How JDF Certification Gives Your Products a Competitive Advantage
Like a common language, wide-format digital printers need set standards to enable their devices to communicate with different parts of the workflow efficiently. When different products operate on the same standard “language,” printers can easily purchase new equipment that will integrate with their existing workflow and connect with one another. Using JDF technology, they achieve standardized interoperability and break free of the data exchange issues and loss of time and revenue caused by competing systems.
Through Printing Industries of America, you can take advantage of a new CIP4 JDF Product Certification Program for wide-format devices to complement the existing certifications. This new certification is based on the Digital Print Workflow Interoperability Conformance Specification (DPW ICS) 1.4a. Why is this important to the growing wide-format market? For starters, a JDF Certification provides a competitive selling point to attract new customers and extend services for new clients. For a limited time, members can participate in a beta test of DPW ICSat a special reduced fee.*
Here, Dr. Mark Bohan, Vice President, Technology and Research, Printing Industries of America, and CIP4’s Education & Marketing Officer, shares some of his thoughts on JDF Certification for both the seller and the consumer. Discover facts that will increase consumer confidence in purchasing JDF-Certified products and the unique profitable advantages for sellers.
Q: What does “JDF-Certified” mean?
Mark Bohan: If a product is “JDF-Certified,” it means that it writes and reads JDF and JMF as established in one of many “Interoperability Conformance Specifications” (ICS) documents published by CIP4. The “ICS” documents establish the basic requirements for systems that produce and consume JDF within different workflow options. Certification means that a product has proven that it meets these requirements for basic interoperability, the level of the certification relating to the amount of JDF and JMF information that the systems will handle.
Q: Who certifies that my products are JDF compliant?
MB: Printing Industries of America provides world-wide JDF certification testing for CIP4. Registration for the certification is carried out through the CIP4 website, www.cip4.org. The program was developed in collaboration with CIP4 and their members to provide a method to ensure that the basic interoperability was available. We have seen great strides over the years with the results for the certifications and level of JDF implemented by the different manufacturers. On a personal note, it has been great to see the development of the program and the success that it has had in helping workflow implementations, as this was one of the reasons that I joined Printing Industries of America to head up this program.
Q: How will my customers know that my product is JDF-Certified?
MB: We issue products certified by Printing Industries of America a JDF-Certified logo with a unique certification number. You can look up the details of that product’s certification history with that unique number at the JDF Product Certification list on the CIP4 site. This will outline the product and also the certification details, including the JDF version, level, and if there were any gray box expansions it received.
Q: Does JDF Certification guarantee to my customer that a product is interoperable?
MB: JDF Certification does guarantee a basic level of interoperability, but optional and advanced feature support for JDF may be supported by some products and not others. Hence, when integrating two JDF systems, customers will still need some setup and testing, but the two systems will share a common denominator.
Q: Will certified products work with uncertified products?
MB: Certified and uncertified products may certainly work together, but your customer may find that it takes more time and effort to establish interoperability with uncertified systems.
Q: What are the advantages of obtaining a JDF Certification for my products?
MB: To your customers, a JDF Certification is a unique, trusted symbol that your product is high quality and easy to install in their facility and integrate with their current systems as well as through other certified products. This has been a common discussion point during many of our Automation Solutions Network meetings where the printers are looking for that efficient installation and added value from automation.
It also shows that the companies receiving the JDF Certification are fully committed to open standards and specifications and looking for the best possible interoperability between systems. The ability of the certified product to connect with existing systems will save on labor and development costs, as much of the functionality is known to work. It is then time to concentrate on those enhancements that differentiate the product combinations.
Overall, obtaining a JDF Certification from Printing Industries of America and CIP4 is a statement that you are dedicated to improving the company’s workflow, and with the new program in particular, their wide-format digital workflow and profitability. You gain an advantage on your competition and status as a cutting-edge company.
*Find more information about JDF Product Certification and the DPW ICS beta program at www.printing.org/jdfcertification. If you have questions on the product registration process, contact Michael Duvall, Senior Full Stack Web Developer and Systems Manager, Printing Industries of America, by clicking here.