Archive for February, 2009

  • Blue Star backers commit more capital to company

    Major shareholders reaffirm support in interim report for the trans-Tasman printer as it battles increasingly challenging business conditions.

    Dismissing suggestion that Blue Star is in trouble, Chris Mitchell, (pictured) managing director, says the actions the company is taking, “are what a prudent company should be doing in today’s challenging environment.

    “Blue Star is in a sound financial position. It is profitable; it has positive cash flow. Moreover, our major shareholders have committed capital to the company. This equity support not only underpins our financial position, it also aims to ensure the continued excellent relationship Blue Star enjoys with its lenders is maintained,” he said.

    He downplayed the possibility of suspending interest payments on the company’s NZ capital bonds as reported yesterday by Print21. “A specifically designed feature of these bonds is the ability to suspend interest payments. If such an action were ever to be taken it would not be dissimilar to the recent announcements by many businesses to reduce dividend payments in order to conserve cash. I should point out that in such an eventuality, interest on our bonds would continue to accrue at a higher rate.”

    He describes the ongoing reorganisation of the group’s operating assets as reinforcing “its financial and competitive position, while also enhancing the levels of our customer service.”

    In his report, he notes that the sheetfed business has suffered the most from the current downturn, while the web, particularly Webstar Australia, and the Australian mailing businesses continue to perform strongly. In response the company has begun to optimize its sheetfed cost base, in such recent moves as closing the McMillan Printing business in Sydney and restructuring the Pirion Printing operations in Canberra.

    The company anticipates a continuation of the current economic conditions for at least the next 12 months with consequent impacts on ongoing print spend and margin. However, it claims to be well positioned to continue expansion of its Australasian print management business without having to commit further major capital on print equipment.

  • HPA brings in the money for Salmat

    Customer communications group, Salmat, flies high in face of economic downturn.

    In its half-year results, the company achieved sales revenue of $454.6 million, up by 22.4 per cent. According to a statement, a full six months’ revenue during the HPA acquisition, compared with only two months’ contribution in the prior corresponding period was a key factor.

    It was HPA that contributed to Salmat branch BusinessForce’s $68.2 million profit. Peter Mattick said that the company is very pleased with the progress of HPA’s integration. “The integration program is proceeding very well and we are on target to achieve our projected synergy savings,” he said.

    Within BusinessForce, revenue was up for both the Australian and Asian operations, offset by smaller revenue drops in data solutions, direct marketing and print-on-demand businesses.

    Mattick expects that Salmat will achieve a similar level of performance for its second-half results, predicting a full-year figure to be around $75-80 million. He believes the economic situation will have a minimal effect on the company.

    “Our experience over the past 30 years shows that a market downturn generally provides opportunities for Salmat,” he said.

    Leading Salmat into the future is new chief executive officer, Grant Harrod, who takes over at the beginning of April.

  • Blue Star denies threat to business – Chris Mitchell

    Your article and its inference is simply incorrect. Our interim accounts to be published tomorrow to the NZX will make this obvious. There is no truth at all in your unfounded assertion that this matter puts our company at risk. On the contrary we have commitment for continued support from our key equity sponsors and enjoy continued support of our lenders.

    Chris Mitchell CEO Blue Star

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 4 March 2008

    There’s no shortage of letters this week; from the passing of Ron Hoolahan to Blue Star news.

    Re: Blue Star debt threat puts company at risk

    Your article and its inference is simply incorrect. Our interim accounts  published to the NZX will make this obvious. There is no truth at all in your unfounded assertion that this matter puts our company at risk. On the contrary we have commitment for continued support from our key equity sponsors and enjoy continued support of our lenders.

    Chris Mitchell

    CEO Blue Star


    It’s about time the Foreign Review Board and the ACCC looked at the national interest when overseas companies choose to raid Australian-owned companies.

    With an economy that has 73 per cent of its imports consisting of manufactured goods, we are extremely vulnerable to any loss of employment.
    The power wielded by multi nationals and large corporations is a recipe for disaster as evidenced by Woolworths and the decline of competition.

    Garry Clifford

    If the company turned over 490 million and made a 2.3 per cent profit that shows that they are doing lots of unprofitable work.

    These big guys are cutting there own throats by continually doing things cheaper and believing that price is the only sellable point.

    Neil Maynard

    It was a lot more than 40 staff made redundant.
    A lot of them were long time and loyal employees of J S McMillan.
    Very heartbreaking.
    Kerry Clarkson


    Re: Graphic World boss, Ron Hoolahan, passes away

    Management & Staff of Standard Publishing House (Aust) Pty. Ltd were saddened to hear of Ron Hoolahan’s passing.
    Our sincere condolences to his family
    Gina Turner
    General Manager, Standard Publishing House Aust Pty Ltd


    Last Thursday the Sydney printing industry looked more like an extended family mourning the loss of one of its own, as suppliers, former employees and even competitors gathered to show their respects for a gentleman of the industry.
    Ron was not the most outgoing or extroverted type you were ever likely to meet. A rather quiet, even shy man, he was probably the one they had in mind when someone wrote that "still waters run deep", or that he "hid his light under a bushell".
    Cliches aside, Ron was obviously a warm-hearted and caring individual – "a quiet achiever" (sorry, no more cliches).
    As someone said on the day, for a man who shunned the limelight, he became the center of attention last week. And in some ways his passing marks a watershed as our industry transitions from "family-style" owner/operator businesses to larger, more impersonal "corporatised" models.
    But even in death, Ron speaks to us about certain lessons of life that we only fail to grasp at our peril.
    1) That "nice guys" CAN win, in terms of building a business based upon caring about staff,
    2) That there is a "work/life" balance – and Ron may NOT have got that quite right by coming in at 5am and leaving at 7pm,
    3) That one SHOULD have regular health-checks, particularly at "our age" (whatever that may be), and
    4) That if you see a geontosaurus lumbering up the bank and into the meadow, do not be afraid, just charge them for all you’re worth – they’re really quite harmless!
    Vale, Ron.

    James Cryer


    My commisserations and regards to his family.
    Ray McCredden


    Re: GBC print finishing sold to Indian film giant

    As well as GBC film division being a producer of laminating films, it promoted re-branded GMP Korean machines in the USA & Australia.

    GMP is a competitor of GBC outside of the USA by past agreement and definitely a competitor of Cosmo. Most GBC clients in the USA thought that GBC made a lot of the laminators, when in fact they were produced in Korea by GMP who kept out of the States.

    Cosmo only have a limited machine range. So the question is now, how do the GBC outlets of film get on with sourcing machines in future? Their strength was selling systems that included GMP/GBC laminators. I doubt that GMP will entertain increasing Cosmo’s presence worldwide. Will be an interesting battle.

    Derek Wright


    Re: Book machine misses the fine print – Print 21 magazine article

    I enjoyed the article on the EBM that Mitchell wrote.
    Thanks for posting the story.
    Ed Hewer

  • Colour guru calls for digital print standard

    Fogra’s colour expert, Andreas Kraushaar, spreads the word to Australians.

    On his recent Australian tour, Kraushaar addressed printers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to promote the benefits of adopting and embracing ISO standards.

    The Munich-based Kraushaar, who is Fogra’s head of prepress, believes that when it comes to adopting standards Australia is “two to three years behind Europe.”

    Kraushaar believes that its not-for-profit nature makes ISO a more compelling option for printers. “ISO doesn’t promote anything, it just offers rules and a framework for an industry to participate in,” he said.

    Pictured: Robert Gatto (left) with Andreas Kraushaar (right) at Old Parliament House, Sydney.

    Kraushaar’s advice to audiences was to understand ISO’s history and the technical requirements of the process.

    “I recommend considering the implementation and knowledge of standards before clients force you into doing it,” he said.

    He also believes that there is a strong need to make a dedicated standard for digital printing.

    “If we get all the major digital manufacturers on board and participating in ISO we might get a first draft in one to two years but it requires a lot of momentum,” Kraushaar said.

    “If we work together it is do-able. We could have a draft in one to two years time. To get to a published standard could take up to 3 years from now.”

    According to Robert Gatto of Kayell, whose company sponsored the event in conjunction with Epson, it was encouraging to see such support from printers around the country.

    This was reiterated Kraushaar, who was optimistic of ISO’s local take up.
    “I was mesmerised and astonished by the response from Australians,” he said.

    “They are all very eager to understand more about the process and I think they will start to consider it more and more.”

    Held one week after DES’ ISO seminars in Sydney and Melbourne, the events from both companies drew very strong crowds, proving that printers are very aware of the need to implement colour standards into their businesses.

  • Blue Star debt threat puts company at risk

    Cost-cutting measures may not be enough to cushion the impact of current trading conditions.

    The printing company’s parent, Sirius NZ Finance, is in danger of breeching interest payments on $105 million bonds attracting 9.1 per cent interest. If this happens Blue Star is faced with guaranteeing a higher rate of interest, 13.1 per cent, to 3700 New Zealand investors.

    Last year the company reported a net profit after tax of $11.3 million on sales of $490 million. Blue Star is the larger of the two trans-Tasman PE-backed printing giants – GEON is the other. Under its new CEO, Chris Mitchell, it recently closed down McMillan Printing costing over 40 jobs as part of on ongoing rationalisation. It operates in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, Australia; Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand, and last year employed 2,000 staff.

    According to the company, a program of stringent cost cutting is “well advanced” to deal with the threat posed by the economic down turn, but it says that its future is uncertain. In a statement reported on the National Business Review in New Zealand, Blue Star warns: It is not certain, however, that these initiatives will be sufficient to fully offset, in the short term, the current trading conditions.

    Blue Star is owned by private equity firm, Champ, which bought it three years ago for NZ$385 million. Champ has recently allowed another one of its properties, discount chain, ’Go-Lo’ to fail.

  • Stream’s standard bearer: Print 21 magazine article

    The region’s largest print management company, Stream Solutions, is helping to drive the push towards standards-based printing by launching its own compliance program. Print21 spoke to the man in charge of making sure that the ink on paper makes the grade.

    As expected, the move to introduce a common standard for offset print in Australia – AS/ISO 12647-2 – has generated a lot of interest and debate within the industry. So much so that, at times, the ‘how’ of achieving compliance has tended to obscure the reasons as to ‘why’ it should be done. While there are differing opinions as to the best way to implement standards-based printing, in the end the reason for doing so is all about giving customers what they want.

    This is the approach taken by Stream Solutions which, in dealing with many of the largest print media customers in the country, recognised early on that what was needed was a reliable, consistent and predictable means of achieving a quality print result. The company first introduced the concept of a colour compliance program for its suppliers at its annual conference two years ago, and since the beginning of this year it has begun auditing its top 60 offset suppliers to assess their compliance with ISO 12647-2.

    Dave Mann, design studio manager at Stream Solutions, is in charge of overseeing the compliance program and with ensuring that, over the coming year, Stream’s major suppliers achieve conformity with the standard. As part of this program, every three months, each printer will have to supply a number of printed sheets taken from any job (it doesn’t have to be a Stream job) which carry a colour bar supplied by Stream. These sheets, taken from the beginning, middle and end of the print run, will then be analysed at Stream’s head office to determine how the individual supplier measures up.

    While some printers might baulk at the idea of having to submit their work for scrutiny on a regular basis, Dave Mann says they should have nothing to worry about. The compliance program is not about telling printers how to do their job or forcing them to do things differently.

    “We’re not going to be heavy policemen about it. The most important thing is to be happy with the group of suppliers that we have and to communicate that to the customer. We’re not about putting significant pressure on printers. We’re saying to them ‘Come on board’ because if you’re not, eventually Stream is to going to say we only want a quote from compliant printers.”

    In fact, Mann says a lot of printers contacted to date have shown interest in having their work assessed to find out how well they are printing, even among printers who are already compliant with ISO 12647-2.

    Catching up with Brits

    Originally from the UK, Mann travelled back there last year to inspect a number of printing sites where the implementation of standards-based printing is much more advanced than in Australia and where print management companies began their own compliance programs four or five years ago.

    “There was a lot of scepticism among UK printers back then about compliance but the benefits, in terms of ink and paper saving, faster make-ready times, a significant reduction in press checks etc, are now well-documented. Being asessed for compliance is no longer a big issue, so it was important that I brought that message back to Australia where the industry is now in the same situation as the UK was four or five years ago.”

    As part of his role as program manager, Dave Mann also sits on the TC130 committee which has worked so tirelessly to formulate and promote the Australian standard. His role there, he says, is not to act as another technical expert but rather to represent the interests of the consumer. Having worked in publishing and production environments, as well as managing Stream’s in-house design studios with major clients, he understands the print buyer’s desire for consistent, repeatable offset print results.

    “There’s always pressure to do better, and internally, within Stream, there’s an expectation that our suppliers should be able to attain a certain quality and hit an accepted target,” he comments. “I wouldn’t say that customers have come back to us in the past with any particular complaints about specific jobs, but there is certainly internal and external pressure to get it right.”

    “As such, it’s important that our supplier base comes up to a standard that is now well-publicised and achievable.”

    Going your own way
    From his involvement in the technical aspects of the standard, Mann also has first-hand experience of the different processes involved in achieving compliance and an understanding of the various vendor systems available on the market to help printers reach that goal. And although he says he has a personal preference as to which system he considers the most appropriate, he is scrupulous in not favouring one over another and, in response to requests for information, strives to act as an ‘honest broker’.

    So is it possible for a printer to achieve compliance with the ISO standard and Stream’s requirements without investing in a vendor-specific process?

    “Yes and no,” he states carefully after a pause, pointing out that there are indeed a lot of very well qualified prepress staff in the industry capable of driving compliance, but what the vendors bring to the table is a ready-made expertise and the necessary technology. There are other considerations too, he says. ISO implementation is a top-down process, he claims, and requires high level management support. It is also a ‘whole business’ process and depends on everybody’s commitment and involvement, not just prepress.

    With the Stream compliance program still in its early days, Mann says there have already been a dozen or so suppliers who have undergone and passed the auditing process to demonstrate that they can print to ISO 12647-2. By the end of the year, he hopes to have the top 60 suppliers compliant and says that if that target can be achieved then it will go a long way towards ensuring that Stream’s customers receive the highest quality, consistent product from the industry.

  • McPherson’s print earnings drop

    Low margins lead to drop in earnings for McPherson’s printing business.

    In its first-half results, McPherson’s made $13.5 million for the six months to 31 December 2008, a 13.5 per cent drop on the previous figures which were $15.6 million.

    Earnings for printing were also down, at $1.7 million, a drop from $1.9 million in the previous corresponding period. Changes in the revenue mix and cost increases resulting from the lower Australian dollar were attributed to this drop.

    A statement from the company said that: “Management is focused on cost containment and efficiency gains through technology enhancements. Recent investment in new short-run equipment is expected to provide operational efficiencies and new business opportunities.”

    McPherson’s managing director, David Allman said that second-half trading had been “reasonably solid” and he expects the company’s earnings per share for the full-year to be between 25-30 cents, compared with 25 cents predicted at the annual general meeting last November.

    “Looking forward, the strength of our brands and our high proportion of non-discretionary products are expected to provide resilience in the current difficult trading environment,” he said.

  • Falling print volumes hit Fairfax Media

    Decline in newspaper volumes results in a 6.4 per cent drop of printing revenue for Fairfax Media.

    Print revenue was $50.8 million for Fairfax Media’s first half of the financial year results, compared to $54.3 million in the previous year. Over the last year, Fairfax Media has commissioned a new plant in Ormiston while closing down its Burnie plant and consolidating work in Launceston, Tasmania. Volume declines in external printing work were described as responsible for the loss of profit.

    All up, the company lost $365.3 million for the first half of 2009. Revenues were down by 5 per cent for Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan newspapers and magazines. In New Zealand, total revenues were down by 11 per cent.

    In an attempt at putting on a positive spin, chairman Ronald Walker said that: “We are delivering the very best possible results in an exceptionally difficult economy.”

    It has been a rocky few months for the company after it announced plans to cut 550 jobs in August last year, prompting a workers strike. Not long after, David Kirk – former rugby star and PMP boss – stepped down as CEO and was later replaced by Brian McCarthy, who attempted to put on a brave face over the poor financial figures.

    “Fairfax Media has reported a credible first-half trading result in the face of a significant deterioration in economic conditions,” he said.

    “Fairfax Media has outstanding brands and is better positioned than most other media companies in Australasia to withstand the present economic conditions and benefit from the upturn when it comes.”

  • Young printer tragedy at carton factory

    Death of 18-year-old Victorian employee sparks a call for safer workplaces in the printing industry.

    The youth, whose name has been surpressed, had recently commenced employment at Advance Cartons in Thomastown, Victoria. He was reportedly pulled head-first into a printing press last week and died in hospital the next day.

    According to Michael Birt, a spokesman for WorkSafe Victoria, he became trapped in the machine after his clothes were caught. Birt said that he had been working at Advance Cartons “only for a short time.”

    WorkSafe has issued Advance Cartons with two prohibition notices and one improvement notice.

    John Merritt, WorkSafe Victoria’s executive director, has urged all employers – especially those in the printing industry – to ensure that all machinery is guarded effectively.

    “If machines are unguarded, if people don’t have appropriate training, licensing or supervision, and workers do not have the equipment needed to do their job safely, those issues must be dealt with,” he said.

    “There’s no mystery about what hurts or kills people at work, but if you ignore the signs and warnings the consequences of not doing so can be horrendous and happen in an instant.”

    Birt said that an inquest is likely and WorkSafe will produce a brief for the Coroner.

  • Candidate of the Week – Printer (immigrating from South Africa to Australia)

    Langlaagte Technical High School, 1995
    Highest Qualification: Senior Certificate

    Printing Newspapers & Packaging Industries
    Education And Training Board, 1996
    Highest Qualification: Rotary Offset Machine Minding
    Trade Test completted 1999 ( Caxton Ltd) – Qualified Artisan

    Printing Newspapers & Packaging Industries
    Education And Training Board, 1996
    Highest Qualification:  Printers Machinery #1 And Business Studies #1

    Printing Newspapers & Packaging Industries
    Education And Training Board, 1996
    Highest Qualification:   Technical Theoretical Module iii   

    Machinery worked on  – Man Roland Uniset
    Harris M300 – Heatset Presses
    Harris M200A – Heatset Presses                
    Manugraph Highline
    Goss Community
    Goss Urbanite
    Dev Horison
    (Qualified in all the above machinery)

    Employment History
    Paarl Coldset, March 2008 – Current
    Machine Minder

    Running and mantainance of the printing press.

    Delegating to and supervising staff – assistants,reelhands,casuals,apprentices and fellow machine minders. Configuring and sending settings to the press,opening of job cards,load and unload jobs,check on and respond to e-mail requests and make sure dispatch knows what is coming and is ready for it. Collection and loading of plates.  Ensuring that assistants keep ink levels topped up, web up the press, keep work area’s neat and tidy,wash blankets. Start up press and run continuosly checking on qaulity and quantity of papers printed – setting register,bussel wheels and heads, inking according to colour proof if supplied.Setting side lay,web and in-feed tensions,cut-off and lap.  Regulation of press speed,start up and run down. Set folder’s – nips, jaws,diameter,belts,trolleys,slitter/s and ironing roller’s. Replace and set folder – nip-rollers,belts,tucker blades ,grippers,knives rubbers, pins,trolleys,slitters and fingers if nessesary.

    Selction of type of fold,broadsheet,tabloid,qauter fold,reel-to-sheet. Changing or setting of inking and dampening roller’s,Changing blankets and packing. Selection of printing units.Set technotrance(water system) – PH,conductivity,tempreture as well as cleaning.Set and/or clean web break and qi (automatic register) devices. Preventitive mantainance. Report back and update foreman/manager’s on progress. Calling of engineers or electricians as protocol,if the need be.Help wherever need be from reels stand to despatch.  Ensuring high levels of quality print work at all times, and working exactly to the work ticket.  Deciding when to let good copies go or to throw out spoils whilst monitoring and keeping waste minimal.Sticking to deadlines as far as humanly and mechanicaly possible,and keeping customers and fellow staff happy as far as my job permits me to.I am responsible for whatever I am asked to do that day and answer to my line foreman. 


    Lebone Litho Printers, April 2007 – November 2007
    Machine Minder No 1

    Running and mantainance of the printing press.

    Delegating to and supervising staff – assistants,reelhands,casuals,apprentices. Collection and loading of plates. Ensuring that assistants – keep ink levels topped up, web up the press,keep work area’s neat and tidy,wash blankets.Start up press and run – continuosly checking on qaulity and quantity of paper printed,setting register,bussel wheels and heads, inking according to colour proof if supplied. Setting side lay ,web and in-feed tensions,tilt-boxes,cut-off and lap.  Regulation of press speed.Set folder’s – nips, jaws,diameter,belts,trolley’s,slitter/s and ironing roller’s. Replace and set folder – nip-rollers,belts,tucker blades,grippers,knives,rubbers,pins and fingers if nessesary. Selction of type of fold,broadsheet,tabloid,qauter fold,reel-to-sheet.  Changing or setting of inking and dampening roller’s,Changing blankets and packing. Selection of printing units.Set technotrance(water system) – PH,conductivity,tempreture,alcohol levels as well as cleaning. Preventitive mantainance. Report back and update foreman/manager’s on progress.  Calling of engineers or electricians as protocol, if the need be.  Help wherever need be from reels stand to despatch to designated ares.  Ensuring high levels of quality print work at all times, and working exactly to the work ticket. Deciding when to let good copies go or to throw out spoils whilst monitoring and keeping waste minimal.  Sticking to deadlines as far as humanly and mechanicaly possible,and keeping customers and fellow staff happy as far as my job permits me to.  I was responsible for everything to do with my machine and staff as well as what I was helping out with on other machines and answered to the department manager or his boss.


    Seculo Tri – Web Printers, September 2001 – April 2007

    Delegating to and supervising staff – assistants, reelhands, casuals, apprentices and fellow machine minders. Configuring and sending settings to the press, opening of job cards, load and unload jobs, check on and respond to e-mail requests and make sure dispatch knows what is coming and is ready for it. Collection and loading of plates. Ensuring that assistants keep ink levels topped up, web up the press, keep work area’s neat and tidy, washing of blankets. Start up press and run continuously checking on quality and quantity of papers printed – setting register, bussel wheels and heads, inking according to color proof if supplied. Setting side lay, web and in-feed tensions, cut-off and lap. Regulation of press speed, start up and run down. Set folders – nips, jaws, diameter, belts, trolleys, slitter/s and ironing rollers. Replace and set folder – nip-rollers, belts, tucker blades, grippers, knives rubbers, pins, trolleys, slitters and fingers if necessary. Selection of fold type – broadsheet, tabloid, quarter fold, reel-to-sheet. Changing or setting of inking and dampening roller’s. Changing blankets and packing.

    Caxton Printers LTD, March 1996 – December 2001

    Configuring and sending settings to the press, opening of job cards, load and unload jobs, check on and respond to e-mail requests and make sure dispatch knows what is coming and is ready for it. Collection and loading of plates. Ensuring that assistants keep ink levels topped up, web up the press, keep work area’s neat and tidy, washing of blankets. Start up press and run continuously checking on quality and quantity of papers printed – setting register, bussel wheels and heads, inking according to color proof if supplied. Setting side lay, web and in-feed tensions, cut-off and lap. Regulation of press speed, start up and run down. Set folders – nips, jaws, diameter, belts, trolleys, slitter/s and ironing rollers. Replace and set folder – nip-rollers, belts, tucker blades, grippers, knives rubbers, pins, trolleys, slitters and fingers if necessary. Selection of fold type – broadsheet, tabloid, quarter fold, reel-to-sheet. Changing or setting of ink and dampening roller’s. Changing blankets and packing.

    I am a hardworking team player, capable of working independently if need be.

    I am self motivated, responsive to my colleague, and eager to help wherever possible.

    I have the ability to consider and analyze different options & opinions, and take the lead when necessary.

    I am a leader, relying on the good relationships I have created based on Mutual trust & understanding. I have a good eye for detail, and regard myself as somewhat of a perfectionist. I am a creative thinker, always on the lookout for new opportunities and ways to contribute to my surroundings.

    I believe that I will be an asset to any company willing to employ me, and will reward any given opportunity to the best of my abilities, which considering my age and experience.  I believe to be significant.           


  • Economic crunch crushes LIA 20th national conference

    Citing hard times and the prospect of further deterioration by October the industry’s premier technical body pulls the plug on its Sydney get together.

    According to LIA Federal President, Greg Grace, the conference slated for Sydney on the 15 and 16 October 2009 has been deferred. Citing the industry downturn due to the current critical economic situation Grace said, “The major factor influencing the decision, was the severe impact of that crisis, which has resulted in a downturn of activity in the local printing industry. With the prospect of the situation deteriorating further in the coming months, we had to make the hard choice and defer.”

    Bob Lamont, the LIA’s NSW Executive Officer, said the decision was the only viable alternative. “Before taking this decision, we looked at every possible option to make it happen, but each model we created told us that the forces stacked against us, made staging a successful conference highly problematical.
    “In the end we came to the conclusion that deferring and re evaluating at a time when there would be a clearer picture of the chances of staging a successful future conference was clearly the only way to go.”

    “The economic downturn has affected all players in the industry including the supply companies, almost all of whom are heavily committed to the Pacprint show and understandably, some have indicated difficulty in allocating additional dollars to support the LIA in this period of extreme uncertainty.

    The LIA will now focus on the staging of the 2008-2009 National Graduates Awards Presentation, which will be celebrated with a Gala Dinner to be held in Sydney on Friday evening 16 October 2009. We are delighted that our major sponsors Heidelberg and GAMAA are committed to supporting this event,” said Lamont

  • Ricoh arrives in digital production colour

    The Japanese technology company is geared up to fight for a place in the growing and lucrative digital production printing market.

    Its late arrival is compensated for by its initial digital colour engine, the C900, a machine that prints at 90 pages per minute. This is a sweet spot in the market where most of its rivals – Fuji Xerox, Konica Minolta and Canon – have marginally slower or much faster, heavier and more expensive offerings.

    The so-called ‘digital lite’ sector is often regarded as the first entry point for commercial printers into the digital market. At 90ppm Ricoh’s C900 is top of its class with a price point somewhere above $200k.

    Ricoh officially launched its contender at a series of presentations around the country. Perth, where there are already two machines installed will greet the road show this week.


    In the highly competitive sector it is essential to back up any promises of quality and commercial advantage with service and support. Ricoh has assembled a power team led by Kathy Wilson, a high-profile industry identity recently returned from a long stint at EFI’s HQ in the US – pictured above with Les Richardson, managing director, Ricoh, at the Sydney launch. Other notables include Mark Katrakisnational business development manager and Franca Balsamo, national colour specialist as well as state and territory managers.

    At the Sydney launch at Luna Park, Wilson made the point that the industry has moved on from the debate as to whether the future will be offset or digital. “It’s offset and digital, integration not displacement. We are seeing many more hybrid jobs out there where part will be printed on an offset press and then on digital machines,” she said.

    She point out that though run lengths are getting shorter, the numbers of jobs are increasing. She believes the production speed advantage of the C900 and its undoubted comparable quality – 1200dpi – combined with the level of support will make Ricoh a serious contender in what is shaping up to be the battle of the digital production printing market.

  • Candidate of the Week – Printer, Queensland

    Tertiary Qualifications

    Cape Printing College, Bellville, South Africa, 1987 – 1990

    Trade Qualifications:
    National Printers Certificate (Nl – N3)
    Republic of South Africa Department of Education and Culture, 1987
    Voluntary Trade Test (Lithography)
    RSA National Manpower Training for Printing Industry
    1987 – 1990 Apprenticeship

    Academic Qualifications:
    High School Certificate
    Groenvlei Secondary School, South Africa, 1984

    Professional Development and In Service Training
    Heidelberg – Auckland, New Zealand, June/July 2000
    Digital Imaging Press
    Currie Training Centre –  Sydney, Australia
    Operator Training Course on the hp indigo 3000, October 2003

    Print Systems Australia, Salisbury, Qld – 11/2008 to 02/2009
    Digital Printer
    HP Indigo 3050
    Machine maintenance
    Quality control

    The Inkspot, Maroochydore, Qld – 10/2008 to present
    Offset Printer
    Operate Heidelberg Speedmaster 74
    Quality control

    Soar Printing, Mt Eden, Auckland, New Zealand – 04/2007 to 09/2008
    Offset Printer
    Operate Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 CD with coater
    Supervise print assistant
    Quality control

    Digital Print On Demand, Mt Roskil, Auckland, New Zealand – 04/2005-03/2007
    Production Manager and Offset Printer
    Operate 4 Col Komori and Heidelberg Cylinder. Co-ordinate and supervise casual labour and printers assistant, production planning, Job costing/quotes, Client liaison and ordering consumables/printing supplies.

    MH Communicate, Westhaven, Auckland, New Zealand, – 02/2003-04/2005
    Digital Printer and Production Co-ordinator
    Heidelberg Quickmaster digital imaging press
    Hp indigo 3000
    Staff training
    Ordering consumables/printing supplies
    Client liaison/press passes
    Outsource jobs
    Production planning

    Red-i, Mt Eden, Auckland, New Zealand – 10/2002 – 02/2003
    Offset Printer
    Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 Digital Imaging 5 colour

    MH Communicate, Westhaven, Auckland, New Zealand – 06/2000 – 09/2002
    Digital Printer
    Heidelberg Quickmaster digital imaging press

    Alliance Print, Freemans Bay, Auckland, New Zealand – 10/1999 – 06/2000
    Offset Printer
    Heidelberg 52 Speedmaster 5 colour
    Heidelberg 74 Speedmaster 4 colour
    Foreman Print



    To secure a position with a stable printing company which will enable me to fully utilize my printing skills and experience.  I am constantly seeking new challenges and opportunities to further enhance my knowledge and skills in this dynamic industry. I am a quick and eager learner who embraces change and makes every effort to keep up to date with the latest printing technology.


    A list of Referees is available upon request.



  • Candidate of the Week – Graphic Reproducer, Sydney

    To obtain a position with a reputable organisation that values reliability, effort and employee wellbeing.   Where I will have the opportunity to work amongst a team to perform excellent quality work. To further my training to develop my leadership, communication and technical skills.

    Profile &  Attributes
    1991  –  2008, Anzpac Services (Australia) Smithfield,  Sydney
    Graphic Reproducer – Supervisor 

    • Supervision of a team to ensure production schedule compliance

    • Electroplating copper and chrome

    • Lathe work – turning steel cylinders to correct diameter

    • Polish Master (Milling Machine) operation

    • Ohio Engraving Machine – producing a diamond engraved image in copper printing machine cylinders

    • Departmental First Aider

    • Participation in Continuous Improvement Teams

    • Participation on Company Occupational Health & Safety Committee


    Reason for leaving:  Redundancy due to the sale of the Cylinder Making operation section of the business.

    1989  –  1991, Accent Blinds Pty Ltd , Delta Blinds Pty Ltd & Kresta Blinds Pty Ltd,     Sydney
    Contract Fitter
    Subcontracted with a variety of blind and curtain manufactures to install window furnishings and security doors

    1986 – 1989, Deaton & Spencer Pty Ltd, Alexandria,    Sydney
    Graphic Reproducer

    1985 – 1986, Professional Rugby League Player
    Played club football in France for 12 months with French National Team – Roanne

    1979  –  1985, Comprint (Gravure Engravers)  Pty Ltd,  Sydney
    Apprentice Graphic Reproducer

    Education &  Training
    2006, Certificate 111 in Fitness (SRF 30204) Gym Instructor
    Fitness Institute Australia (FIA)
    2005, Certificate of Attainment in Computer Skill, Nepean Community College
    1979 – 1985, Diploma in Metallurgy, Technical and Further Education (TAFE), Ultimo
    1975 – 1978, High School Certificate, Marist Brothers Benedict High School, Auburn

    Full Record of training undertaken while employed by Anzpac (Australia) Pty Ltd available

    References:  available upon request


  • Sydney paper suppliers on the move

    New Sydney homes for K.W. Doggett and Vilensky Paper.
    K.W. Doggett brings its three Sydney warehouses together into one central location at 1 Cleveland Street, Enfield.
    Nathan Doggett, national sales manager, said that the project has been going on for the past year with the move commencing six weeks ago. The new Enfield site will officially open next week on 2 March.
    “Enfield is a good location for distribution to our clients,” said Doggett. “The new factory is double the size of our current ones and provides us with a good opportunity to grow.”
    The new site is 13,000 square metres and, according to Doggett, will
    accommodate new products including Impact- 100 per cent recycled white
    uncoated paper, and Color Copy, a digital sheet, along with increasing its stocks on Sovereign A2 coated.
    Overseeing the project is NSW branch manager, James McGrath. Doggett
    believes that combining the three warehouses will lead to greater efficiencies.
    “All the staff are really looking forward to moving over,” he said.

    Fellow Sydney paper supplier, Vilensky Paper, is also relocating to a new headquarters at 7/2 Southridge Street, Eastern Creek after also running its operations from three different sites. Manager, Grant Shortland, believes that new Eastern Creek premises offers the company some much-needed space to move.

  • Candidate of the Week – ISO Colour Specialist from United Kingdom

    I’m a seasoned professional with excellent communication and extensive technical skills. My focus of expertise is in computer applications with a wealth of practical experience both selling and installing solutions for digital colour graphics users. With an excellent track record of achievement I possess specialized knowledge of pre-press and colour managed workflows. Having good analytical and time management skills together with a real world in-depth experience I enjoy a professional reputation of working effectively in many business areas both in the UK and aboard.

    PRINCIPAL SKILLS                          
    Computer Skills

    • Macintosh / PC Sales and Technical Support  Software Applications;
    • Graphic Design and Reprographic Production  Adobe Photoshop / Illustrator / Streamline
    • Dealer Channel Development QuarkXpress & Adobe InDesign
    • Customer Service and Support with high end suppliers Microsoft Word / Powerpoint/ Excel
    • Colour Scanning & Digital Photograpy Adobe PDF
    • ICC Colour Management to an advanced level
    • Direct to Plate systems from Screen UK Ltd                                                                
    • Colour managed Rip workflows to ISO press standards for Epson wide format printers                                                                   


    11.03 to 3.08 Digital Systems Sales and Support Specialist To the Mac’s, St Albans Herts

    • Sales of Macintosh Computer Systems and value added solutions.

    • Exceeding sales targets of support services on Macintosh and Pc hardware platforms

    • Responsible for the installation and support for ISO12647 colour management workflows.

    • Consultancy for sales of future customer solutions and on going installations.

    Increased sales of hardware and support services for this Macintosh Value Added Reseller by widening the portfolio of clients from small business users to home users through support operations for the John Lewis Partnership. For colour graphics users configered a new low cost ISO 12647 colour management workflow and certified proofing system for the design and publishing market.

    3.97 to 9.03 Colour Specialist Color Q Ltd, Kodak distributors for ICC colour management products

    • Duties; Sales and demonstration of Kodak software products for ICC colour management.

    • The set-up of dealer channels and support operations for installation

    • Responsible for the presentation of workflow solutions to end users with the construction of training and support programs for its effective implementation.

    • The solution offered the ability to colour manage wide format plotters colour monitors and printing presses. Creating very accurate ICC (International Colour Consortium) profiles with custom software and synchronising colour accuracy across the workflow.

    On invitation from Kodak I played an active part in forming the colour management company  Color Q Ltd. Distributors for Kodak ICC Colour Management products. Set-up dealer channels as well as established the product with leading Gateway Reprographic houses for the Newspaper industry. The workflow offered complete control of the colour workflow from monitor to the press which I sold and installed the leading organisations in the UK.

    10.92 to 2.96 Reprographics Manager Marketing Advertising & Design Ltd

    • Responsible for the production of promotional materials, graphics and pre-press work

    • Preparing quotations and the negotiation of  job specification.

    • The work required extensive knowledge of print and software applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXpress and Microsoft office.

    • Organising design, prepress and print processes to meet tight budget and delivery times.

    Marketing Advertising & Design Ltd
    Brought in-house low cost reprographic solutions for the company Marketing, Advertising and Design Ltd. This allowed the design team to totally by-pass conventional expensive outsourcing of reprographics, as well as avoid purchacing expensive high end capital equipment. I also perfected some of the first colour accurate digital proofing techniques without using proprietary proofing systems. In 1996 M.A.D became the official beta site for Kodak ICC colorflow software.

    12.90 to 10.92 Training Instructor The Last Word Ltd, Computer Systems & Services House

    • Responsible for the demonstration and training clients on Macintosh desktop publishing systems

    • Construction of new training syllabus’s and sale of new programs to client database

    • Evaluation of potential and competitive graphic software applications and ROI

    • Providing customer liaison and problem solving for the sales and service teams

    Introduced Apple Macintosh DTP training programs into Mirror Group Newspapers, constructing special Photoshop courses for the Pre-press and Journalist staff.

    6.86 to 11.90 System Demonstrator Pershke Hell Graphic Services Ltd, Suppliers of Printing systems

    • The work involved training P.H.G.S customers and providing technical advice to sales & field staff

    • The role included the preparation of fault diagnostic charts and prioritising system change requests.

    • The instruction on pre-press colour scanners and Chromacom Electronic Page Composition Systems

    Installed over 100 colour scanner and high-end electronic page composition systems into Printers and Reprographic houses in the UK and in Europe for Dr Hell Ltd (now Heidelberg) and Crosfield Electronics.The work involved analyzing pre-press and printing specifications for the creation of colour separations.

    Newspaper industry

    • Digital Photographers
    • Printing & Packaging  
    • Small Business
    • Government Establishments
    • Graphic Repro-Houses   
    • Publishers
    • Trade press
    • Graphic Suppliers


    5 year Apprenticeship for Colour Retouching in the Gravure Process Dept. Sun Printers, Watford, Herts.
    1979 HND in Printing Administration with Technical Bias, City & Guilds of London Institute

    • Printing Production Management(Departmental)-Pass with Credit
    • Personnel Management (works)-Pass with Credit
    • Financial Aspects of Management-Pass with Credit
    • Departmental Management and Communication-Pass with Credit

    CURRENT activities

    These days I’m selling and supporting two main products both of which bring ease of use, speed, and accuracy to handling colour files for certified proofing. The first product supported is a low cost colour proofing or printing solution with the latest colour laser technologies. Offering certified proofing for as little as thirty five pence for an A3 proof sheet. This solution can be up to 10 times more cost effective than using current inkjet technologies.

    The second product is a digital photographers system, offering a complete solution for handling digital photographic work. With a professional rip running on a portable PC tablet the raw capture data from the photo-shoot is converted into the colour-space and file format required for final image processing. This high-end application offers all the necessary controls to produce certified proofs to any ISO 12647 standard consistently and accurately.

    The system provides every thing required to create extremely accurate ICC profiles and device link profiles used to simulate an ISO specification on the output device. The application then processes all the files for a contact sheet or low-resolution upload to a client’s ftp site. Once selected, the high-resolution pictures can be loaded into a “container” for colour processing to the correct proofing standard complete with all the photographic Meta data and Fogra control bar readings.

    Close Loop Solutions
    From from accurate monitor calibration to proofing solutions and press profiling. I am able to offer customers low cost high performance products for ISO 12647 colour management implementation ready for Fogra certification. Closing the loop in the Press room has involved on going development work to control and stabilize the variations from press to press during the operation of the computer to plate system. Using simple software allows the next logical step of ink zone control for precision make ready and ink key presetting.

    Recent Training

    2007 How to Double your Sales at the Institute of Directors Pall Mail
    2008 Fiery Rip, laser copier technology and Print Networks.
    2008 No Fear Cold Calling @ BiteSize Seminars London.
    Busness Experience with Colour Management and Calibration Services

    From my early experience of installing highend scanning equipment in the Graphic Arts Industry. Controlling colour accuracy had always been of the most challenging parts of the printing process. In those days colour management was treated as more like a “black art” than a science. Leaving a large gap in the market for a system that offered a more imperical method of control.

    Colour proofing was still in its infancy as many repro-graphics houses were adopting Wet proofing” techniques to maintain colour quality. What must be said, is that this solution bore little or no relation to what was required for the press run as inaccurate colour separations gave large colour shifts on the final printed job.

    Gradually proprietary proofing systems came into play from the likes of 3M, Agfa and Dupont which gave more consistent results, but varied considerably in establishing an achievable standard when colour matching in the press-room. Another problem with these systems is they would only work in their own closed loop environment. This required a specific set of calibrated devices, the scanner reproducing a facsimile of the original only when compared on the proofing system it was calibrated for.

    By the end of the eighties Apple Macintosh postscript equipment started to replace expensive high-end closed loop pagination systems. Taking full advantage of my experience with the Mac’ Marketing Advertising & Design employed me to run their new design department.

    Allowed to make executive decisions regarding reprographic equipment, I developed a low cost device independent colour proofing system using Apples ColorSync. So impressed with the accuracy of the MAD’s colour proofing, Kodak offered us the opportunity to take sole distribution of their ColorFlow ICC profiling software. Initially set up with one director of M.A.D, Color Q Ltd launched its ICC Color Corner colour management solution at the end of 1998 which would generate around £85,000 of turnover in the first year.

    With considerable trade interest I sold the colour management solution into highend reprographic houses and newpapers and raised the turnover to £110,000 in year two. Primarily selling consultancey and ColorFlow profiling software but latter widening the portfolio of products to cover colour measurement instrumentation and colour viewing equipment.

    Accumulating an impressive database the business continued to grow until 2003 when the Color Corner workfow no longer remained competitive against the more efficient high end Rip based solutions The calibration, training and consultancy part of the business still remained lucrative and was eventually sold to To the MACs at the end of 2003.