The Ellis Group, one of North America’s largest independent folding-carton printers, continues to invest in its platform with news that Ellis Packaging of Pickering, Ontario, has purchased a new 8-colour Komori GLX press.

Planning for an installation around May 2015, Eillis Packaging's Komori GLX press (with coater), purchased through K-North Services, will be the first of its kind in North America. Released in the summer of 2014, the Komori GLX press is rated to run at 18,000 sheets per hour. It will be equipped with a dual UV system and includes fully automatic non-stop feeder and delivery with an integrated conveyor system, as well as the Komori PQA-S and PDC-SX systems for colour control and inline inspection.

“Ellis Packaging is elated with our newest acquisition of the GLX as we spent many months doing due diligence on this Press Project – in the end we felt that Komori provided the solution that we were looking for,” stated Cathie Ellis, President of Ellis Packaging. “Inline inspection was a key component to our acquisition and further solidifies our commitment to quality product throughout our process. We are excited about our leap to the 18,000 [sheet per hour] league which should propel our throughput while eliminating waste throughout the process with the quality features.”

K-North Services states the GLX Press will also be the first press in North America running with food grade lubricants, as opposed to petroleum based products.

The Ellis Group is comprised of three large plant locations throughout Ontario, including its Mississauga plant that recently installed an 8-colour Komori GL with coater.

Cober Evolving Solutions of Kitchener, Ontario, continues along its path of investment by becoming Canada’s first company to install HP’s new generation Indigo 7800 press.

In late-2013, Cober became Canada’s first operation to run HP’s B2-size Indigo 10000 press, which must be considered as one of the biggest evolutions in liquid or dry toner colour press technology since the process became mainstream in the late-1990s. HP’s Indigo 10000 series – comprising three models (10000 aimed at commercial, 20000 for flexible packaging materials, and the 30000 for folding-carton) – broke the conventional wisdom that electrophotography would not expand from its traditional sub-20-inch format to a 29-inch format.

The Indigo 7800 press model, first introduced in the summer of 2014, builds on HP’s former flagship Indigo 7000 model with new capabilities for direct printing on synthetic substrates and plastic cards, as well as a new colour management approach with inline spectrophotometry. This is largely possible through HP’s branded One Shot Color technology.

The HP Indigo 7800 reaches speeds of 120 four-colour A4 pages per minute (two-up), 160 A4 colour pages per minute in HP’s unique Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), by knocking out the black channel, and 240 two-colour or monochrome A4 pages per minute (two-up). The Indigo 10000, meanwhile, is rated for a monthly duty cycle of up to 2.2 million sheets, hitting 3,450 sheets per hour or 4,600 sheets per hour in EPM mode.

The Indigo 7800 supports HP Indigo ElectroInk Digital Matte for spot coating effects on glossy substrates in addition to other special inks, including HP Indigo ElectroInk Invisible Red and Light Black. The press allows for creating special effects like raised print, textured effects and digital watermarks.

In February 2014, Cober purchased Kempenfelt Group and Kempenfelt Wideformat, which resides in nearby Barrie, Ontario. In January 2014, Cober purchased CuteGecko Inc., a design agency based Kitchener, with significant expertise in social media. In 2012, Cober, employing over 120 people, expanded into an 86,000-square-foot facility.

This Thursday, November 6th, PrintAction magazine will present Peter Cober, President of Cober Evolving Solutions, with the Printing Leader of the Year Award at the 9th annual Canadian Printing Awards gala in Toronto.

Category 5 Imaging has installed an Esko Kongsberg i-XP24 cutting table in its  20,000-square-foot facility in Burlington, Ontario.

Founded in 2006, Category 5 was one of Canada’s first large-format-printing operations based entirely on inkjet production. The company currently has 28 employees focused on the operation of five inkjet systems, as well as in-house creative, prepress and fulfillment services. The company previously used third-party services when customers required custom die cut pieces, which has now been addressed by the Kongsberg installation.

“We decided to add more people in prepress and build more efficient internal rules and procedures to help feed the presses,” said Greg Priede, Category 5's General Manager. “But our primary problem was finishing jobs. We were at a point in time where our workload was too much for one shift, but would not keep two shifts busy. Our straight-line roll cutting device helped, but we needed a new table to help get jobs out the door faster.”

The Kongsberg i-XP24 is primarily designed for finishing short-run POP/POS displays. With a maximum working area of 66 x 126 inches and a maximum speed of 66 inches per second, the i-XP series can convert a range of board, sheet and roll materials.

The Ellis Group, one of Canada’s largest independent packaging operations, has installed a new 8-colour, 40-inch Komori GL press with coater into its Ellis Paper Box location in Mississauga.

Purchased through Komori distributor K-North Services, Ellis Paper Box’ new press, which joins a 7-colour, 29-inch Komori press installed a couple of years ago, is equipped to run low-energy UV and conventional UV inks.

The Ellis Group operates Ontario production facilities in Pickering, Mississauga and Guelph. The company’s Mississauga plant specializes in pharmaceutical work, as well as OTC folding cartons.

Broadmoore Stationers & Copy Center of Sherwood Park, Alberta, has installed a new Xerox Versant 2100 press.

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet within Strathcona County that is adjacent to the city of Edmonton’s eastern boundary. The Versant 2100, installed by Broadmoore in late September, is rated for a top production speed of 100 pages per minute (ppm) when running substrate weights from 52 to 300 GSM, as well weights of above 300 to 350 GSM at 80 ppm, which can include unique stocks like linen, polyester, vinyl magnet and specialties.

The Versant 2100 prints with what Xerox labels as new Ultra HD Resolution, in which reproductions are rendered at 1,200 x 1,200 dpi at up to 10 bits. For registration, the Versant 2100 uses what Xerox brands as Production Accurate Registration and Full Width Array technology. The press is rated for an average monthly print volume of between 75,000 to 250,000 pages, with a duty cycle of 660,000 impressions.

Broadmoore provides a range of commercial print services, such as both colour and black-and-white printing, banners and stands, posters, signs (wide format), scanning, graphic design, binding and laminating.

RP Graphics Group of Mississauga, Ontario, has installed its second 6-colour, 40-inch Komori GL press into its 60,000 square-foot facility, which earlier this year received a new production floor layout plan.

The 40-inch Komori GL, sold by K-North Services, includes a coating and is integrated with UV energy curing technology. The company’s first Komori GL 6c 40, with 60 million impressions, was installed a couple of years ago.

It has been a busy year for RP Graphics, which in September 2014 acquired Rhino Print Solutions’ Toronto operations in what the two companies described as a “strategic alliance designed to deliver coast to coast print solutions.” Rhino’s Toronto facility, formerly Marcam Cross Media, focused on print-on-demand and multi-channel communications.

In February 2014, RP Graphics completed the installation of an Agfa M-Press Leopard, which is a four-colour industrial flatbed inkjet press that runs at 295 square metres per hour in what Agfa classifies as high-quality mode and 171 square metres per hour in fine art mode.

The installation of the M-Press Leopard began in the second week of January, as RP Graphics was in the midst of creating a new production layout for its 60,000-square-foot facility. A year earlier, RP Graphics stepped deeper into large-format printing with the purchase of 16-year-old Canadian Impact Imaging.

RP Graphics also began a beta-site agreement with Agfa Canada at the beginning of 2014. Agfa Canada builds large-format inkjet systems in a Mississauga plant directly across the street from RP Graphics.

In late-November 2013, PrintAction magazine named George Mazzaferro, Chief Executive Officer of RP Graphics, as the Printing Leader of the Year in the 8th annual Canadian Printing Awards program (featured in PrintAction's February 2014 issue).

Massilly North America based in Brantford, Ontario, has installed Esko’s software suite to drive a new computer-to-plate system focused on print-packaging work in the food and beverage industries.

Massilly North America, a subsidiary of The Massilly Group, a France-based supplier of closures, food cans, decorative tins, and aerosol cans through 20 subsidiaries located around the world, is focused on metal twist closures and sealing machines for the sector. Last May, the Brantford operation installed Esko’s DeskPack, Plato, FlexRIP, and FlexProof products to drive the then newly installed CTP system, based the company’s decision to bring platemaking in-house.

“For starters, we wanted a one-click step & repeat operation, from a one-up image to a full sheet layout, integrated with print production controls, such as color bars and trim marks,” stated Julius Stampacchia, Quality Assurance Manager, Massilly North America. “We did not want to manually manipulate files of all artwork sizes to make a plate. We wanted something that was quick, consistent and repeatable.”

Stampacchia explains the operation wanted a workflow that integrated with Adobe Illustrator and supporting plug-ins. Adobe Illustrator at Massilly is used for design and trapping, driven by Esko DeskPack PowerTrapper for Illustrator. He continues to explain Esko’s Automation Engine is then used to take the file and drive the rest of the process. Plato automatically conducts the step & repeat functions, providing optimized sheet layouts. FlexProof provides contract proofs. Device independent FlexRip delivers flexibility and quality control tools to ensure plate consistency and accuracy during RIPping, sending the final file to the platesetter.

“[With Automation Engine] we are able send email messages to the customer, or larger supply chain groups,” explains Stampacchia, “to approve the artwork with a link to the files – saving the file to a folder to wait for reviews… We are also able to check the diameter of one-up images, check colour accuracy, make sure filenames match up, and that all corrections have been applied.”

BOLDER Graphics of Calgary has installed three new EFI VUTEk wide-format inkjet systems, which the company describes as the largest single such installation in Canada, delivering a combined 6,250 square feet of output per hour on rigid or flexible materials.

“The new capacity will have a huge impact on our retail advertising, outdoor display, vehicle graphics and corporate packaging products,” stated David Watt, Vice President of Bolder Graphics.

BOLDER’s new VUTEk GS3250LX roll-to-roll and two Vutek GS2000LX super wide flatbed inkjet printers also provide white ink channels and LED UV curing. BOLDER was founded more than 40 years and currently employs 60 people.

Moveable Inc. of Toronto has installed two Xerox Versant 2100 presses, which represent the first installation in Canada of this new toner press platform first unveiled in April 2014.

The redesigned imaging system of the Versant press uses a new compact belt fuser handling substrate weights from 52 to 300 GSM at 100 pages per minute (ppm), as well weights of above 300 to 350 GSM at 80 ppm. The press prints with what Xerox labels as new Ultra HD Resolution, in which reproductions are rendered at 1,200 x 1,200 dpi at up to 10 bits. For registration, Versant 2100 uses Production Accurate Registration in addition to what the company refers to as Full Width Array technology.

Joe Kotler, Principal of Moveable, in an email outlines three key advantages that the two Versant systems will provide Moveable:

1. Outstanding image quality: These presses boast double the output resolution of our previous Xerox 7000s.

2. Wider range of compatible stocks: We recently ran a job on 130-lb Cougar Cover and it ran like a charm. We could not have done that on our previous machines. The Versants also perform well with linen sheets.

3. No fuser oil: This is a big one. Unlike previous generations of toner-based digital presses, the Versants do not apply fuser oil to the surface of printed sheets. Rather the fusing agent is built right into the toner, avoiding that oily sheen that characterized output from older digital devices. Sheets coming off the Versant 2100s are hard to tell apart from offset.

Moveable, founded in 1983, is one of Canada’s earliest adopters of digital printing technology having installed Canon 500s systems more than 20 years ago. Moveable then upgraded to the Canon 550s before moving to Xerox technology with the DocuColor 40s. The company’s digital-printing platform change was soon followed with an upgrade installation of two Xerox 2045s, then two Xerox 7000s, and now the two Xerox Versant 2100s.

Moveable has also maintained a healthy technological growth in bindery equipment to produce short- to medium-run projects based on its digital printing engines. Working closely with the design community, the unique company also provides services like typesetting, proofreading, colour correction, retouching and scanning, in addition to large-format printing. A sister company Moveable Online provides digital strategy and web/mobile development services.

Today, Kotler explains approximately 25 percent of Moveable’s overall printing revenue is generated through the Xerox toner presses, while 75 percent remains offset produced by Heidelberg technology.

“Our digital printing focus has always been on high-quality projects that require fast turnarounds. Our clients are mainly designers and creative agencies who are very demanding when it comes to colour fidelity and image quality, but at the same time are always under the gun to get projects turned around quickly,” says Kotler. “That's the sweet spot for us and for these new Versant 2100s. They are 50 percent faster than our previous generation Xerox machines, and the output quality is superior. Those attributes go to the heart of our service offering, which is why it was an easy decision for us when it came time to replace our old 7000s.”

Albion Screen Printing of Gatineau, Quebec, expanded its wide-format-printing capabilities with the recent installation of a new Agfa Titan HS inkjet system.

Founded 40 years ago, Albion, using traditional screen-printing methods and wide-format inkjet systems, produces applications like labels, decals, nameplates, displays, signs, murals and vehicle graphics.

Building on Agfa’s existing Jeti Titan series of UV-curable wide-format printers, the new Titan S and HS machines incorporate the latest generation of Ricoh Gen 5 print heads with 1,280 nozzles. The Jeti Titan S is equipped with one row of print heads, but it is field upgradeable to two rows. The Jeti Titan HS (high-speed), such as the machine purchased by Albion, is equipped with the two rows from the outset.

The ink system on both the Jeti Titan HS and Jeti Titan S is set at six colours plus white (CMYKLcLmWW). Both Jeti Titans feature a 2x3-metre flatbed design and produce a 7-picoliter droplet size, which allows for the production of photorealistic images with fine 4-point text.

Multi-Action Labels of Quebec City continues its growth into short-run and prototyping label work with a DSI UV inkjet press, a North American-first installation, that remains as the only such system in Canada.

Developed by SPGPrints of The Netherlands, the unique 330-mm (13-inch) wide, eight-colour DSI press, which has been running at Multi-Action since 2012, is designed for high-quality, just-in-time label production. It is described by Multi-Action as a complete print-converting line for single-pass production and complements three existing ETI flexo lines in the company’s pressroom.

“The quality achieved by the DSI press and SPGPrints’ inks has been amazing, and has enabled us to deliver high-impact designs that have enhanced our customers’ brands and boosted their sales,” stated Jonathan Bourbonnière, President of Multi-Action Labels. He continues to explain Multi-Action is working to leverage its unique press position by collaborating with other label printers, particularly those with flexo-only assets, who need fast turnaround or variable-imaging work.

Bourbonnière describes the UV inkjet-based DSI as producing identical quality to the flexographic process, which provides Multi-Action with the flexibility to switch any analogue job shorter than 10,000 square feet [3,048 metres] onto the inkjet machine. Multi-Action’s job run lengths on the SPGPrints DSI average 260 square metres (850 feet). The press is rated to reach speeds of up to 35 metres per minute (114 feet per minute).

In addition to CMYK, the DSI at Multi-Action has been customised with options including orange and violet, to cover over 90 percent of the colour gamut, opaque white, and a digital primer. The press features intermediate LED pinning and a chill drum, as standard features, while Multi-Action also installed some inline converting options on its press. This includes a flexo coating station and semi-rotary diecutting technology supplied by AB Graphic.  

The press uses SPGPrints’ proprietary inks that provide BWS-7 lightfastness and high scratch resistance relative to traditional inkjet systems. The company also leverages Esko’s Automation software to automate step-repeat functions.

Best Color Press Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, expanded its trade-printing operation with the installation of a six-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 with coating and UV capabilities.

The Speedmaster XL 75, running a maximum sheet size of 530 x 750 mm (20.87 x 29.53 inches), reaches production speeds of up to 15,000 sheets per hour with UV production. Best Color, founded in 1989, runs a range of sheetfed presses, as well as prepress and post-press services.

In addition to continuing to run its original single-colour Heidelberg MO for small print jobs, Best Color’s press fleet includes the Speedmaster XL 75; a 10-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 102 perfector; and a 6-colour, 40-inch press also equipped with UV decks.

“Many jobs do not require a 40-inch press; short runs, 6-page brochures, presentation folders, etcetera,” says Best Color CEO Sunny Chan, describing some of his rationale behind installing the 29 ½-inch XL 75. “We can plan jobs more efficiently, which increases productivity. UV print is a very important part of the Vancouver market, so I must have this ability to serve my clients. This press suited all of my needs at this time.”

Chan also points to the XL 75’s flexibility to change sheet size and thickness on a job-by-job basis, which is primarily driven through the press’ new generation Intellistart Operating System. Best Color’s XL 75 also includes Wallscreen and AxisControl systems for automating operator control. The press’ UV system, developed by IST METZ GmbH, features interdeck and end of press curing, allowing Best Color to expand its use of substrates into more plastics and foils.

Employing more than 50 full-time workers, Best Color provides its services primarily to the print community of Greater Vancouver, but also to surrounding areas and south into the United States. “I offer good service, good quality and timely delivery to my clients. As a result of this many of my daily print runs are from repeat clients. That tells me I am doing something right,” says Chan. “We don’t advertise in traditional ways, and you won’t find me on Twitter, but we grow and put the equipment in our plant that our clients need to be successful.”

SupremeX Inc. of Montreal announced a $500,000 investment to install a Winkler + Dunnebeir 234DL inkjet-based press into its Ville LaSalle plant.

The 234DL machine was developed specifically to produce full-colour, personalized direct mail and can print static and variable images on a range of substrates at speeds of up to 30,000 pieces per hour.

SupremeX, self described as Canada’s largest provider of envelopes and related packaging products with approximately 500 employees, plans to launch this new printing service to its Canadian and United States’ customer base in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“[The] press will enable us to offer value added, full colour print services to our valued direct-mail and corporate client groups on both sides of the border,” stated Stewart Emerson, President and Chief Operating Officer of SupremeX. “Mailing a printed envelope continues to offer marketers the highest open and read rates and recall values when compared to all other media and remains an important tool for building customer relationships and brand equity.”

Bassett Direct of Richmond Hill, Ontario, one of Canada’s variable-data-printing pioneers, has installed Canada’s first Xeikon 8600 press, which is unique in the market for its combination of true 1,200-dpi resolution, four-bit depth and 20.2-inch format.

“The Xeikon 8600 has given us the ability to do something in our shop that very few companies in North America are doing,” stated Rich Bassett, President and owner of Bassett Direct, which works closely with clients to build marketing programs. “The press is a powerful tool for the growth of our variable colour, one-to-one marketing applications. It’s the right technology to produce the volume and quality our customers expect.”

The Xeikon 8600 prints at 1,200 x 3,600-dpi resolution and is capable of handling monthly duty cycles of up to 6-million pages. The press prints on both sides of the substrate simultaneously and can handle web widths of up to 20.2 inches. The 8600 is also capable of handling media weights from 27-lb text up to 350-gsm/130-lb cover stock.

“We’re proud to partner with a leader like Bassett Direct,” stated Todd Blumsack, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Xeikon America. "They’ve been at the top of their game for two decades and their innovative use of Xeikon technology is validation of our team’s position in the market.”

Tri-Tech Canada of Pickering, Ontario, installed a Duplo DPB-500 perfect binder. Founded in 1974, Tri-Tech focuses on commercial printing and publications, including magazines, books and catalogues.

The Duplo DPB-500, purchased through Sydney Stone, features a single-clamp design and is rated for a top speed of 525 cycles per hour. The machine is designed for short to medium runs, handling book sizes of up to 14.17 x 12.6 inches, as well as variable data production. It also includes automatic book-thickness detection for side glue and cover scoring.

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