CIP3–Digitizing Prepress, Delivering Promise

“CIP3 is part of a strategy—the deliverance of the fully automated print plant,” reports Agfa’s Rick Littrell, senior product line manager for CTP output systems worldwide.

“CIP3 is bigger than a digital platesetter, it’s bigger than the box. It provides the method to allow the automation of the entire printing operation from customer service to the loading dock,” he says. “CIP3 is an enormous chunk of technology designed to connect prepress, press, postpress and virtually every other aspect of a print job’s life cycle.”

No wonder Agfa is excited.

Still, virtually one year ago Agfa, while vehemently supportive of the CIP3 consortium, was less motivated to report its own CIP3 activities. The focus at Agfa then was on a multitude of prepress product launches.

Today, two key factors are in place: Agfa’s digital platesetter, Galileo, and the newly touted Apogee PrintDrive output manager. Both are trumpeted by Agfa to be technological champions of CIP3.

Paul Adriaensen, product manager for RIP development for Agfa’s Imaging Processing Group, and Donna Bloomquist, product manager for PrintDrive, are quick to report Agfa’s CIP3 activities. Adriaensen, based in Belgium, sits on the CIP3 board on behalf of Agfa. Both executives report an upsurge in requests and general inquiries from commercial printing clients seeking information on how to implement CIP3 technology.

“Due to the increased interest in CIP3, we have been receiving many questions from our subsidiaries as well as our customer base,” Adriaensen says. “In the CIP3 booth at IMPRINTA last year, it was clear that the technology was ready to take off. Several vendors showed products that were CIP3 compatible, although very few installations could be found at that time.”

At PRINT 97, Agfa showed the implementation of technology for CIP3 ink key settings in conjunction with MAN Roland. “Press vendors are indeed the most interested consumers of the CIP3 information,” Adriaensen notes.

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