News Archives
August 2004
September 3, 2004
Paper price increases
MISSISSAUGA, ON—Several paper producers across North America have announced or are planning to announce paper price increases this fall. The increases will vary according to grade. Weyerhaeuser announced price increases, effective Sept. 1, which range from 5-6% according to grade. Other suppliers were reluctant to disclose their increase percentages; however, some said the 6% mark was a reasonable ballpark figure to expect for certain grades. The paper suppliers we spoke to attributed the price hikes to activity and general market demand for the papers. “There are tight supply conditions in North America and a perceived pick up in printers’ activity,” says Marc Jasmine of Cascades. Jack Miller, director of market intelligence at Domtar, says a capacity surplus earlier this year of only 2% created a dynamic that caused tight demand and price increases. According to Paul Leclair, a senior analyst at Communications Papers, the trade association for North American printing and writing papers, there was roughly a 5% growth in demand for coated paper this year from last year. He cites one major reason as an increase in advertising spending in magazines.

Improving sales top of agenda
MISSISSAUGA, ON—Duncan MacGregor, Graphic Monthly columnist and president of the former industry powerhouse Arthurs-Jones will be presenting his best 20 sales ideas at Print Ontario, Nov.21 and 22. Duncan has more than 35 years of experience in the graphic arts industry. In his seminar, he will share past experiences and proven techniques for taking advantage of sales opportunities. Visit for more details and other seminar listings.

August 31, 2004
Arthurs-Jones alumni reunite
TORONTO—Some 43 former employees of Arthurs-Jones gathered together for a reception last week at the Brampton Golf Club to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the state-of-the art printing plant built exclusively for the printer. Duncan MacGregor, who was president of the company, said the plant was the finest sheetfed facility in Canada at the time and its grand opening was a significant moment in the Canadian printing industry. Although Arthurs-Jones is no longer operating, former employees from office staff, to sales, to manufacturing to shipping and bindery, came together to remember their accomplishments at the company.

Quebecor loses major European contract
MONTREAL—Quebecor World has lost one of the biggest magazine contracts in Europe. The contract with Associated Newspapers was for printing 8.7 million copies of three weekly magazines—Night & Day, You Magazine and Weekend—for the British newspapers Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. The magazines were an estimated 60% of the company’s British operations—a contract worth approximately $50-million according to a Quebecor press release in 1999. A statement from Associated Newspapers said the company changed the printing process to gain flexibility and to polywrap to improve the overall package. Competing printer, Polestar has reportedly beat Quebecor out on price and has agreed to invest in new gravure presses to satisfy the publisher’s demands.

August 27, 2004
New $20 note has beefed up security features
OTTAWA—A new $20 bill with four new security features was unveiled this week and will go into circulation on September 29. The note, printed by Canadian Bank Note and BA Banknote, is being produced with paper from a German mill, according to a spokesperson from the Bank of Canada. The new note will gradually replace about 600 million of the current version issued in 1990. New security features include a new holographic stripe containing coloured numerals and maple leaves, which move when the bill is tilted to one side; an embedded ghost-like image of the Queen that can be seen from both sides; see-through numbers; and a security thread woven into the paper that resembles a series of exposed metallic dashes. The new notes cost about 9 cents to produce compared to less than 6 cents for the outgoing version.

Wilkins wins U.S. print industry award
ORLANDO, Fl.—Webcom president Warren Wilkins has been awarded a GALA (Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas) award from the Printing Association of Florida (PAF.) The PAF chooses the winner based on leadership in the areas of management, technology, business and quality, as well as contributions to the graphic arts industry, the community and society in general. Warren has been very involved in both the Canadian and American print industries for several years. He has served as chairman of CPIA as well as chairman of PIA in the U.S., where he helped lead the effort to establish the Graphic Art Information Network (GAIN), a major industry portal for graphic arts. Upon being asked what he thought of winning the U.S. award, Wilkins said it is a real honour as a printer. He will receive the award at the Graphics of the Americas 2005 in Miami, Fla., this coming February.

August 24, 2004
Quick printing guru shares secrets with Canadians
TORONTO—Mike Stevens, a Graphic Monthly columnist and successful small printer in Fargo, N.D., will be speaking at Print Ontario on November 21 and 22 on marketing ideas for quick printers. Stevens will be sharing some of his best ideas that he uses in his own shop, Express Press, where he has grown monthly sales from $10,900 in 1985, to $250,000 per month. The two-hour seminar will include how to improve order entry, how to increase productivity, how to cut paper costs and how to grow sales through direct-mail marketing, Web site marketing and front-counter customer service. Stevens was the 1997 recipient of the Quick Printer of the Year Award from the National Association of Quick Printers.

Former Canadian Heidelberg president takes the reigns at Heidelberg U.S.A.
James Dunn
KENNESAW, Ga.—James Dunn, who was president of Heidelberg Canada from March 1993 to June 1998 has been appointed president of the company’s U.S. operations. During his five years at Heidelberg Canada, Dunn was instrumental in beginning development on the Heidelberg Centre at Ryerson University. He has also held other numerous positions at Heidelberg that have spanned over three decades and most recently was responsible for the holding company that supports all of Heidelberg’s North and South American activities. In his new role, he will assume sales, service and support responsibilities for Heidelberg’s largest sales and service unit.

August 20, 2004
Smokey call for Master Print
WHITBY, ON—Master Print a commercial print shop located here, is running its operations out of a few different temporary locations after a fire last week. The fire, which started around 5 a.m. before any employees were in the building, is believed to have ignited in a wooden table seeped with chemicals, and although there is no official cause, one engineer speculates it was a possible case of spontaneous combustion. President Grant Hart says the site is still being assessed for damage, most of which was smoke damage and he doesn’t know when he will be able to move back into the location. Production was only affected for one day and the shop is up and running at full capacity now. Hart says a few colleagues in the industry have made machinery available to him until he is back in his own shop.

Transcontinental plant to shut down in Winnipeg
WINNIPEG—Production at Transcontinental’s Dunlop Avenue facility will be phased out completely by March 2005 as part of the company’s plan to consolidate its Winnipeg printing operations. The plant prints flyers, catalogues and inserts for retail chains and has annual revenue of $25 million. The majority of the production will be transferred to the Calgary and Brampton, Ont., plants in upcoming months. Some of the printing equipment and production from the Dunlop Avenue plant will be transferred to the LGM Graphics plant on Moray Street in Winnipeg to service local and regional customers. The 150 staff members at the Dunlop plant have been informed that they will either be offered jobs at different facilities or receive severance payments and outplacement counselling.

August 17, 2004
A step closer to accelerated depreciation for printers
OTTAWA—Members of CPIA met with the finance department last week to discuss a study on capital cost allowance for the Canadian printing industry. As a result of the meeting, the CPIA has been asked to gather additional complementary information, including defining specific equipment. An individual in the finance department has been appointed as a contact person with CPIA to make the information gathering process more efficient. “We will fill in the blanks and meet with them again and hopefully this fall they’ll be ready to make a recommendation,” says CPIA president Pierre Boucher. CPIA is working to get accelerated depreciation for computer-assisted manufacturing equipment, such as CTP devices and digital presses in the capital cost allowance program. As it stands now, only basic computers can be written off at a rate of 45% per year, compared with the previous rate of 30% and computer-related equipment depreciation has been increased to 30% from 20%. Jeff Ekstein, vice-president of CPIA, says a stumbling block has been explaining that although the print equipment does not meet the class 10 requirements of being straight computer equipment, it is computer-driven and is becoming outdated in a short period of time. He says that the department is willing to take a tour of a printing plant to learn more about the equipment and see what it does. In the meantime, Ekstein says there is the possibility that another class section may be created to include some of the computer-driven manufacturing equipment, which would have a different treatment.

PLM Group holds its own amid profit drop
MARKHAM, ON—PLM Group’s second-quarter profits dropped to $339,000 from $514,000 a year ago. Sales rose 5% to $26.2 million due to the acquisition of Optium made in the second quarter of 2003, according to a release from the company. The higher sales were also attributed to a success by PLM’s print-related digital services operations.

August 06, 2004
Encouraging news for Coach House
After much media attention and public outcry, Campus Co-operative Residences board of members president, Peter Oakham told a local Toronto weekly that the co-op is finalizing plans for its new student housing and Coach House should get 100% of the useable space it needs. The co-op was planning to oust Coach House Books’ printing facilities as part of its student housing project. Oakham also said slight changes may be necessary to the layout to accommodate the student housing. Coach House has been listed on the City of Toronto’s inventory of heritage properties, which protects it from any demolition for 90 days. The publisher is waiting for the building to officially become a designated historical site.

August 03, 2004
Howell Printing, Versatel merge operations
TORONTO—Howell Printing and Versatel Corporate Services have combined their resources to form a new company called Howell-Versatel Graphic Communications with an expected $16 million in annual sales. The transaction is effective today. Most Versatel employees have moved into the Howell facilities, but about 12 production staff could not be accommodated, said Rick Wilkinson, president and CEO of the new venture. Total employees will number about 74. Wilkinson says talks with Versatel began in early May, after it became clear that U.S.-based Versatel owner Henry Wurst Inc. wanted to sell its Canadian interests. Howell had done some trade work for Versatel and the two companies knew each other well. According to Wilkinson they share definite similarities in terms of the markets they sell into but have no big overlap. Versatel’s smaller format and expertise in fulfillment will mesh well with Howell’s 40” base. Ruby Thomas has moved over to the new operation and assumed the title vice president of professional financial sales. High on the new company’s aims is to set up a satellite office and plant downtown so it can serve the city’s legal and financial firms with digital printing operations backed with a web link to the offset plant. Thomas will head up that division. Howell had been in negotiations to sell its operations to another company earlier in the year, but that deal did not materialize.

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