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Artwork Systems Strengthens Its Digital Printing Portfolio with Support for HP

Press release from the issuing company

Ghent, Belgium – February 23, 2007 – Artwork Systems today announces introduction of a special driver for HP’s Industrial Digital Printing presses. The new driver has been specifically tuned to drive these former Indigo presses, such as the WS4050, which are increasingly used in professional label and packaging environments. As a supplier of open workflow solutions, Artwork Systems is dedicated to driving all devices that are used in the packaging and printing industries. Guido Van der Schueren, chairman of the board, says, “Artwork Systems is an established global player in developing industry-leading prepress production and workflow software for the commercial and packaging markets, encompassing digital, litho, flexo and gravure processes. “The success we have had in these areas has given our software designers an unrivalled knowledge across a wide range of printing technologies.” Van der Schueren says that the development of the HP driver allows Artwork Systems to provide additional advantages for the digital print segment, where the benefits of integrating a highly automated workflow are substantial. Support Highlights: Artwork Systems’ HP driver offers an automatic and flexible solution for taking PDF jobs from any environment and converting them on-the-fly to the on-board press colors. As well as automatic color conversion, the driver is equipped with a specifically tuned engine that RIPs exactly at the HP press resolution and outputs a specific HP job ticket to the press. In addition, digital printers can take advantage of Artwork Systems’ Certified PDF technology, which gives them the ability to have complete traceability throughout a job in the way that is already available to companies operating in more traditional print environments. This feature is particularly important to printers looking to handle, for instance, pharmaceutical work on digital output devices, where accuracy is vital. Depth & Breadth of Successful Development Experience Artwork Systems’ software engineers have unparalleled depth of experience in bringing customers the most highly automated, easy-to-use and flexible solutions. The team’s work in building dedicated drivers for imagesetters, CTP, direct-to-flexo and direct-to-gravure has naturally and successfully progressed into direct to press. The Challenge for Packaging & Label Printers A big challenge for packaging and label printers is to reproduce jobs on a digital press with as close a match as possible to that achieved via a conventional process. As most digital output equipment prints with a more limited range of inks compared to litho, flexo or gravure, reproducing the same colors has previously been difficult. Artwork Systems’ new HP Digital Printing driver helps to overcome this hurdle by allowing printers to standardize on a set of inks, which are selected to produce a wide color gamut. HP users typically standardize on Indichrome inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, black, orange, violet and green) as recommended by HP. With this standard set of seven colors, of which only six can be on the machine at the same time, a wide range of conventional printing colors such as Pantone or other spot color inks can be reproduced. Artwork Systems’ HP driver offers an automatic and flexible solution for taking PDF jobs from any environment and converting them on-the-fly to the on-board press colors. During conversion, ink usage can be optimized to ensure the greatest cost efficiency is achieved. When colors can be reproduced within certain tolerances using fewer inks, the system will automatically default to use the most economic method. The ink set used on the digital press can be altered to suit the printer’s needs. For example, pharmaceutical packaging printers might exchange violet for a reflex blue pigmented ink, or include a dedicated ink of a customer brand as one of the standard inks. A spot color red of a certain brand could be used as an additional color next to cyan, magenta, yellow, blue and green. The ink choice can be tailored to match any particular print run and changed easily on a daily or job to job basis. The first installations of the Artwork Systems HP Digital Printing driver are scheduled during Q2, with Nexus and Odystar workflows.