While most trade shows have suffered in attendance during the past few years, the European Coatings Show (ECS) has continued to grow. ECS 2003 was no exception, as 16,229 attendees from 85 countries gathered for the three-day exhibition and conferences in Nuremberg, Germany, an increase of more than 9 percent from 2001’s attendance of 14,866.
This attendance increase came despite the war in Iraq and the fear of SARS. Organizers reported that less than half of the attendees came from Germany, and that this year’s attendance saw particular gains from Central and Eastern Europe. The number of exhibitors to 646 in 2003, up from 626 in 2001.
For printing ink manufacturers, ECS 2003 was an essential gathering, as ECS organizers estimated that more that 2,000 ink company people came to the show and the educational programs.
Ink Makers' Forum
For ink manufacturers and suppliers alike, the Ink Makers’ Forum, 2nd European Congress on Printing Inks, was a highlight, as approximately 70 attendees enjoyed insightful presentations delivered by leading ink executives, consultants, raw material suppliers and equipment manufacturers.
Peter Koivula, Akzo Nobel Inks’ president and chief executive and chairman of the European Printing Ink Group of CEPE, gave the keynote address on “Printing Ink – The Driver of Mankind’s Welfare? The European Printing Inks Market.” Mr. Koivula discussed the various printing markets, and then concluded with a message on the role of ink in the community.
“As the printing ink industry has grown to an important part of the chemical industry, we all have a responsibility to perform in a way that is beneficial for the community we live in and also to protect the environment for the coming generations,” Mr. Koivula said.
Dr. Martin Kanert of the Verband der Druckfarbenindustrei im Verband der Mineralfarbenindustrie e.V., followed Mr. Koivula with his discussion on the “Future EU Controls on Chemicals: Impact on the Printing Ink Industry.” Philip Hall, Eastman Chemical, Kirby Technical Centre, closed the opening session with his discussion, “Development of Digital Business Solutions to Service the Inks & Coatings Industry.”
Francis Bergiers of UCB Surface Specialties led off Technical Session I: High Performance Backbones: Resins and Vehicles, with “Key Parameters for High Quality UV Liquid Inks.” He was followed by “Multifunctional Photoinitiators (MFPI’s) – A New Concept, by R. Stephen Davidson of Citifluor Ltd. Dr. Paul Honen of NeoResins gave “New Developments in Water- and Solvent Borne Ink Resins for Packaging Film Laminates,” and “The Development of a Scratch Resistant Pad-Printable Ink for Application onto Plastic” was delivered by Dr. Loes Bouwamp-Wijnoltz of the Philips Center for Industrial Technology.
Technical Session II: Novelties in Ink Making: Production and Testing Technology featured “Optimised Resins for Lithographic Inks with Good Flow, Gloss, Misting and Setting Behavior” by Kazuo Igarashi, Buhler K.K.; “Effective Wet Grinding of Temperature Sensitive UV Offset and Screen Printing Pastes” by Gerhard Kolb of Netzsch-Feinmahltechnik GmbH; “Dynamic Fingerprint of Inks Using Surface Tension Measurement” by Victor Janule of Chem-Dyne Research; and “Rheology of Printing Inks: Is It Worth It to Measure Viscoelasticity?” by Thomas Mezger of Physica Messtechnik GmbH.
Technical Session III: Innovation on the Small Scale: Additives, featured talks on “Rheological Additive Selection for Printing Ink Applications” by Sel Avci of Elementis Specialties; “New Generation Gemini Surfactants in Graphic Arts Applications” by Wim Peter Stout, Air Products and Chemicals; “Image Permanence of Ink Jet Prints” by Dr. Stephane Biry of Ciba Specialty Chemicals; “Defoamers and Deaerators for Water-Based and Radiation-Curing Printing Inks and Varnishes: Special Requirements, Differences, Possibilities and Limitations” by Frank Kleistenberg of Tego Chemie Service GmbH; “New Drier and Anti-Skin Solutions for Printing Inks” by Franjo Gol, Borchers GmbH; and “Micronized PTFE in Printing Inks – A Technology Review” by Joon Choo of Shamrock Technologies.
The forum closed with Technical Session IV: Colourful Research: Pigments and Dyes. The talks were “Microreactor Approach for Ink Jet Colorants” by Dr. Hans-Tobias Macholdt of Clariant GmbH; “A New Way to Manufacture Pearlescent Special Effect Liquid- and UV-Curable Printing Inks” by Dr. Klaus-Christina Ullmann of Merck KGaA; “Mirror Effect Inks as an Alternative to Metallised Substrates and Foil Blocking” by Dr. Jorg Seubert of Eckart GmbH & Co. KG; “High Throughput Screening of Pigment Dispersions” by Dr. Peter Erk of BASF AG; and “High Flexibility to Colouring UV Inks with New Pigment Preparations” by Dr. Harald Boner, Clariant GmbH.