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PrintCity accelerates through the JDF gears

Press release from the issuing company

January 28, 2004 -- At drupa 2004, PrintCity will be showing its most ambitious networking project to date, and the most completely integrated multi-vendor production workflows, driven end-to-end by Job Definition Format (JDF), yet seen anywhere in the graphic arts industry. The scale of the integration PrintCity will show is unprecedented within an exhibition environment. Within PrintCity’s “Integration Centre”, from where all the networking and office processes of a medium-sized printing company will be controlled, JDF data will reach out to touch all of the PrintCity Print Factories. These factories will specialise in producing innovative printed output across the commercial, publishing and packaging market sectors. Every technical process along the production route of a given print job, including the often-overlooked postpress stage, will be part of the JDF loop. And PrintCity will be using the full range of JDF capabilities by carrying out real job tracking and statistical analysis on live production equipment from its host of member and associate companies. Christian Gugler, Chairman of PrintCity’s Networking Activity Group, said: “What PrintCity will show at drupa 2004 is going to be light years ahead of any previous demonstrations of JDF that visitors will have seen.” “Ipex 2002 was an important stepping stone for PrintCity, and the networking concept we have designed for drupa takes the early JDF experiments to a completely new level. It will start at MIS for estimation and order handling. The fully integrated production planning system will schedule all jobs and control production performance. After completion the loop will be closed, back at MIS, with invoicing – using JDF and open systems from multiple vendors all the way through. “Customers must be able to realise complete JDF-integrated workflows, but with a free choice of the best products. It’s equally important that customers can clearly see the benefits of network integration. Examples of this are reducing errors through removing the need for rekeying information, time saving through less requirement for manual intervention, and the high transparency of production status, quality and costs that JDF data provides. “We are determined to show customers how JDF can benefit them right now, as well as its huge potential for the future of their printing business.” Many PrintCity members and associates, already have JDF-powered products on the market, or to be unveiled at drupa. PrintCity’s Print Factories, managed and supervised from the Integration Centre, will clearly show how true connectivity can be achieved, without locking customers in to a single supplier. Visitors to PrintCity at drupa will be able to spend some time having a demonstration in the Integration Centre, so that the extent of this end-to-end JDF integration becomes more visible. At the show, visitors will be able to supply PrintCity with their name and a preference for market segment, such as sheetfed, and can then see the entire production process with a PrintCity expert, viewing JDF job ticket information that is personalised with their name, at every stage. Gugler added that the ambition and complexity of PrintCity’s networking concept in the Integration Centre, was of profound importance to the industry as a whole. “Networking is far more important an issue than simply communicating small pieces of job and system data. As we look further ahead, at PrintCity we see that networking is also the essential prerequisite for structural change at a strategic level in the graphic arts industry,” said Gugler. “The industry must move beyond its traditional role as a creator and supplier of printed items, to become a provider of cross-media services. In that context, PrintCity’s Integration Centre and print factories show the clear paths to the future.”