Pressing changes

In December last year, press manufacturer KBA announced that it would diversify "into emerging areas to create sustainable successful business activities" that would "complement its press manufacturing tradition". Dissect this rather complicated sentence and the message is quite simple: diversification away from its core offset presses business is on the agenda.

And KBA is not alone. Other offset press manufacturers seem to be going down a similar route, with recent reports suggesting that both Manroland and Heidelberg are eyeing up new markets. Just before Christmas, Manroland was granted its 709th patent for an "inkjet printing apparatus", sparking speculation that it was about to move into the digital wide-format market

Can you bank on print's future?

Settle down in your living room and, while surfing the web on your wide-screen TV, why not check the health of your bank account?

When you click on the link, a virtual bank clerk appears and tells you your current balance and advises you on any pre-approved or special offers. The new ISA deal sounds attractive, so you decide to book a face-to-face meeting with an advisor at your local branch, but you don't have to leave the comfort of your chair - the meeting will take place in your front room

Q&A with Gilbert Bernard, Proflex, Dubai

How did you get into printing?
When I was in school, my friends use to come and ask me to do binding for their books and later I started to do it for libraries as well. This made me to take up printing as my career

What do you like most about your job?
You will be witnessing regular challenges and that will push you to keep yourself updated with the technologies to be more competitive in the market

What would be your dream job?
From my childhood, I wanted to serve our nation in defence department

MIS: some assembly required

Some people have a problem with letting go. “I’m just an old-fashioned printer who wants to do everything, even sweep the yard,” explains Peter Arnel, joint managing director at the White Horse Press. That desire to do as much as possible has filtered its way to the company’s management information system (MIS). Buying an off-the-shelf product from an MIS vendor was never an option; Arnel started working on his system as far back as the early 1970s.

“Then in

How to make 3D printed record

In this Instructable, I’ll demonstrate how I developed a workflow that can convert any audio file, of virtually any format, into a 3D model of a record. The 3D modelling in this project was far too complex for traditional drafting-style CAD techniques, so I wrote a program to do this conversion automatically. It works by importing raw audio data, performing some calculations to generate the geometry of a record, and eventually exporting this geometry straight to a 3D printable file format. Most

To infinity and beyond

Why would anyone in their right mind spend money on printing units that will be sitting around idle half the time? Well, for some companies this apparent contradiction will be a price worth paying in order to achieve the Holy Grail of zero makeready times and continuous production.

There’s a printing plant in St Petersburg, Florida, where such a nirvana already exists. Cox Target Media invested some $220m two-and-a-half years ago in a brand-new facility set up specifically to produce

Eng. Jamil I. Al Adani

Eng. Jamil I. Al Adani is a business development manager of Saudi Arabia based company Copatra Graphics.


How did you get into printing?

I started my career as Sales Engineer in Folding Carton Packaging Factory.


What do you like most about your job?

Communication with manufacturers of the industry from all over the world, enriches my knowledge with new technologies and ideas.


What is the worst thing about your job?

Dealing with credit requests of price-oriented customers



Keeping it consistent

Colour accuracy and consistency are becoming increasingly important. In the offset world, the move is towards print produced to the ISO 12647 colour standard.

The problem for anyone producing digital print is that there are no standards for digital colour – neither toner nor inkjet. The ISO 12647 specification is process-specific and, while the most common part of the standard, ISO 12647-2, refers to offset reproduction, there are other parts of the standard that relate to other

Najm Njeim

Najm Njeim is the regional sales manager of Dynagraph, Dubai.


How did you get into printing?

From its large format angle.


What do you like most about your job?

Converting rolls into printed sheets.


What is the worst thing about your job?

The limitation of working only 8 hours per day.


What would be your dream job?

I am living the dream


What was the best deal you pulled off?

Sold the first new units of L3000 in the middle east.


Whom do you admire in print?


Cracking codes

The Thing’ sounds like the sort of 1950s B-movie monster whose presence is accompanied by the eerie sound of a Theremin to add extra spookiness. However, in this instance it refers to the Great Seal bug, an eavesdropping device that the Russians sneaked into the US Embassy in Moscow. Presented by schoolchildren, The Thing was a cunning device designed to pick up what was being said and transmit it by radio for interception. By coincidence, it was designed by Léon

Sawsan Madhoun

Sawsan Madhoun is a marketing manager of CMYK Print Solutions.

How did you get into printing?
Meeting influential people in the printing industry through my father’s advertisement business lead me to where I am today.

What do you like most about your job?
It is not a routine job gives more room for creativity. That’s always a fun challenge offers me networking and growth opportunities.

What is the worst thing about your job?
Leaving Lebanon, my homeland.

What would be your dream job?
Not to have a job

Digital goes heavy metal

For all digital print’s many advantages, there are some applications that have remained stubbornly the preserve of more conventional processes. And this is a problem for anyone wanting to produce short-run jobs economically, while exploiting print’s unique tactile and aesthetic qualities.

For print to compete with other media, it needs to play to its sensory strengths while addressing its cost weaknesses. If you want to add value to short runs, then you need to be able to do so

Sai Naveen

Sai Naveen, a sports enthusiast is the marketing manager of NDIGITEC, IMPZ, Dubai

How did you get into printing?
My entry into the printing industry was by chance and my current profile was by choice.

What do you like most about your job?
The responsibility and learning that comes with handling the end-to-end marketing activities of a global organization.

What is the worst thing about your job?
Not getting to spend enough time with family.

What would be your dream job?
To work at a crocodile park.


Pimp your press

You wouldn’t put diesel in a Ferrari,” argued Tottenham Hotspur FC manager Harry Redknapp earlier this month. The analogy is apt; his view was that Premier League footballers should avoid alcohol in order to prolong their careers. The Spurs boss could easily have been talking about a press; giving it the kind of care normally reserved for a high performance car will ensure that it doesn’t behave as erratically as a drunken footballer after a night on the town.

It is an

Alok Kabra

Alok Kabra, is the general manager of Zabeel Prinring Press based in Ajamn, UAE

How did you get into printing?
I am a printing Engineer from Rajasthan, India.

What do you like most about your job?
All jobs in our commercial printing industry are creative and different.

What is the worst thing about your job?
When we are not completing our task in time.

What would be your dream job?
My dream is to become one of the world’s best printing professional.

What was the best deal you pulled off?
When I signed a

Digital print steps up to the plate

Improvements in technology and deteriorating market conditions have meant that whereas once   newspaper publishers shunned digital, they are now clamouring to use it

It recently transpired that when newspaper giant News International was in the planning stages of what would eventually lead to a web press investment at its UK sites, it seriously considered including digital presses in the spend.

The plan centred on placing machines to produce The Sun and The Times in commercial

Vishwas Dharm

Vishwas Dharm is the Technical Sales Manager Printing Division,
Chemical Marketing & Distribution Company Ltd. Dammam, KSA

How did you get into printing?
I have studied Printing Technology  at NRIPT, India.

What do you like most about your job?
Meeting new people, travelling, and lots of learning on daily basis.

What is the worst thing about your job?
Have to stay away from the family sometimes for even more than a week.

What would be your dream job?
I feel I am doing the same.

What do you like about

Print gets some new material

Paper’s environmental credentials are central to the sustainability of commercial print jobs, but what about other print applications and the media they use? In the signage and display sectors, plastics are as likely to be used as paper and board and the provenance and disposal of those plastics is becoming as important to those markets as  those of paper in general print.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or vinyl, is a ubiquitous material, but its use is under threat in many

Prashanth K

Prashanth, a James Bond fan is the sales manager of Gimpex Papers

Why did you get into printing?
Printing has been my passion since I selected my career option.

What do you like most about your job?
Learning different things everyday.

What is the worst thing about your job?
Growing competition and collections.

What would be your dream job?
Large cash sales orders & no competition.

What do you like about living in this region?
Peace, good environment, and no politics.

What is your favorite phrase or

New era for consumables

Superior solutions and environmental considerations have put a huge premium on consumables, but it still pays not to go cheap

On-press consumables for offset presses have changed almost beyond recognition in the past 10 years. The general formulas of fount solution, inks and washes, together with the materials used to make blankets and roller coverings, have undergone dramatic changes to cope with developments in both press technology and the new, more exacting

Neil Stacey

Neil Stacey, a Golf lover, is the Head of Printing and Packaging Division at Technochem Services Est.

- How did you get into printing?
I was offered a role for a major UAE Print/Packaging company, whilst I was still in the UK.

- What do you like most about your job?
The variety of the work and the people you get to meet.

- What is the worst thing about your job?
Having to go out in near 50 degree heat in the summer!

- What would be your dream job?
Touring golf professional.

- What was the

The Lesser of Two Evils

While international trends are leaning more and more towards the use of environmentally-products, printers and print buyers in the Middle East are also starting to see its relevance - making the shift to the use of recycled paper and now, environmentally-friendly inks.

 But to what extent is this trend paying off?

 Are vegetable oil-based inks finally getting ahead of the more hazardous mineral oil-based inks?

 “Our customers have been asking for vegetable-based

khaled abdullah

Khaled Abdullah is the Gulf area manager of CMYK Print Solutions.
How did you get into printing?

I did my bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and Printing.

What do you like most about your job?
Making friends from all over the world, getting to know more people.

What is the worst thing about your job?
Lazy summer season.

What would be your dream job?
A sailor would be fun.

What do you like about living in this part of the world?
Combining the East and the West cultures, and bringing out a

One stop printer's shop

Historically, if you wanted to buy a printing press you would go to a printing press manufacturer or licensed dealer; if you wanted to purchase consumables for that same press then you would strike a deal with the company who sold you the machine or alternatively you would set up an account with a consumables specialist; and if you wanted to buy paper then you would go to a paper merchant.
You could drill down even further into these sectors and separate digital press dealers from

Ralph Busselot

Ralph Busselot is the managing director of Colourbyte, Dubai

How did you get into printing?
I started a typesetting business in Cyprus in 1983.

What do you like most about your job?
Learning every day is what I like most about my job.

What is the worst thing about your job?
Chasing payments is a tough task.

What would be your dream job?
Working with the latest technology in print.

What do you like about living in this part of the world?
Cosmopolitan mix, ability to travel

What is your favourite phrase?

Paper straw maker features on TV show

Sustainable packaging start-up Transcend Packaging featured on BBC’s One Show last night, championing the case for paper straws as a replacement for single-use plastic versions.

The company, based in Ystrad Mynach in South Wales, was set up specifically to focus on sustainable packaging, and began producing paper straws last summer.

On the programme, McDonald’s supply chain director Beth Hart said that its restaurants in the UK and Ireland used 1.8m straws a day.

“A move from plastic to paper