Jon Robinson

Jon Robinson

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Monday, 23 February 2015
Richard Armstrong, who had led Heidelberg Canada as President for the past 14 years, is set to retire at the end of March, inline with the completion of the company’s fiscal year. He has been active in the Canadian printing industry for close to 30 years.

Armstrong spent 18 years of those years with Heidelberg Canada, serving the first four years there as Vice President of Customer Service. He was instrumental in establishing new revenue streams for the press maker’s Canadian operation, through customer support, but primarily in terms of developing a substantial consumables distribution business.

Leveraging Heidelberg’s dominant position in pressrooms across Canada, Armstrong, both through acquisitions and distribution partnerships, developed a consumables network that was eventually mirrored across the printing world by Heidelberg’s other country-based organizations.

“It started in Canada and now it has become a major objective of Heidelberg to grow the consumables side of the business globally,” says Armstrong, who could not yet share details about future plans for Heidelberg Canada’s leadership.

Armstrong was also instrumental in helping to establish a dedicated building for Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM). He worked closely with Mary Black, then Chair of Canada’s only degree-level post-secondary program focused on printing and imaging, and a handful of industry leaders to raise necessary funding to have the building built on Ryerson’s downtown university campus.

The GCM building was eventually named the Heidelberg Centre based on the German press maker’s financial commitment to complete the funding needs. Last year, Ryerson GCM had more than 550 full-time students across all four years of the program, making it North America’s largest undergraduate program dedicated to graphic communications. Armstrong has also been a Director of the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund for 13 years.

Heidelberg, with its enormous footprint across the country, has led much of the community development and technological innovation in Canadian printing over the past three decades, including Armstrong's 14 years of leadership. “We have been fortunate to have great market share and fantastic customers. The team we have at Heidelberg Canada is amazing and it has been a real pleasure to work with all of them," says Armstrong. "Heidelberg has been a great company to work for and I will really miss the customers and staff."

Prior to joining Heidelberg, Armstrong spent a year with Transcontinental Printing as a Project Engineer to develop feasibility studies for the implementation of new printing technologies across its Canadian platform. He also spent five years with Maclean Hunter Printing as an Engineer Manager, which included helping the company consolidate three separate printing facilities, and a year with Southam Murray Printing in the same capacity.

Armstrong joined the printing industry in 1986 when he took on an Industrial Engineer position with Toronto-area book manufacturer Webcom Limited, where he worked the next three years. He previously worked with Canada Wire & Cable Limited and Athabasca Airways Limited.
Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Engineering group Langley Holdings plc, the parent company of Manroland Sheetfed after its acquisition in 2012, published its IFRS Annual Report & Accounts for the year ended 31 December, 2014.

Langley reported a profit before tax of €100.6 million on revenues of €779.4 million. Chairman Tony Langley said that the group's divisions had performed in line with or ahead of expectations. Manroland Sheetfed, Langley’s largest division in terms of revenue and employees, reported a small profit.

Piller, the producer of power protection systems for data centres and Claudius Peters, the plant machinery constructor, performed in line with expectations while the other businesses division, principally Bradman Lake, the packaging machinery specialist, also had what Langley classifies as a satisfactory year.

Langley also acknowledged the contribution made by the group’s 4,000 employees and welcomed around 300 employees of the newly acquired DruckChemie group to the family of businesses.

Monday, 02 February 2015

Chris Raney becomes President of Baumer hhs in Dayton, Ohio, which manufacturers systems for value-added-gluing, camera-verification and quality-assurance systems for a range of industrial sectors like corrugated packaging, folding carton, printing and woodworking.

In addition, Baumer hhs also welcomed Rob Bradshaw to its sales team. Bradshaw will be based in Illinois as the Midwest Sales Manager and will lead the region's sales efforts.

Raney, who most recently served as VP of Packaging for Heidelberg USA Inc., brings over 25 years of relevant industry experience to his new role as President of Baumer hhs. This includes more than 10 years in the folding carton market in North America. He worked for Bobst in various roles in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and in the United States where from June 2002 he was Vice President of the Folding Carton Business Area.

“We welcome Chris’ experience and leadership to the Baumer hhs team,” said Detlef Engling, Managing Director. “In his new role as President, he will provide leadership and guidance to our team. His results-oriented approach and ability to think strategically will help hhs continue to grow profitably, while extending our track record of innovation and exceeding our customers’ demands.”

Tuesday, 04 November 2014

Drytac, during the SGIA exposition in Las Vegas, introduced its new ChalkMate specialty chalkboard film, which is a 5-mil UV printable PVC with a traditional black chalkboard finish.

Designed for use with standard chalk or liquid chalk markers, ChalkMate, which is available as either a permanent or removable adhesive (in roll widths up to 61 inches), can be installed on most smooth surfaces. The removable adhesive is built on Drytac’s ReTac technology.

Also during SGIA, Drytac featured its redesigned JetMounter Fuzion XD roll laminator, which sells for $7,595 (US pricing). Available in a 63-inch laminating width, the JetMounter Fuzion XD features interchangeable, large-diameter non-stick silicone rollers; a heat-assist top roller with digital display for Celsius/Fahrenheit; a heavy-duty lift mechanism for precise; adjustable speed control up to 20 feet per minute; and four auto-grip supply or take-up shafts with adjustable brake tension on the operator side for roll-to-roll lamination.

Additional features on the JetMounter Fuzion XD include a centre release, fold down feed table with a lay-flat paper in-feed guide; latching storage compartment on each side of the stand; maximum nip opening of one inch; and heavy-duty lockable casters for greater stability and maneuverability. The model can also accommodate 10-inch diameter rolled material and is cTUVus and CE-certified.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

MGI Digital Graphic Technology of Paris, France, reached an agreement to have Agfa Graphics distribute its technologies throughout the United States.

This is the second major printing player to shine its attention on the growth of MGI products in the United States, following Konica Minolta’s January 2014 purchase of a 10 percent minority interest, valued at €13.7 million ($20.4 million), in the French company. The strategic alliance between the two companies is to focus on “accelerating the innovation and commercialization of next generation digital printing solutions.”

MGI’s North American operation is based in Melbourne, Florida.

In Canada, KBR Graphics continues its 5-year-long distribution agreement with MGI. In November 2009, KBR Graphics, inked an exclusive distribution deal with MGI which accounts for all of Canada except British Columbia. Operating in the Canadian printing industry since 1977, KBR Graphics also carries lines from companies like Standard Horizon, Hamada, Busch, Challenge, Perfecta USA, and Graphic Whizard.

At Graph Expo 2014, MGI showcased its new Meteor DP8700 XL+. The fifth generation of Meteor Series features an increased format size of up to 47 inches long. It has the ability to print substrate thicknesses ranging up to 16 point board and 450 Microns on plastic substrates. The Meteor DP1000 XL was previewed for the first time ever at the MGI’s Graph Expo 2014 booth. This new press, which will be available sometime in 2015, can print 100 A4 pages per minute in thicknesses of up to 16-point board.

MGI, at Graph Expo, also announced the first In-line finishing unit for use on the Meteor Series of digital presses. The DF Pro is an inline finishing unit capable of cutting and trimming, full and strike perforation (allowing for knockouts), as well as up and down creasing. All functions can be performed in-line in one pass on formats up to 1,200 mm (47 inches) long.

MGI also launched its JETvarnish 3D Evolution T Option which allows for either the doubling (T2) or the tripling (T3) of production speeds, giving the JETvarnish 3D the ability to digitally emboss up to 300 microns in one pass on formats up to 52 x 105cm (20 x 40 inches). It provides production for of up to 2,400 B2-size sheets per hour with embossed 3D effects and 3,000 B2s per hour with traditional flat effects.

Tuesday, 05 August 2014

Quark Software Inc. has introduced QuarkXPress 10.2 to address performance and output issues related to the software’s new Xenon Graphics Engine. The update is available free to QuarkXPress users currently on version 10.

In addition to performance and quality improvements for the Xenon Graphics Engine, QuarkXPress 10.2 includes new features for collaboration, such as “Redlining”, which allows users to track changes within QuarkXPress documents to be viewed by a range of users. With the Redline feature, Quark explains teams can view the inserted and deleted text content made in a project and decide whether to accept or reject the changes.

QuarkXPress 10.2 also includes “Notes”, allowing users to store comments in a project without affecting its actual content. This feature can involve adding reminders and comments on the text content. Notes, with a “sticky note” look, can also be exported as PDF content.

In version 10.2, Quark explains there are no limitations on nesting anchored boxes, whereas previous versions of QuarkXPress have a limit of two levels. As well, users can export and import hyphenation exceptions created for a document and share the exceptions across projects to maintain uniformity.

QuarkXPress 10.2 output has passed all version 4 Ghent Workgroup Output Tests, which includes PDF/X-4.

Quark is providing a 30-day trial of QuarkXPress 10.2.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Canopy, a Vancouver-based non-profit organization focused on the progressive paper supply, has launched its 2014 Ancient Forest Friendly (AFF) Awards program.

The program is built around a Green Print Leadership (GPL) survey, which is shorter for 2014, for interested companies to begin their association with the AFF Awards. Printers that have policies with Canopy and have already completed the GPL survey will automatically be entered in the AFF Awards.

The GPL survey is open until August 30, 2014, and awards will be announced in early November 2014. The 2014 AFF Awards categories currently include Ancient Forest Friendly Gold, Best In Class, Conservation Supporter and Most Improved.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Amazon today launched the 3D Printed Products store as a marketplace that gives customers access to more than 200 print-on-demand products, many of which can be customized by material, size, styles and colour variations, and personalized with text and image imprints.

The new store, amazon.com/3dp, is described by the company as one of the largest online destinations for 3D printed products, including jewelry, toys, home décor and fashion accessories. The Website features search tools, interactive 3D preview functionality and a product personalization widget.

“The introduction of our 3D Printed Products store suggests the beginnings of a shift in online retail – that manufacturing can be more nimble to provide an immersive customer experience. Sellers, in alignment with designers and manufacturers, can offer more dynamic inventory for customers to personalize and truly make their own,” stated Petra Schindler-Carter, Director for Amazon Marketplace Sales.

With the store's 3D product preview function, customers are able to rotate a virtual product 360 degrees. After an item is personalized and a customer has finished the checkout process, the item is 3D printed on-demand by a manufacturing provider and shipped directly to the customer.

The store includes customizable items sellers for under $40, such as cufflinks, bobble head figurines and funky wine glass holders, while in $100 price range, customers can design customized fashion accessories like pendants, earrings and necklaces.

Amazon’s 3D Printed Products store also provides an entry point for designers, designers and manufacturers to offer print on-demand product designs.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Printing Industries of America announced the winners of the 2014 InterTech Technology Awards, a program that began in 1978 to recognize technologies predicted to have a major impact on the graphic arts and related industries.

More than 80 percent of technologies that receive an InterTech Award, according to Printing Industries of America, experience continued commercial success in the marketplace. Below are the 11 InterTech Technology Awards winners for 2014:

Company: Creative Edge Software
Technology: IC3D Suite

Company: EFI
Technology: iQuote

Company: Esko
Technology: Equinox Extended Gamut Printing

Company: Esko
Technology: Full HD Flexo

Company: Goss International
Technology: Vpak Packaging Presses

Company: Heidelberg USA
Technology: Stahlfolder PFX Feeder Technology

Company: Hinterkopf GmbH
Technology: Hinterkopf Digital Printer D240

Company: HP
Technology: Indigo 20000 Digital Press

Company: Just Normlicht
Technology: GL Spectis 1.0 Series

Company: TKS
Technology: Jetleader 1500 Digital Inkjet Press

Company: Xeikon
Technology: ICE Toner

Monday, 09 June 2014

Sydney Stone is to begin distributing the new Duplo DC-616 system with slitting, cutting, creasing and perforating primarily aimed at short-run toner work.

The DC-616 is designed to eliminate white borders and prevent toner cracking on colour documents. It can finish a range of full-bleed digital applications including greeting cards, invitations, brochures, book covers, photos, and 24-up business cards without the need for additional modules. The DC-616 can process up to six slits, 25 cuts, and 20 creases in a single pass.

Two models are available, including the DC-616 PRO which comes standard with PC controller software and PC Pole Mount for easy job setup, CCD scanner to read barcodes and registration marks, ultrasonic double feed detection, and a perforating unit (with two manually adjustable perforation tools) to perforate along the length of the sheet. All of these features can be added to the basic DC-616 model as options.