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FLEXO Magazine : February 2011
Industry Indicators excited to see Danaher’s strategic inter- est to acquire the company and develop EskoArtwork as an autonomous busi- ness. We see this as a vote of confidence in our strategy and a strong belief in our ability to continue to grow in the future. ” Raw Material Shortages Affect Ink Prices WOODBRIDGE, N.J. — Printers and converters seeking details on why ink prices are on the rise, are gleaning insights from the National Associa- tion of Printing Ink Manufacturers, Inc. (NAPIM), which in late January, issued a bulletin that provides an assessment of current volatility facing the raw mate- rial printing ink market supply chain. Disseminated by Executive Director James Coleman, the bulletin reviewed the availability of critical raw materi- als likely used in the inks that printers’ purchase in all of the major printing processes – flexographic, lithographic, gravure, and inkjet. Availability, driven by capacity and demand from competing regions and industries, remains the determinant on how much product any one manu- facturer can obtain and at what cost. Some of the key raw materials causing price increases include: rosin, acrylic acid, carbon black, titanium dioxide, nitrocellulose, crude oil and natural gas, vegetable oils, and colored organic pig- ments. Rosin, a major ingredient in resin production, particularly gum rosin, experienced a threefold increase in price during 2010 and supply remains constrained with very low inventories. The resins produced from rosin are not only used in flexographic, offset, and ro- togravure printing inks but are also used in adhesives, road markings and rubber. Acrylic Acid--increased demand from industrial applications has created a taut market that has experienced sales control initiatives from major producers. Cost pressure and supply constraints are expected to continue through 2011. These dynamics cause significant and on-going challenges in the water-based and UV markets. Carbon Black, has experienced a reduction in available capacity and lead times have increased significantly. Automotive demand is increasing as well as the demand in several other markets. Two major carbon black sup- pliers are for sale. Titanium Dioxide suppliers are not taking on new business as supply remains tight and inventory levels are very low. Global capacity, during the economic downturn, was reduced by 15 percent over the past 18 months and there is no indication that investment will be made to accommodate future growth in the industry. Crude Oil refining and the crack- ing of natural gas provide many of the precursor chemicals for printing ink raw materials and their intermediates. World oil consumption is expected to grow in China, Brazil and the Middle East which will sustain the regional competition for products and place the supplier in the advantageous position to sell where the profit is best. Vegetable Oils, primarily linseed and soybean oil are in a volatile and complex market. Prices are driven by several factors including: the acres planted, harvest yield per acre, weather, exports, value of the dollar, crude petroleum oil prices, bio-diesel produc- tion, and commodity prices. Based on these factors, it is expected that for the first half of 2011, prices will remain high versus last year. Colored Organic Pigment capac- ity has decreased over the last several years and there is no indication that this will change. The pigment intermedi- ate products derived from the refining of crude oil all continue to increase substantially in price and demand from other industries, which create a competitive situation for printing ink applications. The National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers is a trade associa- tion tasked to represent the printing ink industry in the United States and provide information and assistance to its mem- bers to better manage their businesses. NAPIM provides direction through semi- nars, conferences, timely bulletins and day-to-day communications. For more information about NAPIM, visit www. napim.org. www.flexography.org february 2011 FLEXO 27 To learn more, call 704.588.3371 or Toll Free at 800.438 .3111 At Harper Corporation we do more than sell anilox rolls. We deliver confidence that comes with a 100% performance guarantee, backed by a team of graphic experts, and supported by a full compliment of products and accessories. With anilox roll manufacturing and restoration facilities in Charlotte, NC; Green Bay, WI; Herford Germany and Bangkok, Thailand; Harper Corporation delivers dependable consistency no matter where you print. Anilox Roll Division HARPERi MAGE.Co M Americas • Europe • Asia ©2011 Harper Anilox Roll with built-in support. Performance guaranteed. From four locations across the globe. FLX_Feb11_mech.indd 27 2/16/11 8:50 AM
Sustainable Winter 2011