The profound impact of inkjet technology on the graphic and text fast printing industry

May 14, 2024
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In the past two years, inkjet equipment has been the most dazzling, and inkjet technology has officially started a wave of installation in the domestic graphic and text rapid printing industry. Especially, domestic inkjet rotary equipment represented by Fangzheng is occupying the market with a dazzling rhythm, beginning to make the graphic and text rapid printing industry feel a hint of coldness and anxiety. From the perspective of a graphic and text fast printer, this article briefly analyzes the profound impact of inkjet technology on graphic and text fast printing, in order to determine the future impact on geometry.


Inkjet technology is not unfamiliar to graphic and text printers, ranging from large format inkjet printers, inkjet blueprint machines, tablet UVs, and a large number of household printers. Except for a slightly slower speed, the industry did not expect inkjet technology equipment to one day reach a level of high quality, high speed, low cost, and easy maintenance like printing machines. Although Drupa 2008 has started to release inkjet equipment technology validation machines on a large scale, the high cost is still far from practical application, 12 years, 16 years... The wolf has finally arrived! This suddenly disrupted the sales rhythm and cost calculation methods of graphic and text printing personnel, and even hit the pain point of the graphic and text printing industry: the existing laser imaging equipment has high single printing costs! Higher maintenance costs!


Looking at Business Growth Space from Cost Changes


We know that graphic and text printing services are mainly provided to customers based on the store. The estimated operating costs are as follows: rent: 10-15%, equipment: 15-20%, labor: 25-30%, materials: 25-30%, others: 5%, and profit: 8-10%. Among them, equipment and rent are rigid costs. Except for the slightly lower cost of purchasing a second mobile phone, they are basically increasing year by year. In addition, labor and materials are basically around 90%. Each store also calculates its performance based on this. While ensuring that personnel and materials continue to rise, it is necessary to ensure that performance remains stable at a safe level. The vast majority of newly opened graphic and text stores often have a cycle of losing 2 years, averaging 1 year, and earning 2 years. The truly profitable graphic and text stores are all over 10 years old, and during this period, they will basically face 1-2 major equipment updates and iterations, with additional investment of about 50-80% of the original investment, otherwise it is difficult to ensure technological and service advantages.


Assuming other costs remain unchanged, let's calculate the impact of cost changes for single sheet printing (all including paper and equipment depreciation prices) on graphic and text fast printing stores: laser equipment: A3 color costs approximately 0.56 yuan; Inkjet equipment: A3 color costs approximately 0.25 yuan. The direct cost has basically been reduced by more than half. Currently, due to the rapid production of domestic inkjet rotary machines, the prices of large quantities of black and white have been reduced by more than half, and existing laser machines are basically unable to compete in the market.


If you want to maintain the original gross profit absolute value, based on the existing inkjet pricing method, the printing volume must increase by more than 100%. Of course, if there are other business income as supplements, the operating income is relatively stable. However, supporting investment and personnel costs will also increase accordingly. In addition, the service radius, processing capacity, and rental cost of the store greatly limit the linear expansion of scale. At the same time, it will greatly constrain the service advantages of the store.


The result is that with the rapid advancement of inkjet equipment, prices will decrease. If the volume cannot be quickly increased, the profits of existing graphic and text fast printing stores will rapidly decline, and even a wave of store closures will occur. Market reshuffle is inevitable, and polarization is inevitable.


Looking at business growth potential from the perspective of customer consumption


The growth of customer consumption is not optimistic. One reason is that with the popularization of inkjet technology and the decrease in costs, a large number of small machines have entered thousands of households, and personal ordinary printing consumption will quickly disappear from stores. Similarly, small and medium-sized enterprises will also use self purchased equipment to solve ordinary printing problems, and the prospects for market growth in this area are not optimistic. The second is that large-scale inkjet machines and rotary machines rapidly generate siphon phenomenon, and large-scale business is basically unrelated to stores. And it will greatly suppress market prices and reduce profits. Moreover, the printing business of graphic and text fast printing stores is fully on-demand printing services, and consumption will not increase exponentially due to cheap prices.

From the perspective of quality, the adaptability and acceptance of inkjet equipment


From the perspective of quality and application, the quality of inkjet technology has reached a new height, especially in businesses such as dot color, line color, and black and white. 80% of the printing quality is quite good and completely acceptable. Moreover, discussing quality without considering cost and price is a false proposition. In addition, the application of large format and special materials is originally the advantage technology of inkjet printing.

In the future, with the adjustment of prices, there is basically no suspense about the opening of laser and inkjet businesses.


Who dominates the future between domestic and imported machines


2020 has been basically recognized as the first year of inkjet printing in China, with the main driving force being domestic equipment manufacturers represented by Fangzheng Company. In just one year, it has surpassed the previous total, and the main provincial capitals and major cities in China have been basically covered. On the other hand, the installation of imported equipment can be said to be rare and few, and its market influence is smaller. Although imported equipment is slightly better in terms of quality, its cost-effectiveness is very low, and the maintenance cost in the later stage is very high. It is not difficult to see the pain point of interest groups in the game: left hand versus right hand. And domestic manufacturers do not have this historical burden: they already have nothing, so there is no fear of it.


Looking back at the development history of tablet inkjet UVs, it is not difficult to find that over 90% of the equipment is domestically produced, with quality, performance, stability, and after-sales service not inferior to imported equipment, and the cost-effectiveness is very high. Therefore, we have reason to believe that in the new round of inkjet equipment competition, domestic equipment will once again achieve overtaking on curves, and the history of imported equipment dominating domestic graphic and text fast printing stores will eventually be rewritten. I believe that a group of domestic manufacturers such as Founder will have their own judgment and confidence in this regard, and the hesitation of foreign manufacturers will eventually become a regret in history. Tesla's market strategy is worth learning and learning from by these foreign manufacturers. However, due to the limited space and cost of graphic and text fast printing stores, they are more suitable for single sheet inkjet equipment. Therefore, the market competition for single sheet inkjet equipment remains to be observed. At present, imported equipment seems more promising, with deeper and more mature technological precipitation.

Looking at the Value of Inkjet from the Perspective of Application


Speaking of which, many of us may be most concerned about the cost and quality of inkjet equipment. In fact, perhaps we should pay more attention to its application. Although the back penetration effect is not good on ordinary paper and the color printing effect with high coverage is average, there is huge market space for some special paper sheets and materials, as well as larger format materials. This is an excellent technical path and direction for a large number of graphic and text fast printing stores to carry out cross-border business.


In the future, with the rapid popularization of inkjet equipment, the cost of color printing will be significantly reduced, and pure black and white machines and black and white businesses will gradually disappear, just like black and white photos. This will also be a huge market growth space for inkjet equipment in the future. Technology can change the future of the industry and determine the life and death of stores. We cannot prevent technological innovation and progress, we must constantly adapt to it, accept it, and creatively apply it. I hope and believe that more practitioners will recognize the value and disruptive nature of inkjet in the fierce competition of the market.