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German Sacristian

The Zone of Disruption and Opportunity Is Getting Filled

Digital print vendors’ announcements are bridging the toner and inkjet gap

Oct 11, 2023 8:00:00 PM


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For the past several years, Keypoint Intelligence has identified and reported upon a “zone of disruption” and the consequential opportunity for digital printing manufacturing vendors to close the gap between toner and inkjet presses. The greatest one involves introducing new products that provide great value and a low total cost of ownership (TCOs) to their print service provider (PSP) customers. It appears that some of these vendors are starting to fill that gap.


Toner production printers have delivered aggressive TCO within their manufacturer recommended average monthly print volume (AMPV) range. Meanwhile, large inkjet production presses (including B2 electrophotography) have also delivered aggressive TCOs in within their AMPV range.


However, some PSPs’ AMPVs do not fit within those ranges—requiring the purchase of several toner printers to cover production in a reliable way or the investment in a larger production inkjet printer with a larger TCO to make up for insufficient print volumes.   



This zone exists around commercial/graphic art PSPs with AMPVs from around  one million to slightly over 2 million A4 full color impressions. This area of opportunity can be addressed by both technologies (toner and inkjet) by either having toner printers that can reliably produce the one million A4s per month with a low capital investment printer (less than $150K) or inkjet printers that can output offset and toner/electrophotography print quality with a lower capital investment from what is currently available in the market (probably around $400k to $500K)



We are very happy to see that vendors are moving towards this “zone of disruption” faster by launching new printers that close the gap between toner and digital (again utilizing both technologies), offering greater value to some of their customers’ PSPs.


Canon began to move the needle in that direction last year when the new imagePRESS V1350—which claims to be able to reliably print 1 million A4s every month—was announced. FujiFilm also presented a Revoria B2 printer late last year at IGAS that could also play a role in filling the gap. This year, Ricoh introduced its new Pro C9500, which is also expected to have a low capital investment while keeping the one million AMPV mark. 


On the inkjet side, Kyocera will introduce a prototype at Printing United next week that could also add value to PSPs within the AMPV zone. The new Kyocera  inkjet cut-sheet printer for graphic arts applications will also be sold by Screen under the name “TruePress S320.”


Finally, Canon introduced the varioPRINT iX1700 today, which is positioned between the imagePRESS V1350 and the varioPRINT iX 3200, covering the zone of disruption. With this move, Canon covers all the gaps in within the large digital printing production arena and we expect that others will follow. The shift from lower production to large production is continuous and expected to keep moving that way due to print volume consolidations.


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