The Next Wave - Digital Directions
"The electronic job ticket will increase in use for two primary reasons: just-in-time production and computer sophistication of printers and suppliers. To meet today's timelines, jobs must be started before specifications are known. With shorter production cycles, change orders must be communicated instantly.
"Simultaneously, technology in the plant has expanded, offering the entire operation networking and PCs to easily access a virtual job ticket. Vendors like Logic have added to the benefit of this new technology by fully integrating the electronic job ticket to the order entry and production process—in real time.
"Our product allows current job status, material availability and shipments—updated remotely—to appear instantly on the ticket, with notification by e-mail to all affected parties. Standardization efforts like CIP3 will offer further value to printers using electronic job tickets, expanding MIS database integration to computerized imaging systems."
Robert C. Ross, president of XANTÉ, on trends in the two-up imagesetter market, with electrophotography gaining momentum.
"In the two-up imagesetter market, electrophotography (laser) is going to put major pressure on the traditional imagesetter. It is impossible for traditional two-up imagesetters to compete with the cost, environmental benefits and speed of electrophotography. Electrophotography is now at 2,400 dpi and could reach twice that in years to come.
"In the four-up and larger markets, the platesetters will have a major impact. They are cleaner and faster. It's just a matter of when they take over—not will they? Costs of this equipment are coming down rapidly and will continue to do so. Now is not the time to stop selling imagesetters, but certainly the imagesetter market will decline with each passing year."
Ralph Lloyd, chief product specialist, Harlequin Digital Printing and Publishing Group, on multilingual RIPs.
"At IPEX 98, Harlequin and its OEMs demonstrated the first adaptive process control environment. This unique approach to graphics production features a new breed of modular, highly efficient and multilingual RIPs that can be dynamically reconfigured.