25 Jun 2024

Agfa Graphics launches Apogee 9 workflow solution for graphics market

Agfa Graphics has launched Apogee 9, a PDF-based workflow solution that serves as the production hub for graphic reproduction, including commercial printers and wide-format print service providers. With connections to a wide series of output devices and many tools and functions inlcuding integrated nesting and tiling and a new, patented, approach to colour management, Apogee is designed to help commercial printers that are looking to do more for their customers.

“With Apogee 9 as the production hub, commercial printers can automate their workflow, and it helps them to expand into the wide-format inkjet market,” said Andy Grant, Global Head of Software, Agfa Graphics. “Apogee 9 now brings typical wide-format tasks and existing powerful pre-press functions together in one single, PDF-based workflow. It provides them with more flexibility and integration so they can remain competitive with added value products such as banners and posters”

With APPE 3.4, Apogee 9 incorporates Adobe’s latest core technology for processing complex designs, and thanks to HTML5 the new WebApproval portal for page submission and approval can now be used on tablets and other mobile devices. Additionally, Apogee 9 features the third-generation of Agfa Graphics' unique imposition engine with dedicated features for web printers.

Apogee 9, will be on display for the first time at EXPOPRINT LATIN AMERICA 2014 (Sao Paolo, Brasil, 16-22/7) and will be available for customer shipment in Q4 2014.

DiMS.NET! -MIS/ERP with fully automated imposition

DiMS autoimpose

"Increased level of automation: with DiMS.AutoImpose! direct from MIS to CtP"

With DiMS.NET!, DiMS! has a fully integrated solution that provides companies in the print- and packaging industry with the most powerful and efficient MIS/ERP–solution they can find, all on a single central database.

With the introduction of its new DiMS.AutoImpose!, DiMS! completed the next step to integrate and automate prepress processes in their MIS/ERP solution.  Already in the calculation of an respective order – and at a very early stage -  the relevant impositions are automatically available so that no extra operating cost for pre-press are necessary. Immediately after importing the print-ready PDF's into DiMS.AutoImpose! - the order can be directly forwarded to the plate production. More and more, the order administrator gains full control on the relevant customer order, fully and comprehensively supported by DiMS.NET! and DiMS.AutoImpose!

Including automated, flexible nesting and ganging, by simultaneous consideration of substrate, paperweights and delivery date of each individual order, DiMS.AutoImpose! will automatically setup the print form for the appropriate printing machine, created directly and send out from DiMS.NET!. And, as always taking into account the optimal allocation of jobs on the template and print form by simultaneous consideration of the most cost-effective production path.

The times are gone, where you had to choose among hundreds of different imposition templates or started to think, what jobs are alike and can be combined with each other.

DiMS.AutoImpose! can be used both in commercial, digital, label as well as packaging printing.

A corresponding prepress application can be still used by prepress specialists, still providing the possibility of switching back the full automatic production proposals if necessary, for example to bring in additional flaps, very quick and easy. Or to create additional, customer dedicated special templates to make those available for his colleagues, if this at the end is really necessary.

And finally: work faster and more profitably with LFR Image Library - for just 81p a day

 

What can you get for under a pound these days? A can of cola or a large chocolate bar? Maybe a newspaper? The LFR Image Library claims that just a few coins – 81p – will enable sign and graphics businesses to completely transform the way they design signs and display print. It is even backing up its claim with a FREE seven-day trial that will allow anyone to try the LFR Image Library product at zero cost.

The LFR Image Library features 2.7 million royalty-free images compiled specifically for the wide-format print industry. Photographs, illustrations and cartoons, vehicle outlines and wraps, vinyl-ready vectors, international sign designs, layered metallic files and more are all easily searchable in the online library.

Many of the images are downloadable in super hi-res quality (up to 55MB) and optimised specifically for large-format printing, making them ideal for banners and advertising graphics, with many also 100 per cent cut-ready. Unlike some of the popular credit-based image libraries, LFR Image Library does not charge extra for these large images.

The accurate and true-to-scale vehicle selection is regularly updated – 130 new 2014 models have been added this year already – so artwork never goes out of date, gets damaged or lost like those in DVD or CD libraries. As the LFR Image Library is all online, there's also no clutter from obsolete discs.

Subscription is available for only 81p per day, a minimal investment for a vast library of professional-quality images that can immediately add value to a wide-format print company's offering – and for considerably less than a decent takeaway coffee.

Steve Lowe, Managing Director at Scene Signs, describes the LFR Image Library as 'a very useful tool'. "There are so many high-quality pieces available – it is hard to NOT find what you are looking for," he says. "We have incorporated many images from the website into designs with outstanding results."

Cassign's Managing Director, David Cassidy, adds that the service 'has helped us create a hassle-free solution for our business', commenting: "No more buying credits at inflated prices. The images are of the highest quality with a huge variety available. Our graphic designers love it. Easy to use and the results are brilliant. A great investment which I recommend to all business owners."

A seven-day try-before-you-buy trial of the LFR Image Library is available now, enabling print providers to download up to ten files including one full vehicle outline absolutely free, as well as to browse the entire library for a whole week.

Click on the link for more information and to redeem the free 7-day trial: http://www.lfrimagelibrary.com/index.cfm?/freecreditslanding_EN

You can also follow LFR Image Library on Twitter @LFRstock - followers get access to regular free images and offers.

Additionally, for further information, click here for a PDF brochure or email jordan@largeformatreview.com with any questions.

Esko demonstrating sign & display business software solutions at FESPA Digital

Esko is demonstrating software solutions, from prepress through automated workflows for production and finishing, designed specifically for sign & display businesses on stand B2-238 at FESPA Digital 2014.

“Esko is well-known in the sign & display graphics industry for our industry-leading Kongsberg cutting tables and i-cut software,” says Armand Gougay, Esko Vice President EMEA. “Our line of cutting tables are demonstrated at the show. But for true business success in today’s highly competitive market, sign & display companies must evaluate their  entire workflows, removing as much time, errors and cost from the processes as possible. That’s where Esko's expertise in prepress and workflow automation can be applied. We are excited to present a wide array of software solutions at FESPA to help drive both business growth and profitability for these companies.”

Visitors to Esko’s stand at FESPA Digital 2014 will be able to gain in-depth information about workflow automation and learn from Esko experts how it can be effectively implemented to address specific business challenges and opportunities.

On-stand software demonstrations include:

  • i-cut Layout+, a new module of Esko’s i-cut Suite, a collection of pre-production software solutions targeted specifically at users of large format digital printers and/or digital finishing systems. i-cut Layout+ intuitively and interactively builds and edits sheet layouts, ensuring that jobs make the optimum use of substrates through intelligent true shape nesting and tiling. i-cut Layout+, which operates on both Mac and PC platforms, saves time, effort and material by ensuring the most efficient use of resources throughout the production process.
  • The latest generation of Esko's highly successful Automation Engine has been enhanced to address the specific needs of the sign & display graphics market. Automation Engine automates the entire production process from design to print to cut. Users can build dynamic workflows that will automate repetitive prepress tasks, thereby enhancing productivity, reducing operator intervention and errors, and saving valuable time, money and materials in the production process.
  • WebCenter workflows for signs & display graphics. WebCenter is the customer-facing web portal that provides an easy and effective means of customer communication throughout the entire manufacturing process. It handles both simple and advanced orders, provides for online review and approval of final designs prior to production, and enables the organization of assets by customer and/or by project owner, making it fast and easy for customers to engage with their sign & display partners while keeping order information and digital assets organized for the manufacturer. Online editing capabilities from CHILI Publish have been integrated within Esko's workflow solutions.
  • ArtiosCAD for structural design. ArtiosCAD brings customers many time-saving features. Its extensive library of resizable display designs helps designers so that they do not have to start from scratch designing new displays. Its Tab & Slot tool ‘assembles’ components of a display with just a few clicks. The Mate tool helps to build and visualize connected folds and multiple parts. Users can identify glue areas and corresponding targets to quickly connect designs or perform simple assembly of displays. Support for thicker materials such as papercore-board, along with correctly designing V-notches and edge bands make it easier to visualize and convert designs of this material.
  • Studio, 3D software for designers and manufacturers. Studio helps designers and prepress operators produce better artwork. With Studio, they are virtually holding the sign or display graphic in their hands and can check for mistakes before printing, avoiding expensive mistakes, and saving hours formerly required to create physical proofs and mock-ups.
  • Esko Color Engine offers exceptional color management capabilities, answering to the high expectations of brand owners for color integrity in their signs and display graphics. The updated task-drive user interface of the Color Engine simplifies and automates the fingerprinting process of presses and proofers for an unsurpassed color match. The new color module not only proves to be a great ink-saver, but can also be integrated into an automated workflow, reducing job setup time.

"Handling a greater number of jobs more economically while shortening cycle times is both a challenge and an opportunity for business growth in the sign & display graphics market,” Gougay adds. “To handle the larger number of shorter runs and broader job mix, typical for this market, companies require solutions that remove time-consuming labor from their work process and cost-efficiently enhance throughput capacity. This can make a tangible difference in their bottom-line performance and helps foster stronger customer relationships - crucial in an economic climate where holding onto business already won, is increasingly important."
Learn from the application experts

Esko’s expertise goes beyond the hardware and software solutions it offers to sign & display and large format printing professionals. Its extensive know-how for applications critical to the sign & display graphics industry is translated into expert advice for sign & display graphics professionals. At a dedicated desk with tools and applications, Esko experts will guide visitors in their search for the best-fit solution for specific application needs and provide insight into automating even the most complex workflows.

 

Enfocus releases Enfocus Connect 12 to bridge the gap between design and output

Enfocus has released Enfocus Connect 12.  The new version incorporates new features designed to make Connect 12 a unique and highly functional resource for cross-media publishers, production houses, and designers, by ensuring that they create and receive high quality files corresponding to required display or print settings.  

With a wide range of browsers and mobile devices (tablets included) in use today, graphic designers must satisfy many masters in the production of any project. And, while they can view their designs on a tablet, phone, or in a browser; only their printer has a complete understanding of what is actually required to produce the final printed piece.

Fabian Prudhomme, Vice President of Enfocus, says, “Cross-media publishers around the world tell us that up to 50% of the PDFs they receive have serious issues involving colour formats, fonts, bleeds, images and more. This is not a sustainable business model for printer, nor designer. Solving this challenge requires a family of technologies that can work together to help both designers and printers to better prepare, manage and produce their work. That’s what Connect 12 is all about. It’s a family of solutions ensuring that the design that gets created is the design that gets output, without errors or costly hold-ups in production.”

Enfocus Connect gives users the ability to define, manage, and create Connectors. Connect is available in a variety of configurations to meet almost any need of content creators or content producers.

Production facilities and publishers have total control over the settings they include in a Connector – they can create Connectors that only block the time-consuming “obstacles’ (e.g. low resolution images or missing fonts), to avoid having to contact the document creator and losing time as a result, or they use the embedded PitStop Engine to perform a more comprehensive check.  Once a Connector is created, all of the settings for job delivery, PDF creation, and PDF verification and correction are built in. Once distributed to the production company’s clients and partners, the Connectors can be downloaded and placed on their desktops for easy access. Whenever clients and partners have a job to submit, they simply drag and drop the finished file onto the appropriate Connector icon. The file is automatically checked against the output settings and sent to the print or electronic display producer.

Document creators access the Connector for PDF creation through the operating system’s “Print” command, or by using Connect plug-ins for Adobe® Creative Suite® or Creative Cloud™ products, enabling them to easily create a certified PDF from any application.

The Connect 12 Family includes:

  • For cross-media production companies and publishers, Connect ALL is a way to ensure that received files comply with their print and display specifications, and can be seamlessly transferred into their workflows.
  • For document creators, Connect YOU makes sure the output of any document is a Certified PDF, ready to be sent for output.
  • For cross-media production companies and publishers only interested in ensuring easy and seamless file delivery, Connect SEND is the perfect tool.

New capabilities in Enfocus Connect 12 include:

  • Multiple delivery points:  Users can define up to two unique delivery points for Job Files, Preflight Reports or Job Tickets. This “mini-workflow solution” is built into the Connector.
  • Delivery Flexibility:  Connect 12 provides automatic job delivery to a variety of destinations and server types, including the Enfocus Switch automation solution, FTP, sFTP, HTTP, HTTPs, Email, Dropbox, or a local or network folder.
  • Job Ticketing: Connect 12 collects customer and job information as part of its customizable job ticketing function. Delivered in XML, CSV or text-only, job ticket fields can be defined and organized to integrate with just about any other workflow. Additionally, when Connect is integrated with a workflow solution such as Enfocus Switch, or an MIS system, “smart” data exchange speeds the overall job delivery process, eliminating unnecessary rekeying of job information.
  • PDF Creation and Control (Connect YOU and Connect ALL only):  Easily deploy remote PDF creation on any workstation using Connect’s built-in Adobe® Normalizer engine. Using standard or custom PDF Settings, all PDFs are generated according to the specifications defined within Connect YOU or Connect ALL. To create PDFs, simply print to the Connector as you would to any printer, or use Connect’s plug-ins for the Adobe® Creative Suite® or Creative Cloud™ to utilize special features found in InDesign® or Illustrator®. This functionality includes control over bleeds, marks and printing spreads.
  • Variable File Names for PDFs: During processing, Connect 12 can automatically modify PDF file names by using the PDF’s own metadata in conjunction with custom text values.  For example, files can be named according to the Connector, and therefore, the production path for which they are destined.

Free Upgrade for Current Connect YOU Customers

As part of its ongoing commitment to providing the highest level of service and support to its customers, Enfocus is offering current Connect YOU 11 customers a free incentive upgrade to Connect YOU 12, once they complete a Connect YOU user survey. This offer is valid until September 30th 2014. For more information about obtaining an upgrade to Connect 12, please visit www.enfocus.com/connect

Enfocus releases PitStop 12 update 2

Enfocus has released PitStop 12 update 2 which includes an expanded range of tools to quickly check, edit and fix troublesome PDF files. PitStop 12 update 2, in both stand-alone Pro and Server versions, is a free upgrade for all existing PitStop 12 users.

“PitStop 12 was a groundbreaking release for Enfocus," says Andrew Bailes-Collins, Enfocus Senior Product Manager. "Its development was based directly on customer needs and their extensive feedback, secured through surveys, interviews and social media forums. We kept the conversation going after PitStop 12, listening to users telling us what they liked and what additional functionality they needed to tackle common PDF problems in their daily production."

Bailes-Collins says that PitStop Pro 12 update 2 and PitStop Server 12 update 2 are the result of these ongoing dialogues, as well as the excellent work of Enfocus' development team. The releases, he explains, build on the success of PitStop 12, and provide users with additional abilities to even more easily and efficiently check, correct and edit every element within a PDF file, ultimately increasing productivity.

New features include:

  • Improved selection editing: with PitStop Pro 12 update 2, users can carry out functions such as rotating, scaling or skewing of objects by simply moving the mouse to the control points of the object they want to change. Previously, users had to select different tool buttons, which was not user friendly and required extra mouse clicks.
  • Customisable keyboard shortcuts: now users can edit and customize keyboard shortcuts for the majority of PitStop Pro 12 menu items. Multiple sets of shortcuts can be created on the same computer, which means that different operators can apply the shortcuts that best work for them. This will help users to be more productive and efficient.
  • Add separation names: this new action allows the names of colour separations to be generated and positioned within a PDF file. The separation names are individually created for each page and will show all separations including any spot colours. PitStop Pro 12 update 2 also provides several options that show how the separations will appear, giving the user strong control over positioning, font and font size. This functionality is important for any workflow that is processing a large number of PDF files.

Customer feedback also drove a host of additional changes to PitStop 12 update 2, and PitStop Server update 2. These include, among others:

  • Apply colour curves: users were very positive about the image curve editing functionality that was added to PitStop Pro 12. In update 2, Enfocus builds on that functionality and now allows adjustment curves to be applied on all content within a PDF file; not just on images. PitStop 12 update 2 also allows curves to be applied to a whole page for calibration, or dot gain adjustment.
  • Curves are available for all colour spaces and can also be based on separations including  individual spot colours. For example, if a user wants a particular calibration adjustment curve for a spot colour separation, they can easily add specific spot colours by using the ‘+’ button and choosing one of the options. They can then define a curve for the named colour, which will be used if the colour is in the processed PDF file.
  • Use of regular expressions: Action Lists can now be created using regular expressions, which opens up a whole host of new opportunities for more powerful checking and automatic correction.
  • Improved Image Conversion: the rasterizing functionality in PitStop Pro and PitStop Server now supports anti-aliasing, which increases the quality of the created image. This quality improvement is particularly important for the repurposing of tablet preflight profiles.

For a full overview of all new features and functionality in both PitStop Pro 12 update 2, and PitStop Server 12 update 2, please visit the Enfocus product pages: www.enfocus.com/en/pitstoppro and www.enfocus.com/en/pitstopserver.

Availability

Version 12 update 2 is a free upgrade for all existing users of PitStop Pro 12 and PitStop Server 12, and is available immediately for download from the Enfocus website - www.enfocus.com/en/pitstop.