Fairfax, VA—SGIA’s annual Product of the Year competition showcases digital imaging products that “keep the specialty imaging industry moving forward.” This year’s competition, sponsored by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA), compared 98 entries in 21 categories. Entries were evaluated and judged by industry leaders during the 2011 SGIA Expo. Of the 21 categories, only eight companies walked away with awards. Here are the winners and what SGIA had to say about them.
Category 101, Digital Inks: Roland DGA, ECO-UV S Ink for VersaUV LED Wide-Format Inkjet Devices
Wide-format VersaUV models support the new, flexible ECO-UV S ink, which expands up to 220%. This extended elasticity allows prints to mold to the contours of PET bottles and plastic cups, and thermoformed plastic commonly used for items like consumer electronics cases. ECO-UV S is offered in CMYK and white for the VersaUV LEJ-640 printer and LEC series printer/cutters. “We are honored by these awards and believe they reflect the strength of Roland VersaUV LED technology,” said Rick Scrimger, vice president and general manager, Roland DGA Corp.
Category 103: Media-Vinyl, Ilford BioMedia Display Film
For commercial print-for-pay businesses, Ilford BioMedia is a biodegradable alternative for commercial vinyl products. It completely breaks down under anaerobic landfill conditions, thanks to a unique enzyme that accelerates the biodegradation process. BioMedia display film uses the company’s coating technologies to create print surfaces that maximize environmental benefit without compromising image quality. “Winning the SGIA Product of the Year Award confirms our dedication to research and development and environmentally conscious product development,” said Paul Williems, CEO, director of Global Sales.
Category 104: Media-Films, Asphalt Art USA, Asphalt Art
Asphalt Art is a new advertising media that is a patented aluminum foil-based material for asphalt, concrete, stairs, stone and metal. Asphalt Art is highly conformable, slip resistant and compatible with UV-curable and latex printers. No lamination is required.
Category 105: Media-Textile, Visual Magnetics, VM-Canvas 22
Debuting at the 2011 SGIA Expo, this is one of the first products in Visual Magnetics’ newly launched MagnaMedia digital fabric collection, which is designed to bring warmth and luxury to the in-store experience by adding textured surfaces to graphic content. The 22mil, 100% cotton magnetic receptive canvas has a soft matte, washable, textured print surface for producing woven fabric-textured photo reproductions, wall murals and fabric-based POP signage. “This award is certainly a testament to the product’s quality and we are pleased to be able to offer it to our customers as we grow our MagnaMedia line. The unique properties of our new digital fabric will enable the creation of stunning, fabric-textured graphics that, like all of Visual Magnetics’ products, can be updated effortlessly,” said Joe Deetz, CEO, Visual Magnetics.
Category 112: Poster Size – Solvent/Latex Printers < 96-inches, Mimaki USA, JV33
Following in the footsteps of the JV3 series, the JV33 series was created with various enhancements to bring out a high-quality print of 1,440 dpi with increased print speed of 30% over the JV3 series. Print quality in four-color bidirectional mode is also improved using a symmetric ink arrangement. The JV33 series is designed to produce posters, dye-sublimation transfers, POP displays, banners, vehicles wraps and graphics.
Category 114: Flatbed-Rigid Substrate UV <$200K MSRP, Mimaki USA, JFX-1631
The JFX-1631’s intelligent dual-feeding mechanism revolutionizes flatbed printing by allowing for an ultra-precise ink-dot placement, which reduces banding and prints legible text as small as 3 points on media up to 2 inches thick. All printers in the new JFX-plus series feature a standard post-curing unit that enables printing of up to 23.6 sqm/hr, nearly twice as fast as previous models. An optional roll unit was developed to boost efficiency and productivity when printing on roll-fed substrates. The JFX-1631 is designed for posters and banners, POP displays, packaging proofs and prototypes, industrial applications and signage, membrane switches and backlit signage and displays.
Category 115: Flatbed-Rigid Substrate UV >$200K MSRP, EFI, VUTEk GS3250LX
The EFI VUTEk GS3250lx is a fully loaded LED UV-curing hybrid printer that extends the range of supported substrates and print providers’ bottom line with an innovative ink-curing technology. It reduces operating costs with less material fall-out and smoother production runs, boosting productivity with its continuous board printing capability. It is a green printing solution with less waste, fewer consumables and decreased power consumption. Like other GS-series printers, it integrates with EFI web-to-print and MIS solutions with native JDF connectivity between the Fiery XF RIP and VUTEk. “This year’s SGIA was a big success for EFI on many fronts, including our breakthrough GS3250LX printer with innovative LED UV-curing technology taking home a Product of the Year award,” said Scott Schinlever, senior vice president and general manager, Inkjet Solutions.
Category 116: Flatbed-Rigid White Ink UV <$200K MSRP, Océ Display Graphics Systems, Arizona 360 XT
All Océ Arizona series printers—including the new Océ Arizona 360 XT model—share the same image quality and robust architecture, offering the Océ values of quality, reliability, productivity and user-friendliness. Océ Arizona printers are UV-curable flatbed and roll-to-roll inkjet printers that can be used to add new services by printing photo-quality images on virtually any media imaginable, giving users numerous opportunities to increase display graphics revenues.
For details about how to enter the 2012 Product of the Year competition, contact SGIA’s Digital Printing Analyst, Jeff Burton at email@example.com.