Gary Doman, GEW’s International Sales Manager for Sheetfed, discusses the future trends of the sheetfed offset market with Whattheythink at the Printing United show in Las Vegas, which took place in October 2022.

So what is the future of sheetfed?

In Gary Doman’s words, there are a few factors that will influence the future of Sheetfed Offset Printing: “The main trends we see in the industry are, there’s two or three actually, the main ones are diversifying the products. The guys want to just not be a traditional commercial paper printer, they want to add value to what they’re doing for their customers and, by doing that, increase their margin. That’s one, definitely one trend.

“Another trend we’re seeing is power, you know, where customers are perhaps using UV already and they need to save energy. That’s a big thing right now, particularly in Europe. So we see guys wanting to move away from UV, which burns a lot of energy to LED UV, which takes a lot less energy, it’s something like 70 percent less.

“And I think the other thing is time. Customers want to produce more work, they want to put it through the factory, but you can’t, if the ink’s wet you can’t do that. So we see guys who wouldn’t necessarily look at UV or consider UV say ‘hang on, if I want to produce a job at, you know, 5000 run or 500 sheet run and I want to finish it, I’ve got to put it through the folder, I’ve got to stitch it and trim it, can I do that?’.

“Well, the answer is ‘yes you can’. With LED UV you can print it, fold it, stitch it, trim it. Basically within the moment you’ve taken it off the delivery of the machine, straight away and then out the door.

“And that does two things. One, it takes up less space in terms of work in progress, which is a big deal because you’ve got this much space. And secondly, you’re going to get paid on that invoice much, much quicker.

“And I can tell you, I see companies who are waiting two or three days with work in progress on the floor because they can’t touch it. The ink’s not dry, it’ll smudge, it’ll scuff, it’ll scratch, so with LED UV you’ve got the immediate answer to that problem in being able to run that job through and get paid, and that’s a really big thing. So there’s sort of two or three trends.

“There’s some other things that I see, but probably another one I’ve seen a lot is guys who want to produce and specialise. They’re a commercial printer and it comes back to diversifying, but not just ‘I want to print plastic’, ‘I want to print cardboard’. I’ve seen commercial printers migrate from being a commercial paper printer to a cardboard, carton box, packaging printer.

So that’s really something that we see a lot and I think that’s going to continue to happen in the commercial market. So there are the things that we see, in basic form.”

Find out more about GEW’s systems for sheetfed offset printing on our dedicated sheetfed page. The future of sheetfed is UV LED, and we have the solution: