iPadOS 13 Beta Software: Review, Part 1

In Pre-Press on June 26, 2019 at 10:46 am

A public beta version of Apple’s new iPadOS 13 software is now available. Note that iPadOS has now been separated from the iPhone for the first time. The two products are now so different the separate software would seem to be essential.

As generally recommended, don’t download the public beta to a device that you rely on for your everyday work. Fortunately I have a “spare” iPad – the previous generation of iPad Air 9.7 inch – that I am able to give over to test the software in its current raw form. There are apps that won’t currently work with the new OS.
The first noticeable change is the number of apps now available on the standard home screen. Thirty apps (6 columns x 5 rows in landscape) are now able to be shown (see pic above), plus up to thirteen on the dock. This has been needed for a long time – there has been far too much blank screen real-estate between apps, especially noticeable on the 12.9 inch version!
In addition to all of the app potential, home screen can also, with a slide over from the left, incorporate your Notifications widgets as well, either permanently or in soft form that can be slid away again. Note that the number of apps remains at thirty – they are just squeezed closer together.
Slide over and split view both get a lot of attention. Split view now allows two files from the same app to be compared next to each other (as above) – a corrected text maybe, viewed next to the original.
Slide over allows for a number of apps to be included at the same time, with the user able to shuffle between them to view the app required. The image above shows three apps that have been put into slide view, with the user now able to select which one should be uppermost (easier to see than explain!).
The keyboard can be changed to a mini floating keyboard, as opposed to the half screen static version. swipe text makes both easier to use in my opinion.
The Files app too has become much more functional, and closer maybe to the Mac Finder with the ability to see a path of opened folders and files.

Watkiss Directors Paul and Susan Attew to Retire

In Finishing on May 24, 2019 at 9:55 am

Following the last year’s acquisition of Watkiss Automation Limited by Plockmatic Group, Paul and Susan Attew have announced their decision to retire from the business to pursue their other interests outside of the printing industry.

Paul Attew and Jan Marstorp

Paul and Susan have been with Watkiss since the very early days and have been instrumental in guiding the success of the business over the years. Whilst Paul (pictured above, left) focused on the worldwide sales efforts, Susan controlled the administration and finances of the company, based in Sandy, Bedfordshire. Both will leave the business in May this year.

Ray Hillhouse will assume the role of General Manager, UK Operations for the Plockmatic Group and will oversee both the Morgana and Watkiss operations in the UK.

Commenting on Paul and Susan’s retirement Hillhouse said: “Whilst we are sad to see Paul and Susan depart from the business I am pleased they are taking the opportunity to do other things which they dearly love and enjoy, including the management of their stud farm. I and all the staff in the group wish them well in their future ventures.”

Since the integration of Watkiss into the Plockmatic Group, demand for their flagship PowerSquare 224 unit has never been higher. The group is also in the launch phase of the new PowerSquare 160 unit.

Hillhouse continued: “The order book is full right now, and we continue to focus on increasing production at the Sandy site. We have added a great product range into our sales and distribution channels and now have much stronger interest from the print engine manufacturers to integrate the PowerSquare 160.

“Many of the print engines now coming to market can offer enhanced long sheet applications, and the PowerSquare 160 is ideally placed as a cost-effective solution to the increasing need for a wider range of inline booklet formats, such as landscape A4.”

In keeping with other products in the range, offline versions of the PowerSquare machines will be branded as Morgana with inline units sold under the Plockmatic and OEM names.

About Morgana Systems Limited

Morgana Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of Plockmatic International, a part of the Plockmatic Group. The company supplies a wide range of innovative and market leading offline post-press equipment for customers involved in the many and varied activities of the printing industry throughout the world. Equipment is manufactured at a number of Plockmatic owned plants across the globe.

The sales, marketing, and service operations of Morgana Systems are headquartered in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK. The business is closely allied to Watkiss Automation, another innovative suppler of post-press equipment owned by Plockmatic Group, based in Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK.

Beginning with the launch of the revolutionary AutoCreaser in 2000, Morgana Systems has led the way in developing new and innovative solutions to cope with the special requirements of the digital printer. Morgana products that have achieved worldwide success during this time include the AutoCreaser Pro range and DigiFold Pro range of integrated creaser/folder solutions. Since its acquisition by Plockmatic in 2013 the product portfolio has been extended with a wide range of booklet making systems to meet every production requirement.

More recent product ranges to find significant success across world markets include the Morgana DigiBook range of PUR perfect binders, and the Morgana BM350/500 high-capacity booklet makers, which have been developed jointly with Plockmatic.

Morgana Systems is a preferred offline finishing partner for all of the leading manufacturers of digital print engines, whilst the Plockmatic International manufactures a wide range of innovative inline finishing solutions.

Full details of Morgana’s product line-up can be found at:



Premier Print: Turnover Growing with New Press

In Offset Presses on May 22, 2019 at 9:16 am

Premier Pair 1sm

London-based Premier Print has announced details of its latest press investment, which took place at the end of 2018. The new RMGT SRA1 format 924 LED-UV features four-colour printing, LED-UV instant drying, simultaneous fully-automatic plate change, Ryobi Matic D dampening, and a 55-inch screen press monitoring station. The press has been supplied and installed by the UK’s official RMGT distributor MPL, Surrey.

The previously all Heidelberg B2 focused litho printer has benefited both from the compact design of the RMGT press, with its B2 sized footprint, and the significant productivity boost offered by the SRA1 format. A Heidelberg SM74 five-colour machine was traded out as part of the new installation.

Gary Goodson, director of Premier Print (above, left), said: “We reviewed all of the options, taking a look at a number of press demonstrations. The RMGT stood out due to its unusual format, high quality, and excellent LED-UV capability. Space was one of the limiting factors for us and RMGT provides a lot of press in a small footprint!

“Because of the format and the automated features of the machine we were looking to add more than double the capacity of a B2 press, along with a reduction in costs due to cutting out a significant proportion of overtime. The impact is already beginning to show: March 2019 was in fact our highest turnover month ever – a 20% increase compared to March 2018.”

Brother and fellow director Darren Goodson (above, right) added: “Not only can we now run eight-pages to view rather than four, but the simultaneous fully-automatic plate changing capability cuts make-ready times by more than half.”

Reductions in plate costs, the elimination of powder spray, and lower power consumption are offsetting the increase in the UV ink costs. “With the higher ink costs covered by those factors, the true benefits of having a dry-to-the-touch sheet at the delivery end of the press can then be seen as a major plus in its own right. The fact that we can then move work rapidly – either for immediate back-up or straight into post-press for folding and finishing – means higher productivity all round, with jobs moving out the door quickly, rather than sitting on the floor drying,” said Darren Goodson.

Commenting on the installation, Mark Stribley, Joint Managing Director of MPL, said: “Premier Print could quickly see the benefits of replacing a B2 machine with the SRA1 capabilities of our RMGT 920 series. Space was at a premium, and the B2 chassis of the RMGT 920 was an important element in the final decision. The ability to handle work immediately was also important. Today’s customer wants work delivered quickly and LED-UV is a vital element for printers who want to respond to that need and to provide that level of service.

“This installation should act as a flagship for B2 printers everywhere. This is the direction that your business needs to go. Litho printing can still be efficient and highly productive, just as long as you install the right equipment to make it happen.”

About Premier Print

Premier Print Group is a family-owned and managed business. It was started in 1983 by Gary Goodson who was later joined by his brother Darren in 1992. Together they have grown and developed the business to become a leading London printing company, specialising in short-run magazine and booklet printing services.

See for more details.

About MPL

In 2010 MPL took on the management of both sales and service for Mitsubishi Litho Presses in the UK and Ireland. This relationship has since grown to encompass responsibility for technical service across the whole of Europe for the now re-named RMGT business. MPL also manage spare parts storage and distribution for the former Mitsubishi branded machines across Europe.

This representation joins established products such as GUK folding and inserting equipment, primarily focused towards the pharmaceutical packaging sector.

MPL offers manufacturers considerable marketing and business expertise across both the printing and packaging sectors and provides high-quality national coverage for sales, support and technical service.


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