Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Agfa Launches Grand Sherpa Digital Inkjet Proofing System

Press release from the issuing company

PRINT ’01, Chicago, Illinois – September 6, 2001 – Agfa introduced its new generation of Sherpa inkjet proofing systems. The Grand Sherpa is the first in its class with true 1440 x 1440-dpi resolution, variable dot size, eight-color capacity, and two-minute print speed. Agfa adds improved color management software, a quality-management system and workflow integration software to extend the systems capabilities even further. In addition to features that represent a breakthrough in inkjet quality, the Grand Sherpa is priced at a fraction of what systems offering this level of quality currently cost. The Grand Sherpa uses multi-density, drop-on-demand piezo-electric technology. Agfa configures the system with six ink cassettes—CCMMYK—four process colors, a light cyan and light magenta. The multi-density inks offer better ink-blending and widen the color gamut to more accurately match difficult colors such as flesh tones. The system matches over 85% of PANTONE spot colors and special logo colors. The two additional ink slots in the Grand Sherpa can be used for CCMMYYKK for high speed imposition proofing. "The Grand Sherpa is the first inkjet system that is capable of reproducing the rosette halftone pattern,” said Willy Van Dromme, worldwide marketing director, proofing systems. "It takes inkjet proofing to a level it has never been before. In fact, I would say the Grand Sherpa, with its combination of hardware and software tools, is more accurate than any other technology, not just inkjet.” The Grand Sherpa prints at two high-resolutions for contract proofing—1440 x 1440 and 720 x 720 dpi, and a faster 360 x 360 for imposition proofing. Printing speed is two minutes for a 33 x 47-inch (A0) form at 360 dpi. Precision media transport assures exact registration. The media heads adjust to accommodate a wide variety of media from .1 to 2.2 mm-thick. Agfa ColorTune color-management software uses technology-specific mapping algorithms to precisely match the different gamut of presses used for specific applications such as newspaper or commercial printing. Custom profiles are editable and assure accurate reproduction of difficult neutral colors. Color management is performed in RIP where Pantone and custom color libraries are stored. Agfa Quality Management System is software that works in tandem with a spectrophotometer so that all Sherpa proofers within a workflow will have the same tonal response. It checks for consistency from the same Sherpa over a period of time or multiple Sherpa systems in remote locations. The Apogee Proofer RIP, which is Adobe PostScript 3, provides automatic queuing and spooling, handles composite or pre-separated files and in an Apogee workflow provides absolute digital file integrity. OpenAccess which runs on the Proofer RIP allows the Sherpa to integrate easily into any non-Agfa workflow. It accepts any file format, including Heidelberg Delta List, Scitex CT/LW or Harlequin ScriptWorks bitmaps, and converts it to a Postscript or PDF file for output on the Sherpa proofer. Color management profiles are applied in the proofer RIP to ensure absolute color accuracy for contract proofing applications. The Grand Sherpa will be available in three sizes—50 inches (1273 mm) 64 inches (1653 mm) and 87 inches (2240 mm). Systems will be ready for shipment in Q1 2002.