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2018 news wrap: Print moving forward

Friday, 21 December 2018
By Wayne Robinson

While the year 2018 saw its fair share of companies hitting the wall, there were just as many if not more printers moving ahead, investing and finding great opportunities.

Super automated: new $50m Franklin Web NSW site

Biggest print spend of the year is the new $50m Franklin Web NSW site, officially opened last month, which is a case study in focus and automation. Two huge 80pp manroland Lithoman presses are operating 24/7 pumping out print at 16 metres a second for catalogues and long run magazines.

Major Melbourne player Waratah Group consolidated its business, moving Waratah Direct Communications into its main Port Melbourne premises from Preston, consolidating it with Waratah Digital and Commercial Brand Communications.

High five: CMYKhub CEO Trent Nankervis and communications manager Glen Francis at the Melbourne print hub with the B2
 HP Indigo 10000 and the HP Indigo 5600

Digital contimnues its march, well known operations Scott Print and Digitalpress were among those buying the new six-colour Fuji Xerox Iridesse, while trade printer CMYKhub ordered a further five HP Indigo printers from Currie Group to join the four it already has.

Brisbane outfit Platypus invested in a new 10,000sqm site with a new press and finishing kit. Offset press sales are thin on the ground these days, but also in Brisbane Allclear was among those installing a new Heidelberg CX102, which will replace three older presses.

Energy was top of the agenda during the year as Aussie printers faced stratospheric pricing. A number of printers turned to solar power to beat the crisis including Vivad, Impact, Goldcraft and Complete Colour. Vivad also invested in a new Durst wide format printer, as did trade shop Media Point.

Sign franchise Signwave saw its sales rise by 18 per cent, with two new stores opening, in Adelaide and Perth. MBE also opened its first store in Perth. And in the WA state capital Artcom took the first Massivit 3D printer. Brisbane wide format operation Bailey emerged as the top print in the Asia Pacific for HP. Cactus bought the country’s first ultra wide Fujifilm Acuity Ultra. Avonlea Labels rebranded itself as Luminar and invested in a HP Indigo 2000 digital flexible packaging system.

Easy Signs took the first flatbed HP Latex printer, Active Display Group installed robot fed Inca Onset printers in a major upgrade of capacity, while Rip Graphics was among those buying a new Oce Arizona.

In the digital textile printing world which is predicted to be a boom area Create Apparel bought a new Kornit press, while Next Printing set up a whole new company, Textile Hub, for quick turnaround short run fashion jobs, however that closed just before Christmas, the company saying it was probably ahead of the market.

In labels QLM opened a factory in Cambodia and invested some $2.5m in its Australian business with new conventional and digital presses for Brisbane and Melbourne. Label Factory in Perth invested in a new Xeikon, while ExelPrinting bought a new Screen digital label press, while multi-site label giant Hexagon is looking to exit its label business altogether.


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