Techkon receives FTA Technical Innovation Award 2024 for its AI-based ChromaQA with SmartINK ink toning technology

TECHKON has received the prestigious FTA Technical Innovation Award 2024 for its first-to-market, ChromaQA5 with SmartInk, a groundbreaking AI driven, new feature, that allows anyone to make precise ink toning adjustments, either on press or in the ink room, without the guesswork or inherent experience that has been required until now.

The award was presented on Sunday, May 5, during the Awards Banquet ceremony at FORUM & INFOFLEX 2024, FTA’s annual four-day technical conference and exhibition.

"Recipients of the FTA Technical Innovation Award are chosen by a panel of flexographic experts for having strong potential to positively influence the future of flexography. The judging process is very competitive and thorough, and Techkon should be very proud of this outstanding achievement. ChromaQA with SmartInk represents a groundbreaking development in making ink toning in a pinch easy, fast, and widely accessible."

Techkon is one of two announced winners this year, underscoring the importance of the achievement and the impact ChromaQA with SmartInk can make. In-depth articles covering each award winner will appear in the June issue of FLEXO Magazine.

George Adam, President at Techkon USA, received the award on behalf of the entire Techkon team:

"All of us at Techkon are extremely proud to have been recognized for what we believe is an important innovation in an area that is traditionally based on decades-long experience of highly skilled individuals. With the looming skilled labor shortages and the influx of a new inexperienced workforce, tools like SmartInk will be imperative to allow printers of all sizes to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and improve profitability."

How does SmartInk work?

ChromaQA with SmartINK allows anyone to tone ink quickly and efficiently with just a few clicks. First, users define their specific base ink sets and substrates, a one time-setup to make sure that the AI driven

algorithms are correctly tailored to the specific environment. From there, whenever ink corrections are necessary to get below a certain deltaE tolerance (and when simple density adjustments don’t suffice), things get really simple:

  • Select the correct base ink set and substrate combination
  • Set the starting amount of ink in the bucket or on press
  • Set the maximum desired amount of ink to add
  • Click button to run corrections
  • Make the required ink recipe corrections

It’s really that simple! You can even change the max addition amount and restrict which inks to use. But rest assured, SmartInk will provide the best recipe correction every time.

What benefits does it provide?

ChromaQA with SmartInk provides substantial benefits and cost savings for a variety of applications:

  • Significantly reduces make ready times, allowing for increased billable press-time
  • Substantially reduces wasted materials, both in shortening make-readies and in increasing the work-off of waste ink, thereby reducing cost while at the same time improving the sustainability footprint
  • Is a viable substitute for full blown ink formulation software at a fraction of the cost, while being much easier to learn and use
  • Can help address skilled labor shortages in the industry as it empowers anyone to perform ink toning on press efficiently and without prior experience
  • Makes it easier to deliver consistent high-quality color on target, on time and on budget for customers
Customer Testimonial

In the past, if you didn’t have an extremely skilled laborer, you would have long color match times and a lot of difficulty in keeping the press running. Now, with ChromaQA & SmartInk, we have a lot of young guys that are starting out fresh and it’s helping them to understand how that base and pigment impact the overall color of the product. Overall, that's equaled up to $20,000 savings just in press time alone (in only 4 months). That’s not even counting up my ink room’s time. Plus, our workoff program has become a lot easier, too. Our workoff numbers are over $50,000 a month now.

More details about ChromaQA with SmartInk are available on our website.

About Techkon

Techkon is the innovation leader in densitometers, spectrophotometers and color software solutions for the global print community. With a track record of nearly 40 years of continued technological excellence, Techkon products are chosen for their high degree of measurement accuracy, repeatability, reliability and ease of operation in all sectors of the printing industry. Techkon’s innovative color measurement solutions have led to highly successful implementations by leading OEM press manufacturers, brand owners, and large commercial printers, yielding drastic gains in quality, productivity and cost savings.