Archive for April, 2017

  • IQ flies Aussie banner at Vegas sign expo

    PrintIQ staff at ISA Expo Las Vegas.

    Management software company IQ Australia has exhibited at the ‘largest ever’ International Sign Association expo in Las Vegas, calling it a ‘great show’.

    Mick Rowan, director IQ Australia.

    Mick Rowan, director of IQ, said the stand at ISA International Sign Expo – held from April 19 to 22 – attracted plenty of interest in its PrintIQ workflow solution. “We demoed for potential customers from Houston to New Jersey, and Orlando to Seattle in the US, and in Canada we did Edmonton to Montreal, and Calgary to Saskatoon. We even have a hot prospect in Belize. It was a great show indeed,” he said.

    Billed as a ‘management workflow system’, PrintIQ is operated from within a web browser, and has no complicated software installations, and no separate web portals or online ordering systems. This means shorter implementation times and lower up-front costs, Rowan says. “Production staff manages the factory while customers quote, order and track, all from within the same application. If you combine this with shorter, less costly development cycles and simplifiedfunctionality updates, it’s not surprising that printIQ is growing a loyal fan base,” he said.

    Lori Anderson, president and CEO ISA.

    ISA Expo 2017 saw more than 20,500 visitors over four days, a record for the show. Lori Anderson, president and CEO of the International Sign Association, hailed the event as a big success. “There is no doubt that ISA International Sign Expo is the only trade show that brings together the breadth of the sign, graphics and visual communications industry and those who influence it. Every minute of the four-day education and trade show offered opportunities to make valuable connections, learn groundbreaking ideas and see innovative products and services to help businesses grow,” she said.

    Anderson believes that shows like ISA Expo are vital for bringing awareness of innovations like PrintIQ to the attention of industry professionals. “Getting to see these innovations in action can propel businesses and the industry forward. It is early enough in the year that sign, graphics and visual communications companies can capture these innovations to make 2017 one of their best yet,” Anderson said.

  • Jobs: Senior Account Manager – Print & Mailing, April 28, 2017

    • Knowledge of Print & Mailing Helpful
    • Sales Experience Necessary
    • Rapidly Growing “Boutique” Mailhouse

    Our client is a leader in the provision of ‘full service’ print-and-direct mail solutions to corporate, government and institutional clients.

    Their range of services is comprehensive, including plastic-wrap and flow-wrap. In addition, they offer variable imaging and personalization as well as database and list management services for their clients.

    This is a senior role, requiring a high-level of professionalism to deal with senior marketing managers and print buyers and top-level decision makers. You will be familiar with providing complex, multi-product responses and communicating fluently – both direct and by Internet. Good computing skills (Word, Excel, etc) would be advantageous, as would an understanding of graphic programs.

    A previous track-record in print and mail sales is necessary, including experience in working with clients in developing marketing and DM programs. A knowledge of “database management” as a dynamic marketing tool is essential.

    This is not a ”new business” sales role, as you will be inheriting a significant and sizeable portfolio. They want someone who can retain and build the business!

    Reflecting the seniority of this role, a generous package – negotiable – expected to exceed $110K for the right candidate.

    Apply for this job with your covering letter and resume (Word files only, no PDFs) to james@jdaprintrecruit.com.au. Or call James Cryer – 02 9904 6222 – for a confidential discussion about this role, or other career opportunities in the printing industry.

    Quote Job Reference: 3186

    IMPORTANT:- Before submitting your resume, visit our website for helpful hints and other jobs in print – www.jdaprintrecruit.com.au

    T he r e   h a s   n e v e r   b e e n   a   m o r e   e x c i t i n g   t i m e   t o   b e   i n   p r i n t !

     

  • Issue 905 – April 28, 2017 Weekend SPECIAL

    It’s less than a month to go until the printing industry puts on its best frock and struts its stuff at PacPrint in Melbourne, and Print21’s March/April 2017 issue has a ‘must-read’ guide to what to see and do at the big show. Don’t forget as well that this is your last chance to enter our PacPrint 2017 Great Escape competition – your chance to win a luxury escape for two to the exhibition, including return flights, three nights at the Hilton, invitations to the Print Awards dinner, and an exclusive tour of the show by our publisher Patrick Howard. Entries close on May 1st, so get them in now – and maybe we’ll see you at PacPrint!

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

    Jake Nelson
    Journalist

     

  • Print automation comes of age at Currie Group

    Industry-leading exhibition of automated printing equipment on the Currie stand D10 at PacPrint

    Progress towards automated manufacturing is the defining movement of the printing industry. At PacPrint, Currie Group is showcasing the future of printing with an amazing demonstration of automation, interconnectivity and robotics across its stand.

    The file is already loaded into the HP Indigo 12000, the B2-size digital press that is bench-marking digital print quality and productivity. The file is of a perfect-bound, hard-cover book of 88-pages over a print run of less than 20. Its success in emerging at the other end of the process as a ‘ready for market’ product with no touch points along the way is the start of a new era in print production that is set to transform the industry.

    To follow the progress of the book file is to chart the transformation that has already altered print production. As a result of digital processes and computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) printing is well on its way to being an automated manufacturing industry. Currie Group has long been a leader in this development by representing such iconic brands as HP Indigo digital presses and Horizon finishing equipment to mention but two of its many leading agencies. Add such names as Scodix for digital foiling and varnishing, ABGi for digital web converting, Cron for CTP, Daeho with cutting equipment and Foliant laminators, and there is a complete picture of how the printing industry will operate in the future.

    Once the book file shows up in the digital front end (DFE) on the HP Indigo 12000, it joins any number of other jobs lining up for automated production. The benefit of being able to print job after job without the need to change plates is one of the most striking advantages of the new era of printing. Once printed on both sides the file is transferred automatically to the Horizon SmartStacker. Here the output is cut and folded into sheets, ready for binding.

    A Sawyer Collaborative Robot then picks up and transfers the stacked sheets to the adjacent Horizon BQ-480 perfect binder and Horizon HT-1000V three-knife trimmer, where a completed book is produced, all without a touch point.

    Phillip Rennell, sales and marketing director, Currie Group

    According to Phillip Rennell, sales and marketing director Currie Group, the print and binding line is a perfect example of the benefits of smart technology integration. “Putting together a production line of automated and compatible machinery makes good sense. It not only speeds up production but thanks to automatic settings it can adjust for different sizes of work without intervention,” he said.

    “The perfect bound book line is only one of a number of automated lines we have on the Currie Group stand. Not all of them are completely inline as there’s always a call for standalone equipment but they’re all intelligently linked either through the workflow network or by reading barcodes. This is the future of printing.”

    Read the complete article here in the latest issue of Print21 magazine.

     

  • “It’s the prudent thing to do” – Richard Timson

    Richard Timson, MD Heidelberg ANZ.

    The final tranche of employees to be made redundant by Heidelberg ANZ has reduced the company’s sales and service complement to just over 80 in the region, according to Richard Timson, managing director.

    “It’s never pleasing to have to let people go but it’s necessary to rebalance the company to meet market demand,” he said. While declining to put a headcount on the recent round of retrenchments, Timson did flag that as far as he’s concerned the company is at the right size now following years of painful adjustments.

    “This was strategically agreed on with our head office in Germany and Asia. It’s essential to size the company to meet the prevailing market conditions,” he said. “And that’s it now for the foreseeable future. We’re in a right position to sustain our market presence.”

    Ironically after years of stagnant sales, Heidelberg’s offset market is now showing signs of recovery with at least five offset presses – two large and three half-size – scheduled to go in this year, with perhaps another to come. Timson describes it as “an absolute pick up, when compared to previous years. It’s only the first month and we’ll certainly meet our budgets.”

    The local market is going against the overall trend in Asia with third quarter results posted in February by parent company Heidelberger Druckmaschinen revealing a fall in its Asia/Pacific business. The slowdown in growth momentum in China is reflected in falling incoming orders and sales. Asia/Pacific region’s share of sales drops to around 25 percent, said a company statement.

    Timson said he’s cheered by a continuing number of good orders in ANZ for Heidelberg bindery equipment and CTP as well as three orders in the past few weeks for the company’s Ricoh OEM Versafire digital presses. “That’s been really good for us. They go in and work beautifully. People like it because it comes with the Heidelberg DFE,” he said.

    He casts Heidelberg’s situation as symptomatic of the overall industry mood with digital suppliers such as Fuji Xerox and Ricoh discovering signs of market saturation, especially in colour.  “You do what you have to do to meet the market. Everyone’s having to adjust,” he said.

     

     

     

  • Indonesia rubbishes dumping claims

    The Indonesian government has slammed the Australian Anti-Dumping Commission’s decision to impose tariffs on Indonesian paper, saying it doesn’t dump paper in Australia and warning the move could affect free trade talks.

    Enggartiasto Lukita, Indonesian trade minister.

    Enggartiasto Lukita, Indonesia’s trade minister, wrote to Australian trade minister Steven Ciobo earlier this year saying accusations that Indonesia dumped cheap copy paper into the Australian market were ‘not true’. Deddy Saleh, the head of Indonesia’s negotiation team for the Australian free trade deal, also said it would affect discussions on the agreement.

    Roger Simpson, anti-dumping specialist, represents Indonesian pulp and paper company Sinar Mas. He says Indonesia will appeal the decision to the Department of Industry’s administrative review panel, and to the Federal Court should that fail. “In the meantime, we’re expecting the government of Indonesia to take the matter to the World Trade Organisation’s dispute settlement body, and we’ll be assisting with that,” he said.

    Simpson says the appeal hinges on the ADC’s finding that Indonesian government policies created a ‘particular market situation’ in which domestic and export prices could not be compared. “The Commission found that there are Indonesian government policies affecting the domestic prices, which we are disputing – there’s no evidence that government policies are impacting on A4 government prices. They are basing their finding on the Indonesian government’s policies in relation to the timber industry and saying that flows through from timber to pulp to paper.

    “What we’re saying is that there’s no evidence that government policies are in place that impact on timber prices, but even if they do, they impact on paper produced for all markets, domestic and export, so therefore it won’t mean that there cannot be comparison of domestic and export prices in the dumping margin determination – because both would be affected,” he said.

    Craig Laundy, assistant minister for industry, innovation and science.

    The decision by the ADC to impose tariffs on copy paper imports from Brazil, China, Indonesia and Thailand was welcomed by Australian Paper, Australia’s only office paper manufacturer. In a statement to the media, Craig Laundy, assistant minister for industry, innovation and science, said the tariff would help protect the company from being undercut by cheap imports. “The measures imposed as a result of this investigation will provide an effective safeguard to Australian Paper from the effects of dumped and subsidised imports from the four countries subject to this investigation. Those four countries accounted for 94 per cent of A4 copy paper imported during the investigation period.

    “The Turnbull Government will continue to protect Australian industries and workers, under Australia’s anti-dumping and countervailing (anti-subsidy) system,” Laundy said.

  • PacPrint 2017 guide in latest Print21 magazine

    The PacPrint Preview issue of Print21 magazine is out now – featuring a 40+ page guide to the outstanding exhibits at next month’s PacPrint in Melbourne.

    The ‘must read’ PacPrint feature spans the broadest range of printing technologies, from hardware to software to substrates and everything in between. Exhibitors profiled include Currie Group with its range of HP Indigo machines and advances in print automation; Starleaton’s wide-format showcase; Jet Technologies’ range of films and inks, plus partner Screen GP’s TruePress machines; Neopost’s partnership with HP; Epson’s exciting label solutions; and so much more.

    Another PacPrint spread to watch out for is a run-down of the workflow and MIS solutions that will be on display in Melbourne, and why you should consider incorporating more automation into your business.

    It’s not all about PacPrint, however – the March/April issue also profiles tireless print advocate Kellie Northwood, takes a magnifying glass to some pint-sized label printers, and gives you the inside scoop on the new training program educating the next generation of print professionals at Holmesglen TAFE – plus look out for label inserts in the printed edition that show off the power of Epson and Screen GP’s digital presses.

    All this, plus the latest news that’s fit to (and for) print, makes the March/April issue of Print21 a must-read. Check it out online here!

  • Galley Club end comes swiftly

    Signing off – the ten who turned up; Nicola Martin, Michael Schulz, Janis Griffith, Andy McCourt, Terry Flynn, Robert Stapleford, Chris Stevens, James Cryer, Glenn O'Connor and Patrick Howard.

    Two years ago the committee of the Galley Club was stymied in its efforts to alter the structure of the organisation and distribute funds to deserving charities. Last night in North Sydney, Michael Schulz (pictured) was not to be brooked by driving a unanimous vote to give $30,000 to charity.

    When it came to it only ten people turned up to see off the Galley Club in its original form. There were a number of apologies and proxies received by long-term former president, Michael Schulz, SOS Print, and they were all supportive of the motion to hand over the majority of Galley Club funds to charity.

    In no mood to allow a repeat of the previous failed attempt to disburse the monies, Schulz ran the little gathering with determination to get the vote done.

    “We don’t need the money any more. Nothing has happened in [the intervening] two years. It’s time to donate most of the funds. Let’s get it done and then we can talk,” he said.

    The proposal was to give $30,000 to two literacy-based charities, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the Sydney Story Factory, while retaining $7000 for the Galley Club. “These are good solid charities that do fantastic work in the book community. We’ll keep some money as there’s obviously a demand for the Club to continue. We’ll organise a Christmas event so members can keep in touch,” said Schulz. “But we don’t need $30,000 to do that.”

    The decline of the Galley Club is indicative of the fragmenting publishing and printing industry. From heady days in the 1990s when the Galley Club Awards for books published during the year filled Blue Mountains resorts with over a hundred guests, to more recent times when it struggled to raise a quorum for even one or two meetings during the year, it’s been a roller coaster ride.

    Dedicated efforts by many in the sector, especially Schulz, proved unable to keep the numbers and the interest up. Last night he intimated that the Awards will seek to integrate with the National Print Awards run by Printing Industries.

    The Galley Club as we knew it is no more, but there may yet be a future for it in some other form.

     

     

     

  • Sun Chemical hikes ink prices

    US-based Sun Chemical has become the latest global ink supplier to increase the price on all of its inks and coatings containing acrylic derivatives.

    “Disruption in the production of certain building blocks used in the making of inks and coatings, such as styrene and acrylic acid, will cause price increases of up to eight percent in the cost of all water-based and UV/EB inks and coatings depending on the amount of raw material used and geographical region amongst other factors,” said the company in a statement.

    “Other product lines may also be affected, depending on the evolution of important raw materials such as nitrocellulose, distillates, solvents and soya oils among others.”

    The price hikes will take effect from 15 May, 2017.

    “Sun Chemical has been doing its best to minimize these price increases to our customers, but unfortunately the instability in the supply chain makes it impossible to sustain current prices,” said Felipe Mellado, chief marketing officer, Sun Chemical.

    The company says its sales representatives will contact each customer individually to explain products affected and ensure that individual needs are met. 

    Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC group, is a leading producer of printing inks, coatings and supplies, pigments, polymers, liquid compounds, solid compounds, and application materials.

    Together with DIC, Sun Chemical has annual sales of more than $7.5 billion, with over 20,000 employees located at 176 subsidiaries across 63 countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

    In March, leading global ink supplier Flint Group flagged a new round of ink price increases, citing major supply shortages in base raw materials. On 3 April, the Luxembourg-based company increased its prices by between four and seven percent.

     

     

  • Amcor’s $multi-million trans-Atlantic expansion

    The Campbell Soup factory in Paris, Texas

    Australian-based global packaging supplier Amcor continued its aggressive expansion on both sides of the Atlantic, investing in another state-of-the-art UV Flexo printing press in Spain and opening a new bottling plant in Paris, Texas.

    The new flexo press at Amcor’s Alzira division in Spain is part of a broader investment programme that complements Alzira’s existing rotogravure and digital presses, and enhances Amcor’s ability to meet demand for blister foils and sachet laminates on the Iberian Peninsula.

    This follows the recent announcement of plans for new presses at Amcor plants in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, and Cramlington, UK. Together, the three investments serve the needs of the healthcare markets in the DACH region (Germany, Switzerland, Austria), the UK and Ireland, and the Iberian Peninsula, respectively.

    “We are serving pharmaceutical blister foil and sachet laminate applications with our network of rotogravure, Flexographic and UV-Flexo presses and our continued investment in digital printing positions Amcor to respond to increasing demand for short- to medium-run packaging,” said Paul Vega, vice president of Amcor’s Pharmaceutical and Medical division in Europe.

    Amcor also opened an onsite bottling plant at the Campbell’s Soup factory in Paris, Texas, US.

    The plant will make 50 million hot-fillable PET bottles each year. Campbell’s increased access to packaging will also deliver sustainability benefits including reduced freight costs and carbon emissions.

    “We’re excited about establishing this on-site operation because it expands our long-time strategic partnership with Campbell and gives us an opportunity to better serve a key strategic customer,” said Larry Weber, VP of Amcor’s North American beverages.

    Amcor invested $US7 million to re-purpose the Paris manufacturing facility. The on-site operation will produce 46oz (1.3 litre) and 64oz PET containers for a variety of V8 vegetable juice products.

    Amcor will showcase its latest flexible packaging solutions, including those for the healthcare industry at Interpack 2017, from May 4-10 in Dusseldorf, Germany.

     

  • Red Flames for Geebung 121 Creative

    Winners: Isaac Gibson, (left) 121 Geebung and Prabs Kundu, Creative Director, 121 Creative

    The winner of the annual Red Flame Design Awards, is Isaac Gibson, Senior Designer at 121 Geebung who took out this year’s first prize at the 2017 Kwik Kopy Conference held in Queenstown, New Zealand earlier this month. 

    The annual Red Flame Awards is open to Kwik Kopy and 121 Creative in-house designers.  This year’s communication brief was to develop a campaign to promote Kwik Kopy graphic design services to existing customers as well as the broader market, with the hero item in the campaign a direct mail piece aimed at invoking a sense of curiosity and excitement from the recipient.

    Kwik Kopy Marketing Manager, Karin Ingram says that this year’s entries met and exceeded the brief.

    “We wanted to give our designers the opportunity to work on a real brief. Graphic design is a major aspect of the Kwik Kopy success story and a growing part of our positioning and customer offer,” she said.

    “Our talented designers came up with a whole range of innovative ideas and creative.  It became immediately clear just how much thought, time and effort they put into their work.”

    Design industry experts Carol Mackay and Greg Branson formed the external panel invited to perform the final judging. They provided entrants with valuable feedback and congratulated everyone for a job well done.

    121 Creative Group Creative Director, Prabs Kundu adds that judges were delighted to see such a high standard of entries.

    “Many designers put a great deal of unseen effort into the presentation of their ideas and rationale for design,” he said. “This year highlighted the depth of talent across the Kwik Kopy and 121 network. It is clear that our team is committed to delivering great design solutions for our clients.”

    Isaac’s winning entry stood out from the crowd due to its fresh look that was still very much on brand. Kwik Kopy Marketing Manager, Karin Ingram says the judges were impressed with Isaac’s idea that offered something different from Kwik Kopy’s most recent campaigns.

    “It’s eye-catching creative that definitely promotes the value of graphic design to businesses,” she said.

    “We think our customers are going to really enjoy this campaign and some of the fun elements that we hope will become talking points. We are looking forward to rolling this out in the near future.”

    As the winning designer and Centre, Isaac and 121 Geebung will now work with the Kwik Kopy head office marketing team to develop a 2017/18 marketing campaign that can be used by the entire Kwik Kopy network. Kwik Kopy looks forward to revealing this innovative campaign later this year.

     

  • Save the Reef: The Colour Doctor

    Great Barrier Reef Foundation logo

    David Crowther of Colour Graphic Services will donate 5% of all his company’s sales revenue from PacPrint 2017 to  the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

    With human-generated pollution and cyclones taking their toll on the Great Barrier Reef, some marine biologists are predicting it could all be gone by 2050.

    “The reef is in great distress because of coral bleaching, human activity and cyclone damage,” says Crowther, CGS director and colour guru. “The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is working on research and ways to preserve and protect what is left. We just want to do our bit to help this unique Australian eco-system.”

    The 5% donation applies to all new orders for hardware and ISO and other services confirmed at PacPrint, even if paid later.

    The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is a registered charity established in 2000 in response to the UN World Heritage Convention.

    Colour Graphic Services

    In addition to Crowther’s colour management, ISO and training services, Colour Graphic Services supplies Techkon spectrophotometers, Mellow Colour software, Just Normlicht viewing booths and tubes, ColorLogic ICC profiling software, Printflow automated ink setting systems for offset presses and Eizo calibrated monitors.

    Colour Graphic Services has a coral reef theme – Colour Lives Here – for its PacPrint display on stand B62.

     

     

     

  • Fujifilm joins Fuji Xerox at PacPrint

    Fujifilm pop-up corrugated display

    Fujifilm Graphic Systems will exhibit alongside Fuji Xerox Australia on PacPrint’s second largest stand from May 23-26 at Melbourne’s Exhibition Centre. The theme is ‘Value from Innovation.’

    Fujifilm Holdings Corporation of Japan is 75% owner of Fuji Xerox and 100% owner of Fujifilm. The two local subsidiaries have developed closer ties, with Fuji Xerox Australia now reselling Fujifilm’s Acuity range of flatbed and roll UV printers and inks.

    'It makes sense for us': Warren Hinder, Fujifilm

    “It makes sense for us to exhibit in the same area as our sister company Fuji Xerox Australia – it’s also more convenient for our customers in both Australia and New Zealand since many have offset, digital cut-sheet and wide format capabilities and can see them all in close proximity,” says Warren Hinder, division manager, Fujifilm Graphic Systems.

    “We will have a major focus on our Superia and ZAC plate systems for cost-savings and lower chemical use in offset prepress. XMF automated workflow will have its own demonstration ‘pod’ where printshop owners can get hands-on with what we believe is the easiest-to-use and most advanced workflow for modern businesses.”

    As one of the world’s largest suppliers of inkjet inks, printheads and hardware, Fujifilm will showcase its inkjet portfolio with working technology on-stand as well as in static print display areas.

    At the highest end of flatbed UV production is the Inca Digital range. The sheer size of these machines precludes live demonstrations so Fujifilm will present a Pop-up Corrugated Display area with several Inca-printed samples on the floor. Fujifilm distribute the UK-manufactured Inca Digital presses, which are capable of up to 900 square metres per hour of high quality flatbed UV output.

    Visitors to the Fujifilm area of stand E10 are likely to find a friendly local face as the company will be bringing in account managers from all corners of Australia and also New Zealand.

    “All of the team are looking forward to PacPrint 2017 and meeting up with customers both old and new,” says Hinder. “We hope to demonstrate the true value of our innovations which, as a global company, are always developed with the environment and social responsibility in mind, along with lower costs of use that translate into better business propositions for our customers.”

     

     

     

  • Rojo to launch SupaCling film at PacPrint

    A new, easy-install option in cling film has landed at Rojo Pacific’s national warehouse in Melbourne just in time for PacPrint 2017, and Managing Director John Wright is already predicting it could be their most popular cling film ever.

    SupaCling® Flexi is a PVC-free, matte white film which is the latest in the company’s popular SupaCling® range, which also features ‘Ultra’ in both matte white and optically clear. The new Flexi film offers the same glue-less application and residue-free removal as its stablemates, but with even easier installation and broader application.

    “The difference between SupaCling® Flexi and the Ultra products is the structure of the cling backing, which features patented silicone ‘dot’ technology rather than a flat, all-over application of silicone,” Wright explains.

    “This makes it super easy to install, as it doesn’t trap air or bubble so it doesn’t need to be squeegeed – you can just smooth it on by hand. Plus, as its name suggests, it adheres to a much wider range of surfaces from glass and ultra-smooth finishes, to timber, vinyl and plasterboard, so it can be applied to windows, display cabinets, walls, doors, floors and more. We’ve even stuck it to our paper-lined display board from KATZ, with great success.

    “Most importantly, all the products in the SupaCling® range use silicone cling technology, rather than glue, so they remove without any residue at the end of the decal’s lifespan.

    “We’re already seeing interest in SupaCling® Flexi for a broad range of applications, from seasonal promotions and short-term signage, to floor and wall decals, interchangeable pricing, cool room and fridge decals, removable printed wall decorations and exhibition collateral.”

    SupaCling® Flexi is available for order now, and will be formally launched alongside Rojo Pacific’s full range of wide-format media solutions on Stand B40 at PacPrint 2017 in May.

     

     

     

  • $262m sales leasing loss for Fuji Xerox NZ

    Artist’s impression of Fuji Xerox House, Newmarket, Auckland

    NZ First leader Winston Peters has called for a government audit of Fuji Xerox New Zealand following news that parent company Fujifilm is investigating accounting practices at Fuji Xerox NZ that have led to an estimated loss of 22 billion yen ($A262 million).

    Japan-headquartered FujiFilm has postponed the announcement of its financial results for fiscal year 2017 and appointed an independent investigation committee to “review the appropriateness of accounting practices related to certain sales leasing transactions occurring in or prior to fiscal year 2015 involving Fuji Xerox New Zealand.”

    New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office says it will consider any new information which might require further action.

    'The Company expresses its deepest regrets to its shareholders, investors and other related parties': Kenji Sukeno, president and COO, Fujifilm Holdings

    Kenji Sukeno, president and COO, Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, said in a statement: “The cumulative impact of FXNZ’s accounting practices on past several fiscal years’ net income as identified to date in the investigation by the internal investigation committee is estimated as a loss of approximately 22 billion yen.” ($A262 million).

    Sukeno says the inquiry will look into a number of areas:

    Due to reasons such as that no minimum monthly usage volume was clearly set at an appropriate level for ensuring the recovery of fees pertaining to equipment. Specifically, lease agreements in which equipment and consumables are bundled with maintenance services and the fees payable for the equipment are recovered through a monthly fee that is based on usage volume.

     The Company seeks to assemble a clear picture of the issue by establishing the Independent Investigation Committee. Since the investigation by the Independent Investigation Committee will take some time, the Company has decided to postpone the announcement financial results that had been scheduled for April 27, 2017. The new schedule will be announced as soon as it can be determined.

     The Company will fully cooperate with the investigation by the Independent Investigation Committee. It is anticipated that the Independent Investigation Committee will report the results of its investigation to the Company in May 2017. Soon after receiving the report from the Independent Investigation Committee, the Company will make it public.

     The Company expresses its deepest regrets to its shareholders, investors and other related parties for any inconvenience and concerns caused.

    The announcement follows an NBR investigation last year that raised questions over FX NZ’s $51 million loss for the year to March 2016.

    NZ First Party leader Winston Peters, who last year called for a serious fraud squad investigation of the company, says the government needs to make sure taxpayers are not being ripped off.

    'Serious concerns': Winston Peters, NZ First.

    “All eyes are now on the New Zealand Audit-Office as we await its call on the request we made last October, for it to look into ‘All of Government’ contracts, especially those involving FujiXerox.  Now, over six months later we want to know what they are going to do.

    “At stake is something very serious because our inquiries reveal such serious concerns with Fuji Xerox that it could involve corruption,” says Peters. “Fuji Xerox has been favoured by this government and the more money it lost, $51 million last year alone, the more government contracts that have been thrown its way.”

    “Take the Northland Schools Cluster for example. It has transpired that since signing up, there is a monthly standing charge per machine, schools were signed up to print volumes far in excess of what they previously used and the contract term is an irregular 84-months. Experts say equipment like this should be replaced at 36-months as opposed to what will be old machines well past any depreciation point.”

    In a statement, Fuji Xerox New Zealand said it welcomed the investigation.

    “This investigation has no impact on the current levels of service we offer our customers in New Zealand. We continue to receive the full support of our immediate shareholder, Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific Pte Ltd and continue to meet all our contractual commitments.

    “There is no further comment at this time.”

    The news comes after several senior employees recently left Fuji Xerox Australia.

    The full statement from Fujifilm Holdings can be viewed here.

     

     

     

     

  • Issue 904 – April 26, 2017

    The digital printing equipment market has enjoyed a dream run for the past decade. While offset press manufacturers went backwards digital press manufacturers enjoyed boom conditions. That looks as though it’s coming to an end. Ricoh, as part of its reorientation, reckons the colour digital market has reached its peak. If it’s true for one it’s true for all.

    From now on digital suppliers are looking at a much tougher sales environment. Let’s hope they’re not tempted to follow the ‘sub-prime mortgage’ strategy that has proved so disastrous for Fuji Xerox in New Zealand.

    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

  • Massive $billion upheaval for Ricoh as new CEO repudiates management approach

    Ricoh has shifted responsibility for production printing to Europe as part of its new “Ricoh Resurgent” initiative, a program which Yoshinori Yamashita, CEO, says will deliver savings of ¥100 billion by 2019 – equivalent to roughly $1.2 billion AUD.

    Yoshinori Yamashita, President and CEO, Ricoh.

    In a wide-ranging presentation, Yamashita, who became president and CEO of Ricoh on April 1, repudiated the company’s previous management strategy and signalled a shift of focus from market share to profitability. He enumerated what he saw as the four main failings of the approach that saw the company’s operating margin drop to two percent:

    1. We did not overhaul the cost structure of our core business as it was weakening.
    2. We failed to be selective about our business portfolios and did not decide to exit businesses despite not generating envisaged profits.
    3. We ended up merely dabbling a little in everything in growth businesses without adequately evaluating our business strategies and earnings models.
    4. We failed to fulfill the pledges that we made under our mid-term management plan.

    “This is why I stated that we would break from past management approaches,” Yamashita said.

    Internal simulations showed that Ricoh was potentially headed for a loss in the 2019 financial year if nothing was done. According to Yamashita, the company’s financial growth peaked in 2007, after which the global financial crisis, and a slowdown in the switch from black-and-white to colour machines, contributed to Ricoh’s profit decline. “The global financial crisis caused a profit plunge from which we have yet to recover,” he said.

    As part of the plan, the company will focus on growth areas of its business and expand into sectors such as thermal in-line printing, 3D printing and bio-printing: using print technology to create layers of living cells. “We will support the creation of customer value by broadening the potential of printing technology beyond commercial and industrial printing,” Yamashita said.

    Ricoh will also overhaul its management structure to avoid ‘ambiguous responsibilities, roles, and authority’, shifting oversight for production printing to Europe and office printing to the United States as part of a broader review of the roles of each of its regions. “We are shifting oversight to those that are leading in their markets and delegating decision-making authority to business leaders near the front lines, enhancing the quality and speed of strategic deployments,” Yamashita said.

    Ricoh Australia had its own management shake-up earlier this year with Andy Berry stepping into the managing director’s role following the shock departure of John Hall. There will undoubtedly be a major impact on the local operation from the far-reaching changes. Andy Berry was unavailable for comment as Print21 goes to air.