Archive for June, 2006

  • Pegasus stamps its mark on stable of companies

    While Pegasus purchased MAPS in 2003 the printer continued to trade under the original name because of its existing customer base. Teldon Print in Rosebery, Sydney, another takeover, was rebranded following its purchase in 2004.

    Pegasus has announced that MAPS will now also be renamed, emphasising the group’s ability to offer consistent services across its three Sydney sites.

    All three companies will now be contained under the Pegasus Print Group brand, with Wayne Finkelde, printing general manager at Pegasus, claiming the new arrangement will allow it to bring a greater service offering to its customers.

    “We have acquired several businesses over the years and initially we decided to keep the original names,” says Finkelde.

    “But we now believe our collective turnover is significant enough to justify our decision to sell our group to the marketplace, rather than try and work as smaller business units. We have three manufacturing sites across the north, south and west of Sydney allowing us comprehensive coverage of the city.”

    Pegasus Print Group says it performs the job at the location that it is best suited to and swaps jobs between sites when the need arises. Communication between management is strong across the group and the IT system has just been upgraded to allow for a common platform.

    The Pegasus Print Group provides clients with a ‘one-stop shop’ for a range of printing requirements including long and short print runs for brochures, reports, manuals, books, magazines and posters, as well as other areas tags, labels, distribution and print management services.

  • Printing Industries NZ slaps on a fresh coat of paint

    The unveiling of the new image was timed to coincide with the first day of Printech 2006 earlier this month and was implemented to emphasise the combined expertise of PrintNZ and PrintNZ Training to provide a single resource centre for the industry.

    Over 100 printing industry members attended the breakfast function at the ASB Showgrounds, with Joan Grace, CEO of PrintNZ, introducing the new brand. Prime Minister Helen Clark was present at the event and commented on the “smart modern look” that the new branding offers.

    “It is great to see such close links between the training and membership organisations – in particular the emphasis placed on industry training. In an industry made up of many small to medium size businesses, it is important that they have the support of industry training,” said Clark in her speech.

    (L to R: Jacob Wentholt, apprentice of the year, Amcor Flexibles Australasia; Grant Chellew, Keith Mackenzie, Simon Ellis and Warren Leslie from PrintNZ; Helen Clark, Prime Minister of NZ; Graham Fear, PrintNZ Training; Joan Grace, PrintNZ/PrintNZ Training CEO; Paul Tolich and Nigel Harrison from PrintNZ Training Board)

    “Government is interested in working with industry to increase skill levels and in particular increase the numbers of modern apprentices. Currently there are 9000 Modern Apprentices in training and it has been refreshing to see employers take to the Modern Apprenticeship scheme after the ‘skills holiday’ of the early 90’s.

    “We hope to have 14,000 Modern Apprentices by 2008. The way to achieve this is to have a strong partnership between Government, business and the individual worker who are committed to training.”

    After the breakfast event the Prime Minister strolled around the exhibition halls talking to exhibitors about their displays and the industry in general.

    For more information on the new brand, including a copy of the new logo and brand guidelines, visit the member’s download page at www.printnz.co.nz.

  • Three weeks to go to ADAPT 2006 in Melbourne

    ADAPT’s platinum sponsor Epson will showcase its range of Pro Graphics Stylus Pro and Stylus Photo printers in addition to the sensational Perfection V700 scanner which, at 6,400dpi resolution and optical density Dmax of 4.0, can comfortably scan film images for gallery-quality digital prints up to B1 and beyond. Reflective images are scanned at 4,800 dpi using a dual-lens system.

    Epson will also present American photographer Matt Hoyle’s ‘Yesterday in America’ gallery of stunning images all printed on Epson printers with Ultrachrome K3 inks.

    Digital art, photo and proofing supplier DES will build on its successful showing at last year’s ADAPT with its range of printers, media and colour management tools. Innova Art’s Fiba Gloss 300gsm paper, fresh from winning the prestigious TIPA award in Europe, will be there along with DES’s extensive range of sheet and roll media for all digital inkjet applications. DES’s sister company Chromaticity Australia will be represented and David Crowther will conduct daily workshops on colour fidelity in printmaking. DES is also an Adobe dealer.

    Canon is new to ADAPT and has hired professional photographer Paul Fennell to conduct 90-minute workshops on art reproduction, image capture, colour management and digital printing. Canon’s EOS digital cameras with full-frame 35mm sensors will be shown along with imagePrograf printers.

    Photo caption: One of ADAPT 05’s entrants in the Awards, this composite shot of Airey’s inlet, VIC is by Geelong photographer Mattew Stevenson.

    New exhibitor Starleaton Digital Solutions will bring the iconic Kodak brand name to pro photographers visiting ADAPT with its range of wide-format inkjet media. Also new on Starleaton’s stand is the Neschen ACCU-18XE liquid coater which applies a protective aqueous layer to digital prints.

    Also new is DGS Mimaki with the range of Mimaki printers and the stunning image quality of the Noritsu Mytis sublimation system. Using this an Kiwa Jet dispersion inks, DGS MImaki can transfer images by sublimation onto aluminium, steel, synthetics and textiles with true photographic quality and amazing colour saturation. When used with Gradess metal substrate, images are grafitti-proof and virtually indestructible for 5-7 years.

    CR Kennedy will give photographers and art reproducers a glimpse of the new 39-Megapixel Hasselblad H2-D39; surely the ultimate digital pro camera system. Kennedy also has a full range of pro lighting and accessories and was appointed Ilford’s digital media distributor earlier this year. Pentax DSLR cameras will also be shown.

    Borge’s Imaging of Sydney and Melbourne is another first-time ‘adapter’ and carries the complete range of pro digital imaging requisites including Nikon, Canon and Epson. Borge’s is setting up a working studio at ADAPT.

    Kayell Australia will again feature the superlative range of Canson-Arches acid free rag media, Epson printers and Colorvision monitor and printer profiling technology. Canson’s Graeme Schwarzinger will present a workshop on using the right papers, and Kayell’s Brenton Barnard will conduct a Colorvision workshop.

    One of giclée art’s pioneers, Ross Coffey of Image Products will be there with Hahnemuhle art papers and his LivePrint art-on-demand concept amongst other goodies.

    Giclée Media Supplies and iMedia round out the giclée offerings and there will be many more products, demonstrations and knowledge-sharing at ADAPT 06 including framing and mat cutting.

    The ADAPT awards will be judged on the first day with four great prize categories from Epson, Canon, DES and Digital Reproduction magazine.

    ADAPT opens at 10am daily on Thursday, Friday and Saturday 13-15 July at Melbourne Park Function Centre, opposite the Rod Laver Arena on Swan St.

    Website is www.adaptshow.com.au

  • New faces and people movements in the industry

    Spicers Paper has appointed Brian Longmore to the role of general manager effective from the beginning of next month. Longmore says he hopes to move Spicers Paper into new business areas whilst still maintaining a strong connection and focus within its current markets.

    Longmore already has an impressive history with the company, having been responsible for creating sales and marketing teams around the county over the past 16 years while also holding national positions in these fields.

    Further to this appointment, Greg Street (pictured right, current general manager of Spicers Paper, has been promoted to the new position of general manager of PaperlinX Merchanting. This role encompasses responsibility for all merchant operations across Australia including Dalton, Spicers Paper and also Dalton Web.

    In addition to his five years experience as general manager at Spicers Paper, Street has also served in senior roles in Daltons and Tomasetti Paper House, and PaperlinX claim that his 30 years of industry experience will be used to develop the group towards continued growth and sophisticated service delivery.

    New faces on Victorian sales team for CPI

    Paul Norton comes direct from the CPI cadet programme and is well known among the company’s customers as one of the friendly voices in sales service. Norton has been promoted the position of sales executive.

    Matt Collins is a former CPI cadet has rejoined the company after a few years away, and brings 15 years of experience in the Victorian market to the sales team.

  • End of financial year good accounting and management housekeeping tips

    This is the right time to look at full financial year reporting, not so much from a general ledger point of view – because that is not usually closed immediately – but from a customer trading perspective.

    And when you have all the information there is a need for management to review and understand exactly how the business has traded throughout the year.

    In the first place, here’s what every good accounts housekeeper should do:

    • Generate a Debtors Aged Balance and review all with amounts above 60 days. Identify those where the company is no longer in business or where it is expected they may be deemed a Bad Debt. Liaise with management/your accountant to ensure that, if appropriate, invoices are credited or written off, this ensures the GST will be taken up in the current year BAS and may reduce tax liability.
    • Review June Statements before they go out to clients and determine if discounts will be given for small underpayments, that all prepayments have been allocated apart from current month ones where work is not yet done, etc. Process any required transactions and then regenerate the Statement for that Debtor.
    • Confirm all Creditors Statements reconcile with your system Balances and follow up those which do not. These need to be resolved in the current year to ensure that accurate actual costs against jobs are carried forward for WIP as at the end of year.
    • Generate a Creditors Aged Balance and review all with amounts outside your usual payment terms. Identify where Credits are to be received and follow up.
    • When reconciling Cash Book/s June 30 check for any unpresented Deposits and confirm correct. Check Unpresented Payments and follow up those long outstanding ones, for those over 12 months old determine action with management/accountant.
    • Confirm the GST Accounts reconciled at the last BAS period, this means that any issues at 30/6/06 are within a single quarter (or month) and will be easier to track.
    • Those companies handling Payroll inhouse as well as those outsourcing to bureaus should have reviewed all state/federal awards, employer and employee registered agreements, both collective and individual, and common law contract with employees to ensure they meet their employer requirements re WorkChoices. A timetable for any outstanding changes should be determined.

    Management Review

    After the above is done, it is time for management to look at:

    • Annual trading reports reviewing by dollar and percentage the customers with the highest turnover of business.
    • Review of Top 10 customers (as above) to look at percentage profit on jobs.
    • Mark up percentage reviews, this is often related to the Days to Pay for a customer over the past 12 months and is a report available in Quote & Print and other packages.
    • Generate financial WIP and Stock On Hand reporting as at 30/6/06 to have accurate figures for accountant if carried on Balance Sheet.
    • Generate reporting for other KPI for management review.
    • Wot’s on this week . . . industry events . . . don’t miss it . . . dates for your diary

      A quiet time on the industry’s calendar this week. Maybe it’s to do with the bout of world cup fever that is sweeping the industry.

    • David Harradine continues his colour management training roadshow. This week he’s in Brisbane: Mon 3 & Tue 4 July.

      After Brisbane he’s in Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Auckland and Christchurch. Check out his links on the Calendar

      If you have an industry event that needs to be added to the Print21 calendar, email me at
      Shaun Hellyer

    • Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand’s (HAN) launches new e-Newsletter

      According to Glenn Plummer, general manager – marketing and product management, the monthly e-Newsletter is an addition, not a replacement to the company’s print-based communication strategy. “Our e-newsletter will by no means reduce our ink on paper marketing collateral,” he said.

      To sign up for your copy click here to read the inaugural HAN e-News.

  • Feedback . . .bloggers … your say … complaints . . . corrections

    From Steve de Vroom.

    If Adobe wish to provide a software verification facility online, to enable companies to do a voluntary self audit, that is fine.

    Adobe licensing compliance goes online

    But if they think that they have the right to compel, coerce or threaten customers to do this, then I suggest that such behaviour should be treated with the contempt that it deserves.

    Too many large corporations these days are looking more and more like dictatorships, making demands of other citizens as if they have some kind of higher authority. Is Adobe prepared to have various members of the graphic arts community demand that they, (Adobe), prove that they haven’t stolen anything from those members? How about a group of printing industry members barging in to Adobe premises, rifling through their computer system just to check whether they are holding any information that they are not entitled to? I don’t think so!

    The formation of the ‘Jack Boot Squad’ some years ago, to perpetrate raids and disrupting private businesses with software audits in order to “protect the interests of their clients”, on the basis of rumour or suspicion, is unacceptable in my view. Demanding that anyone should have to prove that they don’t have stolen goods on their premises would not be tolerated in any other situation and should not be tolerated in this instance. That is the domain of the police working within the laws of our democracy.

    Resorting to such measures by software vendors is an admission of failure to manage their own business challenges. It is the responsibility of the software vendor to provide security for their IP in such a way that doesn’t impose on their customers. The use of online registration and licence verification technology is an inconvenience that the customer should not have to put up with.

    There is a simple solution to software piracy. Use dongles! Hardware keys, or dongles, do the job perfectly and the smarter software companies have successfully adopted this method for over 20 years. Vendors of software licences save time, effort and cost in not having to police their interests and the customers can manage their software licences as if they were tangible assets. Without hardware key protection, software vendors cannot control the black market sales of copies of their products, no matter what they do. I suggest that this is where the bulk of their revenue losses are, not with the professionals within the graphics arts community.

    If the software industry came up with a hardware key standard that allowed a plastic card to be inserted into a multi-slot reader, which connected to a USB port or was built in to the computer, the cost of manufacture of hardware keys would be reduced to a fraction of their present level and the industry would have a ubiquitous, easy to use license management system. It would also open up greater flexibility in targeting a more finely segmented market.

    Some of the basic code library used in the software could even reside on the hardware key, making the downloaded program smaller and more secure. Without the key, the software simply wouldn’t work. Users of the software could take work home or move to another computer, simply by taking the hardware key with them. Now THAT would be a ‘Positive Experience’, Mr Tegel!

    The awkward and non-monitorable compromise that Adobe concedes, by allowing software to be loaded onto two separate computers, on condition that they are not both used simultaneously, would be eliminated. Instead of leaving a “bag of gold” out on the road and then trying to guard it, by adopting hardware protection the money would be in the bank, so to speak.

    Adobe have always been one of the better behaved “large corporations”, when it comes to customer relations and fair play, particularly when compared to some of the other big names in the computer software industry. Descending into these kind of tactics will not solve the problem for Adobe and will simply lose them good will. If you go around insulting your main client base and creating bad will, something unfortunate will eventually occur, as a former leader in page makeup software is now discovering.

    Steven de Vroom

  • Agfa splits three ways in $429m cost cutting plan

    The new materials business will be responsible for all film manufacturing and other niche ‘specialty products’, with Agfa to position is as an independent supplier of all film and related products. It claims the new structure will allow each business the flexibility to implement its growth strategy and reduce costs in line with the changing market circumstances.

    Garry Muratore, regional marketing manager for Agfa Graphic Systems, says that customers in Australia and New Zealand can expect little or no change in their dealings with the company.

    “Because Agfa Graphics strongly believes in the power of the printed medium, we absolutely want to continue delivering innovative digital technologies to the market place,” says Muratore. “We do not intend to stop investing in the development and the release of new products. Our continuation of global leadership in complete prepress solutions and high-level service, and our continued expansion into industrial inkjet and in emerging markets can only but benefit local customers and markets,” he says.

    The company claims the move is in line with its recent evolution from an analogue imaging enterprise over to a digital imaging and IT services provider. It emphasises the fact that the Graphics and HealthCare groups have operated independently since the beginning of 2006.

    Agfa confirms its Graphics division has a target of growing to become a $3.26 billion business by 2008. It will develop its plans to streamline the organisations over the next two months and present them at the end of August along with its distinct strategies for the three groups, with the appropriate structures to be implemented by early 2007.

  • The salvation of Soy – magazine article

    Typical mineral-based inks are problematic for a number of reasons, primarily because they give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that not only damage the environment but can also create an unhealthy working environment for printers. Vegetable-based alternatives are not always considered on par with the traditional choice, but the elite of Australia’s green printing companies now swear by them.

    David Fuller from Focus Press found sourcing an eco-friendly ink alternative one of the most difficult parts of his green agenda, but eventually discovered that soy-based inks are superior for a number of reasons. While they are a third more expensive, after calibrating it on the presses he found that usage was also reduced by a third, effectively evening out the cost equation.

    It does not end there – according to Fuller the soy option actually offers printers a better final result. Because soy-based ink is manufactured from vegetable content, the vegetable oil that carries the pigment is very nearly clear, as opposed to the dirty colour of the oil in traditional inks.

    “This definitely carries across,” says Fuller. “It became obvious that soy offers better print, and the reduced ink volume means water use is lowered as well.”

    Delivery is vital

    Focus Press utilise an innovative ink solution. The company imports its soy ink from Japanese manufacturer NIK by the container load, and uses a cartridge system to minimise wastage. The technique is driven by compressed air with a plunger, meaning that every last drop is squeezed out.

    “With the cartridge delivery system, waste is less than one per cent, which accounts for a huge difference,” says Fuller. “The delivery system is probably more important than the ink itself.”

    However, not everybody shares the opinion that soy and other vegetable-based inks are more cost effective. Rodney Wade, technical manager at Finsbury Green says yield is a complex issue, and does not subscribe to the theory that vegetable-based inks require a third less volume. But he agrees that it brings better print results.

    “Printing with soy inks can be very challenging, but if you manage to nail it the results are fantastic,” says Wade. “The colours are often cleaner and brighter, because of the way in which the ink lays on the sheet and that it contains very little mineral solvent.”

    T&K Toka is the brand of ink used by Finsbury Green, supplied to the company through AM International, the consumables division of Currie. Inks from T&K Toka carry full soy accreditation, with the manufacturer also responsible for supplying a range of Soy Pantones and Varnishes to the Australian market.

    DIC Colortron offers both the Eco-Process range which is 97 per cent free of solvents, and the Fusion G soy inks that contain around 15 per cent soy content. The company has offered the ‘box’ delivery system for two years, but claims the take up from printers has been below what it had hoped for.

    The local division of the Flint Group offer several ranges of environmentally friendly sheetfed inks, including the Arrowstar Pantones and the Novastar Range of vegetable-based inks, as well as the soy-based Arrowforms selection that holds the SOY SEAL qualification from the American Soybean Association.

    Siegwerk Australia points to its Tempo Perfect series of vegetable-based sheetfed inks as the best representation of its approach to green print. The inks have attained the Nordic Green Swan certification, a labelling system designed to clearly identify products considered the least harmful to the environment.

    Choice Inks’ Robert Vlasveld imports Korean A.S. Ink with high vegetable content, and reckons they cost no more than mineral-based inks.

    Eco-friendly inks are like any other part of the printing process. On the surface going green appears to be a headache, but putting in the hard yards delivers results. In this instance the rewards are lower landfill, better quality print and potentially higher yields, prospects to which printers would find it hard to say no.

    CLARIFICATION: When this article appeared in the print version of Print21 it incorrectly stated that Toyo Ink is the supplier to Finsbury Green, when in fact T&K Toka is the ink that is supplied through AM International.

  • gets its say over ‘annual reports’ law

    The proposed legislation will change the requirements for printed annual reports in favour of electronic delivery, with printed reports only provided to investors who specifically request them. Following its open call to the industry to take action over the issue, Philip Andersen, CEO Printing Industries and national president, Peter Lane, held a meeting with Nick Minchin, minister for finance and administration and MP Chris Pearce, parliamentary secretary to the treasurer charged with drafting the legislation.

    Andersen said the meetings were “positive” and “encouraging” with the government listening to industry concerns over the lack of consultation and receptive to alternative approaches that would lessen the negative impact on the printing industry while also minimizing costs to business.

    “We have suggested that a more concise, marketing focused hardcopy annual report would serve the interests of business by minimizing costs and presenting a positive, marketing oriented image,” says Andersen. “Comprehensive reports including all the statutory reporting requirements could then be made available online.

    “Our case also stressed some security issues which the government need to take into consideration and the need for a phase in period which would benefit our industry. This was well received. We were able to get assurances that there would be no rush to introduce the legislation and that consultation would now continue with Printing Industries during the legislative drafting process.”

    Andersen says he hopes to build on these outcomes during the next meeting on 19 July with Fran Bailey, federal minister for small business and tourism.

    A coalition of affected industry companies has also been formed as part of a strategy to raise the profile of the issue. The coalition includes printers, designers and paper suppliers, and is planning to consistency lobby Canberra in support of ongoing consultation with Printing Industries.

    “In addition we will be working with representatives of other stakeholders at a forum to be held later this year, to develop a compromise position,” says Andersen.

  • Phil Chambers hands over to Andy Lambert at Fuji Xerox Australia

    After 35 years with the company, the past eight as managing director of FX in Australia, – the first 15 with Rank Xerox in the UK – the 58-year-old is handing over active management on Friday and officially leaving the company at the end of July. His departure marks the end of an era of innovation and growth for the industry’s leading digital equipment supplier.

    Having posted a high level of growth with a 12 per cent increase in revenue to approximately $630 million, fuelled by a 17 per cent increase in equipment sales and a continuing switch to colour printing, the company is at a crucial high-water mark in current market conditions. It is especially facing increasing competition in its dominance of the production digital printing market as other companies attempt catch-up.

    This has prompted Fuji Xerox to focus on further developing its burgeoning Global Services division, which, at around $60 million, now accounts for 10 per cent of turnover, resulting from an annual growth rate for the sector last year of 40 per cent. The company has around 50 major ITC contracts, mainly among the blue-chip companies such as Deloitte, Deacons, EDS and Rockdale City Council, Woolworths and a host of large multi-nationals.

    Some of this growth in the services sector has arisen from global contracts, where international corporations, especially American, require their subsidiaries to standardise their document processes which has been partly driven by the onerous regulatory requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley laws – the US law passed in 2002 to strengthen corporate governance. Japanese companies also have their own version of enhanced governance in JSOX.

    Besides having to meet the reporting requirements itself, the multiplication of documents provides a major business opportunity for Fuji Xerox, which still likes to refer to itself as The Document Company. “And you must remember a document for us does not have to be printed,” said Chambers.(pictured above)

    Ironically now that Japan is starting to catch up on the economic opportunities in document services, Fuji Xerox is turning to its Australian subsidiary to find out how it is done. “We’re a lot more advanced in the consulting and services sector than any other overseas subsidiary and by far the largest subsidiary in Fuji Xerox,” says Chambers.

    Fuji Xerox currently has 260 people working in its services sector in Australia.

    Colour is the growth engine

    Apart from services the other major growth driver for Fuji Xerox at present is the rise of colour digital printing. Colour now accounts for approximately 50 per cent of the company’s print revenues with an installation growth rate of 31 per cent in office colour and eight per cent in production. Volumes have grown by 150 – 160 per cent over the past three years. It is the major force behind Fuji Xerox’s spectacular growth rates in the latter part of Phil Chambers’ tenure.

    But to Andy Lambert (pictured right) growth is only part of the equation. He is firmly focused on the sustainability of the company and was a major force behind the publication last year of its first Sustainability Report. “Sustainability is key,” he says. “Of course growth is important but there is no point if you don’t have a business model that will see you through to the next five, ten, fifteen years.”

    He admits that pressures on margins are growing and concedes the growth and profit trends of the past few years are going to be a challenge, but he is sanguine about the next phase of Fuji Xerox’s development. “We are preparing for the next wave of development. There is some pretty exciting technology coming in the next few years. I believe there are plenty of opportunities ahead,” he said.

    Phil Chambers is widely recognised for his leadership within the company. He has been especially been singled out by Fuji Xerox head office to implement the regional roll out of the company’s epicenters, locations of digital printing excellence in Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo based on the Australian original in Sydney. He is well known for his people management skills and has infused the company with a personal management ethos. Every quarter he communicated in some detail to the staff with a report on how they and the company was faring. It is a HR institution that Andy Lambert intends to continue.

    While Chambers is heading out of the industry he still believes digital printing is a good business environment for people to enter, especially through established Bureaus, or franchise chains such as Snap, Kwik Kopy and Worldwide. “It’s essential to know what you’re doing and these chains provide a lot of back up.”

    But he has no intention himself of going into the business.

    “I’m taking some time off and looking at a number of options. ”

    Chambers is leaving the business at a time when Fuji Xerox is in a very strong position and well positioned to maintain its reputation as the leader in document management products and services.

  • Shockwave – Adobe goes googling

    Adobe’s Macromedia Shockwave Player installation process for Internet Explorer on Window will now be able to access the Toolbar. With over 200 million downloads to date, the Macromedia Shockwave Player is the Web standard for multimedia playback.

    Available for free, the Shockwave Player allows users to view interactive Web content such as games, business presentations, entertainment, and advertisements from a Web browser. Hundreds of thousands of Shockwave Players are downloaded every day, and Shockwave Player is installed on more than 55 percent of internet-enabled desktops.

    The Google Toolbar is a free download that adds a Google search box to a Web browser, so users can access Google search capabilities from any Website. The Toolbar also includes features that make browsing more efficient – such as suggestions as you type in the search box, a spellchecker, and a pop-up blocker.

    “As leaders in our respective market categories, it’s fitting for Adobe and Google to work together to improve the ways customers engage with ideas and information,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and chief operating officer at Adobe.

    “Our customers will benefit from the power and convenience of the Google Toolbar, and the popularity and reach of Adobe technology gives Google even broader exposure to a growing base of consumers. We expect the agreement to represent significant revenue to Adobe over a period of years.”

    “Adobe customers are some of the most savvy, enthusiastic consumers of Web content, and we think they’ll love the fact that Google Toolbar will let them take the power of Google search with them anywhere on the Web,” said Omid Kordestani, senior vice president of global sales and business development at Google.

    “Adobe and Google are teaming up to help users more easily and quickly find the ever-increasing sources of information that are important to them.”

  • Ten digital presses at one site – why, who and what? News commentary by Andy McCourt

    A total of ten Nexpress 2100+ presses, with an order value of around $8 million, will be installed at the Hampshire, UK headquarters of FSP Ltd – a company formed in 2005 to address the HIP (Home Information Pack) market where all house sellers will be obliged to provide a comprehensive report on the condition and title status of their property. FSP stands for First Seller’s Pack.

    FSP started with two trial Nexpress 2100 presses in early 2006 and placed the order for another eight at Ipex in April. Managing director Martin Trusccott has no intention of addressing the wider commercial print market: “FSP was not formed to, and has no intention of, handling conventional print, or even the digital equivalent of it. The Nexpress presses have been acquired for the explicit purpose of the production of the information packs that all house owners will be required to have if they want to sell their property from June 1st 2007.”

    HIPs effectively transfer a substantial part of the onus of home surveying from the buyer to the seller. It is estimated the end cost for an HIP will be between $900 and $1500 – indicating that print costs are a minor part of the end product. Think of an HIP as a car ‘Roadworthy certificate’ but for a home. As with cars, you won’t be able to sell a home in the UK without one from next year and many sellers are already using them. The aim is to eliminate gazumping (where a third party out-bids a buyer who has already made an offer and incurred costs), by accelerating the offer-to-sale contract stage.

    The print market for HIPs is huge and FSP aim to garner 60per cent of it with their ten Nexpresses. FSP has also invested in design, language translation, bindery and delivery systems. The company is praiseworthy of Kodak’s responsiveness to their specialist digital printing needs:

    “Kodak has created some very clear solutions with Nexpress. The print quality is equal to that produced on a traditional litho press while its speed, versatility and reliability give us the ability to deliver the finished HIP product. Kodak has listened to, understood and meet our needs right from the print fulfillment requirements and financial packaging through to the finishing options,” concludes Truscott.

    The news of the world’s largest Kodak Nexpress order came two days after the release of a Pira (Printing Industry Research Association), study by Frank Romano that shows digital printing – currently around 10per cent of all printing – will reach 30per cent by 2015 for a total global market of around $208 billion. (Extrapolating this to Australia/New Zealand at a typical 2per cent of world market and we have a AUD$4.16 billion digital print sector in 8 years time.) It also shows that the number of offset, flexo and gravure printing presses operating worldwide will almost halve from an estimated 1.15 million presses in 2005 to 674,000 by 2015. This far-reaching study is available from Pira at AUD$8,750 (GBP£3,500) Email: stephen.hill@pira-international.com

    My call:
    It’s yet another example of digital’s unstoppable march into niche, versioned and variable printing. FSP’s investment can be considered an ‘inplant’ in many senses of the definition. They are not printers, they are servicing a specific business sector and they bring in specialist knowledge and skills that result in the value of the printed product far exceeding the material costs of ink and paper.

    How many other sectors can benefit from this lateral-thinking approach? Direct marketing is of course one but there must be many others that can create print markets that weren’t there before, or are currently serviced electronically. At Ipex, another UK digital printer, Ravensworth, announced it was ordering more Xeikon presses to service its real-estate customers. Ravensworth’s average print runs are 20-155 A4 copies with anything up to 2,500 ‘make-readies’ per day. In one week, Ravensworth produced over 2 million impressions – and sheet 1 was sold for the same price as sheet 2 million. Think about that.

    It’s also confirmation of the tenet that digital printing is not a direct substitute for offset – it creates opportunities of its own. It does of course impact on offset but not because a job once printed offset shifts to digital – it’s because customer demands are moving from mass production of the same items to smaller runs of variable, dynamic and targeted print.

    Here’s a scary statistic – the Pira report predicts that 50per cent of all labels will be digitally printed by 2015. Half the market! Also, DM digital print will grow from $3.1 billion in 2005 to $14.3 billion by 2015.

    2015 is just two Drupas and two Ipex’s away – there is time for all farmer-printers to plant their fields with fertile digital seeds and get their share of this once-in-a-lifetime growth opportunity. What’s more, short-run variable print delivered JITNOT (just in the nick of time), is hard, if not impossible, to offshore.

    Look out for the definitive digital trends report in August Print 21 magazine.

  • Stream expands into promotional products

    Andrew Price, chief executive officer of Stream, claims the purchase will allow his company to offer an extra dimension to its portfolio, “Key to Stream’s success is our ability to expand services to meet the ever increasing requirements of customers,” says Price. “Promotional goods are a natural extension of Stream’s print management capabilities and we look forward to offering this expertise to potential and existing customers,” he says.

    Promotional goods can now be managed in the same manner as printed products and the supplier management system of Stream will be expanded to include the suppliers of Protocol. Stream is also promising to lower administrative costs for customers by offering consolidated billing and reporting for printing and promotional products.

    Price emphasises the similarities between the two companies: both offer sophisticated online systems, an extensive network of suppliers, offices in Hong Kong to competitively source products and a range of industry specialists on hand to assist customers in their purchasing.

    Heather Quinn-Jackson, managing director of Protocol, established the company 19 years ago and has since provided promotional services to major companies across the finance, insurance and consumer sectors in Australia.

  • Job of the week: Instructor – Post Press, Melbourne

    Reporting to the Team Leader – Instructors and as an integral member of the Customer Support team, this position is responsible for the provision of a high level of internal and external customer service. This consists of primarily technical advice, and effective hands on training and demonstrations of post press solutions to assist with sales along with equipment installations of equipment for the Heidelberg Post Press Solution of products and services in conjunction with Account Managers and other Customer Support colleagues.

    Working as part of a team, responsibilities include (but not limited to) providing technical training for Customers, Sales and other Customer Support employees for post press equipment, performing client demonstrations to internal and external customers for new and second-hand equipment, providing technical support for service contracts , and identifying new post press product training requirements for internal and external customers.

    The successful candidate will have a diploma or trade certificate along with a well established career in the graphic arts industry, ideally using a variety of Heidelberg supplied post press solutions. Solid problem solving and demonstration skills are essential to this role, as are your excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both verbal and written). In addition, you will have a strong commitment to internal and external customer service. A current drivers licence, computer literacy and proficiency with the Microsoft Office Software suite along with demonstrated experience working in an effective team environment are fundamental for the role.

    A competitive remuneration package will be offered including salary and car allowance, based on qualifications and experience.

    Applications including covering letter and resume should be directed via email to: Sarah Keating, Human Resources:

    sarah.keating@heidelberg.com

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    To view more printing and graphic arts career positions click here for Print21 Online employment section.

  • Heidelberg cuts the ribbon on new Adelaide premises

    After five years in Wingfield, the decision to relocate to Thebarton was based on Heidelberg’s desire to be closer to its customers, as well as the need for a premises offering enhanced showroom and warehousing facilities.

    Andy Vels Jensen, managing director of Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand, officially declared the new office ‘open for business’, delivering the opening speech and cutting the ribbon.

    The opening was followed by a ‘Post Ipex Inforum’, offering customers the chance to learn about the new technologies and innovations exhibited by Heidelberg in Birmingham during April. The forum featured presentations on prepress, press, and postpress innovations including the new Prinect JDF workflow, Anicolor Inking System, and the ST450 saddlestitcher.

    Andre Carrison, Gillingham Printers, claimed at the event that it was great to see the new offices and labelled the Ipex presentations as timely.

    “It was a great overview of the Expo and left enough time for me to catch up with a large number of industry colleagues, which was fantastic,” said Carrison.

    The Thebarton office is in a business park only ten minutes from the airport, which the company claims facilitates next flight pick-ups and drop-offs of spare parts and offers it even greater efficiencies in customer support.

    Currently on display in the Adelaide showroom is the Polar 78XT and Printmaster PM 52-2 press.