According to new data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com) the technology trends that are shaped by buyer demands are driving mix changes in the worldwide large format printer (LFP) market.

The move to color printing in the technical market and the need for faster turnaround in the graphics business has reshaped important segments of the large format printer business. Still, key technologies, such as eco-solvent inkjet, have continued to prosper.

ÔÇťOverall, large format printer shipments declined by about 2% in 2015 with monochrome toner-based printers and conventional aqueous inkjet printer shipments slipping, but key areas of growth included eco-solvent, Latex, UV and color toner printers,” said Tim Greene, research director, U.S. Large Format Printer Tracker

The large format CAD/Technical printer market segment declined by about 1.5% year over year in 2015, which is partly due to mix changes with the entry of high-speed single-pass aqueous inkjet printers such as HP’s PageWide XL-series on the inkjet side and KIP’s 800-series color toner devices, both of which came to market towards the end of 2015 and did well in the fourth quarter of 2015.

On the large format graphics side, the low end of the aqueous inkjet market continues to decline with users shifting to electronic communications, thereby reducing the need for low-end large format proofing systems. Low-end aqueous inkjet printer shipments declined by more than 15% worldwide. That decline was offset somewhat by the growth of low-end UV-curable inkjet graphics printers that are intended to replace some of the capabilities of pad printing in the promotional graphics market.

Shipments of large format printers that serve the durable graphics business grew by almost 10% worldwide in 2015, led by UV-curable inkjet, Latex, eco-solvent, and dye-sublimation inkjet printers.