On the eve of PRINT 18’s official kickoff, the Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) announced the inaugural Red Hot Technology Vanguard Awards recognizing innovative products and services that promise to advance the graphic communications industry. Nine awards were made, five receiving Breakthrough Awards and two apiece getting Collaboration and Pioneer Awards.
“The Vanguard Award winners are all potential game-changers that open new business opportunities and new markets,” said Julie Shaffer, associate vice president, program and community development, Association for Print Technologies. “We base our selections on industry impact, rather than by product category, so the program is less a competitive faceoff and more about what these products mean to the industry as a whole.”
A panel of industry experts and practitioners judged the awards. The winners include two color-management systems, two digital presses two workflow automation solutions, an imposition system, sales and management system, and marketing /multi-channel solution. The award winners are:
Breakthrough Awards recognize products and services that advance an existing technology or process, pushing the boundaries of what products in the category can accomplish.
Color-Logic Touch7 Neon Suite from Color-Logic, Inc.—The Touch 7 Neon Suite provides tools enabling designers and printers to use the common Adobe CC platform for easily adding neon colors to an original image for printing on neon-capable analog and digital presses. The suite saves time and money by automating the time-consuming process of manually creating separations for extended gamut printing.
Pitstop Pro 2018 from Enfocus BVBA—The 2018 version of 20-plus-year-old Pitstop Pro pre-flighting software offers a unique capability to capture and display user analytics that can improve operations by measuring overall performance, identifying bottlenecks and helping streamline processes. Pitstop 2018 also is distinguished by the addition of vector editing tools, a method to clean files and hard crop extraneous line art, a visualizer to monitor each step in an Action List, and better PANTONE color functionality.
RICOH Pro VC70000 from Ricoh USA, Inc.—The RICOH VC70000 is a high-speed, color continuous-feed inkjet press that offers the benefits of digital printing with speeds rivaling offset—as fast as 492 ft./min. (130,000 A4/letter impressions per hour) at 1200 x1200 dpi on coated and uncoated papers. New Ricoh-developed inks provide a significant boost in color gamut and savings in paper costs, enabling production of high-quality applications traditionally expected from offset presses to truly bridge the gap between offset and digital printing.
Tilia Phoenix 7.0 from Tilia Labs Inc.— Tilia Phoenix 7.0 is an imposition, planning and estimating automation solution that integrates with workflow and MIS systems to provide single-source management of imposition, ganging and nesting for all print and post-print processes on digital and conventional sheetfed and roll-fed printers. The solution significantly advances cross-platform workflow automation, enabling fast accurate estimates, reducing pre-press time, maximizing media usage to save on consumables, and reducing post-press complexity.
Ultimate Impostrip® 2019 from Ultimate TechnoGraphics Inc.—With Ultimate Impostrip® 2019. artificial intelligence comes to page imposition enabling automatic selection of best-fit layouts based on existing templates or a specific subset of templates—or by creating optimal layouts without the use of templates. This advancement is a breakthrough for bringing time- and money-saving automation to both flat and bound work in both commercial and book printing.
Collaboration Awards recognize integrations, products or solutions developed by more than one company working collaboratively.
Avanti Slingshot Integration with BCC Mail Manager—The integration of BCC Mail Manager, an end-to-end mail processing management software, with the Avanti Slingshot print MIS platform has resulted in an end-to-end automated direct mail management solution that streamlines direct mail production workflow. It does this by processing variable data to determine key mailing considerations, reducing the points at which manual intervention is needed for direct mail jobs to reach the production floor and ultimately enter the mail stream.
ChromaChecker Connectivity to HP Indigo Color Beat—The new connectivity between the cloud-based color-conformance platform, Chromachecker, and the HP Indigo color monitoring tool, Color Beat, provides real-time feedback on whether print jobs are meeting expectations, for analysis by authorized personnel in any location. By automating monitoring processes and intelligently guiding the operator on how to bring the device back into color conformance when problems arise, the solution saves time and ensures quality targets are met.
Pioneer Awards recognize technologies, processes or products that are the first of their kind or entirely new to the graphic communication industry.
AccuEngage from AccuZIP—AccuEngage is the first service that assists mailers and marketers in creating campaigns using the USPS technology, Informed Delivery, which provides consumers with digital previews of their household mail. By offering training, campaign set-up and professional services support, AccuZIP is demystifying and eliminating confusion about this new USPS technology, helping all participants in the mailing industry to pioneer a new marketing tool.
Xerox Iridesse Production Press with Color FLX Technology—The Xerox Iridesse Production Press is a xerographic digital press that uses Color FLX Technology to print as many as six colors in-line, at its 120-ppm rated speed, including underlays or overlays of metallic gold, metallic silver or clear, individually or mixed, to create iridescent effects in a single pass. By combining four-color printing with special embellishments and the digital advantages of personalization, the Iridesse expands the opportunity to maximize the value and impact of print.