The AFP Consortium to make strides in the world of printing
Harald Weinhandl, Manager of Product Development, has been involved in the AFP Consortium for more than 15 years. He has represented Objectif Lune on the Consortium from the start, and he explained to us the importance of this type of collaboration for our industry.
AFP Consortium plays a vital role in helping the print industry adapt to change
The AFP Consortium is an international group of professionals from across the print industry. It is designed to discuss standards and the architecture of printing technologies in order to offer enhancements that reflect current realities.
Since the print world is constantly changing, printer and software suppliers are sometimes faced with particular issues in the field. The AFP Consortium is precisely the place to bring concerns and suggestions for improvement.
Since it is made up of experts from the print field, whether they are printer manufacturers or software developers, the AFP Consortium can influence and change both standards and architecture. It brings together 29 companies of all sizes, including market competitors! Quite impressive—wouldn’t you say?
Digital transformation implies updating standards
The AFP Consortium has a number of achievements under its belt, although those achievements are not necessarily well known. For example, a few years ago, the industry was experiencing problems with Arabic and Indian writing in PDF documents, especially when it came to Unicode. So a few members submitted an enhancement to the AFP Consortium. Following a vote in favour of the enhancement, the Consortium’s task forces examined it and then it was given to members to be developed. The whole process, from the time of the vote to implementation, took 3 to 4 years. But now the enhancement is being enjoyed by a number of companies.
A hub for networking and constructive meetings
Harald has represented Objectif Lune on the AFP Consortium for more than 15 years. By attending its meetings, he keeps abreast of developments and technological advances in the sector.
Yet he finds that the meetings are especially vital in developing our network of partners and associates. He meets many of the industry players at the Consortium meetings, and cultivates ties and even collaborates on problems with them.
Some time ago, a member company of the Consortium was experiencing problems with its printers and contacted Harald. Together they came up with a solution and developed a software emulator to address the company’s problems. The solution may be very valuable to us in future in helping remote customers, especially those who are too far away for us to go on site and look at their problem. So exchanges between members of the Consortium lead to benefits for all!
A bit of background on the Consortium
The AFP Consortium is certainly not in its infancy. When it was founded by IBM in 2004, it was called the AFP Color Consortium and focused mainly on introducing colours into print architectures. Now AFP or “Advanced Function Presentation” has expanded to include anything directly or indirectly related to printing architecture and standards and how to improve them.
The Consortium’s 29 member companies meet twice a year. The first event of the year always takes place in Colorado and is hosted by Ricoh. The location of the second meeting differs from year to year, with one of the other member companies playing host.
Is your company also looking to advance and adapt to today’s digital changes? Contact one of our advisors to find out how we can help!
About Harald Weinhandl
Harald Weinhandl has been Manager of Product Development at Objectif Lune for over 15 years and one of the very first members IBM invited to attend the AFP Consortium meetings. Drawing on his 25 years of experience, he provides strategic advice in the areas of printing and document composition.
Check out Harald’s profile on LinkedIn.
Visit the AFP Consortium’s website to find out more on this group.