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In late July, Printing Industries of America (PIA) introduced 10 recipients of its 2015 InterTech Technology Awards program, which the association has been running since 1978. PIA explains that more than 80 percent of technologies that receive an InterTech Award experience continued commercial success in the marketplace.The PIA continues to explain technologies receiving the 2015 InterTech Award have been judged as truly innovative and are expected to advance the performance of the graphic communications industry in the near future. An independent panel of judges deliberated over technology nominations by various suppliers to determine this year's recipients, which include developments in high speed web and sheetfed colour inkjet presses, digital finishing equipment, the use of metallic foil, patterning for optimal flexo ink laydown, and a portable spectrophotometer for use in the pressroom. The 2015 recipients also include technologies designed to facilitate cross-media marketing campaigns, use of a new standard to define and communicate brand colours, and the integration of production and business processes.   The 2015 InterTech Technology Awards include (listed alphabetically by company):Technology: Océ VarioPrint i300Company: Canon U.S.A. Technology: ORIS CxFCompany: CGS Publishing Technologies InternationalTechnology: Prosper 6000 PressCompany: KodakTechnology: Flexcel NX SystemCompany: KodakTechnology: DirectSmile Cross MediaCompany: EFITechnology: Automation Engine ConnectCompany: EskoTechnology: Prinect Media ManagerCompany: HeidelbergTechnology: Euclid Digital Finishing TechnologyCompany: Highcon SystemsTechnology: iFOILCompany: MGI Digital TechnologyTechnology: eXact with Scan OptionCompany: X-Rite
Frank Parker, one of Canada’s most dynamic printing leaders from the 1960s until his retirement around 2005, passed away in June at age 82. He was the second-generation owner of Parker Pad & Printing Ltd. in Markham, Ontario, and well known for his integrity and lifelong relationships with clients. The printing company was established in 1946 with a single letterpress by his father, Frank Parker Sr., who died suddenly in 1960. After the death of their father, Frank Parker and his brother, Roger, took on the task of running the family business. Frank had joined the company six years earlier in 1954, the year he was married, and primarily looked after production while Roger handled sales. Around 1970, Frank bought out his brother to become sole owner, while his mother continued to look after the books until the 1980s.Like many of Canadian printing’s old guard, Frank Parker never had a formal retirement and continued to sell and visit clients semi-regularly until 2005. In 1997, he began a successful plan with his daughter, Janis Parker, who completed the buyout of Parker Pad in 2007 and continues to lead the business. Frank, who was born and raised in Toronto, ultimately settling in Bobcaygeon, but continued to come into the company once a week to visit staff until his death.“I often thought of Frank that if he didn't exist you would have to invent him. Such a rich blend of talent, dedication, loyalty, grace and humour,” wrote Paul Pearson, a longtime business associate, who owned an advertising agency. “Frank was a wonderful, kind person with integrity,” shared Elizabeth Silva of INNOCEAN Worldwide Canada Inc.Some of the key company investments and initiatives led by Frank include the purchase of land to design and built a printing plant in Scarborough in the early 1960s, which eventually moved from running a couple of two-colour presses to four- and five colour presses – the largest with a 20 x 29-inch format. In fact, Frank modified one of the multi-colour presses to print remoistening glue on AMEX application forms, using 40 feet of heat lights to dry the glue. Janis Parker explains, in the late-1960s, remoistening glue on application forms was a very new concept.Frank Parker was also a long-time member of Toronto’s Craftsman Club and served on its executive. He was a strong supporter of many of Toronto-area former High School printing programs, regularly providing placement for students. Frank also taught for a few years through the Certified Print Production Practitioner (CPPP) program.Janis Parker remembers her father’s succinct business mantra, The Customer is Always Right, as well as his straightforward refrain that bigger isn't better, just bigger. “He was the soul of Parker Pad & Printing. He was loved by staff and clients,” she says. “He was a gentleman and made printing easy.”
Howard Graphic Equipment last week rolled out its final reconditioned machine, a Komori S640 printing press, to be supplied from its facilities in Mississauga, Ontario. Transported on four trucks, the Komori S640 press was en route to its new home in New York.After nearly five decades of operating one of the world’s leading facilities for rebuilding printing and allied equipment, Howard Graphic Equipment (HGE) plans to reorient its business to concentrate solely on growing its buying and selling of equipment. Founded by Bill Howard in 1967, the company today is run by Nick and Liana Howard.HGE explains its final Komori S640 reconditioned press represents a culmination of more than 4,500 press units that have been through its facilities over the past 48 years. This is in addition to nearly 2,500 pieces of prepress and postpress equipment, including Bobst, Polar, Muller Martini stitchers and perfect binders. HGE points to one of its special reconditioned highlights in a 45-pocket Muller Martini, which became the largest capacity perfect binding line in South America.“Our mandate and commitment to our customers in 74 countries remains the same: We will not sell anything that we would not buy ourselves,” stated Nick Howard. “We focus on offering our customers the very best in market knowledge and technical know-how. After all the decades of rebuilding we love to share our insights and expertise with the industry. With our active day-to-day involvement, we intend to continue to be the source for quality pre-owned equipment.”Nick Howard is recognized as one of North America’s leading capital printing equipment consultants with close to 40 years of industry experience. HGE can provide USPAP-compliant certified valuations on a complete plant or one single machine, as well as full consultative services for buy-outs, mergers and acquisitions, cause and origin determination, and budgetary figures for rebuilding.In late 2013, Nick and Liana Howard officially open Howard Iron Works (HIW) in Mississauga to provide restoration of historic printing equipment and to serve as a globally unique printing museum with machine vintages ranging from the 1830 to 1950s.
OEC Graphics of Wisconsin, which specializes in premedia for packaging, such as flexography platemaking and brand management, continues its push on the West Coast with the official opening of a Greater Vancouver Area facility on Mitchell Island in Richmond, BC. The move by OEC comes six months after it formed a strategic partnership with the Great Little Box Company (GLBC) in February 2015, when OEC planned to become a permanent tenant in GLBC’s primary plant operating in Richmond.OEC Graphics’ newly branded Richmond facility offers full service platemaking and mounting capabilities to service the Greater Pacific Northwest market.“OEC is thrilled to have a Canadian operation,” said Brad Vette, Corporate Director of Business Development. “We have had a vested interest in western coastal Canada with some long term partners in the region, so it made sense for us to make further investment.”
Sylvia Ma of Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program won the North American Print Skills Contest by a score of three to one in solving four production problems on the Sinapse SHOTS Sheetfed simulator.Ma was competing against finalist Sunny Turner from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. The two competitors on July 8 worked through the four print problems live via video link in front of participants of the International Circle Conference held at California Polytechnic State University. Their task was to solve four sets of print problems within a 10-minute limit for each. The winner was chosen on the basis of best quality and optimum productivity (simulated time and waste). The exercises become progressively harder to solve and concerned registration, inking, blankets and various mechanical issues. Contestants were tasked to understand the problems, analyze the possible causes, decide how to solve the problems and see results and cost of their action (or inaction). The North American Print Skills Contest contest lasted for several months. It was open to all International Circle members, printers and related schools of North America. The simulator was supplied by download and integrated with a Heidelberg Speedmaster user interface.With her victory, Ma has prequalified (and, therefore, does not have to go through new qualifying rounds) for the global competition at next year’s drupa tradeshow in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The following article by UK journalist Des King is part of the drupa Expert Article series to provide industry insight leading up to the May 31 - June 10, 2016, drupa tradeshow in Germany.Looks count and first impressions matter. How products are judged by their many differing attributes - not least fitness for purpose, consistent reliability and value for money - will determine the extent to which they build market share on an ongoing basis. Prior to that, however, it will probably be a particular spot colour, a distinctive font, or else the artful application of a metallic ink on the exterior of the pack that initiates the relationship between a brand and a consumer. “Thanks to impressive print packaging, brands can seduce customers into a change of purchasing vote at the point of purchase,” says Superbrands founder Marcel Knobil. “We would end up with less brand and more bland were it not for the attention that the packaging attracts.” Superbrands is acclaimed worldwide as being an independent authority and arbiter of branding excellence, committed to paying tribute to exceptional brands and promoting the discipline of branding.The impact of a winning combination of text and graphics extends way beyond fronting up that initial beauty parade. As well as being the ‘eye candy’ that hooks the consumer in the first instance, a perfectly reproduced external image provides consumers with an often subliminal product recognition and reassurance that can be the brand owner’s banker in a congested retail space. Today’s packaging trends are driven by longer supermarket opening hours, continually enhanced print technologies and capabilities and demand to protect brands and increase recognition. Not only surviving but attaining the status as the preferred choice under such highly testing conditions is one half of the brand owner’s greatest challenge. The other is to meet it at an affordable cost.  Controlling qualityWith the high probability of colour variations occurring not only between different substrates, but also print processes - and indeed from one printer to another, not only in different locations but even when they are running presses made by the same manufacturer - maintaining consistency can be a complex undertaking.  The best way to meet it is to ensure that all the contributory links within the supply chain which are engaged in steering the progress of a printed pack from hatch to despatch are all able to interact via an open entry web-based platform. “Our vision is to connect the supply chain from the brand owner to the retailer and to make that flow broader and richer,” says Jef Stoffels, Esko Marketing Director. “We do this by adding greater functionality which meets the go-to-market and quality needs of CPG (consumer packaged goods) businesses and retailers. We also make it possible for the brand owner to ensure that the flow of data is secure and transparent, mistakes and errors can be picked up early or avoided altogether and the net result is to get products to market faster.”Similarly web-based colour management systems can extend the same degree of comfort and control to brand owners over how pre-determined colour parameters are then replicated accurately irrespective of substrate or supplier, ensuring a guaranteed consistency of colour reproduction that underpins brand authenticity and integrity. The X-Rite PantoneLIVE colour management solution is ideal for the brand owner as it has control over the pre-determined colour parameters, these are then stored in the cloud for use as and when required by his supply chain. This ensures accurate replications of the accredited brand image irrespective of substrate or supplier.Pressed to performConverters equipped with smarter production facilities can be more directly instrumental in achieving cost and performance benefits to brand owners. Using high-definition flexo plate and software technologies, it is now possible to meet the requirements of 85% of current flexo-printed, flexible packaging without detriment to the finished result from CMYK + white rather than using special inks.“Working out of a reduced colour palette means there are less plates and less waste ink. It ticks a lot of boxes,” says Ultimate Packaging (UK) Sales Director, Chris Tonge. “Whilst global players like Unilever and P&G have been specifying these solutions for the past 10 to 15 years, smaller brands are realising there is a cost advantage in that you can control the colours a lot better if you set the right standards.”It’s not just improvement at the front-end that is raising quality and performance standards in flexo, still the sector’s most widely used print process accounting for over 40% of a current global printed packaging market worth around an estimated €250bn per annum, particularly for flexibles and corrugated board applications. Speed on the press and consistency across substrates are key. Ultimate Packaging has recently installed two additional servo-driven Bobst flexo presses ahead of drupa. Offset has also responded positively to deliver cost-efficient shorter run-lengths, for example Heidelberg’s Speedmaster Prinect Inpress Control inline automated turbo charged system which can change plates between jobs within ten minutes.Digital mindsetWhat has sparked these improvements in analogue press technology is the increasingly potent challenge posed by digital print; not least in meeting brand owner requirements for cost-efficient shorter run lengths – and thereby, lower inventory levels – and the ability to differentiate products on-shelf through customisation. Whilst affordably utilising variable data has always been part and parcel of the digital print proposition, it’s now clearly on the retail marketing radar following its successful adoption by high-profile retail marketing campaigns run by Coca Cola, Heineken, Nutella and a steadily growing band of global blue-chip brands.“To take our brand off the packaging and replace it with something other than the Coca Cola script wasn’t easy to do within a structure like ours, where we operate according to very tight brand guidelines to protecting it,” says Coca Cola Packaging Innovator Greg Bentley. “The digital print capability enabled it to happen, but the marketing campaign is the really smart thing.” “The combination of technological muscle and marketing inspiration is what it takes to make customisation fly,” says Paul Randall, HP Worldwide Brands Business Development Manager. “It’s breaking away from the mindset of packaging being the static bearer of logos and ingredients tables and using it as a media opportunity for consumer engagement to the benefit of the brand. The media landscape has changed. It is becoming increasingly fragmented between above the line spend (bought media), PR and below the line (earned media), and packaging (owned media) – with the latter two increasingly linked together. Not surprisingly, brand owners are now regular visitors to HP’s Graphics Experience Centre in Barcelona.” Likewise Xeikon’s technology centre in Antwerp. “For brand owners attending our Xeikon Café programme, it’s a two-track learning curve,” says Labels & Packaging Marketing Director, Filip Weymans. “First, understanding how the benefits of digital production can be translated into diversifying communication towards the audience they’re reaching out to and second, how the technology can address needs within their business model - notably, being faster to market and making better use of working capital.” “While the adoption of digital is an accelerating trend, despite the buzz being created it’s still under-selling its potential,” says SAB Miller Global Packaging Manager, Doug Hutt. “The top ten brand owners in the world are generating over a quarter of a trillion dollars in sales. If just 10 - 20% of these were digitised with the balance going to analogue, that is still a very large potential revenue that converters haven’t yet grasped.” “FMCG companies should be more proactive in going out and talking to the packaging industry – and the packaging industry should be addressing those issues and coming up with solutions,” says Doug Hutt, SAB Miller Global Packaging Manager.Meanwhile, faster-running inkjet technology looks poised to dictate the next chapter in the digital packaging print story, not least via the keenly anticipated commercialisation of digital guru Benny Landa’s ‘nanographic’ presses engineered to deliver variable data printed material at offset speeds.The finishing touchCustomisation is not the only route to catching the consumer’s eye on-shelf.  Short-run, cost-effective special effects such as high gloss, glitter, metallic without recourse to hot-foil stamping and even Braille are also within the remit of next-generation digital post-press enhancement technology now establishing itself within the finishing sector. Also providing a more cost-effective means of achieving greater stand-out is the take-up of cold foiling using the analogue process - notably as an alternative to laminated / metallised substrates for labels and cartons.Meanwhile, at the higher end of the scale is the arresting 3D effect achieved through the use of Fresnel lens technology providing instant ‘stand-out’ in retail duty-free for cartons containing the global gin brand Bombay Sapphire. “It’s obviously more expensive than a normal foil by about one-third, but you do get significantly greater impact. If you want something that is undeniably eye-catching and alluring then that’s what it takes,” says Dominic Burke, Webb deVlam UK Managing Director.The new frontier “The adoption of online-oriented technologies is pointing the way towards next generation applications aimed at facilitating greater engagement between brand and consumer,” says Sun Branding Solutions Packaging Technology Director, Gillian Garside-Wight. “Who would have thought that the Apple watch would be available five years ago? Brand owners need to deliver what consumers want including smarter packs that integrate with a digitally driven smarter life-style.” Quite a number of applications on the market bring into play mobile technology. For example, on-pack augmented reality (AR) applications pioneered by Blippar that allow users to simply look at an object through the camera on their smartphone to activate an instantaneous digital search and draw down information from the web. In a recent campaign for Perrier, the invitation to consumers to shake their phone like a cocktail shaker to reveal a recipe was a typically innovative way to highlight the overall concept and add fun by using the technology to unique advantage.Rather than position an icon on-pack to facilitate interaction, UK-based prepress specialist Reproflex3’s proprietary ‘PackLinc’ scanning technology embeds a hidden code within the ink itself, enabling the consumer to effectively treat the entire pack as a portal. Most recently applied within a limited edition run of the children’s POM-BEAR crisp packet, the system was the recipient of EFIA (European Flexographic Industry Association) and the prestigious Starpack gold awards last year. Debbie Waldron-Hoines, EFIA Director says, “Brand owners need a deeper understanding of the processes so that they can help make considered decisions on what is best suited for their brand. Both flexo and digital can work wonderfully together to enhance the brand.” Underpinning product security and thereby underpinning brand integrity is another obvious avenue being explored by smart technologies. A fully printed near-field communication sensor tag (NFC) developed by Thin Film Electronics for Diageo’s Johnnie Walker whisky doubles as a security and anti-counterfeiting device as well as interacting with smartphones to dispense product advice and information.As a lot of the labelling and pre-printed information currently required to be displayed on-pack is gradually phased out, just imagine the potential for branding afforded by that freed-up real estate. Brands are currently getting maybe only 40% of the pack’s surface for its primary purpose. However, if one small interactive barcode resolves all the regulatory and legal requirements 90% of the print surface could be released for marketing the product.“Ironically, the most practical bridge linking brand and consumer might simply entail upgrading the humble linear barcode into a 2D format,” says Domino Printing Sciences Global Account Manager, Craig Stobie. “Brand owners are yet to fully realise the potential in having a machine-readable code that not only contains a lot more data but with the same footprint or smaller than a human-readable, but can also actually be cheaper.” “Whether it be products that communicate with your tablet or temperature or time sensitive thermochromic inks that indicate when your lager is perfectly chilled or provide the re-assurance that pre-packaged meat is safe to eat, the facility for interactivity ticks all the right boxes for forward-looking brand owners,” says Eef de Ferrante, Managing Director of the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA). “Brand owners need to meet the challenges faced by counterfeiting, product security in the supply chain, consumer engagement and ‘Big Data’ management. Brand protection and better marketing of their products are major starting points towards averting potential reputational damage and simply saving money.”Eye-catching and innovative printed packaging is a shrewd investment towards building a loyal and enduring customer-base, concludes Des King. Whilst consumers are exercising greater versatility than ever before in choosing how and where they are able to gather information through which to determine product preferences, packaging offers the brand owner a uniquely guaranteed opportunity to control how they communicate with prospective customers face to face in-store at the very point of purchase. No surprise then that the ways in which the package is printed will occupy centre-stage at drupa 2016.    Executive summary
Printed packaging is the key mechanism enabling brand owners to build expanding and enduring customer loyalty in order to out-sell and out-perform their competition. Changing patterns of communication have elevated the role of packaging from protective wrapper to front-line sales & marketing tool. In a media-neutral environment it’s a function that is increasingly as much marketing as technology, and that provides the brand owner with guaranteed profiling and exposure in front of the consumer.In order to optimise consumer response at the point of sale, brand owners will want to invest not only in imaginative, innovative and well-executed creative design in order to achieve distinction and differentiation, but also in the appropriate colour management technologies to ensure its accurate replication irrespective of substrate or geographical location. The latest developments in web-based workflow platforms and systems that link all components within the packaging print supply chain will be on show at drupa 2016.Whilst a consistently reproduced and instantly recognisable image is vital in underpinning authenticity, brand owners are increasingly required to be able to demonstrate rapid response agility in order to maintain competitive edge via updated printed messaging and as these tactics are often short-term and invariably short-run, as cost-effectively as possible. The same level of expediency applies to the introduction of brand extensions and new products. Enhanced analogue process print and next-generation digital equipment designed to deliver accelerated cost-effective time to market will compete for attention at drupa 2016. Special decorative effects and added functionality are increasingly providing an added value finishing touch that can extend beyond the point of purchase to enhance the consumer’s relationship with the branding proposition throughout its life expectancy.  The appropriate systems and solutions to accomplish all of these imperatives are not only readily available to print service providers but are constantly updated and extended.  Applications to facilitate the synergy between printed text and graphics, the internet and social media through the development of on-pack interactivity accessed by smart mobile technology will constitute a growing area of visitor interest in Dϋsseldorf.
Copy Right Copy Centre of Toronto has installed a new EBA 5560LT paper cutter, upgrading from its existing Triumph 4850EP cutter. Copy Right’s EBA 5560LT, purchased through Sydney Stone, features optional side tables to provide added working space and an air lift table to provide easy movement of paper on the bed of the cutter.“Our Triumph 4850EP cutter was starting to get older and costing more in repairs each year, we were able to trade that in for this new EBA 5560 which has made a great improvement in our ability to cut efficiently,” said Doug Bell of Copy Right Copy Centre.The EBA 5560LT guillotine features a maximum cut width and depth 21 5/8 inches hydraulic blade and clamp drive, as well EASY-CUT, programmable back gauge with touch pad, and IR light beam safety curtain.
Annex Business Media, publisher of PrintAction magazine, installed a new Kuda 115 CL cutting system into its Simcoe, Ont., facility.The Kuda cutter, purchased through KOMCAN Inc. of Georgetown, Ontario, is fully programmable with a 15-inch TFT colour touchscreen and features management software for service, diagnostics, scheduled maintenance and knife changing. It cuts at up to 45 cycles per minute with a 115 cm (45 ¼ inch) cutting width and depth.Replacing a smaller cutter, the new Kuda CL was brought in to work alongside Annex’ new Komori LS 840 perfecting press being installed within the next couple of weeks. Annex announced the purchase of the Komori LS 840, also through KOMCAN, in March 2015 on the heels of acquiring Glacier Media print and online assets in late January.The Komori LS 840 is equipped with features like APC fully automatic plate changers, PDC-SII close-looped colour control, AMR automatic make-ready, fully automatic wash-up systems and KHS Komori high-speed inking.
Paperland Canada Inc. of Markham, Ont., adds a DigiXpress Hybrid system purchased through PDS, which includes white and clear colour channels.DigiXpress Hybrid Hybrid handles stocks up to 360 gsm, as well as 3 x 5-inch cards and 52-inch banners. The system also supports tabloid size of 12 x 18 inches and Super-B sizes of 13 x 19 inches. Available with an optional External Fiery XF 5 server, the DigiXpress Hybrid reaches speeds of up to 50 pages per minute in both colour and monochrome. It produces a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi.
Apache Superior Printing Ltd. of Calgary, Alberta, has installed an HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press, which is the first in Western Canada and only the second such press in Canada.The HP Indigo 10000 is an evolutionary digital press based on its true 29-inch (75-cm) format size. With a built-in duplex mechanism, the press allows for digitally printing new applications like pocket folders, six-page brochures, posters, and large lay-flat books. It can print up 4,600 B2-size colour sheets per hour. “Our clients are consistently looking for greater ROI on their marketing investments, and combining this new format with our one-to-one marketing capabilities will enable us to deliver that,” said Dave Gordon-Cooper, President & CEO, Apache Superior Printing. Founded in 1963, Apache is now one of the largest privately owned printing companies in the region, servicing local, national and international markets. In addition to offset and digital printing, the company provides mailing and bindery operations, as well as large format foiling, embossing and die cutting. HP states its Indigo 10000 customers’ average print volumes have more than doubled in the last 12 months, printing over 100 million monthly impressions, and nearly 20 customers have added multiple units.
Seydaco Packaging of Mississauga, Ontario, has purchased a new 8-colour KBA Flexotecnica EVO XD press, featuring gearless, sleeved, and central impression flexographic printing.“The entire flexo web-line including the new KBA-Flexotecnica eight-colour CI, plus two downstream units, as well as double roll stands with auto splicer and festoon and flatbed diecutter with rotary stripper, belt askew, and delivery will be unique in North America,” said David Seychell, President of Seydaco, adding, “It will be miles ahead of anything in its class considerations.”Seychell continues to explain the installation of the KBA-Flexotecnica press will complement the facility’s two sheetfed press lines, and allow the company to offer competitive long-run carton production for export. The new flexo web line gives Seydaco the capability of handling both sheets and rolls. The company also runs two high-speed diecutters.Seydaco’s packaging range, both in terms of product and geography, is also extended through its sister firms, including: Groupe Ecco, a folding carton manufacturer based in Quebec; Miramont Labels, based in Quebec; and National Carton & Coating, a mid- to large-volume manufacturer of custom printed folding cartons, stock chipboard boxes, and mailers based in Dayton, OH. Seydaco purchased National Carton in April 2015.The KBA-Flexotecnica press, according to Seydaco, is to support mid- to long-run requirements at all Seydaco locations. Initially, the firm will target paperboard foodservice packaging requirements, which is where Seydaco and Groupe Ecco are already well positioned. The company also intends to attract private label owners and consumer packaged goods companies.“The EVO XD will allow us to develop new skills and expertise in longer run orders, and one-pass printing on the front and back of substrates,” says Seychell. “Throughout the history of Seydaco, Groupe Ecco and National Carton & Coating, we have used only sheetfed equipment and sheeters. Our only exposure and experience with flexo printing/in-line diecutting and flexo plate materials is at our Miramont facility where we use a 13-inch flexo press to produce pressure sensitive labels.”Seydaco has a longstanding partnership with KBA, as the printer currently operates two six-colour KBA Rapida 105 41-inch presses, a seven-colour KBA Rapida 105 41-inch press, and one 10-colour KBA Rapida 130 press with two coating stations – all equipped with UV curing.
Friesens Corporation of Altona, Manitoba, recognized as one of North America’s leading book, yearbook and packaging printers, has installed a new 8-colour, format 8, R900 HiPrint XXL perfecting press from Manroland Sheetfed.With approximately 350,000 square feet of production space, Friesens’ new 73-inch wide XXL press provides for an imposition of up to 64 pages, printed both sides, in one pass. The company also has capabilities to slit down a 64-page format into a 2-up, 32-page imposition, inline.“What Friesens has accomplished is very rare, they increased their productivity by four times their current workflow,” said Sean Springett, U.S. & Canadian Marketing Manager for Manroland Sheetfed. “The combination of perfecting, press speed and sheet size, all in a single pass press has afforded a competitive edge unmatched by other book printers in a sheetfed press, specifically in North America."Friesens’ R908 HiPrint XXL is equipped with InlineColorPilot for colour management, which, according to Manroland, is capable of registering full ink reads within three sheets, at full press speed. Once read, the ink train makes any required colour change parameters. Coupled with InlineRegister, Friesens is able to control circumferential, diagonal and lateral register on the fly, automatically during any sheet read sequence.“We are extremely excited to push the boundaries of size, speed and automation with the addition of the XXL press to our production line-up,” said Curwin Friesen, CEO of Friesens. “This installation demonstrates our long-term commitment to our book publishing customers and ensures our employee owners have advanced equipment to help them succeed in the North American print market.”The new sheetfed press is also equipped with Manroland’s press management system, called IntegratedPilotPlus, a CIP3- and JDF-compliant system where job parameters are automatically sent to the press from prepress, including air settings or ink profile changes. Any modifications to the original file are saved and automatically updated to the original job specifications. “Our Manroland project is one of the most complex and involved expansions in our history,” said Byron Loeppky, Production Manager with Friesens. “Our staff and team did a tremendous job in achieving a successful installation all the while meeting the delivery needs of our customers. A major installation like this requires teamwork on every level and our staff and leaders delivered brilliantly.”
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.
Abhay Parasnis becomes Chief Technology Officer of Adobe, as well as the California company’s Senior Vice President of platform technology and services. He is tasked with driving Adobe’s technology strategy, architecture and innovation roadmap for its cloud services, which includes its flagship Creative Cloud, Adobe Marketing Cloud, and most recently Adobe Document Cloud.Parasnis was instrumental in building the early cloud-computing platforms at both Microsoft and Oracle. “Abhay brings a powerful combination of technical credentials and operational experience to this new CTO role,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s President and CEO. “Our cloud platforms are the foundation for our next phase of innovation and growth as a company, and Abhay is the ideal candidate to lead this initiative.”Parasnis most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer of venture-funded enterprise mobility player Kony. He previously held a senior management role with i2 Technologies, where he led the development of a Supply Chain Collaboration product line called Rhythm Collaboration Suite. At IBM, Parasnis contributed to the early Java platform including JavaBeans Extensions.“Adobe has set the standard on how to successfully shift to a cloud-based business while delivering great innovation for customers,” said Parasnis. “Adobe’s cloud initiatives are dramatically re-shaping how content is created, measured and consumed, which is unique in the software world and a great technical challenge. I’m excited to dive in and make great things happen.”Parasnis holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and telecommunications from the College of Engineering Pune, and holds more than 20 patents spanning enterprise and consumer Internet technologies.
Steven Schnoll becomes CEO and President of SiHL Inc.’s United States operations in Fiskeville, Rhode Island. The company is part of SiHL Group, a global manufacturer of medias for inkjet and toner printing, with production facilities also in Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland. SiHL is controlled by parent company Diatec Holdings. Schnoll, who assumed his new SiHL position back in May 2015, is to focus on the company’s expansion efforts. He has held key roles in five graphic media companies and with one software startup company. For the last 16 years, Schnoll has provided consulting services to a range of organizations in marketing and sales. "I am honored to be a part of such an important company within the graphics industry. The SiHL Group produces some of the highest quality substrate materials found anywhere in the world for the growing digital print marketplace,” said Schnoll. “With many new product opportunities to be imminently released for our customers to grow their profitability, this is definitely an exciting time.”
Peter Bourgeois joins Agfa Canada as an Account Manager covering the Western region from Manitoba to British Columbia, focusing on the company’s complete product portfolio.Prior to Agfa, Bourgeois was Customer Business Manager at Unisource in Calgary. He also previously worked for Ernest Green & Son and Mondrian-Hall Inc. “Peter has more than 15 years of experience in the graphics industry and has extensive knowledge of the sign and display market,” said Lawrence Robinson, Business Manager, Western Canada, Agfa. “We are reinforcing our strategic coverage of western Canada with a knowledgeable and skilled professional.”
Don Stitt becomes the Canadian Sales Manager for Baumer hhs, which is part of a global manufacturer of industrial gluing systems, headquartered in Germany, as well as quality-assurance and camera-verification technologies.Stitt is responsible for sales in Canada and the Upper Northeastern United States. He is to focus on both the corrugated and folding-carton industries. “I am very excited to be back with Baumer hhs,” said Stitt, “and look forward to being a part of their continued and growing success in both the U.S. and Canada.”
Gord Saray becomes Sales Director for Cober Evolving Solutions, widely recognized as one of Canada’s leading printing and communications companies, based in Kitchener, Ontario. With more than 20 years of experience in graphic arts, Saray, who is bilingual, will be responsible for the leadership of the Cober sales team and developing new business opportunities.Saray has worked in various capacities with technology suppliers in the paper, wide format and graphic arts sectors, including senior management roles with both Domtar and PaperlinX. On the printing side, he has also prevoiously served as Director of Sales with The DATA Group of Companies.“We are thrilled to welcome Gord to our team” said Todd Cober, Vice President of Cober. “As Cober grows, so does the talent of which it attracts. Gord brings an incredible amount of knowledge and expertise to the management team.” Cober is headquartered in a 120,000-square-foot facility in Kitchener, in addition to its recently purchased facility in Barrie, Ontario. Together the two locations hold more than 160 employees. “I’m extremely excited to be joining Cober during this energizing new phase. Cober has taken the lead in becoming the innovative, source for creative, design, digital and print solutions in our industry,” said Saray. “With Cober’s incredible resources at hand, this new venture gives our clients the ability to be able to do so much more.”
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.”
Shanghai Electric Corporation (SEC) of China entered into an agreement to sell Goss International, a global web-offset printing press supplier, and its subsidiaries to New York’s American Industrial Partners (AIP), which is a middle-market private equity firm that has been investing in North American industrial businesses since 1989. The AIP transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and meeting certain closing conditions over the next few weeks. In November 2012, AIP, through its MAI Holdings affiliate, purchased Presstek Inc., which develops DI presses and CTP systems, as well as environmentally progressive plate technology. In August 2014, AIP sold its majority interest in Mark Andy, which develops flexographic press technology, to a new investment group formed by P.J. Desai, who is Mark Andy's former CEO. AIP also previously owned pressroom consumables manufacturer Day International.SEC noted AIP’s past and current holdings in printing machinery manufacturers as a positive move forward in the ownership of Goss. “As a leading supplier of commercial web, newspaper and packaging offset printing presses, Goss is wholly committed to its valued, worldwide customer base and to the sale and support of its broad range of the industry's most innovative products,” said Rick Nichols, CEO, Goss International.AIP currently holds more than $1 billion of equity capital under management and has completed more than 30 transactions since its founding in 1989.
Mi5 Print & Digital Communications of Markham, Ont., over the past month has purchased certain assets and intellectual capital of two well-known printing companies in the Greater Toronto Area.On July 6, Mi5 finalized its acquisition of Magnum Fine Commercial Printing Ltd., which was controlled by John Popovski, CEO of Media-Vision in Toronto. Popovski had purchased Magnum Fine one year earlier (July 2014) for $1.5 million from Intertainment Media Inc.Mi5, on July 6, also acquired intellectual capital of Media-Vision, which primarily amounts to its name and associated brand vehicles, and then hired approximately 17 Media-Vision employees – a combination of salespeople, CSRs and pressroom operators, who have already been integrated into Mi5. Another 12 Magnum Fine employees have joined Mi5. On July 21, the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice approved Mi5’s auction bid for specific assets of J. F. Moore Lithographers Inc. of Scarborough. J.F. Moore first filed a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA) in April 2015 and was subsequently granted a couple of extensions to work through a restructuring process. Following a June 23 court extension, however, J.F. Moore, controlled by Dean Baxendale, and its trustee moved to an auction process, through the BIA, allowing third parties to bid on the company as a whole or for specific assets.Through this process, Mi5 is acquiring JF Moore’s book of business and intellectual capital, the latter of which includes its name and related brand properties. J.F. Moore itself is being liquidated on July 31 by Asset Services Inc. (ASI), which is scheduled to hold a J.F. Moore equipment auction between late August and early September. Approximately 12 J.F. Moore employees, including Dean Baxendale, are joining Mi5 in Markham on August 1.“Dean reached far more into his own pocket than any other owner I have ever seen and it was done out of trying his best to do the right thing,” says Derek McGeachie, Chief Vision Officer of Mi5. “He protected a lot of his suppliers more than anybody else I have ever seen in his situation and I have a lot of respect for him for doing that.“And [Dean] is continuing on, which is the other good thing. He is joining us and his goal is to fix what wasn’t right and make it much better going forward. That is admirable as well. He is not running away,” says McGeachie.McGeachie, who founded Mi5, stepped back as CEO earlier this year in favour of Sheryl Sauder, who now leads the Markham company, one of North America’s fastest growing printing operations, which now generates around $40 million in annual revenues. McGeachie estimates the J.F. Moore and Media-Vision assets will initially bring approximately $10 million in additional sales.“J.F. Moore is a good company. They have been around for 30 years, basically,” says McGeachie. “They have great customer relationships that we are looking forward to building on… the second good opportunity is they have some excellent, capable people that we are thrilled to have on board and the third opportunity is that they have some strengths in direct mail and digital small-format that we are happy to bring on board as well.”The acquisition of Magnum Fine Commercial Printing, and hiring of Media-Vision staff, also brings in some new capabilities to Mi5. “They have some expertise that we do not have in their personnel, so that is exciting,” says McGeachie. “And we have a lot of expertise they don’t have, so I think there was a good opportunity to mix the two companies together and we are stronger together than we are apart.”The Magnum Fine purchase provides two foiling machines and a cylinder die press, but only one of Magnum’s three Heidelberg Quickmaster DI presses is being set up at Mi5. The asset purchases are primarily about obtaining book of business and acquiring the well-known names of Media-Vision and J.F. Moore, which McGeachie also acknowledges to hold some risk based on the fact that many suppliers are hurt when companies wind down through either the BIA or Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.“Our society over the last couple hundred of years has formulated these bankruptcy rules so that they minimize the damages essentially among all parties,” says McGeachie. “If they didn’t have this system what would the alternative be? These companies would just dissipate and become nothing and there would be no highest-bidder auction going on and there would be less money going to the creditors.”In the J.F. Moore liquidation process, a little more than $300,000 remains owed to unsecured creditors prior to the upcoming auction process. “Unfortunately, there is a ranking of people who are owed money and banks are sophisticated entities and they secure their loans,” says McGeachie. “Then the less sophisticated guys, which includes us, essentially give unsecured loans to these companies and that is a big question in our industry. I have seen all of the suppliers tighten up and I think that is ultimately a good thing... it is dangerous when you give too much free credit.”
Canadian Bank Note Company, based in Ottawa, Ont., has acquired commerical printer Unicom Graphics of Calgary. Unicom is to be integrated into CBN's McAra Printing division, also of Calgary. The merged operation is currently being referred to as McAra Unicom.“By combining the complementary strengths of two leading Calgary-based commercial printers, we have created a single exceptional print solutions provider,” said Ronald Arends, President and CEO of Canadian Bank Note (CBN). “[We are] committed to providing McAra Unicom investment and technical support to successfully grow the business.”Over the past six years, CBN has invested more than $10 million in printing technology alone for its McAra operation, including the December 2013 installation of a new Heidelberg XL106 10P+UV sheetfed press. Weighing around 112 tons and measuring 75 feet in length, this was the first press of its kind to be installed in Canada.The 41-inch Heidelberg perfecting press is able to run both conventional and UV inks at up to 15,000 sheets per hour (straight or perfecting). Among a raft of modern features, the press includes automatic plate loading and Heidelberg’s Hycolor inking and dampening system, as well as two inline spectrophotometers to inspect every sheet produced on the press. Based out of a 45,000-square-foot facility, McAra in 2011 installed what was Calgary’s largest solar array when 48 solar modules on its rooftop. These 48 photovoltaic modules hold an electrical generating capability of 11,280 watts.“CBN is a strong parent company," said Dean McElhinney, General Manager, Unicom Graphics. "McAra Unicom is now well positioned to be the leading print solutions provider in Calgary."The Unicom purchase provides CBN with further lithographic assets, including UV technology, as well as digital print and wide format services, finishing (binding, foiling and embossing), direct mail and fulfillment."Merging our two operations with strong business ethics, complementary capabilities and deep technical knowledge will significantly strengthen and extend our capabilities,” said Rodger Grant, General Manager, McAra Printing.Established in 1897, Canadian Bank Note now has 10 locations worldwide with over 1,400 employees. The company provides integrated hardware, software, print, and systems services to organizations and governments in Canada and throughout the world. CBN focuses its security applications into four primary markets; Payment, Identification, Lottery and Shareholder Services including commercial print.
Tapp Label of Napa, California, has purchased Metro Label, headquartered in Toronto with locations also in Napa and Vancouver.This is the fourth acquisition in less than a year for Tapp Label, led by David Bowyer, CEO and Owner, and provides the U.S. firm with an East Coast location. Founded in 1974, Metro Label specializes in high-end decoration label, shrink/sleeve and flexible packaging markets for clients in markets like wine, spirits, pharmaceutical, health and beauty. Metro Label has clients throughout the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.Tapp states Metro Label will continue to be known as Metro Label for Toronto-based customers and Tapp Label for West Coast customers. Founded in 1992, Tapp Label now operates from seven facilities on the East and West Coast and employs over 300 staff.
EFI announced the purchase of two companies on July 1 extending its inkjet printing interests, including Matan Digital Printers, which focuses on grand-format printing, and Reggiani Macchine, which focuses on textiles.EFI explains the Matan purchase fills a key spot in its product portfolio for a lower-acquisition cost line of roll-to-roll printers aimed on signage, banners, billboards and fleet graphics. Based in Rosh Ha’Ayin, Israel, Matan has developed super-wide inkjet systems, primarily with in-line cutting and slitting, for more than a decade.Matan’s work force of approximately 70 employees has joined EFI, which the company describes as providing it with a significant presence in Israel. Yosefi becomes VP and GM of EFI Inkjet Israel.EFI’s all-cash acquisition of Matan pays the shareholders approximately $29 million to acquire all outstanding shares. Under the purchase agreement, EFI also assumed approximately $5 million of Matan’s debt, and deposited $14 million into escrow, portions of which may be released to the sellers in 2017 and 2022.Four days later, EFI entered the textile printing market with its acquisition of Reggiani Macchine of Bergamo, Italy, which has been active for more than 60 years. Reggiani is a provider of inkjet printers utilizing water-based inks for printing on fabric. Reggiani’s technologies, which will be rebranded as EFI Reggiani, address a range of textile printing, with systems suitable for water-based dispersed, acid, pigment and reactive dye printing inks. “This acquisition gives EFI an immediate leadership position in one of the world’s largest industries undergoing the transformation from analogue printing to digital,” said EFI CEO Guy Gecht. “The textile printing market is just beginning that transition.” Reggiani has customers in more than 120 countries served by a wide distribution network and agents in over 40 countries. Its workforce of approximately 190 employees joins EFI.To acquire all of Reggiani’s outstanding shares, EFI will repay Reggiani debt of about €20.1 million (US$22.6 million), pay the former Reggiani shareholders up to about €27.4 million (US$30.8 million) of cash, and issue the former Reggiani shareholders up to about €27.4 million (US$30.8 million) of EFI stock, and will pay up to €50 million (US$56.2 million) in the future as long as the next 30 months based on the achievement of revenue and profitability targets.  
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.
The Lowe-Martin Group of Ottawa has printed the first 200,000-piece run of a Canada Post stamp to mark the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, housed in a unique building in Winnipeg. The six-colour stamp with spot varnish is called the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Permanent (domestic rate). It measures 40 x 40 mm and was designed by Adrian Shum, with images from Mike Grandmaison. One Official First Day Cover will also be issued, measuring 191 x 113 mm. “Canada Post’s stamps tell stories of our history, our heritage and our Canadian identity. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will invite the world to reflect on human rights struggles – both inspiring and tragic – and encourage action for a better future,” stated Deepak Chopra, President and CEO, Canada Post. “This stamp commemorates a symbol of our global human rights aspirations, told through a uniquely Canadian lens.” The CMHR is situated at The Forks in Winnipeg, which Canada Post describes as a meeting place dating back thousands of years at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red rivers. “It was important to use an image that featured the four main elements of the building," stated stamp designer Adrian Shum. "The dark roots through which visitors enter, the mountain which houses the galleries, the glass canopy cloud, and the brilliant Tower of Hope guide visitors through their journey.” CMHR’s unique building welcomes guests on the ground level, before the ascend through a series of ramps to encounter galleries filled with human rights stories, finally reaching the Tower of Hope, a 23-story glass structure that overlooks Winnipeg. “When Canadians use this new stamp on their correspondence, they will help spread awareness of the museum and the importance of human rights across Canada and around the world,” stated Stuart Murray, CMHR President and Chief Executive Officer.
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 Galagutenberg.ca)GUTENBERG 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 www.ryetaga.com.
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 ColourManagement.ca, 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: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria0544c799d9 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
Jim Bailen of INX International received the NAPIM Printing Ink Pioneer Award acknowledging his achievements during a more than 30-year career in the ink industry. Serving as INX’ Vice President of Engineering since 1999, Bailen was the lead project engineer for every major facility expansion and equipment installation instituted by INX over the past 20 years. In 1984, Bailen joined CPS, the in-house ink division of Sullivan Graphics in Dunkirk, New York and began work as an Electrical Supervisor in the Maintenance Department. Sakata INX acquired CPS from Sullivan in 1990, and it later became part of the INX International family. INX International, owned by Sakata INX, is the third largest producer of inks in North America with over 15 facilities in the U.S. and Canada.In 2004, Bailen oversaw completion of the new modern metal decorating facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, that produces ink for customers around the world. Four years later, he did the same for the new liquid ink plant in Homewood, Illinois, that produces water-based technologies. New media mill grinding equipment was introduced at these facilities, which INX describes as a pivotal outcome led by Bailen.“Jim has pioneered many developments over the years and truly deserves recognition for his contributions to the industry,” said Rick Clendenning, INX President and CEO. “Without him in this role, we would not be where we are today as a company with our world-class manufacturing facilities.”Bailen is credited with pioneering the development of intrinsic production safety devices for ink production equipment, introducing the Nip Guard Safety Interlock System that assures no 3-roll mill at INX can be run in cleaning mode.Since 2004, Bailen has served on the NAPIM/ANSI B65 Equipment Safety Committees that has developed several safety standards, including the 3-roll mills, to help guide equipment manufacturers to construct safer machines. He also established the development of the INX TPM elements for planned maintenance and early equipment planning within the company, which included the training of maintenance personnel at all facilities. Bailen has actively supported NAPIM for many years. In 2002, he presented at the NAPIM Manufacturing Symposium a paper on “Equipment automation and data collection system designs”. The same year, he began serving on the pilot committee for the Manufacturing Symposium and did so through 2004. He also served for two years on the NAPIM Equipment Safety committee and presented a paper on the “Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis”, at the NPIRI Technical Conference in 2006.
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.
The Trustee in General Printers’ bankruptcy action confirms its creditors have accepted the company’s proposal and, following a December 16 auction of equipment, operations have officially ceased at the Oshawa facility. According to the proposal sent to creditors, four primarily paper suppliers listed as creditors in the bankruptcy action were collectively owed $441,179, while third-party printers were owed just over $30,000, and finishing companies more than $125,000, not including a mailing service provider owed $141,469.   Previous article from December 5: Consolidated Graphics Canada Ltd., which operates as General Printers, plans to close its facility in Oshawa, Ontario, following its proposal to creditors, who are to vote on the action on December 12. The estimated amount of total debt owed to creditors is $4.6 million, with approximately $2.15 million secured.   In late-October, General Printers made a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal filing under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, which held the potential for the company to restructure. General Printers had a 30-day schedule in November to meet its cash flow obligations. “Prior to the 30-day initial stay expiring, the company made a proposal to its creditors,” explains the Harris&Partners trustee who is overseeing the filing. “The intention is an organized wind down including an auction of [General Printer’s] assets, completing work in process, collecting receivables and selling real estate. The creditors meeting is set for December 12, 2014, to vote on the Proposal made to creditors.” David Fors, a principal owner of General Printers, was not avialable this morning for comment. Fors had led the operation as President since 1991. General Printers was established in 1951 and was one of the region’s most-visible printing operations. The General Printers auction is scheduled to take place on December 16, 2014, at the company’s Ritson Road facility and online, beginning at 10:30 am. Equipment inspection is available the day prior. Some of the key pieces of equipment up for auction include: an 8-colour, 40-inch Heidelberg Speedmaster 102-8-p+l (2007); 8-colour, 40-inch Heidelberg Speedmaster 102-8-p5 (1998); 2-colour, 40-inch Komori Lithrone (1998); Xerox iGen3; Lawson MPV-60 controlled guillotine; an assortment of Stahl and Heidelberg folding lines; and Muller Martini stitching lines.
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.
Drytac, a manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, appoints ND Graphics as its exclusive Canadian distributor for the sign and large-format printing market. The move, according to Drytac, was in part due to its 2013 acquisition of a second manufacturing and coating operation in Toronto, which has resulted in greater demand for product distribution. Drytac also states it is becoming increasingly focused on expanding its presence in self-adhesive markets, such as labels and tags used in packaging, automotive and industrial applications. With 10 stocking locations across Canada and an outside sales staff of more than 30, Drytac explains ND Graphics is well equipped to support existing business and to develop new business in the sign and imaging markets. ND Graphics stocks approximately 4,000 products, including equipment and print material, and has established customer service and technical support teams.“It is imperative that Drytac focus on manufacturing and custom coating in Canada,” said Mike Wildbore, Drytac’s Vice President of Sales. “By partnering with ND Graphics, we will be able to shift our attention to industrial and non-graphic markets that offer untapped potential for our business.”Drytac manufacturing of adhesive-coated products focuses on applications like graphic films, window films, double-sided tapes, self-adhesive print media, label stock, industrial adhesives, and heat-activated and pressure-sensitive laminates and mounting adhesives.  
EFI and Konica Minolta Business Solutions (KMBS) signed a non-exclusive agreement for KMBS to distribute and service EFI’s wide-format inkjet imaging technology across North America. The announcement was made during Konica Minolta’s National Dealer Meeting in Los Angeles.“EFI has longstanding, successful strategic alliance with KMBS centred on the development of EFI Fiery products for Konica Minolta production equipment, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to expand our partnership,” said Frank Mallozzi, EFI’s Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing.The 65-inch-wide EFI H1625 LED hybrid inkjet printer will be the first system available through the KMBS sales network this coming May. It features four colour grayscale print heads producing what EFI describes as near-photographic image quality, as well as white-ink capabilities.
MPS Systems North America Inc. has named Northern Graphic Solutions Inc. as its distributor of its flexo and offset presses in central and eastern Canada. MPS, with its global headquarters in the Netherlands, manufactures printing and converting machines for the pressure-sensitive and packaging printing markets. “We are excited to join the MPS team,” said Jerry Wynia, President of NGS. “We truly believe MPS is the leader in print quality and production efficiencies, offering its customers a real competitive advantage with today’s challenges.” MPS has been selling and servicing its presses in North America for several years, and in May 2014 the company announced it was strengthening that presence by expanding its sales, installation, service and assembly operations. MPS states its new partnership with NGS is another step in fulfilling this goal.  “By combining the technical innovation and high quality manufacturing of MPS with the market knowledge and customer service of NGS, we can optimally satisfy the needs of the Canadian market,” said Kees Nijenhuis, MPS’ vice president of North American operations. One of the flexo presses NGS is offering is MPS’ flagship EF printing press. The EF is an automated, multi-substrate press available at 13-, 17- and 20-inch formats, which includes the Crisp.Dot technology and features a choice of either plate rolls or print sleeves. The press features both UV and hot-air drying technology, allowing users to print diverse substrates including film, paper, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging.
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.
QuadTech has formed a new partnership with the Gallus Group of Switzerland to provide QuadTech’s closed-loop colour control and colour measurement systems for Gallus’ offset, flexo and gravure presses. “Gallus has vast market experience and the widest customer base in the label printing industry. However, we recognized the opportunity to partner with QuadTech to provide our customers with state-of-the-art spectral colour measurement and colour control systems,” stated Dr. Thomas Weber, Supplier Relationship Management at Gallus. The initial integration plan between the two companies focuses on the QuadTech Color Control System with SpectralCam, which provides automated inline, closed-loop colour control for offset operations. SpectralCam adjusts ink keys to maintain specified colour targets on the fly and at full press speeds. Flexo and gravure printers can also leverage the QuadTech Color Measurement System with SpectralCam for inline monitoring of all packaging substrates, including challenging translucent, transparent and reflective films. Colour variations, explains QuadTech, are sent to the operator in real-time to change colour specifications, eliminating press stoppages and the manual process of removing sections of the web to measure colour.
Ultimate Technographics Inc. of Montreal has enhanced an integration partnership with Enterprise Print Management Solutions (EPMS) of Middleboro, Massachusetts.

The two companies will work closely to improve the flow of information between EPMS’ print management system and Ultimate’s Impostrip imposition software. Ultimate currently has over 30,000 imposition engines in place with prepress and printing professionals worldwide. “Because prepress cost greatly affects profitability, we believe our partnership with EPMS will provide the right connectivity that will help our customers realize a strong profit margin on every job they bill and especially using our gang run module AutoFlow,” stated Joanne David, President and CEO at Ultimate Technographics. “Integration is about job productivity. With EPMS and Impostrip our mutual client companies can now use proven tools that will automate the processes from order capture to print.” EPMS and Ultimate Technographics have already been working together for over two years and this latest agreement adds another level of functionality to their product integration.
“Manual intervention on a job to plan imposition is both time consuming and prone to human error. By automating this process through the integration with Impostrip, we are able to help our clients significantly reduce, and maybe entirely eliminate the touches previously needed between the MIS solution and production,” stated Mark Andersen, President and CTO of EPMS. “This integration provides our clients with the ability to automate the creation of gang-run impositions, using our Gang Run Wizard integrated with Impostrip.”
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 sihlusa.com to sihlinc.com (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.
The C.J. Group of Companies, led by President and founder Jay Mandarino, finalized the purchase of a new building at 249 Evans Avenue, which is in Toronto’s Mimico neighbourhood on the southwest corner of Evans and Horner. The 60,000-square-foot facility includes 29-foot-high ceilings and a second floor with 10,000 square feet of space. It will house C.J. Group’s large format and fulfillment/distribution services, as well as the company’s Digital, Interactive, and Designedge magazine properties.   Two recent acquisitions will transition to the new location as well, and the company plans to add a full mailing house operation in the next five months. Renovations are under way and moving will begin in late November to be completed by January. The C.J. Group of Companies now owns three facilities totaling more than 150,000 square feet.“Thanks to all our great clients, staff and suppliers who have supported our growth,” said Jay Mandarino, President and founder of C.J. Group.  
The Toyo Ink Group based in Tokyo, Japan, continued to expand its manufacturing presence in India, with the inauguration of its second production site in the country. The new US$17 million facility in Dahej, Gujarat state, along the eastern coast of India, has begun making offset inks with a production capacity of 10,000 m. tons, which is nearly three times that of the company’s first manufacturing facility in Delhi. The Gujarat plant will also supply inks on a global level, particularly to nearby markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Growing demand has pushed production at our Delhi plant to capacity,” stated Shingo Nishikaze, Chairman of Toyo Ink India Pvt. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Toyo Ink Group. “With the establishment of a second inks plant, we are well-positioned now and in the future to support our customers’ growth in India and its neighboring regions.” Toyo Ink India first began manufacturing offset inks at its Delhi plant in 2008 and then expanded production to include inkjet inks in 2011 and gravure inks for the food-packaging sector in 2012. In 2013, the Toyo Ink Group established a manufacturing joint venture for azo pigments with Heubach Colour Pvt. Ltd., a producer of organic pigments. Located in Ankleshwar, also in the Gujarat state, the production site for the new alliance Heubach Toyo Colour Pvt. Ltd. is expected to come onstream soon with an annual capacity of 2,000 m. tons.
Japan’s Ambassador to Canada, the Consul-General of Japan and Brampton’s Mayor joined Canon Canada executives in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new five-story Canon headquarters to be built by December 2015. “Our vision for Canon Canada’s headquarters goes beyond being an infrastructure investment or a building where our employees work,” stated Ted Egawa, President and CEO, Canon Canada Inc. “We want our new headquarters to become a community for our employees and for our customers, which aligns with our Kyosei philosophy, which means harmoniously living and working together for the common good.” To be built on more than 18 acres at the corner of Mississauga Road and Steeles Avenue West in Brampton, Ontario, the new 180,000-square-foot headquarters will replace the company’s current office in Mississauga, which has been its home since 1984. Design of the Brampton facility is being led by the architectural firm of Moriyama & Teshima, which created the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto and The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Canon is aiming to achieve Gold Certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Sustainable design elements planned include the incorporation of lots of natural light, energy-efficient equipment and collecting rainwater for reuse. The Province of Ontario has designated Brampton as an urban growth area; by 2031 the city’s population is expected to grow to 725,000. Canon joins a list of high-profile organizations to build corporate infrastructure in Brampton, such as Loblaw Companies, HBC, Chrysler Canada, Rogers Communications, Maple Lodge Farms and Canadian Tire. Parent company Canon Inc. of Tokyo generates close to $46 billion in global revenue and has ranked among the top four in U.S. patents registered since 1994.

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