But more important, it produces "a very, very accurate proof. The color match is just dead on," Brown says. "With digital, you're always doing guesswork in color corrections. With the Approval system, we've found we have the reliability of a good prepress proof. We're going straight to press with it."
Actually, the company invested in direct digital color proofing both to proof its digital photography (which accounts for 30 percent of DDCP output) and to proof digitally composed pages (which accounts for the other 70 percent). Being able to proof directly from digital layouts is of growing importance, as more and more of Kreber's prepress customers are using direct-to-plate technology.
Another high-tech area is Kreber's database management solution for customers, known as the SmartSeries. SmartSeries was designed from the ground up as a central content management system for Kreber customers. It gives customers easy access to all their photography, logos and other graphics in all the file formats they need.
"Clients call in to our server, pull their images down and use them for any type of project," says Smith. "Most clients who have bought our SmartSeries are set up so that their data from our server can be replicated in their own server, and vice versa, for disaster protection."
Of course, data is just the beginning of the process. The prepress operation may just be a small piece of the Kreber puzzle, but in most towns, it would rank as the giant of the industry.
The department runs exclusively on Macintosh computers—150 of them—supporting a prepress staff of 185 between both the North Carolina and Ohio plants. The prepress operation runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Work shuttles seamlessly between the High Point and Columbus offices, depending on which is busier. Each facility operates two DS 747 scanners from Screen (USA).