The hottest future of digital proofing

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The future of digital proofing (I)

I. Introduction

at present, the digitization of text typesetting and color graphic plate making workflow has been popularized in all departments of printing and publishing. However, no matter how advanced plate making technology and equipment are used in the front end, the proofing process still retains the traditional offset proofing process in the whole digital plate making workflow. Over the past few years, except for book and magazine printing plants, all output centers, publishing houses, advertising companies, etc. have established their own typesetting or plate making prepress systems. Through practice, they have realized the benefits of digital workflow, but prepress proofing still relies on traditional proofing, which is expensive and cannot be obtained in time. The problem of plate making and printing of color newspapers is more prominent. The time between the completion of the newspaper layout and the beginning of printing on the machine is very urgent. In fact, traditional offset proofing cannot be used at all. As a last resort, as long as the color proofing process is abandoned to ensure timely publication, it often leads to some avoidable mistakes

at present, CTP (direct plate making) technology is seeking to be popularized in China. CTP does not use film, so traditional offset proofing cannot be used at all, and only digital proofing can be used. Nevertheless, there are still many problems in the technology, promotion and application of the current digital proofing, which makes it difficult for the printing department to accept for a time. In short, digital proofing has become an important issue that must be solved in the development and promotion of print refresh technology. In the prediction of major printing and publishing projects at the beginning of the year, the American printing technology foundation GATF also ranked second in terms of color prepress proofing, second only to CTP technology

second, why the promotion of digital proofing is not smooth

from the heart, the printing industry needs new digital proofing technology, so it will naturally require digital proofing based on the familiar traditional offset printing characteristics for many years, especially the domestic book and magazine printing plants, more clearly require that the digital proofing should have the traditional half color amplitude modulation point, and the digital proofing manuscript should be accurately matched with the color of the printed products, If the quality level of the contract sample is reached, and this basic requirement is not met, the printing factory says that it is difficult to accept digital proofing

in fact, the development of digital proofing technology began in the 1980s after the advent of the color electronic prepress system CEPS. The prepress workers in jiaxinye strive to provide a digital proofing sample before the color separations are imaged. At the drupa 90 exhibition, Kodak's app and 3M's digital match were such products. Although these two products can't accurately show the points like those imaged on film, they both meet the requirements for halftone points. However, these two products can only produce two A2 size samples per hour, and the price is as high as 250000 US dollars, so they are not acceptable to users. Therefore, the simulated DuPont cromlin proofing is still an acceptable proofing standard for some foreign printers, advertisers, prepress companies and many other people in the industry who believe that they will continue to follow the good situation in 2013

the cheaper substitutes for Kodak's approval and 3M's digital matchprint are heat transfer systems, such as 3M's Rainbow and DuPont's 4cast, but they are both continuously adjusted and proofed. Although the system price is cheaper, the consumables are more expensive

among the competitors of digital proofing system, the biggest winner is undoubtedly iris graphics of saiangel company. Saiangel has developed an inkjet technology, which can output continuous tone proofs of photo quality, and the price of consumables is low. Iris proofing has become an industrial standard product in the 1990s abroad. Iris graphics has sold about 10000 sets worldwide, accounting for about 90% of the market share. In recent 10 years, no other manufacturer has been able to share the market share of iris proofing system. Although Fuji and Polaroid launched their digital proofing machines with dot generators at drupa 95 exhibition, they did not slow down the sales of iris. Presstek and Cleo also launched new heat transfer proofing, but people in the market doubt whether their products have more advantages

only today, the emergence of competitors that have shaken iris' dominant position, these competitors can provide surprisingly cheap prices. These competitors are canon, Epson and HP. Their inkjet printers can produce professional sample products at the lowest cost

many developers are optimistic about the market prospect of digital proofing, and they have invested a lot of efforts to develop new products, but there are also many difficulties. For example, if traditional amplitude modulation points are used, the system price is very high, so most of the digital proofing uses frequency modulation points, which can get high-quality products on low-resolution output equipment. Nevertheless, the users of the printing plant do not like the new FM point. First, the traditional offset proofing has already been set up in the book and periodical printing plant. Second, the adoption of FM point also requires changing some traditional practices and learning and mastering new technologies again (in view of the advantages of FM point itself, it is necessary for the users of the printing plant to learn and master the new technology of FM point). It is more difficult to achieve accurate color matching, which requires the development of a superior color management system (CMS)

digital proofing reflects many related new technologies. On the one hand, the development manufacturers have not yet developed good products that can be used. On the other hand, for the current printing plants in China, in order to apply CMS in practice, they also need to have the corresponding technical conditions and capabilities, and change the traditional habits and processes

the above various subjective and objective factors make it difficult to promote digital proofing. However, with the continuous development of technology and the continuous improvement of people's ideological level, especially in foreign countries, the above difficulties have been basically solved. New products with complete functions and low price stress relief lattice are constantly emerging, and digital proofing is bound to be widely promoted and applied

according to the information, traditional analog proofing is declining in some fields in Europe and America, while digital proofing is growing at an average annual rate of 18% with the promotion and application of CTP and the change of the printing environment. (the above paragraph is added by this journal)

Third, the use of frequency modulation points is a trend

for the use of amplitude modulation points for color printing, some foreign experts believe that it is not necessary to use half tone amplitude modulation points. They suggest that offset printing originally evolved from lithography, but lithography does not use points (continuous tone printing); Today's FM plus can also print continuous tone offset printing. In the late 80s, German scientists invented FM plus. When the function of the computer allowed it to be used before printing, a German prepress company adopted this technology and sold the license to Agfa company, which called it "crystal", which immediately triggered a worldwide wave. Every postscript photo typesetter manufacturer had to develop its own technology for FM plus. The result is exciting: it is feasible to apply continuous modulation of gravure printing to offset printing, and it is successful to realize continuous modulation and wind printing on paper, and the saturated color image is printed, which is no worse than that of gravure printing in quality

some foreign insiders believe that many printing plants are equipped with direct plate making machines, and the data is supplied by prepress enterprises in the form of no addition. It is input to the direct plate making machine and plate making is carried out here. Therefore, the use of FM plus in offset printing has at least six advantages: image quality is improved, its environmental protection benefit is 10 points, significant moire disappears, proofing becomes cheaper, printing quality is better, and digital documents are reduced, Data transmission is significantly faster and cheaper. These people insist that the actual effect of printing makes the above statement about FM plus printing more powerful. They firmly believe that FM plus will be further promoted and applied, and it is backward to adhere to the requirements of halftone am plus proofing printing. They appeal: let's forget the halftone am point! (to be continued)

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