Author Archive

  • Embellishing: the truth – Print21 Magazine

    Samples of Scodix digital embellishment.

    With the value that embellishments such as foiling and spot varnish can add to printing work, it is not surprising that many businesses are jumping on board to pretty up their print.

    The question soon comes up, however: when should printers invest in their own embellishing kit, as opposed to outsourcing to a for-trade finishing house? Jake Nelson spoke with the experts to find out. Read the full report in Print21 magazine.

  • Citywide gets in the saddle with Horizon

    Worthwhile investment: George Efthimiou, Citywide Print.

    Sydney digital printer Citywide Print has boosted its production capacity with the addition of a second-hand Horizon SPF-20A saddle-stitcher and FC-20A trimmer, plus two VAC 100 towers, all supplied by Currie Group.

    Citywide Print, based in Alexandria, has been in business for about 20 years, and serves a variety of markets, says director George Efthimiou. “We have quite a wide array of customers such as agencies, government bodies, and pharmaceutical to name a few, and have seen large growth in conference printing over the last few years,” he said.

    To increase its capacity for saddle-stitched booklets, Citywide recently invested in second-hand Horizon kit from Currie Group, which Efthimiou says was a good decision. “The machine enables us to produce at a speed of 4000 A4 books per hour and up to 84 pages. Our production has increased dramatically for that reason,” he said. “It allows us to collate as well, and setup time is five minutes, compared to 30 minutes to an hour on our previous stitcher – we can program our most common sizes and recall them at the click of a button, which enables quick setup.”

    “A lot of customers come to us for our quick turnaround time, and the new stitcher has really helped us push the boundaries even more and enabled us to be more price competitive,” he said.

    Efthimiou said Currie Group’s customer service was second to none. “We really got looked after in that regard,” he said. “The machine went in about six weeks ago. It’s been fantastic so far – initially it was challenging learning the new technology, which is quite normal for any new machinery you get these days. Will Currie at Currie Group has been great in providing additional training and technical support during those initial weeks of operations and always checks in on us.”

    This is the first time Citywide has purchased kit from Currie Group, and Efthimiou hopes there’ll be many more such purchases to come. “It’s been a worthwhile investment. We are always looking at ways of investing in equipment to keep up with quality, and technology to improve productivity, while providing our customers with the best end product.

    “Will gave me great advice on what machine would best suit Citywide Print with our budget in mind, and Currie Group has been fantastic with its customer service,” he said.

  • Luminar shines with new HP Indigo 20000

    Opportunity: Matt Ellis with Luminar’s existing HP Indigo WS6800 digital press.

    Fresh off its move to a bigger premises Sydney label and packaging printer Luminar, formerly Avonlea Labels, will bolster its move into flexible packaging with a new HP Indigo 20000 digital flexible packaging press, supplied by Currie Group.

    The new install comes fresh off Luminar’s rebranding and its move to a 1200 square metre facility at Riverstone, in Sydney’s west. According to Matt Ellis, managing director, Luminar outgrew its previous premises at Castle Hill about two years ago. “We have a team of 15 and we were bursting at the seams. We wanted premises not just big enough for our current needs, but where our staff and customers could visualise our growth potential.”

    Shedding light: Avonlea Labels has rebranded as Luminar.

    According to Ellis, the rebranding to Luminar brings the company’s name more in line with its goals. “As much as Avonlea Labels is a legacy and something we feel proud of, we’d taken the brand as far as it could go, and it didn’t really reflect what we had to offer. We wanted a brand that did,” he said. “Luminar is a derivative of the word lum, meaning light, and we like to think we shed light on our customers’ products.”

    The HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press, to be installed early next year, will expand Luminar’s flexible packaging capabilities with its gravure-quality print and its wider web, according to Ellis. “It will allow us to say yes more than no. Flexibles went from zero per cent to 20 per cent of our business in 12 months, and because we operate narrow web, we were limited in what we could offer the industry. Now we will be able to offer what the industry needs in terms of web width,” he said.

    “We partnered up with a couple of flexible packaging operators who saw the need for digital flexibles for their customers, and we have seen a huge uptick in customers, giving us the sense that there is demand for flexible packaging out there.”

    Ellis believes that the opportunities in digital flexibles today are similar to the opportunities in digital labels ten years ago. “We have seen what’s happened over the last decade with the change in labels and the slow adoption of digital technology. The early adopters seemed to benefit greatly, and other than the benefit for the end user, it also helped the industry as a whole,” he said. “That’s something that speaks to me, because not everyone has the opportunity to take on digital technology at the forefront, but there always seems to be a need for it.

    “I see a similar thing happening in flexibles – digital is still  early in that sector, and flexo operators don’t like running 20 to 50 kilos of rewind, so they prefer to give that to a digital operator and focus on long runs, which is their core competency.”

    Ellis says HP Indigo was a natural fit for Luminar, thanks largely to its technology. “I buy into the HP ethos of always growing and innovating. We feel the same way at Luminar – we don’t rest on our laurels, we don’t like staying where we are. We want to partner with any business that feels the same way,” said Ellis. “HP Indigo is at the forefront of digital technology, and it’s their business to make sure they stay there.”

    According to Ellis, Currie Group has been a great partner to work with and another key factor in the decision to stick with HP Indigo. “One of the main reasons I stayed with HP Indigo was that Currie Group took the time to understand my business, and asked the right questions to help me decide on the direction I wanted to go. They take the time to understand me and my needs as well. That’s not by accident – it’s something I like,” he said. “Currie Group is a family business and so are we – it’s not just a business relationship, it’s a personal one as well.”

    Mark Daws, director of labels and packaging at Currie Group, says the supplier is proud to be involved in the project. “It’s been a pleasure for us to have watched Matt’s business evolve over time and to play a part in this. Their journey in digital printing has resulted in several technology leaps over time and Matt and his team are not afraid to drive new ideas and innovation to the industry.

    “The opportunities in short run flexible packaging are apparent and it’s clear that Luminar are keen to be leaders in this space. We are thrilled to be partners with Luminar and look forward to seeing their continued growth,” said Daws.

  • Howzat! GPI turns to UK for cricket buckets

    Made in the UK: GPI’s sustainable buckets for KFC.

    Graphic Packaging International has scored a contract to manufacture half a million environmentally-friendly KFC food buckets for the Big Bash League – but the buckets are exclusively manufactured at GPI’s plant in the UK.

    The fast food company chose GPI’s buckets, which contain zero plastic, because of their sustainability credentials, says Mike Turner, managing director GPI. “We have had a successful working relationship with KFC UK and Ireland for some time now,” he said.

    “While the company has its own bucket supplier in Australia, its requirement for a renewable solution meant that Graphic Packaging International was, without question, the supplier of choice.”

    The new GPI buckets use a clay coating to achieve a glossy finish, which GPI says prevents the buildup of excess oil and enhances vibrancy of the print without the need for plastic.

    According to Turner, the bucket is in line with the Australian government’s pledge to make all packaging in the country 100 per cent reusable, compostable or recyclable by 2025. “KFC Australia’s adoption of the GPI Foodservice bucket is a step in the right direction toward meeting the country’s sustainability targets. We’re delighted to be supporting them in this venture,” he said.

  • Impact celebrating 60 years

    Surviving 60 years: (l-r) Lucy Gauci, Hugh McDermott MP, Dimitri Lajovic, Aleks Lajovic, Clare Lajovic, and Adam Siwek.

    Tube maker Impact International has celebrated its 60th anniversary in business, a longevity the company attributes to its flexibility and customer service.

    Held at Fairfield RSL, the celebration raised a company record of $1,370 for the Exodus Foundation Christmas appeal, says Aleks Lajovic, managing director. “We had about 130 guests in attendance, made up of staff, their partners and our state MP, Hugh McDermott. It was great to celebrate surviving 60 years of manufacturing in Australia,” he said.

    Founded in 1958 by a Slovenian refugee to manufacture tubes for Colgate, Impact has occupied the same Smithfield site for the company’s entire history. “Today, we employ about 95 people in Australia and manufacture tubes for some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s leading brands. Our production site operates 24 hours a day, 5 days a week,” said Lajovic.

    According to Lajovic, adaptability has been a key factor in Impact’s longevity. “Over the years, we have changed our product offering to suit the needs of our customers. We’ve invested in new equipment and been quite innovative in how our tubes are manufactured – not just in terms of quality and appearance, but the environment.

    “We’ve tried very hard to make our customers lives simpler and focused on not giving them a reason to look to an alternative supplier. We have tried to add value to our customers’ stories,” he said.

    Lajovic hails Impact’s Project Craig tube as a highlight of 2018 for the company. “It contains plastic derived from sugarcane, a renewable resource; it uses energy from our own solar farm; it’s protected by our internationally registered anti-counterfeit measures; and consumers can return it to us once they’re done with it for recycling.

    “We’re the first tube manufacturer in the world to combine these four factors into one product, a fitting milestone to mark our 60th year of Australian made,” he said.

    In February, Impact will add a six-colour Montoli offset press to its operations, to boost its capacity. “We’re also working on releasing a new product next year to comply with the tough goals set by the government for what they’d like to see in packaging in 2025,” said Lajovic.

  • Pantone makes a splash with Living Coral, the 2019 Colour of the Year

    The Pantone Colour of the Year for 2019 is what the company describes as the bright and optimistic 16-1546 Living Coral, and a colour which Pantone says represents the fusion of modern life.

    Where Pantone said 2018’s deep purple 18-3838 Ultra Violet, drew on the ‘mysteries of the cosmos’ and the ‘vast and limitless night sky’, Living Coral, described by Pantone as “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone”, is inspired by both the natural and digital worlds. According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute, “Colour is an equalising lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral.

    “With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord,” she said.

    Announcing the Colour of the Year, Pantone called Living Coral a “vibrant yet mellow” hue which provides comfort in an ever-changing world at a time when real coral is under threat.

    In some marvellous copywriting Pantone said, “In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy.

    “Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolising our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.

    “In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent colour mesmerizes the eye and mind. Lying at the centre of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, Pantone Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of colour.”

    The closest match for Living Coral in Pantone’s Plus Series is 2345C, which can be achieved in CMYK with C=0 M=59 Y=50 K=0; in RGB with sR=255 sG=109 sB=112; and in HTML (as seen here) with FF6D70.

    Previous Pantone Colours of the Year include:

    • Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet (2018)
    • Pantone 15-0343 Greenery (2017)
    • Pantone 15-3919 Serenity and Pantone 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
    • Pantone 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
    • Pantone 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
    • Pantone 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
    • Pantone 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
    • Pantone 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
    • Pantone 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
    • Pantone 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
    • Pantone 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
    • Pantone 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
    • Pantone 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
    • Pantone 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
    • Pantone 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
    • Pantone 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
    • Pantone 19-1664 True Red (2002)
    • Pantone 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
    • Pantone15-4020 Cerulean (2000)


  • Harrod goes on poor Pro Pac figures

    Resigned: Grant Harrod, Pro-Pac

    Grant Harrod will step down as CEO of Pro-Pac Packaging just a year and a half into the top job, and John Cerini, former CEO of Integrated Packaging Group which Pro Pac bought 15 months ago for $177m, is also quitting as a full-time executive.

    During Harrod’s tenure – for which he received an annual salary of $562,000 – the company lost a third of its value, its share price dropping from 35c to 22c.

    Harrod acknowledged the current year’s earnings have not met expectations, and shareholders agreed – the day prior to his resignation at the AGM the company’s stock price dropped by 18 per cent.

    Pro-Pac turned a $5m profit from last year into a $5.1m loss despite climbing revenues, up by $13m on the previous year to $242m on a like for like basis, and to $371m with the IPG integration.

    The company is 45 per cent owned by Raphael Geminder, brother-in-law of Visy owner Anthony Pratt. Geminder also owns 39 per cent of Pact Group, which saw its managing director Michael Bundey step down abruptly in September following similar poor results.

    Pro-Pac blamed the drought in regional Australia and increased raw materials costs for sending it into the red. It says the drought had a major impact on its figures because it is a major suppler of agricultural packaging, such as grain bags.

    Former Salmat chief Harrod will leave his position as soon as the company appoints a suitable replacement, he said at the company’s AGM. “In the meantime I will continue to lead the Company and oversee the implementation of its growth strategy.

    At the AGM Harrod said, “We have underway a diversification strategy to reduce concentration risk on volatile markets like agriculture and raw material commodities such as resin, as we broaden the business to focus further up our customer’s value chain,” he said. “These include our move into providing printing, lamination and other conversion capabilities, required by our customers in their primary packaging needs, and our focus on more resilient markets including packaged food and FMCG.

    “The recent acquisitions of Perfection Packaging and Polypak, both value-add manufacturers, support this move.”

    Former AusPost CEO Ahmed Fahour, chairman of Pro Pac, thanked Harrod on behalf of the Board. “Grant will leave behind a high-calibre new management team who will ensure that we can achieve our full potential,” he said.

    This new management team includes Rick Rostolis, CFO, who will oversee Pro-Pac’s integration and costs improvements programme; David Chin, chief commercial officer, who will implement the company’s working capital and inventory management programme; Kathleen Forbes, company secretary and general counsel; Andrew Harris, GM manufacturing, who will commence in January; and Charles Miller, chief information officer.

    Pro-Pac will retain executive search firm Egon Zehnder to find a replacement for Harrod.

  • Dashing kicks in for sport

    Proud: Russell and Lauren Kavnat at the Prime Ministers’ Sporting Oration

    Dashing Group has sponsored the print for the inaugural Prime Ministers’ Sporting Oration, an event aimed at supporting grassroots sport in Australia.

    Russell Kavnat, CEO of Dashing, attended the event with his wife Lauren. “We’re proud to have attended and sponsored the Prime Ministers’ Sporting Oration in Melbourne,” he said . “It was an incredible evening in support of grassroots sport and the impact it can have on the health and unity of all Australians.”

    According to Toby Dankbaar, marketing manager at Dashing, the night was a good fit for Dashing’s corporate ethos. “It’s a cause that is well aligned with our Dashing values: to play as a team and win, and to dream big,” he said. “Funds raised will go towards supporting grassroots and community sporting programs that address one or more of these four key cause areas in 2018: women and girls in sport; physical activity; leadership and decision-making; and diversity and inclusion.

    “It’s close to Russell’s heart being a sports fan himself, and with his kids going to school at the moment, he sees sports being a big part of their education in future,” said Dankbaar. “This program will have a positive impact on the lives of all Dashers and their families.”

    Former prime minister Julia Gillard delivered the oration itself, calling for more funding for local sports clubs. “All Australians deserve an equal opportunity to participate in sport and access to suitable local facilities, and whether kids turn into professional athletes or not, they all deserve a shot to play on the team and strengthen their bodies and minds,” she said.

    “Investing in grassroots sport is an investment in our collective national future.”

  • Paper prices to climb again in February

    Going up again: paper prices to rise in February

    The major paper suppliers will raise their prices again in the new year, likely by five to seven per cent, citing increased costs of raw materials. The merchants anticipate implementing these increases in February.

    Local merchants are also being hit by an unholy trinity of tightening capacity from mills, a falling Aussie dollar, and increased shipping costs.

    Typically each three per cent increase in paper prices adds around one per cent to the cost of printed job, meaning the upcoming rises will add around two per cent to the cost of a job. Printers are also being hit by increases in ink prices. Print sell prices though remain depressed across much of the industry.

    Spicers will raise its prices by five to seven per cent across all colour commercial, digital, and packaging board stocks from 19 February, with Ken Booth, general manager for supply chain and product segments, saying it is in response to increased costs from suppliers. “As has been our policy, we will continue to try and internally mitigate the severity of these increases where possible. However, to ensure the sustainability of our channels, Spicers has no option but to pass through at least a portion of these incremental costs to our market,” said Booth.

    Dale O’Neill, director of the country’s third-largest supplier, Direct Paper, also indicated his company’s prices would go up from late January or early February. “It would be somewhere in the vicinity of about five to six per cent across pretty much the entire range,” he said. “It’s off the back of a supplier increase. There’s increased cost of raw materials, mill increases pushing through to the market. As a business, we try to keep our increases to a bare minimum, but some things can’t be helped.”

    Print21 was unable to reach Ball & Doggett prior to this newsletter going out, but it is almost certain to be facing the same upward pressure on prices as the other merchants.

    There were at least three price hikes by the major merchants over the course of 2018, with the last occurring in August.

  • Special T buys Green and Gold

    Print industry veteran Adrian Blessington is selling his business, Green and Gold Printing, to Corey London’s Special T, uniting two Sydney printers in a deal long in the making.

    Great idea: Corey London.

    Green and Gold will move into the Special T premises. London says joining forces makes a lot of business sense. “Adrian and I have known each other for a while. Our businesses do the same sort of work, we’re both going well. Speaking to him about what our future holds, we thought it would be a great idea for both of us to come together,” he said. “His business is in Artarmon, we are in Kingsgrove, and it makes sense to move to a more modern plant. It will make us a little more flexible when it comes to capacity, we will have more for our clients, and it will enable us to do more work on a weekly basis.”

    Both printers are looking forward to the merger, with London saying it is a positive step for the two of them. “At the end of the day you partner up with the right company, you don’t just acquire businesses that add revenue to your sales ledger – it needs to add value to your offering. I have thought about this for a long time and both Adrian and I think it’s a perfect fit,” he said.

    Excited: Adrian Blessington.

    Blessington has run Green and Gold for the past 20 years, and is a good friend of London’s. “With Corey’s experienced team behind him, and the machines and staff we are taking over, it will be business as usual,” he said. “We have had discussions for quite a period of time, and he is a good guy. The model fits – he deals with the same sort of work. The blend of jobs works well with the equipment with we have. I’ve spoken with some of my clients, and they are pretty excited about the whole thing.”

    Both companies focus on high quality offset and digital printing. “We have a broad range of work, with a diverse mix of clients. We enjoy dealing with many of the leading designers and agencies,” said Blessington. “We do both offset and digital, but offset is our strong point. Our machines will complement each other and the migration of equipment will only add to our offering.”

  • EFI Bolts into high-speed textiles

                    Textile at speed: EFI Reggiana Bolt

    EFI has unveiled its new Reggiani Bolt high-speed textile inkjet printer, capable of printing at 600 x 600 dpi at 90 metres per minute in a single pass.

    Meeting customer needs: Andy Yarrow, EFI.

    The machine, pitched at medium to high end applications, is on the market for Australian and New Zealand printers now, says Andy Yarrow, director APAC at EFI. “The EFI Reggiani Bolt is already available commercially to the market. The first unit will be shipped in Q1 2019,” he said. “The printer is available in 180 width, and 340 width is in our product development roadmap.”

    According to Yarrow, the Bolt is a testament to EFI’s commitment to addressing its customers’ needs. “Before kicking off the project, in March-April 2017 we completed interviews with customers across the world. Key takeaways from these interviews have been need for performance, uptime and productivity, printhead reliability and printing quality,” he said.

    Launched at an open house event at EFI Reggiani’s facility in Bergamo, Italy, which was attended by nearly 300 customers and journalists, the Bolt features a new recirculation printhead system with greyscale drop sizes between five and 30 picolitres, and can also print maximum-resolution images at 600 x 4800 dpi for high-end, high-quality applications.

    Adele Genoni, vice president and general manager at EFI Reggiani, said the Bolt was born of years of innovation and expertise. “The innovative development of our new single-pass printer comes from Reggiani’s speed of innovation in digital textile printing, its 70 years of history, and our proprietary knowledge of high-volume analog rotary printing. Our EFI colleagues’ proven, worldwide expertise in single-pass technology and, most importantly, EFI Reggiani’s serious commitment to listening to and addressing our textile customers’ needs, have allowed us to achieve incredible results with our newest print technology.

    “The EFI Reggiani Bolt re-writes the rules of digital textile single-pass printing, delivering superior throughput and quality with a highly competitive return on investment for customers. We are excited to bring this technology to our customers and see their businesses succeed and grow,” said Genoni.

    Additional features include enhanced maintenance features such as a contactless wiping system and assisted alignment system; enhanced colour gamut and image quality; and the option to integrate analog printing stations. As an EFI product, the Bolt also comes with the Fiery digital front end, incorporating rip and colour management technologies.

  • manroland Goss snaps up Harland Simon

    Supporting customers and the industry: Dennis Wickham (right) and Andreas Schwoepfinger, manroland Australasia

    Press giant manroland Goss has bought the intellectual property of press control systems and RFID solutions provider Harland Simon out of administration.

    Dennis Wickham, managing director of manroland Australasia, said the deal was good news for Australian and New Zealand printers. “This is another example of how manroland Goss is continuing to support customers and the industry. It brings more stability,” he said. “From this, we will be looking at how we can support our local customers, including potentially new products and services.”

    Meanwhile Wickham told Print21 that the merger between manroland and Goss is going smoothly in Australia and New Zealand, with Goss presses operating Australia-wide from small regional newspapers up to the big eastern seaboard players. “The merger process is in its final stages of coming together within Australia, and we hope it will be completed by the end of this year,” he said. “All products and services are available now together, and support services for both companies have remained as-is with no major changes.”

    UK-based Harland Simon went into administration last month, and manroland Goss has acquired its IP. Steve Withers, senior manager engineered solutions at Harland Simon, said he was glad the deal had gone through. “While this has been a difficult time for Harland Simon, we are happy that as part of manroland Goss we can fully support all existing Harland Simon users, with the additional backing of the worldwide sales and service teams of manroland Goss,” he said.

    Clear commitment to market: Alexander Wassermann, CEO, manroland Goss.

    The purchase adds skilled engineers to support the existing Harland Simon install base, as well as a wide range of retrofit solutions for manroland Goss customers, says Alexander Wassermann, CEO of manroland Goss. “This addition to the manroland Goss solutions is a clear commitment to the market. It reinforces the focus on growing our aftermarket and service business for the installed base worldwide,” he said.


  • Print museum packed for grand re-opening

    Legacy: (L-R) Mandy Allen and Trisha Hickey, granddaughters of Penrith Museum of Printing founder Alan Connell, with museum president Ralph Bennett.

    A huge crowd turned out for the re-opening of the Penrith Museum of Printing on Wednesday night, with around 80 guests coming out to see the newly-renovated facilities – including the granddaughters of founder Alan Connell.

    It was hard to move for printing tragics on the night as Bob Lockley, committee member and emcee, thanked those who made the trek out to Sydney’s west to see the rebirth of the only “working” print museum in Australia after a six-month, $130,000 renovation. “We’ve had an unbelievable response to our invitations to this reopening, and we are pleased that there’s so much interest in what’s going on here. Well done to all of you people for coming out tonight,” he said.

    Packed to the rafters: 78 people turned out for the museum’s reopening.

    Founded in 2001 by printing industry veteran Alan Connell, the museum was recently expanded to accommodate equipment that previously had to be kept in storage. Ralph Bennett, museum president, welcomed Connell’s granddaughters Mandy Allen and Trisha Hickey to the event. “Alan’s dream was this museum,” said Bennett. “He was an apprentice for the Nepean Times, and his apprenticeship was interrupted by the Second World War. Later on, he came back, finished his apprenticeship, and worked as a typesetter on a Linotype machine. When the newspaper closed, all this machinery went idle, but he had an idea that it would be good to keep it and make a museum.”

    Each guest on the night was given a gift: a badge made from an authentic Linotype matrix, similar to those used on the working machines on display in the museum. It was fascinating to learn about the history of typesetting, from the old days of manually arranging blocks of text to the hot-metal stamping of slugs from Linotype machines – and it made me grateful for the invention of the computer keyboard, which has certainly made producing a magazine a lot less work (and much less warm).

    Delighted: Bob Lockley (right) emceed the event.

    Speaking after the event, Lockley told me that he was delighted by the full house and the feedback he’d received from guests. “We ended up with 78 people, which is a huge response. Talking to people on the way around, everyone seems absolutely rapt with what’s going on.

    “It was awesome that the grandchildren of the founder were able to be here, as well as local government. The calibre of guests was amazing, and we hope they’ll help support the museum going forward,” he said.

    That support is key to the museum’s future, said Lockley. “Next for the museum is to encourage more tours and more courses, and get the whole project running at a greater rate of knots. We want to get more people through the museum, more equipment, and more support – that’s our main target,” he said.

  • Wrap king in charity van job

    Much-needed makeover: The team from Exotic Graphix joined forces with Justin Pate of The Wrap Institute to transform this van.

    Two-time King of the Wrap World Nick Caminiti of Exotic Graphix in Melbourne has teamed up with wrap expert Justin Pate, of The Wrap Institute in the United States, to give a charity van a much-needed makeover.

    Nick Caminiti, Exotic Graphix.

    Caminiti, who took out the top prize in the 2016 and 2017 Avery Dennison Wrap Like a King challenges, and the team from Exotic Graphix worked with Pate to wrap the van for The Big Umbrella at a live event in Carrum Downs, Victoria. “It was an awesome opportunity to work with Justin, and on such a worthy cause too,” said Caminiti. “We’re grateful to have the opportunity to pay it forward with The Big Umbrella, just doing what we love best.”

    Though the occasion was a special one, Exotic Graphix treated it as professionally as any other job, says Caminiti, who was inspired by the work The Big Umbrella does for the underprivileged. “We worked with the client on a design brief, opened the shop up and worked on their Kia Carnival van. It was great for them to see how the work gets done.

    “After seeing what they do, it was quite special. They do a lot for the community, especially being a smaller charity. It’s good to be able to give back,” he said.

    Pate was in Melbourne for the first stop on his 2018 advanced wrapping workshops tour, which aims to help experienced wrappers hone their skills, and said he was excited to work with Caminiti on the charity installation. “The TWI Live event was extra special to do in Melbourne as it gave me an opportunity to work with Nick Caminiti and his crew at Exotic Graphix. It was great to let people see the transformational power of wraps in real time as well as have the final wrap be for a good cause.

    “To see how happy The Big Umbrella was to essentially get a ‘brand-new’ van was priceless. Huge thanks to Avery Dennison and Graphic Art Mart for collaborating on this event and I hope to do it again next time I’m in Australia or New Zealand,” he said.

    The Big Umbrella Foundation focuses on addressing issues faced by marginalised people in Australia and overseas. The van that was wrapped has been used for eight years to ferry more than 22,000 volunteers delivering hot meals to Melbourne’s homeless. One volunteer, Lucy Alasso, was thrilled to see the van’s transformation, saying it would make the charity the talk of the street. “This will make a difference to being noticed and getting more volunteers and supporters on board. We can’t thank Avery Dennison enough for this opportunity, and for introducing us to the amazing Justin Pate and talented guys at Exotic Graphix along with Graphic Art Mart’s support,” she said.

    Jordan Leach, senior business manager at Avery Dennison Graphic Solutions in Australia and New Zealand, said he was glad to see the two industry experts work together on the one project. “This isn’t something that can happen any day and we’re indeed proud to have made it happen in collaboration with our valued partners.

    “We’re even happier to have been able to contribute towards the needs of our local communities and shine the spotlight on the excellent work by The Big Umbrella and their volunteers here,” he said.

  • Esko opens giant flexo plate plant

    New flexo site to build Esko  solutions including CDi Crystal

    Esko has opened a new facility in Germany to consolidate its flexo platemaking systems operations under one roof. The new 4300-square-metre facility in Itzehoe will encompass research, engineering, product development, testing, and production.

    Billed as a centre for innovation, the factory includes a customer experience centre, as well as production and assembly facilities for products such as the CDI Crystal and CDI Spark flexo plate imaging devices and the XPS Crystal flexo plate exposure system.

    According to Holger Jacobsen, plant manager, the factory was designed from the ground up to meet the needs of Esko’s digital flexo business. “We have been pleased with the entire process, from the laying of the first stone through to the move and start-up of production in this brand-new facility,” he said. “Everyone – from the architect and builder to all of our suppliers and staff – worked together to achieve a challenging schedule. It’s a modern environment, a great workplace for our staff, and a welcoming setting where we will host many visitors in the future.”

    Udo Panenka, president of Esko, said the new plant is evidence of Esko’s investment in digital flexo. “We are well positioned to tap into the significant opportunities to simplify and automate the entire flexo platemaking process, from design to the finished plate ready to be mounted on the press, and we are pursuing those on behalf of our customers and the industry at large.

    “We are pleased with this important milestone, and we are looking forward to a bright and innovative flexo future,” he said.

    Esko’s new Itzehoe plant will serve as a centre for the company’s flexographic operations.

  • Real Media Collective to let hair down at AGM

    Kellie Northwood, CEO Real Media Collective.

    The Real Media Collective (RMC) will hold its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 12 December in Melbourne.

    The meeting will take place at Tonic House at 5:30pm, with canapes and networking to follow at 6:30. Kellie Northwood, CEO, encourages members to come and celebrate the year that was. “We’ve had a big and busy year. This year’s AGM will pay homage to the successful merger of the Australasian Catalogue Association (ACA), TSA Limited (TSA) and the Australasian Paper Industry Association (APIA), the expansion of our campaigns, our success in government lobbying and more.

    “Indulge in the festivities or simply pick the brains of key industry players who will be in the room working together on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the industry – it’s our third year together and each event gets bigger and better,” she said. “If you haven’t attended in the past, don’t miss out – come along and celebrate the industry.”

    Registration is open at

  • Rawson enables Cadbury Kmart personal print

    Rawson Print Co is enabling retail giant Kmart and confectionery brand Cadbury to sell personalised printed gift packs of Dairy Milk chocolate, with customers able to have their names printed on labels in-store.

    Customers can purchase the blank 550-gram gift boxes in Kmart stores around the country. Using Afinia desktop digital label printers based on HP OEM inkjet technology supplied by Rawson, in conjunction with a software program customised by Rawson, store staff print labels with names of up to nine characters, which are then affixed to spaces marked out on the front of each box.

    The Afinia Label L301 industrial colour label printers used in the promotion went into more than 200 Kmart stores around Australia, and have been deployed for other personalisation campaigns including Nutella and Vegemite jars.

    Kmart anticipates hundreds of thousands of sales from this promotion, according to Alicia Sanz, buyer. “Christmas is such a magical time of year and we couldn’t be happier to partner with Cadbury as the exclusive national retailer stocking this affordable, personalised gift,” she said.

    Rawson Print Co is one of the more innovative print business in the country, and was the company behind the anti-seagull packaging for Hungry Jack’s chip wrappers two years ago.