The Top 30 Book Manufacturers
Upton: … We installed an Océ 6160 in the spring of 2007. This machine prints beautiful screens and halftones, and it is very efficient. It has helped us extend the range of run lengths we can efficiently produce down to 25 copies. In doing this, we’ve tried to make it as simple for the publisher as possible by making it part of our overall offering and not a separate service.
To what extent are your customers now willing to forgo folded and gathered sheets [F&Gs] or hard proofs for soft proofs once they have furnished their own PDF files?
Edwards: Many of our customers use soft proofs now. The soft proof eliminates overnight shipping charges and improves the cycle time. The quality of files is much better than in years past, so publishers have confidence in the integrity of the files they send to printers. In fact, a number of our customers do not get any proofs at all.
Friesen: It is surprising to us that more publishers are not embracing this potential opportunity. With the internal improvements in color management and proofing technology, we are confident we can save publishers significant time on the front end of the process—where most of the delays occur. This does mean more training, and new equipment and systems, which we understand takes time. We are setting up some new training tools to assist publishers in making this transition.
Liess: Many of our customers are already forgoing F&Gs and hard proofs when supplying PDF files. We are comfortable with whatever our customers preferences are regarding proofs.
Nason: … F&Gs, for the most part, are gone. Our customers simply do not request them. Hard proofs or contractual proofs are still requested on more than 80 percent of our jobs, but it is starting to move toward soft proofs as a final look or correction. We do have a few customers that provide PDF files and contractual proofs, and do not want to see any additional proofs. In these cases, we do a sampling of Kodaks and a folded blueline for internal review with nothing going to the customer. We would not recommend sending proofed PDF files without hard proofs or soft proof approval. In the near future, we expect to have clients reviewing all aspects of color and copy via soft proofs. …