IBM Announces Breakthrough Technology in Color Printing

A Business Tool That Will Help Change the Way Companies Use Color

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BOULDER, Colo - 25 Oct 2000: IBM today announced breakthrough color printing technology that bridges the gap between traditional transactional statements and personalized color graphic printing applications for commercial and corporate print shops. The IBM Infoprint* Color 130 Plus digital printing solution incorporates advanced technology that features 38 new technologies with patents pending, providing high print speeds, excellent print quality and the ability to print fully variable content, full-color pages that can enhance end-user satisfaction.

Commercial printers can now accommodate more complex types of print jobs; corporate print shops now have the power to produce color statements and color customized brochures using existing Advanced Function Presentation* (AFP*) applications; and consumers can obtain satisfaction of receiving documents, in color and customized to their exact needs. Just as the Web offers the benefits of delivering graphics-rich, personalized information electronically, the Infoprint Color 130 Plus offers the flexibility of bringing high-quality, customized information to individuals through the printed page. The Infoprint Color 130 Plus, combined with IBM's Infoprint Manager or Print Services Facility* (PSF)* for OS/390* and a new AFP print driver will enable businesses to leverage existing data used in transactional statements to produce fully variable content pages at speeds up to 138 impressions-per-minute (ipm). Highly personalized full-color financial statements and collateral can now be seamlessly created using a single printer. AFP features of the Infoprint Color 130 Plus lower the cost of operation by automating production workflow and ensuring data integrity.

Traditionally, digital print workflow follows a pattern of preparing an entire print job, followed by RIPing or processing the entire job, all before printing. Now, when using AFP output servers and an AFP color printer, workflow is automated to minimize operator time and improve printer utilization on high volume applications. The Infoprint Color 130 Plus RIPs and prints pages sequentially. Images are pre-loaded into cache memory and once RIPed, images can be stored within the printer to be easily reused. This process eliminates potential hours spent on RIP time.

AFP also provides page level error recovery, a critical feature when printing variable content. The page level control detects when an error occurs, and under system control, the printer will automatically restart a print job exactly where it stopped. This eliminates the need to restart a print job from the beginning, which reduces costs associated with production errors or system failures.

"An AFP-enabled digital color press delivers uncommonly powerful benefits to marketing departments, IT departments and digital print providers, making it feasible to print personalized full-color statements and marketing brochures with graphic-arts-quality output," said Bill McCracken, general manager, IBM Printing Systems."In short, AFP is changing the way companies use color to their economic advantage, enabling them to create color financial statements that integrate highly targeted promotions and valuable messages."

CAP Ventures estimates that the annual number of impressions printed on production process-color digital printers will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 39 percent -- from 5.2 billion to 27.2 billion -- over the next five years [1]. With the expected significant increase of printed color output, IBM AFP-enabled digital color printers are well positioned to seize these new opportunities in color printing.

IBM patent pending technologies have been implemented exclusively in the Infoprint Color 130 Plus. The patent pending technologies, co-developed by IBM Research and IBM Printing Systems include:

These IBM exclusive technologies are built on the success of AFP as the leading data stream for printing data-intensive documents. This new printing technology expands on the benefits of AFP systems and drives productivity and quality enhancements. AFP has evolved to meet color printing requirements and has become a platform that can readily accept and print Encapsulated PostScript** and PDF files at a high speed. Logos or graphics created with popular design tools like QuarkXPress**, Adobe Illustrator** or Adobe PageMaker** can now be used in color AFP applications and printed with the Infoprint Color 130 Plus. This allows customers to maximize their use of PostScript images by merging them into dynamic data stream printing, making AFP the enabler of variable content printing.

IBM AFP Color Printing at Commerzbank
Commerzbank AG of Germany has already realized the benefits of printing AFP applications in full-color. The bank has installed two AFP-enabled Infoprint Color 100 printers that produce customized, color statements for its Asset Management customers.

"Only IBM could offer us a solution that would enable us to print our existing AFP applications in full-color. One of the best advantages of the IBM Infoprint Color solution is that applications, output formats and interfaces of our systems needed no modifications," Heinrich Kaczmarczyk, manager of output processing/printing operation, Commerzbank.

Pricing and Availability
The IBM Infoprint Color 130 Plus, announced worldwide today, will have a U.S. list price of $750,000 and will be generally available beginning December 15, 2000. The IBM system will be sold directly from IBM and will be offered with affordable and flexible financing options from IBM Global Financing.

About IBM Printing Systems

IBM Printing Systems specializes in output solutions for e-business. It focuses on information and output management solutions that enhance operations, maximize efficiencies, reduce costs and create new business opportunities. A leader in production print solutions, print-on-demand technologies, distributed print technologies, one-to-one marketing initiatives and print management software, IBM Printing Systems' offerings include printers, software, consultation, systems integration, supplies, service and support. For more information, visit

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[1] CAP Ventures 1999-2004 U.S. Print On Demand Market Forecast Summary and Data Tables

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