Archive for March, 2008

  • SEP Sprint runs out of time and money

    Award-winning Melbourne security printer slides into administration despite rock-solid stamp printing contracts.
    Over 60 jobs lost as one of the industry’s most high-profile companies was placed in administration last week. Despite continuing to produce stamps for Australia Post right up to the end, the company ran out of money and was unable to pay wages.

    Geoff Handberg of Rodger Reidy is handling the disposal of the assets. He reports that the business, which was in difficulties for a long time, has ceased trading and that the assets are for sale. Interested parties should contact him or Shane Cremin on (03) 95504111.

    SEP Sprint is best known for its security printing of Australia Post stamps through iPrint and is a recognised world leader in lenticular (3D) printing. In one of its most high profile jobs it printed lenticular stamps for the Dutch Post Office.

    The reasons behind the failure of the company are unclear with director and substantial investor, Chris Lawrence unable to comment after the appointment of the administrator. He said he is continuing to work on the best outcome for the employees and the creditors.

    Under managing director, Mark Reid, the multi-award winning company gained a reputation for being a specialist printer, undertaking complex innovative work. It operated under Intergraf certification, one of the few local companies accredited to the strict international security standard. Apart from stamps it produced other financial instruments such as bonds, cheques and security seals.

    Pictured in happier times, Mark Reid (left) and Chris Lawrence with the Agfa National Print Award that the company won twice in a row.

  • NZ print judges get cheeky with poster girls

    Close examination under the glass revealed great skin tones, colour density and nice bit of touching up in PhotoShop.

    It had to be the cheekiest entry in the Pride In Print Awards. The shapely bikini-clad women in this large-format entry demanded extra scrutiny, although the judges said it was strictly professional interest that had them studying the poster so closely.

    It was a moment of light relief during the intense judging of nearly 800 entries over three days at Auckland’s Alexandra Park raceway. As to whether it was a winning entry or not, you’ll just have to wait until the winners are announced at the Pride In Print Awards Dinner in Auckland’s Sky City on May 16.

  • New European CTP plate line for Fujifilm

    Existing Dutch plant to be ramped up to meet rising global demand in offset printing plate.

    The new line will cost approximately AUS$160 million (96 million Euros) with construction to commence in October 2008 with operations scheduled to begin in January 2010.

    According to Peter Carrigan, Fujifilm Australasia General Manager – Graphic Systems Division, the new initiative is great news and will undoubtedly create a CTP plate productivity benchmark for the future. The European plate manufacturing operation is one of four global bases – Japan, USA, and China – for the production of Fujifilm’s offset printing plates.

    The company reports rising demand for its CTP plates due to the digitization of the printing process. Recently, demand has increased further in the emerging countries due to their extraordinary economic growth and this trend is expected to continue.

    Meanwhile, due to heightened worldwide environmental awareness, there is strong demand for environmentally friendly products such as processless CTP plates (which generate no waste liquid due to the elimination of the film development process) and chemistry free CTP plates (that reduce waste liquid due to simplified development processes).

    The new production line will feature Fujifilm’s unique surface treatment technology called MultiGrain Technology. This enables the stable production of high quality, high definition CTP plates with excellent durability and consistency.  It will also allow FUJIFILM to manufacture processless and chemistry-free CTP plates, which require advanced production technology.

    Looking towards the future, this investment will allow FUJIFILM to not only meet the growing demand for CTP plates, but will also contribute to reducing environmental impacts by expanding the local production of such environmentally friendly products.

  • Jobs of the week: Regional Business Development Manager, Pacific / Publishing Software and Enterprise Solutions / Global Company, Sydney

    Pacific / Publishing Software and Enterprise Solutions / Global Company

    Our client, an established international company, has revolutionized the publishing industry and continues to expand into new markets. They have created an exciting, brand new opportunity for a Regional Business Development Manager with a success-oriented personality, personal drive and energy to identify and acquire new customers in target vertical markets across the ANZ region.

    There is very strong potential for the successful candidate to further develop this Regional BDM role into the ANZ Country Manager position over the next two to three years if not sooner.

    The role reports into the Senior Vice President of Sales for Latin America and Asia, an Aussie icon and brilliant marketeer who is well known and highly respected across the industry.

    You should ideally have between 5 to 10 years’ experience of Enterprise software solution sales into the Corporate, Publishing, Finance, Manufacturing vertical markets with a demonstrable network of contacts.

    Position requirements:

    • Proven track record of identifying incremental business opportunities; building a new business pipeline and converting to profitable revenue

    • Significant experience dealing at C level within organizations

    • Excellent relationship-building skills

    • Self-starter used to working on ones own initiative

    • Experience with cold calling and appointment making

    • Strong presentation skills and professional appearance

    • Strong written and verbal communication skills

    • High level of motivation and flexibility

    • Ability and willingness to travel  throughout ANZ

    A salary package commensurate with experience will be offered. $240K OTE is a guideline.

    Please send your CV in strictest confidence to vicky.payne@ask.com.au or telephone Vicky direct on (02) 9492-0104

     

     

  • Jobs of the week: Assistant Production Manager, Sydney

    An expanding print company in Mascot requires an assistant production manager for their afternoon/evening shift.

    Working closely with the production manager, the right person will be expected to bring a degree of expertise to the position and be able to influence the department immediately.

     

    Therefore, management or supervisory experience and exposure to the production process within a large sheet fed printing environment is preferred. Working knowledge of Quote and Print software would also be an advantage, but is not essential.

    This is an excellent opportunity for the right applicant to advance their career. For more detail on the position or to apply email: percy@centrumprinting.com.au

     

  • Job of the week: Preproduction / Pre-Press, Brisbane

    Looking for a new challenge within a dynamic flexographic printing company, great team, Brisbane based.

    Are you super organised? A keen eye for detail?
    Great administrator who loves meeting deadlines?
    Passion for Pre-Press, looking for a career opportunity in a growing company?

    If so…. we would like to hear from you.

    FlexPack is a Brisbane based and owned printer and manufacturer of flexible packaging. A leader within our industry we are renowned for our outstanding quality and technical services.

    Reporting to the Pre-Press Manager you will administer the Pre-production activities, ensuring the Printing Plates and Job Specifications are delivered to Production on time. You will act as a link between Sales, Art Houses, Plate suppliers and Production.

    This is a deadline driven working environment where it is critical to provide accurate and timely information to the production environment.  It would be an advantage but not essential to have Pre-Press / Graphic design skills as training will be given.

    To be successful in securing this role you will need to be highly organised, have a great eye for detail, good communication skills, a can-do attitude and be a real team player.  You will need to have good knowledge of Microsoft Office, basic Graphics Design applications and experience in Management Information Systems.

    If you think this sounds like the challenge you have been looking for, please let us hear from you, by emailing your resume to mercia@flexpack.com.au or give Mercia van den Heever a call on 07 3217 0999.

     

  • Collotype Labels retains identity in $210 million US takeover

    Multi-Color buys iconic Australian label converter but leaves local management in place to operate the international business.

    The Collotype wine labels business in Australia will continue to operate under its well-known identity. The non-wine manufacturing plants of Colourcraft and Nationwide Labels will be re-branded as Multi-Color (SA) and (QLD) respectively.

    The Ohio-based Multi-Color closed the acquisition this week of the Adelaide-based company that in almost 100 years has grown to become the world’s largest pressure sensitive wine label producer. Nigel Vinecombe, Collotype ceo, will take on the role of president of Multi-Color’s international business unit. Collotype shareholders and management team got almost 30 per cent of their takeover payment in Multi-Color stock, which means the Australian interests retain a significant stake in the enlarged company.

    Founded in 1903 Collotype has US$130 million in annual sales and is one of the most awarded label converters in the industry. Under the guidance of entrepreneur, Peter Teakle, it grew rapidly over eight years from a $50 million concern to its present size.

    In the States, Multi-Color president and CEO, Frank Gerace said, “This acquisition is the first large step towards achieving our long range strategy of being a premier global resource of innovative label solutions to consumer product and food and beverage companies worldwide. We look forward to Nigel Vinecombe and the Collotype team becoming a vital component of Multi-Color’s continued success.”

    The takeover is part of the ongoing consolidation sweeping the label converting industry. According to Brenton Barrett, vice president Multi-Color Asia/Pacific, the trend is undeniable and he says although the company is not talking to anyone at present there is likely to be further takeover activity down the track.

    He described the Multi-Color deal as a significant event in the label converting sector. “It’s a good marriage. We share a passion for excellence and it gives our people greater job security with the opportunity to grow the company,” he said.

  • Agfa Graphics to Demonstrate New Products and Solutions at drupa.


    New hardware and consumables for commercial printing, packaging, newspaper, and sign & display markets to highlight stand.New hardware and consumables for commercial printing, packaging, newspaper, and sign & display markets to highlight stand.

    Agfa Graphics announced its line-up of new products and solutions that will be on display at the Agfa stand (Hall 8a – B63) during the international trade fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, 29 May -11 June. The announcement was made at Agfa’s pre-Drupa press conference in Belgium where more than 85 graphic arts journalists from around the world gathered to hear about Agfa’s expanded product line for its four major market segments: commercial printing, packaging printing, newspaper industry, and sign & display market.

    Agfa’s new, innovative range of products and solutions to be shown at drupa include:

    * Azura TS, Agfa’s new ThermoFuse-based chem-free thermal digital plate featuring a substantial increase in throughput, an advanced clean-out system and improved contrast;
    * Azura V, the chemistry-free digital plate for violet platesetters;
    * Avalon N, a new thermal imaging CtP series available in 8-up and VLF formats which accommodate a variety of plate sizes and plate-per-hour capabilities;
    * Apogee Suite, Agfa’s new comprehensive workflow solution that integrates all content, project management, prepress and production functions. Agfa also noted the launch of :Apogee Media, an Apogee Suite module that is a total solution for content integration and management. Apogee Media will be on display both at Agfa’s main stand, as well as at the drupa Innovation Pavillion (Hall 7.0 – Print & Publishing Park);
    * Anapurna XLS, a new addition to Agfa’s wide-format family of UV printers that eliminates the need for users to have to compromise between speed and quality;
    * SYNAPS, a new high quality synthetic paper;
    * CtP Plate Cleaner and ANTURAfount AFS1, two new advanced pressroom supplies.

    In addition to these products be shown for the first time, Agfa will also be demonstrating its single pass industrial inkjet solutions the :Dotrix Modular, for flexible packaging and folding carton applications,
    “Agfa Graphics stand will display both Agfa’s technological leadership in prepress, as well as our continued commitment to sustainability within the graphic communications industry,” said Ronald Marien, Director, Global Communications, Agfa Graphics. “We will also display our range of industrial UV inkjet solutions and present our roadmap for the coming years.”
    “There will also be an exciting twist at our stand (Hall 8A; Stand B63) this year as visitors will get the chance to determine their own price,” added Marien. “We cannot divulge any additional information just yet, but this will surely be a unique opportunity for visitors to close the deal of their life.”

  • Agfa Belgium press conference: Industrial inkjet leads drupa charge

    Dotrix Modular targets flexible packaging and folding cartons in a clear indication of the company’s future strategy.

    Aligning itself with many other major suppliers in declaring the upcoming German trade show the ‘inkjet drupa’, Agfa has placed inkjet at the core of its exhibition stand. While also introducing new thermal CTP engines and plates, the stand will place a major emphasis on the innovative inkjet technology that is driving much of the company’s R&D.

    Inkjet is an attractive sector for manufacturers, especially those such as Agfa that have proprietary technology. It offers the business model of hardware and consumabels, such as ink and substrates, thereby providing a longer sustainable revenue stream than simple hardware sales. In concentrating on industrial inkjet in the folding carton market Agfa is aiming for a dominant digital presence in the sector.

    Focusing on its patented core industrial strength inkjet technology Agfa will present faster (24 m/min) and more productive Dotrix Modular presses for the packaging market. It is promoting a competitive cost of ownership that will allow run lengths of up to and over 15,000 running metres as well as interspersing flexo stations inline for the use of primer when required. It will also allow printing of special in-house colours or special inks like gold, metallic and fluorescents, as well as high density white and varnish. 

    At a pre-drupa press conference in Belgium last week, Willy Van Dromme, sales & marketing manager, Inkjet, Agfa Graphics, confirmed the advances made in the vital inkjet technology by the company. “Our industrial inkjet presses help printers in the packaging market increase their versatility and accomplish the work they need to do to satisfy their clients faster than ever before. drupa gives us the opportunity to promote our expertise in this technology with professionals from dozens of countries around the world,” he said.

    The :Dotrix, which is upgradeable, runs with UV inks on a wide variety of media. In the next phase, speeds will be increased to 30 m/min and afterwards to even higher speeds depending on the specific applications. It can print on many types of substrates, including the most common flexible packaging materials such as paper, multiwall, PE, PP, BOPP and PET, as well as folding carton and label materials such as heat-sensitive, pressure-sensitive and in-mould labels.

    There will be at least two operating Dotrix Modular presses at drupa in set-ups for flexible packaging and folding cartons.

  • Agfa Belgium press conference #2: New chemical-free thermal digital plate

    Azura TS, with advanced clean-out system and improved contrast, to be introduced at drupa 2008.

    The new Azura TS, which the company claims offers higher throughput—in some cases as much as 50 per cent–and sharper contrast, will be shown at drupa. The chemistry free but not processless plate represents the continuation of the company’s drive towards maintaining its position as a leader in plate development and supply.

    Then Azura TS uses a gumming process that cleans the plate and gums it in one step, making it press-ready without the need for chemical processing. Liquid consumption and waste are considerably reduced, and no chemical controls are needed. Also, the Agfa C95 and C125 Clean-Out units have low energy requirements and small footprints, providing further benefits for the low-to-medium-volume commercial printers who adopt the system.

    “By increasing overall productivity we feel confident that the unique benefits of the Azura system will be shared with an even broader range of printers than before,” said Marc Op de Beeck, vice president, sales & marketing, Agfa Graphics. “To date there have been more than 2000 installations of the Azura plate system worldwide, and we look forward to showing the latest generation to visitors at drupa.”

    Other Agfa releases for drupa

    • Avalon N, a new thermal imaging CtP series available in 8-up and VLF formats, which accommodate a variety of plate sizes and plate-per-hour capabilities;
    • Apogee Suite, Agfa’s new comprehensive workflow solution that integrates all content, project management, prepress and production functions. Agfa also noted the launch of Apogee Media, an Apogee Suite module that is a total solution for content integration and management. Apogee Media will be on display both at Agfa’s main stand, as well as at the drupa Innovation Pavillion (Hall 7.0 – Print & Publishing Park);
    • Anapurna XLS, a new addition to Agfa’s wide-format family of UV printers that eliminates the need for users to have to compromise between speed and quality;
    • Synaps, a new high quality synthetic paper;
    • CtP Plate Cleaner and ANTURAfount AFS1, two new advanced pressroom supplies.

     

  • Press Release Almanac: 26 March 2008

    Keep up to date with the latest news and releases.

    HP Expands its Large Format Photo Paper Portfolio

    P3- an evolutionary new price-weigh label.

    Stork Prints’ RSI-2 module sets the new standard for rotary screen printing at drupa 2008

    DiMS.net!, the most proactive and user-friendly MIS/ERP system ever

    GMG opts for the original Adobe interpreter in its software products for the first time

     


    HP has added two new papers – HP Everyday Pigment Ink Photo Paper and HP Premium Matte Photo Paper – to its large-format photo media portfolio.  The papers are designed especially for print service providers (PSP) and creatives, broadening HP’s offerings in the large format media space.


    Bryan Liesse, HP Worldwide Business Development Manager, Media Supplies and Solutions, was in Australia in March to talk about the new media.  “These two papers are designed specifically to maximise the performance of pigment inks.  They are the next generation in media and feature HP’s unique lay-flat technology that breaks the roll set which significantly reduces the papers’ curl.  This is a tremendous advantage for those PSPs producing high quality photorealistic point of sale materials and posters on the HP Designjet Z Series and the HP Designjet 5000 series large format printers in particular.”


    Liesse said the papers were designed in consultation with PSP customers.  The papers’ microporous composition ensures high ink density at production print speed.  The new papers can be used on all pigment ink printers, not just HP, and are competitively priced.


    Ben Ho, South Pacific Market Development Manager for HP Designjet – Large Format Printing Division said Australia, which has a reputation as an adopter of new technology, was a focus market for the release of the new papers. “Our Australian customers have been given a preliminary look at the papers and the overwhelming feedback is that they are outstanding.  The papers work exceptionally well with pigment and UV inks and we can see them being used for a range of promotional and display applications.”


    HP Everyday Pigment Ink Photo Paper is an economic microporous paper that delivers superior image quality with HP Vivera pigment inks. When used together, HP Everyday Pigment Ink Photo Paper and HP Vivera pigment inks provide an ideal system solution for printing photorealistic images with rich detail and vibrant colours.


    An evolutionary new price-weigh label has been launched by Hally Labels.  P3 is an innovative solution for perishable food products requiring a price-weigh label that offers improved product presentation, differentiation and as a result, higher margins.

    P3 enables top, side and base labelling of a tray; providing increased space for branding, images, product information and promotional messages.  Different shapes and designs can be used to differentiate products, making consumer choice easier. 

    "P3 is the latest example of Hally working with our customers to provide a tailored solution.  Our expertise within the perishable food sector ensures that P3 combines functionality with improved product presentation," said Nigal Tutty, new product innovation manager at Hally Labels. 

    The launch of P3 culminates an extensive 12 month development period that included successful trials with Coles and Woolworths.  P3 is currently being used for value-added pork products, ready-to-eat salads, and premium beef patties.  It is the ideal solution for perishable food products such as meat, poultry, seafood, produce, dairy and bakery. 

    P3 can be applied manually or automatically.  For automatic application Hally have partnered with Inspection Systems, who offer Gemini Flexi-Wrap equipment.  Flexi-Wrap is a high speed weigh label system designed to apply both fixed and catch weight labels as C-fold or complete wrap of the consumer pack. 

    *****************************************

    Stork Prints sets the new standard for rotary screen printing, by unveiling RSI-2 – an improved version of its acclaimed RSI(r) (Rotary Screen Integration) module, at drupa 2008.

    With its modernised design, RSI-2 can be seamlessly integrated into the architecture, software and mechanics of the latest-generation printing presses. Key benefits include full interactivity, better user-friendliness, faster make-ready and a shorter learning curve.


    Far from being a stand-alone unit, RSI-2 can be controlled through the main panel of the press. This provides simultaneous, centralised monitoring of all rotary screen positions, alongside other printing and converting operations. A greater number of signals can be viewed at a glance, so that problems are detected almost instantly and remedied in a much shorter time.

    In addition, the module’s button-free touch-panel, with an enlarged interface, allows straightforward and unambiguous menu navigation, for fast and fool-proof access to the desired command.

    Improved ergonomics are offered too: the outer cover opens easily outwards, and is accessible without physical strain, from ground level, while the squeegee hole is widened to give more maneuverability during insertion.

    Bert Grootjen, program manager graphics at Stork Prints, comments: "The RSI-2 is a landmark for rotary screen printing – it is the first modular unit of its kind to offer complete synchronicity with the printing press, from both a software and an engineering perspective. It provides the perfect platform for smooth in-line rotary screen printing in the multi-process converting environment."

    DiMS.net!, the most proactive and user-friendly MIS/ERP system ever

    At Drupa 2008, DiMS! organizing print will launch the most innovative IT product for the graphic arts industry ever, DiMS.net!. Utilizing the comprehensive end-to-end functionality of the existing DiMS! solution, the company has invested
    80.000 hours to create a brand-new MIS/ERP system, which enables an extremely pro-active and
    easy way of conducting business. The inevitable results produce themselves in: ease of use; less
    errors; speed of business processes; reduced training time for new employees; improved process
    flow information and increased efficiency. In this press announcement we highlight some of the
    features that make DiMS.net! unique of its kind.
    Adaptive, autodidactic user interface
    Based on the MS Vista look and feel, DiMS.net! can be adapted to the user’s application behaviour
    and requirements, achieving outstanding user-friendliness. For the most advanced users all
    functionalities are available, where less demanding or one-time users can also easily operate the
    system. The clear and autodidactic set-up of the system enables every user to operate it to his or her own needs.


    Colours lead the way

    The various sections of the system are colour coded, showing the right flowchart at a single glance. In addition, a context sensitive ribbon menu represents the consecutive steps in the flow process – whether it’s for quote, order, or something else – and shows the status of each process step through coloured flags: green, yellow, red and blue.


    Smart memory
    Every flow step has various options; the system automatically adopts the ideal and favorite work methods of the individual user. All options selected the last time automatically present themselves on top, just like documents that belong to a record; the last generated ones show themselves first. This makes working with the DiMS.net! software a daily pleasure. Any document can be saved with an order in DiMS.net!, whether they are e-mails, attachments or documents received from customers. DiMS.net! achieves a new height with this method in organizing business processes.


    Drupa – stand 9A25
    Come and see us at Drupa, stand 9A26, to ensure that you’re one of the first to learn all about this brand-new DiMS! version. You are most welcome at our stand (# 9A25). We would appreciate it if you would call (+31 544 396 600) to make an appointment.
    “With this new release, we again live up to the expectations of being the pioneering MIS/ERP solution provider in the industry. Observations of prospects and customers stating that the DiMS! system is 5 to 6 years ahead of the competition is the rule rather than the exception and that’s a promise we will keep for many years to come”, said Mr. Gerard Marneth, CEO, DiMS! organizing print.
    www.dims.net.

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    GMG opts for the original Adobe interpreter in its software products for the first time

    Tuebingen (03.26.2008) – GMG, supplier of high-end color management and proofing solutions, today announced that its ColorProof version 4.5.2 will incorporate new RIP interpreter technology based on the latest Adobe® PDF Print Engine technology.

    PDF has been accepted as the de facto standard for dependable and more secure electronic information exchange in the graphic arts industry. Adobe Acrobat is the leading software for streamlining creative workflows and managing PDF files. Implementation of the Adobe PDF Print Engine technology in GMG ColorProof now guarantees 100% compatibility with Adobe Acrobat® software and Adobe Creative Suite® versions 2 and 3. For GMG users, this means that GMG ColorProof produces precisely the same results as displayed in Adobe Acrobat.

    Additional benefits include enhanced font handling with fewer errors, optimized transparency handling and qualitatively better support of PDF and PDX files. Further, new PDF specifications can be implemented much faster than in previous versions.

    In addition to integrating Adobe PDF Print Engine technology, GMG ColorProof 4.5.2 also features other new functions, such as:
    * Halftone proof support of the HP Z 6100
    * The high-quality mode of the Epson 4880, 7880 and 9880 with smoother appearance, e.g. for photo prints
    * High-speed printing for form proofs, likewise for the Epson 4880, 7880 and 9880
    * 16-bit support for data import

    Version 4.5.2 is available free of charge to users of GMG ColorProof 4.5 and customers with a service agreement. Owners of an older version can purchase the update from authorized GMG dealers.

    Adobe PDF Print Engine technology will be integrated not only in GMG ColorProof, but also in GMG DotProof, GMG FlexoProof, GMG ColorServer, and GMG InkOptimizer. The new versions will be available starting in March.

    "GMG is dedicated to supporting standards. Since Adobe is the RIP standard in the graphic arts industry, it was only logical for GMG to go for this standard in its software as well. This enables us to guarantee the support of complex workflows," says Jawdatt Mawassii, Vice President Business Development and Strategy of GMG GmbH & Co. KG.

    "Adobe is pleased that GMG has adopted the Adobe PDF Print Engine technology at the heart of its software," said Raman Nagpal, director for product management and engineering, Print Technologies at Adobe. "GMG is growing rapidly in the proofing sector and Adobe’s technology is helping them to address market segments such as gravure printing, packaging and flexo."

  • The winds of change: 27 March 2008

    The printing industry has more people coming and going than an airport. This week, Print 21 takes a look at the flurry of changes that’s occurred.

    HP Indigo expands industrial print team

    Zoran Novakovic (pictured) has taken up the role of business development manager, HP Indigo.

    Novakovic, has been with HP for three years. Prior to this role, he was part of the managed print services team.   In his position, Novakovic will work closely with current and new HP Indigo industrial digital customers to develop new opportunities to grow market demand.

    Commenting on his new role, Novakovic said: "It is an exciting time in digital print, especially on an industrial scale.  I can see numerous technological and business advantages for HP Indigo customers and look forward to working with them and the HP Indigo team."

    Novakovic joins Rob West, who has been leading the HP Indigo team in Australia for the past eight years.  He will work closely with West and HP Indigo channel partners the Currie Group in Australia and AM International in New Zealand.

     

     

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

     Adrian Painter joins Optimus as  Technical Consultant at iMelbourne HQ

    Adrian will be working alongside Con James, Technical Manager Systems, who is well known to the industry with more than 25 years experience working with such respected industry leaders as Heidelberg Australia, EAC Graphics and Cyrachrome.
    As well as acting as the ‘first line’ of assistance for customers on technical matters, Adrian will handle a range of operations including technical consulting, system implementation and upgrades, and customer training.

    He brings a diverse range of experience to his new role having worked in many facets of the printing industry more than 16 years. With qualifications and experience in graphic design and teaching, he has run design studios and has held management positions in printing companies across areas incl

    uding prepress, customer service and account management.
    The announcement, made this week, comes at an exciting time for the company says Optimus Australia Managing Director, Peter Charlton.

    “Last year, we moved our head office to new facilities at the Lakeside Business Centre, overlooking Albert Park Lake in Melbourne, and also established a Sydney branch,” says Peter. “In December, we launched Optimus V19, a totally new product with a completely new structure and graphic interface which makes it far more powerful, functional and easy to use. In short, it’s a very exciting new MIS option for printing companies in this part of the world.”


    The Optimus team (L-R) – Peter Charlton, Managing Director; Bardie – Telephone Support; Adrian Painter, Technical Consultant and Con James, Technical Manager Systems.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 27 March 2008

    Readers have their say on last week’s news. Andy McCourt stirs the possums, as usual, Fuji Xerox hits the sweet spot and bad debts are a plague upon the industry.

    Re: Web printing shifts – did anyone notice? Andy McCourt’s commentary

    Excellent article and this backs up my decision that after 20 years in the newspaper game and after passing my MBA last June I decided to dedicate the next 20 years of my working life to other manufacturing as I felt newspaper offset printing was a dying process/product in a dying market.

    Still enjoy your publication though.
    Paul Mason

    –––––––––––––––––––––––

    The article states: "The fragmentation of the web offset market will be driven by the availability of smaller, faster and more versatile digital inkjet presses. If I were any newspaper or PMP, IPMG, Bluestar, AIW, Cadlillac, Rotary Offset or Quality Group; I would be forming a task group right now to plan for the gradual shift."

    The question is …. What sort of representation would  be invited to participated in such a task force if such a task force were to form?

    … It sounds like that the forward scouts of the commercial print sector are beginning to realize the implications of a trend that has been going on a long time (in digital economy time) is beginning to bite. And that there is a gradual realization that we are seeing the emergence of the ascendancy of knowledge processes over business processes? Again the question … who would be a member of your task force … and why?

    What is this gradual shift that is being referred to … from what to what? Do your readers have any idea what is meant by an ink droplet ‘event horizon"? If they did have some understanding of such meaning, what might be the objective of your suggested taskforce?

    Richard Vines

    –––––––––––––––––––––––

    Like so many others [we] are finding things tough out there and finding that our customers in turn are finding it tough and not paying. Currently I have found that one of our customers has become a bad debt and after a little digging around, I have found out they are also a bad debt at other companies.

    Without mentioning names (at this stage) two other printing companies have also carried this debtor to 90 days plus. We did all the checks you do on new customers, even our factoring company did these check and all smelled like roses. But by the time it reached the 90 day bracket things started to smell a little fishy and the promises started to flow which where regular broken, and of course now he wont return emails or phones calls.

    So why is this different? We have since found that the other two companies have had debts into 120/150/180 day brackets. Why did they not start legal action sooner? As at this time they still have not started these proceeding. If they had done so, the credit checks would not of been so clean!

    So now for the fun bit, we have found that the customer’s customer has paid the account from the printer broker and thus he has not passed on the funds at all to any supplier. What I am actually asking is there (of course with actual proof) any way we can display names of suck blood suckers and remove them out of our industry and stop people like these using printers in such a way – working for 90 days and running to the next supplier. The figures I am discussing are as follows; me approx $100k, part two $40k, part three $100k, so this is definitely deliberate.

    Any other information you think I should follow up would be appreciated, but this email is simply to protect others from such a fate as mine.

    Regards

    Jeremy Woolf
    Director
    Rite-A-Type
    Artarmon NSW

    –––––––––––––––––––––––

    Re: Fuji Xerox keeps the ball rolling

    Interesting design makes me want to take up tennis – can’t understand why!
     
    Regards
    Arthur
    Print2Day

  • A happy staff is a healthy business: Print 21 magazine

    Retaining good staff is one of the most critical areas for maintaining a successful business – and it’s only going to get harder. Peter Barnet outlines four key strategies to help keep your staff happy and your business healthy.

    Is this how recruitment runs in your company? You run an advertisement and then interview someone for a position in your company. Depending on how well they sell themselves to you, you either have them back for a second interview and subsequent job offer, or politely conclude the interview process. Once the person is on board, you expect many years of good service.

    Well, unfortunately the landscape of recruitment and employee retention is changing radically. So much so that it would be fair to say that you can expect the opposite, especially when you are interviewing the younger generations, such as Gen Y (those born 1980 – 1995). Expect them to interview you and don’t expect them to invest many years into your business; they won’t stay unless their needs are met.

    If recruitment is only going to get harder what are you doing to address the needs of the staff you have? What do you assume about the level of job satisfaction of your current employees? Do you assume they are all happy with what they are doing when they arrive every day? Remember the danger of assuming is that it makes an ass out of u and me! Finally, what are you doing currently to retain your good employees?

    This is a critically important issue in business and will continue to be for the next 15 years at least. Why?

    Here are some current statistics that should get you acting fast:
    * Unemployment is at a current 32 year low as at May 2007.
    * Studies show that employee-initiated turnover is costing employers up to three times the annual salary each time an employee resigns.
    * A 2006 study showed that 80 percent of employers felt their employees would stay for more than two years whilst 60 percent of employees felt they would leave their current employer in less than two years to further their career.
    * 7 out of 10 employees that leave an organisation do so because of their boss, not the organisation.
    * A June 2007 survey showed that current annual employee turnover for the manufacturing industry was 11 percent and the business/services industry was 15 percent.
    * HSC school leavers in 2007 face the best job prospects in over 40 years.

    But here is the killer….

    * In the decade beginning 2020, only 125,000 new employees will enter the work force.

    What all this is saying is that it is a candidates market. It also says that moving on from a job if things don’t work out is very likely and that the shortage of candidates actually makes it easy to do so. This shortage will continue past 2020 because Australians have not had enough babies who will grow up and be able to enter the workforce. This situation will continue for some time and is a major issue for the Federal Government to address. So we best leave it to them and focus on what you are going to do in your business to ensure that you retain your best staff, before you have to recruit more.

    Four steps to happiness
    Here are four things that you can do that are critical to retaining good people in your business:

    Have a performance management system that works. Too often companies do not have this in place or the one they have is too confusing. There are many different options but the one you choose should be simple and be based on strategic performance objectives. Also your employees should have the opportunity, and be encouraged, to move within the company based on their skills, interests and performance. This helps build a culture in your business that ensures performance and skills are rewarded. If your staff can see this behaviour gets rewarded they are more likely to perform and be satisfied.

    Keep employees informed. Silence from the top is the greatest enemy of retention. You need to hold regular briefings or meetings for all staff to let them know the strategic goals of the business and how the company is tracking against them. It also an opportunity to highlight staff achievement to reinforce that their success is recognised.

    Continue to educate employees. Education and personal development are the cheapest retention tools you can have. Remember that the majority of staff turnover is simply employees looking for a bigger challenge or the opportunity to use new skills. One of the goals of your performance management system should be to highlight areas for employee development and then develop a framework to ensure it actually happens.

    Help every employee build a social network. One of the strongest attachments employees have to their organisation is to fellow employees. One way to encourage and promote this is to develop social networks and special interest groups. Your employees spend many hours at work and, much like the experience in sporting teams, they are more likely to put in and gain satisfaction from work if they actually like the people they work with. They do not need to be best friends but just by forming a connection and a network with their workmates they can feel more satisfied and likely to stay with the group.

    Once you have addressed these fundamental building blocks of employee retention in your business you can then start to explore more financial incentives for your key staff or all staff but for advice on that I suggest you talk to your accountant!

  • APN gets enviro-smart

    APN Print proves it’s got the smarts when it comes to demonstrating a commitment to the environment.

    The New Zealand group has actively cleaned up its newspaper operations by partaking in the ministry for environment’s Envirosmart and Enviromark campaigns, which enable businesses to achieve platinum and diamond status through creating a more sustainable country.

    Dan Blackbourne, (pictured) APN’s general operations manager, believes that companies cannot ignore the need to promote and protect the environment. "Accreditation will in the future become compulsory for any manufacturing or processing company that discharges anything into the environment," he said.

    "Already, as part of the tender process for some government work, we now have to include information as to how we are handling these discharges and waste paper."

    Blackbourne believes the program will not only enhance APN’s reputation, but also increase profits.  "There are cost-saving efficiencies to the concept, such as recirculating water discharge," he said. "We are very early in the process, so the full potential of these benefits are yet to be realised."

    "But overall, accreditation will both benefit the environment and help our cause commercially."

    PrintNZ general manager, Ashley Chisholm, congratulated APN for showing responsibility. "We are seeing growth in the importance of environmental matters to government, public and therefore business," he said.

    "The environmental management that APN Print has committed to is setting them well for their future and will not only benefit the business and their staff, but New Zealand as a whole."

  • Jobs of the week: Production Manager, Western Australia

    • Strong leadership / management role
    • Exceptional salary package
    • Based in Western Australia

    Supa Stik Labels and Labelling Systems is an award winning West Australian owned business specialising in the production of self-adhesive labels.  Our success can be attributed to our client focused approach, commitment to our people, quality assurance philosophy and ongoing investment in new technology.

    A rare leadership opportunity has become available for a talented and ambitious Production Manager looking to build a strong and dynamic team to meet the demands of our clients and business.

    We are looking for someone who can:

    • take a senior role in the managment of business

    • manage the day to day business operations of the production area

    • be flexible in responding to the overall needs of the business

    • actively drive your team to contribute towards continuous improvement

    • drive your team to consistently produce high quality work

    • achieve or exceed budget expectations

    • designate tasks and responsibilities and keep them on schedule

     

    This role would suit a forward thinking, team orientated individual who has excellent leadership, communications skills and strong organisational problem solving skills.  The ideal candidate will have considerable experience within the self-adhesive print industry.

    In return you will enjoy working for a company that is committed to developing its people, focused on continuous improvement and equipped with state of the art technology. We are offering a competitive salary package with the opportunity to increase salary through achieving targets.  The company will also consider relocation assistance for the right candidate. If you are ready to make the move and take your career to the next level then don’t delay!

    Please phone Lara Foley for a confidential discussion on +61 08 9441 5000 or email your application to hr@supastik.com.au

     

  • Jobs of the week: Operations Manager, PMP Print, Brisbane

    PMP Print, Australia’s largest commercial printer is seeking an experienced Operations Manager for its operations based at Wacol. This is the largest commercial print operation in QLD.

    Reporting to the General Manager, the Operations Manager will lead all print production activities to ensure that business performance objectives are met in a cost effective manner.

    To be successful in this pivotal role you should possess the following experience:

    • Proven record in safety performance

    • Proven record in operations and senior management of large manufacturing operations

    • Sound knowledge of technology advancements within the Print or related industry

    • Sound knowledge and understanding of financial and commercial issues in managing a large manufacturing operation.

    • Strong continuous improvement focus

    • Proven leadership, coaching and development abilities to lead a large performance orientated team

    • Proven communication and negotiation skills

    • Excellent interpersonal skills


    If you are seeking a rewarding and challenging role as a member of the Wacol senior management team, please submit your application and resume to, Peter Robinson, HR Manager, petern.robinson@pmplimited.com.au. For more information, please contact Peter Robinson on (07) 3275 9224