By DPS Staff
We started 2020 off with the annual Reader’s Choice awards, reflective of 2019. We begin 2021 much the same way, with a look at top companies and new products of 2020. Although it’s been a tumultuous year, our readers didn’t have a chance to rest. As essential businesses, many were forced to reduce staff, improve online ordering, and react quickly to new product demands while facing massive revenue declines from standard business. The industry was attuned to this, stepping up with virtual training and support.
Overall, many of the vendors that shined in 2020 are the same companies from the previous years. They stayed top of mind, and did it without trade shows and in-person meetings, instead they used imagination, professionalism, and expertise—and much of it with employees working from home.
Some of the most impressive announcements this year came from print engine manufacturers. Without drupa, significant product launches were sprinkled independently throughout the year. In terms of digital production printing—which makes up about 46 percent of the winning companies—upgrades and new platforms were consistently announced across inkjet- and toner-based segments.
For instance, HP Inc. revamped its portfolio with updates to its HP Indigo and PageWide Press line during a virtual launch event in March of 2020.
Canon also introduced the new varioPRINT iX sheetfed inkjet press in Spring of 2020. The latest in the varioPRINT series, the iX features new iQuariusiX technology.
In June, Kodak announced the Kodak Prosper Ultra 520 Press, which builds on the Kodak Prosper 6000, adding the ULTRASTREAM writing system. The continuous-feed inkjet press employs high-precision placement of smaller, perfectly round, satellite-free drops.
Also in June, Konica Minolta advanced its cutsheet inkjet press capabilities with the launch of the AccurioJet KM-1e. The digital press platform features advanced inkjet printhead design with patented Dot Freeze Technology.
Canon Solutions America returned in July with the introduction of the Prostream 1800, a continuous-feed inkjet printer, it is the newest model in Canon’s ProStream 1000 series.
In October, Xeikon announced the addition of a high-end label press to its Panther portfolio. The Xeikon PX30000 is equipped with eight printing stations, two of which are used to achieve high opaque white layers at maximum speed.
In November, Xerox announced several updates to its digital production printing portfolio, including a Color Accelerator Module of its Baltoro B3 cutsheet inkjet press, the addition of fluorescent pink to the Iridesse production press, extended capabilities of the VersaLink and Versant families, and two Nuvera print speed upgrades.
In December Konica Minolta debuted the AccurioPress C4080 Series. The cutsheet toner device features the TU-510 Inline Trimmer Unit for advanced inline finishing capabilities.
While the company is not new to inkjet, Ricoh entered the cutsheet inkjet space in December with the unveiling of the B2 RICOH Pro Z75 press.
Of course, print engines only make up part of the effort. Our Top 30 also brings in reader favorites in finishing—making up about 30 percent of winning companies; workflow—representing 17 percent of companies on the list; and substrates coming in at nearly ten percent.
Here we present—in alphabetical order—company overviews of the organizations you were most interested in throughout the year.
Founded in 2005, Aleyant provides robust software services to the graphic communications industry at value-driven prices. The company creates web to print (W2P), estimating and production, and prepress automation workflow software for graphic arts professionals. By unifying production processes, we expand our customers ability to be more available, efficient, and profitable. Aleyant’s flagship W2P software, Pressero, is a highly customizable retail and business-to-business storefront interface and has launched many of its clients into the exciting world of internet-based print sales. Aleyant also offers a web-based online design and variable data publishing system, eDocBuilder, as a separate product; as well as Aleyant tFLOW, a powerful digital and large format automation workflow solution that is integrated into the Aleyant ecosystem. Aleyant PrintJobManager is a Zapier-compatible cloud-based print job management solution that includes a fast means of generating market-driven pricing, job management, inventory control, planning, and estimating across a variety of production technologies and applications. Aleyant solutions are already integrated with multiple MIS and W2P systems and are easily integrated with other third-party offerings commonly used in printing operations.
Avanti Computer Systems
At Avanti, our goal is to help you deliver more jobs in less time with the confidence in knowing that every aspect of your shop is integrated into one powerful Print MIS platform. Connect islands of automation, eliminate breakpoints in your workflow, and get the information you want—when you want it and where you want it—easily, with Avanti Slingshot. From order entry through to production and billing, Avanti Slingshot enables you to work more efficiently.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. is committed to helping our customers grow by providing an integrated array of automated, productive, user-friendly, and profitable solutions. With one of the broadest portfolios in the industry we develop hardware, such as digital presses and wide format printers; workflow software; and professional services to assist a commercial printer in growing their business and profits. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility.
Colordyne Technologies is a leading manufacturer of efficient, high-resolution digital print solutions. Colordyne has been committed to providing label and tag color on demand inkjet printers for a range of applications and industries at breakthrough speeds and cost effectiveness. Colordyne’s range of digital color platforms demonstrate its specialization in scalability of some of the industry’s most versatile products.
Established in 1979, Duplo USA Corporation is the leading provider of innovative print finishing solutions for the graphic arts. Duplo continuously strives to bring the latest in finishing automation to market and introduced the first all-in-one slitter/cutter/creaser, air suction collating and bookletmaking system, tabletop folder, as well as the compact and sensory-driven raised spot UV coater.
Eastman Kodak Company
Kodak is a global technology company focused on print and advanced materials and chemicals. We provide hardware, software, consumables, and services primarily to customers in commercial print, packaging, publishing, manufacturing, and entertainment. We are committed to environmental stewardship and ongoing leadership in developing sustainable solutions. Our broad portfolio of superior products, responsive support, and world-class research and development make Kodak solutions a smart investment for customers looking to improve their profitability and drive growth.
Headquartered in CA’s Silicon Valley, with offices worldwide, EFI is a leader in digital print. Offering value-added combinations of hardware, software, and consumables, the company is driving the print industry’s transformation from analog to digital color.
Epson America, Inc.
Epson America, Inc. offers an extensive array of image capture and image output products for the consumer, photographic, business, and graphic arts markets.
Fujifilm U.S.A., Inc.
The Graphic Systems Division of FUJIFILM North America Corp. delivers solutions for digital printing, packaging, labels and specialty printing, wide format, workflow, consultative services, remote monitoring, color standardization and G7 implementation, pressroom products, CTP, proofing, and more. Fujifilm also manufactures and distributes Sericol inks and is a leader in the development of UV inks for the screen printing, narrow web, and large format digital printing.
GPA expands brand potential, providing substrates to help our partners and clients innovate and shape the printing industry. Collaborations with strategic partners, creatives, and printers help facilitate ideas through our substrates. Our Global Fedrigoni Network team manufactures and distributes an unparalleled range of products in support of digital, offset, and flexographic press technologies.
Graphic Whizard, Inc.
Graphic Whizard has built our superb reputation of manufacturing and distributing quality creasing machines, numbering machines, and print finishing equipment—including UV coaters—by producing a range of bindery/print finishing equipment able to fulfill any production requirement and budget. Since 1987 we have installed thousands of systems worldwide through our global network of dealers and distributors who provide local hands-on sales and technical expertise.
Heidelberg has been a reliable and highly innovative partner to the global printing industry for more than 160 years. We are helping to define future trends in our industry with state-of-the-art technologies and innovative business ideas for commercial, label, and packaging customers. With the largest service coverage in the industry, we offer technical, financial, and performance services to ensure our customers are getting the most from their equipment.
HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. is a leader in industrial and commercial printing and packaging solutions. With a comprehensive portfolio of production print offerings, it delivers the latest innovations in printing, applications, and expertise. Its All Covered IT Services division offers a range of IT strategy, support, and network security solutions across all verticals.
Mactac Graphic Products
For more than 60 years, Mactac has been at the forefront of product development for narrow format sheets, labels, digital printing, mounting, laminating, screen printing, and cut vinyl needs. You can rely on us for quality and unmatched service, and trust that we have the next up-and-coming innovation that is going to transform your business.
U.S. manufacturer of flexible magnetic sheeting, strip, and custom profiles. We offer printable magnetic sheeting for multiple printing presses including offset, flexographic, inkjet, and digital.
Muller Martini Corporation
Muller Martini is the world’s largest producer of print finishing solutions for commercial and book printers, trade binderies and newspapers, as well as short-run and digital book manufacturers.
Presswise by SmartSoft
Designed by a visionary printer burdened by the traditional manual workflow process that still plague many printers today, PressWise is an end-to-end, SaaS-based MIS and print workflow automation solution that comes complete with robust features such as unlimited web storefronts, estimating, quoting, order processing, workflow management, complete shipping integration, fulfillment, and the ability to integrate with most other third-party storefronts.
Primera Technology, Inc.
Headquartered in Plymouth, MN, Primera Technology, Inc. is one of the world’s leading specialty printer manufacturers. The company sells its products either factory direct or through Primera authorized resellers and distributors in more than 200 countries and territories.
Ricoh Americas Corporation
Ricoh’s Commercial & Industrial Printing Business Group helps customers grow their businesses, drive value, and bring innovation to new heights. Ricoh boasts an expansive portfolio of services, hardware, and software that includes sheet-fed systems, expert professional services, software, and finishing.
Rochester Software Associates, Inc.
Rochester Software Associates (RSA) is the only company in the industry to provide output management, prepress, and W2P software solutions to support digital production print workflows. For over 30 years, our customers have used RSA solutions to turn printing into productivity, automating print workflows. Products include WebCRD, the leading W2P software for in-plants; QDirect for output management and transform; and ReadyPrint for makeready.
RISO, Inc., headquartered in Burlington, MA, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RISO Kagaku Corporation, Japan’s leading manufacturer and distributor of high-speed inkjet printers and digital duplicators. Its line of digital duplicators includes one- and two-color systems that reliably produce millions of copies at speeds of up to 190 sheets per minute, are environmentally friendly, and are easy and inexpensive to use.
Rollem USA, Inc.
Add value to print with die cutting, slitting, scoring, and perforating for high-quality finishing. Eliminate excess labor, guillotine cutters, and touch points. A Rollem device will score digital stocks without cracking and deliver full-bleed slitting and perforating—simultaneously or individually. We offer free consultations on print finishing solutions for all size printers.
Long known as the graphic arts’ dominant player in computer to plate and workflow, Screen is now a leading manufacturer of production class inkjet print engines for diverse markets such as commercial print, direct mail, transactional, and publishing, as well as label and packaging and point of purchase and display. Screen inkjet solutions help our customers grow revenues, decrease costs, and find new business opportunities.
Signs365 is a grand format, trade-only wholesale printer. We offer a variety of full color, high-quality printed products all produced in 24 hours. $10 Overnight Anywhere shipping is available on all products. Signs365… We Are Only Trade Only!
Standard Finishing Systems
Standard distributes a broad line of feeding and finishing products including Horizon perfect binders, collators, folders, saddlestitchers, die cutters, slitters/creasers, and bookletmakers; and Hunkeler unwinders, rewinders, cutters/stackers, dynamic perforators, and inspection systems for continuous feed printers. Standard has applied its knowledge of the conventional offset print finishing industry to engineer effective solutions for expanding digital and inkjet print markets.
Therm-O-Type digital finishing products include the new Glue-Tech sheet-to-sheet gluer, the NSF Elite, Excel & Ultra die cutting/foil stamping/embossing presses, RDC-Flex rotary die cutter, Zip cutter/slitter/creaser/finisher models, RAS-mc right angle slitters, and traditional business card slitters. Therm-O-Type also produces foil fusers and hand-fed thermography equipment.
Xeikon America, Inc.
A division of the Flint Group, Xeikon is an innovator in digital printing technology. The company designs, develops, and delivers web-fed digital color presses for labels and packaging applications, commercial, and graphic arts printing. These presses utilize LED-array-based dry toner electrophotography, open workflow software, and application-specific toners. Xeikon Dry Toner is FDA-compliant for food labels and packaging applications.
Xerox is a technology leader that innovates the way the world communicates, connects, and works. We understand what’s at the heart of sharing information—and all of the forms it can take. We embrace the integration of paper and digital, the increasing requirement for mobility, and the need for seamless integration between work and personal worlds. Every day our innovative print technologies and intelligent work solutions help people communicate and work better.
Zünd digital cutting systems are perfect for graphics, packaging, and other industrial applications. With a complete palette of cutting, routing, and laser tool options for processing rigid and/or flexible substrates, the G3/S3 and dual-beam D3 are adaptable to any production environment. Recently added OCC Over Cutter Camera registration—capable of registering all visible marks in mere seconds in one shot—boosts Zünd finishing productivity even more.
In addition to the Top 30, the below companies came in so close that we wanted to showcase them as well.
Aurigma, Inc. is a vendor of image composition, design personalization, and prepress automation software for print service providers and marketing companies. Our software development team specializes in the image processing area and web to print related tasks for more than 15 years.
Durst Phototechnik AG is a leading manufacturer of professional digital imaging systems. The company operates manufacturing facilities in Brixen, Italy and Lienz, Austria and has major offices in Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, North America, Singapore, Spain, and the U.K. Durst’s reputation for quality, precision, innovation, sustainability, and reliability spans more than 80 years.
Harris & Bruno International
Since 1948, Harris & Bruno International has always focused on delivering innovative solutions for the printing and coating industry. Today we continue to lead the industry with the most automated and reliable coating and inking systems in the world.
Since 1985, Melissa has specialized in global intelligence solutions to help organizations unlock accurate data for a more compelling customer view. More than 10,000 clients worldwide in arenas such as retail, education, healthcare, insurance, finance, and government, rely on Melissa for full spectrum data quality and ID verification software, including data matching, validation, and enhancement services to gain critical insight and drive meaningful customer relationships.
Valloy’s digital label solution focuses on middle-range, cost-effective products. Its portfolio includes 13-inch LED toner label press; roll-to-roll, multi-blade digital label cutter; sheet-fed, multi-blade digital sticker cutter; and a 13-inch roll-to-roll UV inkjet press. The Valloy line also includes new DuoBlade Petit to support smaller roll printers like Memjet and OKI Pro series and new DuoBlade WX, which adopted artificial intelligence for fully automatic job changing by barcode reader and automatic printhead alignment drivers. Valloy solutions fit into the post-coronavirus, new normal standard of flexibility and efficiency against heavy machinery.
Each year DPS magazine recognizes the top performing industry vendors as decided by our proprietary tracking and lead generation system, dpsmagdirect.com. The annual Top 30 Reader’s Choice Awards help provide a snapshot of the products and services our readers find the most interesting. Continue to request information via the portal on products you’re interested in to show your support for your favorite vendors throughout the year. dps
Jan2021, DPS Magazine