Global industrial printer shipments decline by 47% in Q2 – IDC

Asia Pacific does relatively better in direct-to-garment printers

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Global industrial printer shipments decline by 47% in Q2 – IDC
Lockdown disrupts supply chain Photo: Pxhere

IDC’s new Worldwide Quarterly Industrial Printer Tracker shows that the Covid-19 crisis significantly impacted industrial printer shipments worldwide in the second quarter of 2020. The industrial printer market, comprised of the large format, packaging and label, direct-to shape, direct-to-garment, and industrial textile printer segments, saw worldwide shipments decline 46.8% year over year in the second quarter.

“With much of the world still in shutdown or just starting to come out of shutdown at the end of the second quarter, no segment or region was spared,” said Tim Greene, research director, Hardcopy Peripherals at IDC. “While our research indicates many global manufacturers are rethinking supply chains to meet resilience and sustainability goals, those are longer-term initiatives. Shipments and hardware revenue across the large format and industrial printer market have declined due to near-term challenges such as government shutdowns and capital budget cuts.”

Regional highlights

The Asia Pacific region showed the start of a recovery in the second quarter. There was some growth in shipments compared to the first quarter in the direct-to-shape, industrial textile, large format, and label and packaging segments.
However, in North America, shipments declined by over 20% in Q2, while shipments in Europe decreased by almost 42% compared to the first quarter.

Direct-to-garment printer shipments decline 20% in Q2

According to IDC, shipments in the direct-to-garment segment declined just over 20% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter. In comparison, shipments in the direct-to-shape segment declined by over 26% in the second compared to the first quarter.

Industrial textile printer shipments contracted just 7% compared to the first quarter, with growth in the Asia Pacific region offsetting declines in other regions. Label and packaging unit shipments declined by 12.5% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter.

Large format printer shipments declined almost 25% worldwide in the second quarter compared to first.

Market expected to stabilize in H2

Looking ahead, IDC expects both units and shipment value will stabilize in the second half of 2020 as the various geographic regions go through their phases of recovery. The year 2021 is still expected to be a recovery year as IDC anticipates economic recovery and supply chain digitization to drive investments in more flexible manufacturing technologies such as industrial printing solutions.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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