Archive for March, 2013

  • PeoplePRINT set for New York launch

    Local web-to-print player, John Weichard, is gearing up to launch his latest online print platform, PeoplePRINT, in New York City at the TechCrunch Disrupt technology conference in late April, with a local launch set for PacPrint in May.

    PeoplePRINT, which was first floated in August last year, is a print-buying comparison site, a little like ‘Wotif’ is for accommodation, where print customers can compare and buy print services online in the cloud.

    Weichard (pictured), who is also the name behind online print hub and web services company, D2P, is set to unveil the PeoplePRINT platform for the first time at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in April, following up with local launch at PacPrint13 in May.

    TechCrunch Disrupt, which is being held at the Manhattan Centre in New York City from 27 April to 1 May, is an annual technology and startup showcase and conference held by technology news and analysis website, TechCrunch.

    Only a few weeks after TechCrunch Disrupt wraps up, the PeoplePRINT platform will be launched in Australia at the PacPrint13 show in Melbourne during May.

    The local launch will give Australian printers and print buyers an opportunity to get closer to the platform, which was established in partnership with former Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand veteran, Alistair Hadley – who is the chief operating officer of the online company.

    On the PeoplePRINT website, Hadley says:

    PeoplePRINT is a global first technical breakthrough that finally allows buyers to utilise Web to Print in significant numbers.

    There are many benefits to print buyers and printers but the two most profound for printers are the removing of the impediments to a printer’s growth and empowering printers to actively manage excess capacity.

    Using PeoplePRINT, purchasers of print will be able to search for, compare, order from and deliver jobs to printers as easily as they have come to expect sourcing goods online from other industries.

    In August last year, when Wiechard first announced the development of PeoplePRINT, the Melbourne-based print entrepreneur said he had enlisted Ernst & Young to secure a $1.5 million grant from Commercialisation Australia for PeoplePRINT.

    Weichard also said his established website creation business, D2P, had committed about $300,000 to the project.

  • European Space Agency prints a lunar base

    It’s printing, but not as we know it. 3D printing technology lies at the heart of an audacious new plan by the European Space Agency to discover the best way to literally print a multi-domed base station on the moon.

    The European Space Agency (ESA) has entered into a partnership with a consortium of organisations to explore the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar habitations.

    The consortium includes Italian space engineering firm Alta SpA, working with Pisa-based engineering university Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Monolite UK, and renowned architecture and integrated design firm, Foster + Partners.

    Addressing the challenges of transporting materials to the moon, the study is investigating the use of lunar soil, known as regolith, as building matter, to be used as the base material in a 3D printer, which would print out blocks.

    “Terrestrial 3D printing technology has produced entire structures,” said Laurent Pambaguian, heading the project for ESA. “Our industrial team investigated if it could similarly be employed to build a lunar habitat.”

    For the project, Foster + Partners devised a weight-bearing ‘catenary’ dome design with a cellular structured wall to shield against micrometeoroids and space radiation, incorporating a pressurised inflatable to shelter astronauts.

    The base’s design was guided in turn by the properties of 3D-printed lunar soil, with a 1.5 tonne building block produced as a demonstration. This was undertaken at a smaller scale in a vacuum chamber to echo lunar conditions. The planned site for the base is at the moon’s southern pole, where there is near perpetual sunlight on the horizon.

    “3D printing offers a potential means of facilitating lunar settlement with reduced logistics from Earth,” said Scott Hovland of ESA’s human spaceflight team. “The new possibilities this work opens up can then be considered by international space agencies as part of the development of a common exploration strategy.”

    The 3D D-Shape printer used to print the block.

    Xavier De Kestelier of Foster + Partners Specialist Modelling Group, said, “As a practice, we are used to designing for extreme climates on Earth and exploiting the environmental benefits of using local, sustainable materials. Our lunar habitation follows a similar logic.”

    The UK’s Monolite supplied the D-Shape printer, used to print the 3D structure, with a mobile printing array of nozzles on a six-metre frame to spray a binding solution onto a sand-like building material.

    3D ‘printouts’ are built up layer by layer – the company more typically uses its printer to create sculptures and is working on artificial coral reefs to help preserve beaches from energetic sea waves.

    “First, we needed to mix the simulated lunar material with magnesium oxide. This turns it into ‘paper’ we can print with,” explained Monolite founder Enrico Dini. “Then for our structural ‘ink’ we apply a binding salt which converts material to a stone-like solid.”

    “Our current printer builds at a rate of around 2 m per hour, while our next-generation design should attain 3.5 m per hour, completing an entire building in a week,” he said.

  • Commercial Notice – Screen B1 Thermal CTP Line For Sale

    This is an excellent condition Dainippon Screen PlateRite PTR-8000 MkII computer-to-plate line capable of 13 x B1 plates per hour at 2400dpi (max 4000dpi). The platesetter was manufactured in 2002 and upgraded in 2008 with Screen AT T8000 bridge, Agfa Azura C125S processor and Elantrix ST125S plate stacker. It comes with Screen’s Dot TIFF catcher and server, ready for any workflow.

    Currently installed and working in the Sydney area. It has been fully maintained by Screen technicians and on-going service or upgrades, e.g multi-cassette loader, plate puncher etc, are available to the purchaser.

    Makes Thermal and Thermal processless plates from 449 x 368 mm min. to 1158 x 940 mm max.

     

    Price: $27,500 + gst, ex-works.

    (Decommissioning, packing and freight can be arranged at cost if required)

    Contact: Andy McCourt by email: mccourt.andrew@gmail.com

  • Issue 570 – 27 March 2013

    Now GEON has been sold off and shut down, the failed print group’s administrators have told its long-suffering creditors they will likely wait until July to find out whether they will get any of the money owed to them.

     

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  • Pride in Print Awards – PRINT OUT LOUD

    Pride In Print is set to put the “bling” back into Wellywood when its Award Night is held Friday May 3, 2013. Award Night is the showpiece where the cream of New Zealand’s print expertise is rewarded, and the fun night where printers, suppliers and customers let their hair down in celebration.

    This year, the siting of Award Night at the TSB Arena, nestled on the harbour a stone’s throw from the Capital City’s CBD, is guaranteed to provide a popular setting for both the glamour side of the evening and the fun part.

    Awards Manager, Sue Archibald, said the evening was set to be a huge social success. “The venue is walking distance from major hotels and is also only a short distance from Courtenay Place, a traditional venue for after-function celebrations to continue.

    “For the dinner and the Award presentations themselves, the tables, seating arrangements and stage all proved to be very good when we were last in Wellington for the 2011 Awards. We are expecting the venue to go down well with guests.”

    The theme of the night will be a continuation of the “Print Out Loud” campaign which proved successful in Auckland last year, and Sue Archibald says that the print industry needs to go hard to make the Awards a glowing tribute to the quality that New Zealand print can produce.

  • PrintNZ Day of Development

    The PrintNZ Day of Development will benefit all those who want to improve their businesses and progress their careers within the printing industry.  This includes those working in production, sales, marketing, management and people you have identified as ‘rising talent’.

    Taking place on Friday 3 May, the event will conclude mid-afternoon, plenty of time for those attending the Pride In Print Awards that evening.

    The PrintNZ Pre Conference Dinner and PrintNZ Training Apprentice Awards will lead into these events on Thursday 2 May.

    Attend these key industry events in one accessible location.

    The Speakers

    • Phil O’Reilly, BusinessNZ > State of the nation
      Phil will share his insights on the global economy and what our member businesses can expect going forward.
    • Anders Sorman-Nilsson, o2 Speakers > Digilog: Where digital meets analogue
      Anders will discuss what parts of your business should go digital, those that should remain analogue and how to think globally (digital) and act locally (analogue).
    • David Nottage, TORQUE Ltd > Think Outside the Square
      In this interactive workshop you will learn how to activate your ‘creative side’ and get the most out of it. There are exercises that ‘juice up’ the brain as well as guidelines that help you look at problem solving in a whole new light.
    • Mike Clark, The Marketing Company > Marketing strategies for SME’s
      Mike will share his tips and advice on how small to medium sized businesses can improve their marketing to increase business from existing clients and attract new clients.
    • Richard Longman, Price Waterhouse Coopers > Buy, Sell or Merge
      Richard will talk about what to look for when buying, selling or merging your business.
  • New workhorse for the inkjet world – JetStream 5500

    Aiming to capture the utility press role in an inkjet future, Océ launches its fastest B2-size (30-inch) web press at this year’s International Inkjet Days in Poing, Germany.

    The first public showing of the JetStream 5500 proved the highlight of the annual innovation show. Billed as suitable for producing books and newspapers at high-speed it is targeted for an emerging hybrid commercial printing market.

    With a top speed of 254 metres per minute the full-colour inkjet press can print 30,000 B2 sheets per hour, or 8,000 24-page tabloid newspapers per hour. The company said that six JetStream 5500s have been sold in the first three months since it became commercially available. There are over 400 Océ inkjet systems of all sorts installed in the market.

    The focus on inkjet showcased both the JetStream range in its compact, dual and wide (30”) formats as well as the entry-level twin series ColorStream. All are driven by SRA (scalable raster architecture) from HP and use Japanese made Miyakoshi inkjet heads. The JetStream 5500 has a separate fifth colour compartment that can be used to print MICR or other security ink (see article) or premium pigment black rapid immobilising ink for graphic arts production.

    The much-anticipated Océ InfiniStream, a high-speed press for the folding carton market, that made its debut last year remained hidden in beta mode during the show. Plans are afoot for a working demonstration model to be on the show floor by the middle of the year. This enormously sized press is a huge leap in productivity with a rated speed of up to 14,400 B2 sheets per hour. Company executives spoke of a first beta installation this year wit commercial shipments to start in 2014.

    The JetStream 5500 is touted as the most promising digital solution for the newspaper industry, it being sold as such by manroland as part of a strategic alliance with Océ. The newspaper line sees the 5500 combined with the newly developed manroland digital finishing equipment, the FoldLine VPF 211.It then morphs into a complete production system for book signatures, cylinder-stitched booklets as well as broadsheet newspapers up to 96 pages and up to 12 newspaper sections.

    Simon Wheeler, director Canon Professional Print hosted Tom Lusch, owner Platypus Graphics to the Poing show last week.

    Visitors to the Océ show had to travel to the manroland plant at Augsburg to see the VPF 211 (variable pin folder) in operation along with the company’s other digital finishing solutions, the FormLIne VFF2 a fully automated book block line and the VBC4 collator capable of turning out 4000 book blocks per hour.

    This year, the second time the innovation days have been held since Canon fully absorbed the former Siemens company, the Océ brand was frequently and carefully referred to as being part of the Canon Group, although there was little evidence of the Japanese parent in the technology on display. Unusually there was little local industry participation in this year’s Poing event with Simon Wheeler, director Canon’s Professional Print in Australia and New Zealand promising to redouble his efforts to engage the industry’s with what is regarded as the industry’s premier inkjet technology show.

    The JetStream 5500 – the utility press for the inkjet age.

     

  • Apps for progressive printers to ‘think beyond ink’ – Andy McCourt’s ReVerb

    Andy McCourt takes a close look at the growing collection of emerging apps for progressive print industry and graphic arts professionals.

    There was quite a response to my ReVerb #3 about mobile Apps relevant to print. Since then, a lot more has come to light from some surprising quarters – and it’s all potentially good news for a progressive print/design/publishing business.

    Remember Quark? In the 1990s, any self-respecting publisher or graphic designer would use nothing else but QuarXpress for setting type and making pages. Sure, there would be some Adobe software lurking inside the Mac – Photoshop and Illustrator – but PageMaker was just ‘amateur hour’ to the committed typographically-trained designer.

    Quark, however, allowed its hegemony over page design to slip through a combination of haughtiness, poor support and lack of significant new development. When Adobe released InDesign 1.0 in 1999, it was at first slow to unseat QuarkXpress but, with InDesign 2.0 and OSX support, by 2002 Adobe had converted News Magazines, Murdoch Magazines and then the big one, ACP (now Bauer Media) over to InDesign . The rest of the market followed suit and by 2009 many designers were not even bothering to update their versions of Quark.

    It’s worth noting that the notion of all-in-one professional object-oriented design software was pioneered years earlier by Australia’s Wright Technologies. Its Wright Design product raised many eyebrows and was lauded by industry luminary Andy Tribute in the Seybold Report. Wright Design was Windows platform only but showed the way for integrated page design in DTP.

    Back to Quark, after seeing its estimated 95 per cent market share slip to low double digits, the company tried several strategies, lowered its prices, lost its founder members Tim Gill and Mark Pope and by 2001 was in the hands of Fred Ebrahami who shifted almost all development to India – where there is even a special economic zone called Quark City. The Ebrahami family sold out to US firm Platinum Equity in August 2011, and then began the real turn-around.

    In May 2012 with the considerable resources (their own estimate is $30 billion) of Platinum Equity behind it, Quark Inc purchased Mobile IQ who had developed a tablet and mobile product called Press Run, based on a cloud HTML5 conversion of InDesign and XML files.

    HTML5 – THE LANGUAGE OF THE WEB

    Since 1990, Hyper Text Markup Language has been the code driving the way pages look on the worldwide web. It has gone through several revisions up to HTML5’s immediate predecessor; HTML 4.01. What makes ‘5’ special is the recognition of mobile and tablet applications and the bringing together of the broad mix of specifications that were homogenized under all previous versions of HTML. It’s purer, more powerful and mobile. Why is this important?

    When a PDF document or publication is uploaded to the web, it is essentially the same looking PDF that was printed. Links can be embedded to video and websites for example but essentially it is a PDF that mimics the printed item, sometimes with pages that can turn and zoom-in/out. If it remains a PDF, its functionality and interactivity will always be limited and the files size will be clunky, especially for magazines and catalogues.

    HTML5 has pure internet DNA and is the ideal language in which to publish on the worldwide web – but how to write all that complex code and maintain the integrity of the publication while adding the interactive features.

    This where it gets exciting. After acquiring Press Run, Quark invested in the development and has re-named it AppStudio. To put it simply; designers can create their magazines and catalogues as per usual in QuarkXpress or InDesign, upload via the cloud to AppStudio; chose the added interactive features and have the publication converted to HTML5 for publication to any mobile and tablet device. No code writing needed – you just do what you have always done on Creative Suite or Quark.

    Publications ported to AppStudio are not read through a ‘viewer’ – they are in themselves online publications with fully selectable text and searchability. Magazines that has so far gone mobile/online with AppStudio include:

    • BBC Good Food Guide
    • British Medical Journal
    • My Ford Magazine (Time Inc.)
    • Top Gear Portfolio
    • Amnesty International Journal
    • Guitar Interactive

    And dozens more in the USA and Europe. In a case study conducted on the tablet version of BBC Good Food Guide, 65 per cent of iPad users downloading the App from the Apple iTunes or AppStore, became subscribers to the digital version. Print circulation has not suffered – these are either new users or dual tablet and print subscribers. An additional benefit is the ability to measure page and advert dwell times, popular click-throughs; in fact anything important about the readership’s habits that can be used by a marketing department.

    Creating a publication in AppStudio can be trialed for free here and is also included as part of QuarkXpress 9, which is in itself a much-improved product these days. There are also excellent online tutorials there. A roadshow called ‘Think Beyond Ink’ (snappy!) is currently underway in the Northern Hemisphere, taking in San Francisco, New York, Hamburg. Paris and London. After contacting Quark, there are no firm plans to bring the tour to Australia or New Zealand as yet but ‘maybe in the future.’

    OTHER PUBLISHING APPS

    HTML5’s charge is encouraging more players to enter the publishing App field. One of these is a small company formed by ex-Agfa/IBM staffers and called Readz.

    Realview Digital has also embraced HTML5 and has enjoyed great success making retail catalogues available on tablet and other mobile devices. Realview is not as ‘App’ focused in that a true App is downloadable from the Apple, Google or Android stores. The advantage of being App-centric is that your publication is available to entire world, if you want.

    For textbooks, a start-up called Inkling has developed HTML5 based interactive academic publishing for the iPad.

    HTML5 is still a work in progress but what isn’t in the online world? There will be more to come for sure but the leader for now appears to be Quark with AppStudio.

    The attraction for publishers is that HTML5 apps are already showing better performance in monetizing their content – long a problem for print-based publications going online and mobile. It’s not just the subscriptions added but advertisers love the measurability and immediacy. The prospect of geo-location of tablet publication readers, say reading an article on a new Ford car, offer the potential of instant advertising with a message such as “You are only 5 minutes away from a place to test drive the new Ford XYZ, at Smith’s Ford dealership…call now…”

    For printers who take the trouble to clue up on AppStudio-like apps; where files are created with InDesign or QuarkXpress, a whole new world of services opens up for you in offering online and mobile device versions of your client’s publications, with a minimum of new investment and learning. AppStudio is cloud and subscription based starting from $99 a month and rising depending on how many issues, downloads and titles are involved.

    Tablets represent a screen size that is perfect for publications and, as with all mobile devices, the growth in usage is huge. Maybe it’s time for progressive ANZ printers to ‘think beyond ink?’

  • 55 million Filipinos go to polls on secure digital ballots

    Invisible UV anti-counterfeit watermarks ensure the huge exercise in Philippine’s democracy is as fair as the printing industry can make it.

    Three Océ ColorStream 3700 are more than halfway through the task, banging away 24 hours a day, seven days a week in Quezon City, producing a massive 1.2 million ballot papers per day to reach a tight 62-day printing deadline. The Philippine National Printing Office has to deliver the massive number of ballot papers, using over 1600 tonnes of paper, to over 100 regions for the 2013 mid-term elections by 13 May. The P780 million (AUD$18.3 million) contract was awarded to the Holy Family Printing Corp and Canon Marketing Philippines.

    Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes with mock ballots being tested on the Océ ColorStream 3700. Photo by Manny Palmer

    Each ballot paper incorporates the latest Océ security printing technology using invisible ink. When counted the 25-inch long ballot papers will be scanned with UV readers to eliminate any forgeries.

    The enormous number of variables – across the 100 plus regions there are 18,022 national and local positions to decide – meant that digitally printed ballot papers were essential. The three twin ColorStream 3700 print on 160 gsm woodfree paper using CMYK plus the invisible UV security ink.

    According to Robert Koeckeis, director business development, Asia-Pacific, Océ Printing Systems, the huge project has taken over six months to get up and running. He points to it as a trailblazer in security printing in the region and sees the technology having use in many different applications such as examination papers.

    The invisible ink is one of six different security levels. The Océ systems also make use of micro printing, MICRA, pantographs – where once invisible warnings reappear when a document is copied – as well as fugitive ink that smudges if there is any attempt to alter the print with certain solvents.

    The Philippine’s election is seen as a test not only of the reliability and robustness of the ColorStream printing systems but also of the security of the ballot papers. In a further attempt to bring the voting system into the 21st century voters will have to write their names – thumbprints on the ballot will no longer be accepted.

  • PacPrint13 launches Business Improvement Workshops

    PacPrint13 organisers have announced a series of Business Improvement Workshops which they say will provide important information, hints and tips for business owners and decision makers.

    The move comes as a response to industry demand for a more comprehensive educational component of the PacPrint13 exhibition in May.

    In a move designed to complement the strong exhibition and the well-known and popular PacPrint Forum Series, the Business Improvement Workshops will run daily from Tuesday 21 May to Friday 24 May on the PacPrint13 exhibition floor at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

    Bill Healey, CEO of Printing Industries, who has helped put the Business Improvement Workshops together says the sessions are intended to be ‘short, sharp presentations’ that raise and address the major points within a particular focus area.

    “Basically, they’ll be ‘meet the expert’ sessions, designed to help business owners understand the broad issues involved in each area of interest, and to give them the contacts and information they need to get the ball rolling with their own research and planning,” Healey says.

    Unlike the longer Forum sessions, each Workshop will run for just 30 minutes and will involve a short presentation and time for questions. Entry is free and no booking is required. For more information on the Business Improvement Workshops and the PacPrint13 Forum Series, go to www.pacprint.com.au

    See the Business Improvement Workshop timetable below:

    Tuesday 21 May  – The Environment

    2 – 2.30pm                  Two Sides – Selling the positive story of print and paper

    Kellie Northwood – National Manager Two Sides

    3 – 3.30pm                  How to reduce your power bills and protect the environment

    Charlie Knaggs, Senior Associate, Net Balance

    Wednesday 22 May – Accessing Government Support

    2 – 2.30pm           Government programmes that can help your business

    Sean Thomas, Assistant Manager, Pulp, Paper, Print and Furniture Industries Section, Manufacturing Performance Branch,

    Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

    3 – 3.30pm           Enterprise Connect – Lessons from the field

    Anthony Merrilees, Business Advisor, Creative Industries, Enterprise Connect

    Thursday 23 May  – Operating in the Digital Economy

    2 – 2.30pm           The NBN and what the digital economy will mean for business

    TBC – NBNCO

    3 – 3.30pm           Marketing in a multi-channel world

    Kerim El Gabaili, Owner, Prografica

    Friday 24 May  – Business and Personal Financial Management

    2 – 2.30pm           Managing your insurance exposure

    Daniel Winkel, Marsh Insurance

    3 – 3.30pm           How to manage your nest egg for the next stage of your life

    Michael Honeybone, Financial Planner, Media Super

  • Printing Industries survey investigates Carbon Tax impact

    A survey seeking to quantify the impact of the Carbon Tax on printing industry business has been launched by Printing Industries.

    Results from the survey will be used as part of Printing Industries industry advocacy efforts with politicians and senior policy makers in government.

    Printing Industries National Manager, Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian, said the survey results were an important part of an on-going campaign to find ways of minimising the impact of the tax on businesses.

    ”The greater the participation and comments we can get on this issue, the more effective our lobbying can be on behalf of the industry,” said Tchamkertenian (pictured).

    “With the Price on Carbon or Carbon Tax as it is better known, now operating for some eight months, sufficient time has past to make an assessment of the impact of this interim tax on businesses operating in the printing and associated industries until the planned introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme in 2015,” he said.

    The short survey asks seeks information on the financial impact bon companies covering employment, productivity, sales and profitability. It also asks whether companies absorbed the tax or passed it onto to clients in part or fully.

    The survey can be accessed via this link Printing Industries Carbon Tax Impact Survey and closes on Friday 5 April 2013

  • EFI launches new Fiery production and proofing software

    EFI has launched its latest print software edition, the Fiery XF Version 5, a flexible and scalable high-speed digital front end and color management workflow for wide- to superwide-format production and proofing.

    The latest Fiery wide format software helps print service providers easily achieve precise, predictable high-quality prints while streamlining production workflows. This new Fiery software version also enables seamless workflow integration with VUTEk and EFI Wide-Format printers, as well as with EFI MIS/ERP systems.

    “Advancements included in our new Fiery wide format software gives print professionals more power than ever to produce accurate, high-quality work quickly and reliably,” says John Henze, vice president, Fiery marketing at EFI. “The new, customizable interface makes the system easier to use, as it can be tailored to meet each customer’s exact production needs.”

    Print service providers can benefit from a wide range of improvements in imaging, productivity and ease of use, including key features that offer greater value.

    • The combination of Fiery Color Profiler Suite and completely new spot color tools provide a leap forward in color quality and ease of use.
    • With more than 50 new wide- to superwide-format print drivers, customers can now use Fiery workflow and color management software to achieve the highest quality on all their printers.
    • The software’s customizable user interface allows users to tailor Fiery XF to their specific tasks and skill set to reduce error rates.

    One EFI customer, Burlington, Ontario-based Category 5, has improved its overall operations using the software’s Fiery-to-EFI MIS/ERP integration features.

    “With all of the job data available at our fingertips, there is less time wasted tracking down answers,” said Greg Priede, general manager, Category 5. “With the integration between the VUTEk printer, Fiery front end and EFI MIS system, we see detailed job costing, and can calculate how long the printer actually ran versus how long the press operator took to complete the job. This allows us to address inefficiencies, reduce press down time and increase profit.”

    The modular nature of the software allows customers to tailor the product to their current operation, paying only for the functionality they need. More than 20 Fiery printer or software options allow customers to add additional capabilities as business needs evolve and budgets allow. An EFI software maintenance and support agreement provides an ongoing stream of software releases, including the latest device drivers, plus all minor and major product upgrades.

  • Caldera launches dashboard display

    Caldera has launched PrintBoard, a software signage system designed to provide printers with a dashboard display of their production status.

    “We wanted to provide a platform that could educate printers about digital signage within their own facilities and get the tools in their hands so that they can work with it,” said Caldera vice president of marketing Sebastien Hanssens. “We see it as a great tool.”

    The software interacts with Caldera’s RIP to display data including daily square metres produced, productivity of each printer and the job queue. The display can be fed to up to five screens, including a mix of large flat panel displays and tablets, such as the iPad. Those screens can be positioned anywhere within the printer’s factory, offices, boardroom or viewed remotely.

    “Our customers told us that they wanted a more visible monitoring solution that would enable them to be more proactive in driving efficiency,” said Caldera chief executive Joseph Mergui.

    Printers wanting to add digital signage to their range of services can upgrade the system to Caldera’s Variable Display media player. Variable Display supports unlimited content feeds, playlists, content management and RSS feeds, to enable a basic digital signage solution.

    “Variable Display is very easy for the printer to use,” said Hanssens. “Digital signage is not the enemy for print, as many may believe, it can be a friend. We believe there are great opportunities for combining print with digital signage, such as using printed graphics around monitors – a TV screen on its own is boring.”

     

  • PacPrint13 sees National Print Awards celebrate 30th anniversary

    The regional print and graphic communications industry will be flocking to Melbourne in May for PacPrint13 – but for those who enjoy pomp, ceremony and glittering celebrations, it’s the National Print Awards’ 30th Anniversary Dinner, to be held on the final day of the exhibition, which will be the week’s absolute winner.

    With the regal theme, ‘The Midas Touch’, the night is sure to bring a touch of glamour to the city as the Awards turn everything to Gold at the Palladium Ballroom at Melbourne’s Crown Casino – just opposite the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre which will be home to PacPrint13.

    Awards organisers are busy with arrangements but are still under a decree of silence as to specifics of the night’s entertainment. Will it involve royalty? Celebrities? No one is saying – but National Print Awards Chairman, ‘King’ John Wanless, let slip that one of the night’s special guests is, in fact, one of the titled gentry – albeit thanks to a dubious online transaction – who is sure to deliver a night of ‘right royal fun’.

    “The 30th National Print Awards is obviously a significant milestone, so we are sparing no efforts in our attempt to create a celebration worthy of the occasion,” Wanless said.

    “Three decades ago, when the Australian print industry was under extraordinary pressure from offshore suppliers, a group of industry professionals from the print, paper and advertising industry came together to create a forum which would ‘recognise and encourage the achievement of excellence in print in Australia’.  Their vision was to convince print buyers – and, indeed, Australian print service providers themselves – that print produced in Australia was equal to, or better than, that produced anywhere else in the world.

    “Today, there is no question that their vision has been realised. Every year, the standard of entries exceeds expectations and, over the years, many NPA Gold Medal winning entries have received the most prestigious international Awards. Simply by reaching the national stage of our competition, this proud heritage marks this year’s finalists as among the best in the world, and truly the ‘royalty’ of our industry,” he said.

    The Dinner itself will be a chance to see these kings and queens of industry crowned for their outstanding achievements – and an opportunity for loyal industry subjects to gather and pay homage to their majestic achievements while enjoying a night of entertainment and sumptuous dining.

    With so much going on in Melbourne during the week of the Awards, those intending to be there are advised to mark the date in their diaries now, and keep their eyes on the recently launched National Print Awards website, www.nationalprintawards.com.au and the trade media so that they can move quickly when registrations open.

  • Informa stands by Ipex 2014

    In the face of yet another major exhibitor pulling out of Ipex2014 this month with Mimaki’s withdrawal, the event’s organiser Informa Exhibitions is standing by its quadrennial trade show, with a letter to the industry heralding its determination to continue with the UK event.

    In a joint release, Ipex2014 director Trevor Crawford (pictured) and Informa Exhibitions managing director, Peter Hall, said:

    “Ipex will take place in London in 2014. We stand firmly by our mission: to provide today’s printer and their customers with the ideas, insights and solutions to effectively promote the power of print and its integration in the marketing mix,” they said in a joint letter.

    “We all understand that print is experiencing some change – economic, technological, social, and environmental. Events that represent print – such as Ipex – have to adapt and reflect those shifts. When an event takes place every four years, that degree of change can appear dramatic. In fact, it’s simply that a cyclical event like this pulls together the incremental changes that happened over that time period and concentrates them into one experience.

    “Industries that are in flux have to re-evaluate themselves. They need to be brave and find the clarity to focus on what is valuable and should be developed. This is exactly what our customers and their customers are doing. The same goes for us as an event brand.”

    Informa Exhibitions says it expect 80 per cent of Ipex 2014 visitors to be commercial printers, whether in print litho, digital, or from a mix of complementary processes, with the company remaining determined to keep commercial printers at the heart of the event – despite the move to broaden Ipex’s scope to include new digital, print and marketing communications technology.

    “As always, we’re putting commercial printers right at the heart of Ipex,” the letter said. “We surveyed more than 1600 printers worldwide to ask them how Ipex could continue to be relevant to their needs. We’ve taken that research on board to shape our planning. We’re committed to delivering an event that will help printers from all over the world to adapt to these changes and build for the future. Ipex will be the only event in 2014 that brings together the whole international print supply chain to learn, network and do business.

    “Printers are looking to Ipex for vital leadership and guidance. They need a neutral environment, not controlled by a single manufacturer, where they can find the time and space to assess and absorb the changes and opportunities around them. We will provide them with a wealth of world-class content through initiatives such as the World Print Summit.

    “Ipex is a year away. We’re working to deliver an event that gives printers what they need, while also attracting the people who buy print, and showing them what print is capable of, working hand in hand with other communications channels.”

    Informa Exhibitions has suffered a slew of withdrawals from Ipex2014, including HP, Heidelberg, Kodak, Agfa, Xerox, Komori and Canon, among others.

  • Currie Group NZ Roadshow wraps up in Dunedin

    The Currie Group New Zealand Colour Roadshow is wrapping up its epic graphic arts tour of Middle Earth, setting up shop in Dunedin, on its final stop before heading back to Auckland.

    This is the end of the second New Zealand sojourn by the local distributor, and the first with former Frontline founder, Craig Paul, acting as Currie’s new New Zealand manager.

    All of Currie Group’s best and latest goodies are on the truck to see, including the HP Indigo 5600, Horizon AFC-566FG cross folder, BQ-160PUR binder, CB160 creasing unit, PF40 folder, SPF-7 booklet maker and the Ideal 5221-95EP.

    The tour kicked off in Auckland on 20 February and has since wound its way down the spine of New Zealand stopping in at Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch.

    The truck is carrying these goodies, plus more:

    HP Indigo 5600

    Horizon AFC-566Fg

    BQ-160PUR binder

    CRB160 creasing unit

    PF40 folder

    SPF-7 booklet maker

    Ideal 5221-95 EP

    Visit the Currie website here to find out more.

  • Issue 569 – 20 March 2013

    The GEON saga is reaching its ambivalent end this week, with the failed print group’s Perth site in Bassendean going for a management buyout led by general manager, Ian Smith – with most jobs expected to be saved. Meanwhile, at least 50 of GEON’s New Zealand workers have been kept in employment by Tom Sturgess’ Blue Star NZ, which picked up all of GEON’s fixed assets across the Tasman.

     

     

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