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Vertis Implements International Prepress Network with Creo

Press release from the issuing company

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Nov. 20, 2002 -- Creo is pleased to recognize the successful completion of an international, high-speed prepress network created by Vertis, a leading provider of technology-based marketing and advertising solutions, with Creo prepress workflow solutions and computer-to-plate thermal imaging systems. Recently the Vertis Retail & Newspaper Services printing facilities in Atlanta, GA installed Prinergy workflow systems and Trendsetter VLF platesetters supplied by Creo to replace its existing CTP systems. This is the final Vertis facility to complete the transition to Creo equipment. Standard workflow and platesetters by Creo now link all 20 of the Vertis Retail & Newspaper Services printing facilities throughout North America. Prepress Network Benefits Business Vertis accepts customer print files in its regional Advertising Production Services facilities. Here the PDF files are trapped, color-managed, and proofed using the Prinergy Publish prepress facility workflow system. After the customer approves the proofs in the regional facilities, the print-ready PDF files are exported to the tightly integrated Vertis printing facilities, the Retail & Newspaper Services group. Vertis employs an enterprise-level Prinergy Connect(TM) PDF workflow management system that allows the company to balance printing workloads between its 20 print facilities. Vertis can immediately export Prinergy v2.1 print jobs to plants with open capacity, enabling better use of Vertis printing presses. This removes printing queues in locations that are overburdened with work. The result is smooth, constant production loads tailored to the individual facility's current capabilities. "We find load balancing increases our ability to predict job completion among multiple plants and increases the accuracy of overall production time requirements," explains Mike Houser, vice president of Operations Technology for Vertis. Technology utilized within a centralized hub in Las Colinas, Texas enables the viewing of remote Vertis printing locations as if they were in the same facility on a Local Area Network. This allows virtually instantaneous changes in print locations and supports last-minute changes such as page size alterations. The hub's flexibility allows clients to eliminate distribution decisions and at the same time, reduce the cycle time required to produce the advertising. Although Vertis Retail & Newspaper Services has standardized on Creo platesetters, the hub's technology is flexible and capable of driving almost any thermal laser computer-to-plate device, regardless of manufacturer. This permits the hub to produce plate-ready files for printers that do not operate on the Vertis' standardized computer-to-plate platform. Because of the robust nature of the PDF file format and the Creo Prinergy workflow, the cycle time from the release of client page files to the actual production of plates and print production can be as short as four hours. Variation in the print quality between multiple printing sites is also reduced because quality attributes such as line screen ruling, plate tonal curves, and quality measurement marks are applied centrally for distribution. Today Vertis uses 40 Creo CTP devices, 20 Prinergy workflow systems, and several Brisque(TM) workflow systems to produce advertising and direct marketing for more than 3,000 customers in North America and the UK. Vertis also uses 12 Proofsetter Spectrum(TM) proofers from Creo. This dedicated digital contract proofing system uses SQUAREspot thermal imaging heads to produce high-resolution digital halftone proofs that match the exact image structure of the plates on press. Strong Partnership Baltimore, MD-based Vertis began installing Creo systems in 1996 and pioneered the application of CTP for the production of retail newspaper inserts. Vertis installed one of the original Creo Platesetter 3244 platesetters and began working with the development team for Prinergy, the industry's leading end-to-end PDF workflow (2002 PDF Workflow Shootout, Seybold Publications and Seminars, September 2002), even before the product was commercially released. Envisioning the use of Prinergy as a complete PDF workflow for its Retail & Newspaper Services group, Vertis understood the potential benefit of balancing its prepress workloads between its North American print facilities. "The unique cycle time requirements of Vertis in the retail insert market has helped Creo to continue developing Prinergy into the most productive PDF workflow available," states Kevin Harrell, Creo global accounts manager. Before selecting Creo to standardize its prepress operations, Vertis underwent extensive prepress R&D work to determine the most viable PDF workflow and CTP solution to meet its customers' demanding cycle-time requirements. Vertis chose Creo CTP with SQUAREspot imaging heads for its high speed, sharp imaging, and the most accurate process control. Vertis is a global powerhouse for integrated marketing and advertising solutions that seamlessly combine advertising, direct marketing, media, imaging and progressive technology. With headquarters in Baltimore and with production and sales offices throughout the U.S. and United Kingdom, Vertis serves local, regional, national and international companies across diverse industries. Vertis' products and services include: consumer and media research, media planning and placement, creative services, digital media production, targetable advertising insert programs, fully integrated direct marketing programs, circulation-building newspaper products and interactive marketing. To learn more about Vertis, visit www.vertisinc.com.