Archive for May, 2016

  • Five Star Print calls in administrators

    Five Star Print – one of South Australia’s most high profile print companies – has collapsed into voluntary administration less than a year after it shut down part of the business following a dispute over a digital press.

    Carolyn Cagney, MD, Five Star Print

    Administrators from BRI Ferrier have called the first meeting of creditors  in Adelaide on Thursday.

    The award-winning company based at Netley in Adelaide’s south-west has been at the centre of a long-running dispute over an allegedly faulty digital press that last year led to MD Carolyn Cagney closing down the company’s Graf-X division.

    At the time, Cagney said she had been forced to wind up Graf-X because of a dispute over a NexPress but said the Five Star Print business would continue under another entity – Toneblock.

    The ‘faulty’ claim was vigorously denied by the supplier, who said the press was certified by the manufacturer as “100 percent in working condition.”

    “There’s nothing wrong with the machine as far as we’re concerned,” said a spokesman. “We believe most of the trouble came from operator error. ”

    “This has cost me millions and millions of dollars,” Cagney said at the time. “The machine was atrocious and the work it produced was not commercially acceptable.”

    Established over 20 years ago, Five Star Print had grown from a two-person operation to being one of the largest print companies in South Australia, with a staff about 40. The doors to the company’s facility at Netley are now closed and the Five Star Print website has been taken down.

    The first meeting of creditors of Toneblock (trading name: Five Star Print) will be held at the offices of BRI Ferrier, Level 4, 12 Pirie Street, Adelaide on Thursday, June 2 at 11.00am.



  • Issue 810 – June 1, 2016

    This time around drupa has reinforced its claim for being the preeminent technology showcase of the printing industry. As the technology hurtles ever onward in endless transformation, the massive show, spread between the many huge halls across this sprawling Messé (fairground) provides a unique opportunity to compare the claims and quality of old and new ways of printing. While not everyone in the Australian and New Zealand graphics industry can make the long trip to Germany, for those lucky enough drupa 2016 has made it very worthwhile

    Welcome to your first issue of Print21, the premiere online news and information source for the graphic arts across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

  • Drupa 2016 is open – first impressions

    While drupa’s public opening was on Tuesday, for your erstwhile media correspondents, the press conferences start a day before. My initial observation of ‘drupa city’ is that there is a muted visual presence. Maybe it’s the rain and gray skies maybe it’s 25 hours on planes and in airport lounges but the vibrant red-plastered streets of Dusseldorf whenever a drupa takes place are just not there in the way they once were.

    Andy McCourt

    Flags used to emblazon every telegraph pole, trams were decked out in red and white; it was drupa, drupa everywhere. There are a few posters and billboards around but even in the fairground; it’s a bit muted. The famous glass mobile footwalk tunnel that connects the north halls to the south; once the sole domain for manroland ‘we are print’ banners from start to finish, is just a tunnel now, with a few banners advertising ‘Print of Persia’ – a graphic arts supplier in Iran. A few Ryobi banners later on complete the décor.

    Hopefully, the budgets have all been allocated to the Halls where huge stands from all of the digital suppliers now outnumber offset, flexo, screen and gravure.

    As I say, maybe it’s the rain but the town is not looking like the brilliant circus it once was every 4 years. That said, the organisation is fantastic and all public transport is both free and frequent for drupa pass holders. I could be made to look a liar come tomorrow when the show opens in earnest and the Altstadt buzzes at night.

    Heidelberg Primefire 106 B1 digital press

    A glimpse of what will happen was courtesy of Heidelberg who held their press event yesterday afternoon. And what a show it was. Robotic LCD screens, giant panorama backdrop and the world premiere of the PrimeFire 106 B1 digital press developed with Fujifilm. Not available until well into 2017 and take-away print samples verboten; it nevertheless is impressive but simplex only, it’s aimed at packaging. Also, Heidelberg director Stephan Plenz was adamant the click-charge model would not apply to PrimeFire. I was left wondering if Heidelberg had learned the lesson of selling digital without clicks from their NexPress days but, to its credit, clicks are available with the Ricoh-rebadged VersaFire A3 machines, OmniFire web and LabelFire Gallus devices. Note: printers don’t like investing big money on their balance sheets in high-end digital. The proven model is to take a slice of monthly volumes and provide service and consumables.

    Demonstrations of printing 3 different jobs in 8 minutes were presented on the Speedmaster XL106 with plates changing on all 8 units each time. Very impressive and notably quiet! The greatly reduced makeready time is largely due to the Hycolor Multidrive inking and dampening which operates independently from the main drives. Operators Ray and Jens made it look easy. Heidelberg calls their new smart printing philosophy ‘Push to stop.’ Print jobs flow through the system – offset and digital – so seamlessly that you have to push to stop production, not to start it. Intelligent systems take the strain off the operator even when multiple job changes are called for.

    Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach

    Full marks to Heidelberg for their Hall 1 exhibit – it is just fantastic and certainly to be packed out from tomorrow. CEO Gerold Linzbach said: “We’ve set the course for growth and sustainable profitability and are expecting the trade show to take us further along this path.”

    Also of note was Heidelberg’s cloud-based servicing, shopping and admin system. Predictive monitoring will warn both printer and technician when a part needs to be replaced and consumables ordering is also likewise managed in the cloud. Printing is getting more like the HAL computer in 2001 Space Odyssey every day: “Dave, you are about to run out of B2 plates but it’s okay, I ordered more for you.”

    By the way, Heidelberg now has over 1000 VersaFire (formerly Linoprint) digital machines in the market.

    Kodak exiting inkjet in favour of toner

    The other Monday press conference was Kodak. That it is selling off its inkjet properties; Prosper, Stream etc is no secret and CEO Jeffrey Clarke said there has been much interest and he expects due diligence to commence soon, with a sale announced by end of 2016.Meantime, R&D continues afoot on inkjet but once sold off, Kodak will have only Toner digital (NexPress), CtP and plates, Flexo plates and chemistry, plus software. There is also a venture into 3D printing in association with Carbon3D.

    'Totally committed': Kodak CEO Jeffrey Clarke

    On the economic front, Kodak claims USD$1.8 billion in revenues and $500 million cash-on-hand, and according to Clarke is “Totally committed to print in the long-term.”

    Flexo for packaging looks very strong for Kodak with its NX and new Ultra NX photopolymer systems. Screen rulings of 250lpi and, soon, 300 lpi with hybrid stochastic/halftone mean that gravure quality can now be superseded. Environmental aspects are also addressed with water washouts. Certainly, the samples handed around are superb.

    If it can get a good price for its inkjet technologies, things are looking up for the Rochester imaging once giant.  It’s been a tough road but they still have great products in the portfolio.

    So, even before drupa has officially opened its doors, these two previews indicate a vibrant and exciting show once inside the Halls.

    I am confident the Halls will look fantastic tomorrow – drupa has a habit of surprising.

    As I saunter off into the soft May rain, there is redness in the sky on the horizon and the clouds are breaking. Maybe the sun will shine tomorrow after all.

  • ‘Printfinity and Beyond’: 16th SWUG NZ

    The Single Width Users’ Group (SWUG) has unveiled an interactive agenda for its 16th annual NZ conference to be held at Wellington’s Copthorne Hotel in August.

    “Set to a playful theme of Printfinity and Beyond, the event is expected to attract over 130 delegates and suppliers, reflecting the strength of interest and passion in this unique sector of the print industry,” says SWUG chairperson Dan Blackbourn. “We have a fantastic line up of presentations, guest speakers and surprise events that will ensure delegates are riveted throughout.

    Among keynote speakers is Workcare NZ’s Nicky Trevithick, who will speak about the risks associated with drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

    “Having spent over 16 years with the police, Nicky has seen first hand the impact of drug and alcohol abuse,” says Blackbourn. “Now in the private sector, she is passionate about educating the public on the issue, and to help firms implement robust drug and alcohol policies. This includes educating staff on best practice which both delivers a safer work environment as well as ultimately benefiting the family unit and wider community.”

    Another keynote speaker will be print industry environmental commentator Phil Lawrence, who will address the business cost of poor electricity quality.

    “Phil has followed an academic pathway at Sydney University researching industry’s impact on the environment using the print sector as his example. He recently began looking at how poor quality electricity supplied from the grid impacts on the overall efficiency of a business causing equipment failure, excess heat and up to 40% wasted energy.”

    In addition to a tour of the Petone Fairfax plant and a networking dinner, the event (August 3-4) will feature the SWUG Awards for Printing Excellence and the Apprentice of the Year – the latter two presented at Te Papa Museum to a James Bond theme.

    “There is still a lot of life in the print industry and will be for some time, and this conference is shaping up to be one of our best,” says Blackbourn.



  • Spandex hosts HP Open Days

    Spandex and HP have teamed up to present a series of Open Days focusing on marketing opportunities in Latex wide-format printing.

    The locations are Spandex branches nationally as follows:

    Mount Kuring-gai NSW:       15th June 2016
    Yatala, QLD:                           22nd June 2016
    Green Fields, SA:                    29th June 2016
    Sunshine, VIC:                       6th July 2016
    Malaga, WA:                           13th July 2016

    All days run from 10am to 4pm and will present profit and marketing ideas in addition to demonstrations on HP Latex 300 series printers. Registration is advisable but ‘drop-ins’ are welcome too. Topics include:

    • Discover higher-margin wide format
    • Wall décor and art – an introduction session
    • Why have 35,000+ printers worldwide chosen HP Latex?
    • QR codes and Augmented Reality – how to use them
    • Using social media to promote your business
    • Ideas, ideas, ideas

    “HP Latex is THE success story in wide format this century,” says Spandex Marketing Manager Nathan Barclay, “Since its release in 2008, over 35,000 devices from 1370mm to 1624mm wide and grand format at 3.2 metres have been installed. As an aqueous, green-friendly process that requires no additional drying time, HP Latex turbo-charges wide format production. As solvent-printed sign and display output declines, HP Latex is growing at 35% a year!”

    HP Latex 260 printer

    One of the most popular aspects of running HP Latex printers is the high uptime, with time-consuming daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly maintenance almost eliminated. Solvent-using printers are well aware of the nozzle blocking and cleaning procedures that need to be followed – not with HP Latex.

    “These HP Open Days are a service to the industry,” says Barclay. “At Spandex, we truly believe in the benefits of HP Latex and our customers are proving that, as we install more and more latex printers.”

    Register for the HP Open Days at:

    Spandex is one of the world’s leading trade suppliers to the sign making and display industries. The company specialises in the sales, distribution and support of digital printing, cutting, routing, and laminating systems.


  • Eggsellent packaging

    Eggs are one of nature’s best examples of effective packaging, and a UK company has come up with a cracking means of processing its wasted eggshells into raw material suitable for use in packaging materials.

    When we think of the circular economy, hard-boiled eggs aren’t necessarily what comes to mind. But they can make an important contribution, particularly when it comes to packaging. Eggs are one of nature’s best examples of effective packaging. Manufactured packaging, mostly using paper and plastics, shares the same goals of product protection, containment and presentation.

    Nature’s packaging can contribute to new packaging products. Waste materials are increasingly reused as raw materials for other processes, thereby supporting the circular economy. The production of foodstuffs inevitably produces waste as a byproduct so it makes sense to use it, which is indeed what happens. Waste produced in food processing often gets reprocessed as content in other food products, where the consumer’s expectation is not so demanding. Think sausages, meat pies and chicken nuggets. When it comes to eggs, there are rather more interesting possibilities for packaging supply chains.

    Eggs are one of the big inputs for mayonnaise and cooked foodstuffs. They are boiled and cracked on a massive scale to supply the market for mayonnaise, cooked eggs used in sandwiches and such like eggy products. A UK company has come up with a cracking means of processing its wasted eggshells into a new raw material suitable for use in packaging materials. Calcium carbonate, which is what eggshells are made of, has a market value as a mineral filler, so instead of paying for waste disposal, this company is selling on its discarded shells for reuse in another industry.

    Just Egg describes itself as “the most modern Boiling Plant in the UK” and the company breaks millions of eggshells every month. Like its cohort in other geographies, Just Egg inevitably produces masses of eggshell waste. This waste has to be removed and buried in landfill, costing money, creating transport emissions and discarding material with potential for another use. This is not in the interests of the circular economy.

    According to the Economist newspaper, Just Egg has turned cost into revenue by processing its eggshell waste into mineral filler for use in packaging materials. Used eggshells are minced up at the end of the egg cracking and shell removal lines in the Just Egg factory. Residual proteins are washed away with recyclable water and solvents. The shells, now unadulterated calcium carbonate, are dried and ground up. The degree of strength and flexibility required in the end plastic-based product determines the granularity of the grind.

    Calcium carbonate is one of the most popular mineral additives for packaging materials. It provides surface gloss and opacity, improves surface structure and can make plastics more durable. Mineral fillers can also help plastics to biodegrade more effectively when they reach end of life. Calcium carbonate in packaging materials reduces carbon emissions associated with oil-based materials and the energy required to produce the package. An eggsellent outcome all round.

    – Laurel Brunner

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

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

  • Issue 809 – May 27, 2016

    A massive quietness falls over the local printing industry as all those lucky enough to get a guernsey for drupa head off overseas. From anecdotal evidence, it appears this time around quite a lot of local printers and suppliers are making the trip. Of course, most of them will add on a few days or even weeks for a holiday in Europe. Printing has always been a great travelling industry. In these internet days the imperative to inspect new technology first hand may have lessened, but you can’t network in the Alt Stadt of Düsseldorf while sitting in front of your computer.

    I’m heading off on Sunday and meeting up with Andy McCourt, editor of Print21 magazine to inspect the show. Stay tuned for reports from the front.

    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



  • Epson high five at drupa

    Epson presents its most advanced range of professional production inkjet printers and presses at drupa 2016.

    It is exhibiting the latest solutions, delivering market-leading quality, productivity and ROI for wide range of added-value and creative applications while reinforcing Epson’s commitment to continuous improvement and technology development.


    Epson will demonstrate its most advanced range of professional production inkjet printers and presses at drupa 2016 for label, sign & display, photographic, apparel, décor and product decoration applications. (Hall 5/Stand A01). The Epson booth at drupa will be split into five zones: Prepress, Sign & Display, Label, Copy Shop and Technology to allow visitors to focus on specialist demonstrations and applications and experience the significant business benefits each can deliver.

    The company has stepped up its development programme and more than doubled the rate of new product launches for the professional printing industry since the last drupa in 2012. Epson is committed to continuous improvement to ensure that its inkjet printers, presses and inks deliver new levels of quality, performance, ease of use and ROI. As a result, over the last six months alone, Epson has launched 13 new printers and these will be demonstrated together for the first time at drupa.

    Epson designs and manufactures compact, precise and energy-saving inkjet printers and all use Epson’s own micropiezo printheads and ink. Every component of an Epson printer – hardware, printhead, ink and firmware – is optimised to deliver the best possible performance.

    Sunao Murata

    Reducing the environmental impact of its technology is a major focus for Epson. The design and precision of the inkjet printers and presses reduces energy and ink use, and cuts down waste. For example, the new SureColor SC-S printers demonstrated at drupa use up to four times less energy compared to latex technology, about 15% less ink than the previous SureColor generation and up to 50% less ink than latex technology (depending on the substrate and quality printed).

    Epson’s third generation PrecisionCore TFP printhead in single head and linehead configurations is making a significant impact on Epson’s development of its printers and presses, enabling products that deliver higher quality, higher speeds and better all-round performance. To meet predicted demand, Epson has just announced a €160 million investment in a new factory in Japan to triple printhead production capacity for new professional print products currently under development.

    In line with its commitment to meet the changing needs of the printing industry and to maximise the potential of many different print applications, Epson has merged its wide-format, label and textile businesses to create a major new global ‘Professional Printing Solutions’ division, headed by COO Sunao Murata.

    drupa 2016 provides the launch pad for this new division where Epson will show how it is transforming professional printing with a range of smart production systems that are affordable, easy-to-use and which produce a wide variety of ‘added-value’ creative products.

    “Our commitment to R&D and continual improvement shapes everything we do. The industry will see the very latest results at drupa where we will demonstrate more professional inkjet printers and presses than ever before – all delivering the ultimate in production performance and user experience – and show how companies can use them to build successful businesses and enter new markets,” said Sunao Murata.

    The Epson drupa Zones

    Sign & Display zone: 

    In this zone Epson shows its latest range of wide-format SureColour SC-S signage printers and SC-F dye-sublimation printers


    producing a selection of signage, display and décor products on a variety of substrates. Launched in January this year, the next-generation ‘class-leading’ SureColor SC-S Series with new-formulation UltraChrome GS3 (pictured: Surecolor-SC-S80600) inkset and permanent PrecisionCore printhead is impressive. Completely re-designed, the new series gives a choice of three printers from 4-11 colours (including red, orange, white and metallic silver) and productivity up to 95.3 sqm/hr. Visitors will be able to see the new Epson Control Dashboard which gives users online access to over 200 different media profiles for easy and automatic set up.  Epson has reduced the ink price for this new range which, combined with significantly lower ink consumption, delivers a low cost of ownership and rapid ROI. These printers lead the market in offering the very best combination of quality, speed and price.

    Epson is the world’s leading manufacturer of dye sublimation printers and at drupa it will also show the latest range of SureColor SC-F models using UltraChrome DS ink to produce a selection of soft signage, soft furnishing, apparel and promotional products.

    Label Zone:

    At drupa Epson unites its high-end industrial label presses with its desktop office, retail and handheld label printers to display the broadest selection of label printing solutions developed by any single manufacturer. Highlights include Epson’s SurePress digital label


    presses which will be a major focus within this zone: These include the single-pass SurePress L-6034VW with PrecisionCore linehead and LED-cured UV ink featuring in-line digital varnish and high-opacity white ink. This press is ideal for high-quality short-to-mid-run jobs, producing labels with outstanding scratch and weather resistance. The SurePress range also includes the seven-colour SurePress L-6034AW, (pictured) ideal for high-quality, high-value, short-run jobs on a wide variety of label substrates, including structured paper, film and metallic foils. This zone will also feature the ColorWorks C7500, desktop label printer for in-house ‘on-demand’ applications and the new, award-winning, portable LabelWorks LW-Z900 for industrial and construction use.

    Copy Shop Zone:

    Here Epson shows how high street retailers, bureaux and copy shops can expand their services by producing quality printed products quickly and easily to drive new revenue streams. The company has developed a range of printers designed to meet the increasing consumer demand for a variety of personalised products from canvas prints and wallpaper to mugs and smartphones. Here visitors can see a range of desktop-based production printers from the SureColor SC-F2000 direct-to-garment printer to the SureLab D700 inkjet printer (pictured) enabling the widest variety of applications.


    A particular highlight in this zone are Epson’s new super-fast, photo-quality aqueous SureColor SC-P wide format printers with the latest PrecisionCore MicroTFP printheads. The 64-inch 10-colour SC-P20000 launches in March and the 44-inch SureColor SC-P10000 will be launched at drupa. These new accurate and precise printers combine the highest speed with superior quality to produce large-format photographs, fine art prints, posters and display graphics to an exceptionally high standard.

    At drupa, Epson will unveil significant new features on its multifunction 36-inch and 44-inch aqueous SureColor SC-T printers with integrated scanners which combine to deliver impressive new levels of functionality and productivity for applications where hard copies are scanned to file and printed. These include the fastest in-class print and scan speeds at 34cm/second in grayscale and 15cm/second in colour; a new high-speed ‘production’ mode for images on photo glossy type media; 150mm roll; high-capacity 700ml ink containers and versatile scanning up to 30.4m long.

    Prepress Zone:

    Epson PaperLab

    The ultimate in colour-accurate proofing will be demonstrated by the latest SureColor 24-inch SC-P7000 and 44-inch SC-P9000 printers with the 11-colour UltraChrome HDX inkset, incorporating a new violet ink. These printers use the PrecisionCore printhead to ensure the highest-quality output. They achieve 99% of Pantone®‑certified1 colours for accurate spot colour reproduction while large replacement ink cartridges (350ml and 700ml) are ideal for large print runs.

    Technology Zone:

    Epson invests over a million dollars every day on R&D to drive innovation and in this zone it will display and demonstrate some of its latest technologies. Here we explain in depth our unique core printing technology. Furthermore, visitors can view a video showing the PaperLab – the world’s first instant office paper recycling system. This new system uses a dry process to recycle office paper and produce A4/A3 paper, business cards and coloured/scented paper. PaperLab signals the launch of a new smart recycling division for Epson, which will investigate how the technology can be applied on a larger scale in the future.

     Visit the Epson innovation website.

  • $5m leap forward for Abbe Corrugated

    The Barberan Jetmaster 1890 at Coolaroo

    Melbourne packaging company Abbe Corrugated has installed a Barberan single-pass large format digital printer, the fastest of its kind in Australia.

    The Barberan Jetmaster 1890 4-color digital press – with a price tag in excess of $5 million – arrived in March at Abbe’s 32,000 m2 Coolaroo site in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and was in commercial production within two and a half weeks.

    “It’s certainly a leap forward in printing technology and it’s the fastest printer of its kind in Australia,” said MD Anthony O’Sullivan. “We spent a couple of years looking around the world for the best machine we could find and the Barberan stood out because of its speed, the square metres that it can produce per hour, and because of its quality and its ability to print on different substrates.

    “We regard it as a very good addition to the business. It’s allowed us bring down the cost of high quality, smaller runs and has helped us open up into new markets.  We’re now producing full colour display stands for the retail market and we’re gaining access into litho markets.”

    “Our clients are mostly independent and family businesses, often in food and agricultural-type markets, and they’re very interested in the technology and learning about what they can do with it in terms of customisation. It’s very competitive with offset in lower quantities.  With digital there’s no plates or set up so that allows for flexibility and speed to market.”

    Abbe’s partner company, Austcor, based at Wetherill Park in Sydney, will also be selling the Jetmaster’s Impression brand products into the NSW market.

    Abbe Corrugated (see corporate video below) is a leading cardboard manufacturer and supplier of packaging that includes corrugated cardboard boxes and cartons.



  • Winds of change

    Well known in the Victorian area market following a lengthy career with Heidelberg, Shane Hanlon has joined Fujifilm’s Graphic Systems division as Account Manager.

    Hanlon’s 40 years experience in the printing industry covers both technical and sales roles and, in his 38 years with Heidelberg, was a field technician, installing and maintaining printing and associated equipment and later worked in various service management, account management, product specialist and sales management roles, within Australia and New Zealand.

    During his career Shane has experienced the entire progression of printing from letterpress through to offset and now digital with his previous association with Konica Minolta, Ricoh and Fuji Xerox.

    “We are fortunate to have attracted a person with Shane’s experience onto the team,” says Graphic Systems General Manager Lindsay Barnes. “He is renowned for attentive customer service and has a sound knowledge of both offset and digital print technologies. We welcome him aboard.”

    As Account Manager with Fujifilm Graphic Systems, Hanlon will be customer-facing and responsible for sales of a range of products that cover offset plates, CtP, workflow, digital presses, wide format roll and flatbed devices and consumables.

    On joining Fujifilm, where he is working with several former Heidelberg colleagues, Hanlon says: “It truly is great to be back at the serious end of the printing industry that I enjoy and know so well.  I already feel part of the Fujifilm family, the company has great culture and I can see the evidence of this in the faces and the attitudes of the people around me.”

    Shane can be contacted on

  • KBA and Xerox unite for 40″ B1 inkjet press

    The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox

    KBA Sheetfed Solutions and Xerox have partnered to develop the VariJET 106, a digital sheetfed inkjet press targeted at the folding carton market.

    The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox press – to be unveiled at drupa – brings the benefits of digital printing such as running multiple versions of the same carton as well as customized cartons, opening up new business opportunities for industrial production printers. Wide format cartons, for items like cosmetics, food and pharmaceutical products, have traditionally relied on analog offset production printing.

    The VariJET 106 integrates Xerox Impika inkjet technology into the KBA Rapida 106 press platform. The press, in the final stages of development, will print 4,500 B1 (750 x 1060mm/29.5 x 41.7in) sheets per hour. Its modular concept enables the combination of digital inkjet printing with optional in-line capabilities such as coating, cold foil application, rotary die-cutting, creasing and perforating.

    “As a leader in packaging printing, our customers are confirming that this is exactly the product they need for the market opportunity that exists,” said Ralf Sammeck, CEO of KBA-Sheetfed Solutions. “Xerox’s inkjet technology coupled with our packaging expertise combines proven technologies to bring the right product to market at the right time.”

    Robert Stabler, GM, Graphic Communications Business Group, Xerox, added: “By combining digital capabilities like cross media marketing, digital storefronts, and automated workflows with those of classic offset printing, our customers will be able to offer new products and opportunities for their customers not seen in the traditional packaging market. The KBA VariJET 106 Powered by Xerox will have the flexibility, format and speed to help print providers capture this growing market opportunity.”

    Digitally printed packaging worldwide will grow at a compound annual growth rate of roughly 16 percent between 2015 and 2020, according to new research by Smithers Pira.

    KBA and Xerox will share details about the new press during presentations at their stands at drupa. KBA is in hall 16 (C47) and Xerox is in hall 8 (A62).








  • Esko robotics boost output by 80% – video

    'Robotics turn the Kongsberg finishing table into a production workhorse.'

    Esko says its ‘breakthrough’ fully automated robotic production system to be showcased at drupa can boost cutting table output by up to 80%.

    “This setup will demonstrate how intelligent material processing and handling will work in perfect harmony with the Kongsberg cutting table,” said Tom Naess, Esko Product Manager, Digital Finishing.

    “The solution is powered by one of the most agile industrial robots currently available, demonstrating high speed, high power and versatility,” he says. “The production system shown at drupa operates the new Esko Kongsberg C24, equipped with a multi-zone capability. With such a setup, the cutting table delivers up to 80% greater output.”

    The robot will load and unload the table zones with blazing speed and accuracy. Intelligent camera technology guarantees 100% accuracy and repeatability, by assuring that boards are precisely placed on the table.

    With a 2.8 meter reach, the robot is able to handle substrates from multiple pallets, and can also be set up to serve two Kongsberg cutting tables simultaneously. Infrared laser scanner technology protects the operator and reduces the need for physical safety fences.

    “With this combination of impressive innovations, Esko aligns the performance of digital finishing operations with the fast evolution of digital presses, eliminating an important bottleneck,” said Naess.

    “Drupa visitors will experience how we provide automation on many levels, with a large amount of flexibility. The range of automation configurations at various price points will meet any of our customers’ needs.”

    Esko employs about 1,500 people worldwide. Its sales and service organization covers Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Americas and the Asia Pacific, Japan and China regions.

    To see the automation in action, watch the Esko video release below:




  • Australia/NZ win big at Global Media Awards

    Best Brand Awareness Campaign: News Corp Australia Project Icon (see below)

    Australian and New Zealand publishers have walked away with an impressive haul of trophies at the International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Awards at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

    Australia won a total of 13 awards – second only to the US – while New Zealand picked up seven, with Fairfax New Zealand named Best in Asia Pacific for its “News rewired – writing our next chapter” campaign.

    Fairfax Media NZ also placed first in three other categories, taking more first place wins than any other company. Its winning titles were for: Best Use of Video, Best Use of Consumer Research and Best New Corporate Innovation Initiative.

    “To see our name among some amazing international brands like The Wall Street Journal, London’s Evening Standard and The Economist makes me immensely proud of our success on the world stage,” said Fairfax Media NZ MD Simon Tong

    News Corp Australia won 10 awards, including first place for Best Brand Awareness Campaign and Best Marketing Solution for an Advertising Client, while Fairfax Media won one award and APN picked up two.

    “Australian news media publishers have proven by winning these prestigious INMA Awards that they are among the best world in terms of innovative print and digital solutions that engage our audiences, deliver results for advertisers and grow revenue,” said Charlie Murdoch, marketing director, NewsMediaWorks.

    The 2016 INMA competition received 699 entries from 264 news brands across 40 countries. NewsMediaWorks CEO Mark Hollands judged various categories, though none in which member titles were finalists.

    A full list of 2016 INMA Global Media Award winners can be viewed here.

    Three TV commercials in News Corp’s winning Best Brand Awareness Campaign entry, News Corp Australia Project Icon, featured Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.


  • Fuji Xerox cuts 40 jobs in New Zealand

    Fuji Xerox New Zealand is moving away from its traditional print services roots, transforming ‘traditional’ conversations with customers with a dramatic restructuring of its Asia Pacific business. It announced the restructure last week with 40 jobs to go while emphasizing it has nothing to do with the shock departure of Australian MD Neil Whittaker.

    Whittaker was NZ MD for 11 years before last year being promoted to the same role in Australia, but a spokesperson for Fuji Xerox says there is “no correlation” between the two events.

    “We are part of the same global family but we operate as two separate businesses, management teams and legal entities,” a spokesperson for Fuji Xerox New Zealand told Auckland-based Reseller News. “Our changes locally are unrelated to Neil leaving the business in Australia. The changes will impact approximately five percent of our workforce in New Zealand.”

    Under its new managing director, Gavin Pollard, (pictured) Fuji Xerox has a New Zealand workforce of about 800 staff, meaning about 40 jobs are threatened, according to the report.

    Pollard says the changes are the result of a “complete review of the business” in New Zealand. “Traditional print services remain at the core of what our customers want from us but increasingly print devices are used as components within the broader context of the digitally transformed organisation.”

    “The final number of job losses will depend on whether our current staff take new roles or decide to leave the company, and we hope to retain as many as we can,” said the spokesperson. “Ideally, of those currently in soon to be disestablished roles, we are looking to move them into new roles within the organisation, with redundancies a last resort. We have been open and transparent with our staff and for those who are affected, we are currently working through the HR process on an individual basis.”

    The losses will impact managerial and back office roles, as the company moves away from its traditional print services roots, focusing on becoming an IT and tech-focused organisation, according to the report. Fuji Xerox will be adding more IT focused roles to the company, such as developers and solutions and enterprise consultants.

    “We’re adding different roles as a key part of our strategy to help customers improve how documents flow through their business,” the spokesperson added.

    “We’ve been an organisation that has sold photocopiers and had service engineers driving around the country with a toolbox fixing problems. While that remains a core part of our business, we’re no longer having those traditional conversations and are instead looking to move into becoming a more IT and technology focus company.”

    In an exclusive report, Print21 revealed last week that controversial Fuji Xerox Australia MD Neil Whittaker had suddenly left the company following an audit of the company’s performance by the Singapore HQ. The departure surprised senior executives throughout the company and sparked an unprecedented flood of comments and speculation on the Print21 website.

    Masashi Honda, President – Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific, will take over as Managing Director of Fuji Xerox Australia until a successor has been appointed.



  • Issue 808 – May 25, 2016

    Trouble is unavoidable in life and in business, but how we respond when it hits the fan is usually more important than the event itself. In media and public relationship terms there are two options when a company hits a sticky patch, such as the one Fuji Xerox is going through now; either come clean, be open and transparent and explain what’s happening or hunker down in a foxhole and wait for the storm to blow over. The problem with the latter is that it creates an information vacuum, which is quickly filled with speculation and rumour.  I believe it’s far better to speak up early and engage stakeholders in order to limit any reputational damage.

    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21 news bulletin, the premiere news source for the printing and graphics industry across Australia and New Zealand.
    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor.

  • Arthur Frost is Industry Legend at 33rd NPA

    The 33rd NPA at the Plaza Ballroom in Melbourne

    Lamson Group MD Arthur Frost, a 45-year print industry veteran who started his career selling pens and paper on trams, was declared this year’s Printing Industry Legend at the Media Super National Print Awards in Melbourne.

    The industry veteran regaled the audience with tales of hard times starting out, a timely reminder that start-ups have been going on long before Silicon Valley.

    He told how he moved from trams to selling print at Lamson Paragon before starting his own business. Among the firsts he rolled off was the first EFTPOS and mag-stripe ticketing to Australia.He also headed up Australia’s only trade-only manufacturer of paper rolls, Paper Rolls Australia. A long-term supporter of the East Coast Eagles Football Club, Bravehearts, Frost is active with the CEO Sleepout and a number of other leading charities.

    More than 250 industry professionals gathered at Melbourne’s glittering Plaza Ballroom on Collins Street on Friday for the National Print Awards Presentation Dinner. The Chaser’s Julian Morrow and Charles Firth hosted an entertaining night of laughter, celebration and networking which not only demonstrated the standards achieved in the Australian print and graphic communications sector, but the strength of the industry.

    In all, 100 medals were presented in this year’s competition, with 29 Gold, 31 Silver and 40 Bronze, across 32 categories and sub-categories.

    Victorian printers were the clear leaders, with a total of 14 Gold medals from an overall tally of 40 medals, led by the outstanding performance from Adams Print, which took out five Gold, four Silver and one Bronze Award, and Press Print which took out four Gold and three Bronze.

    Other multiple award winners included Advance Press from WA, Design Works College of Design, Queensland, IPMG and Multi Colour Griffith, both from NSW, and Nulab Group and Rooster IMC from Victoria, each of whom took home two Gold.

    The Judges’ Award for Excellence, regarded as the industry’s ultimate award, this year went to Adams Print for the case-bound book, ‘Hermitage: The legacy of Catherine the Great’ for the National Gallery of Victoria. Judges also singled out the digitally printed ‘Ken Duncan Portfolio’ which they described as ‘flawless’.

    “Every year, we think that the standard achieved can get no higher – and each year, we are surprised again by how printers here in Australia continue to push the boundaries of quality and innovation to achieve results which would most certainly rate amongst the best in the world,” said Chair of Judges, Luke Wooldridge.

    “While the categories for the awards have changed this year – and indeed, will continue to change as our industry continues to evolve – the awards are judged on craftsmanship and print quality, as they have always been. We are fortunate to have a judging panel who not only have the expertise and experience required, but also unrivalled reputations for quality and integrity, and I thank them sincerely for their contribution,” he said.

    Gold Awards were not made in the new Typography, Illustration or categories, but the inaugural Corporate Identity Award went to Design Works College of Design for ‘Larksbury Branding’ designed by Graphic Design student Esther Larkin, who also took out the new Student Award, which focused on the unpublished concepts or printed self-promotional piece from design students.

    The full list of Gold medal winners, in alphabetical order, included: Adams Print (five); Advance Press (two); Bluestar Print, VIC (part of the IVE group); Carbon8; Colour Chiefs; Design Works College of Design (two); Ingrained; IPMG (two); Momento Pro; Multi Color Griffith (two); Nulab Group (two); Platypus Graphics; Press Print (four); Rooster IMC (two); Taylor’d Press; and WHO Presentation Services t/a WHO Printing.

    Murray Scott of Picton Press, won the Media Super Young Executive of the Year award.

    The Fuji Xerox Effectiveness Award which recognises the important contribution of print to the effectiveness of campaigns was presented to Rooster IMC for ‘Swinburne University Acceptance Pack’.

    “As we celebrate the achievements of this past year and and reflect on 33 years of National Print Awards history, we are also looking forward to an exciting year ahead with drupa to be held in Dusseldorf later this month and PacPrint the year after, right here in Melbourne,” NPA Chair Susan Heaney told the gathering.

    “The exciting possibilities and opportunities showcased at these exhibitions will continue to shape the future of the ever-changing print and graphic communications sector. If we can continue to guard our heritage and uphold the timeless values of excellence and commitment which are demonstrated by tonight’s award winners, while innovating and pursuing these new opportunities with the passion which has been so evident in the industry this year, print in Australia will be in a very good position indeed.”


    Picture 1 of 13

    The Team: Bernie Robinson, MD Currie Group, Michael Warshall, Picturemaker, and Phillip Rennell, Sales Director Currie Group.

  • Civic Media doubles up on Fujifilm Uvistar

    Civic Media's team with its new and existing Uvistar 5 metre printers

    Civic Media of North Lakes, near Brisbane, has installed its second five-metre wide Uvistar printer from Fujifilm, to handle an 82% jump in workload over the past 12 months.

    “We are extremely busy and even with the addition of a second Uvistar, we have had to increase operations to 24/5,” says MD Adam Middleton. “The whole team is delighted to have another Uvistar on the floor and it’s taken up the extra workload straight away.”

    Civic Media is already using several Fujifilm-supplied roll and Flatbed UV printers, including an Acuity Advance HS flatbed UV, the first 5 metre Uvistar UV roll-to-roll machine and an Acuity LED 1600. The showpiece is an Inca Onset Q40i UV installed in 2013, with a 3140mm x 1600mm bed and ability to produce up to 305 sqm/hr on rigid materials, at near-photographic quality. Fujifilm is the exclusive distributor of Inca Digital Printers, a Cambridgeshire, UK company.

    Adam Middleton (l) and operator with the new Fujifilm Uvistar Pro-8

    “After using Fujifilm machinery and seeing how well they have looked after our account, we knew we could build on our relationship with them as we continue to grow as a business with them as our supplier,” says Middleton.

    The new Uvistar, a Pro8 model, is mainly for printing large rolls of vinyl banner and banner mesh, such as that used to shroud construction site fences and scaffolding.

    It features an array of 32 inkjet printheads delivering true 600dpi (up to 1200dpi apparent), and a wide-gamut inkset comprising CMYK, Lc, Lm and Lk  which can be switched to CMYK only for high-speed billboard work at the flick of a switch. A unique feature called parallel drop size (PDS), enables both 40pl and 20pl droplets to be deposited in one pass, thereby delivering the benefits of grey-scale printheads without a sacrifice in productivity.

    The combination of light ink colours, PDS and Fujifilm’s own Uvijet inks which feature a unique Micro-V ultrafine dispersion technology to maximise pigment loading, delivers strong, vibrant, lightfast colours with greater image quality and superior colour gamut. Pantone® matching and smoothness of gradations are particularly accurate.

    When printing 1600mm wide rolls, the Uvistar Pro8 can load up to three rolls side-by-side for astounding productivity – up to 350 sqm/hr. Roll loading/unloading is quick and simple.

    Lindsay Barnes, Fujifilm Graphic Systems General Manager adds: “Civic Media is a showpiece of Fujifilm wide and grand format technology and we are privileged to be chosen yet again as Adam’s preferred supplier of this technology with the Uvistar Pro8. At drupa (Düsseldorf May 31-June 10) we will be releasing more new models, all powered by Uvijet inks. We invite all Australian visitors to call in and see us in Hall 8b, stand A25, right next to our sister company Fuji Xerox.”

    Civic Media, North Lakes, near Brisbane