PRINT 05 PREPRESS WORKFLOW & CTP -- Streamlining the Prepress Process
The Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG) released Version 3 of its specifications for best practices in delivering print-ready PDF files, which incorporate suggestions from field testing and address the new versions of Adobe Creative Suite and Acrobat. The group has also released new 2005 specifications for packaging, ICC color-managed workflows (in PDF/X-3 workflows), and Job Tickets for advertisement and page-based workflows. All of the specifications are available for free at the organization's new Web address: www.gwg.org.
In-depth coverage of new workflow solutions will be included in the November issue of Printing Impressions. PRINT 05 brought the rise of what may be a new class of workflow middleware that sits between the print customer and the printer's production workflow system. Examples include Markzware's FlightCheck Workflow v2.0, Gradual Software's CaslonFlow and Enfocus PitStop Automate, all geared to automating initial processing of PDF files.
Another major trend was growth in the number of interfaces between workflow solutions and MIS applications. Also, hybrid/ enhanced screening solutions were on display in most all workflow vendor booths, but they are becoming more of a check-list item than a unique selling proposition for one system over another.
A final development worth noting was the announcement of an agreement that transfers ownership of all packaging related activities of Esko-Graphics to Axcel, a Danish private equity company. The Scope workflow system is among the assets transferred, but will continue to be offered as a solution for commercial printing environments.
Kirkbi A/S retained ownership of the Esko-Graphics small-format offset activities and says it is actively looking for an industry partner to further develop this business, in cooperation with the current OEM and distribution partners.