Markzware Lands Flightcheck Professional 5.0
Having recently migrated to Mac OS X, Cox kept bugging Markzware for a version compatible with Mac OS X. "They said it was under development," Cox says. "After I nagged them enough times about this and that and various features, they invited me to be a beta tester."
Cox also found FlightCheck's 'collection' function to be a valuable tool for Smurfit-Stone's designers. "Once a job's completed, we run it through FlightCheck, and it gathers all the fonts and images into a single package [for upload]," Cox says. "It saves them a lot of time."
The production team's days are filled with an array of customer-supplied digital files; mostly Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia's FreeHand, Quark's QuarkXPress, and Adobe PDFs; other file formats, such as Word DOCs also arrive occasionally.
Regardless of the file type received, they're scanned for errors on receipt by the preflight operator. They won't be passed on to customer service, according to Smurfit-Stone policy, without first clearing this preflight check.
"We scan all formats [on arrival]," Cox says. "Once a job clears preflight, it's returned to customer service, where the information collected during preflight is compiled, and a work order is written up." Then the job travels to production, and is used to drive plates or film.
Having been through several upgrades of previous FlightCheck versions, Cox expected FlightCheck Pro 5 to pick up where version 4.0 left off. But he also had some specific features in mind, which he wanted to see in the upgrade. After all, Markzware isn't the only preflight tools vendor in the industry.
Competition among preflight tools vendors to land customers like Cox is heated. If FlightCheck Professional 5 didn't serve up the features Cox deemed crucial for a modern preflight file validation tool, he could easily switch to Enfocus, Agfa, Adobe, or some other tool vendor.