St. Louis, MO 63106-1939
Toll free: +1-800-325-8110
Sales: $1.4 billion overall; $70 million in inkjet inks
(Ink World estimate).
Key Personnel: Paul Manning, chairman, president and CEO; Amy M. Agallar, VP and treasurer; Michael Geraghty, Color Group president; John Manning, SVP, general counsel and secretary; Stephen Rolfs, SVP and CFO; Tobin Tornehl, VP, controller and chief accounting officer.
Major Products: Water-based, pigmented and dye-based and sublimation inkjet inks for textile, wide format and industrial applications, including packaging and edible inks; water-based pigmented and dye-based inkjet inks for desktop printers.
Operating Facilities: St. Louis, MO; Morges, Switzerland.
Comments: A global leader in businesses ranging from flavors, fragrances and colors for foods and beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, home and personal care products, specialty printing and imaging products, computer imaging and industrial colors, Sensient Technologies has a presence in many key markets, including inkjet inks. Sensient Technologies sales remained stable at $1.4 billion in 2019.
Sensient Imaging Technologies has a major presence in digital inks, including OEM printers and industrial and textile inks. Ink World estimates Sensient Imaging’s worldwide sales of inks at $70 million.
Simon Daplyn, marketing manager for Sensient Imaging Technologies, observed that 2019 was a challenging marketplace for digital textiles globally but, despite this, Sensient saw stable volumes and an indication of strong growth in the first months of 2020.
“There was also an increase in sales for our specialty inks, particularly with both functional UV-curable inks and edible, food-grade ink for food decoration and customization,” Daplyn added.
In addition to textiles, Daplyn said that Sensient expects to see significant growth in the packaging market.
“Early adoption of inkjet in the industry has been mainly in printing on corrugated board, but there is huge potential in both flexible and folding cartons for food packaging,” he pointed out. “The challenges here lie in formulating ink that meets the strict regulatory demands of the market, while also responding to the push for water-based technologies. At Sensient, we have projects in progress based on our SensiJet SX technology for this purpose, a water-based ink platform that is compliant in highly regulated industries for primary food contact.”
Sustainability is a key trend, and Sensient has been active in that field. Daplyn said that highlights for Sensient over 2019 have included the increased awareness of sustainability in the printing industry as a whole, and the growing trend for personalization in new, growing markets such as food.
“As a response to the growing requirement for environmentally responsible inkjet, Sensient launched ElvaJet Coral in 2019 - a novel technology for printing polyester fabrics without the need for transfer paper or the water-intensive post-process of steaming and washing,” Daplyn reported.
The ink industry is facing numerous challenges, including regulatory mandates, and Daplyn noted that Sensient is moving forward to meet these needs.
“Sensient has an in-depth understanding of the chemistry of color, strong, world-renowned heritage and experience in highly regulated markets – which all stands us in good stead when addressing the specific needs and changing requirements of our customers,” he continued. “As we advance towards the concept of a circular economy, we must keep pace with what these changes mean for ink. Many applications are driving growth in water-based ink technology due to its sustainable credentials.
Water can be a challenge to dry at the speeds required in some markets, but by adapting specific chemistries and working closely with our partners to understand and adapt to their needs, we are overcoming this. The key with almost all challenges we face is collaboration and partnership with our industry peers in hardware, software, substrate and chemistry.”
Sensient Imaging Technologies is looking forward to the coming year.
“We are very positive about the outlook for 2020,” Daplyn concluded. “The interest in digital printing is stronger than ever before, and there are markets emerging that will benefit greatly from the technology. We also expect to see further interest in our sustainable ink products, as well as new collaborations and partnerships to develop the innovative ink solutions of the future.”