Posts Tagged ‘Exclusive’

  • RFID N Print gets smart with new HP ws4500

    NSW tag manufacturer, RFID N Print, opens new Warnervale premises with the installation of Australia’s first HP Indigo ws4500 complete with HP Smart Label technology.

    Bruce Hegan, managing director, said that he chose the new digital printer for its functions including track and trace regulatory compliance, product authentication and anti-counterfeiting ability.

    "With the HP Indigo ws4500 we are able to produce database-registered, serialised barcodes and other variable graphical devices including 1D, 2D and 3D or colour barcodes," he said.

    "This system utilises the Asia-Pacific region’s only software capable of printing colour-tiled barcodes."

    The event even drew the NSW minister for regional development, Tony Kelly.

    Pictured: Phillip Rennell (left) with Tony Kelly (right).


    "We are delighted the Minister could attend to open our new facility," said Hegan. "This event demonstrates our commitment to using state-of-the-art technology to drive our business forward and to provide our customers with a service backed by the most sophisticated digital label printing technology available."

    The Currie Group’s HP Indigo distributor, Phillip Rennell, was also at the event. Rennell believes that this installation will have positive effects on Hegan’s business.

    "The combination of the HP Indigo ws4500 and HP Smart Label technology will allow RFID N Print to offer a more comprehensive service to its customers and to produce a wide range of products with security features," he said.

  • Sappi coated woodfree paper for price rise

    One of Australia’s most popular imported quality sheets will increase by five percent in October.

    A brief statement by Tim Schafer, managing director Sappi Trading Australia, confirmed that printers in Australia and New Zealand will be paying more from the October shipments. Soaring raw material costs and oil prices are blamed for the hike, which is been seen as part of an overall increase.

    According to Sappi chief executive, Ralph Boëttger, severe input cost increases are impacting worldwide. “Globally our sales increased by 15.2 percent compared to a year ago. Selling prices in Europe were flat quarter-on-quarter, but declined from last year. We have announced price increases in Europe effective 01 September 2008 of between eight percent and ten percent in order to offset the input cost price increases.”

    He predicts more cost increases to come. “Continued upward pressure on input costs remains our biggest challenge in the short term.  Further increases are expected in energy, fibre and chemical costs during the fourth quarter.”

  • Focus Press picks up Fast Proof’s Sydney plant

    Largest commercial printer on the Gold Coast shuts down its Sydney operation.

    The difficulty of operating a mid-size printing business across two states came into clear focus as Brisbane-based Fast Proof Press closed its Sydney operation. The 15-year interstate expansion plan by the Gold Coast’s largest commercial printer was brought to an end with the buy-out by Focus Press following a long period of cooperation between the two firms.

    “It was really a lifestyle choice,” explained Matthew Whitton, who manages Fast Proof Press with his two brothers. Whitton said that the three managers all have families and decided it would be more beneficial for them to remain located solely in the Gold Coast, where it will remain "business as usual".

    The sale came about almost unexpectedly after discussions with David Fuller of Focus Press, according to Whitton. “It was a very amicable deal,” he said. “We will spend time as directors in ensuring that the transition is as smooth as possible.”

    The acquisition is described by David Fuller, "as the beginning" of a new growth phase. He maintains Focus Press is well cashed up to survive the current downturn and is actively looking for more companies to buy.

    "There will be more consolidation in the industry, there’s no doubt about it. Tough times are good times to buy if you have the capital. This [Fast Proof] has been very good for us. I think of it as only the beginning. Many good people have joined our team," he said.

    All employees at the Silverwater plant have been offered positions with Focus Press, although some are reported to not be making the move across. According to David Fuller, the two companies have very compatible corporate cultures with the latest acquisition bringing Focus to a total of 70 employees.

    Focus Press is well known as a leader in innovative business directions. It was one of the very first printers to engage in the environmental debate, with David Fuller adopting the role of a ‘green evangelist’ early on. Focus has also been an early adopter of ‘hub printing’, setting up a separate digital centre to service the trade.

  • Jobs of the week: Administration & Service Coordinator, Sydney

    • Currie Group, a leading & established supplier of a full range of printing equipment & consumables
    • Respected quality product lines
    • Challenging & varied role

    An excellent opportunity exists to join our service team, based in St Leonards, as our new Administration & Service Coordinator.

    We are currently seeking a well-organised, professional individual, who has the ability to multi-task & juggle priorities, in the busy & varied role.

    You will be working within our Service Team and will be responsible for coordination of our service engineers, liaising & updating our customers to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction, ordering & following-up on spare parts, logging & monitoring service calls, coordinating installations of new equipment, invoicing customers and general service administration duties.

    The successful applicant will need to have the following:

    • Customer focused & have advanced communication skills

    • Excellent organizational skills, ability to set priorities & co-ordinate available time & resources for maximum effectiveness

    • Sound knowledge of Microsoft office

    To apply for this position, please fax your resume, to: Steve Dunwell, State Manager, on (02) 8425 7425 or email to:


  • PICA deadlines draw closer

    Entry to the National Print Awards is now only possible through the local PICA competitions and deadlines are approaching fast.

    Those intending to enter the 26th National Print Awards need to move fast as entry to the national competition this year is only possible by winning Gold in your local PICA or equivalent awards.

    The entry deadline for awards in SA and NT has already closed, but all others are still open so that businesses still have a chance to be judged among the ‘Best of the Best’ in the 26th NPA.

    Deadlines for the remaining awards are as follows:
        •      PICA  Western Australia deadline extended until 25 July 2008
        •      PICA  Tasmania -1 August 2008
        •      PICA  Victoria – 29 August 2008
        •      PrintNSW Excellence  Awards – 29 August 2008
        •      PICA  Queensland – 19 September 2008
        •      ACT PAGE  Awards – 17 October 2008

    Gold medal winning entries from these State and Territory awards will be forwarded on to compete at a national level. This is now the only way to gain entry into the National Print Awards.

    Further information about the competition deadlines is available from or contact your local Printing Industries office on 1800 227 425.

  • Agfa Palladio ticks all the boxes at Chrysalis Printing

    Agfa Graphics might be well-known for its market-leading CTP technologies  at the big end of town, but it is also providing CTP solutions for smaller printers via its national network of dealers.

    "We have a history that goes back decades with  some of these dealers," said Peter Munro, one of Agfa’s better known plate specialists who has responsibility for many of the NSW, ACT and QLD dealers.

    "Back in the analogue days our dealer network moved a lot of CopyProof, CopyRapid and SuperMaster products to the smaller printers, many who operate in remote and areas. As the industry moved to digital processes, it meant that our dealers too had to start to offer products suited for the smaller end of the digital market, our CTP solutions that include the Palladio and violet plate technologies such as LithoStar and N91v make a perfect fit."

    Port Macquarie-based Chrysalis Printing turned to one of Agfa’s long-time dealers, Lanart Graphics when looking to update an aging Dolev 4-press.

    "Living in Port Macquarie we are away from instant assistance those in the city have become accustomed to, therefore a good support base is important when selecting a technology," said Peter Simmons of Chrysalis (pictured below).

    "My first contact with Agfa via Graham King of Lanart was very positive I had a prompt reply and everything promised to me arrived the following day; this gave me confidence in the company’s ability."

    Simmons said that when the CTP system was purchased, he was continually kept informed of its progress and when the equipment arrived three Agfa technicians were in attendance, and spent four days with the team to ensure that things went smoothly.

    "These actions confirmed that the support base was there.  When the equipment was up and running the first plate determined the greyscale and the second plate was on the press printing, we were also supplied with the proofing option which was equally impressive, I had been battling with a previous proofing option for two years and never satisfied with the result. The Agfa proof was matched on the machine to our astonishment the very first time," he said.

    "The Palladio II is producing a very high standard in a plate, its speed of production and repeat position of the plate on the machine is perfect very time. We are extremely happy with the product."

  • Coaching for success: Print 21 magazine article

    They’re not Kevin Sheedy or Wayne Bennett but the role they play is just as influential. Workplace coaches can make a real difference to the performance of people and businesses, says Peter Barnet.

    What is it that you really want to achieve in your business/career? How committed are you to getting it? What is your plan to achieve this and when can we start?

    These are examples of typical questions you face when engaging a business coach.

    Coaching is one of the buzz words that have been rapidly making their way into the management vocabulary over the last five to ten years. So what is it all about and how can you bring some of it into your business?

    Workplace coaching
    Most of us know the process of coaching as it appears in sport and it has the same meaning in the workplace. Fundamentally, coaching is a means of bringing about individual performance improvement so that each individual can move towards his or her full potential. It is true that coaching shares many characteristics and skills with other processes such as mentoring and counseling, however, it differs in its emphasis on end goals and empowering the individual to discover their own answers and greater awareness.

    Coaching in the workplace is about following a process and not so much about coaching to improve people’s actual work skills. Although this may be an outcome and objective of the coaching process, the coach is most likely to help the participants come up with a plan to improve their skills rather than actually improve them by coaching.

    The process of coaching is to start with two or three goals in mind that really inspire the person to move forward. The more the person being coached can connect to their goal the more likely they will want to participate in the coaching process. For example, if you are coaching someone to achieve a sales target it might not be enough for them to achieve the target but it might be what happens when they get the target that is the driver. Getting the target may result in a sales bonus which may equate to an overseas holiday or new car for the person. So the process of coaching will focus on the holiday or car as the goal as this will most inspire the sales person to achieve his/her target.

    Once the goals are decided, the coach and individual create a strategic plan to achieve the goals. Actions are set for each week to move the individual towards their goals and the outcomes are reviewed with the coach. Insights are discovered during the week and any blockages that may have appeared are discussed. Blockages are ‘excuses’ that come up that seem to stop the individual from completing their actions. This is the point when coaching is most relevant – moving people through the blocks that stop them from achieving their goals. An effective coach will help the individual really understand the consequences of giving up and the rewards for pushing through.

    Coaching is good for you
    Most credible research in this area shows that coaching does have a genuine, positive impact on personal and business performance. This is provided that the coaching is properly supported and carried out by trained coaches. When done in this manner the process has a dramatic effect on personal and subsequently business performance.

    Many organisations are now investing in training their managers to be workplace coaches, and the results can be very impressive, especially when working with sales people. Take the example of a newly-promoted sales person in a printing company who has all the knowledge and a great deal of enthusiasm. He/she has a sales target and a customer list but no real plan or process about how they will get there. By following the coaching process and breaking down the plan (the sales target) into weekly bite-size chunks, the sales person has a far greater chance of success and manager has a far greater means of monitoring and support.

    I recently witnessed the results of this in the workplace where a highly capable female marketer suddenly found herself in a sales role by her choice but then was not sure how to go forward. After a few rocky months she finally found her feet and with coaching and mentoring she is now exceeding her sales targets by 30 percent every month.

    The investment in time and money to bring coaching into the workplace is not great and if it can improve each worker’s performance by as little as 1 or 2 percent, imagine the effect on your organisation or bottom line.

  • Chippendale Printing next to go for private equity

    Barbara Gardiner and Phillip Hanks have agreed to sell the Sydney-based sheetfed printing company to PE fund Helmsman.

    The Macquarie Bank and KPMG turnaround specialists are in the middle of performing due diligence on the high-profile printer, which has been the subject of rumour for months. An official announcement is expected next week, although sources close to the company claim the deal is almost certain to go through.
    It is expected that current management and staff will remain in place with assurances already conveyed to staff that no major changes are contemplated in the short term.

    Chippendale Printing is one of the largest independent printing companies remaining in Sydney. It is a highly capitalised house with production centred on two 12-colour MAN Roland 700 perfecting presses operating side by side, a world first at time of installation.

    Founded 39 years ago by Ed Gardiner, the well-regarded company sought valuation of its equipment earlier this year sparking rumours of financial difficulties.

    Helmsman Funds Management claims on its website that it specialises in companies that have historic profitability, having existing markets and management structures but suffering a liquidity crisis. Helmsman is able to provide fresh capital combined with the business restructuring and crisis management expertise with the aim of stabilising these under performing businesses and restoring viability and going concern value.

    The fund has no interests in other printing companies in Australia, which assures Chippendale will remain an independent entity for the foreseeable future.

  • Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 17 July 2008

    Drago Zorec’s departure from the printing industry leaves readers aghast; and they aren’t all sympathetic.

    Re: Australia’s most internationally awarded printer, Drago Zorec, closes up shop

    I worked for Drago about eight years ago.

    I has shocked to read this article but perhaps in some ways not surprised. At the time I worked there, D&D had a reputation as one of the most technologically advanced printing companies in the world. The quality and service provided by D&D was something Drago was very passionate about, his marketing approach was without doubt the best the printing industry had ever seen.

    Anyone who had the pleasure of visiting the Richmond facility as a guest knows how unique the experience was. Drago has a gift when it comes to making a person feel as if they are the only concern for D&D from the time they entered studio 101 till the time Drago personally saw them off. He orchestrated client visits to make the design and printing process fascinating. Dana, Drago’s wife and business partner, also played an integral part in the running of the business. I recall Dana waking at the crack of dawn and throwing herself into whatever task was required.

    Both Drago and Dana can be assured that the memories of D&D printing will live on.

    Unfortunately for Drago and Dana the results from their state-of-the-art photographic studio could arguably be replicated by a camera worth a few thousand dollars and a few cheap Chinese lights. A print illiterate print buyer will almost always go for the best price and to educate buyers is easier said than done.
    Imagine what would have happened if they chose an industry that wasn’t turned into a commodity over recent years. I guess print buyers no longer perceive exceptional printing as a technology worth paying good money for unlike their HD flat screen TVs.

    Jeremy Owens

    No use saying it’s all too hard; just put your head down and bum up and get on with it.
    Steve Pettaras


    Re: Internet print scam comes out of Africa 

    In response to Brad Low’s concerns about a possible print order scam from Ghana I can confirm that he is very likely one of the many hundreds of printers around Australia (and internationally) that are being targeted by the scams.

    I encourage Mr Low to send copies of his e-mail trail of correspondence with this person to Printing Industries and to check the ScamWatch information area on  that will assist him to identify whether or not he is being scammed.

    Tell-tales signs to look out for include:

    ·  Use of free public e-mail addresses such as yahoo and GMail (Google)

    · Contact names often include use of a ‘reverend" or similar church related title

    · Majority of quotation requests purport to be on behalf of a church or other charitable institutions

    · Poor written literacy

    · Use of novelty e-mail fonts

    · Poor artwork – sometimes only two or three words on an A4 sheet

    · Request for freight pre-payment

    · Provision of credit card information "for security".

    We have received hundreds of scam complaints from our members and from printing companies in the USA, Canada and the UK. We have also had contact from various government agencies and from our affiliated overseas printing associations. From the information we have compiled we will be listing next week on the names currently being used by the scammers. This will help printers to more readily identify them via an internet search.

    Printing Industries‘ members can also contact us directly at any time to have a quotation request checked for verification against our knowledgebase.

    Joe Kowalewski
    National communications and technical services manager
    Printing Industries Association of Australia

    Tell him to increase his prices, that might help us all.

    Craig Foley
    Acorn Press

  • Candidate of the week – Overseas Candidate – South Africa – Printing Manager

    I am an English speaking South African with 34 years experience in the printing & packaging industry, currently employed as the Divisional Manager for Hirt & Carter, the South African market leader of high volume/quality commercial, book and advertising printing.

    I am looking for a similar position in Australia, as we are hoping to immigrate to reunite with our son and his family who immigrated to Australia three years ago and employed as a senior print machine operator.

    Reporting directly to the Managing Director I am currently solely responsible and have total control of the production, administration, planning, purchasing, estimating, dispatch and health & safety of the company. The company has a total of 300 factory employees, a senior Production Manager and 8 departmental managers all reporting directly to me. I am also responsible for chairing all wage and union negotiations, disciplinary procedures and inquiries for the whole group.

    Prior to joining Hirt & Carter I held the position as Works Director at CTP Packaging (printing & packaging of cartons, labels & fast food products) for 10 years from 1995 to 2005, and as Works Manager at Interpak Holdings for 13 years from 1980 to 1993.


    • I completed my NTC3 qualification in 1979 and passed the full curriculum with distinction.

    • I completed my apprenticeship in Lithography with South African Associated Newspaper Limited in December 1979 with distinction and achieving the highest mark in RSA.

    • In 1992 I completed a 3 year Management Development Program at Rhodes University. Subjects passed: Strategic Management, Production, Marketing, Management Skills, Economic Overview, Finance & Industrial Relations.

    • Other courses that I have completed include: MAN/ROLAND – effective methods in production, Labour Act & Equity Programs, SGS Internal Auditing & SABS ISO 9001/2000.

    I am an honest, hard working and dedicated employee who is able to make and follow up on critical decisions. Throughout my career with the companies mentioned above I have, through innovation, improving quality and productivity managed to improve the company’s profitability.

    We have registered with the Australian Immigration Unit who will assist us in obtaining both temporary and permanent residence visas, provided we are able to secure employment in Australia.

    My CV is available at request.


  • First Speedmaster XL 145 installed at FREUNG GmbH

    FREUND GmbH writes its way into the print history books as the first company to commission Heidelberg’s new Speedmaster XL 145.

    The XL 145, which was launched at drupa has been designed primarily for use in the packaging printing and industrial publishing sectors and is capable of operating at a production speed of up to 15,000 sheets per hour.

    FREUND GmbH, which is celebrating its centenary this year, is the first company to use the new generation of presses from Heidelberg. Karl-Heinz Freund, managing partner of FREUND GmbH, said that the company has a lot of trust in Heidelberg.

    "We have enjoyed a very successful technology partnership with Heidelberg for a number of years," he said.

    "The company has the most comprehensive range in the industry, delivers top quality, and provides its customers with added value and an exemplary service."

    Pictured: World premiere of the Speedmaster XL 145 at FREUND GmbH (from left): Werner Albrecht, management director of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Vertrieb Deutschland GmbH, Karl-Heinz Freund, managing partner of FREUND GmbH and Heinz Lunte, mayor of Georgsmarienhütte.

    Heidelberg’s move into large-format was just the news the company was waiting to hear, according to Werner Albrechy, chairman of the management board at Heidelberg.

    "The handover of the Speedmaster XL 145-6+L, elevated and equipped with logistics, is a perfect example of this mutual trust," he said.

  • Jobs of the week: Electronics Technician (PLC Field), Sydney

    manroland Web Services Australia is a newly established and fast growing Web Press Servicing operations in Australia, located in Newington (near Homebush Olympic Park).  Our company is owned by manroland AG, the world’s second largest printing systems manufacturer and the world’s market leader in web offset printing. 

    manroland Web Services Australia has a reputation for technical excellence that is second to none in the web market.  We have an exciting opportunity within our Technical Service Centre Team for an Electronics Technician (PLC Field).

    Position Description:

    • Worldwide telesupport for state of the art commercial and newspaper web printing machinery. This includes telephone support and online fault diagnosis of the latest PLC and drive systems

    • Commissioning of new machinery both in Australia and Overseas.

    • Overseas training

    • Onsite service for local customers

    • Customer training sessions

    • Analysis of machine performance and reporting


    Minimum Skills & Experience required:

    • A grade Electrical license holder

    • Experience with PLC’s

    • Experience with AC/DC drive systems

    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

    • Willingness to travel

    • Aptitude for diagnostics and fault finding

    • Good computer skills

    • Good interpersonal skills

    • Current drivers license

    Preferred but not essential skills:

    • German language

    • Previous printing industry experience

    • Siemens S5 PLC experience

    • Post trade electronics certificate

    If you have the experience, skills and attributes that this challenging and exciting opportunity offers please email your résumé to

    Please note that all applicants must have current working visa.

    All applications will be treated in strict confidence.


  • LIA stops the press with drupa show

    Three of Australia’s leading vendors of post and post-press equipment have just returned from drupa and will present their experiences at the LIA next week.

    The LIA has secured speakers from Heidelberg Australia, MAN Ferrostaal Australia and CPI who will target the technologies that impressed them most and provide comment on where their technologies are heading and where they best fit the market place.

    A panel discussion and question time will follow.

    To book a place phone 02 8789 7300 or email: or

  • Last call for tickets to Galley Club Awards

    Time is running out to book your ticket to next week’s Kayell Galley Club Awards.

    The Galley Club of Sydney has been celebrating excellence in book and magazine production for 32 years. The awards are made possible by our sponsors and judges.

    The 2008 awards will provide an even greater opportunity for publishers, repro houses and printers to showcase their work and honour their peers.  MC, Peter
    Berner, of The Einstein Factor promises to be a lively host for an equally lively night that includes: a three-course dinner, lucky door prize and an overflowing showbag to take home.

    The annual Kayell Galley Club Awards 2008 are on June 27th at the Amora
    Jamison Hotel in Sydney. Tickets are $85 for members, or $115 for non-members and still available from

  • Canon imagePRESS C7000VP goes off with a bang for Ferntree Print

    When it comes to printers, Bernard Poff thought he’d seen it all – until he witnessed the Canon imagePRESS C7000.

    The manager of Melbourne company, Ferntree Print, is not one for changing his mind at will, but the C7000 soon persuaded him otherwise. "I had originally ordered another digital press, but promptly put it on hold when I saw Canon at last year’s PrintEx," he says.

    The reason for Poff’s decision was simple. "You get more bang for your buck," he explains. Commenting further, Poff adds that the output has a distinct offset look, enabling a seamless transfer of the short run (under 1000 prints) off the press to the imagePRESS C7000, freeing up the plate-making, presses and staff for longer runs.

    Pictured above: Bernard Poff was one happy man thanks to the imagePRESS C7000 VP.
    Canon’s imagePRESS C7000VP is designed to handle digital, offset and coated substrates between 80 and 300gsm at full speed, offering no-compromise stock handling along with the quality to complement offset press production.

    In addition to this, a dual-fusing system expands the colour gamut on coated stocks to an impressive 134 percent of Japan colour, exceeding the colour accuracy of offset. This allows printers to differentiate their services by offering customers more customised print runs with a greater variety of output options to help make short runs and challenging jobs more profitable.

    Since installing the C7000 in September last year, the staff of Ferntree Print are more than happy with the results. "It’s exceeded all our expectations and the customers are very impressed," he says.

    "The C7000 delivers what it promised and the Canon team are committed to seeing any problems through – from start to finish."

  • Megatrends at drupa – Andy McCourt plays his top ten

    In his final commentary from Messé Düsseldorf, Andy McCourt decides on the ten Megatrends shaping the industry at Drupa 2008. These are the forces you must be aware of in order to survive.

    As the throb of the oopmah-band fades from the Bavarian beer tent, as the miasma of humidifiers clears, as the clink of steins in the Altstadt reduces to a tintinnabulation of pings and the thumping parody of Queen’s “We will, we will … Print you … print you” is consigned to the one-hit wonders league, I am about to farewell this 2008, and greatest of all Drupas, with a capital ‘D.’

    Many issues begging answers pre-Drupa were competently addressed but there remain many unanswered questions concerning the future of print communications. Packaging we can leave aside as an ever-expanding print-related sector for, as Professor Frank Romano quipped: “You can’t put cornflakes inside a DVD.”

    There are known knowns, there are known unknowns, there may even be unknown knowns but it’s the unknown unknowns that are real buggers. There is enough ink, paper and technology in the world to lead the printing industry into a bold new era of irrelevance. On the other hand, there is also enough to re-invent and re-energise print in a manner that would make Gutenberg and Caxton proud. Let us not forget that it was the mission of such men, and Whycliffe, to Cause a mere boy whose hand guideth a plough, to know as much of the Scriptures as the most learned priest.

    In other words, democracy, education, knowledge, egalitarianism, anti-racism, anti-tyranny and counter-terrorism; all these noble endeavours and much more spring from printed communications. Transpromo was probably not a term used in the 1450s, but I am sure printing’s pioneers would approve.

    As I prepare to leave Drupa 2008, I am left wondering when Heidelberg will re-enter the digital printing sphere? Their first attempt was abortive but the biggest sales at Drupa have been for multiple HP Indigo 7000s, and this is a space Heidelberg would have inhabited if it had been able to carry its NexPress venture through instead of relinquishing it to Kodak. 2009 marks the end of the no-compete clause of the sale of NexPress division, it will be fascinating to see if digital continues to be ignored by the industry’s flagship brand. Ignored is probably too harsh since Heidelberg in fact exhibited a digital inkjet concept press at Interpack in April, under the ‘Linoprint’ brand. Hmmmm …

    On Man Roland, sorry manroland, where was the Dicoweb, the pioneer of all high-end digital? On KBA, if there were Karat 74s there I could not find them. Such press giants are expert at handling paper at high speed, maybe all they need to do is add an inkjet station or two in-line to be digital again?

    But digital is no safe haven, during Drupa, Punch Graphix/Xeikon shares were hammered on the Euronext exchange. Really hammered. Machine sales 23% down, overall sales 13% down and a loss of $5 or $6 million but “not as much as expected.” On the other hand, every five minutes it seemed HP had taken another order for half a dozen Indigo 7000s (you only had to buy two at a time in 1993 when they were launched!)

    So, with great trepidation and fear of being wrong (my fallacies are not always wrong!), here are my ten Megatrends that I hope will be useful to you in thinking about how to shape your printing businesses in the coming years. Auf Wiedersehen alles!

    1) Digital Colour Web – The biggest Megatrend. It just scraped in to be shown at Drupa (with the exception of Océ who had the JetStream ready for market and is installing them right after the show). The new breed of Inkjet Web Presses will demolish the sheetfed-versus-continuous feed divide and make the output just output. HP’s ‘dromedary camel-shaped’ Inkjet Web Press blasted the most spin out, Kodak’s Stream Concept Press vowed to alter the industry the most, Ricoh/IBM’s InfoPrint 5000 springboarded a copier company into the big league, an unknown French outfit ‘Impika’ presented a very competent pilot 600 x 600dpi Xaar-headed machine, Xerox may have been caught flat-footed but will catch up; Canon has no continuous feed to speak of and that must be a huge concern for them; Screen pushed their TruePress Jet520 to the fore whilst hiding their renowned CTP at the back and Miyakoshi and Dotrix/Agfa added UV to the inkjet equation for added colour oomph. Just wait until IPEX 2010 to see how all these and other inkjet web trends have developed, two years is a long time in product development, it will amaze – promise.
    2) Convergence of the office and printshop – As digital, mostly inkjet based rather than toner, moves upstream into offset, the slower cut-sheet colour end, mostly toner, will be resurgent in the offices of the world. It’s almost like a return to implants but without the sweaty guy in overalls in the basement playing with his AB Dick. We’re taking probably up to 80ppm colour models with inline finishing here, and maybe even a return to inhouse data-driven printing by the big corporates and banks. Whatever, offices will be taking on ‘production lite’ digital colour, much of which is outsourced now. Interesting to note FedEx Kinko’s just changed its name to FedEx Office.
    3) Paper, ink and consumable price hikes – Get used to these, just as the oil industry has had to. Three years ago oil was around $40 a barrel. A friend of mine in that business said, when oil dropped to $16 a barrel “Twenty-six dollars is okay and ideal.” Now it’s over $120 a barrel. Exercising impeccable timing, plate, film, ink and paper companies all announced price rises during the word’s main printing trade fair. Up to 20% on plates, 6-8% on paper. The only way printers can combat these is to print smarter, greener and get production costs down.
    4) Carbon Footprints – Every industry and every player therein will be held accountable for the amount of CO2, VOCs, Methane and Nitrous Gasses released into the atmosphere. Every piece of machinery will be rated, judged and bought on this basis. What a Carbon Footprint actually is, is still a bit fuzzy but rest assured the formula for calculating it will be devised and applied to our industry. Fortunately, Australian and New Zealand printers are well advanced in becoming carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative. We should all get behind the APIA initiative. Trees lock up carbon. More managed tree plantations = more carbon locked up and the fibre is recycled four or five times. Has anyone ever recycled their 1995 laptop into a new up-to-date laptop?
    5) Smart Binderies – The stars of Drupa for me were the bindery and paper-handling suppliers. Here you see finished products, not just sheets or reels. The advances made in bringing high-end bindery technologies down to the digital on-demand level are amazing and firms like Horizon, Duplo, Plockmatic, Hunkeler, Mueller Martini, Lasermax, CP Bourg and even MBO have re-invented themselves. Bindery staffs are always the hardest to find but the new smart bindery kit can be operated by semi-skilled people in a clean office-like environment. This Megatrend is all about automated paper handling.
    6) Generation Z rediscovers print – You know, the only people I hear debating the ‘death of print’ these days are over 40. Gen Z-ers see it as cool and funky and love the creative possibilities it offers. I asked one pierced, tattooed and bechained Drupa visitor, toting enough print samples to break a camel’s back, what he though of the paperless office. “What’s that?” he replied with genuine amazement. Enough said. I just kissed him (or was it a her?) and wished a great day and wonderful life.
    7) Neck-and-neck technologies – As digital output rounds the last corner into the straight and heads for the finishing line; it’s virtually neck-and-neck. So success will not come from the technologies themselves, as it has so often in the past, but from the support, application, service and pull-through marketing that reaches the customer’s customer. Suppliers need deep pockets and even deeper understanding of markets. There will be casualties. In the CTP world, who remembers Barco, Gerber, Cymbolic Sciences, Scitex, ICG, Creo, and Purup etc? They were all swallowed up until the winners crossed the finishing line – Agfa, Kodak, Fuji, Screen, ECRM, Mitsubishi and so forth. So when looking at technology, look beyond it and into the company selling it. How well will they support you, because the difference between their technology and the next supplier may not be all that great.
    8) India and China – China and India, India and China, China and India. You know what I mean. Unbelievable growth. Unmatchable prices. Unless you think hard on how to offer unique ‘value propositions’ to your customers and get them to change the way they buy print. In little runs delivered same-day would be good. Then some more tomorrow.
    9) Fragmentation of print markets – This covers many areas but one example is magazines. Good old stable titles are dropping their circulation or closing (e.g. Cosmopolitan, Cleo – down; The Bulletin, New Woman – out), but new special interest titles are emerging. If I were a magazine publisher I would look at ways to present alternative versions of the ‘prime title’ content and also start a new focused title every month. Book production is also ripe for fragmentation with daily deliveries of paperbacks to retailers of digitally printed titles from a central digital book printer. No more 40% of the print run to the pulpers.
    10) Netization of print – We all acknowledge that the internet has changed the ways humanity interacts with information. Print needs to “Netize” the way it presents to societies. Be more immediate, be more ephemeral, be responsive, changing, adaptive and present as the ‘net’s best friend. A Dutch Publishing concern – Printofoon – has trail blazed in this with an initiative where special interest individuals, e.g cyclists, can click a series of areas of interest on the website and a magazine is delivered to their door with that tailored content along with the regular advertising the title would contain.

  • Australian Tenders of the Week, 4 June 2008

    RFT Number: 08/09006
    RFT Title:  Printing of Railcorp Business Stationery and Digital Printing
    Category: Printed media
    Closing Date:  18 Jun 2008
    Closing Time:   10:00 AM (NSW Local Time)
    Location:  NSW
    RailCorp is consolidating all of its business stationery printing requirements and the storage and distribution of these products to RailCorp business units across NSW. Digital printing/copying and collating services are also required. A supply agreement for a period of three (3) years will be put in place.

    Tender Type:    
    Open Tenders – An invitation to tender by public advertisement with no restriction placed on who may tender. Tenderers will normally be required to demonstrate in their tender that they have the necessary skills, resources, experience, financial capacity, and in some cases licences, accreditations, etc., to fulfil the tender requirements.

    Contact: Peter Kerr
    Phone: 02 8922 0271
    Fax:  02 8922 0195


    ATM ID:  RFQ2680011
    Agency:  Department of Defence – DSG
    Category:  82121500 – Printing
    Close Date & Time:  24-Jun-2008 12:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    Show close time for other time zones
    Publish Date:  27-May-2008
    Location:  VIC
    ATM Type:  Request for Tender

    QTY 20,000 EA – 7530-66-138-6224 – Form printed AC382 Certificate of Accreditation

    Contact Officer:  Gina Gauci

    Phone Number:  02 9282-5484
    Email Address:


    ATM ID:  RFQ-2680069A
    Agency:  Department of Defence – DSG
    Category:  55121600 – Labels
    Close Date & Time:  25-Jun-2008 12:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    Show close time for other time zones
    Publish Date:  30-May-2008
    Location:  VIC
    ATM Type:  Request for Tender

    QTY 4000 EA 7690-66-148-2638 LABEL AD 204 FULLY FUNCTIONAL GREEN

    Contact Officer:  Gina Gauci

    Phone Number:  03 9282 5484
    Email Address:


    Tender Title:  Newspaper digitising: scanning, optical character recognition & content analysis services
    Tender No:  SLVT043
    Tender Type:  Request for Tender (RFT)
    Opening Date:  05/28/2008
    Closing Date:  06/26/2008
    Closing Time:  02:00 PM
    Status:  Open
    Category:  Printing, Photographic and Audio/Visual Equipment and Supplies

    The State Library of Victoria requires the provision of the following services:
    Scanning from microfilm to create high quality digital images of newspaper pages
    Optical Character Recognition (OCR) processing of the digitised files, content analysis (i.e. zoning and categorising of articles) and the production of XML files

    Contact Details
    Contact Person :  Shirley Firth
    Telephone Number:  03 8664 7151
    E-mail Address:
    Reference No:  SLVT043


    ATM ID:  RFQ-2680045A
    Agency:  Department of Defence – DSG
    Category:  55121600 – Labels
    Close Date & Time:  28-Jun-2008 12:00 pm (ACT Local time)
    Show close time for other time zones
    Publish Date:  3-Jun-2008
    Location:  VIC
    ATM Type     Request for Tender

    Qty 1 Roll 3000 7690-66-148-2641 Label, AD207 Restricted Use Yellow


    Contact Officer:  Gina Gauci
    Phone Number:  03 9282 5484
    Email Address:


    Tender Title: Binding Services
    Tender No: SLVT044
    Tender Type: Request for Tender (RFT)
    Opening Date: 04/09/2008
    Closing Date: 05/08/2008
    Closing Time : 02:00 PM
    Status: Open
    Category: Paper Materials and Products

    The State Library of Victoria is requesting quotations for its external binding program for a three-year period from July 2008 to June 2010.  Library binding comprises three categories, including; current serial volumes, monograph rebinding and the casting of prepared text blocks (for mongraphs).  The Library requires an experienced contractor that can provide the full range of binding products and services.

    Contact Details
    Contact Person: Shelley Jamieson
    Telephone Number: 8664 7357
    E-mail Address:
    Reference No: SLVT044