Compose Star Proof

Wednesday 25 April 2007

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Glyn Stanley, studio manager at London-based MBA Group, rates the crisp quality and accurate calibration of his user-friendly proofing software

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Stanley: the proofs accurately simulate the final prints

What is it?
A dot proofing solution.

What does it do?
Star Proof is the application that drives our Epson 9800 proofers. It controls the flow of work through each machine and enables us to prioritise the workflow through its ‘queue’. It controls the calibration of the files to an ISO standard and enables us to easily make regular checks and adjustments.

Why did you choose this particular product?
We initially decided upon Star Proof as it was so keenly priced compared to its competitors. Also, the proofs simulate more accurately the final printed sheet.

Did you look at any other similar products?
When we started to look at proofing devices, everything pointed to GMG, but when we started to make comparisons, Star Proof seemed to be the superior choice.

Why did you make the purchase?
To replace the old proofing method we had, the Iris Realist. It had served us for years, but had had its day and was struggling to keep up with the fast pace of the print industry.

What features do you particularly like about Star Proof?
We initially liked the layout of the whole package. It was going to be used by everyone within the studio and needed to be user friendly. It also enabled us to keep tabs on the calibration and gives you great control over special colours. If you have corporate colours that are commonly used, these can be set up at a specified tint to be used for each proof.

Is there anything you wish it had that it doesn’t?
The only comments from our team were that it didn’t display within the queues the jobs that were waiting to be processed. Apparently, this is a module that is available as a chargeable extra. It is something we are looking at now.

How fast is it?
As fast as any other proofer processes our large B2 and B1 files at 1,440 resolution. A proof is made within 15 minutes.

How reliable is it?
Very reliable. The calibration very rarely fluctuates and, after five years, the application rarely requires attention.

What’s the quality like?
The quality of the proof is exceptionally clean and crisp.

How easy is it to use?
It has an extremely user-friendly interface. Others we looked at were very confusing to operate on a daily basis.

How much time or money has it saved?
Compared to the Iris system it replaced, the Star Proof running the Epson presses has been a great saving. It has cut down on the high maintenance we incurred in days gone by, because the new machines run effortlessly, 24/7.

Has it won you any new work?
I would certainly say it has helped us to maintain high standards for our customers, helping us keep them on board.

Under what circumstances would you buy another?
We currently run three Epson 9800s, so we are running very comfortably and would only require another if our workload was to considerably increase.

Who do you think the package is right for?
Any business that requires high-end proofing without all the hassle that goes with it.

Were there any difficulties experienced during the installation or after?
No, initial calibration took a couple of days to get it exactly right. The recent re-calibration to ISO standards went extremely smoothly also.

What about the pre and after-sale service?
They have always been very helpful and supportive. Talking and guiding us through our recent transition to becoming fully ISO compliant within the studio.


CONCLUSION
User’s verdict
Speed 4/5
Quality 5/5
Reliability 5/5
Value for money 5/5

Supplier’s Response
Steve Donegan, manager European sales and marketing at Compose, responds: “Four or five years ago, when inkjet proofing started to come of age the only systems available were continuous tone and the inkjet heads weren’t of high enough quality to deliver dots on proof. However, the advances made in inkjet technology allow dot proofs to be created through systems like Star Proof that replicate the ink dot on press.”
Price From £2,500
Contact Compose 01474 700500

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