Hanover Park, IL 60133
FUJIFILM Imaging Colorants, Inc.
233 Cherry Lane
New Castle, DE 19720
US Sales: $120 million (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: Major Products: FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphics Systems Division manufactures and distributes offset printing plates; offset, screen, flexo and inkjet inks; digital print and wide format print equipment; workflow, color management and proofing solutions; pressroom supplies; technical services and consulting services. FUJIFILM Imaging Colorants (FFIC) develops and supplies novel, high performance inkjet colorants – including dyes and pigment dispersions - and inkjet inks for the digital print market. FFIC also offers contract/toll manufacturing of aqueous inkjet inks.
Key Personnel: FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphics Systems Division: Todd Zimmerman, division president Graphic Systems Division and corporate VP Global Graphic Systems; Brent Moncrief, VP strategic marketing and brand management – the Americas; Chris Lomas, VP global business development; Paul Lynaugh, VP North America sales. FUJIFILM Imaging Colorants: Ian Wilkinson, president; Kevin Myers, new business development director; John Spych, North American sales manager.
Number of Employees: 600 (Ink World estimate).
Comments: Over the years, FUJIFILM has built a strong position in the digital printing field with its Acuity, J Press and Graphium presses. FUJIFILM is also known for is inkjet inks, as well as its positions in screen and flexo inks.
FUJIFILM has two divisions that manufacture inks: FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphics Systems Division and FUJIFILM Imaging Colorants (FFIC). Both divisions had successful years in 2017.
Greg Pas, director of product marketing, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division, reported that Fujifilm’s sales of ink into a diverse range of market segments remains strong with manufacturing volumes growing year on year.
“The majority of this growth is due to higher sales of inkjet inks in the commercial, sign and display and packaging segments, and is driven in part by printhead and ink development driving faster output and higher quality,” Pas said. “Fujifilm is leading the transition in inkjet printing technology through innovations in printheads and inkjet inks, and by bringing inkjet solutions to customers previously served through our heritage business in the screen and offset printing markets.”
Pas added that flexo inks also contributed to 2017 growth.
“This market continues to be strong and Fujifilm is gaining share with product expansion in water-based inks, the introduction of LED flexo inks and adhesives,” he noted.
Pas said that the inkjet ink market shows the most potential.
“Clearly the majority of promise comes from the inkjet segment,” Pas added. “With five ink factories around the world, supported by hundreds of R&D staff, Fujifilm is well placed to meet the demands in the future. Sign and display markets are well understood, maturing but still showing excellent growth. New ‘non-graphic’ or industrial markets are next to adopt inkjet as these segments can offer large potential but are inherently challenging applications and are far more challenging for ink developers to overcome. The packaging market continues to show strong growth with our analog and inkjet products being widely adopted by end users and press manufacturers.”
Dr. Hamid Shirazi, aqueous inkjet ink product manager, FUJIFILM Imaging Colorants, Inc., noted that FFIC had several significant contributions to the inkjet market at many levels during 2017, including significant R&D programs at the company’s Japan as well as UK research laboratories.
“New dye and pigment dispersion colorants development is an important active development area for Fujifilm R&D groups,” Dr. Shirazi said. “In 2017, new colorants were added to the sales range specially for textile and decorative printing, delivering a wider gamut and better light fastness. New pigment dispersion colorants were also developed and added to the range for indirect food contact packaging applications.”
Dr. Shirazi said that new special latex systems were also developed.
“One is of particular interest and is already in testing,” Dr. Shirazi added. “This technology is one the latest developments allowing direct printing onto many different coated substrates without the need of a primer. Fujifilm has already been conducting initial trials with key players in the commercial print market.
“As the FUIJFILM Dimatix Samba printhead is becoming the new benchmark for high speed single pass printing, we also see an increasing demand in the market for high reliability fast drying inks for new printers using the Samba printhead,” Dr. Shirazi continued. “At FFIC, we are very well positioned to support the expected growth in digital printing, not only providing final AQ inks and fluids into Fujifilm systems, but also supplying critical technology and services to other key players in the market from high quality colorants, primers, AQ inks and fluids to large scale high quality toll manufacturing of industrial inks.”
As for the coming year, Pas observed that inkjet will continue to be the focus for ink developments over the next 12 months, with a focus on offering the most cost effective and innovative products in the market.
“There will be a drive towards developing inks to open up new markets that are currently inaccessible to inkjet today. We have ambitious short and long-term growth targets for inkjet which we believe we can achieve by our ability to developing core technologies,” Pas said.
“Additionally, Fujifilm believes the analog markets are at the tipping point where LED will begin to replace a significant amount of traditional UV arc and water-based printing. The outlook for LED growth is very high and Fujifilm is poised to serve this market across most graphic print markets,” Pas concluded.