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CIP3?The Task of Automating Print

February 1998

Todd Wellman, electronic prepress manager at Scholin Brothers, reports the company is highly enthusiastic about supporting a full CIP3 workflow; eventually, the operation will digitize cutting and folding functions.

With InkPRO, Scholin Brothers is off to a good start.

"The ink estimation is particularly impressive, as we can now predict overall ink use, down to the exact pound," Wellman explains. "We have already seen a decrease in makeready and job turnaround times, which is directly attributable to the Scitex InkPRO module."

Still, Wellman admits that implementing CIP3 into Scholin Brothers' workflow has brought a share of pitfalls and challenges, some of which involve the one component that all the digital technology in the world cannot always accurately predict.

The human factor.

"The implementation is the toughest part of CIP3—it's been tougher than we thought it would be," Wellman says. "With CIP3, you're automating a pressroom—which hasn't been radically touched for 20-plus years—so you need to introduce new ways of thinking into your workflow."

For Scholin Brothers, CIP3 seemed the first, most logical step toward computer-to-plate.

The $13 million printer didn't want to jump into an expensive CTP situation before getting up to speed with a digital workflow, making possible a future move into another, more digital domain.

Familiar with Scitex output equipment, Scholin Brothers was eager to be a CIP3 beta facility for the technology manufacturer. "The move to CTP is being made due, in part, to our move to a CIP3 workflow," Wellman states. "Before you go out and purchase all the equipment, all the updates, it makes sense to prepare the workflow."

What's in store at Scholin?

"Our goal is to be computer-to-plate by the year 2000, and to plan for all our digital workflows before we purchase a single CTP device," Wellman offers.

"We are conservative in our approach to CTP and CIP3—we're willing to wait and do it right, while remaining on the cutting edge of technology and making money at the same time."

Smart business? Scholin is counting on it—and the potential of CIP3 to deliver digital workflows.

— Marie Ranoia Alonso

Focus: Scitex inkPRO Module

  • A few mouse clicks set ink keys on-screen, enabling creation of the ink management file in just a few minutes.

  • Scitex InkPRO software analyzes the RIPed files, automatically calculating all the information required to set the ink keys. These settings are sent directly to the press, eliminating the need for large, costly and time-consuming plate scanners.

  • Running on the Scitex Brisque DFE or other Scitex front ends, Scitex InkPRO ink management software interfaces via a Macintosh computer with most computer-controlled press consoles, such as Heidelberg's and KBA's. An interface with Komori presses is in beta testing. Interfaces for presses from MAN Roland, Mitsubishi and other manufacturers are also being tested.

  • InkPRO bases its calculations on raw data from the same RIP used for rastering the PostScript files, enabling a first-generation digital file to be used for imaging.

  • With ink key information set before film or plates are exposed, makeready and turnaround times are reduced even further.

 

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