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What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

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  • What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

    You may find this interesting as to how far we are integrating JDF with Prinect::

    [http://www.us.heidelberg.com/www/htm...tentid=309035]


    Regards,

    Mark Tonkovich
    Heidelberg USA
    Product Manager, CtP & Proofing
    Mark Tonkovich
    Heidelberg USA

  • #2
    Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

    Very interesting read Mark. I am curious as to what you and the others think about the future of automation, and general efficiency of these full-featured end-to-end systems. It's almost scary how much the human beings are being cut out by automated software that allows machines to talk to machines.

    My take...

    First step Pre-flight (read: customer file corrections) will almost always be a necessary evil. As long as there are people designing things that don't know how to design them correctly for print there will be a need for pre-flight personnel. Imposition will almost certainly completely replaced by MIS software, plating technicians are already either gone or on the way out with the devices such as the Heidelberg MCL. It wouldn't be hard to design a machine to feed the plate feeder. So that leaves somebody to make the customers file print like they actually want then building a mockup out of the proof (the PDF proofing method seems to also be eliminating this albeit very slowly). Prepress Interface send then inking data and job data to the press then an automatic inking system inks the press. It's only a matter of time before automated fork-lift like machines are loading the stock with RFID tags (this could already be happening). Then you really only need a few more pieces to cut the press operator out namely some kind of on-press scanning technology that can read the sheets as they come out, and some kind of robotics to hang the plate(s) and remove the plate(s) when done. Maybe a futuristic DI technology really could be the future here. With xerography this is already taken hold, you punch in a few variables and the machine gives you a finished product. The robots then take it to the also networked folder, cutter, binder and packager.

    It seems to me that in the long run this industry will have 3 or 4 basic types of employees. Owner, Sales/Order Entry, Pre-flight and Robotics Technician to fix the machines when the machines can't fix themselves or fix each other.

    I'm not some kind of loony conspiracy theorist. I don't fear the machines. I think that many people will be hostile to much of this integration. I recently finished reading +The World Is Flat+ by Thomas Friedman, which I highly recommend. Friedman's insight into the current, past and future other industries and fields is incredibly compelling and really made me think and evaluate what the future holds for print in general.

    Just my two cents...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

      Hi geharnischt,

      Interesting topic!

      For sure preflighting files and making sure they are correct will be around for a long time. Remember, we use to have large, expensive Typesetting and the stripping department at a large printer had forty light tables and 8 contact frames. Separations were done on camera, then scanners and now sw with images from digital cameras. Technology continues to march. Back in those days you had weeks to prepare a job, now you have days.

      I guess I look at automation form several perspectives. I was the system manager at a web printer that manufactured retail catalogues. This was in the 80's, we output composed spreads from Chromacom systems and the strippers would strip into flats. The catalogues ranged from 16 page to over 100. When a job would come back form the client, we were close to press time, so I would review the forms for corrections and then determine which form I could correct the fastest and get to press. This would take hours a day. With Printready, you can have the forms automatically populate the templates as approved. First complete form would continue on then for proofing and/or plating. If I had this back then, I could have utilized my time more efficiently and perhaps even cut back my hours (which I would have enjoyed).

      Another aspect that has to be taken into consideration is the Global Economy, how do you compete with countries that have very low wages and therefore low cost of manufacturing? Automation is one way to reduce the cost and maintain the business.

      I remember when growing up there was talk of 35 hour work weeks and long, leisure vacations that will be the standard. Contrary, at least in the U.S., most people work more then 40 hours a week and our vacation is not as much as Europe. We could not dream of taking a month off. Perhaps here, the automation will allow us to get to that 35 hour week and 6 weeks vacation B-)

      Will we ever be able to go lights out production completely???? Hard to say...I heard a statistic that 80% of all jobs created have some sort of change and as long as us imperfect humans implement the change, we need to follow up to insure it is correct. This is why we have the multiple proofing cycles and QC check points.

      On the other hand, look what automation has done for the automobile industry, typically today's cars have better quality.

      Regards,

      Mark
      Mark Tonkovich
      Heidelberg USA

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

        So Mark, If what you say is true, my 40+ hrs week will be cut. The money my family depends on will be cut. I'll have to get a 2nd job to keep up. Which means working more hrs, more driving and less family time so a company can compete with Mexico.
        I'm all over it. Thank Friend. Good look out

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

          HI LRob,

          I do not want to argue the points of the Global Economy and how do you combat work leaving to countries that have cheap labor...you have to be able to compete to keep the work, if you do not have the work, then you eventually will not have a business, Efficiency is one way one way to combat this, more productivity with the same amount of people by automating tasks via workflow.

          Last Sunday there was an article on how the US workers work some of the longest hours with one of the highest level of productivity. We were second to one other country. This made me reflect back to the grade school readers that promised a 35 hour work week and a 6 week vacation. This never materialized in the U.S., at least not where I ever worked. I can tell you I would be content with a 40 hour week instead of my 50+, But hey, Graph Expo is coming, lets raise the bar to 60.

          Note, this is my personal opinion, not my employers

          Regards,

          Mark
          Mark Tonkovich
          Heidelberg USA

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

            > {quote:title=marktonk wrote:}{quote}
            > For sure preflighting files and making sure they are correct will be around for a long time.

            Don't count on it. Widely used in Europe for file submission to publications is a PDF system that verifies the file. If it's wrong it emails the originator and tells the what to correct. It won't even pass the file/infomation onto a planner until it's passed the automated approval. From there all the planner is doing is telling the JDF system where on the sheet to put the files.

            The end is coming for sure.

            __________________
            Lammy

            EPP Manager • Brass City Printery
            OSX 10.4.10 • RAMpage 9.4 • Dynastrip 4.2
            EFI Colorproof XF • Avantra 30 • Epson 7600
            Matthew "LAMMY" Lamoureux
            918 Printery - Ad artem artium conservatricem conservandam

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

              Well if the jobs move away from file prep they will have to open up in areas of implementation and managing these automated systems. Plus you always would need someone around in case somethings goes wrong. Unless they can make a computer react as quickly and independantly as a human.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

                Mark
                This seems very biased to Heidelberg - who commissioned the article

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

                  Hi Peter,

                  The article is from Whattheythink.com. Andrew Tribute is a frequent contributing writer for them so I would imagine Whattheythink.com commissioned it. Andrew is part of their eXpert Row Commentary and writes Tribute Tuesdays. Other industry experts such as Frank Romano write for them too. Andrew is also a contributing writer for Seybold amongst other publications.

                  That being said, Heidelberg does has the unique benefit of developing sw for not only prepress, presses and post press along with manufacturing the above. This provides us the opportunity of more extensive integration than any other company due to having a common R&D over a complete product line.

                  In addition to what is stated in the article, we have much more to offer. Most systems have the capability of presetting ink zone digitally. We do too but to a higher degree by offering unlimited ink/paper combination with multiple printing characteristic curves.. This provides a more accurate presetting and therefore a bit faster makeready. We even offer a software that hails from our color scanner days called Color Assistant. This resides on the press console If an operator tweaks a run, the printing characteristic curve can be altered and stored. As you run more of the the ink/paper combination, if you see a trend in color moves, you can alter the curve so the next time the ink/paper combination is used, the newer, more accurate curve will be used. By the way, the ink/paper combination can be written into the JDF via our Pinance MIS. This along with other information such as Job Name, paper weight, size, stripping information, binding intent, number of pages, forms, etc are also written. When the job is opened in Printready, the stripping template, if it does not exist, is automatically generated based on the parameter. It is fully editable with Signa Station. When the job is done and plated, the press operator opens the job on his CP 2000 press console and the proper printing curve is loaded based on the ink/paper combination. If the press is equipped with our Preset Feeder Plus, data is sent to automatically setting the feed head set, side joggers for the paper, gripper height at in-feed, side guide, air setting on feeder, printing pressure, rear and side delivery guides and spray powder length. Another feature we offer for the CP 2000 is Plate On Demand. The CP 2000 press console has a touchtone screen. With Plate On Demand, a press operator has the opportunity to call up a plate remake right from their console. This is handy if press runs multiple shifts and prepress in only one. Just leave on the workflow and CtP. The press operator even sees a thumbnail of the flat and can select one color or multiple colors.

                  And then there is Prinect Pressroom Manager and Prinect Intergration Manager. You have a Printready cockpit that not only shows you the status of jobs in prepress but also press. The press actually becomes part of the workflow sequence with prepress. You can look at a job in progress on a press, find out how much the makeready was, how many good sheets are printed and how much more to print, You read about additional integration in the article.

                  And at Drupa, we take the next step with JDF integration of Postpress.

                  Andrew must have found Prinect interesting enough to make it the focus of his article.

                  Regards,

                  Mark Tonkovich
                  Heidelberg USA
                  Product Manager, CtP & Proofing
                  Mark Tonkovich
                  Heidelberg USA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

                    Hi Peter,

                    From other threads, it sounds like you are from the U.K. If that is the case, surely you must be aware of Andrew Tribute? His byline from the article states besides being a Managing Partner of Attributes Associates since 1984, he is also a visiting Professor at University of the Arts in London.

                    Regards,

                    Mark Tonkovich
                    Heidelberg USA
                    Product Manager, CtP & Proofing
                    Mark Tonkovich
                    Heidelberg USA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

                      Mark,

                      Yep, I've got to hand it to Heidelberg, that kind of intergration is the holy grail. That calibrate-as-you-go for the CIP3 is one of the best concepts I've heard in a long time, since you don't have to dedicate time, materials towards a dedicated press test to update your settings. Now that's smart and very practical!

                      And the pre-set plus feeder where it actually remembers and adjust, separation finger position, air blast position, air pressure amounts is amazing. To be able to save that information for a paper stock is incredible! Any press operator knows that those settings are so critical, so being able to save them and return to them immediately is astounding.

                      We have pressetting for feeder head, side guides, delivery, impression on our Sakurai, but Heidelberg is at a different level!

                      We've got a CIP3 network link from prepress to our Sakurai 4 colour, but
                      we've not had much success with it due to, I believe, my foolish
                      misunderstanding of how to adjust the curves. I think I was over complicating it. I'm designing new press test formes and we're going to start from scratch again. Hopefully with more success this time.

                      If I'm successful I'll post everything I've learned to perhaps help some other smaller printers implement that CIP3 link effectively. To do what Heidelberg does with the calibrate-as-you-go however requires copy-and-pasting values from live jobs, comparing it with uncalibrated values and then averaging in a spreadsheet. Then you manually update the curves.

                      Now if I could simply automate the process...

                      "Off on a tangent",

                      Dwane.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

                        I am not sure about adjusting plate curves on the fly - its one of those things that sound a good idea at the time. But in practice falls down. We find our plate curve fairly stable within the ISO tolerance and if we get a problem its usualy down to either plates ( chemistry) or printing conditions inks, blankets or just the weather. I think it would hide press faults.

                        Its a bit like letting on line press colour controls automatically adust the ink - it may not know you have sheet around the rollers :-) .

                        Trying to troubleshoot a dot gain problem on the press would also be a problem as we would first of all have to take the plates of the press to check what the dot is on the plate.

                        There is some good software available using the little Eye1 spectro that fits into a mac or pc -(you can use it also to cerify your proofs ) IThe cost for the software is around £1200 in the UK £300 for proof vaidation.
                        Check these sites out - I run Bodoni but I know Alan Dresch (Mellow Colour) has printers using his software in Australia
                        http://www.mellowcolour.com/ http://www.bodoni.co.uk/-c-196.html

                        Peter

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

                          Hi Peter,

                          When I was talking about curves, I didn't mean plate curves. I actually meant the curves applied to the CIP3 data for getting better Coverage-Area-To-Key-Position performance on press.

                          So it's not about adjusting for dot gain. Just giving the CIP3 software the most current valid key position for a coverage area.

                          Eg. Let's say an ink zone contains a black solid that takes up 50% of space from the grip edge to the tail edge. (100% solid). Previously the ink key position was set at 32 on the console to achieve the correct density. But things have changed (for whatever reason) and now it requies a key setting of 39 to reach the corect density for a coverage of 50%.

                          That's why the updating of the curves with each new job would help 'hone' the accuracy of the CIP3 software presetting.

                          Obviously each job wouldn't have the entire spectrum of coverages from 2%-100%, but it would update the key positions for the coverages that were in the job. The bonus is you don't have to spend any more money or time to continue to improve your accuracy.

                          I talked to a production manager here in Australia the other day and he said they have a new 10 colour 102 speedmaster and that at first their makereadies were around 1500 sheets total. Once they began 'honing' the CIP3 settings they now consistently get 500 sheet makereadies total!

                          That's impressive for two sides!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

                            We are succesfully using CP2000 (2 of them) over 4 presses and we capture ok sheet data on every job through image control back to quality monitor. We dont change our curves or linierization from job to job as that job may be influenced by operator, blankets, ink contamination, plates and a number of other factors but we take averages over a number of jobs that then indicate a trend in dot gain on a particular colour on a particular press and then we use that data to adjust. The captured data also drops of the highest and lowest data to remove any one of anomilies. We are very pleased with workflow so far and aim to further intergrate jdf this following year as we are only 12 months into Prinect and have been taking it one step at a time. We do not yet have varying paper values and curves to match as we are still working through the maze of jdf/MIS intergration which is proving a battle in itself. A lot of the features Mark has eluded to we are working towards but it is a challange to take it all on at once.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What is Workflow? by Andrew Tribute

                              Dwane,

                              You are right, there are more then the CtP curves to deal with, you also have the Printing Characteristic Curves that actually dictate the ink coverage!. You are on the right track, it takes both to be set right, the dot gain is for the gray balance and contrast and the Printing Characteristic allows for the proper ink flow to meet the needs.

                              Cheify,

                              You are right, there is allot to integrate as we found out while programming and testing it all so your point of steady as it goes is a good idea. I also agree with the averaging in that it helps reduce some of the impact of other variables. Please, as you make your next step of integration, let us all know how you are doing.

                              Regards,

                              Mark Tonkovich
                              Heidelberg USA
                              Product Manager, CtP & Proofing
                              Mark Tonkovich
                              Heidelberg USA

                              Comment

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