Industry News

The Government of Canada has awarded nearly $850,000 in financial assistance to two printing-industry businesses in the region of Montérégie, Quebec, to help improve productivity and commercialize new products. The funding, announced by Michel Picard, Member of Parliament for Montarville, will help create around 12 new jobs for the region.The funding – in the form of repayable contributions – has been granted through Canada Economic Development’s Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP), within the larger framework of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan. “Imprimerie Ste-Julie and MIIP, both of which are involved in the printing and labelling industries, have developed expertise by building on innovation,” said Picard. “In making sure that their teams have access to the latest technologies to do their work, these two businesses can continue to grow and conquer new markets.”Imprimerie Ste-Julie, a family business founded 42 years ago, received $750,000 in funding for the acquisition of a flexographic press to increase its production capacity and productivity. This investment will also help the company reduce paper wastage through increased efficiency. The press has eight colour stations with the ability to add varnish and gilding through a cold-stamping process.“Imprimerie Ste-Julie has been a trailblazer in adhesive label and shrink sleeve printing for many years in Quebec. This major investment will help us maintain our enviable position as leader, while we continue to provide our clients with the best in the business,” said Marilène Fournier, Vice-President, Production, Imprimerie Ste-Julie. “Our production capacity is also much greater because the new press can print up to 750 feet of paper per minute when working full tilt. This was an indispensable purchase, given the increasing demand over the past few years for packaging printing.”MIIP has been granted $94,700 in financial assistance to commercialize its products in the United States and Europe, notably its flagship product, the miipCam, a camera inspection system for the printing and labelling industries. This product was developed in collaboration with Quebec businesses, including Imprimerie Ste-Julie, and is helping users reduce the consumption of paper and other substrates and enhance the efficiency and print quality of their presses. “Thanks to CED's assistance, MIIP can continue to grow by exporting its products to the United States,” said Alex Gal, Co-founder and Vice-President, MIIP.
Digital printing processes, according to a new report by Smithers Pira, will see the fastest growth through the years of 2017 to 2022, stating this will leave the previously dominant offset litho process declining in terms of value.In 2017, Smithers explains digital printing accounts for 16.2 percent of the global print market value, which equates to $785.1 billion and 2.9 percent of the total print volume. This is up from 2.1 percent of the print volume in 2012 and Smithers explains this transition is accelerating to 3.9 percent of volume by 2022 when new high-performance equipment will be in operation in most applications. Smithers continues to explain the value of litho will drop from 48.1 percent of all print and printed packaging in 2012 down to 39.5 percent in 2022. Only flexography shows a rise in share among analogue printing processes through the new report.Litho still dominates in terms of the number of prints and pages, explains Smithers, and by 2022 it will still account for over 70 percent of world print output, but much of it relates to what the research organization describes as relatively low-value newspaper, magazine and book printing. Even as digital print remains a very small proportion of the volume, growing from 2.1 percent in 2012 to a projected 4.3 percent by 2022, its value is much greater, with Smithers expecting 20 of global print value to be accounted for by inkjet and electrophotography by 2022.The penetration of digital into the mix of print applications varies considerably. In advertising, direct mail was built on personalized printing using digital systems, while the short run sign and display segments were early adopters of inkjet technologies. Smithers explains, that in addition to direct mail and signage, inkjet has penetrated deeply into label printing on narrow-web platforms and is now moving to larger formats and other substrates like corrugated board.Packaging is the growth engine for global print with volumes and values forecast to grow based on the new report, citing this environment is reflected in the number of press launches and concepts at trade shows by both from digital press developers and analogue equipment suppliers.The strongest growth area for analogue printing is in flexography, according to Smithers, which is being driven by the growing packaging and labels applications. This print process is forecast to grow by 2.5 percent CAGR through to 2022 to reach a global market value of $186 billion.Digital print is forecast to reach a global market value of $169 billion by 2022 growing on average by 5.9 percent CAGR. Digital print for packaging will be the key market opportunity for digital print as Smithers estimates it will grow by 22 percent CAGR through to 2022 to reach a global market value of around $8.4 billion.
Profiling and ranking the environmental performance of North American printersThe 2017 edition of Canopy’s Blueline Ranking was released in July, and while this year’s results are consistent with the trends of the past two years, they also show some interesting and surprising new results.The Blueline Ranking is a widely used customer tool profiling and ranking the sustainability performance of North America’s largest printers. Printers analyzed in this year’s assessment represent $34 billion in annual sales.The top three ranking printers this year are, in order, EarthColor, The Printing House, and brand new to the Top 10, Taylor Communications. Taylor also wins the title of the fastest rising printer of 2017, moving up 15 spots from 18th place last year. It achieved this major jump through strong sourcing policy updates, and solid work on implementation. Overall, Canadian printers are leading their peers to the south in sustainable print practices, with six of the Top 10 printers being Canadian-owned. This is in part a response to customer demand within Canada, but also very likely due to Canopy’s long relationships with the Canadian print and publishing sectors.  The Printing House, TC Transcontinental, Hemlock Printers, MET Fine Printers, The Lowe-Martin Group and Webcom, all made the Top 10. The Blueline Ranking rates major printers on a set of 32 key sustainability criteria and highlights sector leaders to consumer brands. Printers that top the ranking are outperforming their peers in areas such as:• Having a industry-leading eco-paper policy;• Reducing their use of papers that contain ancient and endangered forest fiber;• Supporting the advancement of forest conservation solutions in places such as Canada’s Boreal forest, North America’s temperate rainforests, the Amazon, and Indonesia’s rainforests; • Actively supporting development of new environmental papers such as those made with high recycled content or agricultural fibres such as wheat straw; and • Transparently reporting their sustainability initiatives progress and implementation.  Printers increasingly understand that to help their customers meet their own sustainability goals (and gain or maintain their business), they have to align with the ambitious environmental goals that brands themselves are setting, as well as provide brands with as much information as possible on their own environmental policies and sourcing efforts. As a result, we have seen two significant shifts in this year’s Blueline Ranking: 1. There is a definitive move by printers towards adopting more rigorous sustainability policies (as noted with Taylor Communications already, but not isolated to them); and 2. Printers are communicating more transparently on their sustainability practices. In fact, in three short years, the Blueline Ranking has become a mini phenomenon among environmentally engaged printers, who work hard to meet their sustainable sourcing goals, achieve transparency in their supply chains, and effectively communicate their efforts on these fronts. It’s also become a go-to tool for many North American print customers. Scholastic’s Senior Director of Paper Procurement, Lisa Serra, notes, “As a publisher and distributor of children’s books, Scholastic is committed to the pursuit of environmentally friendly practices and to leading by example. We’re pleased to recommend Canopy’s Blueline Ranking as an invaluable tool for any print customer who shares our goals and wants to reduce their impact on the world’s ancient and endangered forests.”Active support for forest conservation is another exciting trend in the 2017 ranking. Forty-one percent of Blueline printers now have policies that explicitly state support for ancient and endangered forest conservation and a number of printers actively engaged this year to help advance conservation in a number of key forest landscapes globally. In just under two years, six of North America’s largest printers have developed new policies that include forest conservation language, a trend that we anticipate will grow.It is well documented that the carbon footprint of printing mainly comes from paper sourcing. Studies have shown that 48 to 79 percent of the carbon footprint of books, magazines and catalogues comes from the manufacturing of paper and only four to 17 percent of the carbon footprint of a major printed product is attributed to the printing process itself. It is this footprint of most conventional papers that necessitates the need for the development of lower carbon paper and packaging options such as papers made with high-recycled content or straw fibre. Printers have an important role to play in encouraging paper mills to develop these next generation papers as well as support their commercialization by stocking them as house papers.Print customers have their own CSR goals to achieve, and strong policies and transparency among North America’s largest printers helps them more achieve them more easily.
At the upcoming 12th annual Canadian Printing Awards gala, taking place on November 9, 2017, at the Palais Royale in Toronto, PrintAction magazine will honour four individuals who have had a significant impact on the Canadian printing industry. The gala is expected to attract more than 200 industry leaders from across country.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria003734f9c8 The Canadian Printing Awards program is designed to recognize printing innovation in the country through three distinct awards sections, grouped in Printing, Environmental and Technology categories. In 2008, PrintAction introduced an Industry Achievement component to the program to honour outstanding leadership as demonstrated by members of the Canadian printing community.The 2017 Industry Achievement Award recipients, determined by PrintAction magazine, include:John A. Young Lifetime Achievement AwardBob Cockerill (retired in 2015)Senior Vice President, SGK Inc. President & Chief Operating Office, Schawk Canada Inc.Chairman, PAC - Packaging Consortium Board Member, IDEAlliance (2010 – 2013) Board of Governors, Ryerson University (2008 – 2011)Printing Leader of the YearSean MurrayPresident and CEO, Advocate Group of Companies, Pictou, Nova ScotiaAdvocate Printing and Publishing Limited, Advocate Media Inc. Emerging Leader of the YearJames RowleyGeneral Manager, Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging, Vancouver, British ColumbiaCommunity Leader of the YearJohn HuestonPresident, Aylmer Express Graphics Group, Aylmer, OntarioFor more information about the 2017 awards program and gala, please visit Canadianprintingawards.com
Kodak will increase the price of all Kodak offset printing plates globally by up to nine percent. Over the past 12 months, Kodak explains it has been absorbing significant increases in costs for raw materials that are used to produce its offset plates, including: aluminum; chemicals; and packaging materials. The company states the magnitude of the materials cost impact has made it necessary to increase plate prices.“The printing plates market is both technology-intensive and cost-competitive,” said Brad Kruchten, President, Print Systems Division, Kodak. “As a result, there is no room for us to continue to absorb these escalating raw materials costs without raising our own prices.“Our approach to implementation will affect our newest and most technically-advanced products the least, while our more mature offerings, which are less efficient and less advanced, will see higher price increases,” he added. “This, in turn, will help drive long-term viability, profitability and sustainability for our printers and our industry partners.”Plate price increases were previously announced for China in January 2017.
The emergence of enhancement and embellishment technologies are generating new possibilities for print to capture the attention of marketers and higher margins for commercial operations.InfoTrends estimates approximately 30 percent of the total colour pages printed in North America and Western Europe, or nearly 1.8 trillion pages, currently receive some form of special effects enhancements or embellishments. These statistics are pulled from a 2016 report called Beyond CMYK: The Digital Print Enhancement Opportunity, coauthored by Jim Hamilton, Group Director of InfoTrends, who explains this relates to a range of value-add special effects like spot or flood coatings, adding a Pantone colour, metallic inks, opaque whites, fluorescents, security features or any number of CMYK+ features. The vast majority of these 1.8 trillion enhanced pages are printed offset and finished with conventional methods. In fact, the report found that 46 percent of enhanced offset printed material requires two or more enhancements. There has been recent growth in digitally printed pages receiving enhancements because most toner-press makers now provide a fifth station for inline treatments, but Hamilton estimates this is applied to less than 10 percent of all digital pages and less than three percent of total production colour digital pages receive special effects.Hamilton also points to the recent uptake in offline digital enhancement systems introduced from companies like Scodix, Konica Minolta (MGI), Duplo and Steinemann to apply spot gloss, dimensional, foil and other effects. Beyond CMYK estimates, however, the digital print enhancement market (both inline and offline) only amounts to about nine billion pages annually. “That may seem like a lot, but it’s just a tiny sliver compared to the total 1.8 trillion print-enhanced colour pages produced each year,” Hamilton explains. “The conclusion is pretty clear. There is a significant growth opportunity for digital print enhancement processes.”The opportunity in digital enhancement outlined by Hamilton helps to describe two of the three strategic pillars leading the development and commercialization of Scodix technology. Founded in 2007 by Eli Grinberg and Kobi Bar, Israel-based Scodix introduced its first digital enhancement system in 2010 and then caught the attention of the printing world at drupa 2012 for its unique application of polymers to enhance print – both offset and digital pages. Today, these polymers can be used in nine different or combined enhancement applications on three system platforms including the Scodix S, Scodix Ultra and the recently introduced 41-inch Scodix E106.The Value Category, as described in large part by Beyond CMYK’s research focus, was Scodix’ initial push to the market in 2012 based on the ability to apply spot textures on a page through what are now branded as Sense polymers. Scodix’ introduction of a digital foil enhancement module in late-2015 supported its existing value-add approach, but also introduced a Cost Replacement Category of commercialization for the system maker. The third strategic pillar is referred to by Scodix as the Dream Category, which relates to a printer’s ability to attract completely new work based on enhancing pages.Cost replacement foilScodix’ value and dream categories are often hard to quantify because numbers will shift based on the type of application being produced, run length and a printer’s sales ability to create a demand for enhanced pages. Cost replacement, however, provides printers with solid numbers in their application of digital foil relative to the costs of insourcing or outsourcing such analogue work.“Scodix is building a story about how they have grown and it is closely linked to the availability of what we call digital foil,” says Christian Knapp, owner of Toronto-based CMD Insight, who serves as the Canadian agent for Scodix. He has worked with Scodix for the past two years and been involved with almost half of the 11 Scodix installations in Canada, with a twelfth nearing completion. “[Texture] is very interesting but somewhat limited in its application and adoption by the market. Once Scodix brought out digital foil they opened up the parameters completely… and they experienced substantial growth simply because the market realizes digital foil fits the cost replacement model and that is what most commercial, and in fact other, printers are going for.”Approximately 150 Scodix systems were sold during drupa 2016. There are around 50 Scodix installations currently in North America and now more than 250 worldwide. Knapp believes the technology has moved past the early adopter stage, when printers were initially intrigued by texture, into an early majority phase. “Any return on investment calculations for a commercial printer require, on the one hand, to reduce costs in their business and, on the other hand, offer new technology. And digital foil together with texture, what we call Sense printing, gives us that ability,” Knapp says, relating to the set-up time of traditional hot and cold foiling methods suitable only for long runs, and the direct costs of outsourcing. The ability to apply digital foil naturally fits with the digitalization of prepress and presses, as most commercial printers today face a higher number of daily print-work transactions.“Once you go from that product life cycle early adopter to early majority, people are starting to look at that in much more detail,” Knapp says. “Now the calculators come out and people need to justify their investments and let’s face it these machines are not inexpensive.”Knapp explains a base Scodix Ultra system, onto which modules can be added, sells for approximately US$600,000 and the foiling unit is around US$150,000, resulting most often in a machine set up for around US$750,000 all in. “In calculations for customers, I have been able to justify the investment on the foiling unit alone within less than 12 months,” he says, noting the ROI on many full systems can be done in the range of 24 to 28 months. “That is fairly aggressive for a product that is not a small investment.”Value and profitIn addition to the cost replacement models that help drive Scodix ROI calculations, Knapp also points to the value-add category where printers can simply charge more for print work when it is enhanced. He explains that traditional coating is actually more of an enabling technology relative to true page enhancements applied through systems like those built by Scodix. “Coating enables you to participate in the market, but you cannot really add that much value. Because at that level there is a market price that is highly fought over and there are lot of competitors in this segment,” Knapp explains. It is rare for an offset press to be sold today without a coating unit and coating holds as much customer expectation as sharp CMYK work, as much as service provides client loyalty but not necessarily a premium price.When discussing value-add, Knapp is directly referring to profit contribution for a printer based on page enhancements. He provides the example of a printing company that generates $10 million turnover, which is a suitable revenue number for Canada’s majority of small- to mid-sized printers. “If you are a good printer, well regarded, and have high productivity, you might make five percent margin so there is $500,000 on a $10 million turnover,” he explains. “Now take the Top 10 percent of your customers and convert that with value-added processes such as Scodix digital foil and digital embossing. For that $1 million, if your profit number is now, to simplify things, 50 percent, you are making $500,000 profit on that volume.” Knapp explains by maintaining the remaining $9 million of turnover at five percent margin, which is about $450,000 profit, and adding the Scodix profit from VIP clients, a printer might generate around $950,000 for the same $10 million business turnover. “In that example, if you wanted to make $950,000 profit on a five percent margin for a conventional business you would have to produce about $19 million in sales. We all know how difficult it is to grow a commercial print business from $10 million to $19 million.”The example of achieving 50 percent margin on Scodix print work would certainly need to be adjusted depending on how it is being applied and for what select clients. A high margin figure, however, is not unrealistic for enhanced print. “Special effects printing can be a profitable endeavour,” wrote Hamilton, based on the Beyond CMYK report. “According to InfoTrends’ research, print buyers will pay premiums in the range of 24 to 89 percent for digital print enhancements over CMYK-only work. Interestingly, many buyers expressed a willingness to pay a higher premium for special effects than printers believed they would pay.”Knapp points to three third-party studies that suggest a premium margin for enhanced print comes in at anywhere from five to 40 percent. These studies, however, focus on a range of enhancements including lower-value coatings and not exclusively Scodix-level work. Power of vision and touchThe California Institute of Technology (Caltech) conducted an experiment in which the end user price sensitivity was tested in respect to tactile print enhancement. The researchers concluded that price increases are possible by adding soft-touch tactile features to packaging whereby brands could raise prices to end-users by up to five percent.The British Royal Mail looked at measuring user interaction with direct mail back in February 2015 in a survey called Private Life of Mail, which included looking at the effects of tactile printing on a reader’s emotional responses. The study states: “Behavioural marketing experts, Decode, scanned recent academic literature for us to see what had been discovered about the importance of touch in human psychology. They demonstrated that there are strong reasons why getting consumers to engage physically with a brand is likely to have a strong effect on them. Multi-sensory stimulation seems to alter the way the brain processes messages – often making processing quicker, which is key for driving emotional response to messages or brands.” The Royal Mail’s study found that a sense of ownership over a printed item derived from sight and touch translates into a 24 percent increase in value.Earlier this year, Canada Post – through True Impact Marketing – produced its own study called A Bias For Action that used brain imaging and eye-tracking technologies to see into the brains of people interacting with physical (direct mail) and digital (email, display) advertising media. The researchers developed two integrated campaigns featuring mock brands, applying the same creative and messaging across both physical and digital media formats. The 270 participants were later given memory tests to assess their recall of branded material.True Impact Marketing found that it takes 21 percent less thought to process direct mail over digital messaging, and that the paper product creates a 70 percent higher brand recall – that our brains process paper media quicker than digital media. Researchers found the motivation response created by direct mail is 20 percent higher and even better if it appeals to more senses like vision and touch.  “Physical fills a much-needed, and very human, sensory deficit in the virtual world, where we spend most of our time these days...The most important renaissance in advertising has gone largely unnoticed,” wrote Deepak Chopra, CEO of Canada Post, in a guest column for The Globe and Mail about the study.Research by the Foil & Specialty Effects Association in 2013, in a study called Results of Impact of High Visibility Enhancements, concludes that there are overwhelming responses for what it calls First Fixation of foil stamped packaging. The authors explain, “The ability of a product to attract the shopper’s visual attention has a strong influence on a consumer’s decision to purchase.” The study found that foil can increase sales prices by 10 to 40 percent depending on the end product.“We have a number of instances where people are charging $30 for 500 business cards, for example,” says Knapp. “Business cards are a dead giveaway market for this type of technology, compared to maybe only $10 for a conventional, standard CMYK business card.” He explains Scodix is currently focused on five target markets where it can add value: Commercial print, Web-to-print (such as business cards), folding-carton convertors (based on the introduction of the 41-inch Scodix E106), book publishing and photo-books.The cost of polymer, explains Knapp, is always a point of discussion with printers when doing ROI calculations, especially as it relates to value-add, but he does not see it as a significant factor. “We encourage them to not put down too much polymer, because you will then lose the uniqueness, the ability to make this page standout,” he says. Knapp explains the worldwide average of Scodix polymer usage per page on a B2 sheet, 28 x 30 inches, is somewhere in the range of seven percent. “That is fairly low and the cost for a page produced like this is then in the range of 12 to 15 cents U.S. So that is actually not that much, especially if you can sell every one of those pages for a dollar or more, $5 – it depends on the application.”Dream polymersThe third pillar of commercialization for Scodix, beyond value and cost-replacement, is referred to by the company as the dream category, based on a printer’s ability to increase sales outside of existing product offerings and clients. “It doesn’t fly very well in the hard-nosed business world of commercial printers,” says Knapp, who began his printing career by spending more than two decades selling offset technologies. “We mention it to people because we know this happens, but in a return on investment calculation it is very difficult to quantify.” It is logical, however, that opening up VIP clients to enhanced print with texture and foil can help attract more of their offset or digital printing work, while at the same time provide a route into new accounts through differentiation. This is also fuelled by the development approach of Scodix based on the fact that most of its research effort is put toward polymers to expand beyond its current nine applications, which are branded as Sense (texture), Foil, Foil on Foil, Spot, Metallic, Glitter, VDP/VDE, Braille, Crystals and Cast&Cure.Knapp explains Scodix views itself as chemical company more so than just a hardware company, focusing on engineering machine platforms to leverage new polymers and applications. “The future may well have polymers with a specific light frequency that reacts or they may taste or smell,” he says. “There are so many markets where a unique polymer or application would have great benefits. Think of security, foods, packaging in general. There are lots of applications that this technology will go to in the future.”The polymers are a major differentiator for Scodix in the market relative to traditional inks and coatings, as well as the growth in new electrostatic inks for fifth and sixth imaging units. Knapp explains, “Scodix always determines the ideal and right polymer for the print job. Its modular [system] philosophy is application specific to what the end user needs and it is a very open R&D-centric company.” Knapp continues to explain the use of polymers also provides an advantage for the vast majority of commercial printers who produce work-and-turn jobs, because Scodix jobs can be processed quickly with efficient drying. He also points to Scodix’ machine build, weighing around 9,500 pounds, and the registration accuracy of the systems as advantages. “The underlying theme for Scodix, has always been to make printers more profitable,” says Knapp. “That is how I see their differentiation. I can talk technical Olympics for hours if that is what we need to do, but in the end it really comes down to providing tools for printers to be successful.”
CJ Graphics added a six-colour Heidelberg XL106 press to its existing sheetfed-offset line-up of two 6-colour XL presses. The three straight 6-colour Heidelberg XL presses will make up the backbone of CJ Graphics’ new 240,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, which the company expects to be finished in late October 2017.The company’s most recent XL106 press is equipped with an Anilox AQ coater and Inpress Control, which CJ Graphics explains will be directed toward Heidelberg’s recently introduced Push To Stop operating philosophy – unveiled at drupa 2016 in conjunction with its Press Center XL 2 with Intellistart 2 technology.The Push to Stop concept is to have the press initiate a series of print jobs that are properly queued up by Heidelberg’s Prinect software, which also relies on the new-generation Press Center XL 2 console, Intellistart 2 and assistance systems such as Intelliguide.Depending on ink layout down and imposition, print jobs can then run consistently without operator intervention. Ultimately, the technology platform can also leverage colour management tools to reach pre-specified Delta levels and tagging systems in the press delivery. Push to Stop is available for the new generation Speedmaster, covering the series XL 75, CX/SX 102, XL 106 and XL 145/162, which are equipped with the Prinect Press Center XL 2, the Wallscreen XL, and AutoPlate Pro or AutoPlate XL 2 and Inpress Control 2 automation components.
Premier Printing, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has added a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-106-4P. The press features a range of automation including AutoPlate Pro fully automated plate loading, Prinect Axis Control Spectral measuring device, and dynamic sheet brakes.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriada5adb261d The press is driven by Heidelberg’s recently introduced Press Center XL featuring Intellistart 2 operating software, which the press maker describes as providing for autonomous processing of jobs at speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour. Premier Printing explains, as a manufacturer of school, college and university agendas, as well as general commercial printing, when agenda season hits, the plant must double production and meet stringent deadlines. This created a backlog on its current sheetfed offset presses, including a Speedmaster XL-106-10P and a Speedmaster SM 74-8P+L. The new Speedmaster has filled the gap for the 2/2 signatures that are typical in this printing business. “AutoPlate Pro is a gift,” said Tom Bennet, Special Projects Manager, Premier Printing. “Agenda run lengths are 300 to 1,500 per form, so we are performing up to 150 plate changes per day. Job changes on the 4P were as low as 1½ minutes. Keeping plates coming is the new challenge.”Another of Premier’s recent investments for productivity improvement came in the installation of a TH-82-P Stahl folder with PFX feeder. Capable of running signatures at 18,000 pieces per hour, the company explains this folder has doubled the amount of throughput in its finishing department.   “This new folder is a game changer. Of all the areas in our plant, folding was the real bottleneck,” said Ted Gortemaker, Operations Manager at Premier. “The ease of operation, set up and throughput is amazing. Watching skids of print disappear is stunning. Using the pallet feeding and Palamides stacking table has greatly reduced the operator work level required.” Founded in 1962, Premier Printing today employs 80 full-time staff, and up to 120 part-time staff during agenda season, in a 75,000-square-foot facility in Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Industrial Park.
Mr. Printer of Etobicoke, Ontario, made a significant investment into its finishing department. The family run company has been growing in the Greater Toronto Area for more than 35 years. The postpress upgrade made by the company over the past several months includes a series of equipment installations to better support a growing range of work. The equipment package includes a Mohr 80 NET paper cutter, Morgana Digifold PRO, Morgana AF System 2000 bookletmaker with square fold unit, Horizon BQ 140 perfect binder and a Challenge EH3C drill.“With developing our new e-commerce Website, we knew our finishing capabilities needed to be looked at to ensure we can meet the demands and expectations of our client base,” said Nabeela Anjum of Mr. Printer. “Maximum efficiency with quality output was the foundation for our selection of the equipment. More Specifically, we now have the ability to do short, medium and longer run booklet making. “We are now offering quick turnaround perfect binding jobs which we previously could not do,” continued  Anjum, “and with the addition of the Digifold PRO creaser/folder we can offer a wide range of paper stocks for folding applications that are full colour without any cracking.”Sydney Stone, established in 1951, focuses on the distribution and service of digital finishing technologies by representing global brands like Morgana, MOHR, EBA, Vivid, Watkiss and Duplo.
C.J. Graphics is currently installing two fully loaded iGen 5 presses into its new Mississauga facility, which was scheduled to completed by this October. The presses, according to CEO Jay Mandarino, are slated to be operational by the end of the week. The company also acquired an Epic CTi-635 inline coating system, equipped with a C.P. Bourg BSFE-x sheet feeder, with installation scheduled to begin next week. This new Epic technology will allow for spot and overall Aqueous and UV coatings.The Xerox iGen 5 digital presses hold a complete set of available features and options. “The new iGen 5 technology is a game changer, with revolutionary capabilities, including matte toner, extended gamut to achieve up to 93 percent of reproducible PMS colours – with orange, blue, green, white and clear dry ink – and 24-point thick stock kit,” said Mandarino, CEO and President of CJ Graphics Inc. “The iGen 5 is fast, and with the new features you are only limited by your imagination. We’re proud to be the first in the world to have the complete set of features to deliver more value to our clients.”C.J. Graphics’ Xerox iGen 5 presses, as mentioned, include the fifth colour station with an abilty to swap in White Dry Ink for specialty effects. The flagship press platform for Xerox was introduced in mid-2015. It provides 2,400 x 2,400-dpi imaging, as well as what the company labels as Object Oriented Halftoning, Xerox Confident Colour and Auto Density Control.With purchase of the new building, renovations and new equipment, C.J. Group explained at the time of the announcement in early 2017, that it will be investing more than $25 million in its expansion. In addition to the new Xerox presses, Mandarino explained the company is adding full mailing services, a new sheetfed litho press, and a new large format press as it moves into the plant, in addition to expansion of its bindery and other divisions.
Horseshoe Press Inc. of Burnaby, British Columbia, became the first printing company in Western Canada to acquire Konica Minolta’s flagship MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution system. The purchase was overseen by Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada in partnership with distributor Focus Pre-Press Systems Ltd.The MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution is described by Konica Minolta as the world’s first B1+ scalable sheetfed digital enhancement press. The technology eliminates the need for films, dies, screens and make-readies for the efficient production of foil stamping jobs from one to thousands of sheets, with an ability to run fully personalized short, medium and long runs for complex print and packaging applications. “Innovation and market leadership have always been our guiding principle at Horseshoe Press,” said Dickey Tam, President and Owner of Horseshoe Press, which was founded in 1988. “Working with an experienced team from Focus Pre-Press and Konica Minolta helped us recognize the opportunity to rapidly grow our business. "We are excited to expand our offering and bring differentiated products and services to our clients at price-points that simply cannot be matched with traditional finishing methods," said Tam. "With the continued support of both companies, we are confident that this will prove to be a wise investment for Horseshoe Press.”The JETvarnish 3D Evolution also leverages MGI’s industry-unique Artificial Intelligence SmartScanner (AIS), which provides precision accuracy by using AI to automate varnish and hot foil registration for inkjet heads over the pre-printed sheet. The enhancement press provides digital foiling with an upgradeable inkjet expansion system with three substrate size options ranging from 52 x 120 cm (20 x 47 inches) to 64 x 120 cm (25 x 47 inches) and 75 x 120 cm (29 x 47 inches). It produces digitally embellished images, text, data and brand designs using spot varnish, 3D raised varnish and digitally embossed foil in a single pass. “Having recently delivered our first MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution in Ontario, we are excited to see the adoption of this innovative technology gaining momentum across Canada,” said Chris Dewart, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada. “By delivering shorter-run, personalized and high-impact printed material, Horseshoe Press has a premium print offering that will delight their customers and grow their business profitably.”
Westkey Graphics, one of western Canada’s largest privately owned printing companies, purchased White Dry Ink for the fifth station of its Xerox iGen 5 press at PRINT 17. With this addition, WestKey Graphics becomes the first print provider in North America to have all five ink options for the iGen 5’s fifth station, enabling the company to take on new applications that replicate client brand colours.Alfie Karmal, President and CEO of Westkey, explains the company previously relied on offset for colour matching. Additionally, some he explains some clients had a preference for more matte-quality finishes, which meant jobs needed to be outsourced. At Westkey, demand was also high for weighted stocks in the production of short-run, point-of-sale materials and packaging.With the I Gen 5, Westkey explains it will be able to produce digitally printed folding carton packaging, such as gable and wine boxes, as well as flexible labels and high-end point-of-sale pieces with full variability. Along with digital colour accuracy, the fifth station allows for matte-finish options, short-run flexibility and the use of thicker stock materials, and additional orange, green, blue, Clear Dry Ink and White Dry Ink capabilities.“We are excited to be investing in the innovative technology behind the iGen 5 and White Dry Ink. Now, we’ll be able to continue our leadership in the market. This technology, along with our partnership with Xerox, allows us to do more work in digital than we previously did on offset,” said Karmal. “We’re able to lead our market in short-run packaging and now have the means to grow our business with existing customers, by offering more innovative applications.”Introduced at PRINT 17 in Chicago, White Dry Ink will be available for installations beginning October 2, 2017.
Mimaki USA, a manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, has appointed Naoya Kawagoshi to the position of President, effective immediately. He was previously Vice President, Sales for Mimaki USA covering the United States and Canada.Kawagoshi came to Mimaki USA in 2012 from Mimaki Engineering (Nagano), where he was the Director of the Japan Sales Promotion department responsible for all sales promotion and marketing activity in Japan. Prior to that, he held progressive sales and management positions at the Mimaki Fukuoka and Tokyo branch offices. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Doshisha University.Kawagoshi remains a member of the Mimaki USA Business Planning Division and retains his office in the company’s Western Region facility, located just outside of Los Angeles.Yasuhiro Haba who previously served as President of Mimaki USA returns to Japan to lead new sales initiatives for the Americas, Asia/Oceana, and China.
KBA has appointed Aleks Lajtman as its new Regional Sales Manager for the press maker’s sheetfed division. He will be managing Canada’s six eastern provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. He will be based in Ontario and will report to Alex Stepanian, KBA’s Sales Director.“We welcome Aleks to the KBA family and are extremely excited that he will be an integral part of our sales team in Canada,” said Stepanian. “There are tremendous opportunities for our customers in eastern Canada and with Aleks’ vast experience, we look forward to serving these commercial and packaging markets.”Lajtman is a seasoned print industry manager who previously spent more than 18 years with Heidelberg Canada in various roles. This included positions as press demonstrator, showroom manager, product manager and most recently as account manager.“I am excited to use my in-depth knowledge of the Canadian printing industry and business development background to form one-on-one partnerships with KBA’s Canadian customers and find solutions with KBA’s excellent sheetfed press line for their printing production,” said Lajtman. “Throughout my career I have always personally demonstrated a customer-centric attitude and this is complimented perfectly with KBA’s core philosophy.”Lajtman is a graduate of George Brown College in Toronto with a degree in printing technology.
Hide Tsukada becomes President and CEO of Mitsubishi Imaging Inc., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Paper Mills. Prior to his role as Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Imaging, Inc. he served as Group Leader, Mitsubishi Paper Mills Digital Imaging Sales. In addition to the appointment of Tsukada, Mitsubishi Imaging announces the formation of two new business divisions to best align with corporate strategies and new product development. Jillian Acord has been appointed as Senior Vice President, Operations and Corporate Planning, which include Corporate Communications and Public Relations. Acord has held several leadership roles at Mitsubishi Imaging that include responsibility for business performance in Marketing, Operations, General Administration, Human Resources and Information Technologies. Chris Hung will be Vice President, Sales and Product Planning across all product lines. Hung has a long leadership tenor with Mitsubishi Imaging and has been instrumental in bringing new innovative products to market and forging long standing strategic business partnerships with industry leaders.
The Toronto Global Mayors’ and Chairs’ Strategy Council announced a team of passionate and prominent business leaders from across the Toronto Region to serve as the Toronto Global Board of Directors.  The Board will provide both strategic oversight to the management of Toronto Global, steering the agency’s efforts to enhance the reputation of the Toronto Region as a premiere global business destination.Ted Egawa, Director President and Chief Executive Officer, Canon Canada, is one of five new business leaders to join the Board, which itself is comprised of 14 people from both business and community operations. Launched in February 2017, Toronto Global is the product of all three levels of government coming together with a shared vision: to create an engine of growth for the Toronto Region by leveraging the multi-sector strengths of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton and the municipalities of Halton, York and Durham. It marks the first time municipalities in the Toronto Region have come together to promote themselves to international investors as one region, under on Board, with one brand, and its work will help the region remain competitive on a global scale. In addition to Egawa, the other new members of the board include: Mark Cohon, Executive Chairman, Georgian Bay Spirit Co and Chair of the Juno Awards; Janet Ecker, Vice-Chair President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance; Geneviève Bonin, Director Partner, Management Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada; and Lisa de Wilde, Director Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Educational Communications Authority (TVO).“We’ve recruited an all-star team of influencers and ambassadors to introduce the world to the investment opportunities in the Toronto Region, and to the benefits of working with our incredible range of talent and businesses,” said Mark Cohon, Chair of the Board of Toronto Global. “I know I’m not alone when I say we can’t wait to hit the ground running, and look forward to working with my fellow Board Members to show the world what we all know to be true – this is where they want to be.”Cohon, Chair of the Board, is best known for his recent eight-year stewardship as CFL Commissioner. Vice-Chair of the Board Janet Ecker was named a Member to the Order of Canada in 2016 for her leadership in the financial industry. “We have a very strong leadership foundation in place and we couldn’t be more pleased with these appointments,” said John Tory, Mayor of Toronto. “Each of these individuals’ professional experience and passionate commitment to business in the Toronto Region will bring insightful perspectives to our Board.”
Peter and Parry Nitchos, on Monday, June 26, both joined Toronto-based C.J. Graphics Inc., a member of The C.J. Group of Companies, led by President and CEO Jay Mandarino. With more than 40 years of sales leadership and expertise in the printing industry, Peter Nitchos will take over as Director of Sales for C.J. Graphics Inc., as well as its 30 divisions under the C.J. Group umbrella. Parry Nitchos is joining C.J. Graphics as a Senior Account Manager.“It is great to have Peter now part of our amazing team,” said Mandarino, noting C.J. Graphics has often competed in the Toronto region against the company’s new Director of Sales.In July, C.J. Graphics is scheduled to move into its massive new facility in Mississauga.
Presstek LLC has appointed Yuval Dubois as Chief Executive Officer. Since joining Presstek in 2013, Dubois spearheaded what the company describes as several critical initiatives in the commercial, newspaper, label and narrow web printing market segments. Dubois played a pivotal role in the launch of the Zahara waterless plate product, leveraging his knowledge in computer-to-plate and DI plate technologies. “It’s an exciting time to be at Presstek. I look forward to working with our talented team to continue to advance Presstek across multiple market segments within the printing industry,” saod Dubois. “We have a lot of opportunity to reach new customers, while helping our large customer base grow their businesses.”Before joining Presstek, Dubois held various management roles at VIM Technologies, which was acquired by Presstek in 2013. Dubois replaces John Becker, the interim CEO who stepped in after the sudden passing of Presstek’s former CEO Sparsh Bhargava in October 2016. Becker is a General Partner at American Industrial Partners, an investment company that acquired Presstek in 2012.Presstek’s core product portfolio includes: 4- to 6-colour DI digital offset presses; thermal, violet, and inkjet computer-to-plate systems; and printing plates for DI presses and CTP applications (waterless, thermal, violet and inkjet).
AlphaGraphics Inc., a global franchisor of design, printing, marketing and communications businesses, has been purchased by fellow franchisor Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) Worldwide. Following the acquisition, MBE will hold a network of approximately 2,600 locations in 39 countries, including nearly 500 locations in the U.S.In addition to its own printing operation interests, MBE specializes in third-party logistics, concentrating on shipping, micro and related retail-logistics services. MBE also acquired the U.S.-based PostNet franchise system in April 2017.AlphaGraphics will continue to operate as an independent company and will retain its current management team, with headquarters remaining in Salt Lake City. “This is an exciting development for the AlphaGraphics franchise system,” said Gay Burke, AlphaGraphics Executive Chair. “Combining forces with MBE Worldwide creates unique opportunities to synergize with colleagues similarly steeped in managing a franchise-based network of entrepreneurs.”
Electronics For Imaging Inc. has purchased Escada Systems based in the United Kingdom and with operations in the United States, which develops Corrugator Control systems for the packaging market EFI has a growing interest in corrugated production, primarily based on its drupa 2016 introduction of the Nozomi C18000 high-speed single-pass LED inkjet press. The company has also developed versions its Fiery DFE, inks, and the EFI Corrugated Packaging Productivity Suite aimed at the sector.The addition of Escada's technology, providing control and traceability for the corrugation production process, will enable EFI to expand the Productivity Suite’s value to sheet feeders and corrugated box plants. “The addition of Escada makes EFI a one stop shop for enabling packaging companies to improve the quality, efficiency and profitability of the corrugation process, using their existing corrugators,” said Gabriel Matsliach, Senior VP and GM, EFI Productivity Software. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but EFI explains it is not expected to be material to EFI’ss Q4 or full year 2017 results. Escada employees, including founder and former principal Gavin Bushby, have joined EFI's Productivity Software business unit.
ICON Digital Productions Inc. of Markham, Ont., has acquired controlling interest in Asterisk Media, a Toronto-based creative studio. Asterisk Media will now operate as a division of ICON Digital and will be rebranded as ICON Motion Inc.  They will continue to operate from their current Liberty Village location. Asterisk specializes in creating video content for multiple platforms. “We started this company after seeing the impact of how digital enabled viewers to have two-way conversations with brands,” said PJ Lee, Founder and President of Asterisk Media, who will serve as President of the newly created ICON Motion division. “We decided to build a company that was nimble and able to produce high-quality, high-frequency content that matched our partners’ content strategies.” ICON explains the deal will enable it to offer Asterisk’s suite of services such as commercial production and post-production, as well as 360/VR and livestream. “This is an excellent fit with our overall growth strategy to be a multi-faceted visual communications company and is consistent with our company mandate to be ‘All Things Visual’” said Juan Lau, CEO and President of ICON Digital. This is ICON’s second acquisition of 2017, following its February purchase of Toronto Trade Printers (TTP). The ICON group of companies reached $32 million in sales last year prior to the TTP and Asterisk acquisitions. With offices in Toronto, Markham, Montreal and New York City, ICON Digital now operates four divisions with high-end production capabilities for display graphics, digital signage, commercial printing and video production.
The C.J. Group of Companies has merged with Annan & Sons, both of which are based in Toronto, Ontario. Both Paul and John Annan, along with several of their staff members, are scheduled to join C.J. Graphics in that company’s new Mississauga location at the end of October 2017. C.J. Group explains Paul and John Annan will be overseeing the management of their division, including production and sales of their current clients. Going forward, John, who served as President of Annan & Sons, will also have a position on C.J.’s management team. “As we started planning to relocate our production, we recognized C.J. Graphics as a great fit for our customers,” said John Annan. “C.J. Graphics is well known for great quality and service. This merger will allow us to continue to offer these high standards to our customers. C.J. Graphics is also very innovative in new technologies which will give us more products to offer to our clients.”
Transcontinental Inc. has announced specifics regarding the sale of some of its Quebec-based newspapers assets, a plan that was first made public in April 2017 when the company launched a process to sell all of its newspapers in Quebec and Ontario, which are controlled under the Montreal company’s TC Media operation. That move came just weeks after selling its newspaper assets in other provinces.The Quebec and Ontario newspaper sales process, which Transcontinental expected to span several months, involves 93 local and regional publications and their related web properties, including the Métro Montreal newspaper.Transcontinental is selling its two Drummondville-based publications, L'Express Wednesday Edition and L'Express Weekend, to a Canadian corporation in part led by the company’s former TC Media General Manager for this region, Dave Beaunoyer. The 19 employees of these newspapers are transferred to the new entity, along with four employees from TC Media's production team. Six of the publications within TC Media’s newspaper sell-off announced last April are going to Gravité Média, a group that includes Julie Voyer, former General Manager at TC Media for the Montérégie region. These publications include: Le Journal Saint-François, Le Soleil de Châteauguay, Brossard Éclair, Le Courrier du Sud, L'information d'Affaires Rive-Sud, and Le Reflet (Delson).The 55 employees of these publications are transferred to Gravité Média. In addition, nine employees from TC Media's production and finance teams will continue their careers with Gravité Média. TC Media also announced the sale of its weekly Le Peuple Lotbinière to MELIORMÉDIA Inc. Three employees are transferred to the purchaser.
Sun Chemical has acquired Joules Angstrom U.V. Printing Inks Corp., a manufacturer of UV printing inks for converters in the commercial, packaging and specialty printing markets. “This partnership will give both Sun Chemical and Joules Angstrom numerous opportunities to provide customers with expanded product lines and services… we plan to work together to provide customers with more exciting and innovative UV printing ink solutions,” said Charles Murray, President of North American Inks, Sun Chemical. Based in Pataskala, Ohio, Joules Angstrom was founded in 1999 when Patrick Carlisle, who currently serves as the company’s President, began to focus specifically on UV printing ink. In addition to its Pataskala location (just outside Columbus), Joules Angstrom has a customer service centre is located in Chicago, which is supported by other branch locations in Minneapolis, Dallas and Los Angeles.
New innovations in printed designs for Canadian AEC firms provide opportunityThe demise of printed designs in the Canadian architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry may have been greatly exaggerated. With the sector rather stagnant, increasing numbers of AEC firms are now looking to print for its potential value to their businesses as opposed to a troublesome cost centre that needs to be reduced or eliminated. Indeed, a recent ARC Document Solutions study found that only 38 percent of AEC firms plan to go paperless. What’s behind the surprising fondness for hard copy design drawings? It turns out that recent large-format printing innovations are making it possible for AEC firms in Canada – especially SMBs – to efficiently and cost-effectively churn out high-quality printed materials that differentiate them in the market. At the same time, these new innovations are bringing the costs down when those firms turn to their local print service providers. In fact, according to the recently released 2015-2020 Wide Format Forecast from InfoTrends, media revenue in North America is now growing at a compound annual rate of 12.8 percent compared to 10.1 percent for the rest of the world. There are some key reasons why many smaller Canadian AEC firms are turning to large format printers. While larger enterprises have entire departments responsible for managing and maintaining large-format printers, many smaller and midsized AEC shops haven’t traditionally been able to afford that. The costs of acquiring printers, maintaining them and training staffs would simply be too high – especially where colour was involved.Smaller firms often leaned on print shops for every single geographic information systems (GIS) map, drawings and rendering they needed to produce.Today, however, more options are available. Prices for large-format printers have dropped considerably, making them much more affordable options for the average AEC firm looking to reduce their outsourcing spend. At the same time, savvy large-format print shops are enabling AEC companies to produce high-quality black-and-white and colour jobs at a faster speed from a single printer. Previously, companies had to buy both monochrome and colour printers to accomplish the same task or work with a print shop that had multiple devices.And this capability is particularly important to AEC firms today as many Canadian municipalities require design drawings to be submitted in colour. These regulatory requirements underscore where the industry is headed, as AEC firms are designing in colour. Keeping these details and documentation in colour lets designers move this knowledge through colour coding from their screens right into the field. We’re seeing AEC firms across the globe purchasing wide-format colour multi-function printers over monochrome-only solutions and Canada is certainly no exception.Another key reason for the AEC adoption of large-format is simply for faster turnaround times. Canadian AEC companies are increasingly required to turn around designs and blueprints on the fly – both at their offices and on job sites. Modern wide-format printers are faster than previous generations – up to 60 percent faster in some cases – and are suitable for use in the field and office. Additionally, a broad range of applications and technological innovations that expedite workflow are now available for use in conjunction with the wide-format printers. New workflow software for managing the print process from end to end makes large-format printing much more efficient. For example, such software allows AEC shops to spontaneously detect and correct corrupted PDFs, automatically switch between small- and large-format pages, and enable on-screen document proofing. Coupled with the speed of the new printers, this can significantly enhance efficiency.This improved efficiency also contributes to a lowered cost, which is an increasingly important factor for the many AEC firms operating in slowed down economies such as Alberta’s oil sector, for example. In terms of quality, large-format printing is not the same as making office copies. Control over quality is key because the large-format documents that an AEC firm must produce are mission-critical. For example, customers often assume they’ll be able to receive brilliant, colourful printed materials because powerful computer-aided design (CAD) software has made that so commonplace. These designs are also incredibly complex. For AEC firms to compete in this environment, they must have the ability to deliver on that expectation. Fortunately, an emerging generation of large-format printers excel at producing colour documents with crisp lines, fine detail and smooth grayscales that are arguably superior to LED prints. Newer pigments also provide dark blacks, vivid colours, and moisture and fade resistance – even on uncoated bond paper at high speeds.For Canadian AEC firms to compete in these challenging economic times, they need to be focused on producing the highest quality printed materials as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. The ability to do that has never been greater.Small and midsized AEC firms no longer have to invest in huge fleets of printers to keep pace with larger competitors. So, paper lives on as an important instrument in their tool belts – now and for the foreseeable future.
North American-wide trade printer 4over of Glendale, California has introduced a new product called Painted Edge Business Cards, which is an extension to the company’s Majestic Product line.4over explains the 32-pt stock Painted Edge Business Cards line can include a vibrant colour to the business card’s edge. This includes a range of metallic colours like blue, gold, green, hot pink, purple or classic white.
Two Canadian printing companies are among the worldwide winners of the 12th Annual Narrow Web Print Awards, organized by Flint Group, to recognize specialized applications like UV flexo, UV screen, UV LED, shrink sleeve, water-based flexo, specialty inks and coatings. Perflex Label of Toronto and Deco Labels & Flexible Packaging of Etobicoke, Ontario, were among nine winning companies from around the globe.Flint explains a common trend among this year’s print entires was UV LED technology and combination printing.  “Every year, the quality of entires continues to demonstrate that there are no limits when it comes to printing labels,” said Niklas Olsson, Flint Group Narrow Web Global Brand Manager. “As a supplier, we continue to expand the capabilities of our converter clients and push the boundaries of narrow web.”Each entry, explained Flint, was individually and carefully reviewed by industry experts. Criteria for judging follow the guidelines that are standards set by the industry associations FINAT and TLMI. These included: registration, smoothness of dot/vignette, overall print quality and degree of difficulty. 2016 Annual Narrow Web Print Awards WinnersPerflex Label – Canada Yerecic Label – USAUniprint Labels – South Africa Unique Photo Offset Services – IndiaDeco Labels & Flexible Packaging – CanadaConsolidated Label – USAModel Graphics – USAPemara – AustraliaAlaska Polygrafoformlenie – Russia 
Back in January 2016, Jones Packaging Inc., headquartered in London, Ont., as a global provider of packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, announced it was entering into a commercial partnership with Norway's Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), which develops printed electronics and smart systems, including technologies for Near Field Communications (NFC).Together the two companies planned to integrate Thinfilm’s recently branded NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharmaceutical packaging and, at the same time, develop what Jones describes as key manufacturing processes for its high-speed production lines. The London packaging company has now successfully completed this integration to deploy OpenSense tags at its converting facility. The customized Jones production line can apply and read up to 15,000 tags per hour. Jones explains Thinfilm’s Tag Talks First protocol is a key feature of the OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions. This read-rate is well suited, Jones explains, for its high-speed, high-volume production lines. Jones and Thinfilm will also collaborate to engage top global pharmaceutical companies to integrate the smart technology into Rx and over-the-counter product packaging. The Jones/Thinfilm smart packaging collaboration is funded, in part, by grants from both the Swedish and Canadian governments.Jones explains NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels that can detect both a product’s “factory sealed” and “opened” states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The tags contain unique identifiers, continues Jones, that make it possible for pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level using software and analytics tools. In addition, Jones explains the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken, which enables both brands and medical staff to extend the dialogue with consumers and patients. The partners published a two-minute video that visually conveys the automated process – setup of the carton, application of the tag, reading of the NFC chip, recording of key information, and ejection of compromised packages.
Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging of Richmond, BC, has successfully completed its Eagle Cold Foil Certification Course (ECFC). The 8-hour program is not only geared toward improving production understanding and techniques of press operators, but, as Eagle Systems explains, the certification program incorporates the executive management level to focus on Return On Investment, as well as quality production. “We first installed our Eagle Cold Foil systems in June 2015 and it’s lived up to every promise made by Eagle President Mike King,” said Stefan Congram, Operations Manager, Glenmore. “We’ve learned to not only respect Mike but trust him. When he suggested the class for our operation we knew we’d reap significant benefits.” Eagle conducted the Eagle Cold Foil Certification Course (ECFC) at Glemore’s Richmond facility in mid-July, 2016, to address real-world production factors and influences. Eagle has designed a unique test form, designed for failure, to run off each applicant’s system. Eagle explains the press is then finite-tweaked to maximize performance out of each operation’s adhesives, foils and blankets. This in-house certification approach allows for the elimination of former process obstacles, such as pin-holing and mud cracking.“It’s an understatement to say it’s thorough, but more importantly it’s effective,” said Congram, a 15-year veteran of the commercial printing industry, who has spent his the last eight year with Glenmore. “The press staffers now have an in-depth working knowledge and understanding of the cold foil process. Not just the what’s, as in what to do, but the why’s and how’s. Our people are now as dialed in as our system is. We are reaping the rewards every single shift with faster make-readies and noticeable quality jumps.”Founded by Glenn Rowley in 1981, Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging has evolved from a one-person shop to a significant Canadian printing operation of more than 90 employees in just under 35 years. The company provides a range of services like conventional, UV, offset, digital and wide-format printing, as well as pre- and post-press capabilities. The family-owned and operated company has advanced into a second-generation phase under the managerial leadership of the founder’s son James Rowley.
High school students in a specialized communications program work with a local Ottawa company to learn about the printing trade.Young adults routinely participate in interactive online activities ranging from Facebook and Twitter to sophisticated multi-player games, chat rooms and blogs. It only makes sense, that for today’s students, an experiential approach to learning is a priority.Merivale High School’s FOCUS program offers students in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board a unique opportunity to complete a concentrated one semester Communication and Design program that will prepare them for post secondary diploma and degree programs in graphic design, animation, photography and interactive multi media.So although students will require a digital camera and some computer skills for their Graphic Design, Photography and Animation courses, they should also be prepared to arrive at visual solutions using a variety of pencils, ink pens and paint as well as with current vector drawing software. The program has a 25 seat Mac Lab and also boasts an intaglio press, which makes printmaking exercises possible, and a 10-station darkroom for developing and printing 35 mm film. Students primarily use Adobe software, but spend time with QuarkXPress and other applications they may encounter.The FOCUS also involves a thorough immersion in printing technologies, and for the program’s offset lithography unit, the school enlisted the services of senior account and customer experience manager Jonathan Stokes of TRICO Evolution in Ottawa.Poster objectiveTRICO serves clients across Canada and the northern United States from its offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston and Vancouver, accounting for 350,000 square feet. In September 2015, Delta Business Solutions and TRICO entered into an agreement to combine forces and operate as one company under the TRICO brand. With more than 240 employees, the company focuses on products and services across six lines of business: contract packaging, warehousing and logistics, display and signage, commercial printing, direct marketing, and marketing analytics and insight.The FOCUS students’ objective at TRICO was to have the entire class contribute artwork for a poster marking Star Trek’s 50th year on television. The first series, now referred to as The Original Series, debuted in 1966 and followed the galactic adventures of James T. Kirk and crew of the starship Enterprise, an exploration vessel of a 23rd-century United Federation of Planets.Students were given their choice of media, with the understanding that their final artwork would appear only in black and white. Some of the students chose to do artwork with traditional tools, others used Adobe Illustrator to make vector drawings. Because the sequels, movies, animated films and graphic novels are so easily accessible, and a much-hyped new series is in the works (planned for a January 2017 release), the students were all familiar with all the characters.After the initial artwork was completed, all images were scanned at the proper resolution and then imported into a QuarkXPress document where the appropriate typographic notes were added. The finished poster was exported to PDF and FTPed to Stokes at TRICO. When the class arrived at TRICO to see offset lithography in action, students were first shown how a printing job is scheduled and how files are processed when they come to the plant, reinforcing the time-sensitive nature of the business.Stokes brought the FOCUS program students to the plate-processing station and there a skilled technician burned an aluminum plate of the Star Trek poster job and gave it to us for display at our school art show. In the pressroomThe class next entered the printing area, where one of the TRICO pressmen had our poster printing plate mounted on the large litho press ready to go. The students were able to observe all the fine tuning done before a job enters production.The class, whose printing experiences for the most part only included photocopiers, laser and inkjet printers were surprised at the speed and fidelity of offset lithography. They were also impressed by how efficiently large amounts of paper could be cut and trimmed with such accuracy. Our day at TRICO evolution finished on a high note in the board room, with Stokes showing impressive samples of critically acclaimed work done for corporate clients. Each student left with a few copies of their Star Trek poster and a greater appreciation and respect for the printing trade.Author Irving Osterer is the Department Head Fine Arts and Technology Merivale High School in Ottawa, Ontario. For more information about Merivale’s Fine Arts and Focus Program go to www.merivalefinearts.wikispaces.com.
The Digital Imaging Association last night in Toronto celebrated its 30th anniversary at Cirillo's Culinary Academy. Award-winning Chef John Cirillo divided the 50 attendees of the sold-out event into teams to prepare, cook and serve three Canadian courses, including: Bay of Fundy Salmon, Seafood and Tomato, Corn Veloute (Atlantic Canada); Smoked Bacon Wrapped Beef Tenderloin (Alberta) with Whisky Jus, Barley and Cranberry Risotto, Glazed Golden Beets and Fine Beans; and Maple infused Apple Rose in Puffy Pastry with Blueberry Compote (Ontario and Quebec).   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria848f43e869
More than 100 printing professionals attended PrintForum West, held last week at the Delta Chelsea in Burnaby, BC. The day began with an hour-long panel discussion featuring three of Canada’s youngest printing leaders: Nikos Kallas, President, MET Fine Printers, Richard Kouwenhoven, President, Hemlock Printers, and James Rowley, Vice President, Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriabad5a35460 Neva Murtha and Catherine Stewart, both Senior Corporate Campaigner with Vancouver-based Canopy, discussed the need for transparency in making environmental production claims. They also provided attendees with a sneak peak of The Blueline Ranking 2017 to be released this July. The annual report analyzes and ranks the environmental progress driving some of North America’s top performing printers, which includes several Canadian companies in the top 10, such as Hemlock Printers, MET Fine Printers and The Lowe-Martin Group.After lunch, two of Kodak’s technology leaders, based in the company’s nearby facility in Burnaby, which continues to make CTP devices and provide innovation, discussed technical advancements for improved profitability. William Li, Color Technology Manager for Kodak and Co-Chair of International Color Consortium, focused on the impact of colour technologies and standards in relation to how printers can find and then maintain new business. Patrick Kerr, Product Manager, Unified Workflow Solutions, Kodak, then focused on how printing companies can leverage cloud computing.Andy Rae, who was appointed as Global Head of Marketing, Heidelberg AG, in April 2017, discussed the impact of Big Data and Industry 4.0 in printing, including the concept of The Smart Print Shop, which relates to leveraging print and media workflows to facilitate the complete automation of production processes. Rae also discussed Heidelberg’s Push to Stop operating philosophy for print manufacturing.The day concluded with a panel discussion on the state of production inkjet, featuring four of Canada’s technology leader, including: Alec Couckuyt, Senior Director, Canon Canada, Professional Printing Solutions Group; Brad King, Vice President, Graphics Communications, Xerox Canada; Ray Fagan, Sheefed Product Manager, Heidelberg Canada; and Edward Robeznieks, Vice President Sales, Ricoh Canada.
More than 350 people last Thursday attended the 35th annual Gala Gutenberg at the ballroom of the Bonsecours Market in Montreal to celebrate excellence in print achievement. In total, 17 trophies, Technical Challenge and Innovation Challenge categories, were awarded to a range of printing industry companies from the province of Quebec. (Photos provided by Gala Gutenberg.)   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria04ee7184e0 “The Gutenberg [program] pushes the boundaries of each individual and responds to the challenges raised by the talent and creativity of businesses, communication agencies and print buyers in Quebec, regardless of the size of the companies. And this year, our industry has once again demonstrated that it is a great event,” Said Patrick Choquet, President, Gravure Choquet, and President of Gutenberg 2017.2017 Gutenberg Technical Challenge Award WinnersCategory: PackagingProject: Collection Serveurs Nuutok LAKLÉ INC.Category: PublishingProject: 887 InterglobeCategory: LabelsProject: Romeo’s Gin Imprimerie Ste-JulieCategory: Marketing Client Project: MUMO L’EmpreinteCategory: NewspapersProject: Perforation en ligne 'Die cut on line' Winner: Journal Métro/Les producteurs de lait du Québec Métropolitain Category: Flexible Packaging Project: Combinaison Archibald 4 x 473ml (6 dessins) Winner: Les industries Pro-palsCategory: Finishing Project: Exalted Third Edition-Novagraf Marketing Winner: Multi-ReliureCategory: MagazinesProject: Rolland Inc- Magazine Paper Loop Winner: L’EmpreinteCategory: BrochuresProject: Panneaux pour l'exposition "Ceci n’est pas un parapluie ", Biosphère Winner: MP REPRO Category: Self PromotionProject: Pop-Art Rose-Fluo         Winner: Pazazz2017 Gutenberg Innovation Challenge Award WinnersCategory: Self PromotionProject: Sacs réutilisables Winner: PNH SolutionsCategory: Flexible PackagingProject: Organic Kefir Cup Winner: Les Étiquettes IML Inc.Category: Édition Project: Jaquette Desjardins Winner: TransmagCategory: Marketing ClientProject: Programme souvenir 30e anniversaire Gala reconnaissance Estrie Winner: Groupe PrécigrafikCategory: FinishingProject: Great Comet Winner: InterglobeCategory: BrochuresProject: Conférence « New Cities Summit Montreal » Winner: PDI Solutions Grand Format Category: PackagingProject: A-Trax – In The Loop: A Decade of Remixes Winner: Ross-Ellis
The Ontario Printing & Imaging Association last night at the St. Georges Golf and Country Club in Toronto handed out a range of awards in their annual Excellence In Print Awards program. (Photos provided by Myrna Penny.)   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriaa098805a70 This included five top awards noted as the Award of Excellence, chosen from among all categories winners, and the best of categories winners themselves, divided within Sheetfed, Web, Digital and Specialty groups. Following dinner and awards presentation, futurist Jesse Hirsh provided an hour-long keynote about the direction of communications technologies. He primarily focused on how various forms of Artificial Intelligence are creating new economies by leveraging the World Wide Web, automation and mixed reality (virtual and real). Hirsh described how the smart, fast and unregulated economy of the future might impact the business world – and where to find opportunities.The 2017 OPIA Excellence In Print Awards were sponsored by Heidelberg, Flint, Domtar, Sun Chemical and Spicers. Upcoming OPIA events include the OPIA SWOB Golf Tournament at the Rockway Golf Course in Kitchener, Ont., on June 7, 2017, and the OPIA Toronto Golf Classic on August 10, 2017, at the Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont.AWARD OF EXCELLENCE RECIPIENTSSheetfedC.J. Graphics Inc.Unparalleled Journeys        Web NewspaperTC Transcontinental VaughanThe Globe and Mail GatefoldWeb Commercial St. Joseph Communications Audi Magazine 01/2017Digital C.J. Graphics Inc.Connect the dots....SpecialtyC.J. Graphics Inc.Until The Last Child EXCELLENCE IN PRINT AWARD RECIPIENTS (BEST OF CATEGORY)SHEETFED CATEGORIES    Annual Reports C.J. Graphics Inc.Smartreit – Smart Journey 2016 Annual ReportBrochures Mi5 Print & Digital Communications Inc. Luxury by the Lake CardsC.J. Graphics Inc.Bell Media Cards and BoxBooks Hard CoverAylmer Express Graphics Group The Desire to Acquire Books 4+ ColoursRyerson University, School of Graphic Communications ManagementRyeTAGA Student Publication NewslettersC.J. Graphics Inc.re:porter 10 October 2016 IssueBookletsC.J. Graphics Inc.Babar Khan Modern Icon BrochureMagazines Perfect BoundAylmer Express Graphics Group Shift – RM Sotheby’sMagazines Saddle StitchedC.J. Graphics Inc.SBC Snowboard Canada        ProgramsC.J. Graphics Inc.Canadian Screen Awards Program         Catalogues 4+     coloursC.J. Graphics Inc.Unparalleled JourneysInserts C.J. Graphics Inc.Canadian Food Aficionado Media KitStationery C.J. Graphics Inc.Quantum Motorsports Stationery Direct MailC.J. Graphics Inc.One Thousand MuseumPresentation FoldersAylmer Express Graphics Group Siskinds The Law Firm Poster – Art Prints    C.J. Graphics Inc.Sony PS4 Uncharted 4 A Thief’s EndWEB CATEGORIESMagazines    St. Joseph CommunicationsAudi Magazine 01/2017Catalogues 4+ Throughout     St. Joseph CommunicationsHolt Renfrew Holiday Guide 2016        FlyersTC Transcontinental Brampton    Giant Tiger 4 std 2+2 tabNewspapers TC Transcontinental VaughanThe Globe and Mail Gatefold DIGITAL CATEGORIES Digital small formatC.J. Graphics Inc.Connect the dots...Digital Large or Grand Format    Ryerson University School of Graphic Communications ManagementGCM Colloquium 2017-Window Promoting Poster SPECIALTY CATEGORIES        Specialty Inks    C.J. Graphics Inc.Statue Lenticular Picture         Embossing    C.J. Graphics Inc.Y&R Canada        Bindery    Ryerson University School of Graphic Communications ManagementRyerson GCM Grad Book 2017Engraving    Ryerson University School of Graphic Communications ManagementRyerson GCM Grad Book 2017    Self-promotion    C.J. Graphics Inc.C.J. Heavy Metal Promo BookLabels     C.J. Graphics Inc.Crown Royal Labels Boxes    C.J. Graphics Inc.Until The Last Child Cartons     C.J. Graphics Inc.Canadian Club Premium Box
The Toronto Club of Printing House Craftsmen last week at the Duncan House recognized local printers for their award-winning work in the Toronto IAPHC Gallery of Superb Printing competition. The Craftsmen Club also presented secondary and post-secondary students with scholarships, including the Chai Tse Award, for their achievements in industry-related programs and the annual Toronto Craftsmen Graphic Challenge Competition. This was the 42nd year of the Craftsmen awards program.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriaec5e54f090 The two primary sponsored awards for exceptional reproduction, based on the IAPHC judging process, where presented to Colour Innovations for the Heidelberg Canada’s Best of Finishing Award (COC Centre Stage Gala Invitation) and C.J. Graphics for the Taniguchi Ink Best of Press Award (Uncharted 4 Limited Edition Posters)The Gallery of Superb Printing Awards went to C.J. Graphics (15 gold, 12 silver, 4 bronze and 1 honourable mention); Avant Imaging & Integrated Media (5 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze and 1 honourable mention); Colour Innovations (3 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze); Polytainers  (1 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze); and Wellington Printworks  (1 gold and 2 silver).Toronto Craftsmen Student Chai Tse AwardsChristopher Jessop, Centennial College The Centre for Creative CommunicationPatricia Marie Gonzales, Central Technical Secondary SchoolMarissa Ponn, George Brown College School of DesignSamantha Martin, Georgian College Design and Visual ArtsJodi Ho, Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary SchoolJordan Jackson, Humber College Advertising & Graphic DesignJulia Tincombe, Ryerson University School of Graphic ManagementAlicia Jordan, Seneca College School of Creative Arts and AnimationGraphic Challenge Awards, Post SecondaryJulia Laude, Seneca College School of Creative Arts and Animation Daphne Chan,    Ryerson University School of Graphic ManagementGraphic Challenge Awards, Secondary    Jose Bautista, Central Technical Secondary SchoolHetta Patel, Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School
Printers and suppliers attended the biannual printing trade show Graphics Canada from April 6 to 8 at the Toronto International Centre. The three-day event included a range of educational sessions, including Innovations Theatre run by Print Media Centr, IDEAlliance’s G7 Summit, Label Forum, intelliPACK workshops, specialty graphics opportunity zone, and the Printing Sales Training Day. The following photo gallery provides some of the highlights from this year’s show.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria551c8078e2
Appleton Coated of Combined Locks, Wisconsin, has filed a voluntary state Chapter 128 petition for receivership to allow the company’s operations to continue under the supervision of a court-appointed receiver named by the Outagamie County Circuit Court.Company officials said the petition and appointment of a receiver will allow Appleton Coated to continue operations under the direction of the receiver, who will lead a process aimed at selling the company’s assets to a buyer who will continue operations.Appleton Coated is a manufacturer and distributor of coated, uncoated, specialty and technical papers sold under Ethos, Utopia and other brand names. The company’s products are used in commercial printing, textbook publishing, label papers, transactional printing and a variety of specialty and custom applications.In December 2014, Appleton Coated was purchased by Virtus Holdings LLC, a new company formed by members of Appleton Coated’s management team. The company’s manufacturing facility has an annual production capacity of 400,000 tons on three paper machines, and an adjacent coating and finishing complex with processing capacity of 280,000 tons. The company employs around 570 workers.“Despite the best efforts of our employees and ownership group and the introduction of new products, this step is the best option at this point,” said Doug Osterberg, Appleton Coated’s CEO. “While the company has made significant progress in diversifying its product offerings and entering new markets, the overall business climate is very challenging, and operating under a state court-appointed receiver is the best route to transition the business to sustained profitability.”Osterberg stated that profitability in the North American graphics paper sector has deteriorated in recent years due to digitization of communications and currency exchange rates that favour imports. These factors produced a decline in domestic demand, excess capacity and aggressive price competition in the company's traditional coated and uncoated paper businesses, he said. Osterberg also noted that these market conditions combined with recent increases in raw material costs, especially market pulp, yielded lower sales volumes and declining profit margins.Osterberg said the filing will also relieve the company’s burdensome debt and help attract an appropriate buyer. Operating results, he said, are expected to improve in the near term as the company fills unused capacity by moving into both the high-value graphics and commodity segments of containerboard packaging.Osterberg said the company’s bank has agreed to fund operations during the receivership and that the business will continue to operate during the transition. He added the company will be able to pay salary and wages and fund benefits for current employees.“The strategic location of Appleton Coated, coupled with the experience, knowledge and work ethic of its employees and the size and capabilities of its paper making machines and equipment, make it a logical candidate to transition to high value segments of the packaging market,” stated Osterberg. “We therefore, expect, but cannot guarantee that a suitable buyer will be identified who will value the company’s strong workforce and be willing to invest in the future.“This has not been an easy decision for the ownership group that bought Appleton Coated three years ago,” Osterberg continued, “but market changes and world-wide economic conditions have forced our hand, and as difficult as this decision is, it’s the best move at this point.”
Resolute Forest Products of Montreal, Quebec, released its preliminary 2017 second quarter results, including a net loss for the quarter ended June 30, 2017, of $74 million (all figures in US funds) compared to a net loss of $42 million in the same period in 2016. Sales were $858 million in the quarter, down $33 million, or four per cent, from the second quarter of 2016. Excluding special items, the company reported a net loss of $3 million compared to net income of $2 million in the second quarter of 2016.“This quarter's performance was a clear improvement from the first quarter,” said Richard Garneau, president and chief executive officer. “The results of our wood products segment were strong given higher prices associated with the U.S. imposition of trade barriers, while our market pulp segment recorded a solid performance despite production curtailments associated with annual outages. “In tissue, the improvement in our profitability continued but remained short of expectations,” continued Garneau. “Paper segments continued to be impacted by adverse market conditions, particularly in specialty grades.” The company recorded an operating loss of $47 million in the 2017 second quarter, compared to an operating loss of $6 million in the first quarter of 2017, while adjusted EBITDA increased by $22 million over the same period, to $83 million.The company explains its operating results were positively impacted by overall increases in pricing, particularly in its wood products and market pulp segments. Those improvements were partially offset by lower volumes in its market pulp, continued Resolute, and paper segments, as well as higher maintenance expenses related to annual outages at a number of facilities.  The company also incurred $60 million of non-cash impairment charges in the second quarter in connection with the indefinite idling of a paper machine at Catawba (South Carolina), as well as to reflect the write-down of assets at the Coosa Pines (Alabama) facility.Focusing on market pulp specifically, operating income in this segment was $16 million, $9 million more than the first quarter. Following price increases implemented from the beginning of the year, realized prices in the segment rose by seven per cent, or $39 per metric ton, to $632 per metric ton. Shipments to third parties fell by 17,000 metric tons compared to the first quarter. Resolute explains this largely resulted from annual outages in Calhoun (Tennessee), Thunder Bay (Ontario) and Coosa Pines, and lower demand for recycled grades during the period. The operating cost per unit rose by $8 per metric ton, reaching $583 per metric ton, resulting mostly from the maintenance outages. EBITDA per unit was $71 per metric ton compared to $42 per metric ton in the previous quarter. Finished goods inventory was substantially flat when compared to the first quarter.  In the tissue segment, Resolute’s overall shipments rose by 1,000 short tons. The wood products segment recorded operating income of $45 million for the quarter, an improvement of $25 million against the previous quarter. The newsprint segment for Resolute incurred an operating loss of $7 million in the quarter, compared to a loss of $4 million in the first quarter. The specialty papers segment recorded an operating loss of $7 million during the second quarter, a decline of $11 million from the previous quarter.“As our results continue to improve, we remain focused on our short-term priorities of increasing sales in our tissue segment, battling unfair U.S. countervailing and anti-dumping duties and managing our indebtedness and liquidity to be in a position to continue our long-term transformation,” said Garneau. “Now that the uncertainty surrounding trade duties in lumber has started to dissipate, we expect market conditions to remain favourable. In pulp, we are cautiously optimistic that market conditions will remain relatively favourable at least through the third quarter.”
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG reports its current fiscal year (April 1 to June 30, 2017) began with an increase in sales and earnings; and that it is on course to achieve its annual targets. The company highlighted its ambitions to consolidate a new corporate culture and return to growth with the motto “Heidelberg goes digital.”“We are making good progress in transforming Heidelberg into a digital company,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “We have already had our initial successes in the first quarter, thanks to our new digital presses and two constructive acquisitions.”During the first quarter of the current financial year, Heidelberg sales were slightly higher than the previous year at €495 million  (same quarter of previous year was €486 million) and its net result after taxes improved by more than €20 million to €–16 million. The sales increase, explains the company, was attributable primarily to Western Europe and China. At €629 million, incoming orders were below those of the same quarter of the previous year (€804 million), which saw a particularly high level of incoming orders from the drupa trade show. The order backlog increased by over 20 percent from €497 million at the end of the financial year to €603 million as at June 30, 2017.Heidelberg sees itself as being on course to achieve the company targets for 2022 that were announced in June: Company sales ~€3 billion; EBITDA of €250 to €300 million; and net result greater than €100 million.By taking over software supplier DOCUFY, Heidelberg states it is reinforcing the new digital platforms business area and expanding its Industry 4.0 portfolio. In the segment of consumables, business with coatings and pressroom chemicals has been further expanded in the EMEA region, explains Heidelberg, following the acquisition of this area from Fujifilm. Profitability, as expressed in EBITDA and EBIT, increased in the quarter under review compared to the previous year’s values. At €14 million, Heidelberg explains EBITDA was far better than in the same quarter of the previous year (€1 million), while EBIT amounted to €–3 million (previous year: €–16 million). Due to lower financing costs, Heidelberg explains the financial result improved to €–13 million (same quarter of previous year: €–16 million). Including income taxes, the net result after taxes of €–16 million was an improvement over the previous year’s figure (€–37 million). Free cash flow in the first three months was negative at €–13 million (previous year: €6 million).
Print The Future, described as an omni-channel 3D printing company that allows clients to print ideas on demand, plans to file an Initial Public Offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Once approved by the SEC, Print The Future will offer 2,000,000 shares of Print The Future common stock at US$10.00 per share, with a minimum investment of 50 shares. Print The Future explains its public offering will allow designers, engineers, architects, and other interested parties the opportunity to participate in the increasingly growing 3D printing market. The company states it plans to open 200 brick and mortar stores around the globe. In these stores, both amateur and professional designers will be able to design and print unique objects to fit their spaces.“We are at the forefront of the 3D printing space and have an ambitious vision for the future of our company as well as the industry. What Starbucks is to coffee, Print The Future will be to 3D printing; synonymous with its product,” said Neil Patel, Founder and CEO of Print The Future, who is based in Vancouver, BC. “The goal is to make 3D printing technology and design as experience-focused and expansive as the coffee chain.”Print The Future describes itself as the world’s first ubiquitous 3D printing store, where someone can think up an idea on the spot and walk out with it. Print The Future will allow consumers around the world affordable, local access to large-scale 3D printing.
In the final quarter of its financial year 2016/2017 (January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017), Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG recorded what the company describes as its best sales and result since 2008. With a further improvement in the net profit after taxes to €36 million (previous year: €28 million) – based on preliminary figures – the company states it has achieved its objective for the year as a whole of a sustained return to profitability. The improvement of nearly €60 million in the free cash flow to €24 million, explains Heidelberg, also underlines the success of the strategic realignment towards a digital company that has been initiated. “Heidelberg has achieved its targets for 2016/2017 thanks to an excellent final quarter. The net profit after taxes improved once again and we’ve created a solid basis for the company’s further development,” said CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. “We now need to gear our strategy towards becoming a digital company focused on customer needs. This will also bring the expected growth in sales and a further substantial improvement in profitability in the future.”At the beginning of February 2017, Heidelberg’s restructuring for the company’s digital future took effect on April 1, 2017 under the motto Heidelberg goes digital!. This move saw the Heidelberg Digital Technology (HDT) and Heidelberg Digital Business & Services (HDB) segments established. HDT combines sheetfed offset, label printing, and postpress operations and is responsible for developing, producing, and marketing the appropriate technologies and products for new business models. HDB, meanwhile, is where Heidelberg manages its operations relating to services, consumables, remarketed equipment, digital printing technology, and solutions throughout the value-added chain. The third segment – Heidelberg Financial Services (HDF) – will remain the same. Sales after 12 months were slightly up at €2.524 billion (previous year: €2.512 billion). In the final quarter alone, sales increased by just under 20 percent to €845 million (previous year: €710 million). The more substantial growth in sales originally planned for the year as a whole did not materialize, explains Heidelberg, due to planned acquisitions being postponed until the new reporting year. In the period under review, Heidelberg states incoming orders of €2.593 billion bucked the industry trend by being significantly up on the previous year’s level (€2.492 billion). Despite the costs for the drupa industry trade show of €10 million in financial year 2016/2017, EBITDA excluding special items in the reporting period amounted to €179 million (previous year: €189 million, including non-recurring income of €19 million from the PSG takeover). This resulted in an EBITDA margin of 7.1 percent (previous year excluding PSG: 6.8 percent). The €85 million operating profit (EBITDA before special items) for the fourth quarter was over 20 percent higher than in the same period of the previous year. Special items in the reporting period amounted to some €–18 million (previous year: €–21 million). Lower interest costs resulted in a further improvement in the financial result to €–56 million (previous year: €–65 million). This led to a net result after taxes of €36 million (previous year: €28 million). In the final quarter, the net profit after taxes climbed from €35 million to €46 million. The free cash flow at the end of the financial year reached a positive value of €24 million (previous year: €–32 million). Operational enhancements and efficient cash flow management thus resulted in an improvement of €56 million compared with the previous year. In the quarter under review, the net financial debt fell to €252 million (March 31, 2016: €281 million) and the leverage remained below the target value of 2 at 1.4.“We’ve significantly increased the free cash flow and further improved our balance sheet quality in reporting year 2016/2017. This lays a firm foundation for the Group to independently finance our transition into the digital world and step up our pursuit of attractive takeover targets. We’ll be announcing some successes in this regard in the near future,” said Heidelberg CFO Dirk Kaliebe.
Langley Holdings, the engineering and industrial group that controls German press maker Manroland Sheetfed, released results for its most recent fiscal, ended 31 December, 2016. The company states it had a record year, with profits before tax up by 15 percent on the previous year, and that Manroland Sheetfed, acquired five years ago in February, had now returned the group's initial investment in full.The group, led by Chairman Tony Langley, reported a pre-tax profit of €122.7 million on revenue of €900.9 million. Langley earned roughly 45 percent of its profits in Euro currency, 20 percent in US currency, 20 percent in GPB UK currency, and 15 percent in other currencies, although only a quarter of UK earnings were derived from the UK-based businesses, the majority coming from the UK subsidiaries of the European divisions.Manroland Sheetfed is the group’s largest division in revenue and employee terms and has around 40 subsidiaries around the world. Under Langley’s ownership the company has installed around 500 printing presses, maintained several thousands more and applied for 169 patents. In 2014, the press builder introduced the new Roland 700 Evolution machine.Piller, the German producer of power security systems, was the largest contributor to the group’s result. IT hosting and Cloud data centres were Piller's main driver in 2016, although healthcare, aircraft ground power and naval military systems also featured. Piller’s successes to date have been without any material levels of business from China, explains Langley Holdings, and in 2016 the company secured a cornerstone project for the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Piller equipment, according to the company, is installed at most of the world’s leading exchanges.In November the group acquired the business and assets of Texas-based Active Power, a producer of kinetic energy storage devices, and merged the business into its Piller division.ARO, Langley's French producer of welding technology for the automotive sector, also had another successful year on the back of a still buoyant sector. Langley explains there was generally a dearth of investment in the cement, gypsum, steel and alumina sectors though and Claudius Peters, the group’s German plant machinery producer, although profitable, was much less so on a subdued level of business.
Nustream Group becomes a new distributor for Flexa in Canada. Founded 25 years ago, Flexa develops short-run finishing technologies particularly for small and wide format digital printing, signage, 3D pins and labels, Plexiglas and polycarbonate objects, and thermal transfer on fabrics.Flexa’s product range includes hot and cold laminators, automatic, electric and manual cutters, roll-slitters, pneumatic and manual eyelet machines and different accessories for the visual communication.“This collaboration will help to strengthen the sales of our company in this big country and creating new business opportunities,” said Andrea Sottana, Flexa, Sales Director. Nustream focuses on providing the technologies for commercial, label and packaging, photographic and art reproduction printers.
PDS announced Robert E. Thistle of Toronto becomes a dealer for PDS, authorized to sell the Multigraf Touchline lineup of folding, creasing and perforating equipment. In September 2016, PDS became the Canadian master distributor of Multigraf Touchline technoologies. This line-up of technologies has been constantly evolving since Multigraf, headquartered in Switzerland, became one the first companies to focus on the short-run finishing market in 1984. In addition to the Touchline products, Multigraf produces a range of banding and stacking systems. Canadian distributor Robert E. Thistle was founded in 1972.
Grimco today is opening its first office location in Edmonton Alberta, after serving the area with sign and graphic supplies for more than 25 years from its Calgary location. The new office is located at 15427 115A  Avenue in Edmonton. “We are extremely excited about the opening of our new branch in Edmonton, Alberta,” said Mike Bolinger, President, Grimco Canada. “We are committed to providing the best products and service across Canada, and opening a location in Edmonton allows us to service our customers better in this market and beyond.”Grimco Canada, which also has Canadian locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Dartmouth, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Grimco Inc., which is based in St. Louis. The company was originally founded in 1875 as a single-location stamp and badge provider. The full-service sign supply company now operates in 52 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
Asia Pulp & Paper Canada has expanded its sales network to provide paper and packaging products to printers, publishers and paper converters in Eastern Canada. “The market for paper products, especially for food and other packaging, continues to grow at a global rate of approximately 4.3 percent,” said David Chin, President of Asia Pulp & Paper Canada (APP Canada). “But some of the smaller markets, that traditionally had less demand, were still not being serviced to the same level as larger centres and had a hard time procuring cost-effective products.” APP’s new sales network began to directly ship to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Prince Edward Island in June 2017. Its line of paper and paperboard products from Indonesia and China include wood-free coated and uncoated text and cover, opaque printing paper, gloss and silk paper, copy papers, and packaging boards for all types of printing and packaging needs.“Customers have come to expect quality paper products that perform well during the printing process but that also exceed the environmental standards demanded by the end user,” said Chin. “The type of businesses from which we will see the biggest business opportunity, are the ones that cannot forgo the white and bright paper that comes from virgin fibre but want a biodegradable product to stand apart from their competition.”APP Canada carries the ProPrint, Inspira, Enova, Paperline and Zenith brands. This distribution expansion to Canada’s east coast comes on the heels of another recent announcement by the company about a sales network expansion to Saskatchewan. Currently, the company has offices and warehousing facilities in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba. APP Canada is part of the APP group which is an importer/distributor of printing papers from APP’s mills in Indonesia and China. The company serves the Canadian printing industry with warehouse inventories of coated, uncoated and opaque stocks in sheet and roll form, C1S and C2S board, photocopy paper and cut size stock.
CET Color, a manufacturer of wide-format UV flatbed and hybrid printers, has added Nustream Group to its dealer channel to look after Quebec and Eastern Canada. Located in Montreal, Nustream provides technological distribution and services to commercial, label and packaging, photographic and art reproduction printers.
Mimaki USA, which is part of the Japanese-based imaging giant, is opening its first branch location in Canada. Located at the intersection of Jane Street and Highway 7 in Toronto, the location is to include a technology centre, Mimaki’s seventh such centre in North America, for running demonstrations of its wide-format imaging technologies.Lucas Crossley, Canada Sales Manager for Mimaki, will lead the new Canadian location, which will include trained sales, support and service staff to help support its dealers in the country. The 11,000-square-foot technology centre will also hold Dealer Technician Certification courses in addition to applications training.The company is holding a grand opening celebration for its new technology centre on October 11, 2016 , with a ceremony taking place at 11:00 am.
Avanti Computer Systems Limited has announced that its award-winning Avanti Slingshot is the first print MIS to integrate with MarcomCentral JobDirect Plus.MarcomCentral’s SaaS-based JobDirect Plus offers an online portal which allows customers to engage with print providers, build orders, customize features and finishing options, preview submissions and submit through almost any application.The integration with Avanti Slingshot manages backend processes such as reporting, estimating, imposition, inventory management, scheduling, shipping, billing and more.The combination of the JobDirect Plus and Slingshot makes workflow automation for print jobs easy, efficient and cost effective.
Organizers of Graphics Canada 2017, running from April 6 to 8 at the Toronto International Centre, have provided an update of educational sessions to take place at the biannual printing trade show.Print Media Centr, led by Deborah Corn, will be running Graphics Canada’s Innovations Theatre nd organizers have posted their preliminary agenda on the show’s website. All sessions in the Innovations Theatre are free to attendees.IDEAlliance is also returning to the 2017 version of Graphics Canada with its G7 Summit running on the morning of April 6. More detailed information about this event can be found on the trade show’s Website.Organizers explain LabelExpo will participation in Graphics Canada 2017 with a Label Forum.Other primary educational attractions listed on the trade show’s website include intelliPACK workshops, sublimation zone, specialty graphics opportunity zone, Crossmedia Canada Conference, and the Printing Sales Training Day, among others.
Xaar of Cambridge, United Kingdom, reached an agreement with Xerox Corporation to partner in the development of bulk piezoelectric inkjet printheads. Xaar is soley focused on the production of industrial print heads, while Xerox holds a range of hardware, software and service technologies for the printing industry."Continued investment in technology and product development, together with strategic partnerships, are key elements of our 2020 vision," said Doug Edwards, CEO of Xaar.Xaar states the partnership capitalizes on each company's expertise in bulk piezo printhead development and will leverage both companies’ technologies. Xaar also explains the partnership allows it to provide customers with a broader range of bulk piezo printheads.
Agfa Specialty Products and LCsys Systèmes Industriels have launched ABSOLUT-ID, a joint solution for the production of high security ID cards, resulting from a development and sales partnership between the companies.In its role, Agfa supplies the technology and consumables for the printing of personalization data and LCsys provides process engineering and equipment manufacturing. The two partners will unveil ABSOLUT-ID to the global ID card industry on a joint exhibition booth at Trustech 2016, running from November 29 to December 1 in Cannes, France.Agfa’s print technology allows positioning the personalization image and data on ABSOLUT-ID cards underneath the traditional guilloche printing instead of on top of the product. The company explains this facilitates the visual detection of tampering and increases the reliability thereof, because the smallest flaw or interruption of a single guilloche line will instantly reveal fraud. Additionally, since the personalization data of each individual card are generated in a half tone resolution without pixels or screen dots, Agfa explains ABSOLUT-ID cards are considered virtually impossible to counterfeit or even to manipulate.The production of ABSOLUT-ID cards, using consumables on roll, is a web-based process that integrates all the customary stages of card production: printing of the personalization image and data, lamination, die cutting and chipping. This continuous process offers tremendous time and cost efficiency, explains Agfa, as well as security benefits compared to the conventional approach of sequential and often geographically distributed steps. Agfa explains that because the process starts with the personalization stage, the ABSOLUT-ID concept eliminates the cost of laborious card preparations before a single card can be issued. It also avoids the storage of semi-finished cards that have high value only in terms of immobilized cash and represent a high risk of security breach in case of theft; a risk that can only be countered by increasing the cost even more with security infrastructure investments or surveillance.“In today's globalized world, more than ever, reliable ID security is of great importance to society and to all of us individually," said Marc Van Damme, VP Marketing and Sales, Agfa Specialty Products. “Agfa is pleased to contribute to more reliable and affordable security with state-of-the-art technology that builds on our long-standing expertise in imaging and shows at its best when quality is at stake to make a real difference.”
Jones Packaging Inc., headquartered in London, Ont. as a global provider of packaging solutions for healthcare and consumer brands, has entered into a commercial partnership with Norway's Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm), which develops printed electronics and smart systems, including technologies for Near Field Communications (NFC).Together the two companies will integrate Thinfilm’s recently branded NFC OpenSense technology into paperboard pharmaceutical packaging and, at the same time, develop what Jones describes as key manufacturing processes for its high-speed production lines.Jones and Thinfilm will also collaborate to engage top global pharmaceutical companies to integrate the smart technology into Rx and over-the-counter product packaging. The Jones/Thinfilm smart packaging collaboration will be funded, in part, by grants from both the Swedish and Canadian governments. Jones explains NFC OpenSense tags are thin, flexible labels that can detect both a product’s “factory sealed” and “opened” states and wirelessly communicate contextual content with the tap of an NFC-enabled smartphone. The tags contain unique identifiers, continues Jones, that make it possible for pharmaceutical companies to authenticate products and track them to the individual-item level using software and analytics tools. In addition, Jones explains the tags remain active even after a product’s factory seal has been broken, which enables both brands and medical staff to extend the dialogue with consumers and patients. “Our strategy of developing printed electronics solutions for the healthcare market led us to this important collaboration with industry pioneer Thinfilm,” stated Chris Jones Harris, Principal, Strategic Initiatives and Alliances with Jones. “Thinfilm’s unique printed NFC solution addresses multiple needs within the pharmaceutical channel, particularly around product integrity and patient safety, and allows our customers to connect the world of physical packaging to virtual and dynamic content on the internet – it’s a very unique and compelling proposition.”Thinfilm’s “Tag Talks First” protocol is described as a key feature of the NFC OpenSense tag and enables a read-speed that is up to 20 times faster than conventional NFC solutions. The companies explain this makes NFC OpenSense an ideal technology for use within the high-speed, high-volume production lines found in Jones’ manufacturing facilities. The work conducted by Jones and Thinfilm will also include the integration of ferrite shield labels with the NFC OpenSense tags. Jones explains this will enable the NFC technology to function on metalized packaging, such as blisters commonly used for cold/flu medication. The company states this is perfectly aligned with its contract packaging capabilities in the area of customized blister packaging solutions for solid dose products including tablets, caplets, capsules and gel caps.“Jones has been in business for well over a century and is a trusted partner to many of the most recognized global pharmaceutical and consumer brands,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “We are very excited to be partnering with a true innovator in the packaging industry and look forward to helping them deliver this leading-edge NFC solution to the pharmaceutical space.”
Xaar plc, which makes industrial inkjet technology, and Lawter, along with its parent company Harima Chemicals Group (HCG), are now collaborating to optimize the performance of a line of nanosilver conductive inks in the Xaar 1002 industrial inkjet print-head. The combined solution, according to the companies, will be of interest to manufacturers of consumer electronics goods looking for a method to print antennas and sensors with silver nanoparticle ink as part of their manufacturing processes. Xaar explains inkjet is a cleaner process than other methods of printing silver inks; this is especially relevant when printing onto a substrate, such as a display, in which any yield loss is expensive. With inkjet, manufacturers can precisely control the amount of ink dispensed in certain areas of a pattern, continues Xaar, so that the ink or fluid deposited can be thicker in some areas and thinner in others – adding that inkjet enables the deposition of a much thinner layer of fluids than traditional methods, which is significant for the manufacturers looking to produce thinner devices. Inkjet is also one of the few technologies able to print a circuit over a substrate that has a structured surface.“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our latest technological breakthroughs and demonstrate the unique value that our revolutionary nanoparticle inkjet solutions can play as part of an integrated system solutions in the PE world,” said Dr. Arturo Horta, Business Development Manager for Lawter Innovation Group. HCG claims to have pioneered the development and manufacture of silver nanoparticle conductive inks for the printed electronics industry over 20 years ago and has over 100 patents related to its nanoparticle dispersion technology.
Kodak hosted customers and community leaders at an April 20th ground-breaking ceremony in Weatherford, Oklahoma, to celebrate a $15 million capital investment to accommodate a new flexo plate line for the production of Kodak Flexcel NX plates. The ceremony included a ribbon cutting by Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.“Today’s celebration brings a focus on the new face of flexo” said Clarke. “Kodak’s differentiated flexo technology is helping our customers to drive growth, break new ground and transform flexographic printing and the packaging industry as a whole.The Weatherford plant is in its 50th anniversary year. The new flexo plate manufacturing line is a sister operation to Kodak’s existing plate manufacturing facility in Yamanashi, Japan. The $15 million investment represents one of the company’s largest capital investments since 2000.Kodak explains its Flexcel NX plate sales volume grew 16 percent in 2016 compared to the prior year, a rate four times the projected growth rate of the flexible packaging market itself, according to Smithers Pira.The new Oklahoma flexo plate line is expected to be in full production by early 2019 and will initially focus on supply of Flexcel NX plates to customers in the Unites States, Canada and Latin America. The expansion of this manufacturing Oklahoma facility follows a range of ongoing Kodak investment in flexographic printing technology worldwide, which includes the recent opening of a Flexo Packaging Technology Center in Shanghai in March 2017.                                                                                              At Kodak’s Weatherford ribbon cutting are (left to right): Weatherford, OK, Mayor Mike Brown; Boon Tien Pang, director of operations for flexographic packaging division; Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke; Speaker Pro Tempore of OK House of Reps Harold Wright Jr.; President of Flexographic Packaging Solutions, Chris Payne; Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin; Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Tourism, Deby Snodgrass; and Kodak Weatherford Plant Manager, Gene Meier.
Sappi Limited last week approved a range of projects in Europe and the United States, including a US$165 million capital project to expand Sappi North America's manufacturing capabilities. The purpose of the investment on Paper Machine No. 1 at its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine, is to provide flexibility in the production of paper-based packaging products. At the same time, the US$165 million project in Maine aims to maintain Sappi's position in the graphic paper market, increasing annual production capacity at this mill to almost one million tons per annum. The Paper Machine No. 1 project, which is scheduled to come online in early in 2018, will provide an 180,000 metric ton capacity increase“This move complements our long term 2020Vision strategy, which seeks opportunities to substantially increase our group EBITDA,” said Steve Binnie, CEO of Sappi Limited.Sappi is one of the world’s largest producers of diversified woodfibre products, focused on converting wood pulp, paper pulp and paper-based products to direct and indirect customers in over 160 countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sappi has more than 13,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and group sales of US$6 billion.Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, generates revenue for its parent company through four business units, including high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialised Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging. “Somerset's existing world class infrastructure together with its talented workforce and access to high quality fiber makes the mill an excellent and obvious choice for this investment," said Mark Gardner, President and CEO of Sappi North America. “Increasing our flexibility and expanding the paper mill's capability and capacity will ensure that we continue to make superior products at Somerset for years to come.”
Informco of Scarborough, Ontario, is one of eight printing operations from around the world chosen by Kodak to receive its 2016 Sonora Plate Green Leaf Award. The program, which first launched in 2014, recognizes customers who have demonstrated outstanding efforts to reduce their environmental impact through a variety of initiatives and best practices.  All of the printers are users of Kodak Sonora process-free plates, which hold a range of environmentally progressive benefits, while also being judged on practices like monitoring of energy and water usage, participation in local community sustainability programs and the use of eco-conscious materials and supplies. Sonora plates remove the need for the plate processor, which requires chemicals, water, and energy while generating waste. Kodak predicts that 30 percent of its plate volume will be process-free by 2019.“It’s an honour to select eight of our customers to receive this prestigious award. Printers around the world continue to see the real benefits that sustainable printing practices deliver to their bottom lines,” said Richard Rindo, Kodak’s General Manager, WW Offset Print, and Vice President, Print Systems Division. Founded 65 years ago, Informco provides integrated communications solutions – design, print and distribution – to clients across a range of industries. In presenting the award to the company, Kodak explains, that for over 18 years, Informco has integrated active environmental practices into its day-to-day operations – “ISO-certified since 1999, the company has made significant reductions in energy usage, water consumption, and VOC emissions through rigorous monitoring programs.” Kodak also notes Informco was the first printer in Canada to win the Canadian Council of the Ministers of the Environment Pollution Prevention Award in 2002.              The seven remaining 2016 Sonora Plate Green Leaf Award include: Reynolds and Reynolds (United States), Groupe Estimprim (France), Royalpack (Poland), UVO communication (South Africa), Ohshaika Printing (Japan), Kava Printing (China), and NPE Print Communications (Singapore).
The British Columbia Institute of Technology, based in Burnaby, BC, received a software donation from Aleyant, which provided the school’s Graphic Communications Technology Management (GTEC) program with both Aleyant Pressero and eDocBuilder for its Web-to-print curriculum.“We are very lucky to have the full support of the local printing industry and industry suppliers for our institution, and our thanks go out to Aleyant for their generosity in donating this software,” said Wayne Collins, who leads the GTEC program and is its only full-time employee. “Our unique model at this polytechnic institution started by partnering with the BCPIA industry association to seek high-level managers as instructors, who typically teach one class per term,” continued Collins. “This keeps our curriculum current, and what we really deliver is a two-year diploma that trains entry-level managers into the industry. It’s like a two-year job interview.”Aleyant’s donation includes both the software and student access to the company’s online training videos. “Our students have a lot to accomplish over a 14-week course, and assigning them videos to watch as homework helped boost the course content.”BCIT’s most recent GTEC Web-to-print course was taught by MET Fine Printers manager Steve Tomljanovic, and students have already been using Aleyant Pressero’s Web-to-print tool and its eDocBuilder variable data tool to create Websites and documents, which are then used to produce their products in a production lab with electrophotographic, inkjet, offset and flexo presses.In addition to document creation and production, Collins explains he plans to investigate adding curriculum around pricing tables and their connection to MIS, as well as other aspects of advanced Web-to-print solutions to round out the student experience. “If a group of students just coming into the industry can get the tools, use them that quickly and develop the kinds of products our students produced,” he said, “I am confident they will be well-prepared to join a company upon graduation and get a profitable Web-to-print operation up and running right away.”
In January 2017, Xaar plc, a world leader in the development of industrial inkjet technologies, is set to open its Xaar 3D Centre in Nottingham, United Kingdom. The new facility is engineered to deliver 3D printing services and equipment to OEMs, material suppliers and end users. Xaar’s new 3D team is headed up by Professor Neil Hopkinson, who joined the company in March 2016 to develop its 3D business. With 19 years of experience in additive manufacturing technology, Hopkinson is the inventor of High Speed Sintering (HSS) technology, which uses inkjet print heads and infrared heaters to manufacture products layer by layer from polymer powder materials at much higher speeds than other additive manufacturing processes. HSS is of interest to companies looking to use 3D in volume manufacturing.  In 2016, Hopkinson was scheduled to complete a three-year project to develop supply chain and full-scale production capabilities for novel additive manufacturing technologies for applications in major industrial sectors through three key partners, including Unilever (FMCG), BAE Systems (aerospace) and Cobham Technical Services (space and communications). Xaar’s role in this project focused on optimizing the performance of specialist third-party fluids in combination with its print heads. The expansion of Xaar’s 3D business is a key part of the company’s 2020 strategic vision. Since joining Xaar, Hopkinson has been building his 3D team and in early 2016 appointed project managers and 3D engineers who are now based at the Xaar 3D Centre. The team in Nottingham will focus on the development of materials and applications with a range of global brand partners.  In addition, the Xaar 3D team this month been expanded to include an experienced group of engineers working in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Xaar Copenhagen team will provide design and process development expertise to help the company’s partners commercialize HSS equipment.  “I am delighted to confirm our investment in the Xaar 3D Centre in Nottingham and our 3D team including the new group in Copenhagen,” said Neil Hopkinson. “As we build our business in 3D it is vital that we have the in-house expertise to support our partners. The addition of the team in Denmark further extends our capability.”
Canon Canada at the start of December hosted a couple dozen journalists for a 2-hour tour of its new 180,000-square-foot headquarters in Brampton, Ontario, home to the company’s domestic business interests in consumer, medical, security and print-production imaging. Built on more than 18 acres, the open, Kyosei-inspired interior of building is highlighted by a 5,000-square-foot interactive space that showcases the past, present and future of Canon innovation. From Canon cameras, printers and projectors to medical imaging equipment, copiers and production systems, the showroom will house the newest Canon products for customers and prospective customers. The company’s printing technologies occupy the majority of space in the showroom, including systems like the imagePRESS 10000VP and Oce VarioPRint 6320 Ultra+.While print-production remains a major pillar of Canon’s business, second only to the company’s historic consumer-imaging sector, the new Canadian headquarters is designed to support its growing interests in both security and medical imaging systems. In 2014, Canon surprised the security industry with its acquisition of Milestone Systems, one of the world’s leading providers of video management software, and then in February 2015 spent approximately $2.8 billion to acquire security-systems giant Axis Communications.Located at the corner of Mississauga Road and Steeles Avenue West, the new building brings together more than 400 Canon employees who will play a major role in driving the company’s diverse imaging interests across Canada.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriacce828c6d6

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

Sign Expo Canada
October 27-28, 2017
IPEX 2017
October 31-3, 2017