Dec. 12, 2016

DIC Takes Steps to Optimize Production Facilities and Expand Production Capacity in Anticipation of Increased Demand for Water-Based Flexo Inks in Asia and Oceania

Tokyo, Japan–DIC Corporation recently announced that it is taking steps to optimize regional production facilities, as well as to expand production capacity through the installation of state-of-the-art equipment, in anticipation of increased demand for water-based flexo inks in Asia and Oceania. Such steps have succeeded in doubling the water-based flexo inks production capacity of these facilities. Production using newly installed equipment commenced in November 2016.

Production facility in Sydney, Australia
Production facility in Sydney, Australia 

The use of polymer plate, flexographic printing, a type of letterpress printing, offers comparatively lower costs than gravure printing—which involves etching the images to be printed into the surface of a metal cylinder—and is thus used extensively in the printing of department store and boutique shopping bags, corrugated boxes and other types of packaging materials. Thanks to recent technological advances, flexographic printing has seen improvements in productivity, i.e., printing speed, and high resolution, while the range of compatible substrates has grown to include films and textiles. In the years ahead, demand for environment-friendly water-based flexo inks is expected to expand substantially in emerging markets, particularly those in Asia, where environmental concerns continue to pose a major challenge. 

In Asia, printing for packaging materials has traditionally used solvent-based gravure inks. However, in many emerging markets governments have introduced national regulations governing the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As a consequence, demand has increased for environment-friendly alternatives. For this reason, water-based flexo inks, the standard type of environment-friendly printing inks in use in Europe and North America, are attracting increasing attention from Asian customers, with the local market for these products expanding steadily at high single digit percentage annually. 

The DIC Group supplies inks to customers in Oceania and exports them to customers in Asia primarily through Pacific Inks Limited of New Zealand, acquired in 2011. DIC recently closed Pacific Inks’ production facility in Auckland, New Zealand, integrating the functions thereof into its facility in Sydney, Australia, where it also installed state-of-the-art new production equipment. These moves have positioned the DIC Group well to manufacture base inks for supply to customers across Asia and Oceania. 

DIC Group company Sun Chemical Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of DIC, has accumulated advanced technological expertise in the area of water-based flexo inks, particularly in Europe and the Americas. By capitalizing on Sun Chemical’s outstanding product lineup, as well as on key management resources—notably highly efficient multinational production capabilities, including exports of base inks; a supply chain that leverages the DIC Group’s global presence; and broad sales networks in Asia and Oceania—DIC aims to double its output of flexo inks from the fiscal year 2015 level by fiscal year 2020. 




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