TMG improves print quality and eco-friendliness with Agfa’s ECO³ concept
One year after opting for Agfa´s ECO³ concept, printing company TMG experiences improved print quality and an easier way of working in prepress, as well as an estimated ink reduction of 20% on press.
Taberg Media Group (TMG) is one of the larger printing groups in Sweden and a supplier of graphic products and services. TMG can offer both sheetfed offset with LED-UV curing, digital print with xerographic technology, HP Indigo, and an expanding wide-format division with a mixed machine park. Digital workflow manager Magnus Sandström is responsible for prepress and system integration, and tells us that TMG put tremendous importance on quality, efficiency and environment throughout the group’s four print sites.
TMG have worked with Agfa’s CTP systems and plates for a long time. Over the years, more Agfa products have been implemented.
When Agfa introduced its ECO³ program, including a number of software solutions that aim at improving the overall cost and efficiency of production, TMG was quick to get on board. The concept is suited for every business, from small printers to large newspaper groups and consists of several products.
“We have gradually started using more and more Agfa products, as they found a natural place in our business. When Agfa’s ECO³ concept was introduced, it simply suited us and it felt natural to join in. We have been running a full ECO³ solution for roughly one year now.”
Sandström points out that in the past every TMG printer had its own prepress system, which was costly and very inefficient in the long run. However, that was in the past. Today, Agfa´s Apogee Prepress is used as a central prepress system linking all printing sites together. TMG was the first printer in the world to run one central Apogee Prepress system from the cloud!
The flexibility to choose between print sites
No matter which TMG print site eventually prints a job, it is fully possible to do all prepress work remotely.
“Since 2013, we have continuously strived to simplify and standardize our way of working in Apogee Prepress. Now you can easily move a job originally planned to run in Stockholm to our site in Jönköping with just a few clicks. A task that previously could take half a day.”
“When we started the project, I must admit that we had a fair amount of stability issues. Sometimes we had to restart the system a few times per day! Today we schedule a restart once a month as part of our regular system maintenance. It has become much more stable now than a few years ago. “
With PressTune, we have an incredible control over our presses’ output.
Agfa´s Apogee is used for all color management for the sheetfed production. The operator chooses which paper a job is to be printed on and based on that, all workflow parameters are automatically selected such as dot gain curves, ICC profiles, screening and PDF Print Engine settings. With the addition of PressTune with its analytic functions and gathering of color data, it is now possible to identify potential problems at a much earlier stage, and also to optimize maintenance planning of the printing presses.
“With Agfa´s PressTune, we have the possibility today to verify if a specific job or print run is printed according to the intended ISO standard. In this way, we can have an incredible control over our presses’ output.”
Ink reduction tools
For most of the commercial offset jobs, TMG uses Agfa’s InkTune software.
“It is an integrated part of Apogee where we can control the black threshold and the overall ink consumption (GCR) on the rendered sheet. That way, we achieve a much more stable grey balance and reduced ink consumption without quality loss.”
What have you concluded from your press analysis?
“With the correct dot gain curves and a stable printing process, we dramatically shorten our make-ready times and waste. With InkTune, we lower the overall waste even more. Initially, we used InkTune to reduce the risk of smearing due to overinking on the paper. Now we use it for a more stable grey balance and a better overall print result. The fact that we also save ink, roughly 20%, is of course good for both the environment and our wallet.”
With the correct dot gain curves and a stable printing process, we dramatically shorten our make-ready times and waste. With InkTune, we lower the overall waste even more. And we save roughly 20% ink.
What effects do you see in your business overall?
“We notice that our customers really appreciate our products. The printed results are simply really good looking. There are many jobs we just would not get if we could not achieve the quality we have today. When it comes to automation, we are really pushing the envelope there too. “
There are many jobs we just would not get if we could not achieve the quality we have today.
Working with Agfa´s solutions has proved to be very successful now that the coronavirus is spreading globally and working from home is preferred.
“In these corona times, we are very happy that we have the possibility to work from home. We have workflows that allow sales colleagues to sit at their kitchen table and send jobs to our workflows on their own. Ten minutes later, the CTP lines are outputting plates!”
The verdict on the partnership with Agfa also gets high scores.
“Agfa has always been a safe and stable partner to work with, for both hard- and software. We have meetings every six months where we get the possibility to get an update on upcoming features or products and to give feedback. If we have any production stops due to the equipment, the service is always quick and professional.”
written and photographed by Redaktör Claes Nordström