Strong demand for materials from renewable sources
EptaInks is the screen-printing division of Eptanova, a company that develops and manufactures inks and printing products for a variety of industrial sectors. In a chat with Fibre2Fashion, Daniele Uboldi, Business Director of EptaInks, details about the core business units of EptaInks, the major markets and application areas of its inks.
What is Eptanova's background like? When was the company founded and by whom?
Eptanova was founded in 2016 by Franco Fattorini. The company has a long history starting from the '40s with its product brand Manoukian Argon. The company aims to be a strong international partner for advanced finishing solution. There are four business brands each focused on a specific sector: Eptainks for screen printing inks, Eptainks digital for digital printing inks, EptaTech for specialties (in particular stretchable inks and printed electronic) and EptaCoat for varnishes.
Please tell us more about your business brands EptaInks and EptaInks Digital.
EptaInks is a strong brand in the screen-printing sector. With its wide product range, it helps many customers all over the world in their printing needs. The company is divided in 4 business units:?
1. Fashion & Textile: Develops and manufactures innovative inks for textile printing. With its top product brand Manoukian Argon, EptaInks in textile market is one of the most utilised and reliable suppliers in the market. With the launch of bio inks, we made a change in the market starting to promote our typical green mentality to our clients.
2. Graphic & industrial: Develops and manufactures innovative inks for industrial applications and automotive.
3. Visprox & Pad: With the brand Visprox, we develop inks for pad printing on toys, plastics in general, glass and wood.
4. Prepress & Screen chemicals: In this business unit, we focus on new solutions for photo emulsions and prepress material.
5. Security: This business unit is specific for inks that satisfy requirements for low to high level protection.
Eptainks digital is mainly focused on textile digital inks. We decided to focus on new and ecologic solutions for textile digital market.
What percentage of revenue does the textile business contribute to your overall company revenue?
Textile business is 50 per cent of the overall company revenue.
What is the market size of textile printing inks in Italy? What percentage share would you like to claim?
Considering both digital and screen printing the textile market in Italy registers a constant growth with a +6 per cent CAGR. We aim to be one of the top players in Italy with a 20/25 per cent market share.
Where do your industrial inks and digital inks find application in?
We supply solution to many different sectors: textile in general, furniture market, automotive, bikes and motorbikes and toys.
Which of your products are most popular with textile brands?
Our bio inks are considered very appealing to our textile brand owners. Then we have Texiplast 7000, Aqua and Free (PVC free plastisol series). The common feature in all these series of inks is the green vision with which they have been developed.
Sustainability across the supply chain is an imperative today. How earth-friendly are your products?
It's really important for us to have as much control as we can on the entire supply chain. We control in particular our emissions, our wastes and our formulations for inks in order to be one of the most "green" companies in the sector. We also have to say that many inks developed by EptaInks are certified Ecopassport by Oeko-Tex, ZDHC level 3 and GOTS compliant. This guarantees complete sustainability not only for the product but also on the company and the production process.
Which are your major markets? How is the demand for your products overseas?
In general, the business is divided 50 per cent in Italy and 50 per cent abroad. Our major markets are textile, security and automotive.
Where do you source your raw materials from - Italy or overseas?
Where is the manufacturing/production done?
90 per cent of the manufactory is done in Italy. We have a production site also in Spain, US, India, China.
What is the USP of your textile/footwear inks?
The customisation of our products is tailored according to the customer's requirements and there is strong effort on sustainability.
What kind of special requirements do your customers generally come up with?
It depends on the sector. For instance, for the industrial market--the requirement for the ink must be easy to use and guarantee big format printings maintaining its core characteristics. Regarding textile--there is a big difference between users: brand owners need ecologic, eco-friendly and high-quality ink; printers, instead, need easy to use products and have no problem during the printing process. Another important value, of course, is the price.
Are you working on any new ink technology (related to the textile/footwear niche) at the moment?
The direction that I gave to the textile business of the company is 100 per cent oriented on two drivers: quality and sustainability. So the new solution that we will propose in the future will satisfy these requirements. We are working in the digital market, and we will soon launch water based digital ink series for textile application in general.
What measures do you take to keep up with the changing trends in the textile industry?
We constantly study the market and connect with clients to understand their needs and be aware of what is happening in the market. So we can say information and study are the main requirements to remain competitive and we aspire to be the first or one of the first players of new technologies. EptaInks is strongly focalised on R&D and innovation to anticipate future trends.
Which are the announcements we can look forward to for EptaInks and EptaInks Digital, and Eptanova as a whole?
We are deeply convinced that change is the only constant. So, we do not know what the future will bring. We suppose that the future will see a strong demand for materials from renewable sources which are easily biodegradable or reusable. (PC)
Published on: 28/06/2021
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.