DIGITAL digest March 2005
At CIP4, Good Things Come In Threes
RESTON, VA—CIP4 (The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress) has gotten off to a fast start in the new year, with a deal to expand its scope, further testing and take on a new initiative.
The organization entered into an agreement with NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies that transfers the PrintTalk specification and schema to CIP4 for its long-term maintenance and distribution. PrintTalk is the specification for exchange of business data between print providers and their customers. It defines a "best practice" common and open communications interface between companies who buy printed products and their suppliers.
Under the terms of the agreement, CIP4 will distribute the PrintTalk schema and specification at no charge, and will ensure that PrintTalk is kept current with future versions of the JDF (Job Definition Format) specification. PrintTalk will cease to exist as a separate organization, and its members who are not already members of CIP4 will continue the term of their PrintTalk membership under CIP4 until their next renewal date, at which time they will be offered CIP4 membership.
"The PrintTalk standard is mature and the 'pairing' with JDF under CIP4 enhances the capabilities of both, as well as ensuring continued interoperability in the future," says William "Kip" Smythe, vice president of NPES and PrintTalk's president.
"JDF supports the life cycle of print information, and that life cycle begins with the customer's RFP and order," adds James Harvey executive director of CIP4. "Printers and JDF-enabled MIS systems that incorporate PrintTalk can preserve customer data from its origination, saving time in data entry and communication, while reducing communications errors."
As part of the organization's ongoing activities, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG recently hosted the seventh CIP4 Interoperability (IOP) conference at the Print Media Academy in Heidelberg, Germany. A total of 85 representatives from more than 30 international companies participated in the event.
According to CIP4, a key difference in this round of testing was the high level of detail involved when verifying the exchanged information. Participants also reached an agreement on enhancements for the next update, JDF version 1.3, which will extend functions for package printing and security when exchanging JDF data online.
Lastly, CIP4 is launching the first worldwide annual awards program designed to recognize innovation in print production. The "CIP4 International Print Production Innovation" (CIPPI) awards will recognize one printer, publisher or prepress service provider in each of three categories:
1.) Most innovative use of process automation technology in an implementation.
2.) Best cost/benefit realization as a result of process automation implementation.
3.) Biggest improvement in efficiency and customer responsiveness as a result of process automation.
Nominations may be submitted by the company or one of its supporting vendors on its behalf. In addition to complete case-study information, applicants for each category must also supply information unique to each award category. Application forms are to be submitted by April 30th of each year. (www.cip4.org)
Digital Matches Offset Quality
ROCHESTER, NY—Xerographic printing of color images is matching the quality of offset lithography for the first time, asserts Henry Freedman. The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) alumnus and publisher of the Technology Watch newsletter has teamed up with RIT's Printing Applications Laboratory and Xerox Corp. to do a print quality demonstration.
The test image was first printed via offset at RIT, then Xerox produced the identical image on a DocuColor 8000 digital printing system. Samples from each run will appear side by side in a future issue of the newsletter in order to enable readers to judge the process matching for themselves.
"We are at a major crossroads today where digital printing processes can substitute for traditional printing processes closer to production speeds of 80 pages a minute," Freedman says.
More of the Same in Digital Color
HANOVER, MA—In 2003, a total of 276 billion pages were printed on narrow-format ink-jet and color electrophotography (EP) printers, according to I.T. Strategies estimates. It should be noted, however, that not all pages (defined as 81⁄2x11˝ sheets) output by color printers are in color, the research firm says.
More than 50 percent of the 2003 pages were estimated to have been printed in color. By 2008, that percentage is forecast to be 62 percent (372 billion pages out of a total of 596 billion), a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent, I.T. Strategies says.
EP printers—including desktop color lasers, color copiers and digital presses—reportedly accounted for 81 percent of the 2003 page volume. The research firm expects the ratio of EP to ink-jet pages to be the same in 2008. (www.it-strategies.com)
YORK, PA—York Graphic Services (YGS) has acquired a Ryobi 3404X-DI digital offset press, which is said to be the second U.S. installation of the product. YGS handles concept to final production, including marketing, design, illustration, layout and printing services. (www.ygsc.com)
NORWALK, CT—Three more printers have recently installed digital offset presses from Kodak Polychrome Graphics (KPG). Chicago-based M&G Graphics (www.m-g-graphics.com)—a certified Women's Business Enterprise—installed a KPG DirectPress 5634 DI system because it couldn't meet customer demand for short-run color jobs on its two conventional offset six-color presses. Victor Printing (www.victorptg.com), a wholesale print manufacturer based in Sharon, PA, has added two KPG DirectPress 5034 DI presses to offer competitive pricing on short- to medium-run four color jobs. Gator Media Group in West Caldwell, NJ, (www.gatormediagroup.com) has purchased a KPG DirectPress 5034 DI so it no longer has to outsource short-run color work. (www.kpgraphics.com)
CHATTANOOGA, TN—Jones Printing has moved into digital production by installing a Xerox iGen3 digital press. The sheetfed printer with 46 employees is a member of the Nationwide Graphics Premier-Print organization and among the few commercial printers to be ISO 9001 certified. (www.jonesprinting.com/ www.xerox.com)
DENVER—Cottrell Printing has expanded its Trueflow workflow system from Screen (USA) by adding the Riteonline Web browser-based print ordering system. The company's 60 employees produce postcards, brochures, marketing materials and annual reports. (www.cottrellprinting.com/www.screenusa.com)
BOSTON—A new online design and print solutions company, UDesignWePrint.com, is targeting marketing managers of small- to medium-size companies, ad agencies, graphic designers, real estate companies and art galleries. It is an affiliate of JenMar Graphics, a prepress and printing company with offices in the New Jersey/New York area and Boston. (www.udesignweprint.com)
BALTIMORE—Direct Marketing service provider Vertis has purchased five Xeikon 5000 digital color presses from Xeikon America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Punch International. The company had been running six of Xeikon's previous generation print engines for several years. (www.vertisinc.com/www.xeikon.com)
CHICAGO—Studio One East, a full-service graphic arts studio, has implemented remote proofing by installing the SWOP-certified Kodak Polychrome Graphics Matchprint Virtual Proofing System-LCD. It also is running KPG's RealTimeProof Express server for streaming high-resolution files. (www.studio1east.com/www.kpgraphics.com)