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InterTech Technology Awards from the Printing Industries of America

More on this year's big winners.

Big Picture

Printing Industries of America (PIA) recently announced the recipients of the 2009 InterTech Technology Awards.

An independent panel of judges deliberated over submissions ranging from process control tools to MIS applications, to digital and offset presses. Recipients were recognized from across a wide spectrum of printing processes and production areas.

Here are this year's recipients, with notes from the judges:

ORIS Press Matcher
CGS Publishing Technologies International

Oris Press Matcher quickly, accurately, and automatically transforms the color data within digital files so that the resulting printed output – from digital presses, conventional printing presses, wide-format printers, and other devices-is consistent and visually matching across multiple runs and digital devices, and visually matching between offset and digital devices.

The judges said the ORIS Press Matcher allows users to easily and quickly color match across multiple devices and across processes regardless of the user's color management experience level. It takes significant time out of the process, and, as shown in the blind evaluations by printers, produces good color matches in minimal time.

Kodak NexPress Dimensional Printing System
Eastman Kodak Company

Kodak NexPress Dimensional Printing takes place in-line and produces raised or 3D text and images that can be set to specific heights. The result is a tactile effect that that mimics the surface of the items depicted in the image. For example, customers can print an image of an orange that feels like an orange or wood grain that feels like wood grain.

The judges said this technology opens up new markets for digital printing, allowing personalization in regards to image, content, and texture. It creates a "wow" factor, making it stand out in a competitive marketplace. This is what marketers are constantly looking for.

Kodak Prinergy Digital Workflow
Eastman Kodak Company
Kodak Prinergy Digital Workflow provides a direct way for operators to dynamically sort and access jobs, by allowing an operator to plan and schedule print jobs for any number of presses from a single station. The operator can view the number of hours of printing that are scheduled for each digital press before the job is launched.

The judges were impressed by the Rules Based Automation (RBA) aspect of this technology. Effective use of this simplifies the production, and automates procedures regardless of the level of complexity. Using RBA, many errors are eliminated, touch points disappear, and the process is much faster.

System 100 Software
Ebiz Products LLC
System 100TM is browser-based business process management software, designed to eliminate reruns, bottlenecks, chaos and other waste in a company. This software has the capability to be used as a tool to improve a company's existing workflow and reduce the chaos of production.

The judges were impressed by how this technology acts as a "brain trust" for all of the technical aspects of a business, whereas other solutions just focus on sales information and how to manage it. This builds on the skills and capabilities of the technical staff within the company. With this technology, their expertise and knowledge do not leave the company when they do. There is a structure in place to address problems when they occur, investigate the cause, suggest remedies, and then alter workflow-all in one seamless operation.

FujiFilm Taskero Universe ColorPath Verified Technology
FujiFilm Graphic Systems U.S.A. Inc.

Taskero Universe ColorPath Verified Technology monitors, verifies, and collects data about proofers, wide-format devices, digital presses, offset presses, displays, and environmental conditions. It then aggregates the data to a web-accessible central database, where users can research problems, and receive email alerts and reports.

The judges called this a paradigm shift in how data is used to control production. It identifies issues before they cause problems and helps troubleshoot color issues throughout production.

Heidelberg Prinect Press Center
Heidelberg

The Prinect Press Center was designed to allow job prep, press setup and print sheet measurement to be accomplished faster and with greater reliability.

The control of a press is a complex and involved process, and the judges said the Prinect Press Center helps improve the control of the press with options like Intellistart, a wizard-based operating program that provides improvements to the makeready by automating tasks, and the Wallscreen, which provides the user with an animated overview of all press processes in one location. The overview of the entire press allows the operator fast and effective analysis of issues, allowing more effective solutions to be developed.

Diamond Color Navigator
Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses (MLP U.S.A. Inc.)

Diamond Color Navigator is a new color adjustment interface that lets press operators perform color adjustments both prior and during printing by using their own intuitive color sense rather than attempting to interpret the CMYK balance. With a single operation, the user can color balance an entire image or sections of the image without manual ink key adjustments. Less-experienced operators can isolate specific areas to adjust and select precise shades from a color wheel rather than guessing at percentages.

The judges said this color adjustment approach allows for more effective use of the press by all of the operators.

Xeikon 3300 Digital Color Label Press
Punch Graphix Americas, Inc.
The Xeikon 3300 Digital Color Label Press offers a significant improvement in label printing quality with its 1200 dpi (four bits per spot) resolution. It can print on scalable widths and a wide range of substrates from self-adhesive films, including co-extruded film, to unsupported film, paper, foils, and paperboard with weights ranging from 1.6 mil to 16-point board. The Xeikon 3300 can handle monthly duty cycles of up to 2.3 million linear feet and has no frame size restrictions. It features full rotary technology where the speed of the press is independent of the label size and the number of colors used.

According to the judges, the printer’s productivity and 1200 dpi resolution, which allows for security features to prevent counterfeiting, are its major strong points.

Flex-Production Control System
SoftSolutions, Inc.
Flex-Production Control System (Flex-PCS) is a workflow engine for connecting equipment with front-office MIS applications integrating those that support JDF workflows with those that do not. Flex-PCS provides a "rules engine" for automated production workflows and real-time communications between front office planning systems and shop floor execution results.

The judges said this system solves many of the industry’s oft-seen integration problems. SoftSolutions' product strategy allows for full integration across the whole production environment independent of the existing device capabilities. This expands on the real-time feedback that is provided by the existing MIS to provide actual production data that can be used to optimize and manage based on the machine, consumables used, or operators.

A technology review booklet showcasing all 21 entries will be available at www.printing.org/InterTech starting fall 2009.

The InterTech stars will be presented during the PIA’s 2009 Premier Print and InterTech Awards Gala, which will be held in Chicago on September 13.
 

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