Axel Zoeller--Taking Giant Steps
"Our advantage is that we can serve many different customers, from low- to mid-range Windows NT-based environments up to enterprise-wide solutions, with tight integration into prepress workflows, including digital proofing, imposition and CIP3 generation."
PI: The launch of the Tango drum scanner was quite successful for Heidelberg in 1997. In 1998, your company continued to release scanners that were well-received, such as the Quickstep, Topaz iX and the Tango XL. What does Heidelberg have planned for the scanning market for the next year or so?
Zoeller: "With the Topaz flatbed technology, we provided significant improvements that have proven sufficient for many applications. But in spite of the progress that flatbeds have made, drum scanning remains and will remain the superior technology, and I think the market realizes that. If customers want the best quality scanned image, without compromise, then they have to opt for the drum.
"Heidelberg has expanded its position in the market for mid- to high-end flatbed and drum scanners through innovations in both hardware and software, and will continue to do so in the future. Copydot functionality on flatbed and drum scanners will also play a more important role in the future because, as CTP systems are implemented, the need for fully digital workflows will drive the acceptance of copydot scanning."
Color management continues to be a thorn in the side of some printers and prepress houses. Is ICC-based color management viable today? If not, what needs to happen for it to become truly functional?
Zoeller: "Color management has proven itself. The technology is available now, and its acceptance is growing as more and more people come to understand the benefits.
"The issue today is not so much the technology as it is the implementation and training. Heidelberg understands the requirements of color management throughout the digital workflow, which has also been proven by the fact that both Apple and Microsoft have implemented Heidelberg's color technology into their operating systems.