One of the brightest areas for printing ink manufacturers in recent years has been the continued blossoming of the UV and EB marketplace. As new applications for energy-curable printing continue to develop, driven by the advantages of UV and EB as well as environmental concerns, ink manufacturers are successfully developing new products to meet these needs.
The success of energy-curable inks and coatings has been helped by a variety of drivers. Originally, environmental and production advantages were the keys to growth, but as UV and EB’s performance characteristics and quality continue to move forward, new applications are being designed.
In addition, new technologies in presses, notably combination presses, and in inks and coatings, are also helping to expand the opportunities for UV and EB printing.
As a result, sales of UV and EB inks are enjoying growth worldwide, led by gains in packaging. In The UV/EB Report, which begins on page 23, ink manufacturers discuss the key issues surrounding UV and EB, including the increasing importance of packaging and new technologies as well as the growth of energy-curable inks and coatings worldwide. It is certain that this growth will continue in the coming years.
Solid growth is also occurring in the flexible packaging marketplace, although there are many challenges as well, including the need for more ink customization and environmental issues. In Sean Milmo’s column beginning on page 16, ink industry leaders examine the European flexible packaging market.
Also in our November issue, we are again pleased to offer our European Ink Directory, the industry’s most comprehensive listing of European ink manufacturers. This year, the Ink World staff has compiled a list of 236 ink manufacturers in 33 countries, covering key branches of major international ink companies to regional businesses, including addresses, contact information and products.
This year’s European Ink Directory, which begins on page 26, includes 20 more companies and branches and three more countries. Should we have overlooked any companies, I would certainly welcome an e-mail. As always, it is our pleasure to bring this directory to our readers.