From PrintAction's April 2016 print issue, Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling, combines sales insight and print experience to describe how to leverage one of the most important, yet vanishing, skills of lead generation.What do ballet dancing and print sales have in common: Wendy Weiss, a.k.a. The Queen of Cold Calling, a widely quoted New-York-City-based sales training and coaching consultant specializing in lead generation and business development.“I cut my teeth doing new business development in the print and graphic arts industry. Many of my clients are still printers and graphic artists,” says Weiss, who was preparing to present four sales seminars at the National Print Owners Association’s April conference in Texas. “I was never supposed to be The Queen of Cold Calling. I was supposed to be a ballerina,” Weiss laughs. As a teenager, she moved from Pennsylvania to New York City to dance. She needed a day job and, tired of waiting on tables, landed a telemarketing position setting up B2B appointments. The telemarketing company did not have enough work for her, but, after discovered she was good at prospecting, print broker friend soon hired Weiss to set appointments. She then worked in sales for a number of New York printers, one of whom nicknamed her The Queen of Cold Calling.“A big mistake people make when prospecting by phone is talking too much about what they do. Typically printers talk too much about their equipment,” she says. “But I didn’t know any of that stuff back then. I just got on the phone and talked about what a great printer I was setting appointments for... That’s how my sales career started – totally by accident.” Weiss continued to dance and prospect for businesses for a while, but ultimately turned toward training salespeople, sales managers, and business owners.Cold calling is indispensableWeiss believes cold calling is more critical than ever in today’s marketplace. In an interview on the BizTalk Radio Show (one of many free resources archived on her Website), she explains ultimately you can only generate a sales lead four ways: Through marketing; referrals; networking; and cold calling (targeting and telephoning a prospect with whom you have had little or no previous contact).Weiss explains the first three methods are all essentially passive, because you have to wait for somebody else to act. With marketing, you have to wait for prospects to contact you. With referrals, you have to wait for others to facilitate introductions. With networking, you rarely meet the prospect, only the person who knows them.“[Cold calling] is actually the only appointment-generating or opportunity-generating activity that is directly under your control, and it’s the only way to make up the difference between the number of leads or opportunities that you are finding through marketing, referrals, and networking, and the number of leads or opportunities that you actually need to hit whatever revenue number you’re looking to hit,” she says. “So the issue today is not that cold calling is outmoded... it has changed and most people do it really badly.”Weiss says email and social media channels lead some sales professionals to conclude incorrectly that they do not need telephone skills: “What if somebody calls you and you blow the conversation? You’re not going to get the customer. It’s also a fallacy that you can use social media as the main driver and not have to talk to people. For our clients to be effective in today’s environment, we teach them to reach out to prospects strategically and consistently over time, using the phone along with other types of communication and software to track their progress.”Weiss emphasizes that cold calling is a communications skill that can be improved on, but also, “This is not something that you can just wing. There is a certain progression of what needs to be done to get where you want to be.” To teach clients the nuts and bolts of cold calling, Weiss uses a performance model based on her former career as a dancer. The first step in her model is warming up: “When you’re a dancer, warming up is the first thing you do so you don’t hurt yourself,” she explains. “And as a second step, you always rehearse, because that’s how you create the muscle memory that makes your performance automatic. After you have warmed up and rehearsed, then and only then do you pick up the phone.”In Weiss’s model, warming up means compiling a highly targeted list of the people who are most likely to need what you’re selling: “In the old days we didn’t have a lot of information about prospects, but today a wealth of information about them is available to help you decide who might possibly buy something from you, who are most likely to buy from you, and who are most likely to come back and buy a whole lot more.” Her warm up also requires determining what messaging to use when you get prospects on the phone, as well as in your email and voice-mail messages. “The rule of thumb is that nobody cares what you do, so the words matter.“Do you have an attention-grabbing introduction, do your voice-mail messages get people to call back, do your emails get people to respond? If someone you talk to says, ‘I’m not interested,’ it means you’re not saying anything interesting. So you need to do some up-front work to figure out what words will be compelling to the market that you’re talking to and make people want to engage with you.”Changing thoughts and processesBesides instilling skills, Weiss also helps people who dread cold calling change the way they think about it. She says these clients are prone to counterproductive mindreading or fortunetelling.“Cold calling isn’t an emotional experience. It’s marketing,” she insists. “The opposite of hating cold calling is not that you love it. It’s that you’re neutral, which is the mindset you want to maintain. You can’t function if you’re hysterical.” Weiss diffuses fear by pointing out that telephone prospecting, especially appointment setting, is highly predictable – most prospects will respond in only a few different ways.One typical response is, “Send me information.” Weiss explains this usually means a prospect has not read the information sent, because either you have not said anything compelling or the prospect is too busy. If it is the latter, and since your goal is to set up a meeting, Weiss suggests focusing on the fact that they have not said no. “Find a way to make the prospects right or agree with them by countering with something like, ‘I understand you are very busy, but I only need 10 or 15 minutes. When would work for you?’ Many times prospects’ responses are not a stumbling block but a negotiation.”If a prospect responds with, “I already have a vendor I’m happy with,” Weiss suggests focusing on the fact that this automatically places them in the desirable qualified-prospect category.Weiss describes another scenario in which a printer asked her to help hire a salesperson. When she asked him what procedures were in place for the salesperson, he lapsed into an uncomfortable silence. “A big mistake printers make is to hire someone, teach him or her everything about printing, and then tell them to go and sell with no source of qualified leads and no process to follow. Generally speaking, companies seem to have processes in place for everything except prospecting.“Yet as managers or business owners, if we lay out a process with steps for our sales reps to follow, it makes things so much easier, and they are so much more likely to succeed, especially inexperienced new hires or somebody who is struggling.”Although the attrition rate for new hires can be as high as 50 percent, Weiss explains companies usually pay new sales hires up to two-and-a-half years’ salary before deciding to replace them via a corporate hiring cycle that typically costs another two times the salesperson’s annual salary.“To avoid these mistakes, the advice I would give the head of a company is to put in place a comprehensive process, including things like a targeted list, messaging, skills training for your people, and software that tracks and measures what they are doing so you know what is actually working. If any of these essential elements are missing from your process, your telephone-prospecting campaigns are not going to work well,” she says.Weiss explains setting appointments should be the first step of staff training: “They don’t have to know every single thing about printing. You can easily teach them how to make appointments, then use software to track what they’re doing, so you know how to coach them appropriately and have some measure of their progress... If they can’t set appointments, they’re probably not going to sell a lot, so you don’t need to wait a full two years before deciding whether or not to keep them.”Weiss says many printers experience a boom-bust cycle (a busy month followed by an insufficient number of orders the next month) and the bust is frequently the result of not having enough prospects. Her antidote is to prospect every day. “It’s a very common scenario that owners don’t prospect regularly because they get busy doing other stuff. Lots of entrepreneurs also have only one or two really big clients, and if they lose their business, they’re screwed. While it’s a myth in cold calling that you have to do hundreds of dials every day, you still have to do some. You need to take action every day and keep looking for opportunities to move your business forward.”
Four printing sales representatives from across Canada have emerged as Unisource’s 2012 CMYK Idols, following weeks of online voting. The four winners are broken down by region.Sylvie Coulombe of Imprimerie L'Empreinte in Montréal, Quebec, is the 2012 CMYK Idol for the Ottawa and Eastern Canada region, which also holds runner-up Jean-François Poliquin of Impressions Soleil in Québec City. Finalists from the Ottawa and Eastern Canada region include Sophie Canuel of Accent Impression Inc., Luc Janson of Imprimerie L'Empreinte, and Kevin Wyllie of Taylor Printing Group. In the Ontario region, excluding Ottawa, the Unisource Idol winner is Kris Cochrane of TC Transcontinental in Vaughan. Ian Budge of Somerset Graphics Co. in Mississauga is the runner-up Idol for the region, while Flash Reproductions holds three finalists in David Gallant, Andrew Likakis and Rich Pauptit.For the region defined by Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Territories, the 2012 CMYK Idol is Stacy Dreger of Impact Printers in Regina. Tammy Thachuk of the Burke Group of Companies in Edmonton is the runner up, while the region’s finalists are Ken Doornbos of Premier Printing, Bob Matteis of Saskatoon Fastprint, and Lee Weighill of Warwick Printing. In the fourth and final region of British Columbia, Jeff Mesina of Total Graphics in Burnaby is Unisource’s 2012 CMYK Idol and regional runner-up is Dirk Ottevangers of Hemlock Printers. British Columbia’s finalists include Dave Hopkins of Globe Printers and Shelley MacKinnon of Metropolitan Fine Printers.
This Thursday, Peter Ebner, recognized as one of North America’s leading sales trainers dedicated to the printing industry, will present a 2 ½ hour workshop at Fujifilm Canada’s headquarters in Mississauga. Ebner training technique is unique in that he does not present theory or motivational hype, but rather what he describes as proven and tested techniques that North America’s top income earners are already using. The workshop is designed to illustrate how people selling print can break through hidden sales barriers, not by working harder, but rather by refocusing their efforts toward more productive tasks. Most salespeople, according to Ebner, believe they are doing the best they can, having reached an equilibrium, when in fact they are performing at only 20 percent of their true potential.Attendees will receive a free copy of Ebner’s latest book, Breaking the Print Sales Barrier ($49.95 value, hardcover, 217 pages), which is described as a comprehensive guide to handling objections. After the workshop, attendees will also be given the opportunity to take a guided tour through Fujifilm Canada’s demonstration facility, with technologies like thermal and violet CTP devices, Acuity flatbed printers (including the new Acuity LED 1600 UV), Fujifilm XMF and Colorgate workflow solutions, and XMF Colorpath colour management software. When: November 1, 2012, 10:00am-12:30pmWhere: Fujifilm Canada, 600 Suffolk Court, Mississauga, OntarioPrice: $69.95+HST per person Visit the dedicated Ebner Seminar page to view more specifics about the workshop and to register online.Please call (416) 665-7333 ext 31 with any questions.
This Week's Sales Tip from Peter Ebner
The Netherlands-based parent company of Vistaprint has changed its name to Cimpress N.V. In conjunction with the rebrand, Cimpress plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years to build what it calls a shared mass customization platform. The Cimpress mass customization platform (MCP), combining proprietary software and production technology, will aggregate the printing infrastructure of the Cimpress portfolio of brands. It will also bring the company’s growing portfolio of purchased assets under the same fold, including well-known Web-to-print names like Vistaprint, Drukwerkdeal, AlbelliOpens and Pixartprinting. The company states the MCP will increase its ability to mass customize personalized and unique physical products in small quantities at an affordable price. “We have a two decade history during which we have started a major market transformation, yet the next 20 years promise to be even more exciting,” said Robert Keane, President and CEO, Cimpress. “Businesses and consumers are still too often forced to choose between the ease and flexibility of digital communications and a more enduring tangible connection with their audience. We are changing that…” Founded as Vistaprint by Keane in January 1995, Cimpress and its subsidiaries have focused on redefining the online purchase of printed apparel, marketing products and photo merchandise. The company states its foundation is based on the belief that software and production technology can be harnessed to aggregate enormous numbers of small orders into a high-volume production flow. Cimpress today employs over 400 software and manufacturing engineers and more than 5,300 total employees in 16 countries. Cimpress claims that every year since 1999 it has invested at least 10 percent of its revenues into technology and development, including $176 million in its last fiscal year. Over the past decade, the company states it has invested over $1.3 billion in technology, development and capital investments. The company also announced that it has named Don Nelson as COO for Cimpress. In this role, Nelson will be directly responsible for building and advancing the mass customization platform. “The future of mass customization is very promising for those companies that can combine world class capabilities in software and manufacturing,” stated Nelson. “The key is to have massive scale, yet produce in small quantities. The old paradigm of job-shop production of orders one at a time simply is not able to compete with technology-driven mass customization.”
Colour Innovations welcomed more than 150 people to its launch event for the inaugural issue of RE:flex, a large-format magazine highlighting the use of specialty printing techniques on high-end design and photography. This inaugural issue of RE:flex centred around applying Colour Innovations’ CIX MetalFX print technology to the digital collages of designer, artist and illustrator Louis Fishauf, who has won more than 60 Gold and Silver ADCC (Advertising & Design Club of Canada) Awards, Gold and Silver National Magazine Awards, and the ADCC Les Usherwood Award. Fishauf was the co-founder and Creative Director of Reactor Art & Design; served as Editorial Art Director for Chatelaine, City Woman, The City, Saturday Night and Toronto Life magazines; was the Senior Design Consultant for Sympatico Internet Service; and is an Apple Computer Applemaster. He currently serves as a Sessional Instructor at OCAD University. Over the past few years, Fishauf has been creating digital collages using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and as an early adopter and enthusiastic proponent of digital imaging. Colour Innovations describes his work is an ideal medium for the application of CIX MetalFX technology. The CIX MetalFX process uses Photoshop channels and proprietary software to combine a gold, silver or bronze base with the 4-colour CMYK process to create thousands of metallic shades and hues from only five colours. The process fit Fishauf’s approach of creating digital collages using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. “I took the opportunity to not only experiment with retrofitting my existing pieces, but also to create a number of new collages and the facing pattern pages, with the metallic ink process specifically in mind,” stated Fishauf. “This required developing a workflow in Adobe Photoshop which attempted to approximate on my computer monitor how the metallic colours would appear in print.” RE:flex’ inaugural is a large-format 24-page publication printed on Sappi HannoArt gloss cover and text, provided by Ariva, with Metalstar Pantone silver ink, provided by Eckart Effect Pigments.
Hostmann-Steinberg North America, Canada’s long-standing ink manufacturer, completed its rebrand to hubergroup Canada Ltd., taking on the name of its powerful parent company – one of the world’s largest ink producers and chemical companies. As part of its rebranding efforts, Hubergroup Canada launched a new Website, Hubergroup.ca, complete with a revamped product selection guide. In addition to inks, hubergroup produces and markets printing varnishes, coatings, dampening solutions, additives and printing auxiliaries. hubergroup is an international holding group comprised of 40 companies, which amounts to 150 branch offices, sales offices, distributing warehouses and representatives worldwide. It has been a privately held company for over 240 years, with the founding family still involved. More than 3,600 employees contribute to hubergroup’s annual production capacity of over 340,000 tonnes of products.
Domtar has released a series of videos which uses a humourous approach to illustrate the value of printed products. The four new videos are part of the company's PAPERbecause campaign, which made its debut back in 2010."The PAPERbecause campaign has always promoted the responsible use of paper and the need to balance print vs. pixels, and we wanted to illustrate several instances of when paper is the most effective way to communicate on a logical and emotional level," said Paige Goff, Domtar's Vice-President of Sustainable Business and Brand Management. "Our previous office videos reminded people how Domtar has long been a leader in sustainable paper production, but with the new videos, we wanted to focus on everyday life.""We've been very pleased with the recognition PAPERbecause has received, and we think it speaks to a bigger point," adds Goff. "Even after 2,000 years, there are times when no substitute for paper will suffice."
Flash Reproductions and Unisource Canada partnered to launch Wayward Arts magazine, a new publication to highlight Canadian design studios. The companies held a launch event last night.
Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, one of the world’s most powerful media companies, based in Hamburg, Germany, announced it will brand its printing operations under the name of Be Printers. This printing division of Bertelsmann was formed a few months ago after the international media company merged most of its worldwide print operations. Now, 17 production sites in six countries on three continents will operate under the Be Printers umbrella.The Be Printers group does business in what Bertelsmann describes as key markets in the Americas (U.S. and Colombia) and Europe (Germany, UK, Italy, and Spain). The Chief Executive Officer of Be Printers is Bertram Stausberg, who also leads the company’s Prinovis entity. The individual Be Printer companies will continue to do business under their original names. Axel Springer is to remain a co-shareholder in Prinovis.Be Printers generates annual revenues of €1.2 billion and employs approximately 6,800 people, working with gravure, web and sheetfed offset, and digital printing. Its plants produce magazines, catalogs, brochures, books and calendars for their clients.
While manufacturers around the world have reached new heights in technology adoption and equipment innovation, there are still many pain points that hinder optimization, efficiency and even safety on the plant floor.
There is no single “true path” for innovation. In fact, there are as many ways to innovate as there are problems that need solving.
When the term Web 2.0 seeped into business vernacular in the mid-2000s, it seemed to hold little concrete meaning. It was Internet ether following crazed venture capital funding of nascent but often flawed online business strategies. Web 2.0 initially seemed like a make-good promise for millions of lost dollars.In hindsight, Web 2.0 is now the descriptor for the foundation of user-generated content manifested most obviously as billion-dollar social media platforms. It has created completely new businesses amassing enormous wealth – in a matter of years as opposed to decades – as younger generations successfully tap into a robust online economy.Industry 4.0 is a much more relevant evolutionary term for the printing industry. Unlike Web 2.0, which certainly drove the Internet to become a GDP factor, Industry 4.0 ultimately involves the deployment of tangible goods, factories, machines and equipment. The Internet of Things is an important business term to understand, but perhaps more of an acknowledgement for the revolutionary – existing – network infrastructure built by the likes of Cisco, Sun and Oracle. Industry 4.0, which includes The Internet of Things amid its most prevailing and complicated definitions, is a term to describe the new wealth to be generated from an overdue return to industrialism.For more than 50 years, the greatest business innovations to emerge out of stable economies have been generated around computing, from software and graphical user interfaces to processor chips and communications networks (both micro and macro). As Moore’s Law reaches its limit, which Intel’s CEO stated to be a reality in 2015, Industry 4.0 arrives for business visionaries to begin leveraging decades of computing power to drive industrial equipment.Elon Musk, who was born in South Africa but also holds Canadian and American citizenships, is the ultimate Industry 4.0 visionary. In 1995, Musk and his brother, Kimbal, used a small family loan to start Zip2 and develop online city guides for newspaper publishers, leading to contracts with The New York Times and Chicago Tribune. In 1999, Compaq acquired Zip2 for $307 million in cash and, within weeks, Musk’s proceeds co-founded an Internet-based financial services company called X.com. A year later, X.com merged with Confinity, which held a money transfer service called PayPal. Musk was PayPal’s largest shareholder when eBay bought it for $1.5 billion in 2002. Within weeks, Musk founded a new company called SpaceX with the ambitious goal of jumping the commercial space industry by building rockets.With NASA’s retirement of its Space Shuttle program and mounting U.S. tensions with Russia, whose Soyuz rockets are today relied on by most space agencies to carry cargo and people beyond Earth’s gravitational influence, Musk saw opportunity to undercut the dormant astronautic activities of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Focused at the time on aeronautics, these defense giants reacted by forming the United Launch Alliance (ULA). Today, with a base $1.6 billion NASA contract for 12 resupply flights, it costs SpaceX around $60 million to launch a payload aboard one of its Falcon 9 rockets. A ULA launch costs around $225 million – Space Shuttle missions were upwards of $1.5 billion per launch, depending on cargo. Driven to make money, SpaceX developed a reusable Falcon 9 rocket (first stage) that in 2016 has twice successfully returned to Earth, landing on barge in the middle of the ocean after delivering an ISS payload. A SpaceX launch burns relatively little in fuel ($300,000), meaning there are significant cost savings with a reusable first stage rocket. The company estimates it would save 30 percent, around $43 million a launch. Commercial space company Blue Origin, controlled by another online magnet in Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, has also successfully landed reusable rockets, although much smaller. None of this would be possible without taking advantage of Industry 4.0, applying incredible processing power to industrial equipment. Tesla is another prime example of Musk’s Industry 4.0 leadership, applying processing power to self-drive his battery-powered Tesla cars. Robotics will play a major role in Industry 4.0 and happen to be a Canadian specialty – driven by the Canadian Space Agency. Robotics will become a force for all manufacturing. Industry 4.0 is well underway and it is a positive development for the printing industry, which has lived on the edges of this business term for decades, processing billions of bits and bytes to million-dollar machines, offset, inkjet and toner. An industry that spent the past two decades forcing its machines to speak fluently with each other is ready for Industry 4.0.
Leveraging Customer Relationship Management and Voice Over Protocol tools to bind your print sales and production teams (Originally published in PrintAction June 2016 magazine).What can Buddy Guy’s blues band teach us about collaboration? Buddy Guy, the Chicago blues guitarist whom Eric Clapton once called “the best guitarist alive”, is still touring with his Damn Right Blues Band at 79 years of age. I’m a fan and play a bit of music each week because it feels so good to get together with friends and jam. A live blues band is an improvisational exercise in collaboration and innovation. Could that be an analogy for the printing business these days?I drove down to Buffalo with a fellow blues/jazz fan to see Buddy last month. We both love live music. Buddy opened by telling the adoring crowd, “I’m not sure what’s going to happen tonight. It keeps my band on their toes. There will be some surprises.” And that, in a nutshell, is why I love live blues and jazz music. It is spontaneous and, to do it well, all the players must effectively communicate what’s going on in the moment, where the tune is going and who’s going to take the lead and when. The skill with which a great band navigates this tricky live improvisational experience is what I admire most.The key is clear communications and exchange of information among the players. The drummer gets a cue to end a song from the subtle lifting of the guitar neck, a slight nod signals a soloist to begin, a hand in the air telegraphs the bridge and a tap on the head means take it to the top. Hold up three fingers at the start of a song and you signal the three flats in the key of E.Enough riffing on the music, this brings me to how we manage internal business communications, which is increasingly becoming an experience of working in the moment. Sharing, collaborating and being prepared for improvising in new business situations has never been easier. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are the foundation of great customer experiences, because they allow for the easy sharing of information among your team about the customer’s contact information, the stage in the sales pipeline and recent communications with them. Most high-end Management Information Systems today have integrated dashboards for sales reps to help manage clients, but CRM is well supported by tools such as VOIP phones, chat tools and video conferencing. There are so many channels to engage with a customer and also to exchange information amongst your employees to make great music together. I have worked with several of these CRM and VOIP tools that have proved beneficial in the fast-paced printing business.CRM toolsLet’s start with the CRM tools. These are basically the recent digital take on the paper Rolodex or address book. When all of your company can share addresses and contact information, you will be a stronger organization for it. Best of all, most are in the cloud, so they are scalable, mobile friendly and available wherever your team works. There will be no more time wasted searching out the right contact name for a customer or wondering who is the main contact, who pays the invoices or who has left the operation. Our CRM also keeps a log of all email back and forth between clients and the company. It simplifies understanding the state of a project and acts as a record of past exchanges.CRM is often associated with tracking the sales pipeline. This simply means that “opportunities” are logged in this central repository and this makes it possible to see how sales targets are being met, where leads are coming from and who is cultivating them at what stage – all great information to help you understand how your sales efforts are progressing. You can even automate some steps. For instance, when a new client is added or a sale completed, the sales manager can receive an email notification alert (the CRM equivalent of a guitar neck lift to signal the end of a song). The latest twist on this is the link between online forms, social media follows and your CRM. In other words, every point where a customer interacts with your company can be tracked and managed from the best CRM tools. It is now easy to compare different CRM tools functionality and an extra hour of research will find the best tool (at the right cost) for your employees. It’s like the whole band is facing each other, has eye contact and can see where the improvised tune is headed. Companies just perform better when they can collaborate easily.Even vendor information can be kept on the CRM, so nobody at your firm is scrambling trying to find the name of that special source for cartons, blade sharpening or specialty ink. Once you add a vendor name, the best practice is to add a few searchable keywords to make finding them easy. We add “plumber”, “electrician” and so on to our vendor names. You can even decide to rate your vendors so that others at the firm know if your electrician arrived late, charged too much or was the friendliest one you’d ever met. This just makes it easier to manage vendors of services, ink, paper, whatever else you purchase in the course of business.But the communication exchange can also benefit from new channels available at low cost. Some we are familiar with, and some we do not associate with business. Nearly all of us send SMS text messages these days. Our mobile devices help us connect with family and friends and increasingly with work. Having an internal chat tool (Google for Work has one built in) can mean time savings when quick answers are required. Messenger, now part of Facebook, is a growing tool for chat and even has a phone/video feature. You may be wondering why you’d use a Facebook tool in your print business, but you only have to ask the 900 million users (up 700 million in two years) about the benefits, or listen to Mark Zuckerberg’s latest 10-year plan to use Messenger in new ways in our business life.VOIP toolsI’m also a fan of VOIP phones as they help make collaboration easier. We once thought it was good enough to have a toll-free number, but nowadays you want to be able to have your calls follow your employees to their mobile devices, and offer easy conferencing and transferring, even if they are working from home or from a mobile device. VOIP seems to offer the widest number of options for making phone communications more effective at work.But don’t think that just having tools will make the whole thing gel. Your band of employees have to rehearse. By this I mean that they need to be trained and work out the new etiquette for these channels of communication. When should they choose Chat over an email and when should I invite a colleague to join me on a call or share a video of a bindery process with a repairman so they can see what is acting up in the plant? Without having some policies and sharing best practices among your team, however, you’ll have a train wreck (that’s band talk for a song gone off the rails).These channels are constantly evolving. You cannot wait for it to all settle and then make your move. Start tuning up your internal and customer communications today and you’ll all make pretty music together, and maybe a bit more money too, as the experience improves and your costs to manage collaboration reduce.
Tips on preparing your business for loss before having to turn unprepared to an insurance claim (originally published in PrintAction June 2016 magazine).Think taking a terror-filled ride on Zumanjaro is the ultimate scariest you could possibly feel? Then you probably have not been through the life-changing horror of a major insurance claim. No doubt about it, the Six Flags Great Adventure ride in New Jersey is sure to suck the life out of you with its 415-foot drop reaching 90 miles per hour in just 10 seconds. Getting a phone call explaining that your building is on fire or the roof collapsed, however, will overcome any fears of Zumanjaro.There are so many angles to an insurance claim that it is virtually impossible to write a guidance manual on what to do, how to do it, or – even more importantly – how to avoid the possibility of seeing your hard-earned work collapse in rubble. But there are ways and means to help prevent insurance catastrophes and I’d like to share some with you.Protecting your investmentEvery establishment has some type of insurance policy, but coverage is such a boring and mundane topic most of us do not dwell on it and quickly file documents away once established. Business interruption coverage is very common, but if a claim is made there is plenty of work the insured must do to prove the loss and this may come as a surprise to some. First suggestion: Keep good records and keep those records updated and in a safe place.Over the years, I have worked on both sides of an insurance claim. I’ve been hired by insurance firms, adjusters, forensic investigators, public adjusters, as well as the insured themselves. Having seen both sides of the equation, it becomes quite clear how much knowledge and communication is lacking.A good example is a file on which I was engaged by the insured. This company runs a profitable and well-organized business. A major weather-related structural failure in part of the company’s plant caused half of its machinery to become involved in a serious claim due to water and falling infrastructure. Months later, I was called to come and access some of the damaged machinery. The claim had gone nowhere and, as is quite typical, the insured called in a public adjuster. Public adjusters are firms that work specifically for the insured and not the insurance company. This happens quite often when things get testy between parties. They are well versed on the protocols of a claim and the mechanics required to settle one. Public adjusters typically work for a percentage of the claim and this comes out of the insured’s settlement. In this case, the machinery sat exposed and rusting in the elements. To make matters worse, the surrounding areas were dangerous and essentially off limits. At the on-site meeting about the accident, you could cut the tension and anger with a knife. Adjusters are firms that are hired by insurance companies to access and recommend needed steps to get the insured back up and running. Although the majority of adjusters are competent, as with any industry, there are also some disappointments and blow-hards that work to grind the claim process to a virtual halt. Obviously, insurance companies know they have responsibilities but they also want to mitigate the claims and pay out as little as they can. The word mitigate is important here, because it is not as well discussed that the insured must also try to mitigate their claim too, taking any steps to preserve or reduce damage to equipment and furnishings.In this case, we had a disturbing adjuster who seemed to relish his role and enjoy the fact he was being paid handsomely to travel across the country, write reports, argue the merits of visible damage and drive just about everyone – especially the insured – to look for sharp objects. Dealing with claimsAfter months of deadlock, thousands of dollars spent to argue the claim, total disruption of their scheduling, lack of key machinery. which in this case was very specific and hard to replace, it came down to total anger. Usually a competent adjuster can come up with a good plan. He or she knows, that when it comes to machinery, the best the manufacturer can do is provide a ballpark repair quote and a new replacement price. But what happens when the repair comes without a firm warranty? In almost all cases, it does not. And so the claim discussion moves forward around getting new replacement machinery, which is a significant discussion point to understand.Talk to your agent and tell them you wish to be covered for full new replacement. If not, the claim continues down a rabbit hole: “The press is 12 years old? Then we need to value such an asset prior to the claim.” This is the essential problem and an active files quickly becomes a bickering and depressing period that can take years to settle and will in the end, probably – surely – mean you will come out of the whole ordeal worse off than you were before. Even with various opinions and quotations (for repairs), if the adjuster is lacking in specific knowledge and does not go out and seek someone who can provide this, then it may be impossible for both the insurer and the insured to agree on a fair settlement.There is, of course, another side to the insurance business in faulty claims or at the very least a case of very suspicious origins. We were called in by an insurance company over a claim to do with one machine – almost brand new. The story was an apparent break-in and vandalism on the press. Rags and paper were set alight placed on various parts of the press and a few control cabinets were tipped over. The heat activated the sprinklers which then put out the fire but drenched everything in the plant including offices. There was something wrong here. I felt it and was rather surprised when I discussed my thoughts with the insurance rep. He didn’t much care really. He told me that the integrity of the insured really didn’t matter much. Insurance had to quantify the claim and close the file. But this was an exception and it should be noted, having worked many times on the insurance side, very little is left unknown when investigators get to work. They will know where the “oven” is, which is the term used by insurers in reference to the initial location of a fire. They will also be able to track the damage and spot oddities like accelerants. Forensic work like finding out about the financial wellbeing of a claimant is the norm not the exception. In the end, this printer was forced to close.When there was still a very healthy business climate for printing machinery, we regularly bought and rebuilt countless machines. I remember one purchase vividly from in 1994, shortly after southern California had a major earthquake. Bridges collapsed, buildings were damaged, and all sorts of businesses had claims. One damaged printer had two 40-inch presses – a 6-colour and a 5-colour. The claim was settled before we were involved and I went to look at the machinery, which was now dismantled and sitting outside in a temporary tent. The manufacturer’s service manager was there and he tried to explain to me that the earthquake had uplifted the machine from its leveling feet and somehow twisted the frames. His evidence was one elongated hole which was part of six holes on each unit that were bolt holes for assembly. One hole? Clearly whoever had taken apart the press had a whole lot of trouble getting one bolt out! There was obviously no damage to the frames – it was all nonsense. But the printer did get new machines and we did bring both machines back to life and eventually resold them. Some common sense could have saved somebody a lot of money.Many damaged machines came through our plant: Lightning strikes, floods, transit (by water or road), but the most damage by far was caused by fire. Delivery fires are common – caused by filthy deliveries with lots of spray powder. Dropped sheets mixed with very hot infrared or UV lamps can cause tremendous damage. Overheated motors such as ring blowers near the delivery, are another common reason. An obvious remedy is to keep machinery clean and free of debris. Another suggestion few think about is to have plenty of fire extinguishers around and know how to use them. This last one would have helped a UK company after its 6-colour double coater and double dryer (LYYLX) was set alight via a dropped sheet and interdeck UV lamp. That press took us over 6,000 man-hours to restore.Insurance common senseOver the years, we must have been involved in over 30 substantial rebuilding projects. Almost all were equipment that we purchased when a claim was settled. I learned to quantify costs of repairs using some basic grade-nine chemistry, calculating what temperatures were reached, how it affected the guts and understanding how cast iron has a memory. Heat-twisted cast iron will return to its original position with re-heating. Fires that occur near melted polyethylene and polypropylene (plastic skids for example), produce toxic gases and when mixed with water become an acid that will attack bare steel and cast iron. I still see a great deal of waste within the insurance claim process when the wrong so-called experts are in a position to determine repairs. A good talker can needlessly cost both sides a lot of money.So far I’ve yet to meet any insured who felt that they came out ahead after a claim. This should be a warning to everyone, that even though we have insurance, in the end, after all the pain and disruption, you will often wish you did not file a claim. Insurance is important and can save a business, but do not assume you’ll finally get rid of that old machine or upgrade your whole plant simply because you have business disruption coverage and replacement coverage. Take steps to protect your investments now. Do simple things like buy more fire extinguishers, improve your housekeeping, and update your records.If a disaster happens, take steps to reduce your claim and get solid advice from a professional. Be completely honest and upfront. Do not try and pile-on things that will be spotted as marginal by a good adjuster. One final suggestion: consider increasing your deductible. You should be trying to prevent a life changing moment not small repairs like as a bolt going through a press. Raising your deductible can lower your premiums and even afford you the budget to increase your protection if and when the big claim hits.That’s about all you can do and it’s really important that you do it now before something horrible happens. Zumanjaro is nicknamed the Drop of Doom. But you know that when you buckle in. Insurance claims can have the same moniker but be even more terrifying and without warning.
Crawford Technologies, which develops Enterprise Content Management tools out of Toronto, has been named as one of Canada’s fastest growing technology companies by the 15th annual Deloitte Technology Fast 50 awards. The Fast 50 program recognizes the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Canada, based on the percentage of revenue growth over five years. “Canadian Fast 50 companies innovate, demonstrate entrepreneurship, create jobs, and invest in R&D,” stated Richard Lee, National Leader, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Group, Deloitte. “Crawford Technologies is an example of a company that shows passion, determination and drive that are so important for growth in the Canadian technology sector.”In the past five years, Crawford Technologies, led by President Ernie Crawford, reports a combined growth of 187 percent. “We are considered a premier international provider of print and mail solutions software,” stated Crawford. “Our customers include many of world’s largest banks, insurance, telecommunications companies and government organizations. They use our software to distribute billions of documents annually and require high levels of reliability and performance.”Crawford Technologies states its tools have helped over 700 companies around the world to reduce costs associated with communications processes by delivering bills, statements and other mission-critical transactional communications. This includes alternate format documents in Braille, large print, audio and E-text for visually impaired and print-disabled customers.To qualify for the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 ranking, companies must have been in business for at least five years, have revenues of at least $5 million, be headquartered in Canada, own proprietary technology, and conduct research and development activities in Canada.
Semper International, a placement firm that services the graphic arts and printing industry, has published a study in which it found that despite some growth in Q3, the industry will likely witness some stagnation in the fourth quarter.“Every sector of the economy has felt the effects of government mismanagement. From sequester to the recent government shutdown, the government’s lack of activity is hurting people,” says Dave Regan, CEO of Semper. “Semper is in the unique position of seeing the pain from both sides of the coin. We see companies struggling to keep their doors open, and we see jobseekers struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. We need Washington to step up and provide the stability and incentives businesses need to see to start hiring and investing. It's the only way we're going to get the economy moving again.”Survey participants include more than 300 small, medium and large printing companies in the U.S.; both clients and prospects of Semper International. While a few Canadian companies were asked, none participated in this survey. Participants provide data on revenue and hiring as well as estimated outlooks on future trends. Data is requested from a random sample and is not screened. Semper has been running quarterly surveys since February 2003.Key findings from the study include:• 71% of companies surveyed reported a profitable Q3. This represents a 3 point increase over second quarter.• 42% of survey respondents reported an increase in revenue over last quarter.• Looking at the two weeks before the survey was taken, 34% of companies reported an increase in current sales, matching data from the third quarter survey.• 40% of companies expect sales to increase through the remainder of Q4, 2013 while 36% expect sales to stay the same. Last quarter 56% expected a sales increase and 30% expected sales to stay the same.• The vast majority of respondents indicated that hiring levels will remain the same or increase, nearly the same as last quarter.• Just under half of companies reported that healthcare is still the labour cost component that increased the fastest last quarter. Healthcare has remained the fastest growing component of cost for the last 15 quarters. Overtime, the next largest component, rose 12 points from last quarter. This increase in overtime could be an indicator that some segments are so unsure of the economy they are forcing overtime to avoid the hiring process - an expensive bet in the mid-term.• The greatest competitive threat to printers remains largely unchanged from last quarter. The current economy (52%) is the largest threat, exceeding price pressures from lower cost competitors (19%), and emerging technology (11%).• Print buyers place the greatest pricing pressure on ink to substrate printing (46%).• Referrals (40%) continue to be the most popular way to find employees. Use of flexible staffing increased 5 points to 15%.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has published an report which says that in 2012, U.S. Trade publishers’ net revenues grew by 6.2 percent over 2011.The data, based on numbers provided by 1,193 publishers, also notes the rapid growth of eBooks which now accounts for 22.55 percent of revenues compared to 16.98 percent in 2011 and just 3.17 percent in 2009. When the report started tracking eBook numbers in 2002, the number was at 0.05 percent.In formats, Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction saw growth in eBooks, downloaded audiobooks and paperbacks while Children’s and Young Adult eBooks, hardcover and board books saw increases. The eBook format in the Religious Presses category also grew as compared to 2011.According to a report by Publishers’ Weekly last fall, Canadian publishers reported that digital book sales were estimated to be 12 to 13 percent of the book market for 2012, up from the 12 to 13 percent figure of 2011.
According to a new study released by the Pew Research Center regarding news consumption trends, newsstand sales declined 16 percent for all major news magazines in the U.S. during 2012, with magazines overall declining 8.2 percent. While newspaper subscription revenues were steady, a major decline in print ad revenue continues.Among the hardest hit were The Economist, which declined 17 percent and The Week, which declined 18 percent. Newsweek, which stopped publishing a print edition at the end of last year, dropped five percent. Print subscriptions were relatively stable, a fact which the study attributes to discounts and special offers. Of six magazines studied, ad pages declined 10 percent in 2012.For newspapers, daily circulation fell 0.2 percent, a number that is buoyed by new digital pay plans implemented by 450 newspapers in the U.S. Advertising revenue numbers provided by the Newspaper Association of America indicates the industry has fallen below US$20 billion. For every $16 in print ad revenue lost, only $1 in digital ad revenue was recouped, a worsening trend from the $10 to $1 ratio witnessed in 2011. Newspaper ad revenues now sit at 60 percent of what they were a decade ago.On the whole, magazine revenues declined 10.4 percent and newspapers declined 5.9 percent year over year, with Digital (online) and Local TV gaining 16.6 and 10.1 percent respectively.Read the key findings of the media study here.
According to analysis by BookNet, sales of print books in Canada slipped nearly 10 percent in the third quarter this year compared to a year ago.Unit sales slipped 9.5 percent while dollar value fell 6.4 percent. The numbers are based by the tracking of 665 retail locations across the country.The break-down of the segments are as follows:Total market (All):Volume: -9.54% Value: -6.42%Fiction (All):Volume: -7.12%Value: -0.31%Non-Fiction (All):Volume: -12.36%Value: -13.06%Juvenile (All):Volume: -10.13%Value: -6.03%A recent study, also by Booknet, found that e-books were not entirely to blame, as over the first three quarters of 2012, it saw a decline from 17.55% of its 1,000 readers surveyed who purchased an e-book in the first quarter to 14.16% in the third quarter. BookNet is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 for the Canadian book industry.
According to Ad Age, a trade publication looking at the advertising world, subscriptions of digital magazines has doubled in the second half of 2011 compared to a year earlier.Based on statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, digital magazines are now estimated to have an audience of 3.29 million, compared to 1.46 million in 2010, a 125 percent increase. Even with the growth, digital circulation represents only about one percent of magazines' total paid and verified circulation.Read the full story here.
Jonathan Franzen, acclaimed author of The Corrections and Freedom, made a statement in support of printed books while speaking at the Hay Festival in Cartagena, Colombia. In a report by The Telegraph, Franzen is quoted as saying "serious readers" opt for the paper edition over ebooks because they appreciate the permanence of physical books.“The technology I like is the American paperback edition of Freedom. I can spill water on it and it would still work! So it's pretty good technology. And what’s more, it will work great 10 years from now. So no wonder the capitalists hate it. It’s a bad business model,” said Franzen. He continues to say how a printed book conveys a sense of reassurance to the reader that they're holding on to a piece of time and space. Read the full story on The Telegraph's website.
During the premier event for research in North American print, five keynotes address industry progress (originally published in PrintAction's May 2016 issue). The middle of March is a time of year when researchers and technology evangelists from the printing world gather at the annual Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA) conference, held this year in Memphis, Tennessee. An unusual aspect of this year’s TAGA conference was that there were five keynote addresses, instead of the traditional four, addressing the future of technology. The first keynote presented by Mike D’Angelo, Managing Director Americas for Goss International, focused on why offset printing remains today’s dominant printing process around the world. D’Angelo pointed to a key trends affecting the current print market, including: Many magazines are still being printed, the book market is stable, the newspaper decline has stopped, and packaging is a growth business. Commercial printing seems to have turned a corner, according to D’Angelo, but there is no doubt the run lengths are shorter, less pages per job are printed, more localized versions are produced, and the use of automation has increased. Newspaper printing needs a new business model, according to D’Angelo, with smaller, more agile presses. This in turn will translate into printing localized content to help stabilize newspaper sectors. The packaging market sees increased competition and more versions of the same product are being printed. Web offset printing also offers some price and speed advantages in comparison to sheetfed offset. Offset plates are cheaper to make than flexo plates and web offset printing offers a unique speed advantage, not only in press terms, but also in the number of times materials need to be handled and stored.The second keynote was given by Liz Logue, Senior Director Corporate Business Development with EFI, speaking about printing on textiles and ceramics with inkjet technology. Logue stressed a little-known fact that 50 percent of ceramic tiles and 40 percent of display graphics are digitally printed. Digital textile printing is gaining traction and currently only five percent of all textiles are digitally printed.Rotary screen printing is still the dominant print technology for textile printing. Inkjet inks are adapted for textile printing and fast fashion turnover provides digital-printing textile opportunities. New digital designs enable new profits. Increases in print speed and resolution for digital textile printing helps with the transition from conventional to digital print technologies. From an environmental standpoint, Logue explains digital printing is also less water polluting than conventional print methods.The next keynote speaker was Kevin Berisso from the University of Memphis, who talked about The Internet of Things (IoT) and posed an intriguing question to the crowd by referencing The Terminator movie series: Are we building Skynet? In truth, Berisso was really asking what exactly is IoT, because there are now so many definitions out there about this critical movement in business processes.Berisso explains IoT is based on physical devices that are networked, collect data and make automatic decisions. An IoT solution needs to combine hardware and software, has to interconnected, and must interact with its environment. The fourth keynote was given by Janos Verres, Program Manager at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), speaking about the next generation of Printed Electronics. First, Verres give a brief historical overview of PARC and some of the many innovations made there that are now part of everyday live, such as the Graphical User Interface, ethernet connection and laser printing. Verres also talked about how energy will be democratized and why the future will be personalized. He explained how this future will be driven by smart devices, smart analytics and smart infrastructure. In the future, electronics will have any form, any shape and will reach new levels of complexity. Yet, they still need to be easy to fabricate using flexible printed and hybrid electronics. IoT will change from Internet of Things to Internet of Everything. This will lead to ubiquitous intelligence and computing. Printing technologies will help shape the Internet of Everything, with integrated printing platforms that will be part of multi-process printing workflows. Simple electronics will be printed with very small memory capacity, which will be printed.The fifth keynote was given by Don Schroeder, Director of Solutions Development at Fujifilm North America, speaking about key trends in inkjet printing. The use of inkjet technology is growing fast based on new print heads even as more paper products must be adapted to work well with inkjet inks. Although the use of inkjet printing is growing, Schroeder explains it still is only 0.5 percent of global print production volume.High-speed inkjet printing is gaining traction beyond its current primary use for transactional printing. Its main challenges remain paper quality, costs and availability, in addition to capital costs and printing speed. Inkjet presses have become more expensive and people shy away from the risk of buying a new, expensive inkjet press that might become superseded in two years time. The amortization period is too short.Schroeder also pointed to inkjet printing benefits: Less set up time, less waste, quick turnaround, variable data printing, low volume reprints, less consumables and less maintenance. Inkjet printing also offers a larger gamut than offset printing, as it makes inroads into the packaging and label markets. Looking at folding cartons, for example, the new Heidelberg Primefire 106 will be shown at drupa 2016 running with Fujifilm’s inkjet technology, reaching speeds of 2,000 sheets per hour.The remaining TAGA program outlined critical technology progress, including a presentation on expanded gamut printing and, importantly, asking what is the correct colour sequence of CMYK plus OGV (seven colours) to find the best combination to achieve maximum gamut.Another presentation showed how the FOGRA 51 dataset and resulting ICC profile was put together before its public release. Other key topics printers should investigate included: Cross-media communications, PDF X/4, the influence of optical brighteners, new colour management tools for digital printing, shorter product cycles for packaging, print quality of 3D objects, printable films based on hemicellulose, inline direct-mail automation, on-press control of metallic inks using M3 measurement condition, CxF/X4, lamination for consumer packaging, spectral colour control, resistive gravure inks made with soy protein, print gloss, and how to extract capacitors out of recycled printed electronics.TAGA once again delivered the message that innovation remains a key driver of the printing industry and that its proprietors must embrace change.
The following article by UK journalist Sean Smyth is part of the drupa Expert Article series to provide industry insight leading up to the drupa tradeshow running from May 31 to June 10, 2016, in Germany.Parents know this refrain well “Are we there yet?” – just as they know the answer, “In a little while.” I spend my working life with printing technology and have heard this for many years. In the case of inkjet, it is a recurring theme. And while we are not there yet, we are getting much closer. Approaching the destinationSome print providers have arrived. A great example is REAL Digital International based in South London. In 2004, the company was founded based on the belief that transactional and direct mail production could be improved using a flexible inkjet solution. They invested heavily in secure premises and powerful workflow with finishing systems to cut, fold, collate and insert almost anything. REAL Digital invented 650-mm-wide high-quality colour duplex web inkjet printing by mounting a pair of single pass inkjet presses on a flexible transport system. Further, the company developed new paper coatings to reach acceptable quality for leading brands, printing personalized carriers, mailers and magazines. The business proved out the belief, winning multiple awards, including the PrintWeek Company of the Year, while inventing new business models as the marketplace matured. They identified inkjet’s potential and went for it, making good money in the process. REAL Digital’s journey continues by upgrading to a pair of Screen Jet520 duplex lines in 2014, but is not stopping there. They continue to monitor the technology to see what the future holds. “Inkjet technology provided the flexibility enabling us to deliver solutions that address latent customer demand and to drive new demand in areas where we have seen further opportunities,” David Laybourne, REAL Digital’s Managing Director, explains. “The technology continues to evolve, and inks are more flexible with increased colour gamut, reducing the need for special substrates whilst increasing productivity. As the ink manufacturers accept more viable pricing models, the proportion of the marketplace that inkjet solutions are able to address will only increase.”Viable ink costs are keyLaybourne’s opinion about viable ink pricing models is informative. Ink cost makes medium to long runs with high ink coverage uneconomical in inkjet, as compared to analogue print. Suppliers want to maximize profit and this disconnect is holding back adoption of inkjet in commercial print, publishing and packaging applications.Printers using analogue presses think the ink is too expensive. There are several supply models for equipment, service and consumables (mostly ink, but cleaning fluids and replacement heads must be considered). High value recurring consumable revenue is attractive to suppliers, but print service providers are not used to this. They buy a litho press and negotiate for plates, inks and support from the established supply base – although some press manufacturers are competing there. Costly ink is turning some potential customers away from inkjet.Substrates also importantAnother historical barrier to wider adoption of inkjet, especially for commercial printing applications, was the need to use specially treated papers and the inability to effectively print on glossy coated stocks. The latest generation of production inkjet presses is rapidly eroding those barriers. “With the latest system introductions of the ImageStream, the reachable range of applications extends even further, due to the printability of offset coated material for matte, silk and glossy applications,” says Peter Wolff, Director of Commercial Printing Group Canon EMEA “With these new capabilities, additional applications like magazine printing, catalogue printing and others are now doable on inkjet with all the benefits in regards of individualization and customer targeted content without additional cost related to special inkjet treated papers. “This offers commercial printers the opportunity to combine a broad range of applications on one digital press with productivity and quality equivalent to offset.”Books leading the wayIt is important to note that the costing of inkjet production is different from that of analogue print. It has lower prepress and set-up cost, but ink – and until recently, paper – is more expensive, often much more expensive. This means long run, high ink coverage inkjet is not cost effective, so there is little appetite for printers to change. In book production, however, there are advantages in combining inkjet with in-line finishing, delivering finished blocks ready for cover application and final trimming. This is particularly true for monochrome books. Publishers and book printers have gone beyond just comparing print costs to considering the total cost of manufacturing, since inkjet can deliver folded, collated and glued blocks for a simple cover application and final trim for books in any format or pagination with minimal waste. The flexibility of inkjet allows book production to be re-engineered with overall cost and service advantages, enabling book publishers to reduce their stocks and their publishing risk. Colour books are quickly following the mono lead.For other products, the benefits of changing manufacturing processes to inkjet are not so clear yet. Well-established analogue methods are meticulously honed to minimize cost while delivering high quality. This will change as more companies install inkjet equipment, learn the capabilities and exploit new opportunities. New inkjet equipment will provide higher return on investment for many print products. Production inkjet: a growth opportunityIn 2015, there are many inkjet early adopters and profitable users. Ricoh is at the forefront of quality with the high speed Pro VC60000 press launched in 2014. It has several early adopters, including HansaPrint in Finland, a €70m turnover firm specializing in retail and publishing. “Prior to experiencing the Ricoh Pro VC60000, I did not believe that there would be a major shift from offset printing to inkjet. But the new press has changed my mind,” says Jukka Saariluoma, HansaPrint Business Unit Director. “Our clients are very excited by the new level in quality and the increased flexibility offered and are moving significant amounts of their work from offset to inkjet.”The print world is certainly changing. All the key analyst organizations predict very high growth continuing for inkjet print volumes and values. Smithers Pira forecasts that the value of inkjet printing output for graphics and packaging more than trebles over 10 years, from €23 billion in 2010 to more than €70 billion in 2020 (in current values), with CAGR forecast of 12.7 percent between 2015 to 2020. HP alone reports that its customers have produced more than 100-billion inkjet pages since its first installation of a production inkjet press in 2009, a clear indicator of overall market trends, with other inkjet press manufacturers reporting rapidly growing volumes as well.Beyond traditional printThe applications for inkjet are many. There is coding and marking, addressing, security numbering and coding, photo-printing, wide-format (sheet, roll-fed and hybrid), flatbed imprinting systems, narrow web, tube and irregular shapes, high-speed wide web and sheetfed, to name a few. Outside of traditional printing and graphics, inkjet has revolutionized ceramic tile printing and it is growing very strongly in textiles and other industrial decoration applications – from pens and memory sticks to architectural glass and laminated decor.“Inkjet has become the preferred decoration process for ceramics and other decorative materials,” explains Jon Harper Smith, Fujifilm Specialty Ink Systems Business Development Manager.Thus, inkjet offers opportunities for expansion into related areas that may not normally be considered by traditional print providers. “Not too long ago, inkjet was praised as an alternative to conventional systems for its ability to offer single-off sheets, short runs and personalized prints. In the meanwhile, the technology is challenged to offer higher speeds and higher volumes to replace some of the conventional systems,” says Paul Adriaensen, Agfa Graphics PR Manager. “But the technology is also introduced in new areas never related to the printing industry before. This creates interesting dynamics in the industry.”Mimaki and other manufacturers are bringing innovative digital inkjet solutions on the market delivering higher speed and productivity to meet demands of the booming textile market.From a technical perspective, inkjet has a major advantage over all other print processes because it is the only non-contact, high quality, high performance process. The advances are primarily in new and better control of print heads, better inks and a much wider selection of readily available and more affordable inkjet treated papers. New applications are developing almost daily. For example, Canon has installed lines in Nigeria to print election ballot papers. Think inkInk manufacturers spend lots of money on developing new inks that perform well in the heads and provide excellent print quality. Such research is not cheap. But the result is that ink properties have improved, with higher density levels that result in more offset-like quality with lower coverage. There are also now more substrates that perform well with inkjet, aided by colour management improvements. There are many routes to market for inkjet inks. Some equipment manufacturers formulate and manufacture their inks; others sell ink that is made under license by ink specialists. In low-end wide-format inkjet, there are independent third-party ink suppliers competing with the OEM. That is probably the healthiest part of the market for end users, with thousands of machines sold each year consuming millions of litres of inks. This is not the case for high performance systems, where the equipment supplier typically provides the ink tailored to optimize performance within the overall system. There are indications, however, that this is changing. Collins Inkjet is an independent inkjet ink manufacturer who sells a range of inkjet inks, innovating in many applications including new electron beam curing. It makes water-based inks for many of the high speed single pass presses. It remains to be seen how effective this company and others will be in establishing itself as a third-party ink provider, in competition – or partnership – with OEMs.“Low consumables costs promote growth and easier adoption. When customers see competitive pricing for the more efficient inkjet technology, it is easier to switch, and they are more willing to change,” says Chris Rogers, Collins’ VP of Sales & Marketing. “Our business model is a traditional ink company; our manufacturing scale allows us to price inks at lower profit margins. This long-term strategy has proven successful over 25 years and it seems that OEMs are now starting to agree. They realize the easiest way to grow market share is to price their consumables fairly and we can help them with that."Driving new market opportunitiesInkjet has been around for some time. Today, a huge amount of money is being spent developing print heads, inks, substrates, control software, transport, drying and turnkey print systems. While these investments have forced changes on the world of print, it is nothing compared to what we expect to occur over the next few years. The inkjet markets today are largely new. As productivity grows, inkjet is becoming greedy, with suppliers now turning toward siphoning volume from analogue print markets for additional growth and offering directly competing solutions. The productivity, quality and economics are pushing inkjet firmly against sheetfed litho and narrow web flexo, and it has larger format flexo and web offset in its sights. While a few inkjet suppliers may be guilty of hyperbole (sorry, they are very guilty of it in some instances!), it is good to see users and customers voting with their feet and their wallets. That being said, we will continue to see enhancements to productivity and boosts to the cost performance of inkjet. Some totally new formats and systems are coming to market. At least a couple of these will be on show at drupa, in new formats and markets. What is also new is that these will be firmly aimed at the heartland of offset and flexo printing. Choice of printing methods changes because of one or more reasons: to reduce cost, to improve quality, to achieve greater levels of service, or to do new things. Inkjet allows printers to do all four – and no doubt there will be other new reasons going forward. Flexibility. Agility. Power. In addition to graphics and packaging, inkjet is making rapid progress in textile printing, ceramics and industrial/architectural decoration. Then there is the new arena of 3D printing, where inkjet is an important enabler. These have the potential of opening huge new opportunities for companies that are smart enough and brave enough to explore the potential and exploit new markets. In technology terms, inkjet is state of the art. In business terms, inkjet is being used to re-engineer supply chains, making money. That certainly is not fiction.
TTP, a UK-based research and development company, has introduced its new Vista Inkjet process, which the company believes can one day revolutionize the manufacturing of cars, planes and appliances, amongst other industrially produced products. The Vista Inkjet process developed by TTP is capable of printing with standard industrial paints. TTP states it has already tested Vista Inkjet successfully with cellulose and two-part part polyurethane paints used for car and aircraft body manufacturing. After testing such high-end uses, the company explains this opens up many other possible applications including the use of thermoplastic fluoropolymer paints like Kynar for decorative finishes on architectural metallic structures. TTP states it is also exploring the printing of low cost and high functionality materials for ceramics, textiles, security and brand protection along with high conductivity patterns and 3D printing. TTP’s patented print head design overcomes what the company describes as the limitations of existing inkjet printing processes, restricted by ink formulations and the use of closed chambers and narrow channels. Instead, Vista Inkjet is based on a planar construction that allows free-flowing ink circulation and accurately controls the movement of the nozzle plate to eject droplets, from 0.5pl (pico litres) to over 1nl (nano litre). TTP explains this means that fluids with large particulates and high viscosities can be used along with aqueous pigmented inks and a range of solvent inks such as alcohol based fluids, ethyl acetate, MEK and Dowanol. Motion of the nozzle plate is controlled by customized electrical drive signals to eject droplets on-demand or on a continuous basis. TTP reports its prototype array of 128 Vista nozzles has delivered drop placement accuracy with a standard deviation of just +/- 3 milli-rads. Print heads can also be designed with specific nozzle diameters, pitch and number of rows for different inks, paints and applications. And with the inertial transfer mechanism and fluid recirculation, the ejector system features priming, self-cleaning and refill attributes. “We have taken the principles of inkjet printing and re-invented the ejection mechanism and print head to create a potentially disruptive technology for digitally printing industrial paints, opening up exciting new opportunities from customizing car and aircraft bodies to creating architectural finishes and printed electronics,” said Dr. David Smith, head of business development for Vista Inkjet at TTP. “As well as providing greater flexibility, the process also saves time and money and reduces waste.” TTP is currently looking for partners to commercialize the technology.
Toronto-based Avanti Computer Systems made a $75, 000 donation to Ontario’s University of Waterloo, where all three of the company’s owners originally met and from where many of it’s current employees graduated. “The University of Waterloo played such an important role in both our professional development and in bringing the three of us together, that we wanted to give something back,” stated Patrick Bolan, Avanti’s President and CEO. Bolan, Stephen McWilliam and Peter Funnell, who together own Avanti, which develops management information system software, including Web-to-print and workflow products, are all University of Waterloo graduates. The trio formed a business partnership and purchased Avanti in 2004. They have since tripled the size of the company and expanded its reach well beyond Canada’s borders. “What a thrill, for me personally, to come back to see a campus with all the familiar icons from my time at Waterloo, integrated with all of the new facilities,” said Stephen McWilliam, Executive VP at Avanti, who recently visited the campus for the first time in many years to mark the $75,000 donation. “Many of Avanti’s long-term and new employees are University of Waterloo graduates. They have played, and continue to play, a vital role in our product innovation,” said Peter Funnell, Avanti’s CFO. “We are excited to be supporting the University of Waterloo and we look forward to continuing to tap into both the co-op program and graduates for new Avanti team members to support our growth.”From quantum computing and nanotechnology to clinical psychology, engineering and health sciences research, the University of Waterloo is today recognized as one of North America’s leading post-secondary institutions within a range of research fields and information technology.
Komori Corporation has launched a new gravure press line designed for the production of printed electronics. The new machines will be introduced this week at the Touch Taiwan exhibition in Taipei. The PEPIO F20 is a flatbed gravure offset press designed for producing touchpanels on both glass and film. The PEPIO R20 is a roll-to-roll offset gravure device aimed at fine-line electronics production on film.“First and foremost, Komori is an expert in precision manufacturing, and the entry into the printed electronics marketplace reinforces Komori’s message at drupa 2012 that we are expanding into new markets,” says Kosh Miyao, President and COO of Komori America Corporation. “We are very excited about this new product offering, not only for the opportunities for business growth it provides, but as further evidence of Komori’s commitment to the advancement of printing technology.”The company calls the new press offerings "the next logical addition to the Komori press line."
The Environmental Paper Network, with more than 100 member organizations, released a new sustainability report on paper production and consumption in North America. Called The State of the Paper Industry 2011: Steps Toward an Environmental Vision, the report is based on monitoring pulp-and paper indicators, while providing industry trends based on data and analysis over the past decade. The last such report by the Environmental Paper Network (EPN) was published in 2007. EPN was established in 2001 and now includes member organizations like Canopy, The David Suzuki Foundation, FSC (in the U.S.), Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club of British Columbia, and the World Wildlife Foundation.The new report highlights notable achievements like the recent Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, while also identifying key areas for improvement like controversial fibre sourcing and greenhouse gas emissions. Read or download The State of the Paper Industry 2011
Independent consulting firm Wohlers Associates has entered into a partnership with Québec Industrial Research Centre (CRIQ) to offer three days of intensive training on design for additive manufacturing (DfAM).The course is targeted at designers, engineers and managers wanting to learn how to design parts that fully benefit from additive manufacturing.
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.”
Esko North America executives were in Toronto yesterday to celebrate what Ryerson University describes as a major technology gift, from Esko, for the school’s Graphic Communications Management program.Sheldon Levy, President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University, was also on hand for the ribbon-cutting donation ceremony, which included naming a portion of Ryerson’s dedicated Graphic Communications Management (GCM) building as the Esko Premedia Wing. The Esko donation itself includes a range of hardware and software, such as packaging workflow tools for design, visualization, proofing and production, as well as a CDI flexo plate imaging system.“Esko is very active in the Toronto packaging market and it’s seldom that we have a customer or client who isn’t connected to Ryerson University in some way,” stated Larry Moore, Esko’s Director of Software Services in North America. “Considering this, and the fact that Ryerson’s School of Graphic Communications Management is a leader in educating those in the packaging industry, donating this gift to Ryerson was a natural choice for us.” The Esko technology is to be used by GCM students within related program courses, as well as by faculty engaged in packaging research projects. Ryerson states such research, while not yet determined, could involve areas like flexo plate quality, package design, and the printability of stochastic and other specialty dot shape data. Headquartered in Gent, Belgium, Esko is widely regarded as one of the world’s most-powerful technology companies focused on packaging applications, while also developing products for sign and display finishing, commercial printing and professional publishing. “Students in [GCM] will benefit tremendously from this strengthening of our partnership with Esko,” stated Ian Baitz, Chair of the School of Graphic Communications Management. “This major donation will allow our 500 GCM students to learn Esko’s industry-leading packaging design and prepress systems. We are thrilled to begin using Esko job management and automation modules, including tools such as DeskPack and ArtiosCAD. Our new Esko CDI Spark imagesetter will become a very important piece of equipment in our new prepress flexography workflow.” A portion of the donation is earmarked for GCM's premedia platemaking lab for flexographic platemaking. The Esko CDI Spark flexo has been installed to make plates for flexography, which will help students to learn and practice platemaking processes using the Esko workflow system. All third-year GCM students will produce flexo plates on the new CDI. “We have focused on offset and digital printing for many years,” stated Baitz. "We added a flexo press three years ago, but our missing pieces were a packaging workflow and method to create plates. Cooperating companies in the Toronto area were kind enough to make plates for us, but we wanted students to see the workflow and platemaking process for themselves. Now we have access to the tools and students can evaluate their own plates for quality.”Ryerson also intends to employ Esko-donated technologies within GCM’s robust extracurricular clubs, including the RyePack initiative. RyeTAGA, an official student chapter of the TAGA organization, with over 60 members, will also use the new Esko equipment for research papers and the production of its annual TAGA student journal. The annual production of RyeTAGA’s student journal has historically resulted in numerous awards for Canadian printing students when matched against others from around the world.“Our students are very open to packaging and flexo printing,” stated Bates. “It speaks to our students. They are touching packaging every day. Packaging involves marketing, branding, and consumer decision-making processes. It is a challenging, evolving technology and the tools they use are on the cutting edge. We are grateful to Esko for its contribution and support, and hope that this program is a positive influence for our students, Esko, and the local industry base in the Toronto areas, as well.”
Cober Evolving Solutions of Kitchener, Ontario, which recently expanded into a 80,000-square-foot facility, continued its growth with the installation of a new HP Indigo 7500 press.Cober has long been seen as one of Canada’s most-innovative commercial printing operations in the field of Web-to-print programs, while also pushing new applications rooted in traditional lithography. The company also offers large-format printing, mailing, fulfillment and bindery services, as well as providing a range marketing solutions to clients. By combining its various areas of expertise, Cober became one of North America’s first firms to offer proprietary Web-to-fulfillment solutions. “Our Web-to-print programs drives pages to the HP Indigo printer, easing the printing process for customers while ensuring high-quality output,” says Peter Cober of Cober Evolving Solutions, who leads the operation with son, Todd Cober. Founded 96 years ago, Cober Evolving Solutions is now a fourth generation printing operation.“One large advantage of the HP Indigo 7500 printer is its ability to manage colour,” continues Peter Cober. “The printer proactively watches and makes adjustments to colour shift, ensuring high-quality output at a fast speed, every time.”
NorQuest College’s Centre for Excellence in Print Media finished up a series of five lean manufacturing seminars across Western Canada, based on $77,500 in funding provided by the National Research Council Canada.Hosted by NorQuest’s Centre for Excellence in Print Media (CEPM), the one-day Lean Learn-and-Do seminar series was facilitated by CEPM Principal Josh Ramsbottom and printing-industry expert Dr. Ken Macro. Having previously spent two months with NorQuest’s printing program as a visiting professor, Macro co-authored the book Lean Printing: Pathways to Success. The series made stops at post-secondary institutions and provincial associations in the key Canadian cities of Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Because of the government funding, CEPM was able to charge printers just $79 (including breakfast and lunch) to attend the workshops, designed to help small- and medium-sized printers engage in lean manufacturing. The workshops specifically focused on three key steps that an average printer can easily implement with little to no cost to their company. More than 70 printing professionals from 35 companies attended the seminars, which Ramsbottom says indicates a strong interest level in lean principles from the Canadian print industry. “It was great to see the number of printing companies that recognize the value of the programs we support,” said Ramsbottom. “We look forward to offering more training and informational seminars in the future.”“I’ve studied various efficiency models and flavour-of-the-month business systems over the years, but none of those experiences came close to delivering the practical tools we were exposed to in CEPM’s lean seminar,” said Rick Kroeker, President of Calgary’s Little Rock Document Services Ltd. “I particularly appreciated how we can define and solve one small problem at a time. It helps keep tasks easily managed.” Dan Matthys, Sales and Business Development Manager of Capital Printing and Forms in Edmonton, also found the workshop worthwhile. “It was an eye opener and very motivating,” said Matthys. “The CEPM provided information on the evolution of the print communications industry and how it compares with the manufacturing sector as a whole.”As a follow up to the workshops, the CEPM will be working with three selected print companies in Western Canada on three-day onsite planning sessions. Both the seminars and the planning sessions are supported by National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program. “Offering this level of education directly to industry would not be possible without the NRC’s generous support,” said Ramsbottom. “It demonstrates the government’s commitment to our industry. We hope more printers in Western Canada take advantage of these resources and the programs the CEPM brings to market.”
On the fourth day of drupa 2012, 14 students from Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program, along with four faculty members, arrived in Düsseldorf, Germany to attend the world’s largest printing trade show. The Graphic Communications Management (GCM) students began their tour of more than 14 exhibition halls with a 45-minute presentation at press maker Heidelberg, followed shortly after by a visit to postpress equipment manufacturer Muller Martini. “It is very important for the students because it gives them an international view, that printing is more than what is going on in Canada,” says Gillian Mothersill, Associate Dean at Ryerson’s Faculty of Communications and Design, who joins four GCM faculty members overseeing the tour. “It also gives them a great view of where Canada stands in the global print market. I really think it increases their enthusiasm for going back, finishing their degree and finding their place in the industry.” Twelve of the 14 GCM students at drupa traveled from their home base in Toronto, while two were already in Germany as part of an exchange program with Stuttgart’s Hochschule der Medien printing program. The students visited the school before their drupa arrival. “The relationship between the Hochschule and Ryerson has existed for over a decade but our official relationship, in terms of sending over exchange students, has been for about two years now,” says Mothersill.
International environmental not-for-profit Canopy, based in Vancouver, BC, has unveiled the 2017 update to its annual Blueline Ranking, a print-buying tool that profiles and ranks the sustainability performance of North America’s largest printers. Printers analyzed in this year’s assessment represent $34 billion in annual sales. Canopy collaborates with more than 750 companies to develop processes to make their supply chains more sustainable.Five of the Top 10 printers on Canopy’s North America ranking are Canadian, while another three are within the Top 15, including: TPH The Printing House, TC Transcontinental Printing, Hemlock Printers, MET Fine Printers, The Lowe-Martin Group, Webcom, St. Joseph Communications and Torstar Printing Group.“As businesses across North America step up to address climate change, it is time to think about the high carbon footprint of printing, which is mainly attributable to paper choices,” said Canopy’s Executive Director, Nicole Rycroft. “Many papers are sourced from the logging of high carbon forests which carries a much bigger climate footprint than processing or transportation within the print sector. We’re encouraged to see strong leadership by many important players in the print sector.”Based on the report, Canopy reports that 45 percent (20/44) of the printers ranked understand the value of communicating sustainability successes to their clients and have strong sustainability content on their websites. Forty-one percent (18/44) of Blueline printers have policies that support ancient and endangered forest conservation. In just under two years, five of North America’s largest printers have developed new and leading policies, reports Canopy, reflecting clients’ increasing requirements for sustainable printing services.“The Blueline Ranking aligns with our own sustainability goals and is an invaluable resource for cross-checking our print service providers and monitoring progress," stated Jenny Dela Cruz, Director of Sustainability for HH Global, which is one of a growing number of Fortune 500 companies and leading brands that use the Blueline Ranking as a resource in choosing their print partners.“As one of the largest providers of marketing communications in North America, it’s important that our customers – both current and future – recognize our commitment to achieving a sustainable supply chain with a reduced carbon footprint,” said Mark O’Leary, President, Taylor Communications, which improved its ranking the most, moving from 18th to 3rd place with strong policy updates and implementation engagement. “We are thrilled to move to third place in the 2017 Blueline Ranking.”EarthColor and The Printing House, explains Canopy, continue to lead the ranking with strong policies, rigorous policy implementation and transparent reporting on progress and successes.The Blueline Ranking rates major printers on a set of 32 key sustainability criteria and highlights sector leaders to consumer brands. Those that top the ranking are outperforming their peers in areas such as reducing their use of papers that contain ancient and endangered forest fiber, supporting the advancement conservation solutions, supporting the development of new environmental papers such as those made with high recycled content or straw, and bringing a high degree of transparency to their sustainability initiatives.This year’s Blueline Ranking is dedicated to the memory of Dick Kouwenhoven, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hemlock Printers Ltd., noted by Canopy as a champion in sustainability in the print sector.The interactive online ranking can be viewed here.
A revolution in paper production driven by agricultural-residue pulp mills is on Canada’s horizon (originally published in PrintAction June 2016 magazine).The potential impact of papers made from agricultural residue is becoming an exciting new sector to watch in Canada. Canopy has just launched its “Say Yes!” project across the North American wheat, rye and sorghum belt. Dubbed YIMBY! – Yes In My Back Yard! – This innovative enterprise is reaching out to agricultural communities asking if they have the straw supply, town infrastructure and other qualities necessary to become a candidate site for a new, green-job-creating straw pulp mills.The Canadian prairies are being hit hard right now, with economic downturns in Saskatchewan and Alberta taking a toll on jobs and regional stability. New opportunities for rural communities across the Prairies, adding value to agricultural residues typically treated as ‘waste’ products could bring new hope and green jobs to a hard hit part of the country.The Federal government made bold commitments in at the 2015 UN Conference in Paris to seriously tackle climate change. Intact forest landscapes and their significant contribution to carbon storage are bound to come to the forefront as a means to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to climate stabilization. Canopy expects this to inevitably lead to greater protection of the boreal forest and a concurrent push to develop alternative fibre sources. The future of straw paper just keeps getting brighter.Some Canadian printers are early adopters of wheat straw-based papers. The Printing House, Hemlock Printers and MET Fine Printers, for example, offer uncoated free sheet wheat straw-based paper and more printers are bound to join the ranks of these forward-thinking businesses.Since before Canadian Geographic and Dollco (purchased by Lowe-Martin in 2012) worked with Canopy in 2008 to print a magazine issue on wheat straw-based paper, Canopy has been growing the market for straw-based papers to facilitate the development of agricultural residue pulping capacity. To date we have identified 1.3 million tons of unmet annual demand for printing and writing grade papers made with straw. That market keeps growing as more print users look to improve their standing on sustainability issues. Now we just need the supply – and it’s looking promising.Following the launch of YIMBY!, the response from farming communities has been immediate and enthusiastic. Within 24 hours of launching the campaign, Canopy was receiving applications from interested districts. Our detailed questionnaire will delve into the viability of each of these applicants. Do they have a high enough volume of straw available within a set radius? Do they have the water, road and power infrastructure needed to support a pulp mill? Is the work force available? We’ve done the research, established the criteria with the advice and assistance of experts in the field, and we know the potential exists for many straw pulp mills to be built.At the same time, we are liaising with entrepreneurs and investors, filling them in on the immense market demand for straw-based papers we have already quantified, the viable community opportunities for mill construction and the green-tech revolution that is ready to launch.Through our ongoing Second Harvest work, we’ve been privileged to be given confidential access to some of the latest developments and innovations. The revolution is truly gaining momentum.As new scientific research highlights the critical importance of forests in stabilizing the global climate and mitigating the impacts of climate change, more and more governments will be forced to take action to protect high carbon value ancient forests. And more and more print customers will be looking to avoid contentious forest fibre and seeking viable alternatives to tree paper.Straw papers will be a game-changer for the availability of publication grade eco-papers and lighten the footprint of print materials. The future of straw can revolutionize the printing industry. Are you ready?
APP of Jakarta, on the three-year anniversary of its Forest Conservation Policy, provided an update of its progress and also launched its Belantara Foundation, an initiative to fund conservation projects in Indonesia. The paper maker also noted progress with its Peatland Best Practice Management Project and a new Integrated Fire Management program involving training from Canadians.“On the third anniversary of our Forest Conservation Policy launch we are pleased to report that our continued work to implement the policy, together with efforts to align our ambitions with those of other actors in Indonesia’s forests have resulted in tangible progress,” said Aida Greenbury, Managing Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at APP. “We now have the building blocks for a sustainable model of forest and pulp and paper operations whereby forests are protected, communities empowered and our supply chains strengthened.”The APP Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), launched in February 2013, is what APP describes as its commitment to immediately end deforestation in its supply chain and bring sustainability to the forefront of the company’s operations. Policy commitments by the company include the ending of natural forest conversion throughout its supply chain, best practice in peatland management, and adopting a collaborative approach to resolving social issues.The company’s previously announced work to block over 3,500 perimeter canals to increase water levels in APP suppliers’ concessions located on peatland has recently been completed, with a total target of 7,000 dams to be built by the end of the first quarter of 2016. This is in addition to the retirement of 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas in Riau and South Sumatra, announced by APP in August 2015. In total, APP and its suppliers have allocated approximately 600,000 hectares for forest conservation and ecosystem restoration within its suppliers' concessions. Peatland areas are particularly vulnerable to forest fires, explains the company, and these initiatives to manage and protect them are part of APP’s new Integrated Fire Management (IFM) strategy. Fire management experts TREK Wildland Services from Canada and Working on Fire (WOF) from South Africa will provide 400 APP staff members and their suppliers with Incident Command System (ICS) fire training. Two new aircraft with state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras will help gather hotspot data with far greater accuracy than satellite imaging, explains APP. Information will be distributed in near real time to APP’s in-house Geographic Information System (GIS) and distributed to field staff within 15 minutes, allowing rapid response to emerging fire threats.Another forest protection initiative is the Integrated Forestry and Farming System Program launched by APP during COP21 in Paris. The program aims to help local communities develop alternative livelihoods to achieve economic development while also keeping Indonesia’s forests intact.As a first step in its implementation, community members will be given equipment and support in the form of microfinance or revolving funds to help kick start local businesses. Horticultural training will also be given to help improve community capacity in managing fruit and vegetable crops using the agroforestry system. The program will include 500 villages across the APP supply chain with up to $10 million invested over the next five years.Since committing to a landscape approach in 2015, the company has worked to establish a platform to help manage and fund landscape conservation programs in Indonesia. As a result of these efforts, APP has initiated the Belantara Foundation. Today we announce the newly appointed Advisory Board, consisting of widely respected individuals drawn from the government, non-profit and corporate sectors. With the Foundation’s personnel, full working remit and due diligence processes in place, Belantara is now ready to work together with other key stakeholders in the landscape to help support the protection and restoration of Indonesia’s forests.Belantara Foundation will work with communities, civil society, government and businesses to help ensure a careful balance is found between economic development, the livelihoods of people in local communities and environmental conservation. This involves overseeing natural forest restoration and endangered species protection and conducting studies to strengthen sustainable landscape management.
Asia Pulp & Paper Group announced a new commitment to support the economic development of 500 villages in what the company describes as the landscapes surrounding APP’s supply chain. The aim of the program, explains APP, is to demonstrate that economic development can be pursued in a sustainable way that supports rather than undermines the protection of Indonesia’s forests. APP’s announced this sustainable development commitment at the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris, COP21. The announcement was made after APP presented details of its forest and peatland protection initiatives, which support Indonesia’s ambitions to achieve a 29 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. Since the launch of its Forest Conservation Policy in February 2013, APP explains it has implemented initiatives to help communities develop alternative livelihoods, to reduce the risk of fires and achieve economic development while keeping Indonesia’s forests intact. This new commitment to Indonesia’s communities is in addition to APP’s existing pledge to support the protection and restoration of 1 million hectares of forest landscapes and to channel and coordinate US$10 million per year of in-kind and financial support into forest conservation across Indonesia, announced in 2014. APP’s commitment will be delivered through what the company describes as a series of pilot community agroforestry programs, which might include the sharing of: rearing initiatives for livestock; sustainable fruit and vegetable farming techniques; and forestry and business skills to enable alternative livelihoods that do not require the clearance of natural forest for further economic development.“A key theme of COP21 is to ensure that economic development goes hand-in-hand with environmental protection,” said Aida Greenbury, Managing Director, Sustainability, APP. “We believe that this new agroforestry program will help communities to achieve economic development while protecting Indonesia’s forests. The issues facing Indonesia’s forests need to be managed at the landscape level, and local communities have a very important stake in the forest. Whilst these program are at an early pilot stage, we will be working to help introduce and spread sustainable farming techniques that are compatible with forest protection.”APP explains the programs will be designed to help reduce instances of conflict over land by providing less land-intensive development options and will help to reduce instances of land encroachment and slash and burn activities.
Rolland Enterprises Inc. of St-Jérôme, Quebec, has created a new policy, developed in cooperation with Vancouver not-for-profit Canopy, to advance the protection of endangered forests, engage in the research and development of alternatives to tree fibre, and to avoid all controversial forest fibre sources. “Rolland has a track record of setting the pace for eco-paper development and post-consumer recycling,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy's Executive Director. “By expanding their vision to avoid controversial fibre and sourcing from endangered forests such as the Boreal, Rolland stands out as a sustainability leader at the vanguard of change in the North American pulp and paper industry.” Rolland Enterprises, which has been providing recycled fibres for decades, advanced its existing policy with the following new specific commitments:- End the use of wood fibre sourced from endangered forests and controversial suppliers;- Avoid fibre sourced from Intact Forest Landscapes, such as the intact forests of the Boreal; - Play an active role in the research, development and commercial scale production of pulp and paper from alternative fibre sources such as straw;- Support visionary solutions that protect endangered forests in the Coastal Temperate Rainforests of Vancouver Island and North America's Great Bear Rainforest, Canada's Boreal Forests, and Indonesia's Rainforests; and- Continue producing papers with 30 to 100 percent post-consumer waste recycled content. “These commitments are an integral part of Rolland's plans to remain a competitive player in the challenging North American paper industry,” said Rolland CEO, Philip Rundle. "Rolland is excited to remain at the forefront of meeting customers' growing needs for sustainable products into the future.” Canopy has worked closely with Rolland's St-Jérôme mill over the past 13 years to advance solutions, including the development of the paper company’s partipcation in the initiative to use 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper in the printing of the Canadian edition of Harry Potter in 2003 and 2005. In 2011, Canopy and Rolland again collaborated in another groundbreaking initiative – a North American first – with the production of straw paper made from agricultural residues. This limited edition paper was used to print a special edition of Margaret Atwood's book, In Other Worlds, and Alice Munro's, Dear Life.
Alliance Printing of Coquitlam, British Columbia, is being highlighted for driving its operation into environmentally progressive printing practices, spearheaded by its 6-year participation in Agfa Graphics’ GreenWorks program.In 2009, Alliance Printing replaced its chemistry-based computer-to-plate system and moved to thermal imaging technology focused around Agfa’s Azura plate, using ThermoFuse graining technology. Today, the BC printer is employing Agfa’s chemistry-free Azura TS plate. Azura TS is a thermal, negative-working plate designed for low- to medium-run volumes. “Our waste was cut significantly and there’s no more chemistry to treat before disposal,” said said Shawn Taghvaei, President and owner of Alliance Printing. “What used to take hours cleaning the processor now only takes minutes, and dumping chemistry every month due to oxidation has become a thing of the past.” Taghvaei continues to explain that the patented graining on the Azura plate allows Alliance Printing to run with much less water, resulting in less ink on the sheets and faster make readies. Alliance Printing, explains Taghvaei, also recycles all of its off-cut papers, cardboard and plates, in addition to using vegetable-based inks for printing and recycling of the company’s toner cartridges.“Commercial printers like Shawn at Alliance Printing are not only doing a service to their customer, but to the planet,” said Deborah Hutcheson, Director of Marketing at Agfa Graphics, North America. “We are fully supportive of endeavors that are eco-friendly, but also improve commercial printers’ end products and relationship with their customers for increased profits and greater success.”
The International Cooperation of Integration of the Process in Prepress, Press and Postpress (CIP4) published the Spring 2011 edition of its JDF Marketplace book. The publication is 162 pages and includes 151 detailed product and service listings. The last edition was released in May last year for the IPEX show.“For printers looking to integrate systems and manage an automation program, this is a ‘must have’ reference,” said CIP4 Education and Marketing Officer, Tim Daisy of Prism. “It is one of our most popular downloads from the website.”In addition to the basic listings, the JDF Marketplace includes JDF/integration support information for many manufacturers, as well as an eight-page, plain-English introduction to JDF. The publication can be downloaded here.
Patrick Bolan, President and CEO of Toronto-based Avanti Computer Systems, joins the advisory board of the CIP4 organization, which oversees development of the JDF and JMF interoperability protocols. “Avanti has been very active in CIP4, JDF and print automation educational programs in the U.S. and Canada,” said CIP4 executive director, Jim Harvey. “Patrick has personally participated in many programs and shared valuable ideas. I know that Patrick will be a great addition to CIP4's leadership.”Bolan was also recently appointed to the Advisory Council of Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications Management program. He also sits on Xerox Corporation's Business Partner Advisory Board.“I want to help CIP4 increase awareness and acceptance of the JDF standard,” said Bolan. “It will take our collective efforts to show print shop owners the immediate ROI that automation in general, and JDF in particular, can offer to increase profitability and competitiveness in today's marketplace. The ROI is there, and CIP4 has the data to back it up.”
Following an internal election, Henny van Esch becomes the new CEO of the CIP4 organization, which primarily looks after the development of JDF and JMF protocols. As the Director of Optimus Group, van Esch succeeds CIP4's previous 2-term CEO, Margaret Motamed of EFI. "I look forward to, along with the rest of the board, leading CIP4 into the coming years," said van Esch, who is a long-time CIP4 member and active working group Chair and Technical Steering Committee member. "Following in the footsteps of my illustrious predecessors Martin Bailey and Margaret Motamed, my aim will be to take CIP4 into the next phase of development and adoption of JDF."The other new, elected CIP4 officers include: Education and Marketing OfficerTim Daisy, QTMS Sales and Marketing, Prism Group HoldingsFinancial Officer and TreasurerJay Farr, General Manager, EFI Pace, EFIMembership OfficerMark Wilton, President of Wilton & Partners ConsultingTechnology OfficerDr. Rainer Prosi, Senior Workflow Architect, Heidelberg
X-Rite has announced a new measurement standard for the graphic communications industry which is designed to "take advantage of advances in colour science and new international standards." The new standard stems from the merger of the former GretagMacbeth and X-Rite."The former X-Rite and the former GretagMacbeth each had, for historical reasons, different calibration standards for graphic arts instrumentation. While it was important to ensure both standards were maintained to guarantee continuity for both companies' customers, our goal with XGRA is to eliminate systematic discrepancies between instruments so that all measurements taken for the same color sample should be the same, regardless of the system used," explains Francis Lamy, X-Rite's Chief Technology Officer.According to X-Rite, the new XRGA standard rises from a detailed study to determine the differences in systems between the two former rivals. Based on those results, XGRA achives the following goals:- Is applicable to all 0/45 and 45/0 instruments. - Incorporates improved methods for calibration- Maintains traceability to the American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)- Offers best implementation with respect to existing international ISO standards Improves inter-model agreement for existing instruments- Preserves good agreement among former X-Rite instruments and former GretagMacbeth instruments- Provides a single standard for all future graphic arts instruments to be delivered by X-Rite- Improves data exchangeA small number of X-Rite devices already conform to the XRGA standard: the ColorMunki Photo, ColorMunki Design and EasyTrax. The company notes that former X-Rite instruments are already very close to the new standard and switching will yield "very small differences in measurement."Current users can check the upgrade potential of their existing machines by visiting xrite.com/xrga/support
The Ricoh Pro C900, using the EFI Fiery server and Tecco CS130 semi-matte media, has achieved Fogra certification in conformance with the ISO/NWIP 12647-8 standard. While this methodology is primarily used in Europe, the ISO standard is internationally recognized and speaks to the colour-management consistency of the toner-based press."We are pleased with this important recognition from the international community," said Peter Williams, Head Ricoh Production Printing Business Group, in a press release. "Fogra VPS certification for the Ricoh Pro C900 and Pro C900 E-80 gives our customers full confidence that these products are ideally suited to meet their most stringent colour requirements.” The ISO 12647 standard sets measurable process criteria for different printing processes such as sheetfed and web offset, coldset (newsprint), flexographic and toner-based printing. The FograCert Validation Printing System (VPS) defines exactly what "validation prints" must look like.“The Fogra certification process is an intensive 2-day evaluation of a wide range of printer capabilities, including substrate colour and gloss, permanence and light-fastness, fading, rub resistance and colour accuracy based on a number of stringent tests,” said Andy Kraushaar of Fogra. “With the tested system Ricoh has entered the top league in the area of single copy validation printing systems.”The Ricoh Pro C900 runs at 90 pages per minute at 1,200-dpi print resolution. Ricoh, has operations in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, China and Japan, and over 108,500 employees worldwide.
After receiving the first-ever GRACoL certification for toner-based production presses, specifically for validating the proofing process on HP Indigo machines, CGS Publishing’s ORIS Press Matcher Pro has now achieved FOGRA Certification in conjunction with HP Indigo 7000 and 5500 presses. The third ingredient in this FograCert Validation Printing System Certification is the ORIS PearlDIGITAL specialty media.While FOGRA itself is a colour management test suite used primarily in Europe, the accomplishment speaks to CGS’ commitment to developing standardized proofing systems for various commercial printing environments, particularly for those companies providing work outside of North America. "Now HP Indigo users around the world can be assured that their digital printing solution meets internationally recognized standards," said Trevor Haworth, CEO of CGS Publishing Technologies, who adds the wizard-based, calibration process of ORIS Press Matcher Pro can be applied in “three simple steps.”CGS Publishing’s GRACoL certification with toner-based presses was announced in mid-2009. GRACoL is the proofing certification that is often confuse with the non-certified G7 methodology for calibrating presses, which can then be employed within a GRACoL-enabled proofing environment.
The Newspaper Association of America, to better reflect “the news media industry’s evolution to multi-platform, digitally-savvy businesses and premium content providers,” has changed its name to News Media Alliance and launched a new website, newsmediaalliance.org. The association explains this new focus aligns with its membership, approximately 2,000 news organizations, and the new website visually depicts this expansion of news media into digital and mobile formats. The approach focuses on what it means to be a news media organization today, explains the association: communicating in real-time across multiple platforms. “Our transformation efforts are designed to show the positive trajectory of the industry and to share the innovation and growth taking place, especially in the digital space,” said News Media Alliance Vice President of Innovation Michael MaLoon. “There are so many great things happening in our industry right now, and our job is to tell those stories.”In addition, for the first time the association is broadening its membership requirements to allow digital-first and digital-only news organizations publishing original content to become members. The association states it has a number of new tools and resources it will be making available to members in the coming months that reflect the digital focus of its membership, including:ideaXchange, a new online community for News Media Alliance members launching this fall, which is to provide a platform that will make sharing, brainstorming and learning from one another easier than ever.metricsXchange, a new digital benchmarking tool exclusively for members, that will allow comparisons between markets and publications, providing new insights into the news media industry’s digital business efforts. The Alliance will also provide analyses and highlight newsworthy trends mined from the tool.mediaXchange, the News Media Alliance’s major annual event, will take a reimagined approach. Taking place in New Orleans in 2017, the event will focus on the future of the news media industry. “The news media industry should be optimistic. All evidence shows that people of all ages want and consume more news than ever,” stated News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern. “We need to focus on new ways to address the needs of audience and advertisers. Advertising on news media digital and print platforms continues to be one of the most effective ways for advertisers to reach important audiences. Publishers are working to adapt advertising across all platforms, make ads less intrusive and increase consumer engagement.”
Printing Industries of America (PIA) released the election results to name its 2016 Officers and Board of Directors, which took place on November 15, 2015, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Canadians joining the 2016 Board of Directors include Richard Kouwenhoven of Hemlock Printers, who is representing the British Columbia Printing Industries Association, and David Potje of Twin City Dwyer Printing Co. Ltd., who is representing the Ontario Printing Industries Association.Bradley Thompson of Inland Press in Detroit, Michigan, becomes Chairman of the Board. He is the immediate past Chairman of the Government Affairs and Labor Policy Committee of PIA and a former Chairman of Printing Industries of Michigan. Thompson, a fifth-generation printer, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Press Association and serves as Government Affairs Chair of the American Court and Commercial Newspaper Association. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Clements Library at the University of Michigan. Curt Kreisler of Gold Star Printers in Miami Beach, Florida, becomes First Vice Chairman for the PIA. He has served on PIA’s Board of Directors since 2009. He is currently the Association Relations Committee Chairman and a member of its Finance and Investment Committees. Bryan Hall of Graphic Visual Solutions in Greensboro, North Carolina, becomes Second Vice Chairman. He served on Printing Industries of America’s Board of Directors for a number of years as Chairman of the Education Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee. Hall also served on the Board of Directors of his local affiliate – Printing Industry of the Carolinas – for nearly 10 years. Michael Wurst of Henry Wurst in Kansas City, MO, becomes Secretary to the Board/Treasurer. He has served many years as a PIA Association Relations Committee member. Wurst is also actively involved in his local affiliate, Printing & Imaging Association of MidAmerica, serving on the Executive Committee for four years, including one year as Chair. He is the CEO of Henry Wurst, Inc., a 75-year-old family-owned commercial printing company. David Olberding of Phototype in Columbus, Ohio, becomes Immediate Past Chair.He was appointed as the association representative to PIA in 2006. He has served PIA as Chairman of the Board, First Vice Chairman, Second Vice Chairman, Executive Finance Committee member, Secretary to the Board, and as Marketing Committee Chairman. Olberding served as Chairman of the Board, Treasurer, and Chair of the Education Committee of Printing Industries of Ohio and Northern Kentucky.Also joining the Board of Directors in 2016 are: Peter Jacobson, Daily Printing, representing Printing Industry Midwest; Timothy R. Suraud, Print Media Association, representing the affiliate managers; Adam G. Avrick, Design Distributors, Inc., representing Printing Industries Alliance; David Wigfield, Xerox, representing the vendor community; Richard Kouwenhoven, Hemlock Printers, representing BCPIA; Norm Pegram, representing Printing Industries of the Gulf Coast; Justin Pallis, DS Graphics, representing PINE; and Dave Potje, Twin City Dwyer Printing Co. Ltd., representing OPIA.
One year ago, three North American printing associations, Association of Marketing Service Providers, National Association for Printing Leadership, and National Association of Quick Printers, merged under a convoluted name using their acronyms, AMSP/NAPL/NAQP. The group, during yesterday’s Executive Leadership Summit at The Wynn Las Vegas, announced is to now be called Epicomm, following a survey – by a third-party organization – of more than 200 members from all industry segments. “AMSP, NAPL, and NAQP have a long and distinguished history of service to the printing and mailing industry, but that industry is changing and we recognize that, if we are to serve our members’ evolving needs at the highest level, our association must change as well,” said Tom Duchene, Chairman of the association’s Board of Trustees. Duchene continued to say the not-for-profit group is launching a new organization with its name change to Epicomm, which is “representative of the epic communications industry we serve.” Ken Garner, who was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined organization in October 2014, indicated Epicomm plans to launch new member-focused initiatives, including an in-depth member survey that will be used to find what issues matter most. Garner continued to explain Epicomm is also using a new tagline, Association for Leaders in Print, Mail, Fulfillment, and Marketing Services.
A new association focused on printable electronics has started operations out of Ottawa, Ontario. The new group called the Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA) is to be led by Executive Director Peter Kallai. The CPEIA states its mandate is to bring together key Canadian and international players in industry, academia and government to build a strong domestic printable electronics (PE) sector. The association plans to facilitate growth through networking, stimulate R&D and investment, build a strong PE supply chain and drive the broad adoption of PE by end customers. CPEIA states close to 50 Canadian companies have expressed a business interest in PE, following an effort that began three years ago by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), which created a PE research program. It also led the creation of the PE Consortium with 14 industry partners. The CPEIA is joining and promoting a delegation of Canadian companies with the NRC that will be exhibiting at Printed Electronics USA 2014. This conference, the largest of its kind dedicated to PE, runs November 19 and 20, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, CA. “A few years ago, many PE applications would have been considered science fiction,” said Kallai, who is billed as a former senior high-tech executive and management consultant that has worked with more than 100 government organizations and growth-stage companies across Canada. “But not anymore. Government organizations, startups, OEMs and systems integrators around the world are investing billions of dollars in R&D to revolutionize existing products and create new ones with PE. It’s time for Canada to step up and stake its claim in this exciting emerging market.” According to research firm IDTechEx, the global market for printed and potentially printable electronics will rise from around $24 billion in 2014 to $340 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 40 percent. The Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association also launched a Website www.cpeia-acei.ca.
The Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF) is awarding $52,500 in scholarships to post-secondary students pursuing graphic communications education for the current school year. A total of $15,000 was awarded to nine new students enrolled in the first year of an approved course of study. A further $37,500 was provided to 30 continuing students already enrolled in the scholarship program. The majority of each annual scholarship is $1,250, while the $5,000 Warren Wilkins Prestige Scholarship has been awarded to Samantha Tully, who is attending Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management program. “Every year the Board of Trustees is challenged to select the best and brightest as recipients of our scholarships and this year was no exception,” said Don Gain, Chairman of the fund. “We are pleased to be able to support 39 students in their pursuit of a career in the graphic communications industry.” CPISTF was initiated in 1971 and has since generated over a million dollars of funding.
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 SoftwareTechnology: IC3D Suite Company: EFI Technology: iQuote Company: EskoTechnology: Equinox Extended Gamut Printing Company: EskoTechnology: Full HD Flexo Company: Goss InternationalTechnology: Vpak Packaging Presses Company: Heidelberg USATechnology: Stahlfolder PFX Feeder Technology Company: Hinterkopf GmbHTechnology: Hinterkopf Digital Printer D240 Company: HPTechnology: Indigo 20000 Digital Press Company: Just NormlichtTechnology: GL Spectis 1.0 Series Company: TKSTechnology: Jetleader 1500 Digital Inkjet Press Company: XeikonTechnology: ICE Toner
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OPIA Toronto Golf Classic Tournament 2018
August 9, 2018
LabelExpo Americas 2018
September 25-27, 2018
September 30-2, 2018
October 18-20, 2018
Canadian Printing Awards
November 8, 2018
Graphics Canada 2019
April 11-13, 2019