Monday, July 26, 2021

Print on demand makes Publishing Industry environment-friendly and cheaper

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Print on demand makes Publishing Industry environment-friendly and cheaper
Jon Tolley, Chief Innovation Officer at Precision Proco Group

One of the UK’s leading print-on-demand companies believes the service should be embraced by publishers wanting to drive down costs and lower their environmental footprint. Prime, part of the Precision Proco Group, has cornered the market in its fully automated print-on-demand system, which customers across various sectors have widely embraced.

And now the company believes it is a model that should be adopted by the publishing world, allowing it not just to produce the books it needs and to be able to restock quickly if needed but also to ship directly to the customer.

An estimated 77 million books are pulped each year in the UK alone, and while in some cases this is recycled, a proportion is destroyed or discarded.

Tolley highlights the benefits of print on demand

Jon Tolley, Chief Innovation Officer at Precision Proco Group, believes that waste could be slashed with no adverse effects to the customer by simply utilizing what print on demand has to offer.

“Despite being able to read on electronic devices, people still love and prefer the feeling of having a book in their hands,” said Jon. “But there’s no doubt that every step of the production process has an environmental cost, particularly if the book ends up in a pulper because it hasn’t sold.”

“By using digitalization and technology, it means there’s the opportunity to take a completely different approach, replacing the outdated print-to-projection model with a print-to-possibility mindset.” Book publishers take a gamble on sales every time a book is brought to market, particularly from a first-time author with no real idea of how it will be received.

“Using print on demand carries a far smaller financial risk, allowing publishers to print in smaller quantities, even with special embellishments to the cover or jacket, but with the option to quickly replenish that stock if it becomes a bestseller,” said Jon.

Print on demand also brings the opportunity for publishers to cash in on frontlist and backlist titles, allowing them to be delivered to the reader. “It means that there will never be a time when anyone has to stay out of print ever again, added Jon.

 

A ruler who lies, snoops illegally, raids, and what else?

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The front page of The Telegraph, Kolkata, 23 July 2021 | Ruler
The front page of The Telegraph, Kolkata, 23 July 2021

One has long urged the mainstream media to grow a spine in the face of a government that demands supine obeisance and breaks election campaign and other rules at will. One always thought it is better media business, to tell the truth than to keep praising a government and a supreme ruler who seems to have many problems with democratic functioning. A ruler who cannot hold an open press conference for seven years is obviously not comfortable with the diversity of the Indian press. A ruler who proclaims that he has defeated the Coronavirus and that the nation led by him should be held up as an example to the world.

Whenever an issue of fact is raised, such as the shortage of oxygen, the non-ordering of vaccines, the craziness of asking for a particular ‘Indian’ vaccine trial to be completed by 15 August 2020, or the instigation of violence in the Delhi riots, or the number of oxygen-shortage related deaths, or the actual supply problems and schedules of vaccine procurement, the government, its ministers and minions generally come out with a campaign of ‘fake news’ and the ‘motivated derailment of the fastest growing economy and democratic polity in the world.’

The stories and photographs of bodies barely buried in mounds on the banks of rivers, including the Ganga, and the pictures of bodies floating in the river were published by several mainstream papers, including Dainik Bhaskar and Sandesh (in Gujarat). Perhaps they felt that the time had come to tell the truth – possibly it was no longer possible to continue lying to the readers they still had and who were all too aware of the needless fatalities around them. For a long time, Dainik Bhaskar was one of the cheerleaders (in webinar after webinar) of the pandemic economy returning to normal and “Bharat” taking up the consumption and advertising slack of the country’s metropolises and urban centers.

Indian Printer and Publisher cover April 2020
Indian Printer and Publisher cover April 2020

Perhaps the marked contrast with mainstream dailies that described the burial of the dead on the edges of rivers as a convention or practice related to religion or caste will win credibility and readers for those news media that spoke up.

Perhaps Dainik Bhaskar’s sharing its journalistic and photographic services with the New York Times or the Pegasus hacks were the last straws for a government that is seemingly unafraid of its citizens thinking that its shrill propaganda will always drown out plain facts and reason. In any case, it seems that the mainstream media has, over the past few months – with a little help from the courts and even the Supreme Court – been searching for its voice and perhaps even its spine.

It is refreshing to see media after media, digital, and small regional television channels join the outspoken digital news media platforms and a few honest commentators such as Ravish Kumar on NDTV India in speaking up, since truthtelling, eventually, is good business too. However, the challenge is far from over, as the government is determined to enact draconian laws that threaten the freedom of expression and privacy that are the very basis and spirit of a democratic country. 

The readers lost during the pandemic can only be won back by seizing the opportunity, telling the truth, and realistically and honestly helping the community of citizens by extolling the virtues of science, tolerance, and change. It is our constitutional right and obligation.

Billerudkorsnäs shows continued profitable growth and strong cash generation in January-June 2021

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Billerudkorsnäs
Christoph Michalski, president and chief executive officer, Billerudkorsnäs

Billerudkorsnäs recently released its Interim report January–June 2021.

Sales and results for the second quarter of 2021

Net sales for the second quarter grew by 6% to SEK 6 504 million (approximately Rs 5574 crore. Excluding currency effects sales increased by 9%, driven by higher sales prices, an improved sales mix, and increased volumes. 

Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased to SEK 883 million (approximately Rs 756 crore), mainly due to the positive sales mix and volume development.

Billerudkorsnäs
Billerudkorsnäs’ key figures for 2020 and 2021

Market development and outlook

During the second quarter of 2021, market conditions for most segments improved with high demand and increasing price levels. The exception being liquid packaging board, where market conditions were stable. 

The market outlook for 2021 is positive. Demand is expected to remain strong in all segments and the conditions for liquid packaging boards are expected to be stable. Higher input costs in some categories are expected to be compensated by price increases.

Christoph Michalski, president and chief executive officer, Billerudkorsnäs, shares, “Halfway into 2021, we experienced strong demand and a good sales momentum for all our product segments. The positive market outlook is expected to remain throughout the year. We are implementing additional price increases in several of our segments to counterbalance cost increases in chemicals, energy, market pulp, and logistics. Pulpwood supply in our regions remains good and at relatively stable price levels.”

Events in the quarter

Annual maintenance was carried out at Gruvön in April, under extensive precautionary measures due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The total maintenance shutdown costs amounted to approximately SEK 200 million (approximately Rs 171 crore). 

An incident at the Gävle mill in April damaged equipment connected to the digester in the bleached pulp mill. Repair work was carried out and production ran at a slower pace during a couple of weeks, implying a volume loss of 22,000 tonnes. The financial impact of the incident will partly be covered by insurance compensation and the net effect amounted to approximately SEK 75 million (approximately Rs 64 crore) in the second quarter. 

Billerudkorsnäs’ board machine at Gruvön, KM7, started to deliver its first grades of liquid packaging board to customers in May, ahead of time schedule. The qualification of board grades for one liter and portion-sized aseptic liquid packaging for one filling system was completed faster than planned.

“Our new board machine at Gruvön, KM7, produced its first commercial output of liquid packaging board in May, ahead of schedule. The ramp-up and certification work will continue, and we expect gradually increasing deliveries of both liquid packaging board and carton board from Gruvön. This will allow further mix improvements by reallocating production across mills as well as the acceleration of KM7 over the next few years,” adds Michalski.

On 15 April, Matthew Hirst was appointed new executive vice president, Commercial. He will take office on 16 August and has previously held various senior sales and commercial development roles in Essity’s professional hygiene business unit. Helene Biström, previous executive vice president Commercial, left at the end of April to pursue opportunities outside Billerudkorsnäs

Billerudkorsnäs awarded Andritz the contract for a new recovery boiler at the Frövi mill, to be assembled during 2022. The groundwork has been initiated and the new recovery boiler is planned to be in operation by the end of 2023. 

Billerudkorsnäs introduced Pure Decorx – a new generation of coated white top kraft liner with a 3-ply construction, light-weighting opportunities, high runnability in converting machines, and enhanced packaging performance. Pure Decorx yields excellent print results which makes it very competitive in applications such as shelf-ready packaging, displays, and packaging of food, beverage, and premium consumer goods.

Events after the quarter

In July, Billerudkorsnäs initiated a marketing campaign connected to the launch of two low grammages of the flagship cartonboard product Crownboard Prestige. With this addition, the Crownboard Prestige range comprises ten grammages. It is developed to meet the needs of discerning brands for packaging premium consumer goods.  

Michalski concludes, “Our current business priorities remain the same: health and safety, stable production, the ramp-up of Gruvön, a competitive wood supply as well as delivering our cost and efficiency program. Good performance in these areas will bring profitable growth over the next few years. 

“At the same time, we are reviewing the company’s longer-term strategic direction. The markets in which we operate, particularly primary fiber carton and containerboard, are indicating strong growth opportunities for the foreseeable future. We are starting to investigate additional supply capacity post-2024 assuming full capacity utilization by then.”

Malaysian packaging printers invest in cutting-edge Heidelberg production technology

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Heidelberg Speedmaster press at the plant of Percetakan Konta
Heidelberg Speedmaster press at the plant of Percetakan Konta

Malaysia’s packaging market has been growing strongly in recent years. An annual growth rate of 3.8 percent has been predicted from 2019 to 2024, and the folding carton segment is set to be the number one growth driver (source: Global Data).

The coronavirus pandemic has given a further boost to this development. Solid board packaging for medical products, masks, and gloves is in particular demand. This growth has led packaging printers in Malaysia to invest in cutting-edge production technology. To a large extent, these companies are placing their trust in state-of-the-art sheetfed offset technology from Heidelberg, especially presses manufactured at the Heidelberg site in Shanghai.

Complete system for Percetakan Konta

Percetakan Konta is based in Perai, in the northern state of Penang, and has been a loyal Heidelberg customer for many years, having been won over by its reliable technology and exemplary services.

Around six years ago, Percetakan Konta replaced an older Speedmaster CD 102 with a new four-color Speedmaster press with a coating unit from the Heidelberg plant at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site in Germany. In 2017, this press was joined by a Speedmaster CD 102-5+L manufactured in China. The following investment came just one year later in the form of a Speedmaster CD 102-4+L, also manufactured at the Chinese plant in Shanghai.

Percetakan Konta also ordered a Diana Eye 55 offline inspection system in parallel to this third sheetfed offset press. This system inspects the quality of finished folding carton blanks at a speed of 300 meters per minute. In addition to identifying printed image and typeface errors, high-resolution camera technology analyzes the gloss levels of coated packaging, blind and foil embossing, and holograms. 

An OCR (optical character recognition) function also detects incorrect characters, punctuation marks, accents, and decimals. In 2020, the Diana Eye 55 from Masterwork was joined by a second, identical inspection system and a Suprasetter 106 CtP platesetter with Prinect Production Manager packaging workflow.

Vivar Printing invests in packaging printing

Vivar Printing Sdn Bhd (Vivar) was founded in 1985. For the first one-and-a-half decades of its existence, the company’s main specialty was book production. In 2010, Vivar recognized the opportunities offered by the rapidly growing packaging market. It initially invested in the flexible packaging segment and then moved into folding carton production, which involved creating an official packaging division and investing in a Speedmaster CX 75-5+L from Heidelberg. 

This five-color sheetfed offset press with coating unit provided Vivar with a robustly built printing system based on a design principle that was equally suited to commercial products and high-quality packaging. “Key features of the Speedmaster CX 75-5+L include quick and easy job changes, outstanding print results, and high net outputs,” says Kok Wai, Managing Director of Vivar, who describes this press as exactly right for the needs of his company. 

Barely a month after the Speedmaster CX 75 started operating, Vivar made its next big investment and ordered a Speedmaster CD 102-5+L from Heidelberg. The contract for the five-color press in the 70 x 100 sheet format with coating unit, which was manufactured in Shanghai, was signed in November 2020, and it started operating in March 2021.

Book production has remained a key cornerstone at Vivar, but Kok Wai insists moving into the rapidly growing folding carton market was the right decision. Although his company’s sales fell significantly last year due to COVID-19, he is optimistic about 2021. “As we see it, packaging production offers a great deal of growth potential that will shape our company’s development in years to come,” he says.

Seven Speedmaster presses from Heidelberg at Tiong Tat Printing Industry

The pressroom of Tiong Tat Printing Industry (Tiong Tat) has six Speedmaster CD 102 presses and a Speedmaster XL 105. In the interests of productivity, the majority are elevated presses. The latest Speedmaster CD102-5+L, the company’s third Speedmaster press to have been manufactured at the Shanghai plant, entered into operation in July 2020. 

Prinect Production controls the workflow based on volumes, and Tiong Tat uses a Suprasetter 106 for CtP operations. Two Easymatrix 106 CS (cutting and stripping) die cutters from Masterwork Machinery have been operating in the postpress section since 2018. “We very much appreciate the equipment’s reliability and the teamwork with Heidelberg, so we opt for technology from this manufacturer time and again,” says Managing Director Tan Jock Hong, who has won several awards for her leadership qualities.

Tiong Tat started in 1993 with a single pre-owned press and a production area of around 130 square meters. Today, this has grown to a total area of close to 82,000 square meters, making the company one of Malaysia’s largest packaging printers. Packaging for hygiene gloves is its principal market. 

Tiong Tat prides itself on being a market leader, and demand is growing, as confirmed by Tan Jock Hong. “In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, we decided to expand our sheetfed offset capacities,” she reveals, referring to this step as the right decision at the right time and emphasizing that the company once again obtained excellent advice and support from Heidelberg.

 

Home usage of inkjet inktank printers gets a boost during Covid, says Siva Kumar of Epson

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Covid
Siva Kumar, senior general manager, inkjet printers at Epson India

The lockdowns imposed in the country due to Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in employees working from home and children attending classes online. This has resulted in a rise in home usage of inkjet inktank printers. However, because the workplaces are shut, the office segment has seen a dip, said Siva Kumar, senior general manager, inkjet printers at Epson India.

“The situation created by Covid-19 has created an opportunity in the home segment as office segment was impacted due to prolonged shutdown of workplaces,” Siva Kumar said. “Information technology companies incentivized their workers to set up work infrastructure at their homes. This gave a big boost to home printing segment.”

The decline in office segment was offset to a large extent by growth in home segment; where overall impact on the inkjet inktank printers was not very severe, he said.

Epson India operations remain resilient

Although the impact on Epson India’s inkjet inktank printers was visible due to Covid-19, that impact was not very severe. For the year that ended in March 2020, Epson sold little over 810,000 units while for the year that ended in March 2021, that figure was slightly over 760,000 units.

“So, the impact has not been very big,” Siva Kumar said. The company expects that in the year that will end in March 2022, its performance will be much better. “Whatever losses we saw in April, May, and June this year are expected to be made up during the rest of the year if there are no more disruptions,” he added.

Adoption of digital communications methods

Like a lot of other companies across industries, Epson India too has successfully adopted digital communication means. The company has been interacting with its partners and customers online using digital platforms.

“We were able to connect with a lot of people and organize training programs online. Earlier we used to do face-to-face interactions but now we have aggressively adopted digital methods. This has also resulted in an increase in the number of engagements. I believe this trend will continue even if things go back to normal,” Siva Kumar said.

Focus on environment

Siva Kumar said that Epson India is working on creating greater awareness about its heat-free technology among its customers. Epson’s heat-free technology does not require heat in the ink ejection process. Instead, pressure is applied to the piezo element, which flexes backwards and forwards firing the ink from the printhead.

Heat-free technology uses less power because it does not use heat to warm up. As inkjets have no fuser unit to heat, this results in significantly less energy consumption. Thanks to heat-free technology, Epson inkjet printers use fewer parts that need replacing.

“As a responsible corporate entity, we are doing our part to care for the environment. We are trying to educate our customers about heat-free technology so that we can help them minimize impact on the environment,” he said.

INMA inaugurates Asia/Pacific News Media Summit with some 635 delegates

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INMA’s Asia/Pacific News Media Summit took place on the online platform
INMA’s Asia/Pacific News Media Summit took place on the online platform

The role of data in the digital and cultural transformation of news media companies emerged as the dominant theme of last week’s inaugural Asia/Pacific News Media Summit by the International News Media Association (INMA).

Some 635 delegates from 35 countries participated in the INMA Asia/Pacific virtual event, which brought together the professionals from the leading media companies in East Asia and the South Pacific.

INMA key takeaways included:

  • Data fueling digital advertising and transformation: Adopting a first-party data strategy is imperative for the emerging digital advertising environment and digital transformation. KG Media in Indonesia, South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, Asahi Shimbun in Japan, and News Corp Australia are the standard-bearers for this in Asia/Pacific.
  • Subscriptions taking off: Data is accelerating the business model shift to direct-to-consumer as subscriptions begin to take off in the Asia/Pacific region. Nikkei in Japan and Sin Chew in Malaysia are examples of this – one early in their journey, the other far into the journey.
  • Redefining and amplifying existing businesses: Data also enables media companies to redefine and amplify advertising businesses (notably content marketing) and audience targeting, as seen on the INMA agenda with Singapore Press Holdings and South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo.
  • The rise of product: Product is on the rise as an ethos to solve core cultural challenges of media companies, as Nine in Australia illustrated with their product/editorial partnership focus. Products emerged at key points in its agenda throughout the Summit.

Meanwhile, the company contributed to the Summit’s global learnings in transformation, subscriptions, and products from its news industry-leading initiatives.

Supported by the Google News Initiative and iZooto, the July 15-16 Summit marked INMA’s first Asia/Pacific venture, and association executives say planning is already underway for a 2022 follow-up event based on the popularity of last week’s inaugural event. Early evaluations suggest this was one of the highest-rated events of the year.

Madhavi Sekhri, producer of the Asia/Pacific News Media Summit
Madhavi Sekhri, producer of the Asia/Pacific News Media Summit

“What INMA brings to Asia/Pacific media companies is a unique look at best practices around the business of journalism,” said Madhavi Sekhri, producer of the Asia/Pacific News Media Summit. “Feedback from participants in last week’s Summit emphasized the strength of programming and the focus on the business side of the news industry.

Financial freedom, sustainability, and growth are key themes in the INMA community. It is the news industry leader worldwide on digital subscriptions, smart data, and product, and that leadership was on full display during our APAC Summit.”

Registrants received access to the livestream, along with all recordings and presentations associated with the Summit.

Coverage of the INMA Asia/Pacific News Media Summit may be found at inma.org. 

The International News Media Association is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue in a multi-platform environment. Its community consists of more than 18,000 members at 900+ media companies in 77 countries. 

In its 91st year, INMA is the news media industry’s foremost ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, Webinars, virtual meetings, and an unparalleled archive of best practices. It leads the news industry with its initiatives dedicated to better understanding digital subscriptions, smart data, products, advertising, and the emerging relationship with the Big Tech platforms.

 

Editors Guild of India on Pegasus intrusions against Indian journalists

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The Pegasus Project illustrative image from thewire.in
The Pegasus Project illustrative image from thewire.in

The simultaneous news reports by seventeen publications including thewire.in and news organizations around the world of the Israeli NSO’s Pegasus software being used by governments and government agencies to hack the cell phones of journalists, politicians, activists and citizens has been followed by more details in subsequent stories. The French president Emanuel Macron is among the global political leaders whose phones were infected by the Pegasus spyware and the French government has already ordered an inquiry.

While the Indian government’s representatives or loyalists have been in complete denial in parliament and on television, opposition leaders have been asking for a discussion in parliament, a Joint Parliamentary Committee investigation and also enquiries under the aegis of the Supreme Court. On 21 July 2021, the Editors Guild of India issued a statement which is given below.

 ‘The Editors Guild of India is shocked by the media reports on the wide spread surveillance, allegedly mounted by government agencies, on journalists, civil society activists, businessmen and politicians, using a hacking software known as Pegasus, created and developed by the Israeli company NSO. The reports, which have been published worldwide over the last few days by a consortium of 17 publications, points towards surveillance by multiple governments across the world. Since NSO claims that it only sells this software to governments clients vetted by the Government of Israel, it deepens suspicion of involvement of Indian government agencies in snooping on it’s own citizens.
While some of the instances of surveillance might have been targeted against those who may be seen as credible national security threat, what is disturbing is that a large [number] of such targets were journalists and civil society activists. This is a brazen and unconstitutional attack on freedom of speech and press. This act of snooping essentially conveys that journalism and political dissent are now equated with ‘terror.’ How can a constitutional democracy survive if governments do not make an effort to protect freedom of speech and allows surveillance with such impunity?
This is a moment that demands deep introspection and inquiry into the kind of society we are heading towards, and how far we may have veered away from the democratic values enshrined in our constitution.
The Guild demands an urgent and independent inquiry into these snooping charges, under the aegis of Supreme Court of India. We also demand that this inquiry committee should include people of impeccable credibility from different walks of life – including journalists and civil society – so that it can independently investigate the facts around the extent and intent of snooping using the services of Pegasus.’
Thanks and regards,
Seema Mustafa, President
Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary
Anant Nath, Treasurer

Valmet receives an order for a rebuild of hardwood pulp line at Holmen’s mill

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Valmet receives an order for a rebuild of hardwood pulp line at Holmen's mill
Holmen's Iggesund mill in Sweden

Valmet will deliver equipment and services to rebuild the hardwood pulp line at Holmen’s Iggesund mill in Sweden. The rebuild will cut variable costs and improve production stability. The work will be implemented during the second half of 2022.

The order is included in Valmet’s orders received in the second quarter of 2021. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

“We have a good experience in working with Valmet since we have had their presses in our mill for many years. This rebuild will lower the load on the effluent and reduce variable costs, which will strengthen our competitiveness,” says Johan Björkman, Project Manager, Iggesund.

“This rebuild is the first step towards a press-based bleach plant in the hardwood pulp line. The high outlet consistency makes the process easier to control, and the volume of effluent will be less than for washers with lower discharge consistencies. Also, water and chemical consumption will be minimized. We are looking forward to good cooperation in this project”, says Mikael Gustafsson, Sales Manager, Valmet.

Technical information about Valmet’s delivery

The scope of the Valmet delivery includes main machinery, basic engineering, and erection. In the first stage, a vacuum filter will be replaced with a new TwinRoll press, and in the second phase, the remaining filters in the bleach plant will be replaced with TwinRoll presses.

 

Stora Enso operates its pilot plant for producing Lignode

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Stora Enso Lignode batteries
Stora Enso Lignode batteries

Stora Enso’s pilot facility for producing bio-based carbon materials from lignin has started operations. This follows the company’s EUR 10 million investment announced in 2019. Pilot production of Lignode by Stora Enso, wood-based carbon for batteries, is currently being ramped up. Applications include electric vehicles and consumer electronics, as well as large-scale energy storage systems.

The global battery market is projected to grow tenfold over the next decade as battery producers seek more sustainable materials for the electrification of mobility. Since sustainability is becoming a top priority for the automotive industry, car manufacturers and battery producers focus heavily on reducing carbon emissions in electric cars.

Today, fossil-based carbon is used in the anodes of rechargeable batteries. By converting lignin separated from wood into carbon-based anode materials, synthetic and non-renewable graphite material can be replaced.

Stora Enso to replace the conventionally used graphite

“With our pilot plant now ramping up operations, Stora Enso is entering a new value chain in supplying more sustainable anode materials for batteries. With Lignode, we can provide a bio-based, cost-competitive, and high-performance material to replace the conventionally used graphite. To serve the fast-growing anode materials market, we are now exploring strategic partnerships to accelerate scale-up and commercialization in Europe,” says Markus Mannström, Executive Vice President of company’s biomaterials division.

The pilot plant for bio-based carbon materials is located at Stora Enso’s Sunila production site in Finland, where lignin has been industrially produced since 2015. The biorefinery’s annual lignin production capacity is 50 000 tonnes, making the company as the largest Kraft lignin producer in the world.

 

Valmet receives repeat order for tissue production line from Eczacibasi Consumer Products in Turkey

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Valmet
Eczacibasi Consumer Products has chosen Valmet as the supplier for their new tissue line, which will be installed at the company’s Manisa Plant in Turkey.

Eczacibasi Consumer Products has chosen Valmet as the supplier for their new tissue line, which will be installed at the company’s Manisa plant in Turkey. The new Valmet Advantage DCT 200TS line, including stock-preparation, automation and Focus rewinder will support the company’s rapid growth in global tissue paper markets. 

The order is included in Valmet’s orders received in the second quarter of 2021. The value of the order will not be disclosed.

Valmet has also previously delivered an Advantage DCT 200 tissue line to Eczacibasi Consumer Products’ Manisa mill, started up in 2015.

“We have worked with Valmet during the recent years, and our previous successful project convinced us that Valmet is among the best companies in the market. Valmet’s technology will undoubtedly add value to our business and support our growth plans,” says Erdem Ülkümen, Operations director of Eczacibasi Consumer Products.

“We are honored to receive the second order from Eczacibasi and happy to continue the successful collaboration established in the previous project. The Advantage DCT 200 line is a reliable and highly efficient technology for production of high-quality tissue, proven by more than 100 sold machines in the past 15 years,” says Jan Erikson, VP Sales, Valmet.

Technical information

The delivery will comprise of a complete tissue production line featuring Valmet stock preparation systems and an Advantage DCT 200TS tissue machine. The machine is equipped with an Optiflo headbox, Advantage Visconip press with blackbelt and Yankee cast cylinder with Advantage Aircap hood as well as a Focus rewinder. 

Furthermore, the delivery will include an extensive Valmet DNA Automation System with process controls, machine controls, drive controls, and machine condition monitoring. Valmet IQ Quality Control System (QCS) with IQ scanner, IQ fiber measurement, MD controls and IQ dilution profiler with CD control ensure high end-product quality. The delivery also includes Valmet IQ Web Inspection System (WIS) for quick and detailed web defect analysis. Complete engineering, installation supervision, training, start-up, and commissioning are also included in the delivery.

The tissue machine will have a width of 5.6 meter and a design speed of 2,200 meter per minute. The new line will provide high-quality facial, napkin, toilet, and towel grades for consumer and commercial use. The raw material of the new line will be virgin fiber. The production line is optimized to save energy and to enhance final product quality.

Eczacibasi Consumer Products is one of Turkey’s largest personal care companies with pioneering tissue paper brands. The company offered Turkish consumers their first modern tissue paper products in 1970 under its flagship brand Selpak. Eczacibasi Consumer Products also has the Solo, Silen, Viva, Servis, and Selpak Professional brands. Eczacibasi Consumer Products is part of the Eczacibasi Group.

Valmet is a leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation, and services for the pulp, paper, and energy industries. It aims to become the global champion in serving its customers.  

Valmet’s strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board, and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. Its advanced services and automation solutions improve the reliability and performance of its customers’ processes and enhance the effective utilization of raw materials and energy.  

Valmet’s net sales in 2020 were approximately EUR 3.7 billion (approximately Rs 32,476 crore). Its 14,000 professionals around the world work close to its customers and are committed to moving its customers’ performance forward – every day. Valmet’s head office is in Espoo, Finland and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Michelman invests in regulatory and environmental, health and safety (EH&S) expertise

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Michelman
Jon Hunter (Left) director, Global Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), Michelman; and Sonia Razzaque (Right) vice president, Regulatory Compliance and Product Stewardship, Michelman.

Michelman has hired two new associates to lead EH&S and regulatory compliance and product stewardship. Michelman remains committed to its triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit, and the safety and well-being of its global associates is its top priority. Additionally, Michelman is focused on being at the forefront of planet-positive change by advocating for and anticipating the impact of regulatory policy changes on its stakeholders.

Michelman’s new associates

Jon Hunter is Michelman’s new director, Global Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), responsible for global EH&S strategic leadership, oversight, and team development. Jon has recently been at Harsco Corporation as North American EH&S director and Global Environmental director. He has over 20 years of experience leading and managing EH&S at Harsco, Eaton Corporation, Honeywell, and Delphi.

Sonia Razzaque has been tapped as the new vice president of Regulatory Compliance and Product Stewardship. She will lead the company’s global regulatory team to assure integration between product regulatory compliance, product stewardship, product management, and supply chain. She joins Michelman from Celanese, where she was the senior director Global Product Stewardship. Sonia has spent most of her 20+ year career in regulatory compliance and product stewardship, including leadership roles at Nexeo Solutions, Huntsman Corporation, Americas Styrenics LLC, and The Dow Chemical Company. 

Explains Jason Wise, Michelman’s chief financial and risk officer, “Our industry’s acceleration in safety, environmental, and product regulations continues to create a level of uncertainty throughout the entire value chain. Jon and Sonia will lead our global teams to anticipate these changes and understand their impact on our associates, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. We’re privileged and excited to welcome them to the Michelman team.”

Michelman is a global developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly advanced materials for industry, offering solutions for the coatings, printing and packaging, and industrial manufacturing markets. The company’s surface additives and polymeric binders are used by leading manufacturers around the world to enhance performance attributes and add value in applications including wood and floor care products, metal and industrial coatings, paints, varnishes, inks, fibers, and composites. Michelman is also well-known as an innovator in the development of barrier and functional coatings, as well as digital printing-press primers that are used in the production of consumer and industrial packaging, paper products, labels, and commercially printed materials. Michelman serves its customers with production facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia, product development and technical service centers in several major global markets, and a worldwide team of highly trained business development personnel.

Editors Guild of India hosts webinar on pandemic coverage in mass media

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Editors Guild of India
Seema Mustafa, president, Editors Guild of India speaking during the webinar

The Editors Guild of India organized a webinar titled “Covering the pandemic: challenges and roadblocks” on 17 July 2021. The webinar was live-streamed on the official Facebook page of the Guild. The webinar saw discussions on how the Covid-19 pandemic created a set of never-seen-before challenges for the media when many reporters compromised their personal safety to report the truth to its readers/viewers. The webinar was moderated by Seema Mustafa, president, Editors Guild of India.

K N Hari Kumar, former editor-in-chief, Deccan Herald; Om Gaur, national editor, Dainik Bhaskar; Tanushree Pandey, correspondent, India Today and AajTak; Yogiraj Prabhune, health correspondent, Sakal and Praveen Jain, national photo editor, The Print.

Dainik Bhaskar’s editor, Om Gaur, who led the Hindi newspaper’s coverage of the pandemic including undercounting of the dead due to the virus, claimed that his publication faced obstacles from the government at every stage after they broke the story of the cremation and burial of thousands of deaths along the rivers of Uttar Pradesh. “The publication suffered due to its reporting as the government stopped all advertising”.

K N Hari Kumar who opened the session explained how Deccan Herald covered the pandemic. He pointed out numerous issues from lack of scientific awareness of Coronavirus to the public and private health system of India and negligence of the government in terms of handling the pandemic at its earlier stage. Whereas Prabhune unmasked the reasons behind the mass spread of Coronavirus in Pune, Maharashtra.

Tanushree Pandey, correspondent, India Today and Aaj Tak said, “The most important challenge for the media organization was to keep the reporters safe and to get the story. A lot of freelance journalists were without these necessary safeguards.”

Commenting on his coverage, Praveen Jain, national photo editor, The Print said, “In the last 35 years I have covered the ‘84 Sikh riots, communal riots of ‘92 and the Kargil war, I think pandemic was the most difficult assignment. During reporting for the Kargil war, we were aware of how to keep ourselves safe, what to touch, and whatnot, but this Corona bomb could not be seen as everyone was carrying it on their bodies. The pandemic had forced hotels, guesthouses to close, and we were forced to sleep in our cars while traveling to different places. Even friends and families refused to provide a place to stay.”

Editors and journalists shared their experiences of the pandemic and how it will have long term implications on the media during this hour-long riveting webinar.

Marabu Group acquires Icon Inks to extend its product portfolio

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Marabu Team Asia
Marabu Team Asia

Marabu Group has acquired Icon Inks, ireasinncreasing its international footprint. The move will extend the company’s product portfolio and further strengthen customer service and centricity.  

“We have high hopes for this acquisition,” states Jon Bultemeyer, Executive Vice President, Business Unit Screen and Pad Printing Inks. “We are always looking to identify segments with strong future prospects. Until recently, our focus had consciously not included textiles. But the market environment is very dynamic, and it is important that our business is broadly based.” 

“Textile printing remains one of the largest global screen printing segments. Icon Inks is a leading brand, and this acquisition gives us access to new markets and new skills. Icon Inks has a high profile in Asia and is a valuable addition to our existing Marabu ink offering. By expanding our product portfolio, we are now able to offer screen printing inks for textiles, in addition to our pad printing solutions.”

Marabu broadens its range of applications

The purchase of Icon Inks allowed the company to expand its addressable segments to include textile printing. In 2020, Marabu launched its pioneering Maqua Pad Map ink. This premium-quality solution is the world’s first water-based pad printing ink. Icon Inks products are an ideal addition to the existing portfolio and will help Marabu extend its focus on water-based products and expand its textile printing footprint. As Jon Bultemeyer emphasizes: “Textile printing is an exciting field for us. Inks vary by type, depending on the use case. They can be based on water, solvent, plastisol, or silicone.” 

Current Icon Inks products are employed by many leading manufacturers, predominantly in Asia. The company will initially continue to offer the existing portfolio unchanged so that Icon Inks customers can be sure of consistently reliable quality. However, Marabu plans to take the product offering global and to extend its scope.

Enhanced customer service with local production and multiple sites

The integration of Icon Inks into the group will enable Marabu Shanghai to extend and improve its services in Asian markets. Ink formulations tailored to regional customer requirements and local raw materials in production enhance business agility. Local manufacturing and logistics will ensure greater customer centricity and make a key contribution to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The acquisition of Icon Inks strengthens Marabu’s Asian presence. To ensure high-quality local customer service and support, staff will be distributed across three sites. Eastern China will be advised and assisted by the regional headquarters in Shanghai and South China from Shenzhen. Moreover, the ink manufacturer has a third site in Hong Kong. All three report to Alexandra Taulin, General Manager of Marabu Shanghai.

Heidelberg boosts production in the eMobility sector

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Heidelberg Wallbox System is now available for purchase
Heidelberg Wallbox System is now available for purchase

The boom in demand for charging solutions for electric vehicles in the private sector continues unabated. Therefore, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is once again investing in the further expansion of its wallbox production capacity and already commissioned the third production line at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site in June. 

Capacity was already doubled as recently as January 2021. State-of-the-art charging solutions for the growing demand in the field of e-mobility are produced here around the clock in three-shift operation. Accordingly, there are also plans to increase further the number of employees in this area of work. The company has already built well over 50,000 wallboxes in the past two years.

“In order to be able to reduce the growing backlog of orders, we will again double the capacity for wallboxes in the current year,” said Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of the company. “This will strengthen our leading position in this booming market segment and enable us to grow profitably outside Germany as well.”

Heidelberg serving the market with various charging lengths and customization options

Current market analyses predict annual market growth in excess of the 20 percent mark. The company serves the market with the Heidelberg Wallbox Home Eco and Heidelberg Wallbox Energy Control models with various charging lengths and customization options for the German and European markets. Heidelberg Wallbox Energy Control is also a solution with integrated load management that can charge up to 16 vehicles simultaneously in a network. 

In the future, the portfolio is to be expanded into a complete range of smart home solutions, for example, with integrated charging solutions for parking garages or entire residential complexes. To this end, the company is leveraging its expertise in the field of power electronics and software. Partnerships in these areas are also conceivable.

At the same time, new sales channels and regions are being established. For example, a close sales cooperation was entered into with the electronics retailer MediaMarkt. In addition to Germany, the company already offers its charging solutions abroad in Austria, Switzerland, France, Poland, and Hungary. Further countries in Europe are to follow as the business area expands.

Heidelberg Wallbox Systems can be purchased via the Amazon online platform and from electrical retailers and wholesalers, many energy suppliers, and certified electrical contractors.

Xaar’s 1003 for Meta Additive’s metal & ceramic 3D printing

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Xaar’s 1003 for Meta Additive’s metal & ceramic 3D printing
Meta Additive builds 3D solutions that mix materials at the molecular level Photo Xaar

Cambridge, 19 July 2021, the reliability and performance of Xaar’s printheads are proving key for another UK cutting edge jetting provider, Meta Additive, as it revolutionizes additive manufacturing in volume metal and ceramic 3D printing (M3DP). The collaborative approach between both businesses began in 2020 after Meta Additive had experienced difficulties sourcing printheads with sufficient capacity to deliver the performance required for its novel chemical approach to 3D printing, enabling the tailoring of materials at the molecular level.

Following a meeting with Xaar and Meta Additive’s CTO, Kate Black, a Xaar 1003 printhead was selected and supplied in under four weeks despite lockdown conditions. The application was up and running immediately. The wide operating window and unique technologies within the Xaar 1003 printhead enabled Meta Additive to use various fluids that had previously been seen as too difficult to jet. Xaar’s printhead architecture and unique TF technology, high laydown, and high viscosity capability, in conjunction with the technical support from Xaar’s Advanced Applications and Technologies Group, helped Meta Additive move beyond the conventional limits of inkjet printing.

“After initially finding it impossible to gain access to a sufficiently capable printhead, the arrival of Xaar’s 1003 product, with its unique technologies and ability to handle a wide range of fluids, was a game-changer for our development process,” said Kate Black. “With the remarkable performance and operating window of the Xaar 1003, and Xaar’s willingness to engage in open, truly two-way collaboration and development, we have seen the partnership deliver unprecedented progress and genuine innovation in the M3DP field.”

Multi-material jetting to push the boundaries of inkjet

The award of a £1.2 million Innovate UK Smart grant will build on this development as Meta Additive and Xaar work with The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and Epivalence to achieve metal 3D printing of multi-materials at scale. Mike Seal, Xaar’s head of Advanced Applications, Technologies and Fluids, said, “Our work with Meta Additive and its binder jetting innovation is as creative as it is relevant to today’s evolving manufacturing environment. And above all, it demonstrates the role that inkjet technology and collaboration between forward-thinking businesses are playing in pushing the boundaries of inkjet.

“The ability of the team to think laterally, adopting and adapting to drive their progress, fits hand in glove with our Advanced Applications and Technologies Group, and we are very much looking forward to where this superb collaborative development can take manufacturing in the future.”

Founded in October 2019, Meta Additive develops innovative metallic and ceramic binders and 3D printing equipment, providing industrial Additive Manufacturing solutions for a broad market sector.

Fujifilm announces its new jet press 750s high-speed model

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Fujifilm’s new jet press 750s high-speed model
Fujifilm’s new jet press 750s high-speed model

Following the announcement of the new Jet Press 750S High-Speed Model at virtual.drupa 2021, Fujifilm will host the first live demonstration of the machine in action on 27 July 2021 at 10.30 am UK Time. 11.30 CET.

The First look event, hosted at the Fujifilm Advanced Print Technology Centre in Brussels, will demonstrate how users can quickly and simply switch between high performance and high-quality modes. Attendees will also learn which mode is best suited for a range of jobs, considering the ink savings and the time savings of the high-performance mode and the fact that there is no need to use the Rapid Coagulation Primer.

Fujifilm’s Jet Press 750S high-speed model is the upgrade version of the current 750S

Mark Stephenson, Product Manager, Digital Solutions, Fujifilm Graphic Systems Europe, says: “The Jet Press 750S, and its predecessor the Jet Press 720S, have been setting the standard for digital quality in commercial print for some time now. The quality and the up-time were already both so good that we looked beyond incremental improvements and turned our attention to the speed and found a way to make it significantly faster.

The new high-performance mode opens up a world of possibilities for longer print runs that would usually have been litho printed in the past. Still, crucially, users of the new model will retain the ability to deliver high margin, high-quality short-run work as well. It offers commercial printers unrivaled flexibility in a rapidly changing market.”

The Jet Press 750S high-speed model, which is also offered as an upgrade to current 750S users, will be commercially available in Europe in the autumn.

To register for the First look event on 27 July, click here.

 

More than 40 Journalists among Indians targeted for surveillance by government

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Indian Express
Home page of The Indian Express on 19 July 2021 Screenshot

The Indian Express of 19 July 2021 reports that three of its editors — two current and one former — are among the over 40 journalists whose phone numbers figure in a leaked list of potential surveillance by an ‘unidentified agency,’ using the Israeli NSO’s Pegasus spyware. The paper cites a report that went live at around 930 pm Sunday on The Wire (thewire.in.) The Wire is one of the 17 media organizations, including the Washington Post and The Guardian, drawing and collectively checking leaked data accessed by the Paris-based Forbidden Stories organization.

The Pegasus software is sent to the cellphones of those targetted by various methods, including What’s App messages. It is then used to hack the smartphone for surveillance and tracking purposes. NSO claims the software is only sold to government organizations, just like armaments and weapons, and that it strictly monitors that it is used only for security purposes. The news reports of the leak say that ten Indian government security and police organizations were licensees or users of the Pegasus software.

Globally, the list of potential individuals targeted for surveillance includes 180 journalists. It also lists Roula Khalaf before she took charge as editor of the Financial Times last year. “The presence of a number in the database indicates its likely selection as a target for surveillance, but whether a phone was actually hacked and infected can only be established through forensic examination of the device – more easily done if the instrument in question is an iPhone,” reported The Wire.

The report also says that among the Indian citizens whose phones are on the list are two ministers in the central government, three opposition leaders, and various other activists and vocal or dissenting citizens. Most of the names were targeted between 2018 and 2019 — in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha general elections.

Among the journalists identified in the Express report are Hindustan Times executive editor Shishir Gupta, Sandeep Unnithan of India Today, Vijaita Singh of The Hindu, Rohini Singh, a regular contributor to The Wire, J Gopikrishnan of The Pioneer and freelance journalist Swati Chaturvedi. Siddharth Varadarajan and MK Venu, founder editors of The Wire are also on this list and it has been confirmed that their phones were in fact infected by the Pegasus hack.

The numbers of Indian Express deputy editor Muzamil Jaleel, who reports on Jammu and Kashmir and internal security, and Sushant Singh, who covered defence and security for The Indian Express when his phone was an alleged target, are also on the list. Singh left the newspaper in August 2020 when he was deputy editor.

The Indian Express’s senior assistant editor Ritika Chopra, who covers the Election Commission and the Ministry of Education, also appears in the leaked records. Chopra revealed the divide within the Election Commission over its response to complaints of poll code violations, including those related to then-incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then BJP president Amit Shah. For that work, she was awarded the International Press Institute (India) Award for Excellence in Journalism, 2020.

“The potential targeting for surveillance of our journalists is a breach of the Constitutional guarantees of freedom and privacy,” said Raj Kamal Jha, chief editor, The Indian Express. “These principles, affirmed time and again by the Supreme Court, are vital to the independence, dignity, and functioning of the press. The Indian Express Group is committed to defending these principles.”

Tata Technologies partners Stratasys for 3D additive manufacturing

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The Stratasys J55 3D printer that’s aimed at design offices producing prototypes and looks to be about the size of a small fridge freezer.
The Stratasys J55 3D printer that’s aimed at design offices producing prototypes and looks to be about the size of a small fridge freezer.

On 7 July 2021, Pune-based Tata Technologies stated that it is partnering with the US founded and Israel headquartered Stratasys, a 3D printing technology company to provide additive manufacturing capabilities to Indian manufacturers. Tata Tech’s leverage in the manufacturing sector will use Stratasys solutions to assist concepts, prototyping, and manufacturing in the country. Stratasys has had a presence in Bengaluru for several years.

The Tata Tech press release states, “The partnership will combine complete capabilities and offerings of Stratasys’ in the polymer space in terms of products designed to yield functional prototypes in multi-color.”

Tata Tech president and global head of technology solutions, Anand Bhade, sees 3D additive manufacturing affecting quick prototyping and manufacturing positively. 3D additive printing is a disruptive technology that uses inkjet type arrays to lay down materials in subsequent layers to create contours and solid objects in various materials. It is already used in the country for dentistry and the manufacture of prosthetic components, and the prototyping of consumer products.

While the 3D output of machine parts and models is well established for the last two decades, the full-size prototyping from computer-aided design is relatively new, especially from materials such as plastic resins, metal, fiber, and ceramics. There are already European manufacturers of food processing and packaging equipment that no longer provide spare parts but instead permit their 3D manufacture by their customers by providing an output file and material specification for a 3D printer.

Tata Technologies’ press release adds, “The manufacturing sector in India has been fraught with various challenges to meet the contemporary needs of end-users, which include higher precision, faster time-to-market, mass product customization, and automation.” It stated that rapid prototyping and 3D printing from computer-aided designs using various raw materials such as plastic, thermoplastic, metal, fiber, resin, and ceramics could produce sophisticated designs at minimal costs and lower raw material usage.

Rajiv Bajaj, managing director for Stratasys India and South East Asia, said that the partnership with Tata Technologies shows the company’s commitment to Indian industry in driving the adoption of additive manufacturing. He expects this to be one of the viable solutions to address vulnerabilities in manufacturing and supply chain logistics. “We welcome Tata Technologies, one of the most trusted brands in India, to our ecosystem and are confident that this partnership will accelerate technological transformation in Indian industry and academia with best-in-class Stratasys technology,” he said.

EFI’s new Imaging of Things podcast to start from 27 July 2021

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EFI’s new Imaging of Things podcast series to start very soon
EFI’s new Imaging of Things podcast series to start very soon

Hosted by Nick Benkovich, vice president of Portfolio Management for EFI Productivity Software, Electronics For Imaging, Inc.’s brand-new Imaging of Things podcast series will deliver informative interviews and educational content for printing, packaging, and marketing service professionals covering a broad range of topics. 

Beginning 27 July, the biweekly English-language podcast will be available at imaging-of-things.simplecast.com, with each episode archived after airing for streaming on demand.

“The changes, challenges, and the opportunities in the industry are only accelerating as the centuries-old business of print and packaging evolves in the face of new markets, new buyers, and new technologies,” said Benkovich. “I am excited to be doing this podcast as a direct way to share and discuss important industry topics – with some key industry experts – to discuss there, and the market’s evolution, print’s digital transformation, the role technology is playing to create a smarter, more effective and efficient industry, and the emergence of the next generation of print professionals.” 

EFI’s planned podcast topics include:

  • Surviving market challenges and what we learned
  • Educating the next generation
  • Future-proofing your business
  • Leveraging technology
  • Mailing – is it still relevant?

Along with Benkovich, guests on the podcast will include a wide range of industry experts and the company’s customers who will be sharing their expertise and experience to help others further develop their own businesses. 

EFI developed the podcast series, which Amaze Media Labs will produce, to extend the customer interaction and discussions the EFI user community has with events such as the EFI Connect user conference. This year’s EFI Engage virtual user’s conference. With the Imaging of Things podcast, Benkovich and EFI will bring timely and useful information to help the industry move forward following the pandemic.

 

TriState Container Corporation acquires Xeikon IDERA digital press

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Xeikon's IDERA digital press
Xeikon's IDERA digital press

Xeikon and TriState Container Corporation announced that TriState has become the first print provider to acquire IDERA, a brand-new digital printing solution for corrugated packaging converters. 

TriState Container Corporation is an independently owned third-generation manufacturer located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. TriState provides various corrugated solutions from shipping containers to custom high graphic corrugated requirements through two divisions, TriState Container and ProCorr Display and Packaging.

IDERA was created to bring easy, flexible, and sustainable packaging to the corrugated packaging industry. The IDERA architecture and specifications provide speed, flexibility, and agility to corrugated converters, delivering new opportunities with customers and internal productivity gains to the converter.

To make this happen, IDERA prints on coated and uncoated corrugated sheets up to 63 inches wide x 110 inches long enables variable printing speeds between 196ft/min and 393ft/min flexibility in terms of in-line priming, varnishing and drying, and peripherals such as automatic pre-feeding and stacking.

Allen Friedman, President, TriState Container Corporation, commented, “I saw my first single-pass digital press in a corrugated converting operation about five years ago. What struck me was the potential impact this technology could have on addressing limitations of current analog technologies, and the requirements converters place on packaging buyers to maintain internal efficiency and cost.” 

“As an independent, we are always looking for how we can create greater value for our customer while building competitive advantage for ourselves. We believe the IDERA digital press positions TriState to achieve both. We envision internal and external benefits for TriState. Internally, we can move jobs to the digital press that are better suited to digital technology. Externally, we see this as a perfect fit for customers with emerging or proliferating brands.”

“These types of jobs may be too small for flexo runs and too large for multi-pass. In the past, these brands were afraid of the associated time and costs when they wanted to improve print quality or make a design step change. Many have indicated a desire to change their order of behavior. We also see an opportunity to develop design capabilities for our customers.”

Friedman concluded with a statement, “We’re looking forward to promoting IDERA’s high print quality to our customers and being able to print short and long runs with all the benefits of a digital print-on-demand solution, including reduced waste. Even more importantly, we have kicked off a long-term partnership with Xeikon as I believe they are one of the few providers with the competences, resources, and approach to succeed in the digital corrugated box market.”

To develop IDERA, Xeikon combined its long-established in-house digital expertise with its parent company’s experience and manufacturing footprint, Flint Group. As the number one supplier of inks for corrugated packaging, Flint has a deep understanding of the corrugated market.

Sebastien Stabel, Market Segment Manager, Carton Packaging for Xeikon, notes that “Xeikon is, of course, excited about the digital potential in the corrugated market, but it’s critical to successfully implement this reference installation. Together with TriState, we have developed a business model as well as a technical solution to kick-off digital production.”

Stabel concludes, “IDERA is backed up by Xeikon’s own food-compliant IDERA at inks, industrial inkjet, and workflow know-how. We have worked closely with Flint Group, our partners, and most importantly our customers to customize hardware and ink sets to address the changing needs of the corrugated market in North America and Europe.”

 

Gartex Texprocess India Digital Symposium launches today (16 July)

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Gartex
Gartex Texprocess India Digital Symposium from 16 July

Messe Frankfurt India and Mex Exhibitions are set to host a digital symposium series on crucial industry topics until the hybrid edition of Gartex Texprocess India. The symposium will play a significant role in highlighting emerging trends and keeping business players engaged in the field of textile and garment manufacturing so they can prepare themselves according to the changing dynamics of the industry. Given that the landscape of textile and apparel manufacturing is changing with more focus and demand for “sustainable solutions” and circular economy, a wide set of industry topics will be addressed covering the changing trends across global fiber and yarn business, benefits of recycling in textile and retail segments, denim design, as well as insights depicting the way forward for garment wet processing manufacturers.

“The aim of these periodic digital knowledge sessions is to keep the industry closely connected and provide stakeholders with crucial insights to strengthen their knowledge base and channel it towards optimizing their business,” added Raj Manek, executive director, and board member, Messe Frankfurt Asia Holdings.

Both the physical and virtual platforms will showcase a plethora of products with live demonstrations. The virtual will place emphasis on product showcases as well as exhibitor search. Both of these segments will be driven by an “AI matchmaking tool”, enabling visitors to connect with the exhibitors based on their individual product requirements.

With the strategic support of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), Gartex Texprocess India aims to reunite the entire textile and apparel value chain and explore business opportunities that can make way for faster recovery and growth of the industry.

Messe Frankfurt sets new dates for Screen Print India New Delhi and Mumbai hybrid editions

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Screen Print India New Delhi moved to December 2021 and Mumbai edition will be held in April 2022
Screen Print India New Delhi moved to December 2021 and Mumbai edition will be held in April 2022

Screen Print India New Delhi has been moved to December 2021 and will take place alongside Gartex Texprocess India, while the Mumbai edition will be held in April 2022. The hybrid trade fairs aim to bring the industry together for crucial sourcing and learning opportunities and create synergies between sector players of garment manufacturing and textile printing segments.

Messe Frankfurt India has announced that the first hybrid edition of Screen Print India New Delhi, which was initially planned in August, will now be held from 3 – 5 December 2021 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Screen Print India will showcase a series of knowledge sessions and live demos

The decision to move the dates of the fair aims to provide more time and flexibility for exhibitors to plan their participation while enabling organizers to create a business environment that is strongly conducive to host the fair. Following the New Delhi edition, the Mumbai edition of Screen Print India will be hosted as a hybrid fair from 21 – 23 April 2022 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, alongside the Gartex Texprocess India Mumbai edition.

Across the three days of the exhibition, the virtual format of Screen Print India New Delhi will showcase a series of knowledge sessions and live demos and place a key emphasis on product showcases and exhibitor search. The physical format in parallel will provide a first-hand experience of witnessing the products live and interacting with the exhibitors face-to-face. Furthermore, the physical exhibition will be organized under the parameters of MFI SafeConnect, thus ensuring a secure B2B networking experience.

The hybrid edition of Screen Print India New Delhi will be hosted alongside Gartex Texprocess India to benefit printing professionals who are commonly engaged in both textile and screen-printing segments.

 

INMA South Asia News Media Summit on August 12 and 13

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INMA
Anant Goenka, executive director of The Indian Express Group at the INMA India Conference in 2018. Photo INMA

The International News Media Association (INMA) will conduct a South Asia News Media Summit August 12-13 focused on interpreting the “new playbook” for growth and innovation that the pandemic has revealed for the South Asia news media.

The South Asia News Media Summit is free for INMA members, while non-members can register online at www.inma.org/southasia

The two-day INMA summit aims to showcase best practices, strategies, and inspirations of the news media scene that are shaping the future of news publishing with a focus on South Asia. Delegates will gain insights into the prevailing and pertinent tenets of the new playbook: sustainability of business models, transformation in culture, ad sales, newsroom, storytelling, data, and audiences.

Confirmed speakers include Pawan Agarwal, deputy managing director, Dainik Bhaskar, and President, INMA South Asia Division; Stephen Dunbar Johnson, president International, The New York Times; Vanita Kohli Khandekar, columnist and writer, Business Standard; Ritu Kapur, founder, and chief executive officer, The Quint; Thomas Lue Lytzen, head of ad sales, JP/Politikens Hus, Denmark; Kumar Nadesan, managing director, Express Newspapers Ceylon; Sivakumar Sundaram, chairman Executive Committee, Bennett Coleman & Co; Rishad Tobaccowala, consultant, author and former chief strategy officer at Publicis Groupe; Robert Whitehead, digital platform initiative lead, International News Media Association (INMA); and Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director, and chief executive officer, International News Media Association (INMA).

Key themes to be covered include navigating digital platforms, audiences of the 21st century, media consumption patterns, unlocking digital advertising, decoding first-party data, new forms of storytelling, organizational disruption, navigating digital platforms, and growth and monetization.

INMA
INMA South Asia News Media Summit to be held from 12-13 August 2021

By registering for the INMA South Asia News Media Summit, attendees will gain access to the livestream August 12-13 as well as all summit recordings and presentations. The non-member registration fee is Rs 7,500 per person.

Complete South Asia Pacific News Media Summit information may be found at www.inma.org/southasia

The International News Media Association (INMA) is a global community of market-leading news media companies reinventing how they engage audiences and grow revenue in a multi-platform environment.

The INMA community consists of more than 18,000 members at 900+ news media companies in 77 countries, representing tens of thousands of news brands. INMA is the news media industry’s foremost ideas-sharing network with members connected via conferences, reports, webinars, virtual meetings, awards competitions, and an unparalleled archive of best practices. INMA leads the news industry with initiatives dedicated to better understanding digital subscriptions, smart data, products, advertising, and the emerging relationship with big tech platforms.

Perswall installs Xeikon’s CX500 dry toner press

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Perswall
Perswall's Xeikon CX500 printing wallpapers

Perswall, part of the Embellence Group and an enterprise in digital wallpaper construction installed a Xeikon CX500 dry toner digital colour press in 2020. The company today is described as a lifestyle brand for the career-minded who wish to improve their individual and genuine self-expression. Perswall was rebranded and re-launched in March 2021 and at the same time released a collection of designs called ‘Serene Beginnings’ signed by designer Sarah Widman with 11 wallpapers in Scandinavian tones with bohemian elements.

Fredrik Larsson Larsson, chief operating officer of public-held Embellence Group states, “With our 115-year heritage of wallpaper production, our company has the experience, understanding, and knowledge to create unique designs to suit today’s consumer requirements. After years of paint playing a leading role in interior decoration, it is time for wallpaper renaissance. With digitally printed premium wallpaper, a self-developed ePlatform, and fast delivery service, Perswall is attracting design interested and quality conscious customers around the world. With our new Xeikon printing press we can now produce around 2000 square meters (21,000 square feet) of designer wallpaper every day.

Moving forward with Digital

In 2020, Perswall installed the Xeikon CX500 dry toner digital colour press for digital wallpaper production to increase capacity. Replacing a previous Xeikon press, they chose the CX500 as part of Xeikon’s highly productive Wall Decoration Digital Production Suite, to not only increase capacity but to increase their capabilities to compete in a growing marketplace.

Perswall
Perswall’s Xeikon CX500 dry toner press in progress

Larsson explains, “Our ambition is to grow and fill the Xeikon machine with more and more jobs. The competition in the digital wallpaper production arena is growing but our strength and advantage is in having been early into this market. Also, we now have a seamless workflow from web order to printer. With the efficiency, quality, and flexibility of the Xeikon CX500 machine, this eco-friendly solution will enable us to produce fully finished rolls on the broadest range of substrates in short runs with fast changeovers and minimal waste. Our designer wallpapers use a non-woven material, a cellulose-based paper with polyester fibers.”

Perswall creates designer wallpaper to attract style-conscious consumers looking for high quality and unique interior design environments. Perswall produces wallpaper ‘on demand’ for both the Perswall and Boråstapeter brands. Customers are able to upload their own pictures or design and define the precise size of the final result. Delivery can be done within four days of ordering. It is also possible to order through a reseller, where customers can go to collect the final product. The Perswall brand is geared to be ‘right in time’ with the company communicating directly with its customers to build relationships based upon cooperation and the development of creative wallpaper products.

Covering the whole of the Nordic region, the Perswall production facility is situated in Borås, a city, one hour into the country from Gothenburg, Sweden, and famous for its textile tradition. The factory in Borås still uses old techniques for printing wallpaper, such as the original glue printing technique collagraphy. 150 staff in total work for both the Perswall and Boråstapeter brands. 50 of those staff cover production and design at the Borås headquarters facility. 80 percent of production goes to the Nordic market while the rest is distributed around the world, from North America to New Zealand.

Niche Products

In production, other methods are represented apart from digital. At Perswall they utilize gravure, screen, flexo, and collagraphy. Defining the two brands one could say that Boråstapeter approaches the broader market while Perswall serves the niche and ‘on demand’ markets. The company group also comprises an Italian production unit focused on exclusive products under the wall and deco brand. These products can be used outdoors and in sanitary rooms and are printed using inkjet technology.

Larsson comments, “So what is popular right now? What motifs are most liked by consumers today? The answer is – all kinds of flowers, small and large. Among the bestsellers, we find romantic large flowers and a pruning pompous greenhouse, wallpaper with a world map, and images of Central Park and New York skyscrapers. Trends in interior decoration have changed throughout history. Through time wallpaper has had glory days and difficult days. Painted walls dominated 20 years ago and the norm in construction was to deliver white painted walls – a non-choice that gave a rather sterile environment.”

Planning for growth

Perswall has a vision to grow its market share and is leaning on its long history and the diversity of skills of the company plus its partnerships with leading designers. Perswall’s new collection ‘Serene Beginnings’ signed by Sarah Widman follows an ongoing strategy. Every year the company releases and presents between five and ten different collections. The launch plans can span between two and five years and at present, there are more designer co-operations in the pipeline.

The Embellence Group has set a target of doubling its turnover to EUR 120 million in the next five years. The target to be reached is planned with a continued focus on the premium end of the markets plus growing turnover in international markets – also through acquiring other international players. Founded in 2006 by Irene and Christofer Gimmersta, the company was one of the pioneers in digital wallpaper production. Earlier called WallVision, the Emballence Group has a turnover of EUR 57 million. In March the Group was listed on Nasdaq First North Premier.

Larsson concludes, “Today wallpaper is back in vogue and interior decorators are looking out for unique and exceptional creative designs for walls and other surfaces. More and more people are now seeing that it’s not boring anymore to put up wallpaper, but rather a simple way to improve their standard of living and stimulate their personal environment. At Perswall, we demonstrate our wallpapers as an exclusive design product, not as a construction piece. Xeikon’s CX500 digital wall decoration press is a key asset in our plans for the future.”

Cortec introduces Eco Wrap to support ‘Greener’ packaging

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Cortec’s Eco Wrap for Greener packaging solution
Cortec’s Eco Wrap for Greener packaging solution

Industries that have been waiting to add “greener” packaging materials to their normal packaging processes need to wait no longer! Cortec’s patent-pending Eco Wrap commercially compostable stretch film is now available on the market as an excellent substitute for traditional polyethylene stretch wrap.

Eco Wrap can be used on most standard automated stretch wrap equipment to palletize goods for storage, inventory, or shipment. The only adjustment typically needed is to increase tension due to Eco Wrap’s extreme elasticity.*

Cortec Corporation specially designs Eco Wrap to meet industrial stretch wrapping needs while allowing for final disposal in a commercial composting environment. It offers three key benefits:

  • Uses less material without sacrificing strength
  • Reduces conventional plastic waste
  • Improves user’s environmental image

Cortec forging a path toward Greener packaging

Cortec is forging a path that industries can follow toward “greener,” more responsible packaging methods by developing Eco Wrap. Made with certified compostable resin plus a tackifier additive, Eco Wrap is designed to meet the ASTM D6400 standard for commercial composting so that after use, companies can send their discarded Eco Wrap to the nearest industrial composting facility to be turned into a soil amendment.

In addition to serving as a responsible waste management practice, this may help users avoid tariffs, fines, and tip fees in areas where polyethylene is prohibited or restricted. Eco Wrap is a shelf and curb stable and will retain its integrity until disposed of properly.

Automated stretch wrapping in countless industries

Eco Wrap is considered the first compostable stretch film used on automated equipment—a must for efficient packaging in the warehousing and shipping industries. It can be used in countless stretch wrapping applications and is ideally suited for agricultural shipments such as hay bales and lumber. It is also a great option for wrapping pallets, corralling goods for shipment, wrapping luggage at airports, packaging construction materials, and transporting the furniture in society’s seemingly endless moving and home furnishing activities. Eco Wrap is so versatile that practically any industry can find a use for it. 

One of many compostable solutions

Cortec continues to pursue an aggressive R&D program toward developing “greener” packaging solutions like Eco Wrap, which is one in a long line of commercially compostable films created by Cortec. Cortec is excited to go beyond basic compostable bags for yard waste and organics recycling to make commercially compostable grade films that can be substituted for traditional plastics in the everyday industry. This expanding portfolio also includes shrink film—plus various corrosion inhibiting films, bags, and stretch wrap for protective metal packaging.

 

Record sales for Koenig & Bauer at China Print in Beijing

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Koenig & Bauer
More than 150 print professionals were present on the trade show stand to witness the official unveiling of the new Rapida 105 series. Another 2,000 followed the event via a live online stream

From 23 to 27 June 2021, Koenig & Bauer showcased its comprehensive product and service portfolio on a stand measuring more than 1,000 square meter at the China Print exhibition in Beijing. The spotlight was directed at the world première of the Rapida 105 generation, which took centrestage. Its unveiling was one of the absolute highlights of the technology exhibition, and also caused a stir among the wider trade public. Most of the printing industry professionals who visited the Koenig & Bauer stand were visibly impressed by the print demonstrations performed on the new medium-format press (max. sheet format 720/740×1,050 millimeter), with its high production output and fast job changeovers.

Koenig & Bauer
The première of the new Rapida 105 delighted the Chinese print professionals

Rapida 105 attracts customers

The dynamic design of the new Rapida 105 and the long list of features adopted from other medium-format series, such as the feed table with a single suction belt, extensive preset capabilities and comprehensive measuring and control systems, helped to make the Rapida 105 the crowd favourite. The fact that the press has been developed and manufactured entirely in Germany is another major plus point. Walter Zehner, chief executive officer of Koenig & Bauer Greater China, explains, “The Rapida 105 has been very popular with our Chinese customers for several decades. The new generation was developed in accordance with their particular needs, and is geared specifically to the challenges that arise in everyday print production operations.”


Thanks to extensive configuration options and its substrate flexibility, the Rapida 105 is an ideal choice for packaging, commercial and even label printing. It thereby allows users to expand their product range and help exploit new potential for commercial success. The first two days of the exhibition already saw several companies sign purchase contracts for the new Rapida 105.

Koenig & Bauer
Print samples from the Koenig & Bauer stand were in great demand among trade show visitors


Contracts with print companies from all over China

By the end of China Print, more orders had been received from print companies all over China. Along with the medium-format models, considerable interest was shown in large-format sheetfed offset presses from the Rapida 145 and Rapida 164 series. This can be attributed to a particular demand for high-quality packaging, especially for mobile telephones and other electronic products.


Walter Zehner further shared, “The success far exceeded our expectations. In terms of the number of orders received, we were able to post a new record for China Print.” Zehner thanked his team in China for their hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic, and was more than happy with the outcome their efforts brought, “Despite the serious situation, our trade show presentation was an unqualified success and attracted attention from far beyond China itself.” And he is confident that Chinese printers’ demand for new press technologies will continue to grow in future.

Koenig & Bauer
The Koenig & Bauer trade show stand, once again, provided the backdrop for film and photo shoots during China Print

Dietmar Heyduck, senior vice-president for sales at Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, is equally delighted, “My sincere thanks go to our customers for continuing to place their trust in our products, and to the Koenig & Bauer teams in both China and Germany for a fantastic trade show. We are now looking forward to brisk post-exhibition business.”

Meduit Labs and Quintype’s upcoming webinar on maximizing reader revenue

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Meduit Labs
Meduit Labs' upcoming webinar on maximizing reader revenue

As the environment of digital publication shifts fast, monetization is critical to the sustainability of media businesses. Meduit Labs, in association with Quintype, is organizing a webinar on ‘Optimize reader revenue model: way ahead for digital publishers’ on 22 July 2021 at 1500 hrs IST. The session aims to help digital creators maximize content quality armed with knowledge.

Ankit Dikshit, founder, and principal consultant, Meduit Labs will conduct the session which will cover important aspects such as identifying the target audience and potential subscribers, paywall and its types, North Star Metric for subscription success, various stages of the subscription life cycle, and finding the subscription product-market fit.

The seminar will provide significant insights on improving reader experience and data management for subscriptions. Meduit Labs is also offering a free consultation to five publishers who join the webinar.

Limited seats available. Click here to register your spot.

Messe Frankfurt India and MEX Exhibitions tie up with the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry

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Messe Frankfurt India
MoU signing ceremony

Messe Frankfurt India and MEX Exhibitions have joined hands with the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) for the maiden hybrid edition of Gartex Texprocess India, which has now been rescheduled to December 2021. Ahead of the hybrid exhibition, the organizers will keep the garment and textile manufacturing segment players engaged through a series of digital symposiums.

In a bid to provide a strong business push to the textile and apparel sector, the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has signed an MoU with Messe Frankfurt India and MEX Exhibitions, organizers of India’s leading textile and garment machinery and accessories fair. The strategic partnership aims to reconnect the textile and apparel value chain for business at the first hybrid edition of Gartex Texprocess India and support the sector as it recovers from the effects of the pandemic by enabling reach to domestic and international buyers through the show’s new multimodal format.

At the signing of the MoU, S. Sunanda, secretary general, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry shared, “India has shown that it is innovative and self-reliant when it comes to the textile sector, and as the sector is gearing up to demonstrate value-added benefits of Indian products, we are happy to partner with Gartex Texprocess India, which has proven to be a credible platform for business. We are confident that with the organizers’ vision and the platform’s hybrid format, we can facilitate the growth, development, and business collaborations within the industry.”

Gaurav Juneja, director, MEX Exhibitions, added, “By partnering with CITI, we intend to bring greater participation and product showcases on the show floors of Gartex Texprocess India. The support and reach of CITI will go a long way in bringing the industry together and creating opportunities for trade and investment.”

Additionally, the organizers have also announced that the fair will now be held from 3 – 5 December 2021, instead of its originally planned schedule in August 2021. This move ensures better planning flexibility for exhibitors and will render a stronger B2B engagement experience through its physical and virtual platforms.

Commenting on the developments, Raj Manek, executive director and board member, Messe Frankfurt Asia Holdings, shared, “We are glad to join hands with the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) and believe that the support and reach of CITI will bring in strong value to the fabric segment of our trade fair while opening doors to lucrative business engagements for the industry.”

Further elaborating on the decision to host the trade fair in December, Manek added, “We are optimistic that the increasing roll out of vaccination and setting up of vaccination drives will help in stabilizing the socio-economic scenario and provide a healthy business environment to host the fair. It will also give exhibitors more time to prepare for the hybrid edition and bring their best product showcases on stage. However, until the exhibition goes live, we aim to keep the textile and garment industry professionals engaged with crucial learning.”

Gartex Texprocess India Digital Symposium series to mark its launch this week. Messe Frankfurt India and MEX Exhibitions are set to host a Digital Symposium series on crucial industry topics until the hybrid edition. The symposium will play a significant role in highlighting emerging trends and keeping business players engaged in the field of textile and garment manufacturing so they can prepare themselves according to the changing dynamics of the industry. Given that the landscape of textile and apparel manufacturing is changing with more focus and demand for “sustainable solutions” and circular economy, a wide set of industry topics will be addressed covering the changing trends across global fiber and yarn business, benefits of recycling in textile and retail segments, denim design, as well as insights depicting the way forward for garment wet processing manufacturers.

The aim of these periodic digital knowledge sessions is to keep the industry closely connected and provide stakeholders with crucial insights to strengthen their knowledge base and channel it towards optimizing their business.” added Manek.

While both the physical and virtual platforms will showcase a plethora of products with live demonstrations, the physical show will be divided into major zones – Embroidery Zone, Garmenting and Apparel Machinery, Digitex Show, Denim Show, India Laundry Show, and Fabrics and Trims Show.

The virtual show, on the other hand, will place emphasis on product showcases as well as exhibitor search. Both of these segments will be driven by an “AI matchmaking tool”, enabling visitors to connect with the exhibitors based on their individual product requirements.

Wan-Ifra: Six APAC news publishers picked for transformation program

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South Korean news organization Dong-A Ilbo, one of the six to be chosen for the Wan-Ifra APAC program supported by Facebook
South Korean news organization Dong-A Ilbo, one of the six to be chosen for the Wan-Ifra APAC program supported by Facebook

A new batch of six APAC news media companies will embark on the second edition of the Newsroom and Business Transformation Asia (NBTA) program. It follows the success of the last year’s groundbreaking initiative. The programme starts this week and will run until November 2021.

The following news media companies will participate in the 2021 program – BeritaSatu.com (Indonesia), Kompas.com (Indonesia), Maeil Business Newspaper (South Korea), Sun (Fiji) News Pte Ltd (Fiji), SunStar Publishing Inc. (Philippines), The Dong-a Ilbo (South Korea).
The program is designed for news companies in APAC that plan to launch their first paid-content product or activity soon. It brings together one senior editorial and one senior commercial executive from each publisher for four months of training and coaching.

The curriculum equips them with the insights, know-how, and tools to help execute their organisations’ transformation and reader revenue strategy. It covers strategic thinking, planning and implementation, rebalancing print advertising and reader revenue, creating new audiences and retaining existing ones with new products, content, features and services, pricing, marketing and building data capabilities.

There will be case studies from around the world, guest speaker sessions and hands-on project work by participants. These projects will be framed to produce an actionable plan to deal with a go-live challenge at participants’ companies. A US$ 10,000 grant from Facebook supports each project. Participants can use the grant for various purposes such as technology, IT or software purchases, content experimentation, prototype development, etc.

“We welcome the second year of participants to the Wan-Ifra, the Newsroom and Business Transformation Asia 2021. Our partnership with WAN-IFRA is an important part of our commitment to support the region’s news industry build sustainable business growth and engaging content that serves and informs our region.” Anjali Kapoor, director of News Partnerships, Facebook Asia Pacific.

“Reader revenue is a cornerstone of sustainable digital news models. We hope the Newsroom and Business Transformation APAC program will help accelerate the transformation process and equip media companies with the skills needed to survive the disruption to the traditional media business,” said Thomas Jacob, COO of WAN-IFRA.
Digital strategy consultant Gregor Waller and former Managing Editor of The Times of London, George Brock, helm the program.

For Maria Benyamin, editor-in-chief of Bisnis Indonesia, getting advice from the programme leads to develop a holistic reader-engagement strategy to drive her publication’s subscriptions made NBTA 2020 an invaluable learning experience. With their advice, her publication executed a content audit, adjusted its prices, improved its payment systems to minimise friction, started a marketing campaign, re-evaluated its social media engagement tactics and launched a daily email newsletter for readers.

“In the last eight months since we completed NBTA, we saw our subscriptions rates increase more than sixfold (per December 2020). In addition, we found that email newsletters are very effective for incentivizing reader registration and driving traffic to our website,” said Benyamin.

“The ideas discussed during NBTA 2020 about designing experiments, using the right tools and drawing the right conclusions from the data convinced us of the need to develop better data competencies, said Wong Shau Meng, assistant general manager of audience growth at Malaysia-based publication Sin Chew Daily. “We realised we have a lot of data, but it was not very well organised. We have since implemented those ideas to improve our data capabilities,” he said.

Editors Guild of India disturbed by UP’s heavy handed treatment of journalists

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Editors Guild of India disturbed by UP's heavy handed treatment of journalists
Siddique Kappan, journalist who was imprisoned by the UP state government for covering the Hathras rape and murder case. Kappan was chained to his bed in the jail where he was ill with Covid-19. Subsequently, the Supreme Court asked for him to be transferred to a hospital in Delhi, saying, "Even an undertrial is entitled to the right to life guaranteed by the Indian constitution. Photo The Leaflet.in

On 12 July 2021, the Editors Guild of India sent a public note to the press saying, that it is “deeply disturbed by the continuing trend of heavy-handedness by the state authorities in Uttar Pradesh with respect to journalists and media. The latest incident is that of an assault on a journalist by the Chief Development Officer (CDO), in the district of Unnao, UP, on July 10, 2021, when the former was covering polling for Block Pramukh elections. In a video that has gone viral on social media, Krishna Tiwari, a local journalist, is seen being beaten up by Divyanshu Patel (CDO), as well as reportedly some BJP workers.”

The “EGI finds this incident highly condemnable and actionable. This incident has come against the backdrop of increased persecution of journalists in the state of UP, as the administration has punished, penalized, and incarcerated journalists in an effort to intimidate them from freely reporting on crimes, state excesses, and the management of the pandemic. Siddique Kappan, the journalist who was arrested while reporting on the rape and murder of a Dalit woman in Hathras in October 2020, still remains in jail under the draconian UAPA, in spite of several appeals by the family and the civil society to afford him a fair trial and treatment.” The breach of peaces charges against Kappan have been dropped as reported by the Times of India on 16 June 2021 and according to the SDO of Mant, he has been discharged from the matter. Nevertheless Kappan still remains in jail.

“Even though the CDO has subsequently apologized to the journalist, this attitude of heavy-handedness by the administration is hurting the democratic rights of the media, which becomes all the more crucial given that the state goes into polls next year.

“EGI demands that strict action be taken against the official and that concrete steps be taken to improve the environment for independent journalism in the state.”

The statement is signed by Seema Mustafa, president
Sanjay Kapoor, general secretary
Anant Nath, treasurer

Xaar acquires leading print system integrator FFEI

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John Mills, CEO of Xaar Photo Xaar
John Mills, CEO of Xaar Photo Xaar

Cambridge, 12 July 2021, Xaar has completed the acquisition of print systems and printbar specialist FFEI Limited. The deal will accelerate the company’s existing growth strategy and will enable Xaar to capture additional opportunities in vertically integrated solutions.

FFEI is a leading integrator and manufacturer of industrial digital inkjet systems and digital life science technology with many years of experience in managing technical integration and engineering projects. Its highly innovative and advanced imaging solutions and printbar manufacturing have enabled the business to establish several joint ventures with world leading organisations in both digital inkjet and life sciences.

The addition of FFEI strengthens Xaar’s capabilities and skills and will help to provide a more comprehensive solution for its growing number of OEM and UDI (User Developer Integrator) customers.

Based in Hemel Hempstead, UK, CEO Andy Cook and CFO Julian Payne will remain in their current roles and report to Xaar’s CEO John Mills. Bob Wilson, FFEI’s CTO, will join Xaar in a senior position within the printhead business, where he will focus on delivering technologies for the company’s UDI customers.

John Mills said, “Having restructured and stabilized our core printhead business, the acquisition of FFEI will accelerate our strategy and expand our customer offering in a range of markets. As well as providing a number of ready-made solutions, the acquisition will further enhance Xaar’s world class expertise.

I’ve personally known the FFEI team for many years and have long admired their capabilities having previously worked closely with them. We are very excited to welcome them to Xaar and look forward to integrating the business as we continue to deliver on our strategy.”

Andy Cook commented, “We are delighted to become part of Xaar which represents a fantastic opportunity for the business to develop and grow. Xaar has been a long-term market leader with great technology and great people and is a perfect fit for the business.”

FFEI employs over 60 people and in the year to 31 March 2021 generated revenue of £9.9 million. The initial cash consideration of £3.7 million was paid on completion, which reflects existing FFEI free cash reserves, with an additional £5.4 million deferred consideration to be paid out over three years. The Board expects the acquired expertise and resource to be utilised for projects that will drive long term profitable growth in Xaar’s core printhead business.

Agfa announces Avinci CX3200 textile printer

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Agfa Avinci CX3200 dye sublimation printer
This Agfa Avinci CX3200 is a 3.2 meter wide dye sublimation printer
Agfa is introducing a new 3.2 meter wide dye sublimation printer, the Avinci CX3200, which can print to transfer papers as well as direct to fabric, and is aimed at the soft signage market. According to Philip Van der Auwera, Agfa’s marketing manager for display graphics, “The market demand for soft signage keeps growing, as it is lightweight, resistant to wrinkles and folding, and easy to transport and reuse. The Avinci CX3200 will meet the needs of existing textile printing companies, as well as enable sign & display printers to diverge into textile printing and bring in new business. We designed it to be fit for high productivity and maximum uptime. It is extremely robust and reliable, as well as easy to operate.”It replaces the older DX3200 and is said to have double the speed. Productivity ranges from 100 sqm/hr in high quality mode to 270 square meters an hour in express mode. The CX3200 uses Kyocera KJ4B printheads with native resolution of 600 x 1800 dpi. Jelena Kovacevic, product manager for the Avinci, says, “We chose this head because of reliability and longer life.” It prints CMYK, with one head per colour. There don’t appear to be any plans to add other colours with Kovacevic saying that the combination of the Kyocera heads, the Avinci ink and Asanti RIP means that users will see very little benefit.

Kovacevic says that the ability to print direct to fabric answers requests from customers of the older DX3200. It does make for a simpler workflow although printing to fabric also limits users to precoated substrates. Consequently most users will probably be better off printing to transfer paper, which gives a better choice of uncoated, and therefore cheaper, polyester materials. It should also produce better quality prints, particularly where fine text is needed and is likely to be the preferred choice for anyone producing home decor applications.

It will take transfer papers from 70 gsm and higher. Some users will favour lighter papers to save costs but Dries Hublin, global inkjet application specialist at Agfa, notes that heavier papers allow for higher ink coverage, which can lead to better print quality, though may slow the printer down, adding, “Thinner papers absorb less ink so they can transport through the printer at higher speeds but the ink coverage will be less.” Customers can expect ink consumption to be around a fairly economical 4-5ml per square metre.

It does not have a built-in calendar unit but as Hublin points out, an inline calendar unit would slow down the printing because you cannot sublimate at higher speeds. Kovacevic adds, “We wanted to split the processes so that the printer doesn’t get burdened with the sublimation work. Also there are a lot of very fast sublimation units on the market so our customers can buy multiple printers for different applications and buy just one calendar unit.”

Strangely, there is no support for running dual 1.6m rolls. Auwera says that a single operator can load a fresh roll in under seven minutes. The rolls appear to load from the front of the machine, which should make it easier to find space for the printer. It’s been designed to have a very short media path which should help to reduce waste.

It’s worth noting that the Avinci is a rebadged South Korean machine, though Agfa hasn’t said which vendor it has worked with. Auwera did add, “Agfa is putting in a lot of R&D to bring it to the market.”

Naturally, Agfa is supplying its Asanti RIP but Auwera says that the company is also developing support for Caldera and Onyx RIPs since many potential customers may prefer to use the software they are already familiar with, though I don’t think anyone would regret using Asanti.

Van der auwera says that the CX3200 will be positioned as a mid-segment printer and will cost between US$ 200,000 and US$ 500,000, adding, “That’s the level of investment you need to look into.” It’s available now and you can find further details from agfa.com.

Republished by permission from www.nessancleary.com

Epson launches first full recirculation printhead

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Epson D3000 AIR
This 1200 npi D3000-A1R is the first Epson printhead to offer ink recirculation around the back of the nozzle

Epson has achieved this by modifying an existing printhead from its LX10000 WorkForce printer, an A3 multi-function device aimed at the office market. Paddy O’Hara, business development manager for Epson Europe, explains, “We have taken a 600dpi  head and taken away every other nozzle because you lose a nozzle to make the recirculation work.” The head is made up of six PrecisionCore chips with a total of 2952 nozzles, which deliver a 67mm print swathe.

It can produce 1200 npi resolution with a single colour but can also be configured for two colours, each with 600dpi resolution. This is a useful advantage over the Dimatix Samba, likely to be the main competition, as it allows printer vendors the option to create a basic entry level press at 600npi followed by a higher resolution version with next to no additional development work.

The D3000 has a firing frequency of 60khz, which at 1200 dpi should allow it to print at 75mpm. This speed can be pushed to 150mpm at 600dpi. O’Hara says that it’s a compact head so vendors could easily add a second row of heads to double the speeds, adding: “I believe that it will be cost-effective for the bigger printers.” The head itself measures 78.2 x 71.3 x 100.3 mm and has been shaped for easy alignment within a printbar.

It is a greyscale head though there are only three levels, one of which is zero. The native drop size is 3pl but it can also produce a larger 6pl drop at the same frequency. O’Hara notes, “We expect people to use that extra drop as an in-fill.”

It’s designed for water-based inks. The obvious target market is single pass packaging, including flexible films, followed by textiles, both for multi- and single-pass printers. Epson has already been working with some press vendors and we should see announcements from at least one of these in the not too distant future. In addition, it would be surprising if Epson did not look at this head for its own Monna Lisa textile printers.

It’s also worth noting that Epson sees the D3000 as the first in a series and is planning to introduce other versions with different drop sizes in the near-future, and possibly for other types of inks later. The company has already stated its intention to dominate the printhead market and the D3000 is a big step closer to that ambition.

Strangely, Epson has risked overshadowing the significance of the D3000 by announcing two further printheads alongside it. These are both variants of existing heads, targeted primarily at the textile market and supporting water-based inks only.

Thus the existing S3200-A3 can deliver a 9pl droplet- up from 6.5pl at the same 24kHz frequency in the existing A1 variant – giving a higher drop volume so that it can lay down more ink, as well as the ability to handle slightly higher viscosity inks. This can be set up with one colour at 600npi or two colours at 300npi each.

Equally, the I3200(8)-A1HD builds on the existing I3200(4)-A1 with extra ink channels so that it can print two colours at 1200 npi, four colours at 600npi and eight colours at 300npi, as well as some improvements to the electronics.

You can find more information from epson.com and we can expect to see further announcements shortly in terms of drive electronics from third parties as well as ultimately new presses.

Reproduced with permission from https://www.nessancleary.co.uk

GIS to support Epson D3000 AIR

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Epson D3000 AIR
This 1200 npi D3000-A1R is the first Epson printhead to offer ink recirculation around the back of the nozzle

Earlier this month I reported on Epson’s latest printhead, the D3000 A1R, and now Global Inkjet Systems has announced that it has developed drive electronics and software to support this head. The 1200 npi D3000-A1R is the first Epson printhead to offer ink recirculation around the back of the nozzle.

This support comes in the form of  the HMB-SE-D3000 Head Manager Board, which can drive up to two of the Epson D3000-A1R printheads per board. It includes print data management, greyscale waveform control and printhead diagnostics, which can all be accessed over Ethernet.

The D3000 is Epson’s first printhead to offer nozzle level ink recirculation and so GIS is also offering its proven recirculating ink delivery modules. In addition, GIS also supplies its Atlas software, which includes a range of different capabilities.

Nick Geddes, CEO of GIS, commented, “With launch partners already lined up, GIS is pleased to be in a position to offer OEMs and system integrators support for the Epson D3000, and we invite other interested system builders to contact us to discuss their plans for using this printhead.”

GIS has also said that it will offer support for more Epson heads later this year. You can find further information from globalinkjetsystems.com.

This article is republished by permission from www.nessancleary.com

Goregaon’s Kataria Enterprises installs Canon imagePress C910

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L to R – Krunal Jivani of Canon India and Prakash Suthar of Kataria Enterprises with the imagePRESS C910
L to R – Krunal Jivani of Canon India and Prakash Suthar of Kataria Enterprises with the imagePRESS C910

Located in the Mumbai suburb of Goregaon, Kataria Enterprises recently installed a brand-new Canon imagePress C910 production press. The press was supplied directly by Canon India. The imagePress C910 has a speed of 90 pages per minute and handles media up to 350 gsm. The press has 2400 dpi resolution and is offered a choice of digital front ends – either Canon’s Prismasync Print Server Version 7 or the EFI Fiery-powered imagePress Servers. Kataria has opted for the EFI Fiery G250 Version 2 RIP and front end. 

We had an old pre-owned Canon press which we wanted to replace and get a faster press so we decided to go for another Canon. We knew about the quality of Canon printers and were very happy with it. The after-sales service is excellent. Also, we own a Konica Minolta bizhub Press 1060, which we have been operating for close to six years. Since we already had a Konica press, it was good to have a Canon production press as well so that we can have both the technologies,” says Prakash Suthar, a partner in Kataria Enterprises.

Suthar had last year booked an order for the Canon imagePress C810 press. However, due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, he had to cancel the order. So it was in March of 2021 that Suthar decided to get in touch with Canon again. This time he had decided to go for the imagePRESS C910 instead of imagePRESS C810.

Kataria Enterprises, which has been operating from the current premise for close to two decades, mainly services retail customers in Goregaon and prints items such as brochures, visiting cards, stickers and danglers, and other publicity material. 

Operations hit due to Covid-19 second wave

Kataria Enterprises commissioned the imagePress C910 in April and had run it only for a couple of weeks when the Covid-19 pandemic’s second wave hit the country. The print shop drastically reduced operations and consequently saw a sharp decline in volumes. Work began again in June and improved from the middle of that month as restrictions were gradually relaxed. 

Our volumes declined massively during the pandemic. However, since June, things have improved, and volumes have gone up to almost 50% of pre-second wave levels. We output about 25,000 impressions of 12×18-inch (A3 plus) sheets in June. Since there are still some restrictions on the number we can operate in a day, the volumes are still subdued. We hope to see further recovery in volumes once all restrictions are removed,” Suthar says. 

At present, according to Mumbai municipal orders, commercial establishments can operate for only limited hours in the day. In addition, the local Mumbai suburban trains are also not yet open for the general public, which profoundly affects commerce in the city.

Heidelberg’s next Showtime on 22 July

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Heidelberg’s next Showtime on 22 July
The new Heidelberg XL DD 106 rotary die-cutter Photo Heidelberg

Heidelberg’s next showtime event is just this week on 22 July 2021 and it focuses on commercial printers. Below is the report on its event in June in which it talked about a very stable and lucrative segment, In-Mold Labels.

In the second part of its showtime event on 23 June 2021, in which it talked about its ‘new XL104’s high performance at a good price,’ the company also demonstrated its In-Mold (IML) and wet glue label solution.

This demonstration used an 8-color plus coater and three Y unit sheetfed press and a new version of its rotary diecutter, the Speedmaster XL 106-DD. IMLs are used extensively for food packaging, lids, and paint buckets. In India, they are used for butter, cheese, ice-cream containers, and paint buckets.

Heidelberg says its new solution, also ‘high performance at a good price,’ sets new standards for producing in-mold labels. In addition, the new diecutter has been reduced from two units to a single drive unit, taking less space, consuming less power, and less CAPEX.

The Speedmaster XL 106-DD works on the principle of the rotary die cutter, which offers several advantages over the flatbed and punch die-cutters which are usually used in the production of in-mold labels.

It requires 15 minutes of make-ready, and according to Heidelberg, for production runs up to 500,000 sheets, the cost of tooling is reduced by 50% compared to traditional flatbed die-cutting. In addition, using innovative components from the Speedmaster XL 106 perfecting technology ensures precise align delivery piles without a single blank being detached from a sheet.

The Speedmaster XL 106-DD rotary die-cutter is equipped with an innovative magnetic cylinder with extraction for special applications. The machine not only cuts out the contour but also removes even the tiniest injection holes of five millimeters diameter or more completely and reliably. All of this in a single step and at a higher speed than previously possible.

Heidelberg’s Showtime to discuss commercial printing applications

In the Showtime presentation, the converting of IMLs solution was shown together with printing on a specially equipped XL 106 8-color press plus coater with three Y units for curing the IML and wet glue label stocks. The IML performance package includes a Cutstar for reel to sheet, a feeder with an additional blow bar for thin materials, optimized sheet travel, and delivery.

The rotary diecutter XL 106 has been shrunk from two drives to a single drive and can run at 14,000 sheets per hour. As Heidelberg’s Philip Doley pointed out in the presentation, the IML market is very stable and has not suffered any Covid-19 pandemic effects.

He also suggested that the single unit diecutter is available at a very attractive price which we are pretty curious about. Most IML labels in India are printed on gravure, CI, or label flexo presses and die cut using flatbed die-cutters and robotic gathering stations for the end products.

The next Heidelberg web events are on 15 July for folding cartons and on 22 July for commercial printing applications. For the forthcoming 22 July event, you can register from the video below or by clicking here.

MHI Machine Tool to expand Metal 3D Printing Services

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MHI Machine Tool to expand Metal 3D Printing Services
"DMP2500" developed by Digital Metal

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Machine Tool, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) based in Ritto, Shiga Prefecture, will offer expanded services in metal 3D printing services commencing on July 15, including prototype production and contract production by metal 3D (three-dimensional) printers applying laser-based Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies

In addition to its previously offered Directed Energy Deposition (DED)(1) type metal 3D printers for large-scale parts, the company will add services using binder jetting (BJT)(2) metal 3D printers for small-scale parts. The expanded service lineup will enable the manufacture of a full range of metal parts, from small components of 1mm size to ultra-large-scale parts exceeding 1 meter.

The addition to MHI Machine Tool’s lineup is the DMP2500 metal 3D printer developed by Digital Metal, a group company of Hoganas of Sweden. The DMP2500’s BJT technology enables extremely precise manufacturing and is engineered especially for high-volume production. Currently, MHI Machine Tool has provided metal printing services applying unique DED technology of “LAMDA” AM systems; now, with the introduction of a different type of printer, the company can respond to a broad range of metal 3D print needs and propose and provide the optimal manufacturing method and equipment for each part.

MHI partnered with Digital Metal for DMP2500 

MHI Machine Tool concluded a contract with Digital Metal in July 2020 on marketing its DMP2500 and other metal 3D printers in Japan. By adding these BJT-type systems to its own sales lineup, MHI Machine Tool will be in a position to offer a broad portfolio of not only sales but also after-sales services.

While metal 3D printers are receiving attention for their innovative advances to production processes, they also present challenges relating to their production and quality assurance, etc. With the new expansion of services, MHI Machine Tool will focus on providing solutions relating to additive manufacturing, including the provision of related expertise, to accelerate early adaptation to production parts.

In the future, MHI Machine Tool will develop its metal printing services structure spanning from small-scale, high-precision to ultra-large-scale items, enabling the company to respond to a broad range of prototype production needs and contract production. In these ways, MHI Machine Tool will encourage manufacturers to expand into manufacturing parts using metal 3D printers and contribute to the industrial supply chain as a whole.

(1) Directed Energy Deposition (DED) is an additive manufacturing (AM) process in which focused thermal energy is utilized to continuously feed metal powder materials by the nozzle to laser fusing points with pinpoint precision.

(2) Binder jetting is an additive manufacturing process in which a binder is selectively sprayed by a nozzle onto a thin layer of metal powder, causing solidification. With metals, heat treatment (binder removal and sintering) is then carried out to achieve the final product.

 

Comscore launches Plan Metrix Multi-Platform product in India

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Graphic Comscore
Graphic Comscore

On 6 July 2021, Comscore, which calls itself a trusted partner for planning, transacting, and evaluating media across platforms, announced the introduction of its Plan Metrix Multi-Platform product to the Indian market. This solution combines consumer’s desktop and mobile behavior with detailed information about their lifestyles, interests, attitudes, and demographics for a unified digital view. 

Leveraging this comprehensive view of consumer behavior, marketers can generate stronger multi-platform media plans, identify advanced audience segments, and reach consumers across different platforms to achieve better ROI. In parallel, publishers can better demonstrate the value of their multi-platform audiences and can generate competitive comparisons. 

Plan Metrix taps into Comscore’s strategic partnership with Kantar that allows both companies to provide an enhanced digital media planning service to their clients. The product combines best-in-class New Indian Consumer survey (NICS) data from Kantar with MMX Multi-Platform digital measurement from Comscore. 

As audiences increasingly gravitate towards the digital medium, it has become imperative for brands to sharpen their online targeting, to reach the right audiences. Kantar’s New Indian Consumer Survey (NICS) offers unmatched profiling of audience segments on demographic, lifestyle, and product usage characteristics. Kantar and Comscore have come together to create a data fusion-based product that combines Kantar’s NICS and Comscore’s MMX Multi-Platform to provide a holistic and comprehensive view of digital audiences for sharper profiling and targeting” said Puneet Avasthi, director, Specialist Business, Insights Division at Kantar. 

Plan Metrix reports more than 300 different attributes in India across a range of lifestyles, interests, and activities, including automotive, beauty, electronics, computers, financial, food and beverage, health, home and living, retail and apparel, sports, and leisure, travel and more.  

We are delighted to introduce Comscore Plan Metrix Multi-Platform in India, giving our clients more advanced audience segments that are better aligned with how digital media is analyzed and planned today,” said Joris Goossens, EVP APAC and EMEA, at Comscore. “Our global partnership with Kantar has already had a massive impact and now as we move forward in this key market, we are confident we will be able to enhance our client’s consumer targeting and digital media planning capabilities.” 

Sri Ganganagar’s NN House ventures into digital printing with KM C3080

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Sri Ganganagar’s NN House ventures into digital printing with KM C3080
Nitish Gupta with Konica Minolta AccurioPress C3080

Sri Ganganagar-based print service provider NN House recently installed its first digital production press, a brand-new Konica Minolta AccurioPress C3080. With this press, NN House has added a digital press to the two offset presses it operates. NN House prints items such as leaflets, brochures, visiting cards, and photo albums, among others. It also operates wide format printers from Epson and has a full-fledged finishing section in-house. 

“We have been seeing a consistent rise in short-run volumes in the recent past. This trend began after the demonetization was announced a few years ago. And has gathered speed since the first lockdown was announced last year in March. So, we thought it was time we bought a digital printer to cater to the short-run jobs,” says Nitish Gupta, a partner in NN House.  

Apart from servicing customers who have short-run job requirements, the digital press also helps NN House serve customers who are pressed for time and want their job done in hours. 

“We get a lot of customers who not only have short-run jobs, but they also want their jobs done within hours. This is where digital technology comes into play,” Gupta says. 

The Konica Minolta AccurioPress C3080 prints at a speed of 80 pages per minute and accepts paper sizes up to 13” x 19.2” and weights up to 350 gsm. It has 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution with 8-bit processing. The press boasts of productive duplex banner printing with a banner tray that holds 1000 banner sheets of up to 30” and simplex banner printing up to 51”. It has enhanced Simitri HDE toner for superior halftone and skin-tone reproduction, with biomass plant-based material to reduce environmental impact.

Impressive after-sales service by KM

Talking about the decision to buy a digital press from Konica Minolta, Gupta says that the biggest factor in favor of the C3080 was the fact that Konica Minolta has a very efficient after-sales service.

“When I was doing some information gathering before buying the press, I got the feedback that the after-sales service offered by Konica Minolta is very good. And since installing the machine in March, I have had the first-hand experience. We get the problems solved within a day,” Gupta says. 

Recovery in June gathers speed at NN House

NN House commissioned the C3080 in March, but due to the lockdown imposed by the state government during April and May, it saw an impact on print volumes. Although NN House was operational during the lockdown, the print volumes were lower than in March. However, volumes have recovered during June.

“Since early June, we have seen a solid recovery in volumes, and we are now making about 1,000 impressions every day. I expect to see further increase in volumes,” Gupta concludes. 

EFI & Konica Minolta announce Fiery DFEs for max efficiency

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EFI & Konica Minolta announced new EFI Fiery digital front ends (DFEs) for Konica Minolta AccurioPress C7100 Series light production presses
Konica Minolta's AccurioPress C7100 Series

EFI and Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA (Konica Minolta) are announcing new EFI Fiery digital front ends (DFEs) for Konica Minolta AccurioPress C7100 Series light production presses. The new EFI Fiery IC-319 and IC-318L external servers transform the productivity of print operations, giving users superior performance, stunning out-of-the-box color, intelligent automation, and maximum production efficiency for print production operations.

Compared to their predecessors, the Fiery IC-319 boosts raster image processor (RIP) speed by 40%, and the Fiery IC-318L boosts processing speed by an impressive 68%. Print organizations will also be able to take advantage of Fiery HyperRIP performance-enhancing technology (Fiery IC-319 server with eight RIPs, or the Fiery IC-318L server with two RIPs) for uninterrupted print production. 

EFI Fiery DFEs maximum workflow efficiency and color accuracy

The Fiery IC-319 DFE for the Konica Minolta AccurioPress C7100 is based on the high-performance Fiery NX Premium hardware platform and is designed to handle complex, image-heavy, or variable data jobs. It includes a complete set of Fiery prepress and make-ready solutions to help maximize workflow efficiency, maintain color quality to a set standard, and reduce rework and waste. 

“Our customers continue to drive digital printing to new levels of quality and versatility, and with these new EFI Fiery DFEs, we are extending the range of what AccurioPress users can achieve even further,” said Dino Pagliarello, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Planning, Konica Minolta.

The latest Fiery FS400 Pro software running on the new DFEs provides highly advanced functionality in the areas of color and imaging, productivity, and workflow automation. 

  • Fiery JobExpert offers built-in intelligent automation. It analyses incoming PDF files and dynamically chooses the optimal print settings to achieve the highest quality while optimizing processing time. 
  • Users can visually define finishing settings on the product’s content with the Fiery Finishing Designer, easily accessible within Fiery Command WorkStation, for Konica Minolta’s TU-510 Inline Trimmer Unit to ensure jobs will be correctly finished without wasting time and media.
  • Both DFEs use EFI’s premier, next-generation Fiery Edge color profiling technology. Fiery Edge delivers stunning out-of-the-box color and produces better color and image details by taking full advantage of the printer’s resolution, imaging, gamut, and media capabilities.
  • Fiery Spot Pro software helps users reproduce perfect brand colors from design to print. Part of the Fiery Graphic Arts Pro Package is standard on the IC-319 and optional on the IC-318L.
  • The two Fiery DFEs also come with EFI Fiery JobFlow Base prepress automation software to streamline job preparation. Users have the flexibility to upgrade to Fiery JobFlow to take advantage of advanced automation features like intelligent job routing, advanced scripting, customer approval workflows, and more.

Fiery IC-319 and IC-318L users will also benefit from EFI ColorGuard − a cloud-based color verification solution and winner of the 2019 Printing United Alliance Product of the Year Award for software color enhancement. ColorGuard ensures that print systems are operating at their full-color quality potential. ColorGuard can drive automated color verification using an optional Konica Minolta IQ-501 Intelligent Quality Optimizer to verify against industry color standards such as G7 or a custom color reference. 

“Fiery goes beyond being the fastest DFE by far in the marketplace, and we are pleased to be able to offer Konica Minolta AccurioPress users higher out-of-the-box print quality and more efficient intelligent automation with these new DFEs,” said John Henze, vice president, sales and marketing, EFI Fiery. “Not only will print businesses benefit from enhanced productivity, but our solutions will also give users the power to easily get color right every time to make the most of their production printing investments.”

The new Fiery DFEs are available from Konica Minolta and authorized Konica Minolta resellers. For more information about EFI Fiery Driven products, visit www.efi.com.

Editors Guild of India on reprehensible images of women journalists and other professionals

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Wan-Ifra Indian news media leaders focus on gender equality | Editors Guild
Clockwise Wan-Ifra panel on gender equality in news media, from top left: Barkha Dutt, Founder-Editor of Mojo Story; Ritu Kapur, CEO of Quintillion Media; Rohini Mohan, Journalist; Yagna Balaji, Founder-Editor of DT Next

The Editors Guild of India considers it reprehensible that images of women journalists and other professionals from [a] minority community were posted online and shared over social media, in a denigrating manner, putting them “up for auction.” Journalist Fatima Khan, who had done intrepid reporting on the Delhi riots of 2020, was one of those targeted in these posts.

This vile attack is symptomatic of underlying misogyny in some sections of the society, especially against Muslim women as well as those who have been outspoken critics of the current government. Earlier this year, freelance journalist, Neha Dikshit, was threatened and harassed online, stalked, and had an attempted break in at her place, all which was linked to her journalism.

The Editors Guild of India is deeply concerned about the misuse of digital and social media spaces to harass women journalists to intimidate and silence them. The Guild calls upon the law enforcement agencies as well as the National Commission for Women to take this issue with utmost urgency and to trace and punish the wrongdoers. The Guild also urges digital media and social media platforms to take appropriate and immediate steps to curtail such actions.

Thanks and regards,

Seema Mustafa, President
Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary
Anant Nath, Treasurer

Globally 35 journalists killed in 2021, India loses two

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Editors Guild of India on the death of Sulabh Srivastava | journalists
Sulabh Shrivastava, TV journalist who died on Sunday night 13 June 2021

Geneva/Guwahati, In the first six months of 2021, at least 35 journalists were killed in 21 countries around the world, whereas India lost 2 scribes to violence within this period. In contrast, more than 1586 journalists died of Covid-19 complications in 78 countries since Mach 2020, where India tops the list with 259 corona-victims among media persons.

Casualty figures ‘stable’

Afghanistan emerges as the most dangerous country with five journalists killed since 1 January 2021, stated the Switzerland based media rights and safety body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) adding that
casualty figures remain stable compared to the previous year when 2020 also witnessed the murder of 35 media workers during the same period. The troubled south Asian country is followed by Mexico and Pakistan with three casualties followed by India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Azerbaijan and Ethiopia each with two victims of targeted violence.

One journo-casualty has been reported from United States of America, Colombia, Greece, Turkey, Yemen, Haiti, Lebanon, Nigeria, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador and Gaza. “PEC strongly condemns these killings and urges the local authorities to shed light on the causes of these crimes in order to arrest and prosecute those responsible,” said Blaise Lempen, general secretary of PEC (https://pressemblem.ch/). For the remainder of the year, the PEC team is particularly concerned about the situation in Afghanistan, particularly the women journalists working there, due to the withdrawal of NATO troops, he added.

Latin American journalists bear the brunt of Covid-19 deaths

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to claim journalists across the globe. The number of victims has slightly slowed down during the month of June (especially in India) with around 60 dead, compared to more than 200 in May around the world. Latin America witnessed the highest casualties, with more than half of the victims. During June, the highest number of journalists died of Covid-19 was recorded in Brazil (one every 2 days).

“India has slightly improved the record of journo-casualties because of intentional killings in the last six month as the populous country lost Ashu Yadav (a Kanpur based scribe) and Sulabh Srivastava (a Lucknow based television journalist) to assailants,” said Nava Thakuria, PEC’s India representative adding that India lost highest number of journalists (15) last year followed by Mexico (12), Pakistan (8), Afghanistan (7),  Bangladesh (1), and Indonesia (1). The Sulabh Srivastava death is attributed by the UP police to an accident as Srivastava was returning home on his motorcycle late at night.

Researchers to get benefit from APC-free OA publishing in all IOP Publishing journals

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IOP Publishing's Open Access publishing platform
IOP Publishing's Open Access publishing platform

Researchers from low-income countries can now publish open access (OA) for free in any IOP Publishing (IOPP) fully OA or hybrid OA journal. Article publication charges (APCs) will be automatically waived for researchers from countries defined as low-income by the World Bank, with no need for the author to request a waiver.

OA publication is integral to making research more accessible to all, yet the associated APCs are frequently unavailable to researchers from low-income countries. IOPP’s decision to extend its waivers policy to its hybrid journals recognizes the importance of author choice. It gives researchers from regions where necessary funding is not available a greater opportunity to contribute to the global body of research.

IOP Publishing to create a more sustainable, diverse, and equitable world

IOPP has a long-standing commitment to making science more open and takes its responsibility towards creating a more sustainable, diverse, and equitable world seriously. It has been an OA publisher for more than 20 years, promoting global access to research by increasing its range of sustainable OA models year on year.

It is a member of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which supports more equitable, inclusive approaches to research evaluation and partners with Research4Life, which helps to boost access to scientific research in low-income countries.

Miriam Maus, the publishing director, said: “It’s important that OA publication, which we know increases the global visibility, accessibility, and impact of research, does not also exacerbate inequalities in scholarly publishing. Researchers in low-income countries should not be deterred from choosing OA options in their journal of choice.

“We already offer APC waivers to low-income countries for all of our fully OA journals – extending free OA publication to our hybrid titles will, we hope, increase participation in science globally. In addition, the fact that authors will receive the waiver automatically, with no need to apply, will further help to break down the barriers that might have discouraged authors from submitting previously.”

 

Comscore launches Plan Metrix Multi-Platform in India

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Comscore Plan Metrix Multi-Platform reports
Comscore Plan Metrix Multi-Platform reports

Comscore, a trusted partner for planning, transacting, and evaluating media across platforms, today announced the introduction of its Plan Metrix Multi-Platform product to the Indian market. This solution combines consumer’s desktop and mobile behavior with detailed information about their lifestyles, interests, attitudes, and demographics for a unified digital view

Leveraging this comprehensive view of consumer behavior, marketers can generate stronger multi-platform media plans, identify advanced audience segments, and reach consumers across different platforms to achieve better ROI. In parallel, publishers can better demonstrate the value of their multi-platform audiences and can generate competitive comparisons. 

Plan Metrix taps into Comscore’s strategic partnership with Kantar, allowing both companies to provide an enhanced digital media planning service to their clients. The product combines best-in-class New Indian Consumer survey (NICS) data from Kantar with MMX Multi-Platform digital measurement from Comscore. 

Kantar & Comscore collaborated to create a data fusion-based product

“As audiences increasingly gravitate towards the digital medium, it has become imperative for brands to sharpen their online targeting, to reach the right audiences. Kantar’s New Indian Consumer Survey (NICS) offers an unmatched profiling of audience segments on demographic, lifestyle, and product usage characteristics.

Puneet Avasthi, Director, Specialist Business, Insights Division at Kantar
Puneet Avasthi, Director, Specialist Business, Insights Division at Kantar

Kantar and Comscore have come together to create a data fusion-based product which combines Kantar’s NICS and Comscore’s MMX Multi-Platform to provide a holistic and comprehensive view of digital audiences for sharper profiling and targeting” said Puneet Avasthi, Director, Specialist Business, Insights Division at Kantar. 

Plan Metrix reports more than 300 different attributes in India across various lifestyles, interests, and activities, including automotive, beauty, electronics/computers, financial, food & beverage, health, home & living, retail & apparel, sports & leisure, travel, and more.  

“We are delighted to introduce Comscore Plan Metrix Multi-Platform in India, giving our clients more advanced audience segments that are better aligned with how digital media is analyzed and planned today,” said Joris Goossens EVP APAC and EMEA, at Comscore. “Our global partnership with Kantar has already had a massive impact, and now as we move forward in this key market, we are confident we will be able to enhance our client’s consumer targeting and digital media planning capabilities.” 

 

Sterling Print House in Kochi adds automated converting equipment from Robus

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Venugopal Nair, Sterling Print House, Kochi
Venugopal Nair, Sterling Print House, Kochi

When I talked to Venugopal Nair on the phone a couple of weeks ago, he was almost apologetic about having entered packaging which he doesn’t yet find as fascinating as commercial printing. He says there are two kind of people – romantics and rationalists and that he, being a romantic loved and enjoyed being a commercial printer in Kerala – a place of kindness, and good medicine and not just literacy but where the citizens buy and read books.

Born and brought up in Mumbai he threw up a lovely job there and went to Kerala thirty-five years to start a print business in Kochi. He found success and joy in commercial printing and in our brief conversation on the phone he said that since becoming a packaging printer he misses seeing the smile of an author or publisher receiving the first copy of a well-printed and bound book.

Although commercial printing was and is threatened everywhere, according to Nair, in Kerala it was expected to continue for a good while longer – perhaps another ten to fifteen years of printing directories, magazines and books.

However, Sterling which had several sheetfed offset presses, a web offset press and extensive folding, finishing and binding equipment including a PUR perfect binder for commercial printing, decided several years ago that it was time to begin producing both monocartons and litho-laminated micro-fluted cartons. He added an autoplaten die-cutter from Autoprint and started building up his packaging business.

Sterling RMG 920 5-color plus coater press installed in 2018
Sterling Print House in Kochi installed its RMGT 920 5-color plus coater press in October 2018

Nair seems to have decided that his fourth RMGT press, a 5-color sheetfed press with a coater in the 92 cm format installed in October 2018 would be a good workhorse for printing monocartons and litho-laminated carton packaging. A fully loaded presses with straight printing in 5-colors and a convertible perfector, it has a Heber and Schroder coater for aqueous and UV coating, with an IR dryer with hot air knives.

A multiwave LED curing system that can cure conventional UV inks was also retrofitted in the extended delivery after the press was installed. The press has automated cleaning and setting systems and a modern console with a huge screen receiving live images from three cameras and a spectro drive for quality control of printed sheets.

Handling paper and board up to 6mm with a maximum sheet size of 920 x 640 mm, its a good press for a commercial printer looking to get more deeply into packaging.

Less than five months after the installation of the new press, came the Covid-19 pandemic. Nair says that in his view, the good and literate people of Kerala with the most comprehensive public health system in the country, simply over-reacted to the Covid-19 protocols.

Of course the sudden lockdown was out of the citizen’s hands but when it came, there were no more directories and functions, no more magazines and the book shops had to close. This moved him to more quickly consolidate the packaging business and leverage the production of the new press by looking to add automated converting equipment.

The built in China diecutter installed at Sterling Print House incorporate several automation features designed by Robus Engineers. Photo Sterling Print House
The built in China diecutter installed at Sterling Print House incorporate several automation features designed by Robus Engineers. Photo Sterling Print House

Nair was visited by Robus Engineers’ Prem Anand who explained at length the MHC 1060 automatic die cutter to him and the Advance folder-gluer which are both produced in China but with automation features designed by Robus.

At first Nair wanted to see the machines in action, but after several hours of explanation and discussion he decided at the first meeting itself to buy the 7,000 sheets an hour die-cutter with a maximum size of 1050 x 750 mm and the Advance folder-gluer. Both were installed in the first half of January 2021, and are according to Nair, performing as expected.

Impressed by the performance of these machines, he ordered and installed a Robus 3-ply corrugator and laminator from for litho laminated cartons. Apparently the converting equipment has been working well and has transform the company into a productive and competitive carton printer in the region.

Robus converting learning curve

We asked Nair about Sterling’s learning curve in packaging converting and how the company has mastered the new equipment so quickly. He says that because of the pandemic while some employees went back to their towns and villages, on the other hand, many skilled packaging resources were repatriated from the Middle East back home to Kerala.

“We realized quickly that commercial printing and packaging have nothing in common,” he says. But we have been very successful, because we recruited the right highly skilled people and returnees who were available for our autoplaten die-cutter, folder-gluer and laminator.”

The folder gluer installed at Sterling Print House
The Robus Advance folder gluer at Sterling Print House

Some of us are dazzled by the intricacies of lock-bottoms and window patching and brand colors and others are clearly not. Venugopal finds rectangular boxes boring and they are (other leading carton manufacturers have also confessed at the lack of challenging designs) and there is a need for more interesting cartons and shapes.

Also there is a need for more interesting packaging buyers – perhaps those who want to push the envelope on sustainability or active or connected packaging – and who take more joy in their product and its transformative outcome than just the timely deliveries of the containers.

It’s clear that commercial printers who moved into packaging before the pandemic are much better placed than those who have seen their life’s work come to a sudden halt in the lockdowns and the extended pandemic.

Those who saw the writing on the wall earlier, and began committing resources and putting some of pieces into place like a bigger multicolor press with a coater or some automated converting equipment have a head start and can be more decisive in their investments now.

Wan-Ifra & World Editors Forum Asia Chapter launch Young Media Leaders Fellowship

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Wan-Ifra & World Editors Forum Asia Chapter launch Young Media Leaders Fellowship
Temasek Foundation Team Photo: Temasek Foundation

The second annual round of the Young Media Leaders Fellowship (YMLF) is launched today with a new batch of twenty-eight high-potential mid-career editors and journalists from nineteen publications in eleven countries. The YMLF is an initiative of the World Editors Forum Asia Chapter and Wan-Ifra supported by the Temasek Foundation. The program offers leadership and professional development and networking opportunities through dedicated online and physical platforms.

The program seeks to nurture the next generation of media leaders committed to shaping the regional future. The aim is for YMLF fellows to contribute effectively to the pursuit of good journalism, foster dialogue and greater connectedness among one another, and build up newsrooms to meet the needs of their societies in these uncertain times.

They will gather online over the next six months to share experiences, exchange ideas, amplify the impact of news reporting, and learn to lead in an industry transformed by technology. This is especially relevant as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the news publishing industry.

“These are challenging times for the media all around the world, and our young newsroom leaders have many big issues to grapple with ahead of them. We want to help equip them with the leadership skills to face those challenges, from the need to transform our newsroom for digital-first operations to inspiring teams with a sense of purpose for public service journalism. Through this program, we also hope they will build bridges and form their own networks for collaboration across our region,” said Warren Fernandez, President of the World Editors Forum and Editor-in-Chief of The Straits Times and English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, Singapore Press Holdings, who mooted the initiative.

Wan-Ifra being thankful to Temasek Foundation for the YMLF initiative

“The news industry is counting on young, dynamic changemakers to create a strong, vibrant media ecosystem which can continue to serve society with timely, accurate news, information, and analysis. Thanks to generous support of Temasek Foundation, we are able to help groom the next generation of industry leaders at a region-wide level,” said Thomas Jacob, Chief Operating Officer of Wan-Ifra.

“The media industry recognizes the need for innovation, possibly disruptive ones, to take on the challenges brought about by the changing times, including those arising from the current pandemic. How can media products and services be enhanced and made more relevant? What are the ways to grow an audience and sustain the viability of operations? Through this program, we hope participants can share with one another from their wealth of experience so as to strengthen the role of the media in supporting and advancing our respective communities,” said Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation International.

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the YMLF program will take place mostly through online platforms. Participants are attending a week-long online executive leadership program tailored for newsroom leaders currently. They will attend the virtual Digital Media Asia conference in August, plan events, activities, and stories to mark World News Day on 28 September 2021. They will gather in Singapore in January 2022 for the Fellowship finale, conditions permitting.

Fellows will also continue to deepen their engagement with one another during and beyond the program by establishing an alumni community on social media and through future speaking opportunities.

The full list of Fellows and their publications is available under this link.

Dr Bhaskar Das makes 4 suggestions for Indian newspapers

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Dr Bhaskar Das at the Wan-Ifra Indian Media Leaders eSummit 2021
Dr Bhaskar Das at the Wan-Ifra Indian Media Leaders eSummit 2021

During the recent Wan-Ifra Indian Media Leaders eSummit 2021, Dr Bhaskar Das of Dainik Bhaskar Group of publications offered four suggestions to the newspaper media companies to tackle the changing dynamics of the marketplace reconfiguration, revenue reconfiguration, cost optimization, and seamless digitization.

Dr Bhaskar Das’s four suggestions to tackle changing dynamics of the marketplace

Product reconfiguration 

By product reconfiguration, Dr Das meant up-gradation instead of mere updation. This includes reader-friendly designs, hyper local news, investigative and research-based articles

He said that instant news channels like television channels and the internet can never do justice to news due to lack of perspective, staff strength, and ability to research and report. Since they operate in breaking news boxes, they lack the time to do deep dives and research. 

Dr Bhaskar Das stressed on the aspect of credibility, which he said, newspapers need to showcase rather than claim. “Every newspaper claims that it is credible, but they have to work on it to show that,” he said. For this, the newspaper needs to undertake fact-checking and in-depth analysis. 

Newspapers also have to offer points of view beyond reporting to empower readers to make meaning out of the cacophony of noise that is masquerading as news. Newspapers also need to focus on community-based coverage. 

Revenue configuration

Dr Das suggested that newspapers need to prioritize circulation in markets advertising spends are higher. He also said cover price increase can be considered for increasing revenues. 

Also, newspapers need to identify micro-markets, geography, and consumer segment-wise, which are underpenetrated, and bundle deals with e-commerce companies, DTH, and OTT platforms. “You need to connect with DTH and OTT platforms because they are also sort of media companies,” he added. 

Talking of ad sales, he said instead of selling space, newspaper companies should try to achieve market ownership and offer comprehensive solutions. Also, newspapers need to invest in the creation of creative communications, especially for Indian language publications

 Dr Bhaskar Das also highlighted the importance of data and said that it is imperative to communicate reach and the profile of the target audience and the level of immersion by page and by subject. 

Cost optimization

According to Dr Das, newspapers can optimize cost by opting for collaboration and sharing services such as HR, purchase, transportation, and IT, among others. “At the front-end, newspapers can compete, but at the back end, they should explore possibilities of collaboration,” he argued. 

Dr Das also said that newspapers should look at automation opportunities in all areas of consumer, content, advertising, and subscription

Seamless digitization

Dr Bhaskar Das emphasized that it is just not enough to have the printed version, but newspaper companies need to also focus on audio, video, and mobile experience seamlessly. He also said that newspapers need to have multi-community brand extension and different products for print and digital

 

Spring Forward with Tecnau virtual events by 1000+ attendees

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Spring Forward with Tecnau virtual events attended by 1000+ participants
Spring Forward with Tecnau virtual events attended by 1000+ participants

Tecnau announces the conclusion of its Spring Forward with Tecnau virtual event series, running weekly from the opening sessions on 18 May until the closing sessions on 24 June. Over 1000 worldwide customers, prospects, and partners attended these sessions in total, learning about the latest Tecnau finishing options and the latest offerings from our press partners Canon, HP, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Screen, and Xerox.

Highlights of Tecnau virtual event’s demonstrations and presentations included:

  • Tecnau’s Revolution 50 family of cut/stack systems, featuring high-speed operation up to 590 fpm/180 mpm, support for demanding graphic arts applications, and IoT capabilities
  • Tecnau’s Stack 1212 space-efficient and cost-effective cut/stack line for the finishing of B2 sheets
  • Canon’s ColorStream 8000 continuous inkjet press, announced just days before
  • HP’s new PageWide Web Press T250, the first press to feature HP Brilliant Ink
  • Konica Minolta’s proven KM-1 inkjet sheet-fed B2+ press
  • Ricoh’s preview of the coming Pro Z75 inkjet sheet-fed B2+ press
  • Screen’s recently announced Truepress Jet520 Mono high-speed roll-fed monochrome pres
  • Xerox’s Baltoro HF Inkjet press with optional Color Accelerator with High Fusion Ink

Tecnau’s demonstrations were shown from the company’s newly opened Tecnau Experience Center (TEC) at its corporate headquarters in Ivrea, Italy, outside of Milan.

Says Stefano De Marco, company Managing Director, “We’re very pleased with the success of our Spring Forward with Tecnau virtual event. Spring Forward uniquely combined the opportunity to see integrated products from multiple industry-leading vendors, along with the accessibility of a focused virtual event.”

“Spring Forward testifies to Tecnau’s close technological ties with all digital press manufacturers over a broad range of print applications. We work with these partners to deliver to customers flexible and fully integrated end-to-end solutions that position them well for years to come,” states Jeff Kewin, the company President Americas and the Asia Pacific.

 

Sumita Chakraborty wins 2021 First Collection Poetry Prize

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Sumita Chakraborty: A poet, essayist, and scholar
Sumita Chakraborty: A poet, essayist, and scholar

The Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast has announced the 2021 Seamus Heaney First Collection Poetry Award, supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies.

Sumita Chakraborty was announced as the winner for Arrow (Carcanet, 2020) during the Seamus Heaney Annual Poetry Sumer School at a virtual award night on 1 July 2021.

Sumita Chakraborty is a poet, essayist, and scholar. She is Helen Zell Visiting Professor in Poetry at the University of Michigan, where she teaches literary studies and creative writing. 

In 2017, she received a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. In 2018, her poem ‘And death demands a labor’ was shortlisted for a Forward Prize for Best Single Poem by the Forward Arts Foundation. Formerly, she was poetry editor of Agni Magazine and art editor of At Length.

Speaking about her award, she said: “I grew out of all this / like a weeping willow / inclined to / the appetites of gravity: as soon as I first read these lines from Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Kinship’ as an undergraduate, they became for me a meditation about surviving violence and paying attention to the new hungers and desires to which I had begun to lean, which is what Arrow is about.” 

“This award holds a doubly special place in my heart because my first published piece of academic scholarship was also about Heaney; his presence in both of these ‘firsts’ speaks to how very much his work has meant to me for a long time, and I thank the judges for this honor.”

This year’s judges were Professor Nick Laird, poet and Chair of Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, and Dr Stephen Sexton, poet, and lecturer in Poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre. They were joined by the poet Elaine Feeney

Professor Laird commenting for Sumita Chakraborty’s book

The book Arrow- Written by Sumita Chakraborty
The book Arrow- Written by Sumita Chakraborty

Speaking about the winning collection Professor Nick Laird, Chair of the judging panel, commented: “Arrow by Sumita Chakraborty is a marvelous collection for both the maximalist and minimalist. Here are brief lyrics, prose essays, parables, lengthy lineated epics – and all of them given life with language stretched and pummelled into shape. Dealing in myth, astronomy, autobiography, philosophy, physics, and metaphysics, Chakraborty possesses a singular outlook and the tone of a prophet.”  

Dr Stephen Sexton added: “These wonderful collections not only demonstrate the talents and brilliances of their authors: they bring out the best in us as readers. We ought to try to appreciate a book on its own terms, and these books are gregarious and serious, grieving and wounded. It has been a pleasure to discuss and ponder and query these fine collections with my fellow judges and, most of all, to come to admire their mythologies and emotional and historic landscapes.”

The Shortlist for the Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Prize 2021 included:

  • The Station Before, by Linda Anderson (Pavilion Poetry, 2020)
  • Arrow, by Sumita Chakraborty (Carcanet, 2020)
  • Rose With Harm, by Daniel Hardisty (Salt Publishing, 2020)
  • Growlery, by Katherine Horrex (Carcanet, 2020)
  • Cannibal, by Safiya Sinclair (Picador Poetry, 2020)

The Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Poetry Award is awarded annually to a writer whose first full collection was published in the preceding year by the UK or Ireland-based publisher. The winning writer receives £5,000 and is invited to participate in the Seamus Heaney Centre’s busy calendar of literary events

The winning and shortlisted writers will read at a virtual event via Zoom on Thursday 1 July at 8.00 pm (BST), as part of the Seamus Heaney Poetry Summer School, supported by No Alibis Bookstore

 

Wan-Ifra Indian news media leaders focus on gender equality

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Wan-Ifra Indian news media leaders focus on gender equality | Editors Guild
Clockwise Wan-Ifra panel on gender equality in news media, from top left: Barkha Dutt, Founder-Editor of Mojo Story; Ritu Kapur, CEO of Quintillion Media; Rohini Mohan, Journalist; Yagna Balaji, Founder-Editor of DT Next

On its second day, the Wan-Ifra Indian Media Leaders eSummit drew everyone’s attention and highlighted the challenges women continue to face in the newsroom during the pandemic. It started with a question – “What should be done to make a more comfortable or dynamic space for women journalists?”

Ritu Kapur, CEO of Quintillion Media, put up the question to the panel – “Should newsrooms be more flexible towards women journalists or women professionals, or should it be the same [for both men and women] thing?” Kapur mainly focused on discrimination based on gender, adding that women working from home are overloaded with work, whether it’s official or personal.

The panelists at Wan-Ifra discussed how flexibility for women is becoming complicated, and it sometimes seems more challenging to bring them into new roles. Yagna Balaji, Founder-Editor of DT Next, said that a woman’s lifestyle, health, and mental health have become a soft topic, without acknowledging that their complex roles are very hard to handle. However, women have to cover it, there doesn’t seem to be any alternative, and they are living through it.

“The post-pandemic is going to be tougher for women because apart from the additional responsibilities, there will be the challenges of pay cuts,” Yagna added.

In today’s scenario, the mindful hiring of women in newsrooms is important, and it’s happening but at a slow pace, said journalist Rohini Mohan. Barkha Dutt, Founder-Editor of Mojo Story, also agreed with Rohini’s point on mindful hiring.

The panelists seemed to agree that while women of their generation were privileged enough to be able to join any newsroom, and if anyone observes the sex ratio at any newsroom, most journalists are women, women should not be seen as more economical hires. Nevertheless, when it comes to hiring someone for any news or editorial role, it’s important to hire someone who suits the role, whether the person is a man or a woman.

Wan-Ifra panelists discussing on an issue of sexual harassment in newsrooms

Dutt added that sexual harassment continues to be an issue in newsrooms that even now, it’s terrible to see that women have to fight for their assignments, they don’t get it automatically. And, many journalists don’t speak up at that point about sexual harassment because they don’t want to lose an opportunity to report that story.

At the end of the discussion, Yagna concluded the Wan-Ifra session by saying, “I just want the right person for the job and would welcome anybody who fits for the role. To put such a quota as such, 50% men and 50% women may be a better way of achieving this faster, but, right now, I just need more journalists to come in to continue writing. I want to give them the opportunities, and I think that I sometimes face more age bias than gender bias. Older journalists think that their experience should count while some of the younger journalists are equally qualified and bring perhaps a new point of view to the story and may be more suitable for the role.”

 

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