GEW celebrated their 30th Anniversary in March, 2021. GEW was formed in 1991 by Gillian and Malcolm Rae, with the stated objective to ‘provide the narrow web label market with compact and efficient UV curing systems.’
Today, GEW designs and manufactures mercury arc and LED UV curing systems for applications all across the printing, coating and converting industries. With headquarters in the UK and subsidiaries in Germany and the United States, the company serves an international customer base with sales, service and support available worldwide.
In the early years GEW developed UV systems for a range of label printing machines, and the success of these first models enabled the business to grow rapidly. Between 1992 and 1999 the company repeatedly relocated into larger premises and developed the product range further. GEW quickly became identified with UV curing systems on narrow web printing machines. Sales at that point were mostly direct with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) accounts, based mainly in Europe.
In 1999 GEW were awarded the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement, having doubled export sales in the preceding three years. In the same year GEW established their USA subsidiary operation, GEW Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio to service the Americas. A further subsidiary office in Germany and a worldwide network of distributors and agents completes the group.
2012 saw the company’s latest move, this time to a purpose built, state-of-the-art production facility near London Gatwick in West Sussex, UK. Founders Malcolm and Gillian Rae remain involved in running the organisation with the same enthusiasm and commitment with which they began in 1991. Adding to this strength, their son and daughter have also taken active, guiding roles within the company.
In more recent years GEW has continued to grow significantly, opening a second production factory in the UK and expanding the product line-up to include world-leading UV LED solutions. Expansion into adjacent UV application areas has also continued, with GEW now a major force in sheetfed offset, wide web converting and large scale industrial UV solutions. Even during the recent pandemic GEW has been recruiting and with the core products more reliable and in higher demand than ever, the future looks bright for the Europe’s leading UV curing provider.
Malcolm Rae comments: “The future of GEW is in many capable hands, supporting our customers and developing innovative new products to maintain our leading position in the industry. Today, GEW equipment is used on many of the world’s most advanced printing machines and our products are highly regarded for their standard of engineering, reliability and performance.” He concludes: “Our fast, friendly and flexible approach has kept customers loyal to us over many years. As testimony to this, our first-ever customer is still buying from us today.”
….. Update 23.04.2021 …..
As GEW’s 30th Anniversary in early March fell during the third UK COVID lockdown, our celebrations had to be restrained. However, company founders Malcolm & Gillian Rae were presented with a commemorative book of messages from GEW staff, a 30th Anniversary memento and a magnificent, iced cake replica of a GEW LeoLED lamphead.
Malcolm commented: “Since starting GEW 30 years ago Gill and I have spent virtually no time reflecting upon history. Our focus has been on our customers, our products and increasingly our staff. The graphics arts industry is inexorably seeking ever more energy efficiency and our focus has been the provision of highly effective and durable LED curing solutions. Our highly innovative ArcLED products have been universally accepted during the Arc to LED transition period which we are currently in right now.
“Our staff have worked throughout the COVID pandemic supporting our customers around the world. I thank them all for their efforts, sometimes in difficult family situations.
“At the 30 Year milestone I reflect on our first order, from AB Graphics, reassured that they still buy UV systems from us today. I would like to thank all our customers, big and small, for their continued support and the positive messages received from so many of them.
“Age dims our faculties but I can honestly say that Gillian and I are as enthusiastic about the business today as we were 30 years ago. We are immensely proud to now be able to see the next generation of the Rae family steadily taking leading roles in the business.”