"With the variety of programs we accept from our customers on both the Macintosh OS9 & OSX and Windows 98 - XP platforms, a common trapping solution was needed. We had tried a few other trapping software packages (including ECRM's integrated trapping, and a few others), but found them either too expensive or the learning curve was more difficult than traditional "strippers" could understand.
Cheri Swan says: "I-Trap™ basic functions didn't require extensive training and had an intuitive interface. You can "see" the traps, either as the inks are naturally applied, or by creating a third "highlight" color to make them stand out. You could also print these proofs out for the pressmen to see and make any adjustments before film or plates are made."
Before I-Trap we used clumsy and often fallible application based trapping. Hoping that the application, or myself, could trap all areas without missing anything, if it could be trapped at all. Having used I-Trap for over two years now, Cheri describes her feelings as follows: "Less stress on my part when I see complex files come in on newer software. Right now it happens to be OS X or Windows XP and Adobe's Creative Suite or MSPublisher. I know that if I can get the file to a PDF or postscript file, I-Trap can trap it."
I-Trap was up and functioning within our existing workflow within a week. This included the time to learn how to use it. Support has been outstanding and Email responses are quick. "However, if I am unable to explain or understand something, the remote viewer function has allowed the support group to view my computer, see what I see, and walk me through the solution." - Cheri says.
I-Trap allows us to take files created in a variety of programs and platforms (including an occasional UNIX file) and trap them. This has made it easier for our customers that know what trapping is and don't want the hassle of dealing with it themselves. It's also made it easier on me when trapping files from customers who just want their files to work.
"The feature that I use the most (other than I-Trap itself) is the Graphical Configuration Tool. It allows me to alter the way the inks relate to each other. For example, I can make a solid yellow trap into a screened blue where it might normally default to the opposite direction." - says Cheri.
A typical job that we often perform is an 2 PMS color oversize brochure that prints on both sides and contains duotones, bleeds, screens, at least one gradient and transparency effects, built in Illustrator 10 or above. Try and trap that in Illustrator. It can't be done, but I-Trap can and HAS trapped a brochure like this. We also get business cards built in Illustrator 10 or above that use the drop shadow effect. The trouble with that is, there is no physical link. Some of the other trapping software programs wouldn't recognize the drop shadow effect. But if you can get it to the RIP, I-Trap will trap it. So, our investment in I-Trap has been returned many times over. Cheri advises: "Download the software and try it out. Save up some of your worst-case files. I'll bet that I-Trap will handle them with ease."
"The problems associated with the highly competitive nature of the industry remain very relevant for most commercial printing companies, and Printel is not an exception. We have tried to develop methods that give additional value over our competitors and to avoid some of the inevitable problems of printing such as misregistration.
Trapping is virtually unknown in our area - this is partially because European printers use positive working process in platemaking so trapping problems are not so apparent. But Printel has chosen to use trapping in our workflow anyway to gain more quality and to reduce costs. We have been looking for all possible solutions, which would satisfy our needs and solve our problems.
Marko Rakar says: "Actually, we have been Scenicsoft/Creo TrapWise users from the very beginning and we switched from TrapWise to I-Trap because in our view it is better positioned in our workflow. Trapping is time consuming, if you trap files in the first stages of your workflow and then have to replace a page or some elements you multiply time required to do that. Also, I-Trap works automatically, if set properly does not require user intervention and can work on its own."
Natko adds: "I-Trap was much more flexible than all the other solutions we considered and since product is integrated with our RIP it removes one work step in our workflow and thus lessens workload on our prepress operators. We are also sure that because of omission or speed issues there is not a chance that file will be left untrapped."
Over two years ago, our initial version of I-Trap was installed to our ScriptWorks RIP and started working from very first try. Using I-Trap we solved three things that bothered us: I-Trap after initial setup works automatically and no operator intervention is required. I-Trap is integrated with our RIP platform so we have removed one step from our workflow, and I-Trap is positioned in a way so that there is no chance that files can bypass trapping and go to production untrapped. The result of this is that we now have faster workflow with less manpower required.
Since that time, I-Trap has gone through a series of updates and improvements. The current version of I-Trap has been recently released, and it is very solid. I can't remember any reason we've needed to contact I-Trap support: The trapping core is rock solid and we have never had any problems. Presales support was swift and highly competent and this was also one of the reasons why we choose I-Trap. We felt that if any problem occurred, proper people would handle it right away.
Printel has used I-Trap 100% of the time since it was installed over two years ago and there has not been a single job that was not trapped with I-Trap. We do not talk about I-Trap much; it simply runs on our RIP, it does not create problems and it handles our files well. We have yet to see a single wrong trap. I think we should say that our satisfaction is as high as it gets. I-Trap is one of the rare software packages that we have installed and forgotten about; I-Trap simply runs on top of our RIP and does its work well.
So using I-Trap, Printel achieved its goals: we have simplified our workflow, which runs faster, and our products are therefore cheaper. People start valuing trapping only when a customer returns a print job because of poor register during printing. We have never had any returned products because of trapping problems. "I guess we could say that I-Trap paid for itself a long time ago; I-Trap cost is similar to the value of two or three average print jobs - we have paid it off many times over but thankfully we will never know how much money we have saved", concludes Marko Rakar. Implementing trapping in your workflow is an easy and inexpensive way to increase value to your customers and ease the quality control load on your printer. I-Trap was an easy purchase decision that was made even easier after we installed and started using it."