Printing Industries of America announces 2015 Intertech Technology Awards

The technologies receiving 2015 Intertech Technology Awards have been judged as truly innovative and are expected to advance the performance of the graphic communications industry. Printing Industries of America has announced the recipients of the 2015 InterTech Technology Awards. An independent panel of judges deliberated over an outstanding selection of technology nominations which highlighted the dynamic nature of the industry. This year’s InterTech Technology Awards show great developments in high speed web and sheetfed colour inkjet presses, digital finishing equipment, the use of metallic foil, patterning for optimal flexo ink laydown, and a portable spectrophotometer for use in the pressroom. Also honored were solutions that facilitate cross-media marketing campaigns, use a new standard to define and communicate brand colours, and simplify the integration of production and business processes.

The ten technologies selected to receive the 2015 InterTech Technology Awards are:

Océ VarioPrint i300 from Canon USA, Inc: The Océ VarioPrint i300 is a colour sheetfed inkjet press that bridges the gap between the flexibility and efficiency of tonerbased sheetfed presses and the economy and productivity of web-fed inkjet systems. It can cost effectively run both monochrome and colour jobs up to a B3 format at a top speed of 294 letter images per minute. Its print heads produce 600 x 600 dpi, achieving a perceived 1200 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. ORIS CxF from 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 colour characterisation data. After measurements are taken of a brand colour, users can convert the data to CxF/ X4 data, and then export it to a PDF/X file, tagging it with colour definitions and sequence instructions. The ORIS CxF technology is used to control and verify compliance with the colour 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 colour precisely between multiple graphic service providers.

EFI DirectSmile Cross Media from Electronics for Imaging, Inc: EFI DirectSmile Cross Media is a solution to the growing demand for effective crossmedia 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, personalising 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 from Esko: The complex task of getting thirdparty 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 from Heidelberg: 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 “mindmapping” 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, recognising 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 from 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.

This year’s InterTech Technology Awards show great developments in high speed web and sheetfed colour inkjet presses, digital finishing equipment, the use of metallic foil, patterning for optimal flexo ink laydown, and a portable spectrophotometer for use in the pressroom. Also honored were solutions that facilitate cross-media marketing campaigns, use a new standard to define and communicate brand colours, and simplify the integration of production and business processes.

KODAK PROSPER 6000 Presses from Kodak: 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 colour 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 from Kodak: 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 colour 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 colour 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 iFOIL from 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 utilise many different types of available market foils in a variety of colours, 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 from X-Rite: The handheld X-Rite eXact spectrophotometer with Scan Option enables printers and packaging converters to control, manage, and communicate colour across the entire colour workflow. The inventive Scan Option lets users rapidly scan colour patches without the use of a track, especially beneficial in packaging work where colour targets can be hard to access. “The ability to scan multiple colour 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, recognised 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 on September 13 in Chicago, Illinois.

Group Publications