Industry News

DATA Communications Management Corp. of Brampton, Ontario, has completed an additional investment in its printing platform, including an emphasis on label production, and announced upcoming consolidation of some of its existing nine facilities spread out across the country.The new round of capital equipment investment focuses around another Xerox iGen 5 press, together with other upgrades and technology enhancements to its current label presses, in the first quarter of 2017. The total investment in these enhanced capabilities is approximately $2.1 million."These investments dramatically increase our capabilities in key growth segments of our business,” said Michael Sifton, CEO, DATA Communications. “We remain the leading cutsheet digital colour manufacturing company in Canada and our expanded label capabilities will further establish DATA as one of the leading providers of label products and solutions in the country.”In January 2016, DATA, then operating as The DATA Group, announced an investment of $6.7 million to acquire multiple new Xerox presses, which Xerox described as one of the single largest toner-production upgrades by a Canadian printing company in 2015. Installations of the new Xerox equipment began in December 2015. In addition to its new equipment investment, DATA is also announced plans to consolidate its Regina, Saskatchewan, manufacturing and warehousing operations into its Calgary, Alberta facility.The company also plans to close its Brossard, Quebec Document Process Outsourcing facility, effective March 31, 2017, in addition to the outsourcing of its call centre facility to a third-party business process outsourcing provider, effective March 1, 2017.  The Company expects to incur total restructuring costs of approximately $0.9 million in connection with these initiatives.“Our goal 18 months ago was to focus on business where we excel, are profitable, and have the ability to grow," said Sifton. “With these initiatives, we have completed our transition and now have five centres of manufacturing excellence across the country.”In addition to these changes, DATA also announced the departure of Jeff Gladwish, Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Development. “Jeff has served the company well through our transition and we wish him well in his future endeavours,” said Sifton. “The direction we are taking centres on expanding our services with existing customers and capturing growing segments within the print production and data management areas. As such, our marketing push will be highly targeted and customer centric.”DATA’s core capabilities include direct marketing, print services, labels and asset tracking, event tickets and gift cards, logistics and fulfilment, content and workflow management, data management and analytics, and regulatory communications. The company serves clients in vertical markets such as financial services, retail, healthcare, lottery and gaming, not-for-profit, and energy.
On January 13, 2017, The C.J. Group of Companies concluded the sale of its three existing buildings, accounting for approximately 125,000 square feet of space on 4.5 acres of land in Etobicoke, Ontario.The company, led by President and CEO Jay Mandarino, has purchased the current Veritiv facility located at 560 Hensall Circle near Cawthra and Dundas Streets in Mississauga, Ontario. Sitting just west of the Etobicoke border, the new location is approximately 10 minutes away from C.J. Group’s current locations.Veritiv is currently completing the build of its brand new headquarters, to be housed in a 450,000-square-foot facility, also in Mississauga. The new Veritiv building is scheduled to be complete by around April 2017 with move-in planned for shortly after.C.J. Group is scheduled to take possession of the current Veritiv building, which is located on eight acres, with two floors and approximately 230,000 square feet of space, in May 2017. The printing company plans to be moved into its new facility, which features 27-foot-high ceilings and more than 300 parking spots – by October 2017. Mandarino describes the new C.J. Group facility as the largest independently owned facility for printing and communications in Canada.Mandarino continues to explain the company plans to add to add full mailing services, a new sheetfed litho press, a new large format press, and a new digital press as it moves into the plant, in addition to expansion of its bindery and other divisions. The new facility will also house SBC Media, a sports magazine operation, which C.J. Group acquired in late-2015.With purchase of the new building, renovations and new equipment, C.J. Group explains it will be investing more than $25 million in its expansion.C.J. Group's previous most-recent expansion was featured in PrintAction's January 2015 issue.
Family and friends of the late Tim Upton, who passed away in October 2015 at age 83 after a storied career as one of Canadian printing’s best-known technology leaders, gathered in mid-December at Howard Graphic Equipment’s new facility in Mississauga, Ontario, to inaugurate a new library in his honour.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriabb123cf5af Helen Upton, daughters Julie and Heather, son Anthony, their spouses and grandchildren, were joined by printing-industry leaders from the past and present for the Timothy O. Upton Library dedication. The Upton Library is part of the Howard Iron Works Museum (www.howardironworks.org), run by Nick and Liana Howard. The museum focuses on the preservation and history of the printing industry, restoring and showcasing machinery with a specific focus on the years 1830 to 1950. The Upton Library is the centre point of the facility and holds over 1,000 books dedicated to the printing art and its technology.Upton spent his working life in the graphic arts. In 1959, he emigrated from Britain to Canada and went to work for Sears Ltd., which represented several leading printing and bindery brands with offices across Canada. He eventually moved to Edmonton as a Branch Manager for Sears, followed by a posting in London, Ontario, before arriving in Toronto as Vice President of Sales for Sears.In 1984, Upton continued his career with the newly minted Heidelberg Canada in the role of Senior Vice President of Sales, where he remained until 1994, before spending his final 10 working years with Howard Graphic Equipment Ltd. Founded in 1967, Howard Graphic Equipment provides pre-owned late model machinery to the graphic arts, conducting business in over 74 countries across the globe.“Tim was prompt: Do not ever be late, because he never was. Do not make silly excuses because Tim never did. Be honest, truthful – even if it hurts. I knew my place and it was firmly two steps back of Tim most of the time. Of all the salespeople I have known, Tim was the best – bar none. Why? Because he was real,” wrote Nick Howard upon Upton’s passing. “He never played games, sucked up to ownership or thought of anyone as being better than himself. Tim’s nickname The Bulldog is fitting,” continued Howard. “One might assume it came from his rugby days, but, no, Tim was just a selfless and tireless man, who, as Churchill once said, never gave up.”
KBA North America has been named the North American exclusive distributor for the Barcelona-based medium- and large-format flatbed diecutter manufacturer Iberica AG S.A., which was purchased in May 2016 by the press maker’s German parent company, Koenig & Bauer. Iberica has been producing machinery for the printing and packaging industries for 64 years. KBA describes its new subsidiary, KBA-Iberica Die Cutters S.A., with around 60 employees, as the world’s second largest manufacturer of die-cutting and creasing machines.“Iberica has a superb reputation in its market. With this acquisition, our parent company is underscoring its focus on the growing packaging market delivering 70 percent of its presses to folding-carton printers,” said Mark Hischar, President and CEO of KBA North America. “KBA has cemented its reputation as the longstanding market leader in folding carton printing. By adding flatbed die-cutters to our portfolio for the same customer group provides an opportunity for KBA to expand its strong market position.”The distributorship – with sales, service and parts support – began on January 1, 2017.
Members of Xerox’ executive team this morning rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate the company’s successful completion of separating into two publically traded companies.The separation plan was first announced in early 2016 during the Connecticut company’s year-end public financial presentations, where Xerox leaders explained it would create a Document Technology company, retaining the Xerox Corporation name, and a Business Process Outsourcing company eventually unveiled as Conduent by mid-2016. Ashok Vemuri, former President and CEO of IGATE Corporation, was appointed as CEO of Conduent and long-time printing-industry executive Jeff Jacobson was named as CEO of the new Xerox entity. “Today is an historic day for Xerox,” said Jacobson on January 3, 2017, when the completed separation was announced publically. “The successful completion of the separation sharpens our market focus and commitment to our customers. I am confident the transformational actions we are implementing position Xerox for long-term success and unlocks shareholder value.”Under the terms of the separation, on the distribution date of Dec. 31, 2016, Xerox shareholders received one share of Conduent common stock for every five shares of Xerox common stock they held. In connection with the spin-off, Xerox received a cash transfer from Conduent of US$1.8 billion, which it intends to use, along with cash on hand, to retire approximately US$2 billion in debt.With approximately US$11 billion in 2015 revenue and approximately 39,000 employees, Xerox remains a Fortune 500-scale company, explains the company. With approximately US$7 billion in 2015 revenue and 96,000 employees worldwide, Xerox explains Conduent will also be a Fortune 500-scale business process services company with expertise in transaction-intensive processing, analytics and automation. In 2016, Xerox noted Conduent will have the second-largest market share in the business process outsourcing industry, with services that touch two-thirds of all insured patients in the U.S. and more than half of all mobile phone subscribers in the U.S.
Kodak in late December provided an update on the sale process for its Prosper commercial inkjet business. The company first announced it was in talks to sell the business in March 2016 after engaging advisors and banks to manage to process.“We anticipated an announcement of an agreement for the sale of the Prosper business by the end of 2016 and remain in talks with potential buyers. We now expect discussions to continue into 2017,” said Philip Cullimore, President of Kodak’s Enterprise Inkjet and Micro 3D Printing & Packaging Divisions. Details of the sale process remain confidential.“We have been gratified by the interest in the Prosper business as well as the continuing support and loyalty of our customers,” said Cullimore. “The Prosper business has been very strong over the first nine months of 2016 with the placement of 12 presses, more than in any comparable period.”Cullimore added that Kodak saw a 41 percent increase in annuity revenues in the third quarter, versus the same period a year earlier, through the Prosper business, which is currently being evaluated by the company to push deeper into publishing, high volume direct mail and packaging. In addition, the company is planning to refocus the business to emphasize print head components and the development of its Ultrastream technology.Ultrastream was introduced at drupa 2016 in May as Kodak’s next generation of inkjet technology. “Sixteen leading printing equipment manufacturers and integrators have signed Letters of Intent to OEM products based on Ultrastream technology,” said Cullimore.Ultrastream, built on Kodak’s continuous inkjet Stream technology, is aimed at moving production inkjet into the mainstream of commercial and packaging printing. It was shown at drupa 2016 in an 8-inch configuration for label production, featuring what Kodak describes as a smaller drop size and precise placement accuracy for higher resolution, clean lines and additional detailed definition.Ultrastream technology will co-exist in the market along with Stream Technology to offer different platform options. Ultrastream’s writing system includes a modular print head that can be implemented in varying widths ranging from eight inches up to 97 inches suit different applications. Kodak explains it produces 600 x 1,800-dpi resolution at speeds of up to 150 meters per minute (500 feet per minute) on a variety of paper and plastic substrates.Ultrastream technology, with a planned launch for early 2017, will co-exist in the market along with Stream Technology to offer different platform options.
Ellis Packaging West Inc., one of three primary facilities of The Ellis Group, one of Canada’s largest independent packaging manufacturers, has purchased a 41-inch, seven-colour Komori GLX press. This is the third new generation Komori press The Ellis Group has installed across its three Ontario plants over the past few years.The newest machine, sold by Komcan, Komori’s press dealer for Canada, is scheduled to be installed in Ellis Packaging West’s Guelph, Ontario, facility in March 2017. It represents the second Komori GLX technology purchased in Canada after an 8-colour Komori GLX was installed in The Ellis Group’s Pickering plant just over one year ago. (See PrintAction’s November 2015 cover story, Packaging Power, on Ellis Packaging's first GLX installation).“Witnessing the exceptional results achieved by our sister plant over the past year, including the reduction in makeready times, while reducing waste and maintaining very impressive run speeds, convinced us that we had to follow suit in Guelph,” said John Clarke, President of Ellis Packaging West. “[The new Komori GLX will] assure our customers that The Ellis Group will continue to provide the very best quality and value added product in the folding-carton market today.” Ellis Packaging West’s GLX is equipped with Komori’s PQA-S inline inspection system and colour control, which scans each sheet for defects and automatically adjusts for ink consistency. The press will also feature a fully automatic feeder and delivery with logistics package, along with an integrated conveyor system, to enable continual operation at 18,000 sheets per hour. The new seven-colour Komori GLX going into Guelph will also be equipped with low-energy Benford UV curing. Komori states its new line of G series are the first presses to be sold in North America running with food-grade lubricants rather than petroleum based products.
The Dieppe, New Brunswick, operation of Advocate Printing & Publishing in December 2016 installed Canada’s first Kodak NexPress ZX3300 press, which also features Kodak’s Fifth Imaging Unit for applying dimensional clear, gold, clear and light black colours.Advocate’s NexPress ZX3300 includes a one-metre (39.37 inch) long feeder to run sheets into the machine’s offset-press-like paper handling system. The NexPress ZX3300 works with more than 800 qualified substrates.Leveraging NexPress HD Dry Inks, Kodak explains Advocate’s five-colour ZX3300 press features improved imaging-unit components and intelligent software modules to deliver images described by the company as offset-class with smooth, flat tints, richer deeper black and photo quality production. With a Matte Finish option, Kodak explains the printed pieces coming off the NexPress take on a rich aesthetic effect that rivals offset.“The sales team and production staff are excited about the opportunities for sales growth, and customer satisfaction with the recent [NexPress ZX3300] installation,” said Tom Badger, General Manager of Advocate Printing’s Dieppe operation.The Fifth Imaging Unit of the Kodak NexPress ZX Platform provides Advocate with an ability to produce print with a tactile feel through Dimensional Clear toner, which creates a raised/textured 3D effect. Applying Gold through the fifth unit provides metallic impact, while Clear can be used for watermarking, spot or flood coating, and Light Black can be used for producing ultra-high quality printing (photographic quality), particularly with neutral tones, gray layers and flat fields.  “As a diversified print communications company, quality, versatility and speed are imperative.  The Kodak NexPress delivers on all aspects. We expect this strategic acquisition to be transformational for our clients and digital print offerings in general,” said Sean Murray, owner of Advocate Printing and Publishing. “We look forward to optimizing the performance of this technology, enhancing our offerings and strengthening customer relationships”Founded in 1891, Advocate is described as the largest independent printer in Atlantic Canada. The company services clients throughout the Atlantic Provinces, the eastern seaboard and across Canada through printing facilities in Pictou, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; Dieppe, New Brunswick and St. Stephen, New Brunswick. The print business includes production of a range of work from national flyers, magazines and direct mail to brochures, business cards, and promotional materials.Additionally, Advocate publishes 10 newspapers, 21 trade and regional magazines, runs a flyer distribution organization, and operates commercial photography, creative design and digital services operations. In July 2016, Advocate acquired most of Transcontinental Inc.’s Dartmouth-based commercial printing business, including associated assets, sales force, and the client-services team.
SOHO Printing of Markham, Ontario, has installed a Triumph 7260 cutting system. Purchased through PDS, the 28-inch programmable cutter features patented EASY CUT electronic blade activation bars for two-hand operation; IR light beam safety curtain on front table and a safety cover on rear table, among other safety features.The Triumph 7260 also includes an hydraulic clamp drive and foot pedal for pre-clamping, as well as a power back gauge and 7-inch touchpad control module. The system stores 99 programs with up to 99 steps in each (up to 15 repeat cuts can be integrated as a single step).
The Print Three franchise in Calgary, Alberta, recently installed a Ricoh Pro C9110 press. The Pro C9110 runs a range of media stocks from 52 to 400 gsm, with duplex printing, and reaches speeds of up to 130 pages per minute in both colour and black-and-white production.The press, explains Ricoh, allows users to produce two-sided specialty and oversized projects up to 27.5 inches long, with an ability to print on specialty media like super-gloss, metallic, coated, transparent and other synthetics. The press’ elastic transfer belt and toner transfer technology also allows for working with textured media like vellums and linens.Leveraging Ricoh’s Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) technology, the Ricoh Pro C9110 reaches imaging resolutions of up to 1,200 x 4,800 dpi.
Impulse Graphic and Display Solutions Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario, has invested in new prepress software, most prominently Esko Automation Engine workflow and ArtiosCAD for structural design. The company is using Automation Engine to reduce operator time and automate step-and-repeat layouts moving to their printing systems and Kongsberg cutting tables.Founded 40 years ago, Impulse Graphic and its 35 employees now focus on retail in-store marketing, display and POS, providing a range of services like project management, creative solutions, printing, kitting and warehousing, shipping and installation. In 2007, Impulse Graphic invested in a high-volume flatbed printer, recently added a new hybrid printer to boost its printing capacity to over 7,000 square feet per hour and has invested in its third Kongsberg cutting table. “We felt the need to have the same family of cutting tables, moving away from another cutter brand to create consistency and greater throughput in our bindery department,” said Alexander Cachia, President of Impulse.Cachia explains the decision to go with Esko’s Automation Engine was in part based on its ability to customize Impulse Graphic’s workflow based on its scope of work. “We also wanted our creative department to take advantage of other software tools Esko offers that tied into prepress,” said Cachia. “With the implementation of Esko ArtiosCAD we now have the ability not only to create structural designs in 2D or 3D, but also link these files to Automation Engine to output to our printers and to the Kongsberg tables. This make the prepress operation very seamless.”Until recently, Impulse was receiving job files from FTP sites and manually sending them through a pre-flight program. One-ups were manually stepped and repeated in Adobe Illustrator, and a separate layer was created for a cut line. Once approved, the files were sent to the printers and cutting tables. “With a growing customer base, some of which operate more than 3,000 locations across North America, we needed a powerful tool to automate our workflow,” explained Cachia. “Our most pressing need was that we wanted to reduce prepress operator time, especially for repetitive tasks.”Impulse has been using Automation Engine for about four months and, based on its majority of clients, the company will handle on average 100 files a day. “We recently completed a project where we processed over 800 files through Automation Engine on a variety of substrates,” said Cachia. He continues to explain, that in the past, Impulse Graphic used to create a variety of templates to step-and-repeat and output jobs. The company’s operators have customized them all within Automation Engine. “The operators are more efficient. We can accept larger jobs and turn them around faster. Prepress used to be the bottleneck. Now it's pushing production.”
Factor Forms and Labels, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, has purchased Canada’s first Domino N610i UV inkjet label press. The N610i is Factor Forms’ sixth digital press purchased since 2008.“Our focus for labels has been the short-run marketplace and our exclusive use of digital label presses and laser die cutters allows our dealers to be very successful going after this short-run business,” said Tom Moore, Vice President and General Manager of Factor Forms and Labels. “However, we are now seeing requests for larger quantities and the Domino N610i will allow our dealers to pursue mid-range quantity orders, especially those with multiple SKUs. We also see texturing being a great value-add to what our dealers offer their customers.”The texturing described by Moore refers to a recently introduced capability, called Textures by Domino, that allows Domino N610i users to produce inkjet-printed tactile, textured labels – with the goal of increasing shelf presence to allow brand owners’ products stand out. Domino explains it Textures innovation provides a cost-effective way to create “feel appeal” without the use of expensive textured label materials.The N610i press runs at a minimum speed of 165 feet per minute and can reach up to 246 feet per minute, producing a native resolution of 600 x 600 dpi. The system’s white ink channel, explains Domino, produces opacity of more than 70 percent.Factor Forms and Labels describes itself as Canada’s largest trade-only business forms and labels manufacturer, with plants in Edmonton, Niagara Falls and Victoria. The company’s national network also includes sales offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Niagara Falls.Celebrating its 38th year in business, Domino is headquartered in the UK as a manufacturer and distributor of digital printing and product identification solutions. The company has 25 subsidiaries, more than 200 distributors, representation in over 120 countries, and 2,600 employees worldwide. Domino’s North American headquarters is located in Gurnee, IL.
Sean Springett becomes Chief Executive Officer of Manroland Sheetfed GmbH’s North American subsidiaries, based in Chicago, IL, and Vaughan, Ontario. Springett, age 42, joined Manroland Sheetfed in 2008 and most recently served as its VP of Sales & Marketing. His appointment follows the October 19 passing of Manroland Sheetfed’s Mike Mugavaro, who led the press maker’s North American operation since 2012.“As Vice President Sales and Marketing for the USA and Canada for the last four years, with a career in the industry spanning more than twenty years, Sean has held progressively senior leadership positions,” said Rafael Penuela-Torres, CEO of Manroland Sheetfed GmbH. “He is the natural choice to head up our North American operations.”Manroland Sheetfed GmbH of Germany, founded in 1871, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sheetfed offset printing presses. Today, the company has subsidiaries in over 40 countries, with its North American operation being a key component of the press maker’s global footprint. Manroland Sheetfed GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the privately owned UK engineering group, Langley Holdings plc.“Manroland Sheetfed is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the offset market through technology, and I couldn’t be more honoured to have been chosen to lead the company in the USA and Canada,” said Springett.Gina Gigliozzi, Director of Sales Administration for Manroland Sheetfed said, “Having worked with him for more than eight years, I feel sure that Sean is the right leader at the right time for Manroland Sheetfed."
The Digital Imaging Association announced its new Officers and Directors for 2017 during its annual holiday lunch, held at The Boulevard Club in Toronto, featuring a keynote from Frank Romano, Professor Emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology, called Digital Printing, From Good Enough to Nanography.Officers of the Digital Imaging Association’s (DIA) upcoming year include President: George Sittlinger of Maracle Press in Oshawa, ON; First Vice-President Paul Tarvydas of Tsus4 Inc. in Toronto, ON; and 2nd Vice-President: Jason Hamilton of TiGroup, also in Toronto.Mark Norlock of KBA Canada Inc. will serve as the DIA’s Secretary/Treasurer for the 2017 year, while the remaining officers include Past President Dino Sinnathurai of Kitchener’s Cober and Association Manager Marg Macleod of Friesens.DIA Directors for 2017 include Ray Fagan of Heidelberg Canada, Steve Fournier of Agfa Canada, Ryan Harper of Xerox Canada, Andrea Leven-Marcon of Spicers Canada, Stephen Longmire of PrintAction, Paul McCarthy of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada, Mike Millard of Ellis Packaging, Randall Stevenson, Larry Stewart of KBR and Bob Weller. Karl Schmed is the Director Emeritus of the Digital Imaging Association.
At its most recent directors meeting, Pesda welcomed two new directors to its board for the 2016/2017 year. Brad King, Vice President of Graphic Communications for Xerox Canada, and Janet Carmichael, Segment Manager of Wide Format Media at Cansel, both bring years of industry experience to the association of suppliers that provide technologies and services to Canada’s printing and imaging industries.In February 2016, King was appointed to his current VP position with Xerox Canada to lead the company’s newly redesigned national graphic communications organization. Working with Xerox Canada for more than a decade, King previously served as the company’s VP 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. (A Q&A with King can be found in PrintAction’s March 2016 issue).Carmichael began her printing-industry career in 1992 as a Market Applications Manager with Bowne, before working with Unisource for 12 years, followed by Perennial Inc. and Proveer/Grimco. At the start of 2015, she joined Cansel as the national organization began to ramp up its wide-format imaging interests. Cansel provides software, hardware and services provider to engineering, surveying, construction, architecture, government and printing industries.Pesda was formed in 1975 by six suppliers to the graphic communications industry with the goal of being a national resource for technology and service providers, while also fostering the development of Canada’s printing industry. There are currently 16 Pesda member companies, including: Ariva, ACCO/GBC Canada, Atlas Graphics Supply, Canon Canada, Cansel, Fujifilm Canada, Graphic Printing Roller, HP Canada, Heidelberg Canada, huber group, Konica Minolta, Manroland Canada, Spicers Canada, Unigraph International, Veritiv and Xerox Canada.
Pierre-Elliott Levasseur becomes President of La Presse following Guy Crevier’s decision to step away from day-to-day operations of the Montreal-based news organization. Levasseur has played a key role in the company's affairs since 2006 and was serving as Chief Operating Officer. Crevier, who presided over La Presse's shift to digital, becomes Vice-Chairman of the Board, La Presse (Gesca), and will stay on as Publisher. “A year ago, Guy Crevier told me that he wished to step back from operations once La Presse's transition toward a new digital model was complete," said Desmarais, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Power Corporation. "The move from print to digital weekday editions is also now a reality. Pierre-Elliott Levasseur is the natural choice to succeed Guy as President. He has played a frontline role in the company for several years, and brings in-depth media industry knowledge to the table. I know that, with his keen business sense and leadership, Pierre-Elliott will be an exceptional President of La Presse."Levasseur has held various senior management functions with the company in recent years. As its Executive Vice-President, his duties included managing La Presse's digital operations and overseeing all facets of the development and implementation of La Presse+. He is currently responsible for the areas of revenue, finance, sales, and the technology subsidiary Nuglif. He has contributed to every major project developed at La Presse since his arrival, according to the company. With an MBA from Harvard Business School, Levasseur is regarded as a finance specialist and helped guide the diversification of the company's activities through acquisitions as well as equity interests and sales of assets. From 1995 to 2006, he worked for Power Corporation of Canada and Power Financial Corporation, where he was Treasurer from 2001 to 2006.
John Johnstone becomes Senior Account Executive for Ontario for Canon Canada’s Professional Printing Solutions Group. He will help Canon Canada grow its market share in both the commercial printing segment and transaction printing space.Johnstone joined the company in mid-November with more than 20 years of graphic communications experience, including a focus on the implementation of e-commerce, marketing, and content management strategies.
Printing Industries of America completed the election of its 2017 Officers and Board of Directors, who began to function on November 20 after a ceremony at the association’s meetings in Kansas City, Missouri. There are no Canadian printing industry executives on the board this year or serving as elected officers.Curt Kreisler of Gold Star Printers in Miami, Florida, will serve as the PIA’s Chairman of the Board. He has been an active member of the print community serving PIA and his local trade association, Printing Association of Florida (PAF). Before becoming Chairman, Kreisler served as a member of the PIA Executive Committee, Chairman of the PIA Association Relations Committee, Chairman of PIA’s Show Committee, and as a member of the PIA Finance Committee. While serving his local affiliate, Kreisler was elected as Chairman of the Board twice. He is also Chairman of PAF’s Trade Show Council that oversees the management and running of the Graphics of the Americas trade show in Miami. His previous print industry service also includes serving as Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Quick Printers (NAQP), which recognized him as Printer of the Year in 2007. The remaining elected PIA board members include:First Vice ChairmanBryan Hall, CEO of Graphic Visual Solutions Inc. in Greensboro, North Carolina Second Vice Chairman/Association Relations Committee ChairmanMichael Wurst, CEO of Henry Wurst Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri Secretary to the BoardPaul Cousineau, Vice President of Prepress and Continuous Improvement with Dow Jones & Company Inc. in Princeton, New JerseyTreasurerJohn E. LeCloux, Vice President of WS Packaging Group in Green Bay, WisconsinPast Chairman of the BoardBradley Thompson II, CEO of Inland Press in Detroit, Michigan Also joining the Board of Directors in 2017 are: Roger Chamberlain, the Cincinnati Insurance Company, representing Printing Industries of Ohio; Scott Vaughn, The Standard Group, representing the Graphic Arts Association; Pat McBride, Envision Printing LLC, representing Printing & Imaging Association of Georgia; Ryan Stevens, Replica Printing Services, representing PIA San Diego; Dawn Nye, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, representing the vendor community; and Tad Parker of PINE, representing the affiliate managers.
Ricoh today announced its acquisition of Toronto-based Avanti Computer Systems, which has been a leading developer of Management Information Systems dedicated to the printing industry for approximately three decades.In July 2013, Ricoh made a strategic investment in Avanti as the MIS developer was preparing to launch its new generation Avanti Slingshot solution, which was released in the fall of that year at Graph Expo. One of the most-advanced MIS products in today's print market, Slingshot was built around a completely new coding infrastructure and the MIS sector’s highest level of JDF certification for automation.Avanti’s Slingshot product, which can be cloud-based or hosted onsite, was in development for over three years before its launch, built from the ground-up to handle multiple lines of business, including large-format inkjet, toner and offset lithography, mailing and fulfillment workflows, as well as creative, marketing and data management services from one platform. The development of Avanti Slingshot was featured as the cover story of PrintAction’s August 2013 issue, The Slingshot Effect.)“We are committed to continual portfolio advancements aimed at helping our customers grow their businesses and improve their efficiency,” said Jeff Paterra, Senior VP and GM, Technology & Solutions Development, Ricoh, about the Avanti acquisition. “We know that in order to achieve this, they need complete solutions which address their business needs. While our Ricoh Pro Series continues to grow market share globally thanks to its high quality and high productivity, customers look to Ricoh to resolve wider issues surrounding upstream and downstream systems. Our acquisition of Avanti helps us more effectively do just that.” Previously, Ricoh acquired MarcomCentral (formerly known as PTI Marketing Technologies) in December 2014, a move to help build the company’s position in providing Web to print, marketing asset management, and variable data printing tools. With the addition of Avanti, Ricoh explains the acquisition of Avanti enables its software portfolio to cover the entire production workflow. “Ricoh’s initial strategic investment in Avanti three years ago gave us an unparalleled opportunity to advance product development and further deliver innovative MIS solutions,” said Patrick Bolan, President of Avanti. “The acquisition by Ricoh sets the stage for Avanti to accelerate growth into the global marketplace.”
Deschamps Impression of Québec City, Québec, has acquired another of the province’s best-known commercial printing operations in Imprimerie Litho Chic. With this acquisition, Deschamps will have more than 200 employees and increase its annual sales to over $33 million.The Litho Chic acquisition compliments a year of capital-equipment investment by Deschamps. In May 2016, the printing company bought a new Xerox iGen5 press, as well as binding and finishing equipment for its Montreal plant. In December 2016, Deschamps Impression expanded its Québec City facility by almost 5,000 square feet. In January 2017, the company is installing a brand new 5-colour Heidelberg CX-102 press in its’ Quebec City facility.“Our first objective in buying this company is to increase our presence in the Québec market where we have been in business for more than 90 years,” said Jean Deschamps, President and Chief Operating Officer of Deschamps Impression.Founded in 1987, Imprimerie Litho Chic specializes in commercial work with both offset and digital printing systems. Jean Bilodeau and Michel Leclerc of Litho Chic will continue to play key roles within the Deschamps Impression organization. “The clients from both companies will be the first to benefit from this transaction as we will improve our turnaround time, our production capacity, and a wider variety of services provided,” said Jean Bilodeau.On top of high-end commercial printing, Deschamps Impression focuses on providing clients with prepress services, security and digital printing, as well as pharmaceutical and cosmetic folding-carton and box printing, in addition to bindery and finishing services.
CCL Industries Inc., headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, reached an agreement to acquire the UK-based Innovia Group of companies – consisting of three divisions noted as Films, Security and Systems – for approximately $1.13 billion. The transaction – involving a consortium of private equity investors managed by The Smithfield Group LLP – is expected to close by the end of CCL’s first quarter 2017.“This transaction is another transformative acquisition for CCL, propelling the Company to world leadership in the disruptive, fast growing polymer banknote market while strengthening our depth in the materials science arena with proprietary BOPP films technology for the label, packaging and security sectors,” said Geoffrey Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer of CCL. Martin continued to explain the Innovia acquisition is to be propelled by the company’s end-use facing businesses in CCL Label, CCL Design, Checkpoint and Avery.“CCL’s 2017 pro-forma annual sales are forecast to exceed $5.0 billion post close,” said Martin. “The transaction will be financed from existing capacity in our revolving credit facility and a new US$450 million, two-year term loan provided by a syndicate of banks led by Bank of Montreal.”For 2017, Innovia is expected to generate net revenue of approximately $570 million. Headquartered in Wigton in the U.K., Innovia is a global producer of multi-layer, surface-engineered BOPP films for label, packaging and security applications. The business has film extrusion, coating and metallizing facilities across the U.K., Belgium and Australia, as well as high security, specialized polymer banknote operations in the U.K., Australia and Mexico with 1,200 employees and sales offices in 16 countries around the world.
Hemlock Printers of Burnaby, BC, has created a new entity called Hemlock Harling Distribution Inc., which is described as a company dedicated to providing data-driven marketing, postal and third-party distribution services to customers throughout North America. Hemlock Harling will formally open its doors on February 1, 2017, coinciding with the acquisition of Kirk Marketing, a 60-year-old full-service print, mailing and fulfillment services company in Richmond, BC.The venture is an equal partnership between Hemlock Printers and Harling Direct, a marketing-support company providing postal services and fulfillment from facilities in Montreal, QC, and Toronto, ON. Operating from Kirk’s existing 40,000 square foot facility, Hemlock Harling will bring together a team of 40 staff members, who, in addition to serving its established customer base, will also support Hemlock Printers and Harling Direct clients – significantly expanding the capabilities of both partner organizations.“We are very excited to launch this new company with our partners at Harling Direct. The management and distribution of our printed materials is fast becoming an integral part of our business, requiring a high level of expertise,” said Richard Kouwenhoven, President and COO, Hemlock. “Hemlock Harling will enable us to greatly expand this service area and will help us meet the changing needs of our customers in the years ahead.”Harling’s President, Randy Yates, added: “Harling has been actively looking to the Western Canadian Market to offer customers complete distribution coverage from coast to coast, and when the opportunity arose to partner with an established company like Hemlock Printers, we didn’t hesitate. Harling is not new to this type of business venture, having successfully partnered with the PDI Group of Montreal since 2007,” continued Yates. “Our mutual clients have benefitted from a powerful integration of print, mail, warehousing and distribution services which is a model we are looking forward to growing in the West. Our acquisition of Kirk Marketing provides an ideal springboard for this new venture.”Gordon Taschuk, President and CEO of Kirk Marketing, is to become General Manager of the new Hemlock Harling operation. “I’m looking forward [to] working with two of the most respected companies in the industry, leveraging our combined strength to the benefit of our customers and staff,” said Taschuk.Founded in 1968, Hemlock Printers is today seen as the largest full-service commercial printing company in Western Canada. Hemlock’s production facilities in Burnaby operate 100 percent carbon neutral and the company has sales offices in Victoria, Seattle and San Francisco.Founded in 1959, Harling specializes in direct mail and third party fulfillment logistics. It provides services in both of Canada’s official languages, preparing distributions to destinations across North America and internationally.
Cimpress N.V., with its largest printing and production facility in Windsor, ON, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire National Pen Co. LLC, a major manufacturer and marketer of custom writing instruments. The move adds mass customization capabilities to what Cimpress describes an important segment of the market for small business marketing products.Under the terms of the agreement, Cimpress will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding equity interests of National Pen for a purchase price of approximately US$218 million ($286.5 million Canadian). Consideration at closing for the transaction will be in cash, using Cimpress' existing credit facility. Based on Cimpress estimates made during due diligence, National Pen's revenue is expected to be approximately US$275 million ($361 million Canadian )in calendar year 2016.“Just like business cards, custom pens are a simple yet highly effective way for small business owners to market their companies,” said Robert Keane, CEO of Cimpress. “National Pen has tremendous mass customization and related supply chain capabilities with which they deliver an unrivaled breadth and depth of customizable writing instruments with low minimum order quantities that meet the low-volume needs of small businesses.”National Pen is to complement the organic investment Cimpress has already made in its technology and supply chain capabilities for promotional products, apparel and gifts (PPAG) offerings. Cimpress explains it has made significant investments to reduce the minimum order quantity required for custom promotional products and business apparel. These have automated many of the graphic processing steps of the value chain so as to reduce per-order setup costs and developed more intuitive self-service, browser-based design tools. “National Pen is a clear leader in one of the key promotional product segments and has excellent manufacturing and supply chain capabilities, which we do not have today,” said Keane. “By combining the company's capabilities and expertise with those of Cimpress, we are confident we can help to grow both National Pen and the promotional products offering of our existing portfolio of brands.” Keane continued to explain National Pen has meaningful scale-based sourcing and production advantages, as well as strong competencies in direct marketing, telesales and data analytics. As part of Cimpress, National Pen will continue to go to market as it does today, through its primary sales channel which is a combination of direct mail and telesales. Additionally, Cimpress expects further develop National Pen’s e-commerce presence and to introduce the National Pen product range into its Vistaprint and Upload and Print e-commerce brands. Founded in 1966, National Pen provides personalized marketing solutions to more than one million small- and medium-sized businesses globally. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California, with additional locations in the United States, Mexico, Ireland, and France.
Paragraph Inc., a company specializing in print and digital communications, has acquired Kayjon, a commercial printing facility located in the same region of Saint-Laurent, Quebec.Kayjon's facilities will be moved to the Paragraph facility located in a borough of Saint-Laurent. With the joining of Paragraph and Kayjon, more than 175 employees will be brought together and the company has combined sales targets of $26 million.For more than 25 years, Paragraph has been developing customized, innovative solutions for printing, document management and integrated digital media for its customers. His knowledge and expertise in these fields have made Paragraph one of the most recognized companies in the industry. Today, it relies on its know-how and vision to position itself as a leader in this industry that is undergoing a profound transition.On news of the acquisition, Martin Lépine, President of Paragraph, said: “Through acquisitions and R&D, we are able to redefine the possibilities of the world of graphic communications and marketing services… The status quo is no longer an option in our industry and we are embarking on this new turn by combining the ultimate in printing technology with the power of new media to better ensure our growth. This will enable our customers to optimize the efficiency and performance of their communications, whether printed or digital.”Founded in 1979, Kayjon is one of the best know commercial printers in Quebec, focused on providing high-quality, sheetfed printing, as well as a range of related services like prepress, digital printing, cutting and finishing. “It was clear that our two companies, resolutely focused on quality and customer service, are joining forces to offer a diverse range of products,” said Derek James, President of Kayjon. “With the expertise of our employees who complement each other admirably, we will continue to build strong, long-term business relationships, as we have been doing since our early days.”James continues to explain that the combined company will now be able to offer a turnkey service to customers, including: graphic design services, integrated marketing and communications services, premium printing (conventional, digital and large format), POS advertising, distribution and advertising.“We are truly enthusiastic to be able to honour the continuity of what is the DNA of this beautiful organization that is Kayjon,” said Lépine. “Together, I am confident that we will have the ability to offer our clients a range of services that combine a high level of know-how with the strength of new media. This alliance marks the beginning of a new era in our field, and our customers will be the first to benefit from it.”
Two Canadian printing companies are among the worldwide winners of the 12th Annual Narrow Web Print Awards, organized by Flint Group, to recognize specialized applications like UV flexo, UV screen, UV LED, shrink sleeve, water-based flexo, specialty inks and coatings. Perflex Label of Toronto and Deco Labels & Flexible Packaging of Etobicoke, Ontario, were among nine winning companies from around the globe.Flint explains a common trend among this year’s print entires was UV LED technology and combination printing.  “Every year, the quality of entires continues to demonstrate that there are no limits when it comes to printing labels,” said Niklas Olsson, Flint Group Narrow Web Global Brand Manager. “As a supplier, we continue to expand the capabilities of our converter clients and push the boundaries of narrow web.”Each entry, explained Flint, was individually and carefully reviewed by industry experts. Criteria for judging follow the guidelines that are standards set by the industry associations FINAT and TLMI. These included: registration, smoothness of dot/vignette, overall print quality and degree of difficulty. 2016 Annual Narrow Web Print Awards WinnersPerflex Label – Canada Yerecic Label – USAUniprint Labels – South Africa Unique Photo Offset Services – IndiaDeco Labels & Flexible Packaging – CanadaConsolidated Label – USAModel Graphics – USAPemara – AustraliaAlaska Polygrafoformlenie – Russia 
Back in January 2016, Jones Packaging Inc., headquartered in London, Ont., as a global provider of packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, announced it was entering into a commercial partnership with Norway's Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), which develops printed electronics and smart systems, including technologies for Near Field Communications (NFC).Together the two companies planned to integrate Thinfilm’s recently branded NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharmaceutical packaging and, at the same time, develop what Jones describes as key manufacturing processes for its high-speed production lines. The London packaging company has now successfully completed this integration to deploy OpenSense tags at its converting facility. The customized Jones production line can apply and read up to 15,000 tags per hour. Jones explains Thinfilm’s Tag Talks First protocol is a key feature of the OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions. This read-rate is well suited, Jones explains, for its high-speed, high-volume production lines. Jones and Thinfilm will also collaborate to engage top global pharmaceutical companies to integrate the smart technology into Rx and over-the-counter product packaging. The Jones/Thinfilm smart packaging collaboration is funded, in part, by grants from both the Swedish and Canadian governments.Jones explains NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels that can detect both a product’s “factory sealed” and “opened” states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The tags contain unique identifiers, continues Jones, that make it possible for pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level using software and analytics tools. In addition, Jones explains the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken, which enables both brands and medical staff to extend the dialogue with consumers and patients. The partners published a two-minute video that visually conveys the automated process – setup of the carton, application of the tag, reading of the NFC chip, recording of key information, and ejection of compromised packages.
Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging of Richmond, BC, has successfully completed its Eagle Cold Foil Certification Course (ECFC). The 8-hour program is not only geared toward improving production understanding and techniques of press operators, but, as Eagle Systems explains, the certification program incorporates the executive management level to focus on Return On Investment, as well as quality production. “We first installed our Eagle Cold Foil systems in June 2015 and it’s lived up to every promise made by Eagle President Mike King,” said Stefan Congram, Operations Manager, Glenmore. “We’ve learned to not only respect Mike but trust him. When he suggested the class for our operation we knew we’d reap significant benefits.” Eagle conducted the Eagle Cold Foil Certification Course (ECFC) at Glemore’s Richmond facility in mid-July, 2016, to address real-world production factors and influences. Eagle has designed a unique test form, designed for failure, to run off each applicant’s system. Eagle explains the press is then finite-tweaked to maximize performance out of each operation’s adhesives, foils and blankets. This in-house certification approach allows for the elimination of former process obstacles, such as pin-holing and mud cracking.“It’s an understatement to say it’s thorough, but more importantly it’s effective,” said Congram, a 15-year veteran of the commercial printing industry, who has spent his the last eight year with Glenmore. “The press staffers now have an in-depth working knowledge and understanding of the cold foil process. Not just the what’s, as in what to do, but the why’s and how’s. Our people are now as dialed in as our system is. We are reaping the rewards every single shift with faster make-readies and noticeable quality jumps.”Founded by Glenn Rowley in 1981, Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging has evolved from a one-person shop to a significant Canadian printing operation of more than 90 employees in just under 35 years. The company provides a range of services like conventional, UV, offset, digital and wide-format printing, as well as pre- and post-press capabilities. The family-owned and operated company has advanced into a second-generation phase under the managerial leadership of the founder’s son James Rowley.
High school students in a specialized communications program work with a local Ottawa company to learn about the printing trade.Young adults routinely participate in interactive online activities ranging from Facebook and Twitter to sophisticated multi-player games, chat rooms and blogs. It only makes sense, that for today’s students, an experiential approach to learning is a priority.Merivale High School’s FOCUS program offers students in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board a unique opportunity to complete a concentrated one semester Communication and Design program that will prepare them for post secondary diploma and degree programs in graphic design, animation, photography and interactive multi media.So although students will require a digital camera and some computer skills for their Graphic Design, Photography and Animation courses, they should also be prepared to arrive at visual solutions using a variety of pencils, ink pens and paint as well as with current vector drawing software. The program has a 25 seat Mac Lab and also boasts an intaglio press, which makes printmaking exercises possible, and a 10-station darkroom for developing and printing 35 mm film. Students primarily use Adobe software, but spend time with QuarkXPress and other applications they may encounter.The FOCUS also involves a thorough immersion in printing technologies, and for the program’s offset lithography unit, the school enlisted the services of senior account and customer experience manager Jonathan Stokes of TRICO Evolution in Ottawa.Poster objectiveTRICO serves clients across Canada and the northern United States from its offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston and Vancouver, accounting for 350,000 square feet. In September 2015, Delta Business Solutions and TRICO entered into an agreement to combine forces and operate as one company under the TRICO brand. With more than 240 employees, the company focuses on products and services across six lines of business: contract packaging, warehousing and logistics, display and signage, commercial printing, direct marketing, and marketing analytics and insight.The FOCUS students’ objective at TRICO was to have the entire class contribute artwork for a poster marking Star Trek’s 50th year on television. The first series, now referred to as The Original Series, debuted in 1966 and followed the galactic adventures of James T. Kirk and crew of the starship Enterprise, an exploration vessel of a 23rd-century United Federation of Planets.Students were given their choice of media, with the understanding that their final artwork would appear only in black and white. Some of the students chose to do artwork with traditional tools, others used Adobe Illustrator to make vector drawings. Because the sequels, movies, animated films and graphic novels are so easily accessible, and a much-hyped new series is in the works (planned for a January 2017 release), the students were all familiar with all the characters.After the initial artwork was completed, all images were scanned at the proper resolution and then imported into a QuarkXPress document where the appropriate typographic notes were added. The finished poster was exported to PDF and FTPed to Stokes at TRICO. When the class arrived at TRICO to see offset lithography in action, students were first shown how a printing job is scheduled and how files are processed when they come to the plant, reinforcing the time-sensitive nature of the business.Stokes brought the FOCUS program students to the plate-processing station and there a skilled technician burned an aluminum plate of the Star Trek poster job and gave it to us for display at our school art show. In the pressroomThe class next entered the printing area, where one of the TRICO pressmen had our poster printing plate mounted on the large litho press ready to go. The students were able to observe all the fine tuning done before a job enters production.The class, whose printing experiences for the most part only included photocopiers, laser and inkjet printers were surprised at the speed and fidelity of offset lithography. They were also impressed by how efficiently large amounts of paper could be cut and trimmed with such accuracy. Our day at TRICO evolution finished on a high note in the board room, with Stokes showing impressive samples of critically acclaimed work done for corporate clients. Each student left with a few copies of their Star Trek poster and a greater appreciation and respect for the printing trade.Author Irving Osterer is the Department Head Fine Arts and Technology Merivale High School in Ottawa, Ontario. For more information about Merivale’s Fine Arts and Focus Program go to www.merivalefinearts.wikispaces.com.
Pollard Banknote Limited of Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been awarded a four-year contract to serve as the primary scratch game supplier to the Minnesota State Lottery. Under this agreement, Pollard Banknote will continue as the Lottery's primary scratch game vendor, but expects to increase ticket volumes supplied, with a guarantee in the new contract of at least 70 percent of all scratch games purchased for every year of the contract. The new contract runs until June 30, 2020 with the potential for two one-year contract extensions. The contract value is estimated to be approximately US$11.2 million over the four years.Pollard Banknote is currently a lottery partner to more than 60 lotteries worldwide.The company was first awarded a secondary scratch game contract for the Minnesota Lottery in 2007 and was elevated to primary supplier in 2010. By focusing on industry innovations and winning strategies, the scratch game category generated 69 percent of total Minnesota Lottery sales for FY2015.“Leveraging Pollard Banknote's experience working with a variety of lottery jurisdictions worldwide, our strategies incorporate the best of the best in utilizing innovations to maximize scratch ticket sales that raise money for good causes,” said Byron Peterson, Director, Sales & Marketing, Pollard Banknote. “The Minnesota State Lottery does a fantastic job of executing those strategies.”To date, the Minnesota Lottery has brought a range of Pollard Banknote's products and licensed brands to market, including the PlayBook, Scratch FX and Spectrum Scratch FX. It was also the first Lottery to launch Scratch FX at the $20 price point. Most recently, the Lottery's launch of a $5 Frogger game (a licensed brand offered exclusively by Pollard Banknote) had five-week average sales that were 82 percent higher than all other $5 games launched in Minnesota since 2013. It was the lottery's best-selling ticket at this price point."We are very excited to continue our strong partnership with Pollard Banknote," said Michael Vekich, Acting Director, Minnesota Lottery. "We rely heavily on our primary printing partner for design, marketing and strategy leadership – a partner proven to help the Lottery drive its scratch sales. Pollard Banknote offers everything we seek from a scratch game printer – guidance and expertise in research, marketing and product innovation.”
The winners of the 2016 Premier Printing Awards competition, hosted by the Printing Industries of America, have been announced and four Canadian printing companies are amongst the Best of Category recipients, who receive the Benny Award named after Benjamin Franklin.Friesens and C.J. Graphics each won two Benny Awards with one each being won by Prime Data Communications and Mi5 Print and Digital Communications, as detailed below:C.J. Graphics Inc., Toronto, ONProject: C.J. Graphics Open House InvitationCategory: Invitations (1, 2, or 3 colors)Project: Blue Dragon Chop To ChopsticksCategory: Digital Printing-CookbooksFriesens Corporation, Altona, MBProject: Can You Dig ItCategory: CookbooksProject: MIT Technique 2016Category: School YearbooksMi5 Print and Digital Communications, Mississauga, ONProject: PREMISE Intertain Annual Report 2014Category: Business and Annual Reports (4 or more colors, printers with 21-50 employees)Prime Data Communications, Aurora, ONProject: Coolest Variable Print Project in the WorldCategory: Customized/Personalized/Variable-Data Digital Printing
Frank Romano, Professor Emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology and well-known printing pundit based on more than 40 years of industry analysis, on December 2 provided a keynote speech at the Digital Imaging Association’s annual holiday luncheon, held on Toronto’s waterfront at The Boulevard Club. The title of Romano’s DIA keynote, Digital Printing, From Good Enough to Nanography, describes one of the most-pressing issues facing printers as they prepare to make investment decisions around the commercial-printing possibilities of inkjet technologies.Romano spent an hour providing the crowd of some 100 people with his insights on the evolution of printing technologies, beginning with his take on the industry’s historical transitions into offset, toner and wide-format inkjet. The last 20 minutes of his speech then focused on both the opportunities and challenges facing further adoption of digital printing, with an emphasis on production-strength inkjet printing, ending with his perspective on Landa Digital’s Nanography-branded presses.Discussing the challenges facing further adoption of digital-printing technologies, particularly inkjet, Romano points to three primary issues. First, he explains, is the continuing, misguided marketing of technology developers that promote digital-printing growth via page volume. “The way they measure the output from these machines is page impressions. If you reduce everything to just a page, you have denigrated it – you have insulted it – because a page has no value,” says Romano. “When the page is in a brochure it has value. When a page is in a book it has value… They are not pages, they are parts of a product and that product has value. And if we keep making that a page, we reduce the value in the product and that is an issue.”The second primary obstacle to digital-printing growth, according to Romano, is the absurd number of sheet sizes needed to accommodate unique imaging formats on most every single digital press – both historic installations and new systems coming to market. “Let’s get rid of all of these stupid sizes. We cannot deal with every different sheet size you can imagine,” says Romano. “I’m sorry, the paper companies are not going to support you – they can’t anymore. They do not have the resources. They do not even have the warehouse space.”Romano then walked the crowd through a third significant challenge facing the further adoption of digital and inkjet presses: “The problem is that the majority of these machines are CMYK and yet we all know that we have to handle brand colours – Pantone colours… That is one of the reasons why Indigo sells so well. HP has done a very good job because of the fact that you can match almost every Pantone colour, every brand colour. That is why they are so dominant in the label market.”Romano continues to explain flexography remains so vital in the packaging world because of the ability to invest in 6, 8, 10-unit presses on which just about any brand colour can be dropped into the machine. He notes, however, that inkjet presses today can print on just about any polymer or plastic. “It is just a matter of time, but the problem is without the brand colours they are not going to get into the packaging market… And, by the way, telling me you can do 80 percent of the Pantone colours with CMYK does not hit it. Sorry, but that is not an argument.”After visiting drupa 2016, Romano notes the incredible range of production inkjet systems entering the market and their ability to print on most any substrate. He uses the growth in wide-format inkjet as an example of this ever-expanding application range, primarily leveraging mature UV technologies. "The next generation is going to print on new kinds of substrates. It is going to go way beyond paper... The home decor market, make the pattern of your sofa match your wall paper, if you so desire. Make your windows look like Tiffany glass. You can do that now very easily with wide-format inkjet."Romano envisions a strong future in the use of UV inking on production-strength systems, particularly with water-based UV inkjet technologies as opposed to oil-based UV. “I think the next big movement has to be water-based UV,” he says. “UV is really a key system because it can print on almost anything. It is impervious to the weather. That is going to be a key technology.”The use of water-based inking systems ties directly into the potential of Landa Digital’s Nanography-branded printing systems, which Romano does not view as standard inkjet presses, despite their use of print heads, because they jet liquid toner. Landa’s unique consumable is water based and evaporates in the imaging process to provide vibrant colours with a very low ink coating relative to existing inkjet systems.“A lot is going to change when Landa actually starts shipping… When that machine comes out there are several things about it that are unique,” says Romano. “You look at what [Benny Landa] is doing with that ink, it is going to change the world. The question is, will he make the machine affordable.”Without singling out Landa Digital, Romano continues to point to the challenge printers face given the high costs of production inkjet systems in the market today. “The thing that bothers me more than anything else is that we are a capital-intensive business and these machines are not cheap anymore,” he says. “[Technology suppliers] figure we all have money and yet that is one of my issues – we don’t. If you could get the machine at a reasonable price, we could then build a business and buy more machines, and buy more consumables… But right now I think they have priced them a little bit too high.”
More than 200 industry leaders, students and family members on November 9 attended the annual awards night to celebrate the achievement of dozens of students in Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management. The ceremony, which highlighted the program’s close ties to the Canadian printing industry, was held in the Sears Atrium of the George Vari Engineering Building.Ryerson Graphic Communications Management (GCM) students Jim Poopalapillai and Melissa Williams hosted the evening, which began with an address from the Chair of the school, Ian Baitz, who noted the program’s growth – with around 180 new students enrolled this year – and its important relationship with industry.In addition to several awards donated by a range companies, GCM students were acknowledged for their achievements through the Canada Printing Industry Scholarship Trust Fund, which provided $59,000 to students across Canada this year – a majority of which are studying at Ryerson. (Photos provided by Ryerson student Andrew Ouzounis.)   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriadd5b63da37
Printers and technology suppliers from across Canada gathered in Toronto on November 10, at the Palais Royale, to celebrate their industry at the 11th Canadian Printing Awards Gala, hosted by PrintAction magazine. A total of 87 awards were presented to leaders of Canadian printing in front of more than 200 attendees.The following sponsors were critical in the success of the 2016 Canadian Printing Awards, including: Platinum sponsor, Veritiv; Gold sponsors, Canon, HP, Huber Group, KBA, Kodak, Manroland Sheetfed and Sun Chemical; and Silver sponsors Domtar, Fujifilm, Heidelberg and Spicers.The 2016 awards program will be detailed in the January 2016 issue of PrintAction. Follow this link for more information about the gala held last week and a complete list of award winners. Photos by Paul Hillier, www.paulhillier.com.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriadfd027559a
The foursome from Hanna Paper Fibres won the recent Toronto Craftsmen’s annual golf tournament at the Royal Woodbine Golf Club. The main objective of the golf tournament, along with other Toronto Craftsmen events, is to generate funds for the organization’s annual scholarship awards.In April of this year, a group of secondary and post-secondary students were honoured with scholarships for their achievements in industry-related programs and the annual Toronto Craftsmen Graphic Challenge Competition. Bill Kidd, President of the Toronto Craftsmen, explains 54 submissions from eight educational programs were entered into this year’s Graphic Challenge, which has grown since its inception six years ago when 15 students submitted work from four institutions. The Craftsmen scholarship program has been running for 41 years and is now called the Tai Chi Awards in honour of a promising student who passed away shortly after graduating from Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program.
From September 23 to 25, sign and printing industry professionals gathered at The International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, to attend the 2016 version of Sign Expo Canada. The annual trade show is produced by Sign Association of Canada and allows printing companies to see some of the newest large format technologies available in the market, along with a range of substrates and key trends like car wrapping. The trade show also provides a range of digital-only signage applications, along with workflow and a range of related trade services.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria3309ecbbf5
In its goal to become a $1 billion company by the end of the current fiscal year, Electronics For Imaging Inc. of Freemont, California, continues to report record quarterly revenue results. For it third quarter of 2016, ended September 30, 2016, with revenues reaching US$245.6 million, an increase of seven percent compared to third quarter 2015 revenue of US$228.7 million. "Our balanced business model was again the story in the third quarter,” said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI.  “We are delighted with the strong organic growth in our Industrial Inkjet and Productivity Software segments, coupled with a rebound in cash from operations. We are entering the home stretch of 2016 with a robust pipeline of opportunities to partner with customers around the world in transforming and growing their businesses."GAAP net income was US$17.7 million for the company’s current third quarter, up 76 percent compared to US$10.3 million for the same period in 2015. Non-GAAP net income was US$27.6 million, up 16 perccent compared to non-GAAP net income of US$24.1 million for the same period in 2015.For the nine months ended September 30, 2016, EFI reported revenue of US$725.4 million, up 16 percent year-over-year compared to US$626.0 million for the same period in 2015.
Langley Holdings, owner of Manroland Sheetfed, has released its interim results for the six months ended June 30, 2016, which includes sales of €417.1 million for the entire group of companies. This includes an increase in pre-tax profits to €48.9 million, up from €37.9 million at the same point in 2015.  Group operating profit for the period was €48.1 million (2015: €37.1 million). The company’s forecasts for the full-year result predicted a six percent improvement on 2015 with pre-tax profits expected to reach €112 million on sales of €930 million.Tony Langley, Chairman of Langley Holdings, stated the first six months of 2016 had been a very satisfactory trading period for the group with the overall half-year result exceeding expectations. “Both the trading for the first six months and the outlook for the full year, are very positive,” Langley said. “Moreover, the group is financially secure with substantial resources, not only for its existing operations, but also has sufficient surplus to continue its development independently.”Manroland Sheetfed saw an expected slow-down in orders ahead of drupa, explained the company, but this was brought back on track following drupa with the Offenbach factory “optimally loaded from backlog in the first six months.” Langley said this would remain the case until the year end and that profits in the division were in line with expectations. German printing consumables business Drück Chemie, acquired in 2014, was trading in line with expectations and was “exceeding the company’s benchmark minimum 20 percent return on capital employed.”Tony Langley said he expected any Brexit impact on business to be minimal and a slump in demand to be unlikely. “Although some 20 percent of the group’s profits are derived from the UK, the majority of this is from the UK subsidiaries of our German and French divisions, all of which compete entirely with other European producers for UK trade.“Our actual UK based businesses represent only a nominal percentage of the group as a whole and, therefore, I do not expect Brexit to have a substantial impact on the group one way or the other,” continued Langley, “although UK assets are currently devalued by some 10 percent in euro terms.”Langley said the business was continuing to look for potential acquisitions and that a number of candidates had been considered during the period but that none were currently being followed up. The group employs around 4,200 people across its five divisions and 80 companies.
Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) released its second quarter results for 2016 noting it will raise revenue and earnings targets for the full fiscal year. The positive financial expectations, according to the German press maker, are backed by what it describes as a successful drupa (May 31 to June 10, 2016) and a high order intake of €352.5m in its second quarter. At €352.5 million, group order intake from April to June was up 17.2 percent year-on-year, although the group's figures for this quarter only contain around a third of orders placed at the drupa trade show which were in the triple-digit million euro range. The catch-up effect, explains KBA, will ensure additional stimulus in the second half-year as KBA traditionally only books orders that are fully documented and financially secure. KBA reported half-year revenue of €553.9 million which is 30 percent above the prior year’s period. After six months, group order intake of €618.8 million was 1.9% percent higher than the prior year, which KBA also describes as strong. Revenue increased over the same period by 29.7 percent to €553 million. KBA’s complete order backlog of €639.8 million secures workload beyond 2016. “This is a solid buffer for the second half-year and gives us ample security to raise our targets for 2016 despite existing economic and political turbulence,” said Claus Bolza-Schünemann, KBA President and CEO. “ We now expect an EBT margin of around four percent with group revenue between €1.1 and €1.2 billion."KBA explains a rise of 30 percent in revenue compared to 2015, strong capacity utilization at KBA's facilities and cost savings from its restructuring program completed at the start of the year had a positive impact on earnings after six months despite high trade show and development costs. The company’s EBIT improved to €20.7 million compared to the prior-year loss of –€8.3 million A slightly negative interest result of –€2.9 million led to a group pre-tax profit (EBT) of €17.8 million. After deducting income tax expenses, group net profit came to €17.2 million (2015: –€9.3 million). The company’s free cash flow stands at –€14.4 million, compared to –€25.2 million 12 months ago. Funds at the end of June 2016 came to €168.7 million. Less bank loans, KBA's net liquidity stood at €154.5 million.KBA explains from the drupa trade show, which again brought in orders in the triple-digit million euro range for KBA's largest segment, sheetfed, around a third of these orders were already visible in the group's figures for the second quarter and the other two thirds will be booked in the coming months.
Electronics For Imaging yesterday announced results for its second quarter of 2016, ended June 30, 2016, with a record second quarter revenue of $245.7 million (all dollar amounts in U.S. funds), up 21 percent compared to second quarter 2015 revenue of $202.7 million. “The EFI team delivered a solid quarter despite the disruption caused by global events during the last week of the quarter,” said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI. “At the same time, EFI’s market position at the drupa tradeshow validated both our strategy and product roadmap, and we’re particularly encouraged by the exceptional reception to our new Nozomi platform.The drupa momentum is feeding into the strength we are seeing in the Industrial Inkjet and Productivity Software segments,” continued Gecht, “which keep us on track to deliver our stated goal of $1 billion in revenues for the year.”For the six months ended June 30, 2016, the company reported revenue of $479.8 million, which was also up 21 percent year-over-year compared to $397.3 million for the same period in 2015. GAAP net income was $7.3 million compared to $13.0 million for the same period in 2015.
German press maker Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) announced its Q1 financial results ended with 46% more revenue and EBT was up €18 million, reaching €0.6 million, relative to the same quarter last year. The company also explains its order intake of €266.3 million was higher than its quarterly revenue of €258.8 million, while “an order backlog of €582.4 million secures utilization well into autumn.”At €258.8 million, group revenue in the first quarter was up 46% on the prior-year figure of €177.3 million. All three KBA segments posted gains in sales, with new presses for packaging printing climbing to over 70% of the total. The press maker's order backlog at the end of March stood at €582.4 million, an increase on the figure from the start of the year of €574.9 million.   “Numerous optimisation measures are taking effect as planned. This quarter we thus improved earnings by over €18 million to +€2.1 million EBIT or +€0.6 million EBT year-on-year,” said KBA President and CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann. The group’s gross profit margin rose from 20.6% to 29.8%. EBIT this quarter came to +€2.1 million. In the first quarter of 2015, there was still a loss of €16.2 million. A slightly negative interest result of –€1.5 million led to a group pre-tax profit this quarter of €0.6 million compared to –€17.7 million the previous year. After deducting income tax expenses, group net profit at March 31 was €1.6 million (2015: –€16.9 million). This corresponds to earnings per share of €0.11 (2015: –€1.01).   KBA states its largest segment, Sheetfed, is still on the right track with a 41% rise in revenue, a quarterly profit of €5.7 million (2015: –€2.7 million) and a high order backlog of €264 million. In the run-up to the industry’s leading trade show, drupa, beginning at the end of May and given longer lead times, KBA explains incoming orders of €135.7 million in this segment were below the unusually high order intake of €174.7 million in the first quarter of 2015 as expected.   The volume of new orders in KBA's Digital & Web segment rose by 23% year-on-year and revenue more than doubled to €27.9 million. KBA explains the segment loss of –€1.8 million improved compared to 12 months ago (2015: –€8.7 million). The KBA management board expects positive earnings for the entire year given the growth in order backlog to €77 million.   At €115.1 million (2015: €117.4 million) the volume of incoming orders in KBA's Special segment was roughly the same as the previous year’s figure (2015: €117.4 million). Revenue grew by some 40% to €88.6 million. At €0.2 million, the quarterly profit was below the prior year (€1.2 million), whereby KBA explains the project execution of a security press order led to delays impacting on profit. KBA states earnings are expected to improve further over the coming quarters as planned given the strong order backlog.
Adobe reported record quarterly revenue of US$1.38 billion, representing year-over-year growth of 25 percent, for its current fiscal first quarter, fueled by the adoption of cloud-based products.“Every day, more brands, government agencies and educational institutions globally are choosing to base their digital strategies on Adobe’s content and data platforms,” said Shantanu Narayen, Adobe President and CEO. “Our exceptional performance in Q1 is an indicator of the strong momentum we are seeing across our cloud businesses as we drive the experience economy.”The company’s Digital Media segment revenue grew by 33 percent year-over-year to a record US$932 million, with Creative revenue growing 44 percent year-over-year to a record US$733 million.Adobe explains Creative Cloud adoption drove its Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) to US$3.13 billion exiting the quarter, an increase of US$246 million. Adobe Marketing Cloud achieved record revenue of US$377 million that represents year-over-year growth of 21 percent.Year-over-year operating income for the company grew 78 percent and net income grew 200 percent on a GAAP-basis; operating income and net income both grew 48 percent on a non-GAAP basis.Cash flow from operations was US$498 million and the company repurchased approximately 1.5 million shares during the quarter, returning US$133 million of cash to stockholders.“We are pleased to report another record quarter with 25 percent year-over-year revenue growth. Strong Cloud adoption drove record Creative and Marketing Cloud revenue in Q1, and better-than-expected Digital Media ARR," said Mark Garrett, Adobe CFO. “Based on our strong Q1 results and business momentum, we are increasing our annual revenue and earnings targets for the year.”
Mimaki USA, which is part of the Japanese-based imaging giant, is opening its first branch location in Canada. Located at the intersection of Jane Street and Highway 7 in Toronto, the location is to include a technology centre, Mimaki’s seventh such centre in North America, for running demonstrations of its wide-format imaging technologies.Lucas Crossley, Canada Sales Manager for Mimaki, will lead the new Canadian location, which will include trained sales, support and service staff to help support its dealers in the country. The 11,000-square-foot technology centre will also hold Dealer Technician Certification courses in addition to applications training.The company is holding a grand opening celebration for its new technology centre on October 11, 2016 , with a ceremony taking place at 11:00 am.
Delphax Technologies Inc, with its primary press manufacturing operation based in Mississauga, Ontario, has reached a joint partnership agreement with Weihai Printing Machinery Co. Ltd. to provide the Delphax elan 500 inkjet press in the Chinese printing market. “Weihai’s investment in Delphax’s innovative elan 500 provides an attractive alternative to other technologies in fulfilling our clients printing needs,” said Gu Yonghui, General Manager of Weihai Printing Machinery. “The Weifeng EL500 is a product that will create a new model for opportunity in multiple print markets here in China.”The seven-year agreement for multiple systems will yield in excess of 35 systems, with the unit marketed under the name Weifeng EL500. In establishing this agreement, Delphax explains it has realigned its operations to primarily support and focus on the continued expansion,  development and manufacture of the elan 500 product line, fulfilling increased demand in the North American, EMEA and Chinese markets.The Delphax elan 500 is a colour sheetfed inkjet press with the ability to produce up to 500 duplex letter images per minute or 3,750 SRA2 (450 x 640 mm) sheets per hour. The press is driven by Memjet print head technology, whereby every stationary print head on the elan 500 has 70,400 jets that produce up to 700 million drops of ink per second. The elan 500 allows for printing on a range of substrates, from 20 to 130 Ib (60 to 350 gsm) and up to 8 x 8 to 18 x 25.2 inches (203 x 203 mm to 450 x 640 mm-SRA2). Duplex printing is performed at full speed, explains Delphax, with no degradation due to the unique SST paper path.“Weihai Printing Machinery provides us with a strong partner in China, providing both the commercial and technical support capabilities required to service the Chinese market.” said Richard Lee, Director of Operations at Delphax Technologies. “We look forward to working jointly with Weihai over the forthcoming launch and commercial release of the Weifeng EL500 and expect this relationship to generate significant new growth and profitability for our respective businesses”.Weihai Printing Machinery Co., founded in 1954, was the first major enterprise and the first major high technology company established under the Torch Plan of China within the Printing Machinery Sector. Under the Torch Plan, Weihai Printing Machinery Company was granted the right of open importation and exportation.
PDS is now the Canadian master distributor of Multigraf Touchline creasers, perforators and folders. This line-up of technologies has been constantly evolving since Multigraf became on the first companies to focus on the short-run finishing market in 1984.Multigraf AG is an equipment manufacturer based out of Muri, Switzerland. In addition to the Touchline products, Multigraf produces a range of banding and stacking systems.
KBR Graphics, which is celebrating its 40th year in business in 2016, is expanding its distribution of RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology sheetfed offset printing presses to include all of Canada. In mid-July 2016, KBR Graphics moved its head office to a new modern facility in Laval, Quebec, which is prepared to support future business through its larger sales, service and support teams.Previously, KBR Graphics had been the RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology (RMGT) distributor in Central and Eastern Canada since 2012. “We are pleased to offer the entire line of RMGT presses – the RMGT 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 models – across Canada, both direct and through our dealer network,” said Karl Belafi. Jr., Vice President, KBR Graphics.  “We have been selling RMGT presses for four years and enjoy a great relationship with RYOBI MHI. We’ve been very successful in the eastern part of the country and aim to further develop our presence throughout Canada.” In addition to its line of offset presses, the expanded distribution agreement also includes the new digital press line that RMGT introduced this past spring at the drupa trade fair in Germany. Sales representatives and dealer partners are being added throughout different locations in Canada so that the RMGT product line can be supported across the country for sales and technical service.“Announcements will be made in the very near future about our new additions and, by the end of this year, our Western region teams will grow even more,” said Belafi.
Bell and Howell Global Services released a statement that it will begin to service Ricoh InfoPrint presses in Canada, based on that company’s decision to no longer support the InfoPrint 3900 printer. Bell and Howell plans to support the following IBM/Ricoh InfoPrint models in Canada: 3300, 3800, 3900, 4000 and 4100.“There is a lot of life left in these InfoPrint toner production printers, and we’re ready to assist anyone who needs service virtually anywhere in North America,” said Jim Feely, Senior VP of Global Service Solutions. “Our Services team has the parts, supplies and technical know-how to provide the support needed to keep these printers up and running for years to come.”Bell and Howell states it has a network of hundreds of service technicians throughout Canada and the United States to perform maintenance or repair on a production printer, mail machinery or other industrial mechatronics systems from over 50 brands.The company also explains it can service all InfoPrint associated pre/post equipment from Lasermax, Hunkeler, Tecnau, RSI, Stralfors, ESP and others. This includes providing preventive maintenance, scheduled maintenance/tune-up, replacement parts, certified refurbishing, and converting systems to accept lower-cost orange cap toner.
Larry Stewart becomes Regional Sales Manager for technology and service supplier KBR Graphics, based in Montreal, Quebec. Stewart joins KBR Graphic’s Ontario sales team and is responsible for the entire range of KBR equipment and services. He will coordinate all aspects of new client acquisition for the Eastern portion of the Greater Toronto Area as well as other parts of Ontario. Stewart has more than 28 years of experience as a sales professional in the printing industry.  “Larry's extensive background and strong knowledge of print and finishing machinery as well as his established reputation in the industry will help our customers position their businesses for future success,” said Karl Belafi Jr., Vice President of KBR Graphics. Steve Klaric, a longstanding KBR Graphics Regional Sales Manager, continues in his responsibilities for the Western part of the Greater Toronto Area as well as other parts of Ontario.
Xaar of Cambridge, United Kingdom, reached an agreement with Xerox Corporation to partner in the development of bulk piezoelectric inkjet printheads. Xaar is soley focused on the production of industrial print heads, while Xerox holds a range of hardware, software and service technologies for the printing industry."Continued investment in technology and product development, together with strategic partnerships, are key elements of our 2020 vision," said Doug Edwards, CEO of Xaar.Xaar states the partnership capitalizes on each company's expertise in bulk piezo printhead development and will leverage both companies’ technologies. Xaar also explains the partnership allows it to provide customers with a broader range of bulk piezo printheads.
Agfa Specialty Products and LCsys Systèmes Industriels have launched ABSOLUT-ID, a joint solution for the production of high security ID cards, resulting from a development and sales partnership between the companies.In its role, Agfa supplies the technology and consumables for the printing of personalization data and LCsys provides process engineering and equipment manufacturing. The two partners will unveil ABSOLUT-ID to the global ID card industry on a joint exhibition booth at Trustech 2016, running from November 29 to December 1 in Cannes, France.Agfa’s print technology allows positioning the personalization image and data on ABSOLUT-ID cards underneath the traditional guilloche printing instead of on top of the product. The company explains this facilitates the visual detection of tampering and increases the reliability thereof, because the smallest flaw or interruption of a single guilloche line will instantly reveal fraud. Additionally, since the personalization data of each individual card are generated in a half tone resolution without pixels or screen dots, Agfa explains ABSOLUT-ID cards are considered virtually impossible to counterfeit or even to manipulate.The production of ABSOLUT-ID cards, using consumables on roll, is a web-based process that integrates all the customary stages of card production: printing of the personalization image and data, lamination, die cutting and chipping. This continuous process offers tremendous time and cost efficiency, explains Agfa, as well as security benefits compared to the conventional approach of sequential and often geographically distributed steps. Agfa explains that because the process starts with the personalization stage, the ABSOLUT-ID concept eliminates the cost of laborious card preparations before a single card can be issued. It also avoids the storage of semi-finished cards that have high value only in terms of immobilized cash and represent a high risk of security breach in case of theft; a risk that can only be countered by increasing the cost even more with security infrastructure investments or surveillance.“In today's globalized world, more than ever, reliable ID security is of great importance to society and to all of us individually," said Marc Van Damme, VP Marketing and Sales, Agfa Specialty Products. “Agfa is pleased to contribute to more reliable and affordable security with state-of-the-art technology that builds on our long-standing expertise in imaging and shows at its best when quality is at stake to make a real difference.”
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.”
In January 2017, Xaar plc, a world leader in the development of industrial inkjet technologies, is set to open its Xaar 3D Centre in Nottingham, United Kingdom. The new facility is engineered to deliver 3D printing services and equipment to OEMs, material suppliers and end users. Xaar’s new 3D team is headed up by Professor Neil Hopkinson, who joined the company in March 2016 to develop its 3D business. With 19 years of experience in additive manufacturing technology, Hopkinson is the inventor of High Speed Sintering (HSS) technology, which uses inkjet print heads and infrared heaters to manufacture products layer by layer from polymer powder materials at much higher speeds than other additive manufacturing processes. HSS is of interest to companies looking to use 3D in volume manufacturing.  In 2016, Hopkinson was scheduled to complete a three-year project to develop supply chain and full-scale production capabilities for novel additive manufacturing technologies for applications in major industrial sectors through three key partners, including Unilever (FMCG), BAE Systems (aerospace) and Cobham Technical Services (space and communications). Xaar’s role in this project focused on optimizing the performance of specialist third-party fluids in combination with its print heads. The expansion of Xaar’s 3D business is a key part of the company’s 2020 strategic vision. Since joining Xaar, Hopkinson has been building his 3D team and in early 2016 appointed project managers and 3D engineers who are now based at the Xaar 3D Centre. The team in Nottingham will focus on the development of materials and applications with a range of global brand partners.  In addition, the Xaar 3D team this month been expanded to include an experienced group of engineers working in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Xaar Copenhagen team will provide design and process development expertise to help the company’s partners commercialize HSS equipment.  “I am delighted to confirm our investment in the Xaar 3D Centre in Nottingham and our 3D team including the new group in Copenhagen,” said Neil Hopkinson. “As we build our business in 3D it is vital that we have the in-house expertise to support our partners. The addition of the team in Denmark further extends our capability.”
Canon Canada at the start of December hosted a couple dozen journalists for a 2-hour tour of its new 180,000-square-foot headquarters in Brampton, Ontario, home to the company’s domestic business interests in consumer, medical, security and print-production imaging. Built on more than 18 acres, the open, Kyosei-inspired interior of building is highlighted by a 5,000-square-foot interactive space that showcases the past, present and future of Canon innovation. From Canon cameras, printers and projectors to medical imaging equipment, copiers and production systems, the showroom will house the newest Canon products for customers and prospective customers. The company’s printing technologies occupy the majority of space in the showroom, including systems like the imagePRESS 10000VP and Oce VarioPRint 6320 Ultra+.While print-production remains a major pillar of Canon’s business, second only to the company’s historic consumer-imaging sector, the new Canadian headquarters is designed to support its growing interests in both security and medical imaging systems. In 2014, Canon surprised the security industry with its acquisition of Milestone Systems, one of the world’s leading providers of video management software, and then in February 2015 spent approximately $2.8 billion to acquire security-systems giant Axis Communications.Located at the corner of Mississauga Road and Steeles Avenue West, the new building brings together more than 400 Canon employees who will play a major role in driving the company’s diverse imaging interests across Canada.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriacce828c6d6
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG today launched its new development centre project at the company’s Wiesloch-Walldorf site in Germany. Targeting a completion date for 2018, the centre will be home to 1,000 workers in what Heidelberg projects will become the world’s most state-of-the-art research facility for the printing industry.The company unveiled its development centre plans in the presence of its new CEO, Rainer Hundsdörfer, and Theresia Bauer, Minister of Science, Research and the Arts for the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Heidelberg is investing some €50 million ($72 million Canadian) in this new innovation hub for an industry that, according to the press maker, has a global annual turnover of around €400 billion.“This investment represents a new beacon in Baden-Württemberg’s research landscape,” said Bauer. “Building a development center of this size and quality proves that Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG bases its decisions on a long-term strategy and makes the future worth looking forward to.”Heidelberg explains, despite a difficult economic situation in recent years, the company at no time cut its research budget, focusing instead on developing new, innovative products and services.“We deliberately chose Baden-Württemberg because it combines an excellent environment with highly qualified experts,” said Hundsdörfer. “A highly modern and future-oriented working environment will be created in Wiesloch-Walldorf, designed to support interdisciplinary and cross-functional development processes.”The printing industry now requires new applications and control technologies, explained the company in relation to the creation of its new centre, in addition to the ongoing development of traditional offset and digital printing technologies. Heidelberg also points to  printing on three-dimensional objects made from all kinds of materials, enabling the customized printing of glass, wood, plastic, and other materials. Heidelberg noted, as an indication of its continuing transformation, that there are now more than 250 software specialists working for the company. The company has also started employing chemists, for example, for developing and producing its own environmentally progress inks for new applications.“The example of Heidelberg is demonstrating that even a large company can reinvent itself,” said Bauer.
Seiko Epson Corporation held a ceremony to launch the construction of a new factory at its Hirooka Office in Shiojiri, Japan. The factory, which is scheduled to begin operations in the first half of the 2018 fiscal year, will produce the company’s PrecisionCore print heads, the core devices in Epson's inkjet printers.Epson will conduct R&D and focus on production engineering at the facility, which, in the future, will roughly triple Epson's current print head production capacity.Initially launched in October 2010, sales of PrecisionCore print heads had reached as many as 15 million units worldwide as of June 2016. In the commercial and industrial sectors, Epson expects to see an accelerating shift from traditional analogue printing to inkjet printing solutions in areas such as signage, textiles and product labels.Epson’s Hirooka Office works closely with its production sites worldwide. The investment in the new factory is part of Epson's plans to further reinforce its R&D and production platform through the 2020 fiscal year.Epson’s inkjet-based printing solutions business leverages original Micro Piezo inkjet technology for home, office, commercial, and industrial markets. The new factory will handle the front-end manufacturing process for PrecisionCore print heads, high-capacity ink tank printers, and commercial and industrial printers.
After receiving a $500,000 grant from New York State’s Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program in early 2016, the Rochester Institute of Technology has officially opened its 3,200-square-foot Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center, located on the school’s Henrietta campus. The facility is described as being among the first research labs in the world to focus on development of next-generation multi-functional 3D printing technologies, materials and devices.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. 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.Michelle Cometa of RIT produced an online article about the opening of the new facility, which included the partipation of New York’s Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Mimaki last week opened up its first Canadian location in Toronto, Ontario, with a traditional Kagami Biraki ceremony to acknowledge the imaging company’s headquartered roots in Japan.   View the embedded image gallery online at: http://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriacc8c72b2ea Mimaki USA, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, today celebrated the opening of its new Toronto Branch, the company’s first in Canada and seventh in North America. A grand opening event was held on October 11, 2016.The highlight of a Kagami Biraki ceremony culminates with the lid of a sake barrel being broken open by a wooden mallet and the sake is served to everyone present. Mimaki explains the ceremony represents an opening to harmony and good fortune.Located at the intersection of Jane Street and Highway 7 in Toronto, Mimaki’s new Canadian location includes a technology centre, Mimaki’s seventh such centre in North America, for running demonstrations of its wide-format imaging technologies.Lucas Crossley, Canada Sales Manager for Mimaki, will lead the new Canadian location, which will include trained sales, support and service staff to help support its dealers across the country. The 11,000-square-foot technology centre will also hold Dealer Technician Certification courses in addition to applications training for clients.

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