The efficiency of the Apogee system is gained by the use of job tickets to control the workflow, and the reliability and production capabilities of the PDF format. After submission to the system, all files are translated to PDF using the Adobe Extreme PDF generator and a job ticket is created to track progress and define production characteristics.
The resulting job—in PDF—can be used throughout production as the digital master of the customer's intent, with all fonts and graphics embedded. Once files are ready for printing, they are sent to an Agfa Avantra 44 imagesetter or an Agfa Galileo digital platesetter.
For these devices, a PostScript stream is created for the Apogee Taipan AX RIP. The RIP takes advantage of Adobe PostScript 3 features, such as 16-bit screening and smooth shading, to improve print quality and to achieve softer blends of shading across documents. The Apogee Taipan AX RIP also uses Adobe In-RIP trapping technology to simplify and enhance the printing of composite PostScript 3 and PDF files.
For the proofing stage, Johnson Printing's prepress personnel are familiar with analog proofs from film (and feel comfortable using them to see how plates will look), therefore, the digital workflow using Extreme and Acrobat has to generate electronic proofs that are equally reliable—otherwise it will fail, emphasizes Johnson Printing's prepress manager, Chris Dyson.
"PDF is the only format offering compact, universal files that can be delivered exactly as intended across any computing platform. All that's needed for viewing is Adobe Acrobat Reader," Dyson states. "With the Apogee system and Extreme, we avoid costly mistakes and can respond to customer needs faster because changes are possible at any point prior to printing. The device- and page-independent PDF files are also easier to manage and more reliable than multiple, native files."
With PDF in place, Johnson Printing is now streamlined, with a complete, all-digital workflow based on PDF as its centerpiece—allowing Johnson to respond to the varied demands of customers who want to distribute materials on the Internet, as well as print. Using PDF files from the Apogee system, Johnson Printing can offer customers files that can be placed directly on the Internet.