Archive for March, 2016

  • HP Indigo powers up its press range for drupa

    Alon Bar-Shany, vice president HP Indigo (right) with Patrick Howard, publisher Print21, at the Kiryat Gat factory in Israel, examine folding cartons produced on the Victoria-based Pemara's HP Indigo 30000

    Six new presses reinforces HP Indigo, and its local distributor, Currie Group, in top position across the widest range of printing applications.

    Five new commercial print presses plus a new label machine were rolled out last week at the HP Indigo media conference in Israel. Designed to maintain the brand’s high-profile in the digital printing space, the new presses are bigger and faster, building on established models in the market and providing an upgrade path for just about every up sector. While most of them are incremental developments, there are at least two radically new presses – one commercial and one for labels.

    Top of the range is the HP Indigo 50000, an oversized B1 (112 x 74cm) duplex roll-fed press designed for high-coverage jobs on virtually any type of paper. Powering along at 42 m/min it’s output is measured at 760 pages per minute in full colour (142 M/min in monochrome).

    The giant digital web press is the largest HP Indigo has ever produced and is aimed squarely at high-volume producers of everything from catalogues to brochures, even newspapers with lots of colour at a stretch. At the HP Indigo R&D facility at Ness Ziona, the huge press filled the room, reinforcing the distance the technology has come since it first started 20 years ago.

    The other three new commercial presses being manufactured at Kiryat Gat in the south of Israel – the HP Indigo 12000, HP Indigo 7900, and HP Indigo 5900  – are all based on existing models but re-engineered to take advantage of the increased productivity that is a feature of the range. A new Indigo high-definition laser array capable of 1,600 dot-per-inch resolution is transforming the already high image quality to another level. The new press iterations allow the company to come to drupa with a mostly refreshed line-up of machines.

    The other radically different press is the new HP Indigo 8000 label press. On the surface it appears to be simply two of the best-selling WS6800 presses linked together. While this holds true superficially, the technology that doubles the web throughput is quite innovative. It goes from a printing speed that topped out at 40 mpm to 80 mpm in full colour. Interspacing a press length of blank space between every print from the first engine, sensors position the unprinted section in the following engine with remarkable accuracy. Hard to explain, but when you see it it’s quite impressive. It also lifts HP Indigo into another level of label production.

    It complements the big folding carton press, the HP Indigo 30000 – one of which is installed at Pemara in Victoria – as well as the HP Indigo 20000 for flexible packaging and labels in fulfilling the brand’s commitment to industrial printing.

    All the presses will be at drupa, where HP is the largest exhibitor.

    In addition to its HP Indigo presses the company will be showing its large format Latex printing range as well as the PageWide and Scitex industrial print engines. 3d printers with the new Multi-Jet Fusion technology will be sure to attract plenty of attention.

    Rob Dunnett, CEO Currie Group, is expecting a good roll-up of Australian and New Zealand customers to the HP stand. While he’s still counting numbers he says he’s impressed by the enthusiasm of the local industry, and especially HP Indigo customers, to attend the show.

    “We’re taking plenty of appointments not only for HP  but also the the Horizon and Scodix stands from customers. It’s going to be a big Australian and New Zealand show,” he said.

    Hard to doubt HP’s claim to be the largest supplier to the graphics industry, as it comes to drupa with a new identity, HP Inc. following the corporate divide last year.








  • Landa challenges offset with Nanographic presses

    'Tremendous breakthroughs': Benny Landa, chairman Landa Group

    Never one to shy away from a big fight, Benny Landa, father of digital printing, is aiming to replace all offset printing with his revolutionary Landa Nanographic Printing Presses.

    While other digital press manufacturers are content to harvest the portion of offset printing that is suitable to the technology – short run, on-demand and personalised printing – Landa claims his Nanography can beat mainstream offset in every sector. The incredibly thin laminate ink that drives the Landa process is designed to print at offset speed on any substrate. At a demonstration last week in Israel, Landa proclaimed the quality issues that bedevilled the launch at the last drupa have now been resolved.

    “We expect visitors to our stand at drupa to be completely blown away by the amazing performance of these products – for which we will be taking orders,” says Landa, the Indigo founder who’s chairman of Landa Group.

    “Our presses will start shipping in early 2017. Fourteen years of nanotechnology research has enabled us to make tremendous breakthroughs in the quality, speed and cost of printing. Landa Nanographic Printing Presses produce offset quality, and now at offset speeds and offset-competitive cost per printon virtually any paper stock. This research has also spawned a new technology, Nano-Metallography, which will enable metallization graphics at less than half the cost of foil.”

    Landa will double the size of its drupa 2016 stand to 3,000 m2 and will run live demonstrations of all of its Nanographic Printing® Presses, including the Landa S10 sheetfed press – running at 13,000 B1 sheets per hour – for folding carton and POP, the Landa S10P perfecting press for commercial printing and the Landa W10 web press for flexible packaging and paperboard. The meter-wide (41 in.), high-speed W10 web press prints up to 8 colors at 200 meters per minute (656 ft./min) on plastic packaging films, paper, carton board and aluminum foil.

    “The W10 produces gravure quality printing on a broad range of substrates from plastic packaging films to metal foils, from paper to carton,” says Landa. “Finally, there is a solution that meets the needs of the flexible packaging industry for affordable short-to-medium run lengths of highest gravure-quality packaging materials – with flexo-competitive costs and productivity.”

    The company will also unveil its Nano-Metallography, a zero-waste metallization technology that will halve the cost of metallized printing compared to foil transfer processes.  Nano-Metallography is operable with the full spectrum of conventional printing technologies, including narrow-web flexo, offset and screen for the production of labels, sheetfed offset for folding carton and commercial printing, web-offset for publishing and wide-web flexo and gravure for flexible packaging.

    “Current metallization processes are prohibitively expensive due to the high cost of foil and tremendous waste,” Landa says. “Our Nano-Metallography technology will enable metallization at less than half the cost of foil, with zero-waste – and it’s microwave compatible. We expect this technology to be available to customers in 2017.”

    Landa will hold theater presentations five times a day during the exhibition. Reservations can be requested in advance at,or, subject to availability, may be booked at kiosks on the Landa stand (Hall 9) during the show.

    The Landa S10 sheetfed press

    The Landa W10 web press


  • Winds of change – Simpson joins Currie Group

    Former Ferrostaal GM Print & Finishing for Australia/New Zealand, Rayne Simpson, has joined Currie Group.

    Rayne Simpson, Currie Group

    The well-known industry identity left Ferrostaal in June last year and some time later was approached by Currie Group to take up the role of business development manager for NSW.

    “It’s a fantastic company and I’m excited about the opportunity,” said Simpson, who started his new job with Currie Group in Sydney last month. “My main focus is HP Indigo sheetfed digital presses and it’s certainly a part of the industry that is growing both in the local market here in Australia and New Zealand, and globally, with HP being the largest exhibitor at drupa this year for the first time.”

    Simpson said the switch from selling Komori offset presses at Ferrostaal to HP Indigo digital presses for Curries is a challenge he’s embraced.

    “Digital print is a very different process to offset but it’s still ink on paper. The proven Indigo quality and versatility, the special substrate capabilities, its productivity and its unique digital offset technology compared to other digital processes certainly excites me. I’ve only been here for just over a month and there is much more to learn but it’s clear that Currie Group is growing significantly and I look forward to the challenges ahead.”

  • Entries open for 25th annual ‘Catalogies’

    Entries are now open for the Australasian Catalogue Association’s (ACA) 25th annual awards that recognise excellence in catalogue marketing.

    'A true celebration': Kellie Northwood, CEO ACA

    “These awards are a true celebration of our collective industries,” said Kellie Northwood, CEO, ACA. “I truly believe one of the reasons the catalogue and letterbox marketing industries are so resilient and vibrant is because of the entire industry working as one and celebrating together.”

    This year’s event is set to be the biggest ever, with the introduction of a New Zealand category attracting increased entries from across the Tasman. Last year, more than 680 guests attended the 2015 ‘Catalogies.’

    Northwood said the annual awards provided a perfect opportunity for retailers, marketers and creative designers to celebrate the innovation, diversity and success of catalogues.

    “Catalogue marketing is a highly effective media – with an audience reach higher than any other media channel at 19.7 million and readership at 77% of Australians – and the awards give agencies and retailers the opportunity to have their strategies, concepts, creative, design and styling recognised.”

    The awards night will be held at Crown Palladium in Melbourne on Friday, 2nd September 2016, with comedian Dave Thornton returning as Master of Ceremonies.

    Judging in Melbourne will take place from 14-17 June and in Sydney from 20-22 June. Award entries close on Wednesday, 1st June.

    For more information, visit





  • Future Print expands popular sales course

    Industry initiative Future Print and its partner the Australian Academy of Sales are launching two more live streamed business sales training courses after heavy demand for the inaugural program that started last year.

    The course, a BSB40615 Certificate IV in Business Sales, offers live streamed business sales training via a smart phone, laptop, PC or iPad and is a nationally recognised qualification.

    “The inaugural course, which commenced October 2015, is enjoying rave reviews,” said Julie Tymms of the Australian Academy of Sales, which has teamed up with the Future Print Business Transformation Program to deliver the course to printing industry employees. “Its an exciting initiative with subsidised training places available for eligible candidates from the print, packaging, and broader industries.”

    Participants include not only traditional sales staff, but also a range of people who have direct contact with business clients, from production and reception staff to managing directors, CEOs and CFOs, said Tymms.

    “This is an opportunity to empower sales professionals, managers, business owners and other front line staff to improve performance and increase sales revenues. It’s the perfect course for individuals who want to lift their confidence, gain valuable new skills and improve results, but it’s also ideal for anyone who has contact with customers because in today’s competitive market, everyone needs to be a sales professional to ensure the business is making the most of market opportunity.”

    A second course commenced in February and the AAS has announced two new courses with starting dates in May:

    1. Wednesday, 11th May, 2016: 8.30am – 11.30am AEST
    2. Thursday, 12 May, 2016 10.30am – 1.30pm AEST (aimed at Western Australian participants.

    The course runs for 3 hours monthly, with 10 sessions over 12 months. Training is streamed live with course content delivered for the first couple of hours, followed by from 30-60 minutes coaching, and all online training is recorded for participants to access at any time. Training will be delivered by Mark Garbelotto, CEO Australia Academy of Sales and author of The Business of Sales.

    The course units are:

    • Develop Product Knowledge
    • Identify and Plan Sales Prospects
    • Develop a Sales Plan
    • Implement a Sales Plan
    • Address Customer Needs
    • Present, Secure and Support Sales Solutions
    • Secure Prospect Commitment
    • Present a Sales Solution
    • Establish Networks
    • Build Client Relationships and Business Networks

    In addition, other topics include:

    • The seven critical success factors in selling
    • How to identify your strengths and weaknesses
    • Sales psychometrics and the associated behaviours
    • How to develop and implement a sales strategy to win more sales
    • The twenty-one techniques to becoming a prospecting superstar
    • How to communicate and engage with prospects as an Advisor
    • The Doctor’s approach to qualifying and selling
    • The secrets to Presenting
    • How to make sales through networking and strategic alliances.

    There’s an early bird offer for those who register before 6 May that includes a complimentary AAS Sales Competency online Assessment & Report valued at $447 + GST.

    To find out more, contact or M: 0422 275 084 or visit






  • Packaging simplified: Esko at drupa

    Esko, a global supplier of integrated solutions for the packaging, labels, sign and display industries, will introduce software and hardware product innovations at this year’s drupa aimed at helping customers to manage, create and produce better packaging.

    'Packaging Simplified is our path forward': Udo Panenka, president, Esko

    “Visitors to our stand will see many ways to bring our theme of Packaging Simplified home to their own operations,” Esko president Udo Panenka told a pre-drupa press conference. “Our goal is to bring to each element of the production process an outstanding user experience across software and hardware that reduces the learning curve while increasing flexibility, speed, productivity and quality.”

    The market today demands shorter but more print production runs, needs a faster time to market leading to more complex processes and operations, according to an Esko press release. At the same time, operations are facing a lack of skilled operators. These global trends span across the entire packaging process from idea to shelf, from the brand to the designer, premedia and tradeshops to the printer/converter.

    To ensure that products are relevant and appealing to consumers, brands have embraced diversification. Variation in size, introduction of new flavors and regional marketing campaigns improve shelf appeal but can have a profound impact on packaging and label production. Add to that the ever greater need to comply with government regulations, which means more on-pack languages and symbols, all of which require frequent updates.

    These developments present a distinct challenge in managing and producing for CPG brand owners, and – as a consequence – for packaging, label, display and signage premedia, tradeshops and converters. They need to take control of smaller batches of printed packaging and labels for ever more SKUs with just-in-time delivery schedules and more stringent quality demands.

    “The number of jobs per shift continues to increase,” said Panenka. “Today, label and packaging converters, sign makers and display manufacturers often spend more time setting up their printing presses and converting equipment between jobs than in the actual printing and converting itself. Press changeovers have to be faster to ensure margins are maintained. And the same is true for design, artwork creation and making jobs print ready: short lead time requirements demand higher throughput for these processes and better control of the entire operations. Esko facilitates these pressing challenges by integrating and simplifying every step of the packaging management, prepress and production process. That is why we have chosen Packaging Simplified as our drupa theme.”

    “As we develop and enhance our products, we talk to many business owners and our product managers also analyzed support calls over an extended time period. They watch operators observing how they work and scan for improvement opportunities. This level of customer intimacy has been the driver behind revolutionary changes to user interfaces for both hardware and software.”

    “Packaging Simplified is our path forward and our promise to the industry,” Panenka said. “The world is getting more complex and we are helping our customers master this growing complexity with innovative solutions. Esko has applied its many years of expertise to redefining our offerings to master short runs effectively, improve equipment uptime, avoid errors and maintain quality.”

    Esko – a Danaher company – is headquartered in Gent, Belgium, and has R&D and manufacturing facilities in five European countries, the US, China and India.


  • Issue 791 – March 30

    The new line-up of directors at the Printing Industries represents a strong endorsement of the Association by the industry. A good mix of large corporate printing companies combined with representatives of small enterprises will give a good balance to the Board. It also covers the country so no one can complain about not being represented. Now perhaps we can all move on.

    Welcome to the latest issue of Print21, your premier news service for the graphic arts industries across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

  • Big printers back ‘new look’ PIAA

    Two of Australia’s biggest printing companies – IPMG and Blue Star – nominated two of the four new directors on the board at the Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA).

    The new directors were chosen by existing board members following the recent resignations of former presidents David Leach and Ross Black, and board members Susan Heaney and Steve Edwards.

    Kellie Northwood, executive director of print industry lobby group Two Sides Australia, was nominated by IPMG and will be the only woman on the new board.  Northwood said she was ‘looking forward to working with a great team on the board of the industry’s peak body.  It’s exciting to be part of this group of passionate people who are ready to move forward and do some great things.”

    The new casual vacancy board members were unanimously chosen by the Board from nearly twenty candidates who submitted an expression of interest. They are:

    • Walter Kuhn, Kuhncorp, Queensland
      Walter is a director of the Kuhn Corp Group and has over 20 years in the industry. “He brings a wealth of experience of print and packaging, together with knowledge of how other organisations manage their affairs,” said the PIAA in a statement.

    • Matt Aitken, Blue Star Group, New South Wales
      Matt is CEO of the Blue Star Group and has over 20 years in print and related fields. “He has held a number of senior roles and brings clarity of thinking and a sound understanding of the industry from a number of perspectives.”

    • Kellie Northwood, Two Sides Australia (nominated by IPMG, Victoria).
      “Kellie runs her own communications and marketing consultancy. She has worked in the printing industry for many years and now works closely with a number of major print and related organisations. Kellie is currently CEO the Australian Catalogue Association and is executive director at Two Sides Australia. Her appointment is as a representative of IPMG, one of the country’s largest printers.”

    • John Scott, Scott Print, Western Australia
      “John is the joint general manager of Scott Print, and brings his training and discipline as a lawyer to the table. Being a third generation member in a family of printers, it was natural that John would eventually join the family business.”

    Acting president Kieran May said: “The new look team are all very excited about the opportunity to contribute to the board. It was initially a difficult process given the significant number of people who expressed interest in joining the Board. One of our primary considerations was to add skills in areas where we thought it was necessary. The Board was mindful to ensure each region had access to their ‘local’ board member and we were mindful of the need for renewal. A role on the Board is a commitment in time and is ultimately a volunteer engagement, so we thank those new board members for giving up their personal and business time to contribute.

    “I’d like to say thanks to the other members who put up their hand. The board and I will be looking for ways we can involve them at some level. Wider member engagement and involvement is something we need to foster. We need to create a talented pool of future leaders.”

    Following the completion of some paperwork, the board will formalise the appointments within the week. The casual vacancies directors will take their places on the board and face a general election in the latter part of the year when all positions will be up for grabs.





  • Blue Star ramps up with four Fuji Xerox iGen5’s

    (l-r) Matt Aitken, CEO, Blue Star; Adam Fittler, National Sales Manager, Fuji Xerox Australia

    Blue Star has signed a major deal to boost its production capabilities with the installation of four brand new Fuji Xerox iGen5 presses at its plants in Melbourne and Sydney.

    Following the launch of the Xerox iGen5 Press in the Asia-Pacific region just last week, Fuji Xerox Australia has announced that Blue Star Group, a division of ASX-listed IVE Group, will install four of the new presses and a series of complimentary technologies at the Blue Star PRINT and Blue Star DIRECT divisions.

    The iGen5 was launched in the US market last year but Fuji Xerox installed a prototype in Sydney to allow local clients to test it out.

    Blue Star conducted an extensive series of spot colour tests on 50 client logos against both the Xerox® iGen5® Press’ market rivals and traditional offset presses, confirming a significant jump in colour and image quality from previous generations, according to a Fuji Xerox Australia press release.

    “We came up trumps across all those tests with amazing results and they were quite impressed,” said Adam Fittler, Fuji Xerox Australia’s National Sales Manager. “Blue Star is a really diverse group and each site has quite different solutions to satisfy its specific requirements, so the end result was a really unique digital printing solution to match their needs ranging from high-tech security printing to fully automated booklet printing. Two iGen5’s will go into the Blue Star plant in Melbourne and two will be installed in Sydney.”

    The technology provides Blue Star with the capability to print complex and intricate work, never before achieved through digital printing, with exceptional speed to market. The Xerox® iGen5® Press offers significant advancements in speed, improved image and print quality and introduces a fifth colour that hits a wider range of client’s custom colours without reducing print speed.

    “Blue Star has built its reputation as a market leader off the back of our continual investment in technology,” said Matt Aitken, CEO, Blue Star. “Our customers trust us to deliver the best print quality with the best speed to market, and the iGen5 will further help us to deliver on this promise”

    Blue Star has also installed a number of high end Monochrome Nuvera 314EA Systems, which feature purpose built in-line finishing for high volume booklet printing and an in-line scanning and verification system that checks printing integrity during the printing process. A Colour 1000i with Metallic Dry Ink and a Versant 2100 Press round out the suite of installations.

    The Xerox iGen 5 Press


  • Celarc replaces Brigstocke as Opus CEO

    Cliff Brigstocke, MD, Sales & Marketing, Opus Group

    Opus Group executive chairman Richard Celarc has taken over the role of Group CEO from long-term chief executive Cliff Brigstocke, who will now focus on sales and marketing.

    Richard Celarc, chairman, CEO, Opus Group

    The move comes just weeks after the diversified printing group posted a $12m profit for 2015 as its cashed-up major shareholder, Hong Kong-based 1010 Printing, backed the acquisition of new assets including Adelaide laminating and foiling business Protectaprint. OPUS reported total revenue of $115m for 2015, with its flagship Publishing Services Division reporting a slight revenue drop to $94.9m.

    In a brief statement to the ASX, Opus said:

    Following a review of the current executive management structure by the board, the following role changes will come into effect immediately following this announcement.

    Mr Richard Celarc, in addition to his executive Chairman duties, will take over the role of Group CEO.

    Mr Cliff Brigstocke will take on the role of Managing Director (Sales and Marketing) to focus on sales and revenue.

    Meanwhile, Opus announced it’s selling off its Singapore division COS Printers to major shareholder 1010 Printing in a deal worth more than $19m.

    ‘The sale of COS Printers will relieve OPUS management of the distraction of its undertakings and enable better focus on its printing businesses in Australia and New Zealand,” said the company in an ASX announcement yesterday.

  • Red Herring takes Photobook of the Year award

    Images from Red Herring

    21-year old Melbourne photographer Jordan Madge and veteran journalist Stephen Dupont were the big winners in the Australian Photobook of the Year awards for 2015.

    Madge, a recent graduate of the Photography Studies College in Melbourne, won the Self Published Award for his book titled Red Herring.

    “You’re aware that a girl has disappeared but you have to piece the story together,” said a statement from the judging panel. “Its open narrative captivates you and makes you want to read it again. The pairing of images, the use of colour with black and white, and the snippets of text create rhythm and build drama without shouting. The minimalist aesthetic and different paper textures also add to the mystery.”

    Madge won $2000 cash and a $5000 Momento Pro credit that will allow him to produce a limited edition book to submit to critics and competitions. His work includes image appropriation, found objects and his own photographs, and he’s currently working in Japan as an artist-in-residence.

    Generation AK: The Afghanistan Wars, 1993-2012.

    Journalist Stephen Dupont won the Trade Published category for Generation AK: The Afghanistan Wars, 1993-2012, published by the German-based Gerhard Steidl.

    The judges described it as ‘a collection of 20 years of photojournalistic work in a war zone – a document of great magnitude and substance. The photographs are forceful, and they’re woven into a design that’s sympathetic and doesn’t overwhelm the imagery.”

    Dupont won $1,000 cash and $2,000 in Momento Pro printing credit.

    He previously won the Award in 2012 with Stoned In Kabul, and also won the Pictures of the Year International (POYi) Photography Book Award in February.

    LA-NY by Sam Wong and Jack Shelton and Your love is not safe with me by Ailsa Bowyer were commended in the Self Published category, while Warwick Baker’s Belanglo (published by Perimeter Editions) and Leila Jeffreys’ Birdland (published by Hachette) were commended in the Trade Published category.

    The judging panel included representatives from photography, publishing and art institutions, and was co-chaired by international art consultant Alasdair Foster and Photobook Melbourne Director Heidi Romano.

    A finalist showcase is available at and the books will be exhibited alongside the New Zealand Photobook Of The Year Awards 2015 finalists in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Wellington and Auckland from March to July.

    The Australian Photobook of the Year Awards are presented by Photobook Melbourne and Momento Pro to celebrate excellence and innovation in photo book creation. Momento Pro, a long term HP Indigo user, is also investigating opportunities to promote the work to international photography festivals later in the year via an Antipodean Photobook publication showcasing all the finalists as a collection.

    The next round of Awards opens from 1 November 2016 until mid January 2017. Once again they will be co-hosted by partners Photobook Melbourne & Photobook New Zealand.

    Generation AK


    Red Herring

  • Scodix’s largest digital enhancement press

    The giant E-106 emerges at the Scodix facility in Israel.

    A massive B1-size press, the E106, will take centre stage on the Israeli-based manufacturer’s stand this year as the digital embellishing technology moves up to the top level.

    Four years after Scodix really hit the scene at the previous show with its revolutionary digital enhancement technology it has placed more than 200 units in operation throughout the world. The popular Ultra system has changed the way printers approach filing and embossing. The B2-size Ultra Pro with foiling module is one of 12 different systems on the market that have found a place in every sector from commercial printing to folding carton manufacturing.

    “Scodix leads the rapid adoption of digital enhancement equipment through its development of new products and applications that cannot be replicated or bettered by any other finishing process,” said Scodix CEO, Roy Porat, “Our print enhancement technology sets products apart from the competition and we’re looking forward to sharing our latest solutions with drupa visitors.”

    Now Scodix is pushing the size frontier with its mammoth B1 digital embellishing press to be launched at drupa. Powered by Ricoh inkjet heads in 17 arrays, the powerful full-size digital press is designed for high-end productive print facilities. Since 2012, Scodix brought three different models to market and more than tripled the applications achievable with the technology.

    Under construction at the company’s facilities in Israel, the E106 has already attracted plenty of interest from packaging printers. Following the success of the UltraPro the new machine closes the gap for the new technology.

    Its ability to use a variety of print enhancements allows printers to customise their line with anything from foiling to three different polymers. With a throughput of up to 4,000 B1 sheets per hour it is a true industrial press that is sure to attract plenty of attention at drupa.

    Currie Group has already placed a number of the Scodix engines with commercial printers in Australia.

    “Scodix applications go beyond what digital print alone can do," Roy Porat, Scodix CEO.


  • ‘We Embody Print’ – Agfa Graphics at drupa

    Agfa headquarters at Mortsel, Belgium

    Agfa Graphics highlighted its commitment to print and print technology at a pre-drupa press conference hosted in its headquarters in Belgium.

    Print plays 'a crucial role': Stefaan Vanhooren, president, Agfa

    “Print and print technology continue to play a crucial role despite the digitization of our daily lives,” president Stefaan Vanhooren told 60 print journalists gathered at Agfa headquarters at Mortsel in Belgium to hear about the latest product updates to be rolled out in Düsseldorf in May/June. “Print volumes undoubtedly suffer in particular areas and applications – for example: newspapers, magazines and some commercial jobs – yet they are still growing in packaging, wide-format and industrial applications, as well as in the emerging economies, generating plenty of business opportunities. And even in mature printing markets and regions, our innovative thinking and solutions enable our customers to always stay ahead.

    “As a leading player with a truly global footprint in the print markets, we invite visitors to drupa with the slogan ‘We Embody Print’, underlining our commitment to both the offset printing and the wide-format printing industry, while also opening doors to new print markets and applications in need of innovative solutions.”

    At drupa 2016, Agfa Graphics will present an overview of its product portfolio including following new products:


    In the field of offset printing, Agfa Graphics said it was focused on transforming technology into sustainable solutions that create value for its customers. The environmental impact of these solutions is an important factor, yet Agfa Graphics is taking this one step further by adding total cost of operations and convenience to the equation. ECO3 stands for Eco-friendly, Economic and Extremely Convenient.

    “With the introduction of the Azura printing plate in 2004, we pioneered chemistry-free prepress solutions; we are still the industry leader,” said Joan Vermeersch, Vice President Technology, Marketing & Business Development Prepress. “In the meantime, we also keep improving conventional systems to become more ECO3.”

    Recent improvements for chemistry-free applications include the Attiro VHS clean-out unit with the N95-VCF (violet chemistry-free) printing plates for the newspaper industry, the new Azura TU VLF chemistry-free plates for very large-format offset applications in combination with the new Azura CX150 clean-out unit, and the Azura TE direct-on-press plates, that feature image contrast as well as daylight stability and fast roll-up, and thus offer a tremendous advantage when going on press.

    For drupa, Agfa Graphics also adds the Avalon N8-90 CtP to its family of thermal computer-to-plate systems, and the new Energy Elite Eco printing plate. With a best-in-class run length for no-bake positive thermal plates, the latter is both mechanically and chemically compatible with today’s needs in sheetfed and heatset applications.

    Also new on the booth will be the pallet loader for the high-end, automated Advantage newspaper CtP systems, and the Advantage N Essentials CtP series, which takes computer-to-plate technology for newspaper printers back to its essence while providing equal user-friendliness and reliability.

    The Agfa showroom at Mortsel

    Wide-format solutions

    All Jeti and Anapurna wide-format solutions are designed in accordance with Agfa Graphics’ “matched components approach”. The Anapurna roll-to-roll and hybrid solutions will be driven by the Asanti workflow at the booth. So will the versatile Jeti Mira with the unique dockable roll-to-roll option and the Jeti Tauro, now for the first time in a ¾ automation line-up including the new automatic board feeder and unloading unit.

    “We continue developing the common Jeti platform with the quality and productivity demands of sign & display printing companies in mind,” said Dominiek Arnout, vice president inkjet, Agfa Graphics. “Users get the most out of our wide-format systems thanks to the tight integration with the Asanti workflow. Now, with the automation features added, the entire printing process is fully streamlined to deliver maximum productivity.”

    The new Acorta 3120 HD, targeted at very thick or dense materials, completes the Acorta family of cutting plotters.

     Software cloud solutions

    “Cloud printing is one of the hottest trends in the industry,” according to Andy Grant, Global Head of Software, Agfa Graphics. “As we can boast our own data centers and our dedicated managed services department, we have a unique position in offering cloud solutions with the highest possible data security. Customers benefit from cloud solutions in terms of working capital, energy consumption, space requirements, maintenance and service cost, while they are always up-to-date with the latest workflow version.”

    Besides the new Apogee 10 and Arkitex Production 2.0, Agfa Graphics announced PrintSphere, offering print service providers a cloud-based solution for online data exchange. PrintSphere provides a standardized way to send and receive files including secure back-ups of production databases, all seamlessly integrated with the Apogee, Arkitex and Asanti workflow software.

     Innovative solutions for the packaging industry @Touchpoint Packaging

    One of the most outspoken trends in the printing industry is the growth of the packaging and label sector. Today, Agfa Graphics is active in packaging with its offset plates, and serves certain areas with flexo plates through distributors. At drupa 2016, Agfa Graphics will be present at Touchpoint Packaging in hall 12 with technology and software solutions for future packaging design, production, authentication and customization or personalization:

    •    Arziro Design, a state-of-the-art plugin for Adobe IllustratorÒ to create counterfeit-proof artwork, and Arziro Authenticate, a unique and powerful hybrid authentication and track & trace solution;

    •    A range of functional ink technologies for new smart packaging applications.

     Industrial printing

    UV-ink technology, with its ability to print on a wide range of substrates, opens up opportunities for wide-format printing companies in the field of industrial applications. In addition, industry players recognize the technical possibilities of Agfa Graphics’ wide-format systems and start installing them in their own production halls.

    Now that industry integrators show interest, Agfa Graphics gives them access to printing technology such as ink and software, acting as a partner to integrate print in manufacturing by leveraging its know-how on fluids like inks, primers, white and varnish. The use of low-migration inks in the food packaging markets has already created attractive possibilities for packaging applications. Multiple opportunities present themselves with regard to flooring, decoration or bottling, as well as in the automotive industry, or when it comes to glass or metal printing.

    Mobile Publishing

    With its Eversify mobile content publishing software, Agfa Graphics addresses magazine and newspaper publishers that seek a solution to diversify their content to a wide range of devices (smartphones, tablets) at any moment of the day – in an automated way. The SaaS solution can be integrated in any editorial, content management or InDesignÒ-based layout system.





  • Tix on sale for NZ Pride in Print Awards

    Tickets are now on sale for the biggest night in the NZ Print calendar, the Pride in Print Awards, to be held in Auckland in May.

    “Brush off those suits, pop on a frock and bring your dancing shoes for what is always a highlight on the print calendar!” said a spokesperson. “Dinner and drinks will be served as we celebrate the best of the best, the crème de la crème of New Zealand printers, designers and print buyers.”

    To book, visit the registration page here. Organisers say tickets are selling fast and advise booking early to avoid disappointment.

    The Pride In Print Awards will be held at Sky City Auckland on Friday 13th May, and the annual PrintNZ Industry Forum 2016 will be held earlier in the day at Sky City. Guest speakers include:

    Marketing guru/columnist Mike Hutcheson:

    Mike will take us on a journey across the rapidly changing media landscape, pointing out that while everything changes, as far as human behaviour is concerned, everything stays the same. He will give some insight into how to foster creativity and develop teams that come up with new ideas.

    Entrepreneur Mike Pero:

    Mike will share his pathway to success, the lessons he has learned along the way and how they can be applied to business. He will also talk about the project he is sponsoring to assist young people in school to look at careers in industries such as the printing industry.

    Kim Campbell, CEO Employers and Manufacturers Association:

    Kim is a straightforward talker and his presentation will cover the global economy, where the New Zealand economy is right now and where it is heading, the part Auckland plays in that equation, and the issues that businesses are facing going forward.

    Register for the forum here. Get your registration in now to secure the earlybird rate: $199+GST for PrintNZ Members. Non-Members: $250+GST.


  • Women in Print: registrations open

    Registrations have opened for the Women in Print 2016 Breakfast Series which will visit Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in May.

    Entrepreneur Charlie Caruso’s unique approach to presenting will challenge attendees from all sectors and industries to confront subliminal generational bias and aim to inspire new business ideas by exploring several case studies of companies who went from ‘antiquated and outdated to agile and innovative.

    “Basically – I won’t be satisfied unless everyone attending breakfast has a notepad full of scattered notes of new ideas,” said Caruso – the author of Understanding Y (Wiley), and a producer, presenter, podcaster and business innovation consultant.

    Caruso has been listed in Anthill Australia’s 30 under Thirty, won special recognition for contribution to ICT, and her first start-up, PuggleFM, was listed in Shoe Strong Australia’s Top 10 start-ups of 2013.

    The 2016 Breakfast Series will visit Sydney 10 May, Melbourne 11 May, Brisbane 12 May, Adelaide 17 May and Perth 18 May.

    For all event details and to book your tickets, click here.


  • SGK brands unite for drupa

    ‘Perfect partners’ Saueressig and Schawk! are jointly exhibiting under the umbrella brand SGK – a Matthews International company – for the first time at this year’s drupa.

    'Perfect partners': Stephan Lammers, global director packaging at Saueressig

    Saueressig specialises in rotogravure and special machinery solutions and Schawk! – which has a growing presence in Australia through North Sydney-based Schawk Australia – is a data handling and flexographic printing company. Both brands serve brand owners, printers and converters along the entire prepress process to product presentation at the POS.

    “drupa is a promising platform to showcase our strong, global network,” said Stephan Lammers, global director packaging at Saueressig. “With our broad portfolio, Saueressig and Schawk! are the perfect partners for brand owners, printers and converters.”

    Around the globe their experts work on presenting brands and products in the best possible and most consistent manner, according to a press release. The overarching goal is to create consistent data for all types of applications. Standardized workflows across all international locations facilitate cooperation with those who are involved in the printing process.

    From design to printing process to the final presentation at the point of sale – as Matthews International’s umbrella brand for brand creation, brand implementation and brand protection, SGK offers its partners and customers full service along the entire workflow. In doing so, SGK draws on the expertise and strengths of its individual brands. Since the re-branding at the end of last year, Saueressig and Schawk! are part of SGK, too – next to Brandimage, Anthem and IDL.

    The expertise of countless demanding projects makes both brands true innovation leaders in the market. At drupa, the latest developments and advancements will be presented, including RGB-printing, Digimarc®, Printed Electronics and Holography-printing.

    Saueressig and Schawk! can be found in Hall 3, stand B24 at this year’s drupa (May 31-June 10, 2016) in Düsseldorf, Germany.

  • PIAA board chooses four new directors

    The board of the PIAA has reached an ‘almost unanimous’ decision on the four successful candidates who will be invited to join the board as its new directors.

    Existing board members met in Sydney yesterday to choose four new colleagues from a list of 20 nominees following a challenging few months for the national association that has seen the resignations of former presidents David Leach and Ross Black, former honorary secretaries Susan Heaney and Steve Edwards, as well as former CEO Jason Allen.

    “The process went particularly well and the decision on who will be invited to join the board was almost unanimous, with no real disagreement around the board table,” said acting president Kieran May. “Three of the four successful candidates were pretty much at the top of everyone’s list and there was some discussion about the fourth.

    “We now need to take care of a little bit of paperwork and inform the unsuccessful candidates of the decision, then conduct a formal electronic vote to make sure everything is in order but hopefully we could be making an announcement later today – subject to the successful candidates still being available.”

    May said the board had also made progress on its search for a new CEO to replace Allen.

    “We worked through a number of candidates and had further conversations with the recruiting agent who has spoken to all of the applicants but as yet there has been no official contact with any of the candidates at board level,” he said. “There’s still a possibility that we may invite one or two people to come out of the woodwork to consider the position.”