Industry News

Registration is now open for the Xploration Tour event in Toronto on July 17. The event will be held at the City of Toronto Archives and is sponsored by Crawford Technologies and Messagepoint.
Modern Arab Establishment for Printing and Publishing has opted for a used Rotoman press that is going to be moved from Bechtle Druck, Germany, to its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. For the relocation and implementation, the Egyptian printer chose GWS Printing Systems (GWS) and manroland Goss as their preferred partners.
Printing professionals from across the province attended PrintForum 2019, held last week at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont. The fourth annual conference and tradeshow hit on a range of topics for commercial printers, including reaching sustainability goals, expanded colour gamut, strengthening the customer experience, and essential business strategies.
The results of a new survey commissioned by paper advocacy group Two Sides reveal that the North American public largely believes in the use of paper products, but that it has some misconceptions about print and the paper industry.
On May 30, Gala Gutenberg celebrated 37 years of print excellence in the ballroom of the Bonsecours Market in Montreal, Que., with more than 470 members of the print community.
The Ontario Printing & Imaging Association (OPIA) last month at the St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto handed out a range of awards in its annual Excellence In Print Awards program.
Ottawa, Ontario-based commercial printer iPrint Media Group has recently acquired a MGI JetVarnish 3DS with iFoil S, expanding its service offerings to include digital 3D embellishment and foiling capabilities.
The UPS Store at 6045 Creditview Road in Mississauga, Ont., recently installed a Graphic Whizard 460PUR perfect binder from GBC Canada.
Miller McConnell Signs, serving the Ottawa, Ont., sign and display market since the 1990s, has recently installed an Agfa Anapurna H2500i LED printer.
Graf-Pak Inc. of Pointe-Claire, Que., has recently added a new Komori GL640C to its operations, purchased through Komcan Inc., the exclusive distributor of Komori presses in Canada.
Heron Printing, a printing company based in Edmonton, Alta., has acquired its first HP Indigo 7900.
As Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Ltd. nears its century mark in the folding carton business, the 97-year-old Canadian firm continues to invest in new technology. A few years ago, the firm increased its print output with the addition of a Koenig & Bauer Rapida 106 seven-colour 41-inch fully-automated printing press, described as the first of its kind in North America.
PrintLink has announced that Dino Scalia has joined the firm as Senior Vice President, describing him as a seasoned and proven problem solver, connector and communicator.
Transcontinental Inc. has appointed Thomas Morin President of TC Transcontinental Packaging effective July 1, 2019. Based in Chicago, Ill., Morin will report to François Olivier, President and CEO, and will be part of the executive management committee.
Brian Evans has joined TI Group in the role of Operations Manager, Merchandising & Visual Displays. In this newly created role, Evans will manage the advancement of this growing competency for TI Group which aims to help brand owners get results in retail environments.
Rollem International has announced the hiring of Paul Byrne as its northeast sales representative.
After 22 years at technology manufacturer Domino Printing Sciences, including managing the sale of the FTSE250 company to Brother Industries in 2015, Nigel Bond is retiring from his position as CEO. Succeeding him is Robert Pulford, previously Managing Director of Domino’s Digital Printing Solutions Division.
Thomas Krischke has been named President and CEO of Muller Martini North America, succeeding Werner Naegeli who is retiring after nearly 30 years of service.
Aperol – an Italian bittersweet aperitif – recently announced the celebration of its centenary at a press conference in Padova, Italy, the birthplace of the brand. Launched in 1919 at the Padua International Fair, the bright orange beverage was created by brothers Luigi and Silvio Barbieri, who coined the brand name with inspiration from the French term for aperitif, Apéro. Made with citrus oil infused with herbs and roots, the original recipe remains unchanged to this day.
Security printers get paid more for their products than other commercial printers — a minimum increase of 10 percent but maybe as high as 15 or 20 percent more, according to U.S.-based security printing consultant Richard D. Warner. “Usually it takes a big financial investment and a lot of time – at least a good couple of years – and a lot of trial and error for a commercial printer to get up to speed with security printing. They rely heavily on outside technology suppliers, who will help them, but it is still a big jump for the printer. They’ve got to be committed to do it.”
Canada Post today issued five stamps to honour Canadian pilots, designers and aircraft that made civilian and military aviation history. The stamp issue was developed with the support of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum – one of three museums under the Ingenium brand.
A community of pioneering humanitarians say they have printed the world’s first 3D-printed book.
Canada Post today issued a stamp honouring Albert Jackson, thought to be the first Black letter carrier in Canada. Jackson earned his appointment to the civil service in 1882, but faced racism from his colleagues, media and members of the public as he pursued what ultimately turned out to be a successful 36-year career with the postal service, Canada Post explains.
An immersive installation promoting the superhero blockbuster Aquaman at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Ont., was turned around in less than a week, led by Global Printing Enterprises using specialist graphics media from Drytac.
Dan Murias, franchise owner of the Minuteman Press in Red Deer, Alberta, has moved into a new 6,800-square-foot facility in the North Hill area of Red Deer, Alberta. Murias has been in business since 2005 and is a member of the Minuteman Press International President's Million-Dollar Circle for top performers, providing a range of design, marketing and printing services.“The vast majority of industry and commerce in Red Deer is on the North Side. We are strategically located in the centre of the area,” said Murias. “We thought through location versus price and weighed it carefully. I believe we made the right choice in our location, which provides easy access, fantastic visibility and is centrally located. This has given us an increase in new customer walk-in traffic. It is a standalone building with our own parking and a large staff parking lot with great access for couriers."Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Murias was a 23-year veteran of the printing industry, which is unique in many franchise-printing operations where owners are often new to the industry. “I worked for a printing company for 23 years and I knew I didn't want to work for someone else for the next 20 so I went to a franchise show as I did not have business experience,” he explained. “As a result, it made sense to partner with a franchise as they have a greater success rate than independent business startups.” Murias explains his business goal is to grow by 15 percent and to have staff trained to be able to take more of the quoting for orders. “The goal is only the first part; you need to have a plan to make the goal a reality,” he said. “It sounds old but marketing door to door is still number one. Mailings, getting involved in your community, golf course, curling club, hockey rinks and social clubs are also important."
Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada) Ltd. in mid-November celebrated the renovation of its corporate office in Edmonton, Alberta. The original building was built 23 years ago and the transformation took 10 months to complete with an investment of more than $1 million. Konica Minolta currently generates more than $18 million annually in the Edmonton area, employing 55 full-time employees, supplying imaging and office technologies to businesses of all sizes in the region. The tech company is rooted in the area through numerous community initiatives and serves as a preferred partner of the Edmonton Oilers and Eskimos.“We are committed to supporting local economies across Canada and Edmonton is the most recent in a series of large investments we have made to prepare for future growth,” said Chris Dewart, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada). “Another strong reason for the revitalization of many of our older locations is to align with our corporate vision of improving how people work,” continued Dewart. “Our innovative Workplace of the Future strategy is as important for us as a business, as it is for our customers.” In late-2016, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Canada relocated its headquarters to a new state-of-the-art facility at the Airport Corporate Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.To mark the completion of its Edmonton building project, the company held a grand re-opening on November 9, 2017, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included dignitaries, software vendors and customers. The event featured a special keynote from Stew MacDonald, Vice President of the Edmonton Oilers, who addressed the role detailed planning, partnerships and technology plays in today’s fast-changing work environment.
Kodak hosted customers and community leaders at an April 20th ground-breaking ceremony in Weatherford, Oklahoma, to celebrate a $15 million capital investment to accommodate a new flexo plate line for the production of Kodak Flexcel NX plates. The ceremony included a ribbon cutting by Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.“Today’s celebration brings a focus on the new face of flexo” said Clarke. “Kodak’s differentiated flexo technology is helping our customers to drive growth, break new ground and transform flexographic printing and the packaging industry as a whole.The Weatherford plant is in its 50th anniversary year. The new flexo plate manufacturing line is a sister operation to Kodak’s existing plate manufacturing facility in Yamanashi, Japan. The $15 million investment represents one of the company’s largest capital investments since 2000.Kodak explains its Flexcel NX plate sales volume grew 16 percent in 2016 compared to the prior year, a rate four times the projected growth rate of the flexible packaging market itself, according to Smithers Pira.The new Oklahoma flexo plate line is expected to be in full production by early 2019 and will initially focus on supply of Flexcel NX plates to customers in the Unites States, Canada and Latin America. The expansion of this manufacturing Oklahoma facility follows a range of ongoing Kodak investment in flexographic printing technology worldwide, which includes the recent opening of a Flexo Packaging Technology Center in Shanghai in March 2017.                                                                                              At Kodak’s Weatherford ribbon cutting are (left to right): Weatherford, OK, Mayor Mike Brown; Boon Tien Pang, director of operations for flexographic packaging division; Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke; Speaker Pro Tempore of OK House of Reps Harold Wright Jr.; President of Flexographic Packaging Solutions, Chris Payne; Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin; Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Tourism, Deby Snodgrass; and Kodak Weatherford Plant Manager, Gene Meier.
Sappi Limited last week approved a range of projects in Europe and the United States, including a US$165 million capital project to expand Sappi North America's manufacturing capabilities. The purpose of the investment on Paper Machine No. 1 at its Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine, is to provide flexibility in the production of paper-based packaging products. At the same time, the US$165 million project in Maine aims to maintain Sappi's position in the graphic paper market, increasing annual production capacity at this mill to almost one million tons per annum. The Paper Machine No. 1 project, which is scheduled to come online in early in 2018, will provide an 180,000 metric ton capacity increase“This move complements our long term 2020Vision strategy, which seeks opportunities to substantially increase our group EBITDA,” said Steve Binnie, CEO of Sappi Limited.Sappi is one of the world’s largest producers of diversified woodfibre products, focused on converting wood pulp, paper pulp and paper-based products to direct and indirect customers in over 160 countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sappi has more than 13,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and group sales of US$6 billion.Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, generates revenue for its parent company through four business units, including high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialised Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging. “Somerset's existing world class infrastructure together with its talented workforce and access to high quality fiber makes the mill an excellent and obvious choice for this investment," said Mark Gardner, President and CEO of Sappi North America. “Increasing our flexibility and expanding the paper mill's capability and capacity will ensure that we continue to make superior products at Somerset for years to come.”
Informco of Scarborough, Ontario, is one of eight printing operations from around the world chosen by Kodak to receive its 2016 Sonora Plate Green Leaf Award. The program, which first launched in 2014, recognizes customers who have demonstrated outstanding efforts to reduce their environmental impact through a variety of initiatives and best practices.  All of the printers are users of Kodak Sonora process-free plates, which hold a range of environmentally progressive benefits, while also being judged on practices like monitoring of energy and water usage, participation in local community sustainability programs and the use of eco-conscious materials and supplies. Sonora plates remove the need for the plate processor, which requires chemicals, water, and energy while generating waste. Kodak predicts that 30 percent of its plate volume will be process-free by 2019.“It’s an honour to select eight of our customers to receive this prestigious award. Printers around the world continue to see the real benefits that sustainable printing practices deliver to their bottom lines,” said Richard Rindo, Kodak’s General Manager, WW Offset Print, and Vice President, Print Systems Division. Founded 65 years ago, Informco provides integrated communications solutions – design, print and distribution – to clients across a range of industries. In presenting the award to the company, Kodak explains, that for over 18 years, Informco has integrated active environmental practices into its day-to-day operations – “ISO-certified since 1999, the company has made significant reductions in energy usage, water consumption, and VOC emissions through rigorous monitoring programs.” Kodak also notes Informco was the first printer in Canada to win the Canadian Council of the Ministers of the Environment Pollution Prevention Award in 2002.              The seven remaining 2016 Sonora Plate Green Leaf Award include: Reynolds and Reynolds (United States), Groupe Estimprim (France), Royalpack (Poland), UVO communication (South Africa), Ohshaika Printing (Japan), Kava Printing (China), and NPE Print Communications (Singapore).
The British Columbia Institute of Technology, based in Burnaby, BC, received a software donation from Aleyant, which provided the school’s Graphic Communications Technology Management (GTEC) program with both Aleyant Pressero and eDocBuilder for its Web-to-print curriculum.“We are very lucky to have the full support of the local printing industry and industry suppliers for our institution, and our thanks go out to Aleyant for their generosity in donating this software,” said Wayne Collins, who leads the GTEC program and is its only full-time employee. “Our unique model at this polytechnic institution started by partnering with the BCPIA industry association to seek high-level managers as instructors, who typically teach one class per term,” continued Collins. “This keeps our curriculum current, and what we really deliver is a two-year diploma that trains entry-level managers into the industry. It’s like a two-year job interview.”Aleyant’s donation includes both the software and student access to the company’s online training videos. “Our students have a lot to accomplish over a 14-week course, and assigning them videos to watch as homework helped boost the course content.”BCIT’s most recent GTEC Web-to-print course was taught by MET Fine Printers manager Steve Tomljanovic, and students have already been using Aleyant Pressero’s Web-to-print tool and its eDocBuilder variable data tool to create Websites and documents, which are then used to produce their products in a production lab with electrophotographic, inkjet, offset and flexo presses.In addition to document creation and production, Collins explains he plans to investigate adding curriculum around pricing tables and their connection to MIS, as well as other aspects of advanced Web-to-print solutions to round out the student experience. “If a group of students just coming into the industry can get the tools, use them that quickly and develop the kinds of products our students produced,” he said, “I am confident they will be well-prepared to join a company upon graduation and get a profitable Web-to-print operation up and running right away.”
Ironmark, a Baltimore, Maryland-based marketing services provider serving the mid-Atlantic region, has installed a Komori Lithrone eight-colour 40-inch perfecting press (GL840P) equipped with H-UV.
Printing company Grand Master in Masis, Armenia, has modernized its entire machinery base since 2010. Four Rapida 106 presses are already in use at the company, and a fifth is set to join them in May. Production start-up is scheduled for early summer. At that point, the print centre will have been switched fully to sheetfed offset presses from Koenig & Bauer.
Direct marketing company Kirkwood Direct has partnered with Ricoh to streamline and enhance its variable data printing (VDP) technology.
Rollem has announced several recent installations of the semi-slitter kiss cutting system, designed for back slitting or kiss-cutting pressure sensitive stocks and decals.
West Essex Graphics, a full-service design, prepress, and platemaking company with facilities in Fairfield, N.J., and Columbus, Ind., has fully adopted Hybrid Software’s PACKZ Native PDF editor for file preparation and layout work.
Valley Container, a family-owned and operated corrugated sheet plant for specialty display and packaging solutions, continues its growth in the paper packaging space with the addition of the Durst Delta WT 250, a corrugated printer featuring eco-friendly Durst Water Technology.

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