen complete changes in business models and supply chain distribution networks. Also, this new revolution in 3D printing has led to:

  • Printing being used as a broader part of the manufacturing process
  • In additive 3D printing
  • Or in simple manufacturing.

However, set suppliers may also be manufacturers making the distribution routes complex and widely distributed, thus, leading them to show a lack of concern about the efficiency of a particular printing process. 

In addition to that, the increased demand for efficiency in printing processes does not create a change until the demand for it changes. Also, it is said that the below-mentioned components are more in use when applied in long-term applications.

  • Gravure
  • Screen
  • Pad printing
  • Foiling

For example, when producing a sheet of exterior agricultural glass, printing is a small component of the process thus, making the print set up a lot simpler than the change in the product.

People or workers employed in this particular market require a relatively low skill set as compared to working in commercial print or packaging. Also, prepress production is mostly outsourced by firms and companies with screens, plates, and cylinders being brought in and being recycled or reused over a certain period; this particular term mostly spans over a number of years. 

The management responsible should work towards continuous improvements in methods employed when making a certain product rather than the complexity of print technology. Much is also being done in the area of improving routes for print suppliers and equipment manufacturers.