Archive for March, 2019

  • Print21 Issue 1093 – WEEKEND SPECIAL

    It’s all happening in the sign side of the industry – following on from John Mancini’s Jason Signmakers buying Expo Group in Perth, Peter Vasic puts his innovative Adelaide-based ESC business up for sale, sadly due to ill health, while in a major event for the NSW sign industry Wizardry goes into VA. And we thought turbulence was just in the commercial print world. Best wishes to all moving forward.

     

    Welcome to the latest issue of the print industry’s online news bulletin, produced by Print21 – the people who know print.

     

    Wayne Robinson
    – Editor

  • Wizardry in VA for restructuring

    Into VA: major sign business Wizardry Imaging and Signs

    Leading Sydney-based signage company Wizardry Imaging and Signs has gone into voluntary administration after 28 years in business.

    Wizardry  will carry on trading as usual while under administration, according to owner and founder Bryan Martin.

    “We’ve done projections for Sydney, and we’ve got around a million dollars’ worth of orders. We’re engaged in some large and interesting projects. Wizardry right now is full of people busily making signs,” he told Print21.

    Martin stressed that the company is not in danger, and says the administrators were called in to provide advice on its structure moving forward.

    “We’re not in any trouble – the best way to get advice was to canvass consultants. RSM are one of those companies, we did some homework, and we thought they were the best qualified to look at what it was that we had a hold of, and give some guidance and wisdom to that effect.

    “When I fell off a roof the day before Christmas Eve last year, I sustained some serious injuries, and not having me around hasn’t helped,” he said.

    Wizardry is based in Moorebank NSW and with operations in Victoria, Queensland and WA. The Victoria Wizardry Imaging and Signs company is not affected as it is a separate business.

    Martin has appointed Richard Stone and David Kerr of RSM Australia as administrators. First creditors meeting is on Thursday at RSM’s Sydney office at 3.30pm.

    Wizardry employs 48 staff, increasing to 60 with sub-contractors at peak periods, and produces wide-format work including 3D printing; banners and billboards; container wraps; signage; and vehicle, vinyl and wall graphics.

    Founded in Botany NSW in 1991, the company moved to its current purpose-built facility in Moorebank in 2006. Three years ago, Martin partnered with Mat Payne to set up Wizardry Victoria, which currently employs nine full-time staff at its Campbellfield site.

    Martin told Print21 that the NSW and Victorian operations were effectively separate companies with separate directors using the same name, and that therefore the NSW company entering administration would not affect the Victorian business.

    “Melbourne is a totally independent business. Mat Payne has a very good business down there – it has aspirations, it has the talent and the people to really make a difference, and he’s doing just that,” he said.

    Wizardry’s recent clients include Westpac, Lendlease, Google, and Helloworld Travel.

  • Vasic selling ESC and Insignius due to illness

    Bowing out: Peter Vasic, ESC.

    Peter Vasic will sell off iconic South Australian metal sign business Engraving Services Co (ESC), as well as sister company Insignius, due to his poor health.

    Vasic took charge of multi-award winning ESC 16 years ago, and merged the company with Insignius in 2008. ESC has been the stalwart for industrial identification in South Australia since 1968, and has also extended its footprint nationally. The specialist company is at the forefront of the durbale sign industry, its signs having to maintain their image in the most demanding and harshest of situations. It is also in the retail and wayfinding sectors.

    Speaking to Print21 Vasic said, “It is a trusted defence supplier in SA, it is the go-to company in many different ways. It’s amazing when you hear your competitors tell you that lots of what they look to quote on is beyond their capabilities, and they send them directly to us, or simply have ESC quote on manufacture and supply.”

    Vasic has had interest in purchasing the businesses from both within Adelaide and interstate, and is confident that the new owners will retain the staff and machinery.

    “The diversity of what we do, coupled with the knowledge required to do it, are encapsulated within our staff and equipment,” he said. “There are techniques we have developed that cannot be easily or simply taken up by those who have not created them.”

    ESC supplies metal signs and labels to the defence market, and has won contracts for patrol boats, frigates, and submarines. It also sells to industries including oil and gas, mining, aerospace, and governments on the local, state, and federal levels. Its facility in Woodville South is equipped with machinery for engraving, machining, lasering, etching and fabricating.

    Insignius specialises in architectural signage for exterior and interior signs and graphic displays, personal and public art projects, and commercial and industrial identification.

  • Digital production on menu at 5th Xeikon Café

    Revieiwing Xeikon’s progress in Antwerp, Benoit Chatelard, CEO of Xeikon (left) with Patrick Howard.

    The ‘other’ digital press manufacturer draws visitors from 55 countries to its Belgium HQ for three days this week to sample the latest developments in the digital production of packaging.

    Benoit Chatelard, CEO of Xeikon for the past 18 months, has sharpened the focus of the digital printing pioneer, driving it into UV inkjet with the new Panther label press while reinforcing its commitment to dry tone for commercial and packaging production. Secure in the backing of new Flint Group owners, the pragmatic president has redirected the company’s efforts away from areas, such as folding cartons where opportunities are cramped by the role of offset, to explore more promising pastures.

    Capping off a productive 24 months of change that saw the start up of inkjet press manufacturing, the purchase of the Jetrion label inkjet business from EFI, as well as the introduction of new toners for its established market, Chatelard presents a refreshing realistic approach to the challenges of digital manufacturing. Long recognised as the ‘other’ player to HP, the company now appears to have a new confidence in its chosen digital markets. With a production rate of around 120 digital presses every year from its Belgian factory the company grew last year by 15% especially in the USA and China.

    Indicative of the new direction Chatelard claimed at a press conference in Antwerp on Monday that half of Xeikon R&D is now dedicated to inkjet. This means that he can claim with some truth to be the only manufacturer positioned as a major player in both digital technologies addressing the packaging, labels and commercial printing markets.

    Innovative digital printing solutions for such packaging items as flexible pouches are moving Xeikon into the production for consumer goods in the food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Brand owners looking for shelf impact for their products are increasingly choosing flexible pouches for their ability to stand, their light weight and sustainability.

    According to Filip Weymans, vice president marketing, this is a prime example of what he calls customer driven innovation. “By focusing on this application we are supporting our customers’ requirements and also responding to the current trends in consumer preference. This development takes our digital production portfolio to the next level.”

    He highlighted the advantages Xeikon’s dry toner technology in the production of packaging; the high print quality on flexible substrates, reductions in start-up costs and no job change-over costs along with the ability to print variable data information in both single and full colour. A cross over point for flexo and digital processes is at around 4000 linear metres.

    The Antwerp press conference, billed as a pre-Labelexpo event, took place immediately before the opening of the high profile Xeikon Café. Half conference, half exhibition, the Café attracts a wide range of digital print professionals to learn of new developments both in business and in technology. Thirty industry partners are here ranging from ABG with its Digicon Series 3 digital finishing to MGI with its Jet Varnish 3D Web digital embellishment as well as the Tripu smart laser cutter and advanced robotics for factory production.

    The Café is a serious affair with demonstrations across a wide range of press operations with tips on how to save up to 20% in toner use over a wide range of self-adhesive labels. Printing paper cups on single or double-sided PE coated paper is not only biodegradable but can be targeted to gain traction with advertising events.

    Surprisingly only two Australian names are on the list here. It’s a long way to go but for anyone seriously thinking of getting into digital labels and packaging it’s well worth making the effort. Next year the Café will be held in conjunction with drupa.

    There are a good number of Xeikon machines in our region with the latest going into trade printer, Guru Labels, at Tuggerah north of Sydney, even as we speak. The first high-speed Panther inkjet is also destined to go into a Brisbane printer.

    I expect we’ll hear even more of Xeikon is our market as it continues to expand its digital printing applications.

  • Aussie counterfeiters keep up with new notes

    Still being forged: Australian banknotes

    Despite the multitude of new security devices on Australia’s new banknotes counterfeiters are still operating successfully, although the number of counterfeit banknotes hitting the streets is falling.

    Latest research released by the RBA indicates a 40 per cent fall in the number of forged banknotes in circulation in the past three years, since the bank began releasing a new series of banknotes.

    The bank says last year it identified 24,000 fake notes, or around 15 per million, which is down from 26 per million in 2015. By contrast counterfeiting in the UK is stronger, at around 100 notes per million. The value of the counterfeit notes in Australia is between $1m and $2m a year.

    According to the RBA counterfeiters were improving their production to keep up with the latest anti-couterfeiting techniques on the banknotes produced at Note Printing Australia.

    “The declining cost and growing sophistication of technology will likely enable counterfeiters to more easily produce counterfeits on a larger scale than was the case previously, and the Reserve Bank does not necessarily expect the counterfeiting rate to return to the low levels of the early 2000s,” it said.

    The RBA is set to introduce a new $20 note later in the year. Not surprisingly it does not give details of its production process.
    Not all counterfeiters use sophisticated technology, recent cases have included a former Tasmanian printer using a cheap photocopier to produce fake $20 and $50 notes, and Sydney man Benjamin Gilette-Rothschild producing $1m worth of fake $50 notes on three second-hand printers he bought for $80,000, along with $10,000 worth of UV ink, and 200kg of polypropylene film.

  • Aussies in Singapore for HP security conference

    Security opportunities: printers at the HP Indigo brand protection event

    Some 20 local printers were at the HP Indigo Brand Protection Solution conference in Singapore, which was highlighting security printing options on the narrow web HP Indigo presses for the fast growing market.

    As counterfeiting becomes a huge activity across the region the opportunities for print businesses who can provide anti-counterfeiting measures to brands are increasing exponentially. According to HP, brand protection is one of the fastest growing sectors in print industry today.

    Globally it is believed counterfeiting is $1.2 trillion business, with projections for that figure to increase by 50 per cent in the next five years.

    Mark Daws, director labels and packaging at HP Indigo’s ANZ supplier Currie Group, who was at the conference said, “Fully 30 per cent of all alcohol for instance across south east Asia is counterfeit, together with a rapidly rising percentage of pharmaceuticals. The Singapore event showed local print businesses where the opportunities are to be found and how to address the needs of brands.”

    The event included a host of third party developers who have been working with HP Indigo to produce security options. These include traceable inks, unique coding, and unique UV inks among others.

    Daws said, “Label and narrow web printers that can offer their clients innovative brand protection solutions will clearly have an attractive proposition. The security summit highlighted the opportunities that are now available for narrow web HP Indigo press users. HP and its third party partners are developing some phenomenal solutions, which printers can take to market for brand protection.”

    Aussie printers at the event also took the opportunity to check out the latest HP Indigo labels and packaging platforms at the regional HP Centre of Excellence, including the HP Indigo 20000 and HP Indigo 6900 Digital Presses.

  • Auspack off to vibrant start

    Packed: Auspack conference

    Organisers of packaging and processing show Auspack 2019 say it is off is off to a vibrant start, with record numbers of visitors, exhibitors and brands.

    Print21 is at the show, along with sister titles PKN Packaging News and Food and Drink Business, and has bumped into several print identities in the aisles, assessing potential new opportunities.

    Highlights of the show have included far-reaching discussions about sustainability in the sold-out conference, to the latest technologies in Industry 4.0 displayed across the largest Auspack floorspace ever.

    The first of more than 7,000 expected visitors and 300 delegates came through the doors of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, on day one for the two events kicking off Packaging and Processing Week: the Auspack exhibition, now in its 34th year, and the inaugural Auspack 2019 Business and Industry Conference.

    Mark Dingley, chairman of the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) which owns Auspack, officially opened proceedings this morning by cutting the ribbon outside. He then handed the mantle to The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Changewho officially opened the conference.

    Dr Michael Okoroafor, vice-president for global sustainability and packaging innovation at McCormick, laid out what he saw as key insights driving the future of packaging for the FMCG industry in his keynote address.

    The circular economy is one area of focus for McCormick, said Okoroafor, who told guests at the packed keynote session that it is creating a new age for packaging.

    “The era of make-use-dispose is over. We’re in the era of make-use-reuse,” he said.

    Packaging also needs to shift its focus if it is to be successful in e-commerce, he said, arguing that the current approach taken by packagers is wrong for online sales.

    “There is no packaging designed for e-commerce – we take the packaging for brick-and-mortar, insulate it as if it’s a nuclear weapon in a corrugated box, and call it e-commerce.

    “The time of first moment of truth is over. You have to design for zero moment of truth – if it doesn’t show well in the digital world it’s over. If it shows well, they can buy it right there or go to the store for it,” he said.

    With the conference’s theme of ‘Smart. Connected. Sustainable.’, this morning’s sessions revolved around sustainability.

    There are plenty of opportunities for packagers trying to meet the Australian Government’s 2025 National Packaging Waste Target, according to an expert panel at Auspack.

    Craig Reucassel of The Chaser and War on Waste guided a discussion with Steve Lapidge, CEO of the Fight Food Waste Cooperative; Brooke Donnelly, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO); Paul Klymenko, CEO Planet Ark; and Caitlyn Richards, responsible sourcing manager for sustainable products and packaging at Coles, on how and why packagers should embrace sustainability.

    According to Donnelly, consumer pressure on businesses, coupled with external pressure from the global supply chain, has created a “perfect storm” of conditions that have generated momentum for sustainable packaging.

    “The conversation is live and active and has great momentum. The issue is corralling everyone with the best of intentions to have a structured and considered approach – you need to plan for how you’ll transition, to avoid perverse outcomes.

    “Our conversation is no longer about should we do it – it’s about how we do it,” she said.

    Richards noted that companies such as Coles need to look closely at their packaging to determine what’s necessary and what isn’t, and that solutions such as Planet Ark’s PREP tool and the Australian Recycling Label can help make this easier.

    “We need to make sure all our packaging serves a purpose,” she said.

    According to Klymenko, recycled material can be used for different purposes than it was originally – glass bottles, for example, can be used to make silicon chips, and other materials such as plastics can be mixed with asphalt for roads. “It’s not always like for like,” he said.

    Lapidge drew attention to best-before and use-by dates on packaging, saying they needed to be more conservatively applied.

    “We need some regulation in this area – often it is just a marketing tool to get more stock rotation. It results in a lot of perfectly good food being thrown out,” he said.

    Lastly, Reucassel himself noted that more investment is needed in waste management here in Australia, particularly in the wake of China’s foreign waste ban.

    “I kind of expected the China crisis in recycling to lead to more investment in recycling in Australia, and I’m surprised how little there’s been,” he said.

    Out on the Auspack show floor, Industry 4.0 user group Open IIoT (stand B237) drew lots of interest. The group combines some of Australia’s most prominent automation brands – SMC Corporation, Beckhoff Automation, ZI-Argus, Nord Drivesystems and Balluff – and demonstrated different technologies working together, giving visitors a solid idea of the benefits and values arising from adopting IIoT technologies.

    Another key event today was long-standing APPMA member Matthews Intelligent Identification (stand D140) revealing new branding during an eye-catching announcement. Matthews’ new logo distinctly refreshes its well-known, 19-year-old chameleon, “adapting the adapter” to highlight that technology is an integral part of its business, demonstrate how they seamlessly integrate with suppliers and brand partners, and interact with customers.

    Anne-Marie Mina, marketing director of show organiser Exhibitions & Trade Fairs (ETF), said, “Day one of Auspack has been a fantastic success.

    “Today we are in day two we are looking forward to day two of four of Auspack, and the final day of the Auspack 2019 Business and Industry Conference, which will zero in on economics, factories of the future, blockchain and workplace diversity. Don’t forget to check out the free 30-minute workshops in the Insights by insignia area, which will be running again for the next three days.

    “Then tonight, the Gala Awards Ceremony for the APPMA Awards of Excellence will be held to announce the winners and APPMA Annual Scholarship recipient. It will be exciting for the finalists and fantastic for the industry as a whole.”

  • Orora and EFI enter VR at Auspack

    A whole new world: Peter Hoermann, EFI (right) guides Print21 editor Wayne Robinson through a VR demo of the EFI Nozomi C18000.

    Orora is hosting a virtual-reality demonstration of the EFI Nozomi C18000 inkjet press for corrugated board at Auspack 2019 in Melbourne this week.

    Visitors to stand C080 will get the chance to see the high-speed packaging press in action through VR. Orora is the first Australian company to install the Nozomi C18000, which went into its Melbourne plant early last year; it later became the first company in the world to add white ink to the press.

    According to Megan Bisson, senior regional marketing APAC at EFI, the demonstration is a great opportunity to see how the Nozomi operates.

    “EFI’s game-changing, single-pass corrugated packaging press, EFI Nozomi C18000 can be viewed at Auspack on the Orora stand,” said Bisson. “Since its size makes displaying the ultra-high speed machine at the event impossible, visitors to Auspack can experience firsthand the direct-to-corrugated LED inkjet corrugated display and packaging production through a virtual reality experience.”

    EFI and Orora aim to give attendees plenty of what it says are aha moments when viewing the machine, added Bisson.

    “They’ll be positioned to look inside the machine, open the printer doors to see carriage movement and point and click to load media, initiate printing, and simulate refilling ink. There will be a VR experience operator onsite to guide you and answer any questions you may have,” she said.

    Also on the Orora stand are Limitronic in-line digital printers, which it bills as a great solution for reducing or eliminating plastic labelling used on cartons, and a variety of other packaging equipment.

    Auspack 2019 concludes today at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

  • Kodak and Matthews partner for inkjet

    Strategic alignment: (l-r) Rodd Harrison and Paul Haggett from Kodak EIS Division, with Mark Dingley, CEO, Matthews Intelligent Identification.

    Matthews Intelligent Identification is in a new strategic alignment with Kodak, which will see it supply digital inkjet printing systems for the Australian and New Zealand packaging, labelling and printing markets.

    The new alignment comes as the Kodak Prosper Plus Imprinting Systems are launched into the the packaging industry. These solutions include four new imprinting components, as well as food-safe packaging inks and pre-coatings for a wide range of paper, carton-board and flexible film substrates.

    Paul Haggett, marketing and sales director, ANZ, Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division, Kodak, said, “The new Prosper Plus models will expand the capabilities for brand owners to leverage digital high-speed inkjet as a complementary capability alongside other production processes.”

    Matthews Intelligent Identification’s CEO, Mark Dingley, said, “The addition of the Kodak partnership to our Intelligent Identification product portfolio increases our value proposition to our customers. It will allow us to provide opportunities to leverage high-speed digital printing capability at speeds up to four times greater than existing digital inkjet technologies.”

    The Kodak systems will enable Matthews to offer upstream variable data printing systems to go straight onto the packaging. For Kodak the alignment provides a national footprint, and Matthews’ expert technical support.

    Dingley said, “Matthews will provide hardware and software integration services to provide robust solutions for printers and converters who are responding to the demands of brands and converters.

    “These markets need flexibility, mass personalisation and efficient production for shorter runs with economic, in-line and nearline technology implementation. Brands and creative agencies also need greener products, creative flexibility and the ability to quickly drive ideas to market with design freedom for increased consumer engagement.”

    Dingley said, “When combined with our in-house iDSnet software capabilities, Matthews is excited by the increased solutions we can provide to brand owners for increased consumer engagement, promotional and authentication opportunities, as well as a range of other benefits that come with Kodak’s inkjet technology, which has been specifically designed for the packaging industry.”

    Paul Haggett said, “The packaging market demands innovative, sustainable, productive solutions. Kodak’s leadership in continuous inkjet writing system technology, combined with water-based inks, provides the lowest cost, the highest versatility and the most environmentally friendly option for inkjet printing at production speeds.

    “Brands and creative agencies are now able to make printed packaging a physical touchpoint to digitally connect with consumers, unleashing creative flexibility with colour palettes and substrates, along with operational efficiency to get to market faster.”

    The new Kodak Prosper Plus Imprinting Systems will be available from next month.

  • Orora demonstrates in-line digital print

    Digital packaging opportunities: Andrew Russo, Orora (right) with Print21 editor Wayne Robinson.

    Orora is running live demonstrations of its Limitronic in-line digital printer at Auspack 2019, promising that it will unlock entirely new customer opportunities.

    The printer has come to the Australian market thanks to a partnership between Orora and its partner Limitronic. Andrew Russo, general manager of sales and marketing for Orora Fibre, told Print21 editor Wayne Robinson that it is all about providing digital print opportunities to Orora customers.

    “It creates a whole new opportunity of being able to digitally print and apply variable data at our customers’ locations,” he said. “It gives the ability for our customers to manage stock in a completely different way. Because they can print on demand, we can supply stock boxes and they can print what they need, when they need it.

    “It also creates a whole heap of opportunity for customers to do variable print data, which opens up traceability and authenticity options for them.”

    The Limitronic can print on all four sides of a blank box in full CMYK at 180dpi, and can go higher if required. According to Russo, there has been demand from customers of all sizes.

    “Some of our SME customers are eager to have a reduced amount of SKUs, whereas our larger customers with big families of products in one type of packaging format can take blank boxes and customise on-location,” he said.

    Orora is on stand C080 at Auspack 2019. Watch our video for more information.

     
  • Koenig & Bauer earns record EBIT, targets 20% five year growth

    Global figures reflected in Australia: Dave Lewis, managing director Koenig & Bauer ANZ with Sandra Duarte, general manager, Centrum Printing

    Press giant Koenig & Bauer (formerly KBA) is seeing its realignment into the packaging world paying off, achieving a record EBIT of 7.1 per cent last year on revenue that was up a smidgen to €1.226bn.

    Group EBIT climbed from €81.4m in the previous year to €87.4m despite some adverse circumstances in the availability of parts and market conditions. With the increase in its EBIT margin from 6.7 per cent to 7.1 per cent, Koenig & Bauer says it achieved the target defined for 2018 of around 7 per cent.

    The increasingly bullish group is now targeting a €1.5bn sales revenue by 2023, as orders reach record levels. That is about half of the Heidelberg target.

    Like its rival German press manufacturers Koenig & Bauer has had to instigate massive strategic changes following the GFC, with the bottom falling out of the commercial sheetfed and particularly web offset markets. And in common with manroland and Heidelberg packaging is the key area it is moving into.

    Dave Lewis, managing director of Koenig & Bauer Australia New Zealand said, “The global figures are reflected here. We are seeing smaller packaging printers investing in new presses. In addition the Flexotechnica wide web flexo presses have also gone well, there are now four installed here.” Koenig & Bauer bought Flexotechnica in 2016.

    Koenig & Bauer actually has the broadest product offering of any press manufacturer, it owns the banknote printing market with more than 90 per cent, it has co-developed digital presses for carton printing with HP, and now has a development with Durst inthe works, it is the major player in coding and marking, and has invested in buying finishing companies such as Iberica. It is also looking to related fields such as flooring and wall coverings for further growth.

    Sheetfed sales revenue was down in 2018, although KBA says this is due to parts availability. The company also says there is a ferocious price war going on as press orders are few and far between. However flexible packaging press sales were up.

    CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann said, “Driven by a record order intake, we have been able to widen our share of the global flexible packaging printing market to 9 per cent. Revenue in marking and coding has risen by around 50 per cent in the last three years. Since the acquisition of flatbed die-cutter business in 2016, revenue in this business field has climbed by more than 50 per cent. The entry into the market for folder gluers and the planned joint venture with inkjet pioneer Durst for folding carton and corrugated printing are further milestones.”

    CFO Mathias Dähn said, “Pleasing revenue and earnings potential can arise with our RotaJET digital printing platform for decor and flexible packaging printing following a greater substitution of the hitherto standard analogue printing processes and an increase in the internally-sourced production of decoration papers in the furniture and flooring industry. After a comprehensive evaluation process, the renowned packaging group Tetra Pak has opted for our large-format RotaJET for full-colour digital printing of beverage carton packaging. We have received two more RotaJET orders for digital decor printing.”

    The previously announced shifts of machine deliveries into 2019 as a result of bottlenecks in the parts availability burdened the achievement of our revenue target. At €1,226m, group revenue was only slightly up on the previous year of €1,217.6m. Koenig & Bauer had been targeting organic revenue growth of around 4 per cent for 2018. With order intake coming to €1,222m (previous year: €1,266.3m), order backlog rose to €610.9m (previous year: €606.2m).

    At €613m, order intake in the Sheetfed segment was below the previous year’s figure of €656.2m. Bottlenecks in the availability of parts dampened new business due to longer delivery times. The situation with regard to parts also caused revenue to drop to €647.4m, down on the previous year’s figure of €660.2m. This is also reflected in EBIT, which fell to €36.5m, compared with €37.5m in the previous year. With an EBIT margin of 5.6 per cent, Koenig & Bauer was able to maintain the level achieved (2017: 5.7 per cent) despite the continued price pressure being exerted by competitors. The lower order backlog of €199.1m compared with the previous year (€233.5m) was followed by good order intake at the start of 2019.

    Orders in the Digital & Web segment rose from €139.6m to €167.6m, primarily due to the record order intake for flexible packaging printing, which reflects the initial success of the realignment of this business field. Whereas the demand for the HP press for digital pre-prints of corrugated liners was subdued, several presses were sold from the RotaJET digital printing platform for decor and flexible packaging printing, substantially exceeding the previous year’s figure. At €150.7m, revenue was slightly down on the previous year (€154.2m). Together with market-entry and growth-related expenses for digital, flexible packaging and corrugated board printing, the lower revenue exerted pressure on EBIT. Accordingly, EBIT fell to a loss of €10.5m, compared with a loss of €4.3m in the previous year. The order backlog widened from €61.5m to €78.4m at the end of 2018.

    Given large orders and with project business remaining generally favourable, volatility remained high in security printing due to often lengthy order placement and the domination of large-scale projects. Further market share was gained in marking and coding, while the market position in the tobacco and tyre industry in particular was expanded significantly. Lower orders for metal and glass/hollow container decorating presses caused order intake in the Special segment to drop to €502.4m, down from €533.7m in the previous year. Revenue climbed from €467.9m to €490.5m thanks to growth in security printing, marking and coding and glass/hollow container decorating. EBIT came to €49.7m in 2018, down from €53.7m in the previous year. With the order backlog increasing to €344.6m (2017: €324m) at the end of December, good capacity utilisation is assured over the next few months.

    Looking to this year CFO Mathias Dähn said, “The order backlog, which rose to €610.9m at the end of 2018, together with the good order development in January and February 2019 gives us good forward visibility across the entire group until the summer of 2019 and, in security printing with its good order situation, until 2020.

    “The printing production output of our customers all around the world is growing, especially in packaging and banknote printing. With the exception of the packaging printers in China producing for export markets, our order intake has so far largely shrugged off the effects of the recent political and economic developments. In the absence of any material deterioration in the underlying conditions over the next few months, we target organic growth of up to 4 per cent in group revenue and an EBIT margin of around 6 per cent in 2019. This includes the annual 0.7 per cent improvement in margins on group projects to boost earnings as well as the margin impact from the growth offensive 2023, the cumulative costs of which we expect to reach around €50m for 2019 to 2021 with a heavier load in the first year. In the event of a slowdown in the economy, we cannot rule out an up to 2 percentage points lower EBIT.”

    Looking at the medium term CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann said, “With our growth offensive 2023, we want to actively exploit the currently available market opportunities in the cardboard, corrugated board, flexible packaging, 2-piece can, marking and coding, glass direct and decor printing as well as in postpress to achieve sustained profitable growth. The impact of volatile security printing will be reduced by higher packaging share of group revenue. For web offset presses for newspaper and commercial printing, we expect a further business decline. With all our initiatives and projects, we are targeting to increase group revenue to around €1.5bn with an EBIT margin of between 7 per cent and 10 per cent until 2023. All three segments are to contribute to the growth in revenue and earnings.

  • Jobs: Pre-Press Operator, March 29, 2019

    Satellite Digital is currently seeking the services of an enthusiastic and self-motivated pre-press operator.

    To be successful in this role you will have a full understanding of all prepress functions and have some experience with digital, offset & large format printing, along with some basic design and typesetting skills. We are looking for a well natured professional who can bring experience, expertise and enthusiasm. A person who is motivated, professional & willing to learn.

    Responsibilities will include:

    • Prepare supplied client content into print ready PDFs. This will include variable data projects.
    • Typeset client changes and authors corrections.
    • Work closely with customer service and production teams as well as our clients to ensure timely and accurate delivery of output.
    • Create, uploaded and manage artwork templates on Web to Print portal.
    • Manage production of some large format printing.

    The ideal candidate will have the following skills and experience:

    • Advanced skills and experience in Adobe Creative Suite.
    • Excellent English comprehension, written and verbal communication skills.
    • Ability to work well under pressure, problem solve, and to balance competing priorities to deliver timely outcomes.
    • Must be flexible, have a strong team focus and be able to work with minimal supervision.
    • Excellent organisational and documentation skills.
    • Ability to adapt, learn and follow set production processes and procedures.

    Salary based on experience and includes dedicated off-street parking.

    If this sounds like you and you wish to be part of a tight-knit team of professionals, please email your cover letter and resume to Mark Clinton at markc@satellitedigital.com.au in strictest confidence.

    Only candidates with permanent residence need apply.

    Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

    Satellite Digital are a leading & award winning Digital Print company based in Lane Cove West, Sydney. We are a fast paced & dynamic business who are very passionate about our customers, staff and print.

  • Train rocks the dragon with Hexis wrap

    Colourful: train wrapped inside and out with Hexis film

    An entire TGV high-speed train has been wrapped in Hexis film, featuring characters from the new anime movie Dragon Ball Super – Broly.

    French high-speed rail operator Ouigo unveiled the train, which is decorated in eye-catching imagery from the film, at Gare de Lyon station in Paris. According to Ian Parsonson, managing director of Hexis Australia, a variety of Hexis products were used for the project.

    “The movie distributor linked up with the French railways and came up with the concept of wrapping the train,” he said. “The exterior is all wrapped with Dragon Ball Z images printed on Hexis anti-graffiti and digital print products, as well as Purezone anti-microbial laminates on handrails and other surfaces inside.”

    Hexis supplies all the films used in the French project in Australia as well, across a broad swathe of the industry from small vehicle wrappers to big corporates. According to Parsonson, Hexis is a respected name in wrapping films.

    “The London Underground and London railways projects for the last three tenders have all been done with Hexis – only us and 3M qualify for their specifications,” he said. “We meet all the fire ratings, the adhesive ratings, and the durability required.

    “The quality is way up there at the top end, and we’re well respected by all the big train manufacturers – they’re keen to specify Hexis films.”

    The train and others like it will run across France for two weeks, and Hexis is pleased with how the project turned out, added Parsonson.

    “This industry is all about getting signs out there to make people stop and look, and this certainly got the message across,” he said.

  • Kornit aims for peak with new Atlas

    Kornit Atlas: Industrial scale t-shirt and garment digital printing

    Kornit Digital has launched Atlas, a new heavy-duty direct-to-garment (DTG) printer created to produce digital t-shirt and garment decoration on an industrial scale.

    Supplied in Australia by Kiwo, the Atlas will deliver a typical annual production capacity of up to 350,000 impressions.

    It is aimed at highly productive garment decorators, mid to large size screen printers, and, according to Kornit, businesses looking to combine digital technology with the lowest cost of ownership for a move into textiles.

    It will typically be used in  flexible garment production for print-on-demand and e-commerce, producing run lengths from one to 1,000, with set-up time virtually zero according to Kornit.

    The system is equipped with new recirculating print heads and comes with a newly developed ink, NeoPigment Eco-Rapid. The Atlas has a CMYKRG plus white colour gamut.

    The printing engine features an enhanced version of Kornit’s HD technology, with a rip that combine to produce, according to Kornit,  the highest standards of retail quality and durability.

    The Atlas comes ready for Kornit’s future releases of its cloud-based business intelligence, productivity analytics and optimisation software platforms, scheduled to be released in the second half of the year.

    Omer Kulka, Kornit’s VP of marketing and product strategy, comments, “This is a huge leap forward, not only for Kornit, but also for the direct-to-garment industry as a whole. We have delivered the Atlas on the collective feedback of thousands of Kornit systems’ operators and on the experience collected from hundreds of millions of printed garments.”

    The new NeoPigment Eco-Rapid ink is a main driver of the Atlas’ retail quality prints. Kornit says it provides a white ink opacity, matched to those of conventional screen inks, and meets highest durability standards on multiple fabric types. Its increased colour gamut and saturation allow for deep full tones and precise spot colour matching.

     The new Eco-Rapid ink will be integrated with new Storm HD6 and Avalanche HD6/HDK systems and will also be retrofitted to existing Kornit HD systems. Kornit intends to switch all existing HD customers to NeoPigment Eco-Rapid during the year.

    Atlas can be viewed in live demonstrations at at Fespa Munich from 14-17 May.

  • Jobs: Experienced Casual Offset Printer, March 21, 2019

    About Adpost

    We are a fast-growing, medium-size commercial printer and manufacturer of printed marketing materials currently seeking an experienced offset printer for a casual role in Villawood (2163).

    Convenient location, with ample car parking available and public transport (trains and buses) close by. Great environment and inclusive culture, focus on training & development and a real team spirit.

    The role:

    • Primary responsibility will be to operate the SM52-5 and SM52-2 presses
    • Must be experienced in 4/5-colour offset printing and machine maintenance and trouble shooting.

    Duties will include:

    • Operation of our 5 colour SM 52 and 2 colour SM 52 Presses
    • Clean and maintain all equipment and work area.
    • Produce high quality print
    • Minimise waste of materials
    • Meet production targets
    • Guillotine operation as required.

    To be successful, you must be able to demonstrate the following:

    • High attention to detail – quality and accuracy of work is critical
    • Good verbal and written communication skills
    • Ability to work under pressure
    • Ability to work in a team environment
    • Ability to problem solve
    • Flexibility
    • Strong work ethic
    • Good communication skills.

    Candidate must already have right to work in Australia.

    If you have what it takes to shine in a busy and dynamic team environment, please send your resume to Bernie Latouche at Bernie@adpost.com.au.

    Only candidates with the right experience need apply.

  • Screen Australia

    Booked up: (l-r) Darryl Wilson and David Reece from Jet Technologies, Peter Scott and Derek Field from Screen, and Matthew Vaughn from Jet Technologies with the Screen L350UV+ digital label press.

    UV inkjet is an up-and-coming technology in the world of digital label printing, and Screen’s L350UV inkjet label press has enjoyed considerable success in Australia and New Zealand, with five installations across the two countries. Now, the upgraded version has arrived on Australian shores.

    On the outside there is little visual difference between the Screen L350UV+ digital label press and its predecessor – the chassis looks virtually the same, save for the change in model number. Under the hood, however, there have been some significant upgrades, as Screen GP Australia’s managing director Peter Scott tells me.

    “One main difference from the previous model is that it now has an orange ink option. It is now CMYK plus white and orange, which increases the colour gamut,” says Scott.

    “In addition the L350UV+ has the ability to print at sixty metres per minute, up from fifty, which is a twenty per cent increase in productivity. It also has in the machine a chill roller, which allows it to print on thinner films and more heat-sensitive materials, so users can move into different markets.

    “The demo machine here at Jet Technologies is fully specified – the only option it does not have is low-migration inks designed for food-related packaging. We could bring in a machine with that option if we needed to,” he says.

    The original L350UV boasts five local installations: one in Sydney, one in Auckland, and three in Melbourne. More than a hundred are operating worldwide, and according to Scott, its customers could not be happier with it.

    “It has proven itself to be reliable, and customers have bought their second, third, and fourth machines from us,” he says.

    Jet Technologies’ showroom has seen four demonstration L350UV machines in operation, and now hosts the first L350UV+ to reach Australia. Scott expects it to be as successful as the original, if not more.

    “Global customers are now starting to trade in the old model and put the new one in, because of the extra colour and higher productivity. The L350UV+ is based on the original model, so the reliability, the head technology and all of those things are in place and have proven themselves.

    “As with anything Screen does, we look at improving the productivity and energy efficiency, and increasing the number of applications the press can handle,” he says.

    The demo machine at Rosebery has already proved popular, according to David Reece, sales director at Jet Technologies. “We were booked up for three weeks,” he says. “Label converters are coming in to see the machine in action, and they’re printing their own jobs to see the quality, high productivity, and low total cost of ownership this press has to offer.”

    Opened in 2014, the Jet Technologies demo centre has played host to not just the L350UV+ and its predecessor, but other equipment from the company as well; more is expected to come this year, including a laminator for the print and packaging division.

    “We always have a certain amount of equipment on show, be it Screen or otherwise – things like platemaking and rotary screen making equipment,” says Reece. “The L350UV+ is our flagship digital press on demonstration.”

    According to Reece, every L350UV sale Jet has made has been to customers who visited the demonstration centre. The showroom has been a useful tool not just for Jet Technologies, but the customers themselves, who can use it to learn more about the equipment they’re considering buying, he says.

    “The biggest benefit is that they can come, stay as long as they want – be it a day, two days, an hour – and run their materials hands-on with the machine to get all the information they need in an open and transparent way.

    “We have also worked with most of the major materials suppliers to qualify and test their products, and our customers can see how their own jobs will look on a variety of substrates,” says Reece.

    Screen and Jet Technologies customers can be assured they will not be left high and dry if they need help with their new L350UV+ presses.

    According to Scott, Screen has five engineers on the ground capable of handling the machine, while Jet Technologies offers application support.

    “The L350UV+ is not an orphan product – it is backed up by Screen and Jet Technologies’ experienced support teams, along with the whole Screen product range”, he says

  • Print21 issue 1092 -MIDWEEK SPECIAL

     

    Double dipping – something you used to tell the kids off for – could now be a huge issue for print businesses, if the new court ruling on casual staff and entitlements enters the mainstream. Not many printers could afford to compensate current and former casuals. Watch this space.

     

    Congratulations to the PIAA on winning essentially free apprentice training in NSW, building on its recent VET successes in Vic, Tas and SA. It is well on the way to its target of a national programme.

     

    Welcome to the ANZ industry’s midweek news bulletin, brought to you by Print21 – the people who know print.

     

    Wayne Robinson
    – Editor