Archive for the ‘Supporters’ Category

  • 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.


  • Currie Group

    Biggest installation 
in Australia: CMYKhub CEO Trent Nankervis and communications manager Glen Francis at the Melbourne print hub with the B2
HP Indigo 10000 and the HP Indigo 5600.

    National trade printing house CMYKhub has just installed five 
HP Indigo Digital Presses, the biggest order supplier Currie Group 
has received in the 17 years it has been supplying the presses.

    The five HP Indigo presses at CMYKhub join the four the company already has, and means that each CMYKhub has two 
HP Indigo, with the exception of Sydney, which has a B2 HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press.

    Melbourne also has a B2 HP Indigo 10000, the remaining seven are from the HP Indigo 5000 and 7000 range and include one in Melbourne, two in Brisbane, two in Perth, two in Brisbane and two in Cairns. The five presses just installed by Currie Group include an HP Indigo 7800, a 7600 and a trio of 7r digital presses.

    Trent Nankervis, CEO of the family owned CMYKhub says, “The quality of print on the HP Indigo is at a similar level to the offset print we get from our Komori and Ryobi UV offset presses, and this was key in opting for HP Indigo for our digital fleet.

    “CMYKhub is determined to offer its trade partners every possible advantage, which is why we have installed HP Indigo presses in each of our print hubs around the country, in fact most of them have two. HP Indigo offers offset quality, in short runs, with variable data and on demand printing.

    The quality of print we are achieving is high, on both coated and on uncoated stock, it is as vibrant as UV offset. We find toner sits on the sheet, where Indigo sinks into it, giving the quality. Just like offset 
HP Indigo prints to a blanket first then transfers onto the sheet, delivering a smooth dot.”
    “We first installed HP Indigo five years ago, and our experience since then with the printers and with the supplier Currie Group drove our decision to go with HP Indigo again for this major new investment.

    David Currie, executive chairman of supplier Currie Group says, “CMYKhub has been an HP Indigo user for many years, so it knows what it is getting, which is high quality print in a robust digital machine.
    “Everyone knows the commitment CMYKhub has to the market, to its customers, and its desire to provide them with the best print.

    “The HP Indigo provides quality print on demand, in short runs with variable data if required. As a trade printer CMYKhub has to meet a wide range of requests from its clients, the HP Indigo is clearly a key part of its solution.”

    Trent Nankervis says, “We are also seeing a lot of demand in the market, particularly from the agencies our customers deal with, for print produced on HP Indigo, HP has done a great job in back selling the benefits of Indigo.”

    CMYKhub is the country’s largest trade printer, and the only one with manufacturing facilities in Vic, NSW, Qld and WA. It is now fully owned by the Nankervis family, one of the best-known print families in the country, with a serious pedigree in print won over decades.

    In addition to its digital printing the company has been investing strongly in UV offset presses over the past few years, the Vic hub has an eight-colour B1 Komori H-UV, with the other manufacturing sites in NSW, WA and Queensland running eight-colour A1 RMGT LED -UV 920 series presses, and another about to go in.

    The only exception is Far North Queensland, which has two HP Indigo presses to compliment its rollfed and flatbed wide format printers, but no longer runs offset. Nankervis says, “If we have a call for a long run job we will print it in Brisbane, but the HP Indigo presses up there print virtually everything our customers need, they do a terrific job. The market is really suited to HP Indigo, for instance there is lots of tourism print, and that print is produced in many different languages to accommodate the different visitor groups, which is ideal for Indigo.”

    “Part of our aim in installing digital print solutions was to be platform agnostic, so as far as the customer is concerned the result is the same with digital and offset, and we achieve that offset quality result with the HP Indigo. It is then a question of which is the most efficient to print, and that depends on factors such as run length, turnaround time, whether there is variable data.”

    The company has two B2 HP Indigo systems, one each for Melbourne and Sydney. Nankervis says, “The B2 sheet size gives us a serious point of difference in the digital short run, on demand market. We can produce digital products to the B2 space like A2 posters, landscape books, and presentation folders.”
    CMYKhub also runs a Scodix digital embellishing press in both Melbourne and Sydney (also supplied and serviced by Currie Group).

    Nankervis says, “The Indigo quality coupled with the range of embellishments the Scodix machine can produce, allows our resellers to create low cost, but high perceived value short run orders.”

    The CMYKhub Indigo and offset production is rounded out by a comprehensive roll-fed and flatbed wide format production suite in the eastern states, with WA completing its installation in January. CYMKhub now has a total of nine HP Indigo presses in its Australian network – by far the most of any local printer – and has had no trouble finding people to run the presses.

    Nankervis says, “When we put a new one in lots of people put their hands up to train on them. We have had offset guys, prepress people looking to upskill, even a couple of finishing staff. We print to satisfy requirements of resellers, so deadlines can’t be moved because of machine down time. With the HP Indigo we really appreciate the service, support and back-up we have from Currie Group. All the Indigo presses are also self-diagnosing, and we have a 24-hour hotline to HP Indigo in Israel if we need to talk to someone there.”

    David Currie says, “Currie Group is one of only two authorised HP Indigo trainers around the world. Thanks to the investment we have made we are able to train HP Indigo users around the country, both to operate the press and where appropriate to provide engineering input.”

    Trent Nankervis says, “Installing five HP Indigo presses in one swoop I think shows that we believe Indigo is now very much part of the CMYKhub value proposition. Our customers – printers around the country – need to know they will be receiving the highest quality print, and on time every time. With our UV offset presses and quality matching HP Indigo digital colour presses, I think we are showing the market that we are completely committed to achieving that.”


  • 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.

  • EpsonPrecision Core

    Epson’s booth at Visual Impact 2018.

    Epson‘s booth at Visual Impact 2018 was laid out exactly like a typical print shop, and split into three zones: fabric, POS and signage.

    All print solutions on display were using Epson’s proprietary PrecisionCore print technology. Nathan Fulcher, marketing manager at Epson says, “PrecisionCore is what it says, precise, due to the microthin film piezo technology which effectively creates channels for the ink to sit in, much like microprocessor chips do for the electronics.

    “For the printer this means really fine printing with remarkable ink control and variable dots for fine gradations and a wide colour gamut, up to 99 per cent Pantone.”

    PrecisionCore is in all Epson print systems now, including the high-end SureColors and the lower end T-Series, which were being launched at the show.

    For just $2000 for a 24” model, or less than $5000 for a 36” T-Series, Epson has brought in a printer that produces sellable collour prints. Fulcher says, “They have just landed here, they will print coated and uncoated stocks, and can print both flatbed and roll to roll, with flatbed on media up to 1.5mm thick.”

    Also on the stand was the second-generation SureColor F2160 direct-to-garment printer, a successor to the F2000. Ryan Warby, business development manager for professional print solutions at Epson, said the F2000 was a popular and successful product. “It changed the industry quite a bit with its low maintenance and its reliability,” he said. “We’re improving on that with the F2160, adding a cleaning cartridge, adjusting speeds and resolutions, and putting in variable-dot printing. It’s a good step up from the F2000.”

  • Graffica

    Established over 21 years ago as a specialist supplier of press room and finishing equipment, our equipment is sourced from a variety of countries around the world. We choose suppliers that support us, and therefore in turn our customers requirements. Some of the machines we bring in are tailored to suit local conditions and expectations.

    We often bring in machines that are not mainstream products, for example 2.6m wide die cutters and guillotines, computer driven forme making equipment etc. Our customers know that even if it’s the only unit in Australia they will get a turn key installation and support that is second to none.

    Our products include:

    BCS machines

    Box maker / printer.  No Die Forme and no plates. Tool less and no previous box making skill required.

    Smooth 106

    High speed Smooth series, die-cutters and folding box gluers.

    Century 1650 and 1850

    Corrugated and display die-cutters.


    For more information, call us today on 0477 200 854.

  • Keeping your vision clear with MIS

    Running a small business can be tough at the best of times, but it gets tougher when information overload sets in. With a barrage of data coming in from all sides, it can be almost impossible to keep everything straight in your head. Fortunately, technology can help take some of the strain away from your brain. EFI’s Daniel Aloi looks at the benefits automating your processes can bring.

    Whether you’re running a franchise, a small print shop, a print-on-demand outlet, or an in-plant facility, it’s easy as an owner to take on many roles. All too often, you end up focusing on the day-to-day and losing sight of the overall view of your business.

    Investing in a good Management Information System (MIS) software suite is a great way to take the pressure off your decision-making. Having a software solution to take care of many of those small but necessary tasks within your business can save valuable time and money. It’s all part of running a print business: cutting costs, reducing job turnaround times, and winning more work.

    What to look for

    A decent MIS platform should be able to streamline your printing workflow, leading to less human involvement and fewer mistakes; give you an overview of your business performance and allow you to make improvements where necessary; and provide secure, fast and easy access to your business information at any time from anywhere.

    Production accuracy, waste reduction and job turnaround times all contribute to the success of your business, and often determine the satisfaction of your customers. Improving accuracy and job turnaround times while reducing waste will benefit your overall business performance, so it’s vital that your MIS has the capability to optimise these aspects of your business.

    The right MIS will also allow you to work with an easy-to-use interface allowing you to check in with your business at any stage. You can see quickly and easily how things are operating and make the right decisions quickly every time.

    In my years of industry experience, I’ve found it’s best to have an MIS suite behind you that can tick all of those boxes, bringing together everything you need in a single package – and EFI’s PrintSmith Vision does exactly that.

    An all-in-one solution

    EFI PrintSmith Vision is a browser-based, scalable and customisable print management solution. It’s designed to streamline operations, reduce costs and give you valuable insight into your business.

    Offering a modular architecture, PrintSmith Vision lets you choose the solution that best fits your business requirements, size, and budget. This solution provides the ability and flexibility to grow with your organisation as your business needs evolve.

    EFI PrintSmith Vision is a product that focuses on workflow, covering print estimating, production, accounting, sales management and e-commerce. Its reporting tools give you real-time analytics, so you can quickly identify productivity and job costing.

    To accompany the software and get you on the right track, EFI provides a customer service team staffed with experts to get your automation up and running within forty hours. EFI doesn’t just sell an MIS – we provide a complete solution including the support you need to keep it running and make it work hard for your business.

    Daniel Aloi is the regional manager for software at EFI, and is happy to answer your questions about PrintSmith Vision MIS. Contact him at

  • Gecko Sticker Signage


    Become a Trade Client!


    We offer the highest quality – cheapest prices –  The most knowledgeable friendly staff in our industry & fastest turn around times with dispatch times guaranteed or the order is FREE!


    If you’re a:

    • Printer
    • Print Broker
    • Marketing Agency
    • Graphic Designer

    See for yourself how you can be your client’s ‘printing hero’ by playing our video now

    The five biggest benefits of using us:


    Any order with Gecko Sticker Signage comes with free standard shipping across all of Australia. Dispatch times start from 2 business days and we’ve even thrown in free tracking too!


    We guarantee your stickers will be 100% free from production mistakes, so you can trust us to do the right job every time. And, if we do screw up, we’ll make it right by reprinting it for FREE!


    We answer all your questions and quote you super fast with a personalised quote to ensure you are quoted on the correct product with no hidden costs.


    For urgent orders Gecko Sticker Signage has you covered. 24Hr next day dispatch service along with overnight express postage means you don’t need to miss deadlines. T’s & C’s apply.


    Need some basic artwork done? Gecko Sticker Signage offers Free Basic Artwork service. T’s & C’s apply.

    Contact us today!


  • Currie Care Centre

    Currie Group has one of the largest service support teams in the industry for Australia & New Zealand.

    Contemporary printing is a technology-driven manufacturing industry. In factories and shops around Australia & New Zealand it utilizes sophisticated machinery, software, computers and workflows, frequently operating 24/7. In order to achieve optimum productivity everything in the complex process needs to perform reliably and as expected. When the unexpected fault occurs service response in terms of time and expertise becomes the crucial factor. That’s where the Currie Care Centre comes in.

    It’s no coincidence that Currie Group, the largest independent equipment supplier to the graphic arts industry across Australia and New Zealand, has one of the largest service teams in the industry. Almost 70 years ago the company started out as service engineers in Melbourne under Bill Currie, father of current executive chairman, David Currie. As printing engineers the business thrived for many years before transforming into the high-profile technology supplier that is today’s Currie Group.

    One thing that hasn’t changed in the company’s journey towards modernity and the future is the service ethos that first brought it recognition and reputation. The benchmark of the printing industry service offering is the Currie Care Centre, informed by the tradition of ensuring printers can rely confidently on expert knowledge and prompt service response times.

    Marcus Robinson’s approach as service manager Australia & New Zealand is deeply influenced by Currie Group culture. Starting out by serving his electrical apprenticeship with the company, he’s spent most of his 19 years there looking out for the service needs of the widest range of Australian and New Zealand commercial printers and label converters. From HP Indigo digital printing, Horizon finishing, Cron CTP and Scodix digital embellishing, Robinson has earned a reputation of being one of the best service professionals in the region.

    There is a down to earth pragmatism about the Currie Care Centre and Robinson that likely draws its inspiration from how it all began. Trade credentials are recognised as important as college degrees. “When I started I was fixing offset presses, but then one day I was called into the office to answer the phone when someone was sick. That’s a long time ago and I’ve never been back on the tools since.

    “A lot has changed since then, the company has grown, the industry has evolved and diversified but one thing that has remained strong is our loyal customers, some who have been with us for over 50 years. We must be doing something right.”

    A measure of the importance attached to his role by the Group can be seen in the number of employees that are dedicated to providing service. Over 60 percent of all the individuals that work within Currie Group are in the operations team, focused on delivering service via the Currie Care Centre. Through the Centre ‘Currie Care’ is a service contract offering whose benefits Robinson is continually promoting. Although not every customer signs on he’s convinced it makes good sense.

    “We promote Currie Care because it works for printers. When you sign on you know there’ll be no unbudgeted costs; it helps with business planning and peace of mind with no unexpected spare parts or engineer labour costs. We work on a monthly charge basis that our Currie Care customers incorporate into their budgets. We carry out planned preventative maintenance throughout the year to ensure machines are operating at optimal performance to prevent machinery break down’s or any unplanned stoppages. It lets us work very proactively with our customers,” said Robinson.


    The Currie Care Centre is staffed by experts to solve problems remotely.

    HP Indigo is the premier digital production press brand in the industry with machines serving commercial printing, labels and packaging. It led printing towards its digital destiny and is still blazing the trail in new forms and methods of production. No new technology emerges without teething problems and the Currie Care Centre and Robinson have been at the forefront of printing’s engagement with digital technology. The challenges faced along the way helped define the professionalism and sophistication

    of the current service response. As the company responsible for every aspect of the brand in the local market, Currie Group had to up-skill from its traditional expertise to servicing the latest in high technology electronics, computers and high-speed data transmission.

    To meet this challenge Robinson embarked on recruiting graduates with the required skill sets.

    “Gone are the days when we were only looking for electricians or fitters and turners. Now we want skilled engineers, university trained or industry experienced recruits with the right background. Our graduate program has been a great success. We recruit people straight out of university. These are candidates without industry experience, coming to us straight from university or further education. They’ve done a four to five-year degree. We hire them, train them and buddy them up with a senior engineer who takes them on the road and mentors them. So far, we’ve had nineteen people go through our graduate program over the past eight years,” he said.

    Training is at the heart of the Currie Care Centre ethos. With an end-to-end portfolio of equipment, it’s vital to keep engineers up to speed with new releases.

    “We’re very proactive about sending our people for training, whether it’s local in our state-of-the-art training centre, Israel, Japan or elsewhere. It’s investing good money in our people to make sure they’ve got the best background and training in the products. We do have specialists but try to keep a broad spread of skills across all equipment.”

    Currie Group provides training for its HP Indigo press operators to the highest possible standard and having highly skilled customer operators combined with the remote capabilities of the Care Centre provides a formidable solution for fast diagnosis and the resolution of issues as they arise.

    “Overall, it’s a dynamic team, we have a great mix of experienced engineers who’ve been with us for many years in conjunction with upcoming graduates. We recently held an internal training seminar for our product specialists and team leaders in our Melbourne Training Centre and after a quick poll we tallied three hundred plus years of Indigo experience in the room… now that’s unique,” said Robinson.

    “We are currently expanding, looking to hire talented service personnel in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand and I’m always happy to hear from prospective candidates.”

    Right people, right place

    “We provide an unmatched service;” Marcus Robinson, service manager, ANZ.

    Providing service to the graphic arts industry has always been a matter of striking the right balance between investment and results. The debate continues as to whether service should be regarded as a profit or cost centre. What’s certain is that without it there would be a lot less value delivered to Currie Group customers. The development of the Currie Care Centre with state of art remote diagnostic tools has gone a long way towards increasing reach without necessarily breaking the budget.

    “Ten percent of our service team operate from the Currie Care Centre, this is a team of highly skilled engineers who run diagnostics and work with customers to resolve problems remotely. It helps avoid a site visit resulting in our customers being back in production faster,” said Robinson.

    Few organisations in the printing industry have the geographic spread of Currie Group, with service engineers in every major city throughout Australia & New Zealand.

    “Every Currie Group customer has a dedicated primary site engineer who gets to know the press, the operator and the workflow. It’s like always getting your car serviced by the same mechanic. When a customer calls in we’ll despatch the primary site engineer and if they’re elsewhere then of course another engineer is sent,” he said.

    Robinson believes his operation is unique in the industry due to its end-to-end service. Currie Group is the largest independent supplier when it comes to servicing the largest range of equipment. “It’s hard to say who has the largest service organisation. From a helicopter view I believe we’re the largest across the industry in end-to-end service. We have such a plethora of service offerings. We provide an unmatched service,” he said.

    There’s no doubt that a lot of the drive and commitment to the Currie Care Centre originates from David Currie. At a time when many organisations in the printing industry are cutting back on service numbers, Robinson is grateful for the full support he gets from the boss for his current expansion. It’s a commitment much appreciated.

    “David Currie is a great supporter of our service operations; he backs us all the way. I’m sure it’s because of how he started in business.” 21


  • Starleaton EFI FabriVU demonstrations

    Signage specialist expands digital stable

    ‘A breath of fresh air’: (l-r) Gino Dilello, Shirley Bernard, and Peter Wagener, All Flags, with a soft display printed on the new EFI FabriVU 340.

    From humble beginnings making and repairing flagpoles from a home bedroom in 1990, All Flags has grown to become one of Western Australia’s largest and most trusted suppliers of flags, signs and banners. Now, with the help of three new EFI VUTEk machines, All Flags has given its business a major boost.

    It’s pouring with rain when I make it to All Flags’ offices in Maddington, about 20 kilometres southeast of Perth’s CBD. Inside, the place is humming with activity – banners and signs being printed, cut and sewn on the bustling factory floor. Peter Wagener, managing director, proudly tells me of how the company has grown over the past 27 years. “We’ve gone from a three-person operation to having more than 30 employees today. We’re a very different organisation,” he says.

    A long-time VUTEk user Wagener this year decided to increase its digital wide-format capacity with the addition of three new EFI machines: the LX3 Pro hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll printer seen at PacPrint in May 2017, the FabriVU 340 fabric printer, and the VUTEk 5r five-metre roll-to-roll printer. The LED ‘cool curing’ technology in these machines, which lowers the cost of consumables, as well as their high speed and quality of production, have been huge marks in their favour for All Flags. “We’ve stuck with VUTEk, and to be honest I’m very pleased we have. Being able to produce more work quicker lowers our operating costs and makes us more competitive.

    “I couldn’t be happier. It’s put a breath of fresh air into the place,” Wagener says.

    The EFI FabriVU 340.

    Len Page, Starleaton.

    Starleaton is a supplier for the VUTEk range, and All Flags has opened up its shop floor for Starleaton and EFI to demonstrate these new machines to their clients. Starleaton and All Flags have had a fruitful relationship from the beginning, says Len Page, state sales manager at Starleaton. “As All Flags has grown, we’ve grown with them. It’s been a really good partnership, and they’ve become quite a large business within WA,” Page says. “The new EFI VUTEk machines are a step up from what All Flags has had, in terms of speed and running costs. Their business has grown, and those machines have been really good for them.”

    For more information, contact Starleaton.

  • Epson SureColor F2160

    Hannah Nasari, Bowlilly (left) with Ryan Warby, Epson, and the new SureColor F2160 DTG printer.

    When boxing promoter and fashion designer Hannah Nasari decided to launch her own kids’ clothing line, she needed a direct-to-garment (DTG) printer that could translate her ideas into reality – and Epson’s latest machine proved just the thing.

    Nasari is set to launch her label, Bowlilly, at the end of the year, with kids’ sizes from three to seven. “The whole brand is a beautiful bohemian luxe range,” she said. “I’ve got a line coming up of kids’ T-shirts, and hopefully some mummy-and-kid shirts as well.”

    To support her new business, based in Padstow in Sydney’s southwest, Nasari purchased Epson’s latest garment printer: the SureColor F2160, one of the first of its model to arrive in Australia. “I’m looking forward to using the new machine. It can print within a timeframe of just three to five minutes, so the productivity is amazing,” she said. “I had to print out some shirts for a gala and market day last weekend, and I was able to produce at least 25 to 30 T-shirts within the hour. It was fantastic, and the quality was wonderful. I’m happy to have the machine behind my brand.”

    Hannah also gave Epson’s Garment Creator software her seal of approval for utility and ease of use. “I can design my print on Illustrator and transfer it into the software, and it gives me an accurate estimate of cost. It’s very helpful and very useful.”

    The second-generation SureColor F2160 is a follow-up to Epson’s previous model, the F2000, which according to Ryan Warby, business development manager for professional print solutions at Epson, was a very successful machine. “It changed the industry quite a bit with its low maintenance and its reliability,” he said. “We’re improving on that with the F2160, adding a cleaning cartridge, adjusting speeds and resolutions, and putting in variable-dot printing. It’s a good step up from the F2000.”

    The addition of variable-dot printing is a significant improvement from the F2000’s single dot size. “We can print small, medium and large dots, which gives us better gradients and higher resolution without sacrificing speed – in fact, it speeds it up for us,” said Warby. “It also allows us to be more economical with the printing, as it uses less ink.”

    Warby is very happy to work with Bowlilly, and looks forward to continuing to explore the fabric printing market. “Hannah’s doing some great work, and the quality that comes out is fantastic,” he said. “It’s been exciting for us being in this textile space – the textile market has been analogue for a very long time, and is now moving towards digital. We’re seeing that not only in DTG, but in the dye sublimation side of the business as well.”

  • Hornet’s Horizon BQ-470 PUR/EVA binder

    The Horizon BQ-470 PUR/EVA binder at Eastlink Bookbinding.

    When John Mandile, a bookbinder by trade, saw a lack of trade bookbinding services on Melbourne’s south side, he jumped at the opportunity to expand his business – and Currie Group provided just the tool he needed to do it.

    Currie Group supplied Mandile, the owner of Hornet Press, with the Horizon BQ-470 PUR/EVA binder, which gave him a huge leg up for his new trade finishing house, Eastlink Finishing. “It’s a great little machine,” he said. “We’re binding runs of up to 10,000 on it, it’s upped our own print because we can now do PUR and perfect binding in-house, and it’s given us an array of new clientele for Eastlink. We’re doing a lot of trade PUR binding for other printers since we bought it.”

    Since Eastlink launched in January, Mandile (pictured left) has been impressed with how the BQ-470 has handled everything he’s thrown at it. “It’s versatile – you can use it for small books, large books, short and longer runs. The setup is really quick, and they’re actually pretty bulletproof. They don’t take up a lot of space, and they’re very reliable.

    “It’s one of the best pieces of equipment that I own, aside from my printing presses,” he said. “Horizon kit is really good – it’s dependable, it’s quick, it does the job. For what we use it for, it’s excellent.”

    Currie Group account manager Vince Pignataro says Hornet Press is a long-term client that has purchased multiple pieces of equipment from Currie Group over the years. He says the new Horizon binder is a significant upgrade for the company.

    “The Horizon BQ-470/four clamp perfect binder offers PUR and EVA which covers all work quality from offset to digital stocks. The PUR gives Hornet Press the ability to produce a flatter looking book, when opened. Another important aspect of PUR glue binding is that the pages are very strong and it’s much less likely that the pages will ever fall out.”

    Currie Group’s service and support have also earned Mandile’s seal of approval, and the first-time customer says he’ll definitely go back and buy again in future. “Currie Group is an excellent supplier. They gave us a date they’d install the machine, and they installed it on that date – they even offered to put in another machine beforehand until ours arrived in Australia,” he said.

  • State of Indigo – NSW leads by a nose

    With two weeks left in Currie Group’s State of Indigo competition, the Blues are one win away from wrapping up the series – but if the Maroons take next week, a nailbiting tie-breaker will be in store.

    NSW leads 4-3 in the nine-week competition, meaning the next round could decide the contest for the Premier State – but Queensland can’t be counted out yet, with a great opportunity next week to square the board and put the Maroons back into contention for an epic grand finale.

    MVPs so far are:

    • Week 1: CMYKhub (NSW) & Cornerstone Press (QLD)
    • Week 2: Super Labels (QLD) & RFID n Print (NSW)
    • Week 3: Assta Label House (NSW) & Ultra Labels (QLD)
    • Week 4: CMYKhub (NSW) & Cornerstone Press (QLD) (the same as week 1)
    • Week 5: CCL Sydney (NSW) & Nova Press (QLD)
    • Week 6: Emerald Press (NSW) & Label Power (QLD)
    • Week 7: Allclear Print + Signs (QLD) & Graphic Packaging (NSW)

    The competition is based on the weekly Print Beat scores of HP Indigo printers. Adjustments are made to ensure a level playing field – mostly through factoring in week-over-week improvement percentages. The state that has the best combined Print Beat results on their HP Indigo printers for March and April will be crowned the winners at the end of the competition.

    PrintOS Print Beat is a cloud-based print optimisation solution that delivers historical and near real-time data for better, faster decision-making and improved print operations, making day-to-day print operations more efficient, productive and enjoyable.

    The top two companies from the winning state will win two tickets to join Currie Group and HP at Game One being held at the MCG in Melbourne with return air fares and a night’s accommodation.

    MVPs Week 1 and 4

    Picture 1 of 7

    Week 1 and Week 4 MVPs: CMYKhub (NSW) & Cornerstone Press (QLD)

  • FUJIFILM Australia

    2018 will be the year of robotics in print:

    The term ‘robotics’ conjours up various ideas of machines replacing humans for repetitive tasks. The automotive manufacturing industry has used industrial robots for many years, beginning with spot-welding robots at General Motors in 1961.The ensuing years saw the ‘arms’ become more versatile with increased movement and dexterity but it was the introduction of sensors, camera vision and integrated circuits that enabled industrial robots to really take off.

    By the 1980s, industrial robots were a multi-billion dollar industry, with over half of production going into the automotive manufacturing industry. With China’s car manufacturing increasing exponentially, companies such as Great Wall Motors were able to build new production lines that were robotic from scratch. One such line uses 27 ABB robots working collaboratively, with ABB IRB7600s placing panels exactly in the right position and then passing instructions to ABB IRB6640 welding robots for the spot-welding. In such an automated line, over 4,000 welds are made precisely on a car body in only 86 seconds.

    Paint robots are also used, removing humans from the toxic atmosphere of spray booths and reducing waste by precise metering of paint flow. While automotive is still the highest user of robots, other industries are adopting them, often in a human-machine collaborative environment.

    The medical industry is one such, with ‘Da Vinci’ robots being used by surgeons to perform minimally-invasive surgeries such as prostatectomies. Pipette robots are often seen in television reports of medical research, filling vials with liquids for testing of pharmaceuticals. Military use of robots and allied technologies such as drones are having a major impact on the way that conflicts are conducted.

    Manufacturing is a natural co-adopter of robotics along with automotive. Again, it is the robotisation of repetitive or dangerous tasks that have first attracted attention.

    The ABB robotic arm positions another sheet on the bed of an Inca Onset X3.

    Robotics in wide format

    Moving on to wide format production, robotics are at their best when automating repetitive functions. The reliability and accuracy of ‘robotised’ functions far exceed human error-prone manual handling. Nowhere is this more obvious than the loading and unloading of large sheets on the faster breed of flatbed UV printers, such as the Inca Onset X-series from Fujifilm. Handling boards and sheets can be unwieldy at up to 3.22 x 1.6 metres and, particularly for a long run of say 1,000 sheets. Sheets and boards can be damaged by inappropriate storage and handling. The OH&S implications for workers tasked with manually loading and off-loading them are also significant.

    Industrial robotic handling can also solve the problem of heavier, thicker sheet handling. Materials such as ACM, acrylics, wood, MDF and even door panels still have to be loaded and unloaded manually with basic flatbed automation geared to thin sheets, but robot-automation can handle the heavier materials.

    It is for these reasons that many of Fujifilm’s Inca Onset installations are with half or three-quarter automation; typically from Hostert or Inca, where sheets are automatically unloaded from the imaging bed and stacked on pallets. But now it can go a whole lot further. Partnering with ABB Robotics, Fujifilm and Inca are able to make high-production wide format an automated, safer and more cost-effective process, enabling previous press operators to focus on more enjoyable and higher-skill tasks.

    Mike Wilson, sales & marketing executive with ABB Robotics notes: “Look at the types of jobs that robots are taking over. Many of the roles that are being automated are arduous, repetitive and physically demanding. Is it sensible in this day and age for people to be deployed in such tasks, especially where training or apprenticeship programmes exist that could help them to be put to better use?”

    Inca Onset X3 in unattended production mode with ABB robot sheet positioning, take-off and stacking – at 900 square metres per hour.

    Robots create new jobs

    Some critics of robotic automation cite job losses as detrimental to its implementation. It’s more a case of job transfer as the evidence is that other jobs are created in managing the greater productivity. Where manual jobs are genuinely lost, re-training and courses are there to re-skill the employees into more future-proof enterprise. The transport industry is far bigger today that it was in the days of the stagecoach, and employs millions more people.

    For high-productivity flatbed board printing, the automation of loading (from short or long edge of sheet), registration and offloading & stacking can enable a single operator to be highly productive, having only to deliver palletised stacks of boards to the ‘on’ robot and take away printed pallets from the ‘off’ robot. The speed and media change-over benefits add to productivity – with attendant cost-savings. Ink refills might be necessary but with the high-capacity ink tanks of the X-series, these can be planned in to downtimes, or filled ‘on the fly’ during printing.

    One significant benefit of an Inca/ABB robotised flatbed line is that, if a proof sheet needs to be pulled from the print run, the robot can be instructed to deliver it to the operator rather than the delivery stack: “Here’s the proof you asked for Sir!” Similarily, the ABB robotic arm can place one, two, three or four sheets on the Inca Onset vacuum table from a single feed stack, to be printed and then delivered to a single pallet stack.

    ABB robots have outstanding position repeatability of ± 0.1mm, with excellent path accuracy, thereby permitting accurate and repeatable sheet loading on the vacuum table. Images are consistently printed in the same position on the substrate, making post-print finishing easier and more efficient. Unloading does not have to be solely to a stacked pallet – optional features include unloading to inspection tables, cutting tables or to stacks on a conveyor belt, enabling faster, automated finishing processes within established workflows. Taller stacks can be recessed for easier handling.

    Robots are often thought of as Star Wars C3PO or R2D2 types emulating human behaviour. In reality, the vast majority of the world’s robots used in manufacturing are ‘arm-types.’ The effectiveness of ABB’s robotic automation can best be appreciated by viewing this video:


    Of course, with any machinery operation, safety is a primary concern. ABB and Inca have ensured the highest levels of safety guarding that doesn’t get in the way of productivity. Measures include load and unload area light curtains, programmable laser scanning system, protective hand guarding and proximity sensors that halt printing should someone stray into the danger zone. ABB has also introduced the YuMi range collaborative or ‘buddy’ robots that are designed to work alongside humans and ensure their safety. Advanced ABB Ability programming means that complex tasks – even solving Rubik’s cube or making sushi – can be keyed into the instructions.

    It’s all in the MIS and workflow

    Without clear instructions, even human workers might stand idle and non-productive. It’s the same with robotic automation. Just as the automated car, medical and manufacturing production lines mentioned at the beginning require a constant stream of data to produce press-ready plates in the right order for each and every job; so an Inca Onset X3 with ABB robotics flourishes on a data-driven workflow. Job queuing for size, sheet type, print run and finishing is the nutrition that keeps robots well fed and happy. This is also available from Fujifilm via XMF, Caldera or ColorGate software.

    That and maybe a little oil!

  • State of Indigo – the Currie Group origin series.






    During the run up to the State of Origin rugby series Currie Group and HP Indigo are running their own NSW vs QLD printing competition.

    Only this interstate rivalry has nothing to do with football and everything to do with the state – NSW or QLD – that has the best Print Beat HP Indigo printers.

    “It’s a bit of fun, a game between printers to find the most productive HP Indigo printer in NSW and QLD,’ said Phil Rennell, marketing and sales director Currie Group. ‘”We’ll be running the numbers and compiling handicaps to make sure everyone has a fair chance of coming out on top. And winning the prize.”

    The competition is based on the weekly Print Beat scores of HP Indigo printers. Adjustments are made to ensure a level playing field – mostly through factoring in week-over-week improvement percentages. The state that has the best combined Print Beat results on their HP Indigo printers for March and April will be crowned the winners at the end of the competition. 

     PrintOS Print Beat is a cloud-based print optimisation solution that delivers historical and near real-time data for better, faster decision-making and improved print operations, making day-to-day print operations more efficient, productive and enjoyable.

    The top two companies from the winning state will win two tickets to join Currie Group and HP at Game One being held at the MCG in Melbourne with return air fares and a night’s accommodation. 

    Weekly emails will be sent out with the crucial scoreboard updates and minor prizes along the way. The overall winners will be announced in May with Game 1 held on 6th June 2018 at the MCG.

    “ Who will score the first try? Stay tuned for the state of play every week here on Print21,” said Rennell. “We wish you and your state team all the best. Happy printing!

    “And don’t worry, we’ve more competitions coming up for other states and football codes. Something for everyone … with a HP Indigo press.”



  • Epson fabric printing

    Fabric printing is the ‘new black’ in Epson wide format inkjet as the excitement of the new brilliant fabric printing revolution sweeps the printing industry.

    Wide format printers are discovering the potential for printed goods and materials that can be run off their Epson wide-format printers – the SureColor F9200 and it’s little brother, the F2000. Designed to enable rapid and cost-effective production of printed goods and material they’re outputting clothing, sportswear, soft-signage and gifts. With flexible output capabilities, easy management and low maintenance they are backed with Epson warranties and on-site service.

    SureColor F9200

    When the Epson SureColor Fabric DS series was first released it represented a revolution: designed from the ground up for Dye Sublimation, it provided one of the first turn-key single-vendor production platforms. Today it continues to lead the way with predictable, consistent and superior image quality that is augmented with a range of models to suit different production requirements. The F9200 combines wide format output with low running costs, and efficient roll-to-roll operation. It suits production of clothing, soft signage, and printed fabrics. Prints are made on paper that is then transferred (sublimated) via a heat press onto material that contains a polyester base or has received polyester pre-treatment.

    The SC-F9200 is designed to operate in conjunction with a calendar style heat press. It combines Epson’s advanced PrecisionCore print head technology with UltraChrome DS ink, a large Continuous Ink Supply System (CISS), 64″ wide print engine with media output heater, and high precision Auto Take-Up. Dual print heads enable high-resolution output with adjustable dot sizing, precise ink density and placement control at high speed. The ink supports a wide range of industry standard transfer media with output that is not only cost-effective but has predictable and precise colour. The engine, supply system and ATU all work together to facilitate continuous roll-to-roll printing at speeds up to 100.1m2/hr for an efficient production process.

    SureColor F2000

    The SureColor Fabric series represents a revolution in textile printing technology. Equipment has been designed from the ground up to ensure superior quality, performance, and reliability when imaging on cloth, garments, and merchandise. The F2000 is a Direct To Garment (DTG) printing platform for work involving cotton-based shirts, caps, bags, and promotional items. Prints can be made to pre-cut fabric or directly onto a finished garment with a heat press then used to ‘fix’ the dye. It enables production of customised and value-added goods with high impact and good wash/wear durability. Unique to the Epson solution, the printing platform and ink have been developed together. This integrated approach not only ensures exceptional image quality with reduced running costs, but also enhanced mechanical durability with a reduced maintenance burden. The system is quick to install, easy to operate and offers fast, flexible production for low volume applications.

    The SC-F2000 uses Epson UltraChrome DG ink along with an advanced PrecisionCore print head. The ink provides a significantly enhanced colour range with high brightness, formulated for easy fixing with a flexible and durable finish. The head provides improved resolution and enhanced reliability with precise dot sizing and placement for smooth predictable colour with minimised bleed and ink consumption.


  • Fujifilm

    Sydney’s Megacolour is a textbook example of an SME successful business surviving and prospering in one of the most competitive and changing markets –high quality general commercial printing. Nestled in the thriving industrial hub of Camperdown, just off busy Parramatta Road; Megacolour services clients from all over Sydney, NSW and nationally.

    The building exterior is modest but a hive of industry as pallets of paper and board are delivered for just-in-time production, with some taking up parking bays at the front. The twenty-four staff average two shifts per day for five, sometimes six days a week. Inside it’s another story, with a clean and well laid out modern printery, offering both digital and offset production, fully digital prepress and extensive in-house finishing. Little if any work is sent out – it all happens inside at Megacolour.

    “We have actually switched back to Fujifilm plates after five years with another type.” Michael Fang, Megacolour.

    Now celebrating its 25th anniversary in business, having been established in 1992, Megacolour is privately-owned and headed by Michael Fang and supported by a team of very experienced print industry people. Colour is managed throughout and certified to ISO 12647-2 standard by Mellow Colour.

    “We have a very close association with Heidelberg,” says Michael Fang,” we are almost completely a Heidelberg-supplied shop and have recently adopted the resource-saving Fujifilm SUPERIA system using LH-PJE plates and lo-chem “ZAC” intelligent plate processing, supplied by Heidelberg.”

    Heidelberg one-stop shop

    The spacious press hall at Megacolour features a B1 Heidelberg Speedmaster CD102-six colour press, a Speedmaster SM52-five colour B3 format press plus, for die-cutting, a trusty 1970s ‘S’ cylinder press with a 540 x 720mm sheet size and kept in perfect running order. Over in the bindery is a two-guillotine Polar cutting line, Heidelberg Stahlfolder, Muller Martini saddle stitcher and a PUR perfect binder and also a saddle stitcher from Horizon.

    Digital printing is housed upstairs in the prepress department, with three Konica Minolta A3 colour bizhubs, a C1085, C1070 and a C1060. In this same area, the plates are made for the offset presses, using a Screen PlateRite HD 8900E with automated plate loading and unloading into a newly-installed Fujifilm ZAC plate processor.

    Michael Fang notes: “We have actually switched back to Fujifilm plates after five years with another type. What attracted us back was the ZAC lo-chem system for the LH-PJE plates. The SUPERIA lo-chem system represents a considerable cost saving in chemicals, water and power and is a much cleaner working system. Being supplied by our partner Heidelberg was also a big factor.”

    Megacolour’s Prepress manager Brett Denning takes up the story: “The first thing we noticed after changing to the lo-chem system with the SUPERIA FLH-Z plate processor was that clogging in the processor virtually ceased. Where we once had a technician out cleaning and servicing the processor every month, we have only just had our first routine service call after three months and no down-time due to the processor malfunctioning, it’s been hassle-free.”

    …clogging in the processor virtually ceased,” Brett Denning, Megacolour prepress manager with Michael Fang.

    Chemical usage plummets

    The reason why Fujifilm’s ZAC lo-chem system is so economical and reliable is in how it uses sensors and software to monitor the pH and conductivity of the developer bath. In doing so, ZAC technology constantly monitors target and actual conductivity while the software calculates just the right amount of replenisher to use, matched to plate throughput and image area processed. “Our chemistry costs have reduced significantly,” says Denning. Fujifilm has measured average savings of up to 75% in chemistry use across its worldwide installed base of ZAC lo-chem customers.

    The SUPERIA LH-PJE plates supplied by Heidelberg are thermal and positive-working, with a suitability for print runs up to around 300,000 and compatibility with UV inks. “Like everyone, we are finding our print runs are shorter and more frequent,” says Fang. “Magazine catalogue inserts can be over 100,000, up to 250,000 but much of our work is under 100,000, changed regularly. We need fast turn-around in the plate department and the new plate/processor combination has delivered this.”

    Proofing is carried out on an Epson Spectroproofer with in-built X-Rite i1 spectrophotometer and PDF files imported from Screen Equios workflow’s LabProof. Profiles are calibrated to ISO 12647, with Megacolour being the first Australian printer to upgrade to 12647-2:2013 – a revised characterization that takes into account the optical brighteners used in modern coated and uncoated papers.

    Managing the change

    The whole change process was project managed by Heidelberg Australia’s Northern Region Branch & Sales Manager Savas Mystakidis, who says: “Heidelberg and Megacolour have built a very strong partnership over several years through a mutual respect and trust of one another. From press supply and service to bindery and finishing. We have now completed the ‘one-stop’ loop by adding plate supply in partnership with Fujifilm.”

    “The benefits are real and measurable in reduced chemical use, less downtime and higher efficiency. It’s all part of Heidelberg’s value offering to our customers by assisting them to get the most out of their equipment and production.  We would like to congratulate Michael and his team for taking such an important step for both day-to-day quality in his work and also the environmental benefits that Fujifilm’s ZAC lo-chem system brings.”


  • Currie Group Horizon Stitchliner

    Blair Cariss has a traditional attitude to running his commercial printing business. His practice is informed by a conviction that an ‘old school’ approach to the trade is worth preserving.

    The second generation offset printer runs an Epson proof for every job that goes through his Tullamarine factory. That a four-colour offset letterhead or any print job must be proofed is a telling indication of how this serious commercial printer relates not only to his customers, but also to the printing trade itself.

    Blair Cariss spends a lot of his time on the road delivering print to his customers. Coming up to five years in sole control of the 40-year-old eponymous printing company he bought from his father, Michael, making deliveries is part of his understanding of what being a commercial printing is all about. He could send the print out by courier, of course, instead of driving to say, Bendigo, Ballarat and country Victoria, but he relishes the opportunity of meeting customers face to face, of deepening the relationships that he considers to be the basis of his successful business.

    For the tall, bearded, trade-qualified printer, taking time to ensure his customer is satisfied and feels valued is part of paying attention to old school rules. Cariss places high value on this level of personal service as well as on ensuring that the offset print he delivers is second to none in terms of high quality printing. Back at the factory, he believes in keeping production as straightforward as possible, investing in new equipment when required, such as a Horizon StitchLiner 5500 bookletmaker from Currie Group, while keeping his distance from digital printing in favour of small offset. As a father of young children he has his eye on the long game.

    One of the things that sets Cariss Printing apart from other print businesses of its size is this attitude to digital. Despite a modern automated Heidelberg suprasetter in the prepress department, there are no digital printing devices on the factory floor, in fact he doesn’t even have a photocopier in the office. And Cariss has no interest or intention of buying one, preferring ‘old school’ offset printing methods.

    He points to his 11-year-old, five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster 52P as a press that can compete and win against digital engines for most commercial work. Apart from the fact that it’s completely paid off and owes him nothing, he claims that at the price he buys plates, print runs as low as 200 are quite competitive with digital.

    “When it’s a longer run length there’s no comparison. And then there’s offset quality too,” he says. “You can’t beat that with digital.”

    He rejects any suggestion that he is bound by tradition, or that he is anti- technology, claiming the company is set up to function in the best possible way. Apart from the SM 52 5P there is an old GTO, the first press his dad bought when he started the business in his garage as well as the original Heidelberg Platen. There’s little automation on the SM 52 with ink and water balance arrived at through trade knowledge and skill. Cariss maintains he keeps waste to a minimum other printers would envy.


    Stepping up to invest

    Cariss Printing, an eight-employee operation, is set up to run without the constant attendance of its owner. “It’s important that the business continues to operate when I’m away. It might be an issue that I’m seen to be such a large part of the company, but it has to be able to do without me,” he said. “My staff are brilliant and they basically run the day to day operation without me allowing me to step away outside the business instead of in it. Of course, I am available when they need me but I don’t have to be here all day every day”

    This ensures he can take off to trade shows such as drupa and keep up to date with the advances in printing technology. His latest acquisition is a Horizon Stitchliner 5500 from Currie Group that he bought at last drupa in Germany in 2016. The investment brings the latest in finishing automation and booklet making to the business. It speeds up production, allowing Cariss to turn around printing at a rate comparable with many digital operations. Word of mouth, that benchmark of recommendations has also seen him pick up some trade work recently.

    The Horizon StitchLiner is one of the most successful finishing products delivered by Currie Group. The finishing line produces professional finished products at a speed of 5,500 booklets per hour. A newly designed VAC-1000 twin collating tower, jogger, saddle-stitching, folding and three-knife trimmer flow allows a wider range of paper stocks and applications. It also can stitch a two-up A5 landscape book cutting the run in half. According to Bernie Robinson, managing director, Currie Group, the combination line is the perfect technology for short run digital houses meeting short turnarounds and also the longer run commercial businesses like Cariss.

    At a time when there are grave fears for the health of small-to-medium sized, owner operated, commercial printing companies, Blair Cariss stands as an exemplar of how to make the ‘old school’ business model operate as a thriving enterprise.