MNYPIA Panel Examines The Future of Printing Inks

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 10.09.09

Last year, the Metro New York Printing Ink Association (MNYPIA) held an impressive panel discussion on “The Future of Printing Inks.”

Last year’s ambitious session featured Len DiLeo of Kohl & Madden, Jamie Sutphin of Micro Inks, Steve Simpson of Superior Printing Ink and Ken Ferguson of Van Son Holland Ink, and it was successful in terms of both attendance and, more importantly, in generating thoughtful discussion.

There was much demand for another panel, and the MNYPIA obliged, hosting “The Future of Printing Inks” on Oct. 24 at Fraunces Tavern in New York, NY. More than 50 attendees came out to this historic place, the site of George Washington’s farewell message to his officers following the Revolutionary War,to hear the speakers’ views.

James E. Coleman, executive director of the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM), served as moderator of the panel, which focused on new opportunities in the marketplace.

“Tonight will undoubtedly help you by looking at the future of printing inks,” Mr. Coleman said. “Our business is driven by how our customers are impacted by the economy and how they react to new technologies. There are more than 200 ink companies in the U.S., and old companies are being replaced by newer companies. We are going to be talking about what is changing.”

First up was Jeannette S. Truncellito, director of packaging ink technology, Sun Chemical, who spoke on “The Future – Flexography.”

Ms. Truncellito first discussed the breakdown of the U.S. flexo marketplace, which she valued at $928 million, the vast majority of which ($845 million) is in packaging.

“The Flexographic Technical Association believes 70 percent of all packaging produced in the U.S. is printed by flexo,” Ms. Truncellito said. She spoke of the present forecasts of 4 percent growth for flexo inks, and said there are opportunities for flexo in segments such as fresh cut produce, pet food bags, beverage pouches, shrink sleeves and snack containers.

Ms. Truncellito predicted that new technologies in aqueous raw materials will provide better stability and runnability, and that UV/EB inks will also show substantial growth in the market. She also noted that solvent-based flexo is showing growth.

Next, William Witzel, director of product development, CDR Pigments and Dispersions, discussed “Optimizing Colloidal Liquid Ink Chemistry.”

Mr. Witzel discussed the importance of creating synergies in the labs, and the importance of scientific research.

“In order to get better on the liquid printing end, you have to understand the effects of bad housekeeping, pay attention to conditions, know press side additives and avoid shocking your systems,” Mr. Witzel said. “You have to study your systems scientifically.”

The most intriguing talk was given by William T. Hoagland, president and CEO, Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc.,a manufacturer of non-impact inks and commercial ink jet printing systems for the printing and packaging industry. Mr. Hoagland spoke on “Liquid Ink for Changing Technology,” a look at the tremendous growth in non-impact printing.

“I really believe this is one of the technologies of the future,” Mr. Hoagland said. “Change is part of what takes place in the industry. Many years ago, you would have said it was impossible to go from flat presses to eight, 10 and 12 station presses. Five years from now, 18 percent to 20 percent of the commercial marketplace willbe done by non-impact printing.

“These are the liquid inks of the future,” Mr. Hoagland said. “One of the big areas are non-flat surfaces such as golf balls, which used to be done by pad printing. We’re not going to compete with the 10 million piece gravure market, but, for example, billboards can be done in one and a half hours.”

He noted that a gallon of Hewlett Packard ink jet ink, packaged in 0.4 ounces, works out to $5,280.

Doug Meng, chief chemist, ITW-Holopak, closed the panel with “UV Curable Specialty Inks: Novel Applications.” Mr. Meng’s responsibilities include the development of novel inks, coatings and adhesives for the securities industry, and he discussed the opportunities for UV in security applications.

“Security inks are seen as a potential deterrent against counterfeiting,” Mr. Meng said. “A big advantage for UV is that it can be made crystal clear, which is ideal for overt and covert features.” Mr. Meng also noted that UV can adhere to specific substratesand have exceptional durability. In particular, Mr. Meng discussed pigment/dye combinations.

After the discussion finished, MNYPIA president Michael Brice thanked the panelists for their contributions.

“The panel did a great job,” said Mr. Brice, COO of Superior Printing Ink. “It’s a changing industry, and what’s really important is keeping up with our customers’ needs.”

For more information on the MNYPIA, call (914) 945-0709; fax (914) 923-8119 or visit the club’s web site at www.mnypia.org.