Interview: “The environment keeps changing and we need to adapt”

At the annual EuPIA conference in April, Heiner Klokkers, Chairman of the Management Board of Hubergroup, took over the position as chairman from Herbert Forker. In an interview, Klokkers speaks about challenges and opportunities for the printing ink industry.

Klokkers speaks about challenges and opportunities for the printing ink industry. Image source: Frank Peter - Fotolia -

In April you have been elected as EuPIA chair. What are your plans for your two-year term of office?

Heiner Klokkers: The most important thing is to continue the good work done so far. EuPIA enjoys a good reputation throughout Europe and beyond for promoting the interests of the printing inks industry. This straightforwardness is the be-all and end-all, and I intend to keep it up.

What are the current challenges facing European printing inks manufacturers?

Heiner Klokkers_EuPIA

Heiner Klokkers

Chair, EuPIA

Klokkers: I see the greatest challenge in the changing regulations affecting the chemical industry; keywords here are REACH, photoinitiators, and titanium dioxide. The environment keeps changing and we need to adapt in order to be able to keep offering competitive products. We must maintain this balancing act to ensure that we don’t end up sidelining ourselves. The possibility of further regulations’ being imposed on the industry cannot be ruled out either.

Apart from general issues, there is still the EU’s drive towards “printing inks for safe food packaging” to attend to.

Where do you see the greatest long-term growth opportunities for the printing inks industry in Europe?

Klokkers: As far as Europe is concerned, the market for print media there has stopped growing. The trends are all to be found in the packaging sector, where there is a shift underway from high volumes to small quantities and from gravure printing processes to offset, flexographic and digital, as well as to UV-curable systems. But growth there will only be marginal. Digital printing is on the rise and that's a growth market in which enormous technical progress is being made.

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