Canon Solutions America Inc., Production Print Systems

Oce Extends Powerful Oce SRA High-Volume Controller with Support for Latest IS/3 AFP Standard

Océ, a Canon Group company and an international leader in digital document management, today announced it has extended its powerful Océ SRA controller technology with added support for the latest IS/3 standard for Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) printing. The inclusion of the latest functionalities of IS/3 build upon the fast RIPing and precise color management features of the robust Océ SRA controller, bringing more value and benefit to users needing production-oriented technology. Océ products that use Océ SRA controllers include the Océ JetStream family, Océ ColorStream 3500 systems, and the Océ PRISMA production Server for output and workflow management.

A Standard Used to Print Millions of Documents

Transaction documents and other communications associated with financial, insurance, retail, utilities and healthcare institutions use the AFP data format. The printed output amounts to billions of mail pieces every month. Earlier this year, the AFP Consortium (AFPC) announced a new version of this standard to deliver greater cost efficiency and interoperability in multi-vendor environments. The latest interchange set, IS/3, improves productivity in complex, multi-vendor production environments, and supports the latest fonts, images and graphics.

Océ Support Helps Customers with Multi-vendor Operations

“Océ has always been a proponent of open architecture solutions that remove limits on cross-platform inter-operability. As a member of the AFPC, we fully support the IS/3 standard on our full-color continuous feed inkjet systems that use Océ SRA controllers. The new definition helps users reduce the cost and time involved in configuring, installing and operating multi-vendor AFP systems,” said Francis A. McMahon, Vice President, Marketing, Océ North America Production Printing Systems.

SRA Is Ideal Controller for Heavy Duty Production

Océ SRA controller technology is uniquely designed for high-volume production printing environments. A key differentiator is how the Océ SRA controller handles the multi-record PDFs often used for massive transactional and direct mail applications.

Methods used by other RIPs can lead to color management issues, large file sizes and excessive rip times. Before printing, some of these controllers RIP files into four color planes, resulting in a massive, hard-to-manage file. This process also causes color management problems if the target printer uses a different data stream than the RIP-prepared file.

The Océ SRA massive processing approach avoids the issues sometimes encountered with other controller technologies. Continuing with the above example, the Océ SRA controller parses the PDF file and creates groups of PDF pages with all associated resources. These are sent to the digital printer as fully intact PDFs, where parallel Adobe RIP engines process the PDFs at print time and at rated print speed.

As a result, no additional color management is needed to convert PDF to an alternate format. The small file sizes (basically PDF with a “wrapper”) are easier to send and manage, with minimal file preparation times in place of the rip process. For example, a file that takes an hour to RIP using other methods may only take the Océ SRA controller about four minutes to package.

What Customers Need to Get Jobs Done

“It’s important that we support our AFP customers through compatibility with the standard that they use to get their work out. The proven, heavy-duty Océ SRA controller architecture is the foundation for thousands of our customers who print a myriad of documents each day, so it was essential that we extend its support for IS/3,” said McMahon.

Océ already had accommodated most IS/3 functions in its full-color continuous feed portfolio. Additional functions in the newly defined IS/3 standard now available in the Océ portfolio include:

-       AFPC JPEG, a format covering regular RGB-based JPEGS and Adobe CMYK JPEG formats

-       AFPC TIFF, an extended TIFF set with improved transparency to simplify integration of complex images without white spaces.

The Océ production print engines driven by Océ SRA technology include:

•       Océ JetStream family

•     Océ ColorStream 3500 system

•       Océ ColorStream 10000 Flex system

•       Océ VarioStream 7000/8000 series

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