Star Proof v6

By Philip Chadwick, Wednesday 27 January 2010

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JFM production manager Matthew McKee tells Philip Chadwick that the latest version of this dot-proofing software offers unrivalled accuracy


McKee: 'Other systems are rarely as accurate as our Star Proofs'

Describe your business
We are a repro house offering proofing, platemaking and design. We also do a bit of wide-format work.

What does the product do?
Dot-proofing software Star Proof gives us total control over colour and data integrity from file to plate. The additional green and orange ink cartridges in our new Epson 9900 gives us a much wider colour gamut and is a vast improvement on the 4800 for hitting Pantones. Star Proof version 6 works with the 9900 and gives us this ability.

Why did you choose this particular product?
We went with Star Proof because it was so accurate.

Did you look at any other similar products?
There was nothing else that had such dot accuracy.

What features do you particularly like?
We love the fact that we can now hit the majority of Pantones without having to manually calibrate each colour through time consuming trial-and-error techniques.

Is there anything that you dislike?
Although we were pleased with our last set-up, we longed for colour matching and improved speeds. Both of these issues have been much improved.

Is there anything that you wish it had that it doesn’t?
No. It’s a vast improvement on what we had previously.

How fast is it?
We haven’t noticed much of a difference in Star Proof processing speeds, but the fact that the colour shades are defined could potentially be saving us up to five hours per week on calibrations.

How reliable is it?
It’s extremely reliable. Providing the printer’s set-up is consistent to the calibration we perform, the Star Proofs are always very accurate.

What’s the quality like?
In my opinion, other systems are rarely as accurate as our Star Proofs, without going to the expense of running transfer-based proofs.

How easy is it to use?
Once the Star Proof profiles have been set up, then it’s really just a case of composing the bitmaps and selecting the colours and print order.

How much time or money has it saved?

Star Proof and the Epson have caught some potential press issues, such as moiré, before the job has even been committed to plates, saving a lot of time and money. Also, it allows settings to be changed at a click of a button.

Has it won you any new work?
We have won new business, as well as helping us to retain work, because of the quality.

Would you say that it offers value for money?
For the quality of product, it is well-seated in the marketplace.

Were there any difficulties experienced during the installation or after?
There were a few teething problems, but they were quickly ironed out.

What about the pre- and after-sale service?
It has been excellent.

Who do you think the machine is right for?
Any company who outputs their own film and plates, as it provides the ability to check jobs quickly before production.

Under what circumstances would you buy another?
We would definitely consider upgrading to version 7.

User’s verdict    
Speed    ????
Quality    ?????
Reliability    ????
Value for money    ?????

Supplier’s response     
Kevin Caughtry, sales manager for UK and Ireland at Compose System, says: JFM is a company that has upgraded its Star Proof software having also upgraded its Epson printer. They have kept with Star Proof because its dot proofing is consistent from proof to proof, as well as having a flexo option.
Price: £3,500 (basic), £5,250 (flexo version)
Contact: Compose System 01474 700500

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