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CIP3--Time to Celebrate?

December 1998

CIP3 is an initiative of cooperation, not merely a file specification," Fowler is fast to emphasize. "The format and mechanism by which information is exchanged among prepress, press and postpress system vendors will evolve, and CIP3 will provide the forum by which that evolution is managed," he projects.

To date, Creo's efforts have focussed on providing digital ink key preset capabilities to all printers. PrintLink produces a CIP3-compliant PPF file defining the ink coverage and print form geometry of each plate imaged by a Creo Trendsetter or automatic platesetter. To complement PrintLink, Creo has a comprehensive press interface partner program.

Future Creo and CIP3 initiatives will automate the setup of press delivery and closed-loop control systems, as well as configuring automated finishing equipment, with a continued focus on automation that delivers the greatest payback to printers.

At the Agfa camp, CIP3 activities are embodied within the architecture of Agfa's Apogee PDF-based workflow production system. Apogee PrintDrive, a multi-page buffer for more than one RIP, is one of Agfa's latest RIP offerings and, to date, an innovative facilitator for CIP3.

"CIP3 files found on the market today are most often geared only to ink profiles; however, some applications in the postpress area are already available," reports Agfa's Donna Bloomquist, worldwide product line manager, Electronic Prepress Systems. "As more products and systems become CIP3 compliant, this revolutionary development will produce significant cost reductions and productivity enhancements for the industry as a whole—completely compatible digital information will streamline the entire production chain."

As CIP3 continues to deliver on its promise, as CIP3's PPF moves closer to Adobe's PDF, and as the press and postpress segments grow digitally stronger, Printing Impressions will continue to report on the technologies of CIP3. And, if companies the likes of Hagen continue to join CIP3 to fully automated the print production cycle, 1999 may be a happy new year, indeed.

As with all sagas, stay tuned.

Heidelberg's CIP3 Force

Do you know Ernst Bischoff? As director of electronic products for Heidelberg USA, Bischoff, perhaps more so than any other Heidelberg representative based in the United States, can best explain Heidelberg's intense interest in CIP3's initiative to make the digital linking of prepress, press and postpress stages possible.

Recently, Printing Impressions spoke with Heidelberg's CIP3 man, most recently photographed clutching a 1998 InterTech Award given to Heidelberg at the GATF Fall Technology Conference. The award recognizes Heidelberg's new CPC 32 prepress interface.

Bischoff proudly reports Heidelberg brought the first CIP3-compliant system to market: its CPC 32 prepress interface. It automatically presets a press' ink zones directly from prepress data. That shortens makeready, reduces paper waste and improves printing consistency, resulting in higher efficiency for the printer.

At present, Heidelberg has 65 printing facilities equipped with CPC 32, according to Bischoff. "CIP3 may have been a long time in coming, but now that it has arrived we'll be seeing many more devices utilize the standard to make printing a more viable medium," Bischoff projects. "Now is the time for CIP3."


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