Archive for November, 2002

  • The Clancy column – Overflow is back by popular demand.

    Kath Browne, Director Employee Relations, Printing Industries has announced her retirement from the association effective from the end of 2002. Kath is retiring after having served the membership for more than 34 years and is one of the association’s longest serving employees. She joined the association in an administrative role in 1968 and then transferred to the Employee Relations Department.

    Kath was responsible for the development of Industry Training Policy and as part of this role she has been a Board and Executive Committee member of the National Printing Industry Training Council for over 10 years.


    The Currie Group is on the move, transiting from industrial Alexandria in Sydney to new showrooms in St Leonards on the North Shore. The move emphasizes the change in the group over recent years with a move towards being a comprehensive solutions provider as well as being the HP Indigo agent.
    You can find the crew settling in at: Tower A, Suit One, Ground Floor, 39 Herbert St, St Leonards.


    Say hello to Australian Printing Supplies’ (APS) two new business development executives, Rob Crough and David Morris. Both Rob and David have been in the printing industry for many years and have vast experience in selling inks coatings and consumables. Their expertise will enhance the company’s ability to give the customer solid support in terms of product selection, technical support and service.

    David (left) is a Lithographic printer by trade and has been in sales since 1987. During his sales career he has been involved with ink, coatings, chemicals and prepress systems.

    Likewise, Rob (right) is a printer by trade and has had many years experience in sales of inks and printing products. Both David and Rob are well known in the NSW market.
    According to APS Divisional Manager, Mauro Marcatili, “both have been successful in selling a broad range of printing products and are ideally suited to the future direction of our company”.


    Latran Technologies is the new name for Polaroid Graphics Imaging, manufacturer of digital halftone proofing systems. The name change underscores Latran Technologies’ status as an independent company and erases the last link to the troubled Polaroid name.

    Anthony P. Crupi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said: “The adoption of Latran Technologies as our new name gives us a fresh image platform that enables us to reaffirm our vision as a strong, independent and innovative business enterprise focused entirely on quality digital imaging technologies. Now as Latran Technologies we are continuing to implement our aggressive corporate strategy centred on meeting the needs of the graphic arts industry with our growing line of superior, high-productivity proofing systems. Industry segments that we serve include commercial printing, tradeshops, packaging, card manufacturing and security printing. “


    Here we go again. The organisers have announced IPEX 2006 will be held from 4-11 April 2006 at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham, UK.

    IPEX 2002 attracted a worldwide audience of 65,451 visitors IIR Exhibitions conducted comprehensive exhibitor and visitor surveys before making a final decision to ensure the optimum timing and location of IPEX 2006. There is some concern that Imprinta in Düsseldorf is programmed for a relatively close time frame. “In line with the agreed worldwide events calendar, IPEX was always scheduled to be the major exhibition in 2006”, comments Trevor Crawford, Exhibitions Director.


    KBA has a new president in Albrecht Bolza-Schünemann (50) who will succeed Reinhart Siewert (64) when he retires on 26 June 2003 following the AGM. Bolza-Schünemann, the current deputy chairman and executive vice president for sheetfed offset product development and human resources, has headed up KBA’s sheetfed plant in Radebeul near Dresden since 1991, turning it round to achieve double-digit growth rates for the past eight years.
    Also with effect from June 2003 the supervisory board unanimously appointed Claus Bolza-Schünemann (46) deputy president. He is currently executive vice president for web press engineering.


    Virtual Literature Management Limited (VLM), an all-digital print shop in the U.K., recently reached the one million impression mark per month using a NexPress 2100 digital production colour press. “To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time in the industry that a digital colour sheetfed press has achieved one million page-impressions per month,” said Frank Romano, Rochester Institute of Technology. “It breaks a barrier and shows that volume levels are increasing significantly on the digital colour side of the industry.”


    Is this the world’s largest sheetfed press? ROLAND 900 XXL, the new large-format class (max. sheet size 1300 x 1850 mm) is the only modern press available in this size. The new development is targeted at poster and billboard printers in particular with a significant advance in efficiency and productivity. Runs of books and posters can be made ready extremely fast and printed at high speeds; up to 12,000 sheets per hour (format 7B) or 10,000 sheets per hour (format 8). And the same applies of course to maps, packaging, and large-format displays.


    And for all those who asked where the jokes went. . .

    Did you hear the one about a man who went to his doctor for a complete check up? Afterward the doctor comes out with the results.

    “I’m afraid I have some very bad news,” the doctor says.

    “You’re dying, and you don’t have much time left.”

    “Oh, that’s terrible!” says the man. “How long have I got?”

    “Ten,” the doctor says sadly.

    “Ten?” the man asks. “Ten what? Months? Weeks? What?”


  • CTP is winning over the industry

    According to the report by TrendWatch Graphic Arts called “Direct-to-Plate: Transitioning the Workflow”, 41% of 20-49-employee commercial print shops expect to use more digital plates in the next 12 months with over 3,000 U.S. printing establishments planning to invest in a direct-to-plate system. Print businesses, which once doubted the value of CTP offerings, have overwhelmingly begun to embrace and benefit from the decade old technology.

    For example, in 1998, only 10% of sheetfed press shops planned to invest in a direct-to-plate system. Just three years later, that number had more than doubled, and the impact has been positive. The evidence: earlier this year, 39% of print businesses perceived direct-to-plate as having a positive effect in their business.

    “Direct-to-Plate technologies are still in competition with other ‘direct-to’ technologies that have yet to be adopted at the same rate as CTP,” notes Vince Naselli, Director, TrendWatch Graphic Arts. “Direct-to technologies, such as Direct Imaging presses, digital colour presses, and colour copiers are beginning to carve their niche in specified markets and will impact CTP players over time. Yet change is slow, especially during economically-challenged times, and so as CTP has methodically captured acceptance away from the imagesetter, so will these newer ‘direct-to’ technologies, given enough time, though for the near term CTP adoption continues to track strongly as a planned investments.”

    According to the Report:

    • 55% of sheetfed offset press shops perceive direct-to-plate as having a positive impact on their business;
    • only 2% of print businesses planned to invest in an imagesetter;
    • 17% of all sheetfed press shops will start using digital plates, while 36% will use more digital plates.

    The report documents the major trends in the marketplace and provides the latest data on the usage of CTP by various segments. For example, eight-up systems have traditionally been the favoured CTP configuration. But investment has been on the wane, while both 16-up and 4-up configurations have been on the rise.

    This report aims to identify trends that will assist marketing managers in targeting key growth segments. It answers critical questions such as:

    • What trends are in effect, and how will those changes impact the market for direct-to-plate equipment?;
    • What is the prevailing attitude toward UV, thermal, and visible light technologies?;
    • What has been the rate of adoption, and will it continue?

    The report also provides historical data, tracking key acceptance and usage trends through the TWGA historical database, allowing purchasers to see how these trends have emerged over time.

    The TrendWatch Graphic Arts “Direct-to-Plate: Transitioning the Workflow” report is available for purchase by visiting the secure TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore online at The price for the report is US$1595. TrendWatch Graphic Arts eStore customers can download this report in PDF Acrobat format immediately after purchase.

  • Heidelberg and Gallus: the real story!

    In an arcane accounting move that can only make sense in the higher realms of European legal niceties, Heidelberg announced it will integrate the entire Gallus accounts into its annual results – but that it is not taking over the company, as reported in the last issue of Print21Online. The implications of the move are unclear but would seem to point to Heidelberg’s intention to fully take over Gallus at some point in the future. For the present Heidelberg continues to have 30 per cent of the Swiss label and narrow web press manufacturer.

    The two companies will continue to operate as separate entities, maintaining their brands and facilities in Australia and New Zealand. Andy vels Jensen, managing director of HAN, says he is looking forward to working ever closer with Gallus in the region.

    “If we do merge at some stage in the future, we will be ready to provide the full range off services and backup to Gallus customers, many of who are also Heidelberg customers,” he said.

  • MAN Roland struggles to stay in the black

    The company is in negotiations with its workforce in Germany seeking cost cutting measures with reports that up to 700 manufacturing jobs could go.

    In its first-half report of 30 June 2002, the MAN Roland Group estimated the earnings before taxes for the full year would be about half that of the prior year (89 million EUR). In a press release the company now states that this target is no longer achievable due to the development that has taken place since then. At the moment, it expects the EBT for the full business year 2002 to be only slightly positive.

    It said, while the economic recovery expected for the second half of the year has failed to materialize, the business volume in the sheet-fed press activities and the international sales and service companies continues to be very low. Weak demand and resultant intensive competition have produced a strong pricing pressure. The capacity utilization, particularly in the sheet-fed press business sector, is unsatisfactory.

    Precautionary expenses for restructuring measures that have become necessary at the Offenbach site and in the sales and service companies are leading to substantial burdens on the result.

  • NSW Government Tender for Typesetting

    The duties required of the successful contractor include the undertaking of typesetting services, including assembly for display advertising in printed media within two hours of receipt of material from the GAA when necessary, as well as supplying art services for design and layout as required.

    The NSW Government Advertising Agency (GAA) is a business unit of the Department of Public Works and Services. Its role is to co-ordinate placement and billing and to monitor all Government advertising undertaken by Departments and Authorities including, development of policies and procedures for Government advertising; the monitoring provision of advice within the Government of strategies associated with the development, planning and execution of advertising campaigns in all media to manage the Typesetting Agency system, including negotiation and evaluation of contracts and rates; to provide advice to the Minister and Government on all advertising matters.

    Interested parties can get more information at href=”″ target=”_blank”>

  • Australian provides proofs for CIA

    One year after the premiere US show closed in gloom following the tragic events of September 11, the innovative Australian company was back in Chicago introducing its expanded ImpoProof range of high productivity double-sided proofers.

    One of its most enthusiastic customers proved to be the CIA, which came on the stand and walked away with the demonstration model. The agency decided that the Australian-designed ImpoProof was the proofing system it needs for providing fast, accurate output. The system is being installed at its Langley, Virginia HQ this week.

    The intelligence agency was lucky to be so quick off the mark, because the same on-stand unit was subsequently the subject of another bid. “In fact, we could have sold the same machine twice over,” said Mark Chinchen.

    “The biggest surprise though was the Italian dealer who said he had a demand for high speed 60 inch wide imposition proofers. After he took some samples and brochures I was expecting that would be the last contact. But he proceeded to send his order and arrange installation for December with the second system about to be signed for. So by Xmas Hyphen will have 60 inch units in both Milan and Rome.”

    Hyphen and its US Distributor FlashLight Digital have now established working relationships with Konica, Kodak and 6 other independent dealers. In Australia ImpoProof is now available from Anitech, which expects to generate the same type of interest here as the product has received internationally.

    Over the past year Hyphen has been installing ImpoProof systems in many sites across America, its biggest customers being the Mail-Well group with seven sites installed and some facilities having two units pumping out up to 300 imposition proofs per day. Another major customer, Earth Color has six sites installed with both groups are expecting to take more units in the coming year.

    Future plans are for Hyphen to bring to market a new ImpoProof printer giving 30 pages per minute imposition proofs with better quality output, capable of doing gloss magazine work (at maybe 10 proofs per hour)

  • Job of the week – Technical System Specialist, Creo Australia

    Click here for further information:

    New NPA closing date

    The traditional date for companies to submit their printing entries into Australia’s most prestigious printing competition was December 1 and some entry forms bearing this date have already been distributed. These should be disregarded.

    Over the years the December date became widely recognised as an ambit and it became the custom for entries to continue to be accepted well into January and sometimes February when the judging started.

    The new committee, in an effort to introduce more transparency into the process decided on the new date while putting the industry on notice that “if you’re not in by then, you won’t go in.”

    According to committee member Rick Deering, Victorian Manager of Printing Industries the process was confusing at best. “Everyone knew that the closing date was not final. Coming up to December is one of the busiest times of the year for the industry and many companies simply could not make the time to get their entries into the awards. They now have a six week extension over the Christmas when things are quieter.”

    He emphasized that the committee, under new chairman Alf Carrigan, is determined that no late entries will be accepted in order to ensure a level playing field. Judging starts on January 21 with the awards ceremony held in Melbourne in March 5.

    Entry forms can be downloaded as PDF from

    Or contact Karen Purtle at Printing Industries (03) 98196144

  • Muscatt blames printing for PMP predicament

    In a series of shock moves Bob Muscatt vowed, “to immediately take over leadership of the print division. Our current situation is largely the result of poor performance in the print division, whose issues I have been monitoring for some time,” he said in an email to staff. He summoned his 25 most senior managers to a crisis meeting to find ways of improving performance and reducing costs.

    The region’s largest commercial printer is staggering from a loss of more than half its share value after warning that earnings would be between $32 million and $35 million for the six months to December 31. This is well down on previous years.

    “It is imperative that we improve the print division’s performance in the short term,” said Muscatt.

    There is very little else left for PMP to do following the sale of its magazine publishing interests both at home and in the UK in an endeavour to reduce its crushing $500 million debt. Through the sales of the company’s magazine titles the debt is now down to +$300 million – still a major burden for any commercial printer to service, no matter how large,

    It is now imperative for PMP to increase its market share in the ultra-competitive heat set web printing market, but industry observers doubt the wisdom of attracting work such as ACP’s Woman’s Day print at discount rates. Although there is no confirmation from either company on the price, industry rumour has PMP’s offer at 20 per cent less than Michael Hannan’s IPMG.

    As part of the sale of its Australian titles to Kerry Stoke’s Seven network PMP retained the right to print such long run titles as New Idea for the next ten years. But the Kerry Packer-owed title is reported to be held at a much shorter contract and at much lower margins. It defies conventional wisdom for a printer to attempt to trade out of debt by taking on lower margin work.

    PMP shares are trading at 39 cents.

  • Xerox to cut over 2400 jobs in worldwide restructure

    The amount includes severance costs for worldwide workforce reductions, implemented through a combination of voluntary programs and layoffs, as well as about $50 million associated with facility consolidations and closings.

    “For Xerox to continue building momentum in this uncertain economy, we need to accelerate our drive to improve efficiency while delivering competitive products and services to our customers,” said Anne M. Mulcahy, Xerox chairman and chief executive officer.

    “Today’s difficult economic challenges require difficult decisions. To serve Xerox best in the long term, we are further aligning our cost structure with the company’s leaner, faster and more flexible business model. And, we’re doing so in a manner that preserves the strength of our direct sales force and the focus of our research and development investments. ”

    In the past two weeks, the company has communicated voluntary and involuntary programs in the U.S. and Canada that are expected to reduce employment by more than 2,400 over the next three months. Workforce reductions in Europe and developing markets are dependent on consultations with workers’ councils and other government policies.

    Fuji Xerox in Australia and New Zealand is unaffected by the Xerox programmes.

    Xerox has implemented cost-reduction actions in the past two years that account for more than $1 billion in annual savings, resulting in improved margins and lower selling, administrative and general expenses. The restructuring announced today will contribute to the company’s target of an additional $1 billion in annual cost savings.

    In the third quarter, Xerox reported net income of $105 million. As of the end of September, Xerox’s worldwide employment was 69,900 including 40,900 employees in the United States.

  • Publisher fined for non-appearing ads

    The court found that in late 1999, CGP and Mr Hassett accepted payment from five small businesses in Tasmania for advertising in a proposed Returned Services League publication when there were reasonable grounds for believing that his company would not be able to supply the advertising.

    The defendants were acquitted on charges of demanding payment for unsolicited advertising from eight small businesses without a reasonable basis.

    Section 58 of the Act prohibits a corporation accepting payment for goods or services where at the time of accepting payment there are reasonable grounds of which the corporation is aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, for believing that it will not be able to supply the goods or services within a reasonable time.

    The unsolicited advertising charges (Section 62(2A)) against the defendants concerned alleged unauthorised advertising appearing in the Tasmanian CWA and RSL annual magazines published by CGP. The CWA and RSL both advised the ACCC that they had received complaints from Tasmanian small businesses alleging receipt of payment demands for unauthorised advertising appearing in the CWA and RSL magazines published by CGP.

    In setting the fine on Mr Hassett for the section 58(b) contraventions, Justice Heerey considered that the risk/reward calculation was very relevant for this kind of offence. The court noted that traders should not be encouraged to think that it is worthwhile to accept and retain payments for services that are not likely to be delivered, because if the worst comes to the worst the penalty might be more than the payment.

  • Jobs. . . Jobs. . . Jobs. . .

    • Print industry experience,
    • Production/Prepress knowledge,
    • Team managementPrint industry experience.

    Team managementOur client is a major force in both commercial and security printing and seeks someone preferably with a similar technical print background.
    The role also requires significant client contact – typically large financial services organisations – hence, good presentation and negotiating skills will be well regarded.
    Attention to detail, especially given the high-security environment is necessary, as are good people management / motivation skills.
    An attractive package, including vehicle allowance is available to the right person.
    Location: Sydney Metro
    Arrangement: Full Time
    Reference No.: FFX/730

    More great jobs here, apply on line now.

    Employers post your jobs FREE! :

    Invisible ink gets rid of barcodes

    Printed bar codes are useful for controlling how documents are mailed – but they aren’t pretty. So Xerox has come up with a new way to hide them, using an invisible ink marking solution that gets rid of the eyesore of bar codes without sacrificing the automated controls they provide. The solution is the only one available today that can print codes directly over text on any standard cut-sheet paper size.

    Xerox launched the Invisible Control Marks (ICM) solution at Xplor International this week in California. The ICM solution comprises an inkjet-printing unit, which runs concurrently with Xerox DocuPrint production printers to apply the invisible bar code, a camera for validating bar code quality, and an illuminator that makes the ink fluoresce for reading by the camera. Unlike their visible counterparts, the new invisible bar codes can be placed almost anywhere on a page, even over text.

    “Invisible control marks improve aesthetics and eliminate the need to redesign electronic forms every time the addition or change in text or graphics encroaches upon the white space required for the code,” said Mark Waxenberg, vice president and general manager, Xerox Monochrome Business Unit.

    “They build upon a Xerox heritage of providing effective ways to add electronic intelligence into paper and provide seamless ways to move between the paper and electronic worlds.”

    Xerox’s ICM solution helps print shops and in-house production centres quickly and cleanly design or modify templates for transactional and personalized documents – such as insurance policies or financial statements – and optimize speed while reducing errors in finished output. ICM is the industry’s most flexible invisible bar code solution and can print in varying size and placement without disrupting the entire layout of the page. The solution employs special UV/IR (ultraviolet/infrared) ink to create the invisible codes.

    The Role of Bar Codes
    Data centres have long used traditional bar codes to automatically communicate instructions to high-speed printers, such as the Xerox DocuPrint line. For example, the codes can automatically enable the machine to insert the correct documents into a corresponding envelope. This enables each mail piece to vary in length and content. However, visible bar codes must be positioned in a blank area on a page. If printed over text, or even too close to text, the bar code may become unreadable and the job must be purged and reprocessed. When forms are modified, this potential problem is exacerbated.

    ICM generates bar codes similar to how visible bar codes are created; however, the ICM uses a separate inkjet-printing device that sits inside a DocuPrint system and has a large reservoir of invisible ink designed to run for at least eight hours. Once printed, the camera verifies the bar code. This step helps ensure the code is within specification and will be readable when the printed document is run through an intelligent inserter.

    Pricing and Availability
    The Invisible Control Marks solution will be available in December in North America through the Xerox direct sales force and agents. Starting list price is US $50,000, in addition to the DocuPrint 180 or 155 EPS System. Availability in Europe is expected in the first half of 2003.

  • GASAA business strategy forum for NSW

    Scot Telfer, Group General Manager, Pongrass Communications Group will lead a panel of industry executives in an examination of the reasons why some businesses are surviving and even thriving at a time when others are going broke in unprecedented numbers.

    The panel will focus on such questions as:

    • what role does strategic planning play in this success?
    • Can you collaborate with other businesses and prosper?

    Keynote speaker of the night is Bill Rooney, CEO of Corporate Enterprise Group. Bill specialises in key business strategy development and implementation, across a range of industry sectors. Founder and senior consultant of Corporate Enterprise Group, he has had many years experience in the printing, packaging and graphic design industry, assisting more than 30 organisations.

    Scott Telfer, previously a senior executive at Heidelberg Australia, took on the role of General Manager of Websdale Printing with a commitment to cutting edge technology and training. With the acquisition of Pots Still Press and the soon to be established digital print division, the Pongrass Group is well positioned to speak on future directions of the industry.

    Venue: Concord Golf Club – Majors Bay Road, Concord, NSW.
    Cost: $50pp – inc. 2 course dinner. Cash bar available.

    Book online at

  • Xplor to move offshore to Asia

    According to Russell Thurlow, Asia Pacific Director, the plan is to decentralise the traditional focus on Australia and New Zealand. The move will see forums held in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan. Next year’s conference will be held in Singapore in May.

    “Our objective is to advance the EDS industry by sharing information and encouraging networking within the total region. Since opening the Australian chapter in 1986, the Asia Pacific regional conferences have alternated between Sydney and Melbourne. The opportunity now exists to continue growth by conducing campaigns in South East Asia.”

    There are more than 300 Xplor International members in the Asia Pacific, mostly in Australia and New Zealand, across the printing, finance and logistics industries.

    Last week Xplor’s major international conference at Anaheim, California, attracted over 110 exhibitors that included all the major names of electronic and digital printing. New product and technology launches were held by IBM Printing Systems, Nipson Digital Printing Systems, and Océ.

    Xplor 2002 saw Heidelberg venture for the first time into the data centre market with the release of the Digimaster 911m Network Imaging System, which uses magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) toner to produce 110 printing images per minute.

  • Printcafe picks up the remains of printChannel

    While most details of the deal were not disclosed, Printcafe has said that it will not assume any printChannel obligations or liabilities other than in connection with certain customer contracts. PrintChannel, a San Francisco-based online print procurement company founded in 1998 went into receivership in September and has been looking a for a buyer ever since.

    The printChannel system is currently used by over 100 commercial printing organizations in the US and Europe that, in turn, have set up over 1,200 corporate end users and tens of thousands of catalogue print items for online ordering. Although often proposed the company never marketed its system to Australian and New Zealand printers.

    It is expected Creo will add functionality to the printChannel offering, especially in terms of making PDF the foundation of the workflows.

    “We brought Creo into this in order to leverage their expertise to optimise the variable print, soft proofing, imposition, and PDF creation functionality within the printChannel Classic and print I/O products,” said Printcafe president and chief executive Marc Olin.

    “We believe the printChannel technologies will fit very nicely in the Printcafe portfolio. And by teaming with Creo, we can offer, support and enhance what we believe is the best combined e-commerce and content management functionality available in the industry.”

    PrintCafe’s major reference site in the region is PMP Printing.

  • KPG to buy Mitsubishi plate business

    MCC will continue to manufacture thermal and conventional plate products for KPG on a contract basis at its plant in Kashima, Japan. KPG says it will have the right to manufacture and sell products to MCC’s customers and dealers in Japan, a market dominated by rival Fuji, as well as a right to sell products to the MCC channel and customers in Asia.

    “Customers in Japan and Asia Pacific can count on receiving the same high quality products they are accustomed to, manufactured in the same plants and serviced by the same people,” said Jeff Jacobson, Chief Executive Officer, KPG. “We welcome our new customers and dealer partners from MCC and believe they will experience significant value from having access to the industry’s broadest technology base and working with a company which is solely focused on the graphic arts.”

    Under terms of the proposed acquisition, MCC will continue to manufacture thermal and conventional plate products for KPG on a contract basis at its Kashima, Japan plant. KPG obtains the right to manufacture and sell products to MCC’s customers and dealers in Japan, as well as a right to sell products to the MCC channel and customers in Asia. Approximately 30 MCC sales, marketing and technical employees will transfer to KPG.

    KPG is a leading supplier of digital and conventional solutions to the graphic arts industry in Japan. The Company’s Japan Region is headquartered in Tokyo. It also has a plate manufacturing and research and development facility in Gunma, as well as seven sales offices throughout the country.

    “We will focus our efforts on ensuring a smooth transition for customers, dealers and employees,” said Kiyoo Shimada, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, KPG, Japan. “Our commitment is to deliver continuity in product quality, reliability and supply.”

    The transaction is expected to be finalised by December 1, 2002. Terms of the acquisition will not be released.