New Study Analyzes In-plant Market
THOUGH THE in-plant market is often overlooked by the rest of the printing industry, Info-Trends appreciates its value. The market research and consulting firm points out that in-plants have played a leading role in technology adoption. For example, they were the first to embrace black-and-white digital printing technologies, which helped establish the print-on-demand market. In February, InfoTrends released an in-depth study of the in-plant market titled “In-House Production Printing—Critical Trends for Corporations, Government, Education, and Non-Profits.” The report, based on responses from 376 in-plants, revealed that digital printing is quickly displacing offset in in-plants. Digital color printing alone has jumped 36.5 percent in the past four years, the report says.
When InfoTrends studied in-plants in 2004, 63 percent of respondents offered digital color printing services; in 2008, nearly 86 percent said they offered it. Black-and-white digital printing has grown from 71 percent of respondents offering it in 2004 to more than 85 percent last year. Respondents say that 70.6 percent of their color volume is now produced using digital devices, compared with 47 percent of color volume in 2004. In addition, the study reports that fewer in-plants are offering offset printing than in 2004.
Looking ahead, although the overall level of investment is relatively lower than it was in 2004, the most predominant areas of equipment investment will be with black-and-white MFPs/copiers faster than 70 ppm, black-and-white cut-sheet printers faster than 91 ppm, and color MFPs/copiers faster than 45 ppm. The percentage of respondents reporting plans to invest in these types of equipment ranged roughly between 10 to 15 percent.
Most of the planned acquisitions, though, will be on the software side, the report says. This includes desktop design/layout software, variable data design/composition software and Web-to-print software. The report indicates that, compared to 2004, fewer in-plants are using internally developed software for Web-to-print, variable data and print MIS.