CIP3--Integrating Operations, Maximizing Productivity
"This is the first true implementation of the CIP3 standard in a CTP production workflow," Schmidt-Liermann contends. "Working together with Agfa is an important first step to achieving a solid connection between prepress operations and the press."
At the same time, MAN Roland's CIP3 architecture is open to other CTP vendors currently complying with CIP3's Print Production Format (PPF). For MAN Roland, open collaboration is the beauty and strength of the CIP3 initiative, as Kevin Oakes, manager of digital press systems at MAN Roland, explains.
"Our presses are technology driven," says Oakes, a 20-year veteran of the graphic arts industry and former Agfa employee, who joined MAN Roland specifically to target CIP3. "We are an open architecture press manufacturer, always looking to enhance the quality and production performance of our presses. CIP3 is progressive—it's the openness of the technology that puts CIP3 on the tip of every digitally minded printer's lips today."
MAN Roland was so committed to CIP3 that it created Oakes' position one year ago, giving Oakes the opportunity to develop digital directions for MAN Roland's family of presses. Reporting directly to Schmidt-Liermann, Oakes works with the German pressmaker's sales force to bring them up to speed on new prepress technologies, products and digital trends. Oakes also interacts with customers in the field to examine current workflows and existing equipment to determine the viability of CTP implementation.
"When Agfa's Galileo began shipping in the first quarter of this year, MAN Roland started offering it as a solution to customers considering CTP," Oakes reports. "We will also be able to help our customers integrate existing CTP systems into their MAN Roland press production workflows via the CIP3 interface."
Why this prepress enthusiasm?
"There does not exist any customer today that hasn't at least explored options in a CTP environment. And they all want to buy prepress systems, as well as presses, that are open and that can communicate with one another," Oakes explains.