International Companies to Watch

By Staff | 08.07.08

Editor's Note: Here, in alphabetical order, are a few additional leading international ink companies that deserve notice.

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 01
E-mail: brancher@brancher.com
Sales: $34 million (€23 million).

Major Products: Sheetfed offset, water-based flexo, and UV flexo and offset inks.

Key Personnel: Olivier Brancher, president; Sebastien Brancher, managing director; Stephane Atoumo, international development director; Marc Duhamel, France sales director; Francois Xavier Motte, finance director; Patrick Pailla, industrial director; Jean Marie Planchon, purchasing director; Magali Richard, technical director.

Number of Employees: 160.

Comments: Founded in 1840, Brancher Company is an independently-owned sheetfed offset, flexo
and UV specialist headquartered in Tremblay les Villages, France, with agencies and color matching centers in Angoulême, Lille, Lyon and Nantes; as well as Brancher Central Europe, a subsidiary and Dayamix color matching centers in Poland.
    The company enjoys excellent export sales, with the company’s export division accounting for more than 45 percent of Brancher’s sales. All told, Brancher has almost 60 distributors worldwide, with Central Europe particularly strong.
    Brancher Company had a strong presence at drupa 2008, where it showcased its Dayamix worldwide network of color matching systems, which the company is providing to its dealers at a reasonable cost. The Dayamix system will allow Brancher’s dealers to mix ink onsite in their country. Brancher is also prioritizing the development of UV offset, flexo and waterless.
    At drupa, Brancher also successfully developed new contacts and distributors, mainly in South America, Central Europe and Middle East, as well as gathered together most of its worldwide distributors.

Chimigraf Ibérica, S.L.   

Polígono Ind.
Can Jardí. Carcassí, 6-8.
08191 RUBÍ, Barcelona
Phone: +34 93 586 2334
Fax: +34 93 699 2152
E-mail: export@chimigraf.com
Sales: $48 million (€32.5 million).

Major Products: Water- and solvent-based flexo and gravure inks; screen inks; UV flexo, offset, inkjet and screen inks; pigment dispersions (water) and solids (chips).

Key Personnel: : Armand Marcé, general manager; Ugo La Valle, assistant manager; Antonio López, national sales manager; Rafael Doblas, export manager; Emilio Fernández, technical director.

Number of Employees: 156.

Comments: Chimigraf Ibérica, S.L. is a specialist in water, solvent and UV based inks for flexography,rotogravure, for digital systems and in addition for inkjet, UV offset and screen printing. In addiiton, the company also offers pigmentary dispersions (chips), and auxiliary coating products.
Chimigraf Ibérica, S.L. enjoyed a good year in 2007, with sales increasing to €32.5 million, an increase of 4.8 percent. In important moves, Armand Marcé was nominated to be the new general manager in January 2008, and the company restructured its French delegation.
In a significant move, Chimigraf Ibérica is increasing its presence in the digital printing market, developing drop on demand (DOD) inkjet inks as well as single pass inkjet inks. On the conventional side, the company’s R&D experts created new UV offset and UV flexo inks.
Higher raw material prices continue to be a major concern for the ink industry. Chimigraf Ibérica has done what it can, compensating for the increases in raw materials by utilizing alternative raw materials and improving its production process. Even with those changes, the company still had no alternative but to issue a price increase to its customers at the beginning of 2008.

Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas

Rua Senador Mozart Lago, 51
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Phone: +55-21-2139-2500
Fax: +55-21-2471-3438
E-mail: mail@cromos.com.br
Sales: $29 million.

Major Products: Sheetfed, heatset, coldset, 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 (Ink World estimate).

Comments: The Brazilian economy enjoyed solid growth in 2007, with the economy expanding 5.4 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). While the IMF anticipates Brazil’s economy to slow slightly to 4.8 percent in 2008, the printing industry should continue to expand.
That is good news for Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas, a leading Brazilian ink manufacturer, which had a solid year in 2007. Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas sells 90 percent of its ink in the Brazilian market. While it has its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo is its most important business region for business. The company has additional branch offices in Porto Allegre, as well as in Argentina, with Cromos Latina S.A. in Buenos Aires.
A sheetfed ink specialist, Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas is strong in the offset market, where it has approximately one-third of the Brazilian market, and metal deco inks, thanks in part to its relationship with INX International Ink Co. With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent decision to approve the use of UV and EB for direct contact with food, Cromos S.A. Tintas Graficas sees opportunities for UV in the food packaging market thanks to its ties with INX.

Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals   

7-6 Bakurocho 1-chome
Nihonbashi, Chuo-Ku
Tokyo 103-8383 Japan
Phone: +81-3-3662-7111
Fax: +81-3-3669-3936
Sales: $250 million (Ink World estimate); consolidated sales $1.82 billion (180.9 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, chairman and president; Kazuhiko Arai, director of business headquarters office, finance, sales and manufacturing, and director; Koji Takahashi, senior managing director of corporate administration department, assistant to the president and director; Minoru Yamamoto, vice president of composite printing systems and director; Mineo Tosa, senior managing director of prepared color and chemicals group and director; Shigemitsu Yamazaki, senior managing director of general affairs and personnel and director; Keisuke Yamamoto, managing director of composite printing systems, offset and director; Michiei Nakamura, managing director of technical research center and technology commercialization office and director; Yoshihisa Makino, director of Western Japan sales operations and director.

Number of Employees: 2,700 (colorants and printing inks; 3,400 (worldwide).

Comments: Dainichiseika Color & Chemicals enjoyed revenue growth in fiscal year 2007, ending March 31, 2008, with sales increasing 6.3 percent to JPY180.9 billion. However, the company’s net profit declined 12.9 percent to JPY 3.96 billion, largely due to increased costs, although the company is attempting to recover some of its costs through issuing price increases.
Dainichiseika has expanded its Chinese and Indian operations. Dainichiseika Chemical (Shenzhen) Factory Ltd. completed the construction of new state-of-art toll-compounding factory in Shenzhen and moved into it from its existing plant in the same region of Shenzhen City in November 2007.
Dainichiseika also signed a joint venture agreement with to build a resin compounding plant in India worth between $12 million-$20 million. The plant, which will be set up at Neemrana, in Rajasthan state, will produce 100,000 tons per year of resin compounding. The plant will be built in two phases and construction of the first phase would begin in October and be completed by June 2009. In the second phase the company plans to double the plant’s capacity. Dainichiseika will hold 70 percent stake in the company.
Outside of Japan, Dainichiseika has ink manufacturing facilities in China, making offset inks at Dainichiseika Ink (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd. and gravure inks at Hi-Tech Color (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. and Kunshan Dainichi Chemical Ltd.; Indonesia, making a full range of inks at P.T. Hi-Tech Ink Indonesia; and in the U.S., with gravure inks at Hi-Tech Color, Inc.

Encres Dubuit

ZI Mitry Compans
1 Rue Issac Newton
77292 Mitry Cedex, France
Phone: +33 1-6467-4167
Fax: +33 1-6467-1177
E-mail: export@encresdubuit.com
Sales: $36 million (€24.6 million)

Major Products: Screen printing, offset, flexo, UV and specialty inks.

Key Personnel: Jean-Louis Dubuit, general manager; Jean-Pierre Vives, R&D general manager; Arnaud Maquinghen, sales and marketing general manager; Chystelle Ferrari, CFO; Olivier Cocagne, Europe sales director; Liliana Golan, area sales manager, East of Europe; Allaoua Aiouaz, area sales manager, Asia/Middle East/North Africa; Alexandra Biais, area sales manager, North America/Europe; Monique Paris, sales manager, Dubuit Canada; Frederic Blancher, general manager, Dubuit Shanghai; Jose Meyer, sales director, Tintas Dubuit; Phillippe Ayala, general manager, Dubuit Color.

Number of Employees: 180 (Ink World estimate).

Comments: A screen ink specialist, Encres Dubuit’s sales remained fairly steady in 2007, with sales
reaching €24.6 million. The company enjoyed some improvement in its net income.
Encres Dubuit has four subsidiaries: Tintas Dubuit in Spain, Dubuit Canada, Dubuit Color in Brazil and Dubuit Shanghai. For Encres Dubuit, exports accounting for more than 60 percent of its sales.
Encres Dubuit is focusing on R&D, developing new inks for key markets such as cell phones, smart cards and optical discs, as well as in the digital ink segment.

Epple Druckfarben AG

Gutenbergstrasse 5
DE – 86356 Neusaess, Germany
Phone: +49-821-4603-151
Fax: +49-821-4603-201
E-mail: info@epple-druckfarben.de
Sales: $129 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 (Ink World estimate).

Comments: Epple Druckfarben AG, a Neusaess, Germany-based sheetfed ink specialist, had
anexcellent year in 2007, with sales growing 15 percent. In addition, the company acquired Kessler, an Austrian-based company, and are considering further acquisitions.
The increase of raw material prices is seriously impacting profitability. In response, Epple Druckfarben’s leaders are further evaluating suppliers as well as increasing prices.
Epple Druckfarben showcased more than 20 new products at their exhibit in Print City at drupa 2008. Among the highlights are various new 4-color process series; EcoFood and ProFood, two new generation of inks for food packaging; the UV-Norm-Series; the Pro Gloss-System; and Scent-reduced Gold and Eco Food Gold, two new metallic inks for food packaging.

Rieger Inks

3300 Highway #7, Suite 310
Concord, Ontario L4K 4M3
Phone: (905) 660-6446
Fax: (905) 660-5766
E-mail: riegerb@bellnet.ca
Sales: $55 million.

Major Products: Offset inks, water- and solvent-based flexo and gravure inks.

Key Personnel: Robert Rieger, president and CEO; Chester Dec, vice president, operations; Debbie Dion, CFO; Willy Voelzke and Dave Hammett, technical directors.

Number of employees: 100.

Comments: While 2007 sales remained flat for Rieger Inks, the good news for the company is that it
continues to move away from unprofitable business and make up those sales losses with healthier business.
“This was a stand pat year for Rieger in terms of sales as we chose to leave accounts that were unprofitable and balanced them with new accounts that we picked up,” said Chester Dec, Rieger Inks’ vice president of operations.
Rieger Inks consists of two divisions: Rieger Printing Ink Company Limited, which specializes in coldset web inks, and Rieger Flexo and Gravure Limited, which specializes in water- and solvent-based inks. Mr. Dec said that coldset inks in Rieger Inks’ litho division and packaging inks in the flexo/gravure division showed particularly good growth.
Rieger Inks is committed to top quality ink products along with uncompromising technical and sales support. The company takes pride in its R&D, and is developing new products to meet their customers’ needs. “We are working on a number of exciting projects,” Mr. Dec noted.
Mr. Dec noted that raw material prices are a serious concern for the ink industry, and will be a key to the future for the ink industry.
“Everyone knows what has happened to the cost of oil and that pretty well affects most of our raw materials,” Mr. Dec said. “We try to look for more cost effective raw material, but that is proving to be very difficult. We review our costs regularly and try to pass these on to our customers; 2008 will be interesting in that we have no idea where the price of oil will end up. That in our minds is the biggest question we have to face, and until that is determined, it will be a question mark year for all.”

Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son

P.O. Box 44, 1200 AA
Hilversum, Holland
Phone: +31 35 688 44 11
Fax: +31 35 688 44 04
E-mail: info@vanson.nl
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 inkjet inks.

Key Personnel: Paul M. Brouwer, president.

Number of Employees: 280 (Ink World estimate).

Comments: Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son had a solid year in 2007, led by its offset and
flexo lines,

One key area is its Vs series of inks for the mid- and large-sized commercial offset business. For the Vs series in the U.S., Van Son created a distribution network of ink manufacturers who sell locally their own brands as well as the Vs inks, thus providing commercial printers the local service and technical support they need. That model is now moving to Europe,
“We’re doing well,” said Paul M. Brouwer, president of Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son. “ In Europe, we only sell direct in Holland, and distributors sell the rest of the world for us. I am looking at some companies out here for our Vs series.
“With Vs, what we said came true and we kept our promises,” Mr. Brouwer added. “We can look everybody in the eye and say it came true.”
Mr. Brouwer noted that the company is looking to potentially expand its manufacturing operations into North America, adding that the company is considering building a production plant in the U.S.

RUCO Druckfarben/A.M. Ramp & Co. GmbH   

Lorsbacher Strasse 28
D-65817 Eppstein
Phone: +49-61-98-3040
Fax: +49-61-98-32288
E-mail: info@rucoinks.com
Sales: $44 million (Ink World estimate).

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, business unti director; Dr. Andreas Reich, laboratory manager. Seyna Guyenot and Ramon Christmann, export sales coordinator; Screen printing, pad printing, offset printing division: Jürgen Schmidkunz, business unit director; Volker Michel, export director; Dr. Christel Müller, laboratory manager. Alfred Beckers, regional director, Asia Pacific.

Number of Employees: 200 (Ink World estimate).

Comments: : Founded in 1857, Ruco Druckfarben/A.M. Ramp & Co. GmbH is a market leader in screen, pad printing, UV, flexo and gravure ink. Exports are a particular strength, with more than half of its of its sales exported to 70 nations.
Ruco Druckfarben prides itself on its R&D, and as usual, launched a wide variety of new products in the past year. Being a pioneer in the use of environmentally compatible and safe raw materials, RUCO has combined meeting the high demands placed on its printing inks and meeting stringent ecological requirements at the same time.
RUCO’s maiden participation in the K trade fair shows that RUCO is continuing to pursue its strategy of demonstrating industry specific expertise at specialized smaller exhibitions such as K-2007 and Labelexpo 2007, rather than participating at drupa 2008.
At its debut at K-2007, the world’s leading trade fair for plastics and rubber in 2007. RUCO showcased its 945UV ink series, developed for screen printing onto PET hollowware for the cosmetics and beverage industries; the 080UV ink series, developed especially for dry offset printing onto food containers made from polypropylene and polystyrene, such as yogurt pots, which permits maximum printing speeds – for example, between 24,000 and 36,000 pots can be decorated per hour. Series T40 pad printing inks also were showcased; these are free from cyclohexanones and aromatic compounds and can be used on a large variety of different plastic substrates. T40 inks are highly environmentally friendly and comply with the DIN EN 71 toy standard. Due to the fast drying process, they can be used on high-speed pad printing machines with processing speeds of up to 4,000 pieces per minute.
At Labelexpo 2007, RUCO Druckfarben presented its new “3 in 1” system for combination printing. System components are the new UVFX ITX- and silicon-free flexo ink series, series 985UV/NV inks for high-speed rotary screen printing as well as series 960UV printing lacquers. Series 985 UV/NV inks were developed for the decoration of plastic films; these low-viscosity printing inks are highly reactive and come in a high-gloss formulation. High resistances and eye-catching advertising effects can be achieved with a wide range of. The 960UV printing lacquers are available in various formulations – from high gloss and matt lacquers with high resistances to specific media, all the way through to special effect lacquers such as series 960UV393 tactile lacquer. Optimum crosslinking characteristics of RUCO’s label printing inks ensure the inter-compatibility of the different inks series.
For decorating optical media, RUCO has developed its new opaque white BDSI-DW 150, particularly suitable for Blue Ray discs and other optical media, as well as the universally applicable ODSI-DW 200 opaque white. BDSI-DW 150’s opaque white can be used with all common flat screen printing machines and also as pre-print white – screen printing – for offset printing machines. The ink’s rheological properties ensure excellent printability and pumpability at speeds of up to 145 discs/minute. BDSI-DW 150 offers an extremely high gloss level as well as excellent opacity and surface smoothness.
ODSI-DW 200 was developed as a universally suitable opaque white for optical media. It is outstanding for low ink consumption and resulting cost minimization. This high yield enables cost savings between 25 and 30 percent to be achieved.

Sanchez SA de CV

Oriente 171 # 367
México City
Phone: +52 55 5118 1000
Fax: +52 55 5118 1090
Sales: $118.2 million (inks); $154.7 million overall.

Major Products: Offset, flexo, gravure and screen inks and overprint varnishes.

Key Personnel: Ernesto J. Sanchez, managing director; Jose Sanchez commercial director (paste inks); Miguel Talamantes, commercial director (liquid inks); Jesus Mckelligan, operations director; Salvador Duran, technical manager (paste inks); Agustin Lozano, technical manager (liquid inks).

Number of Employees: 1,100.

Comments: Sanchez SA de CV is the leading printing ink manufacturer in Mexico. The company
continued to enjoy excellent growth in 2007, growing faster than the Mexican economy as well as acquiring a pair of Mexican ink manufacturers.
“During 2007, we managed to grow beyond the growth of the Mexican economy,” said Ernesto J. Sanchez, managing director of Sanchez SA de CV. The company grew in paste and liquid inks, and also did well in its plates, chemicals and printing press lines.
In a key move, Sanchez SA de CV acquired Prodaplag SA, an offset ink specialist headquartered in Mexico City, and its sister company, Barnimex SA, in September. Mr. Sanchez noted that both companies belonged to the Schwartzman family, were founded in 1925, and were managed by the third generation.
“Prodaplag specialized in offset inks and overprint varnishes, and their products were well received by the market,” Mr. Sanchez added. “With this acquisition, Sanchez enhances its offer of products to its customers and consolidates its position as a leader in Mexico.”
The company also had good growth in Central America. “Thanks to the good economic results of the area, we have experienced good growth in Central America,” Mr. Sanchez reported. “Our office in El Salvador has been doing a good job in servicing the whole Central America region.”
With its new additions, Mr. Sanchez anticipates an even stronger 2008 for Sanchez SA de CV.
“We have a very aggressive 2008 budget, based on the continued growth of gravure and flexo inks and the consolidation of the Prodaplag offset inks,” Mr. Sanchez said.

Wikoff Color Corporation

1886 Merritt Road
Fort Mill, SC 29715, USA
Phone: +1 803-548-2210
Fax: +1 803-548-5728
Sales: $145 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks, solvent- and water-based flexo and gravure inks, energy-curable inks and coatings, security inks, overprint varnish and aqueous coatings.

Key Personnel: Phil Lambert, CEO; Geoff Peters, president and COO; Daryl Collins, VP of national sales and regional operations; Martin Hambrock, VP of Canadian operations; Don Duncan, director of R&D; Ron Zavodny, director of purchasing; Buck Rorie, VP of finance and administration.

Number of Employees: 600.

Comments: Wikoff Color enjoyed a strong year in 2007, enjoying high single-digit sales growth.

“We had a good year,” said Phil Lambert, Wikoff Color’s CEO. “Our biggest growth areas have been folding carton and packaging ink and scratch off lottery tickets, and in terms of products, energy curable and water-based inks.”
In an important move, Geoff Peters, who had joined Wikoff Color in 2006 as Wikoff Color’s vice president – operations and technology, was named president and COO in August 2007. Mr. Lambert remains CEO. Prior to joining Wikoff, Mr. Peters spent 19 years in global logistics, the majority of which was at Sea-Land Services, where he ran the company’s European division, as well as an additional five years working in the integrated supply industries.
To understand the significance of this move, it is important to remember that in the company’s 52-year history, it has only had three presidents: Fred Wikoff Jr., Mr. Lambert and Mr. Peters.
Mr. Lambert said that Wikoff Color has been able to pass along some of the higher raw material and operational costs, and while he is optimistic about the coming years, higher raw material prices and the downturn in the economy provide two reasons for caution.
“We have consolidated our purchases and considered alternative resources where appropriate,” Mr. Lambert said. “We have been passing along most of our cost increases to our customers in the past year. In terms of our expectations for 2008 and beyond, we feel we have good momentum in sales. However, we are very concerned about the effect of the slowdown in the economy and the continuing increases of the costs of raw materials. Just when you think the increases might be over, you get more increases, and there’s a limit to how much you can pass along with the economy slowing down.”

Zeller+Gmelin GmbH & Co. KG

Schlossstrausse 20
D-73054 Eislingen/Fils, Germany
Phone: +49-7161-8020
Fax: +49-7161-802-355
E-mail: info@zeller-gmelin.de
Sales: $82 million (€61.3 million).

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, managing director, sales and R&D; Dr. Helmut Specht, managing director, finance; Rolf Schneider, managing director, operations; Marcus Ruckstaedter, sales director printing inks; Dr. Heinz Schweiger, technical director; Andreas Beutinger, operations manager; Damon Geer, vice president of sales, U.S.; Steven Lazure, vice president of operations, U.S. Joe Smith, sales director, UK operation; Mark Richards, operations director, UK operation.

Number of Employees: Approximately 300 in printing inks.
Comments: A specialist in energy curable inks and varnishes, Zeller & Gmelin (Z+G) enjoyed significant sales growth worldwide in 2007. Among the highlights was its performance at Labelexpo Europe 20007.

Marcus Ruckstaedter, sales director printing inks, said that this year’s drupa proved to be an excellent show for Zeller+Gmelin. “In the past, drupa was seen as a critical investment in the past, but 2008 drupa was seriously effective and one of the best shows for Z+G in the past eight years,” Mr. Ruckstaedter said.

Higher raw material costs are a challenge throughout the ink industry. To try to cope with higher raw material and energy prices, Z+G is trying to increase market prices, as the company does not want to compromise product quality and service.

Outside of its headquarters in Germany, Zeller+Gmelin has subsidiaries in the UK (Intercolor), as well as Denmark, France, The Netherlands and the U.S. The company has enjoyed strong growth in its export business, leading to the opening of new operations in recent years.

“We have formed a new operation in Turkey and in Canada in early 2007,” said Mr. Ruckstaedter. “In the coming year, we will open a new operation in Mexico and plan to do so in Europe, with other expansions possibly following.”

Zeller+Gmelin introduced some key new products during the past year, including new low-migration UV sheetfed offset inks, litho and waterless UV inks for credit card printing that are capable of being laminated.