Archive for February, 2007

  • Agfa releases :Delano Publish and :Delano Production

    JDF-powered interactive, collaborative, project-management solution for publishers and printers available in Australia and New Zealand Q1 2004.

    The web-based project management system provides publishers, prepress and printing companies with the means to initiate a company-wide, collaborative solution for project management. :Delano Publish allows users to centralise all communication in a single place for all participants, track project status at any time from anywhere, and streamline customer communication.

    Adding to these benefits, :Delano Production lets printers shorten project turnaround, reduce courier and transportation costs through online file reception, approval and submission, improve utilization of press capacity, and simplify production procedures. Overall, :Delano reduces production stress while it streamlines communications, increases productivity and reduces errors and operating costs.

    Because every printing company has different needs, :Delano will be custom-configured to meet the demands of individual operations. The system provides an immediate upgrade path to accommodate business growth or changing operational requirements.
    “:Delano is an open platform that can be configured to the needs of any business environment, regardless of size or application,” said Garry Muratore, marketing manager Agfa Graphics Australia (pictured). “Customers can start with :Delano Publish in the PDF page approval cycle and enjoy its collaborative benefits. As they grow and require JDF process integration, they can extend functionality with :Delano Production.

    Both :Delano Publish and :Delano Production will be available in Australia and New Zealand early in Q1, 2004.

    Based on Advanced Industry Standards

    :Delano is based on advanced industry production and communication standards, such as PDF, JDF and XML. As the first to bring PDF to the production process, Agfa once again takes the lead by integrating JDF in its workflow- and project-management systems. A founder of the JDF standard and CIP4 initiative, Agfa demonstrates its ongoing commitment to the technology for enabling transactions throughout the print production enterprise, including data exchange with other JDF-enabled legacy systems.

    “Delano is an open system based on the CIP4 JDF standard. We are fully aligned with the activities of CIP4 to validate the inter-operability between :Delano and various MIS and prepress systems.” said Johan Berlaen, general manager of Agfa’s Software Solutions. “The Inter-operability Labs of CIP4 guarantee that the :Delano implementation is synchronised with the standard activities of CIP4, the owner of the JDF specification.”
    :Delano Publish
    :Delano Publish is the ideal solution for publishers, trade shops and page-processing centres looking to further automate and integrate the PDF page production processes. It facilitates page production tasks letting users create reliable production-ready PDF files efficiently and cost effectively. It is designed for any operation that handles “page” production, including publishers with in-house PDF page production, trade shops/page-processing service bureaus or printers looking to offer Web-based PDF viewing and approval services.
    :Delano Publish makes it easier for files to be submitted, checked and converted to PDF format. It offers online client collaboration for faster response times on page approvals and soft proofing. It tracks all tasks and provides immediate feedback on their status. :Delano saves time, reduces redundancies and keeps users in complete control of every project.
    Other functions that :Delano Publish includes are:

    • Visualization of all pages in the product structure
    • Automated job processing
    • Generation of high-resolution, production-ready PDF
    • Messaging tool that keeps the users informed throughout the workflow
    • Page tracking with real-time status alerts.

    Additionally, users can take advantage of a powerful proofing option that generates a colour-managed rendered contone file based on the high-resolution PDF production file.
    :Delano Production
    :Delano Production is designed for the demands of mid- to large-size commercial printing companies looking to further automate and integrate administrative and production processes, or for any printing company that wants to offer Web-based client collaboration including file submission, soft proofing and job approval.
    :Delano Production provides interactive control over projects. It gives users a birds-eye-view of the entire operation with the ability to zoom in to check details on the status of a particular task. :Delano Production tracks and provides feedback on all processing functions from customer/job input all the way to product delivery.
    The system strengthens interdepartmental communications by providing direct access to the central database from a single user interface and customer communications by enabling online Web collaboration with clients. It takes customer job requests and translates them into pre-defined instructions, making the Web-based communications with the client foolproof.
    Tasks are automatically organised into a logical command chain. :Delano Production tracks each task from preflight to finishing and feeds data back to the system, where it is all viewable in one single window.
    :Delano Production integrates customer service, page processing, prepress, press and post press for flawless job management, all in one easy-to-use application.
    Other functions that :Delano Production includes are:

    • Easy file submission and automatic file reception
    • Product definition specifications
    • Automated job processing
    • Messaging tool that keeps users informed throughout the workflow
    • Page, signatures and product parts tracking with real-time status alerts
    • Online approval of page and signatures
    • JDF job ticket for :Apogee prepress systems

    Additionally, users can take advantage of several powerful options :Delano Production offers, including:

    • JDF MIS support – taking in customer info, product and process specifications from a JDF-enabled MIS system – for more automated workflow
    • JDF job ticket to link with other PDF based prepress production systems
    • Page and signature proof pickup from other open PDF based prepress production systems.

  • Discover Six Degrees from Creo

    Six Degrees is time-freeing technology designed so you can complete projects faster, without changing the way you work. It automatically connects the related messages, files and people on your desktop so that you can quickly navigate through projects in a powerful new way

    Six Degrees is the first tool of its kind – a next-generation productivity application that replaces complicated centralized servers with a simple system that everyone already relies on every day – email. We all rely on email to help us work on projects and in teams. We don’t need a replacement to email, we just need a better way to work. Six Degrees is just that – an email driven productivity tool. It leverages the power of email by putting your inbox to work.

    Every time you get or send mail, Six Degrees initiates a project, automatically. Ever get attachments and then make revisions? Six Degrees is right there with you. Later, when you need all the information about that project, Six Degrees gives it to you – right at your fingertips.

    With Six Degrees Software you can:

    • Track files with similar names, anywhere on your system
    • Show email threads related to any file on your desktop
    • Generate email filters based on projects or people
    • Create “dynamic” projects with one click
    • Help you find files without searching for them – even misfiles or attachments
    • Create links to the email, files, and contact information for a project, regardless of where these objects are on your systems

    The right messages. The right files. The right people. No searching required.

    It gets better. Since Six Degrees uses simple things that you already do to build projects automatically, it starts working for you right away. No file check-in or project set-up required. And since projects are essentially dynamic, so is Six Degrees. It stays synchronized with your latest email and file revisions, as you work.

    Right now, the future is cross-platform. So download your own 30-Day Free Evaluation Copy or view one of our online webinars – and take back control of your desktop.

    For more information visit the Creo web site.

  • D-Print deadline draws near for industry creatives

    An impressive response to this year’s D-Print Digital Design Competition is demonstrating a more sophisticated approach to the creative uses of digital printing. Many of the entries are driving digital printing design to new heights of creativity, according to company sources.

    As the entries roll in for the fifth annual competition industry creatives are reminded of the end of February deadline to get their entries in.

    This year’s campaign calls on the Australian creative community, including graphic designers, creative directors and marketing personnel, to experience the multitude of benefits that can be gained by utilising digital printing.
    The D-Print Competition invites participants to experience the complimentary advantages of digital printing alongside traditional offset. A media campaign to support this initiative highlights the comparable high-end capabilities of Xerox DocuColor 2045, DocuColor 2060 and DocuColor 6060 digital printing presses. These include colour quality, variable data applications, short-run economies and quick turnaround times.

    D-Print 2003: Think Outside The Square
    In addition, this year’s D-Print Competition aims to increase the awareness of personalised communication through creative applications. Entrants can achieve this by utilising the Fuji Xerox VariColor software range.

    “We want to encourage creatives to really think outside the square and utilise digital printing innovatively,” said Brett Maishman, Fuji Xerox Australia’s Industry Marketing Manager, Graphic Arts. (pictured) “Our customers have embraced digital print and our aim is to build the consumers’ knowledge of this printing process and develop market awareness and business opportunities.”

    During the D-Print campaign, members of the creative community are encouraged to visit participating printers to have a piece of work digitally printed. The entrant will be asked to describe in 25 words or less explaining the benefits of printing their application using Xerox digital technology.

    Further information about this year’s D-Print Digital Design Competition, including details of the nearest D-Print providers can be found at

    The closing date for entries is February 27, 2004. The work will be judged by a panel of design and print professionals, including representatives from AGDA and ADMA.

    D-Print 2003: Giving Creatives The Chance To Win The Trip Of A Lifetime!
    The creator of the winning entry will receive a travel voucher offering a holiday of their choice to the value of $10,000, whether its going on Safari in Africa, soaking up the sun in Vatulele, discovering remote China, or any other custom designed adventure. The three runners-up will each win a stay at their choice of B & B around Australia, to the value of $500.

    D-Print 2003: Boosting Business For Participating Printers
    According to Maishman, one of the most important aims of the D-Print Digital Design Competition is to assist Fuji Xerox Australia’s DocuColor customers by fuelling awareness and demand for digital print.

  • New flagship press from Heidelberg at drupa

    Peak performance class premieres with the Speedmaster XL 105 for highly industrialized offset printing capable of speeds of 18,000 sheets per hour.

    Part of Heidelberg’s renewed focus on the long run packaging market, the XL 105 is distinguished by its high degree of automation, large print format of 74 x 105 cm and simple operation. Its system for contact-free sheet transport combined with innovations in coating application are claimed to deliver increased productivity of 30% and more.

    One of a total of 51 new products and innovations launched by Heidelberg at the show, the XL 105 encapsulates the trend at this drupa of product evolution to faster and more productive machines without necessarily having any revolutionary developments. As the company heads back into concentrating on its core business of sheetfed presses, after getting rid of its digital division to Kodak and about to exit its web press operations in a still to be finalized deal with Goss, the XL 105 can be said to represent the future of Heidelberg.

    Despite still having a NexPress (complete with Heidelberg brand) and a fully functioning M600 web press as part of its exhibition in drupa, Heidelberg leaves no doubt that it will concentrate on developing its core business of prepress, sheetfed presses and postpress. In announcing its drupa innovations it becomes clear that its focus is on the slimmed-down product range, which clearly illustrates the company’s areas of significance and its technology ambitions.

    Among the highlights of new Heidelberg products on show here at Düsseldorf are:

    • A perfecting coating development that enables double-sided inline dispersion coating on the long perfecting presses in the Speedmaster SM 102 range. On a ten-color press, the fifth and tenth printing units can be used for either printing or dispersion coating. This option is also possible for twelve-color presses, where the sixth and twelfth printing units are used.
    • The Speedmaster CD 74-P with sheet reversing system enables high-quality perfecting with short changeover times between paper and board and between straight and perfecting modes. Depending on the job mix, this is claimed to produce an increase in productivity of between 15 and 25 percent over existing midsize perfecting presses.
    • The Suprasetter is a new range of thermal external drum platesetters. It uses a different laser technology developed and owned by Heidelberg and is part of the company’s strategy to develop a modular prepress technology that can be re-used in operations of every size and scope.

  • CyraChrome puts a double spin on proofing

    SPINJET imposition proofing systems are changing the digital prepress workflow of many of Australia’s publication printers. A revolutionary way of producing double-sided imposition proofs, SPINJET, supplied and supported by CyraChrome, operates on market leading HP DesignJet 1050, 1055, 5000 and 5500 large format printers.

    According to Michael Laird, managing director of CyraChrome, (pictured) SPINJET systems provide the ideal solution to one of the major drawbacks in modern prepress production; the requirement to produce a double-sided imposition proof prior to CTP or CtF output.

    “Digital processes have eliminated many steps in the prepress workflow, saving time and money. But they have also produced new challenges. It has become essential to be able to quickly produce an accurate, imposition proof before outputting film or plates. I believe the SPINJET system is the ideal solution and provides the missing link in the digital prepress workflow,” he said.

    The SPINJET system is the result of extensive research and development by Techsage Spinjet Technology, a Danish-based company that pioneered automatic double-sided imposition proofing. When combined with carefully calibrated DuPont Digital Dylux it is rapidly becoming the proofing method of choice for printers seeking to eliminate unnecessary costs in film and plate output.

    Using HP’s advanced paper handling system, the first side of the proof is printed from the roll, cut automatically by the printer and reloaded for reverse side printing. The completed proof is delivered into the printer’s receiving tray giving rapid access to a complete imposition of the entire job – before hitting the button to produce costly plate or film.

    SPINJETS are the most sophisticated imposition proofing systems available today. Some of the outstanding features include:

    • Fully automatic
    • Roll-to-sheet operation
    • Low profile design
    • Completely blends in with the printer design
    • All original printer functionality maintained when SPINJET is installed
    • Full versatility in production
    • Print single- or double-sided, at will, directly from workstations
    • Fully HP endorsed solution
    • SPINFLOW RIP interface ensures data integrity to CtF and CTP output
    • Unattended operation (hot folders)
    • Multiple input queues for different systems and user
    • Set-ups for different job types: Work & Turn, Single Sided, Work & Tumble, Sheet Work
    • Sequential Printing of each side to HP ensuring print order is correct
    • Auto centering of the front and back impositions
    • Auto rotation of jobs to save paper (autofit/best fit option)
    • Jobs saved for reprinting
    • ICC-profiling can be applied in the host RIP or in SPINFLOW
    • Ink Reduction
    • Centering of impositions onto paper.

    Speeding up the glow of data

    SPINFLOW is the data interface between host prepress systems and the SPINJET system. SPINFLOW is a Windows 2000 (Intel) based application, which is loaded either into the host system’s PC, or onto a Print Server, placed between the output of the host systems RIP and the SPINJET System.

    Getting the thumb-sized view

    MicroView is an optional extension for the SPINFLOW software, providing fully scalable thumbnail views for fast and accurate job recognition.
    Job pairs are processed as normal, when a completed job is selected, resizable thumbnail views are generated, these thumbnails represent both the front and back sides of the job in their original orientations, changes made in the process engine such as ‘side 2 flip’ and ‘rotate’ are not reflected.
    The thumbnail view also contains a text window displaying the file creation date and a date stamp indicating when the job was last printed.
    With a mouse-over function (Tool Tip) the actual job name can be displayed, when moving the mouse cursor over the completed jobs number (Job#).

    For more information regarding the SPINJET systems, phone or e-mail Michael on 02. 9420 8188 or

  • New Shinohara range of presses

    Setting the benchmark for value and performance, the new range of Shinohara presses, released at this year’s IGAS, is sure to be a winner for Currie & Company.

    The completely redesigned presses not only look sleek and ultra-modern, but the company claims their technology is out in front of anything else available on the market. Over three press sizes, 52, 66 and 75, the SHINOHARA machines have speeds up to 17,000 impressions per hour with perfecting models at every size.

    The new generation Shinohara

    According to Bernie Robinson, (pictured) general manager of Currie & Company, the new range SHINOHARA are the best value presses around. He points to the single diameter cylinder on the straight four-colour 52 as the most economical way for printers to move up into production colour printing without spending millions.
    “We have always had a good user base of Shinohara customers in Australia and New Zealand and when they saw this new range they were impressed. We expected improvements but these new presses have passed all our expectations,” he said.

    The first new generation SHINOHARA 52 is currently being installed at Lake Printers on the NSW North Coast.

    New features provide better value

    The revolutionary SHINOHARA Pre-Inking System (SPIS) is a major advance in slashing run-up time to saleable prints. Following an automatic wash-up or an ink-run out, it delivers an optimum film of ink to the rollers. This enables the printer to come up to speed within 10 to 30 sheets at the beginning of every printing cycle.
    It operates in conjunction with and enhances CIP3 data through the new-look control console.

    Among the other new features in this range of SHINOHARA presses is a suction belt feeder system that will ensure smoother transport of sheets through the press. The new SHINOHARA series offset presses have wider job capacity. They now run to a larger maximum paper size and are capable of handling a wider range of printing plate sizes, up to the 8-up B5 size paper printing.

    Long recognised as one of the most productive machines in the world the SHINOHARA now come in a variety of pile heights with a medium pile option on both the 66 and 75 as well as a high pile on the 52. These delivery systems heights are designed to allow printers to have the press that suits their individual needs.

    The High Pile

    The large size 75 range consists of presses from the single-sided and perfecting four-colour 75IV through to five- and six-colour machines up to the eight-colour single-sided and perfecting SHINOHARA 75VIII and 75VIIIP.

    According to Robinson, the new SHINOHARA 75 shows all the signs of being one of the most popular major offset presses in Australia and New Zealand next year. ”SHINOHARA has always been very popular with local printers and we expect quite a number will take advantage of he new release to move up to the latest technology and the larger size.”

    Among the well-known SHINOHARA features that have been made even better in the makeover is the semi-automatic changeover perfecting system. This means that switching from straight to perfecting printing, and vice-versa, is a simple matter. Complete perfecting changeover takes only about a minute. The semi-automated changeover system uses a safety monitor to guide operators through three easy steps, resulting in higher operator efficiency and greater throughput.

    The perfecter uses a rigid, monocast turnover cylinder with a patented master/subgripper system to offer precision, speed, and high reliability in single- or double-sided printing.

    The presses can be spec’d up to the max with SHINOHARA advanced technology options including semi-automatic plate loading, easy plate cocking, cardboard printing system, aqueous inline coater, infrared dryer, imprinting & numbering and swing-away unit.

    • The SHINOHARA semi-automatic Plate Changer (SPC) reduces the time and skill needed to change plates. With the SPC, plate changing is reduced to a one-minute operation per unit that begins at the POD control screen.
      The SPC requires no goo bender, resulting in more efficient operation.
    • The SHINOHARA exclusive cocking system is the only one in the world to allow the plate clamp to be skewed during operation. Cocking adjustments can be entered electronically via the operation console, or imported from floppy disk data taken on the SRIM automatic register-mark and image area measurement device.
      A cocking adjustment can be dramatically achieved with the superior combination of motors on the plate clamp device and motors on the plate cylinder.
    • The straight multicolour offset press can be equipped with an optional convertible cardboard printing system that accepts up to 0.6mm thick stocks, broadening the range of products your business can offer.
    • SHINOHARA easy-to-use aqueous inline coater adds a glossy finish and greater durability to your printed materials. The inline coater is used in conjunction with a hot air dryer and an infrared dryer.
    • The infrared dryer is used to set the ink on printed sheets, reducing the amount of spray powder necessary to prevent offset after printing. Its use enables higher delivery piles, more efficient post-print processing, and a cleaner work environment. Medium-wave (non CE-certified Japanese JARD) and high-speed short-wave (CE-certified Swedish IVT Graphics) models are available.
    • A multipurpose swing-away unit capable of numbering, additional-colour relief imprinting, and radial- and cross-perforating is available for use at the delivery end of the press.
    • The preregister system allows operators to pinpoint register marks on printing plates, to ensure speedy and accurate plate punching and preregistering before installing on the plate cylinder. A high-precision opto-mechanical preregistering mechanism is used.
    • The SRIM, an award winner from Japan Society for the Promotion of Machine Industry, automatically measures both register marks and image area simultaneously, capturing and storing precise measurement data on a floppy disk. The disk can be inserted into the operation console, which automatically adjusts ink-key apertures and vertical, horizontal and skew registration settings in a single operation.

  • Quote & Print Improves Profits, Improves Quality of Life

    An integrated management information system with appropriate local support adds more benefits to your business than simply boosting the bottom line. Dave Bell believes you must also factor in the lifestyle bonus and improved accessibility your clients have to you.

    Quite often people make the decision to invest in an MIS system on a purely economic basis

  • “What will be the return on my investment?”
  • “How will it improve my profit or bottom line?”
  • “Can I maintain or increase sales by helping retain my existing customers and attract new ones?”
  • “How much extra work will I bring in because I can now turn around my quotes in two hours?”
  • “How many staff I will save?”

    What is harder to calculate and so often ignored is the many intangible benefits gained by installing an integrated Management Information System that has local backup, training and support. These intangible benefits apply both to printers who are still using manual systems (as there are still some), and to printers who are using a variety of non integrated computer systems (the vast majority of printers would fall into this category).

    Here are some of the intangible benefits. I am sure that most printers and managers will be able to identify with at least one of them:

  • No more long hours spent at the office after normal working hours catching up with the paper work

    An integrated MIS system automates many of the reports for you. For example, if your staff have already processed invoices and payments in Quote & Print you can print out your Business Activity Report in a few minutes.

  • Regular holidays

    With an integrated MIS system you will be able to start taking breaks. Using the internet it is possible to log onto your system from an internet cafe anywhere in the world. You can then see all the reports that you would normally see when sitting at your desk.

  • Happier staff

    Staff using an integrated system are not having to go between different packages to confirm if all required data has been entered and can instead view full history of data entered.

  • Less stress

    Using an MIS system ensures that all the information in your head or on a variety of spreadsheets is entered into the computer and the peace of mind that this can be protected by security settings ensures that pricing will be consistent based on your costings. You will then be surprised how quickly other staff will be able to pick up doing straightforward quotes or revisions on complex quotes.

  • Reduction of training time for new staff

    If you advertise for someone with the relevant MIS skills they will start the job pre trained on the software, with only the need to review with them your practices and processes.

  • Money saved by having your online ordering system and accounting system integrated with your production and estimating system

    The bottom line benefits of an integrated system have been well documented by those firms which specialise in helping companies to grow as well as those who are reviewing processes contributing to a company’s failure.

  • Peace of mind

    Knowing that there are qualified support staff who are able to help you when you have a question and qualified trainers available to train your new staff. Also, knowing that your investment in your software is protected by the constant enhancements that are being brought out.

  • Jobs of the week: Account Manager

    Who are we?

    We are a dynamic award winning company that specialises in large print graphics for indoor and outdoor retail marketing material. We are a passionate team of people that just “love to print” and are leaders in the evolution of wide format digital inkjet printing.

    Opportunities to join our team

    Your enthusiasm, strong sales and customer service orientation will allow you to work well within our team environment. A background in printing is a bonus, but is not compulsory for this position.

    You will predominantly be handling existing client accounts and inbound calls from customers enquiring about their printing needs and responding with the appropriate solutions to meet those needs. You will be working within a team of 6 other professionals in the Sales area and your excellent communication skills, attention to detail and “can do attitude” will be highly regarded.

    Computer skills are important and the desire to grow the business through optimum service is essential.

    If you have the relevant experience and a passion to learn about new technologies, we’d love to hear from you. Take some time to visit our website at and if Look Print is the type of organisation that you would like to work for, then we look forward to receiving your resume.

    Look Print

    277 Parramatta Rd

    Leichhardt NSW 2040

    T: +61 2 9568 6855

    F: +61 2 8585 1100

    E: Najwa Chantery

    Visit our website:


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

  • Direct marketing trends: US vs. Australia

    Macro Direct Mail Industry Trends

      Complex, high volume multi-channel campaigns will become the industry standard, driven by enhanced marketing database segmentation tools and widespread CRM adoption.

    Nordstrom: “In Australia, multi-channel campaigns have advanced admirably in the past year. Amongst Fuji Xerox customers alone, we have seen some truly innovative use of print, SMS and web pages to create unique, successful CRM campaigns. However, the uptake is slow in comparison with the US. Education is the key. We need to continue to spread the word as to what can be achieved through sophisticated yet very achievable use of multi-level variable data and a variety of communication channels.”

      Forthcoming postal rate increase, combined with new delivery point validation regulations, will drive the need for advanced data hygiene and postal optimisation services.

    Nordstrom: “Any direct mail campaign has the potential to be a success if the data is driven by good segmentation and accuracy. In this country, there are definite cost advantages to having an in-depth understanding of Australia Post mailing requirements as well as using bar-coding and regional offerings.

    “The direct marketing industry has recently achieved some inroads with changes to Australia Post’s Print Post service that now permits some level of personalisation of publication covers, text pages and advertising.”

      Strategy and creative service providers move to integrate analytics and consumer targeting services with their existing portfolios, in order to counteract the threat of service commoditisation in the agency space.

    Nordstrom: “The agencies that achieve the most compelling DM campaigns will definitely be those that consider analytics an integral part of any DM campaign right from the planning stage. Great attention should be given to data segmentation and the associated calls to action or offers for each segment.

    “The composition of data and creative to form the variable piece is the most critical stage that can easily be overlooked and is best approached with complete knowledge of the whole campaign.

    “Fuji Xerox’s Profit Accelerator initiative is based on the premise that our success is determined by that of our customers. By applying specialist knowledge and skills to enhance delivery, a company’s value is measured by the unique service it provides and commoditisation can be avoided.”

    Vertical Market-Specific Trends in Direct Mail

      Media mix reallocation and the proliferation of new channel options threaten direct mail’s budgetary primacy as the preferred below-the-line marketing vehicle.
    Nordstrom: “While SMS, web, video and some voice channels have been utilised here, they are still the exception rather than the norm. A little over a year ago, ADMA’s 2005 Direct Marketing and Privacy Report revealed that 89% of those surveyed open direct mail. Around the same time, the Commercial Economic Advisory Service of Australia (CEASA) reported direct marketing as a 1.5 billion dollar market growing at 8.1 per cent per year.

    “During 2006, alternate mediums were not anywhere near as visible as DM to pose any immediate threat.”

      Digital print applications, empowered by capability enhancements developed in 2006, grow dramatically throughout 2007.

    Nordstrom: “Digital print will undoubtedly continue its impressive development through 2007. Not only does digital print make the personalisation of messages and images possible in a single print run, the resources required to orchestrate large jobs are decreasing and cost-efficient small print runs are more prevalent.

    “So too, the revolutionary developments in digital inks and paper dramatically reduce waste; and the improved reliability and increased speeds are making the once impossible possible.”

      Catalog marketers increase or maintain circulation but accelerate the reduction on average page count per book, reflecting the changing role of the catalog and offsetting rising mailing costs.

    Nordstrom: “This trend is an indication of the almost ubiquitous use of internet in the US. In Australia, printed catalogues are primarily produced periodically and delivered widespread as “junk mail” by individual vendors or retail organisations. As a result, there should be no visible impact on the catalogue industry here.”

      Inserts and color utilisation play a more significant role in statements, as marketers move to leverage the format for marketing purposes.

    Nordstrom: “We too are experiencing this trend. There is growing popularity in companies multi-purposing bills and transactional statements by incorporating personalised marketing messages into these mail outs. Fuji Xerox’s latest state of the art, continuous feed production systems, will enable these types of applications to be produced effectively in full colour.”

      Marketer consolidation (and corresponding service expansion) leads to the increased use of direct mail for branding and promotional purposes.

    Nordstrom: “Market consolidation has an undeniable presence in Australia – news of telecommunication, IT, marketing, advertising – even print industry companies seem to merge with notable regularity. Australian print providers must carefully plan and identify opportunities from every angle and those with associations with merging organisations may well find a sweet spot with customer, personnel and stakeholder communications during these major changes.”

    Maria Nordstrom concludes, “The US direct marketing industry has long been held as a benchmark of what can be achieved through communication that is both innovative and astute. The best results for the Australian DM industry is surely to learn from those markets more advanced than our own, emulating success and adapting practices to suit our own particular conditions and resources.”

  • Printers go with the flow and turn off the taps

    Fish out of water

    Fish need water more than printers, so a Melbourne-based company decided to adopt a waterless printing process.

    The simple action of turning off the printing press tap has made Fishprint a finalist in the Service Providers section of the 2006/07 savewater! Awards.

    “Fishprint is over-the-moon about becoming a finalist,” said Peter Booth, director of Fishprint. “We claim to lead the way in sustainable printing and being nominated as a finalist in these awards really help to give our statements more credibility.”

    The savewater! awards were established five years ago, and according to Nigel Finner, ceo have attracted an increasing number of entrants. “Each year the nominations become more impressive, people are becoming more creative when thinking about water usage and ways to better manage the resource,” he said.

    Finner believes that all printers should move towards developing processes that consider the environment first. “Pretty soon, requests for environmentally responsible printing will be the norm,” he said. “Printers taking the lead will be well rewarded by an increasingly environmentally savvy business community.”

    Ironing out the drips

    A water recirculation unit has been installed in Complete Colour Printing’s production process.

    With a reservoir capacity of up to 120 litres and features including a pump that starts automatically and a semi automatic drainage system, this device now allows the company to reduce its water usage by 278,008 litres a year.

    “As environmentally responsible printers, we are always actively searching for ways to reduce our impact upon the environment,” said Tim Michaelides, managing director of Complete Colour Printing.

    Incorporated into the computer-to-plate production process, the water saver allows water to be recirculated or reused before new water is released for use within the process.

    It might not make them money, but Jean-Pierre DeWaele (pictured), production manager said that the water recirculation unit was a small attempt to help the environment. “We made the decision to purchase the machine as an environmental step forward rather than a money-maker,” he said.

  • ‘s move to green makes ACP see red

    Ian McHutchison, ACP’s general manager, production told Print 21 that the stock which the magazine is produced on has in fact been in use at ACP for over 12 months as part of a product mix from suppliers.

    Girlfriend was quoted on national broadcast and print media as being the first magazine in Australia to take this initiative. To this McHutchison replied that, “ACP have not been vocal in promoting its environmental stewardship as it does not see it as a way of promoting itself rather a community responsibility that it needs no accolade for.”

    “Whilst Girlfriend magazine’s intention to use recycled paper is commendable and should not be discounted, it should be taken at face value and magazines that pursue methods of being environmentally responsible should not be discounted,” he said.

    McHutchison pointed out that the use of recycled fibre is a response to the continuing environmental crises that we all face; however, it is not the only solution.

    “In general terms the use of products already in the community to produce recycled products does negate the need to source new raw materials,” he said. “In the case of recycled paper it is obviously not simply a matter of turning used paper back into reusable paper. The used paper must be collected, sorted and de-inked before making the final “recycled” paper. The environmental footprint of these activities is generally not calculated in the simple statement “we are using recycled”.”

    McHutchison said that ACP purchase from companies with recognised environmental standards encompassing; chain of custody certification in wood procurement, ISO 14001 certification and measured environmental parameters approved by local or national environmental regulators.

    “The environmental strategy at ACP extends way past the use of paper,” he said. “An awareness of all facets of the production of its titles is a very important consideration that must be in contention when making statements concerning the environment.”

  • The Big Dry; Kodak sustainable water practices – magazine feature article

    Australia does not need to be in the grip of drought before water scarcity demands individuals and corporations make sure they use it responsibly. The printing industry has its own challenges in developing good environmental practices and its use of water in the platemaking process has long been a source of waste and pollution. That is now about to change with the arrival of thermal processless plates.

    Business decisions are rarely made in isolation from influencing social factors. Few decision makers operate solely to the bottom line when assessing their company’s options and operations. Businesses are corporate citizens with the same social responsibilities as individuals and generally more power to make a difference by their behaviour. Owners and managers are often influential members of their communities, empowered to make decisions that can have a major impact on the surrounding ecology, both social and environmental.

    Kodak’s introduction of its Thermal Direct processless plate at IPEX last year proved to be the wake-up call for a dormant sense of social responsibility in the Australian graphic arts industry. In small to medium sized printing companies around the continent, the opportunity to contribute to better water practices was eagerly taken on board. Not unaware of the toll a 100-year drought was taking from their neighbours and customers, especially in regional centres, printers seized the chance to implement water saving systems.

    Such was the response to the new water-saving plate, Australia is now leading the world in the adoption of Thermal Direct technology. There are more installations per head of population throughout the continent than in any comparable market. While not all adopters of the technology are motivated by ecological motives – there are plenty of self-interested reasons for getting rid of press chemistry – Thermal Direct has undoubtedly tapped into an underlying enthusiasm for ‘doing the right thing’.

    High cost of water and chemical use

    Conventional plate processing can be high impact part of the printing production process. The average plate processor uses 15 litres of water per minute while processing one square metre of plate. In a shop that puts through a thousand A1 plates a month, that works out at a considerable 15,000 litres per month. While the water may not be disposed of straight away – these days it is most often cleaned and recycled rather than being simply pushed down the drain – it still represents a major environmental impact.

    In addition, the processing of conventional plates requires the use of chemicals that represent their own challenges in careful use and disposal. Health and safety rules, as well as stricter monitoring of waste disposal, are only going to continue with increasingly severe penalties for transgression.
    As a result, for many printers, the prospect of having a ‘dry’ plate room makes perfect sense from a business as well as from an environmental point of view. Getting rid of the plate processor not only eliminates water and chemicals and the cost of disposing of them, it also produces labour savings from not having to employ an operator to monitor and clean it. In addition it frees up space in often-crowded prepress areas – not to mention the savings in actual capital costs by not having to buy the unit in the first place.

    Good technology will find its place

    The goal of eliminating water and chemicals from the plate developing process has been a long-term goal for the industry. With the new Kodak technology, Thermal Direct plates are imaged in any conventional thermal laser CTP platesetter and taken directly to the press. While the negative image is not as developed as that coming from conventional platesetters at this stage of the process, it is still quite readable (type to 12 pt) so that the press operator can be confident it is the correct plate. Once mounted on the press, the plate is developed when the fountain solution plus the ink tack ensure the dissolving ultra-thin coating of the non-imaged areas is transferred to the blanket, and so exits the press in the first few sheets.

    Thermal Direct plates do not require rinsing, cleaning or post-imaging finishing. They are true image, mount and print plates and according to Kodak, the only ones currently available in commercial quantities to the market. According to Ross Gilberthorpe, marketing manager, GCG Kodak Australia, while there may be other plates that claim to be processless only, Thermal Direct meets the industry’s requirements.

    “True processless plate technology means being able to take the plate directly from the platesetter to the press. The whole point is that it eliminates the need to rinse, or wash or whatever. Kodak has always concentrated on thermal imaging, this is our fourth generation, which has enabled us to provide the industry with the type of processless plate it wants… one that works.”

    The advantage of Thermal Direct lies in the ultra-thin coating on the traditionally grained and anodized aluminum substrate. A unique polymer resin in the non-imaging area enables the coating-which is 70% thinner than photopolymer violet plates and 35% thinner than typical processed thermal plates – to lift off with no residue.

    Eliminating plate processing not only removes costs and hassle from the process, it also produces a much more reliable plate. Without a processor there is no variability caused by the condition of the solution or the quality of the chemicals, by whether they have been changed and refreshed according to schedule. With processless plates, the image that is written in the platesetter is the image that is printed by the press.

    The Thermal Direct process also delivers greater productivity by having a much shorter time to press. The elimination of the processor cuts the production cycle and allows more plates to be output per shift. This is especially useful in short run, quick turnaround print shops where productivity depends on being able to pump through plates when required in the shortest length of time.

    Horse for courses – plates for purposes

    According to Ross Gilberthorpe, the Thermal Direct combination of a better way of producing plates and being able to contribute to the environment is a winning proposal.

    “If you ask most people whether they want to contribute to saving the environment they’ll say ‘yes’, but it has to make sense from a business viewpoint too,” he said. Gilberthorpe is an evangelist for what he terms Kodak’s water saving strategy. This is currently focused on the benefits of the Thermal Direct processless plate, but it also extends to water saving processes for conventional plates.

    Kodak’s team of plate experts are focused on delivering the most appropriate water saving options. Most modern plate processors these days come equipped with water recovery and recycling equipment. The exact model depends on the throughput of the plate line, but all are part of the Kodak strategy aimed at cutting wasteful water use.

    “Thermal Direct is not suitable for every printing process, but that doesn’t mean there are no other strategies from Kodak to minimise the use of water,” said Gilberthorpe.

    Kodak CGC are bringing to market a range of water recycling products. The first generation of Thermal Direct plates are promoted as being suitable for print runs up to 100,000. While this encompasses the vast majority of jobs, it does leave a significant proportion of ultra long runs where conventional plates will be used.

    “You should remember this is the first generation of Thermal Direct. There will be many more developments with the technology, expanding the range of work it will be capable of performing,” said Gliberthorpe. “But there is no doubt that it has changed the way the printing industry regards the process of plate production.”

  • Philip Andersen gets guernsey for trade skills body

    The reference group provides input into the board of the Institute that represents the automotive, building and construction, electrical, manufacturing, metals and engineering, hospitality and personal services, rural and mineral resources sectors.

    Mr Andersen said his appointment would give the printing and associated industries greater input into the shaping of industry training resources.

    “While industry may have input into the content of training courses, it does not have a lot of control over the outcomes,” he said. “An important role of the Institute is to correct this and to improve the profile and status of trades by ensuring the needs of employers are met.”

    “For our industry this in part means encompassing a more dynamic approach to traditional skills training to reflect rapidly changing new technologies and to establish closer working relations with employers for the practical aspects of such training.”

    Mr Andersen said this process needed to begin with fostering and recognising higher trade standards of teaching.

    “You cannot expect to improve trades standards without good teachers and a strong partnership with industry producers and suppliers,” he said.

    Mr Andersen said Printing Industries had already launched a pilot training program with a group of member companies willing to try new training techniques. The Federal government-funded program would provide a series of case studies each targeted at overcoming a key skills gap or shortage within the industry.

    This project is scheduled for completion by August 2007.

  • The final countdown: PrintEx 07 set to roll out

    With ninety-five per cent of the space available at Sydney Convention and Entertainment Centre already booked out, organisers are busy planning the smooth-running of Sydney’s major print and design event which runs from 25-26 May. Keynote speakers at the briefing included Thurain Aye; Sharyn Tamlyn; Sarah Hawthorn; Grant Churchill and John Gorton (pictured left to right) who each addressed issues of sales, marketing, public relations and operations for this year’s event.

    Alternating with PacPrint in Melbourne, the exhibition covers print, pre-press, packaging, publishing, design, finishing and logistics. Chairman Grant Churchill was clear to distinguish to exhibitors that “PrintEx is designed as a different type of show to PacPrint” and caters for people who cannot afford to travel overseas.

    The last PrintEx held in Sydney 2003 drew a crowd of 10,393 trade visitors; it is hoped that the 2007 event will surpass these figures. “We’re very cautious about the size of the audience [this year],” said John Gorton. Grant Churchill believes representatives from GAMAA and Printing Industries will play a part in generating a greater crowd this year. “As a result of having these people on board you’ll see new initiatives to bring new people to PrintEx 07 and we hope it’s a greater number than in the past,” he said.

    While Gorton concedes that, “There is no single way to attract people to an exhibition” he has high hopes that the seminar program, which includes a number of free forums will spark the public’s attention. Describing the forums as “short, sharp, focussed and topical”, Gorton said that: “We believe these forums will be an exciting draw card for high-end visitors.”

  • Book Club –

    Use the Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color to make your color choices credible, predictable and effective. Filled with hundreds of color combinations and illustrations, this book is based on consultant Leatrice Eiseman’s popular seminars on the psychology of color. Apply these essential guidelines and illustrations to all your projects- branding, packaging, point-of-purchase, advertising, signage, logos, web sites and more!

    With this useful guide, you’ll find everything you need to make color work in your designs – from valuable color terms to a chart for converting PANTONE spot colors to Hexachrome and process formats. Created especially for anyone interested in the psychology of color and meaningful color combinations, this guide uses Pantone’s universally utilized color systems to ensure that color comes out just the way you like – No surprises.


    To buy Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color click and to browse the Print21Online Shop click here.

  • Printers need new profile to get federal training $’s

    Print 21 recently reported that the printing industry was not considered eligible to be included on the Australian Technical Colleges’ cirricula and, as a result, many young people would not be able to undertake printing apprenticeships.

    In response to problems such as this, the Department of Education, Science and Training has funded a research project entitled Understanding and resolving the skills shortage in the Australian printing industry to be released at the end of February.

    Key messages outlined in the report are that finding a solution to skill shortages requires a strategic, co-ordinated response from the industry, the enterprise itself and training organisations. The report found that the printing industry needs to provide a strategic, long-term action plan; enterprises must promote solutions within the workplace and training providers must broaden their approaches to traditional training.

    Most of all, the report recommends the printing industry present a new image that “is innovative, tolerant of change, well-paying and prepared to invest in the skills and career paths of its employees.”

    Mr Robert Fuller, Printing Industries general manager NSW said that he “absolutely agrees” with the report.
    “The government has provided us with resources to commence four innovative training programs and a strong possibility of a fifth and these are being specifically designed to have new ways of training to address the identified skills shortages from the 2004 research study of the industry’s skilled shortages in those 4 targets,” he said.

    Industry identity Colin Bowd said that he also agreed with the report’s key messages, and believed that Printing Industries should be actively lobbying DEST for places in the new Australian Technical College initiative. “This initiative offers students the opportunity to start their apprenticeship while in Years 11 and 12 at school,” he says. “The peak-body after all is sending a DVD [Imagine: A World Without Print] to these and all schools in March identifying career opportunities.”

    But a DVD won’t change the entire industry, Bowd says. “[The DVD] will address some of this but to be successful it will require ‘buy-in’ by school counsellors/career advisors to ensure that the DVD is watched by students and that some sort of follow-up strategy exists to ‘sell’ the career opportunities available,” he says.

    Bowd believes that disagreeing with current policies does not go far enough, and active measures must be taken. He points to the Master Plumbers Association (MPA) as a positive example of those looking out for the young. “The MPA is Chair of Board on the new ATC Western Sydney college and they have a group training company which manages apprentices on behalf of their members,” he said.

  • GEON gives green light on single supplier strategy

    Three winners – Agfa, CPI and Red Paper Group – look at sharing GEON’s $80 million yearly spend on consumables in a taste of scale leverage from the private equity backed group. An intense tendering process under the aegis of management consultants, AT Kearney, saw all the industry’s major suppliers put to the test.

    Incumbent suppliers to the 12 different printing companies in Australia and New Zealand, as well as other companies that met the tests of scale and capability took part in what Graham Morgan, Group COO, described as “ a robust process.” While conceding GEON is seeking immediate bottom line benefits from the massive realignment of its supply chain, he maintains price was not the decisive factor.

    “We analysed the responses including prices obviously, but also looked at business continuity, resilience, ethical behaviour and environmental commitment. We tried to keep the process as open and transparent as possible and approached the supply chain in a holistic manner,” he said. “All the suppliers in the final selection were very credible and we have tried to minimise disruption to the unsuccessful incumbents.”

    The company intends to develop long-term strategic relationships with its chosen suppliers and has developed joint working parties to see to the transfer and development of ways to extract further costs from the supply chain. The initial contracts are for two years. While there is no assurance the impending purchase of Promentum will see that group follow suite, it’s more than likely, according to Morgan.

  • Plates set to go Agfa thermal
    • The printing plate contract, being relatively simple, will be the first to make the switch. Already Agency Printing in Sydney has switched to Agfa and Morgan expects the entire group to have made the move within two months. The migration towards processless plates will take place over the length of the contract as the technology matures.

  • Inks to CPI with Tokyo Cervo
      The process ink supply is likely to be a more complicated turnover with only two of the 12 firms currently running the product. The decision to go with the Tokyo Ink product from CPI came down to blind data-based choice following extensive testing at Independent Ink Technologies at Parramatta, NSW. A panel of GEON Group’s general managers reviewed the findings and picked Tokyo Cervo, although it was not necessarily the cheapest product, according to Morgan.

      The win was welcomed by David Bull, CPI director, who said it vindicated the company’s long-standing ink business. Having seen the GEON single source process from both sides – winning on ink, missing out on paper – he maintains it was a very thorough process. “From an industry perspective it was quite new, very different from other tenders, which are often simply calls for a price or a low quote. We’re very pleased the ink division was chosen. It has gone from strength to strength in recent times and is now larger than it has ever been in the 25 years we’ve been selling ink,” he said.

  • Paper goes to the Red Group
    • The consolidation of GEON’s paper supply is likely to prove the most challenging with end-customer preferences for specific grades of paper to be taken into account. The time line for the switch is likely to around six months. “We’re very aware that paper companies operate on thin margins so we’re not about to beat them up every six months on price,” said Morgan. “ We’re looking for longevity in our relationship and on extracting costs from the whole supply chain.”