Faster, faster and faster! Everyone wants faster equipment and why not? In the world of wide format, faster has generally been perceived in terms of printing speeds but that’s no longer the singular factor in this regard. Automated loading and unloading of flatbeds continue to gain steam and acceptance within the industry. The increased production is further complemented by the reduction in labor. Now that’s having your cake and eating it too!
In addition to the increased speeds, check out the impressive strides in size and versatility. Fluid Color will soon be introducing an auto load system as well as a 204" (5.2 meter) hybrid along with other developments such as the ability to print media up to 15" thick.
How about wide format’s transition to other markets and industrial applications? Wide format is no longer just about printing signs. Wide format is now about anything your imagination can come up with. Industrial applications include wood grain flooring, wall papers, sheet metal, cabinetry, table tops, and recreational items such as skate boards, surf boards, corn-hole boards and more.
How about adding a little texture to that printed item? Tactile and raised printing make for popular items! Throw on some spot varnish and you’ll be able to offer the sort of unique creation the market is looking for.
Many people consider the wide format market to be a highly over-saturated and a commodity that leads to nowhere. For certain applications it is, but for those who are staying up to date with new technology and are taking advantages of the opportunities that exist, the future of wide format has never been brighter! Regarding the future of print, wide-format has its place at the top of the hill. Its only limitation is your imagination.
The North American print label market currently stands at roughly eight billion dollars and is expected to reach 9.5 billion dollars by 2026. Short run label production is a huge part of this growth and represents strong opportunity at a low-cost entry point.