Archive for June, 2004

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

    The June issue of the New Hampshire maghas an article called “They Know where You Live‘ not only has the subscriber’s name printed on the cover – but also a photograph of his (her) house, taken from a satellite. The issue raised issues about how much information is too much when databases are joined together. Civil liberty groups had concerns about invasion of privacy, according to Noel Ward of Print OnDemand.

    But before you get too paranoid, snafu is always present. At least one recipient also got a new subscription offer at the same time his house appeared on the cover.

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    Forget Guttenberg, the Korean city of Chongju is laying claim to the world’s oldest text printed with metal type, a book of Zen wisdom called Jikji. The book, which was stolen by the French in the early 19th century and now resides in a Paris museum, was first printed in 1377, 78 years earlier than the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in Germany. Jikji contains the essentials of Zen Buddhism as compiled by the Rev. Paegun in the late Koryo period. The book was printed in two volumes, the first of which is lost. The city hopes to become a centre of learning and printing culture.

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    Josh Singer is the brains behind 4Print.com, the Australian printing business website. He writes that the site has passed a few milestones in recent times, having pocessed its 4,000th printing quote. In March 2004, a record figure of 115 printing jobs went through the 4Print website. The web site works with printers signing on for a fee and accessing print jobs that are posted there by customers. It appears a fairly challenging business model but one that Singer claims is working well. Check it out on www.4print.com.au

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    Love the term ‘elevator pitch’ used to describe the vendor’s presentation at The Knowledge Forum. Every presenter gets five minutes to give the audience a sales pitch for their company, just as though you happened on the purchasing manager in the elevator as he was going out to lunch. It’s fast and hard, mercifully brief and engenders its own level of competition between the presenters trying to get the best story over in the shortest possible time.

    It ought to be a derby.

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    Buying back the kibbutz. Israeli-based firm Scitex is busily buying back its own shares. In a closely watched move the technology company bought 4,952,050 shares for US $28 million in a recent tender. This gives the leading shareholders control of 18,702,255 ordinary shares of Scitex, representing 49.13% of the company.
    Not far to go now.

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    And finally . . . this from Andy McCourt who admires a man who thinks on his feet, while crouching. . naked.

    A woman was having it off with the guy from the pest control company. One afternoon they are in bed together when her husband arrives home unexpectedly.

    “Quick, get into the closet,” she said and pushed him in the closet, stark naked.

    The suspicious husband comes in, crosses straight to the closet, flings open the door and eyes off your man crouching there.

    “Who are you?” he asked.

    “I’m the pest exterminator,” said the other.

    “What are you doing in there?” the husband asked.

    “I’m investigating a complaint about an infestation of moths,” the man replied.

    “And where are your clothes?” asked the husband.

    The man looked down at himself and said… “Those little bastards.”

  • Business Opportunities – NSW Government Tender

    Open Tenders – An invitation to tender by public advertisement with no restriction placed on who may tender. Tenderers will normally be required to demonstrate in their tender that they have the necessary skills, resources, experience, financial capacity, and in some cases licences, accreditations, etc., to fulfil the tender requirements.

    Contact: 
    Greg Delaney
    Phone:  02 6363 8250

    Email:  greg.delaney@mwahs.nsw.gov.au

  • Book Club – FOLD: The Professional Guide to Folding

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

  • Job of the Week – General Manager Sheetfed Offset, Sydney

    Our client is a medium-sized commercial sheet-fed operation which has enjoyed steady growth, is profitable and has a stable and enviable reputation.

    Employing over 50 loyal staff whose dedication is demonstrated by their long average period of employment, the company is highly regarded by both its clients and its suppliers. Being a good “corporate citizen” is part of their ethos, and a new manager must bring the same strong ethical imprint.

    This unique opportunity has been created by the company having grown to a size that demands a new level of management expertise. Someone who understands MIS systems, and who understands the impact of the internet on modern business-to-business transactions.

    You will also bring a strong understanding of the sales process, as applied to selling not only print, but other value-adding services including storage and distribution.

    Ideally, you will have an impressive print industry background, either in a general management role within a small to medium sized business, or be a divisional general or sales manager within a larger organization.

    In any event, you will have proven qualities in managing and building a business, and an understanding of financial and operational issues.

    If you believe you have the necessary background for this exciting opportunity, please email (Word only – no PDF files) your cover letter and resume james@printrecruit.com.au or call James Cryer on 02 9904 6222 in absolute confidence.

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

  • Inkjet – threat or opportunity?

    Through no fault of its own, the printing industry has in recent years lost work to the web, CD publishing, in-house digital copiers and desktop inkjet printers.

    In order to counter losses to these new media I have for some time believed that printing and copy businesses should provide new and additional services to their customers. Simply going after more of the same means we are taking work away from other printers which drives down prices. Offering new services means we are growing our businesses as well as the industry. Inkjet printing is one of the technologies that offer new opportunities, but which we often see as a threat.

    Low cost inkjet printers are now found on the desktops of nearly all of our customers. The main reason is they are cheap to buy and quality has improved dramatically. Their major downfall is that they are expensive to operate and produce mediocre results on plain paper. Even so, vast numbers of pages are being printed on these devices creating a massive demand for supplies. The provision of inkjet ink cartridges and special paper has become a multibillion dollar business and in effect is a direct competitor to the shopfront or short-run sector of the printing industry. Anything that takes away our market share is a threat, but I believe many of us are missing opportunities, and that inkjet print production will increasingly become a part of the print for pay industry, especially quick print style operations.

    The latest offerings to the mass market are full-colour ‘multifunction’ devices which combine a full-colour copier, printer and scanner in one for $200 or less from Harvey Norman, Officeworks and many other stores. These devices are making an impact, but once the first set of inks requires replacing the owners stop pressing the print button quite as frequently. This is to our advantage as the user has come to expect colour output, but has discovered it is less costly to have their local print shop produce the longer-runs.

    Keeping pace with change.
    I am forever trying to keep up with new technologies and developing trends. I do this through magazines, tradeshows and the internet. Even living on the Gold Coast has its advantages. Numerous industry conferences and tradeshows are held here every year. Two of these are the sign industry and the toner and inkjet recharging conferences.
    I recently attended the leading sign industry expo where the single most displayed piece of equipment was the large format inkjet printer. Most of the exhibitors also offered vinyl cutting solutions either integrated or as separate units. There were also exhibits of some very interesting smaller inkjet printers and cutters that could have a place in our industry.

    The toner and inkjet recharger industry held its expo the previous year and while most of us have had less than favourable experiences with recharged toner cartridges, this conference was a hive of activity with much the same atmosphere as a quick print conference of a decade or more ago. Numerous franchises were offering their business systems and the crowd of attendees was enthusiastically talking about profits. Recharging is obviously a growing industry and profiting from images that were previously produced by the quick print and copy shop sector.

    I must add that their tradeshow was closed to the public with only fully fledged members allowed in. I found this unusual but the recharger industry is subject to a fair amount of litigation from printer manufacturers. A major lawsuit was recently brought by Lexmark in the US against one of the biggest third party toner and recharger component manufacturers, Static Control Components. It was over them making copies of a computer chip used in refilled toner cartridges to indicate ‘full again’. These are measures used to slow the growth in non genuine supplies and help protect the manufacturers’ profits. There are also constant claims by printer manufacturers that only genuine supplies should be used while the recharger industry claims that using third party products does not void your warranty.
    These are hallmarks of a turbulent and growing industry and we have to wonder what effect lower cost supplies that allow the customer to produce their own printing will have on our industry?

    Looking back, when the original black and white photocopier became sufficiently cost-effective to go into every office, there was serious concern that the new technology spelled the end of the quick printer. Quick printing, however, continued to thrive for those who adapted and new markets opened up for what became known as high speed copying.

    A few steps ahead of their customer.
    The quick printer at that time did have to be aware of the changes happening and go after the opportunities presented. They did this by installing machines a few steps beyond the capabilities of their customers. Most customers soon learned that it was more cost-effective for the quick printer to produce their longer-runs on their heavy duty machines than to produce them themselves on their own smaller machines.

    Is the same thing happening with inkjet printers? The technology is fast coming of age. Through the advent of direct to plate technologies the inkjet printer has risen to meet the need for colour proofing devices proving the superior image quality that can be achieved. The same large format devices used for proofing are also producing posters for customers’ point-of-sale or promotions. Large format printing is proving viable for many printers and especially prepress bureaus.

    But will inkjet ever be used for high volume print production? We probably asked the same question when full-colour copiers first arrived on the scene. The first colour copiers were viable up to around 100 copies against offset printing. Now new models are viable up to thousands of prints depending on the customer’s need for speed.

    When desktop publishing first arrived on the scene it was not commercially viable but it revolutionised our industry. I doubt inkjet will have the same effect but it is steadily creeping into the print for pay arena. In the case of inkjet, the hardware is relatively low in cost with consumables the major barrier to commercial viability. This will change and, as it does, it will provide increasing opportunities.

    A new desktop breakthrough.
    One of the breakthroughs in inkjet printing that I learned about at a recent tradeshow is that at the desktop end of the market there is a recently introduced inkjet printer suitable for producing short-run stationery. This printer is the Epson C70/80 series with the latest model being the C83. It is rated at 22 black prints per minute and you can buy one for around $280 from your local computer superstore.

    So what makes this printer so different from any other inkjet? As far as I can establish it is the only desktop inkjet printer that uses pigment ink. Every other desktop device uses water soluble dye ink which quickly fades and smudges when subjected to moisture unless printed on expensive inkjet papers. Pigment ink is more suitable for printing on conventional stocks; it is waterfast and behaves much the same as ink laid down by an offset press. Importantly, the image quality is close to offset on most of the same smooth matt stocks as used in colour photocopiers.

    But a little desktop printer is way too slow, you may say? In reality it will only output around two full-colour letterheads per minute, but my question is, what is the turnaround time for 500 full-colour letterheads from a four-colour press? This printer will take about four hours almost unattended to print 500 full-colour letterheads. Painfully slow perhaps but it could be a useful addition to the small shop that wants to offer short-run full-colour letterheads, with comp slips and envelopes. I am told it will even run 300gsm matt card stock and conventional NCR paper.

    In fact the production potential of this printer has been recognised by a Brisbane company that has just developed a bulk inking system, which would dramatically reduce ink costs.
    Its limitations are it is an A4 printer, it will not print full bleed and the standard inks are expensive at around $120 per set of CMYK cartridges. But $25 worth of ink should produce around 500 letterheads which could sell for $150 to $200. It is not a Postscript printer but will print pdf files (and most others) with few problems, which means it can print from an old computer with a USB port not requiring any software other than Acrobat Reader, which is free. It will not print on gloss stocks other than special inkjet materials.

    The greater the ink coverage on the page the more it costs so without the bulk ink unit it is only suitable for low coverage documents such as stationery. It may still be a bit of a toy at this stage, but I remember when the Macintosh computer was regarded as a toy.
    So what are the major inkjet opportunities available for production printing?

    Wide format poster printing.
    An entry level poster printer to consider is the 1100-millimetre (44-inch) Epson 9600 which produces quality, arguably as good as the faster more expensive machines. It uses pigment ink and prints at around 17 square metres an hour. The salesperson told me that it does not require an RIP if printing from Photoshop or a pdf file.

    Canon is a newer player in this market with the W8500 which I would regard as a mid range unit at around $15,000. The W8500 prints up to 1100 millimetres in width and outputs around 45 square metres an hour using pigment inks.

    Hewlett Packard’s 5500PS is probably regarded as the print for pay industry standard at this time and is priced in the $20,000 plus range. It prints up to 1500 millimetres (66 inches) wide at around 90 square metres an hour. It can use both dye and pigment inks but my understanding is there are additional costs involved. There are also other suppliers with excellent products in this area such as Agfa, Océ, Encad and Roland.

    Roland has an interesting unit that is fitted with a cutter for vinyl signage production but which is also effective on label paper. I believe it could provide short-run label opportunities such as personalised wine labels and more.

    There are three ink types available: dye, pigment and solvent. Dye inks were used by the original wide format devices while pigment inks offer greater durability and resistance to sunlight. Solvent inks are primarily used by the signage or outdoor banner industry. Also be aware that you will require a fair amount of space to handle large format production. A fair percentage of the output is laminated or mounted onto board. Whilst you can have the laminating done by a specialist, you will require a large trimmer.

    Short-run stationery.
    If your customers have a need for short-run fast turnaround stationery then you can have a play with an Epson C83 desktop printer. It could keep you in touch with advances in inkjet technology and make you a few dollars in the process.

    Offer inkjet supplies.
    If most of your customers walk into your shop then you can consider offering inkjet supplies. Sales might not be huge but these customers then know where they can get their longer-runs printed. Kinko’s, the largest storefront printing operation in the US, offers inkjet supplies, as does Australia Post.

    Get into recharging.
    I recently received an email from an American printer who was about to open an inkjet and toner recharging franchise alongside his print shop. He wanted confirmation that the Australian franchise that he was considering was successful in Australia. There is one near me, Cartridge World, which I have watched grow, so was able to advise him that he appeared to be buying into a good Australian franchise. Perhaps we are leading the field once again.

    So, even though we may not always have the highest regard for inkjet printers, they can be very profitable because they offer entry into niche markets that are not yet oversupplied. l

    Harry Brelsford is Founder of the QPA and recipient of the Honorary Lifetime Membership award from PrintImage International in the US. Email Harry@iBallMedia.com.au

  • All you ever wanted to know about JDF – Agfa White Paper

    Garry Muratore (pictured) Agfa’s Marketing Manager, is currently “evangelising” the role of JDF in the print shop of the future in a series of presentations around the country. Today [Thursday] he will deliver his JDF presentation at the Melbourne ‘Knowledge Forum’ event before travelling to Auckland, New Zealand on July 6 for the final road show event – something not to be missed. www.knowledgeforum.com.au

    In support of Garry’s presentation Agfa has published a white paper entitled Understanding JDF. We reproduce it here with Agfa’s permission.

    Understanding JDF

    Any number of white papers exists on JDF (Job Definition Format). In fact just about every technology provider who has anything to do with print has published a white paper on the subject. Why? Because JDF is the door opener to the future. It is the key enabler of the Graphic Enterprise—the new print communications paradigm where technologies converge to deliver a seamless flow of processing data. And technology providers want you to know that their systems, or software, or broadband technology is ready for the Graphic Enterprise.

    The Graphic Enterprise
    The Graphic Enterprise is the culmination of the evolution of print—where technology takes its rightful place to create a continuous, uninterrupted flow of data that begins with project creation and ends with its delivery. That is not to say that technology will not continue to improve and advance, but not in such dramatic steps as this.

    The Graphic Enterprise represents a true paradigm shift—made possible by JDF technology. And there is no escaping it. The Graphic Enterprise will replace the current manufacturing model as surely as motorways replaced dirt roads. That is why your understanding of JDF and how it will change business is so important. The drivers of the Graphic Enterprise extend beyond JDF technology.

    In other words, we are not going to change the way we work simply because we can. Economic and competitive pressures also generate the need. Consolidating printing companies, for example, need to merge technology. Clients need to get their projects to market faster, they want shorter runs more frequently, and they want to work with printing companies who can handle the entire project, which may include repurposing, personalisation and fulfilment.

    The easiest way to picture the Graphic Enterprise is to imagine dropping a project file into a digital funnel at one end of the workflow then finding it bound and finished at the other end—in a literature rack, at a trade show or in the client’s hands. Sound like science fiction? JDF is one of the technologies that is bringing this vision to reality.

    It’s all about Connectivity

    Simply put, JDF is all about connectivity—connecting competitive systems, departments, partners and clients—all in one location or at multiple sites across a region or around the world. It is important to note that in JDF terms, connectivity does not simply mean that systems are linked one to another, nor does it refer to the software drivers that send data to specific output systems.

    JDF connectivity means that all systems understand each other’s instructions, exchange data and provide feedback. JDF gives the appearance that all your equipment and software was developed and built by a single source. Why do you want competitive systems to connect? For one thing, so that you don’t have to throw out the old to work with the new.

    For example, you install Agfa’s new workflow automation software but you still want to make use of your Screen CtP system. More importantly, having competing systems that communicate seamlessly puts you in the driver’s seat. Now you can choose the system that best fits your needs without every having to worry if it will work within your existing workflow. And, if your systems could communicate with another printer’s, the two of you could partner as if you were one high-efficiency operation. You’d be able to accept larger or more complex projects.

    Why do you want departments to connect? If prepress can tell press and postpress what to do automatically, then you don’t have to. And if all those tasks can be tracked, with information fed back to MIS, you will know exactly how long it took to do what, and why. MIS will then be able to create accurate estimating models, so you won’t lose money anymore on guesstimates.

    In addition, once your sales or customer service reps enter client and project data, it will never have to be entered again unless something changes. The customer profile, along with the client’s preferences will follow the project all the way to completion, so the original intent is never compromised and instructions will never fall through the cracks.

    Why do you want to connect with partners? Because if you could connect seamlessly with another printer or finisher, you’d never have to turn down a job that’s too big for your operation. And think how convenient it would be for you and how expedient it would be for your client if your shipping company knew where a project had to go by when, the minute you entered the data into the system.

    Why do you want to connect with clients? Because building strong customer relationships has never been more important. JDF connectivity will give you the power to service customers on a higher level. It will allow you to initiate highly efficient online client collaboration. It will also allow you to produce more than print a job. You’ll be able to handle the entire project from start to delivery.

    There is one catch. For all of these people and systems to connect with each other they have to speak a common language—JDF—and understand how to implement the instructions they are given—JDF again.

    A Technical Primer

    If you are a technical junkie, then you should read one of the white papers that populate vendor and technical-association websites. If, however, you simply want to know the basics so you can understand how JDF can benefit your business, then continue reading.

    JDF is an XML (extensible Mark-up Language) standard or specification. So to understand JDF, you need to understand XML. A mark-up is a tag or a code that identifies information. For example, if you saw the words “Delilah (dog) is dangerous” the parenthesis or “tag” would tell you that Delilah was referring to an animal and not the biblical vixen. It could also tell you that Delilah is a Doberman Pincher and must always be handled a certain way.

    In print production, tags such as approval and trapping attached to a page would provide instructions for trapping and tell you that the page needs to be approved before final processing. It could even have instructions where or to whom to send for approval. In this way, when the page is ready it can be sent automatically to the client for approval.

    Extensible means XML tags are unlimited. You can add as many tags as you like. In addition, you can supplement them with other files to further define and extend the instructions. This is why you can apply content to a template for a web page and for print. Both will look different but the elements of the content will go into their proper place.

    XML understands the difference between text and graphics and treats them accordingly. But in order for competing systems to “interoperate1”, they must use the same tags—speak a universal language, if you will. This is what JDF does. It provides standard tags so that all systems and MIS functions speak print fluently. JDF is then written into workflow software, project management systems and other system drivers.

    Providing a standard requires an independent organisation. That is the job of CIP4 (International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress). CIP4 was founded in 1995 (as CIP3) as an initiative of graphic arts vendors. Today CIP4 comprises more than 180 members with 20 working groups. Its primary goal is to develop vendor-independent international standards to extend connectivity beyond production to include business processes, client collaboration and job delivery.

    To make JDF a truly vendor-neutral data exchange standard it is necessary to work out specific Interoperability Conformance Specification (ICS) and perform Interoperability Testing—so that all systems use the same definition format. This, too, is the charter of CIP4 www.cip4.org.

    JDF goes beyond XML in that it includes validation schema. This enables and automates processes such as preflighting. It also allows for a selection of a networking protocol and methods of exchange. It automates online transactions and data exchange. All told, JDF is the key technology driver of the evolved workflow—the Graphic Enterprise.

    JDF in Action
    A good way to understand how JDF works is to imagine an intelligent mobile robot that moves information, project components and instructions back and forth to the appropriate systems, departments and remote locations. It is important to note, however, that JDF gets much of its mobility from JMF (Job Messaging Format), a subset of JDF. While JDF describes the project and gives the specific commands to execute the job, JMF provides the means for parallel processes, such as production and administration, to communicate.

    As its name suggests, it is the JDF messenger. It relays information about the progress of JDF jobs and gives MIS the active ability to query devices about processing status. JDF and JMF work hand in hand to automate online transactions and data exchange. Think of JDF as the brains of the robot and JMF is its legs.

    It starts with the client. When a sales person or customer service rep enters specifications for a project, the JDF robot captures that information. When files are received, it understands, not just what needs to be done, but what is required in order to do the job properly. If a font is missing, it will automatically alert the client or designer. When JDF finishes validating the project components and the process is ready to begin, it sends the data to all departments and partners that will participate in the execution and delivery of the project. It also attaches the data to the project files and adds information for how the project needs to be executed.

    Interoperability is the term used by CIP4 as well as W3 (World Wide Web consortium, developers of XML) to describe the ability of one system to operate with another seamlessly. Because this is no ordinary robot, but an intelligent interactive agent, it assists the workflow software in searching out which systems within the organisation are free and assigns the job to the appropriate system. As the project travels through the workflow, JDF logs all processing data and sends that information back to MIS. That information can be used for cost purposes and to track the status of the job.

    If a system is hung up for some reason, the robot races back to recognised users and alerts them of a problem. JDF knows when a job is ready for approval. It takes the pages and transports them through the approval process—via email, or the users’ preferred delivery system. It can even send a message to a mobile phone.

    JDF also replicates data. That is, while it is alerting a user about a problem or sending pages for approval, it transmits the same information to MIS (via JMF) for job-logging purposes. The JDF robot has is a secure transport system. It knows exactly who to send data to—who has permission to check job status, provide approvals or stop and start processes. Only those people can intervene in the process.

    Among its duties is to pass instructions along to the press, which would include screening options, process control, ink-key settings, laminating and folding instructions, depending on the presses capabilities—which the JDF robot would have made note of and entered into the process. If the system knows that the job is distributed over two or more print sites, JDF takes all the data that has been entered to date, travels with the files and executes processes automatically at the remote sites. It can take into consideration all the equipment located at the remote location.

    The JDF robot eliminates the need to re-enter or rework data. The JDF shuttle also sends shipping instructions to all respective distribution companies. Personalisation is no problem for JDF. It knows at which point data must be entered or replaced and provides the appropriate instructions for the RIP and output equipment. Think of the JDF robot as the ultimate customer service rep. It knows how clients and partners like to receive information. It knows what protocol or type of network they use and delivers information accordingly.

    JDF Today

    Not all of the functions described above are ready today. However, many of them are and it will not be long before all of them are written into the software that controls the Graphic Enterprise. All JDF-powered systems have the capacity to enable the Graphic Enterprise. However, the process of building the Graphic Enterprise does not stand on the shoulders of the technology providers alone. Printing companies and partners need to be part of the process. They need to partner with the vendors to carve the path to the future.

  • New bid for pulp mill in Tasmania

    The report titled Development of new environmental emission limit guidelines for any new bleached eucalpypt kraft pulpmill in Tasmania was published two months earlier than expected, but no one is getting very enthusiastic about it. According to a report in AUSNEWZ Pulp& Paper neither the Tasmanian Government nor timber company Gunns wants to appear too keen on the proposal. Building a pulp mill in Tasmania is an issue that draws battle lines in the community hand has the potential to bring governments down.

    Despite this there is covert support from both sides of the political fence for a new mill and the review of environmental guidelines is considered the first step to bringing the issue to the fore. The report is now available for public comment at www.rpdc.tas.gov.au

    According to AUSNEWZ Pulp& Paper it should be apparent to those who read it that pulp mill technology has improved considerably since the previous iterations. It proposes that the need for a mill is no longer an option for Tasmania, but a necessity.

  • Knowledge Forum heads for Melbourne and Auckland

    The supply side professionals who make up the expert panels at this month’s innovative Knowledge Forum could be forgiven for succumbing to drupa fatigue. Addressing well attended forums in both Brisbane and Sydney over the past two weeks they have detailed their own experiences at the Düsseldorf trade show, praised their firm’s products and solutions, and occasionally got stuck into one another as professional rivalry becomes strained.

    They have been living with drupa, preparations and attendance, for most of the year and sometimes it shows in their sometime ambivalent responses.

    “They’ve all been very professional and done a great job, “ said Claire Gillespie, convenor of the Knowledge Forum. “The panel discussions have been very popular. It is a good way of keeping everyone honest.”

    With sponsors and participants from many of the major suppliers to the industry the Knowledge Forum has been well received thus far. “It’s a good opportunity for people in the industry to get a feel and an understanding of what happened at drupa without making the trip. Of course we’d like more people to come along but attendance so far has been very good.”

    Interest in the Auckland leg of the tour is running high with many industry professionals already booked. To ensure your place go to : www.theknowledgeforum.com

  • Sydney FXA technology centre concept is exported to the world

    The A$16million programme, including the Japanese location, is directed from Australia by Phil Chambers who is assisted in the implementation in Shanghai by industry identity Roger Morgan. The inspiration for the epicentre concept came from the pioneering work done in Sydney since 1997.

    “It is our intention to improve and replicate this facility [Sydney] throughout the Asia-Pacific region allowing us to communicate our brand values of innovation, expertise, quality and reliability as well as our successes and heritage throughout the four epicenters, destined to serve sixteen countries in the region,” said Phil Chambers, managing director of Fuji Xerox Australia and senior general manager of the four epicenters.

    “The epicenters will be world-class facilities by which our future direction will be well represented. The concept for the epicenters has been very well received by our customers in Australia and across the region.

    “We believe that this unique initiative will be instrumental to further expand our leadership in the digital print industry. We expect the centres to also allow us to foster closer working ties with industry associations and experts.”

    The announcement comes as the Australian company is gearing up for the release of the iGen3 and the new black and white Nuvera engines on July 21. Catering for a region-wide production print audience, the epicenters will showcase end-to-end solutions and facilitate collaboration between third party partners and Fuji Xerox. They will also serve to promote file and application testing, facilitate training programs and provide a forum for exhibiting the company’s innovative technology.

    “To accelerate business growth in our marketing territory in the Asia-Pacific region, which now includes China, we need to fully capture new business opportunities and the epicenters are key enablers,” said Jiro Shono, president of Fuji Xerox’s International Business Group. “The epicenters will blend best in class technology with industry knowledge and experience, which enables us to truly articulate the value we can offer both the industry and our clients.

    “In addition, they will provide us with a vehicle to transfer the knowledge and expertise across the Asia-Pacific region providing our staff and in particular our customers, with the world’s best practices, expertise and solutions.”

  • Goss and Heidelberg get the deal over the line

    The culmination of long months of haggling since Bernard Schreier announced the decision to get out of web press manufacturing last December, means Goss International emerges as likely the largest web offset press manufacturer in the world. Both companies have signed and executed a contract that transfers substantially all assets of Heidelberg’s Web Systems associated with the newspaper and commercial web press business, as well as the high volume post press activities.

    Both companies have industry leading positions in the web print market in Australia and New Zealand, and Goss will almost certainly be the largest player in the region. At time of going to press neither Andy vels Jensen, managing director of Heidelberg Australia, or Peter Kirwan, managing director of Goss International (Australia) were available for comment. However industry observers do not expect precipitous action to merge the two operations here where Heidelberg has the larger service staff.

    The combined entity will have operations in North America, Europe and the Asia/Pacific region and will have approximately 4,000 employees focused on web offset. The companies agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction.

    “This agreement is an important, active step in the consolidation process within this industry,” said Bernhard Schreier. “By combining and restructuring activities, both companies are aiming for better capacity utilization, along with optimized market penetration due to the resulting enhanced product portfolio,” said Dr. Herbert Meyer, CFO of Heidelberg.

    The transfer of Heidelberg’s web offset activities to Goss International will affect more than 2,000 Heidelberg employees at sites mainly in the US, France and Netherlands.

    Heidelberg entered the web offset business by acquiring Harris Graphic Corporation in 1988. Through the acquisition of the Dutch company Stork Contiweb in 1996, Heidelberg has also been able to offer splicers and dryers in this market segment. In the same year, Heidelberg extended its portfolio to offer finishing systems for web offset machines by acquiring Sheridan Systems (USA and Great Britain).

    In fiscal year 2003/2004, Heidelberg’s web offset sales amounted to 376 million Euro. This corresponds to roughly ten percent of the group’s total sales (3.661 billion Euro).

    Bob Brown, CEO of Goss International, stated, “We at Goss are very excited about the acquisition. The combined product platforms, technology portfolio, global operations and team of professionals around the world provide us a great opportunity to create value for our customers. This is an exciting day for Goss International. The acquisition gives us the opportunity to integrate two of the best teams in the industry and build a company focused on the web offset sector.”

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

    Peter, managing director of Lane Print Group, is nominated to receive the Order of Australia medal in the general division of the award. He has always been active in industry affairs, a tireless worker for many causes and a stalwart of the Association.
    Congratulations and well done.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    And say hello to Amelia Kraszewski, new light in the eye of proud father Henryk Kraszewski, DocuColor iGen3 Program Manager for Fuji Xerox.

    And now all together . . . Aaaaah!

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    Another re-organization this time from DuPont, which has announced the formation of a new global business unit – DuPont Color Communication. The new business will combine the existing Color Proofing, with a number of new business initiatives designed to build upon the company’s core colour competencies.

    The Color Communication business includes strengths in the areas of colour management, digital workflow, inkjet components, systems integration, colour films, data encryption, colour analysis, and knowledge intensity.

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    And finally . . . here’s a mind-numbing bunch of acronyms from Andy McCourt used to describe the industry workflow in 2010 when nouns and adjectives have disappeared completely.

    Printers are sent, via ADSL, a series of PDFs from DTP, convert them to CIP and JDF where the JMF relays information back to the MIS which sends the information back in XML as a JMF or PPF so that output to CTP or POD can be achieved, taking care that the ICC, that is the CMS founded on CIE, is OK with the 3DAP before proofing on the DOD IJP, then passing through the RIP to the aforesaid CTP, thence to the SM105XL or POD, noting the presence of any VDP and making sure you don’t offend the ALP, ACT or ABC because all of your production in 2010 will be JIT (i.e. PDQ), and waste will be monitored by the EPA using EIS and this all adds up to TQM providing your CRM and ERP are AOK; and of course this means . . .GST!

  • Book Club – Benchmarking Volume 1: Performance Indicators


    The Government-funded report on the workings of Australia’s printing and graphic arts industry is the most significant industry publishing event in more than a decade.

    The Government-funded report on the workings of Australia’s printing and graphic arts industry is the most significant industry publishing event in more than a decade.
    “A must read for all companies interested in inmproving business performance and increasing profits”.
    This book, produced and published by the Printing Industries of Australia was initiated by the industry’s need for “well-defined information on performance standards and model templates for business processes”.
    This publication is a must for those who want to see the industry grow and business prosper.

    ORDER NOW !

    Order Benchmarking Volume 1: Performance Indicators for AUD$170.00 plus GST and postage. This is a saving of $80 on the recommended retail price from Printing Industries and is available only to Print21Online readers.

    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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

  • FOR SALE – Two ITEK presses

    Item 1: 2 colour ITEK 3985 machine. Excellent condition for sale
    Item 2: 1 colour ITEK 985 MP good condition with perforator attachment
    Item 3: ITEK Graphix
    item 4: Flexi platemaker

    Price: $22,000 for the lot

    Machines are located at Surry Hills NSW 2010

    Contact: Tim 0402 685 167

  • Job of the Week, Marketing Manager/Business Development, Fuji Xerox – Sydney

    Australia’s leading provider of Document Solutions has an opportunity for a Marketing Manager – Business Development within our Production Systems Group.

    This is a national role and you will be responsible for developing marketing strategies that are designed to increase FXA penetration, revenues and profit, through business development and industry-focussed activities. You will also act as a centre of competence in the industry, with the objective of identifying FXA solution opportunities against industry business processes.

    You will have a strong strategic planning background and be familiar with customer business processes and document workflow. You will have proven experience in identifying and addressing profitable business solutions and be comfortable using your industry and technical knowledge to support a sales force to achieve these solutions. You will also have tertiary qualifications in business or marketing.

    A key component of the role is building relationships – with our sales team, industry associations and our valued customers. You will participate in customer visits and presentations and be comfortable engaging the executive level.

    In return, you will have the opportunity to work with leading edge technology, a highly motivated and professional team and be offered career opportunities.

    Annabel Stewart
    Human Resources Operations Manager
    Fuji Xerox Australia
    Annabel.Stewart@aus.xerox.com

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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

  • Preparing for the end of the financial year – what to watch out for

    Les Burger of HLB Mann Judd Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd (pictured) has some words of advice.

    Most Australian businesses report their financial results on a July to June fiscal year. So with the 30 June fast approaching, now is the time, if you have not already done so, to stop and consider what may need doing prior to the year-end.

    One question that is often asked is. . . Do we require an audit?

    Aside from assisting in good corporate governance many businesses require external audits. These can be full financial audits of their systems, procedures and financial reports where an audit opinion is then given or special purpose audits based on segments or particular components. Eg. Debtors or stock audits often required by banks or financial institutions.
    However, what is not often known is that business size may be a determinant in requiring that your business be audited.
    Under ASIC’s regulations if your business is conducted through a trading company and it qualifies as a ‘large proprietary company’ then an external full financial audit is obligatory.

    This is satisfied by passing two of the three following tests:

  • Gross turnover exceeding $10 Million,
  • Gross assets at book value greater than $5 Million, and
  • Employ over 50 staff (full time equivalent employees).
  • It’s our experience that many trading companies unknowingly could fall in this category and be regarded as ‘large’ and therefore have a statutory requirement to be audited.
    This would require them to produce a set of statutory financial statements, which comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Therefore year-end preparation would include:

  • Physical stock take being conducted,
  • Bringing to account provisions for employee entitlements,
  • Distinguishing between operating and financial leases,
  • Making sure that all revenue and expense items and assets and liabilities are recorded in the right period, meaning sound accounting procedures and internal controls, particularly around purchasing, sales and stock, and
  • Ensuring that the fixed asset register is up to date and complete.
  • What are some of the common year-end taxation considerations?

    Just about all businesses account on accruals rather than a cash basis, meaning that expenses are recognised when incurred, (which is often before they are paid for) and revenue is recognised when derived (which is often before cash is received).

    However, for taxation purposes this is not always the case. That is, accounting expenses do not always equal taxation deductions and accounting revenue does not always equal taxable income. ie. timing and recognition of income and expenditure can differ from normal accounting practice.

    This means, that care needs to be taken in ensuring that many expenditure items will be allowable taxation deductions and opens up possibilities in certain instances of either deferring income or accelerating deductions.

    Some of the common areas for consideration and planning are as follows:

    • Trading stock; The value of trading stock on hand at year-end is included in assessable income but may be valued for tax purposes on the basis of cost, market value or replacement cost. In addition, it may be written off if considered obsolete, (subject to certain pre-requisite). Stock can also be valued on an item by item or line by line basis.
    • Bad debts; Bad debts can only be claimed if the debt is in fact bad (ie. little or no likelihood of the debt being recovered, generally evidenced by recovery action being taken), it is in existence at the time it has to be written off and has been physically written off by year-end (note this also raises a GST issue).
    • Obsolete plant – review of the depreciation schedule;
      A review of the depreciation schedule may create deductable balance adjustments, where permanently ceasing to use depreciable plant and market value is less than its written down value or where depreciable plant is physically scrapped and the amount received for scrap value is less than written down value.
    • Depreciation rates;
      Review depreciation schedule to determine that rates properly reflect the assets effective life or fall within the Commissioner of Taxation’s guidelines.
    • Superannuation;
      Maximising superannuation contributions before year-end should be considered. However, contributions have to physically paid and made to complying superannuation funds and are subject to aged base deductions limits.
    • Related party loans;
      Review related party loans to ensure that they satisfy the minimum requirements (ie. interest charged on principle outstanding, repayment terms, etc). If loans to related parties do not satisfy the minimum requirements then the loan may be deemed to be a divided (resulting in double tax consequences).
    • Repairs;
      Review repairs to ensure that they are not in fact capital improvements, or initial repairs to property or plant before it is used for income earning purposes.
    • Bonuses;
      In order to be tax deductible ensure that employee bonuses are properly quantified and documented prior to year-end, and that employees are notified of their entitlement to the bonus including amount and timing of payment.
    • Capital gains and losses;
      It may be appropriate to trigger or crystallise a potential capital loss to offset against capital gains that have been realised during the year. (Noting that capital losses can only be offset against capital gains, where as capital gains form part of normal assessable income).
      There are many other capital gains tax considerations that flow from asset purchases and disposals or in the event of business transactions, such as effectively utilising the 50% discount, (where applicable) the small business concessions (where available), and the timing and structuring of contracts, to name a few.
    • Building write-off;
      There are special allowable depreciation deductions for eligible buildings. These rates can vary between 2.5% and 4.0% on the structural building. However, careful review is required to ensure that only eligible components are included and is currently a ‘hot’ area of attention by the Australian Taxation office.
    • Prepaid expenses and prepaid income;
      Although prepayments have been harder to claim resulting from recent changes in taxation laws, some expenses paid in advance may still be deductible.
      Income paid in advance may be able to be deferred provided the work or service to be performed has not yet commenced and the terms of the prepayment allow for refund if the service or work is not ultimately provided.
    • Overseas travel;
      To be deductible expenditure on overseas travel such as Drupa needs to be properly substantiated into receipts, travel diary, etc to demonstrate that the dominant purpose of the trip was for business purposes. It should be noted that some part of travel expenditure might not be deductible such as entertainment or expenditure relating to accompanying relatives.
    • Contact Les Burger at lburger@hlbvic.com.au

    • Offset Alpine wins gold for 2nd year at Sappi Awards


      In the winners circle for the second year in a row, Garth Hackett, Offset Alpine (centre) is congratulated by Hugh Martin, managing director (left) and Tim Schaffer, Australasian manager of Sappi Trading at the awards ceremony in Melbourne last week.

      One gold medal, two silver, a bronze and a special Printer’s Award saw Australia and New Zealand well represented in the winner’s circle at this year’s Sappi Printer of the Year awards. The result represents a “significant achievement for the industry when you consider we are competing against half the world, “ said Greg Grace, LIA Fellow and one of the panel of Sappi international judges.

      The Sappi Trading competition combines entries from Mexico, Central and South America and Asia as well as Australasia.

      “It’s easier to win gold in the Commonwealth Games than in the Olympics. The Sappi Awards represent the highest level of international competition, so everyone who won should be very proud of their achievement,” said Grace.

      Topping the list was Offset Alpine for its production of Australian Geographic magazine, the sole gold medal winner for the region. This is the second time the company will represent Australia in the world finals of the Sappi Printer of the Year competition, this year to be held in Cape Town in October.

      “We’re very surprised and happy to win gold again,” said Garth Hackett, Sales and Marketing Director Offset Alpine. “Coming on the back of being the biggest gold winner at this year’s National Print Awards it’s beyond our wildest expectations.

      “Our staff are thrilled with the win. We’re celebrating at a barbeque this Friday.”

      The judges commended the Offset alpine entry for its very high level of printing technique including excellent registration and the good use of stochastic screening. They noted that the intensive colours afforded by this technique gave excellent reproduction of natural scenes and landscapes in the magazine.

      Silver for New Zealand and Queensland

      Other regional winners included McCollams Print from New Zealand, which won a silver award in the annual report category, while Inprint in Brisbane got one in the brochures and catalogues category. A bronze award in the books category went to Daniels Printing Craftsmen of Perth with another Western Australian company, Scott Print, picking up an inaugural Printer’s Award for its brochure.

      The quality and record number of entries in this year’s Sappi Printer of the Year awards underlines the continuing vigour of the printed medium, according to High Martin, Managing Director Sappi Trading. “Despite all predictions that the 21st century would see print swamped by the electronic media, today print continues to play an integral role in our everyday lives and is more powerful than ever before.

      “Print is permanent and easy to access. It can combine visual imagery with language. It builds relationships and can be shared or kept confidential. It can be preserved and yet be updated. The entries in this year’s Sappi Trading Printer of the Year competition underscore the power of print.

      “At Sappi, we have long been relentlessly committed to excellence and to producing papers that showcase the art and craft of printing at its finest. The finalists in the Sappi Trading Printer of the Year are living up to the same ideal of excellence by enhancing the power of print through their commitment and creativity,” said Hugh Martin.

    • MAN Group chairman fires rumors of MAN Roland sheetfed press sell-off

      According to a report on www.whattheythink.com answers he gave at the annual general meeting fuelled rumor that a sell off of the sheetfed division of MAN Roland to a financial investor is an option being considered in the face of a Euro 37 million loss for the Printing Division of the company.

      A spokesman for Man Roland later said that Rupprecht’s statements have been taken out of context. “There is no plan to spin-off MAN Roland’s Sheetfed Division. In answering analysts’ questions, Mr. Rupprecht was simply making the point that no business unit is sacred and each must perform profitably. We anticipate no change in MAN Roland’s product mix in the foreseeable future,” he said.

      The speculation came as MAN Roland braced itself for further job losses as orders with weak profit margins take the shine off better than expected drupa business. There will be a further reduction of around 500 jobs, mainly in Denmark, following the amalgamation of manufacturing facilities.

      In his report Rupprecht said the market situation in the Printing Machines sector remained extremely weak throughout 2003. Publishers and printers were operating on low margins, surplus capacity dominated the market and many printers provisionally postponed scheduled investments. This resulted in a very slow demand for printing systems. Due to a recovery at year-end, the company was able to marginally increase its order intake compared with 2002, but sales again fell significantly, in line with the lower order backlog.

      “In spite of introducing fundamental cost-cutting measures, most notably at the sheet-fed sites in the Rhine-Main area, we were unable to prevent the Printing Machines Division slipping into the red with overall pre-tax earnings of minus 37 million euros. By consistently pursuing our schemes to revive the sheet-fed business, mainly by amalgamating works in the Offenbach area, introducing cost-saving measures and last, but not least, taking advantage of the return to more encouraging order-intake figures registered since the drupa trade fair, which considerably exceeded our expectations, we have justified hopes that Printing Machines will be able to move back into the black in the course of this year.

      MAN Roland took orders of over 470 million euros at drupa in what Rupprecht described as “surprisingly brisk activity.” This enabled the company to register a total figure of 645 million euros, 14% higher than the order intake at this time last year, even though business stagnated at a low level up until April.