Archive for April, 2007

  • Victorian printer makes :Azura part of its environmental plan

    Agfa’s new :Azura plate system, launched to the Oceania region at Pacprint, is already being used in nearly 200 printing sites around the world. Two Australian companies have added their print operations to this growing global list – Melbourne’s McLaren Press has completed extensive trials and will begin full production shortly, while Lionheart Offset in Sydney has been running only :Azura plates since March this year.

    McLaren Press (Melbourne, Australia)

    Although McLaren Press is a long-standing family business, established in 1915 by the grandfather of current owner-operator John McLaren, it is far from being out-of-date. According to McLaren, the company is equipping itself for the environmentally-conscious future, and Agfa’s :Azura plate system is an important part of that process.

    “We want to make a strong impact in Victoria as an environmentally-friendly printer,” he explains. “We moved to the :Azura plates because they are chemical-free. We are doing whatever we can on the environmental side of the business. We have installed water tanks to catch water for running our machines, and we use vegetable-based inks and varnishes. We are also looking at our air emissions now.”

    Garry Muratore, Agfa Graphics Marketing Manager, pointing Steve Bracks, Victorian Premier, to the PacPrint banner identifying McLaren as an early adopter of the :Azura.
    It is Victoria’s current water (or lack of) issues that lead to Victorian Premier Steve Bracks’ interest in the :Azura plate at last month’s Pacprint. Brack’s commented that “all Victorian businesses should be looking at systems that reduce water consumption” He offered McLaren press high praise in their envoronmental and water usage initiatives.

    McLaren Press produces high quality single and multi-colour printing work for corporate, government and other commercial customers requiring large print jobs. Current production levels are around 5,000 sq. metres of plate each year.

    Up until last month, half of McLaren’s prepress work was been film-based, created in-house using an imagesetter. The remaining fifty percent was produced externally as CTP plates. The company has now installed a new Agfa :Empower C system (:Xcalibur 45 thermal CTP utilising :Azura chemical free plates) After commisioning McLaren Press will take up full utilisation of the :Azura plates.

    According to McLaren, the move to total in-house CTP production will provide substantial savings as the time-consuming film making process will be eliminated. The company has conducted extensive trials of the new :Azura plates, running up to 80,000 impressions with very good results. “We even ran the plates through again after two weeks in storage and they still inked up well with just as sharp a dot,” explains McLaren.

    McLaren is looking forward to getting full :Azura plate production underway. After waiting almost 18 months for the right plate technology to come along he is keen to use it, now it is here.

  • Q&P distributor for Western Australia

    Phil Hayes brings us up-to-date on the latest news, direct from the Quote & Print headquarters.

    Like most industries, printing is affected by continuous technological advances. While these advancements can make life a lot easier in the long term, they also make it increasingly difficult to find people who have the appropriate qualifications to assist with the implementation and integration of such technology. This is particularly evident in the area of large software packages.

    Quote & Print recognises this fact and has recently undertaken steps to remedy this through its dealer network. One effective method is to visit its customers that have a proven track record in applying industry best practice in their chosen fields and learn how they do this first hand. This will enables the company to train and advise its customers of the best possible ways in which to gain the most from their decision to implement an MIS system.

    The beginning of March saw all the distributors of Quote & Print gather in Perth WA for the first of 2007 conferences. Two site visits were arranged, Scott Print and Port Printing Works, each of which have displayed best practice in their respective fields.

    All the members of the visiting party were able to see first hand how it is possible to gain the most from there MIS systems through planning, focused and clear goals and a little lateral thinking.

    As this program of learning continues, the Quote & Print teams will be able to offer advice to customers that it is hoped will achieve a faster and effective installation, and for those that already have Q&P better ways in which to get the most out of the software.


    Pictured: Colin Seth, production manager at Scott Print.

  • ORIS Color Tuner system is first through FOGRA

    CyraChrome’s contract proofing system from CGS passes all tests with flying colours.

    Local prepress and proofing specialist, CyraChrome, continues to set the pace in colour proofing with the news that its ORIS Color Tuner system has been awarded FOGRA certification by the leading European testing agency.
    ORIS Color Tuner, developed by publishing software specialists, CGS Publishing Technologies International, is the first automatically-calibratable, drop-on-demand inkjet proofing system to be FOGRA certified. It was also the first proofing system of its kind to receive the comparable North American certification, SWOP, in early 2003.

    In December 2004, FOGRA issued its technical findings on different combinations of CGS media and Epson Stylus Pro 4000 printers, citing ORIS Color Tuner as having met or exceeded certification requirements, including for colour accuracy, proof repeatability and consistency over time.

    The tests included three CGS papers designed to meet the proofing requirements of publication and commercial printing. The test files included the Altona suite of PDF/X files, which ORIS Color Tuner processed perfectly. All measured test results were well within FOGRA’s requirements for proofing accuracy and quality.

    FOGRA certification is especially important for publication printers seeking colour consistency for complex, multi-page jobs printed at multiple print locations worldwide. CyraChrome managing director, Michael Laird, (Pictured) said the award reinforced the superiority of the CGS system in colour critical publishing and printing environments.
    “The fact that ORIS Color Tuner has been certified for multiple media types further emphasises its advantage over other proofing solutions on offer in the region and demonstrates once again the ability of CGS to deliver world class industry solutions.

    “Our users can be confident that no matter where their input material is sourced from, whether it’s North America, Europe or locally, ORIS Color Tuner will be able to produce colour accurate proofs every time.”

    For further information about the full range of ORIS colour management and workflow tools, contact CyraChrome at salesenquiries@cyrachrome.com.au

    or phone (02) 9420 8188.

  • Next generation thermal CtP – Heidelberg Suprasetter

    Signaling its commitment to CtP solutions, Heidelberg has released its new family of Suprasetter machines that are characterised by innovative technological enhancements and potential for upgrading.

    The new Suprasetter family is a thermal CtP range that was completely developed and produced within Heidelberg. Designed with a strong focus on modularity and upgradeability, the Suprasetter will grow to meet increasing demands and protect the customer’s investment.

    Together with the Prosetter family, Heidelberg now offers one of the most up-to-date product lines on the market.

    Imaging technology from Heidelberg

    The laser head offers excellent potential for boosting plate throughput. The Suprasetter models in both format classes are available in configurations going up to a productivity level which can justifiably be termed “high-speed”. Subsequent upgrades are also possible at any time without needing a long period of downtime. In order to ensure rapid and completely reliable plate imaging, one thing is absolutely vital – intelligent laser systems that can be relied on. Each module is equipped with 64 laser channels. The Suprasetter laser head is comprised of two to six modules, depending on the product specification.

    The Intelligent Diode System (IDS) ensures that operation can continue even if a diode fails due to wear and tear. In any given situation, the IDS automatically looks to the left or right of the failed diode to find the largest possible group of active diodes, and then continues the work with these. Alongside the IDS, the depth of focus function ensures constant production reliability. The new Heidelberg laser system thus guarantees a high standard of imaging quality, automatically compensating for any unevenness in the plates.

    Suprasetter Family

    With the new laser developed by Heidelberg, excellent imaging quality and increased productivity isn’t all that you should expect; you can also add new modules for a boost to the speed of your throughput. The modular design allows for a tailor-made range of configuration options to suit any requirement. Moreover, the performance of a Suprasetter can be enhanced on the spot at any time by adding laser modules. Thanks to its compact design, upgrades can be carried out without lengthy periods of downtime and with minimal service intervention.

    Temperature stabilizer

    The Suprasetter does not only offer excellent plate production independently of its technical environment. Thanks to its integrated temperature stabilizer, it can also deal with any temperature changes which might affect output quality. This keeps the temperature inside the device at a constant level, preventing any expansion or shrinkage of the aluminum printing plate which might cause register inaccuracies. This means that a Suprasetter can be operated under a very wide temperature range from 17° to 30° C (62.6 to 86° F).

    Top punching precision

    The Suprasetters were designed to create top-quality print-ready plates with a minimum of time and effort. In order to achieve this objective, an efficient and precise internal punching system was essential. The new punching method used in the Suprasetter ensures that punching is performed with a register accuracy of +/- 25 µm for all printing presses from Heidelberg, as well as for most other printing presses available on the market. Additional punch types can also be added at any time in the future as field upgrades.

    Automatic operation with Single Cassette Loader (SCL)

    The Single Cassette Loader that connects onto the back of the Suprasetter is the first step towards fully automatic plate production. After removing the slip sheet, it loads the plate into the Suprasetter for imaging and then outputs it via the online processor connected to the side of the device. Since the plate is inserted with the narrow side first, a processor with the smallest possible entry width can be used. This really pays off in terms of low purchase and running costs, as well as saving space. Alternatively, you can continue to produce manually or semi-automatically with full convenience.

    Fully automatic production with Multi Cassette Loader (MCL)

    In its highest configuration level with MCL, a Suprasetter definitely holds its own in terms of versatility. The MCL consists of the SCL plus a docked plate container, and can hold up to four cassettes. Cassettes are selected fully automatically, depending on the job.

    Smart plate handling

    The Suprasetter also offers the option of convenient manual operation or semi-automatic production, even if you choose the highest configuration levels with an interfaced SCL or MCL. This is no problem, since – unlike other CtP systems – a loader is docked onto the back of the Suprasetter. This leaves the plate table on the Suprasetter freely accessible for manual plate loading. This represents a big advantage over competitive systems, most of which only permit limited bypass operation. With the Suprasetter, fully automatic and manual operations are not mutually exclusive – they are instead two different practical options offered by the single system.

    Centered and Edge Registration for running Sheetfed and Web presses

    Sheetfed presses need centered registration while web presses need edge registration. Customers with both press types want to have only one CtP to image all the plates for their presses.

    Prepared for Processless Technology

    Imaging Technology from Heidelberg comes equipped with enough power to image low sensitivity processless plates. Thus all new plates that will be available on the market will be tested.

    “Plate on Demand”. The connection to the Prinect CP2000 Center*

    The Suprasetter can be integrated seamlessly into a workflow that features the Prinect CP2000 Center. This allows the operator in the pressroom to launch plate production without any specialist prepress knowledge, simply by selecting the plate for imaging from the list on the Prinect CP2000 touch screen. The output order can be changed at any time.

    *Requires MetaDimension Version V5.0 or above, CP2000 Center Version V41 or above, Preset Link activation

    For more information please contact colin.mckenzie@heidelberg.com

  • New virtual proof that DES has all the solutions

    DES is pleased to announce a new addition to its proofing range – the Quato Colour Accurate Intelliproof Monitors from Germany. DES will be demonstrating its diverse range of proofing solutions at PacPrint stand 939, and will also feature international guests, managing director Mr Balkenhol and marketing director Mr Kuhnen-Burger from Quato Germany, who will be available to discuss the colour accurate monitors.

    The Quato Colour Accurate Intelliproof Monitors will eliminate the need for hard-copy checking, providing professionals with a time and cost efficient alternative to complete their workflow. The Quato soft proofing solution will be particularly valuable for professionals who need to retouch images and have complete confidence with the accuracy of their screen.

    “Combined with our EFI Colorproof XF,” claims managing director Ian Clare, “the Quato Intelliproof monitor gives the industry a complete solution for both hard and soft copy proofing. We are encouraging people to come and see the impressive soft proofing results at PacPrint.”

    Quato Intelliproof displays (pictured right) are suited to the needs of graphic professionals, and have been developed with the demands of the graphic arts business in mind. The integrated direct USB-hardware calibration adjusts whitepoint, gamma and luminance with 30-bit precision, based on 36 bit numerics. The user-friendly iColor Proof IP software is easy to use and makes the complete calibration process a snap. The sophisticated software and hardware – combined with the 30-bit colour output – ensures highly precise soft proofs.

    “To save time and costs, it is important to see how the job will print as early as possible in the process,” claims sales director Russell Cavenagh. “The accuracy of the Quato monitors will be a real benefit to our clients looking for further efficiencies in their workflows.”

    The results are in…

    The Seybold Report Vol. 4, No. 22, February 23 2005, featured an in-depth article on the testing of Color proofing monitors. AGI Sweden set up a test to see how some of the leading monitors compare for prepress colour-critical proofing. The better-known manufacturers and vendors of high-quality monitors were invited to choose one LCD monitor they thought would be suitable for high-quality image evaluation and proofing. Each monitor was calibrated and characterized, and an ICC profile was built. The maximum colour gamut, extracted from the resulting ICC profile, was compared to those of Adobe RGB 1998 and ECI RGB 1999.

    When testing colour accuracy, the Monaco Optix Pro software validation process was used. Since the calibration and characterization can only be performed using a single spot on the monitor surface, normally in the centre of the screen, the uniformity of each screen was also tested – colours must be accurate all over the surface.

    Therefore, a second test was introduced, measuring the colour in the upper and lower corners of the screen, the centre point as a reference measurement the background colour was set to be a light grey equal to the value CIELab L90.

    In paper-based proofing, an average DE of 4 is considered accurate enough, so in this test it was stipulated that the total average deviation based on the results from both tests shouldn’t exceed DE 4. The Quato Intelliproof 21 was only of only two monitors tested that achieved this.

    The Quato Intelliproof 21 also received “Best in Test”, in MACup Magazine Issue 12/2004.

    The Quato Monitors will be available in both 19” and 21” models, complete with iColor Proof IP software and hoods. IColor Proof IP forges the link between the calibration device and colour management, its straightforward and intuitive user interface making the calibration process a breeze fir even beginners. In addition, it is the only software available today that supports hardware gamma adjustment and features unique certification features.

    iColor Proof Retail is compatible with Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows and supports a variety of measurement devices.

    For more information, contact DES marketing & communications coordinator Sarah Weightman on (02) 97436708, or via email on sarah.weightman@des-pl.com.au.

  • Get that monitor calibrated with MonacoOPTIX !

    ColoRite Equipment announces the release of the all-new MonacoOPTIXXR and MonacoOPTIXXR Pro monitor profiling and calibration tools. Under $700 buys you the best monitor colour calibration packages available.

    The just-released MonacoOPTIXXR and MonacoOPTIXXR Pro version 2.0 are stand-alone applications used to create, evaluate and modify high quality ICC profiles for colour displays. The product provides users with a powerful yet easy-to-use answer for accurate colour output from CRTs and LCDs, the pivotal part of a colour-managed workflow as this is where the pages are first created.

    The ergonomically-designed colorimeter is about the size of a mouse and, together with the software, can be learnt by a designer, printer or prepress operative in just minutes.

    Award-winning.
    After only 3 months in the US market, in competition with all of other products in the market, MonacoOPTIXXR has been awarded Photo Electronic Imaging (PEI) Magazine’s “Cool2” Award for its Color Management Hardware category, and recognized by PC World Magazine with a “Best Buy” nod for monitor calibration.

    MonacoOPTIXXR is a robust profiling package for photographers, graphic artists, and creative professionals. The package includes Monaco’s software and the MonacoOPTIXXR colorimeter
    MonacoOPTIXXR PRO edition is designed for the professional. It is ideal for workgroup situations and customers who demand expert levels of control, flexibility, and the highest quality profiles available. This package includes the MonacoOPTIXXR colorimeter and Monaco’s advanced profiling software with workgroup support and expert controls for the highest quality profiles available

    MonacoOPTIXXR works with either table or matrix-based profiles. Table-based profiles are more accurate as they measure a larger number of colour patches – 99 vs 35 – and allow for using colormetric or perceptual gamut to better simulate the look and feel of printed output. Matrix profiles may look better on-screen, but might not be ideal for simulating most CMYK printing.

    All ICC monitor profiling starts with the White Point. MonacoOPTIXXR offers both standard presets and customizable white-points with both colour temperature and CIE xy coordinates. However, one of the most common mistakes in monitor profiling is to assume that white point is everything. You need to take into account the ambient lighting conditions, as this affects how colours look on screen. MonacoOPTIXXR does this admirably and optimizes the balance between monitor and ambient lighting environment – or colour viewing booth by actually measuring the white point of the ambient lighting.

    ICC profiles for multiple monitors connected to a single computer can be created and the software has an option which provides an on-screen reminder of when calibration is due. Perfect for Mac sweatshops!

    The move towards LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), monitors, such as the Apple A3 landscape screen, has also presented challenges. LCDs are clusters of little RGB cells, rather than photon-emitting phosphorescent powder blasted by cathode rays in a CRT. Also, previous attempts at instruments for profiling and calibrating LCD monitors have used suction cups, designed for rigid glass CRT monitors. Suction cups should never be used as a means of positioning a colorimeter on an LCD monitor due to the flexibility of the front surfaces of such monitors, which are not as rigid as those of CRTs. Inaccurate readings and even damage to the LCD monitor can result. Only ever use a ‘suspension’ measuring device on an LCD.

    Pro version for the professionals.
    The Pro version, in addition to the above, provides three further options. The first enables users to check the accuracy of profiles by using the MonacoOPTIXXR colorimeter to measure a succession of screen reference colour patches. The measured values are then compared with known reference values to calculate the DeltaE differentials from the true values together with an average deviation calculated from all the measurements. This test also highlights any colours that are out of gamut on the monitor and there is provision for the operators to enter their own colours for this test.

    Secondly, monitor profiles can be adjusted with the Pro version, by varying the gamma curves of the individual RGB channels or all three in combination. This ‘fine tuning’ can be priceless for the demanding studio.

    Thirdly, two or more displays attached to a single computer can be matched to each other. This is critical in work-sharing environments. To do this, profiles are examined to identify white and black luminance values which can be matched by all the profiles and then adjusting the profiles to match these common values. It’s a similar process to linearising proofing printers – look for the common values and match everything to them.

    Calibrate regularly.
    Re-calibration of monitors at regular intervals is a must. Monitors are subject to drift, ageing and power fluctuations and, unlike a hard copy contract proof, will change colour with almost every shut-down and turn-on. Also, if a computer is moved from one part of a room to another, or elsewhere; chances are that the lighting will be different and re-calibration is necessary.The good news is that MonacoOPTIXXR makes re-calibration quick and easy. There is even a ‘trending’ function that allows you to track monitor fluctuations, store them and develop quality parameters from the legacy data.

    The start-up menu displays a list of four options to create a profile, to evaluate a profile once created, to edit the calibration curves and to match profiles from multiple monitors connected to the same workstation. Whichever task is chosen, the software ‘Wizard’ takes the user through the process step-by-step and either Normal or Expert mode can be selected. Not quite ‘push-button colour’ but the closest thing you’ll find to it. Novices to colour management using ICC profiles will be pleased at the power in their grasp with MonacoOPTIXXR. It works with either Mac OS-X or in most Windows environments.

    Great value.
    You would expect an ICC colour profiling package of this caliber to cost thousands of dollars but the really pleasing part of X-Rite’s MonacoOPTIXXR version 2.0 is that the standard version is less than $500 and the Pro version less than $700. This includes the colorimeter instrument and the software – everything you need.

    For more ambitious profiling of monitors, scanners and printers, ColoRite Equipment supplies X-Rite’s MonacoPROFILER ‘Gold’ and ‘Platinum’ ensembles, as well as the standard MonacoPROOF ensemble. These bundles offer excellent value indeed and include software, MonacoOPTIXXR monitor profiler and an X-Rite DTP-41 scanning spectrophotometer. The list price is only a few hundred dollars more than a stand-alone DTP-41.

    MonacoPROOF is the standard CMYK proofing bundle whilst PROFILER ‘Gold’ provides more sophisticated colour editing tools for spot colour correction. Platinum’ has all facilities and can profile up to eight colour processes. Platinum should be seriously considered by anyone with a seven or eight-colour large format inkjet device as these often have extra red, green, blue or orange inks to extend the gamut. Even the top-of-the line bundle is under $8,000 and must represent the best colour management investment available in the graphic arts today.

    X-Rite’s Monaco Platinum Ensemble, when added to a multi-colour inkjet printer such as Epson’s 7600/9600; Canon’s 8200 or HP 30, 130 and 5000 series, turns these machines into contract proofers for a much lower investment than most rival systems. The ability to make and manage your own ICC profiles removes the need for regular service technician call-outs when paper, ink or printer characteristics change. You bring all the expertise in-house and own the profiles you create.

    ColoRite Equipment is committed to excellence in educating users to take control of their own colour management needs. The company offers a broad range of solutions, including the renowned X-Rite range of Spectrophotometers and Densitometers. Contact can be made via its website

    www.colorite-equipment.com.au

  • Fuji Xerox expands leading digital production colour portfolio with DocuColor 8000 Digital Press

    Fuji Xerox Australia (FXA) has strengthened its industry-leading digital colour printing range with the DocuColor 8000 Digital Press, an 80 page-per-minute model that offers a new level of performance and versatility between the 60 ppm DocuColor 6060 Digital Press and the 100 ppm Xerox iGen3 Digital Production Press.

    The DocuColor 8000 is the latest addition to the Xerox line of digital production presses, providing expanded choices in speed, reliability, and image quality.

    The DocuColor 8000 builds on the success of the 45 ppm to 60 ppm DocuColor series. Globally, Xerox has sold more than 12,000 of these presses since their initial introduction in 2000. The new press offers a “next step up” option for print providers who are looking for a high-end production press but don’t currently have the applications and volume requirements for the 100ppm Xerox iGen3.

    “With a growing demand for colour, the DocuColor 8000 offers another option for print providers who are looking to expand into the high-growth digital colour printing business,” said Chad Pearce, Production Colour Marketing Manager, Fuji Xerox Australia Production Systems Business Group (pictured). “The press creates an excellent opportunity for printers to increase their revenue and provide more value to their clients.”

    In initial customer testing, the DocuColor 8000 met the demands of the most discriminating printers. It features 2400 x 2400 x 1 dpi resolution for excellent sharpness and uniformity, technology that improves colour consistency, and new registration technology that controls front-to-back registration to plus or minus 0.5 mm – the width of five human hairs.

    Flexibility is also a key advantage of the DocuColor 8000. The press is second only to the Xerox iGen3 press when handling mixed media, enabling it to support a wide range of applications and environments, such as print-on-demand, Web-to-print, book publishing and variable information marketing.

    In addition, the DocuColor 8000 allows custom paper set-ups so print providers can program and store unique characteristics to a particular tray, retrieving the attributes later to save time and support an efficient workflow. For example, if a printer regularly runs a certain job, he can program the printer to pull the associated paper type and size from the correct tray, ensuring accurate output with limited preparation time. The DocuColor 8000 also prints from 7.2” x 7.2” to 12.6” x 19.2” – a stock range wider than competitive machines.

    The DocuColor 8000 offers a choice of three powerful colour servers:

    Xerox DSP8000 Colour Server, part of the Xerox FreeFlow Digital Workflow Collection, is the Xerox common controller. This model is targeted to support in-plant and data centre customers that currently have a DocuSP workflow and require the benefits of a similar workflow with minimal training requirements.

    There are also Creo and EFI colour servers for the DocuColor 8000. The Creo CXP8000 Colour Server is ideal for commercial printing environments and is a powerful solution for variable printing. The EFI EXP8000 Color Server provides an easy-to-use interface for the quick and franchise print market and in-plant operations.

    Contact Information:
    Chad Pearce
    Fuji Xerox Australia
    02 9856 5000

    chad.pearce@aus.xerox.com

  • Creo installs 5000th CTP

    Milestone indicative of larger industry trend

    Ask any printer what’s most important and they’ll tell you that it’s making sure their customers are so happy with the quality and service they receive that they keep coming back. It is this repeat business that results in increased profitability and competitive advantage for any printing company.

    Ask anyone from Creo the same question and you’ll get a similar story. So, while it is truly exciting for Creo to mark the 5000th CTP system installation this month, what’s more intriguing is what this milestone means to the whole industry. It signifies that more and more printers are adopting digital solutions – including CTP – as a way to remain competitive and keep their customers smiling under increasingly demanding market conditions.

    In fact, it is estimated that there were 13,500 total CTP units installed worldwide at the end of 2002 – over forty times more than in 1995, just a few years ago. Of these, about 36% are Creo systems. That’s double the amount of the nearest competitor. To put that in perspective, Creo systems are involved in the production of over half of all materials printed in the USA alone.

    Creo has been working hard to make digital print-production solutions – including CTP – available to printers of all sizes, including small commercial printers. Customized Creo solutions deliver solid value for these smaller operations, while supporting gradual expansion with affordable upgrades. Every printer now has the ability to deliver a level of quality formerly attainable by only a few large, high-end operations.

    Share of total metal CTP units shipped worldwide

    The number of CTP devices appearing in newspaper, packaging and converting facilities is also climbing quickly. Like commercial printers, these businesses depend on the integrity of digital workflows to achieve superior quality, greater consistency, and improved productivity in the pressroom. Today, Creo solutions are linking creative and production systems, management information systems (MIS), content management, Internet systems and more. It’s called Networked Graphic Production and it’s streamlining and automating every step in the print-production process – from idea to delivery.

    Only eight years ago, Creo was unknown in the graphic arts marketplace. Today, Creo customers run some of the most successful print-related businesses on the planet. They represent nearly every aspect of the business, from creative professionals and publishing houses, to general commercial printers and tradeshops, to newspaper and packaging printers/converters.

    Creo really does have 5000 reasons to say “Thanks!” to those customers. It is their commitment to extracting the full benefit of digital technologies that is helping Creo continue to drive change throughout the industry.

    Did you know?

    • Creo offers the three top-selling CTP devices in the world (Trendsetter®, Lotem® and Trendsetter VLF), and the two leading workflow systems (Brisque® and Prinergy®).
    • Creo has installed 10 times more very large-format CTP systems than any other vendor.
    • Approximately 75% of all Creo CTP systems installed have interchangeable imaging heads, meaning that the core imaging technology components are easily upgradeable for maximum system flexibility moving into the future.
    • Creo is completely dedicated to thermal imaging technology and was the first to introduce a viable thermal CTP system in 1995.
    • Creo was the first to integrate digital halftone proofing into CTP systems.
    • Creo is the leading supplier of offset commercial CTP in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and North America.
    • Creo offers much more than CTP systems. Other product lines include computer-to-film devices; inkjet and halftone digital proofers; workflow management tools; color and copydot scanning systems; desktop software; variable information workflow systems; professional digital camera backs; on-press imaging technology; components for digital presses; and color servers for high-speed, print-on-demand digital printers.
    • To ensure consistently strong service to 25,000+ customers around the world, Creo operates the largest customer support organization in the industry.

  • Canon moves into firing range

    In the large format inkjet world, competition is fierce between the leading suppliers. The battle for the rapidly growing market has attracted all the leading players. Surprisingly Canon proved to be a latecomer to the field, allowing rivals Epson, Encad/Kodak and Hewlett-Packard to almost carve up the market between them. Now, with the arrival of the W8200, Canon is staking its claim as a leading contender, prepared to compete at all levels with technology that it describes as ‘advanced simplicity’.

    Few sectors of the imaging industry are as defined by technology as large format inkjet printing. The major equipment manufacturers have taken clearly differentiating approaches to the business of transferring drops of ink onto substrate. In the wide range of products available there are differences in the use of thermal and piezo imaging heads, drop on demand and continuous flow ink delivery systems, and the use of solvent, oil, dye-based and aqueous pigment inks. In addition there are wide variances in the speed at which the images are rendered and created.

    This difference in approach has contributed to certain confusion in the market as to which engine is suitable for which application. While offset printing, for example, is a well-defined mature technology with little variation in the essential method of delivering ink to the paper, large format inkjet is still a battleground where the market has yet to declare a winner. Certain manufacturers have solved their marketing problem by confining themselves to niche markets, but the demand is still there for a versatile, all-rounder, large format printer.

    This goes a long way to explain why Canon is so confident that its new 44-inch (1118mm) wide machine, the W8200, will be able to take a market leading position. Previewed to the local industry at last year’s PrintEx, the new entrant it is now shipping and causing a major rethink on what constitutes benchmark performance.

    Despite its comparatively late arrival on the scene, Canon has concentrated on developing a machine that will be able to service the widest section of the large format inkjet market. It is aiming to gain market share in the order of 25 to 50 percent, an ambitious task given that already there are many second generation machines being traded. Canon believes it has put together the features that have proven to be winners in the marketplace, while adding a lot more functionality and ease-of-use.

    In making sure the new model is suitable for the widest range of applications it is available with both dye and pigment-based inks. It is engineered to deliver the highest resolution images in the thermal class, up to 1200 x 1200 dpi with ‘spot overlap’ yielding higher apparent resolution. And because of its wide-gamut six-colour inkset – CMYK plus photo magenta and photo cyan, it is able to reproduce almost any printing colour, making it more than suitable for proofing applications.

    The expectation of the Canon sales team is that when the market becomes aware of the features that define the new machine, it will recognise its leading edge technology and will either opt for the W8200 as a first choice when entering the sector, or make the switch from rival brands when upgrading.

    Inkjet digital proofing is now a given
    While short-run posters, either as stand-alone items or as part of a larger billboard, are the most common products from large format printers in the commercial sector, arguably the technology has had its greatest impact on the digital workflows of printing and graphic arts companies. Spurred by the arrival and increasing acceptance of CTP, the need for proofs drawn from digital data has exploded. The versatile large format inkjet engines are proving to be the ideal output for fast rendered accurate colour digital proofs produced at a fraction of the cost of traditional chemical or high-end digital proofs.

    The Canon W8200 is being promoted as using state of the art proofing technology. The company is working closely with the software suppliers to ensure that the RIPs are compatible with the hardware. As part of its proofing solution the printer is using specially formulated inks that are claimed to be extremely fast curing and less prone to colour shift. According to a specifications sheet from the company, the colour shift affecting a W8200 pigment print between one hour and 12 hours after printing is less than _E 1 – in other words, the colour proof despatched to the customer will not visibly fade or degrade, so printing decisions can be made with confidence.

    Speed thrills
    If proofing is the most technically precise and challenging application for wide format printers, the production of images for sale on a variety of substrates is often where the turnover is. For this sector of the market imaging speed is the crucial determination as well as the ability to leave the machine running unattended for hours. The Canon W8200 is engineered as a heavyweight output device, designed for hours of uninterrupted operation. Changing the 330ml ink cartridges draws on Canon’s ease-of-use experience in the consumer world.

    But it is in the speed of imaging that Canon stakes its claim to be technology leader. The specifications have the machine outputting an A0 image in less than two minutes, or 30 square metres per hour (the speeds quoted are for printing on heavy coated paper in draft mode). While the quoted rate of imaging is always open to question as to the resolution used and the type of substrate, by any comparison the W8200 stands head and shoulders above most of its competition in the speed stakes.

    Steve Brown, national product manager (pictured), Canon, confirms that the W8200 is the fastest machine in its class, as well as providing the ability increase that speed in years to come, as chip and nozzle speeds improve. “Due to the design of the new imaging head there is the potential for the speed to be doubled every year for the foreseeable future,” he says. “This represents an enormous advantage for Canon customers who are able to stay at the leading edge of imaging technology, and a major advantage over competitive products.” Brown maintains that the current speed configuration already represents a speed differential of up to five times faster than models on the market.

    The brains in the imaging head
    In every new outstanding technology, there is one element that is primarily responsible for the competitive edge. Much of the W8200’s advantage comes from the development of the new Canon imaging head. This is radically different from previous and competing models in that it is a high-density, one-inch component, manufactured using semi-conductor technology. This allows the print head to be made as a single piece of silicon, which not only increases the reliability and long life of the imaging head – perhaps the most vulnerable part of large format technology – but also enables it to carry an impressive 7680 ink jet nozzles. Because of the stability of the new imaging head and the number of nozzles, the machine prints with extra fine drops of ink to the substrate, in what the company terms the ‘Canon Microfine Droplet Technology’ (MDT). The tiny nozzles enable the imaging of extraordinarily fine print detail, accurately and reliably.

    According to Brown, MDT means that each of the six colours in the print head is delivered though 1280 nozzles. This is compared to just 128 to 256 nozzles for each of the six colours in most competing models, a major product differentiation. With an optional RIP, the dye-ink model can print at a stunning 1200 x 1200 dpi. “This advanced technology is providing graphic artists and professional printers with the ability to create sensational images that will leave the market in awe,” says Brown.

    Taking it to the market
    The arrival of the W8200 coincides with a renewed Canon determination not to be excluded from any sector of the large format marketplace. The ability of the new machine to image with pigment-based inks clears the way for the company “to compete at all levels”.

    One of the sectors previously not catered for is the outdoor signage market. Posters that are exposed to sunlight suffer UV fade when printed with dye-based inks. On the other hand, solvent-based inks are relatively hazardous to use and environmentally unfriendly. Aqueous pigment inks are able to resist weathering to a far better degree, without the environmental cost.

    The W8200 is also able to image onto a wider variety of substrates such as specialist paper and cloth, and it comes equipped with an automatic cutter capable of slicing flame-resistant fabric. This again opens up the professional signage market sectors where Canon is hoping to make inroads.
    Another area is the fine art reproduction sector where colour fidelity over time is essential. The pigment-based inks option of the W8200 ensures that the fine detail images will remain vibrant indefinitely if displayed responsibly.

    The aggressive market thrust for the W8200 is being supported by Canon Finance, the company’s own multimillion dollar financial arm, which already facilitates over 70 percent of all Canon purchases. The purchase price of the W8200 is being promoted as more competitive than that of competing models with a RRP of $15,345.

    According to Brown the industry reception of the W8200 so far has exceeded expectations. Orders are currently outstripping supply.

    “We are well in front of budget and the interest from our customers is continuing to grow. I believe that countless superseded wide formats will soon have to make way for a new W8200 from Canon,” he says.

  • Bambra Press goes Digital with HP Indigo

    Award-winning Melbourne printer transforms its prepress division to address the growing market for digital printing.

    Bambra’s decision to go with a HP Indigo 3050 digital press came down to the quality of the printed sheets, according to director, Troy Riley. The firm has always been synonymous with quality printing, he said. “We’re known as the company that will take on the hard jobs. A lot of our clients are quality conscious graphic designers and advertising agencies so we have always operated at the highest standards.

    “We did a lot of research among the different digital presses before we made a decision and found the HP Indigo suited us best. It has the highest quality. We felt the results from this machine are the closest to offset,” he said.

    He nominated the HP Indigo liquid-based toner technology (Electro Ink) and the ability to run specials and PMS colours as some of the differentiating benefits.

    In the two weeks the 3050 has been running at the Docklands premises Riley claims the printed results have been, “outstanding. Some of our customers have a hard time picking the difference.”

    He sees the HP Indigo as perfect for four-colour work with lots of pictures and as a valuable addition to the company’s stable of offset machines that run 24/7. Bambra operates two Komori 28inch presses as well as a swag of smaller formats.

    “It’s horses for courses. Run lengths depend on the jobs. If you can fit multiples on to the digital sheet then you might print up to 2,500. But if it’s four A4 pages then it will go on the Komori.”

    One of the benefits he expects is the ability to produce a proof job of books of 32-36 pages. With proper calibration the client can receive a bound copy of the job as a proof, from the first impressions. This is fast becoming a normal expectation from marketing and event managers and until now was an area that Bambra, as well as other offset printers, were barred from.

    Bambra Digital has already run a number of personalised jobs on the 3050 with great success. Variable Data printing provides a vital point of difference in the company’s approach to clients and Riley is not concerned about some grumbles from other digital printers in the Victorian market. He believes they have approached it with too rigid a print mentality. “Certainly we see two sides to the digital printing market, a top and a bottom, and we don’t want to be working near the bottom. Variable Data printing is very important for us,” he said.

    Two dedicated digital printing sales personnel and a new experienced operator, Ben Simmons (pictured right), along with training for everyone in the company in the benefits of digital printing, are part of the process. Along with his fellow directors; Allain Pool and John Wanless, Riley is confident the HP Indigo 3050 will provide a solid business for the new Bambra Digital. As an award-winning printer he is already aiming for the first Bambra Digital gold in next year’s NPA.

    The move to HP Indigo by Bambra is indicative of what is happening at the high end of the printing market, according to Phillip Rennell, general manager, Current Images, the digital printing division of Curie Group. “We’re seeing more printers who really know and care about the quality of their work deciding to use HP Indigo. It seems when they closely examine the result they always choose to use Electro Ink technology.”

  • Candidate of the week: Quality Printing Technician

    CAREER OBJECTIVES

    In spite of a minor physical challenge – a partial loss of hearing and consequent mild speech impairment – I am determined to prove myself in my chosen career – Printing & Graphic Designing. My Career objective is to excel as a Quality Printing person par excellence.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATION
    Completed Diploma in Multi Media in Flash, Photo Shop, Corel Draw, Page Maker , Adobe illustrator ., at the Aptech – Arena Multi Media College . Completed a one year Central Govt. Screen Printing Course at the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre in 1987-88. Underwent 2 months Internship at Avigna Technologies as a designer in their creative department, gained experience in Art direction, Photo shop and Flash.

    WORK EXPERIENCE

  • M/s. Usha Screen Printers (1988 to May 2001 and September 2001 to present):

    I Started work with M/s. Usha Screen Printers, a screen / offset printing plate making proprietary unit located at Chennai in the year 1988 run by my family as a printing apprentice. I continued to work here till date but for a three month work exposure in a Multi Media Firm.

    My Job responsibilities at Usha screen printers during the first two year period from 1988 to 1990 included screen printing of visiting cards, letter heads, covers, greeting/invitation cards, pocket calendars, Stickers, ID cards, and Certificates, ensuring minimum wastage of raw materials and at the same time ensuring quality of the printed products.

    From 1991 onwards I took up responsibilities apart from printing, to purchase of raw materials. I was responsible for the quality of raw materials and its availability at production. From 1994, apart from maintaining quality of the finished products, I took responsibility for marketing and sales. I was responsible for order booking as well as payment collection. We also under took printing of Scratch Cards, Textile and Batik Printing.

    With growing customer demand for computer based designs, I took a brief break in the year 2000 to undergo an intensive program in Multimedia Application (Diploma Program) to equip myself with the latest tools needed for Digital Designing and Printing. After a brief exposure at another firm specializing in Multimedia Printing, I took back the acquired skills to my parent company Usha Screen Printers.

    From the 2001, I am actively using these skills at Usha Screen Printers to improve the firm’s business and also to enlarge our customer base. With these new skills I am now able to undertake jobs on banner printing, printing of calendars, pamphlets/ brochures, and Posters.

    Usha Screen Printers now has a vast range of Customers from small business to enterprise customers. A few of the clients of Usha Screen Printers I have generated and handled are given herewith as reference

  • Jones Foundations, Anuraag Enterprises, Gokul Agencies
  • M/s. Genuine Computers Pvt Ltd., M/s. Akash Ganga International
  • Crestcom India, Eagle Global Logistics, Oxfam International, Save The Children, TvsWhirlpool, Bush Boake Allen, etc.,
  • M/s. Avigna Technologies Pvt. Ltd., (June 2001 to August 2001)

    After a specialized program on digital design and printing, I joined through campus placement, M/s. Avigna Technologies Private Ltd., Chennai. I joined as a trainee designer in the Creative Dept. After a three-month period of internship, though the firm offered me opportunities to continue, I opted to go back to Usha Screen Printers and use my acquired skills for the growth of my parent company.

    GENERAL DETAILS

    As being in charge for the whole unit I have been exposed to dealing with a wide range of people and challenges . The kind of confidence my clients have shown in me has helped in building up my independence and develop my interpersonal skills and at no point of time I have found my partial loss of hearing be a handicap in my life. I am also enclosing the certificates of appreciation from my clients for your kind perusal.

  • Jobs of the week: Victorian Specifications Representative, Victoria

    The Company carries a wide range of quality local and imported papers and services an extensive customer base in the Victorian, NSW and Qld markets. The Company requires a Specifications Representative to service its Victorian clientele including advertising agencies, graphic designers and corporates.

    The successful applicant will have a sales or design/advertising background with prior paper knowledge and experience preferred. You will be outgoing, confident, possess strong presentation skills, along with the ability to show initiative and willingness to develop new customers.

    Remuneration will be by negotiation.

    Interested parties in should forward an application together with a current C.V. to the following address:

    Mr. Alban Gomes

    KW Doggett Fine Paper

    P.O. Box 8219

    PRESTON VIC 3072

    email: agomes@kwdoggett.com.au

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    To view more printing and graphic arts career positions click here for Print21 Online employment section.

  • Offset Printer – Digi we doo Pty Ltd, South Australia

    This position may suit a just out of apprenticeship printer that wants to leap into 21st century technology. We are award-winning printers using the very latest in cutting edge equipment. You will be joining our small-dedicated team of people. Excellent working conditions.

    Salary is negotiable to the right person.
    Apply by email in the strictest confidence
    Contact: Mark Minahan – Manager
    mikemin@bigpond.net.au

    Ph: 08 8351 9300

    www.digiwedoo.com.au
    for information about us


    Digi we doo Pty Ltd
    242 Grange Road, Flinders Park SA 5025

    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––

    To view more printing and graphic arts career positions click here for Print21 Online employment section.

  • Book Club –

    Printers have not had a resource to share with designers or other industry professionals that would explain the folding process and all of the different folding styles they can offer to their customers.

    In the publication industry, there has never been a guide for folding. Designers have never understood all of the folding options available to them, and have not had access to the math behind proper digital document set-up. Until now.
    Finishing Experts Group, an industry-specific publishing company, has just released Fold, a first-of-its-kind, two-volume set that creates an essential system for the printing and design industry by establishing naming conventions and standardizing the folding process.

    Fold is an 850-page reference manual with over 1,000 illustrations that systematically documents and classifies more than 180 brochure folding styles, breaking them down into eight folding families (accordions, basics, exotics, gates, maps, parallels, posters and rolls). Each folding style is named, numbered and illustrated. Then, each style is diagrammed with proper folding compensations for accurate digital document setup. There are also tips and considerations for each.

    The reference manual, written by Trish Witkowski, a creative director with a Baltimore marketing firm, is the product of five years of industry research.

    Geared toward print and design professionals, industry organizations, binderies, folding machinery manufacturers, and the graphic arts education market, Fold provides a common language for designers and printers/binderies, giving everyone the same frame of reference and saving valuable time and resources.

    “As a professional designer, I would often become frustrated with the lack of a comprehensive resource for folding,” said Witkowski. “This guide fills a vacuum in the industry. My hope is that the book not only will be the go-to guide in the industry for folding, but that it also can serve as a springboard for creativity.”

    Trish Witkowski is currently the creative director for a marketing and communications firm in Baltimore. She earned her master of science in graphic arts publishing from Rochester Institute of Technology’s world-renowned School of Printing Management and Sciences and a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design. She has taught design and desktop publishing at the college level, and is the co-author of The Adobe InDesign Guide.

    Fold is available exclusively in Australia and New Zealand from Print21Online

    To buy FOLD: The Professional Guide to Folding and to browse the Print21Online Graphic Arts Library click here.

  • Wot’s on this week . . . industry events . . . don’t miss it . . . dates for your diary

    Week of Monday April 30 – Sunday May 5

  • Auspack 2007 will commence Melbourne on 1 May.

    Will this event tell us why it’s so hard to open those two-litre containers of milk? Probably not, but Australia’s premier packaging event will tell you everything else. Check the calendar

  • LIA Annual Awards are on 1 May, Sydney.

    There are seven finalists in this year’s LIA/Heidelberg Graduate of the Year award. Come along and meet the rising stars of the industry, tomorrow’s new generation of print professional. Check out the calendar for more information.

  • PMA Australia 2007 runs from 4-6 May, Melbourne

    PMA stands for Photo Marketing Association and features photography awards and seminar programs that deal with emerging technologies.
    Check the Shaun Hellyer.

  • Going once – what’s under the auction hammer this week

    The 24 A1 plates-an-hour Lotem Quantum listed is only five years old and was in production until very recently while the earlier Lotem 800V is an 8-plates-an-hour job and could be very good back-up for the buyer of the Quantum. Also heading out the door at Link (part of the BlueStar Group) is a Scitex Dolev film imagesetter, a Stoesser printdown frame and Olex light integrator plus, processors.

    Starleaton Digital Solutions is clearing out ex-demo Kodak and Encad wide-format printers at crazy prices along with SEAL laminators, materials and a stack of other stuff for the wide-format and signage brigade.

    The appointment of administrators Hall Chadwick to Time Colour Graphics in Sydney’s North has resulted in closure and the auctioning off of a very well kept Heidelberg MOS-H B2 machine with Alcolor and Grafix IR. Also in this auction is a recent (2003) Polar 92E, a Bourg BST10 collator with stitch-fold-trim-stack and for die-cutting a beaut condition (judging by the photos) Heidelberg KSB cylinder and Platen.

    Heck it out at www.graysonline.com.au. Inspection at Time Colour is Friday and the rest is at various locations on Monday.

  • Women in Print dinners to become an annual event

    Georgie Grabyn, Patron for Women in Print, and Heidelberg’s HR manager, said that the response to these events was positive. “Across five states nearly 300 women attended the dinners and feedback has shown a great desire for the initiative to continue,” she said.

    Guest speaker Catharine Lumby, associate professor of media studies at Sydney University, spoke at each of the dinners and said that Women in Print had been a great success and a rewarding experience for her because she was able to meet so many interesting women.

    Women in Print is set to continue with events for next year soon to be planned. “Women in Print will continue to gather momentum, following on from the positive response to our inaugural dinners. Once feedback from all states has been gathered we will start to plan next year’s events,” Grabyn said. “Heidelberg will continue to drive and sponsor this initiative and the invitation is still open for more support and sponsorship from within the industry. Without the dedication and hard work from our sponsors, as well as the support from women across the country, these events could not have been as successful as they were.”

    Got a view on this story? Drop us a line and let us know