Top Companies Report

15 Central Ink Corporation


15 Central Ink Corporation
1100 N. Harvester Road
West Chicago, IL 60185
Phone: (630) 231-6500
Fax: (630) 231-6520

Sales: $60 million.

Major Products: Web offset heatset, coldset, sheetfed, flexo and UV/EB inks. CIC is also one of the largest blanket converters in the Midwest.

Key Personnel: Richard Breen, CEO; Gregg Dahleen, president; Doug Anderson, VP of product development; Mary Dickey, VP of finance; Bradley Dahleen, VP of sales and marketing; Victor Dahleen, VP of strategic services.

Number of Employees: 117.

Operating Facilities: West Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Milwaukee, WI; Swedesboro, NJ; Ontario, CA; Toronto, Canada.

Comments: The publication printing business has been hard hit by both the global recession as well as new technologies, and ink manufacturers have also felt the impact.For Central Ink, 2011 was a challenging year, although the company’s decision to diversify into other segments is paying off.

“It was a tough year due to higher raw material costs,” said Bradley Dahleen, Central Ink’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We added a lot of smaller and middle-sized customers, which is good. Flexo is growing and is gaining traction, and news ink is up across the country. Heatset is better than it has been in years, and is growing fastest for us.”

Raw materials remain a serious concern for ink companies, particularly on the publication ink side, and rising oil prices are a major issue. To help cope with these increases, Central Ink has been improving its manufacturing efficiency.

“Even though raw material prices stabilized somewhat, we still couldn’t recover the increases we have been hit with, and if oil continues to rise, there will be a lot more price increases on the horizon,” Mr. Dahleen said. “In 2011, we automated our large batch manufacturing to a greater extent.”

Overall, Mr. Dahleen believes that the coming year will be similar to 2011 for the ink market.

“January 2012 started great, but overall, we think that 2012 will be exactly like 2011,” Mr. Dahleen said. “I think we are finding some kind of balance, but there is still a lot of uncertainty, and there are a lot of printers who are facing tough financial times.”