Contact triumphs with PrintHQ at Stationers’ Innovation Excellence Awards 2023

Contact Originators is celebrating after claiming gold at the prestigious Stationers’ Innovation Excellence Awards 2023.

The company’s pioneering automated digital shim printing technology, PrintHQ, clinched the top honours in the Business Processes category, further solidifying Contact’s position as the gold standard in prepress innovation.

The awards are presented by the Stationers’ Company, an organisation with over 600 years of history, that today includes nearly 1000 members. It serves as a hub for communications and content industry leaders to network, learn, share ideas, and collaborate on shaping the future of these industries. The awards seek to praise the best innovations from the world of printing, printing supplies, publishing, packaging, office products, promotion and communication.

Bringing digital automation to a typically manual and time-consuming process for the first time, award-winning PrintHQ uses inkjet technology, developed in partnership with AV Flexologic, to deliver precise print job information directly onto the plate shim during mounting. This data can be accessed through a printed QR code that collates the relevant job recipe and information, and links to relevant online graphic support. The result is a more accurate and efficient plate mounting process, supported by a free flow of information from prepress to print.

The judging panel said that PrintHQ showed a really impressive practical approach, with clear benefits in time, cost and energy savings for their customers. The range of KPIs was extensive, and a major step forward for the corrugated printing sector with its digitally traceable management of the shim mounting process.

It’s the second time that Contact Originators has received top honours at the awards ceremony, held at the historic Stationers Hall in London; in 2019, the company was recognised for its Optimus plate technology, which delivers improved ink laydown and ink reduction in the corrugated print process. This year’s success follows achievements at the 2023 FIAUK Print Awards, where Contact Originators secured the Reprographic Company and Supplier of the Year awards for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year.

Steve Mulcahy, CEO at Contact Originators, comments: “We are thrilled to win a Stationers’ Award in the Business Processes category. The Stationers’ Award is one of the most prestigious award programmes of its kind, and recognition from the judging panel underscores the transformative potential of both our technology and our vision. While digital advancements are revolutionising the industry, we identified a real bottleneck in manual shim mounting, checking, and tracking. This is precisely what we set out to change, and with PrintHQ, we have done just that.”

PrintHQ not only amplifies prepress efficiency for packaging converters with instant job recall, but also reduces the risk of human errors, helping to minimise waste and control costs. By integrating digital workflows into the shim mounting process, PrintHQ is designed as a next-generation technology to support the evolving needs of packaging printers worldwide.

Steve adds: “The impact of PrintHQ on our customers and end-users is significant. The elimination of inaccurately mounted shims reduces errors and waste in downstream print production, making prepress a stronger contributor to business-wide sustainability initiatives. In essence, the digitalisation of plate SKU checks replaces a manual, error-prone process with a more accurate, and efficient digital solution. We are delighted that the ingenuity of Team Contact, one of the most experienced teams in the packaging industry, is in the spotlight.”

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