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Creo Showcases Prepress Innovation for Improved Productivity at Graph Expo

Press release from the issuing company

Graph Expo 2002 Chicago, IL (October 7, 2002) - Creo Inc. (NASDAQ: CREO; TSX: CRE) is demonstrating new, more productive prepress solutions at Graph Expo, the largest prepress and printing industry trade show in North America this year. Creo opens a new chapter of Networked Graphic Production, the Creo initiative that is streamlining print production cycles and improving visibility into prepress, with new products and new versions of workflow management systems that implement open standards. Access Through Open Standards Creo has released Synapse Link software for the automatic exchange of prepress production data between database-driven print production systems and management information systems (MIS). Synapse Link software provides printers with better visibility into prepress, allowing them to achieve new levels of business efficiency and productivity. Synapse Link software collects and delivers production data using JDF (Job Definition Format), an industry-standard file format that unifies prepress, post-press, production and management information systems. Synapse Link software sends actual production data and job status information from the Prinergy workflow management system directly to the Printcafe Hagen OA management information system. Other JDF-compatible MIS systems will be able to interface with Networked Graphic Production through Synapse Link. Better Tracking and Control Automated data exchange gives the printer the ability to better manage inventory, identify profitable jobs, create accurate invoices, and develop more efficient production processes. "When a customer orders a change to a print job that requires additional pages, the extra material usage and machine time, and job control data are automatically forwarded to the printers' business systems," explains Wendy Moore, Synapse Link product manager. "This improves invoice detail and helps inventory tracking." Transferring production data to the MIS system can provide an immediate summary of the production costs associated with each print job and allows database-reporting tools to analyze the data. It ensures the printer is able to increase profitability by automatically collecting accurate and timely job-costing information. First Installation Delivers Benefits The JohnsByrne Company, a family-owned, US$20 million commercial printer near Chicago, Illinois, has installed Synapse Link software as part of a highly automated print production solution implemented jointly by Creo, Printcafe Software, Inc. and Komori America Corporation. While the installation was completed only last month, the JohnsByrne Company already reports enhanced communication and efficiency, decreased cost of overhead, reduced outlay of resources, and fewer errors in prepress and on-press. Through automated data capture and accessible reporting, JohnsByrne is capturing lost costs on jobs, tracking alteration and page approval, is able to bill more accurately, and to determine where changes can be made on the press floor and in the back office. New Prinergy 2.1 Launched Creo is launching the latest version of the Prinergy workflow management system with more than 60 new features and a new Creo-developed trapping technology. One of the most productive changes in the leading PDF prepress workflow allows existing Prinergy workflow customers to download and install version 2.1 from the Creo eCentral Internet services. Ongoing upgrades or patches will also be available through direct Internet delivery, adding convenience for the busy shop. The Prinergy workflow continues to be an integral component of Networked Graphic Production, that uses open standards to help make print production data and back office information more visible with the goal of increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Prinergy 2.1 supports PDF/X-1a with a process plan that allows all imported files to be refined according to the specifications. This new Prinergy version also accepts and processes JDF imposition data from ScenicSoft Preps software, the industry's leading page imposition software for offset printing. JDF imposition data incorporates customer information and data from postpress systems such as folding and cutting. This data can be exchanged from Preps into a Networked Graphic Production environment, increasing the printer's visibility into prepress operations. Creo recently announced intentions to acquire ScenicSoft, a development that will provide new opportunities to enhance the productivity of mutual customers. Prinergy 2.1 is also now available in Spanish, French and Japanese-language versions, in addition to the existing English and German-language versions. New Trapping Technology Creo is demonstrating a powerful new technology for the Prinergy 2.1 workflow that replaces the existing trapping module. This Creo-developed trapper is easier to use and is completely compatible with existing Prinergy workflows. It is already running at customer facilities. New Brisque Launch and Workflow Enhancement Development continues on the world's most installed prepress workflow, Brisque workflow, and the latest version, Brisque 4.05, improves functionality, productivity and flexibility. Operating on the IBM AIX 4.3.3 system, the industry-leading RIP-Once, Output Many workflow system includes new features for color matching, automatic picture replacement, impositioning, versioning, and packaging. Version 4.05 supports all Creo computer-to-plate (CTP) and computer-to-film (CTF) devices, including all Trendsetter 4-up, 8-up, and VLF V-speed CTP devices, as well as the Lotem CTP and Dolev CTF systems. The Brisque 4.1 workflow will support the new Veris proofer and Integris proofing solutions and begins operating at customer sites this month. Additional features include a new normalizer, PDF transparency flattening, ICC profile support for halftone proofers, and the new JoBit application for translating 1-bit TIFFs to Job. New PS/M 7.1 Released Creo is releasing version 7.1 of the PS/M workflow, the most popular Macintosh-based digital front end for RIPing and trapping with Dolev imagesetters and Lotem platesetters. The new version of this powerful workflow solution features enhanced connectivity to the Lotem 400 platesetter with more automation than the previous version and automatic mounting of the data volume on the Lotem Expose station, when working in a distributed workflow. PS/M version 7.1 features a full suite of plug-ins and extenders for DTP applications and Adobe Acrobat to enhance creativity and productivity. Developed with an intuitive user interface and intended for use with filmsetters and small-format platesetters, the PS/M workflow RIPs PostScript, PDF, and PDF/X1a files to CT/LW raster files in a RIP-once workflow. The new version also offers an optional PDF2Go software module to generate a trapped, RIPed Job into a PDF and PDF/X for electronic distribution and print production. More than 5,000 users enjoy the prepress tools of the PS/M workflow. For maximum flexibility and productivity, the PS/M workflow can be installed on as many computers as needed. Individual workstations can be dedicated to specific tasks, from interfacing with a DTP workstation to RIPing, trapping and exposing. New PressTouch Version Released PS/M and Brisque workflows also feature version 1.2 of the PressTouch application. This new version runs native on Macintosh OS X and combines Full Auto Frame trapping and Remake tools. It includes enhanced viewing and editing, page assembly tools and fully interactive trapping. With a flexible user interface, the PressTouch application enables users to view, edit and trap PS/M and Brisque pages, and CT/LW files. The PS/M workflow now joins the Brisque and Prinergy workflow systems in implementing Networked Graphic Production for streamlining print production, shortening cycle times and minimizing errors on press. PS/M workflow users can take advantage of several efficiency tools that form the building blocks of Networked Graphic Production, such as Synapse Prepare software, which creates print-ready PDF files with a single mouse-click. The Synapse InSite Internet portal into prepress can also now be used with PS/M workflow jobs that are archived on a Unix or Windows NT server. This solution lets print buyers submit jobs, track status, collaborate, proof and approve—all remotely through the Internet. New Synapse InSite Version Released Creo has released version 3.5 of the Synapse InSite Internet portal into prepress for print buyers and printers with Creo workflow systems. This new version provides a web-based workflow that allows print buyers to upload files and have them automatically processed and available for proofing and review. The Synapse InSite approval workflow simplifies the process of having multiple stakeholders review and approve content. Job Notes, another new feature, allows notations about the job to be attached and viewed by print buyers and production staff. The latest version of the Synapse InSite Internet portal is also available in multiple languages. Revolutionary New Veris Proofer The innovative Veris proofer, the new digital contone contract proofing solution, is printing proofs live during Graph Expo, demonstrating the finest quality and performance with inkjet proofing. No other inkjet device has the repeatability and drop placement accuracy of the Multi-Drop Array inkjet imaging head technology. Veris repeatability and true resolution generate the most accurate contract proof available. The Veris proofer is the first to steer precisely formed individual ink droplets to their required location on paper, providing a true symmetrical resolution of 1500 x 1500 dpi. The Creo Certified Process is another breakthrough technology that Creo developed to provide proof integrity assurance to both printers and print buyers. The Veris proofer verifies that the calibration, the ICC (International Color Consortium) profile, and the ink and media are correct for the defined proof and then automatically prints the Creo Certified Process stamp on the proof. This stamp ensures that everyone who sees the proof will know it has been made to the specifications noted on the proof in a well defined and precisely controlled process. The Veris proofer has been developed to join a Networked Graphic Production environment and is capable of producing proofs directly from within the Prinergy or Brisque workflow management systems or directly from other workflows or customer applications using hot folders. The Veris proofer can run up to 40 proofs continuously with unattended operation and the system ensures intelligent management of color and media utilization. Veris proofers will be available in North America and Europe in early 2003. New Quality Color Proofing: Integris Creo is also launching Integris proofing solutions, a new line that integrates leading inkjet printers with Creo workflow and color control. Integris proofing solutions deliver color-managed digital contone proofs that accurately predict the final printed job and provide an ideal solution for printers looking for high-quality, affordable, creative, imposition or layout proofing. The new Integris proofing solution combines the Integris Proof Controller, Integris Qualified media and inks, and Integris Qualified inkjet printers, including the EPSON Stylus Pro 7600 and 9600 wide-format printers for both 4up and 8up proofing. These printers also feature the latest in drop-on-demand, Micro Piezo DX3 technology from EPSON. Integris proofing solutions apply optimized inkjet screening and drive the printer to its maximum throughput to ensure consistent, precise color-managed proofs. Creo Integris proofing media is available single- and double-sided and in roll and sheet formats. Integris proofing solutions are designed for easy integration into a Networked Graphic Production environment. Proofing jobs can be submitted directly from the Brisque or Prinergy workflow systems to the Integris Proof Controller. Both the 4up and 8up Integris proofing solutions are available for purchase today. Powerful Scanning Team Four advanced scanner models are being demonstrated at Graph Expo: the renowned EverSmart scanners for the most demanding productivity needs and the new affordable iQsmart scanners. All models use the most advanced scanning technologies in the market. New version 2.2 of the oXYgen scanning application is being demonstrated for all the scanners, featuring enhanced batch scanning, improved productivity and full Macintosh OS X support. The oXYgen scanning application is now also available for the Windows operating system for use with the well-priced iQsmart2 scanner. Revolutionary Breakthrough: Spotless Creo is demonstrating how to eliminate the use of spot color inks yet deliver spot color performance at a fraction of the usual cost with the Spotless solution technology. For intensive spot color work on sheetfed presses, such as folding cartons, the manufacturing savings can easily exceed five percent. The Spotless solution technology demonstration replaces many spot color inks with Staccato screening for fidelity and continuous tone performance, the six-color workflow of the Prinergy workflow management system, and implementation services provided by the Creo Consulting Services Group. The Spotless technology demonstration shows automatic six-color separation and proofing, bringing six-color workflow into the mainstream. This six-color technology will be available in Prinergy next year. The Spotless technology demonstration, a preview of the solution's release in early 2003, is underway in the packaging area of the Creo booth at Graph Expo. New Lotem CTP Platform Creo introduces a new platform for the market-leading Lotem 800 line of 8-page platesetters that offers improved functionality and the ability to upgrade to advanced imaging and process control. The new Lotem 800 II platesetter offers more speed options to allow printers to match throughput to their production needs. Thermal halftone proofing is now also available as an option. By using the same digital files containing the exact screening and halftone dot structure to image proofs as well as the plates, the resulting proof represents exactly what will be printed. The new Lotem 800 II platesetter can also be upgraded with the 'Quantum set' of features to become Creo's flagship computer-to-plate (CTP) system, the Lotem 800 Quantum platesetter. This state-of-the-art platesetter offers high performance features including the SQUAREspot imaging head for predictable and consistent imaging, advanced process control, Staccato screening, and automatic temperature compensation. The 'Lotem II' platform is being introduced as Creo achieves a new milestone with the installation of the 1000th Lotem 800 CTP system. "We are very pleased to become the 1,000th installation of the Lotem 800 line of platesetters," says Paul Taylor, Director, R&D for Seiple Lithograph Company of North Canton, Ohio. Seiple Lithograph recently installed the Lotem 800 Quantum platesetter. "We were one of the first Lotem platesetter beta testers and the knowledge we gained helped move us well ahead of our competition. With our new Lotem 800 Quantum with SQUAREspot thermal imaging and Staccato FM screening, we will rocket into the future with the best technology available. This system will allow us to continue to deliver a superior product." Imaging Chemical-Free Plates Creo is imaging chemical-free plates live on the Trendsetter 800 Quantum and Lotem 400 Quantum platesetters at Graph Expo. The chemical-free option eliminates the need for a plate processor, pre-bake oven, or storage of toxic processing chemicals. It benefits printers with small to medium-length print runs and physical space restrictions. They save on the capital cost of a plate processor, and the ongoing costs associated with chemicals, cleaning materials and technical resources essential to maintaining this type of equipment. The option of imaging chemical-free plates is available on the 4- and 8-page models of the Trendsetter and Trendsetter Quantum thermal platesetters. This feature is added to the base functionality of imaging traditional anodized aluminum printing plates from multiple vendors. The chemical-free option is also available as an upgrade to existing qualified systems. Creo has qualified the Presstek, Inc. Anthem chemistry-free thermal plate for use with the Trendsetter 800 and Trendsetter 400/800 Quantum CTP devices. Creo 4-page and 8-page Trendsetter Quantum systems can be bundled with the Presstek Anthem plate in the United States, Europe and Canada. This option is expected to be available for Lotem platesetters early in 2003. Powerful Packaging Solutions Creo is demonstrating innovative packaging solutions, including production workflows, remote and hard proofing solutions, and flexo and offset CTP devices for converters and trade shops. Prinergy Powerpack 2.1 and Brisque Pack workflows streamline, automate and add value to packaging-file production for offset, flexographic and gravure trade shops and converters. "Prinergy Powerpack dramatically improved our productivity," says Brenda Avolio, prepress manager at The Mid-York Press Inc. in Sherburne, NY. "A four-color job plus spot colors on our 40-inch press used to take us eight to 10 hours to strip, proof, and make plates. With Prinergy Powerpack, it only takes two hours." Version 2.1 of the Prinergy Powerpack workflow includes new features for flexography, including vector distortion and 7.5° screening; enhanced trapping and color management features; and integration with the ScenicSoft Pandora packaging and label step-and-repeat solution. The Pandora solution uses Job Definition format (JDF) to pass step-and-repeat information and job data to the Prinergy Powerpack workflow. Most Productive Flexo CTP The small-format ThermoFlex 2630 flexographic CTP device is also being demonstrated at Graph Expo. This system was developed and priced to meet the needs of the tag-and-label and narrow-web market. All ThermoFlex CTP devices are equipped with 830nm laser thermal imaging and feature fast, easy load/unload operation, which reduces material damage and dramatically improves productivity. A wide range of media types, sizes and thicknesses is accommodated, and adjustments are not required when changing plate sizes, so operators can quickly move from job to job without slowing production. Total throughput is the best in the industry and imaging speed is consistent independently of plate thickness. Faster Offset CTP Creo is demonstrating the fastest ever Trendsetter VLF offset platesetter at Graph Expo. The new V2.8 speed option images fifteen 45 x 57 in (1,143 x 1,448 mm) plates per hour and is currently being tested with customers. More than 700 Trendsetter VLF devices are installed worldwide. There are more installations of this model than any very large-format device. Trendsetter VLF devices offer a choice of imaging speed, format size, level of process control and level of automation (from semi-automatic to fully automatic) to meet the very-large format platemaking needs of magazine, book, catalog and directory printers, as well as converters and packaging trade shops. Superior Print On-demand Workflow Creo is showcasing the newly released Spire CXP6000 color server for the new Xerox DocuColor 6060 digital color press. Based on a new Spire platform that integrates advanced Fusion imaging hardware technology, the CXP6000 server offers unparalleled efficiency, flexibility and speed throughout the entire workflow process, achieving new heights in productivity. The CXP6000 color server also offers superb quality output, advanced color management, and takes full advantage of the 60 full-color pages-per-minute production rate of the Xerox DocuColor 6060. The unique Fusion imaging hardware packs maximum power in the Spire color server to deliver high versatility, functionality, and production speed in a very affordable package. Whether producing simple color documents or complex 100 percent variable information catalogues, the fast, ultra-efficient workflow of the Spire color server ensures an easy, cost-effective process with outstanding results. Implementing Networked Graphic Production With the convergence of the traditional print and digital print markets, the Creo Spire color server is well positioned to cater to the diverse needs of the end-user by offering expansive graphic arts functionality and a consistent workflow. Creo is demonstrating how the CXP6000 color server for on-demand printing connects to prepress for traditional printing through the Synapse InSite Internet portal into prepress, one of the powerful building blocks of Networked Graphic Production. Spire and Xerox DocuColor iGen3 Digital Press The latest Spire color server for the Xerox DocuColor iGen3 Digital Production Press is also being previewed at Graph Expo. As the only third-party server directly connected to Xerox's next generation digital press, the Spire color server delivers unmatched speed, throughput, color quality and image quality. The Spire server has the raw power to drive the DocuColor iGen3 to its maximum throughput including 100 percent dynamic content. Together they deliver the flexibility of a digital printing environment with the connectivity and power of a professional print workflow. Darwin Desktop Version 4.5 The latest version of the Darwin Desktop VI authoring tool is previewing new features that expand design capabilities and functionality. The new 'color rule' feature caters to the needs of the most demanding designers, enabling them to vary the color of texts and image boxes based on database criteria. Version 4.5 also offers an automatic data cleaning function essential for financial and data-centric applications. The Darwin Desktop application is demonstrated at Graph Expo on the new Macintosh OS X platform. New Affordable Choices Creo has launched Creo Refurbished Solutions, a line of certified, refurbished prepress systems that include Trendsetter and Lotem platesetters; Dolev imagesetters; EverSmart scanners; Iris proofers and Brisqueand Prinergy workflow management systems. These trade-in systems are refurbished on the original production line in the factory where they were first built. Original precision components, such as optics and drive assemblies, are replaced if required, and upgraded versions of electronics and driver boards are installed when necessary. Any worn mechanical parts are replaced, input and output cassettes are reconditioned, and the latest software versions are loaded. The exterior housing of the Creo system is also touched up to restore the fresh look. The Acceptance Test Procedure, which is also used for new equipment, checks that the refurbished system meets the latest specifications of the original product. When the system passes the test, it carries the Creo Refurbished quality seal. Creo Refurbished Solutions carry a warranty and receive Creo service. When the time comes, these systems can be used as a trade-in on Creo's latest prepress solutions. Creo Refurbished Solutions are available around the world through Creo sales. See all of Creo's innovations at Graph Expo booth #3803 until October 9.