07 Jun 2020

Raw material shortages affect ink prices

Ink2

In order to help printers and converters understand why their ink prices may be on the rise, the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers, Inc. (NAPIM) issued a bulletin that provides insight into the current volatility facing the raw material printing ink market supply chain.

The bulletin, sent to NAPIM's members, reviewed the availability of critical raw materials likely used in the inks that printers' purchase in all of the major printing processes – lithographic, gravure, flexographic and inkjet.
 
Availability, driven by capacity and demand from competing regions and industries, remains the determinant on how much product any one manufacturer 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 coloured organic pigments.
 
Rosin
Rosin is a major ingredient in resin production. Gum rosin has experienced a nearly threefold increase in price during 2010 and supply remains constrained with very low inventories.  The resins produced from rosin are not only used in offset, flexographic and rotogravure printing inks but are also used in adhesives, road markings and rubber.
 
Acrylic Acid
Numerous production problems around the world and increased demand from other industrial applications have created a taut market that has experienced sales control initiatives from major producers.  The 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
Reduction in available capacity has been seen and lead times have increased significantly.  Automotive demand is increasing as well as the demand in several other markets.  Two major carbon black suppliers are for sale.
 
Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)
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.
 
Nitrocellulose
Growing demand coupled with wood pulp production issues and harvest disappointments with cotton linters have created a difficult situation for nitrocellulose in 2010 that is not expected to improve in 2011. China has reduced exports to meet internal requirements and some industrial product will be removed from the supply chain when Maxam closes a facility in 2011. 
 
Crude Oil and Natural Gas
The refining of crude oil and the cracking 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
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 production, 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 Pigments
Overall pigment capacity has decreased over the last several years and there is no indication that this will change. The pigment intermediate 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.
 
2011 Outlook
In 2011, ink manufacturers expect feedstock inflation, tight markets and shortages to continue.  Ink manufacturers will likely see an increase in issues related to nitrocellulose, titanium dioxide, and additives, as well as persistence of the issues in rosin resin and some pigments.  Oil prices are expected to be higher in 2011 and subjected to high volatility with petrochemicals and oil derivatives following.

InteliCoat celebrates three year anniversary of Museo with new brand image

Intelicoat

InteliCoat Technologies has unveiled a new look for the branding of its Museo product line, including the launch of a redesigned website at www.museofineart.com.  As InteliCoat approaches its third anniversary with Museo Fine Art, the company has revamped both the Museo website and packaging in a show of its ongoing commitment to the continued success and expansion of the preeminent brand of digital fine art media.

Created with the goal of increased ease-of-use, the new Museo website is a fast and efficient tool with which customers, partners and potential consumers can gather information and collect resources about the Museo product line. In addition to allowing users to easily access information about Museo Fine Art's ongoing initiatives and product advancements, the redesigned website features a plethora of resources for Museo users, including an extensive library of ICC profiles, printing templates and advice.

"Over the past three years InteliCoat has completed a number of initiatives that have greatly strengthened the Museo line in both performance and quality. We wanted to give the Museo product line a new and improved look by making over the website, packaging and collateral materials in a show of our long-term commitment to the brand," said Joseph Lupone, President and CEO of InteliCoat Technologies. "In particular, the redesigned Museo website reflects InteliCoat's desire to meet the needs of the digital fine art and photo community by providing easily accessible information about Museo Fine Art. We look forward to future growth and innovations for the Museo line in 2011."

 

RPSD Print Supplies Ltd appointed as a UK distributor of Multi-Fix professional sign making vinyl

Rpsd Logo

RPSD Print Supplies has been appointed as a UK distributor for Multi-Fix's professional sign making vinyl.

Multi-Fix Professional Sign Vinyl is available in a variety of ranges to suit different applications - from the everyday short–term 3 year ‘3100 series’ Business range to the 5 year outdoor application ‘5000 series’ and the 7 year polymeric  ‘5600 Series’ Etch Film.  A wide range of colours are available in 610mm and 1220mm wide and can be supplied from 1 – 50 metre length rolls.  For swatches of the vinyls, visit www.rpsd.co.uk

RPSD currently supplies a wide range of digital print media, inks and accessories.  The addition of Multi-Fix Sign Making Vinyl gives the organisation the opportunity to offer end users a "full shopping basket of bread and butter products as well and those a little more specialist".

In 2008 RPSD was awarded distribution of the Multi-Fix Digital Vinyl, Vehicle Vinyl and Laminates - another range of very high quality products available up to 2 metres wide.

INX Digital introduces new multipurpose PDQ ink

Inx Digital Logo

Throughout the years, Triangle Digital Ink was associated with producing innovative new ink products. Consolidated under the INX Digital International banner in 2009, the TRIANGLE brand continues to thrive today. The newest product to reach the alternative marketplace is PDQ, a multipurpose, high performance mild solvent pigmented ink that is considered ideal for super wide-format colour printing systems.

The PDQ inks offer tremendous colour gamut and great adhesion to multiple vinyl and banner stocks, including PVC-based substrates such as self adhesive vinyl (SAV) and banner prints. Designed for use in high resolution printers that have 32 to 42 picoliter (pl) print heads with a drop volume between 9-25 pls, these 4-colour CMYK inks provide stronger cyans, richer magentas, a jetter black and a true process yellow. Keeping with INX Digital's 10 year tradition of producing kinder products for the environment, PDQ inks are cycloxehanone free. While the company continues with the same quality control regiment that all of its inks are subject to, INX Digital has found more cost competitive pigments which are aligned with shorter ad campaigns and still boast up to one year of outdoor durability.

"This is a very good time to introduce PDQ, especially in the Latin American market," said Alex Garcia, Director of Latin America Business Development for INX Digital International. "These new inks show how our TRIANGLE brand continues to react and adapt to competitive market conditions, yet continues to offer the highest quality in the market. This gives end users one more tool to compete in today's extremely competitive markets. In Latin America, we are just around the corner from a large number of elections which require shorter advertising cycles and very competitive prices."

"PDQ will give printers many different options with TRIANGLE's huge portfolio of products. The pigment particle size is sub micron and the colour is computer controlled to guarantee batch-to-batch consistency," said Karla Witte, vice president of product development for INX Digital International. "These high performance inks work on Spectra, Xaar, and Ricoh print heads, and perform extremely well on PVC type substrates. We have kept the printer in mind and they will appreciate knowing PDQ is cyclohexanone free and with a reduction in odour."

 

Avery Dennison street graphics film brings new dimension to road graphics

Avery Streetgraphics

New patent-pending Avery® MPI 6121 Street Graphics Film brings graphics applied to roads, pavements, and other rough surfaces in exposed outdoor environments to a higher level.  With a paint-like finish for graphics printed with digital UV inks, Avery MPI 6121 Street Graphics film delivers a genuine technology advance.

Its on-the-street performance is not limited to pedestrian pavement applications:  on the road itself, it can withstand the constant pressure of vehicle traffic for up to three months.   Avery MPI 6121 Street Graphics film is a next-generation product for all kinds of outdoor promotions – sporting and retailing events, trade shows, etc – where heavy traffic may be expected.

Advanced technical features
The non-PVC Avery MPI 6121facefilm delivers an innovative engineered approach to floor graphics.   It features the ability to ‘micro-fracture’ in order to conform effectively to very rough surfaces.   It also permits moisture to be channeled through the substrate, minimising slip hazards;  and, at just 40 micron thick, it virtually eliminates the likelihood of edge lift.

Eyecatching graphics
A non-glare, matt finish means that  Avery MPI 6121 Street Graphics film offers eyecatching,  high-quality graphics using digital UV-curable inks – graphics that will last for up three months exposed to road vehicle traffic, and up to six months exposed to pedestrian traffic.   The film requires no overlamination, and meets international slip resistance testing standards.   At the end of its working life, it can simply be removed with a standard high-pressure washer.

Avery MPI 6121 Street Graphics film is available from Avery Dennison Graphics and Reflective Products distributors across Europe, and full details are available via the website,  www.europe.averygraphics.com.

Ultraflex announces new premium mesh

Ultraflex

Ultraflex has introduced UltraMesh Paramount, a US-made, bright white 9 ounce PVC coated polyester mesh with superior printability across most ink types; printable on two sides with UV and Solvent inks. This mesh has a 30 percent airflow through; it is constructed with slit-like holes for an enhanced image compared to traditional meshes.

Paramount is best suited for large images on building, stadium and fence wraps, murals, signs, banners, protective barriers for scaffolding as well as theatrical and TV backdrops. It has superior FR performance (NFPA 701, CA Title 19 and CSFM certificates) and is available in seamless wide-widths ranging from 126 to 196 inches.