Archive for December, 2017

  • Epson releases the robots (video demo)

    Epson has unveiled a “seeing, sensing, thinking, working” autonomous dual-arm robot named the WorkSense W-01 (pictured) that it says will expand the scope of automated production.

    “We are refining our core technologies that combine sensors and smart features, as well as our efficient, compact, and precision technologies, with the aim of realising a future in which robots are widely used to serve and support people,” says Yoshifumi Yoshida, chief operating officer of Epson’s Robotics Solutions Operations Division. “We see the WorkSense W-01, which harnesses the power of Epson’s deep portfolio of technology, as bringing us one step closer to bringing about such a future.”

    Industrial robots are conventionally installed in a fixed location on a line to perform a given task. The WorkSense W-01, however, was developed for easy mobility so that it can be wheeled from place to place to perform assembly, transport, and other tasks.

    Epson says the WorkSense brand name was coined to represent the concept of a robot that sees, senses, thinks, and works:

    The robot is equipped with 4 head-unit cameras and 2 arm-mounted cameras that give the robot human-like vision, enabling it to accurately detect an object’s position and orientation in three-dimensional space. Even if the location of objects and obstacles changes, the robot is able to independently “see” and determine their position.

    The robot arms are outfitted with Epson’s highly sensitive, precision force sensors, which are already available on sale. The robot is thus able to perform delicate assembly, transport, and other tasks that require human-like force control to avoid damaging objects. Multipurpose hands that can grasp, grip, and clamp objects of various shapes and sizes are included as standard end-of-arm tooling. They can manipulate tools and jigs that were designed for humans.

    The robot is able to accurately detect the position and orientation of objects in three-dimensional space, so even if the robot is relocated, it can immediately start work—with no programming change required. This gives the robot the ability to flexibly adapt to sudden changes in production. So, for example, it can be wheeled to different locations to perform different tasks every day, if need be. The robot independently decides the path and orientation of its 7-axis arms and is able to avoid obstacles.

    The robot’s two 7-axis arms move like human arms. The dual arms move independently from one another to allow the robot to perform tasks that a single-arm robot cannot, such as tightening a screw in a component with one arm while holding the component in place with the other. 


  • Issue 970 – December 13, 2017

    Friends of contractor Craig Tanner, who died in a tragic accident at the DIC ink factory in Sydney last week, have started an online fundraiser to support his wife and three young children.

    “Craig was a truly amazing guy – loved by all, kind, generous, funny and smart. Most importantly he adored his wife Rachel and his three boys more than anything.”

    You can donate any amount, large or small, to the Tanner Family Foundation.


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


    Graham Osborne

    Online editor


  • SafeWork inspects mixer blade in fatal accident

    The Tanner family.

    The NSW workplace safety regulator has called in engineering experts to examine an ink mixer blade after an accident at the DIC Australia factory in Sydney that left one man dead and two injured.

    The three male workers became trapped in a mixing tank at the DIC ink manufacturing plant on Chisholm Road, Auburn, last Thursday.

    “Initial inquiries indicate the mixer activated while two workers were undertaking maintenance on the tank,” said SafeWork NSW in a statement.

    “A 29-year-old worker undertaking maintenance on the tank was freed by emergency services while the other worker, aged 42, was trapped by the mixer’s blade and passed away from injuries he sustained. A third worker, aged 28, is reported to have gone to their assistance and been injured.

    “Engineering experts from SafeWork’s TestSafe division will inspect the mixer in an effort to determine the cause of the incident. SafeWork’s investigation remains ongoing.”

    42-year-old contractor Craig Tanner, a father of three from Engadine in Sydney’s south who ran Complete Blasting Solutions, died after becoming trapped in the tank despite frantic rescue attempts by emergency workers. One of the trapped workers was pulled from the tank suffering multiple leg fractures.

    Friends have launched an online fundraiser to help Tanner’s wife and their three children.

    Tragically, Craig lost his life in a freak work accident just weeks out from Christmas and leaves behind his loving wife Rachel and their three beautiful boys – Harper, aged 7, Flynn aged 5 and Ollie aged 3.

    Craig was a truly amazing guy – loved by all, kind, generous, funny and smart. Most importantly he adored his wife Rachel and his three boys more than anything. Let’s get together and all dig deep to lessen the financial burden left on this amazing family. 

     Please donate any amount large or small to Rachel and the kids to help with ongoing bills and to make sure that financial burden isn’t something they have to think about during this tragic time.

    As of Wednesday morning, the Tanner Family Foundation had raised more than $49,000.

    NSW Police and the AMWU are also investigating the accident. “We’ll conduct a full on-site investigation to find out what happened,” said an AMWU spokesperson. A spokesperson for DIC Australia said: “We can’t provide any information at this stage because we don’t know what happened.”

    Workers at the site have been offered trauma counselling.



  • Duplo helps employee start her own business

    ‘Really delighted’: Joanna Lok, SpotOn Finishing (left) with Jimmy Nguyen (centre) and Simon Birch, Neopost.

    From a general hand at Sydney’s Vink Printing in Wolli Creek two years ago, Joanna Lok has become the director of her own business, SpotOn Finishing – and she has Neopost to thank for supplying the equipment she needed to get started.

    SpotOn Finishing shares a premises with Vink Printing, and the two businesses are in a close partnership. Victor Chan, sales manager at Vink, says it was Neopost’s exhibition of the new Duplo DDC-810 digital UV spot coater at PacPrint in Melbourne that inspired Spot-On’s director Joanna Lok, then his employee, to branch out into finishing. “We went to the expo in Melbourne together, and she saw the potential of the machine and decided to start up her own finishing business,” Chan said.

    Lok added that the DDC-810, which was the recipient of a Print21 Hot Pick at the exhibition in May, looked set to shake up the market. “I saw the UV capabilities of this machine and it was very attractive. I thought there was a good future in it,” she said.

    The new machine has allowed SpotOn to offer its clients help with creating beautiful print, Lok said: “We are committed to investing in the very latest technology to ensure we are fully abreast of the latest innovation in the print industry and the Duplo DDC-810 keeps us ahead of the game.”

    SpotOn’s machine is the first Duplo DDC-810 to be installed in Australia. Jimmy Nguyen, product manager for print finishing at Neopost, said it’s not just another spot UV machine. “It comes at a very low investment cost, which helps a lot of our customers to get into this market,” he said.

    In today’s market, Nguyen says, printing customers need a way to distinguish their products from the rest, and the DDC-810’s spot varnishing offers that capability: “For example, if you’re producing business cards, sometimes the customer will want to make their logo stand out. This technology will allow them to create a raised image or a varnish on top of the logo.”

    Nguyen is thrilled with the amount of interest Neopost has received in the DDC-810. “Often with new technologies it takes them a while to get over the line. With this machine, we first showed it off at PacPrint in May, received our first order in June, and installation took place in August. The machine was installed, and our customer was up and running in a day,” he said.

    Lok and Chan say they are happy with their new machine, and with Neopost’s service and support. “The machine installation went brilliantly, the team at Neopost have been superb in helping us get set up and we are overall really delighted with our investment,” Lok said.

    Chan said Vink Printing has had a long and fruitful relationship with Neopost over the years. “We’ve worked with them for maybe 10 to 15 years now, since we started out as a small copy shop in Chinatown. It’s been a great relationship so far – they’re always there to help us solve problems big or small.

    “And of course we’ve bought a lot of equipment from them,” he laughs.

  • Tasmanian printers back Holmesglen plan

    ‘Fantastic support’: Robert Black from Holmesglen TAFE at the Tasmanian Printing Convention.

    Print companies in Tasmania have overwhelmingly backed a plan by Victoria-based Holmesglen TAFE to provide a new apprenticeship training model in the state.

    The issue of industry training was on top of the agenda at the PIAA’s inaugural Tasmanian Printing Convention held in Ross on Friday.

    “We received absolutely fantastic support from local printing companies for our proposal,” says Robert Black, programme manager (printing), Holmesglen TAFE, who was a guest speaker at the event.

    Holmesglen TAFE recently made a formal application to the Tasmanian government to deliver printing apprenticeship training in the state when the existing program run by TAFE SA ends in the new year.

    “We’re proposing the same kind of training we’ve developed in Victoria,” says Black. “It’s a blended model that includes a balanced approach between on-the-job and structured training that is focused on the individual needs of printing companies. The support we received at the convention was overwhelming.”

    (l-r) Peter Clark (PIAA Board) with Craig Pearce (Flying Colours Printing) at the TPC in Ross.

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO of Printing Industries, also a guest speaker at the event, says the convention delivered a strong message that the association should continue its focus on vocational education and training.  “The inclusion of a current and recently qualified apprentice in the meeting enabled considerable insight. We really value the at-times robust discussion and input from a wide variety of business representatives from all over Tasmania. It was apparent how much local industry want to support our advocacy initiatives, and are prepared to assist in whatever way possible.”

    Macaulay last month described the apprenticeship system as being ‘in crisis,’ after data from the Productivity Commission revealed that total apprenticeships in Australia have fallen from 500,000 to 275,000 over the last five years.

    A print room at Holmesglen TAFE in Victoria.

    Black is now waiting to hear from the Tasmania government on the Holmesglen proposal. “We’re not sure when the decision will be made but we’re hoping for a positive outcome. We have the capacity to deliver quality training to the companies and to the apprentices, and we believe we have the full support of the industry.”

    At the inaugural Tasmanian Printing Convention – (l-r) Shane Brooks (Fairfax), Martin Guilliamse (Mark Media), and Gary Nilsson (Mercury Walch).

    The convention agenda included apprenticeship training, as well as book printing, industrial relations and the national and state print awards.

    At the TPC – (l-r) Michelle Smith (Norske Skog) Mitche Fenner (Fairfax) Ben Holland (Fairfax).





  • Games to source paper from Indigenous supplier

    ‘Keeping her legacy alive’: Roderick McLeod’s late sister Pauline.

    The 2018 Commonwealth Games will source 100 percent recycled paper from First Nations-owned company Nallawilli Office Wares. The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC)’s managed print solutions supplier CSG will provide Nallawilli paper via GOLDOC sponsor Winc.

    Roderick McLeod, Nallawilli.

    Nallawilli, which sources its printing paper from Australian Paper’s mill in Maryvale, Victoria, has worked with Winc (formerly Staples) through Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) since the Indigenous-owned supplier was founded in 2010. “We went to them with an idea of a range of First Nation branded stationery products, and they jumped on board with us straight away,” said Roderick McLeod, founder and chairman of Nallawilli.

    “Winc has a strong history of supporting First Nation businesses and communities through their RAPs. Winc sees the importance of RAPs as they allow companies to work together with First Nation people for the benefit of the whole community,” said McLeod.

    Nallawilli is the only First Nations-owned company in Australia that supplies 100 percent Australian-made recycled copy paper, and McLeod says he’s proud of that distinction. “We’ve made a commitment to source as many of our products in Australia that we can to support our local communities and businesses,” he said.

    The company’s name comes from the Darug people, originally from the Western Sydney area, and translates as ‘to sit down and listen to one another’. McLeod’s youngest sister, Pauline, went to the Darug elders for permission to use the word as she travelled and told traditional learning stories as her contribution towards reconciliation, including on ABC children’s show Play School. “After her passing I went back to the Elders for permission to use it myself, which I was granted, and I’ve kept her legacy alive that way. I am the proud custodian of the Nallawilli name,” said McLeod.

    Darren Fullerton, Winc.

    Darren Fullerton, CEO of Winc Australia and New Zealand, could not comment on specific commercial agreements with GOLDOC, but said he and his company were proud to work with Nallawilli, having been part of the RAP community since 2010. “Having strong supplier partnerships with businesses like Nallawilli enriches our overall offering to our customers, and we are committed to ensuring that these relationships are an integral part of our strategic sourcing and procurement process,” he said.

  • Lowde to lead Salmat’s transformation

    ASX-listed direct mail and marketing services company Salmat has appointed Rebecca Lowde as its chief executive officer. Lowde had been acting CEO since the departure of Craig Dower in May.

    “Rebecca joined Salmat as chief financial officer in August 2014 and has been closely involved with the business transformation and other strategic programs since that time,” said Salmat chairman and founder Peter Mattick. “Rebecca has already made an enormous contribution to the business and we are confident that she will deliver great result’s for Salmat’s shareholders, clients and staff in this role. Her extensive leadership experience in Australia, Asia and Europe will serve Salmat well as we shape the future direction of the business.”

    ‘An important and challenging time’: Salmat CEO Rebecca Lowde.

    Mattick said Lowde and the senior executive team were currently working through a strategic review of the business that commenced in February 2017.

    “I am excited to formalise my role as CEO,” says Lowde. “This is an important and challenging time for Salmat as we complete the strategic review and work to achieve the best possible outcomes for all stakeholders.”

    In August, Salmat posted its first net profit since 2014 after launching its transformation program to focus on key strengths that include digital and traditional direct mailing.

    FY17 revenue was down 3.4 percent to $435.3 million but earnings before tax jumped 16.3 percent to $22.8 million and net profit after tax was $4.3 million – compared to a loss of $6 million the previous year.

    The Media + Digital division, which includes communications across digital and traditional channels, recorded a 12 percent drop in revenue to $224.3 million, after a fall in catalogue volumes. The Contact division – which includes onshore and offshore contact centres and managed services – recorded a $15.4 million increase in revenue to $210.3 million.

    Founded in 1979, Salmat has evolved from a small letterbox distribution business to an ASX-listed marketing services company that manages billions of customer interactions every year.





  • Beware of Christmas package scam: ACCC

    Corporate watchdog the ACCC has warned of a surge in parcel delivery scams in the busy lead up to Christmas.

    ‘Scammers will send fake ‘missed delivery’ notices’: Delia Rickard, deputy chair ACCC.

    “With millions of packages moving across the country to get under a Christmas tree in time, scammers will send fake ‘missed delivery’ notices to potential victims,” says ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard. “These scams are aimed at getting people to download malware or ransomware onto their PCs, which can be costly to remove; or steal their personal information.”

    The commission’s Scamwatch website has received about 1700 reports of this scam in the past 12 months.

    “Scammers often try to take advantage of people during the busy Christmas period and prey on our vulnerabilities at this time of year,” says Rickard.

    Other common holiday season scams include:

    Travel scams: scammers trick their victims into believing they’ve won a travel prize or scored a really good deal on a travel package, like a cruise. Unfortunately, these seemingly too-good-to-be-true holidays are nothing more than a scammer’s con. In the past 12 months, nearly $86,000 has been lost to this scam, with about 1750 reports.

    Online shopping scams: scammers will set up believable looking online stores to trick people into goods that don’t really exist. They might also set up fake online classified or auction site listings. They entice people with legitimate looking discounts and may even advertise items as the perfect Christmas present for a loved one. This scam has cost Australians more than $1.3 million in the past 12 months, with more than 6440 reports.

    “Your personal information is often just as valuable to a scammer as your money so always be careful about the information you give out online,” Rickard says.

    “There are some simple tips you can follow to stay ahead of scammers these holidays.”

    “If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Do your research on any online stores you’re using, especially if it’s for the first time. Never do a deal or make a payment outside the online auction site you are using. If you are buying from a classified website only hand over the money when you have physically inspected the goods. Finally, never open attachments or download files you receive out of the blue—no matter who the email comes from or how legitimate it looks,” Ms Rickard said.

    Further information about holiday season scams is available at



  • Kodak focused on zero waste printing

    Kodak Sonora processless plates.

    For Kodak, reborn and re-energised, sustainability in every sense has become the company’s foundation. According to its recently published 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report (CRR), the first since 2013 when the company had just emerged from Chapter 11, Kodak aims to be the leading company for sustainability in the graphics industry. It has published some ambitious future goals and in doing so sets a standard not just for graphics technology manufacturers, but for large companies in other sectors too.

    Laurel Brunner.

    Kodak expects all of its sites worldwide to be zero waste to landfill facilities by 2025. By then Kodak will have reduced GHG emissions and water consumption from worldwide Kodak operations by 25%, compared to a 2016 baseline. New product developments are expected to aid Kodak customers to make similarly meaningful reductions. These are ambitious goals, especially since they are based on 2016 values, rather than earlier years when Kodak was much larger and its environmental footprint much heavier.

    For customers, the Kodak Prosper digital printing technology, including the S-Series for hybrid printing applications uses, water based inks containing minimal Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), so they can be classified as nonhazardous waste. These inks also use 80% less solids by weight compared to offset inks and over 90% of the total weight of Prosper printhead components is reclaimed and remanufactured. Kodak recently introduced a new Image Optimiser Station (IOS) that printers can use themselves to treat a wide variety of papers for inkjet printing. Patented Optimiser Agents are applied as a layer less than 500 nm thick and when ink is deposited on this layer, pigment particles in the Prosper inks instantly immobilise and bind to the paper’s surface. This provides considerable scope for using all sorts of paper types for digital printing and eases deinkability and recycling.

    Kodak saw a 9% growth in sales volumes of Sonora processless plates in 2016 and a 16% sales growth for its Flexcel NX flexo plates. Kodak has also achieved a reduction of imaging system power consumption of up to 95% for some of its imaging systems.

    Another key objective is to triple recovery of spent solvents from external sources by 2025. Kodak has been recovering solvents at its plant in Rochester, New York since the 1920s when it started collecting and reprocessing solvents used in film and chemical manufacturing. Today the company offers what it claims is Kodak’s unique capability as a service. Customers in the chemical industry ship methanol, ethanol, isopropanol, acetates and other solvents to Kodak, and they are remanufactured with at least 99% purity. Over 18 million kilos of these materials coming from outside sources as well as Kodak were recycled in 2016, ensuring that they did not end up in incineration or other waste streams. All of this is good news for customers as well as the environment.

    – Laurel Brunner

    This article was produced by the Verdigris project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.


  • Issue 969 – December 8, 2017

    The last issue of Print21 for 2017 is out now – and we’ve gone all out with a bumper magazine boasting a special world-first cover, the result of a fantastic digital combination between the Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 digital press at Jossimo, and the MGI JETvarnish 3D at Whirlwind. The cover’s not the only thing that’s bigger and better than usual: this expanded issue is packed with enough news and vital information to tide you over through the long summer holidays until we return with our next print issue at the start of 2018. Check it out here!

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

    Jake Nelson
    Editor – Labels and Industrial Print

  • World-1st cover on Print21 summer issue

    The latest issue of Print21 is out now, with all your vital summer reading – plus an amazing world-first cover, printed digitally on the Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM-1 press and embellished with the MGI JETvarnish 3D.

    It is the result of a collaboration between Jossimo, which printed the cover on the KM-1, and Whirlwind, which provided foil and 3D clear coating for extra pop on the JETvarnish 3D. Both of these devices were purchased from Konica Minolta at PacPrint 2017, and Patrick Howard, publishing editor of Print21, is proud of this world-first digital combination. “The role of a graphic arts magazine is to do more than merely talk about the latest innovations in printing and design. Better to show than to tell, better to touch than to read. That’s why Print21 takes special pride in bringing you this magazine issue with its innovative, world first cover,” he said.

    Underneath the Christmassy cover is enough essential reading to fill all your stockings this year. From Brussels, Nessan Cleary brings you a full report on the greatest hits of Labelexpo 2017, including innovations from Epson, Screen, HP, Gallus, Nilpeter, Mark Andy, Omet and Mouvent; he also gives insight into the dawn of ‘Industry 4.0’.

    Also in Europe, Patrick Howard visited Heidelberg’s Wiesloch Print Media Academy in Germany to view the press manufacturer’s latest developments, and sat down for an exclusive interview with CEO Rainer Hundsdorfer on the future of the company.

    Closer to home, Andy McCourt gives a guide on everything you need to know about trade printing, speaking to for-trade outlets around the country on the state of play in the sector, including the rise in wide-format.

    In a seven-page special feature, Jake Nelson slices open the world of digital flatbed, roll-fed and laser cutting, examining the latest technologies that are breaking through the finishing bottleneck and making life easier for operators and customers alike.

    For this issue’s People in Print profile, used equipment guru Paul Carthew offers Patrick Howard the benefit of his vast experience, gained from decades at the helm of premier used equipment supplier PrintMac, and details why he sees his reputation as his greatest asset.

    To subscribe to our print edition, go here or email

  • Union investigates fatal ink factory accident

    The DIC plant at Auburn yesterday.

    The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) will conduct an onsite investigation into yesterday’s fatal accident at DIC Australia’s ink factory in Sydney that left one worker dead and two injured.

    Police and emergency services were called to the factory in Chisholm Road, Auburn just before 9am after reports that three men were trapped in a large ink vat that measured between five and eight metres high.

    The workers were cleaning the vat when the accident happened.

    “I believe there’s a mixing blade and that’s what they’ve become trapped on,” NSW Ambulance Superintendent Paul Turner told Fairfax Media.

    Two men were rescued, one suffering multiple leg fractures. The third man died at the scene and his body was removed several hours later. 

    The AMWU said the DIC plant was a union site and one of the three workers was an AMWU member. The union had not been able to confirm the identity of the deceased man.

    “It’s been a terrible day, really awful,” said a spokesperson at the union’s Sydney office. “We believe one member of the union was involved in the accident and the other two were long-term contractors.

    “We have not been able to access the site because of the police investigation but union officials will be on site as soon as possible to talk to management and to our members. We’ll conduct a full investigation to find out what happened.”

    AMWU officials arrived on site at 6am this morning to address workers, who went home afterwards; the union’s investigation is ongoing. “Everyone was pretty shaken up afterwards, including the management, and they’re now undergoing trauma counselling. It’s been a devastating experience,” said Vanessa Seagrove, NSW print secretary, AMWU.

    DIC Australia could not be contacted for comment.

  • Fuji Xerox Iridesse sparkles for Steve Green

    The Iridesse in Fuji Xerox’s new North Ryde showroom with Steve Ford (left) and Steve Green.

    A new production press and a new role for the industry veteran sets the scene for the graphic’s supplier fresh start in 2018.

    Following a tough few years, Fuji Xerox is moving to reassert its dominance in the digital printing sector with an upmarket production press, the Iridesse. The six-colour engine utilising two metallics, gold and silver, was launched last month in Bangkok. The first installation is due in Australia before Christmas.

    A showroom model is currently attracting a lot of attention from Fuji Xerox customers at the company’s new Australian headquarters and show room in North Ryde. The Iridesse is slated to fit into the product portfolio between the best selling C1000i model and the iGen5 at top of the production range.

    According to Green who took up his role as executive general manager sales, six weeks ago, the response from customers is very encouraging. “You can see them tuning out during the demo as they begin imagining the new markets they could service. So far we’ve show it to about forty people and the response is very positive,” he said.

    A notable feature of the press is its ability to switch the metallic, gold and silver, from first to last, i.e. on the top or bottom of the cmyk print. Due to the development of a totally new ink set, this ensures a very realistic metallic effect.

    According to Steve Ford, GM sales and marketing Asia Pacific, the press surprises printers with its ability to create the metallic effects. “They don’t know what can be done until they see it in operation,” he said.

    The Iridesse is targeted at new digital applications, including packaging, with designers able to specify up 60 different metallic. Green sees it as a fresh start for Fuji Xerox. As a new member of the team he’s determined to put the company’s fairly troubled past behind it and he’s “looking forward to the New Year with the Iridesse.”

    Expect a celebratory launch of the press in the local market next year.

  • Printing Industries launches revamped website

    PIAA’s new-look home page.

    Printing Industries has unveiled its new-look website, which will offer a ‘significantly improved experience’ for visitors, including new member-only resources and the ability to search for members.

    Ali Quaintance, PIAA.

    Launched this week, the website offers the ability to login and update account information, securely pay for renewal subscriptions and book events online. Ali Quaintance, head of marketing communications at PIAA, says the new site is a big improvement. “Visitors are now able to find and access information directly relevant to their business. This is the first stage of our journey that will continue when the Workplace Relations Portal comes online early next year, and the information will keep building through 2018,” she said.

    The site is part of a major overhaul of the association’s IT infrastructure, and includes a membership management system and financial reporting system. “These fully integrated tools allow us to serve our members better,” said Quaintance. “We now have visibility and insight into how members interact with the association, beyond direct contact by phone or email, to engagement with the member newsletters, events, website and member surveys. From this insight we can further build the benefits we provide members for their business.”

    The PIAA’s new Workplace Relations Portal is set to launch early next year, and will offer an extended library of online resources. The “find a member” service is online now, allowing visitors to search by location, the printing services offered or by entering a business name.

  • To infinity and beyond: Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 is the cosmic purple Ultra Violet

    Pantone has named PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet its Colour of the Year for 2018, drawing on the ‘mysteries of the cosmos’ and the ‘vast and limitless night sky’ for inspiration.

    Leatrice Eiseman.

    The deep blue-purple is in contrast to 2017’s Colour of the Year, 15-0343 Greenery, which heavily evoked the natural world for a sense of growth and renewal. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute, said Ultra Violet symbolised experimentation, ingenuity, and non-conformity. “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level.

    “From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is to come,” she said.

    The announcement for Ultra Violet cited musicians Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and Prince as bringing similar purples to the forefront of Western pop culture, and noted that purple often also has spiritual or mystical connotations. The colour is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection, the press release read.

    The closest match for Ultra Violet in Pantone’s PLUS Series is 2096C, which can be achieved in CMYK with C=76 M=75 Y=0 K=0; in RGB with sR=101 sG=78 sB=163; and in HTML (as seen here) with 654EA3.

    Previous Colours of the Year include:

    • PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery (2017)
    • PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
    • PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
    • PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
    • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
    • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
    • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
    • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
    • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
    • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
    • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
    • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
    • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
    • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
    • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
    • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
    • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
    • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

    The most recent purple to be named Colour of the Year was PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid in 2014, which also followed a green: 2013’s PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald.

  • The price of printing: first paper, now ink

    Leading ink manufacturers Flint Group and Sun Chemical say the rising cost of raw materials has forced a new round of global price hikes.

    ‘Cost pressure has been utterly relentless’: Doug Aldred, Flint Group.

    “It has become clear that the raw material markets for many components within Flint Group’s Packaging Inks products have experienced price escalation. Many raw material markets remain highly volatile as 2017 comes to a close,” says Doug Aldred, president packaging inks for Flint Group.

    “Despite our tenacious efforts to mitigate these dynamics by deploying significant capital to efficiency projects, cost pressure has been utterly relentless. The situation now necessitates that we pass some increases through the supply chain.”

    Flint Group Packaging Inks will raise prices globally as of 1 January 2018. Our sales representatives are currently in the market discussing the magnitude of increases for each customer and segment, said the company in a statement.

    Unequivocal price inflation has been witnessed in polyethylene and polyethylene resins, titanium dioxide, pigments, key solvents, glycerin and MMAs; all these feedstocks affect the cost base of both solvent-based and water-based inks and coatings. To highlight a few specific examples:

    Numerous pigment production facilities in China have been ordered to close, awaiting environmental inspection; Glycerin prices in 2018 are expected to be 80-90% higher than 2017; Key solvents are under pressure due to outages and tight material supply; Persistent tightening of and price escalation in the Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) market.

    Sun Chemical, part of DIC Group, will also increase its prices on liquid inks and coatings for flexible packaging from January 1, 2018. The percentage increase will be in the high single digits and will vary dependent on the product composition and product line.

    ‘Raw material costs are unprecedented’: Felipe Mellado, Sun Chemical.

    The levels of raw material costs are unprecedented and as a result make it necessary for us to keep our ink prices under review,” says Felipe Mellado, chief marketing officer, Sun Chemical. “We work proactively with our supply chain partners to manage and minimize costs, but due to the economic reality, cost pressures have been constant and significant price increases are being passed on to the inks industry. To ensure we maintain high levels of product quality and service, it has become necessary to increase customer prices.”

    Since the end of 2016, costs have risen on an annual basis and further increases are expected for 2018, said the company in a statement.

    These are mainly due to production and environmental restrictions on key materials, especially in China where there has been an unprecedented number of force majeure incidents and escalations in the prices of oil, solvents and key monomers for polyurethane (PU) resins. Additionally, the supply situation of titanium dioxide (TiO2) white pigment remains tight, driving continued cost increases.

    Headquartered in Luxembourg, Flint Group employs 7900 people globally and has offices in Australia and New Zealand. Revenues for 2016 were € 2.3 billion.

    Sun Chemical, together with parent DIC group, has annual sales of more than $US7.5 billion, with over 20,000 employees located at 176 subsidiaries across 63 countries, including in Australia and New Zealand.

    The latest price rises follow a similar round of ink price hikes earlier this year.

    Australian leading paper merchants have also announced price increases that will take effect in the new year.






  • The virtues of fair trading – Print21 Magazine

    Paul Carthew, PrintMac

    Reputation is everything when you’re importing and exporting million dollar presses across oceans and continents, says industry veteran Paul Carthew, owner of machinery trader PrintMac.

    In the latest issue of Print21 magazine, the king of used equipment tells Print21 publishing editor Patrick Howard why he regards reputation as his greatest asset and what it takes to remain for decades as one of the leading traders in the region.

    Read the full interview here.