Archive for May, 2011

  • Book chain closure body blow to local printers

    Administrators are threatening to close the remaining 59 Angus & Robertson and nine Borders book stores if a buyer cannot be found immediately.

    The closure would be devastating for the local book printing and publishing industries, encouraging many more book buyers to go online and source books from overseas. The book chains were owned by PE-back REDGroup and were heavily in debt. The US division of Borders is also in administration.

    According to Michael Schulz, SOS Printing, the loss of the opportunity to go to a bookshop to browse the shelves will make online buying even more attractive.

    “People go to bookstores for ideas, to see what’s available. If there are no stores they will go online. And with the strength of the dollar, who can blame them?” he said.

    SOS Printing is one of the most sophisticated printers in the emerging short-run digital space. It has Auistralia’s first Kodak Prosper high-speed inkjet press for book production.

    Local publishers will also be hit hard as much of the bookstore’s stock is on a ‘sale or return’ basis.

    Ferrier Hodgson administrator, John Melluish, said he would consider selling individual stores as he urgently seeks offers from potential buyers of all or part of the Angus & Robertson or Borders networks.

    Melluish made 34 staff from REDgroup’s Melbourne headquarters redundant yesterday. REDgroup, owner of the two bookstore chains once had 116 stores and 2,327 employees in Australia and 90 stores and 1,150 employees in New Zealand.

    According to Maree McCaskill, CEO, Australian Publishers Association, the REDgroup’s demise has diminished the range of books available to the Australian consumer.

    “It continues to eat into the wide range and array of books available to the consumer, particularly as chains and independent bookshops are able to provide a wide range of books that cannot often be stocked in the big discount stores,” said McCaskill (pictured).

    She says people often forget that bookshops are servicing wide areas when they are in regional locations and when you lose those bookstores then that town’s access is diminished.

    “It’s really sad that this is the way it’s going. If you look at the closure of bookshops then you are also losing skilled book selling staff. When you lose a bookshop you are starting to eat into the fabric of the community, as a bookshop offers many more services apart from just selling books,” she said.

    SOS Printing, one of the most advanced book on-demand printers in Australia took delivery of the first Kodak Stream high-speed inkjet printers late last year and is now producing books in limited quantities with a 24-hour turnaround.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 31 May 2011

    Bruce Peddlesden,On-Demand, stirred a hornet’s nest when he criticised the notion of an ISO standard fro digital print. It went viral and drew responses from all around the world.

    Alan Ferguson still haunts us.

    re: Digital disputes standard differences … Print21 article

    Your article was very interesting to read. Thank you. It is important for us in the ISO TC130 to understand how the printers (no matter of digital, flexo, offset) see the standards.
    Looking at the big picture the idea is to reach the same colour with any of the methods by applying the right standard. The ISO TC130 WG3 is currently working on a revision of the 12647-2 as the 2004 version does not fit to the current needs anymore.
    So the new standard revision takes more substrate classes into account but also the film-based standard requirements will disappear.
    The topic with digital printing vs 12647-2 is not a very new one. We are also working on the new standard for digital printing (ISO 15311), which actually takes the needs of the digital printing into account.

    Have you been in contact with fogra before?
    Andy Kraushaar, the convenor of our ISO TC130 Workgroup 3 wrote an article last autumn about this topic with a proposal on a solution.

    Last month the ISO TC 130 WG3 Experts from all around the globe met in
    Berlin to discuss about the draft on the new standard (ISO 15311) and we made a good progress. The ultimate aim is to guarantee that whatever the digital printing method is, the customer can expect the same result.
    The HP Indigo machine certainly gives a good print result. I fully believe that it can match the requirements of the 12647-2 standard. Its from its construction like a digital offset method. The result is very close.
    I don’t see any problem if Bruce certifies the Indigo for the ISO 12647-2 as long as he takes care to reach it on a constant base. Good for his customers.
    The real strength of the digital is in the variable data printing (pictures
    + text). It should not be seen as a replacement for offset. It extends the range of possible products and if the standard 12647-2 takes care that both methods can combine print jobs (e.g. for catalogues in direct mail) it is even better.

    The ISO 15311 does not disclassify the digital printing to a secondary quality, it is moreover a bridge to fill the gap where 12647-2 can not be applied. The ISO 12647-4 (rotogravure) for instance is also a very valid standard and not better or worse than ISO 12647-2. It is made to fit the needs of the gravure.

    Fogra is searching for contributors to the digital printing round table.
    The workgroup was very active during the last two years to discuss and define the needs for creating a true digital printing standard.
    I am sure Andy Kraushaar will provide you with more information.

    Best regards,
    Gerd Carl


    Thanks so much for the opportunity to respond to this piece. I sit on ISO TC130 (Graphics Technology) in WGs 2 (Data Exchange), 3 (Process Control & Related Metrology) and 11 (the Environmental Impact of Print) for which I am the convenor. I am close to the evolution of the 12647 series, 15311 which Mr Peddlesden references and 15339 which is a new standard relevant to this discussion.

    But before we get into that, I absolutely agree with Mr Peddlesden. We write standards to be used and if he can make the tolerances in 12647-2 on a digital press more power to him! What machines does he use?

    I don’t know who you’ve been talking to you, – the mysterious “they” – but there seems to be some misunderstanding here and this “corrosive divide” sounds perilous indeed. The 12647 series was established some fifteen years ago to provide “Process Control for the Production of Half-tone Colour Separations, Proofs and Prints”. Part 2 relates specifically to offset processes, but that doesn’t mean that its implementation:  “should be reserved for offset printing”. The standard outlines the process parameters and its tolerance values were chosen to balance customer expectations (minimal colour variations), technical production limits and production costs. It’s wonderful that Mr Peddlesden digital presses can meet this standard. (If they are Indigo machines they are in fact offset engines;))

    We are reviewing all of the standards in the 12647 series in an attempt to update them to reflect the digital reality of the modern printing industry. And this is tricky because as mentioned there are two new standards also under development. 15311- the Requirements for Printed Matter Utilising Digital Printing Technologies for the (sic) Commercial and Industrial Production is based on the idea of controlling factors influencing the visual characteristics of a page image, such as substrate, colorant and imaging process. I personally don’t hold out much hope for it and am far more enthusiastic about 15339.

    15339 – Printing from Digital Data (so much more to the point), is a process agnostic standard that uses the idea of target colour values. It is based on the principle that electronic or digital data is the intermediary for content storage and exchange and is therefore its output has to be process independent. The print process decision is largely determined by run length and the substrates. I have great hopes for this standard because it has the scope to support all printing methodologies, and assumes that eventually digital output processes will have spread to all areas of the market.

    The divide of which you speak is silly and should be bridged with accurate information. If this divide exists, it probably exists because of ignorance which is never good for the market and ultimately undermines the industry’s confidence. Many people chitchat about standards, pontificating as to their relevance or value, expressing their opinions, humble or otherwise, often forgetting to consider the facts. So Mr Peddlesden is completely right in his view and I am very pleased that he has taken the time, trouble and cost to be certified to 12647-2. TC130 is also working on a standard for certification, with which UGRA’s work will comply.

    It is up to the market to decide if a standard is suitable for a particular use case or not. And a technology or process doesn’t have to be a standard for the market to embrace it: remember PostScript and PDF? The important thing to remember is that anything that helps printers produce better work for customers is a good thing. It really doesn’t matter if you think 12647-2 conformance should be confined to offset presses or not, but if you do you should try broadening your horizons. Far more important is that conformance matters to customers. They want assurance that a printer can conform to a process control standard that provides a form of output quality assurance. For the customer what press was used to do it should be irrelevant, and eventually will be.

    Laurel Brunner
    Managing Director
    Digital Dots Limited

    PS Please follow me on

    … and check out my blog in the Features bit of Output Magazine

    … to stay fully up to date with the industry SUBSCRIBE to Spindrift at today!


    Mr. Peddlesden,
    I kindly invite you to actively participate in the WG3 activities where ISO 12647-2 has been created (and is currently being updated). Then you will see the substantiation behind it (to what is it applicable and why digital is not covered) and the background for creating an all new ISO 15311-x for digital printing.

    But I do understand anyone by going the easy way (in contrast to actively contribute, discuss and evaluate concepts and metrics with national or international experts)
    I am wondering what you report when we there will be a dedicated printing standard (including an index for mottling)

    Andy Kraushaar,



    Re: Reflections on the passing of Alan Ferguson – Steven Reichelt

    I knew Alan when he was in Notting Hill. My family company Pacific Envelopes new him well & dealt with him over the years.
    He was a lovely man & I’m shocked about his passing. This industry is very cruel & I can understand how low it can get, Pacific was around for 24 years but we went under 2 + years ago.
    Your article speaks the truth
    Thanks & take care

    Stella Dempsey

    Australian Envelopes


    Re: Moore goes under after losing AAE $2m contract

    Moore Australasia formally Moore business Systems has today announced that it has appointed administrators I mention this with great sadness and hope that the staff will not only find other positions but that they will get their entitlements as well. Moore was a Titanic looking for an iceberg for the past few months and I guess the treasure hunters will now pick up for a song the rest of the company like they did with Moore Western Australia.

    Jacob Perkins



  • New Round of First Aid and SGP courses

    Enrolments are now open for Printing Industries NSW next one-day intensive First Aid course on 16 June.

    Printing Industries National Manager, Learning and Development, Ian Walz says companies wishing to upskill their nominated first aid staff should register as soon as possible, since all previous courses filled quickly.

    “All our previous courses have been fully subscribed. To cope with demand we introduced additional on site courses for companies with numbers of employees they wanted to have trained.

    “Considerable interest was also expressed during PrintEx, so it is quite apparent that companies take their responsibilities in this area very seriously and have been very appreciative of this intensive one-day course.”

    As an assessment-based program, all attendees to the Apply First Aid Course receive a nationally accredited First Aid Certificate and training manual.

    The next round of Sustainable Green Print (SGP) certification training programs for NSW has also been finalized for 11 August (Level 1) and 12 August (Level 2).

    Level 1 is suitable for the small company starting down the compliance path as it focuses on waste, storage and handling and recycling.

    “It covers record-keeping, compliance and cleaner production practices and waste management. It includes a simple environmental management system (EMS) that is your pathway to environmental sustainability.

    “Level 2 introduces additional levels of management and control including the tracking of waste streams and brings in a focus on your energy consumption and carbon footprint.

    “Key performance indicators are provided covering waste, recycling, energy, water, incident management, storage and handling of printing chemicals, energy and air emissions.”

    Information on both these courses are available from Ian Walz on (02) 8789 7362 email or Irene on (02) 8789 7382.

  • Wellcom and Australia Post change direction

    Wellcom and Australia Post have entered discussion to re-organise its joint venture iPrint Corporate.

    Wayne Sidwell, Wellcom CEO says although the joint venture will not continue in its current form, “we have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy a great relationship with Australia Post.”

    According to Sidwell, while he expects the re-organisation will have an impact on the financial result for FY11, there will be none in the results for FY11.

    Julian Graham, CFO for Wellcom, could not disclose what form the relationship will take in the future, as discussions have yet to be finalised. “But given that the joint venture is due to change we felt that we should share this update with the market.

  • PrintEx forum presentations now available

    Presentations during PrintEx11 including the Forum of Asian Graphic Arts Technology (FAGAT) are now available online via

    Printing Industries National Communications and Technical Services Manager, Joe Kowalewski says presentations from all three days are included, in addition to International presentations on printing industry performance from China, Japan, India, New Zealand and Australia

    He says PrintEx forums exceeded expectations from day one necessitating additional seating and a sound system extension.

    “We had tremendous interest in all our speakers and a great many requests for copies of the various presentations. Having gained the consent of the speakers, we can now make available the majority of presentations via Printing Industries PrintNet website.

    The PrintEx presentations include the Role of Print in an Electronic World delivered by Graham Plant, Executive General Manager, Pacific Micromarketing and PMP Digital, PMP Limited; From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg – Lonely Planet’s Publishing Challengers for the 21st Century by Raphael Richards Community Analyst, Lonely Planet.

    Professor Goran Roos’ Innovation and How it is Shaping the Printing Industry presentation is also included along with that of Australia Post’s Michael Drury.

    “For those who attended the various PrintEx and FAGAT sessions these presentations will help reinforce what was talked about and will provide an invaluable insight and reference for those unable to attend all sessions,” said Kowalewski.

    The presentations can be downloaded from this link.

  • NZ bookstore chain saved from going under

    James Pascoe Group, a privately owned NZ retail business purchased the REDgroup NZ business in addition to picking up its 57 Whitcoulls stores and five Borders stores.

    The stores were the remaining assets of the REDGroup threatened with closure when the company went broke. NZ investor, Geoff Spong in April, picked up other stores, such as the Bennett’s chain of eight university-based bookstores. Australia-based LS Travel Retail Pacific snapped up a portfolio of ten Whitcoulls bookstores located in NZ airports.

    The result protects the NZ book industry from online predation, giving readers the opportunity to browse and buy books instore and not necessarily online. The Australian branch of the REDGroup is still struggling to find a buyer.

    Steve Sherman, the administrator of REDGroup, said the sale indicates there is still a market for quality assets with widely recognised brands like Whitcoulls and Borders. REDgroup’s voluntary administration process played a key role in saving the businesses as it provided a stable environment to restructure the assets.

    “This was an integral objective of the process and the support of the group’s employees and major suppliers had contributed to the successful outcome,” he said.

    Following the Whitcoulls and Borders sale, the voluntary administration process has helped preserve over 1,050 jobs and provided business continuity in all operations.

    Sherman says the sale guarantees the future of the majority of stores and “The James Pascoe Group is known for reviving businesses and has a strong record of investment in their stores, stock and people.”

    The Group will be approaching landlords shortly to discuss ongoing tenure and will also be engaging with employees with regard to the terms of employment.

  • ***Ascent Partners: Kwik Kopy Townsville Business for Sale***

    Kwik Kopy Townsville. 23 years young, presently run under management five days per week.

    Great premises and location, huge sales territory, excellent mix of clients, good mix of new digital and offset equipment. $650,000 of sales, sell price $400,000 plus stock at valuation.

    Contact Ascent Partners, Richard Rasmussen on 0402 021 101.

  • Moore goes under after losing AAE $2m contract

    Iconic publicly listed printing company is in administration days after assuring the stock exchange its financial situation was going to improve.

    The shock drop comes after Moore reported a loss of $1.7million in cash flow for the quarter, prompting the ASX to query its viability. In response Moore reported it had been severely affected by the impact of restructuring as well as the costs of laying off staff. The company said it was looking to further reduce staff numbers in coming months in an attempt to reduce costs and return to profitability.

    Despite losing the Australian Air Express contract, following an earlier loss of TabCorp’s business, Moore said it retained the confidence of its bankers and had secured relaxed terms from various suppliers. According to a statement by John Lee, company secretary, the proceeds from the sale of Moore’s Western Australia business in March to Leo Moio’s, Print Media Group, would help get the business back in the black.

    Administrators, McGrath Nicol, today (Tuesday 31 May) announced the company had gone into administration and requested trading in its shares be suspended.

    The once mighty printing company has gone through a number of fairly dubious transformations in recent years. It became publicly listed when it was taken over by Argus Solutions last year.
    It transited from being the premier forms printer in Australia with major press facilities in Albury (Paragon Printing), to operating mainly as a print management company. David Galvonjic exited as CEO in February, while the Wodonga warehouse was scheduled to be sold by the end of the financial year.

    Moore reported a loss for the half year to December 2010 of $3.4 million.
    At the time of going to press the Administrators were not available for comment.

  • Come visit DES at the PMA trade show

    With almost 25 years of experience, DES Pty Ltd is one of the leading Australian distributors of digital imaging solutions for the photographic and fine art markets.

    DES is well known for its knowledge and expertise in digital imaging solutions offering a wide product range from the world’s largest manufacturers such as colour management technology from EFI, CGS and X-Rite, photo printers from Canon, Epson and Hewlett Packard, colour accurate monitors from EIZO, and importantly the widest range of canvas, photo and fine art paper from Breathing Color, Chromajet, Innova and Hahnemuhle.

    In 2010, DES was awarded two Global awards for its outstanding achievements with EFI for product distribution in Australia. DES strives to deliver quality customer, sales and technical service, training and support to Australian businesses across its entire product range including printers, scanners, media, inks and colour management software.

    At this year’s PMA trade show, DES will not only be showcasing a range of global leading digital imaging solutions, but also launching some of the most innovative and newly released products into the photography and fine art markets.

    Come and visit DES on stand 4191 directly in front of the AIPP Judging Stand and talk to us about how we can help grow your business further.

    For more information visit the DES website at or go directly to the online store at

  • Industry Associations struggle in a sea of change – James Cryer

    It is with a sense of schadenfreud that we watch various retailers currently grappling with the challenge of online-ordering from overseas vendors. They, like us in the printing industry, are having to adjust to the new realities that there are alternate forms of delivering product to market. Customers now have options in terms of how they buy, what they buy, and from whom they buy.

    Traditional forms of manufacture are under threat and new channels of going to market give consumers greater leverage than they’ve ever had before, the result being more downward pressure on prices. While this may be a cause for lament to many traditional manufacturers with high cost-bases, to many new breed suppliers, lower prices mean increased volumes – and increased profits.

    Within the printing industry, who are these new breed suppliers? They come in many forms – online internet suppliers, hub-and-spoke manufacturing systems, digital printing – the list is extensive. But they all share one agenda, to knock off as much print as they can from traditional offset printers.

    Are we one industry or many?

    Historically, industry associations were formed to promote and protect the interests of a very specific group: employers. All their guns were pointing in the same direction. Now, associations should reflect the interest of and their workers.

    A dilemma we face is the name of our association – the Printing Industries Association. Note, that’s plural, not just one segment. On that basis alone we should open the floodgates and welcome all the alternate vendors and suppliers of print, even though many existing sheet-fed offset members are bleeding because of them.

    If we’re fair dinkum, Printing Industries is essentially the sheet-fed offset lobby group. Why should it admit members whose intentions are hostile to the wellbeing and profitability of its members? In a perfect world its name would probably be the Commercial Printers Association”, as that more accurately describes its historical constituency.

    An “issues-based” approach

    In recent times Printing Industries has adopted a new working model, with the creation of ad hoc committees to address sectors of specific concern. I believe this issues-based initiative is an excellent idea. There is a need for this kind of flexible needs based mechanism to serve as a channel through which members may be encouraged to work on problems and solutions on matters that affect them individually, and/or collective.

    I also like it because it has echoes of the virtual organisation that constantly adapts and changes shape, according to the prevailing environment, like an amoeba. Some running clubs are adopting this concept, with no formal structure or committees, they simply send out an email to anyone that’s interested – turn up at such-and-such a place and time. Their motto is no food – no help – no fees. Maybe that’s the way of the future. Do we need a vast administrative superstructure? Just send out an email to interested parties that there will be a meeting to discuss such-and-such a topic, interested parties to attend!

    We now exist in a wonderfully diverse industry, consisting of many different sectors, some of which may almost be seen to be in competition to other segments. This is one of the inherent problems of any industry association to find more similarities than differences between its members, and to encourage competitors to sit down together and face a common enemy.

    We’re not alone: LATMA faces a similar challenge. As its name implies, it represents label manufacturers but what about manufacturers of shrink-sleeves? Are they complementary producers, or competitors? Should they be admitted to LATMA, or not?

    Defining who we represent

    I was present at one of the meetings where this new concept for Printing Industries was raised. One of the first things I observed was how quickly we descend into definitional problems to describe our industry; are we really in print? or multi-media? or corporate communications? And why was there no one from newspapers there? Or from packaging? Or from the mailing industry? The digital side was severely under-represented. These are not criticisms, they simply highlight the difficulties we have in defining who’s in and who’s out.

    There are dangers in both over-specialisation, by just including, say, sheet-fed offset printers, which alienates other segments and turns them into the enemy. But by being too inclusive, by having everybody in the lifeboat, it defeats the purpose of arguing for special concessions.

    Hence, a priority, is to re-define the reach and branding of the PIAA. Just who does the PIA represent? Who is its “target audience?

    Who do we think we are?

    The PIAA (Printing Industries Association of Australia), rejoices in inheriting the name to die for, as it implies it speaks for the entire printing industry, whatever that may mean. Through no fault of its own, we know that’s not the case. On a good day it may represent about half of the total printing industry. Historically, its real heartland has always been offset printers, but not even that’s correct, as it doesn’t really attract big membership from the magazines segment and virtually no interest from the big newspaper battalions.

    What the new PE-driven businesses think of our industry associations is yet to be tested. They pay only token interest, although we note they’re very happy to win our awards.

    The other segment that operates right under our nose are the newly emerging digital printers. With one or two exceptions they’re all missing in action as far as any involvement in PIAA activities goes. This is no one’s fault, they perceive the PIAA as a relic of a bygone era, probably representing the vested interests of the traditional offset companies. And they’d be right.

    We could launch a membership appeal to the upcoming digital segment. This may be controversial, however, as many offset companies are losing business to … guess who, the digital segment. Do you really want to sleep with the enemy?

    But if we don’t, it’ll simply give more ammunition to the accusation that the PIAA really is the last bastion of the old guard – the last gasp of a dying art.

    So what to do?

    Traditional roles of an industry association –

    I suspect it is easy to inflate the powers of industry associations to do much at all. It’s easy for us to toss all our problems at the association to fix, but all that does is absolve us, as individual members, of taking some responsibility for fixing our own problems.

    Let’s re-visit the core issue of: what purpose does an industry association serve?

    • Back in the good old days, it acted as a blunt weapon to bash unions and was really a default instrument of torture used to further the ends of the bosses. Luckily those days are over.

    • It can also serve as a lobby group to press the special interests of a particular industry and the PIA has had some good wins, it must be said.

    • It can serve to provide legal advice and even represent companies in litigation.

    • It can disseminate technical advice and hold forums, etc.

    • It can also promote the industry to the wider community, through promotional and educational initiatives – and importantly, through the mechanism of the NPA’s.

    For us to advance as an industry body, we have to hold up our range of services andbenefits to the template of what do the punters want? and see how closely they match up.

    For example –

    • Do members want economic reports? My suspicion is "no".
    • Would they want someone on-board to act as an industry marketer? I suspect "yes”.
    • What about more technical forums? Difficult for the PIAA to muscle in here, as that seems well catered for by the LIA and GASAA.
    • Legal and workers’ comp/OH&S advice? Probably an overwhelming “yes”.

    On another matter, are we extracting maximum promotional bang-per-buck from the NPA’s? Probably not. They’re a dazzling showcase of the industry which I suspect we keep pretty-well hidden within our four walls. Do we appropriately price the entry-costs. Probably not, when you consider the considerable prestige that winning an award bestows on the company.

    Some companies have made an industry out of their award successes, perhaps even promoting themselves way out of proportion to their actual abilities. But aren’t we giving money away by under-pricing the cost of submitting an entry and then by not capitalising on all the razzmatazz of the event to the wider community – ie, schools, print-buyers, the media?

    What are the benefits of membership? –

    One of the big problems the PIAA faces as an industry body is making membership seem desirable. Back in the olden days, it rejoiced in the title Master Printers and there was the inference that it was restricted to certain companies that had passed a test and the public would benefit by dealing with these companies, as against the rest. Like dealing with a licensed plumber who guarantees his work.

    Is there some way in which membership of the PIAA be restricted to those companies who have achieved some kind of accreditation, be it in print quality, environmental standards or good employee relations?

    Is there some way in which we can issue a gold medal to those members who achieve a certain standard of being a good corporate citizen? I know it’d be difficult, probably expensive and may result in fewer members than more! But we can only look in envy at our brothers the builders, with their Master Builders Association which somehow maintains the illusion that all their members are better than all the non-members. Oh, for the restoration of good old-fashioned monopolies!

    But therein lies the problem, print is readily available to every man and his dog, from anyone who wishes to call themselves a printer. Quality has become such a moveable feast as to be virtually unenforceable, even in a court of law.

    Therefore do we need an association? Or perhaps do we deserve one? Have we been too ready to commoditise our industry? Quick to desert our original role of content generators we’re just a bunch of tarts searching for some legitimacy under a nice-sounding name, like … the "PIAA"?

    [This is the first half of an article from James Cryer. Watch for the second installment here next week when James asks the question and searches for the answer to, One industry or many?]

  • 1st ever PrintCom for Melbourne

    Graphic arts exhibition, PrintCom Expo 2011 and the 2nd ever Printovation awards are looking to capture industry attention in September.

    Organised by the Graphic Arts Services Association of Australia (GASAA) the exhibition will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 13-15 September 2011.

    Garry Knespal, executive officer of GASAA is looking for print exhibitors to book as soon as possible. He says there is a dozen print stand spaces of various sizes still available, positioned right in the middle of the event “If you have equipment that appeals to signage, print and retail then it makes sense to be there, particularly if you have a Melbourne market,” hge said.

    He says there is strong support expected for the exhibition as there will not have been a comparable event in Melbourne for over two years and will not return until mid 2013.

    “We want to make sure southern state printers put PrintCom 2011 in their diaries early so they can attend these co-located events. This will be Melbourne’s time to shine,” said Knespal. He is hoping the show will build on the momentum of his initial exhibition, Print World, in Sydney last year.

    GASAA will be running its Printovation awards again this year on the first evening of the exhibition to celebrate and reward Australian print professionals pushing the boundaries of print.

    Entries for the awards will open within the next few weeks across five categories including wide format, offset/web, digital (non-variable), digital (variable) and general. “We are focusing on print innovations, where someone has solved a print problem, developed new techniques, or filled a client’s print need in a new way,” said Knespal.

    PrintCom Expo is a co-located event with Visual Impact Image Expo (VIIE), POPAI Marketing at Retail Expo and Retail Expo and Conference.

  • New KM printer delivers monitor standard colour

    Replicating the colour viewed on computer monitors is usually the stuff of high-end proofing, but Konica Minolta’s new bizhub PRESS C70hc closes in on standard RGB.

    Grant Thomas, Konica Minoltas product manager says what you can see on your calibrated monitor is exactly what will be produced on the page, complicated sRGB to CMYK conversion processes are a thing of the past.

    “The new bizhub PRESS C70hc’s range of capabilities makes it the perfect solution for value-added printing applications. Its revolutionary high chroma toner produces vivid and natural colours, pioneering a new level of quality in many segments of production printing,” said Thomas (pictured).

    To date, no C70hc’s have been sold yet in Australia, but it attracted many interested parties when it was released at PrintEx.

    “Sometimes it can take a while for sales. Being a unique machine it’s a unique opportunity to be in the RGB channel and stand out from the CMYK commercial printer,” he said.

    Featuring an 8-bit resolution of 1,200 x 1,200dpi and KM’s Screen-Enhancing Active Digital Process, the large coverage area of the new press, along with facilitated sRGB colour workflow will appeal to graphic arts companies, commercial printers, advertising agencies and creative professionals.

    Designed with the print professional in mind the new press pairs “unprecedented colour printing potential with impressive media flexibility and comprehensive inline finishing options,” said Thomas.

    According to Konica Minolta, the HC toner derived from it’s Simitri HD toner technology can reproduce more of the sRGB range than previously possible with dry toner based printers. It can also achieve higher colour saturation than what is possible with the CMYK process.

    The bizhub PRESS C70hc handles media of up to 300gsm and can be equipped with EFI Fiery, Creo Colour Server or KM’s Colour Controller.

    It is available in different configurations suited to the most frequent customer finishing requirements, including hole punching, stapling and a full range of folding functions, booklet creation and binding options.

  • Australia safeguarded from Ricoh job cuts

    Steady local growth has shielded Ricoh Australia as its Japanese parent announces plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years.

    Les Richardson, managing director of Ricoh Australia says it is enjoying steady growth, with “strong performance supplemented by recent acquisitions and an expansion into new markets such as IT services.”

    “We always look for efficiencies in our operations, in line with Ricoh’s global strategy. At present, however, we are actively recruiting for positions to support our continued growth and success,” said Richardson (pictured).

    As its overall workforce shrinks by 10 per cent, Ricoh will shift personnel within the group to reinforce more profitable growth areas, such as software and information technology services for corporate clients to make its office equipment business more competitive.

    The global company plans to reinforce its line-up of products and services targeting emerging markets, which account for only 6.7 per cent of group sales.

    Ricoh President Shiro Kondo stressed no area of the company would be exempt from streamlining, yet did not disclose job cut details regarding which countries and business segments would be affected.

    Some of its Japan-based production facilities have recovered to nearly normal operations since natural disasters struck the countries north coast in March, with quake-related damage to cost the company around 9.4bn yen.

    Ricoh’s announcement follows Panasonic Corp’s recent statement declaring its plans to cut 34,600 jobs worldwide over the next two years.

  • NZ’s positive spin on paper perceptions

    The New Zealand Paper Forum (NZPF) release industry facts in its Paper Story campaign to promote the Paper Stewardship Scheme.

    Promoting paper as a renewable and responsible choice, the Paper Story highlights paper’s environmental credentials and sets out what businesses and consumers can do to help recover and reuse even more paper that is otherwise thrown away

    PrintNZ CEO Joan Grace says the promotional publication share the facts, as there are a number of misconceptions about the environmental impact of paper.

    The Scheme has set a target to recover at least 65 percent of all paper products in New Zealand, as consumers reuse a large proportion of the remaining 35 percent.

    Grace says the independent work is underway to reach this target. The other two target projects set to be completed this year are about developing a best practice guide and an education strategy for the Forum members.

    All NZPF members are signatories to the voluntary scheme, including major manufacturers and distributors of paper products, print companies and associated groups.

    According to Joan Grace, the members of the Forum who were part of the former Packaging Accord know the benefits of having good benchmarked data about paper recovery that they can share with their customers. The Paper Stewardship takes this benefit wider to all companies involved from “cradle to grave” with paper.

    The three key goals set for the paper stewardship scheme are:

    • to ensure the industry recovers at least 65% of all paper manufactured, imported and sold each year. We will encourage organisations and consumers to put paper in their recycling bins including keeping it separate from general household waste, when not reusing it within their own business or household.
    • to source wood and wood fibre from well-managed forests.
    • to promote paper as an environ-mentally desirable commodity – to show you what paper’s actual impact on the environment is vis-à-vis substitute products such as electronic communications.

    According to Paper Story, in the past 20 years the NZ print industry has reduced the use of mineral inks by using vegetable inks, reduced waste by allowing remote digital proofing, and reduced the usage of solvents by using water-based systems.

    It has also reduced the risk of dioxins by moving away from elemental chlorine bleaching, and developed computer to plate (CTP) technology, which in most cases removes the need for film thus eliminating chemicals used as developers

  • Aussie print ERP system for local printers

    Worldwide Online Printing opts for Quote & Print’s franchisee ERP system in its new B2B and B2C strategy.

    Options required to provide the most effective MIS or ERP system for Worldwide franchisees were found to include ease of use, low cost of ownership, integrated ERP including accounts, local support across Australia, and the ability to work in a ‘hub & spoke’ environment with integrated Web-to-Print marketing capabilities.

    Quote & Print branches based in each state providing hands-on support proved to be the deciding factor for Worldwide’s franchisee requirements, says Worldwide’s new managing director Rob Dallimore.

    “It is comforting to know that when we require an additional report or modifications to our MIS that we can call Quote & Print and organise a meeting with our IT team and their programmers to discuss the necessary changes,” he says.

    Pictured: Rob Dallimore (left) with Shanti Kumar.

    Installation for 14 pilot sites will begin after Quote & Print’s National Conference in June, identical systems will be installed throughout Worldwide’s remaining sites shortly after.

    Quote & Print managing director, Shanti Kumar says 20 percent of its ERP software had to be modified to meet Worldwide’s requirements “as franchisees involved wanted a system which was easy to use and gave them an advantage over competitors, in addition to being simple enough to operate for a non-IT person.”

    He says it is rare to find a Franchisor today who gets their Franchisees “so involved every step of the way in identifying their business needs through such a thorough specification and selection process.”

  • Publishers explore online options

    The change from established print channels to online publishing is fraught with difficulties according to the publishers of Australia.

    Over a hundred publishers keen to build digital revenue listened as speakers from all media segments discussed how to prepare for the future at a seminar organised by Publishers Australia/AMIA.

    The difficulties with auditing and developing accountability online as well as the ongoing conundrum of how to monetise digital audiences were among the topics discussed. The technology required to prepare content for digital devices, especially mobile is changing rapidly and presents many options.

    The term ‘utility’ emerged time and again as a key factor for online content with smart phones and tablets driving industry advances in user interaction and readership tracking. Digital content now needs creative functionality, with reader interaction a necessary step to make money and retain engagement.

    According to speakers, digitally reproduced print mastheads are becoming a consumer driven medium, with the audience as king rather than content. Repackaging content across a variety of platforms and social media is required to reach particular audience segments and diversify revenue.

    Third party auditing provides a clear representation of actual readership and click throughs, allowing advertising sales to become more targeted and effective.

    Seminar speakers included Audit Bureaux of Australia CEO Paul Dovas, Adobe Systems enterprise sales manager Tony Katsabaris, moGeneration GM Dan Swan, CBS Interactive consumer brands GM Jo Gaines, ACP Magazines digital director Carl Hammerschmidt, ninemsn head of lifestyle and mobile Rebecca Haagsma, Lovatts Publications owner James Lovatt, TigerSpike MD Alex Burke, and Time Out MD Justin Etheridge.

    On a different note, it struck your correspondent as somewhat ironic in this era of wide open communications that the organiser of the publishers conference initially insisted on all reports top be run by their PR censor.

  • GEON invests millions for Kingsland superstore

    GEON set to open its new Kingsland superstore for downtown Auckland by 1 June after consolidating its Albany print center.

    Providing a base for its recent multi-million dollar investment in print technology, the Kingsland site will feature New Zealand’s first HP Indigo 7500, which offers professional marketers the ability to deliver targeted campaigns.

    “Kingsland has been selected as it is perfectly positioned for our further investment in Auckland. It makes absolute sense for us to maintain a central city facility in order to offer our clients convenient service alongside our award winning print,“ said Andrew Durrans executive general manager for GEON NZ.

    According to Durrans, staff retention and up-skilling opportunities were top priority during the transition with staff sent to Singapore for specialised digital print training.

    Pictured: GEON’s Kingsland site.

    It has also extended training in new technology to many of its staff throughout the country, as expansions are made to its large format digital print capabilities with UV curable technology.

    “Print has undergone a great change over the past decade, but through employing smart market strategy, embracing new technology and harnessing our brains trust, GEON is demonstrating real leadership in readiness for an industry re-emergence.” said Durrans.

    Recent financing arrangements allow GEON to continue with growth plans in both Australia and NZ, in defiance of the overall industry response to a sluggish economic environment.

    He says backers are 100 percent supportive of the companies NZ market development, as it has delivered year-on-year growth since 2008.