German press maker Koenig & Bauer continues to make inroads into the Chinese offset-press market, including its most recent deal to install a 3-tower KBA Comet with the Beijing Daily Group by summer 2010.
As North American and European markets for press sales all but evaporated for manufacturers in 2009, KBA made a clear effort to push into the Chinese market by having a 900-square-metre booth at China Print and the recent completion of an 11-day seminar tour across the country. These initiatives helped KBA to keep its 2009 export level stable at 83.4 percent, relative to 84.2 percent the year prior.
The German company’s press exports into Asia and the Pacific Region increased from 19.1 to 23.5 percent, while exports into North America and Europe decreased to 7.9 and 34.8 percent, respectively. (In 2008, 52.2 percent of all KBA exports went into Europe.) While at China Print in May 2009, which had over 70,000 tradeshow visitors, KBA states that it signed around 20 orders, mostly for its flagship Rapida 105 press. Shortly after the show, Shanghai Dadong Printing signed a contract to bring the first Rapida 75 – launched at drupa 2008 – into China. KBA states there are now a dozen 29-inch Rapida 75 press lines in operation or soon to be installed in various Chinese cities.
Much of KBA’s success in the market can also be attributed to its annual traveling seminar series, with the 2009 version wrapping up this October – in Harbin, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Wuxi, Dongguan and Taibei. A company statement about Chinese progress explains, “The economic and financial crisis notwithstanding, 2009 has been KBA’s most successful year to date in the Chinese market… [it] became clear that sales this year would break all records, with almost one-third of KBA’s sheetfed output destined for China.”
For a number of years, Goss International (now buoyed by the July 2009 share-based investment from Shanghai Electric) has led the way into China in terms of web-offset presses. Just last week, KBA announced a major web deal with Beijing Daily Group, which is purchasing a KBA Comet – with three reel stands, three towers and one folder – to focus on producing a free Beijing subway newspaper, launched in 2008. Three more printing towers are to be installed after the press is up and running, which is scheduled for summer 2010. Earlier in 2009, KBA signed a deal with China’s Dazhong Daily Newspaper Group for a 2-section Commander press line to print the Dazhong Daily – with a weekday circulation of 400,000 copies.
KBA is also building a press presence in many other emerging print regions, as detailed below with notable 2009 deals, beyond China:
Russian printer buys KBA Performa 66 (March 2010 start up);
First KBA Colora enters Ecuador with El Telégrafo in Guayaquil;
Abu Dhabi-based United Printing starts up a multi-unit KBA Continent press;
KBA’s first sheetfed press enters Uruguay (Rapida 105);
A Saudi Arabian printer signs deal to install world’s largest sheetfed offset press (Rapida 185);
Tellurian Publication House of Dubai buys Rapida 75;
Delta Printing Press in Dubai buys three Rapida 105s;
After the recent startup of a 6-colour Rapida 105, Aria Printing of Iran installs 8-colour Rapida 106;
Color Lines of Dubai buys multiple Rapida presses;
Brazil-based Editora Abril starts up its 48-pp KBA Compacta 618;
Litografica Gonzales of the Canary Islands buys KBA Compacta 215.
Unisource Worldwide today announced it has completed the acquisition of Euro-Papier, one of Europe’s largest paper suppliers with an emphasis on the eastern portion of the continent. Based in Belgium, Euro-Papier, which will be renamed Graph Comm International, has 12 country offices – Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Graphic Communications, Unisource's print and paper brokerage, is said to sell more than 1-million tonnes per year of coated and uncoated paper. Euro-Papier claimed to annually deliver over 470,000 tonnes of paper from its 38 warehouses and selection of more than 5,000 products. The company has around 800 employees.
"This acquisition significantly strengthens our market position throughout Europe," Al Dragone, Unisource CEO, stated in a press release. "We will continue to pursue strategic acquisitions that expand our operations both within and outside North America.”
Winnipeg-based Canadian Printing Equipment Ltd. becomes the exclusive dealer for C.P. Bourg technologies in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, as well as authorization to sell the finishing equipment in British Colombia.
Canadian Printing Equipment (CPE) has extensive experience in selling short-run finishing equipment through its history with Standard Horizon. CPE is now transitioning away from Horizon to focus on C.P. Bourg technology. This line-up will include C.P. Bourg’s new BSF sheet feeder, which can feed toner-based presses with up to 15,000 letter-size sheets per hour. The system can also work with a maximum sheet size of 14.33 x 22.5 inches. CPE will also carry C.P. Bourg's line of perfect binders, collators and 3-knive trimmers.
To support the C.P Bourg line, which is distributed in other Canadian regions by Robert E. Thistle, CPE has four service technicians located across the west. Claiming that its employees have a combined industry experience of more than 90 years, CPE buys and sells various pieces of prepress, press and bindery equipment, including UV coaters.
The company also provides warrantee-level service and has developed an extensive remarketing service for equipment, which it brokers to dealers around the world.
KBR Graphics Ltd. has been appointed as the exclusive dealer for Standard Horizon products throughout Ontario. Based in Montreal, with service technicians in Toronto, Ottawa, and Quebec City, KBR has been selling Standard’s equipment in Quebec and Eastern Ontario for 22 years. In the past year, KBR has also picked up important distribution deals with KBA North America and, just last week, with MGI (Meteor toner-based presses).
“We depend on strong, local dealers to provide immediate and personalized sales and service attention, and KBR has proven their ability to do just that,” said David Reny, Executive Vice President of Standard Finishing Systems.
KBR Graphics will carry “commercial-duty” Standard Horizon saddle stitchers, perfect binders and 3-knife trimmers, folders, collators, bookletmakers and cutters. Factory-trained KBR service technicians will install, train on, and offer maintenance for all Standard Horizon equipment.
At Graphics Canada, November 12 to 14, Scarborough-based Pressdown (PDS) will introduce the new DigiXpress, described by the distribution company as a 4-colour envelope press. The 4-colour machine has the capability to produce variable data printing on a variety of substrates used for envelopes, card stock, postcards, labels and banners.
The DigiXpress employs a Fiery System 8E RIP and can feed sheet sizes from 3 x 5 inches up to 12 x 18 inches. According to PDS, the machine can produce up to 36 full-colour, or 40 black-and-white, personalized envelopes per minute. The machine comes in two models, with duplex printing and scan, fax and email capabilities.
Also at Graphics Canada, PDS will showcase three different CTP models: Platerwriter 2000, producing metal plates; ECO 1630III, producing silver plates; and the Kimoto 410 producing polyester plates. The company also plans to a variety of technologies it carries on the booth, including: UV coaters, automatic creasers, numbering units, cutters, laminators and small-format binding equipment.
KBR Graphics Ltd. has been named as MGI’s new distributor for its toner-based press and finishing equipment in the Canadian market. Based in Montreal, with a sales location in Toronto, KBR Graphics has spent the year expanding its presence in the country after inking an exclusive distribution deal with KBA earlier this year, which accounts for all of Canada except British Columbia.
“As the Canadian distributor for KBA, we realized that MGI’s Meteor line of digital presses fit perfectly with our commercial and packaging accounts. There is a greater demand in the Canadian market for shorter runs, in both printing and photography,” said Karl Belafi Sr., President of KBR Graphics. “We see great potential in MGI’s entire line of digital printing and finishing solutions, especially the Meteor DP60 Pro multi-substrate digital press, JETvarnish digital inkjet spot UV coater, and the Meteor DP20 4-in-1 digital photo press.”
Operating in the Canadian printing industry since 1977, KBR Graphics also carries lines from companies like Standard Horizon, Hamada, Busch, Challenge, Perfecta USA, and Baumfolder. The company will be present at Graphics Canada, November 12 to 14, with MGI technologies on its booth.
Traditionally focused on the North American printing market, Presstek Inc. today signaled a new direction by signing up a Hong Kong distributor for its printing presses and placing a Business Manager into the European market.
While it is headquartered in Hong Kong, Duplica Printing Equipment will also distribute Presstek presses throughout China. "The printing industry in Hong Kong and China is seeking an efficient, high quality solution for short-run color, and Presstek's family of DI digital offset presses is the perfect answer," said Charles Lam, Managing Director of Duplica.
Presstek Inc. also strengthened its position in Europe by appointing Axel Thien as its Business Manager for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Thien is responsible for expanding Presstek's presence within the region, as well as developing a European dealer channel for the company. Thien has over 11 years of experience on the technological side of printing, working in a variety of roles at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, including the last four years as a Product Manager for CTP and six years as Product Manager Consumables for Heidelberg USA. Earlier in his career, Thien spent five years with Agfa in a variety of management roles.
Agfa Graphics announced today that LR Graphic Supply, a Canadian dealer with over 30 years of experience in the graphics communications industry and newspaper publishing market, will begin distribution of Agfa's prepress solutions.
"We are very excited about working with Agfa," said Guy Potvin, Executive Vice President at LR Graphic Supply. "It is no secret that Agfa has a portfolio of cutting-edge products that have been well received in the industry and increasingly in Canada. On the other hand, at LR Graphic Supply, we have built a reputation for unparalleled service and support to our customers. We have a special knack for building bridges and forging new opportunities. We view this new partnership with Agfa as a natural complement to our current business and will benefit our current and future customers."
"LR Graphic Supply's consultative sales approach with newspaper accounts as well as small- to mid-size companies is exemplary. Their reputation for tapping new opportunities is impressive. We believe this new partnership will be mutually beneficial going forward," said Ruben Silva, managing director, Agfa Inc.
LR Graphic Supply has offices in Mississauga, Ontario, and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
Baumfolder Corp., at PRINT 09, introduced its new BaumPrint 18 printing press and announced its first Canadian distributor will be Cambridge, Ontario-based Wades Bindery Repair Service Ltd.
In April 2009, Baumfolder began building a production line to assemble the BaumPrint 18 press as Hamada announced it would stop selling printing presses into the North American market. Most U.S.-based Baumfolder dealers, which previously sold Hamada presses, will now focus their attention on the BaumPrint 18. This small-format press is rated to run at 10,000 sheets per hour with a printing format of 17.83 x 12.99 inches. Sheet size can range from a minimum of 3.94 x 3.94 inches to a maximum of 18.11 x 13.39 inches.
Wades Bindery Repair was established in 1986 by industry veterans Wade and Mary Sears. The company primarily focuses on the sale and service of post-press technology, while Wade Sears has over 30 years of experience installing pressroom technology into small- to mid-sized printing and finishing companies.
Baumfolder Corp., now owned by Heidelberg, traces is roots back to a 1935 distribution agreement with Liberty Folder Company, when dealer Russell Baum began moving these Liberty branded machines across the eastern United States. Baum took over the folding company in 1950.
xpedx Canada is the new master distributor for Tokyo-based Ryobi Ltd. in Canada, which was formerly handled through manroland. The parent company of xpedx, based in Ohio, has been distributing Ryobi presses in the United States for 34 years.
The Canadian operation will distribute all Ryobi format sizes, including the new 42-plus inch Ryobi 1050 press and the 36-inch Ryobi 920, as well as the 31-inch Ryobi 750 and 780 series presses, the 20-inch Ryobi 520 series and other smaller format presses. The 1050, 750 and 780 series presses run at maximum speeds of 16,000 sheets per hour.
The Tokyo-based press maker recently introduced a new LED-UV curing system for its presses, as well as a new inline casting and foiling system for specialty printing. Ryobi claims its LED-UV system was the first curing unit that replaces conventional UV lamps, with what the company calls long-life UV light-emitting diodes. xpedx claims this type of curing system – also employed by the likes of Mitsubishi on its DIAMOND series – cuts power consumption in excess of 70 percent. The LED-UV unit is also available on the 2-up RYOBI 520 series and the 8-up RYOBI 920 series.
“Canadian printers of all sizes want to boost automation, reduce total production costs and tap lucrative new print markets,” said Michael Kearney, VP and GM of xpedx Canada. “Ryobi has a compelling quality and value offer in state-of-the-art large, mid-size and small presses that can help printers become more productive, efficient and profitable.”
Ryobi parts fulfillment for printers in Canada will be done through xpedx’ Memphis distribution centre.
Goss International has established a new direct sales and support organization in Brazil, which is the world's fifth largest country by geographical area and population (191,241,71). According to the company, over the past five years, printers and publishers in Brazil have ordered more than 100 new Goss printing units.
Headquartered in Sao Paulo, the new Goss International organization is responsible for the full range of Goss commercial and newspaper presses and print finishing systems. The group also manages Goss Lifetime Support aftermarket services, including parts, service and enhancement programs.
“This smooth transition to direct sales and support, with a strong continuity of personnel, streamlines processes and puts our customers in closer contact with our dedicated team in Latin America and throughout the world,” said Goss International CEO Jochen Meissner.
Vitor Dragone oversees the new Goss International organization in Brazil. Dragone, who has 20 years of experience in the graphic arts industry, was previously the director of web offset sales for Heidelberg do Brazil, formerly the agent for Goss products in the country. The Goss International team based at the new facility also includes many other former members of the Heidelberg do Brazil web offset staff. They are now directly connected with Goss International product development and manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe and Asia; and with a staff of more than 300 people focused on the aftermarket Goss Lifetime Support services in the Americas.
Domtar Corporation announced today that it is opening a market pulp sales office in Hong Kong, operating as Domtar Asia Limited, as of August 1, 2009. The company states the primary objective for the office is to provide direct sales and sales services to its current and future Chinese customers.
"By establishing a physical presence in Hong Kong, we are solidifying our commitment to a dynamic and growing Chinese pulp market," said David Liang, Vice-President of Domtar Asia Limited. "Not only will we be able to better serve our customers, through direct relationships and services, but we also have the opportunity to develop and grow our client base."
Liang, who has several years of experience in pulp sales, will head the Domtar Asia Limited office, supported by a staff of three. The offices are located at Millennium City 1, 388 Kwun Tong Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
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