DIC celebrates 60th anniversary

February 17, 2009

DIC Australia recently took the opportunity to celebrate a significant anniversary – marking the establishment of Coates in Australia in 1949.

Colleagues and customers from throughout Australia were invited to an event celebrating the milestone of 60 years supplying ink and associated products to this market. Over 130 people attended the event, held in The Rocks in Sydney.

Guests included many of DIC’s personnel, a number of well known industry identities, and Miyasaka-san from DIC’s South East Asian headquarters in Singapore.

Ian Johns, Managing Director, said, “We were delighted by the turnout. We have weathered many storms during our company’s history, and we are most fortunate during years of industry change and turbulence to have maintained our alignment with market expectations and experienced a reasonable level of stability throughout the company.”

During his message to the guests, Ian went on to say, “We continue to strive to add value to our customers business, and by doing that provide longevity to our own. We believe our customers and our staff are the key to our continued success.”

Opportunity was taken to also thank outgoing Managing Director, Dr David Rands.

Mr Johns said: “David has played a vital role in the history of both DIC Australia and DIC New Zealand. Throughout his time with DIC, David has always had an open door policy. For many, David has been a mentor – and a strong contributor to the industry through activities with GAMAA.”

Mr Johns presented a brief history, from Coates establishment in 1877 to today. Henry Coates was a printer and stationer in Clapham, England. In 1877, two of Henry’s sons set up a supply business to the printing industry.

Start up capital was £300 with an annual revenue of £2327. The company experienced good growth, and in 1937 Coates started manufacturing offset inks in Calcutta to supply the Indian Ordinance Survey for wartime printing of maps for the East Asia campaign.

In 1938 Coates Brothers South Africa was established, and in 1948 Coates Brothers New Zealand was registered.

Coates Brothers Australia was registered in 1949. The original buildings in Moorabbin (Victoria) and Auburn (New South Wales) are still in use today for ink blending and manufacturing. In 1981, Coates Brothers was purchased by Total, the French oil company.

In 1999, Sun Chemical purchased Coates Lorilleux from Total. Sun Chemicals is 100% owned by the DIC Corporation of Japan. Coates Brothers changed its name to DIC Graphics Australia in September 2005. In December 2006, the company changed to DIC Australia – integrating DIC International, our trading division, and DIC Colorton, our sheetfed division.


DTI tops 1,000 clients for first time

January 28, 2009

DIGITAL Technology International (DTITM), a global provider of audience-centric web, print, and mobile publishing solutions, ended a remarkable year in achieving its 2008 goals for revenue, profitability and growth despite the decline in the world’s economy and the myriad of challenges facing the media industry.

New customer signings in 2008 pushed the company’s worldwide customer list above 1,000 for the first time.

Highlights of DTI’s 2008 achievements, included:

Financial growth: DTI sustained its revenues and profits for the year, maintaining its record of staying profitable even in downturns and difficult economic times.

Geographic expansion: DTI expanded its market reach by signing new customer agreements in Slovenia and Nigeria.

New Offices: DTI opened new offices in Brazil, and Australia, and moved into new upgraded premises in the UK.

New Customers: DTI signed agreements with a wide range of media companies to surpass the 1000 mark in customer sites. New customers in 2008 included the New York Post (USA), Verlagsgesellschaft Madsack (Germany), Politico (USA), Celtic Newspaper Group (Ireland), Berkshire Media Group (UK), Timbuktu Media Group (Nigeria), Small Newspaper Group (USA), Norges Handels og Sjøfartstidende (Norway), and Delo (Slovenia).

“We worked harder than ever to produce a successful financial year by focusing on solutions that help transform our customers’ businesses and their ability to compete for an audience in a tough market,” said Don Oldham, DTI’s founder and CEO. “Our success formula is to drive our customers’ success with innovative ingredients: cut costs with SaaS, grow revenues with targeted advertising and change the game with Web/print synergy. Our solutions are designed to help our customers transform their business models for success in this new economic environment.”

IDAB WAMAC is 100% Schur after takeover

January 9, 2009

SCHUR Packaging will start 2009 by exploring the synergies between its product offering and that of IDAB WAMAC, its new acquisition from Heidelberg.

Dan Kemper, president of Schur’s US unit, said: “IDAB WAMAC has equipment that will complement our line of postproduction systems. We’ll be examining how all the products will line up.”

Schur bought the postpress supplier in December after several months of negotiations.

Heidelberg Chief Executive Officer Bernhard Schreier said the sale of Idab Wamac will enable the company to concentrate more fully on its sheetfed press business.

The takeover will enable Schur to improve its product range, giving customers more choice, as well as helping the Denmark-based company expand into new markets where IDAB WAMAC has an established presence.

For more details, see newsandtech.com’s coverage.

New year, new boss for Goss Japan

January 5, 2009

Kazuhiko Yasuzawa has been appointed president and general manager of Goss Graphic Systems Corporation, Japan, Goss International’s manufacturing and sales entity in the country.

Mr Yasuzawa was previously president of Georg Fischer Japan. He has more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry within the country.

Mr. Yasuzawa replaces Seiji Kato, who will continue to advise and be involved in the operations of Goss Graphic Systems, Japan in 2009.

Review: CS4 features are breath-taking

December 5, 2008

EXCUSE me, but I have to sit down.

It’s time to let you know about a few of the new features in Adobe Creative Suite 4. And after taking a fresh look at these applications, I need to catch my breath because some of the features are incredible. Wow.

By Kevin Slimp

There’s so much to cover when pondering a review of CS4. The number of applications alone is mind boggling. My copy of the CS4 Master Collection includes InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, OnLocation, Encore, Bridge, Version Cue, Device Central and more.

For today, I’m going to discuss two features of an application you’re probably already using: InDesign.

The feature that most impresses me in the latest rendition of InDesign is the Preflight. I know, I know: InDesign has always had a great preflight function; however, the gang at Adobe has taken it up a notch or two or three thousand.

Two things stand out about CS4 preflighting. The first is the ability to create your own preflights that look for just about any potential printing problem.

Like previous versions of InDesign, users can search out RGB in images, missing links and more. Now users can select from dozens of potential problems for InDesign to detect before a file goes to print or is converted to PDF. My favorite preflight criteria is the ability to find OPI links in images. You may not know the difference between OPI and LZW, but InDesign knows and will share its knowledge with you before you have a printing issue.

Something else that you will love about InDesign’s new preflight: It provides a continuous preflight as you work. That’s right. There’s a little green light in the bottom corner of InDesign’s desktop. If that light turns red, watch it. That means you’ve hit a snag. Man, I could have used that ten years ago.

To test the new feature, I created a preflight that included the following checks, among others:

  • Missing links
  • OPI information
  • RGB images or text
  • Lab and spot colors
  • Overprinting of white text
  • CID fonts
  • Missing fonts
  • Image resolution problems

Next, I created three InDesign documents that each contained some of these issues. Guess what? Yes, InDesign caught them all. Every single error. Every CID font. Every photo with RGB. PDFs with OPI information.

As we’re forced to do from time to time, I had to sit and have a cool drink before looking any further. Not to worry. You’re going to love what I found next.

You’ve seen them: Those cool magazines and newspapers on Web sites that allow you to grab the corner and turn the page. That’s right. You can create a Flash (swf) file that contains everything you need to convert your newspaper to a Web publication in InDesign CS4. I am not lying. I’ve done it myself.

Soon after discovering this incredible treasure, I received a request for advice from an advertising group in New York. The question: Should they purchase a system that would create Flash documents like this of their magazines and other periodicals? I quickly opened a 30-page outline that I give to classes and exported it as a Flash file from InDesign CS4, then uploaded the file to a Web site so they could see it. I received an e-mail a few minutes later: “We just ordered InDesign CS4.”

Enough said.

Kevin Slimp is Director, Institute of Newspaper Technology, based in Knoxville, Tennessee


Mulligan appointed new GAMAA president

December 1, 2008

THE Graphical Arts Merchants Association of Australia (GAMAA) announced today Mitchell Mulligan, of Böttcher Australia, has been officially appointed its president.

Mr Mulligan, who replaces Alastair Hadley, will hold the position of president for a two-year term. Ian Martin of Ferag Australia has been appointed vice-president.

“GAMAA is an association that is passionate about the development and promotion of our industry,” said Mr Mulligan. “As a not-for-profit association, GAMAA is committed to working with the industry for a better future. Its member company representatives are an inspirational group of individuals who share common goals. I look forward to continuing to contribute to GAMAA and to working with Executive Director Karen Goldsmith and the GAMAA team.”

Mr Martin said, “My role on the GAMAA Executive and also as a member of the Pacprint09 Board, provides me with an opportunity to serve an industry, which I have enjoyed working in for the last 27 years.”


Mitchell Mulligan


Ian Martin

Print awards get new format

November 26, 2008

The 26th National Print Awards Presentation Dinner is to be held on May 29 at the Palladium Ballroom at Crown Casino, Melbourne.

The awards have been designed for the first time as a ‘Best of the Best’ format where all entries are category winners in the country’s State-based Awards.

Organisers said it would “top off” one of the largest and most comprehensive graphic arts exhibitions held Australia

Alastair Hadley, Chairman of the PacPrint 09 Board, said: “The National Print Awards Presentation is an important addition to the PacPrint 09 calendar, and there will also be display of entries in the Melbourne Convention and Exhibiton Centre concourse during PacPrint 09, giving all PacPrint visitors a chance to view the country’s most outstanding print jobs.

“Holding this celebration after the final business day of PacPrint will give interstate visitors another sound reason to plan a visit to Melbourne and celebrate the achievements of the industry.”

FM Screening – thumbs up from a first-hand user

November 11, 2008

WEST Australian Newspapers is currently the only double width newspaper printer in the country running with FM screening technology. WAN’s Derek Williamson shares his first-hand experiences with the technology.

We first introduced FM at ColourPress, our commercial print centre back in March 2004, where we ran it successfully on our old Goss Community presses. In May this year, we started the roll out across all our products. Then in August, we went live with our main jacket and haven’t looked back since.

We have seen huge benefits in the print production process and would highly recommend the use of this type of screening. The benefits, in short, are as follows: sharper, more detailed images especially in highlights and shadows, a larger colour gamut so colours leap off the page, no moirés, and it is more forgiving on miss register and provides ink savings through curve management.

In July 2008, European Colour Initiative (ECI), in conjunction with its partners, released special characterisation data sets and ICC profiles to take into account FM screening. Based on our experience, we are not fully convinced that they have adopted the correct approach. However, we understand that a common approach is required and it is only the first release of FM in the ISO specification.

The document and associated profiles can be found here (scroll down about half way to the heading “Offset Profiles” and choose eci_offset_2008.zip).

In the document a brief outline, in short, stated the following:

An extensive series of test prints were performed on coated and uncoated stocks, using non-periodic screening systems (FM) from several vendors. As expected the TVI was significantly higher than on prints with conventional AM. For the following reasons it is not necessary to adjust FM screened plates to the aim values used for AM on the respective paper types.

1. Significant colour differences in areas with identical tone values between prints using AM and FM screening, although CIELAB values of the ink solids and tone value increase curves have been carefully aligned.

Our Response: This is one of the great benefits of FM, as you want to see significant colour differences. This is how you get a larger colour gamut and more vibrant colours when printing with FM. It also provides you with the ability to match more PMS colours on press.

2. When using FM screening, different paper types have no significant impact on the tone value increase (dot gain) compared to using AM screening.

Response: We strongly disagree. Test prints performed on the West Australian Newspaper site show significant differences between dot gain on different paper types. Listed below are dot gain figures extracted from reports on the paper stock we have tested with FM screening from linear plates.

Newsprint 45gsm – 35-38% midtone spread for CMYK
Improved News 55gsm- 28-32% midtone spread for CMYK
SC Paper 52gsm – 31-35% midtone spread for CMYK
LWC 64gsm – 29-33% midtone spread for CMYK

3. With FM screening all four printing inks show identical tone value increase. Whereas in using AM screening, the tone value increase of the black ink can be up to 3% greater in the midtones than that of the chromatic inks cyan, magenta and yellow.

Response: This was not observed in our testing and does not have any real significance when it comes to our approach.

4. Large correction curves at the plate making stage to compensate for high tone value increase are not recommended, as it may cause problems such as banding in gradations.

Response: This has not been observed on our site, nor on any that we are aware of which is running the same equipment. It is extremely important to have tight process control in the plate room and second order FM screening technology. Without these two technologies it is possible to experience such problems.

For the above reasons ECI have recommended the use of curve F (28% TVI) for all paper types and printing inks.

Response: Curve F will result in the appearance of over inking and a loss of shadow detail. It will also produce no ink savings, which is a benefit of FM screening through curve management. Customer complaints will increase, as it does not match the current standard set with AM.

It would be great to hear what other people in our industry think about the future of the various screening technologies on offer. Will FM screening be the standard in offset printing in the future? Please leave a comment below.

Canon: 1 in 5 presses will be digital

November 11, 2008

AS newspapers start to investigate the digital printing opportunities, Canon Australia has predicted that 20 percent of all professional printers will have a high-end digital press in five years.

A new Canon straw poll of the Australian market included commercial printers using offset technology as well as those with preliminary digital capacity.

More than a quarter of those surveyed said they remained concerned about the quality of digital printing when compared with offset printing. This information is useful to managers of newspaper presses that also offer commercial printing as it provides a perspective of how their competition is responding to new technologies.

Digital printing has the capacity to accelerate turnaround times for clients, as well as offer much greater personalisation options targeted at the recipients of the printed material.

A Canon spokesman, Steve Brown, production printing systems group manager, said the commercial printing market was starting to understand not only the logistical benefits of digital presses, in terms of faster output and lower set-up costs, but also that new markets and revenue streams could be created.

Baldwin cleans up in German test

November 4, 2008

NEW technology to improve the cleaning of blankets and cylinders for newspaper printing has been launched by Baldwin.

The Baldwin ProTech2 NP system represents a significant advancement on its brush cleaning technology for blanket and impression cylinders, according to the company. It claims the advancements improve cleaning times, use less cleaning agents and allow maintenance times to be extended.

German printer SV-Druckzentrum has just completed a nine-month test of the technology. The printer is responsible for editions of iconic German newspapers such as Bild, Die Welt, and Welt Kompakt. It has six Manroland Colorman presses with Baldwin’s technology installed, plus its spray dampening system called LithoSpray Optima.

Each Baldwin brush automatically cleans two blankets in the 18 Colorman towers, said Baldwin of the nine-month trial. The case study found that cleaning times were reduced by 30 percent and 50 percent less cleaning agent was required.