Top Companies Report

10. Toyo Ink Int. Corp.


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: $91 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, division president, printing ink division; Hideki Ohba, VP, planning and administration; Mike Keegan, VP, sales; Jim Newkirk, GM, liquid ink sector. 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: Toyo Ink America enjoyed a strong year in 2010, as the printing ink market stabilized and the company added new capabilities in the packaging market with the acquisition of Fluid Ink Technology.

“For Toyo Ink, 2010 was a better year than anticipated,” said John Copeland, division president, printing ink division for Toyo Ink America. “The ink market was steady for the most part. Ink sales were up over 2009, in particular for UV inks for plastic and paper substrates. In North America, demand for gravure inks for construction materials started to recover and sales of flexographic inks expanded.

“We saw some improvement last year in line with a slow rebound in the economy,” Mr. Copeland added. “There was a significant improvement from 2009 to 2010 in the consistency of ink orders. There was also strong interest for Toyo products that offer outstanding performance or unique features to differentiate printers or converters in the marketplace, such as special effect and high-sheen metallic inks.”

An important move was the acquisition of Fluid Ink Technology, a Moorland, CA-based manufacturer of flexographic, gravure and UV ink products for the flexible packaging, paper packaging and label printing markets.

“The coupling of Fluid Ink’s technology, service and sales expertise with Toyo’s existing packaging capabilities enables us to deliver a comprehensive lineup of unique solutions and customized products to our customers,” Mr. Copeland said. “The two divisions, paste and liquid inks, were also officially merged in November. The realignment enables better consolidation of our product offerings, while promoting a more coordinated market approach.”

Raw material costs and supply issues are a major concern for ink manufacturers, with practically every ingredient impacted. Mr. Copeland noted that there is a serious concern over the supply of certain pigments, and added that communication with suppliers is critical.

“Availability issues for certain pigments used in our UV inks and oligomers persist,” Mr. Copeland said. “As a result, we must plan our raw materials purchases well in advance. Constant communication with vendors is necessary to secure supply of key raw materials. We find it difficult to pass on prices to the customer as we are well aware of the tremendous challenges they face.”

In addition to its strength in sheetfed and packaging, UV, metallic and special effect inks have proved to be good markets for Toyo Ink America.

“We’ve had good success with UV inks for plastic and paper stocks, and we expect this trend to continue in 2011,” Mr. Çopeland said. “Demand for special effect and metallic inks and the specialty printing techniques required by printers remained strong. We’ve also expanded our foothold in growth areas such as packaging inks for folding carton and specialty products, such as metallic and special effect inks for paper, plastic or synthetic substrates, plastic boxes and containers.”

Mr. Copeland believes that Toyo Ink America is well positioned for growth in 2011 and beyond.

“Our outlook for 2011 is positive,” Mr. Copeland said. “We have positioned ourselves to better support our customers’ needs with a broader and more comprehensive lineup of products and services, which in turn enhances our ability to capture a bigger share of the North America packaging and commercial printing market. Toyo Ink America is gearing up to grow as we take advantage of synergies due to sales, service delivery and manufacturing efficiencies while continuously turning out high tech, high-value-added products and services.

“Through acquisitions and structural reforms, we’ve been able to improve efficiency and invest in equipment and other resources necessary to build a solid platform for future growth,” Mr. Copeland concluded. “Toyo Ink America has come out of 2010 a much stronger company.”