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Fujifilm Upgrades Prepress Graphic's Capabilities with Xerox iGen 3 110

Press release from the issuing company

VALHALLA, N.Y. (June 12, 2008) ¬- Prepress Graphic Professionals is not afraid of change-and that flexibility drives the company forward. The latest change for the Shawnee, Kan., company was to install a Xerox iGen3 110 digital production press that boosted production by 50 percent. Furthermore, the high-speed digital press delivers the high quality that customers expect and has rewarded the company with many new customers. In fact, because they have calibrated all their printing devices to meet the latest GRACoL 7 standards, many ad agencies have been impressed with the quality color printing and now send their projects to Prepress Graphic.

By evolving with the times, Prepress Graphic Professionals became a $2 million digital printer with 14 employees, after starting out as a trade shop and film house in 1990.

"If we hadn't made the change to digital print, we would have gone the way of most trade shops - either out of business or merged into somebody else," says owner Jack Gulick. "We didn't go that way. We're very much among the living. We have some very good employees and we're not afraid to change and do things differently."

After starting to print digitally only five years ago, digital print now accounts for about 80 percent of the business. Eventually, however, the printing growth meant that the company's Xerox 6060 digital production press couldn't keep up with demand.

Thanks to the relationship developed with FUJIFILM Graphic Systems U.S.A., Inc., the print provider knew who to work with in times of change. Fujifilm offers new technology recommendations, problem-solving advice and support with installations. "It was nice to work with both Fujifilm and Xerox on this project. They were able to make it pretty seamless switching from the 6060 to installing the Xerox iGen3 110 digital production press," says Gulick. "In the two months we've had it, we've picked up 10 new customers-very good sized customers. Our additional capacity allows us to get jobs turned out on time, every time. And we have increased our possibilities by being able to take more complex files and offer variable data."

The iGen3 110 prints up to 6,600 full-color impressions per hour. "Because this is so much faster, it's a major benefit for us," says Gulick. "We have been able to increase our production levels by 50 percent. We were having trouble keeping up with our work with the old device. Now we don't have those problems and we see so many possibilities with being able to increase our business not only on the static side, but particularly on the variable data side-simply because it is so much faster and easier. In the first six weeks of having the iGen, we put out the same volume that we did on the 6060 the first year we had it."

In addition to choosing the iGen3 for its speed, the company was impressed with the quality of print. "We've shown people samples and most can't tell whether it's digital or offset, and that's what we're looking for," states Gulick. "We want things to appear that they're printed offset."

Over the years, customers such as ad agencies, financial firms, mutual fund corporations and marketing companies have learned to expect great color quality from Prepress Graphic. Quality color has always been a high priority to the company and the iGen3 didn't disappoint.

"Everything we do is color critical," says Gulick. "That's where we have made our name. That's what people expect out of us. Not only quality color, but also standing behind what we produce. If we couldn't produce the quality that we wanted on the iGen, we would have had to find another avenue to pursue."

One path to the company's success with quality color printing was following GRACoL 7 guidelines. With GRACoL 7, the digital print looks more like an offset printed sheet with the full color gamut that the Xerox is capable of printing, explains Gulick. "The color looks more real, more accurate," he says. "Facial tones look more real. We can get very close to most PMS numbers. We're getting in to so many ad agencies now because of the work we're able to produce. They want it to appear just as it would on an offset press and we're able to deliver that."

The employees at the company researched how to use GRACoL 7 as well as high-end color management solutions from GMG Americas, ultimately deciding to install the GMG solution. GMG's ColorServer enables the company to produce consistent color on all its machines. "We're trying to push the envelope even more than what manufacturers think is possible," says Michael Greenwald, imaging specialist. "We do it because we're trying to achieve the best color and printing possible."

Gulick adds: "We are comfortable that with the GRACOL 7 standard we can not only match our color devices to each other, but we can also go in and match a customer's particular color to our devices."

In addition to the iGen3, the company operates a Xerox DocuColor 240 printer/copier that prints up to 40 color pages per minute at resolutions of up to 2400 x 2400dpi. And, for six years, the company has been producing wide-format graphics such as banners, posters and window graphics on a Mutoh Toucan LT Ultra 64-inch-wide printer and an Epson 9800, both purchased from Fujifilm. Wide-format printing is now about 10 to 15 percent of the business and growing. Artists and photographers print their work on the Epson 9800 and they keep coming back, says Greenwald. "Wide format is taking off," states Greenwald. "In the last few years we've completely transformed the company. We've hit two areas where printing is growing: wide-format and digital printing. We've been fortunate."