Also on hand at Print 09 will be the newest version of Kodak ColorFlow Software, which ensures a reliable color match from original electronic files all the way through the production process to the final output on either digital or conventional presses. The new software ensures that critical color control elements—curves, profiles and spot recipes—are used together correctly, reducing costs across the board.
The new versions of Prinergy Workflow (v.5.1) and Prinergy Powerpack Workflow both include ColorFlow, and deliver optimal integration, productivity and automation for mixed conventional and digital production environments. The Press Management Option gives printers better control within a blended environment by allowing them to control all presses from a single console.
A half-hour from Indianapolis, Quality Printing Co., Anderson, Ind., installed a Prinergy Connect Workflow this April, allowing the firm’s 44 employees to spend less time on job planning and prepress production.
The $9.5-million sheetfed shop features two six-color Heidelberg presses with coaters: a 40-inch Speedmaster 102 and a 29-inch SM 74. Two years ago, it added short-run, variable-data capabilities via a reconditioned KPG DirectPress 5634 direct-imaging (DI) device from Kodak Polychrome Graphics, the former joint venture with Sun Chemical. There also are Canon and Xerox high-speed digital copiers within the 35,000-square-foot facility.
The new Prinergy workflow has “completely streamlined our production process, increasing productivity and efficiency—all while maintaining the highest levels of print quality across the board,” said Steve Harney, president of the 39-year-old company.
From printing to direct mail, fulfillment and large-format graphics, Quality Printing now is maximizing automation. In addition, Quality enhances efficiency with the Kodak InSite Prepress Portal System. As a Web interface into Prinergy, InSite streamlines job submission, status tracking and remote content proofing/approval.
The Hewlett-Packard (Booth 1229) SmartStream Production Plus Print Server, powered by Creo, also offers a unified, hybrid offset/digital production workflow. It integrates effectively with Prinergy and other components of Kodak’s Unified Workflow, as well as Brisque and Agfa :ApogeeX. The HP SmartStream Solutions Portfolio is an open environment that offers customers productivity, flexibility and the choice to expand into additional market segments, including general commercial printing, direct marketing, publication printing, photo specialty, labels and packaging, and commercial and industrial large-format printing.
Xerox (Booths 1100 and 1117) continues to streamline print productivity with digital-offset workflow enhancements. Its FreeFlow open-architecture software integrates with four systems—Fujifilm’s Workflow XMF, Heidelberg’s Prinect, Kodak and Creo’s Prinergy and Screen’s Trueflow—to facilitate digital print as a complement to offset. These integrations enable print providers to leverage their existing offset workflow to serve as a single, familiar point of control for both digital and computer-to-plate offset work. Hybrid applications are enabled with accurate color matching and image quality.
The aforementioned Fuji and Heidelberg systems both are based on PDF print files and JDF platform-independent job tickets, which provide instructions for producing jobs. Xerox and Heidelberg have been developing workflow integrations of Prinect and FreeFlow for five years. This was enhanced in 2008 to enable two-way communication of real-time job status and accounting information via the JMF (Job Messaging Format) standard.
The JMF-based capabilities are enabled by Prinect Prepress Manager 4.0 (formerly known as Prinect Printready System), which provides automated prepress functions, such as file conversion to PDF, page imposition and color management. Xerox’s FreeFlow portfolio provides JMF service through several components, providing flexibility and extended capabilities for a more lights-out operation. At Drupa, Xerox ran hybrid applications using a Speedmaster SM 52-4+L offset press and several Xerox digital presses.
Sir Speedy of Charlotte, N.C., has used the FreeFlow-Prinect integration since 2007 to manage work for an iGen3 110 Digital Production Press with FreeFlow DocuSP, and two Heidelberg offset presses. “Now we have one path to our presses and one place to track our jobs,” said president Patrick Jayne. “That’s a huge productivity boost.”