The 2004 U.S Top 20

By Staff | 09.30.05

While some ink manufacturers found 2003 to be another challenging year, some ink companies were able to generate strong growth. Meanwhile, the economic gains made in the fourth quarter of 2003 have ink companies optimistic about 2004.

Rank Company Rank Company
1 Sun Chemical 12 Nazdar
2 Flint Ink 12 Superior Printing Ink
3 INX International 14 Van Son
4 Color Converting 15 Sericol
5 SICPA 16 Sensient Technologies
6 DuPont Ink Jet 17 Color Resolutions
7 Toyo Ink America 18 Ink Systems
8 Wikoff Color 19 Environmental Inks
9 Markem Corporation 20 Braden Sutphin Ink
10 Central Ink Corporation 20 Handschy
11 Micro Inks    

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.
Wes Lucas, Sun Chemical’s chairman, president and CEO.
Michael Murphy, Sun Chemical’s senior vice president and president, North American Inks.

Key Personnel: Wes Lucas, chairman, president and CEO; and in alphabetical order:
Gary Andrezejewski, VP environmental affairs; Ronald Baker, president, US Ink; Brad Bergey, president, Kohl & Madden; Scott Carcillo, CIO; Martin Cellérier, director of strategic planning, Europe; Laura Cory, president, Sun Chemical Digital Imaging; Mel Cox, SVP and general counsel; Cheryl Davis, VP people development; Stuart Foster, VP manufacturing and supply, Colors Group International; Bill Glass, VP and general manager, Vivitek; John Gowlett, VP group operations, Europe; Michael Greim, VP and group managing director, Europe; Dr. David Hill, SVP and CTO; Greg Lawson, VP and general manager Latin America, Brian Leen, VP and general manager, Performance Pigments Group; Rudi Lenz, SVP and CFO; Mark Levin, VP, North American publication inks; Ed Lovas, VP and controller; Richard Martin, managing director, Coates Screen and Electrographics; John McKeown, SVP people services; David Meldram, SVP and president European Inks; Felipe Mellado, VP marketing and technology, Europe; Chris Morrissey, VP corporate marketing; Michael Murphy, SVP and president, North American Inks; Charles Murray, VP and group managing director, Europe; Charles Musso, group managing director, Europe; Greg Nelson, VP global procurement and supply chain; Chris Parrilli, VP North American packaging inks; Richard Pettifor, VP and group managing director, Sun Chemical Europe; Brad Schrader, VP strategy and business development; Kevin Smith, VP and group managing director, Sun Chemical Europe; Craig Tompkins, VP manufacturing and engineering; Robert Walsh, SVP and COO, Colors Group.

Number of Employees: Approximately 12,500 worldwide.

Operating Facilities: Through its various ink operations, the Sun Chemical Group has more than 300 manufacturing and service locations worldwide and more than 215 customer in-plant locations in the U.S. alone.

Comments: 2003 was a challenging year for the entire graphic arts industry.

Nonetheless, Wes Lucas, chairman, president and CEO of Sun Chemical, reports that 2003 was a successful year in which the company furthered its growth strategy by providing value-added services and total solutions for its customers.

In North America, Sun Chemical continued its program of improving efficiency and expanding its Six Sigma efforts. Meanwhile, recent reorganizations have more closely aligned Sun Chemical strategic business units with customer market segments to focus its research, manufacturing and sales activities.

Sun Chemical reports sales in nearly every country around the globe, serving multinational publishers and converters as well as local printers. It has the most extensive network of ink and pigment manufacturing and sales in the world. With its breadth of products and coverage, it is the industry’s most global supplier. According to Mr. Lucas, this extensive network positions Sun Chemical well as the printing industry has become more global.

“For multinational customers, we can provide one face globally to the customers regardless of where they are in the world,” Mr. Lucas said. “At the same time, Sun Chemical offers local service to printers in virtually any market as the print demand shifts based on worldwide economic conditions.”

Among the highlights for Sun Chemical this past year was its formation of a strategic marketing alliance with Inksure to provide authentication solutions to prevent counterfeiting and diversion losses under the brand name of Sunsure. Early in 2004, Sun Chemical also formed a partnership with Inca Digital Printers to develop a high-speed ink jet system that allows full-color, high-quality printing in a single pass for the sheetfed corrugated market. Sun Chemical also launched Vivitek, a North American distributor of printing consumables and print-related services.

Early in 2003, Sun Chemical completed its acquisition of Bayer Polymers LLC’s high performance organic pigment business, located in Bushy Park, SC. The business is a leading supplier of high performance organic pigments used in coatings for automotive, industrial and architectural applications and for coloring plastics and fibers. With this acquisition, Sun Chemical is the largest supplier of pigments and a leading supplier to the high performance markets.

In July 2003, Sun Chemical opened a new world-class ink manufacturing facility in Marki, Poland, near Warsaw, which strengthens its position as a leader in the emerging Eastern European market. Sun Chemical also began a $7.2 million expansion of its manufacturing facility and laboratories in its St. Charles, IL, plant, which has been home to Sun Chemical’s Coates Screen division since 1995. In this facility, the company plans to combine the operations of its Chicago-area Clearing plant, as well as Kohl & Madden’s facility in Elk Grove Village, IL. Also, Sun Graphics, part of the Sun Chemical Group, opened a state-of-the-art graphic design center and flexo plate manufacturing facility in Antioch, CA.

In addition to the St. Charles facility, Sun Chemical will continue to consolidate operations in certain local markets to improve its efficiency, according to Michael Murphy, president, North American Inks.

“The integration of these operations will result in improved capacity utilization and enhanced productivity,” said Mr. Murphy.

In addition, Sun Chemical continues to develop proprietary new products that help both the colorants and printing industries meet their evolving needs. These include the opening of a WetFlex EC demonstration center at the Daniel J. Carlick Research Center in Carlstadt, NJ to highlight this unique energy curable ink system designed for wet trapping on Common Impression presses.

For packaging, Sun Chemical introduced Spectrum gravure inks and Fidelity flexo inks for shrink sleeves; Clearmax antifog coatings to prevent moisture build-up on food packaging; RotoPure and RotoPure Ultra high-performance inks for laminated packaging; Advantage pH stable inks for paper packaging and Everest Hi-Tone for high-end process colors on paper packaging.

Dr. David Hill, Sun Chemical’s senior vice president and CTO.

In addition, the company introduced SQUIB (Sun Quality in a Box), a quality improvement program for European newspapers. Coates Screen USA, a division of Sun Chemical, announced a line of UV ink systems that utilize new technology to improve processes for and meet the stringent demands of automotive and appliance manufacturers. Kohl & Madden launched its Eliminator ink system, which does not require alcohol substitutes in the etch. US Ink introduced Spectra High-Strength Black and Spectra Max Black. These high-strength inks complement US Ink’s color ink series, giving coldset customers important performance options.

In the past year, there have been a number of key appointments at Sun Chemical. Mark Levin was named corporate vice president of North American publication inks, where he will be the general manager and leader for the North American business. A key focus is direct sales of inks and coatings to the publication market, which includes primarily heatset and gravure web printers. Mr. Levin joined Sun Chemical from press manufacturer Heidelberg Web Systems, where he most recently was senior vice president, sales.

Brad Bergey was named president, Kohl & Madden, a leader in the North American sheetfed printing industry. Mr. Bergey, who has been with Sun Chemical nearly 26 years, most recently as vice president for Canada and Mexico, takes over for George Dunn, who recently retired after serving Sun Chemical with distinction for 23 years.

Laura Cory is the new president of Sun Chemical Digital Imaging. Ms. Cory will lead Sun Chemical’s digital business, with responsibility for increasing Sun Chemical’s market position in toners, ink jet ink and pigment dispersions. She was formerly general manager, strategy and emerging solutions, for Hewlett Packard within its Enterprise Solutions business.

Greg Nelson joined the senior leadership team as vice president, global procurement and supply chain. He is responsible for leading the company’s strategic sourcing and procurement. Mr. Nelson was previously the purchasing leader of Dow Chemical, which had $30 billion in sales.

Brad Schrader was named vice president, strategy and business development. In this role, Mr. Schrader is responsible for leading the strategic planning process and business development, which includes mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and new business opportunities. Most recently, he was president of Easy Link Services Corporation, a NASDAQ listed provider of information exchange services.

Greg Nelson, Sun Chemical’s vice president, global procurement
and supply chain.

Scott Carcillo was appointed chief information officer. Mr. Carcillo is responsible for Sun Chemical’s global IT function, with a focus on creating world-class IT capabilities. He joins Sun Chemical with experience at General Electric, Andersen Consulting and Booz Allen & Hamilton. He came to Sun Chemical from Digex, Inc., which hosts enterprise applications for businesses worldwide.

Sun Chemical has made a strong commitment to the use of Six Sigma as a means of transforming the business into a company known for excellence in all it does, said Dr. David Hill, senior vice president and chief technology officer. In 2003, Dr. Hill said that Sun Chemical provided some level of Six Sigma training to virtually all its employees, while developing a cadre of highly trained master black belts, black belts and green belts who are working with business units around the globe to identify savings and growth opportunities that can be achieved through Six Sigma’s methodical approach.

“With the recent training, Sun Chemical is changing its orientation to take advantage of the improved execution Six Sigma can help us achieve. We expect to see substantial results in 2004, well beyond the beneficial results we’ve already seen in the last two years,” Dr. Hill said.

Sun Chemical’s strategy for 2004 and beyond is to further grow its leading position in inks for packaging, publication and commercial printing as well as in pigment applications, according to Mr. Lucas. The company will do this by offering value-added services and by providing complete solutions to meet customers’ needs. Sun Chemical also will become a consolidated source for most printing needs, Mr. Lucas said.

In addition, Mr. Lucas said that Sun Chemical will continue to expand into new, high-growth markets such as security inks, brand protection and digital printing. Where appropriate, he added, Sun Chemical will pursue acquisitions that add to its technology and sales base.


2. Flint Ink Corporation

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

Sales: $1.4 billion.

Key Personnel: H. Howard Flint II, chairman and CEO; Leonard D. (Dave) Frescoln, president; Linda J. Welty, COO; David B. Flint, executive vice president; William B. Miller, president, Flint Ink North America; Damian Johnson, president, Flint Ink India/Pacific; Henry Leong, president, Flint Ink Asia; Jerko E. Rendic, president, Flint Ink Latin America; Dr. Helmut Schmidt, CEO, Flint-Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG; Dr. Kenneth D. Stack, president, Jetrion LLC; James C. Rohrkemper, president, Precisia LLC; W. Rucker Wickline, president, CDR Pigments & Dispersions; Dr. Joseph W. Raksis, senior VP, research and new market development; Michael J. Gannon, senior VP and CFO; Dr. Graham C. Battersby, VP, research and development; Glenn T. Autry, VP, human resources; John R. (Jack) Benson, VP, corporate procurement; Dennis L. Cavner, VP, manufacturing services; Lawrence E. King, VP, general counsel and secretary; Kathryn P. Marx, VP, marketing and strategic planning; Diane K. Watt, VP, emerging business segments; Donald G. Barnowski, VP and CIO; James A. Steel, VP and treasurer; David A. Sikorski, VP, controller; Ron S. Muawad, VP of business finance.

Major Products: Cold and heatset web offset, sheetfed offset, flexographic, gravure, UV/EB and ink jet inks and coatings for publication, news, package, commercial and digital printing applications. Advanced and conductive inks for radio frequency identification (RFID), smart/active labels and other printed electronics applications. Dry, flushed and presscake pigments and aqueous dispersions.

Number of Employees: 4,600 worldwide.

H. Howard Flint II, Flint Ink’s chairman and CEO.
Dave Frescoln, Flint Ink’s president.
Kathryn Marx, Flint Ink’s
vice president, marketing and strategic planning.

Comments: Historically, the ink industry mirrors general economic conditions, and, more specifically, conditions of the printing industry, and 2003 was no exception.

“We were optimistic at the beginning, but that optimism faded as signs of the long-hoped-for economic recovery disappeared,” said Kathryn Marx, vice president, marketing and strategic planning for Flint Ink Corporation. “Sales were disappointing, as nearly every printing segment suffered reduced demand, including the traditionally economically-insulated food packaging industry. Even those segments that have seen high growth in the past are struggling to maintain growth, in spite of some cannibalization of other segments. Aside from digital, most of the segments have remained stable in 2003, although some declined significantly.”

Increasing raw material costs were a serious concern.

“Our raw materials suppliers faced unexpected price increases early in the year on materials such as solvents and oils that are tied closely to crude oil and natural gas prices,” said Jack Benson, Flint Ink’s vice president, corporate procurement. “We are finding that suppliers of other key products are now attempting to raise prices in response to the escalation of their own costs and a desire to improve margins. This will be a hard sell, what with the printing industry facing flat demand, and overcapacity in the ink industry.”

Four events made 2003 a landmark year for Flint Ink: The launch of Jetrion LLC (digital inks, equipment, integration and service) in February; the launch of Precisia LLC (RFID and other printed electronics applications) in August; the opening of the all-new Precisia Printed Electronics Resource Center in November; and the opening of a brand-new ink manufacturing facility in Beijing, China, in December.

Both Jetrion and Precisia have been very well received and demand for products is high. In the case of digital printing, the short-run printing industry is transitioning to digital technology, and it appears this trend will continue. Today, it may account for much of the shortfall in printing industry growth versus GDP growth. Jetrion is responding to current digital printing demands while also engineering the digital printing products and services that will continue to bring the future to customers.

In July, Jetrion expanded its customer service capabilities by introducing a 24-hour technical support program, providing highly responsive technical support to printing, converting, packaging and direct-mail companies. In September, the company introduced continuous ink jet (CIJ) inks, make-ups and washes developed specifically for Domino, Scitex, VideoJet and Willet digital printing systems. The new inks are specially formulated to help printers and converters save up to 40 percent of their OEM consumables costs without compromising performance or service.

In February 2004, Jetrion launched its new, low-temperature UV ink jet inks for drop-on-demand (DOD) applications. The low-viscosity inks require no heating in the printhead before use, enabling manufacturers to develop simpler, lower-cost ink jet printing systems for UV ink jet technologies. Commercial printers and converters using these high-performing inks gain the flexibility to print on a wide range of heat-sensitive substrates such as plastics, films, foils, metal sheeting and paperboard.

With radio frequency identification (RFID) set to become the bread and butter of the global supply chain, Flint Ink’s multi-million dollar commitment to develop conductive ink technology in January, followed by the launch of Precisia LLC in August, has positioned them at the forefront of the printed electronics industry. Precisia’s conductive ink products offer viable low-cost RFID solutions to manufacturers who are seeking to comply with big-box retailer and government mandates while at the same time maintaining profit margins. Precisia’s offerings include essential materials for RFID and other printed electronics applications, including smart and/or active packaging.

The opening of the Precisia Printed Electronics Resource Center provided Precisia with sophisticated laboratories, a state-of-the-art pressroom and other advanced technology, allowing Precisia to rapidly assess and understand specific customer requirements, select appropriate ink technology and develop application-specific solutions. With reduction in cycle time from concept to product delivery so critical in this high-tech environment, the center’s ability to streamline the process at one location gives Precisia a decided advantage in the printed electronic applications market.

In June 2002, Flint Ink’s European operation and Gebrüder Schmidt GmbH merged their businesses to become one of the three largest ink manufacturers on the European continent. The fact that both companies possessed complementary products, market strength and technologies made the merger a natural fit. With its expanded reach, Flint-Schmidt now serves global customers throughout Europe. Beyond Europe, the company is successfully serving prominent international customers.

In the past year, a new generation of Arrowstar sheetfed inks and a new line of Matrixcure UV inks were introduced, and have been well received. Flint-Schmidt experienced a solid performance in 2003, and is well positioned to gain an even greater share of the European market. Dr. Helmut Schmidt, who was appointed CEO of Flint-Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG in February 2004, will continue to build the company in line with the quality, service and performance objectives that were developed at the time of the merger.

Flint Ink’s growth in the India/Pacific and Asian regions has been supported both by the majority purchase of Incowax in India and the inauguration of the new ink manufacturing facility in Beijing, China.

In addition, Flint Ink and the SICPA Group, Lausanne, Switzerland, finalized several business transactions in March, in which Flint Ink acquired SICPA’s worldwide heatset and coldset ink business, and SICPA acquired Flint Ink’s worldwide business for security inks used on currency and other negotiable instruments. The acquisition added significantly to the heatset and coldset printing ink business for Flint-Schmidt in Europe and Flint Ink in Australia and New Zealand.

The Latin American division experienced a solid performance in spite of the unique challenges presented by doing business in countries and markets with continuing economic and political instability.

While the overall U.S. economy seems to be well on the road to recovery, with third-quarter 2003 GDP growth of more than 7 percent, this doesn’t appear to be the case for the printing industry. Projections for the major printing and packaging companies indicate weak demand, excess capacity and continuing downward price pressure.

“The outlook for 2004 is of insufficient growth to make up for the capacity glut, thus resulting in continued price pressure,” said Dave Frescoln, president, Flint Ink. “The squeeze on our customers has resulted in increased pricing and competitive pressures on our own business. That, combined with upward pressure from our suppliers, has further reduced our margins and we will necessarily continue to focus on cost containment and new opportunities in order to continue to provide adequate returns.”

The consensus seems to be that the worst is over, but robust recovery in the printing and packaging sectors will trail the economy, probably by a full year. For the ink industry, this means 2004 will be a year of treading water to stay alive, with the potential for further consolidation and cost-cutting in preparation for better things in 2005.

“Based on past experience, we are cautiously optimistic that the Olympics and upcoming election will drive increased printing,” Ms. Marx said. “Other expected growth areas continue to be in flexible packaging and labels, although not at the pace of recent years. One area that looks particularly attractive is shrink labels. Additionally, energy-curable applications continue to grow. If the economy continues to strengthen, we will look forward to modest growth, but we don’t expect the conventional ink industry to rebound to past sales or profitability. Again, much like the printing industry, the ink industry is facing overcapacity, consolidation and competition from producers in other parts of the world.”

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 and coatings solutions technology for packaging and commercial print applications, including metal decorating, flexographic, gravure, web offset, lamination, corrugated, sheetfed and UV/EB inks and coatings.

Key Personnel: Hiroshi Ota, chairman; Rick Clendenning, president and CEO; 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; Dave Waller, VP, UV and metal division; Bryce Kristo, CFO and VP, finance and business development; Jonathan Ellaby, VP, international division; Janet Beasley, VP, quality systems; Charles Sagert, VP, sales.

Number of Employees: Approximately 1,225.

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: 2003 was a solid year for INX International Ink Co., as the company posted decent growth while it changed its business model.

“We had a very good year despite the difficult marketplace,” said Rick Clendenning, INX International Ink Co.’s president and CEO. “That is very gratifying, and it shows that we are using our resources wisely.”

“Although our sales were up a bit, I think we were a bit disappointed in our growth,” said Bryce Kristo, CFO and vice president, finance and business development. “The economy did not pick up as much as we had thought it would. Still, we were pleasantly surprised by the fourth quarter, and we are waiting to see if the economic recovery will be sustained.”

Mr. Kristo said that the packaging market has been stable and sheetfed sales grew for INX International last year. The company’s UV ink sales were very strong, particularly its UV hybrid. On the down side, commercial heatset was a bit disappointing.

“While we did sell more pounds of ink, there is still some price erosion due to the consolidation of the printing industry,” Mr. Kristo said. “We still managed to gain efficiencies so our profitability has been solid.”

INX International Ink Co. is led by Rick Clendenning, left, president and CEO, and chairman Hiroshi Ota.

The company’s new emphasis on a solutions approach to its customers’ needs has the potential to drive growth in the coming years.

“We want to bring our resources to our customers, so we developed our solutions approach,” said Mr. Clendenning. “In 2002, we did extensive market research on what customers wanted, and we have put a lot of emphasis on a solutions approach combined with market segmentation. We’re realigning our sales force to our solutions approach, which allows our customers to tap into our services. Through that, we can bring more value to our customers. We’re now seeing the fruits of our restructuring.”

Technology is of primary importance for both INX International and its parent company, Sakata Inx. In that regard, after longtime INX chairman Mitsuo Matsuzawa returned to Japan for a new business assignment, the parent company’s decision to promote Hiroshi Ota to chairman of INX International spoke volumes of its dedication to technology. Mr. Ota, whose achievements as an R&D leader included breakthrough technologies such as INX’s successful Lamiall laminating inks, is putting an emphasis on R&D and technical service.

“We want to be number one in the ink industry in technology,” Mr. Clendenning said. “Our technology group here, combined with all of the support we receive from Sakata Inx, makes us the strongest technology group around. Mr. Ota has a very strong technical orientation and a background in strategic planning.”

In addition to Mr. Ota being named chairman, Mr. Clendenning, INX International’s president, was also given the responsibilities as CEO, and Mr. Kristo was named CFO.

In 2003, the company introduced a wide variety of new technologies. “Our EcoPure sheetfed inks are soy-based and have outstanding performance,” Mr. Kristo said. “We worked with Sakata on this line, and it really took off for us.”

What the company has in store for 2004 has great potential.

“We have a whole series of new products coming in 2004, including LithoPak and ProMark,” Mr. Kristo said. “We see a lot of cooperation with Sakata Inx and they are heavily into R&D. We have been really looking hard at our sales and the segments and how they perform, and we’re designing products focused specifically on particular applications.

“For example, a sheetfed ink will work on a sheetfed press, but we didn’t want a one-size-fits-all product,” Mr. Kristo added. “We designed sheetfed inks for folding cartons such as LithoPak. Our EcoPure inks are created for high-end sheetfed, and ProMark was designed for sheetfed label.”

Mr. Kristo is optimistic about 2004.

“There is a new spirit here at INX with regard to our capabilities and where we’ve come from in the past few years,” Mr. Kristo said. “Now we want to stimulate growth in the marketplace.”

4. Color Converting Inc.,
a Member of the Siegwerk Group

3535 SW 56th St.
Des Moines, IA 53021
Phone: (515) 471-2100
Fax: (515) 471-2202


Siegwerk, Inc.
P.O. Box 10064
Lynchburg, VA 24506
Phone: (434) 847-9033
Fax: (434) 847-0910

Total North American Sales: $130 million

Color Converting Inc.
Major Products: Liquid inks and coatings for packaging applications. This includes solvent-based, water-based and energy cure inks and coatings for both flexible and rigid substrates.


Key Personnel: Dan McDowell, president; Jim Ross, VP of sales and service; Dr. Lothar Schaffeler, VP of technology; Shannon Barry, VP of marketing and business development; Randy Walter, director of finance.

Number of Employees: 320

Operating Facilities: Headquarters and two plants in Des Moines, IA; Spartanburg, SC; Neenah, WI; Hazleton, PA; Minneapolis, MN; Versailles, IN; San Antonio, TX.

Comments: With 1,500 employees and annual revenues of $520 million, the Siegwerk Group is one of the largest manufacturers of printing inks worldwide. In the high-quality packaging ink and coatings segment, Siegwerk has risen to become the global number two following the acquisition of U.S.-based printing ink manufacturer Color Converting Inc. (CCI), the second largest producer of solvent-based packaging inks in the U.S. In the market for publication gravure inks, Siegwerk Inc. is number three in North America. In web offset inks, Siegwerk is one of the top five companies in Europe.

Undoubtedly, Color Converting’s biggest news in 2003 was its acquisition by the Siegwerk Group, which took place on Dec. 1. The two companies have been friendly for many years through technical exchanges and other on-going communications. But the timing was finally right in 2003 for the deal to be consummated, both in terms of Siegwerk’s plans to globalize and in terms of CCI’s concurrent recognition of its own need to have a global presence.

Over the years, CCI has thrived in the packaging ink segment, combining innovative technologies and customer service to develop a highly successful company. 2003 brought more of the same success to CCI.

“While 2003 did not yield double-digit growth rates as in past years, Color Converting did, however, still achieve solid and healthy growth in 2003,” said Dan McDowell, CCI’s president. “Most of this growth, which was approximately 7 percent, was derived from market share increases versus customer growth since ink sales volumes at many existing customers actually contracted in 2003. Existing customer sales have since rebounded nicely with the entire nation’s economic recovery.”

Color Converting continues to remain true to its packaging market niche. Nearly all of CCI’s inks and coatings are used on packaging applications, and this is a strategy that will continue indefinitely into the future, and CCI is adapting to the changes within the marketplace.

“The packaging segment continues to evolve,” Mr. McDowell said. “Trends within the packaging market that continue to play a role include continued customer consolidations, continued pressure on cost (both unit and process costs), and substrate and other technology changes, including energy cure, digital, expanded gamut process printing, increased demand on higher quality graphics, RFID technologies and other specialty ink applications among others.”

There are also financial changes coming that will impact accounting figures.

“Within the packaging market segment, there has been a major trend away from rebates and discounts towards net pricing,” Mr. McDowell said. “This is a trend that could impact the actual packaging ink volume market size by 10 percent by the end of 2004. Based on this dynamic, CCI believes that it will be interesting to note ink sales reporting changes in the years to come. 2003 reported CCI numbers are gross numbers, which do not fully reflect all of the changes that are currently in process.”

Joining forces at the acquisition signing are, from left, Ralf Hildenbrand, president of packaging, Europe; Dan McDowell, president, Color Converting Inc., a member of the Siegwerk Group; and Herbert Forker, president and CEO, Siegwerk Group International.

There have been some changes in the leadership at CCI. Following the acquisition in December, Ron Barry, CCI’s founder, retired from CCI. Otherwise, all CCI management and personnel remain in place. In addition, Siegwerk, Germany has sent two key personnel to work at CCI headquarters in Des Moines. The first, Ralf Fassbender, performs a controlling function and is heading up the post-merger integration process in Des Moines. He will also play a key role in other business process integrations and improvements.

Dr. Lothar Schaffeler is the second key person afforded to CCI by Siegwerk, Germany. Dr. Schaffeler came on board with CCI in January 2004 as vice president of technology.

In addition, Manuel Rivas was promoted to director of research and development. Dave Cox, CCI’s past director of technology, will move to Europe to further the technology and service exchange on the other side of the Atlantic. Melissa Nguyen has returned from a sabbatical as a small business owner to become CCI’s solvent-based technical service manager. Sara Eason was promoted to director of manufacturing, a position previously held by Mr. McDowell.

Mr. McDowell said that he anticipates that 2004 will bring tremendous growth for CCI.

“2004 will be a big year for CCI in many regards,” Mr. McDowell said. “First and foremost, the first two months have us on track to meet our 2004 annual organic growth goal of 12 percent. Aside from this internal growth, CCI is also in the process of integrating approximately $7 million of U.S. packaging ink business that the Siegwerk organization previously managed from Germany. Finally, the acquisition process has us busy ensuring that full advantage is taken of the complementary nature of Siegwerk’s and CCI’s geography and technologies. We are working diligently to achieve our post-merger synergy goals.”

Siegwerk, Inc.
Major Products: Solvent-based gravure inks for publication.

Key Personnel: Dr. Ansgar Nonn, president; Dr. Juergen Roth, executive VP and general manager; Mark Ferrell, customer service.

Number of Employees: Approximately 20.

Operating Facilities: Lynchburg, VA.

Dr. Ansgar Nonn,
Siegwerk Inc.’s president.

Comments: 2003 was a year of restructuring for Siegwerk, Inc. At this point, the turnaround is complete, and the company is poised to grow its business base in North America.

In 2003, Siegwerk Group president and CEO Herbert Forker replaced himself as president of Siegwerk’s worldwide print media division with Dr. Ansgar Nonn. In line with his global responsibilities, Dr. Nonn is president of Siegwerk, Inc. in North America.

Following the regrouping, Siegwerk, Inc. will aggressively pursue the top three customers in the North American publication gravure market. There will be a focus on new business with new customers and an increase of business with existing customers. Further developments in the specialty coating arena will also continue.

“2003 saw the establishment of new business with completely new customers,” said Dr. Nonn. “Our focus will continue on the print media segment in the form of publication gravure inks. In addition, we are now venturing into the specialty coatings arena. We are particularly excited about our fragrance coatings, which are targeted at the cosmetics industry.”

5. SICPA Management S.A.

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

Packaging Business Unit
SICPA North America Inc.
7145 Boone Ave. North, Suite 200
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
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; Fort Worth, TX; and Vaudreuil-Dorian, Quebec.

Comments: There is an incredible array of technologically challenging ink applications, but the inks used for currency and documents are undoubtedly the most unique and sensitive. As a result, printers have to utilize the most sophisticated inks imaginable to stay ahead of counterfeiters and security risks.

In light of the changes in society, from terrorism to high-tech digital technologies, ink companies have been called on to develop products that cannot be reproduced by criminals. For example, the U.S. passport is considered the most complex document that has been created, and the new $20 bill released in October is loaded with a host of sophisticated features, including new background colors and color-shifting Optically Variable Ink.

SICPA Securink Corporation’s headquarters in Springfield, VA.

When it comes to manufacturing these inks, SICPA Management S.A., a Switzerland-based printing ink manufacturer, is the undisputed international leader in security inks for currency and sensitive documents, with revenues of $725 million.

In the U.S., SICPA Securink Corporation, headquartered in Springfield, VA, is clearly the largest supplier of inks to the federal government for banknote and security document applications. Securink has the predominant market share of security ink sales for other documents of value as well. In conjunction with its parent company and high-tech suppliers, SICPA has formulated a tremendous number of unique inks that are extremely difficult to reproduce. Because of the need to stay ahead of counterfeiters, SICPA Securink and its parent company put tremendous emphasis and resources into R&D and technical support. To meet increasing demand, SICPA Securink opened a fourth ink making facility in North America, near Montreal in Vaudreuil-Dorian, Quebec.

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.

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: Following up on what was essentially a breakthrough year in 2002, SICPA North America’s Packaging Business Unit had another tremendously successful year in 2003.

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

“SICPA North America posted 27 percent growth overall compared with 2002,” said Peter Mulheran, president and CEO of SICPA North America. “Our packaging business grew 20 percent over 2002, with flexibles being the largest contributor. Our narrow web and energy curable group grew 44 percent over 2002, with the largest contribution coming from UV flexo.”

As part of the worldwide SICPA Group, including its sister company, SICPA Securink, in the U.S., SICPA North America has access to the company’s packaging and security technologies. This gives the company an edge in developing products for growth areas such as “smart card” and specialized applications.

“Through technology transfer, we have introduced our Access range of ink technologies from Europe with great reviews from the marketplace,” Mr. Mulheran said. “Our narrow web and energy curable group introduced several product enhancements that have been well received.”

As the company continues to move forward, Mr. Mulheran is optimistic that SICPA North America’s future is bright.

“We expect continued growth in the double digits, with a focus on profitable business,” Mr. Mulheran said.

6. DuPont Ink Jet

Barley Mill Plaza, P30/2367
P.O. Box 80030
Wilmington, DE 19880
Phone: (877) 234-1794;
(302) 992-4264 (outside U.S.)
Fax: (302) 892-5609

www.ink jet.dupont.com

Sales: $105 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Digital inks and digital printing systems.

Key Personnel: Richard J. Baird, vice president; Colin M. Davie, global sales and marketing manager; Kathleen J. Hall, business director – digital printing systems; Douglas A. Smith, business manager – DuPont Specialty Colorants & Additives.

Number of Employees: More than 300 worldwide.

Operating Facilities: 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: A business unit of DuPont Performance Coatings, DuPont Ink Jet, with its strong OEM base, remains the leading ink jet ink manufacturer in the desktop, wide format and textile printing markets.

DuPont Ink Jet is composed of two business segments: ink jet inks and digital printing systems. On the ink side, the company is the leading manufacturer of ink for desktop and wide format printers. On the system side, the company has developed its DuPont Artistri product portfolio for the textile market.

For DuPont Ink Jet, both sides of the business grew in 2003.

“We had a very strong year in 2003 from a sales perspective,” said Colin Davie, global sales and marketing manager for DuPont’s ink business. “We introduced our new self-dispersed black pigment technology through our OEM customer base in the desktop market and launched DuPont Fusion aqueous pigment inks for wide format printing.”

In addition, the business also commercialized the DuPont Artistri 2020 digital printing system in the textile market.

DuPont anticipates another excellent year in 2004.

“This year we expect to see continuing growth in our OEM inks for the desktop market,” said Mr. Davie. “We are further expanding our presence in wide format printing with the addition of aqueous dye-based inks to the DuPont Fusion line. We will be adding new inks targeted at direct mail applications.”

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: $82 million.

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

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

Number of Employees: 150.

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

Comments: The world of printing is changing dramatically, and Toyo Ink is very much involved in the high-tech ink applications worldwide. These changes are being felt in the U.S. as well.

In particular, Toyo Ink has been active in developing and manufacturing inks for digital applications as well as inks for optical technologies such as LCD and the latest technological televisions, among others. These appear to be a major growth area in the coming years, and Toyo Ink America is positioning itself to meet these needs.

“Toyo has a substantial presence in digital and specialty inks,” said Tak O’Haru, president of Toyo Ink America. “Including digital and specialty inks, we had sales of $82 million. We are looking to expand into specialty areas such as optical technology and digital inks, and this year we are going to enhance those businesses in the U.S by building a 40,000 square foot plant in San Diego.”

Meanwhile, in more conventional areas, Toyo Ink America had a solid year, particularly in its mainstay area of sheetfed, where the company has recently put an emphasis on the packaging side.

“Our sheetfed sales increased 6 percent,” Mr. O’Haru said. “We made good gains in packaging areas such as folding carton, and experienced nice growth in New York/New Jersey and the Southeast. Our specialty water-based gravure ink sales increased slightly, while heatset is down significantly. We saw a slowdown in the fourth quarter this year, and none of our customers are speaking optimistically.”

Mr. O’Haru said that Toyo Ink America is also expanding its facilities at LioChem to meet customer needs.

“We are adding a 40,000 square foot addition for our specialty colors capability at LioChem,” Mr. O’Haru said. “Our customers want their suppliers to be technologically advanced.”

The company has an extensive distributor network, and Mr. O’Haru noted that competition is strong in that area as well.

The company introduced its HyUnity, conventional ink and New UV inks last year, and Mr. O’Haru said that UV/EB has been a growth area for Toyo Ink.

“Our HyUnity ink is easier to work with on press at user-friendly pricing, and we did grow the business,” Mr. O’Haru said. “We are really focusing on the radiation curing market, and we have hired new people. We have developed EB flexo for the label market as well as UV offset.”

Mr. O’Haru said that Toyo Ink America’s 2002 agreement with Sanchez, S.A. de C.V. in Mexico has benefited both companies.

“Sanchez distributes our flexible packaging inks, sheetfed commercial inks and ink jet inks, and they are doing tremendously well,” Mr. O’Haru said. “They are a complete graphic arts company, and are offering a greater variety of products along with their own inks.”

In a key personnel move, Osamu Sato, former president of LioChem, was named president, Toyo Ink International, in March. In addition, Toyo Ink America has brought on John Copeland, formerly technical director of Handschy Industries, to be its vice president of operations.

“John is a great addition to our company,” Mr. O’Haru said. “He is bringing fresh ideas to his role as vice president of operations. He will be a great asset for us.”

8. Wikoff Color Corporation

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

Sales: $80 million (Ink World estimate).

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

Key Personnel: Phil 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: 470.

Operating Facilities: 29 manufacturing plants and three sales/service centers 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.

Phil Lambert, Wikoff Color’s president and CEO

Comments: The commercial sheetfed market faced numerous troubles in 2003, which impacted the ink companies that supply these printers. To make matters worse, price pressures further cut into margins.

“It was a disappointing year,” said Phil Lambert, president and CEO of Wikoff Color. “Our business was down slightly overall. It’s a very volatile market, driven by price pressures our customers face. In particular, our sheetfed volume was flat, but our sales were down.”

Pricing is a major part of the problem being faced by sheetfed ink manufacturers.

“Pricing pressure was very bad in the past year,” Mr. Lambert said. “Some of the pricing tactics of the big two send the message that all ink is a commodity and that our industry’s cost factors are not significant. In the higher-quality, service-intensive sectors of the industry where ink is definitely not a commodity, they either underestimate the cost of effectively servicing and supporting the business or they plan not to provide the necessary service and support for these customers once an ink supply agreement has been signed. In either case, these practices of the big two are very harmful to the industry and will ultimately lead to reductions in choice, quality and service for printers.”

There were bright spots for Wikoff Color, particularly in flexo.

“We had very good sales growth in flexo, particularly in water-based flexo for narrow web label and folding carton,” Mr. Lambert said. “Most other product lines were relatively flat except sheetfed.”

The company has been using Lean principles, which continue to pay dividends.

“We’re seeing progress from Lean,” Mr. Lambert said. “We’ve been implementing this in our main manufacturing plant in Fort Mill for two years and are seeing the most gains there. We have begun rolling it out to our branch plants in the past year and are beginning to realize gains in these operations also.”

As has been the case for the past year, it is hard to get a read on where the economy is heading.

“It’s still a roller coaster,” Mr. Lambert said. “We have recently seen some areas pick up; but every time we have seen bright spots in the past year, they have not remained bright.”

9. Markem Corporation

150 Congress St.
Keene, NH 03431
Phone: (603) 352-1130
Fax: (603) 357-5871

Aellora Digital  
15 Tiffin St.
P. O. Box 583
Keene, NH 03431
Phone: (603) 357-1715
Fax: (603) 352-4773


Sales: $75 million in inks (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Markem Corporation, a leading marking and coding solutions provider, offers customers the ability to put variable information on a package easily, repeatedly and cost effectively. The company’s products include laser, thermal transfer, piezo ink jet and print and apply printers, software, supplies and services, which enable manufacturers to automate and facilitate coding, marking and labeling functions.

Key Personnel: Thomas P. Putnam, chairman, Markem Corporation; James A. Putnam, president, Markem Corporation; Jeffrey B. Miller, president, Marking and Coding Group, Markem Corporation; Dr. Michael D. Stoudt, president, Aellora Digital, a Markem company.

Number of Employees: 1,100.

Operating Facilities: Markem operates from headquarters in Keene, NH, and has additional development and manufacturing facilities in San Diego, CA and Nottingham, U.K. Markem has subsidiaries in 17 countries, including Canada, China, U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Uruguay. Markem also has agents and representatives in more than 40 other countries around the world.

Comments: Markem Corporation is one of the world’s leading providers of marking and coding systems designed to meet all the product identification needs of industrial and distribution companies, from individual products to primary packages, cases and pallets, including date and production codes, product identification, bar codes, logos and graphics and real time codes.

Dr. Michael Stoudt, president of Aellora Digital, a Markem Company, and Jeffrey B. Miller, president, Markem Corporation’s Industrial Marking and Coding Group.

Markem systems incorporate the latest digital-to-print technologies to support the marking and coding needs of the food, beverage, personal care products, pharmaceutical and electronics industries, among others. Recognizing the potential of ink jet coding and marking, Markem acquired Spectra, Inc., now the leading piezo ink jet printhead manufacturer, in 1996.

Markem has long been active in ink jet, having first begun its efforts 15 years ago. In 2003, Markem established Aellora Digital to provide digital chemistries, drop-on-demand ink jet systems and services for commercial, graphic and select other digital printing, imaging and dispensing applications. To lead the startup, Markem selected Dr. Michael Stoudt, its vice president of science and engineering and CTO, to be COO. Dr. Stoudt was recently named Aellora Digital’s president.

“Given the results of early market research and a positive customer response, it is time to accelerate Aellora Digital’s launch as a stand-alone business entity,” said Jeffrey Miller, president of the Industrial Marking and Coding Group, Markem Corporation. “Mike is well positioned to take on the responsibility of this new venture business, with his broad technical background in various engineering disciplines and technologies as well as experience in a number of business development and general management roles.”

Prior to joining Markem in 1997, Dr. Stoudt spent 23 years as a research scientist and business manager at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY. Dr. Stoudt has more than 25 years of experience with digital imaging processes, concentrating on on-demand digital color printing since the mid-1980s.

In addition to Dr. Stoudt’s leadership role in Aellora Digital, he will also remain involved with management of the research and technology development activities of the parent company’s core business.

Aellora Digital has also moved its offices into a larger facility.

“This move is in response to the growing demand for our products and services,” said Mario Carluccio, business development manager of Aellora Digital. “Our new offices provide us the necessary space for our recently expanded team as well as for expected future growth. We are also excited about this move as it further demonstrates the commitment and the support provided from our parent company.”

Markem has had strong growth in recent years, and Dr. Stoudt said that 2003 was no exception.

“From Markem’s standpoint, we did very well in our traditional core businesses, even in a down economy, and we’re off to a good start this year,” Dr. Stoudt said. “Markem is off to a good start in the first two months of 2004, although that certainly doesn’t make a year.”

As mentioned before, Aellora Digital is Markem’s new digital subsidiary, although the company has been making digital products for core markets for more than a decade. Combined with its experience and that of Spectra’s, Aellora Digital is quickly developing successful new products for their targeted marketplace.

“Markem’s first digital ink jet printer was made 15 years ago, and a lot of Markem’s products are now digital today,” said Dr. Stoudt. “Marking and Coding, one of our core businesses, has three technologies: laser, thermal transfer and ink jet. Many of the inks we have developed have been targeted at package coding and dating. Aellora is taking these technical platforms and enhancing them to go to completely different spaces.

“For example, UV curable jettable white inks were originally targeted for printed circuit boards legend marking,” Dr. Stoudt noted. “Aellora has taken the technical platforms of these inks, working with specially designed print engines of its own design using Spectra arrays, and brings them to the market for very different applications. Spectra is the leading printhead manufacturer, and Aellora has a lot of knowledge around what we can do with the Spectra platforms. What we are able to do best is to bring the ink and the substrate together, and design the ink backward from the application. Designing the ink and the life-support system together makes for more robust products.”

Dr. Stoudt said that UV curable ink jet inks are a particularly strong opportunity because of the flexibility to design inks to meet substrate and application need.

“UV curable inks can be tailored to applications, and our UV color line will be coming out soon,” he said. “Our UV hybrid ink platform (not solid or liquid at room temperature) is jetted at elevated temperatures and does not absorb into the substrate as most liquid inks. In addition, some of our work is being done in hot melt (solid) ink, particularly for porous materials, but hot melt may not offer the same adhesion on harder substrates.”

Business has been brisk for Aellora, and with it the increase in interest comes key decisions such as increasing personnel. Markem has already brought key leaders including Dr. Stoudt and technologists Dr. Richard Larson and Alan Boyer over to Aellora, as well as establishing the system integration team led by Ed Freyenhagen, but Markem doesn’t want to spread itself too thin.

“Right now, we have our hands full just responding to interest levels in Aellora, as many of our customers are ready to transition from what they are doing now to work with us,” Dr. Stoudt said. “We are staffing our ink jet systems group from Markem and from the outside. We don’t want to sacrifice investment in either the Markem core business or Aellora. Our core business has experienced aggressive growth over the past few years and we expect the same results from the Aellora team, so we will continue to invest in both.

10. Central Ink Corporation

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

Sales: $71million.

Major Products: Web offset heatset, coldset, sheetfed and UV/EB inks. CIC is also one of the largest blanket converters in the Midwest.

Key Personnel: Richard Breen, president and CEO; Gregg Dahleen, VP of sales and marketing; Mary Dickey, CFO; Vic Dahleen, corporate technical director; Paul Kats, sheetfed product manager; Brian Kats, radiation curable product manager; Ron Houser, non-heat product manager; Ed Freisendorf, heatset product manager; Jennifer Kirkby, director of sales and marketing.

Number of Employees: 164.

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

Gregg Dahleen, left, Central Ink Corporation’s vice president of sales and marketing, and Richard Breen, president and CEO.

Comments: Long a leader in heatset, Central Ink Corporation (CIC) has sent a message as to where its focus is going to be in 2004, as the push that CIC made in the sheetfed and energy curable markets in 2003 has proved to be dynamic. CIC is now applying the same successful philosophy to the coldset market.

“By using a team sales concept, which includes members from all departments, we have been successful in penetrating a market that was previously dominated by our larger competitors,” said Jennifer Kirkby, CIC’s director of sales and marketing.

“In 2003 we decided to broaden and concentrate on product lines that in the past were come-along products for us. Bringing in key people who understand the industry has benefited Central Ink,” said Gregg Dahleen, vice president of sales and marketing. “It has given us a new outlook and it has been an exciting time.”

The broadening of its product lines is a case of good timing for CIC, as the industry continued to see price margins decrease due to the current advertising recession and oversupply in the industry.

“The heatset market is a donnybrook,” said Richard Breen, CIC’s president and CEO. “I saw this coming but it has been worse than I ever imagined. It is one of the reasons we decided to intensify our sheetfed, UV and coldset product lines.”

“The effect of price erosion from 2001 is still happening,” Mr. Dahleen said. “Our sales were up this year due to new business CIC acquired while our margins continued to erode on our existing business.”

Meanwhile, the company is continuing to look for ways to efficiently compete in the heatset market without comprising quality. The decision to go into dry grinding of pigment is paying off.

“Richard has always been the one to put his assets and his soul back into his company,” Ms. Kirkby said. “He is constantly challenging us to become more inventive in regards to the company’s success. With that in mind, we went into a joint venture in Toronto and are also planning future expansions in North America. We continue to invest in ourselves and our future.”

11. Micro Inks Corporation

2850 Festival Dr.
Kankakee, IL 60901
Phone: (815) 929-9293
Fax: (815) 929-0412

Sales: $67 million.

Major Products: Heatset, coldest, 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.

Key Personnel: Frank Moravec, president and CEO; Coumara Radja, VP, corporate affairs; Dhaval Nanavati, VP, operations; Ron Douglass, VP, sales and marketing, direct sales division; Vimal Mehra, director, sheetfed and raw materials division.

Number of Employees: 153.

Operational Facilities: Kankakee, IL.

From left, Micro Ink’s Coumara Radja, vice president, corporate affairs; Dhaval Nanavati, vice president, operations; Frank Moravec, president and CEO; and Ron Douglass, vice president, sales and marketing, direct
sales division.

Comments: Now in its third year, Micro Inks Corporation, a subsidiary of Gujarat, India-based Micro Inks Ltd., formerly Hindustan Inks and Resins Ltd., continued its growth in the slumping publication market, increasing sales by nearly 20 percent.

“2003 was a good year for us,” said Frank Moravec, Micro Inks’ president and CEO. “We have continued to grow our customer base because we continue to develop new products based on unique technologies.”

“Our parent company, Hindustan Inks & Resins Ltd., has changed its name to Micro Inks Ltd. as part of our commitment to reinvent ourselves in forging ahead as a premier global ink company,” said Coumara Radja, vice president of corporate affairs. “The international business of our parent company grew from $1 million in 1999 to a whopping $100 million in just four years and is rapidly gaining recognition in more than 50 countries.”

In addition to Micro Ink’s finished ink sales, its raw material product line has had excellent reception in the market as well.

“The sheetfed and raw material sales grew substantially and the regional ink companies using our products reported that their products now perform better using our raw materials and is helping them gain new business,” said Vimal Mehra, director of sales for sheetfed and raw materials division.

Mr. Moravec said that after considerable renovation of the Kankakee facility, Micro Inks has moved its corporate office from Schaumburg, Illinois to its 44-acre campus at Kankakee. “We truly have built a showcase location,” Mr. Moravec said.

While the company has had some success outside of heatset, with some sheetfed sales and publication gravure trials, the company continues to focus its efforts on heatset and is expanding its efforts into news black.

“We will focus on growing our heatset business, will be expanding our news ink and will look further into publication gravure,” said Ron Douglass, Micro Ink’s vice president, sales and marketing for the direct sales division.

In order to best serve their customers, Micro Inks is in the midst of adding new facilities and improving its infrastructure at its Kankakee headquarters. In terms of new production facilities, the company quickly constructed a brand-new news black manufacturing plant, and has approved a plan to add a publication gravure plant once demand is ascertained.

“Our news black plant will be able to cater to the major newspaper industry,” said Dhaval Nanavati, Micro Inks’ vice president of operations. “We already have an approved design in place for our publication gravure facility, and we are waiting for commitments from our customers. We are also prepared to expand our heatset capacity as well.”

Gravure is coming closer to fruition, according to Mr. Douglass. “We’re currently conducting trials on publication gravure with major customers, and to date, feedback has been very positive,” Mr. Douglass said.

“Our publication gravure is based on new technology,” Mr. Moravec added. “We have taken a totally different formulary approach than product offered in the market currently. We are offering a model that is unique.”

Micro Inks has also improved its internal network, courtesy of a state-of-the-art SAP system that was installed just as efficiently.

“We now have a real-time SAP R3 information system that is so robust,” Mr. Nanavati said. “It helps us with our accuracy and efficiency. Now all our departments are synchronized, and our database is getting stronger, which will help our Six Sigma efforts.”

“We implemented our SAP 4.6 version in record time of four and a half months,” added Ketan Patel, manager of systems and management services.

With an eye toward value, Micro Inks is continuing its Six Sigma and quality efforts.

“There are many ways to measure added value,” Mr. Moravec said. “Six Sigma is one effective tool that demonstrates this. Our customers want first-run capability and zero defects, and we welcome being checked by our customers. We recently have received customer awards for outstanding performance that verify Micro’s uncompromising commitment to total quality.”

“We strive by going the extra mile to build strong and dependable relationships with each of our customers and we care deeply about the growth and progress of each end user and distributor,” said Rob Weemhoff, customer service coordinator. “We don’t think of ourselves as employees of Micro Inks, but rather as liaisons working for each customer and doing business with Micro Inks on their behalf.”

“We understand that the basic philosophy of producing ink goes much farther than just making ink,” said John Marzan, production coordinator.

“Some corporations teach safety as the number one priority or production or quality as the number one individually. The Micro Inks team strives to acknowledge all three as to have equal weight and linear measure and all are considered our number one target. With this concept Micro Inks has already proved itself to be a world class producer of inks,” said Kevin Bernard, manager of EHS.

“We instituted a measurement system for each major area critical to organizational success and the employees are continuously encouraged to learn and try new things,” Mr. Nanavati said. “This will help us revitalize the human spirit, enjoy the enlightened workplace and improve the organizational performance.”

“These metrics are tied to and reflect our culture and fundamental core business and operating philosophy,” added Selina Surface, HR generalist.

“At Micro Inks, we continuously strive for excellence by meticulously transforming knowledge into action while many companies frequently fail to take this step,” Mr. Radja said. “We strongly believe that the only sustainable competitive advantage will be our giving persistent attention consistently to the million little things we do and seeing what others overlook”.

To sum it up, Mr. Moravec said that the passion for success during the startup of the company three years ago, coupled with the momentum it has gained to date, has positioned Micro Inks into a world-class organization.

12. 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; Jim Davidson, VP of operations; John Simonson, VP of distribution.

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

Comments: While some screen printers have faced difficult times with the emergence of digital printing, many screen printers and their suppliers are expanding into the digital marketplace. For Nazdar, a leading screen ink supplier, digital inks are proving to be a successful supplement to their core business.

“Nazdar fared very well during a very difficult year for the industry,” said Richard Bowles, Nazdar’s vice president of marketing. “By our estimates we grew our existing market share. We increased our market share in the textile market through our ongoing relationship with Polyone Wilflex. We also grew our presence in the OEM Fleet market with the addition of some key large customers utilizing our 3500 ink series.”

Nazdar has developed two key alliances with ink manufacturers in the past two years. In 2002, Nazdar formed an alliance with INX International Ink Co. to co-develop products and services for the roll label market. In 2003, Nazdar and Encres Dubuit entered into a strategic marketing alliance to explore mutually attractive business opportunities in screen and digital print markets worldwide. These agreements are allowing Nazdar to further make gains in the marketplace.

“Our relationship with INX is continuing to positively impact our revenues,” Mr. Bowles said. “We expect positive impacts from the Dubuit relationship in 2004. Dubuit has recently announced distribution of our digital inks in some European markets, and additional cooperative ventures will be announced in 2004.”

One of Nazdar’s strengths is new product development, and 2003 brought some successful new inks to the company’s point of purchase and digital product lines.

“We significantly strengthened our point of purchase UV ink line with the introductions of VersaPrint and PowerPrint,” Mr. Bowles said. “We continued to expand our digital ink lines and increased our presence in this market.”

As 2004 continues, Mr. Bowles believes that Nazdar is poised to make gains worldwide.
“We feel we can continue to increase our marketshare on a worldwide basis and are anticipating economic recovery in several key markets,” Mr. Bowles said.

12. Superior Printing Ink

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

Sales: $65 million.

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

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: 380.

Operating Facilities: 25 branches and 26 in-plant facilities. The company operates two facilities through its Gotham Ink operations and its own varnish manufacturing facility in New Jersey. Spinks Ink Co. is also a subsidiary.

Comments: 2003 was a challenging year for the commercial lithographic market, which impacted ink companies. While Superior Printing Ink felt the effects of the economy, having new products and its reputation for service helped the company weather the year.

“2003 was better than 2002, although it was not much better,” said Harvey Brice, managing director of Superior Printing Ink. “The second and third quarters looked stronger for us, and we built on each quarter. Our Midwest branches did particularly well, and California remains a big potential market for us. We did a little better considering what is out there. Competition is tough, but we’re in for the long haul.”

New products have been the key to Superior Printing Ink’s fortunes, and its Elite sheetfed ink and energy curable products have led the way.

“Our Elite process inks are our stay-open ink and offer exceptional value, and are even better than a year ago,” Mr. Brice said. “They provide flexibility, and can be aqueous coated, UV coated, laminated or imprinted. We also came out with Elite Pantone colors. Our third-generation Elite will have other properties which will allow printers to eliminate having extra inventory. Our Oxybind inks and 100% solids inks, for nonporous substrates such as plastic, are doing well. Our UV InterCure hybrid inks are a great success this year.”

Service is critical to Superior Printing Ink, and the new software program the company has created for all of its customers is a significant value-added offering.

“Our company’s philosophy has always been, ‘Modern Technology/Old Fashioned Service,’ and we stick by that,” Mr. Brice said. “The in-plant business is a big part of our sales, and we are proud of it. For smaller- and medium-sized companies, we can offer our software and mixing program by rotating technical people between companies on a part-time color-mixing basis. Our Precision System has been very successful in past years. We also are developing a new color matching system that will encompass additional software programs that are even more printer-friendly.”

In 2003, Superior Printing Ink expanded the company’s central manufacturing facilities (CMF) in Hamden, CT, adding a full-service warehouse and distribution center.

“It was a year of expansion for our CMF,” Mr. Brice said. “We centralized our manufacturing as well as our warehousing and distribution, and it’s been a big help to us by enhancing our shipping and handling procedures.”

In 2002, Michael Brice became president and COO of Superior Printing Ink. He is the fourth generation of family ink makers to lead the company, along with the Simons family.

“He’s reorganized and developed a management team that is very professional,” Mr. Brice said. We’re heading toward our five-year plan and a lot of it has already come to fruition.

“Hopefully 2004 will build on 2003,” Mr. Brice said. “As a result of 2003, I am more optimistic about 2004 than I would have been. We hope that the economy is going to pull along the printers and advertisers, which will, in turn, pull along the ink industry. As the economy continues to grow, we will as well, and are looking to supplement our sales efforts with strategic acquisitions in the U.S. in 2004.

14. Van Son Holland Ink Corporation of America
185 Oval Dr.
Islandia, NY 11501
Phone: (631) 715-7000
Fax: (631) 715-7020

Sales: $64 million.

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

Key Personnel: Joe Bendowski, president and CEO; Ken Ferguson, technical director; Robert Langer, VP of finance; John Sammis, CP, sales and marketing; John Bendowski, national sales manager; Dan Storto, general manager, Chicago.

Number of Employees: 120.

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

Comments: For Van Son Holland Ink, the U.S. subsidiary of Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Printing Ink Van Son, the small offset printer and duplicator markets have been its livelihood. In recent years, though, new technologies have cut into these once-lucrative markets. For Van Son to maintain its success, the company has invested in a variety of new technologies such as digital and mid- and large-sized sheetfed.

“The year was flat,” said Joe Bendowski, Van Son Holland’s president and CEO, who returned after a brief hiatus as Royal Van Son’s president to once again head the company he had led for nine years. “It was a struggle, not like the good old days. We were able to make gains on the middle- and large offset side to make up for the decline in the small offset market.”

In 2003, Van Son Holland Ink moved its headquarters to Islandia, NY, and this year, the company is adding to its Chicago facility.

“Our move to Islandia allows us to consolidate our company under one roof rather than six roofs,” Mr. Bendowski said. “Our new headquarters is modernized and much larger. We are also adding 10,000 square feet to our Chicago center, which will allow us to centralize distribution for our small offset inks.”

The company has determined that the mid- and large-sized sheetfed market provides an opportunity for growth in the U.S. For many years, Royal Dutch Printing Ink Van Son has been involved in the mid- and large sheetfed market, and the company has introduced its VS5 ink to that segment.

However, Van Son Holland is entering it through a unique approach. Rather than expanding its own sales force or using a graphic arts distributor network, Van Son has signed up more than a dozen regional ink companies to date to sell and service its product. Each company has exclusive rights to distribute the Van Son product within its own region.

By doing so, Van Son and the regional companies each reap benefits. Van Son will sell more ink, and regional companies that are well known by local printers provide the service. For the regional ink companies, being associated with Van Son is a plus, as is being able to sell and service more customers.

“Van Son has been selling large sheetfed market around the world, and we are now entering the market in the U.S.,” said Mr. Bendowski. “Our VS5 ink is an extremely high-quality ink, and the way we are marketing it is unique because it is being sold through other ink companies. So far, we have 16 ink companies that will provide mixing, support and relationships. These are all high-quality mid-sized ink companies. Van Son has never been a competitor to them, and we have an excellent relationship with all of these companies.”

For Van Son Holland Ink, VS5 represents the future.

“I believe that traditional small offset will continue to decline, and I see us growing through graphic arts dealers in sheetfed, but I see our real growth coming through VS5 and our relationships with our fellow ink companies,” Mr. Bendowski said.

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

U.S. Sales: $60 million (Ink World Estimate).

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

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

Number of Employees: 198.

Operating Facilities: Nine.

Comments: As a dynamic business with a wide portfolio of products spanning different market segments, Sericol, Inc. weathered the difficult economic conditions of the past two years and ended 2003 in a much stronger position than when the year began. The company experienced especially strong growth in its developing digital inks and flatbed digital press program. Sericol also saw market recovery in its traditional screen business.

“The second half economic environment improved significantly as did our business,” said Ed Carhart, Sericol’s CEO. “This again provides demonstrable evidence of a direct link between general economic health and the state of our industry. The strength of the economy varies by region, but generally the economies of North America were in recovery and we expect them to strengthen even more in 2004.”

On the screen side, one of the key highlights during 2003 was the continued success of Sericol’s UVantage multi-substrate ink for graphic screen printing. UVantage is the fastest growing ink line in the company’s history and has quickly become the leading multi-substrate ink in the industry. Its unique properties provide a single solution for printing on more than 80 percent of the typical POP substrates used, which reduces changeover time, streamlines printer ink inventory, simplifies color matching and is employee-friendly.

In addition to its ink offerings, Sericol also strengthened its consumables business with the launch of Xtreme Hi-Performance UV Mesh, Xtreme AST emulsion and several new Xtend screen reclaim chemical products.

In the narrow web segment, Sericol introduced several new specialty UV flexo inks to complement its UVivid 800 series UV flexo inks. These new inks were designed for a number of different applications such as shrink wrap labels, thermoforming and folding cartons.

In addition to these developments in its core business, Sericol also enjoyed tremendous growth in its digital business during 2003.

Nearly 50 Inca flatbed digital presses have now been installed in North America, all using Sericol’s patented Uvijet UV curable ink technology. These digital presses have proven to provide the best combination of speed, print quality and return on investment in the market. Many printers have taken advantage of Sericol’s digital offerings to enhance their business by being able to provide another printing solution to their customers.

In fact, Sericol so strongly believes in the combined power of screen and digital printing technologies that it is investing heavily in 2004 to promote the benefits of both print technologies to its customers.

“At Sericol, we believe screen printing will remain a strong and viable print technology,” said Mitch Bode, Sericol’s senior vice president. “Digital will not displace screen as the most cost-effective print technology for long production runs, but it is quickly becoming the dominant technology for shorter runs.”

In addition to its digital offerings, Sericol is rolling out several new screen ink products in 2004, including a follow-up to its highly successful UVantage multi-substrate ink range. The recently launched Fascure Ultra has been designed to work on an even wider range of substrates, from rigid Coroplast to most flexible vinyls. Sericol is quick to point out that Fascure Ultra is not a replacement for UVantage, but provides customers a second choice in multi-substrate inks, depending on the mix of substrates they print on. Another key ink development for Sericol in 2004 is the introduction of Uvipak UCD, one of the first true multi-substrate UV inks for plastic container decorating. Uvipak UCD, which is NVP-free, was developed for use on a wide range of materials used in the plastic container decorating industry including polyethylene, polypropylene, polycarbonate, PETG, PET and styrene.

With all of these new product and service developments, 2004 promises to be a good year for Sericol. Mr. Carhart said, “We feel well positioned to take advantage of improving market conditions and well resourced to compete in complex markets. We will continue to lead the market in screen inks and become an increasingly stronger player in digital and narrow web.”

16. 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, administration; John Hammond, VP, secretary and general counsel; Richard F. Hobbs, VP, CFO and treasurer; Thomas O’Brien, president, color group; Dr. Ho-Seung Yang, VP, technologies; 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: Since its beginning in 2000 out of the Universal Foods Corporation, Sensient Technologies Corporation has quickly become a leader in industries related to colors, flavors and fragrances. In 2003, the company’s overall sales reached $987.4 million.

In 2003, Sensient Technologies’ Colors Group accounted for $360 million, of which ink jet inks make up approximately $50 million in sales. On the color side, Sensient is comprised of, among others, Tricon Colors, Warner-Jenkinson, Formulabs and ECS Specialty Inks and Dyes.

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 segments and geographical regions.

In July 2003, Sensient acquired Formulabs Iberica S.A. (FISA), a manufacturer and marketer of specialty inks, primarily for ink jet applications. FISA, located near Barcelona, Spain, reported revenues of less than $10 million in 2002. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“This acquisition further positions Sensient as a leading global supplier of ink jet inks,” said Kenneth P. Manning, chairman, president and CEO of Sensient Technologies Corporation. “With FISA, we have strengthened our presence in ink jet inks in Europe and the Asia Pacific region. This transaction also broadens our ink formulation and technical capabilities.”

17. Color Resolutions International LLC

575 Quality Blvd.
Fairfield, OH 45014
Phone: (513) 552-7200
Fax: (513) 552-7141

Sales: $47 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; Rick Gray, CFO; John Edelbrock, VP of manufacturing; Paul Fulton, VP of technical services; Joe Schlinkert, director of technology; Hixon Boyd, VP of business development.

Number of Employees: 135.

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

Comments: When 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), in 2000, the company instantly became the second-largest producer of inks for the corrugated industry.

Color Resolution International’s new headquarters in Fairfield, OH.

However, CRI’s leadership realized that the company needed to further branch out into other areas of packaging, and considering the challenges faced by the corrugated industry in the past few years, that decision was prudent.

“2003 was not as good as 2002,” said George Sickinger, chairman, CEO and president of CRI. “There was more customer pricing pressure, more competition, and in addition, one of our key accounts has been internalizing their ink manufacturing operations. While there are some minor signs of a turnaround, we are selling very aggressively into new markets. We’ve put even more focus on technical service and product development, and have put a new business structure in place to target new markets.”

When CRI was formed, Mr. Sickinger believed a new plant was an absolute necessity, and in December, that dream was realized as CRI’s new headquarters and manufacturing center was opened, appropriately enough, on Quality Boulevard in Fairfield, OH. The new facility offers state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, allowing CRI to become more efficient.

“When we moved into our new plant in December, we took out a lot of costs and we lowered our cost base,” Mr. Sickinger said. “The new plant is wonderful, and the morale of our people is great.”

The key to future growth for CRI is in the emphasis on new packaging segments, where CRI can leverage its experience to achieve success.

“We have developed new product lines for flexible packaging,” Mr. Sickinger said. “Our product line is dramatically different from where we started in 2000, which is good for us.”

18. Ink Systems, Inc.

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

Sales: $44.2 million.

Major Products: Heatset, sheetfed and UV inks.

Key Personnel: Urban S. Hirsch III, ex-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 33 in-plant facilities.

Comments: Quality and service are essential to printers, and Ink Systems, Inc. has found a niche for itself by providing state-of-the-art in-plant operations featuring experienced personnel, high-quality ink systems and proprietary software which make a printer’s job much easier. As a result, Ink Systems has had some growth in the past few years.

2003 was no exception, as Ink Systems recorded 17 percent growth in sales, and hopes to grow in the coming year.

“We had an excellent year in 2003,” said Urban S. Hirsch III, founder and ex-president of Ink Systems. “We’ve added a few more ink rooms, which drives our growth, which is all internal.”

The company continues to grow into its new 50,000 square foot Commerce, CA headquarters, which Ink Systems moved into in 2001 and features top-quality labs and production facilities. The company also has a 20,000 square foot facility in Elk Grove Village, IL, which serves its Midwest accounts.

19. Environmental Inks & Coatings

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

Sales: $44 million (Ink World estimate).

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

Key Personnel: Edward G. Redman, chairman of the board; Paul Schroeder, president and CEO; Gary Nance, CFO; Richard J. Gloeckler, VP/GM Eastern Division; Michael Harjung, VP/GM Western Division; Don Matthiesen, director of marketing; Kirk Franklin, VP technology.

Number of Employees: 230.

Comments: For Environmental Inks and Coatings (EIC), 2003 was a year for major change. In August, EIC acquired Arcar Graphics, Flint Ink Corporation’s label and narrow web subsidiary.

In October, Paul Schroeder, Flint Ink North America’s former president, was named EIC’s president and CEO, with EIC founder Edward Redman becoming chairman of the board.

The addition of Arcar Graphics allows EIC to increase its share of the label and narrow web market, and the company did well despite the economic conditions last year.

“EIC fared well in 2003,” said Don Matthiesen, EIC’s director of marketing. “We acquired Arcar Graphics from Flint Ink in 2003, and while company sales were off somewhat, the combined organization created synergies, improving production efficiencies and technological innovation.

“Arcar Graphics and EIC originated as very similar companies,” Mr. Matthiesen noted. “The combination of the two firms was a natural choice, creating a company that can better serve its customers. EIC has developed strategies to better serve the entire customer base with improved products and customer service. Customers have been loyal to both EIC and Arcar products, and EIC will continue to maintain the integrity of each brand.”

The combination of EIC and Arcar has already paid dividends in the area of product development.

“EIC has been able to harness the technical prowess of both organizations to create new products,” Mr. Matthiesen said. “The best case in point is the Envirocure system. The finest attributes of the EIC Ultra Series and the Arcar Arcure system were compounded to create Envirocure, the next generation of energy curable ink and coating products. The customer base of both companies now has access to this technology. The combined company has created increased production and distribution efficiencies which are crucial in the current printing market.”

For EIC, the energy curable, film label and packaging markets provided strong growth in 2003.

“The energy curable ink market is growing well,” Mr. Matthiesen said. “EIC combined the formulation expertise of EIC and Arcar with the new chemistries available to create the Envirocure inks systems. These effective and safe formulations are easy to use with wide press latitudes in color strength and viscosity. Envirocure inks are available for flexo, letterpress, rotary screen and combination printing.

“The film label and packaging segments continue to do well for EIC,” Mr. Matthiesen added. “The increased use of shrink film labels and film packaging applications have increased EIC sales to this market.”

Mr. Matthiesen said that Mr. Schroeder has brought EIC a new perspective as well as new opportunities.

“Paul brings to EIC the capabilities developed from his senior level management experiences with Flint Ink and Cabot,” Mr. Matthiesen said. “Paul infuses EIC with ideas from outside the ink business, and as an engineer, sees operations from a processing perspective. Paul’s contacts have helped EIC explore new business opportunities and develop improved internal operational efficiencies.

EIC has long been known for specializing in R&D, and 2003 brought more new products to the company.

“The ‘Anilox Aware’ color formulation software continues to find acceptance with printers looking to save make-ready time,” Mr. Matthiesen said. “It is also available for more EIC ink systems. New formulations of the highly successful Poly Screen film ink and Stable Flex paper inks are yielding more throughput for EIC customers. The Phase 20 direct thermal inks have reduced printhead wear for our customers. The Poly Screen and Ultra Force inks are finding utility with customers who want to use one ink for both paper and film.”

To further assist in its R&D efforts, the company brought on Rajive Jhaveri as director of research for water-based inks and coatings and Zubair Khan as technical business manager for energy curable products.

Mr. Matthiesen is optimistic about EIC’s prospects in 2004.

“2004 will most likely see slow to moderate sales growth,” he said. “We see 3 percent to 5 percent sales growth. Several new product introductions are planned for 2004, and EIC is investigating opportunities outside its usual packaging and label markets. Growth in UV products and inks for flexible films will growth at a faster rate than the industry averages.”

20. Braden Sutphin Ink Co.

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

Sales: $41 million.

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

Key Personnel: Ted Zelek, chairman; Jim Leitch, CEO; Cal Sutphin, president; Diego Perez-Stable, controller; Byron Hahn, technical director; Rick Hall, 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: 245.

Operating Facilities: 13 including two in 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: As was the case for many other offset ink companies, 2003 was a challenging year for Braden Sutphin Ink.

“I would say that it was a year where we had up and down business levels, but overall we fell short of our expectations,” said Jim Leitch, Braden Sutphin Ink’s CEO. “Overall, our fourth quarter was a lot better than the first quarter, and we hear our customers are doing better. Still, the trend toward shorter run manufacturing has had an impact on ink, as printers are ordering less ink.

“Still, we felt we did a good job holding our own considering the economy,” Mr. Leitch said. “We felt that the web magazine and insert printers faced more competition and were not as busy as they were in the past, and that was also the case for commercial sheetfed printers.”

Braden Sutphin Ink was helped by its recent expansion into energy curables, and to a lesser extent, its entry into flexo.

“We’ve done a nice job becoming a bigger player in the UV curable marketplace, where we have DiamondCure, which is a very good product line,” Mr. Leitch said. “We feel that’s worked out well. Our name is getting out more in flexo, and we have a more diversified customer base. We’re making progress, and we need to continue to push flexo as an integral part of our business strategy.”

The company’s R&D people were also developing other new products, including its EverFresh four-color process stay-open sheetfed ink, which Mr. Leitch said is been performing very well.

In 2002, Braden Sutphin acquired Inco, a Cleveland, OH-based sheetfed ink specialist, which led Braden Sutphin to successfully establish a new local distribution center in the northeastern Ohio region.

“Our new service center in northeast Ohio has worked out well for us,” Mr. Leitch said.

20. 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 and solvent-based flexo and coatings; gravure inks; UV and EB inks; magnetic inks; varnishes and alkyds.

Key Personnel: Kevin Yeazell, president; Mike Rasmussen, executive vice president and general manager, Riverdale; Rod Cartwright, general manager, Bellwood; Pat Ruhland, general manager, Milwaukee; Patricia Logue, marketing manager.

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: It’s been a time of change at Handschy Industries, with Kevin Yeazell being brought in by parent company Field Container to take the reins in February 2004.

Mr. Yeazell was most recently vice president of sales and marketing at INX International Ink Company. Prior to that, he was vice president of sales for the commercial group at Flint Ink Corporation. He believes that Handschy is positioned to grow thanks to its continuing emphasis on customer service, pioneering R&D and strategic new marketing plans.

“Handschy is a company with many exceptional people,” Mr. Yeazell said. “Handschy is a service-oriented company. We’ll do just about anything for our customers. There is a tremendous amount of pride and dedication throughout our company for how we consistently go out of our way to help our customers.”

As for last year, Mr. Yeazell said Handschy’s sales were slightly ahead of 2002.
“Right now, we’re pacing ahead of where we were last year, and projections for the upcoming year are looking extremely positive,” he said. “The upcoming year will be exceptionally exciting for Handschy, especially in our R&D efforts, new product launches and as our new marketing strategies unfold. Keep your eye on Handschy for innovative and dynamic changes in the upcoming year.

“We’re extremely optimistic about the coming year,” Mr. Yeazell added. “From what we’re hearing from our customers, companies are busier, especially compared to the same time last year. We are emphasizing R&D, and are committed to continuing our customer-focused service as well as introducing essential new products.”

Mr. Yeazell is confident that the ink and printing industry will become much more familiar with Handschy throughout the upcoming year.

“We have ground-breaking plans that are scheduled to unfold throughout 2004 to increase our visibility in the marketplace as well as increase our upward momentum,” Mr. Yeazell said.

“Handschy is a full-service partner in the ink industry, both in value and product offerings,” he said. “We are changing the paradigm of thinking in 2004. Handschy is not just a regional company, but a national as well as international supplier. We are focused and dedicated to improving channels of distribution as well as our manufacturing facilities to maximize our capabilities.”

All in all, Mr. Yeazell relishes his new challenge. “We have a very strong team here at Handschy and we’re adding many more great people as well,” Mr. Yeazell said. “I’m excited to be leading the Handschy team and even more excited about the upcoming year.”