Werneke Ink founder 'Inky Lou' passes away

Pamela Mardle
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Louis Werneke, founder of Werneke Ink Company, a "key facet" of Flint Group since the turn of the century, has died.

"Inky Lou" passed away peacefully on 31 March, aged 86. He is survived by his two children, Matthew and Lisa, and eight grandchildren.

Flint Group, whose Akzo Nobel Inks division – now known as ANI Printing Inks – bought his ink manufacturing business in 1998, hailed Werneke for "shaping the narrow web tag and label market and helping to build the industry as it is today".

Werneke foresaw the growing importance the environment would play in the printing industry and, in 1973, he began designing the first water-based ink for flexographic printing, arguing: "There have to be some changes made for the environment and for the energy crunches we have."

He then went on to develop a similar water-based system for label printing and built up his successful global business, which comprised US-based Louis Werneke and the UK’s Label Inks, both of which were sold to Akzo Nobel.

Tributes to the "well-respected friend, colleague and industry icon" were given at a prayer mass on Monday (8 April) at Washbury-McReavy in Edina, MN.

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