These PIA InterTech Technology Award Winners to Have a Major Impact on Industry
PITTSBURGH—July 29, 2015—Printing Industries of America released more information about the 10 technologies recently selected to receive a 2015 InterTech Technology Award. An independent panel of judges deliberated over technology nominations which showcased the dynamic and innovative nature of the industry. The judges singled out the following technologies as meeting the award criteria of being truly innovative and expected to have a major impact on the graphic communications industry. The recipient technologies are listed below alphabetically by company:
Océ VarioPrint i300
The Océ VarioPrint i300 is a color sheetfed inkjet press that bridges the gap between the flexibility and efficiency of toner-based sheetfed presses and the economy and productivity of web-fed inkjet systems. It can cost effectively run both monochrome and color jobs up to a B3 format at a top speed of 294 letter images per minute. Its print heads produce 600x600 dpi, achieving a perceived 1,200 dpi with drop size modulation. The judges singled out the Océ VarioPrint i300 as a technology that will have a significant impact on the industry by opening up inkjet to the cut sheet market.
CGS Publishing Technologies International LLC
ORIS CxF is one of the first commercial implementations of the ISO standard that established the Color Data Exchange Format (CxF/X) for spot color characterization data. After measurements are taken of a brand color, users can convert the data to CxF/X4 data, and then export it to a PDF/X file, tagging it with color definitions and sequence instructions. The ORIS CxF technology is used to control and verify compliance with the color throughout the supply chain—from brand owners to packaging designers. Judges praised its standards-based and non-proprietary nature as well as its ability to communicate color precisely between multiple graphic service providers.
EFI DirectSmile Cross Media
Electronics for Imaging (EFI)
EFI DirectSmile Cross Media is a solution to the growing demand for effective cross-media communications. It is a fully featured solution that automates the process of executing cross-media campaigns, including sending out mass and individually triggered emails and messages, pushing messages to social media, personalizing print communications, and tracking results. EFI has also streamlined the integration with third-party CRM solutions such as Salesforce.com. One judge commented, "For years printers have been removed from marketing campaign conversations. DirectSmile credentials them in a way that goes beyond the trade and repositions them as valuable partners."
Automation Engine Connect
The complex task of getting third-party software (MIS, shipping, web storefronts, finance, etc.) to automatically and correctly exchange information with production systems just became easier with Automation Engine Connect. It allows all order information—for example, pricing, quantities, production‐related info, and costing—to move to and from systems through the Esko interface. One judge commented, "Integrating the prepress workflow with internal and external business systems enables packaging artwork to be delivered just in time. Esko’s solution lowers the IT hurdle to make different systems communicate with Automation Engine."
Prinect Media Manager
Heidelberg’s Prinect Media Manager is a browser-based, multi-channel media publishing tool that merges content creation, project management, databasing, and e-commerce, helping to keep marketing messages consistent and timely across all channels. The clever "mind-mapping" interface coordinates the work of everyone connected with a particular job. Media data is stored in a central database, linked logically, managed centrally, and made available to all applications. The judges admired the proactive manner in which resources and content were managed, recognizing that technologies like these help printing companies transform themselves from conventional service providers into partners able to manage content for their customers’ communication needs.
Highcon Euclid Digital Finishing Technology
Highcon Systems Ltd.
Highcon’s Digital Finishing Technology brings the advantages of digital technology to creasing and cutting papers, labels, folding cartons, and microflute. Creasing is carried out by Highcon’s Digital Adhesive Rule Technology (DART). Data is sent to the DART canister, which releases resin in the form of rules that, once cured, produce hard raised lines. Cutting, perforation, or etching is done by an array of high-powered CO2 lasers. The Euclid technology handles up to 1,500 B1-sized sheets per hour. The judges noted that the dramatic improvement in turnaround time for small to medium converting runs could be enough by itself to justify the technology’s use.
Kodak Prosper 6000 Presses
The Kodak Prosper 6000 Presses use Kodak’s continuous inkjet technology to produce high quality commercial print products at speeds up to 1,000 feet per minute. New driers, interstation drying, and nano-technology ink let the presses overcome a key inkjet limitation—the ability to print glossy and other coated stock with heavy coverage at fast speeds. Equally innovative is Kodak’s Intelligent Print System that monitors thousands of inputs and adjusts on the fly to maintain registration and color quality. One judge summed up the panel’s reaction, "The speed and quality are impressive, and the coated samples really got our attention."
NX advantage, Kodak FLEXCEL NX System
The NX advantage feature set for the Kodak FLEXCEL NX System comprises a set of new advanced imaging and screening features that enable flexo printers to print more opaque whites, enhance overprints and reverse print, achieve better spot color printing, and deliver smooth highlight transitions. One aspect of the technology pairs precisely imaged plate surface patterns with anilox volume to improve ink transfer and enables greater color density and opacity with a lower volume of ink. The technology further raises the print quality of flexo, noted the judges, giving printers the ability to compete with the best that gravure printing has to offer.
MGI Digital Technology
The MGI iFOIL is an in-line complement to the company’s JETvarnish 3D UV spot coater (a previous InterTech Award recipient). With an innovative digital process, iFOIL makes embossing and hot foiling easy, requiring no plates, no dies, and no makeready. This allows users to produce hot foil stamping and embossing jobs from one to thousands of sheets on the fly. The iFOIL can utilize many different types of available market foils in a variety of colors, metallic tones, reflective patterns, and holographic effects. One judge said, "The digital era in package converting has started, and the benefits of iFOIL are clearly apparent."
X-Rite eXact with Scan Option
The handheld X-Rite eXact spectrophotometer with Scan Option enables printers and packaging converters to control, manage, and communicate color across the entire color workflow. The inventive Scan Option lets users rapidly scan color patches without the use of a track, especially beneficial in packaging work where color targets can be hard to access. "The ability to scan multiple color bars in one pass is an incredible advantage," said a judge. eXact also supports all measurements specified in the latest ISO standards, allowing for predictable results when optical brightening agents and fluorescent materials are involved.
The InterTech stars, recognized as a symbol of technological innovation and excellence, will be presented before an audience of industry leaders during the 2015 Printing Industries of America Premier Print Awards Gala Featuring the InterTech Technology Awards and the Product of Excellence Awards, September 13 in Chicago.
A technology review booklet showcasing all of the year’s entries will be distributed this fall at GRAPH EXPO 15 and with the August issue of Printing Industries of America—The Magazine; the publication will also be available at www.printing.org/InterTech.
For more information about the InterTech Technology Awards, contact Dr. Mark Bohan, vice president, technology and research, Printing Industries of America, at (412) 259-1782, email@example.com, or visit www.printing.org/InterTech.