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New Xerox Software Takes Steps out of Print Production Process; 'Touchless' Workflow Expedites Personalized Printing

Press release from the issuing company

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 5, 2007 – Imagine printing short-run digital books in half as many steps, offering personalized Web-to-print jobs that automatically travel from order to output or routing the right job to the right printer –– all without having to put down your coffee cup.  
Xerox Corporation is introducing several software offerings that turn these scenarios into reality. Xerox's FreeFlow Digital Workflow Collection operates as the "central point of control" in a digital print shop environment by automating printing and administrative operations and integrating digital printing methods into traditional business, management and production processes. The new offerings take steps out of the printing process and expedite the creation of high-value applications such as personalized marketing materials and short-run books.
"Despite all of the advances in digital printing technology, implementing an automated production process can still be a daunting task for a printer – but it doesn't have to be," said Quincy Allen, president, Xerox Production Systems Group. "We have integrated the knowledge and expertise printers have used to run their traditional businesses and production processes into tools that streamline and automate the digital aspects of their business and help them expand their offerings."
Enhancements to the software tools focus on three segments of a print provider's business – enabling new applications, reducing costs by retooling and automating processes, and helping printers connect with their clients.
Enable new applications
- Xerox VIPP PRO Publisher – a plug-in that allows graphic designers to use the familiar, graphics-rich Adobe InDesign software to produce customized statements, postcards and direct-mail pieces. It lets users easily and rapidly design applications on a PC or Mac with VIPP PRO output. VIPP PRO is an optimized data stream that eliminates pre-composition and enables faster output speeds in order to complete jobs more quickly. The PC-enabled version of VIPP PRO Publisher is being shown at Graph Expo as a technology demonstration.
- Xerox FreeFlow Variable Information Suite 6.0 – software that streamlines the process of producing customized documents. The software now supports five specialty and security imaging effects, the latest addition being Infrared Marks. Infrared Marks allow print providers to print two layers of variable text using overprint – when one layer of text is hidden under normal viewing light and is visible only under infrared illumination – and embed information onto documents such as tickets, coupons and transcripts to better indicate identity, authenticity or value. The specialty and security imaging effects help print providers and the businesses they serve thwart counterfeiting.
Reduce costs
- Xerox FreeFlow Process Manager 6.0 – software that provides automated file preparation and decision making to automate document management and eliminate production steps. A new "Optimize" process allows users to automate numerous steps when preparing a PDF for print such as adjusting the PDF file format to balance file size with image quality. Additionally, conditional processing capabilities allow FreeFlow Process Manager 6.0 to examine the properties of submitted jobs including paper size and type, the number of pages and whether it should be printed on a color or black-and-white device. It then routes the documents appropriately without human intervention.
- Xerox FreeFlow Print Manager 6.0 – software that serves as a single point of control for managing both digital and offset jobs through the JDF standard. Print Manager now features an improved user interface and print workflow, as well as enhanced hot folders to minimize operator involvement.
- Xerox FreeFlow Makeready 6.0 – software that simplifies the set-up of a print job, such as layout and editing. Improvements to FreeFlow Makeready include PDF handling to support mixed page sizes and additional imposition capabilities. The software also offers remote access and enhanced search capabilities within Copyright Management Service, a Xerox offering that ensures print providers do not violate copyright laws when producing a job. Like FreeFlow Variable Information Suite, this software supports several of the specialty and security imaging effects.
- Xerox FreeFlow Output Manager 6.0 – software that helps manage equipment for a more cost-effective print operation. Output Manager features improved usability, additional JMF/JDF messaging and a new accounting service that lets print providers track how much work is going through their shop and what type of jobs are run.
Connect with customers
- Xerox FreeFlow Web Services 6.0 powered by Press-sense – Web-to-print software that allows a client to submit and reorder print jobs in a secure online environment. Based on customer feedback, Xerox has simplified deployment of the software and improved usability, including a stock library, greater tax support and a tabular graphical user interface.
The additions to Xerox's FreeFlow collection will be showcased at Graph Expo, the printing industry's largest annual exhibition in North America, Sept. 9-12 in Chicago.
Pricing and availability
Xerox VIPP PRO Publisher will be available in North America in the fourth quarter as part of the Xerox FreeFlow Variable Information Suite. FreeFlow Web Services 6.0 will be available worldwide on Oct. 15 for a U.S. manufacturer's list price of $20,000. The rest of the Xerox FreeFlow Digital Workflow Collection is immediately available worldwide at the following U.S. list prices: FreeFlow Process Manager 6.0 - $20,000, FreeFlow Makeready 6.0 - $18,000, FreeFlow Print Manager 6.0 - $3,995 and FreeFlow Output Manager 6.0 - $20,000. Elements of the FreeFlow Variable Information Suite 6.0 products begin at $99 and up, and VI Specialty Fonts begin at $199 and up.
All products are sold through Xerox direct sales force, agents, resellers and concessionaires.