Archive for December, 2003

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

    Coming across from Print & Pack, Bruce will bring his considerable industry experience in machinery sales to the Currie Group. Another Currie newcomer is Alison Whitelaw who has followed Dunwell across from Creo where they worked together for 18 years. She is sales coordinator.

    “I am very pleased to have people of the calibre of Bruce and Alison working with me. We will make a difference next year,” said Dunwell, who is the Currie Group’s NSW state manager.

    ___________________________

    There are advantages to working for David Currie, as Steve Dunwell is finding out. And one of them is getting a berth when the boss takes out his marvellous sailing vessel Godiva. Most of this week the boat was plying the sparkling warm clear waters of Sydney Harbour as Currie entertained staff and customers.

    Pictured enjoying the famed Currie hospitality are (left to right) Steve Crowe, editor of industry mag ProPrint, John Horsley of Expression Printing, Phillip Rennell, manager of Currie’s HP Indigo division, the man himself, David Currie, and Steve Dunwell, who is obviously luxuriating in his new role.

    ___________________________

    In what is becoming a bit of a Christmas tradition, industry guru Andy Tribute, escapes the cold and damp of a UK winter for a bit of antipodean sunshine. And who would blame him? “The thing I really like is how in Australia you do Christmas but it’s not in your face all the time,” he said.

    But it’s not all beer and Bondi Beach for Tribute. He is working his passage by giving a couple of his inimitable presentations for Fuji Xerox and Creo to industry insiders. Last Monday he was in St Kilda and last night he enthralled a Sydney audience. His theme is the re-engineering of print and he makes wonderful sense. If you didn’t catch him this time be sure to next time around.
    He is pictured enjoying some Australian hospitality bracketed by Creo Asia Pacific marketing manager, Mark Wilton, and sales and marketing co-ordinator, Randa Amatoury (below).

    ___________________________

    Say hello to Margaret Leutton the newly appointed LIA NSW executive Officer. Clancy can do little better than let the committee speak in her praise. ‘Margaret is a highly motivated individual who possesses the skills, focus, commitment and time to really impact and contribute positively to the health and well-being of our association. Margaret comes to us with a solid background in similar roles and as such has demonstrated her abilities by her past achievements.’
    ‘Since coming on board, Margaret has been busy working with the Future Directions sub committee on several key initiatives, which in the medium term will benefit us all greatly.’

    ___________________________

    And finally . . . Clancy wants to take this opportunity of wishing all his readers a Merry Christmas and an uproarious New Year. It’s been a helluva 12 months and he is off to such exotic locations as Alice Springs and Byron Bay to rest and recuperate.

    But first of all thanks to all of you, especially the jokesters and the funsters without whom this life would be dreary and more of a wasteland. So keep those cards ad letters rolling in. And for those of you without your own lawyer, here’s a fireproof season’s greeting courtesy of the Koslowski – they’ll never be able to hold you to it. See you next year.

    Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter/summer solstice holiday, practised
    within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

    And a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2004, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures, and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religous faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.

    By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

  • Candidate of the Week – Publishing coordinator, Sydney

    Our candidate has many years experience in educational and curriculum development roles.

    Smart, computer-literate and with a strong customer focus (she has also worked in sales), our candidate will be a highly-valued addition to any publishing team!

    Her impressive cover letter and resume is available on request.

    Please call James Cryer on 02. 9904 6222 or mobile 0408 291 508 or email your enquiry (no obligation) to james@jdaprintrecruit.com.au

    For more printing and graphic arts jobs and personnel click on: www.bluelinemedia.com.au/index.cfm?pageid=jobs01

  • New and current state and federal business opportunities

    Federal Government

    http://www.ads.gov.au/

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF677
    Description of goods or services: Qty 1000 BK – 7530/661128960 Book, Record
    XC40 (E-Form), Classified Document Register, Book Of 354 Pages (Also Available On E-Form And Defweb- As Print Of 10 Pages).
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF672
    Description of goods or services: Qty 1500 BK – 7530/661042849 Form, Printed
    ST 112, Freight Delivery Note, Book Of 50 Sets, 5 Sheets Per Set, (Current Versions Are All From Revised AUG 92).
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF675
    Description of goods or services: Qty 250 PD – 7540/661309515 Form, Printed
    EE500-A99. Maintenance Form EE500-A99 Pad Of 50 Sets, 3Sheets Per Set, Size B4 (250 MM X 353 MM LG). Current Versions Are From – Revised MAR 95.
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF683
    Description of goods or services: Qty 30 RO – 7530-014469825 Film, Copying, Xerographic Process
    Single-Matte Inkjet Polyester Film, For HP Jet 650C And Roland DXY 1350 A3 Plotters, 36 IN. W x 120 FT. LG.
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF674
    Description of goods or services: Qty 3000 BK – 7530/661008520 Book, Record
    OC 95-1, Message Log Book (Small), Book Of 100 Pages (Only Revised DEC 91 Version Is Current)
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF676
    Description of goods or services: Qty 150 BK – 7530/661186154 Form, Printed
    OWG 138, Demolition Recon Report (1) Or Schedule (2), Book Of 50 Forms, (Current Versions Are All From Introduced OCT 83).
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF684
    Description of goods or services: Qty 60000 EA – 7530/660322286 Envelope, Mailing
    430 MM X 355 MM, Pocket, Buff, 185 GSM, (Note-Unit Of Issue Is “Single Envelope”).
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF673
    Description of goods or services: Qty 1500 BK – 7530/661166430 Book, Record
    SI 24, (E-Form)Gangway Wine And Tobacco Record, Book Of 32 Pages, A4 Size(Current Versions – From Revised MAR 92)(And As Electronic Form).
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Defence
    Request for Quotation
    Tender ref no: AF671
    Description of goods or services: Qty 3000 PD – 7530/661095729 Form, Printed
    ST 161 (E-Form), Dangerous Goods-Acceptance Check List, Current Versions Are From-Revised JUL 2002.
    Closing date and time: 29/01/2004, 17:00 (AEDT)
    Tender inquiries on 03. 9282 6176
    Tender documentation on 03. 9282 3827, 03. 9282 5601 or 03. 9282 4535

    Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs
    Request for Tender
    Printing and Distribution of Forms
    Tender reference no: 03/08
    Closing date and time: 13 February 2004, 14.00 (AEST)
    Description: The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs invites offers for the provision of services in relation to forms: printing; and distribution; and forms storage management.
    Currently the Department requires the printing and distribution of approximately 200 forms under 90 broad categories, totalling about 30 million forms each year, to 72 outlets in Australia and 82 overseas.
    Please contact Lynette Bender for further information by phone 02. 6275 0750 or e-mail lynette.bender@wizardis.com.au

    __________________________________

    Queensland State Government

    http://www.qgm.qld.gov.au./index.html

    Education Queensland
    Invitation to Offer
    Tender No: EDPSA-101.1
    Title: Printing of ‘schools+parents’ Magazine
    Description: Printing of the ‘school+parents’ magazine on a bi-annual basis. This arrangement may include packaging ready for distribution, in addition to printing the magazine.
    Closing date and time: 06/02/2004 14:00 AEST
    Project specific enquiries to Susan Martin on phone: 07. 32354130 or e-mail susan.martin@qed.qld.gov.auAll offers must be submitted in Hardcopy to:
    Tender Box
    Floor 13
    Education House
    30 Mary Street
    Brisbane QLD 4000

    __________________________________

    Victorian State Government

    http://www.tenders.vic.gov.au/domino/web_notes/etenders/etdrpublishing.nsf?Open

    Department of Premier and Cabinet
    Request for Tender
    Tender title: Parliamentary Printing and Distribution Agreement
    Tender no: T2003-26
    Closing date and time: 08/01/2004, 02:00 PM (AEST)
    Description: The Printing and Distribution Agreement covers the printing and distribution of documents required by Parliament.
    E-mail for further information ParlPrinting@dpc.vic.gov.au

    __________________________________

    South Australian State Government

    http://www.tenders.sa.gov.au/index.do

    Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation
    Request for Tender
    Tender code: DWLBC009640
    Category: Printing and Photographic and Audio and Visual Equipment and Supplies
    Description: The provision of marketing and communication, professional and production house services, from which the Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, DWLBC will procure services from time to time. The services that might be sourced include the following: Graphic Design, TV/Video Production, Photography Services – portraiture and event recording, Public Relations, Media and Communications Services, Event Management – planning, implementation and evaluation (including conferences etc), Display/Signage – exhibition design, erection and dismantling services, Proofreading and editing services, CD ROM Production, Printing Services – offset and digital, Print – volume copying and binding, Web Design and Management services.
    Appointment will be for a period of two (2) years.
    Closing date and time: 22 December 2003, 2:00 PM (Adelaide time)
    Enquiries: Monica Boulton on 08. 8463 7916 or e-mail boulton.monica@saugov.sa.gov.au or Peter Roberts on 08. 8463 7915 roberts.peter2@saugov.sa.gov.au

  • Böttcher = More than Rollers & Printing Blankets

    Böttcher manufactures and supplies a full range of press chemistry perfectly adapted to the requirements of users, presses and the environment.

    Printing blankets, rollers and impression cylinders in modern sheet-fed offset presses are cleaned by various types of automatic washing units. Böttcher washes and Printing aids are specifically designed for this purpose. They offer strong cleaning action and outstanding reliability and have been tested and approved by press manufacturers and have FOGRA certification.

    Printing aids

    Ideal for pressroom use.
    During printing operations, deposits consisting of paper coating material, calcium, printing ink ingredients accumulate on press rollers. These deposits cause glazing of the roller surface, which in turn lead to poor ink transfer and inking roller blinding.
    Böttcher recommend intensive weekly cleaning of rollers with special cleaning pastes and gels. This extends roller service life and ensures consistent print quality.

    Cleaning pastes

    BöttcherPro Calciumfix
    Cleaning gel for removal of stubborn calcium deposits on inking rollers. The original ink absorption properties are restored.
    Regular (weekly) use helps prevent accumulation of calcium deposits. BöttcherPro Calciumfix is packaged in tubes for easy, economical application.

    Feboclean EK
    Cleaning gel for removal of stubborn calcium deposits on inking rollers. Packaged in tubs.

    BöttcherPro Cleanfix
    Cleaning paste for inking rollers; prevents accumulation of dirt deposits and glazing if used regularly. Chemical and physical action ensures thorough cleaning into material pores. Ideal for cleaning between colour changes from dark to light inks.
    BöttcherPro Cleanfix is packaged in tubes for easy, economical application.

    Feboclean RE
    Cleaning paste for inking rollers; prevents ink ingredient deposit build-up if used regularly. Packaged in tubs.

    Böttcher Rol-O-Past
    Cleaning and rejuvenating paste for inking rollers; for removal of stubborn deposits on older inking rollers. Occasional application on rollers removed from presses restores the ink absorption properties of glazed inking rollers.

    Check out this months Print21 Online specials!

    BöttcherPro CleanFix – 500g tube (6 per box) – Code: 0801646 $26.95* (incl. GST)

    Feboclean RE -700g Can (8 per box) – Code: 0801089 $26.95* (incl. GST)

    BöttcherPro Calciumfix – 500g tube (6 per box) – Code: 0801645 $37.40* (incl. GST)

    Feboclean EK – 1 kg Can (12 per box) – Code: 0801077 $70.78* (incl. GST)

    *Plus packaging and shipping cost within Australia $14.95 per order, orders over $120.00 are delivered free.

    To find out more information or to order some products, contact Mitch Mulligan on +61 2 9659 2722 or e-mail mitch@bottcher.com.au

    Visit Böttcher on the web www.boettcher.de

  • Printing Industries National and NSW Regional Offices are relocating

    The new address is 1 South Parade, Auburn NSW 2144. According to a press statement release by the association the new switchboard number from 12 January is 02. 8789 7300. Fax numbers will be advised when available.


    The new location in Auburn.

    Post Office Box for correspondence is: PO BOX 234, Auburn NSW 1835

    All staff e-mail details remain unchanged. Current phone and fax numbers will be redirected for the next few months to allow people time to adjust their records.

    The move from the current York Street, Sydney building will begin from on Friday 9 January. All phones (except mobiles) fax and internet communication will be temporarily unavailable from midday 9 January until Monday 12 January when the Auburn site becomes operational.

    The new two storey building covers 915 sq m and was bought by Printing Industries with a view to providing better and more convenient training and meeting facilities for the industry. The property features extensive on-site parking for 23 vehicles, disabled access, extensive training and meeting room facilities, kitchen and courtyard facilities for functions and is a short walk from Auburn Station.

    It will also feature a library of historic printed publications dating back over several centuries. The new location will be the registered office of

    • Label & Tag Manufacturers Association (LATMA) Australia and LATMA NSW;
    • Screenprinting and Graphic Imaging Association of Australia (SGIAA) and SGIAA NSW
    • NSW Junior Printing Executives Association (JPE)
    • Community Newspapers Australia (CNA)
    • Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) and
    • Printing Industries Credits.
  • What is print quality, really?

    Printing has effectively been made a commodity, thanks to linear film out-put at nominal screen rulings of 150-175 lpi to SWOP standards. Print buyers are increasingly taking advantage of this situation, demanding ever lower prices and faster turnaround times.

    This has forced many printers to seek new ways to differentiate themselves. Some have added ancillary services, such as digital asset management and creative design. However, at its core, the business of print is about putting ink on paper. Savvy printers are exploring ways to distinguish themselves in their print manufacturing processes, and are rethinking the notion of “quality” from a different manufacturing and sales point of view. This requires challenging some accepted “truths.”

    Two industry truths (that aren’t)

    1. Print buyers buy print

    2. Printers sell print

    Print buyers don’t purchase printing for a lack of presswork; they see print as a media that fills a communication need in a way that is more effective than others, often less expensive and easier-to implement vehicles, such as the Internet. They are buying the unique value that only ink on paper can deliver. As a result, expectations will be different from buyer to buyer, project to project. Today it will be pleasing colour for a flyer, tomorrow, hi-fidelity for an annual report. One size does not fit all.
    In turn, successful printers do not simply sell print. They form relationships with buyers that allow them to be seen as a print solutions provider. Producing customer-tailored products and services provides them with the best opportunity of being considered whenever print is the chosen vehicle. The printer is therefore perceived not as a commodity, but a valued partner in solving the print buyer’s communication needs.

    However, customising the manufacturing process for every unique customer expectation can quickly send printers into bankruptcy. Print production is at its most cost efficient when standardised, which would seem to conflict with the printer’s ability to meet unique requirements. Traditional mass production manufacturing models do not apply well to an industry that produces custom products.
    How can the printer reconcile the opposing needs of customisation and standardisation?

    Customisation enabled by standardisation

    Many companies are revamping their production lines to make them flexible enough to spin hundreds of variations on a single product, from the same assembly line. This model is awkwardly named “mass customisation,” as it is designed to merge the best of two opposite manufacturing models – mass
    production and custom production. Mass customisation is intended to support both low production costs through standardization, and competitive differentiation through customisation. A move to mass customisation can deepen market penetration, solidify customer loyalty, and create a cost-efficient production cycle. There are six key concepts in mass customisation.

    1. Evaluate printing in customer terms

    This means understanding your customers and their needs, then confirming that you truly offer products based on those expectations. In the same way that you might like a hamburger prepared in a posh restaurant one day, but only have time for a fast food burger the next, print buyers may consider some jobs as critical and others not. In response, you might consider standardizing a few different production streams for projects. This allows you to scale your production and costing according to the customer’s needs for the specific project at hand. For example, different production streams for colour might include:

    • Critical colour production paths (high fidelity). This might include high-fidelity scanning/custom CMYK conversion settings; laminate proofing, specified tolerances for colour deviation on press, frequent documented press sheet consistency checks, and frequent post-bindery documented quality checks.
    • Pleasing colour production paths (medium fidelity). This might include basic digital scanning/generic automated CMYK conversion settings, inkjet proofing, industry-standard tolerances for colour deviation on press, less frequent press sheet consistency checks, and random post bindery quality checks.
    • Base production paths (low fidelity). This might include unaltered customer-supplied scans, laser or soft proofing, industry-standard tolerances for solid ink density deviations on press.

    2. Offer the appropriate number of choices

    Effective mass customisation depends on not only understanding what customers want, but also
    translating that information into an appropriate number of choices. Print buyers may require high fidelity for an annual report as well as SWOP-targeted presswork for a catalogue. Instead of offering one presswork standard, such as 175 lpi at SWOP densities, you might consider standardising several presswork targets.

    For example:

    • 175 lpi GRACoL standards.
    • 175 lpi at Dmaxx. This is presswork run at higher-than-standard solid ink densities in order to provide more saturated colour.
    • Staccato screening to provide near continuous-tone fidelity and photographic detail.
    • C2MYK. This is CMYK with an alternate magenta ink hue to allow the printer to alternate between favoring either reds and oranges or blues and purples.
    • High fidelity via an extended colour set. This can be to expand the colour gamut, as with a Hexachrome-like hue set, or to replace spot colours, as with the Creo Spotless system.

    3. Create a modular production system

    Volkswagen is a leader in successful mass customisation. With only four platforms to choose from, they manufacture over 30 different vehicles around the world. Believe it or not, the Volkswagen Beetle and Audi TT sit on the same chassis as the Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3, and various Skoda and SEAT offerings in Europe. The secret is that the parts the customer does not see are standard across the different models, but the parts that the customer sees are unique to each model. In printing terms, the printer could standardize a few key presswork characteristics that provide maximum visible customisation.

    These would then be pre-tested and integrated into the production workflow. When the sales representative discusses the project with the client, one of the standardised packages can be offered as the “custom” option to meet the specific expectations for that project. The key is developing, pre-testing, and standardising options rather than waiting for a customer request or experimenting on live jobs.

    4. Provide fingertip access to all information

    Everyone in the company should be able to access relevant information about customer orders and the individual steps of production. Having information readily available allows flexibility in that anyone from executives to production can see where an individual order lies in the process and where a process or module might need to be changed to adapt to new customer demands. It also enables every employee to be “on the same page” in supporting the company’s commitment to meeting each customer’s expectations.

    Database as much information about jobs as possible, and only make new mistakes.

    5. Establish a direct link with customers

    When customers order custom products, the company finds out much more about customer preferences than it could ever learn through traditional market research. Database as much information about customers as possible – building relationships is key to success – relationships depend on intimate knowledge. Printers could potentially profile their customers, workflows, and presswork to tailor production and service for each customer and product. Referring to this information can also lead to better estimates, guide new equipment purchases, and suggest new service opportunities.

    6. Make it hard for customers to go elsewhere

    Beyond giving customers product choices, mass customisation can create an addictive customer interface, which in turn can create loyalty. You want to make the customer’s experience of dealing with your company as consistent as you expect your presswork to be. Every point of contact between your organisation and your customers – personal or technological – should be tuned to make the customer’s life as easy as possible.


    The Cabbage Patch Kids craze in the 1980s leveraged mass customisation principles to the extreme. Over 80 million dolls were mass produced – yet each doll was unique.

    So what about quality?

    Quality is, as eloquently defined by business management guru Dr. W. Edwards Deming, “meeting customer expectations.” Therefore, a true “quality” printer is one that understands that it is not a question of high or low quality, but rather how closely they have met the expectations of their customers. The ability to efficiently tune a standardised manufacturing platform to meet these custom expectations becomes a cost-efficient competitive differentiator.
    This is a simplified overview of some of the principles of mass customisation applied to print. There is a great deal of information about mass customisation available on the web, and here is a good place to start: http://www.mass-customization.de/index_english.htm

    Feedback to this article would be appreciated; please contact Gordon Pritchard, Print solutions senior with your comments at gordon.pritchard@creo.com

  • Print in Australia: why we do and why we don’t

    (Archive search = Open letter).

    My open letter to the publishers of Australia (Print21 Online Friday 5th Dec) has produced some very thought-provoking responses. I am indebted to all of you who took time to send emails. Two in particular are revealing and I urge every printer, every supplier and every state and federal small business minister to take note.

    From George Maniatis of Spinninghead Printing & Publishing, Marrickville, NSW:

    Andy, there is a logical explanation for why such printing of Aussie titles are produced outside of Australia; it is cheaper.
    We recently produced the content for a full colour food book in Australia but did the print production in Hong Kong. The whole print cost (prepress, print and shipping) for one of titles was nearly the cost of the prepress component alone if it were to be done in Australia.
    Content creation, proofing and mock-ups were all done here, but it was cheaper to print in Asia. The quality of the work was extremely high, and [local] operations could not come anywhere near the prices we were quoted.
    Even our group, which operates several large format multi-colour presses couldn’t do the job.

    So there we have a printer, which owns presses, having to send some work offshore. Here’s another from one of the publishers mentioned in the article, Ian Ashmore, Divisional General Manager, Publishing & Entertainment, Funtastic Pty Ltd:

    We produce these books off shore due to price. The Asian printers can buy paper much cheaper than their Australian counterparts because of the type of paper available and the volumes used. There is also a much cheaper labour component.
    In the case of ‘The Art of Bradman’ the cost to produce offshore was over 40 per cent cheaper than doing it locally. The increase in cost, if produced locally, would reflect in the final retail price and make the book uncompetitive.
    We designed the books locally and scanned all of the images, etc in Australia but production costs are far cheaper offshore. It is certainly our preference to produce in Australia when it is feasible to do so – as we do with our Colour & Activity product and other formats.
    In the case of the Rugby World Cup Guide we bought this line in from a UK publisher Carlton Books, and simply joined their global production run. This book would have also been much more expensive if produced in Australia.

    Yes, here we have a major publisher openly stating he prefers to source print from Australian printers, but being forced offshore due to price (although I must question what could have caused price competition to The Art of Don Bradman – the Wit of Geoffrey Boycott? The Music of Douglas Jardine? )

    Another heartbreaking example. I picked up a copy of Dr Jonathan King’s The Galipolli Diaries published by Kangaroo Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster). In it, Dr King issues an apology along the lines ‘If I have forgotten anybody… I apologise. Please let me know and I will endeavour to correct this in the future.”

    Of course, he was referring to the ANZACs but I know, were they alive today, they would not want such an important record of Australia’s finest hour printed offshore, forgetting Australia’s printers. I owned a copy of the original 1916 Anzac Book, produced in the trenches and printed in 1916 after the withdrawal. I found it in an antique shop in England and bought it back home. That we can’t even print a modern issue of The Galipolli Diaries here, is a dark fact indeed.

    So what can be done?

    The consistent argument is that ‘It’s cheaper to print offshore.’ Funtastic’s Ian Ashmore notes that paper can be purchased ‘much cheaper’ outside of Australia. We all know paper is around 50 per cent of a print job’s cost. What have paper suppliers to say about this? It’s global market; why can’t you supply Australian printers at the same price?

    He also cites labour costs. Australia has some of the most automated press lines in the world; labour is becoming less and less a percentage part of printing, this should not be a significant issue. However, a portion of this ‘cheap’ labour may consist of exploited children or women paid a pittance to assemble parts, and workers with few rights or compensation if they are made redundant, injured or killed.

    Is this the kind of printing industry we want here? Coles-Myer has a firm policy of not doing business with Textile and Clothing firms who exploit outworkers, women and children. Can they be guaranteed none of the books containing great Australian content are printed where such people are exploited?

    Next we come to capital and consumable costs. Machinery suppliers; are your prices and terms to Australian printers the same as to those offshore? Plate and ink suppliers – are your Australian prices and terms in line with those of offshore counterparts?

    Government policy also plays a part. Five per cent tariff on paper when books printed offshore come in tariff-free is highly detrimental. Incentive is another area. Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates where the 2003 Rugby World Cup Book was printed, has aggressively promoted itself as a centre of business investment.

    Its government set up the Jebel Ali Free Zone, an area where businesses operate as if they were ‘offshore’ i.e. outside of the UAE for legal purposes. This means no taxes, no duties etc.

    The Australian Government of course has to look at the entire nation’s interests and, as such, is signatory to various free trade agreements, such as SAFTA – the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement. High Commissioner to Singapore, Gary Quinlan, said in June 2003: “Singapore, already our seventh largest trading partner and one of the top four or five investors in Australia, is reinventing itself as a services and knowledge-based economy. There are great opportunities for Australian businesses in that.”

    Where printing is concerned, it is all going Singapore’s way, and this is probably because companies like SNP got off their backsides and did something about it!

    It’s all up to you, printers of Australia because the age of tariffs and protection is gone. We are in the Free Trade era. Sure, investment incentives are a good idea and this is where Australia falls well short. In Guandong Province, China, officials are actively attracting international investment for print manufacturing near the Pearl River Delta, which already contributes 30 per cent to local GDP. This region could become the largest printing centre in the world one day. Last year print was worth AUD$13.3 billion to Guandong Province – about the size of the entire Australian printing industry.

    So do we give up on printing quality colour books about Australia in Australia? Has it been relegated to the ‘too hard’ basket? Do we resign ourselves to having an industry that prints only local time-sensitive and convenience products, leaving the gravy to offshore printers? Don’t forget, that means offshore paper, offshore ink, offshore plates, offshore presses, offshore profits, offshore taxes and offshore labour.

    Or do we fight for the Australian printing industry to have its rightful place in the global knowledge economy as a competitive and efficient supplier to the publishing business?

    Andy McCourt
    Industry Consultant

  • MAN Roland to quit digital printing

    From now on MAN Roland’s digital systems business unit will focus on its own direct imaging technology for offset presses, the DICOweb. Following the recent announcement by Heidelberg that it is seeking a manufacturing and research partner of the NexPress and Digimaster products, it leaves Fuji Xerox and HP Indigo as the only two major players focusing on the full manufacturing and R&D of digital printing.

    While Heidelberg will continue to sell digital printing equipment the MAN Roland announcement signals a radical departure for the major press manufacturer from toner-based digital printing. It has decided to concentrate on advancing its own direct image offset printing press.

    The MAN Roland decision is the latest in the retreat of a number of companies from OEM agreements with Xeikon. Agfa, Fuji Xerox and IBM all at one stage used the Xeikon engine as part of their digital printing offerings. In recent times Xeikon has established a direct sales presence in Australia and New Zealand.

    In a press release MAN Roland said that despite the printing form being produced digitally, the DICOweb still remains an offset printing press. In contrast, the Xeikon OEM products MAN Roland has been selling up to now work with toner instead of ink.

    Toner-based systems are not part of MAN Roland’s core business. Instead, they are primarily used by ad agencies, prepress shops, and copy shops. Established suppliers already exist in this distinctive market and are providing enough services to satisfy market needs. MAN Roland’s global sales partners provide a versatile range of alternative products for image-one-print-one digital solutions.

    Three years ago MAN Roland took over sales in this market segment for three Xeikon products known as the DICOpress, DICOpack, and DICOpage. Developments in the DICOpage sheet printing system, however, were not achieved to the degree that allowed the system to establish itself in the market. DICOpage sales were therefore terminated about 18 months ago.

    In addition, planned versions of the DICOpack were never developed to completion. Also, the difficult and unsure business footing of Xeikon this year was not an insignificant factor in MAN Roland’s decision. The now-complete separation, carried out on the part of Xeikon’s new owners, clarifies not only sales paths, but also the overall situation.

  • Technotrans to buy Baldwin

    “By combining Baldwin’s excellent know-how, especially in automated cleaning systems, with technotrans’ successful liquid technology, both companies together could better address customer demands,” said Heinz Harling, technotrans CEO.

    Baldwin Chairman and CEO Gerald A. Nathe said: “While Baldwin has a proud tradition as an independent company and as a leader in the design and manufacture of printing press accessories and controls, we have come to the conclusion that, should Baldwin and technotrans reach a definitive agreement, the proposed transaction would be in the best interest of our stockholders.”

    By combining their respective product offerings and sales forces, technotrans and Baldwin would broaden their customer base. The companies decided to announce the transaction plans in advance of the signing of a definitive agreement in order to avoid industry rumours while proceeding with the intended merger. The contemplated transaction is subject to confirmatory due diligence, execution of definitive acquisition documentation, respective board approvals, financing by technotrans, and other requirements and contingencies typical in a transaction of this nature. The signing of a binding merger agreement is expected in January 2004.

  • Rural Press wins Harris takeover battle.

    The company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Regional Publishers, has gained 62.34 per cent of Harris ordinary shares to bring to an end the bitter takeover tussle that saw two publishing dynasties battle for supremacy. Fairfax brothers, John and Vincent own Rural Press, while the Harris group was tightly held by the Harris family (Archive search = Harris).

    The win means that Regional Publishers has increased its offer price to $31.50 and the offer period is now extended to December 29. The offer will rise to $32 per share if Regional gets 70 per cent of the shares and $32.50 if it wins 90 per cent.

    It also gives Rural control of the two leading Tasmanian newspapers; Burnie Advocate and Launceston Examiner. The company had an interest along with Harris in the Examiner while Harris owned the Advocate.

    The concentration of ownership was referred to the ACCC, which has decided not to intervene. In a press statement the Commission said that it reached the view that the proposal would not amount to a substantial lessening of competition. It said that in reaching this view it considered the nature of the market, which indicated that there was limited overlap in the geographical areas serviced by the two publications.

    It noted Rural’s publicly stated intentions to retain both mastheads and a separate staff at each publication.

  • Print Month Australia – a national celebration of printing

    The national event will include industry seminars and presentations in every state, a travelling exhibition and a print summit in Canberra. The aim is to raise the printing industry’s profile among the broader community, to promote printing as an effective means of communication, and to attract young people into the industry.

    In announcing Print Month Australia Garry Donnison, ceo of Printing Industries said the aim is to provide a showcase for the industry and provide an opportunity for everyone in the industry to join in promoting printing as an important part of the media mix.

    “Our industry makes a significant contribution to the national economy. It plays a major role in the burgeoning information age and is a vibrant sector that provides marvellous career opportunities to young people. We want to let the broader community know that we are proud of the quality standards of Australian printing and the sophistication of our technology. We intend to provide a vehicle that will showcase the power of print and allow the industry to enhance the positive aspects of printing,” he said.

    The month-long event will provide opportunities for all sectors to play a part in organising seminars, presentations and open houses. Industry sponsors will be sought to help develop the nation-wide programme of events.

    Printing Industries has appointed Industry consultant, Andy McCourt to coordinate Print Month Australia.

    “The aim is to engage the entire industry in preparations for a month-long celebration and promotion of Australian print media and communication. It is an opportunity to present our industry for what it is – highly technical, environmentally responsible, excellent career opportunities and a major contributor to the Australian job market and economy,” said McCourt.

    Participation will be encouraged from all sectors of the industry and recognised events will be included in the national programme and be authorised to use the PMA logo. For more information and to find out how you can play a part in promoting the Australian printing industry contact Andy McCourt andy@mccourtconsult.com or Joe Kowalwski joe@printnet.com.au

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

    David Hoban of Printing Industries points out that the association’s trade services guide calendar is so popular that they are fighting off supplier sponsors who want to advertise in it. He says, “We try to ensure that every printer in NSW and Queensland receives their free copy.
    “If you want one give David an email on dhoban@printnet.com.au

    Similarly Peter Carrigan, the ebullient general manager of GSA, came to the rescue with the news that anyone who misses out on their usual promotional calendar can give him an email and he’ll send out a fine FujiFilm one. And you can’t ask better than that. Peter is emailed on peter.carrigan@fujigsa.com

    Mind you, if you subscribed to Print21 magazine, this month’s issue has a free calendar and wall planner.

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    Print buyers in Australia, with some notable exceptions, tend to be reserved private types who like to keep out of the public eye. But in the US the third annual Print Oasis Print Buyers Conference & Exhibit is on April 18 – 21, 2004 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida. Print Oasis puts itself out as the only independent conference focused on the needs and challenges of print buyers, specifiers and production professionals. Its constituency includes print buyers, production managers and specifiers from corporations, advertising agencies, design firms, associations and publishing companies that buy more than $1 million a year in printing.

    Now there’s an idea we could usefully import.

    ___________________________

    Although they started out by noting that there is no legal definition of ‘fair and reasonable,’ independent experts (sic) Horwath reckon that Rural Press’ takeover offer for Harris in Tasmania is not fair and reasonable. Responding to one of Rural’s taunts that the board of Harris did not get an independent valuation of the company, the Tasmanian’s came back with a 62-page report. The auditors reckon the company is worth in the range of $35.48 to $39.77 (sic) per share, which allows them to disdain the maximum payout by Rural of $32.50 per share. The only shareholders who would benefit from accepting the offer, in Horwath’s reckonings, are those with a short-term investment horizons of around one year, not much when you consider that the Harris shareholding is not publicly listed but held securely by a close Tasmanian family grouping.

    This takeover saga has much to unfold.

    ___________________________

    Never let a chance go by. Gerd Finkbeiner, Chairman of MAN Roland could not help himself in view of rival Heidelberg’s problems. Claiming, rightly, to head up the second largest press manufacturer worldwide he issued a press statement that says in part; MAN Roland is staying the course as the world leader in web offset systems and the second largest manufacturer of sheetfed presses. Our core business is print, and at drupa this coming May we will be reinforcing that commitment with the slogan: “MAN Roland – We Are Print!”

    Nothing like a bit of friendly competition.

    ___________________________

    And finally. . . in these celebratory times getting to work late may need a good excuse. Here’s one from Norman K.

    For thirty years, Johnson had arrived at work at 9 am on the dot. He had never missed a day and was never late. Consequently, when on one particular day 9 am passed without Johnson’s arrival, it caused a sensation. All work ceased, and the boss himself, looking at his watch and muttering, came out into the corridor.

    Finally, precisely at ten, Johnson showed up, clothes dusty and torn, his face scratched and bruised, his glasses bent. He limped painfully to the time clock, punched in, and said, aware that all eyes were upon him, “I tripped and rolled down two flights of stairs in the subway. Nearly killed myself.”

    And the boss said, “And to roll down two flights of stairs took you a whole hour?”

  • It’s summer, it’s Sydney, it’s big boats on the harbour time

    Weighing in at 110 tonnes and with a towering 134-foot mast and 40-foot boom, the 112-foot Swan, Pacific Freedom (Bill Ireland), needs a bigger runway than Sydney Harbour to build decent speed, so their race plan for Friday is to relax and let the boat’s fully automated systems do the hard work. While this giant cruising boat will represent the luxury end of the fleet, most of the remaining entries are stripped-out racing maxis that will go head to head in a fortnight’s time in a less friendly environment.

    The Canon Big Boat Challenge will mark the first and last opportunity for the much-awaited clash between the brand new 98-foot Victorian super maxi Skandia and the modified 80-footer Nicorette before the Boxing Day start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

    Both yachts will sail tomorrow with canting keels, a first for this event, as will the yacht that pioneered the concept in Australia, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats, and Denis O’Neil’s Atomic.

    Atomic is the Sydney businessman’s latest state-of-the-art harbour racer and will be one of the most impressive looking boats in the fleet with its sleek black hull. It was modelled by designers Murray Burns Dovell on the successful America’s Cup class yachts and is the only boat in the world to have a canting wing keel.

    Olympic sailor Jamie Wilmot and his son Nathan, who is currently ranked number one in the world in the Olympic 470 Class, are sure to prove themselves valuable, aboard David Fuller’s yacht B3 while the highly experienced disabled crew of KAZ (David Pescud) will be working hard on their 52-footer.

    The 79-foot Brindabella, a five-time line honours winner in this event, including the first Canon Big Boat Challenge in 1994, is lining up for another crack at the trophy and to be part of a spectacle that skipper George Snow says: “brings exciting sailing to the people of Sydney.”

    To mark the 10th anniversary of the Canon Big Boat Challenge, the managing director of Canon Australia, Shuichi Tsukahara will fire the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 19th Century replica cannons from the aft deck of the Jerry Bailey to signal the 12.30pm start off Point Piper. From there, the fleet will complete two and a half laps of the southern end of Sydney Harbour before finishing off at the Opera House.

  • Goss wins dumping claim against Japanese press maker TKS

    The verdict brings to a conclusion a series of court actions against press manufacturers from around the world. Mitsubishi, KBA and MAN Roland all settled out of court earlier in the year with the details remaining confidential.

    According to a report on http://www.What they think.com the Goss action was taken under the 1916 Antidumping Act, which seeks to protect U.S. businesses from unfair competition. Under this law the verdict will be trebled and will include attorneys’ fees, according to William Schopf of Schopf & Weiss, trial counsel to Goss International.

    “Goss believes in free and fair trade in all its global activities,” said Bob Brown, CEO of Goss International. “TKS violated U.S. law and then tried to cover up their actions by destroying documents. We are gratified that the jury has held TKS responsible for their actions in the U.S. marketplace.”

    Schopf added, “This was a verdict for American industry and the American worker. We were proud to have been part of the effort.”

    Meanwhile Goss in the UK is battling an industrial problem with production workers in Preston holding a series of stoppages in protest against a company-imposed pay freeze.

  • Management buyout for MAN Roland company

    The company was sold to its managing director, Dr. Jochem Tietze on December 1 with both companies declaring they will continue to work together. The move to return the company to stand alone status was on the cards ever since the successful transfer of the feeder business to MAN Roland in the mid-90s.
    MABEG has a staff of 70 people, and annual sales of around EUR 10 million in printing ancillary systems.
    ”The objective of the restructured MABEG company is to build on established relationships and maintain our position as a dependable partner to the printing industry”, said Dr. Jochem Tietze. There is to be no change to the well-known brands MABEG and Spiess.
    A clear signal that the close cooperation with MAN Roland will continue in the future is the fact that Dr. Ingo Koch, member of the Management Board of MAN Roland, will continue as chairman of the MABEG Advisory Board.

  • SPECIAL REPORT THREE – Heidelberg web printing; a tangled tale

    It is looking for a partner to take over the production and research of its web division, which comprises of its heatset commercial and newspaper press portfolio. Goss Printing Systems is the most favoured candidate but there are others in the wings, waiting.

    The problem for Heidelberg is that there is major over capacity in the commercial web sector on a global basis at a time when weak economic activity is restricting prospects for growth. Bernard Schreier is convinced the market for commercial web presses will come under further pressure due to the continuing consolidation of the printing companies in the sector. It is, he says, time for Heidelberg to “lean back” from it.

    The company’s market research suggests that given the projected growth forecasts the current installed capacity will be able to satisfy the needs of the sector over the next three to five years. In Schreier’s words it is “questionable” how many new presses will be required during that period. His answer is – not enough for Heidelberg to make a business out of them.

    In a frank and open presentation at the Heidelberg conference, Schreier admitted that some of the blame for the position the company finds itself in, especially in regard to newspaper web presses, is due to faulty decisions on its own part. As he said, when the Mainstream press that was introduced at Drupa 2000, the aim was ‘to take over the world.” Since then 12 presses have been installed, a respectable number but not sufficient to make a continuing business.

    There are still a number of orders in the pipeline for the well-regarded Mainstream press that Heidelberg, or its yet-unnamed partner will fulfil, but after that Heidelberg is out of web press production. However, the company is committed to providing support for its installed base. There are no Mainstream newspaper presses in Australia and New Zealand, but the customers with commercial heatset web presses are also the large Heidelberg sheetfed customers who need to be looked after, no matter what.

    Among the potential firms that might come to the rescue if Heidelberg’s overtures to Goss prove unsuccessful are Swiss web press manufacturer, WIFAG, and Japanese producer TKS. Other web press manufacturers such as MAN Roland, KBA and Mitsubishi are serious competitors to Heidelberg in the sheetfed market, which automatically disbars them

    Goss Printing Systems is lately out of a period of financial instability that saw it take refuge from bankruptcy in Chapter 11. It is currently owned by US investment bankers and is enjoying a relatively ebullient order book. While the commercial web portfolio of Heidelberg would give Goss entry into the wider commercial market, the company would face the same problems as Heidelberg in making it pay, despite considerable synergies and cost take-outs such a takeover would deliver. Given the cost of research and development in the sector it is simply not certain if anyone can make money out of it in the near future.

    If a suitable deal cannot be cut, one scenario with considerable currency at the Heidelberg conference was for the company to cut back the portfolio to the most popular 16 and 24 page presses and attempt to stay in the business. The suggestion was disavowed by Bernard Schreier who remains confident that a buyer will be found by March next year.

    There are still some orders in the pipeline for the Mainstream but not sufficient to encourage the company to stay in the business. The decision to get out of newspaper web presses is irrevocable, whether a partner is found or not.

    The commercial web is a different matter. The customers here are close to the core large sheetfed companies that are Heidelberg’s prime market. Although the aim is to deliver the division to a partner for the benefits of synergies and product portfolio development, if such a saviour fails to appear it is likely Heidelberg will concentrate the product range to the 16 and 24 page machines and continue to service the sector.

  • SPECIAL REPORT TWO – Heidelberg digital: one product portfolio is not enough

    Despite announcing that the company will no longer fund research and development of the NexPress, he maintains that Heidelberg is not getting out of digital printing. Indeed he claims that by this time next year it will be selling even more digital printing products than at present. But they will not be made by Heidelberg.

    The company produces a single digital colour product, the NexPress, focused on the high quality colour and sold to commercial printers. There are two NexPress in Australia, one at Pongrass Communications in Sydney, the other at Impact in Melbourne. Both were installed within the past 18 months.

    Heidelberg also manufactures the Digimaster range of black and white engines using technology it bought from Eastman Kodak when that company was exiting the graphic arts market in the late 1990s. Both the NexPress and the Digimaster products are manufactured in Rochester USA by Heidelberg Digital, which is a wholly-owned but separate US-based company.

    The limited product portfolio has not been sufficient for Heidelberg to make a successful business out of it and the company faces the need to re-position itself if it is to continue in the sector. Research and development in colour digital is a very expensive affair with Schreier admitting that the company is spending large amounts of money with little or no return. Cashed up competitors such as Xerox and HP and a host of Japanese companies have a much wider range of products, and are driving the technical requirements and the investment levels.

    Part of the problem is that Heidelberg positioned the NexPress to appeal to its traditional customer base of commercial production printers. It is debateable if this market sector is all that interested in investing in digital printing, especially in high-volume presses that compete with established offset machines. One of the main market differentiators of the NexPress is that it is rated to produce one million copies per month. To complement this capacity the company has developed digital finishing, which is one of the products earmarked for the chop in the realignment of the postpress sector.

    Much of the appeal of digital is in the production of variable data imaging, so-called personalised printing. This is the where the technology has a clear differentiation from offset. According to Shreier, there has been little investment by customers in the development of the databases necessary for variable printing. Without it commercial digital printing is left competing with small offset for short run colour. “In many cases, small offset is the better solution,” he said. He maintains the sector is set to grow, but not by much.

    For Heidelberg to be a serious player in the digital printing market it needs to have a broad portfolio of products addressing the different quality and production levels. There is a burgeoning number of mid-range, low-cost colour digital machines coming onto the market, mostly from Japanese manufacturers. This is the type of engine Heidelberg needs to be able to supply its customers and it has made the decision not to devote the capital funds necessary to develop such a portfolio on its own, even if it could.

    Which means it is looking for partners to take over the development and production of the NexPress. The most likely suitor is Eastman Kodak, which not only has a 50 per cent share in the product but has recently expressed interest and intention of getting back into the graphic arts markets – witness its formation of a Commercial Printing Division and the purchase of Scitex Digital Printing. To make the deal sweeter for whoever takes over development and production of the NexPress, Heidelberg is committing itself to be a major supplier of digital printing technology to the market.

    If Eastman Kodak does not take over the NexPress, Schreier has committed Heidelberg to supporting the existing base and to maintaining the production infrastructure. But there will be no R&D of the product line, a factor that would effectively seal its fate. Few new customers would choose an avowed orphan against the offerings of aggressive competitors such as Xerox and HP.

    Its black and white Digimaster business is one where Heidelberg’s channel partners, Danka and Icon, have had most success selling to the office market. Heidelberg does not have the expertise in this sector. Its sales and service focus is not on the office and transactional markets. The strategy is to put its large sales and service network to work selling a broader range of digital printing equipment into the graphic arts customer base. This should mean by drupa next year there will be a heady mix of OEM and re-badged digital output engines in the Heidelberg portfolio.