Irish Printer Sept/Oct 2015

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UPM Finesse papers offer high whiteness and brightness, opacity 90–100% and different finishing from gloss to matt. Its superior surface provides the best image and text reproduction, ensuring you can make a sharp and lasting impression. UPM Finesse woodfree coated papers are available in a wide range of sheets and reels. Their runnability and overall performance is proven to be excellent. Close co-operation with technical service and product development ensures that the paper is constantly being developed to meet different printing and market requirements. UPM Finesse is an EU Ecolabel awarded paper. FI/11/001

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Some of the latest news from the Irish print industry.

Eoin Heagney, Managing Director of Antalis Ireland, talks to Maev Martin about paper price increases, a changing supply chain, and what he believes is the outlook for the print industry in Ireland.


In the first of a series of reports on product innovation, we look at the impact that the D&K Europa laminator is having on two of Ireland’s most successful print service providers.

Print Retrospective

In the second of a series of articles from Equator Design, Managing Director Gary Orr takes us on a journey through print’s fascinating and technologically challenging history.

Colour Management

The variety of printing processes and substrates used in packaging makes delivering accurate, reliable colour a real challenge for graphic designers. Colour management consultant Jan-Peter Homann says there is hope for a simpler process when colour is communicated digitally.

Best Buys


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What’s New in Print


The Finished Article

Hacketts of Cork talk about their recent investment in new finishing equipment from Morgana Systems dealer Printing & Graphic Equipment.

Cover Story Managing Director Patrick Stafford explains the thinking behind the recently-formed Stafford Engineering Services and what it has to offer the Irish print trade.


The Big Picture



The latest out of home advertising statistics show the continued business opportunities for printers in the growing large format market.

What do brand owners and retailers really want? What should a converter or print company do? These were some of the questions that speakers at the ‘Digital Packaging Live!’ event, hosted by Esmark Finch and Xerox last month, attempted to answer.

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elcome to the September/ October edition of Irish Printer magazine. The Irish print industry is still reeling from the news that well respected and pioneering print company Castle Print in Galway has become the latest casualty of the recession that keeps on giving. It is a while since we have had significant closures in the industry so the Castle Print closure is particularly shocking. On September 30th, the carried the sad news that a creditors’ meeting for Castle Print (Galway) Ltd would take place in The Pillo Hotel, Headford Road, Galway at 11:30am on Monday, October 12th. The proposed liquidator was George Maloney of Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon. By the time you read this, the meeting will have taken place and the final chapter in the process of a company ceasing to trade, and all the heartache and monetary pain that goes with that for directors and employees, will begin. Despite a lot of noises in national media and government circles that Ireland is emerging from the economic wilderness, many small and medium-sized print companies throughout the country have yet to feel the benefit of any economic improvements. And, when times are tough, companies, including print companies, can view membership of a trade or representative organisation as an extra ‘luxury’ that they can’t afford. It can be hard to see the benefits of paying a monthly or yearly subscription when you are struggling to keep the doors open, but that can prove to be a shortsighted view, particularly when industrial relations issues come into play. That’s why it is encouraging to note that the Irish Printing Federation is continuing to support small to medium-sized traders who are fighting the good fight to stay in business by changing the structure

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of its membership. “In June we made the decision to no longer affiliate the federation with IBEC so, as a result, we are introducing a new code for our members and new membership rates,” says IPF President Tom Clements. “Print companies who are members of IBEC can now be members of the IPF for free and print companies no longer have to be members of IBEC in order to join the IPF. In addition, our new rates are at a level that we hope will encourage more people to join. In 2015, membership can be taken for as little as €50 for individual Associate Members, €100 for companies with less than 50 employees, and €250 for larger companies. With 2015 membership you will also receive one free training course from the Design, Print and Packaging Skillnet.” The Irish Printing Federation has engaged in a number of lobbying campaigns in recent years which have resulted in, among other things, changes to public procurement policy as it relates to the print industry and the retention of major print contracts in Ireland. The federation has also highlighted inconsistencies in the application of VAT and breaches of legislation relating to electoral material not carrying the appropriate imprints. However, the federation needs the industry’s support, particularly in the form of continued and increased membership, if it is to secure the legislative and structural changes that are needed to help Irish print companies remain viable and relevant in the years ahead.

Maev Martin, Editor Email: Tel: (01) 432 2271

THE TEAM Editor: Maev Martin Editorial Manager: Mary Connaughton Creative Director: Jane Matthews Layout: Antoinette Sinclair Production Manager: Mary Connaughton Production: Claire Kiernan Printed by: Walsh Colour Print on 130gsm Cyclus Print, a 100% recycled matt coated sheet, manufactured by Arjowiggins Graphic and supplied by Antalis. Contact: Irish Printer, Ashville Media Group, Old Stone Building, Blackhall Green, Dublin 7 Tel: (01) 432 2200 Web:

All rights reserved. Every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is accurate. The publishers cannot, however, accept responsibility for errors or omissions. Reproduction by any means in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher is prohibited. © Ashville Media Group 2015. All discounts, promotions and competitions contained in this magazine are run independently of Irish Printer. The promoter/ advertiser is responsible for honouring the prize. ISSN 0790-2026

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Book your ticket now and discover all the latest product developments in the paper, office supplies and stationery sector: Tel. +44 (0) 14 83 48 39 83

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McGowans Becomes First Printer to Install Durst Rho 1312 McGowans has become the first company in the UK and Ireland to purchase a Rho 1312 as part of a latest investment totalling €2m with Durst in the past 18 months alone. With commercial printing starting last month, the Durst Rho 1312 is the most productive wide format press in its class. It will enable McGowans to enter additional markets and to produce a diverse range of products on a wide selection of media. Industries such as fashion and cosmetics demand photo quality images and this new addition allows McGowans to deliver on high speed, high quality product with all the benefits of digital. The Durst Rho 1312 prints on a diverse range of applications, from hard and soft foam sheets, up to 4mm thick, to aluminium, acrylic gloss, PVC, plastics and corrugated boards. As part of Durst’s continuous product advancement, the Rho 1312 has the ability to print with full automation, which provides several innovations. These include printing speeds of up to 650 square metres per hour, improved image quality, and a higher gloss finish with gradual flow technology. The benefits for the customer include increased productivity and improved image quality. From a technical perspective, other major features of the Rho 1312 highlighted by Durst include: a 12 picolitre drop size, consistent litho quality printing and perfect text quality at 1000dpi; the highest number of printing nozzles in its machine class; and the use of variodrop technology, adjustable size modulation, for excellent skin tones and solid areas. The installation follows on from McGowans’ investment in Durst’s Rho 1030 and then the P10 320. “Our investment in the latest leading-edge Durst system enables us to keep at the forefront of technology,” says Mal McGowan, owner and founder of the company and a Durst customer for 15 years. “Our demand for reliability, quality, speed, machine build excellence, and durability are all fundamental elements to consider when choosing a partner. The Rho 1312 is the best flatbed in its class so it was natural for McGowans and Durst to partner once again. Our customers are always at the forefront of all our decisions and investments. We acknowledge that our clients have the highest of expectations in terms of quality, speed and, of course, cost, and we are dedicated always to improving our machinery offering to improve our service. The opportunities are limitless with this investment.” Peter Bray, Managing Director of Durst UK and Ireland, describes the initial feedback that they have received about the Durst Rho 1312 as “fantastic. We are delighted and proud that McGowans, our long-standing partner and a pioneer in printing, has become the first company in the UK and Ireland to invest in this market-leading system. It will enable them to enhance their high quality digital market.”

(l-r): Durst’s Peter Bray, Mal McGowan and Richard Bates, Durst UK Sales Manager for Ireland.

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TEN TOP STORIES Ricoh Ireland Unveils New Digital Press Ricoh Ireland unveiled the Ricoh Pro C7110X at its Document Services Centre in Park West, Dublin on August 25th. This digital colour press supports an extensive range of media. It enables many different applications such as light packaging, demo packaging, direct mail, books, brochures and business cards. The Pro C7110X offers fifth colour opportunities outside the CMYK parameters, which include clear gloss and white toner, and it allows spot gloss, flood and watermarks to be easily incorporated into a wide range of documents. The Pro C7110X can run up to 90 pages per minute. The advanced model can support paper weight up to 360gsm and banner sheet printing up to 700mm Simplex. Advanced toner transfer also enables printing on textured media such as linen. Other features provided by the Pro C7110X include a fully automated ring binder, a multi-folding unit with six different paper-folding options, and a booklet maker with optional bleed trim and creasing capabilities.

The Ricoh Pro C7110X.

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Delta Enhances Production Capabilities with Speedmaster Delta Print & Packaging in Belfast is set to enhance its production capabilities, as it takes delivery of a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 145-6+L. The significant investment in this six-colour press with coater, and a Heidelberg Suprasetter 145 Computer to Plate device which keeps the press fed, will ensure that Delta can continue to meet the growing demand which it is experiencing in printing Very Large Format. “Our business acquisition plans are on target and in order to continue to meet the demands that we are encountering, we opted to invest in some of the latest technology within larger format printing to maximise economies of scale,” says Delta Packaging Chairman Terry Cross. “We have customised the Speedmaster XL 145-6+L and incorporated Axis Control to allow us to measure and log Pantone colours for repeat work. For any brand, colour plays a crucial role in brand identity. At Delta we recognise this and, indeed, it is our reputation for exacting production standards that has helped us to maintain our extensive and loyal customer base. Delta places a great deal of emphasis on the systems and processes that we use to ensure that the quality of the packaging we produce exceeds customer expectations. Having the ability to accurately replicate colours is essential for short term and for well established production cycles.” However, investing in technology is something that requires a significant amount of research. “We have invested a lot of effort and resources into pioneering new technology, such as low migration barriers and coatings,” he says. “The decision to install a sixcolour and coat configuration press was not taken lightly. We did take into consideration operator familiarity, which will make the move to the new format easier for the operators. Also, the training Heidelberg provides is very good, as is the remote service capability.” Delta Packaging’s Belfast plant recently completed a 55,000 square foot extension and it is this facility that will accommodate the new Speedmaster XL 145-6+L press. It will be co-located with one of the company’s two rotary flexo presses, as will their new large format die-cutting and gluing capability.


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Datapac is Sophos Irish Partner of the Year

G.F Smith Buys Naturalis Brand from Administrators

Speciality paper supplier G. F Smith announced at the end of June that they had bought the full intellectual property rights for the Naturalis brand of fine uncoated papers from the administrators of Tullis Russell Papermakers. The 200 year old Scottish mill announced that they had ceased trading in April this year. G. F Smith have distributed Naturalis exclusively in the UK since 2005 and promote it alongside their other own-branded products such as Colorplan and Accent. “Naturalis is one of the best performing uncoated stocks available,” says the company’s Joint Managing Director John Haslam. “It has been an exceptionally successful product for us for the last 10 years and sales continue to grow. We can now look forward to repeating our UK success overseas, both working with the product’s established export customers and in developing new markets.” The company confirmed that, as well as the brand itself, they have also bought all remaining mill stocks from the administrators. “Although we were deeply saddened by the loss of such a long established and well respected mill, we have worked hard at ensuring that we can continue making Naturalis elsewhere in the UK to the same exacting standards as Tullis Russell.” The company says that Naturalis is a high grade twin wire product and that its exceptional print performance comes from using the finest grade pulps. The product is suitable for both litho and digital print and is available in weights ranging from 120gsm through to 400gsm. G. F Smith has sales offices in London and Hull.

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Datapac has been awarded Sophos Irish Partner of the Year 2015, marking the third year in a row that the company has received this award. Datapac was chosen due to its strong ability to identify and secure growth from existing and new customers using Sophos solutions, as well as its commitment to providing excellence across the entire spectrum of the Sophos IT security portfolio. Sophos offers encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security backed by SophosLabs, a global network of threat intelligence centres. Over the past year, Datapac secured an increase in sales of 79% on the previous year. Datapac grew its revenues by 50% from its existing base of IT security customers by introducing additional Sophos products and services. It also expanded its overall number of customers using Sophos by 80%, including BAM Ireland, Kefron and Nutribio/Cooperative Animal Health Ltd. The Irish Partner of the Year was announced at the 2015 European Sophos Partner Connection Conference, held in Rome.

Karen O’Connor, General Manager Service Delivery, Datapac, with Dermot Hayden, Country Manager, Sophos Ireland.

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About Lion Print

Lion Print Brings Binding In-House Co Tipperary-based Lion Print installed a Horizon BQ 470 perfect binder with PUR from Portman Graphic in April and the machine has allowed them to become self-sufficient in a growing part of their business – short run finishing. The BQ 470 with PUR is one of three machines that were installed to complement each other, the other two being a Horizon HT70 3-knife trimmer and a section gatherer to collate folded book signatures. “Over the last number of years we have been printing an increasing amount of books and catalogues that are too thick for saddle-stitching so we were sending out all of our binding work,” says Managing Director John Stapleton. “Kavanagh’s Bookbinding in Ashbourne have always looked after our finishing work to a very high standard and we will continue to use them for our bigger print runs but we needed to be capable of finishing the shorter runs ourselves. Given our location in Tipperary, we are several hours away from any finishing company, so it was necessary to become self-sufficient in a growing part of our business. This isn’t the first BQ470 in Ireland but it is possibly the first one that does just PUR binding. Most of the work that we produce on the Horizon is standard size A5 and A4 books, typically around 80 to 240 pages. One of the first jobs we produced on it, however, was a run of 12,000 A6 booklets with 48 pages in it. We were very impressed at how well the Horizon handled this format, with a nice consistent square spine, despite the fact that the book was only 3mm thick! We’ve bound digitally printed books on it too, and the bind quality is excellent, thanks to the PUR technology.”

The Horizon BQ 470 (Four Clamp Perfect Binder), similar to the model recently installed at Lion Print in Cashel.

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Lion Print is a general commercial printing company, producing everything from office stationery to magazines, books and brochures, labels, packaging items, diaries and calendars. “And that’s just in the litho department,” says John. “We do a lot of digital print too, small and large format, vehicle graphics, and point of sale material, and we work for a lot of graphic design companies around Ireland. Part of the reason for this is our range of services, which include laminating, die-cutting, foiling, wire binding, and perfect binding, as well as our wide range of printing services. How buoyant is the print trade in Tipperary? “Overall it is quite good, especially for printers who are willing to diversify into different areas,” says John. “Our customers, both local and national, tend to be small to medium-size businesses so their needs are quite varied on any given day in Lion Print there will be a huge range of projects going on, we could have one machine foiling chocolate bar wrappers, another printing labels for a cosmetics company, our flatbed could be printing foamex panels for a museum exhibition, and we could be putting graphics on a water tanker on a customer’s site. There is no end to the work out there as long as you’re not relying solely on litho! In addition, this year we have experienced a shift back to demand for promotional material - flyers, folders, brochures. I genuinely believe that many people are turning away from social media and online marketing as their only strategy. I think that in this digital age, in order to stand out from the crowd, marketing people are turning back to print and using it creatively.” John is optimistic about the future of the print industry in Ireland. “The industry is evolving all the time but I think there is plenty of life left in print yet,” he says. “Lion Print has been around for over 20 years and it is a completely different industry now compared to what it was when we started in 1995. I have no doubt that we will still be here in another 20 years - it just remains to be seen what we will be printing!”


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Allprint’s SurePress L-4033AW label press copy

Allprint Installs First Epson SurePress in Ireland Allprint Design & Print Ltd has become the first company in Ireland to install an Epson SurePress L-4033AW seven colour digital label press with white ink and variable data option. The investment, alongside an Omega Digicon digital finishing machine, is key to the company’s expansion into the short-run digital label printing operation and also allows it to maximise output on existing flexo presses. Allprint Design & Print specialises mainly in self-adhesive label manufacture, supplying a wide range of customers, from small start-ups to well-established multinationals. The company offers its clients the complete package, from initial concept to label design and manufacture of finished product. “With on-site control we are able to provide what is required by our clients – a fast, efficient and reliable service,” says Norman Malcomson, Managing Director, Allprint Design & Print. “To maintain this service we needed an answer to short-run label production and, if possible, free production capacity on our larger presses. Having tried a few small-run printers for some time and not progressing, it was a visit to IPEX that started the ball rolling in the right direction.” With the increasing demand for short-run jobs, the Epson SurePress L-4033AW inkjet digital label press seemed to be the best solution for Allprint when they first inspected it at the exhibition. “It delivered exceptional print quality and a wide gamut colour reproduction on a large variety of standard and specialised label substrates, without the need for pre-treatments and coatings,” says Norman Malcomson. With further trials and a site visit to see the press in a working environment, Allprint’s investment in the SurePress L-4033AW label press was agreed, and it was installed, along with an Omega Digicon digital finishing machine. “It is now installed for six months and the Surepress L-4033AW press has integrated nicely into our existing set-up and has exceeded expectations,” says Norman. “It has improved lead times on short-run jobs, with no plates required, and has enabled same day production, using existing tooling on the Digicon for those emergencies.” The SurePress has also had a major impact on the production capacity of Allprint’s other presses, leaving more room for what these presses are made for – larger runs. Epson’s SurePress AQ inkset, which includes white ink for solid opaque white printing, offers the flexibility of printing white first or last on a range of Allprint’s standard and specialised materials (without any coating requirements). “This has opened up new markets,” says Norman. “Also, with the variable data as an addition to the press, Allprint is able to enter a whole new personalisation market which offers enormous potential.” Guy Martin, Business Development Manager, Epson Europe, says that the combination of “outstanding print quality, production efficiency and substrate flexibility” make the SurePress L-4033AW “the perfect solution” for short-run label print operations wishing to expand their services.

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Smart Investments in Portobello Apprenticeship Crisis D-Day Approaches for 2015 Scheme Despite a growing shortage of experienced printers, the future of the printing apprenticeship scheme currently hangs in the balance. With just four apprentices registered in 2014 and only two registered so far for the 2015 intake, Solas has warned that, unless numbers increase by the November deadline, next year’s programme will be cancelled. This move is likely to precipitate the permanent cessation of the programme. Furthermore, print unions have indicated that they will be seeking premium payments for their members if they are required to undertake additional training outside a recognised apprenticeship structure. “Employers are being short sighted on this issue and will rue the consequences if they do not put forward apprentices for the 2015 intake,” says Print and Packaging Forum Chairman Johnny O’Hanlon. “I understand that some employers are resisting the €1,500 fee while failing to recognise that apprentices are being paid while they are training. Furthermore, the revamped curriculum is producing top class printers who can perform to the highest standards. It is one thing giving training on new equipment, but good printers require a broad knowledge of their craft and the apprenticeship scheme is a highly regarded and proven model for delivering this essential training.” The forum chairman urged all companies to give immediate consideration to enrolling an apprentice for 2015. “We would urge all print companies in our industry to support an apprenticeship that has served the sector very well over the years.”

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Smart Imaging, based in Portobello in Dublin 8, has been busy on the investment front of late with the installation of a new Konica Minolta bizhub Press C1070, an upgrade to one of its two C7000 presses, and the installation of a new Creo front end. Graphic designer Alison Watson and Managing Director Brian Grant have been MJ Flood customers for several years and they had two Konica Minolta C7000s with Creo front ends. “One of their C7000s was ageing a bit but because of the flexible financing arrangement through our own MJ Flood Flexi Agreement we were able to upgrade the older of the two C7000s and put in a brand new bizhub Press C1070 with vacuum-belt feeding and a new Creo,” says MJ Flood Production Print Manager Phil Schueler. “The new installation and upgrades were carried out over the past six months. I think the exceptionally reliable vacuum-feed paper trays, the outstanding front-toback registration, greatly enhanced image quality and consistency, and the Creo RIP, were the attractive features of the Konica Minolta technology for Smart Imaging. Being the only real provider still supporting and selling the Creo front ends is a distinct advantage for us, especially because most Creo users do not want to go to a Fiery RIP.” Smart Imaging Managing Director Brian Grant says that much greater reliability and much less downtime are among the key attributes of the C1070 press. “In addition, the quality is very impressive but we have always been very happy with the quality from the Konica Minolta machines,” he says. “It is really the reliability and functionality that this model brings that make it a great addition to our team. We upgraded from our previous Konica Minolta press to keep improving our customer service and to maintain the standards that customers have come to expect in the busy, quick turnaround digital end of the print market. We find that customers expect quick responses and excellent quality and the new c1070 allows us to continue delivering those to our client base.” Smart Imaging work with corporate accounts and design companies, producing a full range of short-run printed items, from perfect bound proposal documents through to personalised variable data invitations and direct mailers. “We handle all aspects of our clients work and we pride ourselves on maintaining quality and adhering to brand standards on an ongoing basis,” says Brian. In fact, Alison and Brian look after all of MJ Flood’s design and print work. “Alison does all our design work for mailshots, brochures, print shows, etc. and Brian often takes care of the printing,” says Phil Schueler. “Being able to utilise our own customers for the services they are experts in is important to us and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Alison and Brian at Smart Imaging for many MJ Flood Production Print Manager, Phil years to come!” Schueler, with Smart Imaging’s Brian Grant


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(l-r): Managing Director Patrick Stafford with Jeff Walsh and John Byrne.

Engineering a New Repair Platform for Printers ... Stafford Engineering has strengthened its focus on print and broadened its portfolio of services for the industry following the setting up of a new company in April. Managing Director Patrick Stafford explains the thinking behind Stafford Engineering Services and what it has to offer the Irish print trade.

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tafford Engineering Ltd was established by Jim Stafford, who was the works manager of Creation Print in the 1970s. In 1978, after he was made redundant, Jim saw a gap in the Irish market for refurbishing print rollers for all machines. After researching the market, he leveraged his years of engineering experience and set up Star Roller Engineering. The company quickly grew and expanded its customer base to cover the island of Ireland and even carried out work internationally. The core services offered included re-covering, grinding, and the manufacturing of print/industrial rollers. John Byrne of JB Services has accumulated over 30 years’ experience in maintenance engineering and has worked for many distinguished engineering companies, including Associated Rewinds, Micro Print and Repro Centre. Printing press brands that he has acquired expert knowledge on include Manroland, Timson, and Morgana, as well as a range of other finishing equipment manufacturers. During his three decades in the print industry he travelled abroad to provide training on printing presses in some of the most prestigious head offices in the world, including Timpson Web in London,

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COVER STORY Manroland in Frankfurt, and Hamada in Osaka in Japan, before establishing JB Services in 2004. Jeff Walsh of JW Print Services began his career in the Irish print industry as an apprentice at Printech from 1985 to 1990 where he accumulated knowledge on a variety of machines from brands such as Roland, Ryobi, Stahl, Komori and KBA. Between 1990 and 2000 Jeff worked for Millers, Heidelberg’s then agents in Ireland, and he was trained in Germany to operate, repair and maintain their full range of products. In 2000 he moved to Central Press Services where he worked on Muller Martini equipment before setting up his own business, JW Print Services, in 2005.

Going Above and Beyond “Like John, Jeff had steadily built up his business and his client list in recent years and he decided this year that the time was right to expand into other fields,” says Patrick. “After several meetings, Jeff, John and I agreed that the best way forward for our individual operations was to set up a new company that would merge the expertise in all three under the new banner of Stafford Engineering Services. The idea was to plan for the expansion of our repair and maintenance operations into other industries while ensuring that the print industry was at the core of our new service offering. Since April, Stafford Engineering Services has acquired a reputation in the print industry for going above and beyond for our clients. In recent months we have provided qualified maintenance engineers to cover sick and holiday leave throughout the country. We have also sent qualified engineers abroad to look at a vast range of machines, both new, used and recently refurbished equipment, on behalf of their local and international clients. If one of our engineers inspects the equipment in person, it allows them to assess its condition prior to our client purchasing the item. We recently designed, manufactured and fitted a machine that was required urgently in the UK and we are currently working on similar projects for this client.”

Our customers are making large investments in digital printers and press room equipment, which is tangible proof of their belief in the future of the Irish print industry... We continually update our training to reflect changes in digital technology.

Cleaning Technology Stafford Engineering Services recently secured the Irish agency for Meech International, world leaders in the supply of static control and web cleaning systems. “Print industry technology is continuously and rapidly advancing and Stafford Engineering Services is keen to introduce the latest products in order to keep up with these advances,” says Patrick. “Securing high tech international agencies, such as Meech, gives us the technological edge. Having Meech as an agency enhances all of the existing services that we provide and enables us to offer our clients improved and complete solutions, increasing their efficiency and reducing their costs.” The Meech product range is organised into five key areas: static control equipment - industrial static and dust control equipment; contact and non-contact web cleaner systems -

contamination removal from webs; energy efficient compressed air technology – a range of products used at the point of application to reduce costs and improve efficiency; IonRinse – an ionised air rinsing system for use in the beverage industry; and JetStream – an ionising air knife for contamination removal. Apart from the printing industry, Meech products can be commonly seen in the aerospace, automotive, food and beverage, converting, medical, packaging, plastics and pharmaceutical industries. “We would be interested in looking for other agencies to tie in with our company profile,” says Patrick.

Revolutionising the Litho Print Process

About Stafford Engineering Stafford Engineering Services is based at 12 Parkmore Industrial Estate on the Longmile Road in Dublin 12. They have a fully functional engineering workshop, with a staff of 14, which can also accommodate print companies who need to bring in machines for repair. “We provide a full turnkey operation for the customer, from maintaining the machines to repairing, manufacturing and roller and surface covering,” says Patrick. “Folding machines, print machines and lamination machines are some of the key pieces of equipment that we work on for our print and finishing customers.” Stafford Engineering Services Ltd are a 24 hour, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year operation. Emergency callouts can be done at any time of the day or night. Our office telephone number is (01) 4600055 or you can call our technical experts on the following numbers Jeff Walsh (087) 9057179, John Byrne (087) 2199109 and Patrick Stafford (087) 2594104.

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Patrick is optimistic about the future of the Irish print industry. “Our workload is continuing to increase, which shows us that things are beginning to get moving again,” he says. “More and more of our customers are making large investments in digital printers and press room equipment, which is tangible proof of our client’s belief in the future of the Irish print industry. This has encouraged us to actively source unbeatable press room equipment, which we found in the UK with both Meech and Cyanx, which supplies anti-marking jackets and LED-UV. This is revolutionising the litho print process, offering instant drying and clean, as well as low-chemistry working.” The print industry in Ireland is changing and the most obvious change is the increasing use of digital printing presses. “More and more of the repair work that we carry out is on digital equipment,” says Patrick. “We continually update our training to reflect changes in digital technology. This enhances the level of service that we provide to all of our customers, whether they are digital, litho or flexo printers. At Staffords we are very fortunate to have a great team of experienced engineers that includes Jeff and John. However, we would like to see more apprentices coming on stream and more courses in print engineering being made available. A skilled print labour force would attract foreign direct investment which, in turn, generates industry growth. That is why it is vital that we have a consistent and sufficient number of apprentices coming through the system to ensure that the industry has the workforce it requires to sustain itself and put itself in a position where it can respond to the new challenges and opportunities that are emerging. The past few years have been challenging so it is great to see Irish companies adapting to meet the changes that they encounter. And Stafford Engineering Services has the ability to solve all print companies equipment issues so if you require technical assessment don’t hesitate to call us. We could be the answer you have been looking for.”


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PAPER GIANT Q: To what extent has the consumption of paper in the Irish commercial print sector declined in recent years? A: We are trading in an environment that is half of what it was six or seven years ago. A great deal has been written about this and it doesn’t make good reading. However, on a positive note, we have all learned some lessons that we can use to build better companies and a better future going forward. It is difficult to measure with 100% accuracy the trends in the market as no single report gives you a true picture. However, according to our latest figures, it would appear that the market is in better shape than it was last year, growing by approximately three per cent,which is great news.

Q: Have you noticed a significant decrease in demand for litho paper and a major increase in demand for sign and display and large format papers? A: Growth areas have been in digital papers and graphical board. While we had seen a decline in higher value brands such as Conqueror, we have been experiencing an increase in demand in recent times as printers look at more

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Hasn’t Abandoned Acquisition Trail

Karen O’Connor, General Manager Service Delivery, Datapac, with Dermot Hayden, Country Manager, Sophos Ireland.

Eoin Heagney, Managing Director of Antalis Ireland, talks to Maev Martin about paper price increases, a changing supply chain, and what he believes is the outlook for the print industry in Ireland.

value adding products, which is very encouraging. However, demand for carbonless and for most speciality grades is continuing to decline year-onyear. In terms of litho papers, Antalis has been growing in this sector but the sign and display sector is the one that has generated the real growth. Products such as Forex, Foamlite, Dibond, Xerox large format media and, most recently, Priplak have enjoyed significant growth.

Q: Price increases appear to be part of an inexorable cycle that occurs in the print industry. Is there any way that the mills and the paper merchants can ease the passing on of these price hikes to print companies? What level of price increases will Antalis be introducing to the Irish market this year? A: Antalis is now the only multinational paper company operating in Ireland. We are twice the size of our nearest competitor and we pride ourselves on our diverse product range. Being part of a multinational has many benefits for our customers, notably our buying power. Rest assured we wrestle with our

09/10/2015 12:14

INTERVIEW mills continuously to try and secure the most competitive pricing possible. Paper prices in Ireland are one of the lowest in Europe. Unfortunately, other costs such as rents, rates and wages are not so cheap and therefore can make competitiveness tricky. The truth is that the majority of companies need increases – we have a fantastic product and we must see the value in it. In relation to the upcoming increase, we are fighting hard but we will be looking at increases ranging from six per cent to eight per cent across the board. A number of factors are driving these increases, including the fact that mills cannot keep sustaining losses and have taken out considerable capacity this year alone. Also, the price of pulp is based on dollars and, because of a very weak euro, this has increased prices by 30%. In addition, mills are looking at other more profitable countries to increase tonnage – the UK and the US have become more attractive markets.

Q: How would you describe the changes that have taken place in the paper supply chain in recent years and what impact are they having on print companies? A: It has been a challenging time for the printing industry over the last few years and events which unfolded only four months back when Paperlinx UK and Tullis Russell went into receivership is a stark reminder that this period has not ended. A major European paper merchant and a mill failing so close together reminded us all that we are not yet out of the woods and that further change is inevitable. The impact of these supply chain changes on printers varies and ranges from disrupted service levels and the discontinuation of product ranges to changing specifications, increased prices, and no contact with account managers, to name just a few. The main impact is the availability of credit left in the market when one player leaves. Paper merchants are a valuable source of finance to many printers so when such events occur the impact can be catastrophic. Unfortunately, since these closures more mills have announced that they are also to close, which will reduce capacity even further.

Paper prices in Ireland are one of the lowest in Europe...we will be looking at increases ranging from 6% to 8% across the board. A number of factors are driving these increases, including the fact that mills...have taken out considerable capacity this year alone.

Q: How has Antalis Ireland responded to these changes in the print supply chain and to changes in customer demands? A: Consolidation is necessary at all levels of the supply chain. Antalis has been at the forefront of this with two large acquisitions in recent years - McNaughton Paper in 2007 and Xerox Document Services in 2013. Today Antalis prides itself on being the largest paper merchant in Ireland with a turnover of €46m. Our business has been divided into four sectors – print, sign & display, office, and packaging. This has allowed us to focus on the specific challenges and demands of these individual areas. For print businesses to succeed, Antalis recognises that printers need the tools to be able to add value to their clients offering. By keeping their print customers well supplied with the latest and most creative cutting edge substrates, Antalis is playing its part in enabling the printing industry to continue to push the boundaries of print and maintain its place as a key communication media. Innovation is another key requirement for print companies and Antalis has recently introduced a number of exclusive new product ranges such as Polyart, Priplak and Kromopak, that offer an added dimension to printed output.

Q: In recent years Antalis has gone on the acquisition trail in Ireland. What impact have those acquisitions had on the business? Are you planning to make further acquisitions in the Irish market, either this year or next year? A: The acquisitions have positioned Antalis as market leader in many sectors with the most accomplished product portfolio on the market. The McNaughton acquisition happened at a time when the market plummeted and many observers commented that it was a disastrous move. However, this decision gave us the diversification that we required and was the bedrock for the expansion that we have enjoyed in recent years. We have managed to integrate the best of all companies to create a unique culture that is customer driven. Our people are our greatest asset and we have been very fortunate in the staff that we acquired during both acquisitions. Are we planning more acquisitions? Yes, if the right one comes along.

Q: What, in your experience, are the new requirements of the industry in terms of paper supply? A: Continuity of supply is crucial as there will be more failures and consolidation within our industry. A diverse product range and bringing new products to market is a key priority. For example, in the digital area Antalis has invested in a Digital Academy where we encourage customers to attend regular briefing sessions for updates on new products and applications. Innovation will also be a key driver.

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Eoin Heagney

Q: Do you plan to develop your relationship with the design community? A: Antalis has traditionally been the merchant of choice with the majority of design houses and agencies. We have a dedicated team that engages constantly with all the top designers who frequently use our sampling service (online) and call in regularly to our Dublin office to see the samples in our display room.

Q: What R&D does Antalis engage in? A: We are continually adapting our offering in relation to the changing demands of the market and of our customers. One such development has been the ‘Green Star System’ - an innovative yet simple environmental classification system designed to help our customers choose environmentallyfriendly papers. All of our products have been ranked from one to five stars, with a product considered eco responsible if it has a minimum of three stars.

Q: How would you describe the outlook for the print industry in Ireland? A: As the longest established paper merchant in Ireland, we feel that the future of the print industry in Ireland is in great hands with top quality work been exhibited day in day out. Although the industry is practically unrecognisable from what it was 10 years ago, the fundamentals remain the same. It has been a challenging time for the printing industry over the last few years. Printers could be forgiven for thinking that the path ahead appeared to be a tough one. However, by focusing on innovation, customer service and added value, there is certainly a positive future for those willing to adapt and respond to changing demands.


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In the second of a series of articles from leading design house Equator Design, Managing Director Gary Orr takes us on a journey through print’s fascinating and technologically challenging history.

Printing houses of the not too distant past were alive with the sound of monster metal machinery from the industrial era. Today these have been replaced by modern presses and silent computers. Modern printing houses are more technologically advanced and efficient than ever but does the industry have a responsibility to keep the technology of the past alive? Clearly, there are many in our industry who believe that if the industry is to progress in a way that ensures the continued production of a quality product it must have a strong understanding of the technology that created and sustained the industry in the past. A growing number of museums, at home and abroad, are highlighting the history of the development of printing and are creating a desire among printers to experience the hands-on craft that print once was. The typophile’s among us may be interested to know that there is a wealth of history to explore and this article provides brief descriptions of some of the locations that celebrate print’s past. The first port of call is our very own National Print Museum. And for the more adventurous Irish Printer readers I have included a few must sees in the UK and Europe.

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Ireland National Print Museum, Dublin This country is home to some of the most beautiful examples of printing. You can start with a visit to the stunning Marsh’s Library. This is Ireland’s earliest public library and it houses over 25,000 examples of fine printed books. The Distillers’ Press, part of the National College of Art & Design, is open to the public by appointment or you could visit the breathtaking Old Library in the Long Room at Trinity College with its fine collection of printed craft. But if you only have time to see one of Dublin’s typographic jewels then it has to be the National Print Museum, which contains over 10,000 items relating to printing in Ireland, from hand-setting to hot-metal through to early computer typesetting, including artifacts relating to the newspaper industry. All are still in full working order. One of the highlights of the collection is a 17th-century hand-mould for casting type. Another is an original 1916 Proclamation, along with a Wharfedale Stop Cylinder Press, similar to that used to print the first proclamation.

UK Historical Printing Room and Museum of Technology, Cambridge Great treasures are to be found among the library’s considerable collection of printing artifacts, including a full-size replica of a late 18th-century wooden hand-press, an ‘Arab’ treadle-driven press, a Columbian and a copperplate printing press. For the serious historian, a visit to Cambridge University Library is a must as it holds many wonderful collections, including the papers of Stanley Morison and Beatrice Warde and the archives of the Curwen and Nonesuch Presses. Equally important is the material from William Morris’s Kelmscott Press – the punches and matrices for his Troy, Chaucer and Golden types, and punches for Eric Gill’s Perpetua and Joanna. A highlight is the wonderful 2,750 surviving Baskerville punches made by Birmingham’s famous printer in the 1750s. Tiny, silent soldiers of steel laid out in their wooden cases are mute witnesses to an adventurous history. Cambridge is, of course, bursting with other sites of bibliographic interest, including the recently opened Cambridge Museum of Technology, just a short walk from the Library. The Museum is home to a working print shop, which includes Monotype and Linotype casters, an Albion, Wharfedale, Columbian, Adana and various proofing presses. And, if you want to re-awaken long-forgotten skills, you can even set a line of type and print yourself a souvenir.

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The Netherlands De Typografische Bibliotheek, Amsterdam Holland boasts some of the biggest names in print’s past – Elzevir, Enschedé – so it isn’t surprising, therefore, that it claims some of the best printing museums. Enhance your trip to the Dutch capital with a visit to De Typografische Bibliotheek and take a look at the Tetterode Collection, which contains a wonderful selection of 20th-century typography - the archives of Lettergieterij Amsterdam, printed ephemera such as wayzgoose-prints, and one of the largest collections in Europe of book production, distribution, and conservation. See also the Athiaschest, which contains punches and matrices from which Hebrew type was cast for more than two centuries and used to print thousands of Hebrew and Yiddish books. The Tetterode Collection also has some beautiful prints demonstrating a large variety of illustration and reproduction techniques and pictures from type-foundries and printing establishments.

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Museum Joh. Enschedé, Haarlem Haarlem is just 20km west of Amsterdam with a beautiful 16th and 17th-century town centre and several museums. The firm of Joh. Enschedé has been in existence for almost three centuries. Located in the premises of Enschedé‘s Haarlem division, it contains the history of the foundry. Its main collections comprise the firm’s archives, punches and matrices of the typefoundry, archives of the Oprechte Haarlemsche Courant, the banknote collection, and the filatelic collections. All date from the beginning of the 18th century.


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PRINT RETROSPECTIVE France Bibliothèque Forney and Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris In France, as in the UK, the most interesting print museums are outside the metropolis. However, if you are in Paris, a visit to the Bibliothèque Forney – the collections of which include material on the French printing industry, traditional and contemporary typesetting, printing, paper making, and engraving – will not disappoint. The Bibliothèque also has an extensive collection of trade literature and type catalogues. Just around the corner is the Musée des Arts et Métiers with a gallery devoted to 19th-century iron printing presses, rotary presses, proofing presses, stereotypes and machine tools.

Musée de l’imprimerie, Lyon Near the French Alps in Lyon, it is one of Europe’s most important printing museums. The Musée de l’imprimerie is located in the 15th-century Hôtel de la Couronne. It contains a significant collection of books, engravings, tools, technical equipment and machines relating to the history of printing. The museum displays several methods of reproduction: wood engraving, intaglio engraving, lithography, and photo mechanical processes (half-tone engraving and photogravure). It also possesses a remarkable collection of engraved wood blocks from the 16th to 20th centuries. There are regular exhibitions covering all aspects of book production: drawings, engravings, lithographs, posters, and ancient and modern works of exceptional quality. There are also printing workshops especially for children.

Germany Gutenberg-Museum, Mainz

Belgium Plantin-Moretus Museum and Dagbladmusem, Antwerp For many years Antwerp was the focal point for 16thcentury fine book printing, a fact that is reflected by the city’s two printing museums. South of the Grote Markt is the city’s oldest residential district, and close to the Vrijdagmarkt Square is the marvellous PlantinMoretus Museum, one of the most celebrated museums in Antwerp. It is a 16th-century patrician house set around a courtyard, with original furnishings and the workshops and book collection of Christopher Plantin, one of the great masters of early printing. The Officina Plantiniana was the most famous printing works in Europe. The typefoundry, workshop, type store, correctors’ room and bookshop are still intact and preserved as they were in the 16th and 17th centuries. The type foundry includes 15,825 moulds and 4,477 punches capable of printing eighty different founts all in working order. There are 2,846 copperplates and 13,791 woodblocks. The workshop houses eight 17th and 18th century presses, the oldest of which date from around 1600. The building is magnificent and the collection is imposing as it represents 300 years of typographic work. Also in Antwerp is the Dagbladmusem [Press Museum], which is located in the former home of Abraham Verhoeven, an engraver, printer and journalist. In 1605, Verhoeven started printing the Niewe Tydinjhen from his home, one of the world’s first printed newspapers. The museum has the largest and most diverse newspaper collection in the world. The collection exceeds two million examples that come from more than 120 countries. Among the curiosities are the biggest newspaper - The Constellation (US, 1859) - and the smallest newspaper - Utrecht’s Nieuwsblad (Netherlands, 1845). In addition, there is a selection of printing and binding equipment and various composing machines.

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Mainz is the birthplace of moveable type and home to the Gutenberg-Museum. Adjoining the colourful Markt and a little to its east is Liebfrauenplatz. On the north side of the platz is the magnificent pink renaissance facade of the Hans zum Römischen Kaiser, which houses the offices of the GutenbergMuseum. The actual displays are in a modern extension behind. The Gutenberg-Museum has been enlarged and extended over several decades; it was expanded once more for the 600th anniversary of the birth of Gutenberg in 2000 when he was also voted ‘man of the millennium’. Visitors to the museum can see a modern recreation of Gutenberg’s workshop and printing machines and watch occasional demonstrations taking place. On display are examples from Gutenberg’s workshop, including the famous 42-line bible from the 1450s, as well as illuminated manuscripts, wooden book-blocks, book covers and historic presses. Elsewhere in the museum there are displays of books from around the world.

MAN Corporation, Augsburg Augsburg is 220km south-east of Mainz and it is where you will find the MAN Corporation. MAN has its own museum about its contribution to the development of printing machines and the firm’s other interest, diesel engines. The museum displays both originals and reconstructions of historical printing machines and components. Two of the original exhibits are particularly worth mentioning: a hand-operated high-speed printing machine from 1846 and the first attempt at a diesel engine that was built between 1893 and 1895. There are many pictures and photographs of the MAN enterprise, Rudolf Diesel, and the building of printing machines.

Stiftung Werkstattmuseum für Druckkunst (Museum of the Printing Arts), Leipzig Stiftung Werkstattmuseum für Druckkunst is one of the most recent printing museums, having been established in 1999. With its collection of around 100 working historical printing machines spanning the centuries, coupled with equipment for both hand composition and hot-metal typesetting, the museum really brings the history of printing alive. Part museum and part active workshop, visitors can experience hands-on printing processes for themselves. The museum also covers some of the allied trades with a fully equipped handcraft bookbindery, a workshop of a wood engraver and a unique collection of more than 4,000 different typefaces, both roman and exotic, from Europe and the Far East. It is located in the former industrial quarter of Plagwitz in a listed industrial building that has been in continuous use as a printing house since the early 20th century.

Wherever you end up, perhaps you can be tempted to dip your toe in a little of print’s illustrious past!

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In the first of a series of reports on the equipment that is helping Irish print companies to expand their service offering, we look at the impact that the D&K Europa laminator is having on two of Ireland’s most successful print service providers.


wo of Ireland’s leading print companies, Modern Printers in Kilkenny and Cork’s Lettertec, recently installed D&K Europa thermal laminators supplied by Dublin-based Portman Graphic. The ability to deliver fast make ready, to process work quickly, and to operate reliably every time are the key atributes of the laminator, according to both companies. “We needed a replacement laminator and the D&K model proved to be the best value for money in the market at the moment,” says Liam Cody of Modern Printers. “We installed it in August and it has been laminating short run digital and litho work for us, mainly brochures and covers for reports. The laminating speeds are great and it also provides fast make ready, which is extremely important in today’s market. The fast make ready helps our clients that require two to four hour turn around. The laminator is also very economical to run and has low wastage. The D&K Europa is working well as part of our overall package for customers. It is too soon to tell if we will be investing in further models. However, if it keeps performing as it is at the moment I would see no reason why we wouldn’t invest in additional models.” This isn’t Modern Printers first purchase from Portman Graphic. They bought a Horizon three knife trimmer from the company in 2013. For Lettertec, however, it was their first Portman Graphic purchase and they had three specific requirements for the new laminator – it had to be heavy duty, have an automatic feed, and a fast speed. “We also needed it installed quickly and Portman Graphic delivered it to us in 48 hours,” says Managing Director Frank Kelly. The laminator, which was installed in May, is laminating book covers for Lettertec’s busy self-publishing business, printed paper covers for colour case bound book covers, brochure covers, and business cards, as a well as a range of marketing collateral. Like Liam Cody, Frank cites the Europa’s speed and reliability as its most appealing features. “We can process work incredibly quickly and we never have to worry about it,” he says. “It is an American company with a European range of machines built in Poland - the all metal construction is very sturdy. We haven’t had a single problem with it since installation. It it working well, coordinating the covers with either the binder for soft cover book production or the casemaker for hard cover books. In addition, we can match the laminated book covers quickly to the separated text blocks for paperback books and it does not hold up the automatic casemaker for hard cover books.” Lettertec invested in a second Xerox Nuvera 144 last

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The D&K Europa laminator.

month to keep up with demand for mono print but Frank isn’t planning to add to his finishing array anything soon. “I’m confident that the heavy duty and fast D&K Europa will meet our lamination requirements for the foreseeable future,” he says.

Key Features - D&K Europa The D&K Europa supplied in Ireland by Portman Graphic is equally adept at running litho or digital output. Key features include: high pile feeder to maximise efficiency for longer run work, heated steel top roller, rubber nip roller, scrolled in-feed roller to help feed lightweight and digitally produced sheets, de-curl bar, which can be adjusted on the run, burster type sheet separator, and integral catch tray The laminator is PLC controlled and has a hinged support mandrel to allow for easy roll changes. Film can be moved laterally on the run. The D&K Europa is capable of running at speeds of up to 20 metres per minute. It is available with a longer feed table - 88cm, 95cm and 105cm – and other versions of the Europa include the Europa PB double-sided model and EL(single-sided with embossing station).

Portman Plans Equipment Showcase Portman Graphic will be installing a showroom to demonstrate smaller equipment such as creasers, folders, perfect binders, booklet makers and laminators. “This is a new departure for us - we have never had enough space to show our equipment so we will have the perfect environment to show customers the quality of our large and small kit,” says Managing Director Ian Murphy. Portman Graphic recently moved premises, relocating its head office from its 2,500 square foot premises in Cherry Orchard to an 11,000 square foot factory with new offices in the Ballymount Industrial Estate. “As a lot of our business is in the export market, we have invested heavily in stocks of large equipment. This equipment requires storage space and workshop conditions for reconditioning and rebuilding, all of which are now being carried out at our new premises.”

From small format equipment to the largest presses and bindery equipment, Portman can help you with your project. Contact us on Tel: 01 6233977. Email: or visit


09/10/2015 13:01




DESIGN PRODUCTION The variety of printing processes and substrates used in packaging makes delivering accurate, reliable colour a real challenge for graphic designers. But there is hope for a simpler process when colour is communicated digitally, according to colour management consultant Jan-Peter Homann.

pecification of colour for packaging begins long before the job arrives at a packaging printer. And sometimes this means that it is difficult, or even impossible, to actually print the specified colours using the target substrates and printing processes. Designers and brand owners would, of course, like to avoid this expensive proposition by ensuring that the final drafts of a packaging design clearly indicate the colours that can actually be achieved during production. This is facilitated when the brand owner, design agency and repro house are using a shared digital database (also known as asset management). But it must go a step further in order to ensure that colours can be reproduced as expected. Enter PantoneLIVE. PantoneLIVE is a cloud-based ecosystem that greatly simplifies the communication of colour throughout the entire supply chain, from design and specification through to production. It also allows designers and brand owners to predict exactly how colours will look on the target substrate, and using the desired printing technology and inks, before files are ever sent to the printer.

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What is PantoneLIVE? PantoneLIVE enables the universal Pantone colour language to be accurately communicated among brand owners, designers, pre-media, ink suppliers and the pressroom with no ambiguity, breaking down the silos in the colour workflow. The PantoneLIVE team works with printers, converters and other stakeholders to define, develop and deploy accurate colour specifications, based on specific substrates, print processes, inks and application methods. Precise spectral definitions for each colour are organised in a secure cloud-based ecosystem accessible to all authorised stakeholders across the global supply chain. Brand integrity and design intent are assured, regardless of print surfaces, production processes, technologies, skill sets, people or geography. During implementation, Master Standards are defined for each colour within selected colour palettes. These are spectral values based on Pantone identities that represent the true colour as specified. Sometimes, due to the realities of production materials and processes, the desired Master Standard colour cannot be fully achieved with the target substrate and printing process. Dependent standards are expressly designed to represent desired Master Standards, while taking into account the effect on colour outcome of using various different substrates and printing processes. PantoneLIVE also provides designers working in Illustrator with special colour libraries. For example, for flexo printing on various flexible packaging types, paperboard or corrugated board. These PantoneLIVE colour libraries are also available for proofing solutions as well as for accurate, error-free ink formulation by printers/converters or ink manufacturers. Simply put, PantoneLIVE ensures accurate, consistent colour communication across the entire supply chain, from design through to production, using digital colour standards and a common colour language.

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Hangtag viewed in Adobe

library for flexo

Illustrator with standard

printing on a brown

PANTONE colours.

cardboard. Illustrator is now simulating what the final result would look like using flexo printing on brown paperboard. To do this, the designer logs out of Illustrator and into the PantoneLIVE cloud and

Next, the designer replaces the

selects the appropriate PantoneLIVE colour library.

design’s Pantone colours with those from the selected library.

Replacing the original PANTONE colours with the version for flexo printing on cardboard. The preview in Illustrator

Alternative Process with PantoneLIVE

taking into account the final substrate where the hangtag

Above is the first draft of the tag, as envisaged by the designer. It uses the colours Pantone 7465U and 7499 U. The paperboard is simulated in Adobe Illustrator using a separate layer.

is to be printed now shows a dramatic reduction in contrast.

A Case In Point A good example of PantoneLIVE in action is a printing company that wants to test how well it can achieve a specified colour, such as Pantone Coated Reflex Blue. It can use its printing inks and special laboratory printing devices on the target printing substrate to produce colour recipes for individually mixed, optimum printing inks with data drawn from the PantoneLIVE database. During this process, it may be discovered that Pantone Coated Reflex Blue cannot be produced with a satisfactory level of accuracy. However, all too often, this occurs just as the job is being prepared to print, and it is late in the game for the customer to have to make decisions about compromises that may be required to achieve the desired colour using the chosen substrate and printing process. Since the ink recipe is usually produced at a relatively late stage of production, this information is often not available when the print-ready proof is produced. And this can cause project delays as well as customer dissatisfaction. In this scenario, the print-ready proof is actually of very little value for determining the accuracy of the special colours. Since all PantoneLIVE digital colour libraries are tested with real printing inks on real substrates, these digital standards are ideal for directing the formulation of ink recipes in the print shop, allowing the colour defined in the design and proof to be reliably produced as specified. Even more important, when PantoneLIVE is part of the workflow, the customer sees colours that can actually be produced in the print shop during the design phase and on the proof.

Adobe Illustrator hangtag preview with flexo colours on cardboard. To achieve a better contrast, one alternative would be to print onto a white paperboard or to preprint in white before printing the actual special colours on the brown paperboard substrate. In the latter case, the result would be: Adobe Illustrator preview for optimised flexo colours with white preprinting on cardboard.

PantoneLIVE in the Real World Unfortunately, in any production operation, minor mistakes can occur in the production chain that result in an unusable product and the need for rework. The following example is based on a real scenario. However, we have made a few changes to the story to protect confidentiality. An international clothing manufacturer arranged for hangtags to be produced for its latest collection. These were to be printed in Pantone colours 7465U and 7499 U on a brown uncoated paperboard. The designer simulated the brown paperboard in the design in a separate layer plus the Pantone colour. A proof was produced on this basis and sent to the print shop 12,000km away as the specification. Using this proof, the print shop tried to simulate the design intent as best it could. However, it was only able to produce a much darker result and therefore much less of a contrast with its printing ink. The printer decided not to have the colour approved by the customer in advance and printed the entire run of 300,000 hangtags. As you might imagine, the customer wasn’t happy and the entire run had to be printed again. The print shop had to bear most of the

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costs but the customer was partly to blame because he didn’t send the print shop a proof matched to the printing process. The delivery of clothes with hangtags was delayed by several weeks. All in all, this was a costly experience for everyone. Now, let us see what would have happened with PantoneLIVE in the mix.

Summary Right from the design and/or final artwork phase, PantoneLIVE allows the interaction between substrate, printing process and ink to be evaluated without the designer even needing to know which print shop will be used. The brand owner sees drafts that can be realistically achieved. The repro house can define special colours more accurately in the proof, and the print shop receives a specification that it can realistically reproduce in the ink recipe. Note: To use PantoneLIVE in the production of packaging, all users need a subscription to access the PantoneLIVE cloud. The plug-in shown for Illustrator has a yearly price of €85 for a single copy. For more information, visit


09/10/2015 12:33


WHAT’S NEW IN PRINT New Imager Gets Global Launch ThermoFlexX has used an open house at its factory in Ypres, Belgium, for the worldwide launch of the completely redesigned ThermoFlexX 60 digital flexo plate imager. The company claims that the new ThermoFlexX 60 is the most advanced 1,067mm x 1,524 mm flexo imager on the market. It can fit a dual-head imaging system, which enables output speeds of 12 square metres an hour at 2,400 dpi, and has a maximum resolution of 5,080 dpi, allowing the production of halftone screens of 250 lpi. The imagers will expose any plate with a LAM layer such as flexo, letterpress and dry offset, as well as Gallus Screeny (digital screen) and ablative film. They can handle any thickness from a 0.18mm ablative film to a 6.35mm flexo plate, and support all relevant technologies such as flat top dots. ThermoFlexX imagers can be integrated seamlessly into existing workflows such as those from Esko Graphics, Hybrid Software, Kodak and Agfa.

Fujifilm Strengthens Position in Packaging Market Fujifilm Graphic Systems Europe has entered into a distribution agreement with Tilia Labs to incorporate Phoenix imposition and planning software for packaging applications into its print production solutions portfolio. Phoenix is a JDF-based platform that integrates with Fujifilm’s XMF workflow to provide increased automation and production efficiencies for a variety of applications such as packaging, labels and tags. It offers a wide range of imposition features, including irregular shaped step and repeats, and automatic artwork to die layout alignment and mark management. The software’s planning capabilities optimise the way jobs are collated or ‘ganged’ for printing based on minimising waste or maximising printing speeds. This ‘ganging’ functionality supports true shape nesting and automatically provides users with different options to arrange jobs. Phoenix also enables print service providers and converters to quickly generate accurate job estimates and drastically reduce preparation time and waste.

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Massive Media Catalogue from Walsh Graphics Walsh Graphics, one of the largest and fastest growing distributors of wide format media and display products in Ireland, launched its biggest catalogue to date for 2015/2016 earlier this month. The catalogue features a product range from some of the best print media manufacturers in the industry, including Arlon, Ritrama, Hexis and DGCal. Their new partnership with Ultima Displays, who are leaders in high-end display solutions, gives their customers access to a huge range of display products with a 24 hour delivery service. Walsh Graphics’ 10,000 square foot warehouse facility carries a wide range of print media, display products, tools, wide-format inks and sheet material. “Our aim is to be the most reliable and comprehensive ‘onestop shop’ for all sign makers and printers requirements,” says Dave Lyons of Walsh Graphics. “We now have a nationwide sales team of six business development managers. Our 2016 goal is to reach out into the UK market by developing our e-commerce platform and expanding our sales team.”

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22/05/2015 14:52


WHAT’S NEW IN PRINT Exquisite Outfits for Precious Vintages

Hexis Introduces the Bodyguard Hexis UK Ltd, the exclusive UK distributor of Hexis S.A.’s full range of films and media for professional signage, vehicle marking, visual communication and surface protection applications, recently announced the immediate availability of its Hexis Bodyfence vehicle paint protection film. Hexis Bodyfence is a 155µ ultra-clear self-adhesive polyurethane film with advanced surface technology, specifically designed for the protection of vehicle bodies. It protects vehicle paint from chipping, scratches and minor dents, as well as insects, UV rays, and car wash brushes. Hexis Bodyfence is durable for up to eight years under normal road-use conditions. Application is straight-forward and the solvent-based acrylic adhesive offers immediate and permanent adhesion to surfaces. Hexis supplies its Bodyfence film with detailed application guides, online videos, and all the peripheral application tools required. Hexis Bodyfence is available in 20 metre rolls and can be purchased in a variety of widths up to 1,520mm.

Herma’s new textured paper types - Hermafelt white brut (316) and Hermapearly sun (330), which were introduced at this year’s Labelexpo, are the newest addition to the manufacturer’s Hermaexquisite range of materials for wine and sparkling wine labels. Hermafelt white brut (316) offers label makers high opacity alongside good moisture resistance and a grained surface structure, while Hermapearly sun (330) provides a pearlescent, textile-like surface structure. The Hermaexquisite portfolio includes 23 additional high-end label materials: textured and moisture-resistant as well as coated papers, aluminium papers, and white or transparent films. In all cases, optimal adhesion is ensured by Herma’s 62W multi-layer adhesive. It offers outstanding adhesive properties even in cool and damp conditions, e.g. in wine cellars, and is suitable for submersion in ice buckets. Additionally, it features the ISEGA certificate for direct contact with foodstuffs.

Herma’s premium portfolio Hermaexquisite provides a wide range of design options with excellent adhesive properties.

SCA Launches New Publication Paper SCA has developed a high bulk LWC paper called GraphoStyle. According to the forest products company, its printability is on a par with exclusive magazines, it creates volume, and it has one of the best environmental profiles in the market. GraphoStyle is a matt, bright and bulky (feels thicker) LWC paper. This gives it an exclusive magazine feel, even for printed materials with lower page counts. It is also suitable for smaller runs. “There has been a clear increase in the demand for bulky paper with high brightness in Europe, while paper that has an easily-readable matt surface is also proof of environmental values,” says Ulf Edman, Marketing Director for SCA Ortviken’s publication paper. GraphoStyle has a higher brightness, providing good contrasts and vibrant colours in images. Higher bulk also enables paper buyers to reduce the grammage, saving money in both purchasing and distribution. GraphoStyle has been developed to compete with higher bulk papers used in advertising and magazines.

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Whether you operate an extensive array of finishing kit or you prefer to outsource, it’s all about adding something special to set off a well printed job. And now that the economy appears to be improving, clients are getting more creative.

acketts of Cork has invested in two new models of finishing equipment from Morgana Systems dealer Printing & Graphic Equipment of Dublin. The new Morgana System AF350 booklet maker with AF602 feeder replaces an earlier Duplo model, while a new Morgana Autocreaser 33 Pro replaces an earlier existing auto creaser. Commenting on the latest Morgana purchase, Brian O’Loughlin, Hacketts Group Director, says their customers were requesting a superior booklet finish rather than the standard saddle staple for higher page counts. “We had been outsourcing work to get the square backed finish that our customers required,” he says. “However, logistically this was proving time-consuming, with our supplier having plenty of additional work to schedule in. Also, with a considerable volume of our own finishing work completed after hours it was becoming apparent to us that we needed to have our own in-house solution to manage our customer’s expectations efficiently. Having reviewed the products on the market, we were very impressed with the samples from the BM350 booklet maker provided by Morgana. We

have always had an excellent working relationship with Printing & Graphic Equipment and the new BM350 offered us everything we needed in a booklet maker with automated feeding. The system, installed in June, is already serving us very well. The SquareFold and trim is a great facility that gives a superb finish. It offers something different for the market. Customers do not always fully understand it until we show them their own samples. As soon as they see it, they understand the benefits and want the square backed finish every time. It is producing 3,000 to 4,000 books per week for us already and we are delighted with the speed and the final product outcome.” Morgana’s BM350 and BM500 are high capacity booklet making machines that are capable of producing books of up to 140 or 200 pages of 80gsm respectively. The BM350, which is installed at Hacketts, produces books up to 140 pages squared and trimmed in a single pass. The system includes the Morgana AF602 dual bin high-capacity feeder for continuous production. BM350 also incorporates the new full-colour touchscreen interface which provides clear visible instructions to the operator on all machine functions. “The SquareFold option is a great addition to the system when producing thicker booklets – it gives a really great, perfect bound look to the book and offers the facility to display print added to the spine,” says James Walsh,

BM350 and BM500

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Morgana Systems Export Manager. “There is a definite need for higher page count booklets and booklets created using much thicker paper stocks. These latest product introductions extend the capabilities of our current set of booklet makers.” The new Autocreaser 33 Pro replaces the old creaser model. The new machine offers a higher production speed and the new SmartScreen machine set-up makes its use quick and easy, even for inexperienced operators. Hacketts, established in Dublin in 1954 by JD Hackett, specialises in digital printing and document management for design professionals, marketing and communication specialists, legal practices, and construction and contracting firms, as well as educational institutions. Hacketts operates from Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Work in Cork is produced on a variety of digital print engines. The group employs up to 80 people throughout Ireland, including 20 personnel in its Cork office.

Retrofitting Pays Off

The new, retrofittable 0507 folder feeder from Muller Martini offers a large range of formats, quick replacement, and feeding using stream feeders. In addition, a folding process is no longer necessary. Martin Vogel is Head of Production at Swiss publishing company Zofinger Tagblatt. The company produces a weekly magazine called Tierwelt, which has a circulation of around 80,000 copies. Since the new 0507 folder feeder has been fitted to their BravoPlus saddle stitcher (year of production – 1996) they can now also be fed using stream feeders. In addition, all stream feeders for the cover and content signatures can be operated by the same person so only one operator is needed for all the feeders instead of two. “With eight hours of production time multiplied by 52 issues a year, it pays off,” he says. “In terms of return on investment, it’s one of the most attractive The new 0507 folder feeder investments that we’ve ever made.” can be fed manually or by In addition to cover feeding using stream feeders, using stream feeders. the 0507 folder feeder with servo drive offers numerous other key benefits. With a maximum size of 482 x 635 and a minimum one of 89 x 165, the 0507 folder feeder covers a large range of sizes, and replaces the 0353 and 0354 models (the former being for smaller sizes and the latter for larger sizes) with a single feeder model that covers the whole product range. Thanks to its compact design, the 0507 folder feeder can be installed anywhere at the saddle stitcher in place of a flat pile feeder. Two flat pile feeders had to make way for the 0354 folder feeder. The 0507 folder feeder also has considerably shorter setup times than earlier models. That makes an impact when there are several job changeovers per shift. In addition, the 0507 folder feeder is optimised for the processing of low paper grammages, which further extends the product range. The 0507 folder feeder with servo drive comes as standard with the new Primera generation and can be retrofitted on the Prima, Prima S, PrimaPlus, BravoPlus, Primera 130 and Primera 140 saddle stitchers. Since the 0507 folder feeder ensures clean scoring thanks to the tWinScore scoring wheel developed by Muller Martini, the folding process for the covers can be omitted. For saddle stitchers without a folder feeder to date, the use of the folder feeder enables skipping an entire process, making production considerably more efficient. At Zofinger Tagblatt AG, the Tierwelt cover that is printed in four-up, only needs to be trimmed to individual sheets. The earlier folding process in double production is no longer necessary, allowing around five hours of production time to be saved per week. In addition to greater cost-effectiveness (“without the need for the folding process, we can produce at lower cost and have more free capacity”), Martin Vogel also reports enhanced quality when using the new 0507 folder feeder. “Previously we occasionally had scratch marks, but that’s now a thing of the past,” he says. He is therefore in no doubt that retrofitting has paid off for the company. “The new folder feeder is an attractive and user-friendly solution for industrial production, in particular. It’s just a shame that it wasn’t on the market even earlier.”

It’s a Wrap for Friedheim Billed as the complete production line event, the PPMA Show 2015 (September 29th to October 1st) is the UK’s processing and packaging industries event, with hundreds of equipment exhibitors in the food processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals processing, and packaging industries. Packaging solutions provider Friedheim International displayed equipment supplied by two of the manufacturers that it represents in the UK & Ireland – Beck Packautomaten and Schib Packaging – on its stand at the show in the NEC in Birmingham. Beck Packautomaten showed a Serienpacker S 1750 XJ packaging system from its range of film, shrink, sleeve and form shoulder wrapping machines. The machine demonstrated the film wrapping of a range of different types and sizes of products in order to highlight its versatility. In a separate demonstration Schib Packaging displayed a CO 130 INT horizontal flow wrapping machine which can operate at up to 40 items per minute, depending on product size and shape. Visitors to the stand were able to view the flow wrapping of a variety of products.

New Packaging Solution for Folding Boxes Herzog + Heymann has introduced a new packaging solution for folding boxes whereby the whole process is performed completely in-line. The folding boxes are die-cut in-line and then transferred to the new Herzog + Heymann packaging line. The boxes are initially pre-folded and finally folded by the new Herzog + Heymann 091.1 transport system and its plough fold devices. The packaging line is equipped with precise fine adjustment for reducing set-up times and this makes the line particularly suitable for low volume jobs. Using the 2-up stream production capability doubles the output quantity and adds to profitability.

Herzog + Heymann transport system.

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The Design, Print & Packaging Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets Ltd. funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

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Irish Printer reports on some striking substrate applications and a recent Mimaki installation, while the latest out of home advertising statistics show the continued business opportunities for printers in the growing large format market.

Diageo is Biggest Spender Recent figures released by OMA/Nielsen, which for the first time includes ‘targeted media’ spend, have once again shown a positive increase in the first half of 2015. Spend increased by four per cent when compared to the same period last year. Overall expenditure for Out of Home (OOH) was €50.4m across large format billboards, six sheets, transport, targeted media, and digital OOH formats. Continuing last year’s trend, the quality of OOH advertising has improved considerably. The first 48 sheet lightboxes were introduced to the market at Donnybrook and the Naas Road. A number of wave machines have either been removed or replaced with either HD or static boards. This has resulted in large format billboards seeing a five per cent increase in spend from H1 2014, now accounting for 31% of all OOH spend at €15.7m. The launch of new digital OOH formats and new networks has attracted new advertisers. Digital now accounts for approximately 10% of OOH spend as advertisers start to take advantage of its flexibility. Drink, encompassing alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and also hot drinks, is now the largest category in OOH, accounting for €8.6m and 17% of total spend. Diageo was the top advertiser

with spend of €2.8m. Heineken and Coca Cola were the seventh and 11th overall biggest advertisers, spending €1.2m and €970k respectively. The most recalled campaign unprompted from January to June 2015 was Coca Cola’s ‘Kiss’ campaign, at 73%. Heineken launched its first cider product, Orchard Thieves, in April/May of this year with an innovative tease and reveal campaign. In second place stands household services, accounting for a total spend of €8.4m. Broadband providers continue to battle it out, with both Sky and UPC investing heavily in OOH across the first half of 2015. Sky pipped UPC to the post as the third biggest advertiser with spend of €1.8m versus UPC’s €1.7m. “Advertisers are now taking advantage of the flexibility that digital OOH offers,” says Simon Durham, Director of Kinetic. “However, six sheets still remain very popular, specifically on the path to purchase. Kinetic estimates overall growth of approximately five to seven per cent for the full year, helped by the additional lightbox locations anticipated in Q4 2015. We expect further digital OOH growth, helped by the launch of new AerPods at Dublin Airport, JCDecaux expanding their iVision digital formats to Jervis and Whitewater, and Exterion bringing dPods to Tallaght Shopping Centre.”

Coca-Cola Special Billboard Marilyn Monroe

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CMYUK Illuminates Retail Project EFI VUTEk Produces Monster Job Westfield’s Shepherd’s Bush and Olympic Park shopping centres in London underwent a complete facelift this summer, with 2,000 square metres of printed graphics across a facade with a combination of concrete and stonework. The entire job was printed by Hollywood Monster, one of the UK’s leading wide format digital printers and signage contractors, on an EFI VUTEk GS3200 and the EFI VUTEk GS2000, which was recently supplied to the company by UK distributor CMYUK to help with their new range of wall coverings for interiors, as well as exterior cladding. It took four nights to install the graphics using three access ladder crane machines and over 400 manhours in total for the monster makeover. The graphics officially launched Westfield’s summer campaign. “The artwork was agreed within 24 hours and the following day we were printing and shipping the graphics to London,” says Hollywood Monster Director Simon McKenzie. “We had 60, thirteen metre drops at one and a half metres wide for the facade and it was crucial that the overall appearance of the summer creative design remained the same on both glass and stonework. The Vutek printers performed brilliantly.” CMYUK is a leading UK solution specialist in super-wide digital print and the UK’s long-term partner of EFI.

Packaging Proof is in the Pudding The Co Tyrone-based College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) is facilitating a unique learning experience for its students with the assistance of its newly-acquired Mimaki CF2 flatbed cutter and JV300-160 solvent printer. “The recent purchase of a wide-format solvent printer and flatbed cutter is enabling the students who study within our Packaging Centre to experience the complete workflow, from design through to the creation of a prototype and, assisted by partnerships with local businesses, they are often working to a live brief, making their projects all the more valid,” says CAFRE lecturer Ron Gardiner. The investment was made through Belfastbased authorised Mimaki reseller Dennis D Evans. “It is always rewarding to be involved in a project that assists young people and installing the Mimaki CF2 and JV300 into an environment that is so supportive of learning has been a pleasure,” says Sales Manager Frank Wilson. “The Mimaki hardware is giving the Loughry Campus the scope to expand its offering so that students can learn about the structural design of packaging as well as performance.” Mimaki’s JV300-160 is a roll-fed solvent printer which, combined with Mimaki’s CF2-1218RC flatbed cutting table, gives users the potential to produce live packaging proofs.

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The international fashion retailer American Apparel first approached UKbased large format digital printing and installation company PressOn in 2006 when they opened their first store in Carnaby Street. They required bespoke retail graphics – PVC banners - in short quantities for internal use for their UK brand. They also branded the external fascia and windows of the stores using acrylic signage and self-adhesive vinyl window graphics. Since then, American Apparel have invested in another eight stores across the UK and PressOn have installed much larger Foamex and digital wallpaper graphics in key locations in-store. These retail graphics are changed quarterly throughout the stores. PressOn recently provided retail solutions for American Apparel’s Kings Cross London store comprising two LED lightboxes with graphics printed on their EFi VUTEk QS2 Pro with VUTEk-approved UV ink and using Berger Samba textiles supplied by UK distributor CMYUK. The framing system recommended by CMYUK was the Spirit-TEX aluminium framing system and included an LED lightsheet. Spirit-TEX is compatible with both dye-sub and UV or latex printing. The Berger Samba textile was printed on the VUTEk printer by PressOn and the edges stitched with silicone Kadar edging using their Solent Texsew Pro Conveyorline sewing machine. “With the help of CMYUK we recommended a new lightbox LED system for American Apparel for their window graphics at the Kings Cross store,” says Lauren Harrold of PressOn. “Previously their graphics were glued into an LED frame and an installation team was needed every time the graphics were changed. CMYUK recommended the Spirit-TEX system that enabled PressOn to print graphics on Samba textiles, stitch silicone to the edges of the fabric, and then ‘pop’ the graphics into place.” Graphics can now be easily removed and replaced as required by American Apparel staff without the need for installation teams to visit, which they estimate will give them a saving of around £500 per installation every time they need to change the graphic.


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What do brand owners and retailers really want? What is happening in the digital cartons market and what should a converter or print company do? These were some of the questions that speakers at the ‘Digital Packaging Live!’ event, hosted by Esmark Finch and Xerox last month in the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel, attempted to answer. Maev Martin reports.

ean Smith is a printing technologist and Smithers Pira consultant who has worked in a variety of roles in small, medium and large print companies. He is also a non-executive director of a number of print companies. “I’m interested in how you make money out of print technology,” he said. “Digital is good at doing low volume packaging economically. Packaging’s role is changing because it can do more things and digital print technology is driving this change. In 2015 buyers and specifiers of packaging demand more. Brands and retailers want to sell more product, or the same volumes at higher prices. Using digital packaging can help brands sell more and help retailers sell at higher prices. There are more SKUs, including more variants (size, colour, allergen-free, no fat, no sugar), more regulation (ingredients, legibility, FIR and pharmaceutical

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regulations), more event-driven packaging, as well as more languages. Run lengths are falling and packaging is interacting more with the digital world. Packaging isn’t one way any more. It is inviting a response back from the customer and marketers want more interaction with potential customers. AG Laffey, the Chairman of Proctor and Gamble, has been quoted as saying ‘advertising is almost as important as packaging’. Proctor and Gamble are looking very closely at digital packaging. The US beer market is worth $105bn and $19.7bn of that is the craft beer sector. Digital packaging is hugely interesting to brands like SAB Miller and they are actively investigating the advantages of digital packaging. Marks & Spencer are looking at what they can print digitally.” According to Sean, carton converters and commercial print companies are examining the potential of digital packaging and there are lots of opportunities. “Fail Fast is the mantra adopted by start ups in Silicon Valley – you test the idea quickly, perfect it, work on what is good, and then discard what is bad,” he said. So what can we print digitally? Self adhesive labels, carton board, films, swing tags, foils and tinplate. “The digital carton market is forecast to have a value of €80m in 2015, which is an incredibly high growth rate from a low base,” he said. “There are huge opportunities

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for digital to get more market share in the European carton market - and it will. We are seeing declines of traditional cartons in Western Europe so digital technology is what is causing the carton market to grow in that part of the world. The 10 largest global takeaway chains have 170,000 restaurant chains in Europe and North America so single use food packaging, such as containers and pizza boxes, is a major growth area. Digital print takes huge amounts of time out of the packaging supply chain and improves time to market. In labels, digital presses outsell analogue and are growing rapidly in the cartons and corrugated sectors. In addition, we can use digital beside analogue – they are complementary.”

Future Forecasts In 2020 Smithers Pira is predicting multi-media packaging, new functions in packaging, new digital production methods, and new distribution channels, as well as 3D and electronic printing. “New digital print technology shouldn’t just mimic analogue – it will do more,” he said. “Packaging will become part of the retail distribution supply chain and part of the manufacturing supply chain and it will play a greater role in marketing and advertising. Brand owners want to build emotional involvement with packaging – digital cartons do this. Brand owners want to premiumise their brands – sell more for more money. They want to gain approval for their brands and they want to move the conversation away from cost reduction. Digital cartons tick all of these boxes.”

Digital Print Evangelist Noel Candon of Esmark Finch told the conference that the company’s key USP was to take on complex jobs that other printers run away from. “We tend to do those jobs very well,” he said. “In partnership with Xerox, I have been evangelising digital printing all over the world since 2009. Some of the companies that I have dealt with include Proctor & Gamble, Novartis, Microsoft, John Lewis and Medifast. Medifast in the US had a huge problem with obsolesence in packaging and with their printer, who was demanding a minimum order quantity. They were also finding that legislative changes and the requirement for more languages on packaging as they started to export was creating difficulties in the supply chain. In addition, their customers

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Digital print takes huge amounts of time out of the packaging supply chain and improves time to market. In labels, digital presses outsell analogue and are growing rapidly in the cartons and corrugated sectors.” - Sean Smith, Smithers Pira.

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wanted more choice. Based on my reading of Medifast’s sales information for 2011 I saw a huge opportunity for digital. They produced 10.5 million boxes per annum and obsolesence was occurring in their higher selling products so we converted these to digital print. I visited Proctor and Gamble in October 2011 and spent two weeks in their innovation centre in Switzerland. This was another giant company that was experiencing problems with obsolesence and legislative changes, as well as changing consumer and retailer demands. I concluded that all of their items were capable of being produced digitally. I also worked with Courtwalds in the UK, who produce Pretty Polly tights, in September 2010. They were experiencing massive problems predicting demand – when and what customers would order. There was no business case for digital when comparing cost of manufacturing but there were savings in the labelling side. When we took the cost of the labelling department out and put it into the digital solution it made sense to switch. With three Xerox iGen presses in operation we could take the lead time of four weeks down to 24 hours. They didn’t go ahead with the solution but we were able to make the economic case. In fact, across all of the consultancy work that I have carried out with big brands I could find a business case to migrate the production of some of their products to digital.”

Digital Versus Litho – The Sweet Spot Noel was keen to point out that digital printing is a mainstream process in the packaging arena, not a one-off quirky promotion type solution. “Runs are getting smaller, sheet sizes are getting bigger, and digital presses are getting better,” he said. “In recent years there has been a race to the bottom with litho in terms of prices but it is a different story with digital. For run lengths of one to 5,000 units, digital compares well with other print methods. However, if you have 3,500 sheets going through the press it becomes more expensive to go digital at that point.” Richard Cumiskey, Packaging Innovations Manager at Ornua, formerly the Irish Dairy Board, described a short run as anything from one metre to 5,000 linear metres. “We are trying to get to 8,000 linear metres and that is what we see as the sweet spot for us in terms of digital versus litho,” he said. Litho is the ideal print method for high volume packaging with a low unit price while digital is the best option for low volume fixed price product. “Digital printing in packaging is profitable for large volumes of small orders,” said Noel. “In the litho world you have six SKUs and you gang them on the press. In the digital world the six SKUs go down in the one run and then you

BELOW: Some of the products produced by Esmark Finch’s digital printing operation.

have six products for the die cutter. Only if you understand how to separate them and track them can you do large volumes of small orders and Esmark Finch have the software to do that. Our IT infrastructure is strong, as is our MIS system. We operate a high level of automation so workflow is important and brand owners are precious about their colours. In digital we can deliver colour consistently – CMI colour management is the system we use and we have used it since 2010. 87% of the colour gamut is possible on our machine. Embarking on digital printing without a colour management software system in place is like embarking on a flight without a pilot.”

Ornua – a Pioneering Approach Richard Cumiskey, Packaging Innovations Manager at Ornua, formerly the Irish Dairy Board and home to brands such as Dubliner, Kerrygold and Pilgrim’s Choice, told delegates about their efforts to build sustainable routes to market for Irish dairy products. A co-operative company with €2.3bn turnover, they are Ireland’s largest dairy exporter and they employ 1,300 people globally. “We operate in 110 countries so we have major challenges in terms of packaging,” he said. “Kerrygold is the number one imported butter and cheese in the US market and the number one butter brand in Germany, with 51% brand share of the market. Our cheese business has doubled since last year. In Africa Kerrygold is the number one imported butter and we have introduced Kerrygold Whole Milk to the Chinese market.” So why did they opt for digital packaging? “The rising influence of the millennial generation and the requirement for greater variety and for products that match individual needs and lifestyles meant that production differentiation is being taken to a higher level,” he said. “On pack design can change every six months. For example, we had 1,086 artwork changes in one calendar year on existing products last year. For us, digital print has created a leaner, meaner and cleaner packaging production workflow. It has created a more environmental production process. The major benefits that we have discovered is that the time to market has been reduced by 12 weeks. With digital, the minimum order barrier is removed, we have eliminated stock write offs, and we have greater flexibility. We produce what we need when we need it. And the ability to engage in variable data printing and personalisation gives us an added value proposition for our customers. The US is a high volume market. In other markets we have a lot lower volumes so digital gives us huge flexibility, especially when dealing with new legislative requirements for on pack information. We don’t have big runs anymore so digital print will have a positive impact operationally and cost wise. Our new €35m plant in Ireland, which is under development, will allow us to consolidate our digital print operations. We introduced a full suite of Esko software (Flexo HD) into our business recently so we have taken our pre-press operations inhouse.” Flexibility in the design chain is about recognising that product can be run both digitally and on litho presses. Getting products to market has never been easier and digital print is a maturing and key part of that process. The Esmark Finch/Xerox event was supported by Antalis, Iggesund, Tresu Group, Kama, Esko, Documobi and Chili Publish. The ‘live’ part of the event took place at Esmark Finch’s production facility in north Dublin where industry practitioners were treated to a live demonstration of a fully automated and integrated production line for folding cartons.

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