Archive for March, 2018

  • Neopost sponsors V8 champ/HP customer

    (l-r) Karen Kavanagh, marketing director, Neopost, and Ryal Harris, V8 Ute champion and owner, Rad Visuals.

    Neopost Australia has announced a sponsorship deal with Ryal Harris, Australia’s most successful V8 Ute race car driver in history and owner of Queensland signage firm Rad Visuals.

    “Not only is Ryal a super race car driver, he is also the owner of Rad Visuals, a sign and display business located in Queensland,” says Karen Kavanagh, marketing director at Neopost Australia. “Ryal has been a long-standing customer of Neopost, in the past few years investing in HP Latex Printing technology to serve his sign and display business.”

    The three-time V8 Ute champion is also known in motorsport circles as the driver who started the ‘shoey’ craze of celebrating a win by drinking from your boot on the podium – a move taken up by Australian Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

    “Given Ryal’s highly successful profile on the race circuit, when the opportunity arose for Neopost to invest as Ryal’s personal sponsor, we jumped at the chance to align Neopost Australia’s award-winning brand to the award-winning brand of Australia’s most successful UTE driver on the circuit,” says Kavanagh.

    Harris uses HP Latex print technology to wrap his vehicles and the sponsorship deal gives Neopost the opportunity to further extend its VIP program across the print, sign and display customer network.

    “There are 11 race days on the schedule this year, a Ferrari lap day and skid pan track day – all of which gives Neopost the opportunity to provide key customers and partners in the industry with the opportunity to enjoy the Neopost VIP experience over the race weekend,” Kavanagh says. “We have just completed the first in the series at Adelaide, where customers and partners got the opportunity to witness Ryal be first to the chequered flag in 2 of his 3 races. It really is a great experience to witness and be part of.”

    Harris says he’s delighted with the sponsorship deal. “This investment will allow me to further invest in my on-track performance to see out what I hope will be my most successful year in my racing career.”

    V8 Ute champion Ryal Harris

    Ryal is now the most successful V8 Ute driver in history, with over 38 race wins, numerous lap records and is the first driver in history to win 3 championships in the V8 Ute category.

    Neopost Australia supports almost 15,000 customers in the Australian print industry, across commercial print, sign and display and franchise networks, and is the 2018 HP Channel Partner of the year (Large Format) – an accolade its achieved for the past 4 years in a row.

  • UV or not UV…the questions answered.

    Heidelberg invited its customers to a VIP Packaging event at the new Print Media Academy at Wiesloch.

    Left to itself when stacked on pallets on the factory floor, print takes on average a day to dry. Then it can be put back through the press for perfecting or coating. Or a single-sided sheet can be folded, creased and cut in the next step of its journey without danger of scuffing or scratching. However, in this printing game time costs money and sometimes 24 hours is too long to wait. For those in a hurry there’s always UV drying.

    Patrick Howard reports in the latest issue of Print21 magazine.


  • EXCLUSIVE: ALP prepared to work with industry on skills and training, says Doug Cameron

    Labor Senator Doug Cameron (pictured above on the Senate floor), shadow minister for skills and apprenticeships, has told Print21 he would be happy to work with Printing Industries on boosting apprentice numbers and promoting vocational training for print.

    In an exclusive interview, Cameron dismissed the deal by the Coalition and One Nation to fund 1000 apprenticeships across the country in exchange for One Nation support for the Government’s tax cuts as ‘nonsense’. According to Cameron, apprenticeships have already declined by 140,000 under the Coalition, and the proposed 1000 does not even represent one percent of those lost. “This has got very little to do with apprentices – this is simply a smokescreen for One Nation to justify a backflip and a capitulation to the Government’s business tax cut,” he said.

    Cameron pointed to TAFE, which he said has been ‘run down’, as a vital component in skills training, and said Labor would invest $100 million into a ‘Building TAFE for the Future’ fund to revitalise TAFE campuses in regional and outer metropolitan areas. “Labor will invest $637.6 million in TAFE and vocational education, which reverses the Coalition’s 2017 budget cuts in full, about which Pauline Hanson has never raised a concern,” he said.

    Cameron also pledged to guarantee two thirds of Commonwealth public education funding to TAFE, set a target of one in 10 apprentices on all Commonwealth priority projects including major government business enterprise projects, expand pre-apprenticeship programs for young jobseekers, and invest in adult apprenticeships for workers in transition. “That’s a real policy program,” he said.

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA (right) with Doug Cameron.

    Cameron said he would be happy to meet with Printing Industries, as he has done several times before, to work together on the ‘mutual obligation’ government and industry have to increase apprentice numbers. “I think there’s been, for some time now, a lack of business investment in the skills area. I think there’s far too much reliance by industry on government funding for skills needs,” he said. “This has to be a partnership between the industry and government to increase skills across the nation.”

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO of Printing Industries, said he was glad the Opposition is taking interest in printing industry training, “We’re really happy with the engagement from Labor on this issue, and we’ll continue to engage with them. We’ve written letters and had previous meetings with Senator Cameron, and we’re eager to follow up.”

    According to Macaulay, the industry invests substantially into apprenticeships and skills training to be at the forefront of innovation. The Graphic Arts Industry Reference Committee, which reports to the Department of Education, has been conducting a review into the curriculum, and a draft was sent to members ten days ago seeking input before the document is finalised and submitted to the Government for confirmation and funding.

  • Issue 994 – March 23, 2018

    Apprentices are the future of printing, so support from government and industry is vital to ensuring new generations of printers continue to pick up the trade, especially in rural and regional areas. One Nation has struck a deal with the Turnbull Government to fund 1000 new apprentices across the country in exchange for supporting the Government’s massive $65 billion company tax cut – we’ll have to wait and see how many of those apprentices go into print.

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

    Jake Nelson
    Editor – Labels and Industrial Print

  • One Nation’s apprentice deal with Government

    One Nation will vote for the Turnbull Government’s proposed company tax cuts after a promise from the Government to fund 1000 apprenticeships in private businesses around the country.

    The pilot program will see taxpayers fund the apprentices by 75 percent in their first year, decreasing by 25 percent each year until they are fully funded by the employers in their fourth year. It is not yet known how many of these apprenticeships will be for print, but One Nation leader Pauline Hanson (pictured above) has signalled a focus on apprenticeships in rural and regional areas.

    Andrew Macaulay, PIAA.

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA, told Print21 he was ‘delighted’ that efforts to secure support for regional apprenticeships had paid off. “Printing Industries has been lobbying very strongly for an increase in vocational training, particularly for regional Australia, and this is something we’re very pleased about,” he said. “The message has resonated – we’ve spoken to a number of One Nation advisors, and clearly they’re supporting the industry.”

    Macaulay added that Printing Industries will continue its strategy of pushing for vocational training for print, especially in regional areas. “There’s been a lack of funding and a lack of resources for vocational training in regional Australia, and we’re pleased to see one of the parties picking up the funding issue and driving it forward,” he said.

    Senator Doug Cameron.

    ALP Senator Doug Cameron, shadow minister for skills and apprenticeships, slammed the deal on the Senate floor, accusing Hanson of using apprentices as a ‘smokescreen to capitulate to the Government’ on the $65 billion company tax cuts, which Labor opposes. “This is an outrageous proposition,” he said.

    “Businesses should not be getting paid to put an apprentice on – businesses should be employing apprentices to make sure the future of their company is assured, the skill base for this country is assured, and that we can become internationally competitive.”

    Representatives of the Government and One Nation were unavailable for comment.

  • ‘On-shoring’ of fabric print at The Textile Hub

    ‘Dancing with technology.’ Tom Tjanaria, chairman (centre) with Romeo Sanuri and Andrew Oskar of Next Printing at the opening on The Textile Hub.

    Next Printing’s new venture aims to revitalise the Sydney fashion industry by enabling short runs of printed fabrics as an alternative to offshore production in China.

    The Sydney-based enterprise has bought a complete of fabric printing production line from a local swimwear manufacturer. It launched the new service this week with the promise to deliver affordable and high-quality printed fabric in run lengths and time frames to enable local designers to bring their production back onshore.

    According to Julian Lowe, creator of The Textile Hub, the idea had its genesis during a visit six years ago to a village in Italy that was inkjet printing baby clothes. “I thought if they can do that here, why can’t we do something similar in Australia,” he said.

    Matt Ashman, of Durst agent, PES, (left) with Julian Lowe.

    The Textile Hub is committed to solving a persistent problem faced by local fashion and clothing manufacturers – and indeed by Australian entrepreneurs generally. To create new materials requires a substantial order to factories in China. Designers are then at the mercy of the overseas producers and have to plan a long time in advance. It’s expensive and there is no way of trialling new material.

    With The Textile Hub they can order a small amount for a fashion show to see how it’s received before committing to a big investment. The new factory at Sydney’s Alexandria is adjacent to Marrickville that Lowe maintains is the remaining centre of local designers and fashion producers. His intention is to create a network of professionals that can help revive the industry’s fortunes. “We want to educate people to print again in Australia,” he said.

    The textile factory is centred on an EFI Regianni Renoir Compact inkjet printer. It also operates Roland and Mimaki wide format injets. Australian-made Rimslow coating and washing units prepare the fabric, which after printing is steamed at high pressure before being washed and dried. The industrial process ensures customers have high-quality fabric at optimal run lengths. An onsite fabric cutting service is also available.

    The new venture is one of two new initiatives from sign and display producer, Next Printing. At this week’s event it also launched a photo book printing company, Oliphan, aiming at the competitive album printing market.

    According to Next Printing chairman ,Tom Tjanaria, the company’s venture into new areas is part of an ongoing vision to “dance with new technology.” The company is currently investing in top of the range Durst industrial inkjets for its conventional signage and display operation. He invited the assembly to join them “in the technology dance.”





  • ADC investigates new paper dumping case

    A paper machine at Australian Paper’s Maryvale mill.

    The Federal Government’s Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) is investigating allegations that five countries including Russia and South Korea are dumping copy paper onto the Australian market.

    In an application for a dumping notice, Australia’s only office paper manufacturer Australian Paper told the ADC that the local A4 copy paper market has suffered “material injury” caused by cheap A4 copy paper exported to Australia from Austria, Finland, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the Slovak Republic.

    In a preliminary report, the ADC said: There appear to be reasonable grounds to support the claims that the Australian industry has experienced material injury in the form of: price depression; price suppression; loss of revenue; loss of profits; reduced profitability; and reduced return on investment.

    The commission says it will now investigate exports to Australia between 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017 to look for evidence of dumping. It also intends to examine the Australian market from 1 January 2014 for “injury analysis purposes” to see whether the dumped goods provide a basis for a dumping duty notice to apply retrospectively.

    ‘We welcome the ADC’s decision to investigate this important issue’: Peter Williams, Australian Paper.

    Australian Paper welcomed the ADC’s decision to begin an investigation. “Australian jobs and the future of the local industry continue to be under threat from low market prices,” says Peter Williams, COO Australian Paper.

    “The Australian office paper market remains intensely competitive with imports continuing to be received from around the world. Australian Paper remains committed to competing equitably against imported paper and will continue to focus on the efficient manufacture of innovative, high quality, Australian made products,” Williams says. “However, market pricing remains at commercially unsustainable levels due to the impact of low priced imports.

    “The ADC’s investigation into office paper from Austria, Finland, Korea, Russia and Slovakia will determine whether manufacturers from these countries are operating fairly in this market. We look forward to the ADC’s determination as to whether office paper from these countries is being sold into this market at dumped prices.”

    In April 2017, the ADC imposed dumping duties on A4 copy paper exported to Australia from Brazil, China, Indonesia and Thailand after a similar complaint from Australian Paper. The company argued that cheap imports sold below the cost of production were threatening jobs at its Maryvale mill in the Latrobe Valley, where market-leading Reflex brand A4 copy paper is produced. Indonesia later threatened to sue the Australian government over the dumping duties.

    Australian Paper says it gained market share last year as a result of the measures imposed against imports from Brazil, China, Indonesia and Thailand (see chart below).

    Not surprised: Tim Woods, MD IndustryEdge.

    Industry analyst Tim Woods, managing director of IndustryEdge, says he’s not surprised to see new dumping allegations before the commission.

    “After last year’s clear decision by the ADC, any hint of dumping from other countries was always going straight back to the ADC. Very low priced copy paper imports have made it difficult for Australian Paper to provide price leadership, despite the rising price of pulp across the world.

    “Since the start of 2018, all imports of A4 copy paper have been made confidential in the trade data so there is no longer any ‘look through’ to any copy paper import volumes or prices, for any country,” says Woods. “Removing trade transparency isn’t evidence of dumping, but in our experience, the masking of basic data is often mixed up with dumping cases.”

    Australian Paper – owned by Japan’s Nippon Paper Group – is one of the largest employers in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley and contributes over $900 million to Australia’s GDP annually. The company recently was hit by an eight-week strike at its envelope-making factory at Preston in Melbourne.

    Read the full ADC report number 463/Application for a dumping duty notice here.

  • Koenig and Bauer rides high in 2017

    The Koenig and Bauer CorruCUT sheetfed flexo press features an integrated rotary die cutter.

    German press giant Koenig and Bauer has enjoyed a 4.3 percent increase in revenue over 2016, with new orders up 10.1 percent.

    The manufacturer raked in €1,217.6 million ($1,950.1 million AUD) last year, driven by strong revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter, and widened its market share in all business fields.

    Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO Koenig and Bauer.

    Koenig and Bauer credited cardboard printing, metal, glass and hollow container decorating and coding as growth areas for the company, as well as new products including rotary and flatbed die cutters. “In addition to the market success of the rotary die-cutter, the sharp rise in new contracts for flatbed die-cutters over the previous year exceeded our expectations substantially,” said Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO.

    Sheetfed was a particular bright spot, with orders climbing 15.2 percent and revenue up 7.3 percent over 2016, driven by the packaging industry. Bolza-Schünemann indicated Koenig and Bauer would continue to develop new solutions for the packaging sector into the future. “We have already started marketing the sheetfed flexo presses CorruFLEX and CorruCUT (with an integrated rotary die-cutter), both of which have been developed with a number of unique features. In early 2019 we will be installing a CorruCUT system at the pilot customer Klingele,” he said.

    Mathias Dähn, CFO Koenig and Bauer.

    Digital and web dropped, however, with newspaper and commercial web press orders continuing to decline. R&D expenses, as well as optimisation efforts for flexibles, hit segment earnings; however, Mathias Dähn, CFO, is confident of a turnaround. “With the measures taken in flexible packaging printing, a turnaround is apparent, although it will be important to continue to take the right actions to close the gap between our company and the successful leaders of this attractive market,” he said.

  • Dscoop embraces Seoul kind of feeling

    Registration is now open for Dscoop’s 2018 Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) conference to be held in Seoul, South Korea, which will – in a first for a Dscoop Asia show – include site visits as part of the program, so attendees can get a first-hand look at the operations of innovative local printers.

    Kelvin Gage, Dscoop.

    The first Dscoop Asia conference since Singapore‘s ‘best-ever‘ outing in November 2016, the Korea show will bear the theme Unleashing Print. It continues a great year for the HP users’ group, which has already hosted events in Thailand, Japan, and the Philippines. “We’ve seen a real growth in the desire for in-country events in Asia, and therefore the number of Dscoop events throughout the region. It’s a very exciting period for us at the moment,” said Kelvin Gage, chairman, Dscoop APJ.

    For the first time ever at a Dscoop Asia conference, the schedule includes site visits to local printing companies such as Interpro, Betterway Systems, and Taesung – one of the major reasons why Dscoop picked South Korea for this year’s conference. “From a print point of view it’s a very progressive country, and we were drawn to it because we were being asked by lots of print service providers in Asia about the success of companies in Korea and how we could learn from them,” explained Gage.

    The entire global board of Dscoop will be at the conference, highlighting Asia’s importance to Dscoop and HP. There’ll also be plenty for Australians at the event, with CMYKhub presenting a session, and attendees to include suppliers such as Ball and Doggett. “Historically Australian printers have favoured the US conferences over Asia, but already there’s been a lot of interest this far out,” said Gage. “Korea hits everyone’s radar for a lot of reasons, and people are looking to discover more about print there.

    “It’s going to be a different conference than any Dscoop you’ve attended before,” he promised.

    Dscoop Asia 2018 will run from May 14 to May 18. Registration is open now at the conference’s website.

  • Celebrate print at Wimble’s Wayzgoose!

    Museum of Printing, NSW. (photo: Heloise Fortin)

    The Museum of Printing in NSW is holding a three-day celebration of printing and printmaking that will feature guest speakers, rare book collections, several workshops and a printers’ picnic.

    The 2018 Wimble’s Wayzgoose!* will run from 6-8 April 2018 at the Museum of Printing at the New England Regional Art Museum in Armidale.

    The Museum houses the historically significant FT Wimble & Co. Collection of printing machinery and equipment, including printing presses, a Linotype machine, guillotines, book binding equipment, wooden and metal type and a history of printing in Australia from 1850 to the early 1900s. There are over 1000 printing blocks and a comprehensive library of books on printing and technical manuals. The Museum is now the home of the Black Gully Printmakers, a community of artists and print enthusiasts.

    The Wimble’s Wayzgoose! program will include:

    FRIDAY 6 APRIL 2018

    1.00- 4.00pm. Words, text and images:

    A half day seminar exploring the past, present and future of printing and printmaking with special keynote speaker Thomas Middlemost, Charles Sturt University as well as presentations by artists, curators, historians and collectors including Cynthia Marsh, Tim Mosely, Robert Heather and Clint Harvey.

    6.00pm The inaugural F.T. Wimble lecture:

    Print and Passion: the impact and legacy of printed books in England. Explore the great print collections of Britain with guest lecturer Shane Carmody, University of Melbourne. Book now online.



    10.00am – 4.30pm

    Using letterpress text in posters with Cynthia Marsh

    Print + Collage + Book with Glen Skien

    Solar Plate printmaking with Dianne Longley

    Folding concertina’s: Folding books with Tim Mosely

    Bookings required for workshops.

    SUNDAY 8 APRIL 2018


    Join with visiting artists and local artists from the Black Gully Printmakers for a day of food, wine, talks, art and music with a BYO print market/swap, talks and demonstrations and our famous BIG PRINT event.

    * Wayzgoose is an annual summer dinner or outing held by a printing house for its employees.

  • Kwik Kopy Miller Street wins FCA award

    The team at Kwik Kopy Miller Street. (l-r) Tom Bowers, design & production manager; Dan McKenzie, owner; and Rob Schrauwen, account manager.

    Kwik Kopy Miller Street has been awarded the NSW/ACT Franchisee of the Year, two or more staff, at the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) Excellence in Franchising Awards.

    Run by father, son and daughter team, Peter, Daniel and Susie McKenzie, the franchise offers a diverse range of products and services including graphic design, business cards, brochures and posters for clients in North Sydney.

    The award recognises excellence in business management and franchise citizenship for franchisee owner-operators. Areas assessed include business planning and performance, systems management, franchise citizenship, openness to learning and change, as well as community contribution.

    ‘They have managed to turn a struggling business into a top performer’: David Bell, MD Kwik Kopy.

    Kwik Kopy Australia MD David Bell says the team at Kwik Kopy Miller Street embodies all the qualities and competencies the award represents. “Kwik Kopy Miller Street continues to go from strength to strength. In just a few years, they have managed to turn a struggling business into a top performer and almost quadrupled sales in the process.

    “But it’s not just an effective business model that makes Kwik Kopy Miller Street a standout performer, it’s their community spirit that sees them deliver first class customer service, build an empowered team, share knowledge and contribute to their franchising network at all times.”

    Kwik Kopy Miller Street owner Dan McKenzie says the McKenzie family are honoured to be receive the award.

    “We are thrilled to have been recognised at the FCA Excellence in Franchising awards. As a team, we love what we do and pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to understand their business needs and deliver the best results.

    “When we first purchased the Kwik Kopy Miller Street franchise, the centre was ranked last out of 100 centres. Within four years we have been able to turn the business around. To now be awarded franchisee of the year, two or more staff, within just four years, is truly incredible. The award win is a testament to our fantastic team and the wonderful support we’ve received from Kwik Kopy.”

    Kwik Kopy Miller Street was awarded Kwik Kopy Franchise of the Year in 2017.

  • SONY DADC auction begins today

    Lot 45: 2007 Heidelberg CD102-6-L six colour offset printing press with inline aqueous coater. 

    Australian Valuations opened online bidding this afternoon on an extensive range of equipment from Sony DADC (Digital Audio Disc Corporation) Australia’s former Print Services business.

    The company closed its printing operation at Huntingwood in Sydney’s west earlier this year and instructed the auction house to dispose of its entire range of offset, digital and finishing machinery.

    The complete catalogue has been posted online and bidding opened at 1.00pm (AEDT) this afternoon and will continue for 21 days until 11 April.

    Log in to bid here.

    Lot 61: 2015 Xerox IGEN & RIP.



  • Print’s ‘ageing and static workforce’: study

    A research group chaired by PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay has identified three core issues in attracting new talent to the industry: “perception and reputation of the sector; working conditions and prospects; and in many cases, an ageing and static workforce.”

    The study also noted: Recent industry changes include developments in data storage capabilities, with big players such as HP and Fuji Xerox developing 3D hardware and software in partnership with firms for implementation over the next 12 months.

    The Printing and Graphic Arts Industry Reference Committee (IRC), in conjunction with PwC’s Skills for Australia initiative, released a 48-page draft of its Industry Skills Forecast and Proposed Schedule of Work (ISFPSW) review, which aims to “refocus the discussion about the skills and training needed in the industry.”

    The ten-member IRC includes chairman Andrew Macaulay, deputy chair Lorraine Cassin (National Secretary, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Print Division) and members Robert Black (Holmesglen Institute Program Manager – Printing), Ben Eaton (CEO Starleaton), Kerim El Gabaili (CEO OnePoint), Julie Hobbs (CEO FutureNow, Creative and Leisure Industries Training Council/Design Institute of Australia), Peter Lane (MD, Lane Print Group), Michelle Lees (Marketing Manager – Graphic Solutions HP PPS Australia), Brett Maishman (National Industry Manager, Fuji Xerox Australia), and Michael de Souza (CEO Australian 3D Manufacturing Association).

    ‘This review presents the opportunity for industry to get involved’: Paul Mitchell, PIAA.

    “At PIAA, we constantly hear about the challenges businesses have in finding appropriately trained employees, or having opportunities for formal training in the right areas,” says Paul Mitchell, the association’s national workplace relations manager. “This review presents the opportunity for industry to get involved, and ensure the training needs of printers are considered in future training programmes,” Mitchell says.

    The Skills Forecast draft says industry feedback, combined with research and analysis, indicates the following trends will be shaping current and future skills needs:

    Market adjustment
    The printing and graphic arts sector does not just generate print media and there are several areas of potential growth such as customised direct mail advertising, food labelling and packaging, and other consumer goods.

    Reputation and workforce transition
    Based on consultation with the Printing and Graphic Arts IRC and our own research and analysis, attracting new talent and maintaining talent appears to be stemming from three core issues: perception and reputation of the sector; working conditions and prospects; and in many cases, an ageing and static workforce.

    Customisation and multi-channel marketing
    In response to market adjustments, industry participants are expanding into non-traditional service offerings, such as data driven customisation and multi-channel marketing whilst retaining printing as a core service offering and will therefore still employ workers in printing and design occupations.

    Technological change
    Technological changes continue to impact the demand of roles in which people work and the service offerings of the industry.
    1. Recent industry changes include developments in data storage capabilities, with big players such as HP and Fuji Xerox developing 3D hardware and software in partnership with firms for implementation over the next 12 months. Additionally, there have been significant price reductions in commercial technology.
    2. Over the past year, there have been advancements in 3D printing with innovations in aerospace manufacturing and Monash University producing the world’s first 3D printed jet engine in just four months.

    The study also predicts a 16.7 percent fall in printing jobs in the five years to May 2022.

    The full review draft is available here: 

    Review draft Industry Skills Forecast & Proposed Schedule of Work

    Download feedback form

    More information about the Printing and Graphic Arts Industry Reference Committee can be found at:



  • Icahn boosts team to fight Xerox deal

    Billionaire activist shareholder Carl Icahn has enlisted the help of former HP and IBM executive John Visentin to help fight the “no sense” takeover of Xerox by Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings.

    In an open letter to Xerox shareholders, Icahn says he’s pleased to announce that Visentin has been engaged as a consultant both in connection with the upcoming proxy contests and to explore strategic alternatives for Xerox.

    ‘A superb track record’: former HP and IBM executive John Visentin.

    We believe John has the ideal skill set to help us show shareholders why the proposed Fuji scheme makes no sense and how there is tremendous value potential in a stand-alone Xerox with new management. John will be intimately involved in our outreach over the next few weeks and months as we, together with Darwin Deason and his team, explain our strategy to maximize shareholder value at Xerox.

    Visentin previously managed multi-billion-dollar businesses as a senior executive at Hewlett-Packard and IBM and drove successful transformations for Apollo Global Management companies, Novitex Enterprises Solutions (as executive Chairman and CEO, following the acquisition of Pitney Bowes Management Service) and Presidio (as chairman).

    John is a highly-in-demand operating executive with a superb track record, specifically when it comes to revamping complex operations with prior managerial shortcomings in the IT services industry to consistently drive profitable growth, Icahn told Xerox shareholders.

    Icahn and fellow billionaire Darwin Deason control about 15% of Xerox stock and are working together to fight the $US6.1 billion ($A7.6 billion) deal that would see Fujifilm take over Xerox Corp and combine the US-based company with existing joint venture Fuji Xerox.

    Xerox has defended the deal, saying the new Fuji Xerox will combine two leaders with world-class technological capabilities and cultures of innovation and “deliver significantly more value to Xerox shareholders than moving the company forward on a stand-alone basis.”

    When the agreement was announced in January, Fujifilm said it planned to cut 10,000 Fuji Xerox jobs in Asia Pacific by March 2020.

  • Paper prices pose a critical challenge: APIA

    The printing industry’s response to an unprecedented surge in pulp and paper prices will be critical to maintaining profitable print volumes, according to the Australasian Paper Industry Association (APIA).

    Local paper merchants have been caught flatfooted by the speed and scale of pulp and paper price rises around the world over the past four years, with some companies now being forced to increase their prices every three months.

    ‘How the industry responds will be critical’: Kellie Northwood, executive director, APIA.

    “Our industry must work in partnership with our customers to assist in the understanding of the price increases, as well as explore opportunities for our customers to innovate their paper usage and cost structures,” says Kellie Northwood, executive director, APIA – whose members include major players Ball & Doggett, Spicers, Direct Paper, Australian Paper, Norske Skog, Sappi, Connect Paper and others. “We are working with retailers and print buyers to provide detail on the increases, the reasons for the increases and also developing for our members a ‘ready reckoner’ of sorts to review grammages, pagination, size and more to develop solutions for their customers. If any printer needs access to our FAQs and Summary of the increases, we offer our every assistance.

    “Retailers with large investment in print marketing channels are watching this space closely and how the industry responds will be critical to holding stable, and yes profitable, print volumes.” 

    APIA says the paper, print and mail industry employs 241,000 people, mainly made up of small to medium sized Australian businesses.

    “The paper sector is a key raw material supplier to the print industry and we need to understand the global issues as well as communicate clearly to our customers,” Northwood says. “Print marketing remains a strong advertising channel for all brands. Retailers, in particular, increased their investment in 2016 with an increased volume recorded across circulation and pagination for catalogue and print advertising. The price increases are being discussed with retailers who are facing their own challenges, however, with one of the highest audience reaches and a strong ROI over other channels, we do not expect the moderate price increases to impact the channel too adversely on volumes if managed with transparency.”

    The banning of mixed paper imports and the closure of polluting pulp mills in China, as well as import/export exchange rates and supply/demand ratio shifts are just a few of the factors driving the rise in prices.

    The increases have not come as a shock to the paper sector, says John Walker, the chairman of the APIA. “In 2016 to 2017 we saw a significant downsizing of paper production globally. As economics go, when demand outweighs supply, prices go up and vice versa. The industry has enjoyed paper price declines for some years, however the market is now correcting. The pressure from the overseas mills and the industry must pass on the price increases to ensure sustainability of the sector.”

    The message is clear, says Northwood: “Paper price increases are going ahead and printers will need to work closer than ever with not only their supply chain but also their customers.”

  • Matrix Frame to open Australian centre

    Netherlands-based graphic display manufacturer Matrix Frame will launch a new Australian regional distribution centre at next month’s Visual Impact show in Brisbane.

    The new warehouse, based in Sydney, will service the Pacific region and compliment the company’s three other distribution centres in The Netherlands, the US and China.

    Since 2006, Matrix Frame has been manufacturing aluminium frames, light boxes, accessories and silicone-edge fabric graphics for retailers, exhibitors, museums and corporate environments around the world.

    Matrix Frame only sells to trade customers and not to the end client. Trade customers can either purchase the system off Matrix Frame to cut and convert themselves, or Matrix Frame can cut its extrusions to size using state of the art equipment and then deliver the frame to trade customer as a ready to assemble kit.

    Now seeking distributors and resellers: David Cross, GM Matrix Frame Australia.

    “We will be warehousing our full range of products in Australia, including seventeen different extrusions, all connectors, a range of LED lighting and the full range of magnetic accessories,” says David Cross, GM at Matrix Frame Australia. “We will work with companies across Australia and the Pacific to make big, bold, beautiful, attention-getting statements and we will help our customers to build state-of-the-art, grand format light boxes with the latest in LED lighting technology, as well as wall-mounted and freestanding frames with silicone-edge fabric graphics.  

    “Our aluminium frames and light boxes house eye-catching tension fabric graphics and are much more convenient to ship, store, and swap out than traditional prints, which translates to huge savings on shipping costs,” says Cross. “Each lightweight aluminium frame is engineered for both flexibility and longevity-easy to assemble, yet able to support countless graphics over its lifetime.”

    Launching in Australia at Visual Impact Brisbane (April 19-21), Matrix Frames is now seeking to appoint a network of distributors and resellers in Australia and the Pacific region. 

    Please contact David Cross on +61 466 892 009 or email for further information.

  • Issue 993 – March 21, 2018

    A high-powered committee from the printing industry has delivered some sobering news about the problems in attracting new workers to the industry. But the draft report of the IRC also identified promising new trends, including technological advancements that sees big players including HP and Fuji Xerox developing 3D hardware and software for implementation over the next 12 months.


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

    Graham Osborne
    Online editor