2006 Top International Ink Companies
The landscape of the international printing ink industry has changed greatly during the past year after the major acquisitions and consolidations that occurred in 2005.
The International Rankings
(Ink and Graphic Arts Sales)
1. Dainippon Ink & Chemicals/Sun Chemical $4.67B
2. Flint Group $2.7B
3. Siegwerk Group $1.1B
4. Toyo Ink $1.08B
5. Sakata INX $884M
6. Huber Group $800M
7. SICPA $500M
8. Tokyo Printing Ink $480M
9. Inctec Inc. $367M
10. Fujifilm Sericol International $275M
11. Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals $245M
12. T&K Toka $237M
13. Royal Dutch Printing Ink Van Son $150M
14. Wikoff Color $118M
15. Epple Druckfarben $93M
16. Sanchez S.A. de C.V. $81M
17. Zeller+Gmelin $60M
18. Rieger Inks $55M
19. Ruco Druckfarben $44M
20. Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas $28.5M
21. Encres Dubuit $28M
22. Brancher Company $25M
1. Dainippon Ink & Chemicals, Inc. (Including Sun Chemical Corporation)
7-20 Nihonbashi 3-chome
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-8233
Phone: +81 3-3272-4511
Fax: +81 3-3278-8558
Internet: DIC: www.dic.co.jp;
Sun Chemical: www.sunchemical.com
Sales: DIC: $4.67 billion (549.4 billion yen) in graphic arts, including Sun Chemical, which is approaching $4 billion in sales. Total sales: $8.59 billion (1004.8 billion yen).
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, toner, inkjet materials, adhesives for packaging, overprint varnishes, specialty coatings, effect inks, security inks and coatings, printing consumables, and organic colorants for inks, plastics, paints, coatings and cosmetics.
Key Personnel: Koji Oe, president; Kazuo Sugie, executive vice president; Shunji Ehara, managing director; Yasumasu Karaki, managing director; Yoshikazu Aoyagi, managing director.
Number of Employees: 26,750 (worldwide); 12,000 (Sun Chemical).
Comments: Dainippon Ink & Chemicals (DIC) and its subsidiary, Sun Chemical, had solid results
Geographically, DIC’s best growth came in Asia and Oceania, where the company enjoyed 13.3 percent growth, and in the Americas and Europe, where the company’s sales grew 4.5 percent. The highlights in Asia and Oceania came in the offset ink market, which was bolstered by the new DIC offset ink plant in Nantong, as well as increased offset ink sales in India. Increasing competition in pricing in gravure and news inks in China impacted operating income. In the Americas, sales of publication gravure and offset inks increased, and news inks were a highlight in Europe.
In Japan, graphic arts sales declined 2.2 percent. In particular, sales of gravure and offset inks rose, while sales of organic pigments and equipment declined. In addition, operating income suffered due to rising raw material costs outpacing ink price increases. To try to keep up with rising raw material prices, DIC continued to rationalize operations and adjust product prices.
“During the past two years, we focused on creating a sound financial base, thereby ensuring we were in a condition to continue growing and evolving,” said Koji Oe, DIC’s president. “As a result of measures implemented in line with this plan, I believe DIC is a stronger and leaner organization today that it was two years ago.”
In March, DIC (Vietnam) Co., Ltd., DIC’s new production plant, opened just outside of Ho Chi Minh City. The new facility has capacity of nearly 3,000 tons, which should help DIC continue to lead the market; at present, DIC has a 30 percent market share in Vietnam. DIC began production of diketo-pyrrolo-pyrrole (DPP) high-grade red organic pigment at its Kashima plant.
In personnel news, David Hill was named the new president and CEO of Sun Chemical, replacing Wes Lucas. Naoki Tsuji, who has had a long and distinguished career at DIC, most recently as president, DIC Logistics, was named Sun Chemical’s chairman.
R&D continues to be a major strength for DIC and Sun Chemical, as the company introduced a wide variety of new products that had an impact on the market. In Japan, DIC launched Marine Tiarsa and Marine Top PP water-based packaging gravure inks, as well as its new dispersion-enhancing varnish for news inks that accommodates specialized carbon black, which improves drying speed and scuff resistance.
DIC also introduced Space Color Fusion G, a new sheetfed offset ink that offers a new drying technology and high viscosity hyperbranched resin that makes it ideal for double-sided, multiple color presses. It has a soybean oil content of more than 20 percent, making it an environmentally friendly ink.
DIC launched Daicure Abilio, a UV-curable offset ink for paperboard, which ensures uniform, even printing density as well as reduced ink odor.
Sun Chemical launched Solarcat, its cationic UV flexo ink, as well as Liberty, a VOC-free sheetfed ink that was honored by the PIA/GATF with its prestigious InterTech Technology Award.
2. Flint Group
4600 Arrowhead Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2773
Phone: +1 734-622-6000
Fax: +1 734-622-6131
Sales: $2.7 billion
Major Products: Through its regional business units, Flint Group offers cold and heatset web offset, sheetfed offset, flexographic, gravure, and UV/EB inks and coatings for publication, news, packaging and commercial printing applications. Flint Group also includes XSYS Print Solutions, which specializes in inks for narrow web printing: Flint Group Printing Plates, which offers printing plates and related equipment; Flint Group Pigments, offering colorants and additives; and Jetrion LLC, which supplies inkjet inks and equipment for digital printing applications. (At the time of this writing, the sale of Jetrion LLC to Electronics for Imaging is pending.)
Key Personnel: Leonard D. Frescoln, CEO; Michael J. Gannon, president and COO; Michael J. Bissell, executive VP and CFO; Dr. Dirk Aulbert, president, Flint Group, Europe (inks); William B. Miller, president, Flint Group, North America (inks); Jerko E. Rendic, president, Flint Group, Latin America (inks); Damian Johnson, president, Flint Group, India/Pacific (inks); Henry Leong, president, Flint Group, Asia (inks); Ewald Draaijer, president, XSYS Print Solutions (narrow web inks); Dr. Thomas Telser, president, Flint Group Printing Plates; Dr. Kenneth Stack, president, Jetrion, LLC; Craig Foster, president, Flint Group Pigments.
Number of Employees: 7,000 worldwide.
Comments: The global ink industry witnessed its largest union ever as Flint Ink Corporation and XSYS
The end of 2005 began a year of transition as Flint Group began integrating cultures, manufacturing capabilities and product lines of the XSYS and Flint Ink organizations. Company officials note that the integration has progressed smoothly and is nearly completed, and added that customers are enjoying the benefits from the merger.
“We believe our customers are benefiting from the larger portfolio of products, their broader geographic availability and the enhanced product development resources that exist within the combined organization,” said Dave Frescoln, Flint Group’s CEO.
As part of the company’s consolidation, Flint Group has parted with a few non-core portions of its business. Most notably, the company sold Jetrion, its digital ink and hardware subsidiary, to EFI for $40 million at the end of September. The deal is expected to be finalized during the fourth quarter of 2006.
On the ink side, packaging continued to show the most growth for Flint Group, while other segments remained steady. The start-up of a new packaging ink plant in Guangzhou, China will allow the company to participate in that market segment, which is expected to grow at about 14 percent annually.
Meanwhile, continued increases in raw material costs saw the company institute price increases on a number of products. The merger between Flint Ink and XSYS has helped to offset some of the price increases while providing new technical capabilities, as the two principals had their own pigment capabilities and XSYS also supplies resins.
“Like all companies whose products are derived from petroleum-based materials, Flint Group has strongly felt the affects of increased raw material costs over the past several years,” Mr. Frescoln noted. “The company has responded to this by leveraging its global purchasing power, building on its vertical integration and continuing its productivity improvement programs in order to reduce costs within its manufacturing and delivery operations and ensure a consistent supply of high-quality products to customers. As a last resort, Flint Group has raised prices on some product lines.
“At a time when raw material costs are soaring, having a vertically integrated supply chain allows us to better control the supply rate, the quality and to some degree, the price,” Mr. Frescoln added.
It has been an active year on the R&D and product side for Flint Group. In 2006, Flint Group announced several product launches. K&E premium sheetfed inks were launched to a larger North American audience than ever before. The merger enabled a greatly increased sales network made up of distributors and Flint Group sales staff.
On the narrow web side, XSYS Print Solutions expanded the range of patterns and color available in the HolographINK Process, and launched its Uvoscreen OPQ, a brand-new UV rotary screen ink tailored for HABA and cosmetic labels. XSYS Print Solutions North America announced the launch of Hydrokett PRIME, a next generation press-stable water-based flexo ink for the narrow web tag and label sector.
The narrow web tag and label market was also the focus for Jetrion, which introduced the first stand-alone rewinder with integrated UV inkjet printing system as well as a new digital UV inkjet color press for full-color label printing.
Flint Group Printing Plates launched nyloprint WF blue, a new foil-based letterpress plate, as well as nyloflex Gold A digital, the first digital “coating plate.” Flint Group Printing Plates also introduced nyloflex ACT, meeting the demand for optimal results in combination printing, where one plate consists of both halftone and solid printing areas, as well as its new nyloflex infinity sleeve technology.
Ultimately, the ink industry is changing, and Flint Group is evolving with the industry.
“All print market suppliers are affected by ever-changing industry dynamics,” Mr. Frescoln noted. “Some of these changes include skyrocketing prices of raw materials, ongoing consolidation, profitability challenges, shifts in regional demand as markets such as China and India win increased business at the expense of more mature markets, and competition with electronic and other media outlets.”
Mr. Frescoln noted that Flint Group has responded to these changes in numerous ways, such as are consolidating resources and purchasing power following the Flint Ink and XSYS Print Solutions union, continuing to expand business in growing markets such as China and India while maintaining local focus on customers and launching new businesses to respond to market demands, including customization and short runs. He added that Flint Group is also launching products to fill industry gaps and maximize new technologies, entering into partnerships with non-ink suppliers to maximize offerings to customers, optimizing its manufacturing processes and consolidating products to simplify and improve its customers’ experience. The results of these efforts ultimately benefit Flint Group’s customers.
“The union between Flint Ink and XSYS has given Flint Group a broader reach worldwide than ever before, stronger vertical integration, a more impressive product portfolio and the ability to consistently provide robust, high performing products to customers,” Mr. Frescoln concluded. “Worldwide, the industry is only beginning to see the benefits that have resulted from the meeting of these manufacturers.”
3. Siegwerk Group International
53721 Siegburg, Germany
Phone: +49 2241-3040
Fax: +49 2241-304777
Sales: $1.1 billion (€880 million).
Major Products: Provider of solvent-based, water-based, energy curable and specialty liquid inks and coatings and related point-of-use services for the packaging and label industries. Product applications include flexible packaging, narrow-web labels, tobacco and folding carton using flexographic, rotogravure and offset printing.
Key Personnel: Herbert Forker, president and CEO; Oliver Wittmann, CFO; Ralf Hildenbrand, member of the board, head of flexible packaging division; Hugo Noordhoek Hegt, member of the board, head of PPL (plastic, paper, label) packaging division; Dr. Ansgar Nonn, member of the board, head of publication and supply chain management.
Number of Employees: 4,000.
Comments: With the acquisition of the packaging ink division of SICPA Group in September 2005,
The acquisition has proved to be an ideal fit in terms of geography. Siegwerk was strong in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa, Southeast Asia and in the U.S. SICPA’s Packaging Ink Division had a strong presence in Southern Europe, Turkey, Scandinavia, Russia and its neighboring states, South Africa, North America, South America as well as in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, India and Australia. Siegwerk meets the requirements of its international customers throughout the world while further expanding in the growth markets in Asia-Pacific, Southern and Eastern Europe and Latin America. To better serve its customers in Russia, Siegwerk recently opened its new St. Petersburg site.
With the acquisition of SICPA’s packaging ink business, Siegwerk Ink Packaging had €660 million in sales in 2005, and is now the largest supplier of tobacco packaging ink and the second-largest manufacturer of flexible packaging inks. Siegwerk Ink Publication, the company’s publication ink arm, has a substantial position in publication gravure, where Siegwerk is the market leader in Europe, as well as having a top five position in sheetfed, UV, paper and board and web offset inks.
It has been an active 12 months for Siegwerk, as the company has organized its SICPA acquisition. In September, Siegwerk sold its decorative business, which had €15 million in annual sales of inks and varnishes for decorative paper, floor and wall coverings, to EMB, a subsidiary of Belgium’s Sioen Industries. The sale allows Siegwerk to continue to focus even more closely on its core business areas.
In Turkey, Siegwerk bought out its joint venture partner Samo, forming Siegwerk Turkey. In the Philippines, Siegwerk appointed ASA Color, a major national ink manufacturer, to be its exclusive agent. ASA Color will initially focus on toluene-free ink for flexible packaging and UV ink for narrow web applications.
4. Toyo Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd.
Sales: $1.08 billion (127,432 million yen) in printing ink and graphic arts supplies; consolidated results: $2.01 billion (236,200 million yen).
Major Products: Heatset/coldset web, sheetfed, and waterless; news offset; solvent- and water-based flexo and gravure; conventional and waterless offset UV and EB; letterpress; functional silk screen; electronics and optronics; dry and liquid toners and ink jet inks; organic pigments, plastic colorants, resins and adhesives.
Key Personnel: Kunio Sakuma, president and CEO; Norio Fukumura, senior managing director; Takeshi Suzuki, managing director, CHO, CFO.
Number of Employees: 6,945 (consolidated).
Comments: In spite of increasing raw material costs, Toyo Ink enjoyed a strong fiscal 2005, with sales
In 2007 the Toyo Ink Group will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Toward this centennial period, the company continues realizing innovation by its R&D and business development team in order to realize specialty material oriented business workflows which create new value for human culture throughout the world.
Raw material price increases, due to crude oil related material prices, impacted Toyo Ink, especially for gravure ink and solvent-based, high polymer-related products. In spite of this, inkjet inks for industrial printers have had great progress, and materials for flat panel display and flexible printed circuits also showed good progress. Toyo Ink also achieved cost efficiencies by merging its major factories and organizing its manufacturing facilities overseas, reducing its product line and reconsidering its own prices and ingredients.
Toyo Ink enjoyed a good year in terms of new products, led by its Kaleido – Toyo King Hy-Unity SOY inks, which include Toyo Ink’s new concept of exceeding conventional CMYK color range using existing equipment. Color reproducibility of Kaleido is close to 6- or 7-color printing due to Toyo Ink’s unique design of the ink from the pigment level, utilizing Toyo Ink’s vast capabilities as a specialty material company group.
5. Sakata INX Corp.
1-23-37 Edobori, Nishi-Ku
Osaka 550-0002 Japan
Sales: $884 million (98,051 million yen in printing ink and graphic arts); $958 million (106,248 million yen) consolidated.
Major Products: Commercial offset, sheetfed, heatset and newspaper offset inks; gravure inks for flexible packaging; flexo inks for corrugated carton and paper bag; metal decorating inks; UV/EB varnishes; inks for inkjet printers and toners.
Key Personnel: Hirotsugu Takamaru, president; Hiroshi Ota, senior managing director, chairman, INX International Ink Co., international operation and electrographic products division; Mitsuru Kojima, managing director, general manager, production division; Masaaki Komori, managing director, corporate planning, information systems and finance divisions; Hiroshi Osawa, director, general affairs and purchasing divisions and general manager, human resources division; Goro Kato, director and general manager, corporate M&D and packaging ink divisions; Masanori Kano, director and general manager, corporate R&D division and 2nd R&D department; Yoshiaki Uesaka, director and general manager, newspaper ink division; Kazumi Suzuki, executive advisor, director; Masao Ikemoto, executive advisor, director; Yoshihiro Matsui, director; Hisahiro Hida, corporate auditor; Junichi Yasuda, corporate auditor.
Number of Employees: 2,756 (consolidated basis); 814 (non-consolidated basis).
Comments: Sakata INX Corporation had an outstanding year in 2005, with graphic arts and overall
Sakata INX enjoyed its best success on the packaging ink side, and its operations in India were a particular highlight. The demand for process color inks for newspapers has been increasing, and Sakata INX’s sales volume of process color inks reflected that growth. In addition, packaging printing has continued to grow in Asia, and the company expanded its sales of high-quality liquid inks.
There was major news within Sakata INX as well, as Hirotsugu Takamaru was named as the new president, succeeding Kazumi Suzuki. Mr. Takamura most recently served as Sakata INX’s senior vice president, sales, offset, news, gravure and corrugated; Mr. Suzuki will serve as executive advisor, director.
Sakata INX continues to grow its Asia-Pacific operations. The company has been constructing a new plant for liquid ink in Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam, which will begin production early next year. In addition, Sakata INX has just reserved the land for its second ink production plant in India.
In a move that strengthens Sakata INX’s inkjet ink interests, the company acquired Triangle Digital, a U.S.-based inkjet ink specialist. Triangle Digital INX Co. has now been incorporated into INX International Ink Co.
Sakata INX was active on the R&D front, launching DT Ecopure Soy HP J sheetfed offset inks, DT Ecopure Soy Mega J web offset inks), News Webmaster Ecopure “Luce” newspaper inks and biodegradable inks for both water-based and solvent-based applications.
The company places great importance on its reputation as “Environmentally Conscious Sakata INX,” and Sakata INX promotes the business activity to develop and supply environmentally friendly products.
As a result, its overseas companies are working to obtain the environmental ISO certification as a part of its business. Its subsidiary in France obtained ISO9001, ISO140001 and OHSAS18001 in March, and one of its operations in Shanghai earned ISO9001 in June. One of the company’s Maoming operations will be obtaining ISO9001 and 14001 within this year.
6. Huber Group
D81111 Kirchheim Heimstetten
Sales: $800 million (approximately €675 million).
Major Products: Sheetfed, coldset and heatset offset inks; water- and solvent-based gravure inks; water- and solvent-based flexo inks; UV offset and flexo inks; security inks; and toners for laser printers and copiers.
Key Personnel: Dr. Erich Reich, CEO; Heiner Ringer, member of managing board; Ursula Borgmann, technical director and member of managing board; Klaus Pflazgraf, member of managing board; Andreas Leidert, member of managing board; Winfried Haag, marketing director and member of managing board.
Number of Employees: Approximately 4,000 worldwide.
Comments: 2005 was an excellent year for the Huber Group, starting last October when the Huber Group acquired majority interest in Micro Inks Ltd., the Gujarat, India-based ink manufacturer that had $220 million in sales in 2004.
By acquiring Micro Inks, the Huber Group accomplished quite a few strategic goals. First, the acquisition of Micro Inks Ltd. made the Huber Group market leader in India and provided improved access to other fast-growing print markets in Asia. The company also gained modern manufacturing operations with significant capacity reserves, as well as backward integration ensuring uninterrupted supply of vital raw materials like pigments and resins at competitive price levels and in the volumes required.
These moves are paying off in a big way for Huber Group. “The integration of Micro is progressing well,” said Heiner Ringer, member of the managing board for Huber Group. “The two companies, although in significantly different cultures, are complementary. Different market orientation geographically of the partners eliminate the risk of conflicts on the one hand and the aspect of backward integration improves our supply chain also with limited conflict potential, quite contrary to other mergers in the industry. You may say that Huber and Micro are the ‘ideal couple.’”
The Huber Group saw its combined sales increase 10 percent to $800 million (€675 million). In particular, the company continues to excel in publication and packaging offset throughout Europe.
“We are content with our performance and achievements,” said Mr. Ringer. “Of course it could always have been better. Profitability is OK, but our market position in liquid inks needs improvement. We are working on it. Our Gecko product line is promising.”
Raw materials are a continuing challenge, and Mr. Ringer noted that customers understand what is happening in the marketplace.
“We’ll cope with the problem internally and compensate the rise in cost as far as possible on the one hand, and on the other hand pass cost on to the customer base as far as this is unavoidable,” Mr. Ringer noted. “We have noticed generally large understanding for such necessity after many years of regular sales price decreases. Professionals in most cases are realistic people. We find good agreements with our customer base.”
One of the keys for Huber Group is to determine what markets the company wishes to be in, and to not try to all things to everyone.
“We have been surprised by things like the dollar exchange rate for instance.” Mr. Ringer noted. “We need to pay more attention to outside influences in our global world and adopt quicker. Globalization is still a challenge, however do we need to be everywhere? We decided to define our own globe in a typical Huber Group manner, and we will continue to grow naturally.”
As always, Huber Group has been in the forefront of new product development.
“Product improvement works in small steps in the ink industry,” Mr. Ringer said. “It is a continuous process that is ongoing all the time. Our customers feel it, and non-customers sometimes do not know what they are missing. To change this, we employ our sales force.
“As somewhat ‘larger steps’ in development, I would like to mention our MGA-Product line (non-migrating inks for food packaging in sheetfed offset manufactured in a complete separate factory to avoid cross-contamination [GMP good manufacturing process]); HICOS for hi-density printing, Gecko, a new multipurpose NC-based liquid ink series; and the ‘Rapid-A-More’ series that combines top class gloss with high-speed drying properties,” Mr. Ringer said.
7. SICPA Holding SA
Avenue de Florissant 41
1008 Prilly, Switzerland
Phone: +41 21-627-5555
Fax: +41 21-627-5727
Sales: In Excess of $500 million.
Major Products: Security inks and features for intaglio, offset, screen, gravure, flexo and inkjet printing of banknotes, documents of value and solutions for brand protection. OVI (Optically Variable Ink) for securing banknotes and identity documents. SICPAOASIS dual authentication color-shifting ink for documents of value and brand protection applications. SICPATRACE Track & Trace system for protecting government revenue from taxable goods.
Key Personnel: Maurice A. Amon and Philippe Amon.
Comments: SICPA has long been the leading global provider of security inks and solutions. For example, more than 85 percent of the world’s banknotes are being printed using SICPA’s inks, and the company’s innovative inks play critical roles in protecting other documents of value, including passports, excise or postage stamps, cheques and lottery tickets, from counterfeiting or tampering.
However, SICPA is also leveraging its capabilities to provide industry with security measures. SICPA Product Security division is successfully developing products to protect businesses ranging from pharmaceuticals and luxury goods to tobacco, alcohol and food from the growing financial and health threats created by counterfeiters.
8. Tokyo Printing Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd.
Kita-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Sales: $480 million (55,847 million yen).
Major Products: Sheetfed, heatset and coldset offset inks; solvent-based and water-based gravure inks; ink jet inks and dry toners; fountain solutions and printing additives.
Key Personnel: Atsuo Ohashi, president; Kenzou Kawaziri, Yoshihiko Yokota and Osamu Kaneko, senior managing directors; Yasumori Tanaka, managing technical director; Ryoichi Yamakoshi, technical director.
Number of Employees: 718.
Comments: One of the leading Japanese printing ink manufacturers, Tokyo Printing Ink enjoyed sales growth of 3.5 percent in 2005.
Founded in 1923, Tokyo Printing Ink has a large presence in Japan, with four offset ink factories and one gravure ink factory. The company also has alliances throughout the Asia Pacific region, as well as in Mexico and the U.S., where it has a subsidiary, Tokyo Printing Ink Corporation U.S.A., located in Rancho Dominguez, CA.
Tokyo Printing Ink’s major product lines are its Zipset offset inks, including sheetfed, heatset, coldset, UV, metallic, rubber-based and magnetic inks and process and Pantone colors, as well as ink jet inks and dry toners. In addition to ink, the company manufactures synthetic resins, color and additive concentrates and compounds and other chemical products. Most recently, the company is successfully working on nanotechnology.
Tokyo Printing Ink continued its strong emphasis on environmental concerns in 2005, having earned ISO 14001 certification for its factories in Toki and Yoshino in July 2004.
9. Inctec Inc.
450, Aoto-Cho, Midori-ku
Sales: $367 million (45,947 million yen).
Major Products: Sheetfed, web offset (heatset, coldset), waterless, UV offset, news, solvent-based and water-based gravure, UV and water-based flexo, digital ink and toner.
Key Personnel: Shigemitsu Hatakeyama, president; Tomio Koike, senior executive officer, sales division; Mitsutoshi Arotimi Takao Suzuki and Makoto Isshiki, executive officer, technical division; Takayoshi Yanagawa, officer, manufacturing division.
Number of Employees: 840.
Comments: In fiscal 2005, Inctec Inc. increased sales by 4.6 percent compared with the previous fiscal year, primarily through the sales expansion of chemical products. Due to the surge in oil prices and the other raw materials such as Chinese rosin, profits declined, and Inctec Inc. is working to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of manufacturing.
Backed by the increasing number of color pages, news ink sales expanded 5 percent by volume but sales increased only slightly more than 1 percent due to decreasing prices. Inctec Inc. is working on developing news inks that are adaptable to faster presses and have even higher printing quality.
Inctec Inc.’s offset ink sales increased both in volume and sales, but the sales of specialty inks such as hybrid ink and inks using solvent originated from vegetable oil was very low because the price is higher than the normal inks.
With an eye toward environmental concerns, Inctec. Inc. is successfully marketing its neutral type dampening chemical, instead of the alkaline type widely available now in the market.
10. Fujifilm Sericol International Ltd
Pysons Road, Broadstairs
Kent CT10 2LE
Phone: +44 1843 866668
Fax: +44 1843 872126
Sales: $275 million (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: UV screen, UV flexo, UV digital (piezo ink jet), solvent-based digital and solvent-based screen inks; screen pre-press; Inca Digital Presses.
Key Personnel: Ed Carhart, CEO; Jerry Avis, strategy & business development director; Mitch Bode, senior VP, North America; Jeff Hand, regional director, Asia/Pacific; Peter Kenehan, managing director, Europe; Roy Wiles, finance director; Malcolm Frier, HR director; Rob Fassam, technical director; Keith Harley, marketing director, Europe; Terry Mitchell, marketing director, North America.
Number of Employees: 1,250.
Comments: Fujifilm acquired Sericol more than 18 months ago. Since then, Fujifilm has acquired two more companies in inkjet related markets, thus strengthening Fujifilm’s market position in digital inkjet technology.
“Fujifilm is a technology driven company that also has excellent manufacturing and operations skills,” said Ed Carhart, CEO of Fujifilm Sericol. “Since being acquired, we have worked closely with our counterparts in Japan and around the world to develop innovative market leading products that will improve both the quality and profitability of our customers’ printed output. Since joining Fujifilm, we have worked at better understanding our sister companies within the graphic division and how we can leverage each other’s strengths to better serve our customers and grow our respective businesses.”
2005 was a more challenging year for Sericol than past years due to fast rising raw material prices which somewhat dampened profits. In addition, market conditions in Western Europe were extremely difficult as many countries experienced very slow economic growth to recessionary conditions.
North America fared well for Fujifilm Sericol. “Our North American analog business experienced modest growth in 2005 and we had significant gains in digital equipment and ink,” Mitch Bode, senior vice president for North America, said. “Sales of Inca flatbed digital presses, both the high speed Turbo and the new Spyder 320, increased significantly in 2005. Sericol now has more than 200 Inca digital platform installations worldwide.
Fujifilm Sericol’s solvent digital ink business also grew significantly in 2005. The Color+ line of solvent digital inks for grand format printers provide numerous benefits including stronger colors, finer print detail and increased ink mileage. The Color+ line has been expanded to include solvent inks for several new wide and superwide printer platforms.
“Printers using Color+ have reported improved color and increased productivity,” reported Pete Kenehan, managing director, Europe. “Better quality graphics and improved productivity enable our customers to more effectively compete for new business.”
The convergence of print technologies and the evolution of new equipment is the most significant change affecting printers today. Newer, faster digital printers with capabilities to jet six-color and high opacity white ink continue to challenge traditional screen print production. As digital technology gains in adoption by traditional screen printers, color management across these multiple print platforms becomes a critical requirement. This has led to the market introduction of Sericol’s True Halftone Technology (THT).
“We have formulated more transparent pigments into our 4-color process graphic screen inks to more closely match our digital inks,” reported Rob Fassam, technology director. “This allows printers to use either screen or digital print methods to meet customers’ requirements for cost and turn around time.”
Cost-effective print production continues to challenge printers as more and more customers demand quality at a competitive price. Although some raw materials have increased in price, Fujifilm Sericol uses its purchasing power and formulation expertise to offset some of these increases.
“Our chemists are continually looking for new raw materials to improve the performance or cost effectiveness of our inks,” said Bob Linck, R&D director for Sericol in Kansas City. “In some cases we have improved performance while holding the line on cost, but this is not always possible with our rigid quality standards. We are continually looking for new product development ideas to help our customers remain competitive in the marketplace.”
Sericol has also initiated partnering programs with customers to reduce shipment frequency while still maintaining high customer order fill rates. Scott Holub, vice president international operations, stated, “With rising fuel costs, we looked for more efficient ways to service our customers. Our partnering programs have effectively reduced our freight cost despite the rise in fuel costs. And we have done this without sacrificing our 99.5 percent customer order fill rate.”
Fujifilm Sericol is confident about opportunities for growth in 2006 and beyond.
“We fully expect that our screen, digital and flexo business will grow as we bring new innovative and value-added products and services to market,” Mr. Carhart commented. “Fujifilm and Sericol are becoming powerful brands in the markets we serve. We remain very optimistic about our markets and our ability to compete in them.”
11. Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals
7-6 Bakurocho 1-chome
Tokyo 103-8383 Japan
Sales: $245 million (Ink World estimate); consolidated sales $1.3 billion (153 billion yen).
Major Products: Sheetfed, heatset, waterless and UV offset, gravure and specialty inks; security and banknote inks; and overprint varnishes.
Key Personnel: Osamu Takahashi, president and chairman of the board; Minoru Yamamoto, vice president, composite printing systems; Mineo Tosa, senior managing director, prepared color and chemicals group; Shigemitsu Yamazaki, senior managing director, general affairs and personnel; Koji Takahashi, senior managing director, corporate administration department; Keisuke Yamamoto, managing director, composite printing systems, offset; Michiei Nakamura, managing director, technical research center and technology commercialization office; Kazuhiko Arai, director, finance, sales and manufacturing, business headquarters office; Yoshihisa Makino, director, Western Japanese sales.
Number of Employees: 2,697 (colorants and printing inks; 3,423 (worldwide).
Comments: Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals had a strong year in 2005, with overall sales increasing 8.7 percent. The colorants and printing inks division’s sales rose up 5.6 percent to 104,630 million yen. The colorants and printing inks division had an outstanding year, increasing sales by 10 percent to 115,127 million yen. These gains were attributed to sustained economic recovery in Japan and strong growth in exports to Asia and North America.
The company anticipates further expansion in the global economy for 2006 as well as sustained expansion in the Japanese economy. However, higher raw material prices continue to dampen the recovery, and Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals sought to offset these price increases by adjusting their prices while increasing its R&D efforts.
12. T&K Toka Co. Ltd.
34-8 Hon-cho, Itabashi-ku
Tokyo, Japan 174-0055
Sales: $237 million (27,813 million Japanese yen); $349 million (40,996 million Japanese yen) (consolidated).
Major Products: UV offset, letterpress, flexo and screen inks; sheetfed offset inks; web offset heatset inks; waterless offset inks; gravure and flexo packaging inks; water-based varnishes; metal decorating products.
Key Personnel: Harry H. Morita, manager of overseas division; Katsuhito Yoshimoto, marketing director; Yasuji Ikeda, technical director.
Number of Employees: 500 (T&K Toka); 1,300 (consolidated).
Comments: Since its founding in 1947, T&K Toka has been a leading Japanese printing ink manufacturer, specializing in UV inks. The T&K in the company’s name stands for Technology and Kindness, which emphasizes its commitment to its customers.
T&K Toka had an excellent year in 2004, with sales growth of 4.1 percent despite facing tougher competition in high-tech segments as well as higher raw material prices. In order to best compete, the company improved both its cost effectiveness and quality and was able to raise some of its prices, although profit margins suffered.
Hangzhou Toka Ink, T&K Toka’s subsidiary in China, is the second-largest ink company in China, and the company opened a new plant at Hangzhou Toka Ink. In addition, the company has operations in Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Bangladesh, and a U.S. distributor, Top Level Ink, in Dallas, TX. Among its best known products are its Supertek Plus and Bestack offset inks and Best Cure UV inks.
13. Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son
P.O. Box 44, 1200 AA
Phone: +31 35 688 44 11
Fax: +31 35 688 44 04
Sales: $150 million (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: Vs5 series, Quickson Plus, Quickson MultiFresh and Signature offset inks; Aqua Base Plus series water-based flexo inks; Van Son ArtColour and Van Son EasyPrint ink jet inks.
Key Personnel: Paul M. Brouwer, president.
Number of Employees: 280 (Ink World estimate).
Comments: Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son continued to have solid results during 2005, led by its offset and flexo products. In the U.S., the company continues to make gains with its Vs5 series of sheetfed inks, expanding its distribution network of ink manufacturers themselves who in most cases sell locally their own brands as well as the Vs5 inks. By setting up this network, Van Son can provide commercial printers the local service and technical support they seek.
14. Wikoff Color Corporation
1886 Merritt Road
Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: +1 803-548-2210
Fax: +1 803-548-5728
Sales: $118 million.
Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks, solvent- and water-based flexo and gravure inks, energy-curable inks and coatings, overprint varnish and aqueous coatings.
Key Personnel: Phil Lambert, president and CEO; Daryl Collins, VP of national sales and regional operations; Martin Hambrock, VP of Canadian operations; Dr. Don Duncan, director of R&D; Ron Zavodny, director of purchasing; Buck Rorie, VP of finance and administration; Geoff Peters, VP of operations; Ben Price, marketing manager; Jim Freid, director – export sales.
Number of Employees: Approximately 600.
Comments: Wikoff Color enjoyed 25 percent growth in 2005, spurred by internal growth as well as the acquisition of Frontier Printing Inks, a Toronto, Canada-based flexible packaging ink specialist. By acquiring Frontier Printing Inks, Wikoff Color has made a significant move into Canada and the flexible packaging ink market, as Frontier brings excellent technologies for the flexible packaging market. In addition, Wikoff Color is now developing more of an emphasis on export opportunities.
With the addition of Frontier, Wikoff Color has enhanced its emphasis on the growing flexible packaging market. Last year, the acquisition of Merit Ink & Coating, Alpharetta, GA, brought Wikoff Color new technologies for flexible packaging and security inks as well as specialty inks and coatings. Jim Freid, director – export sales for Wikoff Color, noted that for the flexible packaging market, “New substrates have resulted in more of a technical focus on the corresponding Customer Driven challenge of higher performance.”
Wikoff Color is well respected for its R&D, and the company has developed a wide variety of new products during the past year. Among the highlights are its new flexo and gravure inks for shrink-sleeve packaging, UV and solvent inkjet inks for specialty applications and very low odor UV and EB curable inks for food containers.
Raw material prices are an issue throughout the ink industry, and Wikoff Color is no exception.
“No one likes price increases, but the reason that prices are increasing are directly related to increases in energy and transportation (fuel) costs,” said Mr. Freid. “Surprisingly, customers seem to understand this better than attempts to increase in the past for less clear reasons. So, we have gotten increases based on real-world increases in almost all cases. However, this was not the case when the prices spiked after the Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005. It took time, but we have been successful in getting increases.”
15. Epple Druckfarben AG
DE – 86356 Neusaess
Sales: $93 million.
Major Products: Sheetfed inks; inks for perfecting presses; UV inks; varnishes, fountain solutions and printing additives.
Key Personnel: Joachim Erlach, executive board; Dr. Klaus-Dieter Schröter, executive board; Edgar Buck, executive board.
Number of Employees: 200.
Comments: Epple Druckfarben AG, a sheetfed ink specialist headquartered in Neusaess, Germany, had a spectacular year in 2005, recording 20 percent growth.
While Epple Druckfarben has been enjoying strong internal growth in recent years, the company is also considering external growth as well, as it explores potential acquisitions.
To meet the increasing demand for its inks, Epple Druckfarben continued to make a considerable investment in new production capacity, and starting up of its new modern production with latest production methods for an optimum manufacturing of 4-color process inks in order to guarantee best permanence in quality.
Part of Epple Druckfarben’s success can be attributed to its ability to respond to the market quickly and effectively, such as its development of ITX-free UV-inks and low migration UV inks for food packaging during the past year. In addition, the company’s R&D department also expanded its highly successful aniva series, creating the aniva Low Ghost Series as well as its new Hybrid Series.
16. Sanchez SA de CV
Oriente 171 # 367
Phone: +52 55 5118 1000
Fax: +52 55 5118 1090
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales: $81 million (inks); $111.7 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, the leading printing ink manufacturer in Mexico, enjoyed an excellent year of growth in 2005. In particular, the company’s ink sales increased by 20 percent in value and 12 percent by volume, to 21,088 tons, and the company anticipates that its new premium sheetfed ink will receive excellent marks from customers.
“In heatset, we had one of our best years, followed by overprint varnishes,” said Ernesto J. Sanchez, managing director for Sanchez SA de CV. “Right now, our technical people are about to deliver our new sheetfed premium quality offset ink, for which we expect good answer from our customer base.”
Sanchez SA de CV did make an acquisition last year, acquiring Sporre S.A., an offset ink manufacturer that also offers plates, blankets and press chemicals. The company also did well in Central America, with exports showing particularly strong growth in El Salvador and Costa Rica.
17. Zeller+Gmelin GmbH
D-73054 Eislingen/Fils, Germany
Sales: $60 million (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: UV web, sheetfed, narrow web label and waterless offset inks; UV flexo and letterpress narrow web inks; UV rotary screen inks; UV inks for pre-formed plastic containers; UV inks for primographic printing of narrow web in-line cartons and labels; oil-based intaglio inks for printing currency; and a range of security inks for document authentication.
Key Personnel: Andreas Mahlich, president; Dr. Helmut Specht, group financial director.
Ink Division: Alex Stevenson, head of ink division and managing director, Intercolor, UK; Marcus Ruckstaedter, general sales manager, Germany; Damon Geer, vice presidents of sales, U.S.; Mark Bowman, marketing director, UK; Dirk van Lieshout, marketing director, Holland; Dr. Heinz Schweiger, technical director, Germany; Steven Lazure, vice president of operations, U.S.; Clive Surridge, technical manager, UK.
Number of Employees: 260 (Ink Division ; Ink World estimate).
Comments: Zeller & Gmelin (Z+G), the Eislingen/Fils, Germany-based UV ink specialist, continues to enjoy solid growth in the growing energy-curing marketplace, as the company opens new operations and adds new technologies to meet the needs of its customers. The company has had good success in a variety of markets, particularly in flexo and narrow web tag and label, and also has seen growth in offset. Intercolor Ltd., Z+G’s UK subsidiary, is a market leader in narrow web inks, while the company’s U.S. subsidiary is also enjoying growth. To meet the demands of the changing packaging industry, Z+G continues to explore new markets.
In terms of new technologies, Z+G recently introduced its low migration UVACURID ink series for the printing of food packaging such as cups, lids, buckets and caps. The ink series contains no ITX and shows good printing properties, with print trials proved that a migration limit of less than10 ppb can be achieved. The company has also introduced several new flexo and offset series, which are targeted for specific market segments such as shrink sleeves.
18. Rieger Inks
3300 Highway #7, Suite 310
Concord, Ontario L4K 4M3
Phone: (905) 660-6446
Fax: (905) 660-5766
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: Rieger Inks consists of two divisions: Rieger Printing Ink Company Limited, which specializes in cold web inks, and Rieger Flexo and Gravure Limited, which specializes in water- and solvent-based inks. An ISO 9001 certified company, Rieger Inks is committed to providing the graphic arts industry worldwide with top quality ink products along with uncompromising technical and sales support. Rieger’s success is a result of the drive to put “Customer Satisfaction First.”
The company made some nice gains in key markets, with highlights including successfully securing 100 percent of the ink business for CanWest Newspapers in Canada as well as with its cold web inks in Chicago.
“2005 was a reasonably good year for Rieger,” said Chester Dec, vice president of operations.
Raw material prices are a serious concern in the ink industry, and Rieger has been impacted by these increases.
“Although we have not experienced any shortfalls in raw materials to date, the constant increases in oil and oil derivative costs continue to impact ink prices to our customers,” Mr. Dec said. “For the most part, we have been successful in passing on some of the increases.”
The company takes pride in its R&D, and is developing new products to meet their customers’ needs.
“Presses and press speeds have presented a challenge and we are formulating to meet these challenges,” Mr. Dec noted.
On the personnel side, Rieger Inks made some key moves during the past year. Dave Zwaniga was named corporate account manager, while Dave Crate was named Vancouver branch manager.
19. RUCO Druckfarben/A.M. Ramp & Co. GmbH
Lorsbacher Strasse 28
D-65817 Eppstein, Germany
Sales: $44 million.
Major Products: Full line of screen and pad printing inks, UV waterless offset inks, publication gravure, full line of packaging gravure and flexo inks including UV flexo.
Key Personnel: Heinz Walter Menke, managing director. Publication gravure, flexographic printing, special gravure division: Ronald Säckl, sales manager; Dr. Wilfried Wiegeler, laboratory manager. Screen printing, pad printing, offset printing division: Jürgen Schmidkunz, division manager, sales manager Germany; Volker Michel, division manager, sales manager export; Dr. Christel Müller, laboratory manager. Alfred Beckers, regional director Asia Pacific.
Number of Employees: 200.
Comments: RUCO Druckfarben/A.M. Ramp & Co. GmbH is a leader in screen, pad, UV, flexo and gravure inks. More than 55 percent of its sales are exported, with the company’s sales force and distributors reaching out to more than 70 countries.
RUCO Druckfarben consistently develops a wide variety of new products. At Media-Tech 2006, the company introduced a host of new products, including its 070UV inks for waterless offset printing and its high-opacity 900UV1369CD opaque white which offers excellent adhesion on optical discs of any format.
At Glasstec 2006, RUCO presented its new 935UV screen ink series which offers high mechanical and chemical stability and do not require thermal post-treatment. Recently the company introduced new VOC-free, UV-curing inks of series UVFX which now complement RUCO’s range of flexo inks.
Thanks to its special focus on R&D, RUCO boasts an impressive track record in the area of product development. As one of the pioneers, the company recognized very early the potential offered by UV curing printing ink systems as an alternative to solvent-containing or conventional inks. RUCO’s carefully monitored production processes ensure consistently high quality and excellent reproducibility of printing results.
20. Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas
Rua Senador Mozart Lago, 51
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sales: $28.5 million.
Major Products: Sheetfed, heatset, coldest, metalgraphic, solvent- and water-based flexo and gravure, UV offset and security inks.
Key Personnel: Jacques Antonio Aubry, president and CEO; Gero Pluecker, vice president; Flavid Cotrim, marketing manager; Celeste Magacho, technical manager.
Number of Employees: 280.
Comments: Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas, a leading Brazilian ink manufacturer, had a solid year in 2005 as the company adapted to the entrance of more major multinational companies entering into the Brazilian market and greater competition. To meet the challenge, Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas increased its services to its customers.
The Brazilian economy was expected to grow by 3.9 percent in 2006. and Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas continues to concentrate on the domestic market, where the company sells 90 percent of its ink. While it is headquartered in Ri de Janeiro, Sao Paulo is its most important region for business. The company has additional branch offices in Porto Allegre as well as Cromos Latina S.A. in Buenos Aires. The company anticipates growing its exports to 25 percent of sales within the next two years.
Among the company’s strengths is the offset market, where it controls approximately one-third of the market, and metal deco inks. Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas’ primary business is in sheetfed offset ink. In order to grow its business further, it is investing in marketing, bringing in Flavid Cotrim as marketing manager to lead its efforts. The company also is upgrading its equipment, replacing old equipment with state-of-the-art mills. In addition, the company developed a new low VOC vegetable-based sheetfed offset ink that has proved to be popular with its customers.
As is the case throughout the ink industry, Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas worked to cope with raw material price increases, both by raising its prices and also by looking to new sources of supply.
21. Encres Dubuit
ZI Mitry Compans
1 Rue Issac Newton
77292 Mitry Cedex, France
Phone: +33 1-6467-4167
Fax: +33 1-6467-1177
Sales: $28 million (€23.7 million)
Major Products: Screen printing, offset, flexo, UV and specialty inks.
Key Personnel: Jacques Mounier, president, board of trustees; Jean-Louis Dubuit, general manager; Jean-Pierre Vives, R&D general manager; Arnaud Maquinghen, sales and marketing general manager; Christelle Ferrari, CFO; Olivier Cocagne, Europe sales director; Eric Chevy, area sales manager, East of Europe; Allaoua Aiouaz, area sales manager, Asia/Middle East/North Africa; Alexandra Biais, area sales manager, North America / Europe.
Number of Employees: 200 (Ink World estimate).
Comments: Encres Dubuit, a UV ink specialist, had a challenging year in 2005, as sales declined to €23.7 million from €25.4 million in 2004, a decrease of 6.6 percent. There were encouraging signs in early 2006, as Encres Dubuit registered a 2.7 percent gain over the previous year.
Encres Dubuit has four subsidiaries: Tintas Dubuit in Spain, Dubuit Canada, Dubuit Color in Brazil and Dubuit Shanghai, which opened for business in 2003. With its international presence, Encres Dubuit is firmly established in foreign markets with exports accounting for more than 60 percent of its sales. Its best growth came in South America, where volume remained steady but sales rose 8 percent, and France, while Asia and North America suffered declines.
The company is anticipating a 5 percent sales increase for 2006, thanks to its new UV products introduced late in 2005. In addition, the group created an affiliate, Dubuit Digital, in Brazil to reply to the evolution of the market of the graphic arts and visual communication. The company is working to disengage itself from lower margin markets while increasing its interest in growth areas such as UV, digital and textiles, and is benefiting from its site in Shanghai.
Encres Dubuit specializes in the rapid introduction of new technologies, essentially in the smart card, mobile telephone, optical discs industries such as CD, CD-ROM DVD, CD-R and DVD-R. Among its recent products are new inks for the graphic sector (Multiplus, Dubuit Digital, Uvimax); inks for container printing (Galaxy, Tubofast); special products for optical discs; and inks for the label industry (Labelprint). Most recently, the company introduced a new range of solvent- and UV-based digital colors for machines equipped with Xaar or Spectra printing heads.
22. Brancher Company
Parc d’activite du Saule
28170 Tremblay les villages, France
Phone: +33 2 37 38 91 00
Fax: +33 2 37 38 91 21
Sales: $25 million.
Major Products: Sheetfed offset, water-based flexo, and UV flexo and offset inks.
Key Personnel: Olivier Brancher, CEO; Sebastien Brancher, finance director; Stephane Atoumo, international development director; Jean Marie Planchon, purchase director; Patrick Pailla, industrial director; Marc Duhamel, France sales director; Magali Richard, technical director.
Number of Employees: 160.
Comments: Brancher Company, a sheetfed offset, flexo and UV specialist headquartered in Tremblay les Villages, France, had a fine year in 2005. In particular, the export side of its business enjoyed a significant increase, with exports increasing to 30 percent of its total sales and selling its products in 54 countries. In addition, Brancher Central Europe, its subsidiary based in Warsaw, has done very well since it was founded in 2000.
Brancher felt the impact of higher raw material costs, and reported a significant increase of ink material cost, leading to an average general increase of selling price between 3 and 5 percent.
Innovating high-performance products is critical for Brancher’s success, and the company’s R&D leaders were very active during the past year, developing a wide range of products, including its new Design Process Colour offset inks, Proton UV Process Series and its Logo 18000 High Speed Process Series. Its Dayamix color mixing station for offset, flexo and UV, with turnkey mixing centers, continues to do well, as does its Smart Up products, which include security ink, luminescent, thermochromic, erasable and mirror effects ink for UV flexo and offset.