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CIP3--Time to Celebrate?

December 1998

As 1998 moves to a close, CIP3 moves closer to its mission: full digital integration of prepress to postpress production. Will it really fly? It's already soaring.

AS 1998 posts its final days, the major technology players motivating the adoption of CIP3's Print Production Format (PPF) are forecasting that the international effort to digitize the print process from prepress to postpress stages is in store for a happy new year.

The workflow vision of technology providers the likes of PDF's parent, Adobe, and imposition software developer Ultimate Technographics; prepress providers including Agfa, BARCO Graphics, Creo, Fujifilm, Scitex and Screen; hard iron gods including German pressmaker and CIP3's founding father, Heidelberg, to Komori and MAN Roland; plus postpress power the likes of Polar and Wohlenberg are giving CIP3 power as the effort embraces 1999.

Most recently, Hagen Systems announced that it joined the CIP3 consortium—the International Cooperation for the Integration of Prepress, Press and Postpress. Bringing computerized management solutions to CIP3, Hagen Systems expects to contribute to the PPF file format in a number of ways, including allowing information contained in Hagen OA's estimating, order entry, scheduling and client files to provide the basis for creating the initial PPF file for use in the early stages of print production. Hagen also reports it will be working with the consortium to create a standard CIP3 data transfer process.

What next?

With 1999 in sight, Printing Impressions recently spoke with several members of the CIP3 consortium. The objective? Get a handle on CIP3's status and projections for the coming year.

"CIP3 is here to stay. It's already used in day-to-day production to automate data transfer from prepress to the press. It must now be made a reality for postpress and MIS interactions as well," reports Martin Bailey, a key member of the Design & Development group at Harlequin.

Kevin Oakes, director of business development at MAN Roland, reports that his company's continuing support of CIP3 is stronger than ever. MAN Roland believes that the international open-architecture standards generated by CIP3 will provide the industry with a highly integrated workflow solution.

"Customers, many of whom are very CIP3 knowledgeable, see the advantages of CIP3 today in our House of Excellence," Oakes states. "At that facility (in Westmont, IL), we demonstrate how data can flow seamlessly through prepress operations to platesetting and, simultaneously, to fiber optic-based Roland 300, 700, and 900 presses."

John Fowler, PrintLink product manager at Creo, is quick to comment on the strength of CIP3 and why printers will need to embrace it. "CIP3 is an example of where the industry is moving; it's the best example of digital workflow reaching from prepress into the pressroom," he states. "In order to be fully competitive in the next century, printers will have to build completely integrated manufacturing processes for printed material."


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