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NGP Partners Demonstrate Collaborative & Integrated Workflow

Press release from the issuing company

(May 6, 2004) – Networked Graphic Production (NGP), the industry-wide initiative that is transforming print production as it is known today, is being shown live at drupa 2004 in the production of a daily newspaper, the NGP Daily. NGP Partner systems are connected to demonstrate how an NGP-specified JDF-enabled workflow can enhance printers’ businesses by creating a highly collaborative, optimized and efficient digital production environment. NGP Partners KBA (Hall16), MBO (Hall 6), Creo and Hiflex in the NGP Pavilion (Stand B22, Hall 4) are producing the NGP Daily. This open integration and coordination of resources is made possible by engaging the power of JDF. The 8-page, full-color, A4 format daily is being printed on UPM Finesse 135 gsm glossy stock and delivered to pick-up points on all NGP Partners’ stands around the show for lunchtime reading each day. “To date we have ten customers who are using JDF connectivity between their Hiflex MIS and production systems and we have had excellent feedback in terms of increased productivity since implementation. We hope that through our involvement in the production of the NGP Daily, a much wider audience will be made aware of the benefits of a JDF-enabled workflow,” says Stefan Reichhart, Joint Managing Director, Hiflex GmbH. Step one in the production cycle is creating the job specification and estimate in the Hiflex management information system (MIS). This includes a reference number and job description covering quantity, number of pages, stock, final trim size, bleed, colors and finishing information. This specification results in a production plan, which is the basis for the job schedule. Synapse Link software enables JDF and JMF information to pass between the Prinergy prepress workflow management system, and the Hiflex MIS. This allows information about all prepress operations undertaken to be recorded and co-managed by the MIS, including the names of the operators, all operations undertaken, work type, materials used and time elapsed. The first data to be shared in this way is the job reference, job description and Prinergy Job Template. Editorial content is being handled by Simon Eccles of Scribe Editorial Services. As the page layout manager completes pages in QuarkXPress, they are converted into PDFs and preflighted using Synapse Prepare software. Because Synapse Prepare uses a locked directive that predefines all the output parameters for the file, from this point onwards, the PDF is assured as production-ready. Once the preflight check is complete, the pages are automatically uploaded to the Synapse InSite Internet portal into prepress, without the designer ever leaving QuarkXPress. The PDF will then be automatically refined and imposed before being republished back on the web in reader order using Synapse InSite. An email alert is also automatically sent to the editor, page layout manager and prepress operator to say that the file is now ready for soft proofing. The MIS is also notified of these events and status changes. Using the Smart Review tool, which streams high-resolution production-file data on-demand, all of these stakeholders can collaborate simultaneously to comment on any aspect of the job and write-up annotations; measure colour density; and access job-status – all in real time. As pages are signed-off, approval status is sent to Hiflex, which then queries Prinergy to find out if signatures are complete. Once a signature is complete, the schedule is set for the hard copy imposition proofing using the Integris 800 proofing solution. Output directly from Prinergy to the Integris Proof Controller, these fully imposed, color-managed digital contone proofs accurately predict the final printed product. When final approval status is sent to Hiflex, its schedule is set to ready for final plate output and, on approval of the plates, it is set to ready for printing. At this point, the prepress operator will create a JDF file of the ink-key settings in Prinergy. These are then sent to the MIS as well as to the Logotronic Professional system on the new KBA Rapida 105 in Hall 16. The final print files will also be sent from Prinergy workflow to the Xerox DocuColor 3535 and iGen3 digital colour press for on-demand output. On completion of the print run, the printed sheets will be transported to the MBO stand in Hall 6 for finishing. In parallel, JDF information from Hiflex, containing all the information needed for automatic make-ready will be sent to the new fully-automatic MBO K 800/4 SKTL Combi Folding Machine. When finishing is complete, time and materials used information will be entered back into Hiflex for job costing purposes. Finally delivery notes will be produced for delivery to all the drop-off points. The final step in the cycle is an MIS report, showing actual results compared to estimates for both scheduling and costs. These reports are available from the NGP Pavilion (Stand B22, Hall 4).