Editions   North America | Europe | Magazine


Agfa Announces ApogeeX: Breakthrough Workflow For Prepress

Press release from the issuing company

User Controls PDF Workflow And Automates Processes In Real-Time Drag-And-Drop Interface Ridgefield Park, New Jersey – March 11, 2002 – Agfa will demonstrate ApogeeX, its next generation workflow software based on PDF, JDF and Digital Film at IPEX, April 9-17, 2002 in Birmingham, England, U.K. ApogeeX represents a breakthrough in automation and ease of use. An intuitive interface lets the operator initiate and monitor tasks in real time. A scalable, modular design lets the user implement functions and performance as needed. Full JDF-compliancy integrates MIS/IT into the workflow for automatic job-ticket generation and end-to-end workflow management. A web approval tool enables authorized users to approve pages or imposed flats remotely. ApogeeX was designed to provide maximum user control and processing throughput. Agfa put full workflow control into a single user interface, at the same time keeping the system modular and scalable. To accommodate a wide variety of operations, ApogeeX can be integrated into any production environment. For packaging, for example, ApogeeX can process artwork delivered in JDF format and produce nested output. ApogeeX can run on a single platform or its tasks can be distributed on multiple servers depending on the size and complexity of the prepress operation. "ApogeeX is the result of a significant investment in R&D for software and our commitment to automate and simplify the prepress workflow," said Marc Elsermans, general manager Agfa Graphic Systems, worldwide. "It also underlines our strength in digital solutions and continued growth in workflow products." Job Management ApogeeX provides an intuitive overview of all jobs in the system. It shows all output devices, along with their current status. Functions include priority handling, hold/resume, approve/reject and resubmit. Users can also initiate remakes of film, a plate or a proof simply by dragging a thumbnail and dropping it onto an output device. Job-Ticket Editing Creating a new job ticket is handled simply and efficiently, either through a JDF import or by manually editing a production plan. The user drags icons representing task processing into the appropriate place in the production flow. The process is flexible and interactive. Functions include Normalizing, preflighting/edit/certify, PDF trapping, imposition (based on PJTF or Preps Templates), rendering (Adobe CPSI) and integrated proofing (raster/contone preview, soft proof). For packaging applications, functions also include JDF-based step and repeat and nesting. ApogeeX offers "multiflow" capability—the ability to use multiple input or output flows within one production plan. For example, a file can be sent to a proofer and to a high-resolution imaging device from one single job ticket. Users can also choose their preferred level of automation by identifying milestones or points at which the operator wants notification that a particular task is completed or in process. Or they can interact with the process at any time. System Management ApogeeX gives users a complete system overview in a single window. They can review system configuration, available processing resources including fonts, calibration curves, ICC profiles, screens, engine parameters, imposition templates, etc. They can also see the complete plant configuration, i.e. all hardware on location. Users can monitor system activity at a glance. Output Management ApogeeX assures reliable, consistent output from both PDF digital masters and digital film (PostScript/TIFF). Remakes are easy and fast -- they can be implemented using simple drag and drop motion. ApogeeX accommodates any workflow and any application. For a distribute-and-print workflow, for example, ApogeeX imports and exports PDF and digital-film files. A key advantage of ApogeeX is the "single-job ticket" approach. In addition to streamlining the process, it assures predictable, consistent results. All tasks are processed using a single job ticket. The same job ticket, for instance, drives computer-to-plate or computer-to-film imaging and proofing. This includes integrated proofing of contone previews, screened raster proofs, and softproofing, all of which can be generated in page or imposition format. Complete data integrity is guaranteed. Versioning is handled with the same assurance of reliability. Multiple language instructions, for instance, reside in a single job ticket. Connectivity ApogeeX is based on client-server architecture. This allows ApogeeX to centralize processing for maximum performance on one or multiple servers, depending on the size and complexity of the operation, and provide access to any number of users over a network. Full JDF compliancy provides end-to-end automation by integrating MIS/IT and order entry data as well as press instructions using the CIP4 standard. A web approval tool shortens the approval cycle by providing remote access via a Web browser. Customization and Scalability ApogeeX can be integrated into any workflow incrementally, one module at a time and can be customized to accommodate any application. ApogeeX can be purchased with task processing for specific applications such as commercial printing prepress. For packaging printers, for example, Agfa integrates Artwork Systems’ PowerStepper and PowerLayout software for step-and-repeat and nesting functions. Availability The first release of ApogeeX will be commercially available September 2002. It will be targeted to the 4-up computer-to-plate and computer-to-film commercial printing market and to the packaging market.