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European Coatings Show 2005: event grows in size, as does interest in inks on the show floor and technical conference.

With 687 exhibitors and more than 19,000 visitors, the European Coatings Show, proved once again to be the global paint and coatings industry's biggest attraction.

The growth of this show since its formation in 1991--when it featured 181 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees and was known as Farbe & Lack--is quite a statement in an era when many trade shows, especially in so-called mature industries, are shrinking. Its phenomenal track record has even impressed show organizers.

"Even more astonishing and by no means normal on today's exhibition scene is the growth of some 6 percent in the number of exhibitors and the display area since the previous event in 2003," said Esther Schwencke, head of the events division at Vincentz Network, which is responsible for the show, along with Nurnberg Messe.

What has also grown is the presence of the ink industry at the European Coatings Show. According to show organizers, of the 680-plus exhibitors, 41 percent were offering raw materials for printing inks. ECS's adjoining technical conferences--which drew more than 800 participants to six events--included the Ink Makers Forum. Held April 27 at the Nurnberg Messe's new congress center CCN Ost, the theme of this year's ink conference was "Formulating the Future of Printing Inks."

The ink congress started with welcoming remarks that included a statement from Peter Koivula, chairman of EuPIA and president and CEO of XSYS, the new company formed from BASF Drucksysteme and ANI Printing Inks. This was followed by a plenary session, which zeroed in on the major issue affecting European printing ink manufacturers and their suppliers, namely REACH.

Felipe Mellado of Sun Chemical Europe, the vice chairman of EuPIA, addressed REACH and its consequences and presented findings from EuPIA's pilot study to determine the effect of the legislation on the European printing ink industry.

Mr. Mellado said that the expected burden caused by the REACH proposal will have severe consequences for the European printing ink industry but also downstream along the supply chain. Because of REACH, tailor-made solutions are at risk, imported printed articles from outside EU will increase, export markets for European inks will be very affected, and innovation will be affected, either by cost and/or time.

Mr. Mellado was followed by Wouter Thalen, who relayed results of a case study conducted by Flexible Packaging Europe on the effects of REACH on the flexible packaging market.

Session Highlights

Following the plenary session, the Ink Makers Forum broke out into four parallel sessions covering new technologies and latest developments for printing inks.

Chaired by Dr. Jorg-Peter Langhammer of Siegwerk Druckfarben, the additives session included "Developments for Dispersants in Liquid Inks," by Dr. Ian Maxwell, Noveon--Performance Coatings Group. Dr. Maxwell's paper covered recent developments in dispersants for gravure inks, with a focus on both packaging and publication gravure inks. He reviewed resin-based and resin-free tinter-routes to achieve effective dispersions. Other presentations included: "Principles and Benefits of Binder-free Pigment Grinds for Water-based Printing Inks," by Kathrin Lehmann, S. Struck and A. Ruttgerodt of Degussa AG -Tego Chemie Service; "Effect of Polyethermonoamine Structure on Pigment Dispersant Properties," by Duy T. Nguyen, D. C. Alexander and D. C. Lewis of Huntsman LLC and Lisa Hahn of Flexo Tech; and "New Prospects in Cobalt Replacement and Modern Antioxidants for Oxidatively Drying Inks," by Dr. Andreas Steinert of Borchers GmbH.

The resins and binders session was chaired by Dr. Jack Baarends, Resolution Specialty Materials--Lawter International. Papers included "New Generation Binder for UV Offset Inks," by Paul Gevaert of Surface Specialties UCB, and "New Raw Materials for Cationic UV Curing," by David James, P. Appelkvist and E. Gustavsson of Perstorp Specialty Chemicals.

Also part of the resins and binders session was "Water-based Polyethylene Surface Printing: Come on in, Water is Fine," which was presented by Mark van den Brink of Johnson Polymer. According to Mr. van den Brink, the European VOC and Solvents Directive will force the printing industry either to invest in abatement technology or move toward water-based inks. In his presentation, he described the development of a water-based binder for use in ink for PE film.

The testing procedures and production equipment session was chaired by Dr. Ulrich Ott of Clariant GmbH. "Fade Resistance Study of Representative Lithographic Inks: Florida and Arizona Exposures Compared to Accelerated Laboratory Xenon Arc Exposures" was presented by E. T. Everett and Jeffrey P. Quill of Q-Panel Lab Products. "Fine Grinding Pigments for Ink Jet Applications," was covered by Netzsch-Feinmahltechnik's Stefan Jung, in a paper he co-authored with G. Kolb. This session also included "A New, Shearfree Dispersion Process for Printing Inks Production," which was presented by Peter Schertenleib, also of Netzsch-Feinmahltechnik.

In the pigment technology session, leading suppliers offered papers addressing the hot ink jet market, which is expected to grow by as much as seven percent per year over the next several years, according to industry observers. The presentations included "The Key Role of Pigment and Pigment Stabilization in the Formulation of Pigmented Inkjet Ink Dispersions," by Gerd Tauber of Degussa AG, and "Wide Format Ink Jet Approach" by Steffen Schneide of Clariant.

2007 Dates

The next European Coatings Show will be held May 8-10, 2007 in Nurnberg, Germany, with the Congresses scheduled to run from May 7-10.
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Author:Esposito, Christine Canning
Publication:Ink World
Date:Jun 1, 2005
Previous Article:CPMA Conference examines 'Innovation in Color Technology'.
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