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View Full Version : Experience with Alwan CMYK Optimizer?


robert.hammen
03-30-2007, 03:38 PM
Anyone out there familiar with Alwan's ColorHub and CMYK Optimizer?

http://www.alwancolor.com/english/products/cmyk_optimizer.html

It's basically GCR software... supposed to remove 3-color grey with black, and thus save on ink (as well as potentially help shorten make-ready times, though I've heard that argument before).

Wondering if anyone out there has ever looked at it/owns it, and has any experience integrating this into a Prinergy workflow.

If it could help reduce ink usage the ROI would be short. I'm just looking for any "real-world" experience.

Thanks, in advance, for any feedback,

--Robert

t.combepine
03-30-2007, 05:15 PM
We do some test with this App.

We send some Pdf's to Alwan and they send modified Pdf.

On screen, no visual difference beetween the original and the modified file.
But when you compare separation you see the difference.

We put a run on our Goss M600, work fine.
but we didn't try on a luxury job.

I think it's a deviceLink technology...

I hope trying the GMG Technology soon.

jakef
04-09-2007, 03:22 PM
We have been using it for a while. There are some outstanding issues that we are pushing Alwan on. We send all our image files through the Optimizer after receiving them from the customer, prior to output.

- OS 9 file type/creator code info is stripped out of optimized files
- filenames are often changed ie. file called 123.456 renamed to 123.tif, .tiff files are renames .tif
- tiff with clipping paths will have the clipping paths removed in the optimized file
- Optimizer will ignore any part of an image that is masked with an alpha channel and will not include that part of the image in the optimized file. Something to watch out for.
- jpegs, after optimization, are missing metadata that causes QuarkXpress to think the linear resolution has changed and re-linking causes the image to come in larger

We like the ability of the Optimizer to convert images using device-link profiles, that is not the problem. Colour isn't the issue.

We have been testing an alpha version under NDA but there are still issues. We are looking at alternatives.

jakef
04-09-2007, 03:24 PM
We do some test with this App.

We send some Pdf's to Alwan and they send modified Pdf.

On screen, no visual difference beetween the original and the modified file.
But when you compare separation you see the difference.

We put a run on our Goss M600, work fine.
but we didn't try on a luxury job.

I think it's a deviceLink technology...

I hope trying the GMG Technology soon.

Could you be more specific about the GMG technology. We are looking at alternatives as well.

andy.woolcott
04-10-2007, 12:40 PM
We use the Alwan solution and aside from a few niggles (which you get with any software) all is fine.

We are a 100% pdf workflow here, so i have no expirence using it with tiffs etc. We currently use it for all of our jobs and are getting good results. Workflow wise we will be implementing an RBA workflow.

Any questions i will try my best to answer :o)

nhloewen
06-04-2007, 04:25 PM
Anyone using RBA and/or smart hotlfolders to move files in and out of the Alwan hotfolders?

zoranj
06-06-2007, 01:56 AM
Andy, are you using imposed PDF's or loose ones?
How does report works, is it accurate?

I played with a demo and it was ok but I played only with loose PDF's.

Did you have to change your curves, colour sequence on press, etc??

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks

andy.woolcott
06-06-2007, 10:29 AM
Zoranj, we use single or multi page pdf's as the optimizer is pre Prinergy. The reports are pretty accurate and sure that more development is being done to get these reports streamlined into a workflow, as my only issue was that collating them was very manual.

As for harmony, we print to iso standards. I have set optimizer to these standards and use harmony to adjust for dot gain. Printing sequence has stayed the same.

Hope this helps.

zoranj
06-07-2007, 02:51 AM
Thanks Andy.

nhloewen
06-27-2007, 02:22 PM
Zoranj, we use single or multi page pdf's as the optimizer is pre Prinergy. The reports are pretty accurate and sure that more development is being done to get these reports streamlined into a workflow, as my only issue was that collating them was very manual.

As for harmony, we print to iso standards. I have set optimizer to these standards and use harmony to adjust for dot gain. Printing sequence has stayed the same.

Hope this helps.

So you run your PDFs through before any refining in Prinergy? When they set up ours they suggested that we do it after the initial refine.

tclifford
06-27-2007, 02:38 PM
How much does the software cost?

zoranj
06-29-2007, 02:30 AM
There are several versions.
One we were looking into was US$ 7.000.
This version gives you Dynamic TAC as well as hot folders monitoring.

The only higher version could be one with load balancing/multithreading for really large installations.

andy.woolcott
07-02-2007, 01:59 PM
nhloewen, yes we are currently running them through before an initial refine. This is purely until we finish the workflow and get RBA to handle the files out and back into Prinergy for us. Once this is done we will be doing an initial refine before optimization.

tony.lynn
07-02-2007, 09:53 PM
We have been working with Alwan since September 06 - We use RBA to push out the file through the job hot folder and then the file is separated defined by the Prinergy job code (Paper 1 or 3 for example) and then the Alwan server spits the files into a Prinergy smart hot folder which then returns the file to the correct job home using hot folders.

This part we are very happy with - this process is invisible to the operators and has dramtically reduced the risk of the files going through the incorrect separation profile - only concerns are that the Alwan servers are not yet able to be clustered yet also we have found that this workflow when processing a large volume of files put Primary server under a great deal of strain. Clients using workshop just have to wait - network node overloaded perhaps?????

There have also been issues with the application freezing which is a real plain and the networking issues between windows 2000 and OSX.

But on the whole it does what it says on the side of tin and it does reduce your ink bill.

andy.woolcott
07-03-2007, 11:42 AM
Hiya Tony, welcome to the forums!

Interesting about what you say regarding the extra strain on the Primary, are you getting any issues with Primary other than having to wait for your files? or when you say about waiting for files, do you mean waiting for them to optimize and not for Primary to move them.

Are you running Alwan File Manager?

jamie.stotz
07-03-2007, 03:13 PM
Tony, I'm interested in the RBA part of what you described. Do you initially send the files into the actual job? If you send it into another job that is just for the initial refine of every job, what do you do to the files after you send them out to Alwan? Do you delete them? Do you delete the whole job and recreate it?

Also, I thought that Prinergy could already do devicelink conversions, What does Alwan do that Prinergy can't?

tony.lynn
07-04-2007, 10:43 AM
Hi - here is a brief description of what we do - When we set up any job in Prinergy we defined the separation parametres by the Prinergy Job code (under Edit job attributes) for example 1_120dpi - this will mean that the pages will separate using the ISO_Coated profile - Each job is set up with two hot folders - No 1 = Add input file - this sends the files to the Alwan solution and locates the correct in folder profile from the job code reference - the the when Alwan optimises the file it goes onto Asura for Pre-Flighting - then once complete goes into a Prinergy Smart hot folder which then places the file back into the relevant job - if the file has passed pre-flight then it will go into the 2nd hot folder called refine - if it fails Asura will tac it with an extension to the file header _Fail and the file along with the report of why it failed will go into the User Defined folder of the job into a folder called failed pre-flight and then the operators look into why it failed - simple really.

The load on the primary is running so many hot folders and RBA pushing and pulling data - if your primary is running JTP's as well it all gets a little to much in my opinion - Tony

jamie.stotz
07-05-2007, 02:42 PM
So for each input file, you end up with an initial version and a version that has been through Alwan? Do you delete the initial ones manually or does RBA do that automatically?

tony.lynn
07-06-2007, 08:17 AM
Hi Jamie - No we keep the input file as we need somthing to reference against - has Alwan screwed up a file or Prinergy - Indesign PDF's with the incredible number of layers in the PDF have caused problems however if we were to measure this against files the number of pages processed OK it wouldn't be even 1%.

Has seen an image from another page appear in another page - intially thought it was Alwan but because we had the input, and the file that Alwan spits out we were able to show the guys at Kodak that it was Prinergy which messed up.

So effectively we have doubled the volume of data - not happy about this really but I don't see any other option. One of our sister plants has had a lot more problems with this technology than ourselves.

pbriggs
04-14-2010, 10:26 AM
Hi Tony,

How do you configure the smart hotfolder to put the page back into the correct job?

All I can see in the "Edit Smart Hotfolder" file move rules is "move to location" where you can browse to a set location.

I'm trying to achieve something similar to you:

1. Send pages to GMG InkOptimizer

2. GMG then sends files back into a Smart Hotfolder

3. This moves the files back into the job


It's point 3 I can't figure out

andy.woolcott
04-14-2010, 10:32 AM
You can use RBA to append the file names out of Prinergy with the job name, this way when the files come back from the optimiser and hit the Smart Hotfolders the hotfolders can use the jobname part of the filename to find the job again. The jobname part of the filename can be removed again using the hotfolder.

I believe this is how Tony uses it aswell. :o)

pbriggs
04-14-2010, 10:44 AM
Thanks Andy - but I can't figure out how it finds the original job even if I do use the jobname variable.

It's the "File Move Rules" that's throwing me - where do I specify the destination based on [$Jobname] when all I can click is "Browse..."

Sorry for my ignorance this is my first go at using smart hotfolders

andy.woolcott
04-14-2010, 11:16 AM
Ok, assuming that you have workflowed the files into the Alwan and have set the output of the Alwan to point to a smart hotfolder.

The smart hotfolder is configured as a job creator and looks for the jobname attached to the filename
Here is an example of the file naming convention coming back from Alan.
[$JobName]+-+-+[$FileName].pdf

After this the target jobname pattern is [$JobName] and the files are moved to the jobs hotfolder.

Hope this helps.

pbriggs
04-14-2010, 01:42 PM
brilliant - thanks

ts
04-14-2010, 03:08 PM
Hi

I don’t know if you have access til the GMG Support site... But if you have you can go to Support -> Workflow Integration and here you will find that GMG have made several descriptions and rules to do the integration between Alwan and Prinergy.

We used those as a starting point for our setup.

pbriggs
04-14-2010, 03:20 PM
thanks I'll take a look.

Was thinking I could use the 'File Mover' option rather than 'Job Creator' option in Smart Hotfolder setup

pbriggs
04-21-2010, 05:30 PM
Well, I've downloaded and installed the GMG ruleset V3 but I'm having problems getting it to run properly.

I've followed the instructions carefully but when I run the Rule Set nothing happens (the file doesn't move into the hotfolder I've set up.

When I check the RBA Status / Rule Set History I see an error "Parameters Failed" which I think points to the GMG-Conversion element of the rule.

There's not a lot to configure so maybe I've made a basic error with the paths to the hotfolders?

This is what I've tried - I'm not a Windows user so it's entirely possible that this is wrong:

'Path of the Hotfolder and Outputfolder at GMG
HotfolderName = "GMG_Coated" 'Name of the GMG Hotfolder conversion, e.g. "ISOcoated 39", "InkOptimizer G3 GraCOL"
Hotfolder = "Z:\Jobs\1_GMG\Coated\in"
Outfolder = "Z:\Jobs\1_GMG\Coated\out"



Has anyone else successfully used this rule set?