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Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has just released a new report on the ink-related opportunities stemming from the growth of functional jetting: the manufacturing of products using industrial inkjet. The report quantifies the future revenues from the fluids used in jetting industrial prototypes and 3-D models, automotive components, printed circuit boards (PCBs), MEMS, security printing, smart textiles, electronic displays, smart packaging and RFID tags, ceramics, photovoltaics and biochips.
The report provides eight-year projections (both volume and value) of inks used in such applications, with break outs by ink type, printer technology and world region. Inks covered comprise aqueous, solvent, ultraviolet/electron beam (UV/EB), hot melt/phase-change and oil-based. The break-out by printer technology covers continuous printing, piezoelectric, thermal and valve jet.
This report identifies both immediate opportunities for functional jetting inks and longer-term one and the strategies that are being used to capitalize on these opportunities. Among the firms discussed in this report are Agilent, Bayer, Cambridge Display Technology, Cima NanoTech, Dai Nippon Printing, Dow Corning, DuPont, Fujifilm Dimatix, Hewlett-Packard, Kovio, Methode, Microfab, Mitsubishi, Objet Geometries, Samsung, Sartomer, Source Technologies, Sun Chemical, Teijin, Seiko Epson, VTT, Xaar, Xennia, Xenon and Z Corporation.
Additional details about this report, "Functional Inkjet Inks for Digital Fabrication" report are at www.nanomarkets.net/market_reports/report/functional_inkjet_inks_for_digital_fabrication_applications_-2011.
NanoMarkets' analysis of the functional inkjet materials market suggests that there are significant opportunities to generate revenues from this sector in the next few years. Of particular immediate importance will be a variety of applications in the areas of security printing, brand protection and smart packaging applications, which take on special importance in our troubled economy and when cybercrime is on the rise. Another will be for jetted resists for PCBs.
The report also examines the types of functional jetting inks that will be needed in the future. Solvent inks are expected to gradually increase their current 40 percent of the functional inkjet ink market. One reason for this is the effort by ink makers to use common industrial solvents for their fluids as a way of keeping cost low and making them user friendly to newer users. Although aqueous inks are low-cost and perhaps the best road forward to the first off-the-shelf functional inks, they will lose market share because they are limited in the kinds of substrates they can be used on.
NanoMarkets sees the opportunities for functional ink makers as immediate, but also identifies high-volume opportunities of the future. By the end of the forecast period in 2018, more than 20 percent of the revenues for functional inkjet inks is expected to come from "desktop manufacturing," a new kind of jetted fabrication technology that will have the same disruptive impact that desktop publishing did two decades ago. But this will require off-the-shelf functional inks; a type of ink that does not exist yet. This report also projects strong growth for bio-inks for arrays and biochips as these devices move out of the lab and into mainstream diagnostics.
NanoMarkets tracks and analyzes emerging market opportunities created by developments in advanced materials. It provides regular and comprehensive industry analysis of printed electronics and provides ongoing coverage of many of the firms active in the inks space. It is recognized worldwide as a leading source of expertise for functional printing and nanomaterials more generally.
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