Industry Events

Earlier this month, finishing equipment vendor Sydney Stone presented the second of its eQuip travelling trade shows in Barrie, Ontario. The previous show was held in Cambridge, Ontario in June.

The company demonstrated new supplies and finishing equipment, including the Watkiss Power Square 200 booklet maker and the Matrix 530 laminator. Popular with the attendees was Sydney Stone’s new Gallery Wrap Framing System and Canvas Laminate, which gives paper prints the look and feel of canvas.

“We want to be as accessible as possible, for our customers to know that we want to be there for them,” said Sydney Stone Sales Director Michael Steele. “Not everyone has the time or the ability to travel to a trade show in a major city centre or visit the Sydney Stone show room in Toronto.”

Sydney Stone says it plans on presenting three more shows in Ontario this year, in Ottawa, Hamilton and Oshawa. Dates will be forthcoming.

The Toronto chapter of the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen (IAPHC) held its annual golf tournament, run consecutively for over 40 years, to help raise funds for post-secondary printing education in the region.

Proceeds from the IAPHC event are earmarked to support the RyeTAGA student group within Ryerson University’s Graphic Communications program. The RyeTAGA group travels to compete in the annual journal competition held at the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts conference.

The Toronto IAPHC golf tournament also provides funding for the group’s own Graphic Challenge Awards and Chai Tse Memorial Awards programs, which ultimately presents scholarships for students actively pursuing post-secondary education in Canada’s graphic communications industry.

Heidelberg Canada’s foursome of Tom Maltby, Steve Thomson, Glen Kimber and Don Robinson won the 2013 golf tournament with lowest overall score. The tournament was held at Wooden Sticks Golf Club in Uxbridge, Ontario.

Avanti recently held its annual User Group Conference at the Island Yacht Club in Toronto, which consisted of three days of education, panel sessions, product demonstrations and networking events.

The event also featured speakers such as Jay Mandarino of C.J. Graphics, Kevin Lanuke of Blitzprint, Kimberly Long of Reprodux, Frank Nardi of Print Art, and Darryl Irwin from Deliotte.

Users of Avanti’s MIS and Web-to-print systems had an opportunity to meet the staff, make suggestions and learn new insights on how to increase revenues, reduce costs while streamlining workflows.

Below are some photos from the conference.


More than 600 users of Esko technologies descended on Phoenix last week for the 4-day 2013 Eskoworld conference, eclipsing last year’s record-breaking attendance of around 530 customers.

Last year’s Eskoworld attendance growth was attributed in large part to Esko’s unveiling of several key new products at the drupa trade show in May 2012. Eskoworld 2013 was further buoyed by the fact that Esko has acquired just over 1,100 completely new customers in the past year, which also saw the company’s revenues grow by around eight percent.

Esko’s research and development is supported by its new parent company, Danaher, which continues to gain influence across the printing world with its additional control of X-Rite, Pantone and Videojet, among others.

In the past year, Esko launched new products like the Kongsberg XN cutting table, Esko Suite 12.0 software, Full HD Flexo, and CDI Spark 2420. More than 600 Kongsberg XN cutting tables, for example, have been installed since the technology was first launched at drupa. The Kongsberg XN technology is also providing Esko with a deeper play in the sign and display market. 

The company stated during Eskoworld 2013 that around 70 percent of its customers are directly involved with the packaging supply chain. Esko also estimates that 15 percent of its clients are currently operating in the sign and display market, where it clearly intends to grow through technologies like Kongsberg and Esko Suite. This suggests Esko will focus more intently on commercial printers, who represent substantial investment interests to find new revenue streams beyond traditional sheetfed offset work.

Esko also feels its Full HD Flexo, unveiled at drupa but commercially launched in April 2013, is ready to set a new quality standard in flexography. The technology – building on Esko’s existing HD Flexo product line – is designed to produce a combination of smooth highlight printing and gravure-like solid ink densities. Full HD Flexo, according to Esko, moves beyond the binary discussion of flat top or round top dots to create the best possible print dot structures on one plate.

“This is a giant step forward for flexible packaging converters as the result is high-quality flexible packaging that stands out,” stated Jan Buchweitz, Senior Product Manager Digital Flexo at Esko, when the technology was officially released. Full HD Flexo is currently installed at over 20 trade shops and converters around the world.

At Eskoworld 2013, the company also unveiled version 12.1 of Esko Suite (available July 2013) with a series of new features, including automation tools for gang-run printing on large-format flatbed systems. Using Automation Engine 12.1, multiple odd-shaped designs can automatically be ganged onto a single print sheet layout.

Suite 12.1 includes a new set of Standard Template Workflows for easier handling of prepress and production tasks in typical applications for the folding carton, label and signage sectors. In prepress editors PackEdge or ArtPro, Esko Suite 12.1 users can now define areas on a job for inline visual inspection systems, which receives its setup data directly from Esko Automation Engine. With the inspection area defined upstream and not by the press operator, Esko explains it becomes easier to standardize the production process across multiple sites, presses and operators. First inspection system integrations work with Esko´s technology partner AVT.

CombiPress Support is another new feature found in Suite 12.1, which helps automate prepress tasks when a job – particularly in the label sector – requires different printing processes, such as offset, flexo, toner or screen. The Esko Viewer in Automation Engine 12.1 is now equipped with a barcode and braille reader. In the software space, Eskoworld showed numerous advances with ArtoisCAD, a staple in packaging software currently celebrating its 15-year anniversary, including the launch of ArtiosCAD Enterprise, which stores assets a centralized corporate database in the cloud.

Several of the 100 educational sessions at Eskoworld 2013, including 20 in Spanish, focused on the colour management technologies of X-Rite and Pantone, which Danaher took control of in mid-2012 with the $625 million purchase of X-Rite. Product managers and executives from X-Rite attended Eskoworld to provide updates about their progress with PantoneLIVE, a new cloud-based service providing access to data that is certain to set the new global colour standard. 

PantoneLIVE is built around a purely digital Master Standard library for colour, derived from spectral data. Printing companies will never be able to reproduce the Master Standard, but will instead access what the company refers to as Dependent Standards. These are digital colour libraries based on individual printing processes and Pantone has currently set up 18 Dependent Standards for PantoneLIVE.

Facing the challenges of creating a digital cloud filled with brand colours, PantoneLIVE recently received an important endorsement for its technology direction and progress with the May 23 news that Procter & Gamble, which owns brands like Gillette, Tide and Pampers, is implementing the service. Printing operations will need to pay close attention to the development of PantoneLIVE as product giants like P&G come on board.

“PantoneLIVE is an efficient, effective and seamless technology that saves time and money, and helps ensure design intent makes it to shelf, whether we are creating a new Charmin package design, proofing an Olay label, mixing ink for Tide packaging or assessing the quality of Gillette packaging on press,” said Phil Duncan, Global Design Officer at P&G. “PantoneLIVE is an excellent solution for simplifying how we access digital colour palettes for design, proofing and print. When fully implemented, the productivity benefits will be significant – both internally for P&G and for our suppliers.”

Xeikon has announced it will be hosting one of its Xeikon Café events at the renowned Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on June 12. The event will focus on packaging printing and label production.

“The worldwide label and packaging industry is experiencing massive changes, and printers and converters who understand and embrace these changes will be best positioned for growth,” said Michael V. Ring, President of Xeikon America, Inc. “The Xeikon Café is a great opportunity for printers and converters to network with experts, and each other, and come away with insights and ideas to make this opportunity profitable for their business.”

Topics to be covered will include the current state of the label printing market and continuing trends; strategies and best practices that hold the greatest promise; and what brand owners need from their print suppliers. The topics will be presented by Bob Leahey, Associate Director at Infotrends as well as Manon Chin, Chief Operating Officer of Labels in Motion, a Florida-based label producer.

Interested parties should contact Larry Vogel at (416) 907-6997 to reserve space.

Every April 23, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates World Book and Copyright Day to celebrate the role print has had on world development.

This year, the City of Bangkok has been designated World Book Capital 2013 in recognition of its programs to promote reading among young people and the underprivileged sections of its population.

Now in its 17th year, the celebration reflects on “the changes in books over the long term and the intangible values that should guide us.” It also embraces new technologies in digital books to access knowledge at reduced costs and are not limited by geographic boundaries. UNESCO supports the World Digital Library, which makes a number of texts from around the world available free of charge and in multiple languages to promote intercultural understanding.

“The diversity of books and editorial content is a source of enrichment that we must support through appropriate public policies and protect from uniformity,” writes Irina Bokova, Director General for World Book and Copyright Day 2013. “This bibliodiversity is our common wealth, making books much more than a physical object, for they are our most beautiful invention for sharing ideas beyond the boundaries of space and time.”

The event is supported by the International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Booksellers Federation (IBF), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and the El Centro Regional para el Formento de Libro en América Latina y el Caribe (CERLALC).

For more information, visit the World Book and Copyright Day 2013 website.

The seventh edition of graikf'Art, focused around Quebec's modern printing sector - takes place from April 25 to 27 at the Place Bonaventure in Montreal. More than 80 companies are scheduled to exhibit, ranging from trade printers and regional distributors to some of the industry's largest technology developers. The following companies provided information about what they plan to highlight at the show. For company descriptions and more information, please see the April 2013 issue of PrintAction.

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PDS (Pressdown)
In association with its partner in Quebec, Vallee Graphics, PDS is exhibiting the Rapid X1 label printer that it introduced into the market in November 2012. Pressdown is also exhibiting the new Eclipse LF3 label cutter and laminator, and the Opus Hard Cover Book Binding System and Opus Gold Stamping System. PDS is also discussing its experience with the Platewriter CTP lineup from Glunz, perfect binders, UV coaters, business-card slitters and creasers.

Poste Matik
Poste Matik is exhibiting a range of addressing systems, paper cutters, folding machines, tabbers and business-card cutters. The company is also discussing its experience with inserting systems, mailing equipment, bookletmakers and creasers.

PrintAction is highlighting its recently launched online Buyers’ Guide containing more than 1,300 entries across 235 categories, as well as the most recent print version. PrintAction is also discussing the structure of the 2013 Canadian Printing Awards for those who may want to enter, as well as providing a free subscription for all show attendees.

RB Digital
RB Digital is exhibiting a range of the technologies its distributes like the Brother GT-381 T-Shirt printer, Mimaki UJF-3042HG printer, GCC Lasepro X Series X252RX, Tajima TEMX-C1501 and the Mimaki Print & Cut CJV30-100 Ryonet screen printing/lettering System.

Ricoh Canada
In addition to Web-to-print and production workflow software, Ricoh Canada is exhibiting various imaging systems, including the new Ricoh Pro C901s Graphic Arts + and the Ricoh MP WC2200SP wide format colour MFP, which launched in January 2013. The company is also discussing its Ricoh Business Booster program.

The Silver Sign Media
In addition to discussing trade pricing and logistics, Silver Sign is exhibiting sample applications for election signs and lawn signs, which can include poly-bag, Coroplast and post signs, as well as stickers.

Simple Signman
Simple Signman is exhibiting several of its latest magnetic solutions, including its 48-inch-wide magnetic sheets. In addition to discussing its move into a new location, with designs to improve overall service, Simple Signman is also providing a sample booklet and new information about its MagneCote products. is exhibiting its Profit Pak, which is available for attendees to take away. It includes product samples and strategies for how they can be used to increase printing sales. 

Stahls’ Canada
Stahls’ Canada is exhibiting Hotronix Fusion, Roland BN-20, Roland VersaCAMM 300, DryTac laminator, Roland GX-24, and MAXX 15. The company is also discussing its experience with patches and custom sport-stitch, Great Dane, business in a box, and business bundles.

TAS Films
TAS Films is exhibiting the Media Lifter, which assists in changing and arranging rolls on a printer, Matrix single-sided laminator which works with gloss, matte and specialized films, the Sooper Sign Saw, which handles over-sized cutting, and the Seal 65 MD Pro thermo laminator, which runs at up to 15 feet per minute.

Techno Gestass
Techno Gestass is exhibiting the Roland XR-640 printer (released in November 2012), as well as a Graphtec cutter, Vivid laminator, Royal Sovereign laminator, Oracal (print and cut vinyl), Agfa flatbed UV printer, Fletcher-Terry (vertical substrate cutter), GCC laser engraver, and Rowmark engravable plastics.
Dye-Sublimation zone: The zone will include a Roland SOLJET XF printer (launched April 2, 2013), Metalnox CMD 1800 rotary heat press, Matic Cronos Plus sewing machine (new to Canada), Matic FlexiCut Ultrasonic Cutter (new to Canada), Beaver dye-sublimation paper, Sensient Elvajet dye-sublimation inks (with 30 percent more pigment) and Aberdeen fabrics.

The seventh edition of graikf'Art, focused around Quebec's modern printing sector - takes place from April 25 to 27 at the Place Bonaventure in Montreal. More than 80 companies are scheduled to exhibit, ranging from trade printers and regional distributors to some of the industry's largest technology developers. The following companies provided information about what they plan to highlight at the show. For company descriptions and more information, please see the April 2013 issue of PrintAction.

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Fotolia is exhibiting its newest subscription models (monthly or daily, which require no long-term commitment) and download packages, including a rate of five images for $20 and a 2-for-1 show special. The company also provides a pay-as-you-go model with credits as low as $0.75.

Fujifilm Canada
Fujifilm is premiering its newest Acuity UV hybrid printer, called Acuity Select, which features white and varnish printing. Fujifilm is also exhibiting – with live demonstrations – Colorgate and XMF workflow, the Acuity LED UV printer, Epson S70 and Esko Kongsberg cutting, as well as what the company refers to as a unique POP solution from Visual Magnetics. The company is also discussing its J Press 720 platform, as well as CTP and a range of processless (Ecomaxx-T) and low chemistry (LH-PJ) plate solutions. Also on the booth will be a life-size, 3D board model of a Harley Davidson V-Rod motorcycle produced on an Inca Onset S20i by Artwork Digital of Brazil.

Group ReproGraphX
ReproGraphX is exhibiting several packaging mockups, as well as Pantone spot and metallic colour proofing tools and press targets, rub-on transfers, custom Letraset, hot-stamp-foil transfers, die-cutting, model making, silk-screen film printer, media, RIPs, inkjet supplies and a new 3D printer. is exhibiting several printed samples (un-branded) of its production capabilities, including large-format. The company is also discussing the structure of its reseller portal.

Impression Totale
Impression Totale is exhibiting several of its large-format applications like banners, Plexiglass, Coroplasts, roll-ups, and production samples on substrates up to two inches thick. The company is also discussing its print capabilities based around an HP Indigo press.

Imprimerie Pub Cité 
In addition to introducing its new PubKey product, Pub Cité is highlighting the capabilities of its new HP Indigo 5600 press, as well as white-ink printing samples. The company is also showing samples of its Augmented Reality initiatives, as well as cross-media programs, best practices for QR Codes and new Web-to-print applications for B2B.

KBR Graphics
With one of the larger booths at grafik’Art, KBR Graphics is exhibiting the MGI DP8700 XL, which is a XL format multi-substrate press. The company is also exhibiting several Graphic Whizard products, including the PT MFS SC slitter/score/cutting unit, Micro 530 UV coater, Platinum Scoring Unit, PT 370 SA semi-auto creasing unit, PT 370 A auto creasing unit, PT 370 AKT folding and creasing unit, and the Graphic Whizard 6000 Numbering Unit. KBR is also exhibiting the Standard Horizon PF-P3300 auto table top folder, the Standard Horizon PF-P40 auto floor folder, and a Drylam auto laminator.

Keng Seng Enterprises
With Pantone celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Keng Seng is exhibiting that company’s limited edition publication of Pantone plus series for graphics and multimedia. Keng Seng will have a variety of graphic arts publications on its booth.

Konica Minolta
Konica Minolta is exhibiting several of its newest bizhub systems, including the PRESS C70HC High Chroma, bizhub PRESS C8000, bizhub PRESS 1250, bizhub PRO 951.

MD International
MD International is exhibiting Komori’s unique H-UV curing process, as well as presenting the precision front and side registration on the PSI colour laser mail printer 3655GA. C.P. Bourg is running a live demo on its Bourg Sheet Feeder along with its Bourg Document Finisher E series and Square Edge Module. Riso is on MD’s booth to showcase the RZ1090 duplicator. The company is also highlighting md+ finishing products (paper cutter, laminator, binder, paper folder, seal and shrink machine, shredder).

MultiCam Quebec
MultiCam Quebec is exhibiting how Digital Express provides high-speed registration with routing and knife cutting capabilities in a fast, wide-format sheetfed cutting platform. Producing boxes and printed displays at the show, Digital Express will be equipped with an optional conveyor system, which serves as a vacuum cutting surface and automatically advances the material, for rolled materials and jobs longer than the table. The company is also demonstrating RIP-to-cut, layout-to-cut and automated-to-cut workflows.

ND Graphics
In addition to several new substrates, ND Graphics is exhibiting the Seiko W low-solvent printer, the Mimaki CJV30-160 eco-solvent printer, Matthews Paints, and Bitro LED lighting products.

Océ-Canada is presenting video product demos and samples of its line of display graphic printers and imaging supplies. In particular, the company is discussing its new Océ Arizona 400 Series with six different UV flatbed printers featuring four, six or eight ink channels. The Arizona 400 Series is available in two flatbed sizes.

The seventh edition of graikf'Art, focused around Quebec's modern printing sector, takes place from April 25 to 27 at the Place Bonaventure in Montreal. More than 80 companies are scheduled to exhibit, ranging from trade printers and regional distributors to some of the industry's largest technology developers. The following companies provided information about what they plan to highlight at the show. For company descriptions and more information, please see the April 2013 issue of PrintAction.

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AltiLogix is exhibiting its Repro+ development, which includes Web2print/print request solutions for B2B and B2C clients.

Announcement Converters
The company is highlighting custom envelope converting, new digital papers, letterpress paper, as well as samples made with papers like Stardream, Classic Linen, Classic Crest, Plike, Dali Dore, Astrosilver, Malmero Perle, Glitter Cardstock, Curious Metallics, Curious Cosmic, Esse, BriteHue, Brown Bag Kraft, Clearfold, Speckletone and Curious Translucent.

Association Québécoise de l’industrie de l’imprimé
The AQII is exhibiting to recruit new members and meet the industry in support of its mandate, with a particular focus on the quality and competencies needed for the health and sustainability of printing in Quebec and Canada. AQII is also promoting ICGQ’s Gutenberg Gala competition and the Quebec Print Awareness Campaign,

Artsoft Expo Solutions 
Artsoft is exhibiting two soon-to-be-released products for its custom modular systems, including a new stone panel and a new solid colour wall panel, as well as a system for 10x10 or 10x20 booths.

AXYZ Automation
AXYZ is exhibiting a series of technologies, including the AXYZ 5010 twin head router, Print Registration System and its new Smart Console, as well as a variety of knife cutting tools. The company is also highlighting a low-cost CNC router called Camtech Z7. 

Cascades Fine Papers
Cascades is exhibiting two recently released products with Rolland Opaque Lightweight (launched March 13) and Rolland Enviro100 Satin 50-lb text (launched Jan 30), as well as digital products Rolland Enviro100 Digital Print, Rolland Enviro100 Digital Satin and Rolland Hitech50 (launched October, 2012). The company is also exhibiting Rolland Enviro100 Satin, Rolland Enviro100 Print, Rolland Opaque50 and Cascades Enviro Kraft Print. Cascades is also discussing Rolland Enviro100 Copy and ReproPlus50 on its booth.

Compuset is unveiling its new direction as a packaging and specialty product manufacturer, continuing a transformation from strictly producing marketing materials. In addition to running a Discovery Channel video from How It’s Made, recorded on its production floor, Compuset is exhibiting its work with folding carton, 40-point substrates, structural design services, specialty products with die cutting and gluing, embossing, U-glue, 1- and 2-way mailers, multiple perfs, scores, and built-in envelopes. The company is also promoting its one-year-old trade services division.

Domtar is highlighting its new online Cougar Paper Community at, which includes a gallery of designs where creatives showcase their work produced on Cougar paper. The dedicated Website includes a range of projects from brochures and books to identity pieces, posters and invitations. The site also links to Domtar’s Blueline Blog with press tips for working with uncoated paper, as well as related resources like promotions, designer events and swatch-books. 

Drytac Canada
Drytac is exhibiting three primary solutions in Visual Magnetics Systems, WindowTac and the new Viziprint (released in Fall 2012). The company is also discussing its experience with banner stands, medias and laminating machines.

Duo Display
Duo Display is exhibiting products like Xpression (fabric pop-up displays), Easy (fabric back wall), Hello.Xpress (an all-in-one solution), Virage (curved fabric back wall), Panoramic (modular exhibit system with a seamless fabric graphic), and Light-box (LED light panel).

In addition to exhibiting several product samples, Duroflex is highlighting its niche in distributing hard-to-source products and ability to streamline the order/delivery cycle. The company’s product range includes gloss text and cover, offset and carbonless papers, as well as envelopes, pressure sensitive labels, synthetic papers, among others. Representatives from Spinnaker and Nekoosa are also on the Duroflex booth.

EM Plastique
EM Plastique is exhibiting so-sign, exposure system, GE LED, Permlight, Tridonic, Allanson, 3A, laminators, Matraplast, Signcomp Signalex and Lipco products.

Epson Canada
Epson is exhibiting several of its recently released large-format printers, including: SureColor S70670 for signage vehicle graphics, fine art and packaging; SureColor T5000 for architectural, engineering, GIS and corporate graphics; and SureColor F6070, which features dye-sublimation transfer for polyester fabric and promotional products. The company is also highlighting the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 for proofing & packaging.

Ernest Green & Son
Ernest Green is exhibiting the HP FB500 UV flatbed printer, 61-inch HP L26500 latex printer, 64-inch Mutoh Valuejet 1638 dual head, EcoSol printer, Graphtec cutter, Onyx RIP and SAI FlexiSign RIP.

The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) announced it has expanded its annual packaging, printing and converting show, INFO*FLEX. INFO*FLEX will be held in San Diego this year between April 29 and 30 at the San Diego Convention Center. The show will grow with 15 additional booths as attendance doubles from 2012’s event.

Jay Kaible, Director of Business development and membership said, "As we stated in our promotions, the printers/converters are going to be there in full force. We’re not kidding! As it stands now, registrations for FTA’s Annual Forum and the INFO*FLEX Exhibition are up more than 100 percent from this time last year." He added, "If you want to get in front of your customers, there’s no better place to do so than at the most comprehensive event for the packaging, printing and converting industry... only 15 booths available so reserve your booth today."

More than 200 industry suppliers and manufacturers, including 3M, DuPont, Flint, Kodak, MacDermid, Sun Chemical and many others, will be showcasing the latest in packaging and converting technology. The event organizer is expecting an attendance of more than 1,600 industry members from around the globe. The event also hosts a celebration of the FTA’s 55th anniversary and will be raffling off $5,500 in prize monies throughout the show.

Immediately following the close of INFO*FLEX on Monday, a Social Networking Reception is planned. Attendees will converge on the outside terrace of the San Diego Convention Center Sails Pavilion, where they will be treated to beautiful views of the San Diego Bay.

In a statement by Canon Europe’s Head of Production Printing Group, Patrick Chapuis, it was announced that Canon would not be part of the Ipex 2014 show to be held in London just over a year from now.

“This has not been an easy decision to make as we have previously had two successful shows at Ipex,” said Chapuis. “However, just as we have encouraged our customers to ‘see the bigger picture’, we have had to look at our own bigger picture. This has involved a continuous assessment of the ways in which we communicate with our customers.”

“We remain fully committed to our customers and to the printing industry as a whole, so with Canon and Océ solutions now addressing all segments of the market, we need to adopt the strategy that will most benefit our customers and indeed their customers.

“Therefore, while we will continue to consider future European industry events and their fit with our business and marketing plans, we will also continue to invest in our extensive network of showroom facilities and in a series of customer focused events across the region.”

Canon’s withdrawal is the latest in a line of industry pullbacks from the show. Major industry players such as Heidelberg, Komori, Kodak, Xerox, Agfa, and HP have all announced it will not be at the London show.

As a response to the latest withdrawal, show organizer Informa Exhibitions made the following statement:

“Ipex has been an integral part of the international printing industry for over 100 years, and therefore we do not wish to compromise the brand’s credibility. We will collaborate with all stakeholders to determine the role Ipex has to play to provide today’s printer and their customers with the ideas, insights and solutions to effectively promote the power of print media and its integration in the marketing mix. Further to these consultations, we will issue a statement about the future direction of Ipex shortly.”

Ipex 2014 is the first year the show has moved from Birmingham to London after three decades. Informa Exhibitions so far has had to scale back the show since its initial announcement in 2011, from 100,000 square metres to 60,000 square meters and from eight days to six.

Nick Howard, President of Howard Graphic Equipment and PrintAction contributor, made a statement in response to published figures from NPES showing a continued decline in machinery sales. Howard refutes the published numbers, claiming that stability is returning to the industry through what he sees as an increase in late model sheetfed press sales in 2012. 

Below is his full statement:

Although the NPES recent announcement of U.S. Printing Equipment shipments indicates a continued retraction in machinery purchases, this does not do justice to what we, at Howard Graphic Equipment, are noticing.

Since the recent banking crisis of 2008, it has not really been all about the general economy sucking work from printers, but rather the continued growth of on-screen communications reducing and, in some cases, eliminating products we produce. Data distribution, in all forms, can be a losing proposition for our industry as many traditional printing companies have found out first hand. 

However, the renaissance period looks set to begin as major consolidations are taking place. This is a good thing as currently the amount of out of date machinery exceeds capacity. In the year 2012, we have certainly seen an uptick in sales from across the United States with sales of late model highly-specified sheetfed presses. The NPES numbers don’t reflect this resurgence. Certainly, it remains that printers (for the most part) still hesitate to commit to new machines. Perhaps, this is in anticipation of the watershed digital age but, at least, for the present—with very high initial costs and low productivity—the digital offerings are limited to only a few choice applications.

Mergers & Acquisitions First and Foremost for 2013

For the year 2013, we look for further realignment of the printing industry with many printers still eager to amalgamate or be purchased by more aggressive firms that have changed their structures and are aggressively looking for more sales. The Web-to-Print business is thriving for a simple reason—sales. There are many firms that have reached a fork in the road. They ponder whether investing in high-tech machinery is the answer or merging with another who has it. The new breed of owner is investing and, more than ever, interested in expanding this year. 

Expect 2013 to be a welcome continuation of last year, with stronger margins and positive cash-flows for those that see print as an allied industry not an exclusive one.

Nick Howard, President, 
Howard Graphic Equipment Ltd.
Celebrating 46 Years of Serving the Canadian Printer

In a response to numerous companies pulling out of the show, the organizer of next year’s Ipex has announced changes which will see the show shrink by two days as well as 40,000 square metres.

Informa Exhibitions says the changes will be a part of a fresh focus for Ipex to integrate Cross Media, making it “the only international event that brings together the whole print and media supply chain.” Part of this change is reducing the show floor size from 100,000 square metres to 60,000 square metres.

“Informa Exhibitions is 100 percent invested in Ipex 2014 to ensure we respond to supplier and industry feedback and deliver a world-class international event that truly reflects and addresses the needs of the market it represents,” states Informa Exhibitions Managing Director, Peter Hall. “Ipex 2014 will reflect the medium-term future for graphic communications in developed markets as well as emerging markets in the coming years by placing a clear emphasis on digital and cross media technologies, strategies and solutions to effectively promote the power of print media and its integration in the marketing mix.”

The latest two companies to pull out of the London show are Komori and Kodak, with Kodak's Chris Payne, Director and Vice President of Commercial Marketing, announcing its withdrawal this week:

“As the marketing landscape shifts, Kodak and other major suppliers are taking a different approach to connect with customers more often and more effectively. After much discussion with our customers and Kodak teams around the world, we have altered the marketing mix to include a higher number of customer engagement activities to help them make decisions. To that end, Kodak will not exhibit at Ipex 2014 in London and will significantly reduce its participation in conventional trade shows.”

Komori, which made an announcement last week, stated: 

“Although Komori announced that it would exhibit at Ipex 2014 in May 2012 during drupa 2012, Komori Corporation and Komori International (Europe) B.V. have reconsidered participation in Ipex 2014 and decided to not exhibit. The decision not to exhibit has been taken after organizing internal meetings and discussions with customers as well as by investigating market developments within the EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia) region. In Europe Komori will further evolve their successful events such as individual demonstrations and open house events as well as supporting their European distributor network participating in local graphic trade shows.”

The Ipex printing trade show, to be held in 2014 in London, faced further setbacks after more printing technology companies have announced they will not be exhibiting.

Xerox and Landa have separately announced they will not have a presence at the quadrennial British show. This news follows the summer 2012 announcements by Heidelberg, Agfa and HP that the companies will also not participate.

“In times of change and transformation, one is given the unique opportunity to look at things differently – to step out of the comfort zone and take a different look at how things get done,” writes Jeff Jacobson, President of Xerox Global Graphic Communications. “As an anchor exhibitor for many years, this decision was not an easy one. But we listened to what our customers were saying around the globe and their direction to us was very clear. They wanted to connect with us in different ways, with regional and personal engagements.”

The organizers of Ipex released a statement, writing, “Our research shows unequivocally that international visitors still consider landmark industry events such as Ipex to be the most effective means of researching and evaluating new products and suppliers, and to be on a par with supplier sales visits for making purchasing decisions.”

Landa announced its plans in an interview with UK publication PrintWeek, in which Benny Landa states that his company will not participate in any trade show currently on the calendar, save for the next drupa in 2016. “It doesn’t make sense for us. People expect to place orders at a show, and that’s not our objective at the moment.”

UPDATE: For a gallery of photos from Thursday's event, please visit PrintAction's Facebook page.

More than 270 people were in Toronto last night to celebrate outstanding achievement in Canada’s printing industry at PrintAction magazine's 7th annual Canadian Printing Awards, hosted by Dianne Buckner of the CBC.

Around 75 awards were handed out to technology suppliers and printers in Industry Achievement, Quality Printing and Environmental Printing categories. Over 200 printing submissions were on display at the event, leading many of the winners to remark how printing in Canada is clearly on a world-class level.

Much of this quality is naturally led through the highly competitive Toronto market, but the Canadian Printing Awards illustrated outstanding achievement in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia and across Ontario, with printers from the Western provinces having their strongest showing at the 7th annual competition.

In conjunction with a strong national representation in printing, this year’s event also featured the first public appearance of the proposed Printing Industries of Canada (PIC) association, which is aiming for an April 2013 launch. Congratulations to all winners of the 7th annual Canadian Printing Awards, listed below. A complete report on the awards program will be featured in the January issue of PrintAction.

Recipients of the 2012 Canadian Printing Awards

George Kallas, Founder and Chairman, MET Fine Printers

Ward Griffin, President & CEO, The Lowe-Martin Group

Mike Meshkati, President, Sina Printing

Rhino Print Solutions, South Korea: Memories of the Heart

Self Promotion

Gold, Emerson Clarke Printing
Silver, PDI
Bronze, Pazazz Printing

Brochures & Booklets

Gold, Colour Innovations (Best of Show finalist)
Silver, Rhino Print Solutions
Silver, MET Fine Printers
Bronze, Willow Printing
Bronze, Rhino Print Solutions

Business & Annual Reports
Gold, Rhino Print Solutions
Silver, Rhino Print Solutions
Silver, MET Fine Printers
Bronze, Image Four

Direct Mail
Gold, PDI
Silver, Hemlock Printers
Bronze, The Lowe-Martin Group
Bronze, Andrews Direct Marketing

Gold, Flash Reproductions
Silver, The Lowe-Martin Group
Silver, Mi5 Print & Digital
Bronze, Rhino Print Solutions
Bronze, St. Joseph Communications

Gold, C.J. Graphics, Printers & Lithographers
Silver, C.J. Graphics, Printers & Lithographers
Bronze, Hemlock Printers

Books (Hard cover, soft cover and book jackets)
Gold, Rhino Print Solutions (Best of Show)
Gold, Hemlock Printers (Best of Show finalist)
Silver, Anstey Book Binding
Bronze, Flash Reproductions
Bronze, The Lowe-Martin Group

Gold, Colour Innovations
Silver, Priority Printing
Bronze, C.J. Graphics, Printers & Lithographers

Packaging Printing (All processes)
Gold, Produlith
Silver, C.J. Graphics, Printers & Lithographers
Silver, Pazazz Printing
Bronze, Goldrich Printpak
Bronze, Produlith

Labels (All processes)
Gold, The Lowe-Martin Group (Best of Show finalist)
Silver, The Lowe-Martin Group
Bronze, Cambridge Labels

Gold, Anstey Book Binding
Silver, Hemlock Printers
Bronze, The Lowe-Martin Group

Gold, Pacific Bindery Services
Silver, C.J. Graphics, Printers & Lithographers
Bronze, PDI
Bronze, St. Joseph Communications

Display Graphics
Gold, Simpson Screen Print & Lithography
Silver, Promoflex International
Bronze, C.J. Graphics, Printers & Lithographers

Most Environmentally Progressive Printing Project
Gold, Hemlock Printers
Silver, Hemlock Printers
Bronze, Friesens
Bronze, The Lowe-Martin Group

Most Environmentally Progressive Printing Company
Gold, Hemlock Printers
Silver, The Lowe-Martin Group
Bronze, Symcor ISS

Most Environmentally Progressive Vendor
Gold, HP Canada
Silver, Kodak
Bronze, Prairie Pulp + Paper

Most Environmentally Progressive Printing Technology

Gold, Prairie Pulp + Paper
Silver, Hostmann-Steinberg
Bronze, Goldrich Printpak

Best Online Presence, Printer

Gold, The Printing House
Silver, Colour Time Printing and Digital Imaging
Bronze, SinaLite

Best Online Presence, Vendor

Gold, Sydney Stone

Best Marketing Campaign, Printer
Gold, The Printing House
Gold, Kempenfelt Group

Best Marketing Campaign, Vendor

Gold, Unisource Canada

Best Community Program 

Gold, MET Fine Printers
Silver, Symcor ISS
Silver, The Printing House
Bronze, C.J. Graphics, Printers & Lithographers

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