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 user 2003-10-20 at 10:32:00 am Views: 207
  • #7792
    Solvent Flatbed Printer Revenue Projected to Reach $54 Million in 2007

    Lyra Research forecasts market growth will be fueled by new lower-priced printers

    NEWTONVILLE, MA (October 16, 2003)—Lyra Research forecasts that the solvent flatbed printer market will grow substantially, with worldwide shipments Reaching 1,100 units in 2007 and revenue projected to climb to $54 million that same year (see figure). “This represents a compound annual growth rate over the four-year period of 78 percent in terms of shipments and 39 percent in terms of revenue,” said Grey Held, principal analyst for Lyra’s face=Tahoma Wide-Format Production Printing Advisory Service WFS.

    Speaking at a WFS flatbed printer briefing, Held noted that Lyra segments the flatbed printer market into three categories based on ink type: aqueous, solvent, and UV-curable. Flatbed printers feature the ability to print directly onto rigid materials. Rigid signs or other products that were once produced by printing onto a flexible substrate and then mounting that substrate to a rigid material can now be imaged directly using a flatbed printer.

    “Flatbed printers have specific applications in outdoor signage and point-of-purchase displays, yet the solvent flatbed market to date has not taken off,” said Held. “Last year, Oce announced the Arizona T220, a 62-inch device priced at $175,000, but it has had limited success.”

    At the recent Viscom show, held in Dusseldorf, Germany, Mutoh introduced a flatbed solvent printer based on its existing roll-to-roll Toucan 64. Mutoh essentially took the 64-inch-wide Toucan and adjusted the heating apparatus downward, so materials up to 7.5 cm thick could be loaded. Mutoh also added an infrared lamp to heat uncoated rigid materials, so solvent ink adheres better. When the Toucan flatbed model becomes commercially available later this year, pricing will be around 110,000 euros, which is about 50,000 euros less than the Arizona T220. “The Toucan flatbed will likely appeal to customers wanting to enter the solvent flatbed market at a lower price point,” said Held.

    The roll-to-roll solvent ink jet printer market is quickly becoming saturated with new products. Printer vendors seeking to distinguish their products in a crowded market will offer hybrid solvent printers that can convert from roll-to-roll to flatbed and back. Held said, “Such flatbed solvent printers, featuring the latest technology and competitive pricing, have the potential to reshape the solvent printer market.” He noted that the relatively low cost of solvent ink, relative to aqueous ink, will fuel growth in this product segment.

    Lyra Research’s WFS tracks and quantifies the burgeoning wide-format flatbed printer market and the changing dynamics of the wide-format solvent printer market. The service is designed to help printer OEMs and ink and media vendors identify the best market opportunities. A complete description of the WFS can be found on Lyra Research’s Web site ( face=Tahoma color=#0000ff http://www.lyra.com).