Guildhall Press, Northampton, has announced details of its new workflow solution in its pre-press department. The StudioRIP and Enfocus Pitstop Pro software combination was supplied and installed by Prepress UK, the pre-press specialists based in Cheltenham and Brighton.
Commenting on the initial discussions with Prepress UK, Matt Course, Production Manager at Guildhall Press, said: “We contacted Prepress UK because they were having problems getting files through our ageing Screen Trueflow workflow, and although we were told that this needed upgrading, the costs mentioned were a little surprising to say the least. Prepress UK came in for a chat and explained what they thought we needed, and whilst the overall cost was not significantly different, the package they put together enabled us to do so much more.
“The Enfocus Pitstop Pro has been the first major plus. It allows us to pre-flight files from our customers: an automatic check and fix regarding fonts, conversion of RGB images, and correcting page sizes – it examines the validity of the files in other words, and makes adjustments where needed. We used to spend an awful lot of time examining customer files manually – they can send you all sorts of interesting things these days! Pitstop has saved us a lot of time.
“Then files go on to production, and StudioRIP takes over. The improved speed of production through StudioRIP has probably been the most obvious improvement: faster plate production and faster printing of proofs. Prepress UK also helped us sort out profiles for our presses. We are now producing plates for each specific press and getting significantly more consistent colour printing as a result.”
Guildhall Press runs a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster 52, a two-colour GTO, and a two-colour Roland press, and prints a wide variety of general commercial work.
Prepress UK has created profiles for the presses based on ISO12647-2 colour standards. “This points us very much in the right direction for the future,” added Matt Course. “Customers are not speaking to us right now about ISO12647-2, but I have a feeling that they will be doing in the not too distant future.”
Commenting on the installation from the supplier’s point of view, Andrew Aldridge, Technical Manager at Prepress UK, said: “We went into see the team at Guildhall and examined their system. We found an ageing Trueflow workflow product that was struggling with the current versions of PDF files, particularly transparency, and didn’t provide any imposition or integrated proofing. Our immediate proposal was the StudioRIP Workflow package – RIP and workflow software working in harmony. We added the Enfocus PitStop Pro pre-flighting and file correction plugins as, like so many printers today, Guildhall is receiving less than perfect PDF files from customers. With a few clicks they automatically correct common file problems, such as re-mapping colours, converting RGB, fixing font issues, add missing trim-marks, and correcting page sizes, as well as getting detailed reports on files as soon as they receive them. All-in-all it is a huge time saver.”
StudioRIP has been configured to drive the company’s existing Screen PT-R computer-to-plate device and an Epson proofer with clients on two studio Mac’s allowing seamless imposition, hard and soft proofing, interpretation, screening, and plate output from the studio. There is also a third client being run by the Production Manager on his laptop so he can monitor work progress, and even queue plates for output if needed, without interrupting work in the studio.
After installation Guildhall's proofs are now certified as accurate emulations of ISO12647-2 (Fogra39) and plates are calibrated to produce ISO12647-2 dot gain on press, making it easy to match proof to press output using an industry standard.
Commenting on the reality of production with the new system, Matt Course said: “The fast, simple imposition system has speeded up the processing of files; automatically working out pagination and performing blisteringly fast step and repeats.”
The whole installation came in under £10,000.00, significantly lower than any alternative solution.