Schaumburg, IL 60173
Phone: (630) 382-1800
Fax: (847) 969-9758
Sales: $375 million.
Major Products: A full line of ink and coatings solutions technology for packaging, commercial and digital print applications, including metal decorating, flexographic, gravure, web offset, lamination, corrugated, sheetfed, digital and UV/EB inks and coatings.
Key Personnel: Kotaro Morita, chairman; Rick Clendenning, president and CEO; Bryce Kristo, CFO and senior VP, general affairs; John Hrdlick, senior VP COO, operations; Rick Westrom, senior VP, strategic global sourcing/R&D director; Bob Osmundsen, senior VP, general counsel; Jonathan Ellaby, VP, international operations; Charlie Sagert, VP director of sales; Mark Hill, VP liquid technology/assistant R&D director; Toru Kaneko, VP R&D director offset; Jon Graunke, VP/R&D director – energy curable technologies; Joe Kelly, VP/R&D director – water technologies; Dave Maternowski, VP quality systems; Dan Lombardo, VP of operations, Metal/Energy Curable; Jim Lambert, VP/GM Digital Division; Randy LaCaze, VP/CTO Digital Division electronics & hardware; Dave Waller, VP of rigid packaging sales; David Sambo, VP of offset sales; Bruce Elder, VP of liquid sales; Joe Cichon, VP of manufacturing; Jim Bailen, VP of engineering; Michael Brice, VP of offset operations; Craig Reid, VP digital.
Number of Employees: Approximately 1,100.
Operating Facilities: Fifteen manufacturing locations and approximately 190 in-plant locations throughout North America. Two North American R&D Centers: West Chicago, IL (traditional technologies) and San Leandro, CA (inkjet technologies).
Subsidiaries: INX International U.K., Heywood, England; INX International France, Bretigny, France; INX Digital Milan, Italy; INX Digital Prague; Parent Company: Sakata INX, Osaka, Japan.
Comments: INX International Ink Co. had a strong year in 2014, with the company opening new facilities and making gains in the packaging and digital ink segments.
Rick Clendenning, president and CEO of INX International Ink Co., said that 2014 was a good year for INX, with packaging continuing to be a strong area of growth.
“INX International Ink Co. had a successful year in 2014,” Clendenning reported. “Sales grew more than planned and we managed our cost effectively, which is a good combination to have. So, with 2014 behind us, I am happy with the outcome.
“As in the past years, our packaging segments that we serve were good, with our customers in those areas having strong years as well,” he added. “But, again, we did not see much improvement in the segments within our commercial printers; many of them are still struggling in a very tough market and industry situation.”
INX had some key highlights during the past year, beginning with the new solvent-based liquid ink facility in Lebanon, OH. The new 63,000 square foot Lebanon facility is also producing three-piece metal deco, UV/EB and some water-based flexo ink. With the new facility, INX’s annual solvent ink capacity will more than double to 77 million pounds.
“Our new Lebanon, OH manufacturing facility was constructed during 2014 and will be operational early in the first quarter of 2015,” Clendenning said. “Our engineering group did a fantastic job in designing this state-of-the-art liquid solvent ink facility that will help us to continue to grow within our segments served by technologies manufactured there.”
INX’s digital ink operations are also expanding rapidly, combining its EVOLVE platform with hardware, electronics and ink products.
“Our Digital (Inkjet) Division is getting stronger each year, especially now that our other divisions are collaborating regularly with their digital colleagues to help our traditional customers evolve into the digital world,” Clendenning added. “We also see a lot of opportunities with all of our inkjet technologies (ink chemistry, hardware and electronics) due to this new strong collaboration.”
Another highlight was Rick Westrom receiving NAPIM’s Printing Ink Pioneer Award.
“At the 2014 NAPIM Convention, Rick Westrom, our senior VP of strategic sourcing and director of R&D, was presented with a prestigious Printing Ink Pioneer Award for his years of dedication and service in our industry,” Clendenning said.
Clendenning said that the packaging, inkjet and energy curable ink segments showed the most growth during 2014, and INX International Ink Co. is supporting this growth with new facilities and resources.
“Our liquid solvent technologies have grown well over the past few years, and our new Lebanon, OH facility is a big commitment in supporting the present and future growth in that segment,” Clendenning reported. “Our digital inkjet business continues to grow, and in 2014, to support that growth, we built a new major manufacturing facility for our inkjet technologies in Prague, Czech Republic. This new facility will help us by supporting all of our European product needs, so we can open some capacity here in the states and better handle our own local growth as planned for 2015.
“One of our fastest growing areas within all four company divisions are our energy curable products for the customers in the segments served by those divisions,” Clendenning added. “In 2014, we added some major equipment and resources to our Edwardsville, KS facility to support this growth that we expect to continue. As we move into 2015, we are looking into expanding some of our other manufacturing sites to better serve our customer base and the growth we are working on.”
Regulatory matters are coming to the forefront for the ink industry, and Clendenning said that REACH continued to be a constant area of pressure in 2014.
“Our EHS colleagues continue to work to meet the REACH requirements due to all of our international shipments from our U.S. sites to Europe,” he noted. “Also in 2014, we started early working on the new classification and labeling requirements of GHS (Global Harmonization System) that will be in place early in 2015. We feel that these regulatory pressures will continue in 2015.”
The raw material market remains a big concern for the ink industry.
“Raw material costs and supply are always big concerns for all of us in this industry since it is a very large part of our cost structure,” Clendenning said. “We did see continued stability into 2014 in most raw material areas, but again, everything has stabilized at a much higher price range than from where they started a few years back. This stability also brings a lot of uncertainty in this area that will continue into 2015.”
With new manufacturing capabilities online and new projects in the pipeline, Clendenning said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the future for INX.
“With our new facilities (Lebanon, OH, and Prague, Czech Republic) coming on stream now, I am extremely excited about 2015 and beyond, especially with some of the additional projects we are starting to plan now,” he concluded. “Last year I was optimistic about 2014 and it turned out well. But this year, although being excited, I am, like what I called in the past, ‘cautiously optimistic’ due to the uncertainty of the raw material market and the additional cost increases that we could be dealing with in 2015.”