India to clock blanket sales of USD 55 million - The Noel DCunha Sunday Column
This is the number Stratview Research’s study of the printing blanket has to show . The study of the printing blankets market over the trend period of 2013 to 2018 and the forecast period of 2019 to 2024 has estimated that the global demand for printing blanket will reach USD 855.6-million in 2024.
In this Sunday Column, PrintWeek shares excerpts, plus talks to Indian blanket suppliers and looks at how to maximise the blanket’s potential
24 Nov 2019 | By Noel D'Cunha
India is the third-largest market in the Asia-Pacific region after China and Japan. India will clock an annual sales of USD 55 million in 2024. This means the highest growth during 2019-2024. Stratview Research, in its latest published report, has forecasted that the global demand for printing blankets will reach USD 855.6 million in 2024.
Organic growth of the offset printing market, expanding the packaging industry, growing advertising industry, and increased focus towards the development of eco-friendly blankets are the major factors, catapulting the growth of printing blankets market.
Stratview Research, in its latest published report, has forecasted that the global demand for printing blankets will reach US$ 855.6 million in 2024. Organic growth of the offset printing market, expanding the packaging industry, growing advertising industry, and increased focus towards the development of eco-friendly blankets are the major factors, catapulting the growth of printing blankets market.
The report has analysed the demand patterns for different regions as well. According to the report, Asia-Pacific is the largest as well the fastest-growing market having a share of over 40% in the global demand, driven by significant economic development in the region, increasing disposable income, surging demand for flexible and easy to carry packaging, and vastly expanded print media industry. China and India are the growth engines of the region’s market, propelled by huge consumer base, significant economic growth, and consistent supply chain.
India, which is the third largest market in Asia-Pacific region after China and Japan, will clock an annual sales of USD 55 million in 2024, witnessing the highest growth during 2019-2024.
Suresh Shah, Suresh Shah, managing director at Nulith Graphics, estimates the present annual blanket sale in India to be around USD 35-million. Among the blanket players, Vishal Ladda, director at Vishal Print Trader, whose products range from inks, varnish, plates, press room chemicals from Varn, Cow and Day rubber blankets with converting unit, Policrom underpacking and varnishing plates, shared his numbers. “Our total turnover in 2019 was Rs 81-crore out of which blanket was about Rs 18-cr,” he says.
According to Ladda digitisation is a boon, but it has also brought in a lot of negative effects on the printing industry directly or indirectly.
Ladda says, “People have moved to e-versions of newspapers, magazines, brochures, etc. So if our presses don't print, what would we supply as a printing consumable distributor? Therefore, we have seen a slowdown in commercial and web offset sector in the past two three years. We have also observed an upward trend in packaging because things are changing rapidly in this sector. We all buy goods which have a great packaging and it’s sustainable. Packaging speaks about the product and that's the reason why packaging is growing at faster than any other sector in the printing industry.”
Printing blanket is an imperative part of the offset printing process as it is the final point of contact between the printed substrate and press. The main function of the blanket is to transfer the inked image from the plate to the substrate in the most efficient manner. The substrate may vary from paper to aluminium sheet to textile to any other substrates, such as plastics and metals.
In early days, blankets were made from pure rubber that gave a much superior quality of image than lithographic plates used at that time, but it had its drawbacks. In the 1930s, the origination of synthetic rubber eliminated the problems inherent from the pure rubber, previously used. Today, the blankets are made by using different synthetic rubbers to increase their resistance.
The primary synthetic rubber used today are Buna N, Neoprene, along with NVR (Nitrile Rubber), and EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Rubber) to increase the durability of the blanket. In order to provide additional strength to the blanket, a backing with either fabric or metal is provided.
The supply chain of this market comprises raw material suppliers, printing blankets
Global industry statistics
Stratview Research’s report looks at the segment-wise current market condition, and offers an estimation about future growths.
Based on the blanket type, the market is segmented into conventional printing blankets, UV printing blankets, combination printing blankets, and others. Conventional printing blanket is likely to remain the most dominant blanket type in the market over the next five years. High-quality print at a very competitive price is the major factor behind the dominance of conventional blankets. UV printing blanket is likely to expand at the highest rate over the same period, driven by its ability to resist the UV inks and helps in UV printing.
Shah of Nulith Graphics says, coating blanket is a product to look out for. Rubber or polymer top layer with polyester back coating blankets are most suitable for UV and water-based coating. “It can be easily cut on the plotter or achieve a perfect spot coating.”
In terms of region, Asia-Pacific is projected to remain the largest as well the fastest-growing market during the forecast period, driven by significant economic development in the region, increasing disposable income, surging demand for flexible and easy to carry packaging, and vastly expanded print media industry. China and India are the growth engines of the region’s market, propelled by huge consumer base, significant economic growth, and consistent supply chain. Availability of vast raw material sources, expanding the industrial sector, and readily available customer base are some of the factors, strengthening the eco-system of the Asia-Pacific’s printing blankets market.
Europe and North America are the other major markets for printing blankets, primarily driven by the packaging industry. Increasing demand for flexible and easy to carry packaging, rising concern towards the use of plastics in the packaging industry, and significant investment towards sustainable product development are the major factors, driving the growth of the North American and European printing blankets market. Increasing digitalisation in these regions is acting as a major constraint towards the growth of the printing blankets market as it is severely impacting the stature of the newspaper and commercial print media industry.