Agfa Leaves PrintCity; Group Promises 'Business as Usual'
MORTSEL, BELGIUM—Agfa announced it is leaving the PrintCity consortium. The company reports it has decided to take a new approach for demonstrating the benefits of connectivity to its customers because the group's charter objectives were fully met at Drupa 2004.
"We will demonstrate connectivity in our day-to-day business, not just in a consortium or at a trade show," explains Jan Van Daele, Agfa's vice president of imaging solutions.
"Open standards have become a given and we will continue to invest our efforts and resources in innovations, connectivity and profitability for our customers," adds Marc Schillemans, vice president of Graphic Systems sales and services.
Remaining PrintCity members have pledged it will be "business as usual" for the group in the wake of Agfa's departure. "Agfa's decision is no reflection on the success of PrintCity and we are pleased that Agfa has acknowledged the accomplishments of being part of PrintCity," says Rainer Kuhn, managing director of PrintCity. "We wish the company every future success and have not ruled out working together again."
PrintCity President John Dangelmaier adds, "We recognize that there is still much work to be done in the area of integration, which is not limited to JDF. We have lots of exciting news around the corner."
PrintCity is a strategic alliance of more than 40 graphic arts equipment and software vendors, with a combined turnover in excess of 30 billion Euros. The organization covers the three major market segments of publishing, commercial printing and packaging. (www.printcity.de)
Screen (USA) Trueflownet Conference a Success
ITASCA, IL—Screen (USA) recently held Trueflownet Conference 2004, an inaugural users event that attracted printing company executives, production managers and prepress professionals from across the country. The conference grew out of the Trueflow Users Group meetings that Screen initiated in 2000.
Highlights included presentations by three user sites, including Merit Printing, a Minneapolis-based commercial printer; Cummings Printing, a publication printer located in Hooksett, NH; and SetPoint Graphics, a Northbrook, IL-based prepress house. Spekta hybrid AM/FM screening was among the software products singled out for praise.
Also featured were seminars on JDF and Trueflownet implementation. Technical workflow segments explored the functionality of the Riteonline Web-based print ordering system, Riteportal for creating and delivering production-ready PDF files, and the Ritetransfer client/server communication system. (www.screenusa.com)
MILFORD, CT—To meet the growing need it sees in the market for short- to medium-run color printing, Spectrum Graphix has installed a four-color Ryobi 3404DI waterless digital offset press. (www.spectrumgraphix.com)
EDINA, MN—IPA, the Association of Graphic Solutions Providers, recently held its 39th annual IPA Technical Seminar. The event experienced an 18 percent increase in attendance, with some 300 participants. Workflow took center stage in the seminar presentations, which covered everything from color management and standards to content and digital asset management. Results of the second-annual IPA Color Proofing RoundUP were presented as a special feature. (www.ipa.org)
WILLISTON, VT—KBA North America has announced multiple sales of its 74 Karat digital offset press with coater. Blanks Printing and Imaging, a Dallas-based commercial sheetfed printer, installed the press to complement its 40˝ sheetfed presses, says Leron Blanks, president. "The press also is moving our business into waterless printing that enables us to provide plastic and lenticular printed items to our customers." Zooom Printing, a five-employee shop located in the historic Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond, VA, targets runs of 500 to 20,000 impressions with its new Karat. (www.karatpress.com)
MIAMI—St Ives Avanti, a division of St Ives U.S., is adopting the Kodak Polychrome Graphics Matchprint Virtual Proofing System as its monitor proofing solution. The company says it is currently using the proofing system—which combines customized CRT monitors and Web-based viewing tools—to more quickly view, review and approve proofs of scans in its retouching workflow. (www.kpgraphics.com)
DENVER—Quark Inc. has joined Networked Graphic Production (NGP) Partners, an initiative of printing industry vendors committed to delivering seamlessly integrated workflow solutions. NGP Partners-approved solutions are based on JDF and other open standards that enable plug-and-play integration of print and publishing systems. (www.ngppartners.org)
NEW YORK CITY—Toppan Printing Co. America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toppan Printing Co. Ltd., has installed a Xerox iGen3 digital production press to offer customers personalized digital printing for the first time. It has been offering other types of digital printing for almost four years, but expects to triple its digital printing volume over the next 12 months by offering customized print applications. (www.xerox.com)
ROSEMONT, NJ—Direct Group (DG) reports upgrading its direct mail facility with 16 IBM Infoprint 4100 high-speed, monochrome continuous forms printers. Increasing the resolution of its production printers to 600 dpi enables DG to offer high-quality, high-resolution type and graphics, says Ron Snyder, its chief technology officer. (www.ibm.com/printers)
ROCHESTER, NY—After serving as a beta test site, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has decided to purchase three Agfa Advantage DL violet CTP systems driven by the Arkitex NewsDrive front end and imaging Agfa N91v plates. The plant is serving as a field test site for the entire Gannett newspaper chain. (www.agfa.com)
WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN—Commercial Printing Services has installed a Heidelberg Prosetter 52 violet CTP system and HP DesignJet color proofing system. (www.heidelberg.com)
WAUCONDA, IL—Plastic Graphic has placed an order with ABDick for a Presstek Dimension 400 chemistry-free CTP system. The firm specializes in printing on all types of plastics. (www.abdick.com)
MINNEAPOLIS—Color Printing Specialists' adoption of CTP-based production has revolutionized its operation, reports Karen Walhof, president and owner. Enabling this change are a Screen (USA) PlateRite 41000 thermal CTP system and Trueflow job management system. (www.screenusa.com)