Archive for November, 2018

  • Print 21 industry newsletter Issue 1064 – WEEKEND SPECIAL

    Print is gaining traction in Parliament, no doubt about that, with PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay this week lobbying the PM and crossbenchers. And with an election just six months away now is the time MPs get focused. It’s a great time to communicate your concerns to your local member.


    Welcome to the weekend edition of the Australian and New Zealand print industries newsletter from Print21, the trusted source of news and information, from the people who know print.


    Wayne Robinson
    – Editor

  • PIAA backs crossbenchers to deliver on power, tax, training and Australia Post

    Making mates in Canberra. Andrew Macaulay meets Scott Morrison, though crossbencher Bob Katter was never far away.

    A week of intense Canberra lobbying to forward the Printing Industry Association’s core policy objectives on energy, vocational training and tax reform, saw Andrew Macaulay, CEO engage with a range of politicians including Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and leading cross benchers.

    His visit coincided with the Federal Government finally starting to address the crisis in vocational educational and training by appointing, former New Zealand tertiary education minister, Steven Joyce, to head a review of the sector. According to Macaulay, the subject was front and centre during his meeting with the Prime Minister.

    “The printing industry is demanding a user-focused, relevant and modernised curriculum on a national basis. We want national funding and tax recognition of the contributions made by printers in taking on apprentices,” he said.

    “Following the latest round of meetings in Canberra I am convinced we can rely on the crossbenches to support our policy objectives not only on education and training, but also on the need for lower tax and less compliance overheads for SME printers as well as lower energy costs.”

    Among others Macaulay met with Bob Katter, David Leyonhjelm and Pauline Hanson to advance his agenda. He believes there is value in eliciting the support of the cross bench representatives and senators on behalf of the printing industry.

    “I believe it’s vital to influence Government policy on cheaper and reliable energy and tax reform as well as more industry specific policies, such as reining in Australia Post. I want to turn up the heat on Australia Post to stop them raising prices whenever they feel like it. We need to make it clear to politicians on how damaging it is to the printing industry.”

    The review of the vocational sector is the first since 1972 when the current TAFE system was virtually created. Since then training and vocational education has suffered a thousand cuts in privatisation and the dismemberment of the TAFE system. The Government is offering one-off payments of $4,000 to businesses that give jobs to those aged 21 to 24 years.

    “The review will ensure Australians have the right skills to get a job,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during a speech in Canberra on Wednesday night.

    “I want even more Australians to get jobs, and that means ensuring they have the right skills to drive an even stronger economy.”

    “It’s vital we influence Government policy.” Pauline Hanson is supportive of Andrew Macaulay’s lobbying.

  • Aus Paper gets EPA go-ahead for $600m eco project

    Energy for Waste coming: the Australian Paper mill at Maryvale

    Australian Paper has Works Approval from Victoria’s environmental protection agency for its proposed $600m Energy from Waste (EfW) facilty, meaning the innovative project at its Maryvale Mill is a significant step closer to getting off the ground.

    The EfW will reduce Australian Paper’s reliance on fossil fuels to stabilise its energy future, and support ongoing capital investment at the site. The Maryvale mill is the only fine paper mill in Australia, and is currently at the beginning of a $200m upgrade programme – a 26 day shutdown in August saw $51m invested in 30 different upgrade projects.

    The Works Approval Application is a key component of Australian Paper’s $7.5m feasibility study into the EfW facility. The study has been equally funded by the Australian Government, Victorian Government and Australian Paper.

    The facility would divert around 650,000 tonnes of residual waste annually from Gippsland and Melbourne landfill, and use it to create energy for the mill, using best available techniques in emissions control to comply with stringent European IED limits.

    David Jettner, general manager Corporate Development at Australian Paper says, “Our facility is the first EfW project in Victoria to achieve a Works Approval by meeting the EPA’s stringent emissions standards. EfW is the missing link in Victoria’s waste management infrastructure.

    “We are now working to secure long term access to residual waste supply and finalise engineering, procurement and construction details. We can then transition to closing out our financing arrangements for this exciting project.”

    Australian Paper is one of the Latrobe Valley’s largest employers, supporting almost 2,400 jobs in the region. The EfW facility will create 440 new full-time jobs.

  • PMP to rebrand as Ovato

    New name: PMP to become Ovato

    The nation’s biggest printer PMP is to rebrand, with the company telling shareholders at its AGM that from March next year it will be known as Ovato.

    The company created the name form the word ovation – getting the strongest response possible. PMP says, “Ovato defines the next stage of the business. Importantly the name delivers a clear, single brand to unify the strengths of the many brands bought together by the merger.”

    Company chairman Matthew Bickford-Smith told shareholders at the AGM that the 2017/18 result – which Group sales fall by $108m and an actual EDBITDA of $40m against predictions of $70m – was ‘unacceptable’.

    Bickford-Smith pointed to the loss of the Coles magazine and the Pacific Media contract, along with the long time the ACCC took to ok the IPMG merger deal, as reasons for the downturn.

    However both Bickford-Smith and company CEO Kevin Slaven told the shareholders the worst was now behind them, and the investment in the new manroland Lithoman 80pp web, due to go into Warwick Farm next year, would herald a new era in efficient print production.

    The board highlighted its commitment to the retail catalogue sector, and said it is partnering with a big data provider, Quantium, through which it says will be able to tell its retail customers how much actual money the catalogues are generating at the register.

  • Graphic Grab Bag – personalised print problems & bring back our book awards

    Personalised digital communication has faced a long uphill battle to become accepted. Apart from bog standard utility and financial statements with names and addresses, the degree of personalisation has never matched digital print’s capacity to tailor make a true one-on-one communication.

    Part of the problem is the lack of knowledge from clients who don’t know what can be done, or the effectiveness of good personalised printing.

    According to the people at InfoTrends, much of the blame can be shafted home to procurement departments in large corporations, the very businesses that can make best use of the technology. In a report out this week, Pricing for Digital: Overcoming Obstacles on the Path to Profitable Pricing, they claim procurement departments are aggressively pursuing lower prices even as production costs (driven by consumer expectations for high quality, personalized, and secure communications) continue to climb.

    Many enterprises, particularly those with the greatest volume of transactional communications such as banks, health insurance and government, are only interested in transmitting their messages as cheaply, not as effectively, as possible.


    Signing off… the ten who turned up for the wake of The Galley Club last year; (left to right) Nicola Martin, Michael Schulz, Janis Griffith, Andy McCourt, Terry Flynn, Robert Stapleford, Chris Stevens, James Cryer, Glenn O’Connor and Patrick Howard.

    I was reminded by the announcement of the winners 2018 British Book Design & Production Awards, that we no longer have a local event. Ever since the Galley Club folded into oblivion last year, despite the herculean efforts of Michael Shultz, Australian designers, publishers and printers are without a means of peer recognition. It’s a shame.

    This year’s UK award for books produced locally goes to a volume entitled, That Book. The title is a collection of photographs, ephemera of US life in the 1970s. It’s filled with images, photographs, maps and words printed on papers, on films with die cut and throw outs and tip ons. The bewildering complex imposition arrangement had sections varying greatly from single pages upwards. Ludlow Bookbinders did the hard yards.

    There’s a wonderful sense of the globalisation of the publishing industry at the awards

    UK printers were named 28 times in the shortlists across all sections, behind China with 35 short listed titles and winners in seven categories. Italian companies won three sections outright with 21 shortlisted. There were also shortlisted entries from Germany, Latvia, Belgium (one winning), India, Thailand and Serbia.

    We need our book awards back.


    Reinforcing the fact that new technology rarely complete replaces what’s gone before, comes the release from Fujifilm the of the Instax Creative Kit! Just in time for summer holidays it’s a mini film camera for people who want to have printed pictures. Of course it comes in Flamingo Pink and Smoky Grey.

    My grand daughter has her entire bedroom walls almost covered in shiny little images from the HP Sprocket version.

    Away from the mini photos I’m told both Kodak and Agfa also have thriving businesses in one-off film cameras for tourists and special occasions. People like to have printed photos and we rarely go to the trouble of downloading them and taking them into a camera store.

    Me, I’m attached to my phone, but I do miss the printed-out photos.


    Christmas closure notices are coming in torrents. This year Friday 21 December is the popular shut down with reopening divided between those who come back around the 3rd or 4th and the rest who wait the full two weeks for Monday 7th January.

    Most printers, being SME family owned businesses are taking the full break. Here at Print21 we’re following suit.


    And finally… Did you hear about the vet who’s also a taxidermist? There was a sign outside his office. Either way, you get your dog back.

  • Harrod goes on poor Pro Pac figures

    Resigned: Grant Harrod, Pro-Pac

    Grant Harrod will step down as CEO of Pro-Pac Packaging just a year and a half into the top job, and John Cerini, former CEO of Integrated Packaging Group which Pro Pac bought 15 months ago for $177m, is also quitting as a full-time executive.

    During Harrod’s tenure – for which he received an annual salary of $562,000 – the company lost a third of its value, its share price dropping from 35c to 22c.

    Harrod acknowledged the current year’s earnings have not met expectations, and shareholders agreed – the day prior to his resignation at the AGM the company’s stock price dropped by 18 per cent.

    Pro-Pac turned a $5m profit from last year into a $5.1m loss despite climbing revenues, up by $13m on the previous year to $242m on a like for like basis, and to $371m with the IPG integration.

    The company is 45 per cent owned by Raphael Geminder, brother-in-law of Visy owner Anthony Pratt. Geminder also owns 39 per cent of Pact Group, which saw its managing director Michael Bundey step down abruptly in September following similar poor results.

    Pro-Pac blamed the drought in regional Australia and increased raw materials costs for sending it into the red. It says the drought had a major impact on its figures because it is a major suppler of agricultural packaging, such as grain bags.

    Former Salmat chief Harrod will leave his position as soon as the company appoints a suitable replacement, he said at the company’s AGM. “In the meantime I will continue to lead the Company and oversee the implementation of its growth strategy.

    At the AGM Harrod said, “We have underway a diversification strategy to reduce concentration risk on volatile markets like agriculture and raw material commodities such as resin, as we broaden the business to focus further up our customer’s value chain,” he said. “These include our move into providing printing, lamination and other conversion capabilities, required by our customers in their primary packaging needs, and our focus on more resilient markets including packaged food and FMCG.

    “The recent acquisitions of Perfection Packaging and Polypak, both value-add manufacturers, support this move.”

    Former AusPost CEO Ahmed Fahour, chairman of Pro Pac, thanked Harrod on behalf of the Board. “Grant will leave behind a high-calibre new management team who will ensure that we can achieve our full potential,” he said.

    This new management team includes Rick Rostolis, CFO, who will oversee Pro-Pac’s integration and costs improvements programme; David Chin, chief commercial officer, who will implement the company’s working capital and inventory management programme; Kathleen Forbes, company secretary and general counsel; Andrew Harris, GM manufacturing, who will commence in January; and Charles Miller, chief information officer.

    Pro-Pac will retain executive search firm Egon Zehnder to find a replacement for Harrod.

  • Orora builds US platform with $110m buy

    Building on US platform: Nigel Garrard, CEO Orora

    Orora has bought Texas-based packaging and facility supplies outfit Pollock Packaging, spending US$80.5m ($110m) on the deal. It is the second Texan business Orora has bought in the last four months, after paying $24m for Bronco packaging in August.

    Speaking to Print21 on the day of the deal Nigel Garrard, managing director and CEO of Orora says, “Texas has a fast growing economy, with business friendly laws and an attractive tax system. Its GDP is the second biggest in the US after California, and is larger than Australia’s. With Pollock on board we have $500m worth of business there, and a platform to grow in North America, in line with our stated strategy.”

    Garrard says the US market offers significant opportunities for Orora, with more acquisitions possible, he tells Print21, “It is a fragmented market, certainly in the sectors we operate in. North America remains a major focus for Orora’s growth, along with Australia and New Zealand.” 

    Pollock is a market leading provider of packaging and facility supplies, headquartered in Texas, the fastest growing state economy in the US. It is in its hundredth year of operation, and predominantly serves the industrial, retail and facility supplies market segments, employing 440 staff. 

    Pollock also operates a corrugated box manufacturing plant, and in-house packaging design service, in Dallas. The company also has six distribution centres around Texas, and has distribution centres in Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey and California, all areas where Orora currently operates, Garrard says, “We will be able to realise synergies.”

    It generates revenues in excess of US$260m ($355m). The Orora acquisition represents a multiple of 8.7 times trailing earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

    Orora says the addition of Pollock to the Orora Packaging Solutions (OPS) business in North America, increases the OPS geographic presence across several states, and enhances the existing customer offering, particularly in the growing facility supplies market segment.

    Garrard said, “The addition of Pollock to the OPS business provides a scale platform to leverage the capability and customer reach of both businesses to continue to drive sales growth with existing and new customers.”

    “In addition to a strong core packaging solutions offering, Pollock brings a well-established facilities supplies business that will give OPS the platform it needs to expand in this key market segment, and Pollock’s customer base will benefit from access to the broader supply portfolio and geographic footprint of OPS.

    “The Pollock management team has a strong track record of proven performance and will remain with the business to support integration of the two businesses and delivery of anticipated synergies.

    “Pollock aligns with Orora’s stated returns-focused approach to allocating capital, as was the case with the acquisition of Bronco Packaging in August.” Garrard said.

    “This acquisition is a friendly, disciplined move, in line with our strategy, and consistent with our communication to the market.”

  • Dashing kicks in for sport

    Proud: Russell and Lauren Kavnat at the Prime Ministers’ Sporting Oration

    Dashing Group has sponsored the print for the inaugural Prime Ministers’ Sporting Oration, an event aimed at supporting grassroots sport in Australia.

    Russell Kavnat, CEO of Dashing, attended the event with his wife Lauren. “We’re proud to have attended and sponsored the Prime Ministers’ Sporting Oration in Melbourne,” he said . “It was an incredible evening in support of grassroots sport and the impact it can have on the health and unity of all Australians.”

    According to Toby Dankbaar, marketing manager at Dashing, the night was a good fit for Dashing’s corporate ethos. “It’s a cause that is well aligned with our Dashing values: to play as a team and win, and to dream big,” he said. “Funds raised will go towards supporting grassroots and community sporting programs that address one or more of these four key cause areas in 2018: women and girls in sport; physical activity; leadership and decision-making; and diversity and inclusion.

    “It’s close to Russell’s heart being a sports fan himself, and with his kids going to school at the moment, he sees sports being a big part of their education in future,” said Dankbaar. “This program will have a positive impact on the lives of all Dashers and their families.”

    Former prime minister Julia Gillard delivered the oration itself, calling for more funding for local sports clubs. “All Australians deserve an equal opportunity to participate in sport and access to suitable local facilities, and whether kids turn into professional athletes or not, they all deserve a shot to play on the team and strengthen their bodies and minds,” she said.

    “Investing in grassroots sport is an investment in our collective national future.”

  • Centrum promoting print to TAFE students

    Centrum at school: Percy Vij (left) and Sandra Duarte (right) with the students at Hornsby TAFE

    Large format trade print supplier Centrum spent time with graphic design students at Hornsby TAFE in Sydney this week, giving the youngsters an insight into the benefits of print and how to work with it.

    Percy Vij, managing director and Sandra Duarte, general manager, were both at the TAFE presenting the students with an understanding of the myriad opportunities available in the print channel.

    Duarte says, “We took the students through our printing process, what we do as a printing company, and gave them information on preparing files and what we look for from designers in terms of preparing print ready files. We allowed them to ask questions and view print samples.

    “We also visit with other design schools like Billy Blue College of Design and CATC Design School , and we offer site tours for students to gain a better understanding of our operations.  We also offer incentives for the ‘most outstanding student’ which is sponsored by Centrum Printing.

    “It aligns with our company purpose in sharing knowledge and educating and providing opportunity and growth for future generations in Australian print manufacturing – the more sharing of knowledge there is between printers and designers, the better outcome there will be.

    “We use the allegory of the builder and the architect – you can design a beautiful home, but can you build it in practice? Printers and designers need to come together to work out how the final product will be produced.

    The Hornsby event was for Cert III, Cert IV and Diploma students in the Graphic Design course, and some of the teachers were involved as well. Duarte says, “It was a good group of about 11-12 students, and we are looking to present at other TAFE Colleges early in the new year.

    “Our plans for next year are also to open our doors for regular site visits, because it’s important not just for students but for graphic designers working in agencies to gain that understanding as well.

    “Knowledge is power and education matters. Sharing what you know with others is important and can inspire and empower individuals to achieve their best. We like to do our bit where we can – even if it’s just a small change that inspires only one student, I think we’ve done a good job.”

  • Print21 Breaking News! $21.6 million bribery fine. Wednesday 27 November 2018

    Corruption is never a acceptable way of doing business especially when it comes from trusted and prestigious organisations. Note Printing Australia and Securency were fined a massive $21.6 million for bribery and corruption. The case was dogged by bumbling and blunders by the regulators. It’s not good enough.


    Wane Robinson

  • Bribery: Note Printing and Securency fined $21.6m

    $21.6m fine: Note Printing Australia

    Under suppression orders lifted today it can be revealed that the nation’s banknote printer Note Printing Australia (NPA) and its polymer material supplier Securency were fined a massive $21.6m in 2012 for criminal conduct.

    The two Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) companies had pled guilty to bribing foreign officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam to win lucrative banknote printing contracts.

    The suppression order was lifted after the final player in the drama, Christian Boillot, this week pleaded guilty to his role in the scandal.

    Despite the massive fine it has emerged that no directors of NPA or Securency, including former senior RBA officials, were ever investigated by ASIC.

    In a statement this morning the RBA said the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions accepted that the boards of Securency and NPA had no involvement in, or knowledge of, the bribery.

    In addition to Boillot several other people entered guilty pleas to bribery or false accounting offences. They included former Securency managing director Myles Curtis, former sales executive Cliff Gerathy, former finance head John Ellery and former Indonesian agent Radius Christanto.

    However despite the guilty pleas no-one has been been sentenced, the crimes committed can attract sentences of up to a decade. The Age reports that the case has been dogged by blunders and irregularities by the authorities trying to deal with the complex foreign bribery laws.

    Two years ago former Securency sales manager Peter Chapman was sentenced to 30 months in jail by a UK judge for for bribing an official at the Nigerian mint in order to win a $47m polymer order.

    The RBA has since shed its 50 per cent stake in Securency, but still owns Note Printing Australia, which successfully prints polymer banknotes for various governments around the world.





  • Paper prices to climb again in February

    Going up again: paper prices to rise in February

    The major paper suppliers will raise their prices again in the new year, likely by five to seven per cent, citing increased costs of raw materials. The merchants anticipate implementing these increases in February.

    Local merchants are also being hit by an unholy trinity of tightening capacity from mills, a falling Aussie dollar, and increased shipping costs.

    Typically each three per cent increase in paper prices adds around one per cent to the cost of printed job, meaning the upcoming rises will add around two per cent to the cost of a job. Printers are also being hit by increases in ink prices. Print sell prices though remain depressed across much of the industry.

    Spicers will raise its prices by five to seven per cent across all colour commercial, digital, and packaging board stocks from 19 February, with Ken Booth, general manager for supply chain and product segments, saying it is in response to increased costs from suppliers. “As has been our policy, we will continue to try and internally mitigate the severity of these increases where possible. However, to ensure the sustainability of our channels, Spicers has no option but to pass through at least a portion of these incremental costs to our market,” said Booth.

    Dale O’Neill, director of the country’s third-largest supplier, Direct Paper, also indicated his company’s prices would go up from late January or early February. “It would be somewhere in the vicinity of about five to six per cent across pretty much the entire range,” he said. “It’s off the back of a supplier increase. There’s increased cost of raw materials, mill increases pushing through to the market. As a business, we try to keep our increases to a bare minimum, but some things can’t be helped.”

    Print21 was unable to reach Ball & Doggett prior to this newsletter going out, but it is almost certain to be facing the same upward pressure on prices as the other merchants.

    There were at least three price hikes by the major merchants over the course of 2018, with the last occurring in August.

  • Sydney storm pushes back Cactus event

    Chaos: flooding in Macquarie Park from the Sydney storm. (Photo from NSW Police)

    The open house slated for tonight at Cactus Imaging has been postponed until February next year, due to the impact of today’s storms in Sydney.

    Nigel Davies, president of the SGIAA, notified guests in an email this morning. “Due to the terrible weather in Sydney currently, we regret to advise that we have postponed the event until the new year. The provisional date for the revised event will now be Wednesday 6 February,” he said. “We will refund any attendance fees through the Eventbrite system in the next few days and look forward to seeing you in the new year.”

    The new Fujifilm Acuity Ultra was to be the star attraction at the open house originally planned for tonight at Cactus Imaging. The event, hosted by Fujifilm and the SGIAA, will be the Australian launch of the Acuity Ultra. Cactus, owned by outdoor giant oOh!Media, is the first Acuity Ultra customer in Australia, and Keith Ferrel, general manager, says it has been well worth the price. “We have one of the first in the world, and we could not be happier with the quality,” he said.

    The Acuity Ultra comes in 5 metre and 3.2 metre widths, with up to eight colour channels, including white. Ashley Playford, national sales manager for graphic systems at Fujifilm, says he is looking forward to showing off its high print quality tonight. “We were delighted when Cactus decided to be the first business in Australia to install the new Acuity Ultra. This is a platform that delivers high quality at high speed. Cactus has a long pedigree of being first to market with the latest print innovations, and the Acuity Ultra is a great addition to its already impressive print arsenal,” he said.

    Tickets for the revised date are available at

    First in Australia: the Fujifilm Acuity Ultra at Cactus Open House

  • Special T buys Green and Gold

    Print industry veteran Adrian Blessington is selling his business, Green and Gold Printing, to Corey London’s Special T, uniting two Sydney printers in a deal long in the making.

    Great idea: Corey London.

    Green and Gold will move into the Special T premises. London says joining forces makes a lot of business sense. “Adrian and I have known each other for a while. Our businesses do the same sort of work, we’re both going well. Speaking to him about what our future holds, we thought it would be a great idea for both of us to come together,” he said. “His business is in Artarmon, we are in Kingsgrove, and it makes sense to move to a more modern plant. It will make us a little more flexible when it comes to capacity, we will have more for our clients, and it will enable us to do more work on a weekly basis.”

    Both printers are looking forward to the merger, with London saying it is a positive step for the two of them. “At the end of the day you partner up with the right company, you don’t just acquire businesses that add revenue to your sales ledger – it needs to add value to your offering. I have thought about this for a long time and both Adrian and I think it’s a perfect fit,” he said.

    Excited: Adrian Blessington.

    Blessington has run Green and Gold for the past 20 years, and is a good friend of London’s. “With Corey’s experienced team behind him, and the machines and staff we are taking over, it will be business as usual,” he said. “We have had discussions for quite a period of time, and he is a good guy. The model fits – he deals with the same sort of work. The blend of jobs works well with the equipment with we have. I’ve spoken with some of my clients, and they are pretty excited about the whole thing.”

    Both companies focus on high quality offset and digital printing. “We have a broad range of work, with a diverse mix of clients. We enjoy dealing with many of the leading designers and agencies,” said Blessington. “We do both offset and digital, but offset is our strong point. Our machines will complement each other and the migration of equipment will only add to our offering.”

  • Bailey fight truck wins HP top award

    Fight Club wins: Bailey Print Group takes top spot in Vehicle Graphics at HP APJ awards

    Brisbane-based Bailey Print Group has hit the higher echelons of regional wide format printing by taking out top spot in three categories at the HP regional APJ large format sign and display print excellence awards.

    Established in 1985 by Ron and Helena Bailey, and now with 12 staff, Bailey is today run by brother and sister Peter Bailey and Samantha Bailey-Jensen, with the HP awards coming just 18 months after the company installed HP Latex printers.

    Bailey-Jensen says, “We entered because we have done some really great work that we are proud of. Winning is great, it gives us exposure, and shows what we are achieving.”

    Bailey took out top spot in Decoration, Vehicle Graphics and Fashion Accessories, with the Decoration and Vehicle Graphics entries judged to be the Grand Winners for the region.

    The winning Vehicle Graphics entry was Bailey’s Fight Truck a campaign to promote major boxing event The Battle of Brisbane 2, and comprising a mobile mock-up of a boxing ring on the back of a truck complete with full size cut outs of the two boxers Jeff Horn and Gary Corcoran, designed to capture attention across high-traffic areas.

    Bailey-Jensen says, “The Fight Truck was a joint project, the client had the vision and we provided the input to create the solution.”

    The winning Decoration entry was a full printed showroom of interior décor which included tables, blinds, cushion covers and upholstery.

    Bailey Print Group installed an HP 1500 and then an HP 3200, both latex printers, as it sought to add environmental credentials to target government, education and aged care work, previously it had only used solvent printers.

  • Amazon prints catalogue

    The world’s biggest online retailer Amazon has printed a Christmas catalogue for its USA business, as it attempts to cash in on the demise of the giant Toys R Us business.

    Print run is in the millions, rivaling the Christmas toy catalogues from Walmart, Kmart and Target. The Christmas toy catalogue is a huge event in the US, even in the internet age. The Amazon catalogue will be mailed and placed in Amazon-owned Whole Foods market stores.

    Amazon is using some QR codes in the catalogue which can be scanned onto an the Amazon app to make orders and to pay.

    There are no prices next to the toys; Amazon is thought to be using dynamic pricing depending for instance on how far the customer is from the nearest toy store.


  • EFI Bolts into high-speed textiles

                    Textile at speed: EFI Reggiana Bolt

    EFI has unveiled its new Reggiani Bolt high-speed textile inkjet printer, capable of printing at 600 x 600 dpi at 90 metres per minute in a single pass.

    Meeting customer needs: Andy Yarrow, EFI.

    The machine, pitched at medium to high end applications, is on the market for Australian and New Zealand printers now, says Andy Yarrow, director APAC at EFI. “The EFI Reggiani Bolt is already available commercially to the market. The first unit will be shipped in Q1 2019,” he said. “The printer is available in 180 width, and 340 width is in our product development roadmap.”

    According to Yarrow, the Bolt is a testament to EFI’s commitment to addressing its customers’ needs. “Before kicking off the project, in March-April 2017 we completed interviews with customers across the world. Key takeaways from these interviews have been need for performance, uptime and productivity, printhead reliability and printing quality,” he said.

    Launched at an open house event at EFI Reggiani’s facility in Bergamo, Italy, which was attended by nearly 300 customers and journalists, the Bolt features a new recirculation printhead system with greyscale drop sizes between five and 30 picolitres, and can also print maximum-resolution images at 600 x 4800 dpi for high-end, high-quality applications.

    Adele Genoni, vice president and general manager at EFI Reggiani, said the Bolt was born of years of innovation and expertise. “The innovative development of our new single-pass printer comes from Reggiani’s speed of innovation in digital textile printing, its 70 years of history, and our proprietary knowledge of high-volume analog rotary printing. Our EFI colleagues’ proven, worldwide expertise in single-pass technology and, most importantly, EFI Reggiani’s serious commitment to listening to and addressing our textile customers’ needs, have allowed us to achieve incredible results with our newest print technology.

    “The EFI Reggiani Bolt re-writes the rules of digital textile single-pass printing, delivering superior throughput and quality with a highly competitive return on investment for customers. We are excited to bring this technology to our customers and see their businesses succeed and grow,” said Genoni.

    Additional features include enhanced maintenance features such as a contactless wiping system and assisted alignment system; enhanced colour gamut and image quality; and the option to integrate analog printing stations. As an EFI product, the Bolt also comes with the Fiery digital front end, incorporating rip and colour management technologies.