Putting PDF into Production
Another example of PDF in action is seen at Portland, OR-based Premier Press, a full-service commercial printing operation that uses PDF to streamline its prepress production by 50 percent. In 1998, the management of Premier Press decided to convert the company's prepress area, bit by bit, to a PDF-based CTP prepress department. The executives at Premier Press wanted more streamlined prepress workflow operations, with quantifiable time savings and increased efficiencies throughout its prepress department.
The managers wanted Premier Press to fully utilize a PDF workflow, working in tandem with a digital platesetter, to effectively execute a fully integrated PDF-based prepress environment, capable of empowering Premier Press to deliver the most accurate and controllable print results in the shortest amount of time.
The technology employed: The Agfa Apogee PDF-based workflow and an Agfa Galileo digital platesetter. Today, PDF accounts for more than 90 percent of all prepress work at Premier Press and, as Pat McIntyre, electronic prepress specialist, reports, PDF has allowed Premier's prepress department to boost productivity, cut production costs, achieve greater accuracy and respond to customer production demands faster.
"We receive files in every format and condition imaginable," McIntyre states. "File preparation continues to consume most of our prepress operator's time on any given job, but this capability is part of the value that Premier adds. Once we convert the file to PDF, Apogee creates an extremely reliable workflow that stretches all the way to our presses."
For Premier Press, Apogee PrintDrive is an important element of the prepress workflow. With Apogee, the traditional RIP function is split into interpreting and rasterizing. By saving rasterization until the final step, Apogee enables late-stage edits without the extensive rework normally associated with a PostScript workflow.
Apogee and a PDF-based environment allow Premier Press to operate more efficiently, resulting in faster turnaround times and better calculated proofs. "Since Apogee is a comprehensive PDF solution, our operators simply get more done in less time. PDF saves us a lot of headaches," McIntyre reports.