Recent research data from International Data Corporation (IDC) confirm the shift from traditional electro photographic (EP) toner systems to inkjet is well underway for many commercial printers. Higher speed and lower overall running cost give inkjet a clear advantage over toner-based systems. The IDC indicated placements of both monochrome and color EP equipment declined in 2014, while high speed inkjet installations are expected to continue a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8% through 2018.

Today the three niches adopting inkjet include books, direct mail, and transactional in-plant printers. Many of the companies in these markets have a fleet of a dozen or more toner-based machines. One advantage of the inkjet devices is that you can often see reductions in equipment of two to four toner devices to one inkjet device. For those companies, the benefits include small floor space and staffing requirements. Howie Fenton, Consultant, NAPL (Epicomm) April, 2014

To determine total cost of ownership, OEMs point out that printers need to compare not only equipment running costs but also response rates, i.e. customer return on investment (ROI). The per-sheet cost for inkjet is typically one-third less than toner-based printing.

According to a recent blog article written by industry consultant Howie Fenton, several factors need to be investigated when considering the move to inkjet. “We believe that you have to look at existing page volumes, predictive modeling of changes in volume based on reduced SLAs and costs, and a head-to-head comparisons of total costs, risks and benefits of each solution,” said Fenton.

Inkjet technology can be maintained at a lower cost and the inkjet consumables are much less expensive than toner. Tom Mason, Business Development VP for One2One Communications, Wheeling IL.

One of the fastest growing areas for inkjet is Book Publishing. Infotrends projects the book market, in terms of pure page printing, will show the highest amount of growth in the foreseeable future – with a compound annual growth rate of 14.2%.

Check out these additional Inkjet Insights every commercial printer should know when considering available solutions for meeting the growing demands from today’s print customers.