Archive for January, 2009

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 3 February 2009

    Another strong round of letters this week, on everything from the hotly contested PSO debate and the closure of MacMillan Print through to some praise for Richard Rasmussen.

    Re: More consolidation: McMillan Print and Blue Star Print NSW brought together

    As a former employee of McMillans, I was one of the redundancies last week.

    We were informed at the beginning of the week and from Wednesday to Friday
    each employee was taken into a meeting room and informed of their status. We finished up on the day we were told. It looked to be at least 75 per cent of the staff that was made redundant.
    It was also good to be told how bright Bluestar’s future was going to be, as they were handing us our notices.
    Ex Employee (Name withheld)


    Re: Industry splits on PSO certification for digital presses

    PSO for digital print engines, what a load of crap.

    All digital prints from the moment you hit the print button are exactly the same as long as your printer has been properly calibrated.

    There is no art or finesse in digital printing, any bozo can get great results from a digital printer, even an Indigo. Look at the great results you get from a Konica or Xerox 25-a-minute office copier.

    If it is that easy to achieve PSO accreditation all copier vendors will now go for it.

    What a w@#k.
    Tony Bertolotti
    University of Melbourne
    Digital Print Centre

    Having just got back from an overseas holiday and learnt of the second demise of Stateweb it comes as little surprise.

    As a former employee representing Stateweb from outside of South Australia (who to this day has yet to even be contacted from anyone at the company that it closed, and was advised via the administrator) l can confidently say the concept and company was sound but the real problem was senior management or lack there of.

    The original sales forecasts were never going to happen and indeed physically could not be achieved due to the limited production facilities. This was made very clear to senior management but totally ignored as projected sales were the key focus of the ‘business strategy’ created to secure investment.

    The lesson for senior managers is simple: it is always more cost-effective to retain customers you already have than to source new ones. So service and service more what clients you have; your sales team are the ‘scouts’ of the market ensure they are part of the forecasting and budgeting process
    stay clear of gut feel and report only on realistic objectives.

    Where are all the real managers these days?

    From a former employee who lost plenty from Stateweb and yet
    to this day have yet to even recent a call from them. (Name withheld).


    Re: Business values fall, clients lists rise: Richard Rasmussen

    The article on business values was very pertinent and well written by an old colleague. Interesting reading.

    Bill Wall
    Sales manager, consumables

    Richard’s article is very interesting and spot on to what I think when selling a business.

    I have been in business for many years and have looked at buying a new business but the asking price is always prohibitive with the formula of two to three times net profit and old plant which needs changing.

    I know Richard and he is a straight shooter, he knows the industry well.

    Thanks for the article.

    Michael Hall

  • More consolidation: McMillan Print and Blue Star Print NSW brought together

    Major movement in Sydney as Blue Star consolidates its sheetfed operations, McMillan Print and Blue Star Print NSW.

    The move comes as part of Blue Star’s strategic plan for the next three-to-five years, developed in response to changing buying behaviour and evolving new technology.

    “It is an alignment with our strategy to strengthen our capability in this space,” said managing director, Chris Mitchell (pictured)

    “In making this move, Blue Star will continue its investment strategy into its multi-faceted print technology platform at the Silverwater site, specifically web, sheet and digital production platforms.”

    Mitchell would not discuss how many positions had been lost at McMillan Print as a result of the consolidation, which began yesterday. “There will be some redundancies as we bring the two companies together,” he said.

    The closure of South Granville-based McMillan Print, which Blue Star purchased in a multi-million dollar deal back in 2007, puts an end to on-going speculation and talk about the fate of the company, which at the time of purchase employed 600 people.

    Moving both McMillan Print and Blue Star Print NSW (formerly Link Printing) into a single location at Silverwater will see the company invest $10 million into new capabilities, including presses and equipment. Discussion with suppliers is still taking place and no definite decisions have been made.

    Plans have also been made to move Blue Star’s direct mail business to a new facility only minutes away from its main Silverwater site. “This new location will enable Blue Star to continue its plans for measured growth whilst providing a platform for further investment in the latest technologies,” Mitchell added.

    Blue Star’s strategic four-tiered plan will also focus on growing its print management service and Webstar.

    Mitchell said that further consolidation was not a part of Blue Star’s future plans.

    “It’s really about creating a platform for growth and making the right capability to face up against the market and making those important technology investments,” he said.

    Both the consolidation of McMillan Print and Blue Star Print NSW and the new direct mail site are expected to be complete by mid-2009.

  • Running hot and cold: Print 21 magazine article

    The application of shiny metal foil to printed matter has always been seen as a symbol of luxury and quality. But now the age-old process of hot foiling faces new competition with the arrival of inline cold foiling on a sheetfed press in Melbourne. Peter Haydock tests the temperature in the market for print embellishment.

    What is it about foil finishing that’s so attractive to humans? Like magpies we’re suckers for gold and silver foils that flash in the light and suggest elegance, class and superiority. It’s the bling bling of the printing world.

    The monks twigged to it in the early days of Christianity, decorating their manuscripts with gold and silver as they toiled in their abbeys. The earliest surviving illuminated manuscripts, heralding from Ireland, Constantinople and Italy, date as far back as 400AD. Gold and silver were also used extensively in paintings throughout the ages, particularly in religious art, crossing interfaith boundaries. Think of cathedral ceilings and Russian icons.

    Fast forward to the 20th century and use of gold and silver foiling came into its own with the dawn of modern advertising and packaging. These days, what quality product would be seen dead without a touch of gold and silver foil? Hot foil stamping became a production process that was also part art, with intricate dies that suggest the pinnacle of quality and excellence, even if the products they’re spruiking sometimes fall disappointingly short.

    While there are liquors and perfumes that probably owe their success to their hot foil packaging, it also has to be said that it’s a time-consuming process by modern printing standards and is relatively expensive. It requires specialised die cutting and embossing equipment, is labour intensive and, while always important peripherally in the printing industry as an offline process, it’s never been a part of the commercial printing production line. With the advent of commercial cold foiling inline, however, the picture has changed.

    It’s cold out there

    Major press manufacturers like Heidelberg, manroland, Komori, Mitsubishi and Ryobi are now offering cold foil systems that can be attached to their conventional sheetfed presses. These operate differently to narrow web machines which have been used mainly in the flexo area for some years, with a single print station applying UV adhesive that’s cured before the foil is stripped.

    These new commercial sheetfed press modules customarily use two print stations – one for adhesive and one for foil – producing exceptional finishes for labels, packaging and high quality commercial printing jobs in virtually unlimited runs. The cold foil is applied inline on a wide range of substrates and the quality of the finishing is exceptional. The first of these units, a Heidelberg FoilStar, has just been installed at PrintLinx in Port Melbourne in Victoria. Given that it’s a relatively inexpensive add-on (well… relatively inexpensive to purchasers of multi-million dollar presses anyway) it seems likely it won’t be the last.

    So is cold foiling set to replace hot foil? In the short term at least it seems highly unlikely and, anyway, who’s to say that it’s designed as a replacement? Hot foil stamping still has distinct advantages over cold foiling. The very process itself, in which heat and pressure apply the foil to the substrate, imparts its own distinct tactile characteristic. Our fingers can feel the impression it leaves, adding another sensory perception to the actual look of the stamping. In the luxury goods category cold foil will be hard pressed to displace this ability. Where embossing is applied as well as hot foil this quality is enhanced in spades, providing powerful physical characteristics.

    Avon Graphics’ Trevor Hone says cold foil is really a separate process to hot foiling: “They work on a complementary basis, rather than competitive. Cold foil is ideal for certain large print runs, where the surface area requiring foil is high, whereas hot foil suits a wider variety of jobs that use different foil image sizes and is suitable for all run lengths. The waste on cold foil can be quite substantial, which makes it an expensive process.

    “I think they will bring foiling to large print runs where it might not have existed before and the two processes will continue side by side addressing different markets.”

    He’s a FoilStar man

    As time goes on, however, the alliance may become an uneasy one. Frank Todisco, managing director of PrintLinx in Melbourne, has the confident look of a man who has made a good decision and knows it. Talk to him about his newly-installed Heidelberg XL105 six colour press with two coating towers and two drying towers and he grins broadly. He’s the first printer in Australia to install one of these that’s also equipped with Heidelberg’s FoilStar cold foil technology, and he’s anticipating big things from it.

    “Cold foil is the next big thing in printing and PrintLinx is in on the ground floor,” Todisco says. “It takes special effects finishing to a new level, as part of the inline process, with all the cost and labour savings that come with it.”

    The samples he shows of FoilStar’s output are certainly impressive. He points to an illustration of a car in a street which is printed in normal four colour process, but the car image itself has been overprinted on a foil base and looks, well, like a real car. True, it could have been printed on metalised board, but then the whole image including the street would share the metal effect, losing the point.

    “The beauty of cold foil is that you can use it on its own with silver showing through, you can overprint it, you can print holograms on it; you’re restricted only by your imagination. To understand what it does you have to regard it as a fifth colour, with all the versatility this implies. Designers are going to love it and our sales staff are calling on every major design house in Australia to showcase the output.”

    While there’s no doubt cold foiling can be impressive, in design terms it takes some getting used to and requires considerable colour visualisation ability to imagine a fifth colour as an extension of the cyan, magenta, yellow and black spaces. In simple form, the designer creates the design working from a palette of colour samples, like a normal PMS swatch, but which indicate what the colour will look like overprinted on foil. A foil channel is then created in the design software along with the CMYK channels, just as a designer would create a separate channel for a UV overprint for instance. The effects will no doubt encourage designers to replace subtlety with surfeit and the tendency to go overboard will be tempting for some. For best effects though, nuance is the watch word.

    The process offers many benefits for printers looking for a high quality finish. Press throughput is fast, the foil can be overprinted with text, illustration and halftones, there’s no substrate distortion, you don’t need expensive dies or heat transfer, make-ready is reasonably fast and registration isn’t a problem.

    Switching to cold
    In the systems currently available, cold foil modules for print production are made up of two units: one applies an adhesive to the paper, defining the imprint for the foil, while the second unit releases the foil from a carrier sheet and applies it to the substrate. This is how the process avoids using dies. The second unit, which actually feeds the foil, has take-up and take-off units for applying it. Along with the paper sheet, it’s fed into the nip between the blanket and impression cylinders and applied by pressure to the areas coated in glue. The backing is then rewound with any surplus foil. Colours are added inline to the foiled substrate in the same pass. When the stations are not being used for foiling, they can be used as standard colour stations.

    On the question of whether cold foil is a replacement for hot foil, Frank Todisco believes it is.

    “Many of the customers who currently use hot foil will make the switch when they see the quality and consider the cost and the speed,” he says. “Cold foil is just so much more pliable. There will still be a place perhaps for hot foil. For instance, cold foil doesn’t give you that pressed on look, which some designers like for its tactile benefits. However, you can’t print on hot foil and you can’t laminate it in any form. And you certainly can’t get the majority of the effects that cold foil gives you. I think it’s more effective, much faster and cheaper. There’s a big challenge here for hot foil.”

    While acknowledging that challenge, PrintLinx says its preference is to work with other finishing companies rather than against them.

    “We do a lot of trade printing and our intention here is to offer our services to other finishing companies at a sell-on price to their customers,” Todisco says. “Frankly we just want to run the presses. If we do 100 percent trade press work I’m happy. Our preference is not to start chasing other people’s customers. Additionally there will be some large run customers who haven’t traditionally used hot foiling, such as beer labels. We can offer these customers a new way of adding quality to their labels without adding to the time it takes to print them.”

    Hot foil still hot

    One person who is excited with the introduction of cold foiling to Australia is David Murphy of Leonhard Kurz in Australia. Kurz is one of the major international providers of foiling technology, equipment and consumables, and has been selling gold leaf to the finishing industry since the 1890s.

    Says Murphy: “Kurz believes both applications have a place in the market here and around the world. Hot foil has dominated the decoration of high end products and there are numerous printers and equipment able to provide the application. It’s readily available to all printers as a finishing process. Cold foiling offers increased control over the work, and allows the finished product to come off the press, without loss of press speed. So there are advantages for both.

    “We don’t see cold foil as a replacement for hot foil but an additional opportunity to decorate additional products. It should lead to new markets and to products not previously considered suitable for foil.

    “There are about 60 cold foil units now installed around the world and, as a manufacturer with a keen interest in both processes, we haven’t seen any significant falling off of hot foil business.”

    Murphy says there are no environmental issues associated with either process, a view shared by Avon Graphics’ Trevor Hone.

    “The finishing industry has no serious environmental problems,” he says. “Virtually all papers that are used in finishing, such as foiling, can be recycled through the de-inking process and, as far as I’m aware, there are no shop floor issues with finishing products either, such as the solvent ink problems that have plagued some wide format printers.”

    What about the question of wastage? After all, the cold foil is applied in rolls 1050mm wide in 18,000 metre rolls. If you only want to print a small logo in foil, what happens to the rest?

    Says Frank Todisco: “That was the question we asked when we were investigating this. We looked for a year at the processes before seeing FoilStar at drupa and Heidelberg’s solution to this. The FoilStar system provides slitters, which enable you to cut your roll and use just a portion, to cover the area you want to foil. If you have two or more areas, the slitters can cut the rolls to cover these areas too, with up to six different reel sizes. The foil that remains on the rolls can be used later for another job. These days that’s important with the focus on sustainability.”

    The next year or so will indicate the potential in Australia for cold foiling but, for the moment, Frank Todisco and PrintLinx are convinced it’s bright – not to say glittering.

  • Brian Evans makes shock departure from PMP

    Brian Evans’ exit from PMP is shrouded in secrecy as both the company and the man stays silent.

    For the past three years, Evans (pictured) has been CEO of the company and left the company today by mutual agreement.

    In the interim, chief financial officer Richard Allely has been appointed acting chief executive immediately.

    Ian Fraser, a non-executive director, has agreed to work more actively within PMP to assist Allely until a permanent appointment is made in April this year.
    A statement from the company said that:"In the current economic conditions, PMP is reviewing the structure of its senior executive team.”

    PMP’s chairman Graham Reaney  added that he "thanked Evans for his contribution over the past three years”.

    Neither Evans nor a PMP spokesperson were available for comment.

  • Industry splits on PSO certification for digital presses

    A claim by On Demand in Melbourne to be the first digital press company in the world to reach the Ugra and Fogra-based ISO 12647-2 PSO (Process Standard Offset) certification has drawn fire from industry players.

    Erwin Widmer, worldwide head of Swiss-based UGRA, granted the certification to Bruce Peddelsden’s company following an audit of the HP Indigo presses, which was verified by Garry Knespal, CEO GASAA, a certified UGRA expert. It was based on a print run of 2,200 from which 44 sheets were pulled. These were subsequently measured in the UGRA laboratories in Switzerland and found to meet the colour consistency and visual parameters of the ISO 12647-2 standard.

    It is the use of the term PSO that has ignited an industry dispute with Rob Gatto, Kayell and Yves Roussange, ColourProcess claiming it should be not be applied to digital printing. They also claim the proper procedures were not done and that the ISO 12647-2 standard can only be applied to offset sheetfed and web printing. (Both Rob Gatto and Roussange are participants in the field of printing standards.)

    Jason Hall CMYKit, who worked with On Demand to meet the standards, denies the proper procedures were not performed. He maintains the digital presses met the stringent standards of the UGRA certification, including dot gain and mathematical verification.

    Garry Knespal has accused some vendors and industry bodies of using colour standards in Australia as a political and commercial football.

    Caught in the middle, Bruce Peddelsden says he is not saying he can produce offset printing from his digital presses, despite claiming the world-first PSO standard. “We’ve put in a lot of work to get this standard and I’m proud of the work that we’ve done. Customers can be assured that their work is produced to international standards of colour consistency from the moment the file arrives here to when the work is printed.”

  • 625 job cuts and factory close at manroland

    Closures and cutbacks at manroland as the company shuts down its Mainhausen factory and reduces its staff numbers.

    Of these redundancies, 515 jobs were lost in the sheetfed press business sector and 110 in the web press business sector over the years 2009 and 2010. The existing product lines assembled at the Mainhausen location will now be assembled into manroland’s main sheetfed.

    There are currently 8.656 manroland employees worldwide.

    According to a statement from the company, the move was necessary in order to safeguard the company’s long-term performance. “manroland must align factory and fixed cost structures and thus its cost basis to the difficult situation. Constructive discussions have commenced with the employees’ representatives,” the statement said.

    Customers’ reluctance to invest in new technology has hit manroland hard. The group’s order intake decline by 20 per cent in the 2008 fiscal year. Due to the ongoing decline in orders, short-time working has been extended and will also start for the Augsburg web press operations in March this year.

    These less-than-enthusiastic prospects for manroland are reflective of the current market for offset printing presses. As one source remarked, “Will the last person to leave the offset industry please turn out the lights.”

  • Steve Venn moves up to top Kodak job

    Long-term Kodak veteran and head of the company’s local Graphic Communications Group (GCG) is appointed managing director of Kodak Australasia.

    The role will see Venn exercise control over both GCG and the traditional consumer products of the imaging giant. He will take over from February 1, before a replacement is announced for the GCG job.

    “We’ll all be double-hatting here for a while, at least until next week,” he said. “It’s an interesting and challenging time.”

    As part of his new role he will have to “get across’ the whole consumer portfolio. One of his first tasks is to drive synergies throughout the company.
    The move comes as Kodak reorganises its executive level in the region with MD for Kodak Asia Pacific and GCG in the region, Gustavo Oviedo, moving up to general manager, worldwide sales and customer operations. Steve Green, formerly GCG manager Asia Pacific and well-known to the local industry from his years here, is now regional MD for consumer and commercial sales and customer operations, reporting to Oviedo.

    Kodak has transformed itself in recent times into a business-to-business company as its traditional film-based consumer market disappeared. The raft of recent appointments is a recognition of the growing importance of the new business model and the need for a more focused organisation.

  • Staff training pays off for printers

    Global economic crisis prompts a change in the attitudes of many Australian printing companies, according to Printing Industries.

    The association is seeing more organisations focusing on learning and development as part of their overall strategy to increase profitability and sustainability.
    Training coordinator, Simon Peppercorn, said companies were realising that better staff training could increase market share by boosting sales performance, higher margins and streamline their workflows through improvements in their manufacturing and production processes.
    "Strengthening client relationships and building trust through enhanced client service and support are also motivating influences along with strategies such as Printing Industries‘ new Sustainable Green Print (SGP) program," he said.
    "We have responded to this by providing members with access to training and skills opportunities that are industry specific, relevant to their needs and which directly support an industry currently working through major challenges in the face of the global economic climate.
    "We have built strong relationships and partnerships with a range of training providers each of whom are committed towards the ongoing learning and development of the printing industry."
    Peppercorn added that Printing Industries was able provide assistance on a large number of traineeships that attract government incentives (subject to eligibility) which in many cases will cover the entire cost of a training program.
    In conjunction with its Registered Training Organisation partner, Applied Training Solutions, 2009 opportunities for traineeships include: Competitive Manufacturing (Certificate III and IV); Print Production Support (Certificate II); Transport and Logistics – Warehousing & Storage – (Certificate III and IV); Transport and Logistics – Operations Logistics – (Certificate III and IV); Frontline Management (Certificate IV); Business Administration (Certificate III and IV); Customer Contact (Certificate III and IV).
    "We also have courses and workshops including: Sustainable Green Print; Print Sales; Digital Prepress Fundamentals; Estimating and Planning; Print Production Management; Print Awareness – File preparation for prepress; Print Awareness -Print Production Techniques; Print Awareness – Designing for Print Print Buyer’s; Workshops Communications Skills for Managers and Supervisors and Colour Management," Peppercorn said.
    For more information contact Simon Peppercorn at Printing Industries on (02) 8789 7362 or e-mail

  • Credit freeze sends a chill up small printers

    Tighter credit availability set to affect small-sized print businesses.

    According to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ongoing turmoil in the global financial system and strains in credit markets have led to a reduction in lending to small businesses.

    “Responses across our membership have confirmed that it is becoming more difficult to access credit for working capital requirements and capital expansion plants such as purchasing new plant and equipment,” said acting chief executive, Greg Evans.

    “Both long established businesses and proposals for greenfields investment are being affected.”

    Printing companies are not immune either, according to Wade Oldham, director of Oldham Finance. He believes that the selection process is now even tougher than ever.

    “There is plenty of money around, but it is more a question of whether you are going to get it or not,” he said.

    And while many printers enjoyed a reasonable 2008 financial year, Oldham believes that it will be the figures from post-June 2009 which determine who gets the money.

    Hagop Tchamkertenian, Printing Industries national manager for policy and government affairs, found that based on the preliminary results from the December 2008 quarter Printing Industry Trends Report, finance availability was reported to have deteriorated once again for the fourth consecutive quarter resulting in the worst net balance outcome for this indicator since March quarter 1990.

    Hagop believes that the finance sector has thrown a blanket on the printing industry refusing to extend credit to it in these uncertain times. “Ultimately a sound case needs to be associated with the application for new credit,” he said.

    Receiving capital to invest in new equipment is also difficult, Oldham added.
    “The number of equipment finance lenders has retracted substantially in the last four-to-five months,” he said. “The market has shrunk and there isn’t the competitive power to go from one lender to another.”

    Oldham estimated that it could be another year until credit becomes widely available.

    “The worst-case scenario is that it could be mid-2010 before funds are free-flowing,” he said.

  • Haymarket gives print the flick

    Haymarket, publisher of Printing Week, Printing World and Proprint, moves its Marketing Direct magazine online.

    In a common sign of the times in publishing, online has won out again in the face of rising print costs and declining circulation figures.

    Noelle McElhatton, editor of the UK title, explained the decision as reflective of the future of media: "As online is the present and the future for direct marketing, so too it is for publishing."

    Ironically, in the January issue of fellow Haymarket publication, Printing World, an article argues that print is a “more engaging” media. This contradiction has drawn the attention of William Pollard, a reporter for OhmyNews, who noted that:

    “In my opinion, there is a problem when editors allow conflicting streams of messaging. Most people in the printing industry and related media recognise that they read Printweek and expect comprehensive information on print technology. It is reassuring to expect some support for print in general but then the online coverage can be confusing, especially as Haymarket is seen to move their own operations. The Web site brandrepublic has elements from each of their magazines so may eventually demonstrate a coherent view. Currently there appears to be some dissonance in Haymarket as an editor brand.”

  • Business values fall, clients lists rise: Richard Rasmussen

    Those considering exiting the industry and attempting to sell their business as a going concern may be left disappointed by the price they achieve and the length of time it takes to conclude a deal, says Richard Rasmussen, director of Ascent Partners.

    Client list sales on the other hand are in high demand and speedier to execute.  Hence, the split-sale process, where you sell your client list (goodwill) and other assets separately, is certainly now a viable alternative for many printers  

    The heavy demand for client lists is largely caused because printers are trying to shoreure up their own 2009 print sales. Anecdotal evidence suggests that those that ask their customers what they are likely to spend with them in 2009 are told less, and in some cases, substantially less. So, faced with the probability of falling sales, printers need to either cut costs or find ways to grow sales (or both).

    Growing sales organically in any market is tough, but in this market, where there is less print pie, it is even tougher. Hence many printers are looking to grow by acquisition.

    However this acquisition demand is not for going concern businesses, but rather for the client base, some plant and equipment, the key staff that are responsible for those sales, and perhaps a few extra employees. My business’s prospect base for these type of sales now far outweighs those wanting to purchase the complete business as a going concern. Most of the limited demand for going concern sales is around the franchise end of the market.

    The prices achieved in going concern sales has also been negatively affected by the lack of available credit, falling equipment prices and the risk factors associated with the global financial crisis. Purchasers justifiably ask “why should I pay on a multiple of previous profitability performance, when this business has never been stress tested”?

    The net result is that goodwill (or client lists) are in high demand (and the prices they are achieving are good to very good) and going concern sales will be fewer and the cheaper.

    Keeping up to speed
    One of the major advantages is the speed in which a complete split-sale can be concluded. In going concern sales it can take 6 months or longer. A client list sale can be concluded in a literally weeks. There is also a greater degree of flexibility in the way the deal is done and what is included in the split-sale process. Vendors can be pretty specific about how they offer the client lists and who they target them to – terms they are sold at, earn outs, vendor’s involvement, staff taken on, and the equipment taken on.

    Some good prices have been paid for client lists even for firms that are in liquidation (we recently achieved a very good result in five days). We only targeted a few firms who suited the type of work and were able to make a quick decision. Obviously better prices can be achieved before the liquidation event and for good profitable businesses.  

    Prospective purchasers often welcome vendors into their business with open arms. Sometimes this is in the form of full time employment, other times on a contract basis. Some vendors are concerned about their ability to work for others, whereas others welcome the regular income, shorter hours and experience far less stress than they did as a business owner

    Good targeting can help achieve very good results. Time spent in reconnaissance is time rarely wasted. You only approach, or introduce the business to those that you trust, and ones that provide the best deal for you. Tailored, properly structured deals really can be a win – win. Good qualification of prospective purchasers also reduces the risk of confidentiality leaks.    

    Apart from the client list sale, obviously vendors need to consider what they can expect to realize for the equipment not taken by the purchaser and what they do with the lease / sale of the building. A fairly good indication can be gauged by doing some pre client list sale homework.

    The other consideration is the staff and what entitlements they are owed. Careful targeting can result in a high uptake of staff. 

    As to which method of sale you adopt – going concern or split-sale, you need to compare the numbers for each and be very realistic about values in today’s market.   

    Values for money
    A word on values – forget about previous multiples that were paid for businesses sold as going concerns, and about what you owe and have written down your equipment to – they have little to do with the real prices being paid now. Seek advice from people in the know – i.e. these advisors should provide values based on recent sales evidence of machinery, businesses and client lists. Chances are this person is not your accountant (speak to them more on other matters such as the tax implications of the differing sales methods).  

    The heavy demand for client lists, the degree of targeting and formulating of the deal, and the speed at which the deal can be done, may well bring the split-sale method into contention for many printers, especially for those that are struggling and fear for the viability of their business in a downturn  

    Once you have done the analysis you can make a considered and informed call on what is best for your individual circumstances.

    If the end result is to “trade on” for a few extra years, and not to consider selling as a going concern or a split-sale, the analysis you have done has not been wasted. In fact it now arms you with a very good basis to form an exit strategy – one that addresses what you to need to do to develop a viable ongoing business, one that is attractive to a purchaser when it does come time to sell, and one that produces the best chance for good outcome for your personal circumstances.  

  • Digital printer saves the spray

    Digitalpress’ new premises has drawn the attention of inner-city spray-can artists, but the word on the street is that manager Theo Pettaras doesn’t mind at all.

    Grafitti artists can get your goat but Pettaras reckons the best of their work is worth keeping. When a maverick spray canner opened up on the hoardings around Digitalpress’ new Surry Hills location, he gained himself a new fan.

    “Some talented Surry Hills graffiti artist has come by at night and did over our temporary hoardings. We love it and actually will use it to decorate our internal courtyard,” said Pettaras, managing director.

    Now located in Devonshire Street, the new Digitalpress site is larger to accommodate newly purchased equipment, including fully-automated wiro binding and automated cello glazing, along with an expanded client meeting space.

    Pictured: City slickers from Digitalpress outside their new home.

    “When we first started three years ago we were testing the waters – we knew the technology was around but we weren’t sure how it was going to go, so we moved into fairly small premises,” said Theo Pettaras, managing director. “But we know it works and we’ve got new equipment so we built a place where people will come to work out their marketing plans and ideas.”

    Making the move one week before Christmas might have seemed like a risk, but Pettaras had the help of Kodak in moving the company’s NexPress, while Melbourne licensed partner, Excel Australia, was used to take care of any jobs in the meantime.

    Pettaras has always prided himself on Digitalpress’ close working relationship with designers and artists in the marketing industry, and says that the new premises is designed to welcome that creative element.

    “It’s amazing – people are blown away by it. We’ve still got construction going on and it won’t be completely ready for another few months. But the designers totally get it,” he said.

    “There are some very interesting things happening here,” he explained. With more new equipment to come, 2009 is shaping up to be a big year for Digitalpress. Pettaras said that there will be a strong focus on their direct marketing clients, with an emphasis on innovative print technologies.

    “We’re looking at some really trickly variable data printing applications using print technology that not only makes the piece look good but feel good too – bringing in that third, tactile dimension,” he said.

  • Climb the Buyer’s Pyramid with Nick Devine

    Sales expert, Nick Devine, reckons the Buyer’s Pyramid can attract the best prospects in your marketplace.

    Ever find yourself wasting valuable time on customers or prospects that spend painfully small amounts of money?  It often seems that the smaller the prospect, the more personal attention they want from you. 

    They agonize over their business card, fret over their wedding stationery and sweat bullets over their letterhead.  By the time you cost in all the labor involved in these pitiful projects you’ve actually lost money. 

    How frustrating is that!

    However, it doesn’t have to be like that.  There is an alternative and this free video explains it in detail.  Click here.

    Here’s what I’ve done for you. 

    Years ago I developed a system called the Buyer’s Pyramid.  That system had one goal in mind.  It had to allow me to stop wasting time with low-value prospects and give me a simple (and predictable) system to win the biggest prospects in my marketplace.

    I first used this when I was selling on the Gold Coast.  The previous salesman in the same territory did under 50 per cent of target in a full 12 months.   I did a years’ worth of target in three months.  Two years previously I was on the verge of being sacked for complete incompetence and drastic underperformance. 

    Here in the UK, I used it when selling for one of those big international software companies.  I outsold the rest of the team – combined.  That’s not because I’m a great natural salesperson, I’m certainly not one of those.  I just developed a great system that worked everyplace I used it.

    Let me share with you some ‘inside’ numbers from real printing companies.  You’ll have no way of knowing who these companies are, but the data is real.  The companies are UK so I’ve kept the number in sterling.  The current exchange rate is £1 = AUD $2.26

    Discover the big money in your market

    •    Average annual spend from top 20 per cent of customers = £17,997
    •    Average annual spend from bottom 80 per cent of customers = £946

    •    Average annual spend for top 5 per cent of customers = £64,054
    •    Average annual spend for bottom 50 per cent of customers = £305

    •    Top 3 per cent of clients contribute 50 per cent of the revenue
    •    Bottom 50 per cent of clients contribute 4 per cent of the revenue

    Now, let me ask you: do you want to invest your valuable resources in getting more clients like the top 5 per cent to 20 per cent, or more low-value customers like the other 80 per cent?

    If you, like me, want to attract regular spending profitable customers who don’t haggle price – you want what we want.  Which means you’ll want to watch this video fast. 

    In there, I reveal the exact system I’ve spent 24 years perfecting.  The system allows you to attract (and keep) a steady stream of the best customers and prospects in your market.  By the way, I’ll also give you a free tool you can use to instantly analyse your own customer base.  It takes about 10 minutes once you have the right tool. 

    Go watch the video here.

    It doesn’t matter if you know little about sales, you can still implement this system successfully in your company.  If a school drop-out like me can make it work, you certainly can. 

  • In between the blankets: Print 21 magazine article

    Printing blankets are an essential component of the offset printing process but remain one of the most overlooked sectors in the industry. Unlike other print consumables such as ink, the printing blanket has resisted the drift towards becoming just another commodity, but just where they come from and who supplies them is anything but clear. Patrick Howard takes a look at what lies beneath.

    Despite its relatively low profile, the printing blanket sector in the region is a substantial and fairly lucrative business. Every offset press, both web and sheetfed, requires blankets, the same with metal decorating and other specialty printing presses. Often overlooked as a defining component in printing performance, a cheap blanket can cause havoc in daily operations well before it tears itself apart, possibly causing major damage to the press. Some printers are religious in keeping blankets in tip-top condition, paying for quality and changing them regularly. Others simply regard them as part of the press, to run until they disintegrate.

    Best estimates as to the size of the printing blanket sector in the local market have it around 120,000 square metres per annum. With barred blankets selling for an average $140 per metre2  this makes it into a $16 million sector, at least. Upwards of 20 suppliers compete for the market and while there may be a myriad number of blanket types on offer, a few large multi-national companies dominate the play.

    In fact a major consolidation in the manufacturing of printing blankets globally this year has yet to make an impact in the local market. One of the largest and possibly the oldest manufacturer, the Swedish-based Trelleborg Group of Companies, bought the offset printing blanket business of US flexo plate and printing consumables supplier MacDermid. When added to its 2006 takeover of the Reeves Group of companies, which makes the high-profile Vulcan brand, this produced the world’s largest supplier of the essential printing consumable. In different markets around the world this has had the effect of consolidating the product lines and the marketing logistics, producing the well-recognised benefit of takeovers – rationalisation.

    Not so in the Australian marketplace where DS Chemport, the Fujifilm subsidiary, is the Reeves agent supplying its iconic Vulcan brand. The expectation was it would pick up the business of the MacDermid range too, ensuring its position as one of the two major suppliers here. MacDermid ceded its distribution role along with its ownership in most other markets around the world.

    But due to a quirk in the takeover contract, MacDermid’s Printing Supplies in Australia continues to handle the wide range of blankets here under the well-known Rollin band. This is despite DS Chemport claiming to have the largest blanket cutting and barring facility in the country.

    According to Tony Dalleore, general manager, MacDermid Printing Solutions, the original contract has some years to run. He professes the desire to continue to make sure his customers receive uninterrupted service in what has always been a very successful operation.

    “The Rollin brand name has strong goodwill and is used across many facets of the commercial blanket markets,” he said.

    So near and yet …
    There is a certain note of frustration in Ken Rendell’s tone when he describes the situation. As associate director at DS Chemport, he believes the company is best placed to promote the MacDermid brand in Australia along with its range of Vulcan plates and name brand chemistry.

    “We are the largest supplier of printing blankets in the country and we have more than sufficient capacity in our new facility to handle the extra work. It would make perfect sense for us to handle the distribution,” he said.

    DS Chemport, through its parent Fujifilm, is playing an ever-larger role in the printing and graphic arts industry. It has invested considerable sums in its new facility at Campbellfield, north of Melbourne, following a disastrous fire two years ago. It has its own proprietary brands of printing chemistry, a vigorous R&D laboratory and the aforementioned blanket cutting and barring factory. Rendell looks at the situation around the world where MacDermid made a clean break with its offset printing blanket business and champs at the missed opportunity in the local market.

    The anomalous situation of DS Chemport and MacDermid is indicative of the way the printing blanket sector flies below the radar. The other major supplier in Australia is Day International, a division of Flint Ink, one of the largest ink manufacturers in the world. It supplies the well-known dayGraphica, davidM, and Duco brands through a number of agents, notably DIC – the other major ink manufacturer in Australia –  along with Servicom Pacific and, through them, CPI.

    Since the takeover of Day International by Flint two years ago, no obvious attempt has been to integrate the two companies in the region, with both continuing to operate independently. This gives rise to the situation whereby Flint Ink does not overtly supply printing blankets while its rival ink manufacturers, DIC and DIC Colortron, advertise dayGraphica products to their customers both in Australia and in New Zealand. The other major Day International printing blanket brand, davidM, is sold through Servicom Pacific.

    Movement at the station
    Hard data on market shares is hard to come by but general industry agreement has DS Chemport, MacDermid and Day International supplying the lion’s share of printing blankets to Australia and NZ, if solely on a wholesale basis. But printing blankets are such a ubiquitous product and because there are supposedly good margins to be made in their supply, there are a number of smaller players eager to get among it on a retail and importers’ level.

    While small companies may carry only a specialised inventory, larger suppliers carry numerous variations of blankets within a wide range of prices that are mostly to do with the level of compressibility and consequent smash recoverability. (Top quality five-ply blankets can cost over $200 metre2.) Servicom Pacific, which dubs itself, the big guns in printing blankets, supplies blankets from three different manufacturers, Printec, (a Day International product out of Brazil), Phoenix  from German-based Conti Group, and Italian-based Novurania. It ranks itself as second in volume to Day International in Australia.

    JL Lennard is another major supplier, which according to Tony Colella, general manager, is embarking on an aggressive bid to increase its market share. It has recently switched brands from Japanese-made Fujikura to importing the Slovenia-based Sava products. While the politics are opaque, suffice it to say that JL Lennard is currently in the business of converting its customer base over to the more expensive Sava product. According to Colella, it is proving a success with 75 printers making the switch in recent months.

    The Currie Group picked up the high-profile Fujikura agency and is well-placed to capitalise on it through its own extensive customer base. It supplies not only the presses to the small and mid-size offset sector but also a range of printing plates and chemistry. It has long seen the addition of a respected brand of blanket as a good strategic move.

    “We’ve been looking for the right product to complete our line-up and Fujikura is a well-established brand that has the track record we’re looking for,” said Andrew Matthews, national sales manager consumables. “There are not too many brands that have been around for as long as Fujikura, which shows it is a solid, reliable blanket that printers appreciate.”

    The job of the Currie Group is not made any easier by a considerable amount of stock of Fujikura still in the JL Lennard warehouse.

    For those who came in late …

    Offset press blankets are made from layers of rubber composite and fabric. (For some web offset blankets a thin layer of metal backing may replace the fabric normally used.) The rubber compound is made with different ‘honeycomb’ technologies allowing the layer to compress – rubber itself does not compress but is pushed out of shape, or ‘nipped’. Depending on the levels of compression, blankets are described as either soft or hard, with either a rough or smooth finish. Practically all printing blankets now have some level of compressibility. This helps to eliminate smashing the blankets when numerous sheets of paper or a foreign body squeezes through the press and ‘smashes’ the blankets.

    Finding the right blanket for a press is a matter of trial and error. Often it depends on the combination of press chemistry, the main type of substrate being printed on a daily basis and even the length of the print runs. Theoretically there is an optimum printing blanket for every press and every job, but in practice a printer will settle on the blanket that gives the greatest scope for the type of work going through the press.

    There appears to be no widespread agreement among printers on the standard life of a printing blanket. Blankets can be contaminated in as little as a few weeks, or smashed on the first day they are changed. They can also run safely and well for hundreds of thousands or even millions of impressions without problem.

    On a sheetfed press, blankets can be changed on individual towers without impact on the other stations. A large web press, which has numerous blankets, will generally be subject to a total changeover whenever there is call in order to maintain stability. While not a difficult job to change, printers mainly do not feel the urge to experiment with different blanket products without a compelling reason.

    According award-winning printer, Steve Pettaras at Pettaras Press, while it’s a matter of a few minutes to renew a blanket there is no good reason to change unless someone offers a new product that has significant benefits. He believes there is no substitute for experience and testing in deciding on the type of blankets to run. Confident in his ability to swap and change in order to fine-tune the operation of the pressroom, he maintains it is important to keep an open mind to new products and not be afraid of change.

    “There’s not much to it, if you know what you’re doing. While it is important to have the right products you should be prepared to give new solutions a go if there is a compelling offer,” he said.

    Significantly he is a long-term Fujikura customer who is scoping the possibility of changing to Sava.

    Getting the bundles right
    Printing blankets are rarely sold as a one-out product. They invariably come as part of a package with chemistry, including blanket washes, possibly plates and ink, and sometimes printing rollers. The package is presented as comprising compatible elements in order to ensure stability and long running life. In reality there are so many variables between ink and paper and blanket washes that there is no ‘one solution fits all’.

    However, it is no coincidence that the two major printing roller suppliers, Brissett Rollers and Böttcher are also very active in blankets and chemistry. Fitting composite covered rollers to a printing press that is using your blankets and chemistry makes sense. JL Lennard supplies Katsura rollers as part of its solution.

    Just about all major press suppliers, including Heidelberg, have their own branded consumables range, even if not too many invest in establishing their own cutting and barring factories. For this essential service, most rely on Mamdooh Sidhom’s National Barring Company in Sydney, an independent service provider that cuts and bars blankets for almost all suppliers. NBC is the largest processor of blankets in the region with an estimated 60 percent of the market. It does not sell direct to printers but rather customises the printing blankets it receives from the individual suppliers, barring and branding them to suit.

    There is no discrimination at NBC, they’ll supply everyone, including competitors such as Day International, DS Chemport, Queensland-based Pressroom Graphics, Brissett Rollers, Böttcher, DIC, Seaga and Toyo Inks. While a number of suppliers such as Servicom, DS Chemport and Brissett Rollers, have their own cutting rooms, most don’t have the ability to meet their entire demand. There are few printing blanket suppliers who have not found it useful at some stage to outsource the work to Mamdooh, who takes great pride in giving blanket coverage to all.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 28 January 2009

    There’s a gaggle of letters this week: the thought of Sensis sending its phone books offshore angers some readers, Martin Booth and James Cryer have their say on the state of the industry, while both ISO and gravure prove to be very hot topics.

    Re: Fears as Sensis starts printing phone books offshore

    I read with horror your recent article about the fears of Sensis going off-shore for the production of their telephone directories.

    I felt so strongly about the issue that I sent an email immediately to Sensis.

    I thought you may be interested in the correspondence:

    David Barker

    Sent: Tuesday, 13 January 2009 8:56 PM
    To: Sensis Feedback
    Subject: Feedback

    I have worked in the print and graphics industries for the
    past 30 years, and recently in the video field with my own business.
    I was alarmed to read in Print 21 Online of the (feared) moves you are
    making to take print of our telephone  directories off-shore.

    As an Australian, a user of your phone books and other services, I wish
    to register my objection to any such move which would have a negative
    impact on employment in our own country – to the benefit of another.

    Your customers (and probably share holders) are predominantly Australian
    and I believe it is about time we all looked seriously at preserving our
    lifestyles and local economy, rather than focus on shareholders’ return.

    Your services and products have served us well over the years and
    fulfilled a community need for many generations. And along the way,
    helped our economy and Australians prosper.

    As you search for ways and means to  replace lost revenue from printed
    directories, I trust that management take the broader view and support
    our own country and its people.
    David Barker


    Dear David,
    Thank you for contacting Sensis.
    I have spoken to my team leader regarding this matter and he has advised
    me that this is not the case. We appreciate your concern and feedback.

    If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to reply back.

    As highly active in the web offset sector, the editorial is at best high-level and indeed the intro "the giant is coming back" could suggest some relationship to dinosaurs which certainly won’t be coming back.
    The very fact that there is now only one company manufacturing machines hardly reinforces the concept of international demand for this technology.
    My comment is not to arbitrate over web versus gravure quality, but rather to observe the size and dynamics of the Australian catalogue market (increasing version changes and likely smaller pagination) and the splintering of the traditional magazine sector into increased specialist titles and circulation erosion of "veteran" titles will challenge the economics of gravure production. Lead times are also increasingly measured in hours to accommodate freshness of content.
    The gravure process has and will remain dependant on large volume production and in essence the total Australian market is small compared with other world markets.) market and the fractured and increasingly shorter magazine runs which would appear inconsistent with present and future market demand.
    Whilst no expert, I do also question the comfort around the environmental impacts, I understand the Toluene (ink solvent) recovery process requires large amounts of steam via gas burners which for a large press could emit over 300o tonnes of C02 annually and the process cannot recover 100 per cen of the solvent.
    Having understood the challenge of up skilling printing staff a potential single Australian gravure site will also provide interesting HR challenges.
    It’s a free world and we along with many others will believe it when we see it.
    Print21 is an excellent journal, much enjoyed.
    Noel Rogers

    I was very interested to read this article, as ISO 12647 (particularly 12647-2 and 12647-7 for litho and proofing respectively) are hot topics here in the UK at present.

    There has been supplier accreditation here (such as Mellow Colour and others) for some years now and I imagine this is much the same in Australia.  In the UK this is often viewed with some scepticism by print buyers as the company using the supplier’s software is unlikely to be failed by the supplier’s audit over any compliance issue due to the commercial relationship that exists between the two.

    New this year in the UK is the potential release of independent certification through UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service).  When this is released later this year it will be linked with ISO 9001 which is the general quality standard, and many printers here already have this.  Hence as far as print is concerned it will become ISO 9001:12647 and audit complaince certificates issued covering both.  This will have the advantage that two audits will be conducted as just one saving time, duplicated documentation and cost.  In the UK a printer will not be able to have UKAS recognised certification for 12647 without 9001.

    I attended the very first training scheme for lead auditors last week in the UK with 9 other delegates so that we could be issued with UKAS certificates to enable us to undertake ISO9001:12647 audits as lead auditors.  It was challenging and very hard work but most interesting.  It is comprehensive and rigorous and I think will serve the industry well.

    I thought you might be interested to know what is happening here, and I am wondering if there are any plans of the type I have described with a similar accreditation service to UKAS in Australia to link the quality standard 9001 to the colour management standard 12647?

    Malcolm McReath


    Re: Retrenchments vs pay cuts: Sharing the Good Times with the Bad

    With the pundits claiming an unemployment rate of up to a million, maybe it’s time for the printing industry to show some leadership.

    Those of us in our industry have always prided ourselves on our technical innovativeness and our capacity to respond to changing technology. From letterpress to offset: from film and plates to CTP: from analogue to digital.

    We’ve taken these tumultuous changes in our stride and have adapted readily – probably due to our tendency to be "early adoptors" of state-of-the-art technology as soon as it becomes available.
    Not so however, when the "engineering" involves "human engineering" – specifically, how to re-calibrate our workforce in the optimal way during a downturn.

    These days, we’re reading constantly of printing companies exhibiting an almost knee-jerk reaction to throw people overboard, on the basis it’s better that a few people get fed to the sharks rather than risk the entire lifeboat. There seems an almost callous indifference to the effect that such retrenchments can have on the remaining staff members, not to mention the devastating impact on those who were used as live bait.

    I’m not suggesting that companies are obliged to fulfill onerous social responsibilities, although I do seem to recall a certain large printing conglomerate proclaiming its staff were (one of) its greatest assets – until it was time to get rid of them. (Which just happened to be the week before Christmas.)

    We are in industry "in transition" however, and accordingly, as an industry, we’re starting to recognise our broader corporate responsibilites – via the "Excellence Awards" and other similar programs. Entrants are very keen to demonstrate their claims to be good corporate citizens. But actions speak louder than words, and how would these companies be judged by their actions in undertaking such large and sudden, "bodies overboard" drills.

    What I’m proposing is simply a more imaginative re-think to the time-honoured, traditional approach to "retrenchments" – particularly, as when the good times return, those same companies will be expecting the retrenchees to come back again – on an "all is forgiven" basis.

    Surely a smarter, more cost-efficient (not to mention humane) approach would be to re-define the challenge as "cutting the payroll", instead of "cutting jobs".
    Getting rid of warm bodies attracts all sorts of unwanted side-effects:

     – shaken morale, and feelings of insecurity amongst the "survivors"
     – undesirable publicity from the media, as well as those who became shark-bait
     – additional costs of paying out entitlements and other "hush money" to minimise bad blood
     – loss of corporate cohesion and continuity, as much goodwill and wisdom walks out the door, and
     – the future costs of re-hiring and re-training new, unfamiliar staff.

    A more appealing option, I suggest, would be for everyone (including all ranks) to "share the pain" a little bit. I’m sure that if the alternatives were put to staff – 1) we either fire 5 per cent of you, or 2) we each take a 5 per cent pay cut for a while until the feeling passes – it’s almost a no-brainer.

    This is not as silly or as un-precedented as you may think. Recently overseas, a large health fund has waived directors’ fees and its management reduced their salaries by 15 per cent. Similarly a large Asian airline has agreed to cut salaries according to a sliding-scale -25 per cent for senior management down to 5 per cent for lower-paid staff. My proposal isn’t as radical as that! I’m only proposing an equal amount across the board – all ranks! A large UK car manufacturer is currently exploring a whole "range of things on the table … we are trying to avoid redundancies. We have spent a fortune training our workforce …"

    Apart from saving costs (avoiding expensive termination pay-outs) plan "B" would deliver a powerful boost to morale by demonstrating that the boss is prepared to take part of the pain. In my role as a recruiter, I see the employment market from the top-down and the bottom-up, and hear at first hand the views of the ejected, the un-loved and the un-wanted. Sadly, it’s not always the "dead wood" that’s trimmed – although that’s another story.

    By recognising the value of retaining your employees, you’re turning adversity into an opportunity to help cement their commitment to working harder as part of a cohesive team-unit. This actually makes good commercial sense in the long-run, as you’ve invested a considerable amount in your existing staff (haven’t you) – it seems a pity to let them go. The other strategy is to re-define the allocation of tasks, as it may be possible to retain someone if their role was modified slightly.

    Let’s show some creativity and sensitivity in this impending recession. Employees have long memories and it sends the wrong signals when loyal and committed staff (who thought they were there for "good times and bad") suddenly get thrown overboard. Let’s NOT have an "accountant led" recovery.

    Let’s mix some humanity with good business sense by sharing the good times and the difficult. The employees will love you for it and reward you with their loyalty. That’s the risk you’ll have to take!

    If, on the other hand, you choose to go down the retrenchment path, make sure you park the Beemer or the Jag round the corner, at least for a while.

    James Cryer


    Re: Collateral damage
    It is quite understandable that when times get tough, economically speaking, organisations look for ways to reduce their financial exposure. One way is to shrink into your shell and look for ways to cut costs. Lay off staff, off-load non-core parts of your business and then put your hand out for a hand out from the government (aka the taxpayer).
    Another way to reduce financial exposure is to ensure every single dollar that passes through your organisation works even harder for you. That’s why I don’t understand the sudden spate of outsourcing of in-house print operations within both the private and public sectors.
    An in-house print operation is one of the best ways to retain your dollars internally and ensure you get to keep an eye on them and get them to work in a positive way for you. It means you have the asset, you have the control, you have the ability to hit the ground running when this storm blows over.
    Wouldn’t organisations and their decision makers be better addressing and concentrating on the work practices that got us into this mess in the first place? Getting rid of the in-house facility is collateral damage in an unimaginative strategy to save costs. Getting rid of an efficient and effective in-house operation when a financial crisis hits is like ‘re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic’. It might make you feel like you are doing something but it really doesn’t help because it isn’t addressing the real issue.
    Martin Booth
    Mornington, Victoria

  • Donaldson helps Salmat make the chop

    Newly installed waste handling recycling loop sees millions of paper off-cuts recycled each week at Salmat’s Moorebank production site.

    Salmat called in Donaldson to configure and install a system to collect all paper edged trimmings, which are then passed on to paper and cardboard recycler, Visy.

    Donaldson’s chief engineer, Dominique Ollitrault, said that the main objectives for the paper waste disposal system were to improve the waste management system, preventive maintenance and meet EPA requirements.

    “With a high-volume of outsourced billing going through the processes at Salmat, the company is trimming about 1,000,000 pages per week and needed a reliable solution to not just collect the waste but also a way to effectively redistribute it at the end point,” he said.

    Ollitrault chose to design a system that extracts and separates paper trim waste with a separator instead of a cyclone.

    “The principle behind the separator operation, as opposed to a cyclone, is that an inclined baffle plate, situated within an expansion chamber, knocks the product out of the air stream rather than relying on a cyclone’s geometry to cut a specific portion of product by centrifuge and internal vortex,” he said.

    “The advantages are compactness, flexibility and low energy consumption.”

    The system extracts paper trim and dust from various trimming machines on the Salmat processing line. Each machine has its own chopper fan to chop up continuous paper trims to reduce the risk of blockage through the main ductwork system.

    In the loop: Salmat saves money and paper with its new recylcing system.
    All the chopper fans are connected to a common trim-handling fan and ductwork. The product coming from the chopper fans, ductwork and main trim fan is then transported to the separator where strip is separated and returned via a chute into the compactor.

    Air and dust is then transported through the dust collector where the dust is separated from the airstream and an air emission of < 15 mg/m3 can be expected.

    Two 110-litre bins underneath the dust collector collect the dust. The main system, which comprises a trim fan, separator, and rotary valve, is mounted onto a common platform and is located outside. The dust collector and clean air fan are installed on the floor next to the compactor.

    “An important aspect of the design of a waste handling system is to make sure that conservative materials handling principles are followed to ensure various problems do not occur,” Ollitrault said.

  • Candidates of the week: Qualified Digital Artist/Prepress Printer

    Working in an organization where I can learn and develop my Graphic prepress skills and use my creativity for the use of industry.


    • Advance Diploma in Multimedia
    • Certificate III in Graphic prepress
    • Diploma in Business Management

    Work Experience:

    • Cutting Edge Press – Creative designer
    • E-telecom – Service Provider
    • McDonalds – Crew Trainer

    Skills and Abilities:

    • quick Learner
    • good with communication
    • able to work as a team member
    • able to work unsupervised and take initiative
    • honest, reliable, trustworthy, friendly, polite, responsible
    • always well organized
    • able to follow instructions
    • strive for excellence
    • customer service
    • sketching as a hobby

    Days I am available to work:  Monday to Sunday ( 9 am till 8 pm)


    References and work samples available upon request.