Industry News

S-One Labels & Packaging has reached an agreement with Charter NEX Films to sell its flexible packaging barrier/sealant films in North America.
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is taking over MBO Group in a bid to further expand its offerings in postpress operations for digitally printed products.
Quebec company Scenarex, specializing in the development of publishing solutions with blockchain, has launched the Beta version of its first solution, Bookchain.
Trelleborg’s printing solutions operations has signed agency agreements with Pamarco and Bingham Flexo Services (BFS) for the distribution of the Axcyl flexographic product line in Canada and the U.S.
Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) has announced the launch of a newly restructured printing industry association in Canada. Proposed by its Board of Directors and ratified by its membership this past March, the CPIA now operates under a new membership structure that aims to unify key industry stakeholders across Canada.
Paper Excellence Canada entered into an agreement to acquire Catalyst Paper Corporation, including its three facilities located in Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River, its Surrey distribution centre and headquarters in Richmond, B.C.
Ontario-based Lowe-Martin, an XMPie customer, has recently optimized its web-to-print workflow by integrating XMPie StoreFlow with its EFI Print MIS using MyVirtualCSR from Fraysen.
Calgary, Alberta-based Mountain View Printing & Graphics Ltd. says it expects to double its revenue over the next five years, a result of its recent acquisition of two new Xerox digital presses.
At Labelexpo Americas 2018 this week, Jet Label and Packaging purchased an HP Indigo 8000 Digital Press, saying the investment will double its digital capacity and print longer digital runs.
Burnaby, B.C.-based Westkey Graphics has expanded its fleet with the addition of Canada’s first HP Indigo 6900 digital label press and an SEI Laser LabelMaster for laser die-cutting and finishing.
Whitebird is looking to offer faster turnaround and greater versatility in high-end corrugated packaging production with its recent acquisition of the EFI Nozomi C18000 inkjet press, making it Canada’s first installation of the corrugated inkjet press, EFI says.
Print Digital Solutions (PDS) has sold Data Communications Management (DCM) a Multigraf Touchline CP375 Duo and TCF375, enabling stop perforation in both directions, creasing, folding, and positive and negative creasing all in one operation.
HP Canada has announced the addition of Steve Daigle to the General Commercial Sales team. Responsible for HP Indigo’s full product line in Eastern Canada, as well as the HP PageWide web press solutions, Daigle brings with him 25 years of experience in the industry.
Jet Marking Systems (JMS), a provider of label application solutions and ancillary equipment, is welcoming Dan Stickney as General Manager where he will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company’s business operations, client relations and strategic direction.
Contiweb has appointed Chuck Irons Vice President for The Americas, where he will oversee  the company’s North and South American operations, including sales, customer support, customer service and parts supply.
The Board of Directors of Electronics For Imaging (EFI) has named William (Bill) D. Muir as its new Chief Executive Officer. Muir was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of Jabil, a product solutions company.
SA International (SAi), a provider of software solutions for the signmaking, digital printing and CNC machining industries, has promoted Michelle Johnson to Director of Worldwide Marketing.
Sun Chemical has appointed Myron Petruch President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2019.
48North Cannabis Corp., a Canadian women-led cannabis company, describes itself as the country’s only licensed cannabis producer focused on the female health and wellness market. Determined to reimagine the landscape of cannabis for women, it recently worked with Toronto-based Blok Design to create a brand identity that would reflect its distinct philosophy and visionary approach.
The beauty of Canadian nature takes centre stage in a newly released Canada Post’s stamp issue. Weather Wonders Part 2 is a five-stamp issue that showcases some of Canada’s most awe-inspiring weather phenomena in photographs taken from across the country.
With an abundance of new print-finishing technologies flooding the market, printers may wonder how to separate the glitzy effects from bona fide business opportunities. To aid in this dilemma, PrintAction turned to an assortment of business leaders for their thoughts on how to leverage new finishing technologies.
Canada Post each day this week is unveiling new stamps to pay tribute to the country's emergency responders and search and rescue experts, highlighting “their willingness to spring into action with skill, determination and courage whenever called upon.”
PNH Solutions of Montreal, Que., recently supplied the print portion of three multi-level, fully-custom viewing docks, measuring 30 x 13 x 12 feet, 32 x 13 x 20 feet and 48 x 13 x 20 feet (all measurements in WxHxD) for Hyundai at the 2018 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.
Just in time for Discovery Channel's Shark Week, Canada Post has released a new stamp issue starring these powerful and frightening creatures.
Dan Murias, franchise owner of the Minuteman Press in Red Deer, Alberta, has moved into a new 6,800-square-foot facility in the North Hill area of Red Deer, Alberta. Murias has been in business since 2005 and is a member of the Minuteman Press International President's Million-Dollar Circle for top performers, providing a range of design, marketing and printing services.“The vast majority of industry and commerce in Red Deer is on the North Side. We are strategically located in the centre of the area,” said Murias. “We thought through location versus price and weighed it carefully. I believe we made the right choice in our location, which provides easy access, fantastic visibility and is centrally located. This has given us an increase in new customer walk-in traffic. It is a standalone building with our own parking and a large staff parking lot with great access for couriers."Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Murias was a 23-year veteran of the printing industry, which is unique in many franchise-printing operations where owners are often new to the industry. “I worked for a printing company for 23 years and I knew I didn't want to work for someone else for the next 20 so I went to a franchise show as I did not have business experience,” he explained. “As a result, it made sense to partner with a franchise as they have a greater success rate than independent business startups.” Murias explains his business goal is to grow by 15 percent and to have staff trained to be able to take more of the quoting for orders. “The goal is only the first part; you need to have a plan to make the goal a reality,” he said. “It sounds old but marketing door to door is still number one. Mailings, getting involved in your community, golf course, curling club, hockey rinks and social clubs are also important."
Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada) Ltd. in mid-November celebrated the renovation of its corporate office in Edmonton, Alberta. The original building was built 23 years ago and the transformation took 10 months to complete with an investment of more than $1 million. Konica Minolta currently generates more than $18 million annually in the Edmonton area, employing 55 full-time employees, supplying imaging and office technologies to businesses of all sizes in the region. The tech company is rooted in the area through numerous community initiatives and serves as a preferred partner of the Edmonton Oilers and Eskimos.“We are committed to supporting local economies across Canada and Edmonton is the most recent in a series of large investments we have made to prepare for future growth,” said Chris Dewart, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada). “Another strong reason for the revitalization of many of our older locations is to align with our corporate vision of improving how people work,” continued Dewart. “Our innovative Workplace of the Future strategy is as important for us as a business, as it is for our customers.” In late-2016, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada relocated its headquarters to a new state-of-the-art facility at the Airport Corporate Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.To mark the completion of its Edmonton building project, the company held a grand re-opening on November 9, 2017, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included dignitaries, software vendors and customers. The event featured a special keynote from Stew MacDonald, Vice President of the Edmonton Oilers, who addressed the role detailed planning, partnerships and technology plays in today’s fast-changing work environment.
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.”
MAR Graphics recently completed the installation of a Ricoh VC60000 Color Inkjet Web Press. The full-colour twin-engine inkjet web press is configured with options to print up to 250 gsm and coated stocks up to 1200 x 1200 dpi.
Privately-owned graphic communications company Sandy Alexander has become the first in the United States to purchase Agfa Graphics’ Jeti Tauro H3300 LED printing system.
Prodded by a customer to look into flattop dots, Prairie State Group has invested in an Esko CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imager with Full HD and Pixel+, along with a MacDermid LUX In-the-Plate.
Harte Hanks, a data-driven global marketing communications firm with sites across the U.S., has installed an HP Indigo 7900 Digital Press, as it expands into digital print production and personalized direct mail.
Next month Case Paper will install a Marquip sheeter at its newest division, Case Paper/WinterBell in High Point, N.C. This investment is the plant’s second precision sheeter and is expected to double the facility’s sales volume over the coming year.
Belgian printing company T’Hooft is continuing its growth curve with its recent purchase of a second Compacta 818 from Koenig & Bauer.

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