Australian Printer May 2024

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LEADING THE INDUSTRY FOR OVER 70 YEARS IN PRINT | SPRINTER.COM.AU MAY 2024 Women in print: Amy Abdilla, Easy Signs Succession planning know-how Trade printing - state of the industry report LIA NSW tour of Cactus Imaging

Great work, reliability and quality really help us look good to our customers, meaning you get more work.

Thank you for helping.

Ian - 12/12/23

Thanks for everything. The book is fantastic and is the cumulation of great graphic design and excellent printing!

Thanks to you for all your help which has been more than just doing the basic job.

Jeff - 4/12/23

Thanks also for all the hard work on the split delivery this week. They look great and I know you guys worked so hard to make that happen at your end.

Daniel - 22/11/23

Wow! Thank you for the amazing service! Got my order and the customer service and updates etc. Were all very much appreciated Love them.

Sophie - 21/11/23

Just wanted to send a huge thank you for all your quoting, recommendations, advice and assistance always – I know I throw you a few curve balls sometimes!

Thanks for the quick turnaround, high quality print and professional service.

Leeanne - 21/11/23

Calendars arrived safely yesterday. I wanted to just say thank you for such a seamless process.

The quality of the product is fantastic. I will definitely be recommending hero print!

Tim - 17/11/23



MAY 2024 CONTENTS ABC Copier Solutions 54 Admag 55 All Work Crane Services 51 Allkotes 58 Avon Graphics 37 Bottcher Australia 50 Currie Group 5 Cyber (Aust) OBC D&D Mailing Services 56 Dockets and Forms Australia 54 Durst Oceania OFC, 17, 20-23 53 FUJIFILM Australia 7 Gecko Sticker Signage 54 Hero Print 1-2 Hilton Laminating 35 Imagination Graphics 39 JTS Engineering 52 KODAK (Australasia) 9 Konica Minolta 13 Label Line 51 Lamination System 51 manroland GOSS 11 Mezographic 43 National Auctions 58 Nichols Printing 52 Penrith Museum of Printing 54 Periodical Press 52 Pressnet 57 Print Logistics IBC ProPrint Awards 26-27 Screen GP (Aust) 47 Spicers Australia 18-19 Sprinter News 58 The Lamson Group 41 Twin Loop Binding 45 Advertiser’s Index To advertise call Carmen on 0410 582 450 or 30 THE 10TH ANNUAL DIEMEN AWARDS 24 CASE STUDY: EVAN EVANS PURCHASES FIRST VANGUARD PRINTER IN AUSTRALIA 34 WOMEN IN PRINT: AMY ABDILLA, EASY SIGNS 08 NEWS: Australian Printer’s comprehensive news 14 DURST SITE TOUR : Exclusive highlights from Durst Oceania’s third European tour for Australian delegates 20 COVER STORY: Durst Oceania launches entire range of Vanguard products in Australia and New Zealand 24 CASE STUDY: Evan Evans confirmed as the first customer in Australia to purchase a Vanguard printer 28 CENTRAL COMMERCIAL PRINTERS CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY: Central Commercial Printers celebrates half a century of service 30 THE 10TH ANNUAL DIEMEN AWARDS: Tasmania celebrates its best and brightest talent in commercial creativity at annual Diemen Awards 32 LIA NSW TOUR OF CACTUS IMAGING: LIA NSW tour of Cactus Imaging tour draws in crowd of more than 60 members and visitors 34 WOMEN IN PRINT: Amy Abdilla, Easy Signs 36 FIT FOR THE FUTURE: Australian trade
weigh in on the state
competitive market 48 SUCCESSION – WHEN THINGS DON’T GO TO PLAN: How to prepare for succession planning setbacks 50 PRINT DIARY: A look at what’s on in the printing industry 51 CLASSIFIEDS 48 SUCCESSION – WHEN THINGS DON’T GO TO PLAN SPRINTER.COM.AU 4 | AUSTRALIAN PRINTER MAY 2024
of the industry and
they continue to stand out in an increasingly

According to PcW’s Global Family Business Survey 2023, Australian private and family businesses are experiencing a “once-in-a-lifetime intergenerational succession event” as owners retire, sell up, or pass the baton onto the next generation.

In fact, PwC’s 10th Family Business Survey found 30 per cent of first-generation Australian family businesses expect the next generation will become the majority shareholders within the next five years. It is crucial multigenerational organisations, including those in the printing industry, have a robust succession plan in place.

But what happens when the succession strategy doesn’t go to plan? What if the likely successors have no interest in assuming control or responsibility of the business, or lack the skills to take over?

In this edition, we explore some of the common challenges businesses may experience and how to best prepare for them to ensure the next generation can navigate the transition with confidence and resilience.

Koenig & Bauer Durst unveils drupa line-ups

Koenig & Bauer Durst will unveil the VariJET 106 for the first time at drupa, with daily demonstrations on its booth, A31-1 in Hall 16.

Developed jointly by Koenig & Bauer Durst’s VariJET 106 will be the focus of multiple production runs throughout the exhibition.

Printed samples for customers to take away will include applications for markets such as pharmaceuticals, health and beauty products, as well as food and beverage.

Koenig & Bauer Durst’s single-pass digital VariJET106 for folding carton markets press will be shown in a hybrid configuration linked to Koenig & Bauer’s Rapida offset press technology and workflow. The production story will also include latest die cutting and folding gluer technology.

The market-proven Delta SPC 130 used in corrugated markets – another family member in Koenig & Bauer Durst’s single pass digital sheet-fed press portfolio – will also be an important focus at drupa. A control station will be set up on the stand to demonstrate how the Delta SPC 130 works in a production environment utilising Durst Workflow and Durst Analytics.

Koenig & Bauer Durst is the first company to offer digital white inks for primary food packaging. This creates new possibilities in packaging, for example printing on plain brown or lower grade white boards.

Daniel Velema, managing director of Koenig & Bauer Durst, said: “We can’t wait to show the VariJET 106, a monster of a machine, in full production flow at drupa. This combines the very best of conventional and digital printing. drupa will be a landmark in our journey within folding carton and corrugated markets. The tipping point

is here. Corrugated and folding carton printers/ converters who want to increase efficiency, flexibility and work even more closely with brands and retailers recognise that they need to digitise their production environments.

“As a global leader in digital sheetfed, single pass press systems and software services for the folding carton and corrugated markets – and with the backing of two giants in the packaging and printing industry – we see huge opportunities to grow substantially over the coming years and continue to support and accelerate our customers’ digital journey.”

Matt Ashman, managing director of Durst Oceania, said: “We are looking forward to seeing this great collaboration between Durst and Koenig & Bauer – two leading powerhouses in print machine manufacturing in the world.

“Feel free to reach to Durst Oceania while attending drupa in Düsseldorf or either side of the exhibition so we can provide you with all of the details and background of this exciting joint venture.”

Managing Director

James Wells / 02 8586 6101

Subscriptions / (02) 9660 2113

Subscription rate (5 issues) Australia $79

Managing Editor

Claire Hibbit / 0432 796 384

Printed by Hero Print Alexandria, NSW, 2015

National Sales Manager

Carmen Ciappara / 0410 582 450

Mailed by D&D Mailing Services Wetherill Park, NSW, 2164

Design and Production Manager

Sarah Vella / 0406 967 559

Daniel Velema, managing director of Koenig & Bauer Durst
Australian Printer is published bi-monthly by Printer Media Group (a division of Charted Media Group and The Intermedia Group). This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. While every care has been taken n the preparation of this magazine, it is a condition of distribution that the publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in the publication. DISCLAIMER This publication is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (the “Publisher”). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright © 2024 — Charted Media Group Pty Ltd
FUJIFILM and FUJIFILM Value for Innovation are trademarks of FUJIFILM Corporation. ©2024 FUJIFILM Corporation. All rights reserved.

Starleaton CEO Ben Eaton publishes open letter to printing industry

Starleaton CEO Ben Eaton has issued an open letter to the printing industry, apologising to customers and supply partners “caught up in the tragedy” and citing a number of factors that led to the company to be placed in voluntary administration earlier this year.

“To all across the industry, I would like to firstly make a public apology to all our customers and supply partners who have been caught up in the tragedy of our recent Voluntary Administration (VA),” Eaton wrote.

The letter continued:

“There were a number of factors that ultimately contributed to us making the tough decision to enter VA, none of which were taken lightly, all of which were deeply disappointing. Coming into COVID we were well engaged in our long-term strategy to grow our three key complimentary business units (consumables, capital, and service support). As we then embarked on our post pandemic recovery, we were mistakenly buoyed to the economic recovery, investing heavily in head count in particularly in our engineering team.

“As economic conditions slowed due to a combination of inflationary pressure and a significant shift in the global financial landscape, we ultimately saw a shift in spending habits across all three business units and the way in which the customer base was looking to have their equipment serviced. Our cost base for the geographical footprint we were supporting versus the volume of trade had hit a critical point.

“Unfortunately, due to additional coinciding factors including the longerterm hangover from the pandemic, impacts of rising costs due to the Ukraine crisis and some significant changes to our level of insurance cover with our key suppliers, we experienced a knock-on effect to our ability to continue to import both capital and consumables consistently.

“Whilst we had started a restructure of the business at the start of the FY24 year, the impact of these changes was not impactful enough, and the overall financial stability of the company continued to come under pressure. As we came out of the Christmas closure period the stakeholders met and it

was disappointingly determined that VA was the only option.

“During the eight weeks of VA, there were several parties who investigated acquiring parts of the business, however a deal was unable to be struck that supported our employees and customers nor able to be finalised inside the time frame required under appointment of Cathro Partners. When liquidation was recommended as the only option available at this point, I was not willing to accept this as this would have been catastrophic for all those involved, in particular our employees, the unsecured creditors and our customers with whom we had outstanding sale contracts with.

“The proposal to restructure the business back to its core foundations of consumable sales with a reduced footprint and smaller workforce sees us in the best possible position to make good on our obligations moving forward. In many respects liquidation would have been an easier option with the FEG scheme providing for the staff entitlements. However, this in my view was not an acceptable outcome as the result for all the other creditors would have been a NIL return.

“It is important for the message to be clear that the intention from my side to enter a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) is to do everything in my capacity to make good on the company’s past commitments, in particular the staff entitlements in their entirety. I am working with the various individual unsecured parties to find an amicable outcome.

“I want to thank all our customers and suppliers who have supported us during the VA period. It was overwhelming both for me personally and the rest of the business to see so many companies wanting to see Starleaton ultimately survive the VA process. It is a real testament to the community we operate in.

“Having spent many years working with various industry associations, it was comforting to see that in a time of crisis, there is no shortage of people to support and offer sound advice.

“I especially want to apologise to all the staff. It was a horrible situation they found themselves in, with many of them having to be stood down on day one. We have been fortunate to have staff that worked with us for long periods of time. Thanks to those who worked with us in the early weeks of the administration. I was proud to see so many find roles within the industry so quickly. It is a true sign of the quality of people we employed. I wish them all the best in their next endeavours. And to those that have chosen to remain as part of the team moving forward thank you for believing in the task ahead.

“The financial health of the business is ultimately my responsibility. Starleaton has been a trusted partner for many businesses over the 45 years we have operated, and it is my mission and intention to see us continue in business and rebuild from here. Actions speak louder than words, and my focus is clearly on the task at hand. Again, I want to apologise to all of those caught in the crossfire and give my commitment to rectify where we can.

“Many people have questioned my silence up until now. I was strongly advised during the process to hold off making a comment until there was a clear path forward of which we now have. I invite anyone to contact me directly to have a more open discussion about Starleaton’s past, present, or future position. Someone said to me through this, that it is the true measure of an individual when things are challenging, and I hope to prove that statement right. I am committed to reconciling with all involved and rebuilding a strong, reliable, and service focused Starleaton that will continue to play a future role in this great industry of ours.”

Starleaton CEO Ben Eaton

Konica Minolta hits new record in hardware sales

Konica Minolta general manager, production and industrial print, Andy Cocker, has confirmed his division has set a new record in hardware sales for the 2023/24 financial year.

Australian Printer understands 26 per cent of Konica Minolta’s entire revenue for the 12 months ending 31 March 2024 was generated by hardware sales from the industrial and production print division of the company managed by Cocker.

The achievement was announced during the Konica Minolta FY24 KickOff in Sydney. During the event, the top salespeople for the 12 months ending 31 March were also recognised across the Konica Minolta Australia business.

“This has been our best year ever,” Cocker told Australian Printer.

“Konica Minolta production and industrial print has written the highest ever revenue in our history of operations. We brought

in the company’s largest single production print deal in the company’s history as well as new business that helped us achieve in the third quarter the number one market share in the low to mid production category – which is the highest globally.

“It has been a phenomenal year, and it is a credit to our team. It is not about me as an individual, it is about team and collaboration and our internal motto ‘Kankei’ – which is all about being on the same journey looking for that mutual partnership and mutually beneficial outcome. It is not just sales, but also service, back office, finance, the management team, and everyone that makes this company sensational.”

Contractor suffers two partially severed fingers at Billboard Media

WorkSafe Victoria has confirmed a workplace incident has caused a contractor to suffer two partially severed fingers at Billboard Media in Melbourne.

Australian Printer understands that the incident took place in April and involved the contractor interacting with a Hasler cutting table.

“WorkSafe has responded to an incident and continues to monitor the workplace to ensure occupational health and safety obligations are being met,” Sprinter was told in an exclusive statement issued by WorkSafe Victoria.

“Victorian employees have a duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to do everything reasonably practicable to protect workers

and others in a workplace from risks to their safety,” WorkSafe Victoria said in their statement.

“When responding to a workplace incident, WorkSafe inspectors seek to ensure duty holders are complying with their obligations under the OHS ACT by inspecting workplaces, making enquiries with relevant parties, providing advice and information, and taking enforcement action when there is evidence of a contravention or an immediate risk to health and safety. This could include issuing improvement or prohibition notices, which provide guidance to duty holders on how an identified matter can be remedied and specify by when they must comply,” WorkSafe Victoria said.

Konica Minolta Australia chief sales officer, Dean Hosking, hosted the company’s FY24 Kick Off event at the Cremorne Hayden Orpheum theatre in Sydney followed by an awards event held at Mosman Rowers.

It was the first time Konica Minolta has held a Kick-Off event in five years.

“Our Kick Off event has been an opportunity to have our product marketing team and vertical managers on stage and discuss what we have planned for the year as well as strategies on the sales side and new campaigns,” Hosking said.

“It was a great opportunity to get the sales team from both the office side of the business as well as the production and industrial print side of the business pumped up about the year ahead.”

Sales staff from the production and industrial print business were recognised with awards for exceeding their sales targets including David Paterson (Victoria), Adam Todd (National), Colin Johnstone (Victoria), Blaise Masson (Queensland), Mary Kiely-Scales (Queensland) as well as Jim Abouraad from New South Wales who was recognised as the Production and Industrial Print salesperson of the year.

The KODAK PROSPER ULTRA 520 Press cranks out 200 LPI o set quality work at 500 feet per minute. So you can reduce your overhead, increase your revenue and boost your profitability in the process. See it for yourself at drupa 2024, Hall 5. CONTINUOUS PRODUCTIVITY. CONTINUOUS PROFITABILITY. CONTINUOUS INKJET.
Yohei Konaka and Andy Cocker at the Konica Minolta FY24 Kick Off event ©Kodak, 2024. KODAK, PROSPER, PROSPER ULTRA and the KODAK logo are trademarks of Kodak.

Visual Impact

Brisbane sold out

All stands for the Visual Impact Expo at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in July are now 100 per cent booked, with a full house of suppliers ready to showcase their latest equipment, systems, and services.

It is the first time the event has been held in Queensland in more than six years, with event organisers, Visual Connections, expecting record attendances.

The exhibition showcase will cover a diverse range of solutions, from signage and displays, to wide-format printing, textile printing, LED and illumination, fabrication, routing, engraving and laser cutting, software and workflows.

Leading names who will have major stands include Ball & Doggett, Mimaki Australia, Roland DG, Celmac, Elizabeth Machines, Sign Essentials, Epson Australia, Graphic Art Mart, HP, Multicam and Wilenco, who represent the largest exhibitors. They will be joined by Smartech, Spicers, Alfex CNC, Amari Visual Solutions, Avery Dennison, Creative Graphic Solutions, Currie Group, Bannermate, Lettertech Australia, Paper Handling Equipment, Stick On Signs and Trotec Laser.

Velflex, Mutoh, Pozitive and Neofoam will also have sizeable stands, as will Adzon, Arlon, Banner Brother, Complete Signage Installation, Dakco LED, Digital FX, Eventec, i-Create Laser Cutting & Engraving, Interone, M-Power Software, O’Brien Engineering, Prime Graphics, Print IQ, Pulse Laser Systems, SALed,

Clarke Murphy Print acquires Impress Printing

Sydney-based printer, Clarke Murphy Print, has acquired Canberra-based Impress Print that has operated for 44 years.

Benn Murphy from Clarke Murphy Print told Australian Printer the acquisition adds further opportunities to expand its offering to a diverse and growing market in Canberra.

“Over the past 10 years, Clarke Murphy Print has been servicing clients in Canberra and the addition of the Impress business is a positive move for our Chatswood based business,” Murphy said.

SAS, Signovate, Sign To Badge Solutions, Worldkougei, Zoometc, as well as Australian Skills Management Institute, Ecolease and Finance@Work.

Visual Connections events manager

Charly Blades said the floorplan is a strong balance between larger suppliers with multiple solutions and product lines, and smaller local and international exhibitors. The comprehensive showcase will also be complemented by an extentsive program of ‘Connections Sessions’ – short, sharp and focused mini-seminars centred around connecting industry businesses with people, ideas and information.

“We know how pressed for time industry businesses are, and how difficult it can be to get away from the office. That puts the onus on us to deliver as much value as we can, in the limited time people can make available to attend,” Blades said.

“We are doing that with this educational element by offering shorter, more focused sessions in a comfortable, conversational environment. As well as giving visitors

“Impress Print was owned by Terry Ward and had a very loyal and long-standing customer following. It was renowned for its foiling and embossing and as part of the acquisition, Clarke Murphy Print

the chance to gather a lot of information, insights and ideas in a short space of time, the sessions are also designed to start conversations by connecting industry decision-makers with the experts who can help them build their business success.”

The full program is still being finalised, but sessions are already locked in on subjects of wide-ranging interest, from workforce satisfaction, apprenticeships and training, and sustainability, to more targeted expert sessions on topics like heat printing and décor applications.

The Try-A-Trade activities will also be back for the Brisbane show, with Visual Connections partnering with Brisbane TAFE and various sponsors to present a pared-down version of the new ‘Sign & Print Career Connections’ program.

“Students will be able to try their hand at a range of industry-related tasks under the watchful eye of TAFE trainers, current apprentices and industry volunteers, and careers advisors Tina Mavris and John Watters from AusSIP will be on hand to talk to students about career opportunities,” Blades said.

Visitors interested in new opportunities for their signage businesses will also be able to try the latest channel letter bending solutions at daily Channel Lettering Workshops, run by LetterTech Australia in partnership with Bounce LED.

Visual Impact Brisbane Is sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Roland DG and Gold Sponsors Avery Dennison, Epson, Graphic Art Mart, HP, Spicers and Trotec. It will run from 9am to 5pm on Wednesday 17 July and Thursday 18 July, and from 9am to 4pm on Friday 19 July.

has acquired the Heidelberg Platen and associated dies to bolster its current offering in this area.

“The ACT market can now tap into the diverse offering from Clarke Murphy Print which is all produced under one roof from offset, digital, wide format, roll labels, foiling and embossing and packaging. The possibilities are endless with company-owned vans delivering everyday into Canberra and its surrounds.

“We are delighted to be able to continue the great work Terry and his team have provided the ACT customers over many years. Our aim is to continue to provide high levels of service as well as broaden the offering. As a family owned and run business we see a lot of synergy between the two companies. We thank and wish Terry all the best.”

All stands for Visual Impact are sold Benn Murphy

Mesh Direct goes into voluntary administration owing almost $2 million

Sydney-based print broker Mesh Direct has gone into voluntary administration with several printers caught up in the collapse of the company.

Mesh Direct owes a number of wide format printers hundreds of thousands of dollars as well as staff entitlements of more than $250,000 – with total debt calculated to be $1,924,086.53.

Printers who have been caught up in the collapse of Mesh Direct include Jetmark Trade Signage (owed $218,327), Billboard Media (owed $82,853.46), Complete Banner Service (owed $22,938.40)and Insane Signs & Print (owed $19,269.83).

Australian Printer understands Mesh Direct director, Andrew Doenicke, was still operating his business a week one prior to the company being placed in voluntary administration, telling printers at the time that he hoped to trade out of his financial difficulties in relation to a debt owed to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) which has been disclosed to be $875,419.58.

Mesh Direct owes Amex Centurion $102,000, Amex Business $75,000, FedEx $37,899.96 as well as two $100,000 debts to PayPal and Business Fuel.

Nicarson Natkunarajah from Roger and Carson has been appointed as administrator.

Australian Printer understands Mesh Direct staff have been seeking work from other printers within the industry after they were told that they had lost their jobs when they turned up to work.

While Mesh Direct was not a printer, they did utilise the services of several large printing companies – particularly in New South Wales and Victoria.

The company recently gathered for its annual sales conference in Queenstown New Zealand under the theme ‘Reaching for the Summit’.

“We embarked on a journey of reflection and future planning, taking stock of our achievements in 2023 and setting the stage for an even more remarkable 2024 with the stunning backdrop of Queenstown the Mesh team bonded over delicious food including lunch at Amisfield, hikes in nature, and the thrilling Shotover adventure”.

Mesh Direct described itself as a leader in construction and event signage and claimed to be Australia’s first carbon-neutral signage company.

“Mesh Direct is one of Australia’s leaders in grand format printing and out of home advertising,” the company said.

“All our products are printed within Australia using the finest substrate and inks on the market and we guarantee the longevity and quality of all our work. At Mesh Direct we work with some of the largest (and smallest) Australian businesses. We work with a broad range of industries although we focus on the construction and development industries, music festivals, sporting events, all levels of government and government services and retail.

“Our advantageous pricing also means we supply many smaller printers who don’t have the facilities for grand format printing. We provide innovative solutions for our clients from branded vinyl hoardings to enormous building wraps. Some of our products include banner mesh, vinyl banners, shade cloth, corflute and printed aluminium panels. If it needs to be big then we do it!”


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Mimaki Australia appoints new MD

Mimaki Australia has announced the appointment of Kohei Kobayashi as its new managing director, effective immediately.

With a career spanning more than a decade in various leadership roles within the Mimaki Group, the company said “Kobayashi brings a wealth of experience in sales channel management, direct sales, market research, and marketing strategy development to his new role”.

Kobayashi began working for Mimaki in 2009 as an area sales representative in the Kansai region of Japan. He has previously held other senior management roles including including manager of sign graphics global marketing and area sales manager for Mimaki Europe B.V.

According to Mimaki, during his time at Mimaki Europe B.V, “Kobayashi played a pivotal role as the executive assistant for the managing director, where he not only provided crucial translation support but also spearheaded compliance projects and inventory reduction initiatives. His contributions were instrumental in driving

Konica Minolta and FUJIFILM Business Innovation announce plans for joint venture

Konica Minolta Inc and FUJIFILM Business Innovation have announced plans to explore a “potential strategic alliance” in multifunction printer and printer areas.

In a joint statement, Konica Minolta Inc and FUJIFILM Business Innovation announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to begin a feasibility study for a strategic alliance in the multifunction, office and production printing.

The companies said they are “actively considering a business alliance to strengthen their business foundation, including the development of a robust supply system for their products” and are also “seeking to expand other business alliances and continue discussions”.

According to the statement, the main details of these discussions include:

business growth and ensuring operational efficiency across diverse markets, including Central Asia, and Southeastern Europe,” the company said.

As manager of sign graphics global marketing at Mimaki Engineering Co he led several major initiatives, including the launch of new products such as the UCJV series and SWJ-320EA printer.

1. Procurement business alliance

• Exploring the establishment of a joint venture to coordinate the procurement of raw materials and parts.

• Tentative timetable for establishment of a joint venture: Second quarter of FY2024

• Shareholding ratio: Majority ownership by FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corp.

2. Toner development and production business alliance

3. Other business alliances

Commenting on his appointment, Kobayashi said, “I am deeply honoured to lead Mimaki Australia and build upon its legacy of excellence in the wide format printing industry. With a relentless focus on customer satisfaction and market innovation, I am committed to driving growth and fostering meaningful partnerships that will elevate our brand presence across Australia.”

Discussion and agreement on other strategic collaborations related to the subject business will be addressed separately.

“Sharing a common understating of the challenges facing the business, the two leading companies will be able to mutually maximise strengths through this alliance,” said Toshimitsu Taiko, president and CEO, Konica Minolta, Inc.

“I am looking forward to working together to improve investment efficiency and costcompetitiveness, strengthen capabilities for stable supply, environmental initiatives, and business continuity plans (BCP), and pursue the potential for enhancing business resilience as global manufacturers.”

Naoki Hama, president and CEO, FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corp, said:

“The ongoing discussions for this business alliance are of immense importance as we strive to strengthen our competitiveness and expand our global presence to make a significant leap forward. We are confident that this partnership will create a new framework to enhance our supply chain and build a robust business foundation.”

Konica Minolta ANZ chief marketing officer, Melissa Dempsey, told Australian Printer : “This alliance will stabilise supply chains and strengthen both businesses.”

Kohei Kobayashi

Immersed in Durst

Durst Oceania hosted its third pre-FESPA European tour, providing three days of networking, ideas sharing, and an exclusive look at the latest Durst equipment and technology.

Durst, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of digital printing and production technologies, has hosted its third pre-FESPA European tour, providing three days of networking, ideas sharing, and an exclusive look at the latest Durst equipment and technology.

Led by Matt Ashman, managing director of Durst Oceania, the three-day delegation also included stops in the historic old towns of Kufstein in Austria and Brixen in northern Italy.

Designed to be an immersive experience in all things Durst, attendees, which included delegates from Easy Signs, Cactus Imagining, Lamont Print & Signs,

ImageBox, and VMG Media Group, were given an exclusive tour of Durst’s global headquarters in Brixen, Italy.

“We are always open to welcoming guests from Australia and New Zealand to come and visit us at any time,” said Ashman.

“We welcome the industry to come and see our technology and see how we collaborate with our customers and our prospects to develop solutions tailored to their needs.”

Durst Group is a third-generation family business which is co-owned by Harald Oberauuch and Christoph Gamper, Durst Group CEO. The company started in 1929

and now boasts 880 employees worldwide and a solid reputation for the quality and reliability its advanced digital printing technologies provide in the global graphics, ceramic tiles, labels and packaging and commercial corrugated packaging markets. Durst also offers software including backoffice ERPs, digital workflows and B2B/ B2C online store front solutions.

The Brixen site showcases high-end design and cutting-edge innovation. Presenters during the tour included Andrea Riccardi, head of product management for the Durst large-format division, and Oskar Lanz Guarienti, sales management, labels and flexible packaging, Durst Group.

“We welcome the industry to come and see our technology and see how we collaborate with our customers and our prospects to develop solutions tailored to their needs.”

– Matt Ashman, Durst Oceania

Riccardi discussed the latest updates on Durst’s large-format division, including how the Vanguard acquisition fits into Durst’s portfolio of devices, while Lanz Guarienti shared updates on Durst’s label and flexible packaging initiatives including Durst Hawk Eye, which utilises camera vision systems and artificial intelligence to automate print quality, as well as the company’s recent application expansion of in mold labels, shrink sleeves, and wine capsules.

Showcased machines included the P5 TEX iSUB, dubbed a ‘game changer for soft signage and fabrics’ as well as the P5 350 – a hybrid solution for roll and board printing up to 3.5m and reaches in the high speed version a productivity up to 708 sqm/h (7,620 sq.ft/h) – all of which have proved extremely popular in both Australia and New Zealand.

Keith Ferrel, general manager of Cactus Imaging, said Durst is at the forefront of the latest print technologies, with the tour providing valuable insights to attendees on the future of printing.

“It gives you food for thought about not only where the industry is heading, but where your business needs to be in the

Dan Mantel (Durst Oceania), Matt Ashman (Durst Oceania), Andy Fryer (Easy Signs), Adam Parnell (Easy Signs), Julian Lowe (Durst Oceania), Nigel Spicer (Cactus Imaging), Kerri Underwood (VMG Print Group), Luke Parisella (Image Box Group), Ben Templeton (Durst Oceania) in Kufstein

next one to two years, and not just where it should be today.”

‘A new space to challenge old rules’

Delegates also toured the Durst Kraftwerk innovation incubator – a 5300sqm facility which sits beside Durst’s headquarters and factory and serves as a home to spin-offs and start-ups of the Durst Group.

The Kraftwerk innovation incubator is home to D3-AM, the brainchild of Durst owners Christoph Gamper and Harald Oberrauch. D3-AM is a corporate startup within the Durst Group that leverages the crossindustry expertise of its parent company to transform additive manufacturing (effectively industrial 3D printing), with cutting-edge solutions such as Micro Particle Jetting. It offers industrial production solutions optimised for various functional and application domains.

Kraftwerk also houses Vanguard Europe, the European branch of the US company, Vanguard Digital Printing Systems. Also located at Kraftwerk is the Durst Academy training centre which includes facilities for online and offline seminars and greenscreen presentations to provide customised training for process technology, hardware, and software to customers and service partners from around the world.

Nigel Spicer, general manager of Cactus Imaging, said touring Durst’s factory as well the Kraftwerk innovation incubator, reinforces Durst’s innovation and diversification in the marketplace.

“We talk about diversification in our business and making sure that we’re staying ahead of the curve. The tour reinforces that Durst is more than just a print company. It gives us confidence that we are partnering with the right business.”

Another specialised service operating out of Kraftwerk is adddam GmbH which uses high-end 3D advanced manufacturing printing technologies to make components from metals and plastics. adddam also offers certified training and education for advanced manufacturing design.

Also housed at Durst Kraftwerk is DMC GmbH (Durst Media Company), an agency specialising in B2B marketing communications/new storytelling, offering the full range of services from conception to audio-visual implementation from a single source, and has a professional film studio at its disposal.

Stephen Lamont said the tour highlighted Durst’s passion for print.

“What we saw exemplified a company that is passionate about producing the best possible quality machinery that they can,

Ben Templeton (Durst Oceania), Julian Lowe (Durst Oceania), Daniel Lamont (Lamont Print & Signs), Dan Mantel (Durst Oceania), Kerri Underwood (VMG Print Group), Andy Fryer (Easy Signs), Stephen Lamont (Lamont Print & Signs), Matt Ashman (Durst Oceania), Adam Parnell (Easy Signs), Keith Ferrel (Cactus Imaging), Luke Parisella (Image Box Group), Nigel Spicer (Cactus Imaging) Tour delegates at Durst HQ Matt Ashman, managing director of Durst Oceania, leads the tour of Durst HQ Stephen Lamont (Lamont Print & Signs), Daniel Lamont (Lamont Print & Signs), Kerri Underwood (VMG Print Group), Nigel Spicer (Cactus Imaging) Kerri Underwood (VMG Print Group), Julian Lowe (Durst Oceania), Andy Fryer (Easy Signs), Luke Parisella (Image Box Group)

with the culture and professionalism of a family business,” said Lamont.

“[Durst] has created a true ecosystem where they are not only manufacturers, but they develop minds as well as machines.”

Customer-oriented innovation

Following the tour, the Durst Group announced the launch of the P5 350 HS PACK, a highly automated solution for digital corrugated and display printing.

The P5 350 HS PACK expands Durst’s P5 series, which is specially tailored to the production of corrugated displays and packaging.

The P5 350 HS PACK combines the versatility of a P5 hybrid printing system with the ability to print on a wide range of materials used in the POP/POS and retail markets.

Ashman said further innovations from the team at Durst HQ are exciting and the P5 350 HS PACK does not disappoint.

“The new P5 PACK series is tailored to the needs of a corrugated packaging environment with, new automation, new inks, and more software integration. What is particularly exciting is that this will be available to Durst Oceania customers from Q3 this year.”

The P5 PACK series is equipped with all the functions that enable efficient print production of corrugated boards. The width and height are set automatically by simply selecting the media channel in

the software, which significantly reduces set-up time. In addition, the P5 350 HS PACK vacuum system increases the suction power on the print belt by up to 40 per cent compared to the conventional systems.

The P5 PACK series includes the sensor-controlled Multitrack six function. Managed by six independent printing queues, this enables up to six corrugated boards to be printed in parallel by manual feeding.

To maximise production potential of the printing system, the P5 Pack series, as all P5 printing systems, can be equipped with the proprietary Durst Workflow RIP/Colour Management and Analytics software. In this context, the P5 350 HS PACK can be combined with the Durst Automat MT.

With this new solution for the automatic feeding and stacking of boards, up to four lanes can be processed in parallel. The multi-lane operation of the Automat MT works together with the Multitrack 6 function of the P5 350 HS PACK. Finely

tuned movements of the suction elements in combination with a reinforced blow and brush bar result in clean and fast media separation, even with difficult synthetic boards and thin substrates.

Continuous and stable production is ensured by pneumatically controlled flaps that prevent the materials from slipping during the loading and unloading process. The entire printing process is continuously monitored by surveillance cameras. The feed and delivery tables have also been further developed to ensure smooth transportation of the boards.

As part of the P5 PACK series, Durst is also introducing a new ink set that is specially tailored to the requirements of display and packaging printing. The LUVERA LED ink is characterised by low odour and high abrasion resistance. The LUVERA inks are also IKEA and IOT-Mat compliant. The LUVERA LED ink is the result of a holistic ink development program that Durst has undertaken in the last years, which will expand the Durst ink portfolio during 2024 to cover a wide range of applications and market requirements.

Inside Out project shines spotlight on Durst employees

Durst Group recently engaged South Tyrolean artist Klaus Pobitzer as ‘Artist in Residence 2024’. One of the first fruits of the collaboration is the installation “Inside-Out”.

This focuses on Durst Group employees, whom the artist shows in large-format individual and group portraits, as well as technical details of the printing systems produced.

“The Durst HQ is an iconic and futuristic building and testifies to the importance of the company in digital printing technology,” said Klaus Pobitzer.

“But hardly anyone in the region knows what is behind the ‘world’s leading technology manufacturer’.

“Inside-Out” reveals the secret and brings the company’s greatest assets,

its employees and technology, to the outside world.”

Christoph Gamper, CEO, and co-owner of the Durst Group said Pobitzer’s large-scale installations in public spaces, human-computer interaction, design and

architecture projects – all of these are also Durst Group-specific themes.

The Durst Group plans to continue its collaboration with the artist at its site in Lienz. The Durst Austria branch is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Adam Parnell (Easy Signs), Luke Parisella (Image Box Group), Andy Fryer (Easy Signs), Matt Ashman (Durst Oceania), Nigel Spicer (Cactus Imaging), Dan Mantel (Durst Oceania), Ben Templeton (Durst Oceania), Julian Lowe (Durst Oceania) in Kufstein


At Drupa 2024, we will unveil the next level of P5 and set a new standard for efficiency, quality, and versatility in the digital printing industry.

DRUPA 2024, MAY 28—JUNE 7, DÜSSELDORF Hall 16, Booth A41-1 & A41-2

For more information, please visit

Durst Oceania launches Vanguard

Durst Oceania has launched the entire range of Vanguard products in Australia and New Zealand, and has also confirmed its first sale in the region.

Durst Oceania has launched the entire range of Vanguard roll-toroll, flatbed and hybrid products in Australia and New Zealand.

“Durst acquired Vanguard back in 2019 and the Covid pandemic prevented us from launching it earlier into the local market. The benefit of waiting to launch has meant that the brand is now assimilated into the Durst business as well as the hardware and software ecosystem and this is fully backed by the Durst service network,” said Durst Oceania managing director, Matt Ashman.

“There are now over 1000 Vanguard installations and the brand continues to grow in the established market of North America as well as exponentially in the European market.

“Printers have been telling us that they are looking for an alternative to the other players in the market. There have been a number of manufacturers that have delivered some great innovation, but unfortunately this was a number of years ago. Now Vanguard is here delivering what Durst is famous for – innovation on

a constant rolling basis. We will continue to be focused on what customers need and what customers want.

“Vanguard can deliver amazing quality at incredible speeds, while also providing a very commercially attractive proposition. Vanguard sits within the Durst range as a more accessible entry point for the aspiring print business and we look forward to welcoming new customers to the ever-growing Durst family.”

“Vanguard is here delivering what Durst is famous for – innovation on a constant rolling basis. We will continue to be focused on what customers need and what customers want.”

– Matt Ashman, managing director, Durst Oceania

“I am pleased to confirm that Dan Mantel has come on board to develop the Vanguard business sector as business development manager and we will be reaching out

to work with potential partners as well as existing customers in the near future,” Ashman said.

According to Mantel, there is a clear place in the market for dedicated flatbed printers that complement the remainder of the Durst product portfolio.

“Vanguard printers are known for their quality build and reliability. The good news for Vanguard customers is there are various machines to suit a number of applications. In-field upgrades are available with these machines and additional rows of printing heads can be added to double and even triple the speed without buying a new machine.

“We have plenty of options including a high velocity vacuum table with stronger pumps and additional perforations which enables the customer to work with challenging substrates such as printing single-sided or double-sided corrugated boards.

“There has been a lot of internal information shared within the Durst Group and we have now been able to upgrade

first Vanguard product sold in Australia is the VK300D-HS

the Vanguard platforms to the latest technology including Durst workflow software and Durst analytics,” Mantel said.

Durst Oceania confirms first Vanguard VK300D-HS sold in Australia

Durst Oceania has confirmed the first Vanguard product sold in Australia is the VK300D-HS to Evan Evans in Melbourne.

“The VK300D-HS is a part of our 6-time award winning VK300D Series. It is a fully featured printer that has revolutionised the industry with a high-speed electro-magnetic drive system that propels the carriage at speeds up to 1.8 metres per second for an incredible speed of up to 317 square metres an hour. These impressive advancements ensure your business will outperform any competitor,” Ashman said.

“The VK300D-HS comes equipped with industrial Kyocera KJ4A print heads that deliver print dots as small as 4 picolitre drop size ensuring tight dot placement for vivid output on virtually any substrate up to 10cm thick.

“Other features include auto height detection, one-touch pin registration, front-to-back and back-to-front printing, liquid cooled LED curing technology, static suppression bars, and reversible vacuum zones. Engineered to grow with your business, the VK300D-HS is available with multiple rows of print heads and can be expanded in the field.”

The new Vanguard VK3220T-HS

The new Vanguard VK3220T-HS ultra-high production UV-LED flatbed, on

display at the recent FESPA Print Expo in Amsterdam and launched at Printing United in late 2023, redefines productivity and promises unparalleled quality at incredible speeds with phenomenal productivity.

The VK3220T-HS represents the apex of Vanguard’s evolution. It offers a larger bed size and up to three rows of industrial printheads for maximum productivity, an electro-magnetic carriage drive system for speed and precise drop placement delivering exceptionally high print quality, as well as field-upgradeability for peace of mind, making this printer the ultimate option for any print service provider.

The new compact and user-friendly 3.2 x 2 metre size offers further throughput potential and enables the printer to operate on an industrial scale.

“Vanguard printers are known for their quality build and reliability. The good news for Vanguard customers is there are various machines to suit a number of applications. In-field upgrades are available and additional rows of printing heads can be added to double and even triple the speed without buying a new machine.”

– Dan Mantel, technical sales, Durst Oceania

Kyocera KJ4A printheads are equipped with variable drop technology and four picolitre drop sizes for remarkable print quality with better colour gradients and smoothing capability.

Vanguard VK 3220T-HS

The printer has been engineered to grow with any business, offering options for single, dual and triple row print heads, with optional white ink and varnish channels that can be added after installation.

The new machine can produce 1,800 dpi print resolution and speeds of up to 360 square metres per hour.

Vanguard global CEO, Jim Peterson said: “The VK3220T-HS is the culmination of years of technological advancements and our response to the demands of the market.

“We are dedicated to delivering the best printers available, and through our innovation and commitment to our customers, we have created the new benchmark for speed and quality, with a focus on productivity and efficiency. The VK3220T-HS symbolises the start of a new chapter for Vanguard globally, and we are so proud to share it with our friends in Australia and New Zealand.”

The VK3220T-HS can print on nearly any substrate up to 10cm thick and is driven by an electro-magnetic drive, ensuring tight dot placement for remarkable print quality and speeds.

Combined with a seven-zone, userselectable vacuum system, this printer ensures efficient hold-down for no unintended media movement and easy transitions between jobs.

Other strategic features include auto height detection, one-touch pin registration, front-to-back and back-tofront printing, water-cooled LED curing technology, and ionization bars.

The VK3220T-HS Ultra-Productive Flatbed UV-LED Printer redefines the meaning of productivity on a 3.2 x 2 metre UV-LED flatbed. With up to three rows of Kyocera printheads, print speeds can reach up to 360 square metres per hour. Utilizing 4 picolitre drop size Kyocera heads and a high-speed magnetic drive, there’s no compromise on speed to achieve remarkable quality. With the ability to print up to 10cm thick, the only limitation is your imagination.


Vanguard VR6D-HS

The VR6D-HS Flatbed UV-LED Printer is the most advanced 2.5 metre x 1.2 metre flatbed on the market today. It combines the latest state-of-the-art Ricoh Gen 6 print head technology and high-speed magnetic drive unparalleled speed, resolution, and quality. The VR6D-HS can be configured in a number of ways to fit your needs as your business grows. The option to be field upgradeable with up to 10 heads (5 x 2 rows) allows you to expand your capabilities and never slows you down. The VR6D-HS sets a new standard for all UV flatbeds.

Vanguard VR5D-E

The VR5D-E is the most revolutionary flatbed UV-LED printer on the market. It is field upgradeable, with up to 10 print heads in 2 rows (2x5), for increased production. While pricing is entry level, the VR5D-E is an industrial printer engineered for worry-free maintenance and ease of operation. High production workflow at a low operating cost is at your fingertips. The VR5D-E supports CMYK + W + V + Lc + Lm printing while utilizing 7 pL dots for vivid colour output on substrates up to 10cm thick. Other features include auto height detection, one-touch pin registration, front-to-back and back-to-front printing and 4 reversible vacuum zones. The end result is a versatile printer that helps you expand your job applications and grows with your business.

Vanguard VKR3200-HS

The robust VKR3200-HS 3.2 metre true roll-to-roll UV-LED can produce up to 269 square metres an hour utilising Kyocera’s 11cm wide KJ4A print heads and high-speed electromagnetic drive system. The KJ4A is a dual channel print head design that supports two colours at a time. The small 4 picolitre drop size ensures tight dot placement for a vividly printed output on flexible substrates up to 2.5cm thick. These advanced features make it the fastest and most accurate printer in its class. The VKR3200-HS is field expandable up to two rows of heads for a total of 8 and supports CMYK + W + V + Lc + Lm. The VKR3200-HS also comes standard with liquid cooled LED curing lamps, dual-roll printing capability and an ink-catch for mesh banner, window film, edge-to-edge printing, textile materials and other porous materials.

VOC FREE HEAV Y METAL FREE REACH COMPLIANT For more information, please contact HIGH PRODUCTION FLATBED LED UV PRINTER The Vanguard Digital VK300D-HS is the impressive high speed version of our six-time award winning VK300D series.

Evan Evans purchases first Vanguard printer in Australia from Durst Oceania

Coburg-based printer Evan Evans has been confirmed as the first customer in Australia to purchase a Vanguard printer from Durst Oceania.

Vanguard was recently launched into Australia and New Zealand by Durst Oceania managing director, Matt Ashman at the FESPA Global Print Expo in Amsterdam.

Sonya Cameron, general manager at Evan Evans and daughter of owner Roger Cameron, is looking forward to the upcoming installation of the Vanguard VK300D-HS high-production flat-bed LED UV printer.

Cameron says her decision to purchase the Vanguard sight unseen was based 100 per cent on her relationship with the Durst team and the reputation Durst has in Australia.

“It’s the service we get from Durst’s sales team, the support and my unwavering trust,” Cameron said.

“We took the punt because of the relationship we have with Dan Mantel, Julian Lowe and Matt Ashman from Durst

Oceania as well as the capabilities and specifications of the Vanguard.”

Cameron believes the Vanguard VK300DHS will take Evan Evans to the next level in efficiency and productivity, giving the business a competitive edge.

“We’re really proud to be working with Vanguard and to announce Evan Evans as our first official install. It’s created a huge buzz in the industry because this is the hole Durst needed to fill.”

- Matt Ashman, managing director, Durst Oceania

“There is a massive amount of excitement internally,” Cameron said.

Ashman said he was looking forward to the arrival of the first Vanguard machine into the Australian market.

“We’re really proud to be working with Vanguard and to announce Evan Evans as our first official install. It’s created a huge buzz in the industry because this is the hole Durst needed to fill.

“We are dedicated to wide-format printing, which has been very successful for us, but there have always been two areas: fixed bed machines and moving belt machines. And our customer base constantly ask us, ‘When are we going to get fixed bed machines?’,” said Ashman.

The Vanguard VK300D-HS also aligns with both Evan Evans’s and Durst’s sustainable ethos. Heads can be added to increase speed as the customer’s needs change, eliminating the need to purchase more equipment.

“The VK300D-HS is a part of our six-time award winning VK300D Series. It is a fully featured printer that has revolutionised the industry with a high-speed electro-

Left to right: Dan Mantel, technical manager, Durst Oceania, Sonya Cameron, GM Evan Evans and Matt Ashman, MD, Durst Oceania.

magnetic drive system that propels the carriage at speeds up to 1.8 metres per second for an incredible speed of up to 317 square metres an hour. These impressive advancements ensure your business will outperform any competitor,” Ashman said.

“The VK300D-HS comes equipped with industrial Kyocera KJ4A print heads that deliver print dots as small as 4 picolitre drop size ensuring tight dot placement for vivid output on virtually any substrate up to 10cm thick.

“Other features include auto height detection, one-touch pin registration, front-to-back and back-to-front printing, liquid cooled LED curing technology, static suppression bars, and reversible vacuum zones. Engineered to grow with your business, the VK300D-HS is available with multiple rows of printheads and can be expanded in the field.”

“We’re really excited about how Vanguard is going to sit within the Durst business,” said Ashman.

While the Vanguard is targeted at the mid-range printing businesses, Ashman says Durst is getting interest from highcapacity businesses because of the fixed-bed offering.

With the new Vanguard on the floor, Cameron says she hopes her business will get ‘bigger, better and faster’.

Evan Evans already has work lined up for its new Vanguard including a big project in July. “It was an opportunity to start it straight away,” said Cameron.

“The quality is substantially better. Production speed is wildly faster than what we’re getting and that’s not even at its top speed,” she said.

“The Vanguard VK300D-HS also aligns with both Evan Evans’s and Durst’s sustainable ethos. Heads can be added to increase speed as the customer’s needs change, eliminating the need to purchase more equipment.”

Ashman says Durst is proud to work with Cameron. “We always see sales as being a long-term partnership. People who buy a Durst printer, stay a Durst customer.”

Once the Vanguard is installed Durst Oceania and Evan Evans plan to announce an Open House for guests to experience Australia’s first Vanguard in action. Stay tuned to Sprinter for further updates.

US-based Vanguard Digital Printing Systems was acquired by Durst in 2019. With headquarters located in Atlanta, Georgia, Vanguard has built a reputation as a leading manufacturer of printing systems for the signage, decoration, corporate, industrial and packaging sectors, with more than 1000 machines sold in North America alone.

“Vanguard Digital Printing Systems is a rapidly growing and very successful company in a customer segment in which we are currently not active,” said Tim Saur, President of Durst North America at the time of the acquisition.

“Through the combination of high-quality products, a strong management team and absolute customer orientation, both companies are a perfect match.”

The acquisition provided Durst with an entirely new range of American printing equipment to complement its European-made high-speed machines and it provided Vanguard with a global distribution and service network as well as additional technical and sales resources.

The Covid pandemic prevented Durst Oceania from launching Vanguard earlier to the local market. The benefit of waiting to launch has meant that the brand is now assimilated into Durst business as well as the hardware and software ecosystem and this fully backed by the Durst service network.

“Printers have been telling us that they are looking for an alternative to the other players in the market,” said Durst Oceania managing director, Matt Ashman.

“There have been a number of manufacturers that have delivered some great innovation, but unfortunately this was a number of years ago. Now Vanguard is here delivering what Durst is famous for – innovation on a constant rolling basis. We will continue to be focused on what customers need and what customers want,” Ashman said.

“Vanguard can deliver amazing quality at incredible speeds while also providing an incredibly attractive commercial proposition. Vanguard sits within the Durst range as a more accessible entry point for the aspiring print business and we look forward to welcoming new customers to the ever-growing Durst family.”

The first Vanguard product sold in Australia is the VK300D-HS The history of Evan Evans since 1877 Ivor Evans, son of Evan Evans won the bid for the design of the Australian flag in 1901.
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Central Commercial Printers celebrates half a century of serving regional communities

Family-owned and operated, Central Commercial Printers (CCP) is celebrating 50 years of servicing the printing requirements of the Central West region of New South Wales.

Founded in Cobar in 1974 by Alan and Susan Wright and Lex and Edith Nash, CCP commenced as a small letterpress operation.

After relocating to Bathurst in 1977, CCP grew to become Central West NSW’s number-one choice for high-quality offset and digital printing, graphic design, and signage/event solutions.

In 1984, after the business outgrew two locations, Alan and Susan purchased their first premises in Keppel Street and the business in its entirety from the Nash family, all in the same week.

Members of the second-generation Wright family, Lisa Mallon and Peter Wright, continue to operate CCP at

the Keppel Street location after their parents, Susan and Alan, passed in 2014 and 2020, respectively.

With Lisa and Peter at the helm, the company has successfully adapted to a changing market. It has attracted talented team members and formed loyal supplier relationships to help it focus on providing valuable service for its customers.

In 2013, the business was awarded Bathurst’s ‘Most Outstanding Business’ in the Bathurst Business Awards, and today, CCP continues to encompass a wide range of marketing and communications services.

“We’re proud of our family’s history and achieving this wonderful milestone,” said Lisa.

“Over the past 50 years, it’s been a privilege to work with some amazing customers, many of whom we’ve formed lifelong connections with. We look forward to continuing to help them for many years to come.

“Like many organisations, we have successfully faced various challenges, and we’re honoured to carry on the legacy of our parents, continuing the company in a way they would be proud of.”

“It’s an exciting moment for our team, customers, and supply partners, for which we are very grateful,” continued Peter.

“This achievement marks an enormous journey of growth together, and we will acknowledge and celebrate everyone’s

Central Commercial Printers is celebrating 50 years of continuous operation in the Central West of New South Wales

support and commitment in a series of events.”

Reflecting on his time in the business, Peter didn’t know he was going to take over the business and is not sure his children would follow in his footsteps to be the third generation.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do. And Dad said to me and my twin brother, ‘Well, look, I’ve got a business here, and why don’t you come along and join it? One of you can be a printer machinist, and one of you can be a compositor’.

“Some years later, our sister joined us as well and she helps with the accounts side of things.”

The team at Central Commercial Printers have been celebrating in style starting with an evening for the printer’s suppliers and customers. The team celebrated with a weekend trip to Sydney and a five-star hotel and restaurant experience.

Peter says they are conducting competitions for customers and spreading the celebratory stories through social media.

Alan Wright was just 31 in 1974 when he embarked on his own printing business with no backing. He began his career at the Sydney Morning Herald and then worked at Shoalhaven Commercial Printers, hence the name Central Commercial Printers.

“It is a very bold move to go into business on your own. And particularly with not a lot of backing behind you,” says Peter.

Addressing the crowd at Central Commercial Printers’ 50th anniversary celebrations, Peter said: “On behalf of my sister and me, what a privilege it is to herald 50 years of being in business. Not just any business—as our dad said —it’s the best business in the world.”

“For a printing business, 50 years is all about changing with the times. We started with hand-set letterpress printing, which is where you make up lines of text with the individual letters and then ink over the top and press the paper onto it. We moved to hot metal setting, phototypesetting, offset printing, desktop publishing, and now digital printing. It’s been a dynamic world where technology has not only threatened our livelihood but also been our best friend and carried us forward,” continued Wright.

“But it’s not all about the technology. Our success has been predominately about the people, and this fact has not been lost on us.

“For the future, we hope we can continue to offer products and services that are

relevant to the needs of our clients, supported by wonderful people, and we hope we can continue to be easy for you to deal with for print because we believe we do that really well.

“On behalf of Lisa and I, we are honoured and privileged to carry on the tradition and vision of our parents.” and celebrate this 50-year milestone,” Peter concluded.

Moving equipment in 1984 Alan Wright Peter Wright

Tasmania’s best creatives shine at the 10th annual Diemen Awards 2024

Tasmania’s printing and signs industry had much to celebrate this year as its signature awards ceremony clocked 10 years of acknowledging the best of the state.

The 10th Annual Diemen Awards were presented to Tasmania’ s most creative and innovative at the Theatre Royal in Hobart.

The winners and their campaigns were honoured for their notable print, digital, and design contributions.

Chair of the Diemen Awards, Adam Glover, says it takes pure excellence in

print, craftsmanship, design, and digital to make a Diemen Award winner.

A Diemen Award is highly sought after in Tassie, as is the award itself. Custom-made out of brass in a pyramid shape, it is a coveted work of art in its own right.

This year, the Diemen Award’s not only recognised printing and design excellence, but after the formal presentations

concluded, guests partied into the wee hours at a big 10th birthday bash.

Scan here to see all the winners

The 10th Diemen Awards were presented at Hobart’s Theatre Royale David Abramov receives the Diemen for Inclusive Work Award winner Riley de Mestre, Luke Morgan, Kirsten Stallard
The Diemen Award Trophy is a coveted work of art Amr Elsayed, Robbie Brammall Marcus Murphy from The20 and Paul Fallon from Document Management Tasmania Gary Nillson from Mercury Walch and Amr Elsayed Jens Kraeft from Southern Cross Austereo and Daniel Aitken from MONA Belinda Tanner from Media Super and Isobel Clark from Flying Colours Group Sharon Dowsey from Spicers, Natalie Veryard from Mercury Walch, and Kerri Turner from Spicers Mitch Mulligan from Bottcher Systems and Adam Reed from Adam Walker Films Belinda Tanner from Media Super and Jesse Hunniford from MONA Paul Fallon from Document Management Tasmania and Roger Hurd from Document Management Tasmania Jens Kraeft from Southern Cross Austereo and Bridget McKernan from MONA Amr Elsayed, Angela Miller Amr Elsayed, Rhys Hardman

LIA NSW tour of Cactus Imaging draws strong attendance in Sydney

A plant tour at Cactus Imaging’s Silverwater premises, arranged by the Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) NSW branch, drew in the crowds with more than 60 members and visitors in attendance.

The event, held on April 11, was hosted by Keith Ferrel, general manager – operations, and Nigel Spicer, general manager, Cactus Imaging who generously conducted an extensive tour of one of Australia’s largest digital printing plants in the Southern Hemisphere. Böttcher managing director Mitch Mulligan, said “Keith, Nigel, and the

team were the perfect hosts with an amazing operation and so willing to share their experience. Well, done to all involved.”

Keith Ferrel said, “We are proud of what we have achieved over the years, and we continue to invest in the world’s best large format equipment. We have

many world firsts in print and finishing equipment. Our printers range from speeds of 400 square metres per hour to over 700 square metres per hour at very high quality, with finishing equipment designed to keep up with the print speeds in our state-of-the-art facility. Our doors are always open and welcoming to the industry.”

Glenn Moffatt (Cactus Imaging), Jonny Rumney (Celmac) Ryan Julleza (FUJIFILM Australia), Steve Eurell (Johnston Packaging) and Scott Le Lievre (Böttcher Australia) Ian Sampson (Muller Martini) Angus Scott (LIA NSW), and Nigel Spicer (Cactus Imaging) Team Operators (Cactus Imaging) Steve Lu, Matt Feng, Adem Kabal, Bill Ors, Baki Bastepe, Haydar Toufan, Gulia Schinella, Beyza Bastepe and Eren Manav (OMG.CO)
Warwick and Jan Roden (Retired), Stephanus and Nichanan Peters (Penrith Museum of Printing) David Rickwood (Corrective Services), Gary Bowles (Ball & Doggett) and Adrian Jarvis (Shire Signs) Warwick Roden (Retired), Chris Roden (Williams Lea Tag), Russell and Lynne Morrow (Morprint) and Mitch Mulligan (Böttcher Australia) Jonny Rumney (Celmac) Carmen Ciappara (Printer Media Group), Keith Ferrel (Cactus Imaging) Mark McInnes, Ronin and Sandy Phillips (Amari Visual Solutions) Keith Ferrel (Cactus Imaging) showcasing their latest installation, the first Durst 10-channel P5 350 HS D4 hybrid press in the Southern Hemisphere Julian Lowe (Durst Oceania), Mike Williams (NSW LIA), Nigel Spicer (Cactus Imaging) Lynne Morrow (Morprint), Irene and John Stimson (Retirees) Justin Kirkland (FUJIFILM Australia), Emmanuel Buhagiar (Imagination Graphics) Ray Berwick (Smartech Business Systems) Mitch Mulligan (Böttcher Australia), Nick Tuit (Kwik Kopy) and Glenn Moffatt (Cactus Imaging)

Easy Signs’ Amy Abdilla Dorr embraces innovation in a new world in print

Amy Abdilla Dorr, innovations and process improvement manager at Easy Signs, was named in the Emerging 50 category at the ProPrint Awards last year. She talks to Australian Printer about navigating a traditionally male-dominated industry, what advice she would give other women considering a career in print, and why daily challenges are important.

What inspired you to pursue a career in printing, particularly because it is traditionally seen as male-dominated?

I entered the print industry in a customer service position, a role that is more traditionally geared towards women. I applied for my initial position only because I needed a job, and having worked in retail, customer service was a skill I could offer.

Where I have grown, however, is in my advancement beyond customer service and into innovation. It is a unique role that brings me into contact with many different individuals in the print industry, most of whom are men.

It is a role not traditionally ascribed to women, yet it brings me great joy. I pursued innovation out of curiosity about the processes of the print industry and have no regrets about this pursuit.

What advice would you give other women interested in entering the printing industry?

Look for a company with a culture that matches your values and is willing to invest in you. There is a lot to be said about having the right support network in your life. Whether embracing us in challenging moments or celebrating the positive ones, our support networks can make and break us. Your career is no different.

Those you work with and those you work for should encourage your development and provide you with opportunities to learn. I would not have been able to get where I am if it were not for the support that Easy Signs has provided over the five plus years I have worked with them.

Going from a member of the customer happiness team to the manager of the innovation department is not without its challenges. Not every day is easy, and not every day should be – that would make life boring.

Challenges are what allow us to grow. As women, we can face more challenges than others when we enter male-dominated careers like those in print. We should not fear these challenges. Instead, we should embrace them, surrounding ourselves with the right support to ensure that we can surpass the obstacles around us.

If you are a woman looking to enter the printing industry, I would highly encourage you to enter. Seek out a company that will support your growth then triumph over challenges, and never look back.

What do you love most about working in the printing industry?

The printing industry is one of continual improvement. Whether it is developing the latest sustainable solutions or blazing a trail of new technologies, print is something that must constantly evolve to keep pace with the modern world. It is in this evolution that new ideas come to light.

Being an individual who thrives on creativity, new ideas are my bread and butter.

Recently, I came across some photos from over 50 years ago of a relative who had worked in the printing industry. Seeing how far technology has come from lead-based typesetting machines to today’s industrial presses is amazing.

Even with the digitisation of traditional media, print still retains its relevance in today’s world.

While new ideas are needed to keep pace with competing formats and changing worldviews, the impact of these ideas reaches a wide audience.

If my work in developing a new product can reduce waste in a household or assist a small business in marketing its goods, I know that it has meaning.

What steps do you believe are necessary to encourage more women to pursue careers in printing, from entry-level positions to leadership roles?

The industry needs to foster diversity in the workplace and encourage more women to pursue careers in print. Sadly, attending a printing event and being surrounded by a room full of men is common.

Typically, those in leadership positions attend these events, and such a scene highlights the disparity between men and women in leadership.

It is a typical narrative that women are less likely to apply for promotion due to societal norms that approve of timidity. Companies should encourage female employees to apply for positions that suit their varied skill sets.

Sometimes, all it takes is a simple push to support someone in pursuing the next step of their career. If women feel supported by their employers, they will be more likely to apply for promotion and succeed. If they thrive, the business they work for will prosper, improving the industry as a whole.

Amy Abdilla
1800 819 970

Fit for the future

With a growing influx of business-to-consumer (B2C) printers venturing into the business-to-business (B2B) printing space, is a shakeup of the sector on the way? Australian Printer spoke to several leading trade printers who shared their views on the current state of the market, and how they continue to stand out in an increasingly crowded space.

Avon Graphics

Avon Graphics is recognised as a leading specialist print trade supplier and embellishment company, boasting five manufacturing plants in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, and employing more than 100 staff. All Avon Graphics sites offer a range of equipment from small, half, and full sheet size embellishment machinery along with laminating, UV coating, form cutting and in-house die making.

According to managing director Tate Hone, Avon Graphics’ point of difference in the B2B space is its range of specialised services.

“While there are many strong players in the B2B space, we haven’t seen too many B2C printers make the change. We’ve seen a lot of printers install print finishing equipment such as laminators over the years but there is still a need for a specialised trade service. Our company has also changed direction to continue to offer new and exciting processes and services that others don’t have,” says

Hone, adding that “being niche in the services that we offer helps keep our staff and machines busy”.

Having expanded into trade-only large format printing around 10 years ago, Hone says the key to Avon Graphics’ success and longevity in the sector has been its adoption of new technologies.

“Being such a fast-paced segment in the printing industry, we have found that installing the latest technology with automation has helped to keep us ahead of the pack. Quality is obviously a necessity, but speed has become just as important with turnaround times being shortened over the years.”

Big Image Australia

Big Image Australia offers a full range of wide format digital print services. Its products include stickers and decals, banners and mesh, rigid media such as corflute and aluminium composites, dye-sublimated textiles such as flags

and silicon edge graphics and the hardware to support it.

“We keep all finishing in house,” explains Deon Capogreco. “It’s important for us to be able to control all aspects of our production to be able to serve our clients. With timelines being as small as they are these days, it’s important to be able to manage both the quality and timeliness internally.”

While Capogreco says he has witnessed a trend of B2C printers expanding into the B2B space, from a business to business/ trade supplier perspective, he believes it is important to show that you do not compete with your trade clients.

“Half-measures are not good for anyone in the long term. We always tell our clients that we are here to be your custom print shop, an extension of your business in a way. We are not here to make a quick dollar and then turn around and go direct to your customer. We built our business on trust and quality and that’s how we will continue.”

For Capogreco, finding your niche is critical in an increasingly crowded market.

“You must know what niche you fill, who your clients are, how they need to be served, the true cost of providing your service and of course where you see your work growing in the future. Just chasing the lowest price, is not sustainable that is for sure. There are those that do, but then there are also compromises that must be made to do it. Ultimately, companies that provide a good service, care about their client’s needs, and can look to future growth without compromising their current services will do well.

Avon Graphics Avon Graphics Avon Graphics Big Image Australia
Imagine. Create. Inspire. Offering the biggest and best trade only large format printing and finishing across Australia. Melbourne 34 Kingsley Close Rowville 3178 03 9764 1445 Sydney 1 Carolyn Street Silverwater 2128 02 9748 4400 Brisbane 71 Basalt Street Geebung Qld 4034 07 3865 3969

“Big Image Australia has always been a wide format trade printer; it is what we do. There are always challenges. Purely in the wide format digital space you have issues to contend with such as individual job volumes that vary wildly from 1 to 1000+, a massive variety of materials and intended uses for products and the custom nature of most work. Ultimately you need to be able to work with your clients to meet their needs on an individual basis whilst still being efficient and being able to scale effectively to keep your own profit margins healthy. It’s what we do day to day, and it certainly keeps work engaging.”


“While Carbon8 is primarily not a trade printer, we have found that with our unique set of capabilities, trade has become an important and successful part of our overall print mix,” explains Carbon8’s co-founder and director, Kenneth BeckPedersen.

“We offer everything from B2-sized Indigo printed flat sheets for other printers who may then take over the rest of production and binding; to full print, embellishment and binding for white-label printers or brokers; and niche requirements such as case-made boxes, section-sewn bookblocks and high-quality display products on our swissQprint wide-format press.”

While Carbon8 has internal capability for most finishing, Beck-Pedersen admits the company has found that it still pays to use external suppliers on regular occasions as it allows maximum flexibility and efficiency and allows the company to hold back additional capacity in reserve for dealing with issues.

“With the cost of labour increasing significantly since COVID we have also found it to be more profitable to outsource to certain reliable suppliers as that relieves some of our internal cost pressures.”

For Beck-Pedersen, there is no doubt the printing industry is highly competitive, however, the key to remaining successful is finding a unique point of difference.

“The printing landscape is overcrowded regardless of if you consider it B2B or B2C in my opinion. It really comes down to finding some unique point of difference or product you can market without constantly ending up having the profitability sucked out of your business. I can’t see it changing, it’s the nature of things. Print will hopefully always remain a valuable part of any business’s marketing mix but because it has real costs rooted in production and procurement it will forever be challenged and prices driven down as they compete with digital marketing evolutions.”

Centrum Group

Centrum Group offers aqueous, and UV large format offset printing (products ranging from trade print sheets, posters, flyers etc) including spot varnish, digital printing (including spot digital varnish) onto a large variety of substrates for short to medium run work, full laminating and die-cutting, film and foil laminating, gluing, assembly, kitting, and distribution. While most of its finishing is conducted in house, Centrum Group also uses trade finishing partners for specific requirements.

Looking back over the past few years, Craig Elvin, CEO of Centrum Group, describes COVID as a double-edge sword.

“The pandemic itself posed many challenges and obviously retail was affected greatly, which is a core industry for our business, but in terms of business operation it taught us some very valuable lessons in planning and how to be able to run lean.”

Despite a noticeable increase of B2C printers moving into the B2B space, Elvin says Centrum’s focus is on its internal processes.

“Everyone seems to be going after the same dollar now, so it is up to companies like Centrum to evolve and concentrate on our internal processes to ensure efficient pricing and on-time delivery. From a marketing perspective, we can do so much in house, so that is a key focus, as many B2C printers don’t have the full service we do.”

Looking ahead, Elvin anticipates further consolidation in the market. As he explains: “I think the cream will rise to the top in the space and acquisitions will continue. Unfortunately, there are casualties in the space as value for money is becoming even more relevant, and companies without key personnel, processes, and equipment to service B2B and accounts may become part of the shake out. You also have to have a point of difference and Centrum with our large format offering that is capable of printing spot varnishes, metallic PMS colours

and onto foils allows us to keep pushing creative thinking.

“We have already moved into the large format digital space with our new Fuji Acuity Prime 30. This was needed to be able to service short run packaging and POS customers. For smaller companies the cost can be a barrier as can the rate at which the technology is evolving, so keeping up can be challenging. The challenge can also be to get the initial momentum to utilise the investment to its potential. It’s imperative that manufacturers with key equipment and a point of difference need to get their capabilities and message out there. Sometimes this can be difficult as procurement departments are sometimes happy to stick with an incumbent to the ire of the marketing department who desperately want to drive innovative print, packaging, and POS.”

CMYKhub provides sheet-fed offset, HP Indigo digital, wide format, labels, packaging, embellishment, and design services.

“Although the industry has seen a decline in offset print, it has remained a strong pillar of our business since the beginning,” notes CMYKhub’s national communications manager, Glen Francis.

CMYKhub has recently diversified its offering, with the introduction of its new labels and packaging division, which according to Francis is growing rapidly. The company has also recently relaunched its product range to include laser-cut and embellished labels. Francis says the company hopes to have some folded carton products out to market for its resellers for the second half of 2024.

“We identified some time ago the requirements to add greater value to print through embellishment. Digital embellishment through Scodix and Metal (high build spot UV and foil) has been a game-changer for our partners. The ability to heighten a brand to a premium

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level without the price tag or requirement of buying a minimum amount has been extremely popular. Design and prepress has also been a value-added service for us. It’s about doing whatever we can to make it easy and affordable for our partners to run their business.”

According to Francis, COVID accelerated some long-term plans for centralising its service team and planning team structure. As he explains: “Each of our five locations was very siloed and independent pre-COVID, but having the business come to a standstill makes you count every dollar and make sure you are operating at optimum efficiency.”

With commodity print in decline, Francis anticipates further consolidation in the market.

“We are already seeing commodity print in decline, so unless B2B/trade printers are diversifying into other segments then there is no doubt we’ll see a few finish up. As the manufacturer behind the scenes you have to constantly be developing new products, finishes and then provide marketing material to support the commercial sales.”

Guru Labels is a state-of-the-art digital label manufacturing business located at Lisarow on the NSW Central Coast.

“We moved to our current premises in Lisarow around five years ago, which at the time was five times the size of our previous site and five years later we are again at capacity,” says Guru Labels director, Nick Lowe.

According to Lowe, it is Guru’s understanding of speed that sets it apart from its competitors.

“We have no less than 1500 orders in our system at any one time. Today, customers expect not only a quick turnaround for their order, but they also want their communication just as quick. We pick up a

lot of customers because of our levels of service and our response time,” he says.

Culture is also at the heart of Guru’s efficiency.

“We come from a long line of good culture,” says Lowe.

“Our people are some of the best and brightest in the industry and because of their talents we are constantly innovating and introducing new technology that is homegrown.

“On the day of a customer enquiry, we have the job quoted, artwork approved, and in the system. We understand that speed and response time is king. If you’re waiting more than 10 minutes for a quote from us, then there is something wrong.”

Lowe believes that the B2B space is currently undergoing a shakeup, with those that differentiate their offering from their competitors the ones likely to succeed.

“I wouldn’t say that the B2B space is overcrowded, however, I would say that there are a lot of businesses starting to look the same,” he explains.

“In business I think you must be opportunistic and a bit bullish – I believe in going for every market you can if there is transparency in the market you’re playing in. For example, while we have an exceptional amount of trade business, we’ve never stated ourselves as a dedicated trade house. In this industry, you need clear lines of engagement. As the saying goes, when you try to be everything to everyone, you become nothing to no one.”

Imagination Graphics

For Sydney-based Imagination Graphics, its main trade services include printing,

celloglazing, digital die-cutting, perfect binding, and CtP. Depending on the job, the Marrickville-based printer aims to keep its finishing work in-house.

“Imagination has a big market dealing with other printers and brokers,” says Imagination Graphics’ owner, Emmanuel Buhagiar.

“I have found this way to do business to be very good. If you have a strong relationship with the printer they will outsource more and more to you. I would suggest we are 40 per cent trade and 60 per cent direct to organisations/

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“I don’t think the B2B printing space is overcrowded, but as times get tougher a lot more printers will downsize, amalgamate, or sell up,” he notes.

According to Buhagiar, Imagination is planning to enter the wide format market in the near future.

“Our signage area is growing each month, and I can see a place for us in that field. Our expertise with colour and pre-press makes it a no brainer. Our only challenge will be space and we will have to re-organise our equipment to fit. I am traveling to drupa to have a look at all new machines and technologies.”

Lamont Print & Signs

Lamont Print & Signs specialises in banners, corflute, PVC, high volume print runs onto SAV and mesh, with all finishing processes conducted in-house.

“We feel that to maintain total control over the entire production process is essential to maintain an excellent client experience,” says Stephen Lamont, owner of Lamont Print & Signs.

According to Lamont, the pandemic significantly altered the Townsvillle-based business.

“We observed a shift among Queensland businesses towards favouring local suppliers over interstate ones due to transportation and supply constraints. Consequently, we underwent an expansion to enhance our production capacity, doubling it during this period. Moreover, disruptions in Chinese supply chains prompted challenges in rebuilding trust with local clients.”

Lamont believes there is movement of larger sign shops into the B2B sector, possibly driven by substantial investments in production-grade equipment.

“We perceive potential challenges in terms of trustworthiness from the perspective of these businesses. Concerns may arise regarding the confidentiality of files and customer data, as well as the risk of undercutting prices. If considering engaging with such companies, one might question the guarantees they offer against competing for the same projects.”

Despite the increase, Lamont believes “healthy competition is beneficial overall, and market dynamics will naturally dictate the survival of businesses”.

“We have a significant presence in the wide-format trade printing domain, having operated in this sector for the past five years as a trade supplier,” explains Lamont.

“As a regional entity, we encounter challenges in receiving technical support. Although our current channel partners have been working very hard to upskill local support companies and this is having a positive result.

“Additionally, pricing pressure from larger trade print houses poses a challenge. However, our unwavering commitment to superior customer service remains paramount. Addressing challenges in this space entails ensuring reliable delivery schedules, maintaining open communication with clients at all levels, and dedicating resources to both personnel and equipment.”

The Lamson Group

The Lamson Group of companies is comprised of Lamson Paragon, Paper Rolls Australia, Cheque-Mates, Integrated Office Solutions, and Fairplay Print.

With a long history in the print and communication industries and with distribution capabilities Australia wide, the group provides an extensive range of products and services to a multitude of businesses and commercial operations.

“I’m not aware of anyone that has this diversity as a trade offer,” says Rodney Frost, Group CEO of The Lamson Group, on the company’s range of products and services.

“[Covid] increased our focus on technology to ensure we made it easier for people to do business with us, particularly via our fully integrated digital solutions. This takes processing costs out for our partners leaving them focussing on high margin work and consulting on large projects.”

Commenting on the current B2B printing space, Frost says he anticipates further market consolidation.

“There seems to be some movement with consolidation happening via an increase in mergers and acquisitions. This will continue in my opinion, potentially in the mailing sector also. This is far more responsible than seeing administrators appointed and a whole lot of collateral damage to the industry if a liquidation was to occur,” he says.

“We moved into wide format and signage in 2016, however it seems to be very overcrowded and a service that we offer as a part of broader requirements, not as a standalone offer usually. The challenges here seem to be available trade volume as there is just so much available capacity with a low entry point of circa $30k.“

For The Lamson Group, the focus remains on integrity, speed, and quality.

“There are some large trade players in wide format that are heavily invested chasing volume. In wide format we focus on service and the product variety we can offer. One minute we are printing fabric, the next minute it’s signage and then we are wrapping a vehicle an hour later!”

LEP Colour Printers

LEP Colour Printers is a trade only offset, digital, and wide format printer, specialising in producing four colour process work.

“At LEP, we endeavour wherever possible to complete work inhouse, enabling us to have complete control over the production process from a quality assurance perspective,” says LEP CEO, John Bromfield.

“We take a lot of pride in the work we produce, and reputation is critical from a brand value perspective, hence we want to be confident all work leaving LEP is of the highest possible standard. We do however outsource some specialised finishing as and when required, to a discrete number of trade providers with quality standards aligned with those of LEP.”

Covid has arguably accelerated the shift to digital marketing technologies, which brings with it new challenges to traditional print industry sectors, notes Bromfield.

“In addition to the unprecedented impact which Covid has had upon the Australian print industry, in recent years the industry has been besieged by a plethora of imposts including significantly rising input costs; the costs and complexities of new digital print technologies; the ongoing decline in demand for printed materials as electronic mediums continue to penetrate our lives and the ever-increasing shortage of skilled print trades people.

“LEP has embraced these challenges, seeing it as an opportunity to further streamline its business model, to provide further cost reductions, enabling its print reseller customers to remain relevant in what is becoming an increasingly dynamic marketplace. As a result, more and more of our customers are effectively becoming a print broker outsourcing their back-end production requirements to LEP, transitioning from a high cost, high risk printing operation to a low cost, sales focussed business where margins and profitability are predictable and strong,” says Bromfield.

“In the past, the Australian print industry could support a high number of decentralised, autonomous commercial printing businesses. The harsh reality of this economic model is that in a declining industry with ever increasing cost pressures, a high number of relatively small operators

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each investing in real estate, equipment and employees means that unit printing costs across the entire industry are very high; and indeed, unsustainable in the long-term. As a natural consequence of the evolving commercial print marketplace, it is inevitable there will be a certain degree of industry consolidation, as organisations look to implement change within their businesses.

“LEP’s economic model, through its lean manufacturing environment and highly developed processes, is based upon the economies of scale which come with high print volumes of four-colour gang printing. At LEP we are pursuing a transformational change to the traditional commercial printer paradigm,  encouraging our commercial print partners to actively seek out opportunities as a means to pivot their business models, by divesting themselves of non-performing capital assets (freeing up vital cashflow in the process) and transition to an outsourced business model to LEP, who has the economies of scale and ability to deliver cost effective print solutions.”

In response to this increased demand from B2B customers, LEP is embarking on a major upgrade to its offset printing fleet, transitioning to LED UV printing, commencing with the installation of an RMGT 8-colour LED UV Press in the coming weeks.

Mediapoint specialises in large format and UV printing for both micro and volume runs. Its core offerings include boards, banners, posters, stickers, and labels on rolls. At Mediapoint, all production processes are handled in-house.

“As a dedicated trade printer, we prioritise maximising margins for our resellers, necessitating full control over every aspect of production. This strategy enables us to manage costs effectively and safeguard our partners’ profitability,” explains Mediapoint sales manager, Jamie Xuereb.

According to Xuereb, the pandemic brought both challenges and opportunities for Mediapoint’s business model. As Xuereb

explains: “While some of our resell partners faced operational setbacks and increased overheads, prompting downsizing and outsourcing, it also allowed us to strengthen our relationships with them. By providing support during a time of need, we could enhance their profitability and reinforce the value of our partnership.”

While there’s been a noticeable influx of B2C printers venturing into the B2B space, Xuereb says Mediapoint maintains a distinct definition of its trade clientele.

“Trust is paramount in our industry, and we believe actions speak louder than words. The general feeling is trade customers prefer not to use B2C or companies who are deemed as having a retail component where possible as they do not want to help build a competitor.”

“Consequently, we believe that occupying the middle ground in the current market scenario is precarious for printers. It necessitates a careful examination of the feasibility and long-term viability of in-house production. Our experience indicates that many resell partners investing in small to medium print setups might find themselves burdened with liabilities rather than assets. Therefore, Mediapoint presents itself as a compelling solution worth exploring, particularly for businesses seeking to optimize their printing operations for sustainable growth.”


Established in 1993, Mezographic is a family-owned business based in Melbourne’s Dandenong. It is an

Xuereb says he is currently witnessing a surge in the introduction of new print equipment in the B2B landscape, which has been particularly noticeable over the past year.

“This development addresses a longstanding challenge for our industry: capacity constraints. At Mediapoint, we’ve successfully tackled this issue by partnering with Durst, resulting in a remarkable 300 per cent increase in our overall business capacity. However, despite this expansion in printing capabilities, we’re not seeing a proportional increase in demand across the market. This observation leads us to anticipate a significant transformation in the industry dynamics. We foresee a clear dichotomy emerging on one end, there will be larger capacity printers like Mediapoint, offering high volume production at lower costs. On the other end, we anticipate a rise in micro printers catering to ultra-short runs with rapid turnaround times.

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innovative business that provides high quality wide format digital print to the corporate, print service, advertising, graphic design, and sign industries.

Over the past 18 months Mezographic has purchased three large format machines


– signifying its investment in intelligent automation. Earlier this year in March, the company installed the first swissQprint Kudu with neon print capability in the Southern Hemisphere.

“In today’s marketplace, you need quality to meet customer expectations and speed to be able to compete in the marketplace,” says Frank Mezo, owner of Mezographic.

“[The swissQprint Kudu] fills the gap between high-end productivity and quality. It gives us that very high-end quality but with enough production speed,” said Mezo, who is a vocal advocate in the industry for new technology.

In January 2023, Mezographic expanded its existing premises, moving into the neighbouring site to accommodate its growing fleet of new machines, including the Durst P5 D4 HS 350 (the first fully automated version in Australia), which has been up and running since June 2023.

“The extra space has given us the ability to expand our automation. I had the first P5 in the Southern Hemisphere in 2019 (HS 250). I first saw the machine when I was at the Durst factory and for me it was a case of being at the right place at the right time, and keeping an eye on it until it was released.

“In today’s market, this kind of thing sets you apart – automation and productivity. While we still work with clients one on one, we are now trying to automate the manufacturing as much as possible.

“I believe what sets us apart in the marketplace is our customisation and personalisation that we offer – we are focused on working with our customers on bespoke projects. We are always on the lookout for the latest technology and looking forward to seeing what drupa will offer.”

Print Logistics

Print Logistics boasts a comprehensive suite of trade printing services, including digital and offset printing. Its recent investments in case binding equipment enhance its inhouse finishing capabilities.

“This allows us to provide more competitive rates and faster turnarounds than what’s out there, particularly for hard case binding projects. Our trade-only printing portal is also launching very soon, so keep an eye out for that,” says Print Logistics production manager, Geoff Montgomery.

“Our preference for managing most finishing processes in-house is rooted in our commitment to ensuring quality control and achieving efficient project completions. This

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strategic choice significantly benefits our trade clients by meeting all their finishing requirements effectively.

According to Montgomery, the pandemic was surprisingly beneficial for Print Logistics.

“We intensified our marketing efforts, forged new partnerships, and solidified our team culture. These actions enabled us not just to return to our pre-pandemic levels of activity but to surpass them, highlighting the importance of resilience and adaptability in challenging times.”

Montgomery believes the move of B2C printers into the B2B space seems driven by the demand for more effective solutions.

“As older B2B providers may fall short in meeting client needs, it naturally opens up opportunities for other printers to fill this growing demand,” says Montgomery adding that expanding further into wide format printing is a “definite move” for the company.

“This aligns with our aim to continuously evolve and cater to the comprehensive demands of the market.”

Twin Loop Binding

In response to the ongoing challenges within the print industry, Twin Loop Binding has adapted and expanded its services

to meet the evolving needs of customers. Listening closely to feedback, Twin Loop Binding recently announced the addition of hard cover and case binding to its range of services.

While twin loop wire binding remains the company’s specialty, it now offers a comprehensive range of binding and finishing solutions, including calendars with hangers or tent stands, plastic spiral and comb binding, as well as perfect binding using both EVA and the more durable PUR glue options.

“The disruptions brought about by the pandemic compelled us to reassess our strategies and refocus on specialised services,” says Twin Loop Binding managing director, Wayne Rubin.

“As part of our commitment to quality and innovation, we’ve implemented several enhancements, such as the creation of a dedicated storage and dehumidification room to further safeguard PUR bound books awaiting final trimming. In line with our dedication to efficiency, we made strategic equipment upgrades, including the replacement of our saddle stitching unit and the purchasing of an A3 perfect binder.

This investment allows us to focus on the needs of our customers and enhance our capabilities.

“Moreover, we’ve purchased additional punch bars to facilitate the easy binding of plastic spiral and twin loop wire bound books and documents on the A3 long edge, ensuring greater flexibility and efficiency in our processes,” says Rubin.

“Looking ahead, while we remain committed to delivering exceptional service, we are mindful of the importance of remaining competitive in terms of pricing. To better serve our customers, we’ve introduced special pricing incentives for non-urgent projects and eliminated charges for replacement boxes. We’re also actively encouraging our colleagues to take advantage of our services to save

on costs associated with underutilised staff and labour.

“At Twin Loop Binding, we’re dedicated to staying ahead of the curve, continuously innovating, and exceeding the expectations of our customers. As we navigate the challenges of the future, we remain committed to delivering excellence in binding solutions and customer service.”

Melbourne-based Vivad is predominantly a trade printer, with around 90 per cent of revenue generated from resellers. Vivad prints up to five metres wide on roll stocks using UV cure inks. The company also print dye sublimation up to 3.2 metres wide, as well as flat bed printing, and roll-to roll latex printing. The company performs all printing and print finishing in-house.

“We weld, sew, stick, fold, crease, screw – pretty much all the print finishing services required for large format,” says Vivad managing director, Ewen Donaldson.

Vivad also manufactures VivadFrame aluminium framing systems and supply Silicone Edge graphics for retail, exhibitions, and events.

“Covid caused a reduction of revenue of 60 per cent, so like many businesses Jobseeker was an absolute lifeline for us,” says Donaldson.

“Covid allowed us to become more organised, work on our systems and do a little bit of R&D and product development. I’m so glad those days are behind us and let’s hope they never return.”

According to Donaldson, since Vivad began in 2000, demand for large format has been “growing exponentially”.

“There is so much demand for what we produce, there is plenty of room in the market for competent players. It seems the more entrants into the industry, the bigger the market gets.”

Vivad Print Logistics Twin Loop bINDING

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Succession planning– what to do when the transition doesn’t go to plan


veryone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”

This famous remark is a reminder that despite our best-laid plans, unforeseen challenges can quickly disrupt even the most carefully crafted strategies. Yet, this reality doesn’t negate the importance of planning; rather, it underscores its necessity.

Just as in boxing, where resilience and adaptability are paramount, a robust succession plan ensures continuity and resilience in the face of unexpected circumstances. In this article I explore some of the setbacks you may experience and how you might prepare for them.

1. Financial decline

Financial decline can occur for many reasons, some of which are outside of your control, like a global financial crisis, but often, it is due to the day-today decisions within the business.

A recent example of financial decline is Starleaton. A multi-generational family business that has only recently come out of voluntary administration. The creditors report, created by Cathro & Partners, provides some insights into some of the reasons that a decline can occur.

“We consider the reasons for failure are: Inadequate cash flow and working capital; Trading losses depleting equity; Poor strategic management of the business including investing in new divisions requiring substantial working capital at a time when there were inadequate funds; Poor financial control including lack of accurate reliable financial information and records.”

This underscores the critical importance of crafting a comprehensive plan aimed at safeguarding against decline, encompassing elements such as robust strategic management, adequate cash flow, stringent financial controls, and access to quality information. By identifying and addressing potential areas of vulnerability in your succession plan, particularly those pertaining to strategic management and financial stability, you fortify the foundation of your business against potential threats.

2. No desire

Many founders devote their entire

lives to constructing their businesses, only to confront the disheartening realisation that their children have no interest in assuming control or responsibility for the business. For some this is a welcome relief as they don’t have to concern themselves with the complexities of planning for such a transition. However, for others this can lead to disappointment and the dilemma of what to do with the business. When this scenario arises, there are few courses of action you could pursue, including:

• Sell the business to existing owners or to an external buyer

• Undertake a management buyout whereby you sell a controlling stake or the entire business to one or more of your current employees

• Bring in management personnel to run the business while you maintain ownership of the business.

• There is no ‘right’ course of action in this scenario. In fact, you should consider all of these as part of your planning process so you can increase the chances of making the best decision for yourself and your family. Have you mapped out all of these possibilities as part of your succession planning process?

3. Lack of experience or education

It’s important your successors are prepared to handle the responsibility that comes with taking over the family business. They may have the desire to take over the business, but they also need to be prepared for the challenges that come with owning and running a business.

To assess if they are ready, you should first conduct an inventory of your successors’ preparedness to handle the transition. Consider how money and

responsibility may affect them and their lives.

As part of this process, it may be beneficial for your successors to undergo additional training, study, and possibly work in another business to address knowledge gaps. Given the complexities of business ownership and management, there may be aspects beyond your expertise, underscoring the value of providing the next generation access to a business advisor or coach to navigate challenges effectively not only now but into the future.

4. Conflict

Whether it be a disagreement over business strategy, conflict over entitlements, a personality clash, or simply a difference of opinion, all family businesses will encounter some degree of conflict over their life.

These conflicts can make or break your business and your family. So, it’s important to be ready to mitigate its impacts and create positive outcomes. Some steps that you can take now which may assist mitigate and deal with conflict include.

• Establish clear roles, responsibilities and have a formal governance structure to ensure accountability and open communication

• Reduce the amount of non-active family members in the decision making of the business

• Seek assistance from advisors, coaches, and mentors

• Communicate and document everything.

In summary, much like a skilled boxer who anticipates and prepares for setbacks, successful business owners recognise the value of continuous planning. By proactively addressing potential challenges and charting a course for continuity, businesses can navigate transitions with confidence and resilience. In an ever-changing landscape where uncertainty is inevitable, a well-crafted succession planning process serves as a beacon of stability, guiding businesses through turbulent times and ensuring a legacy of success for generations to come.

Andrew Ash is Director – Accounting and Tax at HLB Mann Judd

Andrew Ash

The power of graphic design: How design impacts consumer perception

Daniel Edwards examines how font size can influence price perception.

The human brain has a blurred overlap between visual size and numerical size. It is thought that large numbers are encoded into our memory as magnitude expressions. Therefore, our memory would categorise a 200,000kg blue whale similarly to $200,000. This tendency means that if you present your price in a small font size, the perception is it is a smaller amount.

In 2006, the Journal of Consumer Psychology published a study by Coulter and Coulter into the effect the size of the presentation of price has on people. They found that by manipulating the font size in ads they could influence participants’ willingness to buy.

In the first experiment, they split participants into two groups presenting them with advertisements for a pair of inline skates that were on sale. The first(congruent) group were shown ads where the reduced prices were displayed at reduced font sizes ($12 on sale at $10), and the second(incongruent) group saw an ad with the opposite graphic design. The reduced price was a larger font size than the original price ($12 on sale at $10).

Participants were asked to answer the following questions on a 1 to 7 Linkert scale (1 highly unlikely -> 7 highly likely)

1. Thought the original price was expensive

2. Thought the sale price was good value

3. Their likelihood to buy the product

4. If they would search for a cheaper price elsewhere

likely to buy. Keep in mind each group saw the exact same offering, the only change was in the graphic design and the size of the fonts used for the pricing.

They were unconsciously influenced by nothing more than graphic design and how the presentation of the price. When people view a sale price with a smaller value in a smaller font size, it reinforces

After presenting the ads, they asked the participants if they noticed the different font sizes used in the graphic design. Ninety-one per cent of participants didn’t notice any font sizing, and of those that said they did notice different sizes, half got it wrong about which price was larger. All claimed that any font changes in the design did not affect their thought process about the pricing of the product. The effect was completely unconscious.

Despite all participants claiming the font size had no influence on their thinking, there was a distinct difference between each group. The congruent group, who saw the reduced sale price in reduced font size, had a more positive response. They thought it was a better deal and were more likely to buy.

While those from the incongruent group who saw the reduced price in an increased font size thought the deal was worse and were more likely to shop around and less

the perception that the sale price is ‘smaller’ and in contrast, the original price, presented in the larger font size, is ‘larger’.

Graphic design for sales should reinforce the smaller dollar amount by making the reduced price visually smaller than the original undiscounted price.

Daniel Edwards is founder of Posterboy Printing

$12 on sale at $10 $12 on sale at $10 Earthquake Pro Aggressive In-Line Skate Regular Price: $239.99 Regular Price: $239.99 Sale Price: $199.99 Sale Price: $199.99 Price Text Size Stimulus Earthquake Pro Aggressive In-Line Skate
Congruent $12 on sale at $10 Incongruent $12 on sale at $10 Thought the original price was expensive 4.65 Thought the original price (in larger text) was a larger amount 3.28 Thought the original price (in smaller text) was a smaller amount Thought the sale price was good value 4.31 Thought the sale price (in small text) was a low amount 3.31 Thought the sale price (in larger text) was a large amount Likelihood to buy the product 4.54 More likely to buy 4.54 Less likely to buy Would search for a cheaper price elsewhere 3.12 Less likely to shop around 4.19 More likely to shop around ✘ ✔ Was $20 Now $15 Was $20 Now $15
Congruent Graphic Design Data

* event dates correct at time of publishing

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FESPA Australia Annual Conference October 25, 2024 Sydney, Australia

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Print is perception and we treat it accordingly.

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Assist your potential

We continue to undertake new challenges in response to the tremendous changes facing the printing market.

In 2024, to assist printing and packaging companies in dealing with digitizing information, rising cost of materials, and the shortage of skill workforce. At Drupa 2024, RMGT will be exhibiting solutions for greater automation by introducing various automated systems, improving efficiency through visualisation utilizing cloud, and reducing labour requirements.

We look forward to being able to meet all of you at Drupa 2024.

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