Top Companies Report

15. Toyo Ink International Corporation


610 Fifth Ave., Suite 305
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (212) 554-2310
Fax: (212) 554-2319

Toyo Ink America, LLC

710 Belden Ave.
Addison, IL 60101
Phone: (630) 930-5100
Fax: (630) 628-1759 
Sales: $64 million.

Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks; UV and EB inks; conventional and UV waterless offset; solvent- and water-based gravure inks; solvent- and water-based flexo inks; digital inks; toner; inkjet inks; pressure sensitive adhesives and special function coatings; and plastic colorants.

Key Personnel: Toyo Ink International: Mamoru Sasajima, president; John Higgins, CFO. Toyo Ink America: John Copeland, president/COO; Hidekazu Takahashi, SVP; Mike Keegan, VP, sales. Toyo Ink Mfg. America: Yasuo Koga, president; Koji Ueno, GM. LioChem: Kazuhito Nakano, president; Hudson Moody, GM, colorants division; Terry Hall, GM, gravure division. 

Comments: Commercial printing has been heavily impacted by a wide variety of factors, including the recession, consolidation and increased emphasis on digital printing. In spite of these challenges, Toyo Ink America fared relatively well in 2009. 

“Even though sales and print volume were down in some market segments, Toyo Ink America held steady relative to others in the industry,” said John Copeland, president/COO. “We landed new customers and aggressively reduced costs to position ourselves well for the future.”

The impact of the recession on the printing industry was clearly noticeable. “As sales slowed, many customers struggled to compete in a changing marketplace,” Mr. Copeland noted. “Fewer printers were acquiring new equipment or landing new accounts. We cannot say that we saw any improvement in the second half of 2009.” 

Toyo Ink continued to make strides in R&D, notably in energy curing, and that translated into strong interest among attendees at Print ‘09. 

“We hosted significantly more visitors at Print ‘09 than at Print ‘05,” Mr. Copeland reported. “As a result of the keen interest shown across the entire Toyo product line, we accomplished what we set out to do. We generated many qualified leads, converted potential customers into new customers and signed up new distributors. 

“Toyo’s new and existing UV formulations and environmentally friendly products also attracted considerable attention among showgoers,” he said. “Toyo FD LED is hard-dried with UV rays produced by dedicated LEDs. Toyo Ink America also introduced UV Eco Soy, a new series of UV-curable process inks for commercial sheetfed and folding carton printing as well as the world debut of UV PowerFLEX flexographic inks. High in strength and low in viscosity, UV PowerFLEX improves color density, printing quality and production efficiency”

Mr. Copeland said that given rising demand for eco-friendly products from customers, sales of non-toluene and water-based inks rose steadily. “In addition, in the North America market, sales of adhesives grew,” he added. “Sales of gravure inks for printing and construction materials continued to struggle both in Japan and overseas, but demand for mainstay gravure inks for food packaging held firm.

"As for flexible packaging, the newly launched AquaLiona series of water-based flexographic lamination ink has been gaining increasing interest for retort pouch applications,” Mr. Copeland noted. “The addition of a hardener enhances resin durability, which enables the ink to withstand temperatures up to 250ºF. AquaLiona is the world’s first water-based flexo system to achieve this performance benchmark, and we hope to see it take off in 2010."

In an important move, Mamoru Sasajima was appointed as Toyo Ink International Corporation’s new president effective Oct. 1, 2009. 

Headquartered in New York, Toyo Ink International serves as a holding company for the Toyo Ink Group’s operations in the Americas. Mr. Sasajima succeeds Fusao Ito, who has returned to Japan to take over the helm as division director of Toyo Ink Mfg. Company’s International Operations Headquarters.

Mr. Copeland said that Toyo Ink sees excellent potential in Latin America. 

“Toyo Ink will further expand our operations in Latin America as the region is significant to our long-term growth,” Mr. Copeland said. “In 2010, we will strengthen our commitment to the area by opening a new office in Brazil, positioning us ever closer to where our customers operate. In addition, we will exhibit for the first time at ExpoPrint Latin America 2010 to be held this June, in Sao Paulo. On display at ExpoPrint will be a comprehensive lineup of Toyo’s commercial printing and packaging solutions for local needs.” 

All in all, Mr. Copeland is hopeful that the second half of 2010 sees a rebound for commercial printers. 

“The print market is expected to improve in the third to fourth quarter,” Mr. Copeland said. “Hopes are that it will remain steady without further decline. As for Toyo Ink America, we’re optimistic in terms of adding new accounts. We’ve introduced a host of new products in the past year that have been received well, and we’ll also be making production improvements as we continue to prepare for the future.”