Category Archives: Business & Technology
Inkjet Forum India announces joint venture collaboration with leading Mumbai based publisher Colour Publications.
Based in Mumbai, Inkjet Forum India has established a series of successful seminars, conferences and exhibitions in India on diverse subjects such as Digital Textile Printing, Industrial Inkjet Printing, Additive manufacturing and other applications. They also provide Be-spoke consulting and market research services to the various stakeholders of the inkjet industry. Inkjet Forum India announces joint venture collaboration with Colour Publications to form CNT (Catalysing New Technologies) Expositions and Services LLP.
“We are very pleased to announce this collaboration with Colour Publications Pvt. Ltd. to form CNT” adds Aditya Chandavarkar, Founder – Inkjet Forum India, “This collaboration will help us to leverage our market leading domain expertise and industry experience on a larger platform. It will also benefit us to draw into more than 6 decades of media and technical expertise at Colour Publications to reach out to the relevant mainstream industries in a comprehensive manner. This would in-turn also allow us to bring to the market more innovative conferences and technical seminars to develop and support the inkjet printing and additive manufacturing technology in India. We felt the need to infuse some new thoughts and minds into the same, and also take the inorganic growth path where needed to achieve our goals.” Under the new arrangement, Inkjet Forum India now stands acquired by CNT, and will conduct its activities under the auspices of CNT, guided by CNT’s vision and principles.
Dilip Raghavan, MD of Colour Publications Pvt. Ltd, adds “Aditya Chandavarkar brings with him about 8 years of experience in business analysis, printing expertise and his expertise of creating Inkjet Forum India, which is the only platform in India for inkjet printing technology. It also gives us an immediate footprint and a quick market access in this specific area of Inkjet Printing. It gives us 5 years of assimilated experience, industry contacts and domain knowledge. Our core identity and expertise at Colour Publications gives us the downstream industry penetration where we could help the industry and technology grow in a sustainable and healthy manner”
The new engagement begins without any further ado and is already on track. CNT will develop and organise two diverse events – Inside 3D Printing Mumbai (I3DP) 2016 and Inkjet India 2016 focussed on additive manufacturing and digital textile printing respectively.
Inkjet India 2016 – Digital Textile Conference is to be held in Mumbai on 7th December 2016, during the INDIA-ITME Event to allow delegates from across the country and also overseas to be a part of the same. This would be a one-day conference with theme displays and technology showcases from across the digital textile printing supply chain. We already have leading technology players signed up for the same.
I3DP Mumbai Expo and Conference moving into its second year after a successful launch last year will be held on 1st and 2nd December 2016 at the Nehru Centre. I3DP Mumbai will feature two days of conference sessions led by top industry experts, and two days of exhibitions presenting the latest 3D printers and services. Session topics will explore the ways to apply additive manufacturing to meet industrial and commercial needs in various industries including rapid prototyping, product development, medicine, automotive, technology, software, and more.
We remain optimistic that this combination of Inkjet Forum India and Colour Publications Pvt. Ltd. will help us move to the next level in terms of our service to the industry and genuinely do something to shore up these sectors and enhance the knowledge imparted to the industry therein. We seek the active involvement of the industry and also your feedback on areas where we could serve you better. We are firmly here to stay!
For further information, please contact:
Founder & CEO
Inkjet Forum India
Colour Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Ink Jet Alliance (IJA) – is a new venture that provides consultancy services, market research, M&A services – and organises seminars and events – focused on the fast growing range of industrial applications for digital printing. The company brings on board a wealth of experience and comprehensive understanding of the emerging industrial applications of inkjet. The founding directors are Stewart Partridge (originally the MD of digital printing consultancy – Web Consulting from 1993 – 2005) and Aditya Chandavarkar (Founder of Inkjet Forum India). The company has established offices in Shanghai – China, Mumbai – India, Suffolk UK and will establish a base in USA later in 2016..
IJA launched its activities in China by organising a one-day seminar event on Wed 9th March 2016, the opening day of the Shanghai APPP Expo, at the new National Exhibition and Conference Centre in Hongqiao, Shanghai. Talks were given by leading Chinese and International speakers from the industry including Atexco, EFI Reggiani, Hongsam Inks, Human Digital and Ink Jet Alliance. Simultaneous translation into English / Chinese meant that all delegates were fully able understand all presentations, which were well received by all.
According to Aditya Chandavarkar, a Director of IJA, “With the development of enabling inkjet technologies and the emergence of reliable industrial high-speed textile inkjet presses, adoption of digital printing in the textile industry is now growing steadily. We realise that for new entrants into this technology in China and worldwide, there are challenges in understanding what types of systems and technology to invest in, and what moving to digital printing means to your business model. This new event was s step towards answering those questions.”
Stewart Partridge, MD of IJA, adds: “It is our goal to undertake research and create events and networking opportunities which, over time, will significantly aid the development and growth of ink jet printing into new industrial applications, within Asia and worldwide. Our landmark event this year for the ink jet industry will be held in Shanghai in October, and we will announce the structure and focus in the next two weeks. In addition, we have commenced research on two new and detailed industry studies – Digital Textile Printing, and the Global Market for Industrial Ink Jet Inks – which we are undertaking this year. These reports will include detailed analysis and forecasts for Asian markets such as China and India at a level not yet seen within this industry, creating a more balanced view of the global market – and further reports will follow.”
IJA also plans, alongside key strategic partners, to launch a range of services to help Chinese and Indian companies successfully target, analyse and acquire foreign businesses to expand their global market reach, and similarly help Western and Japanese companies to make acquisitions and establish successful joint ventures within China and India. More details will be provided with the launch of its web new site in April.
For further information, please contact:
Ink Jet Alliance
+86 150 2666 7004
Ink Jet Alliance
Ink Jet Alliance
+44 1787 211281
The Shanghai APPP Expo – the largest exhibition in Asia featuring digital printing – is expanding its seminar programme to include two new one-day seminar events, focused on industrial applications of inkjet printing.
Organised by IJA – a new joint venture between Inkjet Forum India and Qudos Digital – the seminars will focus on the emerging opportunities for Digital Textile Printing, and for use of Digital Printing for Packaging, Labelling and Narrow Web Applications. Registration is free for all visitors to the Expo.
“The original purpose of Shanghai APPP Expo was to establish a leading exhibition in China for equipment and consumables for advertising, promotion, press and publicity. In fact, the event has now emerged as one of the most important tradeshows for the digital printing industry worldwide,” reports event manager Luke Xi. “We now increasingly see the use of digital printing in non-graphic and non-advertising applications, and these new segments offer great opportunities for business growth among our visitors and exhibitors. Hence we now devote extensive exhibition space to these emerging applications, as in shown by our Digital Textile Printing Show, and the Convertex Show, which run alongside APPP Expo at the same venue. We are delighted that now we also have seminars addressing the needs of these new industry segments, which increases the value of our events to visitors and exhibitors alike.”
Shanghai APPP Expo 2016 runs from Wed 9th March to Sat 12th March at the NECC Hongqiao, Shanghai. The accompanying IJA Summit – Digital Textile Printing will run on Wed 9th March, and focuses on the opportunities and market growth enabled by new high-speed and high performance digital textile systems and consumables, for applications such as soft signage, dress fabrics, garment printing and home furnishings. Presentations will be given in Chinese and English by knowledgeable speakers from China and from leading international companies and consultancies.
Fri 11th March will feature the IJA Summit – Digital Printing for Packaging & Labelling, the first seminar within China devoted to the emergence at last of high-speed single pass inkjet printing as a serious tool for the packaging and labelling industries, and also offering new business opportunities for sign and graphics printers. Both IJA events will provide simultaneous translation into Chinese and/or English, so that all Chinese visitors and most foreign visitors will be able to comprehend all presentations and discussions.
Graphic printers and sign shops are also well catered for, since on Thu 10th March Infotrends will again run its successful seminar on Wide Format Graphics, which was a popular event at the 2015 APPP Expo.
IJA is currently developing its seminar programmes and recruiting sponsors and speakers for the two events. The full programme will be announced and publicised early in 2016. “We are delighted to be partnering with Shanghai Modern International Exhibitions, and to provide APPP Expo visitors with high quality seminars to enable them to develop their businesses and make informed decisions about future investments in hardware and printing systems” says Stewart Partridge, managing director of IJA. “We believe the new seminar events, together with the broader range of printing systems and solutions on show at APPP Expo, will attract a wider audience of visitors who have needs outside of the graphics printing industry.”
For more details contact:
Aditya Chandavarkar Founder Inkjet Forum India Mumbai, INDIA
Following three successful show and conference days, the second InPrint event closed its doors on Thursday, 12 November 2015. A total of 3,400 visitors from 68 countries came to the Munich Trade Fair Centre to learn about cutting-edge technology, components and services for speciality, screen, digital, inkjet and 3D. Three fields of application; functional, decorative and packaging printing were at the centre of interest throughout the show.
In line with the exhibition’s target, the programme of over 60 conference sessions, that took place on two stages directly on the show floor, also gathered crowds of visitors.
The Italian company Kuei won the Great Innovations Award 2015 for their invention “Haptink”, which is a specially formulated haptic ink that creates a 3D printed effect for wood decoration.
In addition to 3,400 InPrint visitors, a further 1,324 visitors of the co-located productronica show made use of the offer to visit both shows with one combined ticket. During InPrint 2015, 150 companies from 16 countries showcased their products and services on 5,500 net square metres in hall A6. Compared to the InPrint premiere show in 2014, the number of exhibitors and visitors, as well as the total net exhibition space have grown by one third.
The conference offered a varied programme that was structured in line with the three focal points of the show. The sessions comprised speeches giving an overview on industry developments and panel discussions as well as precise investigations of certain topics and Tech Talks.
Frazer Chesterman, InPrint founder and co-organiser summed up: “What we have seen from the 2014 show to 2015 is a rapid development and evolution of the market. Larger exhibition stands, refined messaging, more machines, different inks & coatings and amazing technological innovation across a diverse range of applications. Clearly, the InPrint show continues to reflect this market evolution. When I spoke to exhibitors, I heard the same comments over and over again, that this event delivers a unique audience of visitors looking for customised system and technology solutions from both manufacturing and print sectors.”
Gary Barnes, Marketing Manager for Industrial Inkjet at Fujifilm was very pleased with the outcome of the talks he and his colleagues had on-site: “We have seen a significant increase in lead numbers since the previous show. A diverse range of companies and a large variety of industry sectors have come through, and the quality of the visitors at our stand was high. At InPrint, we see potential customers that we see nowhere else. For us it is the only show where we put thetotal capability of Fuji’s inkjet range on display together, and all our three sectors have been doing well. We’ve already signed up for the next year, so see you in Milan.”
Roberto Zinser, Channel Manager Wide Format Direct Sales at Canon Germany had also perceived a strong progress: “At InPrint 2015 in Munich, we noticed a considerable increase in the number of high-level talks and new business contacts compared to the year before. It is fantastic to see how digital in packaging, decorative and functional printing is really picking up speed. The InPrint show has become a valuable platform with respect to an exchange of experiences and know-how between visitors and exhibitors. This show allows us not only to communicate our practical experiences and application results, but also to get new inspiration and ideas from visitors at the same time. We will certainly miss InPrint round here next year, but are happy for our Italian colleagues and clients and are looking forward to welcoming InPrint back to Germany in 2017.”
Friedrich Goldner, Director New Business Development at Marabu added: “At InPrint 2015, we saw a continuation at a higher level of InPrint 2014, which showed diversified leads coming across many industries. This is what makes InPrint so special. The people visiting us came with specific production challenges and improvements in mind. And there were all kinds of directions – there were people from the screen world who had not thought of using digital in combination. And there were people from the screen side who didn’t know that there is a UV ink that would give them performance advantages. We also had a good number of leads for glass for interior and for packaging as well as many requests for industrial inkjet applications. The show was of a higher quality and more complete with new people looking at new industrial solutions from the manufacturing world, suggesting to us at Marabu that the target of the show was being achieved.”
International community: Decision makers from the manufacturing and printing industries
Fifty-six per cent of the visitors came from within Germany. At the same time, the majority of the companies who exhibited at the show, 54%, are located abroad. Individually, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Switzerland were represented best among the exhibiting countries at the show. Looking at the nationalities of the visitors, Germany, Italy, Austria, Great Britain, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Poland, the USA and Japan are leading the list of 65 countries.
Once more, there were a considerable proportion of decision makers among the visitors who came from various manufacturing industries, from the industrial printing sector and from traditional printing companies. The majority came from Executive Management or from Research & Development. Other job functions were Sales/Marketing/Public Relations; Operations; Purchasing/Procurement/Contract Buyers as well as Education & Training. Of those visitors working in manufacturing industries, most came from mechanical engineering, followed by plastics, electronics, automotive as well as additive manufacturing and 3D. The visitors from the printing sector work mainly in the segments digital print, inkjet and screen.
Sixty-five per cent of the visitors named functional print as their main area of interest at InPrint. More than half of all visitors were additionally interested in decorative printing and more than one third in packaging printing as well as in additive manufacturing and 3D. Taking a closer look, most visitors chose to visit InPrint in order to find out about printing machines and systems. Other main areas of interest were ink, fluids and chemicals, materials and substrates, print heads, screens and other special parts as well as integrated and customised parts.
Marcus Timson, InPrint co-founder and organiser continued: “InPrint is now firmly established as a show that is playing a role in assisting the development of industrial printing. Exhibitors reported visitors of a very high calibre, the show networking areas were full and the two conference theatres well attended suggesting that advanced technical knowledge exchange is essential. Functional printing was of the highest interest for visitors, and as we shift our attention towards Milan, we expect to see an increase in interest for decorative printing. For InPrint 2015, the international attendance continued to grow and we expect this to continue into the future as InPrint becomes a truly European event.”
InPrint Milan in 2016, next show in Germany to follow in 2017
Next year – from 15 to 17 November 2016 – the InPrint show will take place in Milan, Italy – at the MiCo (Milano Congressi), located closely to Milan city centre. The choice of location came in direct response to demand from the market for a dedicated forum for industrial print technology in Italy. Lombardy itself is a major centre for innovation in industrial technology, chemistry and manufacturing and the Milan region has a distinguished reputation for leadership in design and engineering.
InPrint 2017 will make a return to Germany.
Why is digital textile printing such a big deal? First of all, there is a big practical aspect to it. Regular fabric patterns are created through rotary or flatbed screen printing that require individual screens for every colour used and large yardage. Simply put, you need to print a lot of fabric and waste a lot of time and you would still be restricted in your choices. With fashion changing on the fly and consumers vying for more exclusivity and customization the scope of digital printing is on the rise.
The digital textile printing market is forecast to grow at an average annual growth rate of 20.1% in value terms between 2014 and 2019, according to a new market study by Smithers Pira. A total of around 650 million square metres of fabric were printed digitally in the year to mid-2014. It is estimated that total digital textile printing output will rise to 1.6 billion square metres annually by 2019. This includes displays and direct-to-garment – DTG.
Globally, the value of digital textile printing grew at more than 45% annually between 2004 and 2009 after standing at virtually zero in 2002. Since 2009, growth has slowed somewhat, but on average, the growth in digital textile printing output, excluding substrate value, grew at an annual rate of 25% between 2009 and 2012. Between 2012 and 2014 the average CAGR was 19.4%. The market predicted an overall average CAGR over the next five years to 2019 of 20.1%.
On account of recent technology developments, increased adoption of digital textile printing and industry sentiment this disruptive technology is poised for a second wave. A few factors which favour the second wave in digital textile printing:
Lower Energy Consumption & Waste Reduction
Digital textile printing eliminates the substantial amount of water and electrical energy one requires for rotary screen preparation, printing and cleanup. Even greater water and power savings can be achieved with disperse/sublimation and pigment digital textile inks, which only require a heat-fixation step for post treatment. Digital textile printing results in significantly less ink usage and waste relative to screen-printing. Taking into account the additional chemistry and chemical waste from screen production, printing digitally offers a greener advantage for printing.
Worldwide Market Factors
Increase in production in European countries driven by the fact that some European textile companies are looking to reshore a proportion of theirproduction operations from developing countries to European countries in
order to satisfy local tastes, facilitate quick response (QR) manufacturing, release a greater number of collections each year. The success of the fast fashion concept by the likes of Inditex Group, H & M & others. Opportunities for expansion in the luxury apparel segment as digital textile printing enables retailers of luxury apparel to produce small quantities of high quality, limited edition pieces cost efficiently.
Further scope for expansion lies in the area of mass customization, whereby a consumer is able to personalize a product by choosing a design on a dedicated web page in an retailer’s online store for subsequent production by a digital textile printer.
Development & improvement of printing technology with stable scanning printers and high speed single pass printing capabilities matching the speeds of rotary screen-printing. A pioneering example being the MS Lario which has seen early success with installations at high profile fashion and home textile companies. Following on the footsteps of MS other leading OEMs and machines manufacturers including SPG prints are at various stages of development with their high-speed single pass systems. In December 2014 SPGPrints provided a sneak preview to its select customers of its new single-pass digital textile printer based on the highly awaited Fujifilm Dimatix Samba printheads – Pike®. The upcoming ITMA 2015 show in Milan will also see launches of high speed single pass printers from SPG Prints and other leading OEMs which will create healthy competition which will lead to enhanced product quality and support. The higher speeds of production will bring out the production costs considerably making digital printed textile more favourable in the market. Decline in pricing of digital textile inks due to efficient sourcing and improved manufacturing processes is also leading to the overall cost-effectiveness of the technology.
Interest from the Home Textile industry to adopt digital textile printing with ready availability of stable wider width printers to enable printing bed sheets and home furnishing products. This would get an additional push with the increasing availability of pigment inks for high speed roll to roll printing at an industry acceptable price point which is key for the home textile industry.
Additionally recent investments & acquisitions mentioned in the digital textile sector indicate the potential of this technology and could provide a fillip to the entire sector pushing for further innovative products & services. Some of the key developments are as follows:
Electronics For Imaging (EFI), based in Fremont, California, has established a leading presence in the inkjet textile printing market with the strategic acquisition of Reggiani Macchine, based in Bergamo, in a deal worth around €125 million. Addressing the full scope of advanced textile printing, Regianni’s versatile printers are suitable for water-based dispersed, acid, pigment and reactive dye printing inks. “This acquisition gives EFI an immediate leadership position in one of the world’s largest industries undergoing the transformation from analog printing to digital,” says EFI CEO Guy Gecht. “The textile printing market is just beginning that transition, which will enable manufacturers to shift from long-run to on-demand manufacturing, responding to the increasing demands for short runs and customisation.” EFI is a leader in print industry workflow solutions and has a much larger sales and marketing platform around the world and the combination to help accelerate the analog-to-digital transformation of the industry.
Sensient Technologies Corporation has acquired Xennia Technology Ltd., a UK manufacturer of specialty inks used in digital printing. Xennia’s product lines consist of reactive, acid and sublimation inks for printing on a range of textiles and other substrates. This development creates a competent ink company with Sensient’s market reach and Xennia’s technical capabilities.
Sawgrass Industrial, the business division of Sawgrass Technologies operating in sublimation and pigment inks for industrial applications, is joining the JK Group, the company which includes the brands Kiian Digital and J-Teck, to extend the group’s technology capabilities. Kiian Digital, J-Teck and Sawgrass Industrial have in common a track record of innovation, quality, and reliability and are regarded as trusted commercial and technical partners of companies that supply top brands in over 100 countries worldwide. Together they create the largest industrial digital sublimation group with leading technologies, a global presence, and a world class manufacturing capability for textile applications.
India has not been far behind in the digital textile revolution and is poised to be on the biggest market for digital textile printing after China. 2014 – 2015 has seen a lot of transition from sampling machines to real industrial printing machines in India with the current industrial machine installations at 110 and growing at a rapid pace.
A game changing development is the recent entry of the MS-Lario to one of the premier digital printing setups in India. This is poised to be a serious case to take digital textile printing mainstream in India.
Now we have to wait and watch if ITMA 2015 replicates ITMA 2003 and acts as a catalyst giving momentum to the second wave in digital textile printing.
This year marks 25 years at the forefront of global inkjet technology for Xaar, the world-leader in industrial inkjet printheads.
Xaar began life in 1990 as four people in a small office on Cambridge Science Park. Their goal was to develop and commercialise the digital inkjet print technology arising out of work done by Cambridge Consultants. Today the company employs over 600 people worldwide, based at three buildings on the Science Park, at state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Huntingdon and Järfälla, Sweden, and in offices in Hong Kong, India and the US.
Over the last 25 years Xaar has proved itself to be an inkjet innovator many times. The company’s Xaar 128 printhead transformed the wide-format printing industry 20 years ago; even today Xaar technology still drives approximately 75% of the wide-format printers in use. In 2007, Xaar launched its revolutionary Xaar 1001 that has since transformed the ceramic tile decoration industry, bringing many benefits to tile manufacturers all over the world, including reduced costs and a vastly expanded range of creative tile design effects. More recently, Xaar expanded its focus into other significant marketing sectors, including direct-to-shape packaging printing and the hi-tech world of Additive Manufacturing, 3D printing and nanoimprint lithography, a process used to manufacture silicon wafers.
To mark its 25th anniversary Xaar is organising a programme of events during the summer and autumn. In line with the company’s record of supporting local and national charities, it includes a number of company-wide charity challenges, starting with a 26-strong Xaar team undertaking a 60-mile London to Cambridge Bike Ride to raise over £2,000 for Breast Cancer Now, Other challenges planned are the Chariots of Fire relay race in September (for East Anglia Children’s Hospice) and October’s the Byte Night sleep-out in aid of Action for Children. Richard Barham, Xaar’s Chief Customer Officer, believes building the celebrations around charity events says a lot about Xaar as a company. “We’re immensely proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 25 years, but we know we couldn’t have done it without the advantages that come with being in Cambridge — not only our people but also the superb high-technology support infrastructure that’s in place. By linking our anniversary celebration with support for these charities we are giving something back while also showing that we remain an energetic company with a strong drive to succeed.”
For more information about the charities supported through Xaar’s 25th anniversary celebrations see their websites:
Breast Cancer Now: http://breastcancernow.org/
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices: http://www.each.org.uk/
Action for Children: https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/
Electronics For Imaging, Inc. (Nasdaq:EFII), a world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation, today announced its results for the second quarter of 2015.
For the quarter ended June 30, 2015, the Company reported record second quarter revenue of $202.7 million, up 5% compared to second quarter 2014 revenue of $193.0 million. Non-GAAP net income was $22.9 million or $0.48 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $21.0 million or $0.44 per diluted share for the same period in 2014. GAAP net income was $7.7 million or $0.16 per diluted share, compared to $6.9 million or $0.14 per diluted share for the same period in 2014.
For the six months ended June 30, 2015, the Company reported revenue of $397.3 million, up 4% year-over-year compared to $381.7 million for the same period in 2014. Non-GAAP net income was $44.4 million or $0.92 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $41.3 million or $0.86 per diluted share for the same period in 2014. GAAP net income was $13.0 million or $0.27 per diluted share, compared to $17.0 million or $0.35 per diluted share for the same period in 2014.
“Solid execution by our team led to a record June quarter for EFI, driven by strength across all of our business segments,” said Guy Gecht, Chief Executive Officer of EFI. “We couldn’t ask for a better setup as we begin integrating Reggiani and Matan, which we acquired early in the third quarter. These two acquisitions strengthen EFI’s product offerings and capabilities, and most importantly, strategically expand our TAM as we enter the vast digital textile market.”
EFI discussed the Company’s financial results by conference call at 2:00 p.m. PDT today. Instructions for listening to the conference call over the Web are available on the investor relations portion of EFI’s website at www.efi.com.
The entrance of “2D” inkjet press manufacturers into the 3D printing market is not a question of “if” but “how soon.”
HP plans to introduce its 3D printer based on jetting technology fifteen months from now. Many clients and reporters ask me about HP’s impact on the market. I respond that even though HP will be half of its current size by October 2016, entrance of the aptly named “HP Inc.” will provide validation of the 3D printing market for many people — even though HP’s Multi Jet Fusion offering will be but one of the seven 3D printing technologies and significant shipments will not come until 2017.
But why wait? Wide format inkjet press manufacturer Mimaki comes to the market on August 1, 2015 with a service bureau employing its own 3D printers. Mimaki says that its 3D printer can achieve about 10 million color expressions by using 4 color UV curing inkjet technology based on its inkjet printing technology. The company is applying for a patent so details are still confidential but the process involves acrylic resins jetted as a liquid ink. Mimaki’s 3D printers will be available for sale after the company gains experience in its service bureau.
And XYZprinting, the unit created in August 2013 by New Kinpo Group (a global contract manufacturer of 2D paper printers and other electronic products) has already expanded its offerings beyond material extrusion printers to include jetting and stereolithography printers.
I published a prediction in December 2013 that “By 2016, two of the major 2D printer manufacturers will be selling 3D printers under their own brand name.” While six months remain in 2015, it appears the entrance of two major digital press manufacturers may take through the first quarter of 2016. Nevertheless, entry by either Canon, EFI, Epson, Konica Minolta, Ricoh or Xerox cannot be not far off. Indeed, one or more of them may be quicker to market than HP. Time will tell.
The important point here is not who will be the winner of a nebulous horse race in which the winner claims some “first to market” prize of questionable value. After all, there are many instances when the first company to a market folded quickly or was ultimately absorbed by a “fast follower.”
Rather, the point is that inkjet technology has tremendous upside potential across numerous applications: 2D printing (paper, synthetics and ceramics), 3D printing, printed electronics and bioprinting. You must monitor all of the inkjet printer manufacturers — and companies such as Fujifilm Dimatix (which already offers its own 3D printer), Kyocera, and Xaar that OEM the printheads and materials — for a look into the future of one very important segment of the 3D printer market.
All the while remembering that first movers in the jetting technology market 3D Systems, ExOne, Optomec, Stratasys and Voxeljet are not wasting time looking over their shoulders.