MET Fine Printers to Integrate Rhino Print Solutions

MET Fine Printers (MET) has announced its plans to expand its operations through an arrangement with Rhino Print Solutions (Rhino), enabling customers across North America to access a richer selection of print and new media services under the MET brand.

The expansion involves select Rhino assets and business activities, including its Calgary facility, which will be integrated into MET’s operations. The arrangement will significantly increase MET’s depth, as well as its scope of services. MET’s President Nikos Kallas and the senior management group will lead the expanded company; senior members of the Rhino team are joining MET and all business will operate exclusively under MET Fine Printers. Full terms of the arrangement are not being disclosed.

“We’re excited about the opportunities and benefits made possible through combining the talents, resources and experience of our companies,” said MET President Nikos Kallas. “We look forward to working together to optimize the variety of communication experiences we can offer clients.”

David Allan, Rhino president and CEO, also noted, “MET’s long history of innovation, craftsmanship and community leadership makes it the perfect company to take our organization into the future. Our businesses are well-aligned and we anticipate a seamless transition for all of our customers.”

The newly expanded MET will continue to provide its award-winning proprietary technology, custom finishing and integrated print solutions for a variety of businesses in the design, advertising and institutional sectors. At the same time, the company will expand its focus on new media technologies and advances in sustainable printing.

Falkland boosts post-press setup

Falkland Press has expanded its post-press facilities with new die-cutting and folding kit.

heidelberg-varimatrixThe company has invested £410,000 in a Varimatrix 105 CS die-cutter with automatic stripping and a Stahlfolder KH66 combination folder from Heidelberg.

“We’ve been die-cutting on our cylinders but we got to the point where we wanted a more industrial solution. Obviously the Varimatrix is much more efficient,” said managing director Jon Lancaster.

“We also wanted to be able to fold flatter sections to go on our stitcher, and to handle additional volumes as our buckle folders are busy. It’s about having diversity of kit,” he added.

The B1-format Varimatrix can also emboss. It runs at up to 7,500sph and quick makereadies make it suitable for short-run work.

“Cartons are far more suited to B1 because of the way they fit on the sheet. I am considering B1 [format printing] for the future but I haven’t made my mind up on it,” Lancaster added.

Falkland Press produces a wide range of commercial print and packaging products. It runs digital and offset printing kit including a B2 HP Indigo 10000 and five-colour Speedmaster XL75 with coater.

It has retained all of its existing finishing kit including three cylinders.

The company moved into its new 4,000sqm factory in Letchworth Garden City over the Christmas break in 2013, and the move gave the business plenty of space for expansion.

Lancaster said the firm had taken on 10 additional staff over the past year, taking the total to 36. He expects the business to achieve sales of around £4.2m this year.

USPS Requests May 31 Rate Hike

The U.S. Postal Service may raise postage rates by as much as 2 percent on May 31. First, though, the Postal Regulatory Commission needs to approve the request USPS submitted at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday (opens as a PDF).”This adjustment includes the prices previously approved by the commission … for First Class mail and Special Services,” reads Thursday’s USPS response, “as well as the proposed prices for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services … The only exception relates to the Earned Value Reply Mail promotion, which will start as scheduled on May 1, 2015.””This promotion allows mailers to earn postage credits based on receipt of First Class mail reply pieces,” USPS says on Friday. “The postage credit can be redeemed later this year on First Class mail and Standard Mail mailings.” It’s only delaying one promotion—the Advanced and Emerging Technology Promotion moves to June 1 to Nov. 30.

In an email blast to its members on Thursday, the American Catalog Mailers Association adds one more comment about May 31. “All competitive and previously approved market dominant prices would be implemented at the same time,” the ACMA says in the email.

This PRC request is happening now because USPS isn’t raising rates on April 26 due to the PRC having issues with some of its requests. PRC asked twice that the postal service fix the problems. On March 27, USPS told Target Marketing it wasn’t raising any rates because it didn’t want to confuse customers by raising some rates and not others.

In response to Target Marketing‘s request for comment on Friday, USPS sent a statement saying “today,” as in Friday, it filed the newest PRC request. (The filed document is dated Thursday.) Asked if the date was a mistake, USPS says this is its official statement.

“The postal service today filed a response to Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) Order No. 2398, in which the Commission remanded proposed rates for Standard Mail, Periodicals and Package Services,” Friday’s statement reads. “The postal service’s response contains adjusted pricing and further explanation consistent with the commission’s order.”

4over Opens New Operation Facility in Central Florida

 4over has opened the doors to a brand new operation facility in Central Florida. This expansion enables the trade printer to offer free local delivery to three major U.S. cities and vast surrounding areas, including the greater Tampa, Orlando, and St. Petersburg areas.

With the steady growth of 4over’s North American customer base comes an increasing need to service its East Coast customers. The new location will help to facilitate this growth, enabling more customers to take full advantage of 4over’s quick turnarounds and affordable shipping options.

“We’re delighted to be expanding our reach, once again,” said Zarik Megerdichian, 4over’s CEO. “This new Central Florida operation center means our existing customers now have easier access than ever before to fast turnarounds and free delivery on all of their favorite products. It also means we can service brand new sets of customers, thus perpetuating the unwavering growth trend we’ve been experiencing since 4over’s inception.”

Quad Graphics Awarded Contract from Hearst Magazines Valued at More than $500M

Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics.Quad/Graphics Inc. will continue to be the primary printer for Hearst Magazines’ through 2020 under a new agreement valued at more than $500 million. Quad produces 20 of Hearst’s 21 U.S. magazine titles, including Cosmopolitan, ELLE,Esquire, Good Housekeeping, O, The Oprah Magazine, Popular Mechanics and Car and Driver, as well as inserts and custom print products.

Quad/Graphics has been Hearst Magazines’ largest print supplier since 2011, when it began printing Good Housekeeping, Harper’s BAZAAR, House Beautiful, O, The Oprah Magazine,Woman’s Day, ELLE, ELLE DECOR, Car and Driver and Road & Track in addition to Veranda, which the company has printed since 2007. With the acquisition of Brown Printing in 2014, Quad/Graphics began printing 10 additional Hearst titles—Country Living, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Food Network Magazine, HGTV Magazine, Marie Claire, Redbook, Seventeen, Town & Country and Popular Mechanics.

“With its exceptional portfolio of magazine titles, Hearst has mastered the art of content creation, demonstrating the power of print in a multichannel world and reaching more than 80 million readers every month,” said Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics. “As America’s leading magazine printer, we are proud to renew and extend our partnership with Hearst, and to work together to grow through innovation and performance.”

David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, also noted, “Magazines have the power to inspire and transport readers through beautiful images, expert curation and unique points-of-view. Working with Quad/Graphics, we are able to constantly push the boundaries of what magazines can be, to create memorable, impactful experiences for readers and marketers with every issue.”

Hearst takes advantage of Quad/Graphics’ full-service continuum of media, mailing and related distribution solutions to deliver high-quality content in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Hearst also uses Quad/Graphics’ comprehensive publication workflow solutions, including the new Publisher’s Studio Editorial, to plan and develop content for print and digital editions. Through its robust co-mail and distribution programs, Quad/Graphics creates significant postage savings each year for Hearst while also improving delivery times and preserving product condition.

“Magazine content is incredibly valuable in a multichannel world, and through our partnership with Hearst, we have the great opportunity to explore the limitless possibilities of ink on paper and related content delivery,” Quadracci said.