Archive for the ‘News’ Category

  • AIG attempts to stymie award reform

    Lorraine Cassin, National Print Division Secretary AMWU.

    The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has withdrawn its submission to update and modernise the competencies under the graphic arts award, saying the Australian Industry Group (AIG) was not prepared to work constructively in the process.

    The proposal would have consolidated older competencies under the award and added new competencies to reflect the increasing use of digital and 3D print within the industry, according to Lorraine Cassin, national print division secretary at AMWU. “Unfortunately, it became clear in the course of our application that the Australian Industry Group (AIG) had no intention of working constructively with the AMWU and the PIAA to update the competencies in the Award. The behaviour of the AIG indicated to us that they would fight this application at all costs.

    “On the basis of the above, we decided to withdraw our application and instead pursue our objectives by working with the PIAA on an implementation guide for classifying employees. The implementation guide will be a resource for employers to classify employees in a way that is in line with our modern industry standards. We look forward to continuing working constructively to improve skills and productivity in our industry,” she said.

    Status quo: Paul Mitchell, PIAA

    Printing Industries had supported the AMWU’s submission as being good for both businesses and workers, according to Paul Mitchell, national workplace relations manager, PIAA. “The PIAA had long supported the AMWU’s position to modernise the Graphic Arts Printing and Publishing Award Competencies to reflect the updated training package and new skills within the industry, including digital and 3D print,” said Mitchell.

    “It is always the PIAA’s intention that our Industry should have a modern and fair Award for its member businesses and the tens of thousands of employees it covers.”

    According to Mitchell, the Association had been assured that its members would be protected under the new system. “The PIAA’s support of the Union’s submission was achieved through gaining the following undertakings to protect and safeguard its industry members: that wages would not be materially impacted, and that the total competency points would be lower than they presently were – therefore in the case of wage disputes, wages would theoretically be lower,” he said.

    The withdrawal of the submission means the status quo will remain in place. “That’s not a bad result for employers – things just stay the same – but it means if a worker who operates digital presses believes they’re not being paid fairly, those digital competencies are missing. It doesn’t give businesses any guidance about what those competencies would be,” said Mitchell.

  • Scott invests in Iridesse from Fuji Xerox

    With the new Fuji Xerox Iridesse: (l-r) Murray Scott, John Scott, Tim Scott

    Multi-award winning WA print business Scott Print has invested in a new Fuji Xerox Iridesse, the six-unit digital colour print solution.

    With two Fuji Xerox Colour 1000s, two Xerox (monochrome) Nuvera, and a Fuji Xerox Versant, the business is well versed in digital printing, and the digital printing market. As the digital business sees continuing growth, Scott Print was looking to make the next step and was keen to be able to offer a point of differentiation to the market adding to its bottom line.

    Joint general manager John Scott says, “Scott Print is a progressive business, we work hard to evolve and to make sure we are positioned to capitalise on emerging opportunities in markets and technology.”

    The Iridesse – launched a year ago by Fuji Xerox – is far from a standard digital print engine, for a start it has six print units which accommodate CMYK plus any two from the quartet of metallic silver, metallic gold, white and clear varnish. It also has an ability to print on thicker stock and can print sheets up to 1.2m long.

    Scott says, “The Iridesse was appealing to us as it offers options that are not available on other systems. Being able to print 400gsm card is good, especially for applications such as business card printing. The long sheet ability means we can print 1.2 metre banners, but it is also good for multiple other applications, including book jackets, particularly for A4 landscape books.

    “The quality is outstanding. Scott Print was first an offset printer, and there is no doubt at all that the Iridesse prints to offset quality. In fact, the look is really similar to the way our Komori H-UV presses print.”

    Although Scott print already has five Fuji Xerox printers that did not mean the Iridesse was a done deal before it started. Scott says, “We did of course look at other systems, but the Iridesse just had options that we could see would work for our clients. And having all our presses from one supplier is undoubtedly useful, one supplier is one point of contact.”

    Scott Print bought Fineline Printing a year ago, and it too was a Fuji Xerox house, printing in monochrome. Scott says, “Like us they had a positive experience with Fuji Xerox.”

    The new Iridesse was installed in August this year, with Scott Print now fully up to speed on its capabilities. John Scott says, “The Iridesse has surpassed my expectations, in quality, flexibility and productivity. Its ability to print white ink is important to us, particularly for clients in the marketing and advertising agency sector, who really embrace printing on black stock and other coloured stock, it gives them an ability to create a perception of high quality. We thought the demand would be there for it, and so it has proved.”

    “The gold and silver that the Iridesse lays down is sparkling, a real bonus, and again is being warmly embraced by the market, the creatives are all looking to set their work apart, and when we communicate the ability of the Iridesse to them you can see their excitement. All these options on the Iridesse are available within one pass, which meets their need for speed of turnaround. Our clients are really happy with the investment we have made, which you can see by how busy the printer is.”

    Along with the Iridesse, Scott Print also invested in the Fuji Xerox Freeflow Core digital workflow solution and XMPie, which has seen all its digital presses go onto the one central network. Prior to that the printers all operated through their individual Fiery rips. John Scott says, “The level of automation that we have been able to achieve through Freeflow has blown our socks off. Impositions, finishing, it is all now controlled by Freeflow. We have the Duplo finishing solution, the set-up is created in Freeflow. The workflow is a revelation.”


  • Fujifilm to show Acuity Ultra at Cactus

    Fujifilm Acuity Ultra: Launch event at Cactus Open House November 29

    Printers will be able to see the new Fuijfilm Acuity Ultra in action the week after next, as the supplier and the SGIAA host an Open House at first Australian customer Cactus Imaging.

    Owned by oOh!Media, Cactus specialises in out of home advertising, commercial print, retail, and events. Visitors will see state of the art roll to roll digital printing, and the CPS workflow system, along with the latest innovations in banner finishing.

    The event will be the Australian launch of the new Fujifilm Acuity Ultra large format printer, with all printers invited. Cactus general manager Keith Ferrel says, “We have one of the first in the world, we could not be happier with the quality.”

    Ashley Playford, national sales manager Graphic Systems says, “We were delighted when Cactus decided to be the first business in Australia to install the new Acuity Ultra. Cactus has a long pedigree of being first to market with the latest print innovations, and the Acuity Ultra is a great addition to its already impressive print arsenal.

    “We are looking forward to showcasing the exceptional print quality the Ultra delivers at the Open House. This is a platform that delivers high quality at high speed.”

    The Acuity Ultra comes in 5 metre and 3.2 metre widths, with up to eight colour channels, including white. Ink is a new low film weight Uvijet GS Fujifilm product. Drop size is 3 picolitre, which Fujifilm says delivers the highest quality. It will print at up to 236sqm an hour.

    SGIAA president Nigel Davies says, “An Open House of a plant such as Cactus Imaging is seldom available. Cactus is internationally renowned for its innovation, fast turnaround, and quality. This plant is impressive, and anyone involved in the wide format industry should not miss this event.”

    The Open House will be held on 28 November at the Cactus Imaging plant in Silverwater NSW, from 5-7pm.

    Tickets are available here:

    The event is free for SGIAA members and Fujifilm guests, with a small charge for non-members to cover the cost of refreshments.

    First in Australia: the Fujifilm Acuity Ultra at Cactus Open House week after next

  • ALP ‘fully engaged’ on VET reform

    Engagement: Andrew Macaulay and Tanya Plibersek met to discuss vocational education and training.

    Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has met with Andrew Macaulay, CEO of Printing Industries, who says Plibersek gave her support for the need to overhaul vocational education and training (VET).

    In a discussion with Plibersek, who also serves as Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Macaulay raised the need to entice school leavers into trade education as well as provide mid-career training to older printers looking to update their skills. “That includes providing a modern, interesting and engaging VET curriculum that students can see value in,” he told Print21. “We also spoke about the need to support apprentices and their employers. We need consistency – we’re talking about a four-year process, and we don’t want goalposts shifting halfway through an apprenticeship.”

    According to Macaulay, Plibersek was supportive of the industry’s goals around education. “The Opposition is fully engaged in the need to modernise the delivery of vocational training to make it enticing for school leavers,” he said. “The Deputy Leader has expressed a desire to work with us more closely on this. When we go down this path, we need to make sure that the smaller end of the industry benefits from the training, and she understood that.”

    Macaulay stressed the importance of the PIAA remaining apolitical on issues that affect the industry. “We talk to both the Government and the Opposition to advocate industry policy, not party policy. The policies we advocate are policies the industry tells us it needs rather than policies thought up by party wonks.

    “At the end of the day the industry depends on apprentices – they bring energy and they’re the future of our workforce, and that’s why this is so important,” he said.

  • Kodak sells flexo division for $540m

    Kodak has sold its flexographic packaging division to a private equity firm for up to an estimated $390 million USD ($540m AUD).

    Trusted brand: Chris Payne, Kodak.

    The sale to Montagu Private Equity will see the division spun off into a new standalone company which will develop, manufacture and sell flexographic products including the flagship Flexcel NX system. The management team and organisational structure will be retained, with Chris Payne, president of the flexographic division, taking over the new company as CEO. “We are very pleased that Montagu will be supporting the ongoing growth of the business going forward and that our customers will continue to experience the same product, same people, and same trusted brand,” said Payne.

    “Under Montagu ownership, the company will have the focus, agility and resources to maintain a constant stream of innovation for our customers and continue the journey of transforming Flexo into the premium print process of choice for packaging.”

    Turning point: Jeff Clarke, Kodak.

    The proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce Kodak’s debt, with the remaining debt to be paid through more asset monetisation, or refinanced. Jeff Clarke, CEO Kodak, said the flexo division sale was an important step for the company. “This transaction is an important turning point in our transformation and is a significant, positive development for Kodak,” he said. “The sale of the Flexographic Packaging Division unlocks value for shareholders and strengthens our financial position by providing a meaningful infusion of cash which allows us to reduce debt, improving the capital structure of the Company and enabling greater flexibility to invest in our growth engines.”

    According to Christoph Leitner-Dietmaier, investment director at Montagu, Kodak’s flexo division is well-placed to take advantage of the growth in the packaging print market. “The company’s proprietary thermal imaging film technology enables it to offer a truly differentiated product that consistently produces high performing output. We are very much looking forward to working with the management as the business enters this next stage of its development,” he said.

    After the deal, which is expected to complete in the first half of next year, Kodak says it will focus on growth areas such as Sonora environmental plates, enterprise inkjet, workflow software, and brand licencing.

  • Graphic Grab Bag – New Xerox and EFI CEOs face tough beginnings

    John Visentin

    New Xerox CEO John Visentin is coming face-to-face with the fact that the presses that come out of the US are less popular than the ones developed by Fuji Xerox in Japan. In his first presentation since taking the top job he reported that sales on the US-made iGen and Versant machines fell by 17%, while there was ‘better than anticipated demand’ for the Japanese-made Iridesse.

    His first quarterly figures were fairly dismal even as a New York court lifted the injunction against the two companies discussing their merger. Overall equipment revenue fell by 3.8% to US$511 million compared to $531 million 2017. Revenue for the quarter was 5.8% lower at $2.35 billion ($2.50 billion), delivering a pretax profit of $192 million ($167 million).

    Not surprisingly he wasn’t happy with the result. Addressing analysts he said, “We were disappointed in the revenue in Q3. We have an action plan to improve revenues that include, among other things, simplifying the organisational structure, improving alignment of compensation and evaluating contracts that are not profitable.”

    Reports are that part of the action plan includes reviewing the development of Xerox’s overall engagement with inkjet. “We are examining our RD&E investments in xerography and inkjet to ensure that we maintain technology leadership and that we have the best approach to realise the high rates of return that we require.”


    There was a similar result, if a different problem, for another new CEO in his first Q3 presentation. Bill Muir of EFI also faced disappointing financial results, despite declaring record sales and record revenue of $257 million for the quarter. A combination of delays in shipping the new Vutek superwide-format hybrid printers plus a slump in sales of existing engines as customers hold off waiting for the new machines, saw the company report a pretax loss of $2.3 million.

    Add a drop in the rivers of gold that are the sales of ink due to a shortage and higher prices of essential photoinitiators from China and the outlook is challenging for the new boss who replaced long-term honcho Guy Gecht.

    The bright spot comes with growing sales of Nozomi, the high-end inkjet packaging press. Seven machines shipped in the quarter with eight more expected before the end of the year. Revenue targets for the Nozomi have been lifted from an expected $50 million a year to $65 million and likely to go as high as $70 million. Next year EFI is banking on $120 million from the Nozomi, mostly from equipment sales. This is set to grow even further as users hit optimum ink usage of between $500,000 to $1 million per machine.

    EFI is continuing to shift towards being an inkjet company: the industrial inkjet division has sales of $154.9 million up from $142.9 million, and software continues to grow to $40.4 million while the iconic Fiery RIP declines to $61.8 million.


    There goes ‘the cheque’s in the mail’ excuse.

    Well OK, so few people mail cheques any more but for those that do a new innovation from the US Postal Service allows people to check if it the payment is indeed in the mail. Informed Delivery is a service where letters are scanned as they pass through the system and a greyscale image sent to the addressee.

    This means you can see what’s coming your way in the mail, even when you’re away on holidays.

    Users can get notifications through email, online dashboard or mobile app. They also have the ability to interact with digital content, such as special offers and related links. So far 13 million US Postal users have signed on to the free service.

    Next year users will be able to sign electronically for their deliveries when away from home.


    Some marketing campaigns work while others crash and burn.

    The Epson sponsorship of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team is one of the more successful. The team secured its fifth successive FIA Formula One World Constructors’ Championship bearing Epson logos on the winning car. The victory came on November 11 after drivers Lewis Hamilton, who won the race, and Valtteri Bottas, combined to outpoint their nearest rivals at the Brazil Grand Prix in Sao Paolo.

    “Everyone at Epson is delighted to see the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team win this year’s championship,” said Munenori Ando, executive officer and general administrative manager of Epson’s Sales & Marketing Division.

    And why am I telling you this?

    The genesis of Epson’s engagement with Formula One came from a certain innovative Australian marketer and long-term Japanese resident, Nathan Fulcher. Now back at the company’s North Ryde HQ, I’m sure he’s very pleased with the result.



    And finally … I came across this laudatory paean of praise for books from astronomer Carl Sagan.

    What an astonishing thing a book is. It is a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts, on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person. […] Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. Books are proof that humans are capable of working magic.



  • Ricoh expands gamut with ColorGate

    Ricoh has purchased German colour management software specialist ColorGate, the latest move in the manufacturer’s strategy to boost growth by expanding its product portfolio.

    Bigger and better: Jonny Rumney, Celmac.

    According to Jonny Rumney, NSW state manager at ColorGate distributor Celmac, the move will help ColorGate expand its footprint with the backing of a much larger company. “I’m quite close to the owners of ColorGate, I’ve known them twenty years, and they’re really excited about the whole thing. They sold the business to make it bigger and better – long-term, it’s going to be good,” said Rumney. “It seems like a logical step for both parties, especially in industrial print where they’re both important players.”

    The deal adds ColorGate’s colour management technology to Ricoh’s stable of industrial print solutions, which Peter Williams, corporate vice president and general manager of commercial and industrial printing business group at Ricoh, says will reinforce the manufacturer’s value offering. “By combining ColorGate’s proprietary software technology with our own industrial printers, Ricoh will provide solutions covering the whole printing workflow from pre-press to post-press,” he said.

    “This acquisition will enable ColorGate to expand its industrial printing business and global presence as together we become better able to support our customers to accelerate their transition from analogue to digital based production.”

    Thomas Kirschner, co-founder of ColorGate, says he is looking forward to continuing to serve as its CEO once the transition is complete. “We are delighted to have been selected by Ricoh to contribute to this strong future growth strategy whilst we continue to serve our established customer base, OEM partners and reseller channel,” he said.

  • IVE opens new super automated $50m Franklin Web NSW heatset site

    Super automated: new $50m Franklin Web NSW site

    Diversified marketing services group IVE has officially opened its new $50m Franklin Web NSW print centre, wowing guests at the opening event with its unprecedented levels of automation.

    The 15,000sqm Franklin Web site operates 24 hours a day seven days a week, and is capable of producing four million pages an hour, all with  just ten staff on site at any one time, with 34 overall on the payroll. Human touch on the print is virtually nothing.

    16 metres a second: manroland Lithoman 80pp presses

    It has two huge manroland Lithoman 80pp presses, each running a 2.06m wide web, pumping out work at 16 metres a second, and which have just one printer for each press per shift, and another one floating between the two presses. The Lithomans run non-stop 24 hours a day.

    The Kodak plateroom is virtually lights out, producing 280,000sqm of plates a year, with all prepress handled at Franklin’s Victoria site, which also takes care of production planning and scheduling.

    Gammeler postpress is highly automated, with robots loading pallets, and Rima log stackers for preparing the print for the bindery. Postpress has been designed so that if one line fails the presses will both feed into the other. The bindery has a Muller Martini Corona 15,000 an hour perfect binder and two Muller Martini Primera 25,000 an hour saddle stitchers. IVE also has another similar perfect binding line at its Webstar business in nearby Silverwater.

    Bindery power: Matt Aitken, chief operating officer IVE Group (r) with Print21 editor Wayne Robinson on the opening event tour

    The paper store is about to get AGVs to take the rolls onto the presses. The new site will print around 5000 tonnes of print each month. Each roll of paper, which has around 22 kilometers of paper on the reel, takes just 23 minutes to print. All paper is PEFC certified, and comes from Tasmania, Scandinavia, Germany and North America. The site holds seven to eight weeks worth of stock, around 10,000 tonnes of paper.

    Person in charge of the site is general manager Richard Clark, who came from AIW – which his father Peter Clark founded in 2002 – in Melbourne, and which IVE bought along with Franklin Web, for $120m. Phil Taylor, former owner of Franklin Web, is now stepping back from the business.

    Opening the site IVE executive chairman Geoff Selig paid tribute to the staff for getting the plant up and running on time, and said that the catalogue business was ‘going gangbusters’ with volumes up by 2.6 per cent in the last 12 months.

    Selig said, “The investment in catalogue production came after an extensive review of the business, which resulted in three major actions. First we bought Franklin and AIW, for $120m, then we retired aged plant and equipment, and finally we invested a further $50m in the new NSW Franklin site to provide our customers, especially those in NSW and Queensland, with production power and assurance of that production.”

    Dennis Wickham, managing director of press supplier manroland Australasia says, “This project has produced a world class print centre. It has been a real two way partnership between IVE and manroland, who have worked closely together to achieve the desired goal. I am proud to have played a part, and to see the manroland Lithomans running non-stop is a great outcome.” Almost all heatset presses installed in Australia in the last decade have been from German manufacturer manroland.

    Web management: (l-r) Steve Maidens, general manager, Blue Star Web; Richard Clark, general manager, Franklin Web NSW; Darryl Meyer, group general manager, Web Offset – Blue Star Web and Franklin Web; and Brad Hoffmann, general manager, Franklin Web VIC

    There is a third heatset press on site, a 16pp Heidleberg Sunday press that came from AIW and will be used as instant back up or overflow  should it be required. IVE has 18 heatset presses within the three sites of Franklin NSW, Franklin Victoria and Blue Star Web, including another two identical 80pp manroland Lithomans at the Franklin Sunshine site in Melbourne

    All plates are recycled, and 100 per cent of paper waste is baled and sent for recyling in Albury, where it is recreated into paper for Fairfax and News papers.

    With its Franklin Web and Blue Star Web business IVE has around 50 per cent of the heatset market in Australia, and it has around 20 per cent of the sheetfed business through its Blue Star Group. The company launched on the ASX in December 2016.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Picton creditors furious as administrator pushes DOCA through

    DOCA: Picton Press directors Graham Kennedy (left) and Dennis Hague

    Furious unsecured creditors of Perth based Picton Press are up in arms, as the company is set to come out of administration with a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) that the administrator says will see most of those creditors receive between just 1c and 2c in the dollar for the $2.25m  they are owed.

    The directors’ proposal for a Deed of Company Arrangement was passed at the reconvened second creditors meeting, which saw it get over the line in numbers of people thanks to employees, but fail in the money vote from the unsecured creditors. Chairman Jeremy Nipps of administrator Cor Cordis declared the votes a deadlock, and used his chairman’s casting vote to push through the DOCA, in line with his recommendation in the report to creditors, and providing creditors present with reasoning for doing so.

    The DOCA, which Nipps hopes to have signed and finalised by the end of the month, will see Picton directors Garry Kennedy and Dennis Hague back in full charge of the company, which they have been running since putting it into VA in May with Nipps handling all the finances since then.

    Unsecured creditors are owed $2.25m, but under the DOCA the debts will be parked in a creditors trust, into which the directors Kennedy and Hague will put $205,000 when the DOCA is signed, and a further $290,000 in 12 months time.

    On the day of the meeting the 27 Picton employees were first asked to a 10am meeting with the administrator, where he reminded them of the options and their likely returns outlined inthe creditors’ report. Not surprisingly when the creditors meeting took place at 1pm they all voted for DOCA.

    A further vote was then taken at the 1pm meeting on the basis of the money owed, which saw the DOCA proposal defeated by $1.98m of the $2.25m. Nipps then cast a deciding vote, in favour of the DOCA in line with his recommendation in the report to creditors, and providing again the reasoning. One of the creditors present told Print21, “I couldn’t believe it, we voted against and it still got through.”

    The ATO, which is the biggest creditor at $1.3m voted against the DOCA, and is pursuing its winding up order against the company, the case is due to be heard in court on November 27. However Jeremy Nipps of Cor Cordis says he is confident an agreement with the ATO can be reached before then.

    The ATO though is under pressure from its newly established $320m anti-phoenixing unit to not be seen to be allowing companies to shed their debts and carry on. One outraged creditor told Print21, “It’s a disgrace. If the ATO lets this go through that new unit may as well go fishing, at least they would enjoy being completely ineffective.”

    Nipps is dismissive of claims that the DOCA is effectively a phoenix ploy under another name, he says, “There is nothing untoward in this whole process. Due process has been gone through. It is not a phoenix. The DOCA is a better outcome for everyone than liquidation. The process complies with the Corporations Act and the ATO did not sight any concerns at the meeting or during the process as to concerns of phoenix. In fact as noted in the meeting had the directors made a further contribution of funds the ATO was likely to have supported the DOCA.”

    Rival Perth printers, and indeed printers around the country, are unlikely to see it that way though, as Picton has effectively shed 98-99 per cent of its unsecured debt, and will now carry on with the same directors and the same kit in the same market.

    Nipps says, “Picton will be on the ATO watchlist for sure, and will have to pay its creditors on time going forward. I accept the DOCA will be a bitter pill to some, but it is the best outcome.

    “The company has been trading well since May, and has just won new contracts with two of its biggest customers, which is pleasing.”

    According to the creditors report prepared by Cor Cordis Picton hit trouble four years ago when it installed its new B1 ten-colour perfector at the same time as the WA economy collapsed. The press was bought on the basis of an $11m turnover, but turnover went from $12.5m in 2011 to $7m in 2017.

    Debts owed by Picton include $2.25m to unsecured creditors, $663,500 to employees, and $6.8m to secured creditors, of which $5m is owed to the primary creditor Westpac against the directors’ property, $1.46m owed to the secondary creditor NAB against the KBA ten-colour, and $382,000 owed to the third creditor, the CBA, against the company’s two Kodak Nexpresses.

    Of the unsecured creditors the ATO is owed $1.3m, with paper merchant Ball & Doggett owed several hundred thousand dollars, although the merchant was insured. Total amount owed to unsecured creditors owed more than $10,000 apart from the ATO is $884,000, with $94,000 in total owed to those with less than $10,000 due. Related parties are owed $1.27m, with Dennis Hague in for $800,000 of that.



  • ANALSYIS: Picton paper options shrinking

    Paper: possible Picton options thinning

    The ability of a DOCA enabled Picton Press to operate an ongoing sustainable business will to a large extent depend on its paper supply, and options appear to be thinning.

    There are only three suppliers that could deliver what Picton needs; national players Ball & Doggett and Spicers, and local operator Stockman Paper. Of these Ball & Doggett and Stockman are both unsecured creditors, the former to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars, although it is insured, the latter for tens of thousands.

    Craig Brown, CEO of Ball & Doggett told Print21 yesterday that, “We will not be supplying Picton Press with paper. It is a question of integrity. I have written to the owners to let them know that.” Similarly Stockman is certain to refuse supply.

    That leaves Spicers – and leaving aside any ethical or strategic imperative – its CEO David Martin has previously stated he will not supply any printer he cannot get insurance for, and with Ball & Doggett’s insurer looking at between 1c and 2c in the dollar for the $400,000+ it is owed it is unlikley any insurer will step forward.

    That could leave a bleak outlook for Picton. It is unlikley to be able to source supply direct from mills as that is fraught with risk. It could try buying from an east coast merchant, or buying through a third party.

    Any merchant that does supply to Picton will likely face the wrath of the rest of the Perth printing community, who are fuming at what they see as Picton being able to shed its debt and compete against them without it.

  • 1st XMPie innovation event flies into Palm Cove

    Coding in the tropics; Enda Kavenagh & Ayelet Szabo-Melamed, at the XMPie Innovation event.

    An elite troupe of Israeli software engineers delivers two days of in-depth workflow and cross media presentations to local printers and coders at the inaugural XMPie regional innovation event.

    Hosted by Enda Kavanagh, Sales Manager – Asia Pacific at XMPie, the series of technical and commercial expositions drew more than 30 industry professionals to the far-north Queensland resort. Comprising a good mix of commercial printers, web professionals and software vendors, the occasion reinforced the company’s status as the leading multi-channel, automated marketing, web2print and VDP solutions supplier.

    The range of industry professionals emphasized the growing importance of software solutions to printing companies seeking to become multi channel providers. XMPie’s top technical and administrative team, led by vice presidents, Ayelet Szabo-Melamed and Idan Youval flew in to update their customer base on the latest developments and new products in the industry standard software.

    Addressing such topics as using XMPie server APIs, powering ecommerce operations and introducing uStore X, the sometimes deeply technical presentations were avidly attended and well received by the software community. Head of XMPie R&D, Yaron Tomer, made no bones about the company’s intention to collect feedback and expectations on the upcoming release of a new version of the web products uStore. He was not disappointed in the informed and enthusiastic engagement by the audience. Gathering customer feedback and input is a noted attribute of XMPie’s operations.

    According to Kavanagh, the response from the XMPie community was very encouraging for more local events in the future. “We’ve seen the numbers of customers attending the XMPie event in the US grow in the past few years. This is the first time we’ve held an event here and I’m very happy with the result,” he said.

    XMPie is a Xerox company with HQ in New York and R&D in Israel. Individuals from iconic digital graphics developer Scitex and EFI founded it in 2000. It provides a customer communications management suite (CCM), a scalable end-to-end Adobe with open architecture. It has become widely used among commercial printing enterprises in Australia as well as providing modules for such leading management workflow system developers as printIQ. Both Mick Rowan and Adrian Flemming from printIQ made a presentation at the event along with will Furphy of Technique.

    A full report on the XMPie Innovation event will feature in the upcoming issue of Print21 magazine.

    Between sessions at Palm Cove the Dashing Group mingled with the hosts, Yaron Tomer (XMPie) standing, Chris Collier,Dashing Group, Nimi Gorali, Dashing Group, Ayelet Szabo-Melamed (XMPie), Dan Ries, Dashing Group, Yaron Mohaban and Enda Kavanagh (XMPie).




  • Chinese co buys seven HP Indigo 20000s

    HP and LVAI sign a memorandum of understanding on HP Indigo 20000 presses.

    Chinese candy packager LVAI will expand its fleet of HP Indigo 20000 digital presses from one to eight, in what is the Asia-Pacific and Japan region’s largest deployment of the press model to date.

    The order reflects the sheer size of the Chinese market, whihc is catering to almost 1.5 bilion people.

    LVAI specialises in custom candy packaging. The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HP alongside the order, with the aim of deepening collaboration through wider applications of the Indigo 20000 press.

    “The new order from LVAI validates the value of HP Indigo 20000 digitally printed flexible packaging. The HP Indigo solution offers lower environmental impact by eliminating many steps of printing process and supply chain efficiency, while also opening new opportunities for business growth with mass customization for brand marketing campaigns,” said Alon Bar-Shany, general manager for HP Indigo at HP.

    “HP Indigo looks forward to continued collaboration with the flexible packaging industry in China to transform existing business models.”

    The new presses are scheduled to be delivered next year, and Guo Jianbo, CEO of LVAI Holdings, said the fleet will boost its personalised packaging capabilities. “Digital printing brings us not only the change of printing method but also a change in business philosophy,” said Jianbo. “This deeper partnership with HP Indigo is a big step forward for LVAI, as we are committed to becoming the world’s leading food and beverage packaging and value-added service provider.

    “In the future, LVAI will invest billions of yuan to build a food and beverage industry ecosystem in Shandong Province, aiming to provide brands with end-to-end solutions including product development, brand consulting and packaging design.”

    HP Indigo is represented in Australia by Currie Group.

  • Print21 social media hub… news and views

    The latest Social Media postings from Guru Labels, Flint Group, and Ricoh. Check back here for more.

    November 16, 2018



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    Sneak peek at our new tool boxes for trade customers #gurulabels #labels #labelsample

    A post shared by Guru Labels (@gurulabels) on






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    This car is truly a great classic and to keep it in its fine form, 3M Di-Noc™ FW-1125 was used for this vinyl application across the side panels. Not quite the “National Lampoons” car but we would love to cruise in this any day. 3M Di-Noc™ Architectural Finishes have over 800 patterns in more than 20 families. From Metals to fabrics, from stone to lacquers, from wood to carbon, from embossed to hi-tech finishes. A self-adhesive product range which minimises the impact of modifications to intricate environments, these finishes are a new approach to designing surfaces and organised work spaces. The characteristics of 3M Di-Noc™ Architectural Finishes make them suitable for multiple fields of use, from covering walls and partitions to refurbishing flash ceilings and furniture, for a radical but non-invasive redesign of spaces. 3M DiNoc™ is fire resistant and IMO certified for marine. Visit our website for 3M Di-Noc™ Architectural Finishes or contact us to request a sample. #spicersaus #3M #dinoc #vinyl #finewood #car #retro

    A post shared by Spicers Australia (@spicersaus) on



    November 14, 2018


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    Hosting 70 delegates from the Myanmar Print Association at Sign Asia Bangkok. Thanks to our partners, SVOA and Myanmar Real Life Advertising for their hospitality #signasia

    A post shared by Roland DG Australia (@rolanddgaus) on






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    Spicers were a proud sponsor of this year’s Design Institute of Australia (DIA) Awards in Adelaide. The event was held in Adelaide Hills and was an opportunity to bring together the state’s talent in all forms of design for an evening of celebration. DIA is an Australian organisation that represents designers in Australia. The @dia_national acts as a professional body representing all disciplines of design, and undertakes work such as the promotion of ethical standards for the design industry, as well as promoting co-operation between individual designers. Congratulations to the organisers for a fantastic event, as well as all of those who had the opportunity to have their designs acknowledged during the evening. #design #australiandesign #designinstituteofaustralia #graphicdesign #labeldesign #spicerslabeldesign #architecture #architectureandinteriordesign #adelaide #adelaidehills 📷 courtesy of @meaghan_coles_photography

    A post shared by Spicers Australia (@spicersaus) on


    November 9, 2018


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    No slip, get a grip with our Digitac Floortac Indoor solution. This matt white vinyl features a unique hexagonal texture enhancing the nonslip technology. With an R11 non-slip, Digitac Floortac Indoor is a two in one textured vinyl and airflow removable adhesive, therefore no over laminate is required for application. Most suitable to be applied on hard, flat surfaces, Digitac Floortac Indoor is perfect short term promotions with up to 1 year life. For further product details and to request a sample visit our website, or contact your nearest branch 1300 132 644 #Evolutioningrip #spicersaus #signanddisplay #digitacfloortac #indoor #nonslip #overlamintefree

    A post shared by Spicers Australia (@spicersaus) on








    November 7, 2018






    November 2, 2018





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    On Wednesday, Trotec Laser Australia attended the Western Sydney IICA Technology Expo. It was a great opportunity to show off our machines to the industrial minds of Western Sydney 😁 . . . #lasertechnology #iicawesterndydney #iicatechnologyexpo #laserengraving #lasercutting #lasermarking #industrial #industriallaser

    A post shared by Trotec Australia (@trotecaustralia) on







    October 31, 2018








    October 26, 2018





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    #Sustainability matters to today’s consumers. Our CleanFlake™ labeling solution is the perfect choice for Unilever’s Love Beauty and Planet product line. #ADsustainability

    A post shared by Avery Dennison (@averydennison) on





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    A certificate earned at the end of training with new skills learned. Well done to all. Next course Sydney, 2 spots left

    A post shared by Hexis Australia (@hexisaustralia) on



    October 24, 2018



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    Let’s re-introduce Re-board® Kraft from Spicers. A durable yet lightweight paperboard solution, ideal for short to medium term structural applications. Re-board® Kraft is fully recyclable as paper, featuring a 100% recycled fibre brown surface along with a strong core produced with a water based glue. Users can print directly on the substrate with UV technology ensuring high performance printability. Re-board® Kraft is available in a 10mm or 16mm sheet. For spec sheets or to request a sample please contact your local Spicers representative on 1300 132 644 or visit our website #Spicersaus #SignandDisplay #Reboardkraft #Strong #Lightweight #Durable #Recyclable These amazing designs were produced by @atcgroupe from the stand they made for @reboard_tech at FESPA 2018

    A post shared by Spicers Australia (@spicersaus) on


    Amiga Engineering moves into the future of additive manufacturing with Konica Minolta and 3D SYSTEMS ProX DMP 320.






  • Label converter makes big Impact on Coles

    Impact Labels has become one of just two companies certified by Coles Supermarkets as a preferred flexographic label provider.

    An Australian-owned company, Impact participated in a Coles forum to develop a benchmark certification for the supermarket’s packaging and labelling printers. In a trial, Impact used UV flexo solutions from Jet Technologies, such as Pulse Roll Label Products’ PureTone FPC (Food Packaging Compliant) inks, to achieve a 97 per cent accuracy in matching Pantone and special colours.

    Byron Hudghton, managing director, Impact Labels, says he is pleased with the certification, and looking forward to expanding his company’s partnership with Coles. “Impact is looking at the big picture in being able to prove to Coles, and other brand owners and retailers, what we can do to optimise colours using a standardised process,” said Hudghton.

    “We take a print by numbers approach that is analytical in set, measure, calculation and the processes behind it. By combining PureTone FPC’s high density, vibrant and substrate versatile inks, with the right controls, tools and systems, we are well-positioned to offer the best product that meets the expectations of our customers every time.”

    According to Jack Malki, director of Jet Technologies, Impact’s success with Coles was partly thanks to the high quality of PureTone FPC inks. “It is vital that the ink systems we supply to our customers are fully compliant with the most rigid industry regulations, particularly when it comes to food packaging and labelling applications,” said Malki.

    “PureTone FPC inks are not only migration compliant, but Impact also benefits from the high-strength mono-pigmented formulation, which gives cleaner, brighter colours, and, in combination with digital colour management, provides accurate, consistent brand colours, right first time.”

  • EFI and Starleaton team up for webinar

    EFI and Australian channel partner Starleaton will host a wide-format webinar next Tuesday, 20 November, to educate printers on how to grow their businesses with wide-format technology.

    The webinar will feature a live cross to EFI’s Manchester factory in the USA, where the company will present a live demonstration of three of its wide-format machines: the 16H, 24F and the new roll-to-roll 32r (pictured above). According to Megan Bisson, senior regional marketing for APAC at EFI, the webinar will be a valuable experience for Australian and New Zealand printers. “Sean Roberts, world manager of EFI’s global customer experience centres, and Ian Cleary, industrial product manager at Starleaton, will be discussing how you can differentiate your company from the competition and keep away from the traditional price war per square metre.

    “They’ll also look at how expanding your offering with fast-turn, high-margin wide-format printing on specialty, rigid and flexible substrates can expand your customer base,” said Bisson.

    Bisson says she’s looking forward to working with Starleaton on the webinar and educating printers on EFI’s range of wide-format offerings. “Sean, our inkjet expert, will discuss how EFI’s Wide Format printers give you access to the widest range of substrates because they’re capable of printing roll-to-roll, flexible sheets and rigid substrates and specialty items all in a single footprint,” said Bisson. “This is the first joint webinar with our partner, Starleaton, this year and we’re excited to have Sean run live demonstrations from the global customer experience centre on the US east coast.”

    According to Cleary, the webinar is important for Starleaton as well as EFI. “Part of our marketing program is allowing customers to understand the true depth of the EFI ecosystem and what it offers. It’s very broad – not just one printer or piece of software. There’s an incredible amount of diversity in their offerings,” he said. “EFI has world-class machines, it’s a world-class company, and it can be a great partner for your business.”

    Registration is open now for the webinar, which will begin at 10am AEDST on 20 November.

  • Pride in Print entries open

    Gala dinner for winners: Pride in Print

    New Zealand’s premier print awards Pride in Print are open for entries, for work produced in 2018. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner at TSB Arena on May 3 next year.

    Entries are welcome from any person or company associated with the production or purchase of print. Entries must have been printed in New Zealand between 1 January to 31 December this year, and can be from any production process.

    An official entry form must be fully completed for each entry submitted. An entry fee is payable per entry. For entries received after 31 January a late fee will apply.

    There is no limit to the number of entries submitted. Entries can be placed in more than one category, one copy of each entry and a completed entry form must be submitted for each category entered.

    Judging is based on the technical excellence in all facets of the production process, and allows for specialists to make a judgement based on the potential and the limits of that process or processes, the materials and the equipment used. Elements of typography and good design must inevitably be part of this judgement, as will the effective and innovative use of materials.

    Each category has different requirements, please refer to for Judging Information to Assist Entrants.

    Supreme winner at the Pride In Print awards 2018

    The Awards are co-hosted by Pride In Print New Zealand, The Designers Institute of New Zealand, New Zealand Paper Forum, Plastics New Zealand Incorporated, Print Finishers Association, PrintNZ, Self Adhesive Label Manufacturers Association of New Zealand (Salma), Quick Printers and Copycentres Association, WePrint and GS1 New Zealand.

  • Mutoh appoints Sign Supplies New Zealand as national dealer

    New in New Zealand: Sign Supplies signs up with Mutoh, pictured (l-r) Russell Cavenagh, general manager Mutoh, with Charles Schnauer, managing director Sign Supplies.

    Mutoh Australia has appointed Sign Supplies New Zealand as a national dealer for sales and service across the full range of Mutoh printers for New Zealand.

    Russell Cavenagh, general manager, Mutoh, commented “Sign Supplies provides a high level of professionalism and commitment to the industry across New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. With offices in four key centres it has excellent market coverage and is well respected within the industry.”

    Sign Supplies managing director, Charles Schnauer, added, “We had been looking to partner with a major printer supplier for some time, but equally important was ensuring quality and value, which is the case throughout the wide range of products that Mutoh offers.”

    Mutoh manufactures productive, cost-effective printers in EcoSolvent and UV, and offers solutions for emerging markets such as dye sub and soft signage (textile). Schnauer says, “We believe Mutoh is the ideal partner for Sign Supplies, to better service our new and existing customers, and to offer growth and productivity opportunities now, and in the future, to their businesses.”

    Sign Supplies has in stock the range of Mutoh inks and a range of printers available for demonstration. 

    Sign Essentials to distribute Mutoh in New Zealand, including the new Mutoh VJ 1638UR LED UV roll to roll printer.