Archive for February, 2012

  • Printing Industries First Aid and Sustainable Green Print courses

    Printing Industries’ NSW March training calendar is to be spearheaded by its upcoming First Aid and Sustainable Green Print (SGP) training courses.
    Printing Industries National Manager, Commercial Services, Ian Walz, says companies can still register for the SGP Level 1 course being held on 13 March and Level 2 course on 14 March.

    “We currently have some 58 companies fully certified and another 30 pending completion of audits for their certification,” says Walz. “Our SGP certification logo is appearing on trucks, packaging, websites, company stationery and in business proposals around the country as more companies and their clients recognise and value the benefits of dealing with an SGP certified company.”

    Walz says the very popular Apply First Aid course was back again for 2012 with the first course scheduled for 23 March. “The intensive one-day course will be held at Printing Industries Auburn office or can be scheduled in-house if a company wants a group of employees trained,” he says.

    “All successful participants receive a nationally accredited First Aid certificate and a full colour manual.”

    Bookings and inquiries for the SGP or First Aid can be made to Mark Tolentino on (02) 8789 7388 e-mail: mark@printnet.com.au

  • Spicers Paper School

    Australia’s capital cities will host Spicers Paper School for the ninth year running, offering printers the chance to explore the finer points of paper in print production.

    Starting in March the half-day seminars will provide budding print professionals with an introduction to the world of paper. The schools curriculum has progressively changed over the years due to environmental issues, Mark Holland, technical manager for Spicers Paper said.

    He believes that practical knowledge of real world issues in print production is vital when working in the industry and can help avoid costly decisions.

    “Printers can’t get everything they want in one sheet of paper, as individual projects require different characteristics like stiffness or texture. If we can give printers a better grasp of paper then they can choose the right stock for the job,” said Holland.

    From Perth to Canberra each course will feature two guest speakers from the local area. Topics to be covered include paper manufacture, types of paper and their effect of print finish, print production hints and environmental studies.

    “Students will gain a basic understanding of the types of paper available for commercial print production, how they are created and why this understanding and an early choice in the creative process is vital to achieving the print result demanded by creative professionals,” Holland said.

    Enrolments are now open for the half-day seminars in the following cities:
    • Perth – March 27th 2012
    • Adelaide – March 29th 2012
    • Brisbane – April 16th 2012
    • Sydney – April 18th 2012
    • Melbourne – April 24th 2012
    • Canberra – May 2nd 2012

    An early registration discount offer is available now. Be one of the first 15 registrations to be eligible (promo code SPSEARLYBIRD). Register now at www.spicers.com.au/PaperSchool or email paperschool@spicers.com.au for further details.

  • Konica Minolta seals global inkjet agreement with Komori

    The highly anticipated agreement will see the launch of a press prototype at drupa. The Konica Minolta reseller alignment with Heidelberg in Australia is still strong but it is increasingly the odd man out as the two global brands tie up with other partners.

    Konica Minolta’s inkjet prototype has been developed in partnership with Komori Corporation and coincides with the announcement that Konica Minolta and Komori Corporation have entered into a global sales agreement, which will come into effect from May 2012. drupa 2012 will be a game-changing show for Konica Minolta who will be showcasing their biggest (2,000 sqm) booth to date.

    According to David Procter, General Manager Production Printing at Konica Minolta, “The preview of a technology display highlighting the joint development of an inkjet printing system will be an exciting highlight at drupa 2012. This technology development demonstrates our firm entry into the production inkjet market–We have had a long and successful history with inkjet on other media including fabrics,
    this prototype illustrates a new direction.”

    Konica Minolta will also unveil a new colour bizhub PRESS at drupa, faster mono presses and an inline three-edge cutting device.

    Konica Minolta will supply Komori Corporation with "bizhub PRESS" series across four regions of Japan, the U.S., Europe and China, and under the Komori brand on an OEM basis, Konica Minolta will expand its distribution channels to customers who use offset print systems as their main production system.

    Leveraging the communication message "Giving Shape to Ideas", Konica Minolta will focus on customers’ viewpoint and strive to serve diversifying output needs in the commercial printing market. In its commitment to meet its customers’ demands and expectations through delivery of highly reputable products and services, Konica Minolta will continue to enhance its growth strategy across the entire group.

  • drupa ramp-up #4 – New B2 inkjet carton press from Fujifilm

    A yet-to-be-named folding carton press heads one of the largest line-ups of new imaging products and software from any manufacturer to be showcased at drupa. The new press will use the four-levels of greyscale at 1200dpi imaging technology at the heart of the company’s JetPress 720 sheetfed inkjet press.

    The first ever Fujifilm flexo plate, a new Brillia processless offset plate, extensive additions and re-branding of the XMF workflow and management software along with the introduction of a new drop-on-demand inkjet print head and the inkjet carton press illustrates the depth and scope of the Japanese giant. At the same time Fujifilm announced nine installations of the Jet Press 720, the B2-sized short-run general purpose inkjet press that was launched at last drupa.

    As with almost all the other manufacturers Fujifilm’s main focus is on digital inkjet and to this end it is going to launch a new range of high performance inks for the technology, Vividia. It is developed to work with the Samba printhead, another proprietary invention.

    The combination of the new ink with the single pass Samba inkjet sets up Fujifilm to expand the areas where it can leverage the core technology. This is taking it to address the folding carton market.

  • Linoprint line-up at drupa for Heidelberg

    It will be a Linoprint line-up for Heidelberg at drupa this May, with the German print manufacturer set to launch its entire digital print solution range for commercial and packaging print providers under the freshly rebranded name, Heidelberg Linoprint.

    The company, which announced the rebranding of its digital print range this week, will use drupa as a platform to unveil the full integration of all its digital print solutions for short and variable runs in the commercial and packaging sectors.

    “This way, our customers benefit from the close interlinking of offset and digital printing that print shops can use to boost their competitiveness further,” says Heidelberg’s Stephan Plenz. “In future, the name Heidelberg Linoprint will stand for the entire digital print portfolio of Heidelberg.”

    As part of the rebranding effort and the integration of all the Linoprint machines, the company will be rebranding the Ricoh short run digital systems it had previously sold under the Ricoh brand as the Linoprint C models. The rebranded units – the Linoprint C901 and the C751 – will now include the new Prinect Digital Print Manager software.

    The company says the Prinect system will provide users with a highly efficient and transparent digital print workflow with a wide range of functions, including variable data management, post-press with digital inline finishing systems, and a document-oriented workflow. This system means the end user will be able to manage and calculate both their offset and digital print jobs from a single workflow.

    The rebranding will also see the company’s iTS600 inkjet packaging print machine change its name to the Linoprint L. While the machine essentially remains the same under the rebranding, it will now include the full integration option.

    “Starting from drupa, Heidelberg will be offering the Ricoh digital printing press systems as Linoprint C (commercial) models with the new Prinect Digital Print Manager,” says Heidelberg’s CEO, Bernhard Schreier (pictured). “There will also be a Linoprint L range of models for digital label and packaging printing. These are based on technologies developed by CSAT GmbH, which we took over in 2011.”

    The company says it will be showcasing over 60 equipment and service products at this year’s drupa event, where it will also introduce its new Speedmaster SX models.

  • Candidate of the week: Graphic Artist/Finished Artist Prepress, Sydney

    Summary
    Fifteen years of experience as a Graphic Prepress Operator with a wide range of skills from layout, point of sale packaging, troubleshooting and on the job training in the printing industry.

    Successfully completed a one year course in Graphic Design, Desktop Publishing and Printing which I undertook to broaden my skills and enliven my creativity. With encouragement for having real promise I am keen for the opportunity to further my career in this industry. Although I have limited experience with design, I believe my enthusiasm, natural talent, fast learning ability and excitement for creativity would make me a valuable employee.

    Skills
    Finished Artist/Prepress
    As a Senior Prepress Operator I brought coordination to the department and gave valued support to the supervisor, helping the department to become more efficient. My positive personality kept up morale in the department when the company was failing.

    My experience in the print industry has taught me to become proactive in voicing opinions and creating solutions to problematic layouts for the final product.

    With my interest in learning new skills and the enjoyment of a challenge, I was often selected to be one of the first employee’s to be trained on new software and equipment. One of these situations was when my past employer installed a cutting table for packaging, including software, and I became the senior operator. My tasks were training other employee’s and having an active role in the creating of Point of Sale packaging. This led to me having the knowledge to create carton designs of my own.

    I am a self-motivated and reliable employee, able to work independently as well as being a conscientious and dependable part of a team. I have good time management and personal organisation skills.

    15 years experience in the print industry, has led me to develop a wide range of technical skills.

    Workflow systems
    Screen Trueflow and AGFA Apogee – includes Preps and Pandora
    Esko Packaging software
    ArtiosCAD carton plotter software, Plato carton imposition software, Kongsberg XE10 cutting table, xe-guide software for the cutting table.
    PC / Mac OS Platform
    Adobe InDesign CS
    Adobe Illustrator CS
    Adobe Photoshop CS
    QuarkXpress

    Employment History
    Locographics Pty Ltd/ Pacific Plus April – November 2010
    Graphic Reproduction
    Duties – Responsible for the manipulation and colour correction of images for a variety of magazines which included Virgin Blue and Weight Watchers.
    Reported to a senior graphic reproducer for direction and finalisation of edits to images, as well as receiving instructions from designers and editors of each magazine.

    Chippendale Printing 1996 – 2010
    Senior Prepress & Packaging operator 2008 – 2010
    Duties – Responsible for solving problematic jobs and those with unusual printing conditions for offset and packaging print.
    Supported employees with a major change in the workflow system from Trueflow to AGFA. Troubleshooting issues which prevented a job from printing.
    Creating, under direction, and redrawing of knife lines with CAD software for Point of Sale packaging which included the operation of a cutting table. Training employee’s in the use of this software and equipment.

    Prepress operator 1996 – 2008
    After completing the four years apprenticeship, my skills developed to a high standard. These skills include colour specification for offset printing, trapping, an eye for detail and resolving issues that arose from the design to final print.

    Education
    July – Dec. 2011 Jan. – June 2011 1996 – 2000
    Printing & Graphic Arts (Graphic Prepress) Printing & Graphic Arts (Desktop Publishing) Printing & Graphic Arts (Trade Certificate)
    Cert. III – Ultimo TAFE Cert. II – Ultimo TAFE Cert. IV – Ultimo TAFE

    email.  pstarky@bigpond.net.au

  • Businesses for Sale

    Are you looking for a printing business to purchase and merge with your existing operation? If you are, we have two businesses on our books that may be of interest:

    Offset Printing Business Sydney South
    NICHE PRINTING BUSINESS
    QUALITY EQUIPMENT
    WELL ESTABLISHED
    LARGE DATABASE OF REPEAT CUSTOMERS?FIVE DAYS ONLY

    This printing business is located in Sydney’s South. It has been trading for several decades and has a solid, established list of repeat customers.

    As the business occupies a niche, it is able to present itself as the expert in its field. This provides the organisation with a distinct competitive edge.

    Customers within this niche have generally proved to be reliable and punctual in the payment of their accounts.

    The business has a selection of branded printing equipment and an impressive range of high quality bindery and finishing equipment. As a result, the organisation is able to complete most work in-house. The vendor of this business is meticulous and all equipment is well maintained.

    This business is not particularly location dependent as customers rarely visit the business premises. Instead, most clients choose to deal with the business by phone, email or fax. With this in mind, the operation has the potential to be relocated.

    The purchaser may wish to continue trading from the existing factory, which has approximately 250 square metres of spare space available for expansion. Alternatively, the buyer could consider merging this printing operation with their own.

    At present, most four-colour work is outsourced. A buyer with an existing printing business may be able to bring this four-colour work in-house. Further, opportunities exist to on-sell additional four colour work to the existing customer base.

    Sales for the 2011 financial year were over $410,000.
    This quality business is being offered for sale at $190,000 negotiable. A large proportion of this price is backed by equipment value.

    Digital Printing Business – Sydney West
    Positioned within the general Parramatta area, this business offers a low cost entry into the digital printing market. It could be ideally suited to an employee wanting to go out on their own, a print broker who wants a digital production facility or an existing printing business who would like to increase their customer base through a business purchase.

    A large number of businesses can be found in the general area surrounding this operation. It is close to the Rydalmere industrial area, the large corporations and government departments operating within the Parramatta CBD and the large number of retail organisations trading in and around Parramatta. As such, this printing business is surrounded by many existing and potential customers.

    A website is in place that currently ranks highly in Google searches on a range of important key word searches.

    This operation uses digital printing technology. It has a good range of in-house binding/finishing equipment, allowing most work to be completed on the premises. A motor vehicle for deliveries in included with the business.

    This business is being offered for sale at $50,000.

    You can view our other print and graphics listings (plus advice on buying or selling a business) at www.printingbusiness4sale.com.au.

    If the above business sounds of interest, please contact David Ferraz on 0425 329 765 for a confidential discussion.

    (David Ferraz is a licensed business agent at Cornerstone Business Sales and Valuations. He specialises in the sale of printing and graphics businesses).

  • Transform digital print into profit with Fuji Xerox at drupa 2012

    Elevating printers to the next level of profitability will be the core of Fuji Xerox and Xerox Corporation’s presence at drupa 2012.

    Xerox application conversation stations at its drupa stand will highlight customer solutions and engagement, these banter bars are geared to educate attendees on how to sell and produce profitable jobs. Meet and chat with international Xerox customers to discover how they have turned digital print into profit.

    Located in Hall 8b, the Xerox stand will showcase the full range of its colour digital presses. The technology on display will also be coupled with workflow solutions and business development resources to drive successful digital colour print operations. Demonstration presses include the Xerox Colour 550/560 and the Xerox CiPress 500 Production Inkjet System.

    Simon Lane (pictured), national manager of graphic communications at Fuji Xerox Australia, is looking forward to seeing a large contingent of Australian customers at Xerox’s drupa stand.

    “For a number of years Xerox, and Fuji Xerox Australia, have recognised that printing is about a total business solution which is as much about business development and workflow as it is around the imaging engine.

    “Even though we have fantastic technology on the stand, there will also be a whole range of software and biz dev solutions for customers to come and see. It’s definitely going to be an interesting place to be this year,” Lane said.

    The press manufacturer wasn’t clowning around when it became a sponsor and official MFP provider of Cirque du Soleil touring shows, the press technology stand will host special daily performances.

    Customers and Xerox partners will also be presenting live software demonstrations and share best practices covering XMPie, Individualized Communications Management, 1:1 multichannel communications, personalized Web-to-print and marketing portals.

    For more information about Fuji Xerox and Xerox’s presence at drupa, visit xerox.com/drupa. If you will be visiting drupa, and would like a tour of our stand with one of our Australian hosts, contact Emma Bidstrup at emma.bidstrup@aus.fujixerox.com.

    Connect with Fuji Xerox Australia and follow the conversation at:
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/fujixeroxaus
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fujixeroxaustralia
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/2292506?trk=tyah

  • NSW training begins in March

    First Aid and Sustainable Green Print (SGP) training courses head the Printing Industries NSW March training Calendar.

    Ian Walz, national manager of commercial services at Printing Industries, says companies can still register for the SGP Level 1 course being held on 13 March and Level 2 course on 14 March. “SGP has been an outstanding success around the country. We currently have some 58 companies fully certified and another 30 pending completion of audits for their certification.

    “Our SGP certification logo is appearing on trucks, packaging, websites, company stationery and in business proposals around the country as more companies and their clients recognise and value the benefits of dealing with an SGP certified company,” he said.

    Walz (pictured) notes that the popular Apply First Aid course was back again for 2012 with the first course scheduled for 23 March.

    “The intensive one-day course will be held at Printing Industries Auburn office or can be scheduled inhouse if a company wants a group of employees trained. All successful participants receive a nationally accredited First Aid certificate and a full colour manual,” he said.

    Bookings and inquiries for the SGP or First Aid can be made to Mark Tolentino on (02) 8789 7388 e-mail: mark@printnet.com.au

  • Free energy contract audit launches new Printing Industries service

    Printing Industries has launched its new Member Buying Group and set its initial sight on reducing energy costs for members. The initiative has been created to reduce operating cost in key areas of business expense by providing a collective buying platform.

    Bill Healey, CEO of Printing Industries, said the initial focus for the Buying Group was electricity because it’s an escalating business cost affecting every industry company regardless of their size.

    “As a prelude to launching our Buying Group we recently completed an industry-wide energy survey which told us that more than 70 per cent of industry companies were spending on average $12,000 – $60,000 annually on electricity.

    “More than 14 per cent of companies were found to spend over $120,000 annually or more than $10,000 a month.Our Buying Group is taking this information to the energy marketplace and will use it to negotiate the best electricity rate possible for individual member companies,” he said.

    Healey (pictured) is pleased that initial results have shown an average 11% saving was possible for a mid-sized company.

    “We are now in a position to provide free audits of existing electricity contracts to ensure that our members are receiving the best possible rates.

    “The process is straightforward and completely obligation free. From today all our members will receive information detailing this process or can call 1300 852 770 or e-mail energy@emsquared.com for details,” he said.

    He believes a Printing Industries member Buying Group website would soon be available featuring IT; telecommunications; courier, office supply; travel; vehicle hire, leasing and sales; and waste management service purchasing as part of an expanding suite of expense minimising benefits.

    “Our goal is to provide our members with a one-stop catalogue style marketplace where they can find industry negotiated deals on a wide range of goods and services saving them time and money and positively contributing to improving their bottom line,” he said.

  • Digital dollars lure Fairfax from print

    The media giant has announced plans to scale back its print business in favour of a greater digital distribution push following its 41% drop in profitability.

    Fairfax used its half-yearly report, highlighting a first-half net profit slide to $96.7 million, to reveal yet another restructuring plan. Greg Hywood, CEO of Fairfax, conceded that the first-half results were disappointing and the difficult trading environment is likely to continue.

    “We have had to contend with extremely poor advertising conditions in NSW and Victoria and no improvement in the subdued New Zealand market. Fairfax is particularly exposed to stresses in finance, retail and real estate sectors,” said Hywood (pictured).

    Operating under the banner Fairfax of the Future, the company’s three-year plan will attempt to reshape Fairfax Media around content delivery and advertising sales. The group’s digital revenue rose 14% over the same period in 2011, while online ads increased 18%.

    “Fairfax of the Future recognises that many parts of our business were built at a time when the newspaper was king and print classified advertising was the biggest driver of our business success. Large parts of our current operating model are still geared to supporting the old business model,” he said.

    Hywood said that only 30% of Fairfax’s current expenditure is dedicated to producing editorial content and selling advertising. The restructuring plan will see the group cut costs again by reducing print, increasing digital distribution and sharing content across platforms.

    By the time the project is completed the group expects to find $170 million in cost savings, this is double the $85 million target outlined in Fairfax’s full year result in August 2011.

  • Develop your paper potential

    Australia’s capital cities will host Spicers Paper School for the ninth year running, offering printers the chance to explore the finer points of paper in print production.

    Starting in March the half-day seminars will provide budding print professionals with an introduction to the world of paper. The schools curriculum has progressively changed over the years due to environmental issues, Mark Holland, technical manager for Spicers Paper said.

    He believes that practical knowledge of real world issues in print production is vital when working in the industry and can help avoid costly decisions.

    “Printers can’t get everything they want in one sheet of paper, as individual projects require different characteristics like stiffness or texture. If we can give printers a better grasp of paper then they can choose the right stock for the job,” said Holland.

    From Perth to Canberra each course will feature two guest speakers from the local area. Topics to be covered include paper manufacture, types of paper and their effect of print finish, print production hints and environmental studies.

    “Students will gain a basic understanding of the types of paper available for commercial print production, how they are created and why this understanding and an early choice in the creative process is vital to achieving the print result demanded by creative professionals,” Holland said.

    Enrolments are now open for the half-day seminars in the following cities:

    • Perth – March 27th 2012
    • Adelaide – March 29th 2012
    • Brisbane – April 16th 2012
    • Sydney – April 18th 2012
    • Melbourne – April 24th 2012
    • Canberra – May 2nd 2012

    An early registration discount offer is available now. Be one of the first 15 registrations to be eligible (promo code SPSEARLYBIRD). Register now at www.spicers.com.au/PaperSchool or email paperschool@spicers.com.au for further details.

  • Cielab hailed HP’s third Scitex LFP partner

    All systems are go for colour-management specialist Cielab in 2012. The turnkey print solution provider has expanded its HP Scitex partnership to become an authorised warranty partner for both HP Designjet and Latex.

    The channel partnership agreement will see Cielab become a specialist dealer in HP FB500 and FB700 UV curable flat bed hybrid printers for NSW and Queensland.

    Michael Rooney, managing director of Cielab, said the company is more than pleased with the signing. “We have had a lot of people coming in asking about flatbeds over the past two years, and until now we didn’t have a solution for them. Cielab has now become one of the largest HP dealers, by volume, for the new Designjet Latex ink printer technology.

    “It’s a neat fit: the FB-series UV curable flat bed hybrid — which is well suited to industrial, high-volume requirements — goes hand in hand with the Designjet Latex printers with which we have had such enormous success,” he said.

    Rooney explains that Cielab spent 18 months lobbying internally within the various levels of HP for the reseller channel to become warranty approved for certain parts. This came to fruition in January 2012 and Cielab are one of the first in the country to have achieved this.

    Shane Lucas, director of graphic arts for HP South Pacific, says the manufacturer is confident in expanding its partnership with Cielab given its past success in selling HP printers.

    “HP is very confident in Cielab’s ability, based on their success to date selling the Designjet Latex range and their focus on the large format printing market. As part of this partnership, Cielab will focus on offering the complete HP package across hardware, colour management, workflow and services,” said Lucas.

  • AGFA goes with the Flow

    Stepping up to the plate for a digital market push, Melbourne-based Flow Printing plans another year of spending following its purchase of an Agfa Avalon N-8 12S CtP device with on-line Elantrix 125 Processor.

    Ryan Carter, director of Flow, says the company had originally decided on a years grace from investing in a press. “We wanted a years rest, since we invested quite heavily with Heidelberg and AGFA in 2011. Yet a few digital contracts presented themselves that were hard to ignore.

    “We have achieved great cost savings by capturing all our CtP work inhouse and can now get to the market quicker. We used to outsource around $500,000 of CTP work per year,” said Carter.

    As a young company of only four years, Flow Printing is growing into any areas it can. Now that pre-press has joined the company’s direct mail offering for specialist work it has turned its focus on building a digital division.

    Carter (pictured) is confident given the large amount of digital print inquiries coming through. If all goes according to plan then the company will be looking into expansion in the near future.

    “We already have the work to cover investing in a digital press and if it continues to grow then there is no doubt we will install more of the same. We are currently outsourcing around $250,000 of digital work and talking with suppliers about a new press.

    “Digital is not as straightforward as offset printing, but we are going in with our eyes wide open. We are also mindful of the difficult economic climate and are trying not to grow too quickly, hence putting a toe in the water,” he said.

    The Avalon CtP was installed into a purpose built prepress area at the same time as a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster 74 CD joined the press ranks. The inhouse plates are also used on a six-colour Roland press with coater.

    According to Carter, the demand for CtP has grown from a previous outsource figure of 600 to current inhouse production of around 1,000 impressions per month.

  • Drupa ramp up #3 – Océ to miss out on separate drupa branding

    Integration with Canon comes at the cost of a separate visible profile at the trade show. While Océ branded equipment will be showcased on the stand it takes its place as part of the larger portfolio as Canon aims to become the leading digital production equipment supplier.

    A joint presentation from Canon and Océ European management was upbeat and confident about the state of the industry. Detailing 69% growth in imagePRESS sales along with significant increases in page volumes – average B&W pages per site up 12% – David Preskett, European Professional Print Director, made the point that success is not all about new technology.

    Short on information about any new equipment to be shown at drupa, the only exception being the new Océ Colorstream 3700, he nonetheless presented a picture of how the new industry giant will shape the industry. Canon’s Big Picture strategy means it will have its largest stand and the biggest display of combined Canon and Océ equipment at the show.

    Its soft power exercise, based around a new Essential Business Builder Mentoring Program, is integral to how Preskett sees Canon developing the business. A new Insight Report, the fourth since last drupa, will be published at the show.

    Commissioned by Canon it consists of extensive interviews with print buyers across Europe to discover how they regard print. It’s the type of industry survey that allows print service providers to get a handle on how customers perceive the medium. Surprisingly over 30% were unaware of the on-demand and short run capabilities of digital print.
    You got to wonder how we are failing to get the message across.

  • Drupa ramp up #2 – it’s not all gloom out there

    Guy Gecht, CEO EFI is having a great time at the media conference in Düsseldorf, comparing the growth of his company to the spectacular results of Apple. His recipe for success? Be where print is going – not where it’s been.

    Printing on ceramics, digital labels, wide format, MIS software, EFI the company that made and still makes most of its money from the seminal Fiery RIP is working hard at diversifying. It is looking at getting into areas where tablet and digital technologies will not venture, such as offset commercial print, inkjet printing on tiles, wide format outdoor advertising and becoming the largest cloud-computing provider for the printing industry.

    Cash rich EFI made five acquisitions in the past year, including Prism in management information systems. Gecht maintains that combined with organic increase it’s a viable way of growing and that the company is getting better at integrating other corporate cultures.

    He teased the audience here with a new mystery product to be unveiled at drupa. What’s it about? A wide format fabric printer is my best guess.
    Never short on confidence in himself and the company, he is equally bullish about the future of printing – at least those sectors that the tablet world will not wipe out.

  • Drupa ramp up #1 – all round printers need not apply; Patrick Howard in Germany

    In front of a gathering of more than 130 industry journalists in Düsseldorf, Bernard Schreier, CEO Heidelberg as well as president of trade fair, drupa, gave traditional commercial printers with no specialisation little chance to survive. Complex customer demands, high competition and price pressure along with deadly margins mean “all-rounders barely have a chance to survive.”

    His call is in line with a determinedly up-beat yet serious approach to a 2012 drupa where equipment suppliers are hoping for a break in the weather, and a resumption of industry investment. After three years when capital equipment investment all but vanished in the developed markets of Europe, USA and yes, Australia, Schreier’s combination of cautionary advice and optimism set the tone for what will be a smaller trade show in numbers as well as exhibition space in May.

    In a quest for a defining description of this year’s show he proposed two …the drupa of successful business models, and… the drupa of integrated technologies. It neatly illustrates the reality that this time around there is no new salvation technology to transform the industry and save it from long-term decline.

    The demand for printing has plateaued in the developed world with global growth of an anaemic one to one-and-a-half per cent per year predicted to 2016. Mainly confined to developing countries that have to catch up and dominated by packaging printing, it is a future that demands smarter business practices and cleverer use of existing technology from printers.

    Schreier introduced the notion of classical as opposed to new forms of print. Electronic media is part of the new, while presumably print media is now part of the classical. If this is the beginning of an age of nostalgia for print’s good old days, then we are really in trouble.

    This pre-drupa ramp up is beset with the feeling that print’s best days are behind it. The spectre of e-books and social media linger over many of the discussions here in Düsseldorf with many a grateful reference to the notion that at least packaging cannot go electronic.

    The fate of manroland and Kodak hang in the air. People talk of business closures and falling volumes of print. There is a structural change shaping the industry in a manner that may make this drupa a watershed to look back on.

    Schreier finished his opening address with the enigmatic take that since print is in transition it means the sector is alive. Let’s hope that drupa, when it comes around, does not shut down the life support systems.