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Digital Information

Success Stories

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Jordi Ltd Berne/Switzerland Preproofer 970
with Epson 9700
Appenzeller Medienhaus Herisau/Switzerland Preproofer 770
with Epson 7700
R.D. und Verlag AG Berneck/Switzerland Preproofer 945 with Espon Stylus Pro 9450
Koprint AG Alpnach Dorf, Switzerland Preproofer 740 with Espon Stylus Pro 7400
Fotorotar AG Egg, Switzerland Preproofer 760/960 with Espon Stylus Pro 9600
Ropress AG Altstetten, Switzerland Preproofer 760/960 with Espon Stylus Pro 7600

Appenzeller Medienhaus Reaps Rewards of Formproofer Upgrade

Appenzeller Medienhaus Ltd., a commercial print shop in Herisau, is an ongoing early adopter of Preproofer technology from Digital Information. The original system used at the busy printer was a Preproofer 7600, installed shortly after being originally launched at Drupa 2004. Now the company has replaced the seven year-old imposition proofing system with the latest Preproofer model 770.
The latest generation of Preproofer models 770/790 and 970/990 guarantee precise registration between frontside and backside content through a precise camera control system. The latest generation of Preproofer models 770/790 and 970/990 guarantee precise registration between frontside and backside content through a precise camera control system.
Almost as soon as the latest Preproofer models were announced, Appenzeller Medienhaus Ltd. wasted no time in becoming one of the first existing users to express an interest in adopting the latest developments in formproof production. Appenzeller Medienhaus have been producing fully-imposed proofs on a Preproofer 770, which has a paper width of 23” (59 cm), in order to check layouts for three presses: a Speedmaster CD 74-5+L, a Speedmaster XL 75-4-P+L and a Speedmaster SM 52-2. The printing plate volume at their facility is around 1,800 per month for just the two 20x28” format machines.

Main Concern: Registration Accuracy

«Only an imposed form proof originating directly from the data RIPed for platesetter use can give us the confidence that our on-press color okay will match the image setting data, assuring us that only error-free printing plates go to press», says Markus Hager who is head of prepress and therefore also responsible for proofing output. On his recommendation, the management team was convinced that imposition proofs are such an effective control technology that cost savings can be achieved to easily justify investment in the replacement Preproofer model 770.
Markus Hager of Appenzeller Medienhaus Ltd: «With the new Preproofer generation Digital Information have substantially refined the system.» Markus Hager of Appenzeller Medienhaus Ltd: «With the new Preproofer generation Digital Information have substantially refined the system.»
«With the new Preproofer generation Digital Information have substantially refined the system» assesses Markus Hager. «Compared with the predecessor model we can now work at least twice as fast. This speed factor becomes even more important when short-term orders have to be executed, a trend that has been going on for quite some time. In our opinion the Preproofer’s newly designed register control is another great asset as we use the RIPed and imposed formproofs not only for internal control, but we also keep sending these folded up printouts as imposition proofs to the customer. It is of vital importance for us that quality is right in every respect, and that includes front-to-back registration» Markus Hager explains.

Service Provider in a Group of Companies

Together with the newspaper Appenzeller Zeitung and the publisher Appenzeller Verlag, the print shop Appenzeller Druckerei is united under one roof as part of the Appenzeller Medienhaus Ltd. conglomerate, which itself is a subsidiary of the St. Galler Tagblatt newspaper. Appenzeller Medienhaus Ltd. forms a rich reservoir of expertise concerning the preparation, processing and production of information over different channels. Apart from job printing, the Appenzeller Druckerei reaches a remarkably good capacity utilization by printing books (approximately a dozen titles per year), a range of monthly journals and almanacs published by Appenzeller Verlag.
The launch of the Preproofer 790/990 raised the interest of Appenzeller Medienhaus Ltd. at Herisau, Switzerland, who again were among the first users. The launch of the Preproofer 790/990 raised the interest of Appenzeller Medienhaus Ltd. at Herisau, Switzerland, who again were among the first users.

The Third Preproofer Generation

With the 770/790 models for the 20x28” format (50x70 cm) and the 970/990 models for the 28x40” format (70x100 cm) the third Preproofer generation is now available. These new systems rely upon the advanced Epson Stylus Pro 7700/7890/7900 and 9700/9890/9900 inkjet print engines.
The latest Preproofers feature 40 percent faster print speed and extra precise front-to-back print registration on the roll-fed paper. Improved registration accuracy is driven by a newly-developed control system featuring high-resolution video cameras that monitor the output of the two integrated inkjet printers.

Jordi Ltd. Churns Out 8-up Two-sided Prints with New Preproofer 970

Jordi Ltd. in Belp/Switzerland recently expanded their offset press production format from 4-up to 8-up whilst relocating to a newly erected building near Berne Airport. This move also entailed upgrading the CTP department to supply 8-up plates. Since production started at the new premises, the latest-generation Preproofer 970 has been on duty to generate double-sided imposed proofs to match the press output.
Along with the change from the 20x28” format (50x70 cm, 4up) to the 28x40” format (70x100 cm, 8up), Jordi Ltd. also upgraded their proofing output by investing in the new Preproofer 970. Along with the change from the 20x28” format (50x70 cm, 4up) to the 28x40” format (70x100 cm, 8up), Jordi Ltd. also upgraded their proofing output by investing in the new Preproofer 970.
In January 2011 Jordi Ltd. in Belp (Switzerland) kicked-off production at their functional new building, boasting floor space of 36,600 square feet (3,400 square meters). Their sheetfed offset printing output has been migrated from two 4-up 20”x28” (50x70 cm) format machines to a single KBA Rapida 106 eight-color configuration, with an 8-up 28”x40” (70x100 cm) format. This new eight-unit press is flexible and can be configured for either 8/0 straight-through printing, or for a 4/4 perfecting output.
A key consideration with the larger-format workflow is having the means to visually check the imposed print forms, which are calculated by the platesetter RIP, using a physical printout before sending them to the platesetter. With the latest-generation Preproofer 970 (having a paper width of 43"/109 cm), Jordi can fulfill this task by printing out double-sided form proofs that are fully imposed in just one pass.

Expensive downtime prevented

The double-sided printing system provides formproofs of the printing plates for the new KBA Rapida 106, as well as for a Speedmaster SM 52-2. The KBA 28”x40” eight-color machine has been in action nearly full-time for three shifts daily since being put into service. Approximately 6,000 printing plates have been imposed and proofed during the first five months at the new building, including the plates for the A3 format Speedmaster.
Klaus Gasser was responsible for printing production at the former location and is therefore familiar with the older Preproofer 740. Hence he is well acquainted with the system and appreciates the routine in which the imposed print forms are checked as proofs before they are used to make plates. «With the hectic nature of each day, sometimes mistakes only get discovered at the very last minute. In such cases, the plates are already mounted on press and the obvious consequence is the potential for costly remaking of plates and lost time », says Klaus Gasser. He adds «Prevention is even more valuable when the plant is faced with finding a mistake only after an order has been completed, with the only remedy being an expensive re-print of the whole run.» He hints at another remarkable factor. «By investing in new press technology, we are now working in a mixed workflow environment, juggling components from several different manufacturers. For pagination and layout alone we find it very helpful to have the confidence in a one-to-one facsimile of the layout in a proof before the imposed form is sent to the platesetter.»

Trusted Output

The most prominent feature of the Preproofer concept is that it is based on the same data that is calculated by the original imagesetter or platesetter RIP. Digital Information’s DI-Plot software, which can establish a link to virtually any prepress workflow, is the integrated front-end for every Preproofer. DI-Plot simply adapts the fully-imposed bitmap to the resolution of the double-sided inkjet proofing system, thereby guaranteeing full content and layout accuracy to the plates and print job.
Klaus Gasser of Jordi AG: «Thanks to the Preproofer, from the outset we are able to recognize possible mistakes on the imposed printing plates, and effectively prevent any costly rework.»
This allows the CtP operator, production team, and customer to visualize the complete printing form – including color accuracy, all marks, traps, overprints and bleeds – prior to making plates or starting production. Unlike booklet proof solutions, which can only refer to single, isolated PDF pages and never to an imposed and RIPed print form as a whole, Digital Information’s unique Preproofer systems image both sides of the fully-imposed print job in just one pass. The Preproofer output can then easily be folded, cut, stitched, assembled with other forms and evaluated as if it were a printed sheet coming from the press delivery.

Seeking Entrepreneurial Independence

Jordi Ltd. is one of the longest-established commercial printing facilities in Belp, Switzerland and the surrounding region. Friedrich Jordi founded the acclaimed printing business in 1897. Since then the company has grown to a staff of 87. These days, the founder’s great-grandson, Bruno Jordi, is the fourth-generation leader of the ever-advancing organization. Apart from printing the official local gazette, Jordi Ltd. has also established a strong foothold with overall solutions for magazine and periodical production, including graphics, logos, text, and website development. With the recent relocation to their new building, the tradition-rich company has reinforced its ambitions to retain its entrepreneurial independence and to stand their ground as a trendsetter in the media market.
Jordi Ltd. located in Belp, Switzerland, moved into an elegant new building near Berne Airport in January 2011

A Proofing Solution Legacy, Now in It's Second Generation

With the Preproofer 945, Rheintaler Druckerei und Verlag AG is saving money, materials and time. The system produces more than twelve 16-page DIN A4 double-sided imposed proofs per hour - in a single pass, with an excellent register and exceptional print quality.
The Preproofer produces double-sided imposed proofs with no turning module. For Urs Staudacher, that makes it the winning solution also from the conceptual point of view.

Closing the Last Gap in the Digital Workflow

Even though workflow systems are aimed at combining process steps into a fully automated production flow, this chain is often broken when it comes to hand assembly of imposed proofs. The gains made in productivity up to that point are then abruptly lost, and the sizeable investments made in a capital-intensive, digital workflow can be called into question. That's why, back in 2005, the Rheintaler Druckerei und Verlag AG closed this final gap in the workflow with an investment in the Preproofer 960, the state-of-the-art solution available at that time. Now, just three short years later, the company has upgraded to the latest 945 model, and has seen productivity double compared to the previous system.
Efficient production with DI-Plot.

DI-Plot: a Powerful Nucleus

According to Prepress Manager Urs Staudacher, "the Preproofer 945 is the definition of efficiency and quality. We have invested once again in a solution from Digital Information because we can count on the efficiency and reliability of their products. And thanks to the Epson inkjet technology, we achieve a level of productivity that no other double-sided proof system is able to deliver."
Staudacher recognizes DI-Plot as a crucial element in the overall system. This software nucleus of the Digital Information solution repurposes bitmap files generated in the RIP imaging device in order to create fully-imposed proofs. As a result, Urs Staudacher can rest assured that the proof and the printing plates contain identical content and positioning. In addition, DI-Plot is used for data management and Preproofer control tasks, making both daily operation and occasional maintenance much simpler.

Perfect Results, Front and Back

For Urs Staudacher, the Preproofer 945 is the premier imposed-proofing solution. He says "Our past experience convinced us of the product's simplicity, elegance and efficiency. Thanks to the staggered arrangement of the printers one above the other, double-sided proofs are generated in no time".
The Preproofer 945 operates from roll to sheet, with the front printed from the paper roll, and the back imaged onto the previously printed and cut sheet. Because the second printer is fed by gravity and optically checked to ensure exact register, the solution is incredibly reliable and accurate. "The system is perfect. There is no need to turn the paper, so no mechanical devices are required whatsoever. This dependability means less maintenance and far fewer spare parts", says Urs Staudacher.

Koprint AG: Printing is better double

With Digital Information's Preproofer 740, double-sided formproof production at Koprint AG is efficient and economical. The output process is controlled by the DI-Plot software package. Linked with InkZone Perfect, DI-Plot also delivers JDF files for presetting ink-zones automatically on two printing machines of different manufacture.
Preproofer 740 runs at up to 16 double-sided printed formproofs per hour
Koprint AG has been working with DI-Plot from Zurich-based software developer Digital Information Ltd. since 1998. Located in Alpnach Dorf, the family-owned company is one of the early users of this versatile proof software, which can be integrated into any prepress environment. The company continues to work with a delta workflow, with DI-Plot sampling the ripped bitmaps down to the required resolution to produce a formproof that is absolutely accurate as far as layout and content are concerned.
After nearly ten years and with more than 2000 licences granted worldwide, DI-Plot is still holding its own as a future-proofed solution that can keep pace with the latest developments in the different prepress workflow solutions. Which is why Koprint has recently gone over to double-sided proof outputting with a Preproofer 740 from Digital Information. In a further efficiency measure with InkZone Perfect, the company has now made the connection for presetting the ink zones on two offset machines from Komori (52 x 72 cm) and Ryobi (52 x 36 cm), each equipped with five printing units. DI-Plot is used as the data source and control platform for proof outputting on Preproofer 740, and also for InkZone Perfect. For Managing Director Jochen Konrath, who is in charge of operations, the value of the proof software is confirmed over the long term because it can continue in use with Koprint's upcoming investment in a new workflow system.
DI-Plot is the control platform and data source for Preproofer 740 and at the same time calculates the JDF data for ink zone presetting via InkZone Perfect.

Lower costs, higher performance

In Alpnach Dorf, the annual consumption of print plates is around 13,200. Then there are 6,500 plates for Gersag Druck AG in Emmenbrücke, which was acquired by Koprint AG in 1989. At Gersag Druck, production runs on a convertible Speedmaster 74 with five printing units.
With the installation of the Preproofer 740 four-page system, Jochen Konrath can confirm that expenditure on proof production is down by almost a half: "Thanks to Digital Information and Preproofer, we achieve clear savings from several points of view. Compared to earlier methods where we could only output single-sided proofs, we now use both sides of the sheet and consume correspondingly less paper. Also, by dispensing with gluing, we are much faster and more accurate. We gain time, make considerable savings in the cost of materials, and attain a very appealing proof quality that comes close to the actual printing result." And that's not all. With the CMS capability of DI-Plot, when it delivers the formproof Koprint is at the same time giving customers an "OK-to-Print" that goes a long way to resembling the final print result from the colour point of view, as well.

Quality with Piezo technology

Preproofer 740 is based on two Epson Stylus Pro 7400 printers - currently the fastest inkjet system on the market. Depending on the chosen resolution, speeds reach up to 16 double-sided proofs per hour, while a new screening method allows excellent reproduction quality down to even the finest details and with low resolutions, too. Micro Piezo technology functions on the drop-on-demand principle and enables precision control of the ink droplets as far as size, shape and positioning on the substrate is concerned. In addition to brilliant printing results, the outputting process can be accelerated while saving on ink consumption by varying the droplet size according to the subject.

Front and back without turning

Double-sided formproofs can be produced in one pass without turning the paper thanks to the offset configuration of the vertically displaced printers. Preproofer works on the roll-sheet print principle where output of the front is off the roll and output of the back is on the cut sheet. For outputting the back, the sheet is moved by gravity alone and scanned for precision register printing by the system before DI-Plot releases the data. With no mechanism required for turning the sheet, the result is reduced maintenance and fewer spare parts.
At Koprint, ink zones on a Komori and a Ryobi are automatically preset using InkZone Perfect.

With JDF to the ink-zone preset

Print shop production at Koprint is in a heterogeneous environment. A five-colour from Komori in 52 x 72 cm format, a five-colour from Ryobi in 36 x 52 cm format, plus two A3 Ryobi models, each equipped with two units, add up to a total of 14 printing units.
The installation of InkZone Perfect for online ink-zone presetting on the five-colour machines makes for an economical solution with a high streamlining effect. With InkZone Perfect, both systems can be supplied with presetting data, thus avoiding the need for relatively expensive proprietary CIP3/4 connections for printing machines from two different manufacturers. DI-Plot calculates the JDF files with the zone values from the bitmap data delivered by the imager RIP and then transfers them to InkZone Perfect. The software is not dependent on the type of printing machine and offers functions like linearization to individual printing conditions, the display of ink-zone values, visualisation of the printing job with the separate imposed composite forms, and ductor control. Thanks to a simple drag-and-drop function, the press-man can allocate the individual separations with the preset values for CMYK and special colours to the printing units.
With a simple drag-and-drop function, the press-man assigns the preset values to the separate ink zones on the printing machine.
"One thing is clear: the preset solution from Digital Information makes things much simpler and speeds up the process", says Jochen Konrath. "Previously, we needed between 30 and 45 minutes per printing job for setting the ink zones manually. Thanks to InZone Perfect, we are ready for the production run after fifteen minutes. Also, the software allows us to adapt the calculated preset data to the effective ink-zone values and thus further optimise set-up times. A further productivity bonus comes from the option to save job data for repeat jobs."

Buoyant growth

The satisfaction shows (from left to right): Gregor Keiser, Manager PrepressJochen Konrath, Managing Director Koprint AG, Michael Haenni, Digital Information Ltd.
Koprint AG was founded in 1984 when Austrian Werner Konrath acquired former book printers Ehrli Druck AG in Sarnen. Eleven years later came the move into modern premises in Alpnach Dorf, the present-day location, and the change of name to Koprint AG. Since 1989, Emmenbrücke-based Gersag Druck AG, a company that is well established in the region, has also been owned by Koprint AG. Recently, Kneuss Print AG of Lenzburg was taken over by the service provider, which has now grown to employ more than 40 staff. The customer base is mainly manufacturing companies, banks, insurance organisations and firms in the IT sector. Because Koprint remains largely independent from agencies, the services are not restricted to tasks relating to printwork production but range from the development of graphic design concepts through artwork production and printing to the finished product.

Fotorotar AG: A two-shift requirement

The Preproofer 760 and 960 are based on the leading MicroPiezo technology of the Epson Stylus Pro 7600 (4-up) and 9600 (8-up).
Fotorotar AG located in Egg, Switzerland is one of four printing houses in Switzerland certified to produce securities and share certificates. The company also produces periodicals, business reports and books (published in-house) on 27 printing units, of which 18 are in 8-up format, mostly in two-shift operations. The requirement for formproofs is correspondingly high. Until now, single-sided sheets have been mounted manually with waxed glue, and then cut and folded into four-page signatures. Not counting the time taken and the high consumption of materials, there was always a risk of faulty paste-up, particularly in the case of small-format finished products. Since Fotorotar was so open to the idea of printing double-sided proofs in a single pass, the purchase of the Preproofer 960 was a quick decision. The sheets are imposed on three Signa stations, processed on a Heidelberg Metadimension workflow, and then transferred online to DI-Plot for output on the Preproofer 960.
As a partner, Digital Information was not unknown to Fotorotar AG: this media service provider in the Zürcher Oberland is one of the first to use Remote Publisher, another tool from the Zurich-based software creator. Based on PDF technology, Remote Publisher allows customers of the printing house to edit predefined templates for business stationery themselves, and then release the jobs for printing over the Internet.

Ropress AG: The form proof is no more

Ropress also uses formproofs created on the Preproofer 760 as a contract proof that is submitted to the customer as an "OK-to-print".
In the year 2000, Ropress in Altstetten, Switzerland became the first printing house in the world to be awarded the FSC certificate. The FSC label is presented by the Forest Stewart Councilship to companies that contribute to ecological and socially responsible forest management. Primarily, the company produces in four-page format and uses KIM PDF as the output workflow for the imposition of finished PDF pages with subsequent 1-bit TIFF file from a Harlequin RIP. The identical data is used for output on the Preproofer 760 and for plate imaging. The Preproofer 760 brings Ropress considerable savings not only in relation to efficient formproof printing: since work began here using the new DI-Plot controlled proof output device, the formproof has at the same time become a contract proof. This is submitted to the customer as an Contract proof. Since the spring of 2004, ISO 12647-2 compliant ICC profiles are stored in DI-Plot. Ropress also uses DI-Plot for calculating ink zone setting values: so-called InkZone files are transferred via Ethernet to the InkZone-Box, converted into the format specific to the printing machine (Heidelberg), and written to the JobCard. The data is input into the CPC system from the printer for automatic ink fountain presetting.

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