Archive for December, 2006

  • Great PrintEx03 deals from CyraChrome

    PrintEx03 is an exhibition of sentimental value to CyraChrome since it was the fledgling company’s first trade exhibition back in 1999. With a huge PacPrint in-between and having just celebrated its fifth birthday, CyraChrome is exhibiting at PrintEx03 on Stand #65 with double the space it had in ‘99.

    “As was the case in 1999, we are at the rear of Hall 1, close to the bars and cafes. It’s a similar position but this time we have taken the whole island of stand 65,” says marketing director Andy McCourt (pictured). “And to celebrate further, nothing on our stand will be at list price. We believe in adding value to your visit and this will be reflected in the deals we will be offering and negotiating for the duration of PrintEx03.”

    And what will these deals be, asks Print 21Online?

    “My understanding is that some of our erstwhile competitors also read this online bulletin, “ McCourt smiles. “So if you don’t mind, I’d like to keep our powder dry until May 29th. Rest assured the savings and incentives will be highly attractive and the byword for our sales people will be ‘negotiate’.”

    CyraChrome’s aim is to put some ‘Show’ back into the trade show business.

    “For a printer, designer or publisher to take time out from his work or leisure to attend Printex he or she must be rewarded with value. This can be in knowledge gained, trends spotted, technology fixes or cold hard cash savings. CyraChrome intends to deliver a combination of all of these.

    “PrintEx03 is a great exhibition and I believe the timing is just right for the industry. Investment has been slow for the past 6 months and there is a lot of pent-up demand out there. Our intention and commitment is to do business at the show, with customers getting great benefits that will last for a long time after,” McCourt concludes.

    The number ‘five’ looms large for CyraChrome. Five years old, five product groups, stand sixty-five and the release of version 5.0 of its flagship ORIS ColorTuner proofing Rip.

    Highlights of stand 65 are:

    • New Canon large format printers from A3 to B0, including the first Australian look at the new Bubblejet W8200, a 44” (1118mm) inkjet printer that becomes a B0 proofer when driven by ColorTuner 5.0. Canon W7200 and W7250-based ColorTuner proofers are 3DAP approved.
    • A pigment-ink version of the Canon W8200 aimed at the signage, digital art and display markets
    • The new larger-format SpinJet imposition proofers. Adding to the success of the 36” SpinJet 1000, CyraChrome will feature a model using the HP 5500 engine, available in 42” and 60” widths. New materials from DuPont extend SpinJet’s applications into the dual-sided signage area.
    • ColorTuner version 5.0 will be driving Epson 2100, 7600 and 9600 printers for 3DAP approved contract proofs. ColorTuner can also be seen on Epson’s own stand.
    • ORIS Workflow and Page PDF editing from CGS Publishing Technologies, will be demonstrated on both the CyraChrome stand and the Ferag stand, linked to a Luescher XPose! 130 CtP device.
    • A Tiara Opal 46 solvent inkjet printer will be making banners with a 3 year outdoor life using environmentally-safe solvent inks.
    • StarProof – a halftone dot Rip from Compose Systems, will be seen proofing Flexo Packaging jobs, driving an Epson 7600 printer.
    • Doctor Graphics inkjet media – samples and swatchbooks will be available for this ISO 9001 approved media that represents great value as well as quality.
    • RealTime Proof – this online proofing system will be regularly demonstrated in the mini-theaterette on stand 65.

    Representatives from all CyraChrome’s state offices will be present – ready to do deals!

  • DocuProof 1250: taking colour accuracy to new heights

    Fuji Xerox Australia has launched the DocuProof 1250, partnering a Kodak Polychrome Graphics’ Matchprint Professional Server IIx with the Xerox DocuColor 1250 digital colour printer.

    “In-house, short-run printing with true colour accuracy is possible with this solution,” said Henryk Kraszewski, Fuji Xerox Australia’s Production Colour Manager (pictured).

    “Customers can produce in-house colour proofs accurate to the trusted Matchprint proofing standard, delivered on our exclusive co-branded Color Laser Proofing Papers. The DocuProof 1250 not only expands their capabilities, but also their revenue potential by delivering even more value to clients.”

    Patented Matchprint colour technology and interface software from Kodak Polychrome Graphics makes it simple to achieve fantastic colour results before, during and after printing. The smart user interface allows users to prioritise and manage jobs at queue and change file output parameters at RIP for reprint. Further to this, the interface will also apply pre-defined settings to new jobs, reprocess files from the job log and also export jobs.

    Other key features of DocuProof 1250 include:

    • SWOP certified
    • Pantone licensed
    • Fast RIP times
    • Quick, simple calibration using three-step Color Locking technology – ensuring consistent output on a variety of media
    • A job log, which lets users track the job accounting number for charge-backs and track the number of copies, pages, and sets produced
    • Support for today’s most popular graphic arts file formats
    • Full job recovery
    • Variable data support

      “The Matchprint Professional Server IIx from Kodak Polychrome Graphics combined with Fuji Xerox’s DocuColor 1250 really is a perfect match,” said Kraszewski.

      “The DocuProof 1250 is the total solution that so many customers have been waiting for and will guarantee that our customers’ output will simulate the exact colour intricacies of the final printed piece, time and time again.”

      On show at PrintEx
      The DocuProof 1250 will be launched at this year’s PrintEx, May 29-31, Darling Harbour, Sydney, where it will be on display at the Fuji Xerox stand.

      Henryk Kraszewski,

      Ph: 02 9856 5000

    • Changing Times – The Quote & Print perspective

      Printers face a tough challenge in adapting to the shifting customer demands and technology increases of a rapidly changing industry. Mark Whitmarsh (pictured), industry consultant and long time user of Quote and Print software, offers printers advice on what they can do to fight the battle and keep up with the changing times.

      There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
      It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
      For the times they are a-changin’.

      These are lines from Bob Dylan’s famous song and I would suggest that you all take the time to get hold of the words and have a read of them without the music in the background. Think about them in respect to your business.

      There would be very few print companies in Australia today that have not felt the impacts of “the battle” and “the changing times”. Print companies battle against decreasing margins, lessening profits and the rising costs of keeping up with technology. Which technology do they go with? William Gates III (Bills Gates-Microsoft) wrote in his autobiography that business will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50 years, and all because of digital technology.

      This is a changing market place: a shrinking market place where meeting customers’ demand and expectations, quick turnaround times and a shortage of skilled staff is a reality. I could mention another half dozen more issues that impact your business but you already know them. Get used to the rationalization, acquisitions, mergers and insolvency for these are more of “the changing times”, which are already happening in Europe and America.

      There are many print owners who believe “the battle” is lost, being conquered or acquired would be a blessing in disguise for some, but again they are further crushed and disappointed when they realize their “blood, sweat and tears” is not worth as much as they thought.

      Fortifying your fortress of print

      So for those ready to stand and fight and protect their fortress there are some basic things you need to get in order. Look at your Business Plan and ask yourself whether it is relevant to “the changing times”. Do you have clear goals and objectives defined and will the strategies presently in place be effective? Does your company have direction? Most importantly, ensure that others within your organization understand where you want to go and what you want to achieve.

      If you are going to war make sure your army is following you!

      What is your Market Segmentation? Who are your customers? Where do they come from? How do you get more? What’s your market niche? Can you develop a market niche? Who are your competitors? Do you have a Marketing Plan? If you don’t have a Marketing Plan then develop one real quick!

      I am absolutely amazed by the number of print companies who do not have a Business Plan or Marketing Plan down on paper as a formal business document. If you only have these in your head then you are not serious about your business.

      Each morning before you put the key in the front door and open up do you know what amount of revenue you need to generate to cover your operating costs? If you don’t you are in a minefield, so tread carefully. Call upon the services of an expert (your Accountant) to develop a solid Financial Plan for your business. Get a fix on your cost. Put in place budgets and stick to them otherwise you are back in the minefield. Review on a regular basis the hourly rates for your machines and labour costs. There is a Chinese proverb that say’s something along the lines of “know yourself and you will win all wars”.

      These are business basics that you can use, they can be simple or involved depending on your organization. They are principles of business management, they are taught at Universities, TAFE and learning Colleges throughout Australia and the world.

      A serious MIS solution

      Once you have these basics get yourself a serious Management Information System. For example, if a company has Quote & Print as their MIS, I could walk in off the street with no prior knowledge of the organization, get on their system and within 10 minutes I can tell the directors of that company more about their business than they most likely know. That is how powerful and immediate this system is.

      I do not believe you can run a print company in these times effectively and efficiently without a serious MIS. You need your information now! At the press of a button you can have the “full story”! What I mean by a “serious” MIS is one that your business can go “somewhere with”, one that will grow and evolve with your business and not one that restricts and holds your business back. Importantly in business in these times you need to be creative, innovative and be able to sell yourself, make sure you are unique. You will not stop what is happening so you better prepare for it.

      The line it is drawn
      The curse it is cast
      The slow one now
      Will later be fast
      As the present now
      Will later be past
      The order is
      Rapidly fadin’.
      And the first one now
      Will later be last
      For the times they are a-changin’.

      Mark Whitmarsh is a long-time South Australian-based Quote & Print User who, with his consulting business, has had the opportunity to review previous and current business practices.

    • Currie Group’s Technology Event in Melbourne

      Next week the Currie Group throws open its Melbourne showroom over three days 25-27 March at 254-260 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.

      Guests will be able to see practical and informative demonstrations of the Currie Group’s latest CtP, digital printing and finishing equipment throughout the week to gain an insight into today’s printing market.
      On show will be:

      • HP Indigo press 3000, the most productive digital press on the market, on display in our Melbourne showroom for the very first time.
      • The Victorian launch of the Mako 2 CtP system, the most economical A3 and A2 metal CtP plate system on the market.
      • The Stitchliner 5500 bookletmaker, able to collate with high productivity, as well as saddle stitch & three knife trim in one pass.

      Sessions are on at:

      • Tuesday 25th March 11:00am 1:00pm 3:00pm
      • Wednesday 26th March 11:00am 1:00pm 3:00pm 6:00pm
      • Thursday 27th March 11:00am 1:00pm 3:00pm

      Be sure to pop your business card into the draw to win a lucky door prize of a HP digital camera at the end of the event.

      More information from Bernie Robinson or Felicity Webb on 1800 338 131 or

    • Two young Australians win gold in Agfa’s global design contest

      Australian graphic arts students Sarah Birks, from Ballarat University, and Andrew Koch, from Southbank Institute in Queensland, are among ten Gold and four Platinum award recipients chosen from over 1000 entries in Agfa’s Young Creatives Contest.

      Design, graphic arts, and photography students between the ages of 17 and 30 from around the world were invited to submit a packaging design with the theme The Time of Your Life. Over 90 entries were received from Australian students alone.

      The package, for a promotional watch giveaway, included a folding box, a label for a tin can (which would hold the watch), and a sticker for the top of the tin. Agfa supplied the templates for the three items, which entrants could download from the AYCC website.

      Andrew’s inspiration for his design was his father – “having time out with my old man,” said Andrew. “I went on a trip to Adelaide with Dad about ten years ago, driving all the way. We went through a few towns and along a lot of desert roads,” he explained. He used the many images from that experience – road signs, windmills, petrol bowsers – in his Road Trip design.

      For Sarah, time spent with her grandmother when she was young was her inspiration. “Nana used to take me and my brothers and sisters shopping. As a treat, she’d buy us each a ‘jelly-in-a-cup’ and when we got home we would sit in front of the TV and watch cartoons or colour-in while we ate our jellies,” Sarah said. “I had fond memories of that and, as the contest asked for a unique time, I though it was appropriate.”

      Sarah and Andrew entered the Agfa contest as part of their course assessments. Both winners’ educational institutions, Ballarat University and Southbank Institute, have produced previous Young Creatives Contest winners with each having students who have won Platinum and Gold awards.

      Sarah is in her final year of her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Graphic Design/Multimedia) degree at Ballarat University. She has a keen interest in publication design, particularly fashion design magazines and would like to find work in this area after she graduates next year. She also hopes to spend some time working and travelling overseas.

      Andrew completed his two-year Diploma in Graphic Design course at Southbank Institute of TAFE last year, where he was also awarded his graduating class’s Folio of the Year prize. He has recently enjoyed doing contract design work for surf clothing company Voodoo Dolls and is looking forward to finding further work in the graphic arts field.

      The Agfa Young Creatives Contest was conceived six years ago. By targeting young people, the contest aimed to stimulate their interest in graphic arts and help to educate them in the intricacies of the production process. Since its initiation, thousands of students from over 25 countries have participated in the yearly design challenge.

      For this year’s contest, an international jury (comprising graphic arts, packaging and print specialists) selected four Platinum-award winners and 10 Gold-award winners. Platinum award recipients won a trip to Europe in February to participate in graphic arts workshops, etc. and had their designs made into actual promotional packaging for a watch give-away. Gold-award winners received samples of their wristwatch packages, and a high-quality publication on graphic arts and design.

    • Printready – the JDF work flow designed for the print room

      Since it started shipping in June this year, the Heidelberg Prinect Printready System is transforming the industry’s concept of digital workflow effectiveness. The Printready System, part of the Prinect concept, is the most recent development in the Heidelberg vision of multiple modules working together to optimise workflow in the printing plant.

      According to Colin McKenzie, Product Manager CTP and Workflow (pictured), Printready is a complete system that transcends the barriers between different parts of the production process. “Unlike other recently released workflows, Printready is not just a prepress product, but a total workflow system designed specifically for the print room.
      CTP and workflow have a common goal – preparation of plates for the press. The pressroom is the major profit centre, so providing printing plates that are prepared correct and consistent from job to job is a major benefit. This is where Printready excels," he said.

      This view is reinforced by Dr. Peter Leu, Head of Product Management Prinect who says the Printready System is an important step towards integrating all processes from prepress to press and finishing in order to make the overall procedure more productive and cost-effective. “The new solution is fully modular, in line with the basic principle of Prinect, so that customers can select individual components and add them to the overall system depending on their specific requirements. The Prinect Printready System provides the opportunity to map and automate all the prepress tasks in a freely configurable, digital workflow.”

      Designed for Printers from the ground up
      The Printready System has been designed by Heidelberg for use by printers – its use of JDF as an internal format being one of main distinctive features. JDF, (Job Definition Format) has the promise to automate the entire print production, from order entry and administration through to logistics. Heidelberg, being the only manufacturer of equipment used in all parts of the printing processes, is able to conduct all necessary R&D and testing in-house, rather than hoping it will work during beta testing.
      JDF can describe almost any part of a print job, from the type of fonts required, through to paper weight, and folding scheme. This description cannot only do presetting of the press and the finishing process, but can also deliver an audit of what happened. This enables companies to determine their profitability by job or profit centre with higher degrees of accuracy.

      How easy is it?
      Printready is easy to set up and use. Training time compared to previous PDF based workflow requires is working out at around half as long. Adding further modules is also a breeze, The Component Self-Integrator (CoSI) automatically recognizes and integrates newly added modules into the system. The user unlocks the chosen add-on using a license key and thanks to CoSI-Technology the new functions instantly appears at every workstation with a Printready desktop. The workflow solution is scaleable at any time, since the combination of all its components together forms a communication unit.

      Printready – a modular architecture
      Printready works by distributing software components within client/server architecture. The Printready desktop controls and accesses all engine modules. Process steps for the job in hand are performed automatically according to customized workflow plans by the Printready engine. Preset templates for standard jobs are established by Heidelberg and the client upon installation. Subsequent modification can be performed at any time – tailor-made for every user.
      Plug-ins for Acrobat and stand-alone applications are also available for interactive operation at the desktop.

      Engine Modules
      The Engine Modules consist of the MetaDimension software RIP, now JDF-compatible, plus other software components, such as the Normaliser, Preflighter and Archiver that automatically process the jobs using predefined parameters. MetaDimension is a variable interface to proofers, CtF and CtP.
      The well-known Heidelberg trap engine is now used for the Printready Trapper. The same engine is used for the interactive Acrobat Plug-in Supertrap.
      The Color Carver module is a new feature. Based on the Color Management from Heidelberg, it automatically ensures reliable colour processing ready for printing. These features are also available in an interactive version of the new Acrobat Plug-in Supercolor. The familiar SignaStation imposition software version 8.0 is also available in interactive form. PitStop Professional and Instant PDF from Enfocus are available as additional supplements.

      Colour Management is a key component
      Colour management can also be handled differently, depending on the job or customer’s workflow requirements. The automated engine module, named Color Carver, or a brand new Heidelberg Acrobat 6.x plug-in, SuperColor. Heidelberg’s new Acrobat plug-in ensures colour fidelity in PDF documents. Supercolor extends the company’s expertise and tools for colour management, using Heidelberg’s "Color Matching Method" (CMM), which experts praise for its excellent colour management results. Supercolor is an Acrobat plug-in that can be used on both Mac and PC.
      Supercolor is suitable for all users who need to process PDF documents with professional results and absolute colour fidelity for output in offset printing, digital printing and Web publishing as well as for CD ROM productions. Supercolor supports ISO standard PDF/X-3, the new PDF specification optimised for print output.

      Supercolor can eliminate the problems that can occur – particularly during printing – when using colours from the PDF colour spaces. Supercolor checks PDFs for all the colour spaces, ICC profiles and special colours used. This provides a reliable means of identifying potential sources of error quickly. Supercolor shows all colours and colour spaces used in the PDF and enables them to be processed individually:
      Both Supercolor and Supertrap are available as trial demo versions via the Heidelberg web site,

      Integration with existing equipment
      Printready can be integrated to an existing Heidelberg prepress installation quickly and easily. For example, there are dedicated modules available to output flat PDF files suitable for existing Delta Technology users.
      Customers with Meta Dimension and Signastation can also easily add Printready to their workflow. Since both of these systems are now fully JDF compliant, they can be easily integrated – and then both become modules of the Printready system – receiving instructions as detailed in the JDF file.
      Heidelberg’s goal – one workflow for all – Printready forms an integral role in the Prinect workflow.

      For further information please contact Colin Mckenzie ,Product Segment Manager – Prepress & Prinect, on 1300 656 949 or e-mail

    • Print is in our blood – Jacob Galea’s view of 2006

      As we are all seeing out on the “streets of print” times are getting tougher, margins are decreasing, competition is fierce, and we are competing in an arena where only the strong will survive.

      We need to out-class our competitors, we have to get smarter and have more answers. Value add will be a deal breaker and customer satisfaction will be our hardest mission to achieve. Generation ‘Y’ are entering the print and media workforce, wanting things faster and faster, without really knowing what needs to be done to execute the results.

      We are competing with companies that are marginalizing the work at zero percent just to run sheets or webs through their presses, gasping for every job as if it is their last – and it may well be.

      Mergers and acquisitions are the future, the big will get bigger, the medium will have to make decisions on their next five year business plans, and the smaller companies may see 2007 their last. As harsh as that sounds, that is reality.

      Private equity firms will build printing empires, holding the monopoly [sic] of clients and dollar generation out of these clients, leaving the Australian client base with only a few choices to consider. This will see our industry change, become more aggressive, and decide the future for a lot of CEO’s in the print arena.

      So what does all this mean?

      As it meant five, ten, 15, or even 20 years ago in our wonderful ever changing industry:

      • The clients are the Kings – look after them, cherish them, partner with them, show them why they are dealing with a team of experts who know and understand print.
      • Love what we do, it is a great industry that will see changes well beyond our life time
      • Embrace change, do not fight it. The survivors will adapt to change.
      • Train your people in customer satisfaction and the management of relationships, this is vital.
      • Be different, have a key differential point that will make your clients choose your company every time, without hesitation.

      In saying that, let’s all watch as the industry in which we all love and breath, changes in 2007. Maybe for the better and maybe just because it is what it is. One thing will be for certain, printing is and will be in our blood, so let’s enjoy it and be the best we can be at it!

      Jacob Galea, is a self-described print enthusiast, and strategic business manager for Business Print (Australia)

    • IPP changes name to MAN Ferrostaal

      The decision to clarify the ownership came after MAN Roland decided the Intergrafica Print & Pack (IPP) business in Australia and New Zealand, along with some other Intergrafica companies, did not fit into its business plan as a wholly owned subsidiary. As a wide-ranging supplier servicing many different sectors, IPP has other interests apart from MAN Roland presses.

      Consequently it remains with the MAN Group under its parent company MAN Ferrostaal, while still being best known as the MAN Roland agent in Australia and New Zealand.

      Peter Wilton, IPP managing director in Australia and New Zealand, says the name change represents more than simply a cosmetic update.

      “The most obvious result of this change is the implementation of a new company name and identity, but it also better reflects our position as part of a worldwide supplier of capital equipment and services,” he said.

      “MAN Ferrostaal’s goal is to leverage its quality processes and systems to all parts of its global organisation and that will enable us to achieve worldwide standards for accountability and business practice in every thing we do. As a result, customers can expect a more consistently professional service from us in the future.”

      Based in Essen, Germany, MAN Ferrostaal operates as the international equipment sales and service provider for the global MAN Group, including printing and graphic arts equipment. The company currently operates in more than 60 countries worldwide and has 4,700 employees. Turnover in 2005 was almost 2.8 billion Euros.

      “MAN Ferrostaal has demonstrated its commitment to this region and the graphic arts industry as a whole,” said Wilton. “With their support, we are focused on being the premium provider of high-end equipment to the printing and packaging sector in this country, a goal which we are determined to achieve and maintain,” he concluded.

      For history buffs the name change sees the final identity disappearance of the former Peter Craven-founded Print & Pack group of companies.

    • CPI loses $5 million case against Stora Enso

      CPI maintains it should have been told that Boomerang was in debt to Stora Enso Australia and failing to meet its obligations. It accused company representatives of misleading it over Stora Enso Australia’s intentions towards Boomerang. Stora Enso sued for the money on invoices CPI undertook to effectively underwrite for paper delivered to Boomerang.

      In his judgement Justice Moore found the invoicing deal was a gross commercial misjudgement by CPI, “at least with the benefit of hindsight.” It left CPI liable for invoices on Giroform Carbonless paper delivered to Moore Business Systems shortly before Boomerang went bust in January 2004. Both CPI and Boomerang were accredited merchants for the Mill.

      Bernard Cassell, MD of CPI, maintained two Stora Enso executives, Mr Fabrello and Mr Ellenberg withheld vital information from him concerning the true state of affairs between the company and Boomerang. He also claimed they misled him on a proposal to halt supplies of paper to the beleagured paper merchant. This would have derailed CPI’s proposed takeover bid, so CPI undertook to take over the invoicing for Boomerang in order to maintain supply.

      In finding for Stora Enso, Justice Moore said that since CPI was conducting due diligence on Boomerang at the time and was in possession of the company’s accounts there was no need for the Stora Enso people to go into the unhappy credit history. He also found that Stora Enso was seriously considering halting supplies of carbon paper to Moore Corporation. (These were delivered straight from the Mill, Mitsubishi Hitee Paper in Germany, and invoiced through Boomerang.) CPI maintained this was simply a ruse to apply pressure to close the deal.

      The amount in dispute was $3.968 million along with $1.15 million interest and costs. CPI issued a statement saying it was very disappointed with the judgement, “which centred around representations made to the company.” It is considering whether to appeal.

    • Advertisement – Graphic World’s Speedmaster goes onto the auction block

      A year 2000 model, this CD has been covered under Heidelberg’s comprehensive preventative maintenance and service programme since new. It features automatic plate change and Alcolor dampening plus all the standard CD 102 features. It is continuing in daily production of prestigious publication work until Graphic World’s relocation to sister Pacific Print Group site Agency Printing is completed during January. The press must be removed from the premises by February 2nd.

      The tender document is available as a .pdf by emailing Andy McCourt: Grays or through Graysonline website

    • Corporate conglomerates rule in 2006 –News commentary by Andy McCourt

      Now, 210 years later as 2006 draws to a close, the individual skills that enabled our first printer to better himself, are of far less significance.

      We are changing from the traditional 80/20 mix of 80 per cent small-to-medium enterprises and 20 per cent large corporates, into a split that favours the corporate conglomerate.

      As more printers with turnovers between $10 million and $20+ million are incorporated into the big groups, we are seeing the gradual demise of ‘indentured apprentice done good’ print shops. These are enterprises that have grown and prospered on the ambitions and dreams of skilled printers who have created enlarged family-style businesses where the buck often stops with a guy who might be in a suit one day, and overalls the next – doing what he learnt 30 years ago; printing.

      For such baby-boomer printers, now approaching retirement age, the prospect of taking some well-deserved equity out of their businesses and handing over management to a conglomerate or private equity firm is enticing indeed. As one such printer told me “I didn’t want to die on the job.”

      Taking a trans-Tasman view; just look at how the makeup of our industry changed in 2006 or will change in 2007:

      • Blue Star Print Group: Chaired by the canny American Tom Sturgess, today’s news CHAMP wins consolidates its trans-Tasman position as a huge, well-capitalised force in both web and sheetfed printing.
      • Pacific Print Group: Now a private-equity (Gresham), controlled entity with its own group managing director, PPG ran out of take-over targets in New Zealand and has successfully incorporated five Australian businesses into its dynamic structure, the most recent being AP Mail Management. More will follow in 2007 for sure.
      • IPMG: Back under Hannan family control and fiercely independent, it sold off its magazine publishing interests to News to focus more on printing activities.
      • Promentum/Penfold Buscombe: under the gun from its own PE buyout offer, or is this just an old fashioned takeover. $100 million offer
      • APN Print: Installed some of the most modern web equipment anywhere and opened its Yandina, Qld. Mega-site in October.
      • Rural Press & Fairfax: As a spin-off from changes in the media ownership laws, these two natural allies came together corporately, creating a print and publishing empire reminiscent of Fairfax’s glory days – complete with eponymous senior exes in John B and Timothy Fairfax.
      • PMP: finally consolidating its gigantic investment in new heatset web kit and settling down to work on profitability and capacity issues.

      Despite the boomtime for mergers and acquisitions, private equity buy-ins and consolidation into very large printing groups, opportunities for smaller, niche operators still emerge.

      There are some things that are hard to achieve in corporate environments, which often have to work to rigid systems and can be unresponsive to ‘tailor-made’ needs. Fast food giant McDonalds had to adapt to this as it watched its systemised ‘one burger fits all’ model subverted by bespoke players like Subway, Oporto and Nandos. Now, McDonalds itself offers a variety of salads and exotic choices.

      The key is service – and smaller operators can service other SMEs in a way that the big groups may find hard to maintain. Smaller print buyers may feel they do not get the level of service from corporate print groups that is willingly offered by the shop with a couple of SM74s with coaters, good bindery and a ‘can do’ attitude.

      Nevertheless, print capacity is moving towards the big guys. If you thought 2006 was a big year for ownership change in the industry, wait till Father Time swings his sickle and ushers in 2007!

      Wishing you all my compliments of the Season and a safe, happy time with those who you love, and who love you back.

    • CHAMP wins Blue Star with NZ$385 million knockout

      CHAMP will control approximately 84 per cent of BSPG, while management and the current controlling shareholder and managing director, Tom Sturgess will collectively retain approximately 16 per cent ownership. BSPG has advised that all of the existing senior management team will continue to be employees and shareholders of the business.

      Upon settlement of the transaction, BSPG is expected to have a balance sheet with approximately $100 million of senior debt and $105 million of Capital Bonds, which were issued in late
      2005. Sturgess, said the new owners wanted “business as usual” and that he welcomed the added financial and strategic support CHAMP would provide.

      Blue Star is CHAMP’s first acquisition in New Zealand, although the company operates on both sides of the Tasman. “Blue Star is attractive to CHAMP not only for its leading market positions, but also because it has an experienced incumbent management team, an excellent industry reputation, a long term contracted revenue base, and outstanding sustained growth,” said CHAMP director, Nat Childres.

      Industry speculation is that this is not the final move by CHAMP in the printing industry with insiders confirming it has made an offer on at least one other Australian-based printing company.

    • David Currie to be home for Christmas

      The popular Melbourne-based industry figure, MD of the Currie Group, became a cropper during one of his sought after pre-Christmas sailing expeditions following a contretemps with a ‘rubber duckie’ out near the Sydney Heads. Flying across the waves at speed he ‘did’ his back and had to be rushed to Manly Hospital.

      For a time there it looked as though he would see the start of the Sydney to Hobart from his hospital window, but yesterday afternoon, with the support of his family, he battled his way home.

      David’s generous Christmas hospitality over the years in taking a wide range of industry folk sailing aboard his magnificent yacht Lady Godiva on Sydney Harbour and Port Philip Bay, is the stuff of legend. For those lucky enough to score a regular invitation it proves to be the high spot of the season; for the one timers it is an experience never to be forgotten.

      David, here at Print21 we join your many well wishers in wishing you the very best happiness and a speedy recovery over the Christmas season and look forward to seeing you shipshape and back at the helm in 2007.

    • News headlines of 2006 from Print21 – flicks, tricks and hicks

      Thursday Jan 26 2006: Industry outraged over NAB offshore print scandal

      Graphic arts providers up in arms following last week’s revelation that the National Australia Bank is insisting as much as 50 per cent of its print be sourced from overseas.


      Thurs March 9 2006: Mercury falls into hands of administrators

      Mystery equipment supplier backs a bid for failing digital print and fulfilment specialist, Mercury Print after it was placed into administration.


      Thurs Canon gets the wraps off ImagePRESS at IPEX

      The long awaited unveiling of the Canon contender for high-end digital production comes in at 70 ppm.


      April 26, 2006; Promentum grabs #1 spot in QLD with Scanlon takeover

      Industry consolidation continues with Promentum’s acquisition of Scanlon Printing Company and Octane Digital & Print for $12.1 million in cash and $2 million in shares.

      “target=”_blank”>Printing Industries

      Thurs May 10 2006; Rolling Stone rolls on with 1000th issue lenticular cover

      Music magazine celebrates its grand milestone by using the latest in lenticular printing techniques to create a stunning 3D cover.

      “target=”_blank”>NAB backs down

      Thurs 12 July 2006; Shock resignation as Alistair Hill departs Promentum

      Dynamic managing director calls it quits after 18 years of service, with management adviser, Ian Parker, becoming interim chief executive while the search for a new CEO gets underway.

      “target=”_blank”>10,000 jobs

      Thurs Sept 14 2006; Largest single site installation for Heidelberg Australia & New Zealand

      Blue Star Print Group – the Melbourne Installation.

      “target=”_blank”>Vic print tender

      Thurs Dec 6 2006; Fairfax family buys back a stake in the farm

      Brothers, John B Fairfax and Tim Fairfax, have bought back into Fairfax Media via their majority shareholding in Rural Press as part of a $billion merger between the two companies.

      Jobs of the week: Sales Account Manager / Application Specialist

      We are strengthening our operations in Port Melbourne & invite suitably qualified high-energy individuals with sales-driven and application support capabilities to take this dual challenge of increasing & supporting our strong business growth in Australia & New Zealand.

      The Position

    • Sales Role

      In this role, you will be responsible for developing our packaging solutions business whereby your activities will include sales prospecting, managing existing accounts, meeting sales targets and establishing good business contacts. You will pursue strategies for targeted projects, provide effective solutions for our customers and generate competitive proposals. Additionally, you will provide market intelligence and feedback on competitors’ pricing & position in the respective segments to enable appropriate marketing plans to be developed for driving growth.

      You will keep abreast of developments & business opportunities in the markets you cover and be focused on the follow-up of these opportunities by applying appropriate sales, negotiation & closing techniques. As we operate in a high-technology environment, you must be discipline in using the various CRM & IT application tools available in our organization to enable you to better manage your sales process and share information.

    • Application Role

      The responsibilities include producing benchmarks, conducting pre-sale demonstrations and post-sale trainings and technical support.

      In pre-sale support, your role is to complement sales as part of the sales process. Quality of demonstrations in both the technique and content is vital. Your understanding of customers’ specific requirements and our solutions offering are important factors in helping customers decide on the most productive and effective solutions for their operations, with the objective of maximizing productivity.

      In post-sale support, you will train customers on our software application tools and provide telephone and on-site support in diagnosing and resolving digital application issues.

      The Person

      This is a challenging opportunity for a self-motivated independent candidate with a passion for packaging technology and who enjoys diversity in handling sales and technical support.

      Fundamental requirements are:-

    • Minimally Diploma in Printing Technology, Graphic Arts or a related discipline
    • Good application knowledge and understanding of Packaging Workflow solutions and various types of Graphic Editors, Design Software, Workflow Management Software, Sheet Layout, RIPs & Output
    • Experience & knowledge of Flexo/Offset Packaging & Print technologies preferred
    • Some sales experience in the industry is highly advantageous. Candidates with production or technical support background, who have a desire to move into Sales, are encouraged to apply.
    • Customer driven with strong sense of empowerment
    • Prepared for frequent travel within Australia & New Zealand & occasional trainings abroad

      We invite you to take up this challenge with a leading packaging pre-production solutions provider. Please mail your CV by Jan 10, 2007 to:-


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

    • Job of the week: Business Developer

      Our client ia a large and well-established providor of print-and-mailing solutions.


      Their repertoirte includes both offset and digital, and they focus on the “Big End” of town, ie, the CBD-based financial services, government and institutional print buyers.


      Based in downtown Sydney, you will currently be in a similar, senior account management or senior print sales role, with a proven record in negotiating high-level print management contracts.


      You will need to demonstrate pro-active skills in identifying, targetting and gaining new business, by innovative use of sales and marketing strategies. A knowledge of offset and digital print is vital, plus an understanding of mailing (including variable data), and experience in document-management would be invaluable.


      This is a senior role, requiring someone with an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of print (not just offset), as well as print management – plus the ability to demonstrate a high level of professionalism when dealing with senior decision-makers. 


      This is an exciting and challenging opportunity, with a package in the six-figure range for the right candidate.


      For information on this and other jobs, visit


      JDA Print Recruitment

      Level 4, 282 Victoria Avenue

      Chatswood NSW 2067

      Ph: 02 9904 6222

      Fax: 02 9904 6922

      Mob: 0408 291 508


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

    • Media Super’ with $2 billion bankroll

      The new fund, which has yet to be formally named, will have 108,000 members and over $2 billion in fund under management. Print Super’s CEO Ross Martin will head up the new fund.

      Just represents the media, entertainment and art industries while Print represents the printing and graphics sectors. A merger will enable the funds to capitalise on the considerable synergies of the industries they cover, while remaining competitive. Members are set to benefit from continued low fees, strong performance and enhanced products and services.

      According to Phillip Andersen, CEO of Printing Industries and board member of Print Super, it is a true merger, not a takeover. “There will be real benefits to members from the economies of scale. Being bigger will allow us to get better deals from fund managers as well as provide better services,” he said.

      As an example he proposed that the current administration fee of $1.80 per week per member could be reduced to $1.40. Gerard Noonan, Chairman of Just said: “The two funds cover complementary industries. The memberships are a natural fit allowing the merged entity to have a clear industry focus while offering members the benefits of greater economies of scale, including low costs and enhanced products and services.”

      The target date for the merger is 30 June 2007.