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Xerox Streamlines Workflow for Integrated Digital and Offset Print Environments

Press release from the issuing company

BIRMINGHAM, U.K.--April 4, 2006-- Xerox Corporation today announced a workflow solution that makes it easier for print providers to integrate Xerox digital printing into their operations while leveraging existing offset printing technology. Through the independent efforts of workflow specialists at digital industry leader Xerox and at offset industry leader Heidelberg, print providers no longer need two separate workflows to run a shop with offset and digital equipment. The Xerox FreeFlow Print Manager 4.0 software together with Heidelberg's Prinect Digital Print Manager software allows print providers to choose the ideal print process for each job - digital or offset or a combination of both - and expedites workflow from start to finish by providing a single point of control for job ticketing, prepress, printing and finishing. Based on open architecture and the industry standard JDF (Job Definition Format) technology, the solution eliminates the need for entering the required print job information into the Prinect system and then again into a digital prepress system. Now, the most comprehensive set of job ticket specifications in the industry - image shift, rotation, banner message, number of copies, page range, output location, stapling/finishing, collate, sides imaged, and main paper stock attributes - can be viewed and specified in the Prinect system to produce jobs on Xerox digital presses. Customers can use this solution on a wide range of Xerox technology: the Xerox iGen3 Digital Production Press; the Xerox DocuColor 7000, 8000, 2045, 2060, 5252 Digital Color Presses with FreeFlow DocuSP, EFI or Creo Spire color print servers; the Xerox Nuvera(TM) Digital Production black-and-white printers; and the Xerox DocuTech and DocuPrint cut-sheet and continuous-feed printers. "Xerox and Heidelberg are truly making hybrid workflows a reality for commercial and digital print environments through open JDF industry standards," said Bill Lamparter, president of PrintCom Consulting Group. "By changing the way print industry professionals work and vastly improving production times, digital production can be added to an offset environment simply and efficiently to deliver a business advantage." The Xerox FreeFlow Print Manager in combination with Heidelberg's Prinect Digital Print Manager offers significant benefits to commercial printers including: * Increases productivity. Xerox digital printing templates are easily added alongside offset press templates during the set-up of a new job, letting the Prinect user choose between offset presses and Xerox digital presses for production without having to repeat the job set-up process. * Reduces labor costs and errors in programming. Prinect users are able to view and select from a comprehensive list of job ticketing settings for Xerox digital presses, including quantity, rotation, paper stock and output location. Before, these settings had to be selected at the digital print server; automating this process reduces error and manual processes. * Saves set-up time. Xerox printer capabilities are easily uploaded and stored in Prinect for an active snapshot of the digital print operation. Each time a Xerox digital press is updated or added, the software recognizes a change and quickly reconfigures its settings to give the operator access to the printers in their workflow. * Imposition sent to any Xerox press. Imposition, the set up of the image before printing, happens directly in Prinect during prepress. This saves steps in the imposition process and provides users a choice of color print servers and Xerox digital presses. At IPEX, Xerox will also highlight a technology demonstration of JMF (Job Messaging Format) functionality for hybrid workflows, showing how information, such as the print job progress, can be sent back to the Heidelberg Prinect system. The solution provides two-way communication between offset and digital devices. Net result: Operators can monitor job status, identify problems, and handle billing and invoicing from a single interface for a more efficient and profitable print shop. Xerox FreeFlow Print Manager 4.0 software is currently available worldwide at a U.S. manufacturer's list price of $3,995. The Heidelberg Prinect Digital Print Manager will be available as an option for the next release of Heidelberg's Prinect workflow management system, which is widely used by commercial printers to manage offset prepress and print workflows.