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  • + At what point does a hobby become a business?

    By Peter Nevell, Partner – Tax Only individuals, and not companies or trusts, can have a hobby or a privat..

    31 January 2018


    By Peter Nevell, Partner – Tax

    Only individuals, and not companies or trusts, can have a hobby or a private recreational pursuit.

    The pursuit of a hobby by an individual may be to supplement wages, create income after having lost a job, test the waters for a new commercial venture or simply follow a passion. The pursuit of a hobby is not the same as carrying on a business for taxation purposes, which means that money derived from a hobby is not income and therefore is not assessable. Conversely, hobby expenditure is not tax deductible.

    There is a risk for individuals conducting profitable hobbies that the Commissioner of Taxation will regard them as carrying on business operations.

    A hobbyist is not entitled to an ABN and cannot register for GST because private recreational activities, pursuits or hobbies are specifically excluded from the definition of an enterprise.

    The Queensland Supreme Court in 1985 concluded that an individual was in the business of primary production after he acquired and used one purebred female angora goat for the purposes of breeding and selling the kids. Afterwards, the Commissioner withdrew his long-standing guidelines on what quantity and land areas were considered necessary for the carrying on of a business operation.

    These days there is significant economic activity conducted by taxpayers in cyberspace and for those that conduct such an activity there needs to be a word of caution. For instance, on its website, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) states that if a taxpayer ‘sets up a shop on an online trading or auction site, you are likely to be carrying on a business – especially if you paid fees to operate the shop.’

    The distinction between a hobby and a business is determined by the ordinary meaning of those words as determined by the Courts, although the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 defines ‘business’ non- exhaustively as ‘including any profession, trade, employment, vocation or calling, but not occupation as an employee.’

    Court cases over the years have established the circumstances that generally need to be present before a business is regarded as being operated by a taxpayer. A summary of these business indicators from a primary production perspective is found in the Commissioner’s ruling TR 97/11 which analyses an individual’s activity based on whether:

    • They have a significant commercial purpose or character.
    • The taxpayer has more than just an intention to engage in business.
    • There is a purpose of profit as well as a prospect of profit from the activity.
    • There is regularity and repetition.
    • The activity is of the same kind and carried out in a manner that is characteristic of the industry.
    • The activity is planned, systematic and organised in a businesslike manner.
    • They have the necessary size, scale and permanency.
    • Whether the activity is better described as a hobby, a form of recreation, or sporting activity.

    No one indicator is decisive, and analysis of the indicators must be considered in combination. The conclusion is drawn from the general impression gained during the analysis.An individual can carry on a business of a limited nature which is preparatory to or in preparation for carrying on another business on a larger scale.As losses are frequently encountered by startup businesses, it is recommended that a business plan, incorporating cash flow projections and assumptions, be prepared on a realistic basis.

    Because of the difficulty involved in determining whether an individual is carrying on a business or a hobby, and the sheer number of individuals making losses from these activities, parliament introduced Division 35 of ITAA 1997 (non-commercial loss rules) during 2000.

    Division 35 outlines that a loss made by an individual (including an individual in a general law partnership) from a business operation will not be deductible in the income year in which it arises unless the following conditions are satisfied;

    • An individual’s adjusted taxable income is less than $250,000 (after adding back reportable fringe benefits, super contributions, net investment losses and excess deductions from non-commercial business activities that are caught by Division 35), and;
    • The exception rule applies where the loss occurs from a primary production business or a professional arts business activity, and where the individual has other assessable income of less than $40,000 (excluding any capital gain).

    And, if the exception rule doesn’t apply, one of the following tests is satisfied:

    • There is at least $20,000 of assessable income during the relevant year from the business activity.
    • The business activity results in a tax profit during any three of the past five income years (including the current year).
    • At least $500,000 worth of land and buildings (excluding any private dwelling) are used on a continuing basis in carrying on the business activity in that year.
    • At least $100,000 of certain other assets (excluding cars, motorcycles) are used on a continuing basis in carrying on the business activity in that year.

    If one of the preceding four tests is not satisfied, you may apply to the ATO for the Commissioner to exercise his discretion.

    For the Commissioner to exercise his discretion favorably, it is important that the individual demonstrates that the business activity will, more than likely, satisfy one of the tests or produce a tax profit and outline the period within which a commercially viable business would do so. A business plan and cash flow forecast are necessary, as well as supporting evidence from an independent source. Appropriate independent sources include industry bodies or relevant professional associations, government agencies, or other taxpayers conducting successful comparable businesses.

    Any loss denied as a tax deduction will be deferred to future income years and offset against the assessable income from the “non-commercial” business activity.

    As a concluding point, once an individual’s activities move from being a hobby to carrying on business, the small business capital gains tax concessions potentially become available. This concession can exempt from tax some or all of a capital gain from the disposal of a capital asset that is used in the individual’s business operations.

    Given the complexity of these rules, we recommend that you discuss your specific circumstances with your Crowe Horwath tax adviser.




  • + YOUR BUSINESS & THE SIX FORCES CHANGING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

    We all know the global economy is changing at a rapid rate, and as business owners we need not only stay abreast of ..

    31 January 2018


    We all know the global economy is changing at a rapid rate, and as business owners we need not only stay abreast of changes but, be open to them. Drawing from key points made in a recent talk by David Lindberg Head of Commercial Banking, Westpac, I highlight in this article, six areas of the economy where a lot of the action is happening.

    1.SERVICES AND AGRICULTURE

    The industries driving the Australian economy over the coming 10-20 years will be Services and Agriculture.

    Services

    Services contribute about 75% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP*), employing about 85% of the Australian workforce. Services include such things as education and tourism, financial services, energy and mining-related services, environmental services and financial technology (Fintech).

    The services sector contributes more to total productivity growth in the economy than does the goods sector. How? While productivity grows more slowly in the services sector, as the services sector is so much larger than the goods sector, the services sector contributes more.

    An efficient services sector is critical to trade and economic growth.

    *(GDP– the total amount of goods and services we produce as a nation)

    Agriculture

    Australian farmers produce food for more than 80 million people per annum and with the emerging Middle Class in Asia, agriculture stands as one of Australia’s major exports.

    The value of Australia’s agricultural sector is tipped to peak at $63.8 billion this financial year. The total value of Australia’s farm exports is expected to reach a new record of $48.7 billion, $1 billion higher than in 2016. This growth was driven by significant increased crop production with record harvests enjoyed in every state in Australia.

    The future of economic success for Australia depends on these two industries.

     

    1. CHINA

    As the Chinese get richer at an astonishing rate their demand for our goods and services will grow too. We will therefore see a growing trend away from buying from China, to selling to China.

    Some interesting statistics:

    • China’s middle class is the biggest in the world and is growing at a much faster rate than America’s.
    • 500 million Chinese citizens will be moving from lower to middle class within the next decade.
    • There are already 109 million Chinese with wealth of between $50,000 and $500,000.
    • By 2020, the number of Chinese millionaires will soar 74% to 2.3 million.
    • new billionairewas created almost every week in China in the first quarter of 2015.

    The Chinese are consuming at an unprecedented rate as demonstrated by the following stats from the world’s biggest online shopping giant, Alibaba, owned by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma:

    • In 2016 Alibaba surpassed America’s Walmart in gross sales, totalling a whopping $257billion sales.
    • On their biggest annual global sale day in 2016, known as Singles Day, they recorded $17.8 billion in sales, up from $5.14b three years earlier.
    • On this day orders were coming in at 175,000 per second.

     

    ChAFTA

    The 2015 China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) increases the ease of doing business with China. This coupled with Australian innovation, an established services & agricultural sector and our proximity to China, places Australia ahead of nations such as the US, Canada and Euro Union, to get much of this export action.

    To read more:

    http://dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/chafta/fact-sheets/Pages/key-outcomes.aspx

     

    1. CHANGE in OUR DEMOGRAPHICS
    • In short, Australia will have more people but less workers.
    • By 2055, the population of Australia will be about 40 million.
    • Average lifespan will be 96 for women, 95 for men.
    • The ratio of working people (15 to 64 years) supporting those over 65 is shrinking. In 1974, the ratio was 7.4 people to every one non-working person, today it’s 4.5 and by 2055, a meagre 2.7.

    Therefore, we need to do more for less, and automation will be key. 57% of jobs will be automated by 2025, so we will be seeing a massive change in the work people do. Fields where social interaction is fundamental will be those in demand, also those in the creative landscape, such as Health and Education services.

     

    1. CHANGING FABRIC OF THE ECONOMY

    The relationship between big and small business is changing and should continue to do so. Small and Mid-Size business (SME) employ half the Australian workforce and generate 57% of GDP. This sector is growing at twice the rate of big business.

    We are seeing a growing trend of big business outsourcing services to small business. The reason for this is that most of the innovation and new ideas come from smaller organisations who are much more agile and nimble than their bigger counterparts. The new economy will rely on the relationship between big and small business, and all parties need to adjust to this new relationship.

     

    1. THE MILLENNIALS

    For business owners to attract and keep the best talent, they need to offer a workplace that is intrinsically fun. Research shows that the millennials (those born roughly between 1985 and 2004) have quite different drivers than those generations before them.

    This is what they are looking for:

    • Flexibility – they are not interested in the 9 to 5, and want the flexibility to choose when and where they work – day, night, week days or weekend, at the office or in a café.
    • Work must have a higher purpose & offer social advantage.
    • Work should be fun

    For the millennials, the notion of “work/life balance” does not resonate. It suggests that work is boring and “life” happens after the work is done. Merging the two is what concerns them.

     

    1. TECHNOLOGY

    Robotics is upon us and we will see more over the coming five years and beyond in all facets of society. Artificial Intelligence (A.I) will sweep across every business and is already being used. This will include the likes of driverless cars, medical advances and fraud prevention to name a few. Recent research found that 70 % of Americans couldn’t tell the difference between the voice on the phone between a real person and one driven by A.I.

    Experts and thought leaders are divided as to whether this will bring positive or negative changes to work and society at large, but for sure we need to be watching this space.

    These six drivers of change are upon us and bring challenges and opportunities alike for our business community. Embracing these changes and seeking out opportunity to benefit from these will be key to your success.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR       

    Marian Taggart-Holland is the director of Ecolease, an independent commercial broker, specialising in equipment finance to the Sign, Print, Display and Graphics Industry and member of the Visual Impact Suppliers Association.

    www.ecolease.com.au




  • + Kodak Adds Violet Ink, Expands Proofer Connectivity to Proofing Software

    Kodak announced upgrades to the Kodak Proofing Software, making it easier for printers to spend less time planning a..

    31 January 2018


    Kodak announced upgrades to the Kodak Proofing Software, making it easier for printers to spend less time planning and more time printing consistent colour results. New with the upgrade, Kodak Proofing Software allows you to proof spot colours with stunning accuracy with new support for violet ink proofers from the EPSON SC-P7000 and SC-P9000 family. The new upgrade also meets print buyer expectations by achieving standard targets based on ISO 12647, GRACoL, and SWOP with Certified Proofing for Colour Confirmation.

    While the Kodak Proofing Software gives you better management of colors, it also pairs perfectly with some of the impressive features already in the software including supporting custom media, industry leading color performance and scheduled calibration. This allows printers to calibrate after hours, meeting print buyer specifications and maintaining industry standards. The end result is to achieve top-of-the-line proofing right in the hands of the users to ensure a flawless finished product.

    “Kodak Proofing Software is a dependable, easy-to-use solution for inkjet proofing,” said Allan Brown, VP and general manager of Kodak’s Unified Workflow Solutions. “This offering reduces costs by eliminating extensive planning and allows for an overall increase in operations agility by delivering consistent, reliable results time after time. Kodak Proofing Software builds on top of the same best in class colour technology found in Kodak COLORFLOW Software and in the rest of Kodak’s PRINERGY Product Suite.”





  • + EFI Optitex Launches 3D Design Illustrator to Validate and Customize 3D Garments in Adobe Illustrator

    EFI Optitex®, the world’s leading provider of integrated 2D & 3D CAD/CAM apparel platform technology, ..

    31 January 2018


    EFI Optitex®, the world’s leading provider of integrated 2D & 3D CAD/CAM apparel platform technology, has launched the Optitex 3D Design Illustrator, a plug-in tool allowing designers the freedom to validate and customize 3D garments in Adobe® Illustrator®. The new 3D Design Illustrator was announced this week at 19th annual EFI Connect users’ conference in Las Vegas.

    Through working in the native design environment on a PC or a Mac, designers can visualize 3D garments, with accurate proportion and scaling, and customize the garment’s fabric, texture, print patterns and graphic placement without waiting for a printed sample.

    The plug-in works by importing 2D and 3D pattern files or building block libraries into Adobe Illustrator and activating a window with a 3D representation of the pattern side-by-side. Users can export the final file as a picture or 3D file, validate designs among teams, and send directly for digital or sublimation printing.

    3D adoption is already a necessity for nearly every successful fashion company, and in that space, it is important to onboard all teams from design to production,” said Guy Alroy, head of Textile product management, EFI Productivity Software. “Now, entire teams can enable 3D capabilities to streamline the whole design to print workflows, letting them focus on creativity, reduce physical prototypes, and get to market faster than before.”

    A video of the new plug-in software is available at: tinyurl.com/y8k3dsm9. For more information, visit www.efi.com/optitex.

    EFI also offers Fiery DesignPro textile design plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop on Mac or Windows computer platforms. Fiery DesignPro cost-effectively improves textile design speed and accuracy, lets designers experiment more confidently, and communicates color consistently from design to production.





  • + Xerox, EFI Lay Groundwork for Next Generation Printing

    Xerox (http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.xerox.com&esheet=51747756&ne..

    31 January 2018


    Xerox and Electronics For Imaging (EFI) today demonstrated a new Fiery digital front end (DFE) that will give print providers a powerful new tool to manage high-value jobs that require special embellishments and effects using dry inks including silver, gold and clear.

    Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends projects that digital print enhancement volume will grow at a 27 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020, providing print operations with new business that promises both growth and profit.

    “This new development by Xerox and EFI is a testament to the commitment by both suppliers to enrich their solutions with efficient production workflow, processing power and color management needed for the range of applications produced today,” said Ron Gilboa, group director, Keypoint Intelligence. “These tools are critical for print providers who are looking to grow their business and offer their clients differentiated solutions including color and the use of special embellishments in metallic gold and silver.”

    In February of last year, Xerox announced the sale of its FreeFlow Print Server (FFPS) DFE business to EFI, along with plans to work with EFI to market a single DFE to drive Xerox digital production presses. The new DFE combines unique features from the Xerox FFPS with the capabilities of the market leading EFI Fiery DFE.

    “This is an important step in our collaboration with EFI to offer our customers a single and more powerful DFE,” said Andrew Copley, president, Graphic Communications Solutions, Xerox. “Customers will benefit not only from greater production efficiencies and performance capabilities, but also from increased support in the field.”

    The new DFE delivers fast Raster Imaging Processor (RIP) speeds, seamless automation integration, and advanced workflow efficiency and productivity. Additional customer benefits include:

    • Access to EFI’s sales and technical field resources working side-by-side with their Xerox sales reps.
    • A standardized and simplified digital workflow. Fiery Command WorkStation provides a single, intuitive user interface across a customer’s entire print operation.
    • Customized workflows for metallic applications. The DFE optimizes processing speeds for single or multiple jobs with Fiery HyperRIP technology.
    • Color management tools along with gold, silver and clear dry ink capabilities that allow customers to create more metallic effects and tactile embellishments for higher-value applications.

    “Working with Xerox on the 2017 acquisition of FFPS technology marked a new level of cooperation in our longstanding partnership, and we are excited about the new technology that it has yielded,” said Toby Weiss, senior vice president and general manager, EFI Fiery. “The new technology demonstration at Connect will show customers the important ways digital print is expanding, with fully color managed metallic effects, stronger, better automation, superior options in late-stage editing, and much more.”

    The new DFE will be driving a production color press technology demonstration at EFI Connect in Xerox booth # 101. The booth will also display a Xerox AltaLink C8000 with the recently launched Xerox EX-c C8000 Print Server Powered by Fiery along with a workflow station featuring Xerox FreeFlow Core.




  • + Experienced Sales Person – Visual Solutions

    Visual Solutions is looking for an Experienced Sales Person to join our team. Visual Solutions Australia is o..

    31 January 2018


    Visual Solutions is looking for an Experienced Sales Person to join our team.  

    Visual Solutions Australia is one of Melbourne’s leading large format digital printing companies located in Moorabbin. We are looking for an experienced sales person within the digital print area to join our team. The successful candidate will be currently working within the digital print market and have excellent communication skills and technical print knowledge. We are looking for someone who has established relationships and can hit the ground running, however you will also be handed some house accounts to manage. You will need to be accustomed to cold calling and be a proven door opener.

    If you are motivated and enjoy working in a fun environment then this job could be for you. We are offering an excellent salary package Please send your resume by email to: sales@visualsolutions.com.au




  • + Fujifilm Acquires Xerox to Become $18 Billion Company

    After several weeks of speculation in the general business press about a possible coupling, today Xerox Corp. and Fu..

    31 January 2018


    After several weeks of speculation in the general business press about a possible coupling, today Xerox Corp. and Fujifilm Holdings announced a definitive agreement to combine Xerox and their longstanding Fuji Xerox joint venture, creating an $18 billion company. Fujifilm will own a controlling 50.1% of the combined company, marking the end of Xerox as an independent company dating back to its founding (The Haloid Photographic Co.) in Rochester, N.Y., in 1906.

    The combined company, which has been approved by both companies’ board of directors, will be named Fuji Xerox and will maintain dual headquarters in Norwalk, Conn., and in Tokyo, with a presence in more than 180 countries. The $6.1 billion acquisition will combine Xerox with the existing, 56-year joint venture (called Fuji Xerox) between the two companies that primarily serves the Asia-Pacific region, of which Fuji owned a majority 75% stake. According to an article in the Financial Times, the deal structure, which is expected to close in the second half of this year, is somewhat unusual in that it “will be carried out in three phases that will effectively allow Fujifilm to retain cash to carry out acquisitions. Using $6.1 billion in bank lending, Fuji Xerox will first buy back the 75% stake in the joint venture from Fujifilm. The Japanese group will then acquire 50.1% of the new shares of Xerox by selling its 75% stake, and Fuji Xerox will ultimately merge with Xerox.”

    Under the terms of the agreement, Xerox shareholders will receive a $2.5 billion special cash dividend, or approximately $9.80 per share, funded from the combined company’s balance sheet, and own 49.9% of Fuji Xerox at closing. The combined company will trade on the NYSE under Xerox’s existing ticker symbol, XRX, and the Xerox and Xerox Fujifilm brands will be retained in their respective markets. Upon close of the transaction, current Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson will serve as CEO of the new Fuji Xerox. Fujifilm Chairman and CEO Shigetaka Komori will serve as chairman of the combined company’s board of directors. The board will include 12 members, seven of whom will be appointed by the Fujifilm board. Five independent directors will be appointed from the Xerox board.

    Fujifilm Acquires Xerox: What Really Drove the Deal to Happen?

    This consolidation is being driven more by diminished revenue streams and changing market conditions in the office printing sector, more so than in the future outlook for the production printing space.

    How much the Fuji/Xerox coupling was also hastened by an activist shareholder group that had been calling for the ouster of Xerox’s “old guard” board and CEO Jacobson may never be fully known. As reported Jan. 22 in Printing Impressions, the first and third largest Xerox shareholders (representing more than 15% of outstanding shares) – Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, respectively – had announced a partnership to solicit proxies to elect four new individuals to the board of directors at the 2018 annual meeting of Xerox shareholders.

    Aside from making several demands, that press release also specifically addressed the rumors of a Fuji/Xerox merger and waged a tirade against Jacobson: “The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Xerox is in talks with Fujifilm regarding an array of potential transactions that may or may not include a change of control of Xerox. We are not predisposed to approve or disapprove of any such transaction, whether with Fuji or any other party. But if Xerox is indeed exploring a transaction with Fuji that may result in a change of control (which to our view would make sense since we, like many others, believe consolidation in this industry is inevitable), then we implore the ‘old guard’ directors – who have historically lacked the intestinal fortitude to challenge and demand accountability from Xerox management – to not do us all the tremendous disservice of allowing Jeff Jacobson to lead the negotiations. He is neither qualified nor capable of successfully running this company, let alone negotiating a major strategic transaction that will do more than save his own job.”

    In today’s announcement, Fuji and Xerox pointed out the benefits that they believe the transaction will provide:

    • Global leader with combined revenue of approximately $18 billion and nearly $120 billion total addressable opportunity.
    • Enhanced scale with presence in over 180 countries and covering key geographies including North America, Japan, Europe, Asia Pacific and China.
    • Combined leadership with a strong track record of operational excellence, transformation experience, customer relationships and industry expertise.
    • Improved revenue profile and growth trajectory by leveraging the combined expertise, competitive strengths and geographic reach of the two companies.
    • World-class innovation capabilities to define the future of innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions by bringing together two R&D and innovation leaders, along with Fujifilm’s extensive expertise. The new Fuji Xerox will be well-positioned to lead in growing areas such as high-speed inkjet, packaging, industrial print and workplace automation, as well as future development opportunities in artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and augmented reality.
    • Strengthened balance sheet and cash flow generation to provide flexibility to support strategic investments in growth and enable increasing capital returns.

    10,000 Layoffs Announced at Fuji Xerox Amid Outlook

    But, of course, one of the drivers to a consolidation transaction of this magnitude is promise of economies of scale, which results in the elimination of redundancies and, in reality, job layoffs. Just prior to today’s announcement, Fujifilm Holdings revealed it was eliminating 10,000 jobs within Fuji Xerox in conjunction with a lower operating income forecast for fiscal 2018, the bulk of which would likely be in the Asia-Pacific.

    According to a press release issued by the two parties, the combination “is expected to deliver at least $1.7 billion in total annual cost savings by 2022, with approximately $1.2 billion of the total cost savings expected to be achieved by 2020. The targeted cost savings represent approximately 10% of the total cost base of the new Fuji Xerox and will drive significant margin expansion over the next four years.

    “Of the total $1.7 billion cost savings, $1.25 billion is related to the synergies that will be achieved through the transaction. In addition, the combined company will benefit from a cost reduction program commencing immediately at the existing Fuji Xerox joint venture, which is targeted to generate approximately $450 million of cost savings on an annualized basis. These amounts are incremental to Xerox’s ongoing Strategic Transformation initiatives. The new company expects to incur approximately $1.4 billion in one-time integration and restructuring costs, mainly in the first three years.”

    Technology, R&D Advantages of Merger Include Inkjet

    From a synergistic standpoint, in today’s press release Fujifilm’s Komori extolled the technology and intellectual property advantages – including inkjet and Artificial Intelligence – that will result.

    “Fujifilm and Xerox have fostered an exceptional partnership through our existing Fuji Xerox joint venture, and this transaction is a strategic evolution of our alliance,” said Komori. “The Document Solutions business represents a significant part of Fujifilm’s portfolio, and the creation of the new Fuji Xerox allows us to more directly establish a leadership position in a fast-changing market. We believe Fujifilm’s track record of advancing technology in innovative imaging and information solutions – especially in inkjet, imaging, and AI areas – will be important components of the success of the new Fuji Xerox.”

    Xerox’s Jacobson was similarly upbeat: “The proposed combination has compelling industrial logic and will unlock significant growth and productivity opportunities for the combined company … The new Fuji Xerox will be better positioned to compete in today’s environment with truly global scale, increased presence in fast-growing markets, and innovation capabilities to effectively meet our customers’ rapidly-evolving demands. In addition, the combined company’s strong financial profile will enable investments that support continued market leadership, while also providing opportunities for increasing capital returns over time.”




  • + Roland DG Hosts Worldwide Competition for Service Engineers to Further Increase Customer Satisfaction Levels

    Roland DG Corporation, a leading manufacturer of wide format inkjet printers and 3D devices worldwide, today announc..

    31 January 2018


    Roland DG Corporation, a leading manufacturer of wide format inkjet printers and 3D devices worldwide, today announced its Global SE Awards 2018 competition to be held at its Hamamatsu headquarters from April 23 to 25, 2018 for service engineers (SEs) engaged in the repair and maintenance of Roland DG products.

    Following its beginning in 1981, Roland DG established a comprehensive customer services and support capability, now called Roland DG Care, to ensure that its products continue to perform well for many years, thereby increasing customers’ peace of mind and ensuring the smooth operation of their businesses. According to Mr. Takaaki Koshita, general manager of Roland DG Global Technical Services, the goal of the Global SE Awards competition is to recognise SE abilities both regionally and globally and motivate them to raise the standard of Roland DG Care even further. “By providing a series of regional competitions leading up to a final global contest, our goal is to increase the personal pride and motivation of the SEs, as well as to challenge the knowledge and technical skills they have cultivated in their daily work and to encourage them to share their best practices and individual know-how with their peers.”

    The Global SE Awards 2018 is the third global contest to be held, following the second event in 2015. For the upcoming competition, participants’ maintenance skills will be tested in two categories: inkjet printers, which represents Roland DG’s core product line, and 3D devices, which includes digital dental milling machines that are rapidly growing in popularity. Local competitions are being held throughout the Americas, European/Middle Eastern/African, and Asian regions from November of 2017 to February of 2018, with 778 Roland DG Care Certified Service Engineers* participating, making it the highest participation rate so far. SEs will be selected to represent each region based on their performance in the local competitions which, in addition to knowledge and skill level, also measured the quality of their daily activities and how proactive they were with sharing their know-how with peers. The 28 selected finalists will put their skills and knowledge of maintenance services to the test in both hands-on and written exams to determine the champion in each category.

    “SEs work closely in the field with customers around the world,” Koshita said, “and they are the key to achieving Roland DG’s long-held mission of maintaining and enhancing customer confidence by providing high-quality service and support. With business becoming increasingly competitive, customer service and support have never been so important, and we are working to create brand differentiation and provide peace of mind for our customers.”

    “For 2018,” Koshita continued, “we increased the product range covered in the upcoming competition because we want to provide the same excellent service to all our customers using our extensive product lineup. We developed an online platform that allows SEs around the world to regularly share their service and support knowledge as members of a global team. The Global SE Awards competition gives SEs selected from each region the opportunity to share their knowledge and know-how with one another. As the leading SEs in their respective regions, we hope that this will serve as a way to raise the level of service quality globally.”

    Global SE Awards 2018 Competition Overview

    Event dates: April 23 to 25, 2018
    Venue: Roland DG Corporation headquarters
    Schedule:
    Day 1: April 23
    Opening ceremony
    Mission 1 (written exam)
    Day 2: April 24
    Mission 2 (hands-on exam)
    Day 3: April 25
    Award ceremony




  • + Muller Martini Takes Over Perfect Binding, Bookline Business from Kolbus

    Muller Martini has announced that it has taken over the perfect binding and bookline business from Kolbus. This incl..

    31 January 2018


    Muller Martini has announced that it has taken over the perfect binding and bookline business from Kolbus. This includes the service and spare parts business for all of Kolbus’ bookbinding systems installed worldwide. Kolbus will set its focus on the packaging and casemaking business, parts manufacturing and the foundry business.

    “Structural change has changed the graphic arts industry in recent years and our market has become much smaller and versatile at once,” says Bruno Müller, CEO of Muller Martini. “Customers need innovations on a regular basis, which have to be financed with lower sales quantities. Above all, our customers benefit from the efficiency gains bringing together the bookbinding activities.”

    The changes in the market are directly affecting Muller Martini’s customers, which are faced with new business models like digitization. By combining the potentials for success like personnel, know-how, technology and infrastructure of the two companies, Muller Martini can provide the market with innovative solutions in the long term.

    “This secures the future of the softcover and hardcover business of both the customers and the two machine manufacturers –  and thus also jobs in the graphic arts industry,” Bruno Müller explains.

    Continued Production in Rahden

    The bookbinding business of Kolbus is transferred to the new business unit Müller Martini Buchbinde-Systeme GmbH, which will be integrated into the Muller Martini group with all dedicated employees as an independent factory with domicile in Rahden. Kolbus will remain under the direction of CEO Kai Büntemeyer.

    With 900 employees, Kolbus will set its focus on the packaging and casemaking business, parts manufacturing and the foundry business. Kai Büntemeyer is convinced that with this step, Kolbus will create good opportunities for a successful future.

    “In recent years, the packaging market was growing consistently. We see a good potential and will vigorously expand our current activities in this business. There are also very good perspectives in the segment of component manufacturing for sophisticated mechanical engineering companies including Müller Martini Buchbinde-Systeme GmbH and Kolbus Luxury Packaging.”

    Machine Portfolio and Know-how Remains

    The know-how of the Kolbus machine portfolio is taken over, backed up and further developed by Muller Martini. The approximately 250 Kolbus employees from the bookbinding department will be taken over by Muller Martini in Rahden at the same employment conditions. The staff in the packaging and casemaker segments will continue to work for Kolbus.




  • + UniNet unveils new compact transfer printer

    UniNet, an OEM of on-demand digital print technology, has launched its newest transfer printer at the Imprinted Spor..

    31 January 2018


    UniNet, an OEM of on-demand digital print technology, has launched its newest transfer printer at the Imprinted Sportswear Show, which took place January 19-21, in Long Beach, CA, USA

    The iColor 550 is a multi-purpose printing solution for transfer production of garments, labels, stationary, banners, hard surfaces, marketing customisation and more. The versatility of this new printer allows users to create heat transfer prints with white overprint, right side reading with white underprint, and regular CMYK prints without white. The iColor 550’s capabilities can be further enhanced using UniNet’s specialty toner upgrade kits which includes fluorescent, clear, security, and dye sublimation toners.

    Also being presented is the new iColor SmartCut software, which allows users to easily print and press oversized images onto apparel and hard surfaces. This ground-breaking application turns any iColor 500, 550 and 600 transfer printer into a tabloid ‘plus’ capable machine, allowing for the splitting and splicing of one graphic across two printed transfer sheets for pressing onto large items.





  • + Afinia Label announces new L301 Color Label Printer

    Afinia Label (http://afinialabel.com/) has released the L301 Color Label Printer: a compact, full-color inkjet print..

    31 January 2018


    Afinia Label has released the L301 Color Label Printer: a compact, full-color inkjet printer, capable of up to 4800 dpi photo-quality prints. This product expands Afinia Label’s existing line of industrial full-color label printers, and it is designed to address the needs of smaller organizations requiring professional looking labels in lower volumes.

    “Bringing professional label printing in-house with the L301 allows brand owners the flexibility they need to grow,” says Mike Atkins, Afinia Label’s national sales manager. “Instead of ordering high minimum quantities of labels from a third party, they can now print the labels they need, when they need them. The L301 also opens the door to seasonal product labeling and private labeling on behalf of their customers.”

    The L301 is based upon an HP thermal inkjet printing platform that prints labels up to 6” wide (or up to 8.5” wide, with an optional unwinder). Its small footprint, ease of use and quiet operation make it suitable for any desktop environment. It prints in vivid, optimized color (up to 4800 x 1200 dpi), creating a professional label that catches the eye of potential customers. It’s compatible with a wide range of media.

    The L301 is now available worldwide through Afinia Label resellers; along with the Memjet-powered L801 Label Printer, the DLF-1100 Digital Label Finisher, and the DLP-2000 Digital Label Press.





  • + Canon extends its inline finishing solutions with Plockmatic

    Canon Australia has entered a new relationship with Plockmatic Group to bring new solutions to its Australian Produc..

    31 January 2018


    Canon Australia has entered a new relationship with Plockmatic Group to bring new solutions to its Australian Production Print customers

    Canon Australia is broadening its range of inline finishing solutions for Production Print through a new reseller relationship with Plockmatic Group. Through this new collaboration, Canon Australia can now further support its Production Print customers with a wider range of high quality, fully-finished products.

    The relationship covers two Plockmatic devices – the BLM 50 and BLM 35 Production Booklet Makers – allowing Canon customers to now produce stapled or square-fold booklets of up to 200 and 140 pages, at rated engine speeds. Both models can handle coated, uncoated and textured stocks up to 350 gsm.

    The Plockmatic BLM50 200 page (50 sheet) booklet maker features numerous performance and durability enhancements, including a number of patented technologies. The Plockmatic BLM35 is a cost effective 140 page (35 sheet) booklet maker that is built on the same engineering platform as the 50 Sheet platform, but offered at a highly competitive price point.

    Plockmatic Binder converts a conventional saddle stitched booklet into a flat square spine booklet with a look similar to that of a perfect bound book. With a high level of automation, this printer delivers quality books with minimal effort needed from its operator. The system is engineered to support an average volume of up to 30,000 booklets/manuals per month. Plockmatic offers customers versatility and can be easily upgrade the BLM35 to BLM 50 anytime, onsite. The Manual Feed function allows output from another printer to be finished on the inline Plockmatic BLM50/35, even if the printer is running other jobs to the stacker.

    These Plockmatic solutions complement Canon’s existing range of own and third-party finishing options, which include perfect binding, punching, folding, ring binding, booklet making and three-knife trimming.

    Both Plockmatic booklet makers will be commercially available to Canon’s Australian customers from February 2018 and will initially be compatible with the Canon imagePRESS C10000VP,C8000VP, C850 and C750 presses.

    Gavin Gomes, Director, Canon Business Services, said this new business relationship is an example of Canon’s commitment to continue growing its Production Print capabilities.

    “Through our new relationship with Plockmatic, Canon Australia will be able to deliver new capabilities to our Production Print customers. Production Print continues to be a key focus for our Australian business.  We will continue to increase our ability to provide tailored solutions that will empower Production Print businesses to unleash their potential, through increased productivity and by helping them bring new products to their customers.”

    Anjana Maikap, Product Marketing Manager, Canon Business Services, said Plockmatic is a global leader in finishing solutions and their expertise will help us deliver the best solutions to fit with Canon’s imagePRESS range.

    “We were looking for booklet making solutions that would complement the high quality output of our imagePRESS range and deliver a superbly finished product that would work with a broad range of media. We also needed robust technology that would meet our customers’ needs for reliability, flexibility and productivity. Now our customers can produce beautiful square folded booklets to match the image quality delivered from the imagePRESS series”.




  • + Epson Brings Life to Fashion

    ..

    29 January 2018






  • + Sales Manager – Commercial Solutions and Transportation Safety Divisions

    Joining 3M New Zealand as Sales Supervisor/Sales Manager for the 3M Graphics, Cleaning and Workplace Safety and Tran..

    25 January 2018


    Joining 3M New Zealand as Sales Supervisor/Sales Manager for the 3M Graphics, Cleaning and Workplace Safety and Transportation Safety sales team, you will manage, train and motivate the team in driving sales growth. This is a critical role that will only suit a motivated, tenacious and successful professional with a passion for results. Within the role, you will be:

    • Developing sales plans with the team and ensuring they are executed to deliver or exceed results
    • Managing major channel partner and converter relationships
    • Build relationships with senior level influencers at brand owners, facilitating specification and project management
    • Developing new customers and increasing 3M profile in the market
    • Executing sales productivity and effectiveness initiatives

    The successful person will have:

    • previous people and sales management experience, or be able to demonstrate capability to step into a sales leadership role
    • proven ability to seek out and successfully close new business opportunities
    • great time management, planning skills and a high level of initiative
    • Tertiary qualifications in business will be highly regarded
    • Ability to travel nationally, and to Australia from time to timeDon’t miss your opportunity to make a key difference within a company known for innovation. These positions are not available often. Apply now!




  • + Epson Launch New SureColor F2100 DTG Printer

    Epson is launching a new direct to garment (DTG) printer, the Epson SureColor F2100, to replace the existing SC-F200..

    24 January 2018


    Epson is launching a new direct to garment (DTG) printer, the Epson SureColor F2100, to replace the existing SC-F2000 model with a number of enhancements and new features.

    Epson says the new printer has improved speed and reliability, lower targeted TCO (total cost of ownership) and the ability to create print designs using Epson’s Garment Creator software.

    The SC-F2100 is being aimed at anyone who wants to add direct-to-garment printing to their services, including production t-shirt printers, online t-shirt retailers, high and low-volume print companies, as well as corporates who want to produce their own branded workwear or promotional items.

    The company says the printer is being released internationally from March. List price in Australia is not yet known but will likely be less than $30,000.

    The SC-F2100 is said to offer speedier results than its predecessor, with additional fast print modes and improved ink circulation for quicker start-up, and incorporate improved screening for smoother reproduction of images and a wider gamut. Epson says the SC-F2100 also has an auto-maintenance mode with a separate cleaning cartridge to reduce scheduled maintenance, as well as a dust catcher to prevent fluff and dust on the printhead. The company says it comes with an optional fabric platen grip pad and platen grip tool to make garment placement easier.

    Epson says its first direct-to-garment printer was a success, so following it up was always going to be a challenge. With the SC-F2100 it says it has managed to improve in every area – claiming faster, higher quality and more versatile, with software that makes it easy to create designs.

    The company says the printer is capable of making high-quality full colour prints on various items including t-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts and tote bags.

    The company says the new DTG printer provides a complete Epson solution including printer, printhead, ink, software and warranty, meaning the user can be assured that all parts have been designed and extensively tested to work optimally together.

    Along with the printer, Epson is offering its Garment Creator utility, software allows users to add text and multiple images, create user presets for image adjustment, and provides a hot folder and CMYK image support.





  • + SAi launches Flexi-Powered Traffic signage software in collaboration with 3M

    SA International (SAi), the leading provider of software solutions for the professional signmaking, wide-format digi..

    18 January 2018


    SA International (SAi), the leading provider of software solutions for the professional signmaking, wide-format digital printing and CAD/CAM for CNC machining industries, in collaboration with technology-giant, 3M has launched FlexiPRINT Authorized 3M Traffic Edition, a design-to-output traffic signage software, powered by SAi’s acclaimed Flexi software.

    The new solution is compatible with HP 300 and 500 Series Printers and combines Flexi’s feature-rich capabilities with six ASTM traffic signage colors**. Enabling the output of signage that complies with rigorous global regulations, FlexiPRINT Authorized 3M Traffic Edition allows print businesses to increase revenues and enhance their competitive edge by adding traffic compliant signage to their application offering.

    “Traffic signage must comply with stringent global color requirements, which can make production of these types of applications a daunting task,” says Steve Ball, Director of Strategic Business Development at SAi. “With pre-set 3M Traffic spot colors, FlexiPRINT Authorized 3M Traffic Edition enables users to meet these specifications. Additionally, the comprehensive yet easy-to-use solution simplifies the overall production process by eliminating the guess-work and time-consuming bottleneck of manually programming CMYK into third-party software. This allows users to improve workflow efficiencies and accelerate their time-to-market.”

    Time-saving and cost-reduction capabilities
    FlexiPRINT Authorized 3M Traffic Edition guarantees traffic color output on selected 3M substrates*** and HP Latex large format printers. With the ability to automate common job preparation processes, users can streamline production operations to enhance their overall workflow.

    The software also includes Interactive Tiling and Automated and Manual Nesting, which enables businesses to reduce costs by optimizing material usage and minimizing waste. Other capabilities include the option to simultaneously drive two wide-format printers, ensuring maximum throughput.

    With a minimal investment required compared to competing software, FlexiPRINT Authorized 3M Traffic Edition makes traffic signage accessible to all print business regardless of their size.

    Available now, FlexiPRINT Authorized 3M Traffic Edition installs on Windows Versions 7, 8 and 10 and can be purchased from SAi resellers worldwide.





  • + EFI launches Fiery textile bundle to deliver superior textile printing workflows

    Businesses looking to grow with digital industrial textile production for apparel and décor can advance their..

    18 January 2018


    Businesses looking to grow with digital industrial textile production for apparel and décor can advance their operations with the new EFI Fiery Textile Bundle – a set of design and production workflow innovations from Electronics For Imaging, Inc.

    The bundle – used with EFI Reggiani digital inkjet printers – includes new Fiery DesignPro Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop plug-ins to create professional textile designs efficiently, and the newest Fiery proServer digital front end (DFE) for high quality textile production.

    With the launch of Fiery DesignPro, EFI provides the ability to accurately match colours to the printed result, share colour palettes across the design team in real time, design professional repeat patterns and create multiple colourways from one design. The plug-ins work as part of designers’ familiar environment within Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, resulting in reduced learning curves and shorter design time.

    The bundle also includes the new version 6.5 of the EFI Fiery proServer DFE, an advanced offering for wide- and superwide-format inkjet printers that brings superior EFI Fiery performance and colour technology to the EFI Reggiani family of industrial textile printers. Used by major textile brands for sampling, Fiery proServer provides colour consistency in the production workflow with colour profiles that can be used across the design and production process.

    “The Fiery Textile Bundle brings valuable new tools to further automate and streamline the design and prep process for EFI Reggiani customers looking to stay on the leading edge of innovation,” said EFI Reggiani Vice President and General Manager Adele Genoni. “Now, with this bundle, including the newest Fiery proServer, Reggiani customers get the proven, high-end advantages Fiery technology offers so they can be more efficient, more productive and more profitable.”

    Quality, productivity and usability

    Version 6.5 of the Fiery proServer includes textile-specific capabilities such as support for multiple ink types and colour technology to ensure the highest print quality with saturated black, fine details and smooth gradients. Superior halftoning technology keeps pastels and light tones clean, and reduces graininess in highlights and large solid areas. The new version supports digital production operations in both direct-to-textile and transfer printing, plus it provides the production tools to handle step and repeat, changes in fabric dimensions during production, and brand colour accuracy.

    The Fiery Textile Bundle was introduced at the recent ShanghaiTex tradeshow in China. The new products are part of a comprehensive EFI ecosystem that includes EFI Optitex 2D/3D design software, and EFI Reggiani digital printers such as the new Reggiani VOGUE direct-to-textile printer, which also made its debut at ShanghaiTex.





  • + Graphic Art Mart Welcome New Queensland Account Manager

    The team at Graphic Art Mart would like to welcome Jarrod Whyte who joined our Queensland location as an Account Man..

    18 January 2018


    The team at Graphic Art Mart would like to welcome Jarrod Whyte who joined our Queensland location as an Account Manager servicing the Gold Coast and Northern NSW territories.

    Jarrod brings with him 6 years’ experience in the print and signage industry previously working with MMT Print, a wholesale supplier to advertising agencies, sign companies and print brokers, where he started as an Account Manager and worked his way up to become National Sales Manager.

    Jarrod looks forward to bringing his skills and knowledge to Graphic Art Mart!





  • + Afinia Label launches new digital colour label printer

    Afinia Label, (http://afinialabel.com/) a manufacturer and distributor of industrial color label printing and finish..

    18 January 2018


    Afinia Label, a manufacturer and distributor of industrial color label printing and finishing equipment, has released the L901 digital color label printer, powered by the Sirius print engine from Memjet.

    The L901 is the newest printer to join Afinia Label’s broad family of label printing and finishing solutions. The L901 gives companies the ability to run a full-color digital label printer inline with a finishing or application system without complications related to mid-job printhead maintenance. This industrial digital label printer can produce full-color prints with excellent image quality at speeds of up to 12″ per second. Photo-quality images and exceptionally-crisp text and bar codes are printed at up to 1600 x 1600 dpi via Memjet’s Sirius print engine. Five high-capacity 250mL ink cartridges (CYMKK) offer a low ink cost per label.

    “The Afinia Label L901’s redesigned printhead servicing and cleaning station allows this printer to be run inline with finishing equipment, label applicators, label dispensers and unwind/rewindunits,” says Mike Atkins, national sales manager for Afinia Label. “This new design eliminates the need to cut the web in order to clean or cap the printhead, making it suitable for in-plant integration with other machines. The L901 gives users the ability to print and apply labels in full color, with variable data, on demand. This, combined with full color, photo-quality resolution, high print speed, and low cost of operation, make the L901 the perfect color label printer for medium- to high-volume labeling applications.”

    For print houses, the L901 helps offload smaller jobs and proofing, eliminating the need to tie up large flexo or digital presses for those tasks. Additionally, the L901’s user interface was designed to be intuitive and easy to use, so there is no need for a specialized technician.“

    Many companies would like the ability to automatically print and apply labels on the production line,” says Atkins.“Some achieve this now with single-color thermal label printers, but they are limited to simple text or bar codes. The L901 offers a new and better way to print and apply full-color labels on demand. This could eliminate the need to purchase pre-printed labels, which greatly improves productivity while driving down packaging costs.”





  • + Morgana unveils new PUR binder

    Morgana has launched a new PUR binder, the DigiBook 300 XL Pro, which adds landscape A3 capabilities to the range. M..

    18 January 2018


    Morgana has launched a new PUR binder, the DigiBook 300 XL Pro, which adds landscape A3 capabilities to the range. Morgana equipment is sold through Print & Pack in Australia.

    Morgana says the DigiBook 300 XL Pro is suited to traditional and digital printers who require short runs of PUR perfect bound books to a professional standard. It only requires single phase power, rather than three phase.

    The DigiBook 300 XL Pro binder has an increased input cover size of 450×1,000mm, compared with the 350x700mm maximum format of its predecessor, the DigiBook 300. It can now produce landscape A3 jobs, and produce up to 300 books per hour.

    Ray Hillhouse, vice president offline business, Morgana, “We were getting requests for larger books in some markets. For example, in Asia where the photobook market is huge, they were pushing for a larger size.

    “Perhaps the most significant change is the book format. Several machines of the previous specification were sold with special extended cover kits to allow for the production of books larger than A4 size. We also had a number of requests for landscape A3 or 11x17in finished size books.”

    “These machines are equipped with a patented closed gluing system where the spine and side gluing is applied by a slot applicator for the utmost binding quality and accuracy.

    “It is easy to use, even by non-specialised personnel, via a touch screen panel with icon graphics that allow the programming of all precision operations in just a few seconds, including startup and shutdown.

    “There are a thousand alphanumeric memories available, which enable repeat jobs to be saved for later recall, thus providing totally automatic setup in a few seconds.”

    “The DigiBook 300 XL Pro binding machine uses a new and innovative system which is covered by no less than seven international patents,” says the company.

    Along with the base machine, the 300XLPro is available with two additional options – a gauze station for the production of book blocks ready for case binding, and a 78-litre capacity paper chip extractor that allows for longer, uninterrupted runs.

    According to Hillhouse PUR provides a stronger bind than hotmelt glues, can be used on a wider range of substrates and is more resistant to the effects of temperature and humidity.