Cabot Corp. has completed a $10 million capacity expansion project at its Haverhill, MA, inkjet facility. The project further supports Cabot’s growth in the emerging office segment of inkjet printing and the commercial inkjet printing market. The new expansion doubles the production capacity of Cabot’s CAB-O-JET small molecule color and polymer-attached pigment dispersion lines.
Cabot’s inkjet business benefits from an important technology shift in the commercial printing segment in which inkjet technology is increasingly being adopted in order to adapt to changes in volume and demand. Market analysts predict that the inkjet market for commercial print will achieve a compound annual growth rate of more than 35% over the next three years.
Inkjet technology is used in a variety of segments, including transactional printing, which includes monthly mailings such as credit card statements, personalized targeted direct mail and book printing. Publishing houses that are seeking to reduce book inventories and decrease print run lengths to respond to the increased use of eReaders and iPads are utilizing inkjet technology to enable “print on demand.” As a result, book printing is now the largest and fastest growing segment using inkjet technology.
Inkjet is also seeing significant growth in the small-office segment. This market has been traditionally dominated by laser printers sold for under $500. However, customers now have a better alternative with the launch of inkjet desktop printers that offer color comparable to laser printing, at significantly less cost and a reduced energy footprint.
“As our dispersions deliver high optical density with the best durability in the market, we recognized a new opportunity to grow our inkjet business to meet our customers’ need for high performance, quality products for the growing commercial market,” said Julie Planchet, general manager, Cabot inkjet colorants. “By growing our color pigment dispersion business, we are able to expand our position as a strategic partner to more original equipment manufacturers. Furthermore, with color inkjet printing making in-roads into sizeable markets for transactional, book, direct mail, graphics, labels, packaging and signage, we see the potential for growth across a variety of printing applications.”
Cabot’s Haverhill expansion project started in summer 2011 and was officially completed at the end of March 2012. The project’s successful completion is due largely to Cabot’s safety performance, teamwork, and collaboration with local and state officials. During the construction of the project, Cabot achieved a major safety milestone by logging more than 31,000 contractor hours without any recordable injuries.