Toyo bets on factory in Ankleshwar and Dahej

B S Kampani, CEO and managing director, Toyo Ink India talks about the printing ink industry and newspaper printing in India

13 Mar 2014 | By Rahul Kumar

Rahul Kumar (RK): Sir, kudos about the new Toyo plant in Ankleshwar. What will this factory do?
B S Kampani (BSK): This year we signed a joint venture company Heubach Toyo Colour  in collaboration with Heuback India in Ankleshwar, Gujarat to manufacture organic pigments and master batches for the packaging and allied industries. The master batch production and sale from India has already commenced.

RK: What does this entail for Toyo Ink?
BSK: The Toyo Ink SC Holding company, which is the parent company for Toyo Ink, Toyochem, Toyocolor and Toyo Ink Group companies has a large investment and plans for India. By next year, all the companies would be in India offering state of art and technologically driven products. With this India would need to meet its global aspirations for quality and environment compliant. So to predict our growth story is self explanatory. We have entered India very late but our strategy would be to exploit the high end of the markets in a slow and steady manner. As our principles in Japan feel this has brought us success throughout the world in the past and expecting the same in the years to come.

RK: Toyo is a successful ink manufacturer. What are the characteristics that made you successful?
BSK: Innovation and technology. It not only ensures that we give them what they want; and would like but also pre-empt their future needs, and of course, add value to their product offering.

RK: As per estimation, the global printing ink industry is a more than $10 billion. What according to you must be India's share in it?
BSK: As per global Industry authorities, The global print industry is worth US$600 bn*. Countries that are likely to see positivegrowth along with India are China, Brazil and Russia. Whereas, US, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, South Korea, etc. are likely to seenegative growth.

Sr. No Country

(1000 tonnes)

(US$ millions)
Average price/kg
1  USA  1000 4620 4.62   
2 Germany 400 1600 4
3 China  400 1400 3.5
4 Japan  300 1300 4.3
5 UK 200 800 4
6 India 250 700 2.8
7 France 100 400 4
8 Italy 100 400 4
9 Netherlands 80 320 4
10 South Korea 75 300 4

RK: How much of this would be the consumption of newspaper printing ink in India and what is your share?
BSK: By volume, the newspaper including heatset would be 42% approximately and by value it would be approximately 36%. As already mentioned, our investment strategy is in the high technology and innovation part of printing inks. We consider newspaper inks in India to be mass volume low price. So our share is very negligible as we are still to build capacities to cater to this market in India.

RK: In newspaper production, best quality can be achieved when newsprint and news ink interact successfully. How does oneselect the right kind of ink to achieve efficient production?
BSK: To select the right kind of ink for newsprint, the universal rule of the thumb would be ink water balance and the yield of theink. Besides of course, the buffer of the fountain solution, the machine configuration, plates and the blankets.

RK: Standardisation is key. What the role of ink?
BSK: Most of the high or medium speed web machines have a central console digitally controlled system of ink release. It is essential to standardize on the Delta values of the CYMK through finger printing.

RK: What are the advantages?
BSK: The advantage is that the required quantity of ink would transfer on the news print and the contrast values would be optimised.

RK: What are the savings that can be accrued from inks?
BSK: Savings would be the bare minimum usage of the ink.

RK: And what should be the key considerations?
BSK: The key considerations for a good batch of inks would be to get sharp half tones with controlled dot gain leading to brighter highlights with the minimum or no web breaks during the run. This helps to save the downtime of the machine during peakprinting hours in the night shift.

RK: High raw material cost and shortages has been troubling the print industry. It's the same with inks perhaps. It is inevitable that higher costs will have a major impact on profitability and sustenance.
BSK:  In a very specialised chemical industry like printing inks there are no short cuts as the options on cost reduction globally are very limited for the formulations. The main cost reductions come internally by manufacturing the inks more efficiently. Also one can reduce wastage, seeing that the cost of manpower, finance and consumables for running the factory are bare minimal without having negative impact on world class manufacturing standards.

RK: Do you pass on the hike in producing ink to your customer? If not, how do you manage costs and shortages?
BSK: In spite of best efforts, there are times when manufacturer has no choice but pass on increase in cost to the printer. Profits are decreasing rapidly on the balance sheet, which is an area of concern as the industry would have very little to spend on R&D. Moreover, the recent cost escalation owing to theAmerican dollar strengthening and the increase in raw material cost. I feel the industry would have to pass on a substantial portion to the customers. Otherwise, there is a danger of the industry becoming sick and investments would elude growth.

RK: Newspaper printing is not only about excellent printability but an environmentally compatible mode of handling the ink and an "environment-friendly" print result. Are newspaper inks manufactured in an 'environment friendly' way?
BSK: Yes! The inks by players – be it large or medium - are manufactured and handled in an environment friendly way.

RK: Newspapers are often used to wrap eatables resulting in ink getting transferred to the wrapped item, while many a times reading a newspaper means getting your hands darkened. Are the inks used in newspapers safe?
BSK: The inks in the newspaper have petroleum oil distillates, these when transferred to the food stuff can pose long term health problems to the individuals.

RK:  What are the components used for newspaper printing inks manufacturing? Do they contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), etc?
BSK: The components are generally pigments, resins, oil distillates with few additives to improve the performance of the inks. The VOC part is negligible and within limit.

RK: In the process of recycling newsprint, is it easy to remove the inks from newspapers? Are water-based newspaper inks more difficult to de-ink?
BSK: De-inking is an issue during recycling and a lot of R&D is being done to tackle the problem at a minimal cost. Yes, the water based inks are more difficult to de-ink as they are based on resins which are not easily soluble in water.

RK: The future of newspapers has been widely debated world over but despite constrains and online onslaught, it continues to flourish in India.
BSK: Looking at the regional growth and the penetration of the newspapers in regional markets, the future in India is still safe and bright.

RK: Your outlook of the future?
BSK: The advertisement spends and the classified advertisements in the regional newspapers are still showing reasonable resilience. The initial investment to start a newspaper based on conventional printing is still very low compared to the digital newspaper. So whether web offset print will become obsolete is very difficult to predict, purely from an investment point of view.

RK: What can we expect to see from your company in the next year, next five and next ten years? Any important projects you are embarking on.
BSK: Toyo Ink India started manufacturing printing inks in India five years ago. We find that enhanced capacities of the plant are  getting over. So we have started building a state of the art factory in Dahej to manufacture printing inks more on a global scale as India’s growth in the packaging sector would continue. By mid next year, our Dahej plant would get into manufacturing.


*Source: PRIMIR, Worldwide market for print, 2006, IPG page landscape (WIP)