Industry News

Solisco, one of Canada's leading printers, is launching its new brand image today. Maison 1608 by Solisco, a creative agency specializing in content and design recently acquired by Solisco, was tasked with giving the printer's brand image a new position as a high-end service provider of quality printing and mailing.Self described as the third largest printer in Canada, Solisco was founded in 1991 and now has a team of more than  400 employees working at its Scott headquarters in the Beauce, as well as at Maison 1608 and its Solisco-Numérix division in Quebec City. Solisco recently announced a partnership with Toronto printer Trade Secret Web Printing. Solisco prints 1.2 billion pages per month, binds three million copies and 600,000 books per week, and prints around 400 magazines, books, circulars, and catalogues every month with print runs of 5,000 to two million.Solisco explains the new brand image highlights its founding principles, mission, and values: first, positioning Solisco as an expert, stressing the excellence and quality of its products; second, focusing on environmental sustainability and its longevity as a business; and third, bringing out the company’s customized service.The logo Maison 1608 created is influenced by both the infinity symbol ∞ and press rollers. Solisco explains it can also be read as the letters CO, a reference to co-operation and collaboration among employees, clients, and partners. Solisco’s new slogan, Creativity in Print, is meant to reference both printing on a surface and making a lasting impression, explains the company, emphasizing the role that paper plays in the world. The company’s new position is extended across various brand descriptions, based on the place that print occupies in everyday life: Inspiration in Print, Strategy in Print, History in Print, Discovery in Print, Beauty in Print, Approachability in Print.
Shipping giant FedEx is closing its FedEx Office stores in Canada after 32 years in the country, according to a report by The Canadian Press, which notes FedEx Office will close its 24 stores, a manufacturing plant in Markham, Ontario, and its head office in Toronto.FedEx Office stores provide a range of business services like copying and printing, sign making, office supplies sales and packaging services. They also serve stores as pick-up and drop-off sites for FedEx shipping.The move will result in the loss of 214 jobs, but will not affect FedEx’s shipping business in Canada, according to FedEx Spokeswoman Stacey Sullivan. Eighteen of the stores are in Ontario, five in B.C. and one in Nova Scotia. The closings are to begin in August.
Fourteen technologies have been selected to receive a 2017 InterTech Technology Award, a program of the Printing Industries of America that first began in 1978. The technologies receiving the award have been judged by an independent panel as innovative and expected to advance the performance of the graphic communications industry. Printing Industries of America (PIA) explains this year’s awards highlighted the performance of inkjet presses, the use of LEDs, digital enhancement, colour manipulation, low-cost prototyping, automated platemaking and presswork, and apps to push digital presses.The 14 technologies selected to receive the 2017 InterTech Technology Award (listed alphabetically by company, with the technology named first) include:AMS LED UV SystemAMS Spectral UV (A Baldwin Technology Company)ORIS Flex Pack / Web VisualizerCGS Publishing Technologies International LLCColorLogic ColorAnt 4.0ColorLogic GmbHEsko XPS CrystalEskoGallus Labelfire 340Gallus Ferd. Rüesch AGPrinect Press Center XL 2 with Intellistart 2HeidelbergHP PageWide Web Press T490HDHP Inc.HP PrintOSHP Inc.JUST LED moduLight – Dual Illuminant D50/D65JUST Normlicht, Inc.Komori Impremia IS29Komori CorporationMGI AIS SmartScanner Intelligent Registration SystemMGI Digital TechnologyScodix Ultra Pro with Foil digital enhancement pressScodix Ltd.Truepress Jet 520HD Continuous Feed Inkjet PressScreen AmericasImage Test Labs – Image GraderTechnologyWatch, LLC
Kodak employees on July 12 celebrated their founder, George Eastman, on his 163rd birthday, with an event supporting his philosophy and philanthropy through the company’s Print for Good program. The July 12 event was organized to benefit high-needs neighbourhoods and schools in the Rochester community. Kodak’s Print for Good program, however, is a global initiative to support communities throughout America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East with book drives, book donations, and the printing of materials and supplies in an effort to increase literacy worldwide through print. The Rochester event is part of a month-long book drive where Kodak employees and Eastman Business Park tenants have been asked to donate new or gently used books in support of local literacy programs. This year’s contributions will be donated to the Urban League of Rochester and the Scott Spino Foundation.“Print for Good is about ensuring that print is around for the long term, that it’s driving value, and that it’s doing good in the world,” said Brad Kruchten, President of Print Systems Division and SVP, Kodak. “Literacy is a venue for us to talk about the value of print in a very tangible way, while partnering with some of our most important printers to address this huge issue across the globe.“In middle-class communities, there is an estimated 15 books per child. However, in underdeveloped or impoverished areas, there’s only about one book per 300 children,” continued Kruchten. “An investment in literacy is an investment in the future; and every dollar that’s spent on adult literacy provides society with a return of $7.14, enabling individuals to help themselves, their families and their communities. We feel that print is and will continue to be a critical piece of that solution.”Some of Kodak’s recent Print for Good activities worldwide include:   Vancouver, BC – Kodak team will be hosting a spelling bee and bake sale to raise money to donate to a local organization.Houston, TX – Kodak partnered with its customer DiscPro to host a book drive. In addition, Kodak purchased and donated books by Tad Carpenter (host of Kodak’s Press On video series and children’s book author) to benefit high-needs Houston schools and communities, as well as an orphanage in Guadalajara, Mexico.Tel Aviv, Israel – Kodak partnered with a local printer, Emanuel Print, to publish over 1,000 booklets, donated to La’Sova, a local non-profit providing food for those in need, and added those booklets to food packages distributed during the Passover holiday.Dayton, OH – Kodak employees completed a book drive in support of a local organization, Hannah’s Treasure Chest.Mumbai, India – Kodak is working with Youth for People to support a tribal region on the outskirts of Mumbai (Mokhada, Palghar) with a supply of 5,000 school notebooks printed by Kodak’s partner Navneet Publications.Memphis, TN – Kodak donated 1,000 books authored by Tad Carpenter to the Books from Birth Foundation. This donation will support two local initiatives including the Reach Out and Read Program at Le Bonheur’s Outpatient Center and the LENA Start program.Columbus, GA – Kodak is supporting the RiverCenter Readers program. Several activities are planned including a book collection this week with the local Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals group.Watford, United Kingdom – Plans are underway for a Kodak employee book donation and a book signing day by best-selling children’s illustrator.
Manufacturers will continue to be targets of cyberattacks and it is critical to develop a process to lessen riskThe introduction of advanced technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to the plant floor has created new challenges for Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) professionals. What were once physical-only systems, managed and maintained by OT staff, are now connected by an IT network to an enterprise system. Securing these new cyber-physical systems should be a priority for manufacturers as they begin their digital transformation, but leaders often underestimate the importance of cybersecurity on the plant floor. It is believed the risk of attack is low, and thus securing cyber-physical systems can be overlooked.For example, PLANT magazine’s 2017 Outlook report revealed that 17 percent of Canadian manufacturers have not taken any steps to defend against cyberattacks. In addition, when you consider that 78 percent rated their concern of a cyberattack affecting them as ‘low’ or ‘medium,’ why would they? Clearly, the industry believes other organizations are much more suitable targets.The Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, released in January, showed that Canadian organizations rank second-to-last in security capability maturity. Nearly half (48 percent) of our businesses have ‘low’ or ‘lower-middle’ maturity. Across all industries, our organizations are not nearly prepared to deal with dynamic cybersecurity threats. Add to this the complexity of digitally securing a production facility or shop floor, and it is easy to understand why Canadian manufacturers want to believe cyberattacks are not a significant threat. But the truth is that, compared to other industries, manufacturers operate some of the most high-risk applications over their networks. Any threat to those applications — due to cyberattacks, poor maintenance or otherwise — must be addressed and mitigated. And for the record, manufacturers have been, and will continue to be, the target of cyberattacks. That will not change.The good news for Canadian manufacturers is that securing their plant floor does not need to be complicated. In fact, when done right, keeping a plant secure in the IIoT era can be as simple as 1, 2, 3: prepare, assess, build.PrepareIt is important for manufacturers to develop a security framework that helps them align and prioritize business and security needs. The first step in building that framework is to ask specific questions about their physical and cybersecurity capabilities. For example, IT and OT leaders could ask the following:• Have we outlined who has access to which machines and devices?• Do we have centralized control of both OT and IT network security?• Can our network quickly provision and securely adapt to new connections?• Have we assessed, ranked and prioritized our most critical assets?By understanding capabilities and potential gaps in security processes, technologies and practices, manufacturers can better understand what cybersecurity solutions they require.AssessAlthough there is no silver bullet to cybersecurity for manufacturers, there are trusted partners who can help. These partners can review the organization’s current infrastructure and make recommendations to help achieve its security goals. Many technology and cybersecurity vendors provide these reviews, often called security assessments. My advice is to evaluate the assessments offered by several vendors, then decide which has the right combination of security expertise, best-in-class products and industry knowledge for your organization.BuildIt is vital that, prior to implementing a new cybersecurity solution, manufacturers work with their selected vendor to build a security strategy and plan. This plan should include both cybersecurity and technology elements — such as whether to leverage virtualization to back up important systems — as well as physical security processes and best practices. Most importantly, a plan provides a roadmap for manufacturers and vendors to follow to ensure projects have measureable goals, outline expected Return on Investment (ROI) and stay on time and budget.For Canadian manufacturers who aren’t ready for the process above, there are other ways to keep their plant floor secure. I encourage all manufacturing leaders to take the following steps in their production facility to increase cybersecurity readiness:• Ensure single-use computers are actually single-use,• Change default passwords on IIoT-enables devices,• Implement change control,• Use secure protocols where possible, and• Use manufacturers’ recommended secure settings.When it comes to cybersecurity on the plant floor, doing nothing is no longer an option for Canadian manufacturers. The convergence of IT and operational networks through the IIoT has highlighted the risks of legacy control systems that were never designed with cybersecurity as a priority. Although stopping all attacks may not be possible, manufacturers can minimize both the risk and the impact of these threats by working with a trusted partner who can evaluate their current systems. The IIoT is creating incredible business opportunities for manufacturers by decreasing downtime, increasing sustainability and providing real-time visibility across the plant floor. The right IIoT partner will ensure your network, and everything connected to it, is secure.
Equipment supplier Bobst and Radex, a startup company owned by multiple stakeholders with a track record in DOD inkjet printing, have launched Mouvent, a new company dedicated to developing digital printing technologies, primarily for the textile and label markets.The joint venture Mouvent, which is comprised of 80 employees in Switzerland, is to become the digital printing provider of Bobst. Central to the development at Mouvent, explains Bobst, is digital printing technology developed by Radex, which is based on an integrated cluster and compact design. The company states this technology represents a “quantum leap for the industry.” This Radex technology will be the centerpiece of new machines developed by Mouvent for a variety of markets such as textile, labels, corrugated board, flexible packaging and folding carton.“We truly believe this is a watershed moment for the future of digital printing independent of the industry or market,” said Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of BOBST Group SA. “Current industry trends – including high demand for digitalization, short runs, fast availability, promotion and versioning, personalized and seasonal products, and increasing sensitivity towards cost and environment – are driving demand for high quality and affordable digital printing machines. “Through Mouvent we aim to initiate a quantum leap in this area, ultimately providing the market with what it needs most; highly reliable industrial digital printing on different substrates at a competitive cost.”Mouvent explains that it provides integrated, complete solutions based on its internal development of the Mouvent Cluster. It writes the software around the printers, develops inks and coatings for various substrates, as well as providing a full servicing offering. Its first machine launched is a digital printer for textiles, which prints with up to eight colours, with what the company describes as a full product pipeline to follow. The Mouvent Cluster design is the base building block for all systems, current and in development. “Our radical new approach is to use a base cluster which is arranged in a modular, scalable matrix instead of having different print bars for different applications and different print width,” said Piero Pierantozzi, Co-Founder of Mouvent. “The Mouvent Cluster is the key technology behind the Mouvent machines, resulting in high optical resolution for a crisp, colorful, very high printing quality, as well as a never-seen-before flexibility and possibilities in terms of machine development. Simplicity is our engineering philosophy.” Mouvent states its printers are the smallest digital printers in their category – closer to desktop printing than to traditional analogic printers like flexo – making them very compact, light-weighted and easily accessible. The compact system is designed to allow for easier settings and start-up with less fine adjustments required. “We are very excited to start rolling out the pipeline in the months ahead,” said Simon Rothen, CEO of Mouvent. “Today is the announcement of an exciting journey of bringing large-scale digital printing to various industries. The digital printing solutions offered by Mouvent will present new opportunities for all sorts of companies, bringing more flexibility, unmatched productivity, shorter time to market and infinite variation, all with a very compact and energy efficient design. This will revolutionize the digital printing world.”
Mail-O-Matic Services Ltd., a mail service provider located in Burnaby, BC, has installed two new Ricoh Pro C 9110 digital presses, along with EFI’s Fiery Graphic Arts Package, Premium Edition, software.  The Ricoh Pro C9110 press produces a top resolution of up to 1,200 x 4,800 dpi. It also features Trained Customer Replaceable Units (TCRUs), vacuum-feed with air assisted paper trays, and a straight path belt cooling system.Ken Frew founded Mail-O-Matic in 1967 and for the next 44 years served as president of the company, until his passing in October of 2011, at the age of 73. The operation is currently led by President Scott Thomson, who joined Mail-O-Matic in 1977. The company employs more than 50 people serving clients throughout Canada and the U.S.
A+A Graphics Canada of Toronto has installed a Jeti Mira MG 2732/HS from Agfa Graphics Canada. The wide-format six-colour UV LED flatbed printer opens up new applications for the printing company, owned by Ara Sahakian, who recently moved his operation into a larger 15,000-square-foot production facility. The new space is four times larger than A+A Graphics’ former location.For 13 years, A+A Graphics Canada has been a full-service commercial printer offering everything from graphic design, business cards and letterheads, labels and web design, to e-commerce solutions, branding and channel letters, among other applications. The company’s primary focus, however, has always been wide-format. “There were so many things that attracted me to the Jeti Mira,” said Ara. “First was the extremely high-quality colour output. We’re now able to present prototypes to many more marketing firms to win over their clients’ business. In fact, we can now offer exceptional prototypes to other different markets we didn’t attempt to go after previously. Also important is that we now use larger sheets and larger tables. The Jeti Mira allows us to produce quality large-format full-colour printing at high speeds on corrugated – many of them short-run jobs.”The Jeti Mira reaches speeds of up to 231 metres square per hour via its dockable roll-to-roll extension. The moving-gantry flatbed can output up to 2.69 m-wide prints, and features LED curing and 3D Lens Technology for 3D printing. It produces print quality in six colours (CMYKLcLm) and white, with optional (3D) varnish or primer. Its 7-picolitre ink droplets are driven by two rows of Ricoh inkjet printheads.
Graphiscan of Montréal, Quebec, plans to grow their packaging department and increase their overall margin with the installation of a new Easymatrix 106 CS diecutter from Heidelberg. It is the first company to purchase the Easymatrix in North America.The new Easymatrix 106 CS diecutter in Montréal runs alongside an existing five-colour Speedmaster CD 102 with coater. Graphiscan has four locations throughout Canada. By installing the Easymatrix 106 CS, the company is eliminating a lot of postpress outsourcing work it had been sending to trade shops –allowing them to increase overall margin. “You can control your jobs from A to Z,” said Denis Gagnon, President of Graphiscan. “We no longer have to ship sheets to and from trade shops, which saves us valuable time and keeps profit and labor within Graphiscan.”Processing boards as thick as 78 pt thick with a 29.4 x 41.7-inch format at speeds up to 7,700 sheets per hour, the Easymatrix 106 CS is larger than most diecutters in its class. The Easymatrix 106 CS is able to handle output directly from the Speedmaster CD 102, which allows Graphiscan to perform high volumes of full-sized diecutting jobs.“Packaging currently represents 25 percent of our business,” said Gagnon. “We think that the Easymatrix 106 is the critical finishing piece to allow our packaging department to enable packaging to become half of our total business in the next few years.”
Aclick Inc. of Scarborough, Ontario, has recently purchased the Agfa Jeti Ceres roll-to-roll printer. “Printing quality, productivity and reliability were the key factors for Aclick to decide to purchase the Jeti Ceres,” said Miller Yao, owner of Aclick, which uses the URL XLprints.ca.Founded in 2005, Aclick is described as a full-service digital printing company that produces wide format graphics for the trade. Manufactured in Mississauga, Ontario, the Jeti Ceres is a 3.2-metre UV LED inkjet printing systems, producing print up to 10 1/2-feet wide. Agfa explains the Jeti Ceres is capable of unattended printing, running Asanti software designed specifically for sign and display applications.
Best Deal Graphics and Printing, a trade printer based in Toronto, Ontario, has purchased a new Komori Lithrone GL-640 with H-UV system from Komcam Inc. Best Deal explains the Komori press will open new markets and compliment its current fleet of seven sheetfed presses. “We are always looking to serve our customers better and faster.  With technology consistently changing at a fast pace, our company is dedicated to staying on the forefront,” said Benson Hong, President and co-owner of Best Deal. “This press will address the constant demand for quicker turnarounds without sacrificing quality, as well as extend our reach into new unique markets and colour-critical projects.” Best Deal’s GL-640 press is equipped with the Print Density Control-SX, Print Quality Assessment system, and closed-loop colour and registration control to maintain colour densities with virtually every sheet. The H-UV curing system allows for producing high-end colour work and coatings on challenging substrates, from ultrathin stocks to thicker boards. Best Deal holds G7 Certification and runs a range of high-end work from luxury catalogues and packaging pieces. The new Komori Lithrone also features fully automatic plate changers, auto-wash systems, and Komori’s KHS-AI auto-learning system. “We are incredibly proud that Best Deal Graphics and Printing has chosen the Komori… We are confident that the GL-640 press will elevate Best Deal’s position as high-end print provider as they discover the full potential of the press and all that it has to offer,” said Steve Ranson, President of Komcan.
First on Colour, a full service printing company located in Calgary, Alberta, has invested a Ricoh Pro C9110, adding to its recently installed Ricoh Pro C7110X (late 2015), and Ricoh Pro 8100.The company explains it is heavily leveraging the 27.5-inch banner size print feature on both the Ricoh Pro C7110X and Pro C9110. The Pro C9110 also holds the ability to auto duplex 13 x 27.5-inch sheets for multi-ups on a page. The systems also feature Ricoh’s Trained Customer Replaceable Units (TCRUs), designed to maintain uptime. The presses also use EFI/Fiery controllers and softwareFirst on Colour is located in Calgary’s East Village. Founded more than 20 years ago, the company focuses on both toner and offset colour printing, while also providing design and finishing services.
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).
Brett Rogers joins Komcan Inc., the Canadian dealer for Komori presses, as Technical Sales Manager. Rogers is a graduate of Ryerson University and previously held management positions within leading Canadian printing companies.“Brett’s knowledge of the printing industry will be a great asset to printers inCanada with his consultative approach to the sales process and experience in manufacturing,” said Steve Ranson, President Komcan, which is based in Georgetown, Ontario.“I am incredibly excited to join and represent Komcan Inc.,” said Rogers. “Komcan and the lines we carry from Komori presses to our supplies have a remarkable reputation. I am looking very forward to representing them to the market.”
Scott Gray, after almost 30 years spent with Vancouver-based MET Fine Printers, one of Canada’s most highly recognized commercial printing operations, has joined Mitchell Press as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “My career at MET has been a dream, the Kallas family have afforded me every opportunity to challenge the norms, push print boundaries, mess up… and become a pioneer in all things surrounding print communications, new media and digital storefronts,” wrote Gray in an email to colleagues about taking on his new role with Mitchell.  “I have been blessed to work with some of North America’s finest creative minds and have been able to learn from the best in the biz that ‘Things are only impossible until they are not’ – [a famous Star Trek quote].”Gray continued to explain that Mitchell and MET are very complimentary to each other as family firms with great reputations.  “This [is] a great opportunity for my personal growth,” wrote Gray.Based in Burnaby, BC, Mitchell Press is regarded as one of Canada’s leading Heat Set web publication printers. Originally founded by Howard T. Mitchell as a financial newspaper in 1928, Mitchell Press is in its third generation of family ownership. Operating out of a 64,000-square-foot facility, Mitchell Press — a G7 qualified Master Printer — is the largest commercial heat-set web printer in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, outputting an average of more than two billion printed pages per year for a range of clients.
Jet Label & Packaging of Edmonton, Alberta, described as Western Canada’s largest producer of labels and printed tape, has acquired United Label Company of Coquitlam, BC. Jet Label explains the additional space and production capacity will allow it to double in size over the next two years, during which time additional infrastructure investments will be made to the newly acquired facility.   United Label’s facility currently operates four conventional flexographic presses ranging in width from seven to 10 inches and 3- to 8-station colour capabilities, as well as a variety of slitters, rewinders, finishing systems and inspection systems. Jet Label’s Edmonton facility, which operates 24/7 across three shifts, utilizes two HP Indigo Digital presses along with 12 traditional flexographic presses ranging in width from  six to 20 inches and 3- to 10-colour station capabilities. Less than a year ago, Jet Label & Packaging began installing two systems from print inspection manufacturer AVT at its manufacturing facility in Edmonton, Alberta. Acquiring United Label Company greatly expands one of Jet Label’s key customer sectors: mass-market retail.  United Label Company’s client roster currently includes a variety of retailers, wholesalers, and pharmacies, among them Costco, IGA, London Drugs and Safeway. “Combining forces with our friends at United Label Company is a perfect fit for Jet Label strategically, bolstering our retail sector business segment while providing much-needed additional capacity to other branches of our customer portfolio,” said Darrell Friesen, President of Jet Label & Packaging Ltd. “Along with VP of Operations Rodney Froment and the entire team at Jet Label, I’m proud to welcome the staff at United Label Company into our family, and look forward to years of continued growth and success.”Founded in 1998 and headquartered in its 54,000-square-foot Edmonton facility, Jet Label manufactures labels and printed tape for industries food & beverage and grocery stores, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals, forestry, and industrial applications. The company explains it produces a range of durable, reliably water- and weatherproof labels that stand up to the types of harsh conditions in which many of its customers operate. Jet Label also produces a variety of address labels, and supplies parking and boarding passes and baggage tags to Edmonton International Airport.
LSC Communications, the Chicago-based printing entity spun off from RR Donnelley in October 2016, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Creel Printing, a privately owned offset and digital printing company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. The acquisition would bring together two of North America’s largest printing companies, including LSC which holds two of its 49 facilities in Canada – Mississauga and Newmarket.“The alignment with LSC will create tremendous value for both companies, our employees and our loyal customers. I personally am incredibly excited about the future of Creel and LSC,” said Creel’s CEO, Allan Creel. Creel’s capabilities include full-colour web and sheetfed printing, variable digital production, large-format printing, and integrated digital solutions. Creel’s history dates back to the 1950s. The company runs a 250,000-square-foot facility in Las Vegas and four digital facilities, including a plant in France.According to U.S.-based trade magazine Printing Impressions, Creel has approximately 700 employees operating out of six facilities across the country and – based on the magazine’s annual 400 listing – is ranked among the Top 10 largest publication and the Top 50 commercial printers in the country. The Printing Impressions 400 listing indicated Creel generated sales of US$130.1 million in its most recent fiscal year. Led by Chairman and CEO Thomas Quinlan III, LSC ranked No. 3 on the latest Printing Impressions 400, reporting 2016 revenues of US$3.65 billion with 49 manufacturing plants and approximately 20,000 employees. LSC has facilities in the United States, Poland, Mexico and Canada.“This acquisition will expand the capabilities of LSC’s offset and digital production platform and bring enhanced technologies to support our clients’ evolving needs, specifically in the magazine media and retail marketing industries,” said Quinlan. “With one of the most advanced digital platforms in the U.S., plus a strong west coast presence, Creel is an excellent fit for LSC.”
Quark Software Inc. has been acquired by Parallax Capital Partners LLC, a southern California-based private equity firm, founded in January 1999 to make investments in middle market software and related technology companies. It has since acquired more than 20 companies typically generating anywhere from $5 to $100 million in annual revenues. Parallax states it intends, through organic growth and acquisitions, to help Quark accelerate the adoption of its content automation solutions, which enables organizations to deliver content (text, video, data, etc.) to any format and channel – mobile, print, Web and more. In May 2017, Quark also released a new version of its QuarkXPress software.Quark has positioned itself as a leader in content automation and was recently selected as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Content Services and a 2017 SIIA CODiE Award finalist for Best Multi-Channel Publishing Platform. “Quark has achieved what so many established brands fail to, which is to reinvent our company in the face of insurmountable odds,” said Quark President and CEO Ray Schiavone. “Through content automation, today Quark enables some of the world’s largest organizations to transform customer experience, reduce time-to-market, improve compliance and reduce costs.”Financial details of the acquisition were not released. Piper Jaffray, an investment bank and asset management firm, served as the exclusive financial advisor to Quark in this transaction.“Quark is having a transformational impact within a wide range of industries, completely redefining how organizations create, manage, publish and deliver business-critical content,” said James Hale, Managing Partner at Parallax. “This is a company with outstanding talent and leadership, innovative technology and acclaimed customer base.”
The C.J. Group of Companies has purchased Clixx, one of the top mailing facilities in Canada, from WestRock Company. WestRock had owned Clixx for a little more than a year after reaching an agreement in December 2015 to acquire six Cenveo Packaging facilities, including Clixx.Clixx is now added to C.J. Group’s roster of 30 companies, which are to be housed in the company’s new 230,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario. After taking possession of the facility in May 2017, C.J. Group is scheduled to move its opeartions in by October 2017. Sherwin Abrazaldo, a Clixx veteran, will head up the new C.J. Group Clixx division and lead the move to its new Mississauga home on 560 Hensall Circle.“This acquisition [of Clixx] is a great fit for our ever-expanding group of companies,” said Jay Mandarino, President & CEO, C.J. Group. “There is a lot of synergy between our two organizations. Quality and workmanship with exceptional service are paramount at both [C.J. Group] and Clixx.”The acquisition adds a host of equipment and services to the C.J. Group’s existing resources, while also increasing the company’s overall versatility. Clixx offers a full line of direct-mail services like variable data printing and binding, in-house data and postal technologies, pick and pack, kitting and fulfillment, inserting, tipping, and many other related mailing services. Clixx began in 1986 as A&T Mailing Services and soon established itself as a premier mail house for charities, fundraisers and large corporations. “With direct mail increasing each year this will be a great addition and was the last missing link to having all solutions under one roof to better serve our clients,” said Mandarino.
The Burke Group of Companies has acquired McCallum Printing Group. Both companies are located in Edmonton, Alberta, bringing together two of the leading print and media companies in the region, creating an entity with a range of services. “As the printing industry progresses, we understand that diversification is the key to long-term growth and prosperity,” said Ian Burke Owner and CEO of Burke Group. “So, when we saw the opportunity to join forces with McCallum Printing – one of our largest and most respected competitors – I jumped in with both feet. The acquisition of McCallum compliments our overall service perfectly.” Darren Pohl, McCallum Printing’s former President and CEO has committed to stay on in a senior management capacity to oversee sales and sales management.“I am thrilled to see Edmonton’s top two printing companies come together like this. I’m even more excited to be a part of this new organization,” said Pohl. “The economies of scale and efficiencies that will be created mean a superior customer experience. Our pillars of strength have always been exceptional service, quality and innovation and this merger will not only strengthen those, but also expand the suite of services we can offer our clientele.”Being from the same primary Canadian city, McCallum and Burke Group’s staff have worked together in the past for other printing operations and share similar culture and community focus.
Two major players in the UV curing systems sector, Air Motion Systems Inc. (AMS) and Baldwin Technology Company Inc., are merging to create a leading global provider of UV and LED curing technologies.Baldwin, currently a global player in highly reactive UV, LED UV and IR drying systems, acquired Air Motion Systems, which has been a leading provider of LED UV curing technology for the graphic arts industry. Komcan is the dealer for AMS in Canada.The new entity of Baldwin, part of the $2+ billion Barry-Wehmiller family of companies, will rebrand as AMS SPECTRAL UV and combine AMS with Baldwin’s UV division. AMS SPECTRAL UV currently has operations in River Falls, Wisconsin; Easton, Pennsylvania; and Slough, UK. “This acquisition marks the beginning of a new era in providing high-performance solutions for the UV industry,” said AMS SPECTRAL UV President Steve Metcalf. “We’re bringing the top industry minds, technology and experience together to tap an unprecedented opportunity in LED and UV, and to serve an ever-widening range of markets and applications.”The AMS LED UV product portfolio holds one of the largest players for LED curing in sheetfed offset printing and flexo packaging, with an installed base, according to the company, nearly 10 times that of its nearest competitor. Complementing this technology, Baldwin’s UV division has experience in highly reactive UV curing and numerous LED applications outside of traditional print markets. Additionally, the new curing-technology entity will leverage a massive base of experience serving OEM and industrial markets.“What AMS SPECTRAL UV will provide customers is a doubling of research and development, engineering, manufacturing capacity and service to meet their growing needs in the market,” said Pat Keogh, one of the commercial leaders of AMS SPECTRAL UV. According to market intelligence provider Yole Development, the total value of the UV LED market worldwide is projected to grow to US$1 billion-plus in the next five years. AMS SPECTRAL UV explains it plans to capture a large share of the anticipated market by leveraging the scale and resources of Baldwin which, through its global footprint, supplies process-automation equipment and related consumables, parts and services for the print, film, corrugated, textile and paper and packaging industries.“The establishment of AMS SPECTRAL UV strengthens our ability to provide value to our existing customers while remaining responsive to emerging market opportunities,” said Brent Becker, CEO of Baldwin.
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.
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
Over the past few months, Veritiv has hosted four awards events in major Canadian cities to recognize both the winning printers and designers in its annual Veritiv Design and Print Excellence Awards, also known as the uVU Awards.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.printaction.com/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=8&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriac047ece55c There were 32 winning entries in total across two distinct categories to recognize print and also design excellence. From the range of submissions, which must be produced by Veritiv customers, a Best of Show Award is determined for both the print and design categories. This year also featured four Judges' Choice Awards.Veritiv’s awards tour ended at the beginning of March 2017 in Vancouver, BC, after visiting Calgary (October 2016), Montreal (December 2016) and Toronto (January 2017). The following top awards and print awards were presented:BEST IN SHOW AWARDSBest in Show, PrintProject: 2015 Holiday Wrapping PaperPrinter: Hemlock PrintersDesign firm: BurnkitBest in Show, DesignProject: RelayDesign firm: Lauren WickwarePrinter: Andora GraphicsJUDGES’ CHOICE AWARDSProject: Home GroundDesign firm: Lauren WickwarePrinter: Andora GraphicsProject: Why Can’t MinimalDesign firm: Emma WrightPrinter: Andora GraphicsProject: Laurent & Clark Sales BrochureDesign firm: orangetangoPrinter: LG ChabotProject: This is NowhereDesign firm: Chris AllenPrinter: Hemlock PrintersPRINT AWARD WINNERSProject: Sunnybrook Foundation Report to Donors 2015Printer: Exodus GraphicsDesign firm: Clear SpaceProject: Cundari, Internal Design ProgramPrinter: Flash ReproductionsDesign firm: CundariProject: Brentwood ThreePrinter: Hemlock PrintersDesign firm: Thought ShopProject: Tridel “Form” Brochure & SleevePrinter: Somerset GraphicsDesign firm: CinderblocProject: Cleopatra BookPrinter: Hemlock PrintersDesign firm: AK PhotographsProject: George Brown College School of Design AnnualPrinter: Andora GraphicsDesign firm: George Brown College School of DesignProject: HakapikPrinter: Litho Chic (Deschamps Impression)Design firm: Yoanis MengeProject: FloraPrinter: Hemlock PrintersDesign firm: NewfoundbrandProject: Flare & Joe Fresh Cover, UnzippedPrinter: TC Transcontinental PLMDesign firm: FlareProject: Woo PublicationPrinter: Metropolitan Fine PrintersDesign firm: Woo PublicationProject: Equus by LithochicPrinter: Litho Chic (Deschamps Impression)Design firm: L’Orange BleueProject: Heather & Little Business CardsPrinter: Flash ReproductionsDesign firm: Overdrive Design
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.
Winpak Ltd. of Winnipeg, Manitoba released its fourth quarter results, which included an earnings performance that the company describes as the highest of any quarter in its 40-year history. Winpak manufactures and distributes high-quality packaging materials and related packaging machines, which are primarily for the packaging of perishable foods, beverages and in healthcare applications.Net income attributable to equity holders of the company for the fourth quarter of 2016 amounted to $28.6 million or 44 cents in earnings per share (EPS), surpassing the 2015 corresponding result of $27.6 million or 43 cents per share by 3.4 percent.  As mentioned, the represents the highest earnings performance of any quarter in the Company's 40-year history.  For the year ended December 25, 2016, net income attributable to equity holders of the Company of $104.3 million or $1.61 per share eclipsed the prior year record net income of $99.2 million or $1.53 per share by a respectable 5.1 percent.Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016 of $215.6 million also set new heights, according to the company, and exceeded the 2015 final quarter level of $205.7 million by 4.8 percent. Volumes continued where they left off at the end of the first three quarters, explains Winpak, advancing by 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter, when compared to the same period in 2015.  On a percentage basis, biaxially oriented nylon volumes led the way, explains the company, accelerating by over 30 percent followed by packaging machinery and parts sales which rebounded from a slower third quarter of the year. Winpak continued to explain specialty film shipments also recovered from their decline in the previous quarter by moving forward in low double-digit percentage terms as bottlenecks within the operation continued to be addressed. Modified atmosphere packaging volumes ascended in the high single-digit percentage range as ongoing progress was made at securing additional business at major US protein customers.  After a particularly strong third quarter, explains Winpak, rigid container and lidding volumes advanced by low single-digit percentage increases over the 2015 final quarter. Custom container shipments, including specialty beverage, along with condiment packaging and trays for home meal replacements bolstered volume growth. Lidding for yogurt applications provided further gains. For 2016, revenue reached an all-time high for the company at $822.5 million, up by 3.2 percent from the $797.2 million recorded in the previous year. Volumes grew by a notable 6.8 percent, explains Winpak, with all major product groups progressing.For the current year, gross profit margins attained a level of 32.7 percent of revenue versus the 32.3 percent reached in 2015.  While volumes advanced by 6.8 percent in 2016, gross profit only grew by 4.5 percent from $257.8 million in 2015 to $269.3 million in the present year.Following a strong finish to 2016, the company explains it remains optimistic as it enters 2017 in terms of volume and earnings advancement.  Winpak continues its strategic focus on organic growth with opportunities in the sales pipeline progressing on the road to new revenue for the corporation. In particular, the company is targeting additional business from North America's major food processors.
Releasing results for the third quarter of its current fiscal year, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG states it is still on course to increase its annual profit as planned. During the third quarter (October 1 to December 31, 2016), the company’s operating result (EBITDA) and the net result after taxes improved further compared to the same quarter of the previous year. After nine months, Heidelberg explains its current fiscal sales of €1.7 billion were slightly below the previous year’s levels of €1.8 billion, as it expected, also stating a large number of orders placed at drupa, with longer delivery times, will be supplied on schedule in the fourth quarter.Over the same period, incoming orders at €1.99 billion were approximately 4.5 percent higher than the previous year’s value (€1.90 billion). At €739 million, the order backlog was around 26 percent up on the previous year’s figure (€586 million). As a result, Heidelberg explains it has a good platform for achieving the significant sales growth planned in the fourth quarter. “The improvements in results in the third quarter show that Heidelberg is on the right course to achieve sustainable profitability,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberg. “We anticipate we will further increase our annual profit with a strong final quarter.” Heidelberg, in releasing its Q3 results, stated it is realigning its organization to accelerate its digital transformation for high-growth customer segments in the years ahead. In future, Heidelberg explains there will be a division that will develop, manufacture and supply appropriate digital technologies and products for new business models. Another division, according to the company, will devise and market these models.“Heidelberg goes digital. We are getting the company fit for the digital future,” said Hundsdörfer. “To do that, we will develop and roll out our own innovative business ideas. However, we will also be strengthening our position in this area through acquisitions.”Heidelberg’s current third quarter EBITDA, excluding special items, improved to €49 million in the third quarter (previous year: €40 million). The total figure after nine months was €94 million (previous year: €119 million). At €-2 million, special items in the quarter under review equaled the figure for the same quarter of the previous year (€-2 million). The total figure after nine months was €-8 million (previous year: €-24 million). The financial result for the period under review matched the previous year’s level at €-42 million. Consequently, the net result after taxes in the quarter under review increased substantially to €18 million (previous year: €7 million). At €-10 million for the nine-month period, it was on a par with the corresponding period of the previous year (€-7 million).Free cash flow in the third quarter was slightly negative at €-10 million, and overall, after nine months, it was also at €-10 million. Compared to the financial year-end on March 31, 2016, the equity of the Heidelberg Group dropped to €246 million as at December 31, 2016. This was primarily due, according to the company, to changes in the actuarial interest rates for pensions. “We have the financial strength to actively shape our route into the digital world,” said Dirk Kaliebe, CFO. “The balanced financing framework also gives us the freedom to drive forward new business models through targeted acquisitions.”Thanks to the solid incoming orders and the rise in the order backlog, Heidelberg states it remains focused on its targets for 2016/2017. Although planned acquisitions have not been implemented yet, the company is still striving for marginal sales growth in light of a strong final quarter of the year. Despite the inputs for the accelerated expansion of the digital and the service business, it also expects to achieve an EBITDA margin before special items on par with the previous year’s level in the 2016/2017 financial year. At the same time, the financial result will improve further on account of declining interest expenses. Thus, Heidelberg is still aiming for a moderate year-on-year increase in its net result after taxes for the year as a whole.
Electronics For Imaging announced its preliminary results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2016. For the quarter ended December 31, 2016, the company reported record fourth quarter revenue of $266.7 million (all figures in US dollars), up four percent compared to fourth quarter 2015 revenue of $256.5 million. GAAP net income was $20.5 million, up 99 percent compared to $10.3 million for the same period in 2015 or $0.43 per diluted share, up 105 percent compared to $0.21 per diluted share for the same period in 2015. Cash flow from operating activities was $65.2 million, up 141 percent compared to $27.1 million during the same period in 2015 For the year ended December 31, 2016, the company reported revenue of $992.1 million, up 12 percent year-over-year compared to $882.5 million for the same period in 2015. GAAP net income was $45.5 million, up 36 percent compared to $33.5 million for the same period in 2015 or $0.95 per diluted share, up 36 percent compared to $0.70 per diluted share for the same period in 2015. "EFI delivered another record revenue quarter and our team's execution drove significant improvements in margins, cash flow, and earnings per share, despite the negative impact of foreign currency," said Guy Gecht, CEO of EFI.  "As we start the New Year we are even more excited about the road ahead, especially with our upcoming introduction of the Nozomi platform targeted at digital printing for packaging."
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.
Delphax Technologies Inc, with its primary press manufacturing operation based in Mississauga, Ontario, has reached a joint partnership agreement with Weihai Printing Machinery Co. Ltd. to provide the Delphax elan 500 inkjet press in the Chinese printing market. “Weihai’s investment in Delphax’s innovative elan 500 provides an attractive alternative to other technologies in fulfilling our clients printing needs,” said Gu Yonghui, General Manager of Weihai Printing Machinery. “The Weifeng EL500 is a product that will create a new model for opportunity in multiple print markets here in China.”The seven-year agreement for multiple systems will yield in excess of 35 systems, with the unit marketed under the name Weifeng EL500. In establishing this agreement, Delphax explains it has realigned its operations to primarily support and focus on the continued expansion,  development and manufacture of the elan 500 product line, fulfilling increased demand in the North American, EMEA and Chinese markets.The Delphax elan 500 is a colour sheetfed inkjet press with the ability to produce up to 500 duplex letter images per minute or 3,750 SRA2 (450 x 640 mm) sheets per hour. The press is driven by Memjet print head technology, whereby every stationary print head on the elan 500 has 70,400 jets that produce up to 700 million drops of ink per second. The elan 500 allows for printing on a range of substrates, from 20 to 130 Ib (60 to 350 gsm) and up to 8 x 8 to 18 x 25.2 inches (203 x 203 mm to 450 x 640 mm-SRA2). Duplex printing is performed at full speed, explains Delphax, with no degradation due to the unique SST paper path.“Weihai Printing Machinery provides us with a strong partner in China, providing both the commercial and technical support capabilities required to service the Chinese market.” said Richard Lee, Director of Operations at Delphax Technologies. “We look forward to working jointly with Weihai over the forthcoming launch and commercial release of the Weifeng EL500 and expect this relationship to generate significant new growth and profitability for our respective businesses”.Weihai Printing Machinery Co., founded in 1954, was the first major enterprise and the first major high technology company established under the Torch Plan of China within the Printing Machinery Sector. Under the Torch Plan, Weihai Printing Machinery Company was granted the right of open importation and exportation.
PDS is now the Canadian master distributor of Multigraf Touchline creasers, perforators and folders. This line-up of technologies has been constantly evolving since Multigraf became on the first companies to focus on the short-run finishing market in 1984.Multigraf AG is an equipment manufacturer based out of Muri, Switzerland. In addition to the Touchline products, Multigraf produces a range of banding and stacking systems.
KBR Graphics, which is celebrating its 40th year in business in 2016, is expanding its distribution of RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology sheetfed offset printing presses to include all of Canada. In mid-July 2016, KBR Graphics moved its head office to a new modern facility in Laval, Quebec, which is prepared to support future business through its larger sales, service and support teams.Previously, KBR Graphics had been the RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology (RMGT) distributor in Central and Eastern Canada since 2012. “We are pleased to offer the entire line of RMGT presses – the RMGT 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11 models – across Canada, both direct and through our dealer network,” said Karl Belafi. Jr., Vice President, KBR Graphics.  “We have been selling RMGT presses for four years and enjoy a great relationship with RYOBI MHI. We’ve been very successful in the eastern part of the country and aim to further develop our presence throughout Canada.” In addition to its line of offset presses, the expanded distribution agreement also includes the new digital press line that RMGT introduced this past spring at the drupa trade fair in Germany. Sales representatives and dealer partners are being added throughout different locations in Canada so that the RMGT product line can be supported across the country for sales and technical service.“Announcements will be made in the very near future about our new additions and, by the end of this year, our Western region teams will grow even more,” said Belafi.
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

PRINT 17
September 10-14, 2017
Labelexpo Europe
September 25-28, 2017
Pack Expo Las Vegas
September 25-27, 2017