Latest News

Graphics Grab Bag – this week in printing

Wednesday, 26 September 2018
By Patrick Howard

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?




Comment on this article

To receive notification of comments made to this article, you can also provide your email address below.