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Shakeout continues in forme cutting sector

Friday, 28 July 2017
By Print 21 Online Article

(l-r) Director Rick Tisdale and die maker Hung at Martin O’Brien Formes in Mordialloc, VIC.

Melbourne forme cutting business Martin O’Brien has acquired competitor Triforme Australia and taken on some former employees of collapsed Hygrade Cutting Formes, which shut down last month.

“Triforme will continue to operate as a stand-alone business in its current location and all five staff members will be staying on,” says Rick Tisdale, one of three directors at Martin O’Brien Formes. “They have a very good list of customers and we’ll be working closely with their existing staff, as well as sending work over to them.”

Triforme Australia, established in 1981 and based at Vinter Ave, Croydon in Melbourne’s east, specializes in the manufacture of flatbed steel rule cutting formes, flatbed label dies and die cutting supplies for the printing and scrap book industries.

Tisdale says the acquisition was completed earlier this month. “Two of the former Triforme directors had already left the business and retired but the remaining director, Ian Mannix, will be staying on.”

Martin O’Brien Formes has invested heavily in new technologies over the past 10-15 years and now operates four separate factories on Spray Avenue in Mordialloc, in Melbourne’s south-east, offering tooling, traditional forme cutting and mounting, router cutting and digital cutting. It also has an engineering department and recently expanded its digital unit with the addition of a new Aristo large format plotter table, giving the company four tables of various sizes.

The company has also taken on three ex-employees of Hygrade Cutting Formes, a prominent Melbourne forme cutting business that closed down last month after 60 years in operation, with the loss of about 50 jobs.

Tisdale believes Martin O’Brien is now the biggest forme cutting business in a tightening Melbourne market.

“All the big work gets done in China these days but there’s still good money in small to medium runs and that’s where we focus. Also, we offer quick service, just like McDonald’s.

“Hygrade falling over has given us a boost but it’s still a hard slog,” he says. “We deal with some of the best printers in the market and some of them pay spot-on while some of the others – and often they’re printers who are dealing with brokers – they can drag you out to 120 days before they pay.”

Earlier this week, Bayswater forme cutting supplier Barella announced it was shutting down after 40 years in business, with its machinery and assets auctioned off on Thursday.

Martin O’Brien Formes, Mordialloc




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