“When our workload required the acquisition of a new digital color production press, it gave us the chance to re-examine our digital front end and workflow strategy as a whole.”
Jim Morrell, General Manager, Morrell Printing When the company purchased its second digital production color press, a Xerox® iGen® 150, in the summer of 2013, General Manager Jim Morrell consulted with Xerox to determine the best digital front end (DFE) to serve his needs. The EFI™ Fiery® DFE met every requirement.
“Since we have Fiery DFEs on our walk-up color and black-and-white copier/printers, we determined that it would be in our best interest to use it on our new digital color production press,” Morrell says. “It offered a number of advantages that we believed would make our workflow more efficient and improve the quality of our output.”
Ease of integration with other systems in the company was another advantage that contributed to Morrell Printing’s decision. Plus, with the Xerox iGen 150 and the Fiery DFE, Morrell Printing could expand its capabilities for higher-margin, high-end print jobs, taking advantage of an exclusive Fiery Dynamic HD Text and Graphics feature that provides superior edge and text quality regardless of color and saturation levels.
Morrell Printing has been able to significantly improve its print operations with its latest Fiery Driven™ Xerox installation. “We like to do as much of the work as possible downstream versus upstream, which is a bit of a unique approach,” Morrell explains. “The exceptional Fiery prepress tools allow our operator to troubleshoot on the fly, which has sped up our overall workflow.”
Morrell Printing uses a Fiery Hot Folder PDF workflow, and the company trains its clients to provide print-ready, single-page PDFs. “Once we receive the files, our front counter personnel simply drag them to a Hot Folder, and the job doesn’t need to go through prepress,” Morrell says.
At the DFE, the press operator can check the file before printing and make any necessary last-minute adjustments. “The Fiery DFE knows about trim and bleed marks, has great color tools and can verify if there are spot colors or if the colors are in the wrong color space,” Morrell explains. For the company’s press operator, the Fiery DFE is a time- and money-saving alternative to printing out one-off proofs and checking for errors.
As a G7-qualified Master Printer firm, Morrell Printing also appreciates that its newest Fiery DFE can adhere to G7 specifications.
The Fiery Impose software included with the Fiery DFE is one of the most utilized aspects of the company’s Fiery workflow. “It allows us to maximize the iGen 150’s larger 14×26-inch sheet size, and it also accommodates special bindery needs that dictate a different imposition than originally planned,” says Morrell. “It makes more sense to have the operator control these factors at the point of print, and it means our prepress department can focus on more complex matters.”
Morrell was also very pleased with the training his staff received from EFI’s Red Carpet team and Xerox. “It was a pretty short learning curve for us,” he notes. “Although we have the advantage of having used a lot of different DFEs over the years, our partners provided excellent training resources so we had a fast ramp-up to printing with the Fiery DFE.”
Morrell has found that the Fiery DFE processes files quickly and does a terrific job with variable-data files, plus it easily integrates with the Xerox FreeFlow® Makeready software, which the company uses for WYSIWYG document previews on the production floor. “The Fiery toolset is very robust,” he says — and that means an advanced operator can process more jobs at the press instead of sending files to the prep team.
“We have a lot of flexibility to make special exceptions in the workflow,” Morrell states, “like specifying a different tray to pull mixed media stocks, rotating files or creating multi-up booklets on the fly. We have a talented operator who can manage all of this on our Fiery DFE, which takes the burden off of our prepress department.”
The Fiery Dynamic HD Text & Graphics feature and the Xerox iGen 150 engine’s capabilities give Morrell Printing the competitive edge for full-color digital commercial printing. Plus the iGen 150’s innovative paper-handling capabilities provide excellent throughput, enabling Morrell Printing to excel on a wider range of substrates, including textured media, synthetics and specialty substrates.
Overall, the powerful combination of the Xerox iGen 150 and the Fiery DFE has contributed to an enhanced reputation for the company. “We are known in our area as a high-quality, fast-turn shop,” explains Morrell. “If another print shop can’t get it done, they will bring it to us. Designers and print brokers also bring us the complex work that others have a hard time with.”
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