Electrophotographic printing is one of the oldest printing technologies. It is also known as xerography or laser printing. It utilizes electrophotographic papers that are capable to withstand heat and toner formulations used in the electrophotographic printing process. The type of paper used depends on the type of electrophotographic printing such as laser printing. The electrophotographic paper used in laser printing needs to withstand high heat involved in the printing process and is required to possess anti-jamming and anti-curling properties. The paper performance is also affected by the paper path of the printing equipment. The papers undergo surface treatment for better printing, low color mottle, and reduced feathering. The surface treatment process reduces the drop penetration depth in the printing paper and brightens its colors. Electrophotographic printing papers can be coated or uncoated. Uncoated papers are used widely as desktop or office printing papers. These papers are often coated with a heavy mineral coating, which enhances the quality of the paper surface. Coated papers are widely used for printing of images, brochures, and booklets.
Electrophotography is a technology used widely in laser printers and LED printers. The major components of electrophotography are electrostatic charges, dry ink (toner), and light. The working principle of the electrophotographic printing technology is that the drum has the positive charge, whereas the toner has the negative charge. Due to opposite charges, the toner is attracted toward the drum and charges are nullified, leaving a positively charged imitation of the original image. The advantage associated with the electrophotographic printing is its speed, which spans from four PPM to 1,000 PPM. The digital printing process is undergoing major changes such as improvement in productivity and reliability, which are making it more cost-effective. The output of electrophotographic printing is expected to increase in the next few years, and the rise is likely to be value-driven. Recent advancements in the electrophotographic printing paper technology are enabling the use of these papers for a wide range of photo offerings. The new E-surface technology for EP presses provides the look and surface finishing to the printing paper. Printing papers manufactured by using the E-surface technology can be used in printers that employ dry as well as liquid ink.
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The market for electrophotographic printing paper can be segmented on the basis of type of printer into laser printers, LED printers, photocopy machines, and others. The laser printing segment is expected to expand at a significant rate during the forecast period. The increasing demand for printing papers with highly finished surfaces and high-definition printing is anticipated to drive the electrophotographic printing paper market during the forecast period.
In terms of region, the market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The markets in North America and Europe are anticipated to expand at a significant rate during the forecast period. Growth of the printing industry in Asia Pacific and Latin America is expected to propel the markets in these regions.
Key players in the global electrophotographic printing paper market include Novexco, Kodak, Canon, JK Paper, Fujifilm, and TST/Impreso, Inc. Companies are adopting aggressive marketing tactics and the strategy of mergers and acquisitions to increase their market share. They are also shifting their production facilities to emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America, due to easy availability of land, cheap labor, and governmental subsidies in the two regions.