NAPCO Inkjet Summit 2024 Recap

Where Inkjet Is Heading Next

Is 2024 the year of the inkjet? In a time when conventional offset printing is getting more expensive to run and the people who can run it become scarcer, inkjet continues to show its upside.

In his keynote address, NAPCO Inkjet Summit conference chair and VP of I.T. Strategies Marco Boer extolled the virtues of savvy commercial printers driving the value of inkjet printing. Boer’s insights were a part of the 12th annual Summit, held at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. Fujifilm was one of a number of vendors on hand to network and share insights on the power and promise inkjet holds for printers jumping into the game.

Boer’s insights included a number of statistics to back his presentation. For example, while the industry overall has experienced a loss of nearly 19% of revenues since before the pandemic, the majority of it has been on the offset side. And while digital may still only account for 10% of the pages printed today, Boer expects as much as 30% of printed pages to be produced digitally by 2028.

As printers continue to explore the myriad benefits inkjet offers to their workflow process, many of its virtues are taking root.

The Inkjet Summit was packed with a number of informative sessions, including a roundtable on printers that have successfully implemented inkjet into their production process and a discussion on artificial intelligence (AI), which provided a snapshot into AI’s growing role in the print industry.

The roundtable discussion, moderated by Barb Pellow, manager of Pellow & Partners, highlighted how ArborOakland, Wallace Graphics, Knight Abbey and Forge are all reporting how inkjet is providing strong results in speed, quality, efficiency and profitability.

The AI session, presented by Pat McGrew, Managing Director, McGrewGroup, examined some of the ways vendors (like Fujifilm) are offering machine learning capabilities with inkjet technology. McGrew recommended that printers keep a close eye on the many emerging AI tools entering the marketplace and how they can help with workflow and data analysis.

In addition, in an inkjet panel discussion, the moderator led a group including representatives from NextPage, American Litho and L&D Mail Masters in a discussion about the opportunities presented in storefront spaces like direct mail, fulfilment, short-run communications, among others. There also was a panel featuring Boer, Pellow and Lisa Cross, Principal Analyst of NAPCO Research, dissecting what AI means for today’s printing industry. Among the items discussed were ways to integrate AI for things like content creation in marketing and sales copy; hiring new employees; achieving operational excellence and streamlining customer service.

Notetakers were able to write down the five takeaways inkjet offers, thanks to Cross’ results from NAPCO’s “Production Inkjet is Delivering Results and Expanding Application Opportunities” report.

The takeaways included:

• Inkjet is delivering on its promise
• There is solid investment in production inkjet
• Inkjet migration is in full swing
• Print customers are specifying inkjet
• Customer trends are driving inkjet opportunities

Other panels included a discussion with three commercial printers who have successfully made the switch to inkjet, and a look at the growing role of inkjet in the in-plant world.

More than anything else, the Summit provided attendees and sponsors an opportunity to network amid meals, evening receptions and those moments of stealing a conversation in between breaks.

As the inkjet revolution gains momentum, the future of print lies in its adaptability and quality. That means Fujifilm will remain on the forefront of innovation and education, where events like the NAPCO Inkjet Summit help share insights and innovations with the masses.