Ideon Packaging of Richmond, BC, is leveraging a new HP Scitex 15500 corrugated press first installed in September 2016. The packaging printer started as a brown box supplier, but is differentiating itself in the market with the HP Scitex digital press to create point of purchase displays.

Ideon explains the move toward digital printing technologies is largely based on the movement toward customization in packaging, including its growing Point-of-Purchase (POP) display business. The company, which has been in the packaging industry for more than 15 years, rolled out the HP Scitex 15500 press as an upgrade from a previous HP large-format printer Ideon had used since 2012.

Just a few months ago, the company expanded into an additional 20,000-square-foot facility dedicated entirely to meeting the demand for digitally printed corrugated boxes and POP displays.

“We’re seeing a major trend toward digitally printed displays in the point of purchase area,” said Rick Van Poele, President and CEO at Ideon. “With digital, we are able to design and deliver a highly customized mock-up POP display before we even meet with the customer, so it’s completely ready for them to see when they come in. Sometimes we’re even able to send them a sample display as a surprise.”

Van Poele explains Ideon is highly focused on customization and differentiation through its digital printing platform. He continues to point out that tetail brands, particularly in the food and beverage industry, are looking to surprise, delight and engage their customers with POP design and incredible full color graphics. Some of Ideon’s biggest customers include both large and small beer and wine labels throughout Canada and the Northwest United States.

“Most brands have realized package design needs to be dynamic to entice consumers, but many are now realizing that the concept has to extend to a memorable and unique POP display in order to engage with consumers on a personal and emotional level,” said Van Poele, adding that millennials consumers in particular gravitate toward unique displays.

Since moving to digital printing less than five years ago, Van Poele said Ideon has doubled its business and now employs about 100 staff to continue to meet growing demand. The new investment in HP Scitex technology, he said, is helping its customers transition into short-run digital printing, whether that is 50 or 500 displays.

“A lot of the business we are picking up today, these are customers who weren’t buying displays at all,” he said. “Ideon created a market and got people excited because of the digital side of the business”

Van Poele explains that Ideon’s graphic and structural designers constantly look for different ways to reinvent POP displays, including experimenting with moving parts and flashing lights. “Ultimately, retailers need to explore new ways to get their products to stand out.”
With the installation of the Fortus 900mc Gen. 2, Niagara College is the country’s only material beta testing facility for Stratasys 3D printers.

The Niagara College advanced manufacturing division acquired the new printer with funding support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). It is housed at the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Centre at Niagara College’s Welland campus.

The Fortus 900mc is the most advanced FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) system, capable of printing objects that measure more than 36 x 24 x 36 inches and providing an unlimited materials selection including highly specialized materials for medical, dental, aerospace, automotive, food production and general manufacturing., the online division of Sina Printing Inc. based in Markham, Ontario, one of Canada’s largest trade printing operations, concluded a multiple press integration of Digital Information’s InkZone colour management technology, sold and installed by CMYK Distributors. The installation of InkZone CIP data, ink-presets and closed-loop technology was applied on three of SinaLite’s 40-inch Heidelberg presses.
Founded more than two decades ago, Sina Printing today operates out of a 100,000-square foot facility with several high-end presses and a full bindery. is a trade-only ecommerce website, offering services to resellers of print such as printers, brokers, designers, copy houses, sign shops and marketing agencies throughout North America.
The InkZone solution at includes three 40-inch X-Rite IntelliTrax colour scanning systems. IntelliTrax is X-Rite’s automated colour bar scanning technology featuring the Pantone library for integration with InkZone. CMYK Distributors explains IntelliTrax automatically scans the colour bar of a typical press sheet in less than 15 seconds and reports the information to InkZone Loop instantly.

“InkZone press automation technology is definitely one of the smartest investments we’ve made in our pressroom,” said Michael Meshkati, President of  “By installing InkZone on our three 40-inch Heidelbergs, we are up to speed with the latest in automation, waste reduction, and colour control technology.”

“With InkZone, all scanned sheets are recorded and reports for any print job can be extracted to show compliance with given standards or specific brand colours,” continued Meshkati. “Further, the overall speed and accuracy of incoming colour data, as well as data sent to the press for adjustment during the run, allows us to be much more consistent and productive.”

CMYK Distributors explains the InkZone Ink-Presets and Closed Loop solution features the ability to preset minimum ink-key opening thresholds. The technology also leverages colour bar patches that allow for G7 compatible data readings, as well as a calibration curve for a given set of printing conditions that can be continuously corrected and will gradually approach an optimum. The distribution company, continued to explain the technology provides automatic measurement and evaluation of colour bars and then direct, digital feedback of the appropriate ink-key adjustments. InkZone also provides Best Match tools for printing toward a specific Delta E and adjusts the target density automatically.

“As one of the largest trade printers in North America, colour consistency is critical to’s business. With InkZone, is at the forefront in terms of color control,” said Mark Williams, Director of Sales for CMYK Distributors.  

CMYK Distributors, headquartered in Weymouth, MA, is a distributor and installer of graphics and printing products, which includes being the exclusive distributor of the InkZone product line.
Digital Edge has installed a Duplo DC-616 PRO, purchased through Sydney Stone, into its Mississauga, Ontario, facility. For 15 years, Digital Edge has been a specialist in print, media and mailing services, including its long-term status as a Canada Post Expert.

“We had been thinking about a slitter, cutter, creaser for some time,” said Bob Shea President of Digital Edge. “We have lots of work that is done on a standard template and we had been using the guillotine on them which was a lot of inefficient labour.”

The Duplo DC-616 PRO slitter/cutter/creaser is aimed at short-run, on-demand digital printing work. Designed to remove white borders and prevent toner cracking on colour documents, the all-in-one finisher can process up to six slits, 25 cuts, and 20 creases in a single pass.

“This Duplo 616 PRO completes a wide range of jobs and does them very well,” said Michael Steele of Sydney Stone. “From business cards to creasing and cutting down book covers to making event tickets the Duplo DC 616 PRO is extremely versatile.”

With automatic setup tools and quick changeovers, explains Sydney Stone, the DC-616 PRO can finish an array of full-bleed digital applications like greeting cards, invitations, brochures, book covers, photos, and 24-up business cards without additional modules required.
Imageworks Print & Prepress of Richmond Hill, Ontario, installed a Multigraf CP375 Duo Touchline, purchased through PDS, which is a creasing and perforating system aimed at mid- to high-volume runs.

Equipped with two creasing tools (male/ female) and a cross perforating tool, the CP375 DUO performs up to 20 creases and 20 perforations simultaneously in a single pass. An optional strike-perforating tool can be added to the system for increased versatility.
Battlefield Graphics of Burlington, Ontario, over the past two years been enhancing its production platform through a multi-million-dollar investment in new equipment, centred around the installation of a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-106-7+L press. The commercial printer, established in 1964, has also added a Heidelberg Versafire CV, Promatrix 106 CS and Polar System 2. Battlefield currently employs 60 people in two locations.

These four major capital-equipment investments were put into service throughout 2016. The Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-106 is capable of producing conventional and UV print jobs at 18,000 impressions per hour. It is equipped with IST UV curing technology; Inpress Control, an automated colour and register system; AutoPlate Pro for fully automated plate changing; and the Prinect Press Center with Intellistart.

To leverage the Speedmaster XL-106 and provide unique finishing for its high-end print work, Battlefield also invested in a Promatrix 106 CS die-cutting system. “We can provide so much more with this machine, regardless of the substrate we are working with,” said Jerry Theoret, President and CEO of Battlefeild. “It is a whole new offering for us.” The die-cutting system joins another new investment in a Polar System 2 cutter, and Battlefield’s existing Stahl folding systems.

As part of its investment plan, Battlefield also installed a Heidelberg Versafire CV press capable of printing 90 pages per minute. The toner-based system is equipped to apply a fifth colour – clear or opaque white – to Versafire’s printed sheets. “We are also using it for proofing,” said Matt Theoret, Production Manager. “The Versafire is part of the Prinect workflow, utilizing the DFE RIP from Heidelberg and colour management to our offset operation. [It] is really accurate and easy for our prepress to work with.”

Battlefield has been entrenched in long perfecting and UV printing since 2004 when it became the first printing company in North America to install a Heidelberg Speedmaster SM-102-12P, which primarily produced 6/6 colour catalogues for demanding sectors like automotive. This press joined a Heidelberg CD-102-6+L with UV. Battlefield was an early adopter of printing with UV techniques like opaque whites and spot-gloss effects, often on unique substrates like metallics and clear poly sheets.

“UV printing is a very important part of our business, therefore, we needed to produce UV faster and complete more tasks in one pass, and decrease our turnaround times to our customers,” said Matt Theoret, describing Battlefield's new investment in the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-106. “This press can output highly critical mutli-colour and specialized jobs as it were a simple 4-colour process job.”
Avant Imaging & Integrated Media Inc. this April is scheduled to install a Manroland R706PLV HiPrint perfecting press into its 100,000-square-foot facility in Aurora, Ontario. The 41-inch R706PLV HiPrint will be AIIM’s second manroland press, joining an existing manroland R710 HiPrint that was installed more than a decade ago and is to remain in operation.

Mario and Frank Giorgio founded what is now called Avant Imaging & Integrated Media (AIIM) in 1990. Today, the operation, with 90 full-time employees, provides a range of offset and digital printing capabilities, as well as fulfillment and mailing services. Focused on producing high-value products, AIIM has been at the forefront of leveraging data to drive its toner and inkjet presses for a number of years, which also includes integrating offset work.

AIIM explains its core strength is still commercial printing, but has developed what the company describes as 10 unique service lines for the enterprise output chain. These branded services include aiim•PRINTSMART, aiim•ON·DEMAND, aiim•FULFILLMENT, aiim•CONNX, aiim•ANALYTICS, aiim•1:1, aiim•DIRECTMAIL, aiim•SMARTSTATEMENTS, aiim•VICIMAP, aiim•LARGE FORMAT and aiim•SOCIAL.

“Over time, the industry changed and we entered the digital era. Early on, we foresaw the need to shift our business focus from basic print applications to more sophisticated print and direct-marketing capabilities,” said Frank Giorgio. “That’s why we’ve adapted and evolved into a high-ROI, highly integrated marketing company offering print collateral, high-response data-driven direct-mail campaigns, social media promotion – even augmented reality.”

Giorgio continued to explain that AIIM purchased the manroland press mainly because of its perfecting capabilities. The R706PLV HiPrint has a perfector in the second position, making it a 2-over-4 press, which the company describes as being well suited for producing high-quality, direct mail.

“We still do a lot of perfecting and sometimes we have a need, for example, for 1-over-1, 2-over-2, 2-over-4 or 1-over-4 jobs, or at the high end, for six-colour plus aqueous coating,” said Giorgio. “This press can do all those in one pass, which reduces our turnaround times and gets jobs to our clients much faster.”

The new R706PLV HiPrint press, purchased through manroland Sheetfed Canada, is also equipped with ColorPilot D&F on its console, which manroland states to be the fastest technology of its kind – providing high-end density and spectral colour measurement/control – on the market.

In recent years, Manroland Sheetfed has added new features to its Roland 700 HiPrint series, including simultaneous plate loading, higher precision sheet guiding technology, printing speeds up to 17,200 sheets per hour, an upgraded Inline Inspector quality control, a sheet-numbering system, low energy UV drying technology, and an Indexed Inline Foiler that creates less waste.
Sherwood Printers, a trade printer based in Mississauga, Ontario, has installed a twin LasX STP400 laser finishing system, which includes a robotic stripping system. Sherwood finishes orders from each of its 14 copy shops in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as a based of graphic designers, print brokers and advertising agencies in the region.

“We are located in one of North America’s most competitive print markets and this LasX twin laser and robot system will nicely complement our digital and litho print capabilities,” said Manoj Sheth, President & CEO of Sherwood Printers. “The highly automated LasX digital laser system provides our trade clients and our copy shop customers all the benefits of digital processing – fast and efficient turnaround from one central facility for printing, laser processing and shipping.

“Today, designs are limited only by an artist’s imagination and these designs can be incredibly intricate. Our LasX systems allows us to produce runs of two pieces up to medium and long runs all at very competitive prices.”

The Sherwood installation includes the LasX STP400-2, which is a 20-inch-wide sheetfed process, with two 400W lasers for performing multiple laser operations simultaneously all in a single pass. An integrated robot automatically removes the finished part from the waste and stacks the parts.

The dual-camera vision system of the LasX STP400-2 allows for what the company describes as precise print to cut registration and has an optional printed barcode job option to pass the job information instantly to the laser controller for short order and variable cut operations. Driving jobs from the printed barcode on the edge of the sheet, explains LasX, instantly loads the new job parameters for on-the-fly changeover at production speed to both the laser and the robot.
MPI Print Group, a trade-printing operation with two facilities in the Greater Toronto Area, installed a new Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C1100, which also included an inline SD-506 Booklet Maker.

The new colour toner-based press, which was installed in December 2016, is integrated with the IC-310 Fiery RIP with Graphics Arts Package, Impose & Compose, Konica Minolta Color Care Software with FD-Auto Scanner, and an HM-101 inline humidifier. The bizhub PRESS C1100 runs at speeds of up to 100 pages per minute in colour and monochrome, producing 1,200 x 1,200-dpi resolution with 8-bit processing.

MPI Print was founded by brothers Pal and Robbie Dhanju as Millenium Printing back in 1998 and, following the acquisition of Kingsweb, now operates out of a 45,000-square-foot plant in Concord, Ontario, and a 50,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga.

The company’s trade services include prepress, web (heat-set) printing, sheetfed offset printing, digital printing, variable printing and a full in-house bindery, as well as die cutting, a range of specialty finishes and other custom printing techniques.
Pinnacle Litho of Stoney Creek, Ontario, has installed a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-75-4+L press. The commercial printing operation was founded in 1996 by Chris Fillingham, who previously worked in print shops in the Hamilton region before opening his own shop.

Pinnacle Litho began as a prepress services house featuring scanning and proofing services, as Fillingham over time purposely evolved his company into a full-service shop. “Our first printing machine was a QMDI. From there, we added folding, cutting and complete workflow,” he explains. In 2002, ready to enter the midsize offset market, Pinnacle upgraded to a 4-colour Heidelberg Printmaster 74 press.

The company’s new Heidelberg Speedmaster XL-75 represents another stage in its evolution, as Pinnacle’s market position now requires a press that can provide flexibility and fast turnarounds. “There is a lot of print here in the region, but in many cases, I simply wasn’t competitive enough with my current equipment to win those jobs,” said Fillingham. “So for months I tested how many of those jobs I could win if I could reduce make-ready time and improve my turn-around time. Soon a new business plan came together”    

Fillingham explains his goal to continue the growth of Pinnacle required the support of a 4-colour press with advanced job-change technology. “While speed is nice, mine is a short-run market. Make-ready is where it is at.”

To this end, Fillingham automated the Speedmaster XL-75-4+L press to the highest level possible to significantly reduce make-ready times. This press can output a new job of 1,000 sheets in a third of the time of his previous press. It is integrated with AutoPlate Pro (fully automated plate changing), Inpress Control (inline colour and register without interruption), Press Center with Intellistart operating system (capable of job change without interruption), and an Anilox Coating system for instantly dry sheets. “The automation we have now is what the industry demands. You can’t compete without it,” said Fillingham.

Fillingham is the driving force behind Pinnacle sales: “Filling a void in the region and focused on the trade element of the market. Customer’s with smaller projects often need support and want input. The larger job providers are difficult to talk with to directly, and that is where we come in. “I am expecting to be able to double my sales this year,” said Fillingham, “based only on work I have had to turn away. That is the goal.”
Ellis Packaging West Inc., one of three primary facilities of The Ellis Group, one of Canada’s largest independent packaging manufacturers, has purchased a 41-inch, seven-colour Komori GLX press. This is the third new generation Komori press The Ellis Group has installed across its three Ontario plants over the past few years.

The newest machine, sold by Komcan, Komori’s press dealer for Canada, is scheduled to be installed in Ellis Packaging West’s Guelph, Ontario, facility in March 2017.

It represents the second Komori GLX technology purchased in Canada after an 8-colour Komori GLX was installed in The Ellis Group’s Pickering plant just over one year ago. (See PrintAction’s November 2015 cover story, Packaging Power, on Ellis Packaging's first GLX installation).

“Witnessing the exceptional results achieved by our sister plant over the past year, including the reduction in makeready times, while reducing waste and maintaining very impressive run speeds, convinced us that we had to follow suit in Guelph,” said John Clarke, President of Ellis Packaging West. “[The new Komori GLX will] assure our customers that The Ellis Group will continue to provide the very best quality and value added product in the folding-carton market today.”

Ellis Packaging West’s GLX is equipped with Komori’s PQA-S inline inspection system and colour control, which scans each sheet for defects and automatically adjusts for ink consistency. The press will also feature a fully automatic feeder and delivery with logistics package, along with an integrated conveyor system, to enable continual operation at 18,000 sheets per hour.

The new seven-colour Komori GLX going into Guelph will also be equipped with low-energy Benford UV curing. Komori states its new line of G series are the first presses to be sold in North America running with food-grade lubricants rather than petroleum based products.
The Dieppe, New Brunswick, operation of Advocate Printing & Publishing in December 2016 installed Canada’s first Kodak NexPress ZX3300 press, which also features Kodak’s Fifth Imaging Unit for applying dimensional clear, gold, clear and light black colours.

Advocate’s NexPress ZX3300 includes a one-metre (39.37 inch) long feeder to run sheets into the machine’s offset-press-like paper handling system. The NexPress ZX3300 works with more than 800 qualified substrates.

Leveraging NexPress HD Dry Inks, Kodak explains Advocate’s five-colour ZX3300 press features improved imaging-unit components and intelligent software modules to deliver images described by the company as offset-class with smooth, flat tints, richer deeper black and photo quality production. With a Matte Finish option, Kodak explains the printed pieces coming off the NexPress take on a rich aesthetic effect that rivals offset.

“The sales team and production staff are excited about the opportunities for sales growth, and customer satisfaction with the recent [NexPress ZX3300] installation,” said Tom Badger, General Manager of Advocate Printing’s Dieppe operation.

The Fifth Imaging Unit of the Kodak NexPress ZX Platform provides Advocate with an ability to produce print with a tactile feel through Dimensional Clear toner, which creates a raised/textured 3D effect. Applying Gold through the fifth unit provides metallic impact, while Clear can be used for watermarking, spot or flood coating, and Light Black can be used for producing ultra-high quality printing (photographic quality), particularly with neutral tones, gray layers and flat fields.
“As a diversified print communications company, quality, versatility and speed are imperative.  The Kodak NexPress delivers on all aspects. We expect this strategic acquisition to be transformational for our clients and digital print offerings in general,” said Sean Murray, owner of Advocate Printing and Publishing. “We look forward to optimizing the performance of this technology, enhancing our offerings and strengthening customer relationships”

Founded in 1891, Advocate is described as the largest independent printer in Atlantic Canada. The company services clients throughout the Atlantic Provinces, the eastern seaboard and across Canada through printing facilities in Pictou, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; Dieppe, New Brunswick and St. Stephen, New Brunswick. The print business includes production of a range of work from national flyers, magazines and direct mail to brochures, business cards, and promotional materials.

Additionally, Advocate publishes 10 newspapers, 21 trade and regional magazines, runs a flyer distribution organization, and operates commercial photography, creative design and digital services operations.

In July 2016, Advocate acquired most of Transcontinental Inc.’s Dartmouth-based commercial printing business, including associated assets, sales force, and the client-services team.
SOHO Printing of Markham, Ontario, has installed a Triumph 7260 cutting system. Purchased through PDS, the 28-inch programmable cutter features patented EASY CUT electronic blade activation bars for two-hand operation; IR light beam safety curtain on front table and a safety cover on rear table, among other safety features.

The Triumph 7260 also includes an hydraulic clamp drive and foot pedal for pre-clamping, as well as a power back gauge and 7-inch touchpad control module. The system stores 99 programs with up to 99 steps in each (up to 15 repeat cuts can be integrated as a single step).
The Print Three franchise in Calgary, Alberta, recently installed a Ricoh Pro C9110 press. The Pro C9110 runs a range of media stocks from 52 to 400 gsm, with duplex printing, and reaches speeds of up to 130 pages per minute in both colour and black-and-white production.

The press, explains Ricoh, allows users to produce two-sided specialty and oversized projects up to 27.5 inches long, with an ability to print on specialty media like super-gloss, metallic, coated, transparent and other synthetics. The press’ elastic transfer belt and toner transfer technology also allows for working with textured media like vellums and linens.

Leveraging Ricoh’s Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) technology, the Ricoh Pro C9110 reaches imaging resolutions of up to 1,200 x 4,800 dpi.
Impulse Graphic and Display Solutions Inc. of Mississauga, Ontario, has invested in new prepress software, most prominently Esko Automation Engine workflow and ArtiosCAD for structural design. The company is using Automation Engine to reduce operator time and automate step-and-repeat layouts moving to their printing systems and Kongsberg cutting tables.

Founded 40 years ago, Impulse Graphic and its 35 employees now focus on retail in-store marketing, display and POS, providing a range of services like project management, creative solutions, printing, kitting and warehousing, shipping and installation. In 2007, Impulse Graphic invested in a high-volume flatbed printer, recently added a new hybrid printer to boost its printing capacity to over 7,000 square feet per hour and has invested in its third Kongsberg cutting table. “We felt the need to have the same family of cutting tables, moving away from another cutter brand to create consistency and greater throughput in our bindery department,” said Alexander Cachia, President of Impulse.

Cachia explains the decision to go with Esko’s Automation Engine was in part based on its ability to customize Impulse Graphic’s workflow based on its scope of work. “We also wanted our creative department to take advantage of other software tools Esko offers that tied into prepress,” said Cachia. “With the implementation of Esko ArtiosCAD we now have the ability not only to create structural designs in 2D or 3D, but also link these files to Automation Engine to output to our printers and to the Kongsberg tables. This make the prepress operation very seamless.”

Until recently, Impulse was receiving job files from FTP sites and manually sending them through a pre-flight program. One-ups were manually stepped and repeated in Adobe Illustrator, and a separate layer was created for a cut line. Once approved, the files were sent to the printers and cutting tables. “With a growing customer base, some of which operate more than 3,000 locations across North America, we needed a powerful tool to automate our workflow,” explained Cachia. “Our most pressing need was that we wanted to reduce prepress operator time, especially for repetitive tasks.”

Impulse has been using Automation Engine for about four months and, based on its majority of clients, the company will handle on average 100 files a day. “We recently completed a project where we processed over 800 files through Automation Engine on a variety of substrates,” said Cachia. He continues to explain, that in the past, Impulse Graphic used to create a variety of templates to step-and-repeat and output jobs. The company’s operators have customized them all within Automation Engine. “The operators are more efficient. We can accept larger jobs and turn them around faster. Prepress used to be the bottleneck. Now it's pushing production.”
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