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EskoArtwork extends BackStage

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), September 9, 2008 – Extending the functionality of its BackStage workflow server, EskoArtwork announces two innovative additions that revolutionize job handling and file comparison. The BackStage 'Products' tool makes it much easier for printers and converters to manage Job orders and related data, while the BackStage Viewer provides prepress departments with a fast and simple way to view and compare an extraordinary range of production file formats.

BackStage Products: Optimized data management

BackStage already offered a Jobs database: representing the Job orders that are active in the prepress production department. New is the BackStage 'Products' database: this tool serves as asset management for one-up production files.

Obvious benefits include:

·         fast and logic searching
·         smart and fast information
·         light 'linking' into relevant Job orders (no need for data copying)
·         thumbnail interface enhancement

BackStage operators can now simply type in the name of the Product asset, see its status and link it to the Job-at-hand. Data copying is no longer required, which eliminates the resulting worries of having to know which file is the master asset and which one was used in which Job order. Additionally, there is a considerable saving of disk storage space.

For trade shops, a single Job order may be mostly about one design. However, for converters and label printers, Jobs often represent an order of several Products to print.  As a result, the converters will get the most benefits from this new tool. For printers where data and Job order management is important, the Products tool will bring spectacular ease of use in the daily production.

Wim Delagrange, EskoArtwork BackStage product manager explains: "Prepress production managers quickly understand the bigger picture. Job processing with BackStage now matches the converter's administrative business logic even better. A Job is a temporary 'to-do' with temporary data, while Products are the 'Stock Keeping Unit' items (SKU) that are ordered for those Jobs."

Work on content, approval, nesting, step-and-repeat and plate production can all be completed promptly without time-intensive searches for the necessary one-ups. This new tool in BackStage represents a significant increase in efficiency, time savings and data security, essential for this market sector. Eliminating the need for local file copies, the user interface maps and visualizes the business logic of how prepress production is managed.

Mr. Delagrange continues: "Customer demonstrations of BackStage Products provided very enthusiastic feedback. They confirmed that this new data management tool will deliver great benefits for converters and printers. The more they combine different products onto one plate-particularly common practice for label printers-the more sense it makes to provide an easy link from a Job order to the production assets. It is much easier than searching and copying data throughout the data server."

The BackStage Products tool is in beta since the release of BackStage 7.0 Release 4 in August 2008.

BackStage Viewer: Exceptional viewing and QA tool

Most Quality Assurance (QA) viewing tools for packaging prepress typically serve one specific use - the comparison of PDF files or RIPped data with camera images from press. The new BackStage Viewer is unique in this respect; it supports a wide range of file types, raster or vector. Users can view, analyze and compare files aided by an unlimited zoom function. The BackStage Viewer is started from the BackStage Pilot, which makes it available for both Macintosh and Windows platforms. The product is targeted at packaging and label facilities that conduct prepress QA, including trade and design shops, printers and converters.

Customer Service Representatives (CSR) receive many different file formats from their customers. Previously, their systems needed a wide range of desktop publishing applications to open and check files, but this can now be performed within a single application.

Prepress operators can use BackStage Viewer to analyze versions or variants and thus detect unwelcome differences. They are also able to compare design elements with final repro data, one-up with stepped plate layout and, even, production data with RIPped output. This application also has a comprehensive channel-matching tool to check files for different separations, and offers alignment tools when the files have assorted horizontal or vertical measurements.

"This is one of the best tools I have seen in years," comments Dave Piercy, production director at Wyndeham Connect. "The sooner we can catch any errors, the better, and that is what BackStage Viewer can do. It serves so many applications that I will even re-think my QA procedures."

The BackStage Viewer runs from BackStage Pilot, the client application that can be installed anywhere in the server's network. This useful tool also fits seamlessly into traditional EskoArtwork ArtPro and Nexus workflows allowing, for example, the comparison of ArtPro one-up files with the digital plate files made by a NexusRIP.

EskoArtwork's portfolio features a range of QA viewing tools, including the BackStage Viewer, WebCenter viewer tool, and the stand-alone Bitmap Viewer and DOTSpy, all of which have bespoke functionality. The BackStage Viewer is ideal for all prepress production environments, helping to reduce errors, particularly before files reach the RIP. It provides faster Job throughput by detecting workflow discrepancies upon file arrival, rather than upon output, vastly reducing waste of time, cost and materials.

BackStage Viewer is a part of the BackStage Power pack module and available since the release of BackStage 7.0 Release 4 in August 2008. A demo movie file is available to view on the EskoArtwork website: http://www.esko.com/backstageviewer.




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