Archive for June, 2003

  • Clancy column. . . the overflow . . . best bits . . . funnies

    After taking the paper company to task two years ago over its use of rain forest for pulp FOE grudgingly concedes the company has made some progress but emphasizes that a majority of its pulp still comes from clear-felling rainforest.

    AAP said it was working with WWF Indonesia on drafting a memorandum of understanding for a number of initiatives. These include the creation of conservation protection zones, and enhancements to current SMG forestry management systems to work within the Forest Stewardship Council system.

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    On this day (Thursday June 26) in 1974, bar codes were first used in supermarket checkout lanes. In a Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio, the first product to be scanned was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. It just happened to be the first thing lifted from the cart. Today, the pack of gum is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. (reprinted from The Writer’s Almanac.)

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    Baldwin is to introduce Constant ‘C’ at PANPA 2003 in Brisbane in August. Constant C, the first internal cleaning system of its kind in the world, has been developed to further enhance Baldwin’s LithoSpray spray dampening system. It provides a gentle air curtain over the front of the nozzles, thus keeping them free from blockage by ink and dust and maintaining uniform water spray. The elimination of the nozzle clogging and the even water distribution ensure consistently high print quality and significantly reduce maintenance requirements of the dampening system.

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    Some optimistic statements from technology company PrintCafe during its IPO last years have returned to haunt it. Shareholders are after the company. They claim the Registration Statement and Prospectus issued were materially false and misleading because statements made therein failed to disclose and misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

    • that demand for the company’s products and services was declining to the extent that the company was not performing in line with its internal expectations;
    • that the company’s product development efforts were experiencing difficulties; and
    • that the company’s declining financial performance would require it to engage in a material restructuring of its operations in order to generate cost savings and reverse that negative trend.

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    Xerox Corporation has received the 2003 IEEE Corporate Innovation Recognition award for its pioneering work that created the DocuTech product line and resulted in the $30 billion print-on-demand industry.
    The IEEE recognized Xerox for its DocuTech product line, which unified digital electronics, computing and communications with xerography to create the print-on-demand industry.

    The Xerox DocuTech Production Publisher was launched in 1990. It was a disruptive product line that fundamentally changed the notions of printing and copying in their traditional markets. The first technology to extend the electronic printing of computer–generated pages to the electronic publishing of fully laid out documents, it allowed users to merge, edit and enhance information from both hard copy and electronic documents, store the results electronically, and print on-demand. An astonishing array of technological innovations enabled the breakthroughs on which the print-on-demand industry is based.

    And what does IEEE stand for? The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers is one of the world’s largest professional organizations.

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    In a sign of things to come Lexmark has reduced prices up to 40 per cent on its inkjet printer cartridge prices due the strength of he Aussie dollar. The company says it has experienced significant cost savings in its Australian business as a result of the strong dollar and is now able to pass those savings onto customers.

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    And finally. . . The good Astrid Sweres continues to tickle our funny bone. Here’s her latest.

    Mrs. Ward goes to the doctor’s office to collect her husband’s test results.
    The lab tech says to her, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but there has been a bit of a mix-up and we have a problem. When we sent the samples from your husband to the lab, the samples from another Mr. Ward were sent as well and we are now uncertain which one is your husband’s. Frankly, it is either bad or terrible.”

    “What do you mean?” Mrs. Ward asked.

    “Well, one has tested positive for Alzheimer’s and the other for AIDS. We can’t tell which is your husband.”

    “That’s terrible! Can we do the test over?” questioned Mrs.Ward.

    “Normally, yes. But Medicare won’t pay for these expensive tests more than once.”

    “Well, what am I supposed to do now?”

    “The people at Medicare recommend that you drop your husband off in the middle of town. If he finds his way home, don’t sleep with him.”

  • Most small businesses can produce their own colour printing – survey

    According to a new survey by Xerox Corporation and International Communications Research, the majority of small businesses not only own colour technology but also view colour as a critical business tool.

    More than 90 percent of the 1,013 U.S. small businesses surveyed agree that using colour in their office documents and marketing materials has helped them attract new customers, present an image of impressive quality to their customers, and make a memorable impression.

    In addition, 84 percent of the respondents say greater consideration is given to their ideas and proposals when they are communicated in colour. And at least eight in 10 small business owners believe the use of colour documents adds value to their bottom line by:

    • Making their company appear successful (83 percent)
    • Enhancing employee creativity (83 percent).
    • Giving them a competitive advantage (81 percent).

    “With years of expertise in the science of colour imaging, Xerox has known that colour can be an essential enabler for businesses of all sizes. We conducted this survey to help pinpoint the extent that small businesses value colour,” said Rob Stewart, vice president of colour marketing, Xerox Office Group. “The results overwhelmingly indicate that small businesses not only understand and appreciate the benefits that colour brings to their business, but also are using it to work smarter.”

    According to the most recent U.S. Census, 98 percent of U.S. companies are small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

    The majority of small businesses surveyed – 66 percent – have the capability to produce colour documents in their workplaces, with most of those companies saying the lack of colour would be an inconvenience.

    Colour also plays a role in how small business managers view their operations. When asked what colour best describes their business over the next year, 26 percent of respondents selected blue, while 19 percent predicted their business would have a green or red year. Blue is also the most prominent colour used in small-business logos, with red and black following as the second and third most-used colours, respectively.

    “In today’s economy, with so many small businesses competing for a share of their markets, companies need to be aware of the simple, affordable tools that can be used to successfully portray and run a small business,” Stewart said.

  • Lithography and xerography converge at the LIA national conference

    In a move away from the traditional technical focus of the LIA, the theme of the three day event is Industry in Crisis – Implementing Change for Profit. The sponsorship of the conference by Fuji Xerox, keepers of the ‘xerographic flame’ illustrates just how quickly and how far the industry has shifted in a short space of time. It was not long ago that LIA members identified xerography as a threat to their industry.

    According to Robert Black, national president, the decision to broaden the conference’s scope away from technology alone grew out of recognition that not to do so would be to the industry’s peril.

    “Whether we are in the communication or printing business makes no difference if you are going broke. Old or new technology is of no importance if it is not being used efficiently, providing a return on investment and making you or your company an acceptable profit margin. The predicted decline of more than half the number of printing business over the next couple of years is a crisis if you are in the segment that is disappearing,” he said.

    In a statement inviting the industry to attend the conference he wrote . . . The 17th LIA Biennial Conference, “Industry in Crisis – Implementing Change for Profit” will provide all participants with a forum that explores the inherent relationships between an industry in crisis, continually confronted by change, and contemporary management practices. It will give participants an overview on how the relationship between technology vendors and end users has dramatically changed to a more cooperative and partnering relationship.

    It will give the participant an insight, through case studies, on how best they can work together and adopt the new business strategies that are working. Underlying all of the above there will be a focus on managing the change process to ensure a profit.

    The conference agenda is still a work in progress but organizers hope to have it settled fairly soon.

    For more information contact Robert Black Robert.Black@RMIT.edu.vic.au

  • New national sales manager for Heidelberg New Zealand

    Noel Priestly, general manager Heidelberg NZ, announced the appointment, effective 1 July 2003. “Hemi will report directly to myself, and work closely with the New Zealand Account Managers, as well as our Customer Support Manager, Bruce Walters, and our Accounting and Commercial Services Manager, Adil Sarkari. He will also network and develop regional plans with his colleagues in Northern and Southern Regions in Australia,” he said.

    Brown has extensive experience in the printing and graphic arts industry, starting his career as a foreman printer for Printers & Publishers, where he worked for nine years. He then moved onto Corporate Print and Copy where he was a digital printer operating a Heidelberg QMDI and other digital equipment, prior to joining Heidelberg in 2000 as an Account Manager.

    “Hemi’s experience in the graphic arts industry has equipped him with a very good knowledge of the sales process, understanding of business, and management skills required for his new role as national sales manager. In addition, Hemi is currently undertaking further business studies, and is currently midway through a Diploma in Sales Management, which he will continue from his new Auckland location,” said Priestly.

    In his new role, Brown will be responsible for managing, coaching, and leading the Heidelberg New Zealand Sales team.

  • Apple claims new MacG5 is world fastest PC

    The super fast MacG5, which will be available in Australian and New Zealand in August, is sure to find acceptance in the memory intensive graphics production work, strengthening Apple’s dominant position in the design and prepress industries.

    “The 64-bit revolution has begun and the personal computer will never be the same again,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “The new Power Mac G5 combines the world’s first 64-bit desktop processor, the industry’s first 1 GHz front-side bus, and up to 8GB of memory to beat the fastest Pentium 4 and dual Xeon-based systems in industry-standard benchmarks and real-world professional applications.”

    At the same time Apple announced that there are now over seven million active users of its Unix-based Mac OS X, dubbed the world’s most advanced operating system, and that the number of Mac OS X applications has doubled to more than 6,000 during the past year, including QuarkXPress 6, Photoshop 7, Acrobat 6, Director MX, QuickBooks Pro 5.0, Maya 5 and MATLAB.

    The company is also previewing Mac OS X 10.3 , Panther, the fourth major upgrade of its operating system in four years.

    “With Jaquar, we moved ahead of the competition. With Panther, we’re widening the gap,” said Jobs. “With over 100 new features, including some real blockbusters, Apple is again the industry innovator in operating systems.”

    Panther features a completely new Finder that puts a user’s favourite folders, hard drive, network servers, iDisk and removable media in one
    convenient location, providing one-click access to everything a user
    needs. The redesigned Finder also features lightning-fast search,
    coloured labels for fully-customised organisation of documents and
    projects and dynamic browsing of the network for Mac, Windows and UNIX
    file servers.

    Panther also features Exposé, a revolutionary new way to instantly view
    all open windows and choose any of them to be on top. Exposé visually
    unshuffles overlapping windows on the desktop into an organised view so
    a user can quickly find and select the window they want. Exposé will
    even temporarily clear the desktop of all windows, so users can get to
    any file on the desktop previously hidden by the open windows. Powered
    by the Mac OS X Quartz graphic engine, Exposé is a major advance in
    user interface design that will change the way people work with
    multiple files, applications and projects.

    Panther is expected to be available towords the end of the year.

  • Quark and Adobe shootout in Sydney is world first

    Michael Stoddard of Adobe and James Edwards of Modulo Systems, the QuarkXpress distributor, battled it out in front of almost 40 industry professionals during a software comparison at Sydney Graphics College. According to organiser John Dobbin of NeXus network, this is the first time the two companies participated in such a face-to-face encounter.

    “We conducted the first public shootout a few weeks ago and the results were certainly not what was expected. We had Colin Seton, who is one of the most experienced trainers of both products, as the moderator. He pulled the software apart on behalf of the audience,” he said.

    “Our clients found the debate, and the ensuing forum, so informative we have decided to run five more sessions.”

    Both Stoddard and Edwards have again agreed to face the industry to argue their cases. Attendees will get the opportunity to quiz them on the relative merits of the two programs.

    “The industry is split on whether to move across to InDesign. Both programs have their strong points for different types of work.Early indications suggest the standard suite of programs will increase to include InDesign alongside Xpress, Illustrator and Photoshop,” said Dobbin.

    One of the points that came out in the forum is that some Xpress pages have difficulty translating into InDesign.

    “On the other hand the reduction of workflow steps and economic savings offered by InDesign are powerfull attractors, and the retraining costs are much less than is commonly assumed,” he said.

    NeXus describes itself as a boutique technology company that provides engineering and support, architecture, hardware, software and training.

    The forums will be held in the first week of July at the Sydney Graphic Art college in Ultimo. Cost is $25 per head for the first ticket. Register at:www.nexusnet.com.au

  • 2nd round of GAMAA scholarships

    Scholarships are open to all individuals working within the Graphic Technologies and related industries. One of the key features of the GAMAA Education Scholarship program is the flexibility that it provides with successful applicants able to choose the most relevant post-graduate management or post-graduate business education program to suit their individual needs.

    “In the 2003 round of submissions for GAMAA Education Scholarships we received applications from those working on both the supplier and customer sides of the industry and we encourage this diversity of applicants in future rounds,” said Dr. David Rands, President of GAMAA.

    Seven industry professionals are currently advancing their education under the inaugural scholarships that were granted in February.

    GAMAA will subsidise the academic fees for all successful applicants and will provide a supportive environment for them during their time of study.

    Applications close: 8th August, 2003. For more information or to obtain an application form please visit the GAMAA website at www.gamaa.net.au

  • Australian printers object to New Zealand patent application

    There are also concerns that if successful the patent, lodged by New Zealand based company EWT Trade and Business Consultants NZ Limited, will compromise existing on-line ordering and processing systems for advertisements, stationery, newsletters and business cards and costing systems.

    A number of Australian printing companies have sought legal advice and will lodge Notices of Opposition to the patent before the close off date next Friday – 3 July 2003. Once an objection has been lodged, the objecting company has three months to provide details of its objection. Recognition of the patent has been slow with news of its progress spreading by word of mouth among printers, especially in Western Australia.

    A PDF of the patent can be obtained from Joe Kowalewski Printing Industries Joe@printnet.com.au

    Information on how to lodge an objection is available from the IP Australia website

  • Clancy column. . . the overflow . . . best bits . . . funnies

    Printer Magazines, publisher of trade magazines, took a boatload of printing industry suppliers on a Sydney harbour cruise the night before PrintEx last month. Such generosity must have cost a packet and it is undoubtedly a coincidence that this month’s issue of the once-mighty Australian Printer is breaking new frontiers in graphic arts advertising with a inside front cover promoting the delights of harbour cruises with male strippers, Wild Boys Afloat – hen parties specially catered for.

    Is the reputation of the printing industry such that we are considered ripe for seduction by an assorted bunch of near naked males? Or is it a case of AP going the full monty on a contract deal?

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    This one for screen printers.

    FOR SALE

  • Near new AD TEC
  • Mini AD 500 screen print dryer
  • Model AD 500
  • 240 volt 13 amps
  • $3500 ono
    Contact: Rosemary Wright – M: 0413367766
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    Xerox is big and when it renegotiates its overdraft with the banks the figures are stratospheric. The company has announced a US$3.1bn recapitalisation programme to strengthen its balance sheet and provide financial flexibility. It has received commitments from financial institutions and groups such as Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and UBS for a new $996m credit facility. This will consist of a $695m revolving facility and a $310m term loan, both of which will mature in September 2008.

    Xerox will use proceeds from the recapitalisation, term loan and some of its current cash balance to repay the $3bn outstanding from its bank facility. In recognition of the fees associated with the 2002 credit facility, Xerox will record a $68m pre-tax charge in Q2.

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    Now this is ironic. The U.S. Government Printing Office has decided to close all its bookstores outside Washington DC and make its information only available online. With nearly a quarter of a million titles available online and free of charge, public retrievals are exceeding 32 million every month.

    “The GPO is remaking itself as an agency committed to using new technologies to meet the information demands of the 21st century,” said Public Printer of the United States, Bruce R. Before closing, bookstore customers can take advantage of 75% discounts on remaining store stocks.

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    There’s winners and loser everywhere. Newspaper publishers are winners in the annual contract negotiations for newsprint, getting a reduction of approximately 3.6 per cent to AUD$1000 per tonne. According to AUSNEWZ Pulp & Paper this fall continues the trend set the year before when prices fell 5.7 per cent. Supplier Norske Skog must be feeling left out in the cold as the benchmark Westcoast transaction price started to rise after negotiations were finalised.

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    This is a rumour, unconfirmed but the source is good. The Chinese printing delegation that was supposed to have a major presence at this week’s Book Fair in Darling Harbour, failed to show. It’s unclear why, but sources say they were refused entry visas due to their possible SARS exposure.

    It’s an ill wind, but the local book printing industry needs to take the challenge of offshore printers more seriously than it did. Only two printing companies took up Printing Industries’ offer to have a gratis presence at the show.

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    And finally . . .for all those who failed therapy

    A shy bloke goes into a bar and sees a good-looking young woman sitting by herself. After an hour of gathering up his courage he finally goes over to her and asks, tentatively, “Um, would you mind if I chatted with you for a while?”

    She responds by yelling, at the top of her lungs, “No, I won’t sleep with you tonight! How dare you?” The bar stops and everyone swivels to stare at him.

    Completely embarrassed he slinks back to his table.

    After a few minutes, the woman walks over to him and apologizes. She smiles at him and says, “Look I’m sorry if I embarrassed you. You see, I’m a graduate student in psychology and I’m studying how people respond to embarrassing situations.”

    To which he responds, at the top of his lungs, “What do you mean, $100?”

  • Surcharge on customers who want printed invoices

    According to Frank J. Roman, emeritus professor at Rochester Institute of Technolgy, the practice is gaining in popularity as companies such as Primus, American Express and Ameritrade charge their customer for the privilege of getting printed invoices.

    The practice does not appear to have reached these shores. . .yet.

    Writing in www.PODi.org he says; “Only a year ago, one credit card company offered me a $5 credit if I opted out of a printed bill. That will not happen again. Consumers argue that charging for paper bills punishes people who are not comfortable handling finances online. Not everyone owns a computer or has a fast Internet connection; although, 60% of American households have a computer at home and Internet access.

    “It has been said that those people who are online are the people who matter—in terms of income level and credit worthiness. Though many people can use a computer with a fast link at the office, employers frown on personal use of the system.

    “You have to pay $8 a month to receive paper invoices for loans from
    USAA. Online statements and automatic payments are free. Ameritrade charges $2 for every mailing. NetBank has no branches; it once sent paper statements but now charges $3 for each. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and some energy companies automatically stop paper statements after customers opt to pay online. American Express gives you an option to receive one or both versions.

    “Most companies send an e-mail notice that your online bill is ready.
    Most online customers who want to continue receiving paper bills must request them. Some companies, like America Online, refuse to even offer paper bills.

    “Bills for fixed installments are the most likely to disappear from the mailbox. Consumers are used to coupon books with reminders to pay their mortgages and other routine loans. State Farm said that those customers would have to pay $1 for such paper statements.

    “Company representatives say that they need to cut costs and that consumers need to adapt. That is awfully cheeky of them. We should have the choice, and there should be no penalty for that choice. The average company saves about $1 a bill by moving from a paper-based system to an electronic system. With a million users, that could add up to a CEO’s bar tab.

    “We can only chuckle when we see consultants and informal working groups of vendors predict the growth of transaction printing (monthly bills and statements) in colour. What transaction printing? There will still be the need to print these items for those consumers who do not choose to go online.

    “The problem is what those giant credit card, insurance, utility, and financial services companies do when the digital print volume no longer supports an internal capability.We think they will farm it out to commercial printers. It will be harder and harder for some companies to justify their own digital printing in-house.

    “We think this will become an opportunity for commercial printers to offer the service. Some are doing it now.”

    Talk back to Frank at fxrppr@rit.edu

  • Lonely Planet publisher to keynote Open Publish Conference

    The Sydney conference (Star City July 28-31) will also feature a full day of PDF events to coincide with the release of the Acrobat 6.0 as well as the first ever Australian InDesign User group meeting.

    Tony Wheeler, founder Lonely Planet, one of the world’s leading travel book publishers, will deliver the opening conference keynote presentation. As an internationally respected publisher of 650 guidebooks in 14 different languages through both paper and electronic mediums, Tony is uniquely qualified to comment on the challenges of creating, managing and distributing information.

    Open Publish is designed to bring together authorities on industry standards, PDF, workflow, publishing markup languages, print on-demand, graphic design and other best practices for the publishing process. In the two and a half days over 50 presentations will explore all the latest ideas in publishing.

    Open Publish 2003 will also coincide with the release of Acrobat 6.0 and to commemorate this, the event will feature a PDF Day chaired by leading PDF commentator, Karl De Abrew, the founder of PlanetPDF. Speakers at this session will include Tim Sullivan, the President of ActivePDF and Ted Padova, an internationally recognised authority on PDF and the author of The Acrobat PDF Bible.

    Adobe Systems will be hosting its first Australian InDesign User Group meeting in conjunction with Open Publish 2003. Featuring experts, trainers and vendors, this session will provide InDesign training, tips and techniques appropriate both for experienced users and for those keen to learn.

    To peruse the main conference program visit:
    www.openpublish.com.au/program2003.asp

  • InDesign vs. QuarkXpress – the war hots up

    Adobe hosted a forum of InDesign users at a function in Sydney yesterday as part of its campaign to capture Quark users faced with making a decision whether to upgrade or switch. The members of the forum gave the challenger software a resounding vote of confidence, citing ease of integration with PhotoShop and Illustrator as the main advantage.

    According to forum member David Richards of 4Square Media, the price disparity is also working against the industry standard layout software, with InDesign costing almost half the price of the latest version of Quark. “We calculated we’d have a 60 to 70 per cent savings across the board immediately using InDesign,” he said.

    Rule of thumb prices have Quark6.0 likely to cost $3,500 while InDesign is gettable at $1,600.

    The forum comprised people from design, IT, prepress and editorial sectors who have all made the switch to InDesign as part of the Adobe targeting of the professional publishing sectors since the advent of version 2.0 18 months ago. According to Craig Tegel, managing director Adobe Pacifc and SE Asia, the company has now achieved its target of having half the professional publishing seats using InDesign. The goal now is to increase that percentage to 75 per cent by this time next year.

    He claims the advent of Quark 6 presents Adobe with an opportunity to increase its market share. “Many people have been waiting to see what was going to be in the new version. Now they see there is nothing in Quark 6 that has not been in InDesign 2.0 for the past 18 months, they will make a decision and I’m confident when they compare they’ll choose InDesign.”

    While Adobe may be able to claim over half the professional publishing industry has made the switch, it still has a long way to go before its market share rivals that of Quark. Although the users forum was forthright in endorsing InDesign, there is still a huge Quark user-base in small publishing situations that will need to be convinced to make the switch.

    The users forum comprised of:

    • David Richards XEO and Editorial Director 4Square Media
    • Helena Brusic, Senior Graphic Designer, University NSW
    • Icarus Klepac, Managing Director, White Lab
    • Bill Kaloudis, Systems Administrator, Pacific Publications
    • Frazier Crozier, Production Department, Pacific Publications.
  • Print export network to explore new products and markets

    The inaugural meeting for the Victorian Printing Industry Export Network will take place on July 21 and will be addressed by Tim Holding, Victorian Minister for Manufacturing. The aim of the network is to create an ongoing organization that will look at the challenges and solutions in developing new products and processes for exploiting export markets.

    The brainchild of Bob McCulloch, Printing Industry Specialist at the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development, the network will provide assistance to printers who want to explore value-added possibilities.

    “There are a number of printers now who are producing innovative products that readily sell overseas. We want to encourage that and to help printers identify and exploit opportunities for innovation,” he said.

    He points to the fierce competition and limited scope for growth in traditional printing markets as reasons why companies should be looking towards developing niche products and processes.

    Expressions of interest are being sought and a steering committee will be formed at the inaugural meeting.

    If you would like to participate contact Bob McCulloch : Bob.mcculloch@iird.vic.gov.au

  • Giant leap to make PaperlinX world number three

    Flying in the face of recent failures by local companies when they expand overseas, PaperlinX is on an expansion roll following its recent acquisitions of Bunzl Fine Paper (now The Paper Company) in the UK and Ireland, and Coast Paper and Papier Turgeon in Canada. The latest move, which involves buying a paper merchant that is larger than PaperlinX itself, will position the company as a major player in the world, lifting its ranking from number 10 to number three in tonnage shipped worldwide.

    Revenue will increase to $9 billion with European paper sales set to account for 65 per cent of sales, a massive increase from the two per cent three years ago.

    Analysts claim the price paid is high but PaperlinX maintains it is buying at the bottom end of the paper cycle and is betting on a recovery in the European market to make the figures look better. While the company says that the purchase price multiple of 7.5 times the average EBITA over the past three years compares favourably to other recent transactions in the sector, the analysts point out that on last year’s EBITA the multiple works out at a high 10 times.

    Commenting on the signing of the agreement to acquire Burchmann.s merchanting division Ian Wightwick, Managing Director of PaperlinX said, “This is an exciting and unique opportunity for PaperlinX. Buhrmann’s Paper
    Merchanting Division is the leading European paper merchant and the acquisition is targeted to deliver strong earnings per share growth for our shareholders and result in PaperlinX having sales over A$9 billion per annum.”

    “This is an excellent move, and follows a great deal of analysis, over a long
    period of time, of the opportunities available to us to grow the business. This
    acquisition creates the first multi-continent fine paper merchant with
    operations across Australasia, Asia, Europe and North America.”

    Wightwick has agreed to stay on at PaperlinX until the deal is completed at the board’s request. He was due to retire this year when his three-year contract expired.

    Highlights of the transaction are:

    • Buhrmann’s Paper Merchanting Division is Europe’s largest fine paper merchant with operations in 22 countries, employing over 5,000 people
    • Annual sales are approximately €3 billion (A$5.4 billion), comprising 2.4
      million tonnes of paper

    Completion of the transaction is subject to completion of due diligence, negotiation of a sale & purchase agreement, completion of works council consultation procedures, Buhrmann NV shareholders’ approval, regulatory approvals and other conditions. Estimated completion date is the end of August 2003.

    About Buhrmann’s Paper Merchanting Division

    Buhrmann’s Paper Merchanting Division has a network of operating
    companies servicing customers throughout Europe, on the West Coast of the
    USA and in South East Asia and South Africa. Its philosophy of operating
    locally focused operations, as part of an international business, is consistent
    with PaperlinX’s Merchanting philosophy.

    The product range sold by Buhrmann’s Paper Merchanting Division is similar
    to PaperlinX’s merchants, focused on coated, uncoated and cut size papers
    for customers in the commercial print, office and display business segments.

    “Buhrmann’s Paper Merchanting Division has been consistently profitable through the current economic downturn and is currently undergoing a restructuring and profit improvement plan which will strengthen the business and position it well to benefit from an improvement in demand,” said Wightwick.

    “In Europe, both Buhrmann’s Paper Merchanting Division and The Paper
    Company have strong management teams. PaperlinX and Buhrmann’s
    Paper Merchanting Division will continue the cultures of both companies in
    concentrating on the many thousands of customers in each region with
    strong personal representation support, as well as superior customer service. The trading entities in each region are valued for their wide choice of
    products at competitive prices.”

    “In terms of paper suppliers, the combination of PaperlinX and Buhrmann’s
    Paper Merchanting Division offers a unique international network of
    distribution facilities and competent selling resources to most efficiently and
    cost effectively take products to market.”

    The New PaperlinX

    At the completion of the transaction PaperlinX will generate annual sales in excess of A$9 billion. Over 55 per cent of earnings before interest and tax will be from paper merchanting and, overall, around 50 per cent of earnings before interest and tax will be derived outside of Australia. Funds invested will be in excess of A$3 billion.

    The group will employ 10,000 people worldwide and will be Australasia’s leading fine paper and packaging paper manufacturer and the world’s only multi-continent fine paper merchant operating substantial businesses in 26 countries. PaperlinX’s merchanting businesses will sell four million tonnes of paper each year around the world.

  • Clancy column. . . the overflow . . . best bits . . . funnies

    Alter arrived in Australia after working for the HP Indigo distributor in Mexico. He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge as an industrial product specialist for the label and plastic cards market in Australia.

    Given the number of presses the Currie Group is claiming to have sold at PrintEx03, Alter is going to be a busy lad.

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    It’s not bad enough that the Chinese are coming here to poach our book printing (see story this bulletin) but the Thais are also gearing up to have a go at the region’s printing market. There is a movement afoot in Bangkok to upgrade the country’s printing industry to export level with the government talking of waiving corporate income tax for eight years. The aim is to triple Thailand’s printing exports within three years.
    We better get our skates on.

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    One of my favourite reads. The latest issue of Heidelberg’s Print Process magazine has lobbed and as ever is chockers with good stuff. This time the theme is design and what it means, how good design affects everyone and who are the gurus of style out there. For the printing professional the magazine is essential reading and I can only advise you all to log on and get your own copy free. Check in at www.printprocess.net

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    “Reckless manufacturer financing programmes are adding artificial capacity to the graphic arts marketplace. Through their financing schemes, many major suppliers are enabling otherwise unqualified printers to stay in business or expand capacity, creating an imbalance between supply and demand.

    “As a result, healthy printers are forced to lower their prices when manufacturers, desperate to move equipment out of their warehouses, finance printers that otherwise couldn’t afford the machines. Over-capacity is the number one issue in the printing market today and short-sighted financing programs implemented by several major suppliers are the number one cause of this overcapacity problem.”

    Says who? Eric Belcher new Chief Operating Officer of Sheetfed Operations, MAN Roland USA, that’s who.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    Electronics For Imaging has picked up its option to purchase 2,126,574 shares of Printcafe common stock at a price of US$2.60 per share. After exercise of the option, EFI increased its beneficial ownership, which includes shares owned by other Printcafe stockholders that are subject to voting agreements in favour of EFI, to 31% of the outstanding shares.

    The differences between EFI and longstanding but spurned Printcafe suitor, Creo, which holds around 45% of the company, are yet to be resolved.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    It’s a digital world and here’s the latest in digital printing presses with Paul Krisson, business development manager for Océ Digital Newspaper Network and Paul Andrews business solutions manager of SecurityMail at the first print run of The
    Guardian
    newspaper in Sydney. As reported here previously the arrangement means that The Guardian and The Observer are the only daily British newspapers on sale on the day of publication in Australia, with, they boast, fresher news than Australian domestic publications. The papers will be available at lunchtime both to subscribers and newsstands.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    And finally . . . for those who never go back to the source.

    A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.

    So, the new monk goes to the abbot to question this, pointing out that
    if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up. In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

    The head monk says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.” So, he goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscript is held in locked vault that hasn’t been opened for hundreds of years.

    Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot. So, the young monk gets worried and goes downstairs to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall. His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.
    The young monk asks the old abbot, “What’s wrong, father?”

    With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, “The word is celebrate.”

  • Printing the grouse yarn in Australia

    “The Aussie Bible – well, bits of it anyway – is uniquely Australian,” said Martin Johnson, Bible Society Communications Manager. “It was written by Australian journalist and author Kel Richards and is a re-telling of the story of Jesus’ life from his birth in Bethlehem through to his death and resurrection. The difference is that it uses lots of Australian idioms and is set in an Australian setting.

    “For example, the ‘news flash’ about the birth of Jesus is announced to ‘some drovers camped in a paddock.”
    It goes on to say; “The angel said: ‘Stop looking like a bunch of stunned mullets. Let me give you the drum, the good oil, it’s top news for the whole crew – everyone, everywhere.

    “Today in that little town on the hill a rescuer has been born: he is the Promised One, the King, the Lord. And here’s how you’ll find him: the nipper is wrapped up in a bunny rug, and lying in a food trough.”

    “The response to the announcement of the upcoming publication has been astonishing,” said Johnson. “Kel and I have done media interviews with newspapers and radio stations all over Australia and the world.”

    The Aussie Bible is not a translation of the biblical text, but rather a re-telling in order to make it more acceptable to some readers. “Its for anyone who has tried to read the Bible and found it a bit dull”, said Kel.
    The Aussie Bible (well, bits of it anyway!) will be published in August. It will be 90 pages and contains 16 pages of illustrations.

  • Print21 Online Book Club – Fold: The Professional Guide to Folding

    Fold: The Professional Guide to Folding is the first comprehensive guide to the many different folding processes and all the folding styles developed over the years.

    In the printing industry there has never before been a comprehensive guide for one of the most important aspects of printed production. Printers have not had a resource to share with designers or other industry professionals that would explain the folding process and all of the different folding styles they can offer to their customers.

    In the publication industry, there has never been a guide for folding. Designers have never understood all of the folding options available to them, and have not had access to the math behind proper digital document set-up. Until now.

    Finishing Experts Group, an industry-specific publishing company, has just released Fold, a first-of-its-kind, two-volume set that creates an essential system for the printing and design industry by establishing naming conventions and standardizing the folding process.

    Fold is an 850-page reference manual with over 1,000 illustrations that systematically documents and classifies more than 180 brochure folding styles, breaking them down into eight folding families (accordions, basics, exotics, gates, maps, parallels, posters and rolls). Each folding style is named, numbered and illustrated. Then, each style is diagrammed with proper folding compensations for accurate digital document setup. There are also tips and considerations for each.

    The reference manual, written by Trish Witkowski, a creative director with a Baltimore marketing firm, is the product of five years of industry research.

    Geared toward print and design professionals, industry organizations, binderies, folding machinery manufacturers, and the graphic arts education market, Fold provides a common language for designers and printers/binderies, giving everyone the same frame of reference and saving valuable time and resources.

    “As a professional designer, I would often become frustrated with the lack of a comprehensive resource for folding,” said Witkowski. “This guide fills a vacuum in the industry. My hope is that the book not only will be the go-to guide in the industry for folding, but that it also can serve as a springboard for creativity.”

    Trish Witkowski is currently the creative director for a marketing and communications firm in Baltimore. She earned her master of science in graphic arts publishing from Rochester Institute of Technology’s world-renowned School of Printing Management and Sciences and a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design. She has taught design and desktop publishing at the college level, and is the co-author of The Adobe InDesign Guide.
    Fold is available exclusively in Australia and New Zealand from Print21online

    ORDER NOW ! –

    Order Fold: The Professional’s Guide to Folding by email: books@print21online.com for $Aus 220.00 plus GST. An email confirmation will be sent to you BEFORE any order is processed. Price includes all postage and is less than it would cost in the USA. This exclusive offer is only available to Australian and New Zealand professionals through Print21 Online.

    Table of Contents Volume ONE

    • Visual Index…………………………………….. 1
    • Folding List……………………………………. 33
    • Getting Started
    • How to Use This Guide………………….. 43
    • How This Guide is Organized………… 47
    • Understanding the Lingo……………….. 49
    • Format Options………………………………. 52
    • Folding Preparation
    • Planning for Folded Matter………………. 55
    • Setting-Up the Digital Document…….. 56
    • Placing Fold Marks………………………….. 60
    • Making Sequenced Folding Dummies.61
    • Modifying the Folds in this Guide………. 63
    • Folding 101
    • Folding Basics…………………………………. 67
    • How Paper Effects Folding………………. 69
    • Die-cutting, Scoring and Perforating… 71
    • Wafer-seals and Glue………………………. 72
    • Reference Materials
    • Conversion Chart……………………………… 75
    • Press Sheet Sizes……………………………. 76
    • Standard Envelope Sizes………………….. 77
    • Finishing terms…………………………………. 81
    • Folding Families
    • Accordions………………………………………… 85
    • Basics……………………………………………… 279
    • Exotics……………………………………………… 373
    • Table of Contents Volume Two
    • Gates……………………………………………….. 435
    • Maps………………………………………………… 509
    • Parallels…………………………………………… 551
    • Posters…………………………………………….. 681
    • Rolls…………………………………………………. 779
    • Index…………………………………………………. 845