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Agfa Graphics has released the latest version of its software solution Apogee, which automates all prepress tasks.

Apogee v11 offers a mechanism to combine print jobs in order to optimise press time, while also keeping track of the actual order. With this new feature, it aims to cater to the needs of printers faced with shortening run lengths and looking for ways to keep their presses running as efficiently as possible to maintain sustainable margins.

Agfa says the challenge of combining orders on a single press sheet does not lie in the actual placement of the various orders, but in keeping track of the separate orders and allowing for proper finishing. With Apogee v11, collation marks, signature barcodes and all other marks remain in place and refer to the original order.

Erik Peeters, global marketing manager software solutions at Agfa, says, “This is a major step forward in production efficiency. Combining orders reduces plate changes and lowers production costs. As paper waste is significantly less, the ecological footprint decreases too. As always, Apogee looks beyond pure functionalities and takes the full production cycle into account.”

“In addition, Apogee v11 functions as the ideal production hub, guaranteeing reliable content reproduction independent of output devices, including digital presses. As such, it allows printers to increase their production efficiency and tackle the squeezed margins on low copy count orders.”

Apogee v11 handles preparations including specific production requirements like cut ‘n stack, or booklet printing. To reduce the manual job preparation even more, orders can be processed in a fully automatic way using AutoImpose, a new function of the award-winning Apogee Impose. This simplifies the workflow and reduces production costs as digital press operators now only need to manage and control devices and output quality.

Peeters adds, “The automatic imposition feature in Apogee v11 is a key feature for digital print production. Combined with Agfa’s cloud-based automation solution, PrintSphere AutoPilot, which uses XML or JDF information to intelligently route orders to the appropriate output device, it becomes a very powerful tool to increase the overall efficiency of a printing company.”

lAgfa has aso updated Apogee WebApproval, the online portal that lets print buyers access their jobs for file upload and page approval. Printers’ customers can create new jobs directly. The new Guest function means print companies can the web approval service to print brokers and one-time users. Users can preview foldouts and check the size and position of layout elements.

A new module called Apogee WebFlow gives customer service representatives, press and finishing operators or others within a printing company access to prepress job data. They can check job status, visualise page content and check which signatures are ready for output. WebFlow exchanges job info with Agfa’s software solution PressTune, enabling CSRs to quickly review the print quality of their customers’ orders and avoid the cost of re-runs due to print quality rejection by the print buyer. Peeters says, “Whether you are on the road or sitting in your couch with a tablet, you can track jobs anytime, anywhere,” Erik Peeters states. “We keep extending our family of web tools while at the same time listening to our users who insist on keeping things simple for their customers.”

Apogee v11 includes the Adobe PDF Print Engine 5 to prepare printers for full compatibility with the new PDF 2.0 standard and to output designs correctly. Mark Lewiecki, senior product manager at Adobe, says, “After Adobe launched PDF and Acrobat twenty-five years ago, Agfa followed with the first prepress solution to use the new PDF file format for print workflow. Today’s release of Apogee 11 builds on this long-standing relationship by taking advantage of Adobe PDF Print Engine version 5. Agfa customers will benefit from greater workflow efficiencies, powerful new color capabilities, and full support of PDF 2.0 print features.”

Agfa will make the new version available from October 22, offered as a cloud and an on-premise solution, which will also have the option as a subscription model.

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