Ink manufacturers merge

December 8, 2016

Inx International Ink has acquired Creative Industria e Comercio Ltda.inkjet

European Coatings reported on the acquisition, which has seen Inx International Ink reach “an agreement to purchase” Creative Industria e Comercio Ltda, a “leading printing ink manufacturer” based in Sao Paolo, Brazil and “founded 20 years ago”. The company is said to have “risen to become one of the top manufacturers of flexographic and gravure packaging inks in South America”, and is “well-known” in the region.

The site added that Pedro Americo Ribeiro opened Creative in 1996, “relying only on his own resources to produce varnishes used for packaging”, though “two years later, the family-owned company was producing inks and had expanded its distribution network by 2002”, expanding and seeing “greater sales volume”, with the operation now employing 64 people in a 107,000 square foot facility in Sao Bernardo do Campo.

Rick Clendenning, President and CEO of Inx International Ink, stated that “as a result of this deal”, a “combination of factors will strengthen Inx’s position in Brazil and South America”, adding: “Creative is a highly respected premier ink supplier and well known throughout South America. Finance Director, Guilherme Ribeiro and the management team have devoted a significant amount of time and effort to establish the business.

“They built it by using their considerable market experience and technical know-how. Going forward, binding their expertise with our global reach, product development and raw material sourcing capabilities will help us provide the best ink technologies and extend our packaging ink portfolio in South America.”

Guilherme Rubeiro, Finance Director of Creative, stated that he was “optimistic that Inx International’s worldwide presence and reputation will boost the company’s recognition”, with he and his brother Gustavo, alongside cousin Jose Carlos Ribeiro, to “continue to manage the company started by their father.

He added: “We are honoured and excited to be part of Inx’s team. We will certainly be able to improve the quality of our products and services, and we now have the support we need to remain competitive and increase our sales in South America.”

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Canon releases inkjet MFP in Australia

December 7, 2016

The PIXMA G3600 MFP comes with refillable ink tanks and is suitable for small offices.Canon reported that the new model uses PIXMA hybrid pigment ink system for a sharper text, and the colours are said to be vibrant for the quality photos it is designed for. The ink tank reportedly saves money in the long run, although BIT reported that the initial outlay is more expensive and that the ink tank is a good idea if users print large amounts per month.

The G3600 prints five ipm in colour and scans A4 colour in 19 seconds, while connection is via USB as well as Wi-Fi, and the ink tank faces forward so that levels can be easily monitored. Google Cloud Print is installed and the printer supports mobile devices as well as Canon’s iOS and Android apps, and the printer works with Dropbox, Google Drive, Instagram and SlideShare.

The duty cycle for this model is five years, about 15,000 pages, with Bit adding that this is good for small businesses that print around 60 pages a week, and it retails at AU$499 (US$371/€346).



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Ink and toner compared

December 6, 2016

The decision of which printer to use can affect cost effectiveness and depot

Office Depot looked at the different printing processes, and discussed the pros and cons of both, stating that both inkjet and laser will use the same process to send documents to the printer, but that once there the actions change. The inkjet uses “microscopic nozzles to spray the ink onto the page”, while the laser printer “heats up the powder inside the toner cartridge to create images on the page”, and that monochrome printing may show no real difference to the naked eye.

The cost of an inkjet printer is normally lower that that of a laser, although MFPs are comparable, but the print speed is faster with a laser at 20 to 30ppm, as opposed to low 20s for inkjet, but when it comes to image quality, inkjet is said to produce professional quality colour pictures, where as laser is ideal for “making tiny fonts and details crystal clear”, and is better in monochrome.

An inkjet just requires a new cartridge when ink runs out, but a laser can often require a fuser cartridge and a maintenance kit, and price per page varies from six cents (five Euro cents) for ink and seven cents (six Euro cents) for laser. In conclusion, Office Depot compared the HP Inc OfficeJet Pro 8720 MFP with the Colour LaserJet Pro M277DW MFP, which showed that the former produced 24ppm in black and 20ppm in colour with 4,800dpi resolution and a 250-sheet capacity, but printed 30,000 sheets a month maximum while the laser reached a speed of 19ppm in colour or black, had aa 600dpi resolution and a 150-sheet capacity with 2,500 maximum sheets per month.



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Ink circuitry pen released

December 2, 2016

iWorld Australia Inks has achieved a distribution agreement for Australia and New Zealand for the Circuit Scribe, a pen that can draw circuits.circuitscribe_banner_1

In a press release, iWorld Australia announced that it has an exclusive agreement with Electroninks to distribute the maker’s Circuit Scribe, which is a “rollerball pen that is filled with specially-formulated conductive ink” and enables anyone to “draw circuits on everyday materials”. There are also supplementary electronic components that have been developed by Electroninks for the Circuit Scribe, and together these products are said to have a diverse amount of uses in science, technology electronics and mathematics (STEM) education as well as DIY enthusiasts.

The pen is said to make “learning electronics fun”, and revolutionises children’s education as just simple doodling on paper, and then “connecting the magnetic components” which will “snap right into [the] circuit”. Different modules can be added like LED lights, fans, switches, sensors, transistors, resistors and buzzers.

The ink is non-toxic and water-based but conductive, and so it enables the user to “see how the circuit works and adds a whole art dimension” to projects. Users learn by creating and can use the pen with other electronic programmes. The Circuit Scribe comes in kits and bundles, which range from basic to advanced, but users can create their own kit to bring paper to life in any form. The kits start from AU$19.95 (US$14/€13) or classroom kits from AU$699 (US$518/€486).


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US develops tool to stop money counterfeiting

November 30, 2016

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has awarded Sam Houston University a grant to “develop chemical signatures” for counterfeit money produced with inkjet printers.dollars

EurekAlert reported that the use of inkjet printers to make fake money will be more traceable with the development of chemical signatures, which will be able to assist investigators back to the source, and the new tool will also work on documents that are “suspicious”. Patrick Buzzini, an associate professor at the Department of Forensic Science, was given the grant, and is working with the US Secret Service “on the project”.

Buzzini commented that “we are trying to develop a tool that can work at the investigative level. Our hope is to produce chemical profiles that will be able to inform investigators about brands and models of printers used”. Inkjet printers are widely available and fairly cost-effective to run, and are popular in counterfeiting, with more than 60 percent of bank notes produced using them.

The tool will also be able to trace documents printed such as in cases of “extortion, questioned contracts, identification documents or anonymous letters”. The new method will use Raman spectroscopy, which will “determine to what extent suspected documents can be linked back to a source based on the three main colour components of the system, including mixes of cyan, magenta and yellow”.

Basically, it “detects dyes and pigments” and studies the “interaction between light and materials”, and also measures the “phenomenon of inelastic light scattering produced at the molecular level”. Buzzini will be working with James Curran of the University of Auckland in New Zealand to analyse the complex data, and develop a “novel statistical approach to analyse the results”, and Curran will “help maximize the extraction of highly complex data,” said Buzzini.

The Criminal Investigation Division will provide 100 samples for evaluation, and the study will use both the old method of layer chromatography and the new method of Raman spectroscopy. Buzzini concluded that “our goal is to investigate if Raman data gathered from three microscopic coloured spots of inkjet printed document constitute, all together, a chemical signature sufficiently discriminating to provide reliable investigative leads in a time-effective and non-destructive manner”.


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EuPIA publishes report on inks

November 30, 2016

The European Printing Ink Association (EuPIA) has published an updated good manufacturing practices

EUWID reported that the new GMP guide is for printing inks, varnishes and coatings that are “designed to be printed on food contact materials” and the new version, 4.0, will help “printing ink, varnish and coatings” users in “controlling food safety hazards” for those “designed to be printed onto food-contact materials”, including non-food and food contact surfaces.

Dr Martin Kanert, EuPIA’s Executive Manager, said: “The last version of the GMP was published in 2009. A large number of significant changes have occurred since then that required us to draw up new guidelines. We have taken particular account of printing inks that are designed for direct food contact.”



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North American ink market to see growth

November 29, 2016

Due to the thriving packaging industry, growth will be stimulated in the printer ink

Major players in the ink market are developing “bio-based printing inks” to avoid the usage of toxic materials in line with regulatory framework, said a press release. According to Transparency Market Research the five main companies – Sun Chemical, INX International Ink Co., Flint Group, Quad Graphics Inc.,and Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KgaA – hold a “collective share” of 65.7 percent of the market.

The lead author of the report said that “companies are likely to expand their reach to developing countries of [the] Asia Pacific that are showing promise of growth in every sector, which will have a direct impact on the demand for printing inks”. The report said that the North American printing inks market “is projected to be worth” $8.7 billion (€8 billion) by the end of 2024, and that it is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.7 percent between 2016 and 2024.

Due to publication and commercial printing, oil-based printing inks will see a “remarkable rate of consumption” and will expand at a “CAGR of 5.15 percent” during 2016 to 2024, with the maximum demand coming from the US, which will see its printing inks market grow at a CAGR of 5.55 percent. The packaging industry continues to grow and has influenced the demand for printing inks, as well as a high demand for UV-cured printing inks used in “inkjet, gravure and flexography”.

These inks are “gaining popularity as they are far more advantageous than the traditional printing inks”, and there will be a higher demand for UV-cured inks due to strict environmental regulations on the use of VOC (volatile organic compound) inks. Other factors causing the demand for printing inks are: younger population spending money on packaged foods; “rising GDPs of several nations”; and investment growth in the healthcare sector. The driven packaging industry will keep the North American inks market “upbeat for the next five years”.

Despite this, the North American market will face some tough challenges from strict regulations banning the use of inorganic solvents and toxic metals like lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, which could “restrain the growth in the overall market”, and with digitalisation and e-commerce growing, there is an expectation that this will “reduce the demand for printing inks in the publication sector”, as will the paperless office.


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Epson Europe hires two senior executives

November 28, 2016

The new executives will help to drive sales towards the €2 billion ($2 billion) mark by

Dealer Support reported that as part of Epson’s drive for “growth and multi-million euro investment programme in Europe”, the company has appointed Ernest Quingles, formerly Managing Director for Epson France, Spain and Portugal, to the new role as director responsible for business sales across Europe, the Middle East and Russia (EMEAR).

The other Senior Executive appointment went to Darren Phelps, who will be responsible for Epson’s business imaging and print division in Europe. The OEM has invested €50 million ($53 million) in Europe, which they have focussed on “infrastructure, IT, marketing and workforce expansion”, and are aiming to deliver €2 billion ($2.1 billion) sales in 2020, which will have the effect of increasing the workforce in Europe by 10 percent.

Rob Clark, Senior Vice President of Epson Europe, said: “I am pleased to announce that Ernest Quingles will now lead the sales effort within Europe. Ernest is a strong sales leader who has been a successful member of Epson Europe’s senior management team for over two years where he has helped deliver impressive sales growth in France, Spain and Portugal.

“Darren Phelps has extensive experience developing new channels to market and has proved highly effective in his previous role as Epson’s European head of reseller sales. Darren is tasked with managing Epson’s Business Imaging and Print operations where he will work closely with Ernest to develop our go-to-market strategy and implement new channel programmes tailored to meet our customers’ needs across Europe.”

Clark also commented: “Business inkjet printing is the big growth opportunity for Epson in Europe. Companies making the switch from laser to inkjet printers realise they can achieve significant competitive advantages including energy savings of up to 96 percent, CO2 emission reductions of 92 percent and waste reductions of 95 percent.”

Businesses are making the change from laser to inkjet printing, and Epson wants to meet the demand which is said to be “massive”, with the company investing €400 million ($425 million) in new production facilities and intending to invest a further €185 million ($196 million) in its PrecisionCore inkjet technology in the next three years.

IDC reported that “business inkjet printing represents a €38 billion ($40 billion) market opportunity in Europe, and the overall business inkjet market will grow at a rate of 10.2 percent (CAGR) up to and including 2020”.



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Toyo Ink announces half-year results

November 24, 2016

The company showed mixed results due to the slowed growth “in China and other emerging nations”.toyo-ink

Toyo Ink showed net sales for the first half of the financial year were ¥133.1 billion ($1.3 billion/€1.2 billion), which was a 5.6 percent?decrease from last year, but operating income increased 4.8 percent to ¥8.86 billion ($87.5 million/€82.8 million), while net income was ¥5.25 billion ($52 million/€49 million), a decrease of 7.5 percent.

Toyo Ink reported: “During the first half of the consolidated fiscal year under review, the global economy showed continuous improvements supported by consumer spending in the US. However, the pace of growth slowed further in China and other emerging nations. In addition, the uncertainty and downside risks of the global economy are increasing, mainly due to the spread of exclusive politics and society. As a result, the economy continued to stagnate in Japan as well.”

The sales of the packaging materials related business fell 0.4 percent year-on-year to ¥31.84 billion ($314 million/€297 million), and operating income increased 37.7 percent to ¥1.58 billion ($15.6 million/€14.7 million). The company also noted that “in addition to the continuous decline in domestic demand for gravure inks for publication, sales of solvents as resale products declined”, but “on the other hand, domestic sales of mainstay gravure inks for packaging were strong, mainly for beverage and private brand applications.

“Demand for gravure inks for construction materials recovered in the latter half of the period, and profitability improved. Overseas, sales of eco-friendly inks for packaging in the largest market segment continued to expand in Southeast Asia and India”. The printing and information related business showed a decrease in sales to ¥40.48 billion ($400 million/€378 million), down 5.8 percent year-on-year, but operating income increased 77.3 percent, to ¥1.57 billion ($15.6 million/€14.7 million), and this was “due to the effects of cost reduction initiatives”.

Concluding, Toyo Ink said: “In offset inks, the export profit from Japan was squeezed by the strong yen, in addition to the continuous decrease in demand due to the structural depression where the information-related print market shrank associated with the progress of digitalisation in Japan.

“Meanwhile, sales of UV ink expanded not only in Japan but also on a global scale, particularly in Europe, and hard coating agents for touch panels sold well. Sales were weak in China and Southeast Asia, reflecting the slowdown of economic activity. In India and Brazil, sales expanded and profitability also improved.”



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African inkjet raw material imports analysed

November 22, 2016

africaA report looked into the challenges of importing raw materials into the African market.

The analysis, by Ink World Magazine, noted that the “majority of raw materials” are imported into Africa, and so “supply logistics and local currency rates play a significant role”. Accessing materials as an Africa-based ink manufacturer “remains a major challenge” because “nearly the entire demand is met through imports”, and the impact of this is “closely tied to the efficiency of Africa’s supply logistics and the volatility of local currencies”, which have dictated the industry’s performance.

These issues are also “likely to influence outcomes of ink companies’ investments both in the short and medium term”, with Pieter Jordaan, African Vice President and General Manager of Flint Group, stating that “the majority of raw materials required for ink manufacturing [are] imported from outside Africa”, with the reliance on these providing “unique challenges to the ink manufacturer as we have to consider the impact of the distance from the supply lines and volatility in currencies”.

The company launched a “joint venture” with other ink companies to “grow in emerging markets”, with Jordaan noting that “distance from the suppliers increases the cost of transport and necessitates higher levels of stockholding”. His advice on trying to “mitigate the likely raw materials supply crisis just in case a shipping company or transport networks within a given market are disrupted” was that “stock levels must be sufficient to ensure continued supply.

“The recent suspension of services by one of the largest shipping lines, as it had to file for receivership, shows the importance of sufficient stocks”. This was surmised to be South Korean container company Hanjin, which went into receivership recently, with South African ink manufacturers previously hoping that services to Durban and Cape Town would “contribute to satisfying various needs of their customers”.

On the currency front, the volatility “creates high levels of uncertainty and can add substantial cost to the procurement process”, with instability “in many of the African markets and [their] trading partners”. Examples include devaluation in Nigeria and South Africa (impacted by China’s devaluations), with the latter point particularly bad for Sub-Saharan Africa, which was expected to “experience the largest negative impact”.

Countries most affected include Mauritania, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo, while Kenya has also seen its currency “under pressure”. Crude oil prices have also had a “huge impact” on raw materials costs, with Jordaan noting that since the recession however, “circumstances may have changed”, with ink raw materials prices possibly not having “fallen in tandem”.

The future strategy of African ink manufacturers, he believed, “will mainly be driven by growth of printing companies”, because of the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment where many companies “pursue opportunities to manufacture closer to the source as opposed to importing finished products”, with the “current raw material situation” said to have a “limited impact on this strategy”.

He concluded that with global economic growth slowing recently, Africa “has also been affected”, particularly with the “slowdown in demand for commodities”, noting that “we have seen limited activity from raw material suppliers to invest in projects to manufacture in Africa, and we foresee that our procurement model will not change much for the short to medium term”.

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