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Installed Aqueous Printer Base Dropping, says Web Consulting

Report: Solvent and eco-solvent printers are faster growing product segment




The percentage of the installed base of aqueous printers is losing ground, while solvent- and eco-solvent-based printers have become the fastest-growing segment of the US wide-format printing market, reports Web Consulting.

Based on March 2004 research, as well as data gathered from 2001 to 2003, the consulting group's study indicates that of those shops planning to make a new wide-format printer purchase this year, only 57% planned to buy an aqueous printer; the remainder are planning to buy solvent or eco-solvent machines (33%), flatbed inkjet printers (9%); or oil-based wide-format machines (1%). Although these numbers indicate aqueous printers still dominate the market overall, their dominance is slipping”?to 81% of the installed base, down from 89% in 2003.

“It's worth noting that when asked about possible inkjet purchases in 2004, survey respondents confirmed a trend that has been building for the past three years. There has been movement toward specialty printers”?in this case, eco-solvent printers,” says Lisa Onesto, senior consultant of Web Consulting. “The comparison of new printer purchases from 2001 through 2003, along with the indication of the models that those surveyed would most likely consider this year, shows a decline in interest for general-purpose inkjet printers, and a continued move toward more application-specific machines.”

Another interesting wide-format trend: End users now take superior image quality for granted, reports Web Consulting. Although 30% of respondents indicated image quality to be an important factor in buying a new inkjet printer in 2002 and 19% in 2003, only 4% indicated this to be a factor in the latest study.

The results of the report, “2004 US Wide-Format Inkjet Printer & RIP Trends,” are based on interviews with 342 print shops, providing information on 615 installed wide- and grand-format inkjet printers and 389 primary branded RIP installations. Price: $3895. (Web Consulting,



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