Market Insights - Global Thermal Printing Market
Thermal printing is a digital printing process, which is used to produce a printed image by selectively heating thermal paper when the paper passes over the thermal print head. There are two types of printing technologies namely thermal transfer and direct thermal transfer. Both methods use a thermal print head that applies heat to the surface being marked. Moreover, thermal transform printing uses a heat-sensitive ribbon instead of heat-sensitive paper, in order to produce long-lasting, durable prints. Thermal printing is predominantly used for labeling shipping products and for recording live rhythm strips on hospital cardiac monitors.
The global thermal printing market is estimated to account for US$ 4,349.9 Mn in terms of value by the end of 2019.
Market Dynamics- Drivers
- Growing expansion of retail industry is expected to drive the global thermal printing market growth during the forecast period
Retailers are consistently focused on their point of sale (POS) experience by offering rapid and efficient services to customers. Thermal printing is typically used for superior and high-speed solutions, which is not found in case of conventional impact printers. Moreover, thermal printers are cost-efficient as compared to conventional printers, thereby driving its adoption. Numerous retail stores in Europe and North America and Europe have started adopting thermal printers over impact printers. According to CMI analysis, APEJ is expected to account for around half of the sales by the world’s top fifty largest economies and would be twice that of North America, the next largest region in the retail sector in the next five years.
- Growing global population and increasing disposable income is expected to propel the global thermal printing market growth over the forecast period
Increasing disposable income due to rapid urbanization is expected to create hundreds of millions of middle class households in Asia Pacific. This, in turn, is expected to drive the number of discretionary purchases especially from supermarkets and major retail stores. According to United Nations (UN), global population is expected to increase from 7.2 billion in 2013 to 9.6 billion by 2050. According to the same source, this will be coupled with growth in GDP of emerging economies such as India, Brazil, South Africa, and China. This, in turn, is expected to boost the market growth over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific region dominated the global thermal printing market in 2018, accounting for 32.6% share in terms of value, followed by Europe, North America, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America, respectively
Source: Coherent Market Insights
Market Dynamics- Restraints
- Competitive Price offering from new entrants is expected to restrain growth of the global thermal printing market over the forecast period
Intense competition among thermal printer manufacturers is expected to restrict the market growth in the near future. Thermal printer manufacturers situated in China and India have easy access to cheap raw materials and labors where they can price products low. This, in turn, is expected to impact global market players significantly. Increasing functionality and performance, coupled with decreasing prices in developed economies such as North America and Europe have made it challenging for key market players to compete with manufacturers from emerging economies. This is expected to hinder the market growth over the forecast period.
- Emergence of new printing methods is expected to hamper the global thermal printing market during the forecast period
Although thermal printing technology is superior to laser and ink-based printing for various applications, emergence of novel technology is expected to hinder the market growth. RFID is an emerging and rapidly advancing technology, which currently has no substitute. Moreover, thermal printing has no near threat though number of emerging novel technologies is likely to hamper its market share in the near future. Moreover, electronic shelf labels, RFID, mobile barcoding, direct-part making are expected to pose threat to the market.
- Growing use of thermal printers in healthcare sector is expected to pose lucrative growth opportunities
Thermal printers are used predominantly in healthcare sector for recording live rhythm strips on hospital cardiac monitors. Increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease is expected to increase adoption of thermal printers for recording live rhythm strips, which in turn, is expected to pose lucrative growth opportunities for market players during the forecast period.
- Increasing demand for thermal barcode printers in supply chain industry is expected to offer excellent business growth opportunities
Thermal barcodes are extensively used in supply chain industry for managing and handling different activities, information, and resources. Moreover, thermal barcode provides convenience and cost-effective solutions for management of goods, which in turn, is expected to drive the demand for thermal barcode printers from supply chain industry in the near future.
Source: Coherent Market Insights
Global direct thermal based thermal printing market was valued at US$ 2,389.6 Mn in 2018 and is forecasted to reach a value of US$ 3,213.6 Mn by 2027 at a CAGR of 3.1% between 2017 and 2027.
- Significant growth potential in emerging economies
Increasing disposable income and rampant urbanization in emerging economies from Eastern Europe, Latin America, and APEJ are creating lucrative environment for retail sector. This, in turn, is expected to drive the thermal printing market growth in these regions. For instance, according to CMI analysis, Asia Pacific Market is expected to witness highest CAGR during the forecast period, followed by Eastern Europe. Growing population in Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa is expected to boost the thermal printing market growth.
- Transition to portable thermal printers is major trend in the market
Development in advanced technologies has enabled the production of portable thermal printers. Direct thermal printheads are the smallest and the lightest available thermal printers. Moreover, portable thermal printers require significantly low energy and are smaller in size. These printers operate on low voltage, which are expected to drive its penetration in the market. Furthermore, incorporation wireless technologies in thermal printers is expected to enhance the quality and printing speed.
In Global Thermal Printing market, by end-use industry segment, the retail sub-segment dominated the global market in 2018, accounting for 29.7% share in terms of value, followed by manufacturing, transportation & logistics, and healthcare, respectively.
Source: Coherent Market Insights
Key players operating in the global thermal printing market are Zebra Technologies Corporation, TSC Auto ID Technology Co., Ltd., Toshiba TEC Corporation, Honeywell International, Inc., Bixolon Co., Ltd., Citizen Holdings Co., Ltd., Star Micronics Co., Ltd., Seiko Epson Corporation, SATO Holdings Corporation, and Brother International Corporation.
- Key players in the market are focused on product launch, in order to gain competitive edge in the market. For instance, in May 2018, Zebra Technologies introduced next-generation thermal desktop printers ZD420 and ZD620, enabled with ‘Print DNA’ software.
- Key companies in the market are involved in product development, in order to expand their product portfolio. For instance, in January 2019, TSC Auto ID Technology Co., Ltd. introduced Industrial Label Printer ML240 Series.