China: a rapidly developing inkjet market

By Oleg Litvinov / Published:

Since 2015, the “Digital Printing” magazine of Keyin Media has published the “High-speed Inkjet Printing in China” installation report. According to the report, there were more than 800 high-speed inkjet presses in China at the end of 2021, up from just 41 in 2015. Those are the presses with a speed of at least 100 m/min and resolution 600×600 dpi, and do not include label presses. Most of them are Chinese-made, by OEMs, such as Founder, HanGlobal, Shandong INKJ and others. More than 70% of the machines sold are monochrome presses used for printing mainly K-12 curriculum materials, books, manuals, and promotionals. As usual, they are replacing the lower end of offset presses and hi-speed toner devices, and Chinese market capacity and demand for high-speed inkjet printing equipment still has great potential.

My last post talked about HanGlobal, part of the Hanglory Group and the introduction of their inkjet presses into Europe. There are also other major players on the POD and label printing inkjet market in China. Among them is Beijing Founder Electronics Co., Ltd, the technology, solution and service provider for Chinese printing and media industry. The Founder Group was created in 1986 by Peking University. Founder has been making RIPs, computers, and workflow software since its early days. Its graphic arts products have included page layout, RIP and workflow software, proofers, plate setters, and production inkjet presses. Back to DRUPA 2012, the Chinese manufacturer showed EagleJet L1400 label press and EagleJet P5200 inkjet digital printing system, but since then Founder’s installed base has remained primarily in China.

Today its flagship products are the EagleJet P4400CHD and P5600CHD which is targeted at high-speed color and monochrome printing. It uses Kyocera heads and can print up to 150 m/min with resolutions of 600×600 dpi or 1200×1200 dpi, albeit at a slower speed. Founder’s installed base is more than 80 machines according to the company information.

Another major OEM of inkjet presses for commercial and document-oriented applications in China is Shandong INKJ Digital Technology Co., Ltd., Inkj Digital (Yingkejie). It is a high-tech enterprise focusing on industrial inkjet technology development, manufacturing and after-sales service. Yingkejie and Fujifilm Business Innovation (China) signed a strategic cooperation agreement which allows Fujifilm Commercial Innovation to sell Inkj Digital color and monochrome inkjet presses and consumables in China. The company produces INKJ DT 440/560/660/880 series of web-fed presses using water-based pigment inks with print resolution 600×1200 dpi. The monochrome-only INKJ DT8800H model has maximum paper width 890 mm and the machine production speed equivalent to 4040 A4 pages per minute.

Beijing Jiaruiyang Technology Co., Ltd. (JRY) is the manufacturer of industrial inkjet systems including cut-sheet and web-fed production inkjet presses. Among them are the JRY i460 web-fed color digital printing system with a printing width of up to 460mm,  JRY 1050H UV-LED sheet-fed 500×720 dpi digital imprinting system for adding full variable data to the fixed offset color printing with 1050×1050 mm maximum sheet size, and UVI320 label digital UV inkjet with 600 dpi Epson I3200 print heads and width up to 320 mm.

Established in 2000, Shenzhen Runtianzhi Digital Equipment Co., LTD (RTZ)  sells its machines under the trademark FLORA. RTZ’s products include UV printing, textile printing, corrugated, ceramic printing, label printing, etc. It is well-known outside of China for the wide-format printers and showed an entirely revamped portfolio at this year’s FESPA, demonstrating its printers, now upgraded with Epson S3200 printheads.  According to Tomasz Nowak, Sales Manager at Flora, the adoption of the new printhead has resulted in higher quality output.

Flora also presented the J330-S UV label press at Labelexpo Americas 2022 and, according to the company, has more than 30 installations of the machine with customers in more than 100 countries and 60 overseas dealers. Recently, RTZ launched its first web-fed inkjet press with water-based inks for POD market, the Phenix 330/440/660. It achieves a printing speed of up to 100 m/min and resolution 600×600 dpi or 600×1200 dpi at a slower speed.

Beijing Kaiwei Anyin Technology Co., Ltd. (Kaiwei Anyin) was formerly known as the Innovation Center of the Computer Research Institute of Peking University. It focuses on the research and development of printing technology, including high-speed inkjet printing systems and related products. The Kaiwei Anyin range of digital printing machines includes JetSail sheet-fed monochrome inkjet printing system, ColorSail sheet-fed color printer, and StreamSail web-fed inkjet press. Kaiwei Anyin ColorSail 460, the first color sheet-fed press made in China, is equipped with 32 Epson S3200-A1 print heads and can print 660 A4/min. It uses the fast-drying nano pigment ink developed by the company. ColorSail 460 print speed is 660 A4/min. The machine was presented at Shanghai All in Print Exhibition in 2020 and quoted at 3 million Yuan (430K USD).

Shield Technology has over 15 years of industry experience and is one of the leading Chinese solution providers of high-end digital inkjet equipment. It has M and G series of web-fed inkjet powered by Memjet. The maximum width of M-series presses with DuraLink print head is 880 mm for monochrome models and 680 for color machines. They can print with a resolution of up to 1600×1600 dpi and a speed of up to 150 m/min in high-quality mode. The G-series uses dual printhead design and can print  up to 120 m/min and 1200×2400 dpi. The presses are targeting book, publication and commercial printing.

Guangzhou Pulisi Technology Co., the company known for automatic quality inspection systems recently launched the Pulisi AOBEAD DPIM330 digital press in Korea and the USA. The UV inkjet label press has a print resolution of 600dpi x 1200dpi, and in addition to the standard CMYK configuration with the inline Inspection system, it also offers a hybrid model and white ink. The machine uses Epson printheads and has a maximum printing speed of 60 m/min. The company signed a North American sales agent for the US and Mexico markets and has decided to set up a demo room in Mexico City next year.

Shenzhen Wonder Printing System Co., Ltd., is a well-known producer of the corrugated digital printing system and packaging equipment. Founded in 1996, the company offers multi- and single-pass digital printers for corrugated board printing. The roll-to-roll pre-printer and sheet-fed aqueous and UV ink models are available with a production speed of up to 1400 m2/hour. According to the company, printers are exported to countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.

Just to see how many production inkjet OEMs are already in China, we could also mention Jiangsu Kesi Electromechanical Engineering Co., Ltd., (COASO) with iCueLabel 420 UV web-fed inkjet label and Presto 370 UV LED monochrome cut-sheet press, Wuhan Yifang Information Engineering Co., Ltd., (ENVOVE) the producer of inkjet label presses under Topjet brand and Image PRNA3500 two-color water-based ink cut-sheet press for blueprint which can print up to 120 A3 duplex pages a minute, Guangdong Arojet Inkjet Technology Co., Ltd., (AROJET) with web-fed Dongfang Keyin 440 using water-based ink and EM-313W color UV label press, Weifang Donghang Graphic Technology Inc. , the manufacturer of the UV inkjet Label press, Haotian, the maker of HTS-220-5C label press  – these being just some of the other manufacturers.

Most of those names are little known, or completely unknown, outside of China, but some are already looking for business outside of their home country. Wonder Printing has a representative in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Iran and Indonesia. The first HanGlobal Kirin 660 press in Poland and LabStar 330S in Italy were installed recently. The company sold 5 LabelStar and 5 Kirin presses in Russia along with several Hanway presses for corrugated printing. Flora, Pulisi and Founder have also established dealer relationships in the country, so we may see more Chinese high-speed inkjet presses installed soon. It makes sense to continually look in new directions for where your competition or market opportunity may be found.

Vendor

Press Installed

Product Type

Company

Location

Segment

Notes

HanGlobal Kirin 560C Roll 2-up Smolensk Poligrafcombinat Smolensk, Russia Books
HanGlobal Kirin 660/660C (4) Roll 2-up NetPrint Moscow, Russia Books, Catalog, Commercial 4 presses
HanGlobal LabStar 330S Label roll Rost N. Novgorod, Russia Label, Packaging
HanGlobal LabStar 330S Label roll Nissa Moscow, Russia Label, Packaging
HanGlobal Kirin 560 Roll 2-up Printgroup.pl Szczecinie, Poland Books 2 more ordered
HanGlobal LabStar 330S Label roll Eurolabel Milan, Italy Label, Packaging
HanGlobal LabStar 330S Label roll Tatarstan, Russia Label, Packaging
Hanway HighJet 2500B Sheet Top Product Moscow, Russia Corrugated Packaging
Hanway HighJet 2500W Sheet Gofroexpert Moscow, Russia Corrugated Packaging
HanGlobal LabStar 330S Hybrid Label roll SET Mexico Label, Packaging
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About the Author

Oleg Litvinov

Oleg Litvinov is a freelance business development consultant based in Brussels, Belgium.  He has been active in the printing industry for more than 20 years, specializing in Digital printing. Previously, with CREO, Oleg was responsible for the pre-sale analysis and support of Kodak distributors in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Baltic States and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and subsequently negotiated Kodak’s largest contract in Russia. He has also held positions with Fuji Xerox and Canon supporting Russia and the APAC region. Leveraging this business experience along with an engineering background, Oleg has developed a strong track record for defining and implementing total printing solutions for customers.

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