The past year included some signs of optimism for ink manufacturers. Business seemed to be picking up, and ink companies were generally able to raise their prices to help offset higher raw material, manufacturing and operational costs. The sheetfed ink segment is a key indicator of how the ink industry is faring, as it encompasses both the commercial side as well as packaging.
In my report on the sheetfed ink market beginning on page 23, large and small ink manufacturers generally noted that 2006 was a year of improvement for business. With the exception of a few regions, sheetfed printers were busier, and most notably, were acquiring new presses.
As is the case throughout the printing industry, sheetfed printers are facing numerous challenges, including the need to offer more value-added services, working more efficiently, coping with continuing consolidation as well as the impact of digital technologies. How sheetfed printers adapt to these changing times will determine their future, and the same can be said of the ink manufacturers who supply these printers.
Our January issue also features our 11th annual U.S. Ink Directory, beginning on page 32. Our U.S. Ink Directory is the ink industry’s only comprehensive listing of addresses, products, personnel and contact information, and as always, I am delighted to report that we have found a variety of new companies to add to our directory.
In gathering the information for our U.S. Ink Directory, I once again enjoyed the opportunity of speaking with many of the key leaders in the industry to see how business has been in 2006 and their outlook for 2007. For the most part, 2006 was a solid year for many ink manufacturers, and they have a sense of optimism for what 2007 may bring.
The U.S. Ink Directory is one of our most popular features, and it is one of the articles that I greatly enjoy. I am most appreciative for the ink industry leaders who help me with this feature.