Jon Robinson

Jon Robinson

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wednesday, 08 July 2009

Planned for release in the third quarter, Montreal-based Dynagram introduces a new feature called Layout Re-flow to version 6.0 of its flagship DynaStrip 6.0 software. In addition, the company states its work-styles functionality has been completely reworked to the advantage of work-and-turn jobs.

On the light table, when adding a sheet with a work-and-turn – or work-and-tumble – attribute, a symmetry axis line will be drawn in the middle of the surface to split it in two halves, simulating the front and the back. When placing objects, such as pages or marks, on the front half of a sheet, the back-half is automatically mirrored for alignment and visual confirmations. This feature, according to the company, eases the creation of multi-sheet jobs when using work-and-turn work-styles and in gang-run production.

The all-new Layout Re-flow feature allows users to modify layout attributes, page and sheet marks on the first signature or modify the document list and then, by clicking the Re-Flow button, the entire job is re-flowed based on all the new changes.
Tuesday, 07 July 2009

With its stock losing nearly 55 percent in the past 10 months, Weyerhaeuser reopens the potential of becoming a low-tax investment trust (RIET conversion), which also typically guarantees higher dividends. At the start of July, Weyerhaeuser announced it would again cut its quarterly dividend, this time by 80 percent, which would save the company well over US$100 million.

While it sent most of its high-quality printing papers over to Montreal-based Domtar, after the two companies merged in March 2007, Weyerhaeuser remains a large global producer of newsprint and packaging substrates. However, the forest-products giant is primarily blaming its yearlong slump on the U.S. housing market.

"In light of these conditions, this dividend decision enhances our current liquidity and provides for more financial flexibility, including a possible REIT conversion should the board make that decision in the future," said CEO Dan Fulton. The company decided to stay away from becoming an investment-trust just last May. Weyerhaeuser lost US$264 million in its last quarter and more than US$1 billion in the prior quarter. It will report its second quarter results on July 31.
Monday, 06 July 2009

An upgrade to its MIS platform from Prism, WIN 2009 integrates Metrix-based planning with job-ganging tools, as well as enhanced data collection. Based on the preexisting PRISM WIN architecture, the 2009 version also includes a software featured called KPI Dashboard, which enables browser-based access to what the company calls Key Performance Indicator (KPI) information.

KPI Dashboard consists of several online pages, each containing a number of widgets. According to the company, widgets can be configured to personal graphical preferences, as well as added, removed, moved or renamed. Information pertaining to the widget can be displayed with the mouse pointer. For example, hovering over the Quote Conversion Rate opens a hover window showing the actual number of quotes raised and the actual number of quotes converted.

Prism, which operates in 15 countries worldwide, supporting more than 5,000 end-users, also introduced the WIN 2009 Virtual Time Manager 2 (VTM2). This is a client-based application for recording operator activity either on the shop floor or during preproduction
Sunday, 05 July 2009

Montreal-based Dynagram today announced the availability of its Automation Module for the inpO2 PDF imposition software for Adobe Acrobat. In addition, a 3.5.2 update for the inpO2 product family was also released with enhancements.

The new Automation module allows Wizard-designed pages to be saved as a layout profile and assigned to Hot Folders, along with specific profiles for drag and drop production. Bascially, when inpO2 Automation is activated, the automated imposition process will be triggered by placing a source PDF document in one of the active hot folders.

Although the plate/sheet size and layouts are fixed, Dynagram states functions like page sized, marks, and page counts are dynamic on a job-by-job basis, which can include saddle-stitch, perfect-bound, step-&-repeat, cut-&-stack, or N-Up work.

The Automation module is the sixth inpO2 module to the added to the inpO2 line along with other modules such as the Optimization module for gang work, and the Assembly Planner module for sheetfed- and web-press layouts. 
Friday, 03 July 2009

Bruce Robertson will lead the efforts by AbitibiBowater to emerge out of bankruptcy protection, after April 2009 filings in both Canada and the United Sates. Robertson, operating under the official title of Chief Restructuring Officer, most recently served as Senior Managing Partner at Brookfield Asset Management Inc., where he managed over US$7 billion in North American distressed private equity, bridge lending, and real estate finance strategies.

"We are pleased to have Bruce Robertson on board and to share his expertise in corporate finance and restructurings," stated AbitibiBowater CEO David Paterson.

On June 17, AbitibiBowater received approval for an amendment and restating of its existing accounts receivable securitization program for the Company's Abitibi-Consolidated subsidiary. Citibank and Barclays Capital Inc. were announced as joint lead arrangers for the amended US$270-million program, which provided the company with the liquidity necessary to continue operations.
Friday, 03 July 2009

A new 15,000-square-foot demonstration and training centre is a capstone to Standard Finishing Systems’ yearlong renovation of its corporate headquarters in Andover, Massachusetts. The centre includes a range of technologies distributed by Standard including Horizon perfect binders, 3-knife trimmers, floor-model folders, and saddlestitchers.  

The centre also includes Hunkeler unwinders, rewinders, rotary cutters, stackers, plow-folders, and fan folders for continuous-feed digital printers, as well as various KAS short-run mail inserting machines.

Seven classrooms have been set up for Standard dealers, third-party service partners and customers to receive technical and operator’s training on Standard products. The company also encourages customers to bring sample jobs for testing.
Wednesday, 01 July 2009

A new Ultra Violet-based ink-drying system, which uses light-emitting diodes (LED), can now be integrated with specific presses from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The LED-UV system is suitable for installation on larger-sized sheetfed presses, such as the DIAMOND V3000 Series, that can accommodate sheets up to 1,050 mm (41-11/32 inches) wide. The UV-drying system can also be integrated on tandem-perfector offset presses, which are capable of 1-pass printing of front and reverse sides of sheets without sheet tumbling.

According to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the LED-UV system enables reductions of 70 to 80 percent in electricity consumption when compared with UV ink-drying systems that use UV lamps. Explaining this conclusion, MHI states, “With UV printing, the ink on the sheet surface instantly hardens when irradiated by ultraviolet ray. By eliminating drying time, such systems enable immediate transfer to the finishing process and, as a consequence, shorten delivery times to customers, an advantage that has also contributed to market expansion of UV printing. However, systems using UV lamps consume considerable electricity and require a large initial investment that also entails a dedicated electric power supply source and exhaust ducting. LED-UV ink drying solves these drawbacks by switching the light source from conventional UV lamps to LEDs.”

MHI also points to the following LED-UV advantages relative to other UV systems:

1. No ozone generation: environment friendly and eliminates need for exhaust ducting,

2. Compact auxiliary equipment: reduced installation space,

3. Lower heat (fewer adverse effects on materials such as films and on printing press),

4. Instant light on/off (no latency time, whereas UV lamps require four minutes to light), and

5. Longer operational life (about 15 times UV lamps).
Wednesday, 10 June 2009

RRD Quebecor World

RR Donnelley & Sons Company states its proposal to acquire substantially all of the assets and assume certain liabilities of Quebecor World has expired.

"We are disappointed by the decision of Quebecor World to reject our June 8 proposal," said Thomas Quinlan III, President and CEO of RR Donnelley (RRD). "We believe that our proposal was undoubtedly in the best interests of creditors based on a comparison of the distributions under our proposal with the distributions under the proposed stand-alone plan of reorganization. We are particularly disappointed because of the efforts and concessions made by us to adapt our proposal in response to concerns that were communicated to us."

RRD’s original May 12, US$1.3 billion proposal to Quebecor World was soon followed with modified versions. RRD states these June 2 and June 8 modifications – amounting to about US$200 million in cash and stock – were based on “preliminary due diligence” and to respond to feedback from certain Quebecor World creditors.

"This would have been an excellent fit for RR Donnelley and the best opportunity for the Quebecor World creditors. However, given our view of the Quebecor World operations, a transaction ascribing a higher value to Quebecor World than we offered in our last proposal is simply not in the interests of RR Donnelley," said Quinlan. "We look forward to continuing to pursue other strategic initiatives."

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has been petitioned by Catalyst Paper over recently set property tax rates in North Cowichan, Port Alberni and Campbell River; and potentially Powell River in another filing. These are the four municipalities holding Catalyst Paper’s four British Columbia-based paper mills.

In a press release about the action, Catalyst argues, under Section 262 of the Local Government Act, “that the tax rates are unreasonable and therefore beyond the municipalities' jurisdiction. Catalyst has held long-standing discussions with each of these municipalities in an effort to address the issue of unreasonable tax rates imposed on major industry. The bylaws being challenged would perpetuate disparities that are unsustainable in light of extremely challenging economic conditions.”

The company continues to state that major industry tax rates have been set at a rate 20 times above the residential rate in North Cowichan, while the other three municipalities have seen a smaller increase that is still 10 times the residential rate. Referencing British Columbia’s provincial neighbour, Catalyst points out that Alberta typically caps such rates at four times the residential rate.

Catalyst estimates that the new bylaws would result in a 2009 property tax cost of $19.3 million. That estimate excludes school, district and other provincial levies – “This is a modest reduction of about 10 per cent from the previous year's payments of $21.7 million, and remains far higher than the cost of municipal services consumed - estimated at between $4 and $6 million in 2008.”

Commenting on the action, Richard Garneau, CEO of Catalyst, stated, “We've done all we can to impress on municipal governments that this is a shared problem and that the viability of the industrial economy in coastal BC is at stake. Excessive property taxes are diverting scarce capital that's needed to support the long-term viability of our operations as we face one of the most difficult markets in decades.

“Legal action was not our first choice. But the current bylaws suggest that our appeals for tax equity have not been heard, and continuing to pay excessive tax bills with borrowed money is just not sustainable or prudent, especially in current credit markets."

Based in Richmond, BC, Catalyst is the largest producer of specialty printing papers and newsprint in Western North America and also produces market kraft pulp. It claims to own Western Canada's largest paper recycling facility. The company's six mills have a combined annual production capacity of 2.5 million tonnes.

Friday, 22 May 2009

After two days of competition in North Carolina at the Phoenix Challenge international flexography competition, the teams representing Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School placed first and third places. This marks the second year in a row teams from Gordon Graydon has topped the competition.

Hannah Plavnick and Stephanie Hammond won the first place gold medal with a score of 605 out of a possible 625. They each received a US$1000 bursary. This was the second 1st place standing for Plavnick as she placed 1st last year as well with another partner. Plavnick has been accepted into Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program for the Fall of 2009.

Grant Izukawa and Abdul Murad placed third and brought home the bronze medals. They missed out of a second place finish by only six points. Second place went to a team from North Carolina.

Grade 10 student Frances Lee was recognized for the best T-shirt design, while instructor Peter Belanger won the Diann Teague award for leading the winning team. Twenty teams were part of the competition, including three from Canada.

After two days of competition in North Carolina at the Phoenix Challenge international flexography competition, the teams representing Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School placed first and third places. This marks the second year in a row teams from Gordon Graydon has topped the competition.

Hannah Plavnick and Stephanie Hammond won the first place gold medal with a score of 605 out of a possible 625. They each received a US$1000 bursary. This was the second 1st place standing for Plavnick as she placed 1st last year as well with another partner. Plavnick has been accepted into Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program for the Fall of 2009.

Grant Izukawa and Abdul Murad placed third and brought home the bronze medals. They missed out of a second place finish by only six points. Second place went to a team from North Carolina.

Grade 10 student Frances Lee was recognized for the best T-shirt design, while instructor Peter Belanger won the Diann Teague award for leading the winning team. Twenty teams were part of the competition, including three from Canada.

Page 25 of 25