Archive for September, 2018

  • Print21 Newsletter Issue 1049 – WEEKEND SPECIAL

    Congratulations to Sarah Leo on her scholarship award. I visited OpenBook Howden in Adelaide a couple of years ago and was mightily impressed by the company, particularly its continual investment in its people, both blue collar and white collar.


    Welcome to the Print21 Newsletter, from the premier news and information service for Australia and New Zealand printers. Enjoy the long weekend, and good luck to all the finalists this weekend; win, lose or draw it’s the lucky country.


    Wayne Robinson

  • Nine Liberal MPs using Liberal donor for printing

    Printing with Zion Graphics: Alex Hawke MP

    No less than nine state and federal MPs have reportedly been sending print to Zion Graphics, a print management company owned by a Liberal branch president, who is also Liberal party donor.

    The MPs include three federal and six NSW representatives, only two of whom – Alex Hawke and David Elliot – have Zion Graphics in their constituencies.

    Questions have been raised regarding the cosy arrangement where Liberal MPs from all over Sydney are sending their print to a Liberal party donor, especially one who doesn’t do any actual printing but just takes a clip – reportedly eye-watering – for handling the work.

    Zion Graphics, owned by Bella Vista Liberal branch president Rudy Limantono, has handled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of print for the nine MPs.

    Limantono has personally donated $9399 to the Liberal Party, while Hillsview Pacific, which owns Zion Graphics, and of which Limantono is the sole director, has also donated, to the tune of $19,254.

    Zion Graphics has no website, no facebook, and the phone number is registered at the McMansion residence in Bella Vista of Limantono. The company is operating as a print management business, with design and mailing also part of the service. It has no inhouse printing facility.

    Local MP Alex Hawke is believed to have spent more than $500,000 with Zion Graphics over the past 11 years.

    Zion Graphics owner Limantono is the Bella Vista Liberal branch president, and as well as being a donor to the Liberal party, is reportedly a major backer of Hawke in his battle to keep his seat from a different faction in the local Liberal party.

    Limantono’s business is located within Mitchell, Hawke’s federal electorate, and Baulkham Hills, Elliott’s state electorate.

    However it is more then 25kms from the office of the NSW state Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, a similar 24kms from Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres Penrith office, and 20km from social services Minister Paul Fletcher’s Pymble office, all of whom have reportedly used its services.

    Records show that Hawke, NSW social services minster Paul Fletcher, and another Federal Liberal MP who uses Zion, Julian Leeser, spend significantly more on printing than neighbouring MPs, despite being in safe seats.

    In the last period for which records are available April 2017 to June 2018, of those MPs that used Zion Graphics, Fletcher was the biggest user of print, spending $309,056.27 on printing and communication. During the same period Hawke spent $298,808.32, while Leeser spent $207,705.13 on print and communication for his Berowra constituency.

    By way of comparison Scott Morrison spent $179,063.10 in Cook during the same period, while Tony Abbott spent $184,905.91 in Warringah, both of them having smaller majorities than the big spending trio above..

    The MPs using Zion Graphics include Federal families and social services minister Paul Fletcher; federal backbencher Julian Leeser; NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet; NSW minister for mental health, women and ageing Tanya Davies; NSW minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres; NSW minister for innovation and better regulation Matt Kean; NSW member for Seven Hills Mark Taylor; and NSW member for Baulkham Hills David Elliott use Zion Graphics to print documents including newsletters, flyers and community surveys.

    All parties involved have denied any wrongdoing.

  • Leo awarded Industry Leaders scholarship


    Industry Leader scholarship: Sarah Leo, Openbook Howden

    Sarah Leo, general manager at SA printing business Openbook Howden, and the SA Board member at the PIAA, has been awarded an Industry Leaders Fund Scholarship towards her MBA at the University of Adelaide.

    The process in achieving this scholarship was a rigorous, with a three-stage assessment process, including a panel interview with Industry Leaders Fund Board Members.

    Openbook Howden said that, “Sarah has demonstrated outstanding leadership potential and was awarded this scholarship from the Industry Leaders Fund to develop and expedite the realisation of that leadership potential.”

    Openbook Howden started life as a two-colour printer in 1986, today it has more than 50 staff producing print, design, interactive and e-comms solutions, stock management, distribution and mail services. Leo and chief operating officer Michael Richards run the business.

    The PIAA is congratulating Leo, its president Walter Kuhn says, “Sarah has made a significant contribution to the Printing Industries Association during her short time on the Board and this award is reflective of the esteem in which our Industry holds her.”

    Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the Printing Industries Association, said that South Australian members were delighted with the leadership that Leo had been showing, especially with PIAA’s recent achievement in securing increased vocational education funding for the State.

    Macaulay says, “Our next challenge will be ensuring that this funding is dedicated to print training and we are working hard with the various stakeholders, including our members, Government and the AMWU to make this a reality.”

  • PIAA’s decade of environmental and sustainability leadership

    Environmental leadership, financial benefits: PIAA

    It’s wonderful to get a response to the Verdigris blogs, especially responses pointing out mistakes. We’ve had a correction relating to the serial rant about how industry associations don’t do enough to support sustainability and the environment, so we would like to set the record straight.

    Our serial rant accuses industry associations of doing too little to encourage awareness of what members can do to improve their sustainability and environmental awareness. The rants apply to printer and publisher associations alike, for instance newspaper industry associations or ones for book publishers. And of course printing and manufacturer associations.

    The Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) is however a welcome exception to the apathy. PIAA set up the nationally recognised Sustainable Green Print (SGP) programme in 2009, and it has grown to become Australia’s best recognised and widest implemented industry sustainability programme. It has been implemented in hundreds of print businesses in Australia and crucially, is required in government procurement for tendering.

    PIAA has based SGP on what the market needs, and association members appreciate it as a valuable benefit, because they are willing to pay for it. Key to the success of SGP and its credibility is a rigorous accreditation scheme. PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay views this as critical to the programme’s continued success, he says: “Sustainability programmes are only as credible as their minimum standards and the reliability of these being enforced. SGP has topped its class nationally on both counts.”

    Accreditation is even better than setting up guidance for association members. The SGP scheme provides three levels of accreditation for print businesses in Australia and elsewhere. The top level is comparable to requirements for ISO14001 (environmental management systems) and the other two are less demanding to provide a pathway to the top level. Accredited auditors look for scheme compliance based on achieving key deliverables over several months. Companies must also demonstrate monthly that they meet their sustainability targets, and they report annually to maintain their certification.

    PIAA says that the SGP programme is successful because it provides a ‘positive commercial proposition’ for print businesses. They save money through reduced waste and energy expenditure, and SGP helps them increase margins. Clients also appreciate the certification, and SGP certified companies have the edge when tendering for work, especially in government and non-profit sectors. Macaulay says that, “SGP has proven its longevity because it was developed to meet environmental outcomes while remaining relevant to our industry. For print businesses faced with an increasing cost of energy a savvy program like SGP makes a lot of sense.”

    PIAA’s programme is open to printers around the world keen to improve their sustainability and get the commercial benefits it delivers. SGP is an excellent example for other industry associations to follow, and PIAA’s work should rightly be celebrated. Hats off to you!

    – 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 Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

  • SWS Signage and Starleaton bring Uni past to life

    Quality: Jay Miller, SWS Signage, shows off the window films at the University of Newcastle.

    SWS Signage, together with media suppliler Starleaton, has created an innovative solution to hide building works inside the University of Newcastle, printing one way films with images that reflect the heritage of building.

    To hide the interior refurbishment works, the university turned to SWS Signage, based in nearby Sandgate. SWS printed archival photos from the 1920s and ’30s onto Starleaton’s new ContraVision HD window film, designed for one-way viewing. “They wanted a solution that created some privacy for them, and also made sure that the artwork displayed in the windows reflected the heritage of the building,” said Jay Miller, sales executive at SWS.

    According to Miller, ContraVision HD is a step up from previous one-way signage. “One of the issues with the material we were using before was that, due to the way it was produced and the width of the holes, the image quality was not as great as customers expected it to be,” he said. “The quality and colours we can now use in the artwork aren’t as limited as with previous materials.”

    ContraVision HD was used to bring the archival photos to life without compromising on image quality.

    New design: John Buitenkamp, Starleaton.

    John Buitenkamp, product manager at Starleaton, agrees that ContraVision HD is a big improvement over other one-way films, with high-end brands like Gucci preferring it to its predecessors. “Upmarket brands complain that because of the perforations, their brands are not displayed properly,” he said. “The HD film is a new design which uses more holes of a smaller diameter. This makes the image more visible, while still permitting people inside to see out.”

    The university has given the result the thumbs-up, with a spokesperson telling Print21 that SWS had delivered a high-quality project, on time and on budget. “The images, reproduced and installed by SWS Signage, make a charming feature of all the ground floor windows and doors, and have received much appreciation from the community,” they said.

    University House, formerly Nesca House, was designed by architect Emil Sodersten and built in the late 1930s. Over the past two years, the university has been carefully restoring the building both inside and out, including updating the façade with hundreds of tonnes of new sandstone and reinstalling curved windows on the ground floor.

  • Demand for holograms on packaging to rise

    Opportunity for converters: hologram demand to rise

    Demand for anti-counterfeiting technology including holograms is increasing among packaging brand owners, according to a new report.

    Those involved in the packaging sector, including converters, will benefit from the commercial opportunities built around anti-counterfeit packaging technologies identified in the report, says the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA).

    The Global Anti-Counterfeit Packaging Market Professional Survey Report 2018 forecasts that the worldwide market for anti-counterfeiting packaging technology will exceed US$357bn (AU$491bn) by 2026.

    With fake products continuing to emerge from regions such as Asia and Eastern Europe, brand owners are looking to methods such as track-and-trace security holograms to ensure confidence in their products, says the IHMA, which comprises 100 hologram companies from around the world.

    According to Manoj Kochar, chair of the IHMA, holographic technology is an effective method to ensure the security of packaging. “Holography has a key role as an effective, highly flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters,” he said.

    “All involved in the supply will be reassured by the presence of holograms on products and recognise the benefits they provide.Holography has a key role as an effective, highly flexible weapon in the ongoing battle to thwart counterfeiters and fraudsters.”


  • Winners revealed at 15th global label awards

    Innovations by Avery Dennison, Hamillroad Software and RotoMetrics were among the category winners honored at this year’s Label Industry Global Awards, which took place this week at Joe’s Live in Rosemont, Chicago, as part of Labelexpo Americas 2018.

    Now in its 15th edition, the awards celebrate the most innovative, creative and successful work from the label and package printing industry across the globe in the last twelve months.  The 2018 award ceremony brought together 330 guests featuring some of the biggest names from the international label community, and those working behind the scenes to constantly innovate and push this dynamic sector forward.

     The Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web, was presented to Hamillroad Software for its new product solution, Bellissima, which combines the best-of-breed technologies of plate, anilox and screen. The system is a set of Digitally Modulated Screens (DMS), developed and optimised specifically for flexo. Imaged at 4,000dpi, Bellissima provides a high level of image reproduction (over 300lpi equivalent), with no screen or content moiré.

     The Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employees), also sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web, went to RotoMetrics for its RotoRepel, a non-stick coating that is available on its solid and flexible cutting dies. This technology minimises adhesive pick-up and transfer and has resulted in significant benefits, including improved press efficiency, presses running faster, significant reduction in downtime, longer tool life, waste reduction and lower tool costs.

     Avery Dennison won the Award for Sustainability, sponsored by Labels & Labelling magazine. Avery Dennison partnered with EcoVadis, a leading sustainability performance rating solution, to operate a collaborative dashboard providing sustainability ratings and performance improvement tools for their global supply chain. The platform delivers simple and reliable scorecards to monitor supplier best practices. A total of 21 internationally recognised sustainability criteria are reviewed and separated into four criteria themes: environment, social, ethics and supply chain.

    The final award of the night, the R Stanton Avery Pioneer Award, which was previously announced in June, went to Alex Knott, of the Dow Chemical Company. This award, sponsored by Avery Dennison, honours the contribution an individual has made which has impacted the label and package printing sector, whether their pioneering work has spanned two years or two decades. Knott is a senior scientist in the company and leader of a global team that has pioneered the latest innovations in pressure-sensitive silicone release liner coating technology, including the introduction of Dow’s Flat Release Systems.

     This technology has impacted high speed, low coating weight, high performance and labelstock release liner production, and has also been a key factor in helping to drive down silicone coating costs. For the label converter and end-user, this has contributed to superior waste stripping performance at ever-increasing press running speeds, as well as enabling much higher label application line speeds on the latest automated product decoration systems. This work has helped build Knott’s global reputation as a leading authority on silicone pressure-sensitive systems.

     He joins fellow winners of the individual award including: Professor Tan of PEIAC, Tomas Rink of Ritrama, Helmut Schreiner of Schreiner Group, Suzanne Zaccone of GSI Technologies, and Neil McDonough of FlexCon.

    Mike Fairley, chair of the judges, commented: “This is an industry that dares to be different and push the boundaries of excellence and technology, but this would not be possible without the sheer determination and hard work of our many industry colleagues around the world. Our annual awards seek to highlight these companies and individuals and share some of the fantastic innovations that have been achieved in the last twelve months. I, on behalf of the judging panel, would like to commend and congratulate all our finalists and winners, and thank them for this spirit of innovation that makes our industry so unique. These are the only awards of their kind in existence, and I sincerely hope this year’s winners will inspire others to push ahead with our industry’s continued development and drive it ever forwards.”

     The other members of the judging panel for this year’s awards were: Chris Ellison, president of FINAT; Dan Muenzer, president of TLMI; James Quirk, group managing editor, Labels & Labeling; Rosina Obermayer, editor of NarrowWebTech; and Steve Katz, editor of Label & Narrow Web.

    The Label Industry Global Awards 2018 category finalists were as follows:

    1. The Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web (in alphabetical order):

    • Dienes Corporation
    • Eaglewood Technologies
    • Hamillroad Software
    • MGI
    • Phoseon Technology

    2. The Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group Narrow Web (in alphabetical order):

    • Esko

    • Fujifilm Graphic Systems Division

    • Paper Converting Machine Company

    • RotoMetrics

    3. The Award for Sustainability (in alphabetical order) sponsored by Labels & Labeling:

    • Avery Dennison
    • Signode India
    • UPM Speciality Papers

    The Label Industry Global Awards were created in 2004 to celebrate innovation and excellence within the label and package printing sector. The Awards ceremony alternates each year between Labelexpo Europe (Brussels) and Labelexpo Americas (Chicago).

  • Print21 – Issue 1048 MIDWEEK SPECIAL

    Transparency and accountability are needed in public life more than ever, and when questions are asked about the public purse they need clear answers – society demands a whiter than white approach from those holding the purse strings.


    Welcome to the Print21 midweek newsletter, the premier news and information service for the Australian and New Zealand print industries.


    Wayne Robinson


  • Court rules NZME can’t buy Stuff

    NZME headquarters in Auckland.

    The New Zealand Court of Appeals has knocked back NZME’s attempt to buy out Stuff, the New Zealand arm of Fairfax Media. The ruling upholds previous decisions by the New Zealand Commerce Commission and High Court.

    NZME prints the New Zealand Herald, and six regional daily papers, and also prints several Stuff newspapers using its presses in Auckland.

    Under the proposed merger, NZME would have paid $NZ55 million ($A38m) for Fairfax’s New Zealand operations and issued new shares to allow Fairfax to hold a 41% stake in NZME.

    NZME and Stuff launched the appeal after the New Zealand High Court knocked back their last appeal in December 2017, which sought to overturn the NZCC’s May 2017 decision to block the merger on the grounds that it could substantially lessen competition in advertising and reader markets in New Zealand. The court denied the request and ordered both parties to pay the appeal costs.

    Disappointed: Sinead Boucher, CEO Stuff.

    Sinead Boucher, CEO of Stuff, maintained in an email to staff that the NZCC’s decision to block the merger, which had been upheld by the High Court, was “wrong in fact and in law”, hence the appeal. “The decision is not the outcome we had hoped for, but, as everyone will be aware, we have not been sitting around idly waiting for it,” she said. The process has spanned more than two years, and in the meantime we have forged ahead with our own strategy of growing our Stuff and Neighbourly platforms, and new digital ventures, complemented by a strong portfolio of newspapers and magazines.”

    NZCC deputy chair Sue Begg welcomed the ruling. In its initial decision, the commission expressed concern that the merger would concentrate media ownership in New Zealand to an unprecedented extent for a modern liberal democracy. “We are pleased the Court has again upheld our decision and look forward to reviewing the judgment,” she said.

    the NZME radio network and e-commerce sites GrabOne, HeraldHomes and; it also prints some Stuff newspapers using its presses in Auckland. Stuff’s assets include, more than 60 metro, Sunday, regional and community newspapers, and a share of

  • Monet paints a new picture in going broke

    Liquidating: Jack Rosner, Monet Press.

    Dandenong printer Monet Press has entered voluntary liquidation, after more than 50 years in the industry.

    Jack Rosner, who has owned Monet Press since 1990, declined to comment. His LinkedIn profile describes the printing house as a ‘well established printing company that has an enviable reputation within the industry, thanks to a long list of multinational companies that have traded with Monet Press for more than 50 years’.

    Monet Press was based in the industrial area of Dandenong South in Melbourne, and as of March last year, had recently invested in digital printing equipment.

    The account is being managed by Isabella Cardaci at Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants in Melbourne, who refused to divulge any information to Print21.

  • ABG plugs in to digital at Labelexpo

    The Digicon Series 3 with Digilase laser finisher.

    ABG, distributed in Australia by Currie Group, is showcasing 14 label finishing solutions with a heavy focus on digital equipment across four booths at Labelexpo in Chicago this week.

    The ABG booth features the flagship Digicon Series 3 finishing line in a new beverage configuration, including a fast flatbed screen printing module, Big Foot 50-tonne flatbed hot foil unit, and a 25-tonne flatbed hot foil unit with a new swivel head that allows foil to be fed both along and across the web.

    At the HP booth, ABG is exhibiting an inline Digicon Series 3 with Fast Track die and fully-integrated AutoSet glueless turret rewinder, as well as an inline coater for the wide-web HP Indigo 20000 digital press, designed for shrink sleeve and in-mould label production. The HP Indigo 20000, along with the rest of the HP Indigo range, is also distributed by Currie Group in Australia and New Zealand.

    Additionally, ABG is launching its new Digilase laser system at the show. Billed as perfect for direct from web sticker printing, ABG has reduced the web path and the material necessary for lead-in and lead-out, which it says will slash waste by 85 percent. “The minimum job length is 50 per cent shorter, and file downloading takes just milliseconds, allowing a number of jobs to be processed on the machine at the same time – from unwind, to laser cutting, to rewinding,” said the company.

    The Jetfx digital embellishment module is another drawcard, an offline system for varnishing and foiling. The unit on display at Labelexpo includes two Jetfx inkjet bars, as well as an overlaminator for cold foiling.

    ABG equipment is also on display at the Domino and REA stands.

  • Graphics Grab Bag – this week in printing

    Grab Bag – definition: a miscellaneous collection: a potpourri.

    Welcome to the latest issue of Graphics Grab Bag, a weekly record of engagements and observations from an observer curious about the printing industry here and around the world.

    A change at the top of the funky-named media group, HTE, hasn’t rattled the shareholders too much. Shares have slumped from a year high of $2.95 to $2.73. The company previously known as APN sold its outdoor media arm Adshel to oOH!Media this year with the transaction waved through by ACCC last month. Seizing the moment to step off at the top as the company took the $570 million cash, interim chairman, Chairman Robert Kaye, took off. Paul Connolly, who is titled as acting chairman, replaces him. The difference between interim and acting is a fine one I don’t pretend to understand.

    Readers will perhaps know the company better as APN News & Media, the provincial newspaper and printing group before it changed its name to Here There & Everywhere. It’s now mainly a radio business with its eye on eSports for gamers.

    Mark your diary and prepare to do your bit. International Print Day is coming up on October 17. According to the organisers, Print Media Centre, the day kicks off 9AM in Australia (AED). Sorry New Zealand, the US-centric organisers appear to have missed you, but don’t let that stop you joining in.

    Using the hashtag, #IPD18, print enthusiasts are urged to engage with the event by using #PrintWith as part of this year’s focus on collaboration and working together.

    As to how real the event is? Last year, it generated almost 30 million social media impressions in 24 hours across six continents. I suppose that’s a lot but who knows in the internet swamp? So let’s get engaged and generate some local activity to help promote print.

    Connect with International Print Day on Twitter

    and on Facebook

    German guillotine manufacturer, Schneider Senator, is in and out of admin for the past six months. Now there’s a skeleton staff handling spare parts inquiries. At one stage local distributor, Tom Ralph, Graph-Pak fielded queries from Germany about buying the business, but he declined the offer.

    The company is a victim of its own success, a not uncommon fault in German-built equipment.

    “There are a lot of guillotines in use throughout Australia, some of them dating back to the 1960s and 70s. I had a call from a printer a while ago with a 1972 Schneider guillotine. The clutch had finally gone and he was at his wits end. I called Schneider and they came good with a new one. Unbelievable!” said Ralph.

    “That’s part of the company’s problems, the machines never break down.

    There’s a sea of second hand Schneider guillotines out there. A new one might cost you $100,000 while a second hand one with lots of life left in it you can easily get for $50. It makes it hard.”

    Ralph is waiting on a response from Schneider’s parent company Busch on the situation for spare parts. He’s currently travelling in Europe so watch this space.

    So what does Berlin mean to you … The Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, the remaining bits of the Wall? For the new combined press manufacturer, manroland Goss, visitors to the IFRA World Publishing Expo in October, will want to fit in a visit to the Currywurst sausage museum. The invitation reads … get to know more about the exciting history of Germanies (sic) favourite dish – the “Currywurst”. Try the different variations of the one and only timeless classic.

    I fear the wurst is yet to come.

    Sonja Mechling

    And staying in Germany, good to see Heidelberg broadening its mindset as it transitions to a digital future. No more engineers elevated to management positions where they struggle to adapt to a changing world. People from outside the company and the industry have filled all the new top management positions. Sonja Mechling is joining the company from a stint Robert Bosch Smart Home and is taking over as Chief Marketing Officer at Heidelberg. She is also set to become Managing Director of the Heidelberg Digital Unit. She’s an acknowledged expert in e-commerce and in building up new business units and has many years of experience in Asia and around Europe.

    Dr. Stefan Heizmann will be the company’s new head of IT. He was in charge of IT for the Gühring Group and in 2017 won the Industrial Internet Award for digital innovation.

    Finally Robert Franz is a sales manager from Rittal. He’ll oversee global sales at Heidelberg and by extension for refocusing the organization at Heidelberg on digital omnichannel sales.


    And finally, how about the guy who claimed to have invented a new word … plagiarism?




  • REA connecting kids to print careers

    The Australian team crowned champions at F1 in Schools 2018.

    The Visual Connections partnership with Re-Engineering Australia (REA) is introducing school students to the opportunities available in print and graphics careers, with a number of events this month raising the profile of print.

    This month REA has participated in events including Visual Impact Sydney, and the Royal Adelaide Show, where its booth saw an average of 5000 students per day over ten days.

    Raising awareness: Peter Harper, Visual Connections

    Visual Connections sponsors REA, which aims to engage, inspire and educate students, teachers and industry about the career opportunities in engineering and manufacturing fields. According to Peter Harper, general manager at Visual Connections, this partnership is a boon to the printing industry. “Visual Connections’ mandate is to raise the awareness of the print, sign and display industries for schools, their students and teachers,” he said. “One major way we do this is through Re-Engineering Australia.”

    Opportunities: Dr Michael Myers, REA.

    Dr Michael Myers OAM, chairman of Re-Engineering Australia, said that according to research, 55 percent of students who go through a program by REA end up interested in taking up a manufacturing career, including print, signage and graphics. “We’re trying to make kids see that there are careers in the print and design that they see all the time – there’s nothing in the school system for that,” he said. “They like to make things, and want jobs where they get to do that.”

    According to Myers, the goal is to get more children connected to the opportunities manufacturing offers. “One issue that every industry faces is explaining their business to children. What we do gives kids a real life application and helps them understand where all these 21st-century skills – print, graphics, signage, engineering, communications – can fit into their career paths.”

    REA takes its programs to around 35,000 students every year, and has so far connected with 700,000 kids around the country. “We’ve changed a lot of students’ attitudes towards their career options,” said Myers.

  • Japanese outfit first into HP digital corrugated

    First in region: new HP digital corrugated printing

    Asia’s largest containerboard packaging printer Rengo will be the first company in the Asia Pacific to install the new HP digital corrugated press.

    The Japanese based company is planning to put in the HP Pagewide T1190 midway through next year and will start full scale digital printing for Japan’s corrugated market.

    Rengo has 170 manufacturing operations in Asia and America. It currently offers paperboard products ranging from general-purpose to high-graphics decorative corrugated packaging and point-of-purchase displays, and serve leading brands in a variety of industries, including confectionaries, food and beverages, and sundries.

    According to HP the PageWide T1190 is the world’s most productive digital packaging press. HP says the installation will allow Rengo to create new value and actively propose solutions to fulfil all the packaging needs of various industries.

    HP says the benefits of the HP PageWide T1190 include greater flexibility in inventory management, faster time-to-market, consistent colour reproduction, and versatility in media selection.

    Compared to the current PageWide T1100S, the new press has 67 per cent more throughput productivity, with 305-meter/minute throughput capacity.

    It uses water-based inks that are designed specifically for pre-print corrugated packaging business and meet worldwide regulatory requirements. It also addresses a broad range of health and environmental considerations throughout the entire life cycle of a print from production to disposal.

    These are formulated to address food and beverage packaging and other sensitive applications in which the risk of odour may concern brands and consumers. These sensitive packaging applications include pet food, infant care, toys, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

  • Print21 – Issue 1047 WEEKEND SPECIAL

    Anyone trying to raise funds to invest in print equipment knows the local market has not looked kindly on printers for the last ten years, so good luck to Richard Celarc and the Opus team as they look overseas for investment.


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


    Wayne Robinson


  • Opus exits ASX

    Richard Celarc: executive chairman Left Field Print Co

    Print group Opus has exited the ASX and will be relisting on the Hong Kong stock market, as the assets in the group have been transferred to Left Field Print Group in a three for one share deal.

    Current Opus Group executive chairman Richard Celarc will become executive chairman of Left Field Print Group. He will have the largest individual shareholding in the group, with Lion Rock Group the controlling shareholder.

    Trading as TopCo the Left Field Print Group listing in Hong Kong will enable Opus to raise capital, with the company saying it will be making major investments in plant and equipment for its Australian business over the next two years. It will also provide higher liquidity to its shares.

    Speaking to Print21 Richard Celarc said, “There is a good appetite for investing in print on the Hong Kong market, with excellent share trading and capital raising.”

    Left Field Print Group – which will be domiciled in Bermuda – is 75 per cent owned by Hong Kong based Lion Rock, which also owns 1010 Print Group.

    Opus owns book printers McPherson’s and Ligare, and major government print provider CanPrint, which also operates in the commercial sector. Celarc says, “From the board’s perspective, it is business as usual for all of our printing business in Australia.”

    The company’s share price on the ASX has stayed within the 30c-45c band for the past five years. Its price on departure from the ASX was 43.5c, up 3.7 per cent on the day.

    The latest Opus figures – the last on the ASX – showed its profit almost doubling in its first half, profit after tax almost doubling to $6.3m, with the company saying its book printing activity was the reason. Sales slipped by two per cent to $38.8m.

  • PIAA welcomes Jobs and IP Ministry change

    Welcome move: Andrew Macaulay with the new Cabinet Minister for Jobs and IR Kelly O’Dwyer

    The PIAA says Scott Morrison’s decision to move the Jobs and Industrial Relations Ministerial Portfolio into Cabinet is a welcome move for the nation’s print businesses.

    The printing and packaging industry’s peak body says that there is a lot to do in the field of industrial relations, including delivering certainty to businesses on wage rates, entitlements, casual employees and inconsistent decisions coming out of the Fair Work Commission.

    The PIAA says Morrison’s decision to move this portfolio into Cabinet long reflects PIAA’s advocacy that industrial relations reform needs to be at the forefront of the Government’s policy agenda. The Association has also congratulated Kelly O’Dwyer on her appointment to the role of Minister.

    Paul Mitchell, PIAA’s national workplace relations manager, said, “The Prime Minister is obviously looking to make a difference in this field in a short space of time and it is long overdue.”

    The PIAA is also welcoming the appointment of former Fair Work deputy president, Graeme Watson, as the Minister O’Dwyer’s senior advisor on Industrial Relations. Watson spectacularly resigned from the Fair Work Commission in early 2017, citing unfairness with the current Fair Work system.

    CEO of PIAA Andrew Macaulay met with Watson and Minister O’Dwyer in Canberra. Macaulay said that his discussions with Watson were positive, noting that, “Graeme Watson has spent his entire life in the field of industrial relations delivering fair outcomes for business and employees. His appointment is a sound one and we look forward to working closely with him.”