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Monday, 14 September 2009

United Parcel Service this week announced its intentions to enter the realm of online printing and further claimed to now have the largest online printing network. The UPS Store has more than 4,400 locations across the United States.

"After reviewing the research and listening to our small-business customers, we realized there is a real need in the marketplace for an online printing platform which is easy to use, provides functionality geared for small business, and is supported by a convenient network of physical locations," said Stuart Mathis, president of Mail Boxes Etc, franchisor of the UPS Store brand. UPS acquired Mail Boxes Etc. in 2001 for US$191 million, the majority of which have been rebranded The UPS Store.

Users can preview documents, select finishing options and even save documents for future printing using the new system, which is currently only available to U.S. users.

The company currently has over 340 stores in Canada that offer printing and document services, but via email or FTP transfer.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Presstek announced today at PRINT 09 that its aqueous coating-enabled DI press will be available immediately. According to company representatives, the aqueous option is a hotly anticipated feature for DI. The sale of the first 52DI-AC has gone to Quad Graphics.

Jeff Jacobson, president of Presstek, spoke to journalists about the company's direction in the near future, including the development of a 75-format DI press, which would not share the traditional DI's central-impression design, instead moving onto a conventional modular tower layout. The 75DI is scheduled for deployment by IPEX in May 2010.

Jacobson also announced a new low-chemistry plate called the Aeon, which features run lengths of 200,000 and up to 1 million if baked. The Aeon is a positive writing plate that can be imaged on 830nm CTP systems and can hold 1-99% dot at 200lpi.

The company also announced the immediate availability of its UV option, which can be equipped either on new presses or as a field upgrade for 52DI or 34DI owners. The upgrade supports hybrid rollers, allowing users to switch between UV and conventional inks, even though the company claims the majority of its users will go exclusively UV.
Tuesday, 08 September 2009

PaperlinX has published its 2009 results (financial year ended June 30) which includes a AUD$798.2 million loss (about CAD$742 million). The company had a profit of AUD$72.2 million in 2008.

Commenting on the result, PaperlinX CEO Tom Park said, “This has been an extremely difficult year, with paper demand in all markets severely depressed by the global recession.”

The report states that in the second half of its financial year, global paper demand shrunk upwards of 20 percent. Through the sale of Australian Paper and European properties, the company managed to reduce its debt load from over AUD$1-billion at the end of 2008 to $217 million.

The company net earnings from paper merchanting, before interest and taxes, was $82.3 million, down 56 percent from the prior year. Its North American and European trading fared even worse, falling 76 percent and 69 percent respectively. In Australia, New Zealand and Asia, the company posted gains of 23 percent.

As at 30 June 2009, PaperlinX had 7,199 employees, down 23.1 percent from 2008.
Tuesday, 08 September 2009

In a tightly contested competition, Simon Beauchamp of Quebec was awarded with a bronze medal in the offset printing category at this year's WorldSkills competition, held in Calgary. Two gold and two bronze awards were given out by the organizers.

Ernst Martin of Switzerland had the top score of the competition with 542, followed by Kikuchi Noriaki of Japan with 541. Germany's Groß Stefan also took home a bronze with a score of 533. Beauchamp achieved a score of 531.

Canadian competitors received eight medals in total: gold awards in cabinetmaking, graphic design technology and restaurant service; silver awards in aircraft maintenance, web design and beauty therapy; and bronze medals in fashion technology and offset printing. Korea led the competition with 22 medals, followed by Switzerland and Japan with 14 medals each.

Thursday, 03 September 2009

Quebec's Simon Beauchamp has placed within the top five of the offset printing category after one day of competition at this year's Worldskills, being held in Calgary this week.

Beauchamp is joined by Martin Ernst of Switzerland, Stefan Groß of Germany, Tsz-kin Liu of Hong Kong, and Amela Mujkic of the United States. Beauchamp is one of 52 Canadian competitors in this year's WorldSkills Competition, representing a large variety of trades.

The other Canadians with the top five placements after the first day are: Marc-Olivier Bélanger of Quebec for Welding, Scott Blair of Ontario for Carpentry; Matthew Chadder of Alberta for IT PC/Network Support and Brian Everts of British Columbia for Aircraft Maintenance.

The WorldSkills Competition is a "means of exchange and comparison of world-class competency standards in the industrial trades and service sectors of the global economy." Competition is held in all 45 categories each day and a panel of 15 report on the top five of each skill.

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 4 - Simon Beauchamp fared less well in the second day of competition where he, along with Switzerland competitor Martin Ernst, was replaced by representatives from Belgium and The Netherlands in the top five of the day.



Wednesday, 02 September 2009

World Color Press (formerly Quebecor World) CFO Jeremy Roberts has resigned from his position, the company has announced. Roberts has served Quebecor World for the past 12 years, including leading the company out of bankruptcy this year. Roberts will be taking the role of Senior Vice President of Finance at George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited.

"[Roberts] has made important contributions, especially during our critical restructuring process, but also in assembling a strong finance team that will enable us to succeed going forward. I join the rest of our management team in wishing Jeremy the very best in his future endeavours," said Jacques Mallette, President and CEO, in a statement.

Prior to joining Quebecor World, Roberts was Assistant Treasurer at Bell Canada, where he spent 10 years in corporate finance and treasury. His resignation is effective October 5.


Tuesday, 01 September 2009

Oakville-based Somerville Graphics, a printer with both digital and offset machinery, has purchased a Duplo System 2000 with Square Press. The machine was purchased from Sydney R. Stone.

Duplo's System 2000 is a short-run booklet maker with multiple expansion capabilities. It is able to deal with both offset and digitally printed pages.

Somerville has invested in other pieces of finishing equipment recently, including a Duplo DC 10/60 collator in July and a Duplo DBM 120 Bookletmaker late last year. The company opened its doors in 1997 and today runs two Heidelberg offset presses as well as a Xerox 700 digital press.



Tuesday, 01 September 2009

Etobicoke-based EZ Trade Signs, a division of Mr. Printer/Mr. Signs, has installed an Acuity flatbed digital inkjet machine.

The machine was purchased from Fujifilm Canada and is the 35th unit to be installed in the country.

Jay Nazir, a second-generation family member in the business, is in charge of the sign making division. Mr. Printer has been in business for over 30 years, providing offset and digital printing. Recently the company expanded into sign making. Today the company has nine employees, led by Jay and his mother Ruby.



Sunday, 23 August 2009

The rumour concerning a possible merger between Heidelberg and manroland arose again after a report from Manager Magazin, a German publication, says the two companies have appointed Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank respectively to advise on the potential merger.

According to the report, the resulting merger would cause an overcapacity for the new company. The magazine suggests it may result in manroland selling, if not closing, its Offenbach operations and cutting the 2,500 people employed there.

Click here to read a translation of the Manager Magazin article.

U.K. publication PrintWeek also found discovered that German print magazine Deutscher Drucker is claiming manroland shareholder Allianz is in discussions with Chinese manufacturer Shanghai Electric on possibly selling parts of manroland's sheetfed business.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Heidelberg, after announcing its new source of financing, published its financials for the first quarter of its financial year, which spans between April 1 to June 30.

While the company made a modest gain in incoming orders over the previous quarter (€550 million compared to €474 million), the numbers are more than 50 percent down from the same quarter in 2008, (which had sales of €1.151 billion).

"Our package of cost-cutting measures is proceeding according to plan," said Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe. "In the first three months of the financial year, we achieved a further reduction in personnel costs compared to the previous year, cut inventory levels, lowered research and development expenditure, and cut back significantly on investments. These savings contribute to compensating the impact falling sales are having on the result," he added.

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