“Sierra 6.5 has been highly anticipated due to the addition of APPE 3.6, Adobe’s next-generation rendering engine,” said Eric Nelsen, Xitron’s VP of Product Development. “The difference in speed and interpretive accuracy, especially with live transparency, is remarkable.”
Nelsen explains version 6.5 of Sierra, by taking advantage of 64-bit processing and large addressable memory space, equates to a nearly 15 percent increase in performance over previous versions of the software.
Xitron explains the new Sierra architecture also provides the framework for driving any high-speed toner press at its full rated speed, which is designed to help coordinate workflows for companies also running offset printing equipment. “It doesn’t have to be one or the other,” said Nelsen. “Nor does the addition of a digital press mean two separate workflows. With Sierra 6.5, all jobs come through this central engine and are rendered appropriately.”
Xitron has more than 300 Xenith installations across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Latin America. Sierra is capable of driving over 200 different output devices from Screen, Agfa, Heidelberg, FujiFilm, Presstek, Esko, and others.
InSite 7, explains Kodak, automatically tracks all prepress activities like job submissions, change requests and approvals or rejections, while also alerting customers and prepress staff of issues for correction and page updates. Kodak states the removal of the JAVA platform requirement is a significant enhancement, allowing customers to engage with a secure, streamlined platform for managing proofs with reduced technical support. The HTML5 platform also delivers a more consistent interface across a range of Web browser environments.
“We understood the challenges our customers faced with existing prepress portals and have delivered a tool that offers a more efficient and accessible experience,” said Allan Brown, General Manager, Unified Workflow Solutions, Eastman Kodak. “The development of Kodak InSite Prepress Portal 7 provides an enhanced Smart Review experience, while the system’s integration with Prinergy workflow gives our customers the most significant competitive advantage available through workflow software today.”
With PReS Connect, PrintSoft states customers will receive improvements like a better Graphical User Interface, performance optimization, and more powerful multichannel communications capabilities.
Completely rebuilt, PReS Connect, according to Objectif Lune, focuses on simplifying the delivery of transactional documents through print, Web and email by bridging the gap between systems, departments and hardware.
New features of the PReS Connect include:
High-volume output of up to 30,000 pages per minute;
Ability to receive data and print jobs in any format (PDF, PostScript, PSL, AFP, XML, etc.);
Mapping of data from any source into a unified data model;
Scalable performance with performance pack options;
Automated processes designer with GUI;
Multichannel distribution (HTML, PDF, PCL, Postscript, AFP, IPDS, Text message, Fax, email).
One of the new features allows for callas Preflight Profile Integration. Preflight+ allows the integration of callas preflight profiles for improved quality control and reduced manual touch points.
“Our goal has always been to develop technology that is reliable, innovative and flexible, all key requirements for automation,” said Dietrich von Seggern, Business Development Manager, callas software. “We believe that the combination of a versatile client server system, Prinergy Workflow and our pdfToolbox technology will be the right answer for many customers.”
Prinergy 7 also includes what the company describes as layered PDF versioning enhancements, which provide improved error detection and better control over multiple layers of files.
In terms of digital printing enhancements, Prinergy 7 allows for centralized control over digital and conventional presses and equipment to handle the production of all job sizes through Kodak and third-party digital presses and computer-to-plate devices. These new capabilities make it possible for Prinergy 7 to control job ticketing parameters both manually and through Rules Based Automation (RBA) of multiple devices, while monitoring and reporting the status of each alongside CTP devices and proofers.
“Workflow software is a driver of efficiency and productivity and Prinergy Workflow 7 takes those to new heights and enables our customers to better compete in a challenging marketplace,” said Jeff Clarke, CEO, Eastman Kodak Company.
Quark surveyed thousands of QuarkXPress users around the world to discover which features would be most valuable to include in QuarkXPress 2015. The company is also highlighting the fact that QuarkXPress is still being sold as a perpetual license, which means users make a single purchase and are not locked into an ongoing subscription.
With its new 64-bit Architecture, QuarkXPress 2015 can now use all the RAM available on a user’s computer to deliver performance improvements across the board from file handling and layout rendering to PDF export. Quark has also added multi-threading to the QuarkXPress text engine to further increase performance.
By using this latest standard for PDF/X-4 Output, users can maintain transparency to enable smaller files, faster output and higher quality print output. The exported PDF/X-4 files are certified by the same technology used inside Adobe Acrobat.
Increased automation in QuarkXPress 2015 includes: automatic footnotes and endnotes; a new, faster table tool for Excel integration with table styles; text variables for automatically populating reoccurring fields like as running headers.
QuarkXPress 2015 combines reflowable eBooks (ePub) with interactive apps for a new digital output format. The company explains users can create HTML5 fixed layout eBooks (using (ePub3 or Amazon’s KF8 formats) without any additional software or costs.
Additional features found in QuarkXPress 2015, include: Orthogonal Line Tool, Custom Page Sizes, Relink Any Picture in the Usage Dialog, User-definable Shortcut Keys (Mac only), Collect for Output and Usage for Complete Project, Table Styles, Format Painter, Drag Installer for fast and easy activation (Mac only), Yosemite OS X Support, Tool Palette, Measurement Palette, and Palette Group docking on Windows, and Open PDF after Export.
QuarkXPress 2015 is available as a free test drive, which includes a free design template to help users get started. In addition, Quark is currently allowing for upgrades from versions of QuarkXPress dating back to the 1990s (versions 3 – 10). QuarkXPress also offers dual activation, meaning it can be installed on up to two machines and across Mac and Windows platforms.
The upgraded Digital StoreFront includes new EFI DirectSmile options that extend the types of variable-data and personalized direct-mail campaigns that corporations can create online. With the Web-to-print software’s new Enterprise Model, print providers can subdivide a client’s single Digital StoreFront license into different interfaces to serve different franchises or subsidiaries within client’s organization.
Digital StoreFront v8 also includes a new marketplace sales offering that can include content partners like copywriters, photographers and graphic designers, in a single online ordering interface.
EFI explains the software also streamlines the Web-to-print ordering process with single sign-on (SSO) authentication for multiple users within the same organization, more-accurate shipping estimating using UPS CONNECT rate look-up tools, and support for online purchasing of e-books or other electronic content.
To satisfy its loyal following, Quark, during its development, committed to include the Top 10 most-requested enhancements in the new version of QuarkXPress, based on a voting system. A list of the most prominent features follows. For a more complete preview of what to expect in QuarkXPress 2015, read The Quark Alternative written by PrintAction’s technology columnist Zac Bolan in February.
New key features in QuarkXPress 2015 include:
Verified PDF/X-4 output,
Larger page sizes,
Dedicated orthogonal line tool,
Fixed layout interactive e-books,
Custom paper sizes,
Relink any picture in the usage dialogue,
Collect for output for complete project,
User-definable shortcut keys on Mac,
Automatic footnotes and end notes
Faster table tool for Excel integration with table styles,
Text variables for automatically populating reoccurring fields (running headers),
Tool Palette, Measurement Palette and Palette Group Docking on Windows
The new software allows InDesign professionals to create personalized PDF files within InDesign, explains XMPie, in a process similar to mail-merge or data-merge workflows. uMerge is a monthly subscription product that can be purchased directly from Adobe Exchange.
“With uMerge, we are bringing the design community closer to creative personalization with Adobe InDesign, and we are opening the market far beyond batch-produced variable data print jobs,” said Jacob Aizikowitz, President of XMPie.
uMerge is also compatible with all of XMPie’s print personalization software, allowing users to connect remotely to the XMPie servers of a Print Service Provider and to get the job batched, produced and fulfilled, including with a large data source.
“XMPie Customers with server-class solutions can engage uMerge users to do work with them through the remote connectivity feature,” said Jacob. “This reflects the strong synergies between the uMerge initiative and the investments our customers make in our high-end personalization technologies.”
Key features of uMerge include the ability to transform static design elements like text, graphic frames, character styles and tables into dynamic elements where the data and rules drive content, appearance and visibility. It also allows for linking to Excel or CSV files and to preview personalized content/appearance, directly within the InDesign document, record by record. With uMerge, users can create multiple PDF files, automatically, one for each record in the data source.
Objectif Lune of Montreal has launched PlanetPress Connect for aiding the flow of digital transactional communications, through existing PlanetPress software, while also enhancing printed output.
PlanetPress Connect provides what Objectif Lune describes as a toolbox to produce and send highly personalized communications, regardless of the distribution mode, print, web, email or SMS. The software creates communications directly in HTML. PlanetPress Connect also allows users to personalize printed outputs with advanced page layout capabilities and dynamic tools creation, such as tables and charts. It is also possible to connect to mass-mailing applications and add scan marks.
The modules making up the toolbox includes The DataMapper, for developing data models extraction and creation, as well as The Designer to create HTML communications that can be used in digital format or for printing. The Designer tool allows alternating from one communication format to another, such as print and email, and sharing content and images, so that the work is done only once. The Workflow tool, well known by existing PlanetPress users, allows for the automation of any process related to transactional communications.
Quark Software Inc. in March of 2015 plans to make available QuarkXPress 2015, the next major version of Quark’s design and layout tool, with what the company describes as the 10 most-requested enhancements from its user community.
This is to include new 64-bit architecture and support for PDF/X-4 output. The exported PDF/X-4 files are certified with the same technology used inside Adobe Acrobat. With this latest standard, Quark explains designers can preserve transparency to enable faster output, smaller files and higher quality print output.
QuarkXPress 2015 will also continue to be sold as a perpetual license. Along with PDF/X-4 support, QuarkXPress 2015 will include the following enhancements:
4x Larger Page Sizes
Dedicated Orthogonal Line Tool
Fixed Layout Interactive eBooks
Custom Paper Sizes
Relink Any Picture in the Usage Dialogue
Collect for Output for Complete Project
User-definable Shortcut Keys on Mac
New Table Styles
Footnotes and Endnotes
Footnotes from Word
Search in Palettes
Yosemite OS X Support
Tool Palette, Measurement Palette and Palette Group Docking on Windows
Canon U.S.A. released PRISMAsync Remote Manager, which the company describes as a multi-engine scheduler and remote management console for expanded control on a customer's fleet of PRISMAsync controller-driven digital presses.
This Web-based tool is designed to help shop floor managers and operators handle a high-performing printing operation by providing insight into their production schedules with the ability to upload jobs, edit job properties and manipulate digital press queues from a remote location or workstation.
“One way to ensure deadlines are met is to have idle machines ready to produce work at a moment's notice. Another is to effectively manage your presses to run as continuously as possible with properly prioritized work,” said Greg Cholmondeley from Caslon. “Being able to easily and remotely do this for multiple presses and across multiple sites is essential for many digital printing operations.”
"With installations of PRISMAsync-driven digital presses surpassing 11,000 worldwide, Canon has built upon the success of this technology and introduced the PRISMAsync Remote Manager to meet the needs of the market,” said Junichi Yoshitake, Senior VP and GM, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A. “By providing a single point of control for multiple presses, the launch of the new PRISMAsync Remote Manager fosters a more efficient workflow, which will help increase the productivity of our customers.”
PRISMAsync Scheduler provides a visual guide of the jobs scheduled for up to five presses, which allows operators to plan production schedules one shift ahead. At a glance, print shop managers and operators can see the 'time to completion' for jobs, based on relevant job settings and process parameters. And, to help achieve non-stop productivity, upcoming interventions are colour coded so operators can load media and toner and unload print output before a press stops.
PRISMAsync Remote Manager allows production staff to submit jobs of print-ready PDF, PostScript and PCL files via file import or drag-and-drop functionality. Remote Manager also allows users to edit job properties remotely. It gives an operator full control over job settings, including page level editing if page programming functionality is enabled.
Operators can actively manage and prioritize the print jobs in the queues or PRISMAsync DocBoxes with the ability to reroute jobs from one digital press to another directly from PRISMAsync Remote Manager. It allows users to remotely changing job priorities, holding, reprinting or rerouting print job.
Operators and shop managers can now check the status of loaded media and other consumables remotely to help ensure the press is prepared to support the projects in its queue. Advanced system, media and workflow settings of each connected press can be directly accessed from PRISMAsync Remote Manager.
The Web-based tool is available on an HTML5 compliant browser on Microsoft Windows and Apple iOS with no additional software installation required on a workstation.
SmartSoft of California, which develops workflow solutions for the printing, postal and data quality markets, announced the Canadian launch of its PressWise print management platform.
PressWise is a cloud-based MIS and print automation platform that includes Web-to-print Storefronts, Estimating, Order Management, Production Automation, Shipping and Fulfillment, and Mail Processing. This is the first time that the service has been launched outside of the United States.
“Expanding your offering into other countries can take a lot of resources, both in planning and execution, whereas our focus has been on developing and refining the core PressWise product itself...,” said Eric Wold, VP of SmartSoft. “We have been following a clear product roadmap over the past few years, building our team and enhancing the service we offer.
“We have now reached the point where we are looking at other markets that PressWise can serve and Canada is the next logical step for us. We already have a Canadian office, and have been selling and distributing our mailing software and address quality products there for many years, so are familiar with the market.”
The latest version of PressWise includes a new Reporting Engine for designing reports within a browser, in addition to a suite of pre-built standard reports, as well as new drag-and-drop Job Scheduling functionality. Automatic Scheduling provides insight into Resource Constraints that sales teams require.
SmartSoft also recently introduced SmartAddresser version 5 as a list management and postal software solution, first developed in 2008. It includes Address Correction and Postal Presorting, and options like Change-of-Address processing, Geocoding, Mail Tracking and more. Updates for SmartAddresser 5 include the Mail Tracking capabilities in its MailSpotter module.
Agfa Graphics has introduced version 8 of its Fortuna printing design software used to secure and prevent counterfeiting and theft. It is designed for use in the highest security printing applications, such as passports, ID cards, official documents, certificates and tax labeling, as well as design vouchers, lottery or event tickets.
Fortuna 8, which was developed in close cooperation with the security industry, includes numerous improvements that facilitate the creation of fraud-deterrent security designs. By streamlining the PDF file generation in Fortuna 8, its compliancy with prepress workflows is increased. This in turn results in further automation of the production process.
“With this new version Agfa Graphics strengthens its position as a reliable partner to many government institutions and private industries worldwide,” said Andy Grant, head of Software at Agfa Graphics. “We provide innovative security design tools that help them stay ahead of counterfeiters.”
Fortuna software features different levels of verification tools, both for the expert and for non-qualified end users who can determine a true product from a fake one. The software includes a graphical base editor, with integrated security features. The software is based on a modular architecture for upgrading.
Tilia Labs Inc. of Ottawa is targeting new printing markets with launch of Phoenix version 4.0, building on its flagship production software primarily used for imposition and planning in packaging environments.
Phoenix 4.0, according to Tilia Labs, includes new features for signage and greeting card work to expand upon the folding carton and label imposition and ganging tools found in earlier versions of Phoenix. These features include new mark types and increased sheet capacity.
“From the start our goal has been to automate the imposition process as much as possible for all non-commercial work,” said Sagen de Jonge, CEO of Tilia Labs. “Phoenix 4.0 is a huge step in this direction with the addition of nested ganging and wide-format support.”
Phoenix 4.0 features enhanced Nested Ganging functions to work on layouts for irregular shaped products. This includes Auto Impose and Auto Optimize modules for auto ganging folding cartons, as well as non-rectangular labels, cards and signage. Nested layouts can be exported as CFF2, PDF or PostScript for cutting.
In relation to post-press work, Phoenix 4.0 features new guillotine-based layout generation of rectangular products. The system considers sheet turns versus using lower complexity cuts.
The software’s Auto Impose and Auto Optimize tools can now be run simultaneously across multiple jobs. Results are available in a persistent panel, allowing users to more readily apply ganged layouts. As well, lock-bottom folding carton pairs can be automatically detected and grouped during ganging.
Kodak updated its Prinergy print production workflow software to version 6.1 with what the company describes as an improved Web-based interface and new job management tools, including a scenario builder, job intent window, part and section views and a separation list.
“The release of Kodak Prinergy Workflow 6.0 was about ease of use and automated control for both entry-level and skilled users of Prinergy workflow… Prinergy Workflow 6.1 is the result of customer driven improvement, the most critical component in our development process,” stated Mike Tedesco, Kodak’s Worldwide Product Manager, Unified Workflow Solutions.
Scenario Builder is a new production automation tool designed to facilitate the creation of workflows from intent to output. Job Intent Window is a single location where users define job specifications in one menu that describes the completed product.
Prinergy v6.1 also includes new and updated Part and Section views, where users can change properties quickly. The new Separation List function, as requested by customers, is found in the Production tab. Its simplified view is designed for operators to streamline output for separations.
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