Jon Robinson

Jon Robinson

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Monday, 21 October 2013



Electronics For Imaging of California reported its third quarter results, ended September 30, 2013, with revenue of US$178.8 million, which is an increase of 16 percent when compared to revenue of US$154.1 million in the third quarter of 2012.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, EFI reported revenue of US$530.5 million, up 11 percent when compared to US$478.0 million for the same period in 2012.

"The EFI team delivered a very strong third quarter with record revenue and a terrific increase in profitability," stated Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI.

The company’s Fiery operating segment lead the charge in the third quarter of 2013, by generating US$63.2 million in revenue compared to this segment’s US$50.7 million in revenues in Q3 2012. Productivity Software, which holds EFI’s portfolio of Management Information System technology, increased to US$28.5 million in Q3 2013 when compared to US$24.2 in the year ago quarter. EFI’s Industrial Inkjet segment also increased in Q3 2013 compared to the year ago quarter, coming in at US$87.1 million in 2013 versus US$79 million in Q3 2012.



When looking at revenue by geographical area, the Americas and EMEA had the most positive third-quarter effect for the company. The Americas, which remains as EFI’s dominant region, increased to US$102.4 million in Q3 2013 from US$86.4 million in Q3 2012. EMEA reached US$52.2 million in the third quarter of 2013 from US$41.1 million in the third quarter of 2012.



Sunday, 20 October 2013


Sun Chemical introduced new SunVisto Advantage HS inks for use on corrugated stocks, based on what the company describes as delivering both the print quality and the pH stability required for this printing segment.


“Brand owners are increasingly demanding higher graphic quality on standard corrugated linerboards,” stated Tony Renzi, VP of Product Management Packaging Inks, North American Inks, Sun Chemical. “With the new SunVisto Advantage HS, converters can achieve excellent print quality for their customers while also improving their internal pressroom productivity as fewer adjustments to pH levels need to be made during long runs.”
 
SunVisto Advantage HS inks are designed to work with higher-line aniloxes and, according to the company, eliminate the need for special GCMI colour matches when added strength is required to hit GCMI colour targets. Sun Chemical also states its Advantage HS inks are 40 to 50 percent stronger than most conventional mid-grade GCMI inks.
 
Sun Chemcial continues to explain how SunVisto Advantage HS inks eliminate the need to control pH during long press runs, whereas most water-based inks will lose pH and ultimately lead to dirty print and ink build-up if not properly monitored.

The new ink set is designed to produce mid-level to high-end graphics with most paper stock, working with both single and multi-colour jobs on standard corrugated linerboards.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

EFI of California has purchased Metrix Software, which develops highly automated imposition software for print production. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but EFI states it does not expect the move to be material to its Q4 or full-year 2013 results.



Metrix CEO and founder Rohan Holt becomes director of EFI Metrix products. He began the company in Australia as LithoTechnics, but in mid-2012 changed its named to Metrix Software with headquarters in Edmonds, Washington. The first version of Metrix was launched at drupa 2004 and, by the time of the company name change to Metrix Software, had eclipsed 1,000 installs in 22 countries.


“EFI and Metrix have had a positive working relationship for several years,” said Marc Olin, VP and GM of EFI’s Productivity Software business. “Adding the Metrix team’s exceptional talent and technical know-how helps us drive innovation even further.”

EFI plans to continue development and customer support for all of Metrix software products. Initially, the software is to be deployed as an imposition module for EFI’s Pace MIS product. EFI states over time Metrix’ technology is to become integrated with the company's other MIS and ERP workflow offerings.
 
The newest version Metrix, version 2013.0, was demonstrated in Chicago at PRINT 13 in September. The company pointed to the following new ehancements:


• Improved Layout tools, including the ability to copy and paste marks between Layouts,
• Instant assignment and reassignment of Products to Layouts,
• Ability to select multiple Products/Layouts/Components and alter multiple properties at once,
• Addition of Product Tags, for sorting and selective submission to Auto Plan,
• Enhanced intelligence built in to the Prepress Export functionality when error conditions are detected by Metrix,
• Project Reports can now be exported to PDF or a Printer. This works with Metrix Automation as well,
• A new PDF page re-ordering tool to fix improperly ordered content, and
• Support for Windows 8 and Server 2012.

Monday, 01 July 2013

Printer’s Parts and Equipment of Scarborough signed a deal to distribute the recently introduced Revolver Machine Systems Super4&1 device for multifunction binding system with finishing.

The machine features four built-in dies for a range of finishes and closings within one small-footprint system. Punching is electric with the help of a foot-pedal up to a speed of 30,000 sheets per hour – working with 28 to 35 sheets per punch. The Super4&1 features wire closer, coil inserter and comb binding applications.

Printer’s Parts is also now distributing Fullar AR520 and AR670 hydraulic guillotines. The AR520 hydraulic system features a maximum cutting size of 520 x 520 mm and cutting thickness of up to 65 mm. The AR670 system features a maximum cutting size of 670 x 670 mm and cutting thickness of 85 mm. Both cutters include removable side tables, LCD display, and a 3-mm steel front table.



Printer’s Parts has been distributing printing technologies into the Canadian marketplace for more than 40 years.






Monday, 13 May 2013

Fujifilm, which is the exclusive global distributor for Inca technology, announced the launch of a new inkjet solution for POP corrugated board applications. The technology package is a combination of the Inca Onset S40i, Fujifilm’s new Uvijet OC inks, and a new handling system that was previewed back in January 2013.

The new Uvijet ink system and system for handling corrugated substrates are designed to address challenges in the inkjet production of corrugated board, including distorted or bowed substrates. Fujifilm points out that because of the absorbent nature of various corrugated materials, there is a tendency for ink to sink in (leaving an uneven matte finish) and for companies to then compensate by over varnishing. Uvijet inks, according to the company, help to overcome these challenges, while the handling system eliminates further potential distortions.


Fujifilm also points out the Uvijet ink system builds on the company’s history of developing screen inks for POP corrugated board applications, as well as its history with UV inkjet inks. The new inks are described as offering a range of finishes from low-glare satin to high gloss in corrugated applications, while also allowing users to store and then later finish printed POP work.

The new handling system for the Inca Onset S40i is based on a fully automatic vacuum-to-vacuum transfer method. It utilizes a robotic arm and camera system to distinguish the location and orientation of a stack (within 0.5 mm), separate the top sheet and transfer it to the vacuum bed of the Onset without any gripping or squeezing, which can leave marks on outer edges. 



This system, according to Fujifilm, enables the transportation of uneven materials (which could have up to a 20 mm difference per linear metre in distribution end-to-end), to be held flat on the table with no marks affecting the printed area. According to Fujifilm, this eliminates the need for an excessive gap between print heads and substrate, which helps users maintain text and image quality on difficult surfaces.

When printing is complete, a second automated head also utilizing a vacuum system picks up the printed sheet and drops it onto a delivery stack. With both heads working simultaneously, the productivity of the Onset is increased to over 500 m2/hr.

“This combination of printer, ink and handling system enables our customers in the corrugated display market to be confident that they can produce an even higher class of POP displays than ever before, as there are no longer any compromises to be made," stated Tudor Morgan, Marketing Manager, Fujifilm. "We are confident that bringing this solution to market will open up new business opportunities for these printers and give the industry a new standard to work to.”


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Web exPress Inc. of Coquitlam, British Columbia, becomes the newest printing company to join Agfa Graphics’ GreenWorks program, designed to celebrate Agfa customers who commit to the use of environmentally progressive technology.

The company runs Agfa’s :Energy Elite product, which is a long run, no-bake thermal plate. To become a member of Agfa GreenWorks, printers must use one of the following plates from Agfa Graphics: :Azura TS, :Amigo TS, :Energy Elite/Pro, :Azura Vi, and :N94-VCF.


“It is obvious to us that a sustainable future in life and in business is absolutely critical,” stated Byron Sheardown, owner of  Web exPress. “Environmental soundness must be in the foreground of our decisions. Our customers are happy and encourage our efforts to be green as long as it doesn't cost more. With :Energy Elite, we got a superior plate that delivers higher quality printing to our customers.”


Established in 1997 with eight staff members, Web exPress today runs three web press lines and two Heidelberg sheetfed presses, as well as large bindery and mailing departments. The company was listed among Business in Vancouver magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses in British Columbia in 2011.
 
In addition to using :Energy Elite plates, Web exPress recycles plastic, wood, metal, paper and cardboard. The company is FSC certified and claims to have been the first North American importer of 100 percent wheat-straw paper from India.

Monday, 18 March 2013

EFI of California released Version 5.0 of its Fiery XF digital front-end (DFE) designed for wide-format production and proofing. The company states its new DFE seamlessly integrates with VUTEk and EFI wide-format devices, as well as with EFI MIS/ERP systems.
 
Version 5.0 of Fiery XF includes what EFI refers to as completely new spot colour tools, which can be leveraged through the Fiery Color Profiler Suite. The new version also includes more than 50 new wide-format print drivers. The software also features a customizable user interface so that users can tailor Fiery XF to their specific tasks and skill set to reduce error rates.



“With all of the job data available at our fingertips, there is less time wasted tracking down answers,” stated Greg Priede, GM of Category 5 in Burlington, Ontario, an early user of the new version. “With the integration between the VUTEk printer, Fiery front end and EFI MIS system, we see detailed job costing, and can calculate how long the printer actually ran versus how long the press operator took to complete the job.”

Fiery itself is built on a modular infrastructure, allowing users to upgrade as their needs increase. According to EFI, this modular upgradability translates as than 20 Fiery printer or software options.

“Advancements included in our new Fiery wide format software gives print professionals more power than ever to produce accurate, high-quality work quickly and reliably,” said John Henze, VP of Fiery marketing at EFI. “The new, customizable interface makes the system easier to use, as it can be tailored to meet each customer’s exact production needs.”

Sunday, 10 March 2013

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

Monday, 11 February 2013

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.

Friday, 01 February 2013

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.”