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Detailed Information On InterTech Award Winners Available

Friday, July 31, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, PA --  Printing Industries of America is pleased to present detailed information on the 2009 InterTech Technology Award recipients. Twenty-one nominations were submitted from eighteen domestic and international companies, and nine innovative technologies were selected to receive the award.
 
The independent panel of judges deliberated over technology submissions ranging from process control tools to MIS applications and digital and offset presses. A recurring theme in 2009 InterTech nominations was process efficiency, integration, and improved manufacturing performance through use of the innovative technologies. Great strides in technology were demonstrated in four primary areas in the form of innovative workflow integration and implementation, digital press design, color matching across devices and management of color data, and improved user operation resulting in reduced makeready time and cost.
 
The coveted InterTech stars, recognized as a symbol of technological innovation and excellence, will be presented before an impressive audience of industry leaders during the 2009 Printing Industries of America Premier Print Awards and InterTech Awards Gala, September 13, in Chicago, Illinois.
 
A technology review booklet showcasing all twenty-one of the current year's entries will be produced by Graphic Arts Monthly for release in Fall 2009; the booklet will also be available on www.printing.org/InterTech.
 
For more information about the InterTech Technology Awards, contact Mark Bohan, Printing Industries of America Vice President, Technology and Research, at 412-259-1782, intertech@printing.org, or visit www.printing.org/InterTech.
 
The 2009 InterTech Technology Award recipients are:
(Listed alphabetically by company, with the technology named first)
 
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 gamut-optimized over multiple runs, visually matching across multiple digital devices, and visually matching between offset and digital devices. ORIS Press Matcher is an improvement on conventional ICC-based color matching, which can be inaccurate, subject to device inconsistencies, and often requires time-consuming "tweaking" to produce acceptable printed results.
 
The judges commented that this technology allows the user 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. The software can be used by many different sized companies. This technology allows for a new level of consistency to be achieved and brings color management into a whole new realm.
 
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 creates a dimensional feel 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.

Using the KODAK NEXPRESS Dimensional Printing System helps print providers create a competitive advantage by offering a unique capability that extends digital color printing into new application areas. This enables them to differentiate themselves and take advantage of the opportunity to sell higher value print.

The judges felt this technology opens up new markets for digital printing, allowing personalization in regards to image, content, and now texture. It creates a "wow" factor for the piece, making it stand out in a competitive marketplace. This is what marketers are constantly looking for. The KODAK NEXPRESS Dimensional Printing System is a game-changing technology. 
 
KODAK PRINERGY Digital Workflow
Eastman Kodak Company
KODAK PRINERGY Digital Workflow provides an intuitive and direct way for operators to dynamically sort and access jobs. From one operator station, an operator can plan and schedule print jobs for any number of presses. Before the job is launched, the operator can view the number of hours of printing that are scheduled for each digital press and track ink and paper status. It allows for centralized control over digital printing. This system optimizes the digital workflow and maximizes the available press capability.

The judges were impressed by the Rules Based Automation (RBA) aspect of this technology. Effective use of this eliminates processes, 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. This is absolutely critical in today's digital print production process, where the jobs have to be processed as efficiently as possible. When integrated with KODAK Unified Workflow Solutions, zero-touch automation is achieved.  
 
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. It brings order to workflow through a systematic approach and empowers people to work at maximum efficiency. This software has the capability to be used as a tool to improve a company's existing workflow and reduce the chaos of production. System 100TM is able to revitalize and even turnkey any type or size operation in a matter of months.  
 
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 does 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. Taskero ColorPath Verified aggregates the data to a central database, which is accessible via the Web portal. From the Web portal you can receive email alerts, research problems, receive reports, and display device trending.

The judges commented on how this is a paradigm shift in how we use data to control production. The data is now all in a centralized location, identifying issues before they cause problems. It also greatly helps with the troubleshooting of color issues throughout production. All of the color information is collected without the addition of new measurements or additional steps in production being collected behind the scenes during the existing production process. In addition, customers are asking for statistical data on their production, and this provides that data without having to do any additional processes. With this technology, the same actions are now gathering more useful and productive information.
 
Heidelberg Prinect Press Center
Heidelberg
The Prinect Press Center was designed to allow all tasks-from job preparation and press setup to print sheet measurement and evaluation-to be accomplished faster, more accurately, and with greater reliability. This platform makes it easy for operators to keep track of the entire printing process, including the activation/deactivation of printing, dampening, inking, and coating units.

Intellistart is a process oriented, wizard-based operating program that provides improvements to the makeready by automating tasks and preparing for the next job while the previous one is finishing. The Wallscreen is a unique component that among other features, provides the user with an animated overview of all press processes in one location, allowing the user to see and control a job from one screen.
 
The control of a press is a complex and involved process, and the judges felt that the Prinect Press Center helps to drive down makereadies and improve the control of the press by focusing on the unique user interface. The overview of the entire press allows the operator fast and effective analysis of issues, allowing more effective solutions to be developed. This technology is a solution to a problem that has challenged the industry for a number of years.
 
Diamond Color Navigator
Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses (MLP U.S.A., Inc.)
Diamond Color Navigator is a new color adjustment interface that allows press operators to perform color adjustments both prior and during printing by using their own intuitive color sense rather than attempting to interpret the CMYK balance necessary to achieve a desired color match. Through a single operation, the operator can color balance an entire image or sections of the image without the need for manual ink key adjustments. Lesser experienced operators are able to isolate very specific areas of the image that need adjusting and then select a specific shade from a color wheel rather than guessing which percentages of process colors will achieve the requested shade. The system then automatically moves all the appropriate keys on each print unit to yield the selected color.

The judges felt this new approach to color adjustment allows for more effective use of the press by all of the operators. The reduction in the steps will also drive down costs through improved makeready times and effective control. How many times has the customer asked, "Can you make this area bluer?" Now the technology is there to allow this to happen in one easy move. This is a great step forward in the control of a press.
 
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, which is unique. It can print on scalable widths and a wide range of substrates from self-adhesive films, including co-extruded film, to unsupported film, paper, transparent and opaque foils, and paperboard with substrate weights ranging from 1.6 mil to 16-point board. The Xeikon 3300 easily handles monthly duty cycles of up to 2.3 million linear feet and has no frame size restrictions, resulting in higher productivity and throughput. It features full rotary technology where the speed of the press is independent of the label size and the number of colors used.
 
As the judges commented, the resolution of the printer at 1200 dpi is one of the benefits of the device, coupled with the productivity that can be achieved. The high resolution allows the introduction of different features into the production, including security features that are becoming increasingly more important with the counterfeiting of products. This technology allows the digital printer to effectively enter new markets and challenge existing printing technologies for label production.
 
Flex-Production Control System
SoftSolutions, Inc.
Flex-Production Control System (Flex-PCS) is a workflow engine for connecting existing equipment with existing front-office MIS applications integrating JDF workflows with those that do not support this. The open API base for the technology allows integration with many different devices and applications. SoftSolutions' Flex-PCS provides a "rules engine" for automated production workflows and real-time communications between front office planning systems and shop floor execution results.

Flex-PCS provides the bridge that can connect with machine counters and weigh scales to automate count control and job costing and then integrate with existing MIS and estimating systems. Budget to actual reporting and real-time alerts and notifications provide a powerful extension to MIS systems and both legacy and new equipment.
 
The judges said the open API approach is something the industry has been searching for, and this system solves many of the 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.

 

 

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Wide Format Editor

Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

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