pdfToolbox

pdfChip

pdfaPilot

MadeToPrint

MadeToCompare

MadeForLayers

MadeToTag

CoPrA

ZePrA

Device Link Sets

ColorAnt

iC3D

Claro

Imp

FileTrain

tFLOW

License Server

Maak je workflow moeiteloos efficiënter met ColorLogic ZePrA


Zoek je oplossingen voor je dagelijkse uitdagingen rond kleurenbeheer? ColorLogic is een totaaloplossing voor al je behoeften, inclusief optimalisering van de meetgegevens, aanmaak van ICC-profielen en PDF-verwerking.

Miami Dade College en de ColorLogic ZePrA Smart Color Server

Miami Dade College in Florida (VS) gebruikt de ColorLogic ZePrA Smart Color Server al sinds augustus 2013. Vooraleer Miami Dade College de ColorLogic-oplossingen gebruikte, had het moeite met het omslachtige proces voor kleurruimteconversie van de GMG ColorServer. De hogeschool is bijna dagelijks bezig met de kleurruimteconversie van grote bestanden voor krantendruk en digitale, offset- en sheetfedprinting, zodat een snelle oplossing die makkelijk kan worden aangepast aan veranderende behoeften, heel belangrijk is.

Toen ZePrA nog niet geïnstalleerd was, vond Senior Graphic Designer Richard Delgado zijn kleurenworkflow frustrerend en weinig doeltreffend. Hij legt uit hoeveel efficiënter het is om met ColorLogic te werken: "Vooral één bestand van 78 MB dat naar een specifieke kleurruimte moest worden geconverteerd, vormde een grote uitdaging. Met onze vorige oplossing was het bestand na de verwerking gegroeid tot liefst 901 MB. Ter vergelijking: met ColorLogic ZePrA was dat bestand na dezelfde conversie slechts 172 MB groot", zegt Delgado. “Later ontdekten we dat ZePrA in de meeste gevallen het bestand niet moet rasteren om het voor een nieuwe kleurruimte te verwerken, terwijl veel andere producten dat wel moeten doen. De oplossing van ColorLogic is gewoon veel sneller en efficiënter dan al de rest."

Een verandering van kleurenserver kan heel problematisch lijken, maar Delgado legt uit hoe ColorLogic het proces heel eenvoudig heeft gemaakt. "We hebben de applicatie geïnstalleerd en ingesteld met de hulp van onze plaatselijke ColorLogic-vertegenwoordiger, Rick Dieguez van Grafix World. De applicatie downloaden, installeren en in onze workflow integreren: alles verliep naadloos, zonder bijstand van een technisch assistent. De kleurenserver was bijna onmiddellijk operationeel! We krijgen niet alleen betere resultaten, maar merken ook dat de conversies met ColorLogic kleiner zijn en we ze dus sneller kunnen versturen."

Sinds Miami Dade College z’n kleurenserver naar ColorLogic ZePrA heeft geüpgraded, mag de school niet alleen rekenen op snellere verwerkingstijden met knappe resultaten, maar ook op een superieure klantenondersteuning van de plaatselijke ColorLogic-vertegenwoordiger, Grafix World LLC in Miami. ColorLogic streeft naar een hechte relatie tussen zijn vertegenwoordigers, zijn klanten en zijn team van experts in kleurenbeheer. Zoals uit dit voorbeeld blijkt, is het een systeem dat werkt. En net omdat ColorLogic belang hecht aan deze banden, heeft het in Noord-Amerika en Europa een netwerk van vertegenwoordigers en dealers uitgebouwd die op verzoek expertise in kleurenbeheer kunnen leveren.

Hier vind je een overzicht van ColorLogic ZePrA:

Klik op deze link voor meer informatie over de functies van ColorLogic ZePrA en hoe ze jou kunnen helpen.

Geschreven door CrossXColor Inc.
 

CS Labels Xpert intervention by Digital Printer magazine


CS Labels’ managing director Simon Smith: "This has been a steep learning curve but a very worthwhile process."

Being at the forefront of technology innovation brings its own pressures. At CS Labels in Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, innovation is seen as a point of differentiation, and that spirit saw it become a beta site for Xeikon’s new 30 metres per minute Cheetah press in March. It is, says managing director Simon Smith, 58% faster than other Xeikon presses (CS Labels is the largest reel-fed Xeikon house in Europe with five machines). Therein lay the issue however.

"While we were putting the press in, we also had to consider what we were doing in terms of streamlining studio processes to get the work through more efficiently. We were using a preflighting system but it wasn’t giving us the savings we were hoping for", he told Digital Printer

The company had met MyPressXpert sales director Kevin Caughtry at an EasyFairs event in February, and then spoke to Niall Coady from the colour calibration firm shortly afterwards at a Xeikon Café. In talking, it was recognized that there could be ways to simplify and improve the workflow at CS Labels and reduce errors in prepress.

Initially, Mr Coady worked on developing a customised, simplified report for the CS Labels sales team that showed the ink consumption required for a file received, allowing them to quote accurately on the job. It would also preflight the file and report on any fixes that needed to be made, allowing this to be done by the customer before it took up studio time. A second, more detailed, report and client proof PDF is also produced for the studio. This was all achieved to CS Labels’ satisfaction using callas pdfToolbox Server and pdfChip software (HTML5, CSS and Javascript technologies used to automate client proof creation) alongside Filetrain, a workflow management system from Laidback Solutions.

Following this, MyPressXpert has undertaken further bespoke project work for CS Labels, creating a brand new job management system for the Xeikon workflow from scratch, which interrogates an Excel (.xlsx) file from the client and automatically creates and databases all the label barcodes based on sites and quantities. It has also put in a colour management software system – ColorLogic’s ZePrA colour management server and ReProfiler Digital colour engine – which is helping to improve CS Labels’ management of process control and calibration of the Xeikon engines, providing detailed reporting on the stability of the presses so that maintenance schedules can be optimised. This has been effective to such a degree that in September the label producer stopped using the colour control system that comes with the Xeikon presses.

"All digital presses face the challenge of colour consistency from print run to print run, and we also need to ensure that our presses are optimised to achieve Pantone colours", said Mr Smith. "Invariably we are given a label to match by printing CMYK. We need to get as close as possible to achieving the Pantones consistently and measure how close in Delta E we are. This system has helped us to do that. We are of the opinion that it actually takes it to a different level."

The impact of these implementations of automated preflighting and colour management within the company is that CS Labels is able to cope with higher volumes of work while utilising the same level of human resources. "We are also shortening lead times to get work on press and we are getting far fewer mistakes where files have to go back to the studio", Mr Smith continued. "It has streamlined the whole process for us and allows the studio to move away from more mundane tasks such as putting the bleed on a hundred files – those things are automated now. The system also automates the artwork and sends a proof back to the customer."

"The ideal is that we get a PDF from our customer and it goes straight on press without a human touching it. That’s what we are looking for, and we are making fairly substantial progress."

All progress in this direction is welcome, because in December a second Cheetah press will arrive, and further efficiencies will need to be found.

"This has been a steep learning curve but a very worthwhile process", Mr Smith concluded. "The biggest benefit is that we have been able to make this system bespoke to our unique requirements, rather than buying one off the shelf."

Written by Whitmar Publications
www.digitalprintermag.co.uk

Pixartprinting nu ook in de cloud dankzij License Server

Alessio de Zotti & Conrado Camacho
Alessio de Zotti & Conrado Camacho

Pixartprinting levert een ruim assortiment onlineprintdiensten: producten in een klein formaat (tijdschriften, catalogi, postkaarten, stickers, etiketten, flyers enz.), producten in een groot formaat (hogeresolutieprints, binnen- en buitenposters, spandoeken, displays enz.), verpakkingen enz. Vandaag heeft Pixartprinting meer dan 900 000 klanten in heel Europa. Het bedrijf verwerkt gemiddeld 12.000 bestellingen per dag en beschikt over het ruimste assortiment geavanceerde apparatuur in Europa. Hoe zijn ze uitgegroeid tot de toonaangevende web-to-print shop in Europa?

Een veranderend e-commercelandschap

Als snelgroeiend onlineprintbedrijf zag Pixartprinting het e-commercelandschap drastisch veranderen. Een groeiend productassortiment, grotere volumes, geografisch verspreide markten, versnipperde productie en vooral veeleisende klanten waren maar enkele van de uitdagingen. Conrado Camacho, Director of Technology bij Pixartprinting: "We staan inderdaad voor heel wat uitdagingen: we moeten opschalen om de snelgroeiende volumes bij te houden, flexibele processen ontwikkelen die zich kunnen aanpassen aan de marktsituatie en inspelen op nieuwe printtechnologieën. Tegelijk moeten we ook de kosten drukken om te zorgen dat Pixartprinting winstgevend blijft." Alessio de Zotti, Manufacturing Software Manager bij Pixartprinting, vult aan: "Gelukkig kunnen we, dankzij cloudgebaseerde technologie en bedrijven die de mogelijkheden daarvan inzien, opschalen op basis van onze zakelijke behoeften."

De komst van License Server

Pixartprinting doet al sinds 2012 een beroep op pdfToolbox voor zijn productieworkflows. De onderneming beheerde een aantal lokale servers om piekvolumes op te vangen, ook al was de vraag doorheen het jaar niet stabiel. Dankzij License Server konden ze eindelijk overschakelen naar een cloudgebaseerde infrastructuur, zodat het bedrijf niet langer gebonden is aan een vast aantal servers waarop pdfToolbox draait. Voortaan kan Pixartprinting naar wens servers toevoegen of verwijderen op basis van de workload.

Met License Server kunnen we ons snel aanpassen aan pieken in de vraag en onze pdfToolbox-licenties optimaal benutten .

"Door deze overschakeling zullen we wellicht evolueren naar een systeem dat automatisch kan uitbreiden of inkrimpen naargelang de behoeften van het moment. Dat biedt uiteraard heel wat voordelen, zoals kostenoptimalisatie (we betalen alleen voor de gebruikte computerkracht). Met License Server kunnen we ons snel aanpassen aan pieken in de vraag en onze pdfToolbox-licenties optimaal benutten", gaat Alessio de Zotti verder.

Pixartprinting heeft altijd al geïnvesteerd in het automatiseren van de bedrijfsprocessen om zijn klanten een optimale service te bieden tegen aantrekkelijke prijzen. "We zijn bijzonder verheugd over onze samenwerking met callas software. Met hun automatiseringstechnologie kunnen we onze klanten immers nog beter ondersteunen." Dankzij License Server krijgen de klanten van Pixartprinting nu snel en eenvoudig toegang tot de beste printoplossingen.

Imp stoomt Disc Makers klaar voor de uitdagingen van morgen

Michael Dixon

Disc Makers is de grootste fabrikant ter wereld van cd’s, dvd’s en blu-rays voor onafhankelijke muzikanten, filmmakers en kleine ondernemingen. Hun doel? Deze onafhankelijke artiesten helpen om op gelijke voet te concurreren met grotere bedrijven. Al sinds 1946 biedt Disc Makers diensten voor een succesvolle release: duplicatie, replicatie, afdrukken, grafisch ontwerp, audio mastering, DVD authoring, wereldwijde distributie en nog veel meer.

Kiezen voor Imp

De muziekindustrie is door de jaren heen drastisch veranderd. De digitale revolutie luidde een totaal nieuw tijdperk in, maar toch blijft de vraag naar cd’s en dvd’s groot. "Het digitale tijdperk heeft de kloof tussen onafhankelijke artiesten en grote labels gedicht. Dankzij streaming en sociale media hebben artiesten nu toegang tot fans en potentiële luisteraars over de hele wereld. Muzikanten hebben zo meer mogelijkheden dan ooit om echt succesvol te worden, en dat geldt vooral voor diegenen die alles zelf doen. De echte uitdaging is om artiesten alles te bieden wat ze nodig hebben om dezelfde zichtbaarheid te krijgen als de grote namen", zegt Michael Dixon, ME Director bij Disc Makers.

Disc Makers produceert jaarlijks meer dan 40 miljoen cd's, dvd's en blu-rays voor 40 000 artiesten. Om dergelijke hoeveelheden te kunnen leveren moest het bedrijf efficiënter worden. "Wat wij nodig hadden, was automatisering. Een oplossing om ons voor te bereiden op het artwork en contentbeheer van de toekomst", legt Michael uit. "En daarin heeft Imp een grote rol gespeeld."

We hebben voor Imp gekozen vanwege zijn ontwikkelingsscapaciteit en de mogelijke integratie met oplossingen op maat.

Dankzij de automatisering slaagde Disc Makers er binnen een periode van drie jaar na de implementatie in om zijn doorlooptijd en productiviteit flink te verbeteren. "We hebben voor Imp gekozen vanwege zijn ontwikkelingscapaciteit en de mogelijke integratie met oplossingen op maat. Al na 30 dagen was duidelijk dat de software nog beter werkte dan verwacht", verduidelijkt Michael. "Bovendien konden we op elk moment rekenen op de service en ondersteuning van Four Pees en InSoft." Disc Makers is nu helemaal klaar voor de volgende generatie onafhankelijke artiesten!

Printi and Imp, a match made in heaven!

Rafael P. Cassola
Rafael P. Cassola

Printi made its entry in the Brazilian print industry in 2012 and has made it to the biggest web-to-print company of Brazil ever since. Since 2015, they also became member of the largest group of online printers in the world, Cimpress. Their main goal is to improve the level of transparency and efficiency in the customization process of printed products.

They mainly focus on orders from end users and smaller companies. Rafael P. Cassola, Solution Architect at Printi, clarifies: "Other web-to-print companies usually don’t offer a good online experience for those markets. Their loss, our trump card!" They are determined to give everyone the opportunity to customize products quickly and easily at a low cost.

With Imp, you can think big

Printi’s biggest challenge is to offer a big portfolio of customized products, as each line of production has its own technical specifications. They were immediately on to the fact that software was the shortest way to achieve that goal. A dedicated team was focusing on bringing new solutions to their daily operation, and that’s how they discovered (and tested) Imp. "We identified a match made in heaven: we could exchange information between our MIS and Imp", says Rafael. The ability to create a smart, intuitive imposition without the intervention of an operator definitely won them over.

We identified a match made in heaven: we could exchange information between our MIS and Imp.

For 2 years, they have learned a lot about imposition, which made them able to identify other opportunities to improve their business. "The algorithm in Imp that decides which is the best solution to produce a big volume of orders allows us to focus on what brings real value to our company."

Imp allows us to focus on what brings real value to our company.

The best part? "We really value their support: they always have our back and are always open to suggestions! In case of a problem, they respond quickly with a workaround or an innovative solution." InSoft also constantly releases product updates, which often lead to Printi becoming more efficient in their process: "A good example would be the small imposition enhancement related to how PDFs were placed on the final page. This small update reduced the cutting time of some of our layouts from hours to minutes! Hats off to Imp!"

Empowered by callas to keep documents available now and forever …

Fabrizio Toninelli, Administrator PA DIGITALE
Fabrizio Toninelli, Administrator PA DIGITALE

PA Digitale SpA is a leading software solutions provider on the Italian Public Administration market. It specifically targets the document and data management sector.

PA Digitale offers an integrated management information system, called URBI Smart that covers all functional areas of management and provides to Directors/Executives a support tool for real time management. Thanks to the availability of static and dynamic data reports it also offers a complete framework for integration with other data sources that is always up to date.

URBI Smart is completely web based, available in the Cloud, accessible from any PC and mobile device, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The PA Digitale software solutions also offer advanced electronic document management, from creation and classification to archiving and digital preservation. These functionalities are available in an integrated Web Portal for a more efficient Public Administration, “closer” to citizens.

With its new WebTec solution, PA Digitale is now not only entering the private market, but also introducing one of the first digital preservation solutions formally approved by the Italian government. callas pdfaPilot enabled PA Digitale to make a big leap forward in terms of management and digital preservation of electronic documents.

“Without a digital preservation service there is no dematerialization of paper workflows. Digital preservation is a key factor for the sustainability of the dematerialization process, to ensure that information and documents are stored in a way that guarantees integrity, authenticity, accessibility and readability.”
May 2014, Agenzia per l’Italia Digitale - www.agid.gov.it

Electronic documents or cultural heritage?

An electronic document, like any document processed by a Public Administration (PA), must be classified, sorted and sent to an archive. Moreover, any Public Administration document is considered a cultural heritage and, for this reason, must be preserved according to government laws.

Public Administrations as well as private companies are obliged to manage the digital preservation of documents in various areas, where law requirements are in effect or imminent. Such documents are for example: electronic invoices, daily PA register protocols, administrative records, contracts, and any kind of document including a digital signature. They are all electronic documents and for this reason subject to digital preservation.

Within the private sector especially for financial accounting documents requirements exist enforcing digital preservation by Italian law. Digital preservation has to deal with the protection of legal validity, authenticity, integrity, reliability, availability and immutability of electronic documents.

Always valid, future-proof PDF/A documents

PA Digitale’s preservation software solution is developed with the latest innovative technology, including callas pdfaPilot libraries for PDF/A document management. callas pdfaPilot allowed PA Digitale to design a software able to convert any document (generated from any management software on the market) to always-valid future-proof PDF/A documents, ready for the digital preservation process.

“The particular methodologies and technologies used to design and realize our systems also allow us to perform maintenance activities, software updates, etc… without any service interruptions. These features, combined with the web based access mode optimized for mobile devices, allow us to ensure access to the system in any place at any time.”
Explains Fabrizio Toninelli, Administrator at PA Digitale.

This was achieved by replacing the analog model with the digital one and by changing the management processes with the digital preservation objective in mind. Thanks to the callas software solution PA Digitale drives its customers in the right direction.

Made in Pack kiest iC3D voor de creatie van virtuele verpakkingsprototypen

Laurent Sehier & Jan Debacker
Laurent Sehier & Jan Debacker

Made in Pack is gevestigd in Vanves in de buurt van Parijs en is een platform voor de prepressproductie van multiprocess-verpakkingen. Zijn innovatieve team met experts in de productie van verpakkingen werkt samen met grote namen in de sector. Zo kan Made in Pack tot zijn klanten zowel merken als L’Oréal, Redken of Harrys, Charal, Régilait als drukkers van verpakkingen zoals Amcor of Smurfit Kappa rekenen. Verschillende soorten klanten betekenen ook een grote waaier aan verschillende te produceren verpakkingen. Made in Pack heeft een jarenlange ervaring en zorgt voor de coördinatie, uitvoering, compositie, fotogravure en proofing van karton, etiketten, zakjes, thermogevormde folie en elk ander type verpakking. Met de investering in iC3D biedt Made in Pack nu een nieuwe oplossing voor de visualisatie en validatie in 3D voor alle dragers.

iC3D is een 3D-visualisatieoplossing voor verpakkingen. Je kunt er op een intuïtieve manier een 2D-afbeelding omvormen tot een virtueel prototype zodat je het onder alle hoeken kunt draaien en weergeven met de mogelijkheid om het te integreren in een virtuele omgeving zoals een winkel. De grafische vorm wordt aangebracht op een bestaande verpakking en wordt gehaald uit de bibliotheek met modellen of uit een geïmporteerd model dat in een andere toepassing werd ontworpen. Maar iC3D biedt ook heel gevarieerde verpakkingssjablonen en middelen om eigen modellen te ontwerpen.

Jan Debacker, Productieverantwoordelijke bij Made in Pack is heel duidelijk: "We beschikten eerder al over de mogelijkheden om 3D-visualisaties te ontwerpen, maar die verliepen heel moeizaam. iC3D is een performante en snelle oplossing om virtuele verpakkingen te ontwerpen. Met de middelen die in één enkele softwareprogramma zijn verenigd, kunnen de 3D-modellen worden ontworpen, gevisualiseerd en gedeeld, zowel als packshots in hoge resolutie als animatie via iC3D opsis, de dienst voor online delen die in de laatste versie van het programma is geïntegreerd." "Door de snelle evolutie van deze software beschikken we bij nagenoeg elke update over nieuwe functies", gaat de heer Debacker verder.  "Naast de gebruikelijke normen van de verpakkingssector kan iC3D gepersonaliseerde modellen ontwerpen in verschillende soorten omgevingen.  Met de benadering met diverse voorwerpen kan een montage van meerdere onderdelen (karton, zakjes, PLV) in eenzelfde omgeving worden gevisualiseerd. Met deze simulatie kunnen bepaalde optimalisaties zoveel mogelijk op voorhand worden uitgevoerd en kan doeltreffend advies aan de klant worden gegeven."

De voordelen zijn niet alleen van technische aard. "Als kleinschalig team moeten we altijd nadenken over hoe we ons kunnen onderscheiden van de grote spelers", verklaart Laurent Sehier, Algemeen directeur van Made In Pack. "iC3D biedt intern en extern een echte meerwaarde. We kunnen er kosteneffectief en al vroeg in het productieproces de mogelijke fouten mee opsporen. We kunnen dus een extra dienst bieden aan onze klanten, waarmee ze goede beslissingen kunnen nemen over de technische en visuele aspecten van hun verpakkingen om te komen tot een product dat in een winkelafdeling in het oog springt."

Over Made in Pack

Made in Pack stelt, afhankelijk van de behoeften en verwachtingen van de diensten Aankoop en Marketing, een oplossing voor het algemene beheer van de grafische verpakkingsketen voor. Zijn rol: je begeleiden langs de hele waardeketen van je verpakkingsprojecten, de middelen als geheel centraliseren en onder elkaar verdelen voor alle merken en alle tussenkomende partijen.
 
Made in Pack is een partner met een dubbele bekwaamheid: een gevoel voor marketing en creativiteit, en een erkende uitstekende en operationele techniek. Het bedrijf biedt prestaties op maat zodat het geheel van de grafische verpakkingsketen beheerst kan worden gestuurd met een multiprocess-ervaring om de homogeniteit van het assortiment te verzekeren.

Meer informatie vind je op www.madeinpack.com.

Over iC3D

iC3D werd ontwikkeld door Creative Edge Software en is een assortiment producten voor het ontwerpen en delen van virtuele verpakkingsprototypen.

iC3D, de hoofdtoepassing, biedt mogelijkheden voor het ontwerpen van modellen van karton, PLV, flessen, flexibele verpakkingen, kokers, zakjes enz. en om in realtime grafische vormen op deze verpakkingen aan te brengen.
iC3D Carton Edition is de instapversie van het assortiment die zich richt op de visualisatie van vouwdozen.
iC3D opsis is een dienst voor het online delen van 3D-modellen en is geïntegreerd in iC3D en iC3D Carton Edition.
iC3D Automate is een oplossing voor de automatische vervanging van grafische vormen op bestaande modellen en voor het aanmaken van alle mogelijke uitgevoerde bestanden zoals afbeeldingen, 3D-pdf en andere.
iC3D Viewer is de gratis toepassing waarmee virtuele systeemeigen iC3D-prototypen op elke computer (pc en Mac) kunnen worden geopend.

De iC3D-producten worden verdeeld door Four Pees. Meer informatie vind je op de website van Four Pees.

Square SA heeft zijn uitvoeringstermijnen verkort en zijn productiviteit verhoogd met iC3D

Roland Donzelle

Square SA is al sinds 1979 actief als grafisch communicatiebureau. Zij beheersen de grafische productieketen tot in de puntjes, en leggen zich vooral toe op prepress en verpakkingen, premedia (documenten en publicaties), beeldbanken, bronbeheer en copywriting. Je kan dus gerust zeggen dat hun corebusiness grafische communicatie is. Ze hanteren een uitgesproken technische aanpak. Het bedrijf is gevestigd in Lyon (Frankrijk), en in hun klantenbestand vinden we heel wat internationale klanten terug. Het gaat  om grote spelers zoals Adobe, BNP Paribas, L’Oréal, Le Monde, Danone, Volvo, en vele andere klanten.

Roland Donzelle, de CEO van Square SA, is ervan overtuigd dat de behoeften van de klant in de loop der tijd veel veranderd zijn: "De time-to-market is veel korter, en vraagt van de aanbieder meer flexibiliteit." Mr. Donzelle verduidelijkt: "De vraag naar prepress is uitgebreider, met aanvragen voor gestructureerde gegevens en 3D-simulaties, maar ook voor prototypes." Voor Square is anticiperen op de aanvragen van klanten dus niet alleen een opportuniteit, maar ook een uitdaging.

En hier speelt iC3D een grote rol. Deze software voor realtime 3D-verpakkingsvisualisatie en -ontwerp blaast hun ideeën leven in: er kunnen niet alleen 3D-omgevingen worden geschapen in realtime, maar er kunnen ook driedimensionele modellen worden gecreëerd in complexe scènes. "Wij vonden de filosofie van deze software meteen heel interessant", vertelt Mr. Donzelle. Door zijn flexibiliteit is iC3D niet onopgemerkt gebleven. Andere software kan voor frustraties zorgen, omdat er afzonderlijke ontwerpprocessen gebruikt worden.

Bovendien was Square op zoek naar een editor die luistert. "Een andere doorslaggevende factor was de editor. We vonden dat hij heel goed naar onze behoeften luisterde", aldus Mr. Donzelle. "De begeleiding van Four Pees, die wij al goed kennen, heeft ook bijgedragen aan onze keuze." Het is uiteraard heel belangrijk om een betrouwbare partner te hebben, zodat je tot de markt kan toetreden en op een duurzame, winstgevende manier kan groeien.

Square maakt nu al meer dan een jaar gebruik van iC3D en het bedrijf merkt een opvallende verandering. Dankzij iC3D is de uitvoeringstermijn korter  en stijgt de productiviteit. Op die manier geeft iC3D de grafici de kans om hun creatieve capaciteiten te verbeteren. Bovendien zijn de resultaten van betere kwaliteit, en dat maakt ze 'verkoopbaarder'. Nu bestaat de  uitdaging erin om meer van hun bestaande klanten te overtuigen, en vooral ook nieuwe klanten aan te trekken. "Wij zijn alvast overtuigd", besluit Mr. Donzelle.

Over Square

Square SA is een grafisch communicatiebureau. In het tijdperk van permanente verbinding en digital publishing is het voor opdrachtgevers van cruciaal belang dat documenten snel gecreëerd en gedrukt kunnen worden, dat er multimediacontent aan kan toegevoegd worden en dat ze snel verstuurd,  vertaald, gewijzigd, geklasseerd en gearchiveerd kunnen worden.

Square legt zich vooral toe op prepress en verpakking, premedia (documenten en publicaties), beeldbanken, bronbeheer en copywriting. Square beheerst zodoende de grafische keten van a tot z, hanteert een bijzonder technische aanpak en is zeer gericht op nieuwe technologie.

Meer informatie vind je op www.square.fr.

Over iC3D

iC3D werd ontwikkeld door Creative Edge Software en is een assortiment producten voor het ontwerpen en delen van virtuele verpakkingsprototypen.

iC3D, de hoofdtoepassing, biedt mogelijkheden voor het ontwerpen van modellen van karton, PLV, flessen, flexibele verpakkingen, kokers, zakjes ... en om in realtime grafische vormen op deze verpakkingen aan te brengen.
iC3D Carton Edition is de instapversie van het assortiment die zich richt op de visualisatie van vouwdozen.
iC3D opsis is een dienst voor het online delen van 3D-modellen en is geïntegreerd in iC3D en iC3D Carton Edition.
iC3D Automate is een oplossing voor de automatische vervanging van grafische vormen op bestaande modellen en voor het aanmaken van alle mogelijke uitgevoerde bestanden, zoals afbeeldingen, 3D-pdf en andere.
iC3D Viewer is de gratis toepassing waarmee virtuele systeemeigen iC3D-prototypen op elke computer (zowel pc als Mac) kunnen geopend worden.

De iC3D-producten worden verdeeld door Four Pees. Meer informatie vind je op de website van Four Pees.

Pim Print automatiseert workflow met callas pdfToolbox Server van Wifac

Ronald van der Meer
Ronald van der Meer - Mede-eigenaar

callas pdfToolbox Server, is dat niet dat workflow-pakket dat bij uitstek geschikt is voor grote bedrijven? “Kan zijn”, zegt Ronald van der Meer van Pim Print in Roelofarendsveen, “maar wij sturen onze productie op basis van deze software en zijn daar dik tevreden over.”

Pim Print barst uit zijn voegen in het huidige pand, een voormalige bollenschuur. Nabijgelegen grond is gekocht, uitbreiding staat op stapel. Oprichter Pim van der Meer startte zijn onderneming in 1982. In 1997 kwam Ronald van der Meer – geen familie – in dienst om in 2012 mede-eigenaar te worden.

"De grootse verandering is ongetwijfeld de digitalisering van onze productie geweest en de komst van een aantal SRA3-volumeprinters plus twee breedformaatinkjetplotters. Het belangrijkste besluit namen we vier jaar geleden door alle kaarten op verkoop via het web te zetten", zegt Ronald.

Bij Pim Print werken zeven mensen. Een deel is bezig om de vijf webshops van het bedrijf te optimaliseren, zodat het bedrijf en vooral de producten beter gevonden worden. Een ander deel werkt aan het verder stroomlijnen van de workflow.

Honderden jobs

“Onze webshops zijn uiteraard 24 uur per etmaal, zeven dagen in de week open. We verwerken honderden jobs per dag, met alle administratieve handelingen die daar bij horen. Dat lukt je alleen met een strakke automatisering.”
Ronald is gepokt en gemazeld in het grafische vak met onder andere een opleiding aan het Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam.
“Het grafisch vak kan niet zonder IT. Gelukkig boeien die mogelijkheden mij mateloos. Nadat we constateerden dat de verkopen via het web steeds beter gingen lopen, zijn we gaan zoeken naar software waarmee de prepress ontlast wordt, doordat controles geautomatiseerd worden. We kwamen uit op callas pdfToolbox Server. Wifac, onze lokale reseller, levert hier de consumables en heeft verstand van automatisering, workflow en printers. Mochten we vragen hebben die echt de diepte ingaan, dan kunnen we bij Wifac altijd terecht voor advies en ondersteuning. Dat is nodig als je een 24/7-bedrijf runt. callas bouwt uiterst flexibel gereedschap, waardoor je het pakket breed kunt inzetten. Wel dien je uiteraard de database met je producten en profielen zelf te vullen. Dat was een pittige klus, waar we vanaf begin november tot eind december hard aan werkten. Sinds januari dit jaar draait onze productie volledig op callas pdfToolbox. De foutmarge is daarmee minimaal geworden. Wanneer je werk bestelt, heb je dat de volgende dag in huis. Gegarandeerd.”

Rust in productie

Hoe werkt het? Een klant plaatst een order via het web. Met de bevestiging stuurt deze de opdracht in de vorm van een document mee.
“callas pdfToolbox Server zorgt voor de preflight en ons CMS-systeem genereert een factuur en stuurt deze per omgaande naar de klant die onmiddellijk afrekent, bijvoorbeeld via iDeal. Daar komt geen mensenhand aan te pas. De callas software controleert – en corrigeert zo nodig – de opdracht op afloop, plaatst snijtekens, zorgt voor afvlakking, berekent de juiste kleurruimte en plaatst een barcode waardoor na het printen ook het snijden van de job, of het afwerken van het drukwerk, kan plaatsvinden zonder handmatige instellingen.” Dit vermindert de werkdruk en geeft rust in de organisatie.
callas pdfToolbox Server heeft onder andere geavanceerde functies voor kleurbeheer en impositie aan boord. callas pdfToolbox tilt de workflow naar een hoger niveau met behulp van hotfolders. De verwerking van duizenden bestanden geschiedt zonder toezicht, of met een minimale visuele inspectie door een operator. callas pdfToolbox Server is gebaseerd op de Adobe PDF Library. Een commandoregelversie en een volledige SDK voor ontwikkelaars zijn beschikbaar.

Gereedschapskist

“Voor je een geautomatiseerde workflow op orde hebt, moet je investeren in kennis en tijd. Ben je in staat allerlei repeterende handelingen door de software te laten verrichten dan ben je op het goede pad. Veel drukkers torsen nog steeds die rugzak, waarbij de gedachte dat pers of printer het hart van de productie vormt leidend is. Bij ons is dat niet het geval. De belangrijkste rol is weggelegd voor een geautomatiseerde productie. Die zorgt voor rust.”
Pim Print draaide een prima eerste maand en ook februari 2014 ziet er goed uit. “Klanten die drukwerk willen laten maken zoeken op het web altijd eerst de goedkoopste en kiezen daarna voor de gemakkelijkste oplossing.” Klanten kunnen voor meer terecht dan een flyer. Posters, banners, magazines, stickers – veel is mogelijk.
“Een echte hardloper is onze mangrote afdruk. We hebben gepuzzeld hoe we dit product voor een redelijke prijs konden aanbieden, inclusief het verzenden. Dat geldt voor al je producten. Je gaat niet pas nadenken over hoe je iets gaat maken als je het verkocht hebt, maar regelt dat strak en van te voren. Daardoor ben je in staat een aantrekkelijke prijs te koppelen aan een snelle levertijd en verdien je er aan.”
Ronald van der Meer is nog niet klaar. “Het doel is om met het bestaande team nog meer werk te verzetten. De focus ligt op het verder aanscherpen van de workflow en een nog betere vindbaarheid van onze sites. Bovendien gaan we aan de slag met affiliate netwerken; websites van derden die ons werk verkopen en daar een bedrag voor ontvangen. Het lijkt simpel, maar ook hier geldt dat je het goed moet regelen. Verder duiken we nog dieper in de mogelijkheden van callas pdfToolbox Server. In die kist zit voor mijn gevoel nog veel gereedschap dat we goed kunnen gaan gebruiken.”

Xarisma

Jonathan Jackson

Tucanna designed tFLOW to streamline the way files get from customer to print. Jonathan Jackson, the soft signage & digital grand format Print Producer from Xarisma, says tFLOW does a great job with everything from preflighting to separating files, maintaining color consistency and eliminating redundant work.

Watch the short testimonial to learn more:

callas pdfToolbox: digitale gatekeeper voor Penthion Media Technologies

Jan-Peter Tjepkema
Jan-Peter Tjepkema - Eigenaar en directeur van Penthion Media Technologies

Door het toenemende aantal nieuwe publicatiekanalen op de markt moeten uitgevers niet alleen content publiceren maar deze ook beheren. Dit heeft in de afgelopen jaren geleid tot een aanzienlijke groei van de vraag naar content management oplossingen. Bovendien zijn steeds meer uitgevers vragende partij voor selfservice omgevingen. Zo kunnen ze besparen op kosten die samenhangen met de ondersteuning van hun klanten. Dit verklaart het succes van de selfservice oplossing die Penthion op de markt heeft gebracht. Deze oplossing biedt complete en geïntegreerde automatisering van het volledige uitgeefproces. Hierbij zorgt callas pdfToolbox Server voor geautomatiseerde certificering van PDF’s die worden aangeleverd.

Penthion begon callas pdfToolbox te evalueren in juni 2012. De voornaamste aanleiding hiervoor was haar betrokkenheid bij een proefproject voor een grote klant die een sterke voorkeur had voor de callas software oplossing. Op basis van haar evaluatie van de technologie en haar ervaringen met de callas organisatie besloot Penthion om pdfToolbox niet alleen voor dit ene project te gebruiken. Het haalde daarom de banden aan met callas software. “We besloten om onze eigen PDF-checker te vervangen door callas pdfToolbox, want het is een oplossing die voordeliger is voor ons. Het biedt ons ook nieuwe functies, een hogere efficiency, updates en betere technische support”, legt Tjepkema uit, eigenaar en directeur van Penthion Media Technologies. Begin 2013 werd de eerste geïntegreerde oplossing in gebruik genomen voor productie.

Tijd besteden aan sales, niet aan materiaalhandling

callas pdfToolbox Server werd geïntegreerd in Penthion’s online Ad|Portal aanleverplatform. De Ad|Portal uploadmodule is Penthion’s digitale gatekeeper voor uitgevers. Adverteerders kunnen de Ad|Portal gebruiken om PDF-bestanden te uploaden. Deze worden dan door de geïntegreerde callas technologie gecontroleerd en – indien mogelijk – direct hersteld en geconverteerd naar gecertificeerde PDF-bestanden. callas pdfToolbox Server voert alles uit op de achtergrond: geautomatiseerde kwalitatief hoogwaardige preflighting en betrouwbare automatische correctie van PDF-bestanden. Het verkort de doorlooptijden van jobs en minimaliseert de kans op fouten. Jan-Peter Tjepkema vervolgt: “Het uploaden van advertenties was nog nooit zo eenvoudig als met de Ad|Portal. Deze advertentie aanleverportal ondersteunt ook de workflow van de uitgever door automatisch gegenereerde e-mails te sturen naar adverteerders. De portal beheert naderende deadlines en reageert op basis hiervan. Met de geïntegreerde pdfToolbox Server ondersteunt de Ad|Portal het uploaden van drukwerk en/of online materiaal. En natuurlijk kunnen we ook kant-en-klaar materiaal of zetklaar materiaal verwerken.”

Dankzij de Ad|Portal hoeft de uitgever zich niet bezig te houden met de vervelende handling met betrekking tot materiaal. Zo kan hij meer tijd besteden aan sales. De proactieve benadering van de Ad|Portal zorgt ervoor dat zowel de uitgever als de adverteerder altijd alles onder controle hebben.

“Onze belangrijkste uitdaging blijft erin bestaan uitgevers ervan te overtuigen dat er kansen voor het grijpen liggen in de markt en dat er nog steeds veel geld te verdienen is”, besluit Jan-Peter Tjepkema. “We streven ernaar om samen met onze klanten duurzame oplossingen te ontwikkelen. Voor ons ligt de grootste kans in het aanbieden van een pay-per-use business model. In dit model verdienen wij geld wanneer de uitgever geld verdient. De uitgever profiteert van een kant-en-klare oplossing zonder grote initiële investering.”

Over pdfToolbox Server

callas pdfToolbox Server automatiseert en standaardiseert het proces van bestandsaanlevering en -ontvangst. Het biedt print-, publishing-, reclame-, verpakkings- en ontwerpbedrijven de meest uitgebreide oplossing voor geautomatiseerde kwalitatief hoogwaardige preflighting en betrouwbare automatische correctie van PDF-bestanden via hot folders. callas pdfToolbox Server biedt volledige ondersteuning voor meerdere processors en is eenvoudig af te stemmen op de behoeften van klanten. Het is gebaseerd op de Adobe PDF Library, waardoor het uiterst betrouwbare verwerking biedt. Een commandoregelversie en een volledige SDK voor ontwikkelaars zijn beschikbaar voor naadlozere integratie.
pdfToolbox Server is ontwikkeld door de makers van Adobe® Acrobat®’s preflighttechnologie. Het biedt uitgebreide maar gebruiksvriendelijke

  • PDF-preflighting en automatisch correctie
  • Automatische conversie van Microsoft Office bestanden en OpenOffice documenten naar drukklare PDF’s
  • Impositie van eenvoudige boekjes tot volwaardige brochures en boeken
  • Automatische transparantieafvlakking (Windows, OS X en Linux)
  • Uitgebreide web-development kit voor eenvoudige integratie

De optionele DeviceLink set biedt eenvoudige repurposing van bestanden voor verschillende drukomstandigheden.

Over Penthion

Penthion Media Technologies is ruim 15 jaar actief als totaalleverancier van automatiseringsoplossingen voor uitgeverijen van zowel magazines als kranten. Het biedt een complete en geïntegreerde automatiseringsoplossing voor het volledige uitgeefproces. Penthion werkt dagelijks aan de optimalisering en professionalisering van automatiseringsprocessen. Dit doet het door aandachtig te luisteren naar de wensen van haar klanten en het op de voet volgen van de ontwikkelingen in de markt. Haar oplossingen zijn gebruiksvriendelijk, schaalbaar, tijd- en kostenbesparend. Penthion is exclusief leverancier van alle producten van de Finse firma Anygraaf Oy in Nederland en in België. Penthion is een niet-beursgenoteerd bedrijf met hoofdkantoor in Assen, Nederland. Ga voor meer informatie naar de website www.penthion.nl.

Over callas software

callas software vindt eenvoudige manieren om met complexe PDF uitdagingen om te gaan. Als technologische innovator ontwikkelt en verkoopt callas software PDF technologie voor publishing, print productie en het uitwisselen en archiveren van documenten. callas software helpt agentschappen, uitgeverijen en drukkers om aan de dagelijkse uitdagingen tegemoet te komen, door hen te voorzien van software voor het preflighten, corrigeren en hergebruiken van PDF bestanden voor print productie en electronic publishing. Wereldwijd vertrouwen bedrijven en openbare instanties op de volledig PDF/A compliant en toekomstbestendige archiveringsproducten van callas software.

Bovendien is de technologie van callas software beschikbaar als programmeerbibliotheek (SDK) voor ontwikkelaars die PDF optimalisatie, validatie en correctie nodig hebben. Softwareverkopers zoals Adobe®, Quark®, Xerox®, Hewlett Packard® en vele anderen hebben de kwaliteit en flexibiliteit die deze callas tools leveren ingezien en hebben ze in hun oplossingen geïntegreerd.

callas software speelt een actieve rol in het ondersteunen van internationale standaarden en neemt deel aan ISO, CIP4, het European Color Initiative (ECI), de Ghent PDF Workgroup, FOGRA, AIIM en BITKOM. Bovendien is callas software stichtend lid van de PDF Association, waarvan Olaf Drümmer in oktober 2010 voorzitter werd.

Het bedrijf is gevestigd in Berlijn, Duitsland.

From prototyping to final prints – Impresiones y Prototipos, s.l. trust ColorLogic for all their color management needs

Alberto Gómez, CEO

To satisfy the ever changing requirements of the printing industry you need flexible and yet still specialized solutions to address those needs in the best possible way. We spoke with Mr. Alberto Gómez, CEO of the printing company Impresiones y Prototipos, s.l. in Barcelona, Spain, who is mainly responsible for the strategic development of the whole company. He focuses on quality improvements, solutions to fulfill specific customer requirements while looking for new opportunities to expand the activities of his company.

Mr. Gómez, could you please describe your company with a few words…

Our company Impresiones y Prototipos, s.l., is a printing company located in Barcelona (Spain) with over 30 years experience in the printing industry. Three years ago we created a new division “Zeta Prototypes” which specializes in prototype packaging. Our main clients here are located in the high-end sector of perfumery. Due to the high quality of our prototypes and the great success we have achieved here in Spain, we just started our international expansion prototypes packaging division. Our goal for 2015 is to establish this international business.

Please tell us a bit how you  became aware of the ColorLogic products and which ones you are using…

We use CoPrA and ColorAnt to optimize our measurement data and create ICC and DeviceLink profiles. Afterwards we process files by using the color server ZePrA. After we  validated how this powerful color management engine helped us to improve our print data, we also have included the ZePrA module for Spot Color conversion, which is very important for us. We also just started using the Reprofiler, which we think is a very interesting solution for handling slight changes in the print process without the need to regularly create completely new profiles.

A while ago we had some color issues in our production. I was looking for better ways to achieve color fidelity and shorter make-ready times. Someone recommended Daniel López from ID-Soft to us. He helped us to evaluate the right solutions and then integrated the ColorLogic products for us. Daniel is an excellent color consultant. He is very knowledgable and probably one of the best technicians for colorimetry in Spain. He also introduced us to the ColorLogic products.

This sounds very enthusiastic. So which are the biggest advantages you see in working with ColorLogic solutions…

We tried many other color management solutions, but we were never able to achieve our goal with them.  Our goals are to create high-quality prototypes and ensure the same colors in the final print. It is also important to know that theses prototypes serve as samples for all further printing processes. With the ColorLogic solutions, we saw from the beginning that we could achieve this goal, because they are very powerful and versatile. Before we changed our production, we had to perform many tests to get a color fidelity prototype. Since we began using  ColorLogic technology these tests have been drastically reduced  while also giving us a substantial increase in production  without comprising the print quality. Additionally, due to ColorLogic’s products we can manage color in all material we work with: Polyester, Folding, Leather, PVC, PET, etc, knowing that we will always obtain the best result of reproduction.

Anything else, you like to highlight…

Each prototype we do is a unique work. Our customers rely on our quality and with our optimized production we have have been able to achieve for our prototyping a 95% realism in comparison to the final industrial production. Today we are the 1st company in Spain which is certified by the best companies. So, now that we have such an extensive experience in conducting professional prototypes, we begin our international expansion by offering prototyping to other countries.

This is a great step and we wish you good luck for this exciting expansion. One last question: What do you think about the price – value ratio of ColorLogic products?

It is not a cheap solution, but I think it is complex to define what is cheap or expensive… Of course, it depends heavily on the objectives that are achieved. In our case, although it looked like a major investment in the beginning, we believe this was worth the money spent. Meanwhile we improved production tremendously and added value based on the professional knowledge of Daniel López. And if we ever see new requirements we can always discuss those with him. So for sure, I would do the investment again.

Thank you very much, Mr. Gómez and good luck for all your exciting activities.

The new ZePrA 4 is “running” at the German alprinta GmbH

Jan Lukat, Prepress Manager

The latest version 4 of the high-performance color server ZePrA, developed by the German ColorLogic GmbH, has successfully passed its test period at alprinta GmbH.  For some time now, alprinta GmbH has used Colorlogic‘s products ZePrA, CoPrA, Reprofiler and ColorAnt for their daily color management tasks. Ever changing print conditions in digital and screen printing, along with the special needs regarding exact reproduction of spot colors, calls for high-end color management solutions as one of the key success factors for alprinta.

Alprinta‘s prepress manager Jan Lukat tested ZePrA 4 before its official release:

“I really like to test new products for our production. The printing industry is changing constantly and only by adopting your production process to these changing requirements, allows you to maintain and optimize it. I also appreciate the quick response of the development teams responsible for the products we use here at alprinta. In addition, it enables me to share  feedback and ideas regarding future development which may benefit all users.“

Lukat explains how the ZePrA color server is used at alprintas‘ production in combination with ColorLogics‘ CoPrA (ICC profiling): “Instead of repeating the general advantages of the ColorLogic products, I like to focus on new features in ZePrA 4 / CoPrA 3 which are so beneficial for our daily print business:”

SmartLink

Until now the standard process was to generate printer and DeviceLink profile with CoPrA and re-profile with Reprofiler, each combination of printer, material and printing speed. The resulting DeviceLink profiles, were used for color conversion in ZePrA. Dealing with ten different print materials, three printers with three different speed settings ends easily in handling of 180 profiles (90 ICC and 90 DeviceLink profiles). The printing results are outstanding, but whenever something changes: material, settings, etc. all profiles need to be redone to maintain the quality. With the new SmartLink module in ZePrA 4 it is now possible to share DeviceLink settings between CoPrA 3 and ZePrA 4 and cuts with one “click“ the amount of profiles in half. ZePrA calculates automatically the required DeviceLink profile based on the related output profile. There are also pre-defined settings available for SmartLink.

Gamut warning

This new feature is one of my favorites. Especially in large format printing with its different kind of materials and reproduction capabilities. All clients require perfect reproduction of their CI colors and spot colors. Therefore, it is essential to know if those colors may be reproduced with the chosen settings. With ZePrA it is possible to define a variable for DeltaE2000 (deltaE2000 fits nicely to human color prediction) to track if the color shift is good enough to continue with the print or not. This goes very well together with the new rendering intent Minimal Compression in CoPrA 3 which allows the best possible nearly absolute colorimetric reproduction. Who can ask for more!

Transparency reduction

With the new Flattening options it is possible to reduce transparencies quickly either on single jobs or whole plates and ensure the best possible reproduction without running into problems with transparencies or spot colors. Daily print production has proven that reduction of transparency is required. Even working in a PDF-X/4-Workflow can lead to those unpredictable problem which can be solved now.

Report function

All  job settings may be stored manually in ZePrA by using the report function – in ZePrA 4 it is now possible to do this automatically and store it in a folder. I believe that this is essential to guarantee future reproduction and archive customer data. Thank you, ColorLogic, for realizing this customer request!

SaveInk

Finally, the most important point for all decision makers: Even if all topics mentioned are already more than helpful in daily reproduction work, you will enjoy the SaveInk module in ZePrA 4 and CoPrA 3 on top of it. I was able to realize approximately 20% ink reduction in 1000 print job without any loss of quality. Especially in large format printing where ink costs define the print costs – this could make the difference.  This function pays off from your first print job on. Additionally, with the different SaveInk levels you are able to define quality and rentability.

About alprinta

The German alprinta GmbH located in Leverkusen has been successfully working in print and display production for more than 30 years. Their core competence lies in digital and screen printing as well as advertisement, displays and UV offset. Alprinta is one of the market leaders in the area of display advertisement. This success is based on over 50 motivated and highly experienced employees.

Measurement data preparation using ColorAnt at Appel Grafik

Ulf Wittenberg

“My sincerest thanks to ColorLogic for the new ColorAnt tool for measurement data preparation!” writes Ulf Wittenberg from Appel Grafik, who as a long-standing customer was involved in the beta testing of CoPrA 2 and ColorAnt in 2011. The report from Ulf Wittenberg at Appel Grafik on his experiences shows why…

Appel Grafik is a media service company based in Germany with sites in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart. The Appel Grafik sites have been using the DeviceLink profiles created by ColorLogic CoPrA for many years for high quality and standardized color conversion of PDF files and pixel images. Ulf Wittenberg, Color Manager at Appel Color department creates, tests and optimizes the DeviceLink and ICC profiles centrally for the Appel Group, enabling him to ensure consistent color quality throughout the company.

Ulf Wittenberg continues:
“At last with ColorAnt there is software for MacOS and Windows for applying corrections such as measurements smoothing or compensation of optical brighteners to the measurement data – and as a CoPrA 2 purchaser it is free of charge, too. ColorLogic has also integrated even more extremely useful functions with the help of its outstanding and highly customer-oriented team.

The measurement data correction and smoothing are extremely helpful in our everyday work, particularly in calculating output profiles for color laser printers that despite careful calibration often still have notable irregularities. In addition, papers with a significant amount of optical brighteners are often used in production that in turn generate problems of a different kind when their effects cannot be corrected. Using ColorAnt, the necessary corrections can be included in the measurement data and their effect checked in advance of the profile calculation. The corrected data are then reflected in the CoPrA profile as well.

The other tools in ColorAnt are also fantastic – some outstanding examples include:

  • Extraction of the color fields for Ugra/Fogra media wedge V3 – saves time-consuming additional work on manual spreadsheet edits in many cases when reference values have to be created for the media wedge evaluation for in-house proof conditions.
  • Visual displays of the measurement data – nicely implemented functions for thoroughly examining the submitted corrections for their appropriateness.

The whole package is rounded off by a comparative function with statistical evaluation and a PDF report. This provides a really comprehensive overview of the quality of the printers measured.

This combination of advanced color management tools was previously only possible using several different programs from various manufacturers – to have all this in just one program that is really easy to use makes us really happy!

In summary: ColorAnt easily exceeds our expectations and feature requests and has become an indispensable tool in our workflow.”

Red remains red and green remains green – SKN counts on ColorLogic‘s color server ZePrA

Tielko de Groot, Prepress Manager

The German SKN printing and publishing group has a long tradition which dates back to the last century. SKN currently employs approximately 450 employees.  The publishing area covers over 30 different telephone books, the monthly magazine “Ostfriesland Magazine” and also publishes books. With its daily newspapers “Ostfriesischer Kurier”, the “Norderneyer Badezeitung” and two additional weekly newspapers, the SKN is also well known in the German newspaper publishing.

Beside these activities, the SKN is one of the largest industrial printers for high volume printing in Germany. According to their motto, “SKN – Competence in printing and publishing“, the SKN delivers high quality on a good price-quality-level. Besides highly educated and motivated employees, it‘s essential for the development of such multifaceted company to use the right technology and to have a close contact to all clients. Therefore, it is very important for the SKN to take special care about job printing and close customer relation. In other words, to present itself as a competent and reliable partner with whom it is easy to work with.

Tielko de Groot is the Manager of Prepress at SKN and, in addition, responsible for training and internal complaints department. Several years ago, a print consultant introduced him to the products from the color experts ColorLogic. The possibility to handle all print related data in the correct color space convinced Tielko de Groot to ColorLogic was the obvious solution. Due to the importance of using InkSave in SKNs production, they decided to work with ColorLogic ZePrA and the ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles.

ZePrA controls the colors

Tielko reports: “Working with a reliable and fast color server, which can be configured in an easy and understandable way, is really great. ZePrA is responsible for most of our color conversions and ink saving calculation of print data for sheet-fed and web-fed offset printing. For example, to adjust color data to the different Fogra characteristics of several paper types is an easy and fast task. Furthermore, by using an automation software like Enfocus Switch, the automation process in production can be additionally increased”.

Regarding the DeviceLink profiles, Tielko says: “At first, I like to highlight the fact that the DeviceLinkSet profiles have proven its usability during several print tests with Fogra certified color consultants. That main advantage is that it enables proprietary systems to deliver the same results as ZePrA. Therefore, we are using those profiles especially in newspaper production with Kodak Prinergy to apply SaveInk directly before printing. Before deciding on this production method, we tested a competitive product, which produced several errors. The generated print data were useless for production. However, the ColorLogic products are very reliable and need more or less no support at all. The few questions which have been raised so far, have always been answered fast and sufficient by ColorLogic and Karsten Schwarze from our dealer Impressed.”

Another advantage regarding the correct output in production rests, based on Tielko de Groot statement, in the fact “that the color server can be set to only adopt the images inside the PDF (or image files itself) and does not rip the complete PDF files or creates a complete new one or does any additional modification. This leads to a higher performance, too.  And it keeps me independent from any PDF library settings …” He went on to say, “I believe investing into a color server only happens once – and therefore you should better proof that it lasts. With ZePrA return on investment is ensured. By the way – we are also using ZePrA in our subsidiary OPD.”

Ringier AG – A Satisfied axaio MadeToPrint Customer Since 2004

Martin Werren, Head of Business Solutions
Martin Werren, Head of Business Solutions

Ringier is the largest internationally operating Swiss media company, producing more than 120 newspapers and magazines worldwide as well as running printing plants, several radio and TV stations and over 80 web and mobile platforms.

In 1996, Ringier installed axaio MadeToPrint – at that time for Quark Publishing System. Since then, the software has been used first and foremost to create fully automated print data. This primarily consists of high resolution PDFs following the PDF/X-3 standard, but also includes lower resolution PDFs and thumbnails for downstream systems.

“Back then, we implemented MadeToPrint so that we could standardize and automate our print output,” explains Martin Werren, Head of Business Solutions IT for the Publishing and Content Management Technologies department at Ringier AG. “Standardization is really important to us. MadeToPrint supports all of the required ISO standards for PDF output and helps us avoid mistakes. It relieves our layout artists from repetitive tasks and lets them focus on their real job: design.”

By using MadeToPrint, Ringier saves 60 to 90 minutes of valuable working time per day. The software is very robust and reliable and its performance with the appropriate hardware is outstanding.

And now with a server — for even higher productivity

axaio MadeToPrint is available in three different versions: MadeToPrint Standard (€349) is an InDesign plugin that allows you to optimize and safeguard the output of individual files in PDF format or other file formats. Using predefined JobSets, you can achieve identical output results on every workstation with a click of the mouse, thus ensuring a higher level of efficiency and fewer mistakes. MadeToPrint Auto (from € 2,490), is a plugin that enables a standardized, automated output from InDesign. MadeToPrint Server (from € 5,490) is based on processing with Adobe InDesign Server (included in the package). With the server version, output processes are fully automated around the clock to process high document volumes faster and more securely and meet the highest demands in publishing and printing environments.

For many years, Ringier optimized its output workflow with the MadeToPrint Auto version, operating on seven computers. Due to its scalability and speed, the decision was made to upgrade to the server version of MadeToPrint recently. “The increase in productivity in comparison to MadeToPrint Auto is roughly 30 minutes per day for each publication,” reports the IT chief. “Another motivation for the upgrade to the server version was the consolidation of the infrastructure, meaning less time and effort required for support in the IT department.”

In the meantime all titles (“SI Style”, the “Glückspost”, “Landliebe”, “Schweizer Illustrierte” and the integrated newsroom of the “Blick Gruppe”) are produced with the server version of MadeToPrint.

Integration and support — simply top class

“The integration into our existing Woodwing editorial workflow was completely smooth and easy,” beams Martin Werren. “To help us get started with MadeToPrint, our system integrator provided support for our colleagues for a single day. Everything else could be set up gradually with internal resources. In combination with Woodwing Enterprise, nothing else on the market comes close. MadeToPrint is really efficient, flexible, and it meets all our requirements. Plus, we can count on very good 2nd level support from our integrator A&F and excellent support from axaio."

Up to date

With the massive changes in the publishing and media world, customer needs have of course also changed over the years. And Ringier has felt the shift from analog to digital media. Whereas before there was only “print”, now web, smart phones and tablets have been added to the mix. Ringier provides its services via all of these channels, keeping all of its people and lifestyle customers happy in the process.

By acquiring other companies and making various investments, Ringier has been able to extend its field of expertise. In addition to publishing, Ringier AG has also established itself in the digital sector: internet-based and mobile e-commerce services such as shopping portals or Groupon services, and classified ad services such as car, furniture and job platforms. And that’s before we get to the entertainment sector, covering everything from TV, radio, events and entertainment services (ticketing, etc.).

Mr Werren provides a summary: “MadeToPrint Server is by far the most effective tool for generating highly automated ISO standardized output files from an editorial system. We’re delighted with the product, and we’d take that step again anytime.”

About Ringier

Ringier is the largest internationally operating Swiss media company, producing more than 120 newspapers and magazines worldwide as well as running printing plants, several radio and TV stations, and over 80 web and mobile platforms. Situated in the heart of Zurich, the Pressehaus has served as the headquarters of Ringier AG since 1978. Over 1000 employees visit this location every day. Together with its branches in Germany, Hungary, China,Vietnam, Romania and Africa, the company is comprised of roughly 8000 employees. With its 180-year history, Ringier stands for a pioneering spirit and individuality as well as independence, freedom of expression and diversity of information. The company’s hallmarks are excellence in products, journalistic quality and first-class entertainment. Founded in Switzerland in 1833, Ringier has been family run for five generations.

Referenties


Met meer dan 18 miljoen leden is ADAC (Allgemeine Deutsche Automobil-Club e.V.) de grootste autoclub in Europa en de tweede grootste ter wereld. ADAC is vooral actief op het gebied van wegvervoer, consumentenbescherming, veiligheid van vervoer en voorlichting over verkeersveiligheid. De ADAC Verlag gebruikt MadeToPrint voor de archivering en creatie van de e-Paper ADAC Motorwelt en de distributie van teksten naar nieuwsarchieven.

Van uitgebreide digitale en gedrukte communicatie tot marketingoplossingen voor verschillende soorten organisaties, uitgevers en merken: Aste Helsinki is een bureau dat zich toelegt op innovatieve mediacommunicatie. Momenteel telt het 70 medewerkers, die de meer dan 200 merken en bedrijven in het klantenbestand van Aste Helsinki helpen om content op de juiste manier te verwerken en via het juiste kanaal te delen: boeken, tijdschriften, online, brochures, sociale media, tablets, smartphones... De keuze is afhankelijk van hoe de boodschap de doelgroep het best kan bereiken. MadeToPrint helpt Aste Helsinki om zijn materialen te publiceren in de hoogste kwaliteit en op de meest efficiënte manier.

Axel Springer SE is één van de grootste digitale uitgeverijen in Europa. Het heeft tal van multimediale nieuwstitels in zijn portfolio. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan BILD, WELT en FAKT. Het bedrijf telt bijna 14.000 medewerkers. Het hoofdkantoor is gevestigd in Berlijn, Duitsland. Het bedrijf is actief in meer dan 40 landen via dochterondernemingen, joint ventures en licenties.

Bauer Media Group is een groot mediabedrijf. De groep is gevestigd in Europa en heeft haar hoofdkantoor in Hamburg, Duitsland. Het bedrijf heeft een portfolio van meer dan 600 tijdschriften, meer dan 400 digitale producten en 50 radio- en tv-stations over de hele wereld. Het bedrijf biedt ook druk-, post-, distributie- en marketingdiensten. De uitgeversgroep maakt al jaren gebruik van MadeToPrint in combinatie met PlanSystem 4 voor zijn productie.

Het WIENER Bezirksblatt is de grootste gratis krant in Wenen met huis-aan-huisbezorging. De krant heeft een bereik van 35,9%, goed voor 536.000 lezers. Dergelijke indrukwekkende cijfers realiseren vereist niet alleen een goed team maar ook goede, stabiele technologie.

Within the Funke media group, FUNKE magazines covers several publishers and service companies such as Gong Verlag, FUNKE Programmzeitschriften, FUNKE Women Group, FUNKE Frauenzeitschriften, Deutscher Rätselverlag, Verlagsgruppe Bahn, FUNKE Zeitschriften Marketing, FUNKE Zeitschriften Service and MZVdirekt. The magazine portfolio consists of tv program magazines, women's magazines, numerous special interest magazines and various special publications.

Founded in 1877, HORNBACH is the only company in the DIY sector that can look back on a company history spanning five generations. At present, the independent, family-run company operates 148 large mega stores with garden centers in nine European countries and is satisfied MadeToPrint user.

De LEGO Groep is een niet-beursgenoteerd familiebedrijf met hoofdzetel in Billund, Denemarken, en internationale hoofdkantoren in Enfield, Verenigde Staten, Londen, Verenigd Koninkrijk, Shanghai, China, en Singapore. Het bedrijf werd opgericht in 1932 door Ole Kirk Kristiansen. Met de iconische LEGO® steen als uitgangspunt is het bedrijf een van ’s werelds toonaangevende speelgoedfabrikanten.

maidl-service is a German media service provider and an long-time axaio OEM and Sales partner. isobella_media is een kant-en-klaar workflowsysteem dat ontworpen is voor PDF-creatie. De grafische workflow engine PowerSwitch (Enfocus) stuurt producten zoals MadeToPrint Server (axaio), pdfToolbox Server (callas) en de ingebouwde ColorServer aan. Dat alles maakt geautomatiseerde verwerking mogelijk van InDesign data via een krachtig centraal systeem. Bekijk de video.

Media Markt is Germany's and Europe's Number One consumer electronics retailer. Media Markt offers a huge variety of branded products at low prices, competent staff, excellent service, and a distinctive advertising presence. In Germany, the company currently has 260 markets. For the production of its promotional materials the company uses the solution axaio MadeToPrint.

Medienpartner International GmbH is een bedrijf van Hubert Media. Naast IT-media, fotografie, reclametoepassingen, video en ontwikkeling van hoogefficiënte workflows is hun kerncompetentie digitale prepress. Van boulevardbladen tot het premium segment: jaarlijks verwerkt het bedrijf meer dan 140.000 tijdschriftpagina’s. Denk bijvoorbeeld aan magazinetitels zoals BUNTE, ELLE en FOCUS magazine, om maar enkele voorbeelden te noemen.

The Mondadori Group is one of the top publishing companies in Europe. It is Italy’s biggest book and magazine publisher and the third largest in the consumer magazine segment in France. Mondadori’s activities also include advertising, digital, radio, retailing and direct marketing. The Group is the absolute leader in Italy’s book market, operating through publishing houses including Edizioni Mondadori, Einaudi, Piemme, Sperling & Kupfer and Electa.

Premedia AT is een systeempartner voor klanten in de handel, de zware industrie en het bank- en verzekeringswezen die hun processen voor drukwerkproductie willen automatiseren. Met 25 jaar ervaring in het optimaliseren van productieprocessen voor communicatiematerialen is Premedia een toonaangevende dienstverlener met gerenommeerde klanten.

Ringier is the largest internationally operating Swiss media company, producing more than 120 newspapers and magazines worldwide as well as running printing plants, several radio and TV stations and over 80 web and mobile platforms. Sinds 1996 is het bedrijf een overtuigde axaio MadeToPrint gebruiker. Dankzij MadeToPrint bespaart Ringier 60 tot 90 minuten kostbare werktijd per dag. Lees hier meer hier.

For the production of its promotional material Saturn relies on the solution of MadeToPrint axaio. The electronics retailer Saturn offers a wide range of electrical appliances and consumer electronics at the best price as well as competent service and expert advice. Saturn is currently represented at 157 locations in Germany. For the production of its promotional material Saturn relies on the solution MadeToPrint from axaio.

Somedia is the leading media company in south-eastern Switzerland. The publishing house is family-owned and offers information, knowledge and entertainment through print, radio, TV and online to people in south-eastern Switzerland. As a competence center for communication, Somedia produces and publishes for companies, third-party publishers, associations and authorities in the field of print, video and web. In total Somedia has 930 employees.

“Wij gebruiken de software MadeToPrint voor de productie van tijdschriften voor onze klanten, inclusief verstrekking van PDF’s voor iedereen, printouts voor de beeldredactie, bewerkingscycli met annotering, labels enz. We zijn blij dat we aanzienlijk minder moeten drukken. De volledige workflow is veel transparanter geworden. Dankzij de PDF-bestanden hebben we altijd inzicht in de huidige status van het hele project”, Dr. Markus Schönmann (CEO van storyboard GmbH)

“We use MadeToPrint for years and are very happy with it. Specifically, the output of our editorial system WoodWing Enterprise runs very reliably and efficiently using MadeToPrint Server”, says Patrick Stalder, Project & Application Manager at Tamedia. Tamedia is a Swiss media company based in Zurich. Tamedia's daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, online platforms, together with its printing facilities make it one of Switzerland's leading media enterprises. The company was established in 1893 and has been listed on the Swiss stock exchange since 2000.

TUI Germany GmbH is the German market leader in tourism. It is a subsidiary of TUI Group, the world's leading tourism group based in Hannover. Besides the core brand TUI and 1-2-FLY, Airtours and L'TUR or TUIfly belong to the German TUI Group. For their catalog production TUI Germany has been counting on MadeToPrint fro years: “MadeToPrint is the ideal complement for the delivery of files to our production system for print production. Our MadeToPrint jobs ensure high reliability and short processing times. Especially in the field of our catalog production we appreciate these benefits”, says Hendrik Bender, Consultant Media Technology.

WEKO is a traditional, family-run company for furnishings with currently 1,000 employees and is located in several German cities: Pfarrkirchen, Rosenheim , Linden and Eching near Munich. The Group includes two large furniture stores, two discounters and a 5000 sqm retailer specialized in kitchens.

"We zijn dankbaar dat MadeToPrint bestaat. Het helpt ons enorm bij onze productie: alles loopt van een leien dakje. We krijgen zelfs schouderklopjes van de drukkerij vanwege de mogelijkheid om lagen afzonderlijk uit te voeren! Hoedje af...!", zegtThomas Schilling (Graphic Studio Mathias Weintz GmbH).

Color server ZePrA in use at Gennaro Marfucci

Gennaro Marfucci, Layouter

Small company with large effect

Gennaro Marfucci offers solutions for DTP, color and print, and works with ZePrA, a color server software solution developed by ColorLogic.

Gennaro Marfucci is a certified media expert for digital and print media. His full-service bureau offer solutions all around DTP, color and print. Located in Darmstadt near Frankfurt, he serves clients all over Germany, but especially in the Rhein-Main area. Gennaro Marfucci works mainly for ad and design agencies, prepress and service bureaus. Based on Corporate Identity and production requirements, he creates layouts, print copies and finalizes also print production – from layout to final print control. He does the DTP work on his own and serves everything around digital printing, prepress and color management.

Different than the competition

For Marfucci, it is common in his business to be expected to prepare print data immediately. This an present a big problem for a small company. Therefore, it is even more important to quickly prepare ad campaigns with respect to different printing conditions.

“I searched for hardware and software solutions to help me to work faster and more efficiently.  It was my goal to differentiate myself from competition. I wanted to work “solution oriented“, respect quality, work effectively and still offer more attractive prices than my competition. During this evaluation, I got in contact with Impressed (the German distributor of ColorLogic). They offer professional advice and if there is any issue, I get excellent support. To solve my color management issues they recommended products developed by ColorLogic. ColorLogic is specialized on development of color management solutions and offered exactly the kind of product I was looking for: ZePrA.  My main problem that I wanted to solve is that I don‘t have the time to generate  “clean“ printing data.  Using ZePrA, I am now able to solve all tasks within a short timeframe: fast realization of ad campaigns, converting RGB to CMYK, adjust data to different color spaces or convert existing legacy data to respect new printing conditions. Quite often I have to convert existing designer publications, such as brochures or magazines, prepared as a PDF/X-4 file, to PSO Uncoated and do scaling and sharpening of the images in one step. Sometimes I have to replace Corporate Design colors in Corporate Design Manuals for different printing standards (in CMYK). It‘s also possible to adjust advertisements to DUON conventions. All these different tasks are handled now easier, smoother, with less mistakes and definitely much faster.”

More customers thanks to a better quality

Marfucci is satisfied:  “My situation concerning orders has been improved tremendously since I started to work with ZePrA. Without ZePrA I wouldn‘t been able to accept so many orders and realize them in time. Doing so, I get many new customers and found some niche markets as a service provider. My advantage is that by using ZePrA, I am able to work faster, better and more price attractive than most of the other competitors which don‘t use such a solution. In addition, we have to face the fact that prepress production changed dramatically since the introduction of the Adobe Creative Suite. A media expert has to solve now different tasks – from the first draft until the final preparation of print data. For a one-man company like mine, the investment into ZePrA was the perfect decision to increase work production while   offering better quality and to differentiate me from the average standard. In addition, my customer relations are much closer nowadays because my clients recognize the advantages and quality improvements by using DeviceLink profiles for color conversion and they don‘t want to refuse this.“

Beside ZePrA (including SmartLink) Marfucci uses also ColorLogic DeviceLink profiles (DLS) and  DocBees-ProfileTagger to detect unprofiled or wrongly tagged data.

ZePrA is a high-end color server running under Mac OS X or Windows. The application supports DeviceLink and ICC profiles and offers conversion and optimization of complete PDF print data and images (PSD, TIFF und JPEG) via hotfolder. Therefore ZePrA is the perfect solution to convert delivered printing data to a standard printing condition. ZePrA supports CMYK, RGB, gray scale, Lab and multicolor and is suitable for any kind of printing process. This application sets standards regarding quality, performance and price wise!

De Persgroep Publishing – alert and reactive

Marc Roelants, ICT Project Leader
Marc Roelants, ICT Project Leader

De Persgroep Publishing (dPP) is a 100% subsidiary of De Persgroep, which has expanded from a local, Flemish media company to a leading bi-national organization. dPP is active in newspapers, magazines and new media and home to a number of market leaders such as Het Laatste Nieuws, Dag allemaal, Goed Gevoel and HLN.be. The turnover of de Persgroep is around 750 million euros; for the whole group this is one billion euros, which makes it one of the largest media companies worldwide.

Like other publishing houses, dPP faces significant challenges going forward. The ongoing financial recession puts pressure on revenues – especially from advertising. Additionally the advertisement market is experiencing a shift to digital media and television, taking away revenue from traditional print advertising. Lower consumer confidence is yet another trend in the reader market; people buy fewer individual issues and are switching titles more often.

dPP still flourished in this changing landscape; through focus on traditional print and embracing new digital media, the group managed to maintain and for a number of titles even improve reader numbers. dPP also invested in a joint IT platform which improves performance and reliability while decreasing costs. This is where Elpical Claro Premedia comes into the picture.

Claro Premedia – high availability and superb quality

In 2009 de Persgroep Publishing started a division in the Netherlands, acquiring some of the major local newspapers such as Algemeen Dagblad, de Volkskrant and Het Parool. All existing ICT systems were migrated and integrated in the existing ICT platform in Asse, Belgium. Marc Roelants, ICT Project Leader - Editorial and Advertising Systems explains: “With the growing number of publications, automating the production of these publications became crucially important; it is the only solution to reduce human intervention and therefore errors. Especially because we also face the challenge to automate our production workflows in such a way as to make it possible to publish both to paper and digitally online and on mobile devices.

As part of this automation and ICT integration process dPP migrated their image workflows to Claro Premedia in December 2012. They invested in two Claro Premedia 9 environments; one for production and one for testing and development, each consisting of two virtualized servers. This implementation happened in close collaboration with dPP’s ‘Flash Center’ department that takes care of all production related operational processes within dPP; such as PDF and image optimization. Steven Baelen, Flash Center Manager explains: “We chose Claro Premedia as our image enhancement software based on the intelligent image processing and therefore the excellent image quality.”

In order to make the integration possible, the software needed to have robust automation capabilities, coupled with excellent image optimization that allowed individual images to be further optimized by dPP’s Flash Center. It also needed to function in a dynamic way, using job tickets and web services to drive it from the larger workflow system. Elpical Claro Premedia fulfilled all of those needs, and that is why dPP finally went with the solution after analyzing the different products on the market today.

Marc Roelants adds: “If we have to pick the 2 main reasons why we chose to work with Claro Premedia then it would be high availability and product quality. On top of that, the implementation of Claro Premedia in our workflow went very smoothly. We’ve received excellent support from Elpical and their distributor Four Pees. We have worked closely together in the development stage and beta testing of the new Claro Premedia 9 version. Even now that we use the product in our daily production, we can always count on an excellent and swift support.”

In order to ensure 100% uptime for Claro Premedia as it is integrated into their production workflow, dPP and Elpical worked on comprehensive cluster support for the new Elpical Claro Premedia 9. This ensures that a server with software or hardware problems doesn’t affect the entire image processing system; the load is dynamically shifted to the remaining processing servers.

Automated image Processing with intelligence

De Persgroep Publishing handles a huge number of images day-in, day-out; so many that it would be cost prohibitive (not to mention too time-consuming) to optimize all of them manually. This is the typical scenario where Elpical Claro excels. Not just because it can handle a vast amount of images in a short period of time, but also (and mainly) because it knows its own limits.

“Starting with version 9, Elpical Claro can be configured in a true cluster configuration. This ensures high availability and provides load-balancing across multiple servers, ” explains John De Jong, CEO of Elpical Software: “This is of course very important to our bigger customers. However, it is the built-in quality control that is the most important functionality”.

Elpical Claro automatically calculates how good its image optimization algorithm performed on every single image it processes. Depending on the workflow, you can then decide what percentage of images you want to process completely automatically and what percentage to keep aside for manual inspection and
further manual cleanup. Claro comes with a Claro Inspector plug-in for Adobe Photoshop where a retoucher can see the original and processed image. This allows a quick decision on whether the original or the processed image is better and allows further manual processing in Photoshop.

“You can mix this automatic and manual mode in one Elpical Claro installation,” continues John De Jong: “This allows a publisher to make different workflows for different magazines or newspapers for example. For some publications completely automatic processing might be the best option, while for high-quality, glossy magazines every image could be pre-processed by Claro but quality controlled and further optimized by a photo retoucher in Photoshop. That’s really the best of two worlds”.

Foli de México, Naucalpan de Juárez, Mexico

Angel Viveros

"Metamation's Imp software has become an invaluable planning tool for our organization in past two years. Now estimating has becoming an exact science. With Imp software young estimators can deliver accurate plans as many years of experienced estimator would. Because for our variety of functionalities, Metamation solution was a perfect fit, and we are aiming to integrate it with our ERP system so it could be the heart of our planning, estimating and imposition." - Angel Viveros

Cot Holdings Limited, Barbados, West Indies

Dana Moore

"Metamation has streamlined the planning function and enabled automization of some prepress processes. Efficiency and accuracy can now be achieved when calculating ganged jobs by using the Metamation Ganging Module. Whereas it may have taken an hour to manually calculate ganged jobs, this can now be done in as little as 10 minutes using the Metamation Ganging Module. It has also become simpler to process nested jobs and create dielines for diemaking. This has decreased the overall processing time for packaging work and has realized significant savings especially in stock (paper) usage.
The team at Metamation have been very helpful to COT during the trial of the product and in after service. The product is also very economical when compared to similar products COT has investigated. Also the features are more advanced than the other competitive products especially in relation to nesting." - Dana Moore

Graphic Visual Solutions, Greensboro, USA

Jack E. Brown

"Metamation has proven extremely valuable to our organization as a planning tool, as well as an estimating tool. With our mix of packaging and commercial work on offset and flexo presses, our needs were specific in upgrading our imposition capabilities. After reviewing numerous products, we found that Metamation was easy to use and fit our needs. What we found was a tool with a simple to understand interface, and logic options that made the estimating and planning of our difficult jobs more efficient. We have also been very satisfied with the level of customer service that we have received during our implementation. The addition of the die library has enabled us to catalog and select dies more easily. Choosing Metamation was an important part of our strategy for an efficient overall workflow."
- Jack E. Brown

Pragati Offset, Hyderbad, India

Harsha Paruchuri

"We had deployed Imp five years ago in our commercial print operations. A wide range of products - books, folders, calendars, stationery, among others - are planned efficiently by Imp. We have also set up a system in which information about products goes from our SAP ERP system to IMP, which eliminates re-entry and mistakes. The plan made on IMP is then transferred as a JDF to our Esko workflow system - again eliminating any manual entry of imposition details. We have also implemented IMP in our packaging unit’s workflow over the last 18 months. Imp has a strong feature set for non-rectangular jobs and the nesting created by it is great. The feature of reel to sheet allows us to plan job seamlessly across available substrate - whether in sheets or reel form. This has allowed much more efficient use of our paper stocks and allowed us to reduce our inventories by about 30%. With Imp the complex job of creating nested layouts has become efficient and quick. Our CAD department now has more time to focus on creating better folding cartons designs." - Harsha Paruchuri

D&L Press Inc., Phoenix, USA

Andrew Pinch

"IMP has been an effective tool in helping our company create efficient, accurate layouts for multiple presses that all have very different demands. We were spending as much as six hours per day creating layouts manually and with IMP we hardly spend an hour per day with the same amount of work. Our Pre-Press department now has the time to be proactive with layouts and other important tasks like color and more efficient scheduling instead of just creating layouts in a hurry to keep jobs moving. We have been impressed by the IMP team in every way, they were helpful in training us and have been responsive to our inquiries. I would recommend IMP to anyone looking to automate their shop. Aside from all of these benefits, they are also affordable, the initial cost to get all the automation that IMP offered was less than other comparable solutions." - Andrew Pinch

Printvision, Ahmedabad, India

Falit Pandya

"IMP has automated our entire job planning, completely eliminated the imposition in pre-press, increasing efficiency, productivity and accuracy. The feature of defining grain direction in planning stage and the comprehensive production reports have fully streamlined our entire production process right from Job estimation to finishing." - Falit Pandya

Ramya Reprographics, Bangalore, India

R. Narenda

"IMP has drastically reduced our Job Planning time and has streamlined our pre-press production. The learning curve was very small and entire team is happy & comfortable with this unique solution." - R. Narendra

MWN Press, Chennai, India

NR Kumar

"After 6 months of use IMP has become the back bone of our prepress set up. I checked with my pre-press team on their experience using IMP, they said that they are a lot more relaxed after IMP. To me, IMP’s greatest value lies in its acting as a mistake filter; that is where I see the pay back for the product. I see a great potential for the product." - NR Kumar

The Print Space, London, UK

David Moy, Production Manager

"Having only recently been introduced to Laidback solutions software our experience has been extremely positive with great results. It has been completely different than working with other software solution companies. Their support has been second to none and they are always on hand to help you achieve exactly what is needed from their product. It has been refreshing different being able to work with developers directly rather than a chain of people who reiterate your needs which all delays the workflow. I came with a very specific and technical request from their software, which is not in their usual line of work and the laidback team were flexible in resolving every scenario with a sound and well thought out solution. All in all very pleased with their work with us and would definitely recommend to others in the future." - David Moy, Production Manager

Image Craft

Mr. Madeley

Challenge

As it became common to receive dozens of jobs everyday that were due in a matter of hours, executives at Image Craft realized they needed to make a fundamental change: They began looking for a way to automate. As industry veteran and VP of Operations Doug Madeley summarizes, “Client expectations are being driven by online ordering platforms such as Shutterfly – and we have to keep up, especially on the custom products side. There are two ways to do that: adding labor and extending your costs or automating to cut the time it takes to get it ripped and ready to print.”

Solution

Image Craft evaluated a range of solutions from big names like EFI, Heidelburg, and Caldera, but a referral from color management consultant Dan Reid really stood out: Tucanna’s tFLOW  workflow automation software. Explains Mr. Madeley, “The personal interaction there was a critical factor. It’s a smaller company: I can pick up the phone, get a hold of someone, and get what I need quickly, dealing directly with principals and software developers.” Image Craft was also impressed by the fact that  Tucanna staff have strong color management backgrounds and understand the challenges of the industry – particularly in wide format, which is driven by demand for shorter turnaround times and compressed margins. “The key is automating workflow from the moment a file is uploaded: get it preflighted, ripped
and to the printer ASAP. In order to grow and meet client expectations, you have to reduce timelines, and the biggest place to do that is prepress, which is why we chose tFLOW. Once we set profiles for clients
– which vary according to their experience level – the system works extremely quickly.”

Success

Image Craft describes the implementation as smooth and straightforward. “Our clients already love it, says Mr. Madeley. “The functionality is outstanding.” The firm has found that some of their clients already expect a drag- and-drop preflight system that provides a preflight report in a matter of minutes – and more will continue to do so. tFLOW  software met demand to reduce service times while maintaining sustainable profits for Image Craft, and the adoption of tFLOW  has moved internal processes into lightspeed. “We saw the value immediately as soon as we reviewed it, and created a timeline for integration right away. The speed was much faster than we expected. Another aspect we really appreciate is Tucanna’s technical background. We can come up with an idea, discuss it with them, and have a functional coded solution in a matter of days.  Exciting stuff!”

tFLOW Software cuts through complexity and drives profitability for S2K Graphics

Mr. Garcia
Mr. Garcia

Opportunity

S2K Graphics is an established firm with more than 25 years specializing in POP graphics, digital large-format printing, and screen printing. Based in Tennessee and California, S2K Graphics is part of the Franke Group and has a nationwide sales network. Frustrated that their ERP workflow system required too much paperwork to manage digital files, VP and General Manager Phil Garcia sought a new solution. When he heard about Tucanna tFLOW from Mike Ruff in November of 2012, he immediately recognized the potential of tFLOW automation.

Solution

Tucanna conducted an in-depth analysis of S2K Graphics’ needs, and then developed a custom workflow solution. The tool allowed S2K to manage all of their workflow online and greatly reduced the amount of time needed to get approval. Says Mr. Garcia, “tFlow Approval was customized to our needs, which is the main reason we chose it. We upload 200 files per day. With no email chains from Graphics to CS, the client, Sales, and the Art Department, tFlow Approval cuts through layers of complexity and dramatically improves throughput and accuracy.” The software also lets S2K provide better service to their remote sales people, which in turn benefits their bottom line.

Success

Tucanna’s affordable, easy to use solution has been transformational for S2K Graphics. Implementation led to an impressive 80% reduction in paperwork, reduced labor 20-30%, and freed up 1.5 FTEs from prepress duties to work on other functions. The company’s need for traditional prepress work has been almost completely eradicated, allowing them to reallocate resources, reduce labor costs, and significantly shorten approval times. Mr. Garcia explains, “Clients love the fact that they’re getting stuff quicker. They can see it real time, and we’re not having to interpret their requests. Best of all, online workflow  management gives them the highest accuracy. After two years, it’s hard for me to imagine being successful without this system. For anyone who is managing a significant amount of digital fields, this is a must have.”

Time-saving tFLOW Automation empowers bluemedia to meet intensifying demand with ease.

Daniel Wijdenes

Challenge

bluemedia, a supplier to MLB and NFL franchises for vehicle and large format environmental graphics company, produces high-profile graphics for exterior defense mesh, field walls, and building wraps. With steady growth and demand for their products and services, the company found themselves needing to handle 100 new files per day but orders and files were being bogged down unnecessarily in preflight. As a result, they decided to pursue a workflow automation solution.

Solution

After initial research, production manager Daniel Wijdenes chose tFLOW – workflow software from Tucanna that automates processes from customer service to press. bluemedia now uses both tFLOW Approval and tFLOW Production, maximizing the efficiency of both tools. They were also pleased to find the platform was quickly adopted by their clients. Says Mr. Wijdenes, “The online proofing mechanism and being able to resolve issues with the files through automatic notification is absolutely an added value to our clients.”

Success

The tFLOW platform provides an affordable, customizable solution so powerful it can transform businesses by automating the majority of repetitive prepress tasks — all from one simple dashboard. tFLOW also acts as a seamless collaboration platform. Clients can receive proofs without even needing to download the software. Those with more technical expertise can follow a more streamlined approval profile, while those needing more oversight can follow another. “One of the things we liked best about tFLOW is that it can be as light or intensive as you need it to be,” explains Mr. Wijdenes.

BBC Magazines and Elpical’s Claro

Daniel Hargreaves, Reprographics Manager

Time + Quality

SmartRepro sought to maximize in-house talent to improve processes and final product quality. A new infrastructure included the establishment of publication-specific repro hubs that would, for example, address timeline bottlenecks within and across publications (such as reduction of proofing cycles). Each hub is connected across the network, making it easy to move work around when necessary. Specific strategies included training design staff to better assess images and print-ready work, as well as understand color space and conversion fundamentals to recognize color problems and correction requirements.

Cultural Change

The broad thinking underlying the approach was to provide best in class resources to fit the needs of internal magazine clusters, including staff equipped with the expertise to address each publication’s particular creative requirements. “It meant a fundamental culture change,” says Hargreaves, who designed the internal repro team to be flexible and able to juggle any of the work that might come up, thereby
balancing the load with the publications’ creative teams and creating a fast, effective, and quality process. “We created a hybrid of the design teams and the repro team,” he said. “That meant winning hearts and
minds in the beginning, negotiations, and carefully structuring how we rolled this out, with a constant eye on how we would safeguard quality. We started in May 2006 - and a year later we successfully incorporated the process with all of our titles.

“Visually the results speak for themselves. There is a definite quality improvement in images accross the board.”

Tools for the Job

Picking the right tools and adapting them over time has been key to the effort, as well. “We invested in workflow tools to insure that we had a robust, industry standard workflow,” said Hargreaves.

Best of Breed

BBC then layered a few key “best of breed” tools on top of the workflow. One standout choice? Elpical’s Claro. Claro’s image tools have their roots in the high quality Hasselblad imaging technology. Building on
that base philosophy of quality photographic output, the Claro analysis tools individually analyze images to ensure sharpness, contrast, brightness, color balance and other parameters. The results are consistently superb image quality.

Tick Tock

“We are increasingly pushed for time, and with the schedule backloaded on a monthly magazine – we can have chaos!” Hargreaves says emphatically. “There is frequently a need for us to standardize what we get in”, he explains, ”But because of those time and budget constraints, we often have to work with what we’ve got -- and that’s where Claro can optimize and standardize in automated ways.” “As time constraints grow more severe, quality expectations remain high, so we’ve got this balancing act to achieve quality levels while simultaneously having less time to do it. I was looking at automated solutions and found Claro.”

Top Gear

The hit automotive show Top Gear and its popular magazine must shine like an Aston Martin Vantage Roadster gliding through the S curves to Monaco. In fact, one of the fi rst tests Claro passed was the editors’ eyeballs at Top Gear. “Top Gear has to be very current and topical, with a very short amount of time to turn around -- and Claro brings big benefits there. Top Gear was really into it when I showed
them what it could do,” says Hargreaves.

Alan Dixon of Workfl owz, Elpical’s UK partner, joined Elpical’s John de Jong in going to BBC to set up an in-depth demo and product evaluation with initial set-up and training for BBC to build upon. Further tweaking and enhancements to match BBC’s internal departments’ requirements were developed with Hargreaves’ guidance, before the system was rolled out to various titles. “We threw lots of different images at the software, tweaked it, and got proofs that achieved what I felt was a significant difference, and once I showed the editors here at Top Gear what can be achieved, it was met with such enthusiasm that it drove sign-off on the investment,” Hargreaves says.

Great Greens

The system also shines in the challenging areas of greens, blues, and skin tones - and that’s something that BBC’s Gardeners’ World magazine needs to get “Just Right”. Not surprisingly, the plant photography across this well-known gardening publication contains a lot of greens, not to mention highly varying levels of subtlety from green to green. Hitting the quality bar while meeting a rigorous production schedule was challenging. “With Gardeners World we’re using the new green tones setting, and getting great results,” Hargreaves reports. This achievement was made possible by his decision to give each publication its own, unique profile.

Integration

Integration also makes for success. For example, Hargreaves says BBC integrated Claro with its workfl ow to take advantage of Claro’s sharpening function. “When our pages are submitted to the workflow, it makes calls to Claro. The ICC conversion happens in Claro and images are sharpened there as well, so it’s a two-pronged, integrated approach,” he says. As an added benefi t, Claro insures that all images are analyzed in some way. Claro analyzes the CMYK profile against the gamut of the image going in. If the image is out of gamut by more than 20%, Claro applies a perceptual conversion. This, says Hargreaves, brings a whole new level of consistent quality to the process.

The Payoff

“Visually, the results speak for themselves,” says Hargreaves. “There’s a definite quality improvement in images across the board. We wouldn’t have had time to make all these sharpening and other enhancements. This approach lets us have those benefits while working to our tight deadlines. If we didn’t have Claro, we might not be able to achieve the results we have been able to, in certain titles.”

About ELPICAL

ELPICAL Software, based in Giesbeek, The Netherlands, develops and markets software solutions for the production and enhancement of digital images and the automation of the image workflow. Based
on extensive image analysis, the technology enables publishing houses to automate the enhancement of produced images. ELPICAL was established in 1997 by a management buy-out of the Electronic Imaging department of Victor Hasselblad AB. ELPICAL since has grown to become a leading specialist in the field of digital image enhancement and management.

Saarbrücker Zeitung

Gerard Mercker, IT Production Manager

The Saarbrücker Zeitung is a daily newspaper published with a circulation of about 180,000 copies and 11 regional editions. The prepress processes at the SZ are completely digitised and work under colour management conditions. Since October 2004, the new ISO 12647-3 process standard has been applied. The Elpical Claro PreMedia server has been used in conjunction with Adobe Photoshop for control of the image workflow and image optimisation, or pre-optimisation, since the beginning of the year 2000. An interface to the CCI editorial system was realised for this purpose.

At the Saarbrücker Zeitung, every image is checked after automatic image optimisation. Gerhard Merker, IT production manager at the Saarbrücker Zeitung, considers this to be essential for reasons of quality: "The standard of quality of some of the material we receive is so poor that we cannot rely on automatic optimisation alone. However, despite this quality check, we have still succeeded in reducing the processing time for colour images from 15 minutes in the past to about one minute today”.

The workflow

All agency images (received via Fotoware software) first enter an image in basket in the CCI editorial system where all images, whether from the newspaper’s staff photographers or freelancers, are put. The integration with the editorial system makes available the images to the editors in their own environment. The editor can pull a selected image directly on to the page in a non-processed state (RGB-JPEG). Then he defines the image section and size. It is only after that that the image data are sent as a raw file and the accompanying metadata (image size, section, position, etc.) as XML file are exported for optimisation to Claro. Claro works with various reproduction channels, depending on whether the image is destined for the daily newspaper, the web or a different product, e.g. an insert produced outside the company. Accordingly, different settings (output profiles) are stored that are used as a basis for the automatic processing. It can also be determined whether all images should be sent to the reproduction department for checking (as is the case at the Saarbrücker Zeitung), or only images that fail to satisfy certain specified criteria.

With InSpector, a Photoshop PlugIn, the image processor can retrieve the automatically optimised images one after another at his workplace for checking, or after-processing respectively. He is shown the processed image (in CMYK) alongside the original (in RGB). He now has a choice of two options: either he accepts the processed image ("use processed”) or he further processes it. If the optimised version is unsuitable for use, the original image can be processed immediately before he returns it to CCI ("use original”). According to Gerhard Merker, this is a very useful arrangement that has a direct effect on the image quality and therefore the quality of the product as a whole. At the end of this process, the complete page goes to the PostScript RIP and finally to the imager.

The images are archived in their original state (i.e. non-processed). The CCI editorial system keeps all versions of the image ready for retrieval. An automatic routine transfers the images (and the text, but not the pages) at night to the Elias archive. At the same time, the images are exported in a corresponding version for the internet page.

The minor difference

An interesting difference to the procedure in widespread use is that, in the workflow at the Saarbrücker Zeitung, the images, are not processed in advance, but only after size and section have been defined. "I do not think it logical to optimise the images before”, says G. Merker and explains why as follows: "There is a difference whether you produce an image as a single-column or four-column element, especially as regards image sharpness. Sharpening must be done in the final size, otherwise you will inevitably experience a loss of quality. The situation is exactly the same if you subsequently take a small section from a large, already optimised image. The complete image may perhaps be all right by itself, but this does not mean that the section will be so. The image must be optimised on the basis of the actual section.” A second point concerns the data volume "When the image section is defined, the rest that is not required will be removed. The image data will be converted accordingly by Claro. This reduces the data column and optimises the resolution.” The program carries out the colour space transformation or colour separation respectively from RGB to CMYK via the profile.

As the user confirms, Claro is relatively simple to administer, everything is comfortably browser-controlled and largely automated: "I don’t think that it could be much better.”

It proved more problematical to realise the interface to the CCI editorial system, a project on which both Elpical and CCI cooperated. Some trade-offs were necessary, but the final result was a highly-integrated image workflow.

“ ... we have still succeeded in reducing the processing time for colour images from 15 minutes in the past to about one minute today. ”

Sanoma stroomlijnt beeldproces en efficiëntie aanzienlijk

Bart Van Looy, ICT Publishing Project Leader

Sanoma Magazines Belgium maakt deel uit van de internationale tijdschriftdivisie van de Finse Sanoma Group. In België is het bedrijf voornamelijk gekend als magazine-uitgever, maar daarnaast is het  eveneens een modern multidimediaal bedrijf met meerdere websites voor de eigen magazines. Verdeeld over twee vestigingen in Antwerpen en Diegem, telt het bedrijf meer dan 500 medewerkers. Het is  marktleider in zijn segment en heeft een sterke reputatie opgebouwd met tal van gekende magazines zoals Flair, Libelle, Femmes d’Aujourd’hui, HUMO, Feeling, Goedele en Marie Claire.

Automatische beeldcorrectie en routing

Fraaie magazines vragen om mooie afbeeldingen. Helder, scherp en met frisse kleuren. De realiteit toont echter dat het gros van het aangeleverde beeldmateriaal niet meteen bruikbaar is en beeldcorrectie vereist. Bart Van Looy, ICT Publishing Projectleader bij Sanoma Magazines Belgium legt uit: “Voor we met Claro Premedia aan de slag gingen, gebeurden alle beeldcorrecties manueel in Photoshop® en dat nam zéér veel tijd in beslag. Meestal gaat het om vrij eenvoudige, maar toch noodzakelijke aanpassingen van de kleurbalans, kleurverzadiging, scherpte, helderheid en contrast. Daarenboven ging er ook veel tijd verloren met het zoeken, openen en bewaren van de juiste beelden op de juiste plaats.” Een oplossing die niet alleen de repetitieve correcties kon automatiseren, maar ook de beelden door middel van  intelligente routing op de juiste plaats zou bewaren, zou uitkomst bieden.

“De verschillende oplossingen die we getest hebben, hadden gelijkaardige kenmerken, maar met het Elpical team klikte het meteen.”

Het klikte meteen

Bij Sanoma Magazines werkt men in een volledige RGB-omgeving. De omzetting naar drukklare bestanden gebeurt slechts op het allerlaatste moment. Het was dus uitermate belangrijk dat de beeldoptimalisatie oplossing deze werkwijze zou ondersteunen. Bart Van Looy: “De verschillende oplossingen die we getest hebben, hadden gelijkaardige kenmerken, maar met het Elpical team klikte het meteen. De bereidwilligheid tot luisteren en de snelheid waarmee ze op onze vragen en suggesties reageerden, stak met kop en schouders boven de andere aanbieders uit. Trouwens, tegen de tijd dat we voor Elpical kozen, waren de meeste van de door ons gevraagde aanpassingen reeds in Claro Premedia verwerkt. Werkelijk uniek!”

Voorspelbare kwaliteit

De impact van Claro Premedia was meteen meet- en merkbaar na installatie en configuratie. Zo is de beeldstroom en kleurcorrectie van afbeeldingen voor de verschillende TV-magazines nu volledig geautomatiseerd. Zonder enige manuele interventie, worden de ingevoerde beelden in Claro Premedia gecorrigeerd en weggeschreven op de juiste locatie. Bart Van Looy: “Het is fascinerend om te zien met welke snelheid de correcties uitgevoerd worden en hoe het beeld in de juiste folder terechtkomt. Ook de voorspelbaarheid is er ook een stuk op vooruitgegaan, want Claro interpreteert en corrigeert een beeld altijd op dezelfde manier.” Bij uitzonderlijke gevallen, of bij extreme correcties, heeft de beeldbewerker met Claro Inspector for Photoshop® de mogelijkheid om het origineel en de gecorrigeerde versie naast elkaar te vergelijken.


“Claro Premedia is werkelijk een uniek product. Persoonlijk verbaast het me keer op keer hoe goed de beeldcorrecties zijn.“

De beeldrouting gebeurt aan de hand van filenaming conventions en IPTC-data. Deze werkwijze staat garant voor een ongelimiteerd aantal correctiekanalen met bijhorende hotfolders, voor het ophalen en wegschrijven van beelden. De ondersteuning en toevoeging van XMP data garandeert eveneens een perfecte uitwisselbaarheid tussen de verschillende workflowsystemen bij Sanoma Magazines. Hierdoor blijft alle informatie over het beeld behouden, zodat men steeds kan zien wat en wanneer er iets aan het beeld veranderd is. Bart Van Looy besluit: “Claro Premedia is werkelijk een uniek product. Persoonlijk verbaast het me keer op keer hoe goed de beeldcorrecties zijn. Door de automatisering is er nu ook meer tijd vrijgekomen voor het bewerken van delicate beelden, zoals modefotografie, waar correcties vaak meer inhouden dan enkel kleur en contrast. Dankzij Claro Premedia worden er geen correcties meer over het hoofd gezien, werken we efficiënter en is de kwaliteit van onze magazines er een stuk op vooruit gegaan. Wat meer kan je nog wensen?”

About ELPICAL

ELPICAL Software, based in Giesbeek, The Netherlands, develops and markets software solutions for the production and enhancement of digital images and the automation of the image workflow. Based on extensive image analysis, the technology enables publishing houses to automate the enhancement of produced images. ELPICAL was established in 1997 by a management buy-out of the Electronic Imaging department of Victor Hasselblad AB. ELPICAL since has grown to become a leading specialist in the field of digital image enhancement and management.

The manufacturer’s key products include Claro Premedia Server, 4LeafCover, EmailManager, SlideShowEnhancer and the Claro module for Gradual SWITCH. ELPICAL’s core competence in the field of digital images makes the company an ideal partner for other software suppliers who want to combine ELPICAL products with their own applications, or for system integrators who want to integrate expanded image functions in their own products. ELPICAL has concluded an OEM agreement with, among others, OCÉ © for the enhancement of embedded images from PDF documents.

Als liefde op het eerste gezicht blijft duren - St. Galler Tagblatt AG wint aan kwaliteit en capaciteit met ELPICAL's Claro Premedia Server

Ronny Bleichenbacher, head of Production IT Support

St. Galler Tagblatt AG is het grootste mediabedrijf van Oost-Zwitserland en publiceert  naast dagbladen ook vakbladen, weekbladen, klantenmagazines en elektronische media. In 2003 nam Ronny Bleichenbacher de strategische beslissing om de volledige IT workflow van de groep over te schakelen van Macintosh naar Windows. Sindsdien was hij op zoek naar een oplossing voor optimalisering en automatisch aanpassen van beelden.

Het systeem dat daarvoor gebruikt werd was gebaseerd op Macintosh. De Windowsversie bood niet dezelfde functionaliteiten die Claro Premedia Server kon voorleggen. ‘Voor de installatie van Claro Premedia doorliepen de beelden acht verschillende productieworkflows voor ze uiteindelijk gedrukt werden. Nu hebben we het beeldbeheer in een workflow ondergebracht,” legt Ronny Bleichenbacher uit, “alle processen – kopiëren, transport, proofen, aanpassen en eindcontrole van de beelden verlopen volledig automatisch op de achtergrond.”

Een jaar na de installatie rapporteert Ronny Bleichenbacher dat de investering loont: productiviteit, gebruiksgemak en sterk verbeterde beeldkwaliteit zijn de voordelen. “Claro Premedia Server biedt ons op het vlak van automatische beeldoptimalisatie veel meer mogelijkheden dan we ooit durfden te dromen”, bevestigt Mr. Bleichenbacher.

Betere kwaliteit maakt capaciteit vrij

Claro Premedia analyseert elk beeld op parameters zoals scherpte, helderheid, contrast, kleurbalans, natuurlijk groen, huidtonen, EXIF-informatie enz. Afhankelijk van de scherpte en de hoeveelheid ruis in het originele beeld, varieert het scherpte filter in intensiteit, radius en treshold. De unieke contrast algoritmen van Claro Premedia passen het contrast in een beeld waar nodig aan, zodat het mogelijk wordt om donkere hoeken bij te werken en de details te laten uitspringen.

Indien gewenst, kunnen beelden volgens bepaalde criteria afgezonderd en manueel gecontroleerd worden. Ronny Bleichenbacher waardeert bijzonder dat het originele beeld en het door Claro Premedia bewerkte beeld naast elkaar kunnen vergeleken en verder bewerkt worden. Zijn oordeel: “Sinds de installatie van Claro Premedia zijn de resultaten van onze beeldbewerking significant beter en gelijkmatiger.” Met als gevolg dat de tijd die nodig is voor beeldoptimalisatie en databeheer met ongeveer 15 procent gedaald is. St. Galler Tagblatt heeft sinds installatie bijna maandelijks een publicatie op Claro Premedia omgeschakeld. Door de vrijgekomen capaciteit en verbeterde beeldkwaliteit, wordt de pre-press productie van de eigen publicaties ook terug bij St. Galler Tagblatt gedaan, daar waar het voordien uitbesteed werd. Bovendien is er nu ook ruimte om nieuwe klanten binnen te halen.

Beeldbeheer zonder poespas

Een groot voordeel voor St. Galler Tagblatt is de verbinding met het K4 redactiesysteem van SoftCare. Als belangrijkste voordeel noemt Ronny Bleichenbacher de centrale instellingsopties van de beeldworkflow. Wijzigingen of individuele instellingen voor beeldoptimalisatie kunnen nu centraal gestuurd worden voor alle aangesloten redacties van de groep. “Ik had nooit gedacht dat er zo weinig knopjes nodig waren voor een hoogkwalitatieve beeldoptimalisatie,” besluit Ronny Bleichenbacher.

Over St. Galler Tagblatt AG

St. Galler Tagblatt AG werd opgericht in 1789 en is vandaag een van de leidende mediabedrijven in Oost-Zwitserland. Naast dagbladen publiceert het bedrijf ook vakbladen, weekbladen, klantenmagazines en elektronische media. Tagblattmedia, waarvan 70 procent in handen is van de regionale "Neue Zürcher Zeitung", beschikt over een ultramoderne drukkerij. St. Galler Tagblatt AG telt 660 werknemers en draaide een omzet van 134 miljoen Zwitserse frank (ca. 82 miljoen EUR) in 2006. St. Galler Tagblatt is lid van IFRA CQC 1994 – 2008. www.tagblattmedien.ch

Over ELPICAL

ELPICAL SOFTWARE, uit Giesbeek, Nederland, ontwikkelt en verkoopt software oplossingen voor de productie en optimalisering van digitale beelden en de automatisering van beeldworkflows. ELPICAL is in 1997 ontstaan uit de afdeling Electronic Imaging van Victor Hasselblad AB. Dankzij de technische expertise is ELPICAL uitgegroeid tot een toonaangevende specialist op het gebied van beeldoptimalisering en beheer.

Tot de belangrijkste producten van ELPICAL behoren Claro Premedia Server, 4LeafCover, EmailManager, SlideShowEnhancer en de Claro module voor SWITCH. Door de gespecialiseerde kennis en flexibiliteit van de technologie is ELPICAL een ideale partner voor independant software vendors, solution providers en system integrators die beeldfunctionaliteit in hun oplossingen willen integreren. ELPICAL heeft een OEM overeenkomst afgesloten met o.a. Océ, voor het optimaliseren van beelden die in een PDF bestand ingebed zijn. www.elpical.com

Elpical Claro helps USA TODAY maintain its high standard for quality color and photos.

Ron Cobbs, Operations Manager in the Production department
Ron Cobbs, Operations Manager in the Production department

"USA TODAY has required and maintained a high quality visual standard from the very beginning,” says Ron Cobbs, Operations Manager in the Production department. “Our charter has always been to use both words and graphics including widespread use of color, photos and other artwork to grab our readers’ attention and tell them the story of what happened in the last 24 hours, and what to expect in the next 24 hours.”

Ready acceptance and adoption of the latest technologies has been a hallmark of the publication’s success. Without such technologies, the newspaper could not exist. The technology it employs is both extensive and sophisticated, incorporating communications satellites for file transmissions. And the entire USA TODAY production system, from pre-press to Computer-to-Plate, satellite network, and through to the actual printing plant, was designed with quality as the key goal.

Cobbs says, “From the beginning USA TODAY has always expected the highest imaging quality. We have always placed a very strong emphasis on the quality of our color, from taking pictures and scanning images in the early days, through color correction and output of film, and finally to press.”

He continues, “For us, making the transition to an all digital workflow was about maintaining that level of quality. We wanted to make sure we could translate the knowledge we gained in an analog/manual/
partly digital world into our transition to fully digital production tools. We continue to monitor and implement the latest products and technologies that will help us achieve this goal.”

The latest technology plays a major role in the publication’s prepress operations department, which processes material provided by both its customers and the editorial department.

95% of ads are uploaded to USA TODAY via its web-based ad portal. The remaining 5% usually come in on CD-ROM or DVD. The ads are processed and saved as PDF files, which are converted to different
file formats based on the production need. EPS files are sent to the paper’s CCI pagination system for placement on editorial pages.

Ron Cobbs says: “For us, making the transition to an all digital workflow was about maintaining that level of quality.

G4 TIFF files are sent to Newsway, the CTP system, for transmission to print sites. All advertising and editorial images are already in digital format when they come into the department.

Up until a few years ago, image quality assurance and optimization during the “pre-media” phase of production at USA TODAY was purely a manual proposition, except for whatever QC could be achieved using the department’s standard applications, including Adobe CS4, Acrobat, Photoshop, Pitstop, and a few other tools. It wasn’t the most efficient use of operators’ time. This changed about three years ago, shortly after Print 07.

Cobbs and his staff had already been looking at tools for optimizing the imaging production process when they found Elpical at the Print 07 show, and saw the Claro image analysis and optimization software
in action.

The Claro software individually analyzes each individual image for a range of specific parameters including sharpness, brightness, contrast, color balance, natural greens, skin tones, Exif information and more. It handles image manipulation tasks automatically and optimizes the files for their intended uses.

Cobbs says, “We knew the people behind the company, and their software looked like it had a lot of promise. We decided to start testing and evaluating it to see how it would work in our production environment.”

Mike Grinder, a technician in the prepress operations department, says “We were looking for something that was priced right and could handle the volume and wide range of images we process each day, as well as give us more control.”

Grinder explains, “We have so many input profiles and we get pictures from different sources all over the world.” Cobbs concurs, saying, “We aren’t always in the position of having the best quality image to work with; so having the right tools to maximize quality is important to us.”

With Claro in the workflow, images are automatically converted and corrected based on USA TODAY pre-defined criteria. This allows the operators more time to work with images that require manual  intervention. Claro can be helpful in those cases, as well – for instance, the software makes it possible to compare the enhanced image with the original in order to determine best next-steps.

In addition to working with many image input sources, the USA TODAY prepress operations department works with images already pre-formatted for different devices. Some images may come in formatted for web, coated for high ink density, for example, and need to be corrected and have a new profile for newsprint applied.

Grinder says, “Claro lets us do that and maintain both quality and the integrity of the image. Having the Claro software to automate the transformation process for using the images in different places, the web and print, for example, really decreases our workload. We’re using Claro to branch off for uses in other USA TODAY products. We can choose the correct profile depending on the use of the image and have it come out right, automatically, over and over again. We tune the profiles we use with Claro to our specific needs. With 35 domestic print sites, this is a great time saving.”

Mike Grinder says: “We were looking for something that was priced right and could handle the volume and wide range of images we process each day, as well as give us more control.”

In total, USA TODAY is now processing more than 2000 images a month using the Claro software, and Cobbs and Grinder say their use of the application has brought a high degree of operation efficiency to the prepress operations department’s workflow. “With the Claro software”, says Grinder, “We no longer need to look at each individual image. We have set up our own rules, based on our requirements, for when  an image needs to be checked manually. As a result, Claro automatically corrects and pushes 60-75% of the images through, and flags the remainders that need manual intervention based on our criteria. The Claro software lets us control how we want the images optimized and gives us plenty of flexibility, but for the most part it’s an automated process. We press the button and send it on. We may see the image in the proofing pages, but otherwise we let it fly….”

Another advantage the Elpical Claro software offers is the ability to work directly in Photoshop, a familiar tool to everyone involved in image editing and processing. Says Grinder, “Claro doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel; they let Photoshop do it. Photoshop is integrated into the process.”

Concludes Cobbs, “Elpical Claro is helping us on the operational side by increasing our productivity as well as helping us meet and maintain our quality standards. And working with Elpical has been great. They listen to us and often incorporate our input about making their product better, and work hard to resolve any issue we come up with. In short, they’re tremendous to work with.”

About ELPICAL

Elpical Software, an international company with offices in The Netherlands and Germany, develops and markets software solutions for automating image production, manipulation and optimization as well as image workflow processes in general, based on extensive image analysis technology. Elpical, established in 1997 by a management buy-out of the Electronic Imaging department of Victor Hasselblad AB, is a leading specialist in digital image enhancement and management.

Elpical‘s key products include Claro Premedia, Claro Single, Claro Layout, 4LeafClover and EmailManager. Elpical is an ideal partner for software suppliers and integrators who want to integrate Elpical technology into their own applications, Elpical has concluded an OEM agreement with, among others, OCÉ© for the enhancement of embedded images inside PDF documents.

More information on www.elpical.com

PDF2PRINT – a website integration built with callas pdfToolbox for automated pre-flighting and correction

Fred Soar
Fred Soar - Managing Director

Focus on customers

Soar Printing, an Auckland based company that was founded back in 1920 as a family busi-ness, is considered to be at the forefront of the printing industry in New Zealand. Soar Print-ing now employs over 70 people and they offer an extensive range of services, from short run digital printing to long run offset printing and large format poster prints. Within their specific industry segments, the Soar divisions are market leaders utilizing the latest technology to de-liver the best possible result. They are constantly evaluating and adapting new technologies that will add extra value for their clients. This is especially true with their commitment to en-vironmental issues and the ongoing policy of sourcing the most environmentally friendly pro-cesses and products.

“The printing industry has changed radically since we started out but one thing has remained the same – behind every single job is a customer who wants it done right. Soar Printing under-stands this. It is the heart of our culture. It guides our investment in new technologies and it helps us to continually evolve our business. We need to grow with our customers’ business and be aware of the trends and opportunities they are facing globally. From the smallest print job to the most complex, we want our customers to have the utmost confidence in our company” Fred Soar – Managing Director Soar Printing.

Remove costs of quoting, preflighting and job creation

Soar Printing mainly focuses on printing for commercial business such as marketing material, business forms, Point of Sale display items and packaging. They can count brand names like Nestlé, Estéé Lauder, ASB Bank, Telecom New Zealand, Air New Zealand and Sky City Casino amongst their clients.

“We’ve noticed a big change in the printing industry over the past few years” says Fred Soar.“Print runs are getting shorter, and printing has been substituted by other means of mar-keting communications such as social media and online marketing. We at Soar Printing try to adapt to these new trends by making sure we can offer reduced setup costs, taking care of short-er runs and offer more RIP print services”

Anticipating this new trend in the printing industry and entering a new market, Soar Printing wanted to offer a WEB2PRINT solution for people who know how to use Adobe products and how to create print ready PDFs. Soar Printing was looking for a way to provide instant quot-ing and instant preflighting to people and at the same time remove the cost of quoting, pre-flighting and job creation.  

Streamline preflight processes online and in-house

With callas software the first WEB2PRINT model has been setup as an independent store-front, targeting new customers throughout New Zealand.

The ease of setting up preflighting with callas software offers them to further streamline the preflighting process internally.  So it is not only an online tool, but also an application used in-house. And all this can be done with only one pdfToolbox Server.

The geographical distance between Soar Printing and callas software did not cause any issues. “The fact that callas software is situated in Europe and we in New Zealand created no problems at all. The model was developed over 6 months. Early problems were quickly lined out and some-times the time difference made it easier because the problems were solved over night.  It was an interesting way to work.”

Offer standard and personalized products

PDF2PRINT is a print upload portal build with callas pdfToolbox that allows preflighting and correction. It is an affordable and fast way to do easy print jobs without sacrificing quality. PDF2PRINT uses the newest digital and offset machines for highest standard. In order to offer amazingly low prices, Soar Print has kept a standard range of products that can be ordered through PDF2PRINT which include business cards, flyers, postcards, brochures and posters.

What happens in the background, when a customer orders through the PDF2PRINT button? The file appears on Soar printing’s server with the order and the price that was ordered at. This file is then automatically transferred into a job ticket in the reminder system. Once this is done, the production can be started. In the background, calculations are running to work out where the break is between digital and offset printing for each product and price accordingly.
Depending on those calculations, the order is printed either on an HP Indigo 5500 digital printing press or on a Heidelberg Anicolor press.

Look into the future

The callas software was installed about a year ago and was launched earlier this year. Soar Printing started a marketing campaign, which includes online marketing and direct market-ing, to attract new businesses. So far, there has been a lot of traffic on the website, a lot of visi-tors, a lot of sightseeing and orders are coming in.
In the future, Soar Printing is looking to expand their web to print products. Their next in-vestment will be more business-to-consumer oriented, offering online design options to ena-ble customers to do both design and order online.

“My web developers and me had a look at a few products but we felt that callas software fitted the bill best” , states Fred Soar. “It’s quite easy to use and it gave us what we want. What really stood out was the ability to set your own preflight parameters to your own work environment and the option to provide error messaging as well as other options for auto fix” he concludes.

pdfToolbox brings Formula 1 power to our web-based solutions

Andy Psarianos
Andy Psarianos - F.E.Burman director in charge of development

Founded in 1958, London based F.E.Burman Limited is a well known supplier of high quality short run printing and digital media services. However, for numerous British publishing houses, F.E.Burman is also a synonym for rock solid web-based production tools. The company supports its customers in a variety of print and data handling tasks including magazine production, handling advertising mate-rial, and commercial print and mailing services. Clients include publishing houses such as Condé Nast Publications, The Guardian Newspaper Group, the British Medical Journal and The Economist.

Costly problems belong to the past

Before investing in pdfToolbox, F.E. Burman already gained some experience with pdfInspektor (a callas PDF preflight solution, now integrated in pdfToolbox). They used it to check incoming PDF files in Auditor, an in-house developed web-based tool for publishers. Auditor centralizes the final stages of checking and distributing PDF files, allowing publishers to manage their publications more effectively. Andy Psarianos, F.E.Burman director in charge of development comments: “With Auditor, it takes editors only a few seconds to check complex PDF files. Running in the background, pdfToolbox checks every single PDF file, and depending on the type of application, some basic things like hair-lines, spot colors and transparency are fixed automatically. Files that aren’t suitable for printing are immediately identified, and detailed reports help editors and employees to quickly identify and solve eventual problems. Before, our prepress employees often had to open defective files manually, find the problem, and then attempt to correct it. These time-consuming procedures and costly problems definitely belong to the past. To put it bluntly, it’s the most accurate preflight engine we ever worked with.”

Unanimously elected as the winner

When F.E. Burman started to develop web-to-print solutions for their customers, the in-house development team quickly realized that tasks such as PDF creation, PDF checking, online proofing, color management and imposition, had to be fully automated in order to flawlessly and timely process the vast variety of incoming files. Andy Psarianos explains: “Creating a good-looking and user friendly front-end is one thing, but making sure that the back-end is capable of processing all the incoming files is another. Let me give you an example: For Savills, a global real estate service provider with more than 80 offices worldwide, we created more than 200 different templates to choose from. Things like layout, imposition and paper are different for most templates, so manual intervention is no option. We knew callas had a solution that fit our requirements, but we had to see it with our own eyes. After some extensive testing, and comparison with other solutions, pdfToolbox was unanimously elected as the winner. Our previous experience with pdfInspektor, and the fact that these products are very accurate and extremely easy to integrate played an important role in our decision.”

F.E.Burman Reception Desk Installation and implementation was very fast. In just a matter of days, the in-house development team was able to automate the complete web-to-print back-end process. They no longer have to worry about selecting the appropriate print queue or imposition scheme, and thanks to the intuitive user-interface, creating a new or modifying an existing workflow is like a walk in the park.

Andy Psarianos Andy Psarianos concludes: “pdfToolbox allows us to build some very powerful and sophisticated products. It’s like putting a Formula 1 engine in our web-based products. We have processed literally hundreds of thousands PDF files through the software, and I honestly can’t recall of one instance where we ever had to question the accuracy of the system. The quality of the imposition and preflight engine is outstanding and the software is extremely user friendly with clear instructions on how to use it. Implementation by our in-house development team was therefore very easy, fast and successful. Thanks to the increased speed, repeatability and accuracy brought in by pdfToolbox, we help our clients work faster and more effectively. And in the end, isn’t that the real purpose of any solution or business.”

Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG in the driving seat with pdfaPilot from callas software

Fabrizio Tuena
Fabrizio Tuena - IT - Business Consultancy & Service Management at Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG

Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG wanted to achieve greater transparency, uniformity, security, and compliance in its document storage. With its decision to use consistent electronic longterm archiving in PDF/A, the company is very much following the current trend. Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG was looking for a flexible, powerful, and stable solution. Today, pdfaPilot from callas software, provider of powerful PDF technologies for publishing, print production, and document archiving, is used for the fully automatic conversion to PDF/A of the 30,000 or so order-related documents that arise each year. Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG will therefore be able to give up its physical archive and benefit from the advantages of long-term, uniform, digital storage.

Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG is a subsidiary of Stuttgart-based Daimler AG. As a sales and marketing company with around 400 employees, the company is involved with the registered brands for passenger cars Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and ‘smart’ and the Mercedes-Benz and FUSO brands for commercial vehicles. For the many documents produced during order processing for vehicle fleet business with suppliers and dealers the company used a document management system in conjunction with its system for order processing, but this did not include an archiving function that enabled documents to be stored electronically in compliance with legal regulations. Instead, the scanned documents were saved in image format and the original documents archived on paper. This resulted in duplicate data retention and a large amount of space required for the physical archive.

In October 2011, when Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG decided to replace the order processing software, one requirement was that the documents should only be archived electronically. It was clear that the company should use PDF/A, the most suitable format for longterm archiving, in order to meet legal requirements. The search began for a suitable product to put this into practice. “We wanted to offer users the most flexible solution possible. We also needed the conversion to PDF/A happen in the background within the application. We were therefore looking for a stable solution to convert image formats and MS Office documents to PDF/A,” explains Fabrizio Tuena, IT - Business Consultancy & Service Management at Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG.

The analysis of the market resulted in comprehensive tests on three products that made the shortlist – one of which was pdfaPilot from callas. “We were particularly looking for reliable, compliant conversion to PDF/A format and good performance,” says Fabrizio Tuena. “And of the three tools we tested, pdfaPilot turned out to be the most reliable.” The company chose the pdfaPilot Software Development Kit, the programming library that can be integrated easily and flexibly. During subsequent implementation, various questions relating to installation in a multithreading environment were quickly clarified. Tuena states: “The collaboration with callas was competent and very fast, from sales consulting and implementation right through to support for the ongoing project.”

PDF/A conversion fully automatic and flexible

Document-intensive processes are common at Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG: The company uses them to commission its suppliers to alter vehicles to meet customer requirements – e.g. including interior fittings for commercial purposes or labeling them accordingly. Dealers then take on final tasks such as handover including registration of the vehicle with the authorities. All order-related documents such as the contract, orders for bodies, delivery documents etc. are scanned and uploaded to the new order processing software. There, pdfaPilot converts all documents to PDF/A, thus making them ready for long-term archiving.

The documents are then given a digital signature to meet the legal requirements regarding proof of immutability. Finally, the documents are archived in a document management system from OpenText.

Summary

The project has been concluded in February 2013, and Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG is very satisfied with the results. “Because conversion is fully automatic, no manual intervention is required. In addition, pdfaPilot is a flexible solution that permits a wide variety of scan formats,” concludes Fabrizio Tuena.
Entry-level PDF/A support, standalone, inside Acrobat or fully automated as Server version

For businesses and government agencies, archives and libraries, that store and long-term maintain documents, callas pdfaPilot is the professional desktop tool to validate and/or create PDF/A-files. It turns all kinds of PDFs into ISO 19005-1 conform PDF/A documents:

  • PDFs created in Office applications
  • interactive forms
  • invoices
  • construction drawings
  • technical documentation
  • presentations
  • newspapers
  • books

With pdfaPilot it is a snap to check whether your documents comply with the PDF/A standard. And if they don’t, callas pdfaPilot contains a wealth of tools to bring them in line. Working as a plug-in inside Adobe Acrobat or as a fast standalone application, callas pdfaPilot offers the broadest PDF/A support on the market in the easiest package. callas pdfaPilot works on single documents or – using its batch functionality – on complete folders at a time.

To process higher volumes of files or to free up operators by hands-off automation, callas pdfaPilot Server provides just that. The hot folder interface lets you setup different watched folders that automatically pick up files and process them. The engine inside callas pdfaPilot is fully multiprocessor aware so it takes advantage of all of the speed available in your server. Additionally callas pdfaPilot Server has load distribution capabilities to enhance performance by using multiple servers. Both the Desktop and Server version run on Mac and Windows. A command-line interface and a full developer SDK are available when closer integration or more fine-grained control is of the essence. With their additional availability on many Unix flavors, the CLI and SDK allow painless integration in a wide range of operating environments. Other supported platforms are Sun Solaris and IBM AIX.

Rosendahls: front-runner for PDF/A compliancy in Denmark

Jens Bjerre Kirkegaard
Jens Bjerre Kirkegaard - Document Accessibility Specialist

The Rosendahls group is a company with a rich tradition and roots going back to 1902. Located in Copenhagen, Odense and Esbjerg, it has offered a comprehensive range of services in the areas of communication, publishing, warehousing and distribution for more than a century. Rosendahls is on top of new developments and continues to be a technology front-runner to support its customers. As many of those customers traditionally come from public administration organizations, Denmark’s embracing of the ISO PDF/A standard had a direct impact on Rosendahls.

PDF/A, the ISO standard for PDF files to be stored in long-term archives, has been steadily increasing in importance, especially for use by governments and public administrations. In April 2011, the Danish Ministry for Economics, Innovation, and Education decided to require accessible PDF/A documents as the compulsory format for all public sector documents. As a full-service provider, it was important for Rosendahls to be able to convert existing documents to PDF/A and check compliancy with the ISO standard when needed.

Well prepared with callas pdfaPilot

The standardisation by the Danish government on PDF/A didn’t take Rosendahls by surprise. While HTML was still the required format for agencies, Rosendahls already saw the European trend towards PDF/A. It started looking for a solution to support this upcoming standard early; the corresponding market research culminated in a visit to the 4th international PDF/A conference in Rome in the fall of 2010. The conference provided a wealth of information and access to experts from the different technology vendors with PDF/A technology.

“This is when we decided to use pdfaPilot by callas software”, Jens Bjerre Kirkegaard, Document Accessibility Specialist at Rosendahls, recalls. “Our requirements for creating valid PDF/A files were best met by pdfaPilot, which also offered convincing reliability and an easy-to-use intuitive operation”. Rosendahls faced additional challenges because it had to be able to provide accessible PDF/A files, which requires support for the technically ‘more challenging’ parts of the PDF/A standard known as PDF/A-1a, but pdfaPilot easily meets those challenges. “On top of that,” continues Jens Bjerre, “callas pdfaPilot offers a range of additional features such as splitting PDF documents or creating hand-outs for example and those come in very handy in our daily use”.

callas pdfaPilot is ideal for the demanding workflow at Rosendahls because it supports direct conversion to PDF/A from a wide range of formats such as Microsoft Office, Open Office, Postscript and a variety of image files. It is built using the same technology licensed by Adobe for Adobe Acrobat and provides seamless scaling for large-volume environments. The fact that so much of the work can be automated gives Rosendahls additional time for the manual steps required for accessible conversion.

Accessibility equals workflow-heavy

For the media services provider who often receives individual documents from many different sources – which creates very different requirements opposed to high volumes that always have the same structure – the ability to automatically convert to and validate PDF/A is particularly important. “We convert either to PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-2a“, Kirkegaard explains, “We usually have to process Word, InDesign, or PDF documents, and callas pdfaPilot automatically resolves many stumbling blocks for us. E.g. it checks for and removes unnecessary metadata, marks or corrects incorrect color spaces or embeds fonts retroactively”.

The fact that the pdfaPilot can ‘repair’ problematic documents or – if this is impossible – recreates them completely from scratch, saves Rosendahls a lot of time and work. But there is still a lot to do for the accessibility specialist Jens Bjerre Kirkegaard: “Provisioning of accessible documents is a demanding and often finicky task which requires a lot of know-how and a few manual steps”, he explains. It is impossible to setup a completely automated workflow, especially when receiving diverse and often-problematic native document formats. But here as well pdfaPilot comes to the rescue by providing manual editing of metadata, colors, images and many other PDF properties.

Meeting challenges in a changing environment – support included

For challenges surrounding PDF/A and accessible documents Jens Kirkegaard benefits from the fast and competent support of the callas distribution partner Actino Software. “Media service providers such as Rosendahls are often confronted with the fact that customers want their heterogeneous documents provided as PDF/A files but they have no idea how complex the required work really is”, Actino director Michael Karbe explains.

Since the installation of the first version, Actino has been supporting their customer Rosendahls reliably and has worked closely with callas software to resolve any questions or problems that arose during the project. callas software integrated all improvements into further development of pdfaPilot. “The continued development of the PDF/A standard also requires adjustments to the PDF/A toolsets”, Dietrich von Seggern, Business Development Manager at callas software explains. “We are highly dedicated to this area and thanks to constant updates to pdfaPilot, we can ensure comprehensive implementation of all requirements and therefore provide optimal conformity.“

Today: Accessible PDF/A documents with pdaPilot 3.0 and axaio MadeToTag

Rosendahls recently migrated to the latest version of pdfaPilot: version 3.0. This version allows embedding documents inside a PDF/A file and implements support for the PDF/A-3 standard. This allows Rosendahls to embed all documents belonging to a certain project or file inside their accessible PDF/A documents. And whenever they want to take advantage of PDF/A-3, the solution is ready for them.

Accessibility and creating accessible PDF files is a topic that really drives callas software and its sister company axaio software. The InDesign plug-in MadeToTag was created by axaio software to simplify and speed-up preparation of Adobe InDesign documents before they are converted into accessible PDF/A files.

Jens Kirkegaard explains its importance: “Accessible PDF files require a clear structure and this is accomplished by adding tags to the PDF. These tags provide additional information about the structure and order of text, provide alternative text to clarify what embedded graphics represent and can discriminate between real content and design elements. These tags are essential for good accessible documents.”

Using axaio MadeToTag, which is now in public beta, it becomes much easier to quickly and reliably add those tags to InDesign documents. Once the document is then converted to PDF, it becomes a high-quality accessible PDF/A document.

“The effort involved in converting agency documents to barrier free PDF/A documents depends on the complexity of the layout. Sometimes one simply reaches the limits of the cost-benefit ratio. For my work, it is a considerable relief to know that a lot of the steps which previously had to be completed by hand are now done by callas pdfaPilot”, Kirkegaard explains.

The PDF/A trend is really taking off in Denmark, so Rosendahls is expecting a major increase in its future order volume. Thanks to callas pdfaPilot and the service from Actino Software, they are already well prepared and equipped for it.

Infocamere, Italy: Deeds in PDF/A for the Companies

Michele Piva - Head of Marketing for the document area of the Italian Chambers of Commerce IT department

When legislation and practice converge, complying with the regulations is simpler. That’s been the case with the deeds that firms deposit with the Chambers of Commerce Companies’ Register - computer documents that from this year on have to be produced in PDF/A format. Infocamere carries out systematic compliance checks on them using procedures from callas software’s pdfaPilot application, which has been entrusted with the prompt validation of the files sent to the Register.

Michele Piva, Head of Marketing for the document area of the Italian Chambers of Commerce IT department: “We’re dealing with a standard that was already widely in use before the Ministerial Decree (of 10 December 2008 sanctioning its use) came into effect, exactly because it derives from the PDF which firms had been widely using for some time”.

Leading edge standard

Of the possible candidates for the long term archiving of electronic documents the PDF/A won out over XPS (XML Paper Specification), TIFF G4 and JPEG. “The PDF/A – Piva adds – was set as the standard ahead of the legislation. Infocamere has invested in it both for the necessity of making available documents that must keep their legal integrity and value over time — considering that the elimination of paper is a must in public administration — and because it considers that, as it is a reinforcement of the PDF, the shift over to it could be taken for granted”.

And the statistics are indeed showing this: whereas from the beginning of March to the middle of April already 47% of the deeds presented to the Companies’ Register were compliant with the new measures, the documents deposited in the following month and a half achieved a format validation of over 58%.

“Looking in particular at company constitution deeds, the most frequent type received in total by the Chambers of Commerce among the over 580,000 analyzed in the period under consideration (excluding the documents classified as ‘other deeds’) turns out to have been in PDF/A compatible format. And for a good 89 of the 105 Chambers the percentage of valid ones is over 80%. This is the proof that the adoption of the PDF/A is being generally and rapidly confirmed over the whole of Italy”.

According to the ISO 19005-1 standard, PDF/A offers a mechanism “for representing electronic documents in a manner that preserves their visual appearance over time, independent of the tools and systems used for the creation, memorization and rendering of the files”.

In other words, the PDF/A files are self-contained and, since they incorporate the information (content, colour, image, text and so on) necessary to display the document, they do not require any additional data for its correct visualization. However, exactly on account of this property, the format must exclude determined functions allowed in normal PDF files such as transparency and multimedia content, and cannot include macro-instructions or rely on links to external resources.
The validation check

“In order to facilitate the file production operations — continues Piva — we have also chosen the blandest compliance to the standard – which corresponds to the sub-category PDF/A-1b, for which no explicit logical structure is needed. Despite this we have noted that there are some recurring errors: on the one hand, the poor indexing­ and aggregation of the deeds attached to the form; on the other, the widespread habit of creating a copy of the document which then doesn’t have the original’s representation (and its metadata) and so loses its validity”.

As well as all this, the possibility of visualizing a document “in PDF/A form” is not in itself synonymous with standard compliance: “It happens — even with Adobe Reader 9, which provides this indication — a source of a widespread error. Thus the only way to ensure adherence to the standard is the validation control”.

To check this it is necessary to use products such as Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro or pdfaPilot from callas software. The alternative is the free service, accessible from the tools section of the WebTelemaco site, which employs the same pdfaPilot tool used by the Companies’ Register office and which enables the validation of any document whatsoever supplying the result online, complete with details of any non-conformities encountered.
Negative outcome — rejected form

“For our validation procedures — explains Piva — we have used the server version of pdfaPilot, which the application we’ve developed makes appropriate calls to, determining the correspondence to the PDF/A-1b specifics. A good number of the people we work with, from service professionals to notaries and accountants, get a great deal of benefit from the tool on WebTelemaco. And, once we’ve received the files, we regularly repeat the checks. If the outcome is negative, the form is rejected”.

“The management application was created over the space of three months from the approval of the Ministerial Decree and required an investment of ­­­­around 30,000 Euro. An expense which has already been repaid by making available a standard that guarantees long term document validity and integrity: a guarantee of uniformity to a defined standard and, therefore, also of quality. Among the further benefits, apart from the return on image, is the improvement of cash flow, since compliance to the standard ensures that homogeneousness which is a key element for its subsequent conservation and concession ­— on payment — to distributors and information agencies who use it for commercial purposes”.

Four Pees