2022 started fairly well in terms of inkjet press activities. It was supposed to be a decent year after the pandemic weighed down on businesses in 2020 and 2021. However, sales/placement announcements dropped off in Q2 and Q3. Finally, Q4 2022 sees inkjet press placements picking up finally. It ties in with printing companies having a more positive outlook again, e.g. in Germany.
For years I keep on collecting sales and placement announcements for production inkjet devices and use those to analyse trends and data. Placements and sales numbers for 2022 show a good start into the year with a decisive drop in activity in Q2 and Q3. However, Q4 showed a significant rise in numbers, easily surpassing even Q1 2022. Keep in mind that Q4 has not even ended, so there might be a few more units to add.
The lower activity in the mid of 2022 could be caused by a lack of components and supply chain issues mounting in 2022. This has been confirmed by industry analysts and vendor information. It seems that companies are getting a better handle on it now.
Continuous feed (CF) inkjet remains the main driver in the market and accounted for the largest number of installations again. B1 and B2 cut-sheet presses had a good year, with a bit more even distribution across the year. B3 inkjet presses had a very strong second half of the year, although these devices, not being as expensive as the two other categories, are more likely to fall through the grid.
Despite the headwinds, 2022 installations should be ahead of 2021 installations. 2022 continuous feed and B3 inkjet places should reach about the same level as in 2021. Activity in the B2/B1 space has been noticeably higher however in 2022. The main driver was not corrugated/POS placements, which remained flat, it was commercial, folding carton and specialty print driving the uptake.
The numbers include commercial and packaging installations, except for the label market – where a lot of smaller devices are shipping. They are global but weighed towards North America and Europe with other geographies most likely being underrepresented. Quarterly and annual numbers include a mix of installation and purchase announcements, however, since this is the same for all periods it should give a good overview of the market activity.
With the Hunkeler innovationdays in February/March 2023 and several other events planned for 2023 there are more opportunities to see and learn about the latest model range. Additionally, some devices announced previously should start shipping in 2023. I would expect inkjet press placements picking up further in 2023.