The independent panel of judges deliberated over technology nominations ranging from plates and digital presses to a variety of production and management software. Great strides in technology were demonstrated in packaging software, inkjet printing, workflow automation, offset press efficiency, UV curing, and variable-data printing.
Technologies were selected from those nominated for a variety of reasons, but the judges felt they all met the award criteria of being truly innovative and expected them to have a major impact on the graphic communications industry. What follows is a description of the technology and its significance to the field.
The 2011 InterTech Technology Award recipients are:
(Listed alphabetically by company, with the technology named first)
Enfocus Switch, available in several versions, is a modular, open automation platform that gives printers, publishers, and ad agencies the tools to accomplish repetitive tasks associated with receiving, processing, and sorting files automatically. Switch collects incoming files, sorts the files into different folders, and routes them through predetermined processing steps. Existing software investments are protected, as Switch easily integrates and therefore automates functionality derived from third-party applications. All of this functionality is driven by a visual flow editor that allows users to easily create automated workflows or import pre-designed flows from the Enfocus community website.
Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves
Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves creates artwork for shrink sleeves (labels placed around a package and shrunk during production). With it, designers and prepress professionals can quickly create, test, analyze, communicate, and produce designs with 3D visuals without the need to produce mock-ups. The software accommodates asymmetrical shapes and multipacks, color shifts introduced during shrinking, barcode distortion, and it works in 3D from start to finish. The virtual shrink tunnel allows distortion to be easily determined, eliminating the trial and error of producing and wrapping shrink sleeve material around a container, running it through a shrink sleeve tunnel so distortion can be measured, and redoing the process many times until the design looks good when shrunk.
KBA Flying JobChange
KBA North America, Inc.
KBA’s Flying JobChange drastically reduces makeready time on sheetfed offset presses by allowing an operator to prepare the next job—changing plates on one or more units—while the press is running. At the conclusion of one job, the next immediately begins at 10,000 sheets per hour before accelerating up to production speed. Ideal applications for Flying JobChange are language versions on a six-color press, four and five-color jobs on long perfectors, and one-over-one work on a four-color press. Important automation solutions to facilitate this include Plate-Ident, a dot matrix code on the plate used to confirm that the correct plate is in the correct unit and Simultaneous Plate Change.
Komori H-UV Curing System
Komori America Corporation
The Komori H-UV Curing System is an innovative curing system for inks and coatings that requires just one lamp in the delivery. The single H-UV lamp can cure up to 400% ink coverage plus coating at maximum press speed. This dramatically reduces the amount of energy required compared to either IR or UV. The specially designed lamp also generates much less heat with a printed sheet pulled from delivery being only about 10 degrees warmer than ambient room temperature. This eliminates stock deformation from excessive heat resulting in better color fit and easier second passes through the press. A press running H-UV can easily be switched to conventional ink and coating as desired.