- February 29, 2004, Nsenga Byrd Thompson, Associate Editor
How important is good proofing to the overall prepress process? Just ask New Jersey-based Wise Tag & Label, which has added Latran Technologies' Prediction proofing system to its prepress capabilities.
In early 2003, the company installed the Prediction 1420 halftone proofing system for its label work. Using an Artwork Systems Nexus RIP, Wise Tag & Label still outputs film, but according to Kevin Wise, chief information officer — and grandson of Percival Wise, a founding member of the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute — the Prediction positioned the company's prepress operation for the final step, closing the digital loop with direct-to-digital platemaking.
“When we give our customer a prediction proof, we're absolutely confident that it can match what we will be printing. It's almost as if we're giving them a press proof without actually putting it on press,” says Wise.
He explains it was important to give his customers a better representation of the process work. “With our previous proofing, we were giving a fair representation, but it wasn't as accurate as what we were getting from some of our outside suppliers. And what we've been trying to do is bring the majority of our process work in-house, so one of the things we had to do was invest in a high-end proofing device that would give us the halftone dots, so the customer can see exactly what their process job is going to look like before we actually put it on press.”
In search of the perfect proofing system, Wise Tag & Label supplied various vendors with sample files and had the vendors produce the proofs. Then they compared the vendor proofs to what they were achieving on press.
When the company finished the testing phase, the Latran Prediction showed up with the most accurate press results in the process printing area.
A Proactive Approach
Installation of the Prediction proofing system brought to Wise Tag & Label's prepress department a different approach to flexo proofing. It had been some time since the company had moved from producing match prints and color keys in-house to using high-resolution ink jet and wax printers. Expectantly, the operators had become accustomed to the easier process of just pushing a button and printing onto a page.
“[With the Prediction] we are going back to making individual sheets, where you put your cyan in and your magenta in, so it took a little bit of time; they had to get used to putting the ink sheets down in the order we are going to be printing them,” Wise explains.
Wise recalls in the early days of using the system one of the operators was having a small problem and needed Latran's assistance. “The ink sheets were being loaded in a matter that wasn't consistent. So they just stepped the operator through over the phone.”
Along with the willingness to help his operator on the spot, Wise also has been impressed with Latran's proactive approach to its customers.
“They contact us on a regular basis to see if we have any issues with the equipment, which is something nice for a machine vendor. Usually vendors think, ‘If we haven't heard anything, let's not bother,’” describes Wise. “But Latran is so concerned about their equipment and making sure it's running properly that someone from their sales or technical staff will contact somebody here and ask if there are any issues or if they can stop by and check that it's working okay. Just whatever they need to do to make sure we are 100% satisfied.”
Wise believes one of the keys to servicing his customers has been to provide better quality printing than what they are expecting. He contends the addition of the Prediction allows them to do just that.
Wise Tag & Label
7035 Central Hwy.
Pennsauken, NJ 08109
Latran Technologies; latran.com