Ink Inc

Cudner & O’Connor’s Expertise Reaches Unique Markets

By David Savastano, Ink World Editor | 11.02.09

Printing ink sometimes appears in many places where people would least expect it. For example, people outside the industry would never expect that ink would be used in automotive applications such as mirror defrosters, simulated wood grain paneling, speedometers or on hub caps.

Similarly, appliance purchasers wouldn’t expect inks and coatings on their control panels or being instrumental in protecting packaging.

However, ink does appear in these applications, and when it is used, the ink is most likely from Cudner & O’Connor, a Chicago, IL-based specialist in screen printing inks and coatings.

Cudner & O’Connor has long been a leader in the screen ink market. Founded in 1935 by the men whose names still adorn the company’s name, Cudner & O’Connor began as a furniture lacquer company. By the 1950s, the company had branched out into making lacquers for the screen market and evolved into an ink and coatings manufacturer, where it has since made its reputation.

“After we started manufacturing screen lacquers, we started making other products such as enamels and vinyls,” said Mary Miller, Cudner & O’Connor’s vice president and technical director.

The requirements of its customers are varied, and Cudner & O’Connor has developed a wide variety of products for its customers. The company’s range ofproductsiscomprisedof, butnotlimitedto, epoxies, polyurethanes,polyesters,alkyds, nitrocellulose, UV chemistries, ethylcellulose, vinyls,acrylics,acid resists, gaming/securityandspecialeffects inks.

Customizing products is essential to Cudner & O’Connor’s success over the years. Cudner & O’Connor’s R&D lab stands ready to design and develop inks andcoatingstomatchvirtuallyany screenprinting challenge, and the company recently upgraded its R&D lab, allowing Cudner & O’Connor to do almost all of its testing in-house.

“Now we are up to 23 lines of ink, not counting the custom inks we manufacture,” Ms. Miller said.

Technical service is essential to the customers Cudner & O’Connor serves, and the company prides itself on offering thecomprehensiveknow-howrequiredtosupportthe printer/processor, bringing to the table, telephone or shop floor an offering of solutions to satisfy the demand for total quality commitment.

Because of the company’s close ties to the automotive and appliance industries, Cudner & O’Connor has been heavily involved in ensuring that the company meets the standardized requirements of its customers. This led the company to successfully pursue ISO certification.

In August, the company earned ISO 9001:2000 certification, and while Ms. Miller noted that the company has always employed a comprehensive internal quality program, ISO certification further reinforces its commitment to its customers.

“ISO certification is very important,” Ms. Miller said. “The automotive industry has gone to a new standard, and in order to participate you have to be ISO certified. We have always had our own protocol and have passed audits by companies, but it came to the point where we wanted to invest in ISO certification.”

Today, automotive, appliance and other major manufacturers are working on new applications for their products, and they know that they can turn to Cudner & O’Connor when it comes to developing inks to meet their needs.

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