By Sander Sondaal, Director, Commercial Print Sales, Graphic Communications Group Ricoh Europe
A bright spotlight was shone on the versatility of digital print by the Coronavirus pandemic. Creative production in many sectors was boosted, and these are continuing to grow.

In its The Future of Digital Printing to 2032 Smithers says that the market for digital inkjet and toner technologies will be worth $136.7 billion in 2022. Thanks to continued strong demand, this value will increase at a 5.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 2027, then at 5.0% for 2027-2032. By 2032, the market value will be $230.5 billion.
Sales of inks, toners, new equipment, and post-purchase support services will also generate revenues resulting in a combined worth of $46.1 billion in 2032. During that time global digital print volumes will increase from 1.66 trillion A4 prints in 2022 to 2.91 trillion – a 4.7% CAGR.
The post-Coronavirus landscape will actively favour digital production as the market will see run lengths decrease further, print ordering continuing to move online, and greater customisation and personalisation.

Smithers says the most buoyant sectors for digital will be packaging, book printing, and commercial print. It highlighted five reasons inkjet and toner systems will continue to redefine these global markets during the next ten years. They are:
Inline finishing – Growth in digital sheetfed and web presses with inline finishing and higher throughput machines pushing production towards 20 million A4 prints per month.
Increased colour gamuts – The addition of fifth or sixth colour stations offering Digital Print Enhancement options, such as metallic print or spot varnishes, as standard.
Improved Inkjet resolution – The development of 3,000dpi printheads that can run at 300m/min by 2032.
Sustainable evolution – Aqueous solutions will gradually replace solvent-based inks.
Substrate versatility – A wider range of paper and board substrates optimised for digital production while new inks and surface coatings will allow inkjet to match the quality of offset with only a small premium.
The efficiencies delivered by inline finishing through highly automated job planning, production and completion, combined with the economies of scale, will be highlighted during Ricoh’s participation in Spring Forward With Tecnau on June 9.
Christian Haneke, Innovation & Solutions Manager at Sattler Media Group, will explain how the operation is transitioning from analogue print thanks to the capabilities of the Ricoh Pro™ VC70000 continuous feed digital inkjet press that incorporates Europe’s first Tecnau U40 combi-line.
Ricoh’s evolving portfolio will also include B2 inkjet sheetfed technology in the form of the previewed Ricoh Pro™ Z75 B2 colour inkjet press running aqueous inks, as well as the class leading five colour Ricoh Pro C7200x digital press that now offers Gold and Silver toners.


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