Here, then, are some of the highlights from Drupa 2004:
For some companies, Drupa provided the perfect opportunity to unveil a new identity.
ANI Printing Inks, formerly Akzo Nobel Inks, has been looking forward to developing its own identity, and Drupa 2004 was the ideal place to introduce the company’s new name.
“Akzo Nobel Inks is no more,” said Peter Koivula, president and CEO of ANI Printing Inks. “With the unveiling of our new name and identity, the final and formal step towards independence has been taken. A new company is about to make a decisive impact on the printing ink industry, and we wanted to make the changes here. Everything is new, but in essence nothing changes, except for a few details that aim to further strengthen our organization, our business and consequently the image and future success of the new ANI Printing Inks.”
Mr. Koivula said that ANI Printing Inks has changed for the better during the past four years, which is evident from the reaction from attendees.
“In four years you can feel the change, and it is fantastic,” Mr. Koivula said. “Four years ago, Akzo Nobel Inks’ booth was half full at Drupa. This year, Drupa has been full all of the time. It’s a good benchmark from four years ago. Our people have done a great job in bringing us back.”
Micro Inks, formerly Hindustan Inks and Resins, used Drupa to introduce itself and its new operations based in Italy to the European printing community.
|Flint Ink was represented by, from left, Linda Welty, COO; Dave Frescoln, president; and Dr. Helmut Schmidt, president, Flint-Schmidt.|
In April, Micro Inks opened a marketing and technical center in Shanghai, and recently opened a facility in Australia, which made the time right for the company to develop a single identity.
Company leaders found Drupa to be a great success.
“It is above expectations and is much more international,” said Herbert Forker, Siegwerk Group’s president and CEO. “The quality of conversations was good.”
“We had a very successful show in Düsseldorf,” said booth manager Dr. Peter Heimerzheim. “The large number of foreign visitors stopping off at our stand shows that we have, following the acquisition of U.S. producer Color Converting, established a reputation for ourselves in the international marketplace as a global player with a big heart.”
As one might expect, ink industry leaders had much in store for Drupa.
Sun Chemical had an active Drupa in its Print City location, with a series of announcements ranging from alliances, an acquisition and new products.
In particular, its alliance with Inca Digital led to the unveiling of its new FastJet corrugated ink jet system. It utilizes state-of-the-art pigmented UV inks developed by Sun Chemical on an array of fixed ink jet heads, producing high-quality color at a print speed of 3,000 square meters per hour of output, more than 10 times the speed of today’s ink jet technology.
“Converters need something especially built for corrugators,” said Felipe Mellado, corporate vice president, marketing and technology for Sun Chemical , s.a. “We will start to make products in other areas.”
Sun Chemical also announced that its Coates Screen business unit is working with QinetiQ, one of Europe’s largest science and technology solutions companies, on the development of RFID systems such as low-cost, high volume RFID security/tracking tags, along with a host of other applications where a fine metal pattern is needed, such as labels, smart cards and antennae.
On the acquisition front, Sun Chemical announced its intent to acquire the assets of ÇBS Printas, the printing ink business of ÇBS Holding, a publicly-traded company in Turkey. ÇBS Printas is a leading supplier of paste inks used for publication and commercial printing in Turkey and other countries in the Middle East.
Sun Chemical launched SmartColour, an integrated system to achieve color accuracy and consistency in packaging printing. The system offers tailored color management to brand managers, designers, repro houses and printers.
In terms of inks, its new World Series sheetfed inks are a highly versatile process ink series. M-Cure, a new UV platform technology, is a new UV photoinitiator package primarily for use when printing sensitive food, drug and cosmetic packaging with UV products. This product reduces odors and off-taste concerns sometimes associated with UV printing.
“Drupa is going well,” Mr. Mellado said. “The number and quality of visitors is higher than before. The visitors we are meeting with are senior level.”
For Flint Ink, Drupa 2004 was an opportunity to show how the company’s 2002 merger with Gebr. Schmidt Druckfarben has led to new synergies and opportunities for Flint-Schmidt GmbH & Co. KG, as well as advances made by its subsidiaries.
“The merger between Flint and Schmidt is working out excellently,” said Hans-Wolfgang Blumschein, vice president and general manager of Flint-Schmidt’s publication gravure and heatset division. “From our customers and employees point of view, we are coming together. We have achieved all that we wanted to in terms of integration, doing publication first and now sheetfed and packaging. It created a new company, not just a merger.”
Flint Ink announced the company’s recent global capital investments, including the opening of its new 23,000 square-meter, state-of-the-art heatset and coldest ink manufacturing facility, established by the Flint Ink (Beijing) Printing Ink Company Ltd., as well as a 9,000 square-meter news ink plant in Australia and upgrades of its facilities in Austria and Poland. Funding was also approved for a coldset ink plant in India.
As for new products, Flint Ink introduced its Rub’nSmell scented inks to enhance the appeal of consumer brands. The marketing-enhancing technology is delivered through a partnership with Scentisphere LLC. The inks can be formulated with stock scents, like lemon, or custom fragrances for unique cosmetics, personal care and other consumer brands. The scented inks are applied directly over printed graphics and activate only when rubbed.
Flint Ink also announced the global availability of a highly concentrated color technology for water flexo and gravure inks called X-Treme Dispersions. The new colorants increase the color strength of ink systems by 20 percent while significantly improving ink mileage.
Jetrion LLC, a provider of advanced products, services and specialized solutions for industrial ink jet applications and a separate business unit of Flint Ink, announced a strategic partnership agreement with Crown Holdings, Inc., a global leader in metal packaging of food and beverage, aerosol and specialty packaging, to develop technology specific to digital printing for metal packaging. Jetrion and Crown have partnered to solve a long-standing technology barrier relating to digital printing on metal packaging materials prior to forming.
Jetrion also developed a variety of new inks ranging from continuous ink jet to drop on demand (DOD) UV inks and new HAPS-free solvent ink jet inks.
As for new equipment, its Jetrion 3025 DOD ink jet printing system features technology that delivers more flexibility, higher quality and lower cost digital printing capability to the commercial printing, publishing and packaging markets. The system is ideal for applications that require the placement of durable images on high-gloss and film materials such as those used in labeling and flexible packaging, or for mail houses and direct mail printers looking for higher quality addressing on uncoated papers or printing on poly-bags, coated substrates and unique materials. In addition, the company introduced its Jetrion 2300 Inkjet System, an ultra-high resolution coding and marking system, and Jetrion Bindery Manager, a powerful real-time industrial printer management system.
“We have strong relationships with printers, and when they go into digital, we’re there to support them,” said Dr. Kenneth Stack, president of Jetrion. “It’s an interesting trend that digital ink companies are no longer just ink companies, but are developing systems. We made a conscious decision to supply our customers, who want to buy ink from ink companies, and what you’ll see from us are more and more products like these.”
Precisia LLC, Flint Ink’s subsidiary specializing in advanced printed electronics technologies, made some key announcements, including its conductive inks for radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and other printed electronics applications including ‘smart’ labeling and packaging, printed circuits, lighting and displays. The company also announced its partnership with Thin Battery Technology (TBT) to more efficiently capture the rapidly expanding market for ultra-thin batteries.
“Precisia is going well,” said Jim Rohrkemper, president of Precisia LLC. “There is a huge amount of interest, particularly in the application of RFID technology in supply management, and we have a number of partnerships either in place or in the works. Packaging companies are being asked to go beyond bar coding. It is like printing wireless computers on to something. Smart packaging can sense a condition and communicate it, like a sensor for time and temperature. Another application would be luggage and boarding passes. In addition, we have a joint development agreement with Thin Battery Technology , which has exclusive rights to Eveready patents. We want to produce thin batteries by printing batteries and circuits.
Toyo Ink showcased an array of new products, ranging from optronics and Liojet ink jet to Rexalpha RFID, Leostep non-VOC sheetfed, EB curable lamination and water-based biodegradable gravure ink for flexible packaging.
“Based on our core technology, we are rapidly changing our business structure, increasing our share in optronics and biotechnology,” said Yoshio Usui, senior managing director and chief project officer for Toyo Ink.
BASF Drucksysteme GmbH announced the company’s BASF 2015, which will set benchmarks and shape the company’s plan for the future.
“We have developed our new BASF 2015, and as a sign of our new vision we added our new logo, which symbolizes our new partnership,” said Dr. Michael Stumpp, BASF Drucksysteme GmbH’s managing director. “We want to help our customers be successful, look after our capital costs, have the best team in the industry and have sustainable development.”
The company’s most interesting product launch was its new nyloflex infinity technology, which allows printers to create seamless sleeves in combination with CTP laser printers for flexo. It is expected to be commercially available in 2005. The company also introduced its Novastar F916 Champion process inks, NovaArt F 2008 high-quality ink series and Newsking TOP coldset inks, all of which drew much attention at Drupa.
“Drupa has been very busy,” Dr. Stumpp said. “ We have had great traffic here. It has exceeded my expectations.”
The SICPA Group brought new technologies as well as a new emphasis on providing solutions to its customers, through innovative inks such as MasterBlend Die Inks for tobacco packaging or its new Krysalid color system.
“We are changing our structure from ink supplier to solution provider,” said Cyrille Monnin, SICPA Group’s marketing project manager, commercial inks division. “Innovation is a state of mind to meet every customer’s request. We are always known for our quality of people and technology. On May 1, we opened a new wholly owned subsidiary in St. Petersburg, SICPA St. Petersburg. Our packaging inks business unit is totally focused on packaging, and we are very present in the flexible packaging market.
“We at SICPA are extremely busy,” Mr. Monnin said. “I would say that we are having much more visits, in terms of both quantity and quality. Each and every visit has been an interesting one. Companies are sending their decision makers. We are also seeing the growing importance of India and China reflected in the number of visitors.”
The Huber Group, which includes Hostmann-Steinberg, had an active Drupa, with its Ink Academy, an educational establishment for professional training, drawing great interest. The company’s distribution agreement with MetalFX, its Hit Order Transfer (HOT) inventory software and its new array of packaging inks also drew much attention.
“The people are quite interested here at Drupa,” said Heiner Ringer, Huber Group’s CEO. “Metal FX has developed with us an idea and a system, and it will be a big new hit for the ink industry. Our main focus is in for food packaging in accordance with regulations. We want to be technology leaders in all applications. Packaging is very challenging and it needs more technical dedication, and we will do that.”
Sericol International and Inca Digital showcased its newest flatbed printing technologies. The Inca Columbia Turbo, the fastest flatbed printer in the world at 160 square meters an hour, and the high-quality Inca Spyder were among the highlights, along with Sericol’s screen and digital inks.
“Screen is still our core business, but digital has reinvigorated the screen business and given us what will become another core business in the future,” said Ed Carhart, Sericol International’s CEO. “Screen printers will need digital print to reinvigorate their business, from proofing to short runs up to medium runs. We’ve seen that printers who have embraced digital and screen are seeing their sales and profits increase. As a result, Inca and Sericol have been a perfect partnership for each of us.”
“Drupa is a huge show,” added Jerry Avis, director, strategy and business development for Sericol International. “People are making their decisions here. Everyone seems to be forecasting more sales. There seems to be more buoyancy.”
Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son was showcasing its VS5 system, which made its debut in the U.S. earlier this year. Van Son has partnered with 18 local ink companies to distribute and service this commercial sheetfed ink, and Van Son’s leaders are delighted with the results so far, and are looking to take the U.S. model to Europe.
“Drupa has been incredible. We had eight of our partners coming to Holland, and now have 18 companies overall,” said Joe Bendowski, Van Son Holland Ink’s president. “The momentum is fantastic. There is a feeling like we are a family. The loyalty is very close, which makes for good communication. We said we would give them support, and we did it all: marketing, mailing, technical support and most importantly, an excellent ink.”
“We have to select our right partners,” added Paul Brouwer, president of the parent company. “You only have one chance to do it right and honesty from both sides is most important. We have started this in Europe, but we have to do it by country.”
Mid-Sized Ink Companies
Medium-sized ink manufacturers also enjoyed a successful Drupa.
Domino Printing Sciences plc introduced a series of new products at Drupa, including its enhanced Bitjet+ binary printer, Domino ON Demand variable data print solution, and its red and black acetone inks, all of which have gone through Domino’s rigorous testing.
“The physics of continuous ink jet (CIJ) are far more complicated than drop on demand,” said Jonathan Phillips, director, OEM business development, commercial printing – North America for Domino Amjet. “We do 24 months of testing before releasing a product. We are always developing our ink range and our equipment.”
“Drupa has been very busy,” added David Ellen, Domino’s director, commercial printing for Domino UK Ltd. “We’ve taken a lot of leads, which bodes well.”
Aellora Digital introduced its new VistaSpec hybrid ink series for UV-curable piezo DOD ink jet suitable for a broad range of substrates. Hybrid UV-curable jetting inks, often referred to as semi-solid or paste inks, are highly viscous at room temperature. These inks are jetted at elevated temperatures for lowering the viscosity of the ink to the levels required for piezo DOD ink jet technologies. The ink rapidly cools after contact with the substrate offering excellent drop control for extended periods. This process provides superior print quality as compared to liquid UV-curable inks for high resolution printing.
“We have been going full speed since the opening bell,” said Dr. Michael Stoudt, president of Aellora Digital. “We have a lot of people who are fascinated by white ink jet and a lot of potentially serious customers. In particular, interested in card printing is high.”
Pröll KG, a specialist in inks for pad and screen printing, introduced a wide variety of new products at Drupa. Among these, Noricryl is a new in-mold decorating (IMD) screen printing ink for the film insert molding technique, and is specially designed for IMD technology using Plexiglas films. It is used to decorate lenses and housings of mobile phones, panels and bezels of car interiors as well as housings and displays of medical devices. Noriphan HTR is an IMD ink system for the film insert molding technique that is designed for decorating polycarbonate films.
“Drupa has been interesting, with lots of customers and contacts from outside of Europe,” said Stefan Zah, who works on sales promotions at Pröll KG.
Epple Druckfarben AG, another Print City company, showcased its BrightSign color system, which utilizes UV light.
“Print City is a very good institution,” said Jurgen Gergfield. “It brings the leading companies in our field together on a very high level and gives us a base to solve some questions. Drupa is the most important fair for us. We organize all of our business to be here. We have a lot of new products: Intensia, BrightSign, a waterless series for perfecting, and a new campaign for Aniva.”
Ruco Druckfarben – A.M. Ramp & Co. GmbH had a variety of new products on hand, including inks for printing flexo, glass, label, tube and pad printing. Heinz Walter Menke, managing director of Ruco Druckfarben, said that Drupa went well, although there is concern over the market.
“The first week has been OK,” Mr. Menke said. “We are seeing lots of people and having interesting talks, but people are aware that the market is getting tighter. Paper people are privately saying they are pessimistic. Still, we see stable development in our future.”
At Brancher, Stephane Atoumo, international development director, said business was brisk.
“The exhibition is, as usual, very nice, but this year is interesting,” Mr. Atoumo said. “The last few days, the people who came here are not just here to collect catalogs but are here because they are interested in our inks. In addition, our dealers are coming in with their customers to see us.”
Brancher offered some innovations at Drupa 2004, including its Dayamix color mixing station for offset, flexo and UV, and its Smart’ Up offset and flexo products, which include thermochromic, erasable, metallic and phosphorescent inks, luminescent inks and varnishes and fragrant and pearly and inferential varnishes.
“We are promoting our Dayamix system, with turnkey mixing centers, which we install to our standards,” Mr. Atoumo said.
Sicolor Druckfarben, a sheetfed ink specialist spun off of Siegwerk and acquired by Epple Druckfarben in January 2002, was at its first Drupa, and was showcasing its Chromaxx color system based on high pigmented color systems, which offers higher density. Sicolor officials said that interest from agencies and printers was strong.
“It is our first Drupa and I am really satisfied,” said Rita Jansen – export. “We have had people from throughout the world here and have had many interesting meetings. They come to Drupa to find new partners and new ideas, and it is good to be here.”
Chromatic Technologies, Inc. (CTI), a specialist in color-changing inks, also was on hand for its first Drupa, and showcased its DynaColor thermochromic and photochromic products.
“Drupa has been very busy,” said Lyle Small, CTI’s president. “We’re doing a brisk business, and we are seeing the right people. We have a glow-in-the-dark ink for offset and flexo, and we’re also branching out into new products.”
Triangle Digital also was a first-time exhibitor. “This is the first time we’ve exhibited at Drupa, and we’re getting 100 solid leads a day,” said Brad Kisner, Triangle Digital’s president.
“We’ve developed a patented bulk ink delivery system, which is our current thrust for our distributors. We cut our teeth on outdoor durable prints on superwide format, 2.5 meters and larger. We have OEM replacement parts, head cleaning programs and provide our color center.”
Lyson, showcased its Tiara Systems subsidiary, including its new grand format Tiara Tourmaline solvent-based ink jet printer. The company also exhibited its new Campaign ink series for the short-cycle outdoor market as well as its PhotoChrome SE pigment color, dye black archival inks for photographs.
“In the U.S. and U.K., we are very well known, probably the best known outside of OEMs,” said Simon Guest, marketing manager of Lyson. “We still do some OEM work for wide and grand format, and we have a range of inks for virtually every wide and grand format printer. Tiara is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lyson, and we have been selling 10 Tiara Opal IIs a month. We have been very busy here at Drupa. The quantity and quality of leads have been excellent, particularly leads from developing markets.”
Ink companies reported that Drupa brought excellent opportunities for them.
“Drupa has been excellent,” said Alex Stevenson, Zeller+Gmelin’s head of ink division. “I feel a certain satisfaction that we have the people we want to see coming in. People are coming here to look at specific projects.”
“Drupa is good for us,” said Semih Havlioglu, technical assistant general manager for DYO Inks, the leading printing ink manufacturer in Turkey. “We wanted to meet new customers and agencies and welcome our customers, and we have received more visitors than we expected.”
“This is the first time we are participating, and it has been great,” said Anthony Ng, managing director, Imperial Ink Pte. Ltd., an offset ink specialist. “We are confident we can double our size by the next Drupa.”
Metallics and MetalFX
For its first Drupa, MetalFX had tremendous success, signing up hundreds of printers to utilize its metallic system using a silver base and CMYK, and of equal importance, signing distribution agreements with leading ink companies.
“It’s our first Drupa,” said Andrew Ainge, MetalFX’s managing director. “We have signed a number of distribution agreements, including Eckart, Wolstenholme and Huber, and we’re presenting our technology to hundreds of printers each day.”
In particular, MetalFX is working with Eckart and Wolstenholme, both of which are supplying the silver base inks and are bring the technology to printers, as well as with Huber Group.
“Drupa went very well,” said Fred Schulz, director, marketing, graphic arts for Eckart GmbH & Co. KG. “In terms of MetalFX, we’ve had hundreds of printers sign up for licenses here, and we’ve had tremendous interest in our regular products. For example, TopStar provides the highest brilliance metallics for offset, while UltraStar is ideal for liquid inks. We also have key press manufacturer partners here that are printing with our inks, including Heidelberg, Komori, IST and Rotatek.”
Wolstenholme International, part of Print City, also showcased its new Inkantation software package, which allows printers to calculate and compare the relative costs of vacuum metalized pigments (VMP), foil and metalized substrates.
“VMP are more expensive and are higher quality, and they are cost effective in certain conditions, according to a Pira study,” said Michael Yates, Wolstenholme’s business director, Metalsheen. “It can be an alternative for foiling and metalized substrates. VMPs can be more cost-effective. For example, a beer label has less than 20 percent coverage, which is ideal for VMPs. With Inkantation, printers can compare VMPs with metalized substrates. It’s a calculator that helps you make a decision, and is freely available on our web site.”
Suppliers On Hand
Leading industry suppliers were also on hand to showcase new products and services.
EMD Chemicals participated in Print City, where the capabilities of its special effect pigments were shown at their booth as well as during press runs with various partners in Print City. The company’s most recent product, Miraval 5411 Magic White, a silver colored glass flake with sparkling effects and vibrant reflections, is ideal for high-end packaging and spot coatings on brochures.
“Miraval 5411 Magic White works particularly well in UV coatings,” said Alexandra Brownfield, business development manager, EMD Chemicals.
Ms. Brownfield said that Print City provides the perfect venue to display its special effect pigments for EMD Chemicals.
|From left, Sericol International’s Mitch Bode, senior vice president; CEO Ed Carhart and Jerry Avis, director, strategy and business development.|
“For us, being in Print City is extremely valuable,” Ms. Brownfield said. “As a raw material supplier, being able to show how our products are incorporated into inks and coatings, and applied on press from start to finish is a great ‘proof of concept’ for us.”
IGT Testing Systems had a variety of equipment on display, including its new IGT Tack Tester 450, which measures tack quickly and efficiently with high accuracy and reproducibility.
“Drupa has been quite busy,” said Leonie Kuijpens, a member of IGT Testing Systems’ sales department. “The people who come over are very interested, and a lot of prospects from Eastern Europe and Asia are visiting.”
Ciba Specialty Chemicals exhibited its new range of services, including Colibri Quickmatch Pro electronic color matching system and Prime IT, its new in-line technology that facilitates adhesion of UV-curable inks, coatings and adhesives on plastics by grafting a reactive photoinitiator onto the polymer surface.
“We are going into the service business, with our Colibri color matching systems and by acquiring Pira,” said Dr. Hermann Angerer, global head of Ciba Specialty Chemicals’ coating effects segment. “There is a value space where there are opportunities, such as color matching. As for Prime IT, plastic pre-treatment replaces corona treatment, which wears off. With our Prime IT, we can treat over corona treatment.”
Stork Print showcased its automatic dispensing system, including its Colorsat Slim series, an economical dispensing solution for printers that is equipped with IMS Slim software featuring fully automated and computerized dispensing of water- or solvent-based inks.
“The Colorsat Slim dispenses ink, calculates usage and returns,” said Anne Lourens, marketing and sales manager, dispensing systems. “Customers can install it themselves, which saves on cost. It’s ideal for small batches of five gallons and less, and is ideal for companies that consumer less than 50 tons of ink annually.”
Without a doubt, Drupa 2004 exceeded all expectations for exhibitors and attendees alike, and should provide a clear blueprint of where the printing and ink industries are heading in the coming years.