Industry News

Contiweb today announced it has signed a sales agreement with imPRESSions Worldwide, a supplier of presses, enhancements and services to the newspaper, commercial and packaging market, to become its sales partner in Canada and Western U.S.
Global manufacturer of CNC machines and CNC knife systems AXYZ International has adopted a new name, AXYZ Automation Group.
Significans Automation Inc. is now the North and South American distributor for InSoft Automation and its Imp imposition software.
To address the challenges and transformations in the packaging sector, the touchpoint packaging initiative at drupa 2020 will showcase how innovative printing technologies contribute to the future of packaging. drupa will take place from June 16 to 26, 2020 at the fairgrounds in Düsseldorf, Germany.
HP Inc. yesterday reached a milestone 1,000 HP Indigo Series 4 presses sold as customer momentum for its 29-inch (B2) platform across commercial and labels and packaging digital printing applications grows.
Hillside Printing has closed its production facility at 3050 Nanaimo Street and has announced a strategic relationship with ARC Document Solutions Canada.
Simpson Print of Bloomingdale, Ont., has recently installed a swissQprint Nyala 3 roll-to-roll wide-format printer.
On December 21, flexible packaging manufacturer Alpha Poly Corporation celebrated the completed installation of a Windmoeller & Hoelscher Miraflex II 10 colour press with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Software provider XMPie has donated its PersonalEffect TransMedia solution to Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM), a Toronto, Ont., graphic communications school with 640 full-time students and 30 full- and part-time faculty and staff.
Jet Label & Packaging has installed a single-pass RFID inserting system involving an existing Mark Andy flexographic press and an RFID application unit from Tamarack.
Rootree, a Canadian provider of digitally printed flexible packaging, is expanding its operations with a second HP digital printing press as it strives toward greener packaging.
Quebec printing company Précigrafik is seeing “significant increases” in its production capacity, thanks to the addition of its new RMGT 7 series LED-UV 5-colour offset press. The new system also allows the company to better penetrate the growing packaging market.
The Board of Directors of Eastman Kodak Company today announced the appointment of Jim Continenza as the company’s new Executive Chairman, effective immediately. Continenza, who has served as Chairman of Kodak’s Board of Directors since 2013, will continue as Board Chairman while also assuming the responsibilities of Jeffrey J. Clarke, who is stepping down after nearly five years as CEO.
Perry Stacks has been appointed sales representative for North America at Rotoflex, a subsidiary of Daetwyler Corp., where he will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities of Rotoflex.
Hemlock Printers has appointed Amanda Chor to the role of Sustainability Coordinator. Reporting to President and COO Richard Kouwenhoven, she will work with all aspects of the organizational structure to maintain, develop and promote effective initiatives that reduce the company’s impact on the environment.
Dave Soden has been named Managing Director of manroland Goss web systems Americas by its Board of Directors, overseeing operations of the equipment and services provider in North America, effective immediately. Greg Blue, previous Managing Director of Durham Operations, will be moving into a transition support position with manroland Goss web systems Americas.
Zund America has appointed Scott Spagnolli to the position of North American Sales and Channel Manager responsible for Canada and the United States.
Rutger Jansen has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Contiweb, effective January 1, 2019, succeeding Bert Schoonderbeek who recently announced his retirement from the position.
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.
This year’s greeting card from Iggesund Paperboard is designed by Taiwanese designer Kevin Chen, who specializes in embossing and foil stamping. The card highlights the Scandinavian forests, symbolized by the moose, along with a globe representing the worldwide availability of Iggesund Paperboard’s flagship product Invercote.
Mountain Dew, a PepsiCo International brand, has launched a special edition beverage can featuring fluorescent inks in the Middle East. Designed to attract consumer attention and boost summer sales, the ultra-bright green colour aims to accentuate the Mountain Dew logo and reinforces the brand’s image.
Vinehall Displays got into the holiday spirit with a festive advertising project for Coca-Cola, transforming a retail kiosk in Belfast into a merry wonderland, complete with a full wrap and a 2-metre-high bow with halo-lit 3D letters. The displays were printed on Roland DG Soljet Pro 3 and Pro 4 high-production wide-format printers.
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.”
Nearly six months after installing an Océ VarioPrint i300 inkjet press, commercial printer Goodway Group is reporting uptimes above 95 percent, “decreased operating costs and new opportunities for business growth.”
Gulf Business Forms of Texas recently installed a refurbished Jetstream from Rollem International for commercial work, by scoring on the Jetstream then going into an 8-page folder.
Two new HP Indigo 6900 digital presses have been installed in R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company’s Visalia, Calif., and Wilson, N.C., facilities to boost its digital asset capabilities for label production.
E-commerce company for personalized wall designs K&L Wall Art produces home accessories at its 1,500-square-metre facility in Berlin, Germany, exclusively using digital technology. In May 2018, the company added Xeikon’s wallpaper system, the Wall Decoration Suite, to its production portfolio, including a Xeikon 8500 single-pass digital duplex printer.
Premium Color Group (PCG) says it is meeting surging demand for new business and its custom packaging line with its new EFI VUTEk LX3 Pro hybrid flatbed/roll-to-roll LED inkjet printer.
Spanish flexible packaging multinational Emsur has installed an Enprom eRR30 Dual doctoring machine to its plant in Madrid, allowing for both the validation of sleeve material as well as the inspection of the reels for the flexible packaging sector.

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