This IDC study analyzes some of the primary research results from an IDC study that asked questions of wide format printing establishments about automation and whether, how, and where wide format printing establishments are considering investments in automation. A recent survey by IDC and Cygnus Business Media provides some interesting insights on automation in wide format digital printing markets. The wide format digital print market is growing increasingly competitive, which is forcing wide format print producers to become more operationally efficient. One way companies are doing this is by adopting software and hardware tools that help automate steps in the production process. IDC expects a lot of the future investment in automation to focus on automating steps in the front end, from sales through job submission, which will be driven by the trend to shorter run lengths in the display graphics segment, which in turn drives higher job volume.
"We see a growing focus on automation in the wide format business driven by the need to produce more wide format print jobs, faster. This research indicates that for many shop owners, the focus is on the front end, which is based on the trends toward shorter runs, versioning, and the use of variable data," said Tim Greene, research director at IDC's Hardcopy Solutions Group.