New plants are springing up and expanding facilities expanding, from on-demand book printing in Australia to label printing in China, even as India counts the cost of the pandemic

Nessan Cleary · Journalist & Editor · Week commencing 24th May 2021

ME printer, based in the United Arab Emirates, has an intriguing report, based on a Reuters news article, that Flint Group may soon be sold, with its owners close to agreeing a debt deal. The owners, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division in partnership with Koch Equity Development LLC launched a sales process last year.

ME Printer also runs a story on Multisac SA, a packaging printer based near Casablanca in Morocco, which has just installed a new Evo XD CI flexo press from Koenig & Bauer. Multisac produces almost 1 million units of flexible packaging every day, exporting to 21 countries.

From Australia, Print 21 reveals that the online retailer Amazon is opening its own on-demand book printing and fulfilment centre in Western Sydney in order to print books for self-published authors, which will be published through its Kindle Direct Publishing arm. Print 21 points out that Amazon already has five other on-demand printing plants, located in the US, Canada, the UK, northern Europe, and Japan, though this will be the first in the southern hemisphere.

Staying with Australia, Sprinter reports that Australian Community Media (ACM) is planning to close its newspaper printing site in North Richmond, prompting Country Press NSW, which represents regional newspapers, to assess printing options for other newspaper publishers.

Over in Canada, Graphic Arts Media reports that the Canadian print group CJ Graphics has joined the Partner Programme for British software developer Brand iQ, becoming a master reseller of Brand iQ’s brand management software for Canada, as well as North, Central and South America.

In the UK, Printweek has a story on security printer De La Rue’s financial results from its last year, which show profits up dramatically in the group’s currency wing with an increase in the volume of banknotes in circulation despite a move away from physical cash during the pandemic.

Print Business writes that the Sustainable Green Partnership, which audits individual print companies’ sustainability in North America, is now planning to expand into other regions. The magazine notes that printers in Europe and Asia have already expressed interest.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Italian magazine Converter reports that Vetaphone, which specialises in developing Corona technology, has set up a new demo centre at its base in Kolding, west Denmark for both in-person and online demos.

Digital Labels and Packaging has a story from the Schumacher Packaging Group in Germany, which has installed BHS Corrugated’s 2.8m wide inkjet RSR system, developed by Screen and able to print at 300mpm. DLP quotes managing director Björn Schumacher saying: “We are convinced that digital printing is the technology of the future for packaging made from corrugated and solid cardboard.”

Flexotech reports that Smurfit Kappa is installing new converting equipment at three manufacturing plants in the Czech Republic plus another one in Slovakia to increase capacity by over 100 million regular and offset printed boxes per annum.

Labels and Labelling writes that Guangcai Labels, which is based in Guangzhou in Southern China, has now opened its first branch in Shanghai in Eastern China to help improve delivery times and overcome logistics issues caused by the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Indian Printer and Publisher has looked at the packaging sector in India, which has expanded during the pandemic, particularly monocarton production as commercial printers switch to paperboard-based packaging.

Meanwhile, Printweek India shows us the sobering effect of the pandemic, noting that Dharam Vir Jain, director of Paras Offset, a leading printer based in Kundli, Haryana, has succumbed to Covid-19. The magazine has several similar reports, with Suresh C Shah, the founder of Sapna Book House, and Gopal K Agarwal, one of the founders of security printer Utility Forms, who have also passed away from the virus.

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