With Product Innovation

This year’s Top Products (full coverage begins on page 12), as voted on by QP readers, feature some predictable powerhouses as well as a few surprises. For graphic design and layout, for example, prepress/premedia readers selected QuarkXpress 10 as their software of choice.

For print firms with PDF preferences, Markzware’s PDF2DTP (Desktop Publishing) software is ideally suited for converting data, our readers agree. For variable-data printing, the majority of QP readers who voted like FreeFlow Variable Information (VI) Suite 12.0, the latest version from Xerox.

In the Mailing Software space (there’s a Mailing Hardware category, too), the winner is the Mail Integrity suite, a professional services portfolio from Ricoh designed to alleviate the mail workload so that customers can focus on growing their businesses. Other software categories include Color Management, Web-to-Print, and Workflow.

Under Consumables, readers also like Inkjet Computer-to-Plate from the Printers Shopper, which introduced a first-of-its-kind polyester-based plate production system that brings real CTP affordability to small and mid-size print shops.

The Digital Print Media vote goes to PoliPrint, which is designed for high-heat, dry toner production equipment such as the Xerox iGen and the Kodak NexPress. Distributed exclusively by xpedx, the bright white, ultra smooth synthetic paper features a specialized coating for excellent toner adhesion, making it well suited for most environmental conditions with resistance to water, grease, and other contaminants -- rendering secondary post-print laminating unnecessary.

In the Fine Papers category, readers favored the relaunch of Neenah’s Environment Papers, a premium recycled line. Fresh, new, natural colors and a uniquely tactile “Raw” finish, position it to meet the needs for sustainable communication programs, luxury packaging, and other digital print applications. There also is an Ink & Toner category winner.

There are hardware winners, too, of course. In the Color Digital Devices category, the imagePRESS C7010VPS received top honors. The digital press was the first offering from Canon following its acquisition of Océ: built on Canon’s imagePRESS C7010VP platform and featuring an integrated Océ PRISMAsync front-end controller.

In the Offset Press category, the medium-format KBA Rapida 105 perfecting sheetfed press is our readers’ choice. Read why inside, where we also reveal the wide-format printer winning product. There is a Pressroom Supplies category as well.

Under Postpress Equipment, the Spartanics L-350 Laser Converting Machine is the leading vote-getter. With UV varnish, lamination, slitting, and rotary sheeting options, it can run as a roll-to-roll or roll-to-sheet system. You’ll have to turn the page to see who received the Binders & Bookletmakers honors.

Please keep these products in mind, as well others featured at the annual GRAPH EXPO show next month, as you mull over equipment purchases and upgrades for 2015. Happy shopping!