Way back when, prepress was a simple affair—if not in practice at least in the understanding of what needed to get done. There was one media platform—print—and the prepress department produced the plates and generated hard-copy proofs, and everyone knew what they had to do, and it more or...
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Driving Pressroom Efficiency
One of prepress’ prime tasks is improving pressroom efficiency.
Xitron’s KeySetter communicates ink coverage data received from prepress directly to the press console for reduced makeready and waste. With direct console connection and closed loop capabilities, KeySetter can reduce makeready an average of 30-50% on new jobs and up to 90% on repeat jobs, says Owens. It’s available as a direct connection to press consoles from leading manufacturers, including Heidelberg, Komori, KBA, manroland, and Shinohara.
“Ink optimization is not only about ink volume reduction, though an important economic benefit,” reports Marc Welch, GMG Director of Strategic Accounts. “Thousands of GMG InkOptimizer installations worldwide have shown that good ink optimization prints closer to specifications, with greater production stability. Many GMG InkOptimizer customers report that their first objective was to ensure consistent print results, and cost savings from reduced ink were a bonus.”
With GMG InkOptimizer color composition is standardized: the CMY color component is reduced and the black component increased. Unlike ICC solutions, the black channel is preserved, maintaining color accuracy and detail, says Welch. Concurrently, the visual color impression remains unchanged, leading to ink savings of up to 20 percent and making it much easier to set the press correctly to color.
“The stabilized gray balance achieves more consistent color behavior in neutral areas and tertiary colors, such as browns and olives,” says Welch. “Contrast and image definition in the shadows are also improved. Smaller color variations during printing lead to more stable printing, and higher quality. Repeat jobs are reproduced more easily.”
The lower level of ink reduces the risk of offsetting, the drying time is shorter, and less powder is needed in sheetfed offset. It takes less time to get the right colors on the press, the overall production time is reduced, and paper waste is avoided.
And Finishing, Too...
Investments in prepress workflow technology are realized all the way through to finishing.
The Océ Streamlined Workflow digital system includes a range of Océ ProCutdigital cutting tables to automate finishing operations, and specialized software for preparing and interpreting the cutting instructions in a seamless workflow. “Not only does it reduce labor and materials costs during finishing, enabling customers to gain productivity and increase profit margins, it also lets customers offer a wider range of applications to their clients,” says Randy Paar, Display Graphics Marketing Manager, Océ North America.
The ProCut component is composed of two modules with an intuitive user interface. A prepress module, which accepts EPS and PDF files from design software such as Adobe Illustrator, enables quick and easy preparation of cutting marks and selection of finishing tools such as a kiss-cutting knife, router, creasing tool, etc. A nesting module nests on true shape for optimal use of the media in the printing and finishing stages.
“Cutting is always 100 percent accurate, and the system compensates for any material distortion that may occur during printing,” says Paar.
New business opportunities include manufacturing premium-priced contour-cut jobs and production kiss-cutting jobs for mass-produced decals. Structural projects, such as self-standing displays or packaging prototypes, are other possible applications for opening up new markets.