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Bill Gortemaker, one of Canada’s most influential printing leaders for a couple of decades, passed away in late April at the age of 69.Born and raised in the Netherlands in October 1945, Gortemaker immigrated to Canada in 1968. He settled in Hamilton, Ontario, where he met his wife of 39 years, Grietje, who survives her late husband. In 1975, Bill and Grietje moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they were married and eventually had 10 children together. In Winnipeg, Bill began his 39-year career with Premier Printing, where he eventually became President and a partner in the business.Still based in Winnipeg, Premier Printing continues as one of Canada’s most highly recognized printing operations, running out of a 75,000-square-foot facility in the city’s St. Boniface Industrial Park.
Esko of Ghent, Belgium, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Esko Kongsberg, a manufacturer of digital finishing systems with many thousands of installations around the globe. “Digital finishing is a vital part of Esko’s strategy, and Esko Kongsberg is key to our future success and that of our customers,” said Udo Panenka, President of Esko. “Fifty years of constant innovation have provided us with a strong reputation and foundation.” In the early years, Kongsberg manufactured the first drafting tables used to produce test-parts and verify cutting programs for ship building. The portfolio then expanded to include equipment to engrave print clichés for map printing and then full-size designs for cars and trucks. In the 1980s, the traditional Kongsberg drafting tables were used in both the sign and packaging markets. In the following years, the company changed owners through a series of acquisitions: first Artios, followed by Barco which transformed in what is today known as Esko. “Our future as a market leader was sealed by the acquisition of the company in 2002 by Esko. Not only could we provide total solutions, but we could also rely on the strength of a global sales force and service network to take us into new markets and seize new opportunities,” said Emil Skarra, Managing Director Norway at Esko.In 2011, Esko – including its Kongsberg operation – was acquired by Danaher. Today, Esko Kongsberg serves three primary markets: packaging, displays and signage. “We aim to make production as easy, efficient and productive as possible for our customers – starting at the early stages of structural design, right up through the finished product,” said Tom Erik Naess, Esko’s Product Manager CAM. The current Kongsberg product portfolio ranges from the XE-series of small format table featuring accuracy and speed, to the XN-series for more versatility and robustness and the XP-series for productivity. Last additions to the Kongsberg family are the V-Series of tables for entry-level sign and sample making, and C-series for (very) wide format productivity.“We increasingly see our digital finishing equipment being used for true production of finished products instead of just prototyping or sample making,” said Panenka. “As a result, we are directing much of our research and development effort toward increasing productivity and industrialization with more automation, tighter linkage to software solutions, more industrial infrastructure, such as material handling, and integration with other machinery.”
Wally Richards, a former well-known leader within Canada’s printing industry, passed away on Friday, May 8, at age 76. Richards was diagnosed with cancer in June 2014 and given three to six months to live, but he fought to live almost 11 months after his diagnosis.Richards worked with leading technology vendors like Eastman Kodak, Graphic Litho and Treck Photographic before venturing out on his own with Graffix Distribution and then later purchased Henning Graphics.  “I worked with him at Graffix and Henning and he was the most amazing boss ever,” says Lisa Egri, Richards’ daughter. “He was fond of telling people that in the dozen years we worked together we only had two fights. He always claimed that both fights were his fault but that may not have been exactly true.” She recalls attending trade shows with her father, who had to stop every few steps to greet someone he knew.Richards retired to a relaxing and fulfilling life as a painter and writer.
As a result, Quad/Graphics states it remains the primary printer for Hearst’s magazines division, manufacturing 20 of Hearst’s 21 U.S.-based magazine titles, including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, O: The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and Car and Driver, as well as related inserts and custom print products.Quad/Graphics has been Hearst Magazines’ largest print supplier since 2011, when it began printing Good Housekeeping, Harper’s BAZAAR, House Beautiful, O: The Oprah Magazine, Woman’s Day, ELLE, ELLE DECOR, Car and Driver and Road & Track in addition to Veranda, which the Company has printed since 2007. With the acquisition of Brown Printing Company in 2014, Quad/Graphics began printing 10 additional Hearst titles: Country Living, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Marie Claire, Redbook, Seventeen, Town & Country and Popular Mechanics.“With its exceptional portfolio of magazine titles, Hearst has mastered the art of content creation, demonstrating the power of print in a multichannel world and reaching more than 80-million readers every month,” said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics. Quadracci continues to explain this relationship with Hearst positions the company as America’s leading magazine printer.“Magazines have the power to inspire and transport readers through beautiful images, expert curation and unique points-of-view,” said David Carey, President of Hearst Magazines. “Working with Quad/Graphics, we are able to constantly push the boundaries of what magazines can be, to create memorable, impactful experiences for readers and marketers with every issue.”Hearst also leverages Quad/Graphics’ range of media, mailing and related distribution solutions to deliver its content. This includes Quad/Graphics’ new Publisher’s Studio Editorial, a branded application to plan and develop content for print and digital editions. Quad/Graphics also supplies Hearst with co-mailing opportunities to create postage savings.“Magazine content is incredibly valuable in a multichannel world, and through our partnership with Hearst, we have the great opportunity to explore the limitless possibilities of ink on paper and related content delivery,” said Quadracci.
Paper producers from the United States, operating under the Coalition for Fair Paper Imports, filed a petition with the United States’ Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission charging that Canadian exporters of super-calendered paper are dumping product into the United States.The Coalition for Fair Paper Imports (CFFPI), according to a report by EUWID Pulp and Paper, a news agency focused on global paper supply, is comprised of U.S. manufacturers Verso Corporation and Madison Paper Industries, a UPM-Kymmene subsidiary. CFFPI is asking that countervailing duties be imposed on the Canadian exporters of the glossy paper product.According to a report by The Globe and Mail, the petition (filed in late February), alleges that “Canadian [supercalendered] paper has gained market share by underselling the U.S. market prices of U.S. producers.” The Globe article also states the Canadian companies named in the petition, Resolute Forest Products Inc., Port Hawkesbury Paper, Irving Paper Ltd. and Catalyst Paper Corp., are recieving government subsidies.EUWID reports that the United States imported around 1.1 million tons of super-calendered paper from Canada last year, representing 88 percent of such total imports in 2014. EUWID also reports the petition covers all super-calendered paper grades, from SC A+ and SC A to SC B and SNC (soft nip calender), regardless of basis weight, brightness, opacity, smoothness, or whether they are offered in reels or sheets.
David Walker, an important figure in Canada’s printing industry for decades, recently passed away at age 80 after suffering a stroke. Born in Toronto in 1935, Walker was well known as the long-serving President of Louson-Desonite, a former significant technology supply company based in Don Mills, before eventually moving into a sales position for Heidelberg Canada.Walker devoted much of his energies to developing Canada’s printing industry through association and educational initiatives. He served as the supplier representative on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA), where he also led the CPIA Awards Committee. He became an Honorary Member of the CPIA in 2005.“Everyone who knew Dave, recognizes the valuable contributions he made to the printing industry and to the CPIA,” shares Harmony Printing’s Ruby Thomas, former Chairperson of the CPIA and President of the Ontario Printing Industries Association. “His dedication continued even after he retired through his participation in Wayzgoose…  Dave was a true gentleman.”Walker joined the Honourary Society of the Wayzgoose in 1999, three years after it was founded, and served as Chairman from 1998 to 2000. For the past 14 years, Walker was an active member of the Wayzgoose nominating committee and a driving force of its membership. “It is difficult to find the right words defining how very influential he was for so many people. He was a mentor, a leader, an inspiration and for most of us a trusted longtime friend,” says Willy Wilkins, former leader of the CPIA, who worked closely with Walker through Wayzgoose. “The Honourary Society of the Wayzgoose will never be quite the same. Dave was dedicated and almost driven to keep the Society strong and growing.”“Dave was such an imposing industry figure for a long time. He always seemed to be present at any and all events,” shares John Greenhough, former longtime leader of The Data Group, who served on several association boards with Walker, in addition to his Wayzgoose involvement. “He had a serious but yet light hearted style that always contributed to the occasion. We will all miss his marvelous delivery of grace at our dinners and lunches.”Walker was also one of the founding members of PESDA, an advocacy group focused on the position of technology suppliers in Canadian printing. He became President of PESDA in 1984 and was active in that organization until 2000. Walker is also noted for spending many years helping to raise funds and awareness for the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund, which continues today.“Dave always stood out in my mind as a person you just couldn't help but like,” shares Dennis Lynch, former head of Ernest Green & Son. “He knew how to enjoy life, made time to give back to all who called upon him, while balancing his business. I had many occasions over the years to spend time with him and was always impressed with his warm and friendly personality.”
Middleton Group of Markham, Ontario, added the new Inca Onset R40-LT wide-format UV flatbed inkjet press. Founded in 1952, Middleton provides a range of design, merchandising and printing services primarily aimed at the large-format display market. The Onset R40-LT, sold exclusively through Fujifilm, is Middleton’s third Inca press, after purchasing its first system in 2005. “It met our needs, and we ran it all the time,” remembers Craig Riethmacher, Chief Operating Officer, Middleton Group. “As technology advanced we bought the Columbia Turbo, which was another giant leap. We ran two shifts constantly for seven years; it was our only digital machine at the time of purchase.”Built utilizing Inca’s scalable architecture, the company’s new Onset R40LT produces high quality prints at speeds of up 40 beds (5 x 10 feet) an hour. It can be field upgraded to boost speed, as well as enhance the press productivity, ultimately reach the printing structure of a full Inca Onset R40i.“We are in the visual display business. We need to be able to print on thick substrates, with a variety of highly creative outputs,” said Riethmacher. “Our new R40-LT has been fantastic thus far. Having the option to upgrade the R40-LT over time is perfect for our business model; it complements our other equipment nicely.”Middleton Group is using Fujifilm’s Uvijet OZ ink on its new R40-LT. “One of our current projects involves heat-bending, while printing on quarter-inch acrylic with a curve, for a globally known high-end vacuum manufacturer, and the adhesion is amazing,” explains Riethmacher. The Markham printing company is also leveraging Uvijet white ink. “We manage a lot of work on black signage, and this process is very efficient on the R40-LT. I see us using a lot of white ink.” Riethmacher also points to the new machine’s gloss mode as printing like a UV clear.  
Boehmer Box of Kitchener, Ontario, is scheduled to add an 8-colour, 56-inch manroland R908 HiPrint press in the late-June, early-July timeframe, as the company pushes deeper into high-end packaging applications. “At Boehmer Box, our efforts are to exceed our customer’s current expectations and this is achieved by investing in the right technology, investing in our work force, and co-operation with our customers to ensure we meet their goals,” said Corey Deschamps, Director of Manufacturing at Boehmer Box.Founded in 1874, Boehmer Box is housed in one of Canada’s most advanced folding carton manufacturing plants spanning over 320,000 square feet, which produces approximately 700 million cartons annually. The company provides a range of packaging manufacturing from full-scale production and shorter carton runs to product samples, and promotional or test market kits. “Boehmer's early adoption and continued use of an extended colour gamut technology will be further enhanced with the advanced colour control technology of the Manroland R900 series press,” said Karl Broderick, Vice-President of Sales at Boehmer Box. “It is imperative to have a press equipped with the most advanced color control technology, like the manroland R900 series press, with its ColorPilot Plus option, Boehmer now has the fastest, most efficient and user friendly color control system.”The printing company also emphasizes its high-end finishing department, which includes a range of technology like multiple, high-speed Bobst die cutters, straight-line gluers equipped with auto packers and code readers, right-angle gluers with four- and six-corner features and auto-bottom capabilities, waxers capable of two-sided pattern waxing with high gloss finishing for frozen food packaging, and a windower/susceptor applicator“With the addition of the HiPrint [manroland] press, Boehmer Box will reduce their lead-time and inventory, as well as add increased capacity for many years to come,” said Sean Springett, US & Canadian Marketing Manager for manroland Sheetfed.Boehmer Box and board manufacturer, Strathcona Paper LP, make Canampac ULC, its Toronto-based parent company, one of the largest independent paperboard manufacturers specializing in private label food packaging.
Artcraft Label of Burlington, Ontario, has established a high-quality prepress division for flexography with the installation of an Esko CDI 2530 flexo plate imager and Esko HD Flexo, which is driven by software like Esko DeskPack to prep files and Automation Engine to direct Esko Color Engine.Founded in 1977, Artcraft Label is a high-end pressure-sensitive label manufacturer specializing in smaller volume premium brands in the wines, artisan cheese, and beauty care consumer goods markets, primarily with customers in the region.The company, with 15 employees, operate three flexo presses and two small-format digital devices in a 20,000 square-foot facility. In 2008, Artcraft became the first label printer in Canada to produce water wash digital plates. In 2013, with the arrival of Alain Paquette as co-owner and President, Artcraft invested in new management information software and initiated Lean Six Sigma manufacturing practices.PrintAction magazine’s upcoming May 2015 issue features a Q&A with Paquette discussing several of the new directions Artcraft has taken over the past three years.
FASTSIGNS of Vancouver, one of the largest and longest-running franchises of the growing sign-making brand, added a new Esko Kongsberg V finishing table to its 5,400-square-foot production facility.Paul LeBlanc, owner of FASTSIGNS of Vancouver, invested in his franchise, the second in Canada, in January 1996. At the time, the only other franchise in Canada was thousands of kilometres away in Newfoundland. LeBlanc moved from Nova Scotia to Vancouver and to start up his FASTSIGNS operation (originally 1,800 square feet) in a large city. LeBlanc moved into his current 5,400-square-foot facility in 2008 and now employs 10 people running two roll-fed printers, a flatbed printer, and a thermal transfer printer.“We originally had a saw on our wall and a hand saw we used for cutting on production tables,” said LeBlanc. “A lot of the materials took a good amount of muscle to cut. On some occasions when clients needed a good number of retail signs and shapes, we sent them out to a subcontractor to be cut.”During a recent FASTSIGNS convention, LeBlanc recalls several other franchise owners discussing their decision to purchase industrial cutting tables, which he explains aided his decision to purchase the Esko Kongsberg V system.Esko launched the Kongsberg V entry-level cutting table in May 2014. The system designed for sign-and-display work (a second machine focuses on packaging) is based on a MultiCUT tool head for cutting and routing. The MultiCUT has various insert options with an air-cooled milling spindle of up to 45,000 rpm, suitable for acrylics and other synthetics.
PrismTech Graphics of Burnaby, British Columbia, installed a 30-inch reconditioned POLAR cutter sold through Colter & Peterson of New Jersey. The new system joins PrismTech’s existing 57-inch POLAR cutter.PrismTech, owned by Paul Milburn, who serves as President of the company, began as a small screen-printing operation in 1994. Today, the company’s 35,000-square-foot operation provides a range of commercial printing services for Greater Vancouver region, as well as a few United States-based clients in Washington State.The Burnaby printer focuses on point-of-purchase work, as well as outdoor (posters and vinyl banners) and applied graphics; wall, floor, and window graphics; and vehicle wraps. PrismTech’s largest account is described as a large national retail franchise chain with stores from British Columbia to Ontario. “We print between 10 and 10,000 impressions for the majority of the jobs, sometimes more,” said Milburn. “The new cutter is giving us the capability to take on more work.”The company’s smaller 30-inch POLAR is being used for trimming smaller products like retail shelf strips and decals. This include a number of decals as small as 5/8 x 1-inch for clients like British Columbia Automobile Association, which has more than 800,000 members, serving one of every four households in the province. PrismTech also works with the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.“We accommodate our customers’ timelines and run two shifts during the week, and day shifts on the weekends when necessary. Last month we didn’t take a day off,” said Milburn, who spent 20 years in the industry before opening his own company. “Everything here is about producing quality work and finding solutions. We have a highly skilled staff and they needed little training before this cutter was handling as much work as the larger one.”Founded in 1932, Colter & Peterson describes itself as North America’s largest independent distributor of paper cutters and paper handling equipment. The company, with approximately 50 people, is also the manufacturer of the Microcut line of retrofit back gauge controllers and the worldwide distributor of Prism and Saber paper cutters, as well as C&P and Schneider Engineering Peripheral equipment.
PointOne Graphics Inc. adds a new Morgana DigiFOLD PRO finishing system to its 70,000-square-foot trade-printing operation in Etobicoke, Ontario. The Morgana DigiFOLD PRO, purchased through Sydney Stone, is rated to crease and fold up to 6,000 A4-size sheets per hour.PointOne has been providing trade-printing services out of the Greater Toronto Area for more than 15 years. In the past couple of years, the company, led by President Dennis Low, has boosted its production with a range of new equipment, such as a Heidelberg XL 106 perfector, two Heidelberg Suprasetters, two Ricoh Pro C901 digital presses and a Vivid UV coater.
Alex Stepanian becomes Regional Sales Director, a newly created position, for KBA North America. Stepanian, whose sales career spans more than 34 years in the printing industry, joins KBA after serving as a district sales manager with three other printing press manufacturers.Stepanian graduated from Baruch College in New York City with a bachelor's degree in business, specializing in marketing management.“Alex is a talented and seasoned sales professional with a very strong track record for delivering superb customer results,” said Soren Larsen, Senior VP of Sheetfed Sales at KBA North America. “He will be an excellent addition to our leadership team providing inspiration and ongoing contributions.KBA North America, located in Dallas, Texas, is a member of the KBA Group. Established almost 200 years ago in Wuerzburg, Germany, Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) is the oldest and second largest press manufacturer worldwide.
Paul Smith, Vice President of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC), based in Mississauga, Ontario, has been named Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA).Smith joined Xerox in 1995 and currently leads XRCC, which is responsible for the corporation's advanced materials research and development. The research centre also conducts R&D in support of commercial clients in the areas of advanced and specialty materials. Smith is a named inventor on 73 U.S. patents and has 16 publications.“Printable and organic electronics is an industry where the dream of what is possible is rapidly becoming reality as more products and applications come to market from the large industry players,” said Smith. “This association is the right move at the right time for Canada to organize itself and take advantage of this opportunity. Printable and organic electronics is applicable to a whole range of areas where Canada is strong and strategically well-positioned, such as automotive, aerospace, packaging and advanced manufacturing.”Peter Kallai subsequently was named President and CEO of the CPEIA. Other board members include: Michael Tischler, CTO, Cooledge Lighting and Robin Jeffries, President, Tangio Printed Electronics. CPEIA’s Board of Advisors include Thomas Ducellier, Executive Director, PE Flagship Program, National Research Council of Canada; André Dion, GM, Printability and Graphic Communications Institute; and Mario Leclerc, Professor of Chemistry, Université Laval.
Drytac, an international manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, added two industry veterans to its U.S. and Canadian sales teams. Paul Barker is to fill the newly created position of Custom Coatings Account Manager, Outside Sales, for Drytac Canada. Barker, who has more than 28 years of outside sales experience in the plastics, printing and packaging markets, has spent the past 10 years in the printed pressure sensitive label market. Prior to that, he gained experience in the Injection and Blow Moulding industry with Reliance Products in Winnipeg and spent another 14 years in plastics conversion and polypropylene manufacturing with Transilwrap Canada and AET Films U.S., respectively. He will be responsible for growing Drytac Canada’s custom coating business in the Industrial, Packaging, Automotive, Label, and Building material markets.Brad Haupt will serve as Midwest Regional Sales Manager for Drytac Corp. in the United States. Haupt, who joins Drytac from GBC, has a sales career that spans more than 30 years in print finishing equipment and supplies. For approximately 20 years, he focused on the wide-format market and was selected to start a new Digital Print Finishing division as part of the GBC sales management team.
John Alden becomes Vice President of Sales for Toronto-based Avanti Computer Systems, which in late-2013 launched new Management Information System architecture under the Avanti Slingshot brand. Alden joins Avanti after 17 years at Xerox, where he led regional sales of the company’s production presses, including the flagship iGen line, and Xerox FreeFlow software.“I’ve been working with the Avanti team for years thanks to Avanti’s tight integration with Xerox’s FreeFlow digital workflow collection,” said Alden. “I’m excited to now be leading the sales team and working with our partners to drive Avanti Slingshot’s market growth.”
Ian Lifshitz, Asia Pulp & Paper’s Director of Sustainability for the Americas, has been named Co-Chair of the Paper, Pulp and Forestry (PPF) Sector Working Group for The Sustainability Consortium. The PPF Sector Working Group is composed of industry experts, non-profit organizations and academic/research institutions. Lifshitz will co-lead the working group as it examines sustainability issues – environmental, social, and economic – for several forestry products, including lumber, engineered wood products, books, facial tissue and greeting cards.“It’s a great honor to be appointed Co-Chair of this valuable working group for The Sustainability Consortium,” said Lifshitz. “APP was one of the first major pulp and paper companies to implement a comprehensive Zero Deforestation supply chain policy and so we are uniquely positioned to provide insights in this area.”With products distributed in more than 120 countries, APP has an annual combined pulp, paper, packaging product and converting capacity of over 19 million tons.The Sustainability Consortium, jointly administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, is comprised of more than 100 members, including manufacturers, retailers, NGOs, civil society and corporations that work collaboratively on supply networks. It also has operations at Wageningen UR in the Netherlands and Nanjing University in China.
Rick Littrell becomes Vice President, Direct Hires and TechCreative Talent, for Semper International, which is a North American placement firm specializing in skilled help for companies involved in marketing, graphic design, programming and printing.With more than 30 years of experience working with emerging technologies, business development opportunities and start-up organizations, Littrell has been primarily focused in the printing industry. He is known for his innovative marketing programs in terms of developing strategy, creation, launch and support. Littrell began his career in applications engineering and product management roles for printing-industry suppliers like Agfa, Information International and Scitex. He is a serial entrepreneur as founder of a regional digital services company called Graphics Xpress, an integrated marketing company called Magicomm LLC, and an international consulting and marketing-services firm called Littrell Associates. He has also worked with communications service providers like General Motors Photographic, Magna Graphic and, more recently, Winbrook Inc.Littrell has also served as Vice President of Communications and, most recently, as President of the Boston chapter of the American Marketing Association. He has been active in volunteer roles as Vice President, Board of Directors, of the ARC of Greater Haverhill & Newburyport, the world's largest community-based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, while also chairing the Personnel Committee for the town of Groveland, MA.“I look forward to working with my friends and colleagues, helping them grow professionally, while assisting companies build an internal talent base that will propel them into a bright future,” said Littrell. “At this stage in my career, it is my way of paying it forward.”Littrell will be responsible for managing direct-hire services for both Semper's traditional print and graphic arts areas, as well as Semper’s recently introduced TechCreatives initiative that focuses on the intersection of creativity and technology. Littrell was a consultant in the development of Semper’s TechCreative strategic planning.
MET Fine Printers of Vancouver, BC, led by President Nikos Kallas, purchased certain assets and business activities of Rhino Print Solutions, including its Calgary facility, which will be integrated into MET’s operations. Full terms of the arrangement between the two private companies are not being disclosed.Senior members of the Rhino team are joining MET and all business will operate exclusively under MET Fine Printers. MET’s President Nikos Kallas and the senior management group will lead the expanded company.“We’re excited about the opportunities and benefits made possible through combining the talents, resources and experience of our companies,” said Kallas.In August 2014, RP Graphics Group Ltd. announced it had acquired and integrated Rhino's Toronto facility, formerly Marcam Cross Media Limited. David Allen, CEO and President of Rhino, acquired Marcam two years ago in May 2013.
Esko has acquired Minneapolis, Minnesota’s MediaBeacon Inc., which develops Digital Asset Management (DAM) software. MediaBeacon’s DAM tools, currently sold primarily in the United States through direct distribution and OEM partnerships, are applied in a range of industries from retail and consumer packaged goods to media, print and the public sector.“It is Esko’s strategy to digitize and integrate the entire packaging production workflow from design all the way to finished packs and displays in the store. With this acquisition, we further our transformation from a prepress solution provider to an end-to-end supplier in the packaging world,” said Udo Panenka, Esko President. Headquartered in Gent, Belgium, Esko employs around 1,400 people worldwide with direct sales and service organizations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, the Americas and the Asia Pacific, Japan and China regions. It has a network of distribution partners in more than 50 countries.Jason Bright, CEO and founder of MediaBeacon, is assume the role of Chief Technology Officer to work with the Esko R&D teams to drive software integration between the a range of platforms.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG today signed an agreement with investment company CoBe Capital for Heidelberg to acquire the European Printing Systems Group (PSG) headquartered in the Netherlands. Through this acquisition, for which the purchase price is to remain undisclosed, Heidelberg would expand its services and consumables business. Heidelberg expects the acquisition of the PSG Group, which is subject to regulatory approval, to result in additional sales of around €130 million for the Heidelberg Group, primarily through services and consumables business. The medium-term goal at Heidelberg is for services and consumables to account for over 50 percent of total Group sales. The figure currently stands at around 40 percent.PSG has approximately 400 employees in the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) and southern Europe. It has worked closely with Heidelberg for several decades. PSG currently generates over half of its revenue through the sale of services and consumables, with Heidelberg products accounting for the majority of the company’s equipment sales.“PSG’s strength in the services and consumables business and its outstanding access to customers are very attractive to us,” said Gerold Linzbach, CEO of Heidelberg. “Having eliminated unprofitable portfolio items, we’re now starting to actively expand our portfolio in order to return the company to growth."
Cimpress entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Exagroup SAS, a Web-to-print business in Europe that focuses on serving French-language graphic arts professionals and printers. Exagroup was founded in 1999. Cimpress is the newly named holding company for Vistaprint, which now holds several European Web-to-print assets in addition to its well-known North American entity.Under the terms of the agreement, Cimpress will acquire 70 percent of the shares of Exagroup for a purchase price of approximately €91.5 million with an option to acquire the remaining 30 percent of the shares in 2019 for a price between €39 million and €47 million, subject to the achievement of financial performance targets for calendar year 2017.The acquisition, according to Cimpress, supports its strategy of building an operational platform for producing mass customizable products like signage, printing, apparel and promotional products. Cimpress produces more than 80 million unique products a year via its network of computer integrated manufacturing facilities. Exagroup provides an existing network of outsourcing partners.Exagroup’s largest brand, Exaprint, follows a trade-printing model in that it serves graphic arts professionals and offline printers who, in turn, resell to end customers. Exagroup also goes to market via a network of almost 1,000 Web-to-store retail partners under the PrintyShop brand and via the Pure Impression brand.“Over the past 15 years, Exagroup has earned the loyalty of local printers, copy shops and graphic arts professionals by delivering a wide array of innovative, creative and high-quality products via a simple-to-use extranet," said Robert Keane, President and CEO of Cimpress, "Complemented by white-label marketing tools that enable resellers to fully control and own the relationship with the end customer.”Keene continued to explain Cimpress plans to continue to invest in what he refers to as a reseller-focused value proposition – “to bring even more value to Exagroup resellers.”In calendar year 2014, Exagroup’s revenue was approximately €76 million, reflecting year-over-year growth of 17 percent. Exagroup’s free cash flow in calendar year 2014 was approximately €5 million and its EBITDA was approximately €14 million.Subject to satisfaction of various closing conditions, including antitrust clearance, Cimpress expects the transaction to close during its fourth fiscal quarter of 2015. Cimpress’ portfolio of brands includes Vistaprint, Albelli, Drukwerkdeal, Pixartprinting, among others.  
Grenville Management and Printing of Toronto, led by President Michael Burke, has purchased NCO Technologies, resulting in a combined company now operating as NCOGrenville. NCO Technologies is described as the largest dealer of Canon Imaging Systems in Ontario. NCO has been serving thousands of private and public sector clients for over 40 years. Previously based out of Newmarket, NCO Technologies, while retaining its management, sales and support teams, is moving to its downtown Toronto and Markham facilities.As a combined company, NCOGrenville will be able to provide both hardware and software solutions for building document workflows, offering a suite of on-site and off-site services to private and public sectors across Canada.  
Central National-Gottesman Inc., a U.S.-based distributor of pulp, paper and forestry products, announced today its purchase of Spicers Canada, adding to the company’s portfolio of regional paper merchants.   Headquartered in Vaughan, Ontario, Spicers Canada is one of the country’s largest distributors of fine paper, sign and display media, industrial packaging and graphic arts supplies. The company operates 15 warehouse locations throughout Canada, as well as sheeting facilities and cash-and-carry stores serving local markets. “Spicers Canada has a very strong competitive position in the market, reflecting its scale, deep set of service capabilities and exceptional leadership,” said Andrew Wallach, President and CEO, Central National-Gottesman (CNG). “We are looking forward to working with [President] Cory Turner and his team to build upon the company’s excellent reputation and market leadership.” Spicers Canada is a subsidiary of Australia-based PaperlinX Limited and ties its history back 70 years in Canada. CNG states Spicers Canada and its nearly 500 employees will continue to operate independently.Spicers Canada represents the eighth acquisition of a regional paper merchant since 2010 for CNG’s North American distribution division and is expected to add approximately $400 million in annual sales. “This transaction is an excellent fit with our existing strategy to grow organically and through strategic acquisitions,” added Ken Wallach, CNG’s Executive Chairman. “We believe it demonstrates our enduring commitment to the paper distribution business in North America.” Spicers Canada joins CNG merchants Lindenmeyr Munroe, Spicers Paper (US) and Kelly Paper in the company’s Distribution Group. The deal is expected to close at the end of February pending approval by the Competition Bureau of Canada. CNG is a $5 billion, global marketer of pulp, paper, tissue, packaging and plywood. The company was founded in 1886 and headquartered in Purchase, NY.
The OTC Group of London, Ontario, which focuses on combining the production of packaging with data management, has worked with Xerox to develop a unique tracking solution to thwart counterfeiting and theft of pharmaceutical packaging.Xerox explains package theft and counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry costs an estimated $75 billion to $200 billion globally each year, while the sale of counterfeit medications puts human lives at risk. To address this issue, OTC Group is leveraging the Xerox Automated Packaging Solution (XAPS) with its own workflow process and packaging approach. The process developed by OTC Group is built around four inline production components, including printing, coating, stacking and die cutting. It allows the OTC Group to efficiently produce folded cartons with advanced anti-counterfeiting measures. “While many in the pharmaceutical industry struggle with the ability to conform to serialization and track-and-trace accountability, we’ve engineered a process that works,” said Adam Egan, OTC Group’s VP of High-Performance Packaging, noting the use of the Xerox iGen and XAPS solution. The process developed by the OTC Group and Xerox goes beyond legal requirements introduced in 2013 by the United States Drug Quality and Security Act.For one current client requiring an 800,000 printed carton production run, OTC Group estimates that the solution eliminated millions of dollars of risk exposure by providing traceability at every level, with the ability to account for every package printed – including waste – and providing that data to the client in electronic format.
4over, one of North America’s largest trade-printing operations, has entered the 3D Printing market and plans to provide the service to other printing operations through its online platform.The venture fits the company’s growing trade focus on promotional products available online, including template applications like large-format, packaging (primarily product boxes), marketing products like postcards and brochures, and pure promotional items like hang tags, rack cards, table tents, and T-shirts.The new 3D Printing initiative is being offered out of the company’s headquarters in Glendale, California. 4over employs a 3D manufacturing method called Fused Deposition Modeling, which is well suited for the creation of prototypes, samples for packaging development, and original items.“Our goal is to give our customers a simple and affordable 3D Printing solution to offer their own customers,” said 4over's CEO Zarik Megerdichian. “This technology brings with it so many benefits that traditional methods of manufacturing or prototyping don't offer. We're confident that 3D Printing will give our customers access to new markets, enabling them to grow their businesses faster, and to be more relevant than ever before.Earlier this month, 4over also announced it has opened the doors to a brand new operation facility in Central Florida to better service its growing East Coast customer base. “We’re delighted to be expanding our reach, once again,” said Megerdichian. “This new Central Florida operation centre means our existing customers now have easier access than ever before to fast turnarounds and free delivery on all of their favorite products. It also means we can service brand new sets of customers, thus perpetuating the unwavering growth trend we've been experiencing since 4over's inception.”
Goss International has completed a press enhancement project with Innotech installing a full-colour Panorama Gatefold System to produce unique advertising formats in The New York Times. Innotech, a New York based manufacturer of press auxiliary equipment, has been building customized equipment for commercial and newspaper printers for the past 25 years. The Panorama System uses what is referred to as INNOFORMER, the geometric air bar plow, for high speed folding with no set-up time. Innotech has installed many such systems, primarily retrofitted on existing presses, in China, India, Germany and Colombia. Completed to a tight schedule of around 20 weeks from initial order to the first test run, The New York Times Panorama project involved retrofitting each of two existing Goss Colorliner press lines. “Obviously, for a publisher operating on the scale of The New York Times, there is no time to lose and there can be no disruption to ongoing daily production,” said Dan Picco, Regional Sales Manager at Goss. “We had to establish failsafe processes from the outset and make sure we achieved the highest level of teamwork.” The gatefold system now running at The New York Times enables the Goss Colorliner presses to produce an additional four-page wide centrefold or a separate eight-page pull-out section, up to a maximum format of 48 x 22 inches (1,219 x 559 mm). In addition, it is possible to make smaller gatefolds or coupon folds at one or both edges for special promotions providing new display areas for advertisers. It is also possible to make gatefolds in the cover page or have the gate folded section as a wrap around the main section. “Goss and Innotech engineered a solution that gave The New York Times ultimate flexibility with regard to the positioning of specialized sections within the newspaper, without the need to purchase a new press,” said Vinod Kapoor, President at Innotech.
Publishing giant Simon & Schuster plans to produce a 960-page book containing all of Bob Dylan’s lyrics for a November launch. According Elmore Magazine, the 13-pound book, called The Lyrics: Since 1962, will initially be printed in a limited run of only 3,500 copies. Dylan over his career has sold over 125 million albums worldwide. The collector’s item book is expected to sell for $200, while Dylan plans to sign around 50 copies that are to sell for around $5,000. Elmore Magazine explains the book, which includes alternative versions of Dylan’s songs, features introductions and commentary about each song, as well as reproductions of the original cover art for each of Dylan's albums. “This book changes things, giving us the words from officially released studio and live recordings, as well as selected variant lyrics and revisions to these, recent revisions and retrospective ones; and, from the archives, words that, till now, have not been published,” said Boston University professor Sir Christopher Ricks, who led the project.
Guinness World Records sends an adjudicator to evaluate a stamp, designed for bpost Belgium to mark International Women’s Day, containing the image of a face formed with no less than 606 words. “We consider it a diversity of utmost importance,” stated Pierre Leempoel, Manager Stamps Production, bpost Belgium, when asked why the country’s postal organization made a new stamp for the International Women’s Day. “For the design we called in the designer Ann Bessemans. She used a very special technique: a combination of gridded letters [for the women’s face) and a digital microtext [for the background]. Right away a scoop in stamp land.” The stamp shows 606 words taken from the The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. The adjudicator from Guinness World Records counted the number of valid words. “He did so with an iron hand: incomplete words and words that were too short were dropped,” explained Leempoel. “But we lay hold on the world record of ‘stamp having the most readable words.’ We actually do not yet know if we will figure in the famous book: only a happy few survive the selection.” The bpost stamp was printed on a 4-colour Manrolna 704 3B P 2/2 press, which was installed in 2000 and now accounts for 15 percent of the organization’s production. The Women’s Day stamp with 606 words was printed as 108,000 sheets with five stamps each.
The Lowe-Martin Group of Ottawa has printed the first 200,000-piece run of a Canada Post stamp to mark the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, housed in a unique building in Winnipeg. The six-colour stamp with spot varnish is called the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Permanent (domestic rate). It measures 40 x 40 mm and was designed by Adrian Shum, with images from Mike Grandmaison. One Official First Day Cover will also be issued, measuring 191 x 113 mm. “Canada Post’s stamps tell stories of our history, our heritage and our Canadian identity. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will invite the world to reflect on human rights struggles – both inspiring and tragic – and encourage action for a better future,” stated Deepak Chopra, President and CEO, Canada Post. “This stamp commemorates a symbol of our global human rights aspirations, told through a uniquely Canadian lens.” The CMHR is situated at The Forks in Winnipeg, which Canada Post describes as a meeting place dating back thousands of years at the junction of the Assiniboine and Red rivers. “It was important to use an image that featured the four main elements of the building," stated stamp designer Adrian Shum. "The dark roots through which visitors enter, the mountain which houses the galleries, the glass canopy cloud, and the brilliant Tower of Hope guide visitors through their journey.” CMHR’s unique building welcomes guests on the ground level, before the ascend through a series of ramps to encounter galleries filled with human rights stories, finally reaching the Tower of Hope, a 23-story glass structure that overlooks Winnipeg. “When Canadians use this new stamp on their correspondence, they will help spread awareness of the museum and the importance of human rights across Canada and around the world,” stated Stuart Murray, CMHR President and Chief Executive Officer.
It is now a tradition of the RyeTAGA student chapter to attend the annual technical conference of TAGA to compete against students from other universities for the Helmut Kipphan Cup, which is a recognition for the best student produced and written journal. The RyeTAGA chapter came to the conference as the winner of last year's competition and defender of the Cup.Over the past two semesters the student group spent many hours planning the journal. This includes selecting the student research papers that will make up the content of the journal. The creative director of the group, Harleen Singh, spent countless hours in coming up with the design, typesetting, recreation of graphs and designing the metallic chapter divider pages.The group also held several fundraising events during the semesters, so that the group can attend the conference. Various university funding opportunities were explored and the group was successful in securing funds from P-FACS, the RCDS (Ryerson Creative and Design Society), and the  student project grant from the Dean's office of the Faculty of Communication and Design. Industry partners like Colour Innovations, the Crafstsmen Club, MI5, Spicers, PrintAction and others supported the groups with money or materials or use of equipment.At the conference student groups from 6 other universities displayed their journals and answered questions from conference attendees with regard to the production of the journal. The TAGA board of directors judged the journals, while the conference attendees could vote also for their journal of choice. The results of all the competition taking place for the RyeTAGA student group were very impressive. This year, the RyeTAGA won the following awards:- Harvey Levenson award for the best undergraduate research paper. The paper was written by Alex Chheun and Amy Nguyen and evaluated the colour stability of the Xerox 700 for short and longer runs;- Attendees Choice Award for the best student journals; and- Helmut Kipphan Cup for the best student journal.Winning the cup two years in a row has never been done before by the RyeTAGA student group! Again the students would like to thank everyone that supported them in producing this journal and making the travel to the conference possible. More information about the student group can be found at www.ryetaga.com.
On May 5, PrintAction magazine hosted around 30 printing technicians and operational managers, as well some of the world’s leading colour management experts at a daylong event – five sessions – focused on colour management, as part of its PrintAction Education Series.William Li, Kodak’s Colour Technology Manager, began the morning with a keynote about the globalization of colour and the growing importance of standardization. Li described the growing momentum behind the new M-measurement protocols for measuring and viewing print according to various light conditions. He also touched on the growth in extended gamut printing.Li spent time describing several of the more prominent technical growth areas in colour management, including the ongoing development of GRACoL Plus for reaching wider gamut and the new iccMAX initiative from the International Colour Consortium. After addressing the conflicting growth of G7 in North America and FOGRA in Europe, Li also discussed the critical need for Canada to become active in the TW130 program to have input in the direction of global standards relating to colour management.In Session 2, Angus Pady of Toronto-based ColourManagement.ca, described some of the more important tools printers should embrace for colour management. He emphasized how printers should be doing what they can to take advantage of – and gather – all of the available data for colour management.Pady ran through a range of useful software programs printers can use for analyzing the data, with an emphasis on recording colour curves. He stressed the importance of adopting colour servers for effective colour management.Abhay Sharma, a world-leading expert in colour management with Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program, then teamed up with David Brenner of X-Rite to delve deeper into the new M measurement modes for printing. They focused on how the new M1 mode now accounts for the use of UV light, which has been traditionally cut out of calculations because it could not be properly measured. While the UV-cut measurement is accounted for in M2, the M1 standard is able to account for the growing use of Optical Brightening Agents in papers. Brenner described how the M standards are be accounted for in new measurement systems like X-Rite’s eXact system, which can flip between UV and non-UV readings.Session 4 of the day sparked a lot of discussion among attendees as speaker Peter Hedgecock, Business Improvement Consultant with Leapover Consulting Inc., described some of the potential pitfalls of G7, based on his own experiences during a recent implementation of G7 Certification. Leveraging his experience in continuous improvement and as Canada’s first liaison for the SWOP working group, Hedgecock focused on why achieving grey balance is far from a proper definition of quality printing in offset printing, primarily relating to the adjustment of CTP curves.Peter Aston of Heidelberg Canada wrapped up the daylong Colour of Printing event with an interesting session called Profit and Success with Colour Management. Aston provided attendees with hard data points to describe the importance and capability to optimize a range of processes between prepress and press to realize effective colour management. Aston, again using data from dozens of tracked printing company, related how such optimization can lead to enormous reductions in waste and increases in productivity. Aston also used a handful of case studies to describe how specific printing companies achieved enormous spikes in productivity.
The Toronto Club of Printing House Craftsmen last week recognized the Toronto Gallery of Excellence Award winners at the Duncan House. The organization also presented funding to 11 students pursuing printing and graphics arts education, including the annual Chai Tse Awards and Graphic Challenge Awards.The RyeTAGA student group from Ryerson University’s Graphics Communications Management program received funding of $1,000 for its annual production and presentation of a TAGA research journal.C.J. Graphics of Toronto took home the most awards with 9 Gold, 8 Silver, 10 Bronze and 2 Honourable Mention Awards. The remaining award winners include: Colour Innovations (6 Gold, 2 Silver), Polytainers (2 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze), RP Graphics Group (1 Gold, 1 Bronze), The AIIM Group (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze), and Wellington Printworks (1 Gold, 3 Silver, 1 Bronze).   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria0544c799d9 Major Gallery of Excellence Awards    Heidelberg Canada Best of the Show 2014Project: Until The Last ChildPrinter: C.J. GraphicsProduction: This 50-piece run, primarily printed on a Heidelberg GTO, involved a box with black linen on the outside and charcoal grey linen on the inside, while the prints were on 80-lb, colophon on 100-lb, letter on 100-lb, book on 100-lb and translucent sheet on 36-lb stock. The Colophon and letter were printed at 10- and 20 micron, using Van Son’s Sona Dry inks, without any coatings.Taniguchi Ink Canada Best Use of Ink 2014Project: LARGE POSTER FLIP CHARTPrinter: The AIIM GroupBest Use of Bindery 2014Project: CPC Empress OF Ireland 100the Anniversary CollectionPrinter: Colour InnovationsToronto Craftsmen Student Chai Tse AwardsChristophe Blythe     Centennial College, Centre for Creative CommunicationKerin Bethel-John     Central Technical Secondary SchoolAngelo Roldan     George Brown College School of DesignMarilyn Gregory    Georgian College Design and Visual ArtsKhalid Ahsan     Humber College Advertising & Graphic DesignMelissa Binsted     Ryerson University School of Graphic ManagementAeshin Yeo     Seneca College School of Creative Arts and AnimationGraphic Challenge AwardsPost SecondaryWaqas Mohammed Khan    Seneca College, School of Creative Arts and AnimationChow A. I. Khalid Ahsan      Humber College, Advertising & Graphic DesignSecondary Schools        Helen Zhou    Central Technical Secondary SchoolBen DePaul    Central Technical Secondary School
Jim Bailen of INX International received the NAPIM Printing Ink Pioneer Award acknowledging his achievements during a more than 30-year career in the ink industry. Serving as INX’ Vice President of Engineering since 1999, Bailen was the lead project engineer for every major facility expansion and equipment installation instituted by INX over the past 20 years. In 1984, Bailen joined CPS, the in-house ink division of Sullivan Graphics in Dunkirk, New York and began work as an Electrical Supervisor in the Maintenance Department. Sakata INX acquired CPS from Sullivan in 1990, and it later became part of the INX International family. INX International, owned by Sakata INX, is the third largest producer of inks in North America with over 15 facilities in the U.S. and Canada.In 2004, Bailen oversaw completion of the new modern metal decorating facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, that produces ink for customers around the world. Four years later, he did the same for the new liquid ink plant in Homewood, Illinois, that produces water-based technologies. New media mill grinding equipment was introduced at these facilities, which INX describes as a pivotal outcome led by Bailen.“Jim has pioneered many developments over the years and truly deserves recognition for his contributions to the industry,” said Rick Clendenning, INX President and CEO. “Without him in this role, we would not be where we are today as a company with our world-class manufacturing facilities.”Bailen is credited with pioneering the development of intrinsic production safety devices for ink production equipment, introducing the Nip Guard Safety Interlock System that assures no 3-roll mill at INX can be run in cleaning mode.Since 2004, Bailen has served on the NAPIM/ANSI B65 Equipment Safety Committees that has developed several safety standards, including the 3-roll mills, to help guide equipment manufacturers to construct safer machines. He also established the development of the INX TPM elements for planned maintenance and early equipment planning within the company, which included the training of maintenance personnel at all facilities. Bailen has actively supported NAPIM for many years. In 2002, he presented at the NAPIM Manufacturing Symposium a paper on “Equipment automation and data collection system designs”. The same year, he began serving on the pilot committee for the Manufacturing Symposium and did so through 2004. He also served for two years on the NAPIM Equipment Safety committee and presented a paper on the “Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis”, at the NPIRI Technical Conference in 2006.
drupa 2016 in Germany is to include what the exhibition organizer, Messe Düsseldorf, describes as six theme parks in the drupa innovation park (dip), covering 32,000 square feet in Hall 7. A “dip energy lounge” is also planned to promote dialogue between industry peers.In mid-February Messe Düsseldorf announced it would move from its longstanding 4-year show cycle to hold the event, widely recognized as printing's largest trade show, every three years. The new cycle begins after drupa 2016, taking place from May 31 to June 10.“The drupa innovation park is a fantastic way for young companies and start-ups, as well as global players with forward looking solutions and applications, to present themselves,” said Sabine Geldermann, Director of drupa. dip was introduced at drupa 2004. “[dip] will give visitors a chance to get insights into the technologies of the future. We believe that this opportunity will give our industry an indispensable tool to support strategic business decisions.”dip 2016 Theme Parks1. Multichannel Publishing & Marketing SolutionsThis area will cover topics such as management of cross-media content/assets, web and app publishing, as well as database publishing and marketing and brand management solutions. Potential applications and trends like augmented reality, NFC applications and customized mass production will also be addressed.2. Web-to-Media & E-CommerceThis area will focus on solutions for Web-to-publish and Web-to-print, E-commerce and shop platforms, cloud publishing and Web editors for design/print and HTML 5.3. Process Optimization & AutomationThis park will include topical solutions and innovation, including: Management information systems, enterprise resource planning, print automation with JDF/JMF, workflow management from pre-press to finishing, process and quality control systems, industrial robots and automation technologies.4. Added Value in PrintThe focus will be on finishing, further development and the advanced added-value of print products, including innovative substrates, new finishing methods, packaging, label printing and displays, green printing and secure printing.5. Innovations in Printing TechnologiesModern printing and process technologies will be presented like functional printing, printed electronics, 3D printing, prototyping, visualization and workflow.6. Business ModelsNew business concepts and models, strategic cooperation and marketing platforms, as well as finance concepts and franchising and license models will be the subject of this thme park.
“Ipex is not dead and Informa has every intention of running it again and is committed to working with the industry to ensure the next Ipex is both relevant and successful,” explains Peter Hall, Managing Director Informa Exhibitions.Following the trade-show turmoil created by drupa’s announcement that it will switch to a three-year frequency cycle, Peter Hall, managing director of Ipex owner Informa Exhibitions has countered reports emanating from drupa’s global media conference that ‘Ipex is dead’ and is ‘unlikely to take place again.’Informa Exhibitions, who purchased Ipex from owners Picon (formerly the British Federation of Printing Machinery Manufacturers), in 2006 having organized the two previous successful Ipex exhibitions, is part of Informa plc, a London stock exchange-listed company specializing in B2B knowledge, business intelligence and transfer using publications, conferences, events, training, websites and trade shows. Its financial year 2014 gross revenues were equivalent in Australian dollars to $2.24 billion. Within this, Informa’s stellar performing division was its Global Exhibitions division, which recorded a 25 percent increase in revenue under the leadership of Peter Hall.A company of such substance and success, whose current share price is on a 45-degree upward trajectory, is unlikely to be fazed by one mediocre showing, which Ipex 2014 undoubtedly was. Rather, it is likely to apply all of its considerable resources to go back to the drawing board and come up with creative, innovative and new ways of delivering an event that the printing and graphic arts world wants and needs. Added to this is the recruitment of Patrick Martell, former CEO of one of the UK’s largest printers, the St Ives group, in a business intelligence role. Ipex 2014 suffered from several major exhibitor withdrawals including the employer of the then Ipex President, Canon. Still reeling from post-GFC effects, slashed budgets and industry consolidation, first Heidelberg, then HP followed by Canon, Kodak, Xerox and others pulled out of the show. Of the major digital suppliers, only Konica Minolta kept the faith and by all accounts had a very successful show. Companies such as Dainippon Screen, Fujifilm and EFI also stayed in and reported positive results.Perhaps Ipex 2014 also suffered from the change principle. It was the first time in 34 years that the show had been held in London, having been domiciled at the National Exhibition Centre, near Birmingham since 1980. Even that move was initially described as ‘disastrous’ as the dominant paradigm was that all big shows had to be in London. However, Ipex at the NEC grew to cultivate a loyal constituency, endeared to the semi-rural surrounds where friendly pubs abound and Bed-and-Breakfast accommodation could be enjoyed cheaply in places like Stratford, Warwick, Leamington Spa and smaller villages of Warwickshire while more elaborate hotels were also plentiful in Birmingham, Coventry and Solihull.Ipex is of course renowned for premiering digital printing to the world, with both Indigo and Xeikon choosing Ipex 1993 as their respective launching pads. While always more compact than drupa, it has consistently delivered an excellent programme of innovation, relevance and convenience, with English as the language for communication. Its traditional equilibrium, balanced at two-yearly intervals between drupas, has worked very well despite the 2014 hiccups. Until last year, visitors would always see drupa promoting at Ipex and Ipex promoting at drupa, by mutual consent.Now it seems that genteel understandings between trade show organizers have been subjugated by ‘Cry havoc and let the dogs loose.’ Drupa’s position regarding its triennial move, is that there may be some ‘irritation’ amongst trade show organizers in other countries who have always respected the Düsseldorf cycle. I think it is more than irritation; it’s anger at not being consulted.That drupa is an important and influential event on the printing and graphic arts calendar can not be disputed; it works superbly but it has ignored, or has just been blind to, the market stimuli that have allowed LabelExpo to become a global force in narrow-web packaging exhibitions, and FESPA to become a multi-edition and highly successful series of events for the burgeoning digital signage and display sector. Labels and wide format are the two highest growth rate sectors in the graphic arts.Drupa 2016 is already sandwiched between LabelExpo Europe in September 2015 and LabelExpo Americas in September 2016. It is also girt by FESPA Digital in Amsterdam in March 2016, just two months before drupa. It is likely that these two market events will impact on labelling and wide format presence at drupa.Back to Ipex; its smaller footprint and digital focus has always been an advantage. Because of the dearth of British print machinery manufacturing (Timson’s the last British press maker has just gone into receivership), the lobbying has tended to be more international. German and Swiss print manufacturing powerhouses such as Heidelberg, KBA, manroland, Kolbus, Goebel and Muller Martini have traditionally called the shots at drupa but the reality today is that Germany has almost no digital press manufacturing of its own origination and this vital growth sector is dominated by US, Japanese, Belgian, Israeli and even UK companies.Since its inception, drupa has had Presidents that have been associated with Heidelberg, Goebel or KBA.With a declining manufacturing base to support, this leaves drupa with the dominant function as a trade show organiser; much in the same way that Photokina has remained a popular photographic biennial event in Cologne despite once great brands such as Zeiss, Rollei, Leica, Voigtlander, Braun and Linhof having been steamrollered by the Japanese Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony.This means that the task for Ipex is one of developing a compelling new format that, as Peter Hall says, ensures both relevance and success. It is quite apparent that the resolve at Informa is to do just this and sources indicate that the company is already working closely again with Picon.This completely debunks the scuttlebutt that the show is dead and will not take place again. Informa is a major player in global exhibitions and growing fast. It has the resources to correct any aberrations that the 2014 event may have suffered from.Andy McCourt is freelance consultant editor to Print21, the official journal of the Printing Industries Association of Australia.
The United States Postal Service ended the second quarter of fiscal 2015 (January 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015) with an operating revenue increase of $223 million, or 1.3 percent, over the same period last year. The organization, however, also recorded a net loss of $1.5 billion for the quarter (all figures in US dollars). The increase in operating revenue was driven by a 14.4 percent growth in shipping and package volume. The net loss for the quarter was $1.5 billion compared to a net loss of $1.9 billion for the same period last year. Excluding a retiree health benefit prefunding expense, the net losses would have been $44 million and $447 million, respectively, for the quarters ended 2015 and 2014.Operating expenses declined by $160 million from the same quarter last year driven in part by what the USPS describes as favorable trends in workers’ compensation expense. Controllable income in the second quarter was $313 million, an increase of $52 million over the same period last year. Controllable income is defined as net income excluding retiree health benefits prefunding expense and expenses for interest rate and other non-cash workers’ compensation expense, which are factors outside of management’s control.“We’re pleased with the increase in our controllable net income compared to the same period last year, which demonstrates that our cost containment and revenue strategies are delivering results,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan Brennan.First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volumes declined 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, during the second quarter compared to the same period last year. For its most recent quarter, total mail volume of 37.7 billion pieces declined by 420 million pieces from 38.2 billion pieces for the same period last year.“Shipping and package services are a key business driver, however, operating margins in this business are lower than in mailing services,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “And, while we’re pleased to see a small increase in controllable income, to improve our margins, we’ll need to make investments in our network infrastructure and delivery vehicles.”The Postal Service ended the quarter with $6.1 billion in unrestricted cash, representing 22 days of operating cash. The USPS explains, that because it has reached its borrowing limit of $15 billion, the current level of available liquidity is not sufficient to support both operations and prefund retiree health benefits.
Standard Register Company on March 12 announced that it and its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States.The company also announced that it is pursuing a sale process and has entered into an acquisition agreement with an affiliate of Silver Point Capital L.P., a private investment firm managing approximately US$8.5 billion in combined assets. The agreement was submitted to the Bankruptcy Court on March 12.Under the proposed purchase agreement, Standard Register’s assets will be sold for approximately US$275 million plus the assumption of certain liabilities. The sale agreement contemplates a Court-supervised auction process, which is designed to facilitate a competitive sales process. “Standard Register has a fundamentally stable underlying business with a large, diverse customer base and a strong portfolio of solutions that include integrated communications, product marking and decoration (labels), document management, promotional marketing and technology/professional services, but our ability to invest in growth has been hampered by our debt structure and legacy liabilities," said Joseph Morgan Jr., President and CEO, of Standard Register.Silver Point is an existing secured lender of the company and, in combination with Bank of America, has agreed to extend US$155 million in financing in the form of a debtor-in-possession (DIP) credit facility. Standard Register states the DIP facility should provide ample liquidity to facilitate its sale process and to fund operations.Standard Register states it believes that the sale to Silver Point Capital will right-size its balance sheet by significantly reducing its outstanding indebtedness and other liabilities. “In response to the traditional print market decline, Standard Register repositioned itself as a market-focused, integrated communications provider where today, the majority of both revenue and profit are being derived,” said Morgan.
Engineering group Langley Holdings plc, the parent company of Manroland Sheetfed after its acquisition in 2012, published its IFRS Annual Report & Accounts for the year ended 31 December, 2014. Langley reported a profit before tax of €100.6 million on revenues of €779.4 million. Chairman Tony Langley said that the group's divisions had performed in line with or ahead of expectations. Manroland Sheetfed, Langley’s largest division in terms of revenue and employees, reported a small profit.Piller, the producer of power protection systems for data centres and Claudius Peters, the plant machinery constructor, performed in line with expectations while the other businesses division, principally Bradman Lake, the packaging machinery specialist, also had what Langley classifies as a satisfactory year.Langley also acknowledged the contribution made by the group’s 4,000 employees and welcomed around 300 employees of the newly acquired DruckChemie group to the family of businesses.
Kodak is establishing a new organizational structure to take effect on January 1, 2015, with five business divisions: Print Systems; Enterprise Inkjet Systems; Micro 3D Printing and Packaging; Software and Solutions; and Consumer and Film. “Kodak has an extraordinary product and service portfolio, groundbreaking scientific and engineering expertise, and a world-famous and highly trusted brand,” said Jeff Clarke, Kodak Chief Executive Officer. “We now have the right organizational structure for deploying those strengths to drive growth.”   The Print Systems division is to be led by Brad Kruchten, focusing on graphic arts and commercial print customers with printing plates, computer to plate (CTP) imaging, electrophotographic press technology, OEM toner and all equipment services. Enterprise Inkjet Systems is to be led by Philip Cullimore, focusing on existing inkjet technologies like the Prosper and Versamark, as well as ink OEM solutions.   Micro 3D Printing and Packaging is to be led (on an interim basis) by Philip Cullimore, focusing on packaging customers and display OEM partners with products such as Flexcel NX systems, legacy packaging solutions and touch sensor films. The Software and Solutions division is to be led by Eric-Yves Mahe and the Consumer and Film division is to be led by Steven Overman, who is also Kodak’s Chief Marketing Officer. Kodak is also combining its current four regional sales organizations into two: Europe, United States and Canada, Australia and New Zealand (EUCAN) and Asia, Latin America, Middle East and Africa (ALMA). These will be led by John O’Grady, Managing Director, EUCAN, and Lois Lebegue, Managing Director, ALMA. In addition to CEO Jeff Clarke, the company has also altered its executive structure to reduce overlap with the following leaders: John McMullen, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President; Mark Green, Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President; Steven Overman, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President; Patrick Sheller, General Counsel, Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President; Terry Taber, Chief Technical Officer and Senior Vice President; and Kim VanGelder, Chief Information Officer and Vice President.
The Trustee in General Printers’ bankruptcy action confirms its creditors have accepted the company’s proposal and, following a December 16 auction of equipment, operations have officially ceased at the Oshawa facility. According to the proposal sent to creditors, four primarily paper suppliers listed as creditors in the bankruptcy action were collectively owed $441,179, while third-party printers were owed just over $30,000, and finishing companies more than $125,000, not including a mailing service provider owed $141,469.   Previous article from December 5: Consolidated Graphics Canada Ltd., which operates as General Printers, plans to close its facility in Oshawa, Ontario, following its proposal to creditors, who are to vote on the action on December 12. The estimated amount of total debt owed to creditors is $4.6 million, with approximately $2.15 million secured.   In late-October, General Printers made a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal filing under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, which held the potential for the company to restructure. General Printers had a 30-day schedule in November to meet its cash flow obligations. “Prior to the 30-day initial stay expiring, the company made a proposal to its creditors,” explains the Harris&Partners trustee who is overseeing the filing. “The intention is an organized wind down including an auction of [General Printer’s] assets, completing work in process, collecting receivables and selling real estate. The creditors meeting is set for December 12, 2014, to vote on the Proposal made to creditors.” David Fors, a principal owner of General Printers, was not avialable this morning for comment. Fors had led the operation as President since 1991. General Printers was established in 1951 and was one of the region’s most-visible printing operations. The General Printers auction is scheduled to take place on December 16, 2014, at the company’s Ritson Road facility and online, beginning at 10:30 am. Equipment inspection is available the day prior. Some of the key pieces of equipment up for auction include: an 8-colour, 40-inch Heidelberg Speedmaster 102-8-p+l (2007); 8-colour, 40-inch Heidelberg Speedmaster 102-8-p5 (1998); 2-colour, 40-inch Komori Lithrone (1998); Xerox iGen3; Lawson MPV-60 controlled guillotine; an assortment of Stahl and Heidelberg folding lines; and Muller Martini stitching lines.
Oshawa-based Consolidated Graphics Canada Ltd., which operates as General Printers, made a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal filing under Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. The company now has until early November to meet cash flow obligations, possibly mid-November with an extension, overseen by bankruptcy trustee Harris&Partners. “Due to a downturn in business, the company was facing a cash crunch and was no longer able to meet its obligations as they became due,” wrote a Harris&Partners trustee overseeing the bankruptcy act filing. Phone calls and an email to David Fors, a principle of General Printers, have gone unanswered to find out more information about the company’s current situation and future plans after the bankruptcy act filing. Fors has led General Printers as President since 1991. The company itself was established in 1951. General Printers lost one of longtime leaders in 2011 when Fred Thornley, co-owner and Vice President, passed away at age 63. He had spent 45 years at the company. General Printers describes itself both as an employee-owned company and as a division of Consolidated Graphics Canada Limited, the name under which the bankruptcy act filing was made. Harris&Partners reports General Printers intends on putting its hard assets out for public tender or auction to meet some of its obligations, although the exact process has not yet been determined.
Air Motion Systems of River Falls, WI, enters a strategic partnership to have KOMCAN serve as the exclusive distributor of Air Motion’s LED UV and UV curing technologies in Canada. “[KOMCAN] is excited to be working with a world-class company like AMS. AMS has long proven to be the leader in UV curing technologies and pioneers in LED and low energy UV curing,” said Steve Ranson, CEO of KOMCAN. “We at KOMCAN will now be able to offer our Komori customers as well as all other offset equipment users the local sales and support of the complete line of AMS UV curing."KOMCAN, based in Georgetown, Ontario, is also the exclusive Komori distributor for Western Canada and Ontario, providing presses, service, OEM parts and consumable products.“Canada has been a fantastic market for AMS for almost two decades,” said Steve Metcalf, President and CEO of Air Motion Systems, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance UV LED and UV ARC Lamp systems for the printing industry. “The adoption rate of LED UV in the sheetfed market has been key to the outstanding growth of our technology.”
Tilia Labs Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario entered into an exclusive agreement with Fujifilm Global Graphic Systems to distribute its Phoenix imposition and planning software in Japan. The technology, using JDF protocols, can be combined with Fujifilm’s XMF workflow."It is a great pleasure to be partnering with Fujifilm and begin offering Phoenix to the Japanese market. Increasing automation and efficiency has always been a core driving force in our product development,” said Sagen de Jonge, CEO at Tilia Labs. “Phoenix goes a long way to speed up the planning and imposition stages of production, and combined with Fujifilm Workflow XMF, this automation can be extended all the way to RIP." Phoenix is designed for a range of work, such as packaging, labels, tags, and wide-format, among other applications. Tilia Labs explains Phoenix’ set of ganging tools allow for generating accurate estimates in minutes, which can then be re-used for final touches in prepress. Phoenix also has what Tilia Labs describes as specific integration with XMF allowing for seamless pass off via JDF to Fujifilm's workflow.“We are excited about launching Phoenix into the Japanese market,” said Shigenori Tsuji, Senior VP of Workflow Division of Fujifilm Global Graphic Systems. “Combined with Fujifilm Workflow XMF 6.1 with Adobe Mercury RIP Architecture, which has already been well accepted in the market, we will be initially targeting mainly folding-carton applications, but we are foreseeing its capability for wider applications in the future.” Tsuji continues to explain Phoenix is Fujifilm’s choice to jump into the folding-carton segment due mainly to its ease-of-use and rapid development cycle.
Drytac, a manufacturer of adhesive-coated products, appoints ND Graphics as its exclusive Canadian distributor for the sign and large-format printing market. The move, according to Drytac, was in part due to its 2013 acquisition of a second manufacturing and coating operation in Toronto, which has resulted in greater demand for product distribution. Drytac also states it is becoming increasingly focused on expanding its presence in self-adhesive markets, such as labels and tags used in packaging, automotive and industrial applications. With 10 stocking locations across Canada and an outside sales staff of more than 30, Drytac explains ND Graphics is well equipped to support existing business and to develop new business in the sign and imaging markets. ND Graphics stocks approximately 4,000 products, including equipment and print material, and has established customer service and technical support teams.“It is imperative that Drytac focus on manufacturing and custom coating in Canada,” said Mike Wildbore, Drytac’s Vice President of Sales. “By partnering with ND Graphics, we will be able to shift our attention to industrial and non-graphic markets that offer untapped potential for our business.”Drytac manufacturing of adhesive-coated products focuses on applications like graphic films, window films, double-sided tapes, self-adhesive print media, label stock, industrial adhesives, and heat-activated and pressure-sensitive laminates and mounting adhesives.  
EFI and Konica Minolta Business Solutions (KMBS) signed a non-exclusive agreement for KMBS to distribute and service EFI’s wide-format inkjet imaging technology across North America. The announcement was made during Konica Minolta’s National Dealer Meeting in Los Angeles.“EFI has longstanding, successful strategic alliance with KMBS centred on the development of EFI Fiery products for Konica Minolta production equipment, and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to expand our partnership,” said Frank Mallozzi, EFI’s Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing.The 65-inch-wide EFI H1625 LED hybrid inkjet printer will be the first system available through the KMBS sales network this coming May. It features four colour grayscale print heads producing what EFI describes as near-photographic image quality, as well as white-ink capabilities.
MPS Systems North America Inc. has named Northern Graphic Solutions Inc. as its distributor of its flexo and offset presses in central and eastern Canada. MPS, with its global headquarters in the Netherlands, manufactures printing and converting machines for the pressure-sensitive and packaging printing markets. “We are excited to join the MPS team,” said Jerry Wynia, President of NGS. “We truly believe MPS is the leader in print quality and production efficiencies, offering its customers a real competitive advantage with today’s challenges.” MPS has been selling and servicing its presses in North America for several years, and in May 2014 the company announced it was strengthening that presence by expanding its sales, installation, service and assembly operations. MPS states its new partnership with NGS is another step in fulfilling this goal.  “By combining the technical innovation and high quality manufacturing of MPS with the market knowledge and customer service of NGS, we can optimally satisfy the needs of the Canadian market,” said Kees Nijenhuis, MPS’ vice president of North American operations. One of the flexo presses NGS is offering is MPS’ flagship EF printing press. The EF is an automated, multi-substrate press available at 13-, 17- and 20-inch formats, which includes the Crisp.Dot technology and features a choice of either plate rolls or print sleeves. The press features both UV and hot-air drying technology, allowing users to print diverse substrates including film, paper, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging.
Mitsubishi Imaging Inc. has signed as a North American distributor with CRON-ECRM, which focuses on the supply of CtcP products, accessories and Blackwood printing plates. “This announcement affirms Mitsubishi Imaging’s longstanding commitment to the offset print and CTP markets with a solution that will help the offset print community remain strong and profitable for years to come,” said Catherine Cartolano, Vice President of Sales and Technical Services, Mitsubishi Imaging. Mitsubishi Imaging is headquartered in Rye, New York. CRON-ECRM is a joint venture between ECRM and Hangzhou CRON Machinery & Electronics for distribution of CRON products and Blackwood printing plates and chemistry. “We are delighted to have this partnership with such a well-known and widely regarded supplier to the printing industry and look forward to expanding MII’s portfolio with new and innovative product offerings," said CRON-ECRM President and CEO Rick Black.
AVT of Israel, which develops technology for print inspection and process control, and quality assurance, is now collaborating proofing solutions provider Global Vision. Under the agreement, Global Vision will provide AVT with a new software engine for its offline inspection solutions, which are customized to suit the specific needs of the printing industry. The partnership also enables AVT to serve as Global Vision’s print market sales arm, as the two companies will jointly develop inspection tools for specific sectors, including the labeling and packaging marketplaces. The companies also will co-develop print quality assurance solutions that connect inline and offline inspection systems. “Our partners at Global Vision offer unsurpassed offline verification and inspection solutions for the markets they serve,” said Jaron Lotan, CEO, AVT. “As a result of our newfound synergy, AVT can now provide its customers all-inclusive tools regardless of printing technology and application.” Among AVT’s latest offline solutions is SolidProof, which the company describes as providing 100 percent assurance for wide web, narrow web and sheetfed applications. SolidProof automatically eliminates conversion errors and undetected defects during the pre-press stage. The goal of the system is to reduce the need for manual inspection and to bring waste levels to near-zero. SolidProof also features intelligent cropping and automatic alignment utilities, reporting and multi-lingual inspection capabilities, as well as options for barcode and Braille verification and a 21 CFR Part 11 compliance module for the pharmaceutical sector. There are more than 7,000 AVT systems are installed at customer sites worldwide. “In AVT, Global Vision now has an influential, reputable arm in the print market, while we help bolster AVT’s presence in other capacities,” said Reuben Malz, CEO, Global Vision. “The collaboration is an ideal match that will, most importantly, improve the overall print inspection solutions space through increased access and innovation.”
Allegra Network LLC announced it plans to install Avanti Slingshot as the new core of WorkStream, a Web storefront to MIS workflow platform used by its North American base of 270 marketing and print communications franchises. The move to Avanti Slingshot was led by Ricoh Americas, one of Allegra’s key printing technology providers, which made a multimillion-dollar investment in Avanti Computer Systems back in July 2013. In December 2014, Ricoh acquired PTI Marketing Technologies, described as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) asset management and marketing solutions provider, building on an preexisting technology partnership between itself, Avanti and PTI. Allegra, based Plymouth, Michigan, states it selected Avanti Slingshot for its ability to provide an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform to support its franchises of all sizes. “We pride ourselves on providing our franchise community with the technology and tools they need to efficiently manage their businesses, and Avanti Slingshot delivers with its robust suite of modules and ability to handle multiple lines of business,” said Joe D’Aguanno, Chief Technology Officer, Allegra Network. “Our relationship with Allegra is one we are extremely proud of at Ricoh. A truly innovative company, Allegra sees the need for tools that can effectively help their business grow and their operations to continuously enhance,” said John Fulena, VP Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas. “Avanti Slingshot is an award-winning and proven solution… we are very pleased that Allegra has chosen this solution and look forward to our continued collaboration.” Avanti Slingshot was launched in 2013 as a browser-based platform for quoting, job ticketing, costing and tracking, through to billing.  Slingshot modules can be added as a franchise member expands into new lines of business, such as large format. “Avanti Slingshot is a fantastic tool to help cultivate a more meaningful customer relationship, helping our clients remain competitive in the ever-changing print market landscape,” said Patrick Bolan, President and CEO, Avanti. “This is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Ricoh, Avanti and Allegra Networks…”
During the first press conference of Graph Expo 2014, Mark Hischar, President and CEO of KBA North America, announced Koenig & Bauer Group will collaborate with HP to develop new roll-to-roll inkjet solutions for the corrugated packaging market. The co-developed solutions, with KBA providing its expertise in paper transport systems and HP its inkjet knowledge, are to be marketed under the HP brand. HP estimates the corrugated package printing industry represents an addressable market of US$2.5 billion. Hischar also pointed to segment trends like SKU proliferation, micro-segmentation and shorter product lifecycles as driving demand high-speed inkjet press technology. Both companies would not elaborate on the systems under development beyond stating they are focusing on roll-to-roll thermal inkjet systems. KBA North America also announced a new strategic alliance to jointly market Tensor  printing equipment to the semi-commercial, insert and newspaper print markets worldwide. Under the terms of the agreement, KBA will actively promote Tensor’s single-width printing solutions. At Graph Expo, KBA North America also introduced its new RotaJET L Series Inkjet Press designed as a modular system, available in various web widths, maximum printing widths, and color content. The series is aimed at markets like book, direct mail, magazine, newspaper, packaging and industrial printing. The new KBA press series includes five RotaJET printing systems that can handle web widths ranging from 895 to 1,300 mm (35.2 to 51.1 inches). KBA explains it is possible to upgrade a KBA RotaJET 89 (web width 895 mm/35.2 inches) to a RotaJET 100, RotaJET 112, RotaJET 123 or the high-end RotaJET 130 (web width 1,300 mm/51.1 inches). It is also possible to modify a monochrome system into a four-colour system. KBA’s existing RotaJET 76 system is still available but its printing width of 781 mm (30.7 inches) cannot be extended.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is realigning the manufacturing of its postpress equipment through a new OEM partnership with Masterwork Machinery Co. headquartered in Tianjin, China. Heidelberg states production of postpress equipment at its German manufacturing sites is no longer competitive under the new market conditions. The company’s postpress in Germany are to be discontinued, except for production of folding machines at its Ludwigsburg site, a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about 12 kilometres north of Stuttgart. Postpress packaging products and solutions will in the future be developed and manufactured by the new Chinese OEM partner Masterwork Machinery with Heidelberg retaining responsibility for sales and service activities. For postpress products in the commercial-printing area, Heidelberg will only continue to market its existing folding machines and cutters, therefore not affecting business with Polar technology. Swiss company Müller Martini will take over service activities for installed equipment from the discontinued series. “The competitiveness of postpress product lines at Heidelberg was limited, so these activities are being placed on an entirely new footing,” stated Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach. These measures are to result in the closure of Heidelberg’s Leipzig site and a reduction in the company’s workforce at Ludwigsburg and Wiesloch-Walldorf sites. A total of around 650 employees worldwide will be affected.
QuadTech has formed a new partnership with the Gallus Group of Switzerland to provide QuadTech’s closed-loop colour control and colour measurement systems for Gallus’ offset, flexo and gravure presses. “Gallus has vast market experience and the widest customer base in the label printing industry. However, we recognized the opportunity to partner with QuadTech to provide our customers with state-of-the-art spectral colour measurement and colour control systems,” stated Dr. Thomas Weber, Supplier Relationship Management at Gallus. The initial integration plan between the two companies focuses on the QuadTech Color Control System with SpectralCam, which provides automated inline, closed-loop colour control for offset operations. SpectralCam adjusts ink keys to maintain specified colour targets on the fly and at full press speeds. Flexo and gravure printers can also leverage the QuadTech Color Measurement System with SpectralCam for inline monitoring of all packaging substrates, including challenging translucent, transparent and reflective films. Colour variations, explains QuadTech, are sent to the operator in real-time to change colour specifications, eliminating press stoppages and the manual process of removing sections of the web to measure colour.
Ultimate Technographics Inc. of Montreal has enhanced an integration partnership with Enterprise Print Management Solutions (EPMS) of Middleboro, Massachusetts.

The two companies will work closely to improve the flow of information between EPMS’ print management system and Ultimate’s Impostrip imposition software. Ultimate currently has over 30,000 imposition engines in place with prepress and printing professionals worldwide. “Because prepress cost greatly affects profitability, we believe our partnership with EPMS will provide the right connectivity that will help our customers realize a strong profit margin on every job they bill and especially using our gang run module AutoFlow,” stated Joanne David, President and CEO at Ultimate Technographics. “Integration is about job productivity. With EPMS and Impostrip our mutual client companies can now use proven tools that will automate the processes from order capture to print.” EPMS and Ultimate Technographics have already been working together for over two years and this latest agreement adds another level of functionality to their product integration.
“Manual intervention on a job to plan imposition is both time consuming and prone to human error. By automating this process through the integration with Impostrip, we are able to help our clients significantly reduce, and maybe entirely eliminate the touches previously needed between the MIS solution and production,” stated Mark Andersen, President and CTO of EPMS. “This integration provides our clients with the ability to automate the creation of gang-run impositions, using our Gang Run Wizard integrated with Impostrip.”
Sihl LLC and Arkwright Advanced Coating Inc. became one company, based in Fiskeville, Rhode Island, beginning on January 1, 2014. The newly combined company is to be called Sihl Inc. Sihl is a manufacturer of coated and processed papers, films, and fabrics. The move includes the company moving to a new Website address, from sihlusa.com to sihlinc.com (effective January 5, 2015). The name Sihl is derived from the river in Switzerland on which the founders built a paper mill in 1478 to fill demand that followed Gutenberg’s invention of mechanical movable type. Arkwright Advanced Coating Inc. opened in 1802 as cotton spinning mill as part of the industrial revolution. The company flourished as apparel fabric became coated industrial fabric, which eventually led to its development of coated films. The company today has five coating lines, eight converting machines and approximately 100 employees serving a capacity 30 million square metres of photo paper, transfer paper, IJ and toner receptive film.    Sihl AG, the parent company of Sihl Inc., is based in Bern, Switzerland, while a second production plant is based in Düren, Germany, as Sihl GmbH. This includes specialty materials for inkjet, solvent, UV curable, latex and toner-receptive wide format plotters, printers, and presses.
Mohawk expects to produce 500-million envelopes annually in South Hadley, Massachusetts, when the papermaker, described as North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes and specialty substrates, takes over an 112,342-square-foot early in the New Year. The facility is expected to be fully functional by the end of April 2015. The announcement comes after the Massachusetts Office of Business Development Economic Assistance Coordinating Council voted unanimously to approve Mohawk’s application for a special tax assessment for the facility. Mohawk intends to enter into a 7-year lease agreement. “Our plan to create a new envelope converting facility in South Hadley, Massachusetts represents our commitment to further growth of Mohawk’s envelope business,” said Thomas O’Connor Jr., Chairman and CEO of Mohawk. “Since January (2014], we have committed to investments of nearly $5 million in new envelope converting equipment and facility upgrades, and the creation of 100 new jobs for skilled envelope workers. Our envelope business is vibrant, rapidly growing, and we are uniquely positioned to serve our customers with fast delivery, exceptional integrity, and the highest quality envelopes available in the industry.” Mohawk plans to invest up to $2 million to retrofit the South Hadley facility, including upgrades to electrical systems, installation of air and vacuum lines, and the purchase and installation of envelope converting and manufacturing equipment. Mohawk expects to produce over 500-million envelopes annually at the new facility. The site will also feature warehouse space to service the company’s customers along the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as overseas businesses. “We selected the South Hadley location because the layout of the building is ideal for our manufacturing needs,” said Bob Scammell, Mohawk’s Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Operations.  “The site is essentially move-in ready and requires minimal construction prior to becoming operational, and there is an abundant pool of highly skilled envelope workers in Western Massachusetts.” Approximately 40 new employees will be hired to staff the new South Hadley facility, which will operate five days a week, three shifts per day. Mohawk also owns and operates a one million square-foot paper and envelope converting facility in Ashtabula, Ohio, which produces 1.5 billion envelopes a year. In early 2014, Mohawk grew its envelope operations at its Ohio facility by adding 75 new employees to a total of 200 and expanding operations by investing millions of dollars in converting equipment upgrades. 
Seiko Epson Corporation of Tokyo plans to invest 12.3 billion yen ($1.2 billion) in its manufacturing subsidiary Epson Precision Philippines Inc. to construct a new plant for increasing inkjet printer and 3LCD projector production volumes. The facilities will be constructed inside the existing site by the early part of 2017, with operations slated to begin in the spring of that year. Epson plans to install a large solar power generation system with a capacity of approximately 3,000 kWh on the roof of the new plant. This system will reduce overall daytime electricity consumption at Epson Precision by half. As it implements its mid-range business plan, Epson has determined that its current inkjet printer and projector manufacturing facilities in China, Indonesia and the Philippines are insufficient to meet expected demand. In inkjet printers, the company is forecasting the need to significantly boost production capacity for its core high-capacity ink tank models and also for office inkjets. Epson also sees the need to increase projector production as it expands its lineup. With growing demand for projectors used in business and education, expanding commercial applications, and increasing penetration in emerging economies, Epson forecasts its growth will surpass that of the market. Epson plans to increase the workforce of Epson Precision in the Philippine to approximately 20,000 from the current level of 12,500.
The C.J. Group of Companies, led by President and founder Jay Mandarino, finalized the purchase of a new building at 249 Evans Avenue, which is in Toronto’s Mimico neighbourhood on the southwest corner of Evans and Horner. The 60,000-square-foot facility includes 29-foot-high ceilings and a second floor with 10,000 square feet of space. It will house C.J. Group’s large format and fulfillment/distribution services, as well as the company’s Digital, Interactive, and Designedge magazine properties.   Two recent acquisitions will transition to the new location as well, and the company plans to add a full mailing house operation in the next five months. Renovations are under way and moving will begin in late November to be completed by January. The C.J. Group of Companies now owns three facilities totaling more than 150,000 square feet.“Thanks to all our great clients, staff and suppliers who have supported our growth,” said Jay Mandarino, President and founder of C.J. Group.  
The Toyo Ink Group based in Tokyo, Japan, continued to expand its manufacturing presence in India, with the inauguration of its second production site in the country. The new US$17 million facility in Dahej, Gujarat state, along the eastern coast of India, has begun making offset inks with a production capacity of 10,000 m. tons, which is nearly three times that of the company’s first manufacturing facility in Delhi. The Gujarat plant will also supply inks on a global level, particularly to nearby markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Growing demand has pushed production at our Delhi plant to capacity,” stated Shingo Nishikaze, Chairman of Toyo Ink India Pvt. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Toyo Ink Group. “With the establishment of a second inks plant, we are well-positioned now and in the future to support our customers’ growth in India and its neighboring regions.” Toyo Ink India first began manufacturing offset inks at its Delhi plant in 2008 and then expanded production to include inkjet inks in 2011 and gravure inks for the food-packaging sector in 2012. In 2013, the Toyo Ink Group established a manufacturing joint venture for azo pigments with Heubach Colour Pvt. Ltd., a producer of organic pigments. Located in Ankleshwar, also in the Gujarat state, the production site for the new alliance Heubach Toyo Colour Pvt. Ltd. is expected to come onstream soon with an annual capacity of 2,000 m. tons.
Japan’s Ambassador to Canada, the Consul-General of Japan and Brampton’s Mayor joined Canon Canada executives in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new five-story Canon headquarters to be built by December 2015. “Our vision for Canon Canada’s headquarters goes beyond being an infrastructure investment or a building where our employees work,” stated Ted Egawa, President and CEO, Canon Canada Inc. “We want our new headquarters to become a community for our employees and for our customers, which aligns with our Kyosei philosophy, which means harmoniously living and working together for the common good.” To be built on more than 18 acres at the corner of Mississauga Road and Steeles Avenue West in Brampton, Ontario, the new 180,000-square-foot headquarters will replace the company’s current office in Mississauga, which has been its home since 1984. Design of the Brampton facility is being led by the architectural firm of Moriyama & Teshima, which created the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto and The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Canon is aiming to achieve Gold Certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Sustainable design elements planned include the incorporation of lots of natural light, energy-efficient equipment and collecting rainwater for reuse. The Province of Ontario has designated Brampton as an urban growth area; by 2031 the city’s population is expected to grow to 725,000. Canon joins a list of high-profile organizations to build corporate infrastructure in Brampton, such as Loblaw Companies, HBC, Chrysler Canada, Rogers Communications, Maple Lodge Farms and Canadian Tire. Parent company Canon Inc. of Tokyo generates close to $46 billion in global revenue and has ranked among the top four in U.S. patents registered since 1994.

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