In the past, formulating printing ink was thought of as more of an art than as a science, and when a problem on press came along, the solution was simply to substitute another ink and hope it worked.
IdeOn LLC’s logo is a microscopic view of a four-color process dot.
With that in mind, four ink industry veterans, with a combined experience of more than 110 years and more than 80 patents between them, set out on their own last April, forming a new company called IdeOn LLC.
IdeOn LLC, created by managing directors Dr. Subh Chatterjee, Dr. Mikhail Laksin, Brij Nigam and Bhalendra Patel, is focused on using scientific principles to develop complete solutions for the energy curable market.
“Ink has historically been thought of as a black art, but we know that it is based on science,” said Dr. Chatterjee, who is vice president, operations. “If you don’t understand how the all the elements of printing interact, it will all fall apart.”
“When we decided we wanted to form our own company, we wanted to base our ink on scientific principles,” said Dr. Laksin, IdeOn LLC’s vice president, technology.
Rather than delve right into the markets the company is targeting, IdeOn’s leaders instead developed innovative systems that could provide solutions for the problems that printers face. The company built a state-of-the-art lab and small scale-up manufacturing facilities, allowing for rapid response to the needs of customers. IdeOn also works closely with suppliers. “All of our suppliers have given us tremendous support,” Dr. Laksin said.
After just one year in the ink industry, IdeOn LLC is enjoying much success, creating a series of energy-curable inks, coatings and adhesives and providing printers with expertise and solutions.
“IdeOn is doing great for a new start-up,” said Mr. Nigam, who is vice president of sales and marketing. “Our four-tier business model of consulting, project, product development and product supply is now fully developed to be introduced to the market. Our customers have been very supportive of our model. They like the flexibility this model offers, especially the ability to engage IdeOn in very difficult and challenging projects.
“Our unique ability to evaluate a project or process and provide optimum solutions is our key strength,” Mr. Nigam added. “We have the ability to formulate solutions for a wide array of printing needs including chemistries for flexographic, lithographic, screen, letterpress and digital printing. We have differentiated ourselves by providing specific custom-made solutions to unique challenges.”
To develop those solutions, IdeOn’s leaders bring their customers into the process in order to fully understand what is needed.
“We base our work with customers on root cause analysis,” Dr. Laksin said. “Very often, people don’t look at what is actually creating the problem, and they just offer another ink. However, ink is just one of many elements in printing, and the ink needs to communicate with the other elements, including fountain solutions, the plates and substrates. Once we sit down with our customers and develop the knowledge about what they need, we can offer a variety of solutions to our customers.”
“Without understanding, any solution is a Band-Aid, and eventually you’ll just need another Band-Aid,” Dr. Chatterjee added. “The customer understands there is a need for permanent solutions. They’ve seen how temporary fixes work. We want to build relationships, be a partner for our customers.”
With its strong scientific background and its array of innovative products, IdeOn LLC is already developing an excellent reputation for itself in the marketplace.
“Our goal was to be ready, and we did our homework,” Dr. Chatterjee concluded. “It has been one year now, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished.”