The past few years have been extremely challenging for the ink industry, its customers and suppliers, as higher raw material prices, increased competition, new technologies and consolidation throughout the supply chain have changed the landscape of business for printers, ink manufacturers and its suppliers.
Even during these times of change, the need to develop new products and services for the market remains a constant.
Naturally, all manufacturers bring their newest products to customers as quickly as possible, but showcasing these new developments to an audience of potential buyers is critical.
I’m reminded of this as I look over the schedule of events in a year that is likely to be very busy for ink manufacturers, with shows both specialized and, in the case of Drupa, gigantic.
As I write this, Graphics of the Americas has held its annual show in Miami, reaching out to Central and South America. FESPA Digital 2008, with its emphasis on the screen and digital industries, completed its program in early April. In mid- to late April, the Newspaper Association of America and the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association will hold their annual showcases, and the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) will host its annual convention.
May features three important programs. The first is RadTech UV&EB Technology Expo and Conference 2008, which will be held at Lakeside Center at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. The UV/EB market is continuing to show excellent growth worldwide – European Editor Sean Milmo’s article beginning on page 14 details the rapid growth of radcure in Europe alone – and this biannual showcase offers an excellent blend of technology and new products in its talks and on the show floor.
In mid-May, the Color Pigments Manufacturers Association is hosting its 2008 International Color Pigments Conference, “Color Matters – New Business and New Products in a Global Marketplace,” in Lincolnshire, IL. This conference offers attendees an excellent insight into the world of pigments.
The month closes with the aforementioned Drupa 2008 in Dusseldorf, Germany. At the last Drupa in 2004, nearly 400,000 attendees visited this two-week printing exposition. This year, Drupa which features the latest in all facets of printing, including, of course, inks. Already, many international ink manufacturers are readying their newest developments for display at Drupa.
While 2008 offers plenty of challenges for ink manufacturers, there are also plenty of opportunities as well, and with these showcases on the schedule, companies will likely be showing their customers an exciting array of new products and services.