Printing Industries of America has released more information about the twelve technologies recently selected to receive a 2012 InterTech Technology Award.
The independent panel of judges deliberated over many technology nominations ranging from digital presses and related enhancements to a variety of mobile and Web-based software. Great strides in technology were demonstrated in color measurement and control, layout and finishing, security and low migration inks, inkjet and label presses, printable coatings, pressroom analytics, management information systems, and product content management and publishing.
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 2012 InterTech Technology Award recipients are:
(Listed alphabetically by company, with the technology named first)
Kodak NexPress Red Fluorescing Solution
Eastman Kodak Company
The Kodak NexPress Red Fluorescing Solution lets printers easily add security to printed documents, direct mail, and packaging. The virtually invisible dry ink fluoresces red when illuminated with ultraviolet light. The judges singled out the technology for its simple and low-cost approach to adding counterfeit protection.
Enterworks Enable allows a company to manage complex product information, associated images, and other marketing assets. The Web-based software then automates the delivery of this selling content through print and e-commerce channels. One judge commented: “This is robust enterprise-level product information management software that is extremely configurable.”
i-cut Suite is a collection of workflow software for users of large-format digital printers. It gives companies the essential tools to maintain efficiency and productivity. “This is complete workflow designed specifically for large format at a reasonable price,” noted a judge.
Fujifilm J Press 720
FUJIFILM North America Corporation
The J Press 720 is the world’s first half-size sheetfed inkjet press. It produces accurate and consistent color work with virtually no makeready waste. The judges singled out the J Press for its pioneering role in what is expected to be a major pressroom shift to inkjet.
Prinect Performance Benchmarking
Prinect Performance Benchmarking is a subscription-based application that lets companies compare the performance of their Speedmaster presses and operators with other printers. Said one InterTech judge: “No one else offers this … it is worth its weight in gold for the printer that takes true advantage of benchmarking.”
Keen MIS and Web-to-Print
Keen Systems, Inc.
Keen MIS and Web-to-Print software is a cloud-based platform that allows companies to pick a subscription plan and begin creating storefronts in minutes. The judges praised the cloud-based and SaaS approach, the additional functionality from plug-ins, and the easy-to-use interface.
Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam
The QuadTech system uses a spectral sensor to examine the entire printed image, without the need for control bars. It monitors color and adjusts inking while detecting a variety of print issues, including switched plates. The judges hailed its unique ability to spot scumming and automatically adjust water.
SunPak LMQ (Low Migration Quality) technology minimizes the risk of contamination to food and other products from chemical migration. “Inks, coatings, and fountain solution leeching into products can be disastrous for packaging converters and brand owners,” commented one judge. “Sun’s innovative LMQ system and products will help protect companies worldwide.”
Technique Business Systems Ltd.
iTechnique is a management information system running on iPhone and iPad as a native App, allowing users access to sales and production data wherever they are. “Being able to provide a complete MIS application via mobile delivery is a significant innovation, the synchronization to use it off-line being a key feature,” stated a judge.
Avatrex Transportable Imaging
Utopia Digital Technologies
Avatrex Transportable Imaging is a thin multi-layer coating on a removable carrier that can be digitally printed and transferred to practically any surface. The material has built in adhesive and image protection properties. The judges were wowed by the technology’s versatility and image quality.
Xeikon X-800 VariLane
Xeikon’s VariLane technology is a software add-on to its X-800 Digital Front End. It allows printers to combine labels of different SKUs and sizes on the same digital print run. The judges recognized the advantages for printers when they can dynamically impose labels in the digital front end.
The i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer introduces a new level of color accuracy, an expanded set of features, and supports the latest measurement standards. When using this instrument, the ability to measure and then manage optically brightened papers was particularly impressive to the judges.
The InterTech star, a symbol of technological innovation and excellence, will be presented before an audience of industry leaders during the 2012 Premier Print Awards Gala featuring the InterTech Technology Awards and web2awards, October 7, in Chicago, Illinois.
A technology review booklet showcasing all of the entries will be produced and distributed this fall at GRAPH EXPO 2012 and with the September issue of Printing Industries of America—The Magazine; the booklet will also be available at www.printing.org/InterTech.