Adobe has released V5.0 of the Adobe PDF Publishing Engine, its rendering technology, with features to cope with inkjet and packaging applications. These are part of the PDF 2.0 format, the first new version of PDF for a decade and the first to be published as an independent standard and not one under the control of Adobe.
There is support for extended colour sets by adding support for the CXF (Colour Exchange Format), which describes colours by spectral information, rather than just RGB, CMYK, Lab or PMS. This will cover inkjet printing, where printers can use up to eight colour channels, and enable jobs to be switched from one type of output to a device using another print technology with much greater accuracy. Brands should gain more confidence that their spot colours used in different styles of packaging or promotional materials will be produced accurately.
This will also help printers cope as digital printing extends into non paper areas such as textile, wall coverings and direct to shape printing.
Processing speeds are improved through high speed edge enhancement which smoothes out lines of graphic objects, even at relatively low resolutions, a feature that will help APPE keep up as inkjet print engine speeds increase or become more complex with the growth of inkjet printing of corrugated boards.
Black point compensation is intended to improve rendering of details in shadow areas regardless of the chosen output device. There is expanded support for non roman character sets used across Asia, particularly Chinese, Japanese and Korean. And there is tight integration with Adobe’s Creative Cloud application suite.
The first partner to announce support for the APPE 5 is Agfa where V11 of the Apogee workflow will make use of the features in the Rip. There is naturally close integration with Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign from the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.
Agfa is the first supplier to announce support for APPE 5, though Fujifilm is likely to be close behind. In any case Agfa has set an October date for the release of Apogee 11 its prepress and production workflow that will incorporate the features of APPE 5 and PDF 2.0. It will also include PressTune, one leg of the Eco3 approach to reducing the environmental impact of litho print.
The new version of the workflow includes a job ganging feature to enable jobs to be grouped together at the prepress stage to make better use of press time, especially for shorter run jobs. Each of the jobs that is printed in this way is tracked, complete with associated crop, collation marks and barcodes are kept with the job.
This is a task that is offered by a number of MIS suppliers. Likewise Agfa is implementing job tracking via browser in its WebFlow feature with Web Approval extended to guest users for one-off customers.
AutoImpose takes the ganging feature and extends it to drive multiple digital printers with automation of preparation for finishing after printing.
Agfa points out that Apogee was built around the PDF format from the outset 25 years ago. Mark Lewiecki, senior product manager at Agfa, says: “The release of Apogee 11 builds on this long standing relationship by taking advantages of the APPE 5. Agfa customers will benefit from greater workflow efficiencies, powerful new colour capabilities and full support or PDF 2.0 print features.”
APPE 5 includes support for CxF defined colours, extended colour sets and embedded production intents. These and more features are combined in Apogee 11, the latest version of the Agfa production work that is due for launch in October.