Lock iconRectangle 1Rectangle 2 + Rectangle 2 CopyShapeRectangle 1

News RSS

TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jeff Ekstein, a third-generation owner of 65-year-old Willow Printing Group, has been named the Printing Industries of America 2018 Lewis Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. 

PIA is the world’s largest graphic arts trade association, representing an industry with approximately one million employees and serving the interests of thousands of member companies.

Established in 1950, the Lewis Award recognizes business leaders who have made major, long-term contributions to the graphic arts industry and have been a significant force in shaping the business of printed communications. The award was presented on November 9 at the Ben Franklin Honor Society Award Dinner during the Fall Administrative Meeting of Printing Industries of America in Grapevine, Texas.

The award was presented to Ekstein by Canadian-born Michael Makin, who has been President and CEO of the Printing Industries of America since August 1, 2002.

“Being recognized with the lifetime achievement award from the Printing Industries of America is an enormous honour,” said Ekstein. “It was particularly meaningful to receive it as a proud Canadian from my colleague Michael, another proud Canadian. It’s been a real privilege for me to serve the North American graphic arts industry in various capacities over the years.”

Ekstein has served PIA for more than a decade, initially as a director, advancing to the officers’ ranks in 2011, and ultimately to Chairman of the Board in 2013. Additionally, he has served on countless committees and task forces. He was the Education Committee Chairman from 2009 to 2011, and is currently a PIA Finance Committee member and serves as a judge for the Premier Print Awards.

In 2016, Ekstein was named PrintAction’s Community Leader of the Year as part of the annual Canadian Printing Awards. Prior to that, he was named one of PrintAction’s Top 20 Most Influential Printers in 2010.

In addition to his involvement in PIA, he has served as Co-Chair of CPISC (Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council) as well as Past Chair, Government Affairs Committee Chair, and long-time Director of CPIA (Canadian Printing Industries Association). In 2007, Ekstein earned the CPIA Distinguished Service Award for excellence, achievement and dedication to the printing industry. He is the current Chair of the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF).

About Willow Printing Group
Willow Printing Group is a graphic communications company providing commercial and digital print solutions, database management, mailing services and fulfillment. Located just north of Toronto in Vaughan Ontario, Willow specializes in the home building, conference, tradeshow, event and not-for-profit sectors. To learn more about Willow please visit https://willowprint.com/.

For more information and/or to request an interview, please contact:

Name: Jeff Ekstein, CEO
T. 905-660-1515

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/01609d78-968e-4d5a-a679-ab66c66fa079

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read more

[unable to retrieve full-text content]

Stratasys to 3D print spare parts on demand for Angel Trains  3D Printing Industry

Angel Trains, a British rolling stock operator company (ROSCO), has partnered with Stratasys and ESG Rail, a Derby-based engineering consultant, to 3D print ...

Read more

With the increasing presence of Industry 4.0, production facilities are integrating automated 3D printing technologies to optimize manufacturing. Adopting this smart factory framework is Materials Solutions, a Siemens Business, that recently established an additive manufacturing facility in Worcester, UK.

Dubbed as the Materials Solutions “Digital Factory”, the 4700 meter-squared shop floor houses 45 employees, an inspection and post-processing area, and 19 industrial metal 3D printers, intended to support the automotive, aerospace, and industries.

3D Printing Industry visited the facility to understand how Siemens aims to utilize this Digital Factory to further additive manufacturing industrialization. Markus Seibold, Head of Additive Manufacturing for Siemens Power & Gas division explained:

“Metal additive manufacturing has spearheaded power generation, automotive, motorsport, tooling and now aerospace. This new state-of-the-art facility has already become and will further progress into a space for driving end-to-end digitalized processes for serial production.”

The Materials Solutions Digital Factory. Photo via Siemens.
The Materials Solutions Digital Factory. Photo via Siemens.

Ramping up metal additive manufacturing

Materials Solutions a UK-based service bureau with a decade of experience in the producing power generation components. This company was also the first to install an EOS M270 3D printer in 2009. Striving to be the global leader in the industrial implementation of additive manufacturing, Siemens acquired Materials Solutions in 2016.

Using Materials Solutions knowledge in additively manufacturing high-demand engine components, Siemens sought to create a shop floor that would drive hardware with its digital solutions. According to Phil Hatherley, General Manager of Materials Solutions, Siemens:

“Our current strategy is based on the belief that existing Siemens additive manufacturing technology can sustain a digital factory. This is because existing machines can be improved with software; one does not have to create the perfect machine.”

Vladimir Navrotsky, Technology & Innovation Manager at Siemens added, “We as a user don’t desire to build our own machines. As I like to say, you don’t have to print the wheel to be innovative. That’s why we allow the 3D printer manufacturers and their expertise in such areas as lasers, to make the machines.”

As a result of Siemens’ acquisition and overall mission, an investment of approximately £27 million was made towards a 3D printing facility for the serial production of additively manufactured parts rather than just prototyping.

EOS 3D printers at the Materials Solutions Digital Factory. Photo by Tia Vialva.
EOS 3D printers at the Materials Solutions Digital Factory. Photo by Tia Vialva.

Manpower and machinery

The new digital factory included designated areas for each step of the digital value chain. When entering the shop floor, one is confronted with a printing farm which includes a plethora of EOS systems, including the EOS M 300-4 metal additive manufacturing system well as a Renishaw 500Q machine, and Sodi-Tech Electrical Discharge machining systems.

According to Seibold “we plan on using [the Sodi-Tech system] within the sphere of serial production, we like to remind ourselves that we are not just a printing shop. Instead, we work to understand our machines, its capabilities and how it can benefit both us and our customers.”

Steering box components reverse engineered and 3D printed for the Ruston Hornsby Fifteen 1920's car. Photo by Tia Vialva.
Steering box components reverse engineered and 3D printed at the Materials Solutions factory for the Ruston Hornsby Fifteen 1920’s car (original component in front). Photo by Tia Vialva.

In addition, stretching across the factory was an inspection area which housed ATOS Scanbox 5108 systems for reverse engineering otherwise obsolete parts. Moving on from this station led to the post-processing area which featured a Solukon AT800 system for automated depowering, Guyson Euroblast 8 sandblasting cabinets, and Kardex XP500 automated storage carousels.

The factory also included a virtual reality station (VR) and showcase area where customized manufacturing processes can be simulated. Moreover, within the Digital Factory Siemens’ latest additive manufacturing technologies such as its PLM chain, NX software, and the cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) operating system, MindSphere, are implemented.

The front of the Ruston Hornsby Fifteen 1920's car. Photo by Tia Vialva.
The front of the Ruston Hornsby Fifteen 1920’s car. Photo by Tia Vialva.

Simulation to serial production

According to Navrotsky, the biggest hurdle in pioneering a digital value chain comes from distortion in the additive manufacturing process.

“As parts are taken through production, CAD technology can fail to account for the distortion caused by laser sintering and post-processes. That is why simulation is so important in a smart factory.”

“For example, our Simcenter 3D Additive Manufacturing Build Process Simulation software solution introduced at Formnext, simulates the powder-based laser application process to enable ‘first time right’ prints. This technology will forever change serial production for the better.”

The Materials Solutions facility plans to expand its range of 3D printers over the next few years to 50, as well as employ an additional 20-25 persons to aid with the workload of the Digital Factory.

Inside the Materials Solutions Digital Factory. Photo by Tia Vialva.
Inside the Materials Solutions Digital Factory. Photo by Tia Vialva.

In 2017, Siemens won Application of the Year in the 3D Printing Industry Awards. Nominations for the 2019 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open, be sure to make yours here.

For all the latest 3D printing news and previews, subscribe to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Make your next additive manufacturing career move or hire new talent. Search and post 3D Printing Jobs on our free jobs service.

Featured image shows the inside of the Materials Solutions Digital Factory. Photo by Tia Vialva.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read more

Meagan Moore, a Biological and Agricultural Engineering student from Louisiana State University (LSU) has 3D printed a full-size model of the human body for use in radiotherapy.

Such models used in radiotherapy mimic the human tissue, and in medical terms are known as imaging phantoms or phantoms. They are used in radiotherapy to estimate the amount of dose delivery and distribution. A customized phantom of a patient can make the whole process more precise. 

Meagan Moore with the full body 3D printed phantom. Image via Louisiana State University.
Meagan Moore with the full body 3D printed phantom. Image via Louisiana State University.

3D printing and cancer research

As has been previously reported, 3D printing is being explored by researchers for use in cancer treatment. Earlier this year, Adaptiiv Medical Technologies’ 3D printed bolus was approved for radiation therapy. 

Furthermore, in September, University of Pittsburgh scientists proposed using 3D printed phantom head for improved MRI results.

Despite the advances in research, phantoms, currently available on the market, are not representative of the patient’s body and are without limbs. Whereas, Moore’s female phantom Marie (as she has named it) has a full-body with limbs.

Moore explained, “Phantoms have been used in medical and health physics for decades as surrogates for human tissue … The issue is that most dosimetric models are currently made from a standard when people of all body types get cancer. No personalized full-body phantoms currently exist.”

Full body 3D printed phantom

Marie was modeled using 3D scans of five real women. It took more than hundred hours to 3D print Marie, using a large-format 3D printer by the German company BigRep. The phantom was 3D printed in four parts, which were joined using various methods, such as soldering, sandblasting, and welding.

Marie is 5.1 ft tall and can hold thirty-six gallons of water inside her body. The walls of the body are enforced with a roofing sealant and liquid latex.

Seattle’s UW Medical Cyclotron Facility, a cancer research organization, has shown interest in testing the full-body phantom for cancer therapy. The facility would like to test Marie for fast neutron therapy, in which high energy neutrons are used for treatment. Seattle is among the five places in the U.S that offer fast neutron therapy. 

Moore was helped in ‘The Phantom Project’ by her mentor Dr.Wayne Newhauser, who is known for his efforts promoting 3D printing for cancer treatment. Moore added, “The initial idea for the whole project wasn’t completely my idea … I met him [Dr. Newhauser] at his TED Talk, where he did a presentation on 3D printing and how it’s interfacing with science.” She continued,  “Since I had just started doing 3D modeling of my own, I showed him my 3D prints. This project took off from his work with breast cancer and computational modeling.”

Nominations are open for 3D Printing Awards 2019. Please let us know about leaders in the industry. 

For more news on 3D printing and cancer research, subscribe to our 3D printing newsletter, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit our 3D Printing Jobs site for jobs in the 3D printing industry.

Feature image shows Marie, a 3D printed imaging phantom. Image via Louisiana State University

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read more

Printing is a tough game; a good industry but a hard place to make a quid, especially for large businesses.

By WhatTheyThink

Startling statistics coming out of the USA reveal that the industry makes an overall profit of 4.12% before taxes during the past 18 months. However, large printing enterprises, those with US$25+million in assets, averaged a bare 1.04% in profits for the same period. In fact they actually went backwards for a number of quarters.

Meanwhile for smaller printers, those with less than $25 million in assets, profits before taxes for the past six quarters averaged 7.41%, which is not too bad.

The people who collect the stats, What They Think, reckon the low profitability of the large printers is a long-term drag on overall industry profitability.

It’s difficult to get comparative figures for the local industry, but PMP, the largest printer in the Australian region posted a net profit after tax this year of >minus $34.8 million. The share price started 2018 at $0.51 and ended it at $0.20.

It reinforces what many printers already know, that big isn’t always better. Perhaps there is an optimum size for a profitable printing enterprise after all.


For those of us in the business of journalism there’s little satisfaction in seeing the competition publish a typo error. Any schadenfreude will be quickly followed by making a similar stuff up.

Roxy Jacenko … Never fails to deliver.

However some are too good to let go by unmentioned. First there’s the subeditor’s nightmare in the New York Post of Julia Roberts getting better ‘holes’ as she grows older.

Closer to home, publisher Allen & Unwin, had to pulp the entire print run of Roxy’s Little Black Book of Tips and Tricks. Written by Sydney-based PR flack, Roxy Jacenko, the tome made it past six professional proofreaders to the stage where review copies were sent out before someone saw that the cover blurb said the author ‘Never fails to disappoint.’ It should, of course, have read ‘Never fails to deliver.’

The quote came from radio host Jackie O, but left Jacenko unfazed. “It’s a fuck-up, but Jackie’s a friend,” she said.

The publisher wouldn’t reveal the size of the pulped print run.


Another straw in the wind this week with the news that Peter Coleman, well known newspaper industry identity and publisher of the authoritative GX Report will no longer print his magazine. This is a particular loss of an excellent publication. Not only does Peter write very well with an in-depth knowledge of newspapers, but printing has defined his professional life.

Peter Coleman

I first came across him as editor of Bill Minnis’ Ink magazine in the 1990s, a leading printing industry publication out of Melbourne. Before that he ran his family’s newspaper publishing and print works in the UK for many years. He grew up around Goss Community presses with printing ink in his blood.

But the newspaper industry is continuing to struggle in the internet age, with titles closing left, right and centre. Few are buying new presses and Peter bemoans the loss of Goss, his long-term foundation advertiser following its takeover by manroland.

As with many other publications there’s a virtual life after print. Sign on at www.gxpress.net


It wasn’t always so. Newspaper professionals facing an existential battle will be chagrined at a report I came across in a file copy of Newspaper News, the Yaffa Media publication from July 1929. Under the headline; ‘British Companies’ Huge Dividends’ it reports that the rush to buy shares in newspapers is ‘one of the most remarkable features of the investment market in recent years.’

It goes on to express no surprise as it reveals The Daily Mirror made a profit of £479,529 and paid 30% per ordinary share.

Shareholders in The Sunday Pictorial did better with a dividend of no less that 25%, which pales in comparison to the Financial News, which from a profit of £93,500 paid shareholders a whopping 175% per ordinary share.

Those were the days.


And finally… did you hear about Julius Caesar walking into a bar.

“I’ll have a martinus,” he says.

The bartender gives him a puzzled look and asks, “Don’t you mean a ‘martini’?”
“Look. If I wanted a double, I’d have asked for it!”

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Read more