On November 15, Advertek is to begin operating out of its new 30,000 square foot printing plant, designed by co-owners Joe Montalbano and Simon Spina.

Construction on Advertek's new plant (located at 100 Innovation Dr. in Vaughan, Ontario) began in June 2010 after months architectural and business planning.

Advertek was founded 14 years ago and Montalbano and Spina took over ownership, along with a third partner no longer involved in the business, back in 1999. At the time, Advertek was an 8-employee shop running a 4-colour Solna press and turning over about $800,000 in sales every year.

At just 45 and 46 years of age, respectively, Montalbano and Spina have enacted 5-year business plans to grow their printing business, since taking ownership. The business partners hope their new facility will double Advertek's annual sales revenue, currently generating about $9 million, within the next five years.

For a more complete report on Advertek's new venture, please see the cover story of PrintAction's August 2010 issue.

Bassett Direct has doubled its production and warehouse space by moving into a facility in Richmond Hill, Ontario. According to a company statement, the new 35,000-square-foot facility features one of the largest humidified toner-based production rooms in Canada.

“We felt now was the time to invest in our future and form a foundation for our growth,” said Bassett, President of Bassett Direct. “Our plans for expanding our business over the next five years are very aggressive.”

Founded in 1994, Basset Direct focuses on direct-mail and variable-data printing markets. The company employs 44 full-time staff and recently added a second Xeikon 5000 press to its production floor.

Montreal-based Etiquettes Profecta, led by President Pierre Roberge, is preparing to move into a new 39,300-square-foot facility in nearby Saint Hubert to accommodate its recent production growth and future expansion plans.

To avoid disruption to its current service and production flow, the company plans to make its move in several phases leading into September 2010. Etiquettes Profecta (Profecta Labels) Inc. was established in 1992 and currently focuses on both flexography and toner-based printing for clients in Canada and the United States.

In an April 2010 article that appeared in PrintAction magazine, writer Victoria Gaitskell describes Profecta's significant growth over the past couple years, including a 23 percent growth in sales and the opening of 166 new accounts in 2009. Much of that growth is attributed to the company's move into toner-based production four years ago, which now involves two HP Indigo ws4500s.

Profecta, which primarily focuses on providing labels and coupon projects for the trade, also runs an Aquaflex 8 line for flexography production.

The Specialty Products Group of Cascades yesterday broke ground on a new building, at its East Angus mill in Quebec, for a recycled-pulp unit for the production of kraft-type recycled pulp. Representing a $10-million investment, the building will house a pulping machine, loading platforms and a warehouse for waste paper.

According to the company, the unit will be able to convert daily more than 200 tonnes of old corrugated cardboard into recycled pulp, which allows Cascades to increase the recycled content of its kraft papers from 43 percent to 70 percent. The old corrugated cardboard to be converted will come from the company's sorting centres.

Cascades Specialty Products Group employs over 2,500 people across 44 business units located in North America and Europe. Considering all of its divisions, Cascades, led by Alain Lemaire, President and CEO, employs close to 12,500 people in more than 100 production units.

Melville, New York will be the home of Canon's headquarters for the Americas, joining its existing regional headquarters of Tokyo and London. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony last week for the new building. The new building will oversee both North and South American operations.

"Over the past 40 years, Canon U.S.A. has developed strong roots in the Long Island community and we are thrilled to continue to make Long Island our home," said Joe Adachi, President and CEO, Canon U.S.A. "Canon is very grateful for the support we have received from every level of government and the local community to bring this new, state-of-the-art facility from concept to reality. We are committed to continuing our role as an active member of the Long Island business and local community and look forward to moving into our new home in Melville."

The building will be built to meet LEED Gold Certification Standards, meaning it will have to conform to strict energy-use guidelines both during the construction process as well as after the building is complete. The new headquarters will sit on 52.17 acres in Suffolk county, near the Long Island Expressway and provide over 2,000 jobs for the region. The building itself will be five stories tall and have a total of 700,000 square feet. The company moved its U.S. headquarters to Lake Success, Long Island in the 1970s with about 80 employees; today it has over 1,200 employees in Long Island.

Sun Chemical today displayed its commitment to food-package printing by opening what it states to be its most  innovative manufacturing plant in the world, located in Frankfurt, Germany. Representing an investment of €4 million, the new facility is dedicated to producing sheetfed packaging inks.

According to the company, the facility features the most modern mixers and mills on the market, process control computers, as well as two new blending stations for both low migration inks and conventional inks. These new blending stations are housed in separate buildings to avoid cross-contamination.

“Food package printers are facing tremendous challenges today,” said Rudi Lenz, CEO of Sun Chemical, in a press release. “In addition to cost pressures and stiff competition, they also face demanding sustainability requirements and some of the strictest ink migration standards on the market. Our customers rely on us to provide them with solutions that help them meet those challenges."

To ensure the purity of the inks manufactured at the Frankfurt facility, all raw materials are hand-inspected to make sure they contain no contaminants and have low odour as required by European food regulations.

The plant's geographical location, according to Sun Chemical, means 80 percent of what is produced at the plant can reach customers within a 24-hour timescale.

In response to the growing plate demand in China and the Asia Pacific region, Kodak is opening a second production line for its Xiamen printing plate manufacturing facility. The expanded facility in China’s southeastern city will grow Kodak’s manufacturing capacity for offset products in the fast-growing market.

“China and the Asia Pacific region are key markets, and the expanded Xiamen plant gives us closer proximity and enhanced capability in serving our customers in this part of the world,” said Douglas Edwards, General Manager and Vice President, Prepress Solutions, and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. “The second manufacturing line in Xiamen will bring our offset production capability to the next level, as this operation will support the manufacturing of Kodak’s leading edge portfolio.”

The manufacturing line will produce CTP plates for the Greater Asia Region and will supply other regions with certain plates. The plant will support the development of current and new products.

“The expanded manufacturing line in Xiamen will introduce Kodak’s cutting edge production technologies, which will make the plant the most advanced plate manufacturing facility on our global map ,” said Diane McCue, General Manager, Printing Plates, Graphic Communications Group, and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company.

VistaPrint has announced it will be constructing a new 90,000-square-foot facility in Jamaica to handle customer support and design for its customers.

The company has just finalized a land purchase in Montego Bay, Jamaica, a city which has been home to VistaPrint's English language support since 2003. Over the past three years, the site has also housed the company's rapidly expanding design, copywriting and marketing services teams.

"Jamaica has proven to be an ideal location for our customer service operations. This project shows VistaPrint's commitment to the country and provides us ample room for growth while offering our current and future employees an ideal workplace," said VistaPrint Jamaica General Manager, Roger Williams. "This new construction is important to the future of VistaPrint; not only will it help us better serve our growing customer base, but as a 'green' facility, will allow us to contribute to protecting our environment as well."

The company currently employs 1,850 people worldwide and services more than 120 countries in around the world through two manufacturing facilities. The company is headquartered in The Netherlands. The company has recently started offering website design capabilities for its customers through the use of do-it-yourself tools and templates.

Regis Rehel, President Worldcolor Canada, announced that the company (formerly Quebecor World) plans to consolidate its Greater Toronto Area magazine, catalogue and in-line direct mail operations into one, multi-purpose facility.

“This consolidation will allow us to provide our Ontario-based customers the same scope and quality of services in one multi-purpose facility,” stated Regis Rehel, President Worldcolor Canada, in a press release. “This consolidation is the result of careful analysis and planning that will allow us to reduce our cost structure while improving service to our customers.”

The company stated that its Toronto-area production facilities and sales offices will be located at its Aurora, Ontario, plant, which rests on the outside of the city’s core. As part of this move, operations conducted at Worldcolor’s Richmond Hill facility will be transferred to the Aurora plant.
The company continued to explain that Worldcolor’s Aurora facility will produce magazines, catalogues, retail inserts and inline direct mail products for Canadian publishers and retailers. The consolidation of the Toronto area operations will result in the reduction of approximately 200 employee positions, while approximately 50 new positions will be created at the Aurora facility. The consolidation is expected to be completed by the end of March, 2010.

German press maker manroland AG has converted a “time-honoured” hall – built in the late 19th century – at its Augsburg factory into the new Print Technology Center to advance newspaper and commercial web offset printing.

The Print Technology Center (PTC) site once housed the August Riedinger engineering works, which manroland describes as a secret ammunition factory during the Second World War. At the end of the war, it was used as an assembly hall for Poly automatic presses and, more recently, as a testing site.  

“The PTC Augsburg is an investment in the future of web offset,” said Paul Steidle, Executive Board Member for manroland Webfed Printing Systems. The company describes its PTC activities as a 3-step training program – basic training, in-depth training and advanced workshop.

manroland PTCThe PTC holds a COLORMAN XXL, with APL logistics, for what the company refers to as its practical-training sessions, along with a heatset printing system and a full prepress department for newspaper and commercial web printing. The PTC site also offers management training courses, and PraxisSeminar or PraxisDialog events. On an annual basis, manroland hosts training courses for about 1,000 customers and partners.

PTC also holds what the company refers to as its printcom laboratory to look at technical findings for inks, dampening solution and types of paper. The site is also set up for printnet and postpress seminars.

Kodak has decided to move the development of Prinergy and associated software to facilities in Israel and China from its long-standing site in Vancouver. Kodak’s Israeli location is already heavily involved in the development of Kodak technology, particularly around colour servers, while its Chinese operation also has experience in developing applications like ColorFlow and drivers for platesetters.

The Vancouver site itself will continue to employ more than 500 people, Jon Bracken told PrintAction. Bracken, General Manager of Kodak’s Unified Workflow Solutions Group, could not provide a number in relation to expected layoffs at the Vancouver site, but he indicated the facility is to now shift its software focus toward building custom solutions for large-scale clients. The Vancouver facility will also continue its technical support and marketing operations.

Over the past four years, the Vancouver site has led much of Kodak’s software development around applications like Prinergy, Insite, Preps, ColorFlow, NewsManager, and PowerPack. In 2005, Kodak spent US$980 million to purchase Creo Inc., which originally engineered Prinergy out of Vancouver in correlation with Dan Gelbart’s groundbreaking CTP work. Gelbart, who now holds more than 100 patents, founded Creo in Vancouver in 1983, with business partner Ken Spencer.

PollardWhile unveiling its third-quarter results, yesterday, Winnipeg-based Pollard Banknote Income Fund announced plans to close its production facility in Kamloops, British Columbia, by February 2010. The move is expected to save Pollard $4 million per year.

"While closing down any facility is a very difficult decision, we believe that it is critical that Pollard strive to be the lowest cost producer in our industry," said John Pollard, Co-Chief Executive Officer. "The continued competitive marketplace makes this decision something that we are required to do to work towards that goal."

Under the Pollard Holdings Limited Partnership division, the company is one of North America’s largest providers of products and services to lottery and charitable gaming industries around the world. The company believes it is Canada's largest provider of instant-win scratch tickets and the third-largest producer of such tickets in the world.

Pointing to gains on foreign currency contracts, Pollard LP had sales of $48.4 million during the three months, ended September 30, 2009, compared to $44.1 million in the same period last year. Gross profit increased to $11.4 million in the third quarter of 2009, from $9.9 million in the third quarter of 2008.

"Our new press implementation is continuing and production volumes produced on this press have increased significantly. Improved cost efficiencies will continue to accrue going forward due to the efficiencies gained from this new technology,” said Pollard.

"Based on expected variations in order patterns, we are anticipating lower volumes during our fourth quarter consistent with our experience during previous years. The instant ticket lottery market, however, continues to show good resilience during these difficult economic times and our overall expectation is for this market strength to continue."

Free LibraryAfter The Free Library of Philadelphia threatened to shut down all 54 of its facilities on October 2, a new vote by the local legislature will result in the needed funds reaching the system, which traces its roots back to Benjamin Franklin and the year 1731.

The vote in the Pennsylvania State Senate was far from unanimous, however, as bill 1828 was finally passed by a
positive margin of 32 to 17.

“For all of you who have been following the saga over the city's budget crisis, this is the legislation that was needed for the City of Philadelphia to avoid the Doomsday Plan C budget scenario, which would have resulted in the layoff of 3,000 city employees and forced the closing of all libraries,” reads a statement from The Free Library.

“We are enormously grateful to everyone who advocated on our behalf. Thousands of letters to state legislators were collected from our libraries, and countless others made calls and sent emails underscoring how important public libraries are to the economic, educational and social life of our city.”

President Najib Jamal completed the move of Prodigy Graphics to a location on Millway Avenue in Concord, Ontario. The printing company was previously housed in a 150,000-square-foot plant in nearby Brampton, Ontario.
RRD MIL plantNearly a year after acquiring the MIL plant assets of bankrupt Grafikom, R.R. Donnelley last week held an open house, attended by some 400 people, to re-launch the financial- and marketing-focused printing facility in Toronto.

R.R. Donnelley (RDD) announced in December 2008 that it had purchased the assets of Grafikom’s MIL facility, based in downtown Toronto. Grafikom, which had six printing operations across Canada, fell into receivership at the end of 2008, without filing for bankruptcy protection, and owed millions of dollars across the printing industry, including over $2.2 million to paper companies, around $700,000 to a number of smaller Toronto-area printers, $400,000 to packaging companies, and more than $900,000 to various finishing operations.

The re-launch of the MIL organization, however, marks new life for one of Toronto’s most-visible printing operations, which is now backed by what many regard as the world’s largest printing company – headquartered in Chicago.

“The re-launch of the MIL printing facility in Toronto complements our existing manufacturing platform, enabling us to provide significant added value to our customers and other organizations that have historically been serviced by the MIL operation,” said Allen Hallis, President of RR Donnelley Canada. “We are even better positioned to provide coast-to-coast print management services and to be our customers' first choice for comprehensive print communications."
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