JDF To Be or Not to Be --Waldman
Note that Zusman mentions a few other companies that are also working hard on JDF. Adobe, with its PostScript, PDF and creation applications that will eventually bring JDF initiation to the customer, is a key player. Plus knowing Robin Tobin of Adobe as well as I do, I can almost hear her energetic affirmation as to the breadth of Adobe's commitment.
In fact, James Harvey, CIP4's executive director, believes that investment in JDF may be as high as $1 billion, an astounding figure for our industry. Call me an optimist, especially when I see the willingness to work together coupled with the dedication and enthusiasm generated by all of these top companies. Perhaps not exactly as imagined, but I am certain that JDF will dramatically affect our industry.
I have also heard that printers aren't really interested in JDF. So I wanted to get some comments from a long-time printer who was president of a division at one of the country's largest companies. His response: "What's JDF?" Funny, we so-called experts and industry insiders feel the hype is overpowering. Yet most printers know little to nothing about JDF. Recent surveys have shown that printers don't even have CIM on their radar screen.
It's All in the Wording
CIP4's Harvey feels that if you ask printers, "Have you or do you expect to implement CIM?" the answer is almost always "no." But if you ask the same group "Have you or do you expect to automate your production processes to improve throughput and improve efficiencies?" the answer is almost always "yes?"
In Harvey's opinion, "CIM brings images of robots tending press where it should bring to mind things like in-line and closed-loop color control, hot folder-driven prepress workflows, automated plate changing, automatic roll splicers, prepress-driven press presettings, automated bindery setup on stitching lines, and so on. But for most folks there's no connection there... yet those are all examples of CIM out on the shop floor today."