Corelio magazines (Commercial Application) :Apogee Portal
Process Management at Corelio Printing
Corelio Printing - a member of the Corelio group - started with Agfa’s project management system :Apogee Portal mid 2005.
Prepress Manager, Mr. G. Watteeuw explained to us their experience and plans with this system.
Mr. G. Watteeuw, can you explain to us the activities of "Corelio Printing"?
As Belgium's largest newspaper publishers, Corelio also produces free local papers and magazines, apart from being involved in Internet, radio and television productions. Corelio Printing belongs to the "Graphic Division" of the Corelio group.
The "Graphic Division" includes a sheet-fed printing site in Brussels, a cold-set printing site for newspapers in Groot-Bijgaarden and a heat-set printing site in Erpe-Mere. Equipped with seven :Polaris platesetters, Corelio's cold-set printing site prints various commercial papers for third parties, in addition to our own newspapers: De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad, De Gentenaar and Vers l'Avenir.
The types of products that we print on the heat-set presses are product catalogues, travel brochures, magazines and cartoons with run lengths of 15.000 and more. Per month we process between 16.000 and 17.000 pages.
We receive about 99% of the jobs from our customers as finished PDF's. The prepress for the other documents is done by our operators.
Corelio Printing employs about 150 people and production runs in three shifts.
What type of presses do you use in the heat-set production?
We print on a Lithoman IV - 72-page press (plate size of 1276 x 1990 mm), a Lithoman IV - 48-page press (plate size of 1276 x 1470 mm) equipped with a GMI closed-loop system and a Rotoman 16-page press (plate size of 663 x 972 mm).
Can you explain to us your different prepress workflows?
Today our configuration consists of an :ApogeeX workflow, two :Xcalibur VLF80 platesetters with GLV laser, a :Sherpa 43i and a :Grandsherpa proofer.
On top of all this we started mid 2005 with the :Apogee Portal project management system. The incoming PDF files from our customers are rendered and trapped individually. Via the remote proofing functionality of :Apogee Portal these rendered bitmap pages are sent back to our customers for control. Once approved by the customers these pages are imposed at the :Printdrive.
Our platemaking systems enable us to image 36 pages up and 36 pages down jobs directly without any manual intervention.
In fact we don't make hardcopy imposition proofs anymore. Before the final bitmap file is sent to the platesetters, we control the imposed pages on monitor in our prepress department. In the pressroom we compare the first printed sheets with the softproof of the imposed pages.
The plates that we use are the :Energy Elite Agfa plates. With these plates, we easily print run lengths of 350.000 without baking.
What were the reasons for moving to the :Apogee Portal project management system?
In our business, it is very important to make production as efficient as possible. The combination of larger presses and lower run lengths continually pushes for ever faster plate changes and, not to be neglected, a prepress department that can keep up with the press department. That's why we want to integrate and automate the different production steps. In a first phase we are using the Web Approval function of :Apogee Portal.
In a second stage, we integrated our Dimms MIS system into :Apogee Portal. This means that the job specification data from Dimms such as page size, number of pages, bleed, and much more will be send in JDF format to :Apogee Portal and further on to :ApogeeX. The advantage is of course that this data has to be introduced only one time.
Afterwards this JDF will receive additional data from production via the :Apogee Portal system. It will be perfectly possible to integrate data such as the number of plates and the production time in order to do the cost calculation of every job.
What is your experience with :Apogee Portal so far?Actually we use this system mainly for remote proofing. The :Apogee Portal system automatically takes the PDF pages from our customers out of our FTP server and starts the production.
Automatically the PDF pages are preflighted and rendered. With :Apogee Portal every job is started immediately, even when a new job enters after our working hours. If there is something wrong with a page, automatically a message is sent to our customer with an exact description of the problem. So he will be able to fix the problem and to resend the PDF. Once the pages are rendered, an email is sent automatically to our customers with the message that the pages are ready and can be previewed. With :Streamproof the customer can download very rapidly the screened bitmap pages in order to check if everything is OK. Because this is the same bitmap information as used for making the plates the customer has the guarantee that the content of this proof is the same as what will be printed on our presses.
We also have the intension to calibrate the monitors of our customers to our presses, so that they can evaluate the right colours of their proofs on monitor.
Next our customers send us their feedback of every page. If necessary the customer can even approve the pages from home after office hours.
In a very easy way we can see which pages (if any) need corrections and which pages are approved. Compared to how we worked in the past with traditional colour proofs, this way of working saves a lot of time and money. Imagine the time that we, and our customer win just by eliminating trafficking of proofs.
On top of these benefits :Apogee Portal has a very user friendly interface. All you need is an internet connection and an internet browser. It even happens that when I am at home I take a look on my PC to check what's going on in our production.
How did your customers experience :Apogee Portal?
When we started with this project management system, we organised 2 info sessions in our company for our customers to explain this new system to them.
Step by step we explained how this new way of production works. Also we published the different steps of the process in our newsletter (see example). All customers had very positive reactions and were convinced that this way of production saves a lot of time and money.
End of January 2006 approximately 70% of our customers produce with :Apogee Portal, mid 2008 about 82% of our customers use it.