DFE--On PDF Beta Duty
At LCP, prepress operators execute entire jobs, from file preparation to proofing. "They would check and gather the films after output, but, with the huge backlog at the filmsetter, many times our operators could not get their jobs out before a shift change," Funk recounts. "Now, there are many ways around this problem, but we decided we didn't want to get around it—we wanted to eliminate it."
The first phase for LCP was to adopt CTP. By 1998, LCP had made the decision to invest in Creo platesetting equipment.
"As we adopted our thermal output technology, transitioning our prepress department into CTP mode, file stability was probably the single most appealing feature—we wanted to be sure that our workflow would maximize PostScript 3 and PDF; that is why we explored the Prinergy workflow," Funk reports.
In May of this year, Prinergy entered the LCP workflow for beta tests. LCP was the fourth U.S. commercial printer to test Prinergy, entering Prinergy's beta process after Prinergy had already undergone several live-production upgrades.
During initial beta testing, when LCP had a downtime because of a piece of equipment being down or a piece of software being upgraded, it was able to recover much more quickly than ever before.
"Now, if we get backed up with a deluge of work—on a day when 40 jobs hit all at once and we are totally buried—where it used to take us two or three days to catch up, it now takes us a day to recover," Funk states.
Score one for LCP—now reaping the digital workflow benefits of brave beta testing. And, if LCP's visionary CEO Ralph Johnson has any say in it, Prinergy will be far from the last beta exercise for the operation. "To effectively compete and advance, we must take advantage of every new development in technology to enhance our efficiencies," states Johnson.