Birmingham, UK, April 4, 2006 Ultimate Technographics Inc, the leading imposition software developer and the inventor of digital imposition, is pleased to announce the release of another industry first, InkReady.
At IPEX in Birmingham, Ultimate is launching its latest tool to enhance printing production. Ink Ready is a tool to take prepress digital plates to control ink density on the printing press. Ink Ready does this for both presses that have digital connectivity (CIP3/4 PPF) and presses that do not.
InkReady takes the digital plate in PDF or PS format and produces a PPF ink density data that can be exported to any color control console on a press that supports PPF, or it produces on screen, and as a printout, the ink densities of each ink zone, as defined by the user, for how many ink zones the press has.
InkReady also works with any workflow or RIP that produces a PPF file for printing presses. InkReady can provide a preview of the PPF file and can output one divided into ink zones when the printer does not have a PPF driven color console, or has a shop where it is mixed between PPF ready presses and non PPF ready presses.
InkReady works with digital plate files from any source and supports CMYK and spot colors. The preview can be composite or in separated layers.
“InkReady is a universal tool to bring the benefits of digital plate production to all kinds of printing presses,” explains David Watson, President, “not just new ones that have the latest prepress interface. Printers do not change their printing presses as often as they change software.”
InkReady is a tool for printers who have some kind of digital workflow for producing plates, but do not have a color control console on their printing press. They may use Quark, a Quark extension, an Acrobat extension like Quite Imposing, or Impostrip, Preps, Dynagram, etc. to produce plate ready film (CTF) or plates (CTP). These printers can input a PS, PDF or Tiff image of a plate and Ink Ready will produce an ink usage profile based on user defined ink zones. The software allows the user to enter how many zones their press has. The ink usage profile can be previewed on screen and output as a PDF to print. This will be used by the press operator to manually set the ink keys on their press.
The benefit is that this ink usage profile will reduce make ready on the printing press, i.e. the press will be up to correct inking faster, with less paper wastage. Most printing presses installed do not have an electronic means to import PPF files. This is particularly true in the third world and among smaller printers. Even printers that have the latest PPF connected presses are probably still running older presses that do not have this capability.
InkReady is a tool for printers that have a digital workflow that produces PPF for their press and who have at least one press that consumes PPF. They may have PPF generation as an option to their RIP, like Harlequin, or they may have it as an option to a workflow like Apogee, Dalim, Nexus, Prinergy, Brisque, Polkadots, etc.
The benefit of Ink Ready is two fold for these printers. The workflows do not have the ability to preview the actual PPF file that is sent to the color control console of the printing press. Ink Ready allows a visual inspection of the plates prior to them being brought up on the color console, most of which have a preview. But to preview the PPF for verification at this stage is to delay make ready at the press, particularly if a change is required. Ink Ready allows prepress to do a visual inspection, it also allows press room management to verify on screen, or as a print out, the PPF before the file is mounted by the pressman for production.
The second benefit is for printing companies that have a PPF workflow but not all of their presses are PPF enabled. They can take the PPF output from their workflow and use Ink Ready to produce ink zone usage profile that is manually entered into those presses.
InkReady is a tool for printers who are acquiring a PPF enabled press but who do not have a workflow that produces PPF, or that are cost sensitive on deploying such a workflow. PPF generation options are about $5,000 and more on most workflows. InkReady generates the PPF file from any PS, PDF, or Tiff file the printer uses to make a digital plate.
The benefit is lower cost, but also greater flexibility in deployment, because Ink Ready can be used for all the printers’ presses, PPF and non PPF. It produces a preview for verification, in addition to the actual PPF. It can be deployed on a different computer than the RIP/Workflow, which takes away a processing burden that can slow plate production.
Ink Ready is based on the Print Production Format of CIP3, now CIP4. This is the format most commonly used for printing presses. The JDF format is beginning to be used for this purpose. The next version of Ink Ready will support JDF in and out.
InkReady will be available in three different configurations and prices; InkReady Report that gives a preview and a report on any PS, PDF file; InkReady View for just the PPF preview and Report; and the full InkReady that has all of the functions including PPF generation. Ink Ready is available for the PC, only, but can be used with Macs on a network via a hot folder. It is hot folder driven for automation. It requires Acrobat 7.0 to be installed on the same computer.
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