Much like the printing industry it serves, the ink industry is constantly evolving. Not too long ago, publication, commercial and newspaper printing were the major part of the ink industry’s business, with heatset, sheetfed and coldset news offset inks the predominant technologies.
Times have changed. The publication, commercial and newspaper markets have suffered due to changes in how consumers get their news and how they shop. Publication ink manufacturers have been impacted as well.
Packaging inks, on the other hand, have done well. Flexible packaging is commonplace on supermarket shelves, and ink manufacturers are able to differentiate their products. This does not mean that the packaging ink market is easy, as the increased regulatory scrutiny demands that ink suppliers keep up with brand owners’ mandates. Still, packaging is a growth segment.
The digital ink market is the strongest. It seems strange to think back on it, but digital printing has come a long way in the past decade. Inkjet has taken a large slice out of screenprinting and transactional printing, and is making sizable gains in the narrow web space. The commercial printing market may be the next area of growth for digital.
In this year’s North American Top 20 Report, these changes are evident. The leading executives we interviewed noted the opportunities they see in packaging, and those whose companies are in digital are reporting strong growth. Meanwhile, offset ink manufacturers are honestly considering their positions, and are looking at ways to provide service to their customers while they watch their businesses closely.
Overall, ink industry executives report that they believe their companies are in for a solid year in 2015, regardless of the markets they serve. No doubt, time will tell if their predictions are on target.
North American Ink Sales
Global Ink Sales (Parent)
|1||Sun Chemical||$1,500*||$3,500 (Sun Chemical)**||1|
|2||Flint Group||$1,000*||$2,900 (Flint Group)||2|
|3||INX International||$375||$1,340 (Sakata INX)||3|
|5||Siegwerk||$200||$1,330 (Siegwerk Group)||5|
|6||DuPont Ink Jet||$175*||6|
|8||Hostmann-Steinberg||$150||$1,080 (Huber Group)||8|
|9||Sanchez SA de CV||$126||9|
|11||American Inks & Coatings||$115||11|
|12||Toyo Ink America||$105||$1,440 (Toyo Ink)||10|
|13||Fujifilm North America, GSD||$90*||$375* (Fujifilm)||13|
|17||SICPA Securink||$60*||$400* (SICPA Group)||16|
|17||Van Son||$60*||$130* (Royal Dutch Van Son)||16|
* Ink World estimate.
** Parent company DIC Corporation has global ink sales of $6.71 billion.