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Australian business conditions slump to historic low: Ai Group

Employers’ organisation Australian Industry Group says easing COVID-19 restrictions and delivering further policy actions to unlock consumer and business spending are critical to stemming the rapid pace of decline in the Australian economy. Releasing its latest business performance index, Ai Group said: “The steepest declines in performance were in retail trade & hospitality, apartment building, commercial construction and among businesses manufacturing textiles, clothing, footwear, paper & printing products.”

First look at Agfa’s new 3.3m roll-to-roll Oberon RTR3300

Agfa has released a ‘First Look’ video of its new high-end large-format roll-to-roll inkjet printer in operation. The 3.3 metre Oberon RTR3300 was to have made a debut at the postponed global print expo FESPA 2020 in Madrid in March (now rescheduled to 6-8 October 2020). Agfa last month signed an Australian distribution deal with supplier Graphic Art Mart.

VisCon Virtual Industry Expo aims for a wider audience

Visual Connections says the concept of a virtual trade show concept is something it’s been considering for some time as a way of bringing its trade shows – PacPrint, Visual Impact, Label & Packaging Expo and PrintEx – to a wider audience. Now, the idea has been fast-tracked due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Ricoh: demand has plummeted during COVID-19

Announcing results for financial year 2019 (April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020), Japanese multinational print technology and electronics manufacturer Ricoh outlined a steep fall in demand caused by COVID-19 but said growth areas included industrial printing and IT services. “Profit attributable to owners of the parent was ¥39.5 billion, down 20.2% from a year earlier.” Industrial Printing sales increased 11.2%, to ¥23.0 billion on higher demand for new advanced inkjet heads and industrial printers.

‘Not for profit’ platform for FuturePrint Virtual Summit 

Another virtual trade show – this time with a familiar ring: Future Print was the name used by our PIAA (now PVCA) not so long ago for a Government-funded programme run by former PIAA CEO Bill Healey. 
Next month’s inaugural FuturePrint Virtual Summit will include Ricoh, Integration Technology, Bespoke PR, Sun Chemical, Meteor Inkjet, Inca Digital, Kao Collins, Memjet, Global Inkjet Systems, SGIA, Inkish, Keypoint Intelligence, IDC and more. 

Free X-Rite colour course, webinars for remote workers

X-Rite and Pantone, global leaders in colour science and technology, say the popular X-Rite Color Theory eLearning Course will be available free for a limited time to help support anyone working from home during COVID-19. 

'Era of rapid change': SGIA & PIA merge into PRINTING United Alliance

Peak US print industry associations The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA), which merged last week, have announced their new name: PRINTING United Alliance. "Printer members and the supplier community at large are looking for a unified solution to the challenges they face in this era of rapid change," says new chairman Scott Crosby.

HP Australia Large Format Academy webinar 2

HP Australia large format specialist Jeremy Brew will host another LF Academy webinar across Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, after the launch of the series on Tuesday this week.  'Can Print Service Providers build customer loyalty with value added service?' will teach how to design posters with the free Poster Tool and how to send jobs from the Cloud to HP large format printer software. "This is a repeat session for those that missed the first one," Brew told WFOL. "Same content, just a different registration link." Spaces are limited.

Most businesses could re-open in less than two months

National cabinet will meet on Friday to consider a three-step plan for the gradual removal of baseline pandemic restrictions to allow the re-opening of a 'safe' Australian economy in July. Some COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be eased after Friday's meeting. "We now need to get one million Australians back to work."

Durst is back in business as Italy moves into 'Phase 2'

Print technology manufacturer Durst says it can start up production immediately, in compliance with all necessary safety regulations, after the Italian government introduced Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions following a two-month lockdown.

Fast Proof Press and IBS Cards #Together Gold Coast

Gold Coast printers Fast Proof Press and IBS Cards have partnered with outdoor advertiser QMS Media and Theory Agency on a campaign aimed at helping local residents remain positive during COVID-19.

Print industry veteran joins SAi board

SA International (SAi), a leading provider of software solutions for the signmaking, digital printing, textile and CNC machining industries, has appointed former Roland DGA president Rick Scrimger to its board of directors.  

PVCA and RMC release COVID-19 webinar schedules

Print industry groups the Print & Visual Communication Association and the Real Media Collective released details of their webinar series designed to support companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free trial for new Onyx TruFit software

Onyx Graphics says its new shape-based nesting software ONYX TruFit saves print production time and reduces media usage by up to 50%. Free 30-day trial licenses are being offered as part of a global launch.

Momentum builds for first VisCon Virtual Trade Show 

Manufacturers Mutoh, HP, Epson, Mimaki, Roland DG, Screen and Fujifilm will showcase their latest technologies at the inaugural Print, Sign, Display & Graphics Virtual Trade show organised by Visual Connections following the postponement of Gold Coast Visual Impact 2020 due to COVID-19.

US printing & signage associations now under one roof

In a major consolidation move, leading US industry groups The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA) have announced an official merger effective May 1, “to bring resources and services together under one roof to best support future industry growth and longevity.” The new association’s name will be announced in coming weeks.

May's drupa Global Trends Spotlight report will surprise many

Drupa's 3rd  Global Trends Report is about to be released in May. It will show that printers are adapting to challenging market conditions by successfully launching new products and services. It also spells a much more serious problem for commercial offset than even post-Covid scenarios suggest, with only 20% of respondents predicting investment over next 4 years.