SAi has announced the introduction of Flexi 19, a more powerful and feature-rich update of its flagship signmaking software, engineered to meet the demanding design to production challenges of sign & display and large format print providers.
Central to the super-charged Flexi 19 is a faster and more high-performance 64-bit RIP engine. Thanks to an increase in speed of more than 30 per cent, the new solution delivers significantly more thrust to greatly improve the production capabilities for sign & display and large format print businesses. Created as an all-in-one solution for design, print, print-and-cut and direct-to-vinyl production workflow, Flexi 19 also comprises a host of invaluable, easy-to-use features and tools – some of which will be available free-of-charge to SAi subscription-based customers. These include more than a dozen brand new additions, each geared towards improving the design, production and business aspects of users’ operations.
Among the convenient new tools introduced to ensure a more efficient and hassle-free design workflow, is Find my Font. This lets users open different photo files – including Bitmaps – before automatically detecting the font or the best match of that used in the file. Another new addition is a PANTONE Fine-Tune Spot Color Matching Tool. Particularly useful for sign & display companies that regularly use Pantone books, this tool allows users to measure charts and make manual adjustments to achieve precise colour matching from ICC profiles – not only saving time, but also ensuring color accuracy.
Within Flexi 19’s suite of production tools is a newly-introduced Cut by Layers or Colors tool, which allows users to expand their ability to cut intricate designs based on the layer. This builds on Flexi’s long-standing use of colors to distinguish between the different vinyls to be cut. For added convenience, SAi has also enabled layers for those users that work with other software, but who can then take the job into Flexi. In addition, Flexi 19 includes a handy printed Ruler along artwork to let operators know where they left off.
Flexi 19 also comprises a raft of business-enhancing tools, including five completely new additions. Among them, Pulse, delivers ‘data in a dashboard’. This allows sign and display users to track production and media usage of projects in progress via graphs and pie charts. In addition, Sidekick lets users create quotes, manage customer accounts, and ultimately implement a CRM workflow so jobs can quickly and effortlessly be exported into the invoicing process.
Other highlight tools include:
• Improved Spot Color Mapping – a particularly useful feature that empowers users to rapidly and accurately map spot/corporate colors in the design file to exact output values. This ensures the printer matches the desired output colour for each new job. Using Custom Spot Color Mapping enables sign and large format print providers to easily build their own custom library of spot colours, ensuring such colours are precisely replicated every time they are printed.
• An enhanced Profile Wizard – designed to make it easier when setting ink limits and alleviating the invariably complicated process of splitting ink. The automated Profile Wizard lets users obtain such information from measuring charts, taking away the manual guess work required when creating profiles visually.
‘As the largest ever upgrade to our all-in-one signmaking solution, Flexi 19 packs an extremely hard punch in catering for the varied and sometimes
The German Federal Cartel Office has announced its decision to block the planned takeover of the MBO Group by Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg). Due to this decision, the takeover will not go ahead. ‘We take note of the decision with regret and moving on, even though we see the future market position of the combined company’s differently,’ commented Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer. The two companies remain convinced that integrating the offerings of MBO would have given customers added benefits in terms of smooth industrial processes in the digital future. Following the ruling, both companies will continue to run their businesses separately and independently as before.
Heidelberg publicly announced its intention to take over the MBO Group and concluded an agreement with the owning family in October 2018. This agreement was then submitted to the Federal Cartel Office for approval and had been under review since that time. Even though the takeover of the MBO Group is not going ahead, Heidelberg will continue to pursue its strategy of further developing its postpress portfolio in the direction of industrial-scale postpress operations. This includes the extremely successful positioning of the Stahlfolder TH / KH series folding machines, especially the patented high-performance P-class. Heidelberg is also investing in a new way of improving transparency in postpress production control for all products.
In parallel to this, the company is systematically aligning new business models with the growth segments of digital and packaging and tapping into new customer groups for its entire product range. This applies in particular to the segments of digital postpress and postpress for folding cartons and the associated inserts and outserts used in the pharmaceutical sector. It is also underlined by the company’s collaboration with the Chinese postpress specialist Masterwork Group, which was expanded with a capital measure in March and is designed to open up further potential on the growing packaging market.
The market for glass bottles is estimated to continually thrive over the next few years. This especially holds true for the beer market but also for other categories, such as Water, Juices and Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSD). To keep abreast of this development and adapt to the ever more rapidly changing market and product trends, manufacturers expect new solutions, which offer high production flexibility, while at the same time guaranteeing maximum quality for their premium products. These needs can be met with one innovative and flexible solution – Sidel’s EvoFILL Glass.
CSD represent an important drink category, showing positive trajectories globally, with USA, Mexico and China being the top countries per billion units. Players active in this segment are now selling value to consumers, rather than volume, by proposing smaller sizes, new packs and therefore contributing to the proliferation of SKUs. Beer on the other hand remains the largest category within the alcoholic beverage segment, representing more than 75 per cent of the volume of alcoholic beverages produced globally. Most of the breweries still prefer to use glass bottles, with more than 58 per cent of the global production done in glass, whilst also increasingly tending to the diversification of packaging. The glass bottle, with its high premium look and feel, therefore needs a filling that can ensure that the quality of the product inside matches the quality of the packaging on the outside.
‘EvoFILL Glass marks the latest milestone in Sidel’s filling portfolio. Product quality and an advanced level of versatility are more and more driving the development of our innovations. Our new solution is flexible, hygienic and sustainable, helping manufacturers to get ready for the upcoming challenges in premium drinks production,’ said Stefano Baini, Product Manager Filling at Sidel.
EvoFILL Glass especially stands out with a number of features which guarantee highest performance in the bottling process. First, the filling level is controlled by level probes, ensuring very high accuracy and flexibility: this is made possible by managing a wide range of filling set points without any adjustment or replacement of parts. In addition, by using swirling in the product deflection into the bottle, low foaming is secured, therefore contributing to production efficiency.
Furthermore, EvoFILL Glass has been engineered according to top hygienic standards. The new design includes the ‘no base’ architecture, the new drive system with servomotors, and – especially – its external beverage tank and integrated small product chamber. Overall, its features ensure the easiest operations during production and maintenance, while helping manufacturers deliver the highest quality products to their consumers.
The EvoFILL Glass especially supports brewers by managing to hold the dissolved oxygen pick-up down to 10 ppb and by processing a wide range of filling levels without the need for probe adjustments for enhanced uptime and top product quality. Additionally, with 48 to 192 valves on the filling carousel, manufacturers are able to handle a wide range of speeds – from 25 000 to over 80 000 bottles per hour– and bottle sizes from 200ml up to 1L. Fast changeover time for different bottle diameters is ensured by the re-designed handling parts, which are now lighter and smaller. This results in changeover time shorter than 30 minutes with one operator. Also, the bottle height changeovers are fully automatic for maximum productivity. A 98.5 per cent efficiency and possibility to handle a broad spectrum of drink types and filling temperatures are only some proof points of the excellent productivity that EvoFILL Glass delivers.
The ultra-clean crowner manufactured by Sidel, with its open design and off-set crowning ring, adds further performance to the bottling process with no internal lubrication needed. The stainless-steel construction with its dedicated nozzles for the washing of the crimping area underlines the high focus on optimal hygiene and product safety. The solution features an upgraded washing system with three washing areas for maximum safety in case of bottle burst.
Sidel EvoFILL Glass is perfectly complemented by the Gebo OptiFEED crown feeder, delivering quality and compliant crowns, in a compact space. This is achieved via its integrated vision device, allowing unsuitable crowns to be spotted and seamlessly ejected, without stopping the flow. Whilst developing the OptiFeed solution, sustainability was high on the agenda of the design team. As a result, the solution removes the need for air and thereby eliminates the risk of contamination that can sometimes occur during usage. Instead, mechanical discharge moves the crowns, keeping electrical power consumption to under 1kW. This creates a smooth handling process and improves hygiene while reducing the environmental impact.
Kornit Digital has announced that Chris Govier has been named Managing Director at Kornit Digital Europe GmbH. Govier is a proven leader who brings broad experience of supporting customers with industrial digital transformation, a proven record of driving growth, and solid experience building and managing world class teams. In his new role, Govier will oversee Kornit Digital’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and will be instrumental in scaling up Kornit’s business.
Govier previously served in sales and general management roles at Xerox Corporation, and holds a BA from the University of Wellington, New Zealand. Commenting on the appointment, Gilad Yron, Kornit Digital’s Executive Vice President of Global Business, said, ‘I welcome Chris on board as the new Managing Director of Kornit Digital Europe. He brings with him solid experience in the analog-digital transition in industrial print and deep regional understanding. Europe has traditionally been a strong performer for Kornit, and Chris’ expertise will help us grow the organization to the next level.’
‘This is an incredibly exciting time to join Kornit Digital – their technology, coupled with a passion and drive will significantly disrupt the textile printing industry,’ said Chris Govier. ‘EMEA represents a huge opportunity and I look forward to building on the fantastic success achieved so far.’
Xeikon, a subsidiary of Flint Group and market leader in digital colour printing technology for the graphic arts printing industry, launched ‘The Power of Dry Toner’ campaign during Xeikon Café North America. To coincide with the three day conference and exhibition, Xeikon announced the appointment of Monika Olbricht as Global Sales Director for Graphic Arts. Olbricht will take the global lead in shaping this important market and be instrumental in the roll-out of the ‘power of dry toner’ campaign.
Benoit Chatelard, Xeikon’s CEO said, ‘We are excited to show how dry toner can complement high speed inkjet solutions in the production environment offering the broadest array of high quality, high value and high coverage applications. Xeikon Café North America is a multi-vendor educational & networking event for brand owners, direct mail companies and commercial, label and packaging printers. Visitors will have the opportunity to attend a variety of panel sessions, keynotes and presentations as well as application and technology demonstrations. Visitors can also meet and network with pre-eminent industry suppliers and watch daily live production of creative label and packaging applications.’
Xeikon continues to work on new technology developments. By consistently improving the capabilities and widening the range of applications on Xeikon’s duplex dry toner platforms for graphic arts and commercial print Xeikon is supporting companies in their drive to improve productivity and add value to their business. Monika Olbricht is delighted to take up her new role. She explained, ‘With over five years experience in Graphic Arts sales for Xeikon I can see the broader picture and the exceptional possibilities offered by Xeikon’s innovative technology. For some time there was a gap in the provision of high quality print for a diversity of high value applications. This caused a zone of disruption in the commercial print market with no technological answer. Xeikon set out to develop solutions to exactly answer the needs of this sweetspot within the printing marketplace – enter the “power of dry toner” campaign.’
Chatelard concluded, ‘We are committed to helping our customers successfully grow their business. Dry toner technology is the most sustainable digital printing technology. It is complimentary to high speed inkjet and can produce high quality results on all types and weights of stocks.’
Fleet wrapping projects and affordable vehicle customisation have received a welcome boost with the launch of a new Mactac ColourWrap Series of cast films. The new Mactac ColourWrap materials, in 50 different colours, were recently under the spotlight.
The Mactac brand now offers a cast wrapping film giving the flexibility and ease of use demanded by car wraps. Oliver Guenther, senior director, Marketing and Channel Strategy, said that the range offers access to materials that are not only affordable but which also apply easily and offer very good conformability properties for 3D challenging projects: ‘These materials are meeting a crucial need, providing installers with the performance needed when faced with demanding curves and deep recesses. A low tack, microstructured adhesive also means that installation is straightforward, with bubble-free results.’
The Mactac ColourWrap Series offers 50 different colours in cast quality, including gloss, gloss metallic, matt, and matt metallic finishes. Installers get the 3D performance and film choices needed to turn heads.
Oliver Guenther said that the Mactac ColourWrap Series broadens the options available for wrapping, ‘The performance offered by these films creates benefits for installers and fleet owners alike. They offer a great solution not only for vehicle personalisation projects, but also for boat wraps above the waterline. And last but not least, the film durability is up to 8 years.’
In addition to details of the Koenig and Bauer group’s good business performance in 2018, in which it achieved the highest EBIT in its 201-year history, the highlights of the annual general meeting held at the Vogel Convention Center (VCC) in Würzburg touched on numerous innovations, the Koenig & Bauer 4.0 digitisation concept and the group’s business targets.
On the strength of the good order and project situation ensuring full capacity utilisation across the entire group as well as the further progress made in the group projects targeted at service business and cutting costs, the management board is confident to achieve organic growth of around 4 per cent in revenue and an EBIT margin of around 6 per cent in 2019 in the group. This factors in the margin impact of the growth offensive 2023 to which management is attaching high priority. With all initiatives and projects, the management board is aiming to increase group revenue to around €1.5bn with an EBIT margin of between 7 per cent and 10 per cent until 2023.
CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann said, ‘The entry into the market for folder gluers through the acquisition of Duran and the joint venture with inkjet pioneer Durst for digital folding carton and corrugated printing are key strategic milestones. Following the signing of the agreement on 10 April, we received anti-trust clearance at the beginning of May for the commencement of business by the new joint venture Koenig & Bauer Durst.
We are convinced that the joint venture will benefit from both companies’ spirit and that something quite unique will arise. With the acquisition of Swedish company All-Print Holding by our subsidiary Koenig & Bauer Coding, we are strengthening our presence in the marking and coding market in Scandinavia and substantially expanding our market position in tertiary packaging. The increased orders in packaging printing, which is seeing structural growth and is less cyclical in nature, are particularly gratifying. Driven by large orders in security printing, we were able to maintain our international market leadership. Our mature RotaJET digital printing platform offers encouraging revenue and earnings potential in decor and flexible packaging printing.’
Reflecting the group’s good earnings situation, a dividend of €1 per share was proposed. The shareholders accepted this proposal with a large majority. The dividend is based on Koenig & Bauer AG’s retained profit of €16.5m. Said CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann, ‘With a distribution rate of 25.9% of group net profit, we want our shareholders to participate in our success and we continue our dividend policy with a figure which is nearer to the top end of our target corridor of 15 to 35 per cent.’
Alongside the discharge of duties with regard to the members of the management and supervisory board, shareholders elected KPMG Bayerische Treuhandgesellschaft in Nuremberg as public auditors and group auditors in 2019. In addition, they elected Dagmar Rehm, Professor Raimund Klinkner and Dr Johannes Liechtenstein to the supervisory board. As well as this, the proposed amendments to the articles of association providing for the inclusion of an age limit for the members of the management board and the supervisory board and for a new version of the supervisory board compensation were adopted. The shareholders approved the 2023 integrity initiative and the related indemnification.
The if Design Award Jury stated, ‚Complex and iconic at the same time‘ –when praising the VariJET 106 digital press from Koenig & Bauer. They were especially convinced by the modern design language and clear colour contrasts. Accordingly, Koenig & Bauer was able to take home a ‚Gold Winner‘ trophy in the category ‚Product‘ after the grand award ceremony in Munich on 15 March.
A jury of 67 international experts evaluated 6400 entries from 50 countries before selecting the most innovative design developments in seven categories. One of the chosen prizewinners was the brand new VariJET 106 digital printing press from Koenig & Bauer. It is on course to be made available to the first interested customers in 2020, but is already causing quite a stir: In its award statement, the jury commended the clear structures in the outward appearance of the VariJET, which follows the new product design recently introduced by Koenig & Bauer. The contrasting corporate colours grey and blue, with individual illuminated elements as highlights, contribute to what was called ‚a classy approach‘.
On the technical side, the press combines the advantages of the inkjet technology with those of a classic offset process. ‚With our modern press design, we are setting not only technical, but also visual standards,‘ said Dagmar Ringel, head of corporate communication and marketing at Koenig & Bauer. The iF Design Award strengthens us in our conviction that we are on the right track.‘ For 65 years now, the iF Design Award has served as an internationally recognised label for outstanding design and is one of the world’s most important design awards. Each year, top design achievements are honoured in seven disciplines – product, packaging, communication and service design, architecture, interior architecture and professional concept. The awards are organised by the iF International Forum Design GmbH in Hannover, the oldest independent design institution in the world. This year’s iF Design Award Night was held at BMW Welt in Munich on 15 March.
The creator of the CreaseStream range of digital finishing solutions is putting out a challenge to global digital print solution manufacturers in the form of a free trial of his new product, the Card Creaser Deluxe.
Graham Harris wants to find new dealers and is willing to take away any risks and costs of organisations who might be interested to Test Drive his new product.
The Card Creaser Deluxe, according to Harris, outputs around 6 times faster than any other manual creasing solution in the world market and even reaches output speeds that match many automated solutions. And the real benefit is that it is only priced at around the £1000 mark. The UK print innovator, who currently holds over 80 patents for his technology is convinced that the Card Creaser Deluxe will serve as a great creasing solution alternative for those who are faced with spending several thousands of pounds for a solution they won’t make full use of.
Harris said, ‘My offer to digital print manufacturers and dealers who don’t have good entry level creasing options to offer their own customers, is to test drive our Card Creaser for free, if it doesn’t work we will get it shipped back to us, it is as simple as that.’
Graham Harris can be reached on +44 (0)1455 5544 91 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org The Card Creaser can e seen in action at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFgT2i54kqc&feature=youtu.be
Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co., Ltd., the parent company of the Toyo Ink Group of Japan, has announced plans to open a new sales subsidiary in Casablanca, Morocco, in preparation for a full-scale business launch into the African continent. Eyeing the future economic progress of Africa, the company will set up its very first office on the continent, Toyo Ink North Africa S.A.R.L., for the medium- to long-term timeframe, with paid-in capital of E2.4 million.
‘Following China and India, the African continent is believed to be one of the future growth engines of the global economy,’ said Katsumi Kitagawa, Group CEO of Toyo Ink Group. ‘Up until now, the Toyo Ink Group had been developing its business in the region by way of our existing operating bases. These efforts are now beginning to pay off as sales in the region have been steadily rising. The decision to establish an office in Morocco is a result of this early success and our need to focus on branding efforts, as we continue to solidify our position as a global single-source provider of integrated printing and packaging solutions.’
Toyo Ink North Africa will be engaged in developing business opportunities for a wide range of Group products such as commercial printing inks, liquid (flexo and gravure) inks and adhesives for food packaging, and can coatings. It will market existing Group products while functioning as a market research hub to help promote products customised to the unique needs of local markets. Moreover, the new subsidiary will not only focus on expanding sales and the development of ink products, but also work to increase sales of the Group’s growing chemical businesses. Through its business activities, Toyo Ink North Africa aims to form a solid foundation on which to make a positive contribution to the growth and development of African nations over the long term, and to ultimately realise the Group vision of creating a vibrant world in which all living beings and the environment can coexist harmoniously.