The Next Wave - Digital Directions
Commercial printers recognize that making the transition to CTP will let them deliver the quality and responsiveness that their customers are demanding.
"To date, more than 700 Creo and Heidelberg/Creo customers are already demonstrating that CTP and, in particular, thermal CTP, is a sound business investment that delivers superior quality, greater consistency and improved efficiency in even the most demanding commercial printing environments.
"Increased competition amongst hardware suppliers this year, particularly in platesetting (both thermal and visible light) and proofing, will give customers a broader choice of solutions and increasingly competitive pricing. We now see all the major plate vendors competing with production-ready CTP thermal plates—reducing another perceived barrier to CTP adoption. Already, Heidelberg and Creo have stepped up production to more than 50 output devices per month in response to increasing demand.
"In 1999, savvy commercial printers will continue to make the transition to digital contract color proofing. Once a roadblock to a fully digital CTP workflow, a wide variety of halftone and contone proofing options let printers in any specialty select the right answer for their particular needs. High resolution halftone proofers from a number of vendors, including Heidelberg and Creo, offer intuitively appealing proofs that meet the real expectations of print buyers today.
What is Creo's PDF stance?
"PDF is poised to emerge this year as the industry's dominant file interchange format, with customers already finding ways to use PDF to improve their workflow and facilitate document distribution. As the industry moves toward this new standard, customers are implementing a variety of innovative workflow solutions that combine digital front-end components from multiple vendors with high quality output."
William DeMarco, worldwide product manager, digital halftone proofing, at Kodak Polychrome Graphics, on digital color proofing's need for DFEs compatible with multiple RIPs.
"In 1999, customers will increasingly require the use of open front-end architecture. Customers want to use a common proofing system across many environments in the industry; therefore, they need an open front-end specification to ensure electronic interface capability.