Sheetfed Presses--Getting Connected
Likewise, Shinohara is striving to help customers reduce the time lost during makeready or production due to errors in plate mounting or color variations while printing. One step toward that goal was accomplished shortly after DRUPA 1995, when Shinohara joined the CIP3 consortium, according to Leo F. Caproni III, general manager of Shinohara USA West. Ultimately, that led to the release of its CIP3 workstation and the SCCS (Shinohara Color Control Station).
The CIP3 workstation accepts PPF files via LAN from the customer's prepress department, converts the PPF file format into ink key settings and then sends the data to the ink fountains on each unit of the press. During the print run, the SCCS monitors the color density of each unit on the press and automatically makes adjustments to correct for any color variation that is caused by viscosity and ink temperature changes. The results are time savings during ink key makereadies and predictable color quality throughout the run, with minimal operator intervention.
Perfecting capabilities rank fairly high on printers' wish lists, and press manufacturers have taken notice. Akiyama Corp. of America recently came out with the J Print, which prints on both sides of the sheet in one pass without actually turning the sheet, according to Martin Petersen, marketing manager.
"This press is more cost-effective than many others, and it is more efficient for the printer's workflow," Petersen contends.
Computer-to-plate interfacing is another "hot button" discussion, adds John Santie, product manager for Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses (MLP U.S.A.). Santie reveals that there have been many requests from clients interested in interfacing CIP3 with their press, marrying the pair to bring ink key information to the press.
"More and more people are interested in what can be done from a CIP3 standpoint," Santie remarks. "We provide that with what we call an Intelligent Press Control system, which can accept any type of prepress platesetting system and bring that information over."