Archive for August, 2018

  • IPMG merger punishes PMP share price

    The loss of Coles catalogues along with the Pacific Magazine printing contract to IVE Group as a result of the IPMG deal saw PMP’s share price take a 13.7% hit on publication of its annual results.

    The region’s largest commercial printing operation said sales were up $132.1 million to $734.0 million but when compared on a like for like basis with the previous businesses, they actually dropped by $108 million from $842 million. It posted a net loss of $43.8 million for the year.

    Kevin Slaven, CEO PMP.

    Acknowledging the task of bringing the two companies together had led to an increase in manufacturing costs, Kevin Slavin CEO in an executive summary, declared the integration was now complete. He declared the consolidation of the businesses was an important and necessary step that has helped settle the pricing and capacity issues that have long plagued the sector.

     As part of a plan to retire older inefficient presses and reduce overall print capacity PMP is buying a new manroland 80-page press for Warwick Farm to be installed in the second half of next year.

    It maintains the new $20 million press will provide production efficiencies through wider web width, increased running speed and faster make-readies, and in addition cost efficiencies through reductions in labour, energy, and repairs and maintenance. Replacing older presses allows for a net reduction in our overall fleet capacity (circa 10-15%). It will be paid for largely through export credit funding with a four-year payback.

     In an upbeat report the company reported that print volumes as well as revenue from its top 20 retail customers increased with expectations of further growth in the coming year. Despite overall unaddressed volumes to household in slow decline, large retailers remain committed to catalogues as a key driver. PMP delivers to 6.7 million Australian households every week.

    Citing an improved industry structure and realignment of capacity it predicts that heat set prices will stabilise. However falling print volumes for newspapers and magazines will likely offset the savings gained from the merger next year.

    PMP New Zealand’s results were dismal with revenue down 6.8% to $120.1 million. Heatset volumes there dropped by 3.5% along with earnings, which were hit by lower selling prices.



  • Heidelberg drives into electric car chargers

    Özkan Meral, technical manager at Kohlhammer with designer Sina Gietl who designed the smart cars.

    Utilising its undoubted technical and manufacturing expertise Heidelberg is turning to other products apart from printing equipment. One of the first to market is the Heidelberg Wallbox Home Eco, a charging device for electric vehicles.

    It’s being rolled out in Germany where bans on diesel-powered cars in many cities will come into effect next year. Electric cars are one solution to get around the ban with the added benefit they can also use bus and transit lanes.

    One of Heidelberg’s printing customers, the Stuttgart-based Kohlhammer Group, installed five Wallboxes for three electric vehicles at its HQ and print shop. The company’s customers and visitors can also charge their electric vehicles for free.

    Being a printer, Kohlhammer is in regular contact with Heidelberg and learned early on of the plans to market its expertise beyond its traditional core markets by moving into electromobility. The company enjoyed a close customer-supplier relationship with Heidelberg for many years, but this was previously limited to print shop equipment.

    The news came as a surprise to Özkan Meral, technical manager at Kohlhammer. “The fact that Heidelberg, of all people – our longstanding supplier and partner in the printing sector – was looking to launch a charging device for electric vehicles initially surprised us, but this then gave our own plans an additional boost. After all, we know from experience that anything Heidelberg launches onto the market stands for quality and reliability.”

    “The ongoing discussion on driving bans, especially in our region, has led us to recognize that there is a need for action if we want to offer our customers the usual service quality and secure our logistics location in the future as well.”



  • Aussie customers get Nanographic preview

    Impremia NS40 … Nanography from Komori.

    It’s been a long time between drinks for local printers who’ve put their hands up and their money down for the Landa-inspired Komori Impremia NS40. The select group was given a tour of the Komori factory in Japan at IGAS last month ahead of field testing next year, but will have to wait a while yet to get their hands on a press

    The Nanographic Impremia NS40 is to be field tested in Japan early in 2019. First shown at drupa 2016, the Komori Impremia NS40, a sheetfed inkjet press equipped with Landa Nanography technology, has been in development at Komori in Japan for more than two years.

    “Our local customers saw the machine during IGAS on a special tour in the Komori factory,” said Carsten Wendler, managing director, Print&Pack, the exclusive Australian Komori agent. Most Australian printers signed up for the Komori machine ahead of the Landa version. They include printers such as Blue Star, Hero Print and CMYKhub, who signed on at drupa.

    It’s not expected that any press will be available for local printers for a few years. General availability is planned for late December 2019.

    The NS40 is designed to combine the versatility of digital with the quality and speed of offset printing at a low cost per page. It has the capability to print on any off-the-shelf substrate, from coated and uncoated paper stocks to synthetic substrates and paperboard—up to 32 point—without the need for pre- or post-treatment of any type. Operating at an initial throughput rate of 6,500 straight sheets or 3,250 perfected sheets per hour, the NS40 will be available in multiple configurations, from a 4-7 colour straight press to an 8-color perfector with in-line coating.

    Based on the progress of the development of the Impremia NS40, Komori plans to carry out the first field test of the beta press in the Japanese market in the northern spring of 2019. This will be followed by similar plans to further test the NS40 in other countries as well.

    “Komori has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring this game changing technology to the market so we are very excited that this product will soon be a reality,” says Scott Robertz, NS40 product manager for Komori America Corporation.


  • P21 Issue 1041 – August 29, Weekend SPECIAL

    Good to see that investment in the printing industry continues apace. Every other news item that comes across my desk is about someone buying hardware, software or even taking over another business. While the supply-side mix is constantly shifting, the overall number of investment decisions seems to be as strong as ever. PMP’s latest $20 million buy of another manroland 80-page press is a fine example of the confident nature of the industry.

    It’s always going to be a tough game, but printing is enjoying rude health.

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

    Patrick Howard
    Publishing Editor.

  • Flexo/label confab focus on digital

    Meet the FPLMA’ers: Vince Sedunary, DIC, Andrew Maxwell, Maxteq, Tiana James, Hally Labels, Mark Easton (president), Ecolean, Michelle Lees, HP, David Feenan, Amcor, Lindsey Boyd, AldusTronics, and Anthony Dalleore, Macdermid

    The 2018 conference of the initially challenged FPLMA kicked off yesterday, with automation and integration the key for the flexo and label printers attending the two day event in Melbourne.

    According to FPLMA president Mark Easton the two day event is an important part of the flexo and label industry. “In today’s world we need to ensure we are keeping up with trends in business, in technology, and in society as they impact on packaging. This year’s conference has a terrific line up of speakers which will address those issues clearly,” he said.

    Some 85 delegates were at the first day of the event, with another 65 today. The big awards ceremony tonight has more than 300 people booked in.

    Opening the conference at the Crown Promenade, Easton told the delegates the industry was now operating in a world where the internet was dictating the pace of change, and digital technology was enabling new opportunities and sweeping all before it.

     Easton’s comments came in the same week when it was revealed that digital and hybrid label presses were now selling more than traditional analogue label presses for the first time.

    Easton said, “Automation and integration are the keys to the future. Label and flexo printing systems are already able to connect to complementary production areas such as CRM, prepress, finishing, scheduling. We are also able to integrate directly into the end customer.

    “Customer demands will increase, especially the need for speed of turnaround – automation and integration will enable label and flexo printers to meet that requirement and exploit opportunities.”

    First speaker was legendary AFL coach David Parkin, who spoke on leadership and strategy. He quoted the head of VicRail who on his appointment told his 800 managers that they were 10 per cent a steel business and 90 per cent a people business. Parkin highlighted the need for company leaders to focus on people, both their own staff and their customers.

    Parkin said his most successful time as an AFL coach was when his players took ownership of the team. He said the best company leaders were those that were perceived to be focused on developing their staff.

    He also spoke on the importance of mental and physical health in company leaders, asking how many of the attendees had done a workout this morning, which revealed the alarming statistic that only two had.

    The FPLMA conference has speakers from both Australia and overseas, including several from Europe, coming form companies including MPS, BST, HP, Sun Chemical, UPM Raflatac, Esko, GMS Pacific, Kayell, LasX, Bobst and Xeikon.

    Also speaking is Andy Thomas, strategic director of Tarsus, who will examine the growing crossover between labels and flexo.

    The conference will finish with the annual label and flexo awards ceremony tonight.

  • Printed solar lights the way in Newcastle

      (L-R) Showing off the new solar cells: Phillip Austin, CHEP; Sharon Claydon, federal MP for Newcastle; Professor Paul Dastoor, University of Newcastle.

    The first commercial installation of printed organic solar cells, at CHEP’s Beresfield facility near Newcastle, highlights the wealth of opportunities functional printing has to offer the printing industry, says University of Newcastle’s Professor Paul Dastoor.

    At a ribbon-cutting ceremony at CHEP’s pallet repair facility at Beresfield on Thursday, Phillip Austin, president of CHEP Asia-Pacific, hailed the installation as a landmark collaboration between science and commercial enterprise. “A chance as a business to be able to make a difference with energy, to increase access and availability to draw it from the right sources, and to reduce costs – why wouldn’t we want to get involved?” he told Print21.

    Five PhD students from the University of Newcastle’s Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) installed 200 square metres of solar cells, printed onto strips of PET plastic as thin as a packet of chips, on the roof of the plant in the space of 12 hours.

    According to Dastoor, the ink, which has the same electronic properties as silicon, is a significant breakthrough. “Most people are familiar with standard silicon solar cells – they’re hard, they’re rigid, they’re covered in glass. What we have here is a set of polymeric materials with the same electronic behaviours as silicon that can be turned into a liquid solution for printable paints and inks,” he said. “We’re replacing conventional hard inorganic semiconductors with flexible organic semiconducting materials.”

    A sample of the printed cells on display inside the Beresfield plant.

    The lightweight solar cells, which were exhibited at PacPrint last year, can be produced at a cost of less than $10 per square metre on standard narrow web presses, and secured with ordinary double-sided tape. “You don’t need specialised equipment – we used a conventional reel-to-reel press, supplied by GM, that is normally used to make wine labels.”

    The inks can be printed using standard flexo, screen and spot dye processes, and NIER is collaborating with Fuji Xerox on inkjet. According to Dastoor, the opportunities for commercial printers in this space, dubbed functional printing, are huge. “There is enormous potential, and it doesn’t just stop at solar panels,” he said. “We’re able to print structures that have electronic function.

    “We have an enormous project looking at building biosensors – this same printing can be used to print transistors in which we can embed bio-molecules, and we’re now working on sensors for glucose that will test your saliva rather than your blood. There are 440 million people with diabetes, and they have to stab themselves six to ten times per day. Imagine if instead they could simply lick a printed sensor.”

    Dastoor plans to test the performance and durability of the printed cells, then recycle them into new cells at the end of their lifespan.

  • Mimaki edges Roland in wide format

    Eco-solvent wide format printers hold market share against latex, even as HP retains its top rankings. Good growth continues in the sector with both printer volumes and revenue continuing to rise.

    According to an IDC report, in Reseller News, over all shipments of wide format printers in the Asia Pacific region grew by 3.9% in the second quarter of the year. The report also ranked the five top suppliers, putting HP as number one ahead of Canon-Oce, Seiko Epson, Mimaki and Roland DG. The latter pair swapped places since the previous report.

    Revenue was also reported to be up by 5%. A lot of market activity is being driven by supplier incentives such as discounts and bundling.

    The report indicates there is no evidence of the market saturation some analysts predicted. The appetite for new wide format technologies seems set to continue to grow, even as the sector matures.

    Read the full IDC report here.

  • Winds of change – Karen Goldsmith leaves Visual Connections

    She’ll be missed.
    Karen Goldsmith, GM associations, Visual Connections.

    High-profile industry identity and long-term association professional, Karen Goldsmith, is resigning from her role as general manager, Visual Connections in September. The well-liked Goldsmith ends a 14-year engagement with the supply side of the printing industry, initially as director of GAMAA, the graphic arts merchants association, then latterly as joint GM with Peter Harper of Visual Connections following the merger.

    The move has taken the industry and her colleagues by surprise. According to Mitch Mulligan, president of Visual Connections, she’ll be thoroughly missed. “She achieved a lot over the years. She’s always been a stable force, pulling people together. It must have been like herding cats. We should consider ourselves lucky to have been the beneficiary of her talents for so many years. She’s a true north and will be bloody hard to replace,” he said.

    In a brief statement Goldsmith indicated she is leaving ‘to pursue a new challenge outside of the industry. After 14 years this is a huge decision as you can imagine, with so many good friends and colleagues that I have worked closely with over the years. The decision wasn’t made lightly but it is time.’ The growing success of Women in Print which increased its attendance this year is a singular cause of satisfaction, along with the many good industry people and mentors she’s met over the years.

    She’s leaving with Visual Connections in good shape, gearing up for a sold-out Sydney Visual Impact exhibition in September.


    New marketing magus for NewsMediaWorks

    Simon Davies: “I believe it’s an exciting time to be working in the news media sector as it shows positive signs of growth.”

    Taking on the task of marketing news media to advertisers for the peak publishing body is Simon Davies. A former committee member at the Audit Bureau of Circulations, he’s also worked in sales management roles at ACP Australia (now Bauer) and Murdoch Magazines. He replaces Charlie Murdoch, who is joining News Corp as GM trade marketing.

    According to Peter Miller, CEO, Davies is joining at a time when advertisers are re-evaluating and investing back in newspapers and news websites.



  • P21 Issue 1040 – August 29, 2018 RESULTS SPECIAL

    The financial results from the major players are coming thick and fast and make  interesting reading, congratulations to those that have turned  a quid, and best wishes for this year for those in the red. All eyes on Thursday now.

    And great to see Visual Impact looking to the future with its innovative Try a Trade concept for schoolkids at the upcoming show.

    Wayne Robinson
    Editor – Print21


  • IVE sales reach $694m, profits up by a third

    Diversified marketing and print communications group IVE delivered a strong result for the 2017/18 financial year, growing its revenue by 40 per cent, with profits up by a third, and organic growth up by 6.2 per cent.

    Following two years of intense investment in acquisitions and equipment the company is looking at 2018/19 to focus on fully realising the value of its investments, with executive chairman Geoff Selig telling Print21 this year will be ‘a clear run’ with no planned acquisitions and reduced capex planned for the year.

    For 2017/18 IVE revenue reached $694m, with pro forma EBITDA up by 32.4 per cent to $73.2m, and pro forma net profit after tax also up by 32.4 per cent, to $35.9m.

    Its EBITDA was up by 77 per cent to $63.7m from $35.9m, with profit before tax up by 124.5 per cent to $36.9m from $16.4m.

    EBITDA margin slipped slightly to 10.5 per cent from 11.1 per cent, as a result of the delayed closure of the AIW site due to contract wins, and the SEMA integration – both one-offs. Also impacting the margin were electricity and gas price increases, some bad debts associated with Kalido Asia, and some short term timing impacts of paper price increases.

    Compelling proposition: Geoff Selig

    Speaking exclusively to Print21 Geoff Selig said, “It was a very active year for the Group, the first full year with Franklin and AIW on board, and we acquired SEMA in September last year. We have grown our market share, 6.2 per cent organic growth is a strong result. We have a compelling value proposition which the market is responding to.

    “In the last 18 months we have invested some $200m across the business to further expand our offering including the new Franklin WEB NSW operation. All four IVE divisions are doing well.”

    Selig said the company would continue to look to unlock value from its existing business and is not actively seeking to acquire, although if ‘value acretive’ opportunities arose the company would look closely at them.

    The company says all operational milestones were met in the year, which included relocating and merging the Victorian Blue Star Display business with the Franklin Web retail display business, and opening its $53m Franklin NSW site in Huntingwood, next month it will commission its second MAN Lithoman 80pp heatset web offset press there. The Franklin business will handle the company’s catalogue work and long run magazines. Shorter run magazines are printed at Blue Star Web. The company is also about to install another high speed continuous inkjet into its Blue Star Direct business in NSW.

    Selig said: “We are pleased to have delivered another strong result, as we acquired and successfully completed the integration of a number of strategically important businesses into the Group, while ensuring throughout there was no disruption to our customers. During the year we achieved revenue growth from the combination of solid organic growth and the acquisitions of Franklin WEB, AIW and SEMA.

    The company says the revenue increase of $198.5m or 39.9 per cent over PCP, reflects the impact of Franklin/AIW and SEMA acquisitions, as well as increased revenue through new customer wins and the existing customer base through expanded service offering. The revenue increase has been achieved through realising the successful execution of IVE’s growth strategy initiatives. This has led to a number of new customers partnering with the Group throughout the year, the continued success of cross selling to existing and acquired customers, and the ability to achieve several key contract extensions.

    Following a period of significant investment IVE Group expects the positive momentum from FY18 to continue over the coming year, with continued revenue and earnings growth expected in FY19 and minimal restructure costs. The company expects to invest around $9m on capex in the current financial year, excluding previously committed capex.


    Effective integration: Warwick Hay.

    Commenting on the outlook, IVE Group managing director, Warwick Hay said: “Over the past 20 months we have successfully undertaken two significant acquisition and integration projects. Both projects involved major capital investment programs to ensure effective integration and to expand our capacity on the back of revenue growth. These projects are now close to complete and we are extremely pleased with the outcomes. Additionally, we have retained all key customers and grown market share over the period. As a result the business is ideally positioned to continue our growth trajector y and to build further value for our shareholders in FY19.”

    Since its IPO in December 2015 IVE has been on a non-stop growth trajectory. Revenue for 2016 was $382m, for 2017 it hit $497m, with 2018 up to $696m. EBITDA has risen form $45m in 2016, to $55.2m last year, and $73.2m this year.

    IVE is one of Australia’s most progressive communications businesses, the year also saw the launch of the IVE 360 company wide interactive workplace health and safety platform, it also gained ISO 27001 accreditation, and it expanded its employee benefits programme IVE Plus to incorporate a new Diversity and Inclusion programme.

  • Spicers increases sales and profits

    Sales rise: Spicers

    The country’s second biggest paper merchant Spicers has arrested a fall in sales and achieved increases in both its sales and profits over the last financial year, with both print and packaging, and sign and display, on the up.

    Net sales revenue rose by 0.9 per cent to $384m, with Print & Packaging up by half a per cent to $304.7m, while Sign & Display rose by 2.6 per cent to $79.3m.

    The Australian EBIT was up by 80 per cent at $4.2m, which the company says was due to improved trading in key product categories.

    Australian sales were up to $204.4m from $201.8m, although this is still behind the 2016 sales of $211m. Spices does not provide a breakdown between commercial print and packaging in its figures.

    Spicers achieved a $2.2m cost saving thanks to corporate restructuring, although it took a $1.9m hit on necessary building cladding projects.

    New Zealand saw an EBIT rise of 1.2 per cent to $7.4m in constant currency terms. New Zealand sales though took a hit, down from $101m to $93.4m.

    The the Asian EBIT of $2.2m was an 18 per cent increase on the prior year on sales that rose by ten per cent to $86.6m from $78m.

    According to David Martin, CEO of Spicers, the uptick in almost all figures was due to Spicers delivering on its  priorities. He says, “Our focus on customer and market engagement has driven improved trading results across our key product revenue streams, particularly in Australia and Asia. Our New Zealand business continues to deliver solid results in challenging market conditions.”

    Spicers is now three years on from its exit from its disastrous European adventure, which saw it rack up losses of $300m under its old PaperlinX brand. The company closed or sold all its business there, as well as those in Canada, and has since focused on Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

  • Opus doubles profit as sales slip


    In what may be its last report to the ASX, book printing group Opus saw its profit rise by 95 per cent to $6.3m on sales that slipped by two per cent, or $812,000, down from $39.7m to $38.8m.

    The company is currently applying to delist from the ASX and list on the Hong Kong stock exchange, where its majority owned Lion Rock is also listed. Opus Group includes Australian printers CanPrint, Ligare and Mcpherson’s Printing Group (MPG). 

    The company says the increase in profit came from the core book and book like printing activity, with overall results enhanced by a net non-recurring profit.

    Opus says it is currently expanding its printing and warehousing capability to enhance its one stop shop for book printing credentials. The company is looking to add digital printing and binding capabilities to its production firepower

    For the half year to June 30 EBITDA rose by 44 per cent to $7.6m, profit before tax rose by 52 per cent to $6.86m and earnings per share rose by 77 per cent to 5.97c.

    According to group chairman Richard Celarc the increase in profit on reduced revenue was reflective of the sustained progress the company is making, with a hands-on approach to managing operational efficiencies.

    The company is also investing in new technology, Celarc says, “We are boosting our inhouse capabilities with a number of capex investments, and will continue to recalibrate our operations to meet the challenges in our market space.”



  • Pro-Pac posts loss despite revenue gain

    Pro-Pac Group’s revenue jumped 62 per cent in the 2017-18 financial year, aided by major mergers and acquisitions. However, citing increased raw material costs and the drought, the company posted a loss of $5.13 million.

    Opportunity: Grant Harrod, Pro-Pac.

    Revenue increased to $371.5 million during FY2018 from $229 million, the gain coming mainly from the acquisition of Integrated Packaging Group. On a stand alone basis Pro-Pac itself saw sales increase to $242 million, up by $13 million or five per cent on the previous year.

    The company’s EBITDA rose by 32 per cent to $16.1 million, thanks to increased volumes in industrial, food processing and beverage markets; however, profit plummeted 202 percent falling to a $5.13 million loss.

    Rigid Packaging grew by three per cent to $70.7 million from $68 million, while Industrial and Flexible Packaging grew from $176 million to $322 million with the IPG takeover.

    For the coming year Pro-Pac says it will benefit from a strong outlook in the fresh and dry foods, industrial and logistics, cotton and beverage markets.

    However the group expects the ongoing drought to continue to impact grain bag and silage wrap volumes in 2019; resin prices are also forecast to keep rising alongside the falling Australian dollar, which the company says will impact on its short term margins.

    In 2017-18, Pro-Pac’s merger with Integrated Packaging Group, as well as its purchases of Polypak and Perfection Packaging, provided the company with a platform into the high-growth flexible packaging sector, according to Grant Harrod, CEO, who said “Pro-Pac has an opportunity as both manufacturer and distributor to grow these markets. Whilst FY2018 was a year of substantial change and cost, we are transforming PPG into a resilient diversified business, servicing higher growth markets that will help drive a more sustainable earnings profile.

    “We are now positioned to increase sales into new markets including fresh & dry food packaging that have a more attractive growth profile as they require local processing, underpinned by increasing consumer demand for product freshness and unitisation,” he said, adding that manufacturing and distribution sites will also be consolidated across the group, creating additional savings. The company projects an EBITDA of $37 million to $42 million in the 2019 financial year.”

    For the coming year Pro-Pac says it will benefit from a strong outlook in the fresh and dry foods, industrial and logistics, cotton and beverage markets.

    Former Australia Post CEO and bete noir of the printing industry Ahmed Fahour has resumed his role as non-executive chair after a stint as chairman.

  • Salmat revenue down, figures into loss

    Marketing services provider Salmat saw its revenue slip by 3.2 per cent, as the company dipped into the red with a $5.2m loss for the 2017/18 tax year.

    Revenue was $250.2m compared with $258.5m the prior year, with CEO Rebecca Lowde attributing the decrease to the company selling off some parts of its business.

    Salmat’s figures were also impacted by $16.6m significant items charge. Some $15.3m of this related to an impairment on loss of goodwill in the Marketing Solutions operating segment. The remainder was due to restructuring costs following business sales.

    Underlying EBITDA was up marginally to $20.3m from $20.2m. Underlying profit before income tax

    ​from continuing operations of $13.7m was up $3.5m on FY17.

    The company says revenue was impacted by volume declines in the catalogue business and reduced activity in the digital business. Continued pressure on clients in a weak retail environment also impacted revenue as discretionary spend reduced.

    Lowde says, “We are now more clearly focused on driving results from the remaining Marketing Solutions and Managed Services businesses.

    Driving results: Rebecca Lowde, CEO Salmat

    “While FY18 saw some significant change to the Group, FY19 represents a fresh opportunity to revitalise Salmat’s Marketing Solutions business and drive further growth in Managed Services.

    “We have a well-defined path to innovate our existing capabilities and extend Salmat’s reach and market share. We look forward to sharing our progress during the year ahead.”

  • Parcel volumes up by 8 per cent

    Australians received the equivalent of 34 parcels each last year, an eight per cent increase on the year before as volumes reached 841 million in the 12 months to June, according to The Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, released today.

    An additional 63 million parcles were received by Australians over the same period last year. The number of parcels shipping generated $9.2bn in revenue last year, an increase of 6.2 per cent over the previous year.

    Parcel growth is being driven by a surge in e-commerce. Pitney Bowes says global shipping volume is set to to surpass 100 billion parcels in 2020, with Australia on target to receive more than a billion parcels in three years time.

    Opportunities for printers are emerging in parcels, BCS for instance has developed a machine to produce low run custom boxes with printing, available in Australia through Neil Southerington.

                                 Short run any size: BCS auto boxmaking

    According to Pitney Bowes ecommerce in Australia has contributed significantly to the strength of the parcel shipping market. The seamless experience provided by many online marketplaces has driven consumers’ expectations for convenience, price and availability of products from around the world, made possible through global ecommerce.

    Stephen Darracott, ANZ country manager and director, Pitney Bowes, said, “The parcel shipping market remains strong, with growth across all regions. Global ecommerce giants continue to raise the bar, resetting customer expectations when it comes to shipping.

    “As retailers and marketplaces look to cross-border commerce to drive growth, carriers must create efficient, seamless routes to market. They are doing this by turning to technology, investing in commerce platforms, logistics hubs and fulfillment centers. Over the next year, we expect businesses will be undergoing a digital transformation of their mailing and shipping workflow, improving their efficiency and inbound and outbound tracking capabilities.”

    China (40.1 billion), the United States (11.9 billion), and Japan (9.6 billion) represented the top three countries for parcel shipping volume in 2017. China’s parcel shipments represent 53 percent of the total shipments in the Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index.

    Japan tops per capita shipping with 76 parcels shipped per person in 2017. The UK follows at 48 parcels shipped per person, and then Germany at 41 parcels.

  • VI offers Try a Trade to students

    Try a trade: Visual Impact

    Wide format trade show Visual Impact will run a Try a Trade programme at its upcoming show in Sydney, aimed at giving schoolchildren the opportunity to learn about working in print.

    Participants will have the chance to see a range of the latest digital print, sign, display and graphic design technology first hand, with a guided tour of the show, and to get some hands-on experience in various areas at a number of different stands at the event.

    Try a Trade sessions kick off at the main expo entrance each day at 9.30am sharp and run until 2pm, will give students and their teachers a chance to learn about the range of career opportunities available in the visual industries, from traditional signage, digital and screen printing, laser cutting, signage layout, car wrapping, t-shirt printing to LED lighting.

    The program is completely free of charge, but bookings are essential, with places limited to 60 students per session. Registrations close September 7- book online to reserve spots.

    The programme is coordinated by Inspiring the Future Australia, and brings together schools, apprentices and industry specialists to give secondary students a taste of the exciting possibilities offered by in the broader print, design, sign and display sectors.

    Adrian Rhodes, director of Inspiring the Future Australia, says the initiative is all about inspiring young people to reach their potential – and making them aware of how apprenticeships can be an excellent pathway to interesting, enjoyable and secure careers.

    Rhodes says, “Getting in and having a try is a great way to learn more about apprenticeships in this vibrant industry and identify career paths that might be of interest,” adding that students will be able to take home the work they do during the day, along with a range of other goodies.

    “Perhaps most importantly, we will be holding a daily lunch session where students will be able to meet and network with other apprentices and career champions, to find out more about opportunities in different businesses and market sectors and gain a real appreciation for what life as an apprentice is like.

    “So, if you are a student who has given more than a passing thought to the possibility of an apprenticeship, a parent, neighbour or friend of a promising young person, or a teacher with students that have the kind of talent, practical ability and attitude that would make them great trade professionals, we would love to welcome you to the show.”

    Visual Impact Sydney will run on Wednesday 12, Thursday 13 and Friday 14 September at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, at Homebush Bay. Full details are available at Visual Impact website.

  • Suppliers deliver on-demand book sewing

                     Sewn up: Screen and Meccanotecnica

    Technology developers Screen and Meccanotecnica are collaborating on optimised on-demand production of premium quality books including sewing.

    The duo have created a solution using Screen’s Equios universal workflow and roll-fed full-colour high-speed inkjet press, the Truepress Jet520HD working with Meccanotecnica’s automatic book folding and sewing machine, the Universe Sewing Digital print finisher.

    According to Peter Scott, managing director of Screen Australia Section-sewing of bookblocks for hard cover binding is recognised as the most robust way to finish quality books for durability and appearance. He says, “ By integrating Meccanotecnica’s folding and book sewing technology with Equios workflow, an automated end-to end production line is possible, using barcodes to carry the required information through the workflow to finishing.”

    Screen says the much-awarded Truepress Jet520HD with SC inks achieves quality suited to high-end publication work and is compatible with a wide range of paper stocks including standard offset coated papers. The latest version, 3.4, of Equios provides roll-to-book imposition and variable barcode output functions that support automation with Meccanotecnica’s Universe Sewing Digital print finisher.

    Scott adds: “Now that high-definition inkjet digital printing is possible with the Truepress Jet520HD and Screen SC inks, short-run digital printing has moved up to a new level where high-quality finishing is called for. Meccanotecnica is a leading vendor of automatic book sewing equipment, and our collaboration has enabled the automation of a process that provides exceptional durability and quality. The digital on-demand creation of books now offers quality and productivity levels that far exceed standard digital printing.”

    Italy-based Meccanotecnica was founded in 1964 and is the world’s leading manufacturer of automatic book sewing equipment and lines for book finishing. Globally renowned for its Aster book sewing machines for offset print finishing, Meccanotecnica has entered the digital print finishing market by developing new solutions to allow cost-effective binding of short runs and the production of high-quality books.