The pre-requisite for good printing

Pre-press, also known as pre-stage, refers to all those processes that ensure that the subsequent printing process will go smoothly. These include the professional testing, revision or creation of print data, the setting and page layout, and the creation of printing plates using the computer-to-plate procedure (CTP). The workflow is now almost 100 percent digital, and largely takes place online. A fast, secure and convenient production workflow can be guaranteed via a web portal, which both our customers and we access regularly. It is used to transfer orders, to track their progress, to proof prints online using simulated test prints, to carry out modifications and to approve jobs for printing. A great team is entrusted with all of the technical procedures, and they coordinate and manage the exchange of data. The results are fast production times with excellent quality levels. 

Data management

We receive thousands of files each day in our company – sent to us by publishing houses, agencies and picture libraries, amongst others. Sometimes these files are finished print templates and are sent in PDF format (portable document format). We subject these files to extensive quality testing, improve them where necessary, and only then pass them on to our printing works. The standard, intensive quality check at WEISS avoids time-intensive and costly corrections in the subsequent printing process. Sometimes the data also arrives "raw"; so that we have to create the print templates ourselves. These are then optimised for production, and can then pass through the printing process quickly.

Kodak InSite Prepress Portal

The "Kodak InSite Prepress Portal" is an internet-based tool that links the customer with the printing works. An internet platform – with secure access and data transfers – allows print jobs to be sent, modifications, checks and approvals to be carried out, and progress to be tracked; around the clock, seven days a week. In principle, the system can be accessed from any computer with internet access; and as such it is quick and easy to use. When used in connection with our "Kodak PRINERGY" workflow system, the job transfer via the Prepress Portal also triggers an automatic "pre-flight" control of the files. The "pre-flight" check takes place prior to the exposure of the printing plates and simulates the release process. The print files are checked for possible errors or problematic elements, such as incorrect colour spaces, white lines or excessively thin lines, and are automatically corrected. All errors that cannot be resolved by the system are documented in a "pre-flight report" and passed on for manual correction. This means that unnecessary multiple exposures can be reliably avoided.

Setting and digital page layout

Setting

The composition – the digital layout of text, graphics and images to create a print-ready template – is part of the production routine at WEISS-Druck. Our company has the capacity to deal with even very large amounts of text information. An example: Over 2,000 newspaper pages are set in our pre-press stage per week alone. There are around 40 work stations working with PCs available for this.

Digital page layout

Page layout – in other words, the seamless arrangement of several set pages within a print product – is also handled digitally at WEISS-Druck and, as such, is time-efficient and cost-effective. We work with the latest page make-up programs and their integral automation routines. We work directly with external editors and agencies; and we provide an introduction to the technology in the case of new projects.

CTP

Computer-to-plate (CTP) is the digital print plate exposure, which takes place directly from the computer to the print plate. This procedure means that creating films, assembling individual film elements and whole-page films to create print templates are now all redundant phases, unlike in recent times when they were still a required part of the process. All of these processes are now integrated into a digital workflow. The result of the fully automatic exposure process is maximum accuracy: the exact overprinting of several print colours without displacement or holes. Thus CTP stands for an extremely precise print quality that has been standard at WEISS-Druck for many years and that applies to all print products. Our company regularly produces over 7,000 print plates for job printing using the CTP procedure each month. The procedure is also used in newspaper printing. A newspaper page in the Berlin format, including precise pressing and folding, is produced every 20 seconds using two modern exposure machines. We currently produce around 12,000 plates for our coldset machines each week.

Kodak Magnus VLF with APL (automatic pallet loader)

The VLF exposes up to 20 plates per hour.
The APL stockpiles 2,000 plates in 4 different formats.
2,400 dpi Squarespot technology for the finest screen dot quality
AM grid up to 305 lpi (120x grid)
FM grid "Kodak Staccato" up to 20 µm

Kodak Magnus XLF

The XLF exposes up to 20 plates per hour.
2,400 dpi Squarespot technology for the finest screen dot quality
AM grid up to 305 lpi (120x grid)
FM grid "Kodak Staccato" up to 20 µm

Screen PlateRite Ultima 48000SX with Skidloader (automatic pallet loader)

The PlateRite Ultima exposes up to 20 plates per hour.
The Skidloader stockpiles 600 plates in broadsheet for two different formats.
2,400 dpi technology for the finest screen dot quality
AM grid up to 254 lpi (100x grid)