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  View the embedded image gallery online at: At the upcoming Canada Printing Awards gala, taking place on November 12 at The Grand Luxe in Toronto, PrintAction magazine will honour four individuals who continue to have a major impact on the domestic printing industry.Celebrating its 10th year in 2015, the Canadian Printing Awards program is designed to recognize printing innovation in the country, through three distinct awards sections, including the 23 Quality Printing categories and five Environmental Printing categories, which are determined by an independent panel of judges.In 2008, PrintAction introduced the Industry Achievement section to the awards program to honour outstanding leadership as demonstrated by members of the Canadian printing community. The 2015 Industry Achievement Award winners, determined by PrintAction magazine, include:Lifetime Achievement AwardDick KouwenhovenChairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hemlock PrintersBurnaby, British ColumbiaPrinting Leader of the YearJay MandarinoFounder, President & CEO, C.J. Graphics, Printers & LithographersToronto, OntarioEmerging Leader of the YearDamian McDonaldPresident, ampersand Guelph, OntarioCommunity Leader of the YearScott GrayVice President, Branding, MET Fine PrintersVancouver, British Columbia
Robert Gauvin, who led one of Quebec’s historic family printing businesses since 1984, passed away on September 20 after a long illness.Founded in 1892 by Georges Elzéar Gauvin, Gauvin Press is described as the first commercial printing shop in Hull, Quebec, which is now called Gatineau. After the Great Fire of Hull in 1900, which destroyed the home of Georges Gauvin, where the printing company was originally located, Gauvin Press moved to its current location on Leduc Street.Robert Gauvin, described as a pioneer craftsman of the printing trade, was a third-generation printer, taking over the management of Gauvin Press after his father’s death in 1984. Joseph Royal Gauvin had run the printing company since 1945.Robert Gauvin began working at the print shop in September 1957, when he learned firsthand about the secrets of typography from his father, while also serving an internship at Kodak in Rochester, New York. It was Robert Gauvin who introduced the lithographic printing process to the printing company. He held on to the company’s craftsman roots, however, displaying an old printing press and drawers of wooden letterpress blocks in Gauvin Press’ front window on Leduc Street.Gauvin Press explains when the commercial printing market came upon hard times and changed dramatically in the 1990s, Robert Gauvin, supported by his wife Georgette and his son André, made the strategic decision to alter the course of the company after more than a century in existence.By 1997, Gauvin Press switched from commercial printing work to printing books for several local publishers. Book printing today accounts for over 95 percent of the company’s business in both Canadian and U.S. markets. Gauvin Press continues to drive forward under the management of André Gauvin and his team of more than 20 employees.Robert Gauvin is described by the company as being enthusiastic and of a generous nature, enjoying his ability to provide technical advice and tips to graphic designers, writers, authors and other artisans of the trade.
The Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund helped 35 post-secondary students, enrolled in educational programs relating to the printing industry, begin the school year on a positive note by awarding $56,000 in scholarships.A total of $38,000 was provided to 23 new students enrolled in the first year of an approved course of study and $18,000 in scholarships was given to 12 students continuing in a program.At a May 2015 Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF) meeting of trustees, the board approved to increase the scholarship amount received by each student from $1,250 to $1,500 per year, to help offset the increasing cost of tuition.CPISTF’s Board of Trustees also awarded the 2015/16 Warren Wilkins Prestige Scholarship to Courtney Thompson, who began her program at the Nova Scotia Community College this September. The Warren Wilkins Scholarship, named after the founder of Toronto’s Webcom, provides a value of $5,000 to a student exhibiting a high level of talent.“Every year the Board of Trustees is challenged to select the best and the brightest as recipients of our scholarships and this year was no exception," said Don Gain, Chairman of the CPISTF initiative. "We are pleased to be able to support [35] students in their pursuit of a career in the graphic communications industry."CPISTF was initiated in 1971 and has since provided over a million dollars of funding to students pursuing a career in the graphic communications industry.
TI Group of Toronto has changed its logo and tag line, according to the company, to better reflect its change and growth in the marketplace, particularly as it relates to the company's past five years of business, including the strategic acquisition of companies. TI Group states the new look indicates its commitment to the retail sector with new products and services.The rebrand also comes as the company has finalized putting a new senior management team in place, which includes: Peter Spring, President; Ed Rooney, Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Jason Hamilton, Vice President of Innovation and Business Development; Tom Menard, Vice President of Operations; and Alice Chan, Vice President Finance. TI Group is a privately held company focusing on the retail, financial and packaging sectors. It provides services like creative, large format digital and litho, commercial print, UV printing, variable data printing, finishing, kitting, fulfillment and E-commerce.
Graphic Systems North America (GSNA), the Authorized Distributor for RMGT (RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology Ltd.) offset presses in North America, introduced a re-branding of RMGT (RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology Ltd.) at Graph Expo 2015 in Chicago. Kozac Takata, Manager of International Sales and Marketing, explained how RMGT was built on integrating the strengths of Ryobi Limited and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Printing and Packaging Machinery Ltd. These two companies were respective divisions of Ryobi Limited (US$1.9 billion) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (US$28 billion) that have manufactured printing presses for over 50 years in Japan. After 20 months, the two companies are fully integrated and will now be known as RMGT.To ensure that customers worldwide will fully recognize RMGT as a singular corporate entity, Takata introduced new branding that was also unveiled at IGAS 2015 (International Graphic Arts Show) in Tokyo, Japan, running from September 11 to 16. The new logo expresses the joining of two separate companies to form RMGT.“The explosive growth in sales of new RMGT offset presses in North America is validation of our vision to become a major player in the North American print market,” stated Takata. “In the last 12 months, RMGT has sold more than 30 new presses, which also comprises more than 150 printing units. We are pleased to see RMGT technology changing the business of customers in the commercial print, packaging, and in-plant markets.”The growth in North America together with other international markets has driven expansion of the main factory facilities in Hiroshima, Japan. A simplified product naming convention was also introduced, as expanded factory facilities in Japan will produce the following lines of presses: 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, 9 Series, 10 Series, and 11 Series.
The Best of Category picks in the 2015 Must See 'Ems competition were announced on Sunday, September 13, prior to the opening of Graph Expo 2015, which continues at Chicago's McCormick Place until September 16.The Best of Category award winners were chosen from among all of the 2015 entries, which companies submit for judging weeks before the show. The technologies are display on the show floor of Graph Expo.The judging committee, comprised of industry experts, journalists, and consultants, look through the 2015 Must See 'Ems winners to find what they consider the best technology offered in each category. The committee also made its selection for the annual Legacy Award, which this year went to the printCafe PrinterSite Web-to-print system, first noted as a Must See 'Ems in 2000. The Legacy Award is selected from among all past Must See 'Ems winners and is awarded to one product that has had a significant, lasting, and continuing influence on the graphic communications industry. The 2015 Best of Category winners in each of the Must See 'Ems categories are:Sales and Order Entry: AccuZIP, Inc.,  AccuZip Direct Mail ConfiguratorPrepress and Premedia: EFI, EFI Fiery Job Parallel HyperRIPColor Management and Quality ControlEFI, Fiery CMYK+Variable, Transactional and Multi-Channel: HP, HP SmartStream MosaicAnalogue Presses: Ryobi MHI Graphic Technology Ltd., Ryobi MHI 925 LED UV with Smart Insta.Color and RPCDigital Presses: MGI Inc., MGI Meteor DP1000 & DF Pro Integrated Inline Product SuiteDigital Presses: Xerox Corporation, Xerox Rialto 900 Inkjet PressWide-Format: HP, HP T1100 Simplex Color Inkjet Web PressPostpress and In-line Finishing: Highcon Systems Ltd., Highcon Euclid II+ Imprinting, Mailing, Shipping and Fulfillment: Pitney Bowes, Productivity Tool Suite, Workcell Productivity Interface & Inserter Production Dashboard Management Systems: EFI, EFI PrintFlow for Packaging (Booth 1902) The Future of Print: HP, HP High Definition Nozzle Architecture Technology
  View the embedded image gallery online at: Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) program in Toronto began its 2015/2016 school year with two new key pieces of technology, including a Kongsberg cutting system and GTI light booth.GCM’s Kongsberg V20 table, introduced by Esko a little more than one year ago, can be used for both packaging and large-format imaging applications. The V20 system includes FlexiHead technology – attached to a servo axis for controlling tool depth – for cutting and creasing of packaging materials like folding carton and corrugated board. The V20 works with materials of 1,700 x 1,300-mm (66 x 51-inch) format. The Kongsberg installation also includes Esko’s DeskPack collection of packaging prepress plugins for Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.GCM also added a new GTI Graphiclite viewing system, using lamps that are manufactured with what the company describes as a unique blend of fluorescent phosphors. GTI explains these lamps, as opposed to other 5000K lamps, result in a superior D50 spectrum with proper colour rendition. The GTI viewing system allows GCM’s faculty and students to better work to ISO Standards.
The Ellis Group of Pickering, Ont., completed the installtion of its eight-colour, 40-inch Komori Lithrone GXL press equipped with UV, the purchase of which was previously announced at the end of 2014. Acquired through Komori distributor KOMCAN Inc., this is the first GLX40 installed in North America. Introduced in the summer of 2014, the Komori GLX press is rated to run at 18,000 sheets per hour. The Ellis press is equipped with a dual UV system and includes fully automatic non-stop feeder and delivery with an integrated conveyor system, as well as the Komori PQA-S and PDC-SX systems for colour control and inline inspection. The press is installed on a 36-inch raise.Ellis Group provides packaging for clients in food, beverage, confectionary, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. The company is comprised of three large plant locations throughout Ontario, including its Mississauga plant that also installed an 8-colour Komori GL with coater at the end of 2014. “We are very excited to add this amazingly efficient press to our Pickering, Ont. plant, which is our first Komori at this location,” said Cathie Ellis, president, The Ellis Group. “I am especially thrilled about the advanced technology of the Lithrone GX40. It is very important for us to be able to control quality and if there is an issue, we can correct it on the spot… We are so gratified to be the first in North America to have this technology to offer to our customers.”
Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging of Richmond, British Columbia, completed the installation of an Eco-Eagle Cold Foil system, developed by New Jersey-based Eagle Systems Inc. The Eagle Cold Foil System was installed in mid-June, and now operates with the company’s 8-colour Heidelberg XL 106, plus coater, UV press.  Around 40 percent of the company’s revenue is driven by the folding-carton sector, 50 percent from commercial sheetfed work and the remaining 10 percent from digital printing. The company focuses its attention on high-end print work.“Every key position in our company is filled with an experienced, but young, and super energetic individual,” said General Manager James Rowley. “The average age of our management team is about 32, which is comparatively very young by industry standards. But it’s our youthful and fresh spirit that inspires us to always aggressively pursue new opportunities, embrace bigger and better, and connect with the newer generation of print buyers.” Rowley continues to explain this business approach led to its partnering with Eagle Systems to produce unique applications. For more than 25 years, Eagle Systems has provided the printing industry with the design and manufacture of foil application and print enhancement equipment. Founded by Mike King, CEO, President and inventor of all Eagle products, the company has hundreds of installations around the world, including the Eco-Eagle Cold Foil and the Eco-Eagle Cast and Cure systems.“We’ve spent the last month dialing the Eagle system in and learning its unique capabilities. So far the reaction from our clients has been positive,” said Rowley. “While cold foil will have an impact on our overall folding carton business, it’ll really help us cultivate our higher-end confectionery, beverage, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical packaging segments. In addition, Eagle also offers us a new product range to offer our POP signage clients.”Founded by Glenn Rowley in 1981, Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging today is a family owned and operated company with 90 employees. It is noted as one of the most prominent independent custom print and folding carton manufacturers in Western Canada, providing conventional and UV offset printing, as well as toner and wide format inkjet production. Glenmore services the retail, manufacturing, and design communities.
C.J. Graphics, Printers & Lithographers, one of Canada’s most-visible printing companies, has installed a new Highcon Euclid II+ system, unique in its ability to produce short-run die-cutting and creasing. Toronto-based C.J. Graphics represents the first such installation in Canada.Founded in 2009 by Aviv Ratzman and Michael Zimmer, Highcon unveiled its Euclid finishing system at drupa 2012, describing it as the first fully digital cutting and creasing machine for converting paper, labels, folding carton and micro-flute.The Euclid, supporting both conventional and digital press production, incorporates Highcon’s patented Digital Adhesive Rule Technology (DART) and polymers to produce creases, as well as high-speed laser optics to cut a range of substrates.  “The Euclid is a game-changing, revolutionary die-cutting device,” said Jay Mandarino, CEO and President of C.J. Graphics. “It handles a 40-inch sheet, it’s fast, and the shapes you can cut are limited only by your imagination. We’re proud to be the first in Canada to offer this service to our clients.”C.J. Graphics is a member of the C.J. Group of Companies, one of the largest privately owned communications and graphics solutions firms in Canada. The C.J. Group of Companies offers a range of services including traditional lithography, digital printing, large-format production, screen printing, interactive solutions, bindery services, fulfillment and logistics services, and publishing.
Namoji Inc. of Concord, Ontario, added a Jeti Titan HS from Agfa Graphics to its production floor. The operation includes existing large-format inkjet and screen printing, as well as finishing, plastic fabricating, cutting, die-cutting and vacuum forming.The Jeti Titan HS is a flatbed, 3-metre–wide, 6-colour UV inkjet system that reaches speeds of up to 160 square metres per hour (1,722 ft2/hr) in Express Mode. The system, which can include a flat-to-roll printing option, produces resolutions of up to 720 x 1,200 dpi.
Multigraphics of Vancouver becomes the first printing company in British Columbia to install a Jeti Titan HS with flat-to-roll (FTR) and primer options from Agfa Graphics. Founded in 2005 by Matthew Clark, the company specializes in large-format production, including interior and exterior signage, grand format banners, point of purchase displays, window and floor graphics, glass printing and building wraps, among other applications.The Jeti Titan HS is a flatbed, 3-metre–wide, 6-colour UV inkjet system that reaches speeds of up to 160 square metres per hour (1,722 ft2/hr) in Express Mode. The system produces resolutions of up to 720 x 1,200 dpi.
The Landa Group of Rehovot, Israel, appointed Yishai Amir as CEO of Landa Corporation. Benny Landa, founder of the Landa Group, continues as its active Chairman.Amir, who also becomes Group Vice Chairman for Landa, has more than 20 years of experience in the printing industry. He held senior positions with HP, most recently serving as Vice President and General Manager, Graphics Solutions Business at Hewlett-Packard Americas. Previously, Amir served as HP Vice President and General Manager, Indigo & Inkjet Solutions Business Americas, and Director, Worldwide Strategic Marketing, HP-Indigo. He began his career in the printing industry at Indigo, where he served in various positions including VP, Photo Business and Director, Product Marketing. “By joining Landa I feel as if I am returning home. I started my career with Benny Landa 21 years ago at Indigo,” said Amir. “I greatly appreciate the incredible opportunity to again work with him and the rest of the Landa team. I look forward to helping grow the business and building one of the industry's great companies.”
Paul McCrossan has joined KBR Graphics as a Service Technician based out of the Greater Toronto Area. He is to primary focus on servicing KBR Graphics’ customer base in Ontario.McCrossan brings more than 25 years of industry experience to KBR Graphics, including an extensive electronic and mechanical background. For the past seven years, he was a field engineer for a German press and bindery equipment manufacturer. Established in 1977, KBR Graphics is based in Montreal and continues to hold a significant presence in Ontario. The distribution company provides a range of technologies and services for the Canadian printing industry, including parts, pressroom equipment, presses, and a range of finishing technologies.
Selma Singh becomes Operations Manager for Grovetree Press, a trade lamination and coatings company in Toronto.Singh, formerly with Coatings Canada, brings 16 years of experience and a wealth of knowledge in print finishing to Grovetree Press. She will be responsible for all operations, including customer service, with the company.“Grovetree is planning on many new products and services in the coming year, and Selma will be an integral part of our growth and success,” said Mike Heggie, General Manager.Grovetree runs eight lamination systems covering film (9 x 12 inch up to 30 x 40-inch format) and heat-seal applications (2 x 3-1/2 inches up to 55 x 78 inches), as well as a range of related finishing services like drilling, cornering, eyeletting, grometting, easeling, slot punching and handwork.
Kathy Popovich becomes the North American Director of Dscoop, the Digital Solutions Cooperative focused on HP printing and imaging technologies. She will lead the organization’s North American operations and activities, including building Dscoop’s global partner program, while working with EMEA and APJ region directors to formalize its global initiatives.Founded in 2005, Dscoop today describes itself as an independent community of HP technology users, thought leaders and technical professionals. An international organization, Dscoop serves members in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Japan. Popovich will report to Canadian digital printing pioneer John Rogers, who currently serves as the Global Executive Director of Dscoop and sits on the organization’s North America Board of Directors.Popovich brings more than two decades of agency and corporate experience to her new role at Dscoop, which points to her focus on strategic planning, helping companies meet their business goals and objectives. Over the past decade she has held senior leadership and executive roles, blending strategy, creativity and collaboration across disciplines.“I am pleased to welcome someone of Kathy’s business acumen and passion for innovation to Dscoop,” said Rogers. “Kathy’s broad experience, having worked with enterprise organizations and large brands as well as small businesses and startup brands, is an excellent fit to our future development needs.”Popovich is a former member of Dscoop’s marketing committee, and as a colleague of Jay Dollries, Dscoop North American Board Chair while serving as the marketing and communications director of Innovative Labeling Solutions, a Dscoop member. Most recently, Popovich was the CMO for Prolanthropy, a management services firm providing turn-key foundation management services for professional athletes nationwide.“I am excited to be joining Dscoop as the North America Regional Director and am looking forward to working with the board to lead the organization toward future growth,” said Popovich. “As Dscoop has just celebrated its 10th year in existence, our focus will be on creating a roadmap for the future success of this dynamic and ever-evolving user community.”
Lynn Worley joins Gandy Digital as National Sales Manager to develop the company’s wide-format-system footprint in North America. Worley spent the past 18 years at xpedx in a range of roles and recently as a Print Solutions Manager with Veritiv Corporation focusing on wide format technology. “I am excited to start a new challenge with Gandy Digital and look forward to working with the team to further develop their already extensive digital printer products,” said Worley.Gandy Digital is headquartered in the Greater Toronto Area and has more than 35 years experience developing and manufacturing inkjet-printing technologies. Its primary inkjet machines include the Pred8tor, Domin8tor and Gladi8tor, which are all designed and manufactured in a 40,000-square-foot Mississauga facility, while its software is engineered in the United States.“We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to being the leading company in our industry,” said Hary Gandy, President of Gandy Digital. “Our new innovations such as the SoftJet Direct to Fabric Printer and the introduction of our Sl8te LED Printers, as well as increasing demand from our customers led us to look for an addition to our team who will fit in with our ethos of innovation and exceptional service.”
Jay Lalonde becomes Canadian Territory Manager for Zund America Inc., a division of family run Zünd Systemtechnik AG of Switzerland, which develops cutting tables among a range of associated precision technologies. Lalonde brings more than 25 years of printing industry experience, including seven years he recently spent with Fujifilm’s Canadian operation, where his responsibilities included product marketing management and product obsolescence. He also previously held positions with Boehmer Box, Beresford Box, Pfizer and Sunlife, involved in a range of roles from prepress to packaging design.In his new role, Lalonde will focus on driving sales and increasing revenue by identifying new opportunities in Canada, as well as building on relationships with existing Canadian Zünd customers and resellers.
Mike Heggie has acquired Grovetree Press, a high-volume trade lamination company that has been serving the Greater Toronto Area printing industry since 1998. Grovetree runs eight lamination systems, two coaters, and a range of auxiliary machines such as eyeleters, cutters, and drills. Heggie explains his first order of business is to shore up current services at Grovetree and to make some internal changes to become more efficient and service oriented. Earlier this month, Grovetree Press hired Selma Singh as Operations Manager. Formerly with Coatings Canada, Singh brings 16 years of experience in print finishing to Grovetree Press. She will be responsible for all operations, including customer service, with the company.Heggie continues to explain growth for the North York-based company is to come through innovative finishing products that are completely new to the industry. He plans to focus Grovetree in two directions, including specialty products for offset printing and packaging, and specialty coatings for digital printing.  
Safety Seal Plastic has agreed to buy the shrink sleeve business of Jones Packaging Inc. of London, Ontario, according to The Guelph Mercury newspaper also reports that, as a result of the purchase, Safety Seal plans to move the shrink sleeve operation to Guelph after purchasing a 50,000-square-foot building in the Ontario reports the current Safety Seal operation in Hamilton, Ont., is on four levels and accounts for just 18,000 square feet in area. Safety Seal operates eight printing presses, explains, as well as seaming machines, cutting machines and slitters to make shrink sleeves for customers in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, consumer goods and other industries. Safety Seal Plastics was formed in 1989 to provide PVC (polyvinyl chloride) tamper-evident bands to the pharmaceutical and food industries. The company grew to become one of North America’s largest shrink sleeve manufacturers. Safety Seal states its major breakthrough came five years ago when it began printing multicoloyred shrink sleeves on a new eight-colour Chromas LXflexo. Safety Seal’s client base include major brands like Ocean Spray, Associated Brands, E.D. Smith & Sons, Patheon, McCormick Canada, Bausch & Lomb, Cadbury Schweppes, Ciba Vision, Renee’s Gourmet Foods, Lounsbury Foods, Novopharm, Pfizer Canada, Stoney Creek Dairy, Trophy Foods, Unico and Wrigley.
C.J. Graphics became the first company in North America to purchase a Scodix Ultra Pro with Scodix Foil. News of the purchase comes a week after the Toronto printing company announced its Canada-first installation of a new Highcon Euclid II+ system. On September 10, the C.J. Group of Companies, which controls C.J. Graphics, also announced its acquisition of Toronto-based SBC Media, one of Canada’s leading sports lifestyle media companies. Launched this week at Graph Expo, Scodix Foil is an inline digital foiling system supporting the Scodix Ultra Pro enhancement press. Scodix Foil is designed for producing cost-effective foil with run lengths from one up to 10,000. Most printing projects, such as packaging, brochures, business cards, invitations and book covers, can be enhanced via the Scodix Ultra Pro system.The C.J. Group of Companies’ acquisition of SBC Media includes six magazines, two annual guides and all related websites, social media platforms and assets, which will operate under the C.J. Oyster Publishing division of the C.J. Group. Former printing industry journalist Filomena Tamburri joined C.J. Oyster Publishing several weeks ago as Group Publisher.The SBC titles and brands moving to the C.J. Group umbrella include: Snowboard Canada, SBC Skateboard, SBC Skier, SBC Wakeboard, SBC Business, SBC Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide (annual), Snowboard Canada Women’s (annual), and SBC Surf.“SBC is woven into the fabric of skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, wakeboarding and action sports across Canada. Our vision and leadership will ensure athletes, content producers and brands continue to have a prestigious national, multi-media platform to showcase their sports, lifestyles and products,” said Jay Mandarino, CEO and President of the C.J. Group of Companies. “We are very excited by the positive support we’ve received from the action sports industry and community about our acquisition.”
TC Transcontinental Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ultra Flex Packaging Corp., a supplier of flexible packaging, located in Brooklyn, New York. The acquisition is for US$80 million to be paid in cash at closing, plus an additional undisclosed payment if certain financial targets are hit. Ultra Flex Packaging employs close to 300 people and generated US$72 million in annual revenues and US$12 million in operating income before amortization in its last fiscal year. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the United States and is expected to close before the end of our fiscal year.“This acquisition builds on our Capri Packaging acquisition last year and is part of our strategy to ensure our future growth path through diversification,” said François Olivier, President and CEO of TC Transcontinental. “This latest acquisition expands our footprint in the U.S., gives us access to a national sales force, to new vertical markets and manufacturing capabilities.”Olivier explains, when the acquisition is completed, TC Transcontinental expects to report annualized revenues of over US$150 million in its packaging division. The three co-owners of Ultra Flex Packaging have agreed to stay for the acquisition transition. “We are very pleased to join TC Transcontinental,” said Eli Blatt, founder and CEO of Ultra Flex Packaging. “While we bring to the table industry knowledge, a highly skilled workforce and a national sales team, TC Transcontinental brings strong leadership, financial means and decades of manufacturing experience.”
ND Graphics Inc., a technology distributor primarily focused on large-format imaging, has purchased Western Rim Industries, which has offices in Kelowna, British Columbia, and Mississauga, Ontario. “We’ve been talking about this for a few years now,” said Garwood Leigh, owner of Western Rim Industries (WRI). “I knew that when the time came for me to retire and move on to pursue my other interests that I wanted ND Graphics to take over. They are a Canadian company, they share the same values as WRI and I know they will continue the legacy of Western Rim.”ND Graphics is headquartered in Greater Toronto with more than 100 employees and a network of stocking locations in Dartmouth, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, as well as Toronto.“This was really a very easy decision for us,” said Mark West, President of ND Graphics. “WRI are so similar to ND in terms of their products, but more importantly their culture. Their people are the key. They are passionate about what they do, they are totally committed to their customers and they’ve all been at WRI for many years.” WRI will operate as a standalone business with Frank Braeuer as General Manager of the company. “This acquisition isn’t about synergies,” said West. “This is about bringing two great Canadian companies together [and] maintaining those value added elements that both organizations possess.”
Cansel, which distributes a range of software and hardware technologies for commercial and packaging printing, in addition to other graphics arenas, today announced its acquisition of Ernest Green & Son Ltd., which has been a staple of Canada’s printing industry for more than 60 years.“This acquisition marks our commitment of expanding in the print and graphics space,” said Stephen Fletcher, VP of Cansel. “Ernest Green & Son has been a leading supplier to the commercial print marketplace in Canada and brings a depth of expertise, products and clients that we don't currently have in our organization; we are extremely excited to have them on board with Cansel.”Ernest Green & Son began as a small family-owned business in Montreal, opened by Ernest Green and his son, Ric, to distribute pressroom technologies to printers. After Ernest's retirement in 1962, Ric, who had earlier departed to Ontario in 1951 to open up a Toronto branch, Ernest Green & Son moved its headquarters to Toronto in 1963.In 1964, Dennis Lynch joined the company and in 1990 assumed the position of President and COO. In 1974, Ernest's grandson Doug joined the company and in 1990 become Executive Vice-President, before taking on leadership of the company as President & COO.Today, Ernest Green & Son’s distribution and service portfolio, with branches stretching from Quebec to British Columbia, primarily focuses on flexographic packaging, commercial offset, toner and wide-format inkjet printing.“We are very pleased to join the Cansel team,” said Doug Green, President, Ernest Green & Son. “We see this as a great opportunity to broaden our footprint, and enhance the product offering and level of service that we are able to offer our loyal customer base.”
This month, IKEA Canada is promoting the arrival of its 2016 catalogue with the use of Twitter-activated vending machines that dole out gift cards at specific store locations across Canada. The company, which scored a resounding success last year with its bookbook catalogue video promotion, now with close to 18-million views on Youtube, has titled its newest initiative “Grab Life by the Catalogue.”Over the last two weekends in August, all IKEA Canada stores have installed what the company refers to as social media vending machines which, at the push of a button, gives each user a unique #PIN number that when tweeted to @IKEACanada with #GrabLifeByTheCatalogue, will generate a variety of prizes, including the opportunity to win a grand prize.“We know that Canadians like to engage and connect through social media,” said Stefan Sjostrand, President, IKEA Canada. “Throughout August we hope to excite our customers about the new 2016 IKEA Catalogue and inspire them to turn their dream home décor projects into reality.”The remaining stores using the promotion, through August 27 to 30, include: IKEA Boucherville, IKEA Coquitlam, IKEA Edmonton, IKEA North York and IKEA Vaughan.IKEA Canada has 12 stores in total, which are visited by over 25 million people every year. The company has 361 stores in 50 countries worldwide, which are visited by more than 800-million people every year. Last year the Websites attracted 1.1 billion visitors.
The OTC Group of London, Ontario, which focuses on combining the production of packaging with data management, has worked with Xerox to develop a unique tracking solution to thwart counterfeiting and theft of pharmaceutical packaging.Xerox explains package theft and counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry costs an estimated $75 billion to $200 billion globally each year, while the sale of counterfeit medications puts human lives at risk. To address this issue, OTC Group is leveraging the Xerox Automated Packaging Solution (XAPS) with its own workflow process and packaging approach. The process developed by OTC Group is built around four inline production components, including printing, coating, stacking and die cutting. It allows the OTC Group to efficiently produce folded cartons with advanced anti-counterfeiting measures. “While many in the pharmaceutical industry struggle with the ability to conform to serialization and track-and-trace accountability, we’ve engineered a process that works,” said Adam Egan, OTC Group’s VP of High-Performance Packaging, noting the use of the Xerox iGen and XAPS solution. The process developed by the OTC Group and Xerox goes beyond legal requirements introduced in 2013 by the United States Drug Quality and Security Act.For one current client requiring an 800,000 printed carton production run, OTC Group estimates that the solution eliminated millions of dollars of risk exposure by providing traceability at every level, with the ability to account for every package printed – including waste – and providing that data to the client in electronic format.
4over, one of North America’s largest trade-printing operations, has entered the 3D Printing market and plans to provide the service to other printing operations through its online platform.The venture fits the company’s growing trade focus on promotional products available online, including template applications like large-format, packaging (primarily product boxes), marketing products like postcards and brochures, and pure promotional items like hang tags, rack cards, table tents, and T-shirts.The new 3D Printing initiative is being offered out of the company’s headquarters in Glendale, California. 4over employs a 3D manufacturing method called Fused Deposition Modeling, which is well suited for the creation of prototypes, samples for packaging development, and original items.“Our goal is to give our customers a simple and affordable 3D Printing solution to offer their own customers,” said 4over's CEO Zarik Megerdichian. “This technology brings with it so many benefits that traditional methods of manufacturing or prototyping don't offer. We're confident that 3D Printing will give our customers access to new markets, enabling them to grow their businesses faster, and to be more relevant than ever before.Earlier this month, 4over also announced it has opened the doors to a brand new operation facility in Central Florida to better service its growing East Coast customer base. “We’re delighted to be expanding our reach, once again,” said Megerdichian. “This new Central Florida operation centre means our existing customers now have easier access than ever before to fast turnarounds and free delivery on all of their favorite products. It also means we can service brand new sets of customers, thus perpetuating the unwavering growth trend we've been experiencing since 4over's inception.”
Goss International has completed a press enhancement project with Innotech installing a full-colour Panorama Gatefold System to produce unique advertising formats in The New York Times. Innotech, a New York based manufacturer of press auxiliary equipment, has been building customized equipment for commercial and newspaper printers for the past 25 years. The Panorama System uses what is referred to as INNOFORMER, the geometric air bar plow, for high speed folding with no set-up time. Innotech has installed many such systems, primarily retrofitted on existing presses, in China, India, Germany and Colombia. Completed to a tight schedule of around 20 weeks from initial order to the first test run, The New York Times Panorama project involved retrofitting each of two existing Goss Colorliner press lines. “Obviously, for a publisher operating on the scale of The New York Times, there is no time to lose and there can be no disruption to ongoing daily production,” said Dan Picco, Regional Sales Manager at Goss. “We had to establish failsafe processes from the outset and make sure we achieved the highest level of teamwork.” The gatefold system now running at The New York Times enables the Goss Colorliner presses to produce an additional four-page wide centrefold or a separate eight-page pull-out section, up to a maximum format of 48 x 22 inches (1,219 x 559 mm). In addition, it is possible to make smaller gatefolds or coupon folds at one or both edges for special promotions providing new display areas for advertisers. It is also possible to make gatefolds in the cover page or have the gate folded section as a wrap around the main section. “Goss and Innotech engineered a solution that gave The New York Times ultimate flexibility with regard to the positioning of specialized sections within the newspaper, without the need to purchase a new press,” said Vinod Kapoor, President at Innotech.
Publishing giant Simon & Schuster plans to produce a 960-page book containing all of Bob Dylan’s lyrics for a November launch. According Elmore Magazine, the 13-pound book, called The Lyrics: Since 1962, will initially be printed in a limited run of only 3,500 copies. Dylan over his career has sold over 125 million albums worldwide. The collector’s item book is expected to sell for $200, while Dylan plans to sign around 50 copies that are to sell for around $5,000. Elmore Magazine explains the book, which includes alternative versions of Dylan’s songs, features introductions and commentary about each song, as well as reproductions of the original cover art for each of Dylan's albums. “This book changes things, giving us the words from officially released studio and live recordings, as well as selected variant lyrics and revisions to these, recent revisions and retrospective ones; and, from the archives, words that, till now, have not been published,” said Boston University professor Sir Christopher Ricks, who led the project.
Guinness World Records sends an adjudicator to evaluate a stamp, designed for bpost Belgium to mark International Women’s Day, containing the image of a face formed with no less than 606 words. “We consider it a diversity of utmost importance,” stated Pierre Leempoel, Manager Stamps Production, bpost Belgium, when asked why the country’s postal organization made a new stamp for the International Women’s Day. “For the design we called in the designer Ann Bessemans. She used a very special technique: a combination of gridded letters [for the women’s face) and a digital microtext [for the background]. Right away a scoop in stamp land.” The stamp shows 606 words taken from the The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. The adjudicator from Guinness World Records counted the number of valid words. “He did so with an iron hand: incomplete words and words that were too short were dropped,” explained Leempoel. “But we lay hold on the world record of ‘stamp having the most readable words.’ We actually do not yet know if we will figure in the famous book: only a happy few survive the selection.” The bpost stamp was printed on a 4-colour Manrolna 704 3B P 2/2 press, which was installed in 2000 and now accounts for 15 percent of the organization’s production. The Women’s Day stamp with 606 words was printed as 108,000 sheets with five stamps each.
Five students from Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program participated in Esko’s recent Honours Class in Flexible Packaging held at Artevelde University College Ghent in Belgium.“Esko invited students outside of the Artevelde University this year. Ryerson University was the only participant from North America and represented five of the 20 students who participated,” explained Ian Baitz, Chair of Ryerson’s Graphic Communications Management (GCM) program. “They received university credits, participated in plant tours, and were taught by Esko engineers and instructors who are experts in their solutions.“Students were able to focus for two full weeks on the content of the course, and nothing else,” continued Baitz. “There were 80 hours of classroom time which, in terms of Ryerson, represented two full semester courses.”The five third-year students from Ryerson GCM received both a theoretical and practical education that included real-life situations, explained Esko, allowing them to experience the complete packaging development process from design concept to ready-to-print flexo plates. The students also visited flexible packaging printer Segers & Belcaen, folding carton packaging printer Du Caju, and flexo service provider Athena Graphics. “We know that all of the students who attended our program have a very good educational and technical foundation due to the high quality of the classes,” said Jan De Roeck, Director of Solutions Management at Esko. “We are very excited to add our industry expertise to this high quality education program.” Baitz explains the participating GCM students received significant course work assignments months before the two-week course in Belgium. A post-course assignment was also required.“The nice thing about this Honours Class was that it combined all of the information we had already received from school, and we gained a more in-depth understanding of Esko’s products and software,” said GCM student Amy Nhan. “I thought there was very good communication between the students and Esko. It opened doors, developed cooperation with other schools and students, and offered new contacts."
Miss the Graphics Canada show this spring? See what some of the leading vendors had in store to visitors to their booths in these sponsored booth profiles.
Printing industry executives from across Québec gathered at the Montreal Science Centre in mid-May to recognize some of Canada’s best print at the 33rd annual Gutenberg Gala. The printing program and competition, organized by the Institut des communications graphiques et de l’imprimabilité, is juried by an independent committee. "This year, the committee was given the mandate to carry forward the Gala across Quebec, and I am pleased that several companies have answered the call. The contest pushes the boundaries of each, and responding to the challenges raised by the talent and creativity of companies, communication agencies and print buyers of Quebec, regardless of company size,” said André Goyette, CEO, Imprimerie Contact Netpak-Division and Chairman of Gutenberg 2015 Committee.Goyette continues to point to the growth in display graphics and packaging submissions and this year’s introduction of flexography as a category. “Interest in the contest and the gala continues to grow, and we are very pleased,” he said. Fifteen awards were presented at the Gutenberg Gala, including:(More photos from the gala are available at INNOVATION CATEGORIESCategory: DisplayProject: Display Berlingot NatrelPrinter: TC Transcontinental QuebecCategory: Customer Marketing Innovation Challenge CategoryProject: Perrywinkle's ringPrinter: Au Point ReprotechCategory: Marketing, Self-promotionProject: Still Spining thesis After All yearsPrinter: TC Transcontinental Direct Acme-Ross EllisCategory: Edition (publishing)Project: Cirque du Soleil TOTEM Souvenir ProgrammePrinter: L’EmpreinteCategory: Packaging Project: EPICA Retrospect 10th anniversaryPrinter: TC Transcontinental Direct Acme-Ross EllisCategory: FinishingProject: Le Grand Soir 2014Printer: Stylex 3DGUTENBERG TECHNICAL CATEGORIESCategory: DisplayProject: Wall Austin AbiaPrinter: Photogram Technologies Inc.Category: Marketing, Self-promotionProject: Hot, Cool and SexyPrinter: LithoChicCategory: Marketing ClientProject: Zeni SpaPrinter: Imprimerie FL ChicoineCategory: Edition, NewspapersProject: First Edition-The City of Salaberry-de-ValleyfieldPrinter: VIVA-Média.caCategory: Edition, BookProject: Empowering Global citizenshipPrinter: L’EmpreinteCategory: Edition, Magazine Project: Cirque du Soleil, The Beatles LovePrinter: PDI Integrated Printing SolutionsCategory: Finishing Project: Foil FX selector (2nd edition)Printer: Gravure ChoquetCategory: LabelProject: Aux Champs d'ElisePrinter: Imprimerie Ste-JulieCategory: PackagingProject: Box BA, Midnight Romance, L'OréalPrinter: PDI Integrated Printing Solutions
It is now a tradition of the RyeTAGA student chapter to attend the annual technical conference of TAGA to compete against students from other universities for the Helmut Kipphan Cup, which is a recognition for the best student produced and written journal. The RyeTAGA chapter came to the conference as the winner of last year's competition and defender of the Cup.Over the past two semesters the student group spent many hours planning the journal. This includes selecting the student research papers that will make up the content of the journal. The creative director of the group, Harleen Singh, spent countless hours in coming up with the design, typesetting, recreation of graphs and designing the metallic chapter divider pages.The group also held several fundraising events during the semesters, so that the group can attend the conference. Various university funding opportunities were explored and the group was successful in securing funds from P-FACS, the RCDS (Ryerson Creative and Design Society), and the  student project grant from the Dean's office of the Faculty of Communication and Design. Industry partners like Colour Innovations, the Crafstsmen Club, MI5, Spicers, PrintAction and others supported the groups with money or materials or use of equipment.At the conference student groups from 6 other universities displayed their journals and answered questions from conference attendees with regard to the production of the journal. The TAGA board of directors judged the journals, while the conference attendees could vote also for their journal of choice. The results of all the competition taking place for the RyeTAGA student group were very impressive. This year, the RyeTAGA won the following awards:- Harvey Levenson award for the best undergraduate research paper. The paper was written by Alex Chheun and Amy Nguyen and evaluated the colour stability of the Xerox 700 for short and longer runs;- Attendees Choice Award for the best student journals; and- Helmut Kipphan Cup for the best student journal.Winning the cup two years in a row has never been done before by the RyeTAGA student group! Again the students would like to thank everyone that supported them in producing this journal and making the travel to the conference possible. More information about the student group can be found at
On May 5, PrintAction magazine hosted around 30 printing technicians and operational managers, as well some of the world’s leading colour management experts at a daylong event – five sessions – focused on colour management, as part of its PrintAction Education Series.William Li, Kodak’s Colour Technology Manager, began the morning with a keynote about the globalization of colour and the growing importance of standardization. Li described the growing momentum behind the new M-measurement protocols for measuring and viewing print according to various light conditions. He also touched on the growth in extended gamut printing.Li spent time describing several of the more prominent technical growth areas in colour management, including the ongoing development of GRACoL Plus for reaching wider gamut and the new iccMAX initiative from the International Colour Consortium. After addressing the conflicting growth of G7 in North America and FOGRA in Europe, Li also discussed the critical need for Canada to become active in the TW130 program to have input in the direction of global standards relating to colour management.In Session 2, Angus Pady of Toronto-based, described some of the more important tools printers should embrace for colour management. He emphasized how printers should be doing what they can to take advantage of – and gather – all of the available data for colour management.Pady ran through a range of useful software programs printers can use for analyzing the data, with an emphasis on recording colour curves. He stressed the importance of adopting colour servers for effective colour management.Abhay Sharma, a world-leading expert in colour management with Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program, then teamed up with David Brenner of X-Rite to delve deeper into the new M measurement modes for printing. They focused on how the new M1 mode now accounts for the use of UV light, which has been traditionally cut out of calculations because it could not be properly measured. While the UV-cut measurement is accounted for in M2, the M1 standard is able to account for the growing use of Optical Brightening Agents in papers. Brenner described how the M standards are be accounted for in new measurement systems like X-Rite’s eXact system, which can flip between UV and non-UV readings.Session 4 of the day sparked a lot of discussion among attendees as speaker Peter Hedgecock, Business Improvement Consultant with Leapover Consulting Inc., described some of the potential pitfalls of G7, based on his own experiences during a recent implementation of G7 Certification. Leveraging his experience in continuous improvement and as Canada’s first liaison for the SWOP working group, Hedgecock focused on why achieving grey balance is far from a proper definition of quality printing in offset printing, primarily relating to the adjustment of CTP curves.Peter Aston of Heidelberg Canada wrapped up the daylong Colour of Printing event with an interesting session called Profit and Success with Colour Management. Aston provided attendees with hard data points to describe the importance and capability to optimize a range of processes between prepress and press to realize effective colour management. Aston, again using data from dozens of tracked printing company, related how such optimization can lead to enormous reductions in waste and increases in productivity. Aston also used a handful of case studies to describe how specific printing companies achieved enormous spikes in productivity.
The Toronto Club of Printing House Craftsmen last week recognized the Toronto Gallery of Excellence Award winners at the Duncan House. The organization also presented funding to 11 students pursuing printing and graphics arts education, including the annual Chai Tse Awards and Graphic Challenge Awards.The RyeTAGA student group from Ryerson University’s Graphics Communications Management program received funding of $1,000 for its annual production and presentation of a TAGA research journal.C.J. Graphics of Toronto took home the most awards with 9 Gold, 8 Silver, 10 Bronze and 2 Honourable Mention Awards. The remaining award winners include: Colour Innovations (6 Gold, 2 Silver), Polytainers (2 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze), RP Graphics Group (1 Gold, 1 Bronze), The AIIM Group (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze), and Wellington Printworks (1 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze).   View the embedded image gallery online at: Major Gallery of Excellence Awards    Heidelberg Canada Best of the Show 2014Project: Until The Last ChildPrinter: C.J. GraphicsProduction: This 50-piece run, primarily printed on a Heidelberg GTO, involved a box with black linen on the outside and charcoal grey linen on the inside, while the prints were on 80-lb, colophon on 100-lb, letter on 100-lb, book on 100-lb and translucent sheet on 36-lb stock. The Colophon and letter were printed at 10- and 20 micron, using Van Son’s Sona Dry inks, without any coatings.Taniguchi Ink Canada Best Use of Ink 2014Project: LARGE POSTER FLIP CHARTPrinter: The AIIM GroupBest Use of Bindery 2014Project: CPC Empress OF Ireland 100the Anniversary CollectionPrinter: Colour InnovationsToronto Craftsmen Student Chai Tse AwardsChristophe Blythe     Centennial College, Centre for Creative CommunicationKerin Bethel-John     Central Technical Secondary SchoolAngelo Roldan     George Brown College School of DesignMarilyn Gregory    Georgian College Design and Visual ArtsKhalid Ahsan     Humber College Advertising & Graphic DesignMelissa Binsted     Ryerson University School of Graphic ManagementAeshin Yeo     Seneca College School of Creative Arts and AnimationGraphic Challenge AwardsPost SecondaryWaqas Mohammed Khan    Seneca College, School of Creative Arts and AnimationChow A. I. Khalid Ahsan      Humber College, Advertising & Graphic DesignSecondary Schools        Helen Zhou    Central Technical Secondary SchoolBen DePaul    Central Technical Secondary School
The U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss of US$586 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2015 (April 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015), which is actually a reduction of US$1.4 billion from the net loss of US$2 billion for same period last year. The world’s largest mail system, however, saw double-digit growth in shipping and package revenue.Operating revenue of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) was $16.5 billion (all figures in US dollars) for the third quarter of 2015, essentially unchanged from the same period last year. The USPS ended the second quarter of fiscal 2015 (January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015) with an operating revenue increase of $223 million, or 1.3 percent, over the same period last year, but also recorded a net loss of $1.5 billion for the quarter. In the third quarter of 2015, shipping and package revenue and volume increased by 10.6 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively, from the same quarter last year. “The continued growth of our shipping and package services is a direct result of the Postal Service’s continued efforts to offer consumers more choice, excellent value and reliable service in a growing and competitive marketplace," said Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan. “We are investing in our network and continually enhancing our services to best compete for America’s shipping and package delivery business.”Total mail volume of 36.8 billion pieces in the third quarter of 2015, however, decreased by 738 million pieces from 37.5 billion pieces. A price increase impacting certain mail classes went into effect on May 31, 2015; however this was offset by declining mail volumes as First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volumes fell 2.6 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. “The combination of growing package revenues and improved productivity gains were not sufficient to offset mail volume declines and inflationary pressure, largely due to contractual increases in operating expenses, including wages, benefits and transportation." said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. "This underscores the need for a combination of continued sales growth, productivity gains and legislation to ensure the Postal Service can return to financial health and meet its public service obligations.”
Graphic Packaging International Canada, a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has closed its thermo mechanical paperboard mill in Jonquiere, Quebec. The company states its decision was made after a thorough assessment of the facility's manufacturing capabilities, associated costs and market demand for its products. The closure will affect approximately 140 employees. "The closing of the Jonquiere facility was a difficult decision. We are working closely with the affected employees to provide support and assistance," said Mike Doss, President and Chief Operating Officer.The company anticipates one-time costs of $4 to $5 million in the second half of 2015 related to this closure. Graphic Packaging Holding Company is one of the largest producers of folding cartons and holds a leading position in coated unbleached kraft and coated recycled board.
The United States Postal Service ended the second quarter of fiscal 2015 (January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015) with an operating revenue increase of $223 million, or 1.3 percent, over the same period last year. The organization, however, also recorded a net loss of $1.5 billion for the quarter (all figures in US dollars). The increase in operating revenue was driven by a 14.4 percent growth in shipping and package volume. The net loss for the quarter was $1.5 billion compared to a net loss of $1.9 billion for the same period last year. Excluding a retiree health benefit prefunding expense, the net losses would have been $44 million and $447 million, respectively, for the quarters ended 2015 and 2014.Operating expenses declined by $160 million from the same quarter last year driven in part by what the USPS describes as favorable trends in workers’ compensation expense. Controllable income in the second quarter was $313 million, an increase of $52 million over the same period last year. Controllable income is defined as net income excluding retiree health benefits prefunding expense and expenses for interest rate and other non-cash workers’ compensation expense, which are factors outside of management’s control.“We’re pleased with the increase in our controllable net income compared to the same period last year, which demonstrates that our cost containment and revenue strategies are delivering results,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan Brennan.First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volumes declined 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, during the second quarter compared to the same period last year. For its most recent quarter, total mail volume of 37.7 billion pieces declined by 420 million pieces from 38.2 billion pieces for the same period last year.“Shipping and package services are a key business driver, however, operating margins in this business are lower than in mailing services,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “And, while we’re pleased to see a small increase in controllable income, to improve our margins, we’ll need to make investments in our network infrastructure and delivery vehicles.”The Postal Service ended the quarter with $6.1 billion in unrestricted cash, representing 22 days of operating cash. The USPS explains, that because it has reached its borrowing limit of $15 billion, the current level of available liquidity is not sufficient to support both operations and prefund retiree health benefits.
Standard Register Company on March 12 announced that it and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States.The company also announced that it is pursuing a sale process and has entered into an acquisition agreement with an affiliate of Silver Point Capital L.P., a private investment firm managing approximately US$8.5 billion in combined assets. The agreement was submitted to the Bankruptcy Court on March 12.Under the proposed purchase agreement, Standard Register’s assets will be sold for approximately US$275 million plus the assumption of certain liabilities. The sale agreement contemplates a Court-supervised auction process, which is designed to facilitate a competitive sales process. “Standard Register has a fundamentally stable underlying business with a large, diverse customer base and a strong portfolio of solutions that include integrated communications, product marking and decoration (labels), document management, promotional marketing and technology/professional services, but our ability to invest in growth has been hampered by our debt structure and legacy liabilities," said Joseph Morgan Jr., President and CEO, of Standard Register.Silver Point is an existing secured lender of the company and, in combination with Bank of America, has agreed to extend US$155 million in financing in the form of a debtor-in-possession (DIP) credit facility. Standard Register states the DIP facility should provide ample liquidity to facilitate its sale process and to fund operations.Standard Register states it believes that the sale to Silver Point Capital will right-size its balance sheet by significantly reducing its outstanding indebtedness and other liabilities. “In response to the traditional print market decline, Standard Register repositioned itself as a market-focused, integrated communications provider where today, the majority of both revenue and profit are being derived,” said Morgan.
Engineering group Langley Holdings plc, the parent company of Manroland Sheetfed after its acquisition in 2012, published its IFRS Annual Report & Accounts for the year ended 31 December, 2014. Langley reported a profit before tax of €100.6 million on revenues of €779.4 million. Chairman Tony Langley said that the group's divisions had performed in line with or ahead of expectations. Manroland Sheetfed, Langley’s largest division in terms of revenue and employees, reported a small profit.Piller, the producer of power protection systems for data centres and Claudius Peters, the plant machinery constructor, performed in line with expectations while the other businesses division, principally Bradman Lake, the packaging machinery specialist, also had what Langley classifies as a satisfactory year.Langley also acknowledged the contribution made by the group’s 4,000 employees and welcomed around 300 employees of the newly acquired DruckChemie group to the family of businesses.
Kodak is establishing a new organizational structure to take effect on January 1, 2015, with five business divisions: Print Systems; Enterprise Inkjet Systems; Micro 3D Printing and Packaging; Software and Solutions; and Consumer and Film. “Kodak has an extraordinary product and service portfolio, groundbreaking scientific and engineering expertise, and a world-famous and highly trusted brand,” said Jeff Clarke, Kodak Chief Executive Officer. “We now have the right organizational structure for deploying those strengths to drive growth.”   The Print Systems division is to be led by Brad Kruchten, focusing on graphic arts and commercial print customers with printing plates, computer to plate (CTP) imaging, electrophotographic press technology, OEM toner and all equipment services. Enterprise Inkjet Systems is to be led by Philip Cullimore, focusing on existing inkjet technologies like the Prosper and Versamark, as well as ink OEM solutions.   Micro 3D Printing and Packaging is to be led (on an interim basis) by Philip Cullimore, focusing on packaging customers and display OEM partners with products such as Flexcel NX systems, legacy packaging solutions and touch sensor films. The Software and Solutions division is to be led by Eric-Yves Mahe and the Consumer and Film division is to be led by Steven Overman, who is also Kodak’s Chief Marketing Officer. Kodak is also combining its current four regional sales organizations into two: Europe, United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand (EUCAN) and Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa (ALMA). These will be led by John O’Grady, Managing Director, EUCAN, and Lois Lebegue, Managing Director, ALMA. In addition to CEO Jeff Clarke, the company has also altered its executive structure to reduce overlap with the following leaders: John McMullen, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President; Mark Green, Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President; Steven Overman, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President; Patrick Sheller, General Counsel, Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President; Terry Taber, Chief Technical Officer and Senior Vice President; and Kim VanGelder, Chief Information Officer and Vice President.
Grimco Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Grimco International, has agreed to acquire Acme Neon & Plastic Sign Supplies Ltd. based in Toronto, with additional locations in Montreal and Vancouver. Grimco Canada is also based in Toronto, with more facilities in the Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Dartmouth markets. Acme Neon & Plastic Sign Supplies Ltd. has been a national distributor to the Canadian sign market since 1967. “Grimco was the logical fit for us,” said Bob Craig, President of Acme. “Their commitment to Canada has been clear since their entry into the market and has proven that they are here to stay and to grow.”Grimco traces its roots back to 1875, when the company began as a single-location stamp and badge provider. Today, the company operates 48 locations across Canada and the United States focused on providing technology and service for the North American signage industry.“The Canadian market is an incredibly important part of our growth strategy,” said John Burkemper, President of Grimco. “That’s why we have been heavily investing in local markets and are bringing together these great teams to continue to serve our customers with the best people and products in the industry.”
Mimaki USA expanded its sales coverage with nine new equipment dealers across North America, including Focus Pre Press, of Surrey, British Columbia. Mimaki is a manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters.Mimaki has been increasing its presence in North America over the past few years and reports it saw revenue growth of 8.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015 when compared to its second quarter of 2014. The company states this is the highest growth Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipment as tracked by International Data Corporation (published August 24, 2015). In addition to Focus Pre Press, Mimaki also added the following eight U.S. dealers to its distribution network: AB Graphics, Clark, NJ; American Print Consultants, Waynesboro, PA; Digital Solutions, Las Vegas, NV; Digitally Driven, Las Vegas, NV; H&H Sign Supply, Sturgis, KY; Karl Williams (KW Graphics), Springfield, IL; Policrom, Bensalem, PA; and RJ Young, Nashville, TN.“We are committed to continuing our practice of working with knowledgeable dealers that align with our desire to help customers grow their business with Mimaki products,” said Ken VanHorn, Director, Marketing and Business Development for Mimaki USA. “We have already started working with this new team and look forward to fostering partnerships that will better serve and facilitate our customers’ success.”
PDS of Scarborough, Ont., becomes a Canadian distributor for Duplo, focusing on both the manufacturer’s office and production equipment. Duplo was established in Japan in 1951 after it manufactured one of the first duplicators in the printing industry. The company is now focused on developing short-run finishing systems, which is the primary distribution arena of PDS.Duplo recently released its new high-end 600i Booklet System. Integrating the automatic DBM-600 Bookletmaker with the high-speed DSC-10/60i Suction Collators, the 600i Booklet System produces professional saddle, side, or corner-stitched booklets as well as letter landscape applications. The 600i Booklet System can produce up to 5,200 booklets or collate up to 10,000 sets per hour into a stacker.
PDS, founded in 1984 by President Dave Kisiloski, becomes a distributor for Mutoh and its range of large-format inkjet systems. The full-dealer arrangement means PDS will also look after service and marketing of the systems.The non-exclusive agreement allows for Canada-wide distribution, however, PDS explains it plans to focus its distribution of Mutoh products within the Ontario market. PDS will be concentrating on all eco-solvent and small UV flatbed printers.In relation to the Mutoh deal, PDS also plans to provide medias like Ultraflex and accessories from Royal Souvrine large format laminators, trimmers and banner welding machines, grommet presses.PDS also represents manufactures like Oki, MBM Triumph, Memjet, Mitsubishi, Ryobi, and Challenge  and many more leading manufactures in our industry.PDS continues to Provide Technology for Todays Printers.
Air Motion Systems of River Falls, WI, enters a strategic partnership to have KOMCAN serve as the exclusive distributor of Air Motion’s LED UV and UV curing technologies in Canada. “[KOMCAN] is excited to be working with a world-class company like AMS. AMS has long proven to be the leader in UV curing technologies and pioneers in LED and low energy UV curing,” said Steve Ranson, CEO of KOMCAN. “We at KOMCAN will now be able to offer our Komori customers as well as all other offset equipment users the local sales and support of the complete line of AMS UV curing."KOMCAN, based in Georgetown, Ontario, is also the exclusive Komori distributor for Western Canada and Ontario, providing presses, service, OEM parts and consumable products.“Canada has been a fantastic market for AMS for almost two decades,” said Steve Metcalf, President and CEO of Air Motion Systems, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance UV LED and UV ARC Lamp systems for the printing industry. “The adoption rate of LED UV in the sheetfed market has been key to the outstanding growth of our technology.”
Tilia Labs Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario entered into an exclusive agreement with Fujifilm Global Graphic Systems to distribute its Phoenix imposition and planning software in Japan. The technology, using JDF protocols, can be combined with Fujifilm’s XMF workflow."It is a great pleasure to be partnering with Fujifilm and begin offering Phoenix to the Japanese market. Increasing automation and efficiency has always been a core driving force in our product development,” said Sagen de Jonge, CEO at Tilia Labs. “Phoenix goes a long way to speed up the planning and imposition stages of production, and combined with Fujifilm Workflow XMF, this automation can be extended all the way to RIP." Phoenix is designed for a range of work, such as packaging, labels, tags, and wide-format, among other applications. Tilia Labs explains Phoenix’ set of ganging tools allow for generating accurate estimates in minutes, which can then be re-used for final touches in prepress. Phoenix also has what Tilia Labs describes as specific integration with XMF allowing for seamless pass off via JDF to Fujifilm's workflow.“We are excited about launching Phoenix into the Japanese market,” said Shigenori Tsuji, Senior VP of Workflow Division of Fujifilm Global Graphic Systems. “Combined with Fujifilm Workflow XMF 6.1 with Adobe Mercury RIP Architecture, which has already been well accepted in the market, we will be initially targeting mainly folding-carton applications, but we are foreseeing its capability for wider applications in the future.” Tsuji continues to explain Phoenix is Fujifilm’s choice to jump into the folding-carton segment due mainly to its ease-of-use and rapid development cycle.
Komori Corporation and Screen Holdings Co., Ltd. announced that Komori America Corporation and Screen GP Americas, LLC, a division of Screen Graphic and Precision Solutions (Screen GP) group, have entered into a strategic selling agreement that effectively joins the two companies’ sales organizations. Komori America will be the sole distributor in the United States of Screen GP's new Truepress Jet520HD, a high-speed, high-definition inkjet press powered by the Equios Digital Front Workflow solution. Screen GP Americas brings its knowledge and expertise in the inkjet marketplace to the partnership with Komori America.Eiji Kajita, Director and Operating Officer of Komori Corporation says, “This is a great opportunity for both Komori and Screen GP.  By joining our US sales teams we will have double the workforce to take both Komori's offset and Screen GP's digital products to the marketplace. But more importantly, we know our customers will benefit from the combined expertise of our two teams.”Katsuhiko Aoki, President of Screen GP said, “We have a longstanding relationship with Komori and it just makes good business sense to take the strength of our two product lines and the technical expertise of our sales teams to join together to grow our market share. We are looking forward to the future and we are confident commercial printers will see real value in working with one organization that is focused on their success regardless of the technology platform.”
manroland web systems and Ultimate TechnoGraphics have been working together to development a new product called Imposer, which Germany’s manroland web describes as the first automated imposition technology for digital and offset printing.“We want to support our customers, which so far mainly consisted of digital printing press users and all main manufacturers of digital printing presses,” said Joanne David, President and CEO, Ultimate TechnoGraphics. “It is great to know that from now on offset printers will also benefit from our imposition expertise.”Within the past 18 months, manroland web systems has focused on establishing its own software solutions for digital printing, primarily with products called MasterQ and WorkflowBridge, which automatically control digital finishing aggregates and manage jobs. Hildegard Heckl, Product Manager Digital and the lead of manroland web’s software development effort, states the new Imposer product is “just as intelligent and promises to be equally successful.” In developing Imposer, manroland web supplied the core intelligence that describes the imposition logics based on the capability of its devices and Ultimate TechnoGraphics executes the processing of the printing data. The software supplies job-specific imposed data that is prepared for digital and offset printing. Whether for printing books, advertising or newspapers, Imposer is ideally suited for frequent job and product changeovers.“The software features a specific logic. It recognizes and uses the production aggregates, the optimized production processes, and the job structure,” said Andreas Elchlepp, Product Management Software Development Digital & Workflow Solutions at manroland web. The patent-pending method allows for creating impositions that are specifically matched to the printing jobs. “It was time for the development of a software which imposes the jobs for hybrid printing and that breaches the gap in data preparation,” said Elchlepp. “Our solution is modular and perfectly matches existing customer requirements, while being scalable and dynamic for the largest variety of production settings.”
AVT of Israel, which develops technology for print inspection and process control, and quality assurance, is now collaborating proofing solutions provider Global Vision. Under the agreement, Global Vision will provide AVT with a new software engine for its offline inspection solutions, which are customized to suit the specific needs of the printing industry. The partnership also enables AVT to serve as Global Vision’s print market sales arm, as the two companies will jointly develop inspection tools for specific sectors, including the labeling and packaging marketplaces. The companies also will co-develop print quality assurance solutions that connect inline and offline inspection systems. “Our partners at Global Vision offer unsurpassed offline verification and inspection solutions for the markets they serve,” said Jaron Lotan, CEO, AVT. “As a result of our newfound synergy, AVT can now provide its customers all-inclusive tools regardless of printing technology and application.” Among AVT’s latest offline solutions is SolidProof, which the company describes as providing 100 percent assurance for wide web, narrow web and sheetfed applications. SolidProof automatically eliminates conversion errors and undetected defects during the pre-press stage. The goal of the system is to reduce the need for manual inspection and to bring waste levels to near-zero. SolidProof also features intelligent cropping and automatic alignment utilities, reporting and multi-lingual inspection capabilities, as well as options for barcode and Braille verification and a 21 CFR Part 11 compliance module for the pharmaceutical sector. There are more than 7,000 AVT systems are installed at customer sites worldwide. “In AVT, Global Vision now has an influential, reputable arm in the print market, while we help bolster AVT’s presence in other capacities,” said Reuben Malz, CEO, Global Vision. “The collaboration is an ideal match that will, most importantly, improve the overall print inspection solutions space through increased access and innovation.”
Allegra Network LLC announced it plans to install Avanti Slingshot as the new core of WorkStream, a Web storefront to MIS workflow platform used by its North American base of 270 marketing and print communications franchises. The move to Avanti Slingshot was led by Ricoh Americas, one of Allegra’s key printing technology providers, which made a multimillion-dollar investment in Avanti Computer Systems back in July 2013. In December 2014, Ricoh acquired PTI Marketing Technologies, described as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) asset management and marketing solutions provider, building on an preexisting technology partnership between itself, Avanti and PTI. Allegra, based Plymouth, Michigan, states it selected Avanti Slingshot for its ability to provide an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform to support its franchises of all sizes. “We pride ourselves on providing our franchise community with the technology and tools they need to efficiently manage their businesses, and Avanti Slingshot delivers with its robust suite of modules and ability to handle multiple lines of business,” said Joe D’Aguanno, Chief Technology Officer, Allegra Network. “Our relationship with Allegra is one we are extremely proud of at Ricoh. A truly innovative company, Allegra sees the need for tools that can effectively help their business grow and their operations to continuously enhance,” said John Fulena, VP Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas. “Avanti Slingshot is an award-winning and proven solution… we are very pleased that Allegra has chosen this solution and look forward to our continued collaboration.” Avanti Slingshot was launched in 2013 as a browser-based platform for quoting, job ticketing, costing and tracking, through to billing.  Slingshot modules can be added as a franchise member expands into new lines of business, such as large format. “Avanti Slingshot is a fantastic tool to help cultivate a more meaningful customer relationship, helping our clients remain competitive in the ever-changing print market landscape,” said Patrick Bolan, President and CEO, Avanti. “This is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Ricoh, Avanti and Allegra Networks…”
During the first press conference of Graph Expo 2014, Mark Hischar, President and CEO of KBA North America, announced Koenig & Bauer Group will collaborate with HP to develop new roll-to-roll inkjet solutions for the corrugated packaging market. The co-developed solutions, with KBA providing its expertise in paper transport systems and HP its inkjet knowledge, are to be marketed under the HP brand. HP estimates the corrugated package printing industry represents an addressable market of US$2.5 billion. Hischar also pointed to segment trends like SKU proliferation, micro-segmentation and shorter product lifecycles as driving demand high-speed inkjet press technology. Both companies would not elaborate on the systems under development beyond stating they are focusing on roll-to-roll thermal inkjet systems. KBA North America also announced a new strategic alliance to jointly market Tensor  printing equipment to the semi-commercial, insert and newspaper print markets worldwide. Under the terms of the agreement, KBA will actively promote Tensor’s single-width printing solutions. At Graph Expo, KBA North America also introduced its new RotaJET L Series Inkjet Press designed as a modular system, available in various web widths, maximum printing widths, and color content. The series is aimed at markets like book, direct mail, magazine, newspaper, packaging and industrial printing. The new KBA press series includes five RotaJET printing systems that can handle web widths ranging from 895 to 1,300 mm (35.2 to 51.1 inches). KBA explains it is possible to upgrade a KBA RotaJET 89 (web width 895 mm/35.2 inches) to a RotaJET 100, RotaJET 112, RotaJET 123 or the high-end RotaJET 130 (web width 1,300 mm/51.1 inches). It is also possible to modify a monochrome system into a four-colour system. KBA’s existing RotaJET 76 system is still available but its printing width of 781 mm (30.7 inches) cannot be extended.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is realigning the manufacturing of its postpress equipment through a new OEM partnership with Masterwork Machinery Co. headquartered in Tianjin, China. Heidelberg states production of postpress equipment at its German manufacturing sites is no longer competitive under the new market conditions. The company’s postpress in Germany are to be discontinued, except for production of folding machines at its Ludwigsburg site, a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about 12 kilometres north of Stuttgart. Postpress packaging products and solutions will in the future be developed and manufactured by the new Chinese OEM partner Masterwork Machinery with Heidelberg retaining responsibility for sales and service activities. For postpress products in the commercial-printing area, Heidelberg will only continue to market its existing folding machines and cutters, therefore not affecting business with Polar technology. Swiss company Müller Martini will take over service activities for installed equipment from the discontinued series. “The competitiveness of postpress product lines at Heidelberg was limited, so these activities are being placed on an entirely new footing,” stated Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach. These measures are to result in the closure of Heidelberg’s Leipzig site and a reduction in the company’s workforce at Ludwigsburg and Wiesloch-Walldorf sites. A total of around 650 employees worldwide will be affected.
Cascades Inc. last week inaugurated its Greenpac Mill LLC, located in Niagara Falls, New York. Greenpac is a company created by Cascades in partnership with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Jamestown Container and Containerboard Partners. The mill actually began production more than two years ago on July 15, 2013, and now produces a product called Greenpac XP, described as a new type of recycled linerboard with unique strength and print quality relative to its lower basis weight when compared with traditional linerboards. The lightweight linerboard is made with 100 percent recycled fibres, on a single machine having a trim of 328 inches (8.33 metres) with an annual production capacity of 540,000 short tonnes. Built and operated by Norampac, a division of Cascades, the Greenpac Mill employs 135 people.Cascades describes Greenpac as its most ambitious project in 50 years. Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. The company employs close to 11,000 people, who work in over 90 production units located in North America and Europe."The investment we are inaugurating today is the tangible result of the deployment of our strategic plan aiming to position Cascades as a leader in the packaging industry in terms of both productivity and profitability,” stated Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades.The Greenpac project was also supported by organizations such as the State of New York , Empire State Development, the City of Niagara Falls , the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, the New York Power Authority and the New York Department of Environment Conservation.
Kruger Packaging L.P. plans to make an investment of $250 million to convert the No. 10 Newsprint Machine (PM10) at its Trois-Rivières mill to manufacture 100% percent recycled lightweight linerboard.The project is to be carried out with the support of the Government of Québec, which is providing $190 million. This figure includes an $84 million loan to finance the cost of the conversion and a $106-million participation, through Investissement Québec, in a new company that now combines all of Kruger’s containerboard and packaging activities. As a result of this investment, the Québec government will have a 25 percent ownership in this new company which has assets in excess of $600 million, and more than 800 jobs, including 620 in Québec that will be secured.The project was announced in the presence of Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec; Laurent Lessard, Minister of Forests, Fauna and Parks; Jean-Denis Girard, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region and MNA for Trois-Rivières, and Joseph Kruger II, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kruger Inc.Over the coming 20 months, PM10 will be modernized to incorporate what Kruger describes as some of the most advanced containerboard manufacturing technology. Once PM10 is up and running in 2017, it will produce 360,000 metric tonnes of 100 percent recycled lightweight linerboard annually, a portion of which will be sold to Kruger Packaging’s box plants in LaSalle, Quebec, and Brampton, Ont., while the remainder will be sold on the market.The Trois-Rivières Mill will continue to produce newsprint on PM10 until two months before the end of the conversion project. The mill’s other newsprint production line, PM7, will remain in operation into the future. Overall, Kruger’s three newsprint production facilities will have an annual output of 600,000 metric tonnes, maintaining the company’s ranking among North America’s top newsprint manufacturers.Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a producer of publication papers, tissue products, containerboard and packaging made from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy, cellulosic biomaterials, and wines and spirits. Kruger Inc. has facilities in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in Tennessee, Maine, New York, Virginia and Rhode Island in the United States.
Kodak has opened a new manufacturing line at its Columbus, Georgia, facility to produce its Sonora Process Free Plates, which the company states are currently being used by more than 2,700 printers around the world.The company marked the opening of this new manufacturing line with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Eastman Kodak Company CEO, Jeff Clarke; President, Print Systems Division and Senior Vice President Eastman Kodak Company, Brad Kruchten; as well as community leaders and customers.“Today’s opening of this new manufacturing line keeps us on an accelerated pace toward our goal of helping printers become more sustainable with Sonora Process Free Plates,” said Clarke. “Kodak is committed to providing solutions that increase the sustainability of the printing industry, while also reducing printing costs. This is good business and good for our environment.”Kodak explains its Sonora plates eliminate water, chemical and energy use required when processing traditional plates. Without the need for processing equipment, Kodak explains the average printer using 20,000 square metres of plates can save up to $99,000 annually. Sonora plates are currently being used in a range of commercial print, book, newspaper and packaging print facilities. Specific Sonora plate brands are rated for 200,000 run lengths.
Sihl LLC and Arkwright Advanced Coating Inc. became one company, based in Fiskeville, Rhode Island, beginning on January 1, 2014. The newly combined company is to be called Sihl Inc. Sihl is a manufacturer of coated and processed papers, films, and fabrics. The move includes the company moving to a new Website address, from to (effective January 5, 2015). The name Sihl is derived from the river in Switzerland on which the founders built a paper mill in 1478 to fill demand that followed Gutenberg’s invention of mechanical movable type. Arkwright Advanced Coating Inc. opened in 1802 as cotton spinning mill as part of the industrial revolution. The company flourished as apparel fabric became coated industrial fabric, which eventually led to its development of coated films. The company today has five coating lines, eight converting machines and approximately 100 employees serving a capacity 30 million square metres of photo paper, transfer paper, IJ and toner receptive film.    Sihl AG, the parent company of Sihl Inc., is based in Bern, Switzerland, while a second production plant is based in Düren, Germany, as Sihl GmbH. This includes specialty materials for inkjet, solvent, UV curable, latex and toner-receptive wide format plotters, printers, and presses.
Mohawk expects to produce 500-million envelopes annually in South Hadley, Massachusetts, when the papermaker, described as North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes and specialty substrates, takes over an 112,342-square-foot early in the New Year. The facility is expected to be fully functional by the end of April 2015. The announcement comes after the Massachusetts Office of Business Development Economic Assistance Coordinating Council voted unanimously to approve Mohawk’s application for a special tax assessment for the facility. Mohawk intends to enter into a 7-year lease agreement. “Our plan to create a new envelope converting facility in South Hadley, Massachusetts represents our commitment to further growth of Mohawk’s envelope business,” said Thomas O’Connor Jr., Chairman and CEO of Mohawk. “Since January (2014], we have committed to investments of nearly $5 million in new envelope converting equipment and facility upgrades, and the creation of 100 new jobs for skilled envelope workers. Our envelope business is vibrant, rapidly growing, and we are uniquely positioned to serve our customers with fast delivery, exceptional integrity, and the highest quality envelopes available in the industry.” Mohawk plans to invest up to $2 million to retrofit the South Hadley facility, including upgrades to electrical systems, installation of air and vacuum lines, and the purchase and installation of envelope converting and manufacturing equipment. Mohawk expects to produce over 500-million envelopes annually at the new facility. The site will also feature warehouse space to service the company’s customers along the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as overseas businesses. “We selected the South Hadley location because the layout of the building is ideal for our manufacturing needs,” said Bob Scammell, Mohawk’s Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Operations.  “The site is essentially move-in ready and requires minimal construction prior to becoming operational, and there is an abundant pool of highly skilled envelope workers in Western Massachusetts.” Approximately 40 new employees will be hired to staff the new South Hadley facility, which will operate five days a week, three shifts per day. Mohawk also owns and operates a one million square-foot paper and envelope converting facility in Ashtabula, Ohio, which produces 1.5 billion envelopes a year. In early 2014, Mohawk grew its envelope operations at its Ohio facility by adding 75 new employees to a total of 200 and expanding operations by investing millions of dollars in converting equipment upgrades. 
Seiko Epson Corporation of Tokyo plans to invest 12.3 billion yen ($1.2 billion) in its manufacturing subsidiary Epson Precision Philippines Inc. to construct a new plant for increasing inkjet printer and 3LCD projector production volumes. The facilities will be constructed inside the existing site by the early part of 2017, with operations slated to begin in the spring of that year. Epson plans to install a large solar power generation system with a capacity of approximately 3,000 kWh on the roof of the new plant. This system will reduce overall daytime electricity consumption at Epson Precision by half. As it implements its mid-range business plan, Epson has determined that its current inkjet printer and projector manufacturing facilities in China, Indonesia and the Philippines are insufficient to meet expected demand. In inkjet printers, the company is forecasting the need to significantly boost production capacity for its core high-capacity ink tank models and also for office inkjets. Epson also sees the need to increase projector production as it expands its lineup. With growing demand for projectors used in business and education, expanding commercial applications, and increasing penetration in emerging economies, Epson forecasts its growth will surpass that of the market. Epson plans to increase the workforce of Epson Precision in the Philippine to approximately 20,000 from the current level of 12,500.

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