17177 N. Laurel Park Drive
Livonia, MI 48152
Sales: 2019 global revenues of Flint Group were €2 billion (US $2.2 billion); North American Ink Sales: $1.2 billion (Ink World estimate).
Major Products: A wide range of inks, coatings, blankets, pressroom chemistry, printing plates, consumables and more. Expertise in solvent-based, water-based, oil-based and energy curable technologies for various applications, including offset lithography, flexography, gravure, rotary screen, rotary offset, digital and letterpress. Products are designed to support nearly all print segments in the print media and packaging sectors. Flint Group also manufactures chips and resins for inks and other applications, aqueous dispersions, hyper dispersants and additives for the colorant market; pressroom chemicals; printing blankets; and flexographic plates, sleeves and printing equipment. With its Digital Solutions division (the Xeikon brand), Flint Group shows its commitment to expanding digital platforms offering a unique mix of equipment, consumables and services.
Key Personnel: Antoine Fady, CEO, Flint Group; Steve Dryden, COO Flint Group Packaging and CEO Flint Group Commercial, Publication & Sheetfed (CPS); Ron Muawad, Group CFO; Arno de Groot, VP Flint Group procurement packaging; Kevin Bergeson, director procurement Packaging Inks and Narrow Web; Michael Mosely, VP and GM, Packaging Inks North America; Jeff Sherwood, VP sales, Narrow Web North America; Michael Podd, CPO and SVP Commercial CPS.
Number of Employees: Approximately 7,900 worldwide.
Comments: Flint Group had a solid year in 2019, with Flint Group Packaging driving growth. Global revenues for Flint Group were €2 billion (US $2.2 billion).
“We continue to see strong performance in the packaging market in North America – our acquisitions are fully integrated into the Flint Group business and are creating value,” said Michael Mosely, VP and GM, Packaging Inks North America. “The business continues to experience headwinds with tariffs and raw material cost fluctuations and we continue to do our best to mitigate these challenges. However, the fundamental value proposition of packaging remains strong and continues to create opportunities for us.”
Mosley added that Flint Group expects growth in the packaging inks’ businesses. “The markets for flexible packaging and paper & board are growing; Flint Group’s key objective is to be the supplier of choice for these markets and continue our growth trajectory,” he added.
Deanna Klemesrud, global marketing director-brand & promo, Packaging Inks and Resins for Flint Group, said that in terms of challenges, they change and evolve in the ink and packaging industry. Right now, access to talent, digitalization of business and sustainability require attention.
“With regard to talent, the market is dealing with both an aging workforce and training and education of the next-generation ink makers and package printers,” said Klemesrud. “We are constantly reviewing what our own target organization should look like and how we address people development and retention.
Klemesrud pointed out that Flint Group is launching a modern B2B digital platform in 2020, focused on customers’ needs for efficiency and simplification. “We are already using ‘big data’ in our business operations and are happy to offer advice to our customers,” she noted.
In terms of sustainability, brand owners, who are driven by consumers, regulatory bodies and special interest groups, are looking for package printers to deliver solutions.
“Ink suppliers must be prepared with products and solutions to address current and future packaging requirements targeted toward food waste reduction, recyclability and compostability. Additionally, responsible sourcing of materials is also critical; we must carefully consider our vendors and raw material feedstocks,” Klemesrud noted.
For raw materials, Mosley said that Flint Group’s three main concerns are sustainability, the security of supply, and, right now, minimizing the potential impact of the recent Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
“The safety and well-being of our environment is a vital concern of Flint Group in every aspect of our business,” said Mosley. “This includes responsible raw material sourcing and careful supplier selection, which are key priorities of our procurement teams. This includes ensuring that our vendors are aligned with our strict supplier standards. As it relates to the security of supply, Flint Group has a dedicated procurement team that manages supply both globally and locally – ensuring that all key materials are on hand with reasonably sized, consistently monitored, safety stocks,” he added. “This has been absolutely critical during the recent Covid-19 outbreak. We have a specific team addressing the potential ramifications and mitigation of the impact of Covid-19 on both our operations and supply chain.”
Mosley said that Flint Group Packaging Inks will continue on its path toward globalized ink and coating technologies. “Throughout 2020, we will continue to launch new water-based product developments under our AquaCode brand hierarchy. Additionally, we will introduce a revised, and globally aligned, solvent-based portfolio to the flexible packaging segment,” he said.
“We must mention, there is no doubt that the global plastics debate is causing consumers to think more about packaging; regardless, we still see a lot of growth with various flexible packaging and paper & board structures,” added Mosley. “We are dedicated to the packaging market and understand the value packaging brings to food preservation, protection of goods in transportation and consumer buying experience. We look forward to working closely with our customers and industry partners to ensure an objective and healthy debate on the future of packaging.
“Regardless of the challenges that may exist within the global economy and within our packaging segments, there is still a wide range of existing, and new, opportunities within the packaging and ink markets into 2020 and beyond,” Mosley concluded. “For Flint Group CPS, we anticipate the continued trend of market shrinkage in the magazine, catalog, newspaper and insert web markets, along with the consolidation of the print customer base. Flint Group CPS continues to adjust our global operational footprints to maintain low cost, high-quality products for customers. We seek to capitalize on our sheetfed positioning through direct and distributor channels to grow our sheetfed ink commercial and packaging business.”