Archive for July, 2001

  • More news… extra news…more news…extra news…

    Baldwin Technology Company is selling its newspaper and commercial web roll handling business to MEGTEC Systems. Subject to certain conditions, the transaction is expected to close by August 31, 2001. The sell off is part of Baldwin’s strategy to focus more aggressively on growing its core business interests of cleaning, fluid management, drying and consumable product groups worldwide.
    Alan Fiers, President of MEGTEC, commented: “The acquisition of Baldwin’s Roll Handling Business is a great addition to our current product and customer base. We look forward to integrating this business into ours.”
    The roll handling business of Baldwin includes wholly owned subsidiaries in the USA, Sweden and China. MEGTEC primarily manufactures splicers and dryers for newspaper and commercial web printing, as well as pollution control products and industrial drying systems.

    Dear Sir,
    Thanks for your fortnightly bulletin, I find some editorials very interesting, I don’t if this is of any interest to some of your readers, I have just found a product out of the UK which has been on the market over there for the last five years. It’s an alcohol reducing unit. I know there have been similar units around before but after trials conducted over the last three months in Perth and one installation in Melbourne, all at prestige multicolour printers, the results are outstanding to say the least. Feel free to contact me if this is of any interest to you or any of your readers.
    Regards Jim Dickenson (Lithotek in Perth)
    Ph 0418 904 935
    E-mail Lithotek@dmn.com.au

    Heidelberg publishes Sustainability Report
    The first Heidelberg sustainability report is an expression of the company’s commitment to the increasing importance of sustainability in the international arena and the growing expectations of different groups regarding companies’ ecological and social reporting.
    This trend is reflected not only in the EU’s recently published sustainability strategy but also in the financial world, where calls by investors for economic growth that is in harmony with ecology and social responsibility have resulted in new share indexes such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
    Environmental protection and sustainability have long been held in high esteem at Heidelberg. Heidelberg has published an Environmental Report each year since 1993. Reporting has grown to include information on all production sites worldwide, occupational and health protection, and product reliability and safety. The 1999/2000 Environmental Report won the German Environmental Reporting Award in March 2000.
    The Heidelberg Report 2000 / 2001 sets out the economic, ecological and social aspects of corporate activity with the associated interactions and conflicts of objectives. The Report is the first to meet the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative published in June 2000 for producing a sustainability report that places economic, ecological and social aspects on an equal footing.
    The Report is available in German and English from:
    Fax: +49-6221-92-3329
    and e-mail:

      environment@de.heidelberg.com

    THE UNITED STATES Postal Service is promoting a direct mail and printing service on its web site in a sign of things to come in our own region. Not only is it pushing its own NetPost Mailing Online service You write and design it, and with the click of a mouse, we’ll do the rest—printing, addressing, collating, folding, stuffing, and sorting. but it’s also promoting third-party print and direct mail vendors. Among them are DirectMailQuotes.com (a network of 1,100 mail shops), ListBazaar.com (a list superstore), ThinkDirectMarketing.com (another mail list service), Zairmail.com (a direct mail vendor), and ZIPM.com (a direct mail provider for creating, printing, and mailing your package.)

    Cash strapped Polaroid Corporation, after reaching agreement with its US bankers to ensure its short-term liquidity, is exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale of assets, a merger or sale of the company and a strategic partnership. Polaroid said it will not make upcoming interest payments on its bonds and intends to begin negotiations shortly with its bondholders regarding a potential restructuring of the company’s debt.
    Gary T. DiCamillo, chairman and chief executive officer said “From an operational standpoint, this allows us to continue business as usual while we position the company for a digital future with our new Opal and Onyx instant digital printing technologies.”

    Worldwide Online Printing has bought its 37th Xerox Colour machine for its network of printing and design centres. The West Australian founded national network of 32 shops plans to increase its membership to 100 centres throughout Australia over the next three years. Worldwide’s print and design network is linked to a central printing hub which provides larger run, offset colour, NCR and PMS printing.
    “We provide our printing network with a solid brand that is strengthened with consistent marketing and management systems linking directly into our manufacturing hubs,” says Clive Denholm, managing director of Worldwide Online. A number of printers have joined the Worldwide Online Printing network. There are nine shops in NSW, three in Victoria, one each in ACT and Queensland and 18 in Western Australia.

    At least they’re not sitting home in front of a computer. Traffic on the internet has eased considerably during the school holidays in the USA. Students going off line means that overall internet traffic has dropped by three per cent in the US and one per cent worldwide.

    Web software developer Macromedia took a hit in the tech slowdown posting a net loss of $8.6 million for the first quarter fiscal 2002, compared with income of $18.9 million for first quarter 2001.
    “Not surprisingly, our results reflect the overall conditions out there for technology spending,’ said Rob Burgess, Macromedia chairman and chief executive officer. “We have implemented an aggressive cost control program in accordance with our new revenue outlook. Our industry leading products continue to be the staples for Web professionals and we look forward to more prosperous times in the periods ahead.’

    Datalogics and NexPress Solutions will work together on a variable data print solution for the digital print market that will be included with future shipments of the NexPress 2100 digital production colour press. Datalogics, a leading provider of high-end publishing applications with over 30 years of experience, has developed an easy to use, flexible personalised communications application, DL Formatter.
    In addition to supporting the generation of PostScript and PDF output, DL Formatter will be creating PPML/VDX to feed the NexStation front end. This emerging standard delivers variable data to the NexPress by using the PPML mark-up specifications and PDF.

    Bitstream Inc. is releasing its third set of fonts from the New Font Collection program. All the fonts will be available in PostScript Type 1 and TrueType formats for both Windows and the Macintosh.
    Bitstream announced the New Font Collection (NFC) program on August 8 of last year.
    “We are absolutely thrilled to announce this new release,” said Jim Lyles, Director of Typographic Development at Bitstream and designer of a variety of fonts, including Candy Bits. “It demonstrates our commitment to new and established designers alike. So far, within its first year, the NFC has released 37 new typefaces from 12 designers. We continue to receive great submissions and because of that, we are certain to have an unending supply of new designs for future releases.”

    Agfa has ceased production of low-end scanners due to the current slump in the IT market. It recently announced it would be pulling out of the digital camera market as well. “It is a necessary step to weather-out the current market downturn. We will still be making high-end scanners as demand is still there,” said an Agfa press release.

    Position Wanted

    Shane Wilson of Liydale VIC is seeking a position as a Graphic Designer.

    EMPLOYMENT OVERVIEW

    Broad based graphic design experience gained through active employment over the past seven years with a diverse range of advertising, marketing, promotion and multi-media agencies.
    Highly developed communication and interpersonal skills with a capacity to show initiative and apply new concepts through seven years of interacting with both internal and external customers.
    A demonstrated commitment to expanding current skills base by the undertaking of further training professional and personal development in related fields such as photography, interior design, landscaping, home renovations and colour consultation.

    PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND ABILITIES

  • Proficient computer skills in the following software packages and operating protocols.
  • Microsoft Office 2000/NT, Internet Explorer 5 and Outlook 5.
  • Macintosh OS 9, PageMaker 6, Photoshop 6, QuarkXpress 4, Illustrator 8, Streamline.
  • Other programs I have used are InDesign, Corel graphics, Dreamweaver, fireworks.
  • Proficient use of office and printing machinery and maintenance.
  • A harmonious team player who enjoys working with a diverse range of people and environments.
  • Commitment to providing an optimum level of customer service and job performance.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & ACHIEVEMENTS

    1993 – 1997 Certificate III – Graphic Pre Press
    Melbourne College of Printing and Graphic Arts (RMIT) Brunswick, Melbourne while employed at Commodore Press, Melbourne.
    1993 2nd Place Graphic Communication
    Work Skill Australia Regional Competition, Melbourne.

    Shane can be contacted on:
    Mobile: 0417 377 806
    E-mail:

      trans@primus.com.au

    And finally try this. Apparently it only works in 2001.

    Pick the number of times you would like to eat out in a week.

  • Multiply it by two (2)
  • Add five (5)
  • Multiply by fifty (50)
  • If your birthday has passed this year, add 1751
  • If not, add 1750
  • Subtract the number of your birth year eg, 1945, 1973
  • You should now have a three digit number
  • The first digit is the number of times you’d like to eat out in a week
  • The second two are …… YOUR AGE!
  • New Power Mac G4 from Apple

    They come standard with a new SuperDrive, a combination CD-RW/DVD-R drive that can burn DVDs, which can be played in consumer DVD players.

    “These are the fastest Macs ever,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With the 867 MHz processor and our revolutionary SuperDrive together more users can now afford to create professional quality DVDs.”

    Apple also previewed Mac OS X version 10.1, the first major upgrade to its new UNIX-based operating system. It promises that the Mac OS X v10.1 will deliver significant performance improvements, new features and additional refinements to the Aqua interface. Mac OS X v10.1 will be available in September and will be supported by more than 1,000 third-party native applications.

    “This new version of Mac OS X is really fast, and incorporates many suggestions from our users, such as the moveable Dock that can be placed on the left, bottom or right edge of the screen,” said Jobs. “We’ve fixed a lot of bugs, and added a lot of great new features, like burning CDs right from the Finder and the ability to seamlessly network with Windows clients and servers.”

    A number of third party suppliers came out in support of MacOSX in New York, including Heidelberg.

    “We see Mac OS X as an opportunity to prove our competence in software,” said Herbert Kenn, head of Product Centre Prepress Equipment at Heidelberg, Germany. “Our Coloropen tools will be one of the first professional colour management solutions for Mac users and we are planning to adapt our Signastation software for impositioning and the scanning solution, Newcolor, for Mac OS X as soon as possible.”

    Quark was another high profile supplier that expressed its support publicly for the new operating system.

    “Quark stands strongly behind Mac OS X, and we’re working diligently to make QuarkXpress run natively on Apple’s next generation operating system,” said Jürgen Kurz, Quark’s vice president of Product Management. “Since a significant number of Quark customers are also Apple customers, Mac OS X is an integral part of Quark’s future.”

    Despite the new models and growing acceptance of OSX Apple is not having a great year. After abandoning its controversial Cube design it declared a net profit of $61 million for the third quarter ended June 30, 2001, down from last year’s $200 million. Revenues for the quarter were $1.475 billion, down 19 percent from the year ago quarter.

  • Russian e-book hacker held by FBI after conference

    He is being charged with breaking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
    Sklyarov, who works for a Moscow-based company called ElcomSoft, was arrested for allegedly selling software that cracks the encryption code used for electronic books produced with Adobe Acrobat. The encryption limits the use of the books by their buyers. For example, customers can’t make copies of the reading material to distribute to a second system.

    Following outrage from fellow hackers who called for a boycott of Adobe products and launched a web site, BoycottAdobe.com, Adobe has backed calls for the Russian to be released. It is withdrawing its support for the criminal complaint.

    According to Colleen Pouliot, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Adobe while the company strongly backs the DMCA it recognises that targeting Sklyarov is not the way to go.

    “We strongly support the DMCA and the enforcement of copyright protection of digital content. However, the prosecution of this individual in this particular case is not conducive to the best interests of any of the parties involved or the industry. ElcomSoft’s Advanced eBook Processor software is no longer available in the United States, and from that perspective the DMCA worked. Adobe will continue to protect its copyright interests and those of its customers.’

    Sklyarov allegedly brought 500 copies of a trial version of the program to demonstrate during his Def Con presentation and gave information about purchasing the full program. The DMCA prohibits the distribution of such copying tools. Sklyarov, if convicted, faces a prison sentence of up to five years and a $500,000 fine.

  • Heidelberg is Number 1 in brand survey

    PrintPlanet.com, a leading on-line community and research firm, surveyed print vendors about their awareness and favourability of major equipment suppliers and manufacturers serving the graphic arts industry. This survey took place with 522 printers located throughout the United States.

    The goal was to determine brand awareness and favourability on a national scale. 26 suppliers were included in the survey including: AB Dick, AGFA, Akiyama, Canon, CreoScitex, DuPont, Epson, Fuji Film, General Binding Corp, Heidelberg, Hewlett Packard, Ikon, KBA – Koenig & Bauer AG, Kodak Polychrome Graphics, Komori, MAN Roland, Mitsubishi, Oce, Pitney Bowes, Polaroid, Presstek, RISO, Sakurai, Scitex, Xeikon and Xerox.

    The survey reached printers all over the United States. 34% of these printers described their revenue as under $1 million, 30% described their annual revenue between $1 and $5 million and 36% said they had annual revenue over $5 million.

    The question asked was:

    Please select your perception of the major equipment suppliers to the industry.

    Favourable
    Neutral
    Unfavourable
    Never heard of the company

    Nine companies had 99% selecting an answer other than “Never heard of the company.” Those companies included: Canon, DuPont, Epson, Fuji Film, Heidelberg, Hewlett Packard, Mitsubishi, Pollard and Xerox.

    In terms of favourability, Heidelberg was number one. Not only does the company have a 99% brand awareness rating, but also 84% of printers have a favourable view of the firm. Hewlett Packard was a distant second with a 68% favourable rating, then Epson with 56%. Competitors CreoScitex and FujiFilm tied with a 52% favourable rating. Agfa followed with 50%.

    To receive PrintPlanet Premium Access free for 15 days, visit: http://members.printplanet.com/register1/register1.cfm

  • Australian print training for Asian companies

    Times Publishing subsidiary Argyle Times Graphics will be the focus of the push which will “bring significant benefits to Australia.” According to Jon Williams, ceo of Argyle Times Graphics, the decision to centre the multinational’s training in Melbourne is due to the high quality of Australian graphics education. The group has four major web printing plants in Asia: in Singapore, Malaysia and two in China.

    All but one of the facilities are equipped as complete Heidelberg press sites and it is envisaged that the local company will become involved in providing the training here.

    “We’re working with both the State and Federal Governments to develop the curriculum, which will include print management training as well as press operating,” said Williams. Details are still being worked through although Williams is keen to have the process underway by early next year.

    Argyle is the new owner of the former Diamond Press plant at Sunshine (see article GO #9 archive) which is considered to be one of the most advanced heatset web printing facilities in the world. It has four Heidelberg high speed web presses with the top of the range Heidelberg M3000 staking its claim as the fastest production unit in a sector that has seen a technology makeover in the past five years.

    Times Publishing intends to pursue a vigorous expansion in China and anticipates a continuing need for Australian printing training and expertise in the years to come.

  • Letters to Editor

    Letter to the Editor

    I run a digital printing company using both B&W and colour digital printers. As a result, I have to have every major graphics program in the market place, PC & MAC.

    I do not run a graphics design department and therefore do not use any of these programs to their full potential. We simply open files and send them to our printers in which case a scaled down less expensive read only version of these programs would be more than adequate for our needs. That is of course if we ever got files from graphic artists that actually worked without hours of time fixing them at our expense.

    Software companies over the past decade have invested their vast profits into further developing their software to the extent that they are now 10 years beyond the average person’s ability to use them. In doing so they have destroyed their own future market place. They should be redeveloping their current programs to be more stable and simpler to use, thus servicing their customers instead of forcing on them newer, more complicated, useless and expensive versions.

    As a result of their own lack of foresight and the consequence of falling sales and profits, they are now struggling to maintain their income. Fortunately they have come up with a brilliant idea of how to recover profits. They’re going to attack their own client base and specifically the printing industry – the very clients who have done the most to promote and support these products.

    I’ve lost track of the number of my clients I’ve convinced to purchase Acrobat and if I had a dollar for every hour I’ve spent training my customers on Acrobat and every other Adobe product, I could retire tomorrow. Hell, they should be paying us to use the software!

    I don’t like getting threatening letters in the mail, especially from companies I have spent thousands of dollars with for no financial gain and whose products I have personally promoted.

    The only reason I am getting these letters is because I have done the right thing by purchasing these products and licensing them, thus providing them with my details for their mailing list. They’re not sending these letters to the people using pirated copies who haven’t registered.

    How stupid are these people? What business person in their right mind goes out of their way to antagonize their own customers?

    We have a licensed copy of every major graphics program and would love to be able to purchase additional licenses to run these programs on other computers. This is more for convenience as we are not graphic artists and do not use these programs eight hours a day or to anywhere near their full potential. I would happily pay an extra 30 per cent per computer for a few additional licences for this convenience (the cost of a sheet of paper to Adobe), but I have no intention of paying thousands of dollars to save both my staff and myself from walking a few steps between computers.

    I have contacted Adobe on several occasions to inquire about additional licences and been told that I need to purchase hundreds of licences before receiving any reduction in cost. How many companies are there world wide that run a hundred plus computers with these programs? How many small businesses are there using this software? And does anyone actually believe that most small companies, of let’s say 10 people or less, are going to pay exorbitant additional licensing fees when it is so easy to install software on additional computers and the chances of getting caught are so slim?

    The vast majority of people in this world are honest and want to do the right thing when they believe it is fair, but when they believe they are being blatantly ripped off they will rationalise their actions as just getting even with the offender. This applies to many other areas besides computer software and also explains why we have a major problem with Tax avoidance in this country. I wish I could produce a product once and sell it a million times over for the cost of a CD.

    If Adobe and other software companies want the business community to do the right thing by them, then they’re going to have to start doing the right thing by their customers. If additional licences were available to small businesses at around 30 per cent of cost with restrictions such as distances between computers, on one level and under one roof, I believe software companies would be overwhelmed with people applying for them.

    I’m sure their first reaction to this is that it would be impossible to police. Well I’ve got news for them! Their current restrictions are impossible to police! If they think that prosecuting a few of their loyal clients who are already struggling in business is going to solve the problem, they’re NUTS. It’s only going to further alienate them from their customers.

    As for the illegal use of fonts, why don’t we just lock up the whole printing industry and be done with it. What would their programs be worth then?
    My answer to this is to start sending letters to my clients informing them that after a specific date I will no longer be able to accept documents for print containing Adobe fonts. When companies develop a monopoly and misuse it for a short-term gain they create a long-term disaster for both themselves as well as their customers.

    I absolutely hate receiving documents that require installing fonts and linking images. The time and effort taken to do this results in a total loss to my business. If Adobe could make Acrobat a simple program to use and supply an easy to follow manual with it, we would never have to install fonts we don’t own.

    Get it right fellas. The problems lie with you, not us. You should start looking in your own backyard before prying into ours. Do the right thing by us and you might be surprised by the reaction.

    Truce, Amnesty! What a joke! This is software we’re talking about guys, not guns.

    Yours disappointedly,
    Very Insulted Previously Loyal Client

    To the Editor,

    As a reply to the last featured letter to the editor (Graphics Online #9), I too agree that as an industry, we are often over charged for under performing software (take Quark XPress as a shining example).

    However, we’ve hardly got reason to whinge when you consider that the same software we complain about is the very software that allows us to function and earn a living.

    But that doesn’t address the issue of piracy – to be ‘industry compatible’ requires big bucks. As your reader suggests, $20,000 is a good place to start to equip one Mac in one studio. Site licenses allow some savings, but they ‘re mostly a waste of time. Bundle packages are better value, but are still very costly. So what do we do about it?

    Perhaps Adobe could once again lead the industry, by introducing rental arrangements for their products. If their ‘Collection’ series, plus a font license, was available on a rental per year/per machine basis, I think they’d find a whole swag of ‘new’ customers.

    More designers would seriously consider legitimately ‘owning’ Adobe’s products (than their current customer base) if they felt it was a reasonable price (perhaps some serious suggestions by readers & Adobe?)

    Or perhaps we could pay for it in instalments, if rental is not an option. Monthly payments of a couple of hundred dollars are much more acceptable to bank accounts/credit cards/cash flow than $10,000 chunks.

    There has to be a simple answer. We’d all like legitimate software – perhaps one of these ideas would allow us to do so.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy
    (Please withhold my details, for obvious reasons!)

  • CPI profit slump

    Currency fluctuations, depressed demand and aggressive competition in its paper division have buffeted the largest supplier to the printing and graphics arts industry, CPI.

    Total revenues were down seven per cent to approximately $418 million according to unaudited figures. The company does not anticipate any significant changes to the final result that will be announced in August.

    As a result of its performance this year CPI has taken itself out of the running to bid for PaperlinX companies Edwards Dunlop and Commonwealth Paper. According to Bernard Cassell, company secretary and finance director, the cost of raising capital now would make any bid for the paper merchants prohibitive. CPI Group was seen by many as the logical purchaser for the businesses, which must be sold by PaperlinX under an ACCC competition ruling following its merger with Spicers Paper.

    Profits were down in all CPI divisions with Graphics taking the heaviest hit. The strong US dollar slashed margins on its Fuji film and plate sales while machinery sales were sluggish due to “economic conditions and the more difficult financial environment for capital equipment purchases.”

    Revenues were also down in the Paper Division with the result being “exacerbated by the fall in margins over the last four months of the year.” CPI refutes industry analysts’ suggestions that it suffered a loss of market share due to aggressive competition from the PaperlinX group of merchants. Instead it blames general economic conditions for the fall in revenues.

    The Trading Division “continues to under perform,” according to CPI, even after significant changes had been made. More time is required “for the benefits to flow through and a satisfactory return on investment is achieved.”

    The company incurred a number of significant one-off costs this year, particularly in redundancies and relocation charges. It opened a major warehousing facility in Sydney.

    Despite the poor result CPI is optimistic about the future, forecasting improving economic conditions. It wrote good machinery business at PacPrint and is expecting to negotiate some relief from its currency impost with main supplier Fuji. A price rise in consumables will take effect from August. (See story this bulletin).

  • Price rise for film and plates

    First off the rank is CPI which will implement a price increase on its Fuji film and plates from August 1, with Agfa looking at lifting its prices in September. Kodak Polychrome Graphics is expected to follow suit.

    The increases come at a time when suppliers say demand has not recovered from a slump in the industry earlier this year that eroded volumes and margins. The continuing weak state of the dollar against the major currencies especially the US dollar has further cut supplier margins.

    According to Gerry Paulusz, director of Agfa Australia and general manager of the graphics division, business conditions in the industry “are the toughest ever in my experience.” He points to the “shrinkage” of the industry with a reduction in the number of printing and graphics firms operating and a rise in the number of businesses going to the wall.

    Despite this he believes there is no choice but to raise prices. He maintains that there has been a downward spiral of prices for years while currency fluctuations and increases in costs have hit suppliers.

    Agfa buys almost 50 per cent of its consumables from Europe and pays in Euros. It has fared better than CPI, which buys almost all its Fuji products in US dollars. The Aussie dollar has held up better against the Euro and the Yen.

    According to Bernard Cassell company secretary and financial director of CPI, the company is trying to renegotiate its contracts away from the top heavy US dollar to gain some stability in its currency exposure.

    The announcement of the price rise comes as CPI posted a profit warning to the Stock Exchange, the second this year.
    (See story this bulletin)

    Graphic equipment purchases appear to be insulated from the current slump with most suppliers toasting successful sales from PacPrint. Currency factors weigh less heavily on capital purchases and fluctuations are normally factored into the price.

    Gerry Paulusz said that Agfa has sold ten Ryobi presses since PacPrint and “a lot of CTP.” CPI told the Stock Exchanage that its successful PacPrint equipment sales prospects will help it improve performance in the year ahead.

  • More news…news items…more news…news items…more news…news items…

    Russian software company responds to Adobe legal action

    Claiming that PDF is “an absolutely insecure” format for the creation of e-books, ElcomSoft, a Russian software creator, has threatened that if Adobe continues legal action it will, “publish the sources of our software on the internet, and do our best to make them available to everyone all over the world.”
    The stoush arises after the Russian company released its Advanced eBook Processor, describing it as software that “lets users make backup copies of eBooks that are protected with passwords, security plug-ins, various DRM (Digital Rights Management) schemes.” Adobe sought an injunction to prevent the company distributing its software.

    Diamond Press could have continued trading

    Management at Diamond Press could have refinanced the group to continue trading but decided not to in the face of a significant fall in projected revenue. A Report to Creditors from administraors Ferrier Hodgson said: ‘This trading forecast was the prime factor in the director’s decision to place the Group in Voluntary Administration notwithstanding a series of offers capable of acceptance which could have enabled the group to refinance.’
    In the wash-up the skeletons of the third largest printing company in Australia were revealed for all to see. With an $88 million shortfall, unsecured creditors got nothing, secured creditors got $33 million on account and employees got their full $6.4 million entitlements. Total asset book values of $233 million were estimated to be able to realise only $62 million.

    Movement at the station

    Continuing the period of change at Heidelberg Australia, well known identity Stan Solomidis, general manager of the Southern region is leaving the company after 12 years on July 13. However Stan won’t be lost to the industry. He’s making his considerable talents available as an independent business advisor to graphic arts companies in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific Region.
    Anyone wanting to contact Stan can do so on StanSolomidis@iprimus.com.au or mobile 0418-920023.
    Jon Field, product manager sheetfed, will become the new GM for the Southern Region at Heidelberg.

    Fast file transfer over the internet

    A new player has entered in the crowded file transfer market in Australia. Nulab Professional Imaging has announced it will make FileFlow’s FastSend Media Collector available in the region. FastSend is a US developed file transmission technology that greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to send large image files over the internet. Regardless of the client’s internet connection speed or file size, FastSend claims to transmit files up to 25 times faster than regular FTP or email. Nulab will make the service available to more than 1,600 member photographers across Australia as an enhancement to their professional processing services.
    Most photographers don’t transmit their images now because it takes too long. Trying to stay connected for five or six hours to transmit 35-megabytes of data is impractical and inefficient. With FastSend the company says they will be able to transmit the same amount of image data in just a few minutes. FastSend is an alogrithem that claims to deliver lossless compression. FileFlow can be found at at www.fileflow.com

    And look who’s back – Vio!

    Rising from the ignomy of its dumping by backers earlier this year file transfer company Vio has gained a new lease of life. Following the sale of the company by BT and Scitex to UK group Citizen Limited on June 29, Vio intends to operate all its old businesses throughout the world, including operations in the UK, France, Japan and the US. Unfortunately the rescue package comes too late for the local operation with the Australian Vio team now scattered to the four winds. There is no word as to whether the company has ambitions to reenter the Australian market where it once enjoyed a leading position.

    IBM launches highest-resolution monitor

    IBM claims to have launched the world’s highest-resolution flat screen monitor in the T220 for industry sectors that requires extremely high-resolution images. The T220 crams more than 9 million pixels into a 22in screen and is said to display photographs with a degree of realism not previously possible. IBM says the monitor will promote ‘ground-breaking’ applications. “It will be possible to see levels of clarity and resolution in electronic media previously attained only in the highest-resolution printed media,” says a company release. The technology could eventually be used in displays for laptop, desktop, handheld and other computing devices.

    Amazing fact department

    In a sheet of SmartPaper 10.5 x 11 inches there are 30 million cyricon balls. SmartPaper is a reuseable electronic communication material developed by scientists at Xerox’s Palo Alto think tank.

    What comes down

    Hewlett-Packard Australia (HP) today announced a price reduction on selective large-format printing material. The price reductions range from 10 per cent to 30 per cent on selected bond papers, technical papers and films, coated papers and durable printing materials. “We view this price reduction as an investment to expand the market for premium printing material beyond the traditional high-end user,” said Nelson Ferrari, market development manager, large format imaging, HP Australia. “We think the market is ready for this and we’re willing to make such an investment now.”

    And finally, more from the legendary Tommy Cooper.

    So I was getting into my car and this bloke says to me, “Can you give me a lift?”
    I said, “Sure. You look great, the world’s your oyster, go for it!”

  • World print trade trends

    Severe price competition from surplus printing capacity in a slack market in the UK is nominated as the cause of a deterioration in general trading conditions during the second quarter of the year.

    The report from the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) shows the proportion of printers with surplus capacity increased from 85 per cent to 89 per cent during the period. At the same time, the number with order books better than normal for the time of year dropped to 12 per cent, from 32 per cent three months ago. Only 18 per cent of the industry achieved improved order books and 51 per cent experienced a downturn.

    Performance failed to match forecasts in almost all of the measures used to assess the industry.

    In the US the July Print Buyer Pulse reported that overall, confidence jumped 6 per cent from June with 39 per cent of print buyers saying they expect to spend more in the coming six months on print services. Ad agencies, typically the key indicator in the monthly report, rose 6 per cent from June with half (50 per cent) buyers predicting an increase in spending.

    In Australia the Printing Industries survey for the next quarter is with the industry with results expected next month.

  • Publisher 8000 named Product of The Year

    The digital printing leader beat off competition from Xerox and Xeikon to take the number one spot at the prestigious awards ceremony.

    As the world’s highest performance digital colour printing press, the four-engine Publisher 8000 was, according to awards organizers, the clear victor in its category, in this highly contested competition.

    The annual 2000 Prepress and Publishing Awards followed many months of voting by readers of industry publications Prepress News, Publishing and Print. With the votes cast, a shortlist of nominations was drawn up to decide the eventual winning contenders in each category.

    An advisory panel of judges, which included leading industry experts and real world users, voted for their top three products in each category from the original nominations.

    A spokesperson for the advisory panel explained that Indigo was selected as the winner, not least because it is one of the few key players that has visibly “moved the game along.”

    “The market is really yearning for the industrial-strength digital press and the web-fed Publisher is truly representative of such a genre of product.”

    Indigo’s UK Marketing Manager, Richard Davies, who collected the coveted award on the evening, explains, “This is a marvellous achievement for Indigo and is doubly rewarding given the strength of the competition we were up against. The Publisher 8000 received a very positive reception when unveiled at Drupa and to be crowned victor in the digital printing category underlines the quantum leap forward our activities have taken.”

    Launched at Drupa 2000, the four-engine Publisher 8000 prints at a rate of 8000 four-colour A3 images per hour – that is 272 letter-size colour pages per minute.

  • A layman’s guide to print 21

    Print 21 is a comprehensive set of papers, available free to members of the industry from designers to finishers. Because of its down to earth approach the size of the report with all its detail may put off many who can best make use of the information within. To address this Joe Kowalewski, marketing manager of Printing Industries has drafted a guide to Print 21 to make it all clear. His guide is included below and is thoroughly commended to all.

    Your Pathway to Profitability through PRINT21

    BACKGROUND
    Four years ago the Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) called an industry wide summit to discuss the key problems facing the industry in areas of under-utilisation, falling profits and globalisation.

    Recognising that such difficulties could also bring new opportunities, Printing Industries set about developing solutions to help position the industry for the future. The Federal Government was approached for the development of an industry plan, or Action Agenda as it is now known.

    Printing Industries also sought the involvement of key industry players across the production chain including the Graphic Arts Merchants Association of Australia (GAMAA), the National Paper Council and Australian Paper.

    The Association formed an industry consortium with these key stakeholders and the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Resources. As funding partners, these five groups established a steering committee and working groups to:

    *Define and profile the industry
    *Undertake strategic analysis
    *Develop scenarios and possible directions for the industry.

    Extensive research was undertaken throughout Australia. Overseas expertise was also used to learn from the experiences of other printing industries. The results form the basis for what has become known as PRINT21 – the Printing Industries Action Agenda.

    What is PRINT21?

    PRINT21 comprises:
    • The Action Agenda Research papers and Business Diagnostic Tools
    • The Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme (PICS)
    • The Enhanced Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme (EPICS) including a Client Manager Service
    • Value Chain Management Program
    • Econometric model
    • Other Government sponsored support programs.

    What will PRINT21 Do?

    By restoring profitability, allow firms within the industry to invest in and develop new markets and services.

    How?

    The Printing Industries Action Agenda is a strategic overview of Australia’s printing industry. It looks at where the industry is today, future growth opportunities and snapshots of possible growth pathways for the future.

    Its key findings can be summarised as being:

    • Australian printing industries are experiencing a slow slide in profitability and a decline in return on assets.
    • The challenge in the new millennium is to innovate, revitalise profitability and sustain industry-wide long-term growth.
    • Reliance on the way business has been done in the industry up to now is no guarantee of survival let alone sustainable growth. New approaches are needed for new business development and the customer is vital in this process.
    • Customers are saying they want to see more total business solution offerings from Australian printers.

    The Action Agenda provides 12 recommendations pinpointing projects and initiatives that will position Australian printing industries to achieve long term sustainable growth.

    The major themes of the recommendations are:
    A. Business and Market Development
    B. Innovation and Technology
    C. Skills and Training

    Printing Industries has taken leadership of PRINT21 and is integrating it into the mainstream work of the Association.

    Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme (PICS)
    The Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme (PICS) has been designed to compensate book printers for the costs of duty on paper inputs.

    The Scheme is to operate for the period 1 January 1999 until June 2003. It covers paper used in the production of eligible books completed on or after 1 January 1999 but before 1 July 2003.

    Book printers will be able to claim payment of 4 per cent of their paper purchase price to compensate for the effects of duty on their paper inputs. All paper used in the production of eligible books, whether imported or not, and whether duty was paid or not, are eligible under the scheme.

    Enhanced Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme (EPICS)
    The Federal Government has committed $48 million over four years to EPICS to assist industry achieve the goal of becoming more competitive.

    EPICS has two elements:

    i) An Enterprise Development Fund (EDF) to assist firms involved in book production by encouraging the use of innovative technologies, improved business practices, training and skills development.
    ii) An Infrastructure and Industry Growth Fund (IIGF) which will provide assistance for proposals aimed at delivering industry wide benefits.

    The primary objective of EPICS is the development of the book production industry. A secondary objective is to leverage the Action Agenda recommendations through EPICS projects.

    This has also involved the development of customised business tools, skills and strategies that will assist in the growth and development of Australian printing generally.

    Client Managers
    Printing Industries employs Client Managers to assist printers and publishers determine the level of eligibility for EPICS grants, assist in completion of the application forms, lodge the applications with AusIndustry and to act as mentors during the implementation of the projects.

    The Managers cover all States and can be contacted via Printing Industries toll free phone number 1800 227 425 or via the Sydney and Melbourne offices on (02) 9248 7300 and (03) 9819 6144.

    PRINT21 Business Diagnostic Tools
    For the first time, the Australian printing industry has a set of diagnostic tools specifically designed to deal with the highly dynamic circumstances that the industry faces.

    The Business Diagnostic Tools have been designed around a well-tested formula for business success. Similar Tools have been successfully used by a number of European printing industries.

    They guide you in making decisions on the nature and scope of your business, on how uncertainties are to be addressed, how to identify and meet customers needs and where value is, or will be, created from within your firm.

    Value Chain Management Program
    The Program demonstrates the commercial benefits to be obtained when companies at different points in a value chain co-operate to use the knowledge and information they share in highly productive and innovative ways.

    It looks to increase the competitiveness of individual firms and assist in the pursuit of growth opportunities within specific industry sectors.

    Econometric Model
    This dynamic modelling tool allows the impact of existing and proposed government policies on the print, packaging and visual communication industry to be evaluated. It is also available for use by industry companies.

    Other Government Sponsored Support Programs
    Firms in the printing industry can access a number of other government sponsored support programs. These include exports, research and development and technology assistance programs. Further information is available from AusIndustry via its Hotline 132878.

    Need to know more?
    Call your local Printing Industries office for information on any of the schemes or programs that form PRINT21.
    You can also call Printing Industries’ National Office on 1800 227 425 or (02) 9248 7300.

    Contact any Printing Industries office for your free kit. The kit contain contains the Printing Industries Action Agenda and background papers, Information Bulletins, and the Business Diagnostic Tools. Kits are also available at PRINT21 briefing sessions run by each Printing Industries’ Regional Office. Visit the PRINT21 website: www.PRINT21.com.au

    ACT
    (02) 6251 0673
    act@printnet.com.au

    NSW
    (02) 9248 7300
    info@printnet.com.au

    QLD
    (07) 3356 002
    qld@printnet.com.au

    SA / NT
    (08) 8223 7391
    sa@printnet.com.au

    VIC / TAS
    (03) 9819 6144
    vic@printnet.com.au

    WA
    (08) 9361 4625
    wa@printnet.com.au

  • 100 free tickets to LIA’s Sydney conference

    The day registration tickets will be given out by member companies to their customers with the intention of encouraging attendance from a broad section of the industry.

    CHALLENGE 21 Chairman Bob Lamont said, “This current initiative known as ‘The Grass Roots Scheme’, will provide real encouragement to a large group of young practioners and enable them to hear first hand some of the most authorative speakers ever brought together at a local industry conference. At the heart of the scheme is the desire of both the LIA and GAMAA to put something back into the industry they both serve.”

    The distribution of ‘Grass Roots ‘registrations will begin in August with all completed registrations returned by the end of September.

    GAMAA President Angus Scott said, “We believe that the scope and content of CHALLENGE 21 provides an ideal vehicle for the increase of knowledge and an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that will face the industry in the future.”

    The LIA (Lithographic Institute of Australia) is recognised as the most technically oriented association in the printing industry. It membership is drawn in large part from trades people or from management who began on the work floor.

    A list of speakers for CHALLENGE 21 has yet to be announced. GAMAA members can be contacted through the association at http://www.gamaa.net.au/

  • Heidelberg NexPress comes on the market

    First showcased at last year’s Drupa the NexPress carries Heidelberg’s ambitions to carve out a major slice of the action in the burgeoning colour digital printing market. The company expects it will be able to leverage its dominant industry position and reputation to emulate its foray into the black and white digital printing market where its DigiMaster has gathered a reported 20 per cent market share under two years.

    “We are looking to cover the needs of the entire graphic arts industry”, said Holger Reichardt, director of marketing and sales at Heidelberg. “One key
    area of focus is digital printing, where we are now launching sales of the NexPress 2100.”

    The NexPress 2100 is positioned so that printers will recognise the offset reliability. The NexPress 2100 features an auto-perfecting engine with a blanket cylinder (like an offset press) that produces ready-to-bind sets incorporating a variety of paper stocks. A rugged design of heavy metal and an unprecedented level of user serviceability provide unparalleled uptime.

    In Chicago Heidelberg will be demonstrating how media service providers and printers can integrate their processes. At North America’s most important printing industry trade fair, which is being held from September 6 through 13, 2001 in Chicago, the company will be showcasing a total of seven solutions for different market segments, and is the largest individual exhibitor at the fair. Because of Heidelberg’s comprehensive offering, customers from the prepress, digital printing, quick print, commercial printing and finishing sectors, for example, will easily find the best solution for their needs.

  • Global forum is an Australian first

    Participants in Australia, Japan, Germany, France, UK and Canada will be on-line for over an hour with prepress experts from CreoScitex in Vancouver, able to ask questions and participate in a virtual discussion group.

    According to convenor Phillip Lawrence, the Australian organised link-up is the first of its kind and is made possible through the use of a communications technology from Centra.com. Sponsored by paper company StoraEnso, the event on August 21 will bring together the technical committees of the LIA in NSW and Victoria, as well as industry types in RMIT, Spicers Paper and Blue Star Printing in Australian and New Zealand.

    From their computers they will be able to see and talk with other design, prepress and print professionals in Dusseldorf, Paris, Tokyo, London and Vancouver. CTP expert Troy Anderson and workflow guru Dan Blondell from CreoScitex will give a short presentation before the forum is opened to on-line discussion. By holding down the control key a speaker will be able to indicate their willingness to participate in the discussion. Other members will clearly be able to identify who is talking.

    The Forum will cover the various time zones with the Kiwis taking part at 7.00pm, the Australians at 6.00pm, the Europeans in their morning and the Canadians in the middle of the night.

    Participation in the first Forum is limited in order to ensure it runs smoothly but future events will be virtually unlimited, according to Phillip Lawrence. “It’s really an exciting exercise. We had our first test run of the equipment at Bondi last night and the sound and images came through clear as a bell.”

  • Letter to the editor

    What other profession would have to put up with their costly tools of the trade malfunctioning from day one, and then be forced to upgrade these within 12 months? A complete set of software to run a studio today would start at around $20,000 and that is not the cost of the equipment to run them on.

    Computers essentially do not work. A day would not go by when my Mac does not crash several times due to software glitches, operating system conflicts and networking problems. God help you if you install an upgrade without reading the fine print!

    Software firms are nothing more than money making machines. They release badly designed products, full of bugs and conflicts then let us, the poor mugs who have paid for the privilege, test their problems for them. Then they whine because people get so jacked off with these problems, they refuse to buy the real thing.

    Fonts… another bad joke. I defy anyone to examine their fonts and declare that they know where each and everyone comes from. Does Adobe honestly think that every designer is going to pay inflated prices when often the font required may be used once only? Font sharing is rampant, perpetuated by the poor printing companies who have to then try and output files with the bad fonts and misbehaving software.

    In design land it is very cut-throat, price wise, and any small design firms that comply fully will probably not stay in business. Adobe and their cohorts should perhaps start to think laterally and charge rental for software, rather than an outright purchase price as this would make software more accessible to users with a cash flow problem!

    Signed: Name withheld by request

    (If you decide to publish this please withhold my name…I don’t want the font police after me!)

  • 60 day truce in Adobe fonts blitz

    An Adobe initiated truce – focusing specifically on the use of unlicensed fonts- followed an outcry from the printing, graphics and advertising industries at the prosecutions threatened by the company against the widespread industry practice of sending fonts with files to printers. Many companies in the prepress and printing industries do not own all the fonts that their customers are sending them to output. It is illegal for prepress shops and printers to use the fonts if they do not already posses a copy themselves.

    Adobe’s truce is focusing only on fonts and “is designed to give consumers more time to understand the complexity of what being legal with fonts actually means. The truce does not include other Adobe products such as Adobe PhotoShop or Adobe Acrobat, users of which must comply with licensing requirements.”

    Adobe, which is the world’s second largest supplier of desktop software, launched its own 60 day font policy following the BSAA’s (Business Software Association of Australia) truce which ended on 30 June and was initially introduced to give people time to clean up on their usage of unlicensed software with no questions asked.

    Adobe identifies the main areas where illegal use of fonts occurs. These include:

    * using an Adobe font in the creation of artwork, or web sites without a valid licence; the Font may have been supplied by a customer or even downloaded from the web
    * companies who have a specific corporate font supplied without purchasing a valid licence for each of those fonts, or those purchasing additional licences as their number of computers grow
    * supplying an Adobe font to a customer or service provider who does not own their own copy of the same Adobe font
    * having the incorrect number of font licences for the number of computers on which they are installed
    * having fonts installed on more output devices or RIP’s than the font licence provides for.

    During the truce, individuals and companies can register by calling the Adobe
    Piracy Hotline, on 1300 882 546. They will then be issued with a Truce Participation Number that gives an organisation or individual ‘immunity’ during the software truce to dispose of illegal copies of fonts or discuss the purchase of font licences with Adobe Systems, provided they comply with the Terms and Conditions of the Software Truce.

    Victor Guerrero, Anti-piracy Manager of Adobe Systems said, “Many companies do not intentionally pirate fonts, but rather don’t know what is legal and what isn’t. We are giving users another 60 days to understand the licensing issues specific to Adobe Fonts and sort out any breaches of illegal licence usage.

    “From 1 September we will be pursuing companies and industries who have not cleaned up their act.”

    To help people understand the issues around Fonts, Adobe has developed an educational brochure including frequently asked questions on Piracy and Font Licensing. It is also hosting a series of seminars in July for targeted markets who are most affected. A free hotline is also available at 1 300 882 546 for companies wanting more information.