Revving Up for the Big Show

Kodak’s Prosper 5000XL color inkjet web press with Image Optimizer Station.

Xeikon 8800 digital press.

The vibe of drupa starts long before the gates open at Messe Düsseldorf. During the winter of a drupa year vendors, PR companies and drupa organizers host events to announce or drop large hints about the products and technologies that will be rolled out in May. Duomedia, the Belgian PR group, hosted its pre-drupa event March 6-7 in sunny Lisbon, Portugal, featuring announcements—and one compelling teaser—from Chili Publish, Enfocus, Esko, Kodak, Xeikon and X-Rite/Pantone.

Chili Publish, billing itself as “the hottest online document editor,” talked up Chili Publisher, a high-end document creation and editing tool that enables complex documents—magazines, all types of print ads, marketing collateral, technical documentation and much more—to be developed, refined and ultimately published by multiple users in different locations. Think of it as a collaborative, Web-based version of Word and Adobe InDesign that enables asset management, automates branding and enables integration of variable content.

While probably not a tool for the average print provider, it is one that big corporations and ad agencies could use together, with the resulting files—probably PDFs—winding up in the workflows of many print shops.

Automating the Workflow

Sharing the stage in Lisbon, Enfocus and Esko touted the strength of the two companies and the value they offer customers. Enfocus, best known for its popular PDF preflight tool Pitstop, will offer up Pitstop 11 Pro and Pitstop Server 11 at drupa 2012. Each features greater automation to make preflighting faster and more accurate by reflecting individual job requirements rather than requiring separate preflight profiles for every job.

Also from Enfocus is the latest version of Switch, the company’s powerful automation engine. Now, instead of choosing between three versions (Light, Full and Power), customers can use modules to customize Switch based on their needs.

Eight new modules (Configurator, Metadata, Database, Scripting, SwitchClient, Web Services, Performance and SwitchProxy) provide connectivity with prepress, databases and other applications. Customers can also use a Scripting module to develop specific integration needs.

Noel Ward is Managing Director of Brimstone Hill Associates, which specializes in marketing communications in the printing industry, including video production. He can be reached at 603-672-3635 or via email at noel@brimstonehill.com. His website is brimstonehill.com, and he has a YouTube channel.
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