News Archives
September 1999

Septemeber 29, 1999
Box printer injects $500,000 into flexo press
DRUMMONDVILLE, Que.— Corrugator and container board printer Norampac Inc. has announced that it will add a fifth colour unit to its Martin flexo press. An additional $2 million will be invested in corrugating equipment for smaller flute sizes. "The press enhancements will be completed by the end of next year," said mill director Richard Beaudoin in an interview with PrintCAN earlier today.

Commerical printer attains ISO 9001
CALGARY— Makeda Press, founded in 1995, has attained the coveted ISO 9001 quality rating. There are currently less than 10 commerical offset printers in Canada that have achieved this rating, says Makeda president Christian J. Schostek. Makeda had sales last year of about $1.5 million, says co-owner Gisele Schostek. "Our general philosophy is to improve, not just internally, but for the customer, too." The ISO process took Makeda about 14 months to complete.

September 23, 1999
Man killed while servicing press
SCARBOROUGH, Ont.— A pressman at Dolphin Direct was killed last week when his upper body was drawn into a five-colour Mitsubishi sheetfed press. George Weare became caught in the machine as he was lubricating it, said general manager Steve Glassman. Weare was pronounced dead at the scene. Glassman told PrintCAN today that four co-workers witnessed the fatal mishap, some of whom have received counseling from Toronto's Victim Services Program. Ontario's Ministry of Labour is still investigating the cause of the accident.
Mr. Weare had been employed at Dolphin for less than four months, said Glassman, but had more than 15 years' experience. He was 34.

September 22, 1999
U.S. contracts offset collapsed Eaton account at St. Joseph Printing
CONCORD, Ont. — St. Joseph Printing, Canada’s seventh-largest printer, has collected a handful of contracts stateside. In an interview with PrintCAN yesterday, St. Joseph Corp. president Gordon Griffiths said the company’s printing division recently signed $30 million in printing contracts with seven clients in the northeastern United States. “The contracts were for high quality mail order catalogues,” Griffiths said. The cross-border contracts will offset the decimation of St. Joseph Printing’s T. Eaton Co. account. Eaton’s print budget fell precipitously this year as the beleaguered retailer collapsed in slow-motion. It is currently under bankruptcy protection. In his keynote speech to the Toronto Club of Printing House Craftsmen last week, Griffiths said Eaton was St. Joseph Printing’s largest client last year with contracts totaling $22 million. This year, however, the Eaton account fell to $4 million, Griffiths said.

September 20, 1999
Magazines mull CTP
MISSISSAUGA— They may not be doing it on a grand scale, but at least they’re thinking about it. Computer-to-plate technology, that is. In its fifth biennial production survey, Masthead magazine polled magazine art directors across Canada, fetching 143 responses representing 548 titles with a combined circulation of 43 million issues. While only 16% of respondents said they’ve adopted a CTP workflow, nearly half of those who haven’t are contemplating it. What’s more, 46% of respondents said their printers do not have CTP systems in place. For complete survey results see the October issue of Masthead.

Canadian firm first
MONTREAL— Escher-Grad Technologies Inc. of Montreal is first to market with an 8-up visible-light platesetter based on solid state blue diode laser technology.“We’re accepting orders as of September 23,” said business development manager Miguel Legault in an interview yesterday. At US$79,990, the Cobalt 8 is certainly well below comparable gas lasers. Two factors account for the low price: (i) the machine will only be sold through the company’s Web site (, and (ii) blue diode lasers cost a few hundred dollars whereas gas lasers cost many thousands, Legault said. Escher-Grad will be represented at DRUPA, he added.

Employees resurrect concept
VANCOUVER— Six employees of defunct Vancouver-based quick printer electriczoo, which folded last year, have launched a scaled-back version of the same enterprise called graphiczoo.“There seemed to be a need for it,” said manager Wai Tsang. The business offers digital output, G3 graphic work stations, large-format printing and bindery services.

September 15, 1999
Transcon buys Globe’s Halifax printer
MONTREAL— Transcontinental Printing has acquired Halifax-based newspaper printer Webmaster Inc. and its subsidiary Web Atlantic Ltd.—printer of the Globe and Mail’s Atlantic edition for the past 15 years. Atlantic’s 55 employees will generate about $7 million in sales this year, said Transcontinental Printing president Wayne Newson. Newspaper printing, Newson said, is“one of our high-potential niches and this acquisition provides us with a truly coast-to-coast network of plants.”

September 10, 1999
If Gutenberg could see us now
AURORA, Ont.— Although the inventor of moveable type died about 530 years ago, what would Johannes Gutenberg say if he were to tour a modern-day printing plant? In an interview today, Quebecor Printing Canada president Chris Rudge speculated that“if [Gutenberg] walked into 1999, he’d say probably one of two things. He’d probably say,‘I had no idea what I was creating when I created the press and the impact it would have on the world.’ Or he would say,‘I knew I was right all along and this just proves it.’” No other invention, gun powder and atom-splitters included, is as important as print, Rudge said.“Because of the importance of literacy and information, I would probably say it’s the most important invention in the history of the world. Certainly, it has done more to civilize the world, certainly more than gun powder has. We have richer lives because of our ability to communicate and read.”

Death notice was premature
CHICAGO— Recent newspaper reports announcing the discontinuation of the print version of Encyclopaedia Britannica have proven false.“It’s just not true,” said Tom Panelas, a spokesman for the venerable title. While press runs have been scaled back due to the popularity of the CD-ROM version, Panelas said the book will continue to be printed by Rand McNally’s plant in Versailles, Louisiana.

September 7, 1999
New book for printers
WOODBRIDGE, Ont.— Canadian printing industry veteran Lyman Henderson has completed an 80,000-word manuscript commisioned by the National Association of Printers and Lithographers.“It’s in the hands of the publisher,” Henderson told PrintCan earlier this week. Entitled Hands-on Marketing for the Printer, the book is expected to be released this fall. Henderson is honorary chairman of cheque printer Davis + Henderson and is a member of the Order of Canada.

September 3, 1999
Transcontinental picks Quebecor’s lock on Time
MONTREAL — Ability to meet reader and advertiser needs has given Transcontinental Printing a $60 million, six-year contract to print the Canadian edition of Time magazine, said Time Canada president Don Brown. The deal, announced yesterday, ends Quebecor Printing’s 37-year-old relationship with the popular news magazine. In an interview with PrintCan today, Quebecor spokesman John Paul Macdonald said Quebecor will continue to print a number of other Time Warner titles, including 560,000 copies of Time’s weekly American edition. “We’re obviously disappointed that they’ve taken their business elsewhere,” Macdonald said, but “these things happen from time to time.” Come January, Time will be printed at Transcontinental’s Owen Sound, Ont., plant which has been fortified with $26 million in equipment upgrades. Time Canada has a weekly press run of roughly 370,000.

September 2, 1999
Fraud charge costs U.S. printer millions
PHILADELPHIA — In a deal announced last Wednesday by the U.S. attorney’s office in this city, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. has agreed to pay US$22 million to settle a charge that it had been defrauding the U.S. Postal Service for the past 10 years. An investigation was launched after employees at the company’s Lancaster, PA, facility were caught putting additional magazines and catalogues into shipments already processed by on-site postal clerks. A report published in the Knight-Ridder Tribune indicates the Postal Service may subject other commercial printers to greater scrutiny as a result of this case.

September 1, 1999
Major client sinks service bureau
MISSISSAUGA – Bianca Group Ltd., a prepress service bureau based in Etobicoke, Ont., is no more. Bianca’s telephone line was disconnected in August and the premises emptied. Company spokesman Carlo DiFilippo said Bianca has wound down operations because a major client could not pay its bills. “Basically, Bianca got hit with a pretty big bankruptcy,” he said. He would not name the client. A new company, Philips-Laing Ltd. of Mississauga, has been created to carry on where Bianca left off. The president is DiFilippo’s wife, Rebecca. Bianca had sales of about $1.5 million per year.

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