2013 Quick Printing Readers’ Choice Top Products Awards

The inaugural Quick Printing Readers’ Choice Top Products Awards competition was conducted in early 2013. The goal was to gather opinions from print service providers about what they consider to be the most significant products introduced to the commercial printing industry between September 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012. We asked readers to vote for the products within each category that had the strongest impact on their businesses or created the most excitement in the industry.

The contest covered 21 categories, from digital color printers and offset presses to finishing equipment, inks, software, prepress, and mailing products. There was only one winner in each category.

Next year’s contest will include products introduced to the industry between January 1 and December 31, 2013.


Digital Print Media: Premium Digital Carbonless with Biomaster Silver Ion Technology from Nekoosa Coated Products

Nekoosa Coated Products creates the world’s first antimicrobial carbonless paper by adding Biomaster silver ion technology, a non-toxic, naturally occurring antimicrobial technology to protect against the spreading of bacteria. Biomaster will not affect the paper’s properties such as dry toner/laser compatibility or carbonless image permanence, and does not cause product degradation, discoloration, or deterioration.


Fine Papers: Royal Sundance Paper Collection from Neenah Paper

Neenah Paper’s Royal Sundance Paper Collection brings together two popular brands to make paper selection a simple and affordable process. These economically priced papers are available in a variety of colors, textures, weights, and envelopes. The collection consists of five finishes—Felt, Fiber, Smooth, Linen, and Laid—each with its own unique color palette that includes a range of whites and its most popular business colors.


Ink & Toner: Kodak Nexpress Gold Dry Ink from Eastman Kodak Company

Gold metallic, sparkle effect using a gold-tinted dry ink for applications such as direct mail, certificates, photo, tickets and many others. Create different variations of gold-toned tints or different effects by putting combinations of process colors underneath gold.


Pressroom Supplies: Thumbs Up Hand Cleaner from Burnishine Products

Thumbs Up is a hand cleaner formulated specifically for pressroom use. It is manufactured with detergents to gently, yet quickly remove ink, grease, dye, tar, paint, adhesives, and other materials from hands. Pleasantly scented, it has a neutral pH and contains skin moisturizers. Thumbs Up is made with soft polymer scrubbers which remove inks and other materials without irritating open wounds or scratches, yet quickly rinses clean. It will not separate in hot climates and will not clog pipes or stain sinks.



Mailing Equipment: Videojet 1550 and 1650 Inkjet Printers from Videojet Technologies Inc.

The Videojet 1550 and 1650 are designed for limited and simple interaction so users can focus on production. Operators can access all common operations in five touches or less on a touchscreen interface. The 1550 and 1650 help provide improved control of job parameters and efficient, productive line management. In addition, the Videojet Smart Cartridge fluid system eliminates waste, mess and mistakes, and when it’s time for planned maintenance, the modular core system is easily replaceable.


Mailing Software: InfoPrint ADF Essentials from Ricoh Americas Corporation

InfoPrint ADF Essentials combines both postal optimization and workflow features to help customers cost-effectively manage their mailrooms. The offering combines Ricoh’s InfoPrint Automated Document Factory (ADF) capabilities, InfoPrint ProcessDirector workflow platform, and BCC Software's Mail Manager components to provide a complete end-to-end package.



CTP & Platemakers: :Azura CX125 COU from Agfa Graphics

The patented technology behind Agfa Graphics’ :Azura CX125 COU (clean-out unit) greatly reduces gum consumption and extends bath life, meeting the demands of higher volume users of :Azura TS chemistry-free thermal plates. The unit, which features a small-footprint design, can accommodate plate widths up to 125cm and is designed to handle plate volumes up to 40,000 sqm. With a bath life of up to 7,000 sqm, maintenance is further reduced.


RIPs: Harlequin RIP Version 9.0 from Global Graphics

Version 9.0 of the Harlequin Server RIP introduces FOGRA certification (FograCert CPS), full support for the new Pantone Plus library, accelerated live transparency processing, and PDF/VT support. Platform support is updated to include Windows server 2008 R2.


Color Management Software: SpotOn! Verify from SpotOn! Press

SpotOn! Verify is an internal quality control tool that tracks the consistency of printing devices to an industry specification or a custom reference. It can be used to evaluate any printing process where a control strip can be printed and measured, and quickly identifies if a printing device is in or out of tolerance. SpotOn! Verify also stores measurements in a database that can be filtered and searched, so recorded data can be recalled at a later date. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems.


Database & Asset Management: PlanetPress Capture 7.5 from Objectif Lune

PlanetPress Capture 7.5 makes it possible to capture handwriting and turn it into digital data, while updating central systems and databases instantly, thanks to its ICR–Intelligent Character Recognition–feature. The technology applies an accuracy value to the resulting data, enabling the creation of a validation process according to the desired level of accuracy. Paper processes are sped-up because of real-time updates upon the capture of handwritten information.


Design Software: Quark Publishing Platform from Quark Inc.

Quark Publishing Platform is the only integrated solution that automates the creation and delivery of rich, interactive content across print, Web, and digital formats. As an open solution, it is architected to work with existing enterprise infrastructures and business systems to optimize the publishing process. The modules of the platform work together to enable the creation and automatic assembly of content for different audiences, publications, and media types.


PDF Software: PDF2DTP from Markzware

PDF2DTP (PDF to Desktop Publishing) for data conversion is a Markzware product family that includes an Adobe InDesign Plugin and QuarkXPress XTension that allow you to convert PDF to Adobe InDesign CS6, CS5.5, or CS5, and to QuarkXPress.


VDP Software: FusionPro VDP Suite 8.2 from PTI Marketing Technologies

FusionPro VDP Suite 8.2 includes Mac OS X Mountain Lion support, list presort capabilities through an expanded integration with TEC Mailing Solutions, along with a variety of additional improvements and new features. The FusionPro VDP suite is comprised of three products; a desktop design and composition tool called FusionPro VDP Creator, a high speed plug-and-play composition server called FusionPro VDP Producer, and a composition server called FusionPro Producer (API).


Web-to-Print Software: XMPie StoreFlow from XMPie, a Xerox Company

StoreFlow is comprised of XMPie’s uStore 7.0 Web-to-print and marketing portal solution and Xerox FreeFlow Connect. It features JDF compliance, Product Profiles, social sign-in, a pricing plug-in for integrating custom pricing mechanisms, enhanced reporting with Excel charts and pivot tables, enhanced automated document preflight, and LivePerson integration. Users can define multi-step workflows that automate imposition, the addition of crop marks, color bars, watermarks, page rotation, and page insertions to prepare jobs for production.


Workflow Software: Prinect Business Manager from Heidelberg USA

Heidelberg’s Prinect Business Manager (PBM) is an MIS solution that supports all steps from estimating through job handling to invoicing and follow-up job costing, enabling companies to structure their administration and sales more efficiently and to optimize their processes. PBM requests production specific details and guides the user through the costing process. It covers all areas, from prepress to press to postpress, and offers networked communication between all areas, forming the basis for a standardized database.



Color Digital Devices: HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press from Hewlett-Packard Co.

The HP Indigo 7600 Digital Press is a sheet-fed press that prints up to 160 ppm in Enhanced Productivity Mode. It offers high-value print effects, including raised print, textured embossing or debossing, and digital watermarking. The wide color gamut offered by light black, cyan, and magenta inks enhance the quality for professional photographic printing and white ink permits printing on media such as transparencies, dark, and metallic substrates. New automation features reduce operator intervention and increase uptime.


Offset Presses: Speedmaster XL 106 from Heidelberg USA

The Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 operates at speeds of up to 18,000 sheets per hour in both straight and perfecting modes. It processes substrates up to 1.0 mm (0.039 inch) thick (in perfecting mode, up to 0.8 mm/0.031 inch thick). The 75x106 cm (29.53x41.73-inch) sheet format provides a maximum print format of 74 x 105 cm (29.13x41.34 inches). The press features ink presettings, simultaneous plate changing with AutoPlate XL, and Prinect Inpress Control. It can also be fitted with an integrated inkjet device from Inkdustry.


Production Inkjet Presses: Océ JetStream 5500 Full Color Inkjet Press from Canon Solutions America

The Océ JetStream 5500 full-color inkjet press is the ideal solution for book, newspaper, and transaction printing. For example, trade books in the 6x9-inch format can be printed 4-up, reducing the cost per book. The system produces 5,140 A4 ipm on a 30-inch-wide web. Using the Océ DigiDot inkjet drop-on-demand and multilevel technology, an image quality of 600x480 dpi is produced at 254 meters per minute (m/min). Moreover, the premium 1200 dpi perceived image quality is produced at 200 m/min.


Wide-Format Printers: SOLJET Pro 4 XR-640 Inkjet Printer/Cutter from Roland DGA

Roland DGA’s Soljet Pro 4 XR-640 combines integrated print/cut technology with a new print head design, accelerated print speeds, and reformulated Eco-Sol MAX 2 inks in nine colors, including white, metallic silver, and light black. The 64-inch Pro 4 is purpose built for production printing with a dual inline and mirrored print head configuration that yields a maximum print speed of 528 sq.ft./hr. Features include an automated ink circulation system, a three-stage heater, optional dryer unit, and a built-in take-up system that handles media rolls up to 88 pounds.



Binders & Bookletmakers: Onyx Series Binding Equipment from Rhin-O-Tuff

Rhin-O-Tuff’s Onyx Series includes high quality paper punching and book binding equipment with outstanding qualities for reliability and durability. Onyx Series punch and bind modules are available for comb, coil, wire, and spiral binding. Rhin-O-Tuff’s new Quietized Die technology reduces noise levels by over 25 percent. Dedicated to being green, more than 98 percent of the company’s equipment is recyclable and energy and power efficient. All Rhin-O-Tuff solutions are manufactured in the USA in Boise, ID.


Other Postpress Equipment: Aerocut G2 Digital Finishing System from MBM Corporation

MBM Aerocut G2 digital print finishing system comes with an improved color touch-screen interface, increased memory, and micro cross-perfing capability. An Adobe plug-in allows users to set up jobs and easily transfer the templates from their workstation to the G2, saving production time. The proven air suction feed system and register mark detection sensor ensure perfect accuracy on every job, every time.