IDC report shows industrial print market recovery in Q4

A study from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide quarterly Industrial Printer Tracker has shown that the market recovery from the Covid-19 crisis continued in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020.

13 Mar 2021 | By PrintWeek Team

Large format printer shipments increased by 12% in Q3 2020

"Every market segment covered by the Industrial Printer Tracker, from large format printers to packaging and label printing systems, saw growth in Q4 compared to Q3," said Tim Greene, research director at IDC. "As the year progressed, companies resumed investments in digital printing systems. We’re still not all the way back to pre-pandemic shipment and revenue levels, but the market is clearly recovering."

According to the report, large format printer shipments increased by 12% in Q3 2020 worldwide. However, the large format printer shipments declined by more than 20% year-over-year for the entire year.

Meanwhile, the new direct-to-shape printer shipments increased 8% in Q4 compared to the prior quarter but declined by more than 25% for the year. And shipments in the direct-to-garment segment increased 24% in Q4 compared to Q3 but declined by more than 20% year-over-year in 2020.

Likewise, the label and packaging printer shipments grew by more than 17% quarter-over-quarter in Q4 but declined 17% for the full year. And the industrial textile printer shipments grew by 24% in Q4 compared to Q3 but were down 25% for 2020 compared to 2019.

In terms of regional analysis, the shipments in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region saw sequential growth of almost 20% in Q4. Meanwhile, North America’s industrial printer shipments increased by 7.3% in Q4 compared to Q3. The shipments in China, which had hit their lowest level in Q1 2020, grew 6.7% quarter-over-quarter in Q4. While the rest of the Asia Pacific region continued its recovery that started in Q2 with sequential shipment growth of 19% in Q4.

Expectations for 2021
Investments in industrial printers are a measure of the digital transformation of vital markets such as large format graphics, textile printing, and packaging. Thus, IDC expects that the reduction in these investments in 2020 will ultimately represent a temporary dip in the overall growth trend.

Despite the pandemic, there were numerous technology advancements introduced to the industrial printer market in 2020 that should fuel investments in industrial printing equipment. In some cases, the pandemic has exposed a demand for faster, more agile, and more sustainable production capabilities that are enabled by industrial printing solutions.