At 5.00pm Thursday 21st April 2016 on a sunny Florida late afternoon, the InPrint US team gathered a group of 25 significant ‘Print manufacturers and suppliers’ to discuss the launch of our new US InPrint tradeshow and to identify the key market segments for the growing US Industrial print market.
Attendees at the US advisory group ranged from key manufacturers such as Fujifilm Dimatix and Engineered Print Solutions to innovative ink suppliers like Nazdar and Sensient who represent both US home grown products as well global players who have supported the InPrint Show in Europe.
Joining me was Melissa Magestro, Executive Vice President of Mack Brooks Exhibitions Inc and InPrint USA Account Executive, Donna Busse based out of our Chicago office.
The Advisory group provided some excellent insight and it was clear from both our research and the feedback from US companies already in the market is that the ‘End users’ are driving the interest in the US in Inkjet for industrial print applications. As you would expect the drivers for change are slightly different between Europe and the US. In Europe there seems to be both ‘consumer pull and technology push’ at play, whereas in the US which is a major technology production centre, the pull is coming from companies such as Boeing, GM, Apple and Nike. It is clear from the insight and feedback in the room that literally teams of R&D people from some of the world’s most innovative companies are being set the task of investigating ‘How can inkjet add value to our production’?
So what key segments did the group believe were crucial in the US?
As expected the broad areas of Functional, Decorative and Packaging were confirmed by the group, For Functional the major industrial segments that the group felt important were Automotive, Aeronautics and White Goods. With regard to Decorative it was interiors, office and home décor and flooring particularly wood that were mentioned several times.
It is also clear that the US has a huge packaging industry driven by massive consumer demand simply due to the fact it is the biggest single market in the world and as a result a leader in retail and mass production of consumer goods. For this segment, it was innovative print technology that could be seen as the greatest opportunity.
Also one should not underestimate the power of the maker community in the US. Some of the world’s largest and most successful brands started in their garage and the entrepreneurial spirit leads to markets forming quickly and this could well happen in areas with industrial print technology.
The industrial labels market is expected to exceed 50 billion dollars (USD) by 2020 according to Markets and Markets, the second-largest market research firm worldwide in terms of premium market research reports published annually. It is also a fiercely competitive market that consists of more than a half dozen label manufacturers that have had a strong foothold in the industry for many years.
While digital direct-to-shape decoration has been seeing growth in other printing markets such as textiles and ceramics, the packaging industry has been slow to adopt the new techniques for a number of reasons.
The packaging industry is charged with decorating substrates that have more shape and curvature than any other market. In addition, the variety of materials – including glass, plastic, metal and cardboard among others – all require different pre-treatment methods, while manufacturers are under changing consumer demands for personalization and more eco-friendly practices.
A number of our exhibitors both in Europe and now in the US have solutions for this ‘Direct to shape’ challenge. Whether it is Tonejet for printing directly onto cans for the Craft Beer sector, Machines Dubuit for promotional products, Hinterkopf for cosmetic, Martinenghi for plastic tubes, Heidelberg Omnifire for the sports market, there are a number of solutions for the demand that is coming for short run customised decoration of curved surfaces.
Already, the scene is set for an exciting 12 months as we develop the InPrint USA show concept and the Industrial print community. The 25 exhibitors at the advisory group literally all secured their early space by ‘standing in line’ to get their preferred location at the inaugural show which will take place next April 25-27th 2017 alongside the ICE USA show.
And we are pleased to say that we have already got commitment to the US show from some significant global print brands such as Agfa, Heidelberg, Ricoh, Xaar, Thieme and others.
Someone asked me recently why we had chosen to bring the InPrint show to the USA rather than take it to China. Of course I said , it was because our research had highlighted the huge growth potential and need, the fact that the US did not have anything like the InPrint show and for me personally that the USA is a land where inventiveness, risk taking, collaboration and commitment , all traits that fit with the InPrint. On top of all that the indicators for growth in industrial print in the US are really strong.
If you are interested to find out more about the InPrint USA show, then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the website www.inprintshow.com/usa