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Thursday, 18 March 2010

Ryerson GCM students have won the Grand Prize Helmut Kipphan Cup for top overall student research publication at the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) Conference. Ryerson has won the Cup for the second time in three years.

The submitted publication consists of 160 pages of student-researched papers covering a range of graphic arts-related topics such as security printing, halftone dots, and ink tack on process colour printing. The document was judged for student research, writing, and graphic arts production.

Twelve students from the Ryerson TAGA Student Chapter went down to San Diego for the 62nd Annual Technical Conference to present the project along with faculty members Martin Habekost and Jason Lisi. Habekost and Lisi also made presentations at the conference.

The Kipphan Cup is named after Professor Helmut Kipphan, Head of Advanced and Future Technologies at Heidelberg.

The team had industry support from Lowe-Martin, the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen, Webcom, Fujifilm, York Bindery and Imation. To view the ryeTAGA submission, it is available online at  www.ryetaga.com.
Monday, 15 March 2010

Boehmer Box of Kitchener, Ontario has installed a new 56" KBA Rapida 142 press as part of a large investment in upgrading its equipment for carton packaging. The machine has six colour units, a coater, and KBA's board package.

“Over the past year, we have invested close to $10 million in our facility as we continued to post a 20 percent increase in sales,” says Mark Caines, President and Chief Operating Officer of Boehmer Box. “Our new KBA Rapida 142 56-inch six-colour press is an essential part of the investment. We needed a new press that would provide the automation, fast make-ready, colour fidelity, and ability to easily integrate with our robust prepress department as well as our unique FM6 expanded colour printing technology. Our plan is to run this press to capacity where it will be operating 24/7 along with our existing 56-inch press. We’ll be much more efficient in make-ready and turnaround times because our new KBA press is running 45 percent faster than the press it is replacing.”

In addition to the Rapida as part of the $10 million investment is a new workflow system, various pieces of die cutting equipment along with an associated die-making facility, and a new Agfa Dotrix industrial inkjet printer were added. Among the goals stated by Caines is the ability to produce packaging runs as low as 5,000 copies.

The KBA press includes the Densitronic Pro system which allows direct measurements of colour (ink density as well as spectral and colourmetric values), dot gains, and trapping from the printed image. Variances are adjusted through a direct link to ink key controls. The Rapida has a top speed of 15,000 sheets per hour and features fully automatic plate changes.

Boehmer Box has 270 employees in its new 320,000 square foot facility in Kitchener, Ontario. The company was founded in 1874 and produces up to 700 million cartons a year.
Monday, 08 March 2010


Lithocolor Services, a printer out of Brampton Ontario, has installed a new HP Indigo 3500 press. The new Indigo replaces an older model the company has operated.

“Our clients are looking for higher quality and in a shorter period of time,” said Ray Renaud, President. “Our earlier experience with the HP Indigo Digital Press was very positive and we were excited to invest in the newer model to give our clients the best quality and speed possible.”

Lithocolor operates out of a 20,000-square-foot facility which includes a bindery. Founded in 1978, Lithocolor produces work for a variety of sectors, including retail, pharmaceutical and financial. It also handles fulfillment and mail handling for its clients.

The Indigo 3500 has a maximum print area of 12.1 by 17.7-inches and prints as seven colours at speeds up to 68 pages per minute.

Tuesday, 02 March 2010


Heidelberg Canada President Richard Armstrong confirms Mississauga facility will stay open despite major restructuring efforts that will see marketing and other aspects move south.

Heidelberg Canada, faced with what it describes as "continued weak demand," has made considerable cuts to staff and states it will only be closing the demonstration area within its facility on Kenway Drive in Mississauga.

In an interview with PrintAction this morning, Armstrong declined to comment on the specific number of jobs that will be cut at Heidelberg Canada with the restructuring, "I don't want to get into the numbers, but we have let go a considerable number of people.

"Primary areas that have been affected are administration, marketing, and product management, and areas [where] we can share resources around between the countries. We've made some reductions, but we've tried to keep the number of service people still strong."

Press demonstrations, as a result, will be handled through its Atlanta facility, which is larger. According to Armstrong the rest of the facility, which also houses a substantial warehouse, will continue to operate and the company structure will remain unchanged, with Heidelberg Canada remaining a distinct entity.

When asked about the rationale behind the restructuring, Armstrong said it was a move to maintain profitability: "The way I see the market out there, we've got the economy at work which has really curtailed the amount of capital equipment that's being purchased, which has impacted us. Also, I see the future having a demand for less machines, primarily due to the fact that the number of printed sheets in sheetfed [which] I don't see it growing. But I do see that the productivity of our machines, and our competitor's machines, have really doubled in the last decade, so the sheer mass of printing machines and various other machines is going to be less. So we're trying to prepare ourselves for a different type of future."

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Packaging Association challenged the packaging industry on environmental innovation in a full-day event in Toronto called the PAC Green Den.

Seventeen packaging companies presented new environmental concepts to a panel of three environmental experts which included: Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of TerraCycle, Glena Gies, Executive Director of Waste Diversion Ontario; and Daniel Normandin, Executive Director of Le CIRAIG - LCA Institute.

In the style of TV's Dragon's Den, in which inventors bring their ideas to a panel of potential investors and are then critiqued, each product at PAC's Green Den received a thorough analysis from each panelist, who pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of each offering.

Products presented included a new type of reusable produce bag, improvements on plastic bottle design and even new polymers. At the end of the day, the audience, comprised of packaging companies and brand owners alike, were allowed to vote on innovations they felt were the most interesting.

Norampac was the overall winner of the audience voting with the presentation of a new water-repellent non-wax coating which allows for greater recyclability of boxes. Second place went to Conwed Global Netting Solutions, who presented a reusable, breathable, produce bag. Third place went to Hood Packaging, which presented an economical, bio-friendly, flexible packaging.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Action Comics #1, one of the rarest comic books in existence, has fetched the record US$1 million at auction, which more than doubles the previous record for a comic book.

Issue #1 of Action Comics marks the first appearance of Superman, and was first published in April 1938 (as a June issue) for a cover price of 10 cents. The auction was conducted by online company ComicConnect.com, which was sold to an anonymous New York-based buyer just one minute after the auction was posted.

The issue in question was graded by an independent firm called CGC, which gave the book a rank of 8.0 out of a possible score of 10. Even minor imperfections, damage, or even restoration efforts can drastically lower a value of a vintage comic book.

Superman was created by American Jerry Siegel and Canadian Joe Shuster. It is estimated that only 100 copies of the original run of Action Comics #1 remain today (there have been numerous reprints), and few can be categorized as 8.0 (very fine) or higher.

CNN Money: Superman comic sells for record $1 million

Tuesday, 09 February 2010

The Board of Directors at Agfa-Gevaert has named Christian Reinaudo to succeed Jo Cornu at the post of CEO. Cornu announced his intention to leave the post after April 27, 2010.

Julien De Wilde, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, "Jo Cornu has taken the position of CEO on December 1, 2007 under very difficult circumstances. He has lead Agfa-Gevaert through the economic crisis and has put the company back on track. Agfa-Gevaert now has a strong management team, a clear strategy, a better cost structure and a significantly lower level of debt."

Cornu will continue to have a role at Agfa by joining its Board of Directors after leaving the CEO post.

Reinaudo, 55, is currently the President of Agfa-Gevaert's health care division. He joined the company in late 2008 from his long-time involvement at Alcatel. Christian Reinaudo occupied a number of important positions in the Alcatel Group, such as President of the Optics Business Group, President of Alcatel in Asia Pacific and President of Alcatel for Northern andEastern Europe. He is is a graduate from the "Ecole de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de Paris "and holds a doctorate from the University of Paris.
Tuesday, 09 February 2010

The Globe and Mail has announced special Olympic coverage taking the form of a Sunday edition in the Vancouver region. During those weeks, the paper will become the only 7-day daily in the province.

"The Olympic Winter Games will be an historic moment for Canada and also for The Globe and Mail as we publish a Sunday edition for the first time in our history," said Phillip Crawley, Publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail.

The paper will also boost its staff at its B.C. bureau from 16 to more than 50 during the games. The Globe and Mail is the official national newspaper supplier for the Olympic games and is owned by CTVglobemedia, which also owns CTV, the official Canadian network for the Games in Vancouver.

Torstar, meanwhile, will be offering The Toronto Star free at all newsstands and vending machines for the duration of the Winter Olympic Games, until March 1 and while supplies last. The campaign was announced across various media outlets including CFRB and 680 News in Toronto this week.

Tuesday, 02 February 2010


Goss International announced it has integrated Akiyama's North American operations within its own U.S. operations. As a result, Goss will sell and support Akiyama products in both Canada and the United States.

Under the agreement, several members of the Akiyama sales and service team in North America have joined the Goss International organization. Goss International’s large-scale U.S. parts and service operation now supports printing companies operating more than 800 Akiyama presses in North America. Independent dealers will continue to market Akiyama products in some regions of the United States and Canada, working collaboratively through Goss International.

Both companies are affiliated with Shanghai Electric Corporation, with Akiyama being controlled by the Chinese company. Shanghai Electric became Goss' second-largest shareholder in June 2009.

"Our North American infrastructure provides a substantial platform to support existing customers as well as a growth strategy for Akiyama products in the region,” said Goss International president and CEO Jochen Meissner. “The Jprint presses in particular, with their innovative perfecting technology, offer a compelling alternative to traditional four-over-four sheetfed perfectors.”


Monday, 01 February 2010

Eastman Kodak has announced its fourth quarter earnings and it has seen a 45 percent increase over profits in the third quarter and a six percent improvement over the same quarter in the year previous.

"Despite a difficult economic environment, we delivered in 2009," said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eastman Kodak Company. "Our momentum is returning and our strategy is paying off. During 2009, we generated significant traction with our key digital businesses, we achieved sustainable operational improvements across the company, our earnings improved substantially, and we ended the year with more than $2.0 billion in cash on our balance sheet."

The company, however, still incurred a net loss of US$232 million in 2009, compared to a US$727-million loss in 2008. Full-year revenue fell 19 percent, totaling US$7.606 billion.

Kodak achieved the results via a series of cost-cutting measures, including cutting R&D by 25 percent and Selling, General and Administrative expenses by 15 percent. Gross Profit margin was 34.4 percent of sales, an increase from 20.4 percent in the year-ago period. At the start of 2009, Kodak announced job cuts of 3,500 to 4,500 jobs, representing up to 18 percent of its payroll.

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