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DuPont re-enters flexo selling market after three years

Tuesday, 06 March 2001
By Print 21 Online Article

A major realignment of the flexographic supply market is underway following the decision by DuPont to take back direct representation of its products from CyraChrome as of March 1. The move comes three years after the giant US-based corporation decided to abandon active selling in Australia. The DuPont flexo supply contract formed the basis for industry identity, Michael Laird to establish his company, CyraChrome. The subsequent change of mind has undoubtedly caused some upset for the new player.

In a bid to remain in the flexo supply market and to capitalise on its undoubted strengths in the sector, CyraChrome has sought the supply contract for Asahi Kasei, the Japanese manufacturer of flexo plates. Previously represented by Anderson & Vreeland in Australia, Asahi is widely recognised as a world-class supplier that has failed to make ground in the region. Flexography is widely used in the packaging industry and has seen its share of the overall printing market grow in recent years.

Other suppliers in the flexo market here are BASF which is now represented by Agfa, and the US-based MacDermid, the former Polyfibron, which claims to be the largest flexo plate material supplier in the world. DuPont claims the largest share of the local market, although the situation is unclear because only MacDermid supplies liquid polymer products for the corrugated sector.

According to Lindsay Rice, DuPont’s new man on the job, the decision to re-enter the market comes as the company prepares to introduce a range of new products, specifically Fast, a dry flexo plate-making system that does not use solvents. It is, as its name implies, fast, with a plate imaging to press time within 45 minutes.

“The technology is changing rapidly, with new process and products coming on line all the time. Who better to deliver the new products to the market than the company that creates them?” asks Rice.

While expressing his disappointment with the decision Laird emphasised that it was DuPont’s call. “We think we did a good job in the role, and we’ll be a strong competitor with the Asahi products, which I believe better suits the Australian market,” he said.

Stock transfer begins from CyraChrome to DuPont on March 1.

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