Editor’s Note: There are a growing number of companies in the printing ink industry that deserve attention. Here, in alphabetical order, are a few of the companies that deserve notice:
Braden Sutphin Ink Co.
3650 E. 93rd St.
Cleveland, OH 44105
Phone: (216) 271-2300
Fax: (216) 271-0515
Sales: $41.9 million.
Major Products: Sheetfed offset, web heatset and non-heatset, waterless, duplicator, soy inks, UV curable offset; and water-based and UV flexo.
Key Personnel: Jim Krost, chairman; Jim Leitch, CEO; Cal Sutphin, president; Diego Perez-Stable, controller; Ray Loomis, national sales and marketing manager; Dan Martin, offset manufacturing manager and Carlisle, OH general manager; Bob Nowak, general manager, flexo operations; Mark Castillo, technical service manager.
Number of Employees: 208.
Operating Facilities: 15 including two in Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Baltimore, MD-Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh, PA; Columbus, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Carlisle, OH; Buffalo, NY; Newark, NJ; Richmond, VA; Sacramento, CA; Milwaukee, WI; Phoenix, AZ; and Minneapolis, MN.
Comments: For Braden Sutphin Ink, 2007 was a year of slight growth, although the higher cost of raw materials is impacting the company. Still, the company enjoyed strong results in new regions and markets.
“Raw material costs continue to be a concern, with no end in sight for price increases,” said CEO Jim Leitch. “We continually face new rounds of price increases, which makes it hard to keep up with our own prices.”
In 2006, Braden Sutphin Ink acquired Mix and Match Ink Corporation and Pro-Line Printing Ink
“We’re still working on Braden Sutphin’s name in the Southwest, and people are becoming more familiar with our name and the way we conduct ourselves,” Mr. Leitch noted.
The Southwest was one area of growth for Braden Sutphin, and Minneapolis was another, as the company opened a new branch there.
“We have adapted to where the market is going, by expanding our distributor network and opening our new branch in Minneapolis,” Mr. Leitch said.
Braden Sutphin continues to enjoy growth in the water-based flexo market.
“We enjoyed another strong year in water-based flexo market, where we continue to establish our name and reputation, and we are starting to explore opportunities in UV flexo,” Mr. Leitch said.
The increasing emphasis on environmental issues plays to Braden Sutphin’s strength. Mr. Leitch noted that Braden Sutphin has been promoting environmental initiatives for a long time, recycling where possible, and working with customers on their green initiatives. Environmentally friendly inks are not new to Braden Stuphin’s product line. In fact, long before the popularization of soya inks, Braden Sutphin offered printers eco-friendly sheetfed products formulated with linseed and tung oils.
Now, in response to printers, print customers and end users becoming increasingly interested in environmentally friendly products and sustainability, Braden Sutphin has developed the EcoSmart certification program.
“For many years, our sheetfed inks have been very low VOC, and this is one of our strengths,” Mr. Leitch said. “In heatset, we have developed our line of SmartTemp inks, which need less heat to dry, and we have found good success with it.”
On the sheetfed ink side, Braden Sutphin introduced its high-quality Reliant and Assurance inks, which offer stay-open capabilities.
“The core of our business is developing high quality products and providing excellent service, and we stand behind this,” Mr. Leitch said. “It’s what differentiates us.”
Color Resolutions International LLC
575 Quality Blvd.
Fairfield, OH 45014
Phone: (513) 552-7200
Fax: (513) 552-7141
Sales: $52 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, field operations, southern region; Dave Barker, VP, field operations, northern region; Jim Distler, VP, strategic accounts.
Number of Employees: 121.
Operating Facilities: Manufacturing plant in Fairfield, OH, and 16 blending sites.
Comments: Color Resolutions International (CRI) continued to enjoy solid growth as the company continues to expand into more profitable niches. CRI’s expansion from its initial core business in water-based corrugated ink has played a major role in its continued success.
To emphasize its growth into fast-growing markets for water-based flexographic inks and UV coatings, CRI has taken on a new look and new logo. Once known primarily as a manufacturer of ink systems for package printing, CRI has expanded its consulting and service capabilities. It now serves the corrugated, folding carton, flexible packaging, tag and label, and envelope markets.
“The increasing demand of water-based flexographic printing is really due to two factors,” Mr. Sickinger noted. “First, the quality and performance of flexographic printing is now on par with the best of gravure or lithographic printing, and second, the strong emphasis on brand-building means that health and beauty aids as well as food and drug marketers want to differentiate themselves with their packages. They must be precisely accurate when it comes to color, brilliance, gloss and durability. Flexo gives them that.”
Higher raw material costs are a fact of life in the ink industry, and Mr. Sickinger said that CRI’s customers have been understanding of the challenges. He also noted that CRI has developed strong relationships with its suppliers over the years.
“We’ve taken our hits on raw materials due to cost increases, but our customer base understands this, and we have been able to pass along price increase,” Mr. Sickinger reported. “We’re all waiting for the other shoe to drop, whether it is more price increases or possible shortages. We have a loyal supplier base and we’ve been loyal to them, and I feel we’re pretty well covered. It is really the cost aspect that is unknown.”
Mr. Sickinger anticipates further growth for CRI in 2008, as the company looks toward organic growth as well as the possibility of acquisitions.
“We think 2008 is going to be a better year than 2007 due to our work outside of paper packaging,” he said. “We feel we have a lot in our pipeline.”
Environmental Inks & Coatings
1 Quality Products Road
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: (800) 368-4657; (828) 433-1922
Fax: (828) 438-9513
Sales: $46 million (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: Water-based flexo, gravure, UV flexo, UV rotary screen and UV letterpress inks, and overprint varnishes.
Key Personnel: Edward G. Redman, chairman of the board; Paul Schroeder, president and CEO; Thomas A. Galas, CFO; Richard J. Gloeckler, VP/director of sales North America; Kenneth Keathley, director of marketing; Kirk Franklin, VP technology.
Number of Employees: 230.
Comments: There is clearly an increased interest in environmentally friendly solutions in many areas of business, including printing. Environmental Inks & Coatings (EIC), a specialist in water-based and UV ink technologies, is well positioned to respond to these needs.
“We grew water systems moderately in 2007,” said Paul Schroeder, president and CEO of
As is the case throughout the ink industry, EIC is implementing a variety of approaches to higher raw material costs, including increased product prices, streamlined dated systems and improved manufacturing efficiencies.
In addition to gains made in the water-based ink market, the company’s UV sales were up significantly and now accounts for 15 percent of EIC’s sales. While EIC’s revenue growth in 2007 was primarily in the Americas, the company established new long-term ventures in China, Ireland and Canada, and anticipates growth from geographic expansion and specialty performance products.
Fluid Ink Technology
5360 N. Commerce Ave.
Moorpark, CA 93021
Phone: (888) 855-0033; (805) 378-0033
Fax: (805) 378-0044
Sales: $30 million.
Major Products: Flexo and rotogravure inks for wide web paper and film, flexible packaging, narrow web (water and UV) tag and label, envelope and folding carton segments.
Key Personnel: Jim Newkirk, president; Russell Greenhouse, vice president; Jim Hsu, CFO; Jay Bosco, technical director for solvent products; Craig Roberts, technical director for water products; Terrill Newkirk, co-plant manager and national materials manager; Tony Magana, co-plant manager; Scott Carey, narrow web market manager; Rick Pastor, national envelope market manager; Whittney Kimball, office manager; Dave Krakosky, technical sales.
Number of Employees: 97.
Operating Facilities: Moorpark, CA; South Plainfield, NJ.
Comments: The last few years have been difficult ones for the ink industry, as rapidly rising raw material costs are having a major impact on manufacturers. However, companies that have put much thought and effort into their supply chain are well positioned for the future.
“Our year was more successful than last year,” said CFO Jim Hsu. “We have developed long-term partnerships with our supply chain, and we are very secure in terms of supply. Fluid Ink is in a very strong position to capitalize on this. Global macroeconomic pressures are forcing higher raw material costs across the board and while we only implemented minimal price increases in 2007, we don’t expect that in 2008. Our advantage will be our strong supply chain and our technical sales/support people.”
As for 2007, the company did enjoy some growth in packaging. “Our sales were slightly better than last year,” said Jim Newkirk, Fluid Ink’s president. “We did have growth, particularly in packaging.”
Mr. Hsu anticipates increased business in 2008 as companies struggle with higher costs, and Fluid Ink has prepared by adding new capabilities and a secure supply chain. “We’ve made a lot of improvements to our capacity, and can absorb a significant level of new business, with the upgrading our equipment. A lot of good things have happened for us. I’ve never seen so large a pool of quality potential customers willing to partner with us,” he said.
“This coming year is going to be tough for the ink industry, but I think we’re in a much better place to grow significantly having addressed our supply chain issues,” Mr. Newkirk added. “Possible shortages and raw material price increases continue to be a growing concern for the industry. These conditions will require a response from Fluid in the market place.”
Mr. Newkirk noted that there is some new interest in green technologies. “There has been a renewed level of interest in soya-based packaging ink,” Mr. Newkirk said. “We have had this capability, but there hasn’t been much interest until now. We are also working on more compostable chemistries in our inks in response to the sustainable materials concept.”
Fluid Ink is also adding sales and field service people while expanding geographically.
“We have brought in new sales and field service people, which have dramatically increased our ability to better service our customers,” Mr. Newkirk noted. “We have also improved our distribution channels, putting more third-party warehouses in place as well as expanding into Mexico and Canada.”
Fluid Ink’s leaders are cautiously optimistic about 2008. “We’re looking for respectable growth in 2008 due to our better supply chain position and also bringing in top quality people,” Mr. Hsu concluded.
Gans Ink & Supply Co., Inc.
1441 Boyd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033
Phone: (323) 264-2200
Fax: (323) 264-2916
Sales: $24.5 million.
Major Products: Offset sheetfed, UV and specialty inks, blankets and supplies.
Key Personnel: Jeff Koppelman, president; Bryan Eisenberger, VP of manufacturing.
Number of Employees: 165.
Operating Facilities: 11.
Comments: For Gans Ink & Supply, sales in 2007 remained steady. “Last year was relatively flat,
Mr. Koppelman said he is “cautiously optimistic” heading into 2008 for Gans Ink & Supply, which has developed some successful niche products to go along with its core commercial sheetfed ink business.
“I’m cautiously optimistic about the coming year, in spite of the economic outlook for the U.S. that we keep hearing about,” Mr. Koppelman said. “As always, we have the need to navigate through the sea of change in our industry, but clearly see some bright spots on the horizon.”
Graphic Sciences Inc.
7515 NE Ambassador Place, Suite L
Portland, OR 97220
Phone: (888) 546-4465
Fax: (503) 460-0225
Sales: $30 million.
Major Products: Water-based flexographic inks and coatings, UV inks and coatings, water gravure inks and inkjet inks.
Key Personnel: Kent Wishart, president; Cindy Hill, VP and CFO; Jeff Ashburn, VP, sales and marketing; Danny Ramos, VP, service operations; Ed Caskey, VP, primary manufacturing; Qingjiang Zhou, chief technical officer; Matt Fassler, director of corporate services.
Number of Employees: 104.
Operating Facilities: 12 in the U.S., with joint ventures in Canada and Mexico. Graphic Sciences also has approximately 20 in-plants.
Comments: Graphic Sciences enjoyed another successful year in 2007. Although total sales remained stable, the company realized growth in areas outside of its core markets as it continues to progress into new niches, primarily in the narrow web and digital fields.
Additionally, the company continues to invest in equipment that decreases its reliance on outside suppliers of intermediate products.
“Aside from the cost benefits, we’ve made significant strides in our ability to control dispersion consistency,” said Mr. Fassler. “This in turn helps us to create a better product for our loyal customer base.” He also noted that the company’s renovations will play an important role as the company continues to move into higher-graphic markets.
Raw material pricing continues to be an issue for the industry as oil prices continue to escalate. The company sites equipment improvement and tighter process controls for helping to absorb costs. Graphic Sciences did pass one price increase through in late 2007 that it says was received well by the market. However, the current state of the United States economy might lead to the need for future increases as product from the global supply chain continues to escalate in price.
The company has seen further plant consolidations in its core markets, but this hasn’t been seen as a detriment. “At this point, we believe this trend may create new opportunities for those of us that choose to continue servicing the ‘commodity’ markets”, said Fassler. “We’ve been excited to see a higher level of cooperation by some of our largest customers as they continue to integrate.”
Graphic Sciences has secured a number of distributorship agreements with entities in foreign countries as it works to expand its worldwide presence. The company also continues to see growth in its specialty products division, which focuses on opportunities outside of typical printing operations. Additionally, its sales to the narrow web market continue to grow, with particular success in security and specialty inks.
Handschy Industries, LLC
120 25th Avenue
Phone: (708) 547-9400
Fax: (708) 547-4774
Sales: $41 million (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: Full line of sheetfed products; web offset heatset and coldset inks; water-based and solvent-based flexo inks and coatings; water-based and solvent-based gravure inks and coatings; UV and EB inks and coatings; magnetic inks; varnishes and alkyds.
Key Personnel: Chuck Graham, president; Rod Cartwright, general manager, Bellwood; Kyle Hermanny, general manager, Riverdale; Pat Ruhland, general manager, Menomonee Falls, John Chu, technical director; Anita Cardona, purchasing manager.
Number of Employees: 150.
Operating Facilities: Five including Riverdale Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary outside Chicago that manufactures liquid inks and varnishes. Other locations include Menomonee Falls, WI; Bellwood, IL; Indianapolis, IN; and Grand Rapids, MI.
Comments: Handschy Industries, LLC enjoyed growth in 2007, with even greater potential opportunities in store after the merger between its parent company, Altivity Packaging, and Graphic Packaging.
“Handschy had a very successful 2007,” said president Chuck Graham. “We met or exceeded all of the
The major news was, of course, the July 10 announcement that Graphic Packaging and Altivity Packaging were planning to merge their operations, creating an estimated $4.4 billion force in the global packaging market. The merger received the necessary approvals, and went into effect March 10, 2008.
The new company has significantly expanded product offerings, market reach, and technology capabilities and expects to have 47 folding carton facilities, 12 multi-wall and specialty bag facilities, 10 paperboard mills, six flexible packaging facilities, five ink manufacturing facilities, three label facilities and three packaging machinery manufacturing facilities worldwide.
Mr. Graham noted that Handschy Industries has been impacted by higher raw material costs, and has worked to reduce the effect of these costs.
“As with all other ink manufacturers, we looked to our vendors for suggestions in controlling cost,” Mr. Graham said. “In some cases we reengineered our products to reduce the effect of the dramatic increases. In addition, we were able to pass modest price increases to some of our clients.”
Overall, Mr. Graham is optimistic about the coming year. “We expect to continue our growth through both internal and external sales,” Mr. Graham concluded.
7333 Jack Newell Blvd., Suite 200
Fort Worth, TX 76180
Phone: (817) 595-1754
Fax: (817) 595-3521
Sales: $23 million.
Major Products: Web heatset, open web offset, news and no-heat inks.
Key Personnel: Jesse Samaniego, president; Jeff Gilliam, VP, sales and marketing; Bain Gilly, general manager and technical director; Ron Henderson, VP, heatset sales.
Number of Employees: 42.
Operating Facilities: Fort Worth, TX; Sparks, NV.
Comments: Despite the challenges facing the publication side of the ink industry, Impression Inks continues to enjoy success. While sales in 2007 were flat compared to 2006, the company came out ahead by replacing a major commercial insert account whose prices had become untenable.
Impression Inks has done particularly well in the news ink market. “News ink has been our largest market for the past four years,” Mr. Gilliam said. “The majority of our growth is in the news ink market. We have several good opportunities in news ink, as we have entered into supply agreements with several major newspaper chains and are in negotiations with other potential customers. ”
Formed in 2000 by Jesse Samaniego, Bain Gilly, Ron Henderson and Mr, Gilliam, four veterans of The Ink Company, Impression Inks emphasizes its quality, service and close work with customers as the keys to its success.
“Quality, service and listening to our customers have been our calling cards from day one,” said Mr. Gilliam. “We have shied away from a one-size-fits-all mentality. Every press and pressroom is different, and we cater to that, which absolutely sets us apart.”
In 2006, Impression Inks opened a new plant in Sparks, NV, to meet demand in the west.
“Our plant in Sparks is doing great,” Mr. Gilliam reported. “We have built a good team of young people who see us as a good opportunity for people who want to build a career.” He added that the company is looking into opening a similar site on the East Coast to meet increased demand in the region.
Overall, Impression Inks is looking forward to strong growth in 2008.
“We’re expecting pretty significant growth this year, and we have some really good things going on,” Mr. Gilliam concluded.
Premier Ink Systems, Inc.
10420 N. State St.
P.O. Box 670
Harrison, OH 45030-0670
Phone: (513) 367-2300
Fax: (513) 367-5346
Sales: $16 million to $20 million (Ink World
Major Products: Primarily water-based inks and coatings for graphic printing applications; also manufactures some UV- and solvent-based inks and coatings.
Key Personnel: Tom Farmer, president; Mark Tyree, VP of operations; Scott Reese, VP of sales; Larry Gersbach, CFO.
Number of Employees: Approximately 50.
Operating Facilities: Harrison, OH; Hazleton, PA.
Comments: Premier Ink Systems, a water-based inks and coatings specialist, enjoyed a solid year in 2007 as the packaging market continues to show growth.
“We grew in sales in 2007, although not as much as we were projecting for the year,” said Scott
Rising raw material costs are impacting the ink industry, and Premier Ink Systems is no exception in that regard.
“Our raw material costs have risen significantly the past two years,” Mr. Reese said. “We are expecting additional raw material price increases in the coming months from our suppliers, but we will do everything possible to control our costs.”
777 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 271-6755
Fax: (414) 347-4794
Sales: $40 million (Ink World estimate); ($377.9 million in Color Group).
Major Products: Inkjet inks.
Key Personnel: Kenneth P. Manning, chairman, president and CEO; Peter Bradley, president, Color Group; Richard Carney, VP, administration; John Hammond, VP, secretary and general counsel; Richard F. Hobbs, VP, CFO and treasurer; Dr. Ho-Seung Yang, VP, marketing and technology.
Number of Employees: 3,500 at Sensient Technologies.
Operating Facilities: St. Louis, MO; Escondido, CA; Badalona, Spain; Morges, Switzerland.
Comments: A specialist in colors, flavors and fragrances, Sensient Technologies Corporation enjoyed a solid year in 2007, with total revenue of $1.2 billion, up 7.8 percent from 2006. Revenue reached a record level of $300.9 million for the fourth quarter, up 10.3% from the comparable period in 2006.
“This quarter marks our eighth consecutive quarter of strong earnings growth,” said Kenneth P. Manning, chairman and CEO of Sensient Technologies. “We had an outstanding year. Each of our operating groups contributed to the excellent results, and we expect our businesses to perform well in 2008.”
In a key personnel move, Sensient Technologies named Robert J. Edmonds president and COO in August 2007. Mr. Edmonds joined Sensient in 2005 as general manager of Sensient Food Colors – North America. He has been responsible for the profitable growth of the North American Food Colors unit, the Latin American Food Colors business and Sensient Pharmaceutical Technology. Before joining Sensient, he was vice president of marketing for Engelhard Corporation, and he has been vice president and general manager of industrial business at J.M. Huber Corporation.
“I am pleased to announce that Rob Edmonds has been promoted to president and chief operating officer. He has contributed significantly to the company’s ongoing success and will continue to do so in his new role,” Mr. Manning said.
Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc.
7041 Boone Ave. N.
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428
1173 Osborne Rd.
Spring Lake Park,MN 55432
Phone: (763) 795-8856
Fax: (763) 795-8867
Sales: $20 million to $24 million (Ink World
Major Products: Coding and marking inks, inkjet printing systems and case tapers for the packaging industry.
Key Personnel: William T. Hoagland, president and CEO; Barry Chen, president, Squid Ink Asia; Dan Pint, director of operations and engineering; Chad Carney, director of marketing communications.
Number of Employees: 80.
Operating Facilities: Brooklyn Park, MN; Spring Lake Park, MN.
Comments: For Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc., 2007 was a year of change, as the company enjoyed growth while making a key acquisition, divesting two other units and opening a new headquarters.
“It was a good year for us,” said Chad Carney, Squid Ink’s director of marketing communications. “We
For Squid Ink, the March 2007 acquisition of EZ-Tek Industries, Inc., a manufacturer of automated case sealing equipment, was a major highlight. The acquisition includes EZ-Tek’s popular BB series bottom belt case taping system as well as their full line of custom case taping and heat sealing systems. EZ-Tek continues to operate out of Deer Park, NY.
“The biggest news was our acquisition of EZ-Tek and integrating it into our product line,” Mr. Carney said. “We have grown that business every month. It’s a logical fit.”
“EZ-Tek’s products support our ‘customer intimate’ vision,” said Bill Hoagland, president and CEO of Engage Technologies, the parent company of Squid Ink. “Ink jet printing systems are typically integrated with case tapers, allowing users to print bar codes, logos and other product information on the box in a single pass as it is being sealed. We now offer a complete family of packaging and marking products; a taper, printer, tape and ink.”
New products are a key to Squid Ink’s success, and the company continues to develop new technologies. “We do have new products that will be introduced this spring, and we will continue to focus on our core products,” Mr. Carney reported.
In addition to the new headquarters, Squid Ink is undergoing more improvements. “We’re working on internal improvements, going to Lean manufacturing throughout our entire operation,” Mr. Carney said. “We are eliminating waste and taking a fresh look at our processes, which will cut lead times and further improve our customer service and ultimately benefit our customers. We also signed on a number of high-caliber distributors, and we continue to focus on mentoring and training efforts for our direct sales people.”
In 2006, Squid Ink opened a 12,000-square-foot manufacturing, testing and repair facility in Shanghai, and Mr. Carney said Squid Ink has high expectations for the region.
“Asia continued to be very strong, and we’re starting to manufacture some products there. It’s a big part of our future,” Mr. Carney said.