A dozen innovative technologies from twelve industry majors earn 2012 InterTech Awards

twelve technologies selected to receive 2012 InterTech Technology Awards. These winning technologies include: Kodak NexPress Red Fluorescing Solution, Enterworks Enable, i-cut Suite, Fujifilm J Press 720, Prinect Performance Benchmarking, Keen MIS and Web-to-Print, Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam, SunPak LMQ, iTechnique, Avatrex Transportable Imaging, Xeikon X-800 VariLane, and i1Pro 2, which come from Eastman Kodak Company, Enterworks, Esko, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Heidelberg USA, Keen Systems, QuadTech, Sun Chemical, Technique Business Systems Ltd, Utopia Digital Technologies, Xeikon, and X-Rite Incorporated, respectively.

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 colour 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 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, on October 7, in Chicago, Illinois.

Amongst the winners of the 2012 InterTech Technology Awards, Kodak NexPress Red Fluorescing Solution from Eastman Kodak Company 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. This year’s InterTech Technology Award marks the third time Kodak has received Printing Industries of America recognition for its Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions. In 2005, Kodak was recognized for the initial launch of the Fifth Imaging Unit Solutions, and in 2009, for its addition of the new Dimensional Printing Solution.

Enterworks Enable from Enterworks Inc 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. “This is robust enterprise-level product information management software that is extremely configurable,” commented one of the judges.

i-cut Suite from Esko 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. It is the sixth InterTech award Esko has received in the past ten years. Other recipients include Esko FastVariants (2003), Esko WebCenter (2006), Esko DeskPack 3-dX (2007), Esko Neo (2008), and Esko Studio Toolkit for Shrink Sleeves (2011).

The J Press 720 from FUJIFILM North America Corporation is the world’s first half-size sheetfed inkjet press. It produces accurate and consistent colour 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. It is an honor for Fujifilm to be recognized for its innovative technology by Printing Industries of America for the fifth time.

Prinect Performance Bench-marking from Heidelberg USA is a subscription-based application that lets companies compare the performance of their Speedmaster presses and operators with other printers. As per one InterTech judge, “No one else offers this…it is worth its weight in gold for the printer that takes true advantage of benchmarking.” Since 1978, the year InterTech Technology Awards was introduced, Heidelberg has garnered no fewer than 31 InterTech Technology awards - a record of innovation unrivaled across the print media landscape. Over the past six years alone, Heidelberg has earned the coveted this award for seven innovative, game-changing technologies. Heidelberg previously was recognized for groundbreaking technologies including Prinect Inspection Control (2010), Prinect Press Center with Wallscreen and Intellistart (2009), POLAR P.A.C.E. system and Prinect Inpress Control (2008), and Anicolor technology and the Speedmaster XL 105 (2007). All are technologies that have proven their staying power in the marketplace.

Keen MIS and Web-to-Print software from Keen Systems Inc 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.

QuadTech’s Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam uses a spectral sensor to examine the entire printed image, without the need for control bars. It monitors colour 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 from Sun Chemical 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 of the judges, “Sun’s innovative LMQ system and products will help protect companies worldwide.”
iTechnique from Technique Business Systems Ltd 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 from Utopia Digital Technologies 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.

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 from X-Rite Incorporated introduces a new level of colour 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.

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