Archive for April, 2005

  • PMP does its dough with decommission bungle

    Chief executive David Kirk claims the problem is related to PMP’s decision to install new presses across Australia, his comments implying that recent presses decommissionings have left the company at a disadvantage. “PMP is undertaking major restructuring of the capital base in the print business. This has reduced capacity more than we previously expected,” Kirk says.

    “We are simply not able to process the work in the six-month period we had previously forecast. In addition, we continue to see lower gross margins in print as a result of a higher share of contracted magazine and major retail work and less capacity available to produce higher margin spot work.”

    The company is locked in to produce low margin magazine work for the major publishers, such as Kerry Stokes’ Pacific Magazines, foregoing the high value spot market for catalogues.

    Kirk insists however that the company’s frustrations will be resolved before the year is complete. “While it is frustrating and disappointing to deliver lower earnings than previously expected in this six-month period, PMP is renewing the printing press fleet and bindery equipment with new state of the art equipment and we had to do this in the seasonally quieter months of the year,” he says. “When the equipment is installed we will achieve significant operating cost benefits and have new capacity available to sell in the busy Christmas period.”

    With the announcement of lower results the sharemarket punished the company by wiping 25 per cent from its share price. PMP’s share price hit an all-time high of $2.35 earlier this year, but last week saw it plummet to levels as low as $1.20. The catalyst for the shake-up was the revelation to the Australian Stock Exchange that 2004-05 earnings would come in between $70 million and $72 million, revised down from its previous forecast of $84 to $90 million.

    The revision brought back to mind the troubled years of Bob Muscatt’s reign when the share price dipped below 50 cents.

    PMP is currently undertaking one of Australia’s largest ever press installation programmes.

  • Candidate of the Week: Printing Specialist

    Chris Leech:

    Former part owner of pioneer Copy Shop – Sutton International Pty Ltd T/A COPIES PLUS.

    Comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience of all aspects of Copying, Binding, Laminating and Plan Printing etc.

    Now seeking casual or full-time employment in the industry.
    Prior  Ad Agency Experience         

    Phone: 02 9436 4224 
    Mobile: 0411 395 127  
    Fax:     02 9906 1668    

  • Job of the Week: Sales Specialist – Display Graphics

    The position will suit a sales professional who is focused on delivering exceptional sales growth through the delivery of superior technologies and services to our customers.
    Based in Lane Cove, you will be responsible for the development and execution of the sales strategy required to secure both new business and increase the volume at existing customers.

    The position has responsibility for selling our extensive range of wide format inkjet imaging equipment, colour management & workflow software, service contracts, and most importantly, our range of consumables to the NSW sign market. After-sales support is a key requirement of the business and as such you will be required to attain a strong working knowledge of the various hardware and software solutions sold.
    You will have intimte knowledge of the signage and display graphics market and be experienced in selling capital equipment and consumables to the sign making industry. As such you will possess excellent communication skills, commercial acumen and the negotiation capability required in closing sales.

    To support your sales initiative we have first class technical support teams, together with modern, professional demonstration facilities in both NSW and Victoria.

    An attractive package is available to the successful candidate including base salary, incentives, car allowance, laptop and mobile phone. There is flexibility with regards to the remuneration with a strong emphasis on high rewards for achieving results.

    If you are interested in this opportunity, please forward a copy of your resumé and contact details to our email or fax to (02) 94208188.

    Confidentiality is assured.

    Email resumes to


    To view more printing and graphic arts career positions click here for JobsOnline21:

  • Heidelberg back in the black – News commentary by Andy McCourt

    Just one year after selling its loss-making digital division to Kodak and eight months after divesting its web press division to Goss, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG has staged one of the most remarkable Lazarus-acts in corporate history.
    Highlights of the preliminary results are:

  • Sales up 3 percent to 3.2 billion Euro
  • Incoming orders climb by 8 percent to 3.5 billion Euro
  • Net profit of 61 million Euro achieved
  • Free cash flow of 154 million Euro well above expectations
  • Agreement signed on safeguarding the future of Heidelberg’s German sites
  • CEO Bernhard Schreier stated; “Even if the markets and the global economy did not exhibit the robust growth that we had hoped for, particularly in recent months, the figures nevertheless show that we are on the right track and that our measures are beginning to take hold.”

    Sheetfed offset press sales accounted for most of the turn-around, with a 5% increase in sales and a 10% increase in incoming orders – possibly the post-drupa effect. Post-press continues to make an operating loss but this has been reduced from – $30 million in 2003-04 to -$3.3 million for the current year.

    Heidelberg’s global workforce has been cut by 18% from 22,782 to 18,679 and concessions have been agreed between staff unions for extra unpaid working hours in return for improved pension terms.

    Concerning this move, which alone will save $166 million, Dr. Herbert Meyer, chief financial officer at Heidelberg stated; “After controversial and difficult negotiations, we have arrived at a solution that is acceptable to all parties. This solution will raise earnings in the long term and will help to increase further the competitiveness of the Heidelberg Group.”


    It’s good for the entire industry.

    The Heidelberg barometer has long been the scale of measurement for the overall health of the industry. Particularly encouraging are the forward-orders.

    It’s taken press manufacturers a long time to adapt sensibly to the technological and IT revolution but today a modern press can proudly claim to be a networkable, and valuable, peripheral in the communications matrix.

    The insane global domination Heidelberg strategy of the 90s is gone, and so are its architects. At one stage, Heidelberg had a massive consumables warehousing and logistics structure being set up in France, supposedly to supply the world’s print industry with every little requirement. Forays into digital and mainstream web proved unsustainable. The one-stop shop became the dead-stop shop.

    You can’t be all things to all people. Even supermarkets know this and where they do adventure into non-core lines, it’s a low-risk strategy that ‘skims’ a few sales from specialist outlets, using convenience and value as the persuaders. They don’t bet the farm.

    Interestingly, Bernard Schereir – lifelong Heidelberg career exec and native Heidelberger – spent his formative management years in sheetfed offset and later headed up both Heidelberg-Harris (web) and the Digital venture. Now he’s back with the ‘knitting’ that he knows so well.

    It’s also interesting to note how economies have been achieved at Heidelberg. The workplace agreements are axiomatic to safeguarding German manufacturing jobs and plants – and preventing those jobs from exiting to places like China.

    Heidelberg was not the first to achieve this. KBA agreed with its workforce that 2 hours per week extra would be worked, by management and staff, for 2 years from January 2005. KBA too has reported good results and a bursting order book. MAN Roland is in a similar position.

    However, with a strong Euro, soaring steel prices, (Australia’s iron ore export price has increased about 70% in the past 3 months), high oil prices and the volatile state of global bourses, complacency is not advisable for Germany’s press manufacturers.

    Welcome back in the black, Heidelberg. Now stay there.

  • World Press Photo Exhibition to touchdown in Sydney

    The exhibition showcases a range of provocative images, with the mission statement of communicating powerful emotions that transcend the power of words. The winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 2004 is an image of a woman mourning the death of a relative killed in the Asian tsunami, taken by Reuters photographer Arko Datta in India on December 28.

    “Canon Australia is delighted to again be the major sponsor of such a prestigious exhibition that pays tribute to the photographic excellence of the international press,” says Mr Shuichi Tsukahara, managing director of Canon Australia. Marking a first for the competition, this year is significant in that it is the first time that all entries were judged in digital format.

    “The fact that this renowned professional photography competition was judged entirely in digital is indicative of the level of acceptance the format has achieved,” said Stuart Poignand, marketing manager Canon Australia’s consumer imaging product group. “The immediacy and quality made possible by the latest digital SLR models have revolutionised photojournalism.”

    The winning images were selected by the World Press Photo Foundation from a record 69,190 entries (submitted by a record 4,266 photographers) from 123 countries. The Australian winners for 2004 include Adam Pretty, Dean Sewell, Patrick Brown and Trent Parke.

    The World Press Photo Foundation is an independent platform for international press photography, founded in 1955. This platform manifests itself in the annual World Press Photo of the Year Contest and the corresponding yearbook and exhibition.

    The exhibition will be on display for free at the State Library of NSW, from 24 June to 17 July 2005. Call (02) 9273 1414 for more information

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

    Taken in his early 50’s, Ed’s battle with a mortal illness has left many grieving. He was one of the true visionaries in the industry and his company continues to be a leading light.

    Always a good friend, he is remembered with much affection.


    There are openings and there are openings.

    PacPrint05 (May 23 –29) is lucky enough to have two opening ceremonies: the first at 10.00am at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre when the chairman of the PacPrint board, Meredith Darke, president of GAMAA, Gary Donnison, ceo Printing Industries and Brian Bradford of Reed Exhibitions gather to cut the ribbon to let the hordes flood into the hall. Later that day Steve Bracks, Premier of Victoria, will make a tour of the exhibition floor before declaring the exhibition officially open at 5.00pm in the Clarendon Room just as the show closes for the first day.

    Clancy is left speculating on descriptions of the two ceremonies – the ribbon cutting and the opening; the opening and the inauguration; the photo opportunity and the power launch? Either way, getting into the Premier’s gig will test the most determined gatecrasher.


    You have to love the Germans, and especially the people of Düsseldorf who organise the drupa prize. This prestigious award by Messe Düsseldorf showcases the German pre-occupation with the higher values. This year’s winner is especially apt given the nationality of the new Pope Benedict XVI. Titled The altarpieces in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, as propaganda it goes to art historian Wiebke Windorf.

    In the course of her research Wiebke had to make frequent trips to Rome and haggle with the authorities to get access to the records. Letting the lady speak for herself … “Working in the Vatican Library with the original 17th century documents was truly thrilling. It was very difficult to resist the temptation to let myself be sidetracked from my thesis and dip into the ancient texts to my heart’s content.”

    And you thought drupa is about printing.


    It’s not that they are trying to speed up departures, but airlines intend to stop printing tickets by 2007 and rely on electronic tags thereafter. Internet-only ticketing is on the way with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) figuring on saving over $3.7 billion a year for its 270 member airlines. Already one in five airline passengers fly with an e-ticket and this is set to double in a year.

    Now if they would only stop making you take off your shoes before boarding the flight we can get back to running to catch the plane.


    It’s a new twist to the idea of folding money. A worker at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Fort Worth, Texas, was arrested after confessing to stuffing uncut sheets of $20 and $10 dollar bills into his pockets over a period of seven years. Donald Stokes got away with $700,000 before he was rumbled, which makes sense when you learn he worked as a verifier, someone who accounts for all the currency produced at the facility.

    Stokes was captured in Oklahoma City earlier this month. He fled after federal authorities found stolen money at his home, and was caught three weeks later.

    But here’s the scary part. The plant, one of two in USA that prints the nation’s currency, produces 18 million bills daily, worth about $169 million. (


    And finally … you know the world’s economy is in good hands when … at an international conference of economists in Paris, the opening speaker concluded her remarks with the observation –

    There are three kinds of economists, those who can count and those who can’t.

  • Innovate ’05 packs ’em in

    Innovate ’05 is designed to assist printers, creative designers and marketers in offering their customers a full spectrum of cross-media communication services, preparing attendees for the fresh business opportunities offered by digital print like shorter runs, print-on-demand and variable data.

    A number of industry professionals presented at the Sydney show yesterday. Keynote speaker I.O. Technologies founder Eric R. Kenly imparted some of the wisdom gained from providing digital solutions to the big guns of graphic arts, including Canon, Kodak and Fuji Xerox. Ian Pulrang from EFI spoke on the benefits of incorporating CIM into business workflows, while Creo’s Alan Tam spoke on the ways in which both offset and digital can be integrated into a commercial print environment.

    Speaking to Print 21, Eric Kenly (pictured right) warned printers not to get caught up in the excitement surrounding digital technology, emphasising the importance of defining what your business’s core strengths are and finding the right technology to support these strengths.

    “Don’t believe the hype,” Kenly says. “In order to reap the most benefits out of the opportunities offered by digital, businesses need to take a look around at what is out there to find the digital solution that plays most effectively to the strengths of their organisation.”

  • Kodak profit heads down digital road

    The Eastman Kodak Company reported a fall in revenue of three per cent in the first quarter, which it attributes to focused cost reductions, along with the continued decline in traditional products by 18 per cent, despite an increase in the digital portfolio of 23 per cent. Sales of Kodak consumer film fell 29 per cent worldwide and 17 per cent in the U.S – while industry wide, consumer film declined by 20 per cent worldwide and 30% in the U.S.

    The company’s digital and film imaging systems sales of $1.801 billion were down nine per cent.

    Graphic Communications sales were a bright spot, posting $368 million, up 30 per cent, largely reflecting the acquisition in 2004 of the remainder of the NexPress joint venture. Kodak Polychrome Graphics will provide immediate earnings contributions for the remainder of the year. Kodak’s success in digital markets include increased sales of Kodak Versamark’s wide-format systems.

    Kodak chief executive officer Daniel A. Carp dismisses the overall loss as an inevitable consequence of the company’s digital evolution. “While the first quarter’s performance was disappointing, such short-term volatility is to be expected as we transform Kodak into a digital company,” he says. “We remain committed to increasing the value of the company over the long-term by delivering on our annual plans. We expect to do that in 2005 and beyond.”

    Kodak president and chief operating officer Antonio M. Perez emphasises the first quarter as the smallest in terms of revenue, claiming small changes in sales tend to have an exaggerated effect on company earnings in that period

    “January and February were soft for reasons that we understand, and we took actions mid-way through the quarter that resulted in much stronger performance in March. This makes us more confident of achieving our two key milestones for the year: digital revenue exceeding traditional revenue, and digital earnings growth exceeding the traditional earnings decline.

    “We are successfully implementing our digital growth strategy, and we continue to redesign our cost structure to achieve our financial goals. As a result, we remain confident of achieving our full-year guidance.”

  • Book Club –

    A new edition of Pocket Pal is always an event in the printing and graphic arts industry. First published in 1934, this indispensable reference work has long been the authoritative introduction to the graphic arts for artists, designers, publishers, advertisers, students and buyers of printing. It has also proved to be a handy reference guide for printing professionals.

    Pocket Pal is the ultimate argument solver, jam packed with facts, figures, diagrams and illustrations of all major imaging processes. It provides concise and detailed information on prepress, press and post press, with individual sections on paper and a graphic arts glossary. Readers will find information on types and typographies, including proofreading, type, colour charts and digital prepress.

    The 19th Edition is edited by Frank Romano, RIT School of Print Media (Michael Riordan, RIT, Assistant Editor) and builds on the millennium edition’s initiative to bring digital printing into the mainstream of the industry’s reference. The result is a thoroughly up to the minute reference work that also retains the solid background knowledge that has made it such a favourite for generations.

    Pocket Pal is easy to read, an inexhaustible resource, and provides printing and graphic arts professionals with the wherewithal to fully understand all facets of their industry.


    To buy Pocket Pal: Graphic Arts Production – New 19th Edition and to browse the Print21Online Graphic Arts Library click

  • Printing paper price-fixing claims resurface

    According to the leading article on the front page of the The Australian Financial Review (Wednesday 27 April) the ACCC is inquiring into collusive behaviour in the paper sector in addition to its ongoing investigation into the Amcor-Visy cardboard-box cartel allegations. No details of the investigation were forthcoming, with the report relying on unidentified sources.

    The alleged price-fixing first surfaced last year in industry rumour of a complaint by major printing companies to the August round of price rises promulgated by paper merchants. The merchants were confident the matter would be dropped as the round of proposed price increases was comprehensively knocked back by the printing industry.

    Although the ACCC will not comment on potential investigations, it is understood senior commission staff were assigned to check out the complaint.

    The AFR report maintains the complaint centers on alleged co-ordinated price increases of imported paper from two European suppliers. As most merchants carry a similar range of Europeans stock, price rises from the mills leave them little choice but to pass them on – if they are able. As one industry (yes, unidentified) source commented – “I didn’t realise the ACCC had authority over European paper mills’ prices.”

    The report of an ongoing investigation comes at a time when most merchants are publishing new price books in May, all promoting similar ballpark price rises. According to one merchant, the current round of price rises has as much to do with the increasing cost of doing business as it has with the higher cost of landed paper. He also makes the point that if there is any price fixing it must be very badly done as the cost of paper is at an historical low with many grades costing less than they did five years ago.

    Part of the higher cost of paper is due to the difficulty in getting shipping containers for paper from Europe. At least one merchant has had to resort to buying bulk space in order to get paper here in time to fulfil orders.

    A full report on the current paper pricing round will appear in the May issue of Print21 magazine.

  • Say goodbye to Haitch Australia

    Gerhardt Australia will eventually become the new name of the company, the change due to follow on from a significant capital investment at the Knoxfield manufacturing centre in Victoria. The facility’s equipment will be upgraded in order to boost capacity and service levels on its locally manufactured rotary tooling products.

    The management team has also been restructured, with two new appointments made in the production and sales divisions. Label-industry veteran Ian Sarney has rejoined the company as sales and marketing manager for the Asia Pacific region, while Joe Castuera will be utilising his 20 years of rotary tooling experience as the new production manager.

    Ian Sarney says he is looking forward to the planned name change, and claims Haitch Australia has already begun the process of integrating the Danish company’s MIS system. “Gerhardt is recognised as a leading force in rotary tooling, so there’s an easy fit between the two companies. Our company has been looking to establish a stronger presence in the Asia Pacific market, so we decided to move forward with Gerhardt.”

    Gerhardt International is a leading supplier of rotary tooling to the graphic industry worldwide. It has offices and production facilities in England, France, Spain, Italy, Australia and USA, and is also represented in Germany, Holland, Poland, Turkey, South America, Canada, Russia, India and the Far East.

  • Book Club –

    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


    To buy FOLD: The Professional Guide to Folding and to browse the Print21Online Graphic Arts Library click

  • Adobe takeover of MacroMedia – another brick in the wall

    The deal sees the end of the only serious competition to Adobe in online graphics where its Go Live product struggled against MacroMedia’s industry benchmark Dreamweaver and Flash software. It also extends the company’s reach into the rapidly growing mobile phone graphics market as well as facilitating its ability to repurpose publishing files across an extended range of media.

    Some graphic designers have expressed reservations at the continuing consolidation of the industry’s software options, expressing concern at Adobe’s virtual monopoly of the design desktops.

    Naturally this is not the view from Adobe.

    “Customers are calling for integrated software solutions that enable them to create, manage and deliver a wide range of content and applications – from documents and images to audio and video,” said Bruce Chizen, chief executive officer of Adobe. “By combining our powerful development, authoring and collaboration software – along with the complementary functionality of PDF and Flash – Adobe has the opportunity to bring this vision to life with an industry-defining technology platform.”

    The deal makes Adobe the second largest software producer after Microsoft and has served notice that the long-awaited Acrobat rival, Longhorn – to be released by Microsoft later this year – will face even tougher competition.

    It continues a trend of software companies to consolidate – Symantec bought Veritas, and Oracle acquired PeopleSoft. It is expected to give Adobe Acrobat even more credibility as the transmission format for digital files.

    Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by both boards of directors, Macromedia stockholders will wind up owning approximately 18 percent of the combined company.

    In the combined company, Chizen will continue as chief executive officer and Shantanu Narayen will remain president and chief operating officer. Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Macromedia, will join Adobe as president of worldwide field operations. Murray Demo will remain executive vice president and chief financial officer. Dr. John Warnock and Dr. Charles Geschke will remain as co-chairmen of the Board of Directors of the combined company and Rob Burgess, chairman of the Macromedia Board of Directors, will join the Adobe Board.

    “Both Macromedia and Adobe are passionate about creating and enabling great experiences across a wide range of devices and operating systems,” said Stephen Elop, president and chief executive officer of Macromedia. “Our combined teams will be a powerful force for innovation around cutting-edge platforms for delivering content and applications.”

    The two companies are developing integration plans that build on the cultural similarities and the best business and product development practices from each company.

    “While we anticipate the integration team will identify opportunities for cost savings by the time the acquisition closes, the primary motivation for the two companies’ joining is to continue to expand and grow our business into new markets,” said Chizen.

  • Email drives desktop printing

    According to a report from InfoTrends/CAP Ventures that examines the future of documents in different workgroup environments, e-mail output accounts for 29.2 per cent of the total volume printed while web pages represent 21.5 per cent.

    The report also revealed that paper is no longer the medium of choice in the workgroups surveyed. Paper has become a transient medium according to InfoTrends/CAP, and is being used less and less as a means of maintaining permanent records.

    In related news, the Queensland government has moved to reduce its reliance on printed paper as a method of maintaining records. The government is developing electronic record keeping as part of its plans to reduce annual expenditure by $100 million, selecting Canadian technology business LogicaCMG for the contract.

    All of the Queensland government’s agencies and departments will be serviced by the contract, though the state’s treasurer has so far declined to offer details of the contract’s net worth.

  • Fuji Photo Film boosts Chinese investment

    The plant is slated to go into operation by March 2007, and will be the company’s second PS and CTP plate manufacturing facility in China. (Last year Agfa established a major plate manufacturing plant at Wooshi.)

    Fujifilm confirms demand for printing plates is growing worldwide. The new facility is intended to allow the company to both respond to increases in demand for printing plates in China as well as provide an export centre for the surrounding regions.

    Fujifilm established a local sales firm in Shanghai to deal broadly in graphic systems products like film, PS and CTP plates, prepress equipment and other items. The organisation is operating under the name Fujifilm Starlight Graphic Systems (Shanghai), and will provide different solutions including materials, devices and a means to respond to customer needs.

  • Print strengthens in Australia with web press boom

    Total orders with IPP for MAN Roland web presses in 2004 came to more than $220 million, following the order late last year for a new Regioman newspaper press at a APN News & Media site in Queensland (Yandina).

    IPP managing director Jonathan Clark claims the results represent a bright future for print media in the country. “What is most encouraging is that these orders were spread across all sectors and media types, says Clark. “Everything from metropolitan newspapers to large regional newspapers, smaller regional newspapers as well as magazine and catalogue commercial work.”

    Major web press orders and installations in Australia last year included:

    Rural Press:
    Upgrades at three print sites (North Richmond, Ballarat and Canberra) and one completely new site at Mandurah in Western Australia that is already up and running. The upgrades in NSW, ACT and Victoria are in response to rapidly growing demand for additional colour capacity.

    “This is a fantastic commitment to the on-going importance of print by a media group that has many other interests besides print, but which is still prepared to invest heavily in new press capacity,” says Clark.

    PMP Print:
    The largest single order for new printing presses at Drupa 2004, with six new Lithoman commercial web presses to be installed at different locations. Represents a major re-investment in commercial magazine and catalogue printing from the region’s largest print group.

    APN News & Media:
    A new Regioman newspaper press, the first of its kind in Australia, combined with a Uniset commercial heatset tower, the first time that a double width/single circumference press (4/1 configuration) has been combined with a single width/double circumference press (2/2 configuration) in the same pressline. Represents a landmark installation for regional newspapers.

    News Ltd:
    A complete upgrade to full colour at the Chullora print site, part of a huge worldwide investment program in new print facilities.

    “Rupert Murdoch has stated his confidence in the continued importance of print media and that is reflected in the scale of the new investment in colour capacity being made by News Ltd around the world,” says Clark.

    Clark claims some serious money is being invested in print across Australia, and there’s more to come. “While there’s no doubt that activity in the web market is cyclical, the underlying message is that print is healthy, print is strong and that it is continuing to grow. In the commercial sector, we’re seeing new magazines and creative products on the market, and while circulation figures for newspapers are under pressure, page volumes are growing with more sections being printed. Regional newspapers in particular are doing very well.”

    “The success of MAN Roland and IPP is not an overnight sensation. We’ve worked hard with many of these companies over the years and we’ve managed to demonstrate that our solutions are the most productive and flexible on the market. That’s why MAN Roland is the world leader in web presses and that’s why we’ve been so successful in Australia.”

    “The message we should be reinforcing as an industry on the eve of PacPrint05 is that print is alive and kicking and remains a vital element in all media communications.”

  • EFI snatches up VUTEk for $281m

    The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2005 with the standard regulatory approval, adding revenue of approximately $72 million to EFI’s bottom line. VUTEk is one of the leading suppliers superwide-format digital inkjet machines, and in 2004 reported revenues of approximately $130 million.

    Managing director of EFI Australia Eric Holtsmark claims it is business as usual for EFI and VUTEk in Australia, for the moment at least. “Because the deal has only just been announced, exactly how we’re going to take it to the market in the Asia Pacific region is still being discussed.”

    Holtsmark however asserts that the purchase will almost certainly lead to positive developments for the companies in the region. “As time moves on, we’ll be looking at how we can develop the synergies between the two companies. It’s a great addition to EFI’s portfolio, and offers an opportunity to move into the commercial print market.”

    Currently EFI sells its proofing products in Australia through DES.

    EFI CEO Guy Gecht is also enthusiastic about the opportunities offered to his company by the purchase. “VUTEk will be an excellent addition to EFI’s range of best of breed innovative solutions for the commercial print market,” he says. “There are many natural synergies between EFI’s core expertise in digital printing innovation and VUTEK’s digital inkjet technology.”