This agreement promises to be mutually advantageous, combining Siegwerk's vast experience as a global player in the printing market with Sherwood's expertise in laser responsive colour change technology.
"We have a reputation for producing and delivering ink of the highest quality," said Ralf Hildenbrand, president of the business unit packaging Europe at Siegwerk.
"The addition of DataLase to our existing ink technology will allow us to offer a complete marking solution to all of our clients."
DataLase offers an environmentally friendly, high-speed technique for printing via a low power laser light. Under the terms of this agreement, Siegwerk will use the DataLase concentratespecifically for patch printing, enabling Siegwerk to provide its global customers with a total printing solution.
"Our DataLase technology offers a wide range of printing solutions. By entering into this agreement with Siegwerk, we can be confident that it will be made available to a much broader, global market," said Trevor Wilson, Sherwood commercial director.
DataLase combines chemistry, substrate conversion and laser energy, using very low power laser light for the high speed printing of images. It is a precise, non-contact alternative to traditional printing methods, providing an infinite array of solutions, for example date-coding, bar-coding and graphics.
Sherwood claims that it is completely flexible and is equally suitable for metal decoration, flexible packaging, paper, board and plastics.
Achieving greater efficiency within the printing and packaging sector has become a key objective due to rising raw material costs. Limited supply, an escalating issue worldwide, has exacerbated the problem.
Since the beginning of 2003, raw material feed stock costs have increased from 9 per cent for ethylene to 190 per cent for benzene, the basic building blocks of many packaging films and resins. Crude oil costs are up 65 per cent and natural gas is up 67 per cent.
These costs have consistently been passed on to printing, packaging and manufacturing firms. With retailers reluctant to increase consumer prices, those stuck in the middle have had little choice but to absorb the increased costs.
Headquartered in Siegburg, Germany, Siegwerk Group is the third largestEuropean manufacturer of printing ink. The company has eight subsidiaries worldwide and representatives in over 50 countries.
After the acquisition of the US printing ink manufacturer Color Converting (CCI), the company has risen to become the number two in the market for high-quality packaging ink in North America and Europe.