Packaging Workflow Takes Wing
Stephen Miller, CreoScitex package printing applications specialist, reveals how 2001 may be a banner prepress year.
by Terri McConnell, Prepress Editor
This month CreoScitex is set to launch one of the most ambitious packaging prepress systems based on the PDF file format. On the eve of lift-off, we asked Stephen Miller, one of Prinergy Powerpack's senior astronauts, to give us his perspective on where this new technology will take us.
pP: You've been in the industry during our most important technological growth period. What events have had the greatest impact on packaging productivity?
SM: Well, it all began with inexpensive desktop systems. The price tag and user-friendliness of Mac workstations gave more people access, and that really accelerated our conversion to digital production. Along with that came the availability of all-inclusive packaging assembly systems with trapping and step-and-repeat.
Next, we saw wider format plotters, so we didn't have to output small pieces of film and put them together on the table. Then there was the coming of telecommunications solutions for moving files back and forth across the country—and across the globe—very quickly. And finally, computer-to-plate technology seems to be the most important opportunity we have right now.
pP: How do you see CTP evolving in the packaging industry?
SM: I think we can expect to see CTP being used the way it is often used in the commercial printing world. Trade shops will create one-up digital files and transmit them to printers and converters with digital platemakers located in their plants, close to the presses.
In order for that to happen, we have to break our reliance on film as a "secure medium" for transferring jobs from the trade shops to the printer. That's a very important issue, because it involves accountability. The person who creates the pixels on film, or on plates in the case of CTP, is essentially the person responsible for making sure the content is correct.