CIP3--Automating the Connection
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."
To accommodate CIP3, Screen's TaigaSPACE can now output PPF standard preview image data, critical elements in PPF files. This lets users extend their digital prepress to press workflow and improve productivity by reducing the labor involved in printing press set-up.
Heidelberg's CPC32 prepress interface unit interprets Taiga-SPACE's preview data and provides area coverage values to Heidelberg's CPC1 directly or via the CPC51, which converts the data to ink settings.
Where's the benefit?
This system not only eliminates the need to scan plates before printing, but also provides automatic digital ink management for perfect, effortless ink keying.
Recently, Screen has been emphasizing more efficient, productive workflows with TaigaSPACE 4.1, an open-architecture system that allows for improved Scitex data incorporation, Windows 95 desktop support and intelligent communications software programs to access and distribute information.
Focusing on CIP3, TaigaSPACE can also be used with Komori presses, in addition to Heidelberg presses, thanks to a conversion algorithm developed by Screen.
"The technology itself will allow for many different features, depending on what's happening at the press," Screen's Mitchell explains.
"Eventually, the prepress will plug directly into the press—that is what is happening now with CIP3."