Hall of Fame--Canzano - Riding Technology to the Cutting-edge
Perhaps it was partly Land's encouragement and a dose of geographical factors that paved the path for Canzano and Acme. During his formative years with Acme, Boston was known as a hub (among other things) for companies on the leading edge of advancements. Route 128 was dubbed "Technology Highway," and Beantown boasted the likes of Digital Equipment, Lotus, Polaroid and Wang. Those heavy hitters were looking to play technological hardball; Canzano and Acme were game.
Acme played host to the first Scitex scanner installation in North America, and Scitex literally built the CPIC inside Acme's facility. Another first was the acquisition of computerized Miehle CIC on-board controls. Canzano ushered in an era that saw Acme become the alpha or beta site for innovations from Scitex, Kodak and Agfa.
"I remember when we got the Scitex stuff," Canzano recalls. "My father would say, 'What are we doing in front of all those tubes?' As a traditional printer, you're so used to walking by a printing press or a folding machine and hearing, 'ba-bump, ba-bump,' and you can see and hear what's going on. Now, you walk by people in front of these boob tubes, staring at pictures."
Not all technologies Acme took on were success stories. With its DC300 Hell scanner taking in about 14,000 jobs and obviously quite busy, Acme turned to a New York company that had installed servo motors on the scanner to set the color image on the machine. The user would put the image on the machine, off-line, and the image would appear on screen, where adjustments could be made, and it would output with a punch-card. Another operator would feed the punchcard into the scanner to produce twice as many scans. The unit cost $75,000.
"Two years later, I donated it to RIT because I couldn't get it to run," Canzano recalls. "Neither could they."