Saitama, Japan, 354-8577
Sales: $460 million (¥46,759 million yen) (consolidated).
Major Products: UV offset, letterpress, flexo, news, waterless and screen inks; sheetfed offset inks; web offset heatset inks; waterless offset inks; gravure and flexo packaging inks; water-based varnishes; metal decorating products; synthetic resins.
Key Personnel: Kazuhiko Shigesu, department manager, overseas; Shigetoshi Nishimori, manager, overseas sales; Hiro Iida, sales representative in charge of America; Hironori Yanagase, sales representative in charge of Europe; Jun Wada, sales representative in charge of synthetic resin; Ryuichi Kurimoto, marketing director; Toshimasa Yamanaka, technical director.
Number of Employees: 1,600.
Comments: T&K Toka (the T&K in the company’s name stands for Technology and Kindness) is the largest UV ink specialist in the world. The company had a fairly solid year in 2015, with sales declining slightly, notably in its domestic market.
“It was a tough year for us, especially as the market of Japan has shrunk a lot. But the market of energy-saving UV has been growing significantly in everywhere, and our ink have received a lot of good valuations from printers in this segment., so we expect that we will enjoy 2016,” said Hiro Iida, sales representative in charge of America for T&K Toka.
T&K Toka exhibited at drupa for the first time and introduced its UV inks, particularly inks for low energy UV system like H-UV and LED. Aside from its high-quality UV inks, T&K Toka launched Kiriena, its next generation conventional powder-free ink.
“Kiriena has been being used by more than 200 printers in Japan,” Iida said. “We had a lot of inquiries about Kiriena during drupa 2016. Kiriena changes a lot of things. Because there is no powder needed, the press room will be clean, the press itself will be clean, and trouble related to spray powder will be avoided in advance and the print sheet surface will be smooth.
“Also, I am proud of our UV inks, including H-UV ink, LED ink etc., because of their fast curing property and higher stability on the press,” Iida added. “This is a very common thing, but printers who convert their press from conventional to UV face the difference of runnability between conventional ink and UV ink, such as stability, window for water, etc. I believe that our UV ink is very easy to handle on press just like conventional ink, so I hope printers who just switch to UV from conventional will try our ink for the smooth start-up.”
Printing is evolving, with energy saving technologies making gains worldwide.
“The impact of digital printing is huge and this situation will not be changed,” Iida observed. “But, at the same time, energy-saving UV system such as H-UV and LED have been changing the printing industry. Our position is to provide the suitable ink to let press achieve 100% of its potential.”
T&K Toka has a major presence worldwide. Hangzhou Toka Ink, T&K Toka’s joint venture, is the second-largest ink company in China. The company also has operations in Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Bangladesh. During the past year, T&K Toka established a new subsidiary, Toka (Thailand) Co., Ltd., in Bangkok, Thailand.
Iida noted that raw material prices remained stable for the most part.
“The decline of oil prices did not affect material costs, so the situation of the material cost is still tough,” he reported. “Also, now oil prices are rising, we have to consider that material costs will be at least kept the present in a short term, and is expected that it will be increased more. As always, we will try to make a best effort to save costs and expenses as much as possible.
“However, we will never change our philosophy of T&K, stands for Technology and Kindness. It is our lifeline to provide the strongest customer services and to keep the highest product quality,” Iida added.