USD 2.7 bn barcode printers market poised for steady growth

The global barcode printers market is valued at USD 2,758.0 millions and pegged at 3,086.8 ‘000 units in 2016, reported Future Market Insights, a market research and consulting firm.

02 Dec 2016 | By PrintWeek India

The report said, “It is expected to increase at a CAGR of 7.4% over the forecast period (2016–2026), to be valued at US$ 5,656.1 Mn by 2026 end. In terms of volume, the global barcode printers market is projected to be pegged at 5,384.3 ‘000 units by 2026 end, expanding at a CAGR of 5.7% over the forecast period.”

The growth can be attributed to the increased automation and streamlining of manufacturing processes being adopted by a large number of manufacturing companies worldwide to reduce time and material wastage, thereby improving efficiency and output.

“Barcoding is one such technique that is increasingly being adopted. This process has reduced production time considerably in the manufacturing process, thereby driving demand for barcode printers,” said the report.

Retailers worldwide use barcodes for hassle-free recording of supplies and commodities and their sale to customers. However, threat of RFID tags as substitutes to barcode labels and low compatibility of barcode printers with different operating systems act as restraints in the global barcode printers market.

The report highlighted that the industrial barcode printers will outsell desktop barcode printers and grow at CAGR of 8.3% due to a preference of sturdy and rugged barcode printers with higher productivity.

Thermal transfer barcode printers will account for the bulk of market revenues owing to very less cost involved, while dot matrix, laser and inkjet printing technologies are least preferred technologies and are on the verge of being phased out.

Major players like Zebra Technologies, Avery Dennison, Oki Electric, Toshiba TEC, and Honeywell International, collectively account for nearly 50% of market share.

Q&A: Nikhil Kaitwade, research manager, Future Market Insights


PrintWeek India (PWI): What types of barcodes are being used to target secondary and tertiary packaging in e-commerce?
Nikhil Kaitwade (NK): For secondary packaging, one-dimensional or two-dimensional barcodes are used. Barcodes in secondary packaging should contain information like GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) and the unique serial number of the pack.

On the other hand, one-dimensional barcodes are preferred for tertiary packaging. In this case, barcode should contain GTIN, a unique serial number of the pack that is the serial shipping container code (SSCC), expiry date and batch number.

PWI: Do you see a shift in the use of barcodes for mailers and bills and leaflets?
NK: Yes. In the past few years, barcodes were relatively more preferred for mailers, bills, and leaflets.

IM Barcodes (Intelligent Mail), which are also known as 4-CB, are widely preferred by postal services in North America. IM barcodes consists of 65 vertical lines and up to 31 decimal places can be encoded.

This barcode is attached by a sender on the mailpiece and at receiver’s end mail can be sorted easily with the use of high-speed optical scanners.In the near future, use of barcodes for bills, leaflets and mailers is expected to increase.

PWI: Domino Printing Sciences says CIJ account for the bulk of market revenues with 80% owing to it being multipurpose. In that sense, what is the future of laser and thermal transfer technologies in India?
NK: Currently, thermal transfer printing technology are witnessed to be adopted relatively more in the Indian barcode printers market. But, direct thermal printing technology is expected to witness significant demand in the coming years owing to low price, increasing preference by end users such as manufacturing, retail and transportation sector. However, laser printing technology is projected to experience stagnation.

PWI: What are the market size and targets in terms of production of labeling devices?
NK: The market size of label devices and printer in terms of volume was expected to be pegged at 1.2-lakh to 1.6-lakh units in 2015. Moreover, these devices and printers are expected to witness growth in the near future.

PWI: The conversations we have had with industry leaders on the traditional problem of balancing the need for high-content codes along with high-quality print at ever increasing production line speeds. In this regards, what are the industry norms?
NK: In India, GS1 barcode standards are followed. These standards are widely followed in barcoding of assets, products, and logistics unit as they increase the efficiency of supply chain management. Moreover, Delhi government has mandated the GS1 standards for authentication of products such as alcoholic beverages.