53721 Siegburg, Germany
Tel: +49 2241-3040
Fax: +49 2241-304777
Sales 2015: $1.22 billion (€1.1 billion)
Major Products: Provider of solvent-based, water-based, energy curable and oil-based inks and coatings and related point-of-use services for the packaging and label industries. Product applications include flexible packaging, labels, folding cartons, corrugated boxes using flexographic, rotogravure and offset printing.
Key Personnel: Herbert Forker, CEO; Dr. Oliver Wittmann, CFO; Ralf Hildenbrand, president Packaging Asia & Global Purchasing; Hugo Noordhoek Hegt, president Packaging EMEA; Dave Hiserodt, head of Canada & USA; Pablo Paduani, VP and head of Latin America.
Number of Employees: 5,000 in more than 30 countries
Comments: As a global leader in packaging inks, Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA had a good year in 2015, with sales in terms of euros increasing by more than 10%. Siegwerk CEO Herbert Forker said that the company’s focus on packaging ink is key to its success.
“Looking at the overall performance, 2015 was a good year for Siegwerk,” Forker said. “We’ve seen some sales growth, achieving €1.1 billion in annual sales. Especially Asia, one of our growth regions in which we are investing continuously to expand our local capacities and offerings, has shown a good performance. As the print media market is still decreasing while packaging continues to grow significantly on a global base, we keep on with our strategy to focus on packaging printing and expand our market leadership in labels and flexible packaging applications.”
Siegwerk enjoyed growth in all geographic regions during 2015, with flexible packaging and low migration ink systems important drivers for expansion.
“In 2015, we could observe the highest growth in the Asian region, followed by EMEA, USA and Canada - all with a moderate growth,” Forker reported. “The demand for publication inks is further slowing down due to a decreasing print media market and therefore had a negative impact on the overall industry performance last year. However, packaging printing is performing very well, with a significant growth in 2015.
“Over the last years, we could especially note a steady growth in the demand for flexible packaging,” he added. “An increasing interest in new packaging materials and new requirements in packaging applications influenced the overall development of the ink market. Next to innovative ink solutions covering the requirements of new substrates and packaging formats, brand owners are also asking for new special effect inks to highlight packaging with unique designs. Besides, we see globally significant demand in food-safe ink solutions, leading to growth in all ink technologies (solvent-based, water-based, UV) formulated with adequate raw materials that fulfill food safety standards. The area of low migration ink systems is one of the largest growing in this context.”
To met the needs of customers, Siegwerk is continuing to invest heavily in technical service and manufacturing.
“In line with our investment focus on creating Centers of Excellence in manufacturing on a regional level that we started in 2014 in order to ramp up our infrastructure and improve global processes, we further followed this way and finished our first sub-projects in 2015,” Forker noted. “In North America we have invested in automation and increased capacity within the manufacturing of water-based and energy curable products in Morganton, NC. This investment has helped to provide a more consistent quality and timelier response to the growing narrow web market in North America.
“The next sub-project will involve investments in the solvent-based manufacturing headquarters in Des Moines, IA, to also improve efficiencies allowing for a better response to a local customer base and access to new opportunities,” he added. “Getting closer to our customers and offering the best quality worldwide is an ongoing commitment for us. We plan on continuing to invest in both the traditional markets like North America and Western Europe as well as the emerging markets like Asia and Latin America.”
At the end of 2015, Siegwerk announced the opening of a new sales subsidiary in the Netherlands, which brings the number of Siegwerk’s locations to more than 70 around the world. The company also is investing in its Asia-Pacific operations.
“We have opened a new application center in Indonesia to address the growing demand of the local market, and have also started investment plans for our footprint in China in order to support our growth strategy and expand our local presence,” Forker said.
In line with increasing demand for low migration and UV applications, Siegwerk introduced new ink solutions and varnishes especially suitable for these print applications.
For narrow web applications, Siegwerk presented a new UV flexo white for sleeves (Flex White Sleeve 0003). Siegwerk also introduced a new low migration two-component UV laminating adhesive especially developed for food labels. It can be used for inline lamination of self-adhesive polyethylene and polypropylene laminated films printed with Siegwerk’s UV series SICURA Nutriflex 10, a low migration series for practically all labeling applications in the food industry.
Low migration UV waterless inks are another area of interest for customers, and Siegwerk launched SICURA Nutri WL for labels and packaging in the food industry.
In the area of sheetfed, Siegwerk introduced an optimization of its UV offset matt varnish for the production of folding boxes for luxury packaging, such as cosmetics, perfumes and spirits. The abrasion resistance of the new varnish has been significantly increased, which is necessary for the harsh transport conditions that apply to packaging. With SICURA Litho Nutrimetal, Siegwerk launched low migration one-component metallic inks.
Interest in environmentally friendly inks continues to grow.
“Another ongoing trend goes towards environmentally compatible inks, which is paving the way for water-based inks to be used in packaging printing too,” said Forker. “Siegwerk experts have created a range of flexo printing inks that meet high market standards in terms of non-absorbent surfaces and reverse printing. An investment plan for a new production line for water-based inks was rolled out in 2015 to strategically extend capacities to meet high quality standards and address the demand for customized printing ink solutions.”
Forker said that Siegwerk anticipates some challenges ahead, with economic concerns are pricing pressures among them, but overall, packaging remains an excellent market.
“In general, we expect a further slowdown of growth in many developing countries, especially in Latin America because of current economic challenges,” he noted. “In mature markets, we will see a pressure on margins and it will be key to continue working closely with customers in order to develop optimal solutions that fit their individual needs and support them with guidance and technical know-how for the best-in-class printing results they desire.
“Packaging printing will further gain momentum in 2016 shaping new trends for the industry,” Forker observed. “One of the current trends is the growing short run demand that is driven by brand owners desiring regionalization and personalization as well as effect varnishes and special finishing of their product packaging. This trend will further drive growth of digital printing technologies in packaging as it enables packaging manufacturers to react even faster to specific customer requirements. In addition, the speed of flexible packaging printing presses continues to increase – up to 2,000 fpm – which also requires new formulation demands on traditional ink technology.
“Furthermore, we expect a volume switch from conventional UV to low migration UV inks in the printing market for this year,” he added. “LED UV curing will also be one of the growth drivers. Further expansion of LED UV ink applications will enable printers to use these inks for the full range of products. The focus of printers and brand owners for sustainable and innovative packaging printing will also drive the development activities in all ink technologies. That’s why we are developing eco-friendly inks for sustainable packaging solutions and always work on assessing ways to further improve the ecological footprint of our inks with no loss of performance.”