Top Companies Report

5. Siegwerk


Alfred-Keller-Strasse 55
53721 Siegburg, Germany
Tel: +49 2241-3040
Fax: +49 2241-304777

Sales: $1.33 billion (€997 million).

Major Products: Provider of solvent-based, water-based, energy curable and specialty liquid inks and coatings and related point-of-use services for the packaging and label industries. Product applications include flexible packaging, narrow web labels, tobacco and folding carton using flexographic, rotogravure and offset printing.

Key Personnel: Herbert Forker, CEO; Oliver Wittmann, CFO; Ralf Hildenbrand, president, Packaging Asia; Hugo Noordhoek Hegt, president, Packaging EMEA & Print Media; Dave Hiserodt, president, Packaging Canada & USA; Pablo Paduani, president, Packaging Latin America.

Number of Employees: 4,600 in more than 30 country organizations.

Comments: Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA is a leader in packaging inks, and the company recorded a solid year in 2013, with sales growing to $1.33 billion.

“Last year again was successful for Siegwerk, with a continued solid financial performance,” said Siegwerk CEO Herbert Forker. “In terms of net sales, Siegwerk was able to grow by 2.3% (FX-adjusted) compared to 2012. Looking at the regional packaging ink business, net sales in EMEA were stable (FX-adjusted, compared to 2012), whereas the emerging markets in Asia and Latin America experienced significant growth, with a double-digit increase in Asia (FX-adjusted, compared to 2012).

“Although the Print Media market has been continuously declining, Siegwerk was still able to win market share,” Forker added. “Over the past years, Siegwerk has continuously shifted its portfolio from Print Media to Packaging, with now 85% in packaging inks, thereby significantly reducing its exposure to the dramatically shrinking Print Media market.”

Forker noted that Siegwerk can see a slight growth in the global market for printing inks, largely driven by packaging in emerging markets.

“At the same time, ink volumes in publication applications have been further declining,” he added. “As a general trend, all ink suppliers have continued to push sustainable raw material sources and to boost the environmental performance of their products. Opportunities in low migration inks for food packaging have been increasing.

“Geographically, packaging ink volume in traditional markets like EMEA and North America has been stable or even declining,” Forker added. “Having said that, we still see growth areas in EMEA, mainly in Southern and Eastern Europe, with countries like Turkey and Poland driving this trend. Looking at the EMEA packaging market development by ink technology, we perceived a decline in all segments, with only UV inks, and to a lesser extent solvent-based inks, growing.”

Forker noted that Asia continues to be the fastest-growing region, and added that the markets in Latin America showed some moderate growth. However, an increasing number of consumers and a subsequent growth of global packaging demand are expected to drive an increase of ink volumes in South and Central America.

In order to increase operational efficiency in the traditional markets and to create the conditions for further growth, Siegwerk started a number of projects, investing in infrastructure and technology upgrades. This includes the consolidation of the company’s supply chain footprint by establishing Centers of Excellence that focus on one ink technology only, thus bundling competencies and know-how to ensure optimized ink performance and production efficiency per site.

“Living up to our growth ambitions, we invested significantly in infrastructure, both in traditional and new markets,” Forker reported. “Investments in Latin America included the opening of a new state-of-the-art facility in Colombia to cover the growing demand in the flexible packaging sector and the expansion of our warehouse in Chile. Additionally, Siegwerk opened a new branch in Peru at the beginning of 2014.”

In the U.S., Siegwerk opened its new Center of Printing Excellence to offer customers on-press testing capabilities. The center houses a pilot press with capabilities to print gravure or flexo for use with solvent-based or water-based ink technology. The equipment is planned to be further expanded to include extrusion lamination capabilities. Siegwerk CUSA’s Center of Printing Excellence is dedicated to ink product development as well as co-development with customers and suppliers on specific projects. The pilot press also allows for accelerated trialing and commercialization of new solutions and technologies.

Looking at Asia, highlights include the commissioning of a state-of-the-art polyurethane resin manufacturing plant by Siegwerk India, the installation of a new GAN (Global Analytical Network) laboratory in Malaysia and the new Blending Center in Vietnam, which successfully went into operation.

In Moscow, Siegwerk Russia established a new Technology Center for Flexible Packaging to meet growing market demand and the resulting need for technical guidance and support. With additional lab space and dedicated technicians, this Center of Competence offers local service with quick response times while leveraging the worldwide know-how of application technology experts across the Siegwerk group.

In order to serve its global customers with the same high standards everywhere, Siegwerk developed further processes and tools to foster global knowledge exchange and to strengthen local capabilities, such as having temporary delegations of colleagues supporting local teams in the emerging markets with their know-how and experience.

“Under the umbrella ‘Global technological guidance and support,’ Siegwerk offers dedicated technical support, consulting and training to customers anywhere in the world, including, for example, ink portfolio simplification, color management, on-site consulting as well as product safety and regulatory support,” Forker said.

In the emerging markets, Siegwerk will continue to invest in infrastructure.

“A prominent example is China,” Forker noted. “With an urbanization rate of around 53%, China has already become a significant market for packaging materials. As this trend continues, consumption will further expand. In order to adapt Siegwerk’s Center of Excellence in Shanghai for future growth, the company is investing in a new office and lab building. This new building will integrate all business units’ sales and technology functions, all labs plus the Global Innovation Network and the Global Sourcing Team under one roof.”

In terms of new products, Siegwerk focuses on the production and development of environmentally friendly inks, and its PSR (Product Safety & Regulatory Support) consulting services contribute to ensuring consumer protection and food safety. Siegwerk inks already contain renewable raw materials, and Siegwerk aims to constantly increase this share.

Siegwerk recently introduced a new generation of sustainable ink products based on hybrid technology, which completely fulfills customers’ requirements regarding sustainability and other quality aspects. This new UniRICS series is a water-based ink system with 10%-20% renewable raw materials for corrugated post print and preprint applications.

“To formulate this premium quality ink, a totally new polymer, a ‘hybrid’ of bio-monomers and ‘standard oil derivate’ acrylic monomers, is utilized,” Forker said. “To increase the renewable content of our ink even more, without losing performance or increasing costs, Siegwerk will further research this hybrid technology.”

Newly developed for label printing are special UV inks for LED curing. This unique achievement involved developing UV inks for the specific radiation spectrum of LED light, which fully cure despite low radiation energy and are equal to conventional UV inks when it comes to drying speed. Machine speeds of more than 300 feet per minute (100 meters per minute) are attained without any problem. Further benefits of UV printing with LED are low energy consumption, no need for ozone extraction and improved occupational safety.

For flexible packaging, Siegwerk developed a robust solution for high speed, high-density flexographic lamination inks. This nitrocellulose-based ink system is designed to perform under high speed printing surpassing 2,000 feet per minute (600 meters per minute) while continuing to provide strong color density and excellent bonding performance.

Another key area of expertise for Siegwerk is product safety. To help customers mitigate regulatory and food contamination risks, Siegwerk provides information on food safety regulations and brand owner requirements, gives practical guidance how to produce safe and compliant packaging solutions and offers related trainings. To proactively provide customers with 24/7 information and support, several web tools have been implemented, such as online support for frequently asked questions, technical and product safety data sheets for download as well as a worst case calculator.

Apart from the development of new environmentally friendly products, Siegwerk actively supports several initiatives for a better future, like the SAVE FOOD initiative, which fights against global food wastage. As part of the Innovationparc Packaging at the Interpack exhibition in Duesseldorf, Germany, Siegwerk presented its sustainability strategy, which was introduced in 2008, and how packaging contributes to avoid food waste, with safe packaging ink solutions playing a major role.