EFI Fiery GAPPE – Unearthing Print Production Problems Before They are Problems

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by Greg Cholmondeley, Workflow Practice Director, PODi and Caslon & Company


GAPPEWe hear a lot about workflow automation, but today I’m going to discuss some tools designed to help your operators do their jobs quicker and more efficiently. I’m looking at EFI’s Fiery Graphic Arts Package, Premium Edition (GAPPE). GAPPE provides tools to help operators preflight and view actual RIPped files, identify problems, and create soft proofs. It is an option available on stand-alone Fiery servers and it takes a lot of the guesswork out of identifying problems and how to fix them while reducing the number of test prints required. The result is savings in time and money.

The attached video provides an overview of GAPPE and is one of three videos in the PODi GAPPE product briefing available to PODi members on www.podi.org. The other two briefing videos explore and demonstrate Preflighting, the ImageViewer, the Postflight Report, and the Control Bars in more depth.

The primary objectives for GAPPE are to help operators quickly identify problems and their causes without unnecessary test printing. It does this in several ways:

Preflighting

There are various preflighting packages out there but this is nice because it is integrated right into Fiery. It identifies problems such as missing fonts or spot colors as well as characteristics like low resolution images or overprinting which might need to be dealt with using additional processing.

ImageViewer

Since this is integrated into the fiery RIP, GAPPE can access and display the actual RIPped file. This means that your operators can see exactly what will be printed on the pages – right down to the pixels. This is how you can ensure that likely problem areas such as overprinting, low-resolution images and color fades are properly rendered without having to print a test. You can scroll, zoom and page through documents and can even export parts or all of a document as a low or medium resolution, non-printable PDF for client soft-copy reviewing.

Postflight Report

EFI has coined the term “Postflight Report” to describe a document GAPPE can generate showing how a file will be processed. It contains three sections:

  • First, is a rendering of the full document with areas color-coded to indicate how each is being processed. For example, RGB objects are shaded red, CMYK objects are shaded cyan, grayscale objects are shaded gray, and spot colors are shaded yellow. This provides operators with clear, visual understanding of how various elements are being processed. It can be especially useful for identifying cost problems (e.g. monochrome objects being processed as color) or quality problems (e.g. color processing differences between RGB and CMYK images).
  • Second, it provides a page listing all spot colors used, including a patch showing the color. This can be helpful for operators to track down and correct erroneous spot color callouts.
  • Third, it provides a page designed to “always look good” when printed. This can be used as a quick, visual test for operators to ensure the print engine is behaving properly before they start investigating if color processing problems are present.
  • And fourth, it provides a means to place color control bars and information slugs on each page. This capability can be used for a variety of reasons on jobs which are going to be trimmed.

Since GAPPE is integrated with Fiery, operators can easily utilize various Fiery tools to address any problems identified with GAPPE with consistent operability. The net result is that GAPPE provides operators a highly-useful set of tools to verify that jobs will properly print, and to identify the source of problems if any are found, without wasting time and resources printing test prints. If you are a Fiery user you should investigate GAPPE further.

Note: EFI is a vendor member of PODi and will be participating in PODi’s AppForum conference at Harrah’s in Las Vegas, May 11-13. Udi Arieli, Sr. Director of Product Management will be presenting a session on workflow automation titled “Lean Redefined for the Printing Industry – The Science Behind Theory of Global Optimization (TGO)

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