Archive for July, 2013

  • New Stitchliner 5500 delivers binding boon to Fineline

    Fineline Printing is claiming a binding boon after installing a Horizon Stitchliner 5500 equipped with twin VAC-1000 collating towers in early July.

    The new system, which was sold to Fineline Printing house by the Currie Group, sees the Melbourne print house up the ante on its binding and finishing competitiveness substantially, with the new equipment replacing an older unit with a smaller capacity.

    According to Bernie Robinson, Currie Group managing director, (pictured) the new Stitchliner 5500 is Fineline Printing’s first foray into Horizon finishing products, with the new machine giving the printer the ability to do saddle stitching, book block collating for perfect binding and collating for NCR (non-carbon copy paper) work – the latter of which can be run backwards through the machine, effectively allowing two jobs to run at once.

    The Stitchliner 5500 can produce tight fold booklets from 2 to 50 sheets. The icon based touch screen allows for simplified operation and the job changeover is fully automated. The three-knife trimmer section produces nearly finished booklets.

    At 5,500 booklet per hour and with the combined advantages of flat sheet collating, saddle stitching and three-knife trimming the booklet making system is ideal for short to mid range production runs.

    Robinson says the company settled on the new unit after seeing a display of the machine for the first time in early May. The installation of the new Stitchliner follows close behind Fineline Printing’s move to expand into digital production after it installed a Kodak NexPress SX3000 in September last year along with a new CtP system.

    Now, following the Kodak NexPress addition, the company offers a raft of services, including its traditional offset offering along with its digital production capacity, wide format printing and print management, along with graphics services.

    This series of new investments by the company comes after former Salmat executive, Neil Collyer, paid around A$3 million to acquire the business from its founders in August last year.

    The installation of the Kodak press completed Fineline Printing’s new dedicated Digital Press Department and, although Collyer said at the time that it was no small investment, he believed the new technology would ultimately pay off.

    “Buying the press was a major investment financially,” he said of the new Kodak machine in September. “These presses don’t come cheap. Its arrival is testament to the faith I have in the future of print and the potential I see this new technology has created.”

    The decision to team the press with the Stitchliner (pictured) underlines the widespread industry acceptance of the Horizon finishing products, no matter what brand of digital press is on the front end. The Currie Group’s expertise in delivering finishing equipment to a growing range of digital presses is a defining trend in the industry.

  • EFI claims patent victory against inkjet rival

    EFI is claiming victory in an ongoing patent lawsuit filed against it in Spain, which accused the US print software and technology company and its recent acquisition, Cretaprint, of infringing on digital inkjet printing technology patents owned by rival, KERAjet.

    EFI bought the Spanish ceramic tile inkjet printer manufacturer, Cretaprint, in January 2012. However, in May 2011, prior to EFI’s purchase of the company, the president of rival KERAjet, Jose Vicente Tomas Claramonte, launched the patent infringement lawsuit against Cretaprint in relation to its ceramic digital inkjet printing systems.

    According to EFI, Claramonte had claimed that EFI Cretaprint infringed his patent—a claim the Commercial Court in Valencia rejected earlier this year. The court ruled that the infringement claims were meritless and that the patent is invalid because it lacks an inventive step.

    Now, a Spanish appeals court has also rejected Claramonte’s claims. On July 15, 2013, the Provincial Court of Valencia affirmed the lower court’s decision, rejecting Claramonte’s appeal and confirming that the patent is null and void as it relates to EFI Cretaprint.

    “The Provincial Court has confirmed what we believed all along—that this lawsuit was baseless and that Mr. Tomas Claramonte’s patent is invalid,” said Bryan Ko, EFI’s General Counsel. “We now look forward to decisions from the German and Italian courts in lawsuits filed by EFI, and expect the patent will be invalidated in those countries, too.”

    Following the rejection of the case by the Commercial Court in Valencia earlier this year, Ghilad Dziesietnik, EFI’s chief technology officer, said the decision was a reassuring reminder of the value in Cretaprint’s technology and EFI’s acquisition of it.

    “EFI has been a leading innovator in the print industry since our founding, and we acquired Cretaprint based on their demonstrated innovation and success in the ceramic inkjet market,” says Dziesietnik. ”The victory confirms EFI Cretaprint’s place as a leading innovator in the ceramic inkjet printer market, and we look forward to continuing to bring our innovative customer-focused printing solutions to our customers throughout the world.”

  • Future Print project overhauls local industry training

    A $4.5 million government-funded project between the Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) will overhaul Australia’s print apprentice training.

    With the aim of building a sustainable, competency based system that will underpin the development of a new and innovative training environment for Australia’s printing industry, Future Print challenges the new era of print and communication.

    A new alliance between the printing industry’s premier industry association, Printing Industries and its principal union, the AMWU, sees some of the biggest names throwing their weight behind a project to modernise the print and packaging industries’ apprenticeship system. Representatives from a broad cross-section of the industry have stepped forward to provide strategic advice and support to the project which is currently in its establishment phase.

    The Future Print Steering Committee includes some high-profile names such as Marcus Hooke from News Limited, Bruce Philips from PMP, Lindsay Hannan from Inprint and David Leach of Look Print along with Bill Healey, Printing Industries’ CEO  and the National Secretary of the AMWU’s Printing Division, Lorraine Cassin. 

    With so many the Australia’s top industry figures playing a prominent role in the training project, it is no surprise that Future Print’s goals represent nothing less than the future health and well-being of the Australian printing industry.

    According to Joan Grace (pictured), general manager of Innovation, Training and Projects at Printing Industries and leader of the Future Print Management Committee, the primary vision is to establish and foster an alternative framework for the training of apprentices with a view to preparing them for a productive and rewarding career in a rapidly changing industry.

    “Future Print is about looking at the apprenticeship system in a broad way being aware that we need to develop skills in areas such as information and communications technology (ICT) as well keeping the focus on the changing technical skills the industry needs,” says Grace. “We have two deliverables in our contract with the Government – to train 240 apprentices in a revised apprenticeship system over a two-year period, but more importantly to design a sustainable system for the future.”

    Having put in place the governance and management structures for the project the focus is now on recruiting businesses to become involved in ‘precincts’ in the targeted regions and in the packaging sector of the industry. Businesses will be signing up to pilot more workplace-focused ways of training apprentices. They will test how best to move from the current ‘time-based’ model to a ‘competency-based’ progression and completion model.

    Neal McLary, Printing Industries’ Future Print Project Manager (right) urges businesses to consider the proposition very seriously.

    “The apprenticeship system has been the backbone of training in the Industry. It has served us well. However if we are to prosper as an industry we need to modernise the current system and Future Print provides the resources for this to happen,” he says. “We have many businesses who want these changes and I urge them to make contact with me so that we can discuss the benefits of participating.”

    Businesses will operate in ‘precincts’ or groups which together will be able to support 15 new apprentices for the two years the project will operate. Each precinct will be supported by a project adviser who will have a range of roles including assisting businesses to select and appoint the best apprentices, mentoring the apprentices during their training, liaising with the Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and assisting employers through the system.

    The second project manager, Dov Hirst, from the AMWU will be overseeing the induction and management of the five project advisers who start with the project later in August.

    “We have recruited a talented team of advisers based around Australia who will support the businesses and apprentices and be the key person ensuring that the training delivered to and the progression of the apprentice is what the business and apprentice require,” says Hirst.

    Each precinct will have an RTO which will provide the training of the apprentices employed within that precinct.

    “We have briefed nine RTOs that have traditionally worked in the industry and they’ve been asked to put in an expression of interest in the project,” says Grace. “We are confident that these training providers will design a robust and sustainable training system for the future of the industry.

    Future Print is set to play a large part in the industry over the coming years. The initial project is being funded by $4.5 million government grant and is the first of two such projects that the combined forces of Printing Industries and the AMWU are working on. While the current project is focusing on the apprentices, the second project, which is still in the process of securing government funding, will focus on the employers.

    “This project seeks support to assist businesses in the industry to develop strategic plans that map their future and to up-skill the employees in these business in a broader range of skills than the apprenticeship project does,” says Grace. “Skills such as innovation, lean manufacturing and front-line management will be the focus of this second project.”

    Briefings will be held in each of the regions to be targeted by the project in the coming month. Please see the side bar for details and register your interest at the projects’ website:

  • Issue 587 – 31 July 2013

    This week, a new $4.5 million government-sponsored joint project between Printing Industries and the AMWU is working to overhaul Australia’s print apprentice training structure. Also, Manroland Sheetfed owner, Tony Langley, says global offset overcapacity is slowing the company’s return to market prominence. And, it is ‘business as usual’ for New Zealand printers following Wellington’s magnitude 6.5 earthquake just over a week ago.


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  • Government protects small print players with late payment review

    The Federal Government is working help protect small to medium industry players by tackling Australia’s ‘late payment culture’, calling for public feedback on its proposed Prompt Payment Protocol. 

    The federal government’s department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education released the Australian Prompt Payment Protocol Discussion Paper this month, and is now calling for industry feedback and comments on the proposed introduction of a Prompt Payment Protocol in Australia to help determine the development and implementation of the scheme.

    The move could see small to medium sized printers all over the country, as well as some larger players, protected against the cashflow problems that can arise from late payment of debts – a trend that has seen its fair share of casualties in the local printing industry.

    According to credit reporting firm, Dun & Bradstreet, 90 per cent of small business failures are caused by poor cash flow. Small businesses represent almost 96 per cent of all businesses in Australia, and many face an inherent imbalance of bargaining power when dealing with large companies.

    “Late payments between businesses have a negative impact on competitiveness,” – Gary Gray, Minister for Small Business.

    In a joint statement, Gary Gray (pictured), Minister for Small Business, and Bernie Ripoll, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business, said: “We are pleased to release for comment this discussion paper seeking stakeholder views on an Australian Prompt Payment Protocol to help strengthen small business payment terms, cash flow and business-to-business relationships.

    “In the current economic climate, small businesses are facing the challenges of global economic uncertainty, the high Australian dollar and tight cashflow. Cashflow in particular is essential to the prosperity and health of small businesses. Late payments between businesses have a negative impact on competitiveness and increase the costs of doing business. Conversely, on time payments help businesses to unlock greater opportunities for investment to grow their business and to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations.”

    According to the paper, a staggering $19 billion annually is locked away from businesses beyond the widely accepted 30-day payment term. The paper also says that late payment adds financial and administrative costs, reduces the potential for investment opportunities, damages business relationships and fuels business uncertainty. This weakening effect on businesses, particularly small businesses, compromises their competitiveness and survival.

    It is no secret that the culture of late payment has been endemic in the local printing industry for years, with some prominent companies going so far as to publicly include lengthy payment into its trading terms.

    In early July, Colorpak told suppliers it was instigating new payment terms that will see suppliers’ invoices from the beginning of August onwards paid 60 days from the end of month of the their lodgement – effectively up to 90 days from invoice lodgement, and well in excess of the widely accepted 30-day payment term as stated by the Government.

    To help combat the knock-on damage that can be caused by exposure to lengthy payment periods, the Protocol aims to foster a broad change in Australia’s late payment culture by establishing core principles that set the benchmark for good payment practices.

    It is targeting business-to-business late payments without introducing extra regulation. The Protocol will not only encourage companies to publicly commit to paying on time, but also enable small businesses to leverage better contracting behaviours and strengthen overall business relationships.

    The paper outlines the key design features of the Protocol that will help encourage a necessary shift in Australia’s late payment culture. It canvasses a range of implementation options to ensure the Protocol is capable of delivering real benefits to business.

    The government says it has already undertaken initial consultation with a range of key stakeholders, including peak bodies and small business groups, and hopes the paper will help generate feedback on the key design and implementation issues of the Protocol.

    To find out more about the Prompt Payment Protocol or provide feedback for the Australian Prompt Payment Protocol Discussion Paper, click here. The closing date for written submissions on the Protocol closes on 23 August 2013.

  • Konica Minolta gives bizhub series the multi-touch edge

    Konica Minolta is building on the award-winning bizhub range of printers with the new bizhub C754e series, which features expanded multi-touch functionality and more flexible keypad and software options.

    The expanded multi-touch functionality now supports swiping from one menu screen to another, swiping from one function to another, drag and drop to easily move and rearrange thumbnail pages of a file, pinch in and out to enlarge and reduce scanned images in the preview screens and a rotation feature that allows you to move an image to the desired angle.

    Chris Goult (pictured), group product manager, Konica Minolta, says: “We are thrilled with the new additions to the bizhub C754e series.  These new features follow the release of the bizhub C554e models and set the bar for revolutionary multi-touch control panels and a new benchmark in usability.

    “The new e series allows users to create Word, Excel and PowerPoint presentations directly from the MFP touch panel which is more convenient, enabling scanned documents to be converted to text searchable documents that can then be edited as required,” he says.

    This latest high performing multifunction series from Konica Minolta offers one of the lowest energy consumptions available and a reduced environmental impact. The impressively low power consumption is achieved through LED scanner lighting, 3 watt sleep and 0.5 watt power save mode, an innovative dynamic eco-time and in built sensor.

    Efficiency is not compromised as Warp technology achieves a fast warm up time of 22 seconds or less and one of the fastest First Copy Out Times of 5.3 seconds for colour and 3.6 seconds for monochrome.

    Other best-in-class features include  SRA3 capability of up to 300gsm, 1200 dpi print resolution for reproducing small text and fine lines, single pass dual scanning up to 180 opm, as well as the industry’s only compact finisher that can employ a colour 3-sheet Tri-fold function, perfect for automating the collation of multi-page mailings. An optional EFI Fiery Controller is available for environments with workflow and colour management requirements.

  • “Small printing industry businesses are too big to ignore” – PIAA

    The Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) has joined the campaign to unite the many voices of small business around Australia and help change the attitudes and actions of politicians and governments by showing them that, together, small business is too big to ignore.   

    The Small Business. Too Big to Ignore campaign welcomed the many thousands of small businesses in Australia’s print, packaging, communication and information sectors.

    Bill Healey, Printing Industries CEO. 

    At the heart of the campaign is a genuine grass roots movement, driven by social media and an innovative online social media hub that dynamically brings together posts and images at

    Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Chief Executive Peter Anderson said: “The print, packaging, communication and information sectors are part of a rapidly evolving industry, with many small businesses needing as much relief as possible from red tape and heavy handed government.

    “Small business has drawn a line in the sand with this campaign and is sending a message loud and clear to Canberra that small business is too big to ignore,” he said.

    Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey (pictured) said: “The vast majority of our members are small businesses and they share the broader concerns of small business about being overtaxed, over-regulated and overlooked by government.

    “Small printing industry businesses are too big to ignore, so we are joining the campaign to make a big noise for small business in Canberra” he said.

  • Changing industry prompts SGIAA name change

    The rapidly changing dynamic of the local printing industry is prompting one of the local market’s leading industry associations, the SGIAA, to change its full name to ‘Specialty Graphics Imaging Association of Australia’.

    The decision to change the association’s name from its former ‘Screen and Graphic Imaging Association of Australia’ to the new title was made at the organisation’s annual general meeting in Sydney in late March – with the legal name change catching up this month.

    For Clem Johnson (pictured), president of the SGIAA, the move was made to encompass the changing nature of the technology in the sector and member organisations involved with the association.

    “As technology has evolved,” says Johnson, “the SGIAA membership has broadened to include a range of organisations seeking to take advantage of the extensive technical resources we offer through our international affiliations with FESPA and SGIA.

    “While companies such as signmakers, graphic display, apparel and promotional companies serve diverse markets, they all add value through digital, screen and other diverse forms of graphic imaging. SGIAA seeks to ensure that our members have a technical and business advantage in the area of graphic imaging, regardless of the markets they serve,” he says.

    It has taken a few months for the legal side of the name change to take effect. SGIAA says it is pleased to now officially announce the change of name.

    The association also announced its categories in the SGIAA 2013 Digital and Print Awards, expanding the list to include 26 specialised categories.

    An extra seven categories have been added to reflect the changing nature of the industry concerning digital imaging and textiles (categories 7, 10 and 19) and the changing practice of screen printing outside of the industry by students, and fine arts professionals (22, 23).

    Also new is the official inclusion of the Facebook People’s Choice Award (25) along with the new SGIAA Young Achiever’s Award (24).

    Extra mention will go to those filling out the Management Sustainable Practices addendum included with this year’s entry forms. This is a compulsory section for those entering the Project Management: Digital or Screen Category (9), but an optional section for all other categories.

    The intention of this section is to give due credit to businesses who take a positive long-term approach toward producing their award entries that results in an improvement or reflection upon their current business practices.

    For the full list of entry categories visit Entries can be submitted from August 1.

  • Spandex global chief picks local wrapped fridge winners

    Rodney W. Larson, the worldwide CEO of Spandex Group, was in Australia last week and the local team headed by Alex McClelland, persuaded Rod to draw the second five winners of Spandex-Avery Dennison limited-edition wrapped fridges.

    “It was great to have Rod here at Spandex Asia-Pacific HQ,” says McClelland; “and he got right into the fun spirit of this promotion, which runs until September. This month, the wrapped fridges are heading far and wide; from Broome in WA to Yatala in Queensland and in-between.”

    Spandex CEO Rod Larson (L) with local managing director Alex McClelland (R) and the barrel used for the draw.

    The July winners who will each receive a hand-wrapped 240-litre Westinghouse fridge are:

    Mcintosh Signs – Bendigo VIC

    Regal Displays – Edwardstown SA

    BK Sign – Broome WA

    Young Graphics – Redfern NSW

    FTD Graphics – Yatala QLD

    “I am delighted to perform this duty while here with our team in Australia,” said Larson. “It’s the kind of thing a CEO rarely gets to do, so I congratulate all of the winners and I hope the wrapped refrigerators give much pleasure to our customers!”

    There are still two months to go and ten more wrapped fridges to win; all that any Spandex customer has to do is buy an Avery Dennison product from Spandex.  If the order exceeds $300, two entries are automatically awarded – it’s that simple.

    Anyone wishing to enter should click here: 

  • PIAA eases member access with new website

    The Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries) is launching a new business services and information website,, providing a one-stop centre for cost cutting services and information members can use to improve their bottom line.

    Joe Kowalewski (pictured), Printing Industries national director, Communications and Marketing, said the website, which is a mini site within the Association’s existing, replaces the previous third party-managed printers buying group.

    “We have taken heed of feedback on issues and the services our members value and need and made changes accordingly – beginning with easier access,” said Kowalewski. “From our members’ perspective, dual logins are gone and they can access exclusive deals and information with their existing membership logins. From our perspective, we control the site and can be far more dynamic and up-to-date with services and related information.

    “This includes the use of webinars, a program we began earlier this year, which will see webinar content added to relevant service and information areas in the Better Business site. Our goal is not only to provide great cost saving deals, but to complement this with webinars, services and knowledge that is readily accessible and useful for our members to use across a range of areas in their business,” he said.

    Peter Mansfield, Printing Industries general manager, Member Services and State Manager SA/NT, who has taken on the role of managing service provider relationships, said several new services had been added to meet the expectations and needs of members, and several less popular ones dropped.

    “Our program of ongoing review has resulted in the introduction of a significant new range of cost saving services based on the expressed needs of our members including marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), business appraisal and sales, finance, corporate health insurance, credit management and EFTPOS services,” he said. “We have expanded our energy cost service to cover the whole energy efficiency area, including equipment energy usage monitoring focused on providing members with longer-term and sustainable cost benefits.

    “Succession planning is a high priority for many companies, so we have formed a relationship with Ascent Partners to provide services and advice in the business transition area so that they can forward plan, know their options and be realistic about what can be achieved,” he said.

    Previous services retained in Better Business include software, Marsh insurance solutions; Media Super superannuation; Sustainable Green Print (SGP) environmental certification; discounted VW vehicle purchasing; Employers Mutual (NSW & SA only) specialist workers compensation services; Printing Industries Musculoskeletal Injury prevention and management resources.

    Mansfield said he welcomed any new ideas from members for new services and can be contacted via

    The new website can be accessed here

  • A flash Australian first for Flash Graphics

    Sydney’s Flash Graphics is the first print house in Australia to take on a SEAL 65 Pro MD laminator, after ordering the unit, which is billed as ‘the most advanced laminator in the world’ from local distributor, Starleaton.

    The first Australian sale of the new machine comes eight months after Starleaton sold its first 65 Pro MD into the New Zealand market late last year.

    Fredrik Udén, general manager of the Marrickville-based sign and display specialist, Flash Graphics, said that his company has used other SEAL laminators for some years, but the new unit’s speed and more economical floor space prompted the decision to buy the new machine.

    “We still do quite a bit of hot laminating; we often print on paper stock where the hot laminating process gives the paper a certain rigidity along with pristine photographic quality for our Tuffline stands” he explained.

    “Apart from its vastly increased speed, which copes with the market’s ever decreasing lead times, the new unit has demonstrated fewer fluctuations and a vastly greater degree of control,” said Udén.

    According to Ben Eaton (pictured), Starleaton Digital Solutions’ general manager, the new laminating entrant created a sensation when first introduced in the US market late last year.

    “For sheer speed, the 65 Pro MD is unbeatable,” said Eaton. “It runs thermal laminate two to three times as fast as similar machines for high productivity laminating shops. Being designed and made in Neschen’s US factory, the build and quality are simply outstanding.”

    At 1,651mm wide (65 inches), 65 Pro MD it is 76mm wider than previous SEAL PRO models. A new easy-to-use touchscreen control panel puts all adjustments at the operator’s fingertips – from both sides of the machine, thanks to the swivel-arm mount.

    According to Eaton, the bi-directional operation allows hot and cold laminating jobs to be run consecutively without needing to wait for the front rollers to cool down. Precise nip and temperature are displayed on the LCD panel for total control.

    For Udén, the new machine has substantially increased the turnaround for a large number of the company’s jobs.

    “The jobs which yesterday have a two or three day turnaround will virtually be instantaneous,” he said. “Speed and price will be a given, and the quality has to come with it.”

    The sale of the new machine to Flash Graphics comes as Starleaton undergoes a major rebranding, with the company claiming a new logo and refurbished headquarters in Sydney’s Brookvale.

    “It’s been ten years since we refreshed our logo and brand, and we decided that a fresh look would take us into the next phase of our business, especially with the new generation of people who are now in the industry,”said Eaton. “We think it has a little more currency in this new market. We’ve done a lot of development inside the company to be the premier supplier of a total solution for digital professionals.

    “We’ve spent over 12 months developing a full suite of products that are easy to apply, easy to install, and that deliver a higher profit at the end of each job. We’ve expanded our product range to over 2,000 lines, so we can provide innovative products for specialised jobs, while at the same time carrying all the commodity lines,” he said.

  • Two Sides challenges paper-free billing

    Following local public backlash over the Australian Tax Office’s decision to withdraw this year’s Tax Pack from newsagents in favour of an ‘opt in’ service, paper and print lobby group Two Sides has discovered that most people still prefer paper-based communications from government and private companies alike.

    In an international survey from Two Sides carried out by research company, Toluna, 2,500 consumers were asked their opinion on a variety of billing and statement related issues with a focus on the present supplier pressure to switch to electronic bills and statements; ‘e-billing’.

    The survey unveiled that:

    -60 per cent of consumers would not choose a company that did not offer a paper bill.

    -12 per cent of consumers and 20 per cent of 25 – 34 year-olds, say they have switched to a new provider when a charge for paper based bills was imposed.

    -8 per cent of consumers and 16 per cent of 25 – 34 year olds, say they have switched providers because paper bills were withdrawn.

    -57 per cent of consumers overall, 66 per cent of 18 – 25 year olds, and 60 per cent of 25 -34 year olds, believe a paper bill option is still quite or very important when choosing a new supplier.

    -93 per cent of consumers say they are unwilling to pay for paper bills.

    -89 per cent of consumers want to be able to switch between paper and e-bills without difficulty and cost.

    -42 per cent prefer to receive financial services bills by post only and 37 per cent prefer to receive utility bills by post only. For financial services, post is the preferred option overall.

    -21 per cent of consumers would refuse to switch to electronic bills and statements when asked to do so.

    -69 per cent of consumers say that postal bills offer better record keeping and 65 per cent say they are easier to check.

    -48 per cent state that postal bills offer more security and 46 per cent say bills and statements printed on paper are easier to read than off a screen.

    The survey found that consumers are suspicious of environmental claims and appear confused by the environmental arguments used in the promotion of e-billing. Statements such as, “Go Green, Go Digital”, “Save Trees, Go Paperless” can do damage to corporate reputations.

    Martyn Eustace (pictured), director of Two Sides, said: “The Survey shows that whilst electronic billing and statements are now becoming a standard billing method, consumers still want hard copy by post, or a combination of post and e-mail, and there are signs of frustration, from a significant section of consumers, with the tactics used to move consumers from post to e-mail. There is also mistrust of the motivation behind the pressure to switch”

    The survey reveals that billers face a danger of losing customers if consumers are pushed unwillingly to move to e-billing or subjected to cost penalties. A majority of consumers declare they will not choose companies that do not offer paper bills and are unconvinced about misleading environmental claims.

    “E-billing can be convenient however consumers are seeing through the dubious reasons billers give for changing to e-bills, such as ‘better for the environment’, and realise that their bill provider is just seeking to reduce costs. With 38 per cent of consumers, now at their cost, printing all or some of their bills, the term ‘paper free billing’ must be challenged,” said Eustace.

    The survey comes as a new coalition of consumers in the US, called ‘Consumers for Paper Options’ is biting back against the US government’s efforts to go paperless with its public communications materials.

    According to Kathi Rowzie, Two Sides guest blogger, the move looks set to particularly affect the country’s senior population, which does not have the same level of access to computers and the online community as younger generations.

    Certainly, the majority of feedback Print21 received following the news that the Australian Tax Office had removed the Tax Pack from newsagents was from retirees unable to go online to order a copy of the publication.

  • Heidelberg unleashes digital flexibility

    Heidelberg is unleashing its complete digital potential and bolstering its local digital profile, offering customers in Australia and New Zealand a new package which includes a range of Linoprint configurations along with your choice of a Polar guillotine. 

    Although Heidelberg may be renowned globally as the largest offset press manufacturer in the world, the company has been driving its digital offering over the past few years and now local businesses can offer the full flexibility of Heidelberg’s digital offering from start to finish.

    The deal allows customers to select the best Linoprint digital configuration to suit the needs of their business with the post-press option of the Polar range of digital guillotines, including the Polar models 56/66/80 ECO as well as the new Guillo-Crease addition.

    The local package deal comes following last year’s announcement at drupa of the global partnership between Heidelberg and Linoprint manufacturer, Ricoh.

    In April this year, the company announced that the partnership had made its way to the Australian and New Zealand market, with the Linoprint Digital Press range ands the Prinect Digital Print Manager system available to local customers as a single package.

    Now, Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand (HAN) has expanded its offering to also include the Polar range of digital automatic guillotines along with its range of Linoprint presses, including the Linoprint C651, C751 & C901.

    In April, Richard Timson, HAN managing director, said the local introduction of the partnership between Heidelberg and Ricoh paves the way for local printers to claim genuine integration of digital print into offset operations.

    “This is a unique opportunity for true digital print integration into the offset workflow. It’s not about adding another machine that is independent to the workflow. Rather it is about print shops benefitting from workflow management advances which will turn the focus back to printing profitably by utilising the right press for the right job,” he said.

    According to Heidelberg, Polar high-speed cutters meet the highest demands regarding quality, efficiency and durability. The high-speed cutter can be employed both as an individual machine, or as the center piece of an automatic cutting system for processing paper, paperboard, cardboard or plastics.

    Brian Evans, Heidelberg’s local product manager, Post Press, says that the Polar guillotine offering can enable printers to substantially decrease their turnaround times. Additionally, the three guillotines claim the safest knife change systems, which are all backed by full Heidelberg service.

    Meanwhile, the Polar Guillo-Crease system allows the user to convert the cutter into a creaser by replacing the cutting stick, with a male and female creasing set-up. According to Evans, the system is ideal for digital output.

    “It’s a device that can be used on any one of those three Polar machines,” says Evans. “You can take out the cutting stick and replace it with the Gillo-Crease. It’s like a cutting stick but it’s got a groove in it with the male side magnetised and stuck to the underside of the clamp. It comes with four different versions of female side, so we can cover a wide range of stock weights.

    On the digital printing side of things, the Linoprint C 751 is well suited to entry-level digital color production. With outstanding image quality and an exceptional functionality, it offers a very high specifications level and the best reliability in its class. In short, the Linoprint C 751 boasts cost-effective production for very short runs and variable data, workflow integration via the Prinect Digital Print Manager and print speeds of up to 75 A4 pages per minute on media up to 300 gsm. The oil-free PxP toner ensures optimum image quality plus the ability to perform further post-production processes.

    Additionally, the Linoprint C 901 is an advanced digital color production system for highly productive output. It can process a very wide range of printing materials and exhibits impressive versatility, scalability and performance. The flexible workflow, reliable substrate feed & excellent registration, are ideal for all your short run colour needs.

    The press boasts cost-effective production, workflow integration via the Prinect Digital Print Manager and the fastest printing speed in its class (at a rated speed of 90 A4 pages per minute on media up to 300 gsm in perfecting printing, i.e. duplex mode). The oil-free PxP toner ensures optimum image quality as well as the ability to celloglaze, die-cut, emboss or embellish.

    Contact your local Heidelberg representative for more information about this new bundle offering.

  • KBA purchase backs packaging printing push

    KBA (Koenig & Bauer) is backing its packaging printing push with the proposed acquisition of German packaging printing equipment manufacturer, Kammann Machines.

    The deal, which sees the world’s second largest offset press manufacturer take an 85 per cent stake in Kammann, follows hot on the heels of KBA’s planned takeover of Italian press manufacturer, Flexotecnica, in February.

    Kammann Machines, based in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, claims it is the world’s largest supplier of graphic screen equipment and had provided offset print and converting solutions for over 50 years. Its packaging print products are primarily used for hollow articles such as bottles, optical discs and web materials.

    The company also has a substantial service business. In systems for directly decorating glass containers, Kammann is the global market leader. The firm, which has almost no own production facilities, was founded in 1955 and has a total of 175 employees. In 2012 it generated annual sales of over €30m (A$43.3m) and posted a net profit.

    The acquisition, which is still subject to some conditions, sees Kammann’s two managing directors continue to hold a 15 per cent stake in the company, while KBA is set to claim the 85 per cent that has, until now, been held by private equity firm, Perusa, in Munich.

    According to KBA, the move to take on packaging printing companies such as Kammann with the aim of expanding its footing in the sector is a bid to counteract the shrinking sales volume of web presses for publications heavily affected by the advance of online media.

    Although KBA is ranked as the second-largest offset press manufacturer in the world after arch rival, Heidelberg, the company comes first in the packaging sector – which Heidelberg is now also working to push into further as it continues its strategy to return to profit.

    Now, with KBA announcing its second packaging print equipment manufacturer acquisition so far this year, it is clear the company is working to maintain its lead in the packaging landscape.

    It is not clear at this stage whether KBA’s impending majority stake in Kammann, which is currently distributed locally by Melbourne’s Plastequipment International, will result in distribution in Australia and New Zealand being taken on by KBA Australia.

  • Heidelberg fundraiser for Ricky Bannister

    Ricky Bannister, who worked with Heidelberg for 18 years, suffered a major spinal injury in April after a horse-riding accident. To help Ricky and his family Heidelberg is hosting a fundraising event on 20 August (see details at end).

    Richard Timson, Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand managing director  said: “Everyone was shocked when news of Ricky’s accident broke. Ricky is well known and liked throughout the industry and we are keen to do anything we can to support him and his family in this incredibly difficult time. The printing industry is fantastic at coming together to support its own and I am confident that the funds we raise will make a sound contribution to his ongoing care.”

    Ricky suffered severe trauma to his spine and the current prognosis is that he will be a quadriplegic. Ricky and his wife Emily are expecting their first child in September. Please support this fundraiser and book your table now.

    David “Kingy” King, former North Melbourne champion and Fox Footy commentator, will MC the event, Jordan Bannister – AFL umpire, former Carlton and Essendon player and Ricky’s brother, will be a special guest for the event.

    Heidelberg veteran, Ricky Bannister (L) with Emily, his wife.

    Fundraiser for Ricky Bannister:

    Sette Bello Restaurant

    540 Springvale Road

    Glen Waverley

    Tuesday 20th August

    12:15pm for 12:30pm start

    Concludes 2.30pm

    2 course lunch, beer and wine $175 per head


    Call Elizabeth Harper on 03 9263 3341

    or email


  • Quark lays down future with QuarkXPress 10 release

    Quark is laying the foundation for future features of its once industry-leading desktop publishing software with the release of its latest version, QuarkXPress 10, which the company claims is ‘thoroughly modernising’ the popular platform.

    “This has been a monumental undertaking by the development team to thoroughly modernize QuarkXPress in terms of the application environment, architecture, user interface, and graphics engine,” said Dave White (pictured), chief technology officer for Quark, upon the announcement of the new version of 24 July. “We’re excited not only for this release, but also the foundation that has been put in place for future QuarkXPress features.”

    According to Quark, the new version of the graphic design and page layout software is for designers who love print and live digital. QuarkXPress 10 includes Quark’s new Xenon Graphics Engine, Retina display support for Apple Mac Book users, a modern architecture, and over fifty feature enhancements that streamline the design process and improve the design experience.

    In fact, every element of QuarkXPress 10 has been optimized to take full advantage of high-resolution Retina displays found on the new Mac Book Pro.

    It also continues support for ePub and out-of-the-box HTML5 authoring tools for App StudioTM, the leading cloud-based HTML5 solution for creating award-winning tablet and smartphone experiences.

    QuarkXPress 10 is the first version of QuarkXPress to run as a native Cocoa app. Cocoa is the current and preeminent application environment for Mac OS X. Being a Cocoa app brings a number of benefits to QuarkXPress 10, including the ability to leverage the latest OS X features, maximize performance, and rapidly support new OS X releases.

    In migrating QuarkXPress to Cocoa, the development team updated half a million lines of code, added 350,000 new lines of code, created more than 500 dialogues and palettes in multiple languages and incorporated 1,300 icons to enable Retina display resolutions.

    Quark says that it has engineered a new, state-of-the-art graphics engine from the ground up that will be leveraged across a range of its products, starting with QuarkXPress 10.

    The new Xenon Graphics Engine renders rich PDFs, Photoshop and TIFF images, and uses its Adaptive Resolution feature to deliver designers the most appropriate onscreen resolution with maximum performance.

    The company says that the difference between viewing pixel and vector files in QuarkXPress 10 versus QuarkXPress 9 is ‘stunning’. The Xenon Graphics Engine enables native and deep understanding of image and vector files , adaptive resolution, rich understanding of PDFs and takes full advantage of the latest processor technology.

    Unlike many of Quark’s other recent subscription-only Creative Cloud software releases, the new QuarkXPress 10 package is available as a standard perpetual software licence direct fro Quark and authorized resellers.

  • Heidelberg holds fundraiser for Ricky Bannister

    Ricky Bannister, who worked with Heidelberg for 18 years, suffered a major spinal injury in April after a horse-riding accident. To help Ricky and his family Heidelberg is hosting a fundraising event on 20 August (see details at end).

    Richard Timson, Heidelberg Australia and New Zealand managing director  said: “Everyone was shocked when news of Ricky’s accident broke. Ricky is well known and liked throughout the industry and we are keen to do anything we can to support him and his family in this incredibly difficult time. The printing industry is fantastic at coming together to support its own and I am confident that the funds we raise will make a sound contribution to his ongoing care.”

    Ricky suffered severe trauma to his spine and the current prognosis is that he will be a quadriplegic. Ricky and his wife Emily are expecting their first child in September. Please support this fundraiser and book your table now.

    David “Kingy” King, former North Melbourne champion and Fox Footy commentator, will MC the event, Jordan Bannister – AFL umpire, former Carlton and Essendon player and Ricky’s brother, will be a special guest for the event.

    Heidelberg veteran, Ricky Bannister (L) with Emily, his wife.

    Fundraiser for Ricky Bannister:

    Sette Bello Restaurant

    540 Springvale Road

    Glen Waverley


    Tuesday 20th August

    12:15pm for 12:30pm start

    Concludes 2.30pm

    2 course lunch, beer and wine $175 per head


    Call Elizabeth Harper on 03 9263 3341

    or email