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Features

Anapurna M2050

The Agfa Anapurna M2050Nessan Cleary kicks off the first of a series of independent tests by looking at Agfa’s most popular wide-format printer in the UK.

The Anapurna M2050, which is Agfa's most popular model in the UK, is targeted at the entry level to mid range user, where its flexibility is suitable for a broad range of jobs.

IR talks to...Anthony Rider, Director of Rocket

Excuse the pun, but Watford- based Rocket is blasting off. Having secured contracts that increased its turnover by 25% in 2013 it is on an upwards trajectory, hiring new staff, investing in new kit and expanding its factory space to secure what it anticipates being double digit growth again in 2014. Image Reports Editor, Lesley Simpson, met with former Service Graphics and McKenzie Clark man Antony Rider, now Rocket’s commercial director, to discuss the company’s rise and vision for the future. Here’s what transpired.

 

Marketing make-ready

Tony Hodgson, director of PODi for Europe, provides a heads-up on marketing initiatives you should note for 2014.

In case you didn’t already know, PODi is a global, not-for-profit organisation whose goal it is to increase demand for marketing services and applications driven by digital printing. So here, director of European operations, Tony Hodgson, uses its detailed data bank and knowledge gathering expertise to provide you with New Year notes on the trends and developments you should heed.

The university challenge

As we kick off a new series of ‘Turning on the Talent’ articles the starter question goes to the Simpson Group. How are they doing just that?

To paraphrase the famous quote from the film ‘Field of Dreams’: If you build it, they will come. The Simpson Group can prove it. By building strong relationships with local educational establishments it is pulling in people that otherwise would never have thought of a career with a print company. Sri Kataram and Adam Riddick are proof positive. Both are IT/software development specialists who have been directed towards Simpsons by Teesside University, where the group’s ever strengthening relationship with computing sciences lecturer Barry Hebbron in particular is really paying off.

Hands on: GMG Production Suite

ProductionSuite splits the prepress functions, handled in the Editor, from the output Rip.In theory GMG ProductionSuite separates the prepress from the ripping for greater production efficiency, so what’s it like in practice? Nessan Cleary asked users.

We've long been advocates of using workflow programs to organise production departments more efficiently, so it seemed like a good idea to look at one such system – GMG's ProductionSuite – in more detail. This should separate prepress functions from the output in order to squeeze the maximum efficiency from both halves of a job. It can oversee multiple printers so that jobs can be routed to the most appropriate device, even late in the production process. It can take care of difficult issues such as colour management and finishing marks and offer centralised management of every job in production.

Out with the old, in with the new

What's in store for the print industry in 2014?Is the industry prepared for a move away from PVC boards towards more flexible and sustainable options? Ashley Moscrop, group director of Dufaylite shares his thoughts and predictions for the year ahead and what this means for the printing industry.

It can’t be ignored; the very noticeable trend within the retail sector is a move away from PVC boards towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly substrates like paper and polypropylene. As the retail industry bows to pressure to reduce its carbon footprint by removing PVC in stores, it’s an issue that’s becoming more apparent and more pressing. In 2014 this will be both an opportunity and a challenge for the printing industry, where PSPs will need to demonstrate increased expertise in printing on in-demand paper-based substrates.

Hollywood Monster continues to invest in 5 metre market

VUTEk GS5000r wide format printerHollywood Monster confirms future 5m strategy with Vutek GS5000r order to CMYUK digital.

For Hollywood Monster, the new year has already seen investment in new equipment with the purchase of an EFI VUTEk GS5000r from UK distributor, CMYUK Digital. The West Midlands based specialist display producer is already renowned for producing fast turn- round superwide-format graphics up to 5m in width, by virtually any length, and the new machine now enables the company to match the standards of its output with its existing 3.2m VUTEk GS3250 without compromising quality.

To have and to hold

How do you ensure you retain you best employees? Phil Thompson, head of BPIF Business, talks you through the essential steps to building a lasting relationship.

Recruiting great staff is one thing, retaining them once you have them is another. Often companies will take great care in finding the right type of employee for the business, but how much time is spent making sure it remains right for them? Increasingly PSPs are recruiting from the graduate pool for instance, but what does that mean in terms of both parties’ expectation?

Deal or no deal?

Do distributors and resellers add value to the products they sell? Nessan Cleary takes a look at this crucial supplier network.

When it comes to buying new kit it’s easy to think about specs and prices but an important ingredient in every purchase is the way that it’s sold and supported. In some cases, particularly with the bigger, more expensive flatbeds, themanufacturers will deal direct with customers. But often the sales and support is outsourced to specialist distributors backed up by a network of dealers that have developed relationships with customers, possibly in niche areas that it’s hard for the equipment manufacturer to reach alone.

In support of Think Bigger

Think Bigger

Inaugural ‘Think Bigger Report’ this spring to explore and develop the relationship between ‘creatives’ and the wide- format print sector. Here Graham Leeson, head of European communications, graphic systems, Fujifilm Europe, explains why the company has got behind the project.

 

Tracey Shanks, partner, Mercury Signs & Designs

Image Reports speaks to Tracey Shanks, partner, Mercury Signs & Designs.

Got any inkling?

Laurel brunner, md of consulting group digital dots, works with various ISO committees. One group is now looking into the deinking as a vital part of paper recycling. Can you help?

ISO 16759 for quantifying and communicating the carbon footprint of print media has been topping the charts for ISO TC 130 sales since publication last July. TC 130 is the technical committee for graphics technology standards and Working Group 11 writes standards relating to the environmental impact of graphics technology. This group is now looking at a new line of standardisation ideas - deinking - and would like your help.

Mandy Roscoe-Enion, director, Carrick Signs

Image Reports speaks to Mandy Roscoe-Enion, director, Carrick Signs.

Can we futureproof our businesses?

altIn keeping the widthwise 2013 theme, a panel of grassroots players recently met in a round table to discuss the issues impacting upon the wide-format sector.

"There is a zombie group in print that have no hope of being successful longer term. They are hand to mouth feeders and seem not to understand the concept of a profit driven business. There is still massive potential in wide-format print, but it needs to be seen in conjunction with other offerings so that the whole package can drive up margins. We simply don’t get involved in areas with no margin and aim for a return of 12% net across all areas of our business.” 

It's electrifying

altThe data is astounding: British businesses could save £23 billion a year and protect the environment at the same time by reducing energy and water consumption. Want to know more?
 
The Energy SavingTrust is continually striving to highlight the link between energy usage and monetary savings and show that being more energy efficient can improve the bottom line as well as help the environment. It’s a message we hear over and over, but with energy prices soaring it perhaps has more resonance now than it once had.

IR talks to... Martyn Eustace, Director of Two Sides UK and Print Power

alt

Because wide-format print output is often not paper–based, its producers tend to feel sidelined when it comes to organisations like Two Sides waving the flag for print per se. So Lesley Simpson, Editor of Image Reports, met with Martyn Eustace, director of Two Sides UK and of Print Power, to ask whether these organisations can, and do, represent the interests of the wide-format print sector as part of the overall remit to put print back firmly on the marketing communications map.