1 Sun Chemical Corporation
35 Waterview Blvd.
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Phone: (973) 404-6000
Fax: (973) 404-6001
Sales: Sun Chemical had annual sales of $3.5 billion in printing inks and colorants worldwide. North American Ink Sales: $1.5 billion (Ink World estimate).
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, label and narrow web inks, toner, inkjet materials, adhesives for packaging, overprint varnishes, specialty coatings, effect inks, flexographic printing plates, digital artwork file management, color software and brand color management, printed electronics, security inks and coatings, and organic colorants for inks, plastics, paints, coatings and cosmetics.
Key Personnel: Rudi Lenz, president and CEO, Sun Chemical and Board member
Key Leaders (in alphabetical order): Martin Cellerier, VP, corporate strategy; Eric Finkelman, VP, general counsel and secretary; Robert Fitzka, group managing director, Central Region; John Gowlett, VP, global operations; Greg Hayes, group managing director, Northern Region; Gregory Lawson, president, Sun Chemical Latin America; John McKeown, senior VP, chief administration officer; Felipe Mellado, chief marketing officer and Board member; Charles Murray, president, Sun Chemical North America; Carlo Musso, group managing director, Southern Region; Myron Petruch, president, Performance Pigments; Edward Pruitt, chief procurement officer; Russell Schwartz, chief technology officer.
Number of Employees: More than 8,000 worldwide.
Operating Facilities: Sun Chemical has more than 300 manufacturing and service locations worldwide and more than 200 customer in-plant locations in the U.S. alone.
Comments: The printing industry witnessed many of the same trends in 2011 as in previous years: the publication and commercial side suffered declines, while packaging and digital enjoyed growth. For Sun Chemical, 2011 saw similar growth and declines in these markets.
“Overall, Sun Chemical had a comparable year to 2010 in that it continued to recover volume in all sectors,” said Charles Murray, president, North American Inks, Sun Chemical. “However, many of the same challenges that Sun Chemical and our industry in general faced in 2010 continued to persist in 2011 and early 2012.”
Mr. Murray noted that the publication and commercial sheetfed markets have struggled in recent years.
“The commercial sheetfed market continues to struggle as companies cut back on their marketing collateral and other printing needs,” Mr. Murray said. “The publication printing market, including newspapers worldwide, struggled considerably in 2011. In both of these cases, the movement to Internet and other electronic alternatives as well as consolidation have been the key drivers for the continued downturn. The market shift in the publications market has been drastic. Sales in this market have not recovered to pre-recession levels and we don’t expect that they will.”
Mr. Murray said that Sun Chemical has seen moderate growth in the packaging market, and he expects to see similar growth in 2012.
“Sun Chemical will continue to see growth in the flexible packaging segment, specifically value-added packaging, as the trend in the market continues to move towards functional and sensory packaging,” Mr. Murray noted. “The packaging market faces different challenges than other market segments, such as migration in Europe, and the push toward smaller package size, recyclability and other efforts to reduce the impact of packaging on the environment, but these challenges are great opportunities for growth at Sun Chemical. We’re working with brand owners and major packaging groups to provide them with solutions for specialized packaging of the future.
“Source reduction, a smaller number of packaging layers, along with a decrease in packaging size, continue to be ways consumer packaged goods companies are looking for support in their sustainability efforts,” Mr. Murray added. “Additionally, biodegradable and recyclable flexible packaging materials are currently being favored by some retailers and brand owners. Sun Chemical anticipates further growth opportunities from these key areas as companies position themselves as being ‘green.’ Additional growth will come from the narrow web, tag, and label printing segment as well as the folding carton segment.
“Our customers are relying on Sun Chemical to maintain an intense focus on value and cost, and we’re doing this by making significant investments in manufacturing capabilities and products, despite the difficult economic times,” Mr. Murray said. “We see these updates to our manufacturing capabilities as an investment in our customers. It is another way to live up to our goals and promise as a company to provide our customers with quality, service and innovation. We will continue to raise our focus on the customer by helping them grow their businesses and succeed. That means working for our customers everyday as a partner.”
Felipe Mellado, Sun Chemical’s chief marketing officer, said Sun Chemical had a number of notable highlights during the past year.
“In today’s challenging economy, our customers need a partner who can help them find ways to reduce costs; a partner that understands the challenges they are facing and provides solutions,” Mr. Mellado said. “This is what we are striving to accomplish at Sun Chemical, and the past year is replete with examples of how Sun Chemical is partnering with customers.”
For the seventh consecutive year, the Brazilian Association of Graphic Arts (ABIGRAF) named Sun Chemical the “Best Printing Ink Supplier” in Brazil at the Fernando Pini Awards ceremony.
In February 2012, Sun Chemical released its 2011 sustainability report, which expands on its established data-driven metrics by showcasing how the company’s leadership in sustainability is helping customers adapt and be more eco-efficient.
The 2011 sustainability report cites specific examples of how Sun Chemical’s products, services and projects are helping customers improve their environmental impact. For example, the report highlights Sun Chemical’s leadership role in low migration technology.
Other products and services mentioned in the report that have helped customers become more eco-efficient include SunGraphics SunLite In-Position Printing Plates for corrugated carton printers; the Sun Chemical Dispenser Program for the commercial and label, narrow web market; the SunMag Synergy ink/fount emulsion system for publication printers; and SunClean/SunWash cleaner and wash technology for heatset printers.
All three sustainability reports, along with the “Carbon Footprint Report 2010,” which outlines the results from nine independent environmental analyses focused on quantifying the carbon footprint of its product lines, are available to customers and can be requested online at www.sunchemical.com/company/sustainability.
Together with Sun Branding Solutions, its packaging brand lifecycle management agency, and its parent company DIC Corporation, Sun Chemical gave visitors at Interpack 2011 first-hand insight into its packaging print solutions that allow brands to stand out in terms of sensory appeal and functional performance, as well as compliance.
Sun Chemical demonstrated its ability to support all parts of the packaging development workflow from pack design concept through to press, conversion and brand launch.
Sun Chemical’s special effects portfolio as well as its latest range of lamination adhesives and low migration ink and coating solutions for the food packaging industry were all introduced to brand owners at the show, as was Sun Chemical’s Best Practice Guide to Food Packaging Printing.
At BrasilPlast 2011, Sun Chemical introduced a new range of ink and coating solutions for South American flexo and gravure converters, which can be used on a variety of plastic substrates to provide sustainability, brand differentiation, low migration solutions, lightweighting and variable data printing on packaging.
Among the products introduced at the show were ECHO water-based flexo inks, for use primarily on high- and low-density polyethylene or plastic grocery bags; SunInspire, a broad portfolio of high-impact special effects for every packaging substrate and print technology on the market today; SunBar Oxygen Barrier Coatings, which are designed to replace or enhance current oxygen barrier technologies used with a variety of flexible packaging films; and SunLase, an advanced color-change ink designed for inline patch printing and then subsequent marking with laser technology.
Originally designed for commercial and folding carton printers, the Sun Chemical Dispenser Program, which helps customers decrease their overall ink spend by up to 45 percent, expanded to serve customers in the narrow web tag and label market. It allows printers to mix only the inks they need, reduce their inventory and waste, improve color-matching consistency, and significantly decrease total operating costs.
In December 2011, the Sun Chemical Dispenser Program won a bronze medal in the category of the most environmentally progressive printing technology at the first annual Canadian Printing Awards held during the Graphics Canada trade show. To date, selected customers in Canada that participated in the Sun Chemical Dispenser Program have seen their spot color ink inventories reduce by approximately 20 percent.
In September 2011, Sun Chemical launched SunLit Titan, a new sheetfed ink system. SunLit Titan is a very high speed, fast drying ink range, which will allow printers to accelerate and optimize their workflow at two stages of the process. One-sided printed sheets dry within minutes, which allows almost immediate turnover for reverse print.
The Titan-effect is enabled by the introduction of innovative patented raw materials leading to an ultra fast setting as well as fast and thorough oxidative drying. Printers can also benefit from the fact that the application of a water-based coating is not required. The new range can be successfully applied across a variety of substrates. It is best suited for use in small to medium print runs.
Sun Chemical launched a number of new narrow web ink solutions at Labelexpo Europe 2011. SolarFlex Lightning White is a brand new ultra high opacity UV flexo white for maximum hiding power, and it works equally well with high volume channeled and standard aniloxes.
SolarFlex Nova SL is a low odor ink system based solely on Nestlé’s “positive-list” of photoinitiators and features excellent UV flexo performance properties, which allows quick make-ready and efficient printing. SunCure Starluxe is a UV offset product range designed to provide the highest print quality to labels and packaging. The series has been proven to offer reliable and robust press performance on a range of papers, plastics and metallized substrates at the highest print quality. The SolarScreen Colours range has been upgraded for higher speed rotary screen printing without loss of definition for increased productivity.
Raw material costs and supply issues continued to be concerns in 2011, and while there was some headway made on some key raw materials, there are likely to be challenges ahead in 2012.
“In 2011, we saw a continuation of many of the same raw materials supply issues and cost pressures that featured prominently in 2010,” said Ed Pruitt, Sun Chemical’s chief procurement officer. “Rosin, solvents (particularly in Europe), acrylics, energy cure resins, carbon black, titanium dioxide, nitrocellulose, phthalocyanine pigments and Violet 23 pigments all faced at various times tight to short supply, during 2011. The drivers for these supply issues and cost pressures were the same factors we wrestled with in 2010, i.e., increased demand from developing markets, feedstock issues, supply limitations, and environmental and regulatory constraints in India and China.
“As we look ahead to 2012, we expect to see continuing improvement in the availability of many raw materials, but we also expect to see volatility and continuing pressure from oil and petrochemical-derived products, titanium dioxide and other commodities exposed to global supply/demand swings,” Mr. Pruitt added.
Mr. Mellado anticipates further challenges ahead for printers, and said that Sun Chemical is always ready to partner with its customers.
“Whether it is costs, sustainability requirements or compliance issues, the challenges our customers are facing are more challenging than ever and we don’t expect that to stop in 2012 and beyond,” Mr. Mellado said. “These challenges our customers have faced have required a change in the way they do business. We recognize these challenges at Sun Chemical, and we’re transforming with the industry by doing our part to help customers thrive in this dynamic business environment by providing a comprehensive and consistent offering of world-class products and services, delivering consistently on our promises with strong technical and customer service and offering breakthroughs in ink technology that will ultimately save our customers money.”