The Top International Ink Companies
(Ink and Graphic Arts Sales)
1. DIC/Sun Chemical $6.51B
2. Flint Group $3.13B
3. Toyo Ink $1.43B
4. Siegwerk $1.17B
5. Huber Group $1.1B
6. Sakata INX $1.05B
7. Tokyo Printing Ink $600M
8. Inctec Inc. $464M
9. SICPA $400M
10. T&K Toka $300M
11. Fujifilm Sericol International $275M
1. DIC Corporation (Including Sun Chemical Corporation)
7-20 Nihonbashi 3-chome
Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan 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: $6.51 billion (646.4 billion yen) in graphic arts, including Sun Chemical, which is approaching $4 billion in sales. Total sales: $10.87 billion (1,077.9 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 pigments for inks, plastics, paints, coatings and cosmetics.
Key Personnel: Koji Oe, president and CEO; Kazuo Sugie, executive vice president; Shunji Ehara, senior managing executive officer, Technology & Production Management Division; Yoshihisa Kawamura, president of graphic arts materials business operation; Yasufumi Miyazaki, chairman, DIC (China) Co., Ltd. and Shanghai DIC International Trading Co., Ltd.; Naoki Tsuji, chairman of the board, Sun Chemical Corp. and supervisory board chairman, Sun Chemical Group B.V.
Number of Employees: 25,000 worldwide.
Comments: As a result of mixed worldwide economic conditions, DIC Corporation had mixed results in
In Asia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India continued to report strong economic growth, while in Southeast Asia, growth remained favorable. Japan’s economy continued to exhibit leisurely growth throughout 2007, but the pace of growth began to slow in the new year as a consequence of sluggish U.S. economic conditions and the sharp appreciation of the yen, which had a particularly noticeable impact on exports and consumer spending.
In this environment, DIC (DIC Corporation and its group companies) strove to bolster operating results by, among others, focusing on adjusting sales prices, rationalizing operations and expanding sales.
Owing to these and other factors, favorable results were reported in the graphic arts materials segment in Europe, Central and South America, Asia and Oceania, despite a struggle in Japan and North America, helping to support a 6.1 percent increase in consolidated net sales, to JPY 1,077.9 billion.
Efforts to adjust product prices in response to rising raw materials prices progressed in the industrial materials segment, but were only partially successful in the graphic arts materials segment.
In Japan, sales of gravure inks for beverage container-related applications increased. Offset inks and news inks continued to struggle as newspaper and magazine print runs shrank, reflecting the growing prevalence of the Internet, although the rising popularity of color printing sustained sales of color news inks. Operating income declined, owing to the slump in offset and news inks sales, and to the fact that sales price revisions – implemented in response to rising raw materials prices – were only partially successful for gravure inks and failed to advance sufficiently for offset inks, despite progressing for organic pigments.
In North America, generally, the printing industry was shrinking. Shipments of news inks, in particular, flagged, as the growing prevalence of the Internet pushed down newspaper print runs. In Europe, by contrast, sales of inks for packaging and news inks were brisk. Sales of inks also rose in Central and South America, led by inks for packaging. Operating income declined, despite the positive impact of higher sales and rationalization efforts in Europe and Central and South America. The decline was attributable to increasingly intense competition in North America and a delay in the implementation of sales price adjustments in response to rising raw materials prices, combined with a one-time additional cost on a changeover of systems undertaken to rationalize operations.
In the PRC, ink shipments were favorable overall and sales of offset and news inks, in particular, increased. In India, sales of news inks and packaging adhesives rose strongly. In Southeast Asia, sales of gravure inks rose in Thailand and Indonesia. Sales of flexo inks and news inks were brisk in Australia and New Zealand. Operating income increased, owing to higher sales, as well as to sales price adjustments implemented in response to rising raw materials.
In a significant move, on April 1, Dainippon Ink and Chemicals, Inc. (DIC) changed its name to DIC Corporation. DIC is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. Over the past 100 years, DIC has evolved into a leading manufacturer of fine chemicals. Early to establish operations overseas, DIC has also grown into a multinational group comprising more than 200 companies in approximately 60 countries.
With an eye toward the emerging market in India, DIC has decided to set up a new state-of-the-art printing inks plant in Dahej, Gujarat. This allows the company to position itself to respond to future growth in the markets of Asia and Oceania by securing India’s competitive advantages in terms of low cost base as well as in consideration of logistics and other costs. DIC will invest approximately ¥3.5 billion to build the new plant, which is scheduled to begin operating in July 2009. The plant will be the DIC Group’s second mother plant in Asia. The first is in Nantong, in the PRC.
R&D is a strength of DIC, and in the past year, the company developed some innovative new products. Notably, In the area of offset inks, DIC expanded its lineup of UV-curable inks by launching the newly developed Daicure RTX, which delivers superb adhesion.
2. Flint Group S.A.
26b, Boulevard Royal
L-2449 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Phone: +35 226 26 28 50
Fax: +35 226 26 28 99
Sales: $3.13 billion (€2.28 billion).
Major Products: Cold and heatset web offset, sheetfed offset, flexographic, gravure and UV/EB inks and coatings for publication, news, package and commercial applications. A wide range of inks for narrow web tag and label applications. Photopolymer plates and sleeve systems for flexographic applications. Highly engineered image-transfer products such as printing blankets, sleeves, chemicals and supplies. Dry, flushed and presscake pigments, aqueous dispersions, hyperdispersants and additives for the colorant market.
Key Personnel: Howard Poulson, chairman; Charles Knott, CEO; Michael J. Bissell, executive VP and CFO; Dr. Dirk Aulbert, president, Ink Europe; William B. Miller, president, Ink Americas; Claudio Labbe, president, Ink Latin America; Jim Mahony, president, Asia-Pacific; Russell Joyce, president, Flint Group Narrow Web; Dr. Thomas Telser, president, Flint Group Flexographic Products; Craig Foster, president, Flint Group Pigments; Dennis Wolters, CEO, Day International.
Number of Employees: Approximately 8,300 worldwide.
Comments: Flint Group had a solid year in 2007, with sales growth in most markets. However, raw
“The acquisition of Day International, and the completion of many of the integration projects resulting from the integration of Flint Ink and XSYS Print Solutions, were the primary factors contributing to growth,” said Charles Knott, Flint Group’s new CEO. “We are a more integrated and efficient organization. Each of the businesses that formed part of Flint Group have brought some unique strengths and in-depth industry knowledge, and we’re now starting to leverage these across the world with many of our customers.”
Mr. Knott joined Flint Group in August, after a successful career leading and developing global specialty chemical companies within Unilever plc and ICI plc. Key positions that he has held include president and COO of National Starch & Chemical, based in North America, and executive vice president Asia-Pacific, based for six years in Singapore where he developed business in all areas of the Far East, in particular in China. Most recently, he served for four years as chairman and CEO of Quest International, a flavors and fragrances subsidiary of ICI until its sale to Givaudan in early 2007. Mr. Knott was a member of the executive board of ICI and is currently a non-executive director of Imperial Tobacco Group plc.
In another key personnel move, Leonard (Dave) Frescoln retired as Flint Group’s deputy chairman in July 2008. Mr. Frescoln joined Flint Ink Corporation in February 1992 as CFO, advancing to president and COO later that year, and was appointed CEO in 2004. He was named CEO of Flint Group upon its formation in September 2005, and became deputy chairman in September 2007.
During the period with Flint Ink, Mr. Frescoln was responsible for numerous acquisitions and business combinations, with BASF North American Graphics, Manders Premier, Companhia Quimica Industrial Brasileiro, Alper Group and Gebrüder Schmidt being the most notable.
“It was Dave’s vision and leadership that took Flint Ink from being a U.S. ink producer, to becoming one of the leading players in the global market,” said Flint Group chairman Howard Poulson. “We greatly appreciate Dave’s leadership and his contribution over the years, and wish him and his family all the best.”
“After 16 years in a leading role within Flint Ink and later Flint Group, this was not an easy decision,” said Mr. Frescoln. “I feel passionate about the company and grateful for having been given the opportunity to lead and advise it in times when every day provided new chances to make a difference. However, feeling also a deep love for my family and knowing the qualified leaders and talents that were brought together within Flint Group with the business combinations over the recent years, I decided that the time also never had been better to change my focus and dedicate more time to my family.”
Another notable event was the 2007 acquisition of Day International, a world leader in manufacturing and distributing printing blankets, sleeves, pressroom chemicals and printing supplies. The acquisition helped expand Flint Group’s portfolio with complementary products; now Flint Group can offer almost everything customers need to run their pressroom.
"The customer reaction to Day International becoming a part of the Flint Group has been very positive,” Mr. Knott said.
Higher raw material, operational and transportation costs continue to have a major impact on the ink industry, and Flint Group is working with its customers to try to blunt some of that impact.
“We are committed to pursuing the best and most reliable source and lowest cost materials available that allow us to supply the consistent, high quality products that our customers expect,” said William Miller, president, Ink Americas.
To that end, Flint Group has continued to pull out all stops – negotiating strongly, leveraging its global resources and using alternative sources and materials when possible. The extent of raw material cost increases in 2007 was too great for Flint Group to absorb and offset completely, however, and some Flint Group businesses were forced to implement price increases as well.
Flint Group actively monitors advancements and innovations in new technologies, and as these lead to new opportunities, the company assesses the viability of the resulting markets and the fit with Flint Group’s strategy. As emerging technologies lead to sound, proven business opportunities, Flint Group will become involved through acquisitions or other investments.
In terms of geography, developing markets such as China, India, Latin America and Eastern Europe continue to offer the greatest percent growth. Flint Group operations in those regions position the company well for continued success.
Aside from the appointment of Mr. Knott and the Day International investment, Flint Group was active in a number of arenas. In February, Day International acquired Hydro Dynamic Products (HDP), a manufacturer of pressroom products. Based in the UK, HDP products are available in five continents.
In May Flint Group completed the acquisition of Siegwerk’s packaging ink business in Australia and New Zealand. “We continue to deliver on our strategy – the acquisition of Siegwerk’s ink business is another step along our path to profitable top line growth and being involved in industry consolidation where it makes economic sense,” said Mr. Knott.
The North America Packaging Inks group invested in a larger facility in Atlanta, GA. The new location offers greater capacity for manufacturing, shipping and warehousing, and will house a printing press for convenient, controlled product development and testing.
Europe’s publication division modernized manufacturing facilities in ‘sGravenzande, Netherlands and Frankfurt, Germany. “The upgrades improved Flint Group’s manufacturing capabilities while eliminating inefficient capacity,” Dr. Dirk Aulbert, president, Ink Europe, noted. “Now we benefit from better processes overall, including streamlined workflow and more efficient warehousing and distribution.”
Flint Group Pigments consolidated its U.S. operations. The Cincinnati, OH facility was upgraded as it took over the manufacture of most of the specialty products previously produced in Holland, MI.
Flint Group also reorganized some areas of its business. Flint Group Printing Plates has become Flint Group Flexographic Products. This business unit combines the Flint Group Printing Plates activities with the Rotec sleeve business, which came to Flint Group through the Day International acquisition.
In March, Flint Group renamed XSYS Print Solutions to Flint Group Narrow Web. By identifying the business more clearly under the Flint Group umbrella, it will help customers understand the broad network they can access through the narrow web group.
New products are the lifeblood of any business, and Flint Group’s product development labs around the world have continued to improve upon existing products, developing next-generation improvements and enhancing performance capabilities.
The North America sheetfed group launched the Novavit F918 Supreme BIO ink series. Available in Europe previously, these fast-setting and ecologically friendly inks are sold under the K+E brand.
Flint Group Narrow Web launched a variety of innovative products in 2007, including braille varnish, opaque white for UV flexo shrink sleeve applications and a metallic UV curable scratch-off ink for flexographic applications.
The European packaging group launched two new product lines that capitalized on the combined capabilities of Flint Ink and XSYS Print Solutions. The solvent-based Best of 4 range is a new European standard portfolio of solvent-based inks for packaging applications. The inks offer maximum technological flexibility for every application and demand. The water-based Premo line is a new water-based building block ink technology developed especially for the packaging industry to enable freedom and flexibility in formulation of optimally performing ink systems.
The European sheetfed division came out with two innovative ink-coating systems named Inuline based on the special ink Novavit F770 Inuline. Its combination with the high-gloss water-based varnish Novaset 7302/100 Inuline provides a cost-effective way of achieving gloss finishes comparable to those produced with UV varnishes. The combination of Novavit F770 Inuline with the UV varnish Ultraking Inuline enables a UV varnish to be applied directly onto a conventional sheetfed offset ink, inline and without the use of a primer. The sheetfed group also introduced the new Novavit F 950 Plus BIO and Novavit F 550 Plus ink ranges.
With a new fountain solution range for sheetfed printing and the new dayGraphica Sunday 5000 sleeve developed in collaboration with Goss for its new 96-page S5000 offset press, the Day International division supplemented their offering in the core segments – image transfer media and pressroom chemicals.
All in all, Mr. Knott believes the future offers strong opportunities for Flint Group.
“The continuing increases in oil and energy prices, and ensuring reliable supplies of quality key raw materials, will continue to put pressure on our cost base, hence the primary challenge in 2008 will be the drive for innovative solutions that bring value to our customers at an acceptable economic offering. It is essential that we choose to operate in segments of the markets where we receive an acceptable reward for the value that we bring to our customers,” Mr. Knott said.
“Growth rates in the packaging market will be on par with GDP in the developed markets, however, there are segments in the developing world that are growing much faster, particularly as the packaging industry invests more in these markets. The publication market will remain competitive. It is an important market segment for which Flint Group are well equipped to bring value to our customers.”
3. Toyo Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd.
3-13 Kyobashi 2-chome
Chuo-Ku, Tokyo 104-8377 Japan
Sales: $1.43 billion (141,904 million yen) in printing ink and graphic arts supplies; consolidated results: $2.60 billion (257,446 million yen).
Major Products: Printing inks, newspaper inks, UV-curing inks, gravure inks, graphic arts supplies, graphic arts equipment, can coating finishes, resins, adhesives, waxes, laminating adhesives, coating and painting materials, pigments, processed pigments, plastic colorants, media materials, natural products.
Key Personnel: Kunio Sakuma, president and CEO; Norio Fukumura, executive vice president, COO; Takeshi Suzuki, senior managing director, CFO; Masaru Maeda, senior managing director.
Number of Employees: 6,747 (consolidated).
Comments: Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co., Ltd. had a solid year in 2007.
“In the first half of the fiscal year 2007, the Japanese economy continued its long, moderate recovery,backed by improving corporate earnings that were in turn supported by sustained global economic growth,” said Aviv Haruta, general manager, corporate communications division, Toyo Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd. “In the second half, however, the economy began to slow on soaring prices of raw materials, especially crude oil, and global turmoil in financial markets triggered by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. The operating environment that confronted Toyo Ink Group was very difficult because of the sluggish growth in the domestic printing market, soaring naphtha prices and the tightening of global environmental regulations.
“In the printing inks segment, sales continued to rise in China and Southeast Asia and recovered in Oceania from a weak performance in the previous fiscal year,” Mr. Haruta said. “In Europe, we built an extensive distribution network and this has enabled us to bolster revenue. We began to build an offset printing ink plant and established a sales company in a joint venture with a local firm in India. While growth in domestic demand for gravure inks for packaging was sluggish, sales of functional coating materials for displays and inks for cardboard printing expanded. We revised selling prices in the second half.
“There were adverse developments that impacted our bottom line, particularly expenses associated with a shift in operations in Europe and sharp rises in raw material costs that were not offset by cost cutting and revised selling prices,” Mr. Haruta noted. “Moreover, although sales of LCD color filter materials rebounded in the second half, it was not enough to recover from a poor performance in the first half.”
To increase revenues in the future, Toyo Ink bolstered its supply and sales systems to facilitate an expansion in operations overseas. In addition to the development of high-performance pigments and an associated global supply system, the company expanded plastic colorant operations in individual areas overseas and established new subsidiaries and joint ventures in North America and Europe.
In domestic operations, to bolster the adhesive business, Toyo Ink turned the joint venture Toyo-Petrolite (renamed Toyo ADL in April 2008) into a wholly owned subsidiary and began operations of a new plant in 2007.
In celebration of the Toyo Ink Group’s centennial year in business, Toyo Ink hosted private shows in Tokyo and Osaka in July 2007 and showcased its innovative product and technology portfolio that will propel Toyo Ink into the next century as a specialty chemicals and materials manufacturer.
Raw material prices are impacting the entire ink industry, and Toyo Ink is taking steps to cut costs in all areas by streamlining production through the consolidation of merchandise categories and a review of the distribution of production in Japan and overseas, by reviewing raw materials and stepping up global sourcing, and by reducing distribution costs through more efficient SCM. “However, we were not able to offset soaring raw material prices through cost cutting alone, and so we revised the selling prices of major products,” Mr. Haruta noted, adding that prices of main raw materials are expected to continue to rise.
“In this difficult business environment, the Group intends to expand its operations by launching and developing operations in growth areas and providing goods and services that will meet the true needs of customers,” Mr. Haruta said. “As a manufacturer, we will continue to make every effort to cut costs, but we will appropriately pass on to selling prices rises in raw material prices that exceed the level that we are reasonably able to offset.”
During the past year, Toyo Ink introduced a wide variety of new products. To comply with regulations for the emission of volatile organic compounds, Toyo Ink introduced inks for EcoValue, a solvent recovery and reuse system, in July.
Toyo Ink also took steps to expand sales of offset inks by providing high-quality products that meet the needs of customers. In September, it launched WD LEO-X, a new ink for web offset presses that improves printing performance and environmental response, and expanded the product lineup of the Kaleido Ink series of wide-color-gamut paper printing inks.
“As for our technical platform of the future, Toyo Ink is working to expand areas from the development and production of high performance pigments and nano-scale dispersion technology to a wide array of product offerings based on our proprietary polymer technologies, namely in the fields of electronics (fine printed circuit and flat panel displays applications), automobile (adhesives, plastic colorants) and inkjet ink,” Mr. Haruta added.
Toyo Ink’s new LED-curable inks drew much notice at drupa. “At drupa, we launched the FD LED Series of LED-UV curable offset inks,” Mr. Haruta said. “Although the FD LED Series achieves the same level of ink performance as UV curable inks dried using conventional UV lamps, LEDs consume about 75 percent less electricity, do not contain any infrared for minimal heat generation and have roughly 12 times longer life span when used as a light source element.”
The emphasis on the environment comes naturally to Toyo Ink.
“All corporate activities of the group are guided by a corporate policy of ‘Aiming to be a company creating new values for human culture throughout the world,’” Mr. Haruta said. “As a manufacturer in the 21st century, we will consistently propose and provide new value for ever-changing living from consumers’ perspective, will consider harmony with the environment centered on the conservation of energy and materials, as well as a commitment to safety and security. We will continue to create new value with the development of environmentally friendly products and technologies.”
53721 Siegburg, Germany
Phone: +49 2241-3040
Fax: +49 2241-304777
Sales: $1.17 billion (€850 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, CEO; Oliver Wittmann, CFO; Ralf Hildenbrand, president, flexible packaging; Dr. Ansgar Nonn, president, supply chain management and publication; Hugo Noordhoek Hegt, president, PPL (plastic, paper, label) packaging; Dan McDowell, vice president NAFTA; Juan Carlos Salaberry, vice president Asia; Manuel Julian, vice president South America; Gilles Catherin, vice president global innovation network; Klaus Heger, vice president technology flexible packaging.
Number of Employees: 4,000 in more than 30 country organizations.
Comments: The fourth largest ink manufacturer in the world, Siegwerk is a major force in the
The company’s sales declined 2 percent in 2007, although that was due to the divesting of its deco business; Siegwerk’s continued investments in key new markets position it very well for the future.
“Although at first glance total sales in 2007 were less than in 2006, we had quite a good year,” said Herbert Forker, Siegwerk’s CEO. “We sold our deco business, but invested a lot in emerging markets. In addition, we managed to achieve or maintain several leading market positions: We are market leader in advanced printing ink solutions for flexible packaging such as 2K solutions, retort solutions and cold seal solutions. This is why Siegwerk is the number one supplier of internationally leading converters in the flexible packaging industry in the NAFTA region and Europe. In tobacco packaging Siegwerk is number one worldwide and a major player in publication gravure. And the company holds top positions in web offset, labels, liquid food packaging and is among the top five in offset sheetfed conventional and UV and paper and board.”
Siegwerk is investing a lot in emerging markets: Siegwerk fully acquired Pibu Ink India, a former joint venture of SICPA Packaging and Indian investors, in October. In Shanghai, Siegwerk opened its new production facility for flexible packaging and continued to expand its Global Innovation Network.
Rising raw material and operational costs influence Siegwerk.
“The price increase in raw materials and also in natural resources, such as oil up to 30 percent within a short time, has an essential impact on Siegwerk just as it has on any other ink manufacturer,” said Mr. Forker. “More than 50 percent of company costs are raw material-based.”
Siegwerk continues to develop cutting-edge new technologies, most notably in the past year, Aridas for waterless printing on KBA Cortina (web offset) and Tempo Nutripack with solvents based on vegetable components for sheetfed for food and tobacco packaging.
Drupa was a tremendous success for Siegwerk, and clearly showcased the importance of the company’s strategy in terms of expansion in emerging markets.
“Recent economic developments and also the composition of visitors at drupa showed that in addition to the established printing markets in the U.S. and Europe, there is also greater demand in emerging markets,” Mr. Forker added. “We had many guests from Asia and South America where the company is stepping up its presence with investments in production facilities in Shanghai (China), Bhiwadi (India), and Buenos Aires (Argentina). Siegwerk is dedicated to these markets, which is why we will also be increasing our innovation efforts in Asia with the launch of our Global Innovation Network effective July 1, 2008.
“We are dedicated to developing individual ink solutions together with our customers,” Mr. Forker concluded. “With a vast global product portfolio along with local service and support, Siegwerk is positioned to service all types of customers around the world.”
MHM Holding GmbH
D81111 Kirchheim Heimstetten
Sales: $1.1 billion (approximately €750 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; screen inks; toners for laser printers and copiers; fountain solutions.
Key Personnel: Heiner Ringer, CEO, member of managing board and marketing director; Ursula Borgmann, member of managing board, R&D technical director; Thomas Hensel, member of managing board; Klaus Pflazgraf, member of managing board, technical coordination; Andreas Leidert, member of managing board, finance and controlling. Michael Huber München GmbH: Rudolf Einsiedler and Heiner Klokkers, managers. Gleitsmann Security Inks GmbH: Dr. Burkard Huber, manager. Hostmann-Steinberg GmbH: Inge Mönckmeier and Martin Overhageböck, managers.
Number of Employees: Approximately 3,500 worldwide.
Comments: hubergroup enjoyed another excellent year in 2007, as the company’s sales grew 12
“Innovation remains key to success,” said Heiner Ringer, CEO, member of managing board and marketing director for hubergroup. “Backward integration into pigments and resins allowed significant innovation for final products.”
In particular, hubergroup’s !NKredible line of inks are generating excellent interest, allowing the company to develop a global ink product portfolio. !NKredible Revolution is a high performance heatset ink; !NKredible Good News coldset ink has just started trials in the U.S. and Europe and has launched commercially in Asia; and the !NKredible sheetfed inks are performing well.
Outside of the !NKredible line, hubergroup’s NewV UV ink is already launched with good response from customers, as has its line of Gecko solvent-based packaging inks. HydroX water-based packaging inks, another successful launch, are designed for a wide variety of markets, with Hydro-Well for corrugated, Hydro-Bag for paper bags; Hydro-Top for food and drug packaging; and Hydro-Lac for overprint coatings.
In personnel news, Dr. Erich Reich resigned as hubergroup’s CEO, while Thomas Hensel was named a member of managing board.
As was the case throughout the ink industry, hubergroup faced significant raw material price increases, which Mr. Ringer noted necessitated corresponding sales price adaptations as of Sept. 1.
“When compared to last year, the aggregated cost for the basket of raw materials consumed for our printing inks, varnishes and auxiliaries has risen by 30 percent globally,” Mr. Ringer noted. “What makes matters worse are equal increases in energy, packaging and transportation with no end in sight. On the contrary, the upward spiral in prices has accelerated for all regions during the last quarter.
“No enterprise can absorb sustained raw material cost increases of such magnitude forever,” Mr. Ringer added. “In past years we compensated for such upward price movements through rationalization measures, improved formulations and productivity enhancements for our customers. Today we are faced with no alternative other than passing on this extreme increase of raw material cost to our customers.”
6. Sakata INX Corp.
1-23-37 Edobori, Nishi-Ku
Osaka 550-0002 Japan
Sales: $1.05 billion (117.71 million yen in printing ink and graphic arts); $1.1 billion (129,219 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.; Mitsuru Kojima, managing director; Masaaki Komori, managing director; Masanori Kano, managing director.
Number of Employees: 3,005 (consolidated basis).
Comments: Sakata INX had a strong year in 2007, as overall sales increased 8.5 percent to
Sakata INX responded by reducing the costs as much as possible through rationalization and productivity improvement, and also carried out price increases for all types of inks.
Sakata INX officials noted that the printing industry in Japan stays at the same level as last year, but it still keeps growing in Asia. The company is also focusing on sales of inkjet inks and color toners in accordance with the rapid growth of the digital printing market. In Japan, the digitalization is going ahead further and Sakata INX is having much success selling digital machines and peripheral materials such as CTP devices and digital plates.
Sakata INX is adding to its manufacturing capabilities. A second plant in India will be constructed in 2008, with an eye toward global sourcing and gravure inks. INX International Ink Co. will be opening a new water-based ink plant in Homewood, IL this August. Sakata INX’s Nansha plant producing metal decorating inks in China was entered into the consolidated entity of Sakata INX Group.
On the digital side, Sakata INX is continuing to grow its operations, establishing a partnership with Megaink Digital a.s., a Czech Republic-based digital ink specialist most noted for developing wide format inks based on renewable resources, in 2008. Megaink will become part of the INX Digital family.
7. Tokyo Printing Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd.
Kita-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Sales: $600 million (59,420 million yen).
Major Products: Sheetfed, heatset and coldset offset inks; solvent-based and water-based gravure inks; inkjet inks and dry toners; fountain solutions and printing additives.
Key Personnel: Atsuo Ohashi, president; Kenzou Kawaziri and Yoshihiko Yokota, senior managing directors; Osamu Kaneko, senior managing technical director; Ryoichi Yamakoshi, technical director.
Number of Employees: 692.
Comments: One of the leading Japanese ink manufacturers, Tokyo Printing Ink Mfg. Co., Ltd. enjoyed
Now in its 85th year, Tokyo Printing Ink has a major presence in Japan, with four offset ink and one gravure ink manufacturing facilities. The company also has alliances throughout the Asia-Pacific region, as well as a presence 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 include its Zipset offset inks, featuring sheetfed, heatset, coldset, UV, metallic, rubber-based and magnetic inks and process and Pantone colors, as well as inkjet inks and dry toners. In addition to its inks, the company makes synthetic resins, color and additive concentrates and compounds and other chemical products. The company is also successfully developing its nanotechnology portfolio.
8. Inctec Inc.
450, Aoto-Cho, Midori-ku
Sales: $464 million (46,000 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: Itsuo Totsuka, CEO.
Number of Employees: 828.
Comments: Inctec Inc. had a solid year in 2007, with the company’s sales increasing slightly to 46
Now in its 107th years, Inctec Inc. is part of the Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd., which owns 85 percent of the company. The company has seven locations in Japan, including five factories. The Utsunomiya factory, which manufactures news inks, is fully automated.
Inctec Inc.’s R&D expertise in developing eco-friendly inks has been paying off for the company, most notably with its Soybi Vista VOC-free web offset inks, which were launched at IGAS Exhibition 2007. Formulated with a unique resin system, Soybi Vista inks offer both high quality and high productivity by reducing ink piling on blanket. Most recently, the company introduced New Shine Soybi, which offers color representation close to Adobe RGB color space. The company is also emphasizing UV inkjet inks.
9. SICPA Holding SA
Avenue de Florissant 41
1008 Prilly, Switzerland
Phone: +41 21-627-5555
Fax: +41 21-627-5727
Sales: In Excess of $400 million.
Major Products: Security inks and features for intaglio, offset, screen, gravure, flexo and inkjet printing of banknotes and value documents. Providers and integrators of security systems for product protection. OVI for securing banknotes and identity documents. SICPA OASIS for value documents and product protection applications. SICPA Secure Trail system for product authentication and secure track and trace.
Key Personnel: Maurice A. Amon and Philippe Amon, executive co-chairmen.
Comments: SICPA provides security inks and solutions for most of the world’s banknotes, and has the
SICPA’s security inks and authentication devices are used on a wide range of documents, including passports, transport tickets and plastic cards, as well as on security labels applied to products.
Since the turn of the millennium, in response to the increase in the counterfeiting and illicit trade of all kinds of products, SICPA has expanded its business into integrated security systems that combine SICPA’s security ink technology with state-of-the-art information technology. SICPA now provides governments, law enforcers and rights holders with a complete security infrastructure against illicit trade, that both validates that a product is genuine and unadulterated, and tracks its journey from manufacture to final point of sale.
10. T&K Toka Co. Ltd.
34-8 Hon-cho, Itabashi-ku
Tokyo, Japan 174-0055
Sales: $300 million (29,749 million yen); $454.3 million (45,059 million 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: H. Harry Morita, manager of overseas division; Katsuhito Yoshimoto, director for overseas division; Masanao Kobayashi, managing director for R&D.
Number of Employees: 561 (T&K Toka); 1,300 (consolidated).
Comments: T&K Toka is one of the leading ink manufacturers in Japan, having made its mark as a UV technology specialist. The T&K in the company’s name stands for Technology and Kindness, which emphasizes the company’s commitment to its customers.
T&K Toka enjoyed a strong year in 2008, with sales growing 3 percent, developing in almost all segments except for liquid ink, web offset inks and high-tech related product.
As was the case throughout the ink industry, the company’s margins did suffer due to the price increases in raw materials as well as in expenses raised by high oil prices. As a result, T&K Toka announced price increase for oil-based offset inks last November, although company officials acknowledged that it is very difficult to transfer raw material price increases to customers. With the difficulty of raising sales prices, price hike of materials is simply worsening the profitability of company not only in Japan but in the whole group.
China remains a key growth area for T&K Toka, as Hangzhou Toka Ink, T&K Toka’s joint venture in China, is the second-largest ink company in China. In 2006, 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.
T&K Toka’s top-flight R&D leaders launched Pixess, a new non-toluene polyolefin surface printing gravure ink, during the past year, which is in keeping with the company’s emphasis on the environment.
11. Fujifilm Sericol International Ltd
Pysons Road, Broadstairs
Kent, UK 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 inkjet), solvent-based digital and solvent-based screen inks; screen pre-press; Inca Digital Presses.
Key Personnel: Ed Carhart, CEO; Jerry Avis, chief commercial officer; Mitch Bode, senior VP, Americas; Jeff Hand, regional director Asia/Pacific; Peter Kenehan, ISG director, Europe; Roy Wiles, CFO, COO; Malcolm Frier, HR director; Rob Fassam, international technical director; Steve Pocock, technical director, North America; Keith Harley, marketing director, Europe; Terry Mitchell, marketing director, North America.
Number of Employees: 1,250.
Comments: Fujifilm Sericol continued to grow its global ink business in 2007 with significant sales and
“Our global business in 2007 was a year of both opportunity and challenge,” Ed Carhart, CEO of Fujifilm Sericol, commented. “Our digital inkjet business continues to deliver exceptionally strong growth. On the other hand, several trends are impacting our traditional screen ink business, which was down for the first time in 2007.”
The full portfolio of digital presses and inks are being marketed globally through all Fujifilm companies within the graphics division.
“All the Fujifilm companies have leveraged each other’s strengths to offer customers a full range of print solutions,” said Mr. Carhart. “Fujifilm has been a traditional supplier of inks and prepress to both screen and offset printers. We are now bringing innovative digital solutions to a broad range of printers as a complement to their print capabilities. This has really fueled our sales growth.”
Digital platforms and digital inks remains an important driver to Fujifilm Sericol’s future growth. To achieve this objective, Fujifilm Sericol has created an Inkjet Systems Group (ISG) with the express purpose of designing and developing competitive solutions for the digital printing market. ISG will utilize Fujifilm’s core technologies to provide optimal inkjet solutions for applications in wide format and industrial markets. The Inkjet Systems Group will be led by Pete Kenehan, who was formerly European director and originally led Sericol’s entry into the digital inkjet market.
Fujifilm Sericol also recently acquired Germany-based Colormy AG. Colormy offers wide format digital printers a full range of printers, inks, media, software and support. “Colormy is a successful business with a highly developed system-sales approach,” said Jerry Avis, Fujifilm Sericol’s chief commercial officer. “We intend to build on this winning formula to develop our position in wide format.”
Fujifilm Sericol launched a breakthrough in digital printing in 2007 with the introduction of the revolutionary Inca Onset UV digital flatbed press. The installed bases of nine Onset presses are conservatively estimated to be producing more than 500,000 square feet of commercial output daily. An Onset is currently being installed at Fujifilm Sericol’s new 7,000 square foot Solutions Center in Kansas City, KS. Starting in August, commercial point-of-purchase (POP) printers will have a unique opportunity to run print demonstrations on the Onset.
Advancements in digital have been partially offset by declines in the traditional screen ink business. Consolidation of the optical media market and print technology shifts to digital in the point-of-purchase graphics segment have principally led the decline. “Although the total market for screen inks is in decline, we are well positioned to grow this segment through gains in market share,” reported Mitch Bode, senior vice president for the Americas.
Sericol also recorded global growth in narrow web inks fueled by Sericol’s new Super Nova White flexo ink. Super Nova White is another significant innovation, and offers improved efficiency over rotary screen printing.
Fujifilm Sericol continues to develop and introduce new technology inks for screen, flexo and digital applications. “We have formulated new UV screen and flexo inks as well as more environmentally friendly solvent digital inks,” reported Rob Fassam, technology director for Fujifilm Sericol. “Development of inks from renewable resources is one of our green initiatives and a key focus of our development efforts.”
Unrelenting increases in the cost of crude oil and the resultant impact on raw material and transportation costs have been challenging to Fujifilm Sericol.
Although global purchasing power and productivity improvements in manufacturing and distribution have helped offset some of the cost increases, price increases are now being passed through to the market. Scott Holub, vice president international operations, stated, “Unfortunately, over the past several months we, and the rest of the industry, have experienced unprecedented, non-negotiable price increases from virtually all of our key suppliers.”
“Our systems of managing inventory and consolidating freight shipments has helped us reduce shipment frequency while maintaining high service levels to our customers,” Terry Mitchell, director of marketing for Fujifilm Sericol North America, added. “In these times of escalating raw material and transportation costs, we feel it is absolutely critical to reduce supply chain costs wherever possible to keep our customers competitive.”
Print markets around the globe are experiencing profound change as print technology shifts from analog to digital at a faster pace. Fujifilm Sericol’s investments and focus on digital technology and its traditional strength in screen printing has positioned the company for strong future growth.