With the advent of digital printing technologies, the screen printing industry has undergone tremendous changes in recent years. As printing expands its reach from screen to digital processes, screen printers are adopting digital technologies.
For screen ink manufacturers, the changing nature of their customers’ business requires their own emphasis in the field of inkjet. Screen ink companies develop proprietary digital technologies, supplementing their own screen offerings to include new inkjet ink lines.
Marabu GmbH & Co. KG, Tamm, Germany, is one screen ink manufacturer that has successfully broadened its product portfolio. Founded in 1859, Marabu GmbH would enter the screen ink market in the 1930s, and developed pad printing inks in the late 1960s. In 1995, Marabu GmbH produced its first solvent-based inkjet inks under an OEM brand, and by 2002, the company began production of Marabu branded inkjet inks, both UV-curable and solvent-based inks.
Marabu’s 2007 acquisition of ClearStar Coatings in North America gave the company new digital ink technology. With the April 2011 acquisition of Autoroll Print Technologies, a Middleton, MA-based Marabu distributor, Marabu formed Marabu North America.
Marabu North America is now successfully bringing the company’s screen, pad printing and digital technologies to customers throughout North America. Its key markets are beverage containers, glass and ceramic decorating, medical devices, membrane switches and digital printing inks.A commitment to service and quality are the keys to Marabu’s success.
“Marabu sets itself apart from other companies in the industry by our commitment to our customers and our product quality,” said Bob Keller, Marabu North America’s general manager. “Our in-house expertise in industrial and graphics application markets allows us to partner with our customers to provide custom solutions to their printing needs. Our ISO 9001 and 14001 certified manufacturing facility provide consistent high quality products.”
R&D is another important area of expertise for Marabu North America.
“Service and support are fundamental parts of Marabu’s philosophy,” Mr. Keller said. “Marabu takes pride in its strong research and technical teams, making up more than 20% of its staff at its German headquarters. We believe helping customers find solutions to their specific printing needs is vital to our success.To better serve Marabu customers in North America, we have recently begun construction on a new 26,000 square foot facility in Charleston, SC, that when completed, will house full technical labs and training centers for screen, pad and digital printing.”
“Marabu R&D development teams are always working on innovative products such as our Ultraglass UVGL, a UV-curable ink for glass and ceramic decorating,” added Patrick Forney, Marabu North America’s product manager. “Since we stay close to our customers, we are able to personally take their feedback and comments to our R&D departments, ensuring that Marabu products will address their needs.
“Marabu has been able to build on its knowledge of pigments, binder systems and manufacturing expertise to grow its digital products,” Mr. Forney added. “Today, Marabu has a complete line of solvent and UV-curable inks, as well as a line of water-based and UV-curable coatings for the digital market.”
Mr. Keller said that because of its expertise and dedication to high quality products and service, Marabu North America is very optimistic about the company’s future.
“We have a strong product portfolio in the screen and pad printing markets, and have been able to use our experience in those markets to bring the same high quality products to the digital ink market,” Mr. Keller said. “As our customers look for ways to save money, differentiate themselves from their competitors and adapt to the ever-increasing environmental concerns, Marabu is in a position to assist them. With the recent acquisition of AutoRoll Print Technologies and the addition of dedicated technical support personnel in North America, Marabu is excited about the growth possibilities in the North American market.”