PPI Software Follows MAN Hardware Into New Plants

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By: Jim Rosenberg

The Honolulu Advertiser selected ppi Media (PPI), Hamburg, Germany, to provide software to manage production as part of the 142,025-circulation Gannett paper’s press and computer-to-plate project.

MAN Roland, which acquired a controlling interest in PPI two years ago, is installing two Regioman presses at the Advertiser’s new $82-million facility in Kapolei. PPI will install PlanPag and its new JDF-based printnet OM software to completely automate Advertiser workflow from ad order entry through output management to the press. PlanPag production management and ad layout software and printnet OM output management software will work in combination with Creo’s Prinergy system and Trendsetter News thermal platesetters.

The project starts in February, with completion scheduled for mid-2004. Advertiser Prepress Manager Allan Six credited PPI with “meticulous project specification” and the software with enabling the paper “to link [its] various systems into a unified production workflow.” Joerg Kruse, CEO of ppi Media US Inc. of Westmont, Ill., pointed to work with Creo of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Billerica, Mass., in employing “JDF-based technology to deliver a highly integrated output management solution.”

The PPI software will interface with existing prepress systems, including “MASS/AdServ” and “AdVision” ad order entry, as well as QPS in the newsroom.
It also will integrate Creo’s platesetters, in combination with Burgess’ plate benders, and provide ink presets for MAN’s Pecom press control system. The two-way Pecom-PlanPag interface will support operators during ad layout and planning to ensure that plans are always compatible with press capabilities.

A similar PlanPag-Pecom interface, for a five-web, four-tower MAN Roland Geoman 70 press, will go into Calkins Media’s Bucks County (Pa.) Courier Times, which selected PPI for ad layout, production planning, output management and tracking as part of its expansion project. PPI also will provide its ProPag pagination software and printnet OM output management system. Running from February through late spring, the project will follow a parallel production plan in order to provide a smooth transition from film imagesetting to a CTP workflow and from 40-year old presses to the new offset.

“We recognized early in our planning that we needed software that would allow us to fully exploit the color and zoning capabilities of our new production equipment,” said Courier Times General Manager Tom Spurgeon.

Integrated with the Admarc ad order entry system and OpenPages editorial system, PlanPag will manage the current workflow, initially working with the existing press’ layouts stored in the PPI database. Existing RIPs and imagesetters will be managed by PPI’s output management system. A second phase will bring on line all new production systems, integrated with the PPI software for automated workflow. Phase-two additions include PPI-supplied Harlequin RIPs with FM-screening, Creo Trendsetter News thermal platesetters, and MAN’s Pecom press controls.

PPI also will supply the 65,243-circulation Courier Times with preflight checking tools, including pre-ripping of ads, and page and plate tracking via browser-based GlobalTrack software.

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