Author Archive

  • Print21 Issue 1107 – Midweek SPECIAL

    Business is an up and down life alright. Two years ago Whirlwind bought Lindsay Yates intending to make it Sydney’s premier high quality printer. Now it is selling itself. And two years ago the Hannans merged IPMG into PMP and became the biggest shareholders, when the shares were 70c. Today as they look to up their stake, those same shares are 7c. Print, not for the faint-hearted.

     

    Welcome to the industry’s midweek news bulletin with the stories you won’t find anywhere else, brought to you by Print21 the people who know print.

     

    Wayne Robinson
    – Editor

  • Screen Truepress Jet L350UV+

    Screen Graphic Solutions has finalised development of a new blue ink intended for use in its high-end Truepress Jet L350UV+ digital label printing system. The ink will be released worldwide in June this year.

    Driven by a growing awareness of corporate and product brand image, label producers face an increase in demand for higher quality product labelling and packaging. Blues in particular are popular for corporate designs and product packaging, keeping consistency with brand identity.

    Peter Scott, Screen GP Australia.

    Screen GP’s Australian Managing Director Peter Scott says: “Of all countries that stand to benefit from the introduction of special blue to the L350UV+’s inkset, Australia and New Zealand are sure to appreciate it most. With our blue skies and oceans, we are attuned to pure, rich blues. All packaging designers know that brilliant colours sell products off the shelves and dull colours have less appeal. Screen’s new blue ink for the L350UV+ is a very welcome addition to the range and I feel sure it will be a hit with label and packaging producers in ANZ.”

    Truepress ink for L350UV Blue is a new blue ink designed for use with Screen’s Truepress Jet L350UV+ system, a high-end digital UV inkjet label printing model that also offers features including print speeds of up to 60 meters per minute, wide media compatibility and outstanding operability. The blue color gamut is now extended to its maximum potential.

    The system’s ability to handle blue ink in addition to conventional CMYK plus white, allows it to faithfully reproduce blue colors in corporate designs that were
    previously difficult using process colors alone. It is also able to precisely output a wide range of blue tones frequently used on the packaging of items such as cosmetics, toiletries and body care products. These expressive capabilities help to improve brand image and create products that truly stand out from competitor items in the marketplace.

    “Screen is continuing to develop new advanced features for the L350UV series of label presses,” says Scott. “All I can say is, watch out for more announcements at Labelexpo this September in Brussels!”

    Screen digital label presses are available through Jet Technologies with support from Screen GP in Australia, and Jet Technologies with Fujifilm in New Zealand. A Truepress Jet L350+ (with extra Orange ink) will be demonstrated at PrintEx 2019, Sydney Showgrounds from August 13-17 on the joint Screen GP & Jet Technologies stand B08.

  • ReproMax works for printIQ in Hawaii

    Aloha to printIQ; (from left) Mick Rowan with Linda Pollard, printIQ US sales director with Steven Strooh, Beeline and Blue. 

    Mick Rowan’s non-stop campaign to expand the printIQ software business in the USA got a major lift with an invitation to sponsor and present at the ReproMax conference in Honolulu.

    The invite was extended following the sale of the printIQ workflow system to printer Beeline and Blue out of Des Moines, Iowa, a deal made off the back of the earlier sale to Chicago-based digital printer Cushing. Both companies are members of the ReproMax group.

    According to Rowan, the printers at the conference were very interested in printIQ’s offering. “We made lots of good contacts and I’m sure we’ll do more business with them,” he said.

    Beeline and Blue owner Steven Strooh was pleased to follow the recommendation of his ReproMax partner, Cushing, in making the switch to PrintIQ. It illustrates the value of recommendations made within the well-regarded group.

    ReproMax is a network of independent digital print service providers (PSPs) in the USA. It is designed to provide information, technology and a community where PSPs can use the skills and advice of other like-minded companies to grow their business. Partner companies have access to the knowledge and capabilities of other printing companies across the globe.

    “After signing both Cushing and Beeline and Blue, we were then invited to the ReproMAX conference in Honolulu for a three-day event. The ReproMAX partners share the common belief that companies can become more effective, successful and profitable by pooling their knowledge and resources. It’s a very successful network,” said Rowan.

    The latest signing vindicates his determination to carry the printIQ technology message to the wider world. The peripatetic Queenslander regards the US printing industry as a natural market for the company’s workflow technology.

  • A revolution in textile printing

    When the SureColor Fabric series was first launched it represented a revolution in textile printing. The equipment was designed from the ground up to provide a complete single-vendor solution with simpler operation, higher durability, and superior imaging.

    The F2160 is Epson’s latest generation Direct To Garment (DTG) printer. It features enhanced production flexibility, higher productivity, reduced maintenance, and a lower running cost.

    Optimised for customisation and value-adding on cotton based garments such as T-shirts, Polo tops, jeans and sweats, it will image onto a range of polyester sports and leisure wear, and can also be used for promotional and décor items including tote bags, tea towels and cushions. Prints can be made on pre-cut fabric or directly to finished garments with a heat press used to ‘fix’ the dye.

    The printer can be ordered in a 4-colour configuration for high speed volume production as well as a 5-colour configuration for flexible CYMK + white work. Hardware is covered by a comprehensive on-site warranty with service cover extendable up to three years.

    SureColor F2160 at a glance:

    • Direct to garment low-cost customisation of shirts, caps, bags, and more
    • Epson UltraChrome® DG ink delivers crisp and bright images with a low tack finish, high stretchability and good wash/UV durability
    • Improved performance and enhanced image quality with smoother gradation, an expanded gamut and Dmax
    • New platen grip pads enable faster loading and setting
    • Upgraded self-cleaning print head and new auto cap washing system for enhanced reliability, reduced maintenance and wastage
    • Supplied with enhanced Epson Garment Creator application software
    • Diethlene glycol free ensures for a safer work environment with Oeko-Tex certification so garments can be worn by adults, children and infants
    • Available in high speed 4 colour and flexible 5 colour with White configurations
    • Comprehensive warranty with service cover extendable up to 3 YEARS
    • Supports a wide range of garments with natural and man-made

    Epson UltraChrome DG Ink was developed to support fabric with a 50% or greater cotton content. It adheres well and fixes easily for images with a low tack finish that have good UV/wash durability. Both the ink and Pre-Treatment liquid when applied to cotton fabrics conform to the latest Oeko-Tex Eco Passport standard with garments safe for use by adults, children and babies.

    Click for more information.

     

  • Epson SureColor F2160

    When the SureColor Fabric series was first launched it represented a revolution in textile printing. The equipment was designed from the ground up to provide a complete single-vendor solution with simpler operation, higher durability, and superior imaging.

    The F2160 is Epson’s latest generation Direct To Garment (DTG) printer. It features enhanced production flexibility, higher productivity, reduced maintenance, and a lower running cost.

    Optimised for customisation and value-adding on cotton based garments such as T-shirts, Polo tops, jeans and sweats, it will image onto a range of polyester sports and leisure wear, and can also be used for promotional and décor items including tote bags, tea towels and cushions. Prints can be made on pre-cut fabric or directly to finished garments with a heat press used to ‘fix’ the dye.

    The printer can be ordered in a 4-colour configuration for high speed volume production as well as a 5-colour configuration for flexible CYMK + white work. Hardware is covered by a comprehensive on-site warranty with service cover extendable up to three years.

    SureColor F2160 at a glance:

    • Direct to garment low-cost customisation of shirts, caps, bags, and more
    • Epson UltraChrome® DG ink delivers crisp and bright images with a low tack finish, high stretchability and good wash/UV durability
    • Improved performance and enhanced image quality with smoother gradation, an expanded gamut and Dmax
    • New platen grip pads enable faster loading and setting
    • Upgraded self-cleaning print head and new auto cap washing system for enhanced reliability, reduced maintenance and wastage
    • Supplied with enhanced Epson Garment Creator application software
    • Diethlene glycol free ensures for a safer work environment with Oeko-Tex certification so garments can be worn by adults, children and infants
    • Available in high speed 4 colour and flexible 5 colour with White configurations
    • Comprehensive warranty with service cover extendable up to 3 YEARS
    • Supports a wide range of garments with natural and man-made

    Epson UltraChrome DG Ink was developed to support fabric with a 50% or greater cotton content. It adheres well and fixes easily for images with a low tack finish that have good UV/wash durability. Both the ink and Pre-Treatment liquid when applied to cotton fabrics conform to the latest Oeko-Tex Eco Passport standard with garments safe for use by adults, children and babies.

    Click for more information.

     

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  • Winds of Change – Jackson joins Currie Group

    Adding value: ‘Anthony ‘AJ’ Jackson with Currie Group

    Well-known digital print industry identity, Anthony ‘AJ’ Jackson, has joined Currie Group to take on the role of national sales manager, commercial print.

    The high profile ‘AJ’ will be responsible for overseeing the sales activities of the industry leading HP Indigo presses. The personable Jackson says he could not refuse the opportunity to work with the brand.

    “Currie Group has a very strong team that I respect. People such as David Currie, Bernie Robinson, and Phil Rennell are recognised throughout the industry. They are prepared to support me in the bigger role of bringing HP Indigo to even more printers,” he said.

     Widely respected for his industry knowledge and contacts, ‘AJ’ is a definite win for the largest independent supplier to the market.

    He believes his best contribution will be in adding extra value and educating customers in the range of new inks and coatings available for HP Indigo.

    According to David Currie, Jackson represents a type of sales activity that fits in well with the Currie Group ethos. He said. “I’m very pleased to have him join the team.”

    Jackson said he was excited to have a broader range of finishing equipment and workflows to promote. Reporting to Phillip Rennell, sales director, he will work in the commercial printing sector alongside Mark Daws in industrial print.

  • Currie Protect

    Currie Protect: Marcus Robinson, service manager ANZ, Currie Group

    HP Indigo users who take operator training packages from supplier Currie Group are now able to transfer the training free of charge to a new operator, should the original operator leave within 12 months, under the new Currie Protect programme.

    Marcus Robinson, service manager ANZ at Currie Group said, “Buying an HP Indigo is a major investment, and Currie Group wants to ensure that Indigo users get the most from their presses. The new Currie Protect programme means that Indigo users can invest in training new operators, or upskilling existing ones for the HP Indigo, in the knowledge that if that operator moves on within a year Currie Group will train the replacement free of charge. Some conditions apply however this initiative is designed to aid in the ongoing support of our valued customers.

    “Our commitment is to HP Indigo users. The Currie Protect programme means HP Indigo users will be completely up to date with the latest skill levels, and safe in the knowledge that their company is protected from extra training fees should an operator move on.”

    Currie Protect is for existing users who are wanting to train up new staff or upskill existing staff. Robinson said, “The Currie Group Training Centre is located in Hawthorn, Victoria. Equipped with both sheetfed and reelfed HP Indigo presses, it is one of the only HP Indigo certified training facilities  in the region.”

    Recently adding a WS6x00 series labels and packaging press to the Currie Group training centre has enabled operators to now be certified within Australia, instead of travelling overseas.

    For more information on Currie Protect email info@curriegroup.com.au.

  • Print21 Issue 1099 MIDWEEK SPECIAL

    Indonesia is our nearest neighbour, and is likely to offer myriad opportunities for business in the coming years. Its burgeoning middle class and huge young population bode well for consumer spending. Good luck to CMYKhub and the growing number of Aussie and Kiwi printers looking to make a mark there.

     

    Welcome to the midweek online news bulletin for the ANZ print industry, brought to you by Print21 – the people who know print.

     

    Wayne Robinson
    – Editor

  • Combined dominant player to service 90% of ANZ printing roller market

    “We love rollers.” Terry Brissett and Franz-Georg Heggemann at the opening of Bottcher Australia’s new plant.

    The Bottcher Systems buyout of Brissett Rollers creates a manufacturing and service company of scale in Australia using the best aspects of both companies. Under Mitch Mulligan, managing director, it intends to meet the expectations of the market with a combination of German imports and local roller manufacturing.

    The two well-established businesses share a history of family ownership. Bottcher Australia is part of  a German-based, family-owned manufacturer with a history of 400 years: Brissett Rollers was owned by Terry Brissett who has been engaged in the roller manufacturing business in Australia for the past 60 years.

    A new factory at Smithfield houses a strategic selection of roller manufacturing equipment transferred from the former Brissett site at Arncliffe, along with a national warehouse for imported rollers, press chemistries and other consumables.

    Support your local roller company: Craig Dunsford, executive general manager, Northern Region at Ovato, with Mitch Mulligan, managing director, Bottcher Australia.

    At an opening event last night Franz-Georg Heggemann, CEO of Felix Bottcher, paid tribute to Brissett, founder and owner of Brissett Rollers, and Mitch Mulligan, managing director of the local company, for their efforts in bringing the merger to fruition. He claims the new enterprise, employing the skills of both teams, will be able to meet 90 per cent of the roller requirements of the Australian and New Zealand market. Imported rollers will continue to meet the needs of the huge commercial offset sector while production of customised rollers for the heatset web sector will ensure the established reliable and quick turnaround. A further range of rollers for the packaging and industrial sectors will also be made at the site.

    According to Heggemann, the Australian manufacturing site is the 26th plant opened around the world at a time of vigorous expansion. The company has service facilities in 18 different countries although all the compounds are manufactured at the headquarters in Germany. He expects there will be further expansion of the types of rollers Bottcher Australia makes when the local industry becomes aware of its capabilities. The expanded local company employs a total of 24 individuals, with a number of Brissett staff making the transfer.

    He made the point that the company operates on family values, making plans for the long-term sustainability of the company. He sees his role as being responsible to pass it on to the next generation in good shape. Customers are assured that Bottcher Australia will be part of their future, as it has been for the past 21 years since Mulligan first opened a branch here.

    “We are the number one roller manufacturer in the world, and because we are family owned values are maintained. I am the eighth generation of the family, and already the ninth is ready to take charge,” he said. “We love the roller business.”

    Bottcher first began producing rollers 140 years ago, having previously been active in the leather and glue trade.

    A major R&D focus in Germany leverages that country’s world leading chemical engineering culture, evaluating up to 3000 new compounds and formulas every year. Of those, 300 are selected for trialling but only 30 are ever brought to market. Despite having over 800 compounds in production none are the subject of patents, which would require the publication of their makeup. All are manufactured under strict secrecy with their ingredients representing valuable IP for the company. The genial CEO assured me with a smile the company is not above adding extra unnecessary ingredients to foil any attempts at reverse engineering of the Bottcher synthetic formulas.

    Bottcher Australia supplies locally manufactured rollers to the entire major web printing plants, newspaper and catalogue. Representatives of both IVE and Ovato were at the opening in a show of support. It is also the major supplier of imported rollers for the main commercial printing sector, a market so diverse and large it would be impossible to maintain an adequate stock of replacements for manufacturing.

    A master of the printing roller; Terry Brissett with equipment from his former plant installed at the Smithfeld site

    According to Brissett, who says he is committed to making the transition work and getting through the inevitable backlog that has built up, the expanded company is a win-win situation not only for himself and his team but also for the industry as a whole. He maintains that having a local manufacturer that can turn rollers around quickly and address specific concerns when they arise is vital for printers. “ I think the printers are very grateful that we’ve come together,” he said.

    The mix of roller production is changing with the industry and Bottcher is expanding to meet demands in other sectors. Currently, depending on the individual market, packaging accounts for 40 per cent of the output with various industries including plastics and mining comprising 30 per cent to match the 30 per cent going to ‘classical printing.’

    The new plant and warehouse is now open for business. With it the Australia printing industry has the back-up of a local roller manufacturer making for a sustainable future.

     

     

    DSC_3678

    Image 1 of 7

    Team Brissett has moved to its new home.

  • Vale Bruce Sinnott 1949-2019: A reflection

    Bruce Sinnott 1949 -2019.

    It is the melancholy duty of the survivor to write the eulogies for those who’ve passed on. Kevin Sinnott, the surviving brother of the prominent graphic arts family, reflects on the life of his brother, Bruce, following brother Neville’s earlier demise.

    I lost another brother, Bruce, last Saturday: the first loss, Neville, was back in 2012. Both were still reasonably young men by today’s standards. Neville 76, Bruce 70.

    Neville succumbed to the aggressive recurrence of melanoma after 20 odd years in remission. Bruce had been suffering the early effects of Alzheimer’s undetected for many years, his bright intellect masked his malady for quite some time before finally being diagnosed and the deterioration process began progressing to its culmination last Saturday.

    The three of us were involved in the graphic arts industry during a very special time, spanning image capture via wet plate technology, and on into the realms of digital cameras, digital print and computer to plate. I think Bruce via Sinnott Bros was the first to implement CtP in Australia.

    Bruce attended the holy mecca of Drupa every four years, religiously returning to evangelise our company to be a beta site for most of the cutting edge technology.

    Via his enthusiasm we were in the very vanguard for most quantum leaps taken by the graphic arts during this whirlwind of innovation; electronic pagination systems in the early 80’s; digital cameras mid to late 80’s; spread spectrum radio transmission of data mid to late 90’s; pre-microwave transmission of data; digital assets management; facilities management and more. Digital proofing, colour management of data from capture to final media output. I’ve forgotten half of the things we did .

    Bruce started as a lithographic camera operator apprentice in his chosen industry in the mid 60’s. During his time at tech he topped the class every year culminating as apprentice of the year. I can’t remember if he finished his apprenticeship for he was whisked off into a management cadetship in the Consolidated Press organisation. Our whole family, father Gordon as well, was employed at various times by CP. During this cadetship Bruce compiled a number of ‘futures’ reports pertaining to the letterpress, lithography and gravure plants in operation at that time. A great number of those crystal ball gazes still exist today, (not in plants owned by CP, naturally) but in the processes. If Bruce saw something that looked logical, practical and importantly marketable and could convince his brothers to his way of thinking we had to have it. Never mind we had to hock the house, kids and family to guarantee the finance for the project.

    It’s interesting to note that Sinnott Bros/SBM – whatever it’s called  these days – to my knowledge has never shown a loss on its yearly balance sheet since 1973 to this day.  Now that’s an achievement in this industry.

    Bruce was involved with Sinnott Bros from 1973 till the company was sold to OAP (Offset Alpine Printing) in 1993. Neville retired at that time and Bruce was retained by OAP to run the company as part of the purchase agreement. When  IPMG purchased OAP a few short years later Bruce was employed in higher management pursuits. During this time he completed a Master’s in Business studies majoring in marketing. With both my brothers doing other things the running of the Sinnott Bros Business was left with myself reporting to directly Bruce and ultimately to Stephen Anstice.

    Bruce left IPMG sometime after 2005 when I retired and worked with DES along with some consulting interests. He then became involved with and was responsible for Harvey Norman’s set up of in-store/online digital fulfilment services for people’s pictures e.g. vanity booklets, photo prints, wall hangings etc. I think all of that could still be functioning.

    He retired when he realised he had a problem and had some quality times sailing his boat and a bit of travelling but nowhere near enough the self-time he deserved.

    Here’s a funny anecdote to conclude. Bruce accompanied a number of my surfing friends and self on a couple of our bi-yearly surfing trips. He loved to play chess and spent time playing my mates and to their surprise, given his malady, he was beating them. So when he left the table for a nature call or drink or something, they would move his men about. When he returned and puzzled at the change they would convince him he had just forgotten the changes due to his condition. Rotten animals :O)

    Kev Sinnott

    A private burial is being held today at Point Clare on the Central Coast. A celebration of Bruce Sinnott’s life will be held in Sydney later this month. Details to be published nearer the time.

  • printIQ makes the running at Dscoop USA

    Serious business conversations for printIQ staff at Dscoop.

    Second time around for Mick Rowan reinforces the value of presenting printIQ production software face-to-face with serious prospects in Orlando Florida. Multiple sales proposals were generated at the show with firm expectations of good sales to follow.

    Selling Australian and New Zealand developed products to the wider world of international printing is not for the faint hearted. Slogging it out at international trade shows, manning the booths while battling jet lag and late nights entertaining prospective clients can take a toll on the bravest heart.

    It’s a challenge Mick Rowan relishes, as he notches up the frequent flier miles bringing printIQ to the world. The director of product development & marketing has paid his dues at trade shows and seminars, but he has a secret weapon to staying on the front foot – he runs, fast.

    The energetic and determined Rowan believes that despite the hard grind, it’s essential to present printIQ’s advantages in person to printers in overseas markets. This time around he went to Dscoop Edge, the HP users group show in Orlando, Florida. He says it was very worthwhile.

    “Dscoop is the best show. The people are there to do something important for their business. You can have serious conversations. These people paid to be there. They ask all the right questions about what’s possible, they get it,” he said.

    This is the second Dscoop in the USA that Rowan and printIQ have attended but it won’t be the last. He’s a firm believer in the value of the show. It not only provides an opportunity to meet new and existing customers but also to connect with his American distributors.

    printIQ has a growing presence in North America, with Jonathan Bowen in Canada, Linda Pollard and Matt Miloszewski in the USA. They are backed up by Adrian Fleming, sales director in Australia and Anthony Lew, founder and CEO in New Zealand who make a trans-Pacific hop when required.

    “North America is a very important market for us. People are interested in printIQ’s ability to automate and integrate. I expect we’ll close a number of deals on the back of this Dscoop,” said Rowan.

    While on the ground in Florida and shrugging off the effects of jet lag, Rowan, a keen runner, took the opportunity to compete in the Orlando Winter Park 10k run (right). “I did pretty good, too,” he said.

     

  • Fuji Xerox makes old new again at Eco Manufacturing Centre

    An iconic heritage-listed building in Sydney’s western suburb of Rosehill hosted the first Lithographic Institute of Australia 2019 industry visit last night when members turned up to see how recycling and refurbishment are keeping technology costs down while minimising environmental impacts.

    A tour of the relaunched Fuji Xerox recycling and refurbishment program in its new premises provided the band of industry professionals with an insight into the company’s commitment to reducing its ecological footprint. The building is a showcase of reuse and recycling technology, with rubber floors and former pallet timbers around in the flyer. It is also a timeline of Fuji Xerox’ history of printing innovation.

    Bede Wolf, operations manager, talked the group through the history of xerography, illustrating the journey with actual machines from the different eras. First up was the original 1959 office plain paper copier, a transformative engine that had an unfortunate flaw of occasionally bursting into flames. Nonetheless it proved to be a massive success.

    He moved on to the first of The Lakes models from 1977, where the visitors could recognise the familiar form of contemporary Fuji Xerox printers. This was also the first model where the company started using remanufactured parts.

    Bede Wolf with the Fuji Xerox original plain paper office copier.

    The final example was of an up to the minute APEOSPORT – IV C3370, the most energy efficient press so far, consuming less power in standby, low power and operating modes that goes to sleep within two seconds of not being used. The story was one of continuous improvement, enthusiastically endorsed by Wolf.

    The 600m2 training and technology room is chock a block with models from many different periods and types. It’s used to train Fuji Xerox customers in the operation of the machines as well as its own engineers. Refurbished parts are run for the life of the machine to test for quality control.

    According to Lloyd DeSousa, national service manager, the Eco Manufacturing Centre will have zero landfill from this month with everything from food waste to metal and plastic parts tracked by line of sight all the way to their destinations. He made the point that 80 to 90% of the parts in the new generation machines can be reused in what is termed ‘remanufacturing.’ It’s all part of Fuji Xerox’s Product Stewardship.

    Mitch Mulligan, President of the LIA, in a vote of thanks to the FX staff described the visit as, “a good news story for the printing industry and an example of how printers and suppliers can introduce similar practices in their own businesses.”

    We then retired to the Rosehill Bowling Club for the customary LIA dinner and good cheer.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Digital production on menu at 5th Xeikon Café

    Revieiwing Xeikon’s progress in Antwerp, Benoit Chatelard, CEO of Xeikon (left) with Patrick Howard.

    The ‘other’ digital press manufacturer draws visitors from 55 countries to its Belgium HQ for three days this week to sample the latest developments in the digital production of packaging.

    Benoit Chatelard, CEO of Xeikon for the past 18 months, has sharpened the focus of the digital printing pioneer, driving it into UV inkjet with the new Panther label press while reinforcing its commitment to dry tone for commercial and packaging production. Secure in the backing of new Flint Group owners, the pragmatic president has redirected the company’s efforts away from areas, such as folding cartons where opportunities are cramped by the role of offset, to explore more promising pastures.

    Capping off a productive 24 months of change that saw the start up of inkjet press manufacturing, the purchase of the Jetrion label inkjet business from EFI, as well as the introduction of new toners for its established market, Chatelard presents a refreshing realistic approach to the challenges of digital manufacturing. Long recognised as the ‘other’ player to HP, the company now appears to have a new confidence in its chosen digital markets. With a production rate of around 120 digital presses every year from its Belgian factory the company grew last year by 15% especially in the USA and China.

    Indicative of the new direction Chatelard claimed at a press conference in Antwerp on Monday that half of Xeikon R&D is now dedicated to inkjet. This means that he can claim with some truth to be the only manufacturer positioned as a major player in both digital technologies addressing the packaging, labels and commercial printing markets.

    Innovative digital printing solutions for such packaging items as flexible pouches are moving Xeikon into the production for consumer goods in the food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Brand owners looking for shelf impact for their products are increasingly choosing flexible pouches for their ability to stand, their light weight and sustainability.

    According to Filip Weymans, vice president marketing, this is a prime example of what he calls customer driven innovation. “By focusing on this application we are supporting our customers’ requirements and also responding to the current trends in consumer preference. This development takes our digital production portfolio to the next level.”

    He highlighted the advantages Xeikon’s dry toner technology in the production of packaging; the high print quality on flexible substrates, reductions in start-up costs and no job change-over costs along with the ability to print variable data information in both single and full colour. A cross over point for flexo and digital processes is at around 4000 linear metres.

    The Antwerp press conference, billed as a pre-Labelexpo event, took place immediately before the opening of the high profile Xeikon Café. Half conference, half exhibition, the Café attracts a wide range of digital print professionals to learn of new developments both in business and in technology. Thirty industry partners are here ranging from ABG with its Digicon Series 3 digital finishing to MGI with its Jet Varnish 3D Web digital embellishment as well as the Tripu smart laser cutter and advanced robotics for factory production.

    The Café is a serious affair with demonstrations across a wide range of press operations with tips on how to save up to 20% in toner use over a wide range of self-adhesive labels. Printing paper cups on single or double-sided PE coated paper is not only biodegradable but can be targeted to gain traction with advertising events.

    Surprisingly only two Australian names are on the list here. It’s a long way to go but for anyone seriously thinking of getting into digital labels and packaging it’s well worth making the effort. Next year the Café will be held in conjunction with drupa.

    There are a good number of Xeikon machines in our region with the latest going into trade printer, Guru Labels, at Tuggerah north of Sydney, even as we speak. The first high-speed Panther inkjet is also destined to go into a Brisbane printer.

    I expect we’ll hear even more of Xeikon is our market as it continues to expand its digital printing applications.

  • Malcolm Auld & Steve Harris star at PIAA direct mail event

    Packed room listening to Malcolm Auld at PIAA event in Brisbane.

    Marketing gurus teams up to reinforce the power of mail as the Real Digital Disruptor at a significant Printing Industries  event in Brisbane. A large turnout of industry professionals came to hear how direct mail has not only retained its power but also increased its effectiveness in the digital age.

    Over 170 attendees were entertained and educated by Harris and Auld on Tuesday night at the PIAA co-ordinated Direct Mail event. A broad audience of printers, their clients and agencies packed the room on the roof of the Flight Centre Corporate Headquarters to learn all about the Big Creative Idea.

    Harris and Auld are well-known, high profile industry professionals with a great sense of fun and a high-energy delivery that had the audience fully engaged. They reinforced the effectiveness of direct mail, good copy writing and the strong recognition that there is plenty of room for print in marketing in this internet age.

    A highlight of the evening was the ‘Epic Split,’ a popular ad dating back to 2013, illustrating a perfect case study of the Big Creative Idea, with Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two moving Volvo trucks. Feedback on the night was extremely positive and the event will be repeated in Melbourne and Sydney soon before being rolled out to other states by the PIAA and other sponsors.

    Once bookings are open and dates secured, PIAA members and printers in the broader industry will be able to invite their clients along to this beneficial and entertaining event.

    “It was an incredibly informative event, packed with interesting information about communications, and not just Direct Mail,” says Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the PIAA. “Clients of printers, and agencies will find this event very useful.”

    “I thought the evening was very enjoyable. There was great value for the guests of all the printers that attended,” says Walter Kuhn, president of the PIAA and Queensland member.

     

  • Screen Australia

    New Zealand-based label printer Unimax in Auckland, specialises in agriculture, transportation, health and food and beverage labels. With more than 30 years’ experience, the convertor is committed to offering the best value labels as well as promoting best practice environmental business. It aims to reuse or recycle the majority of its physical waste, reduce energy consumption, improve workplace efficiency and safety, and help customers lower their environmental impact.

    To support the growth and competitiveness of its business into the future, Unimax was looking to offer more variety in the printing options available to customers. After considering what is available, it made the decision to invest in a new digital printing solution.

    “We were looking for a digital printing press that offered the highest quality print product, consistency and was the most cost effective,” said Dinesh Kumar, director. “After weighing up the available options, we made the decision that the Screen L350UV stood out as the best solution.”

    Jet Technologies was brought in to consult on the Screen Truepress Jet L350UV with the assistance of Screen GP Australia and Fujifilm NZ. The L350UV offers a modern addition to the Unimax business, that was previously only printed conventionally.

    “By now being able to offer its clients both conventional and digital printing, Unimax is positioned as a fully-rounded label print house,” said Jack Malki, Director, Jet Technologies. “This allows them to offer a variety of options to customers.”

    The benefits of the L350UV

    The Screen L350 was an attractive option for Unimax due to the fact that its high speeds make it a very cost-effective option. Additionally, it delivers a higher uptime of 94 per cent compared to other printers, meaning more throughput and less bottlenecks.

    Digital printing opens up more colour options, including white ink, and the colour is more vibrant. The L350 also ensures that colour consistency is assured on every job.

    Label durability is also another benefit of the printer, with a longevity of 12 months minimum.

    “We needed a press that was capable of high-quality labels that wouldn’t scuff, fade or scratch,” Dinesh explained. “With the L350 we can also print on a wide range of substrates, including textured and silver, which avoids the need for top coating finishes such as foils.”

    “Being digital, the Screen L350 allows for variable data printing, while keeping set-up times low. It also opens the door to much more customisable labels to meet the needs and preferences of customers.”

    The results for Unimax

    Investing in bringing digital printing in house, rather than having to outsource has made Unimax a more competitive and versatile label printing business.

    It has made a big impact on the productivity of Unimax’s label printing, which has enabled the company to increase capacity and take on more customers.

    “The L350 is a very fast printer and on average we’re printing at 50 metres per minute. With the print jobs we’ve been able to move over from conventional printing & we have halved the time required,” Dinesh explained.

    “We’re also now able to offer customers a solution if they have urgent print jobs, as with the L350 we can do these in a day.”

     

  • PIAA turns up the heat on energy policies

    Pressing the energy button. Andrew Macaulay with Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, in Canberra

    Power surges during heatwave conditions are damaging expensive printing equipment of PIAA member companies in another symptom of a dysfunctional power supply system, according to Andrew Macaulay, CEO.

    And right on cue NSW power operators AGL and Origin are both forecasting potential power shortages over today and tomorrow, as they both have broken generators. Between them the two broken generators will take approximately 1300 megawatts of supply out of the system, or around 10 per cent of supply on hot days.

    High-profile power crusader Macaulay is continuing to press for Government action as part of his long-running campaign to keep energy prices for printers on the agenda. He points to the slide into administration of RemaPak, the Sydney-based packaging company, as a symptom of high-priced energy.

    “It’s ludicrous that Australia, one of the largest exporters of gas in the world cannot maintain supply to local industry at reasonable prices. Suppliers are talking about importing liquid natural gas to meet the shortfall, even as we ramp up export volumes from Queensland,” he said.

    Macaulay points to comments by Rod Sims, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, that manufacturers relying on gas will certainly go under at current prices. Sims maintains there is currently a drastic energy shortage in Australia.

    “All this feeds through to the higher power prices our members are paying as well as the disruptions to supply due to load shedding on hot days. Members are telling me that power surges are blowing up capital-intensive printing equipment as the network struggles to keep up,” he said.

    The latest calls for action reflect a long-running strategy for the Association. According to Macaulay, PIAA members drove the early stages of the national energy policy debate.

    “This is now seeing our Federal and State Governments start to take action to focus on the energy consumer’s need for reliable and less costly delivery. PIAA will continue to prosecute this argument.

    “We have stepped up and negotiated a service on energy efficiency. This programme will offer members services in reducing their energy consumption, and is forecast to deliver significant saving to participants. The service has just commenced to roll out. It will be offered to all Sustainable Green Print accredited members,’ he said.