Industry News

More than 100 print journalists descended on Düsseldorf in early March to have a firsthand look at some of the technologies and strategies that will be unveiled at drupa 2016. (This article first appeared in PrintAction's May 2016 print issue.)drupa, the world’s largest trade show for print and cross-media solutions, is famous enough to rate a year-round mention in 11 languages on the double-decker Hop-On Hop-Off Tour buses in Düsseldorf, Germany, drupa’s host city. This year’s massive trade show helps visitors target exhibitors and vice versa by organizing exhibits into six growth sectors: Print, Package Production, Green Printing, Multichannel (Big Data and Web-to-print operations, variable-data printing, Internet-based marketing tools such as augmented reality and QR codes), 3D Printing, and Functional Printing (printed electronics and conductors, sensors, medical electrodes, electroluminescent lights, solar cells).The last two sectors in particular, 3D and functional printing, invite visitors to explore new technologies beyond the realm of traditional commercial print. During the first week of March, I joined 100 or so journalists from around the world at the 3-day pre-drupa 2016 International Media Conference, where 15 of drupa’s 1,650 exhibitors presented a virtual candy store of new technologies they plan to exhibit.  Their presentations came complete with impressive specifications detailing how these technologies operate faster, more efficiently, more reliably, less expensively, or with less environmental impact than previous generations of technology. Additionally, I was impressed to hear some suppliers emphasize their commitment and methodology for helping customers identify and successfully implement new profit centres to grow the customer’s business and strategies to reap the most from equipment investments the customers have already made. This type of practical support from suppliers, together with meticulous advance calculation of ROI on any new technology purchases, seems especially important right now, because recent developments suggest that Canadian printers may be inclined to shop at this year’s drupa. Renewed optimismJanuary 2016 saw the national economy expand for the fourth consecutive month and Gross Domestic Product grow 0.6 percent from the month before (its best month since 2013). Goods-producing industries like printing expanded by 1.2 percent. Then in March, Canada added 40,600 jobs, driving the national unemployment rate to 7.1 percent from 7.3 percent in February (the largest month over month increase since October).  After bottoming out at a new 13-year low near 68 cents U.S. earlier this year, the Canadian dollar rose over 77 cents U.S. in March, becoming the best performing major currency in the world since January. Simultaneously, the third in a series of Global Trends reports commissioned by drupa, showed that printers across the world feel increasingly optimistic about their business prospects in 2016 and plan to invest in production equipment: 53 percent in print technology, 50 percent in finishing, and 38 percent in software and workflows.  The drupa report further suggests that North American printers are already ahead of the global pack in several ways. Along with their counterparts in South America and Africa, they reported price increases, while printers in Europe, Australasia, the Middle East, and the rest of Asia said their prices are falling.  North American printers also reported that they offer a greater variety of value-added services and, together with printers in the functional print market no matter where they’re located, engage to a greater extent in Web-to-print operations than printers on other continents. These various factors may well encourage Canadian printers to spend on the offerings at drupa. When making purchases it would be astute for printers to enlist the expertise of drupa suppliers who will go the extra mile to help them perform the due diligence that is so necessary before a technology purchase to ensure its successful outcome.  I found one promising example in a March-1st press release explaining Canon’s new #UnleashPrint campaign at drupa. It reads:  “At drupa 2016, visitors will discover how Canon can help them ‘unleash print’ by combining technology innovation with expertise in implementing intelligent new business models that elevate print’s ability to respond to changing customer needs.  Canon experts will be on hand throughout drupa to talk to print service providers about their development plans and aspirations, offering practical guidance and insight through such successful tools as the Canon Business & Innovation Scan and Essential Business Builder Program.”With over 4,000 square metres of exhibit space, Canon is one of drupa’s biggest exhibitors this year. The company plans to exhibit the full gamut of its inkjet and toner-based solutions, from small to wide format.  At the pre-drupa media conference, as just one example of an emerging opportunity for printers, Peter Wolff, Head of Commercial Print Group, and Mark Lawn, Head of Professional Print Group, for Canon Europe cited inkjet book production, where demand for printed books persists alongside decreasing run lengths and increasing orders from one-time authors and self-publishers:  “The ability to print and distribute smaller quantities of books on demand via digital colour inkjet is cost-effective, eliminates the risks of mass production, the waste and returns of unsold books, storage costs, and lost sales of titles that are out of print.  Additional strategies to enhance the reader’s experience, such as versioning, variable-data printing, and emerging technologies like augmented reality allow digital print to intermingle seamlessly with virtual content,” explains Lawn. Although Canon holds its annual Publishing and Book Printing Conference at its Customer Experience Center near Munich, a European publishing hub, he says the same book production opportunities apply equally in Canada.“Canon works with printers on things like the challenge of imposing orders for multiple individual books into an efficient, cost-effective single run or how to split a single printing job between full-colour and black-and-white pages,” he continues. “Also, as more intelligent finishing systems evolve, they are allowing for more in-line finishing processes. Before print on demand, book binding was usually perfect bound, but now we can also do case binding and saddle stitching.”Among its innovations at drupa, Canon will display the Océ ColorStream 6000 Chroma continuous feed inkjet press, configured with the Zero Speed Splicer u40 and Libra One book block solution by Tecnau to demonstrate fully automated book production of pre-glued book blocks.  Also on exhibit will be the Océ ImageStream 2400, a continuous feed inkjet press already installed in Europe but being shown for the first time at an open exhibition.  In a recorded testimonial, Michał Rejnowski, CEO and owner of Totem.com.pl, says one reason he purchased the ImageStream 2400 was because of its unique ability to print at high quality on standard offset coated stock at high speed. Canon has greatly increased the number of substrates its cutsheet inkjet presses can handle with a new ColorGrip inline paper conditioning option.  Lawn adds that the ability to print on multiple substrates is important for emerging applications in décor:  Covering tables, walls, floors, and glass for decoration or to communicate key messages.With a similar eye to diversified substrates, Epson will exhibit 13 new professional production inkjet printers and presses covering an enormous range of applications, including labels and stickers, signs and displays, vehicle wraps, photography, fine art, décor, apparel and product decoration.  Duncan Ferguson, Director of Professional Printing Solutions for Epson Europe, says Epson makes a point of working with customers to help them grow their businesses gradually, organically, and strategically by adding several different printers to handle multiple ink sets and substrates. In turn, this diversified equipment enables printers to implement what he calls print-farming strategies to acquire an ever larger share of their clients’ printing requirements.  Printers visiting drupa are encouraged to seek out not only the latest and greatest technologies but also suppliers who, like the above examples, will invest time, expertise, and practical, personalized guidance to support each customer’s success.Welcome to DüsseldorfAlthough the population of Düsseldorf proper is only 593,682, some 150 million people live within a 500-kilometre radius of the German city, representing 35 percent of the European Union’s total population. Düsseldorf functions as Germany’s second financial centre (after Frankfurt) and ranks sixth in the world on Mercer’s 2016 Quality of Living survey.  Its rebuilding after World War II includes work by international celebrity architects Steven Holl, David Chipperfield, and Frank O. Gehry.  It is also known for its Fine Arts Academy Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, lively modern art and upscale fashion scenes, and Altbier, a unique variety of beer. During drupa, joint initiatives between drupa organizers Messe Düsseldorf and the local tourist authority will include the introduction of 3D-printing exhibits, a paper art market, and a fashion collection made of paper into major shopping areas, and “Wolfgang”, a double-decker bus converted by the GoetheLab at the nearby Technical University of Aachen into a mobile 3D-printing laboratory.  Bakeries, hotels, and the airport will distribute “druPRINTen” cookies modelled on the traditional imprinted biscuits called printen which also originated in Aachen.The signs indicate that printers are headed for an enlightening and enjoyable drupa 2016.
PrintAction magazine launches the 11th annual Canadian Printing Awards featuring 42 categories, which will celebrate some of the world’s best printing and use of technologies at the program’s annual gala on November 10, 2016, at the Palais Royale in Toronto.The 2016 awards program includes 24 printing project categories, four environmental printing categories, and 14 brand new technology categories. The new technology categories are the result of feedback from industry members who asked for the awards program to highlight important innovations of leading Canadian printers and global technology suppliers.The printing project categories continue to be the heart of the Canadian Printing Awards program to highlight the importance of high-quality and efficient printing output, including categories for offset, web offset, toner and inkjet printing. The environmental categories also remain as a critical part of program, on which it was founded 11 years ago.At November’s Canadian Printing Awards gala, regularly attended by approximately 250 industry leaders from across Canada, PrintAction will also introduce its 2016 Industry Achievement Winners, including: Lifetime Achievement Award, Printing Leader of the Year, Emerging Leader of the Year (Under 35), and Community Leader of the Year.Entry deadline is August 31, 2016, with early bird entry pricing availble until July 31, 2016.For more information about the 2016 awards program, including a complete list of the categories, judging panel and online entry process, please visit CanadianPrintingAwards.com.
Al George, one of the most-influential printing business leaders in Canada through the 1980s and 1990s, passed away on May 9 at age 73. George was best known for his leadership of McLaren Morris and Todd, which was founded in 1958 and soon became the print supplier for Hallmark Cards. By the early 1960s, the production of greeting cards represented 25 percent of total company revenues.Following this preeminent Canadian printing contract, McLaren Morris and Todd (MM&T) burst into North American printing notoriety when the company’s owners took a chance on a new, struggling client trying to manufacturer their Trivial Pursuit board game – created in 1979 in Montreal by Chris Haney, a photo editor for Montreal's The Gazette, and Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press.With MM&T’s crucial manufacturing partnership, Trivial Pursuit would become a global phenomenon, peaking in 1984 when more than 20 million games were sold across the continent. Building on its greeting card and Trivial Pursuit growth, as well as the 1980s boom in collector cards, MM&T began to shift its primary focus onto the production of labels as the company was purchased by Al George and John Morris in 1993 – with previous, second-generation owner Southam retaining a 30 percent interest. The leadership of George and Morris, who would purchase the balance of Southam’s interest in 1995, would set the foundation for one of North America’s leading label-printing operations, which ultimately led to its purchase by Mail-Well (Cenveo) in 1998. At the time, MM&T had sales of approximately $50 million. Commenting on the sale, George, who was serving as MM&T’s President at the time, said, “We will now be able to expand beyond our current capabilities with the backing of the substantial Mail-Well printing organization.”George remained with the organization until his retirement in September 2002. The MM&T operation would continue to evolve as a North American printing powerhouse. In 2013, the facility would see a technology investment of more than $6 million to install a 14-unit Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 sheetfed press (featured in PrintAction’s May 2015 cover story.)In 2015, printing giant WestRock Company entered into a definitive agreement worth approximately US$105 million to acquire Cenveo’s Packaging interests, involving six Cenveo facilities across North America, which generated more than US$190 million in revenue in the previous fiscal year. This deal included Cenveo Packaging's most-prominent Canadian facility, MM&T, in large part built by the innovation and strategic insight of Al George.Al George visitation and funeral detailsFamily and friends may gather at the Ward Funeral Home on Friday May 13, 2016, from 6-9 pm. A Celebration of Alan George’s life will be held on Saturday May 14, 2016, at the Ward Funeral Home at noon.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has won the International Bank Note Society’s 2015 Banknote of the Year Award based on the country’s recently introduced $5 polymer note designed and printed by Ottawa’s Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN). Polymer banknotes are increasingly popular because of durability and enhanced-security features.The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) was founded in 1961 to operate as a non-profit educational organization to promote, stimulate and advance the study and knowledge of worldwide banknotes and paper currencies. The IBNS currently has over 2,000 members in more than 90 countries.The 2015 Banknote of the Year Award was determined by its voting membership. Among 150 new banknotes released worldwide during 2015, members were able to consider around three dozen notes – from a record 20 countries – nominated for the award.The IBNS stated that New Zealand’s $5 polymer note produced by CBN was a clear winner, while the runners-up were determined by a very tight vote, including: Sweden’s 20 Kronor note depicting children's author Astrid Lindgren, Russia’s 100 Ruble note illustrating Crimean landmarks, Kazakhstan’s 20,000 Tenge note and Scotland’s (Clydesdale Bank) 5 Pound polymer note.IBNS explains the Reserve Bank of New Zealand began releasing a new family of brighter money banknotes in 2015, beginning with $5 and $10 denominations: “Each stunning orange and brown $5 note displays a map of New Zealand in a gorgeous polymer window as well as numerous upgraded security features.”The face of the New Zealand note features legendary New Zealand mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary and South Island’s Mount Cook (Aoraki). A colour changing yellow-eyed (hoiho) penguin completes the face design. The back design again features this rare penguin unique to New Zealand, explains IBNS, as well as local flora. The New Zealand $5 is slightly smaller than U.S. banknotes but almost identical to the 20 Euro.
Cober Evolving Solutions last week celebrated its 100-year anniversary at its state-of-the-art printing facility in Kitchener, Ont. From its humble beginning in 1916, Cober has evolved into one of North America’s most-advancing printing and media services companies, recognized around the world for its deployment of leading-edge technologies and business strategies.Leveraging its 40-inch perfecting power built through the 1990s and 2000s, Cober today delivers a range of content through print, digital, interactive and integrated services with a focus on strategy and metrics. The company recently expanded into a new 86,000-square-foot facility in Kitchener.Cober Evolving Solutions’ 100 years of business was recorded in a video by Communitech, which produces a bi-weekly video series, called We Built This, to highlight technology entrepreneurs in the Waterloo, Ont., region.Watch the Communitech video on Cober Evolving Solutions.Watch PrintAction's 2014 video featuring Peter Cober, Printing Leader of the Year.
Les Éditions de la Pastèque, in collaboration with the Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary, are producing a project called Paul à Montréal, which will be part of the city’s 375th anniversary in 2017.  La Pastèque will create an urban walk inspired by the Quebecois series called Paul, a comic strip created by Michel Rabagliati, who will direct the Paul à Montréal project. The project will be heavily driven by print, including a dozen panels that will be scattered throughout Montréal. From one panel to the next, the reader, guided by a booklet, will discover the streets of a Montréal neighbourhood. This narrative and interactive journey will extend mostly in the district of the Plateau Mont-Royal, a place iconic of the series created by Rabagliati.“Neighbourhoods are at the centre of Montréal's identity,” said Denis Coderre, Montréal's Mayor. “Michel Rabagliati acting as an ambassador is a unique chance for Montrealers and visitors alike to discover or rediscover, through his storytelling and imagery, this cultural landmark of the Plateau Mont-Royal.”The project will last from the beginning of August to the beginning of December 2017, which also marks La Pastèque's 20th anniversary. Before that, it will be presented in Toronto in April and May 2017, during TCAF, and in Lyon, France, in June and July 2017, during the Festival de la bande dessinée de Lyon.“Being presented in Toronto and Lyon in 2017 right before its deployment in Montréal, this project is perfectly adapted to the Society for the Celebration's objectives, namely the strengthening of our City's cultural influence,” said Serge Postigo, Assisting Celebrations Commissary. “With Paul à Montréal, history will come to life for the benefit of the citizens, proving the vitality of our city by means of the comic strip, an art whose popularity and recognition are an ever-increasing part of the Montréal landscape.”Michel Rabagliati was born in 1961 in Montréal, where he grew up in Rosemont. After a brief foray into typography, he studied graphic design and, from 1981, worked freelance as a graphic artist. He became seriously involved in advertising illustration as of 1988. Since 1998, his graphic novels are stirring up the Québécois “9e art”. His seven books published so far have made Michel Rabagliati a major figure of the comic strip in Québec. In 2007, the Prix des libraires du Québec granted him a special award in recognition of his works. He was the first Québécois to win the Prix du public Fauve FNAC-SNCF, for Paul à Québec, at the 37th Festival international de la bande dessinée in Angoulême, France.Les Éditions de la Pastèque has been publishing comic books and children's albums for more than 17 years. “La Pastèque wanted to emphasize this important event by celebrating the neighbourhood where it developed, and highlighting this wonderful city that we're so proud to make shine internationally, through the success of our books and the triumph of Michel Rabagliati,” said Frédéric Gauthier, Cofounder of La Pastèque.
Design Label Systems of Mississauga has added an Esko CDI 2530 plate imager with Full HD Flexo, the first such system sold in Ontario. The company has also added Esko’s Automation Engine workflow, which imports job information directly from Design Label's LabelTraxx MIS.Founded 27 years ago, Design Label Systems provides label and packaging solutions to a range of industries from its 25,000-square-foot facility, including food, household products, health and beauty, wine and spirits, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, and manufacturing. “We print and convert a variety of pressure sensitive labels, ranging from blanks to 10 colours using many types of print technologies,” said Imran Faruqui, Vice President.The CDI 2530 with Full HD Flexo is part of Design Label’s new premedia workflow, engineered by Faruqui with Esko's support. The company also invested in Esko DeskPack plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator to clean up artwork.
Commercial Digital Print, with three locations in the Golden Horseshoe, has installed a Duplo DC 616 Pro, purchased from Sydney Stone.The Duplo DC 616 Pro is an automatic slitting, cutting, creasing and perforating device, which allows users in a single pass to produce a range of work from business cards (24 up on a 12 x 18-inch sheet) to postcards, tear off tickets and booklet covers.Commercial Digital Print is a full-service reprographics and digital printing company with locations in St. Catharines, Beamsville, and Stoney Creek. Its roots date back to 1946 as Commercial Photo Copy Ltd., which served the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industries providing quality blueprints.The company recently added Action Print to its group. Established in 1994, Action Print is a commercial printing operation with both offset and digital.
Drive Products has installed a Ricoh Pro C7110X press to focus on printing a range of sales materials in house. Founded in 1983, Drive Products is national specialty vehicle systems integrator that distributes, installs and maintains a range of vehicle-mounted equipment.A major focus for the company is to maintain current sales and marketing information, which is constantly changing in its business environment. Drive Products explains the Ricoh Pro C7110X, installed at its head office in Mississauga, Ont., allows staff to produce new material in a timely manner to satisfy demands from the field. “It lets us be far more agile with our workflows, and produce a lot of highly customized low- to medium-volume requirements for our sales staff,” said Mike Edmonds, Chief Information Officer of Drive Products. Drive Products has been a Ricoh customer for more than 10 years.
KBA North America has worked with Toronto’s Metroland newspaper operation to retrofit two reelstands, in addition to a retrofit of the motion control and drives in one of four printing towers in the pressroom. Metroland is one of Canada's largest community media companies with operations in newspapers, digital properties, flyer distribution, printing, consumer shows, magazines, directories and online commerce. During the month-long installation, KBA worked hand-in-hand with the newspaper’s production team. KBA’s web service retrofit/rebuild program is designed to provide preventative changeover installation from drive components from AMK and BRC on an existing web offset press and replaces them with new enhanced technology.“We print over 100 community newspapers with over 125 editions that span from London in southwest Ontario to Ottawa in the northeast, with concentration around Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area,” said Wayne Savage, Maintenance Supervisor at Metroland Media. “It’s imperative that we need reliable running equipment.“The drives control all of the press’ components," continued Savage. “We knew we had to quickly make a decision to ensure that the press continued its production. When we realized that replacement drives were no longer available, we turned to KBA.”The KBA team delivered the new AMK reelstands and BRC motion control and drives to the Metroland Toronto newspaper pre-assembled and ready to be mounted and re-wired. “At KBA we are able to audit, analyze, and recommend programs to our customers and even non-customers to increase output and quality,” said Stefan Prohaska, Director of Customer Service at KBA North America. “Asset condition and reliability is key to dependable production and delivering products on time.”
Minuteman Press in Vaughan, Ont., has installed the new MOHR 80 ECO paper cutter, which is made in Germany by Adolf Mohr Maschinenfabrik GmbH. Minuteman Press purchased its MOHR 80 ECO through Sydney Stone.“We purchased the Mohr 80 ECO cutter as our older unit was falling into disrepair and was becoming both costly to service and making our finishing process slower than what we need in order to be efficient,” said Fred Lai, owner at Minuteman Press Vaughan.Adolf Mohr has manufactured more than 140,000 cutting units. The new MOHR 80 ECO provides a 30.5-inch cutting width with fully adjustable hydraulic knife and clamp. Programming of the MOHR 80 ECO cutter is done via a keypad that enables advanced math and push-out to help ensure operator safety.
Sir Speed of Markham, Ont., has added a Ricoh Pro C7100X press to its printing and marketing franchise operation led by Neale McKittrick.The Ricoh Pro C7100X, installed in late 2015, reaches speeds of up to 80 colour pages per minute and can support sheet sizes up to 13 x 27.5 inches, producing a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 4,800 dpi.McKittrick explains he was attracted to the printing system’s ability to print with clear toner and to run 16-point card stock, in order to expand the shop’s product offerings. He also added features like a vacuum feed paper tray and finishing options to produce saddle-stitched booklets.
Alexis Aubre becomes an Account Manager for Agfa Canada in Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, where he is responsible for the entire Agfa Graphics product portfolio.Prior to joining Agfa, Aubre held several key sales positions for various companies in the printing industry, including Canon Océ’s Professional Printing Solutions Group, Nustream Graphic and Xeikon. “Alexis' expertise in the wide-format and digital printing sectors will allow us to continue improving on our leadership position in the Canadian inkjet equipment sales market,” said Jean Tardif, District Business Manager, Eastern Canada."Agfa states it is ranked number one in the Canadian market in thermal, no-bake, chemistry-free and low-chemistry plates and CTP installations. In addition to its line of Duratex medias and distribution of Esko finishing products, Agfa’s Jeti inkjet printing systems are manufactured in its Mississauga facility.
Harry Vinson becomes Executive Vice President of Komori America Corporation with overall responsibilities for the company’s sales, marketing and service organizations. Vinson has more than 25 years of experience in printing and packaging industries, dominated by a long tenure at Cenveo where he most recently served as President of the company’s commercial print, global packaging and envelope operations.He also previously held the position of General Manager, Sheetfed Operations Central Region, for MAN Roland Inc., and served as Senior Vice President, Technical Publications Group at Moore Wallace North America. Vinson began his printing career as Vice President of Sales for Quebecor World.  “Harry’s diverse experience will play a key role as Komori moves toward its goal of evolving from a specialist printing press manufacturer to a print engineering service provider,” said Kosh Miyao, President and COO of Komori America. “His demonstrated leadership skills and ability to work successfully in all levels of the organization make him a great asset to Komori America Corporation.”
Former Hewlett-Packard printing leader Vyomesh Joshi becomes Chief Executive Officer of 3D-printing player 3D Systems based in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Joshi succeeds Interim-President and CEO Andy Johnson, who will continue in his role as 3D Systems' Executive VP and Chief Legal Officer.Joshi worked with HP’s imaging and printing group for 32 years between 1980 and 2012. While leading HP's $26 billion printing business as an Executive VP, he was responsible for doubling the printing business operating profits during an 11-year period.“I am incredibly excited about the future of 3D Systems. We have a tremendous opportunity to help customers take advantage of the era of manufacturing transformation, including mass customization,” said Joshi. “While the company has a strong history in place, it is clear that we need to develop new and innovative products with unprecedented quality and service levels to drive sustainable growth and profits.”3D Systems provides 3D products and services, including 3D printers, print materials, on demand manufacturing services and digital design tools. 3D Systems' precision healthcare capabilities include simulation, Virtual Surgical Planning, and printing of medical and dental devices as well as patient-specific surgical instruments.
Karen Heumann is joining the Supervisory Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, which is to become official at the press makers’ Annual General Meeting on July 28, 2016. Heumann, an entrepreneur and advertising strategist, was appointed by the Mannheim Court of Registration on March 24, 2016. “We are pleased to welcome Karen Heumann to our Supervisory Board as an experienced entrepreneur,” said Dr. Siegfried Jaschinski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Heidelberg. “Her wide-ranging expertise in brands and advertising and her experience in the printing industry will be of huge value to us during the ongoing realignment of Heidelberg.”Heumann is a founder of thjnk AG, an agency group that specializes in marketing communications, where she has been Spokesperson of the Management Board since 2012. She previously spent close to 20 years in leading roles at international advertising agencies and is noted as having substantial experience in the work carried out by supervisory boards.In other news, Heidelberg on March 31 announced it is receiving a €100 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support its research and development activities. Heidelberg states the funds will be directed toward digitization, software integration and expansion of its digital printing portfolio. To help finance the R&D program, the EIB is providing Heidelberg with a development loan that can be drawn down in tranches, each with a seven-year term. Heidelberg explains this is the first time a large German company has benefited from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the centrepiece of the Investment Plan for Europe.
On April 28, Thayer Long is to become the new President of NPES, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, which oversees the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) responsible for the annual Graph Expo trade show. Long succeeds Ralph Nappi who led NPES for the last 11 years and announced his retirement at the October 2015 Board of Directors Meeting. “We are delighted that Thayer Long will be joining the Association to lead NPES and the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC). Thayer brings eight years of effective leadership experience that includes all aspects of association management including strategic plan development, trade show management, government affairs, education and foundation work. He will be a great asset to NPES as we navigate the future waters of our industry." In addition to leading NPES and GASC, Long will also serve as president of the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF). He has nearly 20 years of association experience serving most recently as Executive VP and CEO of the Independent Electrical Contractors, and prior to that as President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute. Both organizations are headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metro area. “Thayer is a good colleague whom I have known for five years; the industry is fortunate to have such a highly qualified professional joining our organization,” said Current NPES President Ralph Nappi. “Thayer possesses the skill set to take NPES, GASC and GAERF to new levels and will bring a high degree of creativity and enthusiasm to our industry.”
Brad King has been named Vice President of Xerox Canada’s newly redesigned national graphic communications organization. Prior to his new role, King was Xerox Canada’s Vice President of Central Operations, responsible for sales and marketing of Xerox’s portfolio of office and graphic communications products to clients in the Greater Toronto Area and southwestern Ontario.King was a member of the 1992 Canadian Olympic team and competed in alpine skiing in Albertville, France. “The printing industry continues to be a very competitive marketplace for our clients – it’s also a very exciting time as we develop new technology platforms that will help them produce relevant, profitable, quality and high value offerings for their own customers,” stated King, in a release about his new role. “As the industry continues its migration from offset to digital, we are well positioned with our leading high-end printing solutions – such as the Xerox Impika Evolution, a continuous-feed, inkjet digital press – to help our clients broaden their offerings, while increasing productivity, overall revenue and business growth. This is a strategic priority for us.” Xerox explains the redesigned graphic communications operation will provide clients across Canada with access to specialized experts to help them better leverage the company’s production and digital printing technologies, application developments and workflow solutions.
Rayacom Group based in Edmonton, Alberta, purchased the assets of Generation Printing of Vancouver, BC, and states the move will allow it to launch a new West Coast trade printing division. As part of the acquisition, Rayacom is adding a 40-inch Heidelberg CD102-6LX3 press with an anilox coater, factory UV prep, and a triple extended delivery, as well as an HP Indigo 5500R press. By acquiring Generation, which was founded nearly 20 years ago by Edward and Rob Kouwenhoven, Rayacom explains it increases its total production space by 30,000. Rayacom previously had 11 branches across Canada including locations in Toronto, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Kelowna, Burnaby and Vancouver.A statement from Rayacom, which was founded in 2004, explains the Generation asset purchase will allow it to “reach new markets and better serve agencies and brokers within the trade printing market,” while also printing on larger sheet sizes, produce metallic prints and work with 48-point cardstock.“Generation Printing is a significant player in the Vancouver market, with unique manufacturing capabilities and strong complimentary customer relationships,” said Austin Tran, Rayacom Group’s CEO. “With immediate synergies, this transaction enhances our market presence in the West Coast, and significantly elevates our manufacturing capabilities while improving our ability to unlock capacities in our various stores across Canada.”Generation Printing will continue to operate as an individual entity. “Rayacom's national footprint and innovative approach to printing makes them the perfect company to take our organization to the next level. This strategic acquisition will create more and better choices for our customers and we anticipate a seamless transition,” said Edward Kouwenhoven, CEO of Generation Printing.
Cansel, a software, hardware, and service provider to engineering, surveying, construction, architecture, government and printing industries, has acquired PMP Media. The move expands Cansel’s presence in Quebec.“This acquisition expands and strengthens our media and equipment offering,” said Stephen Fletcher, Vice President, Cansel. “And most importantly, the addition of PMP Media, increases our presence and customer support in Quebec."Founded in 1978, PMP Media specializes in paper conversion and distribution of large format digital equipment and media, including specialty papers, inks and other supplies. "We are excited to join Cansel," notes Richard Marleau, President, PMP Media. "As a supplier, this acquisition will strengthen our position in the large format market, allowing our customers to benefit from a wide range of products, equipment and large format services."
The PDI Group of Kirkland, Quebec, has entered into an exclusive agreement, through its wholly owned subsidiary Trans-Optique Inc., to merge its large-format-printing operations with those of both Imagerie DB Inc. and LVP.ca Inc. The move will create a significant Canadian large-format printing operation in the Montreal region. The three companies plan to begin working together within a new, dedicated facility this summer. The resulting operation will be called PDI Large Format Solutions Inc. A statement released by PDI on the mergers explains: “The merger of our three companies will create an amazing synergy where our creative approach, our production capacity and our sales expertise will allow us to bring to market a greater depth and integration of capabilities that will define us as undeniable leaders in this domain.”PDI Inc. describes itself as the largest independent sheetfed printing company in Quebec, providing services like premedia, offset, toner and large-format production, as well as Web-to-print, fulfillment, warehousing and direct-mail services to clients in Quebec, Canada and in the United States.The PDI Group made its first major commitment to the large-format-printing sector in late-2014 by acquiring one of Quebec’s best know operations, Trans-Optique based in Montreal’s area of Pointe-Claire.Based in Boisbriand, Quebec, Imagerie DB Inc., in addition to its extensive prepress background, has been focusing on the large-format-printing segment for more than 14 years. The company is led by President Benoit Paquette and Vice President Denis Paquette.LVP.ca Inc. of Terrebonne, Quebec, is described as a large-format-print provider with a multifaceted approach, including services like design and installation. It has more than 20 years of experience in the sector.“LVP’s proven strength and experience in creative conceptualizations and consultative approach to customer service will enable customers to utilize truly unique sign and display capabilities to empower their brands and communication strategies,” said Francis Tellier, President of LVP.ca Inc.
Bobst Group SA and WIFAG-Polytype Group, both of Switzerland, have entered into what the companies describe as exclusive negotiations with regard to Bobst acquiring WIFAG-Polytype’s coating technology business.The proposed transaction is subject to the parties reaching a definitive agreement, with the closing of the transaction expected to occur at the end of the second quarter of 2016. The transaction would also be subject to customary regulatory approvals.WIFAG-Polytype Group is a privately owned international engineering and manufacturing company with headquarters in Fribourg, Switzerland. The group focuses on the production of printing machines for plastic containers and tubes and metal packaging equipment, as well as in the development of high-precision coating and laminating equipment and process solutions for the production of multilayer films and papers. WIFAG-Polytype Group maintains sites in Asia, U.S., and Europe and employs more than 800 people worldwide. Bobst is one of the world’s leading suppliers of equipment and services to packaging and label manufacturers in the folding carton, corrugated board and flexible materials industries.Founded in 1890 by Joseph Bobst in Lausanne, Switzerland, Bobst generated around $1.8 billion in revenues in its most recent fiscal year and has a presence in more than 50 countries, runs 12 production facilities in eight countries and employs close to 5,000 people.
Eastman Kodak Company announced it is in talks to sell its Prosper-branded enterprise inkjet business. Sagent Advisors, an independent investment bank, and DC Advisory, a European corporate finance adviser, which share Daiwa Securities, a Japanese investment bank, as a common shareholder, have been engaged by Kodak to manage the sale process. “The Prosper business has significant potential for accelerated growth,” said Jeff Clarke, Kodak CEO. “To achieve its full economic potential, Prosper will be best leveraged by a company with a larger sales and distribution footprint in digital printing markets.”At the same, Kodak announced functional 3D printing, including touch screen sensors, to be an important future element of its business. After looking at both silver and copper metal mesh technologies, Kodak has decided to focus on copper. Kodak will exit its position in silver metal mesh development, but will continue to make silver halide film available to touch screen sensor manufacturers.At the start of March, Kodak announced plans to debut its next generation inkjet platform called Ultrastream, in May at drupa, built on its continuous inkjet Stream technology. It holds an 8-inch configuration for label production, and features what Kodak describes as a smaller drop size and precise placement accuracy for higher resolution.
International Paper of Memphis  entered into a definitive agreement to sell its corrugated packaging business in China and Southeast Asia to Xiamen Bridge Hexing Equity Investment Partnership Enterprise. International Paper's corrugated packaging business in Asia has 18 plants and a workforce of approximately 3,000 employees. Under terms of the transaction, International Paper will receive a total of approximately RMB 1 billion (approximately US$150 million at current exchange rate), subject to post-closing adjustments and other payments, including the buyer's assumption of the liability for loans of approximately US$50 million to be paid to International Paper within six months of closing of the sale.The transaction is expected to be complete in the next few months.
KKP Barrie becomes the first Color-Logic certified printer in Canada running the Ricoh Pro C7100 press, which was installed in the Barrie, Ont., facility in late-2015.“Production prints from KKP Barrie demonstrate the capabilities of the Ricoh Pro C7100 Series Press with white toner. When combined with Color-Logic, the Ricoh device enables KKP to access new market applications and offer new services to their clients,” said Color-Logic's Director of Sales and Marketing, Mark Geeves. “The world today is about differentiation and KKP Barrie’s design and production capabilities will make it a positive experience for their clients to see what is possible in print.”The cut-sheet Ricoh Pro C7100x was introduced in late-2014 with a fifth colour station for printing with either white or clear toners. The press prints at 80 pages per minute (ppm) with a maximum sheet size of 13 x 19.2 inches and a rated maximum monthly volume of 240,000 letter-size pages. The Ricoh Pro C7100x produces 1,200 x 4,800-dpi resolution on a range of medias of up to 360 gsm in both simplex and duplex. “We are always on the lookout for new techniques and technology to offer our customers,” said John Morton, President of KKP Barrie. “We are very excited to now be able to offer Color-Logic. Our clients are amazed at the effects that can be created, and we look forward to all the exciting projects we will be able to produce for them.”
Jay-Line Trade Print & Promo of St. Catharines, Ontario, which has been serving the promotional products industry as a trade-only supplier since 1977, is reestablishing its focus on the commercial printing industry initially with its new specialty adhesive note pads and Ad Cubes products. The Ad Cubes product line includes both adhesive (printed on 50-lb offset stock) and non-adhesive (70-lb offset) versions in standard sizes or either full-cube or half-cube versions. The Ad Cubes can be produced with digitally printed full colour images on the sides and the tops of the individual sheets can be printed via spot colours or 4-colour process.Adhesive note pads are available in sizes ranging from 2 x 3 inches up to 8 x 6 inches, in standard sheet counts of 25, 50 or 100 sheets per pad. Jay-Line’s Adhesive note pads (50 lb offset stock) can also be produced in custom shapes, such as a light bulb, house or heart. Jay-Line operates out of a 50-employee, 35,000-square-foot facility with processes for sheetfed offset, web offset, toner sheetfed, envelope printing, flexography, roll and flatbed wide-format, roll labels, screen printing, pad printing, hot stamping, die cutting, digital die cutting and routering, scoring, folding, packaging and assembly. The company also has a complete promotional button manufacturing and assembly line, in addition to a range of promotional items from fridge and outdoor-vehicle magnets to plastic bookmarks, and playing cards.
Marquis, a book manufacturer based in Montmagny, Quebec, signed an exclusive agreement with SoBook, an operation in Roubaix, France, focused on the production of print-on-demand books, to create what the two companies describe as a transatlantic technology bridge. SoBook was founded in 2009 by Thierry Ghesquières.The new service called Marquis Express, which began in October, is to manage the printing in Europe of books from Canadian publishers and the printing in Canada of works from European publishers. The companies explain the Marquis Express platform, spearheaded by SoBook, is well suited for single-copy print orders, as well as for micro-runs, rapid restocking and combined printing of several titles in similar formats. Marquis Express also allows for the synchronized release of new books across all markets. The agreement grants Marquis exclusive use and the North American marketing of the digital print workflow solutions developed by SoBook.“We are expanding our positioning in the various markets our publishing partners want to tap into,” said Serge Loubier, President of Marquis, noting the strategy of thinking globally and printing locally. “More and more, publishers are looking to bring book printing closer to its final destination in order to be able to reach its readers faster. A number of publishers are already seeing the logistical and financial benefits that come from this model.”Marquis explains that a book ordered online is rarely already printed, and some European books are still too-often shipped by boat. The workflow technologies developed by SoBook provide publishers access to Marquis’ printing platform and SoBook's virtual inventory management.Established in Montmagny in 1937, Marquis provides a range of printing processes for content owners in the publishing and communications industries throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Marquis also operates its Interscript division and Marquis Le Laurentien for the management and printing of agendas and yearbooks.
This month, IKEA Canada is promoting the arrival of its 2016 catalogue with the use of Twitter-activated vending machines that dole out gift cards at specific store locations across Canada. The company, which scored a resounding success last year with its bookbook catalogue video promotion, now with close to 18-million views on Youtube, has titled its newest initiative “Grab Life by the Catalogue.”Over the last two weekends in August, all IKEA Canada stores have installed what the company refers to as social media vending machines which, at the push of a button, gives each user a unique #PIN number that when tweeted to @IKEACanada with #GrabLifeByTheCatalogue, will generate a variety of prizes, including the opportunity to win a grand prize.“We know that Canadians like to engage and connect through social media,” said Stefan Sjostrand, President, IKEA Canada. “Throughout August we hope to excite our customers about the new 2016 IKEA Catalogue and inspire them to turn their dream home décor projects into reality.”The remaining stores using the promotion, through August 27 to 30, include: IKEA Boucherville, IKEA Coquitlam, IKEA Edmonton, IKEA North York and IKEA Vaughan.IKEA Canada has 12 stores in total, which are visited by over 25 million people every year. The company has 361 stores in 50 countries worldwide, which are visited by more than 800-million people every year. Last year the IKEA.com Websites attracted 1.1 billion visitors.
The OTC Group of London, Ontario, which focuses on combining the production of packaging with data management, has worked with Xerox to develop a unique tracking solution to thwart counterfeiting and theft of pharmaceutical packaging.Xerox explains package theft and counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry costs an estimated $75 billion to $200 billion globally each year, while the sale of counterfeit medications puts human lives at risk. To address this issue, OTC Group is leveraging the Xerox Automated Packaging Solution (XAPS) with its own workflow process and packaging approach. The process developed by OTC Group is built around four inline production components, including printing, coating, stacking and die cutting. It allows the OTC Group to efficiently produce folded cartons with advanced anti-counterfeiting measures. “While many in the pharmaceutical industry struggle with the ability to conform to serialization and track-and-trace accountability, we’ve engineered a process that works,” said Adam Egan, OTC Group’s VP of High-Performance Packaging, noting the use of the Xerox iGen and XAPS solution. The process developed by the OTC Group and Xerox goes beyond legal requirements introduced in 2013 by the United States Drug Quality and Security Act.For one current client requiring an 800,000 printed carton production run, OTC Group estimates that the solution eliminated millions of dollars of risk exposure by providing traceability at every level, with the ability to account for every package printed – including waste – and providing that data to the client in electronic format.
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.”
The Ontario Printing and Imaging Association last night at St. Georges Golf and Country Club in Greater Toronto celebrated the achievements of printing companies within its 2016 Excellence In Print Awards program.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria1f93be5303 Following the dinner and awards presentation, Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Inland Press in Detroit, Michigan, who is also Chairman of the Printing Industries of America, made a presentation to share his insight with guests. Sponsors of OPIA’s 2016 awards program included Heidelberg, Flint Group, Domtar, Sun Chemical and Spicers.Excellene in Print Awards, signfying Best of Category winners, were recieved by C. J.  Graphics (14), Colour Innovations (7), Metroland Media/Hamilton Web Printing (1), Mi5 Print & Digital Communications (2), Prime Data (1), Ryerson University GCM (2), St. Joseph Communications (3), TC Transcontinental Brampton (1), TC Transcontinental Vaughan (1), and Welch & Quest (2).Top honours in the 2016 OPIA Excellence in Print Awards program, for Best of Division work, were presented to the following companies: 2016 Award of Excellence WinnersC.J. Graphics, Digital DivisionC.J. Graphics, Specialty DivisionSt. Joseph Communications, Sheetfed DivisionTC Transcontinental Vaughan, Web Division
  View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria918d5d07c5 More than 310 people came to the Centre des sciences de Montréal on the evening of May 12 to celebrate printing-industry achievement at the 34th annual Gala Gutenberg. Divided into two distinct sections for Innovation Printing and Technical Printing, 19 trophies – adorned with a metallic g – were awarded to Quebec printing companies, who were often joined on stage by their equally proud designers and production partners.“The participants were welcomed in a spectacular way. A flight of paper butterflies was created for this event. We wanted to showcase all the areas of the industry: Large scale, ennoblement, cutting, lamination, display, labels, packaging, fine paper, cardboard, etcetera,” said Hélène Pageau of the Printability and Graphic Communications Institute (ICI), member of the organizing committee. “I want to take the time to thank once more the 22 companies that participated in making the products that embellished this night.”Supremex won the award program’s inaugural Gutenberg Coup de Coeur – for its project Osez l’effet lifting for Yves Rocher – as voted on by attendees at the gala, where the submitted print projects were on full display. “The votes were counted by the students of the future, which are the graduates in graphic communications at Ahuntsic College who were at the Gala," said Robert Legal, teacher of printing techniques at Ahuntsic College and head of the judging panel.Louise Kralka, Vice President of PDI, served as Présidente du Gutenberg 2016, which, in addition to Pageau and Legal, also included committee members: André Goyette, Imprimerie Contact; Bruno Laplante, Agfa; Chantal Vallée, Spicers; Frédéric Perrier, Les Encres Ultra; Lucie Benoit, Dieco Finition; Mala Dupont, ATFFEQ; Marilène Fournier, Imprimerie Ste-Julie; Martin Gagnon, Multi-Flex; Michel Beaulieu, Heidelberg; and Zara-Emmanuelle Villani, Enveloppe Concept.“The Gutenberg [awards program] pushes everyone’s limits and meets the challenges presented by the talent and creativity of companies, communication agencies and print buyers in Quebec, no matter the size of the companies,” said Kralka. “This year our industry has once more shown that this event is important.”2016 Gala Gutenberg Innovation Awards:Category: Display GraphicsWinner: PDI Integrated Printing SolutionsCategory: Marketing, CustomerWinner: L’EmpreinteCategory: Marketing, Self-promotionWinner: Graphiscan MontrealCategory: PublishingWinner: TC Transcontinental TransmagCategory: LabelsWinner: Imprimerie Ste-JulieCategory: Packaging Winner: TC Transcontinental Ross EllisCategory: Flexible Packaging Winner: Propals IndustryCategory: Finishing Winner: Stylex 3D2016 Gala Gutenberg Technical Awards:Category: Technique Challenge DisplayWinner: MP ReproCategory: Marketing Self-promotionWinner: ParagraphCategory: Marketing ClientWinner: L’EmpreinteCategory: NewspapersWinner: TC Transcontinental TransmagCategory: BooksWinner: PDI Integrated Printing SolutionsCategory: MagazinesWinner: Marquis ImprimeurCategory: FinishingWinner: Gravure ChoquetCategory: LabelsWinner: MCC Collotype MontrealCategory: PackagingWinner: WestRockCategory: Flexible PackagingWinner: Imprimerie Ste-JulieMore pictures from the 2016 Gala Gutenberg and information can be found at Galagutenberg.ca.
  View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria10a79cbe89 Holland & Crosby Limited, one of Canada’s leading manufacturers of display graphics, held an open house over the past two days in its new 71,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ont. The company, which specializes in Point of Purchase retail-based signage programs (for some 80 years), began to operate out of its purposely-designed facility in January 2016 shortly after completing its purchase of Colormark Limited.The company’s facility is highlighted by the installation of two new Inca inkjet flatbed presses purchased through global distributor Fujifilm, including the all-new Onset X3, which runs at speeds of up to 9,688 square feet per hour (180 beds), and an Onset X1. Holland & Crosby also installed two massive Esko Kongsberg cutting systems to accommodate the size and throughput of its new inkjet engines.Bill Baxter, the UK-based engineering pioneer who established Inca Digital in 2000, attended the open house to help celebrate Holland & Crosby’s powerful printing platform. “As equipment makers in this field, where the pace of development is very quick, we are always coming out with the latest, greatest, most-advanced [systems]," says Baxter. "Holland & Crosby have regularly taken the very first of our machines shipped to North America and that is very important for people like us, because they really do provide a reference for our latest machines.“I know that we have sold a lot of machines simply because Holland & Crosby have been making them work and sending the results out to clients,” continues Baxter. “We love them because of that, but we also love them because they are descent, sensible people. It has always been a real pleasure working with them.”After establishing its digital department in 2004 with an Inca Columbia system, Holland & Crosby in 2008 became the first company in North America to install the Onset S70. In 2009, the company installed the Onset S20 and in 2010 became a digital-only shop based on its Inca horsepower. The new Onset X3 features 3 x CMYK ink channels plus the choice of White or Orange, and 14-picolitre print heads. Running at 9,688 square feet per hour, the Onset X3 is is one of the world most-productive, high-resolution inkjet systems, while the – scaleable – Onset X1 runs at up to 6,027 square feet per hour (112 beds). Holland & Crosby provides a full range of display graphics services from creative and structural design to storage and distribution.
  View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriadd8ee8ff4d More than 100 printers from the Greater Toronto Area yesterday attended PDS’ technology open house at OKI Data Canada’s new headquarters in Mississauga, Ont. The heavy traffic over the daylong event also allowed printers to network, as they learned about new print and finishing technologies aimed at short- to mid-sized digital print runs.In addition to a range of OKI Data systems, the PDS team also highlighted newer technologies from Mutoh and Duplo, joined by reps from all three companies to help demonstrate the products. “We have been working with PDS for quite some time and they add an additional layer of expertise to help their customers get more out of the products,” says Mark Price, Regional Sales Manager, OKI Data. A few of the key OKI Data products at the open house included the C900 series of digital printing systems, uniquely based on LED imaging for strong colour reproduction. In addition to the traditional four-colour C900 model, PDS also showcased the recently introduced C942, which prints at up 50 pages per minute, and holds a fifth colour channel for printing white. The C900 series also now includes the C941e and C931e models to print CMYK plus white and clear toner. The systems handle a range of media types, including polyester, magnets and banners, and stocks weighing up to 360 gsm.PDS also featured OKI’s proColor C711DW with optional die-cutting and lamination, which turns the continuous-feed, entry-level machine into a complete label printing system. The proColor C711DW prints roll labels at up to 25 feet (7.6 metres per minute) and full–colour cut sheets at up to 34 pages per minute.Mutoh’s Matt Bartlett, Regional Sales Manager for Canada, discussed the company’s new Valuejet 426UF inkjet system aimed at promotional applications like printing on pens, phone cases, golf balls and awards. The 19 x 13-inch tabletop, UV-LED printer – with vacuum table – can accommodate 3D objects of up to 2.75 inches thick.PDS also featured Duplo’s DC-616, among other Duplo systems, with slitting, cutting, creasing and perforating tools for short-run toner work. The DC-616 is designed to eliminate white borders and prevent toner cracking on colour documents. It can finish a range of full-bleed digital applications like greeting cards, invitations, brochures, book covers, photos, and 24-up business cards without the need for additional modules. The DC-616 can process up to six slits, 25 cuts, and 20 creases in a single pass.The PDS event also featured several Toronto sports door prizes provided by OKI with Chuck Gilder from ID Technology winning Toronto Raptors playoff tickets; Bruno Carrer from OPTIPrint Services receiving Blue Jay Tickets; and Mary Seenath from Offset Reproductions winning Maple Leafs tickets.
  View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria4b4a780ee9 The Toronto Club of Printing House Craftsmen last night at the Duncan House recognized local printers for their award-winning work in the Toronto IAPHC Gallery of Superb Printing competition. A handful of secondary and post-secondary students were also honoured with scholarships for their achievements in industry-related programs and the annual Toronto Craftsmen Graphic Challenge Competition.The evening was highlighted by a presentation from executive members of Ryerson’s RyeTAGA student chapter, which recently returned from Memphis, Tennessee, with the Helmut Kipphan Cup. RyeTAGA has now won the Kipphan Cup, awarded to the best student produced and written journal presented at the research-focused TAGA conference, for three straight years. In the Gallery of Superb Printing competition, C.J. Graphics won both the Best of Show Award and Best Use of Ink Award, sponsored by Heidelberg Canada and Taniguchi Ink, respectively. Colour Innovations won the Best Use of Bindery Award.C.J. Graphics also won the most Gallery of Superb Printing Awards with 14 Gold, 10 Silver and 12 Bronze. The remaining award winners include Colour Innovations (2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze), Polytainers (2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze), The AIIM Group (1 Gold, 3 Silver, 4 Bronze), Wellington Printworks (1 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze), and Webcom (1 Silver).Bill Kidd, President of the Toronto Craftsmen, explains 54 submissions from eight educational programs were entered into this year’s Graphic Challenge, which has grown since its inception six years ago when 15 students submitted work from four institutions. The Craftsmen scholarship program has been running for 41 years and is now called the Tai Chi Awards in honour of a promising student who passed away shortly after graduating from Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program.The Chai Tse Awards winners include Olga Filimonova of Centennial College, The Centre for Creative Communication; Minh Le of Central Technical Secondary; Zelie Berube of George Brown College School of Design; Paige Einboden of Georgian College Design and Visual Arts; Jamie Bursey of Gordon Graydon Secondary; Will Cuthbert of Humber College Advertising & Graphic Design; Diondra Filicetti of Ryerson's School of Graphic Management; and Emily Ha of Seneca College School of Creative Arts and Animation.Post-secondary Graphic Challenge Awards went to Olga Filimonova of Centennial and runner-up Will Cuthbert of Humber. Raize Kira of Central Tech and runner-up Hossam Ibrahim of Gordon Graydon received Graphic Challenge Awards among secondary school entrants.
  View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria1e7026aaf2 Dozens of printers from the Greater Toronto Area yesterday attended Insource Corp.’s full day of demonstration sessions on the RISO ComColor X1 Series of inkjet printing systems. The X1 Series presentations, held at the Corporate Event Centre in Mississauga, were led by Andre D’Urbano, National Sales Manager for RISO Canada.Insource reached an agreement to distribute and service the X1 Series in Ontario, Montreal and Western Canada approximately one year ago, its first agreement with RISO, and the company has already installed more than 20 systems primarily in the Greater Toronto Area. “In Canada we were doing so-so and along came Insource and just blew it out of the water,” says D’Urbano, noting Insource immediately committed to the product line and now has six technicians trained on the systems. “They increased our sales in the GTA and in Canada by some 400 percent in the past year – specifically with the X1.”The RISO ComColor X1 9150 is a unique cut-sheet colour inkjet system that prints at speeds of up to 150 pages per minute in simplex or 75 pages duplex. D’Urbano explains the X1 Series, which also includes a model that prints at 120 simplex pages per minute, fits a production niche between offset presses and toner presses, while also costing just a fraction of roll-fed inkjet presses, which typically fit a price range of $1.5 to $2.5 million.The X1 Series systems range in price from approximately $30,000 to $50,000 and, in addition to providing variable imaging not available with offset, present a significantly lower cost per page relative to toner presses when adding colour to transactional documents or envelopes. “If you have the audacity to add four digits in colour [on a toner press] it will cost you around six cents, so you often sacrifice colour and print it in black,” says D’Urbano. “This is not the case with inkjet. It can be printed for the same cost [as monochrome] at about a penny a page on a RISO – you are not being penalized for adding colour.”D’Urbano continues to break down the cost-per-page benefits of the RISO X1 systems, explaining there is only one fixed cost via the service agreement, which amounts to about half a cent. He explains an envelope produced on the X1 will have a total job cost of around 1.5 cents, meaning the balance – about a penny per page – is the ink cost regardless if applying colour or monochrome. A new CMYK ink set inside an X1 system, which is about $2,000 worth of ink, will produce around 100,000 copies, explains D’Urbano, which equates to about two cents per copy based on five percent coverage across the board. The X1 9150 is rated to produce 500,000 copies per month.D’Urbano explains the low operating cost of the X1 equates to high profit when considering, for example, envelopes printed with a return address and logo in the Toronto market typically sell for about 25 cents each. “If you were to add some variable data, you can sell that for around 40 cents. If you have customers who want to promote events, there is no reason why you cannot use the white space on the envelope, which is hugely popular in the U.S., and that sells for about 45 to 50 cents on a technology where the operating cost is about a penny and a half. That is $15 per thousand – extremely profitable.”Unlike a dedicated envelope-printing system, D’Urbano explains the RISO X1 series also provides flexibility with the ability to run cut-sheet applications like Tyvek, books and forms – the latter of which is well suited for numbering with the X1. Producing up to 9,000 impressions per hour, the X1 can be fitted with folder inserters, as well as a perfect-binding system that produces up to 300-page books. These applications are supported by another inkjet advantage over toner in that the X1 does not produce heat so that sheets can be printed flat at high speeds.Suzanne Wakefield, Managing Partner of Insource, points out that the X1 is not a replacement system for high-end toner presses, and certainly not for sheetfed offset, which both fit tried and true high-quality print applications. “We have some large printers who are using it when they have to do reprints,” she says, “rather than doing an entire reset of the job. We often sell it as a complimentary piece.”D’Urbano explains the X1 Series, which is currently grabbing the attention of central reprographic departments, can also be leveraged for higher-end work, but this requires the use of coated inkjet papers to produce toner-like images. Such papers may cost four or five cents per sheet, which ultimately equates to a toner per colour page cost, when the RISO operating cost of a penny and a half is added. The flexibility of the X1 Series, however, does provide the opportunity to produce such work for niche short-run applications.“This product provides a lot of solutions for different problems,” says Suzanne Wakefield, “because you can go into a variety of situations and RISO can still be the answer, even if it is a different problem from printer to printer that we are solving.”
German press maker Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) announced its Q1 financial results ended with 46% more revenue and EBT was up €18 million, reaching €0.6 million, relative to the same quarter last year. The company also explains its order intake of €266.3 million was higher than its quarterly revenue of €258.8 million, while “an order backlog of €582.4 million secures utilization well into autumn.”At €258.8 million, group revenue in the first quarter was up 46% on the prior-year figure of €177.3 million. All three KBA segments posted gains in sales, with new presses for packaging printing climbing to over 70% of the total. The press maker's order backlog at the end of March stood at €582.4 million, an increase on the figure from the start of the year of €574.9 million.   “Numerous optimisation measures are taking effect as planned. This quarter we thus improved earnings by over €18 million to +€2.1 million EBIT or +€0.6 million EBT year-on-year,” said KBA President and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann. The group’s gross profit margin rose from 20.6% to 29.8%. EBIT this quarter came to +€2.1 million. In the first quarter of 2015, there was still a loss of €16.2 million. A slightly negative interest result of –€1.5 million led to a group pre-tax profit this quarter of €0.6 million compared to –€17.7 million the previous year. After deducting income tax expenses, group net profit at March 31 was €1.6 million (2015: –€16.9 million). This corresponds to earnings per share of €0.11 (2015: –€1.01).   KBA states its largest segment, Sheetfed, is still on the right track with a 41% rise in revenue, a quarterly profit of €5.7 million (2015: –€2.7 million) and a high order backlog of €264 million. In the run-up to the industry’s leading trade show, drupa, beginning at the end of May and given longer lead times, KBA explains incoming orders of €135.7 million in this segment were below the unusually high order intake of €174.7 million in the first quarter of 2015 as expected.   The volume of new orders in KBA's Digital & Web segment rose by 23% year-on-year and revenue more than doubled to €27.9 million. KBA explains the segment loss of –€1.8 million improved compared to 12 months ago (2015: –€8.7 million). The KBA management board expects positive earnings for the entire year given the growth in order backlog to €77 million.   At €115.1 million (2015: €117.4 million) the volume of incoming orders in KBA's Special segment was roughly the same as the previous year’s figure (2015: €117.4 million). Revenue grew by some 40% to €88.6 million. At €0.2 million, the quarterly profit was below the prior year (€1.2 million), whereby KBA explains the project execution of a security press order led to delays impacting on profit. KBA states earnings are expected to improve further over the coming quarters as planned given the strong order backlog.
Adobe reported record quarterly revenue of US$1.38 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 25 percent, for its current fiscal first quarter, fueled by the adoption of cloud-based products.“Every day, more brands, government agencies and educational institutions globally are choosing to base their digital strategies on Adobe’s content and data platforms,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe President and CEO. “Our exceptional performance in Q1 is an indicator of the strong momentum we are seeing across our cloud businesses as we drive the experience economy.”The company’s Digital Media segment revenue grew by 33 percent year-over-year to a record US$932 million, with Creative revenue growing 44 percent year-over-year to a record US$733 million.Adobe explains Creative Cloud adoption drove its Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) to US$3.13 billion exiting the quarter, an increase of US$246 million. Adobe Marketing Cloud achieved record revenue of US$377 million that represents year-over-year growth of 21 percent.Year-over-year operating income for the company grew 78 percent and net income grew 200 percent on a GAAP-basis; operating income and net income both grew 48 percent on a non-GAAP basis.Cash flow from operations was US$498 million and the company repurchased approximately 1.5 million shares during the quarter, returning US$133 million of cash to stockholders.“We are pleased to report another record quarter with 25 percent year-over-year revenue growth. Strong Cloud adoption drove record Creative and Marketing Cloud revenue in Q1, and better-than-expected Digital Media ARR," said Mark Garrett, Adobe CFO. “Based on our strong Q1 results and business momentum, we are increasing our annual revenue and earnings targets for the year.”
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG reports it has ended the latest quarter with a positive net result after taxes, and that its net result before taxes after nine months (April 1 to December 31, 2015) reached the break-even point. Based on these numbers, the German press maker explains, following its recent realignment, it is on track to record a positive net result after taxes for financial year 2015/2016.“We’ve made good progress with our goal of ensuring long-term profitability at Heidelberg. Our new portfolio is more closely geared toward stable market segments, is more profitable, and creates the conditions for further growth,” said Heidelberg CEO Gerold Linzbach.   Group sales were 16 percent up on the equivalent nine months of the previous year at €1.802 billion (previous year: €1.552 billion). This figure includes positive exchange rate effects amounting to €93 million. Heidelberg explains the successful integration of the newly acquired PSG Group made a substantial contribution to the higher sales, while the Heidelberg Services segment accounted for almost half of the company’s sales after nine months.At a regional level, Heidelberg states sales were well up in North America and Europe, while Eastern Europe and Latin America remained stable. In the third quarter, however, Heidelberg explains subdued market development in China was reflected by a fall in orders. Total incoming orders in the reporting period were significantly higher than in the previous year at €1.904 billion (previous year: €1.780 billion).            Heidelberg’s EBITDA excluding special items as at December 31, 2015, increased to €119 million (previous year: €80 million), while EBIT excluding special items doubled to €65 million (previous year: €29 million). The Heidelberg Services segment is still on target to achieve the planned EBITDA margin of nine to 11 percent. Regional weaknesses, especially in China, mean the Heidelberg Equipment segment has not yet been able to reach the expected EBITDA target margin of four to six percent. Heidelberg’s pre-tax result after nine months reached the break-even point (€0 million; previous year: €–92 million). The net result after taxes for the third quarter improved by €60 million to €7 million (previous year: €–53 million) and the nine-month figure of €–7 million, explains Heidelberg, was better than the €–95 million recorded for the equivalent period of the previous year.  The company’s free cash flow after nine months was €–37 million (previous year: €–16 million), based primarily on restructuring costs and the PSG acquisition. The net debt for the quarter under review was at €282 million (March 31, 2015: €256 million). “We have created the financial scope to finance acquisitions and invest in growth and innovation. In the future, we will keep working on further optimizing our financing framework and ensuring the continued strategic development of Heidelberg,” said CFO Dirk Kaliebe. 
manroland web systems of Augsburg, Germany, released its 2015 year-end results (December 31, 2015), which the company states as holding a significant increase in profit and market share. With a profit margin of around three percent, the printing press manufacturer’s result increases to 6.2 million euros ($9.6 million Canadian). The company also reports its market share in new press business for web offset systems grew to 45 percent, while also noting growth in manroland web’s increasing interests in postpress equipment sales, branded as FoldLine and FormerLine.The incoming orders taken by manroland web grew by more than 10 percent to around 260 million euros in comparison to 2014. The global market share for new web offset printing presses is around 45 percent (36 percent previous year). The fully completed restructuring measures from 2014 as well as the improved situation in use of capacities have also had a major impact. “In 2015, the manroland web systems company group generated a positive operating result of 6.2 million euros before interest and taxes (EBIT). An order backlog in new press business of more than 150 million euros gives reason to expect good use of factory capacities and a further increase in profitability for manroland web systems in 2016,” said Jörn Gossé, Managing Director, manroland web.Not including external personnel and trainees, the company had a total staff of 1,200 worldwide, 1,068 of which are at the Augsburg site. The company is currently training 63 young people in total in various technical and commercial professions and will be offering 16 new traineeship placements starting in September 2016.
Langley Holdings plc, the engineering and industrial group that controls manroland Sheetfed, released its annual results for the year ended 31 December, 2015. The group reported a pre-tax profit of €106.7 million ($167 million Canadian) on revenues of €874.5 million ($1.37 billion Canadian). Langley Holdings also reported it had zero debt and close to €330 million of cash reserves at year end. During his Chairman’s Review, Tony Langley said 2015 had been a “significant milestone” for a number of reasons. manroland Sheetfed, the largest of the group's five divisions, in revenue and employee terms, was in positive territory for the fourth year in succession, since acquiring the printing press builder in early 2012. Langley Holdings, however, pointed to Piller, which develops electrical systems for data centres, and ARO, which develops automobile welding machinery, as its principal revenue drivers of 2015, with both Piller and ARO posting near record profits. Claudius Peters, the group's plant machinery builder, was in line with modest expectations due to widely sluggish cement and steel markets, according to Langley. Druck Chemie, the chemicals producer, which completed its first full year in the group, and Bradman Lake, the packaging machinery specialist, both reported what Langley Holdings describes as satisfactory results. Tony Langley also noted the company had opening order books totaling €300 million, stating that he expects 2016 will be a successful year and that the group will continue to search out new acquisition opportunities.Langley Holdings plc was founded in 1975, by Tony Langley, and currently employs around 4,300 people worldwide.
Transcontinental Inc. announced it is transferring its marketing product printing activities from Transcontinental Québec to other plants in its network, principally to Transcontinental Interglobe in Beauce, Quebec. The reorganization is to result in the closure of the Transcontinental Québec plant located in Quebec City by April 30, 2016. The plant closure will result in approximately 140 layoffs.“Conditions in the print market are changing and we must continuously adapt,” said Jacques Grégoire, President of TC Transcontinental Printing. “In this context, we need to review our equipment utilization to better optimize our platform. We regret having to make this decision which affects our employees and would like to thank them for their dedication to our organization.”                                        TC Transcontinental currently has over 8,000 employees in Canada and the United States, generating revenues of $2.0 billion in 2015.
Larry Stewart becomes Regional Sales Manager for technology and service supplier KBR Graphics, based in Montreal, Quebec. Stewart joins KBR Graphic’s Ontario sales team and is responsible for the entire range of KBR equipment and services. He will coordinate all aspects of new client acquisition for the Eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area as well as other parts of Ontario. Stewart has more than 28 years of experience as a sales professional in the printing industry.  “Larry's extensive background and strong knowledge of print and finishing machinery as well as his established reputation in the industry will help our customers position their businesses for future success,” said Karl Belafi Jr., Vice President of KBR Graphics. Steve Klaric, a longstanding KBR Graphics Regional Sales Manager, continues in his responsibilities for the Western part of the Greater Toronto Area as well as other parts of Ontario.
Fastsigns International Inc., with more than 600 global franchises, entered a new partnership agreement to offer all of its locations the new Epson SureColor S60600 roll-to-roll solvent printer beginning on May 1, 2016. Currently, three Fastsigns locations have the new printer installed, with 33 new Fastsigns centres expected to open this year with the Epson printer. “After undergoing an extensive selection process, we made the decision to travel to Epson’s headquarters in Japan to see the design and manufacturing capabilities firsthand,” said Fastsigns International’s Director of Tech and Supply Chain, Brian Boehm. “In addition to the attainable price point offered by the Epson SureColor S60600, we were incredibly impressed by the updated technology the printer offers.” The 64-inch SureColor S60600 features new UltraChrome GS3 4-colour solvent ink, an all-new media feeding system, and Epson’s Dual-Array PrecisionCore TFP print heads. Epson explains the S60600 is capable of producing sellable quality banners at 550 square feet per hour, while producing adhesive vinyl output at up to 310 square feet per hour. “The SureColor S60600 is one of the most productive sign printers we’ve ever developed,” said Matt McCausland, Product Manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada Ltd. today announced an exclusive agreement, effective immediately, with MGI’s Digital Graphic Technology division to co-market and service the full line of MGI printing and finishing systems.Konica Minolta and MGI have several existing distribution programs in place globally and the two companies have worked together for nearly two decades. “We are excited to be strengthening our collaboration with Konica Minolta,” stated Michael Abergel, Executive VP of MGI. “Konica Minolta is the ideal partner to expand our distribution in Canada.”The MGI partnership in Canada started with the addition of MGI’s JETvarnish 3DS to Konica Minolta’s production print portfolio. The agreement announced today extends the full spectrum of MGI products to Konica Minolta Canada, which includes the Meteor series of digital presses, the JETvarnish 3D line, and other finishing technologies. MGI is unique in its manufacture of products designed to handle a range of substrates and formats, including foils and plastics, along with spot coating, embossing, hot foil and high-gloss applications aimed at short-run work.  “The printing and packaging industries are continually looking for innovative ways to expand their services and streamline production. By combining the MGI line-up with our current offering, we significantly increase our ability to help clients differentiate, grow margins, and improve productivity,” said Chris Dewart, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada.Konica Minolta plans to provide MGI market coverage across Canada by leveraging its direct sales and service force, as as well as through its partner channels.
Sydney Stone has been recognized with the Elite Dealer Award from Formax, which  designs and manufactures pressure seal, mailing, data destruction, and digital print finishing solutions. Formax also builds the ColorMax 7, an envelope inkjet printing system with a duty cycle of up to 500,000 envelopes per month. Formax explains its technologies allow printers to strreamline outgoing and incoming mail, destruction of confidential data and in-plant digital print finishing. “Sydney Stone provides us with an excellent support team in Canada from a product application basis on through to the field service team,” said Eric Roy with Formax.“We are pleased with their results in 2015 and look forward to another elite year in 2016.”Founded in 1987, Formax is a privately held company with corporate headquarters based in Dover, New Hampshire and a manufacturing facility in Turlock, California.  “We are thrilled that Formax have provided us with the Elite Dealer Achievement Award,” said Michael Steele of Sydney Stone. “They are an excellent company to work with and their products work exceptionally well. We look forward to continuing to find situations where Formax equipment will add value to printers in Canada.”
RM Machinery Inc., the exclusive distributor of RMGT 10 and RMGT 11 series sheetfed presses in the United States, is now a distributor of these specific presses in the Canadian market, which RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology Ltd. (RMGT) awarded to RM Machinery on February 1.KBR Graphics continues as the exclusive distributor of RMGT Series 5, 7 and 9 offset presses for Eastern Canada (Quebec and Ontario) and the company now has a strategic partnership with RM Machinery for representation of the RMGT 10 and 11 series presses in Quebec. Established in 2013 and based in New Jersey, RM Machinery Inc., which is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of web offset and newspaper presses manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, ltd., will provide sales, parts and service for the RMGT 10 and RMGT 11 presses in Canada.“Not only are we grateful for the confidence RMGT has shown in RM Machinery, but we see tremendous opportunities for growth in the Canadian marketplace. That’s what really makes this so exciting,” said Marke Baker, President of RM Machinery. “We look forward to being a strong player who will take Canadian printers to the next level, and always satisfy their needs and behave in their best interests.”The RMGT 1020 press features a maximum sheet size of 29.13 x 40.16 inches (740 mm x 1,020 mm), and the RMGT 1050 has a maximum sheet size of 29.53 x 41.34 inches (750 mm x 1,050 mm). The RMGT 1130 comes with a larger sheet size of 32.28 x 44.49 inches (820 mm x 1,130 mm).
Komcan Inc., headquartered in Georgetown, Ont., is to now represent Komori America Corporation in Eastern Canada. “We are looking forward to further promoting the Komori brand and are pleased with the trust Komori America has placed in our hands,” said Steve Ranson, President of Komcan.Komcan, established in 2013, is the authorized agent for selling and servicing Komori printing presses and auxiliary equipment in Canada’s Ontario and Western Provinces, including OEM parts and consumable products. “Komcan has done an outstanding job in Ontario and the Western provinces and we are confident they will have success in Eastern Canada as well,” said Kosh Miyao, President and COO of Komori America. “All of us at Komcan are excited about the Eastern Canadian market and working with the existing and new Komori customers in the Quebec region,” added Ranson.
Jones Packaging Inc., headquartered in London, Ont. as a global provider of packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, has entered into a commercial partnership with Norway's Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), which develops printed electronics and smart systems, including technologies for Near Field Communications (NFC).Together the two companies will integrate Thinfilm’s recently branded NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharmaceutical packaging and, at the same time, develop what Jones describes as key manufacturing processes for its high-speed production lines.Jones and Thinfilm will also collaborate to engage top global pharmaceutical companies to integrate the smart technology into Rx and over-the-counter product packaging. The Jones/Thinfilm smart packaging collaboration will be funded, in part, by grants from both the Swedish and Canadian governments. Jones explains NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels that can detect both a product’s “factory sealed” and “opened” states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The tags contain unique identifiers, continues Jones, that make it possible for pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level using software and analytics tools. In addition, Jones explains the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken, which enables both brands and medical staff to extend the dialogue with consumers and patients. “Our strategy of developing printed electronics solutions for the healthcare market led us to this important collaboration with industry pioneer Thinfilm,” stated Chris Jones Harris, Principal, Strategic Initiatives and Alliances with Jones. “Thinfilm’s unique printed NFC solution addresses multiple needs within the pharmaceutical channel, particularly around product integrity and patient safety, and allows our customers to connect the world of physical packaging to virtual and dynamic content on the internet – it’s a very unique and compelling proposition.”Thinfilm’s “Tag Talks First” protocol is described as a key feature of the NFC OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions. The companies explain this makes NFC OpenSense an ideal technology for use within the high-speed, high-volume production lines found in Jones’ manufacturing facilities. The work conducted by Jones and Thinfilm will also include the integration of ferrite shield labels with the NFC OpenSense tags. Jones explains this will enable the NFC technology to function on metalized packaging, such as blisters commonly used for cold/flu medication. The company states this is perfectly aligned with its contract packaging capabilities in the area of customized blister packaging solutions for solid dose products including tablets, caplets, capsules and gel caps.“Jones has been in business for well over a century and is a trusted partner to many of the most recognized global pharmaceutical and consumer brands,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “We are very excited to be partnering with a true innovator in the packaging industry and look forward to helping them deliver this leading-edge NFC solution to the pharmaceutical space.”
Xaar plc, which makes industrial inkjet technology, and Lawter, along with its parent company Harima Chemicals Group (HCG), are now collaborating to optimize the performance of a line of nanosilver conductive inks in the Xaar 1002 industrial inkjet print-head. The combined solution, according to the companies, will be of interest to manufacturers of consumer electronics goods looking for a method to print antennas and sensors with silver nanoparticle ink as part of their manufacturing processes. Xaar explains inkjet is a cleaner process than other methods of printing silver inks; this is especially relevant when printing onto a substrate, such as a display, in which any yield loss is expensive. With inkjet, manufacturers can precisely control the amount of ink dispensed in certain areas of a pattern, continues Xaar, so that the ink or fluid deposited can be thicker in some areas and thinner in others – adding that inkjet enables the deposition of a much thinner layer of fluids than traditional methods, which is significant for the manufacturers looking to produce thinner devices. Inkjet is also one of the few technologies able to print a circuit over a substrate that has a structured surface.“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our latest technological breakthroughs and demonstrate the unique value that our revolutionary nanoparticle inkjet solutions can play as part of an integrated system solutions in the PE world,” said Dr. Arturo Horta, Business Development Manager for Lawter Innovation Group. HCG claims to have pioneered the development and manufacture of silver nanoparticle conductive inks for the printed electronics industry over 20 years ago and has over 100 patents related to its nanoparticle dispersion technology.
Komori Corporation and Screen Holdings Co., Ltd. announced that Komori America Corporation and Screen GP Americas, LLC, a division of Screen Graphic and Precision Solutions (Screen GP) group, have entered into a strategic selling agreement that effectively joins the two companies’ sales organizations. Komori America will be the sole distributor in the United States of Screen GP's new Truepress Jet520HD, a high-speed, high-definition inkjet press powered by the Equios Digital Front Workflow solution. Screen GP Americas brings its knowledge and expertise in the inkjet marketplace to the partnership with Komori America.Eiji Kajita, Director and Operating Officer of Komori Corporation says, “This is a great opportunity for both Komori and Screen GP.  By joining our US sales teams we will have double the workforce to take both Komori's offset and Screen GP's digital products to the marketplace. But more importantly, we know our customers will benefit from the combined expertise of our two teams.”Katsuhiko Aoki, President of Screen GP said, “We have a longstanding relationship with Komori and it just makes good business sense to take the strength of our two product lines and the technical expertise of our sales teams to join together to grow our market share. We are looking forward to the future and we are confident commercial printers will see real value in working with one organization that is focused on their success regardless of the technology platform.”
manroland web systems and Ultimate TechnoGraphics have been working together to development a new product called Imposer, which Germany’s manroland web describes as the first automated imposition technology for digital and offset printing.“We want to support our customers, which so far mainly consisted of digital printing press users and all main manufacturers of digital printing presses,” said Joanne David, President and CEO, Ultimate TechnoGraphics. “It is great to know that from now on offset printers will also benefit from our imposition expertise.”Within the past 18 months, manroland web systems has focused on establishing its own software solutions for digital printing, primarily with products called MasterQ and WorkflowBridge, which automatically control digital finishing aggregates and manage jobs. Hildegard Heckl, Product Manager Digital and the lead of manroland web’s software development effort, states the new Imposer product is “just as intelligent and promises to be equally successful.” In developing Imposer, manroland web supplied the core intelligence that describes the imposition logics based on the capability of its devices and Ultimate TechnoGraphics executes the processing of the printing data. The software supplies job-specific imposed data that is prepared for digital and offset printing. Whether for printing books, advertising or newspapers, Imposer is ideally suited for frequent job and product changeovers.“The software features a specific logic. It recognizes and uses the production aggregates, the optimized production processes, and the job structure,” said Andreas Elchlepp, Product Management Software Development Digital & Workflow Solutions at manroland web. The patent-pending method allows for creating impositions that are specifically matched to the printing jobs. “It was time for the development of a software which imposes the jobs for hybrid printing and that breaches the gap in data preparation,” said Elchlepp. “Our solution is modular and perfectly matches existing customer requirements, while being scalable and dynamic for the largest variety of production settings.”
AVT of Israel, which develops technology for print inspection and process control, and quality assurance, is now collaborating proofing solutions provider Global Vision. Under the agreement, Global Vision will provide AVT with a new software engine for its offline inspection solutions, which are customized to suit the specific needs of the printing industry. The partnership also enables AVT to serve as Global Vision’s print market sales arm, as the two companies will jointly develop inspection tools for specific sectors, including the labeling and packaging marketplaces. The companies also will co-develop print quality assurance solutions that connect inline and offline inspection systems. “Our partners at Global Vision offer unsurpassed offline verification and inspection solutions for the markets they serve,” said Jaron Lotan, CEO, AVT. “As a result of our newfound synergy, AVT can now provide its customers all-inclusive tools regardless of printing technology and application.” Among AVT’s latest offline solutions is SolidProof, which the company describes as providing 100 percent assurance for wide web, narrow web and sheetfed applications. SolidProof automatically eliminates conversion errors and undetected defects during the pre-press stage. The goal of the system is to reduce the need for manual inspection and to bring waste levels to near-zero. SolidProof also features intelligent cropping and automatic alignment utilities, reporting and multi-lingual inspection capabilities, as well as options for barcode and Braille verification and a 21 CFR Part 11 compliance module for the pharmaceutical sector. There are more than 7,000 AVT systems are installed at customer sites worldwide. “In AVT, Global Vision now has an influential, reputable arm in the print market, while we help bolster AVT’s presence in other capacities,” said Reuben Malz, CEO, Global Vision. “The collaboration is an ideal match that will, most importantly, improve the overall print inspection solutions space through increased access and innovation.”
Allegra Network LLC announced it plans to install Avanti Slingshot as the new core of WorkStream, a Web storefront to MIS workflow platform used by its North American base of 270 marketing and print communications franchises. The move to Avanti Slingshot was led by Ricoh Americas, one of Allegra’s key printing technology providers, which made a multimillion-dollar investment in Avanti Computer Systems back in July 2013. In December 2014, Ricoh acquired PTI Marketing Technologies, described as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) asset management and marketing solutions provider, building on an preexisting technology partnership between itself, Avanti and PTI. Allegra, based Plymouth, Michigan, states it selected Avanti Slingshot for its ability to provide an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform to support its franchises of all sizes. “We pride ourselves on providing our franchise community with the technology and tools they need to efficiently manage their businesses, and Avanti Slingshot delivers with its robust suite of modules and ability to handle multiple lines of business,” said Joe D’Aguanno, Chief Technology Officer, Allegra Network. “Our relationship with Allegra is one we are extremely proud of at Ricoh. A truly innovative company, Allegra sees the need for tools that can effectively help their business grow and their operations to continuously enhance,” said John Fulena, VP Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas. “Avanti Slingshot is an award-winning and proven solution… we are very pleased that Allegra has chosen this solution and look forward to our continued collaboration.” Avanti Slingshot was launched in 2013 as a browser-based platform for quoting, job ticketing, costing and tracking, through to billing.  Slingshot modules can be added as a franchise member expands into new lines of business, such as large format. “Avanti Slingshot is a fantastic tool to help cultivate a more meaningful customer relationship, helping our clients remain competitive in the ever-changing print market landscape,” said Patrick Bolan, President and CEO, Avanti. “This is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Ricoh, Avanti and Allegra Networks…”
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada Ltd. will relocate its headquarters to the Airport Corporate Centre of Mississauga, Ont., by the end of April 2016. The company's new home will feature state-of-the-art technology for product demonstrations of hardware and IT services in its portfolio.Konica Minolta Canada explains – based on its parent company's core ecological sustainability tenant – one of the new building’s key features is a white reflective roof membrane, which reflects sunlight from the roof area and reduces the heat-island effect produced by conventional roofing materials.The building will also feature native and drought-tolerant plants that depend only on rainwater to flourish once planted. Konica Minolta explains this eliminates the need for landscape irrigation, uses less fertilizer and requires fewer pesticides. The new headquarters will also include electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lot for those employees and visitors who drive electric or hybrid automobiles.“We have designed the new building to reflect where Konica Minolta is headed as we continue to shape the future of our industry,” said Chris Dewart, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada. “We have been steadily transforming our business from a hardware vendor to a strong player in information technology, information management and now the industrial print space. Our new headquarters will be tightly aligned with the needs of key stakeholders and showcase our strategic growth initiatives.”
Rochester Institute of Technology has received a $500,000 grant from New York State’s Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program that will be used to support the university’s AMPrint Center for Advanced Technology.The grant was among 29 grants totaling $35.3 million statewide announced in early February by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The program, administered by the Dormitory Authority, funds renovation or construction of critical academic facilities and high-tech projects at universities across New York State.RIT will use the grant for construction inside the fourth floor of Institute Hall, which will be home for the new centre, a research facility developing next-generation 3D print materials and applications. Several leaders within the Canadian printing industry have studied at RIT’s well-known printing-research facilities.“Our new AMPrint center will help RIT serve as a focal point for applied teaching, research and development in additive manufacturing applications by bringing together expertise from a regional ‘eco-system’ of organizations from academia, government and corporations,” said RIT President Bill Destler.Denis Cormier, an expert in 3D print technologies, is Director of RIT’s AMPrint Center and the Earl W. Brinkman Professor in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. A professor of industrial engineering, Cormier’s research focus is in printed electronics, specifically the synthesis of printable nano-inks, the development or enhancement of printing processes, and the design of novel printed electronic devices.Cormier was the original principal investigator for the Center and brought together university partners from Clarkson University and SUNY New Paltz with corporate partners that include Xerox, GE Research, Corning, Kodak and MakerBot, to design novel devices and develop next generation polymer, metal and composite technologies.The centre will serve as both a research and teaching facility for the university’s students as well as its corporate partners, and housed in a 3,200-square-foot space in RIT’s Institute Hall. Researchers will have access to functional 3D printing and fusing equipment, direct-write printing equipment, analogue printing and surface metrology technologies. Also included will be wet-chemistry infrastructure necessary to synthesize printable nano-materials.
PaperWorks Industries Inc. plans to consolidate all of its Canadian folding carton production into its recently acquired Boehmer Box manufacturing facility in Kitchener, Ont. The company, with integrated mill operations, expects to consolidate all print production in Kitchener by May 2016.This consolidation includes closing its Hamilton, Ont., plant by July 2016, which has around 180 employees. PaperWorks earlier said it plans to add 150 employees across all areas of prepress and production at the Kitchener facility over the next year.“Because the Hamilton facility is only 75 kilometers away from the Kitchener manufacturing plant, it made sense from a production and asset utilization perspective to consolidate production under one roof,” said Kevin Kwilinski, president and CEO of PaperWorks. “The Kitchener plant is more modern and has newer equipment, which translates into more efficient output.”In June 2015, PaperWorks agreed to acquire CanAmPac of Napanee. The acquisition included coated recycled board (CRB) producer Strathcona Paper, folding carton manufacturer Boehmer Box and LYFT Visual graphic services. Strathcona Paper is described as the largest producer of CRB in Canada, while Boehmer Box produces offset-litho printed folding cartons for North American food packaging applications.As a result of the CanAmPac acquisition, PaperWorks’ projected manufacturing output for the combined companies is approximately 400,000 tons of 100 percent recycled paperboard, annually. In August, PaperWorks then announced a planned investment of more $11 million over the next year to expand the capabilities of the 340,000-square-foot Boehmer Box facility, which produces folding cartons for products like dry and frozen food, beverage, pharmaceutical, household goods, personal care and institutional foodservice. The Hamilton plant has been producing folding cartons for many decades and was part of the Rosmar Packaging Corp. acquisition that PaperWorks made in 2011.
Cascades Inc. last week inaugurated its Greenpac Mill LLC, located in Niagara Falls, New York. Greenpac is a company created by Cascades in partnership with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Jamestown Container and Containerboard Partners. The mill actually began production more than two years ago on July 15, 2013, and now produces a product called Greenpac XP, described as a new type of recycled linerboard with unique strength and print quality relative to its lower basis weight when compared with traditional linerboards. The lightweight linerboard is made with 100 percent recycled fibres, on a single machine having a trim of 328 inches (8.33 metres) with an annual production capacity of 540,000 short tonnes. Built and operated by Norampac, a division of Cascades, the Greenpac Mill employs 135 people.Cascades describes Greenpac as its most ambitious project in 50 years. Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. The company employs close to 11,000 people, who work in over 90 production units located in North America and Europe."The investment we are inaugurating today is the tangible result of the deployment of our strategic plan aiming to position Cascades as a leader in the packaging industry in terms of both productivity and profitability,” stated Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades.The Greenpac project was also supported by organizations such as the State of New York , Empire State Development, the City of Niagara Falls , the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, the New York Power Authority and the New York Department of Environment Conservation.
Kruger Packaging L.P. plans to make an investment of $250 million to convert the No. 10 Newsprint Machine (PM10) at its Trois-Rivières mill to manufacture 100% percent recycled lightweight linerboard.The project is to be carried out with the support of the Government of Québec, which is providing $190 million. This figure includes an $84 million loan to finance the cost of the conversion and a $106-million participation, through Investissement Québec, in a new company that now combines all of Kruger’s containerboard and packaging activities. As a result of this investment, the Québec government will have a 25 percent ownership in this new company which has assets in excess of $600 million, and more than 800 jobs, including 620 in Québec that will be secured.The project was announced in the presence of Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec; Laurent Lessard, Minister of Forests, Fauna and Parks; Jean-Denis Girard, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region and MNA for Trois-Rivières, and Joseph Kruger II, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kruger Inc.Over the coming 20 months, PM10 will be modernized to incorporate what Kruger describes as some of the most advanced containerboard manufacturing technology. Once PM10 is up and running in 2017, it will produce 360,000 metric tonnes of 100 percent recycled lightweight linerboard annually, a portion of which will be sold to Kruger Packaging’s box plants in LaSalle, Quebec, and Brampton, Ont., while the remainder will be sold on the market.The Trois-Rivières Mill will continue to produce newsprint on PM10 until two months before the end of the conversion project. The mill’s other newsprint production line, PM7, will remain in operation into the future. Overall, Kruger’s three newsprint production facilities will have an annual output of 600,000 metric tonnes, maintaining the company’s ranking among North America’s top newsprint manufacturers.Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a producer of publication papers, tissue products, containerboard and packaging made from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy, cellulosic biomaterials, and wines and spirits. Kruger Inc. has facilities in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in Tennessee, Maine, New York, Virginia and Rhode Island in the United States.
Kodak has opened a new manufacturing line at its Columbus, Georgia, facility to produce its Sonora Process Free Plates, which the company states are currently being used by more than 2,700 printers around the world.The company marked the opening of this new manufacturing line with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Eastman Kodak Company CEO, Jeff Clarke; President, Print Systems Division and Senior Vice President Eastman Kodak Company, Brad Kruchten; as well as community leaders and customers.“Today’s opening of this new manufacturing line keeps us on an accelerated pace toward our goal of helping printers become more sustainable with Sonora Process Free Plates,” said Clarke. “Kodak is committed to providing solutions that increase the sustainability of the printing industry, while also reducing printing costs. This is good business and good for our environment.”Kodak explains its Sonora plates eliminate water, chemical and energy use required when processing traditional plates. Without the need for processing equipment, Kodak explains the average printer using 20,000 square metres of plates can save up to $99,000 annually. Sonora plates are currently being used in a range of commercial print, book, newspaper and packaging print facilities. Specific Sonora plate brands are rated for 200,000 run lengths.

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