November 11th, 2013
Written By: Nancy Chetron, Worldwide Marketing Manager
Production Customization/Workflow & Solutions, Xerox Corporation
Print Service Providers continually wrestle with the challenge of maintaining consistent color on their digital presses. The problem is not the color management technology, it’s the lack of automation and the reliance on multiple players in the print process to determine color outcomes. What if this process could be simplified by using a single color management solution for an entire fleet? What if you could remotely access and respond to the status of your presses, greatly increasing the efficiency of your workflows?
Well, these desires are now a reality thanks to a new cloud-based color management solution, which provides centralized automation of printer monitoring with a pre-defined workflow and customer-specific recovery procedures. The solution, called IntegratedPLUS Automated Color Management, uses web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) technology to eliminate the need for running local color management packages at multiple sites. The solution provides access to the iGen fleet’s embedded inline spectrophotometers (ILS) to quickly and easily monitor presses.
With a new interface that Xerox has introduced to its strategic color management partners, a color expert can submit and print targets and within seconds know the status of a press and whether it’s “in” or “out” of spec. This check is done using a partner tool such as CGS ORIS Certified // Web which connects with software in the cloud to perform the color check.
The Xerox® IntegratedPLUS Automated Color Management can:
- Improve productivity and reliability over current manual processes
- Simplify multi-engine/multi-site color management
- Cut costs by making color management far more predictable and efficient
- Reduce manual errors and eliminate wasted time and materials
- Increase the efficiency of your workflow
Think of the efficiencies gained by having the ability to run your entire color process remotely in a single, consistent workflow—even from multiple locations. Since this solution leverages your current technology, no new IT investment is needed – which means you can reduce costs and streamline your color management, allowing you to focus on getting more jobs through your shop.
The solution includes Xerox Professional Services support. This team of experts provides color and workflow support, helping you configure and set up the right level of print specification tolerances for your shop based on your color and productivity requirements. Whether you print color-critical graphic communications jobs such as auto brochures, or internal newsletters, Xerox Professional Services will help you to set up a recovery process to fit your needs.
How could an automated, integrated, and cloud-based color management process impact your business?
The solution is one of the technology solutions available as part of the portfolio. For more information go to http://www.xerox.com/IntegratedPLUSColor
October 16th, 2013
Written By: Nancy Chetron, Worldwide Marketing Manager
Production Customization/Workflow & Solutions, Xerox Corporation
There’s been a lot of buzz lately about color consistency, color management and color maintenance. And rightfully so! Producing the right color is just as important as producing the same color…over many prints and across multiple printers.
Shops who print for the photo marketplace have some unique needs. They recognize the critical nature of color consistency and accuracy, but they also want to achieve the most realistic, representational color. When it comes to photo images, their customers want a pleasing appearance as well as excellent shadow detail, depth, contrast and smooth gradients.
So how can you achieve all this while maintaining consistency?
A simple, fast, color management solution, Xerox MatchAssure, has been introduced worldwide and provides highly accurate ICC compliant Destination Profiles using a single spectrophotometer for all printers and just one scanning of each set of printed targets. MatchAssure also includes additional GUI options, allowing for the look of the output to be adjusted based on the desired preference for skin tones, skies, lightness and contrast.
If you are familiar with the term “Memory colors”, you know the name originates from our desire for elements, such as the sky and skin tones, to look the way we remember them…even if they aren’t a precise match to reality. For many applications, we care more about having an aesthetically pleasing image than having an absolutely precise color match. Now, skin tones and skies can be adjusted with a slider bar without changing the rest of the image. If the skies look too warm for your taste, just shift the sky slider bar toward “more blue” and voilà – perfect skies without negatively affecting the rest of the output!
MatchAssure was designed by Xerox to help customers achieve consistent color across multiple Xerox printers and sites, whether printing RGB or CMYK source files. It works with Xerox as well as selected other print technology and can be used with multiple DFEs such as FreeFlow Print Server, EFI and Creo. MatchAssure delivers outstanding matching against any of the print specifications or industry standards such as GRACoL or Fogra.
For those using a CMYK workflow, a new feature is available to enable customers to inspect their CMYK accuracy against a GRACoL or Fogra press standard.
How could your business be impacted by a color management solution providing fast and simple profile creation to help you achieve and manage greater color consistency across your fleet of digital presses?
MatchAssure is just one of the many Xerox technology tools available as part of the Confident Color portfolio. For more information on MatchAssure, please click here.
Delivering Value to your Clients: Expand your Offerings with Performance, Image Quality and AutomationSubmitted by Bill Michael
April 23rd, 2013
Written by Chris Irick
Worldwide Marketing Manager, Xerox Corporation
Whether you are a seasoned digital print provider or new to the world of digital print after making the leap from offset lithography – one thing remains constant: your customers of today and tomorrow have choices. To remain competitive and capture their business, you must stay on the cusp of the latest technology and provide customers and prospects with a compelling reason to choose your offerings. What sets your business apart? Is it print quality, outstanding service, a wide gamut of substrate offerings, the fastest turnaround times in town, web-to-print capabilities, or variable data services? What about expanding your business’ offerings by becoming a one-stop service provider to your clients?
In an early 2013 PrintWeek feature, the Staffordshire-based British printer, KJB, shared their experience of this first-hand when they decided that the £1,000 worth of work per month they were outsourcing to local digital printers warranted a conversation of acquiring a digital press of their own. This was completely unchartered waters for KJB, who in their twenty-year history had owned nothing but offset lithographic presses. Commercial Director, Stephen Egerton, described the need to venture into digital offerings as one that would allow the company to “better serve the clients we had and also to expand that list of clients.” KJB began a rigorous search for the right digital press for their business, and found many advantageous offerings with the Xerox DocuColor 8080 Digital Press, including the ability to produce 80 A4 pages per minute at a resolution of 2,400dpi, and auto duplex capabilities at rated speeds on all weights and sizes up to 300gsm.
Quality-driven automation is also a key component of the DocuColor 8080, as its Automated Color Quality Suite helps to streamline automation within your print shop. This is done by delivering excellent color quality that is consistent and repeatable; reducing operator intervention and increasing uptime through auto calibration, advanced profiling and spot color calibration. While KJB initially began by just producing the £1,000 worth of jobs they had previously been outsourcing, the company slowly began moving some of the shorter-run offset jobs onto the DocuColor 8080, opening the company to new growth opportunities. They slowly began to see a steady increase in the usage of their digital press – from three hours a day, to five hours a day – making way to the now daily 10 hours of print runs that have become commonplace – with roughly 300,000 impressions per month. Egerton states that quality has been the key differentiator, as it has “meant existing customers have increased their work with us and have kept coming back. It has also meant we have won work from the customers of print shops with older digital gear, looking for the highest quality possible.”
With the addition of their new Xerox DocuColor 8080, KJB was able to grow their business by expanding their offerings to clients. How do you differentiate your print business? Is it through superior print quality, streamlined automation, or the ability to deliver a wide range of specialty substrates to clients such as polyester, vellum, magnet, NeverTear and vinyl?
Interested more posts related to delivering value to your customers? You may also like:
- How do I Market Better and Offer Marketing Services?
- Productivity and Versatility: Meet the New Xerox J75 and C75 Color Presses
- You Don’t Have to Become a Marketing Services Provider to Offer Marketing Services
- Tough Questions about the PSP-MSP Evolution
- Business Development: Everything you Need to Grow your Digital Printing Business
Visit Xerox.com to see how the Xerox DocuColor 8080 can help you grow your business, reduce costs through automation and expand your offerings – delivering a commanding ROI to your business
May 2nd, 2012
Written By Bill Michael
You know them: hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste. At drupa, each of your senses will be put to great use, as you will:
- Hear: The excitement of the 1000s of attendees in the print industry having conversations on a variety of topics.
- See: Technology and software that represents the future of our industry
- Touch: Printed samples with specialty media, innovative finishing, and special toner
- Smell: toner, ink and paper in the air as you walk by every vendors stand.
- Taste: German cuisine (maybe for the first time) and perhaps a few brands of German beer with some friends and colleagues.
At the Xerox stand (Hall 8b), your senses can best be used by seeing and touching the applications that we’ll be showcasing live in our stand, including many Best-of-the-Best winners. These winners include: IOS (Digital and Offset), Mediaware (Digital Packaging), MBA Group Limited (TransPromo), Telemail, S.L. (TransPromo), Easy Print (Photo Publishing), Printshop (Photo Publishing). Three additional winners include:
|DG3 Europe Limited
(Best Overall Solution, case study)
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the largest youth charity in the UK, wanted to enable their award winners to create and order personalized Achievement Packs online. They approached DG3 Europe Limited, who mapped out an end-to-end solution using FreeFlow Process Manager™ and the iGen4 with a Xerox FreeFlow™ Print Server – resulting in a 637% increase in usage of the achievement pack.
(Digital Packaging, case study)
Recognizing the growing area of digital packaging, De Budelse built FotoChoco.nl to enable orders of personalized boxes of chocolate. Using the iGen4 and FreeFlow Print Server, they were able to sell over 11,000 boxes of chocolate. (your sense of taste!)
(Direct Marketing, case study)
Using the Xerox Color 1000 Press, CopyCat used clear dry ink and personalized cross media to drive new business. The campaign generated a 10% response rate and helped bring in 20 new orders from new customers.
Please stop by Xerox Stand in Hall 8B to see and touch these great applications. We’ll find other ways to exercise your other senses!
March 13th, 2012
Written by Bill Michael
How do you generate new ideas? Are you inspired by reading? By listening to others? By seeing other work? Inspiration of new ideas may come from a variety of sources.
In my role, I have the privilege of seeing dozens of print applications through programs such as Best-of-the-Best as well as coordinating applications to run at tradeshows such as drupa 2012. I see these applications not only as great examples of the power of digital printing, but as ideas that can help others in the print industry expand their offerings to their customers.
I wanted to share an assortment of applications that were recently selected as Gold award winning submissions in the 2011 IAPHC Award Program. Below you’ll find 3 print applications that I hope will inspire thoughts and ideas to implement in your own shop.
This direct marketing piece created an experience for its recipients. The oversized carrier was printed on a 26” sheet and included a large gatefold. Inside were high-quality samples that were printed on a variety of substrates, all of which had a matte look and feel.
Key Concepts: Oversized Sheet, Matte Look, Experiential, Substrate Latitude
Technology: Xerox iGen4 EXP Press with Matte Dry Ink
Thought Starters: Are you taking advantage of unique substrates?
Dimensional Mailer (You Can Almost Eat)
Produced by Mailshop of New Zealand, this direct mail piece takes dimensional to another level by immediately becoming a conversation starter. Creative usage of Clear Dry Ink and personalization throughout help create relevance and captivates interest. The piece looks “delicious”….pun intended.
Key Concepts: Dimensional, Clear Dry Ink, Personalization
Thought Starters: Have you thought of creating dimensional mailers to captivate a select audience? Can you enhance your work with Clear Dry Ink?
University Parking Permit
This application is an example of using digital print in areas you might not expect. By combining Specialty Imaging, including micro-fonts and UV, along with personalized QR codes using Lytrod Software, this parking ticket raises the bar on digital printing – all while empowering parking enforcement! This is a fantastic example of a unique application that creates high-value by utilizing personalization, specialty imaging, and outstanding quality.
Key Concepts: Personalization, QR Codes, Specialty Imaging
Thought Starters: Can you think of ways to enhance seemingly everyday print applications? In what ways can your applications benefit from?
Here’s a video that shares more detail about some of the other winning Xerox applications in the IAPHC Program.
March 1st, 2012
Written By Melissa Reynolds
Imagine this situation:
You walk into your print shop and everything is running like a well-oiled machine. Sales has captured important new clients for 1:1 Marketing Collaterals, customer service is getting great feedback from clients for delivering excellent products ahead of schedule, prepress and design knows exactly how to send client work to your new digital presses, your digital press operators are cranking out thousands of CONFIDENT color impressions per shift and the on-schedule finishing folks trim, score, fold and box completed pieces.
And then, POOF, you wake up and realize that this isn’t the way your digital shop runs at all. Is it only a dream? It doesn’t have to be. Many print professionals engage outside consultants for a thorough workflow assessment from time to time, regardless of industry. An in-plant shop can benefit just as much as a commercial printer from an objective professional’s recommendations about their digital shop workflow.
Still think you’re dreaming? Read on to see what the buzz is about workflow assessments…
As a print professional, you have a vision of your digital business, current goals and growth initiatives. But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just not as simple as getting from “job submission to print”. That’s okay, because you don’t have to go it alone! The purpose of a workflow assessment is to provide a unique view of your print shop workflow with pain points (yes, you know what some are already) and soft spots that could be lurking bottlenecks waiting to happen. The best part is that on a department-by-department basis, your assessment will provide a detailed analysis of what works well, what’s marginal and what could benefit from some improvement. That means, if your customers could really use a web to print online tool for order submissions, it might be recommended. Maybe you could benefit from job tracking software, especially if work orders seem to play hide and seek at times. If your prepress folks need assistance with preflighting and preparing files for digital presses, that can open the door for some individualized training. Perhaps your digital press operators need to brush up on their color management skills or, even better, you need a solution to color match between your digital presses; all of these solutions can appropriately be recommended to you by your workflow assessment professional.
Achieving a solid, reliable digital workflow takes some planning and effort. Is there an opportunity for an industry professional to analyze your workflow and make your dreams become a reality in your shop?
February 23rd, 2012
Senior Technology Consultant
What if you could automate the manual steps required to calibrate your digital press and maintain the adjustments for consistent printing? What if the technology existed that would help you match color across different devices? The result would be increased utilization costs, reduced cost per page and a faster ROI (Return on Investment).
Last July, we introduced the idea that utilization rates play a role in cost per page and return on investment. Due to peaks (high volume) and valleys (low volume) in demand we can see these effects each month on the cost per page. For example, in one recent assignment we calculated a cost per color page for a Xerox customer ranged from a low of 9¢ to a high of 19¢ an impression depending on if the work was done during a peak or valley in production.
Another aspect of cost and the ROI of color printing is the ability to match and maintain a color consistency with less expensive devices, which was the subject of a recent blog about color matching on more affordable color devices. Another piece to this puzzle are the results from an independent testing lab that showed that the IGen4 offers one of the highest utilization rates in the industry.
According to the report, the Spencer Labs staff trained the production staff in multiple locations in the data collection protocol. This protocol analyzed uptime and downtown and categorized different types of downtime such as morning maintenance, consumable change, quality control, etc.
Their conclusion was “The Xerox iGen4’s consistently high actual daily machine production time contributed to its highest average availability for the test period. The iGen4 required lower morning routine, job setup and consumable change time.” According to the graphic, the iGen achieved 85% utilization, the Indigo 5500 68% and the Indigo 7000 was 58%.
What are the three steps to reduce the ROI of a digital press?
- automate the manual steps required to calibrate the device
- streamline the process that checks and readjusts the color
- reduce the time to achieve color match across devices
All three result in better utilization rates and a faster ROI.
Howard Fenton is a Senior Technology Consultant at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers, in-plants, and manufacturers on workflow management, operations, digital services, and customer research. He is a paid contributor to this blog.