Thinking of moving to a New Workflow and Need Input

Akaleus

Member
Our Kodak Prinergy server is due for an upgrade but we've given it a pause to consider other workflows going forward. We're trying to find a good solution to handle the mix of equipment we have as well as be able to handle 2 locations that are a few miles apart. Currently we don't have both locations connected together, but we are in the process of figuring that out. We've looked closely at Agfa Apogee and it seems to fit all of our requirements. We've also been using Agfa Asanti to handle our wide format equipment and really like some of the built in file fixing that is available. We are hoping to automate our processes a bit more and have been working on building a new MIS system using PrintVIS & Microsoft Dynamics. We're hoping to use XML to JDF to be able to drive automation between our MIS & Prepress. We plan on taking another look at Esko's solution as well but our biggest concern with Esko is the price tag. I would appreciate any other recommendations you have that we might not have considered yet.

Here's a general overview of the our current equipment:
40" 5-Color Heidelberg
Saddle stitching bindery
2x Agfa wide format flatbeds
Dyesub,
2x Kongsberg Routers
2x Mutoh Inkjet Printersand (plus a cutter)
2x digital presses (Xerox & Heidelberg)
 

abc

Well-known member
Have you taken a look at Switch, either as a workflow in itself or as an enabler to help you automate other individual solutions?
It's not an 'out of the box', but if you are building your own MIS you might consider building your own automation platform with it.
 

Akaleus

Member
Have you taken a look at Switch, either as a workflow in itself or as an enabler to help you automate other individual solutions?
It's not an 'out of the box', but if you are building your own MIS you might consider building your own automation platform with it.
That's an interesting thought abc, thanks for the input. We are looking for something that is a total workflow replacement as opposed to just one piece of the puzzle. We're trying to find a solution that bridges our wide-format, with our digital & offset and brings them together into one system.
 

sveibl

Active member
What version of Prinergy are you running? I am a big prinergy fan and believe running your listed equipment should be easy. After years of using it, I still learn ways improve its functions and create better work flows. Esko is next best solution.
 

Akaleus

Member
What version of Prinergy are you running? I am a big prinergy fan and believe running your listed equipment should be easy. After years of using it, I still learn ways improve its functions and create better work flows. Esko is next best solution.
We're running version 8.1. Prinergy is the only system I've ever used. I have some experience with Esko products via ArtiosCAD but not any of their prepress software. Apogee does provide some inciting file fixing capabilities as well as automation capabilities without having to purchase a separate license. As far as I'm aware (please correct me if I'm wrong), Prinergy can't fix file issues such as creating bleed or take large format files and then split them and add bleed to so they register from one board to the next. And if we wanted to do any automation within Prinergy we'd have to purchase a license for their Rules Based Automation.
 

akalaray

Well-known member
Take a look at Heidelberg Prinect! I have used Prinergy, Appogee, Screen - Like Heidelberg especially for the support - Easy workflow with the best imposition app - Signastation.
 

ksm1701

Member
As mentioned above, take a look at Prinect, Apogee, Prinergy and Switch as potential solutions, but run for the hills if anyone mentions Fuji XMF!
 

Akaleus

Member
Take a look at Heidelberg Prinect! I have used Prinergy, Appogee, Screen - Like Heidelberg especially for the support - Easy workflow with the best imposition app - Signastation.
Thanks for the suggestion Akalaray. Does the Heidelberg software have any solution for wide format? I don't see any mention of it from their website. We're trying to find something that can cover everything.
 

Akaleus

Member
As mentioned above, take a look at Prinect, Apogee, Prinergy and Switch as potential solutions, but run for the hills if anyone mentions Fuji XMF!
From what I can tell, Switch isn't a full workflow replacement but more of an addin for automation. Is that correct?
 

akalaray

Well-known member
Thanks for the suggestion Akalaray. Does the Heidelberg software have any solution for wide format? I don't see any mention of it from their website. We're trying to find something that can cover everything.
The system is Hotfolder based - so it would output to any printer - we have it outputting to 4 epson printers - I can't think of why it can't drive a wide format device? Mark Tonkovich from Heidelberg is on this forum - Post to Heidelberg - He will answer your question(s)
 

Akaleus

Member
The system is Hotfolder based - so it would output to any printer - we have it outputting to 4 epson printers - I can't think of why it can't drive a wide format device? Mark Tonkovich from Heidelberg is on this forum - Post to Heidelberg - He will answer your question(s)
Thanks Akalaray. I'm mainly thinking in terms of some of the file setup requirements needed for wide format such as being able to break a single piece of art apart in order to print on several boards, or being able to add specialized marks for grommets or router cutting. We use a Agfa's solution called Asanti for our wide format right now. I'm sure we could continue using it alongside the Heidelberg software and just have Asanti as a passthrough. But I was just curious if the Heidelberg software could do all of that as well. I'd rather have it all in one system than broken out into pieces from different providers.
 

cementary

Well-known member
Prinergy can fix files. You will need a preflightplus option to do that. With it you'll have full featured callas preflight engine (well without variables, but still). And for everything else - rba. Imho it's easier, faster and cheaper than moving to different workflow
 
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bbertolani

Active member
Akaleus
What is the current business of your company? Commercial Print, Large Format, Web2Print?

Commercial print: Prinergy or Agfa

Large Format: Switch or Esko (in your case go by Esko because you already have the Kongsberg)

Web2Print: Switch + Pitstop or Callas, the point here is that Switch you have a world of possibilities with the script module

Also, another point to think about is what is the next steps of the company, maybe I just need to fix the older workflows and create new ones, because the connection between the locations supposes to be a job for the MIS.
 

Akaleus

Member
Akaleus
What is the current business of your company? Commercial Print, Large Format, Web2Print?

Commercial print: Prinergy or Agfa

Large Format: Switch or Esko (in your case go by Esko because you already have the Kongsberg)

Web2Print: Switch + Pitstop or Callas, the point here is that Switch you have a world of possibilities with the script module

Also, another point to think about is what is the next steps of the company, maybe I just need to fix the older workflows and create new ones, because the connection between the locations supposes to be a job for the MIS.
Thanks bbertolani,

We do commercial, large format, digital, packaging & web2print. So a little bit of everything. So far, it looks like every system has 1 or 2 specialties and can be customized to handle other things. I would say most of our work is either Commercial or Wideformat so those are the 2 solutions we're trying to bring together first. It seems like Apogee is the only solution that really has those 2 covered really well. Though Apogee is lacking on the packaging side, it can be used for it with their true-shape nesting feature. Though I wish it could actually use CAD files for the layout.

As for the future, we have 2 locations and we're wanting to connect both locations together using a VPN so that we're both storing jobs in the same location as well as handling files the same way.
 

bbertolani

Active member
Thanks bbertolani,

We do commercial, large format, digital, packaging & web2print. So a little bit of everything. So far, it looks like every system has 1 or 2 specialties and can be customized to handle other things. I would say most of our work is either Commercial or Wideformat so those are the 2 solutions we're trying to bring together first. It seems like Apogee is the only solution that really has those 2 covered really well. Though Apogee is lacking on the packaging side, it can be used for it with their true-shape nesting feature. Though I wish it could actually use CAD files for the layout.

As for the future, we have 2 locations and we're wanting to connect both locations together using a VPN so that we're both storing jobs in the same location as well as handling files the same way.
I don't know Apogee pretty well but when my company bought another company about 1 year ago, in this company they were using Apogee and after see whats Switch can do they shut down Apogee. The good part of Apogeeis a solution with everything inside but this doesn't mean that everything inside fit in your needs, while in Switch you will need to integrate with others solutions, same situation for Esko that IMHO is good for labels, packing, wide format but for Commercial Print is not the right choice.
 

icones

New member
I work with Fuji XMF and Enfocus Switch. That do the job for printing for offset, digital and tracer with PSO constraints and automations
 

scotts

Well-known member
We are commercial and web2print shop and use Prinergy. I haven't used any other system besides Kodak, so I can't speak on the other systems. But I can tell you, with the RBA in Prinergy, and some creative use of other command line software that the RBAs can control, you sure can do a lot. We run a couple of offset KBAs and a couple color digital presses, and one 1-color digital press, along with color proofers and book proofers, and I almost forgot a couple of digital envelope printers. Obviously Prinergy doesn't run any of them, but it is able to process the files and get the files to the presses just fine.

I would say if you are looking, try and find a forum for each of the systems, and do some lurking on them. See what the actually users are saying. And search for some of the scenarios that you are trying to do, you might get lucky. And I know that some times the forums are locked down until you are an actual user. But maybe you can talk to a sales person to get you access, for research.

What we all have to remember is that these are all just tools for us to produce. We have to find the best ways to use the tools. And the manufacturer doesn't always know the best way. They just know "their" way.
 

tiliaty

New member
[Disclaimer...I work for Tilia Labs...]

Hi Akaleus,

Have you checked out the planning and imposition product Phoenix by Tilia Labs (http://www.tilialabs.com)? Phoenix will handle all of your commercial and wide format work! Further, we integrate seamlessly with MIS systems via our open API, hotfolders, CSV, JDF, and/or XML. Phoenix runs on both MacOS and Windows (also Linux in automation mode) as well.

Let me know if you are interested in learning more!
 

Ulrich

Well-known member
..., but run for the hills if anyone mentions Fuji XMF!
please explain this

and why did you get a like from whom for that?

I am coming from Preps, ORIS (CGS) and a Harlequin-RIP, now working with Fuji XMF is like coming from rain into the sun and this time i am not joking, so asking seriuosly...


Best

Ulrich
 
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prepressdork

Well-known member
As a long time Apogee user, I can say it's a pretty awesome workflow! The best part is Apogee Impose, a completely integrated industrial strength imposition solution that is built into Apogee. The only potential downside is that Apogee Impose is only supported when using the Windows version of the Apogee client. The System is modular so buy only what you need and they offer quite a few enhancers to make the system better. They also have WebApproval which is a web-based online proofing system that is integrated within Apogee.

You mentioned Asanti. I could be wrong but I believe Apogee can now be used to natively drive Wide Format machines.

Best regards,
pd
 

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