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CIP3--Creating the Print Link to Digital Profit

October 1998

Make sure to visit the CIP3 Web site at to get up-to-the-minute reports on the international consortium's activities regarding the Print Production Format, now beyond version 3.0, which allows for control of postpress operations.

Fast Facts:

One of the major goals of the CIP3 effort is to allow all ink zone settings on the press to be controlled by digital data available at the front-end. The primary goal of CIP3's Print Production Format (PPF) is to reduce the effort required to set up different devices during the production process.

In Creo's CIP3 offering—PrintLink—ink coverage information is computed as a plate is being imaged in the Trendsetter or platesetter. The data, and other press setup information, are stored in a file that is delivered via the network to a press interface.

SQUAREspot thermal imaging technology uses precisely formed square spots to create consistent, repeatable, halftone dots. Creo contends that the square shape means that, unlike spots generated by conventional and other thermal imaging systems, its spots can be precisely knit together to form any shape of final halftone dot.

The Power of Cooperation

Dave Brown, vice president at Creo, believes CIP3 is a great example of the power of cooperation between vendors. Here's why...

While the standard may evolve over time, it has already allowed a number of press manufacturers, prepress vendors and ink control system suppliers to establish a common link to deliver this capability to customers.

This is significant. Without a common standard, today we would have only a few islands of automation.

Vendors supporting one-to-one links between press and prepress would be faced with expensive development and support for each combination. Some combinations might never be supported.

Now we can see the advent of systems that let printers connect almost any press—and gain the significant benefit of a fully digital manufacturing process.

All thanks to cooperation.

Companies Mentioned:


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