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Promising proofers, etc.

Jun 1, 2008 12:00 AM


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Inkjet is a hot topic at Drupa 2008, as vendors' R&D efforts toward high-quality, production-speed, digital inkjet presses are coming to fruition. But even as excitement builds for all things MEMS, we've got the scoop on some new proofing equipment and software options that will be on display at the big show. We can't wait to share the newest prepress developments announced during Drupa, so stay tuned!

Unlimited color

Epson America Inc. (Long Beach, CA) launched the Epson Stylus Pro 7900 (24-inch) and 9900 (44-inch) inkjet printers for production and contract proofing, whose capabilities reportedly extend to the demanding packaging proofing and flexographic markets.

The optional Epson SpectroProofer facilitates remote proofing. The inline, off-carriage calibration and verification system is powered by an X-Rite spectrophotometer and controlled by Epson software or a third-party RIP. The new printer mechanism in the Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 builds on Epson's MicroPiezo printhead, introduced with the Stylus Pro 11880 last year. It delivers spherical dots with high precision at resolutions up to 2880 dpi. The Stylus Pro 7900 and 9900 run at up to 40 sq. m/hr.

Epson's UltraChrome K3 ink, which includes Vivid Magenta, and flexible media handling ensure the proof is a close match to the press output.

See www.epson.com.
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Advancements toward foolproof proofing

GMG's (Tuebingen, Germany) new versions of ColorProof, DotProof, and FlexoProof focus on additional functions, easier handling and intuitive support of various industry standards. The software solutions feature the new Adobe PDF Print Engine technology.

ColorMaster in a Box allows users to keep their data in the RGB color space until the printing process has been defined, at which time GMG ColorServer can perform the RGB to CMYK conversion. Vector data can be created directly in the GMG ColorMaster color space and then converted into the target color space in preconfigured hot folders by CMYK-to-CMYK conversion using high-quality GMG 4D profiles. GMG ColorMaster offers a color space that covers common printing gamuts and is available as an ICC profile for retouching images in Photoshop.

The new GMG Connect software solution enables simple integration of GMG products in Prinergy, Esko and Dalim workflow environments. The software reportedly benefits remote proofing, enabling cross-platform checking of print job statuses via the Internet.

GMG PrintControl software standardizes the printing process from start to finish, and GMG RapidCheck verification software requires just a few mouse clicks to check compliance with printing process standards.

See www.gmgcolor.com.
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Music to our ears

Xanté (Mobile, AL) unveiled a new version of its OpenRIP Symphony PDF workflow solution at Drupa. OpenRIP Symphony 3.0 includes powerful new features designed to give small and midsize offset printers the ability to compete for higher end business with minimal investment. It offers enhanced imposition for mixing page sizes and orientations on one press sheet, as well as linearization and dot gain enhancements.

Xanté has integrated PMS and Pantone Goe SystemColor Library support, including CMYK, RGB and Lab color space definitions. Expanded color support provides better representation of overprinting inks and traps for soft proofing and inkjet proofs.

“This iteration of OpenRIP Symphony, one of our most important to date, gives our customers the most advanced, all-in-one PDF workflow to meet a shop's complete prepress production needs,” says Xanté CEO Robert Ross. “The Adobe PDF Print Engine is the future of PDF workflow and we're all about providing advanced features in an affordable solution that can grow as production needs require.”

OpenRIP workflow features the AdobePDF Print Engine and Adobe PostScript 3, and it is priced to fit the budget of small to midsize shops.

See www.xante.com.
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High quality, color accuracy

HP's (Palo Alto, CA) new SmartStream Color Manager Kit is geared toward large-format printer users who need high-quality color reproduction. This proofing solution includes the HP Designjet Z2100 8-ink printer, which facilitates color accuracy with features such as an embedded spectrophotometer and a wide range of acceptable substrates.

Planned for U.S. availability in July 2008, the system is built to achieve excellent color matching even on multiple printers running various media types. Simple tools reduce setup and calibration time, and the overall calibration process is standardized.

See www.hp.com.
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Turnkey proofing

PerfectProof's (Mechelen, Belgium) turnkey proofing solution, ProofMaster Certify software, comes with tailor-made profiles for the different production processes, allowing users to produce guaranteed ISO-certified digital proofs, while eliminating complex setup and profiling requirements.

See www.perfectproof.com.
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Color evaluation company rebrands itself

Light box manufacturer GTI Graphic Technology Inc. (Newburgh, NY) has been designing and manufacturing critical color viewing and inspection systems since 1975. Noting fundamental technological changes in the color print production workflow, the company has decided to update its brand.

“Our new GTI logo and tagline will set the pace of our marketing efforts into the future,” says Frederic McCurdy, president, GTI. “We feel the tagline best describes what GTI is all about, and coupled with the logo it will become the brand that represents the best choice for controlled color viewing products.”
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One-stop shop

Kodak (Rochester, NY) is showing off its wide range of prepress solutions at Drupa 2008, including proofing systems, CTP platesetters, digital plates and the Kodak Prinergy workflow for offset and flexographic printing.

Kodak offers digital halftone, inkjet and virtual proofing systems. The Kodak Approval NX digital color imaging system features a new set of extended gamut donors to meet the needs of packaging printers. Additionally, Kodak is planning to unveil new proofing software that will allow customers in the commercial and packaging segments to successfully proof the most challenging color jobs on popular inkjet printers as well as with the Kodak Approval digital color proofing system.

See www.graphics.kodak.com.
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New workflow suite

Agfa Graphics (Mortsel, Belgium) has a new suite of software solutions, :Apogee Publish, :Apogee Portal, :Apogee Prepress and :Apogee Color. Designed to meet the needs of print buyers, content owners, designers, prepress managers and printers, it integrates content, proofing, output, connectivity and other integral elements through one comprehensive suite.

:Apogee Publish contains solutions focusing on all tasks from content management to page creation for print and web. It contains :Apogee Media, another Drupa debut.

:Apogee Portal (formerly :Delano) strengthens the communication and collaboration between printers and their customers. It allows participants throughout the graphic communications process to collaborate on projects and tasks. This results in higher productivity, a shorter number of steps before printing, and reduced costs of reworks and errors. It includes :Apogee WebApproval for file and proof retrieval; :Apogee StreamProof for integrated, fast, high-resolution softproofing; and :Apogee Project Manager for more advanced functionality and online management of print projects.

:Apogee Prepress (formerly :ApogeeX) provides a full JDF-enabled prepress production hub, allowing everyone in the production environment to manage and control all prepress processes. It offers innovations such as :Apogee InkSave for increased ink efficiency and cost savings, and a new component called :Apogee Platemaker for continuous plate production.

:Apogee Color seamlessly integrates end-to-end quality and color management solutions into the :Apogee Suite solutions. :Apogee Color, including :ColorTune and :SherpaProof, produces soft and hard-copy proofs at critical points in the production cycle.

See www.agfa.com.
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Drupa news

Esko at the Crossroads

Esko (Vandalia, OH) will present Studio and Studio toolkits, plug-ins that bring interactive 3D package design to Adobe Illustrator. Dynamic Content is a new plug-in that links text content with any Adobe Illustrator artwork file to separate the package's textual content from its layout.

Peter Camps, chairman/CEO of Gradual Software, Gent, returned to Esko as senior vice president of Enfocus following Esko's acquisition of Gradual. Also back with Enfocus is Gradual's COO David van Driessche.

Camps and van Driessche say Enfocus is 100 percent committed to Crossroads, which Gradual launched in August 2007. Centered on SWITCH automation technology, Crossroads is a communication platform that draws together software vendors offering automation products for publishing workflows.

See www.esko.com.
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Platesetters for 96-page web presses

Screen (USA's) (Rolling Meadows, IL) PlateRite Ultima 48000 thermal platesetter series lets users achieve the highest level of productivity possible from the newest generation of 80-page and 96-page commercial web offset presses.

The system ensures precise imaging onto plate sizes up to 114.1 × 53.1 inches, the equivalent of 96 A4-size pages. For 80-page web presses, Screen offers PlateRite Ultima 40000, which supports 89.7 × 62.9-inch plates, the equivalent of 80 A4-size pages.

The PlateRite Ultima 48000 and PlateRite Ultima 40000 will be available in June 2008, and the 48000 will be available on a production-by-order basis.

See www.screenusa.com.
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Motheral certified to provide CCN color managment

Color Control Network (CCN) (Dallas) announces Motheral Printing (Ft. Worth, TX) has signed on to become a certified provider of CCN's patented color management technology.

“What first attracted us to CCN was that we found we were able to better control our presses when using a 4-color process to print at extremely high densities,” says David Motheral, vice president of print operations. “A lot of customers simply will not pay the added cost of going beyond four colors on certain jobs. At the same time, what they really want is that deep saturation that traditionally could only be achieved using six or more colors. CCN changes the way we can approach those customers.”

See www.colorcontrolnetwork.com and www.motheral.com.

More Drupa news

Faster, more flexible RIP

Global Graphics (Cambridge, England) unveiled the latest Harlequin RIP — the Harlequin PLUS Server RIP (v8.0) — at Drupa 2008. It promises a new level of functionality and performance to a variety of prepress, digital printing, newspaper and workflow applications. This latest version processes XPS (XML Paper Specification) files natively in addition to native PDF and PostScript. Additionally, it offers faster processing speeds than its predecessors and a new feature that speeds up variable-data PDF file processing.

The Harlequin PLUS Server RIP was released to Global Graphics' OEMs in September 2007. Native processing of XPS files (available with Windows Vista) renders files more accurately and speedily because there is no conversion to an intermediary format.

The new RIP also introduces support for PDF 1.7 and the PDF/X-4 standard, as well as JDF 1.3. There is support for the HD Photo format, a new file format for continuous-tone still images engineered to surpass the limitations of existing image formats with superior compression capabilities and extended dynamic range. It also supports for Pantone Goe, and platform support has been extended to include Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).

See www.globalgraphics.com.
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Even novices can be color eperts

Alwan Color Expertise (Brussels) will launch Version v2.0, an Adobe Photoshop plug-in that enables users to apply ICC DeviceLink Profiles within Photoshop. It enables users to calculate individual inks and total ink consumption per image. The Alwan Color Processor ia based on open ICC standards and comes with a predefined set of Device and DeviceLink profiles.

CMYK Optimizer 3.5 software offers benefits such as problem-free printing, and dynamic analysis and calculation of optimal total area coverage of ink. Prepress reportedly is the first preflight standardization and optimization software for color separation files; Press is suited to small- to midsize printers; ECO is for large offset and gravure printers. Dynamic Black generation said to deliver substantial ink, paper, and energy waste savings.

See www.alwanco.com.
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