Industry News

The Lowe-Martin Group, led by CEO Ward Griffin, has moved to acquire RP Graphics Group Ltd., which operates a diverse commercial printing operation – with litho, toner, and inkjet production – in a 60,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ont. The acquisition takes effect on February 1, 2016.At the beginning of 2014, RP Graphics, led for more than three decades by CEO George Mazzaferro, was putting the final touches on a full-scale reorganization of its production floor, based on a range of recent, major equipment purchases and printing-company acquisitions. The plant reorganization was led by Marc Fortier, who joined RP Graphics Group as President, with an ownership interest, in mid-2012.Mazzaferro will become a member of Lowe-Martin’s executive team and Fortier will manage Lowe-Martin’s business in Toronto. Fortier had held several high-profile positions within the Canadian printing industry prior to joining RP Graphics, including time spent as President of TI Group and Executive VP of Business Development and Digital Services at PLM Group (purchased by Transcontinental in 2007 for approximately $130 million).At the beginning of 2012, RP Graphics installed a new 40-inch Komori GL-640 press with a H-UV drying system. At the time, the company also ran a 6-colour Komori LSX29, two iGen4 presses, and two Inca Sypder 320s for large-format work. In December 2012, RP Graphics purchased all outstanding shares of Data in Motion Marketing, a variable data imaging and specialty finishing company. That acquisition added significant capacity for RP Graphics to manage and process direct-mail work. Data in Motion Marketing was integrated into RP Graphics’ Mississauga facility and continues as its own brand in the market.In February 2014, RP Graphics completed the installation of an Agfa M-Press Leopard, which is a four-colour industrial flatbed inkjet press that runs at 295 square metres per hour. A year earlier, RP Graphics stepped deeper into large-format printing with the purchase of 16-year-old Canadian Impact Imaging.RP Graphics then installed its second 6-colour, 40-inch Komori GL press in mid-2014. In September 2014, RP Graphics acquired Rhino Print Solutions’ Toronto operations in what the two companies described as a “strategic alliance designed to deliver coast to coast print solutions.” Rhino’s Toronto facility was formerly Marcam Cross Media. In mid-2015, MET Fine Printers of Vancouver, BC, led by President Nikos Kallas, purchased certain assets and business activities of Rhino Print Solutions, including its Calgary facility.In business since 1908, The Lowe-Martin Group employs 480 people and operates printing plants in Mississauga and Ottawa. With the RP acquisition, Lowe-Martin cements its position as one of Canada’s largest independent printing operations. RP Graphics Group employs 120 people.Lowe-Martin explains its platform now includes: publications printing for more than 275 titles, offset printing, direct and multi-channel marketing, online ordering, mobile application development, wide-format printing, and distribution.“This acquisition strengthens our offset and digital printing offering, expands our mailing services and gives us more wide-format options," said Griffin, in a press release. "With the addition of RP Graphics to our team, the Lowe-Martin Group can deliver the highest-quality products at any run length."
Canadian Federal Minister Navdeep Bains spent his January 15 afternoon touring the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC), which is the company’s global hub for advanced materials research and development, as well as one of the leading such facilities in Canada. Bains, a Liberal, is the current Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, a Federal position reconstituted – from Minister of Industry – by Justin Trudeau’s new government.Bains represents the riding of Mississauga/Malton in the House of Commons after his election in 2015. He previously represented the riding of Mississauga/Brampton South from 2004 to 2011. The afternoon at XRCC also included a CEO roundtable discussion organized by the association of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters.In July 31, 2015, the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC) announced plans to invest $25 million to build a new Advanced Materials Manufacturing Centre in Mississauga on the XRCC campus. Xerox is to collaborate with the NRCC to bring the centre’s advanced material developments to market, primarily focusing on the manufacturing industry that employs approximately 1.7-million Canadians.Canadian manufacturers, according to the NRCC and XRCC, will benefit from this new centre focused on developing smart materials for the medical, automotive, aerospace and defence industries around the world. The $25 million funding was in response to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's November 2014 announcement of $380 million being put toward federal laboratories – itself part of a larger $5.8 billion commitment to build and renew public infrastructure across the country. Xerox, one of the top 100 R&D investors in Canada, is self-described the only multi-national company in the document technology industry conducting value-added advanced materials research in Canada. XRCC employs around 100 scientists and engineers, who collectively represent more than 35 countries around the world.  XRCC generates approximately 150 patentable ideas each year and XRCC researchers hold more than 2,000 U.S. patents.
Torstar, according to a report by The Canadian Press, plans to shutter its Vaughan, Ont., printing plant, just outside of Toronto, which will affect 220 full-time employees and 65 part-time staff. The company states it hopes to sell the plant.Transcontinental Inc. of Montreal has come to an agreement with Torstar to print its Toronto Star daily newspaper for five years, with the possibility of an extension.The contract is expected to take effect in July 2016 and the newspaper is to be printed at Transcontinental’s Vaughan facility, which, according to the company, will require only minimal investment based on the plant's existing flexible hybrid platform.“This is a very positive development for TC Transcontinental Printing,” said Brian Reid, President of TC Transcontinental Printing and TC Transcontinental Packaging. “This agreement further demonstrates the ongoing interest in our ability to help publishers across Canada become more efficient. This contract will also enable TC Transcontinental Printing to further optimize its capacity utilization at Transcontinental Vaughan.”The Canadian Press states Torstar’s plant closure is expected to save the company about $10 million per year, while recording about $22 million in restructuring charges this year.Torstar’s Vaughan plant opened its doors in November 1992 with capabilities to print more than 55,000 copies per hour. Last year, Torstar Printing Group generated revenues of more than $150 million for the parent company.
Prodigy Graphics of Concord, Ont., donated three shopping carts worth of food and supplies to The Open Door program in Mississauga. The goods were donated by Prodigy’s 50 staff members.Founded in 1974, The Open Door is a frontline outreach program to provide relief for thousands of less privileged Mississauga residents each year. Receiving more than 21,000 visitors every year, the volunteer-based program provides meals, grocery gift certificates, bus tickets, clothing, toiletries and school supplies, as well as a referral counseling service, to anyone in the community who is in need. A dinner and two lunches are also served each week. “We are a lifeline for many families who may be almost invisible in the community,” said Lynne Culham, Executive Director of The Open Door. “We operate entirely based on donations and are so grateful to those who generously support our work.” Prodigy Graphics is a trade-only offset printing and finishing operation working with North American print resellers, brokers, graphic designers, commercial printers and other print professionals.“It’s an honour and privilege to make this donation to The Open Door in support of its many important programs,” said Gordon McCauley, CEO of Prodigy. “Since 1974 Open Door has been dedicated to ease the burdens of so many in this community who might otherwise have nowhere else to turn. We in the printing industry face our fair share of challenges but without a doubt our troubles pale in comparison to the suffering and pain seen here every day.”In 2014, Prodigy also stepped forward with a $12,000 donation to Evangel Hall Mission (EHM), a Toronto-based charity that helps homeless and socially isolated individuals find a safe haven from the streets. Its youth programs assist more than 100 at-risk youth with social, recreational and educational activities every week.
The Ellis Group, one of Canada’s most powerful independent packaging companies for more than three decades, has spent the past two years reinvesting approximately $8 million in its production platform. The family-run company, which operates three large facilities in the Ontario cities of Pickering, Mississauga and Guelph, is intent on increasing its throughput for the modern demands of the market, while maintaining its unique blend of quality and service.The Ellis Group collectively produces more than 500-million cartons per year with some 200 employees across its three plants. The company’s largest facility in Pickering, Ont., Ellis Packaging Ltd., contributes around 280 million cartons per year. Two months ago, the reinvestment plan culminated with the installation of a new 40-inch, 8-colour Komori GLX press in Pickering, with both conventional UV and HUV capabilities, and a raft of automation features like automatic non-stop feed and delivery (with an integrated conveyor system), Komori PQA-S and PDC-SX systems for colour control and inline inspection, and an industry unique 36-inch raise. It is the first such press installed in North America.The Pickering operation works with many Blue Chip companies and is the most diverse of the three Ellis plants, producing everything from automotive and cosmetics work to nutraceutical and pharmaceutical packaging. The Mississauga plant, Ellis Paper Box, while also becoming more diverse, primarily produces Over The Counter (OTC) pharmaceutical packaging. This facility installed a new 8-colour, 40-inch Komori GL UV press with coater at the end of 2014. The Guelph plant, Ellis Packaging West, installed a 6-colour Komori about three years ago to continue its focus on confectionary and grocery business. The Komori in Guelph is not accounted for in the $8 million investment, which, over the past two years does, however, also include a 40-inch Brausse foil stamper and an inline cold foil system (Mississauga), as well as an Italworks carton-edging machine, tray former, die cutter and an automatic Bobst Carton Pack II added to one of the company’s gluers. The automation and consistency provided by the new equipment is now allowing Ellis to produce more cartons annually with the same number, or slightly fewer, employees. Generating around 30 percent of its revenue from the United States, the Canadian company is also proving its position as one of North America’s premium quality folding-carton producers, in an era when packaging has become one of the most-demanding print sectors.Press power“The market has changed a lot in the last year even. We have had a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the marketplace,” says Cathie Ellis, President of Ellis Packaging in Pickering. “We have become one of the largest in Canada as an independent folding-carton manufacturer, family owned, so that definitely separates us from other companies that now are owned and vertically integrated with mills. It has put us in a unique position as we are able to service and be proactive with our customers.”Ellis explains the company remains very flexible in its ability to produce printing runs anywhere from a couple of thousand to a few million cartons, which is one of the key reasons why the group invested in 40-inch presses instead of very large format machines that have been making headway in the packaging world. The new 40-inch presses provide run-length range by reaching speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour, which Ellis was hitting just weeks into production, and also allow the company to invest in other key pieces of equipment for value-add work like simultaneous matte and gloss coatings, cold foil and holography. “The [vertically integrated] convertors are all about feeding the mill and, at the end of the day, we are in it to make the best folding carton that we can.”Investing in the supped-up Komori presses, however, is largely about gaining throughput and speed-to-market to keep up with the rest of the packaging producers. “The industry itself is highly competitive and over the past three or four years there has been so much margin erosion,” says Don Smart, Plant Manager at Ellis’ Pickering plant, who joined the company six years ago. “We were looking for substantial game-changing increases in productivity. And we will get it through run speed on the equipment, through shorter set-up or make-ready times.”The new 8-colour GLX press in Pickering replaced an older-generation 6-colour Man Roland machine (a second 7-colour Man Roland remains on the floor) that ran at speeds of up to 15,000 sheets per hour and required Ellis to work with offline inspection. With the PQA-S Print Quality Assessment system on the GLX, Ellis becomes one of the only packaging printers in Canada operating a true inline inspection system, even though it is a popular automation feature in Europe. “It is not that we are just getting tight [with tolerances], it’s that we are checking more sheets, because the camera consistently looks, whereas before we were at the mercy of the operator pulling out a sheet,” says Yvan Roy, Pre-Press & Litho Manager at Ellis Packaging Ltd., who has been with the company for 16 years and oversaw much of its new Komori installation with press distributor KOMCAN. In addition to providing more consistent quality for Ellis, the PQA-S  system in Pickering holds the potential for massive reductions in waste, which can be a profit killer in packaging. “Our board that we print is by far the largest component of the cost that goes into a carton,” says Smart, noting it can be substantially higher than the 40 percent paper cost of a typical commercial-print job, particularly when running smaller cartons that might be 12-up on a sheet. “We feel quite confident about being able to reduce our waste by at least 50 percent.”The new Komori allows Ellis to work with the press maker’s recently introduced K-Station software, which provides computer-driven presetting and scheduling of presswork. Roy also points to the 36-inch raise on the GLX installation. “With 24-point or even 32-point board, you are not getting that many sheets on a skid,” he says. “It is not like 100-pound paper where you have 6,000 sheets and your pile is only 50-inches high.” The amount of material skids, Roy explains, can wreck havoc on the floor of a busy packaging plant. To leverage the 36-inch raise, which was chosen over an elevator approach, Ellis integrated a unique automatic continuous feed process, removing the need for an operator to meld two skids by inserting and pulling swords – a task that can sometimes trip a press. “Now the press does it by itself, so basically all of the swords come out and they retract under the feed-board so you are taking the human error out – the more continuous you can run a press the more consistent it will be.”Application powerCathie Ellis also relates consistency to the company’s service and quality over the years, even as the packaging market is shifting so dramatically with mill-integrated print producers and the growing interest among commercial printers trying to leverage the might of modern presses to win more packaging work.“It is one thing to print a box, but then you have all of the finishing that goes along with it and that is where commercial printers struggle,” says Ellis. “We also have expertise in structural design. Commercial printers do not have the structural background in order to understand the different nuances of a folding carton.” She explains a poor carton structure, for example, can jam up the customer’s production lines and create bigger issues, while die-cutting and gluing proficiency are packaging necessities. “It is typically the bottleneck in your business if you are gluing the work.”Ellis Group’s expertise in structural design was on full display at the Paperboard Packaging Council’s (PPC) Leadership Conference in mid-October, where the company picked up two prominent awards, including Paperboard Package of the Year for its Toblerone One by One project and the Eco Award for Cadbury Créme Eggs 3 Pack. “We won two of the six most-esteemed awards, so that was quite an honour,” says Ellis, “and being a Canadian company, too, it was really exciting to wave our flag.”The Toblerone project, according to PPC’s jury, represents a radical departure from Toblerone’s previous designs, with arresting structures and angular planes that are right-sized to eliminate wasteful false bottoms or void fillers, and they are also optimized for efficient pallet configuration: “They do everything a carton should – drive sales and breathe new life into brands by way of innovative structures and exquisite graphics while providing supply chain efficiencies and waste reductions.” The Cadbury Créme Eggs project, meanwhile, substitutes vacuum-formed plastic trays and plastic shrink sleeves with renewable, recyclable paperboard.“Our customers know we always go the extra mile, which differentiates us from the larger companies that do not provide the same service. They cannot be as proactive or reactive as we are,” says Ellis. “I never shy away from anything and we will take on whatever challenges come along. We put a lot of money into this investment and we did it to be a formidable competitor.”
More than 220 people attended the 10th annual Canadian Printing Awards held in Toronto last night to recognize four industry leaders and some of the world’s best printing in a range of categories, as well as world-leading environmental initiatives. The gala evening was hosted by Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO’s The Agenda, who welcomed printers from across the country to receive their awards.An independent judging panel, working from a blind scoring system, determined Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in 21 Quality Printing categories. From the more than 230 submissions, Leo Saul Berk, Structure and Ornament, a hardcover book produced by Hemlock Printers, won the 2015 Best of Show Award. The remaining recipients from this year’s Canadian Printing Awards are listed below:Industry Achievement Awards Lifetime Achievement AwardDick Kouwenhoven, Chairman and CEO, Hemlock Printers, Burnaby, BCPrinting Leader of the YearJay Mandarino, Founder, President & CEO, C.J. Graphics, Printers & LithographersEmerging Leader of the YearDamian McDonald, President, ampersandCommunity Leader of the YearScott Gray, Vice President, Branding, MET Fine PrintersBest of Show Leo Saul Berk, Structure and Ornament by Hemlock PrintersQuality Printing AwardsSelf Promotion Gold: Hi Tech Hi Touch by Simpson PrintSilver: PrizmaFoil Promotional Package by Glenmore Custom Print Bronze: Fancy Wrap Promotion by Hemlock PrintersBrochures & Booklets, OffsetGold: Forkosh Development Brochure by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Bennington House Brochure by Hemlock PrintersBronze: Lexus ES 2016 Brochure by Colour InnovationsBrochures & Booklets, Digital Gold: O.P.I. Culture of Color by PDI Integrated Print SolutionsSilver: Intact Insurance Distinction by The Lowe-Martin GroupBronze: Bua Thai Menus by C.J. Graphics, Printers & LithographersBooks, HardcoverGold: Leo Saul Berk, Structure and Ornament by Hemlock PrintersSilver: West Coast Reduction by MET Fine PrintersBronze: Cameracraftsmen of America by Friesens Corp.Books, Softcover Gold: Grosvenor Ambleside by MET Fine PrintersSilver: Get Quiet, Live Loud by MET Fine PrintersBronze: PanAm Games Opening Ceremonies by The Lowe-Martin GroupBooks, DigitalGold: The Molsons by PDISilver: Risk Takers, The World is in Beta, by C.J. GraphicsBronze: E One The Shop by C.J. GraphicsWeb Offset PrintingGold: 1879 by Birks, Spring 2015, by St. Joseph CommunicationsSilver: Canadian Sportswearby Impart LithoBronze: Holt Renfrew Fall 2015 Catalogue by St. Joseph CommunicationsBusiness & Annual ReportsGold: Intertain 2014 by Mi5 Print & Digital CommunicationsSilver: PowerStream 2014 by Skylar MediaBronze: University of Waterloo 2014 by Somerset GraphicsDirect MailGold: 1942 Donjulio Brochure by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Kit and Ace Blogger Invitations by Hemlock PrintersBronze: Griffin Poetry Prize Invitation by Mi5 Print Variable Data ImagingGold: Sobeys Best Customer by PDISilver: Engagement Calendar by FriesensBronze: The 700 Club Program by Honeycomb Mailing ServicesMagazinesGold: DesignEdge, March/April 2015, by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Mountain Life Annual by Hemlock PrintersBronze: Nuvo Spring 2015 by Colour InnovationsCalendarsGold: Edmonton, Now & Then by Priority PrintingSilver: Toronto Tree Portraits by C.J. GraphicsBronze: Ultimate Sailing 2015 by Friesens Corp.CataloguesGold: Sorel Look Book 2015 by Hemlock PrintersSilver: Infinity QX60 by C.J. GraphicsBronze: Artist Series by Hemlock PrintersFlexographyGold: Gillette Venus Swirl FLEXIBALL by Friesens Corp.Silver: Raven Deep Dark Red by ASL Print FXSilver: Corona, Glow in the Dark Pennants, by Promoflex InternationalBronze: Bespoke Chardonnay by Artcraft LabelRigid PackagingGold: Smarties Three Portion Carton by Jones PackagingSilver: Alluring Maple Leafs Box by The Lowe-Martin GroupSilver: Sudafed Head Cold + Sinus by Jones PackagingBronze: Philadelphia Jalapeno Dip by Polytainers LabelsGold: Dinosaur Uncut Press Sheet by The Lowe-Martin GroupSilver: Crown Royal Black Label by C.J. GraphicsBronze: EOS Sansin by RP Graphics GroupBusiness CardsGold: Gusto 54 Business Card by Somerset GraphicsSilver: Arcane Business Card by C.J. GraphicsBronze: Russell Gibbs Design Business Card by Somerset GraphicsStationeryGold: Sandbox Society by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Ruby & Shiller Barristers by C.J. GraphicsBronze: LGM Pocket Folder by RP Graphics GroupFinishingGold: String of Pearls Catalogue by Pacific Bindery ServicesSilver: Roland Security Papers by C.J. GraphicsBronze: PBS Holiday Cards by Pacific Bindery ServicesSpecialty ProjectGold: Sophmore magazine by Colour InnovationsSilver: Nike Young Athletes Book by MET Fine PrintersBronze: Horizons ETFs Program Kits by The Lowe-Martin GroupSpecialty EffectsGold: One Thousand Museum Book by C.J. GraphicsSilver: Infiniti QX60 Brochure by C.J. GraphicsBronze: Corona, Glow in the Dark Pennants by Promoflex InternationalEnvironmental Printing AwardsMost Environmentally Progressive Printing ProjectGold: CROPP Sustainability Report by Hemlock PrintersSilver: NEI Winter Fund Focus by The Lowe-Martin GroupBronze: Toronto Tree Portraits by C.J. GraphicsMost Environmentally Progressive Printing CompanyGold: Hemlock PrintersSilver: The Lowe-Martin GroupBronze: Symcor ISSMost Environmentally Progressive Service or TechnologyGold: The Blueline Report 2015 by CanopyMost Environmentally Progressive Technology CompanyGold: HP Canada
Goldrich Printpak, a Toronto company specializing in folding-box manufacturing, has installed an Esko Kongsberg XN24 finishing system and new Esko software into its 67,700-square-foot facility. Both the XN24 finishing table and ArtiosCAD software will be aimed at producing samples and short production runs for its customers.“One of the services we offer is short-run samples for our customers. A lot of our customers work with retailers who want just one pallet or less of product,” explained Leslie Goldberg, Goldrich President and CEO. “We had an older CAD cutting machine that worked, but had hiccups. It cut samples, but we had to manually make the creases. “We realized last year that it was on its last legs. We handle cardboard, thin corrugated and plastics and were looking for a machine that could handle these substrates. We wanted a quality machine that could cut materials very well and that was durable enough to work for us for the next 20 years.”Using the Kongsberg for more than a month now, Goldrich has been leveraging the system particularly for more efficient cutting and creasing of specialized cosmetics boxes, as well as to cut coating blankets for its offset presses, which Goldrich describes as an environmentally progressive way to reduce waste and save costs.Founded in 1953 as a commercial printer and lithographer, Goldrich Printpak is also focused on continuous improvement in environmentally progressive packaging. The company prints using vegetable based, non-toxic, low VOC and direct contact eco-certified inks.Before the Kongsberg XN 24, Goldrich explains it would image a plate and then manually cut a sticky back blanket for the press. “The blankets were non-renewable. We’d throw them away. In essence, we would purchase blankets at a cost of $130 to $140 each, plus waste an hour and a half of press time,” said Simo Molkanen, Litho Supervisor and Pressroom Manager. “We are now able to set up standard templates on our Kongsberg table and cut coating blankets that can be reused on our presses. There is both an economic and sustainable benefit for us. We're in the early stages of preparing these.”The Kongsberg XN comes with a range of specialty tools and, explains Esko, and the speed, power and flexibility to handle a variety of materials like corrugated, folding carton, solid board, foam, coating blankets, and plastics. The Kongsberg XN 24 can work with materials as large as 1,740 x 3,575mm (68 x 140 inches). The speed of the Kongsberg tables, according to Esko, allows Goldrich to produce short runs of 100 to 300 units.“One large retail customer recently asked for a full pallet of samples – 160 pieces. Previously it was a nightmare to try to get these projects done. Now, we're excited to push the table to the limits,” said AJ Goldberg, Vice President, New Business Development. “This morning I'm meeting with a cosmetics customer to deliver 24 box samples made of virgin SBS with a bright silver metallized polyester surface. I do not think we would have been able to get there with our old cutting table. The quality would be much different. Every bad cut would show itself as wavering in the corners and the folds. This is important to us, because it's our target market – high quality upscale customers where clean folding is important." Goldrich is also using Esko ArtiosCAD software to create structural design files to drive the Kongsberg table for both folded cartons as well as the coating blankets. At the same time, they take the artwork file from ArtiosCAD and import it into Adobe Illustrator to add graphics and to send 3D interactive virtual PDF files for clients. They also include the 2D and 3D artwork files with a die line with the factory order as a traveller and quick check of the correct art file, structural shape, and job to be produced. The final job specs are sent from ArtiosCAD to estimating and the company’s software operating system.
Kwik Kopy on Sherbourne Street in Toronto has purchased a Digixpress Bold from PDS. The Digixpress Bold reaches print speeds of up to 50 pages per minute in both colour and monochrome, while providing a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi.The system handles stock of up to 360 gsm, as well as 3 x 5-inch cards up to 52-inch banners, while also supporting tabloid extra (12 x 18 inch) and Super-B (13 x 19 inch) sizes.In addition to the optional external Fiery XF 5 server, Digixpress Bold has paper capacity expandable to 2,950 sheets, 1 Gigabit network, and front access to toner cartridges and image drums.
Pazazz Printing has acquired the first Xerox iGen 5 Press (installed in November 2015) equipped with both the optional extended colour gamut and the optional capability to print on thick stock. The new press, according to Warren Werbitt, founder of Pazazz, will help the Montreal-based printer expand its product mix, particularly with short-run packaging.“The first time I compared an image printed on the iGen 5 with four colours to the same image printed with five, I almost lost my marbles. The fifth colour made it just so much more vibrant,” ,” Werbitt said, explain the investment decision was also based on the iGen 5 handling thicker stock and a larger sheet size.The iGen 5’s extended colour gamut is enabled by a fifth toner station that supplements CMYK with orange, green or blue to match a wider variety of spot colours, including up to 90 percent of the Pantone Plus Coated library. The thick-stock capability enables the iGen 5 to feed, image and stack media as thick as 24 points.
The DATA Group, headquartered in Brampton, Ont., has invested $6.7 million to acquire multiple new Xerox presses, which Xerox describes as one of the single largest toner-production upgrades by a Canadian printing company in 2015.Installations of the new Xerox equipment, which are to be used across Data Group’s nine production facilities in Canada and Chicago, began in December 2015. The DATA Group has approximately 1,400 employees and generates around $313 million in annual revenue. All of the Xerox systems are built around Xerox FreeFlow Core workflow software.“The biggest thing we’re getting from this deal is improved productivity, primarily from having a single, consistent workflow,” said Alan Roberts, Senior VP, Operations, The DATA Group. “We’re also getting more capacity, and we’re getting an expanded colour gamut, to closely match brand colours that we couldn’t match before with Xerography.”The expanded colour gamut, according to the companies, largely comes from the optional fifth toner stations on the Xerox iGen 5 presses acquired by DATA Group. The fifth toner station enables either orange, green or blue in addition to CMYK, which enables the iGen 5s to more accurately match up to 90 percent of the Pantone Plus Coated library.  In addition to the iGens, DATA Group acquired the following Xerox printing systems: Versant 80 Press, Color C75 Press, DocuPrint180MX Enterprise Printing System, D125 Copier/Printer, D136 Printer, inline/near-line C. P. Bourg booklet making solution, and several Xerox workflow products, including Xerox FreeFlow Core and the Xerox FreeFlow Print Server.
The Flyershop of Calgary, Alberta, has added the first Ricoh Pro C9110 in Canada, following the system’s installation this past November.The Ricoh Pro C9110 runs at speeds of up to 130 pages per minute in full colour and monochrome, running media stocks from 52 gsm to 400 gsm, with duplex capabilities. The system can also print on a range of textured, coated and oversized medias of up to 27.5 inches, producing a resolution of up to 1,200 x 4,800 dpi VCSEL.
Clean Edge Bindery of Vancouver, BC, has installed the Duplo 600i Booklet System, which was introduced in August 2015 as Duplo’s new flagship collating and booklet-making technology. This is the first 600i installation in Canada, sold through Bell & Howell.The 600i System produces saddle, side, or corner-stitched booklets as well as letter landscape applications, running at up to 5,200 booklets per hour or collating up to 10,000 sets per hour into a stacker. Booklet production can be doubled, for certain applications, by adding the optional 4-stitch head kit along with the DKT-200 Two-Knife Trimmer and Gutter Cutter for 2-up booklet-making. Clean Edge Bindery’s 600i installation includes four stitch heads and square-back finishing.
Brad King has been named Vice President of Xerox Canada’s newly redesigned national graphic communications organization. Prior to his new role, King was Xerox Canada’s Vice President of Central Operations, responsible for sales and marketing of Xerox’s portfolio of office and graphic communications products to clients in the Greater Toronto Area and southwestern Ontario.King was a member of the 1992 Canadian Olympic team and competed in alpine skiing in Albertville, France. “The printing industry continues to be a very competitive marketplace for our clients – it’s also a very exciting time as we develop new technology platforms that will help them produce relevant, profitable, quality and high value offerings for their own customers,” stated King, in a release about his new role. “As the industry continues its migration from offset to digital, we are well positioned with our leading high-end printing solutions – such as the Xerox Impika Evolution, a continuous-feed, inkjet digital press – to help our clients broaden their offerings, while increasing productivity, overall revenue and business growth. This is a strategic priority for us.” Xerox explains the redesigned graphic communications operation will provide clients across Canada with access to specialized experts to help them better leverage the company’s production and digital printing technologies, application developments and workflow solutions.
Infigo Software Limited appointed Craig Hath as President of the company’s North American operations, to capitalize on the UK company’s expansion to the United States and Canada. Hath, who sits on the board of directors of Dscoop, North America, joins the company after seven years as managing director at ZUZA Marketing Asset Management and has more than 30 years’ extensive experience in the print industry. While at ZUZA Marketing, Hath worked with Infigo’s Catfish software to replace a legacy system last August.He co-chairs the Dscoop Conference Education committee, is a member of the organization’s conference committee and has served in several other volunteer roles for Dscoop. Based in Greater San Diego, he is responsible for finding new opportunities for Infigo’s Web-to-print products, including flagship storefront Catfish and cross media marketing tool Symphony, in the North American market.
Dr. Gerold Linzbach, at the beginning of 2016, returned to his duties as Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Human Resources Officer of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, as planned. Linzbach returns to the company after his recovery to oversee day-to-day business and take up his tasks and duties as normal.“Over the past months, the management board has continued to press forward successfully with the company’s realignment. The company is well on track,” said Dr. Siegfried Jaschinski, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Heidelberg. “The supervisory board is extremely pleased that Mr. Linzbach has returned to join his colleagues on the management board as they take the next strategic steps.”Linzbach was named Chief Executive Officer of Heidelberg in December 2012, replacing Bernhard Schreier. He holds a degree in chemistry and a Ph.D in chemical engineering from the University of Dortmund. In 1991, Linzbach was a member of Hoescht AG's corporate planning team and later took over leading the company's fibers operations (Trevira GmbH). In 1999, Linzbach played a leading role in founding Aventis and went on to become global CEO and President of the Celanese Acetate Group based in the United States until 2003. From 2003 to 2005, he was responsible for the textile fibers division INVISTA, also in the United States.On March 1, 2005, Linzbach was appointed Chairman and CEO of Symrise AG in Holzminden, Germany. He successfully led it onto the stock market at the end of 2006 and onto the MDAX in March 2007. Dr. Linzbach left the company for personal reasons at the end of June 2009. He was subsequently appointed CEO and Member of the Management Board of D+S Europe and its successor companies in Hamburg.
Karen Keller has joined PrintLink, a provider of executive search and professional placement for the printing and packaging industries, as an Executive Recruiter. PrintLink works with both industry suppliers and print service providers to acquire talent for senior and middle management positions, as well as highly skilled operators and technicians.“Karen will be a valuable strategic career partner,” said Arnold Kahn, President of PrintLink. “She has a high level of professionalism, and is dedicated to building confidential trusting relationships necessary to match ideal candidates with high-level positions.”Prior to joining PrintLink, Keller was an Account Manager with InfoTrends and she previously worked as Director of Business Development for Printing Industries of America. She has also served as VP of a placement company, and production manager for a southern California commercial printer focused on Fortune 100 clients. She is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University.“PrintLink provides a perfect marriage with my print and placement background,” said Keller. “Print is in my DNA. I’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies, and grew up in a three-generation family printing business, so I understand the unique challenges each face as they develop effective teams in today’s business environment.”
David Wilkins joins Xeikon as Vice President Sales and Marketing, US and Canada. He most recently served as Vice President of JV Imaging Solutions, which distributes technologies for digital imaging, solvent processing, and photopolymer plates aimed at the web and mid web flexographic printing market.Wilkins also previously worked as National Sales Manager for MacDermid Printing Solutions and District Manager/Vice President of Sales for The Pitman Company. He also worked in sales for printing and publishing markets for Intergraph Corporation and as Product Marketing Manager and National Sales Director for Gerber Scientific Instrument Company.“We welcome Dave to our team and look forward to expanding the reach of our leading edge technology through his visionary market approach,” stated Xeikon CEO Wim Maes.
Mary Ann Yule is to assume the role of Managing Director of HP Canada Co. on February 15, 2016, responsible for all aspects of HP operations in Canada. She succeeds Lloyd Bryant, who retired as President and CEO of HP Canada in December 2015 after a distinguished career with the company in a range of progressively senior sales, management and general management roles.Yule joins HP Inc. from CDW Canada where most recently she was the Vice President and General Manager since 2008. In this role, she was responsible for driving business growth and national brand recognition. Prior to joining CDW Canada, Yule served in various senior management and key marketing positions at Toshiba of Canada and Tech Data Canada. She brings nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the Canadian technology sector."Mary Ann brings incredible passion and energy to our business," said Christoph Schell, President, Americas, HP Inc. "I am extremely excited to welcome her to HP and my direct staff. I have no doubt we will achieve new heights in Canadian markets under her leadership.”
Holland & Crosby Ltd. of Mississauga, Ont., on January 1 completed the purchase of the assets of screen-printing company Colormark Limited, also located in Mississauga. Colormark had been a family-run business for more than 40 years and is noted as being one of the only screen-printing companies in North America to research, develop and manufacture its own line of eco-friendly UV screen inks in-house. Founded in 1932, Holland & Crosby specializes in the design, manufacture and distribution of P.O.P. signage and displays to the retail marketplace across North America. The Colormark acquisition results in both companies co-locating in a new 70,000-square-foot facility, which also includes significant investments in a range of new printing technologies.“We’re really excited to get into our new space and produce projects even more efficiently,” said Scott Crosby, Holland & Crosby, VP of Sales & Marketing. The company’s new technologies are focused around two Inca Onset purchased presses from Fujifilm, including the Onset X1 with a special orange ink configuration, and the Onset X3 press with three banks of CMYK, a 5 x 10-foot vacuum bed and output of over 9,000 square feet per hour. It is the first press of its kind to be installed in North America, and only the second worldwide.Holland & Crosby has also made changes to its cutting solutions, replacing existing cutting tables with two new Kongsberg C Series 10 x 10-foot tables from Esko that are expected run 2.5 times faster than previous systems. Holland & Crosby is anticipating as much as 50 percent improvements in throughput based on these equipment acquisitions.
Ricoh Company Ltd. of Tokyo has reached an agreement to buy U.S.-based AnaJet, which develops and manufacturers direct to garment (DTG) printing systems. AnaJet is to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh Printing Systems America Inc. Founded in 2006, AnaJet states it was one of the first companies in the world to mass-produce digital garment printers. The company is currently producing its third-generation series of direct to garment printers, called the mPower i-series. The majority of AnaJet products available today leverage Ricoh’s inkjet print heads.The acquisition allows Ricoh, which has traditionally focused on office and commercial print technologies, to strengthen its position in the industrial inkjet market, where the company has been a major global player with its print-head development. AnaJet will continue to operate under its current name, management team and capabilities, which currently includes more than 50 employees based in Costa Mesa, California.“At AnaJet, we have led the industry in establishing the trend of direct to garment printing,” said Karl Tipre, CEO of AnaJet.  “Today we are very pleased to announce that this acquisition will provide our expanding customer base with the services of yet another global leader in Ricoh.  We are extremely excited for what lies ahead for the AnaJet brand and our customers.”
Sun Chemical entered into a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets and liabilities of Colmar Inks Corporation based in Toronto. Colmar is a manufacturer of liquid inks and coatings for the corrugated and paper packaging market, as well as specialty inks for the rod coatings market. Colmar describes itself as Ontario’s leading supplier of water-based inks to the post-print corrugated box market, holding a market share of more than 50 percent in the sector, while also providing products for commercial sheetfed printing.Under terms of the agreement, Sun Chemical is to purchase Colmar’s customer lists, contracts, and finished inventory. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016. Sun Chemical explains the acquisition will enable it to expand its liquid ink customer base in Canada and strengthen its market position as a supplier of lithographic, flexographic and gravure inks and coatings. “Our customer relationships are our most treasured asset and we are excited about the opportunity to serve these new customers with the expanded capabilities of Sun Chemical’s global technology base,” said Charles Murray, President, North American Inks, Sun Chemical. Colmar Ink and Chemical Corporation was formed in 1984 to acquire and operate the Hendershot Inks Company, which itself had operated in the Ontario and Quebec markets for 40 years. Colmar Corporation is owned and managed by Ralph Marshall who has spent his entire career in the ink manufacturing industry. Marshall is a past president of the Canadian Printing Ink Manufacturers Association, and has served as a director of the Canadian Paper Box Manufacturers Association.Headquartered in New Jersey, Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC group, has annual sales of more than US$7.5 billion and over 20,000 employees supporting customers around the world.
WestRock Company entered into a definitive agreement worth approximately US$105 million to acquire Cenveo Packaging, which focuses on producing folded carton and litho display packaging. The deal involves six Cenveo facilities located in North America (U.S., Canada and Dominican Republic), which generated more than US$190 million in revenue over the past 12 months. Cenveo Packaging's most prominent Canadian faclity, Cenveo MM&T, is located in Mississauga and was the subject of PrintAction's May 2015 cover story (read article), following the facility's installation of a massive 14-unit Heidelberg press.WestRock was formed after the July 2015 merger of MeadWestvaco Corporation and Rock-Tenn Company, which made WestRock one of the world's largest paper and packaging companies with US$15 billion in annual revenue and 42,000 employees in 30 countries.“With attractive and complementary customers, markets and facilities, Cenveo Packaging will be an excellent addition to our consumer packaging business,” said Steve Voorhees, CEO of WestRock. “By combining our operating expertise in folding cartons and integrating WestRock paperboard with Cenveo Packaging’s packaging and printing capabilities, we will be able to better serve our customers while generating significant synergies and performance improvements.”Cenveo Packaging focuses on markets like food, beverage, pharma/nutraceutical, specialty tobacco and other consumer markets that use high-value packaging.“We are excited to be able to offer customers a wider network of facilities and a more diverse set of capabilities, including MiraFoil, cold foil and low migration ink systems, each of which will help our customers to be even more successful in their markets,” said Craig Gunckel, Executive VP, Merchandising Displays and Folding Carton, Packaging Solutions, WestRock.At closing, WestRock will pay a total consideration of approximately US$105 million. The transaction is anticipated to close in early 2016 following regulatory approval."The agreement brings conclusion to the review process of our Packaging Business which we started in the summer of 2015,” said Robert G. Burton, Sr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cenveo Inc. “The sale allows the company to focus management's efforts on its core operations, specifically our envelopes, labels, and commercial print segments where we hold leading market positions.”
Supremex Inc. of LaSalle, Quebec, has purchased Premier Envelope Ltd., which employs around 70 people and generated approximately $12 million in annual revenues last year from the sale of stock and custom envelopes, both directly and through a network of distributors.Supremex, self described as Canada’s largest manufacturer of stock and custom envelopes, as well as a packaging and specialty products, has five locations in Western Canada, two in Ontario, and two in Eastern Canada, as well as two locations south of the border. Supremex employs approximately 650 people.“Premier Envelope is a tier one envelope supplier with outstanding manufacturing capabilities and strong complimentary customer relationships to Supremex’ existing customer base in Western Canada,” said Stewart Emerson, President & CEO of Supremex. “With immediate synergies, this transaction enhances our go-to-market   wherewithal, significantly elevates our manufacturing capabilities in Western Canada and improves our ability to unlock capacity in Eastern Canada to support our growth strategy in the United States via our Buffalo Envelope and Classic Envelope platforms.”Premier Envelope has two principal manufacturing locations in Richmond, British Columbia, and Edmonton, Alberta and also operates a satellite plant in Mississauga, Ont.
Flint Group moved to acquire toner press maker Xeikon N.V. with an agreement to purchase XBC B.V., a company that holds more than 95 percent of the shares in Xeikon. The acquisition remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close before the end of 2015.Headquartered in Eede, Netherlands, with Belgian operations in Lier, Ieper and Heultje, Xeikon also develops consumables for its presses used in packaging, label and commercial printing operations.Flint explains Xeikon’s products and services will become the foundation of a newly created division to be called Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions. “This acquisition represents an excellent opportunity for Flint Group, propelling the organization further into the digital solutions market, where we will continue to deliver on our long term strategy of driving growth through product innovation, focus on developing markets and portfolio expansion,” said Antoine Fady, CEO Flint Group.Wim Maes, CEO of Xeikon, will become President of Flint Group’s Digital Printing Solutions division, reporting to Antoine Fady. “Xeikon has shown that dedication to the digital label, folding carton, commercial and document printing market segments has paid off in terms of market share, customer satisfaction and financial contribution,” said Maes. “This next chapter in our more than 20-year existence opens many opportunities for Xeikon as a company, as well as for our customers, employees, partners and stakeholders.”
Jay-Line Trade Print & Promo of St. Catharines, Ontario, which has been serving the promotional products industry as a trade-only supplier since 1977, is reestablishing its focus on the commercial printing industry initially with its new specialty adhesive note pads and Ad Cubes products. The Ad Cubes product line includes both adhesive (printed on 50-lb offset stock) and non-adhesive (70-lb offset) versions in standard sizes or either full-cube or half-cube versions. The Ad Cubes can be produced with digitally printed full colour images on the sides and the tops of the individual sheets can be printed via spot colours or 4-colour process.Adhesive note pads are available in sizes ranging from 2 x 3 inches up to 8 x 6 inches, in standard sheet counts of 25, 50 or 100 sheets per pad. Jay-Line’s Adhesive note pads (50 lb offset stock) can also be produced in custom shapes, such as a light bulb, house or heart. Jay-Line operates out of a 50-employee, 35,000-square-foot facility with processes for sheetfed offset, web offset, toner sheetfed, envelope printing, flexography, roll and flatbed wide-format, roll labels, screen printing, pad printing, hot stamping, die cutting, digital die cutting and routering, scoring, folding, packaging and assembly. The company also has a complete promotional button manufacturing and assembly line, in addition to a range of promotional items from fridge and outdoor-vehicle magnets to plastic bookmarks, and playing cards.
Marquis, a book manufacturer based in Montmagny, Quebec, signed an exclusive agreement with SoBook, an operation in Roubaix, France, focused on the production of print-on-demand books, to create what the two companies describe as a transatlantic technology bridge. SoBook was founded in 2009 by Thierry Ghesquières.The new service called Marquis Express, which began in October, is to manage the printing in Europe of books from Canadian publishers and the printing in Canada of works from European publishers. The companies explain the Marquis Express platform, spearheaded by SoBook, is well suited for single-copy print orders, as well as for micro-runs, rapid restocking and combined printing of several titles in similar formats. Marquis Express also allows for the synchronized release of new books across all markets. The agreement grants Marquis exclusive use and the North American marketing of the digital print workflow solutions developed by SoBook.“We are expanding our positioning in the various markets our publishing partners want to tap into,” said Serge Loubier, President of Marquis, noting the strategy of thinking globally and printing locally. “More and more, publishers are looking to bring book printing closer to its final destination in order to be able to reach its readers faster. A number of publishers are already seeing the logistical and financial benefits that come from this model.”Marquis explains that a book ordered online is rarely already printed, and some European books are still too-often shipped by boat. The workflow technologies developed by SoBook provide publishers access to Marquis’ printing platform and SoBook's virtual inventory management.Established in Montmagny in 1937, Marquis provides a range of printing processes for content owners in the publishing and communications industries throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Marquis also operates its Interscript division and Marquis Le Laurentien for the management and printing of agendas and yearbooks.
This month, IKEA Canada is promoting the arrival of its 2016 catalogue with the use of Twitter-activated vending machines that dole out gift cards at specific store locations across Canada. The company, which scored a resounding success last year with its bookbook catalogue video promotion, now with close to 18-million views on Youtube, has titled its newest initiative “Grab Life by the Catalogue.”Over the last two weekends in August, all IKEA Canada stores have installed what the company refers to as social media vending machines which, at the push of a button, gives each user a unique #PIN number that when tweeted to @IKEACanada with #GrabLifeByTheCatalogue, will generate a variety of prizes, including the opportunity to win a grand prize.“We know that Canadians like to engage and connect through social media,” said Stefan Sjostrand, President, IKEA Canada. “Throughout August we hope to excite our customers about the new 2016 IKEA Catalogue and inspire them to turn their dream home décor projects into reality.”The remaining stores using the promotion, through August 27 to 30, include: IKEA Boucherville, IKEA Coquitlam, IKEA Edmonton, IKEA North York and IKEA Vaughan.IKEA Canada has 12 stores in total, which are visited by over 25 million people every year. The company has 361 stores in 50 countries worldwide, which are visited by more than 800-million people every year. Last year the Websites attracted 1.1 billion visitors.
The OTC Group of London, Ontario, which focuses on combining the production of packaging with data management, has worked with Xerox to develop a unique tracking solution to thwart counterfeiting and theft of pharmaceutical packaging.Xerox explains package theft and counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry costs an estimated $75 billion to $200 billion globally each year, while the sale of counterfeit medications puts human lives at risk. To address this issue, OTC Group is leveraging the Xerox Automated Packaging Solution (XAPS) with its own workflow process and packaging approach. The process developed by OTC Group is built around four inline production components, including printing, coating, stacking and die cutting. It allows the OTC Group to efficiently produce folded cartons with advanced anti-counterfeiting measures. “While many in the pharmaceutical industry struggle with the ability to conform to serialization and track-and-trace accountability, we’ve engineered a process that works,” said Adam Egan, OTC Group’s VP of High-Performance Packaging, noting the use of the Xerox iGen and XAPS solution. The process developed by the OTC Group and Xerox goes beyond legal requirements introduced in 2013 by the United States Drug Quality and Security Act.For one current client requiring an 800,000 printed carton production run, OTC Group estimates that the solution eliminated millions of dollars of risk exposure by providing traceability at every level, with the ability to account for every package printed – including waste – and providing that data to the client in electronic format.
4over, one of North America’s largest trade-printing operations, has entered the 3D Printing market and plans to provide the service to other printing operations through its online platform.The venture fits the company’s growing trade focus on promotional products available online, including template applications like large-format, packaging (primarily product boxes), marketing products like postcards and brochures, and pure promotional items like hang tags, rack cards, table tents, and T-shirts.The new 3D Printing initiative is being offered out of the company’s headquarters in Glendale, California. 4over employs a 3D manufacturing method called Fused Deposition Modeling, which is well suited for the creation of prototypes, samples for packaging development, and original items.“Our goal is to give our customers a simple and affordable 3D Printing solution to offer their own customers,” said 4over's CEO Zarik Megerdichian. “This technology brings with it so many benefits that traditional methods of manufacturing or prototyping don't offer. We're confident that 3D Printing will give our customers access to new markets, enabling them to grow their businesses faster, and to be more relevant than ever before.Earlier this month, 4over also announced it has opened the doors to a brand new operation facility in Central Florida to better service its growing East Coast customer base. “We’re delighted to be expanding our reach, once again,” said Megerdichian. “This new Central Florida operation centre means our existing customers now have easier access than ever before to fast turnarounds and free delivery on all of their favorite products. It also means we can service brand new sets of customers, thus perpetuating the unwavering growth trend we've been experiencing since 4over's inception.”
Goss International has completed a press enhancement project with Innotech installing a full-colour Panorama Gatefold System to produce unique advertising formats in The New York Times. Innotech, a New York based manufacturer of press auxiliary equipment, has been building customized equipment for commercial and newspaper printers for the past 25 years. The Panorama System uses what is referred to as INNOFORMER, the geometric air bar plow, for high speed folding with no set-up time. Innotech has installed many such systems, primarily retrofitted on existing presses, in China, India, Germany and Colombia. Completed to a tight schedule of around 20 weeks from initial order to the first test run, The New York Times Panorama project involved retrofitting each of two existing Goss Colorliner press lines. “Obviously, for a publisher operating on the scale of The New York Times, there is no time to lose and there can be no disruption to ongoing daily production,” said Dan Picco, Regional Sales Manager at Goss. “We had to establish failsafe processes from the outset and make sure we achieved the highest level of teamwork.” The gatefold system now running at The New York Times enables the Goss Colorliner presses to produce an additional four-page wide centrefold or a separate eight-page pull-out section, up to a maximum format of 48 x 22 inches (1,219 x 559 mm). In addition, it is possible to make smaller gatefolds or coupon folds at one or both edges for special promotions providing new display areas for advertisers. It is also possible to make gatefolds in the cover page or have the gate folded section as a wrap around the main section. “Goss and Innotech engineered a solution that gave The New York Times ultimate flexibility with regard to the positioning of specialized sections within the newspaper, without the need to purchase a new press,” said Vinod Kapoor, President at Innotech.
On June 22, 2016, at the Mississauga Convention Centre, PrintAction magazine will host a unique 1-day conference and exhibition to showcase printing innovations coming out of the drupa tradeshow, taking place in Dusseldorf, Germany, from May 31 to June 10, 2016. The goal of PrintForum, which provides free access to high-end speakers and leading Canadian equipment suppliers, is to relate technological and strategic innovations to Canada’s printing community.Sydney Stone is the first exhibitor to sign on to the exhibition side of PrintForum to both discuss and showcase advances in digital finishing technologies for Canadian printers. While Sydney Stone will finalize its line-up closer to PrintForum, the company will showcase some of the newest products it has brought to the market, from MOHR cutters and CompuCut-enabled cutters to laser die cutters and the newest booklet making technologies from Duplo and Morgana. Sydney Stone will also be showcasing its MultiLoft paper products and the new Black Soft Touch laminating film.On the conference side of PrintForum, which is also free to attend, Dr. Martin Habekost, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management will present a session called Is It All Digital Now? Habekost will report on his findings from drupa, where he plans to investigate the progress of key emerging digital technologies and their potential impact on offset printing.Nick Howard, President, Howard Graphic Equipment, with more than four decades of experience in capital investment spending specifically within the printing industry, will discuss what company managers and department heads need to consider when evaluating emerging offset, inkjet and toner technologies for real-world production. With his unique knowledge set, Howard will also discuss how to best position your company for Return on Investment, fluctuating exchange rates, and ensuring optimal delivery of technology.In a session called Secrets to Access Financing, Rob McLean, Vice President of Commercial Banking of BMO Financial Group, will describe the best methods for printers to obtain financing for their businesses, including existing operations and for future acquisitions. He will illustrate what bankers look for and the secret formulas they use to determine how much money you can borrow to grow your business.In a panel session called drupa for Canadian Printers, leaders from Pesda-member companies will openly discuss how drupa innovations, primarily for offset, inkjet and toner production, relate to the current state of  Canadian printing and realistic near-future production opportunities. The panel discussion will be moderated by Jon Robinson, Editor of PrintAction magazine, who will also present a session about his impressions from drupa.Learn more about PrintForum
The annual holiday open house and fundraiser held by C.J. Graphics raised more than $19,000 through a live auction and another $2,000 in cash donations came in for the Daily Bread Food Bank, which received an additional 1,500 pounds of food from attendees of the event.Throughout the night, C.J. Graphics reports more than 1,500 guests attended the annual holiday party, from which the $19,000 auction funds will be put toward the special-needs programs provided by the C.J. Skateboard Park & School. Jay Mandarino, Founder & CEO of C.J. Graphics, once again served as the fundraising auctioneer, while former Toronto Argonaut Michael Pinball Clemons was in attendance with his wife, Dianne, and assisted with the auction.Volunteers from the Daily Bread Food Bank were also on hand to help with the food and fundraising drive that continued through the night.
A pictorial report from the 10th annual Canadian Printing Awards held in Toronto on November 12 to recognize four industry leaders and some of the world’s best printing in a range of categories. The gala evening, hosted by Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO’s The Agenda, was attended by more than 220 members of the North American printing industry. Sponsors of the 10th annual event included Veritiv, Sun Chemical, MK Masterwork USA, Koenig & Bauer Group, Canon, Manroland, Hewlett Packard, Huber Group Canada, Domtar, Spicers, Heidelberg, and Fujifilm. Photography by Donna Santos (   View the embedded image gallery online at:
Hugh Cameron, a long-time supporter of Mohawk students, was recognized last week for his leadership in building one of the most-advanced digital printing labs at any college in Canada. More than 200 students in Mohawk’s three-year Advanced Diploma Graphic Design program train at Mohawk lab where they learn how to turn digital designs into finished products and packaging, including business cards, saddle stitched and perfect bound books, pads, posters, banners, clothing and a wide variety of other specialized print and packaging design products. The newly named Hugh Cameron Digital Print Learning Centre includes a Kongsberg XL22 cutting table, a Roland 64-inch large format inkjet system, a Xerox 800 press, UV coater and die cutter. Mohawk’s Digital Print Learning Centre officially opened in February 2012 with support from Xerox Canada, Bell Howell, Esko Graphics and the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation of Canada. “Mohawk College is proud to recognize Hugh Cameron for his generous and continuing support of students in our Graphic Design program,” said Ron McKerlie, President of Mohawk College. “Hugh has been instrumental in securing the most advanced digital print and finishing equipment available at any college in Canada.”Cameron is the Chairman of Retail Ready Packages Inc. and President of the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation of Canada. He has secured more than $750,000 worth of equipment and funding for student scholarships and bursaries.Cameron began his career in the packaging industry in 1951, working for companies including Belkin Packaging, Ace Containers Limited, Crown Zellerbach and Bathurst Containers before launching his own business in 1968.
Agfa Graphics won all three Product of the Year Awards in the UV Category at SGIA Expo recently held in Atlanta, including for two systems built in Mississauga, Ont. A total of 141 entries in 38 product categories were submitted for this competition. Prints were judged on overall colour appeal, tonality, image detail, objective colour matching and grayscale colour cast.The new Anapurna M2540i won in the UV Flatbed ($100-200k) category, while the Canadian-built Jeti Mira won in the UV Flatbed ($200-500k) category and Jeti Tauro won top honours in the UV Hybrid/Flatbed High Volume Production Class category.“This recognition means a great deal to the entire global Agfa Graphics team,” said Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing, Agfa Graphics, North America. “The competition validates the hard work and precision behind these inkjet systems.” The Jeti Tauro is a UV hybrid system positioned for the higher end of the sign and display market with print speeds up to 2960 f2/hour (275 m2/hr). The system is designed to withstand heavy workloads (24/7, multiple shifts) and prints up to 2.5 metre wide on rigid or roll media with six colour plus white or primer options.The Jeti Mira is also built for heavy industrial workloads. Its print-and-prepare mode on the double bed model allows non-stop printing, allowing PSPs to load the front while the back is printing for added productivity. The Mira has six colour plus white with optional varnish and primer and is available in two bed sizes (8.8 x 5.24 feet or 8.8 x 10.5 feet)The Anapurna M2540i FB is a six-colour plus white, 100-inch (2.54 metre) UV-curable flatbed inkjet printer which prints at speeds up to 1000 f2/hour (93 m2/hr). It is designed for step-and-repeat work and for printing multiple jobs on different sized media.
Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program handed out dozens of awards to the school’ top students last Thursday night in downtown Toronto, recognizing excellence in a range of educational disciplines from packaging and printing to business development and school participation.The 2015 GCM Awards Night once again showcased the close relationship between the printing program and industry with several awards bearing the name of printing companies, associations, suppliers, and individual printing leaders. With more than 180 new students entering the GCM program this year, Ryerson continues to serve as one of North America's brightest conduits for the printing and imaging fields.   View the embedded image gallery online at:
Transcontinental Inc. announced it is transferring its marketing product printing activities from Transcontinental Québec to other plants in its network, principally to Transcontinental Interglobe in Beauce, Quebec. The reorganization is to result in the closure of the Transcontinental Québec plant located in Quebec City by April 30, 2016. The plant closure will result in approximately 140 layoffs.“Conditions in the print market are changing and we must continuously adapt,” said Jacques Grégoire, President of TC Transcontinental Printing. “In this context, we need to review our equipment utilization to better optimize our platform. We regret having to make this decision which affects our employees and would like to thank them for their dedication to our organization.”                                        TC Transcontinental currently has over 8,000 employees in Canada and the United States, generating revenues of $2.0 billion in 2015.
Xerox, during its year-end financial presentation, announced a new plan to separate into two independent publicly traded companies, Document Technology and Business Process Outsourcing.The Document Technology company, according to Xerox, will focus on document management and document outsourcing, while the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company will focus on helping clients improve the flow of work by leveraging Xerox’ expertise in managing transaction-intensive processes and applying technology to automate and simplify business processes. The Document Technology company alone would have generated approximately US$11 billion in 2015 revenue. The BPO company would have generated approximately US$7 billion in 2015 revenue. Xerox notes more than 90 percent of the BPO revenue to be annuity based. Xerox states it is focused on attractive growth markets including transportation, healthcare, commercial and government services. The leadership and names of the two companies will be determined as the separation process progresses. “I am confident that the extensive structural review we conducted over the last few months has produced the right path forward for our company,” said Ursula Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox. “We will now position the companies for success and execute our plan to separate them in the shortest possible timeframe while continuing to focus on achieving our 2016 goals.”Xerox also announced a new three-year strategic transformation program targeting a cumulative US$2.4 billion savings across all segments. The program is inclusive of ongoing activities and US$600 million of incremental transformation initiatives. The company expects US$700 million in annualized savings in 2016.
FASTSIGNS International Inc. of Texas reports surpassing its 600th-franchise-location milestone, which was achieved before the end of 2015. The company states that over the past 12 months it signed more than 50 franchise agreements, opened more than 40 units and reached global revenues of US$400 million – an all-time high for the company.“Robust franchise expansion will continue in 2016 domestically and in key international markets,” said Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International. “Our company is experiencing a high demand in franchise sales globally due to the rising worldwide need for visual communications and digital signage technology.”Monson continues to explain FASTSIGNS opened its first centre in Dubai this past June and continues to seek growth opportunities in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, India, Mexico, the Middle East and the UK. “All told, we expect to open another 60 to 70 locations in 2016, as well as finalizing master franchise agreements in two new countries,” she said.FASTSIGNS’ Co-Brand program accounted for 20 percent of the franchise agreements signed in 2015, which is described as a significant increase from prior years. Launched in 2012, the FASTSIGNS Co-Brand program – for a down payment of $10,000 – allows independent businesses with print-related services to add the FASTSIGNS brand and solutions, while retaining control of their existing business. The Franchise Grade Top 500 list ranked FASTSIGNS as the top sign and graphics franchise and No. 19 overall out of 2,387 franchise systems for transparency during the franchise sales process, corporate support, training, revenues and growth. Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500” list of America’s top franchise opportunities has placed FASTSIGNS in its top 100 for four consecutive years.
On Tuesday of last week, creditors voted on Web Offset’s restructuring action, which was first submitted in July 2015 as a Notice of Intent to file a Proposal within Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA).John Bacopulos, CEO of Ironstone Media, which controls Web Offset, based in Pickering, Ontario, reports around 98 percent of the creditors involved in the July filing voted in favour of the company’s restructuring plan. Unsecured creditors were owed approximately $3.2 million and accepted a deal worth approximately $0.25 on the dollar.This is the second Notice of Intent to file a Proposal under the BIA involving the company in a little more than three years, after Ironstone Media filed an action in March 2012.Ironstone Media was founded in 1961 and has remained focused on the publishing industry, including earlier efforts to move with the digitization of printed content. The company continued to operate uninterrupted during its 2015 BIA filing and will now push forward under its restructuring plan.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG of Germany states it is on course after the first half of its financial year 2015/2016 with increased sales over the previous year’s corresponding period. Group sales after six months increased to €1.162 billion compared to the previous period at €996 million. Heidelberg reports sales were up in all regions except Eastern Europe, where they remained stable. Incoming orders in the period under review improved to €1.323 billion (previous year: €1.167 billion).“After the first half of the current financial year, we are on course to achieve our targets for the year,” said Dirk Kaliebe, CFO and Deputy CEO of the company. “As in previous years, we are expecting a further increase in sales and in the result in the second half of the financial year.”Heidelberg also reports EBITDA, excluding special items, totaled €79 million (previous year: €53 million) and EBIT excluding special items €43 million (previous year: €19 million). Both these figures benefited from income from the takeover of consumables distributor European Printing Systems Group (PSG), amounting to some €19 million in the current financial year, compared with income of €18 million from the Gallus transaction in the previous year. At €–30 million, Heidelberg’s free cash flow in the period under review remained at the same level as in the previous year. The company’s net financial debt at September 30 increased slightly to €284 million (March 31, 2015: €256 million). As at September 30, 2015, the Heidelberg Group had a global workforce of 11,753 plus 473 trainees (previous year: 12,393 plus 550 trainees). This includes around 380 new employees from the acquisition of PSG.
The United States Postal Service reported a net loss of US$5.1 billion for fiscal year 2015 (October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015). The net loss, according to the USPS, is largely due to certain statutorily mandated payments over which the Postal Service has no control. Behind the loss, total revenue was $68.9 billion (all dollar amounts in U.S. figures) for the year, an increase of approximately $1.1 billion from 2014.“We achieved controllable income in excess of $1 billion for the second consecutive fiscal year giving us some limited flexibility to make critical investments in the future of the organization,” said Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan. “To maintain this success we will need to continue our efforts to grow the business and drive operational efficiencies. However, we will also need the enactment of legislation that makes our retiree health benefit system affordable and that provides increased pricing and product flexibility.”Controllable income for 2015 was $1.2 billion compared to $1.4 billion last year. Controllable income is defined as net loss excluding expenses related to the mandated prefunding of retirement health benefits, actuarial revaluation of retirement liabilities and non-cash workers’ compensation adjustments, which are factors largely outside of management’s control.The USPS explained its large net losses continue, and controllable operating expenses increased $1.3 billion from last year. This was the result of a combination of factors, according to the USPS, including higher compensation costs attributable to increased benefits expenses and additional work hours partly associated with growth in the more labor-intensive shipping and package business.“Adding to the financial pressures that the Postal Service will face in the short term is the fact that the exigent surcharge authorized by the Postal Regulatory Commission in 2014 will need to be rolled back in approximately April of 2016,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “This surcharge has provided an additional estimated $3.5 billion in revenue since its inception, and will provide a total of $4.6 billion in additional revenue at the time when the commission will require us to eliminate the surcharge.”For 2015, total USPS mail volume of 154.2 billion pieces fell slightly from 155.5 billion pieces in 2014, as First-Class Mail and Standard Mail volume decreased by 2.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively. Shipping and Packages volume increased 14.1 percent.
Komcan Inc., headquartered in Georgetown, Ont., is to now represent Komori America Corporation in Eastern Canada. “We are looking forward to further promoting the Komori brand and are pleased with the trust Komori America has placed in our hands,” said Steve Ranson, President of Komcan.Komcan, established in 2013, is the authorized agent for selling and servicing Komori printing presses and auxiliary equipment in Canada’s Ontario and Western Provinces, including OEM parts and consumable products. “Komcan has done an outstanding job in Ontario and the Western provinces and we are confident they will have success in Eastern Canada as well,” said Kosh Miyao, President and COO of Komori America. “All of us at Komcan are excited about the Eastern Canadian market and working with the existing and new Komori customers in the Quebec region,” added Ranson.
ND Graphics has signed a new distribution partnership to introduce Spike, described as a laser measurement solution for site surveys and estimations, to the Canadian sign and digital graphics market. Under the terms of the agreement, ND Graphics is the exclusive reseller of Spike, developed by ikeGPS, to the sign industry within the Canadian market.Spike, explains ND Graphics, allows sign and graphics professionals to capture accurate measurements of the width, height and area of signage locations from a smartphone or tablet picture. The measurements of the signage location are saved with the Spike photo and can be shared with customers, designers or production team to create job estimates and design proofs, assess installation and complete permit applications. “Spike has witnessed fast adoption in the U.S. sign and digital graphics market, including several distribution partnerships,” said Jeff Ross, Chief Marketing Officer of ikeGPS. “When defining our Canadian go-to-market strategy, we knew ND Graphics was the right reseller partner to represent Spike. ND Graphics has a national Canadian footprint, large active customer base and an outstanding reputation in the industry. The deal with ND Graphics represents ikeGPS’ first Spike reseller relationship outside of the U.S. “We’re so excited to offer Spike that we’re immediately outfitting all of our sales reps with the device,” said Mark West, President of ND Graphics. “Spike goes a long way in helping our customers work more efficiently, which drives down their customer-acquisition costs.”
Grimco Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Grimco International, has agreed to acquire Acme Neon & Plastic Sign Supplies Ltd. based in Toronto, with additional locations in Montreal and Vancouver. Grimco Canada is also based in Toronto, with more facilities in the Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Dartmouth markets. Acme Neon & Plastic Sign Supplies Ltd. has been a national distributor to the Canadian sign market since 1967. “Grimco was the logical fit for us,” said Bob Craig, President of Acme. “Their commitment to Canada has been clear since their entry into the market and has proven that they are here to stay and to grow.”Grimco traces its roots back to 1875, when the company began as a single-location stamp and badge provider. Today, the company operates 48 locations across Canada and the United States focused on providing technology and service for the North American signage industry.“The Canadian market is an incredibly important part of our growth strategy,” said John Burkemper, President of Grimco. “That’s why we have been heavily investing in local markets and are bringing together these great teams to continue to serve our customers with the best people and products in the industry.”
Mimaki USA expanded its sales coverage with nine new equipment dealers across North America, including Focus Pre Press, of Surrey, British Columbia. Mimaki is a manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters.Mimaki has been increasing its presence in North America over the past few years and reports it saw revenue growth of 8.4 percent in the second quarter of 2015 when compared to its second quarter of 2014. The company states this is the highest growth Worldwide Large Format Printer Shipment as tracked by International Data Corporation (published August 24, 2015). In addition to Focus Pre Press, Mimaki also added the following eight U.S. dealers to its distribution network: AB Graphics, Clark, NJ; American Print Consultants, Waynesboro, PA; Digital Solutions, Las Vegas, NV; Digitally Driven, Las Vegas, NV; H&H Sign Supply, Sturgis, KY; Karl Williams (KW Graphics), Springfield, IL; Policrom, Bensalem, PA; and RJ Young, Nashville, TN.“We are committed to continuing our practice of working with knowledgeable dealers that align with our desire to help customers grow their business with Mimaki products,” said Ken VanHorn, Director, Marketing and Business Development for Mimaki USA. “We have already started working with this new team and look forward to fostering partnerships that will better serve and facilitate our customers’ success.”
PDS of Scarborough, Ont., becomes a Canadian distributor for Duplo, focusing on both the manufacturer’s office and production equipment. Duplo was established in Japan in 1951 after it manufactured one of the first duplicators in the printing industry. The company is now focused on developing short-run finishing systems, which is the primary distribution arena of PDS.Duplo recently released its new high-end 600i Booklet System. Integrating the automatic DBM-600 Bookletmaker with the high-speed DSC-10/60i Suction Collators, the 600i Booklet System produces professional saddle, side, or corner-stitched booklets as well as letter landscape applications. The 600i Booklet System can produce up to 5,200 booklets or collate up to 10,000 sets per hour into a stacker.
PDS, founded in 1984 by President Dave Kisiloski, becomes a distributor for Mutoh and its range of large-format inkjet systems. The full-dealer arrangement means PDS will also look after service and marketing of the systems.The non-exclusive agreement allows for Canada-wide distribution, however, PDS explains it plans to focus its distribution of Mutoh products within the Ontario market. PDS will be concentrating on all eco-solvent and small UV flatbed printers.In relation to the Mutoh deal, PDS also plans to provide medias like Ultraflex and accessories from Royal Souvrine large format laminators, trimmers and banner welding machines, grommet presses.PDS also represents manufactures like Oki, MBM Triumph, Memjet, Mitsubishi, Ryobi, and Challenge  and many more leading manufactures in our industry.PDS continues to Provide Technology for Todays Printers.
Jones Packaging Inc., headquartered in London, Ont. as a global provider of packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, has entered into a commercial partnership with Norway's Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), which develops printed electronics and smart systems, including technologies for Near Field Communications (NFC).Together the two companies will integrate Thinfilm’s recently branded NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharmaceutical packaging and, at the same time, develop what Jones describes as key manufacturing processes for its high-speed production lines.Jones and Thinfilm will also collaborate to engage top global pharmaceutical companies to integrate the smart technology into Rx and over-the-counter product packaging. The Jones/Thinfilm smart packaging collaboration will be funded, in part, by grants from both the Swedish and Canadian governments. Jones explains NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels that can detect both a product’s “factory sealed” and “opened” states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The tags contain unique identifiers, continues Jones, that make it possible for pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level using software and analytics tools. In addition, Jones explains the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken, which enables both brands and medical staff to extend the dialogue with consumers and patients. “Our strategy of developing printed electronics solutions for the healthcare market led us to this important collaboration with industry pioneer Thinfilm,” stated Chris Jones Harris, Principal, Strategic Initiatives and Alliances with Jones. “Thinfilm’s unique printed NFC solution addresses multiple needs within the pharmaceutical channel, particularly around product integrity and patient safety, and allows our customers to connect the world of physical packaging to virtual and dynamic content on the internet – it’s a very unique and compelling proposition.”Thinfilm’s “Tag Talks First” protocol is described as a key feature of the NFC OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions. The companies explain this makes NFC OpenSense an ideal technology for use within the high-speed, high-volume production lines found in Jones’ manufacturing facilities. The work conducted by Jones and Thinfilm will also include the integration of ferrite shield labels with the NFC OpenSense tags. Jones explains this will enable the NFC technology to function on metalized packaging, such as blisters commonly used for cold/flu medication. The company states this is perfectly aligned with its contract packaging capabilities in the area of customized blister packaging solutions for solid dose products including tablets, caplets, capsules and gel caps.“Jones has been in business for well over a century and is a trusted partner to many of the most recognized global pharmaceutical and consumer brands,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “We are very excited to be partnering with a true innovator in the packaging industry and look forward to helping them deliver this leading-edge NFC solution to the pharmaceutical space.”
Xaar plc, which makes industrial inkjet technology, and Lawter, along with its parent company Harima Chemicals Group (HCG), are now collaborating to optimize the performance of a line of nanosilver conductive inks in the Xaar 1002 industrial inkjet print-head. The combined solution, according to the companies, will be of interest to manufacturers of consumer electronics goods looking for a method to print antennas and sensors with silver nanoparticle ink as part of their manufacturing processes. Xaar explains inkjet is a cleaner process than other methods of printing silver inks; this is especially relevant when printing onto a substrate, such as a display, in which any yield loss is expensive. With inkjet, manufacturers can precisely control the amount of ink dispensed in certain areas of a pattern, continues Xaar, so that the ink or fluid deposited can be thicker in some areas and thinner in others – adding that inkjet enables the deposition of a much thinner layer of fluids than traditional methods, which is significant for the manufacturers looking to produce thinner devices. Inkjet is also one of the few technologies able to print a circuit over a substrate that has a structured surface.“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our latest technological breakthroughs and demonstrate the unique value that our revolutionary nanoparticle inkjet solutions can play as part of an integrated system solutions in the PE world,” said Dr. Arturo Horta, Business Development Manager for Lawter Innovation Group. HCG claims to have pioneered the development and manufacture of silver nanoparticle conductive inks for the printed electronics industry over 20 years ago and has over 100 patents related to its nanoparticle dispersion technology.
Komori Corporation and Screen Holdings Co., Ltd. announced that Komori America Corporation and Screen GP Americas, LLC, a division of Screen Graphic and Precision Solutions (Screen GP) group, have entered into a strategic selling agreement that effectively joins the two companies’ sales organizations. Komori America will be the sole distributor in the United States of Screen GP's new Truepress Jet520HD, a high-speed, high-definition inkjet press powered by the Equios Digital Front Workflow solution. Screen GP Americas brings its knowledge and expertise in the inkjet marketplace to the partnership with Komori America.Eiji Kajita, Director and Operating Officer of Komori Corporation says, “This is a great opportunity for both Komori and Screen GP.  By joining our US sales teams we will have double the workforce to take both Komori's offset and Screen GP's digital products to the marketplace. But more importantly, we know our customers will benefit from the combined expertise of our two teams.”Katsuhiko Aoki, President of Screen GP said, “We have a longstanding relationship with Komori and it just makes good business sense to take the strength of our two product lines and the technical expertise of our sales teams to join together to grow our market share. We are looking forward to the future and we are confident commercial printers will see real value in working with one organization that is focused on their success regardless of the technology platform.”
manroland web systems and Ultimate TechnoGraphics have been working together to development a new product called Imposer, which Germany’s manroland web describes as the first automated imposition technology for digital and offset printing.“We want to support our customers, which so far mainly consisted of digital printing press users and all main manufacturers of digital printing presses,” said Joanne David, President and CEO, Ultimate TechnoGraphics. “It is great to know that from now on offset printers will also benefit from our imposition expertise.”Within the past 18 months, manroland web systems has focused on establishing its own software solutions for digital printing, primarily with products called MasterQ and WorkflowBridge, which automatically control digital finishing aggregates and manage jobs. Hildegard Heckl, Product Manager Digital and the lead of manroland web’s software development effort, states the new Imposer product is “just as intelligent and promises to be equally successful.” In developing Imposer, manroland web supplied the core intelligence that describes the imposition logics based on the capability of its devices and Ultimate TechnoGraphics executes the processing of the printing data. The software supplies job-specific imposed data that is prepared for digital and offset printing. Whether for printing books, advertising or newspapers, Imposer is ideally suited for frequent job and product changeovers.“The software features a specific logic. It recognizes and uses the production aggregates, the optimized production processes, and the job structure,” said Andreas Elchlepp, Product Management Software Development Digital & Workflow Solutions at manroland web. The patent-pending method allows for creating impositions that are specifically matched to the printing jobs. “It was time for the development of a software which imposes the jobs for hybrid printing and that breaches the gap in data preparation,” said Elchlepp. “Our solution is modular and perfectly matches existing customer requirements, while being scalable and dynamic for the largest variety of production settings.”
AVT of Israel, which develops technology for print inspection and process control, and quality assurance, is now collaborating proofing solutions provider Global Vision. Under the agreement, Global Vision will provide AVT with a new software engine for its offline inspection solutions, which are customized to suit the specific needs of the printing industry. The partnership also enables AVT to serve as Global Vision’s print market sales arm, as the two companies will jointly develop inspection tools for specific sectors, including the labeling and packaging marketplaces. The companies also will co-develop print quality assurance solutions that connect inline and offline inspection systems. “Our partners at Global Vision offer unsurpassed offline verification and inspection solutions for the markets they serve,” said Jaron Lotan, CEO, AVT. “As a result of our newfound synergy, AVT can now provide its customers all-inclusive tools regardless of printing technology and application.” Among AVT’s latest offline solutions is SolidProof, which the company describes as providing 100 percent assurance for wide web, narrow web and sheetfed applications. SolidProof automatically eliminates conversion errors and undetected defects during the pre-press stage. The goal of the system is to reduce the need for manual inspection and to bring waste levels to near-zero. SolidProof also features intelligent cropping and automatic alignment utilities, reporting and multi-lingual inspection capabilities, as well as options for barcode and Braille verification and a 21 CFR Part 11 compliance module for the pharmaceutical sector. There are more than 7,000 AVT systems are installed at customer sites worldwide. “In AVT, Global Vision now has an influential, reputable arm in the print market, while we help bolster AVT’s presence in other capacities,” said Reuben Malz, CEO, Global Vision. “The collaboration is an ideal match that will, most importantly, improve the overall print inspection solutions space through increased access and innovation.”
Allegra Network LLC announced it plans to install Avanti Slingshot as the new core of WorkStream, a Web storefront to MIS workflow platform used by its North American base of 270 marketing and print communications franchises. The move to Avanti Slingshot was led by Ricoh Americas, one of Allegra’s key printing technology providers, which made a multimillion-dollar investment in Avanti Computer Systems back in July 2013. In December 2014, Ricoh acquired PTI Marketing Technologies, described as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) asset management and marketing solutions provider, building on an preexisting technology partnership between itself, Avanti and PTI. Allegra, based Plymouth, Michigan, states it selected Avanti Slingshot for its ability to provide an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform to support its franchises of all sizes. “We pride ourselves on providing our franchise community with the technology and tools they need to efficiently manage their businesses, and Avanti Slingshot delivers with its robust suite of modules and ability to handle multiple lines of business,” said Joe D’Aguanno, Chief Technology Officer, Allegra Network. “Our relationship with Allegra is one we are extremely proud of at Ricoh. A truly innovative company, Allegra sees the need for tools that can effectively help their business grow and their operations to continuously enhance,” said John Fulena, VP Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Americas. “Avanti Slingshot is an award-winning and proven solution… we are very pleased that Allegra has chosen this solution and look forward to our continued collaboration.” Avanti Slingshot was launched in 2013 as a browser-based platform for quoting, job ticketing, costing and tracking, through to billing.  Slingshot modules can be added as a franchise member expands into new lines of business, such as large format. “Avanti Slingshot is a fantastic tool to help cultivate a more meaningful customer relationship, helping our clients remain competitive in the ever-changing print market landscape,” said Patrick Bolan, President and CEO, Avanti. “This is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Ricoh, Avanti and Allegra Networks…”
PaperWorks Industries Inc. plans to consolidate all of its Canadian folding carton production into its recently acquired Boehmer Box manufacturing facility in Kitchener, Ont. The company, with integrated mill operations, expects to consolidate all print production in Kitchener by May 2016.This consolidation includes closing its Hamilton, Ont., plant by July 2016, which has around 180 employees. PaperWorks earlier said it plans to add 150 employees across all areas of prepress and production at the Kitchener facility over the next year.“Because the Hamilton facility is only 75 kilometers away from the Kitchener manufacturing plant, it made sense from a production and asset utilization perspective to consolidate production under one roof,” said Kevin Kwilinski, president and CEO of PaperWorks. “The Kitchener plant is more modern and has newer equipment, which translates into more efficient output.”In June 2015, PaperWorks agreed to acquire CanAmPac of Napanee. The acquisition included coated recycled board (CRB) producer Strathcona Paper, folding carton manufacturer Boehmer Box and LYFT Visual graphic services. Strathcona Paper is described as the largest producer of CRB in Canada, while Boehmer Box produces offset-litho printed folding cartons for North American food packaging applications.As a result of the CanAmPac acquisition, PaperWorks’ projected manufacturing output for the combined companies is approximately 400,000 tons of 100 percent recycled paperboard, annually. In August, PaperWorks then announced a planned investment of more $11 million over the next year to expand the capabilities of the 340,000-square-foot Boehmer Box facility, which produces folding cartons for products like dry and frozen food, beverage, pharmaceutical, household goods, personal care and institutional foodservice. The Hamilton plant has been producing folding cartons for many decades and was part of the Rosmar Packaging Corp. acquisition that PaperWorks made in 2011.
Cascades Inc. last week inaugurated its Greenpac Mill LLC, located in Niagara Falls, New York. Greenpac is a company created by Cascades in partnership with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Jamestown Container and Containerboard Partners. The mill actually began production more than two years ago on July 15, 2013, and now produces a product called Greenpac XP, described as a new type of recycled linerboard with unique strength and print quality relative to its lower basis weight when compared with traditional linerboards. The lightweight linerboard is made with 100 percent recycled fibres, on a single machine having a trim of 328 inches (8.33 metres) with an annual production capacity of 540,000 short tonnes. Built and operated by Norampac, a division of Cascades, the Greenpac Mill employs 135 people.Cascades describes Greenpac as its most ambitious project in 50 years. Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. The company employs close to 11,000 people, who work in over 90 production units located in North America and Europe."The investment we are inaugurating today is the tangible result of the deployment of our strategic plan aiming to position Cascades as a leader in the packaging industry in terms of both productivity and profitability,” stated Mario Plourde , President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades.The Greenpac project was also supported by organizations such as the State of New York , Empire State Development, the City of Niagara Falls , the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, the New York Power Authority and the New York Department of Environment Conservation.
Kruger Packaging L.P. plans to make an investment of $250 million to convert the No. 10 Newsprint Machine (PM10) at its Trois-Rivières mill to manufacture 100% percent recycled lightweight linerboard.The project is to be carried out with the support of the Government of Québec, which is providing $190 million. This figure includes an $84 million loan to finance the cost of the conversion and a $106-million participation, through Investissement Québec, in a new company that now combines all of Kruger’s containerboard and packaging activities. As a result of this investment, the Québec government will have a 25 percent ownership in this new company which has assets in excess of $600 million, and more than 800 jobs, including 620 in Québec that will be secured.The project was announced in the presence of Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec; Laurent Lessard, Minister of Forests, Fauna and Parks; Jean-Denis Girard, Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises, Regulatory Streamlining and Regional Economic Development, Minister responsible for the Mauricie region and MNA for Trois-Rivières, and Joseph Kruger II, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kruger Inc.Over the coming 20 months, PM10 will be modernized to incorporate what Kruger describes as some of the most advanced containerboard manufacturing technology. Once PM10 is up and running in 2017, it will produce 360,000 metric tonnes of 100 percent recycled lightweight linerboard annually, a portion of which will be sold to Kruger Packaging’s box plants in LaSalle, Quebec, and Brampton, Ont., while the remainder will be sold on the market.The Trois-Rivières Mill will continue to produce newsprint on PM10 until two months before the end of the conversion project. The mill’s other newsprint production line, PM7, will remain in operation into the future. Overall, Kruger’s three newsprint production facilities will have an annual output of 600,000 metric tonnes, maintaining the company’s ranking among North America’s top newsprint manufacturers.Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a producer of publication papers, tissue products, containerboard and packaging made from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy, cellulosic biomaterials, and wines and spirits. Kruger Inc. has facilities in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as in Tennessee, Maine, New York, Virginia and Rhode Island in the United States.
Kodak has opened a new manufacturing line at its Columbus, Georgia, facility to produce its Sonora Process Free Plates, which the company states are currently being used by more than 2,700 printers around the world.The company marked the opening of this new manufacturing line with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Eastman Kodak Company CEO, Jeff Clarke; President, Print Systems Division and Senior Vice President Eastman Kodak Company, Brad Kruchten; as well as community leaders and customers.“Today’s opening of this new manufacturing line keeps us on an accelerated pace toward our goal of helping printers become more sustainable with Sonora Process Free Plates,” said Clarke. “Kodak is committed to providing solutions that increase the sustainability of the printing industry, while also reducing printing costs. This is good business and good for our environment.”Kodak explains its Sonora plates eliminate water, chemical and energy use required when processing traditional plates. Without the need for processing equipment, Kodak explains the average printer using 20,000 square metres of plates can save up to $99,000 annually. Sonora plates are currently being used in a range of commercial print, book, newspaper and packaging print facilities. Specific Sonora plate brands are rated for 200,000 run lengths.
Sihl LLC and Arkwright Advanced Coating Inc. became one company, based in Fiskeville, Rhode Island, beginning on January 1, 2014. The newly combined company is to be called Sihl Inc. Sihl is a manufacturer of coated and processed papers, films, and fabrics. The move includes the company moving to a new Website address, from to (effective January 5, 2015). The name Sihl is derived from the river in Switzerland on which the founders built a paper mill in 1478 to fill demand that followed Gutenberg’s invention of mechanical movable type. Arkwright Advanced Coating Inc. opened in 1802 as cotton spinning mill as part of the industrial revolution. The company flourished as apparel fabric became coated industrial fabric, which eventually led to its development of coated films. The company today has five coating lines, eight converting machines and approximately 100 employees serving a capacity 30 million square metres of photo paper, transfer paper, IJ and toner receptive film.    Sihl AG, the parent company of Sihl Inc., is based in Bern, Switzerland, while a second production plant is based in Düren, Germany, as Sihl GmbH. This includes specialty materials for inkjet, solvent, UV curable, latex and toner-receptive wide format plotters, printers, and presses.
Mohawk expects to produce 500-million envelopes annually in South Hadley, Massachusetts, when the papermaker, described as North America’s largest privately owned manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes and specialty substrates, takes over an 112,342-square-foot early in the New Year. The facility is expected to be fully functional by the end of April 2015. The announcement comes after the Massachusetts Office of Business Development Economic Assistance Coordinating Council voted unanimously to approve Mohawk’s application for a special tax assessment for the facility. Mohawk intends to enter into a 7-year lease agreement. “Our plan to create a new envelope converting facility in South Hadley, Massachusetts represents our commitment to further growth of Mohawk’s envelope business,” said Thomas O’Connor Jr., Chairman and CEO of Mohawk. “Since January (2014], we have committed to investments of nearly $5 million in new envelope converting equipment and facility upgrades, and the creation of 100 new jobs for skilled envelope workers. Our envelope business is vibrant, rapidly growing, and we are uniquely positioned to serve our customers with fast delivery, exceptional integrity, and the highest quality envelopes available in the industry.” Mohawk plans to invest up to $2 million to retrofit the South Hadley facility, including upgrades to electrical systems, installation of air and vacuum lines, and the purchase and installation of envelope converting and manufacturing equipment. Mohawk expects to produce over 500-million envelopes annually at the new facility. The site will also feature warehouse space to service the company’s customers along the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as overseas businesses. “We selected the South Hadley location because the layout of the building is ideal for our manufacturing needs,” said Bob Scammell, Mohawk’s Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Operations.  “The site is essentially move-in ready and requires minimal construction prior to becoming operational, and there is an abundant pool of highly skilled envelope workers in Western Massachusetts.” Approximately 40 new employees will be hired to staff the new South Hadley facility, which will operate five days a week, three shifts per day. Mohawk also owns and operates a one million square-foot paper and envelope converting facility in Ashtabula, Ohio, which produces 1.5 billion envelopes a year. In early 2014, Mohawk grew its envelope operations at its Ohio facility by adding 75 new employees to a total of 200 and expanding operations by investing millions of dollars in converting equipment upgrades. 

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