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Large format printers slip again

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According to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Large Format Printer Tracker, large format printer (LFP) shipments declined -4% when compared to Q3 2014.
“The third quarter is often the slowest quarter of the year in the global wide format business while the fourth quarter is often the strongest, as many print-for-pay shops take advantage of aggressive end-of-year manufacturer promotions. While aqueous inkjet printer shipments declined, shipments of large format UV and eco-solvent printers grew in the third quarter based on some model-end clear outs and price cuts. While Latex shipments declined slightly worldwide in 3Q15 compared to 2Q15, Latex printer shipments grew 5% year to date in 2015,” says Tim Green, research director: US Large Format Printer Tracker at IDC.
The large format CAD/Technical printer market segment was soft in 3Q15, with shipments down in every region when compared to the third quarter of 2014. However, new products from the top suppliers were introduced in 3Q15 that should drive a recovery in this segment in the fourth quarter and into 2016.
On the large format graphics side, new large format graphics printer shipments declined -1% year over year in Q3 2015. The decline of conventional aqueous inkjet graphics printers was offset somewhat by nearly 20% growth in large format UV-curable printers when compared to Q3 2014.
There was no change in the ranking of the top five suppliers in Q3 2015, although some market share shift can be seen in certain product segments.
The softness in the CAD/Technical market impacted HP somewhat, but HP is by far the top supplier of large format digital printing systems worldwide. HP saw sales grow in the Latex and UV segments in Q3 2015.
Canon remained number two among large format printer manufacturers with market share of approximately 21% of worldwide shipments when Canon and Canon-Oce units are combined.
Epson also maintained its position as the number three worldwide supplier to the large format digital printer market. Epson is seeing nice growth in the dye-sublimation and technical printer segments and re-launched its eco-solvent inkjet printer units at the recent SGIA show.
Roland DG is the fourth-ranked supplier of large format printers worldwide based on its strength in the eco-solvent market and growing presence in UV and dye-sublimation. Roland also recently launched the new SOLJET EJ-640, a new flagship eco-solvent printer.
Mimaki maintained its number five position among large format printer manufacturers even as the company has reorganised some of its key distribution channels.