Now in its 15th year of operation, Mi5 Print & Digital has grown into one of Canada’s largest privately owned commercial printing operations and has been recognized as one of Canada’s fastest growing companies nine years in a row on the Profit 500.
In October 2018, Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) launched a newly restructured printing industry association in Canada. Proposed by its Board of Directors and ratified by its membership this past March, the CPIA intends to operate under a new membership structure to help unify the industry.
In August 2018, Mississauga, Ont., full-service label manufacturer and print agency PRX Print announced it had installed the Mark Andy Digital One, an investment it says will result in 50-percent growth. PRX Print Owner and Co-founder Debbie Gilbert researched a variety of digital label printing technologies and product offerings, and her search led her to the recently launched Mark Andy Digital One hybrid label press.
In July 2018, Jason Lisi was appointed the new Chair of Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM), a leading graphic communications school with 640 full-time students and 30 full- and part-time faculty and staff.
Toronto, Ontario-based Significans Automation Inc., a newly formed global professional services company that formerly operated as Myrpress Consulting Inc., has launched its prepress custom workflowautomation solutions.
Domtar has been present in the Canadian pulp-and-paper market for more than 150 years, producing such iconic brands as Windsor Offset, Plainfield Opaque, Cornwall Coated Card, and Luna Coated and in more recent years Cougar, Lynx, Husky and EarthChoice.
Karl Belafi Jr. / Vice President / KBR Graphics Canada / Laval, QuébecKBR Graphics in mid-2016 moved its primary operations into a new modern facility in Laval, Quebec. The move came as the company was celebrating its 40th year in business, as one of Canada’s most respected and important technology distributors.
After being elected head of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative (PC) Party on March 10, Doug Ford now stands to become Premier of Ontario if his party wins the June 7 provincial election. “Our focus will be on straightening out the finances of this province,” he said, two days after his leadership victory. “We’re going to reduce hydro rates, start attracting high-paying jobs... and make this the most-prosperous region of North America.”
Starting up a new 240,000-square-foot facility in late 2017, Jay Mandarino continues to push The CJ Group toward becoming Canada’s largest commercial printing operation, featuring a range of innovations.Jay Mandarino in March 2017 began his largest business venture in what has been a storied printing career that began as CJ Graphic Images – a brokerage proprietorship – 38 years ago in the basement of his parents’ home. Since opening his first press location in downtown Toronto in 1985, Mandarino has been on a steady path of growth toward becoming one Canada’s largest independent commercial printing operations.Growing through acquisition, as well as by organic sales and technological investments, Mandarino took a major step toward his goal in 2014 with the purchase of a 65,000-square-foot plant, adding to two facilities controlled by what had been renamed as The CJ Group of Companies (CJG) to reflect holding more than 30 businesses. In late 2014, Mandarino pegged CJG as a $30 million operation and described his ambition to reach toward $100 million in annual revenue. Over the past 15 years alone, CJG has made more than 15 acquisitions, including the recent additions of Prime Imaging, Artwords and TPS (2014); publishing entity SBC Media (2015); and Clixx, one of the top mailing facilities in Canada, Artistic Die Cutting and Annan & Sons (2017).In January of last year, Mandarino concluded the sale of three CJG buildings, accounting for approximately 145,000 square feet of space on 4.5 acres of land in Etobicoke, Ontario. That real-estate deal was reinvested in CJG’s new 240,000-square-foot plant, situated on eight acres, just 10 minutes away in Mississauga. “We had the opportunity to sell our three other buildings for very good money… I could of put the money in the bank and retired, but what am I going to do,” says Mandarino, President and CEO of CJG, who recently turned 57. “Two hundred and twenty people work here now and they have families.”The move to CJG’s new Hensall Circle location began in March 2017 and ultimately involved more than 200 tractor-trailer loads, not to mention regular runs by the company’s two 5-tonne trucks and two vans. By fall 2017, CJG began operating out of the facility, today easily one of Canada’s largest commercial printing plants. “We are about $45 million right now,” says Mandarino, reaffirming his commitment to continue growing. “And now we have the capacity and the facility to do it.”Offset innovationsMandarino estimates the capital investment in CJG’s new facility to be more than $30 million. The cost of the building alone was just under $16 million and renovations came in at around $5.5 million, with additional moving costs of approximation $1 million. CJG also made major equipment investments that conservatively reach above $8 million. Mandarino estimates around a third of CJG’s revenue is generated through 41-inch sheetfed offset presses, which is a relatively low number compared to other lithography-rooted shops – hinting at the diversity of CJG’s current operations. “People are looking for one-stop shopping,” he says, pointing to CJG’s range of services like screen printing, large- and small-format digital, traditional foil stamping and embossing, digital foil stamping and embossing, traditional and laser die cutting, fulfillment and distribution, and mailing and marketing services. The company is currently in the process of setting up a car-wrap department within a couple of bays at the building’s front-right corner. “We also have an Innovation Division now dealing with holographic displays and virtual readers. We have some very creative people working here and we are very blessed.” CJG’s lithography was boosted in November 2017 with a new 6-colour Heidelberg XL 106, adding to its existing line-up of two 6-colour XL straight presses and two 20-inch offset machines. “The XLs just produce so much. One XL is like two old CDs,” says Mandarino. CJG’s new XL 106 is equipped with an Anilox AQ coater and Inpress Control, which Mandarino is directing toward Heidelberg’s new Push To Stop operating philosophy. Push To Stop allows a press to initiate a series of print jobs that are properly queued by Prinect software, which also relies on the new Press Center XL 2 console, Intellistart 2 and assistance systems like Intelliguide. Depending on ink lay-down and imposition, print jobs can run consistently without operator intervention. The technology platform can leverage colour management tools to reach specified Delta levels and tagging systems in the press delivery. “The new technology is unbelievable, Push To Stop – the ability to set inline spectrophotometry and recalibrate sheets, how it is done automatically at 18,000 sheets an hour. The press operators love it,” says Mandarino. “It is the way the industry is going and we do a lot of similar jobs in different industries that we specialize in, so it is not a problem.” CJG also invested in Inpress and Push To Stop controls to retrofit its second XL press, while the third XL is being equipped with UV.Digital innovationsAs its new offset press was being added at Hensall Circle, CJG was also installing two fully loaded Xerox iGen 5 presses, as well as an Epic CTi-635 inline coating system equipped with a C.P. Bourg BSFE-x sheet feeder. The new Epic technology allows for spot and overall aqueous and UV coatings, while the iGen 5s can produce matte toner, run 24-point stock, and achieve up to 93 percent of reproducible PMS colours – with orange, blue, green, white dry and clear dry. “They are very unique machines. They have the newest technology in the sense that they have opaque white, which is amazing especially if you are going to print on black stocks,” says Mandarino. “We have a lot of clients who are still very, very fussy and they want that specific PMS colour and we are so close now. We actually changed over about 20 percent of our clients who were doing traditional litho stationery to digital.” In February, CJG finished upgrading one of its Xerox presses to run gold and silver metallic. The facility also holds six large-format machines: Fujifilm’s Uvistar, Acuity HS, and Onset X3, as well as investments in Agfa’s Jeti Tauro H2500 LED with ABF, Jeti Ceres RTR3200 LED, and Jeti Titan HS with FTR. In April, CJG was scheduled to add a seventh machine in Agfa’s 10-foot Tauro 3300 with full automation.The Tauro H2500 is a 100-inch wide hybrid LED UV printer with an integrated roll-to-roll system. It is designed to reach speeds of up to 2,960 square feet per hour and can feed a range of media including corrugated board. The Tauro’s automated board feeder (ABF) can process up to four boards automatically and its white ink capability expands applications to backlit POP or for using white as a spot colour. CJG’s new Jeti Ceres RTR3200 LED, aimed at higher-quality work, reaches speeds of up to 2,002 square feet per hour. The 126-inch-wide, roll-to-roll system provides six colours plus white to enhance the opacity and boost colour contrast.The Hensall Circle facility also holds one of North America’s most advanced digital finishing departments after CJG in 2015 installed North America’s first Scodix Ultra Pro with Scodix Foil. The system is designed for producing cost-effective foil with run lengths from one up to 10,000, enhancing a range of products like packaging, brochures, business cards, invitations and book covers. This Scodix purchase came a week after CJG announced its Canada-first acquisition of a Highcon Euclid II+ system, described as the first fully digital cutting and creasing machine for converting paper, labels, folding carton and micro-flute. It incorporates Highcon’s patented Digital Adhesive Rule Technology (DART) and polymers to produce creases, as well as high-speed laser optics to cut a range of substrates.“It takes a while to build up the market for it, there is no question, but I can tell you we have two major accounts – one out of the U.S. and one out of the UK – because of those machines,” says Mandarino. “We are looking at upgrading to the [Highcon] Beam now, which does, I think, 5,000 sheets an hour – we are doing 1,200 to 1,500 now – to get into some bigger packaging runs.”The Scodix and Highcon sit across from each other in a dedicated room filled with unique print samples, which are in fact a common sight throughout the entire Hensall Circle facility. “We are very sales driven and we have always invested in technology and it has made us successful,” says Mandarino. “You have to find new stuff all of the time.”
Roy Oomen / HP Indigo Category Manager, North America / HP Inc. / Atlanta, GeorgiaWhat stands out about the Indigo 20000 in terms of capabilities for digital packaging?RO: I think what stands out about the Indigo technology, in general, is the one-shot process on the packaging presses, and the same on the label presses. That means all of the colours are built up on rotation on a blanket and transferred in one pass. With most print processes you have multiple passes for the colours and the material may actually be contorting or changing because of temperature or whatever. We transfer all of those colours in one pass.Why is Pack Ready important for HP’s packaging interests?RO: We found a way to combine HP ElectroInk and laminate it to a piece of material, without an adhesive, and achieve a really high bond. And by the way, achieve it instantaneously. We call it zero cure time. What typically happens in flexible packaging whether you are laminating a water-based or solvent-free or solvent-based sheet, you have a wait time that can be anywhere from a day, a day and a half, all the way up to five days.How does the 20000 address spot colours and how important is ElectroInk White?RO: With the Indigo 20000, we had two stations of white ink feeding into one ink tank because there is so much white ink being utilized… As far as ElectroInk and spot colours, it is really no different than any other Indigo digital press model. Most customers will often run orange and or violet on say 20 or 15 percent of their jobs. The great majority runs are on a four-colour process and when there is a need for a specific spot colour we have the ability to mix that and so we can achieve 97 percent of the Pantone book… The system also has a spectrophotometer – as do all of the Series 4 presses, 12000, 20000 and Indigo 30000 – and we leverage that to make sure we maintain consistency. Most of the time when we have flexo printers come in [to HP’s Atlanta facility] they are blown away by the capabilities… There are just things we can do with photographic images, highlights, drop shadows and things of that nature that are very hard for them to do in flexography.Can the 20000 leverage HP’s Enhanced Productivity Mode, with CMY printing?RO: I worked with the narrow-web series at the very first beta site of Enhanced Productivity Mode, going back to an older generation of presses, and 20000 is no different. From my point of view, it is probably a capability that our customers could leverage even more… When you compare three and four colours, it is a 33 percent productivity increase. It is significant and all Series 4 presses have it.What impact has the Indigo 30000 press already made on the folding-carton sector?RO: I did the beta-launch agreements on the 30000, so I am familiar with it… We seem to do really well in a couple of areas: health and beauty, and pharmaceutical, so a lot of cartons where you can get at least a 4-up on a B2 press sheet. And we have also seen a lot of adoption in the speciality-card business, loyalty cards, financial cards. We have a number of customers who have added second units, but in the beginning our customers had to learn a lot. In many cases, these were brand-new customers who were getting their first digital press.What growth does HP see in the packaging sector when it comes to digital printing?RO: We typically look at print volumes and I can tell you they are growing rapidly… When you look at the statements that Alon Bar-Shany [VP and GM of HP Indigo] has made, our vision is that label and packaging will become about half of our business and we are on this quest to become a multiple-billion-dollar business unit.Our investment is deep… and you will see us continue to expand. For instance, I never thought we would be at a point where we could do retortable packaging, which we have been able to achieve now on the Indigo 20000 with specialty coating. It is very demanding flexible packaging. Our customers see this investment from HP. Our expectations around packaging are high and that goes for all of the packaging markets – corrugated, flexible packaging, folding carton.
One year ago Canadian Sean Springett became Chief Executive Officer of Manroland Sheetfed GmbH’s North American subsidiaries, based in Chicago, Illinois, and Vaughan, Ontario. Springett, age 43, joined Manroland Sheetfed in 2008 and served as VP of Sales & Marketing for both the U.S. and Canada before taking on his current position. Manroland Sheetfed, a subsidiary of privately owned UK engineering group Langley Holdings plc., has been a leader in the paperboard sector of printing for decades. With the growing focus on carton work, because of its stability relative to some eroding commercial markets, Springett spoke with PrintAction about the direction of this sector and its domination by sheetfed offset technologies.How can commercial printers enter carton?SS: I would suggest using caution is prudent, especially since the landscape is evolving through consolidation in the packaging segment.  I can only speak to how I have seen this transition occur in the past and, at best, the migration to package printing from commercial is a gradual event. A commercial printer must consider their existing niche served and what aptitude and skill-sets they already have that can be put to good work in making a leap, or dipping their proverbial toes in the packaging arena. Major and medium players in packaging are highly skilled and tooled. If a commercial printer is attempting to compete in the volume business, they need to retool their factory, areas like sheeting, structural engineering, die cutting, gluing, and die making is typically more foreign to commercial applications, at least by scale.Are commercial printers focused on packaging growth?SS: I believe a stronger concept in the years prior; the trend was always about complimenting, be it packaging or any number of additional services. We see commercial printers furthering their niches, not often in packaging. I have been amazed at how talented many of the independent commercial operations have been in entrenching themselves with their customers. The evolution of many commercial printers into marketing firms has been a more successful trend in my opinion. The technology advances in IT, the ideology of print being a compliment versus the single primary export of a commercial printer, is intriguing. Many have evolved into a more savvy business model with multiple revenue streams. Couple this with the marriage of sheetfed offset and digital. Whereas digital has crept into what was considered traditional offset, the newest sheetfed offset technology is creeping into what was always regarded as short-run digital.What is the complexion of today’s short-run carton market?SS: The ideology of volume versus short run is almost dismissive in regards to larger packaging firms. Many of them, whether global, national or an independent viscerally defend the market space regardless of run specifics. The larger firms equip themselves to handle the shorter runs but often struggle with big business problems where some of the smaller independents shine in this arena. This is the space a smaller independent packaging house or a commercial printer can capitalize on.What type of automation do you need to focus on short-run carton?SS: It is less about the individual process of the equipment and more about the overall operation of a system. In today’s terms, it’s about transparent productivity. The ability to measure the performance of the asset, being a sheetfed offset press and determine how to optimize the performance... the ability to provide the information is less important compared to being able to disseminate it and help the printer improve productivity and fully utilize the asset.What market activities are driving folding-carton work?SS: Predominately food products for the folding-carton market, with increased demand for convenience-oriented products for the volume side of the business. Increased demand for bespoke-oriented products such as cosmetics and specialty products has caused the B1 format to see an increase in sales.  Are packaging press sales growing or is it more a decline in commercial press sales?SS: When new offset high-performance equipment becomes operational, optioned and equipped to the highest automation level, I believe we will see a little more offset in the digital sphere. At the same token, new offset and new digital can do the work of two or three of its predecessors. By sheer economics, press sales will decline regardless; I favour the opinion that our market is far more variable in nature. How far off is inkjet from making an impact on short-run carton?SS: Speed is the Achilles’ heel of inkjet. In order for inkjet to gain a more mainstream focus, it will need to increase the sheets per hour and continue to economize the ink costs.
Cimpress is the world leader in the mass customization of a growing number of print products like business cards, signage, apparel, promotional items, photobooks and packaging. It is the parent company of Vistaprint, with its manufacturing crown jewel in Windsor, Ont., and more than 20 other online brands employing some 10,000 people in 20 countries.Mitchell Leiman joined Cimpress more than a year ago to lead the company’s global development. PrintAction spoke with Leiman, Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development, to better understand Cimpress’ new operating structure and its powerful printing platform. Why did Cimpress decentralize and how did this affect last year’s operating loss? ML: The decentralization and reorganization was a really a no-brainer for us. We saw the benefits of these changes to allow us to be even more entrepreneurial, innovative, customer-focused, agile. Even though in the short term it impacted financial results we felt it was so much better for the company and our customers in the long run. Another big factor that drove the reported loss, a bigger factor than restructuring, was our investments. We had historically high levels of investment in the business and that’s been a multi-year trend, because of the huge opportunities we see in the markets where we play... That was a big part of what led to the reported loss in our fiscal year 17.Why was the acquisition of National Pen an important investment?ML: National Pen [acquired for approximately US$218 million in December 2016] relates to our desire to accelerate efforts in promotional products. For many years, we have started selling more and more promotional products and it is a great opportunity for the mass customization concept to really take hold in how we approach the business, both from selling and manufacturing... But most of our investments are organic, essentially investing in the current operations.Where has Cimpress made most of its organic investments recently?ML: We continue to of ourselves as a technology company, whether it is on the frontend of our business, the selling, the Website, the experience of the customer in designing on the Website, whether it is in Vistaprint or some of our other brands… a lot of technology is facilitating the manufacturing of our goods. Windsor is really the crown jewel of our manufacturing and there is a tremendous amount of technology investment related to production and more recently software that drives our business... to specific machinery and automation. Technology is a big part of our investment.We continue to invest in new business models and [infrastructure] in countries like Brazil, India, China and Japan, so this is another area of organic investment. We have investments in what we call Vistaprint Corporate, working with larger customers and helping them to set up dedicated Websites that have their own branding and templates preconfigured. And maybe the last area is in new products. The breadth of products that we are trying to play in is ever expanding. Our strength is the mass customization capabilities both in selling and helping customers design, as well as making transactions.                                                   How is technology investment enhancing Cimpress’ customer experience?ML: One example is, if you upload a picture, we are getting better and better at instantaneously telling you that maybe the picture isn’t of good enough quality. Or better yet, we will automatically just fix it for you and you may not even know it as a consumer... we want to have technology to make the customer experience that much better, as well as improve the efficiency of how we are able to do things.Why is Cimpress still a unique company in the printing world after 20-plus years?ML: The way we think about competition is not necessarily [with regard to] another big player like Cimpress. It is the thousands of smaller companies that are very focused on a particular customer segment or geography... There are a lot of great companies and certainly many have tried to integrate – and a lot with great successes – some of the things we do well. A concept like ganging, for example, was very innovative when we were first doing it and now it is more common practice. [Print] is a very competitive space and they push us hard. What keeps us successful and unique is the decentralization that has allowed us to stay small as we get big. The benefit is that we are somewhat able to emulate those smaller companies in a way where we try to keep our businesses manageable and focused… On the other hand, we are able to leverage our scale and do business in a way that is really hard to replicate for all sorts of reasons. One example is our mass customization platform and that really allows our businesses to have distinct identities to work very seamlessly together... There are ways when it is very advantageous for us to still operate as a single entity. Even if we are trying to fight off being too big of a fish now, we are a school of fish that swims together.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD), a provider of multichannel solutions for marketing and business communications, has introduced Digicom, a new solution designed to transform catalogues, circulars and flyers into interactive, shoppable experiences across Web, mobile and email channels.
With increasingly strict and regionally variable regulation of printing inks for food packaging, printers have been required to use a variety of inks in order to meet regulatory demands for European and North American markets.
X-Rite describes its new eXact Auto-Scan as a versatile scanning solution that combines the portability of a handheld spectrophotometer with the speed of an automated scanning system to help offset print environments minimize makeready time and waste.
CGS-ORIS has announced it will begin selling Barbieri North America colour management measuring devices, including the Spectro LFP qb spectrophotometer, to complement its colour management software solutions. Barbieri explains the fully automatic Spectro LFP qb will help open possibilities to measure reflection and transmission media using different measurement apertures.
Electronics For Imaging says its latest digital front end (DFE) technology, EFI Fiery FS350 Pro software, will give graphic arts professionals more power, productivity and versatility in digital printing.
Techkon has introduced the New Generation SpectroPlate, describing it as a high-resolution digital microscope that measures dot percentage, screen angles, lines per inch/cm, dot gain and AM, FM or Hybrid Screens of traditional offset or process-less, chemistry-free printing plates.
One year after its market launch, the Heidelberg Assistant digital platform is now operating in more than 400 print shops in the pilot markets of Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. The rollout in Japan, Poland and Austria has also started, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) says.
KNF has introduced new micro gas pump NMP830 HP for OEM customers, boasting “outstanding high flow, pressure, and suction performance in a compact size.”
Next month in Paris, EyeC GmbH will present two off-line inspection systems for pharmaceutical packaging and print sample testing at Pharmapack 2019: the EyeC Proofiler 400 DT Enhanced for print samples up to 317 x 470 mm and the EyeC Proofiler 600 DT for print samples up to 630 x 469 mm.
Rochester Software Associates (RSA), a provider of production print workflow software solutions for in-plant and corporate print centres, is offering its latest version of WebCRD web-to-print software. V10.3 is shipping now and includes: drag and drop file uploads for faster ordering; document preflight alerts that detect and alert production about common file issues; digital download feature to offer and track digital services and items using the WebCRD catalogue; and additional integrations with external systems, including print procurement and shipping systems.
Onyx Graphics has announced the global availability of Onyx 18.5 software, the latest version release of the company’s wide- and grand-format RIP software. Onyx 18.5 software builds upon the Onyx 18 version, as the first wide-format RIP solution with Adobe PDF Print Engine 5.1 (APPE 5.1), the company explains.
Leibinger has developed a new security ink designed to be quickly and cost-effectively integrated into packaging lines to help protect against product piracy. Suitable for use in the Leibinger JET3up PI – an inkjet printer that codes product packaging made of plastic, cardboard and even glass or tins – at first glance, the ink looks like a classic black ink but under a special UV-light, tiny fluorescent pigments begin to glow greenish.
Asahi Photoproducts describes its new AFP-BFTH plate as the only FlatTop flexographic plate with Clean Transfer Technology on the market, designed to facilitate kiss touch printing pressure. This new plate, available in hard, aims to fit seamlessly into any workflow and requires no special equipment, the company explains.
Xerox announced during its 2019 Investor Day that it has acquired Vader Systems, a Getzville, New York-based metal additive manufacturing company. The company explains the acquisition will allow it to offer low-cost metal additive manufacturing with more metals to its customers.
Bobst says it will present new label and packaging production based on “pioneering technology.” Together with Revo Partners and Mouvent, Bobst will host an open house in Florence, Italy, during the first week of April.
At the 2019 HP Indigo Global VIP Event, taking place February 11 to 14, 2019, Michelman will showcase DigiGuard 901 for the Pack Ready for Labels solution, boasting water, chemical and thermal durability.
Kodak today announced the Prosper Plus Imprinting Solution, the newest Kodak Stream Inkjet Technology component product line designed for packaging and product decoration applications.
The Acuity LED 40 series with instant-on LED curing is the newest addition to Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division’s Acuity platform.
The new Roland DGA DGSHAPE DE-3 rotary engraver boasts advanced laser-pointing technology, ethernet connectivity, automatic depth regulation, and other intelligent enhancements for enhanced performance.
Durst, a manufacturer of digital printing and production technologies, has launched the Tau 330 RSC E UV inkjet single-pass press for small and medium converters in the mid-tier market.
Roland DGA has released its first direct-to-garment printer for on-demand personalization, the VersaSTUDIO BT-12, that can print directly on cotton-based products.
Mutoh America describes its new DH-21 dye-sublimation ink as a high-load performance ink designed to achieve high-density colours with less ink consumption.
This May swissQprint will present a new dedicated roll-to-roll printer at FESPA in Munich, Germany. Technical specifications for the new product will be kept under wraps until the grand reveal at the tradeshow. The UV roll-to-roll printer will be called Karibu, the company says, and will complement the existing swissQprint flatbed range.
Cutting plotter manufacturer Summa is introducing two new sizes of its finishing flatbed systems: the F3232 and F3220. Leveraging the technology of the Summa F Series, the new flatbeds are expected to be ready for shipment between February-April 2019.
Scodix has announced the commercial launch of the Scodix Ultra 101 and the Scodix Ultra 202 digital enhancement presses.
Rollem describes the Champion SS as the industry’s “top choice” to kiss-cut labels and pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) materials. Able of slitting liner stocks with “100-percent accuracy” at speeds up to 26,000 sph, the system boasts a simple setup that doesn’t require skilled labour.
At Hunkeler Innovationdays 2019, Hunkeler Systems AG will present three new developments: the cutting modules SSM-570, the HDDS 20 as well as the compact suction system HKU 2000-N.
Intec Printing Solutions has introduced the ColorFlare CF350 and CF750 as part of the ColorFlare range of lamination and foiling equipment. Recently unveiled at The Print Show UK and Print 18, the ColorFlare CF350 and CF750 are scheduled to begin shipping this month.
Colter & Peterson says it has created a safe, online resource for customers to browse and purchase paper cutting systems, called CutterMart. 
Harris & Bruno International has announced Remote Support is now a standard feature on every ExcelCoat offline/inline coater for UV & AQ.
Millennials are being hailed by marketers as the largest consumer generation in history. There are roughly 9.8 million of them in Canada, and they make 33 percent of our online purchases, according to 2017 Canada Post research.
Designed to add creativity and enhanced functionality to direct mail marketing applications, Mactac Distributor Products has introduced MacMail.
Ontario-based Rotoflex has debuted the Rotoflex DF3, a configurable offline digital finishing and converting solution designed to complement digital, non-hybrid label presses without inline converting functionality. As well, the DF3 intends to eliminate the need for single-application embellishment units.
Quad/Graphics in March introduced a new technology platform for testing direct marketing designed to lift response rates, increase reliability and shorten time to market.
Barometric Direct Mail has released a new solution designed to holistically track and measure the effectiveness of direct mail in driving both online and offline conversions. Using its propriety Device Graph, Barometric explains it is able to track direct mail and match it to consumer engagement and conversion with the brand, without the need to capture user data, use tracking codes, or create custom URLs.
Memjet in June announced that Neopost has incorporated Memjet’s printing technology into its MACH 6 digital colour thick media printer for mailing, printing and packaging applications.
Mitchell Press is the only Canadian printing company out of 13 winners recognized in the 2018 Kodak Sonora Plate Green Leaf Award. The program, now in its sixth year, celebrates print service providers that adopt sustainable practices and offer their customers eco-friendly options for their printing needs.
Thunderbird Press of Richmond, B.C., has switched to chemistry-free Azura plates in a move to achieve greener outcomes as part of Agfa Graphics GreenWorks, a program that accredits environmentally sustainable North American print service providers.
HP today unveiled its framework, The Personalization Pinwheel, to help brand owners tap into the growing personalization market. Informed by insights from more than 45 million online conversations across the globe, the framework hones in on what motivates consumers to personalize – from photo books to magazine covers to consumer packaged goods – and how brands can capitalize on those motivations.
FleishmanHillard HighRoad recently released Tech Trends 2019: The Fads. The Fears. The Future., a new report offering insights and predictions for the technology industry with an analysis of one billion tech-focused consumer conversations on Twitter between 2017 and 2018, along with insights from more than 25 technology thought leaders from around the world.
Geography has made Friesens, one of North America’s leading book, yearbook and packaging manufacturers, especially creative at recruiting new candidates for the printing workforce.
This is the fourth instalment in my series, The top 5 ways to talk yourself out of a sale. Today’s topic is Making it all about price — which you hopefully don’t do. I hear many complaints from print salespeople that buyers who only care about price. Sadly, some of the blame lies with the salespeople and printing companies. One of my early sales trainers had a favourite expression, that he or she who mentions price first, loses. In my experience, too many printing salespeople are guilty of that selling sin.
A new report on the global paper, packaging and forest products industry compiled by Moody’s Investor Service says the outlook for next year has been changed to stable from positive, based on lower-than-expected earnings.
Canadian printing companies The Printing House and Mitchell Press are two of the three most forest-friendly printers in the 2018 Blueline Ranking, a comprehensive assessment of the environmental performance of North American printers published by Canopy, a global environmental not-for-profit.
This is the third instalment in my series on The top 5 ways to talk yourself out of a sale. The topic for today is Pitching versus Storytelling. The official rules of baseball describe a pitch as a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher. In North American slang though, we often refer to the words a salesperson uses to try to get someone to buy something as a sales pitch, and it is usually not considered a complimentary term.
In my last column, I started a series on The top 5 ways to talk yourself out of a sale. As you may remember, they are:
At Kicking Horse Coffee in Invermere, B.C., new team members – affectionately known as ‘Green Beans’ – are set up with a different lunch buddy every day of their first week so they can connect with different colleagues.
Earlier this year Amarula Cream Liqueur released a special edition bottle collection with its well-known elephant branding individualized by HP Indigo digital printing. The first stage of the ‘Name Them, Save Them’ campaign raised awareness of the African elephant as an endangered species by letting consumers visit a virtual African savannah where they could design and name a one-of-a-kind African elephant. In turn, these consumer-produced designs were used to decorate individualized labels on 400,000 Amarula bottles — one bottle for every African elephant still surviving in the wild.
2018 wrapped up great for industrial markets — process, discrete and hybrids. While growth will be strong in pockets, my personal advice for companies would be to prepare for an overall soft 2019. This is primarily driven by factors such as geopolitical uncertainty, market volatility, widening skill gaps, and dynamic shifts in demand models.
“Humans build culture – and, by extension, brands – primarily through telling stories. That’s how we make sense of the world and of ourselves: Storytelling. It’s innate. And since the dawn of capitalism, we’ve been telling stories to sell ourselves and our brands too,” said Peter Grossman of Quora in an August 2018 interview with Forbes.
Malcolm Gladwell’s 2008 bestseller Outliers garnered worldwide attention, posing the argument that successful people needed more than brains, ambition, hustle and hard work to reach the top. Gladwell reasoned they also needed luck. Using various examples such as Bill Gates’ access to a university computer or the Beatles 10,000+ hours of practice, Gladwell postulated that luck combined with serendipity played a key role in one’s success.
Digital printing’s introduction sparked colossal change, but it is a drop in the big blue ocean compared to what’s on the horizon. Digital graphics printing, functional printing, and 3D structural printing are the future of printing – covering everything from smart packaging to on-demand manufacturing – and the benefits will be felt across our society.
If you take a drive west from the city of Quebec and cross the St. Lawrence River, you come across an unusual site. Two bridges come into view. The Quebec Bridge (Pont de Quebec) is starkly dissonant from its neighbour only 200 metres to the east. Completed in 1919, it’s a massive steel truss structure with a tragic past. Today it remains the largest cantilever bridge in the world.
It’s true that the digital age has transformed many of our daily tasks and with the proliferation of smartphone apps and voice-activated assistants, it’s easy to think that print is becoming obsolete. However, those working in the industry know the opposite is true and early-movers across Canada are already reaping the benefits.
Standing on the platform of the Stuttgart main station – hair matted against my forehead from the long flight and following train ride, sleep in my eyes, and clutching a packet of papers bearing the familiar red stripes of the Hochschule der Medien logo – I knew things were different.
According to a 2018 Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends survey, 70 percent of consumers choose to receive their most essential communications, such as statements and bills, in print. Contrary to popular belief, in today’s hyper-digital age, the printing industry is still active.
Printed books are on the rise. I was driving home from an appraisal in central New York; it was September 11 and we all have that day etched in our collective consciousness. Bob Woodward was being interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR). What an opportunity to buy his book, which was being released that very day, so I made a quick detour into the picturesque city of Oswego to look for a bookstore.
In our previous blog, The flexible packaging shift, we touched on the rising popularity of short run jobs is an accepted reality in practically all facets of the print industry. However, advances in technology that deliver them efficiently and profitably are still vital — particularly in the flexible packaging sector.
On April 29, 1983, the palm trees were swaying on a warm Florida spring day. At its Melbourne headquarters, Harris Corporation’s senior management let out a huge sigh. After prolonged negotiations they had finally offloaded the massive Web business to a consortium of senior management, led by longtime Web division employee James Pruitt and several bankers.
Contrary to a widespread myth, forest harvesting is not synonymous with deforestation and doesn’t threaten the sustainability of Canadian forests, which are, in fact, under-harvested, according to a new report released by independent public policy think tank The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).

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