A new inks and consumables company will introduce the UK to inks from Spanish company Martinez Ayala. And it will be led by Graham Frost, a decade after stepping away from Sun Chemicals into retirement.
“I will be spending a few days a week on this,” says Graham Frost. “One of the things that we are focusing on in a fairly big way is LED UV inks. We have had some successful trials with the LED UV inks, including on a Speedmaster CD102 which has had an LED UV array retrofitted.”
Martinez Ayala is a family owned ink producer located close to the Costas in south eastern Spain. It operates from a ten-year-old plant which has been the basis for a large increases in capacity. Importantly for Frost, the company can produce LED UV inks in PMS colours. “This is the hook that we felt we needed,” he says.
“Currently the UK is dominated by Flint, Sun Chemical and Huber inks. Even the smaller suppliers are buying from these.” To these can be added Sakata INX and Toyo in UV cured products. All are vast companies.
Frost has been enjoying retirement before this opportunity arose. “I went to Spain and met Martinez, to see their facilities. It was just as if I was walking around the Gibbons Inks plant which I had run so I could see what they were doing. Everything is produced from dry colours, for example.
“We now have the contract for UK and Ireland,” he says.
The aim is not to challenge the dominant suppliers on price, but to provide an unmatchable service. “If someone is buying from the big suppliers and the product is not quite right, there’s little that can be done. We will be more like a local shop than a vast supermarket, providing the extra face to face service. The personal touch is still there and it’s still important.
“We are offering a high degree of service and a very very good quality product and there will be a premium to pay for that. This is not about a commoditised product.
“I think that the time is right for this."
By Gareth Ward
MA Inks and Consumables has picked up UK and Ireland distribution of the Spanish Martinez Ayala inks with Graham Frost coming out of retirement as figurehead for the business. The aim is not to sell a commoditised product, but to focus on quality and service and to take the opportunities presented by LED UV.