20 September 2017
Litho down to 70% by 2022
LONDON—
Litho vs Digital
Litho vs Digital
 According to Smithers Pira, digital processes will see the fastest growth across 2017-2022, leaving the previously dominant offset litho declining in terms of value.
In 2017 digital printing accounts for 16.2% of the global print market value – $785.1 billion and 2.9% of the volume. This is up from 2.1% of the volume in 2012, and the transition is accelerating to 3.9% of volume by 2022, when new high-performance equipment will be in operation in most applications. The value of litho will drop from 48.1% of all print and printed packaging in 2012 down to 39.5% in 2022. 
Litho still dominates in terms of the number of prints and pages, and by 2022 it will still account for over 70% of world print output. Much of this is relatively low-value newspaper, magazine and book printing, while other analogue processes are growing their shares. Digital print remains a very small proportion of the volume – growing from 2.1% in 2012 to 4.3% by 2022 – but its value is much greater, with 20% of global print value accounted for by inkjet and electrophotography by 2022.
Commercial printing companies have adopted digital for short runs and variable data work. Typically these have begun on toner systems which have become more reliable and delivered higher quality as the segment has evolved, this is now levelling off with much of the interest now switching  meaning there is now strong interest in larger format sheetfed inkjet presses, replacing toner SRA3 machines.
Packaging is the growth engine for global print with volumes and values forecast to grow. There is no substitution by electronic alternatives, and this growth sector has been identified by many digital press suppliers as the best future opportunity. This is reflected in the number of press launches and concepts at trade shows.
 
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