Main Stories

Printing Industries of America announces 2015 Intertech Technology Awards

The technologies receiving 2015 Intertech Technology Awards have been judged as truly innovative and are expected to advance the performance of the graphic communications industry. Printing Industries of America has announced the recipients of the 2015 InterTech Technology Awards. An independent panel of judges deliberated over an outstanding selection of technology nominations which highlighted the dynamic nature of the industry. This year’s InterTech Technology Awards show great developments in high speed web and sheetfed colour inkjet presses, digital finishing equipment, the use of metallic foil, patterning for optimal flexo ink laydown, and a portable spectrophotometer for use in the pressroom. Also honored were solutions that facilitate cross-media marketing campaigns, use a new standard to define and communicate brand colours, and simplify the integration of production and business processes.

The ten technologies selected to receive the 2015 InterTech Technology Awards are:

Océ VarioPrint i300 from Canon USA, Inc: The Océ VarioPrint i300 is a colour sheetfed inkjet press that bridges the gap between the flexibility and efficiency of tonerbased sheetfed presses and the economy and productivity of web-fed inkjet systems. It can cost effectively run both monochrome and colour jobs up to a B3 format at a top speed of 294 letter images per minute. Its print heads produce 600 x 600 dpi, achieving a perceived 1200 dpi with drop size modulation. The judges singled out the Océ VarioPrint i300 as a technology that will have a significant impact on the industry by opening up inkjet to the cut sheet market. ORIS CxF from CGS Publishing

Technologies International LLC: ORIS CxF is one of the first commercial implementations of the ISO standard that established the Color Data Exchange Format (CxF/X) for spot colour characterisation data. After measurements are taken of a brand colour, users can convert the data to CxF/ X4 data, and then export it to a PDF/X file, tagging it with colour definitions and sequence instructions. The ORIS CxF technology is used to control and verify compliance with the colour throughout the supply chain—from brand owners to packaging designers. Judges praised its standards-based and non-proprietary nature as well as its ability to communicate colour precisely between multiple graphic service providers.

EFI DirectSmile Cross Media from Electronics for Imaging, Inc: EFI DirectSmile Cross Media is a solution to the growing demand for effective crossmedia communications. It is a fully featured solution that automates the process of executing cross-media campaigns, including sending out mass and individually triggered emails and messages, pushing messages to social media, personalising print communications, and tracking results.

EFI has also streamlined the integration with third-party CRM solutions such as Salesforce.com. One judge commented, “For years printers have been removed from marketing campaign conversations. DirectSmile credentials them in a way that goes beyond the trade and repositions them as valuable partners.”

Automation Engine Connect from Esko: The complex task of getting thirdparty software (MIS, shipping, Web storefronts, finance, etc.) to automatically and correctly exchange information with production systems just became easier with Automation Engine Connect. It allows all order information – for example, pricing, quantities, production-related info, and costing – to move to and from systems through the Esko interface. One judge commented, “Integrating the prepress workflow with internal and external business systems enables packaging artwork to be delivered just in time. Esko’s solution lowers the IT hurdle to make different systems communicate with automation engine.”

Prinect Media Manager from Heidelberg: Heidelberg’s Prinect Media Manager is a browser-based, multi-channel media publishing tool that merges content creation, project management, databasing, and e - commerce, helping to keep marketing messages consistent and timely across all channels. The clever “mindmapping” interface coordinates the work of everyone connected with a particular job.

Media data is stored in a central database, linked logically, managed centrally, and made available to all applications. The judges admired the proactive manner in which resources and content were managed, recognising that technologies like these help printing companies transform themselves from conventional service providers into partners able to manage content for their customers’ communication needs.

Highcon Euclid Digital Finishing Technology from Highcon Systems Ltd: Highcon’s Digital Finishing Technology brings the advantages of digital technology to creasing and cutting papers, labels, folding cartons, and microflute.

Creasing is carried out by Highcon’s Digital Adhesive Rule Technology (DART). Data is sent to the DART canister, which releases resin in the form of rules that, once cured, produce hard raised lines. Cutting, perforation, or etching is done by an array of high-powered CO2 lasers. The Euclid technology handles up to 1,500 B1-sized sheets per hour. The judges noted that the dramatic improvement in turnaround time for small to medium converting runs could be enough by itself to justify the technology’s use.

This year’s InterTech Technology Awards show great developments in high speed web and sheetfed colour inkjet presses, digital finishing equipment, the use of metallic foil, patterning for optimal flexo ink laydown, and a portable spectrophotometer for use in the pressroom. Also honored were solutions that facilitate cross-media marketing campaigns, use a new standard to define and communicate brand colours, and simplify the integration of production and business processes.

KODAK PROSPER 6000 Presses from Kodak: The KODAK PROSPER 6000 Presses use Kodak’s continuous inkjet technology to produce high quality commercial print products at speeds up to 1,000 feet per minute. New driers, interstation drying, and nano-technology ink let the presses overcome a key inkjet limitation—the ability to print glossy and other coated stock with heavy coverage at fast speeds. Equally innovative is Kodak’s Intelligent Print System that monitors thousands of inputs and adjusts on the fly to maintain registration and colour quality. One judge summed up the panel’s reaction, “The speed and quality are impressive, and the coated samples really got our attention.”

NX advantage, KODAK FLEXCEL NX System from Kodak: The NX advantage feature set for the KODAK FLEXCEL NX System comprises a set of new advanced imaging and screening features that enable flexo printers to print more opaque whites, enhance overprints and reverse print, achieve better spot colour printing, and deliver smooth highlight transitions. One aspect of the technology pairs precisely imaged plate surface patterns with anilox volume to improve ink transfer and enables greater colour density and opacity with a lower volume of ink. The technology further raises the print quality of flexo, noted the judges, giving printers the ability to compete with the best that gravure printing has to offer.

MGI iFOIL from MGI Digital Technology: The MGI iFOIL is an in-line complement to the company’s JETvarnish 3D UV spot coater (a previous InterTech Award recipient). With an innovative digital process, iFOIL makes embossing and hot foiling easy, requiring no plates, no dies, and no makeready. This allows users to produce hot foil stamping and embossing jobs from one to thousands of sheets on the fly. The iFOIL can utilise many different types of available market foils in a variety of colours, metallic tones, reflective patterns, and holographic effects. One judge said, “The digital era in package converting has started, and the benefits of iFOIL are clearly apparent.”

X-Rite eXact with Scan Option from X-Rite: The handheld X-Rite eXact spectrophotometer with Scan Option enables printers and packaging converters to control, manage, and communicate colour across the entire colour workflow. The inventive Scan Option lets users rapidly scan colour patches without the use of a track, especially beneficial in packaging work where colour targets can be hard to access. “The ability to scan multiple colour bars in one pass is an incredible advantage,” said a judge. eXact also supports all measurements specified in the latest ISO standards, allowing for predictable results when optical brightening agents and fluorescent materials are involved.

The InterTech stars, recognised as a symbol of technological innovation and excellence, will be presented before an audience of industry leaders during the 2015 Printing Industries of America Premier Print Awards Gala Featuring the InterTech Technology Awards and the Product of Excellence Awards on September 13 in Chicago, Illinois.

Rave Packaging installs India’s first Speedmaster CD 102-6 UV plus coater with Foilstar

–Orders two more rigid box making machines from Emmeci

Packaging is one of the fastest growing segment of printing industry and printers across the country are trying their best to equip themselves with the latest technology. More recently, Rave Packaging has installed country’s first Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102-6 colour plus coater UV combination press with Foilstar.
The 59th Heidelberg Foilstar in the world and the first in India have been installed at Rave Packaging - a unit of Rave Scan, one of the fastest growing printers in the country. With three plants in Delhi, Gurgaon and Manesar, the new Foilstar is installed at Rave’s new 1,50,000 square foot packaging plant in Manesar.

Klaus Nielsen managing director, Heidelberg India and Rakesh Bhatnagar, director, Rave Scan unveiling a Speedmaster CD 102 Foil-star press model at the event.The Speedmaster CD 102 is the all-rounder for a wide variety of applications and the best-selling press series by far in the 70 × 100 format. The reasons for this are clear – exceptional and above all, stable print quality throughout the run, straightforward operation, excellent stability in operation, and outstanding net productivity make the Speedmaster CD 102 a secure investment with a short payback period. The new Speedmaster CD 102 continues in this same tradition. The Preset Plus Delivery and attractive equipment packages offer far higher performance levels at a great price. While, FoilStar, the cold foil module from Heidelberg, supports a whole host of unusual surface finishing effects for labels, packaging, and high quality commercial work – giving printers access to brilliant metallic effects that can add considerable value to their customers’ print products.

A press conference was recently organised in New Delhi, where senior officials from Heidelberg and Rave Scan, informed media on this new installation. Klaus Nielsen, managing director, Heidelberg India and Rakesh Bhatnagar, COO of Rave Packaging did a ceremonial ribbon cutting of the Speedmaster CD 102-6 UV plus coater with Foilstar at the event.

The conference started with the address by Peter Rego of Heidelberg who outlined that Rave Scan believed in buying in the latest machinery since 2005. “They were the frontrunners in technology, starting from Heidelberg SM 74 to Heidelberg CD 102 with Foilstar,” he said.

While, Deepak Walia, regional manager of Heidelberg India, said that it is a moment of pride that Rave Scan has acquired this marvellous machine. He also explained the difference between cold foil and hot foil and how cold foil is better in terms of better registration. He informed about huge saving in foil, which goes upto 30 percent due to foil indexing system and enumerated the various applications - labels, beverages, cosmetics, sweets boxes, cigarette boxes, magazines, books, greetings cards, etc. He also informed that it is an environment friendly process and can save upto 133 tonnes of CO2 in a year.

Shiv Bhatnagar, COO of Rave Packaging, gave an overview of Rave, which was established in 1993 and is now an ISO certified company with 500 employees. “Rave has carved a niche for itself,” he said. They ventured into packaging in 2010 and three years later, they started Rave Packaging. “We have the capability to work on all paper and paperboard substrates from 28 GSM to 1 mm at speed of 13,000 copies/hour. Talking about the latest installation, Shiv shared that the new installation would open up new avenues for security printing as the applications are enormous which can be achieved only through Foilstar,” he said.

At the event, Shiv also shared that since they specialise in premium rigid boxes, they have placed order for two more automated Mechatronic machines from Emmeci through their distributor Anil Agencies. Mohit Jain of Anil Agencies gave a brief presentation on the Emmeci machines and told that Rave is able to target top of the pyramid customers with these machines.

Later, Klaus Nielsen of Heidelberg said that Rave Scan has formed a special bond with Heidelberg and he particularly appreciated the entrepreneurship of Shiv.

The event concluded with an interactive Q&A session, where the panellists - Rave Scan partners Rakesh Bhatnagar and Bhavnesh Kumar, Klaus Nielsen and Peter Rego of Heidelberg, Mohit Jain of Anil Agencies and Mauro Mazzinghi, chairman and CEO of Emmeci as well as Shiv Bhatnagar – answered queries from the audience.

Demand-based printing, reaching global readers

The growth of excellent short run and on-demand digital printing services in India has begun to solve many of these concerns that publishers face in today’s dynamic publishing environment.
Demand. This is perhaps the most crucial and yet unknown entity when a publisher plans a print run of a new book. Who will read it? Where are my readers? How many should I print? How long will interest for this title exist and when should I print more?

Knowing the demand will help publishers use their money wisely, but demand can be extremely difficult to predict. Publishers find they print either too many units or not enough. It is rare, unfortunately, to find they have printed exactly the correct number of books.

Uncertain demand leads to financial and logistical burdens for publishers. Printing too many copies can be a large up-front investment where money could be better spent marketing. And then of course there are warehousing of unsold inventory and potential waste (scrap) costs in the future. These are all factors to consider when calculating true cost per unit. Of course, printing too few copies also impacts publishers’ wallets negatively through lost sales opportunities.

The growth of excellent short run and on-demand digital printer services in India has begun to help solve many of these concerns that publishers face in today’s dynamic publishing environment. Repro, Sansrack, Thomson and others have recognised the benefits they can bring to businesses if economies are scaled smaller and more efficient. What’s more, they have identified that gains to be obtained when a title is never listed ‘out of stock’, nor ‘out of print’; when books are no longer allowed to ‘die.’

“Through Ingram Content Group, our Lightning Source Inc. ("Ingram"), print-on-demand (POD) distribution service, is pioneering ways to help publishers better manage the uncertainty around demand. Since our first digital print run in 1998, we have worked with over 30,000 publishers around the world to ensure efficiencies in their distribution models. With the latest technology, we deliver books printed on a single-copy basis directly to consumers through our vast global distribution network. The results? Maximised sales opportunities, faster delivery times, more efficient use of capital, reduced warehouse costs, and lower waste. By flipping the model from: Print book > Sell book to: Sell book> Print book, this allows publishers, for the first time, to match their supply of titles exactly to the reading demand,” tells Philippa Malicka, sales consultant (New Delhi, India), INGRAM.

Along with working closely with our publishers, Ingram continues to grow the selling channels for content. One of Ingram’s advantages is its wholesale business, which supplies books to thousands of book-sellers and libraries. Ingram also has direct relationships with online sellers and major wholesalers, ensuring that titles are shown as ‘available’ across every supply platform across the world.

Ingram’s distribution reach is global, now spanning over 39,000 retailers, libraries and online retail outlets – an exciting opportunity for India-based publishers who are eager to make their titles available in foreign markets.

Extended distribution beyond India’s borders was another victim of the aforementioned supply and demand problem. Considering where and how to ship books overseas felt like another headache, another variable on your costs, more warehousing fees, unreliable off-shore distributors and unfamiliar pricing concerns.

Yet, many publishers are receiving interest and orders for their titles, and experiencing the frustration of not being able to meet that demand.

This limits the readership of your titles to a single market, which is a disadvantage in a global reading and publishing environment. It means that new literary fiction cannot fall into the hands of hungry readers in Australia, America or the UK. Or that librarians who order for South Asian faculties, have difficulty locating the excellent social science writing which small publishers here are producing. This extends into the Indian languages, too: as NRIs are unable to order titles in their native tongues.

Ingram’s POD and wholesaling capabilities are a powerful yet simple way for Indian publishers to circumvent these issues and sell their content globally. We simply store a PDF of your book on our servers, supply the metadata and your pricing to our channels and fulfill every order that we receive on your behalf. This creates new revenue streams with appealing foreign price points.

It’s time to look outwards with your titles, to recognize and meet foreign reading demand and to grow your revenue without burdensome logistical costs. Swift and global distribution matched exactly to demand is the future of your publishing business.

Printers’ CEOs neglecting ‘cost in use concept’

Over the years, most of the printing organisations have started procuring their consumables on the basis of its cost. The conversation always starts with the price but no mention to quality.
It is often seen that press owners involve themselves only when taking decision in respect of machinery with high investment and paper or board since that constitute the major part of the production cost. Unfortunately when it comes to selection of consumables, the decision is left to the middle level management team or the floor level operators, with clear policy direction that since the market is competitive all the cost cutting and saving have to be achieved within this part of the production cost. The owners of small and medium size presses are not the decision makers to use a balanced consumables portfolio.

By only factoring in the cost of buying consumables, they end-up in the wrong direction of being competitive. The consumables are small part of the production cost but they make a tremendous difference in the final print quality, machine down time, wastage and the wear and tear of expensive equipment. The discussion on consumable with the vendor starts and ends only with the price. By using standardized quality products, contrary to this, printers can achieve the real cost cutting in the production cost. But this will show result over a period of time that is where the “concept of cost in use” will justify a meaner and leaner efficient production run.

–Vijay Kr Ahuja
Raj & Co, New Delhi

Group Publications