KBA's production facility in Frankenthal, Germany celebrated its 150th year on August 18. Founded by Andreas Albert, a master craftsman who qualified under Friedrich Koenig and Andras Bauer, the plant was established as Schnellpressenfabrik Albert & Hamm in Frankenthal.
Albert died in 1882 and the business was continued by his sons Aloys and Hubert Albert and then included platen, lithographic, letterpress, collotype, metal decorating and publication cylinder presses. The company grew to be known for its rotogravure press line, the Albertina and the Super-Albertina.
KBA bought a minor interest in the company in 1978, purchasing a 49.9 per cent interest from the Rhineland-Palatinate regional government during a period of international press maker consolidation. The stake was increased to 74.99 percent in 1988 eventually forming the Koenig & Bauer-Albert group in 1990.
Frankenthal grew until the mid-2000s, at its peak, it was installing as many as ten big gravure press lines a year. The plant also drove web-offset and folder technology such as the Compacta line of web presses.
With declining orders, KBA sold its rotogravure business to Italian manufacturer Cerutti in 2007. Since 2002 the workforce at Frankenthal has seen some of the deepest cuts, dropping from 1,361 to 656. In June of this year, KBA announced plans to divide Frankenthal into two limited companies: an engineering entity, which will remain attached to the parent, and a manufacturing entity, which would be independent and be allowed to bid for non-press-related contracts.
Tassos Siriopoulos founded Tower Litho Co. in 1971 with a single-colour press and 750 square feet on The Danforth. Now led by his sons, Dino and Paul, the trade-only shop runs three 40-inch Heidelbergs, a 28-inch perfector and full finishing.
“Growing up with a craftsman and perfectionist was a challenging experience at times,” writes Dino Siriopoulos, in a document describing Tower’s 40-year rise in Toronto's printing market. “I remember working the summers at Tower Litho when I was 13 years old. Indeed, it was not the most pleasing memory considering all my friends were playing outside and I was inside making boxes and sweeping floors.”
Paraphrasing his father’s advice from those early days, Dino Siriopoulos then describes what he refers to as valuable lessons in both life and character: “Work and do your best and the rewards will come, without taking any shortcuts. Don’t look for the rewards, just look to do a good job.”
Tower Litho has been a referral-based business for the past 40 years, which is why the Siriopoulos brothers are still comfortable in describing their operation as trade-only despite the blurring customer lines of today’s marketplace.
The company is now housed in a 25,000-square-foot facility, which Tassos moved into back in 1989. Tower actually only reached a maximum employee level of nine, including five family members, over its first 20 years. Paul and Dino joined the company soon after university and have been instrumental in Tower’s growth for the past two decades.
“We all worked and considered the company as our company, not my dad’s job,” writes Dino Siriopoulos.
The company now employs over 40 people and lists several clients who have been bringing Tower work for more than 20 years. Today, Tower is fully colour managed and runs a significant amount of its work at 400-lpi, based on Heidelberg’s hybrid-screening technology. The company’s finishing department holds over 10 pieces of machinery, including a 4-pocket Muller Martini saddle stitcher, a 6-pocket Heidelberg ST-100 stitcher, three Stahl folders, and Polar and Lawson cutters.
“Our father still comes in the shop every day and the three of us have lunch together and discuss Tower Litho, amongst other topics,” writes Dino, who recalls the times he boarded a bus with his mother to bring Tassos dinner after the shop first opened. “The family atmosphere still and always will prevail.”
The infamous Linotype Type Casting Machine made its debut in July of 1886 in New York City and radically changed the world of print production. The machine, invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler, will be getting some well-deserved recognition with a new feature-length documentary by filmmaker Doug Wilson.
According to the film's website:
This film is about a machine from the past, but that does not mean this is a sentimental fact-film lamenting the loss of a technology. We are compelled to dig deeper, and find what the Linotype has to say about the present and future.
A trailer for the film can be seen below. Linotype: The Film is due for release this Fall.
The Mackenzie Printery and Newspaper Museum of Queenston, Ontario has a working example of the Linotype, along with printing equipment dating back well over 200 years. The museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm until September 5th.
In addition to celebrating its 65th year of business, with more than 200 guests, Markham, Ontario-based Parker Pad & Printing introduced several key staff appointments to support its growth.
After more than 10 months of campaigning, voters of Toronto have spoken and printer Rob Ford has been named to lead the city for the next four years. Ford handily beat rival George Smitherman by a margin of 11 percent, winning 47 percent of the vote.
"Toronto now is open to business, ladies and gentlemen," announced Ford at last night's celebration at the Toronto Congress Centre. "But this is just not my victory, but a victory for every single person who lives and works in this great city of Toronto."
Rob Ford has been city councilor for the past 10 years and is known widely for his stances on fiscal responsibility and small government. Ford's campaign largely centered around these issues, going against the policies of Toronto's current mayor, David Miller.
Rob's brother Doug was also voted into office, taking Rob's former seat in Ward 2, Etobicoke North. He won more than 74 percent of the vote.
Ford will take office on December 1 and will become the third mayor of Toronto since amalgamation in 1998.
Read the July 2010 story about the Ford family by Victoria Gaitskell.
Flash Reproductions celebrated its 40th anniversary, which also marked the retirement of founder, Carl Pauptit, who drove commercial-printing excellence into the Toronto market, and the future of new owners Rich Pauptit and David Gallant.
Quebec printer closes, auctions off equipmentQuebec commercial printing company Novostyle has reportedly closed.
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Ryerson GCM Colloquium & Expo 2019
April 3, 2019
InPrint USA 2019
April 9-11, 2019
Graphics Canada 2019
April 11-13, 2019
AICC Canada Trade Show and Conference 2019
April 24-25, 2019
May 14-17, 2019
Packaging Première 2019
May 28-30, 2019