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Inking a specialization strategy for success

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Founded in 1957, Resino initially manufactured standard ink, before implementing its decisive specialization strategy. The company chose to produce inks for printing on food packaging and on materials which require careful handling, such as those which are processed at high temperatures, such as boiling and sterilization.

“We decided to specialize on inks for food, hygiene and medical products,” explains Vice President and Commercial Director Niels Nielsen. “Our aim was not to grow in volume, but to focus on the special technology required for these sectors.”

Today, Resino is the world leader in inks used for sausage casing and other difficult-to-handle materials. In an industry which is highly regulated, the company’s trademark is high-quality inks, which are fully tested and safe for their designated purpose.

“We produce inks for food packaging, as well as baby diapers and hygiene products,” illustrates Mr. Nielsen. “Another example is the ink used for printing on pharmaceutical blister packaging. All of these product areas are subject to very strict rules.”

The decision to specialize was proved correct, given subsequent developments in the ink manufacturing industry. “There has been a very long period of consolidation in the sector,” Mr. Nielsen explains. “A small number of companies now dominate the industry worldwide. These are either large generalist concerns which have acquired smaller manufacturers along the way, or they are firms which, like us, decided to superspecialize. The competition is still incredibly tough, but thanks to our decision to specialize at an early stage, we are the only remaining Danish ink producer.”

For Resino, the path to success did not end with the implementation of its product strategy. The requirements and trends within the industry continue to demand new approaches and solutions. The focus on the environment has brought with it a whole new set of challenges.

“At the moment, the industry is in a state of change, moving from traditional to environmentally friendly solvents,” the Commercial Director points out. “These used to be based on strong organic solvents and have been replaced by alcohol and new ‘green solvents’. We have been producing water-based inks for paper and non-sophisticated plastics for years, so we are ahead of the field. We are really driven by the new eco-friendly demands and are committed to working with safer ingredients. This is documented by our certification to the latest environmental management standard ISO 14001. Non-impact printing using digital machinery is another significant growth area at the moment. Now we are on the brink of producing both water-based and UV curing inks for industrial ink jets.”

With 50 staff and an annual turnover of 22 million EUR, exports account for 95% of Resino’s sales. “We counted recently, and discovered we now serve 64 countries all round the world,” says Mr. Nielsen proudly.

The family-owned company is in a transitional period as the current owner, Finn Cederstrøm, who bought Resino in 1982, prepares to hand over to his daughter Signe. “We also have a new board of directors who are young yet have experience and extensive knowledge in manufacturing, HR and sales,” Mr. Nielsen adds. Skilled staff is another of Resino’s trademarks.

The company hires from the local technical universities and offers numerous opportunities for students to use Resino as a basis for their theses. The Commercial Director believes that Resino’s future success is very strongly linked to ongoing research and development into new ink technologies.

“We are adapting our inks to new industrial demands. Besides water-based solvents, we are working on biodegradable ink for biodegradable plastic films,” he reveals. “That is totally new, and adhesion is the key issue. We are adapting our inks to new industrial demands. There are two reasons for printing something on a wrapped item: to get attention, and to share information such as an ingredients list. Our aim is to assist our clients to achieve this. We even make inks today that you can eat.”

Mr. Nielsen has one personal wish. “As a chemical manufacturer, we have to adhere to many regulations. We understand that these are crucial; however, as a global supplier, it would really make our lives easier if standards were consistent all over the world,” he laughs.

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