After outlining the current state of the industry and reviewing its activities to date, representatives from the PrintCity alliance reported that the group plans to erect a "Common Production Centre" that will cover 40 percent of Hall 6 at Drupa. It will feature live production of more than 40 print jobs via integrated workflows incorporating networking and MIS, color management, prepress, printing and finishing solutions from its 56 member companies.
PrintCity will continue its leadership role in JDF integration by presenting an end-to-end implementation that uses the full range of JDF capabilities to realize job tracking and statistical analysis on live production equipment. The stated goal is to show tangible benefits of JDF—error reduction from not having to rekey information, time savings from increased automation and greater transparency through live job tracking.
The bulk of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' (MHI) Drupa stand will not feature digital solutions per se, but it does plan to include a dedicated "Digital Zone" to showcase its workflow solutions. One of the highlights will be its MAX-net product that implements JDF to provide MIS and prepress interface capabilities.
The "Future Technology Zone" will feature a demonstration of MHI's Reusable Plate System (RPS), which uses a spray-on polymer coating and removable sleeves that are prepared in an off-line operation. (Again, see the "Color Copier & Digital Press" story in this issue for more information on this technology.) Also on display in this area will be the Diamond 16 Max-V variable-cutoff web press that supports cutoff sizes from 546mm to 625mm.
QuadTech Inc. sees the future in what it terms the "lights out" pressroom automation concept. One component is Data Central software specifically designed for commercial web offset and newspaper printers. It reportedly reduces makeready time, waste and errors by automating setup through the implementation of JDF and integration with the company's ICON platform of press controls. Data Central also provides browser-based job reporting functions.
- Albrecht Bolza-Sch