Archive for April, 2013

  • Printing is for printers – Print21 magazine article

    Large printing companies are a good and necessary part of the industry. They have the scale and the capacity to invest in new technologies and create the jobs to employ and train the next generation of printers. They instil efficiencies in production, service the needs of the largest print buyers and, at best, anchor the printing industry as a modern manufacturing industry.

    This needs to be said in the light of recent events but the issue at stake is not the size of printing companies but their ownership. The recent debacle came about as a result of investors attempting to use printing as a cat’s paw to engage in financial manipulation. The hedge funds and private equity people had no interest in running printing companies. It was a financial play, plain and simple, and as such they deserved their fate. Unfortunately they took down a lot of employees and suppliers in their fall.

    With the smoke clearing it is time to take stock and celebrate the end of the price war that has bastardised printing in the region for the past seven years; Patrick Howard

    Their demise clears the ground and, by and large, leaves the industry in the hands of people who intend to make a living from producing print. This is a very healthy thing. Owner-operators are the historical tradition of printing. The very name ‘printer’ means so much more than someone operating a press. It identifies the owner of the business.

    Most printing businesses are small-to-medium affairs employing less than10 staff, many under five. Indeed, Clive Denholm of CMYKhub, a man who has his fingers on the pulse, tells me there are 14,000 businesses in print sales in Australia, with an average complement of 1.1 staff. These are mostly designers who have become the frontline and first point of contact for people wanting to create a piece of printing. He also quotes the IBIS statistic of 5,700 commercial printing companies.

    At the far end of the scale there is IPMG, perhaps the largest printing company in the region after PMP. Certainly it’s in a lot better shape than the ailing publicly-listed giant whose share price is currently languishing around 24 cents after dipping below 14 cents early this year. IPMG is privately owned by the Hannan family who have been in the business of printing for over a generation. Their only purpose in owning and running the number of printing companies they do is to make money… from the print. Their investment in a greenfield site at Warwick Farm with a multi-million dollar purchase of two manroland 48-page state-of-the-art web presses is indicative of a long-term vision. Perceptively, Steven Anstice, the retiring CEO of IPMG, said he would not spend a dollar in commercial sheetfed printing because the market had become totally debased.

    The survival, or perhaps resurrection, of Blue Star printing under the Selig family puts another family back in the saddle of one of the top four printers. For sure, Geoff Selig has private backers, everyone needs financiers, but importantly he is in control. He has repudiated decisively the strategy of being a big printing company purely for the sake of it by not taking up the New Zealand business. He ‘gave’ the ACT business to Opus. These are the actions of a printer who wants to run a profitable business, not bulk it up in order to launch it on the stock exchange, the original PE strategy.

    Tom Sturgess in New Zealand is in a similar position owning the rest of Blue Star and the remains of GEON. But there are many large, efficient, profitable, family-owned printing companies in the industry… too many to even begin to list.

    With the smoke clearing it is time to take stock and celebrate the end of the price war that has bastardised printing in the region for the past seven years. This is not overstating the case. The genius behind Gresham Private Equity’s foray into printing, Roy McKelvie, told me the strategy was to mop up the small printing companies. His tactics were to buy the latest equipment in order to gain the lowest production cost and then to “never be beaten on price”.

    I took this to be a declaration of a price war on the industry. How long it remained the tactics of GEON is debateable after the original strategy was derailed by the GFC. But it certainly informed the corporate culture there for far too long. Owners who have a fair dinkum stake in the profitability and long-term survival of their printing companies would never adopt that kind of suicidal pricing.

    It has taken a while but, with one or two exceptions, the printing industry is back in the hands of printers. Suddenly the future is looking brighter.

  • Issue 575 – 1 May 2013

    The GEON auction at the defunct company’s premises in Mount Waverly Victoria could not come at a worse time for equipment suppliers at PacPrint. It lands right in the middle of the show and will be a distraction for an industry that is trying to put the past behind it. While the very latest presses have been sold privately there is a heap of others plus a lot of finishing equipment that would be better for the industry being used as boat anchors.

    You’re one of almost 9,000 industry professionals in Australia and New Zealand who rely on Print21 to stay up to date. News is updated on the site every day. Follow us on Twitter to get the news first. If you like this bulletin and you’re an industry professional in ANZ but don’t receive our bi-monthly magazine, here’s your chance to get a free subscription here.

    Remember, keep those news tips and stories coming in to us here at NEWS. If you like this bulletin but don’t receive our bi-monthly magazine, here’s your chance to get a free subscription here.

  • Asia Pacific Publishing Printing Business Conference at China Print 2013

    The event is being organized by Hewlett-Packard, the largest digital printing technology exhibitor at China Print 2013 with the support of The Printing and Printing Equipment Industries Association of China (PEIAC) and regional leading media partners – Graphics World Korea, Indian Printer & Publisher, Print 21, Print China, Independent Media Alliance.  It would focus on business matters around publishing printing with the objective to provide insights on how to develop a profitable publishing printing business with digital.

    The event will take place in Beijing on 14 May alongside with Hewlett-Packard’s technology showcase at printing technology trade show China Print, which runs from 14-18 May.  It will feature a presentation by Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-chief, Publishing Perspectives on Global Publishing Trends and Its Impact to Asian Publishing Printing Industry.

    Winnie Hung, Publishing & Cross-Segments Strategy Development Manager of Hewlett-Packard Asia Pacific & Japan will also deliver on Business Models and Best Practices of Leading Publishing Printers.  In addition, there will be highlights of HP’s two major digital technologies that are widely used in publishing printing worldwide – HP Indigo and Inkjet Web Press.  The event will be in Chinese and English with translation and it is free with registration.

    According to Winnie Hung, the dynamic of the publishing printing segment is changing rapidly worldwide as print runs come down and ebooks and multi-channel offerings are starting to suppress the volume of printed books. “It is a critical time for printers to re-evaluate their strategy in order to assure continuous profitability and growth.  In order to do so, it is very important to connect business models discussion with technology discussion.  That is what we are trying to achieve in this conference,” she said.

    Digital printing technology continues to drive industry transformation worldwide and in Asia Pacific.  The publishing segment of HP has grown considerably in the past three years in the region with major installations of HP Indigo high-end production printers such as HP Indigo W7250, Indigo 10000 digital presses and HP T350, T410 inkjet web presses.  Today, HP’s Indigo and inkjet web presses’ worldwide are printing about 15 billion pages a year for the publishing industry.

    Register for the Asia Pacific Publishing Printing Business Conference



  • pacprint 2013

    Print professionals, marketers, advertisers and designers will converge on Melbourne from 21-25 May for PacPrint13. With so many industry professionals gearing up to attend the event, it’s expected to be an exceptionally busy time.

    PacPrint13 will be the complete sourcing platform for Australasia’s graphic communication and printing industries, showcasing the latest in everything from pre-press, printing, design and finishing to augmented reality and printed electronics and, through co-location with the Visual Impact Image Expo, a broad selection of sign and display solutions.

    “More than 150 leading Australian and international suppliers will be at PacPrint13, eager to engage with informed and motivated business owners and decision makers,” says PacPrint13 Chairman, Ian Martin. “It’s the ideal opportunity to explore ways to expand your service offering, drive customer engagement, enhance efficiency and boost productivity, while identifying possible new revenue streams and new opportunities in cross media and e-business.

    “The popular PacPrint Forum Series and newly introduced Business Improvement Workshops, free-to-attend for all registered PacPrint13 visitors, will greatly enhance the educational opportunities offered. PacPrint13 is the ideal place to meet with colleagues, competitors and industry friends to exchange ideas on critical industry issues.

    PacPrint13 is an information hub for all your printing, graphic design and marketing needs. See what’s on, in and around PacPrint13.

  • Spectra Training embraces new age for industry training

    Spectra Training is looking to the future of the local printing industry’s apprentice training landscape with the formation of the Printing Industry Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG).

    The advisory group, which was formed in January this year, consists of seven industry experts, from a wide range of printing industry backgrounds, selected for their in depth knowledge of the industry and their ability to add value to Spectra’s training solutions.

    The SRG advises industry training organisation, Spectra Training, on a wide range of matters relating to the design and delivery of print training solutions, providing advice and feedback to the registered training organisation on a range of technical and industry topics, including course content and design, quality, innovation and industry trends.

    According to Specra Training, the opinions and recommendations of the SRG will ensure that the industry has a voice in fostering the apprentice training sector.

    The new advisory team: (L-R) Vanessa Hoppe – GM Apprenticeships & Training Operations, Spectra Training Neil Collyer – CEO Fineline Printing Bill Hicks – Industry Consultant, BSH Consulting Gary Cobbledick – Managing Director, Spectra Training Vince Sedunary – VIC Sales Manager, DIC Australia Angelo Cirillo – Printing/Post Press Manager, Newsprinters (Shepparton) Paul Ross – Business Operations Manager, Printing, Spectra Training

    “Industry engagement is vitally important, especially in a fast changing market environment. I am very proud that we have representation from well established companies and I am grateful for the travelling that our regional representatives do to attend the meetings,” says Gary Cobbledick (pictured middle), Spectra Training CEO. “We are extremely grateful to our SRG members for their commitment to the future of the printing industry and for the time and expertise they are contributing to the development of improved training services in Australia.”

    For Spectra Training, the printing sector, like many other industries, has felt the impact of significant change over the past few years, most notably in the areas of high cost inputs, technological advances, social media, digital production and lean business practices. In many cases, the result is that fewer people are called upon to do more of the work.

    This change has also been felt in the area of apprentice training. As a result, Spectra Training says it recognises the need to modernise the apprenticeship training system for the printing industry and looks forward to working closely with the SRG to ensure the relevance and quality of print training in Australia.

  • Muesli mogul wraps up Heidelberg Women in Print breakfast series

    Over 350 women joined in the popular Heidelberg Women in Print networking events in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to hear this year’s keynote speaker, Carolyn Creswell, founder of Carman’s Muesli.

    The event series wrapped up in Adelaide on Friday 29 April.

    Tapping into the theme of ‘muesli’, events this year were held as pre-work breakfasts as opposed to the evening soirees of the past. Once again audiences were diverse comprising women working in print and related industries as well as women who are customers or guests of companies operating across the print media spectrum. It was a broad and interesting mix of attendees from senior managers through to those working on the production floor demonstrating the diversity of our industry and of the women who work in it.

    Heidelberg Women in Print keynote speaker Carolyn Creswell gave an engaging and honest speech that canvassed the personal and professional challenges of working in a highly competitive market. Carolyn’s humble story was relatable, entertaining and most of all, inspiring. Her popularity was evidenced by the queue of women wanting to chat and take photos with Carolyn after her presentation.

    (L-R) Deb Holst Heidelberg Patron, Belinda Baker WIP Victorian Patron, Carolyn Creswell Founder Carmans Muesli, Diandra Gavillucci WIP Coordinator.

    Heidelberg Women in Print Coordinator, Diandra Gavillucci, said, “I was pleased to see that we had good attendee numbers this year, despite the tough times our industry has experienced recently. There was a great vibe this year at all events and I think this was due to the inspiring presentation given by our Keynote Speaker Carolyn Creswell. Kudos to the women in our industry – they understand and appreciate the importance of Women in Print and they support it year after year with their time and money.

    “Heidelberg is the driver and Major Sponsor for the event however I would also like to thank our Associate and Patron Sponsors; Canon, Fuji Xerox, GAMAA, Heaney’s Performers in Print, Kodak, Media Super, Printing Industries Association of Australia and Ricoh and for their on-going support of this great initiative. Without all of our sponsors these events would not be possible. A full list of our sponsors can be found on our website.

    “The five Heidelberg Women in Print state patrons also work very hard at their local levels to ensure that the event in their capital city runs smoothly and is well-promoted to local attendees. Our patrons volunteer their time and resources which adds invaluable support to the initiative.”

    Our next event will be at the Women in Print Breakfast at PacPrint. Save the Date: May 22nd at Melbourne Convention Centre Clarendon Room.

    Any companies wishing to enquire about becoming a Women in Print sponsor should contact Heidelberg Women in Print coordinator Diandra Gavillucci on 03 9263 3314

    For more information please visit and ‘like’ Heidelberg Women in Print on Facebook.

    Feedback from attendees (from WIP Facebook):

    “Fantastic guest speaker this morning at breakfast. Was nice to hear someone speak about how business has bound with there home and family life. Thank you Carolyn & Women in Print.”

    “Fabulous breakfast in Perth this morning ladies! Absolutely LOVED Carolyn as a guest speaker”

    “Great job ladies, by far the best WIP event”

    “Best speaker yet, I could have listened to many more of her anecdotes, tips and advice”

    “WIP breakfast went really well. Carolyn is an amazing speaker! Thanks for all the goodies.”

  • PIAA features SEO expert for webinar series

    The second webinar in the Printing Industries Association of Australia’s webinar series will focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and will feature Simon Phillips of DejanSEO, an expert in the field.

    Phillips (pictured) is the general manager at DejanSEO. He is an avid supporter for the development of creative content strategies, viral and social media solutions as part of a holistic online marketing solution.

    Local printing industry players can learn from Phillips’ real world business experience implementing effective SEO strategies, which have produced great returns for the business he has worked with.

    According to Printing Industries, SEO is an integral part of the overall internet marketing mix with the objective of increasing position of a website (or a web page) in the organic search results which creates a higher amount of traffic to a website.

    The second webinar in Printing Industries’ series, ‘Fundamentals of SEO,’ will be held at 1pm Sydney time, on Friday 3 May.

    Registration can be made at

  • Julie Rapp curates Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize

    Prominent Aussie artist, Julie Rapp, will curate this year’s Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize and exhibition, to be presented at the National Art School in Sydney from 3rd May until 1st June 2013.

    “We are delighted to welcome Julie Rrap to the role of curator of the 2013 Prize. Julie follows in the footsteps of an impressive alumni of previous curators including Imants Tillers and most recently Lindy Lee,” said Dr Peter Lennox, Principal of Redlands School.

    In 2013, the Prize also welcomes new sponsors for each category, increasing the total prize pool to $35,000. Longstanding supporter Konica Minolta, previously sponsor of the emerging award, will sponsor the main artist award whilst increasing prize money to $25,000.

    Konica Minolta’s executive general manager and incoming managing director, David Cooke (pictured) said: “We are delighted to grow our support to become the principal sponsor in 2013 and to increase the prize money for the main award to $25,000.  We have a long relationship with the Prize, having sponsored the Emerging Artist Prize since 2008 and look forward to another dynamic exhibition this year.”

    The Prize has a unique model requiring the curator to select a group of established contemporary artists from Australia or New Zealand. Each of the selected established artists are then required to invite one emerging artist to participate alongside them in the Prize and exhibition. The Prize seeks to foster mentoring relationships between older and younger generations of visual artists.

    Edmund Capon, respected curator and former Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, has been announced as the guest judge for the 2013 Prize. Mr Capon will be joined on the judging panel by National Art School Curator Katie Dyer and Redlands Visual Arts teachers Mark Harpley and Fabian Byrne.

    Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize has a rich history of working with some of Australia and New Zealand’s most acclaimed artists including Arthur Boyd, Tim Maguire, Tim Storrier, Garry Shead, Guan Wei, Dorothy Napangardi, Gloria Petyarri, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Imants Tillers and Ray Crooke.

    The 2013 winning artists in both established and emerging prize categories will have their works automatically acquired into the permanent collection of Redlands. With the exception of those works acquired by Redlands School, all works exhibited in the Prize will be available for purchase.

    The Prize places no limitations on artistic mediums and attracts a diverse range of painting, photography, installation, sculpture and new media works.

  • Last chance for early birds to Label Summit Indonesia

    Early bird registration for next month’s Label Summit Indonesia in Bali is expiring this week, with the special rate ending on Friday 26 April.

    To get in for the last chance at early bird rates and save US$100 on the two-day pass, click here, or visit

    The inaugural Label Summit Indonesia – of which Print21 is the official media partner – will be held at the Westin Resort Nusa Dua in Bali from 29 to 30 May. While the event will be held in the eastern Indonesian province for its first outing, it is intended to alternate each year between Bali and Jakarta.

    Focusing on the label and package printing industry, the Summit will comprise a mix of technical presentations, real life business case studies and the latest industry insight and business intelligence into market trends, conditions and challenges.

    “Label Summit Indonesia is designed to provide an insight into the South East Asian market place and focus on learning and developing best practice from the latest available technologies and trends,” says Jade Grace, the event’s director. “Delegates will find out how to maximize business growth opportunities and also how emerging technologies such as digital offer them new possibilities today, not just in the future.”

  • Steve Venn back in the saddle at Kodak

    Steve Venn (pictured), Kodak Australasia’s former managing director is stepping back into the role he vacated in 2010, with current MD Adrian Fleming set to become the company’s general manager of Digital Printing, Asia Pacific Region – a new regional role within Kodak.

    The changeover is set to kick off on 1 May, with Kodak indicating that Venn’s re-appointment could open the gates for an additional appointment to be made to manage the regional channel in the ‘near future’.

    According to Kodak Australasia, Fleming’s appointment as the new general manager of Digital Printing, Asia Pacific Region is a response to the company’s growth of its digital business in the region. Fleming’s expertise in the digital market segment positions him well to take the role.

    “This is a great opportunity for the company and for me personally. The digital print market is extremely dynamic in the Asia Pacific region and I am enthusiastic about working with customers to help grow this segment,” says Fleming. “Kodak has a range of leading edge solutions that can assist customers to work more efficiently and more profitably. I look forward to the challenge of working across the diverse markets of this region.”

    Fleming will remain based in Australia for the time being, in part to assure a smooth transition for local customers.

    “Australia is an important market for Kodak and I want to take this opportunity to assure our customers that the continuity of our service and commitment will be unaltered,” he says. “Having Steve step back in as managing director is a true benefit to the business and to our customers.”

    Venn, who took up the position of director of strategic account management and channels for the Asia Pacific Region in 2010, will continue to oversee Kodak’s strategic accounts across the region until a new appointment can be made to manage the regional channel.

    “I’ve learned a great deal working in the Asian markets and look forward to sharing this knowledge with our customers,” says Venn. “We’ve got a terrific team of highly committed people in Australia and I am keen to explore the opportunities in the market to create sustainable solutions for us all.”

  • ‘Print is Alive’ apprentice competition extended

    The Printing Industries Association of Australia’s ‘Print is Alive‘ competition closing date for apprentices has been extended until Friday 3 May 2013.

    Ian Walz (pictured), Printing Industries’ national program manager of the Association’s Apprenticeship Advisor and Mentoring Program, said the extension was in response to requests for extra time.

    “We appreciate the challenge many apprentices may face who want to present a heavily visual entry on this important topic,” he said. “Apprentices were given options to present their entry in any format including a written essay (maximum 500 words), multimedia such as video/YouTube, a web page, animation, PowerPoint, a brochure, flyer, artwork, poster, photography or other created image.

    “This is not necessarily an easy brief when you have to work and attend courses during a normal week. We believe the extension will help many potential entrants to maximise the quality of their submissions,” he said.

    The winner will receive an expense free trip and accommodation in Melbourne to visit PacPrint and will also be a guest at the National Print Awards dinner presentation.

    Entries should be sent to Ian Walz, Printing Industries Association of Australia, 25 South Parade Auburn, NSW 2144 or emailed to

    Terms and conditions can be downloaded here

  • Issue 573 – 24 April 2013

    As ANZAC Day brings the phrase ‘Lest We Forget’ to the lips of Australians and New Zealanders everywhere this week, Andy McCourt takes the time to also remember and rediscover the ‘trade’ that lies at the heart of this year’s PacPrint trade show.


    You’re one of almost 9,000 industry professionals in Australia and New Zealand who rely on Print21 to stay up to date. News is updated on the site every day. Follow us on Twitter to get the news first. If you like this bulletin and you’re an industry professional in ANZ but don’t receive our bi-monthly magazine, here’s your chance to get a free subscription here.


    Remember, keep those news tips and stories coming in to us here at NEWS. If you like this bulletin but don’t receive our bi-monthly magazine, here’s your chance to get a free subscription here.

  • Lüscher declares bankruptcy

    Lüscher is facing the prospect of shutting down its Computer-to-Plate equipment manufacturing operations for good after applying for bankruptcy and becoming insolvent this week.

    The Swiss CtP manufacturer announced it had applied for bankruptcy on 22 April after finding itself in a tenuous financial position thanks in part to a cautious global market within the sector.

    In a statement, the company said the move to apply for bankruptcy was a result of several factors, including:

    The consequences of the massive downturn in the printing industry in the wake of the financial crisis, which among others has not spared big industry leaders such as Kodak and manroland, the continued downturn of printing coupled with an expensive Swiss francs and in the last nine months and, in addition, a substantial drop in orders taken to prevent a continuation of the company’s activities.”

    Sources say that Lüscher had been working with its bank, development partners and investors in new, business opportunities, but given the market climate the company says that its financial situation could not be stabilized.

    Although the company’s future looks grim following its insolvency, sources indicate that Lüscher hopes to continue operations in parts of the company along with maintaining some of its jobs with the help of strategic partners – as was the case when Kodak declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US.

    Up until a few years ago, Lüscher’s CtP equipment products were distributed locally by Ferag Australia. The company now lists Swisstech Graphic Services as its Australian distribution partner.

  • Lest We Forget: remembering the ‘trade’ in trade show – Andy McCourt’s ReVerb

    As ANZAC Day brings the phrase ‘Lest We Forget’ to the lips of Australians and New Zealanders everywhere this week, Andy McCourt takes the time to also remember and rediscover the ‘trade’ that lies at the heart of ‘trade show’.

    In this solemn week when we remember our twin nations’ finest from past and present conflicts and pause for a reality check on how lucky we are to be free and here in ANZ, it might also be a good time to think about next month in Melbourne, where from 21st to 25th May, a sizeable chunk of our industry will gather, as they have done about every four years since the early 1950s, to look at and, perhaps, buy the latest technologies that produce print and packaging media.

    It is also an opportunity for both extroversion and introspection – the National Print Awards providing the former and, perhaps, quiet reflection on who we are, what we do and where we fit into today’s media landscape.

    One thing that cannot be denied – and is the driving economic force – is that PacPrint is first and foremost a trade show. Exhibitors rent floorspace and present fabulous stands bristling with their technologies that print, convert and embellish paper, board, plastics and metals into appealing products. The hope of every exhibitor is to meet with existing and new customers and do business with them; either at the show itself or shortly afterwards.

    Before and after – this year’s PacPrint DM collateral.

    Without exhibitors, there is no PacPrint and without the revenue generated by PacPrint to GAMAA and the PIAA – the co-owners – there are no GAMAA scholarships or other worthy philanthropic activities. The PIAA would find it very difficult to sustain its current size without the revenue from PacPrint.

    Trade shows are in trouble worldwide, with the exception of places like China, Thailand and India. The national shows of France, Italy and Spain are all but finished. Ipex, the vibrant UK show that introduced digital printing, is suffering from the withdrawal of major exhibitors such as HP, Canon, Xerox, Heidelberg, Agfa, Komori, KBA, Print City and others. Maybe they will come back in; the brave Ipex team is not giving up, but the London show is only ten months away. Even drupa might struggle to fill all 19 halls in 2016 with Heidelberg’s new austerity policy and manroland now split into two companies.

    But, at least here in ANZ, we have a show and a very good looking one too with only Heidelberg being the major non-participant. So, it was with incredulous eyes that I opened my ‘Invitation to PacPrint’ in this week’s mail. Why? Following what I thought was a snappy new visitor attraction campaign with some great lines such as ‘Think Print’ and ‘Print provokes response’ and ads showing scenes from last PacPrint; the area devoted to the Exhibition itself on the all-important invitation is one-sixteenth of the direct mail shot.

    Not only this, but it came in a polybag with an addressed cover sheet, with no personalisation. Cover sheet? What about the hottest print technology today – variable data printing, data mining and use of customer’s name in the copy?

    Furthermore, on this eight-page A6 invitation, there is not a single four-colour image of either past PacPrint scenes or even a press of any kind! Are we ashamed of our technology? The only photo of equipment is that of a Mac Laptop as a door prize. The only other four-colour image on the piece is of a bloke reading a comic. Would the Boat Show invitation not have a picture of a boat, or a Car Show an image of a flash set of wheels?

    Don’t forget the purpose

    Before and after – the trade show marketing collateral from 1996.

    Folks, this is a TRADE SHOW. People go there to see and buy kit, software, consumables, or at least think about it. Exhibitors expect this. The copy devoted to the Exhibition starts “At the heart of PacPrint is Australia’s premier trade exhibition…etc” Great! So why isn’t it at the heart of the invitation?

    Forums, workshops and other experiential initiatives are great but they can only ever take a few dozen people at a time and they do not generate direct revenue for exhibitors. It should be PacPrint the Exhibition first, and any other events subservient to the main game – the trade show.

    As the Good Book says ‘don’t hide your light under a bushel’ meaning if you have something wonderful to share, get out there and share it. Downplaying the commercial and technology side of PacPrint is not helping anyone.

    Some of the kit on show is mind-bogglingly fantastic and offers a roadmap into better things for aware printers. Fortunately, the trade magazines and exhibitors themselves are doing a terrific job of bringing punters in, but to me the official invitation is a damp squib and symptomatic of the low self-esteem that is permeating our industry.

    We need to be ‘out there’ more. Print is good, print is essential, print is civilization itself, print saves the free world. PacPrint proudly puts print technology on display and by golly; we expect to sell some of it!

    And before anyone takes me to task as being a dinosaur, unaware of modern trends in media and how things like Social Media will save the printing industry, here’s an encouraging summary from US Internet expert Bill Crosby:

    • There are very few people making money in Social Media, period.
    • The ones that are making money are those ‘Celebrity Edutainers’ that came from other disciplines like Internet Marketing whereby they have built and understand the extensive backend work that is required to build trust with people.
    • Most people that call themselves Social Media Experts are probably broke. Make sure you ask the simple question from above if you are planning on hiring someone to help you with your business.
    • And if you want to achieve the Celebrity Edutainer status, get to work at it.

    You could say the same for Facebook, Instagram and Google+. By all means use these to promote your business and even integrate print campaigns into online ideas but our core product is print. Lest we forget.

  • Jet Technologies makes its first PacPrint13 sale

    Dragon Printing in Sydney is taking on a SCREEN PlateRite FX870II Flexo CtP system, with the new plate making system set to be installed immediately following the PacPrint13 trade show in Melbourne, where the machine will be on display at supplier Jet Technologies’ stand.

    The Mascot-based label and narrow web printer settled on the new PlateRite machine from local supplier, Jet Technologies, as part of its aim to bring its photopolymer plate-making duties in-house. The sale represents Jet Technologies’ first PacPrint13-related sale this year.

    Although the purchase of the machine has been completed, Dragon Printing will have to wait until after PacPrint13 is over to install the PlateRite unit, as Jet technologies will be featuring the machine at its PacPrint stand.

    While it waits for the machine to be installed, Dragon Print is getting its plates made on the device at Jet Technologies’ nearby technical centre.

    The PlateRite joins Dragon Printing’s Gallus ECS 340 label press, which was installed last year at the Sydney site. Paul McCullum (pictured), Dragon Printing director and co-owner, says the new installations are part of a move to improve the business’s quality and productivity.

    “We are moving up-market in both quality and productivity,” says McCullum, “the addition of the ECS 340 – our fifth Gallus – has increased both aspects but we needed to be in control of our platemaking. Jet Technologies’ sales director, David Reece, introduced us to the SCREEN FX870II; we ran tests with their photopolymer plates and could see that this was the way forward for us.

    “It is critical to get the photopolymer plates just right,” he says; “and with today’s shorter runs and more frequent plate changes, making them in-house considerably improves our service to customers.”

    Peter Scott, SCREEN managing director, says the PlateRite sale to Dragon Printing is reflective of a larger trend in CtP uptake from the offset market.

    “We are experiencing a surge in CtP sales for the offset market at the moment, so adding this Flexo installation through our channel partner Jet Technologies, is the icing on the cake,” says Scott. “SCREEN will provide local technical support and work with Jet Technologies to ensure maximum uptime.”

    For Jack Malki, Jet Technologies’ managing director, the sale of the PlateRite system to Dragon Printing can be considered as the company’s first official PacPrint13 sale, even though the trade show is still weeks away.

    “You could say this is PacPrint’s first exhibition sale – four weeks before opening, he says. “Dragon Printing has kindly agreed to our exhibiting their SCREEN FX870II at the show and we expect to gain more orders on this basis.”

  • DES goes West

    DES is going West, opening a new branch in Western Australia and employing Perth local, Len Page, to manage the branch and drive the business. Between now and PacPrint13, Page will introduce Perth to the service and sales support DES is known for nationally.

    “You need to grow with your customers and many of our national customers now have operations  in Perth,” says Ian Clare, managing director of DES. “Len Page, with 18 years’ experience in the offset print industry and six years with Anitech in the Graphics and Sign Industry is the perfect fit for DES and our customer base.”

    Page’s enthusiasm for the new role mirrors Clare’s. Page (pictured) says, “I’m excited to join a company that is interested in supporting the Western Australia print industry, both offset and digital, by expanding across Australia and providing high quality service, products and support.

    “My role will be made so much easier, and I am really looking forward to establishing the DES name in Perth and being known for having the best support staff in Western Australia,” he says.

    DES is known for its market-leading product portfolio, which includes UV wide and super wide printers from EFI VUTEk, narrow web UV presses from EFI Jetrion as well as solvent and aqueous printers from Canon, Epson, Ricoh and Roland plus a broad portfolio of consumable products from MACtac, Hahnemuhle, Chromajet and Eclipse.

    DES is also the national distributors for a wide range of colour management tools from X-Rite, EFI and the ORIS suite of products from CGS.

    For more information, contact Ian Clare 0418 699 214 or Len Page 0405 550 349.

  • Go West – Roland DG takes the show to Perth

    Roland DG is heading west, with the announcement it will host a special Road Show event in Perth, Western Australia, after successful Road Show events last year throughout Australia.

    Roland DG will be showcasing its new wide format technology during the Perth Road Show, including the recently released PRO4 XF-640 wide format printer, new PRO4 XR-640 printer/cutter and a range of other innovative solutions.

    “While Perth may not be considered ‘regional’, being on the other side of the country it is somewhat isolated in terms of major trade shows,” says John Wall (pictured), Roland DG Australia sales director. “So as with all our other Road Shows, we aim to make the latest technology and training much more accessible to all regions of Australia and this is why we have chosen Perth as our next stop.”

    Visitors from Perth and surrounding areas will have a unique opportunity to meet V8 Supercar driver Maro Engel from Erebus Motorsport (1st May from 4.30 – 6PM), and also the chance win two tickets to the Perth 360 V8 round on 3rd – 5th May, including VIP Pit tours of the Erebus Team.

    Roland DG will demonstrate the new PRO4 XF-640 plus a range of other leading Roland technology including the popular PRO4 XR-640 printer/cutter.

    The 64-inch (1625mm) SOLJET PRO4 XF-640 is Roland’s fastest wide-format printer to date and is loaded with state-of-the-art technology. The PRO4 XF-640 incorporates next generation dual print heads and redesigned take-up and pinch roller systems, plus a host of other advanced features for high quality imaging at a maximum print speed of 102m2/hr, and production speeds of 20-63m2/hr.

    “We are excited to showcase this new technology to the market,” says Wall. “This is a unique opportunity for people to be some of the first to see the new XF-640 in action. Along with the new XR-640, I’m sure they will be impressed at the speed and quality that can be delivered and will immediately see the advantages they can achieve for their business.”

    Roland sales and technical staff will also be on hand to answer any questions about Roland products and solutions, give advice on any technical issues or suggest helpful tips on day to day workflows to help customers get more out of their Roland device as part of the RolandClinic

    The Perth Road show event will be held on 30th April – 1st May at Hotel Northbridge from 11am – 7:30pm each day, with a special Roland VersaWorks® Advanced Training course to be held on 2nd May.

    To RSVP for the Perth Road Show or register for VersaWorks® training, visit To find out more about the new PRO4 XF-640 or other Roland technolgy, visit or contact Roland DG on 1800 500 119.