Archive for July, 2017

  • The Power of inkjet

    Andy McCourt at Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems.

    Unlike solvent and most aqueous inkjet inks, UV curing inks that perform day-in, day-out are hard to replicate by third parties. This is because they contain a lot of ‘big science’ involving UV wavelength sensitivity, nano-particles, photo-initiators, dispersion technology and a marriage with diverse printheads that is hardly the same twice. Andy McCourt visits the world’s centre for inkjet UV, Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems (FSIS) in Kent, UK; formerly Sericol.

    The name Sericol has loomed large in the world of screen process printing since 1951 when, having escaped his war-ravaged country, a Hungarian émigré, Alexander De Gelsey, established the venture following a Cambridge degree and two years in research with Kodak.

    De Gelsey’s drive and passion for colour in both photography and print, created a remarkable global brand that rose to dominate screen inks through R&D and sheer quality. 1968 saw the development of the first thin-film solvent screen inks that catapulted screen process into viable high production. This was followed in 1978 by the first UV curing screen ink and again in 1999 by the first digital UV ink, which Mike Battersby, marketing manager for wide format at Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems (FSIS) – owners of Sericol since 2005 – admits was “a product looking for a market” at the time. Cambridge-based partner company, Inca Digital, soon solved that issue with the introduction of the world’s first flatbed UV presses.

    Following ownership by Burmah Oil and later BP, Sericol was acquired by Fujifilm one year before the passing of its founder Baron (he was an aristocrat) Alex De Gelsey. He would undoubtedly be proud to witness the modern, extensive plant at the place where he relocated it from London to Broadstairs, Kent in 1960. Indeed, many employees have clocked up well over thirty years service and recall the founder’s era.

    The world’s centre for inkjet UV, Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems in Kent, UK.

    World’s largest digital UV ink plant

    Visiting the place that pumps out the lifeblood of a huge industry is a humbling experience and one that drives home the merits of using only the best designed and tested inks through expensive digital printheads. FSIS makes inks for the Inca Onset printers and for both its own Acuity flatbed UV printers (Uvijet), plus the related Canon-Océ Arizona devices. Additionally, there is further OEM manufacture, the names of which are kept a close secret. Add to this LED UV inks which FSIS pioneered; on-going manufacture of solvent screen and plastisol inks plus narrow-web label inks both for the screen & UV flexo print processes

    Dr Seán Slater is development manager at FSIS. With the constant changing of printhead technologies and myriad substrates needing to be printed, he admits it’s a challenging task. “We have around eighty basic ink ranges with 1,300 formulations – each printhead requires a different UV ink. Then applications can vary, such as our KV inks for thermoforming; they need to be stretchable and heat-resistant. On top of this is the increasing demand sector-by-sector. FSIS has received seven factory upgrades in the past six years alone, including a five million Euro (AUD $7.3M) refit in 2013, and we have plenty of scope to increase production further.”

    It can be no wonder that, as well as the award-winning Broadstairs UK manufacturing facility from where nearly 6,000 tonnes of ink a year is shipped to 86 countries, Fujifilm has another custom built R&D laboratory in Japan, employing 1,200 people. As a group, Fujifilm is spending AUD$8.8 million every day on R&D alone. Over 100 ink patents have been filed just in the past year.

    Because of the exponential growth in UV curable inks (15.7% per year from 2015-2020 according to an Allied Market Research report), FSIS is devoting the major part of its efforts in this area. “We believe UV technology will dominate inkjet because of lower cost, higher productivity and more applications,” said Dr Carole Noutary, FSIS digital inks development manager. “Our innovation made UV inkjet a reality, FSIS pioneered UV wide format inkjet technology.”

    Fujifilm MicroV breaks down the particles to less than 200nm.

    From micro to nano

    “Making conventional pigment ink and toner requires micron-sized particles,” explains Dr Slater. “Digital ink for inkjetting is at the nano-level. The chemistry at this level is challenging as pigments have a tendency to agglomerate – clump together – and settle due to gravitational effect in the pouch or container.” FSIS has a proprietary milling and dispersion technology called MicroV that breaks down the particles to less than 200nm, which is smaller than a human cell. Each nano-particle is then coated with a dispersion coating to prevent agglomeration. The particles actually repel rather than attract each other. Polymers, photo-initiators, oligomers and other liquids are added and precisely mixed to create the finished UV ink for optimum jetting, colour saturation, gamut and stability.”

    The result is ink matched to particular printheads, both Fujifilm’s own Dimatix range and others that enhance jetting reliability. It has a longer shelf life and exhibits an unrivalled vibrancy of colour. Seeing the process in action at Broadstairs is a marvel to behold but many of the techniques are IP-protected and, understandably, could not be photographed.

    “Packaging and shipping is equally important; average shelf life for UV inkjet inks is twelve months and storage temperature can affect this,” said Battersby. “We test our inks at forty degrees centigrade for four months and retain samples from batches in case later problems need to be investigated. As UV ink ages beyond shelf life or is improperly stored, viscosity could rise and jetting problems can happen. Although the white inks have been formulated to minimize settling, the very dense pigment will sink to the bottom of the pouch eventually. We always recommend agitation of white ink pouches before installing.”

    The QA testing that goes on at FSIS is astonishing. Inks are printed on numerous substrates through various printheads; abraded, stretched, stacked under pressure, measured for spectral response, scratch-tested for adhesion, cured with varying UV wavelengths and examined optically as droplets emerge from minute ink nozzles to check velocity and satellite formation. It all adds up to very high quality UV inks.






  • Printers a prime target for cyber attacks

    Burt Mascareigne, director of DropInSecurity

    The Australian printing and communications industry needs to be ready to protect itself against new waves of ransomware attacks, according to a cyber security specialist.

    “The printing industry’s size and reliance on computer technology makes it a prime target for cyber terrorists,” says Burt Mascareigne, director of Sydney-based DropInSecurity. “The industry uses computer systems to drive and maintain print and digital equipment, prepress, Web-2-Print, inventory management, delivery and administration – and it’s all at risk.

    The industry was targeted as early as 2015 when an industry equipment supplier became a victim.

    “The attack locked up the supplier’s files, including accounts, sales and all history, rendering the business effectively blind,” says Mascareigne.

    “More recently, an interstate office of a nationally run business was compromised after a staff member opened an emailed invoice attachment purporting to be from a printing client. Although the staff member thought it odd to receive the invoice directly via email, on opening the attachment to investigate, they unknowingly triggered the ransomware attack.

    “Within four hours the virus destroyed 80 per cent of all data in the state office network and began infiltrating interstate into head office servers.”

    DropInSecurity was called in and blocked the ransomware spread, minimising data loss from the Sydney head office.

    “The interstate loss was catastrophic. Worse still, investigation found that staff had not routinely saved their files to a server, using their desktop drives instead. These were compromised and not backed up. The cyber criminals had scanned legitimate printing company websites for staff names and email addresses. These were repurposed to send ‘services rendered’ accounts to individuals in other industry companies.”

    Mascareigne says recent global attacks with the CryptoLocker WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware variants are ‘toe dipping’ exercises, testing the preparedness of potential victims for more widespread and sophisticated attacks.

    DropInSecurity is already providing Sophos Intercept X anti-ransomware immunisation to printing industry companies.

    “This is a world leading technology using machine learning in its development and is designed to identify and block the attempted use of exploits by attackers. Our volume allows us to keep the computer immunisation cost down (less than $4 monthly per machine) including updates. This is a very small cost for any business for the security of their data and peace of mind.”

    More information is available from the DropInSecurity website: or by calling (02) 9194 4299.

    DropInSecurity tips to stopping ransomware

    1. Backup regularly and keep a recent backup copy off-line and off-site. Offline and off-site means ransomware can’t get to it. With recent backups data loss can be minimized.
    2. Enable file extensions. This makes it much easier to spot file types that wouldn’t commonly be sent to you and your users, such as JavaScript.
    3. Open JavaScript (.JS) files in Notepad. Doing this blocks it from running any malicious scripts and allows you to examine the file contents.
    4. Don’t enable macros in document attachments received via email. A lot of infections rely on persuading you to turn macros on, so don’t do it!
    5. Be cautious about unsolicited attachments. If you aren’t sure – don’t open it. Check with the sender if possible.
    6. Don’t have more login power than you need. Admin rights could mean a local infection becomes a network disaster.
    7. Consider installing the Microsoft Office viewers. These viewer applications let you see what documents look like without opening them in Word or Excel.
    8. Patch early, patch often. The sooner you patch, the fewer holes there are for ransomware to exploit.
    9. Stay up-to-date with new security features in your business applications. For example, Office 2016 now includes a control called “Block macros from running in Office files from the internet”.



  • JDA launches new mentoring program

    Every week we receive Assignments to find that elusive Business Developer who can “hit the ground running”. The reality is if a successful Sales Rep (or whatever title you want to give them) is already doing this, they will already be generally well rewarded for their efforts.

    Chris Gander, JDA.

    So, there is the risk. If a Company wants to hire them, the candidate will want to be rewarded at the same or higher level than they are already earning. Before the first job comes in the door.

    On the basis that Experienced Print Sales Reps are hard or expensive to attract, we have explored different ways to find sales reps that stick…

    1. There are Print experienced operational candidates that are keen to move into sales. These candidates have a heap of print knowledge, but lack sales skills

    2. Then there are the experienced BDM’s with networks of clients that may be prospective buyers of print. These can know how to sell, but lack print knowledge

    While it is the intention of a busy Printer to take the new Sales Rep onboard and provide that critical support especially in the first few weeks it doesn’t always work out as intended.

    So JDA has come up with a solution…

    With almost 100 years of combined Print and Associated Industry knowledge, we have created a combined recruitment and mentoring package. The package offers mentoring sessions during the first 90 days of commencement that are tailored to suit the expectations of the employer, as well as assist rapid growth for Managers, whether they be Reps, BDM’s, or Account Managers.

    Together, we determine what you have seen already work (and not work) with your past employees; one-on-one with the employee on their individual growth strategy with topics that may cover outcomes such as: Planning & Prospecting; Making appointments; Client Presentations; Handling objections; Asking for the Order; Goal setting; Reporting and more.

    This is not just for the candidates we place with you. Should you have existing staff that you feel could be helped along with some external mentoring, then we can offer that to you too. And of course, if you can see the benefits, we can extend the time frame. Who this is for:

    • Employers who value their staff, however do not have the internal resources to provide this sort of 1:1 mentoring
    • Employees who are dedicated to developing their problem-solving skills, boost their morale, increase their job satisfaction
    • Businesses who are interested in improving retention rates and team relations
    • Those who would like to see an increase in profits through improved employee performance and productivity
    • Businesses looking to groom existing staff to move into more senior roles
    • Companies looking to decrease mental health issues
    • Those interested in fostering healthy relationships and workplace culture

    If you feel your business meets these criteria and you feel that this Service may benefit your overall Business, please me at JDA (Vic) for a no obligation confidential conversation.

    Call me now on 0413 055 834.

    I look forward to discussing your requirements and how this new program works.

    Kind regards,
    Chris Gander
    JDA Print Recruitment (VIC) Director 03 9874 1582
    0413 055 834

  • Issue 931 – July 28, 2017

    It’s the end of an era at Australia Post – after seven years, today is Ahmed Fahour’s last day as CEO. The ‘5.6 million dollar man’ called it quits in February after the furore over his massive 2016 salary, paving the way for new CEO Christine Holgate to take the top job (and a substantial pay cut) in October. With all the controversy Fahour stirred up during his tenure – particularly the animus he earned from the printing industry – it’s not hard to see why the industry is looking forward to a fresh face and a positive change at the mail monopoly.

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

    Jake Nelson

  • COS makes surprise bid for OfficeMax

    Dominique Lyone, COS founder and CEO.

    Australian family-owned office supplies company Complete Office Supplies (COS) has lodged a takeover bid for OfficeMax in Australia and New Zealand – the business targeted by US private equity giant, Platinum Equity.

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has begun reviewing the COS offer and has asked for submissions from interested parties by August 3.

    In April, Platinum signed a deal to acquire OfficeMax Australia/NZ from parent Office Depot for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition would give the California-based investment firm two of the three major chains in Australia’s $10 billion-a-year office supplies market, after Platinum bought Staples in March.

    In July, the ACCC delayed its decision on the proposed deal and requested further information from the parties.

    The ACCC  has started a separate review of the COS bid and set 14 September as the provisional date for a ruling.

    COS is expected to seek a court injunction to have the OfficeMax and Staples merger blocked in New Zealand on competition grounds, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.

    The COS plant at Lidcombe, NSW

    In its call for submissions on the COS bid, the ACCC says:

    The ACCC’s investigation is focused on the impact on competition. In particular, we are seeking your views on:

    * Whether COS and OfficeMax compete closely with each other in terms of product range, pricing, types and size of customers, and geographic areas of supply.
    * The extent of competition from other office products suppliers such as Lyreco, Officeworks and Staples
    * Whether the price of office products will increase, or service levels decrease, as a result of the proposed acquisition
    * How easy it would be for existing competitors to expand and/or new competitors to enter the market and constrain pricing and service levels provided by the merged COS/OfficeMax.

    COS employs 350 staff across locations in Perth, Darwin, Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide.

    The company website says COS was founded in 1976 by 22-year-old Dominique Lyone, whose family fled to Australia after the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israeli war. Following in the footsteps of his father, the proprietor of a typewriter repair business, Lyone started an office stationery business in Western Sydney. In the early days, COS had two staff and the top selling item was typewriter ribbon.

    Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with more than $11 billion of assets under management and a portfolio of 30 companies.




  • manroland web Market-X comes online

    Andreas Schwoepfinger (left) and Dennis Wickham.

    Australian and NZ manroland web customers will be able to access a wide range of ‘wear and tear’ spare parts for their presses when the new Market-X trading platform comes online in August.

    The web-based site expands the e-commerce service offering for local printers as manroland web sub-suppliers make their products available for purchase over the internet. Supply companies such as Technotrans and Baldwin are all lined up to make buying spare parts easier than ever for printers.

    Dennis Wickham, managing director and Andreas Schwoepfinger, technical director, welcome the launch saying the new web service will enhance customer service in the region. “It’ll be a big advantage for local customers and there are considerable cost savings to be made by buying through Market-X,” said Wickham. “The range of products available will expand over the coming months as more sub-suppliers come online.”

    The new website service will run alongside the normal manroland printcom consumables supply service that the local company holds in stock for fast delivery. “Market-X allows us to engage with our suppliers and broaden our selling proposal. Pricing will be very competitive due to the large volumes the company buys,” said Wickham.

    According to Alexander Wachter, vice president sales and service for manroland, the objective is to develop a convenient and reliable one-stop shopping experience from anywhere in the world 24/7.

    “We are very happy to welcome considerable players from the printing industry. Together with a range of selected pilot customers, we are at the testing phase at the moment. The manroland web store has been established very user friendly and in close cooperation with our customers to implement all additional functions, which are required in a B2B world.

    Redesigned and relaunched in July 2016, manroland’s online store supplies well over a thousand web offset customers with spare and wear parts and authorized consumables.

     Wachter says: “We consistently and intensively work on the implementation of further functionalities, on the constant optimisation of technical consultation and on increasing the product variety and offerings – as now seen even by suppliers.”




  • Shakeout continues in forme cutting sector

    (l-r) Director Rick Tisdale and die maker Hung at Martin O’Brien Formes in Mordialloc, VIC.

    Melbourne forme cutting business Martin O’Brien has acquired competitor Triforme Australia and taken on some former employees of collapsed Hygrade Cutting Formes, which shut down last month.

    “Triforme will continue to operate as a stand-alone business in its current location and all five staff members will be staying on,” says Rick Tisdale, one of three directors at Martin O’Brien Formes. “They have a very good list of customers and we’ll be working closely with their existing staff, as well as sending work over to them.”

    Triforme Australia, established in 1981 and based at Vinter Ave, Croydon in Melbourne’s east, specializes in the manufacture of flatbed steel rule cutting formes, flatbed label dies and die cutting supplies for the printing and scrap book industries.

    Tisdale says the acquisition was completed earlier this month. “Two of the former Triforme directors had already left the business and retired but the remaining director, Ian Mannix, will be staying on.”

    Martin O’Brien Formes has invested heavily in new technologies over the past 10-15 years and now operates four separate factories on Spray Avenue in Mordialloc, in Melbourne’s south-east, offering tooling, traditional forme cutting and mounting, router cutting and digital cutting. It also has an engineering department and recently expanded its digital unit with the addition of a new Aristo large format plotter table, giving the company four tables of various sizes.

    The company has also taken on three ex-employees of Hygrade Cutting Formes, a prominent Melbourne forme cutting business that closed down last month after 60 years in operation, with the loss of about 50 jobs.

    Tisdale believes Martin O’Brien is now the biggest forme cutting business in a tightening Melbourne market.

    “All the big work gets done in China these days but there’s still good money in small to medium runs and that’s where we focus. Also, we offer quick service, just like McDonald’s.

    “Hygrade falling over has given us a boost but it’s still a hard slog,” he says. “We deal with some of the best printers in the market and some of them pay spot-on while some of the others – and often they’re printers who are dealing with brokers – they can drag you out to 120 days before they pay.”

    Earlier this week, Bayswater forme cutting supplier Barella announced it was shutting down after 40 years in business, with its machinery and assets auctioned off on Thursday.

    Martin O’Brien Formes, Mordialloc




  • Canon plants seeds of sustainability

    Canon has promoted its ‘Kyosei’ corporate philosophy at a tree-planting day in Sydney ahead of the close of submissions for its ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’ grants program, initiatives which the company says embody the idea of ‘living and working together for the common good’.

    Yusuke Mizoguchi, MD, Canon Oceania

    The National Tree Day event in Ryde on Wednesday saw more than 20 Canon employees taking part, planting hundreds of native seedlings at Field of Mars Reserve. Yusuke Mizoguchi, managing director of Canon Oceania, kicked off the planting. “People’s strong connection to nature is important, and in today’s world I believe companies like Canon play a crucial role in giving back to their community and natural environment. Being part of the annual Tree Day planning initiative is very important to all of us at Canon Australia, and really brings to life our company values of contributing to positive change,” Mizoguchi said.

    Mizoguchi has also cited ‘Kyosei’ to launch Canon’s ‘Inspiring Tomorrow’ grants program, which provides more than $30,000 worth of grants made up of Canon equipment in-kind in Australia and New Zealand across Environmental, Education and Community sectors. The grants will be awarded based on the positive impact of entrants’ projects on their environment or community, and the significance of Canon products in achieving their goals. “Canon supports those making a positive contribution in their communities and wants to empower them with the tools to share their story.

    “Each year we’re humbled by the selfless acts of not-for-profit organisations, schools, environmental and community programs. We are excited to broaden the program this year to also give a helping hand to those addressing social issues, and encourage anyone who fits these criteria to apply,” Mizoguchi said.

    Applications for the grants close next Friday August 4, with winners to be announced by September 29.

  • Heidelberg sets sights on €3 billion in sales

    Heidelberg’s AGM in Mannheim, Germany.

    Heidelberg will aim for €3 billion ($4.4 billion AUD) in sales by 2022, an increase of €500 million ($732.7 million AUD) over its current sales figures.

    At the manufacturer’s annual general meeting in Mannheim, Germany, around 1600 shareholders approved all items on the agenda with a clear majority, including the election of Oliver Jung to the Supervisory Board. Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO, introduced the “Heidelberg Goes Digital” strategy, which will focus on technology leadership, digital transformation, and operational excellence. 

    Rainer Hundsdörfer

    “Over the next five years, Heidelberg will once again become a leading light in the sector, enjoying strong growth and profits. We’ve defined the relevant success factors and have already introduced initial measures. This marks the start of a new era of growth for Heidelberg,” Hundsdörfer said in a statement.

    Heidelberg’s digital strategy was rewarded on June 30 when investors converted 95 percent of a €60 million ($88 million AUD) mature convertible bond into Heidelberg shares, reducing the company’s debt and costs of interest.

    Dirk Kaliebe

    “We are very pleased to see the capital market’s confidence in the future of Heidelberg further strengthened. The increased share price and the conversion of the bond into equity are important indicators for us that we have been able to convince investors of our ‘Heidelberg goes digital’ strategy,” said Dirk Kaliebe, CFO.

    The 2016-17 financial year saw Heidelberg finish with an EBITDA of €179 million ($266 million AUD) and €2.5 billion in sales ($3.7 billion AUD). Attendees at the event comprised close to 30 percent of the company’s share capital.

  • Prestigious technology awards announced in US

    14 technologies have been selected to receive a 2017 InterTech Technology Award. The technologies receiving the award have been judged as truly innovative and are expected to advance the performance of the graphic communications industry. 

    An independent panel of judges deliberated over an outstanding selection of technology nominations that highlighted the dynamic nature of the industry. This year’s awards highlighted inventions that extend the performance of inkjet presses, use LEDs to overcome long-standing challenges, extend capabilities for digital enhancement, assess and manipulate color in new ways, permit the creation of low-cost prototypes, automate platemaking and presswork to new levels, and offer digital press users powerful apps to manage their processes.

    The 14 technologies selected to receive the 2017 InterTech Technology Award:

    • AMS LED UV System — AMS Spectral UV (A Baldwin Technology Company)
    • ORIS Flex Pack // Web Visualizer — CGS Publishing Technologies International LLC
    • ColorLogic ColorAnt 4.0 — ColorLogic GmbH
    • Esko XPS Crystal — Esko 
    • Gallus Labelfire 340 — Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AG
    • Prinect Press Center XL 2 with Intellistart 2 — Heidelberg
    • HP PageWide Web Press T490HD — HP Inc.
    • HP PrintOS — HP Inc.
    • JUST LED moduLight – Dual Illuminant D50/D65 — JUST Normlicht, Inc.
    • Komori Impremia IS29 — Komori Corporation
    • MGI AIS SmartScanner Intelligent Registration System — MGI Digital Technology
    • Scodix Ultra Pro with Foil digital enhancement press — Scodix Ltd.
    • Truepress Jet 520HD Continuous Feed Inkjet Press — Screen Americas
    • Image Test Labs – Image Grader TM — TechnologyWatch, LLC
    A listing of all of the technologies considered for the prestigious InterTech award is available at
  • Starleaton backs a winner at Randwick

    The Randwick Racecourse grandstand, home of this year’s Art & Frame expo.

    Starleaton will be presenting its range of products for the Fine Art, Photographic and Framing markets at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse next month.

    “The fine art and professional photographic sectors are growing strongly for us,” says Starleaton CEO Ben Eaton. “Since our acquisition of DES, we have added the world’s best archival art papers to our range including Hahnemühle, Awagami, Breathing Color, ChromaJet and Innova. These brands have expanded our existing offering of Neschen framing tapes, laminating films and mounting adhesives.”

    Eaton adds: “On top of this, we are one of Epson’s leading resellers backed by a team of knowledgeable experts in colour management and art-photo reproduction techniques. A little-known fact is that Zünd – our top brand of Swiss-made cutting tables – offers passepartout matt cutting tools for fast and accurate framing matts.

    “Also on display will be some of the latest lamination technology from Flexa, Italy.”

    Art & Frame is a long-running biennial event alternating between Melbourne and Sydney and includes seminars by local and international experts. Online registration is available at This year it will have a strong focus on digital art reproduction.

    The show is held in the Kensington Room, Grandstand Ground Level, Royal Randwick Racecourse, Alison Road, Randwick, NSW from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 August. Hours are 10am – 5pm daily, except Sunday when the show closes at 4pm.

    Awagami Inkjet paper

    Starleaton extends a warm welcome to all visitors to their stand.




  • NZ suspends Fuji Xerox contracts

    Fuji Xerox headquarters in Japan

    New Zealand has temporarily barred Fuji Xerox from accepting any new government work as investigations continue into a $450 million accounting scandal at the company’s Australasian subsidiaries.

    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced today that Fuji Xerox New Zealand (FXNZ) had agreed to a “voluntary suspension” from all current government contracts, meaning it won’t be able to bid on any new contracts in the public sector but must service existing deals.

    “The ministry is concerned to ensure companies who supply the government are held to the high standards the public would expect,” said an MBIE statement. The suspension will be reviewed in six weeks, after the publication of parent company Fujifilm’s final report into what it describes as “irregular accounting practices.”

    “This suspension has been agreed by FXNZ to allow the MBIE time to understand the implications of the final translated IIC report that Fujifilm Holdings will publish,” according to a statement from Fuji Xerox. “The voluntary suspension is effective immediately, with a review date 6 weeks from the date the final translated IIC report is available.”

    The company says the suspension covers all new sales and marketing activities associated with the provision of services to eligible New Zealand Government agencies under Print Technology and Associated Services (PTAS), Print Devices and Print Device Management Services and Office Supplies contracts.

    FXNZ wishes to advise that there are no current performance issues or inability to meet service levels under existing arrangements. FXNZ has the full resources and capabilities to meet all current needs, and there will be no disruption to eligible agencies who are already receiving products and services from FXNZ under the AoG contracts.

     FXNZ will continue to proactively offer products and services to all other customers in the market place and is confident that it will be able to satisfy MBIE that the issues in question are historical and resume its usual business with eligible agencies in the near future.

    ‘We will reform our corporate structure’: Hiroshi Kurihara, global president of Fuji Xerox.

    “Fuji Xerox and our affiliates take the findings of the report very seriously, and we will reform our corporate structure through strengthening governance,” said Hiroshi Kurihara, global president of Fuji Xerox and a Fujifilm vice-president. “The commitment of the entire Fuji Xerox Group to the New Zealand Government remains strong and Fuji Xerox New Zealand has the full support of the whole Fuji Xerox.”

    The NZ government spent $55 million with the company between 2012 and 2016, according to the MBIE.

    Last month, an independent report found that FXNZ and Fuji Xerox Australia (FXA) had overstated revenues by $A450 and that a former managing director – later identified by NZ First Party leader Winston Peters as former FXNZ and FXA MD Neil Whittaker – was paid more than $1 million to leave the company.

    New Zealand’s Serious Fraud Office says it’s continuing to examine the situation and is obtaining “additional information.”




  • Another Melbourne forme cutter shuts down

    Lot #1: Heidelberg SGS Cylinder Press

    Bayswater-based forme cutting supplier Barella has closed up shop after 40 years in business, just weeks after competitor Hygrade Group called in administrators.

    Barella Forme Cutting owner Barry Murphy, 73, is retiring from the industry and the company’s machinery and other assets are being auctioned off this week.

    “I started up the business in a garage at home making cutting forms about 40 years ago,” says Murphy. “But the market has been shrinking in recent years, with a lot of our clients closing, and we weren’t going to survive in the current climate.”

    Murphy blames government policies for contributing to the decline in the market.

    “What annoys me is that government policies, going back over many years, are not allowing printing to survive in Australia. Businesses are being told they need to get work manufactured in Australia but then the big companies end up going to print managers who get the work done overseas because it’s cheaper.”

    Inspection of the 107 lots on offer will take place today – from 10am-4pm on Wednesday, 26 July – at the Barella premises located at 48 Holloway Drive, Bayswater. The auction, being conducted by Liquid Asset Management, will close on Thursday.

    Lot #2: Heidelberg SBB Cylinder Press

    The full list of items on sale, including eight cylinders & platens, finishing and forms equipment and vehicles, can be found here.

    Last month, leading Melbourne forme cutting company Hygrade Group – which supplied the printing and packaging industry with high quality tooling for over 60 years – closed its doors and went into voluntary administration, with about 50 staff members losing their jobs. Administrators from Pitcher Partners are auctioning off the company’s equipment with Grays online. The auction was scheduled the close yesterday.

    Murphy says his immediate plans for retirement including buying a new car.

    “My wife wants to drive across the Nullabor and spend a couple of weeks in Esperance and then we’ll come home when we’re ready. But my wife will be doing most of the driving,” he jokes. “That way, I can just look at the scenery.”



  • AusPost/PIAA launch ‘robust’ roadshow

    The PIAA/Australia Post roadshow in Perth

    The Australia Post/PIAA national roadshow has rolled into Adelaide this morning after yesterday’s successful launch in Perth. 

    Up close with Australia Post – Breakfast series allows local printers to engage directly with Mark Pollock, Australia Post’s general manager mail products, on the national carrier’s strategy for the future.

    “The Perth breakfast went well, with over 50 members attending the events so far and some very good, fiery exchanges,” says PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay. “I am thrilled that Printing Industries has been able to create this opportunity for direct engagement between our members and Australia Post, and that industry has come out and supported the initiative.”

    Pollock spoke about recent initiatives to support the mail channel, and practical ways that print businesses can most efficiently and cost-effectively utilise various mail categories, products and services.

    “Australia Post has openly shared their plans and some of the innovation soon to hit the market, and members have responded with robust and healthy discussion,” says Macaulay. “We have appreciated printers being upfront about the business challenges they have experienced as a result of the continued price increases, Printing Industries commends Australia Post for stepping up and beginning to re-engage with the industry.  We look forward to advancing this discussion with them.”

    Printing Industries also facilitated a recent discussion between Peter Bass, Australia Post’s executive GM responsible for Mail and Letters, and three industry players. This panel interview is now available to view online at: 

    The road show continued in Adelaide this morning and moves on to Melbourne tomorrow.

    Here’s the remaining schedule:

     Melbourne Thursday 27th July   Book now
     Hobart Tuesday 1st August   Book now
     Brisbane Wednesday 2nd August  Book now
     Sydney Thursday 3rd August  Book now

    Registrations open 7.00am for 7.30am commencement of breakfast and presentations. The event will be completed by 9.30am.


  • Issue 930 – July 26, 2017

    Never underestimate the value of local production. At a time when imported printing and communication paper volumes are declining by 12.5% overall, Australian Paper is reaping the benefit of its successful anti-dumping battle. Along with Norske Skog, the other local paper manufacturer, it increased its market share, especially in uncoated woodfree, such as A4 copier paper, where imports fell by a colossal 24.0%.

    Total volumes are still decreasing, but it’s nice to know people are supporting their local paper manufacturers.

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

     Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor


  • Steep fall in print sector advertising

    Printed newspapers and magazines lost a total of $130 million in media agency advertising revenue in the 2016/2017 financial year, according to the latest Standard Media Index (SMI).

    The print sector was the hardest hit of traditional media platforms, with newspaper advertising plunging by $101m to $448.59m, a fall of 18.4 percent on the previous year. Magazine advertising was down 15.6 percent or $29.3m, to $158.84m.

    Growth in digital advertising fell below double digits for the first time in several years, rising by 8.1 percent.

    The plunge in print sector advertising comes as Australia is set to deliver its fifth consecutive year of record overall advertising spending in 2016/17 to reach more than $7.1 billion, says SMI AU/NZ MD Jane Schulze.

    The television sector booked the major share of ads from media agencies in FY 2017 at $3.1b, followed by digital at $1.9b and out-of-home at $864 million, radio with $580m, newspapers (excluding digital) at $449m, magazines (excluding digital) $159m and cinema $75m.

     “The market was stronger in the first half of the financial year, with total ad spend up 1.2% to $3.7b, but suffered in the second half due to the backdrop of huge Federal Election ad spend at the same time in 2016, which saw ad spend decline by 1.6%,” says Schulze.




  • Paper imports lowest in 30 years

    Australia’s total imports of paper and paperboard have slumped to their lowest volume in at least 30 years, according to the latest Pulp & Paper Edge report from IndustryEdge.

    According to latest data, imports of Printing and Communications papers and Packaging & Industrial paper fell for the sixth consecutive year, totalling an estimated 1,069 kt in 2016-17, down 8.2 per cent on the prior year.

    Printing and Communication paper imports are estimated to have fallen 12.5 percent over the year ended June 2017.

    Digitisation in all its forms is clearly having an ongoing effect. All grades have experienced declines over both the medium term and over the last year.

    Newsprint imports fell another 5.6 percent. The average annual rate of decline since 2011 has been a ‘very significant’ 16.1%.

    However, as the chart below shows, the bulk of the decline was experienced in the year-ended June 2012. Since then, despite a continuing trend of decline, the rate of decline in imports of Newsprint has flattened out.

     IndustryEdge notes that buyers are increasingly switching to cheaper paper grades.

    Evidence of the ‘substitution effect’ is mounting, where print buyers switch to lower priced grades of paper for their declining printed communications expenditure.

     As demand for printed communications diminishes, instead of ensuring their reduced printed communications are higher quality and have a bigger impact, some buyers are switching from one type of paper to another. Industry reports this is usually on the basis of cost.

     From coated to uncoated, from woodfree to mechanical, to ever lighter basis weights, the substitution effect is a characteristic that implies that print is a cost, and that ignores its value and the potential value it can bring to a company or brand.

    The news is not all bad, according to the industry bible.

    Despite the aggregate decline – which is again substantial – imports of some grades have performed relatively well over the course of 2016-17. Imports of Packaging & Industrial papers for instance, have continued to grow, albeit marginally, reaching a third consecutive new record.

     Local suppliers Australian Paper and Norske Skog have boosted their market share over the past year.

     Australian Paper experienced observable improvements in its market share after the successful (to date) anti-dumping case on A4 copy paper, while Norske Skog has progressively won market share after it reintroduced local manufacturing of Light-Weight Coated mechanical papers.

    IndustryEdge warns that the overall decline in imports is set to continue.

    There is no prospect for recovery in consumption of Printing and Communication papers, and under stable conditions, imports are unlikely to reverse their course either. The prospect of a rising Australian Dollar – especially against the US Dollar – might result in increased imports, but for some grades, that is more likely to mean a slower rate of decline, rather than actual growth.

    Full details of imports, as well as local production and relevant demand drivers, will be available in the 2017 Pulp & Paper Strategic Review.