The printing industry is also recovering along with this economic recovery trend. There are orders to order new machines. Orders that were suspended during the economic crisis are now starting to be implemented. Among all major printing industry businesses, the fastest growing is packaging.
As the printing industry has become more competitive, customer demands have also increased. Cost saving, high quality and environmental protection have become routine requirements. Environmental requirements include the use of packaging inks that do not contain toluene, or have a very low toluene content, and printing inks that have very low levels of volatile organics.
Printers are optimizing their operating costs, improving and maintaining their stability, and working hard to produce environmentally friendly products (although still in the enlightening stage). Other broad trends include efforts to produce high-quality products; attention to creating lower-cost operating methods; greater use of technologies (such as the use of computer technology in prepress applications); increased demand for ink supplier technical support; The interest in new ink formulations is mainly in the packaging area.
Howard s. brecher
Michelman's Vice President of Additives The scale of ink manufacturers in most countries ranges from very large, very complex, multinational groups to very small, local household businesses. With the exception of Indonesia and the Philippines, the business conditions in most countries seem to have returned to levels before the Asian financial crisis. Japan is an exception, where many manufacturing bases are migrating to countries with cheap labor.
Many businesses in the Asia Pacific region are due to the fact that European and American companies purchase products there to use their low prices. Of course, local manufacturers buy locally produced packaging and prints.
There are three trends in the Asian ink market:
1. Driven by the environmental protection requirements of customers throughout the supply chain, the use of solvent inks is steadily turning to water-based inks. Ink manufacturers are rapidly moving from solvent products to water-based products.
2, the merger of suppliers. Many companies collapsed in the financial crisis, and there are other companies involved in a multinational global acquisition frenzy.
3, quality and price increase. The concept of stable, high-quality, high-value production has become more prevalent than in the past.
In addition, quality is steadily rising due to competition and end-user requirements. Today, some of the world's best quality printing is done in the area. More advanced presses, quality control equipment and highly trained personnel are becoming more and more common. Many companies, especially in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, are now as advanced and perfect as European and American companies.
Air Products and chemicals, Inc. Global Marketing Manager for Special Additives Japan holds a 2.5% share of the world ink market, while the United States and Europe each account for 33% and 31%. In developing regions such as Latin America, South Asia, Africa and Australia, the printing ink industry has a relatively small share compared to Europe, the United States and North Asia. Many systems use older solvent-based technologies and we believe this is an excellent platform for future development.
Energy curing and digital inks are the fastest growing, although they are still small compared to flexo and gravure. Due to the improvement of technology and quality, flexo printing is occupying the market of gravure, and to a certain extent, it is occupying the offset printing market. Flexo and gravure have performed well in packaging applications.
In China, offset printing is widely used; on the other hand, in Japan, most of the packaging ink systems that comply with the regulations are gravure inks (in Europe and the United States are flexo inks), mainly because of the higher requirements on the appearance standards in Japan. The state of technological development varies from country to country. Europe, the United States, and North Asia have leading technologies in the printing industry, while developing regions generally lag behind by 5-10 years.
In Asia, the needs of customers are changing. They not only want new products that meet customer requirements but also want more rewards. This means improving product performance without increasing costs. At the same time, they also hope that the application of the product will be more extensive. For example, adding agents, hope that the end-use is more diversified. From water-based flexo inks to fountain solutions to 100% UV-curable inks. Moreover, they also hope that the ink can adapt to changing substrates, whether PE, PP or coating machine.
The printers also hope that we can provide products that meet customer requirements at a suitable cost. They often focus on reducing costs. Although ink accounts for only 15% of printing costs (paper accounts for 45%), the general attention is always focused on reducing the cost of ink. This promotes the need for low-cost, multi-functional inks.
We also found that the need for wetting films increased. In the packaging field, the need for shelf appearance is reflected in high quality printing. To meet the demanding requirements of flexible films, good wetting has become a topic of discussion. The industry also requires strong defoaming performance and low odor. In summary, we have found further demand for water-based and environmentally friendly inks.
Daejeon Ink Chemical Co., Ltd., president of the Printing Group At present, the economy of most countries in the region is improving. Except for Japan, part of the reason is due to the fact that the structure of the market varies from country to country. For example, the exchange rate of the yen against the euro and the dollar remains strong and the export situation is grim. Japanese banks are reorganizing, so they are very cautious when doing business. The unemployment rate is still high, so the salary level has not improved. For these reasons, many people have not recovered from the economic downturn.
The printing industry has developed along with these industries: Food packaging and news printing are the largest parts. We believe that the Asian market is better than the US market. Many printers are planning and trying to replace toluene-containing inks with toluene-free inks. This is a direct response to customer demand. The printers also plan and try not to use vinyl chloride-based inks.
In short, the printing quality in the Asian market is improving. Therefore, higher quality inks are needed. For these reasons, we look forward to seeing European and American ink manufacturers reenter the Asian market.
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