Printing Ink (© Cigdem / Fotolia.com)
Printing Ink (© Cigdem / Fotolia.com)

Despite a lot of content moving online and many organizations and individuals being encouraged to avoid printing documents, the printing inks market continues to grow with a steady CAGR of 5%. This post will examine why the industry continues to thrive, and also look at controversy over printing ink prices, the different facets of the market and more.

The printing inks market is a large market that is necessary for a great amount of industry. While more and more content is moving onto the web and while ‘paperless offices’ are popularly promoted, the reality is that we will always need printing ink for flyers, for posters, for the press and for business administration.

Thus, the market still has a CAGR of 5% as companies continue to rely on toner, ink and more. This post will look at some of the different forms that the market can take.

Choosing the Right Printer Ink

Every business needs ink, and while companies other than publishing companies may not actually trade in anything printed they’re still going to need to print e-mails, hardcopy backups of files, confirmations, receipts and documents. If you’re just starting out your business, or are currently without a printing method, then you should certainly look into acquiring a printer or perhaps several to make sure things flow smoothly. Once you’ve decided to do this however you still need to decide on the very best printer for your company - one that will save you both time and money when compared to the competition. While there are thousands of different makes and variations of printers, the main two categories within the genus are those that take ink cartridges and those that take laser toner. These each carry their own strengths and weaknesses and the decision you eventually make should depend on your business model. Here we will look at both options in detail.

Printers that take ink cartridges are perhaps the most popular option for most individuals (though not necessarily businesses) due to their low price and high quality output. They work by propelling varying sized droplets of ink onto the page resulting in full color images that are wet once they come out. Ink cartridges themselves are easy to install and use making them great for casual users and the less tech-savvy among us. The downside of ink cartridges however is their high cost, which can often outweigh the cheap cost of the printer itself over time, and their relatively slow printing speed. The price of ink cartridges in the UK has actually lead to an Office of Fair Trading investigation and this is exacerbated by the fact that you can generally only get around 150-200 A4 pages worth of printing per cartridge depending on the model of your printer and nature of your print-outs.

Printers that take laser toner on the other hand are far more expensive to begin with and work using a combination of a laser beam to scan across the printers’ photo receptors and a drum to roll and melt the toner onto the paper. This process however makes them much faster than inkjet printers; able to print up to 200 monochrome pages per minute or 100 color pages per minute, again depending on the model of the printer and nature of the pages. Crucially though, laser toner is also much cheaper than ink cartridges making laser printers a good investment for businesses that use a lot of ink. One slight other concern however is that toner particles can remain in the atmosphere and exacerbate respiratory problems for staff and potentially harm the atmosphere.

In conclusion then, for small businesses ink cartridges may be the easier way to go - with fewer maintenance issues, easy use, no health concerns and a relatively cheap starting price. However, for larger companies that are required to do a lot of printing laser toner will represent a smart investment that will save both time and money in the long run allowing you to print high quantities in a short space of time. Now you just have to choose your model…

Statistic: Sales value of non-black printing inks in the United Kingdom between 2010 and 2015 (in 1,000 GBP) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Large Scale Printing

While toner and ink cartridges will get you so far, there are many situations in which a company or an individual will need to print items out on a large scale – it could be that the company is a publishing company printing lots of copies of books or magazines, it may be that the company is producing fliers etc, or it may be that the company is producing other materials that are promotional or informational. Even manufacturers of toys or games need to produce packaging and instructions and warranties and that's all where industrial printers come in.

Industrial printers can be purchased to print on your own premises or they can be outsourced and you can use an outside company to provide the commercial printers for you. If you provide your own industrial printers then you will need to make sure that you buy high resolution printers that are good makes such as an Evolution printer or Video Jet. You will then need to ensure that you have all of the back up parts and this will mean ensuring you own the Video Jet parts specifically for that make or the Evolution printer parts. You will also need the correct ink such as Video Jet inks. Owning your own industrial printers however will allow you to make huge numbers of print outs and copies of fliers, leaflets and documents and this will help you to streamline your business, eradicate mistakes and generally save a lot of time and money in the process.

From here you will then need to set the industrial printers up so that they can receive the tasks that they need to print. It's then down to you and your staff in order to choose printing jobs and to make sure that they are done correctly. This is where the 'human element' comes in and you need to make sure to make lots of checks before you begin.

Other Types of Printing

There are many other forms of printing, from the printing press – which is still a crucial tool for democracy – to the publishing industry. These industries are growing and evolving however. In particular, the POD (Print On Demand) market is currently changing the face of printing and creating many more self published authors.



         



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