ADDISON, Ill. September 11, 2007 -- For 100 years, printing ink has been the core of Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co., Ltd.'s business. The Toyo Ink brand remains one of the strongest in the graphic communications industry.
Toyo Ink enjoys a rich heritage of longevity and innovation. Though incorporated in 1907, the company was the outgrowth of an earlier manufacturing concern. Kamataro Kobayashi opened Kobayashi's Ink Shop in 1896 in Tokyo. Kobayashi established Toyo Ink Mfg. 11 years later. Its corporate headquarters is still located in Tokyo.
Consumer needs have greatly diversified in the graphic arts market over the years, and Toyo Ink has geared its product development toward higher functionality and economic advantage. As a result, the company has grown into the world's fourth-largest international ink manufacturer, as well as one of the largest pigment producers.
Toyo Ink annually generates $2 billion from its worldwide operations. Printing inks, graphic arts machinery and supplies that add value to printing processes account for 55 percent of the total sales volume. A burgeoning market for high-performance pigments, inkjet materials, flat screen display technology, LCD color filters and RFID drives sales in related fields.
Preparations for the centennial year already were under way as early as 1992. In December of that year, the ambitious "Take Off 2007" business plan articulated the company's long-term goals. Based on the corporate philosophy of "people-oriented management" and the policy of "creating new values for human culture throughout the world," Take Off 2007 represents "a collective dream for our company and employees," according to Fusao Ito, president of the Toyo Ink Group in America.
Since implementation of Take Off 2007 in April 1993, Toyo Ink has developed midterm and fiscal-year management plans encompassing its vision, including corporate social responsibility, the prosperity of humankind throughout the world and individual quality of life.
"While we desire to incorporate new products into our business development and to be scrupulous about 'technology,' we want to directly confront important issues, such as consideration of the environment and compliance, which is the responsibility of a chemical manufacturer," Ito said.
Toyo Ink is a benchmark and quality leader recognized by the industry. Toyo Ink's history reads like a chronology of technological milestones. The first Japanese company to produce organic pigments, Toyo Ink began manufacturing pigments for internal use early in its development. In-house production of scarlet red lake pigment commenced in 1917. Mass production for commercial sales of Brilliant Carmine B and Lake Red D2 followed in 1920.
Manufacture of Phthalocyanine Blue started in 1937. Commonly known as phthalo blue, it is a standard pigment used in printing ink and the packaging industry.
The Speed King line of resin-type multipurpose inks was launched in 1957 to great commercial success. In 1971, Toyo Ink released the Flash Dry ultraviolet (UV) ink series. In 1997, its aroma-free newspaper ink earned the first Eco Mark in Japan.
"The Japanese Environmental Association's Eco Mark Program singles out products that reduce the environmental load caused by everyday activities, thereby contributing to the preservation of the environment," Ito explained. "Toyo Ink has a tradition of environmentally conscious use of resources."
Ongoing international expansion and investment enable Toyo Ink's research and development apparatus to advance product innovations. Today, more than 6,500 people are employed at 70 subsidiaries located in 17 countries.
Toyo Ink has a long history of global business dealings. In 1926, for example, the company established branch locations in Shanghai, China, and began domestic sales of U.S. gravure ink in 1929.
Fourteen subsidiaries now produce inks, pigments, resins and plastic colorants in China alone. Tianjin Toyo Ink Co., Ltd. is recognized as China's largest ink manufacturer. Toyo Ink invested $50 million in China in 2003 and 2004 to create competitive production capacities and satisfy the expanding local market.
Likewise, subsidiaries in Belgium and France support Toyo Ink's global strategy of diversification in niche activities for high-performance pigments and green chemistry and in the launch of specialty resins, marking films and other new polymer products.
Serving the North American Market
In 1976, Toyo Ink Mfg. launched Toyo Ink America, Inc.
"We see a trend where printers strive to set themselves apart from their competition by turning toward high quality," Ito said. "Our products are ideal to meet these needs, especially our commercial sheetfed inks but also UV and hybrid inks. They are manufactured to exceed rival products in quality and environmental friendliness. We have enjoyed solid growth of our North American operations and a steady flow of new customers."
Headquartered in New York, N.Y., Toyo Ink International Corp. manufactures and distributes printing inks, organic pigments, pressroom chemicals and related products used by offset, gravure, newspaper and silkscreen printing companies in North America.
The Americas regional headquarters of the Toyo Ink Group (which is headed by Toyo Ink Mfg.), Toyo Ink International consists of a group of U.S.-based subsidiaries. Toyo Ink America in Addison, Ill., is engaged in manufacturing and selling commercial printing inks and graphic arts supplies. Toyo Color America, LLC in Teaneck, N.J., specializes in organic pigments, industrial chemicals and electronic imaging materials. LioChem, Inc. in Conyers, Ga., manufactures and sells gravure inks, plastic colorants and adhesives.
Construction is under way on a state-of-the-art production, warehouse and administration complex in Bryan, Texas. Scheduled for completion in September 2008, the $20 million facility will manufacture and sell specialty polymers and related products, such as coatings, fluid inks and adhesives for the U.S. market.
In 2001, Toyo Ink International reorganized its U.S. operations, splitting the ink and pigment segments. Toyo Ink America relocated from a 32,000-square-foot facility in Lincolnshire, Ill., to a 50,000-square-foot plant in Addison. The new headquarters added office, laboratory and production space.
A year earlier, Toyo Ink America had doubled the size of its Cypress, Calif., facility. At 37,000 square feet, it offers local manufacturing and laboratory work. Satellite locations in Carlsbad and Culver City, Calif.; East Rutherford, N.J.; and Kennesaw, Ga., help serve fast-growing regions of the United States.
Print 05 and Beyond
Print 05 signaled an important strategic focus for the ink manufacturer. Toyo Ink America made its debut at a major North American printing industry trade show. It was an extremely high-profile event. More demonstration presses at the show ran Toyo inks than inks from any other manufacturer. Toyo Ink repeated this achievement at Graph Expo 2006 and will again at Graph Expo 2007.
Toyo Ink's technology-driven, eco-friendly products generated much interest among show attendees.
"Print 05 allowed us to introduce our petroleum solvent-free HyPlus 100 sheetfed process series to the industry," recalled John Copeland, president of Toyo Ink America. "We received numerous orders for the product during the show. HyPlus 100 has taken off in the marketplace because of print performance, fast setting and the environmentally friendly nature of the formulation."
Graph Expo 2007 comes as Toyo Ink's 100th anniversary year begins to wind down. While the organization continues to reinforce its core ink lines, the creation of new technology, products and businesses is a big part of the plan for the next 100 years.
"High-quality products in harmony with the environment is our number-one concern," Ito stated. "We never sacrifice those values in manufacturing products. Toyo Ink will continue to open new opportunities that create customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and social satisfaction."
For more information about Toyo Ink and its extensive product line, visit Booth #455 at Graph Expo 2007, September 9-12 at Chicago's McCormick Place.
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