Since installing Canada’s first Xerox Iridesse production press in June 2018, PrintPro Digital & Offset Printing has been finding success with its new printing capabilities. Developed to digitally print metallic gold or silver dry ink, CMYK and clear dry ink in a single pass, the new press is expected to help the Winnipeg family-owned and -run company enter new markets, such as packaging. PrintAction spoke with Bhadresh Bhatt about PrintPro’s achievements after installing the Iridesse and the opportunities to come.
From its establishment in 1989, flexible packaging manufacturer Alpha Poly has focused its business on its commitment to customer service and quality, plus the use of up-to-date HD technology. A push for strategic investing led Alpha Poly to install a large 8-colour Miraflex AM from Windmöller & Hölscher in 2013.Then in December 2018, Alpha Poly ushered in a new wave of strategic investment with the installation of a Windmöller & Hölscher Miraflex II 10-colour press. PrintAction spoke with Patrick Kerrigan, President of Alpha Poly and successor to the business’ founder, his father Paul, to discuss this newest installation, his thoughts on the industry and the company’s strategic investment plan.
An integral component of the Canadian Printing Awards is the dedication, expertise and keen eye of the esteemed judging panel. PrintAction spoke with Emily Wong, Associate Analyst, Consumer & Digital Marketing at Penguin Random House Canada and judge for the past six years, for her thoughts on the relevancy of print in an increasingly digital world.
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.”
At Dscoop Edge in March, HP Inc. announced the expansion of HP PrintOS Marketplace, an ideas store designed to inspire HP print service providers to collaborate and innovate, while implementing Industry 4.0 for automated printing.
INX International Ink Co. (booth 5362) will display its entire product line, including INXhrc natural-based and Triangle brand digital inks, when it exhibits for the first time at Graphics Canada in Toronto.
Sign-making software provider Easy Cut Studio has launched Easy Cut Studio version 4.1.0.6, describing it as a user-friendly cutting plotter application that creates vinyl letterings, decals and general signs with vinyl plotters.
Sappi North America, a producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and dissolving wood pulp, said Tuesday its Proto and Spectro paperboard products are available globally for commercial orders in all calipers.
The latest update to the Esko software platform includes ArtPro 64-bit and full plug-in compatibility with Adobe Creative Cloud 2019, including Studio, DeskPack, and Dynamic Content.
Web Design Primer is a new open-source eBook published by the Ryerson University Library by authors Richard Adams, Associate Professor in the School of Graphic Communications Management, and Ahmed Sagarwala, Manager of Industry Relations in the Digital Media Zone (DMZ). The book explains the basics of the HTML and CSS codes used to create web pages, and related technologies including JavaScript, jQuery, audio, video and animation.
X-Rite Incorporated and Pantone LLC in September 2018 announced the launch of ColorCert QA, a pressroom quality assurance software designed to help pressroom personnel manage standards more efficiently, optimize jobs on press and facilitate strong ink room integration.
Aleyant in November 2018 announced the availability of a new version of its production tool, PrintJobManager. With Version 2.0 available now, the company introduces Scheduling Simplified to help print shops of all sizes engage in more intelligent production planning.
Rochester Software Associates (RSA) has announced the availability of a new release of QDirect output management software.
Datalogics has released FLIP2PDF, a tool with a robust API that allows users to convert Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files, images, PostScript, and EPS files into PDFs.
Printing inks provider Siegwerk has joined forces with INGEDE member Stora Enso, a provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper, to improve the deinkability of UV/LED cured prints.
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.
Tetra Pak has launched its connected packaging platform, designed to transform milk and juice cartons into interactive information channels, full-scale data carriers and digital tools.​
Xeikon says it has developed a digital printing solution for pouches that will result in reduced lead times, while also increasing the number of SKUs to better meet the demand from brand owners.
Kornit Digital Americas recently debuted the Kornit Avalanche Poly Pro, calling it the industry’s first digital direct-to-garment system built specifically for polyester and poly-blend substrates, a market that has seen increased popularity due to non-cotton sportswear and athleisure apparel.
Steve Jobs once said, “Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.” Anyone who has purchased an Apple device knows the products are presented in the most premium way. There’s a sense of gravitas to the first opening of the box. While Jobs is correct in noting packaging’s role in the brand experience, it’s also expected to serve functional requirements. Protector, marketer, salesman, environmental steward and, increasingly, digital beacon: The humble package will play a key role in all retail channels going forward.
SPGPrints’ new RSI III – the third generation of its rotary screen printing integration module for label and packaging presses – boasts time, safety and ergonomic innovations for increased production efficiency.
Canon Canada in March introduced the Océ Arizona 1300 series of high-productivity mid-volume UV true flatbed printers, delivering prints up to 568 square feet per hour and high-density prints up to 380 square feet per hour.
Concurrent with the opening of DScoop Edge Orlando, Hybrid Software has released Stepz, a native PDF step & repeat tool for digital label and packaging printing. Derived from the Packz editor tool, Stepz can be customized for the capabilities and requirements of different digital presses and finishing equipment, the company explains.
Manufacturer of green packaging and tissue products Cascades has unveiled its new brand for retail solutions: Cascades IMGN retail solutions.
Whether it’s an event poster, indoor or outdoor signage, vehicle wrap, storefront decal, tradeshow graphic, wall mural or architectural drawing – to name a few – we can find wide-format printing all around us. Also known as large-format printing, it is a print application that remains a top marketing solution. In this report, Simpson Print and PNH Solutions explain how printing companies can leverage wide-format technologies to keep pace with six top marketing trends.
Roland DGA Corporation has launched the VersaUV LEF2-200 20-inch benchtop UV flatbed printer for full-colour graphics and textures, including finishes such as simulated embossing, on a range of materials and objects up to 3.94 inches thick.
Herma US Inc. has introduced the Herma 500 Label Applicator, an IOT-enabled machine that leverages real-time metrics to help optimize production efficiency and consistency in a multi-factory setting.
Xaar has celebrated the ground-breaking technologies of its Xaar 5601 printhead in a special event for over 300 of its U.K. staff. The Xaar 5601, based on the Xaar’s silicon MEMS thin film platform, is the culmination of over eight years of research and development. The technology platform, the company explains, represents a major step forward in digital inkjet printing and has created a foundation for Xaar’s thin film printheads of the future.
Xante says it is making the preparation and printing of mail jobs “more powerful, simpler and much more economical” with iQueue 13, its flagship Adobe PostScript PDF workflow software.
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.
Are you looking for ways to boost response for your print campaigns and achieve a better ROI? Innovations in digital printing have made it easier than ever to personalize your marketing and reach your target audience more effectively. Here’s how variable data printing can help you get there.
I had an interesting exchange of emails recently with a new sales hire at a commercial printing company. “What title should I have on my business card?” he asked. “My boss wants it to be sales representative, but that’s not how I want to be seen. What do you think about print satisfaction specialist?”
For one day only, BuzzFeed pivoted to print publishing. On March 6, the digital media company – known for its quirky ‘listicles,’ pop culture quizzes and investigative reporting – went retro and handed out 20,000 newspapers at Union Square, Penn Station and Herald Square in New York.
When I was a kid, you must need glasses, was a pretty common insult. I remember saying it to other kids, and once to a Little League Baseball umpire. That got me thrown out of the game. It turns out, though, that printing salespeople do need glasses. Specifically, they need rose-coloured bifocals, because success in the modern marketplace requires good near vision, far vision, and a fair share of optimism.
This is the last instalment in my series on The top 5 ways to talk yourself out of a sale. We have covered too much talk/too little listen, too many features/too little benefits, pitching versus storytelling, and making it all about price. Today, the topic is persistence, which is generally considered to be a positive attribute for a print salesperson.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in,” Arianna Huffington, co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, writes in her book, Thrive: The third metric to redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder.
Nestled in downtown Toronto, Ont., Eva’s Phoenix – one of three locations operated by Eva’s Initiatives For Homeless Youth – provides transitional housing for 50 youth, aged 16 to 24 years, for up to a full year. It also houses Eva’s Print Shop, a commercial printer and social enterprise that provides print and graphic arts training and life skills to youth experiencing and at risk of homelessness.
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.
Decades ago our company represented Brandtjen & Kluge stampers and embossing presses in Canada. The Kluge platen press, based on patents dating back to 1860, has managed to outlast everyone, including original inventors George Gordon and Chandler & Price. During the 1960s as letterpress quickly disappeared from printing plants, Kluge, who made its name in 1919 with an automatic platen feeder device, refused to go quietly and embarked on a road of re-engineering the iconic Gordon platen and re-emerged in the specialty segment long utilized but starving for a better and easier way of production — hot foil stamping and embossing.
In the sleepy Ohio town of Niles, brothers Alfred and Charles Harris owned a small jewellery store. The year was 1890 and after several blunders, including an ill-fated attempt inventing an automatic nail-feeder, both swore off any more financial fiascos. The 1972 book The Harris Story tells us what happened next. It seems Charles couldn’t help himself when he got to talking to the next-door neighbour — the owner of the Niles Independent newspaper. Mr. Smith boasted he had just purchased a new state-of-the-art cylinder printing press that was still fed by a boy.
Sharing stories is one of the most – if not the most – innate forms of communication; the retelling of experiences and narratives as a means of inspiring thought-provoking perspectives, teaching life lessons and connecting people.
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.

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