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  • Automated Workflow

    Whats going on with automated workflow out there. I am looking hard at implementing "something", just not sure what. I envision a process that allows our csr's to drop a file on a hot folder that preflights, preps, imposes and send to proof or plate. I also envision a gap being created between output and preflight, with the operators moving closer to the csr's and further away from output. I have looked at Screen's option and an option called FullSwitch but am not sold on any yet. Any input would be great.

  • #2
    Re: Automated Workflow


    There is a workflow exact as your requirements available with OneVision. It is called Speedflow Cockpit. Just got to and ask for an online demo or a test installation.



    • #3
      Re: Automated Workflow

      ApogeeX from Agfa will do exactly what you've asked. It's called a hot ticket.

      Jon Morgan
      Hopkins Printing


      • #4
        Re: Automated Workflow

        Assuming of course files come in 100% correct and ready to go.

        Who here is in that situation?

        Just curious


        • #5
          Re: Automated Workflow

          I just received 300 plus PDF files. This is simple crap. Reply. Letter. Notepad.
          Mostly 4/1 or 2/1
          I spent 4 days of my life training our customer how to make proper PDFs. back a year ago.
          They now come in, hit a hot folder (PowerSwitch) print out separations (Batch Print Pro $50)
          then, I put in Screen Trueflow and lock and load.
          We (2-3 people) knocked out 200 job jackets including proofs in a little over a day.
          Old way would have taken 1.5 days JUST to collect the art into a single location, open
          the Quark files, and preflight.
          Best darn four days of my life....


          • #6
            Re: Automated Workflow

            Scott - using jdf - I think the big advancement will be Estimate to Plate - It is starting to work in the UK at the moment

            although I think there is still a lot being held back for Drupa


            • #7
              Re: Automated Workflow

              You're right if the files are .ps or PDFs. If it's the case, ApogeeX will preflight and fix what it can.
              Better train people and risk they leave - than do nothing and risk they stay.


              • #8
                Re: Automated Workflow

                What is the understood definition of "Automated workflow"?
                Hotfolder preflighting, fixing, outputting proof? Maybe a plate?

                Perhaps this needs a new thread, but I'd like to hear feedback on actual expectations of automated workflow. Let's name the steps and talk about manual touchpoints, job jackets, hand written notes, emailing, production meetings, StuffitExpander and all the other pieces in this. And what will be replaced by automation.

                I'll start with some of the pieces that I think are essential based on what I hear users say every day:
                - Web to print presence with transactional handling
                - MIS Jdf in and out
                - Workflow JDF in and out. Automated preflight, color management, trapping, imposition creation, proofing.
                - outputting to short run variable digital print, offset and web CTP, flexo etc, or BOTH in the same job.
                - finishing automation and reporting of status realtime
                - ease of making jobs reprintable and accessible via Web for re-order

                I don't want this to be a list of press releases for what's coming at Drupa. I'd like to hear from users that are using end to end automation today and those that see where they need to get to in order to remain profitable.


                • #9
                  Re: Automated Workflow

                  Would suggest as another user looking at Graduals FullSwitch or PowerSwitch, amazing application with no end of automation and good integration with PDFs etc

                  I am using here now to drop a folder containing the Indesign File, Images, Folders etc

                  The Indesign file creates a PDF, is flightchecked, proofs run out, files filtered to various locations, low res PDF made from the highres and then uploaded to a http mounted volume and the whole folder is moved to another location filtering our files and folders on definable values and the Hires PDF placed in the folder.

                  They have 15 trial demos and various downloadable example flows as they call them, easy to learn as well


                  Edited by: Paul Airs on Feb 7, 2008 7:25 AM


                  • #10
                    Re: Automated Workflow

                    Well......... provided the files actually do come in *ready to print*, we are really close to having a true automation. The first thing that has to happen is domebody has to build the files correctly.
                    The company i work for is on the cusp of working all of this out. within the next few weeks we will have the capabilities to output jdf straight from the MIS, which runs through the impostion software to automatically create the imposition and send to Rampage. I am not sure just yet if the CSR will be able to attach a pdf file in the MIS, or if it will have to be submitted in Rampage. Once the file(s) are ripped, the sig "flat" automatically rips and can be set to go to dbl/inkjet, or straight to plate, or remote proofing. This is all supposed to happen within the next 2 weeks, with upgrades coming for MIS, Impo software and Rampage. Once I get all of the pieces here and can de-bug if necessary, I will update further. It is out there, good luck getting everybody on board with it.


                    • #11
                      Re: Automated Workflow

                      What MIS are you using? We're exploring different options to get JDF in/out capability. (Currently with PSI)


                      • #12
                        Re: Automated Workflow

                        A lot of automation exists in Apogee, no doubt. A lot of automation exists in OneVision products, no doubt. That's all fine and dandy if you get in PDF's or PostScript.

                        What about the rest of the work?

                        The SWITCH family of products is the only product that deals with the other 2/3rd's of the workflow. You know, the part before files are made into plates. No other tool offers you the level of communication internally, externally or both that SWITCH does.

                        I'm a reseller, integrator, trainer, partner, etc. for Apago, Axaio, Callas, Cutting Edge, Elpical, Enfocus, Gradual, Markzware, and Quite. I focus on preflighting, automation and PDF based workflows. If you have any questions feel free to call or email.
                        Matt Beals
                        The views expressed here are my own personal views and are not those of my employer.


                        • #13
                          Re: Automated Workflow

                          I've said it before and I will say it again.
                          I DO NOT work for Gradual. I bought PowerSwitch two months
                          ago and have not looked back. We have it doing day to day
                          crap and it handles it with ease.
                          One example: drop in mail.dat files (9 of each job number)
                          Switch finds them, puts the 9 of each together, and zips them
                          up. Total time for 630 files to be turned into 70 zipped files?
                          Five minutes.
                          Time it took a human to do the same thing? 30 minutes.
                          Not to mention that Switch does not make mistakes...


                          • #14
                            Re: Automated Workflow

                            We are using ePace. We switched over from PSI last year. From what management tells me, PSI was not quite ready for "automation/web to print" type stuff at the time. They did not want to wait on the upgrades.


                            • #15
                              Re: Automated Workflow


                              I work for Ultimate Technographics and we have that question 100 times'a'day. Regardless of which components you select to built your automated workflow, what you want is the lowest possibilites of human intervention. (errors, costs, etc.)

                              There are a lot of affortable solutions on the market that will let you built something easy to configure, use and work with.

                              We have imposition solutions which are hot folder based, with dynamic templates and can be driven by many things, including XML. The end result is that you will have jobs being automatically dropped into hot folders, imposed and sent to your printing device.

                              Our Impostrip solutions can even drive automated finishing devices like Duplo's DC645, through our bar code feature.

                              If you want to see this in live action, we'll be at On Demand in Boston, Graphic Of the Americas and Drupa. We can even send you a fully functional version to test.

                              Hope this helps,

                              Ray Duval
                              Ultimate Technographics.


                              4OverStandard FinishingDuploSmartsoft (Presswise)CanonKBATharsternAvanti

                              Presswise Article


                              Automated Order Status Tracking
                              In PressWise Workflow Solution

                              Presswise order status
                              Quick overview of the order status tracking feature on PressWise’s automated workflow solution

                              Link to Video

                              4OverStandard FinishingDuploCanonSmartsoft (Presswise)TharsternKBAAvantiUltimate

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