Print providers and press manufacturers use the innovative, easy-to-understand printed image assessment service to understand how well presses operate
Image Test LabsTM (ITL), a division of Technology Watch, LLC announces that its ImageGraderTM Application Suite has received a 2017 PIA InterTech Technology award. Since 1978 the InterTech Technology Awards sponsored by Printing Industries of America (PIA) have honored the development of technologies predicted to have a major impact on the graphic arts and related industries. More than 80% of technologies that receive an award experience continued commercial success in the marketplace.
The ImageGraderTM technology offers companies a method to assess—and improve—the image quality of their offset and digital presses. After printing test pages and sending them for analysis by Image Test Lab's automated system, companies receive an easy-to-understand report with letter grades (A, B, C…) for each print attribute. The PIA judges were won over by the system's ability to pinpoint imaging problems by comparing performance to other presses and, when possible, suggesting fixes. “The entire system is absolutely innovative, from the turnaround time and simplicity of the report to its ability to spot imaging problems by comparing performance to like presses in the database,” said Jim Workman, Vice President of the Printing Industries of America’s Center for Technology and Research.
For the past two years, ITL has been running its patented primary offering, the ImageGraderTM product, on press systems throughout the world measuring the acceptability of the image quality of test prints. From this testing, ITL has built the largest graded printed imaging database in the world. Many print providers use ImageGraderTM services to test new or used equipment, or to measure the performance of presses that are currently on their production floor. Some of the assessments have allowed them to easily fine-tune or repair their presses.
“The Image Test Labs suite of tests allowed us to compare a variety of presses, ‘apples to apples’. We received an unbiased report that helped with our recent nearly $1 million acquisition. We could pinpoint the strong and weak points of every press, choosing those factors that were more important to us,” says Kenneth B. Chaletzky, President and CEO, Copy General. “Since then we have our new press evaluated on a regular basis to make sure it is maintaining its quality, allowing us to alert the service folks if it starts to slip.”
“Besides improving color on individual presses, the reports provided by Image Test Labs have also made us quite conscious of the color consistency between our sheetfed and web presses,” explains George W. Stephenson, President and CEO, Stephenson Printing Inc. “We printed Image Test Lab color targets on our new digital press for analysis and reporting. The information we received back from Image Test Labs helped us pinpoint a press issue we were unaware of, while also confirming that our digital press, as compared to the plethora of digital presses that ITL has calibrated, fell into a high grade of color accuracy.”
Many ImageGraderTM Application Suite clients are also press manufacturers who use ITL technology to fine-tune and improve their press technology while it is under development.
“ITL's ImageGraderTM grading system confirms that our machines meet specifications we have set for each device, and allows for making comparisons between ink jet and offset printed output as well as other technologies for making comparisons regarding imaging characteristics. The ImageGraderTM system also helps to improve our overall results when working in our technical center and optimize the results we can produce for our customers,” comments Stephen Sanker, FUJIFILM Director of Strategic Marketing and Product Development.
“ITL’s database of image quality grades provided us scientific evidence for research and development, contractual negotiation, requests for purchase, operational decision-making, and continual improvement activities. Most of all, it gave our customers sound data to make intelligent equipment purchases,” notes Jeffrey S. Collins National Color Solutions Manager, Industrial Print Solutions for Konica Minolta. “Because of ITL, we have now significantly reduced expensive onsite service activities to determine actual print image quality and engine performance.”
“We are very thrilled that our ImageGraderTM Application Suite has been honored with a PIA InterTech Technology award. It validates our assertion that the technology is an important tool for print providers and manufacturers to test the performance of their presses. With our technology we can see things others cannot providing many benefits that assist both vendors and customers to achieve the most from their imaging technology” says Henry B. Freedman, ITL founding partner. “Our InterTech award is additional proof that significant technologies can come from a small innovative company of three scientists who created the ImageGraderTM Application Suite: Dr. Peter Crean, Dr. Peter Dundas and myself. We hope that, with the help of the PIA recognizing ImageGraderTM —and other deserving technologies this year—others will find merit in using our tools to test their own presses.”
For more information about how the ITL ImageGraderTM Application Suite, visit the ITL website at www.imagetestlabs.com.