The North American printing ink industry has had more than its share of challenges in terms of raw materials, and pricing and availability of resins are one of those key concerns.
Attendees celebrate Arez LLC's grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We at Arez are excited about the opening of our plant in Crossett, Arkansas,” said John Smith, president of Arez. “We are now in position to rapidly meet U.S. customer demand and remove the ocean freight uncertainty that importing entails.
Arez LLC is a partially owned subsidiary of Arez International, Ltd. The plant is designed to produce more than 30 million pounds of resins for the North American lithographic and publication gravure printing ink markets. The production capacity of Arez LLC supplements production of the Arez International plants in Gaoyao, China.
With the opening of the new U.S. facility, Arez International management looks forward to a stable base from which to grow their North American business.
The management team of Arez LLC, led by Keith Long, plant manager, includes Joe Corello, human resources manager; Billy LaFoon, maintenance manager and plant engineer; Melissa Martin, controller; Pratima Shreshta, quality control manager; and Karen Tyson, purchasing manager.
“Arez has found a wealth of highly trained, motivated workers in the Crossett area,” said Dr. Helmut Schmidt, Arez International director, during the grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony held on May 30, 2012.
Purchasing of Arez products within the Americas will continue to be done through Arez U.S., whose general manager is Roxanna Wagner, located in the Arez U.S. office in Mendham, NJ. The product line of Arez LLC will be PM1600, ER1600, RE3600, and PG5600 series to differentiate them from the Chinese produced PM1000, 1100, 1200, and 1300, ER1000, RE3000, and PG5200 series.
The company notes that Arez LLC bases its source of primary raw materials on environmentally friendly, renewable resources. The selection of pine chemicals as its primary raw material is designed to produce a lower carbon footprint and this differentiates Arez resins from those produced with hydrocarbon-derived feedstock.
Pine chemicals are derived from raw materials from the forestry sector (wood, pulp and paper processes). These co-products include crude tall oil, black liquor soap, crude sulfate turpentine and sawdust. Using these co-products is a classic example of efforts to make the most efficient use of resources by literally trying to utilize every part of a tree that is harvested.
So far, Mr. Smith noted that the new manufacturing site is right on spec in terms of meeting Arez’s high quality standards.
“The start-up batches have come in within specification, which bodes well for continuing the Arez record of quality production,” Mr. Smith added.
Mr. Smith said that Arez welcomes customers to come to the new plant and see it in operation.
“Many of our customers have visited the facility in Crossett, and we look forward to more visits in the future,” Mr. Smith concluded, adding, “A large thank-you goes to all who have supported our efforts in making the Arez Crossett plant a reality.”