Archive for May, 2004

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

    Tony Duncan, (top) ex-Australian Paper techno czar, is the new Victorian Regional Manager of Printing Industries. He joins Jim Hopwood, the new NSW Regional Manager, in what amounts to a revitalisation of the industry’s peak body along most of the east coast.

    Tony worked in the position on a temporary basis for the past few months while he made up his mind and already the organization in Victoria is humming along.

    Jim Hopwood (left) comes from outside the industry, from banking and finance, which lends credence to his statement that he, wants to “provide bottom line value to our members.” More recently, he developed a successful management consulting business catering to SME’s, and taught a range of business studies at TAFE and other institutions.

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    The Euro Feds are red hot on investigating allegations of anti-competitive behaviour in the paper industry. UPM, Avery Dennison, Norske Skog and Stora Enso were among a slew of paper companies whose offices were raided by the European Commission competition inspectors. The inspectors seized computers and documents seeking evidence of price collusion. This is the second time the EU Feds have tried to pin a price fixing rap on the paper industry.
    A previous investigation ended in 2002 with no adverse findings.

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    Last week Clancy reported on the defection of senior PaperlinX executives in the UK, Martyn Eustace and Fred Haines, to rival merchant Premier Paper
    and speculated whether it was the start of the rot. This week comes news that Stephen Mason, who is currently chairman of PaperlinX operations in the UK, Ireland and South Africa, will retire two years prematurely.
    What is going on?

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    The UK printing industry has registered a strong No vote against a proposed statuary training levy. 40% of respondents to a BPIF survey were “strongly opposed” while a total of 60.9% of respondents were against the measure. the levy. Ironically, the whole exercise coincided with an increase in the recruitment of apprentices.

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    This Friday anyone who is anyone in the New Zealand industry will be at the Pride in Print Awards in Wellington. Buoyed by strong ticket sales and record entries the awards look set to be another night of nights. Clancy is told the arrangements this year do not include a tent.
    Stay watching for all the results next week.

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    And finally . . . it’s elementary isn’t it?

    Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night and went to sleep.

    Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up and tell me what you see.”

    Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”

    “What does that tell you?”

    Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.

    “Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why, what does it tell you?”

    Holmes was silent for a minute, then said, “Watson, somebody has stolen our tent.”

  • Candidate of the Week, Nisim Ofer Hayon from Israel seeks Melbourne position

    I have received an assessment from the Trades recognition of Australia regarding my professional qualifications which were assessed as a printing machinist ASCO 4912-11.

    To this extent I am seking employment in Victoria preferably in Melbourne

  • The line between pleasure and pain.

    Due to the constant volatility in demand, many printers are anxious about where the next order will come from, how they are going to fill the machinery and wondering what the next day or week or month will bring.

    This uncertain demand, coupled with poor industry profitability, leads me to believe that many printers are just one client away (gain or loss) from either pleasure or pain. If their major client goes elsewhere they could be in a loss situation; if they gain a major, they are in the money.

    I’d like to discuss each scenario and pose the questions, what would happen if you lost your very best client, the one that delivers say 10 to 15 percent of your turnover? What would you do if you were able to find another one like that?

    Losing your best client.
    Obviously most printers would know who that is and what percentage of turnover they provide. But do they really know how secure they are? I recently heard of a client, not in the printing industry, who had lost a client that represented 25 percent of his turnover. Unfortunately prior to this loss, he was considering selling his business. Upon this loss his business value dropped by 66 percent. Before he was highly profitable; afterwards profit was marginal.

    Another business lost its best client, which represented 33 percent of its turnover and that sent it into a loss situation. You don’t need to ask what that did to the value of the business.

    In the above examples, the proprietors stated that their clients were lost due primarily to unforeseen circumstances. In hindsight could they have predicted the loss? Maybe, maybe not.

    I’m always one to play the percentages. I’m wondering, given the level of importance in retaining our best clients, are we doing all we can to secure their business or do we just take them a bit for granted?

    For the sake of the exercise, let’s say you’re a printer with a turnover of $1.5 million with a client that provides you with $200,000 worth of work per annum. What fences can you put around this client to ensure the bad guys don’t get in?
    Some prompts – consider first who the ‘bad guys’ might be? Is this client on the print manager’s radar screen? Can Bob around the corner, produce their work just as efficiently? How is your relationship with the client? How well do you know their business? Can you contract the client? (Print management companies can, why not you?) How can you extend your offer to make yourself indispensable, an extension to their business?

    Planning for survival

    If you can’t do anything more than the guy around the corner, and try as you might to keep them you know that sooner rather than later they will be lost, consider what effect the loss will have on your business. What plans do you have in place right now to safeguard the loss of a major client? As per the above examples, consider also what effect the loss would have on the value of your business. Is the value going to plummet? With the average age of a printing establishment proprietor being 53, improving the business value should a concern for many.

    Consider the analogy of the family home. If fire was to destroy your home, and it was uninsured, the value would obviously decrease to land value only. Would the loss of your major client lead to an asset value only valuation of your business?

    I suggest we all think seriously about the possibility of the loss of major clients over the coming years. What are the chances? Can you improve the chances, or can you see they are likely to go due to others offering better solutions to them?

    A question you could ask is, in your heart of hearts, if you were in your major customer’s shoes, what would you do? What would entice you to shift? My observation is that if you know there are better alternatives for them to be supplied print, plan ahead for their loss or do something quickly to build fences around them.

    Gaining a client just like your best one.
    This scenario is much more palatable. What do you do now? After the initial jubilation recedes, chances are you have a production problem. How are you going to deliver on your promises? You know the promises you made like four-hour turnaround, guaranteed quality, service they only dreamed about etc. What effect will it have on your business?

    Often the production problems are not as big as you might expect. It’s amazing what extra production is available if the staff are really tested and the business is organised. Don’t you sometimes wonder how in peak months you somehow just happen to cope, but in slow months you also manage to fill the hours with the same amount of employees?

    The first course of action is often the knee-jerk reaction: “Twenty-five percent more sales; we need more equipment or we need to run more shifts.” Maybe.
    Perhaps there are some alternatives. First consider how secure the new client is? If you acquired them on price, then chances are they are not that secure. The extra machinery would be good whilst they stay, but a millstone if they are lost or there is a downturn. Always consider contracting them.

    If you believe they are safe, why not consider, instead of buying more machinery or running an extra shift, culling some of your ordinary clients. Maybe the ones that require a lot of you or your reps’ time, don’t pay on time or always provide problems.

    Perhaps look also at outsourcing work from other clients that is presently being done on equipment that is under utilised. Flog off the equipment, free up some space and put some money into your pocket or business.

    The question really is what is going to work best for you and the company. Growing revenue may be seen as the obvious objective, whereas having the same revenue with better clients that you have a good chance of holding on to and running a more efficient operation may be a better solution. Consider all the alternatives and compare them, but don’t use the shooting from the hip pocket solution. There may be an alternative – find it.

    I’ve seen plenty of examples of where increased revenue has led to decreased profits. Sales growth is all too frequently seen as primary objective, instead of profit growth, increased return to shareholders, or increased valuation of the business.

    Look at the risks. Is the chance of losing your major client increasing or decreasing over time? Spend time reflecting on this. Ask yourself what you can do to retain them, what you can do about attracting more of the same and what the best profile and range of customers is for your business.
    Play the percentages, do the analysis and you’ll improve your chances of pleasure and reduce the chances of pain.

    Richard Rasmussen is the director of Graphics Marketing (Aust) Pty Ltd, marketing and business broking consultants to the graphic arts industry. Contact Ph: 0402 021 101 Email: Richard.Rasmussen@optusnet.com.au

  • Printing inventory software comes out of WA

    My-I is being promoted as the solution to an international search by Worldwide for an efficient inventory management system. After searching abroad Worldwide Online Cannington director Arnold Whiteside discovered that the software used by Daniels in the next suburb provided the answer to his problems.

    The product, My-I, was initially developed at Daniels as a result of demand for a secure stock management system for the distribution of print material to the financial services sector. The system was developed as a web-based, stand-alone product and spun out of Daniels into a new company, My Inventory Pty Ltd, to take advantage of the broader commercial opportunities it presented.

    Chris Judd, vice captain of The West Coast Eagles is now part of the new company, along with Kevin Campbell well known corporate executive and Terry Stone, of Daniels. Judd says, while Worldwide Online Printing is using My-I as a real time 24/7 system for warehousing and print management, other users manage product lines beyond printed product – in fact, anything that requires storage and distribution. The software features a real time valuation of stock on hand, automatic shortage reports emailed daily, service performance reports and cost centre controls.

    The fledgling company, under managing director Richard Henning, now has ten companies in WA using My-I, with a further five in the wings due for implementation in June. If the current trial at Cannington is successful Worldwide Corporate will look to rolling the system into its 60 printing franchises across Australia, opening up a major client base in the print warehouse sector.

  • Printers to gang up with Australian invention

    Rohan Holt, the Australian inventor of SuperImpose, the product that was adapted and renamed UpFront when it was acquired by ScenicSoft in 1999, is back with a new company, LithoTechnics, and a new product, Metrix.

    Metrix employs a print industry specific, patent pending algorithm to automatically calculate optimum press sheet layouts, facilitating such cost reduction strategies as gang printing.

    “Gang printing is a real opportunity for commercial printers to increase profits,” said Holt, “because every ganged job saves one or more press makereadies, as well as plates. Until now many companies have passed up this opportunity, because the layouts for such work are so complex.”

    Printers who only print standard sized magazines and books, can have layouts so standardized they become memorized. General commercial printers however, are always printing different sized jobs, as every job can be unique. This kind of work requires the undivided attention of a skilled planner, but even the most experienced planner cannot be sure they have found the most efficient layout every time.

    Any attempt to minimize wastage by considering individual product bleeds, butting together non-bleeding edges and/or gripping into non-image areas, can result in spending a whole day on a trial-and-error exercise in frustration. The average commercial printer brushes off the potential benefits of ganging because of the overwhelming complexities.

    Metrix, on the other hand, enables even the least skilled planner to confidently create instant layouts. From one product to ten, different sizes and quantities, mixtures of flat and folded work, each with different bleeds and grain direction requirements –it calculates the layout at the click of a button.

    It minimizes stock wastage, placing as much product onto a press sheet as possible, considering the press’s capabilities and product specifications such as grain direction. Metrix will rotate products to share common bleed gutters or to butt non-bleeding edges together. This also reduces the number of postpress cuts required, and therefore execution time downstream in the finishing department.

    Metrix can integrate with MIS systems by importing JDF (Job Definition Format) product intent data. The Metrix Production Edition also exports JDF, CIP3, and Preps template files to eliminate the manual creation of Preps templates in prepress, and to automate the setup of cutters and folding machines in the finishing department.

    LithoTechnics was one of seven Australia companies that exhibited at the recent drupa show in Düselldorf.

    more information: rohan.holt@lithotechnics.com

  • APN creates new NZ publishing division ahead of stock listing

    The new division, – APN New Zealand National Publishing – will be headed up by Ken Steinke, chief executive of The New Zealand Herald, with Rick Neville as deputy and Sarah Sandley as publisher. Craig Marsh ceo of NZ regional newspapers will relocate to Hawke’s Bay to lead the group from a regional base. The move will not affect the company’s regional newspapers.

    Brendan Hopkins, APN chief executive, said the new structure would generate operating efficiencies as well as promote the development of new magazine-based products for distribution in APN newspaper titles. The move comes in anticipation of a listing on New Zealand Exchange [NZX] which is anticipated will occur by mid-June. The move will make APN one of the largest listed companies n New Zealand.

    The new National Publishing division will look after

    • The New Zealand Herald the country’s largest circulating daily newspaper
    • The Aucklander a free weekly news magazine
    • The New Zealand Women’s Weekly and
    • New Zealand Listener.


    The new division will operate alongside APN’s other four trans-Tasman Divisions: Regional Publishing, Radio, Outdoor Advertising and Commercial Printing.

    APN publishes 24 daily and more than 90 non-daily newspapers across Australia and New Zealand.

  • LIA NSW Graduate of the Year

    Graduate nominees were (l-r) Matthew Rogers (Penfold Buscombe); Neville Williams (Rural Press); Shannon Hurry (Sony Music); Jennifer Batt-Rawden (Business and Tourism Publishing); David Purdon (Rotary Colour Print); Simon Studdert (Sydney Allen Printers).
    Royce Joseph of PMP Printing was unable to attend due to illness.

    A prepress apprentice with Business and Tourism Publishing in Sydney, Jennifer received a trophy and an all-expenses paid trip for the LIA National Biennial Conference in Queensland next year. She will also represent NSW at the National LIA/GAMAA Awards which has a first prize $15,000 study grant.

    As the major sponsor of the State event, Heidelberg Australia’s Customer Support Manager, David Evans, presented the trophy. Evans said the challenge for today’s apprentices was to integrate traditional skills and knowledge with new technology.

    This was reinforced by keynote speaker Professor Tony Stevenson of the Futures Foundation of Australia. Prof Stevenson called on all the Award candidates to challenge their own thinking and learn from the future as well as from the past. He said the printing industry had plenty of career opportunities and many yet to be defined. Print and paper had proven to be very resilient technologies because of their important role in the social life of mankind and its increasing need for education and entertainment.

    In other LIA news Grant Churchill of AE Hudson was elected President for NSW .

    The new committee comprises:
    Vice President – Nyryn Norris (J.S.McMillan); Secretary – Allan Wetherell (TAFE); Treasurer – Mike Williams (Ink Solutions).

    Committee members: Warwick Roden (Roden Print); Angus Scott (Brissett Rollers); Mitch Mulligan (Bottcher Australia); Greg Grace (Heidelberg Australia); Robert Lamont (Consultant); Peter Munro (Agfa); Ray Berwick (A.E.Hudson); Tony Barhoum (Brissett Rollers); Dan Wilson (Printing & Pre Press I.T.); David Mandile (Garrick Offset Services).

  • Major printers to test new magazine paper from Swanbank

    The long awaited Swanbank paper mill project in Queensland is hoping to get the environmental green light before the end of June. It has lodged supplementary details to its Environmental Impact Statement with the state government in answer to a number of issues and questions raised by its original application.

    Environmental approval is seen a major milestone in the progress of the controversial paper mill. According to a report in AUSNEWZ Pulp & Paper approval will go a long way in helping to complete the financial arrangements for the mill.

    The economics of the mill are based on winning a 50 per cent market share in Australia and New Zealand in coated fine paper for magazine and folio sheets. Currently imports supply 80 per cent of apparent consumption in Australia (265 ktpa). In New Zealand imports account for 100 per cent of the 46 ktpa used there. Construction of the mill is planned to take two years with another two before it reaches full capacity. Further exports will target the West Coast of the USA.

    Just in time delivery (JIT) and the quality of the paper are considered to be the project’s main competitive advantages. According to Graham Chappel, managing director of Infrastructure Project Group, imports are currently taking 12 weeks to arrive so the presence of a local mill will be of significant benefit to merchants and large printers who will be able to reduce inventory holdings.

    Printers are being involved in the selection of quality and performance criteria for the mill, with two or three printing trials planned. Swanbank intends to use the current network of paper merchants, including PaperlinX companies.

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

    Making his first public appearance after being in the job since the first of the month, Steve Green, (left) the new sales director Creo Australia caught up on insider industry knowledge from Derek Fretwell, general manager New Zealand. A former Ricoh man, Steve takes on the role vacated by Steve Dunwell, but has a broader canvas on which to work now that Creo has entered the shark tank that is printing plates supply. He comes to the post in interesting and challenging times. He will report to Garron Helman in Hong Kong.

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    Derek Fretwell (above) is not backward about coming forward in his predictions on the plate market in New Zealand. He claims 70 per cent of the thermal CTP engine market there in terms of revenue, and is sanguine about his prospects of carving a sizeable chunk of business with the new Creo plates. “What size market share? I’m aiming for 25 per cent within the first year,” he said. He points to his track record to convince and if confidence counts for anything, he’s a shoo in.

    Watch this space.

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    What a place to run out of business cards. Ian Gillanders, national manager machinery for CPI in New Zealand, came away without the ultimate business necessity. Nothing worse than going around a trade show trying to do business without a business card. He took himself over to the Xerox stand where professional courtesy won the day and the last time we passed in the lift he gave me his card.

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    Now here’s a statistic you don’t come across very often. Last year computers printed out 60 trillion pages, or about 10,000 pages for every person on the planet. The stat comes from Lexmark, which contributes in no small way to the total.

    The only question remaining is, who has all my pages?

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    Is this the start of the rot in the UK? PaperlinX has stirred up some personality conflicts in its purchase of British paper merchant companies. Martyn Eustace and Fred Haines, managing director and chief executive respectively of Howard Smith Paper Group have gone over to the opposition, Premier Paper. Industry sources suspect it’s because of the elevation of one Martin Fothergill, Bunzl executive, to a position of authority over them.

    It’s not all about pounds and pennies, you know.

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    And who says green action doesn’t work? Mitsubishi Corp in Japan is feeling the heat from activists writing to its paper customers charging that it is sourcing its wood chips from old growth forests in Tasmania. Without actually saying when it’ll stop buying old growth logs from Gunns, in a letter to conservation groups the company says it is examining other sources than old-growth and “the transition will take place in the context of the availability of those sources and our current contractual agreements.”

    It may not seem much but Bob Brown is reportedly quite excited about it all.

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    And finally . . . this from Norman K who tries to persuade us it is a genuine IBM manual extract. And who knows, maybe it is.

    #item 4276: Instruction on how to replace mouse balls / field service training manual 2003

    If a mouse fails to operate or should it perform erratically, it may need a
    ball replacement.

    Mouse balls are now available as FRU (Field Replacement Units). Because of
    the delicate nature of this procedure, replacement of mouse balls should
    only be attempted by properly trained personnel.

    Before proceeding, determine the type of mouse balls by examining the underside of the mouse.
    Domestic balls will be larger and harder than foreign balls. Ball removal
    procedures differ depending upon the manufacturer of the mouse. Foreign
    balls can be replaced using the pop off method. Domestic balls are replaced
    by using the twist off method.

    Mouse balls are not usually static sensitive. However, excessive handling can result in sudden discharge. Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse may be used immediately.

    It is recommended that all service personnel carry a pair of spare balls for
    maintaining optimum customer satisfaction. Any customer missing his balls
    should contact the local technician in charge of removing and replacing
    these necessary items. Please keep in mind that a customer without properly
    working balls is an unhappy customer.

  • Book Club – FOLD: The Professionals Guide to Folding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Trish Witkowski is currently the creative director for a marketing and communications firm in Baltimore. She earned her master of science in graphic arts publishing from Rochester Institute of Technology’s world-renowned School of Printing Management and Sciences and a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design. She has taught design and desktop publishing at the college level, and is the co-author of The Adobe InDesign Guide.
    Fold is available exclusively in Australia and New Zealand from Print21Online

    Table of Contents Volume ONE

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

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    To buy this book and to browse the Print21Online Graphic Arts Library click here: www.bluelinemedia.com.au/index.cfm?pageid=shop&productType=1

  • Candidate of the Week – Phil Sparrow (UK) to Brisbane

    CURRICULUM VITAE

    Philip Robert Edward Sparrow MCIPS

    132 Ash Lodge Drive,
    Ash,
    Surrey

    GU12 6NR
    United Kingdom

    Date of Birth: 21/02/1969

    Nationality: British

    Status: Married with two children

    Education

    1981 – 1985 Woolmer Hill Secondary School, Haslemere
    1985 – 1986 Guildford College of Technology
    1987 – 1990 Berkshire College of Art and Design (Day release)
    1993 – 1997 Brooklands College, Weybridge (Evening)

    Professional Qualifications

    British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF)

    – Introduction to Print Technology
    – Print Office Procedure
    – Print Salesmanship
    – Estimating

    Berkshire College Certificates

    – Certificate in Print Technology
    – General Commercial Knowledge
    – Office Administration

    Brooklands College

    – Higher National certificate in Business and Finance

    – Graduate Member, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
    Qualified in: Purchasing
    Contract Law
    International Purchasing
    Personnel
    Purchasing Strategy and Tactics

    Employment history

    1994 – Present Purchasing Manager/Production

    The Midas Press. Farnborough. Hampshire.

    Reporting directly to the Senior Partner the position was created to manage the increasingly large spend of the organisation. The role required creation of the Purchasing Department, liasing closely with existing management and personnel, implementation of supply chain procedures and complete re-evaluation of all existing suppliers in terms of quality service and price. Responsibility also includes management of both the Estimating Department and Warehouse.

    Additional Responsibilities: Production. Having negotiated with existing and new sub-contractors my department is responsible for the placing and progressing of all outsourced work. This includes printing, binding, print finishing, hand assembly etc.

    Project Manager for a new factory leased by the company. This involved liasing with solicitors, local council, builders and utility companies.

    Facilities Manager for the 3 sites operated by the company. Responsibilities include Utilities, Security, Telecoms, Maintenance and Repair.

    Health and Safety. Responsibilites include induction training, document management, accident reporting, keeping up to date and implementing new legislation (IOSH qualified)

    Salary: £45,000pa (AUD$115,200)

    1986 – 1994 Karran Products. Lightwater. Surrey.

    Direct Mail Printing and Cardboard Engineering

    1986 – 1989 Trainee Estimator
    1990 – 1991 Senior Estimator
    1991 – 1994 Purchasing and Estimating Manager

    Responsibilities: Duties included all purchases for the company including paper/board, pre-press sundries and equipment, pressroom products and all sub-contracting of work in progress. Responsibilities also included management and recruitment of the Estimating Department.

    Salary: £20,000pa (AUD$51, 200)

    Contact: philsparrow1@netscape.net philsparrow1@netscape.net

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    To access more printing and graphic arts career positions click here for JobsOnline21: www.bluelinemedia.com.au/index.cfm?pageid=jobs01

  • Job of the Week – Production Manager, Melbourne

    • Well established, Award winning company.
    • Latest presses and equipment in all departments.
    • Exceptional salary package including car.

    This well established, company located in the S.E.Suburbs of Melbourne, with the latest Heidelberg presses, bindery and prepress technologies, requires an experienced and pro-active production manager to manage workflows and lead the team.

    You will have an in-depth knowledge of all areas of the printing process, a demonstrated history of managing workflows between departments, identifying areas for improvement and implementing strategies for change.

    Your well-developed communication skills will enable you to effectively liaise with the sales department, supervisors, staff, suppliers and clients to maximize productivity, ensure quality and increase profitability.

    For your skills and experience you will be rewarded with an exceptional salary package, including a car.
    Please contact Toby Dernelley on (03) 8629 1194 for further information.
    Email: toby.dernelley@chandlermacleod.com

    All applications are treated in the strictest of confidence.

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    To access more printing and graphic arts career positions click here for JobsOnline21: www.bluelinemedia.com.au/index.cfm?pageid=jobs01

  • One more time – James Cryer to Rod Urquhart

    It’s tough being a messenger!

    My Open Letter on the Print Awards certainly evoked a response – indicative that, hopefully, our industry is emerging into maturity from its 400 years of unchallenged dominance as a communication medium and is able to tackle uncomfortable issues openly and candidly.
    (To review the correspondence to date type Open Letter in Archive Search)

    And this need to address new and confronting issues will only get stronger. Quality – so dearly cherished as the Holy Grail to which we’ve all paid our dues – has been a useful expression of our collective talents for many years. What Rod Urquhart may be confusing however is the pursuit of quality with the quest for excellence.

    In this modern, complex, multi-dimensional world, companies have to excel on a variety of fronts to succeed, not just one. Sadly, to prove my point, let us consider the fate of several prolific ‘award-winning’ companies (according to a quality-driven criteria) of recent years. Let us focus on three of the greatest icons, representing the pinnacle of quality-award winners – Pot Still Press, RT Kelly and Websdales.

    Where are they now? Consigned to the dustbin of history. Although, according to Rod’s criteria (all were multi NPA winners ), they should have been the most successful, robust and indestructible of companies – ‘bullet-proofed’ by a mantle of quality.

    Cynics are now saying that the most successful companies (and I could name a few) don’t care about winning National Print Awards. They’re too busy delivering commercially acceptable quality jobs (not necessarily award-winning) on time and at a fair market rate, to worry about awards. Their awards are winning customer satisfaction.

    My point here is that quality – that most elusive object of our desires – is a relative thing that exists in the mind of the beholder. Whereas the Awards, by their very nature, promote quality as some absolute goal, to be obtained at any cost.

    As I mentioned in my original comments, anyone can win an award if they hot-house a job.

    I have no fundamental quarrel with Rod, however – we are all seeking to promote our industry in its quest for survival. And nobody should interpret my remarks as anti-quality.

    My purpose in airing these thoughts was to invite discussion on options available to us. To me, excellence requires achievements in a number of areas – including benefits to customers, to employees, to suppliers and to the environment. It may include such things as technical innovation, developing in-house training schemes (a badly needed area), employee profit-sharing arrangements, use of the internet in building customer rapport, export success, etc, etc. Digital printing should also get more recognition.

    The fertile minds of the judges, I’m sure, could easily develop a new template-for-success, and if in doubt they could always turn to the Brits, who went through this painful reality-check five years ago.

    As for the Bogong moth (infusa agrotis), I invite Rod to come cross-country skiing with me so as to inspect these little beauties at close quarters.

    Food for thought?

    W. James Cryer

    JDA Recruitment

  • JDF Fellowship – is this the future of printing?

    People have been predicting for some time now that the 2004 drupa show in Düsseldorf would be the JDF Drupa, and while it is certainly true that the JDF logo was plastered on just about every stand at the show, it’s clear that there are a lot of misconceptions about JDF.

    From the start, the Job Definition Format was conceived of as a totally open concept, chosen to lead the fight against the dark forces of the evil, closed, proprietary systems. Consequently JDF has been written in XML, one programming language to rule over all the others.

    The eXtensible Mark-up Language, was designed to be a flexible, long-lasting programming language. It isn’t really a language in its own right, more a way of describing how other languages can be written. This leaves people free to write their own language for any job in hand, safe in the knowledge that anyone else will also be able to understand that language through XML.

    And in the spirit of openness, JDF is not owned by anyone, nor will anyone have to pay licenses or royalties to use it. It is administered by the CIP4 committee, an independent fellowship whose members are drawn from all the leading developers throughout the Graphics arts. Any developer can join CIP4, for a nominal fee, and any individual can become an associate member. Check out www.cip4.org

    How does JDF work?

    JDF is a job ticketing system. It works by breaking down all the steps involved throughout the entire print production cycle, from the first estimate to the final finishing step, into separate processes, such as trapping, preflighting and colour management.

    Various programs are capable of writing JDF job tickets, including MIS and imposition packages. Each process is represented by a node. Each job ticket is made up of a collection of these nodes, arranged into a hierarchical tree that defines the order in which they are processed.

    Each node is defined in terms of inputs and outputs. The inputs are the various elements that are part of the process in hand, so for example a printing press would recognise the press node which might include data on the inks, press sheets and number of sheets required as its input data. The output is the resultant printed sheets coming off the press, which the next node recognises as its input and swings into action.

    JDF also includes JMF, or Job Messaging Format, which it uses as an internal messaging system to give interactive feedback on how any given job is progressing through its production. So, for example, if a platesetter runs out of plates, a JMF message is sent to warn the operator.

    The two towers

    There are two very distinct ways of looking at JDF. In the first view, JDF is all about MIS, and therefore limited to companies large enough to have an established MIS in place. It’s certainly true that the MIS developers will get a lot out of JDF, because of its ability to initiate the job tickets, to track the job through every stage of its production, to gather information about that production, and to produce invoices and stock orders.

    However, Martin Bailey, chairman of CIP4, has outlined the way in which a smaller company can use its imposition system start the job ticket, defining how the rest of the job is to be produced.

    There is a second viewpoint, which sees JDF as an interface between different parts of the production chain. It can link an imposition program to a workflow, a platesetter to a proofer, or a printer, and so on. This means that any printer is free to buy any part of his production chain from any vendor he wants to, picking the most suitable products for the job in hand, irrespective of which vendors they come from. Nobody will be forced to buy a Creo platesetter because they want to use Prinergy, or to buy a Heidelberg folder just because they already have a Heidelberg press.

    Better still, manufacturers will be able to develop these products more cheaply because JDF will provide them with an existing interface and a guarantee that their products will work with other products. And there’s always an outside chance that printers will reap the benefits of these cost savings.

    The evil ‘I’

    The biggest challenge currently facing JDF is that of interoperability – that is, the ability of different JDF-enabled systems to connect to each other. To some extent JDF has been caught up in a chicken and egg system; it’s impossible to test how well each system works with any other until each individual system is up and running.

    CIP4 is currently devoting most of its energy to improving the interoperability – the latest version, JDF 1.2, features new Interoperability Conformance Standards, or ICS, designed to help each manufacturer develop their offering to a common standard. Nonetheless, this is likely to be a slow process, with most vendors predicting at least another year, and possibly as many as five years before every manufacturer can claim that their systems will work with everybody else’s.

    Homeward bound

    That said, there are plenty of JDF-enabled solutions about to ship this summer. It might take a while for it to fully come together, but it would be foolish to buy any equipment now that was not JDF-enabled. The really good news is that some developers are looking at ways to bring expensive legacy equipment such as presses into JDF workflows.

    So, what do you think? Come back to Nessan Cleary with your thoughts on JDF, CIP4, and the prospects for Middle Earth.
    nessan.cleary@hypa.demon.co.uk

  • Largest press order claim comes under attack

    PMP ‘shatters’ largest single order for MRA in Australia?

    I don’t think so. News Limited gave MAN Roland an order to the value of more than A$450 million in December 1987 for 19 press lines which were installed in their Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Townsville new press sites. What would that be worth in today’s dollars?

    (In response to a suggestion, made by the editor, that the PMP claim to be the largest order is based on ‘for delivery at one time,’ Barry gives a strong rebuttal.)

    I will not concede. The Westgate order (six press lines) was delivered and installed within one year and that alone would blow the PMP order out of the water. Yes, it was more than one shipment – only because it wouldn’t fit on one boat!

    Best regards

    Barry Johnson,

    Group Technical Manager,

    News Limited, Australia

  • Fuji Xerox Australia posts a cracker of a year

    The local company saw its annual revenue climb over half a billion dollars for the first time to $503.5 million, while its Japanese parent Fujifilm also posted a record year with revenue surpassing Yen1 trillion (US$21 billion).

    According to Phil Chambers, managing director, Fuji Xerox Australia, the local results, which represent a seven per cent increase in total revenue, are based on the good performances of both the office multi-function devices (MFDs) sector, and the production printing division. The company enjoys a solid 50 per cent market share in MFDs and an even larger one in production colour printing where growth of 40 percent has boosted the number of digital engines (2060s and 6060s) to just under 200 machines installed in Australia. This installed base last year produced 135 million pages of commercial digital colour printing – around 70,000 per machine.

    “These markets are very competitive with more entrants every year. Price points are steadily coming down,” said Chambers. “There is constant pressure on time to market for new products and the rate of change shows no sign of easing up.”

    To illustrate the point Fuji Xerox Australia is about to launch the iGen3 flagship colour engine into Australia in July under the auspices of its new Production Services Business Group (PSBG) headed up in Australia by Nick Kugenthiran. The first machine is already installed at the company Technology Park demonstration suite in Redfern, Sydney.

    Chambers moves to assure potential buyers and the industry in general there is no plan to flood the market with the million plus per month machines. “I have set a target of no more than 12 machines in the first year,” he said. “We are breaking new ground in the level of support we provide for the iGen3. Customers will have to present a business plan and we want to ensure that everyone goes into it with their eyes wide open. We are determined to do it right.”

    Two fulltime Smart Press Consultants have been trained to provide intensive assistance to the iGen3 installations. They will be an integral part of the installation for the first two months, running jobs, training staff and helping the company operate in the new environment.

    In a wide ranging interview in the June issue of Print21 magazine, Chambers reassures the industry that Fuji Xerox is not in the business of running print rooms, emphasizing the company only bids for an outsourcing operation where there is Fuji Xerox equipment installed and at risk of falling into the hands of the competition.

  • Australian printing industry trends improve in first quarter

    According to Hagop Tchamkertenian, Printing Industries Manager of Industry and Commercial Policy, the latest survey results reveal that industry trading conditions, which were expected to deteriorate during the March 2004 quarter, surpassed expectations with strong growth reported in orders, production, sales and net profits.

    He said the result represents a deviation from past results. “The March quarter has traditionally been a depressed quarter for our industry in terms of business activity. But based on the survey feedback, the March 2004 quarter saw improvements across a number of areas.”

    The key barometer of business confidence, the general business expectations indicator, improved and is higher than the same period a year ago, implying businesses in the printing and associated sectors are more confident now about business prospects.

    According to the Printing Industry Trends Survey report, other important March 2004 quarter developments reported by the survey respondents include:

  • Reported increased investment in plant and machinery;
  • Finance reported easier to obtain;
  • Labour reported more difficult to obtain;
  • Reduced levels of employment;
  • Reduced levels of overtime;
  • Reported reductions in inventory levels;
  • Reduced selling prices;
  • Reported increases across all cost categories; and
  • Worse than expected net balance for outstanding debtors.
  • On the critical indicator of capacity utilisation levels, the survey results confirm that when compared to the situation 12 months earlier, capacity utilisation rates were higher during the March 2004 quarter in line with improvements in business conditions.

    Based on the survey results, during the March 2004 quarter, some 70.3 per cent of survey respondents were operating at capacity utilisation levels of 70 per cent or more (significantly up from the 60.5 per cent level reported during March 2003 quarter).

    The March quarter saw 85.2 per cent of the survey respondents ranking lack of orders as the primary barrier to increasing production levels, an outcome that is significantly higher than the 67.4 per cent proportion reported during December 2003 quarter, but slightly lower than the 86.2 per cent proportion reported during March quarter 2003.

    Tchamkertenian maintains the strong trading quarter is now expected to flow into the June 2004 quarter.

    According to the respondents the June 2004 quarter should yield the following results:

  • Net balance increases in orders, production, sales and net profits;
  • No change in selling prices;
  • Further tightening of the labour market;
  • A rise in finance availability;
  • Reduced employment but increased overtime levels;
  • Further increases in all production cost categories – average wages,
  • other labour costs, and average material costs;

  • Declining stock levels; and
  • Rising number of outstanding debtors.
  • Over the next six months (June and September 2004 quarters) the respondents are forecasting:

  • Increased investment in plant and machinery;
  • Increased investment in buildings.
  • Commenting on the state based results Tchamkertenian said with the exception of respondents from South Australia and Tasmania the outlook for business conditions remains favourable during the next six months. “The March quarter also revealed that the highest capacity utilisation rates were reported by respondents from Victoria and South Australia,” he said.

    As for the product sectors relatively high capacity utilisation rates were reported by the Cheques and Securities, Labels, Books, Magazines, Periodicals and Newspapers, and Folding Cartons sectors. The majority of product sectors are forecasting improvements in business conditions over the next six months.

    Capital expenditure intentions also remain positive with most sectors forecasting increased investment during the June and September 2004 quarters.
    Participant companies employing a workforce of nearly 11,000 people from 15 printing and associated sectors covering the printing industry value chain participated in the March 2004 quarter survey.

    Any one interested in obtaining a copy of the full survey report can contact Printing Industries- Hard copies of the report cost $15 for Printing Industries- members and $30 for non-members.

    Electronic copies of the report are also available on request and cost $15 for members and $30 for non-members.

    Contact Hagop Tchamkertenian on hagop@printnet.com.au