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More than 220 people attended the 10th annual Canadian Printing Awards held in Toronto last night to recognize four industry leaders and some of the world’s best printing in a range of categories, as well as world-leading environmental initiatives. The gala evening was hosted by Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO’s The Agenda, who welcomed printers from across the country to receive their awards.An independent judging panel, working from a blind scoring system, determined Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in 21 Quality Printing categories. From the more than 230 submissions, Leo Saul Berk, Structure and Ornament, a hardcover book produced by Hemlock Printers, won the 2015 Best of Show Award. The remaining recipients from this year’s Canadian Printing Awards are listed below:Industry Achievement Awards Lifetime Achievement AwardDick Kouwenhoven, Chairman and CEO, Hemlock Printers, Burnaby, BCPrinting Leader of the YearJay Mandarino, Founder, President & CEO, C.J. Graphics, Printers & LithographersEmerging Leader of the YearDamian McDonald, President, ampersandCommunity Leader of the YearScott Gray, Vice President, Branding, MET Fine PrintersBest of Show Leo Saul Berk, Structure and Ornament by Hemlock PrintersQuality Printing AwardsSelf Promotion Gold: Hi Tech Hi Touch by Simpson PrintSilver: PrizmaFoil Promotional Package by Glenmore Custom Print Bronze: Fancy Wrap Promotion by Hemlock PrintersBrochures & Booklets, OffsetGold: Forkosh Development Brochure by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Bennington House Brochure by Hemlock PrintersBronze: Lexus ES 2016 Brochure by Colour InnovationsBrochures & Booklets, Digital Gold: O.P.I. Culture of Color by PDI Integrated Print SolutionsSilver: Intact Insurance Distinction by The Lowe-Martin GroupBronze: Bua Thai Menus by C.J. Graphics, Printers & LithographersBooks, HardcoverGold: Leo Saul Berk, Structure and Ornament by Hemlock PrintersSilver: West Coast Reduction by MET Fine PrintersBronze: Cameracraftsmen of America by Friesens Corp.Books, Softcover Gold: Grosvenor Ambleside by MET Fine PrintersSilver: Get Quiet, Live Loud by MET Fine PrintersBronze: PanAm Games Opening Ceremonies by The Lowe-Martin GroupBooks, DigitalGold: The Molsons by PDISilver: Risk Takers, The World is in Beta, by C.J. GraphicsBronze: E One The Shop by C.J. GraphicsWeb Offset PrintingGold: 1879 by Birks, Spring 2015, by St. Joseph CommunicationsSilver: Canadian Sportswearby Impart LithoBronze: Holt Renfrew Fall 2015 Catalogue by St. Joseph CommunicationsBusiness & Annual ReportsGold: Intertain 2014 by Mi5 Print & Digital CommunicationsSilver: PowerStream 2014 by Skylar MediaBronze: University of Waterloo 2014 by Somerset GraphicsDirect MailGold: 1942 Donjulio Brochure by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Kit and Ace Blogger Invitations by Hemlock PrintersBronze: Griffin Poetry Prize Invitation by Mi5 Print Variable Data ImagingGold: Sobeys Best Customer by PDISilver: Engagement Calendar by FriesensBronze: The 700 Club Program by Honeycomb Mailing ServicesMagazinesGold: DesignEdge, March/April 2015, by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Mountain Life Annual by Hemlock PrintersBronze: Nuvo Spring 2015 by Colour InnovationsCalendarsGold: Edmonton, Now & Then by Priority PrintingSilver: Toronto Tree Portraits by C.J. GraphicsBronze: Ultimate Sailing 2015 by Friesens Corp.CataloguesGold: Sorel Look Book 2015 by Hemlock PrintersSilver: Infinity QX60 by C.J. GraphicsBronze: Artist Series by Hemlock PrintersFlexographyGold: Gillette Venus Swirl FLEXIBALL by Friesens Corp.Silver: Raven Deep Dark Red by ASL Print FXSilver: Corona, Glow in the Dark Pennants, by Promoflex InternationalBronze: Bespoke Chardonnay by Artcraft LabelRigid PackagingGold: Smarties Three Portion Carton by Jones PackagingSilver: Alluring Maple Leafs Box by The Lowe-Martin GroupSilver: Sudafed Head Cold + Sinus by Jones PackagingBronze: Philadelphia Jalapeno Dip by Polytainers LabelsGold: Dinosaur Uncut Press Sheet by The Lowe-Martin GroupSilver: Crown Royal Black Label by C.J. GraphicsBronze: EOS Sansin by RP Graphics GroupBusiness CardsGold: Gusto 54 Business Card by Somerset GraphicsSilver: Arcane Business Card by C.J. GraphicsBronze: Russell Gibbs Design Business Card by Somerset GraphicsStationeryGold: Sandbox Society by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Ruby & Shiller Barristers by C.J. GraphicsBronze: LGM Pocket Folder by RP Graphics GroupFinishingGold: String of Pearls Catalogue by Pacific Bindery ServicesSilver: Roland Security Papers by C.J. GraphicsBronze: PBS Holiday Cards by Pacific Bindery ServicesSpecialty ProjectGold: Sophmore magazine by Colour InnovationsSilver: Nike Young Athletes Book by MET Fine PrintersBronze: Horizons ETFs Program Kits by The Lowe-Martin GroupSpecialty EffectsGold: One Thousand Museum Book by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Infiniti QX60 Brochure by C.J. GraphicsBronze: Corona, Glow in the Dark Pennants by Promoflex InternationalEnvironmental Printing AwardsMost Environmentally Progressive Printing ProjectGold: CROPP Sustainability Report by Hemlock PrintersSilver: NEI Winter Fund Focus by The Lowe-Martin GroupBronze: Toronto Tree Portraits by C.J. GraphicsMost Environmentally Progressive Printing CompanyGold: Hemlock PrintersSilver: The Lowe-Martin GroupBronze: Symcor ISSMost Environmentally Progressive Service or TechnologyGold: The Blueline Report 2015 by CanopyMost Environmentally Progressive Technology CompanyGold: HP Canada
On September 23, 2015, Apache Superior Printing Ltd. of Calgary filed for bankruptcy though the Canadian Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.Apache’s Trustee in Bankruptcy later filed an application for certain Apache Superior assets to be acquired by The Times Press Limited, also of Calgary, which was approved by an Alberta Court in early October. The Apache assets purchased by The Times Press includes all information related to the customers of Apache, such as customer lists, historic files and various computers containing this material. According to court documents, the purchase price of the assets was $80,000, with no other assets purchased.As a result, the remaining Apache Superior Printing assets will be sold through an auction scheduled for December 4, 2015. This includes a 2003 Heidelberg SM CD74, 2000 Heidelberg SM 52, Komori S-288 Sprint II, 2008 A52/A74 Heidelberg Suprasetters, 2007 Heidelberg Stitchmaster, 45-inch Polar cutters, among a range of other printing equipment.The auction, both online and in person, is being run by Hilco Asset Sales Canada starting at 10 am on December 4.
Three separate court cases involving printing-technology disputes have been settled over the past few weeks, involving three of the industry's largest vendors: EFI, Canon and Kodak.EFI this week announced victory in a patent lawsuit filed against it in June 2013. Componex, Inc. sued EFI alleging infringement of two patents: U.S. 6,113,059 and U.S. 6,685,076. Back in October 2014, a Wisconsin Federal district court agreed with EFI that there was no infringement. The court invalidated one of the two patents and found that EFI did not infringe the other. The court then entered judgment entirely in EFI's favour and ordered Componex to pay some of EFI's costs. On October 16, 2015, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Componex's appeal.“At EFI we are proud to bring innovative solutions to our customers at competitive prices,” said EFI General Counsel Alex Grab. “Componex chose a different path. Rather than responding to lower prices from its competitors, Componex filed a meritless lawsuit against one of its own customers, us. We are pleased that the courts agreed with our positions, and will continue to defend ourselves vigorously against anyone who chooses litigation over competition in the market.”Earlier in October, Canon Inc. successfully resolved a patent infringement dispute against Zinyaw LLC, which does business under the name, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, concerning certain toner cartridges and photosensitive drum units sold for use in Canon and Hewlett-Packard laser beam printers. Zinyaw is now prohibited from making, using, selling and offering for sale the specified toner cartridges and photosensitive drum units. In a third technological dispute in the courts, Eastman Kodak and Collins Inkjet, a Cincinnati-based company, reported on October 26 that they have reached a settlement of an ongoing court case brought by Collins against Kodak, concerning the use of Collins inks on Kodak Versamark print heads.While terms of the settlement remain confidential, Collins’ ink will now be approved for use in Kodak Versamark systems, such as the D-series and 6240 range of imprinting solutions. Kodak will offer full refurbishment services for Versamark print heads without regard to whether Kodak or Collins inks are being used. Customers with or without current contracts are free to choose either Kodak or Collins inks, without impact to the quality, price or speed of printhead refurbishment services that Kodak offers.
At the recent Paperboard Packaging Council’s Leadership Conference, held mid-October in Indianapolis, The Ellis Group of Pickering, Ont., picked up two prominent North American packaging awards, including Paperboard Package of the Year and the Eco Award.The 2015 North American Paperboard Packaging Competition is administered and hosted by the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) and judged by a jury of packaging professionals, industry experts, and professors. The competition for carton manufacturers considers the concept, design, print, performance, and shelf appeal of paperboard packaging. Entries from both major corporations and small, family-owned box shops all are weighted evenly, with the names of manufacturers unknown to the jury.The Ellis Group won PPC’s Paperboard Package of the Year for its production of the Toblerone One by One Gifting 150g project, designed by FX Creative/Mondeléz Canada. The PPC jury explains, “This stunning family of cartons represents a radical departure from Toblerone’s previous package designs, yet remains true to brand. In fact, the arresting structures and angular planes embody the company’s tagline, Born to be deliciously different.”The Toblerone package, explains PPC, is designed as a gift that does not require rewrapping: “Its graphics feature a ribbon that flows between lid and bottom and the cartons are also right-sized to eliminate the need for wasteful false bottoms or void fillers, and they’re optimized for efficient pallet configuration. They do everything a carton should: drive sales and breathe new life into brands by way of innovative structures and exquisite graphics while providing supply chain efficiencies and waste reductions.”Ellis won the Eco Award for its work on the Cadbury Créme Eggs 3 Pack, which substitutes vacuum-formed plastic trays and plastic shrink sleeves with renewable, recyclable paperboard. PPC explains, “This new design for Cadbury’s Crème Eggs is more environmentally friendly than its predecessor and allows more of the eggs’ primary packaging to show through. Furthermore, diecuts in the bottom and top of the pack allow the cartons to nest, a smart design choice that optimizes both pallet and shelf configuration.”The remaining winners of the 2015 North American Paperboard Packaging Competition include:Judges' AwardsPaperWorks Industries6-pack Carrier for Cans Brasseurs du NordWestRockMetalized Mixx Tail Battery Box TPC Printing & PackagingChambord Black Raspberry LiqueurFolding Carton of the YearBert-Co Industries Inc.Glamglow FlashmudRigid Box of the YearTaylor Rigid Box HBO Influencer KitInnovation AwardAll Packaging CompanyO.penVAPE RESERVE
Pazazz Printing of Montreal becomes the first Canadian printer to achieve PANTONE Certified Printer status. The program, according to PANTONE parent company X-Rite, reviews and analyzes every aspect of a commercial printer’s colour operations – from preflight, to file preparation and proofing, to ink formulation and mixing, and to process control in the pressroom. Pazazz is leveraging a CxF colour exchange workflow and PantoneLIVE to build standard procedures across its operation for consistent colour results. “As the first printer in Canada to achieve PANTONE Certified Printer status, Pazazz underwent a rigorous certification process to confirm its ability to match PANTONE colours using both CMYK and spot colours,” said Murphy Keeley, Vice President of Marketing and Services, X-Rite.In operation since 1992, Pazazz provides offset printing, up to 56 inches, toner printing, labels, packaging and wide format. Pazazz is also a certified G7 Master Printer and is FSC certified.“The Pantone Certified Printer status complements our G7 Master Qualification and strengthens our process controls in order to deliver the highest quality colour printing to our customer,” said Warren Werbitt, Founder, Pazazz Printing. “We are extremely excited to be the first and only printer in Canada that can offer this level of quality assurance. The certification provides us with a competitive advantage and sets us apart in the marketplace.”
Tim Upton, one Canadian printing’s most-dynamic technology leaders over the past several decades, passed away on October 8 at age 83.Upton began his career in the printing industry in 1959 when he began to work in Vancouver for Sears Ltd., which at the time is noted as the second largest distributer of printing equipment in Canada. He then moved to Edmonton as a Branch Manager for Sears, followed by a posting in London, Ont., before arriving in Toronto as Vice President of Sales for Sears. In January 1984, Upton became Vice President of Sales for the newly minted Heidelberg Canada operation, where he remained until 1994. After Heidelberg, Upton continued his career with Howard Graphic Equipment Ltd. and officially retired in 2003.
Arc Digital Canada Corporation of Woodbridge, Ont., purchased a Duplo 616 Pro system from distributor PDS. The 616 Pro system, designed to remove white borders and prevent toner cracking on colour documents, is an all-in-one finisher that can process up to six slits, 25 cuts and 20 creases in a single pass.
Marlin Digital Imaging Inc. of Richmond Hill, Ont., has added both a Ricoh Pro C7110x and monochrome-based Pro 8100. The commercial printing operation has been running Ricoh systems for 12 years.The Pro C7110x system, which reaches colour printing speeds of up to 90 pages per minute, uses what Ricoh describes as an elastic fusing belt to support working with a range of textured and coated media. Marlin Digital added a fifth colour station to its system to print with white or clear inks. The monochrome-based Ricoh Pro 8100 produces a resolution of 1,200 x 4,800 dpi working with media weights from 40 to 300 gsm.Marlin Digital also runs sheetfed offset and wide-format inkjet technologies, in addition to thermographic, laser and screen printing, as well as a range of finishing services.
Summit Print Corporation of Port Coquitlam, BC, has integrated Esko’ Automation Engine software and workflow server for automating and controlling prepress. Housed in a 15,000-square-foot facility, the company is a custom label manufacturer specializing in digital label production as well as various printed packaging, for clients in the craft beer, grocery, cosmetics, sports nutrition, nutraceutical and wine industries.  Summit Print, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, moved into its newly renovated facility, located on Kebet Way in Port Coquitlam, to have more space for administration and production. The facility offers a new customer resource centre where customers can view product displays that showcase the labels Summit Print has recently created. To support this move, the company has also designed a new logo, Website and building signage.“The majority of our clients are small and mid-sized companies,” said Ryan Lees, Production Manager at Summit Print. “Periodically we do work for larger companies when the project is very targeted, for example, 5,000 containers for one store.”Summit Print operates two digital presses: an HP Indigo WS6000 press next to the company's new HP Indigo WS6600 press. Prior to the implementation of Automation Engine, Summit used the Macintosh OSX file system to hold and store files, relying on a directory that structured files alphabetically. Files were opened and RIPped with HP’s digital front end, which is OEMed from Esko. “Using the Mac OSX system was tedious and time consuming,” said Lees. “With the number of daily jobs on the rise, the result of short run lengths and new orders, I came to the realization that we would either have to hire more people or invest in new technology… Our prepress team is essentially three people, including myself.” The MIS interface within Automation Engine works seamlessly, explains Lees, with Summit’s MIS solution from Label Traxx. The data is acquired from the Label Traxx system to automate overall job processing. Jobs and the necessary data, entered into the Label Traxx MIS, are launched through Automation Engine with the workflow automatically pulling the correct files, even if a job has over 100 SKUs. MIS integration with Automation Engine also allows for automated step-and-repeat or imposition to generate gang runs.
Full Frame Signs and Scenic Art of Toronto installed the first Kongsberg V table in Ontario to create a range of items that appear on screen for the company’s film-industry clients, as well as materials for their business clients. Sean Vizsy, Full Frame Signs’ Executive Director, has catered to the film industry since developing a relationship with Cinespace Film Studios, and is now located in two of Cinespace Film’s properties at the East and West Ends of Toronto. Full Frame Signs’ headquarters are located with their sister company, The Custom Apparel Shoppe, in Paris, Ontario.Full Frame products used on screen range from taxi-cab decals to coffee shop store fronts and from background posters to flooring. “Unfortunately, until recently we were basically cutting everything by hand and were very limited to the designs we could offer. They could only be square cut. We would try using a belt sander to get rounded corners, but they are tough because it adds to the risk of introducing imperfections to the product,” said Vizsy. “We were also limited to the materials we could work with. We didn't even bother with MDF or Dibond. We stuck with substrates that could be knife cut.”Esko launched the Kongsberg V cutting table in May 2014. The system designed for sign-and-display work is based on a MultiCUT tool head for cutting and routing. The MultiCUT has various insert options with an air-cooled milling spindle of up to 45,000 rpm, suitable for acrylics and other synthetics.“We were looking for a table that could accelerate file setup, and do so easily—a table on which we could train someone in hours, not weeks, and which did not require advanced CNC software experience to program files. It's difficult to find a graphic designer who can also program a CNC machine,” said Viszy. “The Kongsberg table set-up is simplistic for super things. Using Esko i-cut Layout, we can step and repeat a number of pieces. The best part is that the interface feels and acts like Adobe Illustrator, because it's a plug-in for Illustrator.”
Atlantic Printers Inc. of Mississauga, Ont., has installed a 28-inch, 6-colour Akiyama Bestech press, including an inline AQ coater. The company, which was founded in 2002 based on the primary publication work, has also added a Stahl Pile feed, folder and Pro Cut cutter.The printing company, which recently changed its name from Atlantic Web Printers to just Atlantic Printers, is now branching out to produce trade and commercial printing, including packaging. The family run business is led by Avtar and Malika BediAtlantic Printers has also installed new equipment for the web press, including a Reema Stacker that runs at speeds of up to 40,000 impressions per hour to match the production of the Web Press, as well as a new Agfa chemistry-free processor. The Akiyama Bestech press, points out Atlantic Printers, can run anything from 60-lb offset up to 28-pt board, giving it the ability to do commercial work like direct mail, publications and packaging.
A+A Graphics Canada of Scarborough, Ont., has added a 6-colour HP FB750 UV inkjet flatbed system, which handles format sizes of up to 120 x 98-inches (302 x 250-cm) and up to 2.5 inches (64 mm) thick, as well as a Colex Sharpcut flatbed cutting system, both purchased through Grimco Canada.The printing system allows for the option of printing white ink, double-sided, matte/gloss and textured effects. A new tabletop roll holder for feeding flexible substrates is now available for the HP FB750 when printing short-run jobs.“This investment with Grimco Canada will allow A+A Graphics Canada to continue to offer great value and turnaround time for our clients,” said Ara Sahakian, President of A+A Graphics.Hitting a resolution of up to 1,200 x 600 dpi, the HP FB750 produces what HP defines as indoor quality at up to 21.1 m2/hr (227 f2/hr). Billboard speed runs at 85 m2/hr (915 f2/hr), Express at 43.6 m2/hr (469 f2/hr), and Photo quality runs at 10.3 m2/hr (110 f2/hr). The system slows slightly when using white inks.
Mohit Uberoi becomes President and Chief Executive Officer of Goss International Corporation. He most recently served as President and CEO of B&W MEGTEC.Mohit joined MEGTEC in 1997 and led the business from 2003 to 2015. Goss explains he has significant experience overseeing the transformation of global industrial mid-market companies, with multiple product lines and global locations, with both private equity and public shareholders.“As a long-standing industry professional, Mohit is ideally suited to join Goss as its leader,” said Sparsh Bhargava of American Industrial Partners, which controls Goss. “He has a strong appreciation for the strengths of the company, its employees, customers and products. With his printing industry background, Mohit has a deep understanding of the many challenges facing the broader industry. He is a transformational leader, with a proven track record of making businesses successful.”Prior to MEGTEC, Mohit worked in research and new business development for W.R. Grace & Co., an industrial conglomerate. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, before moving to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona.Mohit said, “I’m delighted to join Goss at such a pivotal time and look forward to working with American Industrial Partners, our management team, and employees to build a customer responsive, financially strong company with great products and services.”
Patrick Morrissey has been appointed to the position of Vice President, Americas Sales, for Electronics For Imaging (EFI). He is responsible for growing regional direct sales and enhancing channel partnerships across the company's Productivity Software, Industrial Inkjet and Fiery digital print production businesses. “Patrick is a dynamic sales professional who is well respected by customers and has a strong track record of success in print software and workflow revenue growth with Creo and in inkjet revenue growth with EFI," said Frank Mallozzi, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing, EFI, who notes Morrissey’s 30-plus year career.Morrissey joined EFI in 2007 and most recently served as Senior Director of Worldwide Inkjet Sales. Morrissey received EFI's Elite Award every year since 2010 for exceeding his annual revenue goal. Prior to joining EFI, Morrissey was Vice President of Sales, North America, at Creo, a software and prepress technology provider that is now part of Kodak.
Darren Speizer becomes Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Drytac North America. He is responsible for developing and implementing strategic business initiatives in both the U.S. and Canada, overseeing the sales and marketing teams in both regions.Earlier this year, Speizer joined Drytac as U.S. National Sales Manager to expand the distribution network and national accounts in the U.S. “Darren’s background in the sign and graphic industry is unparalleled and has served us well as we pursue distribution partners across North America,” said Marc Oosterhuis, President of the Drytac Group.Drytac is an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, including 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.
Ralph Nappi, who served as President of NPES for 10 years, is leaving the organization within the next three months, until a new President is found. “After 10 years at the helm, it is time for NPES to find its next leader and for me to find my next passion,” said Nappi.Besides serving as President of NPES, Nappi serves as President of the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC), which oversees the Graph Expo and Print tradeshows, and President of the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF). He will resign all three positions at the same time.On October 29, 2015, during NPES Annual Conference in Palm Beach, Florida, the organization introduced its new Board of Directors, which includes the election of Malkon Baboyian to the position of NPES Chairman. Baboyian is Executive Vice President, Production Printing Solutions/Large Format Solutions, Canon Solutions America.Three new directors were also elected to the NPES Board for a two-year term expiring at the 2018 Annual Meeting, including: Steve Mattingly, Senior Vice President, Southern Lithoplate; Steve Metcalf, President and CEO, Air Motion Systems; and Greg Salzman, President, Aleyant.Other directors re-elected to the board include: Gavin Jordan-Smith, Vice President, Solutions and Production, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.; Mark Kannenberg, President, RBP Chemical Technology; Eric Midlik, Executive Vice President, Global Sales, Prime UV Systems; Andy Rae, Senior Vice President Equipment, Heidelberg U.S.A.; Ron Rose, President, Nova Pressroom Products; and Gina Testa, Vice President, Marketing, Xerox Corporation.Additionally, NPES board member newly elected to the Executive Committee and to serve as Treasurer was Mark Hischar, President & CEO, KBA-North America.
Gunther Mertens succeeds Peter Wilkens as Agfa Graphics’ Regional President for North America effective immediately. He will also be a member of the Global Graphics Management Committee (GMC).  Michael Ciaramella also joins Agfa Graphics as its Vice President of Sales for the United States. He previously served in management positions with HP, Eastman Kodak and Microsoft.Mertens, who became an American citizen in 2011, joined Agfa in 1999 and has held various positions in M&A and Finance. Since 2006, he has been Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Agfa Graphics' subsidiaries in the United States and Canada. “Gunther is a well-experienced senior executive with a proven track record in our company,” said Stefaan Vanhooren, Agfa Graphics' Global Corporate President. “He brings a broad business acumen and operations know-how, combined with a good understanding of the evolving needs of the North American printing industry."
Michael Corbett becomes Director of Operations for Toronto-based book manufacturer Webcom Inc. As part of the executive leadership team, he will lead and manage the company’s manufacturing divisions. “Our recent investment in the HP Indigo 10000, a game-changing 29-inch digital press, bridges the gap between traditional offset and digital print,” Mike Collinge, Webcom’s President and CEO. “Michael’s extensive experience in print manufacturing will be an asset in meeting our customer’s requirements for print quality, efficient workflows and reliability.”Corbett’s immediate focus, according to Webcom, will be the installation of the HP Indigo 10000 press and its integration into the company’s printing workflow. His experience in the printing industry includes past leadership positions with companies like DATA Group of Companies, Symcor, Avant Imaging and Information Management, and TC Transcontinental.
Flint Group moved to acquire toner press maker Xeikon N.V. with an agreement to purchase XBC B.V., a company that holds more than 95 percent of the shares in Xeikon. The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close before the end of 2015.Headquartered in Eede, Netherlands, with Belgian operations in Lier, Ieper and Heultje, Xeikon also develops consumables for its presses used in packaging, label and commercial printing operations.Flint explains Xeikon’s products and services will become the foundation of a newly created division to be called Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions. “This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for Flint Group, propelling the organization further into the digital solutions market, where we will continue to deliver on our long term strategy of driving growth through product innovation, focus on developing markets and portfolio expansion,” said Antoine Fady, CEO Flint Group.Wim Maes, CEO of Xeikon, will become President of Flint Group’s Digital Printing Solutions division, reporting to Antoine Fady. “Xeikon has shown that dedication to the digital label, folding carton, commercial and document printing market segments has paid off in terms of market share, customer satisfaction and financial contribution,” said Maes. “This next chapter in our more than 20-year existence opens many opportunities for Xeikon as a company, as well as for our customers, employees, partners and stakeholders.”
Mike Heggie has acquired Grovetree Press, a high-volume trade lamination company that has been serving the Greater Toronto Area printing industry since 1998. Grovetree runs eight lamination systems, two coaters, and a range of auxiliary machines such as eyeleters, cutters, and drills. Heggie explains his first order of business is to shore up current services at Grovetree and to make some internal changes to become more efficient and service oriented. Earlier this month, Grovetree Press hired Selma Singh as Operations Manager. Formerly with Coatings Canada, Singh brings 16 years of experience in print finishing to Grovetree Press. She will be responsible for all operations, including customer service, with the company.Heggie continues to explain growth for the North York-based company is to come through innovative finishing products that are completely new to the industry. He plans to focus Grovetree in two directions, including specialty products for offset printing and packaging, and specialty coatings for digital printing.  
Safety Seal Plastic has agreed to buy the shrink sleeve business of Jones Packaging Inc. of London, Ontario, according to The Guelph Mercury newspaper also reports that, as a result of the purchase, Safety Seal plans to move the shrink sleeve operation to Guelph after purchasing a 50,000-square-foot building in the Ontario reports the current Safety Seal operation in Hamilton, Ont., is on four levels and accounts for just 18,000 square feet in area. Safety Seal operates eight printing presses, explains, as well as seaming machines, cutting machines and slitters to make shrink sleeves for customers in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, consumer goods and other industries. Safety Seal Plastics was formed in 1989 to provide PVC (polyvinyl chloride) tamper-evident bands to the pharmaceutical and food industries. The company grew to become one of North America’s largest shrink sleeve manufacturers. Safety Seal states its major breakthrough came five years ago when it began printing multicoloyred shrink sleeves on a new eight-colour Chromas LXflexo. Safety Seal’s client base include major brands like Ocean Spray, Associated Brands, E.D. Smith & Sons, Patheon, McCormick Canada, Bausch & Lomb, Cadbury Schweppes, Ciba Vision, Renee’s Gourmet Foods, Lounsbury Foods, Novopharm, Pfizer Canada, Stoney Creek Dairy, Trophy Foods, Unico and Wrigley.
C.J. Graphics became the first company in North America to purchase a Scodix Ultra Pro with Scodix Foil. News of the purchase comes a week after the Toronto printing company announced its Canada-first installation of a new Highcon Euclid II+ system. On September 10, the C.J. Group of Companies, which controls C.J. Graphics, also announced its acquisition of Toronto-based SBC Media, one of Canada’s leading sports lifestyle media companies. Launched this week at Graph Expo, Scodix Foil is an inline digital foiling system supporting the Scodix Ultra Pro enhancement press. Scodix Foil is designed for producing cost-effective foil with run lengths from one up to 10,000. Most printing projects, such as packaging, brochures, business cards, invitations and book covers, can be enhanced via the Scodix Ultra Pro system.The C.J. Group of Companies’ acquisition of SBC Media includes six magazines, two annual guides and all related websites, social media platforms and assets, which will operate under the C.J. Oyster Publishing division of the C.J. Group. Former printing industry journalist Filomena Tamburri joined C.J. Oyster Publishing several weeks ago as Group Publisher.The SBC titles and brands moving to the C.J. Group umbrella include: Snowboard Canada, SBC Skateboard, SBC Skier, SBC Wakeboard, SBC Business, SBC Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide (annual), Snowboard Canada Women’s (annual), and SBC Surf.“SBC is woven into the fabric of skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, wakeboarding and action sports across Canada. Our vision and leadership will ensure athletes, content producers and brands continue to have a prestigious national, multi-media platform to showcase their sports, lifestyles and products,” said Jay Mandarino, CEO and President of the C.J. Group of Companies. “We are very excited by the positive support we’ve received from the action sports industry and community about our acquisition.”
TC Transcontinental Inc. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ultra Flex Packaging Corp., a supplier of flexible packaging, located in Brooklyn, New York. The acquisition is for US$80 million to be paid in cash at closing, plus an additional undisclosed payment if certain financial targets are hit. Ultra Flex Packaging employs close to 300 people and generated US$72 million in annual revenues and US$12 million in operating income before amortization in its last fiscal year. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the United States and is expected to close before the end of our fiscal year.“This acquisition builds on our Capri Packaging acquisition last year and is part of our strategy to ensure our future growth path through diversification,” said François Olivier, President and CEO of TC Transcontinental. “This latest acquisition expands our footprint in the U.S., gives us access to a national sales force, to new vertical markets and manufacturing capabilities.”Olivier explains, when the acquisition is completed, TC Transcontinental expects to report annualized revenues of over US$150 million in its packaging division. The three co-owners of Ultra Flex Packaging have agreed to stay for the acquisition transition. “We are very pleased to join TC Transcontinental,” said Eli Blatt, founder and CEO of Ultra Flex Packaging. “While we bring to the table industry knowledge, a highly skilled workforce and a national sales team, TC Transcontinental brings strong leadership, financial means and decades of manufacturing experience.”
ND Graphics Inc., a technology distributor primarily focused on large-format imaging, has purchased Western Rim Industries, which has offices in Kelowna, British Columbia, and Mississauga, Ontario. “We’ve been talking about this for a few years now,” said Garwood Leigh, owner of Western Rim Industries (WRI). “I knew that when the time came for me to retire and move on to pursue my other interests that I wanted ND Graphics to take over. They are a Canadian company, they share the same values as WRI and I know they will continue the legacy of Western Rim.”ND Graphics is headquartered in Greater Toronto with more than 100 employees and a network of stocking locations in Dartmouth, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, as well as Toronto.“This was really a very easy decision for us,” said Mark West, President of ND Graphics. “WRI are so similar to ND in terms of their products, but more importantly their culture. Their people are the key. They are passionate about what they do, they are totally committed to their customers and they’ve all been at WRI for many years.” WRI will operate as a standalone business with Frank Braeuer as General Manager of the company. “This acquisition isn’t about synergies,” said West. “This is about bringing two great Canadian companies together [and] maintaining those value added elements that both organizations possess.”
Marquis, a book manufacturer based in Montmagny, Quebec, signed an exclusive agreement with SoBook, an operation in Roubaix, France, focused on the production of print-on-demand books, to create what the two companies describe as a transatlantic technology bridge. SoBook was founded in 2009 by Thierry Ghesquières.The new service called Marquis Express, which began in October, is to manage the printing in Europe of books from Canadian publishers and the printing in Canada of works from European publishers. The companies explain the Marquis Express platform, spearheaded by SoBook, is well suited for single-copy print orders, as well as for micro-runs, rapid restocking and combined printing of several titles in similar formats. Marquis Express also allows for the synchronized release of new books across all markets. The agreement grants Marquis exclusive use and the North American marketing of the digital print workflow solutions developed by SoBook.“We are expanding our positioning in the various markets our publishing partners want to tap into,” said Serge Loubier, President of Marquis, noting the strategy of thinking globally and printing locally. “More and more, publishers are looking to bring book printing closer to its final destination in order to be able to reach its readers faster. A number of publishers are already seeing the logistical and financial benefits that come from this model.”Marquis explains that a book ordered online is rarely already printed, and some European books are still too-often shipped by boat. The workflow technologies developed by SoBook provide publishers access to Marquis’ printing platform and SoBook's virtual inventory management.Established in Montmagny in 1937, Marquis provides a range of printing processes for content owners in the publishing and communications industries throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Marquis also operates its Interscript division and Marquis Le Laurentien for the management and printing of agendas and yearbooks.
This month, IKEA Canada is promoting the arrival of its 2016 catalogue with the use of Twitter-activated vending machines that dole out gift cards at specific store locations across Canada. The company, which scored a resounding success last year with its bookbook catalogue video promotion, now with close to 18-million views on Youtube, has titled its newest initiative “Grab Life by the Catalogue.”Over the last two weekends in August, all IKEA Canada stores have installed what the company refers to as social media vending machines which, at the push of a button, gives each user a unique #PIN number that when tweeted to @IKEACanada with #GrabLifeByTheCatalogue, will generate a variety of prizes, including the opportunity to win a grand prize.“We know that Canadians like to engage and connect through social media,” said Stefan Sjostrand, President, IKEA Canada. “Throughout August we hope to excite our customers about the new 2016 IKEA Catalogue and inspire them to turn their dream home décor projects into reality.”The remaining stores using the promotion, through August 27 to 30, include: IKEA Boucherville, IKEA Coquitlam, IKEA Edmonton, IKEA North York and IKEA Vaughan.IKEA Canada has 12 stores in total, which are visited by over 25 million people every year. The company has 361 stores in 50 countries worldwide, which are visited by more than 800-million people every year. Last year the Websites attracted 1.1 billion visitors.
The OTC Group of London, Ontario, which focuses on combining the production of packaging with data management, has worked with Xerox to develop a unique tracking solution to thwart counterfeiting and theft of pharmaceutical packaging.Xerox explains package theft and counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry costs an estimated $75 billion to $200 billion globally each year, while the sale of counterfeit medications puts human lives at risk. To address this issue, OTC Group is leveraging the Xerox Automated Packaging Solution (XAPS) with its own workflow process and packaging approach. The process developed by OTC Group is built around four inline production components, including printing, coating, stacking and die cutting. It allows the OTC Group to efficiently produce folded cartons with advanced anti-counterfeiting measures. “While many in the pharmaceutical industry struggle with the ability to conform to serialization and track-and-trace accountability, we’ve engineered a process that works,” said Adam Egan, OTC Group’s VP of High-Performance Packaging, noting the use of the Xerox iGen and XAPS solution. The process developed by the OTC Group and Xerox goes beyond legal requirements introduced in 2013 by the United States Drug Quality and Security Act.For one current client requiring an 800,000 printed carton production run, OTC Group estimates that the solution eliminated millions of dollars of risk exposure by providing traceability at every level, with the ability to account for every package printed – including waste – and providing that data to the client in electronic format.
4over, one of North America’s largest trade-printing operations, has entered the 3D Printing market and plans to provide the service to other printing operations through its online platform.The venture fits the company’s growing trade focus on promotional products available online, including template applications like large-format, packaging (primarily product boxes), marketing products like postcards and brochures, and pure promotional items like hang tags, rack cards, table tents, and T-shirts.The new 3D Printing initiative is being offered out of the company’s headquarters in Glendale, California. 4over employs a 3D manufacturing method called Fused Deposition Modeling, which is well suited for the creation of prototypes, samples for packaging development, and original items.“Our goal is to give our customers a simple and affordable 3D Printing solution to offer their own customers,” said 4over's CEO Zarik Megerdichian. “This technology brings with it so many benefits that traditional methods of manufacturing or prototyping don't offer. We're confident that 3D Printing will give our customers access to new markets, enabling them to grow their businesses faster, and to be more relevant than ever before.Earlier this month, 4over also announced it has opened the doors to a brand new operation facility in Central Florida to better service its growing East Coast customer base. “We’re delighted to be expanding our reach, once again,” said Megerdichian. “This new Central Florida operation centre means our existing customers now have easier access than ever before to fast turnarounds and free delivery on all of their favorite products. It also means we can service brand new sets of customers, thus perpetuating the unwavering growth trend we've been experiencing since 4over's inception.”
Goss International has completed a press enhancement project with Innotech installing a full-colour Panorama Gatefold System to produce unique advertising formats in The New York Times. Innotech, a New York based manufacturer of press auxiliary equipment, has been building customized equipment for commercial and newspaper printers for the past 25 years. The Panorama System uses what is referred to as INNOFORMER, the geometric air bar plow, for high speed folding with no set-up time. Innotech has installed many such systems, primarily retrofitted on existing presses, in China, India, Germany and Colombia. Completed to a tight schedule of around 20 weeks from initial order to the first test run, The New York Times Panorama project involved retrofitting each of two existing Goss Colorliner press lines. “Obviously, for a publisher operating on the scale of The New York Times, there is no time to lose and there can be no disruption to ongoing daily production,” said Dan Picco, Regional Sales Manager at Goss. “We had to establish failsafe processes from the outset and make sure we achieved the highest level of teamwork.” The gatefold system now running at The New York Times enables the Goss Colorliner presses to produce an additional four-page wide centrefold or a separate eight-page pull-out section, up to a maximum format of 48 x 22 inches (1,219 x 559 mm). In addition, it is possible to make smaller gatefolds or coupon folds at one or both edges for special promotions providing new display areas for advertisers. It is also possible to make gatefolds in the cover page or have the gate folded section as a wrap around the main section. “Goss and Innotech engineered a solution that gave The New York Times ultimate flexibility with regard to the positioning of specialized sections within the newspaper, without the need to purchase a new press,” said Vinod Kapoor, President at Innotech.
Publishing giant Simon & Schuster plans to produce a 960-page book containing all of Bob Dylan’s lyrics for a November launch. According Elmore Magazine, the 13-pound book, called The Lyrics: Since 1962, will initially be printed in a limited run of only 3,500 copies. Dylan over his career has sold over 125 million albums worldwide. The collector’s item book is expected to sell for $200, while Dylan plans to sign around 50 copies that are to sell for around $5,000. Elmore Magazine explains the book, which includes alternative versions of Dylan’s songs, features introductions and commentary about each song, as well as reproductions of the original cover art for each of Dylan's albums. “This book changes things, giving us the words from officially released studio and live recordings, as well as selected variant lyrics and revisions to these, recent revisions and retrospective ones; and, from the archives, words that, till now, have not been published,” said Boston University professor Sir Christopher Ricks, who led the project.
A pictorial report from the 10th annual Canadian Printing Awards held in Toronto on November 12 to recognize four industry leaders and some of the world’s best printing in a range of categories. The gala evening, hosted by Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO’s The Agenda, was attended by more than 220 members of the North American printing industry. Sponsors of the 10th annual event included Veritiv, Sun Chemical, MK Masterwork USA, Koenig & Bauer Group, Canon, Manroland, Hewlett Packard, Huber Group Canada, Domtar, Spicers, Heidelberg, and Fujifilm. Photography by Donna Santos (   View the embedded image gallery online at:
Hugh Cameron, a long-time supporter of Mohawk students, was recognized last week for his leadership in building one of the most-advanced digital printing labs at any college in Canada. More than 200 students in Mohawk’s three-year Advanced Diploma Graphic Design program train at Mohawk lab where they learn how to turn digital designs into finished products and packaging, including business cards, saddle stitched and perfect bound books, pads, posters, banners, clothing and a wide variety of other specialized print and packaging design products. The newly named Hugh Cameron Digital Print Learning Centre includes a Kongsberg XL22 cutting table, a Roland 64-inch large format inkjet system, a Xerox 800 press, UV coater and die cutter. Mohawk’s Digital Print Learning Centre officially opened in February 2012 with support from Xerox Canada, Bell Howell, Esko Graphics and the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation of Canada. “Mohawk College is proud to recognize Hugh Cameron for his generous and continuing support of students in our Graphic Design program,” said Ron McKerlie, President of Mohawk College. “Hugh has been instrumental in securing the most advanced digital print and finishing equipment available at any college in Canada.”Cameron is the Chairman of Retail Ready Packages Inc. and President of the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation of Canada. He has secured more than $750,000 worth of equipment and funding for student scholarships and bursaries.Cameron began his career in the packaging industry in 1951, working for companies including Belkin Packaging, Ace Containers Limited, Crown Zellerbach and Bathurst Containers before launching his own business in 1968.
Agfa Graphics won all three Product of the Year Awards in the UV Category at SGIA Expo recently held in Atlanta, including for two systems built in Mississauga, Ont. A total of 141 entries in 38 product categories were submitted for this competition. Prints were judged on overall colour appeal, tonality, image detail, objective colour matching and grayscale colour cast.The new Anapurna M2540i won in the UV Flatbed ($100-200k) category, while the Canadian-built Jeti Mira won in the UV Flatbed ($200-500k) category and Jeti Tauro won top honours in the UV Hybrid/Flatbed High Volume Production Class category.“This recognition means a great deal to the entire global Agfa Graphics team,” said Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics, North America. “The competition validates the hard work and precision behind these inkjet systems.” The Jeti Tauro is a UV hybrid system positioned for the higher end of the sign and display market with print speeds up to 2960 f2/hour (275 m2/hr). The system is designed to withstand heavy workloads (24/7, multiple shifts) and prints up to 2.5 metre wide on rigid or roll media with six colour plus white or primer options.The Jeti Mira is also built for heavy industrial workloads. Its print-and-prepare mode on the double bed model allows non-stop printing, allowing PSPs to load the front while the back is printing for added productivity. The Mira has six colour plus white with optional varnish and primer and is available in two bed sizes (8.8 x 5.24 feet or 8.8 x 10.5 feet)The Anapurna M2540i FB is a six-colour plus white, 100-inch (2.54 metre) UV-curable flatbed inkjet printer which prints at speeds up to 1000 f2/hour (93 m2/hr). It is designed for step-and-repeat work and for printing multiple jobs on different sized media.
Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program handed out dozens of awards to the school’ top students last Thursday night in downtown Toronto, recognizing excellence in a range of educational disciplines from packaging and printing to business development and school participation.The 2015 GCM Awards Night once again showcased the close relationship between the printing program and industry with several awards bearing the name of printing companies, associations, suppliers, and individual printing leaders. With more than 180 new students entering the GCM program this year, Ryerson continues to serve as one of North America's brightest conduits for the printing and imaging fields.   View the embedded image gallery online at:
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2015, PrintAction’s Canadian Printing Awards program is designed to recognize printing innovation through three distinct awards sections, including: 23 Quality Printing categories, five Environmental Printing categories, and four individual Industry Achievement winners.PrintAction last week announced its 2015 Industry Achievement recipients, including: Hemlock’s Dick Kouwenhoven, who is to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; C.J. Graphics’ Jay Mandarino, Printing Leader of the Year; ampersand’s Damian McDonald, Emerging Leader of the Year; and MET Fine Printers’ Scott Gray, Community Leader of the YearVying for Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, the finalists in this year’s Quality and Environmental Printing categories, who will be recognized at Toronto’s November 12 gala at The Grand Luxe with host Steve Paikin, include:Artcraft LabelASL Print FXCanopyC.J. GraphicsColour InnovationsFriesens Corp.Glenmore Custom Print + PackagingHemlock PrintersHoneycomb Mailing ServicesHP CanadaImpart LithoJones PackagingMET Fine PrintersPacific Bindery ServicesPDI Integrated Print SolutionsPolytainersPriority PrintingPromoflex InternationalRP Graphics GroupSt. Joseph CommunicationsSimpson PrintSkylar MediaSomerset GraphicsThe Lowe-Martin GroupThink 4D
Five students from Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program participated in Esko’s recent Honours Class in Flexible Packaging held at Artevelde University College Ghent in Belgium.“Esko invited students outside of the Artevelde University this year. Ryerson University was the only participant from North America and represented five of the 20 students who participated,” explained Ian Baitz, Chair of Ryerson’s Graphic Communications Management (GCM) program. “They received university credits, participated in plant tours, and were taught by Esko engineers and instructors who are experts in their solutions.“Students were able to focus for two full weeks on the content of the course, and nothing else,” continued Baitz. “There were 80 hours of classroom time which, in terms of Ryerson, represented two full semester courses.”The five third-year students from Ryerson GCM received both a theoretical and practical education that included real-life situations, explained Esko, allowing them to experience the complete packaging development process from design concept to ready-to-print flexo plates. The students also visited flexible packaging printer Segers & Belcaen, folding carton packaging printer Du Caju, and flexo service provider Athena Graphics. “We know that all of the students who attended our program have a very good educational and technical foundation due to the high quality of the classes,” said Jan De Roeck, Director of Solutions Management at Esko. “We are very excited to add our industry expertise to this high quality education program.” Baitz explains the participating GCM students received significant course work assignments months before the two-week course in Belgium. A post-course assignment was also required.“The nice thing about this Honours Class was that it combined all of the information we had already received from school, and we gained a more in-depth understanding of Esko’s products and software,” said GCM student Amy Nhan. “I thought there was very good communication between the students and Esko. It opened doors, developed cooperation with other schools and students, and offered new contacts."
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG of Germany states it is on course after the first half of its financial year 2015/2016 with increased sales over the previous year’s corresponding period. Group sales after six months increased to €1.162 billion compared to the previous period at €996 million. Heidelberg reports sales were up in all regions except Eastern Europe, where they remained stable. Incoming orders in the period under review improved to €1.323 billion (previous year: €1.167 billion).“After the first half of the current financial year, we are on course to achieve our targets for the year,” said Dirk Kaliebe, CFO and Deputy CEO of the company. “As in previous years, we are expecting a further increase in sales and in the result in the second half of the financial year.”Heidelberg also reports EBITDA, excluding special items, totaled €79 million (previous year: €53 million) and EBIT excluding special items €43 million (previous year: €19 million). Both these figures benefited from income from the takeover of consumables distributor European Printing Systems Group (PSG), amounting to some €19 million in the current financial year, compared with income of €18 million from the Gallus transaction in the previous year. At €–30 million, Heidelberg’s free cash flow in the period under review remained at the same level as in the previous year. The company’s net financial debt at September 30 increased slightly to €284 million (March 31, 2015: €256 million). As at September 30, 2015, the Heidelberg Group had a global workforce of 11,753 plus 473 trainees (previous year: 12,393 plus 550 trainees). This includes around 380 new employees from the acquisition of PSG.
The United States Postal Service reported a net loss of US$5.1 billion for fiscal year 2015 (October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015). The net loss, according to the USPS, is largely due to certain statutorily mandated payments over which the Postal Service has no control. Behind the loss, total revenue was $68.9 billion (all dollar amounts in U.S. figures) for the year, an increase of approximately $1.1 billion from 2014.“We achieved controllable income in excess of $1 billion for the second consecutive fiscal year giving us some limited flexibility to make critical investments in the future of the organization,” said Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan. “To maintain this success we will need to continue our efforts to grow the business and drive operational efficiencies. However, we will also need the enactment of legislation that makes our retiree health benefit system affordable and that provides increased pricing and product flexibility.”Controllable income for 2015 was $1.2 billion compared to $1.4 billion last year. Controllable income is defined as net loss excluding expenses related to the mandated prefunding of retirement health benefits, actuarial revaluation of retirement liabilities and non-cash workers’ compensation adjustments, which are factors largely outside of management’s control.The USPS explained its large net losses continue, and controllable operating expenses increased $1.3 billion from last year. This was the result of a combination of factors, according to the USPS, including higher compensation costs attributable to increased benefits expenses and additional work hours partly associated with growth in the more labor-intensive shipping and package business.“Adding to the financial pressures that the Postal Service will face in the short term is the fact that the exigent surcharge authorized by the Postal Regulatory Commission in 2014 will need to be rolled back in approximately April of 2016,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “This surcharge has provided an additional estimated $3.5 billion in revenue since its inception, and will provide a total of $4.6 billion in additional revenue at the time when the commission will require us to eliminate the surcharge.”For 2015, total USPS mail volume of 154.2 billion pieces fell slightly from 155.5 billion pieces in 2014, as First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volume decreased by 2.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Shipping and Packages volume increased 14.1 percent.
The U.S. Postal Service reported a net loss of US$586 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2015 (April 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015), which is actually a reduction of US$1.4 billion from the net loss of US$2 billion for same period last year. The world’s largest mail system, however, saw double-digit growth in shipping and package revenue.Operating revenue of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) was $16.5 billion (all figures in US dollars) for the third quarter of 2015, essentially unchanged from the same period last year. The USPS ended the second quarter of fiscal 2015 (January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015) with an operating revenue increase of $223 million, or 1.3 percent, over the same period last year, but also recorded a net loss of $1.5 billion for the quarter. In the third quarter of 2015, shipping and package revenue and volume increased by 10.6 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively, from the same quarter last year. “The continued growth of our shipping and package services is a direct result of the Postal Service’s continued efforts to offer consumers more choice, excellent value and reliable service in a growing and competitive marketplace," said Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan. “We are investing in our network and continually enhancing our services to best compete for America’s shipping and package delivery business.”Total mail volume of 36.8 billion pieces in the third quarter of 2015, however, decreased by 738 million pieces from 37.5 billion pieces. A price increase impacting certain mail classes went into effect on May 31, 2015; however this was offset by declining mail volumes as First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volumes fell 2.6 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. “The combination of growing package revenues and improved productivity gains were not sufficient to offset mail volume declines and inflationary pressure, largely due to contractual increases in operating expenses, including wages, benefits and transportation." said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. "This underscores the need for a combination of continued sales growth, productivity gains and legislation to ensure the Postal Service can return to financial health and meet its public service obligations.”
Graphic Packaging International Canada, a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has closed its thermo mechanical paperboard mill in Jonquiere, Quebec. The company states its decision was made after a thorough assessment of the facility's manufacturing capabilities, associated costs and market demand for its products. The closure will affect approximately 140 employees. "The closing of the Jonquiere facility was a difficult decision. We are working closely with the affected employees to provide support and assistance," said Mike Doss, President and Chief Operating Officer.The company anticipates one-time costs of $4 to $5 million in the second half of 2015 related to this closure. Graphic Packaging Holding Company is one of the largest producers of folding cartons and holds a leading position in coated unbleached kraft and coated recycled board.
The United States Postal Service ended the second quarter of fiscal 2015 (January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015) with an operating revenue increase of $223 million, or 1.3 percent, over the same period last year. The organization, however, also recorded a net loss of $1.5 billion for the quarter (all figures in US dollars). The increase in operating revenue was driven by a 14.4 percent growth in shipping and package volume. The net loss for the quarter was $1.5 billion compared to a net loss of $1.9 billion for the same period last year. Excluding a retiree health benefit prefunding expense, the net losses would have been $44 million and $447 million, respectively, for the quarters ended 2015 and 2014.Operating expenses declined by $160 million from the same quarter last year driven in part by what the USPS describes as favorable trends in workers’ compensation expense. Controllable income in the second quarter was $313 million, an increase of $52 million over the same period last year. Controllable income is defined as net income excluding retiree health benefits prefunding expense and expenses for interest rate and other non-cash workers’ compensation expense, which are factors outside of management’s control.“We’re pleased with the increase in our controllable net income compared to the same period last year, which demonstrates that our cost containment and revenue strategies are delivering results,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan Brennan.First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volumes declined 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, during the second quarter compared to the same period last year. For its most recent quarter, total mail volume of 37.7 billion pieces declined by 420 million pieces from 38.2 billion pieces for the same period last year.“Shipping and package services are a key business driver, however, operating margins in this business are lower than in mailing services,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “And, while we’re pleased to see a small increase in controllable income, to improve our margins, we’ll need to make investments in our network infrastructure and delivery vehicles.”The Postal Service ended the quarter with $6.1 billion in unrestricted cash, representing 22 days of operating cash. The USPS explains, that because it has reached its borrowing limit of $15 billion, the current level of available liquidity is not sufficient to support both operations and prefund retiree health benefits.
Standard Register Company on March 12 announced that it and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States.The company also announced that it is pursuing a sale process and has entered into an acquisition agreement with an affiliate of Silver Point Capital L.P., a private investment firm managing approximately US$8.5 billion in combined assets. The agreement was submitted to the Bankruptcy Court on March 12.Under the proposed purchase agreement, Standard Register’s assets will be sold for approximately US$275 million plus the assumption of certain liabilities. The sale agreement contemplates a Court-supervised auction process, which is designed to facilitate a competitive sales process. “Standard Register has a fundamentally stable underlying business with a large, diverse customer base and a strong portfolio of solutions that include integrated communications, product marking and decoration (labels), document management, promotional marketing and technology/professional services, but our ability to invest in growth has been hampered by our debt structure and legacy liabilities," said Joseph Morgan Jr., President and CEO, of Standard Register.Silver Point is an existing secured lender of the company and, in combination with Bank of America, has agreed to extend US$155 million in financing in the form of a debtor-in-possession (DIP) credit facility. Standard Register states the DIP facility should provide ample liquidity to facilitate its sale process and to fund operations.Standard Register states it believes that the sale to Silver Point Capital will right-size its balance sheet by significantly reducing its outstanding indebtedness and other liabilities. “In response to the traditional print market decline, Standard Register repositioned itself as a market-focused, integrated communications provider where today, the majority of both revenue and profit are being derived,” said Morgan.
ND Graphics has signed a new distribution partnership to introduce Spike, described as a laser measurement solution for site surveys and estimations, to the Canadian sign and digital graphics market. Under the terms of the agreement, ND Graphics is the exclusive reseller of Spike, developed by ikeGPS, to the sign industry within the Canadian market.Spike, explains ND Graphics, allows sign and graphics professionals to capture accurate measurements of the width, height and area of signage locations from a smartphone or tablet picture. The measurements of the signage location are saved with the Spike photo and can be shared with customers, designers or production team to create job estimates and design proofs, assess installation and complete permit applications. “Spike has witnessed fast adoption in the U.S. sign and digital graphics market, including several distribution partnerships,” said Jeff Ross, Chief Marketing Officer of ikeGPS. “When defining our Canadian go-to-market strategy, we knew ND Graphics was the right reseller partner to represent Spike. ND Graphics has a national Canadian footprint, large active customer base and an outstanding reputation in the industry. The deal with ND Graphics represents ikeGPS’ first Spike reseller relationship outside of the U.S. “We’re so excited to offer Spike that we’re immediately outfitting all of our sales reps with the device,” said Mark West, President of ND Graphics. “Spike goes a long way in helping our customers work more efficiently, which drives down their customer-acquisition costs.”
Grimco Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Grimco International, has agreed to acquire Acme Neon & Plastic Sign Supplies Ltd. based in Toronto, with additional locations in Montreal and Vancouver. Grimco Canada is also based in Toronto, with more facilities in the Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Dartmouth markets. Acme Neon & Plastic Sign Supplies Ltd. has been a national distributor to the Canadian sign market since 1967. “Grimco was the logical fit for us,” said Bob Craig, President of Acme. “Their commitment to Canada has been clear since their entry into the market and has proven that they are here to stay and to grow.”Grimco traces its roots back to 1875, when the company began as a single-location stamp and badge provider. Today, the company operates 48 locations across Canada and the United States focused on providing technology and service for the North American signage industry.“The Canadian market is an incredibly important part of our growth strategy,” said John Burkemper, President of Grimco. “That’s why we have been heavily investing in local markets and are bringing together these great teams to continue to serve our customers with the best people and products in the industry.”
Mimaki USA expanded its sales coverage with nine new equipment dealers across North America, including Focus Pre Press, of Surrey, British Columbia. Mimaki is a manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters.Mimaki has been increasing its presence in North America over the past few years and reports it saw revenue growth of 8.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015 when compared to its second quarter of 2014. The company states this is the highest growth Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipment as tracked by International Data Corporation (published August 24, 2015). In addition to Focus Pre Press, Mimaki also added the following eight U.S. dealers to its distribution network: AB Graphics, Clark, NJ; American Print Consultants, Waynesboro, PA; Digital Solutions, Las Vegas, NV; Digitally Driven, Las Vegas, NV; H&H Sign Supply, Sturgis, KY; Karl Williams (KW Graphics), Springfield, IL; Policrom, Bensalem, PA; and RJ Young, Nashville, TN.“We are committed to continuing our practice of working with knowledgeable dealers that align with our desire to help customers grow their business with Mimaki products,” said Ken VanHorn, Director, Marketing and Business Development for Mimaki USA. “We have already started working with this new team and look forward to fostering partnerships that will better serve and facilitate our customers’ success.”
PDS of Scarborough, Ont., becomes a Canadian distributor for Duplo, focusing on both the manufacturer’s office and production equipment. Duplo was established in Japan in 1951 after it manufactured one of the first duplicators in the printing industry. The company is now focused on developing short-run finishing systems, which is the primary distribution arena of PDS.Duplo recently released its new high-end 600i Booklet System. Integrating the automatic DBM-600 Bookletmaker with the high-speed DSC-10/60i Suction Collators, the 600i Booklet System produces professional saddle, side, or corner-stitched booklets as well as letter landscape applications. The 600i Booklet System can produce up to 5,200 booklets or collate up to 10,000 sets per hour into a stacker.
PDS, founded in 1984 by President Dave Kisiloski, becomes a distributor for Mutoh and its range of large-format inkjet systems. The full-dealer arrangement means PDS will also look after service and marketing of the systems.The non-exclusive agreement allows for Canada-wide distribution, however, PDS explains it plans to focus its distribution of Mutoh products within the Ontario market. PDS will be concentrating on all eco-solvent and small UV flatbed printers.In relation to the Mutoh deal, PDS also plans to provide medias like Ultraflex and accessories from Royal Souvrine large format laminators, trimmers and banner welding machines, grommet presses.PDS also represents manufactures like Oki, MBM Triumph, Memjet, Mitsubishi, Ryobi, and Challenge  and many more leading manufactures in our industry.PDS continues to Provide Technology for Todays Printers.
Air Motion Systems of River Falls, WI, enters a strategic partnership to have KOMCAN serve as the exclusive distributor of Air Motion’s LED UV and UV curing technologies in Canada. “[KOMCAN] is excited to be working with a world-class company like AMS. AMS has long proven to be the leader in UV curing technologies and pioneers in LED and low energy UV curing,” said Steve Ranson, CEO of KOMCAN. “We at KOMCAN will now be able to offer our Komori customers as well as all other offset equipment users the local sales and support of the complete line of AMS UV curing."KOMCAN, based in Georgetown, Ontario, is also the exclusive Komori distributor for Western Canada and Ontario, providing presses, service, OEM parts and consumable products.“Canada has been a fantastic market for AMS for almost two decades,” said Steve Metcalf, President and CEO of Air Motion Systems, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance UV LED and UV ARC Lamp systems for the printing industry. “The adoption rate of LED UV in the sheetfed market has been key to the outstanding growth of our technology.”
Xaar plc, which makes industrial inkjet technology, and Lawter, along with its parent company Harima Chemicals Group (HCG), are now collaborating to optimize the performance of a line of nanosilver conductive inks in the Xaar 1002 industrial inkjet print-head. The combined solution, according to the companies, will be of interest to manufacturers of consumer electronics goods looking for a method to print antennas and sensors with silver nanoparticle ink as part of their manufacturing processes. Xaar explains inkjet is a cleaner process than other methods of printing silver inks; this is especially relevant when printing onto a substrate, such as a display, in which any yield loss is expensive. With inkjet, manufacturers can precisely control the amount of ink dispensed in certain areas of a pattern, continues Xaar, so that the ink or fluid deposited can be thicker in some areas and thinner in others – adding that inkjet enables the deposition of a much thinner layer of fluids than traditional methods, which is significant for the manufacturers looking to produce thinner devices. Inkjet is also one of the few technologies able to print a circuit over a substrate that has a structured surface.“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our latest technological breakthroughs and demonstrate the unique value that our revolutionary nanoparticle inkjet solutions can play as part of an integrated system solutions in the PE world,” said Dr. Arturo Horta, Business Development Manager for Lawter Innovation Group. HCG claims to have pioneered the development and manufacture of silver nanoparticle conductive inks for the printed electronics industry over 20 years ago and has over 100 patents related to its nanoparticle dispersion technology.
Komori Corporation and Screen Holdings Co., Ltd. announced that Komori America Corporation and Screen GP Americas, LLC, a division of Screen Graphic and Precision Solutions (Screen GP) group, have entered into a strategic selling agreement that effectively joins the two companies’ sales organizations. Komori America will be the sole distributor in the United States of Screen GP's new Truepress Jet520HD, a high-speed, high-definition inkjet press powered by the Equios Digital Front Workflow solution. Screen GP Americas brings its knowledge and expertise in the inkjet marketplace to the partnership with Komori America.Eiji Kajita, Director and Operating Officer of Komori Corporation says, “This is a great opportunity for both Komori and Screen GP.  By joining our US sales teams we will have double the workforce to take both Komori's offset and Screen GP's digital products to the marketplace. But more importantly, we know our customers will benefit from the combined expertise of our two teams.”Katsuhiko Aoki, President of Screen GP said, “We have a longstanding relationship with Komori and it just makes good business sense to take the strength of our two product lines and the technical expertise of our sales teams to join together to grow our market share. We are looking forward to the future and we are confident commercial printers will see real value in working with one organization that is focused on their success regardless of the technology platform.”
manroland web systems and Ultimate TechnoGraphics have been working together to development a new product called Imposer, which Germany’s manroland web describes as the first automated imposition technology for digital and offset printing.“We want to support our customers, which so far mainly consisted of digital printing press users and all main manufacturers of digital printing presses,” said Joanne David, President and CEO, Ultimate TechnoGraphics. “It is great to know that from now on offset printers will also benefit from our imposition expertise.”Within the past 18 months, manroland web systems has focused on establishing its own software solutions for digital printing, primarily with products called MasterQ and WorkflowBridge, which automatically control digital finishing aggregates and manage jobs. Hildegard Heckl, Product Manager Digital and the lead of manroland web’s software development effort, states the new Imposer product is “just as intelligent and promises to be equally successful.” In developing Imposer, manroland web supplied the core intelligence that describes the imposition logics based on the capability of its devices and Ultimate TechnoGraphics executes the processing of the printing data. The software supplies job-specific imposed data that is prepared for digital and offset printing. Whether for printing books, advertising or newspapers, Imposer is ideally suited for frequent job and product changeovers.“The software features a specific logic. It recognizes and uses the production aggregates, the optimized production processes, and the job structure,” said Andreas Elchlepp, Product Management Software Development Digital & Workflow Solutions at manroland web. The patent-pending method allows for creating impositions that are specifically matched to the printing jobs. “It was time for the development of a software which imposes the jobs for hybrid printing and that breaches the gap in data preparation,” said Elchlepp. “Our solution is modular and perfectly matches existing customer requirements, while being scalable and dynamic for the largest variety of production settings.”
AVT of Israel, which develops technology for print inspection and process control, and quality assurance, is now collaborating proofing solutions provider Global Vision. Under the agreement, Global Vision will provide AVT with a new software engine for its offline inspection solutions, which are customized to suit the specific needs of the printing industry. The partnership also enables AVT to serve as Global Vision’s print market sales arm, as the two companies will jointly develop inspection tools for specific sectors, including the labeling and packaging marketplaces. The companies also will co-develop print quality assurance solutions that connect inline and offline inspection systems. “Our partners at Global Vision offer unsurpassed offline verification and inspection solutions for the markets they serve,” said Jaron Lotan, CEO, AVT. “As a result of our newfound synergy, AVT can now provide its customers all-inclusive tools regardless of printing technology and application.” Among AVT’s latest offline solutions is SolidProof, which the company describes as providing 100 percent assurance for wide web, narrow web and sheetfed applications. SolidProof automatically eliminates conversion errors and undetected defects during the pre-press stage. The goal of the system is to reduce the need for manual inspection and to bring waste levels to near-zero. SolidProof also features intelligent cropping and automatic alignment utilities, reporting and multi-lingual inspection capabilities, as well as options for barcode and Braille verification and a 21 CFR Part 11 compliance module for the pharmaceutical sector. There are more than 7,000 AVT systems are installed at customer sites worldwide. “In AVT, Global Vision now has an influential, reputable arm in the print market, while we help bolster AVT’s presence in other capacities,” said Reuben Malz, CEO, Global Vision. “The collaboration is an ideal match that will, most importantly, improve the overall print inspection solutions space through increased access and innovation.”
Allegra Network LLC announced it plans to install Avanti Slingshot as the new core of WorkStream, a Web storefront to MIS workflow platform used by its North American base of 270 marketing and print communications franchises. The move to Avanti Slingshot was led by Ricoh Americas, one of Allegra’s key printing technology providers, which made a multimillion-dollar investment in Avanti Computer Systems back in July 2013. In December 2014, Ricoh acquired PTI Marketing Technologies, described as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) asset management and marketing solutions provider, building on an preexisting technology partnership between itself, Avanti and PTI. Allegra, based Plymouth, Michigan, states it selected Avanti Slingshot for its ability to provide an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform to support its franchises of all sizes. “We pride ourselves on providing our franchise community with the technology and tools they need to efficiently manage their businesses, and Avanti Slingshot delivers with its robust suite of modules and ability to handle multiple lines of business,” said Joe D’Aguanno, Chief Technology Officer, Allegra Network. “Our relationship with Allegra is one we are extremely proud of at Ricoh. A truly innovative company, Allegra sees the need for tools that can effectively help their business grow and their operations to continuously enhance,” said John Fulena, VP Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas. “Avanti Slingshot is an award-winning and proven solution… we are very pleased that Allegra has chosen this solution and look forward to our continued collaboration.” Avanti Slingshot was launched in 2013 as a browser-based platform for quoting, job ticketing, costing and tracking, through to billing.  Slingshot modules can be added as a franchise member expands into new lines of business, such as large format. “Avanti Slingshot is a fantastic tool to help cultivate a more meaningful customer relationship, helping our clients remain competitive in the ever-changing print market landscape,” said Patrick Bolan, President and CEO, Avanti. “This is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Ricoh, Avanti and Allegra Networks…”
During the first press conference of Graph Expo 2014, Mark Hischar, President and CEO of KBA North America, announced Koenig & Bauer Group will collaborate with HP to develop new roll-to-roll inkjet solutions for the corrugated packaging market. The co-developed solutions, with KBA providing its expertise in paper transport systems and HP its inkjet knowledge, are to be marketed under the HP brand. HP estimates the corrugated package printing industry represents an addressable market of US$2.5 billion. Hischar also pointed to segment trends like SKU proliferation, micro-segmentation and shorter product lifecycles as driving demand high-speed inkjet press technology. Both companies would not elaborate on the systems under development beyond stating they are focusing on roll-to-roll thermal inkjet systems. KBA North America also announced a new strategic alliance to jointly market Tensor  printing equipment to the semi-commercial, insert and newspaper print markets worldwide. Under the terms of the agreement, KBA will actively promote Tensor’s single-width printing solutions. At Graph Expo, KBA North America also introduced its new RotaJET L Series Inkjet Press designed as a modular system, available in various web widths, maximum printing widths, and color content. The series is aimed at markets like book, direct mail, magazine, newspaper, packaging and industrial printing. The new KBA press series includes five RotaJET printing systems that can handle web widths ranging from 895 to 1,300 mm (35.2 to 51.1 inches). KBA explains it is possible to upgrade a KBA RotaJET 89 (web width 895 mm/35.2 inches) to a RotaJET 100, RotaJET 112, RotaJET 123 or the high-end RotaJET 130 (web width 1,300 mm/51.1 inches). It is also possible to modify a monochrome system into a four-colour system. KBA’s existing RotaJET 76 system is still available but its printing width of 781 mm (30.7 inches) cannot be extended.
PaperWorks Industries Inc. plans to consolidate all of its Canadian folding carton production into its recently acquired Boehmer Box manufacturing facility in Kitchener, Ont. The company, with integrated mill operations, expects to consolidate all print production in Kitchener by May 2016.This consolidation includes closing its Hamilton, Ont., plant by July 2016, which has around 180 employees. PaperWorks earlier said it plans to add 150 employees across all areas of prepress and production at the Kitchener facility over the next year.“Because the Hamilton facility is only 75 kilometers away from the Kitchener manufacturing plant, it made sense from a production and asset utilization perspective to consolidate production under one roof,” said Kevin Kwilinski, president and CEO of PaperWorks. “The Kitchener plant is more modern and has newer equipment, which translates into more efficient output.”In June 2015, PaperWorks agreed to acquire CanAmPac of Napanee. The acquisition included coated recycled board (CRB) producer Strathcona Paper, folding carton manufacturer Boehmer Box and LYFT Visual graphic services. Strathcona Paper is described as the largest producer of CRB in Canada, while Boehmer Box produces offset-litho printed folding cartons for North American food packaging applications.As a result of the CanAmPac acquisition, PaperWorks’ projected manufacturing output for the combined companies is approximately 400,000 tons of 100 percent recycled paperboard, annually. In August, PaperWorks then announced a planned investment of more $11 million over the next year to expand the capabilities of the 340,000-square-foot Boehmer Box facility, which produces folding cartons for products like dry and frozen food, beverage, pharmaceutical, household goods, personal care and institutional foodservice. The Hamilton plant has been producing folding cartons for many decades and was part of the Rosmar Packaging Corp. acquisition that PaperWorks made in 2011.
Cascades Inc. last week inaugurated its Greenpac Mill LLC, located in Niagara Falls, New York. Greenpac is a company created by Cascades in partnership with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Jamestown Container and Containerboard Partners. The mill actually began production more than two years ago on July 15, 2013, and now produces a product called Greenpac XP, described as a new type of recycled linerboard with unique strength and print quality relative to its lower basis weight when compared with traditional linerboards. The lightweight linerboard is made with 100 percent recycled fibres, on a single machine having a trim of 328 inches (8.33 metres) with an annual production capacity of 540,000 short tonnes. Built and operated by Norampac, a division of Cascades, the Greenpac Mill employs 135 people.Cascades describes Greenpac as its most ambitious project in 50 years. Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. The company employs close to 11,000 people, who work in over 90 production units located in North America and Europe."The investment we are inaugurating today is the tangible result of the deployment of our strategic plan aiming to position Cascades as a leader in the packaging industry in terms of both productivity and profitability,” stated Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades.The Greenpac project was also supported by organizations such as the State of New York , Empire State Development, the City of Niagara Falls , the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, the New York Power Authority and the New York Department of Environment Conservation.
Kruger Packaging L.P. plans to make an investment of $250 million to convert the No. 10 Newsprint Machine (PM10) at its Trois-Rivières mill to manufacture 100% percent recycled lightweight linerboard.The project is to be carried out with the support of the Government of Québec, which is providing $190 million. This figure includes an $84 million loan to finance the cost of the conversion and a $106-million participation, through Investissement Québec, in a new company that now combines all of Kruger’s containerboard and packaging activities. As a result of this investment, the Québec government will have a 25 percent ownership in this new company which has assets in excess of $600 million, and more than 800 jobs, including 620 in Québec that will be secured.The project was announced in the presence of Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec; Laurent Lessard, Minister of Forests, Fauna and Parks; Jean-Denis Girard, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region and MNA for Trois-Rivières, and Joseph Kruger II, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kruger Inc.Over the coming 20 months, PM10 will be modernized to incorporate what Kruger describes as some of the most advanced containerboard manufacturing technology. Once PM10 is up and running in 2017, it will produce 360,000 metric tonnes of 100 percent recycled lightweight linerboard annually, a portion of which will be sold to Kruger Packaging’s box plants in LaSalle, Quebec, and Brampton, Ont., while the remainder will be sold on the market.The Trois-Rivières Mill will continue to produce newsprint on PM10 until two months before the end of the conversion project. The mill’s other newsprint production line, PM7, will remain in operation into the future. Overall, Kruger’s three newsprint production facilities will have an annual output of 600,000 metric tonnes, maintaining the company’s ranking among North America’s top newsprint manufacturers.Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a producer of publication papers, tissue products, containerboard and packaging made from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy, cellulosic biomaterials, and wines and spirits. Kruger Inc. has facilities in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in Tennessee, Maine, New York, Virginia and Rhode Island in the United States.
Kodak has opened a new manufacturing line at its Columbus, Georgia, facility to produce its Sonora Process Free Plates, which the company states are currently being used by more than 2,700 printers around the world.The company marked the opening of this new manufacturing line with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Eastman Kodak Company CEO, Jeff Clarke; President, Print Systems Division and Senior Vice President Eastman Kodak Company, Brad Kruchten; as well as community leaders and customers.“Today’s opening of this new manufacturing line keeps us on an accelerated pace toward our goal of helping printers become more sustainable with Sonora Process Free Plates,” said Clarke. “Kodak is committed to providing solutions that increase the sustainability of the printing industry, while also reducing printing costs. This is good business and good for our environment.”Kodak explains its Sonora plates eliminate water, chemical and energy use required when processing traditional plates. Without the need for processing equipment, Kodak explains the average printer using 20,000 square metres of plates can save up to $99,000 annually. Sonora plates are currently being used in a range of commercial print, book, newspaper and packaging print facilities. Specific Sonora plate brands are rated for 200,000 run lengths.
Sihl LLC and Arkwright Advanced Coating Inc. became one company, based in Fiskeville, Rhode Island, beginning on January 1, 2014. The newly combined company is to be called Sihl Inc. Sihl is a manufacturer of coated and processed papers, films, and fabrics. The move includes the company moving to a new Website address, from to (effective January 5, 2015). The name Sihl is derived from the river in Switzerland on which the founders built a paper mill in 1478 to fill demand that followed Gutenberg’s invention of mechanical movable type. Arkwright Advanced Coating Inc. opened in 1802 as cotton spinning mill as part of the industrial revolution. The company flourished as apparel fabric became coated industrial fabric, which eventually led to its development of coated films. The company today has five coating lines, eight converting machines and approximately 100 employees serving a capacity 30 million square metres of photo paper, transfer paper, IJ and toner receptive film.    Sihl AG, the parent company of Sihl Inc., is based in Bern, Switzerland, while a second production plant is based in Düren, Germany, as Sihl GmbH. This includes specialty materials for inkjet, solvent, UV curable, latex and toner-receptive wide format plotters, printers, and presses.
Mohawk expects to produce 500-million envelopes annually in South Hadley, Massachusetts, when the papermaker, described as North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes and specialty substrates, takes over an 112,342-square-foot early in the New Year. The facility is expected to be fully functional by the end of April 2015. The announcement comes after the Massachusetts Office of Business Development Economic Assistance Coordinating Council voted unanimously to approve Mohawk’s application for a special tax assessment for the facility. Mohawk intends to enter into a 7-year lease agreement. “Our plan to create a new envelope converting facility in South Hadley, Massachusetts represents our commitment to further growth of Mohawk’s envelope business,” said Thomas O’Connor Jr., Chairman and CEO of Mohawk. “Since January (2014], we have committed to investments of nearly $5 million in new envelope converting equipment and facility upgrades, and the creation of 100 new jobs for skilled envelope workers. Our envelope business is vibrant, rapidly growing, and we are uniquely positioned to serve our customers with fast delivery, exceptional integrity, and the highest quality envelopes available in the industry.” Mohawk plans to invest up to $2 million to retrofit the South Hadley facility, including upgrades to electrical systems, installation of air and vacuum lines, and the purchase and installation of envelope converting and manufacturing equipment. Mohawk expects to produce over 500-million envelopes annually at the new facility. The site will also feature warehouse space to service the company’s customers along the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as overseas businesses. “We selected the South Hadley location because the layout of the building is ideal for our manufacturing needs,” said Bob Scammell, Mohawk’s Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Operations.  “The site is essentially move-in ready and requires minimal construction prior to becoming operational, and there is an abundant pool of highly skilled envelope workers in Western Massachusetts.” Approximately 40 new employees will be hired to staff the new South Hadley facility, which will operate five days a week, three shifts per day. Mohawk also owns and operates a one million square-foot paper and envelope converting facility in Ashtabula, Ohio, which produces 1.5 billion envelopes a year. In early 2014, Mohawk grew its envelope operations at its Ohio facility by adding 75 new employees to a total of 200 and expanding operations by investing millions of dollars in converting equipment upgrades. 

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