CIP4 and GATF announce product certification programme

Foundation (GATF) signed an agreement to develop JDF-enabled application testing, product testing, and certification programmes.

Under the terms of this five-year agreement, GATF will work in cooperation with CIP4’s Interoperability and other working groups to develop certification testing methods for different classes of printing and prepress software, systems, and equipment.

James Harvey, CIP4 executive director, says, “To specify exactly what individual classes of devices need to do with JDF, CIP4 members are developing ‘Interoperability Conformance Specifications’ [ICS] that will provide the standard for individual classes of devices. In practice, no single device is likely to utilise all that the JDF specification provides for. For instance, if you are in the digital printing business, you may not care to facilitate data on hard case binding. A rip need not facilitate JDF preflighting. A Stitcher probably doesn’t need to handle image-rendering data. These specifications will provide users with a resource designed to facilitate the implementation of the JDF specification.”

Once published, ICS documents will be used as the basis for certification testing by GATF. CIP4 has signed GATF to an exclusive North American contract to be the first certification testing facility. Others facilities may be later added in Europe and Asia, and GATF will assume the role of the lead facility.

Once the JDF Certification program is in operation, users will start seeing products that are marked with the “JDF Certified” logo. This certification will be to a specific ICS document and class of device.

The ICS documents are all currently in draft form and only in circulation among members of CIP4, but once published, like the JDF standard itself, they will be freely available to the public.

George Ryan, GATF executive vice president and COO, says, “Several manufactures have already contributed JDF-enabled products to GATF and we’ve been impressed by what we’ve learned so far. GATF is committed to providing the technical and educational resources that printers and the graphic arts industry at large demands and this is an exciting opportunity for GATF to play a key role in the evolution from 20th century printing to 21st century printing.”

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