One result of this instability is the continued importance of anti-counterfeiting measures, including developing new security inks and systems.
In the past, financial documents were the primary emphasis of anti-counterfeiting efforts, and while they still remain a major area of interest, there are plenty of other concerns. For example, forged security documents such as passports and other forms of identification could very well be a major threat if they fall into the hands of terrorists.
The area of brand protections is gaining more interest as well. Counterfeits not only siphon money away from the real brand owners, but also can pose a serious health risk. To combat this growing threat, government and industry alike are looking at ways to thwart counterfeiters, and the ink industry plays a major role in that front.
As Sean Milmo reports in his article, Interest in Security Inks Grows Due to Brand Protection, Bank Notes, which begins on page 15, there is greater emphasis on bank notes, due to some movement away from credit cards, as well as brand protection. Notably, it appears that counterfeiters are now directing efforts at less expensive, more high volume items such as chocolates, which may drive further efforts toward brand protection systems.
As one might expect, the global recession has had a major impact on printers and ink manufacturers worldwide. However, there are a few regions where the effect has not been as severe.
One such area is Latin America. In The Latin American Ink Market, beginning on page 22, ink industry leaders report that the region enjoyed some growth during 2008, as the impact of the economic downturn did not strike Latin America as hard as it did in North America. For the most part, ink executives are optimistic about the coming year.
The recession and the environmental movement are having a greater impact on the resin market. As I note in The Resin Report, beginning on page 17, ink manufacturers are asking resin suppliers for help to develop “green” chemistries and sustainable solutions, but due to some industry consolidation, there are fewer suppliers working to fill the needs of their ink customers, which makes for a challenging time for ink companies and resin manufacturers alike.