Investigating Integrated Imposition
"As PDF becomes the standard mechanism to deliver documents for print production, commercial printers will need to integrate PDF support into their production workflows," Imation's Reiher reports. "We've designed the PressWise 3.0 application to be advanced in its support for new technologies like PDF and the forthcoming PostScript 3 language, while maintaining the simplicity of PressWise software so that customers still using conventional prepress techniques can migrate to digital methods easily."
ScenicSoft, too, is bolstering its imposition software with PDF power. Preps 3.5 now provides full support for imposition of a PDF document, allowing users to take advantage of the benefits provided by the new all-digital workflows that utilize PDF documents as their source format.
Preps also supports the mixing and matching of both PostScript and PDF documents to facilitate workflow in more complex environments where multiple formats are common. Also, QuarkXPress 4.0-, 4.01- and 4.02-generated documents are beginning to appear in shops and will eventually become more common. ScenicSoft has responded and includes support for imposition files from these new versions of the popular application with its Preps 3.5.
Server Suite is the latest imposition tool from Ultimate Technographics. The suite of Mac and Windows NT products, including UltimateFlow OPI, Trapeze and Impostrip, provides the ability to integrate a mixed hardware/software environment without compatibility issues.
Ultimate also just released IMPress 2.5 for the four-up imagesetter and platesetter market. IMPress has the full functionality of Impostrip, but was created independently with a simplified and user-friendly interface. IMPress supports an automated Hot Folder workflow, with more than 150 application filters, including a PDF workflow.
"The future of a profitable, all-digital CTP workflow is a simple one, two, three approach—combine isolated prepress tasks, simplify the operator interface and automate the process," states Mark Scott, director of marketing at Ultimate Technographics.
Speaking of full automation, on the bundled workflow side of imposition, prepress providers including Agfa Div., Bayer Corp., BARCO Graphics, Heidelberg Prepress, Krause America, Scitex, Screen and others continue to provide imposition tools within comprehensive workflow packages.