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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Technology: Equinox Extended Gamut Printing
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
Technology: Indigo 20000 Digital Press
Company: Just Normlicht
Technology: GL Spectis 1.0 Series
Technology: Jetleader 1500 Digital Inkjet Press
Technology: ICE Toner
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.
TC Transcontinental Printing today announced a multi-year agreement with Postmedia Network Inc. to print The Gazette newspaper, which is published Monday to Saturday, primarily for the Montreal market.
The contract with Postmedia Network is scheduled to begin in August 2014. The agreement was not predicated on TC Transcontinental making new capital investments, which is often the case when signing long-term newspaper-printing contracts.
“Given the current pace of change in the newspaper industry, this [new] agreement demonstrates the relevance of our printing platform and our ability to help publishers across Canada become more efficient,” stated Brian Reid, President of TC Transcontinental Printing. “We continue to benefit from our outsourcing offering as publishers express interest in our solution. We are actively pursuing additional outsourcing opportunities in the Canadian market.”
Reid also stated this new Postmedia agreement builds upon recent deals between the publisher and printer to produce both the Calgary Herald and the Vancouver Sun, which were first announced back in September 2013. TC Transcontinental began printing the Calgary Herald in November 2013, while the five-year agreement to print the Vancouver Sun is slated to begin in early 2015.
In December 2013, TC Media, a division of TC Transcontinental, reached a $75 million agreement to purchase 74 Quebec-based community newspapers and associated online properties owned by Sun Media, a subsidiary of Quebecor Media.
Parent company TC Transcontinental describes itself as the largest printer in Canada, as well as one of the country’s leading providers of media and marketing tools. The company has more than 9,000 employees and generated revenues of $2.1 billion in 2013.
Tony Karg, Senior Director of Corporate Communications & Marketing for Fujifilm Canada, is leaving the company on March 31, 2014, after more than 20 years.
Unable to share much information at this time, Karg did say he plans on staying within the graphics industry in a strategic planning role, whether that is related directly to marketing or business development.
Karg began his career at Fuji Graphic Systems Canada in 1993 as an applications specialist. He had spent the previous two years as a production coordinator for Ainsworth Printing in Kitchener, Ontario. Karg remained as an applications specialist at Fujifilm until April 2000, when he became Product Manager, Digital Workflow Solutions.
In late 2003, Karg was named Product Marketing Manager for Fuji Graphic Systems Canada Inc., overseeing the marketing of all products sold by the company until early 2005, when he became Director of Business Development & Marketing for just over a year. He received a promotion to a Senior Director role in April 2006 and remained in the position until early 2013. During this time, begininng in 2011, Karg spent nearly year in Tokyo as the only non-Japanese member of the core planning team behind Fujifilm’s trade show booth for the quadrennial drupa 2012 exhibition in Duesseldorf, Germany.
In April 2013, Karg was to his current position at Fujifilm Canada, which he will hold until leaving the company on March 31.
Trish Witkowski of Foldfactory, a PrintAction columnist best known for her regular educational videos series 60-Second Super Cool Fold of the Week, has launched her first online course, called Direct Mail Strategy, on Lynda.com.
The course consists of eight chapters and 46 movies, each covering what Witkowski describes as a vital direct mail strategy or concept. She continues to state the goal of the course is to give direct marketers, designers, print professionals and small businesses the tools and strategies needed to get powerful results from mail.
“I’m so proud of how the Direct Mail Strategy course turned out,” says Witkowski. “Mail is a fascinating topic and a powerful marketing medium, but you can’t just send mail and expect results. There’s a strategy and a process involved, and I’m sharing it with everyone.”
The Direct Mail Strategy course covers mailing lists, marketing strategies, writing offers, engagement techniques, format options, testing, tracking and measuring results. It provides registrants with downloadable exercise materials. Lynda.com provides a free preview of seven of the 46 videos in the Direct Mail Strategy course.
“We’re thrilled that Trish Witkowski is contributing course content to the Lynda.com library, joining hundreds of other industry experts,” stated Kristin Ellison, content manager for the design segment at lynda.com, which provides thousands of online training courses on a range of subjects. “Her insight on direct mail is invaluable and her passion is infectious. I know our members will find her course instrumental in helping make sure their next mail piece is both effective and on budget.”