The U.S. Top 20 Report

By Staff | 10.25.05

While most ink manufacturers saw sales growth in 2004, globalization, rising raw material costs and subsequent ink price increases were key topics in 2004.

Rank Company North American
Ink Sales
(in millions)
Global Ink Sales (Parent)
(in millions)
Last Year
1 Sun Chemical $1,700* $4000 (Sun Chemical)**
2 Flint Ink $900* $1470 (Flint Ink)
3 INX International $300 $821 (Sakata INX)
4 CR/T $175*  
5 DuPont Ink Jet $150*  
6 CCI/Siegwerk $130 $490 (Siegwerk Group)
7 SICPA $110* $740 (SICPA Group)
8 Wikoff Color $95*  
9 Toyo Ink America $90 $821 (Toyo Ink)
10 Central Ink $79  
11 Micro Inks $77 $171 (Micro Inks Ltd.)
12 Markem/Aellora $75*  
13 Nazdar $65*  
13 Sericol $65* $275 (Sericol International)
13 Superior $65  
16 Van Son $64 $150 (Royal Dutch Van Son)
17 Ink Systems $57.7  
18 Sensient Technologies $55*  
19 Color Resolutions $47*  
20 Environmental Inks $44*  
* Ink World estimate
** Parent company Dainippon Ink & Chemicals has global ink sales of $4.78 billion

1. Sun Chemical Corporation
35 Waterview Blvd.
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Phone: (973) 404-6000
Fax: (973) 404-6001

Sales: Sun Chemical had sales approaching $4 billion in printing inks and colorants worldwide. North American Sales: $1.7 billion (Ink World estimate).

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.

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

Number of Employees: Approximately 12,000 worldwide.

Operating Facilities: Sun Chemical has more than 300 manufacturing and service locations worldwide and more than 200 customer in-plant locations in the U.S. alone.

Comments: With improved volumes over recent years, 2004 was a rebound year for print overall. However, this success was tempered by continued price erosion, as well as rising costs and raw material shortages for the ink industry.

“2004 was a mixed market period, with industry associations such as the PIA reporting print market rebounds along with rising costs and challenging raw material supplies,” said Wes Lucas, chairman, president and CEO of Sun Chemical. However, Mr. Lucas said that 2004 was another successful year for Sun Chemical as it further implemented and executed its value-added strategy.

In addition to increasing value to customers across its divisions, Sun Chemical sold, launched or acquired several business units in 2004.

In January 2005, Sun Chemical announced that Eastman Kodak Company will become the sole owner of graphic arts supplier Kodak Polychrome Graphics (KPG) through redemption of Sun Chemical’s 50 percent interest in the joint venture. Completion of the deal, which will exceed $800 million in cash, was expected in April. Kodak and Sun Chemical each owned half of KPG, a joint venture established in 1998.

“Since its inception, KPG has grown into a highly successful leader in the graphic arts market based on a sound strategy and a world-class team, and is highly valued by both partners,” said Mr. Lucas. “However, with the end of the joint venture agreement coming in the near future, both Sun Chemical and Kodak agreed that now is an excellent time to stake out a clear future for KPG. The redemption of these shares creates the opportunity for Sun Chemical to aggressively pursue its strategies to increase value to the market.”

Mr. Lucas said Sun Chemical plans to use proceeds from the sale of KPG to increase value to the customer in its core markets, as well as new technologies that are key to future growth.

Taking a further step in its strategy to provide “total solutions” for the printing industry, Sun Chemical acquired 100 percent of the shares of Rycoline Incorporated and appointed David Hohman as its vice president and general manager.

Rycoline produces and sells a range of well-known products under the Rycoline, Sun Graphic, Rogersol and Vivitek brands. These include a complete line of fountain solutions, blankets, press washes, silicones, overprint coatings and other products used in printing, ranging from protective gear to anti-static products.

“We are excited to take advantage of the synergies between Rycoline’s printing materials and Sun Chemical’s broad line of inks and coatings,” Mr. Hohman said. “Rycoline has a strong reputation in the industry, which we hope to enhance. It also has a strong leadership team poised for growth.”

“The addition of Rycoline’s product lines enhances our position as an industry leader, bringing the best technology to our customers around the world,” Mr. Lucas said. “This acquisition also demonstrates Sun Chemical’s strategic direction in creating a printer supply business and commitment to creating value for the customer by optimizing the combined performance of the ink, founts, blankets and wash for superior printing efficiency.”

Sun Chemical formed Sun Chemical Security, a new global business unit that will provide a range of products that incorporate security measures which can be used to print packages, documents and currency. The unit also will market forensic security systems to ensure authenticity of the products themselves. John Luppino, general manager, will lead Sun Chemical Security.

Mr. Luppino said that Sun Chemical divides the security market into three distinct segments: on product brand protection, forensic and currency.

“On-product brand protection is a set of inks which can be used to print unique invisible codes for track and trace,” Mr. Luppino said. “Other technologies include customized taggants for machine-readable verification. Sun Chemical also offers an array of overt printable solutions. This range of technologies can be used in concert to provide a layered approach to product protection. Forensic is an exciting new technology that can provide rapid authentication of the actual product without the use of taggants or markers. This technology ‘fingerprints’ raw materials, and can also be used to ensure quality and manufacturing source without adulterating the product. For currency, Sun Chemical offers primarily intaglio inks, as well as varnish and overt features designed to prevent counterfeiting.”

In October, Sun Chemical acquired the brand protection assets of Veritec Group, Inc., including the Veritec trade names. Also known as Verification Technologies, Inc., Veritec provides technology and services to protect product integrity and brand security, including covert on-package verification systems, portable field units for forensic ‘on-site’ authenticity testing, high speed robot authenticity testing for screening thousands of samples, process patent compliance testing and authenticity technology development.

Sun Chemical introduced Solaris, a global product line of inks and coatings formulated to meet the needs of narrow web printers, at Labelexpo Americas 2004. Through Solaris, Sun Chemical is creating a focused brand that links all the diverse products required in this sector and will provide all product information under one umbrella to customers in Europe, the Americas and other locations.

“Solaris will offer the best inks and coatings technology from Sun Chemical’s divisions around the world,” said Chuck Shuty, director of narrow web products for Sun Chemical North American Inks. “Sun Chemical is now forming regional teams who will sell proven narrow web products and will offer narrow web printers extensive experience as they consider broader markets in such areas as flexible packaging, folding carton and shrink sleeves.”

Mr. Shuty said that Sun Chemical also can offer printers total solution packages through its printing consumables divisions, including Rycoline, which sells its products worldwide, as well as Boss Graphics and WebXtras, which sell in the UK and Europe.

Sun Chemical acquired the assets of ÇBS Printas, the printing inks 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 and Balkan areas. Sun Chemical already is an ink supplier in the region through its Coates Lorilleux division, primarily in the area of liquid inks for packaging.

Sun Chemical used Drupa 2004 to introduce a variety of products and services designed to improve productivity and quality for customers. Sun Chemical launched new ink technologies for sheetfed offset, UV printing and digital printing on corrugated substrates that expand capabilities of these processes, opening new avenues for printers to compete and increase profitability. The company’s full global family of brands, including Hartmann and Coates Lorilleux, were represented at the Drupa booth.

Sun Chemical and Inca Digital Printers demonstrated FastJet, a high-speed ink jet system using single-pass technology, which allows full-color sheetfed printing on corrugated substrates at three times the speed of today’s ink jet technology. The digital press was part of PrintCity’s “Print Factory,” where more than 40 member companies showcased their products in a working environment.

Sun Chemical and Inca recently announced a partnership to commercialize this technology, which will utilize pigmented inks developed by Sun Chemical on an array of fixed ink jet heads and produce high-quality color on a print width of up to 520 mm at 300 dpi, with speeds of 100 meters or more per minute, surpassing any product currently available in the market. Full commercialization of FastJet is expected late in 2005.

Sun Chemical began to offer World Series, a highly versatile process ink series for sheetfed printing. Launched in Europe and North America, World Series can also be paired with specially designed fountain solutions and coatings available from Sun Chemical to further enhance its performance.

“Printers have told us that they cannot find a standard set of sheetfed inks that can run on virtually all presses,” said John Adkin, sheetfed product director, Sun Chemical Europe. “World Series inks set a global standard and offer performance without compromise. The formulations are based on the latest technology, and the inks are designed to meet all four-color needs.”

In Europe, Sun Chemical is rolling out SmartColour, an integrated system designed to ensure color consistency. SmartColour is based on building a color library with specific, measurable attributes that ensure consistency and easy management of color choices.

“Consumer product companies have built brands with high recognition that people turn to around the world because they identify them as valuable,” said Chris Morrissey, corporate vice president, marketing. “Color is integral to brand building because it offers instant recognition. Slight variations in ads, packaging or other promotions can diminish the value of a brand.”

Emphasizing a commitment to leading the industry in breakthrough technologies and new products, Sun Chemical named Dr. Cynthia Arnold as chief technology officer. Dr. Arnold assumed the role from Dr. David Hill, senior vice president, technology and operations, to whom she reports. Dr. Arnold also will lead Sun Chemical’s global technology and quality organizations, as well as identify, establish and drive key commercialization initiatives. Additionally, Dr. Arnold will have direct accountability for Sun Chemical’s global R&D and quality organizations, and indirect accountability for global technical service organizations.
In another strategic business move, Sun Chemical appointed Richard Pettifor corporate vice president and president, North American Packaging Inks. Mr. Pettifor is responsible for all packaging ink sales, marketing and product management, and will retain responsibility for global security inks. He joined Sun Chemical Ltd. in 1994.

Michael Murphy resigned early in 2005 as president of its North American Inks division, which spans the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Mr. Murphy had been with Sun Chemical for more than 33 years, leading its North American operations since 1997. “We all wish Mike much success in his future endeavors,” Mr. Lucas said.

Sun Chemical recognizes that controlling costs is essential to printers who may not have the tools to identify and implement potential savings. Based on its experiences with best practices in pressrooms worldwide, Sun Chemical has developed a new service that identifies the “total cost to print.” In Europe, the heatset program is known as ISIS, while the sheetfed version is known as “Capturing Value.”

In this consultative service based on Six Sigma, Sun Chemical representatives are working with printers and users of its color pigments to employ a data-driven analytical methodology that can identify savings opportunities in the manufacturing environment by reviewing the materials and procedures currently employed.

Sun Chemical also continued its efforts to situate its businesses in locations where it can best meet customer needs, while controlling costs.

In March, Sun Chemical Corporation relocated its global headquarters to Parsippany, NJ. “Our headquarters supports the management of our global units where Sun Chemical does its day-to-day business,” said Mr. Lucas. “The building is a purpose-built site that better fits our present needs and the size of our headquarters staff. It will accommodate Sun Chemical’s continued value-added strategy and allow us to provide our customers and our business units with expanded, efficient services.”

The new 66,065-square-foot facility features a state-of-the-art conference center. Parsippany, NJ is approximately 30 miles west of New York City. The Sun Chemical headquarters had been in Fort Lee, NJ, since 1971. Kohl & Madden, the commercial division of Sun Chemical North American Inks, moved its headquarters from Fort Lee to Carlstadt, NJ, where Sun Chemical has its primary R&D facility.

In addition, Sun Chemical continued its program of consolidating customer service centers. In many cities, Sun Chemical has had multiple facilities for each of its divisions operating in that area. Sun Chemical has begun combining these operations into expanded, single facilities designed to provide a wider array of services for all product lines. In 2004, some of these new facilities were launched in the metro areas of Chicago, Detroit and Dallas-Fort Worth.

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2. Flint Ink Corporation
4600 Arrowhead Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2773
Phone: (734) 622-6000
Fax: (734) 622-6131

Sales: $1.47 billion worldwide. North American Sales: $900 million (Ink World estimate).

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. Color management products and services. Dry, flushed and presscake pigments and aqueous dispersions.

Key Personnel: H. Howard Flint II, chairman; Leonard D. (Dave) Frescoln, vice chairman and CEO; Linda J. Welty, president and 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; Dr. Graham C. Battersby, president, Precisia LLC, and VP, chief technology officer, Flint Ink Corporation; Diane K. Watt, president, Progressive Color Media LLC; W. Rucker Wickline, president, CDR Pigments & Dispersions; Michael J. Gannon, senior VP and CFO; Glenn T. Autry, VP, human resources; Donald G. Barnowski, VP, chief information officer; John R. (Jack) Benson, VP, corporate procurement; Dennis L. Cavner, VP, manufacturing services; Rita A. Conrad, VP, corporate communications; Craig J. Foster, VP and general manager, CDR Pigments & Dispersions; Lawrence E. King, VP, general counsel and secretary; Kathryn P. Marx, VP and chief marketing officer; Ron S. Muawad, VP of business finance; David A. Sikorski, VP, controller; James A. Steel, VP and treasurer; Gary S. Hoeppner, assistant treasurer.

Number of Employees: 4,400 worldwide.

Comments: For Flint Ink, 2004 was a time for overall growth as well as further expansion worldwide, even as the company came to grips with rapidly increasing raw material prices.

The past year was also a time of change in the leadership of Flint Ink. Flint Ink Corporation announced several changes in its top leadership, effective Jan. 1, 2005. H. Howard Flint II assumed the position of non-executive chairman of the board of directors for the company. He had served as both chairman and CEO since 1992. Dave Frescoln, president of the organization since 1992, was elected vice chairman and CEO of the global company, while COO Linda Welty was named to the added role of president. David B. Flint continues in his position of executive vice president of the family-owned company.

“These changes will ensure a smooth transition at the very top of our organization,” said H. Howard Flint II. “I will continue to have an active role in setting the direction of the company, and will support the new leadership team in whatever way I can as they take on the challenges of a changing industry.”

Also in January 2005, Dr. Graham Battersby, vice president and chief technology officer for Flint Ink, was named president of Precisia LLC, the corporation’s wholly-owned printed electronics subsidiary.

Flint Ink has been enjoying particularly strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region, and the company’s new facilities in China are a key to Flint Ink’s future growth.

In April, Flint Ink celebrated the official opening of a new state-of-the-art ink manufacturing facility in Beijing, China. Located in the Daxing Industrial Development Area of Beijing, the 23,000 square-meter facility currently produces coldset and heatset inks for the fast-growing China market and is expected to export products to the surrounding Asian countries in the future.

David Flint, Flint Ink’s executive vice president, and Henry Leong, president, Flint Ink Asia, led the inaugural event, attended by dignitaries and customers, to unveil the facility.

“As the largest newspaper printing center in China, Beijing is the ideal location for our news ink manufacturing plant,” said David Flint. “In partnership with the Beijing Youth Daily, Economic Daily, Workers Daily and Army Daily newspapers, we designed a facility that provides high quality products and services tailored to the region’s needs.”

Also in April, Flint Ink announced the opening of a dedicated news ink plant in Ingleburn, New South Wales, Australia. The 9,000 square-meter facility manufactures coldset ink systems for newspaper printing customers in Australia and New Zealand. With this new plant, Flint Ink is able to offer faster product delivery and response times and enhanced technical service to its customers. The Ingleburn plant demonstrates Flint Ink’s commitment to strengthening its leading position in inks in Australia and New Zealand through continual investment in the region, and comes on the heels of the company’s acquisition of SICPA Group’s worldwide heatset and coldset ink business in 2003. The plant will also be able to provide news and directory ink for the Indian and Southeast Asian markets.

In addition to the new plants in Beijing, China and Ingleburn, Australia, Flint Ink announced plans in May for significant global investment. Flint Ink’s manufacturing investments in Asia, Europe and India/Pacific will enable the company to provide customers with more efficient product delivery, stricter product consistency and broader-based customer service.

In Europe, the company’s Flint-Schmidt business unit has made a major investment in fully automating its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Vienna, Austria, creating efficiency and productivity improvements. The facility produces process color inks for commercial and packaging sheetfed applications. Flint-Schmidt’s liquid inks manufacturing site in Lodz, Poland, is undergoing a significant upgrade, reflecting the company’s commitment to the Central and Eastern European market. New blending facilities for water- and solvent-based flexographic and gravure printing inks have been installed and are fully operational. The Lodz facility also serves as a distribution center for the region. Flint-Schmidt has also invested in new blending equipment installations at key distributor centers, including Aras in Istanbul, Turkey and AVT Poligraf Ltd. in Moscow, Russia.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Flint Ink consolidated the Auckland, New Zealand facility’s manufacturing, product development and warehousing into one site, creating efficiencies and improved capacity. The Auckland plant manufactures conventional and UV paste inks, screen inks and water-based and solvent-based dispersions for the commercial, publication, news and packaging markets. The plant services New Zealand, Australia, India, China and Southeast Asia. In India, funding has been approved for a coldset ink plant in India to support the growing number of newspaper printing ink customers served by Incowax.

Flint Ink has taken initial steps toward construction of a fluid ink manufacturing company to serve the rapidly expanding Chinese package printing market. Subject to local government approval, the new company will be called Flint Ink (Guangzhou) Printing Ink Co., Ltd. A plant is to be built in Guangzhou, China, in the southern part of the country, not far from Hong Kong. In addition to manufacturing water- and solvent-based inks for the packaging market, the new plant will serve as a blending site for sheetfed inks.

Flint Ink also launched new initiatives in color management and sheetfed, as well as a wide range of innovative new products.

In September, Flint Ink Corporation announced the launch of Progressive Color Media LLC, a new company providing a full range of workflow color management solutions integrating hardware, software and services. The company’s services enable printers, graphic designers, publishers and brand owners to achieve fast and accurate color reproduction, increase efficiencies and improve brand integrity.

Progressive Color Media was created to fill the gap that exists in workflows involving many participants. Currently, color management tools and services are focused on providing discrete solutions for specific production stages. Progressive Color Media’s services integrate and synchronize people, processes and technologies to optimize the full benefits of color management. Services include baseline assessment, solution development and design, implementation and on-going support. The company advises its customers on software and hardware selection, as well as optimizing utilization of existing equipment.

In October, Flint Ink announced the creation of a new global sheetfed division to deliver ArrowStar products for sheetfed commercial and package printing applications worldwide. The ArrowStar Ink System is formulated to deliver robust, consistent performance on any sheetfed application, anywhere in the world. The global ArrowStar product portfolio contains nine different process sets, two hi-fidelity process sets, and blending bases and basic colors for spot colors. The Flint Ink research team has also developed best-in-class ArrowStar UV offset formulations to meet demand in this growing segment.

Flint Ink also launched new Arrowlith UV inks, the commercial printing industry’s first UV ink system for color coldset web applications. Arrowlith UV inks offer commercial coldset web printers the ability to print on coated and supercalendered stocks, broadening their existing capabilities and increasing pressroom productivity. With Arrowlith UV inks, coldset printers can now print full-color, high-volume newspaper inserts, Sunday sections and other special projects in-house. Printing with Arrowlith UV inks also enhances the quality of traditional coldset printing applications by creating images with sharper colors and higher gloss.

“For Flint Ink, the packaging market continues to be a strong market and, this year, with the announcement of our new global sheetfed ink product line, ArrowStar, and our new UV coldset news ink, Arrowlith UV, the commercial and news ink segments were very exciting for us as well,” said Kathryn P. Marx, vice president and CMO, marketing and strategic planning for Flint Ink. “We are encouraged by the overwhelming interest in these products.”

In addition to Arrowstar and Arrowlith, Flint Ink’s R&D experts were busy formulating numerous products.

Flint Ink launched new Rub’nSmell scented inks to significantly enhance the appeal of consumer brands. Rub’nSmell inks extend the enticing scents of products to consumers to drive brand sales at the point-of-purchase. The marketing-enhancing technology is being delivered through a partnership with Scentisphere LLC. The new, colorless inks are ideal for packaging and labeling applications as well as promotional uses such as direct mailers and printed advertisements. The inks can be formulated with stock scents, like lemon, or custom fragrances, and activate only when rubbed.

Flint Ink also announced new Arrowbond Ultra ink, a high-performance laminating ink system for flexo and gravure printing. The growing number of films, increased complexity of packaging applications and the importance of efficient press room management require fewer ink systems that do more. The unique chemistry of Arrowbond Ultra makes it suitable for many different films and applications, including heavy gauge constructions and packages undergoing secondary heat applications, such as zipper pouches.

Flint Ink 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, and are ideal for high quality printing with fine line anilox rolls. These unique features yield significant improvements in print quality, color reproduction and press speeds.

The dramatic increases in raw material prices are impacting the ink industry, and John R. (Jack) Benson, Flint Ink’s vice president, corporate procurement, sees no immediate relief from escalating costs.

“Sustained high feedstock prices are cascading down through the supply chain, and everyone is feeling the effects,” said Mr. Benson. “‘Feedstock prices’ refers to the prices for the very basic chemicals that are used to make the products used to manufacture ink – benzene, ethylene, propylene and natural gas, for example. Commodity products, such as acetates and alcohols, are in high demand and restricted capacity in the chemicals industry is allowing record price increases. We expect this will continue through 2005 and into 2006.”

In order to become more efficient, Flint Ink has fully implemented Six Sigma and other process improvement programs.

“Six Sigma is fully integrated in Flint Ink North America as part of our process improvement strategy supplementing our 5S, Best Practices and Lean Manufacturing activities,” said Jeffrey Gilbert, Flint Ink’s director of process improvement. “Managers have been trained in the effective utilization of Six Sigma, employees have been introduced to the methodology and individuals have been developed as Six Sigma Green Belts and Black Belts. The Green Belts and Black Belts are actively leading improvement projects in the operations focusing efforts on improving product consistency and quality, while reducing process cycle times. Six Sigma will continue to be used when appropriate as a strategy for improvement in North America.”

With all of the changes that are now in place, Flint Ink is well positioned for growth in the coming years, although profitability will continue to be a challenge for the industry as a whole.

“Continued cost increases, both in raw materials and energy/transportation costs, continued to make ink manufacturing a challenging business in which to participate,” said Ms. Marx. “In spite of this, Flint Ink fared well in 2004.

“Seems like we say this every year, but 2005 will be another very challenging year for the ink industry as a whole,” Ms. Marx concluded. “Maintaining adequate profitability for reinvestment in new technologies and R&D will continue to be problematic.”

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3. INX International Ink Co.
651 Bonnie Lane
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: (847) 290-0302
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; Bryce Kristo, CFO, senior VP general affairs; Yasuhiro Hashimoto, CTO, senior VP product development; George Polasik, COO, senior VP operations; Charles Sagert, senior VP, sales; Joseph Cichon, senior VP, manufacturing technology; Charles Weinholzer, senior VP, liquid division; Dave Waller, VP, director national account/segment leaders; Jonathan Ellaby, VP, international division; Janet Beasley, VP, quality systems.

Number of Employees: Approximately 1,225.

Operating Facilities: Approximately 30 locations and 160 in-plants throughout North America. Subsidiaries: INX International U.K., Manchester, England; INX International France, Bretigny, France. Parent company: Sakata Inx, Osaka, Japan.

Comments: Like its ink industry counterparts, INX International Ink Co. saw its sales grow, although pressure from raw material prices are causing serious concern.

“It was a good year, a difficult year but a good year,” said Rick Clendenning, INX International Ink Co.’s president and CEO. “ It is still highly competitive. We’re realistic in our pricing. We have to be competitive in the market place. Raw material price increases are coming fast and furious and we’re doing the best we can. It’s going to be difficult. We’re in good shape going into 2005, but we need to concentrate on controlling the raw material price increases.”

“It was a good year for us, as our sales grew in commercial and packaging is always solid,” said Bryce Kristo, CFO, senior vice president. “We started to see solid sales growth from one month to the next without the volatility of the past few years, and sales were more predictable. We do see our raw material costs increasing. We have done our price increases strategically, looking at where we stand in the market and looking at what the market will bear.”

One highlight for INX International Ink was the May 2004 acquisition of Holliday Encres, a French-based liquid ink specialist, which gives INX further access to the European packaging market.

“Holliday Encres wasn’t a global company and didn’t get a lot of backing from the parent company, so profitability was down and it was difficult for them to compete with the global ink companies,” Mr. Kristo said. “Our European customers want us to have a presence near them, so this allows us to follow our customers into Europe. Holliday Encres has technologies in the tissue and napkin markets that we are looking at, which would be a nice addition to our single serve cup and plate products, and its manufacturing facilities are very automated and efficient.”

A major highlight this year was the opening of INX’s new two-piece metal deco ink plant in Charlotte, NC, among other capital expenditures.

“Our new Charlotte plant shows our commitment to the two-piece metal deco market,” Mr. Clendenning said. “It’s the only plant dedicated to metal deco in the world. It’s state of the art, and has tremendous batch-to-batch consistency. We’re also working on improving our West Chicago and Edwardsville, Kansas City facilities.”

The company made a number of key personnel moves this year. George Polasik is now COO, Charlie Sagert is vice president of sales for INX’s entire operation, and with John Carlson reducing his workload, Bryce Kristo is now in charge of finance, marketing and general affairs. Yasuhiro Hashimoto has now become the company’s CTO and senior vice president product development, with Joseph Cichon, senior vice president, manufacturing technology, focusing his efforts on Total Productive Maintenance.

INX International Ink Co. focuses tremendous time and energy on new products, and the past year has seen a variety of new product launches, including the company’ s new OPL paste ink dispensers and EcoPure sheetfed inks, LithoPak sheetfed process inks for carton and ProMark sheetfed inks, which are ideal for label among other applications.

“We have put a lot of the OPL dispensers in our own plants and are doing beta testing,” Mr. Kristo said. “EcoPure has really taken off; it’s a quick setting high-performance sheetfed ink that is soy-based. LithoPak and Promark have also been strong recent additions.”

These new products illustrate how INX International Ink’s Solutions approach by market is moving forward.
“Our Solutions approach is more than just selling ink. By going to a market segmentation approach, we are able to align our sales, technical service and development resources to our customers’ applications, opening our capabilities to benefit them,” Mr. Kristo said.

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4. Chemical Research/ Technology, Division of Quad/Graphics
1951 Constitution Ave.
Hartford, WI 53027
Phone: (262) 673-1400
Fax: (262) 673-1459

Sales: $175 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Offset and gravure inks.

Key Personnel: Tim Hofstetter, president; Greg Laszewski, general manager.

Number of Employees: 83.

Operating Facilities: Lomira, WI; Oklahoma City, OK; Martinsburg, WV; Greenfield, IA; Hartford, WI.

Comments: In the printing industry, the story of the success of Quad/Graphics Inc. is legendary. In a little more than three decades, Quad/Graphics has grown to a more than $2 billion printer, the third-largest in the U.S., specializing in offset and gravure. In recent years, the company’s introduction of its Jackrabbit gravure presses has made Quad/Graphics the technology leader in the gravure field.

In order to supply its ink requirements, Quad/Graphics formed its Chemical Research/Technology (CR/T) division, both to supply the company’s offset and gravure ink needs and to develop new products that will ensure Quad/Graphics’ leadership in the printing industry. CR/T has done just that, and continues to create innovative inks for Quad/Graphics.

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5. DuPont Ink Jet
Barley Mill Plaza, P30/2367
P.O. Box 80030
Wilmington, DE 19880-0030
Phone: (877) 234-1794;
(302) 992-4264
Fax: (302) 892-5609

Sales: $150 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.

Key Locations: 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, is 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 printers, supplying many of the leading home printer OEMs.

DuPont Ink Jet is also a prominent supplier for wide format printers. For example, the company has developed DuPont Fusion aqueous pigment inks, a fluid synthesis of durability, versatility and permanence, which is based on DuPont Ink Jet’s GO inks. DuPont Fusion inks are UV and water-resistant, and are ideal for a wide variety of outdoor and indoor media. In 2004, the company also launched Fusion dye inks.

On the system side, the company has developed its DuPont Artistri product portfolio for the textile market, complete with equipment, software and ink. The inks come in pigment, acid dye, disperse dye or reactive dye. In June 2004, the company celebrated the shipment of the 50th complete Artistri 2020 printer. Research into ink jet has also led DuPont to develop DuPont Specialty Colorants and Additives business, which was launched in late 2003.

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6. 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; Ralf Fassbender, director of finance; Jyoti Gidvani, director of materials.

Number of Employees: 330.

Operating Facilities: Headquarters and two plants in Des Moines, IA; Spartanburg, SC; Neenah, WI; Hazleton, PA; Woodbridge, ON; San Antonio, TX.

Comments: In December 2003, Siegwerk Group acquired Color Converting Inc., the second-largest producer of solvent-based packaging inks in the U.S. The combination of the two companies created the second-largest flexible packaging ink manufacturer in the world, and is allowing the two companies to market their cutting-edge technologies throughout the world.

As a result, 2004 resulted in continued steady growth for Color Converting, with an approximately 6 percent increase in revenue. However, profitability was challenged due to the continued pressure from raw material pricing. For Color Converting, the major news was the continued successful blending of the two companies.

“2004 was a year of integration with Siegwerk International in areas of purchasing, product development, customer integration and administration,” said Dan McDowell, Color Converting’s president. “Color Converting embarked on its share of global representation within Siegwerk International by opening up two new subsidiaries in Canada and Mexico, thus creating a North American packaging infrastructure. Restructuring of our sales and technical departments to administer global account management within the framework of Siegwerk International was also a major project.

“By the end of 2004 we considered the integration ‘project’ complete,” Mr. McDowell added. “I believe the integration has accomplished its objective of combining the best of both organizations. Siegwerk International and Color Converting have both benefited from working together to integrate best practices, from product technology to in-plant management. There continues to be incremental improvements in our two organizations integration.”

Mr. McDowell said that Color Converting’s customers showed stronger growth in 2004.

“The customer base seemed to return to normal GDP growth across our base,” Mr. McDowell said. “Continued improvement in printing performance required in the marketplace shows that the packaging segment of the ink industry continues to present opportunities for their ink providers to present value-added products and services.”

Color Converting announced a price increase early in 2005, and Mr. McDowell said that customers have understood the pressures that Color Converting is facing.

“We have been very pleased with the customer’s acceptance of our announced price increase,” Mr. McDowell said. “They truly understood our pressures from a raw material costing perspective as they see these same types of pressures on their resin, solvent and additive pricing. We do not see our raw material pricing pressures easing any in the near term. We must first see supply increase or demand decrease on the major commodities prior to any type of stability on pricing.”

For CCI, 2005 will likely hold new product introductions and further international growth.

“We will be focused on applying product technology offerings from our European researchers into product innovations within North America,” Mr. McDowell said. “As well, implementation and integration of growth opportunities will be a focus.”

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.

Comments: Led by Dr. Ansgar Nonn, Siegwerk Group’s worldwide president of the company’s print media division, Siegwerk, Inc. had a good year in terms of sales.

Still, the publication gravure business is highly competitive, which impacts ink suppliers. Siegwerk, Inc. leaders anticipate profit pressure intensifying due to continued raw material price increases without the corresponding customer price increases.

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7. SICPA Management S.A.
SICPA Securink Corporation
8000 Research Way
Springfield, VA 22153
Phone: (703) 455-8050
Fax: (703) 450-2423
SICPA North America Inc.
Packaging Inks Business Unit
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; Vaudreuil-Dorian, Quebec.

Comments: Perhaps the most challenging ink applications are found in the field of currency and documents, where R&D specialists are asked to create sophisticated products that will keep counterfeiters and terrorists at bay. This requires tremendous R&D resources and support.

When it comes to security ink, SICPA Management S.A., a Switzerland-based printing ink manufacturer, is clearly the worldwide leader for currency and sensitive documents, with sales of $740 million during 2003. It is estimated that SICPA provides more than 85 percent of the world’s security inks.

In the U.S., SICPA Securink, located in Springfield, VA, dominates the security ink business, with its inks appearing on everything from currency and security documents to other documents of value. For SICPA, creating the color-shifting Optically Variable Ink for U.S. currency has been a critical aspect in cutting down counterfeiting. In conjunction with its parent company and its high-tech suppliers, SICPA has created countless innovative inks in its R&D laboratories, and backs them up with strong technical support. To help meet increasing demand, SICPA Securink opened a fourth ink making facility in North America, near Montreal in Vaudreuil-Dorian, Quebec in 2003.

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; Gordon Mackenzie, VP and business manager, packaging group; Ed Dedman, business manager, narrow web and energy curable group.

Number of Employees: 173.

Operating Facilities: Minneapolis, MN; Richmond, VA; Prescott, ONT; Cincinnati, OH; Oakville, ONT; Norristown, PA; Vacaville, CA; Montreal, QUE.

Comments: SICPA North America Inc. has continued to expand into the packaging market, utilizing its new technologies to gain new opportunities.

“2004 was a good year, with very good organic sales growth,” said Peter Mulheran, president and CEO of SICPA North America. “We signed long-term contracts with several major label and packaging converters last year. We had very good growth in the prime label market, along with excellent gains in the flexible packaging arena.”

As has been the case throughout the ink industry, raw material price increases are impacting SICPA North America.

“We have implemented price increases for all of our products, and our customers have, in large part, been very accepting of this need,” Mr. Mulheran said. “Raw material prices continue to rise, and we expect this to continue.”

New technologies continue to drive SICPA North America’s expansion into the packaging and narrow web segments.

“We released a new multi-purpose solvent-based ink system for retort packaging called SICPAFilm P, along with four new UV screen opaque white inks,” Mr. Mulheran said. “All of these have been met with fantastic market demand, and sales are growing quickly. We anticipate continued development of new products for both of our groups, along with streamlining of our manufacturing and distribution models.”

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8. Wikoff Color Corporation
1886 Merritt Road
Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: (803) 548-2210
Fax: (803) 548-5728

Sales: $95 million (Ink World estimate).

Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks, solvent- and water-based flexo and gravure 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; Buck Rorie, VP of finance and administration.

Number of Employees: 530.

Operating Facilities: 29 manufacturing plants and four sales/service centers. Headquarters and research and development facilities are located in Fort Mill, SC.

Comments: It has been a tremendous year of growth for Wikoff Color, as the company acquired two small respected ink manufacturers.

On April 30, Wikoff Color acquired Century Color Co., Lowell, MA, a high quality sheetfed and web offset ink manufacturer with sales in the northeastern U.S. On July 28, Wikoff Color acquired Merit Ink & Coating, Alpharetta, GA, a manufacturer of flexo and gravure inks and specialty coatings for the packaging and security industries, with sales primarily in the eastern U.S. Merit Ink & Coating was the ink and coatings supplier for Scientific Games International, the world’s largest manufacturer of scratch-off lottery tickets.

Phil Lambert, Wikoff Color’s president and CEO, said the addition of Merit Ink & Coating and Century Color have brought excellent people and opportunities to Wikoff Color, and have made Wikoff Color a stronger company.

The acquisition of Merit Ink & Coating was a fortunate one. Wikoff Color was bidding on Scientific Games’ ink and coatings business. When it became clear that Wikoff Color would receive the contract, Scientific Games’ leaders suggested Mr. Lambert look into acquiring Merit Ink & Coating.

The addition of Merit Ink & Coating has provided Wikoff Color with new technologies in the solvent-based flexo and gravure marketplace, which fit in with the company’s recent plans.

“Even before we acquired Merit Ink, we had decided that we would focus more resources on growing our solvent-based ink business,” Mr. Lambert said. “Years ago, we committed our efforts in fluid inks to water-base and UV; but solvent-based products are here to stay, especially in the flexible packaging market. The acquisition of Merit has accelerated our growth into solvent-based flexo and gravure.”

The addition of Century Color provides Wikoff Color with an experienced team in New England, led by Ralph Viscione, who is now Wikoff Color’s Northeast regional manager.

“Century Color gave us stronger market presence and a combined team that gives us the deepest technical support team in the New England market,” Mr. Lambert said. “We’ve retained our customer base and are moving toward plans to combine Century Color’s facilities in Lowell, MA, with our operations in Concord, NH, into a new facility in southern New Hampshire. The new facility will serve the New England area along with our Brockton, MA operation.”

Acquiring companies is a new experience for Wikoff Color, and so far the mergers have gone smoothly.

“I think our blending is going well, as our new people fit in really well with our company’s culture,” Mr. Lambert said. “Both Merit Ink and Century Color have been good additions, a very talented group of people with the same attitudes toward service and satisfying customers.”

As a result of these acquisitions as well as some internal growth, Wikoff Color saw its sales grow substantially in 2004.

“We were up 20 percent overall in 2004, with the largest part due to our acquisitions,” Mr. Lambert said. “As for the rest of the business, we lost some business in a couple of our large customers, and gained a lot of offsetting business as well as growth from our present customers. Our biggest growth was in our fluid ink business, while the losses we have incurred have been on the offset side. However, raw material prices are a huge concern. We’re getting prices up, but it’s hard to keep pace with material cost increases.”

Mr. Lambert anticipates further growth in 2005, as Wikoff Color continues to expand into new regions and new product lines.

“We are looking to grow our position by expanding our own product lines and by continuing to provide the best value to our customers,” Mr. Lambert said.

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9. 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: $90 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: Toyo Ink International: Fusao Ito, president; John Higgins, CFO. Toyo Ink America: Tak O’Haru, president; James F. MacNeill, VP, finance; Mike Keegan, VP, sales; John Copeland, VP, operations. LioChem: Osamu Sato, president and CEO; Yasuo Koga, executive VP; Terry Hall, director of manufacturing; William Bonny, CFO; Hudson Moody, director of sales and marketing.

Number of Employees: 200.

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

Comments: Even as traditional printing remains in flux, there are still plenty of tremendous opportunities available for printers and ink manufacturers alike, particularly in highly technical applications such as printing electronics and optronics.

For Toyo Ink America, optical technologies has been one key to the company’s excellent results in 2004, as it recorded $90 million in sales.

“In 2004, Toyo Ink America increased our sales more than 20 percent as our new optical technology did quite well, as did our digital and toner segments,” said Tak O’Haru, president of Toyo Ink America. “Toyo Ink has been working on conductive and de-electric materials for more than 20 years and we are now commercializing these products. Our new optical technology facility in Vista, CA is working out well.”

Since Toyo Ink’s U.S. operations will continuously expand and diversify its business, corporate headquarters decided to assign a new regional president, Fusao Ito, who was in an executive position of corporate strategic management reporting to group CEO Kunio Sakuma.

Toyo Ink America also did well in its core sheetfed ink business, with growth coming on the packaging side and UV.

“Our traditional ink business was fairly stable, showing 5 percent growth in sales from last year,” Mr. O’Haru said. “We had very good growth in the UV cure market on both the packaging and commercial side. Our HyPlus 100 is a zero VOC conventional sheetfed ink that is environmentally friendly and offers good printability, and it has launched very heavily.”

Toyo Ink America’s LioChem business has been another area of strong growth, as can be seen by the three extensions added on in the last six years. As LioChem will assume much more growth and diversification in the near future, Osamu Sato will be focusing on the CEO position at LioChem and Yasuo Koga has been chosen as executive vice president to support the especially tremendous growth area of plastic colorants.

“Our plastic colorants business has strongly increased, and our company foresees huge opportunities in that field,” Mr. O’Haru said. “Yasuo Koga is from our plastic colorants business unit, and he’s the right person to lead that business.”

In another personnel move, Mike Keegan was named vice president of sales for Toyo Ink America. “Mike has been with Toyo Ink for eight years, and grew our Midwest business tremendously,” Mr. O’Haru said. “He has been doing a great job.”

Pricing in the face of increasing raw material costs remains a concern.

“We have faced tremendous increases in prices for raw materials and specialty items, but so far we are holding our increases, although if this continues, we may have to review our pricing,” Mr. O’Haru said.
Mr. O’Haru expects 2005 to be another strong year of growth.

“We are very optimistic for 2005, with especially huge growth in the optical/chemical business,” Mr. O’Haru said. “Our goal this year is 25 percent, which is fairly large. We also expect good growth in plastic color and digital/toner business as well as some big projects coming to fruition in our traditional ink business. In the U.S., we are getting a lot of opportunities based on our reputation.”

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

Sales: $79 million.

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; Doug Anderson, VP of operations; Mary Dickey, CFO; Jennifer Kirkby, director of sales and marketing; 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.

Number of Employees: 187.

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

Comments: Central Ink Corporation (CIC) had a very strong year in 2004, setting sales records, opening a new facility in Las Vegas, NV, adding new personnel and showing solid growth in news and UV inks as well as its core heatset business.

“In terms of sales, 2004 was our best year ever,” said Gregg Dahleen, CIC’s vice president of sales and marketing. “We had fantastic growth in UV and coldset, and our core business, heatset, was also up.”

Increasing raw material prices have cut into margins of all ink manufacturers, and CIC was no exception.

Raw material increases are hitting us, and we are feeling the effects,” Mr. Dahleen said. “It’s getting harder and harder to make margins. This deterioration has led us to further investigate offshore raw materials and broaden our supply base. We have to concentrate on process, improving internal efficiencies, streamlining and adding some automation. I don’t know where we would be if we didn’t shift to dry pigment a few years ago, which has also helped our ability to formulate.”

One area CIC emphasizes is customer service, led by its Mobile Print Diagnostics team headed by Ron Schultz.

“Our mobile diagnostics team has been well received by all facets of our business,” Mr. Dahleen said. “The team, which has personnel spread around the country, is made up of experts who are more printers than ink guys, and know printing from prepress to the printed sheet.”

All in all, Mr. Dahleen anticipates further growth in 2005 and beyond.

“I think we’re in for another good year,” Mr. Dahleen said. “The game plan initiated a couple of years ago is coming to fruition, where we went into new product lines with a solid approach. We added UV, and went national with coldset.”

The key to future growth for CIC is by expanding its national base, and Mr. Dahleen said that coldset is the perfect market to begin that effort.

“We are working on breaking away from the appearance that we are a regional company,” Mr. Dahleen said. “We are becoming more national, and the coldset business is helping us, as we have national accounts from coast to coast. We recently set up a distribution center in Las Vegas, and are looking at expanding our Pennsylvania facility from a blending plant to a full-service manufacturing center.”

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

Sales: $77 million.

Major Products: Heatset, coldest, sheetfed, news, publication gravure and UV/EB inks; 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: James Mahony, president and CEO; Dhaval Nanavati, VP, operations; Ron Douglass, VP, sales and marketing, direct sales division; Vimal Mehra, director, sheetfed and raw materials division; Vaidyanathan Mahadevan, finance manager.

Number of Employees: 107.

Operational Facilities: Kankakee, IL.

Comments: In its fourth year of operations, Micro Inks Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Micro Inks Ltd., India, formerly Hindustan Inks and Resins Ltd., continued its growth, increasing sales by nearly 15 percent.

2004 witnessed a change at Micro Inks as James Mahony, former president and CEO of Flint Ink, Europe, assumed responsibilities as the president and CEO of Micro Inks, USA. Mr. Mahony also assists the managing director of Micro Inks Limited, India, in the areas of international business development and strategy, mergers and acquisitions.

In addition to an increase in Micro Ink’s finished ink sales, its raw material products line continued to grow at an above average rate.

Micro Inks aims to be one of the leading ink companies in the U.S. over the next five years. To realize this ambitious goal, the company’s focus will be on the key strategies and cost containment.

In terms of key strategies, Micro Inks is maintaining its R&D focus and cost competitiveness, while growing its business through strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions. Meanwhile, as a part of its global strategy, Micro Inks has built the largest ink manufacturing plant in the world in Vapi, Gujarat, India, applying ‘value’ engineering, and its world capacity can cater to the growing global market.

Micro Inks has an ongoing cost containment program, in which different teams work continuously to find innovative ways in critical functions such as sourcing, working capital management, efficient manufacturing, waste elimination, safety and environmental health and logistics.

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12. 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 is a world leader in innovative and reliable product identification solutions for the world’s leading companies. Solutions include equipment, software, supplies and services, for industries including food and beverage, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and electronics. Markem is also on the leading edge of RFID implementation. 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, Markem Solutions; 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, UK. Markem has subsidiaries in 17 countries, including Canada, China, UK, 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 a leading provider of identification systems, software, supplies and services for product marking and coding. The company specializes in full marking and coding systems that produce identification on everything 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.

Markem has long been active in ink jet, having first begun its efforts 16 years ago. Recognizing the potential of ink jet coding and marking, Markem acquired Spectra, Inc., now the leading piezo ink jet printhead manufacturer, in 1996. 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.

Markem and Aellora Digital both had a strong year in 2004, both in terms of new products and growth.

“Markem Corporation had an excellent year in 2005, and Markem Solutions had an excellent year as well, growing at double digits, as they did in 2004,” said Mario Carluccio, business development manager, Aellora Digital. “Last year was a very encouraging first year for the new business venture of Aellora Digital. Interest level was especially high for our unique hybrid UV-curable ink jet technology. With more than 150 installations now worldwide, our white-pigmented hybrid UV-curable ink jet offerings continued to broaden the use of digital printing in various industrial applications. The introduction of our process colors based on this same chemistry platform further demonstrated the potential for piezo drop-on-demand ink jet technology into many commercial applications.”

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, and the company is naturally leveraging its expertise into new technologies such as RFID.

For RFID, Markem created its RFID SmartStart bundle, a conveyor-mounted RFID tagging station that can be crated and shipped directly to distribution centers. Setup is easy: plug in to air, electric and Ethernet and configure for the product. The SmartStart bundle includes key software and services.

To support RFID projects from pilot to production, Markem created a dedicated business group, Markem Applied Intelligence Solutions, which combines hardware, software and services so customers can deploy quickly and start learning immediately. By choosing a single partner, companies can avoid the challenges of bringing together multiple partners for equipment, software and services.

Markem also developed other new technologies during the past year. The SmartDate 5 thermal transfer coder, which offers users a choice between the SmartTouch full-color touch screen user interface or a standard Graphic User Interface (GUI). It is designed for use in industrial environments, and the SmartTouch controller includes onboard memory as well as supporting a compact flash card for personal computer data transfer/back-up, providing storage for multiple print jobs.

Markem also introduced its SmartLase 100 s series of laser coders, which offers users a low-cost laser coding solution suited to the harsh wash-down environments common in many food processing and packaging plants. The SmartLase 100 s series laser coders are enclosed in stainless steel, are corrosion resistant and protect the laser coder from airborne particles, water spray and cleansers. The SmartLase 100 s series of coders is ideal for printing permanent codes on labels, printed cartons and plastic.

For Aellora Digital, the company had an outstanding 2004 as the company reached new markets.

“The highlights for Aellora centered around the interest generated around our inks and printing systems at trade shows from end-users, integrators and OEM,” Mr. Carluccio said. “The value of our hybrid UV-curable jetting inks seems to be realized by users who are finally finding systems solutions to help their traditional-to-digital transition. The interest worldwide from Drupa to SGIA continued to confirm the Aellora value proposition.”

Mr. Carluccio said that Aellora Digital’s expertise in piezo drop-on-demand systems is helping customers utilize digital technologies.

“Our unique white and process color hybrid UV-curable chemistries are key enablers for piezo drop-on-demand ink jet,” Mr. Carluccio said. “Its broadest substrate reach, highest print quality at highest print outputs, maximum processing flexibility and impact to improving overall system reliability is helping this technology penetrate many industrial and commercial applications not previously attainable with standard liquid UV-curable jetting inks. Also, our more than two decades of experience and in-depth knowledge in piezo drop-on-demand ink jet systems integration is assisting companies in realizing the full benefits of this digital printing technology.”

To further meet demand, Aellora Digital launched a variety of new products during the past year. Process colors (CMYK plus LcLm) were introduced to its hybrid UV-curable jetting ink offerings in the fourth quarter.

“In addition to the performance advantages of being based on our unique hybrid UV-curable jetting chemistry, compatibility of these inks to our white-pigmented ink enable this digital printing technology to be essentially substrate independent for producing full color images,” Mr. Carluccio said. “We have added new chemists and product development resources to sustain our growth and bring new print engines and inks to the industries.”

In 2005, new products will include hybrid UV-curable jetting inks targeted at more difficult substrates such as untreated glass, metals and ceramics, and new high resolution print engines offering higher print outputs at lower costs.

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13. 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 sales and marketing; Mike McGowan, VP and technical director; Peter Walsh, VP of sales and marketing – SourceOne; Jim Davidson, VP of operations; John Simonson, VP of operations - SourceOne.

Operating Facilities: 16 in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Comments: In recent years, some screen printers have faced a decline in sales, partly due to the economy as well as the emergence of digital technologies, which has impacted screen ink manufacturers. For Nazdar, 2004 saw a rebound in screen ink sales as well as many new opportunities emerging.

“2004 was a very good year compared to the most recent few years, and we saw an overall rebound in the screen printing market segment,” said Richard Bowles, Nazdar’s vice president of sales and marketing.

In order to best serve its customers, Nazdar has developed a wide range of alliances with OEMs and ink companies, which has worked out well for all parties. Among the highlights, Nazdar signed an agreement in June with Vutek to become the exclusive North American distributor of Vutek wide and superwide digital ink jet printers to the screen print market. That followed an April 2004 agreement with Roland DGA in which Nazdar will distribute Roland’s complete line of full color digital printers and plotters.

Also in June, Nazdar announced an agreement with Encres Dubuit that names the company as Dubuit’s exclusive distributor of OD Plus Optical Disk inks and CD-R Pack DOC (Durable Overprint Coating) varnishes in the U.S.

“Several of our key new alliances, most notably Vutek, Roland and Encres Dubuit, allowed us to better serve our customer base and resulted in incremental market penetration at key accounts,” Mr. Bowles said. “We continue to pursue alliances that allow us to offer more to our existing customer base and allow us to grow in new market segments where our current infrastructure can be leveraged.”

Mr. Bowles said that the company continues to expand its international presence and distribution networks.

“We have signed our first European distributor, Quaglia in Italy, and are continuing our worldwide expansion plans,” Mr. Bowles said. “We also divisionalized our manufacturing and distribution organizations, branding our distribution organization as Nazdar SourceOne.”

Nazdar developed a variety of new products during the past year, which was a factor in its growth. Among the highlights was Versacon, a one-part UV curable screen ink for plastic containers formulated to adhere to HDPE, PET and many other plastic substrates. The company also introduced NSC UV Crystal Clear Transparent Ink Series, designed for the nameplate and membrane overlay market.

“We continued to refine our graphic ink lines, bringing the latest technology and features to our customers,” Mr. Bowles said.

Raw materials are a concern for Nazdar. “We definitely saw upward pressure on raw material prices in 2004 putting pressure on the price of our ink lines,” Mr. Bowles said.

Mr. Bowles is optimistic about Nazdar’s prospects in 2005.

“We anticipate very good growth in 2005 from new application markets, new geographic markets and growth in existing markets we serve,” Mr. Bowles said.

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

U.S. Sales: $65 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, vice president of sales; Bob Linck, director of marketing.

Number of Employees: 198.

Operating Facilities: Nine.

Comments: Sericol, Inc. continued on a positive path in 2004 as sales of its printing inks and related consumables strengthened versus the prior year. Spurred on by sustained sales of its line of UV digital flatbed presses from Inca, Sericol experienced excellent growth in its digital inks business.

However, growth was not limited to digital, as the company’s traditional screen and narrow web market segments also contributed significant volume gains during the year.

“2004 was a strong year overall for our company,” said Ed Carhart, Sericol’s CEO. “A favorable economic climate, the very spirited local and national political campaigns and some exciting new product introductions combined to provide a solid platform for growth versus 2003.”

The year was not without its challenges, however, as escalating raw material costs and the threat of material shortages was a constant reminder of the volatile nature of the printing ink industry in 2004.

“We continue to do our best to look for ways to hold the line on costs and maintain the level of product performance and customer support our customers have come to expect from Sericol,” said Mitch Bode, senior vice president, Sericol Inc. “However, due to the combination of raw material increases and rapidly rising transportation related expenses, we were forced to pass on a small portion of these increases to our customers early in 2005.”

On a positive note, one of the key highlights during 2004 was the continuing success of Sericol’s leading multi-substrate inks for graphic screen printing – UVantage and Fascure Ultra. Launched in 2003, Fascure Ultra has quickly become the ink of choice for graphic printers that utilize several different materials in their production process. Its unique properties provide a single solution for printing on more than 80 percent of the typical POP substrates used, which reduces changeover time, rationalizes printer ink inventory, simplifies color matching and is employee-friendly. Combining Fascure Ultra with Sericol’s ColorSense IMS ink dispensing systems, one for line colors and one for halftones, provides the perfect solution for streamlining the print process and increasing print shop efficiencies.

In the narrow web segment, Sericol introduced the innovative concept of High Definition UV Flexo printing (HDUV). Working in conjunction with other industry suppliers and key printers, Sericol developed HDUV Flexo to position UV flexography as the print process of choice for the most demanding narrow web label applications.

“HDUV printing produces a label that is at a level of quality not achievable by ordinary UV flexo printing and is achieved by having a digital workflow system utilizing a number of technologies, including our UVivid high definition UV inks,” said Bob Linck, director of marketing. “The results of utilizing together each of the components of an HDUV Flexo printing process are predictability, consistency and repeatability.”

In addition to developments in its core screen and narrow web segments, Sericol also enjoyed excellent growth in 2004 in its digital business platform. More than 60 Inca flatbed digital presses have now been installed in North America, all using Sericol’s patented Uvijet UV curable ink technology.

In addition to its successful line of Inca presses, Sericol also launched the Zund 250-Combi UV digital press in 2004 with an eye on capturing market share in the mid-range cost/speed point in the market. The Zund 250-Combi provides the digital printer with unmatched flexibility and features, such as six color printing with optional white ink, at a very affordable price.

Sericol also had a very successful launch of its Color+ line of solvent digital inks for grand format printers. Developed for most leading solvent printers, the Color+ series are the most technologically advanced solvent digital inks on the market today. They have been designed to deliver an unprecedented level of fine detail, while allowing printers to significantly improve productivity. With more than 250 installations the first year, Color+ is delivering on its promise.

As 2005 begins, Sericol is looking forward to continuing its recent strong performance, with a new parent, Fujifilm. On Jan. 19, it was announced that Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. had signed an agreement to acquire Sericol from an investment group led by Saratoga Partners. The deal closed Feb. 28.

According to Fujifilm, “The acquisition of Sericol will further expand and develop Fujifilm’s printing business, one of the company’s core businesses into other areas of industrial and package printing which are expected to grow steadily in demand.”

Fujifilm plans to operate Sericol as one of the key business units within its printing business, and its current management team will remain with the company.

“We are very pleased and excited with this change of ownership,” Mr. Carhart said. “Fujifilm is a well run, innovative, technology driven company with extensive resources that we will be able to draw upon to continue to grow all facets of our business.”

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13. 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: 400.

Operating Facilities: 25 branches and 29 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: While 2004 was a flat year in terms of sales for Superior Printing Ink, the company was actively preparing for the future. Central to this effort was the construction of a new varnish plant and warehouse distributing center (WDC) at the company’s central manufacturing facility (CMF) in Hamden, CT.

In October, Superior Printing Ink broke ground on its new 12,000 square foot varnish plant, which should be operational by this summer. The facility will manufacture overprint and mixing varnishes.

“The new plant will eliminate drums and freight costs and allow us to produce larger batches, with varnish pumped directly from our storage tanks into weighing vessels,” said Michael Brice, Superior Printing Ink’s president and COO.

“Our varnish manufacturing is moving to our central manufacturing facility (CMF), where we will have control of the flow,” said Harvey Brice, Superior Printing Ink’s managing director. “It’s an automated system, which will allow us to be even more consistent and efficient, and it will eliminate transportation problems.”

Superior Printing Ink continued to streamline its CMF, and added the new WDC next door.

“We also acquired a 25,000 square foot facility next door to our CMF, where we have set up our warehouse distribution center, which handles all of our raw materials and shipping to branches and customers,” Harvey Brice said. “We are also considering opening other facilities in order to have three central locations in the U.S.”

The company is also relocating its headquarters during the next year.

“We are in contract to sell our headquarters on Bethune Street, and our plan is to be out by March 15, 2006,” Harvey Brice said. “We will locate somewhere in northern New Jersey, but will still have a presence in New York City to service our customers in the city.”

In 2004, Superior Printing Ink’s sales held steady, with growth coming in in-plant operations.

“We’ve been able to maintain our base and are growing into new accounts,” Harvey Brice said. “We plan to expand our in-plant operations.”

Service is essential to Superior Printing Ink’s success.

“We’re banking on the fact that there is still a need for quality and service,” Harvey Brice said. “Service is a vital part of our business. Time and waste cost printers money. Due to our ability to provide excellent service, we’ve gained back some of the accounts we lost on price.”

As part of its quest to provide top-flight service, Superior Printing Ink is developing a sophisticated in-plant operation that will help on-site color formulations, manufacturing, troubleshooting and other client services. The company is also setting up teams made up of top executives, technical experts and sales representatives to serve accounts.

Rising raw material prices are a major concern for the ink industry, and Harvey Brice sees it as the most critical issue facing the industry.

“The main challenge facing the ink industry are the increasing raw material prices,” he said. “Certain raw material prices have skyrocketed, and there’s no relief in sight. You can only be so efficient. Availability is also an important issue. There is a greater possibility for allocations, which our industry hasn’t seen since the early 1970s. We are in the midst of raising our prices and we are hoping that our customers understand the validity of it.”

Superior Printing Ink has had good success with its UV, hybrid and Elite sheetfed inks, and the company is continually refining these products.

“We’re developing more customer-friendly UV inks, and our hybrid ink, InterCure, has become even more successful, especially in packaging,” Mr. Brice said. “Our Elite series of stay-open process inks are doing fine, and we are coming out with a new set that is even more customer-friendly.”

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16. 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, VP, sales and marketing; John Bendowski, national sales manager.

Number of Employees: 120.

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

Comments: Last year, Van Son Holland Ink made a major move when the company announced its new Vs5 ink for the mid- and large-sheetfed market. Aside from it being a new market for Van Son, Vs5 represented a whole new way to do business: bringing smaller ink companies on board to sell and service its new product. The first year results are in, and Joe Bendowski, Van Son Holland Ink’s president and CEO, is delighted with what he has seen.

“Our Vs5 program is going well,” Mr. Bendowski said. “We now have 19 companies partnering with us, with Kramer Ink being the most recent addition to our Council. We provide marketing and exclusivity, and it has worked out very well for a lot of our members. It allows our partners to sell our products along with theirs while they provide service, and as a result, we don’t need local mixing facilities. We have done what we said we would do by providing advertising and technical assistance. It’s what we do.”

Mr. Bendowski said that proof of the Vs5 program’s success can be seen with the calls he gets from companies looking to partner with Van Son. “We have most of the U.S. covered, and now we get calls from ink companies, which is nice,” he said.

The gains made by Vs5 helped offset the continued decline in the duplicator market.

“The year was a bit of a struggle, but we ended up even,” Mr. Bendowski said. “We did raise prices effective Jan. 10 as markets would allow due to our cost increases. Our conventional ink business is growing, while our duplicator business is declining, which is inevitable. We’re looking forward to 2005 with a host of new products.”

Among the company’s recent new products is its Quickson Pro ink line for the mid-sized sheetfed market, which is an easy running, fast drying, economical high-performance ink.

The company has also seen growth in the ink jet market, leaving the refill market to now partner with OEMs.

“We’re now making bulk ink jet inks for OEMs,” Mr. Bendowski said. “We’re very happy, because the OEM side is the best place to be in the market.”

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

Sales: $57.7 million.

Major Products: Heatset, sheetfed and UV inks.

Key Personnel: Urban S. Hirsch III, ex-president; Scott Jacobson, VP manager; Tim Van Scoy, VP of sales and marketing; Peter Notti, another VP.

Number of Employees: 250.

Operating Facilities: Commerce, CA; Elk Grove Village, IL; Portland, OR; and 32 in-plant facilities.

Comments: Being able to develop a niche is critical to success for ink manufacturers, and Ink Systems, Inc. has created a successful market for itself by providing state-of-the-art in-plant operations that emphasize quality and service.

These unique in-plant operations combine top-flight ink systems, experienced personnel and proprietary software. The company’s 50,000 square foot Commerce, CA headquarters features state-of-the-art labs and production facilities, manufacturing everything right down to the stainless steel equipment the company uses in its in-plant facilities.

The emphasis on quality and service has resulted in solid growth for Ink Systems in recent years, and 2004 was a record year for the company, which grew 30.5 percent in sales and anticipates further growth in the coming year.

“We had a lucky year,” said Urban S. Hirsch III, founder and ex-president of Ink Systems. “We added some new business, and our existing customers grew as well.”

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, as well as a Northwest facility in Portland, OR, that is 18,000 square feet.

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18. Sensient Technologies
777 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 271-6755
Fax: (414) 347-4794

Sales: $55 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; Charles A. Nicolais, president – color group; Dr. Ho-Seung Yang, VP, marketing and technology; Harry Meggos, VP, technical service, color; Dr. 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: In four years, Sensient Technologies Corporation, which came out of Universal Foods, has reached the $1.04 billion mark in annual sales in industries related to colors, flavors and fragrances.

On the color side, Sensient is comprised of, among others, Tricon Colors, Warner-Jenkinson, Formulabs and ECS Specialty Inks and Dyes.

In 2004, Sensient Technologies’ Colors Group increased its sales to $383.8 million, a gain of 6.4 percent above 2003. In the fourth quarter, the group’s sales increased 23.6 percent to $101.7 million.

Sensient Technologies 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, where the company supplies a leading color ink jet printer, and textiles to wide format industrial and commercial applications.

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19. 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; Dave Barker, VP, business development; Jim Distler, VP, specialty products.

Number of Employees: 121.

Operating Facilities: Manufacturing plant in Fairfield, OH, and 16 blending sites.

Comments: This past year was a landmark year for Color Resolutions International (CRI), a packaging ink specialist, as the company opened its new state-of-the-art $5.5 million, 70,000 square foot facility in Fairfield, OH, on a street appropriately named Quality Products Boulevard.

Automation and bulk systems are helping the company achieve greater efficiency and consistency, and new pack-out systems have allowed the company to increase its batch sizes from 8,000 pounds to 24,000 pounds.

“The goal is not necessarily to have the biggest plant in town,” said George Sickinger, CRI’s chairman, president and CEO. “We want efficiency. We want to operate at the speed of customer demand, which helps to reduce everybody’s inventory. We needed to free up capacity and eliminate errors, so we designed our new plant so that we could easily expand without adding capital equipment or space; however, the plant was designed and positioned for a 50 percent expansion should it become necessary in the future.”

In order to become more efficient, CRI committed itself to implementing Lean Manufacturing.

“The truth is that nobody willingly or knowingly pays for your waste,” Mr. Sickinger said. “We’re working on Lean, and its principles are based on common sense.”

Because of the efficiencies in the new headquarters, CRI was able to withstand some of the raw material price increases that came in at the end of the year.

“In terms of our bottom line, 2004 was significantly better than 2003, which I attribute to the efficiencies of our new plant and our embracing Lean Manufacturing,” Mr. Sickinger said. “However, these gains were offset by rising raw material costs at the end of the year. Still, we feel pretty good we had the foresight to work on our efficiencies.”

The fact that overall sales in 2004 were even with 2003 is deceptive, in that CRI was able to make up for the loss of a major account which acquired another company with a captive ink operation, and grow into the flexible packaging market.

“We’re doing a pretty remarkable job broadening our account base significantly, and we see an even better year in 2005,” Mr. Sickinger said.

When Mr. Sickinger formed CRI, its focus was on packaging ink, and its primary niche was the corrugated market. Today, CRI continues to be an industry leader in corrugated, and has leveraged its expertise into other packaging segments, particularly flexible packaging, flexo folding carton, envelopes and other markets. Flexible packaging has been particularly promising.

“We have picked up one large account and several smaller accounts in flexible packaging, which is pretty dramatic since we started at practically nothing at the beginning of 2004,” Mr. Sickinger said. “We anticipate further growth in flexible packaging this year.”

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20. 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. Ink jet inks for fine art reproduction and photography.

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 and communication; Kirk Franklin, VP technology.

Number of Employees: 230.

Comments: Environmental Inks & Coatings Corporation (EIC) had a solid year in 2004, with the company developing a variety of new opportunities for the future. In addition, EIC set up key strategic marketing alliances with Futures Wales on ink jet technology and Macro in Australia for UV heat shrink inks.

“Sales in 2004 tracked with sales for 2003,” said Don Matthiesen, director of marketing and communication. “We saw increased demand for its UV curable products, and the market for film labels and heat shrink labels continues to grow.”

EIC continues to expand its operations to better serve its customers. EIC plans to add two new locations in the near future: a location in the upper Midwest and another in the Toronto area. EIC has recently upgraded the facility serving the New England area. The new facility will be located in Southbridge, MA.

Also in Canada, EIC established a successful distributor relationship with Label Supply in Canada to supply the narrow web customers in the Toronto area. Label Supply is a highly successful distributor of graphics arts supplies. The new EIC branch in Toronto will serve wider web customers.

EIC launched a wide variety of new products this year. Among the new product introductions was the entire Envirocure UV energy curable product line, the Phase 20 direct thermal ink system, Maxflo high strength fluorescent inks and the Macro (Australia) Hi Flo UV flexo heat shrink ink system. Also on the UV side, Ron Zessack has been promoted to manage the energy curable ink sales growth for EIC.

EIC’s 2003 acquisition of Arcar Graphics continues to pay dividends for the company.

“Arcar customers are benefiting from a wider selection of products and enhanced customer support from the eight EIC branches,” Mr. Matthiesen said. “All EIC and Arcar customers are seeing a faster pace of new product introductions.”

Raw material prices are an issue for EIC.

“Raw material prices continue to surge and EIC has had to raise prices with the rest of the industry,” Mr. Matthiesen said. “Resins, chemicals and pigments are all increasing the cost of raw materials, and the costs of fuel, energy and benefits are significant drivers on the manufacturing side. We do not expect these costs to return to 2003 levels.”

Mr. Matthiesen has high expectations for 2005.

“EIC expects to grow in sales in 2005,” he said. “The interest in UV continues and EIC is prepared to answer the demand. The ink jet operation will capture sales in the ‘giclee’ and photographic markets for extended palette and archive quality ink jet inks.”