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High noon for Euro proofing shootout

Thursday, 07 September 2006
By Print 21 Online Article

The world famous Wuppertal shootout, originally scheduled for September 21, was cancelled after the organizers–Bundesverband Druck und Medien e.V. (bvdm) and the European Color Initiative (ECI)–accused a majority of vendors of withdrawing their participation on short notice. They claim the vendors indicated they were unable to participate on the agreed upon testing requirements.

The vendors– among whom are AGFA, CGS, EFI, Fujifilm, Kodak and PerfectProof (GMG agreed to participate)–reject the accusation, claiming the cancellation took them by surprise and that it occurred while they were still in discussions about improvements to the event. They say the first they heard of it was through a bvdm press release.

The two sides have different stories as to the sticking point, with the organizers maintaining the essential element of the shootout are the tests carried out at commercial sites. These on site tests have been highly valued by attendees during past events. Though numerous novelties like tests run by proofing system users as well as soft proofing tests, the lack of on site tests of proofing systems cannot be compensated in a reasonable way, they announced in the press release.

On the other hand, the vendors reject the user tests; Valid reasons exist why these tests should not be used. A host of additional variables would influence the results and make them unusable. It is regrettable that a call by the manufacturers to take account of this in the event concept, which would create sensible prerequisites for participation, was answered in the form of a public statement canceling the event at short notice.

As far as the vendors are concerned the real trigger for their dissatisfaction is a focus on the figures after the Delta E values. It seems they feel these are insufficiently important any more to warrant meaningful ranking.

As the echoes of the scrap fade away, both sides are looking at ways of getting the event back on the rails for next year. The organizers say they are currently evaluating how to continue and possibly reposition the event in the future. They invite the vendors to participate in this evaluation. The other side maintains; … the manufacturers believe that the space created by the cancellation of the event this year–an event which has essentially shown itself to be a tried and tested platform–will give all those involved time for the reflection, which is obviously required.

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