Digital printing involving printing toners is an integral part of the contemporary printing industry. Printing toners are composed of colored micro particles, which can be used to produce around 12 million color variants in digital presses. Furthermore, the use of laser printers for printing jobs eliminates lengthy set up times that are needed for offset printing. This makes laser printers suitable for short run printing required for quick, just-in-time and on-demand printing. Additionally, toners allow modification of the digital image, thus enabling short run printing with multiple originals. Toners used in the digital presses dry instantly as they are fused by application of heat during the printing process. This accelerates the binding process of books, manuals and catalogs. However, printing toners are costlier compared to the inks used in offset printers. This cost difference is offset by the time saving benefits and image modification flexibility offered by laser printers using printing toners employed in digital presses.
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The folding carton printing and labeling industry has been one of the primary consumers of the printing toners. This trend is expected to continue during the forecast period. Additionally, the shift in consumer preference from ink to toners due to the cost effectiveness and reduction in wastage provided by laser printers is expected to boost the printing toners market in the near future. Furthermore, the increase in commercial printing applications led by the growth in the advertising & branding industry has been fuelling the printing toners market over the past few years. Large-scale printing of user manuals, catalogs, banners, bookmarks, brochures and other materials requires extensive use of printing toners. However, the adverse environmental effect of printing toners is expected to hamper market growth during the forecast period. Bio-based printing toners are anticipated to reduce the level of fossil fuels consumed during the manufacture of toners. This is anticipated to open new avenues of opportunities for the printing toners market over the next few years.
Depending on the production technology, toners can be segmented into two types: conventional toners and chemically prepared toners. In 2013, conventional toners constituted over 70% share of the global printing toners market, while chemically prepared toners held the remaining share. Conventional toners are manufactured through the process of extrusion and grinding of a resin mixture into small particles. These particles are unevenly shaped, and thus, require high temperatures to melt and fuse the toner particle to the paper. Chemically prepared toners is expected to be the fastest growing segment in the market during the forecast period as these toners offer superior printing capabilities coupled with time and cost savings. Additionally, economical printers that are compatible with chemically prepared toners are expected to drive the chemically prepared toners market.
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The printing toners market can be segmented into three types based on the raw material used: polyester, styrene acrylic and other blends, and specialty polymers. Polyester and styrene acrylic dominated the printing toners market in 2013. Together, these accounted for over 95% share in the year. Growth in the printing market is expected to augment demand for printing toners over the next few years. Polyester and other blends and specialty polymers are expected to witness above average growth, due to their low melt viscosities and excellent color, during the forecast period.
Based on the application, the global printing toners market can be segmented into monochrome printing and color printing. The color segment is expected to garner around 51% share of the global printing toners market in terms of volume by 2020. Growth in color applications of printing toners in desktop publishing, commercial printing, folding cartons printing and labeling is anticipated to drive the market for color toners during the forecast period. Monochrome printing was the preferred method for most printing needs until a few years ago.