The Ryerson School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) offers Canada’s only degree-granting program for the printing industries. The school’s four-year degree offers opportunities in all areas of digital imaging and print production leading to a management career in this rapidly growing field.
In recent years, Esko explains the number of students at GCM going to packaging companies has increased rapidly. Throughout the program, students network with potential employers and gain practical experience in the industry through formal internships or part-time work.
“Esko always tries to offer solutions to top tier graphic, design and packaging schools so that their students are working with the latest technology and ready resources for the industries we serve,” said Larry Moore, Esko Vice President, North American Partner Programs. “Ryerson, in my opinion, is an extremely important and valuable resource for packaging companies across Canada. I have met many Ryerson graduates and they have always been key players.”
The CDI Spark 2530 flexo plate imager, explains Esko, is used by companies that particularly produce tags and labels and folding cartons. It images digital flexo plates up to 25 x 30 inches (635 x 762 mm) and comes with an incorporated plate loading table and an EasyClamp II drum for easier and faster plate loading.
“This major donation will allow our 600+ GCM students to learn platemaking on the most up-to-date equipment. The process creating packaging requires challenging, evolving technology and the tools our students use are on the cutting edge,” said Natalia Lumby, Associate Professor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University. “Students are introduced to platemaking in their first year. By the third year, they produce flexo plates on the CDI on their own.”
The Esko CDI also allows Ryerson to participate in competitions, including the Phoenix Challenge, where Ryerson has received awards both in 2013 and 2015. “It's an opportunity for our students to challenge themselves, and to see what it is like to design and create packaging for a real company,” said Lumby.
GCM this past year introduced a brand new curriculum with a packaging concentration and will be launching consumer packaging courses, including workflow this academic year. The curriculum encompasses the theory of design and production.
Mr. Printer was founded in 1978 and continues as a family owned and operated company. Today, the company produces general printing and signage work with a focus on short-run print projects. Mr. Printer has a strong online presence and is based in a 10,000-square-foot facility.
Hueneye of LaSalle, Quebec, one of the region’s only dedicated trade shops, has installed a five-colour RMGT 9 Series press with coater purchased through Canadian dealer KBR Graphics.
Installed about nine months ago, the press, manufactured in Japan by RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology (RMGT), features maximum printing speeds of 16,200 sheets per hour, RMGT’s Insta.Color makeready automation, and varnish coating capabilities. It joins Hueneye’s existing 23 x 29-inch sheetfed press, which was also purchased from KBR Graphics.
Hueneye has 30 full-time employees housed in a 12,000-square-foot facility. “We needed a compact footprint,” said Mike Green, President of Hueneye. “The 9 Series’ [maximum] sheet size of 25x36 inches is the majority of our work now. We are printing flyers on gloss, 16-page signatures for booklets and brochures, and even 23x35-inch posters in varying quantities ranging from 250 up to 100,000 sheets.”
Green notes production efficiency is gained through the SMART RPC technology on the RMGT 9 Series press, including: fully automatic plate changing to support the frequent job changeovers and the diverse small-lot printing done at Hueneye. The RMGT 9 Series press also allows Hueneye to expand its business by tackling eight-up projects, and not being limited to a six-up format.
“We serve ‘jobbers,’ so we’re always looking to fill in holes on the press sheet,” said Green. “The larger format is particularly convenient for running book work more efficiently.”
Green continues to explain Hueneye has seen additional cost savings by reducing the amount of outsourced work and the fact that the 9 Series press consumes less electricity than a larger press. “Plates for this press are roughly 30 percent cheaper than for a 28 x 40-inch press because their pricing is based on square inches,” said Green. “We can run the 9 Series press with one operator, which we could not do on a 40-inch press.”
In late August, KBR Graphics, which is celebrating its 40th year in business in 2016, expanded its distribution of RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology sheetfed offset printing presses to include all of Canada. Previously, KBR Graphics had been the RYOBI MHI Graphic Technology (RMGT) distributor in Central and Eastern Canada since 2012. In mid-July 2016, the company also moved its head office to a new modern facility in Laval, Quebec.
The Speedmaster CX 102, explains Heidelberg, is a modern press concept that combines the reliability of the CD series (with well over 100,000 printing units installed worldwide) and press maker’s newest sheetfed technological innovations found in the XL platform. It is described by Heidelberg as “the universal press.”
The CX 102 is a straight press in 70 × 100-cm format (28.35 x 40.16 inches) with the ability to reach printing speeds of up to 16,500 sheets per hour. Its flexibility – and ability to process materials from lightweight paper through to rigid cardboard – allows the press to be aimed at commercial, label, and packaging printing.
The press is equipped with AutoPlate Pro for fully automatic, staggered printing plate changes and Prinect Inpress Control 2 to spectrophotometrically measure and control the colour inline during production. Prinect Inpress Control 2 allows users to also check register at the same time and readjust if necessary.
The press, which joins existing Canon toner production equipment at JC Accuforms, will be aimed at producing variable-data statements, advertising materials and corporate stationery.
JC Accuforms was founded in 1968 as JC Printing Company Ltd. In 1983 the assets of a Markham printing company called Accuforms were purchased and in 1986 both companies were moved to the operation’s current location under the name JC Accuforms Inc. Today, the company produces a range of wide-format, toner and offset printing work, in addition to housing bindery and finishing services.
Formost was founded in 1981 as a business forms manufacturer and merged with mediaOne in 2000 to become a document and services outsourcing company specializing in transactional, statement and tax form processing, custom programming, variable imaging and mailing. Today, printing and processing millions of pieces monthly, Formost mediaOne services the marketing and billing sectors for clients in a range of industrial sectors, financial services, health care, utilities, telecoms, distribution and general manufacturing.
“Over 80 percent of our business is in transactional and transpromo servicing government, utilities and banking industries producing tax, water bills, statements and cheques... We needed a solution that could deliver any time of day, at a lower cost, with quick turnaround times,” said John Johnstone, who also pointed to leveraging the HP T230’s MICR configuration.
Formost mediaOne also installed in line with the HP T230 an EMT finishing line with dynamic perforations, hole punching and sheeting. With the ablity to produce 1,800 2-sided full colour letter size impressions per minute, the new press brings Formost’s overall imaging capacity to over 100 million impressions per month.
The Triumph TR5551-EP holds a cutting width of up to 21 5/8 inches and a cutting height of up to 3 5/8 inches. Its safety package includes front safety light beams, cover on rear table, main switch and safety lock with key, and electronically controlled two-hand operation, among other features.
Housed in a 20,000-square-foot facility, the company’s 30 employees operate a number of EFI VUTEk inkjet systems, as well as providing full-service creative, prepress, fulfillment and shipping.
Category 5 explains it was using Adobe Creative Suite to prepare its projects, but found the software required repetitive tasks to create layout patterns for signage. Esko’s Automation Engine, among other features, is designed to help reduce the time requirements of operators by eliminating the repetitive task of placing one-up artwork onto print sheets. The new Esko software, installed in March 2016, also better integrates with the company’s Kongsberg cutting system.
“We really liked the versatility of Automation Engine,” said Dave LePoidevin, Prepress Technician, Category 5 Imaging. "It could customize the workflow in any way we wanted. Another workflow system we explored was more structured, basically telling us how to create our banners and signs. We wanted more flexibility when outputting artwork, and the freedom of deciding where we wanted to place registration dots for our Kongsberg table.”
LePoidevin explains Category 5 built a new workflow approach with Automation Engine, i-cut Layout, and its previously purchased i-cut Preflight. The prepress team began with a few easy workflows after the initial installation and then added more automated tasks for their specific needs.
“For everything we have presets for sizing, Automation Engine will automatically prepare a press ready file,” said LePoidevin. “We created presets for how many 'up', and stepped out the one-ups into that layout, with all the marks we need for the Kongsberg table. I like that the more junior people in our production department can start using Automation Engine almost immediately.”
Category 5 setups are now automated rather than manually done in Illustrator. LePoidevin explains the company previously loaded a folder with what seemed to be 50 million templates, whereas Automation Engine receives the job with the push of a button, allowing it to be applied in i-cut Layout. Category 5 continues to produce some work manually in i-cut Layout for specialized projects.
"Those jobs that we produce over and over – and we receive a lot of them – would take 15 to 20 minutes each to manually process,” said Greg Priede, General Manager at Category 5. “It also required an experienced person, most of the day. When Dave built his new job templates, we were able to significantly reduce that time to about a minute per job.
“We are also able to use a very capable, but inexperienced intern for those jobs. She is able to process the jobs nonstop, where it took our higher level prepress operator a half to three-quarters of a day to produce. It also used to take 30 to 45 minutes to create mural panels manually. Now we do it in less than half the time,” continued Priede. “We are able to keep the presses running with template-based work, giving us time to prepare the more complicated retail jobs we get.”
“The iGen platform has been a great fit for our overall growth strategy. It gives us the flexibility to run our diverse product set with ease, while allowing us to quickly add capacity when needed,” said Tim Graham, President and COO, OTC Group. “Whether we’re printing direct mail, personalized food packaging or serialized pharmaceutical cartons, we have the confidence that we’ll deliver the quality that each job demands.”
The Xerox iGen 5 printing presses, with 24-pt capability, will produce pharmaceutical cartons serving OTC’s brand protection process, which provides consumer data back to the product manufacturer to be used for marketing or regulatory requirements. The process integrates with a client’s current serialization scheme and does not require material change to the manufacturer’s supply chain network.
Recently, the company introduced Xerox’s XMPie and FreeFlow Core to its workflow, augmenting an existing in-house built solution. “OTC Group has an amazing way of looking beyond the horizon at applications that will become significant opportunities in this marketplace,” said Brad King, Vice President, Graphic Communications Operations, Xerox Canada. “This type of thinking opens up new avenues of revenue and client value.”
Ricoh explains the Pro C7110X goes beyond traditional CMYK applications based on features like an elastic fusing belt that supports a variety of textured and coated media, white and varnish-like clear toner options, as well as the support of oversize media.
“Our investment in the HP Indigo 20000 enables us to help companies, especially those in the food packaging industry, make the transition into short-run digital printing,” said Philippe St-Cyr, General Manager, Swiss Pack Canada. “We pride ourselves in being a local Canadian print service provider that produces high quality products with sustainable substrates while providing customer service excellence, and helping these companies take their first step into custom printed packaging.”
Swiss Pack Canada focuses on the production of high-quality flexible packaging, custom printing, package design and co-packing services. The company stocks packaging products for a range of industries including food, pet food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, agriculture, pesticides, fertilizers, hygiene and detergents. Swiss Pack Canada specializes in stand-up pouches, coffee bags, custom printed pouches and three-side seal pouches including flat and pillow pouches.
The Ricoh Pro VC60000 installation is a first in Canada. The inkjet press runs at up to 394 feet per minute with full variable-data capabilities.
Copywell plans to use both systems to increase its production of publishing work in-house, as well new applications such as personalized transactional documents.
The Impremia NS40, purchased through Komcan, which distributes Komori systems in Eastern Canada, Ontario and Western Canada, uses Landa Nanography imaging technology built on a Komori platform.
“We are excited and privileged to be the first company in Canada to integrate the technology of the Komori Impremia NS40 press,” said Ian Burke, Chairman of The Burke Group. “The combination of Komori reliability and Landa technology is a game changer. Our trust in the support provided by Komcan and Komori make them the perfect partners for us as we offer this new technology.”
Komori explains the inkjet system uses independently developed water-based inks that bond to the substrate while printing at speeds of up to 6,500 sheets per hour. The company continues to explain, these proprietary inks in combination with the Nanographic printing process result in printed sheets that are abrasion resistant, require no post-drying and leave no residual ink on the blanket.
“The Burke Group was one of the first print businesses in Canada to purchase a Komori GL series press and the company is a perfect fit to now have the first Komori Impremia NS40 in Canada,” said Steve Ranson, president of Komcan Inc. “The Burke Group has always been on the forefront of technology, both offset and digital, and have the personnel and expertise to run with this new technology.”
The 64-inch hybrid printer, purchased through Cansel, leverages LED imaging and a double white channel. Installed back in October 2015, the EFI 1625 also features 8-level greyscale capabilities and 3M cobranded inks.
Vision Print focuses on making display graphics and holds expertise in the production of box signage, backlit posters and signs, and acrylic signs, as well as a range of collateral commercial products like business cards, postcards and flyers.
Installed at the beginning of 2016, the EFI 1625H is described as a mid-level production printer with four colours plus white and 8-level grayscale capabilities, as well as LED drying. The system handles flexible and rigid substrates up to 65 inches (64-inch printing) and up to 2-inches thick. The company is also running 3M cobranded inks for MCS Warranty.
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