The printing ink industry continues to evolve, and in these ever-changing times, there is a serious need for companies to work together to ensure that challenges are met. That is the primary purpose of trade associations. In the U.S., the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) fulfills that role, while in Europe, printing ink companies have long worked with CEPE.
CEPE is a strong organization, but it is primarily focused on the paint industry. For European ink manufacturers, who are facing challenges ranging from increasing imports to major regulations such as REACH, the need for a separate organization focused entirely on the ink industry had become a necessity.
With that in mind, the European Printing Ink Association (EuPIA) has come into being. Leaders from the top seven ink manufacturers – Akzo Nobel Ink (now ANI Printing Inks), BASF Drucksysteme, Flint-Schmidt Group, Huber Group, SICPA Group, Siegwerk Group AG and Sun Chemical Europe – formed EuPia, which was formally introduced at Drupa.
EuPIA’s leaders are working with the European ink community and CEPE to meet the challenges facing the European ink industry. With the formation of EuPIA and the dedication of its members, the ink industry is now much better prepared to handle these challenges, as can be seen in our feature article on EuPIA beginning on page 44.
In conjunction with our article on EuPIA, Ink World is pleased to introduce our first European Ink Directory, starting on page 50. With the help of EuPIA, we have compiled our comprehensive list of European ink manufacturers, with more than 145 companies listed by country.
Meanwhile, the primary markets that ink manufacturers are serving continue to fluctuate. According to NAPIM, the first six months of 2004 saw the U.S. publication ink market increase 1.2 percent in volume year to date, with sales increasing 2.4 percent. During that same time frame, packaging ink sales declined 1.3 percent, with volume falling 2.2 percent year to date. In “The Packaging Ink Market” and “The Publication Ink Market,” beginning on pages 22 and 34, respectively, ink industry executives discuss the reasons for these changes as well as their outlook for the future. All told, there appears to be reason for optimism, which is good news indeed.