Interview with Barry Landsberg
- Article ID:
Inksaving & Quality
Agfa’s ink saving product is OptiInk, which is part of the :Arkitex family of Newspaper software. According to Agfa, over 200 servers are running this technology worldwide. Barry Landsberg is Color Quality Marketing Manager for Agfa Graphic Systems.
WAN-IFRA: How and at which point is your ink saving software integrated into the workflow?
BARRY LANDSBERG: OptiInk is part of the :Arkitex family of Newspaper software. OptiInk is a PDF-in, PDF-out product, so it can be placed anywhere within a PDF workflow. In addition, it can be seamlessly integrated into any :Arkitex system.
WAN-IFRA: What is the principle of function?
B. LANDSBERG: OptiInk combines our highly intelligent Color Management with standard GCR to replace just the right amount of color inks with black ink and yet maintain the print quality - indeed it actually increases it.
In addition, we have an automatic method of detecting profiles for working with PDF files created for different presses - e.g. made for Commercial presses and delivered to Newspapers. OptiInk is capable of working out what profile was actually used, and automatically solves the colour problems one always encounters when this happens.
WAN-IFRA: Can you handle PDFs?
B. LANDSBERG: Yes. OptiInk is written to take full advantage of the PDF format. In addition, it can also be set up to accept PostScrpit and EPS files, which can automatically get converted to PDF files inside OptiInk.
WAN-IFRA: How large are the potential ink savings (and on what is this based)?
B. LANDSBERG: Ink savings values are very much dependent on the source PDF files. If the incoming images are profiled for commercial work or heatset for instance the savings can be very large. This usually can be the case with display advertising material and can lead to ink volume savings of 30% or more. This corresponds to cost savings of over 40% for Newspaper customers where typically colour inks cost three times as much as black ink.
However, we have seen savings higher than 50% for pages with very high ink coverage values.
WAN-IFRA: How much more black ink is needed (what is the relationship)?
B. LANDSBERG: This very much depends on the nature of the page. If the page is separated at the same profile as the output, and the Total Ink Limit is in line with the profile, the amount of extra black ink weight is a fraction of the total decrease of weight of the C,M and Y inks, typically but not always around a third.
For pages with rich black colours containing total ink coverages much greater than the target profile, there can even be a reduction in black ink for that page.
WAN-IFRA: How can it be assured that the colour quality in print does not suffer from the ink "optimisation" process?
B. LANDSBERG: OptiInk has been carefully developed specifically to provide intelligence for ink optimisation purposes, and contains many safeguards to prevent any degradation in colour quality of the printed product. And our experience with customers is very positive.
WAN-IFRA: Would you say that print quality raises by using your software? If so, for what reasons?
B. LANDSBERG: Definitely. Many customers appreciate the quality increases they get. Here is what one of our customers has said : "OptiInk provides
• Reduced fan-out
• Better control of registration
• Reduced visual impact in case of misregistration
• Faster drying"
Indeed, one Agfa customer said: "The single most important thing we appreciate is that it helped in terms of contagion/set-off with its faster drying. Savings of ink is secondary."
Moreover our unique SISR technology can improve the quality of pictures lacking a profile or wrongly embedded by intelligently assigning a profile to them.
WAN-IFRA: What is the price (and ROI) of your software?
B. LANDSBERG: The list price of an OptiInk single server is approximately €25,000, and this can vary from one region to another.