When I came back from FESPA Munich show I had sent an email to Michel that lot of Indian printers think that Digital is taking over Screen business and that’s not true. Now let’s here from our GURU what he has to say about this myth.
I deny and I cannot follow you totally in your pessimistic approach of the screen printing market : first of all, what is true in Europe and USA, is quite different in Asia, South and Central Americas and India of course, but remember once again : what we see in all our “mostly Visual Communication” Shows, as FESPA, SGIA, etc. “graphic, POP, sign” – represent in the world only 20% of screen printing applications ! 35% are in textile and 45% in industrial such as electronic, glass and ceramic, automotive, containers, etc. = 80% of screen applications quite alive and developing.
But only a few shows concern textile (FESPA Textile included) and almost none, except very specialized segments, concern industrial applications. Those applications are most of time in hand of powerful and secret industrial groups using screen as a part of their manufacturing process. And, as I know as consultant, quite often relatively secret.
These parts of screen extend and develop every day new application (cf. solar cells, RFID or nanotechnologies) but for the above reason, despite we try a lot, FESPA or even SGIA cannot reach directly this segments for their exhibitions. As a result, the visitors – printers or services provided – “SEE” Visual communication – now pretty much digital – and have the feeling that screen is disappearing.
The manufacturers in screen, at the noticeable exception of GRAFICA in India (you know that company?) cannot innovate all the time in graphic technology and ink manufacturers work for both digital and screen (graphic, textile, industrial). This, plus the demand of the market explains that ! But, there are adjacent and often perverse effects:
* The Western countries are widely in over capacities of production for a graphic print market not so extensible and even reducing – crisis oblige – those last two years.
* After a few years and often only months, many purely digital companies, big or small, goes to bankruptcy in Europe and USA.
* As 50% of wide format digital is, from the beginning 1994/95, in the hand of companies of which the core business was or still is screen printing, many of them start to re-use their screen press and often buy new screen equipments, multicolor and big size, because financially more profitable than digital.
* The market of digitally printed items, as it concerns smaller quantities, often customized, needs a ver strong sales force simply because you need several times more staff and more numerous customers, with often the necessity to react very fast with extremely short delivery times.
* If we take DOG (direct on garment), my 45 audits proved me that the “big producers” are totally uninterested in all the companies and countries I audited: too slow – 10 to 20 times slower than screen carrousels or even long tables !
* Here my position is that DOG is a very different market to sale differently to specific and different customers by the net for example.
For the graphic market, my position did not changed since 15 years : I do believe that screen and digital are complementary and help us to offer a more complete service to the customer and end-user. It is up to us to choose the best technique (and most cost effective) to serve the customer needs : he is only interested in the efficiency of images of POP and sign items to sell his products… not in the manner it is produced or printed !
Lot of special loves to all my Indian friends and fans.
So to all my industry friends who had asked me this question about Screen vs Digital I hope you must be satisfied to certain extend about the power of screen printing.
To be honest my company Grafica sold screen printing machines to more than 10 hardcore digital printers since 2009 Jan. Why I am specifically mentioning them because they were purely digital printer and started their business from digital machines and have entered into screen printing, think it over WHY they required to go for screen after you feel digital is taking over screen?. In fact here it says that screen is taking over digital…
I also see many customers approaching us for screen printing machines for signage business. That means signage business in India is growing in screen printing due to higher quantity, faster speed, good outdoor life of ink, better durability, lower cost of print and many more other advantages.
Can you imagine with an investment of approx. less than Rs. 75 lakhs (or less than approx. 160,000 USD) in screen printing setup you can print 2500 to 4000 sq. ft. per hour. which presently no digital machines can offer considering with this investment cost.
So be smarter and have a meaningful week.