Traditional printed materials might see some demand, but it's time for the industry to adapt.
In an industry that has heavily relied on traditional printed materials for decades, monumental changes can seem sudden, and many companies are apprehensive to adapt to the digital revolution. That being said, many of the big players in commercial printing are embracing the changes towards new technologies, and financing for new printing equipment was steady this year.
Some Still Have Faith in Traditional Printing
Items such as business cards, direct mailings, textiles, and newspapers have long been the staples of the print industry. With more businesses foregoing direct advertisements through the mail and instead shifting marketing dollars towards social media and web-based advertising, the print industry could be in danger of becoming obsolete. That being said, many still forecast that the demand for these traditional printed materials will remain constant for a few more years; however, the industry must embrace newer technologies if it wants to remain relevant in the next few years.
Meet the Top Printing Equipment Lenders and Buyers
GENEVA CAPITAL 17
T C F EQT FIN INC 11
HEIDELBERG USA INC 8
BOBST NORTH AMER INC 5
Five Lenders tied for fifth place:
C I T BANK 4
KBA NORTH AMERICA 4
PNC EQUIPMENT FINANCE 4
MACDERMID PRINTING SOLUTIONS 4
WELLS FARGO EQUIPMENT FINANCE 4
Five lenders tied for fifth place and when considering all of the top lenders, they accumulated 65.6% of the total financial reports with the top lender, Geneva Capital, taking 18.3% of the total alone. They were financing this equipment to a variety of different manufacturers mostly in the tech industry for use in a variety of applications. From that same report, EDA lists the top five buyers as the following companies along with their geographical location and financed units:
Marketing Instincts California Epson 4
School of Visual Arts New York Epson 3
GameTime Wraps Arkansas HP 3
RR Donnelley & Sons Delaware KBA 3
Quality Printing Massachusetts Ploar 2
Predictions for Growth
2017 was a year of moderate growth for the commercial printing industry with Idealliance reporting 1% growth last year. Their predictions for this year? More of the same pace if not a little bit more optimistic, with forecasts predicting 1.5-3% growth in 2018. Many believe that this optimism could stem from industry giants embracing new printing technologies.
The 3D Printing Revolution
The times are changing, and with business advertising assets moving more towards digital, the printing industry is starting to embrace 3D printing and new medical applications. IDC, an industry reporting firm estimates that $12 billion will be spent in the 3D printing sector in 2018 with emphasis on Discrete Manufacturing.
Although nobody is sure exactly what 2018 will bring the commercial print industry, many see the signs of the industry shifting towards more advanced applications as a sign of hope in an industry that has struggled to keep up with the challenges the digital age presents.
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