Editor's Note: This is a modified version of Ink World's comprehensive U.S. Top 20 report. For the full report, please see our April 2002 issue.
Wes Lucas, left, Sun Chemical’s new president and CEO, will be advised by Henri Dyner, right, his predecessor at Sun Chemical.
1. Sun Chemical Corporation222 Bridge Plaza South
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Phone: (201) 224-4600
Fax: (201) 224-4392
Sales: Sun Chemical had sales of approximately $3.3 billion for worldwide printing inks and colorants (including Coates Lorilleux).
Major Products: 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 and electrographic inks; and organic colorants for inks, plastics, paints, coatings and cosmetics.
Key Personnel: Edward E. Barr, chairman; Henri Dyner, CEO; Wes Lucas, president; Michael S. Murphy, senior VP and general manager, Sun Chemical Inks (GPI); David Meldram, senior VP and general manager, Sun Chemical Europe; George Dunn, president, Kohl & Madden; Ronald C. Baker, president, US Ink; Peter Ludwig, senior VP and general manager, Colors Group; Ursula L. Stevens, VP and general manager, Latin America; Richard Martin, managing director, Coates Electrographics Ltd.; Kenneth C. Collins, senior VP, corporate purchasing and supply chain management; David Hill, VP and chief technology officer; Christopher M. Morrissey, VP, sales and marketing (GPI); Dr. John M. Rooney, VP, technology (GPI).
Number of Employees: Approximately 13,000 worldwide.
Operating Facilities: Through its various ink operations, Sun Chemical has more than 300 manufacturing and service locations worldwide and more than 215 customer in-plant locations in the U.S. alone.
Comments: 2001 was a year of transition at Sun Chemical Corporation, as Henri Dyner, the company’s CEO, elected to step down as of March 31. Wes Lucas, who was brought in as Sun Chemical’s president as of Aug. 1, will become the company’s CEO in addition to his duties as president.
All of Sun Chemical’s divisions – including the Colors Group, Kohl & Madden, Screen & Electrographics, Sun Chemical Europe, Sun Chemical Ink (GPI), Sun Chemical Latin America, and US Ink, along with the functional teams – will report to Mr. Lucas.
Mr. Dyner has elected to step down as CEO, and will continue his close involvement with Sun Chemical, but on a part-time basis, working in an advisory role to Mr. Lucas and providing support in ongoing relationships with larger customers, as well as ongoing strategic projects for the company.
Mr. Dyner’s career at Sun Chemical spanned more than 28 years, beginning when he was hired as the company’s general manager of European operations, which had only $20 million in sales. Mr. Dyner helped build Sun Chemical into the largest player in Europe, with sales of more than $1.5 billion. In addition, Mr. Dyner was one of the first printing ink executives to establish operations in Eastern Europe. He also expanded into Latin America, where the Sun Chemical brand is now represented in virtually every country, with plants in almost all the countries.
Mr. Dyner was elected corporate vice president for Sun Chemical’s international operations in 1983. Five years later, he was appointed senior vice president, international operations. In 1997, Mr. Dyner was named president and COO, Sun Chemical Corporation, and in 1998 he became president and CEO.
“Wes Lucas brings an exceptionally strong background to the job of Sun Chemical’s president, notably in the areas of sales growth, operational productivity, building companies and start-ups,” Mr. Dyner said prior to Mr. Lucas joining Sun Chemical. “In addition, Wes brings a values-driven leadership style that has been honed working in multiple cultures across a broad range of industries and markets.”
“Beyond his experience and leadership qualities, Mr. Lucas brings strength to Sun Chemical in two major areas: His focus on value selling and a commitment to using the best processes for production of consistent, high quality products and services,” said Michael S. Murphy, senior vice president and general manager of Sun Chemical Inks (GPI), Sun Chemical’s North America ink division.
2001 was a difficult year for printers, which obviously affected ink manufacturers, and Sun Chemical was no exception. Company officials had been concerned about the economy as early as the fourth quarter of 2000.
“Ink sales for Sun Chemical were somewhat soft in 2001, with sales basically flat from the previous year,” said Mr. Murphy. “This reflected activity at our customers, who saw the real effect later in the year. Publication printing, in particular, was hit hard by the drop in advertising.”
There were some areas that showed growth in 2001. Sales of energy curing inks and coatings continue to grow, according to Chris Morrissey, vice president, sales and marketing, Sun Chemical Inks (GPI). In packaging, some market segments such as flexible packaging are showing strength.
There has been a serious concern among industry officials that ink is being sold as a commodity, rather than as a product that provides added value for the customers.
“Some companies are trying to edge into the market by offering customers a different proposition that doesn’t address ‘total cost of printing’ and ignores the added value that experienced ink companies can provide,” said Mr. Murphy. “Sun Chemical does not believe that one commodity ink can meet all customers’ needs. We will continue to listen to the market and supply the inks that customers need for efficient production.”
Sun Chemical officials are hopeful that the second half of 2002 will be better for the printing industry.
“We keep hearing reports that an economic recovery is already starting to take hold,” said Mr. Lucas. “While we expect a relatively flat year in sales, Sun Chemical is hopeful that the recovery for printing will pick up in the second half of the year.”
In order to grow in 2002 and beyond, Sun Chemical is looking at a wide range of new opportunities.
“Sun Chemical expects to continue to grow in the ink industry by creating innovative products and services that meet customer needs,” said Mr. Lucas. “Sun is always on the lookout for opportunities that make good business sense, whether it be new sales opportunities, technology, acquisitions or partnerships.”
Sun Chemical is actively exploring the ink jet ink and electrographics markets. The 1999 acquisition of Coates Lorilleux helped lead to the formation SunJet, Sun Chemical’s ink jet ink division.
In its efforts to provide a total solution for its customers, Sun Chemical has embarked on a series of new initiatives that will benefit its customers in areas outside of ink.
“We see some interesting growth opportunities to create new revenue streams, particularly in graphic services, where we can parley our experience in the industry to create value for our customers,” said Mr. Morrissey. “Graphic services includes color management standards, the SunCare environmental services program, and our R&D analytical services. Our agreement with Eltromat will allow us to offer on-press color control systems.”
For more Sun Chemical Corporation information click here.
2. Flint Ink Corporation4600 Arrowhead Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: (734) 622-6000
Fax: (734) 622-6060
Sales: $1.4 billion.
Major Products: Flint Ink manufactures inks for flexo and gravure packaging, newspaper, directory, web offset heatset, commercial sheetfed, publication gravure, UV/EB and digital printing applications.
Key Personnel: H. Howard Flint II, chairman and CEO; Leonard D. (Dave) Frescoln, president and COO; David B. Flint, executive VP; Paul Schroeder, president, Flint Ink North America; James J. Mahony, president, Flint Ink Europe; Damian Johnson, president, Flint Ink Asia/Pacific; Jerko E. Rendic, president, Flint Ink Latin America; W. Rucker Wickline, president, CDR Pigments & Dispersions; Joseph W. Raksis, senior VP, research and new product development; Michael J. Gannon, senior VP and CFO; Glenn T. Autry, VP, human resources; Craig J. Foster, VP, materials management; Lawrence E. King, VP, general counsel and secretary; Kathryn P. Marx, VP, marketing and strategic planning; Donald Barnowski, VP and CIO; James A. Steel, VP and treasurer.
Number of Employees: 4,000 worldwide.
Flint Ink employees donated more than $300,000 to Sept. 11-related organizations.
Operating Facilities: Flint Ink operates nearly 100 facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia/Pacific.
Comments: After a strong 2000, the slowdown that affected the general economy affected Flint Ink as well. There was growth in 2001, but at a slower rate than in 2000. Market segments such as newspapers, magazines and catalogs, which rely on advertising and consumer spending, were most significantly affected. At the same time, packaging continued strong and the commercial market remained level. For the first time in its history, Flint Ink implemented targeted reductions in its North American and world headquarters staffing.
Flint Ink continued to expand its international operations in 2001. Flint Ink Europe opened its state-of-the-art sheetfed ink mother plant in Helmond, The Netherlands to manufacture Arrowstar process, Pantone match and spot color inks.
The company acquired a majority interest in Incowax, a Bangalore, India-based flexible packaging ink specialist in March 2001.
In Latin America, Flint Ink Latin America’s acquisition of Inks-Chemical B&T, SA, a Venezuela-based major supplier of news inks to the northern countries of South America, is continuing to provide gains for the company in that region. However, economic conditions in Argentina resulted in currency devaluation, and the final effects remain to be seen.
Flint Ink’s Asia/Pacific headquarters were relocated, from Sydney to Melbourne, Australia, and Damian Johnson was appointed president of Flint Ink Asia/Pacific. Mr. Johnson assumes responsibility for overseeing Flint Ink operations in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. Mr. Johnson was previously general manager of Flint Ink Australia, a position he held since joining the company in January 2000.
Flint Ink was also active in China, opening a liaison office in Shanghai that will support supply chain activities.
Flint Ink also made two key executive appointments within its news ink operations. Roy Beagle, a Flint Ink veteran of four decades, will fill the company’s new worldwide news ink position, serving as vice president, global news ink. Mike Green, formerly vice president of the company’s digital division, will now lead in the capacity of vice president and general manager of the North American news ink division.
A new alliance with MAN Roland promises to enhance the product and service offerings to North American customers of both companies. Joint activities at trade shows have occurred, and joint research projects are underway. At September’s Print 01 show in Chicago, Flint Ink products were used on presses running in the MAN Roland exhibit. MAN Roland also provided Flint Ink with a Roland 200 press for use in its demonstrations at the show.
Employees worked together to help others, when following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Flint Ink employees rose to a challenge by the Flint Ink Foundation, and together, raised nearly $300,000 in a 10-day period.
3. INX International Ink Co.651 Bonnie Lane
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: (847) 981-9399
Fax: (847) 981-9447
Sales: $300 million.
Major Products: A full line of ink and coating technology for packaging and commercial print applications. Products include metal decorating, flexographic, gravure, heatset, lamination, corrugated, sheetfed and UV/EB inks as well as UV/EB and aqueous coatings.
Key Personnel: Mitsuo Matsuzawa, chairman; Rick Clendenning, president; John Carlson, senior VP, general affairs administration; Joseph Cichon, senior VP, product and manufacturing technology; Charles Weinholzer, senior VP, liquid division; George Polasik, senior vice president, offset; Kunitaka Fujiwara, director general manager, corporate R&D division, Japan; Ken O’Callaghan, senior VP, metal deco division; John Hrdlick, VP, distribution; Dave Waller, VP, UV; Bryce Kristo, VP, finance and business development; Jonathan Ellaby, VP, international division.
Number of Employees: Approximately 1,200.
Operating Facilities: Approximately 30 locations and 160 in-plants throughout North America. Also affiliated with CPS Corp. of Dunkirk, NY and Knight Colors and Chemical of Montrose, MN.
Comments: Overall, 2001 was an off year due to the economy. However, organizational changes and a series of major contracts at the end of the year helped the company reach its business plan objective.
In 2000, INX International president Rick Clendenning and company executives implemented a new organization based on a product-line approach, which allowed the company to better focus on its customers and increase its efficiency. By 2001, the new system had indeed improved the company’s operations, and had the added benefit of creating a more compact and efficient company.
“In 2000, we reorganized, and by 2001 we had everything in place,” said Bryce Kristo, vice president, finance and business development for INX. “We are a lot leaner and more flexible.
“Our new organization made it much easier to deal with the soft economy,” Mr. Kristo said. “It’s almost like a new company since 1999.
“Sales last year were $300 million,” said Mr. Kristo. “We had a few months that seemed soft. From a market perspective, the packaging segments were less affected by the economy than commercial print.”
Also new to the company is its vastly improved web site, www.inxinternational.com, which has been designed to be more user friendly and dynamic.
4. SICPA Management S.A.Security Division
SICPA Securink Corporation
8000 Research Way
Springfield, VA 22153
Phone: (703) 455-8050
Fax: (703) 450-2423
SICPA North America Inc.
715 Boone Ave. North
Brooklyn Park, MN 5428
Phone: (763) 535-7600
Fax: (763) 535-9034
Total Sales: $110 million (estimated).
SICPA Securink Corporation
Sales: $60 million (estimate provided by Ink World.)
Major Products: Intaglio inks for currency, value documents and other securities.
Key Personnel: James Bonhivert, CEO and president; Tom Jay, VP of sales and marketing; Tom Classick, technical director.
Operating Facilities: Springfield, VA; Chicago, IL and Fort Worth, TX.
Comments: SICPA North America and SICPA Securink Corporation are North American subsidiaries of SICPA Management S.A., a $660 million Switzerland-based printing ink manufacturer best known as the international leader in security inks for currency.
It is estimated that SICPA sells nearly 90 percent of the inks that are used in currency and other secure documents worldwide. SICPA Securink Corporation, headquartered in Springfield, VA is the clear leader in the U.S, and is the largest supplier of inks to the federal government.
In order to maintain the integrity of currency, passports, checks and other critical documents, SICPA puts tremendous energy into R&D and alliances with high-tech developers. One example, the sophisticated Optically Variable Inks (OVI) that change color depending on how they are viewed, are key components used on U.S. currency to thwart counterfeiters. In the post Sept. 11 environment, that emphasis on R&D will certainly continue.
SICPA North America Inc.
Sales: $50 million.
Major Products: Conventional and specialty inks for labels, plastic cards, packaging and carton, including flexo, gravure, narrow web, wide web, water-based, UV flexo, UV letterpress, UV rotary screen, and UV offset.
Key Personnel: Peter Mulheran, president and CEO; Tom Socha, VP, business development, packaging; Steve Abbott, VP, business development, specialty packaging; Dave Miller, general manager, label.
Number of Employees: 142.
Operating Facilities: Minneapolis, MN; Richmond, VA; Prescott, ONT; Cincinnati, OH; Toronto, ONT; Norristown, PA; Vacaville, CA, and Montreal, QUE.
Comments: The 1999 addition of Kromacorp International, an Ontario, Canada flexo and gravure packaging ink specialist, is paying dividends for SICPA, Kromacorp officially changed its name to SICPA North America early this year. SICPA North America is strong in a variety of markets, including labels, plastic cards, packaging and carton gravure applications.
SICPA North America is growing rapidly, with sales of $50 million and 24 percent growth during 2001, and Peter Mulheran, president and CEO of SICPA North America, said that the company is looking for 35 percent growth in 2002. With its expansion into Northern California, SICPA North America is now positioned to serve all of North America.
“We have the whole portfolio of packaging ink technology,” Mr. Mulheran said. “We are packaging ink specialists, and we can meet the needs of any packaging printer.”
Ronald T. Barry, chairman of Color Converting Industries
5. Color Converting Industries3535 SW 56th St.
P.O. Box 4926
Des Moines, IA 53026-4926
Phone: (515) 471-2100
Fax: (515) 471-2202
Sales: $108 million (estimate provided by Ink World).
Major Products: Water-based and solvent-based liquid inks for flexographic and gravure packaging printing; overprint varnishes; energy-cured overprint varnishes.
Key Personnel: R.T. Barry, chairman; Dan McDowell, president; Kent Shah, vice president of technology; Jim Ross, vice president of sales and marketing; Shannon Barry Sheehy, director of business development; Randy Walter, director of finance.
Number of Employees: 286.
Operating Facilities: Des Moines, IA (2); Brooklyn Center, MN; Neenah, WI; Spartanburg, SC; Versailles, IN; San Antonio, TX; Hazleton, PA.
Comments: It has often been said that the packaging industry is as recession-proof a field as there is in the U.S. In 2001, when the U.S. economy fell into a year-long slump and suffered from the after-effects of Sept. 11, Color Converting Industries (CCI) achieved 20 percent growth.
“As a supplier of flexo and roto packaging inks, we feel very fortunate that our niche is the most recession-resistant segment of the entire ink marketplace,” said Ronald T. Barry, chairman of Color Converting Industries. “Industry numbers indicate that our markets were stable to slightly declining during 2001 so our 20 percent growth indicates that we are increasing our market share.
“Going into 2001, Color Converting had put together a very ambitious plan that included significant sales growth, continued capital expenditures, expanded product offerings and enhanced service at the point of use capabilities,” said Mr. Barry. “We were very pleased that in spite of the world-changing events of Sept. 11, we actually exceeded our plan.”
New technology helped to spur that growth, as CCI successfully launched SEALTECH.
“A highlight for us in 2001 was the introduction of SEALTECH, our new patented multi-purpose solvent-based laminating ink technology that includes systems for both flexographic and rotogravure applications,” Mr. Barry said.
In 2001, Color Converting opened a sales and distribution facility in Hazleton, PA. Strong growth in this region allows CCI to develop a localized capability to better serve existing and future customers. Troy Weyer has relocated from the Minneapolis area to lead this effort.
CCI is looking to expand further in 2002, both nationally and globally.
“Our 2002 plans are for the establishment of another regional capability to support our growth,” Mr. Barry said. “We are in the process of putting final definition to where and when this will occur. Additionally, we are continuing to develop relationships outside of North America to better meet the opportunities that the continued globalization of markets present.
“Our plan for 2002 again calls for double digit sales growth while we continue to invest in our company,” Mr. Barry said. “We expect to see a continuation of the trend that requires excellent product technology as merely a ‘greens fee’ to be a player in the game.”
While CCI’s growth can be attributed to its niche and its new technologies, Mr. Barry believes that its people and its willingness to work with its customers to save production costs are the real keys to its growth.
“We believe that service will continue to offer the opportunity to differentiate,” he said. “In order to achieve this, it all goes back to the people within an organization. At Color Converting, we have always put a high priority on providing an environment where our outstanding people remain motivated to find ways to work together and are then able to take pride in the achievements they make.”
For years, Mr. Barry has worked hard to try to convince other ink manufacturers that selling value doesn’t mean giving it away, and that when customers benefit from the hard work of ink manufacturers, they, too, can share in the rewards.
“The success of a product introduction like our SEALTECH technology demonstrates that our industry definitely has an opportunity to sell value when we combine products and services that actually do take cost out of our customers’ manufacturing processes,” Mr. Barry said. “As Color Converting, along with other ink companies, invest in product development and enhanced point of service capabilities, we see a very real opportunity for our industry to return to appropriate returns for investments made.”
For more Color Converting Industries information click here.
Phil Lambert, president and CEO of Wikoff Color Corporation
6. Wikoff Color Corporation1886 Merritt Road
Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: (803) 548-2210
Fax: (803) 548-5728
Sales: $81 million (estimated).
Major Products: Water-based flexo, sheetfed and web offset inks, energy-curable inks and coatings, overprint varnish and aqueous coatings.
Key Personnel: Phil L. Lambert, president and CEO; Daryl Collins, VP of national sales and regional operations; Don Duncan, director of R&D; Ron Zavodny, director of purchasing.
Number of Employees: 515.
Operating Facilities: 32 manufacturing plants throughout 21 states in the U.S. and two Canadian provinces. Headquarters and research and development facilities are located in Fort Mill, SC. Wikoff Color also has 36 in-plants.
Comments: For Wikoff Color Corporation, 2001 was a year of mixed results, as success in energy-cured inks helped keep sales flat for the year.
“It wasn’t a very good year,” said Phil L. Lambert, president and CEO of Wikoff Color. “Conventional ink sales were down a few percent. We found our conventional commercial ink sales were hit hard by the recession, although some folding carton food manufacturers heavily involved in food packaging were up. Fortunately, our growth in energy cured sales offset that decline.”
Wikoff Color completed a 40 percent expansion of its energy curable department at Fort Mill, SC facility in 2000. That has proved to be a critical investment as energy-cured inks and coatings are proving to be a very successful area for the company.
“That’s been a good move for us,” Mr. Lambert said. “We had a good year in UV litho, UV flexo and EB. In EB, we’re showing nice growth in food carton packaging.”
In 2000, Wikoff Color expanded into Canada, opening branches in Montreal and Toronto. Because of the North American economy, results have been slow in coming.
“We’ve had very slow growth in Canada,” Mr. Lambert said. “Trying to get new branches going during tough economic times is a struggle.”
However, in the Midwest, Wikoff Color’s growth in the Chicago and southern Wisconsin area led it to open a new state-of-the-art 6,000 square foot plant in Wauconda, IL at the end of 2001. The new facility, which replaces an older plant in Wauconda, offers increased manufacturing, laboratory and support facilities.
Wikoff Color’s Fort Mill, SC plant was recertified to ISO 9002:1994 in 2001, and Mr. Lambert said the company is now implementing Lean Manufacturing concepts in an effort to eliminate waste from its system and drive down costs.
“ISO has paid off in product consistency,” said Mr. Lambert. “Now Lean will be used to further solidify our efforts toward continuous improvement.”
Richard Breen, Central Ink Corporation’s owner and president.
7. Central Ink Corporation1100 N. Harvester Road
West Chicago, IL 60185
Phone: (630) 231-6500
Fax: (630) 231-6554
Sales: $73 million.
Major Products: Web offset heatset, coldset and sheetfed inks; some blanket sales.
Key Personnel: Richard Breen, owner and president; Jeff Ryder, vice president; Doug Anderson, technical director.
Number of Employees: 110.
Operating Facilities: West Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Milwaukee, WI; and Carlisle, PA.
Comments: Central Ink Corporation had a landmark year in 2001, as the company grew 30 percent in sales revenues. Central Ink has benefited from the tremendous number of acquisitions and mergers in the industry in the past few years.
“We had an unusual year last year, with sales of $73 million,” said Richard E. Breen, Central Ink’s owner and president. “The unusual number of acquisitions allowed us to garner some sales that did not make the transition from seller to buyer.”
Central Ink continues to be in a growth mode, having just acquired eight acres of land and a 45,000 square foot building which adjoins its main manufacturing plant in West Chicago. The plan is to join the two facilities with a 100-foot enclosed runway, which will increase the square footage in West Chicago to 182,000.
“It was very fortunate for us that this property became available right next to our present plant,” Mr. Breen said. “We had a contract pending on a 16-acre parcel in Batavia, IL, as well as another site in Rochelle. Both sites failed to make it through due diligence and, frankly, we had decided to stay status quo when the property behind us became available.”
While CIC has grown rapidly, Mr. Breen said that the state of the economy and the tight pricing in the industry remain a serious challenge to printers and ink makers alike.
8. Toyo Ink International, Inc.910 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
Phone: (800) 227-7040
Fax: (201) 569-2455
Toyo Ink America, LLC
710 Belden Ave.
Addison, IL 60101
Phone: (630) 930-5100
Fax: (630) 628-1759
Sales: $71 million in printing inks.
Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks; UV and EB inks; conventional and UV waterless offset; solvent- and water-based gravure inks; digital inks; toner; and ink jet inks. Toyo Ink America LLC manufactures offset inks, while LioChem, Inc., Conyers, GA, manufactures liquid inks, colorants and adhesives.
Key Personnel: Hiro Sakai, president, Toyo Ink International; Tak O’Haru, president, James F. MacNeill, VP, finance; Kees Riphagen, VP, marketing and sales, Toyo Ink America; Osamu Sato, president, Terry Hall, Director of manufacturing, William Bonny, CFO, Hudson Moody, marketing and sales manager, LioChem; Yuki Abe, president, Toyo Colors America.
Number of Employees: 150.
Operating Facilities: Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Addison, IL; Kennesaw, GA; Conyers, GA; Cypress, CA; Clifton, NJ.
Comments: After a fairly slow 2001, particularly in heatset, Toyo Ink America is looking for a return to its pattern of rapid growth in 2002.
“Business is picking up right now,” said Tak O’Haru, president of Toyo Ink America. “The fourth quarter was one of deep recession, but things are looking better, and some of our key accounts are very busy. Our opinion is that the market will be very similar to 2001.”
In 2001, Toyo Ink America reorganized its U.S, operations, splitting the ink and pigment segments. Toyo Ink America is responsible for ink manufacturing and sales/distribution within the Americas, while Toyo Ink Color, LLC, located in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, handles pigments and specialty chemicals.
“The reorganization has worked out well,” Mr. O’Haru said. “The pigment side has had great progress.”
Of particular interest was Toyo Ink America’s move to new headquarters in Addison, IL. The relocation provides Toyo Ink with more room to grow as well as a better proximity to its customers.
“We moved from a 32,000 square foot facility in Lincolnshire to 50,0000 square feet in Addison, and now have more office, laboratory and production space,” said Mr. O’Haru.
“Our Addison headquarters are closer to our customers, and provides us with much more space,” said Kees Riphagen, Toyo Ink America’s vice president of marketing and sales, who joined the company from Akzo Nobel Resins in 2001.
Mr. O’Haru said the company is embarking on a plan to emphasize its efforts on its strongest areas in 2002.
“We are specifically focused on specific regions, particularly the Midwest, New York/New Jersey, Southern California and Atlanta, and we have consolidated our assets into those areas,” Mr. O’Haru said.
“Our focus will be on sheetfed, and we are also looking to expand into specialty areas, UV and hybrids,” Mr. O’Haru added.
As part of its concentration on California, Toyo Ink America doubled the size of its Cypress, CA facility in 2000. “Our new Cypress, CA facility is 37,000 square feet, and offers local manufacturing and laboratory work,” Mr. O’Haru said.
Harvey Brice, president of Superior Printing Ink.
9. Superior Printing Ink70 Bethune Street
New York, NY 10014-1768
Phone: (212) 741-3600
Fax: (212) 633-8283
Sales: $67 million.
Major Products: Sheetfed, UV, waterless, and heatset web offset and flexo and gravure inks.
Key Personnel: Jeffrey I. Simons, CEO; Harvey R. Brice, president; Michael R. Brice, COO; Stan Hittman, executive VP; Harold Rubin, senior VP, CFO; James LaRocca, senior VP, branch operations; Sal Moscuzza, senior VP, principal ink technologist; Stephen Simpson, senior VP, chief technical officer.
Number of Employees: 400.
Operating Facilities: 22 branches and 20 in-plant facilities. The company operates three facilities through its Gotham Ink operations and owns Covar, a varnish manufacturer. Spinks Ink Co. is also a subsidiary.
Comments: While 2001 was clearly a time of recession for the U.S. economy, signs that the economy was heading downward were noticeable in the later portion of 2000. Harvey Brice, president of Superior Printing Ink, said his company started to prepare for this downturn in January 2001.
“One indication was that our sales were down starting in October and November 2000,” Mr. Brice said. “Even before Sept. 11, I felt there was no way that the economy was going to go back to the previous year. We’re very fortunate we were sensitive to it early and started our cost reduction plans in most areas in January 2001.
“We’re very, very sensitive to our suppliers to get reductions where we can,” Mr. Brice added. “We’ve had to become even more efficient in manufacturing and streamlining our inventory by consolidating our standard inks.”
Mr. Brice said that Superior Printing Ink’s sales were down in 2001, primarily due to the economy and a decline in sales of spot colors. The decline in ink prices for the entire industry is another concern.
“Getting market share has never been our business,” Mr. Brice said. “If we can’t get the prices we need to be profitable, it’s not worth it. We’ve tried to meet competition to keep a customer, but if it goes below the line, we won’t do it.”
Mr. Brice did note that a number of companies that left because of prices have since come back to Superior. “Several companies that have left us in the past year are coming back, so maybe quality and service still have its advantages,” Mr. Brice said.
While he doesn’t expect a turnaround to occur very soon, Mr. Brice believes that Superior Printing Ink is positioned to succeed when that time does come.
“I personally don’t think the industry will bounce back that quickly,” Mr. Brice said. “Still, with all of our cost reduction plans in place, when the economy returns, we’ll be very successful.”
For more Superior Printing Ink information click here.
10. Nazdar8501 Hedge Lane Road
Shawnee, KS 66227-3290
Phone: (913) 422-1888
Fax: (913) 422-2296
Sales: $65 million (and more than $100 million in ink sales, equipment and supplies, estimated).
Major Products: Screen printing inks including conventional, UV, water-based, textile and digital inks.
Key Personnel: J. Jeffrey Thrall, CEO; Mike Fox, president; Frank Blanco Jr., senior VP of sales; Harold Johnston, VP of product development; Mike McGowan, VP and technical director; Peter Walsh, VP of sales marketing; and Jim Davidson, VP of operations; John Simonson, VP of distribution.
Operating Facilities: Sixteen in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Comments: While 2001 was a tough year in the screen printing industry, Nazdar was able to parley its R&D, customer service and strong management to put the company in a position to further grow in 2002 and beyond.
“It was a very challenging year,” said Mike Fox, president of Nazdar. “Demand was down in our customer base, although we held onto our market share. We feel we fared better than most ink companies in our industry, as we devoted ourselves to delivering customer service while managing our own costs.”
R&D continues to be an integral part of Nazdar’s efforts, and Mr. Fox said the company is emphasizing UV and digital technologies.
“We are the leading supplier of solvent-based screen inks in North America, but most of our R&D is devoted to UV and digital products,” Mr. Fox said. “We see opportunities in UV and digital. If we continue to satisfy the needs of our customers, we’ll be on track.”
On the digital side, Nazdar has introduced the NDI series of digital inks specifically for wide and super-wide format ink jet printers, including machines from NUR, Vutek, Signtech and Gretag.
Nazdar is also moving ahead in its international efforts.
“Our operations in Mexico are going really well,” Mr. Fox said. “We expanded our staff and are devoting time and attention to the textile, industrial and graphic arts segments. We are also expanding our presence in China.”
For more Nazdar information click here.
Joe Bendowski, Van Son Holland Ink’s president.
11. Van Son Holland Ink Corporation of America92 Union Street
Mineola, NY 11501
Phone: (516) 294-8811
Fax: (516) 294-8608
Sales: $64 million.
Major Products: Conventional offset and waterless offset, flexo, duplicator and ink jet inks.
Key Personnel: Joe Bendowski, president; Ken Ferguson, technical director; Robert Langer, VP of finance; John Sammis, general manager, New York; Dan Storto, general manager, Chicago.
Number of Employees: 120.
Operating Facilities: Three locations, including headquarters and manufacturing in Mineola, NY, and offices in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Comments: For many companies, the impact of 2001 on their traditional markets was offset by new efforts in other fields. This was also true at Van Son Holland Ink Corporation, where loses in the small offset market were made up for in new ventures.
“It was a tough year,” said Joe Bendowski, president of Van Son Holland Ink Corporation. “Printing follows the economy, which has been unpredictable. Fortunately, prior to 2001 we were doing a lot of new things that offered growth opportunities, which offset our core market being down.”
In the last few years, Van Son has begun to branch out from the small offset segment, as the company started to develop products for the large commercial sheetfed, digital and most recently, the flexo markets. These areas helped the company maintain its sales levels in 2001.
“Flexo, large commercial and ink jet will be our growth areas for us in the coming years,” Mr. Bendowski said. “A few years ago, we made the decision to enter the large commercial ink market, and I’m glad we did. Small offset built our company, and it’s still a very viable business, but it doesn’t have a long future.”
Ink jet is another area that Van Son is developing, with new replacement cartridges for Epson and Canon printers being created by Van Son Digital B.V.
“Everybody is a printer in their own right now, Mr. Bendowski said. “The better way to replace cartridges is through compatible cartridges, which are made by Van Son Digital B.V. Our inks are more fade resistant, faster drying and offer a wider color gamut than the OEM’s inks, at a third of the price. The new trends are toward pigment-based ink jet inks, which provide better water resistance and fade resistance.”
At Print 01, Van Son formally introduced its new flexo division.
“Our flexo manufacturing kitchen is now in place in Chicago, and we are focusing on the process and Pantone blends for the envelope, label and small packaging side of the market.” Mr. Bendowski said. “It’s the only one of its kind. It’s a state-of-the-art blending machine, and it’s a fascinating machine to watch.
“We’re beginning our flexo sales campaign in the Midwest, focusing on process and Pantone blends for the envelope, label and small packaging side of the market,” Mr. Bendowski said. “The gap between flexo and offset in terms of quality is narrowing, and it’s is much more efficient and less expensive.”
12. Sensient Technologies777 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 271-6755
Fax: (414) 347-4794
Sales: $55 million (estimate provided by Ink World).
Major Products: Ink jet inks.
Key Personnel: Kenneth P. Manning, chairman, president and CEO; Richard Carney, VP - human resources; Steven O. Cordier, VP – administration; Richard F. Hobbs, VP and CFO; Jack H. Koberstine, VP, marketing; Dr. Ho-Seung Yang, VP, technologies; John R. Mudd, president – color; Lance E. Solter, VP, manufacturing – color.
Number of Employees: 4,000 at Sensient Technologies.
Operating Facilities: Milwaukee, WI; Elmwood Park, NJ.
Comments: In November 2000, Sensient Technologies Corporation was formed from Universal Foods Corporation, and quickly became a leading force in a variety of industries related to colors, flavors and fragrances.
Sensient Technical Colors, which manufactures ink jet inks, saw revenues grow by more than 50 percent in 2000, and expects double-digit growth to continue for the next several years, The company includes Tricon Colors and Warner-Jenkinson among its holdings.
Sensient Technologies has moved ahead dramatically in the ink jet ink industry, where it first made its mark by being the primary supplier to a color ink jet printing leader, and the company is branching out into other areas.
In a key move, Sensient acquired Kimberly-Clark Printing Technology, an Escondido, Calif.-based manufacturer of specialty inks for ink jet and industrial applications, in November 2001. The company, a wholly owned Kimberly-Clark subsidiary with revenues of approximately $20 million last year, markets products under the Formulabs brand.
13. DuPont Performance CoatingsP.O. Box 80030
Wilmington, DE 19880
Phone: (302) 992-4264
Fax: (302) 892-5609
Sales: $50 million (estimate provided by Ink World).
Major Products: Digital inks.
Key Personnel: Edward J. Donnelly, group vice president, DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies; Richard J. Baird, global director, Kathleen Hall, sales and marketing director; David Deters, technology director.
Number of Employees: More than 200 worldwide.
Key Locations: Worldwide operations; in the U.S., 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: Ink World estimates the annual sales of the growing ink jet and digital ink market at $250 million, and DuPont, with its OEM base, remains a major ink jet ink manufacturer in the field.
Dupont Ink Jet is heavily involved in the desktop printer and textile markets. Its DuPont Artistri Ink, which is used for textile applications, is a water-based ink jet ink that was developed for use with the Nova-Q compact jetting assembly, the first industrial printhead suitable for water-based inks as well as other high quality ink jet heads. It is available in multiple pigment and dye-based colors, and is specially formulated for production printing, offering eight aqueous pigment ink colors, six reactive dye colors and eight disperse dye colors.
In an important move, DuPont announced a joint market development agreement with Spectra, a leading ink jet printhead manufacturer, for the distribution of Artistri and other inks for industrial printing markets such as digital textile printing, an area where the company is continuing its research efforts.
“This partnership will enable us to continue our strategy of close collaboration with leading technology developers to provide our customers with superior printing solutions,” said Kathleen Hall, director of sales and marketing for DuPont Ink Jet. “In addition, we will be aggressively targeting markets beyond textiles, including industrial printing and other decorative printing applications.”
Ed Carhart, CEO of Sericol International.
13. Sericol, Inc.1101 W. Cambridge Circle Drive
Kansas City, KS 66110
Phone: (913) 342-4060
Fax: (913) 342-4752
U.S. Sales: $50 million (estimated).
Major Products: Screen, UV and solvent-based inks.
Key Personnel: Ed Carhart, CEO of Sericol International; Mitch Bode, senior VP; Chris Lomas, vice president of sales; Terry Amerine, digital business development manager.
Number of Employees: 194.
Operating Facilities: Seven.
Comments: The screen printing market was particularly affected by the economic downturn in 2001, but Sericol, a leading screen, narrow web, and digital ink manufacturer, was able to minimize its own impact through market share gains and several moves into new products and markets.
“The recession had a major impact on the general print market. Screen was hit particularly hard, down between 15 percent and 20 percent,” said Ed Carhart, CEO of Sericol International. “While Sericol was also hurt by the market downturn, we were fortunate in that our business was only down six percent.” This was achieved through market share gains in the graphic, narrow web, screen chemicals, and compact disc screen stretching markets.
In particular, the company achieved a 30 percent gain in the narrow web market. Their UVivid line, launched late in 2000 offers high color density and consistent viscosity across the color range. UVivid is comprised of UV letterpress, UV rotary screen and innovative UV flexo inks engineered to perform as an integrated package.
The company also is doing well in the compact disc market, where it experienced significant growth in its Seridisc DVD product and launched a new service of stretching screens for the compact disc market. “Screen stretching has further strengthened our position in the compact disc segment,” said Mitch Bode, Sericol’s senior VP.
Sericol is poised to make important gains in the digital market. It is the exclusive distributor of the Eagle 44 flatbed digital press manufactured by Inca Digital Printers, Ltd. of Cambridge, England. The Eagle 44 uses piezo UV inkjet technology that prints directly onto rigid materials up to 40mm thick at speeds up to 950 square feet per hour and resolutions up to 720 dpi. The print heads are stationary during the print cycle, which maximizes print accuracy and extends head life. The Eagle 44 was designed to use Sericol’s new Uvijet four color UV inks which cure instantly but remain stable in the print head.
“We consider ourselves UV technology experts. We utilized our UV screen ink knowledge to develop cutting edge UV digital products,” Mr. Carhart said.
Sericol is still owned by BP Amoco. The sale of Sericol announced in 2000 was put on hold due to the economic downturn experienced worldwide.
Now, Mr. Carhart has more on his plate, as he was promoted to CEO of Sericol International in November 2001. In particular, he is anticipating growth worldwide. “We’re still looking for good growth internationally,” Mr. Carhart said. “We’re going through a restructuring of our European business to better reflect movements in the market. In Asia, we’re putting in infrastructure to grow our business in key markets.”
15. Color Resolutions International LLC630 Glendale-Milford Road
Cincinnati, OH 45245
Phone: (513) 782-6300
Fax: (513) 782-6326
Sales: $46 million (estimated).
Major Products: Water-based flexo, solvent-based gravure, UV-curable and specialty inks.
Key Personnel: George Sickinger, chairman, CEO and president; Tom Paquette, CFO; John Edelbrock, VP of manufacturing; Paul Fulton, VP of products and services; Joe Schlinkert, director of technology; Jim Distler, VP of specialty products; Dave Barker, VP of northern regional operations and Hixon Boyd, VP of southern regional operations.
Number of Employees: 161.
Operating Facilities: Manufacturing plant in Cincinnati, OH, and 18 blending sites.
Comments: When Color Resolutions International LLC was formed in November 2000 by a group of Borden Chemical employees who acquired the division from the parent company, the new company set out to prove that the ideas they had accumulated over the years would be successful.
So far, Color Resolutions is indeed enjoying success, due to the people who are working hard to prove that there is a better way to run an ink company. Even in the face of a downturn in the economy, Color Resolutions saw more growth in 2001, due in large part to new products and new ideas.
“We had a good year,” said George Sickinger, Color Resolutions International’s chairman, CEO and president. “Sales were up slightly, and we met our objectives, although our growth during the last few months of 2001 was not quite as robust. We feel very fortunate.”
When Mr. Sickinger and his team formed Color Resolutions International, they wanted to improve the way their business was run. One area, providing greater incentives to employees, is paying off dividends for all concerned.
“I would attribute our success to the entrepreneurial nature of our company and our extended incentives,” Mr. Sickinger said. “We share our rewards. Rather than have a cap on incentives, thus creating disincentives, we changed that. As a result, we paid almost twice as much in incentive pay last year to 30 percent more people.”
Color Resolutions is the second-largest manufacturer of inks for the corrugated market, and Mr. Sickinger said that concentrating on its strengths will ensure that Color Resolutions is successful in the coming years.
“The fact that we are very sharply focused in a few areas gives us an advantage,” Mr. Sickinger said. “We are aggressively pleasing our customers and looking for new customers.”
For more Color Resolutions International LLC information click here.
Jim Leitch, CEO of Braden Sutphin Printing Ink.
3650 E. 93rd St.
16. Braden Sutphin Ink Co.
Cleveland, OH 44105
Phone: (216) 271-2300
Fax: (216) 271-0515
Sales: $43.2 million.
Major Products: Sheetfed offset, web heatset and non-heatset, waterless, duplicator, soy inks, UV curable offset and water-based flexo and gravure.
Key Personnel: Ted Zelek, chairman; Jim Leitch, CEO; Cal Sutphin, president; Diego Perez-Stable, controller; Byron Hahn, technical director; John Ritzic, technical service manager; Ray Loomis, national sales and marketing manager; Tim Hennessey, Cleveland plant manager; Dan Martin, Carlisle, OH plant manager; Brent Forsythe, manager of human resources; Pat Riggs, administrative sales manager; Ann Knaack, general manager, flexo division.
Number of Employees: 250.
Operating Facilities: 12 including Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Baltimore-Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh, PA; Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Carlisle, OH; Buffalo, NY; Newark, NJ; Richmond, VA; Sacramento, CA and Milwaukee, WI.
Comments: Unlike most of the ink industry, Braden Sutphin Printing Ink had a slightly better year in sales in 2001, buoyed by its new gains in flexo, packaging and a series of new product lines.
“Even though our 2001 was not as good as we would have liked it to be, I thought we hung in there pretty well despite the economy and Sept. 11,” said Jim Leitch, Braden Sutphin Printing Ink’s CEO. “I would definitely say that commercial sheetfed printing was hit the hardest, while our strength was in new business through water-based flexo and sheetfed packaging inks.”
The gains in the flexo market were triggered by the November 2000 acquisition of Roli Ink, a Milwaukee, WI-based water-based flexo ink manufacturer. Roli Ink has been strong in the flexible packaging, display corrugated and envelope markets
“The Roli Group has been real good,” Mr. Leitch said. “Roli diversified and complemented our water-based flexo line, and now we have a strong narrow web and wide web product line. We now have to keep working on name recognition in the flexo marketplace.”
The efficiencies and cost reductions that Braden Sutphin implemented last year position the company for gains when the economy rebounds.
“For 2002, we’re trying to position ourselves as a company that is as efficient as possible,” Mr. Leitch said. “We anticipate the economy picking up no later than mid-year, although early signs in 2002 have been somewhat mixed.”
17. Environmental Inks & Coatings1 Quality Products Road
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: (828) 433-1922
Fax: (828) 438-9513
Sales: $40 million (estimated).
Major Products: Water-based flexo, gravure, UV flexo, UV rotary screen and UV letterpress inks, and overprint varnishes.
Key Personnel: Ed Redman, president; Rick Gloeckler, vice president; Gary Nance, chief financial officer.
Number of Employees: 230.
Operating Facilities: Morganton, NC; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Dallas, TX; Ontario, CA; Worcester, MA; Sneek, Holland.
Comments: While 2001 was not a good year for most ink companies, there are some ink manufacturers that have laid the groundwork for good opportunities in the future.
Environmental Inks and Coatings (EIC) is one such company. While 2001 was “a little bit slow,” according to EIC president Ed Redman, EIC has opened its first manufacturing plant outside of the U.S. The new facility, located in Sneek, Holland, has the potential for strong growth in future years.
There is a government mandate in the Benelux countries to eliminate solvent-based products in printing, and the increasing interest in water-based and UV curable inks among European printers led EIC to open the new production facility. For EIC, being able to utilize its capabilities in water-based and UV inks and its strong technical service is a perfect opportunity.
“We are in the process of finally getting things off the ground in Holland,” said Mr. Redman. “We expect that if we can continue our service the way we’re doing service here in the U.S., we will do well in Europe. So far, things are showing that where we have tried them, our systems work extremely well. Paying attention to detail and service will pay off in Europe.”
Holland was not the only site for expansion. EIC also opened its new state-of-the-art 12,000 square foot facility in Morganton that is solely dedicated to developing and producing UV inks and coatings.
For more Environmental Inks & Coatings information click here.
17. Handschy Industries120 25th Avenue
Fax: (708) 547-4774
Sales: $40 million (estimated).
Major Products: Full line of sheetfed products including waterless; web offset heatset and coldset; water-based flexo and coatings; gravure inks; UV and EB inks; varnishes and alkyds.
Key Personnel: Jim Shaw, president; Vince Hotton, VP of finance; Mike Rasmussen, executive vice president; John Copeland and Lidia Barger, product development managers.
Number of Employees: 160.
Operating Facilities: Four including Riverdale Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary outside Chicago that manufactures liquid inks and varnishes. Other locations include Bellwood, Indianapolis and Milwaukee, and 19 in-plants.
Comments: 2001 was a difficult time for the ink industry, and Handschy Industries, a subsidiary of Field Container Company, L.P., also faced numerous challenges. However, some of the groundwork the company has laid in the past few years is beginning to pay off for Handschy.
“2001 was a year that somewhat challenged us, but we came through it well, which we feel happy about,” said Mike Rasmussen, Handschy’s executive vice president.
Jim Shaw, Handschy’s president, said that 2002 seems to be getting off to a better start. “I’m hearing from our sales force and our customers that our core businesses are seeing somewhat of a surge,” Mr. Shaw said. “It’s hard to predict the future, but we’re pretty optimistic. We feel we are very well set for the future.”
Handschy has done much research into energy-cured inks, and company officials believe that work is paying off, as the company has developed valuable technology, and is now also manufacturing hybrid UV inks.
19. Akzo Nobel Inks1550 28th Avenue North
Plymouth, MN 55447
Phone: (763) 559-5511
Fax: (763) 559-0243
Sales: $35 million.
Major Products: UV flexo, UV letterpress, UV rotary screen, UV offset, water-based flexo inks and a wide variety of specialty inks.
Key Personnel: Dave Hiserodt, president; Hank Malone, VP, sales and marketing; Tom Hammer, VP of R&D; Mike Buystedt, director, new product development; Charles Shuty, director, national accounts and end-user market; Dirk Ekkelenkamp, director of operations: Deanna Whalen, marketing manager.
Number of Employees: 154.
Operating Facilities: Nine – Santa Fe Springs, CA; Cincinnati, OH; Neenah, WI; Plymouth, MN; Vacaville, CA; Garland, TX; Langhorne, PA; Charlotte, NC; Toronto, Canada, and the Center for Technical Excellence, Plymouth, MN.
Comments: 2001 was a dramatic year for Akzo Nobel Inks, as the rampant rumors about an imminent sale were finally put to rest after a management buy-out with the involvement of the Dutch venture capital company NeSBIC. Akzo Nobel Inks will retain the present company’s name for three years.
For the U.S. operations, the new ownership comes as a welcome relief.
“It’s definitely been an interesting year,” said Dave Hiserodt, Akzo Nobel Inks’s North American president. “The situation is settled, and we’re moving forward.”
He acknowledged that times have been rough, and added that the people who saw the difficult times through are clearly committed to the future.
“I feel very good about the team we have,” said Mr. Hiserodt, who completed his first year as the company’s president in November. “With any company that goes through a period of uncertainty, there are people who are deeply committed to the company and what they are doing, and decide to stay. I’m personally proud of these people for showing that commitment.”
The management buy-out also presents an opportunity for the employees of Akzo Nobel Inks, who will have the opportunity to invest in their company.
“Sometime around April, all of our employees will be given the opportunity to invest in the company, which is really exciting for all of us,” Mr. Hiserodt said. “It’s an open opportunity.”
With all that happened within Akzo Nobel Inks in 2001 as well as the downturn in the economy, it is surprising that sales remained fairly flat, declining nearly 3 percent.
“We weren’t pleased with last year’s decline in sales,” Mr. Hiserodt said. “There have clearly been a lot of changes that have been challenging, particularly in the market place. Some people viewed the possibilities in the worst possible light and left. There were so many rumors, which left customers a little uneasy, which made it difficult to get any momentum. The market was down on top of that.
“That is behind us, and all the customers I have seen this year are optimistic,” Mr. Hiserodt continued. “Most people I talk with believe we will be back to historical growth rates by the second quarter. We have a significant number of new sales already booked this year. We’re looking at 7 percent to 8 percent growth in 2002.”
19. Graphic Sciences Inc.7515 NE Ambassador Place, Suite L
Portland, OR 97220
Phone: (888) 546-4465
Fax: (503) 460-0225
Sales: $35 million.
Major Products: Water-based flexographic inks and coatings, UV inks and coatings, water gravure inks and ink jet inks.
Key Personnel: Kent Wishart, president; Cindy Cummings, VP and CFO; Jeff Ashburn, VP, sales and marketing; Qingjiang Zhou, research and development; Grant Wishart, director of corporate services; Tony Ellis, total quality manager.
Number of Employees: 136.
Operating Facilities: 15.
Comments: There are many companies who are rushing quickly into the digital ink arena, attracted by the potential that the market holds.
While Graphic Sciences has also introduced its new digital division during the past year, their work in ink jet was not hastily done. Rather, Graphic Sciences has been working on digital products long before opening its new division.
“Our digital division has been running for two years, and on Jan. 1 we opened our new fully-staffed facility in Milwaukie, OR,” said Grant Wishart, director of corporate services for Graphic Sciences. “We’ve been developing these products behind the scenes for the past two years, and we’re now confident in our product lines and are ready for the market.
“We are targeting three customer bases: the consumer market, integrators (who are working with us to develop digital ink solutions for other traditional printing markets) and the OEMs – the manufacturers of desktop and wide format printers,” Mr. Wishart said. “So far, we are pleased with the recognition the latter two are giving us, due in part to our ability to formulate unique product lines to meet their needs.”
Since its inception in 1987, Graphic Sciences has prided itself on customizing its products, and Mr. Wishart said that the ink jet ink customers like what they are seeing.
“Our experience so far is that customers are very excited that there’s a company that can tailor-make inks for them,” Mr. Wishart said. “That hasn’t been available before, especially with the end users. We ask our customers to tell us what they need, and we go to work to develop a product that works.”
While its new digital division is drawing most of the attention, Graphic Sciences had another spectacular year in 2001, growing more than 25 percent.
“Things are going very well,” said Mr. Wishart. “Graphic Sciences is still keen on growing our national account business in the corrugated industry, and we’re very happy with the progress there. Our growth efforts have been focused on placing blend sites in every region of the U.S. In areas where delivery and service are still a day away, we have installed staffed ink kitchens in our customers’ plants to meet their needs.”