Every four years, the printing industry heads to Dusseldorf, Germany for drupa, the huge two-week
Attendees check out one of Heidelberg’s halls.
The ink industry was well represented at drupa 2008, with many of the leading international ink companies in attendance and some intriguing new technologies on display.
Sun Chemical had a tremendous array of new products on hand at drupa 2008, covering the gamut from conventional and inkjet inks to new technologies such as brand security solutions, LED-curable inks and conductive inks.
Among the highlights were SunCure Advantage, a new range of UV curing inks that comprises around 30 percent sustainable materials; Solarflex LM low migration UV flexo inks for flexible packaging; and HD Heatset, a heatset ink that is ideal for lower basis weights. On the SunJet side, the company announced the development of new and novel ink chemistry specifically designed for curing under exposure to UV light from LED sources. SunJet also reported the development of inkjet ink chemistry designed to support and deliver conductive films using nano-particles of silver.
HP's exhibit was one of the busiest during drupa 2008.
“We as a company spend more than twice as much as all of our competitors combined,” Mr. Lenz said. “You have to innovate to create value for your customers.”
“Sun Chemical had a very successful drupa this year,” noted John McKeown, senior vice president, human resources for Sun Chemical. “drupa provided us with an opportunity to deliver our message of ‘Working for You’ by providing quality, service and innovation to customers and prospective customers while showcasing ‘world first’ new product offerings such as SunCure Advantage, and other important product announcements about SmartColour and WetFlex.
“Over the course of two weeks, we had consistently heavy traffic at our booth allowing for many productive discussions with customers,” Mr. McKeown added. “Sun Chemical also showed its advances in digital by announcing its partnership with IMG Digipack GmbH, based in Remscheid, Germany, as a beta partner for FastJet, the world’s fastest inkjet printing press for corrugated packaging.”
Centered around the theme, “Always ImPRESSive!” Flint Group introduced a wide variety of products,
Flint Group's booth was active at drupa 2008.
“Having been brought together from four major, well respected businesses, all leading companies in their own right, and having leveraged our strengths and capabilities, we now as Flint Group have more to offer than ever before,” said Charles Knott, CEO of Flint Group.
On the ink side, the company launched Novavit F 950 Plus BIO and Novavit F 550 Plus ranges for sheetfed offset, and for Europe, the new Inuline ink/varnish system. Another concept is Premo, a water-based printing ink building block technology.
“Due to the economic slowdown and the weak U.S. dollar, many North American customers weren’t sure if they would attend,” noted Mike Green, head of Flint Group North America’s Publication and News Ink divisions. “In the end, though, a variety of customers did invest in attending drupa, and the focus of our meetings was very different compared to four years ago. Due to the business challenges in these tough economic times, customers came to drupa with very specific issues to discuss. They wanted Flint Group to provide tangible, actionable help. This made the show a very effective meeting point.”
Siegwerk offered numerous examples of print at its booth.
“Our international Siegwerk team with representatives from all regions and all of the company’s business units could intensify relationships with current customers and successfully sign up new ones,” said Siegwerk CEO Herbert Forker. “I’m happy to say that we are able to take full advantage of the communication opportunities drupa presents for us. Our dedicated staff enables us to provide customers with high quality products, innovative solutions and quick on-site support anywhere in the world, and we were able to convey this message successfully.”
Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co., Ltd. used drupa to showcase its new products as well as emphasizing its overall capabilities. “drupa was a great platform to advance Toyo’s presence in Europe and many other countries as well,” said John Copeland, Toyo Ink America’s president and COO. “There was a tremendous amount of activity and excitement around our booth.”
“We’ve put special emphasis on our business in Europe,” added Aviv Haruta, general manager,
Toyo Ink's John Copeland, Hugh Takahashi and Aviv Haruta.
“For Toyo, drupa is a great business chance, and not just for Europe,” said Hugh Takahashi, senior vice president, Toyo Ink America. “It is a great opportunity for us to showcase our capabilities and build new relationships the world over.”
Toyo Ink showcased a wide variety of new products, getting a particularly positive response for its Kaleido vegetable oil-based extended color gamut offset inks.
“Kaleido Ink formulations expand the CMYK gamut to nearly the full Adobe RGB gamut, resulting in inks that offer richer, deeper colors than conventional four-color process inks,” Mr. Copeland noted. “I heard from two customers just recently that they will go exclusively with Kaleido because it sets them apart from the market.”
“In Japan, we have introduced a newspaper version of Kaleido,” added Mr. Haruta. “The use of color in newspapers is increasing, giving us the opportunity to demonstrate the true-to-life reproduction capabilities and cost efficiencies attributed to our expanded gamut inks. For some newspaper agencies, Kaleido is now becoming a requirement.”
Among Toyo Ink’s most interesting new developments is its FD LED-curable process ink, which was showcased on Ryobi’s new 525 GX press.
“The green and cost advantages of Toyo’s FD LED Series are impressive,” Mr. Copeland said. “LED curing process produces less heat, consumes 75 percent less electricity, only needs one unit to cure and is similar in cost to UV equipment. The ink needs to be highly engineered and is a joint effort between Ryobi, Toyo Ink and Matsushita Denko.”
hubergroup drew large crowds to its booth.
“For us, !NKredible has been a big change on our production process, as we wanted to have a global ink product portfolio,” Mr. Seeger said. “In heatset, !NKredible Revolution is a big hit. No one has seen a better ink on the market. It is very high performance. Our new !NKredible Good News coldset ink has just started trials in the U.S. and Europe and has launched commercially in Asia, and it should come out some time in August. Our customers are also getting good results with our !NKredible sheetfed inks.”
SAKATA INX, INX International and Megaink were at the forefront of the newest technologies, showcasing a full product line, the MD600 and introducing Megaink to the INX family for the very first time.
“drupa was a milestone for the entire SAKATA INX Group as we exhibited for the first time as a truly global company,” said Renee Etiopio, corporate marketing manager, INX. “Visitors to our booth and attendees to our customer dinner event were from more than 30 countries around the world. Under the banner of ‘Bringing Vision to Creation, Originality to Communication and Color to Human Life,’ we showcased products, world-wide systems and services from all of our subsidiaries and Megaink as part of INX Digital. It was truly a memorable event for the entire INX Group.”
“drupa was truly an amazing and memorable event,” said George Polasik, senior vice president and COO for INX. “It allowed us the opportunity to meet colleagues and individuals from all over the globe, and provided a platform to showcase the products and talents of The SAKATA INX group. This being the first time that SAKATA INX group exhibited at this event, we were represented by 30 countries, showing truly that the SAKATA INX group is a diverse and global company.”
“From my perspective, there was a lot of activity in all market segments, and of course digital seems to still be the hot topic along with sustainability,” Mark Hill, INX’s vice president, assistant director of R&D, added. “It was also great to see that INX and SAKATA are investing in technologies outside of traditional printing inks with investments in printing equipment, color management software, product visualization software, and new digital printing applications.”
ECKART Effect Pigments, part of ALTANA, has some of the most innovative ink products at
ECKART Effect Pigments' Joseph Perdue, Colin Appleyard, Susanne Scheler and Craig Reid.
“We began work four years ago to prove that metallics could be jetted,” said Colin Appleyard, head of digital inks for ECKART. “We can now bring a product to the marketplace, and we are working with printhead makers and integrators.
“When digital is ready for metallic, brand owners will begin investigating systems,” Mr. Appleyard noted. “We think we did a great job making JetFluid’s particles so small yet reflective. We are showing what is coming, and we’ve certainly woken up some people. I think it will take off, and hope to have solutions in the market by the end of the year.”
PlatinStar, ECKART’s metallic shrink wrap ink, is also a notable achievement. “It’s really new to be able to shrink wrap a metallic,” Craig Reid, ECKART’s global head of marketing and business development, graphic arts said. “It usually distorts, but if you choose the right metallic pigments and resins – such as in PlatinStar - you can be successful in shrink wrap.”
ECKART is also working on metallic gold effects for gravure and screen with Mirror Gold, which will be available by the end of 2008. “MirrorGold offers outstanding and unique golden mirror effects when reverse printed on transparent substrates. We think the design community will be inspired by the range of colors,” said Mr. Reid.
Royal Dutch Van Son Ink's Paul Brouwer, Maurits van Son and Joe Bendowski.
“drupa was everything we expected it to be and more,” said Joe Bendowski, president, Van Son Holland Ink. “During the two-week event, we were visited by nearly 100 of our global distribution partners from over 140 countries. In addition, we have yet to count the number of printers from around the world who stopped at our stand for information and discussions. Of particular interest to visitors was our introduction of the ‘Natural Colors of Quickson.’ This family of commercial sheetfed inks gives the printer a choice of inks designed particularly for his own specific needs. In addition, the Quickson CM series allows the printer to order a custom made formula to his or her own specifications.”
Zeller+Gmelin showed off its skills at drupa through a candy box, printed with Z+G inks, featuring a laser-activated wraparound, a cold-foiled carton, a film box using PET and a low migration UV ink, and candies with a UV flexo wrap.
“We try to think a different way, and develop tactical solutions,” said Marcus Ruckstadter, sales director, printing inks for Zeller+Gmelin. “As specialist manufacturers, everything is customized.”
Collins Ink is enjoying success in the inkjet ink market, as it works closely with Hewlett Packard and Kodak, among others. At drupa 2008, Lawrence Gamblin, president of Collins Ink, noted that inkjet is making gains in many areas, becoming the dominant printing technology in areas such as transactional printing of cellular phone bills as one example.
“drupa was an overall success for Collins,” Mr. Gamblin noted. “We got a lot of information from distributors and customers that will help us formulate our future development and marketing strategies. We were also able to establish some new relationships, which look promising.”
As part of Print City, Epple Druckfarben AG exhibited more than 20 new products. In particular, the company highlighted its Power Gloss high gloss ink, as well as its Pro Gloss series, which offers high gloss without wax. Epple’s new GA Gold and Eco Food Gold are ideal for direct and indirect food contact, respectively. Perfect Finish is a quick drying ink.
Brancher Company had a strong presence at drupa 2008, where it emphasized its Dayamix worldwide
Brancher was well represented at drupa.
“We are promoting our Dayamix mixing systems, our turnkey mixing station, which we give to our dealers at a reasonable cost, and they can mix the ink onsite in their country,” said Stephane Atoumo, international development director. “We can certify them ISO, and it is more professional. It is kind of like a franchise, and our dealers are very interested.”
“drupa has been very successful for new contacts/distributors mainly in South America, Central Europe and Middle East,” Mr. Atoumo added. “It has also as usual allowed to gather together most of our worldwide distributors.”
Proell KG had a wide variety of systems on hand during drupa, most notably its Noriphan HTR, a well established IMD/FIM ink system for the film insert molding technique.
“Among our new products are Noriphan HTR effect colors, back printed with mirror ink, which are ideal for mobile phones and panels for cars and appliances,” said Stefan Zah, manager marketing communication for Proell. “There is also a 3D ink variety. Noricure UV-L-3 is good for displays for domestic appliances. The scratch resistance of the cured UV lacquer is excellent. We are also showing our Rainbow Inks and various Mirror Ink color shades, ideal for decorating mobile phones and high-grade cosmetic packaging. Both effect colors are even suitable for IMD applications.”
“drupa was a successful show for Proell,” said Mr. Zah. “We had visitors from all over the world. drupa is a huge industrial and technical printing exhibition, a duty call for everybody working in the printing industry and as well a must for Proell, as innovative ink manufacture, to be an exhibitor.”
Marabu had an active booth at drupa.
During the exhibition Marabu was demonstrating the solvent-based Marajet DI-CP on a wide format Seiko Colorpainter/HP9000. During the entire exhibition Marajet DI-CP proved its excellent characteristics like color density and high productiveness on frontlit banners, self adhesive foils and textiles.
Much attention was drawn to Marabu’s demonstration of screen printing inks being cured with a speed of 40m/min by using the new UV-LED technology. This was shown live during the entire exhibition at the booth of co-operating partner IST-Metz.
Compared to the last drupa Marabu was very satisfied with the considerable increase of visitors.
Frimpeks Ltd., a UV ink specialist based in Turkey, showcased its products. “drupa was very good forFrimpeks,” said Emre Sayer, general manager of Frimpeks Ltd. “We see much demand in emerging markets like India, Pakistan as well as the South American market. We were seeking new distributors in those regions, and we are starting to consider establishing Frimpeks distribution terminals in South Africa and the Middle and Far East, which we see a great demand.”
Hexion Specialty Chemicals had a very active and productive drupa booth. “From an inkjet standpoint, we came away with dozens and dozens of new opportunities in the graphic arts and industrial markets,” said Willis Reese, Hexion Specialty Chemicals’ director, new business development. “It is amazing how much attention the ink jet market is getting.”
Christian Janecke, sales manager of Janecke+Schneemann, noted that drupa was very good for his company. “We wanted to look for dealers, and we have found new prospects,” he said.
Mr. Janecke said that Supra UV, J+S’s line of UV inks, is a good addition. “We look at UV as a growing, profitable market,” he said. “This ink is ideal for plastic cup printing, as there is no migration.”
J+S is also emphasizing flexo. “We see that flexo is increasing by 20 percent annually in Germany,” Mr. Janecke said. “We have developed a new water-based flexo ink series for paper and film that is made from soy ink, so it is environmentally friendly.”
IGT Testing Systems had a variety of testing equipment on hand at drupa 2008, including its IGT CT1,ideal for printing on cans, hoses and tubes. The company also showcased its IGT F1 UV flexo tester, ideal for all substrates, which offers an integrated UV dryer to allow immediate, accurate tests. IGT also showed its GST 2 system for Heliotest strips and mottling.
“For IGT Testing Systems, drupa 2008 has been a great show, an excellent opportunity to introduce the latest developments on printability testing,” said Leonie Kuijpens, publicity and marketing for IGT Testing Systems. “Though we have had fewer visitors to our booth then in 2004, the visitors that came to our booth were serious ones; they came well prepared and knew exactly what they were looking for. Overall we can say that the show has been very successful for us.”
Atlantic Zeiser and its subsidiary, Triton GmbH, showcased the company’s inkjet ink solutions at drupa.
“Our most important innovation here at drupa is our LC Pro Black UV Curable Thermal Inkjet Inks, which can be used for non-absorbent media, and can be cured by conventional UV as well as LED,” said Dr. Jens Simon, managing director of Triton GmbH.
diellecolor, an Italy-based offset ink and varnish specialist, showed its new High Density 5580 inks for high-speed presses.
Aldo deLuca, general manager of diellecolor, said he found drupa to be a successful show. “drupa is a good exhibition for exporting,” said Mr. deLuca. “Our first drupa was in 2000; a lot of people see you and come back and it gives you the opportunity to meet with new customers. We meet the right people here. It also gives us the opportunity to discuss new products.”
EFI had a strong drupa, showcasing a wide variety of products. Particularly noteworthy was EFI’s
EFI's Chuck Dourlet, Jane Cedrone and Sean Skelly.
“The DS Series is the fastest UV flatbed printer in the world today,” said Chuck Dourlet, vice president of marketing, EFI VUTEk. “We see more screen printers looking to move into digital and with these speeds, quality levels and the economics of digital inkjet, it is no longer is just a complement, but now it’s an analog replacement.”
On the EFI Jetrion side, the Jetrion 4000 has completed beta testing, and is now commercial. It offers label converters a full-color narrow web alternative to toner-based digital printers for label runs of up to 50,000 labels, with lower running costs and a lower purchase price.
Hewlett Packard’s exhibit at Hall 8a was impressive, with a host of significant product introductions. On the label side, the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press operates at 30 meters per minute for 4-color jobs.
Vince Pentella, HP’s business manager, IPG digital press solutions, noted that the digital label market is dramatically increasing.
“The label market has been healthy with 5 to 6 percent growth, but digital labels are growing at 35 percent from a smaller base,” Mr. Pentella said. “HP sees this as a transformation in the business. Our product is complementary, but more of our customers are increasing the percentage of work they are going digitally.”
Bettina Bergbauer, product marketing manager for PolyIC GmbH & Co. KG, noted the growing interest in printed electronics at drupa 2008.
“More and more people are becoming interested in printed electronics,” Ms. Bergbauer said. “At drupa 2004, the OEA had 40 people at their conference; this year, more than 200 have already signed up. You can also feel it by how many people contact us.”
Among the other ink manufacturers on hand:
Xennia showcased its inkjet inks and systems. EMD Chemicals had a variety of new pigments, including Miraval Magic White and Magic Gold, Colorstream Royal Damask and Pacific Lagoon. Schlenk Metallic Pigments GmbH showed its metallic inks. Sicolor showed its sheetfed ink capabilities.
One Solution S.A., a new UV digital system and ink manufacturer formed last year, also made its debut at drupa this year. The company showed its Meital printer as well as its line of high-quality UV inks.
“Although our people are known within the market due to their experience, the name of our company is not known yet, and this is why we are here,” said Stephanie Duvivier, marketing director for One Solution.
Atlantic Zeiser and its subsidiary, Triton GmbH, showcased the company’s inkjet ink solutions at drupa.
“Our most important innovation here at drupa is our LC Pro Black UV Curable Thermal Inkjet Inks, which can be used for non-absorbent media, and can be cured by conventional UV as well as LED,” said Dr. Jens Simon, managing director of Tritron GmbH.
GSE Dispensing, which separated from Stork Prints in a management buyout in September 2006, made its debut at drupa, exhibiting its Colorsat Compact dispensing system, a modular, easy-to-clean system that GSE says is the fastest in the industry.
“It has worked out very well for us,” said Maarten Hummelen, marketing director for GSE Dispensing. “Our separation was well received by our employees and customers, who trust us. It has been a good experience for us. We are still innovating.”
Sun LLC, a Russia-based inkjet ink manufacturer, showcased its new Neo UV-LED inkjet inks and its SunFlower UV-curable NANO ink. Shanghai Peony Printing Ink Co., Ltd., one of the five largest Chinese ink manufacturers, exhibited its offset inks. DLH Printing Inks Technology AG emphasized its water-based flexo and gravure inks. Beijing Saven Times Digital Technology Co., Ltd. emphasized its expertise in digital inks.
Romer Printing Inks showcased its packaging inks capabilities. Samor International Group and its extensive group of companies had an impressive exhibit. Ciba Specialty Chemicals highlighted its Irgastar GF heatset inks. Spico Printing Inks Pvt. Ltd. of India showcased its flexo and gravure ink lines. Suzhou Kinswood Printing Ink Co., Ltd. exhibited its Dongwu offset inks. Singapore-based Imperial Ink Pte. Ltd. showed off its Cosmo 8 Colour Perfecting ink. Arets Graphics showcased its Excure line of UV curable inks as well as new EB inks and varnishes.