Print 01 Overshadowed by Tragedy, Economy

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 09.06.05

Even before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, Print 01 was a disappointment for most ink companies.

Even prior to the horrifying tragedies Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and outside of Pittsburgh, PA, where hijackers crashed commercial planes, Print 01 was already thought of as a disappointment in the minds of most exhibitors.

In the aftermath of the destruction of September 11, the show quickly was overshadowed, as exhibitors looked for ways to head home, airports shut down and rental cars became scarce. What few people who were in attendance at McCormick Place on Tuesday wondered why the show was even running that day. Xerox, its second-largest exhibitor, shut down its operations on the bottom floor; other companies closed up their booths and headed home. Many of the companies that did stay maintained small staffs.

Even before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, The Print 01 floor was nowhere near as crowded as originally hoped.

The reality was that the show was probably destined for problems early on. The euphoria of last year’s Drupa and its heralding of digital technologies was not to be repeated, as such advancements are not an annual occurrence.

Print 01 could best be characterized as heralding incremental change, rather than revolutionary shifts as seen in Drupa. Many attendees said they felt that the Print 01 floor had pretty much the same equipment as last year.

Exhibitors were also concerned about the attendance figures for Print 01. Everywhere one headed, stories of printers cutting back their attendance in terms of people and time spent in Chicago were discussed, as the downturn in the economy took its toll on travel.

Preliminary attendance data provided by the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC), Print 01’s organizer, showed that total attendance at the show was about 66,300. Initial estimates much earlier in the year had hoped for the show to have 100,000 attendees. Approximately 2,000 hotel rooms reserved specifically for the show for nights after Sept. 11 were never occupied.

“Prior to Sept. 11, in spite of the weak economy, Print 01 was attracting good attendance, and exhibitors reported steady and serious buying activity across all product types and sizes,” said GASC president Regis J. Delmontagne. “After the terrorist attack, the thoughts of everyone at McCormick Place naturally turned to concern for our families and colleagues nationwide and for our country.”

Within the ink industry itself, not much was heard in terms of encouraging words, as the number of attendees was down significantly. Still, there were key people in attendance.

“We’re doing pretty well at Print 01, but it’s been a light turnout at the show so far, which is typical of conventions this year,” said Michael Murphy, senior vice president and general manager, ink operations at Sun Chemical.

“I was concerned because of the economy, but we have had a lot of traffic,” said Kathy Marx, vice president and strategic planning at Flint Ink. “All of our demonstrations have been fully attended. There’s been a tremendous increase in international inquiries since 1997.”

“It’s OK in terms of the quality of people who are attending, but there’s a sheer lack of people,” said Joe Bendowski, president of Van Son Holland Ink.

“I think the number of people here was disappointing, but the people who did come are here for a reason and are looking for something specific,” said Alex Stevenson, vice president of sales and operations with Zeller+Gmelin and head of its ink operations.

“We’ve been fairly busy. It’s not a bad level, but it’s not as well attended as one might have expected,” said Winfried Gleue, president of Hostmann Steinberg. “It’s only been a year since Drupa, and it’s difficult to have a show right after it.”

“It’s not as busy as we had hoped, but the quality of the leads is very good,” said Nick Rink, product manager for graphic arts at MD-Both Industries.


Major Developments
There were some major announcements by printing ink companies at Print 01.

For Graphic Sciences, Print 01 provided an opportunity to introduce its new Graphic Digital Division, which will be led by Dr. Wang. A separate manufacturing facility will be set up near the company’s Portland, OR headquarters.

Henri Dyner, left, Sun Chemical’s chief executive officer, and Wes Lucas, Sun Chemical’s newly appointed president, took some time to see what was new at Print 01.

“It’s been a good show for Graphic Sciences,” said Grant Wishart, director of corporate services. “We’ve gotten a lot of traffic regarding digital inks. Some OEMs want us to supply their inks, and we have distributors who are also interested in carrying our inks.”

Sun Chemical was active at Print 01, beginning with its announcement that Sun Chemical and Eltromat, a designer and manufacturer of press control systems, have established a global marketing alliance in the area of on-press color management systems.

As part of the agreement, Eltromat will purchase the business and assets of Colour Valid Group Limited, of which Sun is majority shareholder.

The two companies have entered into a global product marketing agreement, under which Sun Chemical and Eltromat will market, on an exclusive basis, AccuColour systems and other Eltromat color measurement systems. Sun Chemical also will market the full range of Eltromat products on a non-exclusive basis.

“This is a great step forward for printers, as they will be able to accurately measure color on the press,” said Chris Morrissey, Sun Chemical GPI’s vice president of marketing and sales.

Van Son has also been active in recent months. “We’ve introduced our flexo ink program,” said Mr. Bendowski of Van Son Holland Ink. “Water-based flexo is growing in double digits in the U.S., and we’ve set up a division in Chicago. We’ve also developed an ink jet proofer that perfectly produces what an offset press makes. We’re getting a good response to it.”

As part of its new partnership agreement with MAN Roland, Flint Ink was also on hand at MAN Roland’s exhibit. “We’re very proud to b associated with a company as fine as MAN Roland,” Ms. Marx said. “This allows us to work more closely to create new products for our customers.”

Hybrid inks also made their mark at Print 01. “Hybrid inks certainly have had a big impact at Print 01,” said Tony Bean, manager, energy curable inks for Sun Chemical Corporation. “We think the show will really open it up for hybrid inks. There’s a lot of interest among press manufacturers; Mitsubishi, Komori, KBA and Heidelberg are all running our Hy-Bryte ink.”


New Products
Ink companies unveiled some new products that portend opportunities for the future.

In particular, attendees had much interest in the SFI Single Fluid Inks that Flint Ink introduced at Drupa last year.

“The focus this year will be sheetfed,” said Diane Watt, director of marketing at Flint Ink. “We gained a lot of knowledge during our first testing, and we’re currently doing metric-based beta testing. We’ll keep raising the bar. We still consider this a concept technology, but we feel we’re getting much closer.”

Ms. Marx said that Flint Ink also introduced its Matrix UV system, with proprietary resin technology, as well as the Optimiser Dispenser, a new private label dispensing system that can be attached to sheetfed presses.

INX International introduced InxFresh, a new sheetfed ink that stays open on the press.

INX International had a major presence at Print 01.

Kustom Group introduced its JustWater technology at Print 01, which was selected as a “must see” technology by the show’s organizers. This varnish technology allows litho printing without using fountain solutions.

Sun Chemical introduced UltraPET, a new solvent-based gravure laminating ink for high performance on treated polyester films; Lam 485, a high quality, nitrocellulose-blended ink; Hy-Bryte MAX hybrid inks for sheetfed and web offset; and Aquatint, for tinting white stock.

Micro Inks introduced its newest products and discussed its plans for the future at Print 01.

“We will be introducing our UV inks in the middle of September, and our EB inks in the middle of October,” said Vimal Mehra, director, sales, sheetfed inks at Micro Inks. Mr. Mehra added that Micro Inks anticipates having publication gravure inks ready for the marketplace by the end of October, with packaging inks ready by the end of the year. “Micro Inks will be in the full range of printing inks by the end of the year,” said Mr. Mehra.

Mr. Rink said that MD-Both’s Mirasheen inks drew much attention from attendees. “It’s the first vacuum-metalized aluminum that is leafing instead of non-leafing,” Mr. Rink said. “This allows the aluminum to rise to the top of the ink, which provides better brilliance. It is ideally suited for the folding carton and label markets where it can be used as a replacement for foil stamping and metallic substrates.”

Eckart America introduced Thermo Star, its new line of thermochromic inks for offset, UV offset and UV flexo to Print 01. “This our first major push in thermochromics in the U.S.,” said Bharat Adhia, president and chief operating officer at Eckart America.

Eckart also brought Top Star, press-ready metallic offset inks, and Ultra Star, its press-ready metallic inks for foil- and mirror-like effects for flexo and gravure.

“Top Star and Ultra Star are based on high performance pigments and provide a level of brilliance not previously attainable,” Mr. Adhia said.

Zeller+Gmelin introduced a wide range of ink at Print 01. The 21 Series is for high-speed web; the 22 Series for direct mail on high-speed web; the 23 Series is for web and sheetfed commercial paper; and the 25 Series is for sheetfed plastics. “The show is our platform to introduce Zeller+Gmelin’s UV products to customers in new markets,” said Damon Geer, director of sales and branch facilities in North America for Zeller+Gmelin.

Hostmann-Steinberg introduced a number of new products, including its

Alpha Duplicator Black 8 RB 27681-SV and a full range of mixing colors for duplicators; Hosta-Cure Hybrid Inks Y 25083; UV Ink UE 7000; and Coatable Cover Heatset Ink H 1829.

DayGlo introduced its new Genuine Encad cartridges combined with DayGlo fluorescent inks, which are enhanced by fluorescent dyes for brighter and bolder color than conventional inks. The inks also deliver black light UV response.

“This is the first time that Encad has put their seal of approval on a third party’s inks,” said Mark Wright, marketing manager, Day-Glo Color Corporation “We’ve developed a process set of inks jet for wide format and desktop that expands the color gamut up to 30 percent.”

Among the exhibitors attending print 01 were , clockwise from top left, Joe Bendowski of Van Son Holland Ink; Mike Hazen, Leonard Walle, Diane Watt and Mike Giffin of Flint Ink; Dan Balton, Benny Leviner and Grant Wishart of Graphic Sciences; Damon Geer, Andreas Mahlich, Stephen Lazure and Alex Stevenson of Zeller+Gmelin; and Vivy DaCosta and Winfried Gleue of Hostmann-Steinberg.
Among the companies on hand for Print 01 were, clockwise from top left, EM Industries; DayGlo Color Corporation; Eckart America; Stork GSE Dispensing; and MD-Both Industries.