Boston, MA (PRWEB) February 17, 2006 -–
Frontline Systems, the leading independent vendor of photolab workflow software, is announcing the release of Frontline 3.0. This software, which runs on standard Windows XP systems, allows an unprecedented degree of automation, labor savings, and high quality output. Frontline, based in Stockholm, Sweden and its US distributor expect the new software to have a profound impact on the competitive stance and growth of small and midsize labs throughout North America. They will be showing the software at booth 3280 at PMA in Orlando, February 25th through March 1st.
Based on its successful experience supplying pro labs such as Abar (Providence, RI), BWC (Dallas, TX), Supercolor (Los Angeles, CA), and Color Services (Santa Barbara, CA) Frontline is now targeting two main categories of customer with 3.0 – the many small independent labs who have to lower their per-print costs and keep improving print quality to stay a step ahead of large retail chains, and a growing class of wholesale fulfillment labs which are emerging to supply Internet market niches. Both groups can benefit from Frontline 3.0’s automated approach to image production.
1. Supports all minilab equipment and printers
From the first release of Frontline 1.0 four years ago, the company’s philosophy has been consistent – the goal is to bring the business of the independent photo processor into the 21st century with new product offerings and market share growth. Frontline 1.0 worked only with Fuji Frontier minilab hardware, and Frontline 2.0 added support for Noritsu and Durst minilabs as well as any output device supported by a Windows print driver. Frontline 3.0 adds support for Agfa and Kis-PhotoMe minilabs and Gretag, ZBE and Epson large format photo printers, making it possible for nearly any combination of lab hardware from different vendors to be operated as a seamless unit. This is a tremendous advantage over proprietary minilab systems, which cannot be extended by adding scanners and printers from other hardware vendors.
2. Integrated auto-correction and ICC calibration
Frontline 3.0 integrates state-of-the-art image auto correction (ACC) so that the vast majority of images, including those submitted from digital media, can be processed in a hands-off fashion. Frontline also seamlessly integrates ICC color transformation, so that a routine profiling of the scanner, display and printer devices results in accurate, locked-in color end to end throughout the system. This is a second major differentiator from the proprietary workflows of the minilab vendors themselves, which are built around proprietary color management schemes which do not extend to third party software and hardware.
3. Fluid, powerful ColorStation image adjustment tool
The third major breakthrough in Frontline 3.0 is its new ColorStation image adjustment software, a client-server tool that can be run on multiple workstations within the lab. ColorStation functions in a pass-through mode, where the images being processed remain on the Frontline server. The workstation user can easily scroll between the images in a selected job, preview image quality and ACC and ICC effects on the image, and if necessary apply further manual corrections such as high, mid, and low-lone color adjustments in each color segment as well as onscreen cropping. Adjustments and crops can be saved and applied across multiple images with ease. Because ColorStation adjustments are easily extended to a full batch of images through its intuitive interface, very high levels of productivity can be reached, and reorders and job modifications can be accomplished in record time.
4. Multiple input sources including kiosks and web applications
Frontline’s final breakthrough is the way the system now supports a wide range of inputs of digital files. Today’s labs are having to find ways to diversify, by extending their sources of business and ways to obtain images from their clients. Frontline 3.0 uses the industry-standard XML command language, as well as translators for many types of kiosk and Web ordering systems, to allow the system’s automated workflow to be driven by the widest range of input sources in addition to minilab scanners. Three optional Web modules – FrontWeb Express (for consumer orders), FrontWeb Design (for greeting cards and other templated products), and FrontWeb Prefix (for web-driven large format orders) are being offered as options for simplifying the input workflow from the Web to Frontline. These modules can be integrated with existing Web sites to provide robust back-end ordering functions in a way that the lab controls directly. Third party applications, such as those from Whitech and SeeFile, have also been successfully tested with Frontline 3.0, and others can easily be integrated with the system’s extensible architecture. This type of open-ended input capability makes Frontline a perfect match for emerging Internet fulfillment labs, or for smaller labs using multiple Web services to bring in additional orders.
Frontline 3.0, ColorStation, FrontWeb Express, FrontWeb Design, and Frontweb Prefix are available immediately from Idea Storage Networks, Frontline’s North American distributor. Inquiries should be directed to Sam Bogoch, Idea’s CEO, at 617-262-2902, or Mark Isaacson, Frontline product manager.
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