As reported briefl y in Issue Eight, print excellence was celebrated locally at the 2012 Sappi African Printers of the Year event held in mid-August.
The event highlighted Sappi’s philosophy and tagline ‘Inspired by life’, a theme emphasised by Alex Thiel, CEO of Sappi Southern Africa. ‘Tonight’s celebration of excellence is not just about patting one another on the back,’ he declared. ‘It’s about inspired print that is vital to showing paper’s best characteristics. Few alternatives can stand up to paper’s ability to enthral, to entice and to connect physically and emotionally with the reader.’
Following rigorous judging, 10 Gold awards, 19 Silver awards and 33 Bronze award winners were selected from 200 entries received from the Africa and Indian Ocean Island region.
In September, the Gold award winners will represent the African region at the 2012 Sappi International Printers of the Year awards, recognised as the ‘Oscars’ of print, where they’ll compete against Gold award winners from North and South America, Europe and Australasia.
‘Your work is an inspiration to all of us in the industry, whether we’re your suppliers, your customers or your peers,’ Alex Thiel told the winners. ‘But most importantly your work inspires the intended target audiences and moves them to action.’
The judging panel included Erich Kühl (Erich Kühl Consulting), Mike Lumb (Mike Lumb Consulting), Neill Moross (Troika Imagineering Works), Cynthia Morton (Paarl Media Paarl) and Lucrezia Wolfaardt (New Media). They commented that the overall quality of entries was excellent with good use of challenging techniques and consistent use of colour and varnishing.
Technology is the winner
These victorious printers are to be congratulated, not only for achieving the best possible result, but for working technology to the utmost.
Aside from the undisputed skills of their press operators, their choice of superb substrates, and the clever use of inks and coatings, these printers have all made serious investments in leading-edge technology to provide them with clear competitive advantages.
A survey of prize-winners reveals that Heidelberg and KBA presses were the champions of many of the outstanding results.
Heidelberg was behind Multiprint Litho’s multiple achievements. The gold-winning Eskom 2011 calendar in the Calendar category was printed on a Heidelberg XL 105; and its Imaginarium of Extraordinary Ideas, awarded Gold in the General Print category, was printed on a Heidelberg 105 fi ve-colour press and a Heidelberg 74 four-colour press. The company also took three Bronze awards, all printed on Heidelberg presses – the Business Connexion Journal in the Book category (Heidelberg XL105); the BMW 5 Series presentation box and brochure in the General Print category (Heidelberg XL105 and Heidelberg 52 fi vecolour) and the BMW X5 brochure in the Brochure category (Heidelberg XL105).
It was a Heidelberg M-600 that went towards Uniprint’s achievement of a Gold award in the Magazine Web category for the printing of Mitshubishi Xplore Issue 19, plus a Silver and two Bronze awards (see article on page 30).
Yet another Heidelberg fi ve-colour press helped Colors to win Gold for the Thrip Annual and Impact reports in the Annual Report category; and a Heidelberg CD 102 enabled RA Print to take home both Silver and Bronze awards.
Atlas Printers’ Silver and Bronze winners were printed on a Heidelberg Speedmaster, as was Hirt & Carter’s Bronze winner, while Business Print’s Bronze winner in the Annual Report category was printed on a Heidelberg SM74/P/LX/H.
Ultra Litho’s stunning Gold-winning entries were printed on KBA Rapida 105 presses. Taking Gold in the Books category, Focused was printed on a six-colour UV machine with in-line coating; and in the Brochures category ‘the new Audi A6’ was printed on a six-colour UV press and a six-colour conventional press.
KBA technology also played a role in Intrepid Printers’ win – in this case a KBA 105P eight-colour press – while Ince’s prize-winner was printed on a KBA RA106 – 8SW4.
In the Digital Print category, Précigraph (Mauritius) took Gold for Double Regard printed on an MGI DP60 digital press. ‘But,’ adds Vincent de Labauve D’Arifat, ‘what makes us really different and enhances our quality is that we use a CGS workfl ow supplied by Digitalview.’
Shumani’s Bronze award-winner was printed on the Kodak Nexpress SE 3000.
Paarl Media KZN’s Bronze winner in the Magazines Web category was printed on two 16-page Rotoman N heatset web offset presses.
Follow this link to view the photo gallery of the winners.
Anatomy of a winner
Uniprint’s Web Division took one Gold, one Silver and two Bronze awards in this year’s Sappi African Printers of the Year contest. Gill Loubser profiles this award-winning operation.
Any lingering perception that the quality of web offset printing for top-flight magazines plays second fiddle to sheetfed printing is surely dispelled by the exceptional quality seen among winning entries in the Magazine Web category in the latest round of Sappi African Printers of the Year. Gold in this category went to Uniprint for Mitshubishi’s Xplore magazine (Issue 19).
In fact, underscoring the growing success of Uniprint’s web offset operation are multiple wins in the Sappi African Printers of the Year awards, having taken a Bronze or Silver award every year since the division’s inception, and attaining its first Gold medal in 1997 for printing Epic magazine – in competition against sheetfed printing.
This year, the company took no fewer than four awards in the Web Magazine printing category – Gold and Silver for Mitshubishi Xplore magazine; plus Bronze for Inspirations magazine and The Holiday Club.
It’s not surprising that the team is grinning widely!
‘This award gives us huge credibility, proving that we can print premium magazines and match international print specifications. It also raises the profile of web printing for magazines, enhancing competition with sheetfed printing,’ enthuses Colin Baxter-Bruce, the division’s MD.
So what’s the winning recipe?
Although Uniprint’s involvement in commercial web offset printing stretches back to the late 1990s, this division really took off in 1997 when a significant investment in a Heidelberg M-600 web offset five-colour press started to pay dividends – resulting in major contracts from government departments, large corporates, publishers and advertising agencies.
And it’s this same press that was used to print this year’s crop of award-winning products.
Viewed as one of the world’s most reliable and versatile web press platforms ever designed for high-speed, low-waste printing, the M-600 achieves sheetfed-like quality.
‘This,’ comments Colin, ‘is one of the reasons why web offset is increasingly able to compete with sheetfed when it comes to printing premium products such as magazines.’
On hand to receive the awards at the presentation ceremony in Johannesburg in mid-August were Colin and a proud Gary Terblanche, the division’s production manager.
‘A host of factors contributed to this success,’ says Gary. While the press undoubtedly forms part of the winning formula, Gary explains that enormous investment has gone into profiling the press to prepress and colour management.
‘But aside from using the best of modern technology,’ he adds, ‘the skills and dedication of our machine minders play a critical role. In addition, we spend a great deal of time and effort ensuring the suitability of substrates and inks for any particular job.’
World-class printing requires world-class equipment. With investments over the past five years topping R100-million in cutting-edge technology, Uniprint has amplified its low-cost, high-capacity capabilities that have earned so many blue-chip customers.
For example, as recently reported (PPM Issue Seven 2012 p25), at drupa, Uniprint signed up for a new Primera C130 saddle stitcher, the company’s third saddle stitcher from Müller Martini. It’s 14 years since Uniprint first invested in two PrimaPlus saddle stitchers. Both are still in operation – alongside a Müller Martini Acoro A7 perfect binder– much to Gary Terblanche’s satisfaction. The new Primera C130 goes into operation in October.
‘This proves our total commitment to quality and delivery. We have technically skilled and qualified staff and the capacity to meet tight deadlines,’ Gary stresses. ‘As our industry evolves, Uniprint will continue to lead the way forward,’ he adds.