The U.S. Top 20

By Staff | 09.09.05

In spite of the continued economic challenges they are facing, some ink companies were able to find opportunities for growth in 2003.

Editor's Note: This is a modified version of Ink World's comprehensive U.S. Top 20 report. For the full report, please see our April 2003 issue.

Rank Company Rank Company
1 Sun Chemical 11 Van Son
2 Flint Ink 12 Micro Inks
3 INX International 13 Sericol
4 Color Converting 14 DuPont
5 SICPA 14 Sensient Technologies
6 Wikoff Color 16 Color Resolutions
7 Toyo Ink America 17 Braden Sutphin Ink
8 Superior 17 Environmental Inks
9 Central Ink 19 Handschy
10 Nazdar 20 Ink Systems

1. Sun Chemical Corporation

222 Bridge Plaza South
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Phone: (201) 224-4600
Fax: (201) 224-4392

Sales: Sun Chemical had sales in excess of $3 billion in printing inks and colorants worldwide.

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, toner, ink jet materials, adhesives for packaging, overprint varnishes, specialty coatings, effect inks, security inks and coatings, and organic colorants for inks, plastics, paints, coatings and cosmetics.

Key Personnel: Wes Lucas, chairman, president and CEO; and in alphabetical order:
Gary Andrezejewski, VP environmental affairs; Ronald Baker, president, US Ink; Brad Bergey, VP Canada and Mexico; Martin Cellérier, director of strategic planning, Europe; Mel Cox, SVP and general counsel; Cheryl Davis, VP people development; George Dunn, president, Kohl and Madden; Stuart Foster, VP manufacturing and supply, Colors; Bill Glass, VP business development; John Gowlett, VP group operations, Europe; Michael Griem, VP and group managing director, Europe; Dr. David Hill, SVP and CTO; Scott Jacobson, VP North America publication; Kreg Keesee, VP supply chain; Greg Lawson, VP Latin America; Brian Leen, VP and general manager, Performance Pigments; Rudi Lenz, SVP and CFO; Ed Lovas, VP and controller; Richard Martin, managing director, screen, Europe; John McKeown, SVP people services; David Meldram, SVP Europe; Felipe Mellado, VP marketing and technology, Europe; Chris Morrissey, VP marketing and customer tools; Michael Murphy, SVP North America; Charles Murray, VP and group managing director, Europe; Carlo Musso, group managing director, Europe; Greg Nelson, VP and CPO; Chris Parrilli, VP North America packaging; Richard Pettifor, VP and group managing director, Europe; Kevin Smith, VP Europe; Craig Tompkins, VP GPI manufacturing and engineering; Robert Walsh, SVP and COO, Colors Group.

From left, David Meldram, SVP and GM, Sun Chemical Europe Ink; Dr. David Hill, SVP and CTO; Michael Murphy, SVP and GM North America Ink; Wes Lucas, chairman, president and CEO; Mel Cox, VP, general counsel and secretary; Rudi Lenz, SVP and CFO; and John McKeown, SVP people services.

Number of Employees: Approximately 13,000 worldwide.

Operating Facilities: Through its many ink operations, Sun Chemical has more than 300 manufacturing and service locations worldwide.

Comments: 2002 was a time for change for Sun Chemical, as the company worked hard to prepare itself for the future by adding key people and strategic acquisitions, emphasizing the importance and value of ink, building on its Six Sigma foundation and developing a wide variety of new products.

“2002 was a year where much progress was achieved at Sun Chemical,” said Wes Lucas, chairman, president and CEO of Sun Chemical. “Sun Chemical made significant progress in building for the future with several new facilities, inventing a significant number of new products, successfully acquiring three new companies and making significant progress in integrating our past acquisitions. Recognizing that 2002 was a challenging year for the economy and industry overall, Sun Chemical has continued its investment in its future growth and ability to serve its customers.”

Highlights for 2002 included Mr. Lucas assuming the additional duties of chairman of Sun Chemical Corporation and Sun Chemical Group B.V., in addition to being president and CEO. Edward E. Barr retired at the end of 2002 as chairman of Sun Chemical. Mr. Barr, a 41-year veteran of Sun Chemical, had also served the company as president and CEO during significant growth, until 1997 when Henri Dyner succeeded him as president and CEO. During 2003, Mr. Barr will continue as a director of Kodak Polychrome Graphics, the company’s prepress joint venture with Eastman Kodak.

Sun Chemical made a number of key acquisitions, capability building and investments in the future. Sun Chemical’s acquisitions included AIC, a special effect pigments, additives and inks company based in Libourne, France; Bayer’s global high-performance organic pigment business, and France Chimie Experimentale, a fountain solution business.
“These acquisitions add technology and products that will greatly expand our capability to serve our customers, and the Bayer acquisition makes Sun Chemical a leading supplier of specialty pigments to the coatings and plastics industries,” Mr. Lucas said.
While 2002 was a challenging year, packaging and label printing were areas of growth. “The packaging market continued to grow in 2002 in spite of the current economic malaise,” said Mike Murphy, senior vice president, North America. “Some studies estimate its growth at 2.5 percent, with several packaging segments showing strength in 2002. For example, estimates Sun Chemical has seen indicate that label printing grew at a rate of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent last year. Stand-up pouches also continued to gain market share, although some of that growth might have been at the expense of other forms of packaging, such as folding carton.”

Ursula Stevens, vice president and general manager, Latin America, retired after 36 years but continues as an advisor to Sun Chemical. Greg Lawson, who joined Sun Chemical in July 2002, succeeds Ms. Stevens. He brings more than 20 years industry experience to his new position and will be based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

One way Sun Chemical is striving to move forward is by applying Six Sigma principles. “Productivity and Six Sigma are together one of our four key ‘initiatives’ which are being broadly executed across the company,” said Dr. David Hill, senior vice president and chief technology officer and “Champion” of Sun Chemical’s Six Sigma program. “This includes joint projects with third parties such as suppliers.”

The importance of providing value rather than putting the emphasis on price is reflected in the company’s new products.

“Overall, we are focusing on creating value for our customers,” said Mr. Lucas. “We believe that this is the most important role for Sun Chemical with regard to the ink industry. The key here is that the ink industry does not receive a fair share of the value that it creates for the printing industry. Ink is a specialty chemical, and it represents a very small percentage of the total cost to our customers – in most cases only about 2 percent to 6 percent. However, ink has a significant impact on the ability of our customers to sell to the end user.”

Sun Chemical has continued to attract world-class talent and the recent past was no exception. Among the new leaders joining Sun are Rudi Lenz, SVP and CFO, who was recently CFO at AlliedSignal Aerospace and Fairchild; Dr. Hill, SVP and CTO, who was recently president at both Huber and AlliedSignal’s Specialty Chemicals; John McKeown, SVP for people services, who recently headed Lucent Technologies’ global human resources; Greg Nelson, VP and chief procurement officer, who recently led Dow Chemical’s global purchasing with an $11 billion purchasing responsibility.

Also joining Sun Chemical in the past year are Bill Glass, VP for business development, who was recently at Fischer Scientific; and Kristine Shellum-Allenson, VP for internal audit, who recently led GE Aerospace’s audit function.

In addition, the company formed a performance pigment business led by Mr. Leen, a pigment manufacturing and supply division led by Stu Foster, a supply chain function led by Kreg Keesee, and its new digital business.

In addition to Mr. Barr and Ms. Stevens, a number of the longtime leaders who grew Sun Chemical to what it has become today retired during the past year, including Ken Collins, senior VP, corporate purchasing and supply chain management, who is retiring at the end of March, 2003 following 39 years at Sun Chemical; and Peter Ludwig, executive VP and GM, the Colors Group, who retired in April of 2002 after 40 years of service. Henri Dyner officially retired as president and CEO on April 1, 2002, but continues as an advisor to Sun Chemical.

The company’s leaders are confident that Sun Chemical is making the changes necessary for it to grow well into the future.

“Sun Chemical is well prepared to succeed in the challenging market in 2003, given that 2003 looks to be another challenging year for the graphics arts in general with a modest improvement in printing in 2003, forecasted at 2.2 percent growth, and a more solid year in 2004 with economic growth forecast at over 3.3 percent,” said Mr. Lenz, Sun Chemical’s CFO.

“With the leadership transitions at Sun Chemical, Sun is well prepared to succeed in 2003 and in the long run,” Mr. Lucas said. “The new team is made up of both long-time Sun leaders and new, world-class additions. “

“Sun Chemical is modernizing many of the business processes, systems and approaches to meet present and future challenges,” said Mr. Dyner.

“The Sun Chemical leadership team is building on the foundation of success from the past, and ensuring that the key characteristics that made Sun Chemical so successful in the past will continue,” Mr. Lucas said.

For more Sun Chemical Corporation information click here.

2. Flint Ink Corporation

4600 Arrowhead Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Phone: (734) 622-6000
Fax: (734) 622-6060

Sales: $1.4 billion.

Major Products: Flint Ink manufactures inks for flexo and gravure packaging, newspaper, directory, web offset heatset, commercial sheetfed, publication gravure, UV/EB and digital and conductive and other advanced applications.

H. Howard Flint II, left, chairman and CEO and Leonard D. (Dave) Frescoln, president and COO of Flint Ink Corporation.

Key Personnel: H. Howard Flint II, chairman and CEO; Leonard D. (Dave) Frescoln, president and COO; David B. Flint, executive VP; Bill Miller, president, Flint Ink North America; James J. Mahony, CEO, Flint-Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG; Dr. Helmut Schmidt, president, Flint-Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG; Damian Johnson, president, Flint Ink India/Pacific; Henry Leong, president, Flint Ink Asia; Jerko E. Rendic, president, Flint Ink Latin America; W. Rucker Wickline, president, CDR Pigments & Dispersions; Dr. Kenneth Stack, president, Jetrion, LLC; Dr. Joseph W. Raksis, senior VP, research and new product development; Michael J. Gannon, senior VP and CFO; Dr. Graham Battersby, VP, research and development; Glenn T. Autry, VP, human resources; Jack Benson, VP, materials management; Lawrence E. King, VP, general counsel and secretary; Kathryn P. Marx, VP, marketing and strategic planning; Donald Barnowski, VP and CIO; James A. Steel, VP and treasurer.

Number of Employees: 5,000 worldwide.

Operating Facilities: Flint Ink operates nearly 100 facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific.

Comments: 2002 was a difficult year for the printing ink industry, and Flint Ink faced the same challenges as everyone else. However, the company has made a number of important moves during 2002 that set it up for growth worldwide in the coming years.

“Although Flint Ink fared better than some as a result of earlier cost-cutting measures, results for 2002 were very much in line with the rest of the ink industry,” said Kathy Marx, vice president, marketing and strategic planning at Flint Ink.

“The U.S. has not seen the recovery we’d hoped for, and certain markets in the rest of the world have had their problems as well,” Ms. Marx said. “Economic and/or political crises in Argentina, Brazil and now Venezuela obviously had a big effect. Europe had some softening. Currency fluctuations played havoc last year. Asia was, and continues to be, a bright spot.”

Ms. Marx said that packaging remained the strongest segment.

“As in years past, the packaging segment was a strong area, along with energy curables, which are crossing several segments,” Ms. Marx said. “Of all of the business segments, packaging enjoyed the most activity. Even here, however, economic changes have brought consolidation to the industry. We’ve shifted our focus accordingly and look forward to continued – though conservative – growth in 2003.”

In a significant merger/acquisition of 2002, Flint Ink joined forces with Gebr. Schmidt Druckfarben GmbH of Germany. The new division, Flint-Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG, now holds the leading position in publication gravure in Europe.

“The merger/acquisition with Gebruder Schmidt greatly strengthened our position in Europe,” said Dave Frescoln, president and COO of Flint Ink. “The integration of the publication gravure and heatset manufacturing operations has gone smoothly. Customers have responded enthusiastically, recognizing that they are enjoying the best from two strong companies. Because there was minimal market overlap between the two, the merger has resulted in a smooth expansion of business for both sides, creating a single, stronger player in the European market.”

Flint Ink also made a major move in China as it begins a joint venture with four Beijing newspapers to build a news ink plant in the capital city. The company has broken ground and construction is on schedule for completion at the end of 2003.

The Asia/Pacific region has been a highlight for Flint Ink in 2002.

“The scope and complexity of Flint Ink’s business in the Asia/Pacific region have increased significantly in recent years,” Mr. Frescoln said. “This expansion, along with the size of the region, resulted in the decision to create two regional business units to focus resources more effectively to meet the challenges of such rapid growth. Australia, New Zealand and the Flint-Incowax joint venture in India now comprise Flint Ink India/Pacific, with Damian Johnson as president. The second unit, Flint Ink Asia, includes Southeast Asia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Korea, Japan and the joint ventures in China. Henry Leong is president of this unit.”

Another potentially significant area of growth for Flint Ink is its focus on ink jet and other advanced technologies.

“Earlier this year we announced the creation of Jetrion, LLC, a dedicated ink jet technology company that will provide a full range of industrial ink jet products, services, and custom printing solutions on a global basis,” Mr. Frescoln said. “Jetrion is led by Dr. Kenneth Stack, president, along with a senior management team with exceptional technical expertise in the digital arena coupled with a dedication to innovation. This team is committed to helping OEM manufacturers, printers and converters use digital technology to gain a competitive advantage. Jetrion is unique in that it combines ink, hardware, software and custom integration services for continuous ink jet (CIJ) and drop-on-demand (DOD).”

Flint Ink is also working on conductive inks. “There is a lot of interest and talk about using print-based solutions for security systems and simple electronics,” Ms. Marx said. “Some of the emphasis is on protection against counterfeiting, fraud, channel diversion, etc. (RFID antennae and smart cards).”

There have been a number of important personnel moves, beginning with Bill Miller being named president of Flint Ink North America. A veteran of the printing and ink industry, Mr. Miller was previously vice president and general manager of the company’s North America publication division.

Susan Kuchta, former vice president of sales for the publication division, was promoted to vice president and general manager with dual responsibility for both the publication and commercial divisions. Sean Mikaelian was named the new vice president and general manager of the North America packaging ink division. He had been vice president of sales for the division. Mike Green continues as vice president, general manager, for the news ink division.

Craig Foster was appointed vice president and general manager of global sourcing for CDR Pigments & Dispersions, responsible for sourcing of pigment products and related intermediate chemicals for all Flint Ink operating units worldwide. Jack Benson was promoted to vice president of corporate procurement, responsible for global coordination of raw materials other than pigments and capital equipment procurement activities.

Ms. Marx is optimistic that 2003 will bring growth to Flint Ink, although the U.S. economy and potential political problems worldwide could have a major impact.

“A lot will depend on the U.S. and world market economic recovery,” Ms. Marx said. “Additionally, other political situations may play a significant role. We are cautiously optimistic that our business strategies will allow us to gain new business in spite of the on-going economic downturn. Commitments to new regions and new technologies offer interesting and exciting possibilities for the future.”

3. INX International Ink Co.

651 Bonnie Lane
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: (847) 981-9399
Fax: (847) 981-9447

Sales: $300 million.

Major Products: A full line of ink solutions technology for packaging and commercial print applications, including metal decorating, flexographic, gravure, web offset, lamination, corrugated, sheetfed and UV/EB inks and coatings.

Joseph Cichon, senior VP, product and manufacturing technology at INX International.

Bryce Kristo, VP, finance and business development at INX International.

Key Personnel: Mitsuo Matsuzawa, chairman; Rick Clendenning, president; John Carlson, senior VP, general affairs administration; Joseph Cichon, senior VP, product and manufacturing technology; Charles Weinholzer, senior VP, liquid division; George Polasik, senior VP, offset; Ken O’Callaghan, senior VP, metal deco division; John Hrdlick, VP, distribution; Dave Waller, VP, UV; Bryce Kristo, VP, finance and business development; Jonathan Ellaby, VP, international division; Janet Beasley, VP, quality systems.

Number of Employees: Approximately 1,200.

Operating Facilities: Approximately 30 locations and 160 in-plants throughout North America. Also affiliated with Sakata INX, Osaka, Japan; CPS Corporation, Dunkirk, NY; Knight Color Montrose, MN and INX International Ink Co., Manchester, England.

Comments: INX International Ink Company had a solid year in 2002, and is well prepared for the years ahead due to its restructuring, new capital improvement plans and a variety of new products.

“We experienced modest improvement in volumes with a slight impact on overall revenue,” said Bryce Kristo, vice president of finance and business development. “However, continued efforts by all employees resulted in earnings that exceeded business plan expectations. Sales appeared to have reached bottom during the second quarter with volatility in the second half. Packaging applications showed stronger signs of recovery than commercial print.”

In particular, Mr. Kristo said that the packaging side remained strong for INX International.

“The packaging market was certainly less volatile than commercial print,” Mr. Kristo said. “Our strength in the beverage can market was one stabilizing factor. Although mature, the can business remains fairly steady. Other areas that showed growth included flexible packaging applications and coating sales. Finally, inroads at major commercial printers helped our heatset sales grow organically with new business.”

Working with customers to provide value is an essential part of INX International’s strategy.

“We saw a greater intensity for collaborative efforts that add value to our customer’s processes,” Mr. Kristo added. “With tough economic times, there is more pressure on delivering performance and lowering applied cost. Our resource base is structured to support such efforts, and by successfully doing so we can bring more value to the market and still maintain margins.”

Growth also occurred due to INX’s successful launches of a variety of new products, including its EcoPure HP Process sheetfed inks.

“We feel our new EcoPure HP Process Inks for sheetfed printing are the best in class and can significantly reduce makeready time because they stabilize quickly on press,” said Joseph Cichon, senior vice president, product and manufacturing technology at INX International.

To meet customers’ demand, INX International is expanding its manufacturing capabilities.

“We will continue to seek greater efficiencies through automation,” Mr. Kristo said. “Our engineering efforts have a series of investments that should improve manufacturing consistency and efficiency. We are excited about some new proprietary equipment that will improve our processes coming on stream in the second quarter. Topping the list of major investments is a new state-of-the-art facility in Charlotte, NC that will be capable of producing top quality metal decorating ink for decades to come.”

In other highlights, INX International formed an alliance to co-develop products and services for the roll label market with Nazdar.

The company promoted four key people to vice president in 2002. Janet Beasley (quality systems), Mark Hill (liquid ink technical director – film), Joseph Kelly (liquid ink technical director – paper) and Susan Supergan (human resources).

“Since our restructuring in 2000, we have steadily improved as an organization and feel that 2003 will be another year of achievement,” Mr. Kristo said. “The experience gained from past efforts and the recession has strengthened our company’s culture, bringing us closer together with greater focus. We are eager to accept the market challenges of better performance and more collaboration. Our expectation is that 2003 will prove to be another step up in company performance. Our projections about economic turn around are guarded, but we are comfortable that even without a strong rise in demand we will continue to thrive and meet the expectations of our customers. This is a testament to the strength of our loyal customers, employees, suppliers and stockholders.”

4. Color Converting Industries

3535 SW 56th St.
P.O. Box 4926
Des Moines, IA 53026-4926
Phone: (515) 471-2100
Fax: (515) 471-2202

Sales: $112 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Water-based and solvent-based liquid inks for flexographic and gravure packaging printing; overprint varnishes; energy-cured inks and overprint varnishes.

Ron Barry, chairman of Color Converting Industries.

Dan McDowell, president of Color Converting Industries.

Key Personnel: Ron Barry, chairman; Dan McDowell, president; Randy Walter, director of finance; Kent Shah, vice president of technology; Jim Ross, vice president of sales and service; Shannon Barry Sheehy, director of business development and marketing; Dave Cox, technical director.

Number of Employees: 315.

Operating Facilities: Des Moines, IA (2); Brooklyn Center, MN; Neenah, WI; Spartanburg, SC; Versailles, IN; San Antonio, TX; Hazleton, PA.

Comments: For so many years, Ron Barry, chairman of Color Converting Industries (CCI), has been a voice calling for the ink industry to promote the value of ink rather than compete on price alone. Each year, CCI continues to grow, serving as a testament to Mr. Barry’s beliefs.

2002 was no different for CCI. In a year in which most major ink companies saw sales remain flat, Mr. Barry’s company grew 13 percent, with double-digit gains across all water- and solvent-based packaging lines. Mr. Barry attributes that growth to the increasing sophistication of printers.

“The year 2002 was a very good year for Color Converting in a number of ways,” Mr. Barry said. “I believe the single most important accomplishment of 2002 was a dramatic change in how our customers have validated the concept of looking beyond price per pound to measure the true economics of their ink and related services relationships.

“I believe this change is the result of a combination of two important factors,” Mr. Barry said. “First, our ability to accurately gather and then appropriately format the critical data that measures actual productivity increases that are directly related to specific ink systems along with our point-of-use services. Secondly, the growing sophistication of the equipment and operating procedures in today’s modern pressrooms also produce important data that when combined with the data from our proprietary inkroom and pressroom software programs takes the emotion and guesswork out of economic evaluations. Smart users now have the tools to know when a low cost ink is actually costing them money, and conversely when an ink system or service offering does not deliver a value in line with its costs.”

One key to the company’s success was its decision to build an $18 million state-of-the-art headquarters and manufacturing facility in Des Moines, IA in 1999. A key investment for 2003 will be adding new production lines to its highly-automated manufacturing facilities.

New products are another key to CCI’s growth.

“A major highlight of 2002 was the marketplace’s tremendous reception to our new SEALTECH laminating ink system,” Mr. Barry said.

CCI opened a new facility in Hazleton, PA in 2001, and that has allowed the company to make further inroads in the mid-Atlantic region.

Growth is not limited to the U.S.; Mr. Barry said that CCI is exploring worldwide opportunities.

“As the world continues to evolve into a more global marketplace, we have worked to establish relationships with all components of the packaging industry supply chain,” Mr. Barry said. “We are especially pleased with our recent successes in Southeast Asia.”

Mr. Barry is optimistic that 2003 will be another excellent year for CCI.

“We remain bullish on the packaging ink business,” Mr. Barry said. “Regardless of how world events play out, we feel extremely fortunate to be in a segment of the economy that offers technology, raw materials and services to a packaging industry that serves the somewhat recession-resistant consumer, food and medical markets as well as industrial and other segments that may be more affected by economic cycles.”

For more Color Converting Industries information click here.

5. SICPA Management S.A.

Security Division
SICPA Securink Corporation
8000 Research Way
Springfield, VA 22153
Phone: (703) 455-8050
Fax: (703) 450-2423

Commercial Division
SICPA North America Inc.
715 Boone Ave. North
Brooklyn Park, MN 5428
Phone: (763) 535-7600
Fax: (763) 535-9034

Total Sales: $110 million (Ink World estimate).

SICPA Securink Corporation

Sales: $60 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Security and conventional inks for intaglio, offset, screen, flexo and gravure security printing applications.

Key Personnel: James Bonhivert, CEO and president; Tom Jay, VP of sales and marketing; Tom Classick, technical director.

Number of Employees: Approximately 100.

Operating Facilities: Springfield, VA; Chicago, IL and Fort Worth, TX.

Comments: SICPA Securink Corporation is a North American subsidiary of SICPA Management S.A. The Switzerland-based printing ink manufacturer primarily known as the international leader in security inks for currency, with worldwide revenues of $685 million (1.1 billion CHF). SICPA supplies the majority of the inks that are used in printing currency and other secure documents worldwide.

In the U.S., SICPA Securink Corporation, headquartered in Springfield, VA is clearly the largest supplier of inks to the federal government. With the heightened threat of terrorism, providing high-tech inks for currency, passports, checks and other critical documents is the most challenging segment of the industry.

In order to thwart counterfeiters, SICPA has developed a wide variety of unique inks that are extremely difficult to replicate. Because of the need to stay ahead of counterfeiters, SICPA Securink and its parent company put tremendous resources into R&D and technical support, and have developed a variety of customized innovations and alliances with high-tech suppliers through the years.

SICPA North America Inc.

Sales: $50 million. (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Conventional and specialty inks for labels, plastic cards, packaging and carton, including flexo, gravure, narrow web, wide web, water-based, UV flexo, UV letterpress, UV rotary screen, UV offset and solvent-based flexo and gravure.

Peter Mulheran, SICPA North America’s president and CEO.

SICPA Securink Corporation’s headquarters in Springfield, VA.

Key Personnel: Peter Mulheran, president and CEO; Tom Socha, VP, business development, packaging; Steve Abbott, VP, business development, specialty packaging; Dave Miller, VP, business development, labels and plastic cards.

Number of Employees: 142.

Operating Facilities: Minneapolis, MN; Richmond, VA; Prescott, ONT; Cincinnati, OH; Toronto, ONT; Norristown, PA; Vacaville, CA, and Montreal, QUE.

Comments: Despite the state of the economy, SICPA North America continued to make gains in the labels, plastic cards, packaging and carton gravure markets in 2002. In particular, the company’s emphasis on the label industry, complete with a variety of new products, has begun to pay off.

“2002 overall was a good year for us, with good sales performance, especially on the labels side,” said Ed Dedman, market development manager for SICPA North America. “2002 was our ‘coming out’ year in North America, again especially for the labels division, with an excellent presence at last year’s Labelexpo.”

Mr. Dedman said that 2003 offers SICPA numerous opportunities.

“It will be a challenging year, as we have set some aggressive growth goals, but we are well-positioned to achieve them,” Mr. Dedman said. “Overall, the market remains very tight, but our challenge is to find the right ways to harvest the opportunities we face.”

6. Wikoff Color Corporation

1886 Merritt Road
Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: (803) 548-2210
Fax: (803) 548-5728

Sales: $81 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Water-based flexo, sheetfed and web offset inks, energy-curable inks and coatings, overprint varnish and aqueous coatings.

Phil Lambert, president and CEO of Wikoff Color Corporation

Key Personnel: Phil L. Lambert, president and CEO; Daryl Collins, VP of national sales and regional operations; Don Duncan, director of R&D; Ron Zavodny, director of purchasing.

Number of Employees: 480.

Operating Facilities: 31 manufacturing plants throughout 20 states in the U.S. and two Canadian provinces. Headquarters and research and development facilities are located in Fort Mill, SC. Wikoff Color also has 36 in-plants.

Comments: Wikoff Color had a mixed year in 2002, as sales of commercial sheetfed inks were down but new segments such as UV flexo are on the rise.

“It was not the best of years,” said Phil L. Lambert, president and CEO of Wikoff Color. “Our sales were flat and as you would expect when sales are flat, profit was down.”

However, the company’s 2000 investment in its expanded energy curing lab and production facilities continues to pay off for Wikoff Color.

“Our biggest decline was in sheetfed commercial printing, but most other areas were up,” Mr. Lambert continued. “Energy curable products are going pretty well for us, and UV flexo has been particularly encouraging. Our biggest gains were in our flexo sales, and our folding carton ink sales were up across the board.”

Mr. Lambert said that 2003 remains uncertain. “Everybody’s pretty hopeful that 2003 will be better, but we are not seeing any trends,” he said. “We see some encouragement, but then business backs off. Some areas are moving forward but it’s a rocky road.”

In order to improve its efficiency and eliminate waste, Wikoff Color has been utilizing Lean principles.

On a sad note, Fred C. Wikoff Jr., who founded Wikoff Color Corporation in 1956, died Jan. 28, 2003. He is fondly remembered as a man who stressed the importance of individuals to the company, and backed up his views by making Wikoff Color the largest employee-owned company in the ink industry.

7. Toyo Ink International, Inc.

910 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
Phone: (800) 227-7040
Fax: (201) 569-2455

Toyo Ink America, LLC

710 Belden Ave.
Addison, IL 60101
Phone: (630) 930-5100
Fax: (630) 628-1759

Sales: $71 million in printing inks.

Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks; UV and EB inks; conventional and UV waterless offset; solvent- and water-based gravure inks; digital inks; toners; and ink jet inks. Toyo Ink America LLC manufactures offset inks, while LioChem, Inc., Conyers, GA, manufactures liquid inks, colorants and adhesives.

Key Personnel: Hiro Sakai, president, Toyo Ink International; Tak O’Haru, president, James F. MacNeill, VP, finance; Kees Riphagen, VP, marketing and sales, Toyo Ink America; Osamu Sato, president, Terry Hall, director of manufacturing, William Bonny, CFO, Hudson Moody, marketing and sales manager, LioChem; Yuki Abe, president, Toyo Colors America.

Number of Employees: 150.

Operating Facilities: Englewood Cliffs, NJ; Addison, IL; Kennesaw, GA; Conyers, GA; Cypress, CA; Clifton, NJ.

Comments: While 2002 was a flat year for sales growth for Toyo Ink America, the company has seen some new opportunities emerge, primarily from new product introductions and its marketing agreement with Sanchez, S.A. de C.V. in Mexico.

“The whole year was fairly flat,” said Tak O’Haru, president of Toyo Ink America. “The impression I get from our customers and distributors is that the market declined more than 5 percent. Fortunately we made new gains in our stronger areas that practically offset our sales losses in heatset, and we also added in-plant operations.”

In an important move, Toyo Ink America signed a strategic distribution agreement with Sanchez, S.A. de C.V. in Mexico in 2002. Under the agreement, Sanchez will market and distribute Toyo Ink brand offset and liquid products in the Mexican marketplace.

“Sanchez is the top ink manufacturer in Mexico and has a long history of success,” Mr. O’Haru said. “We truly respect their reputation and their tremendous business capabilities.”

In 2001, Toyo Ink America moved to new 50,000 square foot headquarters in Addison, IL. In addition to expanding its manufacturing and R&D capabilities, the move allowed the company to move closer to its customer base.

In addition to its corporate R&D headquarters in Japan, Toyo Ink America has R&D labs in Chicago for offset and Atlanta for liquid inks, and the company is developing new technologies, such as UV flexo for film packaging, EB flexo for label and business forms and dry offset. In particular, the company’s new HyUnity conventional sheetfed ink offers some strong possibilities.


8. Superior Printing Ink

70 Bethune Street
New York, NY 10014-1768
Phone: (212) 741-3600
Fax: (212) 633-8283

Sales: $70 million.

Major Products: Sheetfed, UV, waterless, heatset web offset, flexo and gravure inks, coatings and varnishes.

Harvey Brice, left, managing director and Michael Brice, president and COO of Superior Printing Ink.

Key Personnel: Jeffrey I. Simons, chairman and CEO; Harvey R. Brice, managing director; Michael R. Brice, president and COO; Stan Hittman, executive VP; Harold Rubin, senior VP, CFO; James LaRocca, senior VP, branch operations; Sal Moscuzza, senior VP, principal ink technologist; Stephen Simpson, senior VP, chief technical officer.

Number of Employees: 430.

Operating Facilities: 23 branches and 29 in-plant facilities. The company operates three facilities through its Gotham Ink operations and owns Covar, a varnish manufacturer. Spinks Ink Co. is also a subsidiary.

Comments: 2002 was a slight improvement over 2001 in terms of sales for Superior Printing Ink. This is an important year for the company’s future as Michael Brice was named president of the company, heralding the fourth generation of family members to lead the 84-year-old company.

Michael Brice had been the company’s COO since 2000, and he will retain that position as well. He succeeds his father, Harvey Brice, who will now take on the new role of managing director, with Jeffrey Simons retaining his role as chairman and CEO.

“I am excited about the next generation taking over the company,” Harvey Brice said. “We’re in it for the long haul. Michael has a handle on where we are going, and he has a great senior team. Jeff and I feel that Michael’s and his team’s efforts have made this direction possible, and as president, Michael will enhance our team’s efforts.”

“I am thrilled to be working with Jeff and Harvey, and I have a fantastic team to work with,” said Michael Brice.

As for 2002, Superior Printing Ink saw an upswing in sales at the end of the year, particularly in the Midwest, but the company remains cautiously optimistic about 2003.

“We saw an increase in sales during the last half of 2002, and we thought we were coming out of the downturn but sales are still relatively slow,” said Harvey Brice. “Our UV and hybrid inks gained well and we saw some gains among our commercial customers. However, the increases haven’t been significant in the last two months, and because of global and national uncertainties, advertising and printing are starting to hold back.”

In 2003, Superior Printing Ink is planning an expansion on the company’s central manufacturing facilities (CMF) in Hamden, CT.

“We’ve acquired the building next to our CMF and plan to build a full-service warehouse and distribution center, which will allow us to improve our level of service to our customers,” Michael Brice said. “We need to invest in our infrastructure for the long-term, and this will be an investment in our future.”

The company puts a major emphasis on quality and service, and its R&D department has come up with a number of new products that are doing well in the marketplace.

Harvey Brice said that Superior is also developing new services for customers. “We’re not just an ink company anymore,” he said. “We can also provide environmental, financial and manufacturing services for our customers.”

The company is introducing its new web site, which will have Intranet and Extranet capabilities.

With all of the work that has been done and the plans the company is making for the future, Harvey Brice believes that there are plenty of opportunities for Superior.

“It’s an exciting time for us,” Harvey Brice said. “We can excel and be ready when the economy turns around. Everybody has a reserved feeling due to the uncertainty of what is going on. We hope that 2003 will be better than 2002, but there are too many ifs. If the ifs work out, confidence will resume, and that will help the ink industry and us.”

“We are very confident on where we are going as a company,” Michael Brice said. “Our company has embarked on a five-year plan as a foundation for our future. Everybody on our team will know their role and how it impacts Superior Printing Ink.”

For more Superior Printing Ink information click here.

9. Central Ink Corporation

1100 N. Harvester Road
West Chicago, IL 60185
Phone: (630) 231-6500
Fax: (630) 231-6554

Sales: $68 million.

Major Products: Web offset heatset, coldset, sheetfed and UV/EB inks; some blanket sales .

Richard Breen, left, owner and CEO, and Jack Ackerman, president of Central Ink Corporation.

Key Personnel: Richard Breen, owner and CEO; Jack Ackerman, president; Jeff Ryder, vice president, corporate development; Chris Locke, CFO; Gregg Dahleen, vice president of sales and marketing; Doug Anderson, technical director, web offset; Nick Komoroski, technical director, sheetfed; Brian Kats, technical director, energy curable.

Number of Employees: 177.

Operating Facilities: West Chicago, IL; Minneapolis, MN; Milwaukee, WI; Carlisle, PA; Cleveland, OH.

Comments: To say that Central Ink had a landmark year in 2002 is an understatement. It was a year of tremendous change at the company, one in which CEO Richard Breen summed up by saying, “We have had more things happen to us in the last 10 months than we have in the past 10 years.”

To begin with, Mr. Breen, the founder of the company, brought on Jack Ackerman, the founder of Patriot Printing Ink, to become president and to assist with leadership. By hiring Mr. Ackerman, Mr. Breen has accomplished two goals. First, he has put to rest questions about the survival of the company should Mr. Breen retire, and second, Mr. Breen and Mr. Ackerman have initiated a massive expansion in the company’s personnel and product lines.

For years, Mr. Breen, who is 73, has had customers tell him about rumors that he was about to retire. “Everybody knew my age and rumors persisted,” Mr. Breen said.

“When I joined here it sent a clear message about where the company is going and our succession plan,” Mr. Ackerman said. Mr. Ackerman went on to say that it also puts to rest the rumors that Central Ink is being acquired or financially supported by any other ink manufacturer.

Central Ink is also sending a message as to where its focus is going to be. A longtime leader in heatset, Central Ink is now making a major push in the sheetfed and energy-cured markets.

To accomplish this, the company has added more than 60 new employees, including Brian Kats and Nick Komoroski as technical directors and Ron Schultz to head its print diagnostics team.

“Sheetfed is now a major emphasis for us,” Mr. Breen said. “We’re restructuring ourselves to become a national company and dramatically increase our sales.”

Broadening its product lines is a case of good timing for Central Ink, as the company increased its volume of ink sold last year but saw sales decline $5 million to $68 million due to slumping prices in the industry.

“We saw the full effect of price erosion from 2001,” Mr. Ackerman said. “Our volumes were up, although our sales were down.”

10. Nazdar

8501 Hedge Lane Road
Shawnee, KS 66227-3290
Phone: (913) 422-1888
Fax: (913) 422-2296

Sales: $65 million (and more than $100 million in ink sales, equipment and supplies, estimated).

Major Products: Screen printing inks including conventional, UV, water-based, textile and digital inks.

Key Personnel: J. Jeffrey Thrall, CEO; Mike Fox, president; Richard Bowles, VP of marketing; Mike McGowan, VP and technical director; Peter Walsh, VP of sales; and Jim Davidson, VP of operations; John Simonson, VP of distribution.

Operating Facilities: Sixteen in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Comments: 2002 was a difficult year for many major ink companies, but Nazdar’s efforts at developing efficiencies as well as new products paid off for the company.

“Considering the state of the economy, we fared very, very well from a revenue standpoint, and from a profitability standpoint we did exceedingly well due to cost containment and more efficient running of our operation,” said Richard Bowles, Nazdar’s vice president of marketing. “There was a pickup in sales during the last half of the year, and our international efforts are going well. We restructured our organization for how we handle distribution, achieved some economies and leveraged some of our previous acquisitions, and we came out of 2002 an even healthier company.”

In 2002, Nazdar formed an alliance with INX International Ink Co. to co-develop products and services for the roll label market. Mr. Bowles said that the alliance is benefiting the customers and the two principals.

In a personnel matter, Harold Johnston, Nazdar’s vice president of product development, retired in 2002.

Mr. Bowles said that Nazdar anticipates a strong year in 2003, particularly if the economy picks up.

“We’re optimistic about 2003,” Mr. Bowles said. “We plan to continue to grow our marketshare and reach into new markets and into other countries. We compete in a market that is tied to advertising and the economy, and if the economy takes a turn for the better, we will make our targeted goals much easier.”

For more Nazdar information click here.

11. Van Son Holland Ink Corporation of America

92 Union Street
Mineola, NY 11501
Phone: (516) 294-8811
Fax: (516) 294-8608

Sales: $64 million.

Major Products: Conventional offset and waterless offset, flexo, duplicator and ink jet inks.

Robert Speijer, left, president of Van Son Holland Ink Corporation of America, and Joe Bendowski, president of Royal Van Son.

Key Personnel: Robert Speijer, president; Ken Ferguson, technical director; Robert Langer, VP of finance; John Sammis, general sales manager, U.S.; Dan Storto, general manager, Chicago.

Number of Employees: 120.

Operating Facilities: Three locations, including headquarters and manufacturing in Mineola, NY, and offices in Chicago and Los Angeles.

Comments: 2002 was an active year for Van Son Holland Ink, with a new alliance with Pitman and other key developments. However, perhaps most noteworthy was the announcement that Joe Bendowski, president of the company since 1994, is phasing out of the ink side.

Robert Speijer, formerly a commercial director of a major European paint manufacturer, has succeeded Mr. Bendowski, who will remain with the company as president of Royal Van Son.

“It’s quite a step to move to the U.S.,” Mr. Speijer said. “There are so many opportunities.”

In recent years, Van Son has shifted its focus away from its previous strengths in duplicator and small offset markets because of declining opportunities in order to concentrate on possibilities in mid- to large sheetfed, digital and flexo. That move helped the company maintain its level of sales in 2002 in an otherwise difficult year.

“We heard good things but we didn’t see it,” Mr. Bendowski said. “We’re a product of our customers, and our customers are hurting. There’s no denying the technology of small offset is being replaced, and the small duplicator is a declining market.”

“We are mainly concentrating on mid- to large print shops which is our biggest challenge,” Mr. Speijer said. “Traditionally in the U.S., our biggest market was small offset print shops, and we are working to promote our products.”

On the mid- and large commercial sheetfed side, the alliance between Van Son Holland Ink and Pitman Company, a leading independent North American graphic arts supplier, provides Van Son with the opportunity to broaden its market reach through the addition of a national distribution partner for its Quickson Series.

Under the agreement, Pitman will market Van Son inks, while Van Son will support and complement Pitman’s U.S. ink blending and mixing facilities.

Mr. Bendowski said that the company’s flexo division, which started in 2001 and is centered in Chicago, offers growth opportunities, particularly in envelope, label and small packaging. Meanwhile, on the digital side, the company is focusing its efforts on OEM agreements.

12. Micro Inks Corporation

Woodfield Corporate Center
425 Martingale Rd., 11th Floor
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: (847) 969-1800
Fax: (847) 969-6900

Sales: $60 million.

Major Products: Heatset, coldset, sheetfed, news, publication gravure, UV/EB; process colors and Pantone colors; flush pigments for heatset and sheetfed inks; alkali blue flush including pourable, pumpable and dry, both red and green shades and extra red shade; UV/EB flushes; ketonic and phenolic resins.

From left, Ron Douglass, vice president – sales and marketing – direct sales division; Frank Moravec, president and CEO; Coumara Radja, vice president – corporate affairs of Micro Inks Corporation.

Key Personnel: Frank Moravec, president and CEO; Coumara Radja, vice president – corporate affairs; Ron Douglass, vice president – sales and marketing – direct sales division; Vimal Mehra, director – sheetfed division; Ramesh Mulani, general manager – manufacturing and projects; Zainul Lakdawala, director of technology; Dhaval Nanavati, general manager – planning, coordination and logistics.

Number of Employees: 171.

Operating Facilities: Corporate office in Schaumburg, IL; technical and manufacturing center in Kankakee, IL.

Comments: While most ink companies supplying the publication printing market had a difficult year in 2002, Micro Inks Corporation, a subsidiary of Gujarat, India-based Hindustan Inks and Resins Ltd., had spectacular results in its second year.

“2002 was excellent,” said Frank Moravec, Micro Inks’ president and CEO. “In a down economy, we grew our sales 85 percent. We made excellent penetration into major publication printers. We felt that focusing on the heatset market was the answer, and it has paid off. We’ve had to earn our stripes, and now some of our customers have become our best salesmen.”

“There has been good word of mouth about Micro Inks which is the result of many things we consistently do that add value for our customers,” said Coumara Radja, vice president – corporate affairs. “The sound fundamentals of our parent company and the business model at Micro Inks are helping us succeed. However, we have to keep proving ourselves to gain business.”

There have been countless rumors about the future of Micro Inks, the most recent a false report involving BASF. Mr. Moravec said the Bilakhia family, owners of Hindustan Inks and Resins, has told him the company is not for sale.

“Instead of selling, we are expanding capacity,” Mr. Moravec said. “We’ve erected a new facility in India, Vapi 3, a single stream plant which has production capacity of 600 million pounds of heatset inks and bases annually. In Kankakee, we are installing 80,0000 pound vessels for heatset production. We will also be building a publication gravure plant by the end of 2003.”

Micro Inks is ISO certified and is active in Six Sigma. The company is also installing SAP R3 for ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning).

Hindustan Inks and Resins manufactures pigments, resins and additives in India, and supplies the raw materials to Micro Inks, which Mr. Moravec said has been instrumental in Micro Inks’ success.

Mr. Moravec said that Micro Inks should continue to have tremendous growth in the coming years.

“In my view, the print outlook isn’t good yet, but we are still in a market share growth pattern, and will enter into other market segments in the future,” Mr. Moravec said. “Our sheetfed product has run well to date and our trials of UV/EB product have proven to be successful.”

13. Sericol, Inc.

1101 W. Cambridge Circle Drive
Kansas City, KS 66110
Phone: (913) 342-4060
Fax: (913) 342-4752

U.S. Sales: $50 million (estimated).

Major Products: Screen, UV, digital and solvent-based inks.

Ed Carhart, CEO of Sericol International.

Key Personnel: Ed Carhart, CEO of Sericol International; Mitch Bode, senior VP; Chris Lomas, vice president of sales; Terry Amerine, digital business development manager.

Number of Employees: 198.

Operating Facilities: Nine.

Comments: As digital technologies make headway into the more traditional printing markets, ink companies have had to decide whether to enter the rapidly growing digital market.

For Sericol, a market leader in screen inks among other segments, there was a realization early on that ink jet technologies would make gains at the expense of some screen segments, but that there was also the potential for digital to enhance screen printing businesses. As a result of this opportunity, Sericol made significant strategic investments in people, partnership development and other resources to develop its digital offering, and that decision is paying off.

To that end, Sericol became the exclusive worldwide distributor of the Eagle 44 flatbed digital press manufactured by Inca Digital Printers, Ltd. of Cambridge, England. The Eagle 44 was specifically designed to use Sericol’s Uvijet four-color UV inks which cure instantly but remain stable in the print head.

“Our digital project has been a great success,” said Ed Carhart, Sericol’s CEO. “While we still believe strongly in the screen market, digital will continue to take share at the low run length end of the business. We’re realistic about the factors that limit screen’s growth as well as the pure opportunity digital provides our customers. For continued long term growth for our customers and our own business, we have invested heavily in digital technology.”

“We are finding that our digital platform is filling a niche, and many screen printers are finding it is enhancing their business,” said Mitch Bode, Sericol’s senior vice president. “Printers realize they have to have multiple technologies in house to best serve their customers’ demanding delivery, quality and price point needs. The Inca provides a cost effective solution for run lengths of one to 100 pieces. When screen printers can keep this kind of job in house, it gives them another revenue and profit stream.”

Mr. Bode said that Sericol’s Uvijet inks are doing exceedingly well. “Uvijet is a UV curable pigmented ink jet ink which has immediate cure, excellent adhesion range, as well as lightfastness and durability without over laminates,” Mr. Bode said.

This year, Sericol will be introducing the Columbia large format printer into the market. It is 63 inches by 120 inches and it should start being installed in the U.S. this summer.

Sericol continues to innovate in its screen market as well, and its new UVantage inks provide a single screen ink solution for many point-of-purchase (POP) applications.

2002 was a landmark year for Sericol, as the company’s management team, in conjunction with Saratoga Partners, signed an agreement with BP plc to acquire Sericol on Dec. 31, 2002 for approximately $115 million. The deal was closed on Jan. 31. Saratoga Partners, a leading independent New York-based firm, is the majority shareholder in the new company, while management has a significant minority interest.

Sericol’s existing management team, led by Mr. Carhart, will remain with the company and is participating in the transaction.

Mr. Carhart said that the Sericol saw improvement in 2002 after a difficult 2001. He expects a stronger year in 2003.

“We’re seeing the U.S. market as relatively soft right now, and expect it to stay that way and until there is resolution in the Middle East,” Mr. Carhart said. “Still, we’re upbeat on 2003, with the gains likely to start late in the second quarter.”

14. DuPont Performance Coatings

P.O. Box 80030
Wilmington, DE 19880
Phone: (302) 992-4264
Fax: (302) 892-5609

Sales: $50 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Digital inks.

Key Personnel: Edward J. Donnelly, group vice president, DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies; Richard J. Baird, global director, Kathleen Hall, sales and marketing director; David Deters, technology director; Brad Peiper, global sales and service manager.

Number of Employees: More than 200 worldwide.

Key Locations: Worldwide operations; in the U.S., R&D facilities in Wilmington, DE and Philadelphia, PA; manufacturing plants in Iowa, New York and Pennsylvania. Customer service and warehousing in Asia, Europe and North America.

Comments: DuPont Ink Jet, with its OEM base including Hewlett Packard, Encad and other major printers, remains a leading ink jet ink manufacturer in the desktop printer, wide format and textile markets.

In the wide format market, DuPont Ink Jet introduced its DuPont Fusion inks. DuPont will now market DuPont Fusion inks through a worldwide distributor network to wide format printers who currently use the Encad Novajet 500, 600, 700 and 800 Series printers. The company has manufactured inks for the wide format printing industry, including inks sold under the Encad Go ink brand since 1996. These pigment inks are available in the primary colors, dilutions and Octochrome colors.

“Until now, DuPont has been a silent leader in ink chemistries and innovative technologies for wide format printing,” said Kathleen Hall, DuPont Ink Jet sales and marketing director. “Many Encad Novajet printer users should realize they may have been using DuPont formulated and manufactured inks for their wide format business for years. Now, by purchasing DuPont Fusion inks, they will be able to continue using their existing printer profiles.”

In 2002, DuPont Ink Jet partnered its DuPont Artistri water-based ink jet ink technology for digital textile printing with the Ichinose Toshin Kogyo Co. Ltd. Ichinose 2020. Together, they comprise the first fully-integrated, production-capable digital textile printing solution for the apparel industry. The four popular ink chemistries – acid dye, reactive dye, disperse dye and pigment – will all be available for the 2020 printer.

DuPont Electronic Technologies launched its Polymeric Thick Film (PTF) ink technology as a solution for screen printing antenna onto Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) “smart” labels. The polymeric inks are based on silver conductive particles, and can be screen-printed and cured on different types of films and substrates, including polyester and PVC.

In personnel news, DuPont Ink Jet has named Brad Peiper global sales and service manager.

14. Sensient Technologies

777 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 271-6755
Fax: (414) 347-4794

Sales: $50 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Ink jet inks.

Key Personnel: Kenneth P. Manning, chairman, president and CEO; Richard Carney, VP - human resources; Steven O. Cordier, VP – administration; Richard F. Hobbs, VP, CFO and treasurer; Dr. Ho-Seung Yang, VP, technologies; John R. Mudd, president – color; Lance E. Solter, VP, manufacturing – color.

Number of Employees: 4,000 at Sensient Technologies.

Operating Facilities: St. Louis, MO; Escondido, CA; Elmwood Park, NJ; Morges, Switzerland.

Comments: In November 2000, Sensient Technologies Corporation was formed from Universal Foods Corporation, and quickly became a leader in industries related to colors, flavors and fragrances.

Among its initial subsidiaries were Tricon Colors and Warner-Jenkinson, and the company added Formulabs, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kimberly Clark Printing Technology, in November 2001.

Sensient and its subsidiary, Formulabs, formulate dye, pigment, aqueous, solvent- and oil-based ink jet inks for thermal and piezo head technologies that are used in applications ranging from desktop printers and textiles to wide format industrial and commercial applications. It is the primary supplier to a color ink jet printing leader, and the company is moving out into other areas.

In 2002, Sensient Technologies acquired ECS Specialty Inks and Dyes, a Morges, Switzerland-based producer and marketer of inks for specialty printing applications. The business reported revenues of approximately $12 million in 2001.

16. Color Resolutions International LLC

630 Glendale-Milford Road
Cincinnati, OH 45245
Phone: (513) 782-6300
Fax: (513) 782-6326

Sales: $48 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Water-based flexo, solvent-based gravure, UV curable and specialty inks for the packaging market.

Key Personnel: George Sickinger, chairman, CEO and president; Tom Paquette, CFO; John Edelbrock, VP of manufacturing; Paul Fulton, VP of products and services; Joe Schlinkert, director of technology; Jim Distler, VP of specialty products; Dave Barker, VP of northern regional operations and Hixon Boyd, VP of southern regional operations.

Number of Employees: 161.

Operating Facilities: Manufacturing plant in Cincinnati, OH, and 19 blending sites.

Comments: In 2000, the management team of Borden Chemical’s printing ink division gathered the necessary financing to acquire the division from the parent company and form their own ink company, Color Resolutions International (CRI).

Today, CRI remains a major success story. CRI is the second-largest manufacturer of inks for the corrugated industry, and the company continues to grow rapidly through new products and quality.

“2002 was a better year for us than 2001, which was also a very good year,” said George Sickinger, chairman, CEO and president of Color Resolutions International. “We had growth in both sales and income, and it has been strictly through new business as the larger integrateds are not having great years.”

The big news for CRI in 2003 will be its new headquarters and automated manufacturing plant, which will be located in Fairfield, OH, about 15 minutes away from its present location.

“We’ve got a spot picked out and we will break ground in April,” Mr. Sickinger said. “We should be in our new building by Nov. 1, and we’re really excited about it. Our address will be on Quality Boulevard, which seems perfectly appropriate for us.”

Color Resolutions continues to re-invest its resources into R&D, and that is paying dividends for the company.

“We do more product development in our niche than anyone, and we’ve come up with products that perform tremendously on press,” Mr. Sickinger said.

Another area that Mr. Sickinger has emphasized since CRI’s founding is the importance of having a fair incentive plan, and in 2002, the company added more to its compensation packages.

For more Color Resolutions International LLC information click here.

17. Braden Sutphin Ink Co.

3650 E. 93rd St.
Cleveland, OH 44105
Phone: (216) 271-2300
Fax: (216) 271-0515

Sales: $43 million.

Major Products: Sheetfed offset, web heatset and non-heatset, waterless, duplicator, soy inks, UV curable offset and water-based flexo and gravure.

From left, Braden Sutphin’s Jim Leitch, Ray Stoney, Cal Sutphin, Gail Viecelli, Tim Leitch and Cal Sutphin Jr.

Key Personnel: Ted Zelek, chairman; Jim Leitch, CEO; Cal Sutphin, president; Diego Perez-Stable, controller; Byron Hahn, technical director; John Ritzic, technical service manager; Ray Loomis, national sales and marketing manager; Tim Hennessey, Cleveland plant manager; Dan Martin, Carlisle, OH plant manager; Brent Forsythe, manager of human resources; Ann Knaack, general manager, flexo division.

Number of Employees: 253.

Operating Facilities: 12 including Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Baltimore-Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh, PA; Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Carlisle, OH; Buffalo, NY; Newark, NJ; Richmond, VA; Sacramento, CA and Milwaukee, WI.

Comments: In an otherwise difficult year for the ink industry, Braden Sutphin was able to grow its sales by emphasizing value and quality.

“We finished up ever so slightly from 2001,” said Jim Leitch, Braden Sutphin’s CEO. “2002 started fairly strong, hit some definite flat spots, then the last quarter was busier. In 2002, we strove to maintain our sales and technical levels while being conservative in not bringing out too many new things. We wanted to get even better at what we do because of the economy.”

Braden Sutphin’s mainstays are web heatset and sheetfed. The company did well in those segments, and new developments are fueling some of the company’s growth.

“Our web heatset products continue to be some of the best in the industry in terms of both quality and value, and in sheeted, we have continued to show improvements in our four-color sheetfed sales during the past several years,” Mr. Leitch said. “Our inks have continually evolved, with our sheetfed inks handling faster press speeds and the desire from printers to have stay-open inks. We have also worked on developing lithographic water-only inks.”

Braden Sutphin also made a move on the sheetfed market by acquiring Inco, a family-owned sheetfed ink specialist located in Cleveland, OH.

Mr. Leitch said that the progress Braden Sutphin has made in flexo has been solid, and he expects growth to continue.

Cal Sutphin, Braden Sutphin’s president, received the Ault Award, the National Association of Printing ink Manufacturers’ (NAPIM) highest honor, in 2002. Mr. Sutphin, who joined Braden Sutphin in 1960, was honored for his extraordinary leadership within his company and the industry. During 2002, Mr. Sutphin also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Printing Industries of America’s affiliate in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Leitch said that he is not optimistic that 2003 will start much better than 2002.

“I’ve not seen anything or heard anyone in the printing industry say the economy is going to be turned around in the near future,” Mr. Leitch said. “I think it will be status quo for at least the first six months of 2003.”

17. Environmental Inks & Coatings

1 Quality Products Road
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: (828) 433-1922
Fax: (828) 438-9513

Sales: $43 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Water-based flexo, gravure, UV flexo, UV rotary screen and UV letterpress inks and overprint varnishes.

Edward G. Redman, president and CEO of Environmental Inks and Coatings.
Key Personnel: Edward G. Redman, president and CEO; Gary Nance, COO and CFO; Richard J. Gloeckler, senior vice president and sales manager; Don Matthiesen, marketing manager; Kirk Franklin, technical director.

Number of Employees: 230.

Operating Facilities: Morganton, NC; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Dallas, TX; Ontario, CA; Worcester, MA; Sneek, Holland.

Comments: While Environmental Inks and Coatings (EIC) had a slightly down year in 2002 due to the continued economic downturn, there were many bright spots as the company gained market share in key segments and saw an increase in sales as the year came to a close.

“The national economic slowdown, which continued for most of 2002, resulted in sales that were slightly lower than 2001,” said Don Matthiesen, marketing manager for EIC. “EIC instituted several productivity programs in 2001 and continued in 2002, resulting in operational efficiencies and enhanced customer satisfaction. EIC gained market share in key printing markets; flexible film packaging, film labels, heat shrink labels and UV flexo.”

In 2002, the company opened a new facility in Fox Valley, WI that has worked out well for EIC.

In 2001, EIC constructed a major manufacturing facility in Sneek, Holland, which allows EIC to bring its expertise in water-based and UV inks and coatings directly to the European market. Mr. Matthiesen said the early returns are excellent.

“The Sneek factory is fully operational and meeting the needs of printers on the continent and also exporting inks to Africa and Asia,” he said.

EIC’s highly regarded R&D department came up with a variety of new products for 2002, led by the UltraFlex III UV flexo inks.

“Ultra Flex III continues to be very well received,” Mr. Matthiesen said. “The productivity gains realized from the UV flexo process are driving the market into printing in other than ‘high end’ applications. When used in combination with screen printing technologies, printers can increase press speeds with no compromise in quality.”

The company also collaborated on the new Pantone flexo color guide developed by the Flexographic Trade School (FTS). The guide is the first comprehensive Pantone color guide for flexo printers in decades.

The company has seen a turnaround in the later stages of 2002, particularly in UV flexo and combination printing, which gives EIC cause for optimism.

“EIC has experienced sales growth since December 2002,” Mr. Matthiesen said. “Each month improves in sales activity. In addition to better overall economic conditions, several large customers are coming on board. As a result, we see a return to growth in 2003.

“EIC sees a bright future based upon the successes in the hottest printing markets,” Mr. Matthiesen added. “UV flexo and combination printing, along with the water-based printing of film packaging, film labels and heat shrink labels, all have great prospects in 2003. Ink exports to Latin America, Mexico and China will grow along with their flexo printing capabilities and their drive for superior quality results.”

For more Environmental Inks & Coatings information click here.

19. Handschy Industries

120 25th Avenue
Bellwood,IL 60104
Phone: (708)547-9400
Fax: (708) 547-4774

Sales: $41 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Full line of sheetfed products including waterless; web offset heatset and coldset; water-based flexo and coatings; gravure inks; UV and EB inks; magnetic inks; varnishes and alkyds.

Key Personnel: Jim Shaw, president; Mike Rasmussen, executive vice president; John Copeland and Lidia Barger, product development managers.

Number of Employees: 160.

Operating Facilities: Four including Riverdale Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary outside Chicago that manufactures liquid inks and varnishes. Other locations include Bellwood, Indianapolis and Milwaukee, and 19 in-plants.

Comments: In a difficult business climate, Handschy Industries found that its sales increased in 2002, propelled largely by new products.

“Our business was up in 2002,” said Jim Shaw, Handschy Industries’ president. “During the second half of the year, we saw our business grow. There were not as many gaps in business. We did pick up some new business, and a number of our customers showed some forward growth.”

Handschy has emphasized R&D efforts in a new line of products, and that effort is paying off.

“We are continuing to grow in areas where we are focusing on,” said Mr. Shaw. “In particular, we really saw some good growth in the energy curable area. We continue to come up with new products on the water-based side, and are seeing significant growth in that area.”

Hybrid inks are an area that Handschy Industries has also targeted for growth.

The company’s efforts in R&D and customer service are critical to the company’s success in the future.

“We have two product development labs, one focusing on the paste side and the other on liquid,” said John Copeland, Handschy Industries’ technical director. “What we do the best is service our clients, and they can clearly see that by providing better color matches and better assistance on technology, they are happy to do business.”

2003 remains a question in light of the events in the world. “We are not isolated from the world, but we have some optimism,” Mr. Shaw said. “I am concerned about gas prices going up to $2 a gallon and what that will do to our petrochemical-based products.”

“I think we will have a good year, but to do so we will have to play at the top of our game,” Mr. Copeland said. “It makes us a better company.”

20. Ink Systems, Inc.

2311 South Eastern Ave.
Commerce, CA 90040
Phone: (323) 720-4000
Fax: (323) 721-6000

Sales: $38 million

Major Products: Heatset, sheetfed and UV inks.

Key Personnel: Urban S. Hirsch III, ex-president; John Jilek, president; Tim Van Scoy, VP of sales and marketing; Peter Notti, another VP.

Number of Employees: 240.

Operating Facilities: Commerce, CA; Elk Grove Village, IL; Portland, OR; and 28 in-plant facilities.

Comments: A small company can hold its own even in difficult times if it has found a niche that it can call its own. For Ink Systems, Inc., top-quality in-plant operations utilizing the company’s custom-designed ink systems and its own proprietary software are its specialty, and the company continues to keep pace in that marketplace.

“We can grow even in tougher times,” said Urban S. Hirsch III, founder and ex-president of Ink Systems. “A little company can add a new account or two and do well, which is harder for a large company.”

In 2002, Ink Systems further grew into its new 50,000 square foot Commerce, CA headquarters, which has state-of-the-art labs and production facilities.

The company is also showing strength in the Midwest, where its 20,000 square foot Elk Grove Village, IL manufacturing and service facility is headquartered., The Illinois facility is also the home for Ink Solutions, LLC, the company’s new high-performance varnish and vehicle plant, which Ink Systems utilizes to create customized products for its inks.