When it comes to everything ink and printing, Ink World is the industry magazine with the most current news stories. A look at their top stories for 2014, therefore, gives a good idea of where the industry is currently focusing its attention, and where it may be heading for 2015.
In 2014, Solar Inks, a specialist supplier of inks for flexographic and screen printing, opened an environmentally friendly subsidiary called Earth Inks. The new company offers new inks from sustainable and non-polluting sources. They use natural waxes to replace petroleum-based synthetics, and have removed the heavy metals and silicone found in traditional inks, and their products are nearly VOC free. This development is significant in that it indicates a growing market for sustainability within the ink and packaging industry.
Technology Looms Large
Another trend among Ink World breaking news stories is the highlighting of technological innovation. For example, take the FlexoToolboxT App, developed by the Flint Group Flexographic Products company. The app is the first one ever developed to assist platemakers. It is available for iPhone, IPad, and Android devices and incorporates a collection of tools with functions that range from simplifying and standardizing flexo prepress, plate making, and process control. Platemakers have never had so many functions consolidated to one device, or even to one button.
2014 saw consolidation of some ink industry members. Brilliant Group, Inc, opened a manufacturing facility in Richmond, California. A major supplier in the global specialty colorants market, this move allows it to consolidate its manufacturing, R&D, quality control and technical support under one roof. The industry as a whole has also seen major consolidation in recent years. And, Lawter announced that it will transfer its varnish business to Kustom Group. This means closing its LaVergne, TN manufacturing facility and consolidating manufacturing and sales to the Kustom Group.
New Ink Business
In other breaking news of 2014, are several new lines, partnerships and manufacturing facilities. Flint Group introduced a new series of inks for the post print corrugated market, called PremoCorr. INX International Ink signed an operating agreement with Chromatic Technonlgies, Inc. INX International also announced plans to open a UK facility, its largest dedicated two-piece ink structure outside of the US, reflecting its increased market share and effort to expand into the beer and beverage can market in Europe and the Middle East.