Facilities

Saint-Félicien, a town of 10,500 people more than 200 miles north of Quebec City, receives the province’s first SIGNARAMA franchise, operated by Gaston Rathee and linked to a production centre in Saguenay.

SIGNARAMA describes itself as largest signs provider in the world with 900 franchises in more than 50 countries. 



Saint-Félicien is situated in Saguenay within the Lac Saint-Jean region, which is seen as a gateway into the vast wilderness of Northern Quebec. Saguenay is a city of around 150,000 people.

“[This] is a stepping stone in the signs and communication industry in Quebec,” said Pierre Lachapelle, President of Gestion PER-LAC, master franchisor for SIGNARAMA in the province. “As a matter of fact, this business model will help our franchisee to keep growing by expanding its market to a new area.”


Gestion PER-LAC itself operates three franchises in Quebec and Vice President Roger Perron states the group has an ambitious business plan to expand the network. “We wish to share our expertise of the signs industry with our franchisees in order to help them grow and thrive,” said Perron, who is also Co-President of Groupe BO Concept.


Saint-Félicien is also home to Zoo Sauvage, one of the largest zoos in the province of Quebec and well known around the world for its unique dedication to wildlife conservation of the boreal climate. The zoo was founded in 1960 on an abandoned fox farm.


Fujifilm officially opens its new inkjet ink manufacturing facility located at its plant in Broadstairs, United Kingdom. All of Fujifilm’s inkjet ink supplies sold in the Canadian market come from this facility.

During a press tour for the event, Fujifilm also discussed its soon-to-be-released corrugated media handling system for the Inca Onset press, for which the company is the exclusive global distributor.

The new ink facility has been in the works for two years with an investment of over €4 million, as well as an additional €2.5 million invested to upgrade the R&D department. Over this period, Fujifilm has re-engineered the plant under its Specialty Ink Systems group to focus on the company’s growing wide-format interests.

Over 340 employees work at the Fujifilm Broadstairs site and today more than 80 percent of them are involved in inkjet ink R&D and manufacturing. With a footprint of 1,800 m2, the new site is built to accommodate a projected annual increase of 56 percent in the production of UV ink, manufactured in a range of batch sizes of up to 4,000 litres. The facility has the capacity to manufacture 6,000 tonnes of ink per year.



“We have planned everything meticulously over the last few years, recognizing that to stay at the forefront of digital ink technology with our range of Uvijet inks, we need to work with state-of-the-art equipment and have the ability to increase production and packing volumes,” stated Colin Boughton, Operations Director for the plant.


In 2011, the Specialty Ink Systems’ Broadstairs site received the Best Process Plant Award from a program, called the Best Factory Awards, organized since 1992 by Works Management and Cranfield School of Management.


“We are pleased that the transition from one manufacturing area to another was completely seamless, with absolutely no disruption to our production output at all,” stated Boughton. He points to how the Broadstairs group worked closely with a specialist company to develop next generation dispersion equipment for its inks to reduce particle sizes to less than 100nm – “True nanotechnology.”

Boughton explained that Fujifilm is to continue making further investments in equipment for the plant throughout 2013. The Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems plant has been accredited to the Environmental standard ISO14001, in addition to the Quality standard ISO9001. Accreditation to the Health and Safety Standard OHSAS 18001 is to be complete by mid 2013.


The closure of the Stevensville plant owned by Vertis has drawn harsh criticism from the CEP employee union. Vertis has reportedly refused to pay out termination and severance for its more than 100 workers. Stevensville is a small community in the town of Fort Erie, Ontario.

The action has caused Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor to become involved. According to Bullet News of Niagara, Craitor has offered to assist the union in its efforts against Vertis, but has not gotten a formal request as of yet.

The Stevensville plant was one of three plants not part of Quad/Graphics’ purchase of Vertis assets. The plant is Vertis’ only Canadian facility. 

“A company does not have the right to shut down without notice or compensation for the employees that have worked for them, many for most of their lives,” writes Dan Wickson, president of Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 425G.

Baltimore-based Vertis filed for bankruptcy three times in recent history, first in 2008 during a merger with American Color Graphics, a second time in November of 2010 while being US$700 million in debt, and finally in October of last year, where it was finally purchased by Quad/Graphics.


Koenig & Bauer AG has announced plans today to close its Trennfeld, Germany, plant by the Autumn of 2013. Its production capabilities will be rolled into its main plant in Würzburg, just 25 kilometres away.

The Trennfeld plant, opened in 1964, currently employs 220 staff to assemble printing units and superstructures for commercial and newspaper presses. KBA stated that its Trennfeld assembly staff will be offered new positions in Würzburg.

“The decision made by the management and the supervisory board to integrate the Trennfeld plant was not an easy one. From an economical point of view, keeping two only partly utilized plants open does not make sense,” said CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann. “Our web business can only look positively into the future when all employees, space and equipment available are fully utilized. As a result of the relocation and the closer proximity to construction and manufacturing activities it brings with it, we expect simplified processes and considerable savings.”

The move is in response to what KBA says is “supplier over-capacity for a global market which has shrunk by more than half since 2007” with “no expectations of sustainable market recovery of any magnitude.” The company also moved production of its banknote printing production from the subsidiary KBA-Mödling AG in Austria to the main plant in Würzburg and has also involved a significant reduction in personnel and the splitting of the plant in Frankenthal into two limited companies last year and opening them up to external contractors.

According to KBA, the realignment of its plants started three years ago has played a major factor to it being the only major press manufacturer to remain in the black since 2009.


HP has added a new 11,000-square-metre (118,000 square feet) toner manufacturing plant in Kiryat Gat, Israel, which will produce ink for the company’s new generation of HP Indigo presses (10000 series) introduced in May 2012.


The new HP Indigo plant is the first industrial building in Israel and first HP manufacturing facility worldwide built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Recognized as a global standard for efficient buildings, LEED Certification considers issues like sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.



With the addition of the new facility, HP Indigo’s Kiryat Gat campus now includes 56,000 square metres (603,000 square feet) of building space. This campus serves as HP Indigo’s centre for training and for final application testing and qualification of each press before shipment. HP Indigo also manufactures its toner, commonly referred to by the company as liquid ink, at its facility in Singapore.
 
"HP Indigo's customers constantly demand that we push the boundaries and innovate in our product portfolio as well as in our manufacturing operations," said Alon Bar-Shany, VP and GM, Indigo Division, HP. "With an additional plant supplying ink for the rapid ramp-up of our new family of Indigo presses, we can support our customers in growing their businesses and increasing their profitability in the highly competitive printing market."
 
Inks produced at the new plant will begin shipping with the HP Indigo 10000 (29.5 x 20.9 inches) press, which have been installed for beta-testing purposes at printing companies in the United States, Europe and Middle East General commercial availability of the new Indigo series is scheduled for the spring of 2013.


Resolute Forest Products announced the indefinite idling of the kraft mill at its pulp and paper operation in Fort Frances, Ontario. Around 240 employees are to be impacted by the idling.

This move includes the idling of paper machine number 5, which has an annual capacity of 105,000 metric tons of groundwood specialty printing paper. The kraft mill itself has an annual production capacity of approximately 200,000 metric tons of market pulp.

“The markets for these products are challenging and are expected to remain so,” said Resolute President and CEO Richard Garneau, who also pointed to the value of the Canadian dollar in relation to weak kraft pulp sales.

“The kraft mill situation is particularly difficult given Fort Frances’ operating configuration and the recent decision by a key customer to stop consuming the pulp supplied by Resolute to its mill,” continued Garneau. “Our kraft mill’s drying capacity is limited to about 40 percent of its production capacity, making it impossible to continue operating the mill in a profitable manner.”

Resolute Forest Products produces a range of products like newsprint, commercial printing papers, market pulp and wood products. The company owns or operates 22 pulp and paper mills and 22 wood product facilities in the United States, Canada and South Korea.


Transcontinental Inc. has announced it will be closing its printing plant at 7743 Bourdeau St. in LaSalle, Quebec, by December 20th. The closure will result in the elimination of 150 jobs in the Montreal suburb.

"The printing industry is undergoing a major transformation that is altering supply and demand. Given the capacity and potential of our network, we have concluded that we have excess production capacity in relation to market demand. In order for Transcontinental to remain competitive in this industry under pressure and get the most out of its most efficient equipment, we have had to make the difficult decision to terminate our printing operations at LaSalle," said Marian Kerr, Senior Vice President, Retail and Newspapers - Eastern.

Plant employees have been informed of the closure and Transcontinental says staff will be offered severance as well as out-placement services. The LaSalle plant is a heatset web operation.

Transcontinental acquired the LaSalle facility from Quad/Graphics in June of 2011, along with five other facilities. 
Transcontinental announced closures of the Darthmouth and Rivière-des-Prairies plants for April and June of this year respectively. Before Quad/Graphics' purchase in 2010, the plants were owned by Worldcolor/Quebecor.


A new cogeneration plant located at Heidelberg’s Wiesloch-Walldorf manufacturing facility will allow the German press maker to reduce its total energy costs at the site by around 10 percent. The plant represents an investment of around EUR 2.4 million. Heidelberg expects the new plant to pay for itself in two years.

Around 300 guests attended the opening ceremony of Heideblerg's cogeneration plant, including company CEO Gerold Linzbach and Baden-Württemberg's Environment Minister Franz Untersteller. “We need companies that invest in advanced resource-conserving technology and plants and always take the issue of sustainability seriously,” stated Untersteller. “It’s the only way to ensure the energy revolution is a success.”

Described as the world’s largest printing press factory, the Wiesloch-Walldorf site features 36 production halls and office buildings occupying some 860,000 square metres of land. It requires around 60 gigawatt hours of power each year, which equates to annual energy costs in the low tens of millions of euros. One out of every five euros spent to operate the site goes to heat and power. 



The new cogeneration plant will have an electric power output of two megawatts that will generate 12 gigawatt hours of electricity each year. The plant can cover around 20 percent of the current electricity requirements by burning natural gas as its primary energy source. Measured against the average power generation mix in Germany, Heidelberg states this will reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by 3,700 metric tonnes a year.



In addition to electric power, the cogeneration plant's two generators will produce 15 gigawatt hours of heat each year. Waste heat from the engines and generators will be accommodated in a storage buffer and will meet over 40 percent of the site's total local heating requirements.



The Edmonton Journal announced plans to outsource its printing production and eliminate 70 full-time positions in the process. According to the Publisher, the move aims to adapt the newspaper for the modern demand for more colour while improving quality.

A blog post at the Edmonton Journal's website announced the change on Sunday which will see its Eastgate plant close at the start of 2013. The plant was opened in 1980, equipped with state-of-the-art machinery for its time. The newspaper said upgrades the equipment would be "prohibitively expensive, costing tens of millions of dollars."

“We have mixed feelings about the change,” said Publisher John Connolly said. “We are excited about the new possibilities for more colour and better reproduction. However, we are sorry to be losing many of our dedicated Journal staffers.”

The newspaper will be printed at new facilities built by Great West Newspapers, publisher of the St. Albert Gazette, in St. Albert, a suburb just northwest of the city.

The Edmonton Journal was founded in 1903 and became part of the Southam family in 1912 before changing hands in 1996 to Hollinger International. Today it is owned by the Postmedia Network. It has a circulation of just over 100,000 on weekdays and just under 102,000 on Saturdays. The paper discontinued its Sunday edition in July of this year, and also ceased printing its TV listings supplement.


Eastend Bindery of Scarborough, Ontario, has ceased operation after 38 years. The company, housed in a 22,000-square-foot facility, was well known to the printing community in the Greater Toronto Area.

The finishing company was one of the region’s largest, running a range of equipment like a 24-bin collating machine with in-line corner stitch, 7-head drilling machine, inline perfect binder with 3-knife trim, and three Muller stitching lines, as well as various devices for gluing and folding, padding, shrink-wrapping, drilling, counting and – most recently – die scoring.








Resolute Forest Products has idled its Mersey newsprint mill in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia due to falling newsprint prices. The idling will affect 320 employees.

"The mill produces newsprint primarily for export markets and is unable to compete due to declining prices in those markets, caused mainly by unfavorable currency fluctuations, stated Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolute.  "The decision to indefinitely idle production at the facility was difficult as we are mindful of the impact it will have on affected employees and local communities. We have worked diligently with the provincial government, our employees, union leadership and other stakeholders but simply could not overcome the inherent challenges."

The operation is a  joint venture between Montreal-based Resolute Forest and Washington Post Company. The mill has a capacity of about 250,000 tons. Resolute operates 21 pulp and paper mills and 22 wood products facilities in the U.S., Canada and South Korea. It sells paper products in over 90 countries. The company is the world's largest manager of FSC-certified forests.

Sun Chemical boosted its commitment to the Quebec printing market with a $3.1 million investment to consolidate four facilities into a new 50,000-square-foot ink manufacturing plant.

The new Laval plant is to replace nearby facilities in Ottawa, Quebec City, Boucherville and Anjou. “We are affirming our commitment to the Quebec and the Canadian market with this investment,” said Rod Staveley, President of Sun Chemical Canada. “Sun Chemical plans to be in this business for the long term and is providing the infrastructure needed to deliver best-in-class services to our valued customers.”

Sun Chemical describes the location of the new plant as being strategically placed in Laval, just north of Montreal, for getting through Montreal’s challenging traffic patterns and delivering product to customers across Quebec and Eastern Ontario. The Laval facility has ink dispensers on-site for demonstrations and the manufacturing of spot-colour inks, as well as three roll mills, several vertical post mixers and smaller mixers, and an internal laboratory for quality control and colour-matching chemistry.

The new plant, employing 32 full-time staff, will produce solvent, water-based, UV and paste inks for the packaging, corrugated, sheetfed, heatset and coldset markets.



Based on initiatives like energy-efficient lighting, heat recovery, waste-stream recycling, and dedicated commuter-parking spaces, Sun Chemcial is currently applying to have its Laval plant LEED-certified, which is one of North America’s strongest environmental standards for all types of manufacturing plants.


The company will host an open house of the new Laval facility on Wednesday, June 27, organized through Wendy Fan of Sun Chemcial.


On Friday of this week, Edmonton’s DeJong Printing Ltd. will begin operating under a new name, nexGen Grafix Inc., as Henk DeJong prepares to build upon his father’s 33-year success.

Henk DeJong has long been involved with the family business, but his father, Stuart DeJong, is now taking on a less active role with the company, which was founded in 1979. nexGen Grafix Inc. will continue to be based out of the same building and provide the same services – “This is strictly a change in name only.”


In January 2012, DeJong Printing installed a new 29-inch, 6-colour Komori Lithrone SX629C, its third new Komori press in the last seven years, which is now the company’s flagship offset machine. A couple of months earlier, DeJong Printing also installed a new 5-colour Kodak NexPress SX2700 to boost its toner production. The company first stepped into toner in May 2009 with the installation of a 12 x 18-inch Xanté Ilumina 502.

Today, the company lists three primary offset presses, including the Lithrone SX629C, a 4-colour Komori (20 x 29-inch format), and a 2-colour Hamada (12 x 18-inch format). According the Henk DeJong, the FSC-certified operation still produces about 70 percent of its work with offset presses, while the remaining 30 percent is handled by its toner capabilities.


Toray Industries Inc. began construction on a new printing-plate factory in the Czech Republic to increase the production of its waterless CTP plates. The Japanese company expects the facility to be operational in early 2014.

Encompassing both coating and converting capabilities, the new Czech production facility is based on an investment of over $50 million, which is aimed at printers involved with newspaper and semi-commercial production in Europe, the Middle East and North America.

“The project to establish European manufacturing capacity for waterless plates is proceeding on schedule and the engineering phase is now substantially completed,” said Toshimitsu Matsumoto, General Manager of Graphics Division, Toray. “Site preparation in Prostejov is in the final stages and the erection of the building that will house the new production line for Toray waterless CTP plates will begin this summer.”


Field-testing of the products from the new plant is expected to begin in late 2013 and commercial sales to the local market will commence in January 2014. This capital investment follows the 2003 development of a modern coating facility in Toray’s industrial complex in Okazaki, Japan, where both letterpress and waterless offset plates are currently produced.



After last week’s announcement about the establishment of a United States sales and service organization called manroland web systems Inc., the new and distinct sheetfed division of manroland released a statement today that it also remains committed to the North American marketplace – both in Canada and the United States.



U.K.-based Langley Holdings, which purchased manroland sheetfed GmbH in February 2012, is expected to name a new CEO for North American in the coming days. Roland Ortbach last week was named CEO for manroland’s web systems operation based in Chicago. When Langley Holdings purchased manroland sheetfed GmbH, the acquisition also included taking over the international marketing organization of manroland AG – currently with a presence in 40 countries. 


“We are exceptionally well positioned to do business,“ stated Michael Mugavero, manroland’s Vice President of Sales for North American, speaking about the sheetfed operation’s commitment. "Under our new ownership, manroland’s North American operations can move forward as a more nimble, flatter entity."

To this end, manroland sheetfed GmbH will be releasing new products at the upcoming drupa 2012 tradeshow in Germany. The company will highlight its ROLAND 700 press with Indexing InlineFoiler, as well as enhancements to make-ready, colour control, inline options and the overall PRINTVALUE umbrella of products.

“We are grateful for the return of support we have received from customers in recent months,“ continued Mugavero. “They are our backbone and our lifeline for the future. Our unrelenting commitment to customers will remain unchanged, as we are in this for the long-haul.”

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