Archive for July, 2017

  • Starleaton’s life-saving PacPrint fundraiser

    The EZ-I0 Drill and Educator kit soon to be part of Rottnest Island’s emergency care for kids, courtesy Starleaton.

    Starleaton’s long-standing support of the Humpty Dumpty Foundation has received a boost following the PacPrint ‘dollar-for-dollar’ fundraiser, with the donated funds buying a vital item of emergency care for children at the busy emergency department of a Nursing Post located on Rottnest Island WA and part of Fremantle Hospital’s network.

    The island is hugely popular as an activity holiday destination for families who can now feel safer that, in the event of a medical emergency, their children will receive almost immediate introduction of vital fluids directly into the bone cavity rather than hunting for tiny veins for IV intubation.

    Known as the EZ-I0 Drill and Educator kit, it is an essential piece of resuscitation equipment used to gain vascular access in critically ill children and babies when intravenous access cannot be established. The drill kit is used to place a needle into the bone cavity within 10 seconds, through which life-saving medication and fluids can then be administered. Achieving vascular access is vital to the resuscitation process and has life-saving consequences. The kit also comes with training devices used for staff education and practice of this vital procedure.

    The equipment will carry a plaque ‘Generously donated by Starleaton.’ CEO Ben Eaton says: “I’d like to thank all of our customers who donated at our Humpty Dumpty lemonade booth during PacPrint; it is their generosity that enabled us to match the amount raised to buy this piece of essential paedeatric emergency care.”

    The Humpty Dumpty Foundation specialises in placing essential and often life-saving medical equipment in Paediatric Wards, Neonatal Units, Maternity and Emergency Departments in over 340 hospitals Australia-wide.

    Paul Francis OAM, Humpty Dumpty Foundation Founder and Executive Chairman, says: “This generous support of the Humpty Dumpty Foundation and the local community is immeasurable. It means children on Rottnest Island and surrounding areas have access to medical equipment that is very much needed by the medical staff and, most of all, it is life-saving.”




  • Printing onto bottles a key market for KBA

    Industrial printing is omnipresent in everyday life. In a loose series of interviews, the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association presents member companies that are active in this segment.

    In this interview, Dr. Christian Maas, one of the two Managing Directors of KBA-Kammann GmbH based in Bad Oeynhausen, explains the importance attached by his company to industrial printing, which markets are in the focus and which technological challenges need to be overcome.

    Dr. Christian Maas, MD KBA-Kammann GmbH

    Dr. Maas, what is your understanding of “industrial printing”?

    Dr. Christian Maas: I would draw a dividing line to graphical printing. In this sector, the printed product is the actual product. Industrial printing, on the other hand, is normally part of a multi-step industrial production process within which its task is to decorate products, to enhance the appearance of them and to add information.

    What are the sectors of industrial printing you are active in as a technology manufacturer?

    Maas: Our core business is the decoration of primary packages – above all bottles – for the beverage industry; especially high-quality alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, we manufacture technology for printing on glass and crockery, hence, all sorts of tableware. Our third pillar is the decoration and enhancement of glass containers and flacons for alcohol-based cosmetics and perfumes. Whenever alcohol is involved, direct printing on glass is the better solution compared to labels or packages made of plastics.

    How do the customers’ requirements differ from the traditional print market?

    Maas: There are above all differences when it comes to substrates. Usually, we print on three-dimensional containers made of glass or glass-like plastic containers in sizes up to 50x50x50 centimetres. In comparison with paper and cardboard, the surface qualities of glass differ substantially. The tolerances are often in the millimeter range. Moreover, the shapes and sizes of the glass containers are not standardized. Just think of the large variety of flacons or the different whisky and cognac bottles. In order to nevertheless achieve the required print quality, exact guidance of the substrate and precise process monitoring is essential.

    Which printing methods are on your company`s priority list in industrial applications?

    Maas: Above all, we focus on screen printing and digital printing as well as hot-foil stamping on hollow containers. In some cases, also pad and flexo printing. In most cases, our customers use UV curing inks in the screen and digital printing systems. For that, we provide the corresponding UV technology. In screen printing, however, many customers also use thermoplastic or ceramic frit inks. They are dried in down-stream oven lines.

    Do you have to handle new substrates, inks and paints?

    Maas: Increasingly there are also glass-like plastics that need to be printed on directly. However, apart from a few exceptions, the plastics industry rather prefers labels. That`s where we were also active in the past; now, we focus completely on direct decoration. Mainly on glass, but also plastics and already shaped metal containers, for instance, three-piece cans or deep drawn aerosol cans. Sometimes it`s also about the decoration of ceramics: individually printed coffee mugs or promotional items.

    To which extent does industrial printing contribute to your total sales?

    Maas: To 100 percent. We are solely and completely active in this segment.

    Market studies forecast strong global growth for industrial printing. Does the experience you have made confirm these high growth expectations?

    Maas: This may well seem to be true for technology manufacturers seeking to re-orientate themselves from the media to the packaging market. We experience strong and dynamic growth in digital packaging printing; as far as other processes are concerned, the development is, however, rather moderate. There is a continuous upward trend. The drivers are the global growth of population and the growing middle classes in the emerging countries because of the positive economic development there. Besides that, the trend towards sophisticated, high-quality packages is favourable for us. Especially in the luxury segment, for instance, as regards spirits or perfumes, the appealing look of the product and package design is an important tool to stand out from competitors. Packaging designers focus increasingly on the possibilities offered by digital printing.

    Does your company push on with development work in the future areas of printed electronics, printed bio / medical technology or 3D printing?

    Maas: We were active in the field of printed bio and medical technology when we still built machines for label printing. However, sales were not sustainable. At the moment, this is not a relevant future field for us. Its market potential is overestimated at least by one, if not two magnitudes. For printing technology manufacturers, I see relevant sales potentials neither in printed electronics nor in printed bio and medical technology. Things are different with 3D printing, talking of which we primarily mean printing on three-dimensional containers. To us, additive manufacturing is only interesting from the user`s perspective. We already use numerous printed parts in our machines. Partly in order to produce complex components, partly also in order to produce spare parts that are seldom needed.




  • Emerald Press takes crash folding in-house

    (l-r) Emerald director Mike McDiarmid and bindery tradesman Steve Knight with the new Horizon SmartSlitter.

    Family-owned and operated offset and digital printer Emerald Press says its double purchase of a new Horizon SmartSlitter and a Horizon MKU-54-T mobile knife unit from Currie Group is already saving on time and money.

    The new machines, ordered at PacPrint, went in a couple of weeks ago and are up and running at the company’s Castle Hill facility, 30 kms north-west of the Sydney CBD. 

    “Currie Group sent their Horizon expert Rob Peterson and Sydney field service engineer Tyson McDivitt and the installation was seamless,” says Emerald Press co-director Mike McDiarmid, who runs the business with his brother, Shaun McDiarmid.

    The Horizon MKU-54-T mobile knife means almost all of Emerald’s crash folding work now stays in-house.

    “We were subcontracting out crash folding work to trade binderies at significant expense and these things are time sensitive,” says McDiarmid. “With the way the direct mail market is now, the control of delivery times is imperative.” 

    [Crash folding is the process of folding a saddle stitched booklet or document down to either DL or A5, so that it can be inserted into an envelope for posting.]

    “The new mobile knife unit links directly to our booklet maker, a Horizon StitchLiner, which enables us to crash fold in-line. The knife unit is also compatible with our existing folding machine, a Horizon AFC-566FKT folder, which increases our folding capabilities.  So now we’re stitching, crash folding and delivering on the same day, without relying on outside services. There’s very little of this kind of work that we need to send out now.”

    The new Horizon SmartSlitter has added crucial speed to Emerald’s operation, McDiarmid says.

    “We bought a Horizon creaser/folder five years ago at drupa and have been impressed with its production capabilities. We viewed the SmartSlitter as a perfect complement with its businesses card slitting and ‘stop perf’ capabilities.

    “It’s a very clever machine. They’ve improved the registration system, which makes it very accurate. The versatility of the SmartSlitter, with its creasing, cutting and perforating capabilities, both horizontal and vertical, makes it a no-brainer for us when it comes to producing digital work quickly and accurately.”

    The Horizon SmartSlitter is an all-in-one sheet processing system that can slit, gutter cut, edge trim, cross-cut, perforate, and crease all in a single pass. Perforation and creasing can be performed in both horizontal and vertical directions in the same pass. 

    “We love it and have been using it daily since its installation,” says McDiarmid. “The touch-screen operation is also very user-friendly and the barcode scanning software enables the machine to set itself without user input. Keeping up with technology is an important part of our market strategy and, in the digital market, speed and accuracy are crucial.”

    Currie Group MD Bernie Robinson says: “For business card printers, the Horizon SmartSlitter works really well. It can cut 21 cards out of an SRA3 sheet at a rate of 15,000 cards an hour. It will perforate at a similar speed, and again it is all controlled by a barcode with the machine setting itself.”

    Emerald’s relationship with both Horizon and Currie Group have been essential factors in the growth of the company, which now employs 24 long-term staff members. “Horizon is an excellent, innovative company that responds to customer feedback,” McDiarmid says.

    “I’ve known David Currie and Bernie Robinson and Currie’s NSW manager Richard Watson for over 20 years now and they’re mates as well as business associates, so it’s more than the regular supplier/user relationship. I trust them. They always present a good deal and follow up with excellent support.”

    The Emerald Press plant at Castle Hill.

    Emerald Press has been supplying offset and digital printing services for 30 years, with clients that include many of Sydney’s large-scale corporate entities and government institutions.

  • Issue 929 – July 21, 2017

    The printing industry has a vital stake in ensuring the continuation of an efficient mailing system. The sector generates 80 percent of Post’s mail business with the survival of many small owner-operated companies at the mercy of the monopoly. There is rising anger at the seeming indifference of Australia Post to the plight of the private sector. Lavishly rewarded and superannuated bureaucrats in the Melbourne HQ as well as Ministers of the Crown may find it difficult to put themselves in the position of battling printers and mailing houses. 

    But they should. We are after all, their customers. And we do vote.


    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

  • AusPost is “destroying” the mailing industry

     A leading mailing house has called for a federal investigation into what it alleges is anti-competitive conduct by Australia Post that is destroying jobs in the printing and mailing industries.

    Ongoing price hikes for commercial mail as well as onerous payment conditions insisted on by the mail monopoly are damaging the underlying industry in a manner that seems to indicate a determination to do away with the current mailing system.

    According to David Docherty, director D&D Mailing Services, in a letter to Mitch Fifield, Federal Minister for Communications, the anti-competitive behaviour of Australia Post warrants a full scale investigation. He accuses the Minister of not giving any consideration to an original complaint and with palming him off with ‘a hastily put together political off handed response to clear your desk.”

    An irate Docherty takes the Minister, the Federal Government as well as Australia Post to task for inflicting 13 price rises over 12 years in some cases as high as 7%. Since 2012 the increase is in excess of 66%.

    “I find it appalling that the Minister for Communications is willing to stand by along with the Government and allow a monopoly to conduct itself in an anti-competitive nature without any regard to the loss of business and ultimately jobs for thousands of Australians.

    “The continuous increasing of pricing is doing nothing short of destroying the industry that has built its business on the medium of mail, and the publishers and suppliers to this industry have had no say or been given any consideration by Australia Post, who seem determined to do away with the mail system as we know it.”

    The price increases have put an inevitable strain on the sector’s cash flow with mail customers demanding extended trading terms similar to other commercial activities. Requests for 60-90 days payment terms are not uncommon. However Australia Post, thanks to its monopoly position, demands the mailing sector stick rigidly to a 7-14 day trading term that is ‘non-negotiable.’

    This results in mailing houses who take on client postage in their own accounts virtually financing the customer on behalf of Australia Post. This comes under threat that if they don’t pay Australia Post on time no mail will be collected, effectively putting the mailing house out of business.

    Docherty told the Minister he is “not sure how long the industry can sustain the continuous onslaught from the monopoly money-hungry Australia Post. We believe that the continuous increasing of rates and the strict demands placed on customers by Australia Post is nothing short of engaging in anti-competitive conduct and requires immediate investigation.

    “It has recently come to light that Australia Post has restated its financial position 49 times since 2014 in an effort to support the case for these extraordinary postage increases over the last decade.

    In response, Fifield said: Australia Post regularly reviews the prices of business letters to ensure that the Corporation remains sustainable as letter volumes decline. Australia Post is reducing its operating costs, improving network efficiencies, and adjusting prices to partially recover costs of delivering its services. Australia Post still makes a loss on every letter it delivers.

    Earlier this month, Rod Peirce, owner of Brisbane mailing house Smartcomm, said corporate regulator the ACCC should investigate Australia Post’s accounting practices. “There should be a formal independent inquiry and I’m surprised that the ACCC or the Federal Minister hasn’t already picked up on it. They’ve been trying to push people out of letters.”

    The latest row comes as Printing Industries hosts a national tour, ‘Australia Post Up Close’ to allow printers and mailing houses to engage with the monopoly.

  • ‘Keep us posted’, say companies and consumers

    Keep Me Posted flyers at a post office in Burnley, Victoria.

    The Keep Me Posted campaign has been ‘overwhelmed’ with support from business and consumers, with more than 1,000 responses to a flyer campaign in the first week alone.

    The campaign, which aims to give Australians a choice about whether to receive paper or email communications from billers and government organisations without additional charge, circulated reply-paid postcards attached to flyers detailing information on paper billing and statement fees and invited consumers to have their say on the issue. Figures from the first wave of responses indicated that 88 percent of those who replied supported the campaign due to social justice concerns, with 89 percent wishing to keep physical records of correspondence and 75 percent worried about internet fraud.

    Kellie Northwood.

    Kellie Northwood, executive director of Keep Me Posted, said the response was ‘overwhelming’. “Thanks to the partnership, we are reaching out to those Australians who are on the wrong side of the digital divide and heavily rely on postal communications in their daily lives. They are the most vulnerable Australians who deserve their voice to be heard and they shouldn’t be penalised for preferring paper communications over digital ones,” she said.

    A spokesperson for Australia Post expressed support for the campaign, which posted the flyers in every Australia Post retail outfit in the country. “Australia Post is both a physical and digital business and we believe in providing customers with choice in the way they transact with business and government organisations. We have an important role to play to help our communities realise the productivity benefits of a connected digital age, while ensuring nobody is left behind or excluded from accessing important everyday services,” the spokesperson said.

    Tony Cartwright, Neopost.

    Mailing solutions suppliers such as Neopost have also come out in favour of Keep Me Posted, with Tony Cartwright, product manager at Neopost, saying companies often don’t look at the pros of paper and the cons of electronic communications. “Paper based mail has many benefits. It can be redirected to your new address – users pay for that, it has desk life, and it has never locked your PC down with a virus.

    “Advertising spend on paper based mail is apparently dropping in various statistics shown. However, Australia Post has surveys that shows paper as the best medium to attract attention. It should be growing and Post could be further encouraging this endeavour,” Cartwright said.

    Keep Me Posted is encouraging consumers to write to their state and federal MPs to express their support for the campaign and its goals after recent legislative wins, including a motion asking the Government to bring consumer protection against fees on paper communications, which was moved in the lower House by Tim Hammond MP, Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, and then passed with a clear majority in the Senate.

  • New Visual Connections partnership set to ‘re-engineer’ student outreach programs

    Visual Connections has announced a new alliance with the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation, with the aim of boosting participation and awareness of the print, graphics and signage industries among Australian students.

    John Wall, Visual Connections.

    The industry organisation said the partnership with REA, which encourages student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, would ‘breathe new life’ into the largest manufacturing industry in Australia. “This alliance with REA will bring awareness amongst young people as to the varied and interesting careers available within the wider printing and sign industries and give a face to an industry that many don’t understand could be a viable career choice,” said John Wall, president of Visual Connections. “It will hopefully lead to an increase in apprenticeships and skilled resource to our members and to the wider industry.”

    REA runs a number of STEM competitions in Australian schools, including F1 in Schools, 4×4 in Schools, Entrepreneurs in Schools, and SUBS in Schools, in which students in REA’s competitions must brand their teams, design their pit displays, present their technical portfolios and decorate their F1 cars, off road vehicles and submarines, according to an REA press release.

    Michael Myers, REA.

    The focus on creating visual images and strong designs in these competitions has generated interest in the graphic arts industry from participating schools, said Dr Michael Myers OAM, chairman, REA. “As we continually seek to influence the career motivations of students there is a natural fit with Visual Connections and their member companies.

    “The next step for us is to inform schools about the new alliance and encourage them to connect with their local print, graphics and signage businesses. We will be asking schools to let us know their mentoring requirements and we will work with Visual Connections to link people in these industries with schools and students,” Myers said.

    As part of the alliance, REA will display an F1 racing track and car at the Visual Impact show in Sydney from October 11-13, and Visual Connections representatives will participate as judges at F1 in Schools finals across Australia.

  • More mill pressure on paper prices on the way

    James Cropper’s Burnside Mill in Cumbria

    More paper price rises are on the way with global suppliers James Cropper and Mitsubishi HiTec Paper both announcing significant price hikes that will take effect in coming weeks.

    Mitsubishi HiTec, the German-based manufacturer of coated specialty papers, is increasing prices for its Thermoscript thermal paper and Giroform carbonless paper by 6-7%, effective September 1.

    “Further increases in costs for pulp, chemicals and logistics make this adjustment necessary,” the company told customers in a letter.

    About 700 employees at Mitsubishi HiTec Paper produce direct thermal, inkjet, carbonless, label and barrier papers at two locations in Bielefeld and Flensburg.

    English firm James Cropper Paper, established 1845, has told customers it’s increasing prices from 4-5% globally from 7th August.

    “In the face of significant raw material cost increases, James Cropper is raising paper prices across its portfolio of grades in all markets,” MD Steve Adams said this week in a letter to customers.

    “Pulp prices in particular have risen markedly since the end of 2016, with further increases notified. Dyes and packaging materials are also rising.

    “Our increase of 4-5% will be implemented across the full product portfolio and effective on all deliveries from 7th August 2017.”

    Earlier this month, Australian paper merchant Spicers announced a new round of increases for its commercial print paper products – its second price hike in less than four months. The announcement followed a similar move by supplier Australian Paper.

    The new pricing on Spicers’ brands such as Precision Laser, Pacesetter Laser Recycled, Core Boxboard and Teslin will take effect on Monday 24th July, 2017. The increases will be in the vicinity of 3-5%.

    “It is of upmost importance to Spicers that we minimize increases in costs from our suppliers,” said Spicers CEO David Martin. “We have been tightly managing the costs directly under our control, yet we recognize that the tight margin position of the industry means our ability to absorb supplier increases is limited.”




  • PIAA slams ‘shoddy’ power companies

    Printing Industries is urging its members to step up and attend a series of ACCC public forums about electricity supply to protest against price rises that are threatening to “decimate” industry employment levels and send some production offshore.

    “Shoddy service and higher prices’: Mary Jo Fisher, director, government relations, PIAA

    “The feedback we’re getting from members is that retail electricity suppliers have spent a lot of money paying lawyers to protect themselves so they can hide behind shoddy service and higher prices,” says Mary Jo Fisher, the PIAA’s director, government relations.

    “It’s pretty clear that electricity companies have adjusted their prices upwards to counter a decrease in energy usage – so that they avoid a decline in profits. They’re making things as expensive and as difficult to follow as possible.”

    Fisher has called on PIAA members to attend the national series of public forums that begins next week in Brisbane.

    “One of our members is facing a three-fold increase in their electricity bill and unless they can find another pricing structure, they could be forced to reduce their workforce by ten percent. Many other printers are in similar situations.

    “It’s very frustrating that we’re still at the stage where the ACCC needs to hold an inquiry into retail electricity prices. Why is that? Why are the political parties and decision makers just bickering amongst themselves instead of actually doing something to rectify the issues?

    “We’re very keen to have members go along to each of these sessions to make their voices heard. Anyone who is interested can contact me directly at”

    PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay sees energy security as “the single biggest issue facing our industry.”

    “Printing Industries has been lobbying at a state and federal level on this issue since October last year, and it is deeply concerning that all sides of politics and all levels of government are still only discussing theories and concepts, not implementing solutions,” Macaulay says.

    “The impact on the print sector of this woeful public policy has the capacity to decimate employment levels, and potentially move some production offshore.”

    The forums begin in Brisbane next Tuesday, 25 July. From there, they head to Adelaide, Melbourne, Townsville and conclude in Sydney on 14 August. 

    “We invite all energy users to attend these forums in order to raise competition and pricing issues in the retail electricity sector with ACCC Commissioners,” says a statement from the corporate regulator:

    The forums will focus on residential and small business customers, but large customers are welcome to attend any of the forums. There will also be a dedicated large customer forum in Adelaide on 31 July.
    Following the forums, a summary of issues discussed at the forums will be published on the ACCC website. Names of attendees will not be published. The forum discussions will be closed to the media.
    Please note that electricity users who wish to provide information but are unable to attend a forum can contact


    Brisbane – 25 July 2017

    Hotel Urban

    345 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill

    5-7pm (light refreshments from 4:30pm)

    Adelaide large user forum – 31 July 2017

    Rydges South Park Hotel

    1 South Terrace, Adelaide

    1-3pm (light refreshments from 12:30pm)

    Adelaide – 31 July 2017

    Rydges South Park Hotel

    1 South Terrace, Adelaide

    5-7pm (light refreshments from 4:30pm)

    Melbourne – 3 August 2017

    Rendezvous Hotel

    328 Flinders Street, Melbourne

    5-7pm (light refreshments from 4:30pm)

    Townsville – 7 August 2017

    Rydges Convention Centre

    23 Palmer Street, South Townsville

    5-7pm (light refreshments from 4:30pm)

    Sydney – 14 August 2017

    Radisson Hotel & Suites Sydney

    72 Liverpool Street, Sydney

    5-7pm (light refreshments from 4:30pm)

    For further information and to register, please go to the ACCC website. 

    The PIAA’s full submission to the ACCC is available here.


  • Spicers faces showdown with US equity firm

    Spicers is facing yet another fight with its shareholders, with private equity firm Coastal Capital demanding the removal of the company’s finance director and CFO, Wayne Johnston.

    The Spicers’ board has thrown its full support behind Johnston, saying he has made an “invaluable contribution.”

    The embattled paper merchant, formerly PaperlinX, seemed to have finally moved on from its long-running dispute with PaperlinX hybrid shareholders, after meetings last month of both groups of shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of a deal to break a deadlock that had restricted the company’s commercial and financial activities.

    The agreement saw hybrid shareholders take a 68.3% percent stake in the company, with chairman Robert Kaye and non-executive director Michael Barker agreeing to step down and three new directors to be appointed.

    After the meetings, Johnston told Print21: “The Spicers Board and management are extremely pleased with the outcome of the general meetings. The results of the meetings confirmed overwhelming support from both the Spicers ordinary shareholders and the SPS Trust unitholders for the proposal and we thank them for this.”

    Now, Coastal Capital International, a New York hedge fund that held 19 per cent of the PaperlinX SPS Trust hybrid securities, has called for the removal of Johnston as well.

    Todd Plutsky, managing partner, Coastal Capital.

    Spicers says it has received a notice from Coastal requesting that Johnston be removed as a director and be replaced by Coastal managing partners Todd Plutsky and Vlad Artamonov.

    The fund began accumulating PaperlinX’s step-up preference securities (SPS) several years ago, and in one 2012 purchase spent $3.5 million for an 8.24 per cent stake.

    In an announcement this week to the ASX, the board says it respects the shareholders’ rights to remove Kaye and Barker but does not support the departure of Johnston.

    The board believes that Wayne Johnston has made an invaluable contribution as a director in addition to his executive duties. It is the considered view of the non-executive directors that the continuity at board level that Johnston can provide as a director will be even more critical given the retirement of Mr Kaye and Mr Barker.

    Vlad Artamonov, managing partner, Coastal Capital.

     The matter will go to an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Melbourne on 6 September, where the company will “seek shareholder approval for the election of new directors.”

    In its ASX statement, Spicers says:

    As stated in previous company announcements, the board intends to nominate three candidates, identified via a company initiated executive search process, to be elected directors of the company; and it has also received nominations for eight candidates [including Plutsky and Artamonov] to be elected directors of the company.

     The company says further details will be contained in the notice of meeting for the EGM, which will be issued no later than 6 August.


  • Print’s future is in the mail

    Peter Bass, Australia Post

    The printing industry provides 80% of Australia Post’s mail business but has little influence over its business decisions. Andrew Macaulay is setting out to change that.

    A high-powered panel discussion between the Printing Industries and Australia Post is seen by Macaulay, CEO, as a first step in resetting the relationship between the two co-dependent industries. As the national mail carrier awaits the arrival of its new CEO, Christine Holgate, the peak printing organisation is attempting to build bridges and repair a formerly fractious relationship.

    Macaulay facilitated and hosted the meeting between senior Australia Post executives and representatives of the printing industry. The meeting was videotaped and is available to a wider audience.

    Peter Bass, a member of Australia Post’s executive leadership team along with Mark Pollack, General Manager Mail Products, were there to explain the progress of the organisation controversial long-term reform programme. On the printing side were Matt Aiken COO, Ive group and Rodney Frost, CEO of the Lamson Group, keen to understand if there is any end to the continuously rising mail charges. They were joined by Nadine Bucher from mail house, Bing.

    In the hour-long exchange Aiken wanted to know what were the strategies Australia Post has in place to mitigate the decline and improve the ROI for those parts of the industry that still firmly believe in the viability of the mail channel. He claimed the industry was on a cycle of price increases followed by mail volumes decline that has to change.

    Bass, who is responsible for Australia Post’s operational network including both parcels, letters and mail, responded to a question from Frost by revealing there is a decline in volumes of roughly 10% pa while at the same time the number of delivery points is growing by 2%. This results in the organisation of more than 25,000 employees and 5,000 contractors across 500 facilities nationally, having an amazing 90% of its costs fixed with little room to move.

    Pollack pinned the main driver of mail volume decline to digital substitution, much of it from the Federal Government’s drive to gain efficiencies from the channel. He maintains the shift towards digital is the key point that emerges from Australia Post’s demand analysis.

    The full panel discussion is available to members of the Printing Industries and other interested parties here.

    Pollack is about to embark on a national tour, Up Close with Australia Post, organised by Printing Industries, to meet with printers and mailing houses around the country. The full itinerary is:

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


     Perth ·      Tuesday 25th July  ·       Book now
    Adelaide ·      Wednesday 26th July ·       Book now
    Melbourne ·      Thursday 27th July  ·       Book now
    Hobart ·      Tuesday 1st August  ·       Book now
    Brisbane ·      Wednesday 2nd August ·       Book now
    Sydney ·      Thursday 3rd August ·       Book now




  • Issue 928 – July 19, 2017

    Private equity can be difficult partners in enterprises. They have their own agenda, which mostly has nothing to do with the industry they’re operating in, and everything to do with maximising their returns. Spicers is learning the parameters of power when it comes to dealing with Coastal Capital, the high-powered USA capitalist that picked up the strategic shareholding of PaperlinX step-up preference securities (SPS).

    Let’s hope the company can stand its ground and work towards a viable future for the Australian paper business.

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

     Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor.

  • Fujifilm tightens control of Fuji Xerox NZ

    ‘Commitment to the New Zealand market remains strong’: Fuji Xerox global president Hiroshi Kurihara

    A team of executives from Fuji Xerox in Japan, including global president and Fujifilm corporate vice-president Hiroshi Kurihara, have arrived in New Zealand to install tough new corporate governance measures in the wake of an “inappropriate accounting” scandal.

    Kurihara says the company is committed to ensuring there is no repeat of the accounting irregularities at Fuji Xerox New Zealand (FXNZ) and Fuji Xerox Australia. A New Zealand Ministry of Business (MBIE) investigation is underway into government contracts signed with FXNZ, after an independent investigation found the company’s Australasian subsidiaries had overstated revenues by $450 million.

    Kurihara, accompanied by FX Asia-Pacific president Isamu Sekine, Asia-Pacific GM marketing Takayuki Togo and local COO Peter Thomas, met with FXNZ staff in Auckland this week to outline a range of measures designed to strengthen corporate governance.

    These include: tightening accounting practices for contracts, new rules regarding performance evaluation and incentives, and the reorganisation of lease business units. Improved whistleblower systems have also been introduced.

    Fujifilm chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori.

    Fuji Xerox’s accounting and audit operations will be integrated into Fujifilm’s by September and legal departments may also be consolidated.

    “Fuji Xerox’s commitment to the New Zealand market remains strong,” said Kurihara. “I am confident Fuji Xerox New Zealand is well positioned at the forefront of the document management industry and remains a valued partner to our many customers.”

    In an interview with The Nikkei Asian Review, Fujifilm chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori acknowledged that the parent company’s previous hands-off approach had failed to provide adequate oversight.

    “We thought we shouldn’t tell a grownup what to do,” Komori said.




  • De Agostini rides to Rilecart’s rescue

    Alan King, Rilecart.

    Italian holding company De Agostini has purchased a controlling stake in Cartiere Paolo Pigna, the Italian parent company of Rilecart Binding Supplies, after two years of restructuring and negotiations to pull the troubled firm out of its financial difficulties.

    De Agostini’s purchase of 51 percent of Pigna will set the company back on its feet after it filed for debt relief due to bank troubles two years ago, said Alan King, Australian director of Rilecart. “They were a viable business, but they had funding problems. Pigna is over 100 years old, it’s a very important industry in Italy and Bergamo. It’s a part of history, so it was important to save it,” King said.

    The business is already returning to profit, and King says the takeover will allow Rilecart’s Australian operation to continue to be a major player in the supply of double loop wire and plastic coil binding, including machinery, spare parts and consumables, in the local market. “It means that we have a future. In the darker days, we were under pressure, but despite rumours to the contrary, we are here to stay.

    “With excellent and well-established supply lines both from Italy and through our Singapore office, our product range is both competitive and expanding. We are looking forward to the future,” he said.

    The remaining 49 percent of Pigna is owned by interests connected to board member and former CEO Giorgio Jannione. The new management structure includes the appointment of Alberto De Matthaeis as CEO of Cartiere Paolo Pigna and Massimo Fagioli as CEO of Rilecart. “Both Alberto and Massimo have relevant experience in the paper, printing and converting businesses,” King said.

    Rilecart’s Australian division is managed by industry veterans Gary Disney and Albert McLaughlin.

  • PIAA revamps National Print Awards

    The 2017 National Print Awards in Melbourne

    Printing Industries has ‘revitalised’ the National Print Awards (NPA) so that the winners of state-based Printing Industries Craftsmanship Awards (PICAs) will qualify as NPA finalists. The move will see the revival of the PICAs in New South Wales and Victoria.

    State-based PICAs will take place across all major states in October and November 2017.

    For some states, this is a continuation of what has happened in recent years, for some it is a reinstatement for what happened in the past, and for others it is a new opportunity, says a PIAA media release. Achieving a medal at the PICA reflects that the entry is at the top echelon of performance within the state. These award-winning entries will then compete at the 2018 National Print Awards for judging on the national stage.

    ‘Things have changed’: NPA chief judge, Jen Baile.

     “PICA celebrates the uniqueness that each state has to offer as local industry best understands what is important to their region,” says chief judge Jen Baile. “Each state has its own unique strengths and challenges, and this will be judged and showcased locally.

    “Whilst preserving that state celebration, the change in procedure provides the opportunity for printers nation-wide to be measured on a truly national stage. PICA medalists will be recognised as the best in their state, and then be judged independently against peers from other states. The National Print Awards will resume its prestigious position as being the best of the best, the pinnacle of design and print quality in Australia.”

    PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay says: “The industry’s awards programme is being revitalised to become bigger and better. The timing is right to utilise our awards programme as an inspirational vehicle to promote the industry to a much wider audience.

    “The impressive creativity and production of work in our industry deserves to be shared beyond printers and their suppliers, to key influencers in the choice of communication channel such as advertising and marketing agencies, clients, policy makers and training institutions, to name a few.”

    Printing Industries says it’s looking to create wider engagement with the awards programme through a range of initiatives such as reshaping the categories to reflect the industry today, increased engagement with the target audience and wider promotional communication.

    There has been a review and alignment of categories from the PICAs to the National Print Awards. “The judges recognise things have changed and need to change,” says Baile. “There is not an industry that is not touched by change and that change is what enables industry to thrive.

    “The judges are excited about the modifications that will see a consolidation of some categories as a reflection of the convergence of technological processes, and an opening up of new categories that will appeal to a broader audience.”

    New categories include 3D Print, Innovation Reinvention and Branding & Identity.

    Entries for the Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia PICAs opened on Monday 17th July, and Western Australia will open within the next few weeks.

    For more information about the awards including dates and categories, and to enter, visit





  • Paper industry’s ‘outmoded’ deinking model

    The work on ISO 21331, the ISO standard for assessing the deinkability potential of printed matter, is mired in industry politics. However, the market really doesn’t care a jot and is moving on regardless.

    This is a problem for the maneuvering politicians in the paper industry because it means that the market is shifting further away from current practices. The most visible example of this is the work digital press manufacturers are doing on deinking. There are now at least six digital press manufacturers working on new approaches to deinking in order to ensure that digital prints are recyclable.

    The politics surrounding ISO 21331 are all about protecting the existing deinking model for conventional offset and toner based digital printing. The paper industry’s preferred method was developed decades ago and wholly unsuitable for many digital prints or for flexo printing. Outpaced and outmoded, it is being rapidly overtaken by developments in the graphics industry.

    A small group of developers, the Digital Printing Deinkng Alliance, is in the vanguard for new approaches to the deinking of digital prints. Two additional developers of digital press technologies, EFI and Landa, have now stated that they are working on new deinking methods for digital prints. EFI recently provided a bit more detail about their work. The company has established a dedicated development group in the USA to work with Western Michigan University (WMU) which has been working on deinking for many years, not only with paper but for textiles as well.

    Developers are working on ink chemistries that can be removed from the printed surface under certain chemical and physical conditions and EFI is very pleased with the progress it is making with inks for the Nozomi C18000 digital press. The Nozomi is used in packaging plants to print liners for corrugated packaging production. The prints are deinkable in the lab and EFI is also seeing good results working with the Nozomi’s first customers. Hinojosa, a large converter in Spain, uses the WMU method and is able to ensure the repulpability and recyclability of the digitally printed corrugated boxes for its customers.

    This is just the first of many such developments we can expect in the coming months. Deinking is a fundamental part of recycling and it is vital for the environmental that digitally printed matter can be returned to the economy as raw materials. As for ISO 21331, it will eventually emerge in the market where it will encourage press manufacturers, printers and print buyers to opt for print not least because it can be recycled. How long it takes depends on how sensible the paper industry will be as the graphics industry changes.

    – 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.



  • Issue 927 – July 14, 2017

    If you’re planning on selling your business, now’s the time – you won’t get a better offer in a year. That’s the verdict from industry analyst Richard Rasmussen of Ascent Partners, who says there’s ‘never going to be a better time’ to bow out, especially if you have a strong client base. A heaping bowl of customer goodwill is worth more than all your presses combined… which is just another reason to stay on your clients’ good side.

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

    Jake Nelson