Archive for November, 2016

  • Winds of change – PIAA recruits five top women

    Printing Industries has announced the recruitment of two additional workplace relations advisers into the team. Both advisers are experienced operators and their recruitment will further strengthen the Association’s ability to service member needs and remain the peak body for the media technologies industry in Australia.

    “These appointments are in response to strong member desire for industrial relations officers to be available in these states,” said Andrew Macaulay, CEO Printing Industries.

    Mari Takla, workplace relations adviser PIAA.

    Mari Takla is a workplace relations solicitor and will commence 5 December 2016. Initially based in the Perth office, Takla will operate out of the Melbourne office from February 2017.

    Jessica Harcourt is a workplace adviser who comes to PIAA from the WA Chamber of Commerce and will commence 9 January 2017. Harcourt will operate from the Perth office.

    Additionally, Macaulay has confirmed Mel Roper to a permanent role as the Compliance Officer for PIAA’s industry RTO, Intech. “Mel has been providing a sterling service as a casual employee, but has agreed to join us as we ramp up our training activities and the associated compliance burden,” he said. Mel will report to the CEO, and be based in the PIAA’s Mulgrave, Victoria office.

    Rochelle Langeveld, assistant accountant PIAA.

    Rochelle Langeveld has also been recruited as Assistant Accountant. Starting Friday 2nd of December, she will be based in PIAA’s Sydney office and report to Michael Mulder.  Rochelle emigrated from South Africa where she completed her degree at the University of Stellenbosch, and has a postgraduate diploma at the University of South Africa.

    Finally, Bec Mason has been promoted to industries standards manager from her former role as PIAA green stamp coordinator and NSW member services manager.

  • Management buy-out of Ferrostaal

    Carsten Wendler (pictured), managing director, takes over the Australian and NZ printing and packaging supply business, renaming it Print & Pack Pty Ltd.

    This was the name of the original company that Wendler joined in 1996 as the packaging equipment business development manager. At the time it was the local operating agent for a wide range of high-end press and packaging brands including Man Roland. Ferrostaal, the German-based trading subsidiary of the MAN Group, had equity in the company and it eventually took complete control in the late1990s.

    In the succeeding years, Wendler has cultivated a definitive profile in the packaging industry where he is recognised for his knowledge of products and processes. In the process he has succeeded in making Bobst the benchmark die-cutter and specialty folder gluer for Australia and New Zealand, ensuring the Swiss brand is the de-facto standard against which all others are measured.

    He also witnessed the byzantine changes that reflected the turbulent times of the industry. The MAN Group exited the international and local scene, Ferrostaal decide to exercise naming rights over the local company, Komori presses replaced MAN Roland in the product line-up and last but not least, there were the antics of numerous managing directors for the business who came and went.

    Throughout it all Wendler not only survived but also continued to hone his expertise in specifying, supplying and installing packaging equipment, taking responsibility for increasing the company’s range of packaging products. He makes the point that his part of the company always operated efficiently.

    Three years ago he was appointed managing director of Ferrostaal Australia following a turbulent time when the business seemed to lose its way. On taking control he set about re-orienting the company, slimming it down to match the market conditions of the industry, winnowing an unwieldy product line-up and importantly bringing it back into profit.

    With an intimate knowledge of the company’s day-to-day operations and finances he was in a good position to make a call when the German owners approached him this year encouraging discussion on a management buyout. They had decided that local ownership, able to operate without reference to European decision-making, would better serve the brands and the customers.

    Wendler took the plunge five months ago, keeping his takeover of the company secret from all except his major customers and suppliers until he had completed the rebranding. The buyout is a welcome return to local ownership of one of the key suppliers to the market. While the new company remains the agent for some of the industry’s highest profile printing brands, such as Komori presses, Bobst, Kolbus and Morgana, much of its product range is focused on products for the packaging industry.

    The new company has a complement of 25 people, eight of them electro-mechanical engineers servicing the considerable installed base across Australia and New Zealand. Wendler assures his printing and packaging customers of continued dedication to their requirements. He is committed to providing a world-class service to the local industry.


  • Issue 864 – November 30, 2016

    Nick Xenophon has forced the Federal Government to change its procurement processes in order to give local companies a better opportunity to compete. It’s a pity the new rules won’t apply to other areas of commerce. Telstra sold off its directory business to Sensis, which somehow reached a deal to cancel its printing contract with PMP ahead of time. Now almost all Australian telephone directories are printed in Asia, at a time when local web printers are complaining about excess press capacity.

    Are they getting them printed cheaper overseas? We won’t be told but with high-speed automated web presses here as well as there, it’s hard to see how.

    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information resource for the printing industry across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor

  • Industry outrage at Australia Post price hike

    Australia Post’s New Year postal rate increase on commercial mailing of an average of 3.7 percent from January 3 next year is the latest in a series of price hikes inflicted on the direct marketing, mailing and printing sectors. Despite introducing three tiered services this year, the post monopoly is again targeting commercial mail to make up its losses.

    The rises are roundly condemned by mailing houses as well as Printing Industries as an attack on the viability of the sector. They come as moves are underway to revive the Major Mail Users Association to act as a ‘push back’ against further unwarranted increases.

    The largest increases are in PreSort, at 5.1 percent, Clean Mail, at 4.4 percent, and Print Post, at 4.0 percent. Ordinary letter prices will remain the same, as will Promo Cost barcoded rates, Acquisition Mail, Sample Post, and Impact Mail.

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA

    Andrew Macaulay, PIAA CEO, condemned the price rises as part of Australia Post’s ‘assault’ on the printing industry. “It’s disappointing as usual that a monopoly government operation is increasing prices and taking advantage of efficiency gains from its major customer instead of finding some itself,” he said.

    Andrew Bye, Account Executive Postal Partners at Australia Post, announced the price changes in an email to customers, saying they were necessary to maintain services. “While we understand that price changes aren’t easy for you, regular pricing reviews are just one part of sustaining your high quality, national mail delivery service,” Bye said, adding that despite exceeding cost reduction targets in the 2015-16 financial year, the postal business still recorded a $138 million loss.

    “We will continue to support the mail communication channel, manage our product portfolio and remain committed to achieving further operational efficiencies and cost savings. It is critically important that we address all of these factors to help make letters sustainable into the future,” Bye said.

    The business price hike follows Australia Post’s decision to increase the cost of a standard postage stamp from 70 cents to $1 in January this year, while at the same time taking up to two days longer to deliver a standard letter. The company also introduced a “priority” service, which delivers letters at the earlier speed for an extra 50 cents.

    Ahmed Fahour, Australia Post Managing Director and Group CEO, said last year that the changes would sustain the loss-making postal business. “It will also allow Australia Post to recover more of the cost of the service while maintaining five-day a week delivery and continuing to meet our important Community Service Obligations,” he said.

  • Telstra directories to be printed in Asia – again

    Printers in China and Singapore have produced Sensis directories since at least 2014.

    The tender process for printing next financial year’s White and Yellow Pages phone directories is underway – but don’t expect Australian printers to get much of a look in as printers in Singapore and China gobble up the lion’s share of the work.

    A spokesman for Sensis, the company that produces the Yellow Pages and White Pages, said that the ‘vast majority’ of the directories are printed in China and Singapore, with PMP only performing a small portion of the work. PMP has not held the directories contract since at least 2014, despite signing a seven-year exclusive deal with Sensis in 2009.

    Stephen Harvy, General Manager Operations, Sensis.

    “It was an early, agreed exit by both parties. Obviously there was a long term contract, but market forces had changed and shifted a little, so both parties agreed it was in their best interest to make those changes at the time,” said Stephen Harvy, General Manager Operations, Sensis.

    PMP must now compete for tenders with Asian printers each financial year, Harvy confirmed, adding that the largest printing company in Australia maintains relationships with Sensis. “We have recently engaged PMP to do some work for us, and will continue to keep them within our scope of engagement, but as always it will be a competitive process.

    “When we pitch our work, we pitch it to those who will meet our needs – at the moment it’s those printers in China and Singapore as well as PMP. We assess that on an annual basis,” he said.

    Harvy also indicated that PMP may have a larger share of the work in future. “In this most recent engagement, PMP had a small portion of our overall allocation, but that has potential to shift into the future,” he said.

    Sensis remains committed to delivering printed product for as long as the phone books maintain their audience and advertiser base, according to Harvy, with research by Roy Morgan showing 2.9 million searches using the printed Yellow Pages every week. “The directory’s there for an audience, we’re trying to adapt and be as relevant as we can be. We won’t sit idle and see it fade into the sunset, we want to innovate where we can to keep it relevant.

    “We’re committed to printed directories and making the best product we can with partners here and abroad, for as long as we can,” Harvy said.

    PMP declined to comment.

  • Fujifilm Australia

    Happy holidays from Fujifilm Australia

    Fujifilm wishes all of its customers an enjoyable festive season with friends and family and the welcome down-time to recharge the batteries and help prepare us for whatever the new year may bring.

    2017 starts in February with FESPA in Bangkok. The ASEAN region’s number one print show kicks off on the 15th and runs until the 17th at the BITEC Exhibition Centre, just 15 minutes from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. As the website says, the trade show is ‘a must-visit if you are an international or local printer, a designer, print buyer, retailer, interior designer, fashion brand or print professional’, and will include networking opportunities and seminars useful for anyone in the industry.

    For the screen printers out there who will be heading to FESPA and considering the move to digital technology, a side trip to the fully equipped Fujifilm Bangkok demonstration centre nearby would provide an opportunity to see an Onset X1 flatbed, the Uvistar Hybrid 320 (due for release in Australia in 2017) and the new 3.2m LED 3200R WFIJ products all under one roof. “We’d be very happy to take parties that are interested in our WFIJ technology to our tech centre if they are heading to FESPA. Contact your local Fujifilm account manager to provide more details and to help with trip planning,” said Ashley Playford, Sales Manager Fujifilm Australia.

    And then we start the count down to Pacprint in May with the industry re-grouping at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. Planning groups are already well advanced for this major Australian exhibition. But more on that in 2017.

    Once again, from the Fujifilm Graphics team, we thank all of our customers for their continued business in 2016 and we look forward to assisting you with your business needs in 2017.

    We wish you a safe and restful holiday season.


  • Konica Minolta launches violence support network

    Following the launch of its Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy, Konica Minolta now has a diverse group of employees across Australia trained by experts from the University of NSW (UNSW) to act as ‘go-to’ people for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.

    Anastasia Konstantelos, Corporate Social Responsibility Leader, KM

    Anastasia Konstantelos, Corporate Social Responsibility Leader, Konica Minolta, said, “Last year, Konica Minolta became one of only a few companies in Australia to publish its Domestic and Family Violence Policy. On the morning of the launch of the Policy, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2015, employees across Australia arrived at their workplace to find a white envelope on their desks. The envelope contained seeds symbolising hope for a future free from domestic and family violence.”

    In recognition that employees may be experiencing domestic and family violence, Konica Minolta’s Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy makes provisions for victims as well as perpetrators who choose to come forward for assistance. The Policy provides comprehensive paid leave, flexible working arrangements and access to an employee assistance program and also caters for employees who actively support a person experiencing family and domestic violence. The Domestic and Family Violence Policy was developed in consultation with the UNSW and Konica Minolta’s not-for-profit-partner, the Women’s Legal Service of Queensland (WLSQ).

    “This year a diverse group of employees in the company’s branches across Australia were trained by the UNSW as ‘go-to’ people for those that wish to come forward for assistance. The role of the ‘go-to’ person is to help provide information about the provisions made in the company’s Domestic and family Violence Policy and the professional services available for people seeking assistance,” Konstantelos said.

    These contacts were recently surveyed to help Konica Minolta understand the experience of the ‘go-to’ people and identify additional training needs. Using the feedback from the survey, representatives from the UNSW Gendered Violence Research Network prepared a specifically tailored workplace refresher course. The course contained new case studies and information on how to deal with disclosures around domestic and family violence.

    Cindy Reid, Director People and Culture, Konica Minolta, said, “This initiative is part of Konica Minolta’s broader strategic commitment to support an inclusive, fair and supportive workplace. The strategy includes progressive policies such as the Domestic and Family Violence Policy, Workplace Flexibility Policy and leave provisions for parents and carers. The company has in place initiatives to help address unconscious bias, review gender pay parity, and gender targets in traditionally male-dominated roles.”

  • State of the industry – PIAA boss reflects on 2016

    As his first year as CEO of Printing Industries comes to a close, Andrew Macaulay says the association has come a long way since the beginning of 2016, but there is still much to be done.

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA

    In a letter to members, Macaulay thanked them and the directors for their support and advice over the past seven months since his appointment. “Together we have raised the profile of the print sector in the community, and most importantly, with our legislators. We have taken the first steps towards revitalising our Association,” he said.

    Macaulay highlighted the Board’s focus on the ‘three pillars’ of key services Printing Industries offers to its members: lobbying and government relations; industrial relations, both transactional services for members and in public policy; and services – increasing its member events Australia wide, and developing key services. “The aim of this strategy is to define purpose and objective, ensuring efficient allocation of resources,” he said.

    Despite the challenges facing the industry, Macaulay believes it has remained strong. “The environment for print remains under pressure, both from alternative communication channels and from operational pressures. The industry is an exemplar of innovation, and adaptation.

    “Operating in a truly free international market, the sector is now the largest manufacturing employer in Australia, yet operates without any Government assistance or protection. The industry’s continued efficiency gains through innovation are something to be very proud of, whilst we are directly exposed to the vicissitudes of global market forces and competitors,” he said.

    One of the major challenges he identifies is Australia Post. He accuses the government-owned monopoly of an ‘assault’ on the printing industry. “Australia Post continues to operate in ways that are counterproductive to the mail industry. Ironically, its major single customer is the printing sector, yet this government institution continues to undermine the value of print. Counterintuitively, Australia Post, an organisation whose mission is the delivery of print, is advocating for digitisation of government services,” he said.

    Under Macaulay, the PIAA has continued to push for a parliamentary review of Australia Post. It has also written to the ACCC, seeking leave to challenge Australia Post’s ‘arbitrary’ price rises; continued to seek co-operative dialogue with Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour; advised Australia Post’s Mail Industry Working Group of its concerns about mail price management; and made direct advocacy to Senator Mitch Fifield, the responsible Minister.

    Staffing was also a major focus of Macaulay’s first seven months. “We have now invested in skills, people and resources to provide the association with a springboard for success,” he said.

    Staffing changes included a refresh of the finance department including appointment of a new CFO and support team. The association also committed to further staffing of offices in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane as well as at HQ in Sydney.Two new IR staff have come on board in Perth and Melbourne. Additionally, a National Marketing and Communications Manager and National Events Manager will commence in the New Year, to significantly build up member activities.

    Macaulay also touched on ‘difficult’ decisions that were made regarding staff being let go. “We wish departing team members well, and thank them for their contribution,” he said.

    During 2016, the PIAA engaged in discussions with the Packaging Council of Australia to bring the packaging industry body into the association, which Macaulay expects will be finalised early next year. “We look forward to the more cohesive voice this will give the industry. This activity aligns with one of the strategic objectives identified by the Board,” he said.

    Other partnerships included a deal with Holmesglen TAFE to conduct print training in Victoria, and Printing Industries is looking for further opportunities to expand its apprenticeship programs to other states with the conclusion of Future Print.

    Overall, Macaulay was happy with how 2016 progressed for the printing industry, and looks forward to its future. “As we close the year, I am pleased to report both an increase in membership and in membership activity. There is a stronger engagement with members defining our policy direction and imperatives, and giving imprimatur to our message,” he said.

  • PANTONE certs are coming – swatch this space

    X-Rite will bring a new certification standard to Australia with the announcement of a PANTONE Certified Printer (PCP) trainer in January 2017.

    David Stead, X-Rite Sales Manager Australia and New Zealand, said X-Rite had wanted to test the waters in North America before taking the program global. “We wanted to see what the take up rate was for this program in North America before we decided to roll it out to the rest of the world. It is coming to Australia – we haven’t allocated a partner yet, but we are in the final stages of making that decision,” he said.

    The PANTONE Certified Printer program was launched in North America in 2011, with the aim of providing an ‘all-inclusive’ approach to print standards and certification – where standards like ISO and FOGRA are application-specific, PCP can be applied to any type of printing. “It’s not process-dependent – we can certify a gravure printer in the same process that we can certify a commercial offset printer. It’s more about understanding and managing the processes than about specifically how they get the ink down on paper,” Stead said.

    Stead says the benefits of the PCP program include increased customer confidence. “The key benefit is knowing you can easily achieve PANTONE colour standards, and customers also understanding you’re able to produce to those standards, thus boosting their confidence in your quality. It’s a way of quantifying the quality of your print and production work, and communicating it to customers,” he said.

    David Crowther

    Not all are convinced that X-Rite will be able to deliver on its promises. ‘Colour Doctor’ David Crowther of Colour Graphic Services, which provides ISO and other certifications in Australia, says he’s not surprised the PCP program is coming, but doesn’t believe it will be of much use. “PANTONE are very good at marketing, but I seriously doubt their technical ability to deliver anything worthwhile. They’re very large, but I don’t think they have the skills or the staff or the resources,” he said.

    Crowther said X-Rite might not be able to provide the level of expertise or customer support needed to make the program a success. “What they’re offering requires specialised skills, training, procedures, measurement, records and so on. You need to be on the ground constantly, helping and aiding the customer, and I don’t know how PANTONE will do it here in Australia,” he said.

  • Heidelberg announces $71 million innovation hub

    Heidelberg's Wiesloch-Walldorf site in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

    Heidelberg will open a €50 million ($71 million) development centre at its Wiesloch-Walldorf site in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, the company announced last week.

    Heidelberg executives meet with Minister Theresia Bauer (second from right).

    Executives including new CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer met with Theresia Bauer, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Science, Research and the Arts, who said the new state-of-the-art research facility proved that even a large company like Heidelberg could reinvent itself.

    “This investment represents a new beacon in Baden-Württemberg’s research landscape. Building a development center of this size and quality proves that Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG bases its decisions on a long-term strategy and makes the future worth looking forward to,” Bauer said.

    Heidelberg said the location was chosen because of its surrounding environment and the experts already on site, and would help the company boost its efficiency and research output.

    Stephan Plenz, Heidelberg board member for Equipment

    “Combining development, service, and production at a single location close to the customer will make us even faster and more efficient in the future,” said Stephan Plenz, Heidelberg’s management board member for Equipment.

    Heidelberg did not decrease its research budget in recent years despite difficult economic conditions, and now employs more than 250 software specialists, as well as chemists to develop and produce new environmentally friendly inks.

    The company has also developed equipment for digital 4D printing, to print on three-dimensional objects made of materials like plastic, wood and glass.

    The new development centre will open at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site, home to about a thousand working places, in 2018.

  • The potential of environmental credentials

    In the graphics industry, the idea of making Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) is basically an alien concept. But, from printed matter through to the machinery and systems used to produce print media, EPDs are becoming increasingly important to procurement.

    An EPD is a standardised way of quantifying the environmental impact of a product, say a printed book, or a system such as a platesetter or digital press. Today no printer, publisher or equipment manufacturer of graphics technologies provides comprehensive EPDs with their products. However the idea might be worth considering, especially for manufacturers of digital printing systems.

    At an event taking place this week in Milan, a number of companies explained their positions on EPD. From what they say, it’s clear that a robust EPD demonstrates compliance with regulations and provides business benefits. In graphics for example, EPDs for inks and consumables confirm that products comply with rules such as the the European REACH restrictions. Similarly paper EPDs confirm compliance with the USA’s Lacey Act.

    But the benefit of an EPD goes beyond sticking to the rules. It provides accountability and a mechanism for managing environmental footprint. If you have to quantify environmental aspects and impacts to develop an EPD, you have a means to measure and control them. This makes for more efficient production, with less scope for manufacturing errors.

    Producing an EPD is not exactly quick and easy, taking time, investment and expertise. There are several parts to the process, which should comply with ISO 14044 (for Life Cycle Analysis) and ISO 14025 (for environmental labels and declarations). The first step is to define the scope of the project. You then need to do a Life Cycle Analysis on your product. Obviously this will range in complexity from the very simple book say using ISO 16759 for calculating the carbon footprint of print media products, through to very complicated as would be the case for a printing system.

    Obtaining an EPD is rarely simple or cheap. However the process is not money down the drain for a useless piece of paper, because it provides the basis for process control. For companies who design for the environment, an EPD is an environmental impact baseline against which new designs can be considered. Perhaps the biggest benefit of an EPD is that having one fast tracks customer investment decisions. And it can advance a given product or system up the candidate list for public and private procurement.

    As more companies take more seriously their environmental responsibilities, we’d like to think it won’t for long be rare to find EPDs in the graphics industry.

    – Laurel Brunner

    The Verdigris project is an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. It provides a weekly commentary to help printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines.

    Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Epson, Fespa, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

  • Issue 863 – November 25, 2016

    It’s very pleasing to see the industry’s latest publicly listed company, IVE Group, make a success of its first share trading year. It’s important the printing industry is regarded as a sound investment destination by the financial community. We’ve had enough bad calls in the past. A good credit rating for the industry makes it easier for everyone to access finances at reasonable rates.

    And yes, IVE is a long way for the Selig family from its first printing of a suburban newspaper in 1921.

    Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the premier news and information service for the printing industry across Australia and New Zealand.

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor


  • “We’ve come a long way” – IVE’s first year

    IVE Group did better than it promised in its stockmarket launch by turning in a  $20.9 million profit for its first year as a publicly listed company.

    The parent company of Blue Star Print, which describes itself as a marketing and print communications provider, topped off a busy year of company buyouts with a $12 million new manroland Rotoman heatset press for its Silverwater factory. The latest press investment follows the installation of a ten-colour Heidelberg perfector.

    According to Geoff Selig, chairman, the first year’s results are well up on previous results and better than the company’s propsectus. “We’ve come a long way since our family founded a suburban newspaper printing business in 1921. It has been a seminal year for the business as we successfully transitioned from private to public ownership, delivering a financial result with all performance metrics above our prospectus forecasts and well up on the previous year,” he said.

    The company increased revenue by 13 percent over 2015 to $382 million. “Our 13.2% increase in pro-forma revenue over FY2015 reflects continued organic growth, increased revenue from our existing customer base through an expanded service offering, and contributions from acquisitions,” Selig told the ASX.

    Over the year, IVE boosted its revenue by inking major new deals with Westpac, Vodafone and McDonald’s, and rolled over existing contracts with Tabcorp, American Express, TAL, Foxtel, RACV, Bupa, QBE Insurance, AMP, Beyond Blue, Bauer Media, and Next Media.

    The group also acquired six new businesses during the year. “We continued to execute on our disciplined acquisition program, with the bolt on acquisition and integration of four businesses [Oxygen8, Laser Computer Services, Fineline, Frost Promotions] together with the acquisition of two uniquely positioned businesses [Pareto Group, JBA Digital] that further expanded our product and service offering,” said Selig.

    Selig told Print21 that printing would remain integral to IVE’s business through its Bluestar subsidiary. “Printing will continue to remain an important part of our broader offering to the market. Bluestar’s not going anywhere, it’s a very important part of our group,” he said.

  • PMP bosses flag $40m savings post IPMG merger

    Matthew Bickford-Smith, chairman of PMP, anticipates major cost reductions following the company’s proposed merger with IPMG.

    Matthew Bickford-Smith, PMP Chairman.

    Speaking to shareholders at the annual general meeting, Bickford-Smith said the merger would allow PMP to save $40 million per year, for a one-off $65 million cash outlay, through consolidation and rationalisation programs. “From the shareholders’ perspective, in the short-term, the merger will deliver significant synergy benefits by retiring older equipment – in the process, and very importantly, removing some spare capacity out of our businesses,” he said.

    Bickford-Smith said that over-capacity is a significant problem in the printing industry, and consolidation is the solution. “This year, we are at the point where the current structure of the industry is no longer sustainable. The Board is of the view that consolidation is an important and necessary strategic response to sustain PMP’s future,” he said.

    Peter George, CEO PMP.

    Peter George, PMP Managing Director and CEO, said that though cost-cutting programs had been successful, the merger is the best way forward for the company. “We have removed all the noise from our operations. Everyone is accountable. Utilisation, waste, scheduling – they are all better than they have ever been, but it doesn’t matter if there is fundamental over-capacity in the industry. That is why we have taken decisive action to address and control the inevitable industry consolidation,” he said.

    The ACCC is carrying out an informal review into the merger, which is similar to a deal the consumer watchdog knocked back in 2001. Submissions closed on Friday November 18, and the preliminary findings are expected to be handed down on December 22. If the deal goes ahead, PMP will acquire 100% of IPMG, then issue new PMP shares to IPMG shareholders, who will collectively own no more than 37 percent of the company.

    PMP shareholders will vote on the merger at an extraordinary general meeting on December 16.


  • Two Sides takes greenwashing fight to London

    Australia's Victoria Fratin (centre, back) with Two Sides international representatives in London.

    Printing lobby group Two Sides has claimed a 70 percent success rate in its campaign against ‘greenwashing’, following its annual meeting in London.

    The organisation has so far investigated almost 500 companies and found that 63 percent were using ‘greenwashing’ – misleading claims of eco-friendliness – in their marketing materials, at the expense of printing and paper products.

    Two Sides particularly targeted messaging that labelled paperless and electronic communication as ‘saving trees’, which the group says is a cost-cutting measure disguised as environmental responsibility.

    Kellie Northwood, Executive Director Two Sides

    “The common ‘go green and save trees’ claims are a form of greenwashing that is misleading consumers and must be corrected,” said Kellie Northwood, Executive Director of Two Sides. “The claims don’t consider the renewability of paper, or the numerous social, environmental, and economic benefits of well-managed Australian forests that have grown by 308,000 hectares over the last five years, which is the second highest gain of any country in the world.”

    Of the companies targeted by Two Sides, 70 percent – including more than 70 Australian companies – have voluntarily changed their messaging surrounding paper products, which the group hailed as a success. “We intend to carry on this important work, which, if left unchallenged, would leave millions of consumers believing that the use of paper is environmentally unfriendly. The reality is that paper is produced by a highly responsible industry which manages forests for the benefit of future generations,” said Two Sides country managers in a joint statement.

    According to figures provided by Two Sides, 83.4 percent of wood used in Australia is harvested from planted forests, of which 76 percent are privately owned. Paper is the most recycled commodity in Australia, with an 87 percent commodity rate; more than half of all fibre used to make paper in Australia is from recycled material.

    “Our experience to date is that many companies don’t realise the environmental credentials of paper. We challenge the ‘go paperless’ position and help educate corporations. Once informed, companies are really supportive,” Northwood said.

  • New-style digital members keep PrintNZ steady

    PrintNZ’s membership numbers held steady in 2016, thanks to an expansion of its membership base into broader sectors of the market.

    Ruth Cobb, General Manager PrintNZ.

    The New Zealand print industry group suffered a small drop in overall membership, from 535 members last year to 522 this year, which General Manager Ruth Cobb attributes to mergers between smaller commercial printers. The drop has been offset, however, by a broadening of its membership base into areas such as wide-format companies, small digital shops and sign writers. “Our member base is pushing into sign and screen. We have been into those areas a little bit, but we’re trying to broaden our reach,” Cobb said.

    Cobb said the push into less ‘traditional’ areas of the sector was aimed at catering for a broadening market and looking for opportunities in a changing industry. “It’s an awareness for the market and an awareness of how broad our membership is. The industries that would have been considered on the peripheral 10 years ago now firmly sit within that broader printing and communications industry,” she said.

    As part of this new membership drive, PrintNZ has also diversified the services and support systems it offers to its members. “The other side of broadening our member base is expanding the services we offer them to better cater for their different needs, and recognizing niches in that broadened base such as label makers, print finishers, and signwriters – they have particular nuances to them, but they are also part of the print industry.”

    Dan Blackbourn, President PrintNZ.

    Dan Blackbourn, PrintNZ President, says that despite negative perceptions from outside the industry, printing is healthy and robust. “There are some aspects of print that are challenged – and indeed there have been some rationalisations, mergers and closures – but many other areas have experienced growth,” he said.

    Blackbourn commended Cobb and the PrintNZ Auckland office for being “visible and available” to members. “With the offerings and discounts that have been negotiated, combined with the seminars and training provided, the board is extremely happy with their performance and with the support shown by members,” he said.

  • Winds of change – New leaders at Fujifilm and Kodak

    Fujifilm Australia’s Graphic Systems division has a new national sales manager with the internal promotion of Ashley Playford.

    Ashley Playford – National Sales Manager at Fujifilm.

    Playford was previously NSW Account Manager with Fujifilm Graphic Systems and his advancement follows the previous incumbent, Paul Budgen, moving across to Fuji Xerox Australia, which is a related entity to Fujifilm.

    Playford has excellent technical credentials in addition to his sales and management skills. Prior to joining Fujifilm in 2014, he ran the digital print and prepress department with Sony DADC and is an experienced Mac operator, graphic and POP designer. He served his apprenticeship at UK printer GI Direct and Leicester College and passed his City & Guilds in Printing & Graphic Communications. He also holds a Diploma in Management from TAFE and has completed a Leadership Essentials course with the Australian Institute of Management.

    Playford said he was eager to commence his new role. “I believe Fujifilm has the most comprehensive portfolio of graphic arts products and services in the industry. We cover Litho offset workflow, Flexography, Wide and superwide format digital, inks plates and other consumables. Innovation is key to any businesses success whilst respecting established procedures and methods. I’m looking forward to my new role and to continuing Fujifilm’s transformation of our industry through innovation.”

    Warren Hinder, Acting Divisional Manager for Graphic Systems, said he expected great things from Playford. “Ashley has performed very well since moving from a production role and into sales with Fujifilm. Obviously, his technical experience is appreciated by customers and I am confident he will enjoy even greater success in this national sales managership role,” he said.


    Kodak yesterday announced the appointment of Brendan Pearce to the role of Queensland Territory Manager. With over 20 years of experience in the printing and publishing industries, Pearce will lead Kodak’s sales efforts in Queensland, one of the company’s fastest growing markets in Australia.

    Brendan Pearce, Queensland Territory Manager at Kodak.

    “We are thrilled to have Brendan join the Kodak team as we ramp up our investment in the Queensland market,” said Anthony Harvey, ANZ Country Leader for Kodak. “Brendan’s solid reputation among printers, industry experience and passion for print is a perfect fit for Kodak, our customers, and partners.”

    The appointment of Pearce comes as Kodak experiences high demand in Queensland for its portfolio of CTP technology, workflow solutions, NEXPRESS Platform and consumables. Kodak first introduced thermal CTP technology in 1995, and since then the company has shipped over 20,000 CTP devices worldwide.

    Pearce said he is thrilled to be joining the Queensland team, and will look to grow sales in the Queensland territory and look after customers’ needs in the digital CT, plate and workflow spaces, with a particular eye on automation. “Automation is pivotal to a lot of printers’ operations, so that would be the biggest key to the product portfolio.

    “We’ve got a great team of two technical specialists up here, who are well-liked and well-respected in the industry, and I’m just thrilled to be part of the sales growth opportunity. It’ll be great to look after Queensland clients,” Pearce said.