New results from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Industrial Printer Tracker show that all segments of the industrial printer market began to recover from the Covid-19 crisis in the third quarter (3Q20).

“After consecutive quarters of steep declines due to the economic impact from the pandemic, we saw important signs of recovery in the third quarter,” says Tim Greene, research director: hardcopy solutions at IDC. “The digital printing products included in the Industrial Printer Tracker are playing a role in combatting the pandemic and in creating products that will help global economies get back on track.

“This includes products that enable on-demand garment production, high-speed inkjet equipment that accelerates time to market for consumer packaged goods, and the creation of social distancing markers for safer retail shopping experiences. These products will be more in demand as companies re-evaluate their supply chains to respond to market demands faster.”

Worldwide market segment highlights include:

* Large format printer shipments grew 53% in 3Q20 compared to the previous quarter.

* New direct-to-shape printer shipments increased more than 44% in 3Q20 compared to 2Q20.

* Shipments in the direct-to-garment segment increased 22% in 3Q20 compared to 2Q20.

* Label & Packaging printer shipments grew more than 34% quarter over quarter in 3Q20.

* Industrial Textile printer shipments grew 13% in Q3 compared to the previous quarter.

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) showed the strongest signs of recovery in 3Q20 with unit shipments growing 40% compared to 2Q20.

Industrial printer shipments in North America increased 36% in 3Q20 compared to the previous quarter.

Shipments in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) continued the recovery that began in 2Q20 with quarter-over-quarter growth of 24%.

Total industrial printer shipments in Japan grew 28% in 3Q20 compared to 2Q20.

IDC’s expectations for the remainder of 2020 include continued uncertainty about the strength of the market’s recovery until a vaccine is widely available and key business areas return to some level of normalcy.

However, many industrial printer equipment manufacturers have recently released technology that, under normal circumstances, would excite new printer shipments. IDC still expects higher levels of investment in 2021 and beyond as the future of key segments of the market come into focus.