February 1999 Issue


1999 Top Diemakers

Top diemakers push the $200 million sales envelope in the face of declining profit margins and projections for growth. By David Luttenberger Although the headlines herald a 7.2 percent increase to a record $193 million in sales during 1998, the top 25 diemakers' ledgers cry a different story. On the surface, say die industry insiders, it was a good year. However, expectations of continued consolidation and potential or already-realized forced sell-offs of non-core business units are cause for concern among diemakers who, on average, posted net sales of nearly a half-million dollars more in 1998 than in '97. New Era Die, who was

Making a Statement

Package printers share their picks and pans of specialty inks vital to on-the-shelf package differentiation. By Susan Friedman This time last year, packagePRINTING's ink survey revealed that more of its readers were using water-based inks than any other. At the same time, despite a slight usage decline, a solid number of converters planned to stay loyal to solvents. And excitement bubbled over UV quality and makeready benefits, particularly for narrow-web flexo. pP's 1999 ink survey deviates from the mainstream of solvent, water, UV and soy to take a closer look at the specifics of the specialty inks market: preferences, prices, press issues and more.

New and Improved—Again

The quest to develop better, long-lasting dies and die manufacturing processes keeps Bernal International on the short-list of top diemakers. By David Luttenberger Don't ask Paul Madill "what's new?" unless you really want to know. For the past 50 years Bernal International, under a number of corporate flags, has created a steady stream of truly innovative and revolutionary die products and processes to meet the changing needs of package printers, converters and the consumer products industries. Started in the late 1940s as Bernal, Inc., the company manufactured punches. It wasn't until 1966 that the company, who is today known as a rotary die

Printing Partnership

With the assistance of INX, the Roll Labels Division of Universal Products becomes in demand for "on-demand." Since its inception six years ago, the Roll Labels Division of Universal Products has become the company's fastest growing business unit, converting and diecutting in-line, 4-color process labels. Things are going so well, in fact, that a 300 percent growth target has been projected for this year, and its managers are confident the goal is attainable. Based in Goddard, KS, the Roll Labels Division prints labels for a diverse range of regional and national companies, including such high-profile companies as Intel, Coleman and Excel Corporation. Roll Labels

Top 25 Diemakers

Rankings in pP's 9th Annual Top 25 Diemakers survey are based solely on annual sales of die manufacturing exclusively for the package printing or converting industries. Sales figures are provided in confidence by ranked companies. Participation in the survey is voluntary. pP does not estimate sales or include diemakers of any size who do not provide full financial and operating data. Every effort is made to contact and include all diemakers in North America and to verify data. 1. Container Graphics, Cary, NC 2. Atlas Die, Elkhart, IN 3. Bernal International, Rochester Hills, MI 4. DieGraphics Group, Holland, OH 5. Diebec, Montreal, PQ Canada

Wide-web Ink Niche

By Susan Friedman packagePRINTING devoted a separate survey to the ink usage trends among wide-web, flexible packaging printers. The majority of respondents reported printing flexo (75 percent), and revealed about a half and half split between solvent ink (60 percent) and water-based ink (55 percent) usage. The general ink characteristic that carries the most weight with the wide-web segment, according to 55 percent of respondents, is compatibility with a wide range of substrates. "Everyone would like one ink to work on all substrates," says Len Walle, marketing director at Flint Ink, "but a universal ink is not available that will provide quality performance on