Fort Mill, SC 29715
Phone: (803) 548-2210
Sales: $185 million (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: Sheetfed and web offset inks, solvent-based and water-based flexo and gravure inks, energy-curable inks and coatings, security inks, UV inkjet inks, overprint varnish and aqueous coatings.
Key Personnel: Geoff Peters, president and CEO; Daryl Collins, VP of national sales and regional operations; Greg Burch, VP of international and security markets; Frieda Liles, VP of finance and treasurer; Martin Hambrock, VP of Canadian operations; Dr. Evan Benbow, director of research; Ken Klug, director of purchasing; Art Dennis, director of manufacturing.
No. of Employees: 473.
Operating Facilities: 28.
Comments: Wikoff Color had a strong year in 2016, as the company showed growth worldwide in the packaging, energy curing and digital ink markets.
“Wikoff Color saw sustained growth in 2016, both in North America and internationally,” said Geoff Peters, Wikoff Color’s president and CEO. “A large part of this can be attributed to increased sales in the label, flexible packaging and digital market segments.”
Wikoff Color has continued to expand its activities in the digital printing field.
“Wikoff Color experienced good growth in the digital printing and international market segments throughout 2016,” Peters noted. “This can be attributed to two significant factors: 1) an increase in capacity from capital investments made for our digital portfolio and 2) a focus on global expansion, both organically and through acquisition.”
In major personnel news, Dr. Don Duncan, longtime director of research at Wikoff Color, announced his retirement. Dr. Duncan joined Wikoff in November 1996; in addition to his work at Wikoff Color, Dr. Duncan was active in RadTech, TAGA, TAPPI, ASTM, SGIA and the American Chemical Society, serving as president for both RadTech and TAGA. The company has brought on Dr. Evan Benbow, as its new director of R&D. Dr. Benbow joined Wikoff Color in 2015 as assistant director of R&D.
“We are proud to have called Dr. Duncan a member of the Wikoff family for 20 years. His vast knowledge of our industry and his expertise in growing EB, UV and inkjet technologies made him a remarkable asset in our Research & Development center and across our company,” said Peters.
Wikoff Color developed a wide range of innovative products during the past year. For example, the company launched Divergent, a new oil-based litho ink series designed to be printed with reduced water levels. On average Wikoff customers are able to cut water settings by 8%-10%.
The company also introduced Compass Ultra White, a high-performance laminating white flexo ink that exhibits excellent opacity levels.
At Labelexpo Americas 2016, the company introduced its Photoflex UV flexo line, including Photoflex III, a benzo-free, TX-free and HDODA-free system; Photoflex High Shrink system, a silicone-free and wax-free series that shows exceptional print quality at shrink levels in excess of 80%; and Photoflex LED.
“By staying abreast of the new LED technologies emerging in the market place and maintaining relationships with these manufacturers, Wikoff is able to communicate to our customers how these technologies can best suit our customer’s needs and interests,” said Dr. Benbow. “Through established relationships with material suppliers, Wikoff continues to challenge our suppliers as we innovate our LED offerings in traditional printing technologies as well as digital.”
Dr. Benbow noted that food packaging is an area where Wikoff Color can particularly assist its customers.
“As the regulatory environment surrounding food packaging rapidly evolves, it is important for Wikoff to understand these challenges and effectively communicate these changes to our customers,” said Dr. Benbow. “It is also important for Wikoff to communicate to our customers that compliance with the new food packaging guidelines is not just an ink formulation strategy but needs commitment from the printer to utilize good manufacturing practices, as verification of compliance can only be achieved through testing of the finished package.”
All in all, Peters anticipates a strong year ahead for Wikoff Color.
“Wikoff Color expects an increase in our revenue stream in the coming year,” Peters said. “We are forecasting continued growth in the packaging segment as well as in our label and digital markets. Our expertise and capabilities in energy-cure technology will certainly contribute to this growth.”