Archive for September, 2009

  • You’ve lost that loving feline: Print 21 magazine article

    With the first putative signs of economic recovery come hopes that the printing industry will once again bounce back as usual and simply pick up where it left off. Dream on, says Andy McCourt, who argues that the recent downturn has changed the rules of the game completely and that, for many printers, any pick-up in activity is likely to be limp and lifeless.

    In this mercurial world in which we live there are few certainties, but it does appear that the economic carnage of the past year is bottoming out. For Australia anyway.

    It’s been truly awful in both financial and human cost terms. For printing and related industries, the casualties are still being counted as we wander through the still-smouldering wreckage, but we need no convincing that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of good skilled tradespeople have been tossed out of work and companies closed.

    But the printing industry always tracks the health of the wider business community, right? When business in general is doing well, they buy print; when things are down, we’re a bit down too. While this has held true in past recession/recovery cycles, I hold grave fears for those print businesses who are unprepared for the brave new world around the corner.

    Cat on the rebound

    Globally, the printing industry has been haemorrhaging businesses since the turn of the millennium. Indeed, one company that secured a good slice of millennial printing – that of the official Sydney 2000 Olympics programme (Diamond Press) – didn’t even last the year out. Official US statistics put the number of businesses lost to the printing industry at almost 4,000 (-10.2 per cent) between 2002 and 2007, with another 3,000 establishments expected to be gone by 2010. In Australia, you only have to look around to see we’ve probably lost about the same or higher percentage of print businesses.

    But the stand-out figure in the latest US Department of Commerce Economic Census is that, while commercial printing establishments were down 10.2 per cent, those calling themselves ‘Digital Printing’ establishments were up 118.6 per cent over the same five year period. For these digital businesses, the cat didn’t even die and it’s set to bounce higher and higher.

    One reason why I fear a dead cat bounce for the majority of non-digital printing is the massive shifting of advertising dollars from traditional media to online and interactive methods. This means that when the ‘J’ curve swings up economically, and the advertising dollars start pouring back in, ordinary printing will be missing out on vast dollops of the gravy.

    Marketing’s pushmi-pullyu
    A lady by the name of Shar Van Boskirk from the respected tech and business firm, Forrester Research, in their ‘Interactive Marketing Forecast 2009 to 2014’ calls it the “cannibalisation of traditional media.” She maintains that while advertising budgets will decline, marketing investments will not and interactive marketing will account for 21 per cent of all marketing dollars spent by 2014. Note that word ‘interactive’. This is where traditional print falls down – it is a ‘push’ medium. You push messages and information in front of people and hope a certain percentage of them respond. Interactive marketing via websites, social media, mobile phones, email and so forth is a ‘pull’ media that draws participants into your world, opens dialogue and enables commercial messages to flutter through like butterflies.

    But the reality is, print is only a ‘push’ medium because we in the industry perceive it to be and sell it as such. For some marketing, print’s permanence and unchangeability is an advantage – retail catalogues for example. In the time/space equation, sitting down with a good book or great glossy magazine provides an experience that indeed borders on the interactive – if the content is riveting and engages the reader on a deep level. For education, all research points to books being superior to screens for learning retention.

    But, no matter how much better fixed printed information presents, looks and feels, it is not until it fuses the interactive forces of digital data management that it really starts to fly. To quote Van Boskirk again: “Agencies that can’t transition from pushing out messages to nurturing customer connections aren’t long for this world. Services firms that lack data management, analytics, listening, social media execution, and strategy expertise will dry up.”

    Dry up or refuse to bounce back?

    Nurturing types
    The irony is that printed information holds the potential to be superlative at ‘nurturing customer connections’. You probably have a wallet full of printed customer connections with your credit, loyalty and membership cards. The tactile, permanent and trusted nature of print, when coupled with data-driven content targeted at the individual or group of individuals, is a winning combination and, as every marketing type loves to hear, is trackable and measurable.

    Conflicts aside, 2010 promises to be a blockbuster year economically. It should be spring after a long cold winter, peace after a horrible war, family reunion after separation and the cry of a baby after a hard labour. But for printers to reap their full potential benefits, they must never expect things to return to ‘the way they were’ and must seize the digital day in both data management and variable digital output. Sure, things will improve even for traditional print but why just sip the milk and leave the cream behind?
    Cats have nine lives, so they say, and printing may have used up a couple already. We need to turn the print cat into ‘Supercat’, the cross-media, data-driven, all-singing and dancing medium known as Print 2.0.

    If we don’t, it might not just be a dead cat bounce coming up but, to coin the title of a Loudon Wainwright ditty, another ‘Dead Skunk Lying in the Road’.

  • Convert more leads into profitable clients: Nick Devine sales tips

    Sales expert, Nick Devine, has some advice on how to improve your selling skills.

    I struggled for years with the problems of converting leads into clients.  I remember back in the Cairns days the state manager, Ralph, arranged a visit to my office.  I wanted to use it as an opportunity to ‘close’ a number of prospects where I had installed trials of fax machines and photocopiers. 

    I was nervous of what Ralph would say about my appalling sales results but optimistic that with his help we could close some deals.  I’d lined up a number of what I thought were closing appointments over the following two days. 

    It didn’t go well.

    We didn’t sell a single thing.  Some of the prospects had already signed orders with other suppliers and my trial machine was still sitting in their office.  Imagine how embarrassing that was. 

    While I may not have had any natural talent for selling, I was certainly persistent.  Somehow I survived Ralph’s visit and learned and over the next couple of years became one of the top three sales people in the country. 

    What I discovered is that there are predictable things you can do that lead to higher conversion rates.  When I used them I sold more.  The more I used them the more I sold.  When I became a sales manager and taught them to others, it worked for them as well. 

    To learn how you can do the same, click here.

  • Rare Hopkinson & Cope albion press on display at State Library of Victoria

    Book-lover, Mitchell Jordan, went to the library in search of novels and instead discovered a rare Hopkinson and Cope albion press from the 1800s.

    The machine is part of a brilliant exhibition, The Independent Type: Books and Writing in Victoria, currently on show at the State Library of Victoria. Comprising of a unique display of rare books and original manuscripts, documents, photographs, artworks and installations, the works showcases the State Library of Victoria’s literary history collection, and draws upon the collections of individuals and organisations across the country.

    Sydney-siders may get up in arms at the thought, but Victoria can rightfully claim to have some of Australia’s most well-known writers: Peter Carey; Sonya Hartnett; Peter Temple and Germaine Greer are just some of the Victorian writers whose work is featured. Audiences can see edited drafts of Carey’s Man booker-winning novel, True History of the Kelly Gang or the notebooks and fragments that would eventually form Hartnett’s exquisite novel, Of a Boy, which won the 2003 Age Book of the Year Award.

    Printing enthusiasts are also likely to be intrigued by the Hopkinson and Cope albion press (pictured) which dates back to 1859 and is a gift of Tate Adams, artist, printmaker and teacher who established Lyrebird Press in 1977 after retirement from teaching printmaking at RMIT University.

    According to the notes on the exhibition, the English press was used by Adams to produce several books during his time at Lyrebird Press Books. Acquired by Adams in 1960, the press arrived from overseas still in its original crate where he was told it had sat in a printing storeroom for 100 years, unopened. Only in the printing world would you expect such miracles.

     

    The Independent Type runs until 25 October.

  • Team Dunwell – manroland Australasia builds resources

    Long-term associate, Allison Whitelaw, is the new sales and marketing coordinator in the revitalised local company.

    Her appointment is the latest is the rapid re-build of the local sales and support operation of the German press manufacturer, following Dunwell’s appointment as managing director in August. A well-known industry identity, Whitelaw has worked with Dunwell over the years during his progress through suppliers Mediatech, Creo and latterly the Currie Group.

    She joins Simon Fitzgerald, sales manager sheetfed NSW/ACT, at the company ahead of the New Year arrival of two more sheetfed engineers from Germany, which will bring the service complement to 22. “We’re investing in people and resources to better service our customers,” said Dunwell, (pictured with Allison Whitelaw at the company’s new Regent’s Park HQ) who is clearly relishing his new role.


    He declares he was pleasantly surprised by the level of press prospects, especially in sheetfed from the packaging sector that greeted his arrival. “To be honest, it was much more than I expected,” he said. “Packaging companies are still investing in presses. It’s a sector that is resistant to downturns.”

    He flags the imminent arrival of the first manroland 700 sheetfed press with in-line foiler to a Sydney packaging company as an example of the resurgent packaging industry investment.

    manroland has a large market share in large format sheetfed presses in the local packaging market. It is also the largest player in web offset presses in the region with presses in all the major newspaper and commercial printing companies.

  • Product Almanac: 30 September 2009

    Keep up-to-date with the latest releases. This week sees the release of GMG’s new GMG PrintControl and RapidCheck 2.0 while Eizo launches new ColorEdge monitors.

    GMG announces GMG PrintControl and RapidCheck 2.0
    Effective control of printing processes and compliance with international standards is made easier than ever.

    GMG, supplier of high-end color management and proofing solutions, announces the availability of GMG PrintControl and GMG RapidCheck 2.0 within the next 30 days. The new version 2.0 is being demonstrated at Print 09 in Chicago from September 11-16. It makes standardization easier than ever for almost any print house, and additionally targets press manufacturers, producers of inks, paper, plates and blankets, as well as advertising agencies and print buyers.

    Standardisation and process control automatically lead to increased production reliability and productivity. With GMG PrintControl and RapidCheck 2.0, GMG now offers an even more user-friendly solution for easily and inexpensively controlling printing processes, the operating concept being completely revised.

    Improved user interface
    In both programs, a wizard guides the user through the entire standardization and control process. As a result, nothing can be forgotten and there is substantially less probability of errors. This boosts productivity and production reliability. The user can handle everything himself and has no need to call on the services of experts to standardize the printing process.

    Integrated "troubleshooter"

    The software includes basic knowledge in a "Knowledge Base" that, for example, describes the different standards and calibration methods supported, and contains notes for printers, telling them what they need to pay attention to in order to be able to produce in accordance with a defined standard, etc. Furthermore, explanations and correction notes for assessing and improving printing results are included.

    NPDC support

    In addition to ISO standards 12647-2 and -3, both GMG PrintControl and GMG RapidCheck 2.0 support the NPDC (= Near Neutral Print Density Curve) calibration method on the basis of neutral gray. This is of great importance for the American and Asian markets.

    ISO-compliant report

    The report in GMG PrintControl and GMG RapidCheck 2.0 has been revised. It now complies with the ISO guidelines, i.e. it contains all the information needed for ISO certification, which is particularly important for users who are aiming for PSO certification. It additionally serves as proof of production in accordance with the defined standard, as the printing conditions can be traced and re-checked at any time.

    Database for analyses

    A new feature is a database for determining trends, averages and comparisons. Print jobs measured in GMG RapidCheck 2.0 are stored in the database and can be used for analyses. This is a useful function for printers, for example, since it quickly enables them to ensure that the print products delivered are always of the same, high quality. They can use GMG RapidCheck to document that production complied with the requirements.

    Anyone interested in getting an impression of the new software can download a demo version of GMG PrintControl/RapidCheck from GMG’s website at www.gmgcolor.com.

    "The significance of standardized printing processes in the graphic arts industry has grown substantially in recent years. We are convinced that more effective and sustainable process control, based on international or user-defined in-house standards, will acquire even greater importance in the future. Tools like GMG PrintControl and GMG RapidCheck are needed that offer the businesses involved the possibility of producing the required quality and at the same time achieving high profitability in order to stay competitive," says Paul Willems, CEO of GMG GmbH & Co. KG.

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    New Eizo monitors offer ultimate image performance
    Eizo Oceania has announced the availability of the new ColorEdge CG243W 24.1-inch (61.2cm) widescreen monitor for pre-press, photographic, video, post-production and animation applications.

    “Today, many creative professionals are working in a cross-media environment; they can be designing a colour-critical brochure one day, and editing Flash animations or a video the next,” says Eizo Oceania’s managing director, Matthew Bauer. “The new Eizo ColorEdge CG243W monitor has many advanced features that make it the ideal choice for still or moving images, or both.”

    For the graphic arts user, the ColorEdge CG243W  fulfills FOGRA’s ‘Monitor PreCert’ Class A criteria, meaning that integrators of soft proofing solutions can deploy the CG243W with confidence when submitting to FOGRA for system certification. Colour accuracy is further assured with a new patented temperature sensor that suppresses fluctuations caused by changes in ambient temperatures and start-up/power-save modes. Delta E screen variance is three or less thanks to Eizo’s Digital Uniformity Equalizer.

    For the film and video user, Eizo’s new monitor accepts 10-bit PC signals via its DisplayPort connection and can display a phenomenal 1.07 billion colours from a palette of 68 billion. DV1-1 digital/analogue 8-bit display input is also included for connection to up to three PCs.

    Achieving a colour gamut of 98 per cent of Adobe RGB colour space and 100 per cent of broadcast video, Eizo’s new LCD monitor yields a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels (16:10 aspect ratio) and, most importantly, ultra-wide 178 degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles – enabling clear viewing of images from any position in a collaborative or client-to-creative  meeting environment.

    “This really is a top-end all-round performance monitor,” continues Bauer, “we are extremely proud of what our engineers have achieved. One such advancement is that the CG243W hosts its own hardware calibration, rather than relying on the computer’s graphics card. The on-board ColorNavigator software works with measuring devices and a 3D (RGB cubic) monitor-based 12-bit look-up table, to ensure that the monitor ‘knows’ it is within calibration specifications and nothing is lost in translation between the PC and monitor. This software, along with the ambient light hood, is all included with the monitor.”

    The list of additional features for the new Eizo ColorEdge CG243W monitor is extensive, but a stand-out feature is the five year warranty. It is available now through Eizo Oceania’s channel partners in the Graphic Arts, Photographic and Film/Video sectors.

  • First print industry ambassador for Western Australia

    A young graphic prepress operator in Western Australia has been chosen as the first printing industries representative in the Ambassadors Program 2009.

    21-year-old Natasha Hesson (pictured) recently completed a graphic arts (graphic prepress) apprenticeship with Central TAFE and worked with Printing Industries member company Express Print in Bunbury.

    Such was her dedication to learning that Hesson completed her apprenticeship 12 months early, earning her a place in the Ambassadors Program, a joint initiative between the Western Australian Department of Education and Training and Future Now – the Creative and Leisure Industries Training Council, to promote traineeships and apprenticeships in Western Australia.

    Hesson said her apprenticeship was well worth the effort. “You have something different every day. It’s not like you do just the one thing all the time,” she said.
     
    “You learn, earn money, gain experience in the workplace and get a qualification at the end of it. It’s not like you have been stuck in an environment where you only learn the basics, you put it into practice.”

    Printing Industries
    Western Australian general manager, Paul Nieuwhof, labelled Hesson as an “outstanding role model”. “Her  achievements led to her being selected as the printing industries first Ambassador to inspire and showcase industry career opportunities to other young people considering their career options,” he said.

    Printing Industries CEO Philip Andersen said Hesson was an excellent example not just for those in Western Australia but to all young people around the country as to what they can achieve. “I commend her for her efforts and congratulate Express Print for providing the excellent environment for her to achieve her goals in,” he said.

    Natasha‘s video profile has been included on the Department of Education and Training website along with 48 Ambassadors across all industries in Western Australia and can be viewed here.

  • Heidelberg Advantage Program – 500 Saphira Points for free

    At PacPrint in May 2009 Heidelberg launched its consumables rewards program – the Heidelberg Advantage Program.

    Two years ago Heidelberg launched its Online Shop, allowing customers to order Saphira consumables online and take advantage of 24/7 access to suit their production schedules, and also utilise saved custom shopping lists to speed up the ordering process. “Ordering consumables via the Online Shop has become the norm for many of our customers,” says Bill Wall, (pictured) General Manager Consumables for Heidelberg Australia/New Zealand.

    “It suits many smaller print shops because they can’t always leave their presses during the day if there are a few people working in the factory. They need to do all their ordering after hours, and the Online Shop is deal for this. For larger operations it suits because so many purchasing functions are automated these days, and we need to be offering the same level of service as all of their other suppliers,” Wall adds.

    “We launched the Heidelberg Advantage Program at PacPrint. One of the main themes for us at the show was HEI Value and HEI Performance, and central to this message is the added value customers can take advantage of when they purchase equipment or supplies from Heidelberg. Be it our superior customer support network, or our standard extended warranty on all new presses, we continue to support and work with our customers in many way long after their equipment has been installed.

    The Heidelberg Advantage program works like many other consumer reward programs, in that customers will earn points for each dollar spent on Saphira consumables ordered through the Heidelberg Online Shop, and those points can be redeemed for a range of rewards; from iPods to Apple Macs, from satellite navigators to plasma televisions.

    We hope to reward our customers who already use the Online Shop and attract new customers to the Online Shop and Saphira consumables. Our consumables business has grown steadily over the past few years, and part of our growth plan has included the launch of a reward program. I’m excited about how it will be received.”

    Join Heidelberg Advantage Program on of before 30th November 2009 customer will receive 500 Saphira Points for free! To request your Heidelberg Advantage Program sign-up kit, or to apply for a Heidelberg Online Shop account, please click here.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 30 September 2009

    This week the National Print Awards loses one supporter; meanwhile, Redfern isn’t the only Sydney suburb where phone books are still hanging around, say our readers.

    Re: NSW and Queensland award entries close Friday

    The new format of having the NPA as the ‘best of the best’ by allowing entry only through gold medal winners at the respective state awards is a good concept but unfortunately does not work for heat set web-printed magazines.

    Web-printed magazines in Australia are concentrated in NSW with more than 80 per cent of publications printed in NSW. This is reflected in the number of awards won by NSW printers under the previous format for the awards.  In the previous two years before the new format, NSW collected 23 of the 26 medals awarded for the categories, heatset web-printed magazines with a cover price, and heatset web printing off line finished.

    Clearly having only one entry from NSW qualify for the NPA is not going to allow some of the best work in the country to be considered for the NPA making a farce of the NPA for these categories. For example, a silver medal winner from the state awards could be the second best entry nationally but not even be considered for the NPA and with a separate panel of judges the gold winner in the state awards may not necessarily be chosen for a gold at the national awards.

    Further, with dropping the category heatset web printing off line finished leaves only one category for heatset web magazine printers to enter.
     
    Although I have supported the awards in the past, I no longer see it as a fair or rational process and will not be supporting it in its current format. May I suggest that in future all medal winners and entries that are highly commended from the respective state awards be included in the NPA for these categories which will enable a result that is more indicative of the ‘best of the best’.
     
    Mark Rolls
    Webstar

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    Re: There’s something about George Street: phone book saga continues

    There’s a lot around Camperdown/Newtown as well – we’ve had a pile out the front of our apartment block for weeks.

    Laura Reed

    And no, it’s not just the inner-west. One Elizabeth Bay resident sent us in the following photo. Looks a bit ominous …

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    Re: Selling your business made simple: David Ferraz

    Great article.

    Graham Hill

  • Charities make waves with Oce posters

    Océ lends a hand with the printing of posters for the Motor Neurone Disease Association of NSW and HOME Hospice.

    The posters were printed on the company’s ColorWave600 TonerPearl wide format printer, using Océ’s CrystalPoint technology, at their Sydney showroom.

    The Motor Neurone Disease Association of NSW is a not-for-profit organisation that provides support for people with MND and their carers. HOME Hospice is a not-for-profit organisation that focusses on providing Volunteer Community Mentors for caregivers of people with a terminal illness. These two organisations have formed an alliance which complements existing health services and increases the options available for end-of-life care.

    The posters were used for presentations at the National Palliative Care Conference in Perth last week and will now make their way overseas to the MND International Symposium in Berlin from 4 to 10 December.

    Graphic designer, Steve de Vroom, who designed the posters, was impressed with the result.  “The ColorWave600 did a fantastic job,” he said. “It pumps the posters out in 30 seconds and is just amazing.”

    Océ representative and Print 21 contributor, Andy McCourt, (pictured above) said that Océ was very happy to be able to help the MND NSW and HOME Hospice organisations because the challenges faced by end-of-life caregivers were considerable.  Océ’s wide-format specialist Roger Womersley operated the printer and software to produce the posters.

  • 200 installations of Fuji Xerox 700 digital color press

    Printers across Australia make the 700 digital color press as their machine of choice.

    Since launching in November last year, the machine has already been installed by 200 print providers. According to Henryk Kraszewski, production colour marketing manager at Fuji Xerox Australia, the machine’s popularity is a result of its modular approach and affordable price.

    “We’re really pleased with how well the market has responded to the 700 Digital Color Press as the solution is proving popular among a broad range of customers,” said Kraszewski. “The 700 Digital Color Press has all the features of a high-end press but with an entry-level price tag, and delivers outstanding image quality, versatility and productivity savings.

    The 700 Digital Color Press has also proven to be a springboard for printers that are entering the digital printing market for the first time, representing more than 20 per cent of orders.
     
    “The 700 Digital Color Press has brought in new customers and driven digital revenue from previous offset-only customers,” Kraszewski added. “It is proving to be an ideal solution for both traditional offset printers that want to expand their digital business as well as smaller print providers that want to dive straight into the digital market for the first time.”

    Pictured: (l-r) Stu Gibbs, account manager, Fuji Xerox Australia; Peter Barnes CEO of GWPM and Donna Tyler, prepress at GWPM.

    GWPM, a leading commercial print provider in Melbourne, is the two hundredth Fuji Xerox Australia customer to install the 700 Digital Color Press.
     
    "We’re committed to improving the quality of our product and services, and delivering the utmost convenience and value to our customers,” saidPeter Barnes, director of GWPM. “We’re continually looking at product innovations to achieve this and the 700 Digital Color Press enables us to deliver on our commitment to service excellence.”

  • Jetrion blasts off with award and more labels

    EFI’s Jetrion digital label press takes out top award for innovation at Label Industry Global Awards.

    The award was made at a gala event held to coincide with this year’s Labelexpo exhibition held in Brussels and coincided with the launch of the new Jetrion 4830 at the exhibition.

    This new version of the digital UV printer features a wider web and faster running speed which, together, increase throughput by more than twice the amount of the previous Jetrion 4000, according to EFI.

    The new Jetrion prints up to 21 cm wide on a 22.9cm wide web, enabling two-up 10cm labels to be produced, at a top speed of 36.6 metres per minute. In addition, the new press offers a white ink capability, enabling users to print on clear film and print white as a background for CMYK overprinting. EFI claims that its UV-curable ink formulation delivers a white opacity that rivals flexo production.

    Pictured: Russell Robertson of DES, the local distributors of the Jetrion digital label press, was proud of the industry award for innovation presented to EFI.

    EFI does not disclose how many units of the Jetrion it has sold since it acquired the technology in 2006 although, at Print 09 a few weeks ago, it announced that the Whitlam Label Company in Michigan would be the first buyer of a Jetrion 4830.

    “Purchasing this latest technology will help further strengthen our customer relationships and give us the ability to capitalise on mew market opportunities,” said Rick Shaieb, CEO, Whitlam Label Company.

  • Labelcraft goes with Gallus – again

    Labelcraft backs up for yet another Gallus press, sealing the deal at the Labelexpo exhibition in Brussels.

    Labelcraft was one of two dozen local label companies to make the trip to this year’s Labelexpo exhibition in Brussels, Belguim, confirming the show’s status as the premier technology showcase for the label industry.

    Good crowds on the first three days of the exhibition kept exhibitors on their toes and contributed to the sense that the industry had shrugged off concerns about the global economic slowdown and was prepared to invest once again.

    Pictured: It’s a deal: Celebrating the signing of the deal for a new press (l-r) James Rodden, managing director Gallus Australia, Klaus Bachstein, Gallus CEO, Terry Rowney of Labelcraft and Ferdinand Rüesch, Gallus owner.

    This was reinforced by news that Sydney-based label company, Labelcraft, had signed a deal for a new Gallus EM 280 pressline, joining a fleet of more than a dozen Gallus presses already operating at the company’s plants around Australia. The new press, which will be installed in the Sydney plant in February, is described as “the ideal machine for the cost-effective production of high-quality self-adhesive labels in small to medium-sized runs”.

    The purchase follows on from the recent acquisition by Labelcraft of a Bobst Evoline 102-E die-cutter announced at the Pacprint exhibition in Melbourne earlier this year.

    Further local sales for Gallus are expected to be confirmed in the aftermath of the show. For a full report on the Labelexpo exhibition, see the next issue of Print21 magazine.

  • Ferag focuses on fast fold: pre-Ifra press conference

    Journalists went to Zurich from far and wide to see Ferag unveil a new system that promises to move the quarterfold from the pressroom to the mailroom. Print21 editor, Simon Enticknap, was there too.

    The new StreamFold system was unveiled at a pre-Ifra press conference held at the company headquarters in Hinwil, Switzerland, and attended by members of the trade press from around the world.

    The idea behind the StreamFold is to provide a flexible alternative to the traditional quarterfold performed on the press. While many recent newspaper installations include a quarterfold on at least one folder unit, there are equally many presses which do not include a quarterfold option. The addition of a quarterfold on newspaper presses opens up the possibility of producing a wider range of commercial coldset supplements and inserts.

    The StreamFold (pictured) from Ferag is designed to overcome the limitations and expense of having a press-based quarterfold by creating a modular system that can be integrated with any Ferag mailroom system or used off-line to handle third party commercial products. Used inline it can be integrated via Ferag UTR conveyors systems or, off-line, fed via a JetFeeder hopper.

    After folding, products can be fed to a JobStack stacker for bundling or wound onto a MultiDisc for subsequent inserting.

    Ferag claims a top speed of 60,000 copies per hour for the StreamFold (and ran it briefly at top speed during the press demo). Maximum thickness of the unfolded product is 100 pages and, to cope with the difficulties of folding thick paper products, Ferag has devised its own unique W fold, a type of ‘notched’ fold that is designed to eliminate unsightly creasing and crimping.

    At the same press event, Ferag also introduced the latest version of its PolyStream polybagging line with a demonstration of a line due to be installed with the Prinovis Group in Liverpool, UK. The Prinovis plant runs four gravure presses and currently handles about 40 million polybags per month. This particular PolyStream line is capable of collecting up to 13 different products for sealing in a polybag including items such as magazine supplements, catalogues and CDs.

    At Hinwil, Ferag ran the PolyStream line at 30,000 copies per hour, collating six different products into polybags before feeding a MultiStack stacker and SmartStrap strapping unit.

    The final demonstration of the press event included two EasySert inserting systems due to be delivered to customers in North Wales and Canada. For a full report, see the next issue of Print21 magazine.

  • PMP picks up Franklins catalogue contract

    $25 million printing and distribution contract allows PMP to begin the climb back into the catalogue market.

    After suffering from a “disappointing year” and numerous disasters, PMP has taken a step in the right direction by gaining the contract to print and distribute Franklins’ retail catalogues for the next 3.5 years, commencing 1 October 2009.

    The contract announcement follows a successful seven-year printing and distribution relationship between Franklins and PMP. PMP Limited CEO, Richard Allely, (pictured) welcomed the decision by Franklins, adding that it demonstrated the confidence held in PMP by one of Australia’s leading retailers.

    “Franklins has an impressive track record since its new ownership and it’s a business with good growth trajectory ahead of it,” he said. “To secure a client like that for 3.5 years is great and an opportunity to provide not just our printing service but also distribution, pre-media and photography.”

    PMP’s catalogue and distribution business has been under scrutiny since last year when Coles Supermarket hired private investigators to watch PMP’s distribution centre after claims that it had been overcharged by approximately $8 million during 2007-08. Bernie Brooks, chief executive of Myer also admitted that the company had experienced problems with PMP either not delivering, or delivering later.

    Admitting the errors in distribution, PMP’s future in catalogues looked shaky after it lost the Coles contract, which was picked up by Franklin Press, AIW Printing and Michael Hannan’s Independent Print Media Group with the distribution being managed by Salmat. In addition, PMP also lost catalogue contracts with retailers Kmart and Harris Scarfe.

    Allely is confident that PMP is now back on track. “Our catalogue distribution business has had some issues in the past but those issues have all been addressed and I’m delighted today with the people running that business and the changes we have made which will enhance our performance and reliability for customers,” he said.

  • Positive Camtec brings Flexi Sign to Australia

    SA International chooses Positive Camtec as the Australian distributor for its Flexi Sign suite of products.

    The two companies share a long history of involvement with each other. Positive Camtec are currently the exclusive Australian agent for its EnRoute family of CNC machine software.

    According to Ryan Buy, SAi director of sales for the Asia Pacific, the new distributorship is the next progression in the two company’s close relationship. “Positive Camtec have a proven track record over many years supplying and supporting SAi products and have performed exceptionally well with our EnRoute product suite,” he said. “We have full confidence in their sales and technical capabilities and see them as a great asset to the local market.”

    As part of the deal, Positive Camtec will promote, supply and support the Flexi product both directly and via a reseller to ensure maximum exposure in Australia. Ray Clarke, managing director of Positive Camtec, welcomed the news.

    “Positive Camtec are honoured to be appointed as the national distributor,” he said. “We have worked with SAi and Flexi Sign for years and have always enjoyed our close relationship with SAi. Their proactive approach to innovation has set them as the leader in sign manufacturing software.”

  • Inside the mind of a print buyer: Print 21 magazine article

    Understanding how print buyers see the medium is crucial to any attempts to raise the profile of the industry and stem the flow of work moving online. Joan Grace reports on two recent pieces of research that shed light on how printed material is perceived by the people who purchase it.

    Two recent research reports examining perceptions of print provide some valuable insights for our industry as we look at what I certainly hope is the “path out of the recession”.

    The first piece of work was conducted as a key part of PrintNZ’s project to raise the profile of print. This work was undertaken by Chilli Marketing and involved a number of face-to-face interviews and focus groups with print buyers and end users discussing their views of print as a form of communication and their view of the industry as a whole.

    The second piece of research was conducted in the US for The Print Industries Market Information and Research Organisation (PRIMAR).

    The survey work for these reports was conducted in the context of the economic recession at a time when the industry across the world is facing the consequences of decreased volumes of print. Much of this decrease is driven by the decisions of advertisers, with the latest US research indicating, for example, that spend on national newspaper advertising is expected to fall by 26.5 per cent compared to a year ago, and magazine advertising by 18.3 per cent.

    Print buyers indicate that volume is decreasing as they substitute print with online services for items such as newsletters, produce more personalised printing, take advantage of smaller digital volumes and decrease functional print such as business forms and general pamphlets.

    In both NZ and the US, when they do print, they choose their printer on cost, time and quality – the “big 3”.

    What buyers are thinking
    So when they make these choices what else are they thinking about? Three areas explored in the research provide insights for us and may in turn influence the choices we make when investing in technology, training our staff and marketing our businesses. There are overlaps in the messages across these areas but I feel it is valuable to look at these separately.

    The environment: Buyers do not see the environmental credentials of a printer as a point of difference and it is considered only after the “big 3” have been dealt with. Buyers are aware that there have been vast environmental improvements in print processes but have concerns about waste paper. They consider online to be more environmentally-friendly as there is no physical product to be disposed of. The research shows that the views of buyers and consumers on environmental aspects of print vary quite markedly – something for another column!

    Comparing digital and offset:
    Buyers in the main are knowledgeable about the processes printers use. When they describe offset printing they talk about quality, an emotive connection and expense. They also mention craftmanship/skill, inflexibility, respect and businesses lacking customer service.

    With digital they talk about cost-effectiveness, the ability to personalise and fast turnaround. Other descriptors include good enough quality, customer service-focused and lack of training/knowledge.

    Comparing print and online: Buyers describe print as quality, valued – “it’s a treat” – tangible, permanent and portable. With online, the descriptors are more environmentally-friendly, faster, cost-effective, measurable, versatile, dynamic and up-to-date. An example of this is well illustrated by our State Services Commission which, when looking to reduce costs, advised government departments to advertise jobs online rather than in print. While mentioning cost they also indicated this response would ensure their advertising was “more up-to-date”.

    As mentioned, this research is key to PrintNZ’s work to raise the profile of print in NZ. We want to do this as we believe fundamentally there needs to be a strong and vibrant print industry in NZ. Over the coming months, we will be developing key messages and looking at specific actions we can take as an industry, and seeking support from all our members and Associations to support those actions. Our aim is to have activities planned at the level of individual businesses as well as at an industry-wide level.

    I would be interested to hear your feedback and suggestions as we move forward with this work.

  • ISO knowledge is power for printers

    ISO affects everyone in the printing industry; from the buyer to the seller, according to speakers at the You Can Do it! Printing Colour Standard The Complete Pathway dinner.

    The three guest speakers offered different perspectives on what has undeniably become the buzzword of the Australian printing industry. Dave Mann, Stream Solutions design studio manager spoke about what it is that customers want; David Hopewell, Craft Inprint’s national operations manager, provide a case study on what printing to AS ISO 12647-2 standard has done for the business while Luke Wooldridge, Kayell Australia graphic arts and print specialist, gave some tips on what it takes to gain ISO certification.

    Pictured: ISO experts, (l-r), Dave Mann; Bob Lamont; David Hopewell and Luke Wooldridge.

    According to the LIA’s NSW executive officer, Bob Lamont, the dinner is the next step in educating the printing industry.

    “It is a practical follow-on from our last meeting to show our attendees why print buyers demand that printers use ISO-certified processes along with an opportunity for them to hear from someone who has implemented the process into their business,” he said.

    Last year, Michael Hannan’s IPMG group kicked off its ISO rollout around Australia. Hopewell, who chose Kayell to conduct the process, spoke honestly and openly about the journey. “The rigour required for third-party certification is in the long-term best interests of our business and clients,” he said.

    “It [ISO] threw many challenges our way and we’re proud to say that we met them head-on. Since implementation we’ve not had a colour issue with a client in Sydney or Queensland.”

    Wooldridge, who has assessed Craft Inprint and many other print businesses around the country, sees calibration as of key importance. “Calibration is the key to making everything work predictably so you know what the final result will be,” he said. “You need to do it regularly.”

    Dealing with customers on a regular basis, Mann can attest that their understanding of printing has increased. It is vital for printers to stay one step ahead.

    “Don’t let your customer master your knowledge before you,” he warned.

    Starting the ISO journey
    Tim Lu, manager of Sydney-based CTI Colour Printer, made the move towards ISO earlier this year after noticing the increase of its importance.

    “There has been a lot of interest in the ISO standard,” he said. “At PacPrint I visited the Kayell stand and learnt how we could use the ISO standard to enhance our printing.”

    Pictured: Tim Lu (left) with Luke Wooldridge.

    Lu undertook the Kayell ISO ANZ compliance program in June this year. Luke Wooldridge, Kayell Australia graphic arts and print specialist, who assisted in the process, believes that it was a great learning curve for the CTI Colour Printer team.

    “They now have a better understanding of the ISO standard and the tools and training to check the process regularly,” Wooldridge said.