Industry News

John Robinson, former owner of Artcraft Label Inc., on October 23 passed away suddenly at the Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ontario, at the age of 83.Robinson and his wife, Edna, purchased Artcraft Label Inc. of Burlington in 1986 and together developed the comapny into an award-winning prime-label producer.Artcraft was founded in 1977 by Bill Hillis of the Neeco Label company. The Robinsons developed Artcraft to become an ISO 9001 certified operation by 2004 and in 2008 the company moved to “water wash plate making,” effectively eliminating solvents from the operation. Artcraft was the first and only company at the time to have this technology.In 2010, Artcraft acquired its first digital printing technology and continue to shift the company from its early sticker roots with an experienced team producing high-quality pressure-sensitive labels. In 2012, John and Edna Robinson retired as Alain Paquette, together with a silent partner, purchased Artcraft Label and again began to move the company into higher standing within the market.Robinson’s funeral service will be held at Burlington’s Shoreacres Bible Chapel, where he and Edna were long-time members, on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 10:30 am. Two visitations will take place at Smith's Funeral Home on Thursday, October 27, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
More than 200 industry leaders are expected gather at the Palais Royale in Toronto on November 10 to celebrate some of the world’s best printing produced in 2016. The 11th annual Canadian Printing Awards Gala, hosted by PrintAction, will also recognize four industry leaders as part of the magazine’s Industry Achievement Awards categories.The 11-member judging panel used a blind scoring system, based out of 35 points across criteria like overall effectiveness, production challenge and printing defects, to determine the Top 3 entries across more than 25 categories. In addition to these printing categories, the gala will also recognize winning entries in Technology and Environmental Categories.For more information about the 2016 awards gala and for tickets visit Canadian Printing Award FinalistsArtcraft LabelASL Print FXC.J. GraphicsCanonColour InnovationsColorXTCEllis PackagingFarnell PackagingFriesensGlenmore Custom Print + PackagingHemlock PrintersHPJones PackagingMcAra UnicomMET Fine PrinterPacific Bindery ServicesPDI GroupPriority PrintingSt. Joseph CommunicationsSymcor ISSThe Lowe-Martin Group2016 Industry Achievement WinnersPrinting Leader of the YearJamie BarbieriPresident, PDI Group Inc., Montreal, QCDirector, Quebec Graphic Arts AssociationSecretary-Treasurer, Canadian Printing Industries AssociationEmerging Leader of the YearTodd CoberVice President, Cober, Kitchener, ONJohn A. Young Lifetime Achievement AwardHadi MahabadiFounder, CanWin Consulting Inc.Former Director, Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Mississauga, ONCommunity Leader of the YearJeff Ekstein, President, Willow Printing Group Ltd., Concord, ON
Eleven industry leaders have gathered today at the Toronto Botanical Gardens to pour over more than 200 entries submitted into the 2016 Canadian Printing Awards program. Some of the world’s best printing will then be celebrated at the 11th annual gala taking place on November 10, 2016, at the Palais Royale in Toronto. The gala is expected to attract more than 200 industry leaders from across Canada, as well as attendees from the United States and Europe.   View the embedded image gallery online at: The 2016 Canadian Printing Awards judging panel will spend a full day analyzing and evaluating entries through a blind scoring system. Judges are tasked with considering issues like printing process, run length and repeatability across submitted samples. The judges will determine the top projects across more than 20 categories. The day will conclude with a half-hour discussion and multiple rounds of voting to determine the 2016 Best of Show project.2016 Canadian Printing Awards Judging PanelRay Fagan, Heidelberg CanadaMartin Habekost, Ryerson UniversityEmily Wong, Penguin Random HouseNick Howard, Howard Graphic EquipmentTony Karg, Ricoh CanadaAl Kershaw, The Print Wizard Mark Norlock, KBA CanadaSean Springett, Manroland Sheetfed North AmericaMarc Raad, EskoAbhay Sharma, Ryerson UniversityMark Thomas, Unigraph International
Agfa Graphics has won three Product of the Year awards at SGIA Expo for the second year straight, including two systems built in the companies Canadian manufacturing facility based in Mississauga, Ontario.The brand new Anapurna H3200i won in the UV Hybrid category ($100-500k), the Jeti Mira won in the UV Flatbed ($200-500k) category and the Jeti Tauro won top honors in the UV Hybrid High Volume Production Class category.The competition recognized the latest equipment and supplies currently on the market that are advancing the specialty imaging industry. “These awards confirm the dedication of the worldwide Agfa Graphics team and their dedication to bringing high quality, high productivity and innovative technology to market,” said Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics, North America. “We design our products with the customer needs in mind. The Product of the Year awards validate our efforts to deliver sophisticated products that provide increased efficiency and profitability to our customers.”The Anapurna H3200i LED 3.2m hybrid offers air-cooled LED UV curing and enables printing on a broader range of media. The system features a solid frame construction, user-friendly RTR media loading as well as quick system up-time, energy savings and overall reduced operational expenses.Built in Mississauga, the Jeti Tauro with ¾ automation is a high-end, six colour + white 2,5-m wide, UV hybrid system positioned for the higher end of the sign and display market with print speeds up to 275 m²/hour. The Jeti Tauro’s scissor-stacker off loading system provides continuous feeding of rigid media. The system prints up to 2.5 meter-wide on rigid or roll media.Built in Mississauga, the Jeti Mira is designed for heavy industrial workloads. It features optional varnish and unique 3D Lens Technology which produces a three dimensional varnish effect without the need for lenticular substrates. The systems “print and prepare” technology allows quick media loading while the printer is in operation. The Jeti Mira has six colour plus white with optional primer or varnish. A total of 170 entries in 49 product categories were submitted for this SGIA competition. Prints were judged on overall colour appeal, tonality, image detail, objective colour matching and greyscale colour cast. Graphics has won a total of seven Product of the Year awards since its first submission in 2014.
Jeff Ekstein, President and CEO of 63-year-old Willow Printing Group in Concord, Ontario, has been named PrintAction’s 2016 Community Leader of the Year, as part of the 11th annual Canadian Printing Awards program.Ekstein joins three other Canadian printing industry leaders who last week were named as PrintAction’s 2016 Industry Achievement winners, including: Printing Leader of the YearJamie BarbieriPresident, PDI Group Inc., Montreal, QCDirector, Quebec Graphic Arts AssociationSecretary-Treasurer, Canadian Printing Industries AssociationEmerging Leader of the YearTodd CoberVice President, Cober, Kitchener, ONJohn A. Young Lifetime Achievement AwardHadi MahabadiFounder, CanWin Consulting Inc.Former Director, Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Mississauga, ONEkstein’s Community InvolvementAs one of the most recognizable faces of Canada’s printing industry, Ekstein for more than two decades has volunteered his own time to help promote and grow printing across North America.In addition to serving as the leader and third-generation owner of Willow Printing, Ekstein is the current Chair of the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF). He was elected to this critical position in June 2016 following the retirement of CPISTF Chair Don Gain, who served in the position for 11 years.Established in 1971, CPISTF provided $56,000 in scholarships to 35 students in 2015. A total of $38,000 was provided to 23 new students enrolled in the first year of an approved course of study and $18,000 in scholarships was given to 12 students continuing in a program.Ekstein was an Officer on the Printing Industries of America’s (PIA) Board from 2007 to 2015 and a member of its Executive Committee from 2011 to 2015. He served as Chairman from 2013 to 2014 and was only the fourth Canadian to hold this office in the 130-year history of the organization. He has also been a Premier Print Awards judge (aka The Benny Awards) since 2006. He served as the Education Committee Chairman 2009 to 2011 and currently sits on the following PIA Committees: Finance, Education, Nomination, Trade Show & President’s Conference. In addition to his involvement with the CPISTF and Printing Industries of America, Ekstein has served as Co-Chair of CPISC (Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council) as well as Past Chair, Government Affairs Committee Chair and long-time Director of CPIA (Canadian Printing Industries Association) and also served as a Director with the OPIA (Ontario Printing & Imaging Association) from 1998 to 2003 to highlight a few of his volunteer activities. In 2007, he was awarded the CPIA Distinguished Service Award for excellence, achievement and dedication to the printing industry, and was named as one of the Top 20 Most Influential Printers in 2010 (as voted in PrintAction magazine).Ekstein carries his volunteerism into fundraising for various charities and was included in the top fundraising category in the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s “Ride for Heart” and CCC’s (Crohn’s and Colitis Canada) “Gutsy Walk”. Willow Printing has also been recognized for it longtime contribution and support to the Dr. Jay Children’s Grief Centre and Tourette Canada. Ekstein was inducted into the Ben Franklin Honor Society in 2015 for his many industry contributions.
At the upcoming Canadian Printing Awards gala, taking place on November 10, 2016, at the Palais Royale in Toronto, PrintAction magazine will honour four individuals who have had a significant impact on the Canadian printing industry. The gala is expected to attract more than 200 industry leaders from across Canada, as well as attendees from the United States and Europe.   View the embedded image gallery online at: Now entering its 11th year in 2016, the Canadian Printing Awards program is designed to recognize printing innovation in the country through three distinct awards sections, grouped in Printing, Environmental and Technology categories, which are determined by an independent panel of judges.In 2008, PrintAction introduced the Industry Achievement Awards to the program to honour outstanding leadership as demonstrated by members of the Canadian printing community. Three of the four 2016 Industry Achievement Award recipients, determined by PrintAction magazine, include: Printing Leader of the YearJamie BarbieriPresident, PDI Group Inc., Montreal, QCDirector, Quebec Graphic Arts Association Secretary-Treasurer, Canadian Printing Industries AssociationEmerging Leader of the YearTodd CoberVice President, Cober, Kitchener, ONJohn A. Young Lifetime Achievement AwardHadi MahabadiFounder, CanWin Consulting Inc.Former Director, Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Mississauga, ONCommunity Leader of the YearJeff Ekstein, President, Willow Printing Group Ltd., Concord, ONFor more information about the 2016 program and gala, please visist
Maranda Digital of Vancouver, British Columbia, recently added three Ricoh presses to its production floor, including a Pro C9100, Pro C7100X and Pro 8120SE. The company also integrated new Ricoh Total Flow software.Maranda Digital explains the installation of the Ricoh Pro C7100X, with its ability to print with clear and white toner, provides a broader range of applications and product offerings for their clients. The company is also leveraging advances in vacuum-fed and air-assisted feeding, as well as the straight paper path belt cooling technology, featured on the new Ricoh presses.Maranda Digital Print is the brainchild of Maria and Kieran Austin, two people with a combined experience of 50 years in the printing industry. Before Maranda Digital Print, Maria was the co-owner and operator of Maranda Repro in Calgary, which opened its doors in 1988. In 2004, Maria and Kieran Austin opened Maranda Digital in Vancouver to focus solely on the production of toner-base print. Before Maranda Digital Print, Maria Austin was the co-owner and operator of Maranda Repro in Calgary, which opened its doors in 1988. In 2016, Maranda Digital launched its new online e-commerce Website and began to build its strong relationship with Ricoh.
Core-Mark International Inc.’s Calgary location added a new Bizhub Pro C1060L press in September to produce marketing materials, booklets and in-house marketing. The facility also runs a Bizhub C258.Core-Mark describes itself as one of the largest marketers of fresh and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry in North America. Founded in 1888, Core-Mark offers a full range of products, marketing programs and technology solutions to approximately 44,000 customer locations in the U.S. and Canada through 30 distribution centres.The Bizhub Pro C1060L produces up to 60 pages per minute in both colour and monochrome at up to 1,200 x 1,200-dpi resolution – with 8-bit processing. Running Konica Minolta’s Simitri HD toner, the press accepts paper sizes up to 13 x 19.2 inches wide and weights up to 300 gsm.
Multitech Graphics of Whitby, Ontario, has installed a new Canon imagePRESS C8000VP. The four-colour toner-based press reaches speeds of up to 80 pages per minute on all media weights up to 350 gsm.The Canon imagePRESS C8000VP also features gloss optimization tools to match the gloss of the paper and leverages the company’s Consistently Vivid (CV) toner technology. Canon explains the press’ Dual Fixing unit with enhanced cooling capability delivers better mixed media handling, while an external heat belt provides stable fixing performance at high speed. An air compressor featuring a separation function prevents multi-paper feeds making it possible to print onto thin, coated media as light as 70 gsm.Multitech Graphics, which produces a range of commercial print work like marketing brochures, post cards, flyers, booklets and business cards, installed the new Canon press back in June 2016.
Jet Label & Packaging Ltd., described as Western Canada’s largest label manufacturer is installing two systems from print inspection manufacturer AVT at its manufacturing facility in Edmonton, Alberta.  Scheduled for deployment this fall, both systems are from AVT’s Helios set of solutions.  Jet Label, with additional locations in Calgary, Vancouver, Prince George, Kelowna, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, focuses on industries like food & beverage, agriculture and pharmaceuticals. The label manufacturer plans to expand its AVT inspection to six lines by early 2017. “Jet Label’s commitment to this leading-edge technology will have huge benefits realized by our staff, suppliers and most of all our loyal customers,” said Darrell Friesen, President & CEO of Jet Label.AVT’s Helios technology can be integrated into any rewinder/finishing equipment to create a designated automatic inspection station for post-print processes. The system uses dedicated algorithms designed to detect any type of defect based on substrate and application. Helios also features built-in archiving and reporting, including its PrintFlow module, as well as an inline monitoring tool that reports on total good material printed. Jet Label will adjoin one Helios inspection system at the finishing station of a digital printing line, and another to a conventional flexo printing operation. Both Helios inspection systems will be linked to AVT’s PrintFlow Manager and PrintFlow Central quality and process control systems. More specifically, PrintFlow Manager ensures that data collected from all platforms is presented directly to the PCs of print house managers and key personnel. PrintFlow Central enables automatic storage of inspection and job setup data from AVT inspection systems into a single server.Founded in 1998, Jet Label manufactures labels and printed tape from its 24/7, 55,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Edmonton. It produces a range of durable, reliably water- and weatherproof labels that stand up to the types of harsh conditions in which many of its customers operate.  Jet Label also produces a variety of address labels, and supplies parking and boarding passes and baggage tags to Edmonton International Airport.
Mr. Printer of Toronto has installed a Duplo 616 Pro system purchased from PDS. The Duplo DC-616 PRO Slitter/Cutter/Creaser is aimed at short-run, on demand digital printing work. Designed to remove white borders and prevent toner cracking on toner documents, the all-in-one finisher can process up to six slits, 25 cuts, and 20 creases in a single pass.Mr. Printer was founded in 1978 and continues as a family owned and operated company. Today, the company produces general printing and signage work with a focus on short-run print projects. Mr. Printer has a strong online presence and is based in a 10,000-square-foot facility.
Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management has installed a new donated Esko CDI Spark 2530 flexo plate imager, which replaces the one they have been running for a few years. The new system will to allow Ryerson students continue to learn and practice flexographic platemaking processes. It will be used in conjunction with a complete Esko packaging workflow that is also in place at the university.The Ryerson School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) offers Canada’s only degree-granting program for the printing industries. The school’s four-year degree offers opportunities in all areas of digital imaging and print production leading to a management career in this rapidly growing field. In recent years, Esko explains the number of students at GCM going to packaging companies has increased rapidly. Throughout the program, students network with potential employers and gain practical experience in the industry through formal internships or part-time work. “Esko always tries to offer solutions to top tier graphic, design and packaging schools so that their students are working with the latest technology and ready resources for the industries we serve,” said Larry Moore, Esko Vice President, North American Partner Programs. “Ryerson, in my opinion, is an extremely important and valuable resource for packaging companies across Canada. I have met many Ryerson graduates and they have always been key players.”The CDI Spark 2530 flexo plate imager, explains Esko, is used by companies that particularly produce tags and labels and folding cartons. It images digital flexo plates up to 25 x 30 inches (635 x 762 mm) and comes with an incorporated plate loading table and an EasyClamp II drum for easier and faster plate loading. “This major donation will allow our 600+ GCM students to learn platemaking on the most up-to-date equipment. The process creating packaging requires challenging, evolving technology and the tools our students use are on the cutting edge,” said Natalia Lumby, Associate Professor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University. “Students are introduced to platemaking in their first year. By the third year, they produce flexo plates on the CDI on their own.”The Esko CDI also allows Ryerson to participate in competitions, including the Phoenix Challenge, where Ryerson has received awards both in 2013 and 2015. “It's an opportunity for our students to challenge themselves, and to see what it is like to design and create packaging for a real company,” said Lumby. GCM this past year introduced a brand new curriculum with a packaging concentration and will be launching consumer packaging courses, including workflow this academic year. The curriculum encompasses the theory of design and production.
Craig Hath has been appointed to the newly created position of Dscoop Global Director, Partner Programs. Founded in 2005, Dscoop is an independent community of HP graphic arts business owners and technical professionals who use HP Indigo, Scitex, Latex and PWP equipment. The organization currently has more than 8,000 members worldwide.“Craig joins the organization with a wealth of business and industry knowledge and experience and is someone that can build relationships, as he has done throughout his career,” said John Rogers, cofounder of Canada’s Dots & Pixel’s and current  Global Executive Director of Dscoop.The appointment comes with the introduction of Dscoop’s Global Partner Program, which is described as a year-round initiative offering annual benefits to engage the global community, facilitating relationships between partners and Dscoop members in a variety of face-to-face, print and online forums. The next Dscoop event is scheduled to take place March 1 to 4, 2017, in Phoenix, AZ. "This is a very unique opportunity that I'm delighted to have been chosen for. I've been able to see firsthand the powerful impact of Dscoop on both the business of our member companies and our partners," said Hath.
manroland Sheetfed U.S. & Canada has appointed Douglas Bradley as Vice President of Service. With more than 25 years of experience working for capital equipment companies in a professional services capacity, Bradley will be responsible for the company’s North American Service and Parts departments including customer service, technical and business support, logistics, project management, and business development for the company’s PrintServices division.Bradley is familiar with manroland Sheetfed having served as Vice-President of Service with the Web Division for over nine years. There, he worked directly with the current management and personnel of manroland Sheetfed at all levels in the organization. “Douglas’ experience in overseeing service organizations in providing wide business solutions that drive process efficiency, improved revenue performance and cost savings is of significant value to manroland Sheetfed and the right fit for our organization,” said Michael Mugavero, CEO & Managing Director of manroland Sheetfed, U.S. & Canada. “He will help enable steady growth and continue with our long-standing history of professional service excellence.”
Jean-Francois Labonté has been appointed as Territory Sales Manager, Eastern Canada, Channel & Custom Sales, for Drytac Canada, a manufacturer of adhesive-coated products. He holds a degree in administration from Cégep Beauce-Appalaches and has more than 10 years of experience in business development.In his new role, Labonté will be responsible for driving sales through multiple market channels via established and newly developed partnerships. His primary focus will be expanding Drytac’s wide-format graphics and custom coating business across New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.“Jean-Francois will be a tremendous asset to Drytac Canada,” said Darren Speizer, Drytac Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “He brings considerable knowledge and technical expertise related to digital large format implementation.”Prior to joining Drytac, Labonté served as business development director with LVP, a large format print provider serving the graphic communications market. While there, he developed client portfolios and strategic sales and marketing plans to advance business initiatives.
Filip Weymans has been named Vice President of Marketing for Xeikon, a division of Flint Group, primarily focused on developing web-fed toner presses that use LED-array-based electrophotography. Having been with Xeikon for 18 years, Weymans previously served as the company’s Director Segment Marketing Labels & Packaging.“Xeikon was the first digital press manufacturer to bring full colour digital print to the market in the early 90s and Filip joined shortly after,” said Xeikon CEO Wim Maes. “He has watched and played an instrumental role in the phenomenal growth of the digital print market. It has now reached mainstream status due to the migration of many applications from conventional technologies to digital, as well as the broad array of new applications it has enabled.”Xeikon states Weymans, while working in the labels and packaging market, played a major role in establishing Xeikon as the “undisputed number two in the industry for digital solutions in this space.” “Now that we are part of the Flint Group, we will be able to even further develop the marketing department with a strong focus on our positioning and roadmap for the future,” said Weymans. Xeikon also manufactures basysPrint computer-to-conventional plate (CtCP) systems for the commercial offset printing market. For the flexographic market, Xeikon provides digital platemaking systems under the ThermoFlexX brand name.
Mohawk, North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes and specialty substrates for commercial printing, has made a range of organizational changes and promotions.Ted O’Connor has been named senior VP and GM, Mohawk Envelope and Converting. He previously served as Senior VP, Sales, responsible for the sales of fine paper across North America.Melissa Stevens has been promoted to Senior VP, Sales, for premium paper across North America. She previously served as VP, Sales.Beth Reardon has been promoted to Sales Director, East, overseeing business development efforts and field sales activities in the Midwest, Mid Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States.Nancy Dutch has been promoted to Sales Director, West, overseeing business development efforts and field sales activities in the West and South Central regions of the United States.Becky Thomas has been promoted to national accounts manager, New England, overseeing business development efforts for Mohawk’s core paper, social stationery and packaging businesses.Mohawk is a fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business based in Cohoes, New York, with global sales and operations located throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
Joe Varone and Paulo Monteiro have been promoted to serve as President and Vice President of Sales, respectively, at GMG Americas, subsidiary of Germany-based colour-management-systems developer GMG.Varone had been leading the sales organization of GMG Americas in addition to undertaking general management responsibilities. With his new position, Varone will yield his day-to-day sales activities to Monteiro and concentrate solely on general management and strategic initiatives, overseeing all corporate departments.“GMG Americas has seen growth not only in revenues, but also in the product portfolio we all manage at GMG that is targeted to a wider swath of graphics, printing and packaging companies,” said Ian Scott, Managing Director, GmbH & Co. KG. "This presents exceptional opportunity for us, but also requires more, directed attention towards strategic planning.”Monteiro previously served as Business Director, Latin America, GMG Americas, and has been an executive with the company for nearly 10 years. He has been responsible for building and managing distribution channels for GMG colour management software throughout Central and South America. Monteiro is now responsible for increasing GMG's coverage not only in Latin America, but in the rest of North America, including all regions of Canada.
Sun Chemical and its parent company, DIC Corporation, have acquired Gwent Electronic Materials Ltd., a manufacturer of conductive inks, pastes and powders for the printed electronic market. With the acquisition of the United Kingdom-based company, Sun Chemical states Gwent’s European-based production sites will enhance Sun Chemical’s global conductive ink, paste and powder manufacturing capabilities while allowing further penetration into developing markets.Gwent Electronic Materials was founded in 1988. Its products are manufactured directly for individual customers and are tailored to suit specific processes of manufacturing plants. Sun Chemical explains Gwent Electronic Materials’ strengths include being a major world supplier of pastes and other ancillary materials for the bio-sensor and biotechnology markets. Additionally, other major targets are automotive and display products. “The addition of Gwent’s diverse advanced electronic materials and tailor-made technologies will further expand Sun Chemical and DIC’s solutions portfolio for printed electronics globally,” said Mehran Yazdani, President of Sun Chemical Advanced Materials. “Sun Chemical has experienced tremendous growth in the global printed electronics market and this acquisition will help us expand into this strategic market and enable us to better serve our customers.” Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Sun Chemical is a producer of printing inks, coatings and supplies, pigments, polymers, liquid compounds, solid compounds, and application materials. Together with DIC, Sun Chemical has annual sales of more than US$7.5 billion and over 20,000 employees around the world.
St. Joseph Communications has finalized an agreement to acquire Bassett Direct, which has long served as of Canada’s most advanced providers of direct marketing services and variable printing programs. “We are thrilled to welcome Bassett Direct’s strong industry reputation, talent, knowledge and 22 years of experience to the St. Joseph organization,” said John Gagliano, President of St. Joseph’s Print Group. “Targeted, personalized direct marketing stands out as a powerful component in today’s marketing mix for brands to leave lasting, tactile reminders with their customers. We look forward to deepening our direct mail offerings with our customers and likewise, are excited to help Bassett Direct’s customers tap into St. Joseph’s interconnected solutions across all mediums.” Rich Bassett founded Bassett Direct in 1994 and became one of North America’s leading figures in personalized printing and direct marketing programs. He is a recipient of the Canadian Marketing Association’s (CMA) Lifetime Achievement Award. With a focus on high-impact and personalized direct marketing campaigns, Bassett Direct produces oversized and multi-panel largest, self-mailers, pop-ups and custom formats. Clients include many of Canada’s leading financial institutions, advertising agencies, not-for-profit organizations and loyalty companies. “We are extremely excited about joining the St. Joseph Communications family,” said Rich Bassett, President of Bassett Direct. “There is a strong fit between the two organizations and I am confident that our customers and employees will benefit greatly from an innovative printer that is also part of an integrated communications company.” Driven from its Toronto Print Campus – the largest of its kind in Canada – and a network of cross-country print centres, St. Joseph’s annual output includes more than 200 million catalogues and magazines, and one billion flyers.
Cansel in late-September acquired the engineering bond paper converting operations and business in Eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador & Nunavut) of Unisource Canada, Inc., a Veritiv company.  “This acquisition is a significant one for Cansel that further enhances our already comprehensive portfolio,” said Stephen Fletcher, Vice President, Cansel.  “It aligns with our strategy to position Cansel as a market leader in eastern Canada by expanding our converting business in the region.”Veritiv stated the sale of its engineering bond paper converting operations is inline with the company’s direction to focus on core commercial and wide-format printing sectors in Canada.
Access Labels of Amherst, Nova Scotia, has acquired the pressure-sensitive label manufacturing division of Farnell Packaging of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Access Labels explains the acquisition, which has been in the works for six months, will allow both companies to continue to grow and focus on their core business.“We thank Farnell for choosing to partner with us and wish them luck as they move forward to concentrate on their Polyethylene business,” said Robert Sams, General Sales Manager of Access Labels. “We will be working closely with them during this transition, as well as moving forward. Farnell has a long-standing tradition of providing a high level of quality service, and we welcome their customers to our family.”The purchase will increase the capacity at the Access Labels facility by between 20 to 30 percent. This also means the addition of several new full-time jobs in Amherst.“In choosing to partner with Access Labels for this transition, we believe that we are consolidating our label business with the most reputable and responsive competitor in the region,” said Bill Morash, CFO of Farnell Packaging Ltd.  “We have every confidence that Access Labels will do their very best to professionally service and supply all pressure-sensitive label needs in the months and years ahead.”This transition will be completed by the end of October. There will be no job losses at Farnell, according to the companies, as the workers who were employed in the sold division will move into other divisions of the company.“We do not expect any interruption in service for any customers as we increase the capacity at our Amherst facility in order to provide all customers with the excellent service that they have come to know and look forward to,” said Sams. “We are excited to move forward with delivering top quality service and products to even more great clients.”Founded by Paul Carr in 1993, Access Labels specializes in printing labels, as well as selling and servicing equipment including label dispensers, applicators, and thermal printers.
HP Inc. reached a definitive agreement to acquire Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s printer business in a deal valued at US$1.05 billion. HP states the acquisition positions it to disrupt and reinvent the US$55 billion copier industry. This is the largest print acquisition in HP’s history.The company explains copiers are outdated, complicated machines with dozens of replaceable parts requiring inefficient service and maintenance agreements. Samsung, according to HP, has built a formidable portfolio of A3 MFPs and some with as few as seven replaceable parts. HP plans to integrate Samsung’s printer business’ products, it their mobile-first and cloud-first user experience, with its own next-generation PageWide technologies.“When we became a separate company just 10 months ago, it enabled us to become nimble and focus on accelerating growth and reinventing industries,” said Dion Weisler, President and CEO of HP. “We are doing this with 3D printing and the disruption of the US$12 trillion traditional manufacturing industry, and now we are going after the US$55 billion copier space. The acquisition of Samsung’s printer business allows us to deliver print innovation and create entirely new business opportunities with far better efficiency, security, and economics for customers.” Samsung’s printer business also brings an intellectual property portfolio of more than 6,500 printing patents and a workforce that includes nearly 1,300 researchers and engineers with advanced expertise in laser printer technology, imaging electronics, and printer supplies and accessories to support continued innovation in print market solutions.“HP Inc. has been a valued partner and customer of Samsung,” said Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon, vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. “We can now leverage our combined capacity for innovation to further enhance the value of our relationship."The acquisition is expected to be accretive in the first full year following closing, with cost synergies and a strong financial model. The transaction is expected to close within 12 months pending regulatory review and other customary closing conditions. After closing, Samsung has agreed to make a US$100 million to US$300 million equity investment in HP through open market purchases.
Supremex Inc., headquartered in LaSalle, Quebec, expands its presence in the United States with the purchase of assets of Bowers Envelope Company Inc. Supremex is a North American manufacturer of stock and custom envelopes, in addition to providing packaging and specialty products, with facilities across seven Canadian provinces and three facilities in the United States – employing approximately 700 people.Bowers Envelope is a manufacturer and printer of envelopes based in Indianapolis, Indiana. "This acquisition, while relatively small, aligns with our strategy to extend our reach in key markets and to expand our value added offering in packaging and specialty products," said Stewart Emerson, President and CEO of Supremex. "Bowers Envelope is a well-known brand strategically located less than 300 kilometres from Chicago… in a robust envelope market and a major hub for e-commerce distribution.”Founded in 1928, Bowers Envelope Company Inc. employs approximately 50 people at its 75,000-square-foot Indiana facility. In 2015, Bowers generated approximately US$8.5 million in revenues from the sale of stock and custom envelopes. Mike Daniel, Bowers’ current General Manager, will continue to lead the local operation."We believe our cross-country Canadian operations, our Massachusetts, New York and now midwest facilities' capabilities and scale, allows us to be a bona fide regional player in the U.S. Market,” said Emerson. “With the addition of Bowers Envelope, Supremex is now well-positioned to serve approximately 60 percent of the U.S. envelope market.”
Two Canadian printing companies are among the worldwide winners of the 12th Annual Narrow Web Print Awards, organized by Flint Group, to recognize specialized applications like UV flexo, UV screen, UV LED, shrink sleeve, water-based flexo, specialty inks and coatings. Perflex Label of Toronto and Deco Labels & Flexible Packaging of Etobicoke, Ontario, were among nine winning companies from around the globe.Flint explains a common trend among this year’s print entires was UV LED technology and combination printing.  “Every year, the quality of entires continues to demonstrate that there are no limits when it comes to printing labels,” said Niklas Olsson, Flint Group Narrow Web Global Brand Manager. “As a supplier, we continue to expand the capabilities of our converter clients and push the boundaries of narrow web.”Each entry, explained Flint, was individually and carefully reviewed by industry experts. Criteria for judging follow the guidelines that are standards set by the industry associations FINAT and TLMI. These included: registration, smoothness of dot/vignette, overall print quality and degree of difficulty. 2016 Annual Narrow Web Print Awards WinnersPerflex Label – Canada Yerecic Label – USAUniprint Labels – South Africa Unique Photo Offset Services – IndiaDeco Labels & Flexible Packaging – CanadaConsolidated Label – USAModel Graphics – USAPemara – AustraliaAlaska Polygrafoformlenie – Russia 
Back in January 2016, Jones Packaging Inc., headquartered in London, Ont., as a global provider of packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, announced it was entering 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 planned to 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. The London packaging company has now successfully completed this integration to deploy OpenSense tags at its converting facility. The customized Jones production line can apply and read up to 15,000 tags per hour. Jones explains Thinfilm’s Tag Talks First protocol is a key feature of the OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions. This read-rate is well suited, Jones explains, for its high-speed, high-volume 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 is 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. The partners published a two-minute video that visually conveys the automated process – setup of the carton, application of the tag, reading of the NFC chip, recording of key information, and ejection of compromised packages.
Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging of Richmond, BC, has successfully completed its Eagle Cold Foil Certification Course (ECFC). The 8-hour program is not only geared toward improving production understanding and techniques of press operators, but, as Eagle Systems explains, the certification program incorporates the executive management level to focus on Return On Investment, as well as quality production. “We first installed our Eagle Cold Foil systems in June 2015 and it’s lived up to every promise made by Eagle President Mike King,” said Stefan Congram, Operations Manager, Glenmore. “We’ve learned to not only respect Mike but trust him. When he suggested the class for our operation we knew we’d reap significant benefits.” Eagle conducted the Eagle Cold Foil Certification Course (ECFC) at Glemore’s Richmond facility in mid-July, 2016, to address real-world production factors and influences. Eagle has designed a unique test form, designed for failure, to run off each applicant’s system. Eagle explains the press is then finite-tweaked to maximize performance out of each operation’s adhesives, foils and blankets. This in-house certification approach allows for the elimination of former process obstacles, such as pin-holing and mud cracking.“It’s an understatement to say it’s thorough, but more importantly it’s effective,” said Congram, a 15-year veteran of the commercial printing industry, who has spent his the last eight year with Glenmore. “The press staffers now have an in-depth working knowledge and understanding of the cold foil process. Not just the what’s, as in what to do, but the why’s and how’s. Our people are now as dialed in as our system is. We are reaping the rewards every single shift with faster make-readies and noticeable quality jumps.”Founded by Glenn Rowley in 1981, Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging has evolved from a one-person shop to a significant Canadian printing operation of more than 90 employees in just under 35 years. The company provides a range of services like conventional, UV, offset, digital and wide-format printing, as well as pre- and post-press capabilities. The family-owned and operated company has advanced into a second-generation phase under the managerial leadership of the founder’s son James Rowley.
High school students in a specialized communications program work with a local Ottawa company to learn about the printing trade.Young adults routinely participate in interactive online activities ranging from Facebook and Twitter to sophisticated multi-player games, chat rooms and blogs. It only makes sense, that for today’s students, an experiential approach to learning is a priority.Merivale High School’s FOCUS program offers students in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board a unique opportunity to complete a concentrated one semester Communication and Design program that will prepare them for post secondary diploma and degree programs in graphic design, animation, photography and interactive multi media.So although students will require a digital camera and some computer skills for their Graphic Design, Photography and Animation courses, they should also be prepared to arrive at visual solutions using a variety of pencils, ink pens and paint as well as with current vector drawing software. The program has a 25 seat Mac Lab and also boasts an intaglio press, which makes printmaking exercises possible, and a 10-station darkroom for developing and printing 35 mm film. Students primarily use Adobe software, but spend time with QuarkXPress and other applications they may encounter.The FOCUS also involves a thorough immersion in printing technologies, and for the program’s offset lithography unit, the school enlisted the services of senior account and customer experience manager Jonathan Stokes of TRICO Evolution in Ottawa.Poster objectiveTRICO serves clients across Canada and the northern United States from its offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston and Vancouver, accounting for 350,000 square feet. In September 2015, Delta Business Solutions and TRICO entered into an agreement to combine forces and operate as one company under the TRICO brand. With more than 240 employees, the company focuses on products and services across six lines of business: contract packaging, warehousing and logistics, display and signage, commercial printing, direct marketing, and marketing analytics and insight.The FOCUS students’ objective at TRICO was to have the entire class contribute artwork for a poster marking Star Trek’s 50th year on television. The first series, now referred to as The Original Series, debuted in 1966 and followed the galactic adventures of James T. Kirk and crew of the starship Enterprise, an exploration vessel of a 23rd-century United Federation of Planets.Students were given their choice of media, with the understanding that their final artwork would appear only in black and white. Some of the students chose to do artwork with traditional tools, others used Adobe Illustrator to make vector drawings. Because the sequels, movies, animated films and graphic novels are so easily accessible, and a much-hyped new series is in the works (planned for a January 2017 release), the students were all familiar with all the characters.After the initial artwork was completed, all images were scanned at the proper resolution and then imported into a QuarkXPress document where the appropriate typographic notes were added. The finished poster was exported to PDF and FTPed to Stokes at TRICO. When the class arrived at TRICO to see offset lithography in action, students were first shown how a printing job is scheduled and how files are processed when they come to the plant, reinforcing the time-sensitive nature of the business.Stokes brought the FOCUS program students to the plate-processing station and there a skilled technician burned an aluminum plate of the Star Trek poster job and gave it to us for display at our school art show. In the pressroomThe class next entered the printing area, where one of the TRICO pressmen had our poster printing plate mounted on the large litho press ready to go. The students were able to observe all the fine tuning done before a job enters production.The class, whose printing experiences for the most part only included photocopiers, laser and inkjet printers were surprised at the speed and fidelity of offset lithography. They were also impressed by how efficiently large amounts of paper could be cut and trimmed with such accuracy. Our day at TRICO evolution finished on a high note in the board room, with Stokes showing impressive samples of critically acclaimed work done for corporate clients. Each student left with a few copies of their Star Trek poster and a greater appreciation and respect for the printing trade.Author Irving Osterer is the Department Head Fine Arts and Technology Merivale High School in Ottawa, Ontario. For more information about Merivale’s Fine Arts and Focus Program go to
Pollard Banknote Limited of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been awarded a four-year contract to serve as the primary scratch game supplier to the Minnesota State Lottery. Under this agreement, Pollard Banknote will continue as the Lottery's primary scratch game vendor, but expects to increase ticket volumes supplied, with a guarantee in the new contract of at least 70 percent of all scratch games purchased for every year of the contract. The new contract runs until June 30, 2020 with the potential for two one-year contract extensions. The contract value is estimated to be approximately US$11.2 million over the four years.Pollard Banknote is currently a lottery partner to more than 60 lotteries worldwide.The company was first awarded a secondary scratch game contract for the Minnesota Lottery in 2007 and was elevated to primary supplier in 2010. By focusing on industry innovations and winning strategies, the scratch game category generated 69 percent of total Minnesota Lottery sales for FY2015.“Leveraging Pollard Banknote's experience working with a variety of lottery jurisdictions worldwide, our strategies incorporate the best of the best in utilizing innovations to maximize scratch ticket sales that raise money for good causes,” said Byron Peterson, Director, Sales & Marketing, Pollard Banknote. “The Minnesota State Lottery does a fantastic job of executing those strategies.”To date, the Minnesota Lottery has brought a range of Pollard Banknote's products and licensed brands to market, including the PlayBook, Scratch FX and Spectrum Scratch FX. It was also the first Lottery to launch Scratch FX at the $20 price point. Most recently, the Lottery's launch of a $5 Frogger game (a licensed brand offered exclusively by Pollard Banknote) had five-week average sales that were 82 percent higher than all other $5 games launched in Minnesota since 2013. It was the lottery's best-selling ticket at this price point."We are very excited to continue our strong partnership with Pollard Banknote," said Michael Vekich, Acting Director, Minnesota Lottery. "We rely heavily on our primary printing partner for design, marketing and strategy leadership – a partner proven to help the Lottery drive its scratch sales. Pollard Banknote offers everything we seek from a scratch game printer – guidance and expertise in research, marketing and product innovation.”
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
The foursome from Hanna Paper Fibres won the recent Toronto Craftsmen’s annual golf tournament at the Royal Woodbine Golf Club. The main objective of the golf tournament, along with other Toronto Craftsmen events, is to generate funds for the organization’s annual scholarship awards.In April of this year, a group of secondary and post-secondary students were honoured with scholarships for their achievements in industry-related programs and the annual Toronto Craftsmen Graphic Challenge Competition. Bill Kidd, President of the Toronto Craftsmen, explains 54 submissions from eight educational programs were entered into this year’s Graphic Challenge, which has grown since its inception six years ago when 15 students submitted work from four institutions. The Craftsmen scholarship program has been running for 41 years and is now called the Tai Chi Awards in honour of a promising student who passed away shortly after graduating from Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program.
From September 23 to 25, sign and printing industry professionals gathered at The International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, to attend the 2016 version of Sign Expo Canada. The annual trade show is produced by Sign Association of Canada and allows printing companies to see some of the newest large format technologies available in the market, along with a range of substrates and key trends like car wrapping. The trade show also provides a range of digital-only signage applications, along with workflow and a range of related trade services.   View the embedded image gallery online at:
The 10 top non-tech highlights of drupa 2016, which has always been much more than a product exhibitiondrupa, the world’s biggest and most important trade show for print and media, has operated in Düsseldorf , Germany, since 1951. Results from its latest installment, held over 10 days from 31 May to 10 June 2016, confirm the show’s continued commercial viability: Out of 260,000 visitors from 188 countries, 54 percent came with concrete plans to invest, 29 percent placed orders at the show, 30 percent plan to place orders afterwards, and fully 60 percent found new suppliers from among the show’s 1,837 exhibitors from 64 countries. Aside from the trade show’s commercial success, in its 65 years of existence, drupa has also evolved a distinctive culture and traditions which are highlighted in this article, along with some uncommon events at this year’s show.#1 Small d drupa’s predecessor, another German exhibition called BUGRA, was held in Leipzig from 1914 until 1949, when Germany was partitioned, Leipzig became part of East Germany, and Düsseldorf  was chosen to host a new show called Internationale Messe Druck und Papier. This title was shortened first to Druck und Papier, then to DRUPA. The show premiered in 1951, when letterpress still dominated the industry. Later, in 1997, the format of the name was changed to drupa in keeping with the contemporary trend of using lowercase letters for brand names. To this day drupa still begins with a small letter d.#2 drupacityBecause Düsseldorf is famous for its lively modern art and cultural scene, drupa organizers Messe Düsseldorf work in partnership with Destination Düsseldorf, the local tourist authority, to organize an array of drupa-themed educational, cultural, and recreational attractions in which not only international visitors but also Düsseldorf  residents can participate during drupa. This year’s offerings included:• Welcoming teams of “drupauls” and “drupaulas”, multilingual guides dressed all in red, stationed at strategic locations,• “Wolfgang”: a Berlin-style double-decker bus converted by the GoetheLab at the nearby Technical University of Aachen into a mobile, hands-on, 8-station 3D-printing laboratory,• 3D-printing demonstrations in shopping malls and department stores, plus a drawing contest in which winners receives the subject of their drawing as a 3D object,• Another contest to win one of 100 3D-printed portraits,• Mr. Lo’s Papershow, a revival of an old-time variety act involving paper tearing, • A fashion collection made entirely of paper by students of the Mediadesign Hochschule, and• Other printing-themed art and photography exhibitions and lectures #3 Safety firstThe international media gave drupa 2016 unexpected attention because of two potential security threats that were both efficiently averted by local authorities. The first occurred on June 2nd, when German police arrested three Syrian nationals suspected of planning a mass-casualty attack on a busy downtown area of Düsseldorf on behalf of the terrorist organization ISIS. The men had arrived in Germany with the largely unregulated flood of migrants who have entered the country over the past two years. The arrest was prompted by information obtained from a fourth Syrian man who was arrested in Paris after giving himself up to authorities in February and confessing to the plot. It took German investigators four more months to accumulate enough evidence against the other three men to arrest them.  No evidence suggests that the suspects had begun implementing their attack plans which allegedly involved aiming suicide bombings, guns, and explosives at crowds frequenting Heinrich-Heine-Allee, a main street with major public transport links and numerous bars and cafés that are popular with residents and partying tourists. A second potential security threat occurred shortly after noon on June 7th, when a large fire broke out on the grounds of Düsseldorf ’s Exhibition Centre in hall 18, a former exhibition space recently used to house migrants. While officially the building housed 160 people, fire crews reportedly evacuated more than 250, who were subsequently moved to other accommodations. It took more than 70 firefighters to control the blaze that completely destroyed hall 18 and alarmed many nearby drupa attendees with its kilometre-high cloud of black smoke. However, drupa was unharmed by the blaze. Local news outlets reported that two migrants were arrested and up to six questioned in connection with the fire.#4 Historical printingAmong drupa’s wonders of modern technology, the Leipzig Museum of the Printing Arts showcased some of its extensive collection of historical printing equipment and products. Its show exhibits included a letterpress machine by Koenig & Bauer (1984), a linotype machine (1965), and a toggle press (1872).Begun as a private collection, the museum now houses about 100 working machines representing the three most important historical printing techniques-letterpress, intaglio, and planographic printing – as well as a working type foundry, 4,000 different lead and wooden typefaces, a fully equipped handcrafted book bindery, a wood engraver’s workshop (ca. 1900), music printing techniques, and a reference library of 3,500 specialist books. #5 Celebrity legends and model pressesAnother way in which drupa culture exhibits a reverence for history is in recurring celebrations by and for people with a longstanding presence at the show. One case in point is Indigo and Landa Digital Printing founder Benny Landa, who celebrated his 70th birthday with a party for over 500 guests on the night of Day 3. For the occasion, Landa chartered two planes to fly in all his employees from Israel who were not already working at drupa. Celebration highlights included viewing a “this is your life” video by Landa’s staff, outlining his childhood in Canada and his achievements of launching Indigo, Landa, and the nanographic technology his company builds today. Among Landa’s family, Landa’s wife Patsy, and the senior industry executives who paid Landa tribute was his former colleague from Indigo, Alon Bar Shany, now the general manager of HP’s Indigo division. While presenting Landa with a working tabletop model of the original Indigo E-Print digital press, PrintWeek quotes Bar Shany as saying: “Without Benny there would be no digital printing industry and no drupa because it would have died a long time ago if it had just been about offset.”Another drupa party celebrated the 90th birthday of Russian print engineer and media designer Vladimir Alexandrovitch Tiefenbach, hailed by drupa as a living legend for having visited every single one of the 16 drupas held since 1951. The birthday cake drupa presented to him was topped with a model antique press.A third example of a drupa industry legend is Rochester Institute of Technology professor emeritus and printing industry expert Frank Romano who described his own status:  “I am now a veteran journalist. There are five of us, from US, UK, India, Italy, Germany, who have covered nine drupas or more. Number 1 had 14 drupas, I had 11, and the others had 9.”#6 Social media smartsIn recognition of the growing prominence of social media as communication tools, drupa erected a social media booth at the north entrance of the fairgrounds, with seating and screens showing updated Twitter feeds and live video of interviews and demonstrations. Also at the booth, in exchange for a tweet including the hashtag #drupa2016, visitors and exhibitors were awarded an apple decorated with an edible impression of the same hashtag. Additionally, during the show drupa posted news updates to its own blog, as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Xing accounts. #7 KlausIn an e-mail James Matthews-Paul of Output Magazine (U.K.) describes another of drupa 2016’s initiatives to encourage mentions on social media: “Each day, the @drupa social media and PR team determined the ‘best contributor’ on Twitter via some combination of volume, relevance, and effort and awarded them a trophy. The first winner was [American] Deborah Corn of Print Media Centr, who collaborated with HP on #PWPPartners for PageWide. As the inaugural recipient (and mad as a box of frogs), she anthropomorphised the trophy by giving it the name Klaus.“Klaus was awarded at 4.30 pm every day. Companies then enjoyed the pleasure of ‘his’ company during the next day. I won on Day 7 and carried Klaus for |day 8. I took him on a trip to every one of drupa’s 19 gigantic halls! (It was generally agreed that nobody would be able to top that.)”Corn comments by e-mail: “#Klaus became a celebrity at drupa and had many adventures with everyone who won him. The @drupa social media and PR team were instrumental in helping create and generate #Klaus buzz. By the end of drupa, #Klaus was the third most used hashtag included with #drupa2016 (according to stats from” Corn says until the next drupa Klaus will reside in the office of Sabine Geldermann, director of drupa, who took time out of her day to come to the #Klaus winners gathering and farewell to #Klaus on June 9th. Corn writes: “This all may seem a bit silly, but ultimately #Klaus brought together all the exhibitors in a way I have never seem before at any other event. #Klaus was the catalyst for common ground and common experience and fun because it wasn’t linked to any products and services. He really helped us to form a global social community around #drupa2016 whether people were present physically or not.”#8 drupa theme songSince 1986, each drupa has had its own theme song, which is played throughout the exhibition halls every morning at opening time. Historically, the songs have varied in styles ranging from country to power ballad to techno dance. The latest 2016 version, called “drupa is in town again”, is composed and played by Düsseldorf  songwriter/pianist/music professor Dieter Falk and performed by South African soul singer Bonita Niessen. At least the last two drupa songs are available for playback on drupa’s Website. Fujifilm’s Mark Stephenson has also created a Facebook page, The Cult of drupa Songs ( in recognition of the show’s musical tradition.#9 drupa food Besides the #drupa2016 apples mentioned above and the fine cuisine of Düsseldorf  and Germany in general, drupa offered attendees a selection of special show-themed foods.  This year’s delicacies included druPRINTen, cookies modeled on the traditional imprinted spice biscuits called printen which originated in Aachen. The updated version of this gingerbread-like sweet, created for drupa by the local baker’s guild, featured place logos for decoration and was handed out gratis at a venues including the airport, hotels, and 100 bakeries. Other gastronomic attractions included “drupabases” serving daily tastings, welcome cocktails, or such free snacks as Altbier ice cream, made from Düsseldorf ’s own unique variety of beer, as well as restaurant vouchers and discounts for drupa attendees.#10 Four-year cycleIn February 2015, drupa announced its organizing committee’s decision to hold the trade show every three years after 2016 (instead of every four years) in order to update visitors on new technology more frequently. Visitors said they preferred the shorter cycle. The change also offered the extra advantage of reducing stress on drupa’s exhibitors who specialize in package printing, since it meant that drupa would not run in 2020, the year scheduled for the leading packaging and process-industry trade show interpack.  Historically, in 2012 the committee vetoed a similar proposal to change drupa to a three-year cycle after receiving significant objections from drupa’s major exhibitors. And as it turned out this year, once again, in response to the demands of exhibitors at drupa 2016, the committee opted to stick with its four-year cycle in the interest of drupa’s customers and international markets. The next drupa has been scheduled from June 23 to July 3, 2020.
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: 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:
In its goal to become a $1 billion company by the end of the current fiscal year, Electronics For Imaging Inc. of Freemont, California, continues to report record quarterly revenue results. For it third quarter of 2016, ended September 30, 2016, with revenues reaching US$245.6 million, an increase of seven percent compared to third quarter 2015 revenue of US$228.7 million. "Our balanced business model was again the story in the third quarter,” said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI.  “We are delighted with the strong organic growth in our Industrial Inkjet and Productivity Software segments, coupled with a rebound in cash from operations. We are entering the home stretch of 2016 with a robust pipeline of opportunities to partner with customers around the world in transforming and growing their businesses."GAAP net income was US$17.7 million for the company’s current third quarter, up 76 percent compared to US$10.3 million for the same period in 2015. Non-GAAP net income was US$27.6 million, up 16 perccent compared to non-GAAP net income of US$24.1 million for the same period in 2015.For the nine months ended September 30, 2016, EFI reported revenue of US$725.4 million, up 16 percent year-over-year compared to US$626.0 million for the same period in 2015.
Langley Holdings, owner of Manroland Sheetfed, has released its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2016, which includes sales of €417.1 million for the entire group of companies. This includes an increase in pre-tax profits to €48.9 million, up from €37.9 million at the same point in 2015.  Group operating profit for the period was €48.1 million (2015: €37.1 million). The company’s forecasts for the full-year result predicted a six percent improvement on 2015 with pre-tax profits expected to reach €112 million on sales of €930 million.Tony Langley, Chairman of Langley Holdings, stated the first six months of 2016 had been a very satisfactory trading period for the group with the overall half-year result exceeding expectations. “Both the trading for the first six months and the outlook for the full year, are very positive,” Langley said. “Moreover, the group is financially secure with substantial resources, not only for its existing operations, but also has sufficient surplus to continue its development independently.”Manroland Sheetfed saw an expected slow-down in orders ahead of drupa, explained the company, but this was brought back on track following drupa with the Offenbach factory “optimally loaded from backlog in the first six months.” Langley said this would remain the case until the year end and that profits in the division were in line with expectations. German printing consumables business Drück Chemie, acquired in 2014, was trading in line with expectations and was “exceeding the company’s benchmark minimum 20 percent return on capital employed.”Tony Langley said he expected any Brexit impact on business to be minimal and a slump in demand to be unlikely. “Although some 20 percent of the group’s profits are derived from the UK, the majority of this is from the UK subsidiaries of our German and French divisions, all of which compete entirely with other European producers for UK trade.“Our actual UK based businesses represent only a nominal percentage of the group as a whole and, therefore, I do not expect Brexit to have a substantial impact on the group one way or the other,” continued Langley, “although UK assets are currently devalued by some 10 percent in euro terms.”Langley said the business was continuing to look for potential acquisitions and that a number of candidates had been considered during the period but that none were currently being followed up. The group employs around 4,200 people across its five divisions and 80 companies.
Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) released its second quarter results for 2016 noting it will raise revenue and earnings targets for the full fiscal year. The positive financial expectations, according to the German press maker, are backed by what it describes as a successful drupa (May 31 to June 10, 2016) and a high order intake of €352.5m in its second quarter. At €352.5 million, group order intake from April to June was up 17.2 percent year-on-year, although the group's figures for this quarter only contain around a third of orders placed at the drupa trade show which were in the triple-digit million euro range. The catch-up effect, explains KBA, will ensure additional stimulus in the second half-year as KBA traditionally only books orders that are fully documented and financially secure. KBA reported half-year revenue of €553.9 million which is 30 percent above the prior year’s period. After six months, group order intake of €618.8 million was 1.9% percent higher than the prior year, which KBA also describes as strong. Revenue increased over the same period by 29.7 percent to €553 million. KBA’s complete order backlog of €639.8 million secures workload beyond 2016. “This is a solid buffer for the second half-year and gives us ample security to raise our targets for 2016 despite existing economic and political turbulence,” said Claus Bolza-Schünemann, KBA President and CEO. “ We now expect an EBT margin of around four percent with group revenue between €1.1 and €1.2 billion."KBA explains a rise of 30 percent in revenue compared to 2015, strong capacity utilization at KBA's facilities and cost savings from its restructuring program completed at the start of the year had a positive impact on earnings after six months despite high trade show and development costs. The company’s EBIT improved to €20.7 million compared to the prior-year loss of –€8.3 million A slightly negative interest result of –€2.9 million led to a group pre-tax profit (EBT) of €17.8 million. After deducting income tax expenses, group net profit came to €17.2 million (2015: –€9.3 million). The company’s free cash flow stands at –€14.4 million, compared to –€25.2 million 12 months ago. Funds at the end of June 2016 came to €168.7 million. Less bank loans, KBA's net liquidity stood at €154.5 million.KBA explains from the drupa trade show, which again brought in orders in the triple-digit million euro range for KBA's largest segment, sheetfed, around a third of these orders were already visible in the group's figures for the second quarter and the other two thirds will be booked in the coming months.
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.”
Mimaki USA, which is part of the Japanese-based imaging giant, is opening its first branch location in Canada. Located at the intersection of Jane Street and Highway 7 in Toronto, the location is to include a technology centre, Mimaki’s seventh such centre in North America, for running demonstrations of its wide-format imaging technologies.Lucas Crossley, Canada Sales Manager for Mimaki, will lead the new Canadian location, which will include trained sales, support and service staff to help support its dealers in the country. The 11,000-square-foot technology centre will also hold Dealer Technician Certification courses in addition to applications training.The company is holding a grand opening celebration for its new technology centre on October 11, 2016 , with a ceremony taking place at 11:00 am.
Delphax Technologies Inc, with its primary press manufacturing operation based in Mississauga, Ontario, has reached a joint partnership agreement with Weihai Printing Machinery Co. Ltd. to provide the Delphax elan 500 inkjet press in the Chinese printing market. “Weihai’s investment in Delphax’s innovative elan 500 provides an attractive alternative to other technologies in fulfilling our clients printing needs,” said Gu Yonghui, General Manager of Weihai Printing Machinery. “The Weifeng EL500 is a product that will create a new model for opportunity in multiple print markets here in China.”The seven-year agreement for multiple systems will yield in excess of 35 systems, with the unit marketed under the name Weifeng EL500. In establishing this agreement, Delphax explains it has realigned its operations to primarily support and focus on the continued expansion,  development and manufacture of the elan 500 product line, fulfilling increased demand in the North American, EMEA and Chinese markets.The Delphax elan 500 is a colour sheetfed inkjet press with the ability to produce up to 500 duplex letter images per minute or 3,750 SRA2 (450 x 640 mm) sheets per hour. The press is driven by Memjet print head technology, whereby every stationary print head on the elan 500 has 70,400 jets that produce up to 700 million drops of ink per second. The elan 500 allows for printing on a range of substrates, from 20 to 130 Ib (60 to 350 gsm) and up to 8 x 8 to 18 x 25.2 inches (203 x 203 mm to 450 x 640 mm-SRA2). Duplex printing is performed at full speed, explains Delphax, with no degradation due to the unique SST paper path.“Weihai Printing Machinery provides us with a strong partner in China, providing both the commercial and technical support capabilities required to service the Chinese market.” said Richard Lee, Director of Operations at Delphax Technologies. “We look forward to working jointly with Weihai over the forthcoming launch and commercial release of the Weifeng EL500 and expect this relationship to generate significant new growth and profitability for our respective businesses”.Weihai Printing Machinery Co., founded in 1954, was the first major enterprise and the first major high technology company established under the Torch Plan of China within the Printing Machinery Sector. Under the Torch Plan, Weihai Printing Machinery Company was granted the right of open importation and exportation.
PDS is now the Canadian master distributor of Multigraf Touchline creasers, perforators and folders. This line-up of technologies has been constantly evolving since Multigraf became on the first companies to focus on the short-run finishing market in 1984.Multigraf AG is an equipment manufacturer based out of Muri, Switzerland. In addition to the Touchline products, Multigraf produces a range of banding and stacking systems.
KBR Graphics, which is celebrating its 40th year in business in 2016, is expanding its distribution of RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology sheetfed offset printing presses to include all of Canada. In mid-July 2016, KBR Graphics moved its head office to a new modern facility in Laval, Quebec, which is prepared to support future business through its larger sales, service and support teams.Previously, KBR Graphics had been the RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology (RMGT) distributor in Central and Eastern Canada since 2012. “We are pleased to offer the entire line of RMGT presses – the RMGT 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 models – across Canada, both direct and through our dealer network,” said Karl Belafi. Jr., Vice President, KBR Graphics.  “We have been selling RMGT presses for four years and enjoy a great relationship with RYOBI MHI. We’ve been very successful in the eastern part of the country and aim to further develop our presence throughout Canada.” In addition to its line of offset presses, the expanded distribution agreement also includes the new digital press line that RMGT introduced this past spring at the drupa trade fair in Germany. Sales representatives and dealer partners are being added throughout different locations in Canada so that the RMGT product line can be supported across the country for sales and technical service.“Announcements will be made in the very near future about our new additions and, by the end of this year, our Western region teams will grow even more,” said Belafi.
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.
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…”
Mimaki last week opened up its first Canadian location in Toronto, Ontario, with a traditional Kagami Biraki ceremony to acknowledge the imaging company’s headquartered roots in Japan.   View the embedded image gallery online at: Suwanee, GA – Mimaki USA, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, today celebrated the opening of its new Toronto Branch, the company’s first in Canada and seventh in North America. A grand opening event was held on October 11, 2016, featuring a traditional The highlight of a Kagami Biraki ceremony culminates with the lid of a sake barrel being broken open by a wooden mallet and the sake is served to everyone present. Mimaki explains the ceremony represents an opening to harmony and good fortune.Located at the intersection of Jane Street and Highway 7 in Toronto, Mimaki’s new Canadian location includes a technology centre, Mimaki’s seventh such centre in North America, for running demonstrations of its wide-format imaging technologies.Lucas Crossley, Canada Sales Manager for Mimaki, will lead the new Canadian location, which will include trained sales, support and service staff to help support its dealers across the country. The 11,000-square-foot technology centre will also hold Dealer Technician Certification courses in addition to applications training for clients.
Agfa Graphics announced today that it plans to close down its factory in Vallese, Italy, one of its seven printing plate manufacturing sites worldwide. This facility, which the company describes as being a small operations relative to its other plate plants, produces lithographic aluminum printing plates for offset presses. Agfa explained these product lines have been facing a weaker market demand, primarily in Europe, for several years.“This decision is part of our global streamlining plan to reduce our manufacturing capacity and to improve the cost structure of our printing plate business,” said Stefaan Vanhooren, President of Agfa Graphics. “This is necessary to remain the leading company in an extremely competitive prepress business amid global economic uncertainty.”Agfa has informed all employees about its intention to close the Vallese facility, impacting 120 employee positions.
Agfa Graphics announced today that it plans to close down its factory in Vallese, Italy, one of its seven printing plate manufacturing sites worldwide. This facility, which the company describes as being a small operations relative to its other plate plants, produces lithographic aluminum printing plates for offset presses. Agfa explained these product lines have been facing a weaker market demand, primarily in Europe, for several years.“This decision is part of our global streamlining plan to reduce our manufacturing capacity and to improve the cost structure of our printing plate business,” said Stefaan Vanhooren, President of Agfa Graphics. “This is necessary to remain the leading company in an extremely competitive prepress business amid global economic uncertainty.”Agfa has informed all employees about its intention to close the Vallese facility, impacting 120 employee positions.
Mary Laschinger, Chairman and CEO of Veritiv Corporation, today spent her morning in Mississauga, Ontario, to help celebrate the ongoing construction of a new 450,000-square-foot facility that will become the company’s new Canadian headquarters.   View the embedded image gallery online at: Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Laschinger was then on her way to New York to present Veritiv’s quarterly financial results. Veritiv recently broke into the Fortune 500 club and its Canadian operation, explained Laschinger, now represents about seven percent of the company’s total annual revenues.“Bringing together Veritiv’s Toronto area team in this new, state-of-the art facility in Mississauga is an important strategic investment for our company, and it aligns with one of our business goals to integrate our operations and strengthen collaboration throughout our organization,” said Laschinger. “Canada is an important market for Veritiv, and we are delighted to renew our commitment to this city and accelerate our growth across the country.”Jason Alderman, Regional Vice President for Veritiv, who leads the Canadian operation, welcomed a range of special guests to a small stage protected from the blazing sun by a tent. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie also spoke at the official groundbreaking ceremony, applauding Veritiv’s project and noting Mississauga has become Canada’s sixth largest city with a population of close to 800,000 and home to some 8,300 businesses.Located just off the 401 at Hurontario (125 Madill Boulevard), in the growing business area of Courtney Park, now home to some of Canada’s largest industrial facilities, the new Veritiv building is scheduled to be complete by around April 2017 with move-in planned for shortly after. “This new facility will enable Veritiv to expand our service capabilities for Canadian customers and increase the company’s operational efficiencies by consolidating our three existing facilities in the Greater Toronto Area,” said Alderman. “The City of Mississauga also offers many strategic advantages to our operations, our customers, and our employees.”The new Veritiv facility, which is to house around 350 employees, will include approximately 410,000 square feet of warehouse space and another 42,000 square feet of office space. In Canada, Veritiv employs approximately 950 people and has a fleet of around 115 tractor-trailer units, and a network of 17 warehouses. Alderman explains there are no plans to close facilities outside of the three GTA locations being consolidated in Mississauga, because the other locations are a critical part of Veritiv’s national reach.Veritiv Corporation, headquartered in Atlanta, has approximately 180 distribution centres throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada, and employs approximately 8,800 people.
Fujifilm, which has long held a commitment to internal green energy and carbon reduction targets, is now running its primary production facility in Tilburg, the Netherlands, with 100 percent wind energy. The Tilburg plant manufactures a number of Fujifilm products, including printing plates.“Our motto is that if we can do it green, we will do it green,” says Tillburg site Director, Peter Struik. “With that objective in mind we have come to an agreement with our energy supplier Eneco to provide us with 100 percent renewable energy. They share our commitment to green energy, and with their help and expertise we have been able to make this vision a reality.”The facility had been partially powered by wind since 2011 when Fujifilm began working in partnership with Dutch energy supplier Eneco. The wind turbines that drive the plant’s manufacturing capability are located on-site and in nearby Zeeland. The 100 gigawatt hours of energy these two sites generate for the Fujifilm facility is enough to power 30,000 homes. “Fujifilm is showing commendable courage and leadership in having taken this bold step,” said Eneco board member, Marc van der Linden. “They are setting an excellent example to their industry and to other businesses in the surrounding area. Like Eneco, Fujifilm is a forward-thinking company which recognizes that economy and ecology have to go hand in hand.”Fujifilm and Eneco are now investigating the possibility of producing bio-mass steam on the Fujifilm site.
Sun Chemical has opened a new coatings lab in its Carlstadt, New Jersey, research and development facility. The lab is the fourth of its kind worldwide, joining similar laboratories located in the United Kingdom and DIC R&D centres in Japan.The 11,000-square-foot investment by Sun Chemical holds what the company describes as state-of-the-art equipment and analytical support for studying migration, adhesion, permeability, and other performance-related coating phenomena. The lab will use systems like SEM microscopy, atomic force microscopy, IR surface mapping, and surface energy measurement, among other techniques, to advance the fundamental understanding of key coatings performance attributes.A variety of equipment has been added to the new lab, including: gas transmission rate analyzers, glass bottle testing instrumentation, and coatings spraying equipment to develop new and improved water, solvent, and energy curable primers, inks, and coatings. A lab laminator will be added in 2017 to help study the interaction between ink, substrate, primers, overprint varnishes and laminating adhesives.   “The new Carlstadt coatings lab represents a major investment in our coatings business,” said Russell Schwartz, Chief Technology Officer, Sun Chemical. “This enhanced capability will help us expand our product range offerings into an evolving packaging market that includes laminating adhesives, glass decoration, and printed electronics. “The integration of coatings technology with ink, polymer, and functional materials development within the same technical organization and facility transcends product lines and geographical barriers,” continued Schwartz. “It will also help expand Sun Chemical’s Advanced Materials portfolio into industrial coatings applications.”Sun Chemical holds the capability to develop and test water, solvent, and energy curable coatings, including primers, overprints and materials in order to provide enhanced functionality, such as barrier properties. “While many companies rely on commercially available polymers, Sun Chemical differentiates itself by developing proprietary polymers targeted for our specific industry and products,” said Bob O’Boyle, Product Manager, Coatings, Sun Chemical. “We’re also focusing on smart coatings for sensor-enabled application equipment.”

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