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New PPML release brings transparency to digital print workflows

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

Rochester, NY - PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, announces a new release of PPML, the interoperability standard for variable data print production. PPML3.0 and its Graphic Arts conformance subset (PPML/GA3.0) support in-RIP transparency flattening, dramatically raising digital print speeds for VDP direct mail marketing campaigns.

PPML3.0 is a significant enhancement to the highly successful PPML/GA2.2 spec. In addition to supporting transparency within the PDF layer, PPML3.0 supports transparency between layers. This means that it is now possible to have variable layers, like drop-shadow postscript type and soft-edge TIFF masks, that overlay a reusable JPEG image, and they will be "flattened" within the DFE (Digital Front End) when printed. The flattening process precisely supports the PDF model, so the printed result will be the same as if the flattening was done within Adobe's Creative Suite & distiller.

The difference is in PPML's dynamic assembly of reusable elements and variable layers within the printing process to increase productivity.
"Marketers have specifically requested transparency for more realism and dimension in their marketing materials," says Rab Govil, President of PODi. "But transparency effects added prep time and reduced VDP (variable data publishing) RIP speeds far too much. With millions of recipients in some campaigns, it was just not practical to use transparency before. PPML3.0 opens up a world of exciting possibilities.

Industry leaders agree. Here's what they are saying about PPML3.0:
"EFI's Fiery server is the high performance DFE offered by leading manufacturers of production digital printing presses, and has supported PPML from the very beginning. Our Fiery customers are very interested in using transparency within variable campaigns, and we are confident they will see the value of PPML3.0 in their workflow, with both the increased design flexibility and productivity they will be able to achieve."
     –    Ghilad Dziesietnik, CTO, EFI

"PPML fits with the GMC strategy of supporting industry standards which allow us to create the most efficient production output streams for the target printer. With the addition of high performance transparent variable elements to the PPML feature set, our clients gain an additional design tool that is not only visually attractive, but is also efficient to produce, a win-win for all."
     –    Jeffrey DeVoyd, VP Product Technology, GMC Software Technology, AG

"HP and its thousands of HP Indigo customers are focused on providing the highest quality possible, and PPML/GA3.0, with its multiple-format support for transparency layers, is a welcomed step forward that can broaden digital printing's appeal by bringing image quality characteristics once possible only in static print areas to the variable-data realm."
     –    Alon Bar-Shany, VP and General Manager, Indigo division, HP

"Konica Minolta recognizes PPML as an effective industry standard. Our Printgroove POD digital print workflow solution will employ PPML/GA3.0 to provide enhanced support of our bizhub PRO engines in the fast-paced, printshop environment."
     –    Toshi Fujimori, VP, KMSL, Inc.

"Pitney Bowes is very involved in efforts to develop more targeted and relevant business communications. PPML3.0 supports this in its ability to enhance productivity and increase response in campaigns that utilize the realism of variable composition transparency."
     –    John Schloff, VP Global Strategy & Business Development, Pitney Bowes

"Xerox will offer PPML/GA3.0 in select production color digital presses to enhance workflows and increase productivity. Xerox customers will benefit from transparency solutions for variable campaigns that increase relevance, and they definitely benefit from effective industry standards like PPML."
     –    Deborah Cantabene, VP, Workflow Marketing, Xerox Global Business Group

"As a core contributor to PPML, XMPie was one of the first companies to generate highly efficient PPML streams throughout its vast array of one-to-one software solutions, and the first vendor to offer true transparency for variable elements in VDP workflows to increase the value of marketing campaigns. Moving forward, XMPie will maintain its commitment to PPML by providing support of PPML/GA3.0 across the entire product line."
     –    Reuven J. Sherwin, VP, Product Research & Development, XMPie Ltd.

With the release of PPML3.0, PODi adds transparency effects to the most popular VDP production language, reproducing the same effects a designer can create within InDesign or Quark, while enabling highly productive VDP print workflows. Additional enhancements include an updated PPML Certification Test Suite that is used for certifying PPML compliant printing devices, and an improved CheckPPML tool for viewing, proofing and error checking of both PPML2.2 and 3.0 files.




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