McCourt's Machines

Andy McCourt has been involved with graphic equipment for over 30 years. He has held executive positions involving the supply of both new and used machinery. In 1993 while stationed in London, he helped Benny Landa launch the Indigo E-Print digital printer to the world at Ipex, for which he was on the marketing committee and also Asia-Pacific Project Manager, increasing Ipex attendance from that region by 120%. For 2 years he worked with the industrial division of Australia's largest Valuation and Auctioning firm, Grays, in both onsite and online asset disposals of major printing and packaging equipment.

Always a contributor to the graphic arts trade press, he is today the editor of Print21 - the official journal of the Printing Industries Association of Australia and consults to several prominent suppliers to the printing, packaging and publishing industries. A veteran of 8 drupas and 6 Ipexes, plus numerous other industry events around the globe, he lives in Sydney and stays fully informed on happenings with graphic arts technology, new media - and machines.


For trivia lovers, Horizon is a portmanteau of the founder’s name, Mr Hori and the Japanese honorific ‘san’ so, Hori-san anglicised to Horizon.

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The most elemental way to add tangible value to a printed piece is to laminate.

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The Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace (which was the genesis of IPEX), was the brainchild of Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert…

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To be celebrating a 200-year anniversary as a continuously-operating press manufacturer in an industry that, in industrial terms, is only about 570 years old is indeed an achievement, and that is exactly what KBA is doing this year.

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Impressions from down-under

What is surprising is that, despite the shrinking of the number of Australian printing firms, print volumes are stable or even slightly growing. This can mean only one thing; the market is being served by more automated, higher productivity technology, manned by fewer people

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One of the saddest days in my graphic arts half-life, was when the news came through that MAN Roland had entered bankruptcy on November 25th 2011. History is no respecter of modern economic reality but happily, Manroland’s bankruptcy did not last long.

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Printers have always been inventive people. From simple work-arounds and on-the-fly fixes, to an astonishing array of inventions that have little to do with print but have changed the world; printers and the printing industry are often the unsung heroes of civilisation itself.

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Wider still and wider...

“…Shall thy bounds be set” so goes the song Land of Hope and Glory. When it comes to wide-format digital printing, while the width boundary seems set at 5 metres max – the scope for market growth appears almost limitless. But what exactly is ‘wide format printing’?

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Big Iron Becomes Big Bytes

Offset Litho printing has certainly been ‘Cinderella’ at the world’s digital printing ball, as evinced at the recent drupa trade fair where for the first time HP was the largest exhibitor, Heidelberg’s area was reduced compared to previous expos and the glitziest, largest singing-and-dancing exhibition stands were from companies such as Xerox, Canon, Konica Minolta, Ricoh and of course Landa Nanotech.

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Not so long ago, Prepress was a diverse mix of skills, machines and systems that were so significant that they warranted their own international trade fair – Imprinta, the sister show held in-between drupas.

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Finishing first

If a printer has a bottleneck, I usually lay odds of London-to-a-brick-on that it’ll be in the finishing department. Presses run at up to 18,000 sheets per hour, but most finishing equipment struggles to keep up with the pace.

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Why resale value of digital presses is so low

As the world of printing shifts from a post-industrial and information revolution manufacturing process, to a networked digitized service; so the nature of the tools we use changes. It’s a slow process and rightly so – it would be foolhardy to ‘arrive’ in the future before it is really here.

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