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CIP3--Automating the Connection

March 1998
The third installment of Printing Impressions' year-long examination of CIP3 puts the spotlight on Screen (USA) and the relationship between Taiga SPACE and CIP3's PPF, and examines the CIP3 perspective of one very satisfied Screen technology user.

Ask George Fiel what is so significant about CIP3, and, after arching his eyebrows slightly and looking you squarely in the eye—as if to pose the question: "What planet have you been living on?"—he will give you an answer that is insightful, if not virtually celebratory in nature.

So, George, what do you think of CIP3? Go ahead, let us have it.

"CIP3 will be universally adopted—it is, without question, the most significant initiative to both enable and empower a complete digital workflow," Fiel says from his Menomonee Falls, WI, office at Image Systems. "You need to have the total, digital integration that CIP3 can deliver. I strongly support CIP3, and I think most smart commercial printers feel the same."

It seems more and more do.

At Image Systems, Screen is the prepress technology in place for CIP3. Screen allows for a CIP3 option for the Taiga-SPACE workflow, which, in turn, allows Fiel's facility to preview image data for ink settings.

A direct-to-plate operation prepared to make the move into direct-to-press and, eventually, direct-to-cylinder, Image Systems has fully integrated CIP3 into its workflow through technologies provided by Screen, Heidelberg and an array of cutting and folding vendors.

Fiel wants the company to run seamlessly—a digital domain from prepress to the bindery.

"CIP3 integration will be a part of the direct digital flow of information throughout a production environment," Fiel reveals. "It's a natural evolution of the print production process. It simply makes good sense."

CIP3 Today
To date, Image Systems reports it is satisfied with integration of Screen and Heidelberg CIP3 technologies, namely TaigaSPACE workstations now functioning as components in the Heidelberg workflow.

From the vantage point of Screen (USA)—Dainippon Screen was an early member of the international consortium, formed with Heidelberg acting as its father—the CIP3 Print Production Format (PPF) is maturing nicely in an industry anxiously awaiting its refinement.

"Now, we are in a position in technology where prepress has been completely automated, reacting very much like CIM," reports David Mitchell, vice president of sales and marketing at Screen (USA).

"If a printer wants to have a complete digital system to remove errors from the workflow, from design to the bindery, the only way is through advanced automation," the digitally minded Mitchell continues. "You have to take the human element out, and through digital innovation that is what CIP3 is doing."


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