Agfa unveils Apogee v11

Agfa Graphics is set to launch a new version of its Apogee workflow software that automates all pre-press tasks and includes multi-product support to increase printing efficiency.

Apogee v11 will feature a new mechanism to combine print jobs in an intelligent way in order to optimise press time, while also keeping track of the actual order, Agfa said.

Collation marks, signature barcodes and all other marks remain in place and refer to the original order when multiple orders are combined onto a single press sheet using Apogee v11. This will simplify the process of keeping track of the separate orders, allowing for proper finishing.

The company said this reduces plate changes and paper waste, and lowers production costs and a printer’s ecological footprint.

“R&D partially drives changes that we make to Apogee, but we have regular user meetings and our user forum,” said Agfa Graphics product manager for web solutions Laurens Leurs.

“A lot of the changes that focus on being able to group multiple jobs on a single press sheet have been driven by customers telling us that this is what they need to maintain profitability.”

Apogee v11 will also increase production efficiency by guaranteeing reliable content reproduction independent of output devices, including digital presses, Agfa said.

The software will handle all necessary preparations, including specific production requirements such as cut ‘n stack, or booklet printing, and orders can be processed in a fully automatic way using the new AutoImpose function.

This will simplify the workflow and reduce production costs as digital press operators will only need to manage and control devices and output quality.

Apogee WebApproval, the online portal that lets print buyers access their jobs for file upload and page approval, has also been updated.

Printers will now be able to allow their customers to create new jobs directly, limiting the workload of pre-press operators for repeat jobs.

The new ‘Guest’ function, meanwhile, will make it easier for printers to offer the WebApproval service to print brokers and one-time users, while users will also be able to preview foldouts and check the size and position of layout elements.

“We wrote WebApproval completely from scratch in Apogee v9. Since that release we have been expanding it at a pretty fast pace,” said Leurs.

“The new features give printers much more control over what their customers actually see, and give their customers more configuration options.”

Another new module, Apogee WebFlow, will give both customer service staff and press and finishing operators access to pre-press job data.

The module will make it easy to check job status, visualise page content and check which signatures are ready for output, Agfa said.

WebFlow will exchange job info with PressTune, Agfa’s new print production tool that has been developed to drive consistency, productivity and the ability to print to exacting standards. This will enable printers to quickly review the quality of their customers’ orders.

Finally, Apogee v11 will be one of the first products to incorporate Adobe’s new PDF Print Engine 5 rendering technology, which has been designed to prepare printers for full compatibility with the new PDF 2.0 standard and to output designs correctly.

Apogee v11 will replace v10 in the market upon its release on 22 October. The rollout will be phased, with existing users gradually moved across to the new version.

The software will be offered in both on-premise and cloud versions, with the former option also available via a subscription model. While pricing has not yet been disclosed, Leurs said it will be dependent on the complexity of the configuration required.