CIP3--Time to Celebrate?
Kevin Oakes, director of business development at MAN Roland, reports that his company's continuing support of CIP3 is stronger than ever. MAN Roland believes that the international open-architecture standards generated by CIP3 will provide the industry with a highly integrated workflow solution.
"Customers, many of whom are very CIP3 knowledgeable, see the advantages of CIP3 today in our House of Excellence," Oakes states. "At that facility (in Westmont, IL), we demonstrate how data can flow seamlessly through prepress operations to platesetting and, simultaneously, to fiber optic-based Roland 300, 700, and 900 presses."
John Fowler, PrintLink product manager at Creo, is quick to comment on the strength of CIP3 and why printers will need to embrace it. "CIP3 is an example of where the industry is moving; it's the best example of digital workflow reaching from prepress into the pressroom," he states. "In order to be fully competitive in the next century, printers will have to build completely integrated manufacturing processes for printed material."
CIP3 is an initiative of cooperation, not merely a file specification," Fowler is fast to emphasize. "The format and mechanism by which information is exchanged among prepress, press and postpress system vendors will evolve, and CIP3 will provide the forum by which that evolution is managed," he projects.
To date, Creo's efforts have focussed on providing digital ink key preset capabilities to all printers. PrintLink produces a CIP3-compliant PPF file defining the ink coverage and print form geometry of each plate imaged by a Creo Trendsetter or automatic platesetter. To complement PrintLink, Creo has a comprehensive press interface partner program.
Future Creo and CIP3 initiatives will automate the setup of press delivery and closed-loop control systems, as well as configuring automated finishing equipment, with a continued focus on automation that delivers the greatest payback to printers.