Industry News

Dr. Gerold Linzbach, Chairman of the Management Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, will not be seeking the extension of his contract. He informed the company’s board that he aims to pursuenew professional challenges. Linzbach, age 60, will continue to serve the company until the scheduled end of his contractual term in August 2017, providing the board time to find a suitable replacement. Linzbach succeeded Bernhard Schreier as Heidelberg’s CEO at the start of 2013. Schreier had led Heidelberg for 13 years.The Supervisory Board of Heidelberg noted Linzbach’s intensive work and strong dedication in connection with the restructuring of the German press maker. In particular, his efforts have focused on the company’s growing digital, services and packaging segments.
After a decade of intense research and development, supported by unprecedented technology partnerships, is production-strength inkjet finally ready to disrupt commercial printing.The continued growth of inkjet printing systems was once again the major force at drupa, eight years removed from the cutting-edge system introductions of Fujifilm’s cutsheet Jet Press 720 and HP’s PageWide web press platform, which presented new possibilities to a sector largely dominated by the continuous-feed systems of Océ and Ricoh. At drupa 2012, another range of primarily concept production-inkjet machines were introduced by powerful players like KBA, Komori, Konica Minolta, Landa, Miyakoshi and Xerox. At drupa 2016, all of these companies and many more had expanded their production-inkjet platforms with serious new players like EFI and Heidelberg joining the mix, setting sights on the packaging world. Several new technology partnerships between paper-transport experts (offset press makers) and print-head developers speak to a concerted effort to drive inkjet into the mainstream.The past decade of inkjet R&D investment alone, collectively stretching into the tens of billions of dollars, by so many prominent technology suppliers rings the loudest chorus of reality – inkjet is building a new foundation for the future of printing. Still, the question remains with most printing companies for when inkjet systems, even with an ability to match 40-inch format size (unlike toner’s electrophotographic drum), will be ready for prime time in the commercial printing market. Key issues like quality and speed, press and consumable costs, have been a major challenge for the mass adoption of inkjet, even as this fascinating printing process has been disrupting pockets of publishing, transactional and direct-mail printing. Commercial print influenceAlec Couckuyt is one of Canada’s most-experienced printing leaders in the field of digital printing. Twenty years ago, serving as Vice President of Direct Marketing at Transcontinental’s innovative Yorkville plant, Couckuyt was driving variable data to Xeikon’s Chromapress to produce personalized automobile booklets. Building files from VIN numbers, the facility printed cover forms featuring specific car models and colours, while also applying variable text and dealership locations, to entice customers into a new rig before their leases ran out.“We were forerunners at that time, but it was far from being fast enough and you had to be in a highly controlled environment,” recalls Couckuyt, who was also integrating inkjet print heads on web presses at Yorkville. “Twenty years later, look at how far we have come… you can feed [an inkjet press] with so much data and the output is so cost efficient. The sky is the limit and this is an exciting time.”Prior to his digital-printing work with Yorkville, Couckuyt began his career in 1983 as a Product Manager for Agfa Canada, ultimately serving as the company’s Vice President of Graphics Arts Systems for 10 years until joining Transcontinental in 1996. Today, as Senior Director of Canon Canada’s Professional Printing Solutions Group, he holds a unique knowledge set to describe the adoption of production-inkjet systems in Canadian commercial printing.“We are targeting commercial printers right now with the experience that we have acquired in the transaction market, combined with the quality levels that inkjet has reached, when you talk about the VarioPrint i300 and the ImageStream, as well as the capabilities of printing on coated offset stock,” says Couckuyt. He joined Océ in 2008, as Vice President of Production Printing Systems, shortly before the company (purchased by Canon in 2012 for approximately $1 billion) installed one of Canada’s first web-fed production inkjet systems. “We have more than eight years of experience with a similar technology that has evolved to a point where it is now ready for prime time in commercial printing,” he says. “You always have to take into account the volume, the production capabilities of equipment, and I think there is bigger potential for cutsheet inkjet devices in the Canadian market, more so than continuous-feed inkjet.” Near the back of Canon’s drupa 2016 booth, the company ran a new web-fed ImageStream inkjet press, which is a class of technology Couckuyt feels some commercial printers will look at depending on their needs. “It is the same technology,” he says, relating the VarioPrint i300 to the ImageStream platform. “You are using 1,200 x 1200 native inkjet heads, combined with smaller droplets, different types of inks, coated stocks, proper drying systems, and now you are playing into the commercial printing field.”Web-fed inkjet, traditionally referred to as continuous-feed systems, has a significant existing install base because its paper transport naturally runs substrates much cleaner through the imaging system, whereas a turned-up ear can easily jam a cutsheet press. This cutsheet inkjet challenge is being addressed, however, as offset press makers become heavily involved with inkjet development. Despite the experience advantages of web-fed systems, Couckuyt points to the business realities of Canadian commercial printing, which for decades has been built around cutsheet workflow. “It would only be a logical step to also add an inkjet cutsheet device,” he says. “Basically, it offers quite a bit of additional application opportunities to the commercial printer.”Downtime becomes uptime“When you run an offset press, you are always making sure that you have the least downtime possible, which must be minuscule when you look at your total production time,” says Couckuyt. “In digital printing, people talk about uptime – just the opposite. If they had 50 to 60 percent uptime [on toner] they were happy, but that doesn’t cut it for an offset printer.” Canon’s cutsheet VarioPrint i300 system is promoted as having an uptime of more than 90 percent, often approaching 95 percent: “Now you are talking about a production machine – in addition to the quality and capabilities of printing on multiple papers – that fits right into the offset world,” says Couckuyt. “Those factors are extremely critical and the reasons why we believe it is ready for the commercial printer.”To improve cutsheet inkjet uptime, for example, the VarioPrint i300 is a self-contained system, meaning it is temperature and humidity controlled, and all external elements have been eliminated (a noticeable trait looking at the body of the machine). Even the input trays of the i300 are sealed for temperature control. The unit has to be decompressed when opening up its doors. With its doors open, the first thing you notice about the i300 is a massive drying system. Canon engineers ultimately surmised a sheet needed to travel in the drying system for two seconds at full running speed to properly condition the paper – hitting it with infrared, conventional heat and air systems – before reentering the duplex imaging system. Couckuyt explains this unique drying system is critical because operators do not need to slow down the i300 when applying heavy ink coverage. “It is actually a production machine and it is built in such a way that even if you have high coverage you will not slow down the press,” he says. To further improve uptime, the i300 employs a Sentry Unit that ejects wavy, earmarked or unwanted papers, again at speed, before first entering the imaging system. “A jam in digital printing on a cutsheet device is always your biggest nightmare.” Quality applicationsCommercially released more than a year ago, there were 42 i300 systems installed globally before the opening of drupa 2016, which actually marked the system’s availability in the Canadian market. A key new feature of the i300 introduced at drupa is called ColorGrip, which applies a primer specifically where expensive inkjet ink needs to go, instead of blanketing the sheet. A critical goal for all inkjet system developers, particularly for commercial printing adoption, is to improve their inks to a level that can more easily adhere to both coated and uncoated papers without the need for applying a primer. This will take time, but systems like ColorGrip, which actually immobilizes the ink to stop it from convalescing into big, ugly dots, are providing a vastly superior level of quality output than older generation inkjet systems. “ColorGrip keeps the right colour in the right position,” says Couckuyt, “so you are basically extenuating and giving more pop to your colour – Even a good sheet, you make a lot better.”One of the greatest advantages of digitized sheetfed offset presses, and why the technology remains core to the vast majority of printers, is application flexibility – an ability to throw almost any commercial print job at it, regardless of ink coverage, stock or format. For a printer to invest more than a $1 million into an inkjet press, even if today’s systems can handle a greater range of work, it becomes critical to understand the production cost of specific applications.“With the VarioPrint i300, where it becomes viable for a commercial printer to enter into that field, you are looking at a million and up impressions per month – all the way up to 10 million,” says Couckuyt, explaining a typical web-fed system requires at least five million impressions to become a viable investment.“We spend an extreme amount of time with the customer before a sale takes place,” says Couckuyt. Canon will run a job file from a printer’s existing offset infrastructure at its Océ facility in Boca Raton, Florida. “We will make a complete analysis of the files, ink consumption, press time, everything, so that the client really knows in advance what they are embarking on.”
The next Graphics Canada trade show, taking place from April 6 to 8, 2017, at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont., is to host a new feature called intelliPACK, a collaboration between the associations of PAC and CPEIA.PAC is a not-for-profit corporation that includes over 2,100 members throughout the packaging value chain. Established in 2014, the Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA) focuses on the Canadian printable, flexible and wearable electronics sector and ecosystem. intelliPACK will be a series of workshops focused on what the collaborators describe as smart packaging systems and printed electronics, including applications for high value-added products like wine and spirits, electronics, food & beverages, luxury, health and beauty, apparel and pharmaceuticals. The applications will focus on, for example, products that help extend shelf life, monitor freshness, display information, improve safety, security and improve convenience. The workshops will feature brand owners and technology experts sharing their approaches and experiences with intelligent and smart packaging systems.
4over has purchased ASAP Printing Corporation, which will become a subsidiary of the U.S.-based trade printer. This acquisition expands 4over's network to 16 locations in North America.“ASAP's reputation for excellent service and quality are recognized in the market and will complement the 4over brand and strategy going forward,” said 4over CEO Zarik Megerdichian. “The acquisition also means that we will now have a presence in the southeast and mountain states, strengthening our delivery network more than ever before. We are excited to bring ASAP into the 4over family while continuing to provide unparalleled value to our customers.”4over describes itself as an industry leader in print order fulfillment for print brokers and industry professionals and as a print provider of more than 40,000 industry professionals.In additon to planned operation opening in Atlanta, 4over's 16 existing locations across North America include:Glendale, CASan Jose, CADayton, OHChicago, ILMoonachie, NJSalt Lake City, UTRaleigh, NCArlington, TXHouston, TXMiami, FLTampa, FLPhoenix, AZToronto, ONSeattle, WABoston, MAWashington DC
In January 2016, Torstar confirmed plans to shutter its printing plant in Vaughan, Ont., just outside of Toronto, which will affect 220 full-time employees and 65 part-time staff. Transcontinental Inc. of Montreal had come to an agreement with Torstar to print its Toronto Star daily newspaper for the next five year at Transcontinental’s Vaughan facility.On July 4, photographer Todd Kroll helped produce a photo essay called, Inside the last days of the Toronto Star's printing plant.View Kroll's photo essay.
Memjet and HP Inc. this morning released a short statement that they have reached a global settlement that includes the dismissal of all current actions between the parties and a cross-license. The terms of the settlement are confidential. “We are pleased to have reached a settlement with HP,” stated Len Lauer, CEO of Memjet. “We will continue to stay focused on creating innovative printing technology that enables our customers to realize optimal speeds, quality and costs.”In August 2015, Memjet has a patent infringement lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. The lawsuit alleges infringement of eight Memjet patents related to its Waterfall printing technology. Memjet’s lawsuit also claimed it is entitled to recover damages resulting from HP’s use of patented technology in HP's PageWide printer products.The HP PageWide products using the patented technology, according Memjet, included HP’s Pro X generation of office printers, the T-Series commercial presses, and PageWide XL series products. Memjet also pointed to HP statements around its intention to use PageWide Technology in future wide-format and 3D printers.Memjet claims to hold several thousand U.S. and foreign patents in the page-wide inkjet printing space.
Oil City Press of Calgary, Alberta, has installed a new Ricoh Pro C7110X press to expand its production portfolio. The Pro C7110X reaches speeds of up to 90 pages per minute and outputs work at up to 1,200 x 4,800-dpi resolution.Ricoh explains the Pro C7110X goes beyond traditional CMYK applications based on features like an elastic fusing belt that supports a variety of textured and coated media, white and varnish-like clear toner options, as well as the support of oversize media.
Copywell of Woodbridge, Ontario, has installed two Ricoh production systems, including a continuous-feed Ricoh Pro VC60000 inkjet printing system, as well a Ricoh Pro C9110. The Ricoh Pro VC60000 installation is a first in Canada. The inkjet press runs at up to 394 feet per minute with full variable-data capabilities.Copywell plans to use both systems to increase its production of publishing work in-house, as well new applications such as personalized transactional documents.
Swiss Pack Canada of Burlington, Ontario, has installed the first HP Indigo 20000 press in Canada. The press, with a 740 x 1,100 millimeter imaging format, will target short-run flexible packaging and label printing.“Our investment in the HP Indigo 20000 enables us to help companies, especially those in the food packaging industry, make the transition into short-run digital printing,” said Philippe St-Cyr, General Manager, Swiss Pack Canada. “We pride ourselves in being a local Canadian print service provider that produces high quality products with sustainable substrates while providing customer service excellence, and helping these companies take their first step into custom printed packaging.”Swiss Pack Canada focuses on the production of high-quality flexible packaging, custom printing, package design and co-packing services. The company stocks packaging products for a range of industries including food, pet food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, agriculture, pesticides, fertilizers, hygiene and detergents. Swiss Pack Canada specializes in stand-up pouches, coffee bags, custom printed pouches and three-side seal pouches including flat and pillow pouches.
The Burke Group of Edmonton, Alberta, became the first printing operation in Canada to sign a letter of intent to purchase the recently introduced Komori Impremia NS40 press.The Impremia NS40, purchased through Komcan, which distributes Komori systems in Eastern Canada, Ontario and Western Canada, uses Landa Nanography imaging technology built on a Komori platform. “We are excited and privileged to be the first company in Canada to integrate the technology of the Komori Impremia NS40 press,” said Ian Burke, Chairman of The Burke Group. “The combination of Komori reliability and Landa technology is a game changer. Our trust in the support provided by Komcan and Komori make them the perfect partners for us as we offer this new technology.”Komori explains the inkjet system uses independently developed water-based inks that bond to the substrate while printing at speeds of up to 6,500 sheets per hour. The company continues to explain, these proprietary inks in combination with the Nanographic printing process result in printed sheets that are abrasion resistant, require no post-drying and leave no residual ink on the blanket. “The Burke Group was one of the first print businesses in Canada to purchase a Komori GL series press and the company is a perfect fit to now have the first Komori Impremia NS40 in Canada,” said Steve Ranson, president of Komcan Inc. “The Burke Group has always been on the forefront of technology, both offset and digital, and have the personnel and expertise to run with this new technology.”
Vision Print has installed an EFI 1625H wide-format printing system, purchased through Cansel, in its plant in Mississauga, Ont.The 64-inch hybrid printer, purchased through Cansel, leverages LED imaging and a double white channel. Installed back in October 2015, the EFI 1625 also features 8-level greyscale capabilities and 3M cobranded inks.Vision Print focuses on making display graphics and holds expertise in the production of box signage, backlit posters and signs, and acrylic signs, as well as a range of collateral commercial products like business cards, postcards and flyers.
Pronto Reproductions Ltd. has added an EFI 1625H wide-format printing system, purchased through Cansel, to its plant in Mississauga, Ont. The company runs a range of printing equipment, including a Heidelberg Speedmaster CD102-6 + LX and a Xerox IGen4 EXP, among other machines and a finishing technologies.Installed at the beginning of 2016, the EFI 1625H is described as a mid-level production printer with four colours plus white and 8-level grayscale capabilities, as well as LED drying. The system handles flexible and rigid substrates up to 65 inches (64-inch printing) and up to 2-inches thick. The company is also running 3M cobranded inks for MCS Warranty.
Stephen Feldman joins Avanti Computer Systems, a Toronto-based developer of Print Management Information Systems, as Director of Product Management. He is responsible for providing product management leadership for the Avanti Slingshot Print MIS platform and brings with him an extensive business development background from both software and hardware industries. “With Stephen’s expertise, we will take Avanti Slingshot to the next level for our customers,” said Patrick Bolan, President and CEO, Avanti. “His impressive résumé demonstrates a wealth of experience spanning the full product management lifecycle – from build through launch.” Feldman has more than 25 years of product management experience. He previously served as Director of Product Management for Unify (formerly Siemens), leading the team responsible for their global contact centre business. He managed 350 channel partners for IT consulting and managed services provider Acrodex, including HP and Cisco. At Microsoft Canada, he developed marketing programs to streamline customer deployment of Microsoft Office.  Feldman also has served in marketing roles with Platform Computing, Hummingbird, Cybermation, ATI Technologies and Toshiba.
James Martin becomes President of MBO America, who previously served in various executive, sales and marketing roles at Unisource Worldwide and Heidelberg USA. Martin was most recently President and CEO of the Printing Association of Florida, which produces the annual Graphics of the Americas trade show.The MBO America, based in Marlton, New Jersey, is one of five global locations for the finishing technology developer and also its top location in terms of generating revenues.MBO describes Martin’s key strengths as including revenue growth, cost reduction, strategic planning, Marketing and C-level sales strategies. Martin currently serves as Chairman, Board of Directors, for the Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphic at Clemson University.
Brian Phipps becomes President of Mutoh America Inc., focused on wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, to oversee the sales and operations of the company’s interests in both North and Latin America. "I'm honoured to be promoted to President of Mutoh America Inc.,” said Phipps on news of his appointment. “We have been growing our product range and increasing market share every year, and I'm excited to be able to continue building the business in my new capacity.” Phipps has worked for Mutoh America since 2004 and most recently served as Vice President and General Manager of Mutoh America. In his new role, Phipps will be working closer with Mutoh Japan on new products and the future direction of the company.
Curwin Friesen, according to a report by Pembina Valley online, announced to staff that he is stepping down from his position as President and CEO of Friesens Corporation in Altona, Manitoba. He will become Senior Vice President of Business Development for Ashley Global Retail effective October, 2016.Candace Derksen of Pembina Valley also reports Chad Friesen will assume the role of President and Chief Operating Officer of Friesens Corporation while retaining his current role as General Manager of Yearbook Division.Read Derksen’s full report for Pembina Valley.
Advanced Vision Technology Ltd. has named Matt Bennett as President of the Americas. The company is based in Israel and develops, print automatic inspection, process control, quality assurance and colour control for the packaging, label and commercial print markets.Bennett will be responsible for managing and executing all sales, marketing and customer support activities for Advanced Vision Technology (AVT) in the Americas. He will also join AVT’s corporate management group and will report directly to CEO Jaron Lotan. Prior to joining AVT, Bennett served as Sales Director of Packaging, North America for HP Inc., where he helped lead HP’s entry into the flexible packaging and folding carton markets. Prior to that, he spent 17 years with Heidelberg as a salesperson, regional manager and, ultimately, vice president.
Days after announcing Ashok Vemuri is to become CEO of Conduent, which is the new name of the soon-to-be-formed Xerox Business Process Outsourcing company, following the previously announced corporate split, Jeff Jacobson is to become CEO of Xerox Corporation following completion of the separation.It was previously known that the new Xerox Document Technology company, as opposed to the Business Process Outsourcing company, would retain the current Xerox brand and profile. On January 29, 2016, Xerox announced its plans to separate into two independent, publicly traded companies and the company is on track to complete the separation by the end of 2016.Jacobson currently serves as President of Xerox Technology and will continue in his current role until the separation is complete. “During his four years at Xerox, Jeff has driven significant productivity and cost efficiency efforts while maintaining our commitment to innovation, quality and leading technology,” said Ursula Burns, current CEO and Chair of Xerox. “With his previous public-company CEO experience and his track record and achievements at Xerox, the Board and I are confident he is the best person to lead Xerox forward.”Jacobson joined Xerox in 2012 as President of Global Graphic Communications Operations. He became President of the Xerox Technology business in 2014 with responsibility for worldwide strategy, sales channel operations, marketing, technical services and customer support, product development, manufacturing and distribution. Prior to Xerox, he served as the President, CEO and Chairman of Presstek.“I am honored by the board’s decision to appoint me to lead one of the world’s most iconic companies and confident that we will build a bright future for Xerox on the foundation of disciplined management, operational excellence and customer focus that is in place today,” said Jacobson.The new Xerox entity accounted for US$11 billion in 2015 revenue, while Conduent would have generated US$7 billion – 90% of which is annuity based.
Advocate Printing and Publishing Company, headquartered in Pictou, Nova Scotia, has acquired most of Transcontinental Inc.’s Dartmouth-based commercial printing business, including associated assets, sales force, and the client-services team. The purchase also provides the opportunity for Advocate to service Transcontinental’s current Atlantic Canadian commercial printing clients serviced by the Dartmouth facility.Advocate will not assume ownership of Transcontinental Inc.’s national clients, newspaper publishing and newspaper printing, or retail flyer printing business.“We are excited to welcome new members to the growing Advocate family and provide the best client service, printing and creative options in Atlantic Canada,” said Sean Murray, President and CEO of Advocate Printing. “Our focus now is bringing the benefits of our expanded team and capabilities to our new and existing client base.”Advocate explains the incoming sales and client-service team will remain in Dartmouth at Advocate’s office in Burnside. Several production team members will be offered positions at the company’s Pictou and Bridgewater facilities. “This acquisition strengthens our position as Atlantic Canada’s leader in commercial printing and is another positive step in the continued growth and evolution of our business,” said Murray. “The move allows us to grow and service our customer base through existing Nova Scotia facilities in Pictou, Bridgewater and our New Brunswick facilities in Dieppe and St. Stephen.”  The majority of the new production will be transferred to Advocate’s flagship printing facility in Pictou with some production going to Bridgewater, the latter of which focuses on short- and medium-run printing. Other equipment will be moved to Advocate’s Dieppe and St. Stephen facilities where the company focuses on what it describes as entrepreneurial print and administrative printing.Founded in 1891, Advocate Printing & Publishing is described as the largest independent printer in Atlantic Canada. The company services clients throughout the Atlantic Provinces, the eastern seaboard and across Canada through printing facilities in Pictou, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; Dieppe, New Brunswick and St. Stephen, New Brunswick. The print business includes production of a range of work from national flyers, magazines and direct mail to brochures, business cards, and promotional materials.Additionally, Advocate publishes 10 newspapers, 21 trade and regional magazines, a flyer distribution organization, and operates commercial photography, creative design and digital services operations.
Planet Paper Group, a family owned company with three locations across Canada, acquired Tricor POP of Cleveland, Ohio. Planet Paper CEO Jason Berns describes the purchase as a game-changer for the company: “Overnight this gives us a major presence for all of our business segments in the Midwest and Northeast, and soon the other parts of the U.S., giving us a full national footprint,” he said. “This is a huge step for everyone at Planet Group. It makes us North American in every way.”In addition to expanding its services into the United States, Planet Paper explains the acquisition also enhances its end-to-end display, packaging and merchandizing offerings. The family-owned business, with more than 300 employees, will operate as Planet Display & Packaging Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.“Leveraging the Planet Groups' excellent design capabilities and implementing their proven manufacturing best practices will provide our customers with exceptional display and packaging solutions and provide our employees and business partners significant opportunities for growth," said Dave Ticchione, General Manager, Planet Display and Packaging Inc.Both Planet Paper and Tricor – focusing on packaging, point of purchase display and retail signage– serve retailers and consumer packaged goods customers in pharmaceuticals, health and beauty, electronics, stationaries, food, beverage, consumer product, household and personal care segments.Planet Paper Box is the company’s primary sheet plant in Concord, Ont., accounting for 150,000 square feet, which has supplied corrugated cartons and sheets to a variety of businesses since 1963.
Xaar plc, a longstanding developer of industrial inkjet technology, has acquired Engineered Printing Solutions (EPS), a provider of product printing equipment in North America. The acquisition is Xaar's first as part of the company's strategic vision to achieve £220m of annual sales by 2020.EPS, founded by Julian Joffe in 1985, has built its business through supplying customized and bespoke printing solutions for a variety of market sectors including promotional, packaging, medical, automotive, apparel, appliances, sports equipment and toys. One of its focuses has been to develop flexible and cost effective digital inkjet solutions. In 2015, EPS generated $14m of revenue and today employs 60 staff.“The product printing market is served by multiple print processes today and the fastest growing is inkjet,” said Doug Edwards, CEO of Xaar.  “Here, just as with other industry sectors, there is great potential to accelerate the adoption of inkjet. EPS has established a successful business and is well positioned to continue to grow. Xaar gains a strong customer base and footprint in North America, a region Xaar has been targeting for growth. The integration capabilities EPS brings to Xaar will enable us to provide greater support to our existing and new OEM partners.”
North American printing industry associations Idealliance and Epicomm today completed their merger, creating an entity that will now address both management and technology issues. Idealliance is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, and has more than 3,000 members in the United States and within International Affiliates in China, South Korea, India, and Mexico. “Stakeholders in today’s industry operate in a highly competitive, high-technology field that requires a superior level of technical expertise and management acumen,” said Idealliance President and Chief Executive Officer David Steinhardt. “Consumers are digesting content in new ways, requiring buyers of print and digital communications to meet an ever-evolving demand for orchestrated content across a variety of print substrates and digital media.” Idealliance explains its resources are segmented within six primary service areas, including: Best practices and working groups, certification and training, advocacy and advancement, strategy and consulting, education and events, and publications and research.  Steinhardt continues to explain Idealliance will serve as a united voice for the graphic and digital communications industries, from content creators and brand managers to marketers, printers, mailers, and fulfillment experts.Idealliance will continue core programs and services in research and trends analysis, including the annual State of the Industry Report; strategic business development consulting; and industry standards defining color, digital, mail, and media workflow, including G7, GRACoL, Mail.dat, PRISM, and SWOP.
TC Transcontinental Inc. of Montreal continues its growth in packaging with a third acquisition, Robbie Manufacturing, a flexible packaging supplier located in Lenexa, Kansas. Transcontinental’s first strategic acquisition in the flexible packaging sector was Capri Packaging in 2014. In 2015, the company doubled its revenues in this area by purchasing Ultra Flex Packaging Corp.Newly purchased Robbie Manufacturing specializes in on-site packaging needs for grocery stores, shrink wrap packaging of multipack consumer goods, and packaging solutions for food processors. With more than 175 employees, the generated US$50 million in annual revenues in its most recent fiscal year.“This acquisition is great news for the ongoing development of our flexible packaging division, an important area of growth for the corporation," said François Olivier, President and CEO of TC Transcontinental. "The acquisition of Robbie Manufacturing is strategic on two fronts. It allows us to enter into two new packaging niches while also creating opportunities for synergies with our existing facilities nearby.”Robbie Manufacturing was founded in 1970 by Bernard Robinson and his son Irv, and had just six employees focusing on perforated film to wrap produce. “It's a privilege for Robbie Manufacturing and the entire team to join the ranks of TC Transcontinental, a solid, well-established family-controlled corporation led by seasoned leaders and driven by a vision for the future," said Irv Robinson, CEO of Robbie Manufacturing. TC Transcontinental has close to 8,000 employees in Canada and the United States, and generated revenues of $2.0 billion in 2015.
Electronics For Imaging Inc. of Freemont, California, has purchased Optitex Ltd., a developer of integrated 3D design software aimed at the textile industry's digital transformation – for the adoption of so-called fast fashion. Privately-held Optitex is to be integrated into EFI’s Productivity Software business unit. EFI explains the maximum purchase price of Optitex is approximately US$52.8 million, which includes a US$20 million upfront cash payment, US $3 million of which was placed into escrow, and annual cash earnout payments over three one-year periods of up to an additional US$32.8 million in total.  Payment of each tranche of the earnout is contingent upon the achievement of annual profitability and growth targets, EFI explains, with the revenue targets in the three earnout periods exceeding US$73 million in the aggregate in order to achieve the full earnout payment. EFI explains the acquisition is not expected to be material to its Q2 results and the purchase is expected to contribute US$4 million to US$6 million in revenue for the balance of 2016 and be neutral to EPS during that time."We are thrilled to add the Optitex team and its fast-growing base of industry-leading customers to the EFI family," said Gabriel Matsliach, Senior VP and GM, EFI Productivity Software. "Optitex technology, combined with EFI Reggiani digital printers, will expand our textile ecosystem and help our customers set new standards for time-to-market, on-demand manufacturing, cost efficiency and automation in the textile industry."Asaf Landau, CEO of Optitex, and approximately 100 members of the company have joined EFI, with Landau serving as EFI Optitex's General Manager. Optitex has offices in the U.S., Italy, India, Hong Kong and Israel.
The winners of the 2016 Premier Printing Awards competition, hosted by the Printing Industries of America, have been announced and four Canadian printing companies are amongst the Best of Category recipients, who receive the Benny Award named after Benjamin Franklin.Friesens and C.J. Graphics each won two Benny Awards with one each being won by Prime Data Communications and Mi5 Print and Digital Communications, as detailed below:C.J. Graphics Inc., Toronto, ONProject: C.J. Graphics Open House InvitationCategory: Invitations (1, 2, or 3 colors)Project: Blue Dragon Chop To ChopsticksCategory: Digital Printing-CookbooksFriesens Corporation, Altona, MBProject: Can You Dig ItCategory: CookbooksProject: MIT Technique 2016Category: School YearbooksMi5 Print and Digital Communications, Mississauga, ONProject: PREMISE Intertain Annual Report 2014Category: Business and Annual Reports (4 or more colors, printers with 21-50 employees)Prime Data Communications, Aurora, ONProject: Coolest Variable Print Project in the WorldCategory: Customized/Personalized/Variable-Data Digital Printing
KKP Barrie becomes the first Color-Logic certified printer in Canada running the Ricoh Pro C7100 press, which was installed in the Barrie, Ont., facility in late-2015.“Production prints from KKP Barrie demonstrate the capabilities of the Ricoh Pro C7100 Series Press with white toner. When combined with Color-Logic, the Ricoh device enables KKP to access new market applications and offer new services to their clients,” said Color-Logic's Director of Sales and Marketing, Mark Geeves. “The world today is about differentiation and KKP Barrie’s design and production capabilities will make it a positive experience for their clients to see what is possible in print.”The cut-sheet Ricoh Pro C7100x was introduced in late-2014 with a fifth colour station for printing with either white or clear toners. The press prints at 80 pages per minute (ppm) with a maximum sheet size of 13 x 19.2 inches and a rated maximum monthly volume of 240,000 letter-size pages. The Ricoh Pro C7100x produces 1,200 x 4,800-dpi resolution on a range of medias of up to 360 gsm in both simplex and duplex. “We are always on the lookout for new techniques and technology to offer our customers,” said John Morton, President of KKP Barrie. “We are very excited to now be able to offer Color-Logic. Our clients are amazed at the effects that can be created, and we look forward to all the exciting projects we will be able to produce for them.”
Jay-Line Trade Print & Promo of St. Catharines, Ontario, which has been serving the promotional products industry as a trade-only supplier since 1977, is reestablishing its focus on the commercial printing industry initially with its new specialty adhesive note pads and Ad Cubes products. The Ad Cubes product line includes both adhesive (printed on 50-lb offset stock) and non-adhesive (70-lb offset) versions in standard sizes or either full-cube or half-cube versions. The Ad Cubes can be produced with digitally printed full colour images on the sides and the tops of the individual sheets can be printed via spot colours or 4-colour process.Adhesive note pads are available in sizes ranging from 2 x 3 inches up to 8 x 6 inches, in standard sheet counts of 25, 50 or 100 sheets per pad. Jay-Line’s Adhesive note pads (50 lb offset stock) can also be produced in custom shapes, such as a light bulb, house or heart. Jay-Line operates out of a 50-employee, 35,000-square-foot facility with processes for sheetfed offset, web offset, toner sheetfed, envelope printing, flexography, roll and flatbed wide-format, roll labels, screen printing, pad printing, hot stamping, die cutting, digital die cutting and routering, scoring, folding, packaging and assembly. The company also has a complete promotional button manufacturing and assembly line, in addition to a range of promotional items from fridge and outdoor-vehicle magnets to plastic bookmarks, and playing cards.
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 IKEA.com 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.
Insource Corp. yesterday hosted two seminars in downtown Toronto focused on the new RISO ComColor FW5230 inkjet printing system, introduced six weeks ago at drupa 2016. The seminars were led by Andre D'Urbano, RISO’s National Sales Manager for Canada, who described the unique positions of the FW5230 and RISO’s existing ComColor X1 Series.The FW5230 – a fifth genertaion inkjet system from RISO – is aimed at corporate offices where some departments incur heavy print volumes, but it is also suitable for traditional printing facilities like in-plant graphics departments based on its 120-pages per minute printing speed in full colour. The highest-end X1 system hits speeds of up to 150 ppm in full colour. The ComColor FW series, running oil-based pigments in a line-type inkjet system, has a Standard Print resolution of 300 x 300 dpi and a Fine Print mode of 600 x 600 dpi. RISO explains key features of the FW5230 include a new LCD panel (with colour, tilt, and customization), small footprint, embedded RIP, and low-cost printing.In addition to installations where ComColor devices serve as primary production systems, D'Urbano explains several printers with larger web-bed inkjet machines (costing more than $1 million) are purchasing the ComColor to print short-run or reprint work. Larger web-fed inkjet devices typically require a few hundred feet of paper waste before reaching sellable print quality. D'Urbano noted, even as most toner-equipment manufacturers are now deeply invested in developing inkjet technologies, RISO remains as one of the only large vendors to supply a low-investment cutsheet inkjet engine. At drupa 2016, he explains only a few vendors showcased cutsheet inkjet systems costing just under  $1 million, whereas the RISO systems are priced well under $100,000, typically between $30,000 and $90,000 depending on configuration. D'Urbano then discussed the advantages of cutsheet inkjet over toner systems, primarily focusing on the lower-cost per page of inkjet (two to three cents, compared to five to six cents for toner), which immediately provides inkjet with a strong Return on Investment position. The RISO systems, as opposed to the traditional click-charge toner model, are also purchased based on a 1/2-cent service contract with equipment users responsbile for buying inks.During the seminar, D'Urbano also highlighted the no-heat advantages of inkjet printing relative to toner, which traditionally needs to fuse its toner images to paper at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The no-heat process of inkjet, D'Urbano explains, provides not only significant uptime benefits, but also an ability to work with a greater range of applications from envelopes to Tyvek materials, because there is no curling of materials from added heat. The FW series, for example, can print 100 fully variable colour Tyvek wristbands, which is growing application for school and promotional events, for a cost of around 15 cents each.D'Urbano also referenced a range of Energy Star statics indicating, for example, toner-based photocopiers account for 10 percent of all office equipment electricity demand. Again, without a need for heat for the fundamental printing process, the RISO FW inkjet systems run on a regular 110 volt system drawing just 15 amps of power. D'Urbano also referenced a range of InfoTrend studies about the growth of inkjet printing, including findings that colour inkjet devices accounted for more than one third of all digital colour pages in 2014. According to InfoTrend’s 2013-108 Global Production Printing & Copying Market Forecast, U.S. and Western European digital production colour volumes totaled around 265-billion impressions in 2013 and will surpass 500-billion by 2018.In addition to its RISO distribution agreement, Insource is a Canadian sales and service agent for Kirk Rudy, Winkler-Dunnebier, KAS Paper Systems, Petratto, SCS Automaberg, Astro, Therm-O-Type and Profold technologies.
More than 100 people attended PrintAction’s PrintForum conference held on Wednesday at the Mississauga Convention Centre, featuring four sessions and exhibitors Canon Canada (event sponsor), Delphax, Domtar, Grand Valley Direct, IMAC, Insource, PDS, Sydney Stone and Veritiv.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria992e71d528 Following a session by PrintAction Editor Jon Robinson, Martin Habekost, Associate Chair of Ryerson’s Graphic Communications Management program, spent an hour discussing both digital- and conventional-printing trends at drupa. Habekost began his session, called Is It All Digital Now?, describing the highly positive atmosphere at drupa, which featured 1,837 exhibitors from 54 countries, 260,000 visitors from 188 countries (slightly down from 2012), and 1,900 journalists from 74 countries.Gleaning statistics from drupa organizer, Messe Dusseldorf, Habekost noted some interesting post-drupa numbers from surveyed visitors, including: 29 percent placed orders during drupa, 30 percent are planning to place their orders after drupa, and 60 percent found new suppliers at drupa.Habekost began his digital trends highlights by noting how inkjet print speeds are increasing and starting to reach offset speeds. Based on the amount of print applications highlighted at this year’s show, he also noted how inkjet inks can print on almost anything and more special inks are being developed for inkjet work. Habekost spent several minutes taking the crowd through key digital and offset developments, including an emphasis on the progress of Landa Digital, which expects to begin shipping its presses in 2017. Habekost concluded his session by explaining how print is alive and coming back strong, as digital printing is making strong inroads into the offset print market, again with increased print speeds and high-quality output.Nick Howard, President of Howard Graphic Equipment, presented the third session at PrintForum discussing how technological change is not new to the printing industry and shared his thoughts on how inkjet will impact the commercial printing industry. He also discussed the market for offset technologies (new and used) and what printers should consider when making investments. Howard explained LED curing, or similar hybrid variations, is a definite advance that all offset-perfecting printers should consider, as well as companies running straight configurations.The final conference session featured seven industry leaders discussing the state of production inkjet technologies, both web and cutsheet. The panelists included: Alec Couckuyt, Senior Director, Canon Canada, Professional Printing Solutions Group; Brad King, VP, Graphics Communications, Xerox Canada; Brent Moncrief, VP, Brand Management, Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division; Edward Robeznieks, VP and GM, Production Printing, Ricoh Canada; Ray Fagan, Sheetfed Product Manager, Heidelberg Canada; Brian Forrester, Senior Sales Executive, Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division, Eastman Kodak; and Grant Robinson Business Development Manager at Delphax Technologies.While all of the panelists have a natural interest in promoting the adoption of inkjet technologies, the group provided several examples for why in fact production inkjet technology has arrived in the printing industry. The group explained that the issue of inkjet speed relative to sheeted offset has largely been overcome, particularly when focusing an inkjet system toward suitable applications. The inkjet panel also described how inkjet quality has reached a level to meet most customer expectations, even as advances are still needed in inks and supporting substrates. The panel also opened up to dicuss the potential business models and investment rationale for investing in inkjet technologies.
A pictorial report on some of the new systems on display in Germany at drupa 2016, running under the moniker of Touch the Future, which continues in Dusseldorf until June 10 (all photos by PrintAction).   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria542106025d
The Ontario Printing and Imaging Association last night at St. Georges Golf and Country Club in Greater Toronto celebrated the achievements of printing companies within its 2016 Excellence In Print Awards program.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria1f93be5303 Following the dinner and awards presentation, Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Inland Press in Detroit, Michigan, who is also Chairman of the Printing Industries of America, made a presentation to share his insight with guests. Sponsors of OPIA’s 2016 awards program included Heidelberg, Flint Group, Domtar, Sun Chemical and Spicers.Excellene in Print Awards, signfying Best of Category winners, were recieved by C. J.  Graphics (14), Colour Innovations (7), Metroland Media/Hamilton Web Printing (1), Mi5 Print & Digital Communications (2), Prime Data (1), Ryerson University GCM (2), St. Joseph Communications (3), TC Transcontinental Brampton (1), TC Transcontinental Vaughan (1), and Welch & Quest (2).Top honours in the 2016 OPIA Excellence in Print Awards program, for Best of Division work, were presented to the following companies: 2016 Award of Excellence WinnersC.J. Graphics, Digital DivisionC.J. Graphics, Specialty DivisionSt. Joseph Communications, Sheetfed DivisionTC Transcontinental Vaughan, Web Division
  View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria918d5d07c5 More than 310 people came to the Centre des sciences de Montréal on the evening of May 12 to celebrate printing-industry achievement at the 34th annual Gala Gutenberg. Divided into two distinct sections for Innovation Printing and Technical Printing, 19 trophies – adorned with a metallic g – were awarded to Quebec printing companies, who were often joined on stage by their equally proud designers and production partners.“The participants were welcomed in a spectacular way. A flight of paper butterflies was created for this event. We wanted to showcase all the areas of the industry: Large scale, ennoblement, cutting, lamination, display, labels, packaging, fine paper, cardboard, etcetera,” said Hélène Pageau of the Printability and Graphic Communications Institute (ICI), member of the organizing committee. “I want to take the time to thank once more the 22 companies that participated in making the products that embellished this night.”Supremex won the award program’s inaugural Gutenberg Coup de Coeur – for its project Osez l’effet lifting for Yves Rocher – as voted on by attendees at the gala, where the submitted print projects were on full display. “The votes were counted by the students of the future, which are the graduates in graphic communications at Ahuntsic College who were at the Gala," said Robert Legal, teacher of printing techniques at Ahuntsic College and head of the judging panel.Louise Kralka, Vice President of PDI, served as Présidente du Gutenberg 2016, which, in addition to Pageau and Legal, also included committee members: André Goyette, Imprimerie Contact; Bruno Laplante, Agfa; Chantal Vallée, Spicers; Frédéric Perrier, Les Encres Ultra; Lucie Benoit, Dieco Finition; Mala Dupont, ATFFEQ; Marilène Fournier, Imprimerie Ste-Julie; Martin Gagnon, Multi-Flex; Michel Beaulieu, Heidelberg; and Zara-Emmanuelle Villani, Enveloppe Concept.“The Gutenberg [awards program] pushes everyone’s limits and meets the challenges presented by the talent and creativity of companies, communication agencies and print buyers in Quebec, no matter the size of the companies,” said Kralka. “This year our industry has once more shown that this event is important.”2016 Gala Gutenberg Innovation Awards:Category: Display GraphicsWinner: PDI Integrated Printing SolutionsCategory: Marketing, CustomerWinner: L’EmpreinteCategory: Marketing, Self-promotionWinner: Graphiscan MontrealCategory: PublishingWinner: TC Transcontinental TransmagCategory: LabelsWinner: Imprimerie Ste-JulieCategory: Packaging Winner: TC Transcontinental Ross EllisCategory: Flexible Packaging Winner: Propals IndustryCategory: Finishing Winner: Stylex 3D2016 Gala Gutenberg Technical Awards:Category: Technique Challenge DisplayWinner: MP ReproCategory: Marketing Self-promotionWinner: ParagraphCategory: Marketing ClientWinner: L’EmpreinteCategory: NewspapersWinner: TC Transcontinental TransmagCategory: BooksWinner: PDI Integrated Printing SolutionsCategory: MagazinesWinner: Marquis ImprimeurCategory: FinishingWinner: Gravure ChoquetCategory: LabelsWinner: MCC Collotype MontrealCategory: PackagingWinner: WestRockCategory: Flexible PackagingWinner: Imprimerie Ste-JulieMore pictures from the 2016 Gala Gutenberg and information can be found at Galagutenberg.ca.
  View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria10a79cbe89 Holland & Crosby Limited, one of Canada’s leading manufacturers of display graphics, held an open house over the past two days in its new 71,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ont. The company, which specializes in Point of Purchase retail-based signage programs (for some 80 years), began to operate out of its purposely-designed facility in January 2016 shortly after completing its purchase of Colormark Limited.The company’s facility is highlighted by the installation of two new Inca inkjet flatbed presses purchased through global distributor Fujifilm, including the all-new Onset X3, which runs at speeds of up to 9,688 square feet per hour (180 beds), and an Onset X1. Holland & Crosby also installed two massive Esko Kongsberg cutting systems to accommodate the size and throughput of its new inkjet engines.Bill Baxter, the UK-based engineering pioneer who established Inca Digital in 2000, attended the open house to help celebrate Holland & Crosby’s powerful printing platform. “As equipment makers in this field, where the pace of development is very quick, we are always coming out with the latest, greatest, most-advanced [systems]," says Baxter. "Holland & Crosby have regularly taken the very first of our machines shipped to North America and that is very important for people like us, because they really do provide a reference for our latest machines.“I know that we have sold a lot of machines simply because Holland & Crosby have been making them work and sending the results out to clients,” continues Baxter. “We love them because of that, but we also love them because they are descent, sensible people. It has always been a real pleasure working with them.”After establishing its digital department in 2004 with an Inca Columbia system, Holland & Crosby in 2008 became the first company in North America to install the Onset S70. In 2009, the company installed the Onset S20 and in 2010 became a digital-only shop based on its Inca horsepower. The new Onset X3 features 3 x CMYK ink channels plus the choice of White or Orange, and 14-picolitre print heads. Running at 9,688 square feet per hour, the Onset X3 is is one of the world most-productive, high-resolution inkjet systems, while the – scaleable – Onset X1 runs at up to 6,027 square feet per hour (112 beds). Holland & Crosby provides a full range of display graphics services from creative and structural design to storage and distribution.
Electronics For Imaging yesterday announced results for its second quarter of 2016, ended June 30, 2016, with a record second quarter revenue of $245.7 million (all dollar amounts in U.S. funds), up 21 percent compared to second quarter 2015 revenue of $202.7 million. “The EFI team delivered a solid quarter despite the disruption caused by global events during the last week of the quarter,” said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI. “At the same time, EFI’s market position at the drupa tradeshow validated both our strategy and product roadmap, and we’re particularly encouraged by the exceptional reception to our new Nozomi platform.The drupa momentum is feeding into the strength we are seeing in the Industrial Inkjet and Productivity Software segments,” continued Gecht, “which keep us on track to deliver our stated goal of $1 billion in revenues for the year.”For the six months ended June 30, 2016, the company reported revenue of $479.8 million, which was also up 21 percent year-over-year compared to $397.3 million for the same period in 2015. GAAP net income was $7.3 million compared to $13.0 million for the same period in 2015.
German press maker Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) announced its Q1 financial results ended with 46% more revenue and EBT was up €18 million, reaching €0.6 million, relative to the same quarter last year. The company also explains its order intake of €266.3 million was higher than its quarterly revenue of €258.8 million, while “an order backlog of €582.4 million secures utilization well into autumn.”At €258.8 million, group revenue in the first quarter was up 46% on the prior-year figure of €177.3 million. All three KBA segments posted gains in sales, with new presses for packaging printing climbing to over 70% of the total. The press maker's order backlog at the end of March stood at €582.4 million, an increase on the figure from the start of the year of €574.9 million.   “Numerous optimisation measures are taking effect as planned. This quarter we thus improved earnings by over €18 million to +€2.1 million EBIT or +€0.6 million EBT year-on-year,” said KBA President and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann. The group’s gross profit margin rose from 20.6% to 29.8%. EBIT this quarter came to +€2.1 million. In the first quarter of 2015, there was still a loss of €16.2 million. A slightly negative interest result of –€1.5 million led to a group pre-tax profit this quarter of €0.6 million compared to –€17.7 million the previous year. After deducting income tax expenses, group net profit at March 31 was €1.6 million (2015: –€16.9 million). This corresponds to earnings per share of €0.11 (2015: –€1.01).   KBA states its largest segment, Sheetfed, is still on the right track with a 41% rise in revenue, a quarterly profit of €5.7 million (2015: –€2.7 million) and a high order backlog of €264 million. In the run-up to the industry’s leading trade show, drupa, beginning at the end of May and given longer lead times, KBA explains incoming orders of €135.7 million in this segment were below the unusually high order intake of €174.7 million in the first quarter of 2015 as expected.   The volume of new orders in KBA's Digital & Web segment rose by 23% year-on-year and revenue more than doubled to €27.9 million. KBA explains the segment loss of –€1.8 million improved compared to 12 months ago (2015: –€8.7 million). The KBA management board expects positive earnings for the entire year given the growth in order backlog to €77 million.   At €115.1 million (2015: €117.4 million) the volume of incoming orders in KBA's Special segment was roughly the same as the previous year’s figure (2015: €117.4 million). Revenue grew by some 40% to €88.6 million. At €0.2 million, the quarterly profit was below the prior year (€1.2 million), whereby KBA explains the project execution of a security press order led to delays impacting on profit. KBA states earnings are expected to improve further over the coming quarters as planned given the strong order backlog.
Adobe reported record quarterly revenue of US$1.38 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 25 percent, for its current fiscal first quarter, fueled by the adoption of cloud-based products.“Every day, more brands, government agencies and educational institutions globally are choosing to base their digital strategies on Adobe’s content and data platforms,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe President and CEO. “Our exceptional performance in Q1 is an indicator of the strong momentum we are seeing across our cloud businesses as we drive the experience economy.”The company’s Digital Media segment revenue grew by 33 percent year-over-year to a record US$932 million, with Creative revenue growing 44 percent year-over-year to a record US$733 million.Adobe explains Creative Cloud adoption drove its Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) to US$3.13 billion exiting the quarter, an increase of US$246 million. Adobe Marketing Cloud achieved record revenue of US$377 million that represents year-over-year growth of 21 percent.Year-over-year operating income for the company grew 78 percent and net income grew 200 percent on a GAAP-basis; operating income and net income both grew 48 percent on a non-GAAP basis.Cash flow from operations was US$498 million and the company repurchased approximately 1.5 million shares during the quarter, returning US$133 million of cash to stockholders.“We are pleased to report another record quarter with 25 percent year-over-year revenue growth. Strong Cloud adoption drove record Creative and Marketing Cloud revenue in Q1, and better-than-expected Digital Media ARR," said Mark Garrett, Adobe CFO. “Based on our strong Q1 results and business momentum, we are increasing our annual revenue and earnings targets for the year.”
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG reports it has ended the latest quarter with a positive net result after taxes, and that its net result before taxes after nine months (April 1 to December 31, 2015) reached the break-even point. Based on these numbers, the German press maker explains, following its recent realignment, it is on track to record a positive net result after taxes for financial year 2015/2016.“We’ve made good progress with our goal of ensuring long-term profitability at Heidelberg. Our new portfolio is more closely geared toward stable market segments, is more profitable, and creates the conditions for further growth,” said Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach.   Group sales were 16 percent up on the equivalent nine months of the previous year at €1.802 billion (previous year: €1.552 billion). This figure includes positive exchange rate effects amounting to €93 million. Heidelberg explains the successful integration of the newly acquired PSG Group made a substantial contribution to the higher sales, while the Heidelberg Services segment accounted for almost half of the company’s sales after nine months.At a regional level, Heidelberg states sales were well up in North America and Europe, while Eastern Europe and Latin America remained stable. In the third quarter, however, Heidelberg explains subdued market development in China was reflected by a fall in orders. Total incoming orders in the reporting period were significantly higher than in the previous year at €1.904 billion (previous year: €1.780 billion).            Heidelberg’s EBITDA excluding special items as at December 31, 2015, increased to €119 million (previous year: €80 million), while EBIT excluding special items doubled to €65 million (previous year: €29 million). The Heidelberg Services segment is still on target to achieve the planned EBITDA margin of nine to 11 percent. Regional weaknesses, especially in China, mean the Heidelberg Equipment segment has not yet been able to reach the expected EBITDA target margin of four to six percent. Heidelberg’s pre-tax result after nine months reached the break-even point (€0 million; previous year: €–92 million). The net result after taxes for the third quarter improved by €60 million to €7 million (previous year: €–53 million) and the nine-month figure of €–7 million, explains Heidelberg, was better than the €–95 million recorded for the equivalent period of the previous year.  The company’s free cash flow after nine months was €–37 million (previous year: €–16 million), based primarily on restructuring costs and the PSG acquisition. The net debt for the quarter under review was at €282 million (March 31, 2015: €256 million). “We have created the financial scope to finance acquisitions and invest in growth and innovation. In the future, we will keep working on further optimizing our financing framework and ensuring the continued strategic development of Heidelberg,” said CFO Dirk Kaliebe. 
manroland web systems of Augsburg, Germany, released its 2015 year-end results (December 31, 2015), which the company states as holding a significant increase in profit and market share. With a profit margin of around three percent, the printing press manufacturer’s result increases to 6.2 million euros ($9.6 million Canadian). The company also reports its market share in new press business for web offset systems grew to 45 percent, while also noting growth in manroland web’s increasing interests in postpress equipment sales, branded as FoldLine and FormerLine.The incoming orders taken by manroland web grew by more than 10 percent to around 260 million euros in comparison to 2014. The global market share for new web offset printing presses is around 45 percent (36 percent previous year). The fully completed restructuring measures from 2014 as well as the improved situation in use of capacities have also had a major impact. “In 2015, the manroland web systems company group generated a positive operating result of 6.2 million euros before interest and taxes (EBIT). An order backlog in new press business of more than 150 million euros gives reason to expect good use of factory capacities and a further increase in profitability for manroland web systems in 2016,” said Jörn Gossé, Managing Director, manroland web.Not including external personnel and trainees, the company had a total staff of 1,200 worldwide, 1,068 of which are at the Augsburg site. The company is currently training 63 young people in total in various technical and commercial professions and will be offering 16 new traineeship placements starting in September 2016.
Langley Holdings plc, the engineering and industrial group that controls manroland Sheetfed, released its annual results for the year ended 31 December, 2015. The group reported a pre-tax profit of €106.7 million ($167 million Canadian) on revenues of €874.5 million ($1.37 billion Canadian). Langley Holdings also reported it had zero debt and close to €330 million of cash reserves at year end. During his Chairman’s Review, Tony Langley said 2015 had been a “significant milestone” for a number of reasons. manroland Sheetfed, the largest of the group's five divisions, in revenue and employee terms, was in positive territory for the fourth year in succession, since acquiring the printing press builder in early 2012. Langley Holdings, however, pointed to Piller, which develops electrical systems for data centres, and ARO, which develops automobile welding machinery, as its principal revenue drivers of 2015, with both Piller and ARO posting near record profits. Claudius Peters, the group's plant machinery builder, was in line with modest expectations due to widely sluggish cement and steel markets, according to Langley. Druck Chemie, the chemicals producer, which completed its first full year in the group, and Bradman Lake, the packaging machinery specialist, both reported what Langley Holdings describes as satisfactory results. Tony Langley also noted the company had opening order books totaling €300 million, stating that he expects 2016 will be a successful year and that the group will continue to search out new acquisition opportunities.Langley Holdings plc was founded in 1975, by Tony Langley, and currently employs around 4,300 people worldwide.
Bell and Howell Global Services released a statement that it will begin to service Ricoh InfoPrint presses in Canada, based on that company’s decision to no longer support the InfoPrint 3900 printer. Bell and Howell plans to support the following IBM/Ricoh InfoPrint models in Canada: 3300, 3800, 3900, 4000 and 4100.“There is a lot of life left in these InfoPrint toner production printers, and we’re ready to assist anyone who needs service virtually anywhere in North America,” said Jim Feely, Senior VP of Global Service Solutions. “Our Services team has the parts, supplies and technical know-how to provide the support needed to keep these printers up and running for years to come.”Bell and Howell states it has a network of hundreds of service technicians throughout Canada and the United States to perform maintenance or repair on a production printer, mail machinery or other industrial mechatronics systems from over 50 brands.The company also explains it can service all InfoPrint associated pre/post equipment from Lasermax, Hunkeler, Tecnau, RSI, Stralfors, ESP and others. This includes providing preventive maintenance, scheduled maintenance/tune-up, replacement parts, certified refurbishing, and converting systems to accept lower-cost orange cap toner.
Larry Stewart becomes Regional Sales Manager for technology and service supplier KBR Graphics, based in Montreal, Quebec. Stewart joins KBR Graphic’s Ontario sales team and is responsible for the entire range of KBR equipment and services. He will coordinate all aspects of new client acquisition for the Eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area as well as other parts of Ontario. Stewart has more than 28 years of experience as a sales professional in the printing industry.  “Larry's extensive background and strong knowledge of print and finishing machinery as well as his established reputation in the industry will help our customers position their businesses for future success,” said Karl Belafi Jr., Vice President of KBR Graphics. Steve Klaric, a longstanding KBR Graphics Regional Sales Manager, continues in his responsibilities for the Western part of the Greater Toronto Area as well as other parts of Ontario.
Fastsigns International Inc., with more than 600 global franchises, entered a new partnership agreement to offer all of its locations the new Epson SureColor S60600 roll-to-roll solvent printer beginning on May 1, 2016. Currently, three Fastsigns locations have the new printer installed, with 33 new Fastsigns centres expected to open this year with the Epson printer. “After undergoing an extensive selection process, we made the decision to travel to Epson’s headquarters in Japan to see the design and manufacturing capabilities firsthand,” said Fastsigns International’s Director of Tech and Supply Chain, Brian Boehm. “In addition to the attainable price point offered by the Epson SureColor S60600, we were incredibly impressed by the updated technology the printer offers.” The 64-inch SureColor S60600 features new UltraChrome GS3 4-colour solvent ink, an all-new media feeding system, and Epson’s Dual-Array PrecisionCore TFP print heads. Epson explains the S60600 is capable of producing sellable quality banners at 550 square feet per hour, while producing adhesive vinyl output at up to 310 square feet per hour. “The SureColor S60600 is one of the most productive sign printers we’ve ever developed,” said Matt McCausland, Product Manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada Ltd. today announced an exclusive agreement, effective immediately, with MGI’s Digital Graphic Technology division to co-market and service the full line of MGI printing and finishing systems.Konica Minolta and MGI have several existing distribution programs in place globally and the two companies have worked together for nearly two decades. “We are excited to be strengthening our collaboration with Konica Minolta,” stated Michael Abergel, Executive VP of MGI. “Konica Minolta is the ideal partner to expand our distribution in Canada.”The MGI partnership in Canada started with the addition of MGI’s JETvarnish 3DS to Konica Minolta’s production print portfolio. The agreement announced today extends the full spectrum of MGI products to Konica Minolta Canada, which includes the Meteor series of digital presses, the JETvarnish 3D line, and other finishing technologies. MGI is unique in its manufacture of products designed to handle a range of substrates and formats, including foils and plastics, along with spot coating, embossing, hot foil and high-gloss applications aimed at short-run work.  “The printing and packaging industries are continually looking for innovative ways to expand their services and streamline production. By combining the MGI line-up with our current offering, we significantly increase our ability to help clients differentiate, grow margins, and improve productivity,” said Chris Dewart, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada.Konica Minolta plans to provide MGI market coverage across Canada by leveraging its direct sales and service force, as as well as through its partner channels.
Sydney Stone has been recognized with the Elite Dealer Award from Formax, which  designs and manufactures pressure seal, mailing, data destruction, and digital print finishing solutions. Formax also builds the ColorMax 7, an envelope inkjet printing system with a duty cycle of up to 500,000 envelopes per month. Formax explains its technologies allow printers to strreamline outgoing and incoming mail, destruction of confidential data and in-plant digital print finishing. “Sydney Stone provides us with an excellent support team in Canada from a product application basis on through to the field service team,” said Eric Roy with Formax.“We are pleased with their results in 2015 and look forward to another elite year in 2016.”Founded in 1987, Formax is a privately held company with corporate headquarters based in Dover, New Hampshire and a manufacturing facility in Turlock, California.  “We are thrilled that Formax have provided us with the Elite Dealer Achievement Award,” said Michael Steele of Sydney Stone. “They are an excellent company to work with and their products work exceptionally well. We look forward to continuing to find situations where Formax equipment will add value to printers in Canada.”
RM Machinery Inc., the exclusive distributor of RMGT 10 and RMGT 11 series sheetfed presses in the United States, is now a distributor of these specific presses in the Canadian market, which RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology Ltd. (RMGT) awarded to RM Machinery on February 1.KBR Graphics continues as the exclusive distributor of RMGT Series 5, 7 and 9 offset presses for Eastern Canada (Quebec and Ontario) and the company now has a strategic partnership with RM Machinery for representation of the RMGT 10 and 11 series presses in Quebec. Established in 2013 and based in New Jersey, RM Machinery Inc., which is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of web offset and newspaper presses manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, ltd., will provide sales, parts and service for the RMGT 10 and RMGT 11 presses in Canada.“Not only are we grateful for the confidence RMGT has shown in RM Machinery, but we see tremendous opportunities for growth in the Canadian marketplace. That’s what really makes this so exciting,” said Marke Baker, President of RM Machinery. “We look forward to being a strong player who will take Canadian printers to the next level, and always satisfy their needs and behave in their best interests.”The RMGT 1020 press features a maximum sheet size of 29.13 x 40.16 inches (740 mm x 1,020 mm), and the RMGT 1050 has a maximum sheet size of 29.53 x 41.34 inches (750 mm x 1,050 mm). The RMGT 1130 comes with a larger sheet size of 32.28 x 44.49 inches (820 mm x 1,130 mm).
Jones Packaging Inc., headquartered in London, Ont. as a global provider of packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, has entered into a commercial partnership with Norway's Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), which develops printed electronics and smart systems, including technologies for Near Field Communications (NFC).Together the two companies will integrate Thinfilm’s recently branded NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharmaceutical packaging and, at the same time, develop what Jones describes as key manufacturing processes for its high-speed production lines.Jones and Thinfilm will also collaborate to engage top global pharmaceutical companies to integrate the smart technology into Rx and over-the-counter product packaging. The Jones/Thinfilm smart packaging collaboration will be funded, in part, by grants from both the Swedish and Canadian governments. Jones explains NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels that can detect both a product’s “factory sealed” and “opened” states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The tags contain unique identifiers, continues Jones, that make it possible for pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level using software and analytics tools. In addition, Jones explains the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken, which enables both brands and medical staff to extend the dialogue with consumers and patients. “Our strategy of developing printed electronics solutions for the healthcare market led us to this important collaboration with industry pioneer Thinfilm,” stated Chris Jones Harris, Principal, Strategic Initiatives and Alliances with Jones. “Thinfilm’s unique printed NFC solution addresses multiple needs within the pharmaceutical channel, particularly around product integrity and patient safety, and allows our customers to connect the world of physical packaging to virtual and dynamic content on the internet – it’s a very unique and compelling proposition.”Thinfilm’s “Tag Talks First” protocol is described as a key feature of the NFC OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions. The companies explain this makes NFC OpenSense an ideal technology for use within the high-speed, high-volume production lines found in Jones’ manufacturing facilities. The work conducted by Jones and Thinfilm will also include the integration of ferrite shield labels with the NFC OpenSense tags. Jones explains this will enable the NFC technology to function on metalized packaging, such as blisters commonly used for cold/flu medication. The company states this is perfectly aligned with its contract packaging capabilities in the area of customized blister packaging solutions for solid dose products including tablets, caplets, capsules and gel caps.“Jones has been in business for well over a century and is a trusted partner to many of the most recognized global pharmaceutical and consumer brands,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “We are very excited to be partnering with a true innovator in the packaging industry and look forward to helping them deliver this leading-edge NFC solution to the pharmaceutical space.”
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…”
Boston Globe Media Partners announced the sale of the current headquarters for its Boston Globe newspaper operations, which have been housed for 58 years in Dorchester, Massachusetts. The purchaser of the 16.5-acre property and 815,000-square-foot building has not yet been named under a confidentiality agreement.The Globe’s editorial and business departments will move to a new office complex less than a mile from the publisher’s founding location on Newspaper Row, where the paper operated from its inception in 1872 until moving to Dorchester in 1958.In mid-2015, the Globe announced it had purchased a building in a Taunton industrial park for just over US$20 million that would serve as its newspaper printing plant starting in early 2017. The move to a new printing plant was well underway before the sale of its Dorchester sale.The new 328,000-square-foot printing plant, according to an article in the Globe, will also print the Boston Herald, The New York Times, and other newspapers that hire the new operation to do their production.An article by Beth Healy in 2015 explains the Globe’s printing operation — including press operators, mailers, and drivers — includes roughly 1,000 people, which accounted for slightly more than half of all of the company’s employees.New York Times Co. sold the Boston Globe in 2013 to Red Sox owner John W. Henry for US$70 million. Times Co. purchased the Boston Globe in 1993 from the Taylor family for US$1.1 billion.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada Ltd. will relocate its headquarters to the Airport Corporate Centre of Mississauga, Ont., by the end of April 2016. The company's new home will feature state-of-the-art technology for product demonstrations of hardware and IT services in its portfolio.Konica Minolta Canada explains – based on its parent company's core ecological sustainability tenant – one of the new building’s key features is a white reflective roof membrane, which reflects sunlight from the roof area and reduces the heat-island effect produced by conventional roofing materials.The building will also feature native and drought-tolerant plants that depend only on rainwater to flourish once planted. Konica Minolta explains this eliminates the need for landscape irrigation, uses less fertilizer and requires fewer pesticides. The new headquarters will also include electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot for those employees and visitors who drive electric or hybrid automobiles.“We have designed the new building to reflect where Konica Minolta is headed as we continue to shape the future of our industry,” said Chris Dewart, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada. “We have been steadily transforming our business from a hardware vendor to a strong player in information technology, information management and now the industrial print space. Our new headquarters will be tightly aligned with the needs of key stakeholders and showcase our strategic growth initiatives.”
Rochester Institute of Technology has received a $500,000 grant from New York State’s Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program that will be used to support the university’s AMPrint Center for Advanced Technology.The grant was among 29 grants totaling $35.3 million statewide announced in early February by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The program, administered by the Dormitory Authority, funds renovation or construction of critical academic facilities and high-tech projects at universities across New York State.RIT will use the grant for construction inside the fourth floor of Institute Hall, which will be home for the new centre, a research facility developing next-generation 3D print materials and applications. Several leaders within the Canadian printing industry have studied at RIT’s well-known printing-research facilities.“Our new AMPrint center will help RIT serve as a focal point for applied teaching, research and development in additive manufacturing applications by bringing together expertise from a regional ‘eco-system’ of organizations from academia, government and corporations,” said RIT President Bill Destler.Denis Cormier, an expert in 3D print technologies, is Director of RIT’s AMPrint Center and the Earl W. Brinkman Professor in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. A professor of industrial engineering, Cormier’s research focus is in printed electronics, specifically the synthesis of printable nano-inks, the development or enhancement of printing processes, and the design of novel printed electronic devices.Cormier was the original principal investigator for the Center and brought together university partners from Clarkson University and SUNY New Paltz with corporate partners that include Xerox, GE Research, Corning, Kodak and MakerBot, to design novel devices and develop next generation polymer, metal and composite technologies.The centre will serve as both a research and teaching facility for the university’s students as well as its corporate partners, and housed in a 3,200-square-foot space in RIT’s Institute Hall. Researchers will have access to functional 3D printing and fusing equipment, direct-write printing equipment, analogue printing and surface metrology technologies. Also included will be wet-chemistry infrastructure necessary to synthesize printable nano-materials.
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.

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