One of the most renowned, opportunistic, and rapidly evolving business spheres of recent times, flexographic printing inks industry is heavily influenced by the changing trends in flexible packaging. It is no surprise therefore, that the development of flexible packaging industry is directly proportional to the growth of this business space. Statistics bear evidence to this correlation – the year 2013 witnessed flexible packaging market size to be around 18 million tons in terms of volume, while research forecasts the production to surpass 26 million tons by 2024. This is proof enough to document that flexographic printing inks industry share is perpetually dependent on the demand for packaging applications, which seems to be surging by the day.
An introduction to flexographic printing inks market: What is flexo printing?
Flexographic printing, being one of the most crucial processes pertaining to the packaging sector, encompasses special flexo inks are essentially used for printing on numerous packing materials. In this case, a steel impression cylinder and a flexible printing plate are utilized. The inks also encompass retardants, pigments, photo initiators in the case of UV inks, additives, drying accelerators, and binders, which perpetually increases their deployment, suitably impelling flexographic printing inks industry size.
Flexo inks are endowed with a plethora of properties such as aroma retention, color strength, glide performance, abrasion resistance, sealing, flexibility, moisture endurance, optical density, strength, and aesthetic improvement. This extraordinary range of properties deems them suitable to be used for printing on plastic bags, newspaper, paper bags, food packaging, tags & labels, cardboard boxes, corrugated containers, metal cans, and folding cartons, thereby creating a dynamic application terrain for flexographic printing inks industry .
Since this printing methodology is relatively low-priced, its deployment has scaled massive heights since its inception, and continues to gain mass popularity, thereby impacting the growth of flexographic printing inks industry. The application of the inks, state scientists, is one of prime factors that may affect the quality of printing. Based on the type of substrate, solvent-based, water based, and UV curable inks can be used in the printing process. Water-based flexographic printing inks market, apparently, has been gaining renewed traction across the globe, say analysts, pertaining to increasing demand for non-volatile organic compound-based inks. However, the latest trends depict a rising inclination toward the adoption of UV-cured inks, thereby leading to the growth of UV-cured flexographic printing inks industry, which, as per statistics, is likely to grow at a rate of 6% over 2016-2024. All in all, business players have a fairly leveling ground to play on, provided, the tactic of product differentiation is at the helm of their growth strategies.
Estimates also claim packaging applications to have dominated the overall flexographic printing inks industry share in 2015, owing to the extensive utilization of these inks for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, and cosmetic packaging. While the product seemingly finds applications in tags, labels, & foldable cartons as well, it is no doubt that the packaging sector will continue to accrue the lion’s share of flexographic printing inks industry revenue over the ensuing years.
An insight into the competitive landscape of flexographic printing inks market: Focusing on the pioneers
The companies provided below are some of the most renowned players operating in flexographic printing inks industry and have successfully established a strong place in the business. The tables enumerate a synopsis of the growth strategies implemented by the firms to consolidate their position in global flexographic printing inks market.
Impact on flexographic printing inks industry
Sun Chemical acquiring Flint Group’s European publication gravure ink business.
The acquisition intended to enhance the product portfolio of both the companies.
Sun Chemical and KBA-MetalPrint partner to develop flexo inks for metal decorating.
The partnership aimed to ensure robust cooperation between both the firms with regards to flexographic printing inks market trends.
Sun Chemical unveils high-performance UV flexo inks.
The launch of two new products will bring about dynamic changes in product sales of flexo inks.
Sun Chemical acquired Flint Group’s European publication gravure ink business in October 2016, with an intention to diversify its product portfolio and increase its consumer base. Touted as one of the most lucrative deals of the ink industry, this acquisition also helped Flint to concentrate on its core web offset markets, while simultaneously providing a boost to flexographic printing inks industry.
Sun Chemical and KBA-MetalPrint had recently announced a strategic partnership to combinedly conduct major ink development operations for metal decorating. The alliance was aimed at the three-piece can segment that encompasses coating machines, exhaust air purification systems, printing presses and drying ovens.
Sun Chemical lately unveiled high-performance UV flexo inks – namely, the SolarFlex FSP and the SolarFlex Integra inks. The latter has been designed for sleeve, label, and packaging businesses, while the former is used for surface printing on flexible labels and films that demand the requirement of migration-compliant food packaging. This launch will bring about extensive product sales, thereby augmenting flexographic printing inks industry.
Impact on flexographic printing inks market
Flint Group’s launch of the all-new nyloflex FTC Digital.
The product launch is expected to widen the company’s flat top dot flexo plate.
Flint Group’s acquisition of Printec Industries.
The acquisition aims to strengthen Flint’s position in North America flexographic printing ink market.
Flint Group’s launch of nyloflex FTC Digital is expected to expand the firm’s flat top dot flexo plate for fluting reduction in corrugated boards, which will eventually lead to excellent, consistent print quality.
Flint Group has also partnered with Printec Industries to strengthen its position in North America flexographic printing inks industry and expand its consumer base.
Impact on flexographic printing inks market
Siegwerk’s launch of low-migration UV offset ink range, Sicura Litho NutriEco.
The product commercialization is in compliance with highest international environmental research-related product standards.
Siegwerk’s presentation of its UV printing broad ink portfolio at UV DAYS 2017.
The product unveiling focusses specifically on food packaging printing.
Siegwerk is one of the pioneers for innovative ink solutions in flexographic printing inks industry, and has launched the Sicura Litho NutriEco, a low-migration UV offset ink range, which has been recently awarded the Gold status of by the EPEA. The product is extremely suitable for cosmetic & food applications, compliant with high environmental standards, and will elevate the company’s position in flexographic printing inks industry.
Siegwerk’s presentation of its ink portfolio at UV DAYS 2017 will focus on flexo ink utilization in food packaging printing. When commercialized, the product is predicted to gain heavy traction in flexographic printing inks market.
INX International Ink
Impact on flexographic printing inks market
INX International’s expansion of its Edwardsville manufacturing facility.
The expansion aims to help the company to enhance its growth path.
INX’s product offering at of two long wavelength UV inks at Print UV 2017.
The product is unveiling focusses on the innovative application scope of the long wavelength UV inks.
INX International recently doubled its manufacturing facility at Edwardsville, to develop its product portfolio of energy curable inks and coatings and strengthen its position in flexographic printing inks industry.
INX International lately featured two long wavelength UV inks at Print UV 2017, namely, INXCure UV LED and H-UV/LE, which are low energy and cost-effective inks. With a 100% reactive rate and lesser curing energy, they are suitable for high-end sheetfed applications.
The evolving trend of eco-friendly product development in flexographic printing inks market:
The growth graph of flexographic printing inks industry undoubtedly depicts an upward trend, however, flexo inks possess dangerous volatile organic compounds, with reference to which government organizations have enforced stringent regulations pertaining to the use of flexo inks. In the ensuing years, this factor may act as a major restraint for flexographic printing inks market, however, it is noteworthy to mention that companies have been undertaking incessant efforts to bring about an innovation in product development – such as the recent Diamond greenbox initiative.
Diamond Packaging has made a breakthrough in flexographic printing inks industry with the launch of the Diamond greenbox initiative, to design and implement innovative, sustainable, and biodegradable packaging solutions. The company undertakes flexo printing processes with conventional, vegetable-based inks, and UV-cured inks, all of which possess zero to less VOC content and are composed of 100% solids. In fact, it has been coordinating with the Flint Group and has been providing them with sustainable flexo inks as well. This initiative, ahead of many, will help to suitably impel flexographic printing inks market over 2016-2024.
There has been sufficient evidence testifying the contribution of major companies toward the growth of flexographic printing ink industry, and if sources are to be believed, firms have enforced even stricter norms when it comes to following the latest trends. Currently, various methods to develop eco-friendly, sustainable inks are being discovered and tested, keeping abreast of environmental issues. As mentioned earlier, key firms have already commenced the commercialization of their eco-friendly flexo inks, which will revolutionize flexographic printing inks market in the ensuing years. It is expected that with the gradual increase in efforts, flexographic printing inks industry size will surpass USD 11 billion by 2024, with a CAGR estimation of more than 5% over 2016-2024.
Global Market Insights, Inc. has a report titled “Flexographic Printing Inks Market Size By Product (Water-based, Solvent-based, UV-cured), By Application (Flexible Packaging, Corrugated Containers, Folding Cartons, Tags & Labels), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook (U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, France, Spain, Italy, China, India, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, GCC), Growth Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2016 – 2024” available at https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/flexographic-printing-inks-market
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