Production Print Industry Predictions for 2022

| 12 January 2022

Insights from Konica Minolta.

Comment by Olaf Lorenz, Senior General Manager, Digital Transformation Division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe

The world of production print will never get the same type of headline-grabbing attention like other sectors of technology, for example Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IOT), but it continues to evolve as an effective communication tool.

As we head towards a new year, we see accelerated automation, greater use of embellishment and the continued growth in online print purchasing and development of web shops among key drivers. What we can confidently predict even in these still-unprecedented times is that the unstoppable trend from analogue to digital production will continue.

Print is a vital part of cross-channel communications

Demand will continue to increase for complete start-to-finish manufacturing process with more all-in-one solutions, as well as a need for production devices that need fewer and less-skilled operators. And print will continue to play a vital part in cross-channel communications, including evolving areas such as robotics, IoT, AI and mobile devices.

The evolution of print technology means that it is used beyond graphical and packaging applications. Increasingly it is used in areas such as wallpaper, laminated printing and décor. Inkjet textiles, ceramic printing, printed electronics, glass, automotive and transport, life sciences and biomedical are areas that forward-thinking printers may look to enter.

Helping brands to satisfy the changing demands of their own customers

Brands will also increasingly use digital to provide more engagement and greater interest in their products – all in a more sustainable environment. Responding quickly with highly automated systems producing small quantities is a way of succeeding, helping brands to satisfy the rapidly changing demands of their own customers.

Simplifying production to meet rapid response demands

Aligning strategies and tactics with the forces influencing competition and customer expectations are essential, while at the same time simplifying production to meet rapid response demands from an ever-more discerning client base. Software is also a crucial component in the desire for increased profitability.


One of our major software successes has been with one of our customers, L’Oréal, for an online internal campaign using our marketing automation platform Markomi. Printing is obviously crucial to attract consumer awareness. But software capabilities enable the definition, segmentation, scheduling and tracking of multi-media marketing campaigns, such as for the global cosmetics giant, which also include print applications.

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Rethink possibilities with engaging label and packaging solutions

We see at close quarters how brand owners are looking for innovative and engaging print solutions for commercial and industrial applications. With dedicated global support delivered locally across the world, we work closely with our customers and brands in a partnership approach and continue to help them rethink print possibilities.


The growth of e-commerce is definitely a defining trend of the continued growth of digital packaging and label production for the future, and this will have a major impact for commercial printers. In particular they need to be able to react fast, and develop e-commerce-specific packaging designs that solve the inherent challenges of postal distribution, rather than those of retail. Versioning and personalisation are also on the rise.

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Digital technology gains ground

All these trends are examples of why digital printing is now seen as the technology of choice for so many different applications and in so many diverse markets. The technology will continue to gain ground over the traditional litho territory. Commercial printers are being forced to expand their digital print service offerings as traditional offset / flexo volumes erode over time.

This is a theme running through analysis from industry experts. “The analogue to digital print transformation continues, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the change as time to market and responsiveness are increasingly important,” says the Smithers “Future of Print to 2030” report [1]. “In 2015, digital methods accounted for 13.3% of the global print market value and 2.3% of the print area, with the bulk being in graphics book printing, books and labels. By 2030 the digital packaging sector will have grown significantly: digital’s share of value will be 23.1% and it will account for 6.3% of print volume. The value is the prize for companies adopting the technology.”


commercial printing predictions

Digital printing is expanding into most print-for-profit applications and in labels and packaging. The report [2] points that toner printing and inkjet are available in many forms, with monthly duty cycle ranging from the equivalent of a few thousand A4s per month up to hundreds of millions.

Meeting requirements of an evolving print market

At Konica Minolta, we’re justifiably proud of being ranked #2 for 2020 market share in Western Europe for production cutsheet printer/MFP shipments, with 22.2%, according to IDC’s Western Europe Production Cutsheet Printer MFP Market Share, Growth Opportunities in Inkjet [3]. Our flagship top-of-the-range AccurioPress C14000 [4] prints at 140 A4 pages per minute is highlighted because it’s 40% faster than any other toner-based device from Konica Minolta.
“Konica Minolta continues to make products to meet the requirements of the evolving print market environment,” says the report [5].
The considerable market potential for inkjet printing – latest reports [6] say that, globally, inkjet printing by value will grow by $41billion to $118.3 billion (53%) in a five-year period to 2024 - was behind the decision to launch our AccurioJet digital colour UV inkjet sheetfed B2+ production press.

Since the official commercial launch [7] at drupa in 2016 it has become a natural bridge between offset and digital.  The Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1e (evolution) was unveiled in the summer of 2020, and is continuing to help drive trends in the changeover from offset to digital printing.

Digital embellishment is a key growth driver

Digital embellishment also continues to be a key growth driver in the production printing market and at the same time a profitable way for print service providers, commercial and in-house printers to set themselves apart from the competition. UV spot coating in defined areas can be used to enhance four-color digital and offset prints with exceptional 3D haptics.

Embellishment techniques and digital varnish technologies are helping print service providers to take creativity to a new level – and increase premiums they charge for products, according to research [8]. One of the reasons for this might be that packages with specialty printing and enhancement have more than 46% higher quality perception. Also, for instance, foil-enhanced packaging increases the rate of attraction by up to 2.5 times over the same packaging without the high-visibility enhancement. [9]


And overall, embellishment makes products a winner: The longer individuals focus on an item, the more likely they are to choose that item and to give it a higher liking rating. [10]
In order to  benefit customers in a single-source partnership approach, we continue to strengthen our partnership with MGI Digital Technology (MGI).

embellishment solutions
As a global technology provider with a local service structure, we still see significant opportunities in the years ahead for digital printing with our toner and inkjet technology within commercial and industrial print markets.
We all recognise that the ongoing Covid-19 situation has created unprecedented challenges, but face-to-face meetings are resuming and a sense of normality is returning. But we will continue to build our online presence as we help shape ideas for our customers in a partnership approach – no matter the ‘communication channel’.
Our commitment remains to deliver the best possible service to all our clients.

[1] Page 20, Smithers ‘Future of Print to 2030
[2] Page 58, Smithers ‘Future of Print to 2030
[3] IDC, Western Europe Production Cutsheet Printer MFP Market Share, Growth Opportunities in Inkjet (doc # EUR147997821 , June 2021)
[4] Product details of the C14000, Konica Minolta website
[5] IDC, Western Europe Production Cutsheet Printer MFP Market Share, Growth Opportunities in Inkjet (doc # EUR147997821 , June 2021)
[6] Konica Minolta Facts and Figures
[7] Website story - Konica Minolta officially launched KM-1 at drupa 2016
[8] Website story - Embellishment, Transform Your Printing with Digital Varnish Technology
[9] The foil & specialty effects association (FSEA); whitepaper: “The impact of high-visibility enhancements on shelf presence: A second study”
[10] Aradhna Krishna, Luca Cian, Nilüfer Z. Aydinoglu: “Sensory Aspect of Package Design”, 2017

* Photo by Luba Ertel on Unsplash


About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. With its unique expertise in imaging, data processing and data-based decision making, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers - small and medium-sized businesses, large enterprises and public sector - and solves issues faced by society.


As a digital workplace solution provider, Konica Minolta helps its clients to identify and unlock the potential digitalisation holds and reach the next level in the digital maturity of their organisation by rethinking the workplace. In support of an ‘Intelligent connected workplace’, Konica Minolta offers cloud, IT, managed print and video solution services for remote working, collaboration, workflow management and automation and security. The company’s success in driving transformation is also confirmed by IDC, since the ‘IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Print Transformation 2020 Vendor Assessment’ stated that Konica Minolta is ‘recognised globally as a leader in print transformation’. Konica Minolta has been a Microsoft Global Managed Partner since 2021.


Konica Minolta's Igniting Print Possibilities offering helps printers, converters and brand owners maximise workflow automation to increase efficiency. The company delivers consultancy in all communication matters as well as top-of-the-line production, packaging as well as label printers. Its finishing devices create print products that stand out and create added value. Konica Minolta has established itself as the production printing market leader for more than a decade in Europe (InfoSource).


For an increasing number of organisations, success today is more than the narrow definition of financial prosperity – it also includes protecting the environment and having a positive impact on their workforce as well as the societies they are embedded in. With its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Konica Minolta has pledged to consistently pursue its sustainability and social responsibility goals.


The company has been repeatedly recognised for its rich history of social contribution as well as for working towards achieving the SDGs throughout its business and supply chain. Konica Minolta is listed among “2021 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World” and received the highest level in EcoVadis Sustainability Ratings.


For its innovative service approach that complements their devices perfectly, Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious ‘Buyers Lab PaceSetter Award for Serviceability and Support 2020/2021’ from Keypoint Intelligence.


Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With approximately 9,000 employees (as of April 2021), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over 1.9 billion in financial year 2020/2021.


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Silke Ehmann-Cotichini

Team Manager Brand Positioning & Architecture, Content Strategy & Development

+49 (0) 151 622-06-281