53721 Siegburg, Germany
Phone: +49 2241-3040
Fax: +49 2241-304777
Sales 2019: $1.31 billion (€1,166 million)
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, cups and tubes using flexographic, rotogravure, offset and digital printing.
Key Personnel: Herbert Forker, CEO and president Asia; Dr. Oliver Wittmann, CFO and global purchasing; Ralf Hildenbrand, president Americas and global technology, PSR and sustainability; Dr. Jan Breitkopf, president EMEA and global SCM.
Number of Employees: ~5,000 in more than 35 countries.
Comments: As a result of its total focus on the packaging ink market, 2019 has been a relatively good year for Siegwerk, with overall turnover reaching €1,166 million ($1.31 billion). While Europe remained the top-selling market for the company, business in the emerging regions of Asia and Latin America has been constantly growing throughout the year.
“Overall, 2019 was marked by slightly lower industry growth rates due to the general economic environment, current macro-economic trends and rising costs,” said Siegwerk CEO Herbert Forker. “However, Siegwerk has reached good growth rates – although below prior year levels - especially in our core business areas Flexible Packaging and Narrow Web.”
Forker observed that the demand for sustainable solutions aligned with the requirements of a Circular Economy has further increased in 2019, making it one of the key drivers in the ink and printing industries going forward.
“Siegwerk is already well-positioned to support customers in the development of sustainable and circular packaging solutions today,” he added. “Our overall strategy remains focused on packaging printing inks and the expansion of our market leadership in labels and flexible packaging applications while becoming a circular and digital packaging solutions company enabling the development of forward-looking circular and digitalized packaging innovations.”
As a result of COVID-19, the packaging ink industry has been responding to the increasing needs of the food and pharma segments.
“The food and pharma industry has been designated as a system relevant industry,” Forker noted. “System relevant industries have a special responsibility to maintain normal operations to deliver critical products associated with the safe distribution of food and medical products.
“Siegwerk has seen an increased demand for ink solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic so far,” he reported. “Inks and coatings are essential for the manufacturing of packaging ensuring the access to critical supplies for food, pharma and hygiene.”
In 2019, Siegwerk started with the construction of two new Blending Centers in Vietnam and Bangladesh to concretely extend its local footprint in South East Asia and India.
“The new centers will enable us to reduce lead times and get closer to our customers in the local markets to support them more effectively with individually formulated ink solutions matching their local requirements,” Forker reported.
Another milestone has been the commissioning of the largest fully automated production facility for printing inks in Europe at Siegwerk’s headquarters in Siegburg, Germany.
“This new Blending Center is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, serving as an example for the networked Industry 4.0,” Forker said. “Herewith, we have not only set a new quality standard for the production of customized inks and coatings but also further driven our own digitalization.”
Forker noted that the Circular Economy is currently the biggest topic. By aiming a maximum gain in recyclable resources and reusing them in marketable products, the Circular Economy ensures high recycling rates, which means on the other hand a lower use of primary or fossil resources.
“Several industry initiatives are already focusing on enhanced recycling properties such as CEFLEX (Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging), who will likely shape the inks and packaging markets with their conclusions driving the achievement of set recycling targets,” Forker said. “As a global ink manufacturer, we are actively cooperating with those initiatives as we are committed to increasing the recyclability of printed packaging with our inks and coatings addressing the needs of circular packaging solutions - today and in the future. Our goal is to become a Circular Economy solutions company supporting customers with customized solutions to rethink and redesign packaging in terms of the three key levers of a Circular Economy: reduce, reuse, and recycle.”
Forker observed that going forward, the growing focus of printers and brand owners on sustainable packaging solutions and the use of renewable materials in ink formulations will drive the development activities in all ink technologies in line with the general market demand for sustainable solutions.
“With an increase in industry standards, especially with regards to consumer and employee safety, we expect the demand for low migration solutions to further increase worldwide. Digital printing will also gain market share as it enables manufacturers to react even faster to specific customer demands,” he noted.
“We headed into the year with ambitious goals to continue growing our strong position within the packaging market, Forker concluded. “We are focusing on differentiation via innovation and digitalization to build new business opportunities while further investing in our infrastructure, technology and personnel to promote long-term growth for our future. All in all, we anticipate continued growth throughout 2020 and beyond.”