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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The North American Top 20 Report
Article Type: Industry news From: Pigment & Resin Technology, Volume 37, Issue 5
Despite higher raw materials and operational costs that continue to impact the printing ink industry, many North American ink companies were able to show some growth during 2007 (Table I).
For more information, please contact: Sun Chemical Corporation, 35 Waterview Blvd, Parsippany, NJ 07054, Tel.: (973) 404 6000, Fax: (973) 404 6001, web site: www.sunchemical.com, Sales: Sun Chemical had annual sales of $4 billion in printing inks and colorants worldwide. North American Sales: $1.8 billion (Ink World estimate).
Major products: broad product portfolio with capabilities in web heatset and sheetfed offset; publication and packaging gravure; news ink and publication coldset; flexographic packaging inks; corrugated packaging inks; energy curable inks and coatings; screen inks, label and narrow web inks, toner, inkjet materials, adhesives for packaging, overprint varnishes, specialty coatings, effect inks, color software and brand color management, security inks and coatings, and organic colorants for inks, plastics, paints, coatings and cosmetics. Key personnel: Rudi Lenz, President and CEO, and in alphabetical order:
Gary Andrzejewski, Corporate VP, Environmental Affairs; Dr Cynthia Arnold, Chief Technology Officer; Brian Breidigan, VP General Manager, Specialty Inks, North America; Martin Cellérier, Director of Strategic Planning, Sun Chemical Europe; Melvin M. Cox, Senior VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary; Michael Dodd, President, US Ink; John Gowlett, VP, Global Operations; Susan Guerin, Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer; John Law, General Manager, SunJet; Greg Lawson, Group President, Publication, Commercial & Industrial Inks; Brian Leen, Corporate VP and General Manager, Performance Pigments; Ed Lovas, VP and Controller; John L. McKeown, Senior VP, Human Resources; David Meldram, Senior VP and President, European Inks; Felipe Mellado, Corporate VP, Marketing, Sun Chemical Europe; Charles Murray, Corporate VP and Group Managing Director, Sun Chemical Europe; Carlo Musso, Group Managing Director, Sun Chemical Europe; Chris Parrilli, VP, Business Development; Richard Pettifor, President, North American Packaging Inks; Ulrike Pfeffermann, Chief Information Officer; Edward Pruitt, Chief Procurement Officer; Brad Schrader, Chief Marketing Officer; Rod Staveley, President, Canada Business Unit; Kevin Yeazell, VP General Manager, Kohl & Madden Business Unit.
Number of employees: more than 11,000 worldwide.
Operating facilities: Sun Chemical has more than 300 manufacturing and service locations worldwide and more than 200 customer in-plant locations in the USA alone.
Comments: 2007 presented another challenging business year to the graphic arts and printing industry. In that kind of environment, Sun Chemical’s focus was on helping its customers grow their businesses and succeed. That means working for customers everyday to further improve performance on the essentials of its business, such as reliable, on time delivery, consistent product quality and investment in research and development.
The packaging segment, in particular, had a strong year.
“We see the packaging market globally and in North America growing, spurred primarily by growth in the flexible packaging market segment,” said Rudi Lenz, Sun Chemical’s President and CEO. “Because, however, imports are outpacing exports and because business is being moved off shore to Asia and South America, the packaging ink market in North America is relatively flat. Meanwhile, the folding carton segment of the sheetfed market has been flat, and is experiencing many of the cost and price pressures shared by other segments of the packaging industry. The commercial sheetfed printing market has declined slightly over the past year with some shrinkage and consolidation of printing facilities.” The cost of raw materials in the heatset market worldwide continues to escalate, with price pressure in areas such as petroleum-based products, transportation and resins. It is also a challenge for newspapers and publications as they battle for circulation and advertising dollars versus alternative media (i.e. television, radio, internet) at a cost-effective offering.
The pigment market worldwide was generally good, especially in Europe. The USA is currently the most challenging region of the world for the pigments market, primarily due to a weakened dollar, a struggling automotive market and a housing slump that led to a decline in home building and paint use. Globally, the industry was impacted by the well-publicized issues that occurred in 2007 regarding products made in China, leading to concern about product safety. The sudden and strict enforcement of environmental compliance by Chinese officials on local industry should address safety concerns, but has led to instability in the supply chain.
In 2007, environmental performance and sustainability emerged as a critical issue in virtually every business category, including the ink industry. Sun Chemical’s customers want sustainable solutions that help them meet business needs and regulatory requirements without unnecessarily complicating their businesses.
“To support our customers in improving their environmental performance, Sun Chemical offers products and services that help customers conserve energy, lower emissions and reduce waste,” Mr Lenz said. “Sun Chemical strives to increase the use of renewable and recyclable resources, such as soy, vegetable oil and starch, and we help our customers with recovery and recycling of inks and solvents. We use bioethanol in our solvent-based inks. Furthermore, we also have a growing portfolio of low VOC inks and 100 percent solids energy curable inks. Sun Chemical was a pioneer in energy curing technology and continues to advance its use.”
Mr Lenz noted that higher raw materials costs are affecting the entire industry.
“At Sun Chemical, we’re working to control our own costs closely with our supply chain partners, to improve our internal operations and to develop new value oriented products that can help customers grow their business,” he said. “That’s what customers told us they wanted as higher raw material costs resulted in higher prices at Sun Chemical and across the industry. We will continue to invest in those areas that provide our customers with innovative products and services, allowing them to be more competitive and present the best value propositions in the market.”
Mr Lenz sees plenty of good opportunities for Sun Chemical.
“In packaging, we see continued opportunities in the flexible packaging market,” Mr Lenz said. “We also see the need for introducing new technologies that offer the converter improved productivity. The benefits seen in cure time, coupled with the improved runnability with energy curable (EC) inks, specifically electron-beam cured inks, place these inks in the opportunity window. Sun Chemical technologies, such as WetFlex, a central impression wet-on-wet flexographic printing process, and UniQure, an electron beam-cured ink system, are playing a role in the adoption of energy cured technology in flexible packaging end-use applications.
“Offering the converter the ability to improve its color matching capabilities with new tools is another opportunity for growth – including the areas of printable coatings technology that either enhances packaging barrier properties, actively helps to maintain the original quality of packaged food, or intelligently provides information on the quality of packaged food,” Mr Lenz added.
Printing plastics for display and card applications is a fast growing sector. Growth is also being realized by the use of specialty UV gloss and strike-through coatings. Commercial printers are also using UV inks and coatings on clear and holographic type substrates to create new market opportunities.
Another key market opportunity is brand security. As counterfeiting and diversion issues for branded products expand exponentially, Sun Chemical has invested in the development of overt and covert solutions to ensure the integrity and safety of some of the world’s leading branded products.
Sun Chemical sees strong opportunities in newly emerging digital technologies. In digital, there are a variety of opportunities in the digital and printed electronics markets for UV ink technology.
In fact, many of the latest inkjet printers being launched into the graphics and industrial markets utilize UV ink technology and Sun Chemical is a leading provider of UV inks to this digital print market. For example, SunJet, Sun Chemical’s inkjet ink group, is a leading provider of UV inkjet inks to major printer OEMs in the graphics and emerging industrial print markets.
In addition, Sun Chemical Digital provides a variety of UV digital printer solutions designed to meet the changing needs of packaging, label and optical disk printers. SolarJet, Sun Chemical Digital’s newest UV inkjet printer designed specifically to benefit the growing short-run, narrow-web labels market, was recently launched at LabelExpo 2007 in Brussels.
Sun Chemical Digital has introduced the FastJet high speed press for the corrugated print market. Designed primarily for corrugated packaging applications, this digital printing machine approaches production speeds of 6,000 m2/h. Project 37, a single pass UV inkjet printer, is designed to offer CD/DVD duplicator and replicator companies an even more affordable digital system for the decoration of optical discs. All three printing systems use UV inkjet inks developed by SunJet.
Sun Chemical is also actively involved in the fast-growing printed electronics market, where the company believes UV technology will have application in this market in the future. In late 2007, Sun Chemical established a new Specialty Inks group in its Commercial, Publications and Industrial group to focus on these markets.
In 2007, Sun Chemical launched innovative new products that can help customers find new revenue opportunities and address their environmental performance.
“In one of our most exciting examples of innovation in 2007, Sun Chemical emerged as a leading source of expertise on color and color management for brand owners,” Mr Lenz said. “We introduced SmartColour from Sun Chemical, a revolutionary new approach for marketers, designers and converters to better manage and accurately reproduce brand colors. SmartColour takes the guesswork out of matching the spot color with the substrate on the computer monitor to get the exact color brand owners require in the earliest design phase. SmartColour relies upon the massive Sun Chemical color database of real ink colors, on common packaging substrates printed by relevant printing processes, allowing users to consider multiple alternatives to deliver a specified brand color on one or more packaging materials. Using SmartColour saves printers and brand owners from making preproduction mistakes that are not only expensive, but led to delays in product release and order fulfillment, mounting up losses in sales.”
Addressing the need for ink technology that better meets the evolving “green” printing requirements of its customers, Kohl & Madden has launched Earth series sheetfed inks, a low-VOC process set of inks with high levels of renewable raw materials such as linseed, soybean and other types of vegetable oils.
With vegetable oil content ranging from 38 to 51 percent, Earth series inks produce only 2 percent VOCs (volatile organic compounds – EPA Method 24), which makes this ink technology 80 percent lower in average VOCs than other standard sheetfed process inks now available, according to the company.
In the digital space, Sun Chemical introduced SolarJet, a web-to-web UV single pass inkjet press for printing self-adhesive labels. SolarJet offers printers an economically viable solution for print runs of 10,000 labels or fewer, freeing up their flexo presses for the higher-volume jobs. With a printing speed of 80 ft/min, SolarJet is a roll to roll printing system 6.5 in. wide using four color process UV inks.
Another example of innovation is UniWeb Sunray UV ink. When newspaper publisher, Herold Druck in Vienna installed a MAN Roland Colorman Press, the only newspaper press in the world to date that prints newspapers and magazines at 11 m/s, it turned to Sun Chemical to pioneer a new UV formula that prints at more than twice the web speed of conventional UV inks on newspaper presses. Sun Chemical’s development of UniWeb Sunray not only produced high-quality results on a high-speed press, it was instrumental in helping the Herold Druck save space and energy by not using heatset dryers.
Sun Chemical expects moderate growth for the ink industry in 2008, with the continued adoption of digital technologies, including new inkjet solutions.
“We want to be the long-term trusted supplier – the company that truly works for its customers,” Mr Lenz said. “To be able to achieve this, our customers have to know that we are here to help them with their problems. We are continuing our investment in digital by developing new platforms in narrow web, corrugated and new technology for CD and DVD printing.
“We’re optimistic that Sun Chemical’s investments in quality, service and innovation, and commitment to sustainability, will help our customers succeed,” Mr Lenz concluded. “In the current challenging market conditions, our solutions are designed to help customers operate more efficiently without sacrificing quality or service to their customers. We are also making it easier for customers to improve environmental performance. That positions the industry – and Sun Chemical – well for 2008 and beyond.”
For more information, please contact: Flint Group. North American Administrative Offices, 14909 Beck Road Plymouth, MI 48170 7194, Tel.: 734) 781 4600, Fax: (734) 781 4699, web site: www.flintgrp.com, Sales: €2.28B ($3.13B) worldwide. North American Sales: $1 billion (Ink World estimate).
Major products: Cold and heatset web offset, sheetfed offset, flexographic, gravure and UV/EB inks and coatings for publication, news, package and commercial applications. A wide range of inks for narrow web tag and label applications. Photopolymer plates and sleeve systems for flexographic applications. Highly engineered image-transfer products such as printing blankets, sleeves, chemicals and supplies. Dry, flushed and presscake pigments, aqueous dispersions, hyper dispersants and additives for the colorant market.
Key personnel: Howard Poulson, Chairman; Leonard D. Frescoln, Deputy Chairman; Charles Knott, CEO; Michael J. Bissell, Executive VP and CFO; Dr Dirk Aulbert, President, Ink Europe; William B. Miller, President, Ink Americas; Claudio Labbe, President, Ink Latin America; Jim Mahony, President, Asia-Pacific; Russell Joyce, President, Flint Group Narrow Web; Dr Thomas Telser, President, Flint Group Flexographic Products; Craig Foster, President, Flint Group Pigments; Dennis Wolters, CEO, Day International.
Number of employees: approximately, 8,300 worldwide.
Comments: Flint Group did well in 2007, as revenues and profits increased over 2006. This positive growth was consistent across geographies and product lines.
“The acquisition of Day International, and the completion of many of the integration projects resulting from the integration of Flint Ink and XSYS Print Solutions, were the primary factors contributing to growth,” said Charles Knott, Flint Group’s new CEO. “We are a more integrated and efficient organization. Each of the businesses that formed part of Flint Group have brought some unique strengths and in-depth industry knowledge, and we’re now starting to leverage these across the world with many of our customers.”
A notable event was the 2007 acquisition of Day International, a world leader in manufacturing and distributing printing blankets, sleeves, pressroom chemicals and printing supplies. The acquisition helped expand Flint Group’s portfolio with complementary products; now Flint Group can offer almost everything customers need to run their pressroom.
“The customer reaction to Day International becoming a part of the Flint Group has been very positive,” Mr Knott said.
Higher raw material, operational and transportation costs continue to have a major impact on the ink industry, and Flint Group is working with its customers to try to blunt some of that impact.
“We are committed to pursuing the best source and lowest cost materials available that allow us to supply the consistent, high quality products that our customers expect,” said William Miller, President, Ink Americas.
To that end, Flint Group has continued to pull out all stops – negotiating strongly, leveraging its global resources and using alternative sources and materials when possible. The extent of raw material cost increases in 2007 was too great for Flint Group to absorb and offset completely, however, and some Flint Group businesses were forced to implement price increases as well.
Flint Group enjoyed growth in a number of markets in 2007. Among traditional print technologies, Flint Group’s leaders see the greatest growth opportunities in packaging – especially, though not exclusively, flexible packaging.
Flint Group actively monitors advancements and innovations in new technologies. As new technologies lead to new opportunities, the company assesses the viability of the resulting markets and the fit with Flint Group’s strategy. As emerging technologies lead to sound, proven business opportunities, Flint Group will become involved through acquisitions or other investments.
In terms of geography, developing markets such as China, India, Latin America and Eastern Europe continue to offer the greatest percent growth. Flint Group operations in those regions position the company well for continued success.
Aside from the appointment of Mr Knott and the Day International investment, Flint Group was active in a number of arenas. In November, Day International acquired Hydro Dynamic Products (HDP), a manufacturer of pressroom products. Based in the UK, HDP products are available in five continents.
The North America Packaging Inks group is investing in a larger facility in Atlanta. The new location offers greater capacity for manufacturing, shipping and warehousing, and will house a printing press for convenient, controlled product development and testing.
Europe’s publication division modernized manufacturing facilities in Gravenzande, Netherlands and Frankfurt, Germany. Dirk Aulbert, President, Ink Europe, noted, “The upgrades improved Flint Group’s manufacturing capabilities while eliminating inefficient capacity. Now we benefit from better processes overall, including streamlined workflow and more efficient warehousing and distribution.”
Flint Group Pigments consolidated its US operations. The Cincinnati, OH facility was upgraded as it took over the manufacture of most of the specialty products previously produced in Holland, MI.
Flint Group also reorganized some areas of its business. Flint Group Printing Plates has become Flint Group Flexographic Products. This business unit combines the Flint Group Printing Plates activities with the Rotec sleeve business, which came to Flint Group through the Day International acquisition.
In March, Flint Group renamed XSYS Print Solutions to Flint Group Narrow Web. By identifying the business more clearly under the Flint Group umbrella, it will help customers understand the broad network they can access through the narrow web group.
New products are the lifeblood of any business, and Flint Group’s product development labs around the world have continued to improve upon existing products, developing next-generation improvements and enhancing performance capabilities.
The North America sheetfed group launched the Novavit F918 Supreme BIO ink series. Available in Europe previously, these fast-setting and ecologically friendly inks are sold under the K + E brand.
Flint Group Narrow Web launched a variety of innovative products in 2007, including braille varnish, opaque white for UV flexo shrink sleeve applications and a metallic UV curable scratch-off ink for flexographic applications.
The European packaging group launched two new product lines that capitalized on the combined capabilities of Flint Ink and XSYS Print Solutions. The solvent-based best of four range is a new European standard portfolio of solvent-based inks for packaging applications. The inks offer maximum technological flexibility for every application and demand. The water-based Premo line is a new water-based building block ink technology developed especially for the packaging industry to enable freedom and flexibility in formulation of optimally performing ink systems.
All in all, Mr Knott believes the future offers strong opportunities for Flint Group.
“The continuing increases in oil and energy prices, and ensuring reliable supplies of quality key raw materials, will continue to put pressure on our cost base, hence the primary challenge in 2008 will be the drive for innovative solutions that bring value to our customers at an acceptable economic offering,” said Mr Knott. “It is essential that we choose to operate in segments of the markets where we receive an acceptable reward for the value that we bring to our customers.”
“Growth rates in the packaging market will be on par with GDP in the developed markets. However, there are segments in the developing world that are growing much faster, particularly as the packaging industry invests more in these markets. The publication market will remain competitive. It is an important market segment for which Flint Group is well equipped to bring value to our customers,” he concluded.
For more information, please contact: INX International Ink Co. 150 N. Martingale Suite 700, Schaumburg, IL 60173, Tel.: (630) 382 1800, Fax: (847) 969 9758, web site: www.inxinternational.com, Sales: $325 million.
Major products: a full line of ink and coatings solutions technology for packaging, commercial print applications, including metal decorating, flexographic, gravure, web offset, lamination, corrugated, sheetfed, digital and UV/EB inks and coatings.
Key personnel: Hiroshi Ota, Chairman; Rick Clendenning, President and CEO; Bryce Kristo, CFO, Senior VP General Affairs; Kotaro Morita, CTO, Senior VP Product Development; George Polasik, COO, Senior VP Operations; Joseph Cichon, Senior VP, Manufacturing Technology; John Hrdlick, VP Field Operations and Distribution; Dave Waller, VP, Director National Accounts/Rigid Packaging; Jonathan Ellaby, VP, International Division; Janet Beasley, VP, Quality Systems; Rick Westrom, VP, Strategic Global Sourcing; Brad Kisner, Triangle Digital INX (TDI) President; Ken Kisner, Triangle Digital INX SVP Technology & Operations; Jim Lambert, Innovative Solutions INX President; Randy LaCaze, Innovative Solutions INX CTO.
Number of employees: approximately, 1,150.
Operating facilities: approximately, 26 locations and 175 in-plants throughout North America. Subsidiaries: INX International UK, Rochdale, England; INX International France, Bretigny, France. Sister company: TDI, San Leandro, CA; Innovative Solutions INX, Owens Cross Roads, AL. Parent company: Sakata INX, Osaka, Japan.
Comments: INX International Ink Co. had a strong year in 2007, overcoming the challenges in the ink market to post significant gains across all product lines, including its emerging technologies at its sister company, TDI.
“INX did very well in 2007 under very difficult market conditions,” said Rick Clendenning, President and CEO. “In 2007, INX sales were above plan and significantly above prior year.”
“Overall, 2007 was a favorable year despite rising energy and transportation costs throughout the year and an increase in raw material costs in the fourth quarter,” added Bryce Kristo, CFO, Senior VP General Affairs.
Higher raw material prices and operational costs have impacted the ink industry, and INX International is no exception, and while INX tried to absorb the higher costs, it was necessary to also raise prices.
“INX tried to minimize the effect of the industry-wide raw material increases, but could not hold off announcing price increases across each of the markets we serve,” Mr Clendenning said.
“The price increases were announced despite our best efforts to shop the world for lower cost material without reducing quality,” Mr Kristo said.
The digital market has been one area of strength for INX since the agreement between Sakata Inx, INX International’s parent company, and California-based Triangle Digital LLC, forming TDI in February 2006 gave INX International Ink Co. a strong portfolio in inkjet.
The close relationship between INX and Sakata INX also is a strength. INX will continue developing new products through the efforts at its state-of-the-art R&D Center in West Chicago, IL, with the help from the extensive collaboration with its parent company’s R&D centers, located in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.
“We feel there is significant market share to be captured both within our existing product lines and especially the digital market,” Mr Kristo said. “We continue to work more closely as a company globally, and the sharing of market and technical knowledge is becoming a greater strength in helping penetrate new accounts.”
In 2007, INX started construction on two significant projects: one, the expansion of its mother offset manufacturing plant in West Chicago, IL, and a state-of-the-art water-based liquid ink manufacturing site in Homewood, IL. INX is planning for continued growth and is looking forward to the increase in efficiencies from its two major manufacturing facility projects.
“We have invested more into the company between 2006-2008 than any time since our inception,” Mr Kristo noted. “We continue to expand our digital capabilities, improve our core manufacturing plants and installed the latest information systems technology. These investments will transform the company into a more effective global player as we extend our presence with Sakata.
“This year will end a very strategic cycle relative to our long-term plans of accumulating resources for penetrating new digital markets, replacing older facilities and information systems with state-of-the-art technology and concentrating resources for maximum efficiency,” Mr Kristo added.
On a personal level, three INX International leaders received honors for their leadership to the industry. Dr Kotaro Morita was the recipient of the prestigious 2007 National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers’ (NAPIM) Award for Technical Achievement; Mr Clendenning was honored with NAPIM’s 2007 Ault Award, the North American ink industry’s highest award, for his contributions to the ink industry; and Chris Bonk, INX’s Vice President and Technical Director, sheetfed inks, was a recipient of NAPIM’s 2007 Printing Ink Pioneer Award for his leadership and dedication to the industry.
For more information, please contact: Siegwerk NAFTA, 3535 SW 56th St.; Des Moines, IA 53021, Tel.: (515) 471 2100 or (800) 728 8200, Fax: (515) 471 2202, web site: www.siegwerk.com
Siegwerk Publication USA, Inc. P.O. Box 10064, Lynchburg, VA 24506, Tel.: (434) 847 9033, Fax: (434) 847 0910, web site: www.siegwerk.com, Total North American Sales: $244 million.
Major products: solvent-based, water-based, EC and specialty liquid inks and coatings and related point-of-use services for the flexible packaging, label, sheetfed, tobacco, liquid food packaging and paper, and board industries using flexo, rotogravure and offset printing.
Key personnel: Daniel McDowell, President; Jim Ross, Head of Flexible Packaging; Terry Davis, Head of Paper, Plastics, & Label (PPL) Packaging; Dr Lothar Schaffeler, Director of Technology – Flexible Packaging; Manuel Rivas, Director of Technology – PPL Packaging; Jyoti Gidvani, Director of Raw Materials; Jim Stoelk, Director of Corporate Services; Dave Cox, Director of Supply Chain.
Number of Employees: 700 (USA, Canada, Mexico and Central America).
Operating facilities: Des Moines, IA – NAFTA headquarters and two manufacturing locations; Spartanburg, SC; Neenah, WI; Drums, PA; King of Prussia, PA; New Hope, MN; Vacaville, CA; Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada; Prescott, Ontario, Canada; Oakville, Ontario, Canada; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Toluca, Mexico; Guadalajara, Mexico; Queretaro, Mexico; Guatemala City, Guatemala; San Salvador, El Salvador.
Comments: in general, the packaging ink market in North America has been relatively stable in recent years in spite of the major raw material price increases facing the ink industry. Siegwerk NAFTA, Siegwerk’s North American subsidiary and a leader in packaging ink, fared fairly well considering the challenges facing ink companies.
“Siegwerk NAFTA had a good year in terms of sales and profit growth as compared to 2006,” said Daniel McDowell, President of Siegwerk NAFTA. “The combination of price increases and cost reductions partially offset the raw material price increases we absorbed. There was also a successful focus on higher value-added products to help us maintain our margin. The NAFTA region was unable to achieve its budgeted goal for sales or profit.”
Mr McDowell added that labels and flexible packaging were two nice growth areas for Siegwerk NAFTA in 2007, and the company is seeing opportunities in the paper and board area for 2008.
In particular, Mr McDowell noted that the company enjoyed excellent growth in Mexico and Central America. “Mexico and Central America performed well against budget and as compared to 2006,” he noted. “We’re excited about the opportunities there and the experienced management team and infrastructure we have in place to meet our customers’ demands. We moved into a new site in Guatemala City and were able to enjoy the benefits of this enhancement for the entire year of 2007.”
In 2005, Siegwerk acquired SICPA’s Packaging Ink Business Unit (PIBU), and the integration of the acquisition has finally been completed. “In NAFTA’s final integration phase with the Packaging Ink Business Unit (PIBU) of SICPA, we eliminated the manufacturing at our Prescott, Ontario site and consolidated within our existing facilities,” Mr McDowell noted. “Unfortunately, this transition did not progress as smoothly as it should have and we were not as efficient nor effective at distributing our products to the customer base in the USA and Canada. This consumed us for more than six months until we were able to properly address it.”
To meet increased demand, Siegwerk NAFTA invested in additional machinery to handle the growth in 2007. Mr McDowell noted that additional efforts were spent addressing the supply and cost issues created by the Chinese Government’s new policies related to pigment intermediate manufacturers.
“As well, we’ve had to institute additional safety and review measures to further assure that imported materials meet proper H, S, & E regulations,” Mr McDowell added.
Raw material costs are on the rise, and Siegwerk NAFTA has been forced to raise its own prices to meet some of the increases. “We’re working hard at passing along the increases to our customers as we’re not able to cut costs at the same rate as our materials are increasing,” Mr McDowell said. “Our customers are facing difficult times as well and are reluctant to accept this. The weakening dollar has also required our NAFTA companies to look within the region for raw materials as well as in-source our manufacturing.”
Although he sees challenges ahead, Mr McDowell also sees good opportunities.
“We see the customer base as slow, but are optimistic that the higher value-added areas that our customers focus on will be continued growth markets for all of us,” Mr McDowell said. “Cost reductions to compensate for continued raw material increases are now a recurring annual event. We are optimistic about the product development efforts underway to improve performance of various packaging ink systems as well as continue environmental and sustainable enhancements.”
For more information, please contact: Siegwerk Publication USA, Inc.
Major products: solvent-based gravure inks for publication.
Key personnel: Dr Ansgar Nonn, President; Hans-Joachim Lauterbach, Vice President; Dr Juergen Roth, Executive VP and General Manager; Mark Ferrell, Customer Service.
Number of employees: 15.
Operating facilities: Lynchburg, VA.
Comments: Siegwerk Group is a worldwide leader in the field of publication gravure ink for magazines and catalogs. Led by Dr Ansgar Nonn, Siegwerk Group’s Worldwide President of the company’s print media division, Siegwerk Ink Publication USA posted a solid year in 2007.
For more information, please contact: Chemical Research/Technology, Division of Quad/Graphics, 1951 Constitution Ave; Hartford, WI 53027, Tel.: (262) 673 1400, Fax: (262) 673 1459, web sites: www.qg.com; www.crtink.com, Sales: $235 million (Ink World estimate).
Major products: offset and gravure inks.
Key personnel: Tim Hofstetter, President; Greg Laszewski, General Manager – Offset; Randy Maas, Gravure Operations Manager; Sunil Rao, Technical Director.
Number of employees: 103.
Operating facilities: Lomira, WI; Oklahoma City, OK; Martinsburg, WV; Greenfield, IA; Hartford, WI.
Comments: the largest privately held commercial printer and the third-largest printer in the USA, Quad/Graphics has become legendary for its approach to the printing business. From its humble beginnings in 1971, Quad/Graphics has grown to annual sales of more than $2 billion, becoming the printer of choice for many of the most prominent publications.
To meet its heatset and gravure ink needs, Quad/Graphics formed its Chemical Research/Technology (CR\T) division in 1982. CR\T supplies Quad/Graphics’ ink requirements, producing more than 131 million pounds of ink annually.
Higher raw material and operational costs were a challenge throughout the ink industry, and CR\T utilized vertical integration and cost cutting initiatives to navigate through these challenges.
“CR\T was challenged last year with raw material and energy pricing pressures,” said Tim Hofstetter, CR\T’s President. “We were able to maintain our profits through our vertical integration efforts and cost cutting initiatives.”
To meet increased demand and reduce the impact of raw material price increases, Quad/Graphics Inc. is adding major state-of-the-art capabilities at its CR\T plants. CR\T completed a 35,000 ft2 expansion at its ink production plant in Hartford, WI in 2007. The Hartford ink manufacturing plant, which is adjacent to a 1.5 million ft2 Quad/Graphics printing plant, is now more than 110,000 ft2. Further expansion efforts are underway, this time for the company’s gravure ink operations.
“Hartford’s building expansion was completed in November, as well as a portion of our new production line,” Mr Hofstetter said. “By June 2008, our offset expansion in Wisconsin will be complete. In August, our gravure expansion in West Virginia will be complete. The addition of these two state-of-the-art operations will allow us to attack the head winds currently facing our industry and improve the performance of our product lines.”
“By June, offset will be completely converted to dry pigment dispersion,” added Greg Laszewski, General Manager – offset for CR\T. “In July, our gravure facility in West Virginia will be manufacturing gravure bases from dry. Both operations will allow us to reduce cost and improve ink performance on press.”
With all of these improvements in place, CR\T is poised to become even more effective in the coming year, in spite of the challenging raw material situation.
“Higher energy and material costs have made for a very bumpy ride for everyone,” Mr Hofstetter said. “We look at these head winds as tremendous opportunity to help our customers solidify the future of ink on paper. We look forward to challenging 2008!”
For more information, please contact: Hostmann-Steinberg, 12 Shaftsbury Lane Brampton, Ontario Canada L6T 3X7, Tel.: (905) 793 9970, Fax: (905) 793 5368 and 2850, Festival Dr Kankakee, IL 60901, Tel.: (815) 929 9293, Fax: (815) 929 0412, web site: www.hostmann-steinberg.net, Sales: $190 million.
Major products: Heatset, sheetfed, coldset, UV and EB, forms and flexo inks; aqueous and UV coatings; pigments, flushes and resins.
Key personnel: Winfried Gleue, President and CEO, Hostmann-Steinberg Canada; Jörg-O. Seeger, President and CEO of Hostmann-Steinberg, Inc. USA; Van Conroy, Sales Director, Sheetfed; Marty Bilderback, Sales Director, web; Debu Sengupta, Technical Director.
Number of employees: 410.
Operational facilities: mother plants in Kankakee, IL and Toronto, Canada, and 17 branch facilities coast to coast.
Comments: Hostmann-Steinberg’s North American operations enjoyed a good year in 2008, as the company’s parent, Huber Group, completed its reorganization of its North American operations following the late 2005 acquisition of Micro Inks.
In 2007, Huber Group management decided to have two business entities serving the North American segment. In June, Jörg-O. Seeger was placed as president and CEO of Hostmann-Steinberg, Inc. USA, with Winfried Gleue Leading the Canadian Business Segment as President and CEO.
Mr Seeger noted that the challenges of raw material costs and ink pricing remain serious concerns, and Hostmann-Steinberg is focused on improving its pricing.
“Our biggest concern is pricing,” Mr Seeger said. “We are not going to try to win market share by cutting pricing. We want to improve our profitability, and we are doing that by showing the value we bring to our customers while eliminating unprofitable contracts.”
With raw material and operational costs skyrocketing – the price of a barrel of crude oil recently hit $109 – it is a difficult time for printers, suppliers and ink manufacturers alike. Mr Seeger noted that Hostmann-Steinberg has also passed through price increases, and more increases will be needed.
“Raw material prices are going up fast, and that’s really bad for printers and ink companies. We have been able to get price increases in sheetfed, but heatset is more difficult,” Mr Seeger said. “We’ve seen 10 to 20 percent raw material price increases, maybe even more. We are looking for price increases of 10 to 15 percent.”
An important highlight for Hostmann-Steinberg was the appointment of Mr Seeger to head its US operations. Prior to joining Huber Group 12 years ago, Mr Seeger was a printer. At Huber Group, he has held various leadership roles, beginning as a technical applications manager web and sheetfed worldwide.
After then acting as a market manager coldset, he served as the export director of Michael Huber Muenchen. For the past three years, Mr Seeger has been Managing Director for Huber Italia.
Another key for the company is its new !NKREDIBLE offset ink technology, based on a new type of hard resin with optimized surface characteristics.
The !NKREDIBLE Revolution heatset ink series offers revolutionary stability in the production run and excellent drying characteristics at maximum web speeds.
This leads, among other things, to extended washing intervals and saves paper and time, too, which are factors that contribute greatly to increased productivity and lower costs.
“Our !NKREDIBLE line is doing perfectly,” Mr Seeger said. “Our !NKREDIBLE Revolution line of heatset inks is really a big hit in the US market. It was a big step for us. It offers a much more stable print run, less dot gain and improved water balance. Customers are very happy with the way it runs, and because of the savings they are realizing, they are willing to pay more.”
Mr Seeger is optimistic about Hostmann-Steinberg’s North American operations in the years ahead.
“We look toward continuous growth in sheetfed, stabilizing our heatset ink business while passing through price increases, and developing our coldset business,” Mr Seeger concluded.
For more information, please contact: Du Pont Digital Printing. Barley Mill Plaza, P30/2367, P.O. Box 80030, Wilmington, DE 19880 0030, Tel.: (877) 234 1794, (302) 992 4264, Fax: (302) 892 5609, web site: www.inkjet.dupont.com, Sales: $150 million (Ink World estimate).
Major products: digital inks and digital printing systems.
Key personnel: Frank Dotterer, Global Business Manager – Digital Printing Systems; Michael Moore, Global Business Manager, Industrial Inks; Michael Lazzara, Business Manager, Artistri.
Number of employees: More than 300 worldwide.
Key locations: worldwide operations; in the USA, R&D facilities in Wilmington, DE and Philadelphia, PA; manufacturing plants in Iowa, New York and Pennsylvania. Customer service and warehousing in Asia, Europe and North America.
Comments: A business unit of Du Pont Imaging Technologies, Du Pont Digital Printing is the leading inkjet ink manufacturer worldwide. The company’s strengths are in the desktop printing and textile ink jet printing markets. Du Pont Ink Jet is the leading manufacturer of ink for desktop printers, supplying many of the leading home printer OEMs.
On the textile side, the company developed its Du Pont Artistri product portfolio, a fully integrated, production capable digital printing system complete with equipment, software and ink. The inks come in pigment, acid dye, disperse dye or reactive dye.
The Du Pont Artistri systems are utilized for a variety of applications, including printed textiles, accessories, apparel, home furnishings, gaming table covers, flags and banners, soft signage and trade show displays. The company uses a worldwide distributor network.
In an important move, Du Pont Digital Printing announced that, effective early 2008, Du Pont Artistri digital ink technology, previously available only as part of the Du Pont Artistri digital textile printing system, will be available broadly through select OEM partners and others. The move will position Du Pont Digital Printing to participate more effectively in the rapidly growing digital textile printing market.
As part of its expanded focus on digital inks, Du Pont Digital Printing is exploring other equipment solutions that would take full advantage of its high-value ink products. Consistent with this new direction, the company will continue to sell Artistri and Cromaprint equipment until early 2008. In addition, the company will continue to provide digital inks for textiles and UV graphics to the installed customer base while expanding its digital ink development and sales.
“We have developed world-class industrial digital ink technologies that allow our customers to produce color any way they want it on a wide variety of substrates, including textiles and rigid and flexible signage substrates,” said Michael Moore, Global Business Manager, Industrial Inks. “Our global installed base of more than 250 Du Pont Artistri systems has demonstrated the outstanding performance and quality of our digital textile ink technology. We believe the digital textile market will have significant value for these well-proven ink sets and we are excited about expanding upon our 20 years of core digital ink science and expertise to benefit the textile industry more broadly.”
The digital textile ink offering includes the aqueous-based Artistri 700 series – disperse, acid, reactive, pigment and Solar Brite ink sets, for medium viscosity printheads. For lower viscosity printheads, the Artistri 500 series acid dye and reactive dye inks will be offered. Du Pont Digital Printing will continue to seek out opportunities in the direct-to-garment digital printing marketplace with their P5000 series ink set.
“Our commitment to best in class service and support to our customers will remain a priority,” said Frank Dotterer, Global Business Manager – Digital Printing Systems. “And we will continue to develop and sell premium digital inks for textile and graphics applications worldwide.”
For more information, please contact: Wikoff Color Corporation, 1886 Merritt Road, Fort Mill, SC 29715, Tel.: (803) 548 2210, Fax: (803) 548 5728, web site: www.wikoff.com, Sales: $145 million (Ink World estimate).
Major products: sheetfed and web offset inks, solvent- and water-based flexo and gravure inks, energy-curable inks and coatings, security inks, overprint varnish and aqueous coatings.
Key personnel: Phil Lambert, CEO; Geoff Peters, President and COO; Daryl Collins, VP of National Sales and Regional Operations; Martin Hambrock, VP of Canadian Operations; Don Duncan, Director of R&D; Ron Zavodny, Director of Purchasing; Buck Rorie, VP of Finance and Administration.
Number of employees: 600.
Operating facilities: 30 manufacturing plants in the USA and Canada. Headquarters and research and development facilities are located in Fort Mill, SC.
Comments: Wikoff Color enjoyed a strong year in 2007, enjoying high single-digit sales growth. “We had a good year,” said Phil Lambert, Wikoff Color’s CEO. “Our biggest growth areas in terms of end-use markets have been folding carton, flexible packaging and scratch-off lottery tickets; and in terms of products, energy-curable and water-based inks.”
In an important move, Geoff Peters, who had joined Wikoff Color in 2006 as Wikoff Color’s Vice President of Operations and Technology, was named President and COO in August 2007. Mr Lambert remains CEO. Prior to joining Wikoff, Mr Peters spent 19 years in global logistics, the majority of which was at Sea-Land Services, where he ran the company’s European division, as well as an additional five years working in the integrated supply industries.
To understand the significance of this move, it is important to remember that in the company’s 52-year history, it has only had three presidents: Fred Wikoff Jr, Mr Lambert and Mr Peters.
Mr Lambert said that Wikoff Color has been able to pass along some of the higher raw material and operational costs, and while he is optimistic about the coming years, higher raw material prices and the downturn in the economy provide two reasons for caution.
“We have consolidated our purchases and considered alternative supply sources where appropriate,” Mr Lambert said. “We have been able to pass along most of our material cost increases to our customers in the past year. However, we have not been able to pass through a large portion of the increase in operating costs. In terms of our expectations for 2008 and beyond, we feel we have good momentum in sales. We are very concerned about the effect of the slowdown in the economy and the continuing increases of the costs of raw materials. It seems that each time we think the increases might be over, we are notified of additional increases. There’s a limit to how much we can pass along to customers with the economy slowing down.”
For more information, please contact: Sanchez SA de CV, Oriente 171 No. 367, México City, Mexico, Tel.:+52 55 5118 1000, Fax:+52 55 5118 1090, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web site: www.sanchez.com.mx, Sales: $118.2 million (inks), $154.7 million overall.
Major products: offset, flexo, gravure and screen inks and overprint varnishes.
Key personnel: Ernesto J. Sanchez, Managing Director; Jose Sanchez, Commercial Director (paste inks); Miguel Talamantes, Commercial Director (liquid inks); Jesus McKelligan, Operations Director; Salvador Duran, Technical Manager (paste inks); Agustin Lozano, Technical Manager (liquid inks).
Number of employees: 740.
Comments: Sanchez SA de CV is the leading printing ink manufacturer in Mexico. The company continued to enjoy excellent growth in 2007, growing faster than the Mexican economy as well as acquiring a pair of Mexican ink manufacturers.
“During 2007, we managed to grow beyond the growth of the Mexican economy,” said Ernesto J. Sanchez, Managing Director of Sanchez SA de CV. The company grew in paste and liquid inks, and also did well in its plates, chemicals and printing press lines.
In a key move, Sanchez SA de CV acquired Prodaplag SA, an offset ink specialist headquartered in Mexico City, and its sister company, Barnimex SA, in September. Mr Sanchez noted that both companies belonged to the Schwartzman family, were founded in 1925, and were managed by the third generation.
“Prodaplag specialized in offset inks and overprint varnishes, and their products were well received by the market,” Mr Sanchez added. “With this acquisition, Sanchez enhances its offer of products to its customers and consolidates its position as a leader in Mexico.”
The company also enjoyed solid growth in Central America.
“Thanks to the good economic results of the area, we have experienced good growth in Central America,” Mr Sanchez reported. “Our office in El Salvador has been doing a good job in servicing the whole Central America region.”
With its new additions, Mr Sanchez anticipates an even stronger 2008 for Sanchez SA de CV.
“We have a very aggressive 2008 budget, based on the continued growth of gravure and flexo inks and the consolidation of the Prodaplag offset inks,” Mr Sanchez said.
For more information, please contact: Central Ink Corporation, 1100 N. Harvester Road, West Chicago, IL 60185, Tel.: (630) 231 6500, Fax: (630) 231 6554, web site: www.cicink.com, Sales: $80 million.
Major products: web offset heatset, coldset, sheetfed and UV/EB inks. CIC is also one of the largest blanket converters in the Midwest.
Key personnel: Richard Breen, CEO; Gregg Dahleen, President; Doug Anderson, VP of Operations; Mary Dickey, CFO; Bradley Dahleen, VP of Sales; Jennifer Kirkby, Director of Business Development.
Number of employees: 145.
Operating Facilities: West Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Milwaukee, WI; Swedesboro, NJ; Cleveland, OH; Las Vegas, NV; Toronto, Canada.
Comments: In spite of the volatility in its core offset ink markets, Central Ink Corporation (CIC) had an excellent year, and is poised for further growth in the coming years.
“Central Ink had a strong 2007,” said Gregg Dahleen, CICs President. “We showed growth in targeted markets and were successful in securing some long-term corporate agreements.”
A major highlight for Central Ink was its new manufacturing plant, located in Swedesboro, NJ, giving the company stronger access to the East Coast.
“We were very excited to christen our Swedesboro plant,” Mr Dahleen said. “Our New Jersey plant was a major work in progress for us in 2007. Engineering from scratch took a lot of time and effort and was worth every minute. This allows us to improve service and distribution to our Eastern regional customers, as well as establish a second manufacturing site for the corporation.”
In 2006, longtime president and CEO Richard Breen assembled a new leadership group, led by Mr Dahleen as new President. Mr Breen’s confidence in Gregg Dahleen and the team that has been assembled is leading to tremendous innovation and groundbreaking success in areas the company has never been before. The strength of the youth and experience involved has helped reenergize a 75-year-old company to continue for 75 more years.
Mr Dahleen noted that the company is facing some challenges, most notably higher raw materials costs. “The constant fluctuation makes it difficult to plan and budget for the future,” he said. “The volatility of the market requires constant scrutiny of all of our standard practices.”
While the company’s core business is heatset, it has made headway into the coldset, sheetfed and UV markets. In terms of new products, CICs UV news and UV plastic has generated great interest over the past year.
“CIC still has the opportunity to grow in market share,” Mr Dahleen said. “We have continued to focus on expanding our sales in all areas. We have experienced success in the coldset, sheetfed and UV product lines and are currently analyzing expanding into new product lines.
“We see sales continuing to rise at a steady rate,” Mr Dahleen added. “The challenge will be in maintaining margin in a difficult economic market.”
For more information, please contact: Toyo Ink International Corporation, 610 Fifth Ave., Suite 305, New York, NY 10020, Tel.: (212) 554 2310, Fax: (212) 554 2319.
Toyo Ink America, LLC, 710 Belden Ave, Addison, IL 60101, Tel.: (630) 930 5100, Fax: (630) 628 1759, web site: www.toyoink.com, Sales: $80 million.
Major products: sheetfed and web offset inks; UV and EB inks; conventional and UV waterless offset; solvent- and water-based gravure inks; specialty coatings; digital inks; toner; and inkjet inks. Toyo Ink America (TIA) LLC manufactures offset inks, while LioChem, Inc., Conyers, GA, manufactures liquid inks, specialty coatings, colorants and adhesives.
Key personnel: Toyo Ink International: Fusao Ito, President; John Higgins, CFO. TIA: Fusao Ito, President/CEO; John Copeland, President/COO; James F. MacNeill, VP, CFO; Hidekazu Takahashi, SVP; Mike Keegan, VP, Sales; Hiroyuki Ishii, Technical Manager; LioChem: Yasuo Koga, President; Hudson Moody, GM, Colorants Division; Terry Hall, GM, Gravure Division.
Comments: Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co, Ltd celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007, and TIA, LLC, the company’s North American subsidiary, celebrated in its own way with excellent growth of its own.
“Toyo Ink America had a good year with double-digit growth in the energy curable ink market and a nice upturn in the commercial, specialty and packaging sheetfed markets. Non-ink businesses, however, were affected by a shift in product mix as well as the downturn in the US economy,” said John Copeland, President/COO, TIA, LLC. “Overall, ink sales were up in a very positive way. Our growth areas in the future will be energy curable products, all types of sheetfed inks and web products.”
For TIA, 2007 was packed with highlights, including its new management team at TIA, led by Mr Copeland as the new President and COO, Hidekazu Takahashi being named Senior Vice President and Hiroyuki Ishii Technical Manager.
Another highlight was its strong showing at Graph Expo, where Toyo Ink was featured on many leading presses.
“Toyo Ink had another good showing at Graph Expo 2007,” Mr Copeland said. “More demonstration presses at Graph Expo ran Toyo products than inks from any other manufacturer – a repeat of Toyo Ink’s achievement at Graph Expo 2006 and Print 05. As reported in its post-show release, Heidelberg USA, MAN Roland, Komori, Screen (USA), Akiyama International Corp., Mitsubishi topped the line up of major press builders that featured live print jobs and finished samples at Graph Expo produced with Toyo inks. Toyo products are the ideal complement for helping printers meet that critical need. They surpass rival products in terms of production efficiency, print quality and customer satisfaction. The enhanced printing and environmental performance give printers a distinct advantage in the marketplace.”
Toyo Ink’s emphasis on the environment is another key highlight for the company. “In reviewing the 100th anniversary year for Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co. Ltd, two landmark events stand out among a lengthy list of accomplishments that took place in 2007,” Fusao Ito, President of the Toyo Ink Group in America, said. “Toyo Ink has firmly established itself as a leading partner with printing companies and printing-related manufacturers in promoting a comprehensive approach to environmentally responsible print production. Secondly, Toyo Ink is the company that press makers rely on to help show off the quality and capabilities of their equipment to potential buyers.
Toyo Ink has long been active in implementing environmental initiatives, such as reduced waste and resource usage and elimination or safer disposal of harmful by-products. The company’s research and development efforts are directed toward formulating process inks and water-based gravure inks, along with aromatic compounds-free inks and ester/alcohol-based inks. In addition, Toyo Ink has made significant strides in developing a solvent recovery system for gravure inks in Japan.
Mr Copeland noted that higher raw material costs are certainly an important issue Toyo Ink is dealing with everyday. “The main problem is that the printers themselves are having a difficult time passing increases on to their customers,” Mr Copeland noted. “As a quality ink manufacture we refuse to lower our quality when printers need better products now more than ever to compete. We spend most of our efforts in cutting all kinds of waste out of our company and in purchasing, shipping and servicing more efficiently.”
In important news, Mr Ito noted that Toyo Ink International began the groundbreaking for a new $20-million state-of-the-art production site in Bryan, TX. The facility will manufacture and sell packaging inks and coatings for the North American market. Completion is slated for fall of 2008.
Another major opportunity is Toyo’s packaging inks, adhesives and pigments sales arm, Toyo Color America’s plan to enter the flexible packaging ink market.
“Further building on the success of its Japan operations, the Toyo Ink Group is beginning to enter the North American flexible packaging market, bringing our high-performance materials and packaging solutions for food packaging and converting applications,” Mr Ito said. “Our new state-of-the-art ink and adhesive manufacturing plant in Texas will be opening in the fall of this year to serve the North American market. We will also be making our first appearance at Pack Expo 2008 in Chicago this November, showcasing our comprehensive product offerings including inks, adhesives and coatings.”
With all of these positives, Mr Copeland is optimistic about the future for TIA.
“Toyo Ink America’s expectation for the next several years is positive while keeping an eye on the changes happening within the industry. We expect we will be working very hard in order to succeed and keep a tight focus on our goals,” Mr Copeland concluded.
For more information, please contact: EFI, Inc. 303 Velocity Way, Foster City, CA 94404, Tel.: (650) 357 3500, Fax: (650) 357 3907, web site: www.efi.com, Sales: ∼$620.6M for EFI at the corporate level, $229.3M for the inkjet divisions, Ink World estimates $75 million in ink and consumables.
Major products: through its VUTEk and Jetrion product lines, Electronics for Imaging, Inc., (EFI is the market leader in inkjet inks and printing systems for the superwide, (e.g. billboards, signage, POP, etc.), label, packaging, direct mail and commercial printing markets. EFI offers a wide range of ink products for the industrial inkjet markets, including water-, solvent- and UV-based inks.
Key personnel: Guy Gecht, CEO; Fred Rosenzweig, President; John Ritchie, CFO; Ken Stack, VP/GM Jetrion Industrial Inkjet Systems; Chet Pribonic, VP/GM VUTEk.
Number of employees: approximately, 1,937.
Operating facilities: 26 worldwide offices.
Comments: EFI is the world leader in customer-focused digital printing innovation. EFIs award-winning solutions, integrated from creation to print, deliver increased performance, cost savings and productivity. The company’s robust product portfolio includes Fiery digital color print servers; VUTEk superwide digital inkjet printers, UV and solvent inks; Jetrion Industrial Inkjet Printing Systems, print production workflow and management information software; and corporate printing solutions.
On the inkjet side, EFI has two of the leading technology solutions in their respective segments: VUTEk and Jetrion Industrial Inkjet Systems. EFIs inkjet product lines fared very well in 2007, ending the year with $229.3M in revenue, a 27 percent gain over 2006.
EFI continues to invest heavily in the inkjet side of its business. EFI doubled the space dedicated to its Jetrion industrial inkjet research, development and manufacturing operation located in Ypsilanti, MI, growing from 35,000 to 70,000 ft2. At 70,000 ft2, the Jetrion facility is one of the largest inkjet ink and hardware facilities in the world. The expansion will allow additional growth in the Jetrion 3000 and 4000 series business, as well as accommodate new integration projects.
Following a successful technology demonstration at Label Expo 2006, the Jetrion 4000 UV Inkjet System was commercially released at Label Expo 2007 in Brussels, Belgium, with worldwide availability being staggered throughout 2008. The system supports web widths of up to 5-1/2” and uses Jetrion’s advanced four- and six-color UV ink sets to produce full-color imaging on a variety of substrates. The Jetrion 4000 was designed as a complement to traditional flexo printing plates for printing short- and medium-run full-color labels.
One of the key differentiators for the 4000 is its ability to take advantage of the power of EFIs advanced workflow and RIP solutions (One Flow and Fiery XF). With speeds up to 100 ft/min, the Jetrion 4000 is well positioned as an affordable, full-color digital label printing system that is a viable alternative to toner-based systems.
Along with its innovative off-the-shelf products such as the Jetrion 4000, EFIs Jetrion will continue with a number of custom integrated projects, including direct-to-substrate inkjet systems in the packaging arena.
A recent example of one of these large-scale Jetrion inkjet projects is the Crown holdings production system, the world’s first high resolution, full-color UV inkjet press for printing direct to cans, which will be installed in Europe in Q1 2008.
In its superwide format business, EFI celebrated a milestone with the installation of the 300 award-winning VUTEk QS series UV hybrid printer.
EFI also launched the QS3200r roll-to-roll UV printer at SGIA, where it was recognized as the DPI Grand Format UV Product of the Year for 2007.
“The launch of the QS3200r at SGIA was a huge success for us, and continues to demonstrate QS product family leadership in the UV market,” said Chuck Dourlet, Vice President of Marketing, EFI VUTEk.
EFIs VUTEk printers and BioVu inks (the first environmentally-friendly solvent ink made from a totally renewable resource, corn) won other significant industry awards during 2007 as well.
In early 2007, EFI announced a joint partnership with Kornit Digital, Ltd, to address the growing opportunities in the printed textile industry as it migrates from analog to digital technologies. In early 2008, EFI also extended its strategic relationship with Raster Printers, a leading manufacturer of mid-range flatbed printing systems.
EFI is very bullish on digital printing and expects it to continue to complement and compete with analog printing in a wide variety of markets. EFIs leaders also strongly feel that drop on demand inkjet technology will be the preferred digital technology of choice for the future, and will continue to play a leadership role as the technology and market opportunities develop.
Additionally, companies that adopt digital printing technologies will also need to invest in an integrated, end-to-end digital workflow, from order entry through invoicing, that optimizes operational and business process efficiency. This will increasingly be a requirement for maintaining a competitive advantage. This is an area where EFI stands out from its competition, and the company continues to develop seamless product integration across its various business units to increase the power and flexibility of EFIs broad portfolio of solutions.
For more information, please contact: FUJIFILM Sericol USA, Inc., 1101 W. Cambridge Circle Drive; Kansas City, KS 66103, Tel.: (913) 342 4060, Fax: (913) 342 4752, web site: www.fujifilmsericol.com, US sales: $75 million (Ink World Estimate).
Major products: UV screen, UV flexo, UV digital (piezo inkjet), solvent-based digital and solvent-based screen inks; screen pre-press; Inca Digital Printers and Fujifilm Digital Printers.
Key personnel: Ed Carhart, CEO of Sericol International; Mitch Bode, Senior VP; Chris Lomas, VP of Sales; Steve Pocock, Technical Director; Terry Mitchell, Director of Marketing.
Number of employees: 205.
Operating facilities: nine.
Comments: Fujifilm Sericol continued to record growth, particularly in its digital ink business, in 2007.
“2007 was a year of opportunity and challenge,” said CEO Ed Carhart. “Our digital inkjet business continues to deliver exceptionally strong growth. On the other hand, several trends are impacting our traditional screen ink business, which was relatively flat in 2007.”
Fujifilm Sericol launched a breakthrough in digital printing in 2007 with the revolutionary Inca Onset. Onset sets a new standard for quality and speed in UV digital flatbed presses. The productivity of Onset, printing in excess of 120 print beds/h, alters the dynamics achievable by digital technology compared to traditional screen and offset printing technologies. The first installation of Onset in North America is in full production, and several more Onset presses are scheduled for installation early in 2008.
Fujifilm also launched new solvent and UV digital printer platforms, and new inks, to complement the existing line of Inca UV flatbed presses.
“We are reaching new customers with high quality solvent and UV printers at affordable price points,” reported Chris Lomas, Vice President of Sales for Fujifilm Sericol’s North American business. “These printers, along with our industry-leading Inca Onset, Turbo and Spyder platforms, are providing our customers with digital printing solutions for many different types of print applications.”
Digital ink volumes, including both Uvijet UV inks and Color + solvent inks, also grew significantly in 2007.
“We see our point-of-purchase and display graphics customers adopting digital and moving short production run graphics from screen to digital,” said Mr Lomas.
Digital platforms and inks remains an important driver to Fujifilm’s future growth.
“Our investments in digital solutions have resulted in new sales opportunities within our traditional customer base of screen printers. The broadening of our portfolio of digital presses and the expansion of our marketing and distribution through our Fujifilm affiliates across North America has fueled our sales growth,” said Senior Vice President Mitch Bode.
Fujifilm Sericol has seen some declines in its traditional screen ink business due to consolidation of the optical media market and some print technology shifts to digital in the point-of-purchase graphics segment.
“Although there are challenges in the screen ink market, we remain optimistic about capturing additional market share with our new Uvispeed screen inks specifically formulated for efficient printing on in-line screen presses,” Mr Bode reported. “Although the total market for screen inks is in decline, we are well positioned to grow this segment through gains in market share.”
Fujifilm Sericol also recorded solid growth in narrow web inks, fueled by its Uvisleeve shrink sleeve ink and new Super Nova White flexo ink. Shrink sleeves are experiencing tremendous growth, and the shrink capabilities of the Uvisleeve inks are gaining widespread market acceptance. Super Nova White is another significant innovation, and offers improved efficiency over rotary screen printing. Both products are expected to achieve strong sales in 2008.
Escalating cost of raw materials was a challenge for Fujifilm Sericol in 2007. However, global purchasing power and formulation expertise helped offset some of these increases. Productivity improvements in manufacturing also contributed to holding the line on prices in the market.
“We continue to work closely with our customers to achieve a high level of order fulfillment with reduced shipment frequency to lower freight cost,” said Terry Mitchell, Director of Marketing for Fujifilm Sericol North America. “We feel it is absolutely critical to reduce supply chain costs to keep our customers competitive.”
Fujifilm Sericol also expanded its facilities and added more personnel throughout the organization in 2007.
“Our business is growing and we needed to expand and modernize our facilities, as well as add key personnel to provide support to our customers,” Mr Bode said. “We established a new distribution center, and inaugurated new ink formulation labs and a digital demonstration center at our headquarters location in Kansas City. These investments have positioned us for the growth we anticipate in 2008 and beyond.”
For more information, please contact: Superior Printing Ink, 100 North St., Teterboro, NJ 07608-1202, Tel.: (201) 478 5600, Fax: (201) 478 5650, web site: www.superiorink.com, Sales: $70 million.
Major products: sheetfed, UV, waterless, heatset web, flexo and gravure inks, coatings and varnishes.
Key personnel: Jeffrey I. Simons, Chairman, CEO and President; Stan Hittman, Executive VP; Harold Rubin, CFO; James LaRocca, Senior VP, Sales and Branch Operations; Stephen Simpson, Senior VP, Chief Technical Officer; Peter Nunez, Corporate Controller.
Number of employees: 365.
Operating facilities: more than 20 branches and 25 in-plant facilities nationally. The company operates two facilities through its Gotham Ink operations (NY and MA). Spinks Ink Co. is also a subsidiary located in Chicago, IL.
Comments: founded in 1918 in New York City, Superior Printing Ink has grown to become the largest, family owned and operated supplier of commercial sheetfed inks in North America. In 2008, SPI celebrates its 90th year in the printing ink industry, and the company is coming off a good sales year in 2007, particularly in UV sheetfed.
“The year was pretty steady for us in terms of sales growth and profitability,” said Steve Simpson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for Superior. “Our best sales growth was in UV, where our sales rose 150 percent. UV has allowed us to diversify our customer base.”
For Superior, R&D is one of its key differentiators, and the company developed a variety of high quality products during the past year. Evolocity, a new line of ultra-low VOC sheetfed inks, has very good turnaround time on paper and board stocks.
“Our new inks can help printers get to the bindery in 15 to 30 min after printing without the need for UV lamps, and the ink is not as expensive as UV ink,” Mr Simpson said.
On the UV side of its business, Superior launched a thoroughly revamped portfolio of UV sheetfed inks for the packaging and commercial markets. The comprehensive product portfolio includes Super-Cure (a traditional 100 percent UV system), Inter-Cure (a hybrid system suitable for use on conventional press trains), and Plastik-Cure (for printing on nonporous and plastic substrates).
“The positive results we have seen in the market with our completely updated product lines have exceeded our greatest expectations,” Mr Simpson noted.
“The industry is confronting raw material pressures in terms of availability and increasing costs,” Mr Simpson added. “Proactively responding to these pressures, we have reengineered some of our products while adhering to our strict quality standards, as well as put through modest price increases to offset some of our higher costs.”
During 2007, Superior continued to enhance its operations throughout the US “We opened a new branch in Baltimore, MD and we think it’s a great opportunity,” Mr Simpson noted. “We see the West Coast as another prime opportunity; that is why we set up a state-of-the-art West Coast regional service center and manufacturing facility in Commerce, CA.”
Superior added a key person to its leadership in 2007. The company has appointed Richard Czarnecki as Vice President, Technology. Mr Czarnecki assumes responsibility for all corporate technical functions, including R&D, color technology and technical services. Mr Czarnecki joins Superior with nearly 25 years of experience in the printing ink industry, most recently 11 years as director of polymer science and engineering at Sun Chemical’s Technical Center.
Sal Moscuzza, Superior’s Senior Vice President and Principal Ink Technologist, is retiring at the end of March 2008. A 47-year veteran of the ink industry, Mr Moscuzza was honored for his service to Superior and the industry with NAPIM’s prestigious Printing Ink Pioneer Award at its 2007 Annual Convention. “Sal has been a tremendous mentor for so many people, not just at Superior but throughout the industry,” said Mr Simpson.
Mr Simpson said commercial sheetfed printers will continue to feel the impact of the downturn in the economy.
“I think we’ll see more consolidation in the printing business, accelerated by the weak economic conditions, and there will be increased competition among the remaining printers. As this shift in the commercial printing market continues to occur, we’ll be working closely with our customers to help them differentiate themselves from the market as well as improve their profitability.”
For more information, please contact: Nazdar, 8501 Hedge Lane Road, Shawnee, KS 66227-3290, Tel.: (913) 422 1888, Fax: (913) 422 2296, web site: www.nazdar.com, Sales: $65 million (and more than $100 million in ink sales, equipment and supplies, estimated).
Major products: screen printing inks including conventional, UV and water-based, and digital inks.
Key personnel: J. Jeffrey Thrall, CEO; Mike Fox, President; Richard Bowles, VP and GM; Phil McGugan, VP, Global Sales and Marketing; Mike McGowan, VP and Technical Director; Jim Davidson, VP, Global Operations; Gary Blair, Director of Operations.
Operating facilities: five in the USA, UK, and Canada.
Comments: for Nazdar, 2007 was an excellent year, as the company continued to make gains in the digital ink market, thanks to its 2006 acquisition of Lyson, as well as within its core screen ink market.
The Lyson acquisition allowed Nazdar to make inroads into the digital market, which has become a complementary technology to screen due to digital’s ability to handle short runs more cost effectively. As a result, many screen printers have also successfully moved into digital. Lyson had a complete range of products, including digital inks for all major inkjet print technologies, including piezo, thermal, and CIJ. Lyson manufactures both solvent- and water-based inks in pigment and dye formulations for markets such as industrial coding and marking, office printing, wide format graphics, fine art, photography, proofing and grand format billboard printing.
Phil McGugan, Nazdar’s Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, said that 2007 was a year of excellent growth globally for Nazdar, highlighted by a resurgence of the Lyson brand of inks with the backing of the Nazdar organization and the development of robust channels to market in all European countries for both digital and screen inks.
Higher raw material costs continued to impact the ink industry. To meet these challenges, Mr McGugan said that Nazdar increased efficiencies in operations and passed on a portion of the cost increases where necessary.
In order to underpin its drive to becoming a truly global company, Nazdar reorganized its senior sales and operations personnel. The company was active on the R&D front, developing ink lines for new wide format solvent platforms and UV ink solutions for most UV flatbeds.
Mr McGugan anticipates further growth globally for Nazdar in the coming years.
“We will see the rewards of our product development and the establishment of channels, particularly in Europe,” Mr McGugan said. “We expect to gain market share as we continue to establish a presence in the Asia Pacific region.
“The last two years has seen a dramatic change in the shape of the Nazdar organization,” Mr McGugan added. “With a manufacturing base in Europe and proven product lines in both screen and digital inks, the future looks very bright and we have high expectations for business growth in Europe, Americas and Asia Pacific.”
For more information, please contact: Van Son Holland Ink Corporation of America, 185 Oval Dr Islandia, NY 11501, Tel.: (631) 715 7000, Fax: (631) 715 7020, web site: www.vansonink.com, Sales: $64 million.
Major products: conventional offset and waterless offset, duplicator and inkjet inks.
Key personnel: Joe Bendowski, President and CEO; Ken Ferguson, Technical Director; Robert Langer, VP of Finance; John Sammis, VP, Sales and Marketing; John Bendowski, National Sales Manager.
Number of employees: 125.
Operating facilities: headquarters and manufacturing in Islandia, NY, and a central distribution center in Chicago.
Comments: Van Son Holland Ink posted sales growth in 2007, although the continued pressure from higher raw material and freight costs are taking a toll on the bottom line.
“It was a struggle,” said Joe Bendowski, President and CEO of Van Son Holland Ink. “We gained 1 to 2 percent in top line sales growth, but the bottom line is hard to maintain due to raw material cost increases.”
As a result of the rapidly escalating prices of crude oil and raw materials, Van Son Holland Ink was forced to issue a price increase in early 2008 to cover just some of the higher costs.
“We were able to pass through a price increase in January, and may need to put through another increase just to stay even,” Mr Bendowski noted. “The truth is that you’re acting irresponsibly if you don’t raise prices, whether you are a printer or an ink company.”
Van Son Holland Ink has successfully made its transition from servicing the small-sized commercial offset market to now focusing on the mid-sized market. One key has been the development of the Vs Series alliance with a select group of regional small ink manufacturers strategically located across North America as well as some national distributors.
These companies are successfully selling and servicing the new line of Van Son inks, while Van Son provides the production and marketing.
“I’m happy we are serving the mid-sized commercial printers,” Mr Bendowski noted. “The Vs group is going very well. That’s where we are seeing our growth, and it is accelerating. At last count, we have 21 companies working with us, including ink companies and national distributors.”
To meet the needs of its Vs partners, Van Son Holland Ink is adding new ink lines. Vs5 was the first ink in the series, and the company has since developed Vs3, a high-quality oil-based ink; Vs4, a waterless ink; and Vs7, a hard dry, super rub resistant version of Vs5.
“Our partners are asking us to add new products, which is a good sign,” Mr Bendowski reported. “They are expanding with our lines, and they feel comfortable with us.”
To help meet the need for service, Van Son added four new field technicians who have extensive pressroom experience.
“Our new field technicians are former pressmen who have a real comfort level with the pressroom, and are respected by press operators because of their experience and knowledge,” Mr Bendowski noted.
Printing is enjoying growth in the Asia Pacific region, and Mr Bendowski said that Van Son Holland Ink continued to grow in the region, particularly in Korea and China.
Mr Bendowski sees opportunities as well as challenges ahead for Van Son Holland Ink. “We anticipate continued growth in the mid-sized Vs market as well as continued pressure from raw material and freight costs,” Mr Bendowski said. “There will be continued pressure on the bottom line and we’re going to need to pass it along. It would be irresponsible not to do so.”
For more information, please contact: Ink Systems, Inc., 2311 South Eastern Ave; Commerce, CA 90040, Tel.: (323) 720 4000, Fax: (323) 721 6000, Sales: $62 million.
Major products: heatset, sheetfed and UV inks.
Key personnel: Urban S. Hirsch III, ex-President; Tim Van Scoy, VP of Sales and Marketing; Peter Notti, another VP; Masood Solaimani, VP UV/EB.
Number of employees: 270.
Operating facilities: commerce, CA; Elk Grove Village, IL; Portland, OR; and 34 in-plant facilities.
Comments: For the high-end commercial printing market, high-quality products and exceptional service are critical. Ink Systems, Inc., has developed a niche for itself by providing state-of-the-art in-plant operations that feature experienced personnel, high-quality ink systems and proprietary software, which make a printer’s job much easier.
Ink Systems has posted significant gains in recent years, although 2007’s sales slightly declined overall. Urban Hirsch III, ex-President of Ink Systems, Inc., anticipates that the company will be adding some new accounts, and will also take advantage of the lack of direction in the ink industry to make further inroads in the commercial market.
“The ink industry doesn’t seem to have as much direction from the top as it used to,” Mr Hirsch said. “We’re looking forward to this improving in the future, but because of what is happening in the industry, I think there will be some opportunities for us in the coming years.”
The company continues to grow into its new 50,000 ft2 Commerce, CA headquarters, which features top-quality labs and production facilities, manufacturing everything right down to the stainless steel equipment the company uses in its in-plant facilities. The company also has a 20,000 ft2 facility in Elk Grove Village, IL, as well as an 18,000 ft2 plant in Portland, OR.
The company’s extensive R&D operations are also paying off, as color control network certified the company’s set of CCN process sheetfed inks for use with its ultra-high-density intense color offset printing process. This is the first ink set to be certified, while additional sets for sheetfed UV, Co-Cure and web heatset are expected in the near future.
For more information, please contact: American Inks & Coatings, 3400 N. Hutchinson St.; Pine Bluff, AR 71602, Tel.: (870) 247 2080, Fax: (870) 247 5317, Sales: $60 million in ink and coatings.
Major products: water- and solvent-based flexo and gravure packaging inks and coatings; UV and EB coatings.
Key personnel: Jerry Mosley, CEO; Mitch Baker, President; Michael Mosley, CFO; Scott Clark, VP and General Manager.
Number of employees: 165.
Operating facilities: Pine Bluff, AR; Valley Forge, PA; Roanoke, VA; Florence, KY; Winston-Salem, NC; West Memphis, TN; Jacksonville, FL.
Comments: the packaging side of the ink industry offers good opportunities for ink manufacturers. American Inks & Coatings (AIC) is successfully enjoying growth in this market, with an average 10 percent growth of sales per year for the past six years.
“2007 was a very good year,” said Mitch Baker, AICs President. “We grew organically, met all our projections, and our profitability was better than we anticipated.”
In particular, AIC continues to expand in the growing flexible packaging segment. “We spent most of our time and energy on flexible packaging, as it is the growing market, with most of the growth in this market coming at the expense of other packaging,” Mr Baker said.
In the past year, AIC moved into a new facility in Winston-Salem, NC, that is now home to its solvent-based manufacturing plant. The company also converted its facilities in Florence, KY, Richmond, VA and Valley Forge, PA into service centers.
AIC offers a complete range of inks and coatings, including water-based inks for multi-wall bag, high graphics corrugated, folding carton, gift wrap and other packaging, to solvent-based inks for flexible packaging, including laminations and other innovative applications.
All in all, Mr Baker said there are multiple opportunities for growth ahead for AIC.
“We feel really good about 2008,” Mr Baker said. “We think 2008 will be a very interesting year. We’re projecting 10 percent growth, and there’s no shortage of opportunities. The printing ink market remains very competitive, however for the first time in a long while there is differentiation available by providing added value to customers. We are able to provide that to the flexible packaging market today by having a fresh look at their needs and our capabilities.”
For more information, please contact: SICPA Securink Corporation, SICPA Product Security LLC 8000 Research Way, Springfield, VA 22153, Tel.: (703) 455 8050, Fax: (703) 450 2423, e-mail: email@example.com, web site: www.sicpa.com, total sales: $60 million (Ink World estimate).
Major products: security and conventional inks for intaglio, offset, screen, flexo and gravure security printing applications.
Key personnel: James Bonhivert, CEO and President; Tom Jay, VP of Sales and Marketing; Tom Classick, Technical Director.
Number of employees: approximately, 100.
Operating facilities: Springfield, VA; Chicago, IL; Fort Worth, TX; and Vaudreuil-Dorian, Quebec.
Comments: there has been increasing emphasis on battling counterfeiting in recent years, spurred both by concerns over document security as well as product safety. When it comes to ink, perhaps the most challenging applications are found in the field of currency and documents, where R&D experts continually create sophisticated products that will keep counterfeiters and terrorists at bay.
When it comes to security ink, SICPA S.A., a Switzerland-based printing ink manufacturer, is clearly the worldwide leader for currency and sensitive documents, with sales of $400 million during 2007. SICPA provides security inks for the majority of the world’s currencies.
In the USA, SICPA Securink Corporation continues to dominate the security ink business, with inks appearing on everything from currency and security documents to other documents and packaging of value. Among its most notable developments, SICPA’s color-shifting Optically Variable Ink for US currency has been an important aspect in reducing counterfeiting. In conjunction with its parent company and its high-tech suppliers, SICPA has created countless innovative inks in its R&D laboratories, and backs these high-tech products with strong technical support.
SICPA Product Security LLC, the company’s brand security business, leverages its R&D knowledge into developing integrated systems for authentication and secure supply chain, combining material-based security ink technology and information-based secure tracking and tracing technology. They notably manage the California tobacco tax stamp program, which includes an encrypted stamp and database management system.
For more information, please contact: Rieger Inks, 3300 Highway No. 7, Suite 310, Concord, Ontario Canada L4K 4M3, Tel.: (905) 660 6446, Fax: (905) 660 5766, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Sales: $55 million.
Major products: offset inks, water- and solvent-based flexo and gravure inks.
Key personnel: Robert Rieger, President and CEO; Chester Dec, Vice President, Operations; Debbie Dion, CFO; Willy Voelzke and Dave Hammett, Technical Directors.
Number of employees: 100.
Comments: while 2007 sales remained flat for Rieger Inks, the good news for the company is that it continues to move away from unprofitable business and make up those sales losses with healthier business.
“This was a stand pat year for Rieger in terms of sales as we chose to leave accounts that were unprofitable and balanced them with new accounts that we picked up,” said Chester Dec, Rieger Inks’ Vice President of Operations.
Rieger Inks consists of two divisions: Rieger Printing Ink Company Limited, which specializes in coldset web inks, and Rieger Flexo and Gravure Limited, which specializes in water- and solvent-based inks. Mr Dec said that coldset inks in Rieger Inks’ litho division and packaging inks in the flexo/gravure division showed particularly good growth.
Rieger Inks is committed to top quality ink products along with uncompromising technical and sales support. The company takes pride in its R&D, and is developing new products to meet their customers’ needs. “We are working on a number of exciting projects,” Mr Dec noted.
Mr Dec noted that raw material prices are a serious concern for the ink industry, and will be a key to the future for the ink industry.
“Everyone knows what has happened to the cost of oil and that pretty well affects most of our raw materials,” Mr Dec said. “We try to look for more cost effective raw material, but that is proving to be very difficult. We review our costs regularly and try to pass these on to our customers. 2008 will be interesting in that we have no idea where the price of oil will end up. That in our minds is the biggest question we have to face, and until that is determined, it will be a question mark year for all.”