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NGP Expands Partnership; Outlines Industry-Wide Commitment to Real-World JDF Integration

Press release from the issuing company

Graph Expo 2003 Chicago, IL (September 28, 2003) – Networked Graphic Production (NGP) has evolved substantially since Creo Inc. introduced the strategic initiative two years ago. Today, 27 leading companies in the graphic arts and printing industry around the world have joined the Networked Graphic Production Partner initiative. Together, these forward-thinking companies will jointly manage the direction and mandate of Networked Graphic Production. “These leading vendors have committed to create JDF-based integration and deliver tangible benefits to our joint customers," says Amos Michelson, Creo chief executive officer. "Networked Graphic Production is helping printers, print buyers, suppliers and creative professionals to integrate, automate and optimize their operation and build a more efficient and collaborative environment. We are making interoperability real. Printers recognize that NGP Partner solutions provide an efficient, plug-and-play environment.” Looking Ahead to New JDF Solutions The powerful Networked Graphic Production Partners are committed to defining, developing, testing and delivering JDF-based integration between their systems to bring tangible value to printers, print buyers and creative professionals. By delivering closely integrated, cross-vendor solutions, Networked Graphic Production leads the way to maximize the efficiency of the entire print production process. Outlining Networked Graphic Production Increased efficiencies through automation, integration, and cross-vendor interoperability is the main goal of Networked Graphic Production. This is made possible through the definition of a standardized set of NGP interfaces, based on the JDF standard. By adopting this JDF interface, each of the NGP Partner solutions are able to communicate with one another, thereby creating an NGP family of plug-and-play solutions that can be combined together to provide seamless flow of job and production data across the entire production process. Defining the integration points Together, the NGP Partners work with printers and print buyers to determine the highest value to customers. Developing the connections All of the NGP Partners are committed to developing each of the relevant integration points using the agreed-upon JDF-based NGP interfaces. This ensures each NGP Partner solution will be compatible with the other NGP Partner solutions. Testing the integrations When building cross-vendor, plug-and-play solutions, testing the integrations and ensuring they deliver as promised, is key. Each NGP solution will be tested and certified to ensure it meets the original integration goal. Deliver solutions to the market Several NGP solutions are available today and many joint customers are already benefiting from these connections. The growth of the NGP Partner Program will see the number of cross-vendor NGP solutions increase exponentially. Delivering the value of JDF NGP Partners are working closely with the CIP4 standards committee. NGP Partners are committed to assisting the evolution of the JDF standard and ensuring that together, they deliver real world, working JDF-integration to the market. NGP Today and into the Future Many of the Networked Graphic Production Partners are demonstrating their NGP solutions in action today, at their booths at Graph Expo. Development of new NGP solutions, to be introduced next spring at drupa 2004 in Düsseldorf, Germany, is already underway. The expanded NGP partnership will hold its annual general meeting during Graph Expo where partners will meet face-to-face to agree on the directions of the partnership into the future. For more information about the Networked Graphic Production Partner program, please visit the new web site at www.ngppartners.org. Networked Graphic Production Partners Adobe Systems Incorporated [Creative Software] Networked Graphic Production is a natural extension of Adobe’s own Network Publishing vision. Leveraging the Internet, Network Publishing represents an era of reliably delivering visually rich, personalized content wherever the user wants. By driving the delivery of compelling content regardless of platform or device, Adobe continues to set standards in Web, print, and video publishing. Adobe offers a comprehensive line of software for enterprise and creative professionals. www.adobe.com Cerm [MIS] Cerm is a Belgium-based management information system (MIS) developer that offers a global solution for the automated administration of the printing business. Cerm has joined Networked Graphic Production to allow the company to bring the JDF-theory to the work floor and to prove to non-believers that it works. www.cerm.be Compri (Systeemhuis Compri) [MIS] Compri is the developer of the market-leading MIS called Xgram in The Netherlands for large and medium-sized printers. Over 225 companies in The Netherlands and Belgium are using MIS software from Compri. The NGP initiative aligns with the Xgram Open concept to integrate Xgram with third-party software and hardware using JDF/XML through XgramLinks. www.compri.nl Creo Inc. [Prepress, Production Planning] Creo is the world's leading supplier of prepress systems and is a founding member of the NGP initiative. Creo is committed to building seamlessly integrated solutions that leverage the power of JDF to build an optimized plug-and-play production environment. www.creo.com DiMS! [MIS] DiMS! develops, sells and implements DiMS!, a management information solution (MIS) for the printing and packaging industry. Networked Graphic Production is a natural partnership for DiMS!, which produces a JDF-compliant MIS that bridges the communication gap between prepress, production and post-press through the use of standard XML language. Supported by an open architecture, DiMS! uses JDF to enable printers to realize increased business efficiencies and streamlined processes through real-time, automated data exchange across the entire print management process. The open-ended structure of DiMS! enables the computer-based integration of all processes necessary to execute a printing job—from creation through shipping. Not only is data instantaneously communicated throughout the entire integrated system, but DiMS! also easily interfaces with other systems and technologies. www.dims.net Globe-Tek Corporation [MIS] Globe-Tek develops and supports an advanced management application for the graphic arts industry. The NGP initiative helps them reach their goal to seamlessly integrate with the leading print production solutions. GT Enterprise applications incorporate business concepts that streamline operational practices to benefit users and their customers. The applications incorporate: estimating, scheduling, order entry, order entry, job tracking, inventory, purchasing, shop floor, fulfillment, sales analysis, and web access. www.globe-tekcorp.com Graphisoft [MIS] Created by a printer for printers, Graphisoft has more than 15 years' experience in computer-assisted production management for print houses. As a partner in Networked Graphic Production, Graphisoft began its first development with very similar goals. Graphisoft developed an expert system for estimate calculation that was designed to optimize a company’s productivity. Graphisoft provides one of the most comprehensive, high performance MIS systems for print house production management. It covers all aspects of production, from sales action management right through to invoicing, using the expert system for estimate calculation, and production and stock management. www.graphisoft.biz Hiflex GmbH [MIS] Hiflex is a leading MIS developer and supplier for the printing and media industry. The NGP Partner program enables Hiflex to further support the tight integration of pressroom management business systems with production systems. The Hiflex MIS system supports many languages and has been installed in printing facilities in a dozen countries. The Hiflex MIS handles production information, including estimates, job-relevant correspondence, costing and statistics, and integrates data from material management, production planning and control, the JDF/CIP4 interface, and e-business. Hiflex has also implemented a JDF-based interface for the exchange of production information with the presses of another Networked Graphic Production Partner, KBA. www.hiflex.de/lang/eng Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) [Press Systems] As one of the world's largest manufacturers of presses, KBA is an NGP Partner committed to developing press solutions that have digital real-time communication with upstream and downstream production processes and MIS systems. KBA is committed to making the complete print production process more rational, more reliable and more economical. Presses must be connected to digital real-time communication with upstream and downstream production processes and management information systems. www.kba-print.de/en Komori America Corporation [Press Systems] For press manufacturer Komori, an integrated pressroom creates many benefits. Better job costing and inventory tracking can be demonstrated by providing better visibility into pressroom activity. By using Networked Graphic Production solutions, upstream data, such as ink key settings, can be delivered to the press in a seamless manner via CIP3-defined PPF file format. As the press begins its run, critical data, such as press and make-ready times, material usage (good/bad counts) can be shared with the MIS. Accessing this data allows for analysis and the ability to make faster decisions that can eliminate costly shortages at the bindery, remove excessive overruns, and ensure consistent quality. www.komori.com MAN Roland Inc. [Press Systems] NGP is a natural partnership for the world's second largest manufacturer of printing systems, as it matches MAN Roland's philosophy of open system architecture that allows the company to offer configurations that are tailored to specific customer needs. In addition to flawless technology, MAN Roland has long recognized the need to efficiently network printing systems with their peripheral components. www.manroland.com MBO [Finishing Systems] For more than 30 years, MBO has partnered with print finishers and book binders. Ongoing technical innovations and the highest quality standards have made MBO one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sheet folding and thread sealing machines. As a Networked Graphic Production Partner, MBO plays an important role in realizing JDF solutions from idea to delivery. www.mbo-falzmaschinen.de Megalith [MIS] Based in Germany, Megalith is one of the leading MIS suppliers. Megalith has joined NGP to enhance its customers’ integration with a network of integrated solutions across production and business systems. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd [Press & Finishing Systems] Mitsubishi (MHI) is one of the world's leading, global, heavy-machinery manufacturers and has joined the NGP Partner program to develop cross-vendor, integrated solutions for the graphic arts industry. www.mhi.co.jp www.mlpusa.com Müller Martini [Finishing Systems] As one of the world’s largest manufacturer of print finishing systems, Müller Martini has joined Networked Graphic Production to develop JDF-based solutions to improve efficiency within the entire print production and finishing cycle. www.mullermartini.com Optichrome [MIS] Optichrome Computer Systems Limited is the developer of the leading Optimus 2020 print Management Information System. JDF compatibility shows our commitment to open industry standards and ensures that our customers reap the benefits of inter-operability with NGP partner solutions. www.optimus2020.com Orgasoft [MIS] Orgasoft develops management information systems for the printing industry. Orgasoft has joined the NGP Partner program to support the development of integrated solutions. A member of CIP/4, Orgasoft is developing JDF-based solutions that allow the exchange of JDF data with other vendors’ systems. www.orgasoft.com Primac Systems [MIS] Primac is a leader in information management tools for the graphic arts industry. Primac has joined Network Graphic Production to support the development of JDF-based systems. The objectives of Primac’s customizable solutions are to improve efficiency and the customer’s bottom line; as well as to enhance the processes and flow of information across the end-to-end business cycle of its customers, their end-users and suppliers. www.primacsystems.com Printcafe Software, Inc. [MIS] Printcafe enables its customers to reduce costs and increase revenues by connecting its leading management information solutions—Hagen, Logic, PSI and PrintSmith—to order entry, prepress, press and postpress systems to create a true computer integrated manufacturing environment. www.printcafe.com Printplus [MIS] Printplus is a Switzerland-based MIS/ERP system provider for the printing and publishing industry, mainly in German-speaking Europe. Printplus offers solutions for the efficient business management and administration of prepress shops, print shops, bookbinderies and publishing companies. Printplus is committed to adding business management and administration capabilities to NGP Partner systems based on open standards. By integrating industry-leading prepress, press and postpress systems Printplus enables customers to increase the efficiency and quality of business management. Fully integrated, end-to-end solutions eliminate error-prone retyping of information and add full information transparency to management, thus reducing costs and reducing cycle times. www.printplus.ch Prism Group of Companies [MIS] Prism connects to Networked Graphic Production through the Prism WIN MIS system, used for estimating, job costing, job planning, inventory, shop floor management, time tracking, ecommerce solutions, accounting and reporting. It allows for tighter control of key elements within a print organization and integrates diverse information to build a clear overview of the complete operation. By using JDF, Prism WIN MIS accesses prepress production data from workflow systems. MIS integration software provides automatic, immediate access to production data to allow printers to accurately record and communicate up-to-the-minute data, such as prepress workflow events, material usage, machine time, and content alterations, into the Prism WIN MIS. Having access to this production data gives printers better visibility and control over their costing procedures and inventory management. It can ultimately improve profitability as printers are able to track and recover alteration costs, identify costly processes, and isolate low-margin print jobs. www.prism-world.com Radius Solutions Inc. [MIS] Radius Solutions develops MIS systems for the printing and packaging industry. The NGP Partner Program is a natural fit with its goal of creating solutions that provide control in printing and packaging. Radius Solutions also provides specific production scheduling systems and was one of the first to collect shop floor information directly from production machinery that was integrated with other application areas. www.radiussolutions.com Rogler Software [MIS] Rogler provides technoLOGIC, an MIS system for the printing industry, and is committed to working with the NGP Partners to deliver seamlessly integrated solutions to the entire graphic arts industry. www.rogler.at Shuttleworth Business Systems [MIS] Shuttleworth Business Systems Limited is a leader in the provision of management information systems to the graphic arts industry. With an extensive user base in the UK, Europe, South and East Africa, and the Middle East, Shuttleworth is committed to continually provide those users with world-class developments harnessing the powers of technologies as they emerge. As a dedicated exponent of JDF, being a member of the NGP Partnership will bring Shuttleworth closer to the other major suppliers to the industry, enabling the company to more quickly release additional JDF-enabled products to users, thus providing them with more efficient working environments. www.shuttleworth-uk.co.uk Streamline Solutions [MIS] Streamline Development’s Printstream MIS /ERP system is the only management system in the US combining solutions for commercial printing, direct mailing, print on demand and fulfillment companies. Printstream is currently installed in small single-site operations as well as large multi-location operations requiring complex inter-company accounting capabilities. Solutions include specialized modules for commercial printers, book printers, statement printers, direct mailers, high volume print on demand, kitting, literature fulfillment, and merchandise fulfillment. www.printstream.com Technique [MIS] Technique is the market leader in the provision of MIS for commercial printers, providing solutions for some of the largest printers in Europe and now the US. Through the NGP partnership Technique will help customers further enhance the return on their investment. www.technique-group.com Xerox Corporation As a growing number of commercial offset printers add digital print capabilities to expand their business, it is essential that the solution they select integrates into their existing commercial print environment. Xerox is an NGP Partner committed to developing digital print solutions that integrate seamlessly into an offset environment. www.xerox.com