The Printing Press Blog

Evaluating Industrial Digital Print Markets in North America: An Analysis of User Adoption Practices and Opportunity

Jun 4, 2018, 14:09 PM by Blog Team
Authored by Mark Hanley

SGIA requested IT Strategies conduct a mix of primary and secondary research in some established and significant digital industrial print markets to understand what makes people enter the markets and what the experience of doing so is like. The study is intended to present a picture of what these markets are, where they are going and what the experience of getting into them has been. Assessment Analysis Gears GraphicThe study analyzed five major industrial printing markets in North America — display graphics, textile, direct-to-shape, decorative print and labels, to best understand the status and future of digital print as a production technology.

Status of Digital Production in Industrial Markets

The adoption of digital production is growing because of its expanding capabilities. 

The growth in understanding of digital processes has resulted in the emergence of new technologies —  particularly in the labels, textiles and display graphics markets — which have slowly begun to integrate with analog channels to create new opportunities for industrial printers. 

User satisfaction of digital methods is also growing because of the economic benefits they bring. The low-cost, high-volume capabilities that have emerged because of digital production have created workflow advantages that did not previously exist.

Barriers to Digital Production Adoption

As with most emerging innovations, digital production in the industrial market does have barriers to adoption that the market is trying to overcome. 

The complexity of certain processes, and the lack of local integration with resources have created challenges for segments like direct-to-shape. 

Additionally, the immaturity of new technologies, and the lack of infrastructure and skills needed to efficiently perform tasks related to digital production have resulted in a delayed adoption as the industrial market continues to learn about these innovations.

Primary Research Highlights

Emerging technologies and applications have created exciting opportunities for industrial printers, but the market is conservatively adopting innovations and gradually building to ensure they don't grow overly reliant on these new offerings during this transition period.

In most cases, however, the migration to digital (where available) is an attractive offering. It opens new markets and creates economic benefits that has opened new doors for the industrial printing market.

Learn more about digital printing in the industrial segment in Hanley's full article in the SGIA Journal May/June 2018 Graphic Edition. If you're attending FP3: Functional Printing, Process & Products, check out his presentation on Tuesday, June 5!