News Archives
July 2000
July 28, 2000
City council passes by-law
TORONTO — City council passed a new Sewer Use By-law in early July that sets out how printers handle solvents. According to Victor Lim, manager of industrial waste and stormwater quality for the City, certain parts of the By-law—section two, which covers sanitary discharge limits, and section four, which covers storm discharge limits—come into effect after June 2002; other stipulations take effect immediately. Printers will have to abide by discharge limits set out in existing by-laws until 2002, but must have a pollution prevention (P2) plan ready for 2002. “We don’t expect [printers] to meet [the By-law] right in two years,” says Lim. “As long as they are implementing their P2 plan then we would look at their plan and see how they are progressing. But if they’re not implementing it at the end of two years, they have to meet [the By-law].”
The OPIA's health and safety committee will not issue a statement until its meeting in August.

Consumers rest easy when it's on paper
TORONTO — Is print being replaced by other forms of communication? Not among consumers in the mutual fund industry. According to a study conducted by Optus Corporation, a consulting firm, and Dalbar Inc., a financial services research firm, 85% of consumers still demand a printed transaction confirmation slip. Up to 15% would accept confirmations from other channels such as e-mail, fax and phone. In order to determine how critical paper confirmations were, the study surveyed 900 consumers. The study also found that consumers had more confidence in the company when the confirmation slip contained information that was personalized.

July 25, 2000
Printer wins two awards
TORONTO — The PIA (Printing Industries of America) notified Herzig Somerville in July that it had won the Benny Award. After entering a hardcover, coffee-table book entitled These Things we Hold Dear, the company won “most outstanding entry” in two categories: Stochastic Printing, and Trade books, journals and other books. The book is 124 pages long, 12”x12” in size and in seven colours. Herzig used its six-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster CD to print 5,000 copies of the work. The company will collect its awards at a gala in September.

Printers beware
CHICAGO, Ill. — Recently posted on PrintImage International’s online newsgroup: a tall, thin blond male walks into a New Jersey print shop and approaches the front counter customer service representative. He says he is there to do an annual check of the shop’s Vello Binder. He fumbles with the unit for about 20 minutes and then says he needs to bring it out to his van for a cleaning. What happens next? You guessed it, the man and the unit are never heard from again.

PIA launches Web site
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The PIA (Printing Industries of America) launched a Web site that could benefit CPIA (Canadian Printing Industries Association) members. Launched in July, the site,, is also geared to members of GATF (Graphic Arts Technical Foundation). It promises information on training and networking opportunities for all members.

July 21, 2000
Printera expects to close four contracts
TORONTO — Printera Corp. has announced that the company could close four contracts worth up to Cdn$5 million each for outfits in South America and the U.S. Lou Elmaleh, president, CEO and chairman of the labelling and packaging printer, couldn’t divulge specific details since the company is still in negotiations. Elmaleh expects to close two of the contracts in August and two in September. He did say in an interview yesterday that Printera would be printing full-colour, glue-applied labels for consumer products such as bottled water, other beverages including beer and food. Runs would average “in the hundreds of millions of labels,” he added. Printera has sales of $65 million on up to 220 employees. The company has a plant in Snow Hill, Md. which is where the labels would be printed.

Bell ActiMedia reprints phone directories
TORONTO — Bell ActiMedia, the publishing arm of Bell Canada, had to reprint its 2000 phone directories for the Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ont. regions. Sue Rawlinson, a spokesperson for the company, said yesterday that during delivery they discovered community names were omitted from the sidebars of each page. The 7”x9” directories include different regions and the sidebars made them easier to navigate. “We realized immediately that we had to do something about it,” she said. “There were many different options, but reprinting the directory was the best option.” In total, 86,543 books were reprinted at a cost of approximately $330,000. Rawlinson said they don't reveal the identity of their printer, but said they use two: one in Ontario and one in Quebec. Delivery of the directories began June 26 and usually takes three weeks to complete.

July 18, 2000
Domtar acquires distributor
Montreal — Domtar Inc. acquired Ris Paper Company, a Florence, Ky.-based independent distributor of paper and one of Domtar's distributors. According to William George, vice president communications for Domtar, "[Ris] is a privately owned business. The majority shareholder of this business is Howard Ris and Mr. Ris is 84 years old, so he wanted out. And management of Ris, I think, convinced him that this was a good time to sell."
Ris distributes—and will continue to do so—65,000 tonnes per year or 5% of Domtar's volume. The relationship has been in place since 1989.
All staff and upper management will stay on, says George. Ris employs up to 680 and had sales last year of US$600 million. The deal is worth up to US$90 million and the transaction is expected to close by the end of July.

Aprinco expands its operations
SCARBOROUGH, Ont. — Aprinco Book Bindery is moving into a new 53,000 sq. ft. facility in August. It will be expanding its operations by 20,000 sq. ft. President Ben Chung says the 24-year-old company is moving to the new site also in Scarborough to better serve customers.
“Customers keep asking us to do more perfect binding jobs, larger quantity ones,” says Chung, “and we feel that we have to put in a Norm binder, which is faster—almost double the speed of the Star binder—so in order to do that we’ll need space to deal with the material, so that’s why we moved to a new place.”
The Norm is a used Müller Martini perfect binder. With its installation in August, the company will be hiring between 10 and 15 people to accommodate two shifts. The operation has a staff of 90 and four Müller Martini stitchers, three Polar cutters, seven Stahl folders and two MBO folders. Chung says sales are expected to increase by 25% to 30% over the next few years.

July 14, 2000
Transcontinental wins $20 million contract
OWEN SOUND, Ont. — Transcontinental Printing won a bid to print Book Club kits for Scholastic Canada. Brian Reid, plant manager at RBW Graphics in Owen Sound, says the contract is worth more than $20 million over seven years. Reid says “the volume actually fluctuates from month to month, but we anticipate that it will be approximately 3 million” kits per year.
All printing will take place at the Owen Sound plant and the kits will go to approximately 90% of elementary schools across Canada.
According to a spokesperson at Scholastic Canada, Quebecor World was the former printer. Reid says the Owen Sound plant’s inkjetting, selective binding and digital prepress helped them clinch the deal.
Bidding began in January and RBW received the good news in June. Printing begins in August.

Harry Potter puts Altona on the map
ALTONA, Man. — Friesens Corporation took the spotlight in July. The company printed J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Canada. Copies were released on July 8 in a worldwide media blitz.
Friesens printed the first three volumes last summer, but they were each runs of 30,000 to 40,000 copies. President David Friesen says his operation usually handles runs of 20,000. So to handle the run of 300,000 for this latest Harry Potter book, staff worked their vacation schedules around the print run which began in early June and lasted three weeks. Friesen says other work was also scheduled around the run.
To honour the publisher’s request for secrecy, staff kept a lid on the details and all spoiled copies were kept in the plant. The publisher then picked up all the books and stored them in a bonded warehouse.
So how does it feel to be part of such a huge phenomenon? Friesen says it’s pretty exciting.
“Most of the time when there’s a big project or a book it’s the author and the publisher who get all the publicity and the printer simply prints it,” says Friesen. “So it was exciting for staff to read the name of the company in the paper especially out here to have people realize that this was done in Altona and not Toronto.”

July 11, 2000
Transcontinental's Americ Disc acquires Disques RSB
MONTREAL — Americ Disc, owned by Transcontinental Group and the French company MPO, acquired Disques RSB. The Saint-Laurent, Que.-based Disques RSP specializes in duplicating cassettes and CD-ROMs. In a press release, Transcontinental says Disques RSB will retain management and development independence and key staff members. Disques RSB has up to 200 employees and produces 15 million optical disk units and 18 million audiocassettes per year. Americ Disc employs 1,200 and stamps up to 225 million optical disks per year.

Agfa files patent infringement lawsuit
WILMINGTON, Mass. — Agfa announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against CreoScitex. Dionn Tron, vice president corporate communications and public affairs Agfa Corporation, said in an interview yesterday that Agfa filed the suit on May 1 charging CreoScitex "with violating six Agfa patents" that include automation features of Agfa's Apogee Workflow Software and the Galileo platesetter family of products. Agfa alleges that CreoScitex "misappropriated" its patented technology for plate handling, plate picking and staging, slip sheet removal and other elements of platemaking. The patents in question were issued between 1997 and 1999, says Tron. David Brown, corporate vice president of business strategy at Vancouver-based CreoScitex says "the claims that Agfa pioneered automatic platesetting are absurd, to be frank, since there were so many successful automated platesetters that predated the Galileo by several years. And even at Drupa '95 there were several machines that exhibited the primary elements that are in Agfa's patent claim." The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. No trial date has been set.

July 7, 2000
Invesprint sells Beckett for $34 million
TORONTO — Leland Verner, who sold Arthurs-Jones 18 months ago and founded Invesprint Corp.—has unloaded another top-drawer Invesprint asset in the company's ongoing plan to “unlock” the value of its under-performing stock. Yesterday the company agreed to sell its New Jersey-based label operation Beckett Corporation to near-by Jersey rival Sancoa International Co. for $34 million. Invesprint will devote about $19 million to retiring Beckett’s bank debt. The deal is expected to close later this month. Beckett had sales last year of about $37 million on 110 employees. Beckett has no Canadian presence. Sancoa has sales of about $110 million, and is partly owned by Swiss label printer Pago AG. In May, Invesprint sold its 9.8% stake in Toronto's ExtendMedia for $10.2 million. Interested parties continue to kick the tires of Invesprint’s remaining assets—including Jay Packaging Group, Jonergin and Kree Technologies—all of which are on the block.

Security printer scoops up foreign contract
OTTAWA — Canadian Bank Note Co. announced Wednesday that it will supply the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan with 13 million identification cards and an identification card/passport-issuing system. The deal is worth about $15 million with deliveries completed by next July. The cards will be used in conjunction with CBN’s proprietary personal identification management system (PIMS). In 1997, CBN landed the contract to design and supply Azerbaijani passports.

US study reveals it pays to shop around
PHOENIX, Az. — The newsletter Publications Management asked 107 printers to bid on 24 separate jobs, varying in page count and use of colour, and set out to compare the quotes. The result was egregious discrepancies by as much as US$18,000 on magazines and US$6,300 on newsletters. On a per-page basis, the survey found that costs ranged from US$0.41 to $1.45 for 28-page, four-colour jobs.
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