Archive for February, 2017

  • Techkon execs to visit PacPrint

    (l-r) Techkon MD Albin Baranauskas with David Crowther at Techkon HQ, Germany

    Top executives from German colour measurement firm Techkon will visit PacPrint in May and be on hand at the Colour Graphics Services stand (B62) at the Melbourne trade fair.

    Techkon managing director Albin Baranauskas will be joined by export manager Corrine Périgaud on their first visits to Australia.

    “I am delighted that Albin and Corrine are coming over for PacPrint,” says David Crowther of Colour Graphics. “Techkon continue to push the boundaries of precise colour measurement with their excellent instruments and this year will see new models added or upgraded to the range.

    “Since taking on Techkon distributorship in 2015, it has been very successful for us in the commercial print, wide-format and increasingly in the packaging sector. The support from Techkon has been superb, as indicated by two team members making the long trip for our biggest trade show.”

    The new generation Techkon SpectroDrive press-side unit

    At PacPrint, Colour Graphic Services will be demonstrating the just released Techkon SpectroDens New Generation and the SpectroDrive New Generation scanning spectro-densitometer (pictured), which can also be used as a hand-held device. The SpectroDrive is a press side scanning instrument. (See video below).

    This is alongside Crowther’s other products from Mellow Colour, Color Logic, PrintFlow, JUST Normlicht and Eizo. These products are all used for accurate control of colour in printing, packaging, photography and wide format digital signage production.

    “All great colour management and profiling starts with precision measurement,” says Crowther.” In Techkon, I believe we have the world’s finest such instruments and I look forward to introducing Albin and Corrine to Australian and New Zealand customers.”

    PacPrint, together with Visual Impact, takes place at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Southbank, from May 23-26.

    Inquiries to:  info@colourgraphicservices.com

     

     

     

     

     

  • Laser threat to conventional label printers

    Laser marking

    Conventional label printers and sellers of label printing equipment and consumables face yet another existential threat. A new printing technology is being used in various European countries to replace stickers on fruits and vegetables.

    The technology is a sort of direct to object technique, however this is not a new application of inkjet printing. Laser marking fans are calling it “natural branding” and it works by using a laser to mark foods. Although it has mainly been used for fruits with a robust skin, such as melons, laser marking can work even on soft fruits, like tomatoes. It’s a nonimpact technique that doesn’t affect the food or how long it lasts.

    Laser marking was developed by Laser Foods in Spain as part of the European Union’s (EU) Eco-Innovation programme. Laser Foods and its technology partners have come up with a coating that is applied to the image area. This coating changes colour when activated by a laser, so it does not penetrate the food.

    The process has various environmental benefits including doing away with the ink, plastic, glue and paper associated with conventional produce labelling. Laser marking also means no waste when conventional labels reach the end of their short lives. The GHG emissions associated with printing and transporting the stickers to their point of use also disappear, as do emissions related to getting raw materials to the printers in the first place.

    There are other benefits to laser marking. It is claimed to be some ten per cent faster than sticking printed labels on to fruits, which could extend product shelf life. Laser marking also ensures traceability and prevents goods from being missold, since there is no label to get lost or switched. Labels can also be changed more readily and providers have more flexibility in the information they provide to consumers via the fruits and vegetables printed with laser marking.

    The technology has been trialed by a Dutch supplier of fruit and veg and ICA one of Sweden’s leading supermarket chains. Marks & Spencer are using it in the UK, as are chains in Poland; companies in the US are also keen. Laser marking gives producers and brand owners many more creative options for adding extra information to products, such as suggestions for other foods that work well with the product, say chilies in addition to avocados or parma ham with melons.

    Millions of sticky labels are used around the world on food produce, so laser marking has a massive market opportunity to both cut carbon footprints and save costs. It is also attractive because it creates a new platform for advertising, be that upselling or simple brand promotion. The creative possibilities are endless so this technology will make a big difference for packaging design and cross channel promotions. We expect to see plenty of new applications coming out on the back of it.

    – 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 GraphicsEFIEpson, FespaHPKodakKornit, RicohSpindrift, Splash PRUnity Publishing and Xeikon.

     

  • FESPA becomes annual print expo

    FESPA print expo 2015

    FESPA’s global print expo – the biennial international exhibition for digital wide format, screen and textile print – will become an annual event from 2017 onwards.

    The decision has been made by FESPA (the Federation of European Screen Printers Associations), in consultation with exhibitors and visitors, “to provide the global specialty print community with one comprehensive yearly destination event, covering all technologies, processes and applications.”

    FESPA Digital, the event focused specifically on digital wide format technologies, will be replaced by this all-encompassing event.

    “With this change, we aim to bring clarity and consistency to the global print community,” says Neil Felton, FESPA CEO. “Since 2006, our flagship FESPA event has alternated with FESPA Digital, reflecting the digital revolution that has so dramatically reshaped and revitalised our sector over the last decade. In fact, FESPA Digital has succeeded to the point where it is virtually as significant a landmark in the print event calendar as the original FESPA. Today, feedback from both visitors and exhibitors is that – as digital becomes a mature technology – they would prefer to see FESPA present one annual event, embracing both digital and analogue products and applications to reflect the diversity of their businesses.”

    FESPA’s next global print expo – FESPA 2017 – takes place in Hamburg, Germany, from 8th to 12th May 2017, and will feature the full spectrum of screen, digital and textile print. The visitor campaign for this edition launched in January 2017 under the strapline ‘Dare to Print Different’. Beyond 2017, FESPA has now confirmed Berlin and Munich as the host cities for the 2018 and 2019 editions respectively, with both editions to take place in May.

    “By unifying our European events and removing the ‘Digital’ distinction, we can focus all our energies on delivering the same great event experience for all participants, every year,” says FESPA divisional director Roz McGuinness. “For our visitors, it ensures that whatever the year, wherever they are in their investment cycle, they can attend a trusted FESPA event in Europe that meets all their needs as a source of information and inspiration.”

     

     

     

  • Swimming pool print ‘shows us what’s possible’

    Aerial photo by Eugene Tan of his installation at Bondi Icebergs.

    Canon Australia has launched its ‘Show Us What’s Possible’ campaign with the installation of a massive photo print at the bottom of a swimming pool.

    The 49-metre long, 13-metre wide, 700 square metre print of Sydney beach photographer Eugene Tan’s ‘Peppermint Fresh’, taken in 2015 on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, was installed at Bondi Icebergs swimming pool in Sydney to promote Canon’s ‘Show Us What’s Possible’ campaign, which encourages professional photographers, cinematographers and creative artists to showcase their use of Canon products.

    Eugene Tan, founder of Aquabumps.

    Tan, founder of photo gallery Aquabumps, said the Icebergs exhibition gave him the chance to combine his passions into one project. “I pioneered aerial beach photography in Australia over 10 years ago and have always wanted to produce one of my aerial images publicly in a huge format. Icebergs was a logical location choice and the closest replication of the famous Italian beach clubs on the Amalfi Coast, which has become one of my favourite locations to shoot.

    “For this to be at the iconic Icebergs pool in Bondi Beach, where Aquabumps started 18 years ago, is really a dream come true. I started Aquabumps because of my passion and love of the beach and to share my images with more than 300,000 people daily all over the world – to be able to show them this will be pretty cool,” Tan said.

    Jason McLean, Canon Australia.

    The print took 50 hours to produce on a Canon Arizona 550 flatbed inkjet printer, and was installed over a five-hour period by Canon partner Scaffad. “We’re proud of the gear we make but it’s only in the hands of creative artists that we can see what’s truly possible when using Canon products. Show Us What’s Possible was born from our desire to support professional creatives in making their big dreams a reality and help them push the boundaries,” said Jason McLean, director of consumer imaging at Canon Australia.

    McLean is pleased with the outcome of the exhibition, and hopes it will entice more creatives to sign up to the ‘Show Us What’s Possible’ project. “With the Bondi Icebergs spectacle, Eugene has shown us an amazing application of print, photography and video to create a visually stunning installation and content for all to enjoy. We can’t wait to see the incredible work to come from creatives around the country.”

  • Issue 885 – February 24, 2017

    Say what you will about Ahmed Fahour, he can negotiate a deal. How did he convince the board of Australia Post that he was a $5.6 million a year man? Full marks for chutzpah and while we still like to see tall poppies cut down to size, let’s be clear there’s nothing wrong with making pots of money and being successful.

    We’ll all be watching Ahmed’s future progress with great interest, to see if he really is that good.

    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

  • Paper cuts – print down, packaging up

    Demand for newsprint and printing paper plummeted in 2016 across Australia and New Zealand, while packaging demand increased, according to industry bible Pulp & Paper Edge’s new ‘Sixteen21’ report.

    Tim Woods, MD, Industry Edge

    The report, compiled by industry guru Tim Woods’ Industry Edge in conjunction with Appita, captures the major trends in Australia and New Zealand’s pulp and paper industries in 2016, and projects what they will look like in five years.

    In Australia, demand for newsprint continued its decline, losing 4.4 percent in 2016 (though this fall was lower than the average 7.6 percent per annum over the past decade), while printing and communication paper demand slumped by 6.2 percent. Packaging and industrial paper was well up, however, enjoying an apparent 12.1 percent increase in demand.

    The story was much the same across the ditch, with newsprint demand in New Zealand falling by 6.2 percent and printing and communication paper demand declining by 2.5 percent. Demand for packaging and industrial paper had a more modest gain of 2.5 percent.

    According to the report, newsprint is expected to continue its steep decline with no hope of recovery, as newspaper publishers reduce the number of days that they publish. Commercial printing, meanwhile, is gradually being replaced by home and office printing as it continues to face pressure from digital media and communications.

    The ‘Sixteen21’ report is available for free at https://appita.com/what-we-do/extensions/new-publication-sixteen-21 until the end of the year, and features detailed analysis and graphics designed to help the reader understand the major trends. Pulp & Paper Edge is available by subscription at http://www.industryedge.com.au/index.php/about/pulp-paper-edge.

  • Fahour quits, industry ‘delighted’

    Ahmed Fahour has resigned as head of Australia Post.

    Ahmed Fahour has resigned as CEO and managing director of Australia Post effective July, following controversy over his $5.6 million pay package in 2016.

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO of Printing Industries, said members are ‘delighted’ at Fahour’s resignation, which was tendered at a meeting of the Australia Post board on Wednesday, calling it ‘about time’. “Ahmed Fahour’s strategies did an enormous amount of damage to an innovative, competitive and entirely entrepreneurial printing and mailing sector. The reset of having a new CEO will give the industry a chance to engage with the two relevant ministers and the new leader in a way that is conducive to employment and productivity. Fahour took the view that he did not need to negotiate, consult or even meet with his single biggest customer – the printing industry, which provides pre-sorted business mail,” Macaulay said, adding that this is ‘a fantastic day’ for both Australia Post and the printing industry.

    Revelations that Fahour was paid $5.6 million last year sparked outrage from the industry, and prompted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to call John Stanhope, chairman of the board at Australia Post, on February 8 to express his concern that the remuneration was ‘too high’. “The company has been able to improve its position but in my view – I say this as someone who has spent most of his life in the business world before I came into politics – I think that is a very big salary for that job,” the Prime Minister told reporters.

    John Stanhope, Chairman Australia Post

    In a statement, John Stanhope said the move will allow a new CEO to continue developing Post into a leader in international e-commerce. “By any measure, Ahmed has done an astounding job in transforming the business. When he started, he was set the challenge to ‘write the next chapter in the history of Australia Post’ – and he certainly rose to that challenge,” Stanhope said.

    Stanhope praised Fahour’s decision to refocus Australia Post away from letters and towards parcels and e-commerce. “Ahmed was appointed at a time when Post was still highly dependent on revenue from the letters service, but the community’s use of letters had already peaked and was in the early stages of decline. He led the team that developed an entirely new strategy focused on investing in the parcels and eCommerce business. It was the right strategy. It has put Australia Post on a pathway to a sustainable future and avoiding a taxpayer bailout,” he said.

    Australia Post will begin the search for Fahour’s replacement immediately, and the board is expected to make an announcement within the next few months.

     

  • 1st winner of Konica Minolta’s print awards

    Cliff Royle, Purple Press is congratulated by Konica Minolta management, Anthony Lewis, David Cooke, managing director, and David Procter.

    The inaugural Specialised Print Awards were held in Sydney last night where Cliff Royle, Purple Press, was named first time winner and received a $10,000 promotional package.

    The innovative awards attracted over 200 entries from Konica Minolta users all around the country with state finalists flown in to Sydney for the presentation. The brainchild of Anthony Lewis, head of the Specialised Print Group, the Awards are “a way for us to say ‘thanks’ to our customers for their support,” he said.

    He praised the commitment and passion of the Konica Minolta customer cohort he’s met during his first year in the role. Singling out Emmanuel Buhagiar of Imagination Graphics in Marrickville as a primary inspiration, he spoke of how the use of printing samples tell more of a story about quality than anything else.

    The winner had a number of entries in the competition including the panoramic photo book that took out the top spot. An inveterate ‘tweaker’ of printing presses and substrates, Royle is cagey about revealing too much of his intellectual property or how he produces the winning results.

    Specialising in unique personalised presentation products, Royle is the holder of numerous graphic arts patents. Many of his innovations are licensed to production companies.

    In closing, Lewis declared the inaugural Konica Minolta Specialised Print Awards a resounding success and promised it will continue and expand next year.

    The full list of finalists and their entries is:

    ·         VIC: Purple Press – “Photo Book Panorama” – Cliff Royle
    ·         ACT: Elect Printing – “House Advert Book” – Darren Muir
    ·         NSW: Cosmo Print  – “Australia Council annual report 2015- 2016” – Yaz Yazbek
    ·         QLD: TJ’s eprint – “Cactus & Hill Capability Statement” – Marty Deutschmann
    ·         SA: Ink on Paper – “Tastemaster Booklet” – Greg Dawes
    ·         WA: Images on Paper Pty Ltd – “STEP SAFARI” – Claire Harben

    Here are the judges: Kellie Northwood, Anthony Parnemann, Mark Gowing and Darell John.

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  • Salmat sails on two years of solid growth

    Marketing services company Salmat has enjoyed its fourth consecutive half of earnings growth, following the launch of its business transformation program in 2015.

    In the six months to December 31, 2016, Salmat’s earnings before taxes and costs (EBITDA) rose by 28.8 percent on the previous six months and 45.7 percent on the previous year, to a total of $13.4 million.

    Craig Dower, CEO Salmat.

    Craig Dower, CEO, said this continued growth was a result of its business transformation program of ‘Focus, Simplify, Grow’, which began two years ago. “Salmat has transformed significantly over the past two years.  The major changes are now complete: our priority is new business and revenue generation,” said Dower.

    Dower said that this program has allowed Salmat to position itself to capitalise on new opportunities that may arise in the market. “The business transformation of the past two years has effectively focused our attention on areas of market leadership, simplified every aspect of our operations and built the foundations for growth,” he said.

    The program included investment in training and development for personnel, as well as a shift of its major IT services and infrastructure to the cloud, employing technology such as Google, Amazon Web Services, Workday and Okta. “We commenced Salmat’s transformation program in January 2015, to focus our efforts on areas of market leadership; simplify every aspect of our operations; and grow the business in a targeted and sustainable manner.

    “We have undertaken a comprehensive operations restructure; implemented changes to Salmat’s product and services portfolio, which included discontinuing a number of services; and continued to consolidate multiple finance, human resources, desktop and sales management systems to new cloud-based platforms,” Dower said.

    Despite a brief drop earlier in 2016 due to rationalisation, revenue increased by 4.3 percent in the second half of the year to $224.5 million. “While there is still work to be done, we are on track to achieve the sustainable and profitable growth that we are targeting,” Dower said.

  • Kodak heads into the cloud

    Former EAC Graphics and Heidelberg veteran Peter Janusik is responsible for Kodak's workflow and software in Australia and NZ.

    One of the most widely used workflows in the industry, Kodak Prinergy, has just added a new dimension with the release of its cloud-based archive and data analytics modules.

    According to industry veteran, Peter Janusik, national sales manager Unified Workflow Solution, the new cloud platform is immediately available to Australian and New Zealand customers. “The data centre is up and running, we’ve briefed our sales guys on it and we’re now talking with customers,” he said.

    The former managing director of Heidelberg Indonesia before he came back home to take on the role with Kodak, Janusik is responsible for all workflow business in Australia and New Zealand.

    The subscription-based, analytics-enabled cloud platform is an add-on to existing Prinergy systems, a move away from adding extra hardware to get more capability. The analytics module monitors the production system for blockages, and calculating such things as the length of time jobs take to process.

    Kodak is claiming the new system provides the print industry’s first analytics enabled workflow with intuitive dashboards that provide visibility into production costs and system performance by continuously collecting data from operations.

    The Prinergy Cloud is hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform, with 24/7 service monitoring. Automated file archiving and backup protects against data loss.

    According to Allan Brown, general manager of Kodak’s Unified Workflow Solutions, the benefits of cloud services for printers are clear.

    “We are committed to helping our customers stay ahead of the competition in today’s fast-moving market. We are taking that one step further by delivering new, industry-first automation solutions that help PSPs make informed decisions to better serve their businesses, and in turn, increase profitability.”

     

  • Last chance – Pride in Print closes in 4 days

    The New Zealand Pride in Print awards have made a final call for submissions, with all entries closing on February 28.

    The awards, which will be held at the Wigram Air Force Museum in Christchurch on May 12, celebrate the best and brightest of New Zealand’s printing industry.

    Sue Archibald, Pride in Print awards manager.

    Awards manager Sue Archibald is excited for the event, which is expected to enjoy plenty of submissions. “It’s looking really positive this year, the early entries have been higher than in the past. It’ll be interesting to see what we close on, and we won’t know that for about two weeks – historically we have a rush near the end, and we are expecting quite a few more to come in. We’re hopeful that we’ve got a higher number even than last year,” Archibald said.

    Archibald praised the ‘scary’ high quality of entries, noting that ‘beautiful work has come in’, and said that labels are a category to watch – as well as annual reports, which are enjoying something of a renaissance. “Because of the move away from paper, the annual reports category has dropped off in past years from the early 90s when it used to be a ‘glamour’ category. There’s a trend moving back towards annual reports, and it’ll be interesting to see what we close on, but we’re already higher than we were last year in that category,” she said.

    2017 is the first time the awards have been in Christchurch since the 2011 earthquakes, and Ms Archibald is eager to see the industry turn out and support the region. “It’s exciting and we are so glad to bring Pride In Print back to Christchurch,” she said.

    Online entries can be submitted at http://prideinprintawards.co.nz/online-registration/.

  • Global print industry ‘on the up’: drupa

    drupa 2016

    The global print industry is recovering well from the double challenge of the GFC and the shift to digital communications, according to the latest annual Global Trends report from drupa.

    Recruited from senior managers who visited drupa last year, almost 850 printers and over 300 suppliers representing all regions and markets participated in the 4th annual Global Trends survey run by Printfuture, the specialist print consultancy and market research company.

    “Last year’s drupa showcased a global print industry that has regained its confidence in the future, with lots of fresh technology and applications demonstrated to enthuse both printers and their customers alike,” says Sabine Geldermann, director drupa, Messe Duesseldorf.

    “This report shows that whilst levels of confidence vary between regions and markets, overall the print industry is on the up and will invest strongly to secure a prosperous future.

    Globally 42% of printers described their business as in a ‘good’ economic condition in 2016, with just 11% reporting it as ‘poor’, a net balance of +31%, the highest recorded global result of the report series.

    However market variances and regional variances are growing. Packaging at +39% net balance and Functional (Industrial/Decorative) at +34% are strongest while Commercial at +26% and Publishing at 23% follow behind. North America once again is the strongest region with a net balance of +49%, followed by Europe and Australia/Oceania at +33%, Central/South America at +29%, Asia at +20%, the Middle East at 19% and Africa at -3%, the first negative net balance of the report series.

    “All printers, whatever market or region they are based in, know that if they are to succeed in the long term, they must continue to adapt to the ever-changing market and economic conditions. This needs a ruthless approach to efficiency and automation while at the same time learning new skills and adding new added value services. Nevertheless it is pleasing to report that overall, print has got its ‘mojo’ back.”

    General confidence amongst printers and suppliers for 2017

     Globally 42% of printers described their business as in a ‘good’ economic condition in 2016, with just 11% reporting it as ‘poor’, a net balance of +31%, the highest recorded global result of the report series. Prospects for 2017 are better with a net balance of +46%.

    Looking at the underlying financial performance figures, printers reported a well-established pattern of falling prices and squeezed margins, compensated for by increasing revenues assisted by higher utilisation. In terms of conventional print, the well-established trends continued of falling run lengths and lead times and an increasing number of jobs to be handled.

    Notable pause reported in the growth of digital print and a clear fall in the number of Web to print installations

    What was different this year was a possible pause in the historic rise in the proportion of turnover that is digital print (28% of printers in 2015 reported that more than 25% of their turnover was digital while the figure for 2016 was 27%). Nevertheless digital print has an ever-increasing hold on Functional print with inkjet the dominant technology for most applications, up from 61% in 2014 to 74% in 2016. Similarly digital continues to grow rapidly in Commercial print e.g. wide format print installations up from 37% in 2013 to 50% in 2016. The much talked of growth of digitally printed packaging is starting, with 34% of packaging printers offering digital print, up from 24% in 2014, although demand is patchy as yet.

    Even more striking was the clear fall in the number of Web to print installations globally down from 26% in 2015 to 23% in 2016. This decline was not universal e.g., in Asia it rose, but in some regions e.g. North America and Australia/Oceania, the fall was decisive.

    Turning to capital investment plans, 42% spent more over the last 12 months and just 11% spent less, a net balance of +31%, and there was a net balance of +41% in respect of plans for 2017. This positive story was true for most regions, the exception being the Middle East where there was a new low for the report series of just +5% in 2016.

    For the first time the No. 1 priority globally was Finishing, followed closely by new Presses. That in turn was closely followed by PrePress/Workflow/MIS; a sign that automation is being taken seriously.

    As for press investment plans, Sheetfed litho led the global race followed by Digital toner cutsheet colour. But what was another first for the report series, each of the four markets had a different No. 1 press investment priority – Commercial, Digital toner cutsheet colour; Publishing, Sheetfed offset; Packaging, Flexo and Functional, Digital inkjet rollfed colour.

    The full report will be released in English in a few weeks.

     

     

  • AusPost hikes profit despite fall in letters

    Australia Post has recorded a solid boost in first-half profit despite a further 11 per cent fall in letters volumes.

    In the six months to 31 December, net profit was $131 million, compared to $16 million in the prior corresponding period.

    Managing director and CEO Ahmed Fahour said the result demonstrated the strategy of transforming the national carrier from a traditional postal service to a parcel and ecommerce-centric business had returned Australia Post to sustainability.

    'We are on the right path': Ahmed Fahour, CEO Australia Post

    “This is one of the strongest first half results in recent history and it demonstrates that we are on the right path to ensuring the future of Australia Post for our people, the community and our important stakeholders,” said Fahour.

    The half-year result showed solid growth in the parcels business, with domestic parcel volumes up 5.7 per cent and parcel profit up 16 per cent to $189 million. Group revenue increased by eight per cent year-on-year to $3.52 billion for the half.

    Letter volumes declined a further 11 per cent in the first six months, with cumulative losses in the letters business ‘stabilising,’ according to a statement from Australia Post.

    Fahour said modelling showed that if the company had not changed, particularly the letters business, it would have accumulated losses of $2 billion and needed a bailout.

    “Through the important postal reform program, we have avoided the need for a multi-billion dollar rescue package. It has also meant we have kept our people in meaningful employment while returning a dividend to the Federal Government.

    “Today over 70 per cent of our revenue and 100 per cent of our profit is derived from commercial activities in parcels and ecommerce.

    “We are delivering more parcels than ever before, with domestic parcel volumes up 5 per cent in the first half, market share increasing and at the same time we’re trialling new delivery innovations like evening and weekend deliveries to give our customers an even better experience.”

    Fahour said Australia Post had introduced a number of innovations including new parcel sorting machines and automated letter sorting machines. “Last year we also made a strategic investment in global parcels/ecommerce giant Aramex and we are already reaping rewards in growing our inbound and outbound parcel volumes.

    “It’s important we continue to focus closely on making sure our business is running as efficiently as possible, especially as we head into what is traditionally a much more challenging second half.”

    Australia Post will release its full year results in September 2017.

    Commercial performance H1FY17 H1FY16 % change
    Revenue $3,516m $3,251m +8.2%
    EBITDA $369m $178m +107%
    Profit before tax $197m $1m >100%
    Profit after tax $131m $16m >100%
    Addressed letter volume declines -11.0% -9.5% -1.5%

     

    CSO performance standard H1FY17 Target
    Street post boxes 15,260 10,000
    % of letters 
delivered on time 98.5% 94.0%
    POs nationwide 4,389 4,000
    POs in rural & remote areas 2,544 2,500
    % of points to receive deliveries 5-days-a-week 98.8% 98.0%

     

     

     

  • Easy Signs takes control of colour

    The team at Easy Signs

    Sydney’s Easy Signs, servicing clients nationally, has solved its colour management consistency issues with the help of Colour Graphic Services and its Mellow Colour PrintSpec analysis software plus Color Logic Copra and ColorAnt ICC profiling applications.

    Located on the outer fringes of Sydney at Ingleburn, Easy Signs has conquered colour consistency by calling in the Colour Doctor – David Crowther of Colour Graphic Services. Easy Signs was established in 2006 at Miranda, and moved to new premises in November 2014. Staff count has risen to 36.

    Easy Signs’ reach is Australia-wide because they have fully embraced online commerce. Their website is clear and quick to navigate with all pricing calculations transparently online for both resellers and end users. The majority of orders are shipped within 24 hours of receipt, so there is little time for lengthy colour adjustments or re-dos.

    Director Andy Fryer, with high school colleague Adam Parnell, established the company following a venture in online commerce. “I have an IT and web design background while Adam is all about finance, so it’s a great combination.”

    As an IT professional, Fryer is used to using measured data metrics to know exactly where the business is at. After several attempts, this was not the case with colour management and re-prints were not uncommon.

    David Crowther with Easy Signs’ Mark McInnes

    “We basically needed colour consistency between machines, substrates and between repeat jobs. Customers expect to see the same colour on a job printed this month as they did last month and the month before. Until our new CIO – Chief Innovation Officer – Mark McInnes joined in late 2016, we were experiencing colour shifts and, despite investing in an expensive chart-reading spectrophotometer, were unable to get colour completely under control. Mark introduced us to David Crowther, who he had worked with in the past. David performed a free colour health check using a special target print, measured it through Mellow Colour’s PrintSpec and produced a numerical report that identified the root causes of our colour variations.”

    Crowther says: “Following the colour health check measurements, PrintSpec was able to reveal colour vagaries across Easy Signs’ two SwissQPrint Nyalas, two HP Latex 360s and recently acquired HP Latex 3100. We started with training in printer calibration and ICC profiling and, in conjunction with this training, I advocated using Color Logic’s ColorAnt for measuring, analyzing and optimising to profile chart measurement data, and Copra for creating very high quality ICC profiles themselves.

    “Further training covering monitoring and evaluation of on-going colour quality took place. With this, I advocated Mellow Colour’s PrintSpec, which produces clear and accurate reports on how a print organisation’s colour is tracking. PrintSpec identifies issues before they become problems and saves a great deal of time and money in re-prints and consumables. The fact that we can utilise ISO 12647 as a standard reference point for any print process, offset, flexo, digital and wide format is of great benefit.”

    Apart from the recently-installed HP Latex 3100, Easy Sign’s has recently become the first company in Australia to upgrade one of their 2 SwissQPrint Nyala 2 UV Flatbed printers to the newly released 4×4 printhead configuration, giving them nearly double the previous print speed to cope with demand.

    “One thing for certain,” says Andy Fryer, “whatever production direction we head into in the future, we know that we will have colour quality totally under control, thanks to David and Colour Graphic Services.”

    Easy Signs HP Latex printroom

    Easy Signs directors Andy Fryer (r) and Adam Parnell (l)

    One of Easy Signs’ SwissQprint Nyalas

     

     

     

  • CEO Hollands exits NewsMediaWorks

    Mark Hollands has resigned as the CEO of media lobby group NewsMediaWorks and a search for his replacement is underway.

    Hollands, a long time journalist, last year became the first self-published author to be shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Awards, held annually by the Australian Crime Writers Association, for his novel Amplify.

     “I’d like to thank my colleagues, who continue to make an important and enthusiastic contribution to our industry,” says Hollands. “They share my love of this industry and respect for those who work so hard to deliver journalism to our nation every day.  It has been a pleasure to work with them. The time is right to move on, however, as I have a number of personal interests in Australia and overseas that I wish to pursue.”

     Under Hollands’ leadership, NewsMediaWorks undertook a series of initiatives to support Australia’s leading news media publishers and communicate the sector’s value proposition to advertisers, including the 2013 launch of the cross-platform readership metric emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) and implementing the News Media Index, which reports whole of industry advertising revenue.

    NewsMediaWorks chairman Michael Miller says: “The board wishes to thank Mark for his important contribution to NewsMediaWorks as well as the wider news media sector. The industry body will continue to focus on helping create operational efficiencies for the benefit of all publisher members.”

    Hollands will depart the organisation on February 28 and the board will conduct a search for a new CEO.

    Amplify, a crime thriller set in the seedy world of the Sydney rock music business, shortlisted in the Best First Fiction category of the Ned Kelly Awards, introduces anti-hero Billy Lime, an entertainment entrepreneur who risks losing everything when the lead singer of a band he’s promoting is murdered.

     

     

  • You gotta laugh: PacPrint keynote speaker

    Marty Wilson (© ICMi)

    Author, Comedian and TED Talk veteran Marty Wilson will inspire PacPrint visitors on Day 3 of the show, to do business, and life, better.

    Delivered in the easy-going and humorous style that has made him such a sought-after presenter, Marty Wilson’s address promises to let delegates in on the sometimes surprising secrets to success and happiness in business and in life. These secrets have been gathered from his own research and from more than 1000 interviews with extraordinary people which form the basis for his highly successful ‘What I wish I knew…’ book series outlining the advice people would give their 18-year-old self if they had the chance.

    A self-professed procrastinator, Marty admits he never set out to create such a body of work – “I’d have found it difficult to get out of bed on Day One had I known what was ahead,” he admits – but such was the success of the first book, his publisher immediately requested another.

    Today, nine years and 12 books later, he is still chatting to people from all walks of life – “And the great thing is that I’m still learning something new with each interview. Everyone’s life is different, so everyone has interesting and unique viewpoints and solutions to life,” he says.

    Fear, and the ability to overcome it, is a key to success in business and life, and will be a focus of Marty’s PacPrint presentation.

    “As a self-published author, I’ve come to understand some of the challenges being faced by the print sector,” he says, “but change and disruption are part of the human condition; in fact, the dictionary defines ‘life’ as a period of ‘constant change’ prior to death, so it’s not really optional for those of us still breathing!”

    What is optional, he contends, is an attitude of fear and stress. “Most people find change and transition challenging. Many find it painful – but as Lao Tzu said ‘new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings’. Change can be viewed through optimistic, and even opportunistic eyes. Experience tells us that disruption and change often prove to be a gold mine for those who are able to embrace and adapt to it.”

    The good news, he adds, is that this approach will not only greatly enhance your chance of success, but also increase your sense of satisfaction, self-worth and happiness.

    “What we all want is to get to a good age and be able to sit on a park bench one day, ideally with someone we adore, and look back over life with a satisfied smile rather than a heart full of regrets. None of us has all the answers, but each of us has some of them, and what I have gathered over all these interviews is a remarkably consistent universal wisdom about what defines success and makes a good life.”

    And the key factor? As an award-winning comedian, Marty must be delighted with the fact that the evidence indicates that it’s to ‘take the funny side of life seriously’.

    “All my research points to humour as a vital part of any happy, fulfilled and successful life,” he says. “Most of us appreciate a laugh when humour naturally pops up in life, but there is a real skill to deliberately seeing the funny side of life. That’s the secret I most look forward to sharing with the PacPrint crowd.”

    Marty Wilson will deliver the PacPrint Forum keynote address on Thursday 25 May from 11am – 12.30pm. The session is open to all and free of charge to all registered PacPrint visitors.

    PacPrint 2017 will run from 23-26 May at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

     

     

     

     

  • Beyond the basics with VersaWorks

    Roland DG Academy

    Roland DG Australia next month launches a nationwide training course for its VersaWorks software, titled Beyond the Basics.

    Developed exclusively for Roland devices, VersaWorks adds productivity tools to software RIP with an interface that allows users to take full advantage of the capabilities of Roland printers and printer/cutters.

    VersaWorks: Beyond the Basics will cover new features and functions in VersaWorks Dual, and follows on from last year’s highly successful VersaWorks 2016 course, where 96% of attendees agreed they would recommend the course to others.

    “This VersaWorks training was an extremely good learning experience” and the trainer was “extremely helpful and very knowledgeable,” said Jordan Eastwell from We r Signs, who attended last year’s course.

    Conducted in small groups of up to 8 people, attendees will learn in a hands-on environment with Roland-supplied laptops. The main areas covered in the course are:

    ICC profile creation demonstration
    Colour management
    Printer calibration, set up and maintenance
    Settings and features including variable data, custom cut, step and repeat, and special colour plate generation
    Advanced production techniques and tips
    Workflow automation
    Latest features of VersaWorks and VersaWorks Dual

    Course locations and dates:

    Sydney, NSW

    29 March

    6 July

    26 October

    Melbourne, VIC

    13 April

    19 July

    9 November

    Brisbane, QLD

    4 May

    6 September

    Adelaide, SA

    15 June

    27 September

    Perth, WA

    29 June

    30 October

    Hobart, TAS

    3 August

    With only 8 places per full day course, you will need to get in quick to secure your place. For more information, visit www.rolanddg.com.au/academy or contact Roland DG on email training@rolanddg.com.au  or call 1800 500 119.

    Roland DG Corporation is a leading provider of wide format inkjet printers and printer cutters for the professional durable graphics market.