Archive for April, 2016

  • Issue 800 – April 29

    The winds of change have blown fair for the Printing Industries Association with the announcement of its new CEO. Picked with a gratifying unanimous vote by the Board, Andrew Macaulay surely steps into the role with the best wishes and high expectations of everyone in the industry. There is so much to do, so many changes transforming our industry, that the man at the helm of the peak body must be able to concentrate on the job at hand. The Board faces election later in the year, but that should not be a distraction to the Executive. Now’s the time to get on with the job.

    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

  • Andrew Macaulay named new PIAA CEO

    The PIAA has appointed Andrew Macaulay to replace Jason Allen as CEO after an extensive recruitment process involving over 100 applicants from within Australia and overseas. Acting president Kieran May said the board was unanimous in its choice.

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO, PIAA

    On his LinkedIn page, Macaulay is described as an experienced senior executive with 20 years management experience, 15 in executive management.  His most recent job was managing director at Sydney-based Dorade, which provides consulting on government relations, corporate restructuring and strategic planning.  Previously, Macaulay worked in the gaming industry, spending two years as MD at slot supplier Aspect Gaming in Shanghai City; two years as executive vice-president at SHFL entertainment; and three years as GM, business development Asia, at Aristocrat Leisure Limited. He was also regional GM at GTech Australasia, now a subsidiary of Italian company Lottomatica.

    The Board was mindful of the expectations of all members and set about to appoint a candidate with a strong record, particularly in stakeholder consultation and communication. Also at front of mind was the need to appoint a CEO who will lead the Association through a period of stabilisation, while simultaneously working to identify areas where members will see tangible benefits, said the PIAA in its press release.

    The Board conducted in-depth interviews with short-listed applicants from both the print industry and other industry backgrounds. Applicants were then short-listed further and followed up with secondary discussions with the top candidates.

    Macaulay offered key strengths which set him apart. He has shown a demonstrated ability to engage with members at all levels, an ability to grasp key issues to influence decision makers on policy and strategic matters, and an outstanding record in managing recovery and growth.

    The PIAA highlighted Maccauley’s experience with the NSW Farmers Association in the 1990s.

    Macaulay achieved outstanding results in a key role with NSW Farmers Association in a period when their industry experienced significant turmoil. His leadership was instrumental in rebuilding confidence within a fractured and demoralised industry sector.  More recently he has been instrumental in forging successful multi-level partnerships throughout Australia and South East Asia, driven by his exceptional leadership and strong relationships at Government and stakeholder levels. Those who know Andrew, attest to his ability and strong family values. Macaulay has expressed priority to meet with industry leaders and members.

    Macaulay is a former president of St Ives Rugby Club and a member of the Liberal Party of Australia.

  • Orora NZ powers up new Roland 707 press

    (l-r) manroland Australasia operations manager Mark Hawkey & MD Steve Dunwell at Orora's Greenfield plant

    Manroland has installed a brand new Roland 707 LV HiPrint seven-colour sheetfed offset press at packaging giant Orora’s new Greenfield facility in New Zealand.

    Melbourne-based Orora, an international packaging company listed on the ASX, had previously installed two six-color Roland 700 presses with double coaters series 720 and 742. Encouraged by their performance, Orora decided to order a new seven-color Roland 707 with coating module, Inline ColorPilot and Integration Pilot Plus for its Greenfield site. Orora also purchased innovative technologies such as ColorPilot Smart and Integration Pilot Plus to upgrade its existing six-color Roland 700 presses.

    “The Roland 707 offset will further boost Orora’s high speed production operation,” said Nabil Askari, GM, Orora New Zealand.

    manroland Australasia MD Steve Dunwell and New Zealand-based manroland operations manager Mark Hawkey were on site to supervise the installation.

    Orora provides print and packaging solutions to customers in North America, Australia and New Zealand and last year enjoyed sales of $A3.4 billion.

     

     

  • Giant APP pulp mill threatens forests: report

    Environmental groups have warned that a massive new $US2.6 billion pulp mill opening later this year in South Sumatra could threaten Indonesia’s remaining virgin forests.

    Pulp and paper giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) says its new OKI mill could produce between two and 2.8 million tons a year.

    A new report by a dozen international and Indonesian environmental groups estimates that APP will face a significant shortfall in its supply of plantation-grown wood after the new mill begins operating, even at a two-million-ton capacity. The company could then face a choice between using higher-cost imported wood or looking the other way as its suppliers encroach upon virgin forests, said the report.

    “APP, while it has been presenting itself as a champion of zero deforestation, is building one of the world’s biggest pulp mills,” said Christopher Barr of Woods & Wayside International, one of the groups behind the report. “There will be a great deal of pressure to ensure it receives adequate supplies of wood to keep it operating at full capacity. Our analysis shows the group’s existing planted area in South Sumatra is unlikely to produce the volumes of wood the mill is expected to consume at projected capacity levels.”

    The report details major risks to the productivity of pulpwood plantations established to supply the new mill, including catastrophic fires, peatland subsidence, flooding, social conflict, pests and diseases. It estimates that APP’s plantations in South Sumatra have never produced even half of the wood needed to feed a two million tons a year pulp operation. The shortfall is compounded by last year’s devastating forest and peatland fires across Indonesia that destroyed more than a quarter of APP’s planted trees in South Sumatra.

    In a statement, APP said the new mill would start operating later this year at a ‘low level,’ with production to increase gradually, based on demand and the availability of wood from its suppliers. “Whilst the new mill significantly increases APP’s production capacity, we have been clear that our Forest Conservation Policy commitment takes precedence over maximizing our production,” said a company press release.

    Pulp production and any future increase in production will be subject to the availability of raw materials from our suppliers. The design capacity of the mill is 2.8 million tons per year. We will continuously monitor and review our production and supply of raw materials to ensure that we adapt our pulp production accordingly based on the available supply of raw materials from our pulpwood suppliers. Our pulpwood suppliers will continue to be bound by all the commitments of our Forest Conservation Policy (FCP) which, amongst other things, includes no clearance of natural forest by our pulpwood suppliers since February 2013.

    Whilst the new mill at OKI significantly increases APP’s production capacity, we have been clear that our FCP commitment takes precedence over maximizing our production. We are taking the following steps to ensure that we will be able to achieve optimum production whilst maintaining the commitments made in the FCP:

    1. Increasing productivity and yield in our plantations: We are working on increasing yield through improved control of pests and disease. In addition, we are reducing mortality and wastage as well increasing efficiency in our harvesting methods by using mechanization techniques.

    2. Research into new species: APP has been conducting research, in partnership with Euroconsult Mott MacDonald, to identify alternative plant species that can provide better yields and thrive in wetter peatland conditions. Several plant species have already been prioritized for this research,and field experiments are scheduled to commence soon.

    3. Embracing community forestry into our supply chain according to the government regulations and guidelines: We are planning to strengthen community forest initiatives in our supply chain. The primary objective of these initiatives is to adopt local wisdom, reduce poverty and enhance the alternative livelihoods of communities living in and around our concessions, through agroforestry, intercropping between plantation trees including pulpwood, cash crops and animal husbandry, as well as reducing risks of further forest degradation and fires.

    4. Sourcing woodchips from global suppliers: If these measures still prove to be insufficient, then APP will look towards sourcing for woodchips from global suppliers that meet our policy requirements in accordance to our Responsible Fiber Procurement and Processing Policy.

    The bottom line is that there is no question in our minds that the commitments we made in the FCP come first. The OKI mill entering into production will not affect our commitment.

    Meanwhile, a Greenpeace meeting in Sydney next week will examine how Indonesia has lost forest land equal to the size of Germany in the past 25 years.

    Kiki Taufik, the global head of Greenpeace’s Indonesian forest campaign, will outline why protecting Indonesia’s forests is critical to global efforts to stabilise the climate and preserve biodiversity. “At the height of last year’s fires, Indonesia was emitting more carbon than the entire US economy,” said Greenpeace in a statement. “We need to turn the tide.”

    The event – organised in partnership with the Sydney Environment Institute and Sydney Ideas – will be chaired by David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

    When: Friday, May 6, 5.00pm – 6.30pm

    Where: Law School Foyer

    Level 2, Sydney Law School

    Eastern Avenue

    The University of Sydney

    Cost: Free if you register here

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Businesses need ‘digital reality check’

    Australian businesses need a digital transformation strategy to avoid being left behind in an increasingly digital world, according to a new study.

    The IDC-Canon Transformation Study 2016 study found that one in five Australian businesses have no digital transformation strategy, four out of five businesses have at least started or are in the midst of their digital transformation but only 14% have fully digitised processes.

    “Whilst the study shows businesses have started down the path, the results indicate they’re not as advanced as they think they are and could use a digital reality check,” said IDC research director Adam Dodds.

    “IDC predicts that by 2020, one third of top market share leaders will be significantly disrupted by competitors using new technologies,” he said. “They are the driving force behind digital transformation and in order to stay relevant and competitive, organisations must be willing to transform or go out of business.  The rising cost of operations, new business models and changing customer-buying patterns are all factors in the disruptive state of affairs right now.”

    The study examined which document-based processes and workflows were seen as critical to transform, re-engineer and automate.  The results showed a strong focus on back office, administrative and operational processes to improve efficiency.  In particular, financial processes such as accounts payable and receivable were seen as the most critical areas to transform.

    The study also pointed to differences between small to medium sized businesses and larger businesses.

    Small to medium sized businesses are heavily reliant on IT to help them stay agile, counter costs and improve productivity.  Their needs are immediate and they’re more readily able to transform to create more efficient workflows and improve ways of interacting with customers.

    “In short, smaller businesses are punching above their weight and moving ahead in the digital race,” said Nitya Padman, Canon Australia’s head of customer marketing. “Larger organisations are heavily impacted by legacy systems. This is a major deterrent to progressing at a faster pace along the digital transformation journey. The study clearly shows whatever size your business is, be realistic about where you’re at on your digital transformation journey or risk getting left behind in an increasingly digital world.”

    The report comes a week after pro-paper initiative Two Sides Australia (TSA) launched its Keep Me Posted campaign to fight a switch to digital billing by some companies that are now charging customers for the privilege of receiving a paper bill in the post.

    “The rush to embrace digital is not the most sensible move for companies,” said TSA executive director Kellie Northwood. “Currently, one in five Australians are not accessing the internet at home and consumers report a strong preference for paper, with 80% reporting they prefer reading from paper than reading from screen.”

    * The IDC-Canon Transformation Study 2016 (excerpt below) conducted 170 phone-based interviews with Australian organisations.

     

  • Bauer Media ditches ‘motorsport bible’

    Australia’s largest magazine publisher, German titan Bauer Media Group, is selling off its motorsport magazine Auto Action.

    Bauer Media will stop publishing Auto Action – described on its website as the ‘motorsport bible’ with a weekly readership of 99,000 – across all print, digital and social media channels, with the final print edition scheduled for May 5.

    A Bauer spokesperson told media site Mumbrella that the magazine publisher seeking a new owner for the award-winning weekly that was launched in 1971.

    The move follows last year’s decision by Bauer to close car magazine Top Gear Australia and sell-off three motorcycle titles to publisher Citrus Media.

    Hamburg-based Bauer publishes more than 60 magazines in Australia, selling over 60 million copies each year, including the biggest-selling monthly magazine, The Australian Women’s Weekly, the number one weekly magazine, Woman’s Day, as well as Dolly, TV Week, Cosmopolitan, Australian Gourmet Traveller and Australian House & Garden.

    Since acquiring ACP Magazines in 2012 for $525 million, Bauer has cut staff and closed several under-performing titles, including the long-running monthly Cleo, Women’s Fitness, Zoo Weekly, Top Gear, Madison and Grazia.

    Earlier this month, former Pacific Magazines COO Nick Chan was named Bauer’s new CEO for Australia and New Zealand, five months after David Goodchild stepped down from the job.

     

     

     

  • Tecnau to unveil new Libra One at drupa

    Tecnau's Libra One

    Italian web-fed print finishing company Tecnau will showcase its new Libra One book-block finishing system at this year’s drupa.

    Libra One is a fully integrated and automated system, allowing variability from one book to the next in height, width, thickness and imposition. With Libra One’s ability to produce ‘books-of-one’, users can dramatically reduce paper waste and the risk of unsold inventory.

    Tecnau (Hall 8a, stand D63) will also exhibit a range of new and existing products on the stands of a number of digital printing and finishing partners, including Ricoh, Screen, Canon, Xerox, HP, Horizon, Fujifilm and Böwe Systec:

    •          Ricoh – Tecnau unveils its new Roll 9 system in twin showings around drupa. At the Ricoh stand (Hall 8a, stand B46), Roll 9’s Unwinder u9 feeds roll paper to the Ricoh Pro VC60000 continuous feed inkjet printer, with the Rewinder r9 forming rolls on the back end.

    •          Screen – Roll 9 is also shown on the Screen stand (Hall 8a, stand C11), providing feeding and finishing for the Screen Truepress Jet520 HD.

    •          Canon – Completing the exhibition of Libra One on Tecnau’s own stand, Tecnau’s Zero Speed Splicer u40 provides roll feeding for Canon’s new high-speed digital printing system, Ocè ColorStream 6000, in the neighboring Canon stand (Hall 8A, stand B50-7); the printer in turn supplies printed output in-line to Libra One.

    •          Xerox – Tecnau will exhibit its high-speed Roll 20 roll-to-roll solution along with the Stack 2020 cut/stack system in the Xerox stand (Hall 8B, stand A62) on the just-announced Trivor 2400 Inkjet Press.  Supporting speeds up to 254 meters per minute, the Unwinder u20 features a new airshaft design for smooth feeding of a paper roll up to 22.5” wide and 52” in diameter into the digital press.

    •          HP – At HP’s stand in Hall 17, Tecnau will show its CutReady cut/stack solution finishing output behind the HP Indigo w6800.  CutReady supports a broad array of applications, media types, and paper weights – completing one up, two up, and three up output in standard photo sizes including 4×6, 5×7, 6×8, 10×8, and 12×18 inches.

    •          Horizon – Tecnau displays the Stack 2020 cut/stack system inline to the Horizon book finishing solution, including the BQ-470 binder and HT-1000 Three knife trimmer, in a pair of partner locations at drupa.  In the Horizon stand (Hall 6, stand D05), Stack 2020 is configured with an Unwinder 550, Cutter c20, Stacker s20 and Transport Table 568 to support a dual output delivery: the Stacker s20 can be bypassed to send single sheets to the Horizon system or alternatively can be used to cut and stack book blocks, with 90 degree delivery and offline finishing. The Roll to finish line is suitable for medium to short run production.

    •          FujiFilm – On the FujiFilm stand (Hall 8B, stand A25), Tecnau’s Stack 2020 again delivers sheets to the Horizon book finishing solution, this time in a nearline configuration to FujiFilm’s Jet Press 540w.

    •          Böwe Systec – Tecnau presents in Hall 6, stand B39 the Unwinder u10 inline to Böwe Systec Fusion Cross, high speed inserting system, supporting a broad variety of envelop formats and media variation, for the transaction and direct mail markets.

    “We’ve placed a number of new product offerings in partner stands at drupa, so we encourage our customers and prospects to visit partners as well as Tecnau’s own stand to see the latest in the world of feeding and finishing innovations for digital print,” said Giuliano De Marco, CEO of Tecnau.

     

  • Clever Epson is in Reuters top 100 Innovators – again

    Reinforcing the unique IP underlining its new corporate vision, Epson 25, the Japanese-based company is one of the top 100 companies singled out for the prestigious international award for the fifth straight year.

    The award is based on analysis of patent and citation data for some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies across four main criteria:

    • Volume: with every winner having at least 100 unique inventions protected by a granted patent over the most recent five year period;
    • Success: the ratio of inventions described in published applications (those patents which are filed and publicly published by the patent office but not yet granted) to inventions protected with granted patents
    • Globalization: globalization is the value an organization places on an invention by protecting it across the major world markets, the Chinese Patent Office, the European Patent Office, the Japanese Patent Office and the United States Patent & Trademark Office
    • Influence: the downstream impact of an invention, measured by how often it is cited by other organizations.

    Executive officer and general administrative manager, Intellectual Property Division for Seiko Epson Corporation Toshiya Takahata (pictured) said, “We are truly proud to receive this award. Winning it for five years in a row recognises the close cooperation between us at the International Property Division (IP Division) and Epson’s technology development teams. It is often said that management and IP strategies need to go hand in hand, and I believe that IP is the foundation stone for corporate activities.”

    The win comes as Epson is starting its new corporate plan, Epson 25, which it launched last month. It focuses the company on its mission statement of  … Creating a new connected age of people, things and information with efficient, compact and precision technologies.

    The plan is to build on the solid manufacturing foundation to create a new era based on the unique advantages Epson has built up over time. One of the aims is to drive business by further integrating the management, R&D, and IP strategies.

    “Every April, we hold a planning meeting in each division. Prior to this, the president, the divisional heads, and us in the IP Division get together to discuss our integrated strategy. For example, we discuss issues there may be between the printer division and the IP division, or any issues from a management perspective,” said Takahata. “Based on what has been discussed in this meeting, the business plan of each division is reviewed and the division is informed of the result. We share a common idea that IP is the foundation for our corporate activity, and thus the business divisions and the IP Division are required to work together to pursue an integrated strategy.”

    Epson’s IP Division has expertise on IP systems, and can thus provide opinions on how techniques achieved by inventors can be patented, and how the potential of patents can be increased. The inventors can see what they are developing or trying to achieve as a result of their technology. For example, inventors envision what they are trying to produce is something the world has never seen before or realise ways to exceed the customers’ expectations. Thus, the thoughts of the different divisions are based on technology, they speak based on technology, and they are linked to each other by technology.

    Takahata concluded, “I think that people who visit the Reuters website are highly sensitive to global trends. My top priority is to make such people understand that Epson has powerful IP because of its unique technology background. The Epson Group, as a whole, shares a common goal of becoming a company that is indispensable to its customers.”

     

     

     

  • A Fineline for Blue Star Group

    'Delighted': Neil Collyer, CEO/owner Fineline Printing

    Blue Star Group, a division of ASX listed IVE Group, has continued its expansion drive with the acquisition of Melbourne print and communications specialist Fineline Printing. 

    The deal, for an undisclosed amount, is expected to be completed by the end of this week.

    'A great, well-respected business': Matt Aitken, CEO, Blue Star Group

    ‘They’re a great, well-respected business and have been a competitor in the market in Victoria so we’ve known the Fineline team for some time,” said Matt Aitken, CEO, Blue Star Group.

    Fineline – one of Melbourne’s leading printing businesses for more than 30 years – will be integrated into Blue Star Print’s facility ten minutes away at Clayton, with warehousing services to be managed from Blue Star Connect’s logistics site in Keysborough in Melbourne’s south-west. Blue Star Print Victoria GM Brad Hoffmann will lead the combined business, with Fineline owner and CEO Neil Collyer staying on to assume a senior role. It’s understood that the majority of the staff from Fineline will make the move across to Blue Star but there will be some job losses.  Details of the staff cuts have yet to be disclosed.

    The transfer of some of the machinery and equipment from the Fineline facility at Noble Park across to Blue Star at Clayton will begin next week.

    “We are delighted to be joining such an iconic and innovative business as Blue Star,” said Collyer. “It will enable Fineline Printing to broaden our reach and strengthen our end-to-end offering, a great outcome for our valued customers and our dedicated staff.”

    With a diverse range of production capabilities, including traditional offset printing and digital, Fineline Printing offers a comprehensive suite of services including creative design, commercial printing, wide format, print management and warehousing.

    “Fineline Printing is well known for their commitment to service, innovation and quality – an approach shared by Blue Star,” said Aitken. “With an excellent profile of work and broad capabilities, great staff and clients, Fineline Printing is an ideal fit for Blue Star.”

    IVE consists of 4 operating divisions – Kalido (creative and marketing services), Blue Star Group, Pareto Group (fundraising specialists – NFP sector) and IVEO (managed solutions) – and employs 1,300 people in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, China and New Zealand. Blue Star businesses include Blue Star Print, Blue Star Direct, Blue Star Web, Blue Star Display, Blue Star Promote and Blue Star Connect.

     

     

  • News, Fairfax eye shared printing deal

    News Corp has reopened talks with rival Fairfax Media on a plan to share its print and distribution operations, according to a report in well-informed News mouthpiece The Australian newspaper.

    Michael Miller, executive chairman, News Corp

    While the talks are understood to be at an early stage, well-placed sources believe there is a willingness from both sides to strike a deal, as print revenues come under pressure from digital competitors,” said the report.

    Any deal would be expected to encompass regional and community titles, as well as metropolitan newspapers, where facilities could be shared and truck route duplication minimised. Sources said there could be more savings on offer among regional and community newspapers, given there are more titles being distributed to remote areas. Regional newspaper revenues have come under particular pressure in recent years as the effects of digital disruption and falling free-to-air television ad rates take hold.

    When contacted, a Fairfax spokesperson said there would be no comment on the report. In recent years, Fairfax Media has completed a multi million-dollar upgrade of its printing and logistics operations in NSW and Victoria.

    Reports that the companies were interested in restarting talks about a shared printing deal first surfaced last year in The Australian – shortly after Michael Miller was named the new executive chairman at News Corp. Miller was previously CEO at APN News & Media and while there he signed a deal with current Fairfax chief Greg Hywood for the two companies to share printing facilities in New Zealand.

    The new proposal faced some potential stumbling blocks, said the report.

    Sources said a printing deal between Fairfax and News would generate less synergies following Fairfax’s sale of its state-of-the-art printing facilities at Chullora in Sydney and Tullamarine in Victoria this year. As part of the move, Fairfax’s print deadlines were pulled forward and are now much earlier than at News, which is another potential impediment to a deal.”

    Fairfax Media last year posted a 62.9% drop in full-year profit but said its booming digital business had helped to offset a continuing decline in print.

  • Issue 799 – April 27

    The latest issue of Print21 magazine is now in the mail – and on the web. Cover story is how PMP, the region’s largest printer, is leading the world in the production of fully foiled and coated ‘book of one,’ the fastest growing segment in the publishing industry. It’s a tale of far-sighted management and innovative thinking.

    An exciting 32-page drupa SPECIAL is all about what to see and where to go at the Düsseldorf trade show next month. Enjoy reading online … and in print.

    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

  • High-speed, super fast printer has wide appeal

    Eddie Awad points out the winning aspects of the HP PageWide XL – he was the first in Australia to install one of the new systems.

    Neopost Australia is looking to build on its HP award of ‘Best Channel Partner Large Format Production 2015’ with the launch of the HP PageWide XL range in Sydney last week.

    The partnership was on display when the companies hosted an event to showcase the latest HP PageWide XL printer to the industry. A top of the range XL 8000 was put through its paces, outputting A1-size sheets at an impressive 30 per minute.

    There are almost 1000 of the XL pigment inkjet printers already in the market since its launch late last year, with five in Australia and one in New Zealand. With a user target that reaches from commercial printers producing POS posters to high-throughput architect offices, Neopost has high expectations of making serious inroads into the market.

    According to Raj Dang, general manager, Neopost, the company has built the appropriate network to provide service to PageWide XL customers. He promises rapid online response as well as back room operator support. Cialan Shine, Neopost service manager, was on hand at the event to highlight the wide reach of the company’s East Coast service network.

    Able to print full bleed on plain paper as well as clearly render fine line drawings and remarkably small type to an industry-beating standard, the PageWide XL printers turn out waterproof prints that are completely dry. Javier Larraz, director and GM HP LF Design for the Region, took the opportunity to demonstrate the feature with élan, pouring a glass of water onto a print just after it had emerged from the machine. There was no smearing.

    The first PageWide XL in Australia went into Perumal Pedavoli architects in Ultimo Sydney. Eddie Awad systems consultant, was at the event to sing its praises in terms of reliability and cost effectiveness. It was blooded on the massive $190 million job of building the new Parklea Prison where more than 300 drawing went through dozens of iterations over a period of months. He maintained the cost was 15% less than the previous collection of engines used by the company.

     

  • Integrated finishing is drupa digital print focus

    Deepening collaboration between Horizon digital finishing equipment and HP Indigo new generation digital presses puts Currie Group in the box seat at drupa.

    Inline integration of the Horizon SmartStacker with the HP Indigo 12000 Digital Press is delivering increased automation and ensuring faster job turnaround, reduced waste and fewer errors. Providing automated cutting, trimming, collating, and stacking for multiple short-run print jobs, the SmartStacker is a ‘must see’ for digital printers at the Düsseldorf show. Applications include finished products from postcards to posters, individual sheets or sets, book block output for bookbinding, and stacked output for packaging.

    According to Bernie Robinson, Currie Group managing director, (pictured right) the combination of Horizon integrated finishing along with HP Indigo presses provides best in class production for today’s printing requirements.  “Both brands are leaders in their field and together they have the best integrated system in the industry. They address the needs of commercial printers in today’s short-run market. I’m looking forward to showing local visitors around the stand and demonstrating the efficiencies of the Horizon system when integrated with digital printing,” he said.

    In addition to the SmartStacker, the Horizon HT-1000V Variable three-knife trimmer and CRF 362 creaser and folder are now compatible with HP Indigo digital presses, including full support for HP Indigo’s Direct2Finish workflow connectivity. Direct2Finish enables automatic submission of accurate job definition format (JDF) instructions to leading finishing devices, reducing make-ready and turnaround time.

    The CRF 362 impact creaser prevents cracking during creasing of covers on digitally printed applications such as restaurant menus, shop-cards, invitation cards, and laminated sheets. With multiple options for folding patterns, it is also ideal for preparation of high-quality bound book covers.

    “We are delighted to continue our ongoing collaboration with Horizon,” commented Gershon Alon, Workflow Solutions and Partner Program Manager at HP Indigo. “As part of our commitment to introducing automation to the bindery, we are excited about the SmartStacker integration with the HP Indigo 12000 Digital Press and the new Horizon additions to our Direct2Finish certified products portfolio.”

    “We are very proud of the advances we have made together with HP, as our integrated solutions save significant time, reduce errors, and eliminate waste,” said Eijiro Hori, President at Horizon. “With automated system functionality, there is no need for manual measuring or coding, making operation simpler and the results as precise as possible.”

     

  • World first for PMP ‘book of one’ – Print21 magazine

    (l-r) John Nichols, COO and Peter George, MD, PMP

    It took more than investing in the latest HP digital technology for PMP to meet the demands of the new book publishing business model. It also took an innovative approach to turn the production system on its head and go where no other printer had gone before.

    PMP chief operating office John Nichols travelled the world to find out how to do it but, as he tells Print21 magazine, he finally had to rely on his own vision of the future for book printing.

    Read the full story here and check out all the latest industry news and a 32-page guide to drupa in the the latest issue of Australasia’s leading graphic arts magazine.

     

     

  • Kuhn sleeps out for the homeless

    New PIAA director Walter Kuhn is once again throwing his support behind the Vinnies CEO Sleepout to raise money for the homeless.

    “This is my 4th year of sleeping out to raise much needed funds to help the homeless,” says Kuhn, director of Kuhn Corp Press & Packaging, based at Virginia in Brisbane. “With your help again, we can make a difference to the less fortunate ones within our community. If there is anything that you can think of that will help in generating more awareness and in turn increase the support for this, let me know. I’m all ears.”

    The Vinnies CEO Sleepout on Thursday, 23 June 2016 is a unique way for business leaders to raise awareness and funds in support of homeless services across the country.

    Kuhn thanked those who have already donated to the cause and reminded others that there’s still time to get involved. As of Wednesday 27 April, he had raised $1,625 towards a goal of $5,000.

    “Please dig deep and help me by donating to this worthwhile cause by visiting this link,” he said.

    Walter Kuhn was one of four new directors who joined the PIAA board in March following a spate of resignations by former presidents David Leach and Ross Black, and board members Susan Heaney and Steve Edwards.

     

     

  • New green labels for printers?

    If you wanted to put a green label on a printing company, what would you look for? The usual differentiator amongst printers is compliance and ideally formal certification to ISO 14001. Compliance to this environmental management standard is based on a company’s environmental policy and how well the organisation conforms to that policy. There are requirements for management reviews and documentation, but this may not be enough to certify the overall greenness of a particular business.

    Laurel Brunner

    If we were to develop such a standard, ISO 14001 would obviously be the reference for environmental management systems. In addition to ISO 14001 companies might also be asked to demonstrate other sustainability commitments, commitments that go beyond managing environmental aspects and impacts, and ensuring quality and safety.

    However, the details of what gets included in the environmental policy required by ISO 14001 determines how ambitious and comprehensive that policy is. Within the scope of 14001 it can go beyond prevention of pollution and minimising environmental impacts. The underlying principle for ISO 14001 is one of continuous improvement, so each time a company goes through the audit process it’s measured on the business’s new targets. Those targets, enshrined in the environmental policy, reach ever further into the organisation. Properly implemented the environmental management policy should enhance environmental performance, and fulfil environmental objectives and compliance obligations.

    This means that ISO 14001 is enough, if we can assume that companies develop comprehensive environmental policies and live up to them. The trouble is that we cannot make such assumptions, so there may be an argument for a new standard specifying what an environmental policy should cover. And it should be ambitious, because certification to a combined ISO 14001, plus an environmental policy standard would confer the ultimate green status.

    Take a packaging company for example, producing millions of filled flexible packages every month. Its environmental management policy would include requirements for accepting bulk deliveries, a process that would have to be managed to be environmentally sound. This might mean route planning which requires cooperation with shipping companies and their other customers. And then there is the loading and distribution process which would also need an environmentally benign process.

    This packaging company would also have to consider such things as ingredient preparation and filling. Not only should the processes be efficient and minimise emissions and waste. There is also the consideration of consumer safety, and overall stability of the packaging and contents.

    It could all be included as part of ISO 14001, but perhaps there is an argument for a series of ISO standards that specify the environmental policy requirements for different sectors of the printing industry. Such a series would be far from easy to write, but it could improve uptake of ISO 14001 and print’s overall environmental impact.

    – Laurel Brunner

    Verdigris supporters who make this blog possible: Agfa GraphicsDigital DotsEFIFespaHeidelbergHPKodakMondiPragati OffsetRicohShimizu PrintingSplash PRUnity Publishing and Xeikon

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

  • Print-on-demand biz Redbubble eyes ASX

    Martin Hosking, CEO and co-founder, Redbubble

    A print-on-demand business started ten years ago by three friends in Melbourne is launching an IPO aimed at raising $30 million ahead of a planned float on the ASX next month.

    Redbubble, an online creative marketplace that sells designs by independent artists printed on a range of products including clothing, home decor, stationery and phone cases, has announced an IPO of shares at $1.33 per share to raise $30 million, with a $9.8 million sell-down by existing shareholders. The offer is fully underwritten by joint lead managers, Morgans Corporate and Canaccord Tenuity. The offer price of $1.33 a share would value the company at $267 million.

    The funds raised will provide Redbubble with capital to enable it to pursue its growth strategy, while allowing early investors in Redbubble to realise some of their investment, said a company statement.

    Aboriginal Flag T-Shirt (unisex) from Redbubble

    “Redbubble’s mission is to create the world’s largest marketplace for independent artists,” said chairman Richard Cawsey. “It is one of a small group of Australian technology companies that are genuine global leaders in their space. At the core of this success is the rise in consumer demand for distinctive products coupled with the ever-increasing possibilities of print-on-demand technology.”

    Redbubble, founded in Melbourne in 2006 by Martin Hosking, Paul Vanzella and Peter Styles, made a net loss of $6.3 million last financial year. CEO and co-founder Hosking said the company was still in an ‘investment phase.’

    “Redbubble has a strong track record of delivering growth,” said Hosking. “In the half-year to end of December 2015 we had Gross Transaction Value of $80.6 million representing growth of 55% compared to the half year to the end of December 2014. We are forecasting full year GTV of $143.5 million for FY 2016.

    “We’ve driven this growth by continuing to invest in marketplace fundamentals with a focus on geographic expansion, enhancing the website experience, growing the product offering and improving the experience for the artists. The funds raised will enable us to continue the investment into our people and systems. I look forward to working with the team in implementing our growth strategy as we create a company of enduring value and true global significance out of Australia.”

    The offer comprises:

    • a Broker Firm Offer, which is open to Australian resident investors who are not Institutional Investors and who receive a firm allocation of Shares from their Broker;
    • and an Institutional Offer which consisted of an invitation to bid for Shares made to Institutional Investors in Australia and a number of other eligible jurisdictions.

    On completion of the offer, Redbubble would have a market capitalisation at the offer price of $267 million. The Prospectus is available in electronic form at http://rdbl.co/1qUP3By.

    Redbubble is a global online marketplace powered by 399,000+ independent artists, according to the company website. In FY 2015, 1.44 million buyers shopped in the Redbubble marketplace and, since its launch in 2007, artists have earned over $44 million through the marketplace.

    As of 1 March, the company employed 158 people, with 90 based in the Melbourne office.