Roland DG was the biggest 2015 global seller of wide-format solvent printers, 760-1,700mm, according to US-based data company Infotrends' latest wide-format tracking report.
The report, released on 3 May and compiled over the past few months, looks purely at how many units are shipped in this particular wide-format category.
Ron Gilboa, Infotrends director of production and its industrial printing advisory service, said the report is compiled by tracking data by product category from all the biggest wide-format vendors. Since the quarterly tracking report was first compiled in 2009, Roland has tended to dominate the market.
Gilboa said: “The market ebbs and flows but for the past few years Roland has been a leader in market share in solvent wide-format printing from 760-1,700mm in width. As the market went up and down in the past five years Roland has always maintained a top position in that category. However, the durable print category is inclusive of latex as well as UV printing, other vendor’s further shape the segment landscape.”
Roland sold approximately 5,000 solvent units in this size category in 2015. The market total was approximately 13,000.
In the wide-format solvent-based market, 50,000 printers were sold worldwide and 176,000 printers were sold of all types of wide-format printer.
Second to Roland, which had approximately 41% of the market share in 2015, was Japan-based Mimaki, approximately six percentage points behind. Third was Belgium-based Mutoh and fourth was Epson, which also has its main headquarters in Japan.
Gilboa said that, looking at the trends, demand for solvent printers globally is dropping. He said: “Solvent generally speaking is a declining product category but it has a large installed base and migration to eco-solvent gives it a little bit more life.”
“However, that segment is under pressure from UV and latex. The latter are now eroding the solvent market. Response to Infotrends surveys on planned investment in new equipment worldwide shows a preference towards migration from solvent to other types of technology for both practical and environmental reasons.”
Launched in 2007 and with global offices in the UK, China, Korea, Japan, Australia and Israel, InfoTrends collects data and carries out market research within a variety of different wide-format sectors. It examines trends in all wide-format areas, from media to hybrid systems and inks from solvent to UV. It also covers a range of applications from graphic arts to packaging and carrries out work commissioned by Fespa.
Last month, Roland announced an addition to its VersaUV flatbed line, the VersaUV LEJ-640FT.