Archive for December, 2002

  • Unfair trading advantage wins for Fuji Xerox digital

    The wrap-around cover was printed using subscriber data to present readers in the advertising and marketing industry with a graphic illustration of the power of personalised printing. Headline in the magazine’s style declared that the company had drawn the attention of regulators due to the ‘unfair trading’ advantage of using DocuColor personalised printing.

    “We got a lot of response to the promotion, with many customers phoning in asking how many copies had been printed. They were astounded to be told they were holding the only copy that mentioned their company’s name,” said Brett Maishman, marketing manager graphic arts, Fuji Xerox.

    The object of the exercise was to “cut through” the clutter of marketing messages using personalised print, according to Chad Pearce, software marketing manager, Fuji Xerox.

    “The advertisement was placed in B&T Weekly as the centre piece of our 2002 variable information advertising campaign. The ad, (designed by DDI Adworks Filmworks), was designed to stimulate interest within the marketing community for personalised print as a whole and our range of variable information software products,” he said

    “The advertisement was an excellent demonstration of the powerful impact personalised print can have when used correctly. Our dedicated 1800 telephone number was bombarded as a result of the advertisement, as was our exhibition space at the Pan Pacific Direct Marketing exhibition during the same week.”

  • Rod Urquhart is chief judge for the National Print Awards

    The move is part of a campaign to revamp the NPA to bring it in line with industry needs following the appointment of Alf Carrigan as chairman this year. Other intitiatives include the publishing of a website where printers can down load entry forms and the extension of the closing date for entries to January 13, 2003.

    The appointment of Urquhart is likely to usher in a stricter regime of awarding gold medals. He has put the industry on notice that there may be less gold about next year than before.

    “In 2003 only award entries that are of the highest quality will be eligible for gold. If the judges don’t agree that there is an entry that demonstrates industry excellence, then no gold prize will be awarded for that category,” he said.

    In the past Urquhart has been involved in numerous awards as a judge, and he reflects that, “quite often you would see entries that had been pulled together at the last minute. It was obvious to us as judges which companies had been stockpiling potential entry pieces over the past 12 months, and those who entered a job they had worked on in December – which in fact might not reflect their best work from the previous 12 months.

    “Of course the trend favours those who take the Awards seriously and professionally, whether they be a large national corporation or a small company of under four staff.”

    Urquhart is clear that he see the NPA as a valuable marketing tool for printing companies.
    “Entrants should see the awards as a profile raising exercise. They are a very effective way to market your company to not only the industry, but the general public.”

    His advice to entrants is to take extra care with the presentation of the entry.
    “The judges can only assess the item that they have in front of them and it is surprising how often you come across a wonderful job but, for example, its page numbers are out of order – hardly a reflection of industry excellence, even if it wasn’t the fault of the printer.”

    Rod Urquhart is CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Functional Communication Surfaces (CRC-FCS), where he is responsible for managing research projects between Monash University, CSIRO, and the Australian National University. He is a chemist who comes to the role with over 45 years experience in the printing industry. Prior to CRC-FCS he was the Regional Technical Director of Swiss-based Sicpa, the third largest ink producer in the world.

    CRC-FCS concentrates on research programmes such as measuring in three dimensions the movement of fluids such as ink through the structure of paper, investigating the formation and behaviour of emulsions of ink and fountain solutions in lithography, and developing new substrates for the emerging digital printing era.

    Environmental issues are also addressed through such projects as increased efficiency in the recycling of newsprint through improved de-inking and flotation processes, and reductions in the use of harsh chemicals. The approach also includes the development of ink that can aid the de-inking process by being more readily removed from surface of the paper.

    A major component of the CRC program is the education and training of professional scientists through the teaching of Masters and Doctoral degrees, with special emphasis on equipping students with the specialised skills to become the technical leaders of the future for the printing and associated industries.

  • Job of the week – Multi-Colour Printing Offsider Sydney

    Start the new year with this busy and well known printing house located in Alexandria, specialising in corporate printing across Sydney.
    Reporting to the Production Manager, you will be responsible for the use of a Heidelberg 4 Colour MO printer OR Heidelberg 5 Colour Speed Master 74.

    You will have 6-12 months Heidelberg experience with a team attitude and flexibility

    Urgent position, immediate interviews
    Melissa Sariano at
    Reference number 2MS15448

    Clements Recruitment
    Level 15 Australia Square
    264-278 George Street, Sydney

    More jobs here:

  • EFI takeover of Best for US$9m plus

    EFI is a leading supplier of imaging solutions for network printing while Best is a German-based global software company providing products for the print and publishing markets. The acquisition complements EFI’s strengths in graphic arts and workflow software, adding a range of preprint, prepress and remote proofing solutions for inkjet printers to EFI’s portfolio. It also furthers EFI’s strategy of increasing its market share in the professional and corporate printing sectors. The acquisition is expected to close in January 2003.

    “We are delighted to welcome Best into the EFI family. Their tradition of excellence in colour inkjet proofing is a great match with our own commitment to industry-leading solutions for the graphic arts market,” said EFI CEO Guy Gecht. “With the addition of Best’s technology and talented employees, EFI is further expanding its penetration of the professional printing market by offering customers a wider range of feature rich proofing solutions.”

    Because EFI does not sell directly to end users but to OEMs, there is unlikely to be any impact on the channel distribution of Best Products. High profile distributors of the Best proofing solutions in Australia are Folks Graphics in Sydney.

    Founded in 1994, Best is headquartered in Krefeld, Germany and has offices in the U.S. and Malaysia as well as a global network of resellers. Thorsten Breiding is Best’s CEO and will continue to lead their operations, reporting to Ghilad Dziesietnik, EFI Vice President of Advanced Software. The company employs approximately 90 people worldwide.

    “This is an exciting day for our company,” said Best CEO Breiding. “EFI has the international reputation and financial and technological resources to help us grow and develop our next generation of products. EFI understands our business and they are strongly committed to making Best the `Best’ solution for printing software.”

    Electronics For Imaging ( is a world leader in imaging solutions for network printing. EFI’s core technology includes document management tools, networking, high fidelity colour and black-and-white output, and greater productivity and cost efficiency. EFI products support a broad range of printers, copiers, multifunction devices and mobile communications devices and printer speeds of up to 2000 ppm in colour.

    EFI has pioneered many innovative imaging solutions, including the Fiery(R), EDOX(R), Splash(TM) and DocStream(TM) brands of print controllers, Velocity(TM) workflow software, eBeam(R) Web-enabled whiteboards and PrintMe Networks(TM) which enables anytime, anywhere printing. Unimobile(TM) is EFI’s mobile messaging solution for interactive data delivery. EFI employs more than 900 people and maintains 18 offices worldwide, including one in North Sydney.

  • Six months later, Fairfax at Tullamarine meets its deadline.

    The company is claiming the plant is on time and on budget after revising the original commissioning date due to the difficulty in negotiating a new enterprise agreement with the Victorian unions.

    According to spokesman, Bruce Wolpe, between three to six months were lost in “difficult negotiations” getting the new enterprise agreement. This resulted in full-time staff numbers being cut by 120 from 270 at the old Fairfax printing plant at Spencer Street in Melbourne’s CBD, to 150 at Tullamarine, with significant productivity improvements and greater labour flexibility

    “We’re very happy with the new agreement and presumably so are the unions. The key is greater flexibility and a more highly skilled workforce,” he said.

    Most of the prepress, press and finishing equipment was installed in 2001. However Fairfax has always factored in a long period of ramp-up in the commissioning phase.

    According to Peter Graham, Director, Group Operations, commissioning of the equipment has proceeded smoothly, with no unexpected problems or delays.

    The three huge MAN Roland presses are currently turning out the first commercial products from the plant, while production of the Saturday Age will begin on a phased transition over the late December-early January period, with full production in January. Transition of other publications to be printed at Tullamarine will follow.

    The new presses, called AGEMAN (a version of the MAN GEOMAN) can print 75,000 copies/hour, compared to the current 30,000 copies/hour at the company’s Spencer Street facility, which will continue to operate, bringing the printing of Fairfax’s Community newspapers in Victoria in-house.

    Greg Hywood, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Age, said the newspaper will leverage the competitive advantage of Tullamarine to increase circulation and readership, grow its target audience and continuously improve quality and cost of all Age products.

    “The one hundred per cent colour capacity at Tullamarine presents revenue growth opportunities across all key advertising categories: employment, real estate, automotive, and display. Demand is already there for additional colour in The Age.”

    The newspaper will be progressively redesigned across all editions to take advantage of the new colour capacity and to meet market needs. The strategy is not to flood the market with colour. Colour will be staged to meet demand.

    The new press and mail room expansion together with colour upgrade at Fairfax’s Chullora NSW plant is on budget ($90 million), and proceeding to schedule. Some additional colour capacity there has been brought online earlier than planned.

  • Major ink agency goes to Ferag

    According to the company, the decision to change trading partners is brought about by the need to re-position Hostmann-Steinberg with a more strategic alliance that allows for their complete range of products to be sold throughout the country.

    In a press elease the company said the new global alliance with the Ferag Group with head offices in Switzerland, means that Ferag Australia will be able to work closely with Hostmann-Steinberg to centre their sales approach, ensuring that all printers will have access to the complete range of products.

    This new alliance is expected to drive sales of Hostmann-Steinberg products effectively across the whole of the litho industry and is due to take place from the 1st May 2003.

    Ferag Australia will offer the industry in all the major centers, local ink mixing facilities, as well as ensuring an ‘on demand’ technical presence.

    Hostmann-Steinberg continues to be totally committed to its Australian customers and is confident that the new alliance with Ferag Australia will guarantee a continued excellence in service.

    In the meantime, existing customers using Hostmann-Steinberg products can be assured that there will continue to be an uninterrupted supply of products for every customer right through and after the changeover period.

  • Print21Online goes weekly in 2003

    From then on, Print21Online, Australia and New Zealand’s printing and graphic arts news bulletin, will be published every week in order to keep you even more up to date with the news.

    This enhanced coverage will provide the industry with a more comprehensive coverage of local and international news. In 2003 you will see more in-depth reports of major industry events overseas through syndication and cooperation agreements with media in UK, USA and South Africa. There will also be more archiving, e-commerce, and research features on the web site.

    We encourage you to forward Print21Online to your colleagues in the industry so they can sign up for their own weekly email news bulletin. Simply click the box on the right.

    Thanks to all our supporters, especially to the sponsors who have allowed and encouraged us to upgrade the frequency of Print21Online in 2003. And thanks to you, our subscribers and readers, for all your good wishes and support over the past two years. Without your feedback we could not continue.

    Merry Christmas and enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

  • Print & Pack wins Fuji Graphic Arts products in Australia & New Zealand

    The new distributor relationship, first flagged in an exclusive report on Print21Online in October, encompasses all graphic arts products, including scanners, proofers, filmsetters, RIPs and CTP systems as well as plates, film, proofing products and all associated chemistry.

    The decision comes at the end of a detailed examination of the supplier market carried out by Fuji Photo Film in order to assess how best to promote and sell its range of graphic arts products in Australasia. As a result of this review, the company decided in September not to renew its distributor arrangements with CPI and to seek a new sales partner with the necessary resources and expertise to meet its requirements.

    Negotiations with several suppliers followed before the decision was made to choose Print & Pack Australia as sole distributor. The new arrangement will come into effect at the conclusion of the current contract in April 2003.
    As part of the new arrangement, Print & Pack Australia is setting up a separate company, Graphics Systems Australasia within the group to handle the Fuji graphic arts product range. This new company, with locations in all states, will be headed by Peter Carrigan, formerly of CPI. This company will comprise a team of dedicated graphic arts professionals, focusing on service and support to the market.

    The establishment of an entirely separate division for Fuji graphic arts products will benefit customers by enabling the company to focus exclusively on marketing and supporting the Fuji brand while still enjoying the market synergies that derive from being part of a major equipment supplier.
    Fuji is committed to ensuring continued service to its customers on the highest possible level. In due course, existing Fuji graphic arts customers will be contacted by Fuji to discuss how the new arrangements can be tailored to best suit their needs for continued and uninterrupted supply of product from April 2003. In the meantime, customers wanting more information about the distributorship should contact…
    Tel: (02) 9466 2645

    Matt Ushida, General Manager, Fuji Photo Film, Sydney representative office, commented:
    “We welcome this opportunity to work with Print & Pack Australia in serving the graphic arts industry in Australia. Like Print & Pack, we have a well-established record of introducing quality products to the graphic arts market, delivering genuine benefits to users and their customers. Fuji also has very good working relationships with MAN companies in Europe and it is appropriate that, against this background of mutual respect and trust, we should work together in Australia.”

    “We look forward to continuing our tradition for innovation and technological excellence in partnership with Print & Pack Australia.”

    Jonathan Clark, managing director of Print & Pack Australia, said that customers will now be able to enjoy the operational and commercial benefits that derive from combining consumables and equipment from a single supplier source.
    In addition, the Fuji prepress equipment provides a particularly good fit for Print & Pack’s current product range that already includes Krause and Esko-Graphics CTP systems. With Fuji consumables and pre-press hardware, this compliments the existing pre-press range to offer a total solution across the whole spectrum of commercial and newspaper applications.

    “We are absolutely delighted to be able to expand our field of operations into graphic arts imaging and consumables. It’s no secret that, for some time now, we’ve wanted to take on consumables, and it has been a case of waiting for the right supplier and right products to come along. Fuji Photo Film meets our criteria exactly – a quality product from an established supply company with a reputation for innovation and quality manufacturing.”

    “Our goal at Print & Pack Australia is to represent the leading manufacturers in each sector of the graphic arts market in which we operate, whether it’s print, pack, label or bind. Fuji Photo Film is no exception to the rule, and I am confident that with the enthusiasm and resources of our dedicated team of professionals we can deliver the type of service and support that the products deserve.”

    The press release from Fuji emphasizes that all FUJIFILM’s photographic products and services still remain with Hanimex Australasia.

  • Launch of next generation Harlequin RIP

    In-RIP trapping, improved colour management, and Native PDF 1.4 compatibility contribute to the high-performance specifications of the new release of the Harlequin RIP. The RIP Eclipse Release provides the large number of OEMs that have built their systems on Harlequin technology, with a set of processing tools the makers claim will significantly increase the productivity, quality and reliability of their products for a wide variety of prepress, printing and proofing applications.

    “In the Eclipse Release we have delivered a RIP which we believe is vastly superior in flexibility and functionality to any other processor,” says Jim Freidah, president and chief operating officer, Global Graphics. “As the basis for future Harlequin RIP technologies, the Eclipse Release has been designed to handle the accelerating evolution of demanding production processes and deliver high-level performance in a variety of applications to the quickprint, display print, commercial print, publishing and packaging sectors.”

    The internal architecture of the Harlequin RIP has been enhanced to accommodate functionality that will be required by evolving prepress and digital printing markets in the near future. Future releases will build on this foundation to provide support for emerging standards, such as JDF. This engineering ‘under the hood’ will bring a broader range of options to OEMs that will not only add value to their products but also enable them to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

    “Global Graphics is committed to providing our partners with the technology that enables them to deploy competitive solutions with minimal time to market,” points out Adrian Ford, chief technology officer. “The Eclipse Release is significant for us and for the market because it raises the bar for all our customers with improvements they can benefit from immediately, combined with the foundation for a broader range of options in the future.”

    The new RIP is available immediately to OEMs, and has already successfully completed Global Graphics’ 90-day pilot programme conducted in partnership with Autologic Inc, DSEA, ECRM, Highwater, Esko Graphics and Xitron. These are the first OEMs to license the Eclipse Release and all expect to deliver Eclipse based products to their customers in 2003 for powerful digital imaging, proofing and printing applications.

  • Clancy’s column . . . overflow. . .news. . .news. . .

    Once the high-flying publishing vehicle for failed Diamond Press boss, John Spira, Terraplanet, the magazine publisher with the dot com aspirations and the old prepress equipment, has finally folded after a turbulent year that saw a number of boardroom coups. Administrators are fielding several expressions of interest for the magazine titles.


    Komori Corporation has recently completed the first phase of a new 45,000 square metre plant at Tsukuba, 50 kilometers north of Tokyo. The first phase includes the completion of 10,000 square metres which since July this year has been used to assemble and test Lithrone S40, SP (double-decker perfector) and multicolour printing presses. The new plant sits on a pristine site, surrounded largely by government research institutes and is located near Japan’s newest national university in Tsukuba City. Komori says it is constructing the new plant in order to meet the increasing worldwide demand for 40-inch presses.


    Question: What is the largest selling brand of PC in the world?

    Answer: Apple.

    The Cinderella of the computing world, continuously sidelined in the numbers game, has come through as the single largest brand of hardware sold. According to a piece by Jack Campbell at, the hardware market is so fragmented that Apple hits the lead as the single most popular brand. Of course that means that it still only has 11.6 per cent. Here are Jack Campbell’s figures.

    • 11.6% Apple
    • 10.4% Compaq
    • 9.8% Dell
    • 9.1% IBM
    • 7.3% Hewlett-Packard
    • 5.1% Sony
    • 3.4% Toshiba
    • 3.1% NEC
    • 3.0% Packard-Bell
    • 2.1% eMachines
    • 1.7% Microstar
    • 1.3% Fujitsu
    • 32.1% Others (each less than 1%)


    Scitex continues its sometimes eccentric strategy of selling and consolidating companies it owns or has an interest in. Latest move sees it merge Scitex Vision with fellow Israeli enterprise Aprion Digital. The deal brings together two of the leading inkjet companies, even though Aprion, in the first place, grew from a Scitex initiative.


    And do not even think about a round of golf. PMP may be in all kinds of strife, but its integrity is absolute. The following e-mail went to suppliers.

    Dear PMP Supplier

    It is PMP Print policy that employees do not accept gifts or entertainment from suppliers. Please ensure that you comply with this policy at all times and particularly as the Christmas season approaches.
    If you are unsure of how this policy applies to your business or you wish to see a copy of the full purchasing policy please contact the Group Procurement Manager.


    Internet versus newspapers – the war rages on. Queensland Newspapers has provided court-enforceable undertakings to the ACCC that it will allow internet advertising in the classified sections of its newspapers. Complaints were made that a number of internet businesses could not advertise in the classified sections of Queensland Newspapers, including The Courier Mail.

    The ACCC expressed concern that Queensland Newspapers has a substantial degree of power in the Queensland markets and having refused supply, may have contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974.
    It has agreed to establish a new classified advertisement category entitled ‘Internet Classified Services’ for the general classified section of its newspapers.


    Ricoh has announced the launch of the first national toner cartridge plastic recycling programme in Australia. The programme aims to recycle more than 21,000 cartridges, reclaiming the plastic to make durable objects such as – park benches!

    Following a successful trial during which three park benches were donated to educational institutions, Ricoh is now set to expand the scheme in 2003.


    Quick Cut, the file transfer company for publishers and many printing companies, attributes its success to spending way above the national average on R&D. It claims Australia’s average expenditure for research and development is three per cent of turnover, which is far behind any other country in the western world. By contrast, for the past decade, Quickcut has committed between 30 and 40 cents of every dollar earned to make its technologies better. Signs on it, Quickcut is one of our more dynamic exporters with a significant share of the global file transfer market.


    Another trade show casualty seems almost certain in the UK. The future of PrintUK, to be held in April next year at the NEC in Birmingham, is looking shaky following Heidelberg’s decision to sign up for rival Northprint in May instead. Heidelberg UK sales director Jim Todd said he suspected Print UK would not go ahead and that Heidelberg’s absence from the show symbolised what it thought of its merits compared to Northprint, according to a DotPrint report.


    “I think that to remedy the industry’s severe overcapacity problem, 15 per cent to 20 per cent of U.S. printers – the weakest ones, of course – would have to leave the field. I also think that equipment vendors, for their part, must keep from propping up those weak plants by placing their hardware there on less-than-justifiable financing terms; just the same, it would probably take a year for this necessary adjustment to take place.” – Yves Rogivue, chief executive of MAN Roland Inc., speaking at a trade press event in New York City at which the press manufacturing company emphasized providing ‘smart’ capacity to qualified printers to replace equipment based on ‘arts and crafts’ production.
    (Extract from


    EPSON Australia, is moving to new premises at North Ryde. Effective January 6th, EPSON’s new premises will be located at No 3 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park NSW.


    And finally, last one for the year.

    A Horoscope For The Workplace

    ASTROLOGY: tells us about you and your future simply by your birthday. The Chinese Zodiac uses the year of your birth. Demographics tell us what you like, dislike, whom you vote for, what you buy, and what you watch on TV. Well, the Corporate Zodiac goes a step further: simply by your job title, people will have you all figured out…

    MARKETING: You are ambitious yet stupid. You chose a marketing degree to avoid having to study in college, concentrating instead on drinking and socializing, which is pretty much what your job responsibilities are now. Least compatible with Sales.

    SALES: Laziest of all signs, often referred to as “marketing without a degree,” you are also self-centered and paranoid. Unless someone calls you and begs you to take their money, you like to avoid contact with “customers” so you can “concentrate on the big picture.” You seek admiration for your golf game throughout your life.

    TECHNOLOGY: Unable to control anything in your personal life, you are  instead content to completely control everything that happens at your workplace. Often even YOU don’t understand what you are saying, but who the hell can tell?! It is written that the geeks shall inherit the Earth.

    ENGINEERING: One of only two signs that actually studied in school, it is said that ninety percent of all personal ads are placed by engineers. You can be happy with yourself: your office is typically full of all the latest “ergodynamic” gadgets. However, we all know what is really causing your “carpal tunnel”…

    ACCOUNTING: The only other sign that studied in school, you are mostly immune from office politics. You are the most feared person in the organization; combined with your extreme organizational traits, the  majority of rumors concerning you say that you are completely insane.

    HUMAN RESOURCES: Ironically, given your access to confidential information, you tend to be the biggest gossip within the organization. Possibly the only other person that does less work than marketing, you are unable to return any calls today because you have to get a haircut,  have lunch, and mail a letter!

    MIDDLE MANAGEMENT/DEPARTMENT MANAGEMENT/”TEAM LEADS”: Catty, cut-throat, yet completely spineless, you are destined to remain at your current job for the rest of your life. Unable to make a single decision you tend to measure your worth by the number of meetings you can schedule for yourself. Best suited to marry other “Middle Managers,” as everyone in your social circle is a “Middle Manager.”

    SENIOR MANAGEMENT: Catty, cut-throat, yet completely spineless, you are destined to remain at your current job for the rest of your life. Unable to make a single decision you tend to measure your worth by the number of meetings you can schedule for yourself. Best suited to marry other “Senior Managers,” as everyone in your social circle is a “Senior Manager.”

    CUSTOMER SERVICE: Bright, cheery, positive, you are a fifty-cent cab ride from taking your own life. As a child very few of you asked your parents for a little cubicle for your room and a headset so you could pretend to play “Customer Service.” Continually passed over for promotions, your best bet is to sleep with your boss.

  • Printing companies lose value

    In a presentation to the Print2003 forum, industry analyst, Harris DeWese, said the ‘smart money’ had largely abandoned printing as an investment sector. Acquisitions of printing companies were down in the past year, with activity estimated at $500 million.

    He said many of the companies sold were distressed sales as the crisis gripping the industry worsens and the prices paid for existing printing businesses were anywhere from 25 –60 per cent lower than in the previous year. “In general, both sales of print companies and their prices have dropped drastically from 1998-88 levels,” he said.

    He described the current situation as one where “there are many motivated sellers in the market.” He predicts that the pace of bankruptcies will increase in 2003 with many of these bankrupt companies acquired at rock bottom prices by healthier competitors as the consolidation of the industry continues.

    “It’s Darwinian,” he said. “Fragmented industries such as printing inevitably consolidate for economic reasons.”

    He warned that many consolidators in the past have been unable to effect the economies of scale and other cost-cutting measures on which the consolidation was premised. But there is no sign that the level of consolidation will falter.

  • PaperlinX share buy back

    The company, Australia largest paper merchant and the country’s sole fine paper manufacturer, will fund the buy-back with cash generated in excess of its current needs, largely through its focused working capital management program.

    In announcing the buy-back, Ian Wightwick, PaperlinX’s Managing Director, said, “This buy-back will not impact adversely our ability to further pursue options for growth by acquisition in North America and Europe. However we are also committed to actively manage the capital base of the company an current stock market conditions have provided us with the opportunity to enhance shareholders’ returns by buying back our own stock at this time.”

    The buy-back period will commence on 19 December 2002 and will continue for up to six months. The level of buy-back does not require specific shareholder approval. Credit Suisse First Boston will act on behalf of

    PaperlinX shares are trading at $4.85.

  • CTP is not all it seems. . . Letter to the editor

    When quoting survey results as you did in your most recent Print21 Online “only two per cent (of printers) are still intending to invest in a film imagesetters in the coming year” (POL #44) can you identify up front the results are from a USA study?

    The USA does not always mirror Australia to the same degree. The impression your article gives is that CTP has crushed film to a pulp. Not so, at least in Australia. In this country (and I suspect in the US) there are many printers that have decided not to directly invest in CTP – either sticking with traditionally methods, buying in CTP plates or moving to direct-to-press technology.

    CTP has barely touched the packaging side of the industry. While CTP has some great advantages, like everything else, there is a cost/benefit to consider. In the smaller Australian market not everyone has been swayed by the CTP “hype”.

    I am not surprised though at the US results indicating low levels of interest in buying new filmsetters among US printers. Who is buying a new filmsetter right now with so much second had gear out there.

    A better measure of the impact of CTP on the traditional film and plate market would be consumable sales – evidence suggests that film is still being used in sizeable quantities. It is a shame the US study did not look at this measure before it, and Print21, declared film dead and buried.

    Garry Knespal

    Executive Secretary

    Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia

  • UK Government gives $8.4m for Print Industry Forum

    The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is to provide nearly $8.4 million (£3 million) towards the total of $15.4 million (£5.5 million) for the Forum, during its first five years of operation. The balance will be generated from the industry.

    BPIF Chief Executive Michael Johnson, has been the driving force behind the Forum initiative, which was launched this week.

    “Any trade association worth its salt must be concerned to make a significant contribution to improving the competitive position of the industry it represents. Taking an important strategic initiative of this kind makes companies – members and non-members – realise the impact a vibrant association can make.

    “As Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt recently stated, ‘Strategic, forward-looking trade associations matter – they are listened to and can make a difference for their members.’”

    The Forum’s immediate priority will be to recruit a Chief Executive and a small team of performance improvement specialists to develop and manage programmes in the fields of print process improvement, customer value enhancement and team leader training. A number of early research and development activities are planned, and printers, as well as their customers and suppliers, can expect to be consulted on the Forum’s priorities and work programme.

    Commenting on the support the bid has received from both the DTI and the industry itself, Johnson said, “I am delighted that we have progressed this far in such a short time and I am confident that the Forum will be up and running very shortly now.

    “The support we have had from the DTI has been first class throughout and we are very pleased that the Minister has agreed to launch the Forum. We are extremely fortunate to have secured people of this calibre to serve on the Forum Board and this gets us off to a tremendous start.”

    The Forum will be led by a Board made up of chief executives from the Industry. Comprising the industry’s leading lights, the Board will provide leadership and strategic direction to the Forum’s work, and its mission to drive up the productivity and competitiveness of printing companies.

  • JOB OF THE WEEK: Sales Achiever: CyraChrome Sydney

    This is a great opportunity to join Australia’s leading supplier
    of wide-format inkjet printers and consumables as used for
    prepress proofing, display graphics, pro photography, signage, advertising and fine art reproduction.

    Big brands such as Epson, Hewlett Packard, Agfa, DuPont,
    Canon and our own Tiara Systems are in the portfolio along
    with great software and an extensive range of ink and paper

    Presentation, articulation and sales negotiation skills are
    essential. Technical knowledge of colour management will be
    highly regarded.

    Attractive base salary package with bonus and fully maintained company vehicle.

    Please send your application in total confidence to:
    Mr A S McCourt, CyraChrome Pty Ltd
    PO Box 4068, Lane Cove DC, NSW 2066

    Email word docs to:

    More jobs here:

  • PaperSpider on-line now spins sheets specialises in spot lots, including mill side runs, over-runs and stock superfluous to requirements. This week it has extended its coverage from reels to sheet stock with the aim of providing the industry with the most comprehensive service in readily available paper.

    The brainchild of well-known paper broker, John Grivas, and backed by high-profile magazine publisher, Richard Walsh and well-known industry identity, Jaimie Fuller, is an independent on-line operation where sellers of redundant stock – publishers, printers, mills or merchants – can post their paper as spot lots for the local market. The site enables buyers to broaden the scope of purchasing, allowing them to take advantage of spot stock within their overall purchasing strategy.

    Sellers provide detailed information of the paper for sale, including the asking price, which buyers can either accept or make a counter offer. Both parties remain anonymous until the deal is done and buyers are covered by trade indemnity insurance. Terms are 60 days for international shipments and 30 days for local paper.

    PaperSpider makes its money by charging three percent of the buyer’s final purchase price. This fee is included in the listed price on the site. There is no charge for becoming a member of PaperSpider.

    According to John Grivas, industry reception of the site so far is very positive. He spoke after returning from New Zealand where printers and publishers signed on.

    “The site has been running for a few months now and we’re building up to a critical mass. This week we’re extending the listing to include sheeted paper, which will be of great interest to commercial printers. Using PaperSpider allows printers and publishers to cut the capital they have tied up in paper,” he said.

    PaperSpider is an extension of the activities of Independent Paper Management Systems, an independent sourcing and stock management agency for publishers and printers founded in 1997.

  • McPherson printing profit up 54%

    The following is an excerpt of Mr King’s address to shareholders at last month’s meeting.

    “The strong earnings result [of the company] for the year was underpinned by excellent performances by our printing businesses, which produced a combined profit before interest and tax 54% greater than the previous year.

    “The result was, of course, enhanced by the acquisition of The Australian Print Group, making McPherson’s the largest book printer in Australia. Successful completion of the first stage of its integration with the McPherson’s Printing Group in Maryborough, Victoria, was achieved during the year.

    “I would like to highlight to shareholders that, at the time of its acquisition, The Australian Print Group was in a state of severely declining profitability. However, as our due diligence investigations had identified in excess of $3 million in first stage productivity improvements, management was confident that the company’s return on investment criteria would be met.

    “It is a tribute to both McPherson’s management and the Maryborough workforce that the productivity targets were met. McPherson’s is the largest employer in the Maryborough region and the long-term benefits to the local community of a more financially robust and efficient business have been clearly recognised.

    “I would also like to acknowledge the performance in 2002 by our directory printing business, William Brooks, which produced another solid result. A major highlight during the year was the successful negotiation with Telstra of an extension until 2009 to the company’s supply agreement to print 50% of Australia’s telephone directories.

    “Whilst the Telstra agreement extension provides William Brooks with a high degree of business certainty until 2009, the competitive nature of the negotiations has resulted in some aspects of the new arrangements not being as favourable as those previously enjoyed.

    “However, offsetting this are a number of factors which will result in improvements to the Printing Division’s profitability. These include greater flexibility to undertake non-Telstra printing work at the Chullora directory printing plant, further profitable growth opportunities in other areas of our printing business and additional targeted rationalisation and efficiency gains. Non-Telstra work has already commenced at Chullora.

    “In our printing businesses, the objective is to consolidate the gains made in 2002 and to produce in 2003 earnings similar to those of last year. First quarter earnings are well in line with these targets.”