Printing Blankets: Introduction
- Printing blankets are used to transfer ink or image from the roller into any substrate such as paper, metal, and textile in the offset printing industry. Based on blanket type, the printing blankets markets can be segmented into compressible, conventional blankets, and others.
- Conventional blankets are less popular in the offset printing industry. Demand for compressible blankets is higher than that of conventional blankets. Compressible blankets can not only transfer a quality image from the plate to the blanket, but can function at high speeds with different substrates.
- Printing blankets can resist chemicals such as solvent and inks. Different components of blankets help prevent the penetration of chemicals.
- Printing blankets consist of two major components: blanket face and carcass. Blanket face is commonly referred to as surface layer. It is the part that comes in contact with plate and substrate. Blanket face is designed in such a way that it can provide or transfer image as smoothly as possible. Manufacturers select those materials that can provide smooth surface. However, materials should not be very smooth, as it can create resistance for the ink to transfer onto a substrate (paper, metal, or textiles). Carcass generally defines everything sandwiched underneath the surface layer. Underneath the surface layer, compressible layer made of synthetic rubber (nitrile rubber or neoprene) is added. It has low reactivity to offset press chemicals. Solvent, inks, and other solutions are continuously pushed onto the blanket. Neoprene and nitrile rubber prevent these chemicals from penetrating. Sometimes, UV inks can cause the rubber to swell, shrink, and crack. In order to counter this challenge, EPDM rubber can be used as compressible layer.
Key Drivers of Printing Blankets Market
- Based on substrate type, the global market can be divided into paper & paperboard, metal, textile, and others. Printing blankets are primarily used to print images on textiles, paper, and metals. Demand for printed clothing including shirts, shoes, or pants has been increasing owing to rise in disposable income and increase in influence of the entertainment industry on millennials. Several clothing apparel companies employ offset printing to print shirts. This is expected to boost the demand for printing blankets during the forecast period.
- The paper & paperboard segment is estimated to dominate the market during the forecast period. Demand for newspapers, magazines, and printed advertising/leaflets has been rising despite the emergence of digital media. Offset process is still preferred over digital printing solutions to print high volumes. Increase in demand for sustainable printed packaging and flexible printed packaging and cost effectiveness are other factors anticipated to drive the market in the next few years.
Key Restraint of Printing Blankets Market
- Digital printing solutions seem to be replacing offset printing. Digital printing solutions consume lesser time than the offset process to print textiles, metals, and paper. This is estimated to hamper the printing blankets market. However, the cost of printing through digital printing solution is higher than that of the offset process.
Covid-19 Impact on Printing Blankets Market
- The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the offset printing industry. The newspaper industry contributes significantly to the global printing blankets market. However, the global newspaper industry is facing supply-chain issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several printing presses were shut down during March 2020 to May 2020 in many countries. This temporarily impacted the business of manufacturers engaged in production of printing blankets. It also adversely affected the end-use industries of the market.
Asia Pacific to Hold Significant Share of Global Printing Blankets Market
- In terms of region, the global printing blankets market can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- The printing blankets market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period owing to increase in demand for printed packaging in countries such as China, India, and Vietnam in the region
- The market in Europe and North America is estimated to expand at a sluggish pace in the next few years, owing to the higher preference for digital printing solutions in these regions
Key Players Operating in Global Market
Key players operating in the global printing blankets market include:
- ContiTech AG
- Trelleborg AB
- Flint Group
- Fujikura Composites Inc.
- Kinyosha Co., Ltd.
- Meiji Rubber and Chemical Co., Ltd.
- Habasit AG
- CNI XINYUAN Ltd.
- Shanghai Chen Jie Printing Material Co., Ltd
Global Printing Blankets Market: Research Scope
Global Printing Blankets Market, by Blanket Type
- Conventional Blankets
- Compressible Blankets
Global Printing Blankets Market, by Substrate Type
- Paper & Paperboard
Global Printing Blankets Market, by Region
- North America
- Russia & CIS
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Rest of Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
- South Africa
- Rest of Middle East & Africa
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