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Heidelberg's New MetaShooter - a Link to the Future


Connecting state-of-the-art output devices to existing workflows

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) is exhibiting the new MetaShooter workflow module at this year's Ipex in Birmingham, UK. This device enables Heidelberg's state-of-the-art CtF and CtP imagesetters from the Topsetter and Prosetter series to be integrated into existing Heidelberg workflows using TIFF-B format. MetaShooter makes it possible for the prepress, printshop and/or imagesetters to be separated in both space and time and allows cost-effective modernization without changing the existing workflow.

Straightforward integration as the key to success
Cost-effectiveness and production reliability are the key to success in today's graphic arts industry. The workflow and connected output devices must form a unified system that works efficiently. Up till now, modernizing established production processes has often involved time-consuming, expensive changes that scare off many companies. MetaShooter allows straightforward integration of state-of-the-art CtP imagesetters into existing Heidelberg workflows. Third-party workflows will soon also be supported.
"MetaShooter is part of our system openness and modularity concept," explains Dr. Klaus Spiegel, Member of the Heidelberg Management Board and responsible for the Sheetfed Solution Center. "The customer can now integrate new CtP devices into his active workflow which will bring his system up to date and may significantly improve the efficiency, and therefore the cost-effectiveness, of his production process. The workflow and output device can be at different locations, an advantage that particularly benefits companies with several printing sites or an independent prepress operation."

Increased efficiency
MetaShooter allows plate output to be separate from the prepress department. Up till now, imagesetters had to be located near the prepress department because specific specialist knowledge was needed to perform plate imaging. MetaShooter is so straightforward to use that it can also be operated by non-specialist personnel in the printroom. For example, the prepress department, working in 2-shift operation, can supply enough jobs for a 3-shift operated printshop and place the data in the MetaShooter queue. In the printshop, jobs are selected as required and sent to the imagesetter at the press of a button. The fact that the data has already been screened, RIPped, trapped and imposed in the prepress minimizes possible sources of error in the printroom. Individual color separations can also be post-imaged at the press of a button. The same applies to companies whose prepress department prepares jobs for printshops spread over a number of sites. Customers do not need a further MetaDimension when equipment is physically separated - now they can control their imagesetters with MetaShooter.

TIFF-B as digital film
MetaShooter receives TIFF-B from the workflow and passes it on to the connected imagesetter. The advantage of this format is that it is very widely used and, like PDF, has practically become a standard in the graphic arts industry. It is an open TIFF format based on independent format specifications and is therefore manufacturer-independent. Because the individual color separations for each job are stored in their entirety in print-ready form, TIFF-B is also known as digital film. Inexpensive storage media ensure storage and security aspects are very straightforward. MetaShooter places minimal demands on hardware and works with all standard PCs using Windows 2000 Professional. MetaShooter version 1.0 supports all Prosetter and Topsetter units and can be connected to workflows such as Delta, Prinergy or MetaDimension.

New MetaShooter from Heidelberg allows straightforward integration of state-of-the-art CtP imagesetters into existing workflows. It receives TIFF-B and passes it on to the connected imagesetter, thus allowing straightforward modernization of the machine park without changing the workflow.

For further information:
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG
Matthias Hartung
Corporate Communications
Tel.: +49 (0)6221 92 50 77
Fax: +49 (0)6221 92 50 46
E-mail: matthias.hartung@heidelberg.com

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