Archive for October, 2015

  • Issue 754 – October 30, 2015

    Learning is a life-long experience. There is never a time when you know all you need, when your knowledge is complete. It’s important to cultivate the ability to continually learn and in the printing industry, one of the best ways is to mix with your peers. Yes, they may be your competitors but we’re fortunate that the printing industry has a long tradition of sharing information and knowledge.

    So, come on, get out and join up; there’s an association close by just for you.

    You’re one of almost 7000 industry professional across Australia and New Zealand reading Print21.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

  • Printers get the good oil on business transition

    Businesses around the country have responded to Future Print’s Transition Seminars, with healthy attendances and positive feedback from sessions already held in Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania.

    The sessions, sponsored by Media Super and run by industry experts Richard Rasmussen and Bill Healey, have been designed to help business owners and decision makers who are contemplating change within their business.

    "It was great,” said Scott Lovell, managing director, Think Big Printing.

    Dozens of printers have taken advantage of the opportunity to gain a overview of the current ‘state of the market’, as well as vital information to help predict some likely directions in the industry landscape. They explore the range of options to consider when preparing for the future, and the inevitable business changes required.

    Following the sessions, many attendees said they had been surprised by much of the information provided but felt much better equipped to decide on a future direction with a better base of knowledge and access to good support.

    Scott Lovell, Managing Director of Think Big Printing in Tasmania attended attended the Launceston session and says he found it valuable in helping him consider and evaluate options which will align with future market trends.

    “The session was very informative. It gave me an excellent perspective on what is happening in the industry and helped me clarify some of the options that we can consider in moving the business forward into the future,” he said afterwards. “Most importantly, the seminar was exactly as outlined in the brochure, so I got just what I was promised. It was great.”

    Rasmussen says many businesses in the industry are not performing to their potential, while many others which are still doing relatively well also know they have to change to continue to meet the demands of a dynamic market.

    “The challenge for business owners is to decide which direction to take and then effect the change required to achieve your professional and personal goals,” he says.

    “In these sessions, our aim is been to give attendees a clearer idea of where the industry is going, help them understand how their business is performing and what its value is, and then explore various possibilities for the future – from growth strategies, to transition planning, and even exit strategies.”

    Darryl Shoults from Riverwood business Artegra was at one of the Sydney sessions and says the broad data presented on market trends, together with information on sales strategies, collaborative approaches and subsidised training options were just some of the highlights.

    “We’ve been in business for 50 years and over the past two or three have already started making changes to stay competitive in a changing market,” Darryl explains.

    “We know that we need to continue to adapt, but the challenge is to decide which direction to take, and then to plan and implement those changes successfully. That’s where we were hoping the seminars would help.

    “The Transition Seminars gave us a lot of sound information which not only confirmed that we were on the right track so far, but also gave us confidence moving forward. The case studies presented, and other options discussed, provided some very interesting ideas about possible courses of action and what we need to consider when planning for the future,” reported Darryl after attending.

    “The sessions were focused, accurate and very informative, and it was also a great opportunity to meet other business owners, learn from their experience and make new business connections. I thought it was a very valuable investment of my time.”

    As well as appreciating the information provided, delegates clearly valued the opportunity to access additional resources and support. A majority not only joined the Future Print program, but also signed up for the free Business Benchmarking Service, supported by Media Super and provided by industry leaders A number also registered for the Future Print Business Transition Planning Service, to get assistance in formulating a clear and actionable plan for their future.

    The Future Print Business Transition ‘road show’ will continue to travel around the country during November, with sessions in Adelaide on the 11th, Perth on the 12th and Queensland in the following week – Southport on the 18th and Hamilton and Brendale in Brisbane on the 19th. To find out more go to the Future Print website, or click here to book your place at a session near you.

  • Digital printing $s are bigger than volume

    Analogue printing – litho, flexo and gravure ­– accounts for 97% of global production in volume but only 86.1% in terms of value. However, the digital sector’s higher margin on the smaller volumes it produces is predicted to reduce slightly as it takes a larger slice of the pie.

    A Smithers Pira report on The Future of Digital versus Analogue Printing to 2020, predicts that in five years time, digital printing will still only account for 3.4% of all print and printed packaging volume while earning 17.4% of the total value, a relatively smaller percentage.  The acceleration towards digital will continue however, driven as much by the emergence of new markets for printing as it is by the transition from analogue.

    The authoritative report examines the future of the two technologies in terms of economics, applications and business models. While acknowledging that printing technology will continuing to develop for analogue processes, it identifies the major developments as taking place in digital printing, particularly inkjet, which is enjoying major investments in R&D on printheads, inks, and finishing systems.

    Smithers Pira has developed a costing model to compare the two and assist printers in deciding on investment options. This builds up the real production costs including capital cost, depreciation period, maintenance, shift pattern, labour rates, energy, make-ready time, plate costs, setup and running waste, print speed and press utilisation, and paper and ink or click cost at variable coverages. The final product can be varied and the model calculates the comparative cost as run lengths change, to show the economic crossover where one process becomes cheaper than another.

    In terms of applications the report  highlights the competition between electrophotography and inkjet, predicting the volume and value of electrophotography will continue to rise as colour applications grow. Printing businesses will increasingly take on board both digital and analogue technolgies, transiting from the earlier ‘either/or’ business model.

  • Peter Russell named new Snap chairman

    Print franchise group Snap has named Peter Russell as its new chairman to replace Alan Good, who retired from the board at the 2015 AGM.

    Peter Russell, chairman, Snap Group

    Good had been group chairman since 2010 and helped to lead the company through strategic changes including the decision to move the Snap head office to Sydney after over 100 years of being head-quartered in Western Australia.

    “Alan has set up the board and the company to be able to capitalise on opportunities that continue to exist for all stakeholders and we wish Alan all the very best in his future endeavours,” said Stephen Edwards, director and CEO of Snap Group. “This move has been about two years in the planning and Alan had decided it was his time for retiring. Peter probably has more of a sales and marketing focus on where the business is heading.”

    Russell has been a director since July 2012 and was executive director with the Peppers Group and the Rylands Group. He recently finished a four-year term as chairman of Yarra Ranges Regional Marketing and was a councillor and treasurer of the Harvard Club of Australia, Victoria, and a trustee of the Harvard Club of Australia Foundation. Russell is a director of Strategic Capital Partners, advising private business owners and investors, and executive marketing manager at Sinefa, a technology startup specialising in data networks.

    Snap made changes to its board this year, appointing Anne Cashman and Mark Lindsay as non-executive directors.

    “The changes to the company’s board line-up are in line with our philosophy of having a skills-based board, with non-executive directors, to ensure future value for shareholders and franchisees,” said Edwards.

    Retiring chairman Alan Good.

    Cashman was appointed to the Snap Board after an established and career in B2B and B2C environments in both the US and Australasia. Lindsay was welcomed to the board in June after 10 years holding non-executive director, CEO and COO positions with Quick Service Restaurant Holdings.

    ‘We’re very optimistic about the future as we continue a rollout of our new global strategy,” said Edwards. “We had a record number of centres entering the network last year and we now have now 189 centres globally.”

    Snap operates in Australia, China, Ireland and New Zealand.


  • New wide format printer from Roland DG

    Roland DG's SOLJET EJ 640

    Roland DG has unveiled a new SOLJET EJ-640 wide format inkjet printer aimed at the increasingly crowded wide-format market.

    'Exceptional productivity': Gino Farina, Roland DG Australia

    “Today’s sign market is typified by intense competition due to the spread of wide-format inkjet printers and the increasing demand for quick delivery of high quantities with low operating costs,” said Gino Farina, sales and marketing director, Roland DG Australia. “The new EJ-640 addresses these issues by delivering excellent productivity and quality with low ink costs.”

    With dual staggered print heads, an integrated tri-heater system, rigid industrial design and high-capacity 1-litre ink cartridges available in 4 or 7 colour configurations, the EJ-640 is built for optimum performance and productivity. New EJ INK was developed to drastically reduce running cost, with savings of 35% over other printers on the market. In a mirrored CMYK ink configuration, the EJ-640 achieves speeds of up to 102m2/h. New Roland VersaWorks Dual RIP software processes both PDF and PostScript files, including files with transparencies.

    “While the EJ-640 is built for exceptional productivity, the other aspects for which Roland DG is renowned, such as image quality and reliability, are maintained without compromise,” said Farina.

    Special attention has been given to high-volume users. A rigid shaft holds long and heavy rolls securely, and a newly developed Feed Adjuster ensures the smooth progression of media through the printer and onto the take-up system. In 4-colour CMYK mode, up to two litres of ink can be loaded for each colour. With the Roland Ink Switching System, continuous printing is possible overnight without worrying about ink running out. Unattended operation is further facilitated by Roland OnSupport which sends and email to a smart phone, tablet or computer when a job is finished or ink is running low.

    “Since 1988, Roland DG has supported the growth of the sign industry by employing new digital technologies and providing products that truly make a difference,” said Farina. “With the EJ-640, we continue to provide the best solutions to support print services providers.”

  • Konica Minolta launches wide format series


    The Kip 850 2 roll colour print system

    Konica Minolta has launched a new wide format printer series that features ‘a breakthrough in colour print technology and resilience.’

    “The KIP 800 Colour Series can capture subtle tints and hues with unsurpassed colour stability and image fidelity for an entire print run,” said Chris Goult, marketing manager, Konica Minolta. “It is ideally suited to a range of wide format printing applications, including architectural, engineering, and construction documents, to maps, posters, and photograph enlargements.

    'Breakthrough technology': Chris Goult, marketing manager, Konica Minolta

    “The KIP 800 wide format series also represents a breakthrough in colour print technology and resilience. Print production on the KIP 800 series not only produces amazingly vibrant colours, striking graphics, and photographic images, it also generates fully lightfast prints, meaning they will not fade or show signs of deterioration over time from exposure to light.”

    The new KIP series features a CMYK dry toner system that produces 100 per cent waterproof images ideal for outdoor applications. The KIP 800’s also feature a diversified software suite providing a powerful wide format colour and monochrome imaging system. The KIP System K Software, which features multi-touch tablet navigation, SNMP protocols, cost centre control, and cloud collaboration, has the ability to streamline production print work, save time, and increase productivity.

    “The combination of the KIP 800’s advanced software and hardware technology makes it a must for production printing,” acccording to Goult. “The series not only offers superb resolution, but it also maintains incredible resolution at fast print speed of up to eight A1’s per minute, in either colour or black and white.”

    The KIP 800 series includes five models: KIP 850 2 roll colour print system; KIP 860 2 roll multi-function colour print system; KIP 870 4 roll colour print system; KIP 880 4 roll colour print system; and KIP 890 4 roll colour print system.

    The launch coincides with a series of seminars that Konica Minolta is running to present 3D and KIP 800 series wide format technology to architects and design engineers. Seminars have been held in Melbourne and Brisbane, and the Sydney event will be on Thursday, 12th November 2015, from 12pm – 2pm at Konica Minolta House, 4 Drake Ave, Macquarie Park, NSW, 2113.


  • Numbers up for 2015 Qld PICAs

    A record crowd of printers is expected at this year’s Queensland Printing Industry Craftsmanship Awards (PICAs) in Brisbane on Friday night, with registrations up 20 percent on last year.

    The PICA Qld 2015 awards ceremony at the Royal on the Park will include 22 categories in two sections – graphic design and print – with a new design category, a streamlined labels category and a new free print award.

    In Graphic Design, categories are: Typography; Illustration; Corporate Identity; Print/Digital Campaign; Packaging & Labelling; and Student Award.

    In the Printing section, categories are: Printing; Packaging; Web Offset; Labels; Commercial Posters; Embellishment; Wide Format; Impact Mail, Sensory Mail & Direct Mail; Presentation Folders; Booklets, Catalogues, Brochures & Magazines; Books; Digital; Self-Promotion; Regional/Business; Speciality Printing; and Free Category (an open category to any size company within the print, packaging and visual communications industry).

    An Environmental Management Award will recognise the efforts of print businesses to reduce their impact on the environment. Also being presented are the biennial GAMAA-LIA National Graduate School Scholarship prize and an LIA-Printing Industries Future Leaders Award.

    Viewing begins at 6pm for a 7pm start, Friday October 30 at Royal on the Park, corner of Alice and Albert Streets, Brisbane 4000. Dress code: Lounge suit.

    Meanwhile, a reminder that tickets for the WA Printers Ball, which includes the PICA WA 2015 awards, must be purchased by Friday, 30th October 2015. The event takes place on Saturday 14th November 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 99 Adelaide Terrace, Perth. For tickets: contact WA office on 08 9361 4625. Cost: $120 per person. Dress code: Cocktail Style and suits.

  • Lindsay Yates’ ‘leap of faith’ into digital age

    A new HP Indigo 10000 fed by a Tharstern MIS and an Agfa Apogee workflow is transforming the well-known Sydney printer’s operation but David Shoppee is careful to point out that “offset is by no means dead.”

    At the digital coalface: David Shoppee, COO with Todd Evans, who made the switch from printing offset to running the HP Indigo 10000

    One day in June staff at the Sydney printer came in to work to find the old manual production board had disappeared. In its place an electronic screen with all the jobs for the day lined up had become the new nerve centre of the business. It was, according to David Shoppee, Chief Operating Officer, ‘a leap of faith,’ a decisive moment in the company’s transformation towards becoming a fully integrated part of the digital age.  For a brief time that morning chaos reigned as production staff came to terms with the change, but it soon settled down and manual scheduling never returned to the Artarmon site.

    According to Shoppee, it’s part of the process of making sure that changes are not only implemented but that once in place there is no going back to the old ways. “It’s not easy and it needs constant attention,” he told members of the LIA last night during an open house at the plant.

    He had no shortage of significant milestones to share with the 30-odd members of the printing association who attended. The installation of the HP Indigo 10000 in April has proved to be a textbook case of transition to digital production for a high-end, traditional commercial printer. Although Lindsay Yates still has a Konica Minolta production unit, almost all the digital work was transferred to the new press apart from some document production.

    But not content to introduce new printing technology the company also completely changed its software infrastructure. A Tharstern MIS is in the process of fully automating the ordering process, stripping JDF data and content to an Agfa Apogee production system. Already an automated proofing channel powers an Epson inkjet and informs prepress staff on completion.

    Within two week, the system will become fully automated with the Tharstern deciding on the output device for every job and the Apogee ensuring the files are correctly pre-flighted and delivered. Two weeks later he hopes to bring web-based proofing online.

    Shoppee and his partner, Paul Richardson, managing director, have a vision of a fully automated production system that will be state of the art and will allow the company to reach a first plateau target of 100 jobs per day.

    He told the visitors he was comfortable in opening up his business for inspection because, “it’s not the technology that matters, it’s what you do with it.” Describing the HP Indigo 10000 as the “gold standard” in digital printing he was full of praise for Currie Group and its NSW manager, Richard Watson. A major hardware and software upgrade saw the press off line for a week in July but since then “it hasn’t missed a beat.”

    Under the experienced eye of Linda D’Arcy, general manager – digital printing, who cut her eye teeth with Michael Tan’s very first Indigo in the country at WYSIWYG in the mid-1990s, the press is currently operating a single shift but with plans for a second well advanced. The way the 10000’s B2 format fits into the well established offset finishing system was part of the reason the company made its investment. With two Heidelberg offset presses  – a XL 105 six-colour with coater and a Speed master 76 six colour with Coater – continuing to pump out most of the print, Shoppee is happy to keep a foot firmly placed in both technologies.

    When asked why the company undertook such a massive transformation he talks about “print’s Harvey Norman moment.” The way he tells it, ten years ago Harvey Norman sold digital televisions for $6000. Now they cost $1000, so the store has to sell a lot more just to make the same profit. With shorter print runs and tighter margins, printers are facing the same problem; they have to do a lot more jobs just to stay in the same space.

    He has a target to double the number of printed jobs this year and believes that only by introducing high-end digital printing fed by an automated workflow can he secure the company’s future.

  • Issue 753 – October 28, 2015

    Assigning blame for past failures is a zero sum game. As the PaperlinX name slips into history in favour of its new Spicers identity, it’s tempting to point the finger at past management for their cupidity and on occasions, outright stupidity. They took the world’s largest paper merchant to disaster, squandering immense amounts of shareholders’ money in the process. There will be many lawyers involved in the wash up for years to come, but the local industry has really only one choice; give new CEO, Andy Preece and his team, a fair go as they try to rebuild.

    You’re one of almost 7000 industry professionals across Australia and New Zealand reading Print21.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor.

  • Norske Skog hit by ‘challenging’ markets

    Norske Skog's Tasman mill

    Norwegian paper giant Norske Skog said challenging export markets in Australasia and a drop in local demand for newsprint contributed to a third-quarter loss of almost $A123 million (NOK 742 million).

    Q3 gross operating earnings of $A27 million (NOK 163 million) were up on the second quarter due to ‘foreign exchange effects’ but this was ‘somewhat offset’ by lower sales prices with export markets in Australasia.

    ‘We are satisfied with the cost development in Europe, but we are challenged by low export prices from Australasia,” said Sven Ombudstvedt, President and CEO of Norske Skog. Australasian operating revenue declined with more export sales at lower prices and depreciation of the Australian dollar, while Asian newsprint prices remained at historical low levels.

    Domestic demand for newsprint and the Asian price level are challenging. Demand for newsprint in Australasia decreased by around 10% in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period last year, while demand for magazine paper was relatively stable. The newsprint export business out of Australasia is an increasing challenge as the domestic market declines and the Asian prices remain historically low.

    Norske Skog has two mills in Australia – at Boyer in Tasmania and at Albury in NSW – and operates the Tasman mill at Kawerau in New Zealand.

    In an update on new growth opportunities, the company said its NOK 150 million biogas project at Saugbrugs was on schedule for completion at year-end 2016. Norske Skog has also formalized a joint venture with Italian producer and tissue distributor Roto-cart for converting the newsprint site at Bruck in Austria to tissue production.

    The company said it had been ‘significantly impacted’ by foreign exchange losses due to the depreciation of the Norwegian kroner but remained confident about the future.

    The challenging market environment for both price and volumes have reduced gross operating earnings and cash flows. The industry consensus is, however, for improved pricing for all grades into 2016. LWC prices have increased this autumn, and high operating rates across all graphic paper grades support higher prices into 2016 for all the company’s product.

  • Ricoh backs print revival – Countdown to Drupa

    Ricoh will bring a range of new products and services to drupa 2016, the world’s largest printing trade fair, in Duesseldorf, Germany next year. 

    “We have worked with print service providers to help them transform their businesses in the face of a fast-paced and dynamically changing print production and communications landscape,” said Benoit Chatelard, Vice President, Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Europe.

    “We stand ready to help them expand their services, improve utilisation and streamline operations for end-to-end efficiency. Visitors to our stand will experience a wide range of technologies and tools that will allow them to continue their production printing transformation.”

    Ricoh's TotalFlow print production suite

    Central to Ricoh’s presence at the show is its production print portfolio of inkjet and toner-based technologies and solutions. Ricoh’s TotalFlow workflow suite delivers up-to-the-second job reportability, workflow automation and maximised productivity.

    Ricoh has also expanded its portfolio with an enhanced range of industrial solutions, including additive manufacturing (3D printing).

    “We see drupa 2016 as a great opportunity to engage with print service providers from Europe and beyond as well as other key stakeholders in the wider print and communications industries. As an industry, we are undergoing a period of rapid change – change in consumer trends, technologies, client demands and expectations. That requires all of our businesses to adapt to meet these evolving challenges. Ricoh at drupa will show real, proven examples of various integrated applications that we believe will inspire and energise visitors, and will serve as their tools for change.

    “It is also encouraging to see that print is enjoying a revival, but that can continue only as an integrated component of a broader multimedia communications strategy. This presents possibilities for agile print service providers who are willing to embrace these opportunities. At Ricoh, we are dedicated to supporting our clients and helping them continually develop print and related services, for today and tomorrow.”

    The world’s largest printing trade fair is scheduled for 31 May to 10 June at the Messe in Duesseldorf, Germany. Ricoh will once again be located in Hall 8a.

  • Embracing Change – NIPPACON on the Sunshine Coast

    NIPPACON, the annual conference of the Network of In-house Print Professionals Australasia (NIPPA), kicks off today on the Sunshine Coast. This year’s theme is Embracing Change.

    “This year’s conference will look at the changing nature of our host organisations and where we might be heading in the future,” said Simon Giles, president, NIPPA. “The conference theme is Embracing Change, which is happening at an unprecedented pace in our related industries nowadays.”

    Keynote speakers will include representatives from Canon Australia, Ricoh Australia, Konica Minolta and Bears Solutions.

    “Presenters will provide insight into ways to not only manage change but also how to embrace it,” said Giles. “Many NIPPA members manage more than traditional print or copying and the associated image communication activities that form part of our everyday life. There is also a growing number who managed other related activities like mailroom facilities, document distribution centres and graphic design suites.

    NIPPACON begins this afternoon at 3pm when registration opens in the foyer of the venue – the Novotel Twin Waters Resort.

  • Malcolm Cumming to head sales at Coritex

    Malcolm Cumming, new sales manager at Coritex

    Coritex Australia has appointed Malcolm Cumming as its new sales manager to drive the recent launch of a new range of print media products aimed at the Australian market.

    “Malcolm has an extensive background in the local printing industry and will play an important role in establishing new customer relationships as well as maintaining existing key accounts,” said Neal Van Der Merwe, director of operations.

    “With these new products and our focused sales team, Malcolm will bring his wealth of experience to Coritex and customers can expect more great quality products, excellent customer service and the support that they have come to expect.”

    Coritex offers textile print media suitable for soft flag and banner signage applications via paper or direct to textile dye sublimation and direct printing with UV, latex and eco solvent inks, and recently launched a new extended range of print media.

    Coritex is part of FI Group, which is owned by a German family who invested in the South African market over 40 years ago and recently expanded into Africa and Australia.

    (l to r) Coritex operations director Neal Van Der Merwe and Rosie Matheson, Melbourne sales, at the recent Visual Impact show in Melbourne

  • Goodbye PaperlinX, hello Spicers

    Paper merchant PaperlinX will change its name to Spicers and continue to diversify into signage, display and packaging in an attempt to claw its way back from a European adventure that turned into one of Australia’s biggest corporate disasters.

    The company says it has identified a number of acquisition targets across Australia and New Zealand as it refocuses on its profitable ANZA businesses.

    PaperlinX chairman Robert Kaye told the company’s AGM in Melbourne that the past year had been ‘both challenging and transformative’ against a backdrop of structural decline in the paper industry and ‘tough and worsening’ trading conditions in European markets.

    The collapse of the company’s European operation resulted in losses of more than $300 million over the past year, as PaperlinX posted a total loss of more than $390 million.

    Group revenue was $2 billion, which included $1.6 billion of revenue from discontinued and exited businesses in Europe and Canada. The company reported an overall loss of $392.3 million, with net assets of $128.7 million.

    “Your company is now focused exclusively on the viable, well-managed businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Asia (ANZA),” Kaye told shareholders.

    I want to assure shareholders that the ANZA businesses are profitable and viable and represent a solid platform for further growth. Continued diversification is essential for future sustainability. ANZA revenue was $404 million, down 5 per cent on the prior period due to ongoing structural decline in the Commercial Print business segment. The immediate focus is to develop the ANZA businesses through organic growth and acquisitions, subject to finding the right opportunities. The acquisition of a leading sign industry supplier in New Zealand during the year is a good example of the opportunities that exist for us in areas like Sign and Display.

    Newly appointed Managing Director and CEO Andy Preece told the meeting the company was ‘now focused purely on the profitable Spicers businesses in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, without the distractions of the underperforming assets in Europe.’

    'Targets already identified': Andy Preece, CEO PaperlinX

    The Spicers businesses in the ANZA region once again generated sustainable returns in difficult trading conditions within an industry in structural decline. During the course of the year these businesses delivered underlying earnings before interest and tax of $14.7 million. This represents a small decline from prior year, an acceptable performance given the backdrop of the continuing contraction of the commercial print market in these regions.

    Preece said that while fine paper for the commercial print market remained ‘a relevant and important part of our product portfolio,’ the company would be equally focused on diversification.

    A pleasing aspect of our diversified performance in 2015 has been a 33 per cent growth in revenues and a 36 per cent growth in margins from the Sign and Display and Industrial Packaging businesses. The Sign and Display segment has been the main driver of growth with enhanced supplier relationships and leveraging off acquisitions being the key elements to success. The acquisition of Total Supply in New Zealand has contributed positively to this result.

    We will seek to grow both organically and through acquisitions, with targets already identified in Australia and New Zealand. Our mission is to drive overall profitability by managing paper business returns and re-investing to diversify into growth sectors.  To do this we need to mitigate the decline in Commercial Print revenue as volumes fall and margins tighten.

    Shareholders at the meeting voted in favour of changing the company’s name to Spicers after Kaye told them it would ‘align the identity of the parent with its operating companies.’

    The chairman also outlined plans to defend any legal action by owners of PaperlinX hybrid securities that were issued mostly to retail investors in 2007.

    “The Company does not believe there are any matters that would give hybrid holders a right to forcibly redeem or realise their securities,” he said. “Any claims to the contrary are misconceived and any legal actions brought by these parties will be strongly defended.”


  • Environmental Awards for Printers – Brunner

    Awards are an excellent way of communicating a company’s prowess to customers and prospects. They can be used to celebrate business performance and product quality, and because they are pretty simple to understand, they are a convenient tool for marketers to use. But awards have to be rigorous to have any meaning. And their metrics need to be clearly defined and communicated.

    So what makes an environmental award worth having? Is it compliance to standards such as ISO 14001 (Environmental management systems) and ISO 50001 (Energy management) or the Nordic Swan and Blaue Engel ecolabels? Or should it be compliance, plus something more demanding?

    Compliance is hard enough and it’s a useful guide on its own. But if you are judging a series of entries for an environmental award, compliance alone is not enough. If all the entries comply to international standards, you need something more on which to base a decision. Defining the judging criteria and metrics in advance gives prospective entrants something specific to get their teeth into and the specifics are also an aid to awards judges. Judges must sift through masses of material searching for that distinctive, and often elusive, differentiating nugget, so guidance is extremely valuable.

    Measuring and tracking environmental performance improvements is one way to achieve this, but you must have the evidence to support your claims that waste handling and energy usage have actually gone down. Consider including process control improvements, such as error rates or remakes, because efficiency and environmental impact management go hand in hand.

    Process control is often overlooked as part of environmental performance evaluation, because it doesn’t appear to be directly related to the environment. But environmental management is about more than pollution control and any procedural improvements that help tighten up product supply chains have a positive effect on environmental impact. They cut out processes and improve efficiency. The potential for errors goes done if processes are tight. Pointless waste is the worst kind, because it shouldn’t get produced in the first place.

    Evaluating environmental performance whether you are going for an industry award or not, comes down to having accurate data. The data is important not just for environmental management, but for quality control and business management in general. With the exception of newspapers, printing and publishing companies are not particularly famous for their reliance on data or indeed process efficiency. However process management working in concert with environmental management is vital for future planning.

    When it comes to environmental awards submissions, well presented data that at least tracks emissions and waste over time, can make the difference. Aligned to a coherent environmental policy and details of plans for further environmental impact reduction, data provides evidence that an environmental improvement is indeed underway. Otherwise it’s just so much hot air and wasted emissions.

    – Laurel Brunner

    Verdigris supporters who make the Verdigris blog possible include: Agfa GraphicsDigital Dots,  EFI,  Fespa,  Heidelberg,  HPKodakMondiPragati OffsetRicohShimizu PrintingSplash PRUnity Publishing and Xeikon.

    Verdigris is a industry research initiative that examines the environmental impact of print media.

  • Issue 752 – October 23, 2015

    Renewal is essential for progress, but it rarely comes without cost. We live at a time of massive disruption to existing ways of doing business. To cling to outmoded business models and ways of working is only a recipe for failure. The rejuvenation of Printing Industries is a case in point. Changing the existing paradigm will make for a better representative body but not without cost. The future may be unknown but one thing is sure … it will be very different.

    You’re one of almost 7000 industry professional across Australia and New Zealand reading Print21.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor.

  • Finishing & curing for labels – Nessan Cleary

    One of the more noticeable trends was towards inline finishing with just about all of the digital machines shown with some kind of finishing capability. Some of these relied on conventional finishing units with a limited number of truly digital finishing solutions.

    Nessan Cleary

    However, Xeikon is hoping to address this with a new concept called Fusion. This basically means adding modules to a standard Xeikon print engine for features such as inline cutting, varnishing or foiling, which can be slotted in as needed. But the key thing is that these are all digital rather than conventional modules. Wim Maes, CEO of Xeikon, believes that we’ll see more web to print in the label sector that will need a completely digital production line.

    Meanwhile, HP has worked with a number of finishing companies to ensure that there are solutions available to work inline with its Indigo roll-fed presses, many of which were demonstrated at the show. Thus Tresu showed off its iCoat varnishing system, which is basically a flexo system that can offer fast changeovers for short runs with both aqueous and UV varnish. It can handle substrates from 180gsm to 500gsm at a rate of around 5000 B2 sheets per hour. There’s a version specifically for the B2 Indigo 3000, called the iCoat 3000, designed for folding carton.

    Comexi also showed its new laminator, the Nexus L20000, which has been designed to work alongside the Indigo 20000 for flexible packaging. It uses water-based adhesives and can turn a package around in 24 hours, which is both faster and better for the environment than solvent alternatives. It includes an automatic cleaning system and can refill the adhesives in ten minutes.

    GraphiMecc in collaboration with Domino

    Domino showed an interesting collaboration with GraphiMecc that used two of its inkjet heads on a foiling machine. The first head printed black ink, while the second jetted adhesive, which combined with the foiling for a really effective variable data security solution.

    Prati has developed a finishing unit specifically for short run digital presses. The DigiFast One is still being developed, though Prati did manage to sell at least one at the show. It can run at up to 80 mpm and promises waste of just 18 metres for each run, with changeovers of around eight minutes.

    Neryos has developed a label finishing system capable of laminating, cutting, matrix removing and slitting. The DLF2000 is quite a compact unit that can run at 10 mpm and is designed to work with both conventional and digital label presses. It uses software that automatically detects the cutting shape and can generate it directly on the system, and can then drive the knives for a cut on demand solution.

    Then there were curing options

    Several companies showed off new hybrid UV curing systems that can handle both conventional and LED curing. The main benefit is to future-proof the press should you want to convert to LED inks, with a growing number of companies doing just that. But it also means that the curing modules can be swapped around as needed, which is useful if, for example, you have LED pining lamps on individual units together with Arc lamps for a final cure.

    GEW showed off its ArcLED hybrid UV curing system. Essentially, it allows customers to use arc technology now but with the option to upgrade later to LEDs using the same lamphead casing and the same power supply and control. The system can automatically switch from the AC required for Arc lamps to the DC power needed for LEDs.

    IST Metz also showed off a hybrid system, the MBS. There are three versions, all air-cooled: one for UV lamps that can be upgraded to LEDs; one for LEDs that can be upgraded to UV lamps; and a hybrid system that uses both UV lamps and LEDs. They use the same electronic power supply and both UV and LED lamps can be air cooled.

    IST Metz has partnered with the British company, Integration Technology Limited, which used the same stand at the show to demonstrate its Solidcure 2 N, a slim system designed to fit into tight spaces for full cure or pinning of high density colours. ITL also showed its Pincure 2 system for high speed pining for LED UV curing, which now has an improved housing to prevent contact with the media.

    In conclusion, there’s no longer any doubt that digital will play an increasingly bigger role in the label sector, despite being better suited to short runs. There’s still plenty of room for improvement; most of the hybrid presses struggle to integrate the digital and conventional halves, while some of the digital presses still need to find the right balance between cost, speed and image quality if they’re to go beyond more than a handful of installations. But it’s clear that the industry accepts that there is a need for short run labeling and this sector will continue to grow.