The Niagara Falls Review, a community-focused news outlet of Sun Media, reported on Thursday, March 7, that lawyers representing Quad/Graphics Inc. and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers (CEP) Union of Canada met in court over an ongoing labour dispute between the two sides.
In January 2013, around 100 workers within the CEP union at a Stevensville, Ontario, printing plant operated by Vertis were laid off when Quad/Graphics finalized its asset purchase Vertis. Based in Wisconsin, Quad/Graphics first signed an agreement to purchase the assets of Vertis Holdings for US$258.5 million in October 2012, shortly after Vertis filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States.
The laid-off workers have picketing out front of Quad/Graphics’ new Stevensville location, which led to last Thursday’s court appearance in St. Catharines, as the company felt its trucks were being unduly held up.
Tony Ricciuto of the Niagara Falls Review reports the workers feel they are owed upwards of $2.7 million and that further court action is expected.
Read Ricciuto’s full report at the Niagara Falls Review
At Hunkeler Innovation Days in Switzerland, Xerox unveiled CiPress 500 and 325 Single Engine Duplex machines aimed at lower-volume production – relative to the company’s existing twin-engine CiPress models.
The CiPress SED models can print duplex, one-up jobs on a narrow 9.5-inch web at 500 or 325 feet-per-minute, as represented by the model number. Xerox points out the systems are designed for producing transactional and direct marketing applications, catalogues, books and manuals.
The machines employ Xerox’s waterless inking system to print colour graphics on low-cost, plain papers. Ink monitoring reports inform printers about the amount of ink used for job costing purposes. The The CiPress SED models can be configured with Xerox FreeFlow Print Server to provide native support for IPDS, PDF, PS and VIPP.
Sing Tao News Corporation has purchased a new six-tower Goss Community press to produce the Canadian eastern edition of Sing Tao Daily newspaper, based out of Toronto. The installation is coordinated with relocating to a new printing plant in the city of Markham.
“Our objective is to improve production efficiency and reduce waste while also increasing color capacity for daily editions and supplements,” stated Peter Li, VP of Operations for Sing Tao Daily, Canadian eastern edition. “Goss is not unique in the ability to meet these needs but we have always used Goss equipment so we know it well, and confidence in the long-term support was also an important consideration.”
Founded in 1978, Sing Tao Daily is described as the largest Chinese-language daily newspaper in Canada. The press for Sing Tao Daily, Canadian eastern edition, is to consist of six four-high towers and two folders for printing the Toronto daily editions, as well as five weekly supplements and two independent weekly magazines.
Comprising five broadsheet sections for each daily edition, the main eastern edition achieves readership figures in the region of 200,000 copies per issue.
“The competition for readership is stiff so we have been employing a range of strategies in order to reinforce our ability to capture and retain the largest share of the print readership,” continued Li, “as well as increasing our number of titles we have also been devoting considerable energy and resources to improve content and print quality. This latest press acquisition is part of that process.”
iSys Label of Calgary, Alberta, signed Impresoras Digitales as its new distributor in South America for the EDGE 850 & APEX 1290 label-printing technologies.
Impresoras Digitales is located in Santiago, Chile. “They’re a full service and sales organization with excellent customer service skills and I’m very excited to add them to our team,” stated Randy Rickert, Director of iSys Label.
The EDGE 850 reaches printing speeds of up to 9.14 metres per minute for short-run label production on a range of die cut or roll substrates. According to iSys, the system is capable of printing 2,000 labels in less than 20 minutes – with finished roll ready for application.
Last week, iSys Label reached a technology and distribution agreement with UK-based Impressions Technology Europe. The two manufacturers have paired up the EDGE 850 with the Eclipse LF3 cutter.
In addition to its new HP Indigo 10000 press, described as a fourth-generation engine, HP today announced a series of productivity enhancements to its existing machines, which amounts to 10 new systems in total.
Indigo press enhancements
The company introduced three updated models of its current HP Indigo portfolio, all of which feature higher speeds with the Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), which is an emulation feature to eliminate the use of the black channel – resulting in a 33 percent increase in speed.
The new HP Indigo 7600 press, for example, has a top speed of 160 pages per minute (ppm) in EPM, which is described by the company as the fastest two-page electrophotographic press on the market. The Indigo 7600 also features an automated detection system to find print defects while running at speed, as well as new features to produce raised print (simulating embossing) and textured effects. This system also features a new light black ink for producing improved monochrome photo images.
The new HP Indigo 5600, an enhanced version of the HP Indigo 5500, has a top speed of 90 ppm in EPM, as well as a new one-shot mode for printing on synthetic substrates.
The new HP Indigo W7250 reaches a top speed of up to 320 ppm in EPM and 960 ppm in monochrome.
The HP Indigo 7600 press, in beta testing at six sites worldwide, will be commercially available at drupa. The HP Indigo 5600 is available immediately, and the HP Indigo W7250 will be available at drupa. HP says most new features will be offered as upgrades for existing HP Indigo models.
Inkjet Web Press enhancements
HP introduced three higher-speed Inkjet Web Press models based on new ink and printhead technology. HP Inkjet Web Presses have produced a total of more than 9-billion pages since the first system was installed in 2009.
The new HP T410 and T360 Inkjet Web Press systems offer increased print speeds of up to 800 feet per minute (fpm) in monochrome – up to 25 percent faster than previous models – while continuing to provide top colour print speeds of up to 600 fpm.
The new HP T230 Inkjet Press incorporates new printheads and inks to increase print speed up to 400 feet per minute for both colour and monochrome.
The HP T360 and HP T410 are expected to be available this fall as new systems or as upgrades from the HP T350 and HP T400, respectively. The HP T230, expected to be available by the end of 2012, will also be offered as an upgrade from the HP T200 press.
Workfow and substrates
New workflow solutions include HP SmartStream Production Center for managing large job volumes, as well as updated versions of HP SmartStream Production Pro Digital Front End and HP SmartStream Director. HP also now offers HP Hiflex cloud-based software applications, including MIS and web-to-print solutions, as a result of its recent acquisition of Hiflex.
HP has added four HP Indigo preferred media partner agreements with Sappi, Avery Dennison, Mitsubishi and ArjoWiggins Graphics. The company already has over 3,000 certified media types for HP Indigo presses.
HP also introduced new media for its Inkjet Web Press models, such as Utopia Inkjet gloss media from Appleton Coated for direct-mail and publishing applications. ColorPRO papers will now include inkjet-coated papers from Sappi and Appleton Coated, designed to deliver superior print quality with the HP Inkjet Web Press.
HP Scitex white ink kit
HP introduced new options to improve the versatility and productivity of its HP Scitex wide-format systems, including a white ink kit and an automatic loader for the HP Scitex FB7500 and FB7600 machines.
The company also introduced a new version of HP SmartStream Production Analyzer for automatic monitoring of HP Scitex industrial wide-format presses.
Print module solutions
HP has introduced what it called Print Module Solutions for adding colour images, graphics and variable data to preprinted documents. Available in colour and monochrome, HP Print Module Solutions print up to 800 fpm and include full workflow software for integration with existing equipment.
HP Print Module Solutions are expected to be available to order starting May 1.
The B2-size Indigo 10000 press unveiling took place on the first day of HP’s pre-drupa briefing in Israel. For the first time in several years, a development in toner presses seemed to steal the spotlight from inkjet. While HP abhors the classification of its Indigo presses as toner machines, because they print with liquid inks as opposed to solid toners, the new Indigo 10000 represents a sea change in the toner (electrophotography) press space.
Since arriving in the industry in the 1990s, electrophotographic presses have been stuck in a sub-20-inch format size largely because of the challenges – potential R&D and manufacturing costs – of expanding the all-important electro-photostatic drum, which forms the imaging heart of toner machines. The new Indigo 10000 marks the first salvo at one of commercial printing’s standard litho formats, while also presenting itself as a sudden competitor to the emerging cut-sheet inkjet presses of 29-inch format size.
“We believe this is going to take us into the heart of the offset market,” Bar-Shany told the crowd of journalists, speaking about the Indigo 10000 arrival, adding, “It is everything you expect from an Indigo but in a larger format.”
While the Indigo 10000 has been running with a printer in the UK and another in Japan, the new press will find its way into worldwide beta sites by the time Germany’s drupa tradeshow arrives in May, with an anticipated commercial release of the machine in early 2013.
Bar-Shany also introduced what he refers to as derivatives of the Indigo 10000 foundation, with the Indigo 20000 aimed at the flexographic sector of packaging and the Indigo 30000 aimed at the folding-carton sector. These machines are expected to be commercialized sometime after the Indigo 10000 hits the market next year.
The HP Indigo 10000 (750 x 530 millimeters/ 29.5 x 20.9 inches) prints 3,450 sheets per hour in its standard production mode, and can provide a 33 percent faster throughput of 4,600 colour sheets per hour using HP Indigo’s Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM) – knocking out the black ink channel.
Scheduled for commercial availability in late 2013, the HP Indigo 20000 is a roll-to-roll press with a 30-inch media width and a 44-inch repeat length. With up to seven-colour printing, including white ink, the Indigo 20000 runs at 88.6 linear feet (27 linear metres) per minute in five-colour mode (full process colour plus white) and at 147.6 linear feet (45 linear metres) per minute when running in Enhanced Productivity Mode. An inline priming unit on the press is used for compatibility with most standard flexible packaging substrates from 10 to 250 microns thick.
The sheetfed HP Indigo 30000 press features a 29.5 x 20.9-inch (750 x 530-mm) format size with up to seven colour channels. Designed for the folding carton space, the press can handle substrates of up to 24 point or carton stocks of up to 600-microns thick. The press reaches a top speed of up to 3,450 sheets per hour in regular four-colour process printing, or 4,600 sheets per hour in Enhanced Productivity Mode.
Florida-based Baldwin Technology, which develops process-automation equipment and related consumables for the printing industry, signed an agreement to be acquired by Forsyth Baldwin LLC, which is a new company controlled by Forsyth Capital Investors.
The merger agreement also allows Baldwin’s board to solicit, receive, evaluate and enter into negotiations with respect to alternative proposals through January 28, 2012. If there is no superior offer, the Forsyth Baldwin transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012, subject to customary approvals and closing conditions.
“The transaction will improve Baldwin's financial strength and enable it to continue to operate effectively in its current markets and beyond,” stated Mark Becker, CEO of Baldwin. “Forsyth’s financial resources and management experience will accelerate the turnaround of Baldwin already underway. We believe this is a strong transaction for our stockholders, employees, customers and other partners.”
Under the agreement, Baldwin’s stockholders will receive $0.96 in cash for each share of Baldwin Class A or Class B Common Stock, subject to adjustment at closing based on certain criteria, including the extent that the difference between Baldwin’s aggregate cash balances and the balance of aged accounts payable is less than $1.8 million, provided that such adjustments cannot reduce the per share consideration below $0.90.
St. Joseph Communications has installed a new HP Indigo 7500 press at its Ottawa Print Centre. The Indigo 7500 is engineered for high-volume production with a monthly page volume rated at 3.5 million colour pages or 6.5 million monochrome pages, while reaching a top speed of up to 120 A4 pages per minute (ppm) in full colour or 240 ppm in either monochrome or 2 colours.
“The HP Indigo 7500 Printer allows us to meet the growing expectations of our current clients, while at the same time allowing us to bring new and exciting solutions to new and expanding markets,” said Pierre Ness, VP and GM of the St. Joseph Ottawa Print Centre. “The ever expanding role that web-based and mobile media play in our business and personal lives today has created a cultural shift in society’s expectations. Our programmers and developers are continually being challenged by our clients to provide new technology solutions for marketing and communications.”
After 15 years of working with the printing of variable data, St. Joseph states it has one of the largest digital printing platforms in Canada. The company will, in part, drive the new HP Indigo 7500 through its patented, Web-to-print applications. This includes U-Book, which is a personalized University recruiting magazine, and ESUBMITit, which is an end-to-end logistics solution currently used by various Canadian Federal Government departments.
A week after filing for bankruptcy protection in an Augsburg court, German press maker manroland AG today secured a Euro 55 million credit facility to support its worldwide operations.
The provisional insolvency administrator Werner Schneider reached an agreement for what is referred to as “Massekredit,” which is similar to debtor-in-possession financing.
“Continuation of production and business operations at manroland is therefore secured. The company can continue to do business with customers and suppliers and we are sending a very positive signal to the market,” said Schneider, a financial auditor. “Immediate action was essential as an interruption of production does harm the company and makes the desired sales process more difficult.”
Earlier this week, Vince Lapinski, CEO of manroland North America, commented on how the filing will affect the company’s North American operations, based in Chicago with a satellite office in Toronto: “manroland North America is currently operating in a 'business as usual' status. We would like to assure the industry that manroland Inc. North America is fully operational, and we are continuing to provide the best possible service for our customer."
The new credit facility has a volume of Euro 55 million, which includes Euro 10 million in the form of a cash drawing facility. A further Euro 45 million is to be used as a “partial” mass credit in which the lending banks release part of the forgone loans. The release ensures the required liquidity without the banks having to provide new debt.
manroland states that the financing secures fulfillment of liabilities with customers and suppliers that have placed or received orders with manroland after the company has filed for insolvency. Liabilities originated before the filing will be dealt with as part of the insolvency proceedings later in the process.
Calgary-based Emerson Clarke, led by Len Knight, Rich Berg and Dave Smith, becomes the first commercial printing company in Canada to purchase Kodak’s recently introduced NexPress SX3300 press.
The new press, purchased through Coast Paper (a division of PaperlinX Canada), is integrated with an optional long sheet feeder, which allows for working with a 14 x 26-inch sheet, while the standard feeder works with a size of 14 x 20.47 inches.
“We were losing a lot of the bigger digital jobs because our printer was just too small,” said Len Knight, Operations Manager of Emerson Clarke, who is a partner in the company with Rich Berg and Dave Smith. Emerson Clarke also runs offset presses, including a five-colour, 29-inch press with a coater.
The NexPress SX3300 has been fitted with Kodak’s Print Genius image processing and a fifth imaging unit, which allows for watermarking, protection coating, glossing, MICR printing, gamut expansion, red fluorescing ink for security applications, and in-line dimensional printing.
According to Kodak, the NexPress SX platform prints on more than 700 standard offset substrates, including coated, uncoated, FSC, plastics, magnets, linens, static clings, and micro-perforated substrates. It is rated for a monthly duty cycle of up to 4.4 million pages and hits printing speeds of 91, 109 or 131 ppm when printing on 26-inch long sheets.