Posts Tagged ‘South Australia’

  • 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