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Crowson Stone Cuts Make-Ready in Half Using Heidelberg Prinect Workflow

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, Ga. – December 19, 2002 – Crowson Stone Printing Co., headquartered in Columbia, S.C., reports a 50 percent reduction in paper waste during make-ready and a one-third decrease in make-ready time through its use of Heidelberg’s Prinect workflow solutions. The 79-year-old family-owned print shop is using Heidelberg’s Prinect PrepressInterface and ImageControl systems to support its new 40", 10-color Speedmaster perfecting press. With these systems in place, Crowson Stone was able to reduce the stock required for 10-unit, two-sided perfecting make-ready to an average of less than 300 sheets. This compares to the industry's normal estimate of 100 to 150 sheets per printing unit, which would place a 10-unit make-ready at 1,000 sheets or more. "It all boils down to efficiency," company President John deLoach said. "What we’re able to accomplish now would not have been possible without Heidelberg’s ‘Prinected’ workflow. Efficient make-ready is an important advantage, given the constant demand by customers to turn around jobs faster and more competitively." Heidelberg began installing Prinect-compatible prepress and press systems more than seven years ago and continues to be at the forefront of helping printers realize the benefits of end-to-end automated workflow. The company’s Prinect workflow management solution provides printers with a crucial competitive advantage by recording and optimizing print-specific working processes from prepress to production and finishing, while integrating all levels of job processing. It is a highly modular, scalable and open system providing solutions that are tailor-made to suit customers' needs, easy to apply and can be continuously expanded. As a result, print shops operate more effectively and efficiently, as demonstrated by the reduced make-ready time and waste. "When we’ve got a customer in the shop for a press check, we can be at 90% color accuracy on the very first pull," said deLoach. "That just wasn’t possible before. We used to have to be purely reliant on the skill of the pressman. And today once the customer signs off to run the job, our ImageControl system holds color dead-on throughout the print run." Crowson Stone is achieving its reduced make-ready through use of the following Heidelberg Prinect Workflow tools: - The PDF-based workflow is combined with Heidelberg Delta Technology to generate CIP3-PPF (Print Production Format) data file. The file is then delivered digitally to PrepressInterface, Heidelberg’s software application that connects the entire workflow from prepress to press to finishing. - PrepressInterface analyzes the job and uses the information to preset the ink keys on the press as well as the color reference values for ImageControl. - The first pull sheet is scanned on ImageControl, the only system in the world capable of measuring the entire printed page. - The measurement is compared to the digital reference values provided by PrepressInterface. - Any variation between the scanned press sheet and the digital reference values is electronically presented to the pressman and the press can be automatically adjusted to compensate for the difference. "We’ve been working with Crowson Stone for years and have provided solutions that always keep them ahead of the competition. Seamless workflow is giving them an edge they need in the industry today," said James Mauro, product manager for Heidelberg’s Prinect press products. "It enables jobs to be turned around faster than ever, thereby dramatically saving time, labor, ink and paper. It also opens very wide the door to new business opportunities." With the new efficiencies gained through its use of Prinect, Crowson Stone has expanded its business offerings to accept more short-run publication jobs such as booklets and catalogues. It has also been able to grow its business by acquiring another local printer, Carolina Color, based in Charleston S.C. Next steps in Crowson Stone's deployment of Prinect will be expanding the network into the finishing area of the business with Compucut; and additional capabilities in quoting and cost analysis based on real-time production data. "Heidelberg’s Prinect workflow is yielding us tangible financial benefits," said Crowson Stone’s deLoach. "This is a difficult and challenging economic time, but I still believe we can drive our costs down even further with this technology. Heidelberg is leading the workflow charge and we’re benefiting from the results." Crowson Stone was founded in Columbia in 1923, and is in its third generation of family ownership. John deLoach serves as president, brother Ted as vice president and manager of the Charleston sales office. Crowson Stone specializes in serving ad agencies, graphic design firms and marketing professionals with a wide variety of print products, including annual reports, brochures, direct mail, and newsletters.