The Voice Of The Industry
Volume 43 | Number 12
What is Adding Value – the icing on the cake or standard fare? see our cover story
Also in this issue: ■ Design Duo Opens ‘Creative-Go-To’ Company ■ DBC Group Secures Epson Agency ■ Limerick Printer Targets Carton Sector ■ W&G Baird Celebrates 150 Years ■ Viable Business Emerges from DCK Ltd Insolvency Process ■ Horizon Talks About Staying at The Technological Cutting Edge ■ What Benny Landa is Doing For The Flexibles And Packaging Market
IRISH PRINT AWARDS 2012
BE PREPARED! Entry Forms in the August issue of Irish Printer magazine. All Work printed by September 30 2012 can be entered. Want to know more?
Contact :- Frank Grennan at Tel :- 01/2147920
VOLUME 43 NUMBER 12
Welcome to the June issue of Irish Printer. We all know that it is a difficult time for our industry but we are doing our best to keep things positive in this month’s issue. In fact, it isn’t that hard because in our Cover Story we talk to printers who tell us that there is business to be secured once they respond to the new and rapidly changing demands of the marketplace. One of the big advantages that our industry has over other sectors is that it is technologically driven. When one technology is dipping in popularity or is no longer in a position to respond to the needs of the customer, there is always a new technology in gestation and preparing to launch itself on the market. It is that innovation and creativity that has kept, and will continue to keep, our industry afloat and help it respond to the many challenges it is experiencing. Anyone who visited this year’s drupa exhibition in Dusseldorf will know what I’m talking about. The growing number of manufacturers moving into the B2 digital press space was extremely interesting as was Benny Landa’s nanographic printing presses, which were undoubtedly the star attraction at the event. In this issue Print Research International’s John Charnock looks at the potential that Benny Landa’s technology has for the flexibles and packaging market. Closer to home, Dublin-based Horizon Digital & Print Solutions reports on how its strategy of encouraging its customers to advertise to beat the recession has been paying off and has fuelled investment and recruitment activities at the company. This month’s As I See It author is Mark Rogers, a director of Naas Printing in Kildare. He points out that the number of printers signing up for the Print & Packaging Forum’s Print Irish campaign is encouraging, as is the fact that printers are beginning to join forces to give themselves the firepower to tender for and secure public contracts. So, there really are (a few) reasons to be cheerful!
Getting the Most from Your Large Format Printer 4 New Online Paper Merchant Design Duo Opens ‘Creative-Go-To’ Company 5 DBC Group Secures Epson Agency Limerick Printer Targets Carton Sector 6 W&G Baird Celebrates 150 Years 7 Viable Business Emerges from DCK Ltd Insolvency Process 8 Discover New Opportunities in Print 10 New Resource for Digital Media 11 Walter Nash Extends Pantone Promotion New Large Format Range Strengthens Sign & Display Offering 12 Datapac Manages Print for IT Carlow 13
what’s new in print
as i see it
Irish Printer talks to some well known print companies about how they are adding value for their customers and about the services they think commercial printers need to provide to their clients.
Horizon Digital & Print Solutions director Ken Kavanagh and marketing manager Lorna Duffy talk to Maev Martin about staying at the technological cutting edge, increasing their Point of Sale business, and helping customers get the most out of their signage.
John Charnock, director of Print Research International, gives Irish Printer his perspective on what Benny Landa is doing for the flexibles and packaging market.
We look at some new products and innovations in the world of print.
Maev Martin Editor email@example.com
While public debate focuses on new jobs, new lending and getting the banking sector working again, the question of old debts is not being adequately addressed, argues John P Eager FCA, chief executive officer, Snap, in this personal perspective on dealing with lenders.
Mark Rogers, a director of Naas Printing in Kildare, talks to Irish Printer about why printers should be signing up for the Print Irish campaign.
Editor: Maev Martin Production manager: Jim Heron Circulation: Josie Keane Administration: Marian Donohue Publisher: Frank Grennan Managing Director: Simon Grennan Jemma Publications Ltd. Broom House, 65 Mulgrave Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Republic of Ireland Tel: 00 353 1 214 7920 Fax: 00 353 1 214 7950 E mail: (editorial) firstname.lastname@example.org
33 Subscription Order Line: Tel: +353 1 214 7920 Order Online: www.irishprinter.ie No part of Irish Printer may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of Jemma Publications.
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Irish Printer June 2012
Getting the Most from Your Large Format Printer Sign + Digital recently completed two separate events in Belfast both aimed at showing customers how they can get the most out of their Roland large format printers. Potential customers were introduced to the variety of applications they could deliver using Sign + Digital’s range of large format substrates and Roland devices. Both events took place in the Park Plaza Hotel at Belfast International Airport on 31 May and 1 June. On the 31 May Sign + Digital organised a Large Format Creative Workshop showing printers interested in getting involved in the promotional and custom apparel market how to do garment printing using some of the solvent printers in the Roland range - the Roland VersaCAMM VS-640, the Roland SP-540i and the Roland VersaStudio BN-20 - along with a Stahls heat press. ‘The creative workshop wasn’t just about selling equipment - the theme of the day was how to get the maximum out of your Roland printer,’ says Sign + Digital’s sales manager Derek O’Mahoney. ‘We provided printers with practical demonstrations on the latest addition to the Roland wide format range, the Roland VersaStudio BN-20, a 20 inch printer cutter with metallic printing capability which is ideal for t-shirt printing. To complement the BN-20, Sign + Digital have just introduced a new range of digital heat press machines from Stahls and we showed printers how to complete a finished garment right through from printing to applying a heat transfer. We also demonstrated some window graphic applications and we showcased the Roland VersaCAMM VS-640’s unique white and metallic ink print capabilities, which was interesting for
(l-r): At the Roland Creative Workshop were Sign + Digital’s Northern Ireland sales representative Columb McCluskey; John Jennings, customer service engineer; Derek O’Mahoney, sales manager; and Marcus Keogh, sign application expert
a lot of people who hadn’t seen the device before.’ Day two was a full-day demonstration on vehicle wrapping in conjunction with Justin Pate, a globally recognised graphics installer and industry expert in full coverage vehicle wraps. ‘With over 14 years’ experience he has successfully wrapped over 2,500 vehicles using his self-developed application system – Universal Graphics Installation System or UGIS,’ says Derek. ‘Through the UGIS method, Justin can comfortably wrap a vehicle in as little as four hours and even some vehicles like cargo vans in as little as two hours. During the workshops, Justin demonstrated a material called 3M IJ 18010CV3 Controltac, which has an eight-year outdoor durability and a repositionable and pressure-activated adhesive. The focus of the
workshop was on teaching attendees how to improve the quality and speed of car wrap installations and participants gained extensive practical training using both the material and tools. Sign + Digital were delighted to introduce Justin Pate to the Irish market as he is already well known in the American printing industry, having recently sold out a series of workshops around the US.’ In response to the demand following the first workshop, Sign + Digital will be running two further vehicle wrap workshops on Tuesday, 2 October in Dublin and on Wednesday, 3 October in Belfast. Workshop places are limited to 15 people and cost e250 per person. To book a place or find out more information call 01 427 5240 or email email@example.com
New Online Paper Merchant Star Paper Sales Ltd is a new online discount paper merchant operating from dedicated premises in north Dublin. Star is co-owned by brothers Ger and Lar Barron who collectively have over 45 years’ experience in the paper trade through their ownership of leading independent paper merchant, Réalt Paper, which is located
adjacent to Star. ‘The Star business model is designed to bring optimum value to the Irish printer due to a very low cost base facilitated by operating purely online with all payments through PayPal,’ says Ger Barron. Lar Barron points out that Star Paper Sales Ltd ‘buys in bulk and pays up front to ensure
we can offer the best price possible to the market’. Star Paper provides a next day delivery service nationwide, which is free of charge, and they will be expanding their range of paper and board in the near future. To order or request samples simply log on by typing starpaper.ie into your address bar.
News From Irish Printer Jemma Publications, publishers of Irish Printer magazine, plans to launch a new bi-monthly packaging magazine in January 2013. As packaging becomes an increasingly important part of Ireland’s retailing and export driven economy, this area offers valuable opportunities to printers and other producers to grow their own businesses. Maev Martin, editor of Irish Printer, will also edit the new packaging magazine. Alongside the new magazine Jemma Publications plans to launch a new set of Packaging Awards in 2014 and these will run along the same lines as The Irish Print Awards, which celebrate their 34th successful year this year. In addition, Jemma Publications is launching a new Print and Packaging show which will run at The Citywest Hotel and Conference centre on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 October 2013 and every two years thereafter.
Irish Printer June 2012
Design Duo Opens ‘Creative-Go-To Company’ A new Dublin-based design consultancy opened its doors last month. SEEK Design is based in The Malthouse Design Centre on the North Circular Road in Dublin 1 and is a partnership between Daria Lisowska, an architect, and Niamh McNeela, an interior designer. Work completed by the young design duo includes interior architecture, exhibition design, identity/brand design, publications, wall art graphics and exterior advertising. The pair has just finished a bespoke exhibition stand in Dublin’s Convention Centre and they are in the final stages of a design project (including both interior and brand design) for a kiosk in Rathgar and a restaurant in Dublin’s city centre. Graphic design projects include work for Seachtain na Gaeilge, Hughes and Hughes Bookstores and the NCAD textile department. They have recently been awarded the tender to do the graphic design for the Temple Bar TradFest in 2013. ‘We see ourselves as a creative-go-to company,’ says Niamh McNeela. ‘The core of our business is interior architecture, graphic design and exhibition design but we’re open to design challenges.’ Further information on SEEK Design can be found at www.seekdesign.ie
Niamh McNeela (left) and Daria Lisowska of SEEK Design
DBC Group Secures Epson Agency Dublin-based DBC Group recently secured the Epson agency for its portfolio of wide format printers. The agency, which is effective since April, complements DBC’s existing product ranges which include the GMP wide format laminating films and single sided laminators, along with the Vivid wide format laminators. ‘DBC are currently distributing the Sure Color SC-S3600, which is Epson’s new 64inch printer for the sign and display market,’ says managing director Colm Paul. ‘With the SC-S3600 printer Epson is offering the mar-
ket an economic way of printing 64-inch, wide format media. This new printer’s biggest advantage is its competitive price point €14,499. The Sure Color SC-S3600 recently won the European Digital Press Award 2012 for Best Wide Format Roll to Roll Printer up to 1.6 metres. That award recognises innovation in digital products. The reason the SC-S3600 was chosen was because of its price performance ratio - it was considered a breakthrough product in terms of its quality and pricing. The printer also offers ease of use, low power consumption, and it can print
Labels Market Review The 2012 edition of AWA Alexander Watson Associates’ annual global review of the labelling and product decoration markets has just been published. It provides an evaluation of the major aspects of these markets as a ready-reference for labelstock producers, material suppliers, and all companies involved in the value chain or interested in its status. ‘Labelling & Product Decoration Markets Global Review 2012’
looks at world label volumes and demand; at the market structure; market characteristics by region and by substrate; and current and future growth rates. It assesses raw materials, identifying trends, and pinpoints activity in the mergers and acquisitions arena. The review comes with a CDROM complete with exhibits, charts and graphs for downloading and can be ordered via the website at www.awa-bv.com
on a wide range of media. The Sure Color SC-S3600 can be operated by a single user with a single operating loading mechanism and it delivers a high performance output of 29 square metres per hour. The new GS2 Ultra Chrome inks, which give a high yield per print in the cartridges, are also odourless and nickel free. Traditionally Epson’s focus has been on the standard office printer, small to medium format, market but they have been targeting the wide format market over the past 18 months and they intend to grow their market share in wide format significantly. Most wide format printers on the market use the Epson piezo heads. This technology is already used by Mimaki and Roland and variants of it are used by other manufacturers so it is a natural progression for Epson. We are proud to represent Epson because they are renowned for their quality of print, particularly in the photographic market. This printer brings that quality to the next stage for the wide format market.’ DBC will also be announcing some new products shortly, including new substrates for the photographic market and a new substrate and process for simulating a canvas-stretched wall art graphic or photo.
Irish Printer June 2012
Limerick Printer Targets Carton Sector
Pat Costello (left), production manager, Cube Printing and Paul Jaffray, technical support manager, Sakurai UK
Limerick-based printing company Cube Printing Ltd installed a Sakurai 566 SD SRA2 fivecolour press this month. The company believes it will allow it to produce short to medium run carton work and widen the range of colour printing that the company can offer in the commercial print sector. The press was supplied through Consort Printing Machinery, who are also Presstek agents, and which is headed up by David Ryan and David Hatton. ‘This new press allows us to print on heavier board because of the double diameter technology,’ says Cube Printing Ltd’s director Brendan Ring. ‘We are currently producing carton work but there is a requirement now for heavier board and that was the catalyst for the investment. We saw an opportunity to do short- to medium-run carton work but we needed a more robust machine to do that and when we were buying the Sakurai five-colour press we made sure that it had all the bells and whistles on it. We also needed to upgrade from the existing four-colour press that we operate as we are receiving a lot of colour work. Features that are particularly appealing to us on this press include the colour
registration, which is completely automated. Also, this investment will allow Cube Printing to produce more as we will be able to turn around more jobs on this press.Volumes are dwindling so market demand now is more about the type of applications that you can deliver to the client. We have to be able to manufacture around our clients and around when they need a job so the ability to do quick make ready is very important and that is what this new press offers us. We run two eight-hour shifts a day and the goal is to build on that and in time go back to our three-cycle shifts.’ Brendan says the Sakurai investment was very much a loyalty purchase for Cube Printing. ‘All of our presses are Sakurai and we have been very happy with them since we bought our first Sakurai press in 1997, the year after we started trading,’ he says. ‘We already have a four-colour press (a Sakurai 466 SIP) and three two-colour presses (two Sakurai 266 models and a Sakurai 258 press) so when it comes to our litho printing operation, we are a Sakurai house. Our finishing lines are all Duplo and we have also been with that brand from day one. Cube Printing’s print output is
mixed – we have a litho side and we also have digital platforms. Up to three years ago we did a lot of work for Dell as they were based in Limerick but since they closed we have had to change direction and we are investing in the full colour side of the business.’ Cube Printing operate two full colour Xerox presses – a Xerox 5000 and Xerox 5252 – for short run colour work and two mono presses from Xerox – a Xerox 6135 and DC90 - for short run black and white digital manuals. They have also been a Xerox house since the company began trading. ‘We do a lot of general day-to-day commercial work, from standard brochures to DL flyers and business cards, and we also have a black and white manual business for medical device companies,’ says Brendan. Cube Printing operates a fully automated Mako4 CtP system supplied by Irish Print Support. ‘All plates are fed in by carousel – we just have to send the files to it,’ he says. And the 22-strong company also employs three full-time graphic designers. The company is ISO 9001:2008 accredited by national accreditation body SGS Ireland Ltd and they were re-certified in April. This certification will be
valid until 2015. Last year, they installed an MIS from Tharstern and they will be upgrading the system this summer. ‘It will take us another 12 months to get the system to where we want it to be,’ says Brendan. ‘But we are finding that this dedicated printrelated management information system has really helped our business and it is linked directly into the new Sakurai press. Over the next 12 months we will be trying to interface the MIS system with some terminals on the factory floor that will connect it to the other presses that we operate. In terms of retrieving data, consistency of pricing, speed, and turnaround, MIS can provide us with business critical information. Either remotely or on site, I can see what is happening at the touch of a button in terms of sales, production or the design aspect of the business.’ Brendan Ring and Frank Fitzsimons bought Cube Printing in 1996. Both worked for a US narrow web offset press manufacturer called Didde Web Press Corporation. ‘Printing continuous forms was a big part of their business but that business dwindled and they closed and we were made redundant so we decided to buy Cube,’ says Brendan. ‘Frank was the coowner of the business with me until his retirement at the end of 2010. Our sales director TJ Ryan is another well known member of staff here as he is our day-to-day point of contact with customers on the sales side and he is also a former Limerick inter-county player and captain of the Limerick hurling team. Business has been tough since 2009 but we have come through and we are a leaner and meaner company as a result. It is competitive out there but we feel we know where we are going. Our loyalty to our suppliers reflects the loyalty we have got from our customers and that loyalty has helped us get through the tough times.’
Irish Printer June 2012
W&G Baird Celebrates 150 Years
(l-r) Minister Foster, W&G Baird managing director Henderson Allen and David Hinds, sales director, W&G Baird
Minister Arleen Foster visited one of Northern Ireland’s largest and most successful printers, W&G Baird, last month to mark the company’s 150 years in business. Ms Foster and members of Invest NI were welcomed by directors to the company’s headquarters where they were escorted on a tour of the premises, including the production floor. ‘We are delighted to welcome Minister Arleen Foster to W&G Baird’s premises, which have been located in Antrim since 1977, to celebrate our 150-year anniversary,’ says sales director David Hinds. ‘The visit allowed the distinguished guests to see for themselves the continued investment that has been made in terms of the latest machinery and
staff throughout the company. Since 2006 the company have invested Stg£7m in the latest technology and machinery that guarantees customers the highest quality of product. W&G Baird is committed to another 150 years of the highest standard of printing for all of their customers. Despite the economic recession, we are committed to continually investing in the Northern Irish economy and helping to create jobs for the local community.’ Established in 1862, W&G Baird provides lithographic printing solutions for a range of businesses and sectors across the island of Ireland and the UK. The company is certified by The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as well as the Carbon Neutral Print Supplier Programme.
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Irish Printer June 2012
Viable Business Emerges from DCK Ltd Insolvency Process DC Kavanagh is open for business. That is the message that managing director Tom Lane is keen to communicate to the printing industry after a bruising five-month insolvency process that has resulted in the business still trading and providing employment. ‘With effect since 31 May, Prewril Ltd agreed to acquire the business and certain assets of DC Kavanagh Ltd from the receiver in a management buyout and all of the 25 jobs at the company will continue,’ says Tom. ‘The new business will trade under the DC Kavanagh name. Prewril is a company owned by the management, directors and employees of DCK Ltd. The majority shareholders in Prewril are myself, Antoinette Kelly, sales director, Kevin Murphy, operations director, and Seamus Fagan, a non-executive director, and a number of other employees also have shares in Prewril. DC Kavanagh Ltd is in receivership and it remains in the control of the receiver, Liam Dowdall of Smith & Williamson Freaney. He is working through the receivership process but it is extremely unlikely that there will be payments to unsecured creditors, which is something we regret very deeply. Whether it is unsecured creditors, employees who have lost their jobs, or those still employed who have taken pay cuts, there are no winners in an insolvency process. I reiterate my personal apologies to those who suffered in any way from the insolvency of DC Kavanagh Ltd.’ DC Kavanagh Ltd announced a plan in November 2011 which, they hoped, would allow the company to continue to trade. As reported in the December 2011 issue of Irish Printer, the company decided to exit the sheetfed manufacturing business with effect from 20 January 2012 as part of a detailed rationalisation programme. ‘We bought DC Kavanagh Ltd, a specialist printing business, in
2005 and in 2006 we bought into the sheetfed market by buying Ebrook but we were unable to make a success of that business because of the horrendous market conditions that we encountered in recent years,’ says Tom. ‘We hoped that the closure of our sheetfed operation would allow us to continue to trade but unfortunately that
this is not the situation with DC Kavanagh. ‘There was a five-month gap between when we went into receivership, on 3 January 2012, and when we came out of it, on 31 May, as a result of a management buy out,’ he says. ‘Also, the business was offered publicly for sale in the newspapers during that period. We have had signifi-
We have had significant support from customers, unsecured creditors who suffered in the insolvency process, from our employees, and from our funders. That support has encouraged us to buy a specialist business that is one-third the size of the business we were running at the start of 2011.
wasn’t to be the case so we asked Bank of Scotland to appoint a receiver. Prior to being put into receivership, which was effective from 3 January, we worked hard with our creditors to resolve the situation but that proved not to be feasible as one preferred creditor was not happy to support our rationalisation plan. Liam Dowdall looked for expressions of interest in the company from the market and he got a number of expressions of interest but, in his estimation, the Prewril deal was the best deal for the company and for the creditors.’ Printers and print suppliers are all too familiar with the phoenix company syndrome – operators who rise from the ashes of a failed business, leaving a trail of debts behind that they make no effort to pay, to set up a new entity. The new entity is effectively the same company trading under a different name but one that has caused a lot of damage in the industry and will probably continue to cause damage by driving prices to the floor in the bid to secure work. Tom strongly asserts that
cant support from customers, unsecured creditors who suffered in the insolvency process, from our employees, and from our funders. That support has encouraged us to buy a specialist business that is one-third the size of the business we were running at the start of 2011. We are grateful to the people who have supported us in putting DC Kavanagh together and we regret that the demise of DC Kavanagh Ltd has had a significant negative impact on many people who have been very supportive of our business over many years.’ DC Kavanagh is operating web printing presses, digital presses, and collation and mailing lines. ‘All sheetfed equipment that DC Kavanagh Ltd had was sold but the assets relevant to the continuing business have transferred to DC Kavanagh,’ says Tom. ‘We have two Muller Martini mini web presses, three mono Xerox printers and two colour digital printers, one from Xerox and one from Oki, along with some Buhrs and Bowe mailing lines,’ says Tom. The company is producing a
lot of work for the government, financial services and the charitable sector. ‘Our 25 staff has worked continuously from January to May during the insolvency period and there has been no short time,’ says Tom. ‘We have had very strong support from our customers. We have a healthy order book going forward, including a good order book for the month of June. A lot, but not all, of the people who supplied DC Kavanagh Ltd are willing to supply our new business, the focus of which is personalisation, mailing and insertion. We were a company that could offer the full range of services whereas now we are reverting back to a company that specialises in variable data printing. We will now be a small purchaser of sheetfed printing rather than a major producer of sheetfed printing.’ Despite the huge reduction that has taken place over the past four years, Tom believes there is still greater capacity than there is demand and this is driving erratic pricing behaviour. ‘But there is an increased focus on variable data printing and the ability to handle confidential information on business critical projects and that is an area in which we have a strong track record,’ he says. ‘We see ourselves evolving from a printing company to a company that prints, with a strong focus on the frontend – on data management and data handling.Very little of the installed capacity in Ireland has the ability to personalise inline and we have a big advantage there because it has been our niche activity since the business began trading back in 1977 and we currently have the equipment required to provide that service. There is a large opportunity to handle the VDP requirements of large corporations utilising the capabilities of the Internet and that is something we are strongly geared up for.’
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Irish Printer June 2012
Discover New Opportunities in Print Neopost Ireland, incorporating Print and Finishing Equipment, is hosting a series of nationwide road shows to help Irish printers discover new revenue streams and expand the range of services they offer their customers. The road shows, which will showcase the full range of Neopost and PFE products, in addition to products and services from Irish Business Systems, DWS Supplies and Wildcard Software, are the first events that Neopost and PFE have participated in since the merger of the two companies. The initial road show, which was held in Bewleys Hotel near Dublin Airport on 12 June, was hosted by Neopost and PFE and also included products and services from Wildcard Software and Irish Business Systems. Neopost Ireland showcased some of the products that it is now offering to the commercial print industry including the DS-75 and DS 200 fulfilment machines, the AS970c address printer, binding and laminating equipment, and Intimus shredders. PFE featured the Duplo DBM 120 + DBM 120 T booklet making system, the Duplo DC445 + Fl folder, Duplo DB280 perfect
binder, Duplo DSF 200 + 120 booklet making system and Duplo DC 615 finishing device for digital colour print. Three Roland machines were also on display from PFE – the XC 540 wide format printer, the LEF 12 flatbed UV-Led printer and the LEJ-640 UV Led printer - and they also showcased an Ideal 4850-95EP guillotine and a Drytac laminator. Wildcard Software personnel were on hand to demonstrate their Printlogic MIS system and Xerox authorised reseller Irish Business Systems was highlighting the Xerox 770 digital colour press and the Xerox 550/560 colour printer, along with the Xerox WorkCentre 7500 colour multi-function system, a range of Xerox multi-function printers, and Xerox media supplies. The other road shows dates are as follows: 13 September – Tower Hall, Waterford; 18 September – Red Cow Moran Hotel; 9 October – Radisson Blu Hotel, Limerick. Neopost Ireland/PFE, DWS Supplies, Wildcard Software and Irish Business Systems will participate in the roads shows on 13 and 18 September and in the 9 October road show in Limerick.
.(l-r): Cathal O’Boyle, managing director, Neopost Ireland with Darragh Baumann and Frankie Dolan, sales executives for Irish Business Systems
Steve Chappell, business manager, Roland UK
Conor Power, Neopost Ireland; Ciaran Clancy, director of graphic design and print management company Neogen; Neopost Ireland managing director Cathal O’Boyle; and Neogen director Julian McDermott
(l-r): Shay Leathem of Image Vision Print; Karl Byrne, area sales manager for the graphics division, Neopost Ireland; and Peter Wisely of Image Vision Print
Fergus Winters of Winters Print in Drogheda with Conor Power, sales manager for the graphics division of Neopost Ireland
(l-r): Des Keogh and Sean Murphy of the Defence Forces Printing Press with Karl Byrne of Neopost Ireland
Irish Printer June 2012
Shaped by History
Former Print & Packaging Forum director and well known printer Gerry Andrews held an exhibition of his photographs at the Hunt Museum in Limerick on 8 June. Pictured at the official opening are Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (left) with Gerry. The ‘Shaped by History’ exhibition featured a range of images of the Milk Market in Limerick during the 1970s. ‘The images capture a period when the Milk Market was at a crossroads in its history,’ says Gerry. ‘The market has been in existence since the 1850s but closed in the early 1980s. Some of the characters captured in these pictures were gone when the market re-opened so it is about linking us back to our recent past and showing how much we have changed. The market has always been a hub of activity in Limerick since it first opened and today about 12,000 people visit it every Saturday morning. People are enthralled by the images. Up to 350 people attended the opening and I’ve received interest in bringing the exhibition to Australia and other places where there are strong Irish communities. In addition, I plan to publish a book of these images towards the end of this year.’ The exhibition will continue at the museum until 16 September. Wearing his print hat, Gerry is a non-executive director with two print companies. He is kept busy with his work for the Employment Appeals Tribunal and he is currently project managing some large catalogues for multinational clients.
New Resource for Digital Media
Websites Beat Print for News
This month saw the official launch of www.digitalprintbusiness.com, a resource for the digital print community from Digital Print Business. The new site supports over 3,000 media products including paper, card and envelopes, as well as new products from the Eazy Print range of media. Customers can browse and shop online and have their product delivered to their door in manageable quantities. All products have been tested on a wide range of hot toner print technologies and include an exclusive range of pre-cut, heavy and long media for Intec and OKI printing systems. ‘Based on my experience from
Newspaper websites in Ireland are beating their print equivalents as a source for news and current affairs, according to new research published on 7 June. TV still dominates as the main source for breaking news, according to 63% of those surveyed, but 59.9% go to newspaper websites compared with 57.4% who purchase print editions. The study carried out by independent research company Sponge It for BBC Worldwide, surveyed 828 people in Ireland. It reveals that to keep up with news and current affairs 54% of Irish people use smart phone apps more than a cou-
the paper industry many digital printers, wedding stationers and graphic designers complained that wide selections of media in economic quantities and sizes had not been available,’ says Paul Hopkins, managing director of Digital Print Business. ‘That era is well and truly over.You can now select from a unique range of media. Whether you have Xerox, Ricoh, Canon, Konica Minolta, Intec or Oki we have print products for you’. To help launch the site Digital Print Business is offering site visitors a 12.5% discount on all paper, envelope and Eazy Print media products for the months of June and July.
ple of times a day, while 42% use newspaper websites and 42% use TV websites. A total of 33% use TV broadcasts and 11% use newspapers to keep up to date. The majority access news via laptop devices (75pc) with 30% accessing news via smart phones. The survey, conducted in January 2012, reveals that 83% of Irish people own a laptop and 64% own a smart phone. RTE.ie was the most popular website with 74% of respondents using it, followed by BBC.com at 53.5%, irishtimes.com at 41.4% and independent.ie at 34.9%.
Walter Nash Extends Pantone Promotion Consumables and equipment supplier Walter Nash has extended its trade in promotion for replacement Pantone swatch books. ‘We are taking our customers’ old Pantone swatch books and selling them the most recent Pantone books for €79,’ says Walter Nash’s pressroom support manager Paul Whitaker. ‘The normal price is €112. This special offer is open to anyone in the trade until the end of July.’ The special promotion follows Walter Nash’s recent appointment as the sole Irish distributor for X Rite and Pantone products for the Republic of Ireland. ‘We were experiencing strong demand from customers to supply a high quality colour management product and the X Rite colour management suite provides a common language for printers who want to manage colour on print jobs,’ says Paul. ‘One of the most important aspects of being a printer is making your printed materials accurate and predictable. The X Rite and Pantone products do everything from monitors to screens and measurement and calibration devices so Walter Nash is now bringing all of those variables together so that what the printer sees displayed on their monitor is what they are producing in their print. This ensures that printers are giving their clients predictable colour on every job. Over the last couple of months we sold a DensiEye densitometer to Portlaoise-based Mochua Print and Design to complement their new Sakurai press and we sold an i1Basic colour management tool for the digital printer to Link Design Studios in Saggart, Co Dublin. The Chesapeake Group is a big user of X Rite spectrophotometers and Walter Nash looks after the calibration of their spectrophotometers.’
Irish Printer June 2012
New Large Format Range Strengthens Sign & Display Offering The Antalis McNaughton Ireland Sign & Display Division launched its new range of large format media at a dedicated open day in The Burlington Hotel, Dublin on 31 May. Coala is Antalis McNaughton’s new range of commodity, speciality and environmentally-friendly Large Format Printing (LFP) products. The Coala collection includes 20 products for water-based ink and 54 for solvent, UV and latex ink. ‘It therefore provides printers with the versatility and performance they need to deliver premium quality print jobs to end customers, under a single brand,’ says Mark Horgan, sales director at Antalis McNaughton. The collection contains substrates for both indoor and outdoor applications, including a broad range of papers, self-adhesives, banners, textiles, wallpapers and speciality media. Particular attention has been paid to the development of products for latex ink. The Coala collection has been sourced from leading European suppliers, primarily from Germany, that have undergone a rigorous selection process. ‘Only those suppliers offering optimum performance combined with value-for-money and market relevant products have been selected,’ says Mark. ‘Strong environmental credentials were also an important consideration and Coala includes a large selection of PVC-free products such as films, textiles and FSC or PEFC certified papers. This launch underlines the importance Antalis McNaughton places in the international development of its sign and display activities, a key area of commitment for the company going forward.’ Coala is also one of the cornerstones of Antalis McNaughton’s Digital-to-Business (d2b) initiative. This initiative aims to help customers leverage the many business opportunities provided by the emergence of highly innovative digital technologies and applications. ‘The visual communications market is currently growing year-onyear with the flexible media segment in particular demonstrating enormous potential,’ says Mark. ‘This potential is linked to the diversity of substrates that can be used (paper, vinyl, adhesives, film, textiles etc.), the ease of application and therefore the quick return on investment for printers investing in LFP machines. The Coala collection will allow printers to leverage this potential and boost their profitability. Antalis McNaughton will continue to work with suppliers to extend the collection even further with new, innovative media.’ Visitors to the launch event could view papers from the range being printed on a Canon Image ProGraf 6100 device and/or take away some samples from the range. ‘Apart from our new Coala range, we also displayed our sheetfed range of media for wide format flatbed printers, which includes the Kapa, Correx, Stafix, iPrint Pure 3D, Antacote Lite, Libra, Dufaylite and Foamalite brands,’ says the Sign
Paula McEntee (left) and Katherine Brownridge of Red Dog Design Consultants
& Display Division’s account manager Paul Horgan. ‘Coala is a pan-European brand which was launched at the Fespa exhibition in Barcelona in February. Today’s event marks its official launch into the Irish market.’ Also available at the launch event was information on the full range of materials, tools and accessories that Antalis McNaughton can offer to the sign and display market.Visitors to the event included screen printers, large format digital printers and graphic designers. Among them were AGI Media, GP Digital, Smurfit Kappa Display, Spectrum Print Management and Masterphoto. Abbey Board, a UK-based producer of POS corrugated board for which Antalis McNaughton is the Irish agent, also introduced its new range of corrugated products for the packaging sector at the event. (l-r): Paul Horgan with Ian McGrath and Chris Crowe, telephone account managers with Antalis McNaughton
(l-r): Giles Bristow and Bob Collins, digital support managers for Antalis McNaughton UK, with Paul Horgan, account manager, Antalis McNaughton’s Sign & Display Division
Andrew Cooksley of Abbey Board with a selection of his corrugated board products
Irish Printer June 2012
Datapac Manages Print for IT Carlow ICT solutions provider Datapac has delivered a managed print solution for the Institute of Technology Carlow across all three of its campuses in Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow. The three-year contract is valued at €320,000 for Datapac. The new solution is delivering 55% savings on annual print bills for the Institute. It is also lowering the carbon footprint of the Institute’s 5,000 students and 400 employees. Datapac won a competitive tender to provide an integrated, fully managed print service. The new solution is expected to pay for itself within the first two years. Datapac replaced a disparate network of standalone printers, copiers and scanners with a fully integrated network of 45 HP multi-functional devices (MFD’s), placed at strategic locations across the campuses. This reduced the total number of machines by half. Datapac now manages the entire print fleet from its managed services centre, ensuring maximum uptime of all devices, with automated ordering of supplies such as ink, toner and paper. As a result, the Institute’s IT department has seen a 40% reduction in the amount of time needed to manage print devices, freeing staff to focus on more strategic projects. Print jobs can now be released securely at any device using a pass- Pictured at IT Carlow are John Jones, Datapac, Fergal Flanagan, IT Carlow, and Patrick Kickham, Datapac. word, increasing flexibility for students and reducing waste, backlogs and queues. Scan-to-email capabilities allow students to send and read documents digitally, reducing the need for print. Also, with duplex printing as standard, this is cutting paper usage significantly. The new devices now also power down at night, weekends and Institute holidays, reducing energy consumption.
Special Promotion on Mimaki CJV30-60 Mimaki’s exclusive distributor, Hybrid Services Ltd, is offering potential customers a special limited time promotion on the CJV30-60 integrated printer/ cutter, meaning it will retail at Stg£5,995 until the end of September. The 610mm wide print and cut machine is supplied with full versions of the Mimaki RasterLink Pro RIP software, FineCut cutting plugin and Simple Studio design application. Until 28 September 2012, Hybrid is offering it at the promotional price through its authorised reseller network. The Mimaki CJV30-60 can be commissioned with over 3.5 litres of ink for Stg£395 when customers invest in the machine – enough to print around 290
square metres of full colour output. ‘With around 15m2 per hour print speeds, fast, fully automated die cutting, overnight printing, a 610mm print width to produce A1 posters and wide banners and the ability to handle heavy rolls of material, the CJV30-60 is a production machine at a bargain price,’ says Hybrid’s national sales manager John de la Roche. ‘Print shops can offer multiple products to their customer base - from garments to banners and posters to key rings. It’s equally at home as a proofer for commercial printers and flexo/gravure operations, with its ultra high print quality comparable to machines costing almost 10 times the price.’
Web Printers required Apply with C.V. to Midland Web Printing Ltd.
syngefield, birr Co. Offaly 057 9121435
Irish Printer June 2012
Are You Providing Value for Money? Whether you are a printer or a supplier, the print industry today is all about providing your customers with added value. That could involve advising a printer on how to get the most out of the equipment you have sold them, or providing them with new product lines so they can offer a broader service to their clients. If you are a printer it could involve a complete restructuring and rebranding of your business to reflect the online and increasingly automated and marketing-oriented world we now live in. This month, Irish Printer talks to some well known print companies about how they are adding value for their customers and about the services they think commercial printers need to provide to their clients. Stephen Murphy is managing director of Dublin-based Design Printworks. It is a relatively young company and maybe this is why it has been so adept at adjusting to the stark new business realities of recent years. ‘We are only in business six years and we were only open a year when Lehman Brothers went bust,’ says Stephen. ‘We started off as a digital printing company with one designer. We saw what was happening in the market, how the print industry was eating itself regarding pricing, so we decided to become a marketing services provider. We developed a full design studio and beefed up our digital production unit and added on all sorts of services in-house. In addition, we partnered with people externally so we could offer web services, including web design and digital online versions of the magazines and annual reports that we were printing. With the advent of tablets like the iPad a certain amount of printing is going to diminish and if we aren’t in a position to supply a digital version of printed material someone else will. We reviewed all of our services and the way we treated our clients. We make sure that the client experience is very positive and that we help our clients out as much as possible. For example, we find that the process of designing and printing material is an activity that most marketing people don’t enjoy so we try to take the
Some printers are looking at offering apps for mobile phones and iPads.
pain out of it for them. We have introduced online proofing to make it easier for clients. We offer everything from photography, and translation services for some of our clients, to professional proofing and editing. We are not just printers - printing is a part of our business – we are a marketing communications services provider. That is the way we promote our services to our customers, most of whom are third level institutions and pharmaceutical companies. It is very difficult at the moment but you need to look at what you are doing and how you are doing it and identify gaps in the market and go after them. We are in a better place this year than we were last year or the year before so we must be doing something right.’ When it comes to their web-related services, including the digital online versions of
printed materials that they provide, Stephen says the platform they have is very advanced. ‘Customers can see how many people are looking at their document and how much time is spent on each page,’ he says. ‘For example, one of our clients is a charity that gets funding from the HSE and they were told to expect a 30% drop in their funding. We were designing and printing their documents and publishing them on their websites. In the end, their funding wasn’t cut as much as they thought it would be because they were able to show the HSE that their site was being visited regularly. In fact the number of hits on their sites for two of the documents that we had published for them online, which related to suicide and depression, were staggering so this is a service that we provide which has created cost efficiencies for our clients.’
Irish Printer June 2012 And Design Printworks is planning to roll out further online services in the future. ‘We are looking at offering apps for mobile phones and iPads because there will be strong demand for that in the future,’ says Stephen. ‘Apps will be on computers as well - the technology game is changing very fast and part of that is down to the increase in digital printing. A lot of clients want digital publications as well as digital printing which is encouraging. Also, we have been watching direct marketing developments in the US where they are using highly personalised direct mail pieces to move people to personalised spaces on websites. These are known as personalised URLs (PURLs). We were looking at the possibility of offering PURL campaigns to Design Printworks’ clients. PURLs are a very effective way of direct marketing and they are in fact an activity that promotes printing. We are a member of PODI – the international federation of digital marketing - and they do great case studies of marketing campaigns in the US that use personalised printed materials and personalised websites. However, we have found very little traction in it here so we won’t be investing in the technology at this point. We have to acknowledge the difference in culture in relation to direct mail between here and the US so I’m not sure if it will take off in Ireland.’ On the printing side, Design Printworks operates three digital presses from Xerox, along with a large format printer from Canon. They installed their Xerox 700 model last November. Shay Leathem is a director of Image Vision Print, which he set up in 2008 with fellow director Peter Wisely. ‘I was looking after the Irish clients of a UK print management company called Access Plus who decided to exit the Irish market in late 2008,’ he says. ‘I saw an opening to set up my own business with Peter Wisely. My background is in typesetting and design, which I worked at with Fodhla Print, and I then worked as a digital print manager for Bizpost in the IFSC before moving to Access Plus. We set up at a terrible time but some of the accounts I was working with at Access Plus decided to go with me and that got the business started.’ Shay says they are finding business very tough but he believes there is opportunity out there, not for massive print jobs, but for short run work where people want to advertise their services. ‘We are a digital print and copy and design centre,’ he says. ‘We have a lot of corporate clients who are regular customers and that would account for about 65% of our work and the remainder would be walk-ins and phone ups. We combine our print with a
We developed a full design studio and beefed up our digital production unit and added on all sorts of services inhouse...With the advent of tablets like the iPad a certain amount of printing is going to diminish and if we aren’t in a position to supply a digital version of printed material someone else will. Stephen Murphy, Design Printworks
design service, which makes our offering more attractive to the customer. We employ two graphic designers and we are trying to further develop our design service. We have found that we’ve had to be more competitive in the current climate so we invested in a Konica Minolta colour press – the C5501 – last year, which incorporates full booklet-making and finishing. We also recently installed a new HP large format poster machine – the Z6200 – which replaces a Canon large format device. They are our two newest machines. We operate three digital presses – the Konica Minolta press from MJ Flood, a Canon press from Canon Ireland and an Oki model from www.digitalprint.ie, along with the HP large format poster press. On the finishing side, we operate a guillotine, folder, creaser, scoring machine and a booklet maker so we try to complete as much work in-house as possible.’ Image Vision Print is in the process of opening up a retail shop front. ‘With this new service we will be printing everything, from business cards to invitations, flyers, posters, and general colour and black and white copying,’ says Shay. ‘At the moment we are producing a lot of POS material for our corporate accounts, which range from Setanta Sports to the large retail outlets. Our POS work has increased in the last year. We also do a lot of general print, such as menus, for hotels in the area and stationery, including business cards and flyers. The price structure of the Konica Minolta press allows us to print 5,000 A5 double sided flyers cost effectively in-house without having to outsource work like that to a litho printer. At the moment, 99% of our work is from companies, but with the retail shop front we want to target the sole trader and students, and people who require a copying facility.’ As well as a physical shop front, Image Vision
Print is also developing a virtual shop front. ‘We already offer an online free quotation service on our website but we are meeting with some Search Engine Optimisation experts to push the sales end of our website,’ he says. ‘We get a lot of enquiries via the web but we don’t have a shop on the web where customers can purchase so we will be developing that over the next few months.’ The company is also moving into canvas/ photographic print. ‘We will be focusing on that aspect of our business in the next few months and we will be using the HP large format for that work but we may need to invest in more finishing equipment.’
So what do commercial printers need to do to remain competitive in today’s market? ‘I’ve worked in other industries and when times get tough in Ireland people slash their prices and it becomes a debt spiral,’ says Stephen Murphy. ‘We started cutting prices on certain items but we realised it was a race to the bottom so we stopped and just increased the range of services we were offering. We have a high level of communication with our clients and we explain to them the value they are getting and a lot of them appreciate that. Some didn’t so they left us but quite a few of them came back because they realised that you get what you pay for. The biggest problem in the printing industry is the printing industry. A lot of the big companies that we were competing against when we began trading are now gone but they have also destroyed the market for those who are left because they have put prices back for years and years. We are a small lean company – I don’t have big litho presses. The industry will never be like it was before. In the future there will be a lot of small to medium-sized players offering a full gamut of services and a small number of large houses. Hopefully the printers who are in the market now will consolidate and add more services and we will see some growth.’ Shay Leathem is also critical of the race to the bottom when it comes to prices. ‘We are competing against these Vista Print type websites from Europe – we find that a lot of people are buying print through Vista Print and asking us if we can match their prices when they are looking to re-order so online sales is a big area and is something that commercial printers should look at developing. The online shop is a big way to target customers nowadays – printers need to look at what people are buying on the Internet – business cards, invitations, canvas frames and personalised print – and that is certainly one of the potential growth areas that we are targeting.’
Irish Printer June 2012
Neopost and PFE – A Mailing & Print Powerhouse The recent acquisition of one of the industry’s leading and well established suppliers by a multinational group is giving commercial printers access to a one-stop finishing, mailing and fulfilment service that is totally unique and unrivalled in the Irish market. Neopost Ireland’s acquisition of Print & Finishing Equipment (PFE) pairs one of the most innovative mailroom solutions providers with one of the leading suppliers of print finishing and wide format printing solutions in the country. ‘PFE’s dominant position in the print supply chain represents a huge growth opportunity for Neopost,’ says Neopost Ireland’s managing director Cathal O’Boyle. ‘In addition, we believe we can grow the graphics and print finishing business throughout Ireland and offer the best levels of customer care through our combined service team of 17 people and our ability to finance equipment through Neopost Finance. Printers need to look at offering existing customers more and now, apart from the existing well established brands from PFE such as Duplo, Roland, Fuji and Drytac, they can source Neopost franking machines, inserting and folding equipment, address printers, envelope opening devices and software systems for all types of outgoing mail directly from a single supplier.’ Neopost is the European leader and number two world-wide supplier of mailroom equipment and logistics solutions. Neopost Ireland has been providing Irish businesses with incoming and outgoing mailing, address printing and fulfilment solutions since 1979. Headquartered in Dublin, the company provides its customers with account management, service and full back office support throughout Ireland, at a local level. Neopost also offers a full range of services, including consultancy, maintenance and financing solutions. ‘Neopost Group is a €1bn French multinational which operates in 18 countries worldwide and in 90 countries via distributors’ says Cathal O’Boyle. ‘The Group has 5,700 employees. Four to five per cent of our revenue is reinvested in R&D every year. Our franking machines are manufactured in France and our folding and inserting machines are manufactured in Holland and the UK. Neopost has been in the Irish market for over 30 years. Originally there were two Neopost distributors in Ireland and Neopost Ireland was formed following their acquisition in October 2004. Many of
Duncan Groom (left) sales director, Neopost Ireland with Cathal O’Boyle, managing director, Neopost Ireland
the employees who worked for those original distributors are still working for Neopost Ireland today. Some of our engineers are with us for over 25 years and we have sales managers who have been working with the Neopost brand for over 14 years. That long serving and loyal workforce has allowed Neopost to offer the Irish market a strong repository of knowledge and expertise when it comes to mailing and fulfilment solutions and we are now in a position to make that expertise available to the commercial print sector. Neopost has always had a decentralised culture - they want their mailing
tion company (including all seven staff that came to the company following the incorporation of PFE) and three in their Neopost Finance operation. PFE’s former managing director who is now sales director with Neopost Ireland, Duncan Groom, says joining forces with Neopost offers PFE huge benefits, particularly in terms of the level of service that it can now offer its customers. ‘We have gone from having two service engineers on the road to having 12 field engineers,’ says Duncan. ‘Also, this merger means that PFE has greater firepower in terms of finance Karl Byrne, area sales manager for the graphics division, Neopost Ireland
Conor Power, sales manager for the graphics division, Neopost Ireland
companies to be close to the markets that they serve and, of course, this is vital when you are providing a service to post offices. Neopost Ireland will be adopting the same approach to the service it provides to commercial printers. If customers have a problem with their equipment we can be on site anywhere in the country within two to three hours.’ Neopost Ireland has sales personnel in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway and field engineers located in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Athlone. The company now employs 50 people in Ireland – 47 staff in their distribu-
Irish Printer June 2012
the situation that commercial printers have had to contend with when dealing with banks and other financial institutions where it can take several weeks, or even months, to get funding approval.’
A Unique Product & Service Portfolio
and products than other print suppliers in the Irish market. In addition, being part of a multi-national company means that PFE has a greater chance of securing new agencies. This can only be of benefit to Irish printers as it broadens the range of technologies and brands that they have to choose from and makes every supplier in the market that bit more competitive. PFE can now engage in group buying which should result in better pricing for our customers in Ireland.’
Selecting a Print Partner
So what motivated the Irish subsidiary of a global mailing giant to move into the print sector? ‘The Neopost culture is to work closely with the distributors that are selling their products,’ says Cathal. ‘In the Scandinavian countries, for example, Neopost distributors tend to focus more on print finishing than on mailing so Neopost would have had a lot of exposure to some of the brands that PFE supply, such as Duplo, and to other big brands in the print finishing sector. Also, Neopost has noticed that the mailing market is changing significantly. Sections of the mail market, such as letter delivery, are experiencing decline while the parcel market is growing. This has prompted Neopost Ireland to look at adding in complementary products and services, such as print finishing, to the business model. The print and mail rooms are converging more and more and that convergence is a natural progression so it makes sense for Neopost Ireland to broaden its service and its customer base.’ When it came to selecting a print partner, Cathal says PFE was the obvious choice. ‘Neopost Ireland has partnered with PFE, and with other print industry suppliers, on a number of nationwide road shows over the past 18 months and that has further strengthened the relationship we have had with PFE,’ he says. ‘It also demonstrated to us the range of complementary products that are available for commercial printers and the potential synergies for a supplier like Neopost Ireland. Print buyers are looking for a one-stop-shop and commercial printers need to look at offering that service
to their customers. The merger between Neopost Ireland and PFE is giving commercial printers the opportunity to invest in a range of print finishing and mailing and fulfilment solutions that will allow them to offer a more complete service to existing, as well as new, customers. Duncan Groom has had an excellent relationship with the print industry since he began with PFE and we were delighted to join forces with the print industry’s premier supplier of equipment and services.’
Flexible Finance for Printers
Lack of access to funding is preventing many commercial printers from adding new technologies and services which would generate new revenue streams for their businesses. Neopost Finance Ireland Ltd was set up in 2005 to provide its customers with a range of flexible options that can be tailored to suit each customer’s budget, payment capability and business requirements, and repayment terms of up to six years are available. ‘We tailor lease packages to suit the needs of the print industry, to include related equipment, maintenance, training and consumables,’ says Cathal O’Boyle. ‘The structure of the Neopost Ireland organisation around the country, coupled with the financial strength that comes with being part of a global group, means we can offer finance solutions to commercial printers, which is something they have had major difficulty accessing from the banks and from other print industry manufacturers during this prolonged recession. For example, we offer step rentals, which gives printers the opportunity to build up the business with the machine without making the full initial capital outlay. Also, Neopost Ireland can get a decision on equipment finance in a matter of hours, which contrasts sharply with
Duncan Groom points out that the Neopost/PFE merger provides the equipment that will allow commercial printers to design, print, package, envelope, and deliver a printed product to their customer. ‘The provision of that total service is a revenue stream that a lot of printers are walking away from,’ says Duncan. ‘Eighteen months ago we moved into the wide format market with the Roland range and it has been hugely successful for us as it was an untapped source of extra income for printers. We have sold 40 wide format devices and allowed printers to increase the revenue that they are getting from their existing customers. It isn’t just about securing new business because the potential for new business is limited in today’s marketplace. Printers need to look at maximising the business that they can get from their customers and we can help them do that. On the PFE side of the Neopost operation, we are launching a new high-end saddle stitching machine from Duplo called the DBMI. This is a sheetfed collating and booklet making system that can do A4 landscape and it is something no equipment in the booklet making space is capable of.’ The first Neopost product that the newly formed company will be promoting to the commercial print market is an address printer – the Mach5 – which is a full colour envelope printer. The Mach5 was launched at the first of the Neopost Ireland ‘Opportunities in Print’ nationwide road shows in Bewleys Hotel, Dublin Airport, on 12 June. ‘This address printer produces 8,500 full colour envelopes an hour at a cost of e2.50 for 1,000 envelopes,’ says Duncan. ‘This is the first of many products that we will be offering to the commercial print sector and many new print and fulfilment solutions will be launched shortly.’ The Neopost Finance Ireland team tailors lease packages to suit the needs of the print industry.
Irish Printer June 2012
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Beat the Recession – Advertise
Horizon produced outdoor signage for the Bavaria City Racing event in Dublin
That’s what Dublin-based Horizon Digital & Print Solutions has been telling its customers over the past four years and it appears to be working. In fact, it is working so well that since the company installed a e1m press from Agfa a few months ago, it has expanded its finishing department, recruited 10 new staff members to work in it, and is planning to invest in two further digital presses by the end of this year. Director Ken Kavanagh and Marketing Manager Lorna Duffy talk to Maev Martin about staying at the technological cutting edge, increasing their Point of Sale business, and helping customers get the most out of their signage.
Last October Horizon installed the first :M-Press Leopard flatbed press in Ireland. The press was the main part of a e1.2m investment by the outdoor print and POS specialists, which included some adjustments to their premises to accommodate the machine. Director Ken Kavanagh says the press, which has been up and running since 1 December 2011, has opened up new markets for Horizon. ‘Our customers are now requesting :M-Press quality on all jobs,’ he says. ‘One of our customers, Co Meath-based Global Print and Media, is currently insisting on photographic quality and that is what the :M-Press Leopard delivers. Another of our major clients, print management company Custodian, is finding that the brands and retailers they work with have got used to the quality on the :M-Press Leopard, so they have requested it for all of their work. The press has opened up new customers and new markets for Horizon and one of the main reasons for that is the
:M-Press has allowed us to use materials that we couldn’t use before, like canvas, wood, plastic and fabric. In addition, the :M-Press Leopard is much faster for short to medium runs than the Sam X Svecia screen printing line that it replaced. Where we do receive a request for a big run we put the :M-Press Leopard or any of our other digital presses on a 24 hour shift.’ Ken points out that all of the digital presses that Horizon operate complement the :M-Press Leopard and increase the quality of the work produced in Horizon. ‘Reprocentre is our main supplier of equipment and we receive great support from them,’ he says. Since January Horizon has significantly expanded its in-house finishing department. ‘With our newly created and expanded 3,000 square foot finishing department we can now finish all of the work that we produce in-house, which gives us greater quality control,’ says Ken. ‘With the extra space we also have an increased capacity to store stock for our customers. In addition, all of
the materials generated by the department are recycled. Investment in digital plotters means that we have been able to put short run variable data jobs on our presses.’ The investments don’t stop there, though. Horizon is planning in the future to install a further digital press in the large space that was once the home of the Sam X Svecia screen printing line ‘We invested in that screen printing line, which has now gone to Dubai, 13 years ago and at that time it was cutting edge technology,’ says Ken. ‘That is what prompted us to go with its replacement – the :M-Press Leopard – as it represents cutting edge technology in today’s market. We always try to stay ahead of technological developments and we endeavour to be the first printers to offer the latest technology to the Irish market.’ Ken believes that automatic feeders will be the next big technological advance in wide format printing. ‘We will be putting an automatic feeder on our :M-Press Leopard,’ he says. ‘It is on order and will be with us by August and that will further increase productivity on the press. The auto feeder option was launched by Agfa at drupa and a lot of large format press manufacturers are now introducing automatic feeders on their presses. Like the Sam X, the Signtronics Imaging System was the top imaging technology in its time but with the movement to digital we no longer require it, so we will use the space freed up by its removal to install one of the two new digital presses that we are planning to invest in. I looked at a
Irish Printer June 2012
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see below, some of Horizon’s work at Dublin Airport
HP machine on a visit to Israel recently and my fellow director, Derek Gillen, went to drupa to check out another :M-Press Leopard and we are currently deciding how we will invest.’ Horizon’s product range covers outdoor display materials including billboards, vehicle branding and building wraps, a variety of Point of Sale units, display units and general print. ‘We can print anything from an A5 size brochure to a large billboard and we can take care of all aspects of the job for the client, from concept and origination right through to the printing of the finished product and its installation,’ says Ken. ‘Wide format outdoor advertising generates the most business for us. We are well known for that type of work and we will be maintaining that focus, but free standing indoor Point of Sale units are proving very popular.’ Horizon has always offered its customers advice on how they can get the most out of their retail marketing campaigns but they are now promoting that service in a more structured way.‘We have a team of structural and graphic designers in our design studio and they can advise customers on industry
trends, best practice, and innovations which they can include in their display material,’ says Lorna Duffy. ‘With mobile technology and online shopping, customers often want interactive elements in their POS units to create a positive in-store experience. Horizon is a member of industry associations for Point of Purchase, including POPAI, the global association for marketing at retail, which we joined recently. We keep abreast of trends so that brand owners have as much shopper insight as possible and we design a unit around that. We will also do a site survey for the customer and bring them to our offices if they are not sure what they want or need. There is always someone on site here to provide advice and assistance.’ A lot of companies in the industry are being forced to introduce redundancies and short time to cope with the pressures of the changing market. Horizon has restructured their staff and has had two redundancies; these were related to the removal of the
screen department. However, the company has recruited new staff within the finishing area and has never been busier. ‘We recruited 10 new staff to work in our newly expanded finishing department where we previously only employed three people so we now have 13 staff working in that area,’ says Ken. The company employs a total of 56 staff, including eight team leaders covering structural design, print floor, production, small finishing, large finishing, despatch, transport (they have three vans on the road) and H2, their sister premises at Blanchardstown Industrial Park 2. ‘This is an ever changing industry so printers need to be focused on where their company has to be this time next year,’ says Ken. ‘With the recession, payment is king but our clients are great. They have been very supportive and pay us as fast as they can. The companies in our industry that have closed didn’t invest in the right technology.You have to be innovative to survive.’ However, Ken is optimistic about the future of the printing industry in Ireland. ‘We all know everyone has to work harder in the current climate to survive’ he says. ‘The industry will condense further and that is an inevitable consequence of the technological developments that have occurred and will continue to occur but we have found that new markets are emerging for print. Those new markets, such as the FMCG and pharmaceutical sectors, are boosting business at Horizon. We have always received work for these sectors but we are getting more involved in them and we are finding that they are providing many new opportunities for business. For example, we produced all of the outdoor signage, including PVC banners and building wraps, for the recent Bavaria City Racing event in Dublin city centre, which featured Formula 1 star Jenson Button. We did everything from origination to the finished product on the street and we erected all of that material in the middle of the night. We don’t describe ourselves as a print house – we are a complete design and print marketing services provider.’
Irish Printer June 2012
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Innovations at drupa – the Benny Landa Story John Charnock, director of Print Research International, gives Irish Printer his perspective on what Benny Landa is doing for the flexibles and packaging market A few months ago I got a call. It was from a representative of Benny Landa asking if I was interested in helping on a special project. They couldn’t say what it was and they couldn’t share any information with me. I just had to turn up in Dusseldorf three days before drupa. Now for any other business I would probably have politely declined – drupa is simply too important for me to restrict myself to one stand. However, the person asking me was Benny Landa so I knew this would be special and I knew that his would be the stand to be seen on – and I wasn’t disappointed. Wow, what a show!
Irish Printer asked me for my thoughts on what was new and innovative at drupa from a packaging perspective. Well, because I hardly made it off the stand I am only really qualified to talk about two technologies that I saw at the exhibition. Both have Benny Landa’s involvement (one has Benny’s name, the other Benny’s money) and, interestingly enough, they complement each other extremely well. The first is obviously the Landa Nanographic Printing Press and the second is the Highcon Euclid. What does nanography offer packaging and flexibles? Well, to put it simply, three things: format, digital imaging, and the ability to print on virtually any substrate. To date digital presses have been restricted to B3 format with a few exceptions (for the sake of this article I am excluding the large
format plotting style machines). It is only since drupa that we have seen a prevalence of B2 machines. What the Landa S10 and W10 offer is full 1024 (40”) width at offset production speeds. Secondly, the devices are capable of variable data, which is not necessarily as relevant for packaging. I don’t see a volume requirement for personalised cornflake packets just yet. However, what variable says to anyone who has looked in any detail is if it can be variable it can also be zero make-ready short run. Jobs follow one another without interruption, enabling packagers to batch by substrate and tab or mark individual jobs. The final aspect of the press that makes it attractive for the packaging sector is the way the NanoInk works. It is aqueous, so no solvents, UV etc. The pigment is held in water so it is very
Irish Printer June 2012 food friendly and also is dry at the point of impression. The polymeric film lies onto the surface of the substrate so it is capable of printing on any substrate, whether it is foils, PE, PET, paper, board, anything. This means that for the flexible packaging markets - sleeves, labels and the like - it has huge potential. For the packaging sector, Benny Landa’s three most relevant nanographic printing machines are the S10FC, the W10 and the W5. Landa’s naming convention is very simple: S for sheet fed, W for web fed while the 5 is for 50cm, 7 for 70cm and 10 for 100cm. The only difference between the S10 and the S10 FC is the FC has folding carton materials handling so that it can handle substrates up to 1,000 micron thickness (and therefore doesn’t have a perfecting cylinder). The W5 and W10 can handle films as thin as 14 micron and print on all kinds of substrates. Needless to say, we were inundated by packaging companies at drupa. This is their opportunity to move to on demand production and produce short run products. The labels, folding carton and flexibles printers were there in their droves. For them this was the most exciting development for many years. I met packaging printers from every corner of the globe and they were very excited by the technologies potential for their business. Speed, substrate and format are what they need. Many of them have signed up to be part of the initial release, which enables them to be involved in the developments and be first in the queue when it comes to acquiring a machine. There has been some criticism of the image quality from the press but Benny says that there is still 18 months of development required to get the quality right. What I did see at the show was that the drying and image brightness were already there. For an aqueous ink to print on standard plastics and coated board is no mean feat. Another point of advantage when printing plastic is that,
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because the ink is dry on impression, there is no surface tension of a liquid on contact with the substrate, so most substrates do not need corona treatment like a lot of liquidbased processes. All in all, the potential of nanography and its impact on the packaging sector is significant.
flexibles it certainly has huge potential. On the subject of finishing, what complements the S10FC beautifully is the Highcon Euclid. The HighconTM Euclid is the world’s first entirely digital cutting and creasing production machine for folded cartons. What is it? Well, it is a combination
Chesapeake Invests in Digital Cutting & Creasing European packaging company Chesapeake announced on 1 June that it plans to further expand its digital capability by investment in the Highcon Euclid digital cutting and creasing machine. The company signed the agreement at drupa 2012 where Highcon was showing the Euclid to the public for the first time. ‘We have been following the progress of the Highcon technology for some time,’ says Dougie Potter, technical services director of Chesapeake, ‘and were delighted to see it perform live at the show. We believe the addition of this unique digital solution can complement our existing equipment and offer more flexibility to better serve the needs of our customers.’ Highcon sales director Nigel Tracey says the company is delighted with the response that the Euclid received at the show. ‘Converters from all over the world came to see this revolutionary product, including the leading suppliers in the industry,’ he says. ‘With shipments starting at the end of the year we are ramping up to meet the very welcomed demand.’ The Highcon Euclid is the world’s first completely digital production cutting and creasing machine and removes the necessity for production of a die by implementing new polymer and laser technologies to carry out the creasing and cutting. Setup time is reduced to minutes and will allow converters to be far more responsive to their customer demands.
There are still many hurdles to climb for Landa - materials handling, workflow, DFEs (digital front end) integration of the presses into manufacturing operations, finishing, and many others, but for packagers and
of technologies - DART (Digital Adhesive Rule Technology) to create digital crease lines and laser cutting to remove the need for traditional dies. The Highcon Euclid works by using a blank foil that is placed onto the machine. The machine then creates crease lines with an x-y plotter that has a special head to create the rules in polymer. This is then UV-cured and that creates all the crease lines. All other cuts and perforations are created using the three CO2 laser cutters that cut out the rest of the job. This enables jobs of up to 10,000 sheets to be turned around extremely quickly and cost effectively. The machine runs at 1,500 sheets per hour so it will not replace a Bobst for a while. However, it will take all the short run off the Bobst (other die-cutters are available) and get efficiency throughout the factory. When combined, these two technologies – nanographic printing and digital cutting and creasing – bring true digital manufacturing on demand into the realm of the possible for the packaging and folding carton industry.
Heidelberg means peak performance in terms of print quality, speed and reliability â€“ qualities which simplify the daily life of every printer. For further information on our latest product range visit www.heidelberg.com
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Functional Self-Adhesive Labels for the Food and Beverage Market By Jules Lejeune, managing director FINAT In food and beverage retailing, a selfadhesive label can create a multi-functional solution that will both simplify accurate workflow and product throughput and provide an invaluable additional level of product authentication. In the light of much of the media coverage of adulteration/falsification of drinks – baby milk and other beverages (including wine) and foods – the responsible brand owner today can choose to use one simple path to success across all his or her required functionalities: a self-adhesive label. Across all the end-use market segments, including food and drinks, and retailing, self-adhesive labels have established an unmatched reputation for reliability, coupled with versatility, in every respect. They are a preferred choice because of the extremely stable nature of the self-adhesive ‘sandwich’ - a laminate of printable face stock, adhesive, and the release liner which carries it along the press. Delivered in long or short reels, conveniently still on their backing liner, the labels are ready for accurate, legible personalisation by any of today’s variable information printing (VIP) technologies to deliver a unique identifier. These are functional labels which must perform in a variety of environments to meet different needs. They undertake a variety of important roles. They identify single items at the retail point of sale, in catch weigh applications, particularly for fresh foods. Here, the labels’ dual readability role - correctly identifying the contents for the consumer and enabling the sales assistant to successfully scan the item’s barcode at the checkout - is critical. They can also perform a major function in product authentication and tamper-evidence. The actual substrate to which they will be applied may vary from wood to rough card, plastic (films or containers), glass, or waxed carton board. It may be hot, damp, cool, or out of the freezer. Self-adhesive labels offer a choice of adhesives delivering reliable adhesion, whatever the circumstances. Certified adhesives for
direct food contact (meeting FDA and BfR standards) are available. But that is only part of the story. The label’s face stock - its printable surface - must be able to conform to the pack to which it is applied. On flat surfaces, this is no challenge but the situation is very different when it comes to curved packaging or ‘difficult’ surfaces such as apolar plastics which repel standard adhesives or, for example, the roundels applied directly to self-serve fruits in the supermarket. Storage conditions - wet, damp, blast freeze, in particular - will also affect face stock choice. Additionally, clear readability is essential (either by the naked eye, or with scanners). The imaging methods used for such labels also, therefore, make demands on the choice of label face stock. With self-adhesive labels, the ability to choose a preferred or specialpurpose face stock and combine it with a preferred adhesive, and a release liner ideally suited to the label application method employed, is a considerable benefit. Self-adhesive labels, which may be preprinted or not, can employ all the types of variable information print available today: the direct thermal, thermal transfer, inkjet (including flatbed), and laser print processes. They will often combine alphanumeric (product name or code) identifiers, for reading with the human eye, with digital identifiers such as barcodes. The simple one-dimensional barcode has been joined today by two-dimensional barcodes and, based on the 2D technology, even three-dimensional barcodes. Self-adhesive labels can accommodate even the most advanced barcode technologies - even those associated with today’s product authentication technologies. It is the mature direct thermal technology, which creates images using heat on a heat-sensitive substrate, which primarily serves the retail market, particularly for catch weigh food labelling. It offers ease and reliability of use for short-life applications and delivers relatively low-cost quality barcodes at reasonable print speeds. These characteristics also make direct thermal an obvious choice for transit product identification and tracking labels, eg for parcel distribution, as well as for outer case and pallet markings. It is worth noting that, traditionally, Bisphe-
nol-A (BPA) has been used in thermal papers as the standard image developer but current concerns around its possible toxicity have led the manufacturers of self-adhesive thermal label stocks to offer non-BPA alternatives for sensitive applications. Thermal transfer, using ink ribbons with a thermal printhead, is one of the most flexible variable information print technologies due to the variety of ribbons and printable receiver label materials (many UL approved) available, and its ability to print in colour. It is primarily used in industrial applications. Inkjet print is now making inroads in the functional label market, with sell-by dates and other identifiers often added during the reel-to-reel printing of primary product labels for packaged foods on modular presses, which can include a digital print unit. The actual application of a label to a pack may be accomplished, according to the application concerned, manually, or with a handoperated labeller. All in all, the self-adhesive label offers an unmatched flexibility and versatility in both straightforward day-to-day catch weigh labelling, and in advanced arenas such as ‘smart’ RFID labels and track-and-trace and tamper-evidence. Self-adhesive label converters around Europe, and their label stock suppliers, are an excellent source of information on the extensive opportunities available to brand owners and other companies transporting goods across increasingly-wide geographies. Whether variable information print label volumes are large or small, simple or complex, and whichever imaging processes they utilise, it is worth talking to a self-adhesive label converter to learn how any specific labelling challenge can be met today. Founded in Paris in 1958 with headquarters in The Hague (The Netherlands), FINAT is the world-wide association for manufacturers of self-adhesive labels and related products and services. With 600 members in over 50 countries around the world, FINAT offers information exchange and the opportunity to network internationally to label converters and all suppliers to the labelling industry. For further information visit www.finat.com
Irish Printer June 2012
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W aterless P lates D raw B ig C rowds Daily demonstrations of the application of Toray’s waterless plates combined with a fully automated production environment proved to be a big draw for the drupa crowds. A KBA Rapida 106 five-colour plus coater running Toray’s waterless plates was demonstrated in conjunction with an Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) ASTI APC 40 and a robot from Industrial Robot Automation showcased the benefits of a highly automated production and how it can optimise on demand printing solutions. A short run of just a couple of hundred sheets began the demonstration followed by a quick change to a job running a completely different substrate. After just a few sheets of waste it achieved the sharpness and colour brilliance typical of waterless, with correct density and perfect register while fan-out is not an issue.The Rapida 106’s dryer has options for both regular and HR-UV flash lamps for UV cure varnish, plus infra-red lamps and hot air for water-based coatings. It is also fitted with an automatic plate changer and inline inspection system for monitoring all critical parameters. Optimum waterless printing performance is ensured by EPDM ink rollers, individual ink zone temperature controls from Technotrans, and a sheet cleaner. Toray’s green coloured waterless plates, which are covered with a silicone coating to repel the ink in the non-image area, can be imaged by any plate setter with an 830 nanometer
thermal laser at up to 300 LPI and, depending on the plate type and run lengths, up to 100,000 impressions can be achieved. According to Toray, the objective of the presentation was to show that any press can be used for waterless printing.The particular machine was not fitted with temperature controlled plate cylinders; a normal cooling system for the ink with individual zone controls is sufficient. Most modern presses have this provision.The Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) ASTI APC 40 from Toray’s Spanish partner Asti collects the printed sheets and, while the first job
is being transferred to the finishing area for cutting, the plates and substrates are changed for the next job. It increases productivity by saving two to three minutes on every job and reduces handling damage. It also eliminates the mundane task of moving pallets, freeing up operators to concentrate on tasks requiring their skills as printers. As the jobs are printed with UV-curable inks rather than oil-based inks, even uncoated paper can be handled immediately eliminating waiting times.The job can be cut or bound immediately shortening delivery times to print buyers.
B ringing O rder to M ailbo x es
With a total of five EasySert lines, Austrian Post subsidiary Medien Zustell GmbH is inserting unaddressed advertising mail into a four-page envelope or ‘Kuvert’. This means that the company has managed to increase its appeal for recipients and at the same time improve efficiency. ‘Kuvert’ is an envelope for advertising material addressed to households designed to tidy up letterboxes. Given that this product has been extremely well received in Germany and in Switzerland, Austrian Post introduced its own advertising mail envelope, called Kuvert, the German word for envelope. It is a four-page envelope in 215x297 millimetre format designed to hold machine processable brochures. The cover design includes an eye-catching photo, which will make recipients want to see what’s inside. Both inside pages can be booked as advertorials. There is also space for information and image boxes. The back cover has been reserved for high-end image advertising. The envelope helps advertisers select the best time to send out their brochures. By bringing the new direct-mail advertising format ‘Kuvert’ onto the market, Austrian Post can now deliver brochures into recipients’ mailboxes as neat bundles. Austrian Post passed overall responsibility for realisation and logistics of the project to its subsidiary Medien
Twice a week, ‘Kuvert’ goes out to 3.2 million households across Austria.
Zustell GmbH. Austrian Post put the contract to provide the technology out to international tender. Ferag’s EasySert came in as the winner and the company was asked to supply a total of five inserting lines and bundling systems. All five inserting lines were equipped with 24 hoppers. Depending on weight, up to 24 brochures can therefore be inserted into one folder as part of a 24-1 production run. Within a period of 40 hours, a total of 3.2 million copies of ‘Kuvert’ must be put together. At the beginning of February 2012, the project began day-to-day operations and deliveries are now made twice a week to 3.2 million households.
Irish Printer June 2012
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N ew B lanket G uide
Trelleborg recently published a new Packaging Guide for its Rollin and Vulcan range of printing blankets. The new brochure, which is available to download via the Trelleborg website, features all of the company’s packaging solutions which have been specifically designed for use in the packaging industry, including two new coating solutions - the Rollin MyCoat and Rollin HiCoat. Rollin MyCoat is a two-ply mylar based strippable coating blanket, featuring a specialist construction which Trelleborg says makes stripping very easy. The compressible layer of the blanket strips down to the blue layer, allowing the enduser to see if knock outs are correct and precise. Available in three thicknesses - 1.96mm, 1.35mm and 1.15mm - the specially designed top rubber compound of the blanket also makes it suitable for use with both aqueous and UV coating applications. Rollin HiCoat is a compressible strippable coating plate with a polyester carrier and has been designed for both aqueous and UV-varnish transfer. Specfically developed for use in volume sheetfed press packaging and commercial applications, Trelleborg says HiCoat is ideal for spreading varnish on printed paper.
O ptimus & P itney B owes D eliver A utomated W orkflow
Optimus recently announced that they will be working in partnership with Pitney Bowes to deliver the complete workflow solution for transactional printers. This partnership will see Pitney Bowes DFWorks software and Optimus dash MIS integrate to provide an automated workflow. Companies will have full access to all of the features within Optimus dash while retaining the integrity of full transactional tracking within DFWorks. The combined integration will enable DFWorks to track performance versus Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and performance versus forecast. Each individual mail piece will be able to be tracked through DFWorks with details of the overall job automatically appearing in Optimus dash as a full production job. The partnership will see Optimus dash hold the detail of all job costs and will provide full stock management within Optimus dash. In addition, Optimus dash will be able to hold delivery and invoicing information, with posting capability of output to preferred accounts packages.
I ntuitive Packaging
Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box had a strong presence at the London International Wine Fair from 22 to 24 May. The company exhibited all of its packaging solutions – its bag-in-box, the Vitop Original tap for the wine market and its ‘Pouch-Up’ packaging, as well as the new ‘Intuitive Bag-in-Box’. The ‘Pouch-Up’ is available in formats 1.5L and 3L and the totality of its surface can be printed in high-quality enabling brand recognition in the store. The performant film and the tap Vitop compact ensures that the pack contents remain untainted by oxygen ingress during dispense and extends the shelf life of the liquid foodstuff after opening. With the Intuitive Bag-in-Box the end user doesn’t have to remove the tap from the box and, as the consumer can see the tap when the product is on the shelf, they understand instinctively how the packaging works. Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box is a division of the Smurfit Kappa Group. Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box supplies flexible packaging solutions for liquid and viscous products to food and industrial markets.
I nserting T ec h nology W ins D esign A ward Bowe Systec’s new inserting system Fusion Cross has been awarded the red dot award for its outstanding design. This internationally recognised design prize is conferred by the noted Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. The award takes a number of criteria into account, including the level of innovation, functionality, ergonomics and ecological compatibility of the product in question. A particularly distinctive step in the corner between the inserter head and closing section gives operators of any height a perfect view and provides easy access. The ergonomics of the Fusion Cross are supported by smart user guidance. The motor-driven touchscreen monitors automatically position themselves so as to give the operator a perfect view of all the information from the component at which
he or she is currently working. Compact colour-contrasting operator panels above the individual stations complete the award-winning design. The Fusion Cross can process a wide range of formats from DIN long to B4 and a huge variety of enclosures at speeds of up to 22,000 envelopes per hour, thus also setting technical standards as a machine ca-
pable of handling all mailroom applications. The Fusion Cross had its world premiere at drupa 2012. Böwe Systec is one of the world’s leading suppliers of hardware and software solutions for the modern mailroom. Bowe Systec Ireland is the Irish subsidiary of Böwe Systec GmbH, which is a member of the Possehl Group of companies.
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Legacy Debts – An SME Perspective
While public debate focuses on new jobs, new lending and getting the banking sector working again, the question of old debts is not being adequately addressed, argues John P Eager FCA, chief executive officer, Snap, in this personal perspective on dealing with lenders. I have the pleasure and the challenge (in the current economic environment) of working with 22 separate small businesses in our organisation. The average employment in these businesses is five, including the owner/operator. Our businesses’ main input costs are materials for production
and staff costs. Costs are relatively fixed which include significant capital investment. Like most small businesses, we have restructured our costs in line with the fall in sales caused by the weakness in demand in the Irish economy. Slowly, our businesses are returning to profitability - relative to the current environment. There is a semblance of hope returning after three difficult years of restructuring. The picture painted here, while positive in direction, doesn’t reflect the full position. Public discussion doesn’t reflect the full position either. The focus is on new jobs and new lending and on getting the
banking sector moving again. What is not being addressed - publicly, and arguably in the private meeting rooms of the banks - are the old debts, the borrowings taken on by Irish businesses in better times. Debt levels are high and the approach to getting them repaid is, in my view, off. It is worth noting that many of these old debts were not inappropriately taken out. The loans were for business expansion activities - buying businesses, fixed assets, and investment properties. At the time these loans were taken out it was considered appropriate, indeed (and
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unfortunately) de rigueur, to fund business investment with high debt levels. In my experience, there is little sense from Irish businesses that these loans will not be repaid. Most businesses intend to clear the debts and, in the vernacular, ‘to get the banks off our backs’. Unlike property development loans, which were effectively short-term transactions (buy-develop-repay), business loans are long-term in nature and are serviced by cashflow generated by trading companies. As chartered accountants, our training on business cashflow management teaches us that the source of cashflow is profit from operations (trading profits) and cashflow from working capital (debtor and creditor management). Once generated, this cash is applied to financing activities - the repayment of loans. A business must make a profit to have cash. At the moment, many businesses are recovering from a loss-making position and moving back into profitability. This profitability is nascent and not consistently flowing. As a result, the mainstay of cash generation has been to take it from creditors and, within this, mainly
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offered easily and the banks do not appear familiar (or refuse to make themselves familiar) with the basics of cashflow statements. At an advisory level, some accountants appear not to produce integrated profit and loss, cash-flow and balance sheet models. Assumptions around cashflows are simplistic and do not reflect sensible commercial positions. Basic concepts like the number of debtor or creditor days being taken are underdeveloped. Critically, this situation has existed for two or three years now and creditor terms in particular are completely drawn out. It is not unusual to see creditor ledgers at 105 days or more. There is a mirror position - debtor days are now nationally standing at about 75 days. This is the proof that liquidity doesn’t exist in Irish business. It has been drained out of working capital cycles to pay loans that cannot be paid from profit. Business owners are exhausted. Stress levels are through the roof. Input costs are rising - decreasing profits - as suppliers factor in the cost of having to provide extended credit. Our particular industry is already highly competitive and Ireland is a place where there are significant ‘exit
‘There appears to be little acceptance by banks that a business is not in a position to generate the required levels of profitability to service loans. Restructurings are not offered easily and the banks do not appear familiar (or refuse to make themselves familiar) with the basics of cashflow statements.’
from trade creditors. This is not achieved in a structured way but instead by having to duck and dive and avoid requests for payment. The cash generated in this way has been applied to repayment of long-term loans. To the extent that cash generation is insufficient to service capital repayments, the banks are providing more funding - particularly invoice discounting facilities at a high cost - to ensure that long-term loans get paid.You end up borrowing on both sides. There appears to be little acceptance by banks that a business is not in a position to generate the required levels of profitability to service loans. Restructurings are not
costs’ - generally bankruptcy - which business owners will do anything to avoid, including continuing to trade long after the point where they should have sensibly stopped. With onerous personal guarantees and family homes as security, a dysfunctional business environment is being created. Bank executives say ‘we’re not in the business of closing businesses down’, or ‘we won’t kill the patient’. Recently, one bank executive’s position in terms of continuing with over 105 days of credit from creditors (achieved in a disorganised way) was ‘everyone will bear the pain’. Another insisted on a loan returning to
capital and interest (despite the business only achieving break-even) because the bank would have to make further capital provisions itself unless this loan was regularised. There was no discussion of how. It is the business owner’s responsibility to come up with a proposal, and as another bank executive observed, ‘there needs to be consensus’ with the bank’s view or it won’t get approved. The SME sector lives in fear of not reaching consensus with the bank but members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, working in the banking community and in advisory roles, must start to accept that loans can only be repaid from trading profitably and not from the unstructured, stressful lengthening of creditor days. Indeed, at this stage, banks should start allowing clients to reduce creditor days. There will be no recovery in the Irish economy until liquidity in working capital cycles is restored. If the bank has to wait a little longer, perhaps that is the best thing all round, especially when you suspect that the bank has already made provisions for the non-repayment of the loan they are demanding you pay. Businesses do want to repay the loans - but give us a fighting chance. John Eager can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
‘With onerous personal guarantees and family homes as security, a dysfunctional business environment is being created.’
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Litho Strikes Back Every step towards automation helps to reduce the unit cost of the printed piece. The focus of the offset press developments at drupa was to improve automation and much of that focus was on reducing make-ready and changeover times to support shorter runs and quicker turnaround times. Two of the big highlights of Heidelberg’s extensive offering at drupa were the world premier of their new Speedmaster XL75 Anicolor sheetfed offset press and of the company’s new Speedmaster XL 106. Since 2006 more than 1,000 printing units have been installed worldwide with the Anicolor technology in the 35 x 50 cm (13.78 x 19.69 in) format. Now, this innovation has been extended to the 50 x 70 cm (19.69 x 27.56 in) format. According to Heidelberg, this means 90% less paper, 50% per cent shorter makeready times and 50% higher productivity. ‘This makes the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor a particularly good option for customers who are looking to achieve cost-efficient production of short and very short runs in the 50 x 70 centimetre format for commercial and packaging printing applications,’ says Heidelberg’s chief executive officer Bernard Schreier. ‘The press is also ideal for web-toprint applications with gang forms that require simple standardisation and consistently high quality.’ The machine will initially be offered as a straight-printing press with up to six inking units - with or without coating unit and with a print speed of up to 15,000
sheets per hour - and will be available from the end of 2013. Presses with a perfecting device and other configurations will follow. Heidelberg UK’s Matt Rockley says the press can makeready in 10 to 15 sheets. ‘Packaging companies will be particularly interested in this piece of kit,’ he says. ‘It is a machine that would break even against digital on possibly as low as 100 sheets because it uses conventional litho plates and consumables.’ According to Heidelberg, the Speedmaster XL 106 enables both commercial and packaging printers already operating at the upper end of the productivity scale to achieve a further improvement of 20% to 30% compared to the Speedmaster XL 105. ‘This will appeal to customers printing 60 to 80 million sheets and using up to 100,000 printing plates a year,’ says Bernard Schreier. The press operates at speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour, even in perfecting mode. ‘A particular highlight of this machine is an integrated inkjet solution. The defective repeats it identifies in a fully automated process are marked and subsequently ejected at the post-press stage. This is an especially attractive feature for manufacturers of pharmaceutical packaging. Alphanumeric codes can also be applied to print products using the same solution.’ Depending on the particular job structure, it can produce between 60 and 80 million sheets a year with ease and change between 90,000 and 100,000 printing plates a year on an eight-color press. The new press has been
The Speedmaster XL75 Anicolor
available since drupa, when it replaced the Speedmaster XL 105. The new Rapida 76 from KBA received its world launch on KBA’s stand at drupa. KBA says its new format ‘rewrites the rulebook’ for B2 commercial printers by radically reducing downtime, waste, power consumption and virtually eliminating manual intervention for in-run supervision of colour and quality assurance. ‘If you look at our FAPC plate-changing system you’ll see that, once the plates have been positioned the job is done – they feed-in and lockon automatically,’ says KBA UK managing director Christian Knapp. ‘If the minder has to return to each unit to press a button, it may be only 30 seconds each time but that distracts him from other duties at this crucial time. The same is true of the DriveTronic SIS sheet infeed system which is entirely adjustment-free and, therefore, doesn’t require setting. A further advantage unique to the Rapida 76 is that each unit of the inking train can be disengaged at the operation console by suspending the rollers – a saving of more than 10 minutes over other presses which have the tedious tasks of washing-up the current ink, oiling the rollers for protection, and then washing-up again prior to use.’ But perhaps the most significant system for the high-end user, conscious of the stringent requirements of ISO 12467-2, is the KBA QualiTronic in-press camera Colour Control system with its ability to measure every sheet at full production speed.
Irish Printer June 2012
New Services and Digital Innovation
Horizon’s SmartStacker at drupa
Irish Printer takes a further look at some of the new finishing equipment unveiled at drupa 2012 and talks to some finishers and manufacturers about recent developments in the sector.
Finishers Expand Services
Kevin Kelly Print Finishers is coping with the difficult trading conditions by introducing new services. The company recently invested in some gift box making machines which are now up and running. They are currently producing their first order – gift wrapping 6,000 boxes containing children’s booties. They also have an order from Hennessy and Byrne, which manufactures kitchenware from marble. ‘This is a completely new area for us,’ says Kevin Kelly of Kevin Kelly Print Finishers. ‘We used to do this type of work by hand but we couldn’t take on larger orders and that is why we invested in the machinery. We saw the machines at drupa but we had decided to buy them before we went. I don’t believe there is anyone other than ourselves offering a gift box wrapping service. The unit comprises three machines. We use our standard gluing machines to
glue the materials and then one of the machines forms the boxes, another one wraps the glued material around the box, and then there is a turning-in unit for the edges of the boxes. The machines can produce 500 boxes an hour. The traditional print market is stagnant. Work is very quiet for us, as it is across the entire trade, and that is why we are trying to move into different areas and add new services. Most of the work that we are producing at the moment is presentation packs (ring binders and slip cases) for companies that are tendering for contracts.’ C Sign & Print is celebrating 20 years of trading on 24 July. ‘I started the business in 1992 to provide employment for myself and my family and we are delighted to be still here to celebrate it,’ says managing director Tom Collins. ‘I’d like to thank our customers and suppliers for all of their support over the past 20 years, some of whom have been with us from the very start, and long may it continue, and to thank Irish Printer for giving companies like us a forum to express ourselves to the wider print industry. We are in a strong position as a company. We are holding our own and we are happy to do that as we wait for an upturn.’ C Sign & Print offer a range of finishing services to the trade, with a major focus on litho lamination. ‘Most of the promotional work we do is for large litho houses and for some large format
digital printers where they require litho lamination,’ says Tom. Apart from their trade work, they also produce tax, insurance and NCT disc holders and signage, including pull-up or pop-up banners. ‘We depend a lot on promotional work, largely from the drinks trade and other sectors, but the volume of that work doesn’t seem to be as great as it was before. Demand has slowed down in terms of litho lamination and that is because of the new large format digital machines that have come into the market. They can print on most materials - thickness is not an issue. As those machines get faster, in some cases litho work is transferred to large format machines and cut out on a digital plotter. That trend would account for some of the fall off in demand, along with, of course, the downturn in the economy.’ Like Kevin Kelly Print Finishers, C Sign & Print is looking to extend its range of services and is evaluating all possibilities for investment in the future. Tom has noticed a lot of changes in the print finishing market since he established C Sign & Print 20 years ago. ‘Point of Sale material for promotions was one or two colours when we started up but now the POS material which advertises the special offer always incorporates the product itself in full colour along with the information. During the run up to General Elections or the holding of various Referenda the pole posters were
Irish Printer June 2012
HP’s Indigo 10000
mainly cardboard whereas now it is plastic corri board which is more durable and can last longer, and now you have a full colour photo of the candidate as well as their name. That evolution is a reflection of the changes in technology that have occurred in both large format and screen devices.’ Tom says the movement away from screen lines to large format digital machines for the printing of POS material means that the quality of POS materials and stickers has improved hugely. ‘Also, the output capacity of these large format machines in terms of speed is much better than what screen could provide and, of course, that has hastened investment in large format as it is much more cost effective for printers than investing in screen equipment,’ he says. ‘Over the past 20 years the quality of POS material has improved significantly and the substrates on which it is printed have also improved greatly, as have the inks and the printing equipment. Print finishing has become more mechanised to cope with greater demand and volumes.’ While volumes may have dropped in recent years, Tom says that, since 1992, they have consistently increased over the years. ‘Apart from technological developments, I’ve found that printers and print suppliers have to be much more innovative in recent years when in comes to solving their clients’ problems in order to secure and maintain business,’ says. ‘You have to provide a solution that will save them, and yourself, time and money. From the client’s point of view you are helping them to hold onto their customers so if we can overcome a problem for them to ensure that they get the business then you will continue to get their business.’
at drupa. The investment in the new perfect binder, which is in excess of €1m, gives Walsh Colour Print an optimal finishing solution for offset and digitally printed products. It also makes Walsh Colour Print the first company in the British Isles to buy this piece of equipment and only the second in the world. Speaking to Irish Printer last month, Michael Murphy, sales director at Central Press Services, described the investment as ‘a good deal for the printing industry in Ireland and a bit of positive news for Ireland as a country. It is nice to see a brand new technology coming to the Irish market. This binder produces 90 second makeready, which is phenomenal, and it has been bought by an Irish printer who wants to print litho but also wants to future proof his business by being digital ready and this binder is digital ready.’ The recent acquisition of Print & Finishing Equipment (PFE) by Neopost Ireland is good news for the development of the finishing sector in Ireland as it gives commercial printers access to a one-stop finishing, mailing and fulfilment service. PFE’s former managing director who is now sales director with Neopost Ireland, Duncan Groom, says being part of a multinational company means that PFE has a greater chance of securing new agencies. ‘This can only be of benefit to Irish printers as it broadens the range of technologies and brands that they have to choose from and makes every supplier in the market that bit more competitive,’ he says. ‘PFE can now engage in group buying which should result in better pricing for our customers in Ireland.’
Good News for Finishing Sector
New Direction for B2 Post-Press
Walsh Colour Print purchased the latest machine to be released by Muller Martini - an Alegro perfect binder - from Muller Martini’s Irish agent Central Press Services
The appointment of Portman Graphic as the exclusive dealer for the Horizon range of finishing equipment in Ireland is yet another positive development for the finishing
sector. Portman Graphic will offer Horizon equipment, service and spare parts to the Irish market through Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS) Ltd UK. The Horizon range covers lithographic and digital print finishing. The appointment will also give finishers and printers direct access to IFS’s extensive portfolio of brands which includes Perfecta, Petratto, Foliant, Photobooks, SCS, CEM, Italdibipack and Durselen. One of the major innovations from the Horizon International stable that Portman Graphic will be supplying to the Irish market as soon as it is available is the SmartStacker, which was developed for HP’s first B2 digital press, the Indigo 10000. While the system was designed exclusively for the new HP press, IFS describes SmartStacker as the ‘future of jobbing commercial print with digital B2,’ and says that the system ‘may be rolled out for other presses in the long term’. ‘With B2 digital printing now a commercial reality it is vital that print operations have finishing solutions that ensure their high quality, fast turnaround print is completed efficiently and on time,’ says Bryan Godwyn, IFS joint managing director. ‘SmartStacker has been created specifically to meet this need and to reduce costs while improving productivity and profit. SmartStacker removes labour and touch-points and improves efficiency. It also moves the business argument on from simple costper-page to cost per finished document. I believe it is a mould-breaking solution that will become the first name on the teamsheet in any B2 digital press owner’s post production line-up.’ SmartStacker, which is targeted for a mid2013 release, feeds B2 sheets (max: 530 x 760 mm), registers and slits up to seven sections in one direction and four in the other (all with gutters/bleed) to create up to 28 pages/sub-sheets (ie down to A6). The individual elements are then collated into the correct sequence at an intelligent merging station, which incorporates a dual pass conveyor to achieve a maximum production speed of 4,500 B2 sph. Stock range is between 65gsm and 400gsm. Through the collaboration with HP, a newly developed Horizon Finishing Line Controller (FLC) controls set-up and operation. It communicates with the HP Indigo 10000 and the HP SmartStream Production Pro digital front end, and integrates with HP’s end-to-end workflow solutions for fully automated JDF set-up. SmartStacker is available as an on-line solution exclusively with the new Indigo or, with high-pile sheet feeder, as an offline stand-alone system from Intelligent Finishing Systems.
Irish Printer June 2012
At drupa 2012, finishing equipment specialists Friedheim International launched a range of solutions for conventional and digital printing, converting and packaging from some of the world’s leading brands.
Lasercomb Launches Multi-Functional Plotter
Packaging and die-cutting solutions supplier Lasercomb introduced the latest generation of its ProDigi multi-functional plotter, the ProDigi NEO, at drupa. Three different versions are available: the 0813, 1613 and 2113, which provide working formats of 800x1300mm, 1600x1300mm and 2100x1300mm respectively. The ProDigi NEO features three tangentially controlled tool holders that are capable of handling up to seven different tools, and these can be quickly changed over as required. The alternative tools include cutting/creasing/drawing units, a 3D milling unit, and a conveyor system. Operating at up to 100 metres per minute, the new NEO also includes divided vacuum sections with electronic adjustment, automatic digital compensation of table flatness, digitally controlled Z-axis, data transfer via network (RJ45), and full digital drive.
New Wrapping System from Buhrs
The Buhrs 5000 System launched at drupa is a dedicated paper wrapping system that is capable of processing up to 30,000 products per hour, which makes this new method of paper packaging ideal for bulk volume direct mail, transactional mail and transpromo items. ‘Originally, paper wrapping was seen as an ecological equivalent of poly wrapping,’ says Buhrs’ sales and marketing manager Ruud Oud. ‘However, it is now increasingly seen as a replacement for the traditional envelope, especially in the high volume segment of the mailing market.’ A key feature of the new Buhrs 5000 paper wrapping system is the possibility of full speed and in-line inkjet printing on a white roll of paper. The inkjet options range from the printing of name and address details in black to the fully personalised printing of variable data and images, even in full colour. When produced, the paper wraps have the look and feel of an envelope. The new system also has the ability to produce in-line self-mailers with inserts.
Kama Rolls out Flatbed Die-Cutter
Kama used its stand at drupa to launch the world’s first 760mm x 600mm format flatbed die-cutter with integrated hot foil stamping system. The new ProCut 76 die-cutter provides a wide range of applications, including cutting, creasing, perforating and kiss-cutting, as well as blind embossing, Braille stamping, hot foil stamping, relief and hologram stamping. Changing over from hot foil stamping to die-cutting on the ProCut 76 takes less than 10 minutes. The new universal chase leads to further time savings when setting up. KAMA also introduced the AutoRegister as an option for the ProCut 53 and ProCut 76 machines. In operation, a camera detects the sheet position while the sheet is being held by the gripper. Position deviations are corrected immediately by two servo motors, both in and across the direction of sheet travel (X and Y direction). The AutoRegister is capable of picking up the slightest of register differences and quickly adjusts every single sheet to an accuracy of 0.1mm to a printing mark. This option makes it possible to process digitally printed sheets, as well as sheets that have already been cut after printing, while still maintaining high register accuracy. The AutoRegister provides finishing in a digital workflow, as well as for commercial printing and short runs in the packaging printing sector.
The full range of Lasercomb, Buhrs, Wohlenberg, MBO and KAMA equipment is available in the UK and Ireland from sole agent, Friedheim International.
Irish Printer June 2012
PRI N T P E OPL E
Ray Armstrong is managing director of Co Kildare-based print management company Print Procurement Ireland. Ray has vast experience in the printing industry, have worked for a number of printing companies including Spectrum Print Logistics, Midland Web Printing, Brunswick Press, Image Creation Technology, Lithographic Plate Plan, Horizon Graphics and Dunmar Press. He spoke to Irish Printer recently about his business and the industry.
Why did you decide to set up Print Procurement Ireland in May 2010? Following my departure from Spectrum I had a short time away from print and found it to be not as challenging as I had expected it to be. I sat and reviewed my options and decided to return to print as Print Procurement Ireland because I felt that someone with my knowledge could add value to the supply chain. Do you regret setting up your own business during the recession or has it proven to be a good time to start a business? Some days at the beginning you would be checking the modem to see if it was working but overall it has been positive so far. Who are your major customers at Print Procurement Ireland? We have a broad section of clients from the FMCG to the pharmaceutical sector. Does PPI have a panel of printers that you request quotes from on an ongoing basis for your client base or does the panel tend to vary from client to client? There is a panel of trusted print partners who supply Print Procurement Ireland on a regular basis. Print management companies (or print brokers as they used to be referred to) tend to have a bad name in the printing industry, mainly because a lot of printers believe that they are responsible for the current race to the bottom regarding price. What would you say to the industry in defence of print management companies? I made a decision that having been employed within the trade at all levels over the past 27 years that Print Procurement Ireland would not get involved in ‘a race to the bottom’ by driving print prices downward. We ask our suppliers to put their best foot forward at all times. One of the criticisms levelled at print management companies is that they are responsible for a lot of printing contracts being awarded to overseas printers. Does PPI only seek quotes from Irish printers and only award work to Irish printers? The company name is Print Procurement Ireland and our intention is, and always will be, to use Irish printers.
What sector or sectors of the printing industry do you work – offset, digital, flexo or screen - or do you work across all sectors? With the broad range of customers we have, digital, offset, wide format and screen are generally where we fall with clients’ requests. As managing director of Print Procurement Ireland do you work with any of your former employers? Yes, where possible, and if the opportunity arises these companies supply Print Procurement Ireland. With over 28 years’ experience in the Irish printing business, what are the biggest changes that you have witnessed in the industry over the years? There have been many changes over the years yet lately the improvement in digital print has to be among the most innovative. What do you regard as the major trend in the Irish printing industry? I feel that short run ‘on demand’ printing will become more prevalent in the near future. Which sectors of the industry do you believe will be the growth areas over the next few years? Digital printing will definitely be a growth area over the coming years. A recent survey of the European printing industry concluded that the industry is divided between the leaders, those who have transitioned their businesses to meet the changes in the demands for and of print, and the laggards, those firms with an offset-only production platform who are facing declining volume and prices. Do you think that this is an accurate description of what is happening in the Irish print market? I feel that print companies need to be all things to the client yet the financial implications of this are prohibitive. Therefore, print management companies fill the void, providing knowledge, advice and sourcing capabilities. Measured over the last two years the survey revealed that the clear trends in terms of volume are for strong growth in digital colour (10%) and wide format (8%) with more or less stable figures for digital monochrome and the specialist analogue processes (flexo, screen
and gravure), with a decline of 2.9% for offset. In your experience is there strong growth in demand for digital colour and wide format and a significant decline in offset volumes in the Irish market? I think those findings are a broad reflection of what is happening in the industry in Ireland. As more and more clients require quick, short runs, digital colour printing will get a larger market share. In your opinion, what type of printing presses, finishing equipment and software are generating the most investment in Ireland at the moment? As run lengths decrease investment becomes more difficult to access, but high end digital presses would seem to be the way forward. We have witnessed a number of high profile print company closures in the latter half of 2011 and so far this year. They tend to be mainly in the litho printing sector. Is the worst over or are we likely to see further closures as the year progresses? Hopefully the recent closures have brought to an end the misery that the industry has been experiencing. Not only is the staff affected, but when there are a number of company closures it creates a domino effect throughout the wider industry, which exacerbates the difficulties that everyone is experiencing in these recessionary times. Are you aware of or involved in the activities of the Print and Packaging Forum? I am involved and I keep an eye on Forum events. Have you been impacted by the closure of any print companies or print supply companies since the recession began? Yes, two of our suppliers have closed this year, which is a cause for great sadness. I feel for the families involved. Do you think that the Irish printing industry is doing enough to protect itself in the current climate or is it too fragmented and incapable of rallying and doing what needs to be done to protect individual businesses and the wider print sector? I think the print industry, like all in these times, needs to be leaner and to be as cost effective as possible to survive and hopefully it will come out stronger on the other side.
Irish Printer June 2012
A S I S E E IT
Why The Industry Must Print Irish Mark Rogers is a director of Naas Printing in Kildare. He talks to Irish Printer about what he regards as the important role that the Print & Packaging Forum has to play as a unifying voice for the industry and about why printers should be signing up for the Print Irish campaign. I see the Print and Packaging Forum as having a threefold purpose (i) it is a voice for the trade (ii) it provides an identity for publishers and printers and (iii) a forum for printers. As we know, the print trade in Ireland has shrunk at a considerable rate. At some stage we will reach a point where there is enough work for everyone. However, in the interim we need to stop printing contracts that we have the capacity and technical ability to produce here from leaving the country It is not just government work that goes abroad - we have come across instances where publishers have gone overseas for jobs in order to save just a few hundred euro. The print trade needs a voice both at national and government level. Money spent in Ireland should stay in Ireland. This is Naas Printing’s second full year as members of the Print Irish campaign. We got involved because we wanted to give our customers an identity. We felt that if we had the Print Irish logo people would immediately recognise that the
book was printed in Ireland. We print mainly for book publishers - our main customer is CJ Fallon. As one of the few printers left who specialise in book printing, it is important for us to communicate clearly to our customers that their book has been entirely produced in Ireland. Given that a lot of the books that we print are historical journals and books about Irish heritage, it is even more important to us to be able to say that these books were printed in Ireland. Also, any voice that the industry can have at government level with regard to keeping work in the country is a must. For example, the government’s etenders website is a minefield
and every printer complains about it. Printers are often asked quite ridiculous questions in these tender documents. In addition, the tender documents delve too much into areas such as accounts, management structure and environmental policy and to us that is a bit irrelevant. The weighing on the ability to produce a job is quite low and that needs to change. I think that the more printers that sign up for the Print Irish campaign, the better chance we have as an industry of getting the government to reassess the type of information they are looking for from printers in their tenders. We also need the government to reassess the make up of tenders - they should be less inclined to lump jobs into one and consider breaking them up where possible, which might help keep the work in the country. Naas Printing has always dealt with other printers in the trade and we have never been afraid to recommend other printers. That is another reason we got involved in the Print Irish campaign. At the end of the day, if our primary objective, after making a living, is to give the best service, I have no problem in recommending another company that may be able to provide a service that is more appropriate to a particular customer’s needs than the service we are providing. We pride ourselves on our service and we have a good record in
terms of meeting deadlines and keeping our customers happy. Many of our customers have been with us for a long time and if we get a new customer we tend to hold on to them. Rather than take on a job and try to broker it out we prefer to point people in the right direction. If you can give someone a good service at a relatively competitive price you will keep that customer. Every printer has a niche and it is about recognising that and passing work on to other printers, where appropriate. On the other side, it is always nice to be recommended by someone for a particular job or to be told of a job that might suit your company. I think that more printers need to operate in that way. Is the printing industry unified enough in its efforts to return to growth and encourage people to ‘Print Irish’? I think the industry has become a bit more unified in the last few months than it has been in the past. For example, there is evidence to suggest that printers are beginning to join forces to give themselves the firepower to tender for and secure public contracts. That, along with the numbers of printers signing up for the ‘Print Irish’ campaign, is a very positive development and a sign that the industry is realising that a return to growth is much more likely if we present a united, rather than a fragmented, front.
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