Since practically all European countries have shut down public life and imposed a curfew economies and industries are heavily affected. This is valid also for the gravure industry. The machinery and equipment manufacturers are in a difficult situation as they e.g. cannot send their technicians to their worldwide customers operating their machines.
Publication printing is challenged by a drop in advertising as orders for promotion leaflets and catalogues have decreased. However, the packaging printers are well loaded to print the urgently needed packaging material for the large brand article manufacturers and foodstuff producers, as well as the cylinder manufacturers to supply the print form. And as there is now a demand for long runs there is a kind of renaissance of gravure. ERA Secretary James Siever states: “Due to its outstanding quality and high consistency over long runs gravure is the ideal process to fulfil this excessive demand. Frequent design changes due to special promotions in connection with events such as the European Football Cup or the Olympic Games are currently not requested by the market.” A problem could arise for packaging printing that ethanol, needed for the continuous printing of packaging material, could become scarce as it us increasingly applied for the production of disinfectants. ERA therefore supports the call by the umbrella organisation of the European printing industry Intergraf on European and national authorities to secure the supply of ethyl alcohol for packaging printing. James Siever: “Print must be defined as an essential service in the corona crisis.”