Archive for October, 2013

  • Lindsay Barnes steps up as GM Fujifilm Graphics

    Former Heidelberg stalwart is making the shift from Melbourne to Sydney’s northern beaches to take on the point role for one of the largest suppliers to the printing industry in Australia.

    The well-known industry identity is a 17-year veteran with Heidelberg, most recently as national manager products and business development. No stranger to most aspects of the graphic arts, Barnes is taking on a role that has proved to be a bit of a revolving door in recent times.  He is replacing Sturt Eastwood, who after three years is leaving for a position outside the industry. Before that, another former Heidelberg blue blood, Juergen Krufczyk, held the position for two years.

    Barnes appears to be the ideal candidate as Fujifilm moves further beyond its traditional zones of printing plates and CTP into wide format equipment. He brings a necessary sales focus to the role as the competition heats up.

    He was welcomed to the company by Kevin Masuda, CEO, who congratulated him on his appointment. “Lindsay has produced an impressive portfolio of achievements in his 20 year professional career and with his deep industry experience we are delighted to welcome Lindsay to the Fujifilm team.”

    Barnes says he is excited about taking up the role. “Fujifilm is recognised as a market-leading supplier to the printing and graphics industry and I am looking forward to working closely with the team and our clients and leading Fujifilm Graphics in its next phase of growth.

  • New varnish ink for HP Scitex Enhanced Color Pack

    The new ink allows HP Scitex FB7500/FB7600 Industrial Press owners to add spot or full varnish, create embossed text and images, as well as expand the colour gamut.Additionally, the integrated varnish ink helps protect against rubbing, scratches and water damage while creating cost and workflow efficiencies. The HP FB225 Varnish Scitex Ink is expected to be available worldwide on 1st November, 2013.

    In recent years, many large-format print shops have transformed their business models, offering new high-value applications and seeking to avoid commoditisation. This transformation has been driven by technology advances that help PSPs move beyond sign and display to a diverse range of applications. No matter the market, clients increasingly demand high-quality output with faster turnaround times, requiring PSPs to embrace the flexibility and versatility of digital to remain successful.

    “Large-format PSPs are working in a changing marketplace, challenging them to step outside of their application comfort zone to meet client demand,” said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, Large-Format Sign and Display Division, HP. “HP is introducing a variety of new offerings at SGIA to help our customers meet production demands, while also empowering them to confidently move into high-value markets, such as retail, interior décor and fleet graphics.”

    Enhancements, certifications for higher-value Latex applications

    Helping PSPs capture share of the growing custom wall décor market, the HP WallArt Solution now includes a feature to create canvas projects.(5) This easy-to-use, cloud-based web service provides print-ready files and step-by-step installation instructions, allowing PSPs to design themselves or work with customers through the cloud to produce customised interior décor applications, including mounted canvas prints and wallcoverings.

    The new HP FB225 Scitex Varnish Ink allows HP Scitex FB7500/FB7600 Industrial Press owners to add spot or full varnish, create embossed text and images, as well as expand the colour gamu

    The 3M MCS Warranty, widely recognised as the industry’s most comprehensive finished graphics warranty, is now available for HP Latex 881 Inks and the HP Latex 3000 Printer when using approved 3M films. Combining the quality and flexibility of HP Latex Inks with the 3M MCS Warranty, which covers fading, cracking and peeling, the new offering helps PSPs secure business with discerning vehicle and fleet graphics customers without paying a premium for specialty inks.

    Additionally, HP is introducing two new canvas substrates, HP Premium Satin Canvas and HP Everyday Satin Canvas, producing vivid colours, sharp details and broadening the colour gamut. Ideal for interior décor and fine art applications, both canvas substrates are easy to handle for fast post-production finishing. For retail signage and backlit displays, the new heavyweight HP Backlit Polyester Film achieves vibrant colours and denser blacks with better scratch resistance, as well as improved durability than previous backlit solutions. Designed for HP Latex printers, these expanded media options are now available worldwide through licensing partner Brand Management Group.

    New workflow offerings for seamless, end-to-end production

    Increasing production efficiencies, the HP SmartStream Production Analyzer 2.0 for HP Scitex Industrial Presses includes improvements to the job dashboard and job summary report, as well as the ability to set productivity targets. With a more detailed dashboard interface, operators can record notes, giving production managers a complete picture of job production. Additionally, the job report summary groups all related projects together to be viewed and exported to management information systems software for further analysis.

    Compatible with HP Latex and Scitex printers and presses, the HP Scitex Caldera GrandRIP+ Software solution now includes EasyMedia Module, Caldera’s integrated International Color Consortium (ICC) profile builder based on Xrite i1Prism V2 technology. Caldera EasyMEDIA allows users to create ICC profiles, creating a smoother workflow with enhanced colour consistency across output.

  • Re-manufacturing print’s future – Andy McCourt’s ReVerb

    The news that Electrolux is closing its Orange, NSW factory, the last refrigerator manufacturing plant in Australia, (the country that invented modern refrigeration in 1854 by James Harrison in Geelong), is yet another apparent nail in manufacturing’s coffin and testimony to decades of poor government policy, neglect, industrial short-sightedness and global pressures.

    Ford has also announced it will cease manufacturing cars in Australia by 2017. Food and clothing are not immune from the trend, with the well-publicised exit from domestic manufacturing by Pacific Brands; custodians of Bond’s, King Gee, Berlei and Hard Yakka. Kraft closed 2 biscuit factories in Melbourne in 2011 and shifted production to China. Tetra Pak now prints all of its ‘brik’ cartons in Thailand: – the list goes on. How much print follows the exits of these manufacturers is anyone’s guess.

    Of course we must be an importing nation if we are to be a successful exporting one and enjoy a balance of trade in our favour. With metals, coal, oil and natural gas accounting for around 54% of our exports (source: ABS); around 14% for Rural production and a steadily growing 20% for Services it does not leave a lot for Manufacturing and other merchandise.

    The overall trend is for Resources and Services to be increasing in exports and Rural, Manufacturing and other merchandise to be decreasing. By 1960, Manufacturing accounted for 29% of Australian GDP; today it is well below 10% and the bar charts continue to shrink.

    Hope amidst the gloom

    Amidst this gloomy scenario for manufacturing, there is one category that can hold its head up as retaining relevance, employment, innovation and diversity, despite taking a battering along with other manufacturing sectors. Call me a madman but I say it is Printing and all of its allied processes.

    The Australian Printing industry today is making sales of approximately $7.5 billion before value added. The true figure could be up to 30% higher than this as so much ‘printing’ goes unreported as part of other processes or performed in IT environments. This figure never fails to dismay the sceptics because they relate print to newspapers, magazines and books – things that they see and touch in their own lives and are information media – based. In any city, we are never more than a metre or so away from something printed.

    The label on the bottle, the sign by the roadside, the logo on the shirt, the circuitry inside the smartphone, the barcode on the product, the use-by date on the food: print is everywhere. Approximately 5,800 businesses employ around 45,000 directly in printing (about the same as the car industry). When all of the ‘value-add’ is tacked on, such as pulp and paper manufacturing, converting and publishing, probably 110,000 jobs depend on printing and packaging is some way and the value-added industry is worth over $32 billion to the Australian economy.

    However, like all other manufacturing, the trend in recent years has been in decline. The GFC and Private Equity shenanigans have not helped but despite these and the Online/Mobile information juggernaut, printing continues to be a viable and progressive industry. Growth sectors such as outdoor signage, point-of-purchase, vehicle graphic wrapping, labels and emerging 3D and electronics printing offer identifiable future pathways. Adding services such as direct mail, fulfillment, re-purposing information to tablet and mobile devices, website development for e-commerce, digital asset management and creative consultancy provide bountiful prospects for those not content to stand still.

    It’s a good time to take stock and re-think what ‘the industry’ really comprises and what it should look like in 2020. We need to re-manufacture Australia’s third largest manufacturing industry, with ‘what if…?’ engraved in our minds.

    3D printing – an opportunity waiting to be missed?

    Stratasys uPrint SE industrial 3D printer

    Take 3D printing as an example. Those using it commercially to manufacture prototypes and short-run parts prefer to call it ‘additive manufacturing’ because they are presumably ashamed to be associated with ‘printing.’ I’ve got news for those folks – you’re stuck with 3D Printing; it’s already in the lexicon. 3D Printing evolved from inkjet and is on a near-vertical trajectory. Boeing is now using it to make may aircraft parts and there is a nascent trend in the USA for ‘contract 3D printing’ outlets where CAD files (such as Autodesk) are  sent in, pre-flighted much in the same way as PDFs are pre-flighted, and printed in short runs or one-offs. UPS has rolled out a handful of 3D Printing service centres using the Stratasys uPrint SE industrial printer.

    Online 3D prining is just becoming available, mostly for jewelry, novelties and prototypes. One, offers a cloud-based ‘2D to 3D’ file conversion so customers can create 3D objects from their own 2D designs. Another: is more industrial part focused and available in Melbourne and Sydney.

    Where are Australia and New Zealand printers with 3D technology? You know file preparation and inkjet – why not offer 3D services too? Here is a link to an excellent article “Can 3D Printing Save Australian Manufacturing?”

    Printers have one big advantage over other manufacturers in that the concept of making ‘just one’ or a few, at a profit, has been around since 1993. The Textile, Clothing and Footware sector for example struggled with this idea and is only just discovering digitally-printed textiles and short-run manufacturing. All it takes is a bit of lateral thinking and the courage to go beyond ‘marks on paper.’

    Printed electronics is another emerging field utilizing digital inkjet technology. At drupa 2012 a whole seminar was devoted to printed electronics and other ‘Functional Printing’ where the printed product acts as a device or interacts with the user.

    Core traditional printed products will of course continue to be used but in smaller numbers and with diminishing returns. The profit opportunities are in ‘Printing that feels like a Service.’  Someone somewhere wants just three copies of their Powerpoint presentation slides, for example. Someone somewhere wants 250 good quality labels for their home-made jam; a real estate agent wants 100 off-the-plan prospectuses by tomorrow morning – that kind of thing.

    It’s a hybrid world and printers who can re-manufacture their businesses by taking onboard new and diversified methods, creating whole new divisions that, while using core skills and technology, bear no resemblance to a ‘normal’ printshop – it is these printers who will do well and prosper. Tablet/xPad/Mobile publishing services and Apps would appear to be prime candidates.

    Our re-manufactured industry should look a whole lot different by 2020. If it doesn’t, it might not be there.

  • Issue 600 – 30 October 2013

    Congratulations! You’ve made it to hump day!

    This week we have the fall-out from the hotly anticipated PaperlinX AGM to digest. Wide-format titan Roland DG turns 25, and you’re invited to the party. Long-time rivals close ranks, and share a drink, at another industry birthday. PMP nets a cool $50 million to pay out (some of) its massive bank debt. And industry commentator Andy McCourt drops by to share his thoughts on the future of print.


    You’re one of almost 9,000 industry professionals in Australia and New Zealand who rely on Print21 to stay up to date. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook 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. 


    Thank you,

    Nicholas Pond – Print21 online editor

  • Esko Kongsberg C reinvents the wheel

    Esko unveiled the first of their completely redesigned Konsgberg digital finishing system at the SGIA 2013 Expo in Orlando, Florida, with the installs expected to begin early 2014.

    The new Esko Kongsberg C64, debuted at SGIA 2013 in Florida

    The first in an entirely new range of super-wide finishing tables, the Kongsberg C64 clocks in 3.2 metres wide and is a response to industry pressures for increased productivity, faster turnaround times, greater flexibility with a variety of materials. For the new Kongsberg C range Esko have gone back scratch and reinvented the wheel, tackling current industry challenges and requirements from first principles. Developed in close consultation with their extensive customer-base, Esko views the Kongsberg C as the fastest and most versatile table in its class.

    Tom Naess, Esko product manager CAM, explains, “This is not scaled up from a light duty finishing table – it’s a completely re-engineered platform after a decade of the highly successful and well-known Kongsberg X-series. We wanted to make sure that it was designed for 24/7 production and semi-industrial environments. Along the substantial flexibility, the new, wider format perfectly fits modern 3.2 metre wide format printers, working with wide rolls and wide sheets.”

    The Kongsberg C64 model works with 126” wide x 126” long (3.210 mm by 3.200 mm) materials, perfectly fitting modern wide format printers. Also available is the Kongsberg C60 model, accommodating 126” wide x 63” long (3.210 mm x 1.600 mm) sizes. Covering more than 10 feet across the table, a unique, extremely rigid, carbon-composite traverse beam assures excellent precision and supports high speed, fast acceleration, high quality creasing and exclusive, powerful 3kW milling capabilities. The Kongsberg C always produces high quality finishing results, with no left/right/middle variances due to traverse bending. Optimised for a wider range for more demanding materials, the production speed is able to remain constant through even the most complex jobs, without sacrificing quality or throughput.

    The Kongsberg C also offers strong versatility for all sign, display and packaging applications. New tool covers offer clean, fast changing of the full range of Kongsberg XP tooling. Customers no longer need to invest in different digital finishing devices for different applications, the Kongsberg C suits all production needs – rolls, sheets, corrugated, milling  – offering a more effective and smaller footprint solution than multiple system alternatives.

    Not only has the new solution been completely re-engineered, but the design has been fully reworked to apply to highest standards of industrial design and meet operators’ needs for ergonomics and safety. Despite its size, control for the Kongsberg C has been effectively streamlined, from a new, simple interface to the ease of replacing interchangeable tools on the table, helping to reduce operator error.

    The new workstation mounts on any corner of the machine. A new maneuvering concept places an integrated joystick and operator panel on the traverse. It can be mounted on either side of the table, and a second operator panel can also be added. For easy loading and unloading, the new conveyor option can be manually jogged in both directions.

  • Print21 Wide-Format eSpecial #1

    Wide-Format print is one of the highest profile and most innovative sectors of the printing industry. As more printers explore the potential of wide-format we’re sure the Print21 Wide-Format eSpecial will be a valuable source of up-to-the-minute information.


    Be sure to bookmark the landing page and drop back in every week to keep up to date with events and happenings in the fast-moving sector of wide-format print.


    Of course, for all other printing news, and the big breaking stories, you’ll still receive your weekly Print21 News Bulletin. We look forward to hearing from you and for any suggestions as to how we can further improve the news and information service to the printing industry of Australia and New Zealand.


    Nicholas Pond
    Online Editor

  • DYSS cuts to the chase with new X5

    DYSS launches their latest digital cutting table aimed at short run sample production. Distributed locally through Product Distribution Australia (PDA), the brand new X5 packs quite a punch, despite being optimised for small-scale operations targeting high speed and lower cost ratios.

    New DYSS X5 digital cutter

    Expanding on PDA’s already substantial range of wide format digital printing and cutting systems, the new DYSS X5 cutting tables handle sheet or roll media sizes from 950mm to 1650mm wide and lengths of 1250mm to over 3000mm

    A conveyor option provides unmatched flexibility to deal efficiently with longer media, and the multi-tool configuration allows many choices to precisely match your production requirements.

    Ideally suited to companies looking to match output from 1600mm wide format printers or from A3 to A0 sheet-fed presses, the X5 is an affordable solution to produce complex profile cut prototyping and production packaging, hard and soft labeling, all forms of self adhesive vinyl and rigid sheet work for all types of signage.

    The versatile X5 is Available with 8 kinds of tool, over 24 kinds of knife, and two tool positions in the head. Boasting world-class engineering and build quality, this latest offering from DYSS shows off the very latest innovations in digital cutting technology.

  • Once were rivals … now the best of mates

    According to Jeremiah Johnson, a man’s worth can be reckoned by the stature of his enemies and while it might be pushing it to ever describe Andrew Price and Bob McMillan as enemies, they were once fiercest competitors in the early days of print management.

    But it was all sweetness and light when the two came together at Price’s 50th birthday party at the Pelicano Bar in Sydney’s Double Bay last Saturday.

    Best of mates… Andrew Price and Bob McMillan

    Andrew Price’s 50th birthday bash turned out to be a significant gathering of the printing industry’s great and good (and not so good). Just up from Melbourne where he presided over PaperlinX’s annual general meeting on Friday, Price took time out to celebrate his half-century before flying back to London to continue culling the company’s top-heavy European numbers.

    Surrounded by family and friends the one-time king of print management and founder of Stream Solutions was in fine form, as he enjoyed a tribute from David Leach, Look Print (index photo) that detailed many of the highs and lows of a chequered career in printing. Once famous as the man printers loved to hate for his hard-nosed print management style, Price came across as a catalyst for change in the industry.

    When it came to replying to the birthday wishes, he singled out Bob McMillan as his béte noir in the days of their rivalry, the individual who was always ahead of him in the burgeoning print management business. McMillan was a pioneer in the sector, using his McMillan Printing as a foundation to introduce end-to-end print management across many industry sectors. It heralded a turbulent time of change for the industry, much of which is still reverberating.

    “You were always one step ahead of me, no matter what I did. Having to compete with you made me into a better business man,” said Price is a heartfelt tribute to the man who is now a firm friend.

    It just goes to show, even print managers have a heart.






  • Last orders for Victoria and SA PICA bash

    Time is running out to pick up your tickets for the Victorian PICA presentation dinner on Friday 8 November, and the South Australian presentation on 15 November.

    Bookings for the Victorian PICA at Melbourne’s Sofitel on Collins Ballroom close this Friday 1 November.

    If you are planning on attending the South Australia & NT event at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre you have until 6 November to order your tickets.

    Guests at the Melbourne event will be treated to the Legends Showcase, as Dean Martin, Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Tom Jones, Jim Morrison, Austin Powers and Elvis Presley himself take to the stage in a show-stopping line-up, lovingly brought to life by the talented Mark Andrew and his fabulous Show Girls and Show Band.

    Not to be topped, the Adelaide crowd will get swinging with the Lucky Seven, dubbed ‘Australia’s hottest swing band,with their repertoire of jazz, roots rock n’ roll and rockabilly.

    To reserve your table or tickets for the Victorian event go to or call Virginia Honeybone on (03) 8541 7320 or email:

    For the Adelaide event contact Peter or Kay on (08) 8373 0622 email A booking form can be downloaded here.

  • On your digital mark, Andy

    Mark Andy’s first hybrid digital solution will hit the ground running before the year is out, with an official series launch to follow early next year.

    The Digital Series hybrid UV inkjet system is pitched to handle mid-range label and packaging runs. Based on the successful Performance Series platform, the digital solution is designed to provide high-quality production print, customised to individual converter’s business process and cost model.

    The new Mark Andy Digital Series

    PJ Desai, CEO and president, Mark Andy, said, “As we expand into the world of digital printing for the label and packaging markets, Mark Andy simply continues to do what we do best as a company, provide the converter with the best solutions incorporating high-quality technical innovations that drive customer profitability.”

    In development for over a year now, the narrow web flexo specialists won’t yet be drawn on whose print head technology is being used in the new press, but it is said to be a supplier not currently used in the labels and packaging market.

    Jeff Feltz, director of business development, Mark Andy, said, “We reviewed the technical barriers to production level inkjet printing and believe we’ve overcome them with the Digital Series. We’ve selected the right technologies, utilised an experienced team and have incorporated flexibility in design. The Mark Andy Digital Series empowers converters to complete more jobs, producing more revenue and lowering production costs, on a system that they can configure to meet their specific needs.”

    The beta press set to land at a US site this December is 330mm wide with process colours and white digital inkjet, and a number of flexo stations. The full hybrid system is compatible with BOPP, PET, pressure-sensitive, tag and thin film materials, boasts 61m/minute production speeds and a native print resolution that stands up to prime label market standards. It retains the Performance Series’ motion control and web handling technology, but has been designed to seamlessly integrate all current finishing and converting options, including flexo, screen, die cutting and foiling.

    “For the hybrid concept to be justifiable, the digital portion of the solution cannot severely limit the overall speed of the process, otherwise a financial justification cannot be made,” says Feltz.

    The Digital Series is designed to be at least partly modular, allowing converters to mix and match finishing options while retaining the web transport system, and to upgrade the digital unit as the technology advances.

  • Fujifilm ride helps raise $4 million for cancer research

    Fujifilm puts its foot to the pedal in its ongoing support for the fight against cancer with its sponsorship of the recent Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer event.

    Over 1000 cyclists raised over $4 million by riding 200km over two days with each participant contributing a minimum of $2500 for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse cancer treatment and research facility. Fujifilm has sponsored the event for the past two years, with Fujifilm’s COO Dave Marshall himself riding for the cause last year.

    Dave Marshall said, “I consider it an honour to contribute to cancer research by participating in the event. It is safe, well-organised and fun, while making you feel good about yourself and those around you.

    “The charity is a great match for Fujifilm. We are particularly passionate about conquering cancer and have a vested interest in helping to fight this horrible disease.”

    As well as its contribution to cancer research, the ride also forms part of Fujifilm’s strong commitment to health, fitness and team building. Saturday 16 November will see a team of six flying the company banner in the Fujifilm sponsored Hamilton Island Triathlon and Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim. Competitors will dive in for 750m swim across the idyllic Catseye Bay, followed by a 20km cycle and a 5km run to a beach-side finish.

  • Shareholders back Price at PaperlinX corroboree

    Shareholders show strong support for Andrew Price’s radical turnaround strategy for the troubled paper merchant at today’s AGM. Despite recent noise in the lead-up, the much anticipated PaperlinX showdown proved a remarkably quiet affair.

    After a turbulent year all eyes were on the balance sheets, and while the company recorded a global loss, after tax, of $90.2 million, there was a steep improvement on the previous year’s colossal loss of $266.7 million. In spite of losses, there was strong support from shareholders for newly appointed CEO Andrew Price’s leadership through what is being viewed as a successful transition back towards profitability.

    Andrew Price told Print21 that he was very happy with the level of support from shareholders, and that moving forward PaperlinX would continue its restructuring in Europe while Australia and Canada’s operations would increase their diversification.

    “The most important event of the transition was the rebranding of all PaperlinX businesses in Europe under one single brand. It presents a united face to the customer, and a more efficient back office. But one of the best side-effects is that it offers enormous career opportunities for our staff. We are advertising global positions right now, and will be advertising positions in Australia in the near future,” said Price.

    On the recent hot-button topic of its Step-Up Preference Security (Hybrid) holders, Price commented that the next stage will be the release of a bidder’s statement in November for what he describes as a “takeover of the trust”.

    Global earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) showed a loss of -$21.4 million, however the ANZA region reported an profit of $13 million, a boost from $10.9 million in FY2012, with €27.3 million losses in Europe bringing down the total. This still represents a 21% improvement on $27.2 million loss in FY2012. Overall sales revenue was $2.76 billion worldwide, down 14% from $3.2 billion, and the company’s net debt facility was reduced by 17%, now sitting at $123 million compared with $148 million for the previous fiscal year.

    On the continued move towards diversification the packaging market was said to account for 7.7% of sales, while growth in visual technology solutions (VTS) contributed 11.6% of total sales. Development in these areas was seen as crucial to the overall turnaround strategy. The region reported increased profitability with strong margin management and expense control, while the Asian market saw a significant drop in demand.

    Andrew Price reports that: “Overall, shareholders were appreciative of our efforts and offered their total support.”



  • Allprint Graphics is hunting the big game out wide – Print21 Magazine feature

    In today’s fast-paced, short-run, short-lead world, Allprint Graphics has made an art form of keeping one step ahead of the industry. With the installation of a swissQprint Impala into its Rydalmere premises, this point-of-sales specialist will have no trouble outrunning the competition.

    Originally a screen printing operation, since its adoption of wide format in 2007 with an Océ/Canon Arizona GT 250, Allprint’s workload has steadily risen to the point where demand can no longer be met by its existing equipment. Chris Wright, chief operations officer and company stalwart since 1999, explains Allprint’s decision to invest in the swissQprint Impala.

    “It’s the leader at the moment. It has more features and benefits than any other machine in its price category and probably more features than some of the more expensive printers out there,” he says.

    According to Wright, despite being a step-up in cost, the value of the machine is well worth it. The Impala’s combination of precision and flexibility is a winning mix, he says, and it was its breadth of offering that sealed the deal. For the close-knit team at the family-run print shop, the Impala struck that elusive balance of speed, quality, cost and ease of use that can make or break a business.

    “It’s very flexible and easy to adapt to do what we want. From the operator’s point of view it is a very easy machine to operate. You can install it in a certain configuration and upgrade it later on with more features like extra inkjet channels and oversize bed options,” he adds.

    Big game hunter: Grant Cunningham, CEO, is pleased to bag the Impala from swissQprint.

    Founded in 1960 by Grant Cunningham’s father, Allprint Graphics has a convincing track record of flexibility, responding to changing pressures in the industry and readily adapting to offer increasingly diverse and agile solutions. In 1972 it added litho printing to its traditional screen printing, then in 2005 added wide format digital equipment.

    “Initially the digital equipment was to dip our toe in the water,” says Cunningham. “We had little demand in the early days. Our wide-format printer would have only been running for a couple of hours a week. It was just to get a feeling for it at first.”

    That feeling has gone on to form the major part of the business. And with the arrival of the Impala, that toe in the paddling pool has transformed into a gulf stream that’s fuelling Allprint’s rapidly expanding portfolio.

    Peerless print precision

    When it became clear that demand was outpacing the existing equipment, the Allprint boys kitted up and set off on a safari to drupa 2012 to secure the next crucial piece in the production puzzle. For Cunningham and Wright, the Impala leapt out from the pack, with its stepless-adjustable vacuum bed, peerless print precision for fine lines and smooth gradations, and CMYK colour with up to five additional channels for spot colours, primer or varnish.

    On top of that, the high-end UV flatbed boasts top speeds of 134m2/h, up to 2160 dpi visual print resolution with variable droplet technology, and its unique ‘board option’ which allows the Allprint team to automatically index oversized sheets up to 2.5 metres wide by 4 metres long without a conveyor belt or hybrid system.

    “Everything we saw kept pointing back to the Impala,” recalls Wright.

    Once they had the scent, it was down to the team at Positive Camtec, exclusive distributor for swissQprint in Australia and New Zealand, to tie off the loose ends. Wright praises the level of support throughout what can often be a trying time of transition.

    For Adriano Gut, sales and marketing manager at Positive Camtec, the Allprint story is as much about this attention to detail in support and service as it is about the Impala’s print speed and output quality.

    “After looking at a range of machines available in the market, we were no doubt delighted that a well respected company like All Print Graphics saw the benefits of the swissQprint system. We are proud to be able to offer a top of line product and a very high level of product support,” he says.

    Wright agrees, saying that service has been first class all the way, despite having had no prior dealings with the local distributor.

    “We had an instance when we needed support. We contacted them at around 8am; a technician was sent onsite and by 8.45am we were up and running. He stayed onsite to make sure we were completely satisfied and in production.  All in all, the service and support has been fantastic,” he says.

    The new beast is already proving its worth. With business on the rise, the Impala is enjoying a solid run-in, meeting and exceeding all expectations. Ever-ready for change, for new challenges to rise to, the team at Allprint Graphics are back out on safari, and now they’re hunting the big game in extra sales.

  • Spicers wraps up Perth training day

    Vehicle wrap customers in Perth put their skills to the test at Spicers’ first ‘Wrap Day’, getting their hands on the latest vehicle wrapping solution available.

    The inaugural event saw attendees join two hands-on training sessions held at the Burnswood on Swan function centre. The full gamut of skill levels were catered for, with the day split across a beginner’s class and a master’s class for the more advanced, with experts on hand with tips on vehicle preparation and application techniques.

    The day saw customers get a crash course on some of the newest wrapping materials available from Spicers Sign & Display team, Avery’s MPI1005 EZRS and the new DOL1460 3D High Gloss over laminate. Spicers’ Sign & Display WA team also welcomed new sales executive Alan Dodsworth on board for the event.

    Dodsworth was quick to praise the new range: “The over laminate is an ultra conformable product. It’s really quite incredible how it handles the most extreme 3D curves. It also has excellent printability and print well across latex, eco solvent, solvent and UV curable inkjet printers, so you have the added benefit of just one consistent product for use across multiple platforms.”

    The new DOL1460 enjoys a high gloss ‘wet look’ finish which keeps prints looking vibrant longer, and has air egress channels to eliminate bubbles and wrinkles.

    Roger Rankine, Spicers regional manager, WA, highlighted Perth as a vital market for Spicers, and hopes that the Wrap Day will go some way to growing its footprint in Western Australia.

    Dodsworth agrees: “I’m really looking forward to further developing Spicers’ presence in the Perth market and assisting the consumable needs of wide format printers in Perth.”

    Car wraps have been picked up as an effective alternative to spray-paint jobs, as they are easy to apply, repositionable, and are often used in advertising.

  • PMP set to bank $50 million bond

    Investors step up to the plate and give PMP the green light on a $50 million loan, but the print and distribution giant reveals it has no plans to put any of the funds toward new press equipment.

    PMP recently announced an unsecured corporate bond offer at $40 million, arranged by super-fund specialists FIIG Securities, to partially refinance its substantial bank debts but investor interest has raised the stakes by a further $10 million. The bond will go some way to diversifying PMP’s net debt of $89.1 million for FY 2013, but management recognise that there is still a long road ahead for the struggling company.

    Peter George, CEO, PMP

    Peter George, CEO, PMP, said, “We are pleased with the strong investor demand for the bond and we see this as endorsement of PMP’s strategic direction of transforming the company into a leaner, stronger and more competitive industry leader. The success of the offering enables us to pay down bank debt, increase the tenor of our debt and diversify our funding sources.”

    Speaking with Print21, Ian Greenshields, spokesperson for PMP, confirmed that management was encouraged by the level of support, notably the $10 million increase seen on the offering.

    “We interpret that as people beginning to understand and believe in the company turnaround. This is tempered by management being very much aware that the job is not finished yet, and there is still a lot of work left to be done,” said Greenshields.

    In a bid to chip away at that debt, FY 2013 has seen the closure of its Chullora site, the sale of several presses, the divestment and its Pacific Micromarketing business and a total of 412 jobs cut. PMP has spent $27 million on its most recent phase of rationalisation, producing $37 million annualised savings.

    Greenshields adds that PMP’s transformation is not yet complete, and that the $50 million bond comes as the company enters in its third phase of restructuring and repositioning in what he describes as a challenging industry.

  • Need for speed drives Screen CtP surge

    Nine new CtP systems from Screen since PacPrint points to an air of renewed confidence emerging in the industry.

    Robert Malliotis, director, Signature Labels

    Screen has handled a number directly and worked extensively their network of plate partners and resellers, including Fujifilm, Ferag and Jet Technologies, to service the newly revitalised market. recent installs cover all formats from B2, to B1 and even a VLF unit. A move to upgrade CtP facilities has been observed across the board, as well as businesses exploring new ways to cut back on energy consumption and chemical use.

    Signature Labels is one such company. The award-winning South Australia-based business picked up a PlateRite FX870 MkII flexo CtP through Screen reseller Jet Technologies off their stand at PacPrint.

    Robert Malliotis, director and owner of Signature Labels, explains: “We were looking for quality, consistency, speed and cleanliness. Not having to worry about chemicals, not buying film, all those things are a big plus.”

    Signature Labels has also benefited from the PlateRite’s larger size, being able to run up a full set of plates in one hit, representing a considerable saving to the family-fun business. Malliotis was also keen to praise what he considers an overall sharper printing dot on the new plates.

    Peter Scott, managing director, Dainippon Screen Australia, said, “The recent surge in installations shows that confidence is returning to the industry. Prepress times have to be short these days and five-year-old technology does not cut it in a busy print shop where short runs on multi-colour perfecting presses place high demands on plate production.”

    According the Scott, it is this need for platemaking speeds to match up with faster automated presses that has spurred on the surge. Screen reports other installs at Border Watch in Mount Gambier, a Ferag customer, a VLF PlateRite 24000 order to a Fujifilm customer, four PlateRite 4300s in B2 format to Fujifilm New Zealand for their plate customers, all running thermal plates.

    Peter Scott continues: “Another 4300 went to Foote & Playstead of Launceston, Tasmania – this was a direct sale from Screen. We have quoted on numerous other CtP solutions, notably the new Plate Rite HD8900 rangewhich are incredibly fast for B1 plates – 67 plates an hour for the ‘Z’ model – and the most energy-efficient CtP setters available.”

    Since the arrival of CtP in the mid 1990s, Screen now claims to hold at least 48% of the world B1 CtP market.

  • FESPA China 2013

    The newly FESPA-branded event will be managed in partnership between FESPA and CSGIA (China Screen Printing and Graphic Imaging Association), FESPA’s associate member in China.

    Experience the latest technology and applications within screen, digital and textile printing; with over 400 exhibitors providing new opportunities and insight into new growth areas and business channels.

    ESPA attracts innovative brands, suppliers and distributors within the screen, digital and textile print industry. Targeted at the event for the sign and graphic community. As technology advances create new opportunities, printers and business professionals need to embrace these changes.

    Visitors attending FESPA China & CSGIA will benefit from:

    • Local and international exhibiting companies
    • Free educational conference programme
    • Networking events
    • Experienced organising team
    • Visitor incentives

    FESPA China & CSGIA is more than just an exhibition; it is an opportunity for you to get ahead of your competitors by discovering the latest printing machinery, substrates, inks and much more!

    Register today for free entrance to the exhibition.