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New « Professional » Class Drives Impressive 38% Growth for 3D Printers in H1 2017

3D printer shipments increased 38% year-on-year in the first half of 2017, driven by soaring growth in a new Professional sub-category which straddles the traditional Industrial and Personal/Desktop markets, according to market analyst CONTEXT. At first glance, the market appeared to be driven by unit shipments in the Personal/Desktop space, which saw growth of 39%, while Industrial/Professional shipments slumped 6%. However, the new grouping reveals 64% growth year-on-year for 3D printers in the Professional category, outperforming another sub-class: personal sub-€2,200 printers, which increased by 36%. Professional products can be found in both the Personal/Desktop and the Industrial/Professional markets, with a price range of €2,200-€17,000. Leaders in this sub-class include Ultimaker, Formlabs, Leapfrog, MakerBot (Stratasys) and Markforged.

Meanwhile, Personal sub-€2,200 printers comprised the vast majority (85%) of the 200,509 printers shipped in the overall Personal/Desktop market in the first half of 2017. "The Professional class of 3D printers has been emerging for some time now, coming both down from the high-end and up from the low-end, but it is now really coming into its own and merits separate analysis", said Chris Connery, vice-president of Global Market Research and Analysis, CONTEXT. "As the market matures and grows, and price points in the Personal/Desktop market continue to drop, $5,000 is no longer the only defining barrier at the low end of the global 3D printing market."

New Global Leader Emerges

Q2 2017 also saw the emergence of a new leader in the Personal/Desktop segment: Monoprice, which enjoyed year-on-year shipment growth of over 450% for the quarter and shipped 19% of the quarter’s 107K units. Monoprice's meteoric rise to the top is even more impressive because the firm's sales have initially been confined to one region: the United States. Throughout the first half of the year, it was neck-and-neck with the former number one vendor, XYZprinting, in terms of global market share. Monoprice continues to set the bar for entry-level price points with a weighted average price for its products of €245 in Q2 2017, compared to €350 for XYZprinting. However, XYZprinting is not sitting idle and launched a new colour desktop printer in the period. Along with Monoprice and XYZprinting, other global rising stars through the first half include Wanhao, Formlabs Prusa Research, Dagoma and Markforged: all of which saw year-on-year shipments grow above 50%.

In the Industrial/Professional market, many publicly traded companies – most notably Stratasys and 3D Systems – saw unit volumes decline again in 1H 2017, even while unit shipments rose for the likes of EOS, GE Additive, Carbon and HP. However, several high-profile players have stated this is due to execution rather than demand issues, leaving many still feeling bullish for the second half of the year. All manufacturers have continued to champion the use of 3D printing for mainstream production. However, although metal 3D printing has already turned that corner, the plastics side of the industry is still largely stuck using the technique largely for prototyping. Yet to come are new solutions from market leaders Stratasys and 3D Systems in the form of their respective Infinite Build and Figure-4 systems and momentum for hot players like HP and Carbon is just now building.

Outlook: 2017 and Beyond

The global 3D printing market, which includes not only printer hardware but also materials and services, is on track to be worth €4.8B in 2017 – an increase of 15% from 2016. That’s despite a relatively weak first half for the Industrial/Professional side of the market, which accounts for nearly 78% of all revenue in terms of hardware alone. As the market shifts to focus on production, it is on track to reach €14.5B by 2021. "The second half of 2017 will see a new crop of lower-priced metal printers ship, paving the way for a strong 2018 as metal continues to lead the industry", noted Connery.

Ingram Micro signed as Kaspersky Lab’s training provider

Middle East: Ingram Micro Training MEA, a provider of instructor-led technical training, has partnered with Kaspersky Lab as training provider for the Middle East Region. With this partnership, Ingram Micro is now authorized to provide certified trainings for end point solutions of Kaspersky Lab in the GCC. Ingram Micro will provide best in class training services to all Kaspersky Lab customers and partners further strengthening the company's training offerings for the channel community. "Training is a crucial element to the success of any organization", said Amir Kanaan, General Manager for the Middle East at Kaspersky Lab. "Partnering with Ingram Micro Training MEA is the right move to ensure that our customers in the region receive best in class training services on our award winning endpoint solutions."

"We are thrilled to bring Kaspersky Lab training services to the region", said Mohammad Sabry, Head of Services, Gulf and Near East region at Ingram Micro. "Kaspersky Lab is one of our strategic vendors and we look forward to continuing to expand our solutions portfolio to include professional services offerings in the near future. This is an excellent start of a great partnership."

Midwich enters the Dutch market

Netherlands: AV broadliner Midwich has acquired a majority stake in AV specialist van Domburg Partners. Van Domburg joins Midwich offices in Australasia, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom. Stephen Fenby, Managing Director Midwich Group, commented: "the acquisition of Van Domburg marks Midwich's entry into the Benelux markets, enabling the Group to trade with a broad customer base across a variety of customer segments. The addition of this territory to the Group’s portfolio increases Midwich's geographical coverage, with the Group operating in territories which account for approximately 70% of the European audio visual market. I look forward to welcoming the van Domburg team into the Midwich Group, and working with them to further develop this exciting market."

The acquisition signals Midwich's entry into the Benelux, a market the Group has identified as important in its international expansion. The acquisition is further delivery of the Group's strength to grow its operations through a combination of organic developments and selected acquisitions. Midwich will acquire a majority stake from the two joint Managing Directors, with the option to acquire the remaining shares over the next three years. The Company's Managing Directors will continue to be responsible for the management of the business, and will remain in their current positions.

Rick ter Wee and Ed van Domburg, the managing directors of Van Domburg, commented: "from the outset of our conversations with the Midwich Group, the synergies between our two businesses were evident. With our strong local position, and with the backing and support of Midwich, it is clear this exciting partnership will enable Van Domburg to continue our growth in the audio visual, and high-end lighting markets. Midwich's audio visual specialism, and international market leading position made them the ideal partner for us. We look forward to working closely with them to develop our business in the Benelux."

Headquartered near Rotterdam, Van Domburg is a market leader in the Dutch large format displays market. In recent years, it has developed its technical video product portfolio, offering solutions in digital signage, control and connectivity amongst others. As well as leading the Dutch market in large format displays, its subsidiary "Dutch Light Pro" distributes high-end lighting products primarily to electrical contractors and installers. A key part of the company's proposition is to provide lighting design consultancy services.

Thomas Sumner, European Director Midwich Group, commented: "as with any Midwich acquisition our focus will continue to be on enhancing the service and support we provide our customers and vendor partners. We are delighted a market leader in specialist audio visual distribution has again decided to join the Midwich Group. We look forward to working with them and investing in this important market."

iBoss appoints Config

iBoss has signed a distribution deal with French network and security VAD Config. To answer more effectively to the demands in cloud-based Internet security, Config will distribute through its resellers all iBoss solutions and will work with them to offer the best solution to the end customers. "We are delighted to work with Config. Thanks to them, we are now able to offer our security platform to whole Europe and Northern Africa. Together, iBoss and Config will block all evolutive security threats which the traditional security systems miss, thanks to our advanced cybersecurity solutions", says Daniel Mason, EMEIA Commercial Sales for iBoss.

"True to our strategy, we try to offer an ever-growing of complete and high-performance solutions. To have iBoss, which is a leader on the cloud-based Internet security market, in our solution portfolio is a tremendous opportunity for Config", says Denisa Monville, commercial director for Config France.

As a VAD, Config will distribute the full iBoss offer in Algeria, France, Morocco, Switzerland and Tunisia, as well as in sub-saharian Africa through its young office in Sénégal.

A new head for Datech

France: broadliner Tech Data has appointed Pierre-Emmanuel Pichaud as new managing director for its Datech division, which is specialized in Autodesk ecosystems. He replaces Henry Gerente whose whereabouts are yet unknown.