In the third outing for the awards, chairman Tony Mash said entries were up 50% on the prior year, with 49 entries overall, of which 20 were shortlisted.
“The judges had a monumental task to evaluate and rank them all. We were looking for something special in those 20 and the results reflect the very demanding expectations that have to be met to ensure our industries remain competitive and prosperous,” he said.
DataLase was the joint winner for its digital printing technology with a difference – it uses colour change pigments that are applied in the area to be ‘printed’ in a coating, and then activated using a laser to achieve high-speed inline digital printing that is particularly relevant for packing lines.
“The response at Drupa was overwhelming," said vice president of business development Mark Naples. “We had many of the biggest brands coming to our stand and saying what we have done really changes digital printing.”
Heidelberg was the joint winner for its Omnifire ‘4D’ inkjet printing system for printing onto three-dimensional objects.
The judges said: “The Omnifire presents an innovative combination of two technologies that addresses the growing need for mass personalisation of consumer products and expands the market opportunity for printing on pre-existing three-dimensional objects.”
The other winners were: flexible packaging specialist Parkside for its Rockpocket transit packaging which protects high value or delicate items in transit.
Kolbus won an award for its new system for manufacturing luxury packaging, which has the potential to repatriate this type of work from the Far East.
Sun Chemical won its award for the development of Aquacure water-based inkjet ink technology. “It addresses a number of the challenges presented by inkjet, because it reduces the film weight and also reduces the amount of non-renewables in the ink, which are replaced by water,” said business director, digital, Peter Saunders.
Troika Systems was lauded for the amazing payback achieved by its AniCam and Anilox QC volumetric measuring device, which increases uptime and reduces makeready waste on flexo presses. “Most printers are saving €200,000 a year, it’s astounding. Our best result was a saving of €1.6m,” said sales director Jon Jordan.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers won its award for a series of comic books tackling difficult subjects, such as coping with anxiety.
And Ravensbourne college in London was also a winner for a project promoting new ways for the college to interact with the community.
Helen Esmonde, master of the Stationers’ Company, said the printing industry had a long and rich history of innovation and outstanding creativity. “I support the theory that innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organisation. As master and a member of the judging panel I’m delighted and inspired to be part of this process.”