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Valassis Invests In Dalim Mistral System

Press release from the issuing company

June 1, 2007 -- Kehl, Germany - Dalim Software, a global leader in the design and development of innovative and automated professional production workflow software for prepress, print, packaging, advertising and publishing, announces that Valassis, the leading company in marketing services, with operations in the United States, Europe, Mexico and Canada, has completed the purchase of three complete DALiM MiSTRAL systems to upgrade and streamline its premedia production. According to Dalim Software, it is the largest single software order the company has received in North America to date. The system was supplied and integrated by The Oldham Group, a Dalim Software Authorized Reseller.

During the past year, Valassis installed a DALiM MiSTRAL system in its Client Services facility in Livonia, MI, to receive and process all graphic pages. In addition, the Livonia-based system feeds work to the company's Anderson Printing Division via a high-speed OC12 telecommunications line.

Valassis initiated much of the recent investment in production automation systems in response to the company's recent acquisition of ADVO. The combined company now serves 15,000 advertisers worldwide, reaching up to 114 million mailboxes monthly, or 90 percent of U.S. households, with its ShopWise(r) shared mail advertising. The workflow being put in place supports production of the weekly ShopWise wraps.

ADVO supplies the central Valassis MIS system weekly print instructions-the forms impressions, markets and ads that will be running in the supplements. Once entered into the system, the information is converted into metadata for file instruction. Concurrently, completed, prepared advertising graphic files are delivered to the central DALiM MISTRAL system in Livonia where they are preflighted along with the generation of a color proof.  Eventually, they plan to utilize DALiM DiALOGUE, the on-line softproofing component of DALiM MiSTRAL, for color approval at press side.

The two new DALiM MiSTRAL systems are being installed to support print facilities in Durham and Wichita. These satellite systems will receive approved the preflighted graphic files from Livonia, sent dynamically via a WAN. There, the files are locally trapped, forms are imposed, and metal plates are imaged. Job instructions and templates for imposition will be called from Valassis' central facility and delivered to the outlying facilities, where they will be tied to page files that are stored locally. Valassis imposition is unlike others because, rather than creating traditional signatures, they marry-up forms from two different jobs together on the same sheet.

The imposition 'template' that will instruct the workflow systems how to impose the plates will be sent via JDF instructions from Valassis' custom-built MIS order entry system. Integration with JDF was quite smooth. When job is ready for production, a web service provides the JDF "hand-off" between the two systems. When the JDF metadata is received, the imposed sheet will be built and automatically sent to platemakers.

"Valassis is taking data from our MIS system and utilizing a JDF handshake in order to build a high degree of automation. I have seen JDF implementations at other commercial print sites, but they still have manual components accompanying them," comments Randy Stover, Valassis Manager, Graphic Services. "We are implementing a system requiring as much 'hands off' as possible. It's a 'cutting edge' system that has created a number of challenges and opportunities for Dalim Software, The Oldham Group, and Valassis. However, once fully implemented, the reward will be worth it."

"The Oldham Group was very excited to be chosen by Valassis to assist them in the implementation of their DALiM MiSTRAL print production system at their corporate headquarters in Livonia, MI-as well as their other print facilities. Valassis is a very forward thinking organization, and has been great to work with," remarks Jerry Collins, vice president of The Oldham Group. "The production world that we live in today is all about automation. It is very exhilarating to play a role in the installation of a major workflow system involving several components that must communicate with each other. We look forward to assisting Valassis with this ongoing project, ensuring they benefit from the most automated workflow system possible."