Archive for November, 2003

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

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    This next item is produced almost verbatim, mainly because, in the first place Clancy is unable to understand most of it; second, it is just the type of information that drives him crazy, and third, it may be very important.

    Epson has developed the uFR (“Micro Flying Robot”), the world’s smallest*1 flying prototype microrobot. Epson developed the uFR to demonstrate the micromechatronics technology that it has cultivated in-house over the years.

    Based on this technology, EPSON has developed and marketed a family of microrobots known as the EMRoS series*2, beginning with Monsieur, which was put on sale in 1993 and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s smallest microrobot.

    In April of this year Epson developed Monsieur II-P, a prototype microrobot that operates on an ultra-thin, ultrasonic motor and a power-saving Bluetooth module that allows multiple units to be remote-controlled simultaneously. Using these robots, Epson staged the world’s smallest*3 full-blown robot ballet theatre.

    So there y’are.

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    Here’s something you don’t often see in this times of straitened corporate finances, to which CPI is not immune, a truly generous in-house company award funded by the founder’s family. The Peter Sajet award for 2003 has been presented at CPI’s Annual General Meeting.

    The annual award was established by the Sajet family to perpetuate the memory of Peter Sajet, co-founder of CPI, and the business values that he embraced. This year Nel Sajet presented the award to Steve Harper (left) and Jeffrey Markey. Harper is the national Komori demonstrator based in Melbourne, and Jeffrey Markey, is a service co-ordinator in Brisbane. The winners of the $10,000 award are selected from CPI staff nominations made by managers throughout the year, based on exemplary performance and outstanding team contribution.

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    The Thunder is going tabloid. The Times newspaper in England, member of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation’s stable is bringing out a tabloid version of the famed broadsheet. Following the lead of the rival Independent the mini-version is aimed at London’s commuter market and despite the smaller format will cost the same as its broadsheet sibling.

    Is nothing sacred? asks Outraged of Tunbridge Wells.

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    So you reckon our unions are tough? Spare a thought for Robert Gray, president of Gray Printing, in Fostoria, Ohio, who closed up after the unions staged a suicide strike. “We tried to negotiate a contract that would save costs but it was rejected. We offered to keep the terms of the present contract, just for a year, and they would not accept it either,” he said.

    Asked what he would do if the union came up with a better proposal, Gray said, “It is too late. The customers are gone, the building is up for sale. We depend on publications like magazines that must come out at specific times. When the strike started, I told the union we could not survive a strike, because we started losing customers almost immediately.”

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    Rural Press is turning up the heat in its battle to take over Harris and Co in Tasmania. In the second revision of its rejected offer it has appealed to shareholders to reject the Harris board’s advice not to sell and take the $31.50 per ordinary share. Its previous bid was $31, or $47.6 million, which Harris directors said is too low.

    Rural also accused the Harris board of keeping shareholders in the dark about how much the shares were last traded for and criticised it for not getting an independent valuer to assess the company’s worth.
    But Harris chairman Rod Roberts is unimpressed. “It’s a bad deal for everyone except Rural Press,” he said.

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    And finally . . in answer to those who say we always have silly jokes, here’s something I bet you didn’t know, courtesy of N Koslowski, 5th Rear Admiral of the Fleet (rtd). It’s the kind of arcane trivia he garnered while sailing ‘round the horn.

    In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannon fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to prevent them from rolling about the deck.

    The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.

    There was only one problem-how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate with 16 round indentations, called a Monkey. But if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make Brass Monkeys.

    Few landlubbers realise that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey.

    Thus, it was quite literally, “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”!

  • DES picks up Velocity OneFlow

    “DES has an impressive track record in bringing powerful new products to companies throughout Australia and New Zealand,” said Eric Holtsmark, Director of Sales, EFI Asia Pacific. “We are confident that their printing industry expertise and reputation will provide for a rapid route to market for Velocity OneFlow software.”

    The Velocity workflow is designed for commercial printers, quick printers, trade shops and in-plants. It has enjoyed considerable success since its launch early this year but has lacked the industry distribution to bring it to full potential. The appointment of DES, which has been distributing Best software in Australia and New Zealand for over five years, is likely to assist it in raising the profile.

    “Velocity OneFlow’s range of advanced capabilities represents the perfect, cost-effective opportunity for a comprehensive prepress workflow system,” said Russell Cavenagh, Sales Director at DES.

    “The beauty of Velocity OneFlow is that it enables small to medium-sized printers, as well as other users, to easily master the prepress management process without the massive capital investment often required for proprietary prepress systems. One of its strengths is that it will integrate a party’s existing third-party applications, such as imposition software, making the learning curve much easier.”

  • Dave Crowther is local CGS representative

    “Many customers in the region already know David (pictured) from his time with CGS distributor CyraChrome,” said Trevor Haworth, CGS‚ head of worldwide sales and marketing. “He has proven credentials in training operators and trouble-shooting in workflows and digital proofing. The appointment coincides with a new global image for CGS and ORIS, new products and demonstrates CGS‚ commitment to total customer care.

    “David is now 100 per cent focused on providing customer support, training and product information for the CGS ORIS family of printing and publishing software. Australian and New Zealand customers, and dealers, now have a direct local support link to the source.”

    Regarding distribution, Haworth noted, “ANZ region customers will associate our products with CyraChrome following its excellent success with Color Tuner proofing technology and CGS proofing inks and media. Indeed, this is set to continue, not only for ORIS proofing but, by mutual agreement, ORIS Works and the new ORIS PDF Tuner. These will be available either directly from CGS or via a network of local dealers.”

    The appointment was welcomed by Michael Laird, managing director of CyraChrome. “The continued investment by CGS in product development and support further demonstrates their commitment to both the business and indeed this market. We are of course delighted to continue our very successful relationship with, and exclusive distribution of, CGS proofing products in ANZ.”

    New look, new products

    The CGS logo and product livery of the ORIS suite of products have also received an upgrade. USA customers saw this for the first time at last month’s Graph Expo exhibition. CGS has also launched the ORIS PDF Tuner, a single application that enables all elements of PDF files to be preflighted, edited, retouched, corrected and enhanced prior to re-distilling through Acrobat.

    Another important innovation is ORIS Certified Proof, a product that measures and ensures quality control for proofs against a given standard, then issues a printed label certifying that the proof is in specification.

    “2004 will be a very exciting year for CGS and ORIS products. We have a new look, new products and of course Drupa in May. I’d like to extend an invitation to all ANZ visitors to Drupa, to visit us in Hall 5, stand C/01 for some traditional German hospitality and a look at how ORIS software can make a real difference in your business.”
    David Crowther can be contacted on phone 02. 9808 4498 or 0400 123 398 or email dc.cgs@bigpond.net.au

    Visit the CGS web site http://www.cgs.de

  • First RealTime Image site in New Zealand

    With production facilities in Auckland, Christchurch and Australia, the company is almost custom-made for utilising online communications.

    According to Keith Bainbridge, director (pictured on left), the expansion of on-line proofing and approval management is a global reality. ”We pride our self on being constantly geared for growth, and that is one of the main reasons for our on-going ability to provide the best for our clients,” he said.

    “Colorite operates either the latest or the most appropriate technology to manage client’s digital content, and we will continue to invest in technology. This will help ensure that we continue to provide the best service to our clients.”

    Ana Sever, Managing Director of Xelion (pictured on right above) is enthusiastic about being able to offer and support RealTimeImage in New Zealand. “On-line proofing approval management solutions such as RealTimeProof are exactly the type of capability New Zealand and Australian markets are demanding. Marketing, creative, and production staff find RealTimeProof very attractive

    “For Colorite, the major benefit will be efficient approval management. By adding tools that create accountability and enable job progress, they will be able to deliver quality jobs in a fraction of the time.”

  • 600 Xerox iGen3s in 2004

    In an upbeat presentation by Xerox Chairman and Chief Executive Anne Mulcahy, claimed more than 100 million pages have been printed on the iGen3 presses since its release two years ago. Quoting figures from CAP Ventures she predicted that impressions produced on digital colour production printers will grow from 11 billion in 2001 to 54 billion in 2006.

    She maintains that for Xerox, revenue per colour page is more than five times greater than revenue per black-and-white page. In other industry trends it uses to justify a very optimistic forecast Xerox says that by 2005, 33 percent of all commercial print jobs will be produced in 24 hours. And, the market for customized print applications will grow from US$2.5 billion in 2001 to $6 billion in 2004.

    That momentum will accelerate in 2004, she said, since the company has successfully forged its advanced portfolio of document technology and services, expanded market reach, and operational and financial improvements into a strong, competitively advantaged company.

    “We are proud of our accomplishments over the past few years, and more important, we are confident about what we can continue to deliver over the next few years,” Mulcahy told analysts at the company’s 2003 Investor Conference here. By investing in “the right offerings,” focusing on “the right markets” and competing with “the right model,” Xerox has proven “we are really good at what we do,” she added. “There’s a ton of opportunity in front of us, and now it all comes down to execution.”

  • Job cuts at Australian Paper

    Coming hard on the heels of the departure three weeks ago of general manager, Tom Engelsman, up to 11 management positions have been cut at Australian Paper’s head office. It what it terms ‘a major restructuring’ the employees, mostly senior management team members, were retrenched yesterday.

    Commenting on the changes, PaperlinX Managing Director, Ian Wightwick said, “As indicated by PaperlinX’s Chairman in his address to our annual general meeting in October, earnings in our Australian Paper business have been severely impacted by the strong appreciation of the Australian dollar. The stronger dollar results in reduced selling prices in Australia as we compete with import prices and reduces the competitiveness of our export volumes.

    “Having foreseen a continuation of challenging trading conditions, PaperlinX embarked upon a profit improvement programme which has resulted in reducing costs. However, the continuing strengthening of the Australian dollar has required a more radical change to the way we do our business.

    “The restructured senior management of Australian Paper has resulted in a leaner and more efficient team to lead the Division. The major focus is to improve our responsiveness to our customers’ needs, and to ensure we add value in our capacity as a local producer. Unfortunately this process has resulted in job losses, including a number of senior positions within Australian Paper’s head office.

    “The continued appreciation of the Australian dollar since the annual general meeting has increased the impact on PaperlinX’s earnings, and the cost reduction and restructuring initiatives taken by management only partially offset this impact.”

  • Industry association comes out against wage rise

    The push if successful would increase the federal minimum wage from $448 to $475, and the minimum hourly rate from $11.80 to $12.50.

    Gary Donnison, Printing Industries CEO (pictured) said the 5.93 per cent increase sought was well above the current inflation rate which is running at 0.6 per cent or almost 2.7 per cent over the year.

    “This is an unacceptable demand particularly when the printing industry has experienced such a difficult year,” he said. “Our PrintNet Online Benchmarking shows that many companies are making a return on investment of less than five per cent. This obviously worsens the predicament for those companies if the ACTU claims are successful.

    He said employers could not continue to bear excessive award labour costs that were not tied to productivity increases.

    “We will contest the claim and expect a decision from the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) sometime in May 2004,” he said.

  • CPI machinery and imaging sales are struggling

    In his address to the annual general meeting he said the new fiscal year has started in an unsatisfactory manner. While the company’s core activity of paper mechanting is operating marginally above budget, the graphics divisions have disappointed.

    The company posted a poor result for the financial year (Print21Online – www.print21online.com/index.cfm?art=747&comid=1 which gave van Wyngan little to be upbeat about. In particular the changeover from the Fuji Film agency to sourcing plates and film from Agfa proved to be tougher than the company expected.

    “The decision to restructure our imaging equipment and consumables operations, including changing supplier was imperative from a cash flow point of view,” he told the meeting. ”Simply the area provided inadequate returns and used excessive funds.

    “However the changeover was more difficult than anticipated, a function of two main factors. First a battle for staff, stock and customers developed [with GSA, the new Fuji Film agent]. Our company had anticipated this could happen and was prepared for it. However, it reached an intensity that bordered on the irrational, with implications for the earnings of all suppliers in that market.”

    “Second, our new supplier – which has an enviable record of superb quality for its products – encountered problems on a key product. The timing was the very month of the change over.”

    According to new managing director Bernard Cassell, CPI has failed to meet its internal targets for converting customers to the replacement products, largely due to the product problems. “These product problems could not have come at a worse time for the group as we were in the process of trying to convert customers from a product they had little difficulty with, to one which was suddenly demonstrating problems. Whilst these product problems now appear to be substantially behind us, they have left us behind the targets we had set for ourselves.”

    He said the positive economic environment and an improvement in the overall level of demand had led the board to imagine that this financial year was going to be better. “In particular, the machinery enquiry book looked very strong. However we are sorry to advise that this [buoyancy] has diminished over the course of the past few months.”

    The one bright spot was in the paper merchanting division where he said a restructuring and the “replacement of various managers has started to pay dividends. We are pleased to have been able to arrest a slide in the reputation of the Group as a supplier that appeared to have occurred n the early part of our acquisition of Graphics businesses.”

    He said the division had secured the second largest tender for paper every let in Australia by an Australian sheetfed printing establishment.

  • Kodak buys Scitex Digital Printing

    The transaction is the fist result of a decision by Kodak to combine its disparate graphic arts holding into a single division. The Kodak Commercial Printing division contains its wide-format Encad subsidiary, its 50 per cent share in Kodak Polychrome Graphics and its 50 per cent NexPress joint venture, in addition to digital asset management and publishing services.

    According to a Kodak statement the acquisition,will accelerate its participation in the growing, $30 billion industry for digital commercial printing equipment, part of what it identifies as the broader $385 billion infoimaging industry.

    The US-based Scitex Digital Printing specializes in ultra-high-speed VersaMark digital printing presses that utilize some of the industry-leading patents for continuous inkjet printing technology. It employs 733 people and had sales of $157 million in 2002.

    “We are moving decisively to implement our growth strategy by expanding into a range of commercial digital businesses,” said Daniel A. Carp Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eastman Kodak Company. “One part of that strategy is to acquire in a disciplined manner companies and technologies that complement our existing businesses, capabilities and assets.

    “The acquisition of Scitex Digital Printing is a prime example of how we intend to build upon inkjet technology developed on our own to build business in growing market segments. This is the first of several actions Kodak will take to expand our participation in the digital commercial printing industry.”

    The president and CEO of Scitex Corporation and Scitex Digital Printing, Nachum “Homi” Shamir, is expected to join Kodak, along with other key managers of Scitex Digital Printing.

  • Heidelberg cuts back to core business

    Over 1,000 jobs worldwide will go, including the positions of two board members, as the industry giant takes drastic action to stem its losses. Its post-press division will be hived off into a stand-alone entity as part of Heidelberg’s plan to refocus on its core value activities in sheetfed offset printing and its related value chain.

    The company is already in negotiation with Goss over a possible sale or merger of its web press division. There is a substantial Heidelberg commercial web press installation base in Australia and New Zealand, accounting for around half of the total number of presses here. Notable customers include IMPG, especially Offset Alpine, Argyle Times Graphics, and William Brookes, among others. APN Print (formerly Wilson & Horton) has about seven presses in New Zealand.

    The company’s digital activities centre on its separate US-based company, Heidelberg Digital, with its 50 per cent partnership with Eastman Kodak in the NexPress. In recent months Kodak has indicated an interest in returning to the graphic arts market. Giving nothing away, Heidelberg’s press statement said, In the Digital division, Heidelberg must adapt capacities and will refocus its activities. The Management Board will present an appropriate solution by the end of the current fiscal year.

    Heidelberg is looking to streamline its organization as well as cutting more jobs. Two directors, Wolfgang Pfizenmaier, responsible for Digital, and Holger Reichardt, responsible for Marketing, Sales & Service, will leave the company, while Bernhard Schreier as CEO will be responsible for the worldwide sales and services network, as well as for R&D and operations. Dr. Klaus Spiegel will assume responsibility for the entire product portfolio and marketing.

    The entire restructuring, including divestment of the Web Systems, repositioning Digital and Post-Press will cost AUD$659 million (Euro 400 million).

    The company said its worldwide sales and service network will continue to offer support and consulting for Heidelberg’s own products and products from its partners.

    “Heidelberg will continue to provide products for premium quality print results. Our target markets will mainly be commercial printers, focusing on short and medium print runs, as well as packaging and label printing,” said Bernhard Schreier.

    Putting it into perspective

    Patrick Howard, editor Print21Online, looks at how Heidelberg came to find itself in its present predicament.

    Being a single source manufacturer was always going to be a big ask for Heidelberg. Over the past 15 years the company, which maintains a pre-eminent position as manufacturer of sheetfed offset presses, has ventured into areas well outside its area of core expertise. The Heidelberg brand, one of the most solid manufacturing brands in the world, has sold everything from chemicals to scanners to folders, and often with mixed results.

    In the latter 1990s under chairman Harmut Medhorn, the company set itself the strategy of becoming an end-to-end single source supplier. It began bolting on, mainly loss-making, entities on both sides of its profitable sheet fed offset business.

    In 1996 German scanner and imagesetter manufacturer Linotype Hell was the first acquisition, its takeover by Heidelberg rescuing it from dire financial difficulty. This provided the basis for Heidelberg prepress.

    Also in 1996, Heidelberg bought Sheridan Systems, a Dutch company that manufactured bookbinding systems and mailroom equipment. It set about transforming it into is own postpress brand – the division that it is now seeking to position as a separate entity.

    Subsequently it bought the Stahl Group to boost the division’s capability. Bringing PostPress to profitability has proved to be a difficult task. In the Australian and New Zealand market it was necessary to sell against its own very successful market dominance built up over years with Muller Martini products.

    Medhorn is perhaps most remembered for his prediction in Chicago 1997 that offset printing had reached its high watermark and that the future was digital. He committed the company to become the leading digital press manufacturer in the industry and in a 50/50 partnership with Eastman Kodak, started an R&D race to launch the digital colour NexPress at Drupa in 2000.

    In 1999 the company bought Kodak’s Office Imaging division with its black and white digital technology and launched the Digimaster product. It formed a US-based subsidiary company Heidelberg Digital, which while enjoying some successes, has run into the same difficulties the entire digital printing industry is facing from slow take-up and slim margins. Arguably it provided the main distraction for Heidelberg management in recent years.

    Another distraction was Medhorn’s strategy to claim the leading position in newspaper web presses. He boosted the Heidelberg web manufacturing capacity in the US to take on the market leaders MAN Roland and Goss at a time when the market was entering a severe contraction. The company’s web manufacturing in the US came into being with its purchase of the Harris Company in 1988 and while its commercial web printing was quite a sound investment, its adventure into newspaper presses was a disaster.

    While all this was going on the printing and graphics industry went through one of its worst recessions in decades with equipment purchases delayed and consolidation being the order of the day. In its traditional sheetfed offset market Heidelberg has continued to be spectacularly successful, especially in the large perfecting machines. It has developed a solid workflow system that has found wide acceptance. It is also promoting its own brand of press consumables with some success.

    Heidelberg’s parent company, the German power giant RWE AG, sold 22 per cent its Heidelberg stock when the company was first floated on the Frankfurt Stock exchange in 1997. It indicated that it was prepared to sell off its entire interest in the company, which remains at 50 per cent of issued capital, as it also retreats to core activities. However, the right buyer has failed to emerge and the plan to off load the company appears to have been put on hold.

    This latest move, radical though it is, can only prove beneficial for the company and the industry. Heidelberg is a major part of the foundation of the industry with 23,700 employees in over 170 countries. The initial pain of the realignment will be well worth it if Heidelberg gets back to doing what it does best – building and supporting some of the world’s best printing presses. It may also start making money again.

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

    The combined US graphic arts group, GATF and PIA, passed up on the opportunity to move its HQ to a greenfield site in Milwaukee, despite getting $7 million incentives from the state government there. Strong resistance from the staff against changing domicile is reported to be the main reason behind the refusal to shift.

    On the other hand, Printing Industries in Sydney is considering buying an Auburn headquarters and moving out west from its CBD office space. There are some members who are less than enthusiastic, but it won’t matter – they’re going anyway. Besides, Auburn and surrounds is not interstate and from the number of presses in the area it could be considered Sydney’s print central.

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    Richard Rasmussen, high profile industry identity, has hung out his shingle in the buying and selling of graphic arts businesses. With over 20 years experience in the printing and graphic arts with Heidelberg Australia, he has joined forces with established business house HBB to facilitate enterprise brokerage in the industry.

    “The relationship with HBB is a strategic alliance. I bring to the table the industry, marketing and sales expertise, and they have the necessary selling / merging / buying of businesses experience. They are well known in Melbourne, but [it’s] fair to say they have not really got a profile in the printing industry.”

    Contact Richard on 0402 021101 Email: Richard.Rasmussen@optusnet.com.au

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    KBA has the largest super large format (SLF) offset press on the market up and running at its Dresden factory. The huge press, the (80¾”) Rapida 205, entered the final phase of production at the beginning of November with the successful conclusion of sheet-run trials. Following exhaustive printing tests the first press will roll off the assembly line to be delivered next door to poster printer Ellerhold at the end of January.

    The press line comes in two sizes, the 205 and the (72¾”) Rapida 185 which pumps out 11,000 sheets per hour. Its big sister manages 9,000 huge printed sheets per hour. Both are being developed as four-colour machines with coaster.

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    There’s no doubt about it, there’s money in the free press. Michael Hannan’s Wentworth Courier, which circulates in the wealthy Eastern Suburbs of Sydney has resorted to perfect binding in order to hold its pages together. This week it lobs on Clancy’s doorstep (there is always a wrong side of the tracks) at a massive 376 pages plus glossy, heatset cover. Inside there are over 250 pages of full colour, real estate advertising feeding our aspirations or helping to inflate the bubble – depends on your attitude.

    At the same time comes news that Spain’s largest circulating newspaper is the Metro, a free daily that now has a circulation of more than 600,000 copies, greater than any traditional title. This follows the launch of a new edition for the northwestern city of La Coruna. There are now 29 Metro newspapers in countries around the world, five of them in Spain.

    Strangely the daily freebie concept has never taken off in Australia despite valiant attempts by News Limited and Fairfax in Melbourne. Perhaps they should give Michael Hannan a go.

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    And speaking of M Hannan, who is becoming a positive czar in the printing and publishing industry in Australia, next Thursday in Melbourne he is due to share a table at the Crown Casino, Melbourne with David Kirk, ceo of rival PMP, Jon Williams of Argyle Times Graphics, and Phil Taylor of the Franklin Printing Group. This is a gilt-eded group that controls much of the market

    The occasion is being held under the auspices of the Catalogue Association, at which will be presented some research on the thriving sector, which is reportedly growing at 9 per cent per year. Mind you, those web companies that didn’t contribute to funding the research are not invited – no names, no pack drill, but also no info.

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    And finally . . . here are ten deep questions you may have heard before, but are always worth reconsidering.

    If you take an Oriental person and spin him around, does he become disoriented?

    If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren’t people from Holland called Holes?

    Why do we say something is out of whack? What’s a whack?

    Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

    If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

    If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

    Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

    Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It’s just stale bread to begin with.

    Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

    Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

  • Printing company for sale

    The business is a busy, clean and well-managed small-offset printery in NSW Central West.

    With a range of small-offset presses, and brand new factory premises, this presents a “walk-in” start for a prospective buyer.

    This company is well established as part of the local commercial and social community and has been operating profitably for about 30 years. The owner has reached the golfing and fishing stage of life and seeks interested parties who prefer to escape Sydney’s rat race and enjoy genuine country pleasures, hospitality and life-style.

    The owner reccomends the business as suiting a printer or production manager who wishes to make an investment in their own superannuation!

    If you are interested in this business investment and career move, call James Cryer on 02. 9904 6222 or 0408 291508.

  • News Corp cleans up in Queensland with Baldwin

    The IMPACT Global blanket cleaning equipment will be retrofitted onto existing MAN Roland Newsman double-width presses at QNP’s Brisbane site. The four presses are configured in one continuous press line requiring a total of 88 Global units.

    According to Peter Tkachuk, Director of Baldwin Graphic Equipment, the motive behind the decision is to increase the automation of the multi-million dollar press lines. “QNP was looking to increase efficiency of the press lines and to meet increasingly stringent Australian health, safety and environmental guidelines,” he said.

    News Limited is also currently installing the Baldwin systems at the Gold Coast Bulletin in Southport, Queensland on the KBA nine-tower Comet press installation.

    Tkachuk claims the fully enclosed and contact-less system is the most environmentally sound automatic blanket cleaning technology available today. It uses wash-cloth rolls, which are impregnated with an environmentally-friendly cleaning agent, keeping the agent completely contained in the roll, and virtually eliminating solvent handling and pressroom VOCs.

  • Workflow support scheme for :ApogeeX users

    The three-year, renewable contracts allow users to invest in the future of their workflow at a one-time cost.

    “The technology contract, offers :ApogeeX users very attractive conditions for the growth and support of their workflow management software,” said Garry Muratore, marketing manager Agfa Graphics, “We want to maintain our trusted partnerships with our customers to bring them the latest technology with exceptional support.”

    The Agfa Technology Contract enables Apogee Series3 users to upgrade their workflow management system to the latest :ApogeeX version. It builds on the Workflow Support Contract, offering free upgrades for all :ApogeeX software components released during the period of the contract, with at least one major upgrade per year.

    :ApogeeX users will be upgraded with the latest interfaces for all the applications and data formats commonly used in the graphics industry allowing for a greater return on investment. The Technology Contract also offers special conditions for adding extra options and functions to the :ApogeeX workflow. The contract runs for a period of three years, after which it is automatically extended year by year unless the customer cancels it.

  • The 2003 URS Forestry/Ausnewz Pulp & Paper Yearbook is now available

    Always a unique and valuable take on the health of the industry, it contains extensive documentation of the past, comprehensive analysis of the various paper markets at present and rigorous projections of the future. Although directed mainly at the paper industry, many printing companies find it an invaluable guide to trends in the market.

    In conjunction with the report, the URS Forestry/Ausnewz Intelligence Service is offering clients a personal presentation of the conclusions embodied in the Yearbook, relating and interpreting them in particular to their needs and interests. The intention is to establish a dialogue with the client base that will assist in understanding and addressing the industry.

    The URS Forestry/Ausnewz Pulp & Paper Yearbook contains the latest annual information available on the industry in Australian and New Zealand, together with income elasticity-based forecasts of consumption for the next five years.

    In 2002/2003, the heralded economic recovery of the USA and Europe did not eventuate, resulting in flat prices and poor paper demand. In comparison, economic activity in Australasia was relatively buoyant, with improved demand for most grades of pulp and paper. However, the strengthening AUD and NZD, along with low international prices, is making imports increasingly competitive placing downward pressures the price of domestically produced grades.

    The price of the Yearbook to purchasers within Australia is AUD$1315.00 including GST; subscribers overseas (excluding New Zealand) for USD$825.00 and for New Zealand subscribers AUD$1195.00. Extra copies with the original are available at a considerably reduced price.

    The cost of the one-day presentations is $2200 (GST included), plus travelling expenses.

    Inquiries can be made direct to the following e-mail address robert_eastment@urscorp.com

  • Another attempt to build a Tasmanian pulp mill

    In announcing the review of environmental guidelines that would apply to a eucalypt pulp mill, deputy premier, Paul Lennon, reaffirmed the government’s priority to attract value-adding investment to the state.

    Tasmania’s Resource Planning and Development Commission will undertake the review of the 1995 environmental guidelines, which the government believes are out of date and do not take into account the massive improvement in the environmental performance of kraft pulp mill technology over the past eight years.

    According to media reports, Lennon and John Gay, executive chairman of forestry company Gunns, recently visited Scandinavia, reviewing a number of pulp mills and the reduced impact modern pulping processes have on the environment.

    A world scale pulp mill would produce around 600,000 tonnes per annum, which after supplying all of Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill’s requirements of 250,000 tonnes would leave more than half to be exported. Australian Paper is currently researching a proposal for a pulp mill of its own in northern Victoria.

    The Tasmanian mill project will revive the battle lines between the environmental lobby and the forest industry, especially as it proposes using the same technology that the Greens have labelled as, outdated 1980s technology and far from world’s best practice. The previous attempt to build a pulp mill at Wesley Vale was defeated in 1990 mainly by the then energised Greens fresh from the Franklin River victory.

    According to a report in the Hobart Mercury, Lennon maintains that in the 15 years since the Wesley Vale debate, pulp mill technology has all but eliminated dioxins, organochlorine emissions now are around one quarter of what the best technology then could achieve, and organic matter discharged in mill waste water has been reduced by some 80 per cent.

  • New $20 million print contract for Penfold Buscombe

    During a detailed breakdown of the market Penfold Buscombe competes in, the managing director fingered PMP as one of the few large printing businesses with annual sales in excess of $30 million. “These companies tend to focus on a specific and usually non-competitive market segment. For example, PMP specialises in web printing and ultra-high volumes. However, they do have non-core digital and sheet-fed businesses, which we consider as competing in Penfold Buscombe’s market sector.”

    Other competitors, apart from the non-manufacturing print managers, he identified as “several hundred printing companies around the country. . . Most of these fall into the mid-sized category. They are generally state-based businesses with annual sales of between five and thirty million dollars.”

    He believes that few of these will be able to develop the scale necessary to remain competitive and retain their blue chip clients in the face of competition from organizations such as Penfold Buscombe. “Quite a few are only just coming to the realisation that they need to make real profits, to invest in their technology regularly, instead of simply enjoying their cash flow while they have it,” he said.

    His announcement of the new printing contract comes on top of a previous claim of several multi-million dollar contracts. He attributed the win to the company’s ability to deliver ancillary services such as on-site print management, warehousing and distribution.

    In commenting on the company’s financial performance of earnings before interest and taxes of $5.1 million, (excluding the $1.3 million one-off cost of its strategic changes), he singled out staff effort as helping the company to hold its market share in harsh industry conditions.

    He committed Penfold Buscombe to consider relevant and realistically-priced opportunities “when they are a good fit for our business strategy.”