Investment Plans of the Largest In-plants
When we polled the country's largest in-plants in December to rank them by size, we also asked them about their plans to upgrade the technology in their shops in 2019. This data offers a good preview of where the largest in-plants are directing their attention and where they see the most opportunity for growth.
Overall, 50 of the in-plants that appear in our rankings provided us with data on what equipment and software they hope to acquire this year. The top three purchases the largest in-plants plan to make are all digital printing devices:
- Digital envelope printers (42%)
- Wide-format printers (38%)
- Digital color toner presses (37%)
This shows they see a big opportunity in the envelope market, which has been a growth area among in-plants for several years now. Wide-format printing is another area where the largest in-plants plan to invest, with 38% looking to add a rollfed printer and 14% planning to get a flatbed device. And while 12% expect to bring production inkjet presses in-house in 2019, tried-and-true toner technology is showing no signs of fading, with 37% planning to purchase a digital color toner press in the year ahead.
On the bindery side, scoring and slitting equipment continues to be popular, and 29% of the largest in-plants plan to add this equipment. Close behind is inserting and cutting equipment, which 27% intend to add. Meanwhile, perfect binders and saddle stitchers are neck-in-neck on the list of planned purchases.
Farther down on the wish list is contour cutting equipment, which has opened up opportunities for many new applications among in-plants that have bought one. More than 8% plan to buy one.
Software is not being neglected next year. Our data shows 36% intend to get workflow and production automation software in 2019, and 28% will add graphic design software. Then it's a three-way tie, with 22% of the largest in-plants planning to get Web-to-print, MIS and VDP software next year.
To read more about the investment plans of in-plants, download our special report on Equipment Investment Trends in the In-plant Industry.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.