Posts Tagged ‘Konica Minolta’

  • Innovators strike gold in Ballarat

    Konica Minolta guests visited Ballarat’s Revolution Print.

    Printers from around Australia flew into Melbourne last week for an exclusive Konica Minolta innovators event on Thursday, August 9, capped off by a visit to Revolution Print in Ballarat.

    The event featured a keynote address from Andrew Grant, CEO of Tirian and author of The Innovation Race, who spoke about the tension between ‘explorers’, who are driven to constantly find new ideas, and ‘preservers’, who seek to keep existing structures intact. “Don’t let this tension tear your organisation apart,” he told guests. “Use it to pull yourselves forward.”

    Konica Minolta customers Andrew Cester of Whirlwind, and Leon Wilson of Revolution Print, shared their experiences with Konica Minolta digital technology before the group boarded a coach to Ballarat for a live demonstration of Revolution’s AccurioJet KM-1 B2 inkjet press, the second installed in Australia.

    (L-R) Leon Wilson, Revolution; Sue Threlfo, Konica Minolta; John Schreenan, Revolution; and David Procter, Konica Minolta.

    At Revolution’s high-tech plant in Ballarat, Wilson and fellow director John Schreenan showed off the custom vinyl-wrapped KM-1’s capabilities, including its high speed and print quality, and fielded questions from attendees. Samples were also on display, demonstrating the range of the press’s output.

    Sue Threlfo, general manager of production and industrial print at Konica Minolta, hailed the event as a big success. “We’d never tried something like this before, but with innovation in our industry being so important, we wanted to have some of our key customers and potential customers really think about how they could embrace innovation and change their practices for the future,” she said. “It’s been very successful – people are now talking about how they can change the way they do business for the better.”

    Threlfo believes more innovation days like this may be on the cards. “We were oversubscribed to this event,” she said. “Even before the day, we were considering another event prior to Christmas.

    “It’s all been positive feedback, and lots of it,” she said.

  • Hits & misses make the most of IGAS

    Tokyo Typhoon Number 12 of the season was a fizzer, a bit of a blow but nothing to bother the printers attending IGAS at Big Site out in the Bay. It came and went within a few hours; rain and wind enough to alarm the woman at the Heidelberg showroom where I was on Saturday afternoon. She urged us to get out quickly to avoid being stranded. Perhaps a little over the top, but …

    So, why was I at the Heidelberg showroom in Tokyo? Well here’s how the second part of my IGAS went.

    IGAS is an international exhibition, although overseas visitors are still only a small part of it. It’s international in that every manufacturer of note exhibits and as is becoming increasingly obvious that means most are Japanese firms. There are the large well known brands, but a walk around IGAS shows clearly the depth of ingenuity and industry in small firms and startups driving the printing equipment industry in Japan.


    With notable exceptions of course – HP is the eight hundred pound US gorilla in the centre of printing. Its digital reach is immense, encompassing every aspect of printing and packaging. In a prime position just inside the entrance in Hall 1 visitors were treated to a display of printed packaging that leaves no doubt that the future is definitely digital. It provided a testament to just how far the technology has been pushed and how this show was mostly about industrial printing mostly packaging.


    Konica Minolta Australian and Japanese colleagues (L to r) David Cascarino, Toshitaka Uemura, Koji Asaka and Anthony ‘AJ’ Jackson.

    Friday afternoon I had an appointment to meet with people from Konica Minolta who took time to talk about the 145-year-old company. Toshitaka Uemura, GM industry print business and Koji Asaka, assistant manager, are fine examples of all that’s best about Japanese corporate life. Dedicated and loyal they not only know the technology, but also are also deeply versed in the ethos and history of the company.

    There’s plenty of disparagement about the supposedly oppressed Japanese ‘salary men’ but they’re a remarkably hardworking and loyal bunch and these two were anything but put upon. Well informed too, as Uemura-san took me through the development of the company, its history as a photo and camera business and its prospects as a manufacturer of leading digital technology.

    There’s no doubt the Accurio KM1 is the flagship, a B2 inkjet press that is the first real contender to HP Indigo’s dominance. But there’s more in the portfolio too. The MGI digital embellishment JetVarnish 30 engine was prominent on the stand.

    Watch for a re-worked version of the Accurio Label press in the next few months, moving away from its BizHub-box appearance while still sticking with toner. It’s the technology the market wants, says Uemura-san, who was part of the planning team. He reckons the inkjet label sector is very well served but there’s a gap in the market where toner works in terms of cost and quality. And he gives every impression of knowing about what he speaks.


    Label specialist, Taishi Motoshige, (left) showed me around the Screen stand and introduced me to Ayaka Sasaki who looks after the CTP.

    Just next door Screen, another iconic Japanese manufacturer had a very busy stand. Based in the imperial city of Kyoto it has successfully reinvented itself as the market for its emblematic platemaking technology dwindled and almost died. But Screen is one of the few in the world still manufacturing CTP machines and lo and behold, there’s a new version released at this IGAS. A stripped-down unit aimed at the replacement market in developing countries, the PlateRite 8600NII can be upgraded with all the latest technology. As with much of Screen’s well-regarded technology, it’s widely rebadged and OEM’d.

    If you think a new CTP verges on the anachronistic, I was astounded to see a new proofing press on the stand, the Proof Jet F780 Mark ll. Who’d have thought sections of the Japanese media and advertising industry still insist on a proof from a proofing press? I mean, what’s the point, when it’s not going to be printed on the proofing press? Still, that’s what they want and Screen is happy to provide it.

    However, don’t let me give you the impression that Screen is caught in a weird time warp. Most of its stand was a model display of high-powered digital printing with two versions of the high-speed Truepress Jet, one for direct marketing production, the other for graphic arts; very impressive results. No sign yet of a cut sheet version.

    Fascinated to see the developments of Screen’s label press, with a new version out for the show, the TruePress L350UV+LM. The LM stands for low-migration; an ink set aiming to avoid any challenges to its suitability for labels on food products. Next to it was an Italian laser die cutter, a Cartes GE361L producing the best results from the technology I’ve seen. The label roll is split as it enters the machine with the printed layer being laser cut from the rear before being reunited with the liner. Clever solution that solves most of the angle cut problems from using lasers.


    Nothing to see here again, I’m afraid.

    One of the disappointments of IGAS was the no show of the Canon Voyager, the much-hyped flagship graphic arts digital press. I saw it at last drupa, but it wasn’t operating. The samples on display were tremendous. Same at IGAS. Lots of fabulous samples behind glass, lots of banners promoting the model, but no actual press. There were no English speaking staff, insofar as I could find, so I’m no wiser as to what’s happening with the Voyager. Perhaps it’s not for the Japanese market.

    There was an Océ Colorado there, promoted as a Canon product.


    David Currie, Australian IGAS-san and still a formidable printing equipment salesman.

    After a couple of days of missed calls, I managed to get in front of David Currie, executive chairman Currie Group, on the Saturday morning. I was keen to meet in Tokyo because David, if anyone, is the Australian IGAS-san. He tells me he’s being coming to the show for 31 years, ever since he hooked up with long-term friend and partner Hori-san, founder and owner of Horizon. (Hori-san… Horizon. Geddit?)

    We forget that at that time in the 1980s there was a sense, much promoted by competitors, that ‘Made in Japan’ was somehow dodgy and inferior. Certainly the trail David Currie blazed at the time was the road less travelled. Of course, nowadays, Japanese technology is the benchmark of quality and innovation.

    Such is the case with the vast range of equipment on the Horizon stand, the largest at IGAS, and not only on the Horizon stand but on others too, such as Ricoh and HP. In fact almost all the digital press manufacturers are using Horizon finishing kit.

    We tried to track Hori-san for a celebratory photo, but he wasn’t to be found. Then true to form, David Currie transformed into a younger version of himself as a Horizon equipment product manager and gave me a pretty comprehensive tour of the stand. Sure, he’s got people to do that for him, but once a printing equipment salesman …


    Anniversary celebrations for Richard Timson, whose 30 years with Heidelberg, man and boy, was commemorated with a gift of saki from Shuya Mizyno, president of Heidelberg Japan and Thomas Frank, head of sales Asia Pacific, who is also a 30-year Heidelberg veteran.

    Saturday afternoon with the typhoon closing in it was time to taxi to the Heidelberg showroom in Shinagawa. (Travel tip: never trust the driver over Google maps.) The German press manufacturer, represented by the redoubtable Thomas Frank, was showing off its Smart Print Shop concept while virtually promoting the new digital Primefire. There was no actual showing of the inkjet (at the Heidelberg IGAS stand visitors donned goggle-style glasses for a virtual tour) but there was a mighty Speedmaster XL 106, which proceeded to print 12 jobs of 150 sheets each (20 waste sheets per job) in 30 minutes, without operator intervention.

    While the printing was underway, the plates changing automatically and the press autonomously adjusting the settings, we were taken on a tour of the full print process, including the Versafire, which produced 26 digital jobs at the same time, again without operator input.

    Heidelberg promotes the concept as digitally controlled printing. Hugely productive to meet the challenge of the digital world, Frank also mentioned the ‘r’ word as in ‘rent a press’ with all the consumables supplied. This is the reality of the ‘subscription printing’ scheme being promoted by the company to drive new sales. It’s attempting to change the concept of how you go about owning productive print. Richard Timson, managing director ANZ says he’s close to getting the first Australian customer signed on.


    Determined to win: Tomomitsu Harada, is new managing director of the Australian company.

    Monday morning saw me heading west out of Tokyo to Tomi, halfway across the main island to visit the Mimaki plant. The aggressive and competitive wide format brand makes no bones about its drive to win market share in Australia and New Zealand. Tomomitsu Harada, the new managing director of the Australian company, unabashedly takes pride in his determined sales drive. At 31 it’s his first overseas managing director’s role and he’s determined to make the most of it. Bringing his family here in September, he’s settling in Chatswood, where else?

    Mimaki has one of the largest ranges of wide format equipment in the sector. With a company goal to double its revenue to $US1 billion within five years it’s the very model of a ‘win at all costs’ Japanese company. Fascinating to hear Harada quote the ‘beat sheet’ used by his salespeople; equipment that’s half the investment cost of rivals, ink that’s always cheaper, service that is aiming to be 100% performed by the company with a few years.

    There’s no doubting the engineering quality of Mimaki, but what makes it stand out for me is its sheer sales drive to win. It’s only been going direct in the local market for four years but expect to hear a lot more from the full-on Harada. He’ll be here in time for Visual Impact in Sydney where he promises to unveil a few surprises.


    The Epson stand, where I missed my walk through with Alastair Bourne, was packed with good gear such as the Surepress L-6034VW. It also provided my first sight of the LX-10000F, the Workforce engine that’s bringing PrecisionCore inkjet technology into the office and small production sectors.

    And that’s it from me in Japan. It was a great show. I messed up with a couple of appointments, notably with Epson on Monday (my apologies Alastair – see photo above). Check out the next issue of Print21 magazine for full IGAS report.

    Now I’m off to Haneda airport for an overnighter to Sydney. See you at the Yaffa LIVE Forum on Friday.

    Sayonara.

  • Currie Group service headlines Print21 mag

    The latest issue of Print21 magazine is out now, featuring an in-depth look at the science of colour, a tour of FESPA 2018 in Berlin, profiles of industry identities, and more.

    This month’s cover features the Currie Care Centre, Currie Group’s way of ensuring its customers receive world-class service long after the techs have got their new machines up and running. Marcus Robinson, service manager for Australia and New Zealand at Currie Group, believes Currie Care works for printers. “From a helicopter point of view I believe we’re the largest across the industry in end-to-end service. We have such a plethora of service offerings,” he said.

    From Berlin, Nessan Cleary reports on a FESPA show that turned its attention towards industrial markets. “Conventional wisdom has it that large-format printing is mainly about sign making and display graphics, but wide-format inkjet technology is pushing beyond this, which was abundantly clear at this year’s main FESPA event in Berlin, Germany,” he writes.

    Colour management can be one of the fiddlier parts of any printer’s process. Fortunately Andy McCourt is on hand with a three-page feature on accurately measuring and controlling your colour. “A properly-managed closed-loop colour workflow where the process is strictly followed to produce predictable and repeatable colour is readily achievable,” he assures.

    In a pair of printing industry profiles, Patrick Howard speaks to Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA, on the turnaround in Printing Industries over the last few years; and to Mitch Mulligan of Bottcher on the 20th anniversary of the supplier setting up shop in Australia.

    All this plus a deep dive into benchtop UV printing, Australia’s second KM-1 digital press, a slew of new equipment installs, and all the news that’s fit about print make this issue of Print21 magazine a great way to while away those winter blues. Check it out here!

    To subscribe to our print edition, go here or email editor@print21.com.au.

  • Accurio shines at Konica Minolta soirée

    Demonstrating the power of Accurio with the November/December 2017 issue of Print21 magazine.

    The great and the good in the Australian printing industry turned out at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art last night for an event showcasing the supplier’s range of Accurio digital presses.

    Industry figures such as Andrew Macaulay, CEO PIAA; Theo Pettaras of Sydney’s Digitalpress, a new Konica Minolta Accurio customer; and Patrick Howard of Print21 joined Konica Minolta staff and clients from across the country to see the latest Accurio technology. Three presses ran on the night, printing out and binding samples – including the November/December 2017 issue of Print21 magazine – to show off the company’s IQ-501 intelligent quality optimiser system.

    Patrick Howard, Print21 (right), with Tim Saleeba, Konica Minolta.

    Sue Threlfo, general manager of production and industrial print at Konica Minolta, thanked all those who’d made the journey to attend the function and reaffirmed KM’s commitment to its customers. “We want to face these challenges in the industry with you, and one of the ways we can do that is to bring you great solutions, and to bring you service and support,” she said. “Let’s continue to work together to ensure success. I believe the possibilities can truly be infinite.”

    Sue Threlfo, Konica Minolta.

    Refreshments and a live band accompanied the humming of the presses, and Konica Minolta employees were on hand to talk customers through the features of the machines on show and how the kit could be used to expand their businesses.

    Theo Pettaras, Digitalpress (right) with Devan Nair, Konica Minolta.

  • Robert Black farewelled at launch event

    The launch of the Holmesglen printing program in Melbourne. (l-r) Robert Black, Holmesglen program manager – printing; PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay; and David Latina, deputy secretary Victorian Dept of Education.

    Long term industry veteran Robert Black has retired after 50 years working in the printing industry. The accomplished educator and industry identity is leaving on a high, celebrating the revival of TAFE print training at Holmesglen, Victoria.

    Black was the driving force behind Holmesglen’s new printing program that was officially launched on Tuesday with an initial intake of more than 85 apprentices.

    “I’m over the moon,” says Black. “It’s been an exciting journey and we’ve accomplished a great deal here over the past 18 months which I’m very proud of.

    Black thanked the printing industry for its generous support. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the printing industry, from David Cooke and Konica Minolta, who supplied $1 million in equipment, from Karen Goldsmith and the whole Visual Connections board and several VisCon members, as well as from DIC, Ball & Doggett, EFI and the PIAA.”

    The industry veteran’s last day on the job on Thursday was a hectic one. “I’m trying to do a lot of things in a short time today but it’s great. 

    “It was just time for me,” he says. “I feel like I’ve done all I needed to do, the set-up here is going very well and it’s time for the next stage. We’re in a good spot but now it needs someone else who will be around for a few more years to take over. Paul Ross, an experienced industry advisor and an ex-printer himself will be taking my role as printing program manager.”

    Black has a knee operation scheduled which will keep him out of operation for a couple of months but says he will continue to serve on industry advisory groups. “I’m retiring and will have the procedure on my knee in a week or two but I won’t be going away just yet.”

    The Konica Minolta Digital Print Centre at the Holmesglen’s Chadstone campus includes an Accurio Label C71cf digital label press – the first in Victoria – as well as the latest bizhub in-line booklet maker, two Accurio digital presses and wide-format colour inkjet printers.

    Course information here.

    Our courses will give you the skills to work in this highly competitive industry, and beome a highly skilled print machinist and operator. From conventional forms to ink-jet technologies, large format printing, digital packaging applications and 3-D printing, the printed form remains highly relevant in a digital world.

    Printing Open Day, 6pm-7pm, Thursday 09 August. 
    Bookings essential.

    Register here.

  • Accurio to the rescue at MBE Applecross

    Andrew Ingram, director, MBE Applecross with his new Konica Minolta AccurioPress C2070.

    A recent upswing in demand for printing jobs at Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) Applecross in Perth WA meant the company was being forced to outsource much of its printing work to other providers.

    “Initially we had a printer that was more suited to office work than the commercial work we wanted to do,” says Andrew Ingram, director, MBE Applecross. “One of the key types of printing we do is meeting notices for mining exploration companies. These 16-32-page booklets need to be high quality and produced in time for meeting season, which is around the end of May. To meet this demand, we needed a commercial printer that could deliver reliably and quickly.”

    At MBE’s national conference, MBE Applecross directors met with representatives from Konica Minolta and determined that the KM AccurioPress C2070 would be the ideal machine to meet the business’s needs.

    “The previous printer couldn’t handle heavier stocks even though we’d been told it could,” says Ingram. “We needed a printer that could handle up to 350gsm because we wanted to print business cards and high-quality covers for the mining companies’ booklets.” The C2070 was also more than twice as fast as the previous machine, he said.

    “Before, I was embarrassed to show people our printer,” Ingram says. “Now, it’s the first thing I show anyone when they come into the office. We wanted to be a place that did printing, not a place that sent printing jobs to other companies. Putting the Konica Minolta printer in place let us make that change. We don’t need to outsource as much work now because the C2070 can handle just about everything.”

    MBE Applecross, Perth.

    Ingram says one of the most important benefits for MBE Applecross has been the service and support provided by Konica Minolta.

    “The assistance from Konica Minolta has been brilliant. One night, we ran out of staples in the middle of a job. I rang customer support and three hours later we had the staples and the job was back up and running. That was a fantastic effort.

    “Every time I had a question for the Konica Minolta team, I got an immediate answer and that impressed me. As a business owner, to know I’ve got that level of backup and support is crucial. The C2070 is our main breadwinner, so having such reliable support for it really delivers peace of mind.”

    Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) is a global company that provides courier, shipping, printing, and mailbox services. Originally established as a US-based franchise, MBE now has 32 locations in Australia.

  • A Revolution in marketing videos

    Revolution Print in Victoria.

    Ballarat-based printer Revolution has launched an innovative new video marketing campaign to support its recent purchase of a high-capacity Accurio KM-1 B2 inkjet press.

    The regional Victoria business has reported a massive growth in volumes after installing only the second Accurio KM-1 in Australia just over a couple of months ago.

    The next investments for the business will include upgrading Horizon digital finishing equipment to keep pace with the multiplying numbers of jobs.

    Revolution is also leading the way in self-promotion with a print marketing campaign that includes two new video releases – one that looks at the installation of the new press and the second that explains the company’s ‘Revo’ branding.

    “We have been working on some pretty big marketing projects and these are now ready to release,” say printing partners and Revolution co-owners, Leon Wilson and John Schreenan.

    You can check out the two videos here and here.

    Revolution is based at Ballarat and also has offices in Echuca VIC and Goulburn NSW.

     

     

     

     

  • IVE to print next federal election ballots

    Voters at the last federal election.

    IVE Group has signed a $2.1 million contract extension to its now $4.8 million deal with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) for the printing of ballot papers for the next federal election.

    The original agreement covered printing, packaging and storing of ballots for the 2016 federal election and was later amended to include by-elections in Bennelong and New England.

    The extension until December 2019 will include the production and printing of ballot materials for the next federal election, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says “should take place in April or May 2019.”

    IVE also signed a new $300,000 contract with the AEC for the printing and packaging of ballot materials for multiple industrial relations elections in Victoria.

    Elsewhere, the Department of Defence updated a $1.4 million printed publications contract for “F111 Publications” from a supplier with a New York, US postal address.

    Melbourne-based Objective 3D signed a $479,088.50 contract to supply a 3D printing system to the federal government’s scientific research body the CSIRO.

    Konica Minolta Business Solutions in the ACT won an extension to a now $626,587 contract to supply the Department of Home Affairs with YSoft Swipe to Print software.

  • Winds of change: Todd joins Konica Minolta

    “Konica Minolta ticked all the boxes for me”: Adam Todd, industrial print sales, Konica Minolta.

    Konica Minolta has appointed industry veteran Adam Todd to the role of industrial print sales specialist for New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

    Todd has 30 years’ experience in the commercial print industry and prior to this role worked for ten years in commercial print sales at Fuji Xerox, and before that was national sales manager at Böttcher Australia for eight years.

    “I was looking for an organisation that was customer-focused, nimble, innovative and had a good social responsibility, and Konica Minolta ticked all the boxes for me,” Todd said.

    “As long-run print continues to struggle for relevance, the short run and versioned print markets will continue to grow, and is opening up new opportunities for commercial printers. Our conversations are now more about adding value and return on investment. With the market at a crossroads in terms of technology to fill this gap between long-run and short-run, Konica Minolta’s industrial print portfolio, including the KM-1, label press and MGI digital embellishment, are a really nice fit.”

    David Procter, sales director, Konica Minolta, said, “Adam has a depth of expertise in selling high-value capital equipment and complex software and workflow solutions to commercial printers, as well as very strong technical skills across a broad range of technology, making him an invaluable part of the sales team.”

     

  • Revolution fires up Australia’s 2nd KM-1

    Revolutionary partners in print: John Schreenan (left) and Leon Wilson.

    High-energy Ballarat printing company Revolution has thrown away the rulebook by installing the high-end, high capacity B2 inkjet press in the Victoria regional centre. Fired up printing partners and co-owners, Leon Wilson and John Schreenan, say they are hugely impressed with the productive power of the latest Konica Minolta inkjet digital technology. Two months after settling the press into its new air-conditioned home, the throughput is driving a massive growth in volumes.

    The pair are rightly dismissive of the notion that regional printers should be conservative in their technology choices, pointing to their early digital entry, a benchmark web-to-print strategy and national delivery footprint as ample justification for the new press. Traditional is not what the blokes at Revolution do: they’ve even decorated the new press in company livery to inject more excitement around the installation.

    As far as Wilson is concerned it’s all about changing the conversation and the perception of printing as a stick in the mud trade, especially in the regions. ‘Revo’ the über company mascot designed by a local artist, is everywhere, on walls, on marketing collateral and especially in the mindset of the two directors. He epitomises the freewheeling culture of Revolution and its determination not to be typecast as just another printer.

    “We don’t want to be the same as everyone else, to do the same thing printers have been doing for ever. We’re a technology company with a lot of energy and attitude. Our culture is more important than the technology we buy,” said Wilson.

    Culture and attitude are two words used a lot at Revolution. They go a long way to defining the drive and enthusiasm that has powered an impressive 50 percent growth in revenue over the past year. With 70 percent coming over the web, the local market still accounts for almost half of the total. The previous 12 months saw the partners expand the business with two acquisitions, one in Echuca, Victoria, the other in Goulburn, NSW.

    The AccurioJet KM-1 is destined to become the main production engine relieving the load on its two Fuji Xerox machines while complementing the capacity of the Shinohara offset press out the back. Bedding in a new printIQ production system, Revolution is set to reap the rewards of daring and belief in itself. The next tranche of investments will go to upgrading Horizon digital finishing equipment to keep pace with the multiplying numbers of jobs.

    “I’m thriving on the energy. The past two years have been without a break, but we’re on a mission here,” said Wilson.

    Part of that mission is to continue to differentiate Revolution from the rest, not only in technology investments such as the AccurioJet KM-1, but also in continuously refining of the company’s software, both in-house and online. The two owners are justifiably proud of their online presence, attributing much of the company’s success to their web-to-print operation.

    “People buy a software package out of a box and they think, problem solved. That’s why ninety percent of them stay on the shelf, because they don’t have somebody vested in the business that’s willing to spend the time,” said Wilson. “You’ve no idea how many hours I spent just thinking about it before attempting to actually set it up and make it work. That’s the investment. Ultimately it’s what makes a successful business.”

    It might be different in the metropolitan areas but in Ballarat, the onus was squarely on Wilson to make the thing work. There are few consultants in the area and even if there were he’s not impressed with that solution.

    “I did it all myself. It was a massive job. Some people say to hire a consultant but I don’t think they can do it. They don’t know the business. They’ll never understand internally what your drive and motivation is and how you want to run your business.

    “You also need to know how to manipulate the software, because if you’re pitching to a client and they ask you can you do something, you know straight away how it can be done, because you built the darn thing. It’s about having that confidence.”

    Revolution is a very differentiated printing company but in many ways it fits a normal commercial profile. It prints a wide range of materials, ready to take on everything and outsource what doesn’t suit its production. According to Schreenan, much of the difference is what happens to the jobs once they’ve been downloaded.

    “We go across a range of products and a lot of other printers do as well. But where it’s different is what happens once it gets to us and then how it gets to print,” he said.

    “Our business philosophy is very ‘can do’. Our attitude is extremely different. Seventy percent coming through online is a pretty big percentage. We know it’s a massive number. That’s something we’ve worked hard at for a long time. Leon took the base system of online and developed it. We made it work the way our customers need it to work. The software is not one size fits all.  That’s the unique side of our business.”

    There’s a very natural synergy between the two directors with Wilson first working in the business and then buying in as an equal partner four years ago. Very much the high-energy entrepreneur, he revels in the role of visionary and evangelist. Schreenan is more in the traditional style. After a long career with Fuji Xerox, he came back to Ballarat and transformed the company by investing in digital printing. He’s now the customer service side of the business giving Wilson air to constantly look towards the future.

    There are more investments on the cards for Revolution apart from the Horizon finishing kit, but they’re taking a step back from their usual full-on speed. “We’ve obviously made a bunch of investments. There will be more, maybe other acquisitions but lets’ bed this in first. The growth curve is massive and we’re trying to manage that,” said Wilson.

    “Updating our MIS is a massive project. We’ve moved across to printIQ, which is the system that will decide the most appropriate route for every job that comes in. But you must realise we’re only using fifteen percent of our true automation capability. We have so much potential ahead of us. “

    As only the second Accurio KM-1 in Australia (the first went into Jossimo in Melbourne late last year) Konica Minolta is understandably keeping a very close eye on the operation and lending as much support as required. According to Sue Threlfo, GM production & industrial print, inkjet is such a relatively pioneering technology at the high end of the market that just about everybody in it is new. 

    “That’s why an innovative organisation such as Revolution has a real market advantage.  When the KM-1 technology is paired with such dynamic forward thinkers as John and Leon, it shows just what can be achieved in the printing industry,” she said.

    Sue Threlfo (right) with Leon Wilson and Anthony Jackson, industrial print sales specialist (left).

    “The AccurioJet KM-1 is already very quickly having a positive effect for Revolution.  It has the ability to produce such a wide range of jobs so efficiently. Textured stocks, right through to forms and letterheads are proving there are significant productivity gains to be had with the KM-1.  We appreciate Leon and John sharing their passion for the Konica Minolta KM-1. 

    “John and Leon first saw the KM-1 at drupa in 2016.  From there they reviewed all the available solutions in the B2 inkjet marketplace, and decided that the total offering from Konica Minolta was the superior option. It seems their decision has been a great choice.  At Konica Minolta we are excited to see where the future takes such the energetic innovative organisation as Revolution Print.”

  • KM opens Specialised Print Awards entries

    Konica Minolta has opened entries for the 2018 National Specialised Print Awards, celebrating exceptional craftsmanship in digital printing.

    Sue Threlfo, Konica Minolta.

    Launched in 2016, the National Specialised Print Awards are now in their third year and, according to Sue Threlfo, general manager for production and industrial print at Konica Minolta, are going from strength to strength. “They’re a great opportunity for our customers to showcase their extraordinary print work. These awards are our way of saying thank you to our customers for the outstanding work they produce using Konica Minolta production presses,” she said.

    This year’s awards will focus on the best work produced on Konica Minolta digital machines in five categories: flat sheet, bound books, brochures and booklets, labels, and embellishment. “For 2018, we have included additional categories so customers can submit both embellished print jobs created on our MGI products and label print entries. We look forward to seeing how our customers push the boundaries with their Konica Minolta digital presses this year,” said Threlfo.

    The finals will be held in Sydney on October 18, and state finalists will be flown down to attend. The national overall winner will score a trip to Konica Minolta’s headquarters in Japan, where they will tour the manufacturer’s customer experience centre and R&D facilities.

    For more information or to enter, go to https://www.konicaminolta.com.au/nspawards. Entries close at 5pm on Friday, September 21.

  • Nick Pond’s SA print safari – Print21 magazine article Part l

    Every city has its own flavour, its own distinct infusion of culture and industry, and Adelaide is no exception. What are the quirks, challenges and achievements paving the way for the people of print in the deep south? Nicholas Pond heads to the City of Churches to find out.

    Let me be the first to raise a glass of fine Barossa Valley Shiraz and say, sweet Lord Adelaide, you are a sorely neglected gem. Well done, sir or madam. This was my first visit and as I stepped off the plane and was met by a crisp South Australian autumn morning, I was sold right there.

    "Let me be the first to raise a glass of fine Barossa Valley Shiraz," Nick Pond

    The region is rightly famous for its world-class wineries, rolling acres of lush vineyards rich with punchy whites and splashy reds, and then there’s the inimitable City of Churches itself. It’s steeped in history, and wears its heritage proudly alongside a bristling edge of innovation and change.

    And with that autumn bite on the wind, change was certainly in season as I set off to try and get a sense of the local printing scene. The blend of old and new was in the air, tangible, and nowhere more so than with the printers I met. As run lengths drop, printers are turning their attention to the latest processes and technologies to adapt and survive, and when it comes to Adelaide the digital revolution has found a rich crop.

    Finsbury Green grows digital

    Finsbury Green is an iconic name, not just in South Australia but nationally. Finsbury’s raft of print awards spills out over more than three walls in its spacious lobby. The family-owned business is built on the combined pillars of quality and its well-known dedication to environmental standards. Its heritage is firmly based in the offset world but, as national manufacturing manager Robbie D’Angelo shows me, the revolution has well and truly broken ground here too.

    “First and foremost, this company has been built on the reputation that we are a quality printer. Over the years we’ve embraced environmental accreditations as well, which are core to the business now, so when we made the decision to go digital it had to be in line with sustaining and maintaining those standards,” says D’Angelo.

    Powered by a Kodak NexPress SE3000, Finsbury’s digital division is thriving. Since it was set up three years ago, the division has gone from strength to strength with all the national network’s digital work coming through the Adelaide hub.

    My visit finds Finsbury in a state of transition, as the man who oversaw that crucial set-up and has guided the division through the years prepares to hand over the keys. Damon Hammond, digital production manager, looks back on his accomplishments over the past three years, and reveals some of the challenges and triumphs.

    The passing of the torch at Finsbury Green: incoming and outgoing digital division managers, Chris Monteleone and Damon Hammond, hand over the keys to the Kodak NexPress SE3000.

    “I moved here from Brisbane for the opportunity to set up something from scratch. It wasn’t just setting up a digital department, it was working to integrate it with the existing offset mindset, which was a challenge in itself,” says Hammond.

    “It’s more than just picking up work and adding value, I think it’s actually helped drive change across the board. Digital has brought a lot of automation which now we’re trying to move into the rest of the business.”

    In fact the digital division hit capacity late last year and has just ratcheted up to two shifts, opening up new jobs and opportunities. Hammond leaves the digital team in the safe hands of Chris Monteleone, a Finsbury man for 18 years who is keen to pick up the ball and keep it moving forward. For Hammond, though, the success of digital for Finsbury Green speaks for itself.

    “I’m very proud,” he says. “It’s turned out well. It’s been successful, it’s been profitable and it’s growing.”

    Tender moment for Reflex Printing

    It’s not the biggest shock to see an offset printer branch out into digital but Mark Frankcom, owner and founder of Adelaide Digital, tackled the issue from quite another angle. Frankcom was running the straight digital set-up and turning a tidy profit until four years ago he went the other way entirely and bought up Reflex Printing, a mostly offset operation.

    “It’s been an interesting transition,” he admits. “Digital leads the business for me, no question. The offset side is flatter, but what it’s done is complement my digital by allowing me to do a wider variety of work, basically.”

    The move has seen him grow the company from a staff of four to fifteen, and bring on new business opportunities. Crucially for Frankcom both operations play to their strengths and stand up on their own, as well as meshing easily to add value for customers.

    In fact, Reflex Printing has only just finished upgrading its digital arsenal, with the spike in short-run, tight-turnaround work driving more and more business its way. A Konica Minolta man, Frankcom says that his brand new pair of C8000s are already well and truly earning their keep.

    One of two new Konica Minolta C8000s powering Mark Frankcom’s own personal digital revolution out at Reflex Printing/Adelaide Digital.

    “They’re replacing two C6500s that we’ve had for about five years now. Moving up to the 8000s was a no-brainer, the quality, the registration and the speed are all a step up. It means we’re able to handle more throughput and deliver the highest quality work on the market,” says Frankcom.

    It’s an investment that has already soundly paid off, with Reflex landing a new government tender. A major coup for the team, the deal covers coursework material for TAFEshop nationally, as well as all TAFE general printing for South Australia.

    Frankcom has confidence in the technology at his disposal and the support he can rely on to get the job done.

    “The service department in Konica Minolta smashes the competition. It’s just the attitude they’ve got. They look after you, they’ve got that ethos. And they have enough techs out there to cover it. It means we can go after these sorts of jobs and know that support is going to be there.”

    At the junction of offset and digital

    Leon and Sheila Torzyn head up another family-run Adelaide business embracing the digital revolution head-on. Running twin Konica Minoltas, a C6501 and C7000, alongside a four-colour Heidelberg SM-52, Print Junction has refined its specialised offering to target short-run books and brochure work. After 18 years in the business, Print Junction has successfully grown from a pure offset shop to a fully-equipped digital design studio.

    “With us starting out just offset, the test with digital was matching the print. Customers don’t care whether it’s digital or offset, they just want it at the highest possible quality,” says Leon Torzyn.

    “That’s why we went with the Konica gear. The ink on paper closely resembled the offset offering. That’s where we wanted to be, so it allows us to transfer work between the two. It’s got terrific output.”

    “You gotta know when to fold ‘em…” Leon and son Nathan Torzyn unpack their Horizon BQ-280 PUR binder.

    That output has helped land the business work with headland brands from Qantas and Wesfarmers, through to printing Indigenous Business Australia’s quarterly magazine Inspire. As an indigenous Australian-owned company itself, Print Junction has formed particularly close ties in the community, balancing that line between national service and a traditional community printer.

    Up until four years ago, local walk-in traffic still made up a healthy mix of Print Junction’s business, but work on the city’s first elevated South Road Superway all but put an end to that. With construction effectively cutting off direct access, Print Junction’s digital flexibility became vital for its survival.

    “We used to have three banks right out the front. They left when the foot-traffic stopped, that was about four years ago. That’s when we really focused on broadening our horizons. The digital work, online ordering and digital print management were crucial, but because of the way our business had been developing we survived. And now we’re growing,” says Torzyn.

    Step up to the crease

    As run lengths continue to shift, more and more of Print Junction’s booklet work has transferred across from offset. This has opened up print finishing as a growing priority for the business, and for Torzyn the answer was simple. It came on the back of a truck – the day the Currie roadshow came to town.

    Riding out the digital revolution in style, the Horizon BQ-280 PUR binder has been a showroom centrepiece throughout the Currie roadshow’s epic cross-country trek, and its Adelaide stop-off was no exception. With his new Horizon landing the very morning of my visit, Torzyn is still getting the engines running, but for him it’s a logical progression for the business in the current climate.

    “We know where we’re at with the smaller runs, and that’s pushed the drive through to digital print finishing equipment. These have been built to prevent toner from cracking and to give the appearance on the folds of a nice, crisp, clean, clear fold. It opens up whole new opportunities for us,” he says.

    Maintaining quality standards: Robbie D’Angelo with Finsbury Green’s new Horizon BQ-280 PUR binder.

    And Print Junction aren’t the only ones expanding their digital Horizons. The team out at Finsbury Green are also just christening a brand new BQ-280 PUR, also fresh out of the Currie mobile showroom. Finsbury’s Robbie D’Angelo fills me in on the increased demand across the state fuelling these crucial purchases.

    “We’ve invested to bring this equipment in-house to really maintain our quality standards. It gives us a better control of the overall product. People are ordering shorter and shorter runs for booklet runs, brochures. It makes sense for that work to go digital, and as those jobs grow we need to be able to finish to the same level. We put in the PUR binder a week back, and we’re potentially even looking at a new machine to complement the NexPress,” says D’Angelo.

    Next time Nick meets John Bastoni, print manager at Academy Photography as well as dropping in on David McCloud of Label Partners

     

  • Konica Minolta gives bizhub series the multi-touch edge

    Konica Minolta is building on the award-winning bizhub range of printers with the new bizhub C754e series, which features expanded multi-touch functionality and more flexible keypad and software options.

    The expanded multi-touch functionality now supports swiping from one menu screen to another, swiping from one function to another, drag and drop to easily move and rearrange thumbnail pages of a file, pinch in and out to enlarge and reduce scanned images in the preview screens and a rotation feature that allows you to move an image to the desired angle.

    Chris Goult (pictured), group product manager, Konica Minolta, says: “We are thrilled with the new additions to the bizhub C754e series.  These new features follow the release of the bizhub C554e models and set the bar for revolutionary multi-touch control panels and a new benchmark in usability.

    “The new e series allows users to create Word, Excel and PowerPoint presentations directly from the MFP touch panel which is more convenient, enabling scanned documents to be converted to text searchable documents that can then be edited as required,” he says.

    This latest high performing multifunction series from Konica Minolta offers one of the lowest energy consumptions available and a reduced environmental impact. The impressively low power consumption is achieved through LED scanner lighting, 3 watt sleep and 0.5 watt power save mode, an innovative dynamic eco-time and in built sensor.

    Efficiency is not compromised as Warp technology achieves a fast warm up time of 22 seconds or less and one of the fastest First Copy Out Times of 5.3 seconds for colour and 3.6 seconds for monochrome.

    Other best-in-class features include  SRA3 capability of up to 300gsm, 1200 dpi print resolution for reproducing small text and fine lines, single pass dual scanning up to 180 opm, as well as the industry’s only compact finisher that can employ a colour 3-sheet Tri-fold function, perfect for automating the collation of multi-page mailings. An optional EFI Fiery Controller is available for environments with workflow and colour management requirements.

  • Konica Minolta bizhub series takes home Aussie Business Awards

    Konica Minolta’s bizhub range of printers is garnering the company national accolades after the C754 series took home three Australian Business Awards.

    The awards, for the bizhub C754 series – bizhub C224 to bizhub C754, include Best New Product, Product Innovation and Product Excellence, and recognise Konica Minolta as a market leader in product development and sustainability.

    “We are honoured to receive this prestigious accolade and be acknowledged by the Australian Business Awards for our overall product superiority,” said Chris Goult (pictured), group product marketing manager, Konica Minolta. “These awards highlight our dedication to providing quality printing solutions to our customers and showcases Konica Minolta as a pioneering market leader in product innovation.”

    Conducted annually, and now in their eighth year, the Australian Business Awards are widely acknowledged as one of Australia’s most respected accolades spanning across the corporate, government and non-profit sectors underpinned by the program’s established framework.

    “The Australian Business Awards recognise our most innovative organisations, their outstanding achievements and contribution to the Australian economy,” said Tara Johnston, program director, The Australian Business Awards. “Konica Minolta is a worthy recipient and has demonstrated a commitment to excellence that stands out amongst a dynamic field of Australia’s elite.”

    According to Konica Minolta, the C754 series provides unrivalled usability while maximising higher volume workflows, offering a revolutionary new user interface and single pass dual side scanning up to 180 originals per minute.

    The company said the nine-inch electrostatic touch panel with ‘flick and drag’ operation, commonly used in smart phone devices, complete with web-browsing capability and third party application integration, engages users with advanced features and a simpler navigation experience.

  • New Konica Minolta MD boosts charity standing

    Dr. David Cooke, Konica Minolta Australia’s new managing director, is boosting the company’s corporate social responsibility standing, after sponsoring Project Futures, a local charity set up to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

    Cooke, a passionate advocate for corporate social responsibility with his insights documented in his thesis “The philanthropic contract: building social capital through corporate social investment,” is looking to strengthen Konica Minolta’s position as a company that cares and has been instrumental in supporting a number of causes through financial sponsorship, corporate volunteering and workplace giving programs.

    “CSR [corporate social responsibility] is a powerful way for businesses to make a difference,” says Cooke, who took on the job of Konica Minolta Australia managing director in May this year. “When I heard about the work of Project Futures, I was so moved by Somaly Mam’s story that I knew our company had to be involved. Most of the money we’ve put forward will go directly to supporting the victims and survivors of trafficking in both Australia and South East Asia.”

    Dr. David Cooke, Konica Minolta Australia MD (L) with Somali Mam, founder of the Somali Mam Foundation.

    Project Futures was inspired by the biography of former Cambodian sex slave, Somaly Mam. It raises funds for programs dedicated to combating human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Australia and South-East Asia. The money raised contributes to the rescue, recovery, education and reintegration of victims, as well as funding advocacy for the cause.

    Stephanie Lorenzo established Project Futures in 2009 after organising a charity bike ride across Cambodia, which raised US $80,000 for the Somaly Mam Foundation. On the bike ride she met with survivors of sex-trafficking and found those meetings so life-changing she set up Project Futures shortly afterwards.

    Stephanie Lorenzo, Project Futures’ Founder and CEO, says: “We are excited to have Konica Minolta as a Major Corporate Sponsor not only because of what their gift will allow us to achieve but also because we want to work closely with their staff and involve them personally in our organisation.

    “It is wonderful to find such a motivated sponsor and one who understands the importance of a true partnership approach,” she says.

    Konica Minolta’s CSR activities are based on its Management Philosophy of “The Creation of New Value,” and is committed to making a positive and meaningful contribution to the environment, society and the community in which it operates.

    Ensuring it lives up to its values in supporting the local community, Konica Minolta launched a Social Contribution Program in November 2011. With the energetic support of their employees, Konica Minolta has built strong relationships with three Australian charity partners and contributes throughout the year to help make a difference across Australia.

    Konica Minolta’s other charity partners include; The Smith Family, The Breast Cancer Network of Australia, Landcare Australia and now Project Futures. Additional sponsored initiatives include The Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize and a part-funded Ph.D. scholarship to support research into diabetes for the Menzies Research Institute of Tasmania.

  • Oxygen is Scott Telfer’s new breath of life

    A rebrand with corporate makeover reflects the expansion of the Sydney-based printer’s role from being a print manufacturer into a service provider.

    Well-known industry identity Scott Telfer along with his wife Merrin, launched their business’s new identity, Oxygen, at a celebration in a Surrey Hills eatery last night attended by more than 70 clients and staff. Marking a turning point in the company’s direction since Melbourne-based Southern Colour ceased being a shareholder last October, the rebranding is a result of a serious review that involved key staff and focused on where the Telfer’s wanted to take the business.

    “Being a printer is still an important part of our identity but we wanted to offer more services to our clients. It’s not that we’ll become a print broker, more like being able to offer five star service. We’re not a manufacturer, we’re a service provider,” said Telfer.

    We’re not a manufacturer, we’re a service provider,”… Scott Telfer.

    Making the point that they did not want to become dinosaurs, he said the new name, Oxygen, reflects the new direction. “It’s fresh, simple, modern, clean and it’s something we all need to survive.” Sydney designer, Alex de Bonis of the Daily Habit is responsible for the corporate makeover.

    The attendees at the relaunch reflect Oxygen’s eclectic mix of clients; major corporations, financial services, designers, art galleries, even museums. All received a copy of a new corporate notebook that doubles as a print primer.

    Apart from intending to source a wide range of products Oxygen will also provide logistic support. Telfer tells of delivering point-of-sale material for a client to 370 JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman stores nationwide.

    He says Oxygen will continue to provide top quality print from its Heidelberg 6-colour Speedmaster along with digital products from its latest addition, a Konica Minolta Pro7000. “We’re not the cheapest but we do deliver great value.”

    He relates that following a “horrible” few years the market seems to have picked up in the past nine months. Rod Dawson, managing director, Southern Colour, was at the relaunch to wish the new company well. The Telfers began as Southern Colour (NSW) in August 2007.

     

  • Konica Minolta partners up with FileBound

    A partnership between Konica Minolta Australia and document management solutions supplier, FileBound, is offering new levels of automation and streamlined workflow to the print technology company’s document management customers.

    The new deal sees FileBound, which is touted as one of the leading providers document management solutions locally, provide automation for a number of manual processes within Konica Minolta’s existing document management service.

    According to Chris Goult (pictured), head of Product Marketing at Konica Minolta Australia, the partnership is in line with Konica Minolta’s core strategy to boost its integrated software services, combining print management and document workflow software solutions.

    “Konica Minolta’s partnership with FileBound is an important step in providing our customers with sophisticated integrated business solutions and helping them optimize their MFD usage,” says Goult. “Content management and workflow software solutions are the future of business because they maximise productivity and efficiency.

    “Working together, Konica Minolta and FileBound will allow customers to file, store, share, retrieve, secure, archive and audit all critical documents.  Automating and streamlining essential processes is not reserved for large corporations – it is becoming the norm for businesses of all sizes,” he says.

    According to Goult, smaller to medium sized businesses (SMEs) have historically invested in hardware more than in solutions for workflow, considering it an area for large IT departments. However, SMEs are now becoming more aware of the full range of benefits and cost savings that can be delivered with a cost effective document management solution like FileBound.

    “In the long term companies benefit most from employing MFDs to automate the capture of information, and then integrating the capture of this information with better electronic content management across the company.  Electronic content management and optimized document management is the way of the future for business,” he says.

    Konica Minolta Australia is just one of several print technology companies, including Ricoh Australia and Fuji Xerox Australia, which are working to broaden their document management business in the local market.